Featured in the August, 2008 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
Even if you never think about it beforehand, some day you will die. The Bible says, “It is appointed unto man once to die” (Hebrews 9:27), and this is the appointment you will keep.
After you die you will be judged by the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:22). Then it will make little difference whether you drove a Ford or a Chev, drank Coke or Pepsi, voted Democratic or Republican. The Lord will not ask you whether or not you finished college, if you earned your living with your head or your hands, or if you bought your clothes at Sears or at JCPenney.
It will make no difference to Christ whether you were Roman Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, or Methodist. Jesus Christ Himself came down from heaven to earth to die upon the cross for our sins and the only matter of any importance will be if you had definitely and personally trusted in Jesus Christ alone and received from Him the gift of salvation.
You may tell the Lord, “I was a good church member all my life”, but if you were such a good church member the Lord will want to know why you never paid any attention to the Word of the Apostle Peter who said concerning Jesus Christ, “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
The Bible never promises salvation to any one who joined any church, only to those who savingly believe on Jesus Christ.
You may say, “I was baptized”, but the Lord never promised eternal salvation on the basis of baptism. It is always on the basis of heartfelt belief, even as the Apostle Paul said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
You, with many others, may plead with the Lord saying, “But I tried my very best to keep the Ten Commandments” but the Scripture plainly and repeatedly teaches that “A man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Romans 4:28). God did not give the Ten Commandments to save anybody. He gave the Ten Commandments to make clear His standard of morality so that we could know our sinfulness, even as the Apostle Paul teaches, “For by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20).
At the day of judgment you may say “I always tried to do good. I was loving to my family, kind to my neighbors, faithful to my employer; I tried to help the old, the sick and those who were in special need.” Yet the Scriptures clearly teach that no one is saved by good works: “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
If you could save yourself by doing your best and trying to live a “good life”, why then did Jesus Christ come from heaven to earth and die upon Calvary’s cross for your sins? His agony and suffering were a foolish waste if you could save yourself.
The only reason Jesus died upon the cross was the He knew not one person in the whole wide world could be good enough to go to heaven. Salvation is only through Jesus Christ and there is no other way to be saved except by repentance for sin and faith in Him alone. Salvation cannot be achieved, earned, or merited by anyone. It is a gift purchased at the awesome cost of “the precious blood of Christ” (I Peter 1:19).
Some day you will die. Your family will not be able to help you. Your employer can do nothing for you. The politicians will not be there to offer you anything. Your lodge can do nothing for you, and your church will be unable to help you.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6). Christ specifically states that salvation is not through an organization, even a religious organization. It’s not through a sacrament or any religious ceremony. It’s not through an individual’s devotion or sincerity, but that it is through Christ and through Him alone.
Someday you die. Have you now repented of sin and trusted in Jesus Christ? This is the only way to heaven. The Bible says, “He that believeth on the Son has everlasting life, and He that believe not the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God abideth on Him” (John 3:36).
You do not need to wait and see if you will be saved, but you can know now and know definitely. This is the teaching of the Apostle John, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (I John 5:13).
Today, from your heart, you can repent of your sinfulness and trust in Jesus for salvation. Do this now. Pray to the Lord Jesus Christ in your own words. Tell Him you know you are lost, that you have no hope of heaven by your own good works. Tell Him that you trust in Him alone and ask Him to save you and He will do it. He has promised to. He will give you new life, eternal life that you may live with Him in heaven forever.