By David J. Stewart
At no time in History has the terms “Christian”, “saved” and “born-again” been more misunderstood and misused than now. These terms have sadly become commonplace and are flippantly thrown around with little or no significance. Wicked people, living the most ungodly lives, can be heard professing to be born-again Christians. Pornography models and homosexuals claiming to be saved Christians while yet arrogantly living in their sins. There are even churches with Sodomite ministers and a Sodomite congregation. Surely, this is not acceptable to God in heaven. These are not true believers, though they may be sincere!
Fortunately, a person who is living in such gross sin (and all sin is gross to God) can become saved. “Whosoever will” may come! “...and him that cometh to me I WILL IN NO WISE CAST OUT” (John 6:37). What a wonderful promise from Jesus Christ, our God and Savior! Anyone, no matter how deep they’ve gone into sin, can come to Christ for salvation. We read in Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your SINS BE AS SCARLET, they shall be AS WHITE AS SNOW; though they be RED LIKE CRIMSON, they shall be AS WOOL.” It’s interesting that the word “crimson” in Hebrew means “worm.” It was a worm used in the making of dyes for clothing. Stains are hard to get out! Perhaps you feel that your life has been permanently stained with sin and there is no hope for you. Oh yes there is! The blood of Jesus can wash away the toughest stains which sin may leave on your soul! “...Unto Him that loved us, and WASHED US FROM OUR SINS IN HIS OWN BLOOD” (Revelation 1:5). Jesus saves!
I have spoken with a good number of people in recent months concerning God, the Bible and salvation. Frankly, it worries me. I am disturbed at the subtlety of Satan and how he deceives so many people with false beliefs. One man said that he was a saved Christian and I began to rejoice with him in his faith. A few statements later he said, “I go to church every Saturday to get salvation.” Immediately a warning flag went up in my mind and I sincerely doubt this man’s salvation! Why? Because you don’t obtain salvation every Saturday! This man doesn’t understand the Bible. I proceeded to explain to him that “Salvation is not of works, but of faith”! Salvation is not found in a religion, but in a person; namely, JESUS CHRIST! You get saved ONE TIME! In John 3:7 Jesus told Nicodemus, “Ye MUST be born again” , not born again and again and again. You can only be born ONCE physically; likewise, ONCE spiritually.
Another gentleman I spoke with said that he had grown up a Catholic, then a Seventh-Day Adventist and then a Methodist. He spoke of Jesus as “our Lord” so I felt strongly he might be a Christian. A month later he made the statement, “my problem with all the religions in the world is that they all say something different and cannot agree.” Again, this was a warning flag to me that he may not be a true Believer. Why? He is looking to religion, not Jesus. He has “Churchianity” without “Christianity!” Most of the people I speak with concerning salvation have a form of “Churchianity” but do not have Christ in their heart as Savior.
Another person I spoke with told me he was a strict Catholic. He said that he believed in “having faith in Christ” but he also said he believed “works were necessary.” He said “I believe in faith and works!” I kindly and quickly pointed out Romans 11:6, “And IF BY GRACE THEN IT IS NO MORE OF WORKS: otherwise grace is no more grace. But IF IT BE OF WORKS, THEN IT IS NO MORE GRACE: otherwise work is no more work.” Clearly, salvation is either “BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH” in Jesus Christ alone OR you are doing what Cain did—offering your WORKS to God. It CANNOT BE BOTH! God rejected Cain’s offering and he will reject your efforts as well. Able demonstrated his faith in the coming Savior through a blood sacrifice. God was pleased by his faith. Cain had no faith but misunderstood and tried to please God in his own SINCERE but foolish efforts, just as countless millions do today! Cain went to hell, Able went to heaven!
May I say, If you’re a true Believer, You should KNOW how You became a true believer! If you’re a Christian, You have the Holy Spirit inside and you CAN KNOW beyond the shadow of any doubt that you are saved. You might have some doubts or concerns about your own salvation but you should at least be able to explain to someone what it means to be saved. If you can’t tell someone else how to be saved, you had better examine your own heart and make sure you are really a Christian! If you know how you were saved, then you should be able to tell someone how to get saved. Now maybe you don’t know all the Scriptures but at least you should be able to tell someone the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (that we’re all hell-deserving sinners in need of the Savior, Jesus Christ; Who died, was buried and rose again for our justification to pay for our sins). Can you do this? Do you know how and why your saved?
Salvation is so simple! All we need to do is put our 100% faith (total reliance) upon Jesus TO FORGIVE OUR SINS and save our souls. Turning over a new leaf is unacceptable. Your sins must be dealt with! You need forgiveness from the ONLY ONE WHO CAN FORGIVE SIN, Jesus Christ. Ask Jesus to forgive all your sins immediately if you’ve never done so. Admit to Him you’re a hell-deserving sinner! TURN TO JESUS CHRIST in faith and decide to trust Him alone as your only way to heaven. Have you, yourself done this? Remember, ONLY Jesus paid for your sins on the cross, so ONLY Jesus can forgive those sins and save your soul from hell destruction! In short, Turn or Burn! It’s Jesus or Hell! Don’t play with your soul and risk eternal hell-fire and damnation, repent of your unbelief and turn to Christ now for forgiveness of sin! It doesn’t matter how you pray. It doesn’t matter where your are. It doesn’t matter how sincere you may or may not feel. It doesn’t matter what sins and faults you may have in your life. What does matter is that you realize you are a hell-deserving sinner and are willing to call upon Jesus Christ to forgive those sins and come into your heart as your personal Savior. Have you ever done this? Are you trusting Christ alone and NOT works? Are you trusting Christ alone and NOT your routine prayers? Christ alone and NOT your good deeds? Christ alone and NOT your religion? Are you really a Christian?