God’s act of creation in Genesis shows us how He brings about the fulfilment of the history of redemption. God speaks, and it happens. In response, Satan tries to hinder God’s work in different ways and tactics. Satan particularly tries to make people falsely think that they are saved. Salvation and faith cannot be attained through our own strength or works (Ephesians. 2:8-9). Jesus has already warned us against falsely thinking we are saved. 2 Corinthians 13:5. There has to some kind of fruit and evidence.
Section 1: Misunderstandings About Salvation
Life is not only in the body, but in our spirit and soul too. The gospel we hear at church should not only be something that comforts us, but which also tells us the truth about our condition. Doctors need to tell you the truth in order for you to get well. Is salvation easy or hard? The Bible never describes salvation as easy. However, many Christians behave as if it is easy. In Luke 13:22-30, Jesus splashes cold water on this assumption. Salvation is not something you can get just because you want it. You only enter Heaven when you qualify. May we receive the grace to have the faith to enter into the kingdom of God.
Do you have the body figure or weight that you want? If not, why not? It’s because we become what we eat. Unless we change our ways, we will not change. Peter showed the desire to follow Jesus all the way, but he ended up denying Jesus. Salvation cannot be attained by works either. Heaven cannot be bought. If we’re not careful, we will deceive ourselves by pointing to our church attendance and years of faithful service (Luke 13:26-27). Matthew 7:13-14 tells us that the gate to life is narrow. If we deceive ourselves, we will end up with the people in Matthew 7:21-23. Here Jesus says, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness. Jesus knows everything since He is God, but His meaning is clear, He doesn’t approve of what you did. Jesus is telling us to understand what true salvation and faith is.
Section 2: In Order To Receive Salvation
One needs to know the need for salvation. When we evangelise, some people respond by saying, ‘Tell me why I should follow Jesus.’ This kind of people are not desperate enough. They are comfortable with their current life. So how should we respond? We need to show them that Christianity is the only true way of life and living. People need to feel urgent about spirituality before being evangelised. They need to look beyond life on this earth.
The young rich ruler lacked the guarantee of eternal blessing and life, and so he came to Jesus, asking for advice. When Jesus told him to give up all he had and to follow Him, Jesus was testing his level of desperation. Is eternal life important enough for you?
A person who falls into Hell will be shocked on three levels:
(1) Hell exists for real?
(2) I am in Hell?
(3) That person is in Hell too?
Life on this earth is mainly to give you entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. 3 John 1:2 tells us that we have to care about the prosperity of our soul. Our spiritual health must take priority over our physical health and comfort. The opposite of salvation and faith is sin. The first sin was the rejection of God and God’s Word. This leads to the sin of not knowing God. Repentance is doing the exact opposite of this. True repentance is living with knowledge of who God is. It is the opportunity to accept Jesus.
The world is trying to take away that opportunity. When we wake up, we check our social media and emails, in which we find three things. Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. These three things form the foundation of sin, the three temptations with which Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. The content of what we see and watch affects our minds. We can easily end up building our own personal Tower of Babel. Jesus died on the cross to give us entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven, but the world tries to distract us from that. Sin is a spiritual virus which makes us sick and brings us to death (Romans 6:23). That is why we must recognise how important it is to have eternal life.
Section 3: What is Real Faith Like?
The Bible speaks about faith as a concrete thing. The Bible connects faith with obedience. Faith is not works, but faith results in works. Works are a result of one who is saved. It’s similar to love. True love looks like loving actions. Our good works that come naturally as a result of real faith evidence our faith, and Jesus will approve of those works. John 3:36 tells us that the one who believes in the Son will obey the Son. Believing will result in obeying. Likewise in Hebrews 3:18-19. Those who are disobedient cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven because of their unbelief. Faith and obedience are one. They come together. Hebrews 11:8-9. Faith shows itself in action, just as Abraham obeyed God’s call in faith. The cross is not a free ticket for us to live in sin (Jude 1:4). Being free from sin is receiving the ability to overcome sin and not do it anymore. Which do we love more? The way of obedience, or the way of sin?
The result of true salvation and real faith.
Those who have true salvation and real faith have satisfaction in their lives. Many people have testified that only after following Jesus do they have true satisfaction. Human beings are created to live in God’s love. Any other love fails to fill the void. It is the feeling of having finally found our true purpose and calling. As a result, there is less fear and insecurity concerning their lives and deaths. Once they have the assurance of their eternal lives, they have more freedom to love others. May we find true joy, freedom, and thankfulness in Jesus. May we examine our faith and pursue a real relationship with God.