Steps To Salvation
Do you know with 100% certainty that if you died tomorrow you would go to heaven? Salvation is a pretty serious question isn't it? Most of us plan to live long and prosperous lives but none of us really know (except God) when our time to go is. If you feel absolutely certain that you are ready then this is not for you... but if you have the least bit of uncertainty concerning your salvation then...read on.
As you are probably already aware of God loves us more than we could ever possibly know(John 10:10). And because of His love for us, He wants us to enjoy life to the fullest and have peace. But if you haven't already noticed, a lot of people aren't happy, peaceful or prosperous. The reason for this is because we are separated from God. What does that mean you may ask? Well, let me explain. A long time ago(before even Jesus was born) people had to make sacrifices to God to make-up for their sins. A sacrifice is the killing of an animal such as a goat,cow or lamb. They sacrificed an animal and then placed it on an alter because this is what God required of them to forgive their sins. The actual placing of the animal on the alter was a way of pleading for forgiveness. This was the only way they could receive forgiveness from God and be in right standing with Him. However, now we live under a new system. We still sin, just like the people of long ago did, but we are no longer required to sacrifice an animal and place it on an alter. Besides that is kind of gross anyway, right?! But that still does not take care of our problem of being separated from God because of our sins.
Any time we choose to disobey God and do things our own way without following God's rules we sin and don't measure up to the glory of God(Romans 3:23). Unfortunately, the price of sin means we cannot ever measure up to God's standards.(Matthew 7:21-23) Therefore we cannot join him for eternity in heaven after we die. Some people think that if we are nice enough to others our entire life that we can earn our way into heaven but that is just not true.(Proverbs 14:12) All sins are unacceptable to God, even little ones and none of us can go through our entire life without sinning.(Isaiah 59:2). So what do we actually have to do to bridge the separation from God since we know we cannot be perfect and never ever commit sin(we probably have already sinned anyway so it's too late for us). I'm really glad you asked! You see when Jesus died on the cross he was the one who bridged the gap between our sin(separation from God) and our ability to be acceptable to God. Jesus Christ made the ultimate sacrifice by being sacrificed on the cross for our sins.(1 Peter 3:18) So something still had to be sacrificed on an alter(cross) for our sins just like long ago but this time it was our King! That is why you sometimes hear of Jesus being referred to as the Lamb of God because he (Jesus) that knew no sin became sin. Isn't it awesome to know that someone with the status of Jesus was willing to make that ultimate sacrifice for you and me?
So we now know there is only one way for us to receive salvation and make it into heaven; that is to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. But how do we actually receive the gift of salvation? Surely there is some sort of process we have to go through, right? Nope, no process but God did give all of us our own free will and ability to make decisions. Therefore, we must make a personal choice to trust Jesus and accept His invitation. We can accept His gift of salvation and "confess with our hearts that Jesus is lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead and you will be saved".(Romans 10:9). So the question is what choice will you make? Do you know what choice your friends and family have made? Here is a quick recap:
1) Admit you and I are sinners we cannot make up for our sins on our own
2) Make a decision to turn away from your sins and repent.
3) Have faith and believe that even though you did not see
Jesus crucified for your sins that it did happen and
he later was resurrected(rose from the grave) and ascended to heaven.
4) ASK Jesus to come into your heart and through this receive the Holy Spirit to live inside you and guide you.
I have sinned and I need your forgiveness. I believe you died on the cross for my sins. I repent from my sins and receive salvation. As my Lord and Savior I ask that you come into my heart and change my life. In Jesus name, Amen.
Is that it? Yes and no. If you said that prayer and believed it in your heart then you have been born again. Not by a physical birth but born into God's family through the Holy Spirit. You have also asked Jesus into your heart and life and received salvation!(Romans 10:13) But is that it? Well, it's enough to get you into heaven but you want more than that right? Remember how we mentioned that God desires for us to be full of life,peace,joy and prosperity? Well, that requires that you and I enter into a personal relationship with God. And, hey you already invited God's holy spirit inside you right? God also really, really wants to have a personal relationship with you. I hope that you also want to have the same relationship with him. To get to know him better, join a bible based church and fellowship with other believers,get a bible and read it daily. But more importantly, you are now a representative of God and he wants you to share your transformation with others. Some people may not even be aware of salvation and God holds you responsible for helping others to receive salvation just as you did.
Here's a great resource for helping others understand how our salvation with Jesus works.
Video Showing How our Salvation Works(cross-trick)
© Beth Rimstidt 2005
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