BEING SAVED AND BEING A CHRISTIAN

Who will live with God on the new earth and heaven that He creates for His children? This is a valid question and we know it is not only Christians. Some will be taken back, as I was when I first read this statement. However, I quickly realised that Abraham, Moses, Job, David would not strictly come into the category Christian.

There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.Job 1:1

Think about the one thief upon the cross that simply asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His Kingdom, What was Jesus’ response?

Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43

I think therefore that the thief put his heartfelt trust in Jesus as the Messiah of God and that was enough to get him saved.

Roger Olson in his excellent article “Answer to the Question: What must a person know/believe to be saved or to be a Christian” raises the story of Paul and Silas and the time God opened up the prison doors for them. Paul stopped the jailor from killing himself as he thought the prisoners had escaped. The jailor knew there was something different about these men who had been praising God in their chains and were now free of those chains. He asked them this question.

Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe on (trust) the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:30-31

Roger makes the point that from this statement, for the jailer and his family to be saved they had to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and they must put their trust/faith in Him. This is the simple rule of faith for salvation.

To be a Christian there is more and Roger points out that Paul and Silas then went on to say:

And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.Acts 16:32

Roger’s interpretation and I have to agree with him, is that the jailer, like the thief on the cross, was saved the moment he believed on (trust) the Lord Jesus Christ as his Lord. However, to be a Christian there is more, Jesus gave His disciples the Great Commission; repent, be baptised, and receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables believers to comprehend the Word of the Lord. He sanctifies us over time and produces the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. He will guide our every step if we allow Him. Therefore, He enables us to live the Christian life.

SAVED

God knows the condition of our heart and it is a heart issue that gets us saved. This Scripture from Exodus reinforces the issue of having a heart/spirit for God.

“And they came, every one whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the Lord’s contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments. So they came, both men and women. All who were of a willing heart brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and armlets, all sorts of gold objects, every man dedicating an offering of gold to the Lord.Exodus 35:21-22

CHRISTIAN

To live the Christian life you must have the Holy Spirit which is given once you repent of your sins (prepared to die to your old life) be baptised (signifying death to the old life and arising as alive in Christ) at which time God the Father sends the Holy Spirit, the enabler, to be your counsellor, your teacher, and comforter. He enables you to live a Christian life.

ETERNITY

For me, this understanding gives me comfort in knowing that there will be many people who have never heard the Good News of Jesus Christ who will be saved because they had a heart after God. Moreover, I am sure you like me have heard of many stories of Jesus appearing to Muslims and they have come to saving faith in Him. Jesus answered their heart cries. We can trust God to ensure that all those that should be in His Kingdom will be there.

REPENTANCE THAT LEADS TO SALVATION

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you …” 2 Corinthians 7:10-11

To get into Christ’s Kingdom, you have to truly repent, truly dying to self so that you cannot go back to your old life. Paul talks about godly grief, being convicted by the Holy Spirit about your sin. Knowing how abhorrent sin is to God you will have “godly grief that leads to repentance“. You will also realise how good, how gracious and merciful God was to send His Son, Jesus, to pay the price for your sin of rebellion against Him and His values.

Once we have truly repented and accepted Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, God the Father sends the Holy Spirit to indwell our spirit. God’s Word tells us that our spirit is the lamp of the Lord and a lamp requires oil (Holy Spirit) to function as God intended. When Adam and Eve sinned the Holy Spirit departed their spirit, so they died spiritually immediately and their bodies died some 900 years later.

The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.” Proverbs 20:27

Without the Holy Spirit we cannot live the Christian life. He is the one that brings about the sanctification process, making you Christ like. He is the one that produces the fruit of the Spirit in your life; love, joy, peace patience, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control. He is also one that provides the gifts of the Spirit for ministry; words of knowledge, words of wisdom, prophecy, faith, healings, miracles, discerning of spirits, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues. You are not saved unless the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit are evident in your life.

