Salvation
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What Does Salvation mean and why is it important?

Salvation is defined as the act of protecting or saving from harm. From a biblical standpoint it means redemption or deliverance from the power and penalty of sin. It is the most important subject when speaking of ones destination after you die and where you will spend eternity.

Do I need it?

A person absolutely needs salvation to enter into heaven. Without following God's plan as outlined in the bible, we are rejecting God and Heaven.
"…..Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" John 3: 3.
"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" Revelation 20: 15.

How do I get it?

First, some background….Biblical reading and discussion of it's content with our peers is not a common activity among the average person. God has given us the bible to read and learn of what He has done for us through His amazing mercy and grace. We can also hear God's plan of salvation from someone who has already been saved. "….Blessed are they that hear the Word of God, and keep it" Luke 11: 28. The bible is actually a collection of 66 letters, both Old and New testiment, written by God's chosen people who are, scribes, scholars, disciples, prophets, and other servants of God. All ancient scripture that we read today in the King James Version of the bible was with God's guidence and direction. His Word has been preserved for thousands of years. It is not uncommon to hear this statement however, "…..the bible was written by man, it's really not actually written by God….It's just a big fairy tale". The bible tells us that God wrote the ten commandments on two tables of stone with His finger while communing with Moses Exodus 31: 18. Do you think this is a difficult task for a God who has created this huge, magnificent, and beautiful world for us? God tells us in the bible, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" 2 Timothy 3: 16. The bible is a valuable tool to use and to discover God's plan of how we can understand and learn how to know for sure that one day we will go to heaven after we die. He has given us a choice to choose his plan or to reject it: "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" John 3: 18.

In order for us to prepare ourselves to enter heaven after we die, we must first understand that we have a sin nature: First, let us look at a few of the ten commandments. Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen anything? In Matthew 5: 28, Jesus said, "But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultry with her already in his heart"; "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" 1 John 1: 8; "As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one" Romans 10: 13. "For all hath sinned and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3: 23; "Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that ALL have sinned Romans 5: 12.

If we don't address our sin condition and don't do anything about it, we cannot live in eternal glory with God and the other believers. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" Romans 6: 23…."I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" Luke 13: 3. Because we are all sinners we are condemned to spiritual death! Something must happen in the eyes of God to be justified in His eyes. But if something very special, as planned by God, doesn't happen, there will be eternal separation from God, "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death" Revelation 20: 14. This is inevitable if we reject God's plan of salvation because God tells us that He will make us accountable for our sin, "And it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment" Hebrews 9: 27.

Sin stands between us and God. A sinner cannot enter heaven because God is holy, "For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" Leviticus 11: 44…….If we want to spend eternal glory with God which is an easy and FREE gift from God, by the way, the most important question on your mind should be…….. how do we get sanctified? How do I get saved? Without following God's instruction in righteousness, getting into heaven is like trying to mix oil and water or trying to get molasses to go uphill on a cold day……….It just doesn't happen, no matter how hard you try or how good you behave.

Ensuring that you get into heaven after you die or getting SAVED, Is a combination of trust, belief, repentence, and an acknowlement made to God through prayer that you believe and understand your new found knowledge. There is very clear and unmistakeable scripture that shows this. I will discuss more in a moment. But first, what does the bible say about repentance (a deep sorrow or contrition for our sins and a desire to live in harmony with God: To have a change and understanding the way one thinks….to think the way God thinks). "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" Matthew 3: 2; "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:" Acts 17: 30. In order to get saved, we must have a right heart and attitude, not resistent or rebellious but have an open mind to the truth of God's Word. It's laid out right before you in the bible for your eyes to feast on but only if you will allow it to happen. So many people reject it, just the same. You've lived your whole life with the knowledge of what the world taught you, but if you truly let God's message get through to you, it's the beginning of an amazing transformation….."TTherefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5: 17 God has created us to be independent thinkers. God has given us the freedom to choose Him or reject Him. Which path will you choose? "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because straight is the gate, and NARROW is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it". Matthew 7: 13-14. As you can see, there are not many ways to get into heaven. The scripture says, "narrow is the way". Jesus breaks it down more specifically. He says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" John 14: 6.

