Thursday, 23 of October of 2014

payday loans

Are you saved?

Dear Reader,

You did right in clicking on this.  It may be the most important mouse click you ever made!  Because,

“Truly, these [past] times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men [and women!] everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man [Jesus Christ] whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17.30,31)

The Bible says that you’re a sinner.  It says that I’m a sinner and in fact that we’re all sinners.  It says in Romans 3.23 that,

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

So maybe your reaction is okay, I’m a sinner, but so is everyone else.  But dear friend, in this case, there is no safety in numbers.  The Bible says in John 3.36,

“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Another way to put that is “He who has trusted in Christ to save him from his sins is saved, but he who has not trusted in Christ is unsaved.

This business of being unsaved is of the utmost importance.  Friend, you are literally in mortal danger. Your life will end someday —  and then judgment, says the Bible.  Being unsaved doesn’t mean you go to the Motel 6 instead of the Ritz.  Jesus said it means you go to:

“Hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched — where ‘Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’” (Mark 9.43b-44)

An eternity, not just of fire, but worms eating your flesh.  You may not believe it, but that changes nothing.  You may not believe the world spins.  It changes nothing.  Truth is what it is.  We can’t “believe it away.”

So maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “I don’t need to commit myself to Christ.  Sure I sin.  But my good deeds outnumber my bad deeds.“  It’s a tragedy that men and women all over the world mistakenly think that if their good deeds outweigh or outnumber their bad deeds God is obligated to usher them in to Heaven.

But there is no good-deeds-outnumber-bad-deeds system.  Because God is holy, just one bad deed in life is all it takes to send you to Hell.  Consider what the Bible says in James 2.10:

“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point,

he has become guilty of all”

In short, trying to earn your way to Heaven is a “fool’s errand.”  In fact it’s worse because it only makes God all the angrier.  He has provided a way through His own dear Son Jesus Christ and His death for you on the Cross.  And yet you reject it!  And you therefore reject the only escape!  Listen to what the Bible says in Hebrews 2.3,

“How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?”

It’s a rhetorical question — there is no escape!   Oh sinner, how will you escape?  I wasn’t able.  No one else reading this was able.  No one in all of human history has been able.  Will you?  Are you more clever than any man or woman yet born?  Will you have some unassailable argument that will impress God in a way that He’s never been impressed before?  I’d like to hear it!

Here’s the bottom line:  no amount of church-going, taking the Mass, giving to the poor, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or being baptized is going to save you.  You can’t be saved by good works.  Ephesians 2.8-9 says,

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves;  it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

Christ gets the glory for saving you, friend.  You’re not going to steal that glory.  You don’t get to boast.  Rather we get to boast of Christ.

Do you believe that?   I hope you do.

Then what must I do to be saved?

Perhaps you’re reading this and you already know that you’ve sinned against God. You know you’ve offended Him and that He is justifiably angry at you.

You realize you’re where you are today because you made one bad decision after the other. You’re burdened by the sins of your past.  You’re so sick of them.  You wish you could just erase them and start all over again.  You’ve tried everything to feel better about yourself but nothing seems to work.

Well dear one if you’re in that place today, have we got good news for you.   You can start all over again. You can have your slate wiped clean.  Take it from me, a sinner, Jesus delivers on His promises.

Jesus said in Luke 19.10,

“The Son of Man came to seek and save that which was lost.”

That’s you, dear friend. He calls out to you today:

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart

and you will find rest for your souls.”

Jesus’ very Name means, “Jehovah Saves.”  As the Son of God He is none other than Almighty God Himself.  He has the authority and power to save you from your sins.  To deliver you from the threat of Hell with its flames and worms. You can be sure right now beyond all doubt that you’ll never see that place.  And even more importantly you can know that you belong to Him and will be with Him in heaven for all eternity.

Maybe you’re thinking, “But Glen, I don’t know how to call on this Lord Jesus.”  We find what we need to do in the book of Romans, chapter 10 verses 9 & 10 (NAS):

“That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”

You need to pray to God, and confess to Him that Jesus is Lord; that you believe that He died and was raised from the dead for your sins.  And you have to believe it with your heart. This is not a magic chant.  You have to believe it in your heart.

You can do it in private just by kneeling by your own bed.  Or if you don’t want to do it alone you can call us.  The best thing to do, of course, is to come and visit us at Sunday morning worship where we can sit down and help you after the service.

How will I know I really am saved?

You’ll know because there will be a noticeable change in your life.  For starters, you’ll have a desire to worship Him with other believers at your local bible-believing church.  In Enfield, that would be First Baptist Church.  But there are thousands of churches like us all around the world.  You need to go!

Secondly, you’ll develop a hunger to study His word, the Bible.  Lastly, you’ll find your overall behavior changing — for the better!  To employ a well known pun, “Christians aren’t sinless, but they will sin less” as they grow in their relationship with Jesus.

* * *

Y

ou know, every believer on earth was once in the place that you are today.  No one is born into the family of God.  Each of us had to “born again” by making a decision just like you have to today.  And then the funny thing is, once you’ve made that decision, you start studying the Bible and realize God planned it for you all along, right from the beginning.  What a merciful and loving God He is!

God promises us in Psalm 91

“Because he [or she!] has set his love upon Me, Therefore I will deliver him

I will set him on high, because he has known My name.

He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble;

I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”

My heartfelt desire is for each person reading this today to understand God’s wondrous love commended toward us through Christ.  For those of you reading this who are saved, I pray that you would glorify God by making Him the center of your worship, your service and in your life.

For those of you who are unsaved but are seeking the forgiveness and healing that can only be found in Jesus, humble yourself before Him today.  You won’t be disappointed.

Your friend,

Glen O’Keefe, Senior Pastor

First Baptist Church of Enfield, CT