Salvation And Repentance
More often than not, the focus of these entries is to provide insight and understanding in a world with so many different presuppositions and worldviews. Apologetics and Creation Science are commonplace now on this blog, and Prophecy is still tagging along now and then. Theology, however, tends to come and go out.The intention of this entry is to focus on the key to Heaven: Salvation through Jesus Christ. Not evidence, not defense of faith, not science, nor deep philosophical questions, but straight from God's Word, how can we ensure our salvation, how do we find salvation, and how do we know our salvation is genuine?First off, let us take a look at what has become known as the clear plan of salvation. It begins in "Romans 3:23-24", which says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ." Romans 5:12" continues, "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, [Adam] and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned."Before you can come to repentance and accept the free gift of salvation, you need to come to a place where you understand why we all need a Savior. We need a savior, because the penalty for sin is death, eternally sentenced to Hell, and we have determined that each and every person to ever live, save for Christ, has sinned."Ephesians 2:8-9" continues, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." While certain doctrines teach that you can get into Heaven by works, citing "Ecclesiasticus 3:30", "As water quenches a blazing fire, so [works] atones for sins," and "Tobit 12:9", "[Works] preserves a man from death and wipes out all sin," which are both from the Apocrypha and therefore not considered the Word of the Lord, according to God himself, works cannot get you into heaven."Titus 3:5-6 "continues the plan of salvation, "he saved us, not because of righteous things we have done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior." Again, works cannot get you into Heaven. Paul just re-stated that. Christ came to earth, to die for us because of his mercy, not because of how good we are.The next verse, "John 3:16-18", gives the most well-known verse from the Bible, and in these are truth. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."God loves his Creation, and because he loves us, he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us, so that we do not have to pay the penalty for our sins, because Christ already paid that penalty for us. He came to save us, not condemn us, and if we would believe in him, we are believing in the name of God's one and only Son. What about those who say that "all paths lead to God, all paths lead to Heaven," are these truth?Well, what does Jesus himself say? "John 14: 6 "continues, "Jesus answered, 'I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE. NO ONE comes to the Father "EXCEPT THROUGH ME". If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." Jesus did not say, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. I am merely one of the many ways to get into Heaven." No! He said, "No one comes to the Father EXCEPT through me." There is no other way. Works cannot get you into Heaven, so-called "goodness" cannot get you into Heaven. We have all broken the Ten Commandments, and therefore, need a Savior.Once we recognize the need for a Savior, we can come to a place to accept Salvation. The plan follows, "For the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost." ("Luke 19:10") We are all lost, and in need of the Savior, Jesus Christ. But merely believing Jesus came, died, and rose again is not enough - we need to repent of our sins. "Father, please forgive me for sinning against you, I confess my sins to you, I repent." Or something to that effect. If we cannot come to repentance, we cannot genuinely accept salvation.Daily asking for forgiveness of our sins is yet another thing Christians tend to neglect a lot - we sin each and everyday, whether we think about it or not, and are in need of forgiveness. But what happens if you do not accept Christ, and do not repent? Hell is the punishment." Luke 13:3" continues, "I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." How can we demonstrate our repentance? By deeds. You cannot get into Heaven by deeds, but once to have accepted Salvation, you demonstrate your repentance by the deeds that you do - by helping others, spreading the truth about Christ, and other such things.Paul tells us this in "Acts 16:20", "First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds. Mark 1:15" continues, "'The time has come,' he said, 'The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!" Revelation 3:20" goes on to say, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with them, and they with me." Jesus is inviting us to follow him. "Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony about His Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." ("1st John 5:10-13")Once you have accepted the free gift of Salvation, you require "spiritual milk," to grow. "1st Peter 2:2", "Like newborn babies, crave spiritual milk, so that by it, you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good." Concluding the plan for salvation, don't neglect to gather." Hebrews 10:25" says, "not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." In other words, find a church that teaches the truth, and do not forsake your gathering."Romans 10:9" says, "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that he is risen from the dead, you will be saved." Repent of your sins, ask forgiveness from God, and accept salvation through the grace of Jesus Christ. I trust this entry has proven most helpful. If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to comment below, visit the facebook page, or email May God bless you and be with you all the days of your life. "Troy Hillman"