God loves us and wants us to go to heaven. Jesus said, "In my Father's house there are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you" John 14: 2; "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" John 3: 16; "But God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5: 8. THIS IS KEY! Our salvation is dependent on a connection to Jesus Christ! "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God……" 1 John 5: 1

God has made a way for us to overcome damnation: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" Romans 6: 23; God has given us a Savior to take away our sin at the asking and to purge us, wash us….."Purge me …..,and I shall be clean: Wash Me,and I shall be whiter than snow" Psalms 51: 7…."And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the World" 1 John 4: 14 ; Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" John 14: 6; "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not Life" 1 John 5: 11-12If a person wants to have eternal LIFE, that person must have the Son! The Bible teaches that nobody is passively given the Son. God has given Him for free…..a gift, but one must trust and believe through FAITH that Jesus has subtitutionally stepped in our place to take the punishment of our sins away. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves (we as sinners cannot save ourselves in any way): it is the gift of God……" Ephesians 2: 8; "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Romans 6: 23 …."The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world" 1 John 4: 14…. BELIEVE!….."….BELIEVE on the lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved….." Acts 16: 30-31; "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever BELIEVETH in Him should not perish, but have everlasting LIFE"; Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow….." Isaiah 1: 18;……..ACTIVELY CALL ON HIM! "For whosoever shall CALL upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" Romans 10: 13 One must ACTIVELY CONFESS to The Lord their knowledge of their sinful nature and ask Him to save them. ……."That if thou shalt CONFESS with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt BELIEVE in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" Romans 10: 9 . This does not mean confess to a man. We are all sinners. a man is unable to take our sins away. It is the Holy Lord in heaven only that can take your sin away. Take the time now and Pray to Jesus and tell Him what you now know and believe and how thankful you are for what he has done for you! I have heard thee……behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation". BELIEVE, REPENT, CONFESS, CALL ON HIM! You'll be eternally grateful! Simply say a prayer to let Him know of your knowledge of the TRUTH you've learned. Say a prayer something like this: Dear Lord, I know that I am a sinner. Thank you for sending Jesus to take away my sin through His cleansing sacrifice on the cross. Come into my life today and save me, in Jesus' name, amen. Once you've truly trusted from your heart the Lord Jesus to be Your Lord and Savior, you should find a good bible believing church and attend regularly to grow in your christian walk.

Is there anything that I can do to increase my chances of getting into heaven…..ie, does my good behavior help?

No! The bible teaches that salvation is based entirely by the grace of God, and not at all dependent upon the personal efforts of man. "For by grace are ye saved thru faith; and that not of yourselves: It is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" Ephesians 2: 8-9. This verse states that we are saved thru FAITH (belief and trust). Not by baptism, or putting large sums of money in the offering plate, or doing a certain amount of good deeds, or any other form of our own personal efforts will "help" God in making His decision to let us into heaven. How much good work is enough good work? Getting saved by grace should be a huge burden off of someones back that believes they have to work for their salvation. Christ Jesus the Lord has already done the work. He has done it all. He said on the cross as He was taking His last breath "It is finished" John 19: 30….the work that His Father sent Him to do had been completed. The sad part is that most people believe and hope that God is watching their earnest efforts and that He is counting all of their good deeds hoping that their good behavior is helping with their eternal destination. This is really like throwing buckets of dirt into the washing machine to help clean the clothes. No matter how hard we try, God sees us as sinners unless you call on Jesus by faith and acknowledge the great sacrifice He did for you and me. "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away" Isaiah 64: 6. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us…." Titus 3: 5. All people that get saved or born again have one thing in common….They've trusted in Jesus Christ and that He and He only is the Redeemer and Key to entering into heaven after we die.