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Saved and You Know It

February 6th, 2018

God made salvation simple and certain; confess and believe.

 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

My thoughts and comments today are about, “saved and you know it.”

As a child I learned a simple truth from a few words in a children’s song, “If you’re saved and you know it, then your life will surely show it. If you’re saved and you know it, say Amen.” Matters of eternal salvation must not be left to speculation.

On this matter, you cannot afford to be wrong. The Bible is clear, “He who has the Son has life. He who does not have the son does not have life. These things have I written unto you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:12-13 NIV.

There are many people, good people, who have wrongly assumed that being good is all that is required to go to Heaven. They have trusted in their good works, such as: being moral, honest, good neighbors, charitable, or religious, but according to the Bible those are just not good enough. I recall someone observing that, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than sitting in a garage can make you a car.” The Bible is clear. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV.

How good is good enough? How many good works make you good enough for Heaven? Would God be fair and just if He left anything as important as your eternal soul to personal assumption or speculation? If I asked you, “What are you trusting right now to allow you into Heaven?” How would you answer? People offer diverse but wrong answers to such a simple question. But it is not what you think that matters, or sincerely believe, or prefer the answer would be, nor anyone else’s opinion that will make Heaven certain as your eternal home.

There is one standard alone for every person in every generation and nation, and that single standard is God’s Word. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 NIV. Who else could you trust to make this eternally consequential matter clear and specific for you? Exclusive? Unfair?

Some people may think so, but a single standard is inclusive, both equally fair and just to one and all. If it will not be adjusted to include someone who fails to meet that righteous standard, then neither could it be adjusted to exclude someone who does. Anyone who accepts God’s Son as their Savior can and will be included – whatever their nationality, language, origin of birth, personal history, or circumstance of life.

The Apostle Paul’s words were unequivocal, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved!” Romans 10:13 NKJV. No wonder it is called the Good News. No one – absolutely no one – can or will be refused. Here is the simple answer from God’s Word. “For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, ‘Anyone who believes in Him will not be disappointed.’” Romans 10:9-11 NLT. It is important that you know how to make Heaven your eternal home. God made salvation simple and certain. Confess and believe.

In the Greek language in which the New Testament was written, the word for confess – homologeo – literally means, “to say the same thing as.” The Bible is clear, certain, and unalterable, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 NKJV. When from your heart, you say the same things about your sins that God says, about Jesus dying on the cross as redemption for your sins, and inviting Jesus to be your Savior, you receive complete forgiveness and confidence to embrace His promise of eternal salvation. God’s promise is specific and sure.

Here is how you are saved. Ask Jesus to forgive every disobedience and sin, place your faith and trust in Him as your Savior, and listen for the Holy Spirit’s confirming whisper in your heart that you are His and He is yours. Then believe and rejoice that God has done exactly what He promised He would do. You experience no greater joy than knowing your sins are forgiven forever. “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Hebrews 8:12 NKJV. God will forget your sins. He will never forget you.

The Gospel is simple, clear, certain, true, and powerful to save. “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.” John 3:16-18 NIV.

Reading that phrase, “to save the world though Him,” are you amazed by the expansive scale and global scope of God’s heart and eternal agenda for the whole world? His love, grace, and passion was and remains as broad as to transform every nation, as far reaching as to redeem every generation, and yet as specific and personal as to redeem each single individual – “to save the world though Him.”

I love the sentiment of the aging apostle John when he wrote, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 2 NIV. That is my sentiment, my joy, and my prayer for you.

Today, I pray for you to be certain about your salvation, never leaving eternity to chance.

Christian Communications 2018-307

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Unthinkable!

April 19th, 2010

“The God we serve is able to save us . . but even if He does not.” Daniel 3:17-18 NIV

“God’s character is righteous; His wisdom is unquestioned, and His love has no limits.”

My thoughts today are about “unthinkable!”

There are some things that just should not be the way they are. Good people should not have bad things happen to them. In the same way, it would seem only fair that good things should not happen for bad people. You have seen such occasions, though. How did you feel? What did you think? Is it unthinkable to you that someone – interpret that as a righteous God – with the power to right such wrongs would fail to do so – God able to save and doesn’t? Unthinkable!

King David struggled honestly with such apparent inequity, and maybe you will as well. “As for me, my feet had almost slipped . . when I saw the prosperity of the wicked . . when I tried to understand this, it was painful to me.” Psalm 73 NIV. Every generation has seen moments that begged the question, “Why does the righteous man suffer; why does the wicked man prosper?” Unthinkable! Job asked those same questions, as I imagine Joseph and Daniel did, as well as others in every generation.

Isn’t that how you first feel when you hear this story of three servants of God boldly standing for righteousness yet cruelly thrown into a fiery furnace by an angry, ego maniacal and ungodly ruler? Such punishment was not for any wrong they had done, except to politely decline an act of idolatry demanded of them.

Consider the cast of characters in this real life, Old Testament morality play. There is a person of abusive authority with power to bend another’s will to do as he pleases, or inflict immeasurable pain and peril. There are three individuals trying hard to do what is right, but given two options, neither of which is viable. And then there is a righteous, holy, and all-powerful God that seems to do nothing to prevent or stop injustice. Unthinkable!

But isn’t this drama acted out still today in one way of another – unjust demands and unfair treatment by those with authority in government, financial lending, law enforcement, judicial processes, business, church, or family? Where is God while this is happening? He is building a Kingdom where righteousness will always prevail, where the Godly are rewarded and the guilty are punished. Read Isaiah 32:1-8 NLT.

The height of trust is not found in your believing for God’s rescue, but in your unshakable persuasion of God’s righteous faithfulness and total trust in His wisdom. Here is the unavoidable question to be answered in your heart. In discussion with Abraham, God asks, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:26 NIV. Unthinkable that He would not! See Romans 11:33-36 NIV. How do you answer that for yourself? Can you trust God completely, even when you do not understand His ways? See Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT. Trust God anyway!

Real faith answers the unanswerable, as did the three Hebrews, But even if He does not . . we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold.” Daniel 3:17-18 NIV.  God is God even though you do not understand at the moment; His character is righteous, His wisdom is unquestioned, and His love has no limits.

My prayer for you is that you trust God in every situation, and with every question.

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