Sadly, there are many people sitting in the pews of churches that have not experienced “godly grief that produces a repentance that leads to salvation“. The “end times” parable of the Ten Virgins tells us that half of them that are waiting for the bridegroom (Jesus) to return do not have oil for their lamps and Jesus tells them to depart from me I do not know you. This parable reveals that half the people in the “end times” church that think they are Christians and are waiting for Him to return are not saved and will be on earth when the wrath of God is poured out with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements.

For Christians this should be a wake up call, we have a mission field in our churches people who need to experience “godly grief that produces a repentance that leads to salvation.”

IRANIANS FINDING SALVATION IN JESUS CHRIST

Iran is facing a wave of internal turmoil and covert attacks that are undermining the radical regime’s nefarious plans. Even as the violence escalates, hope is rising among Iranian citizens who are finding salvation in Jesus Christ.

Whether it’s the exploding coronavirus, mysterious fires at nuclear and military facilities or protests, Iran’s ruling Islamic clerics are facing unprecedented challenges as the regime tries to maintain an iron grip on the nation.

All this comes against the backdrop of ongoing government protests and a remarkable revival that’s witnessing thousands of Muslims turning to Christianity in the midst of COVID-19.

That’s why we are calling this a pandemic of hope,” said Mike Ansari, who runs Mohabat TV, one of the most popular Christian satellite channels in Iran.

Ansari told CBN News that Mohabat TV is recording 10 times more online salvation’s than this time last year.

We are registering around 3,000 personal decisions by Iranian Muslims to leave Islam for Christianity during this revival,” Ansari said.

That’s 3,000 people each month who’ve decided to follow Jesus Christ since the pandemic began in March.

“People in Iran are just not happy the way their economy is going, the way the government is robbing them of their national resources and exporting Shia Islam to the neighboring countries, so they just don’t trust their government,” said Ansari.

The large number of people leaving Islam is causing a backlash against the church. Dozens of Christians have been arrested and imprisoned for responding to the gospel message since March.

“During these critical times for the regime, there’s a tendency, historically, for the regime to really crack down on religious communities like Christian converts, and we see that today,” Nader told CBN News.

Iran is one of the world’s most dangerous places for Christians. Yet, Christianity is growing faster in Iran than in any other country in the world.

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14

“NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT BY ME” JOHN 14:6

Jesus said to him (Thomas), “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. John 14:6

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.1 Corinthians 3:11

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16

Only the one “by whom” and “for whom” all things were created could “take away the sin” that destroyed the first creation  and bring in a “New Creation.

There is only one KEY to open the Kingdom of Heaven for lost humanity. It is found in only four words “JESUS IS THE CHRIST“. He who was “in the beginning with Godandwas God” became a man to take away “the sin” that entered into the world through the first man Adam.

“You know that He appeared in order to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning.” 1 John 3:5-6

There are many Scriptures which show that because of the holiness of God there is only one way our Heavenly Father could restore humanity. Moreover, it would reveal the extent of His love for us. He was prepared to ask His only son to become a man, Jesus, to live a sinless life, so He could die in our place and thereby offer us redemption from our sins (our rebellion against God and His ways). Such a sacrifice on our behalf, and all our Heavenly Father requires of us, is to acknowledge and repent of our sins and embrace His son, Jesus, as our Saviour and Lord.

Jesus is the KEY to restore us, and once we repent and accept Him as our Lord and Saviour, our Heavenly Father sends the third person of the Trinity, The Holy Spirit to indwell our Spirit. We cannot be holy without the Holy Spirit, our body becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit. Notice that all three persons of the Trinity are involved in our Salvation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JESUS SAID, I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.

JESUS SAID, I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE. NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME. JOHN 14:6

IN HIM WAS LIFE, AND THE LIFE WAS THE LIGHT OF MEN. AND THE LIGHT SHINES IN THE DARKNESS, AND THE DARKNESS DID NOT COMPREHEND IT. 1 JOHN 5:4
THE THIEF COMES ONLY TO STEAL, AND TO KILL, AND TO DESTROY. I HAVE COME THAT THEY MAY HAVE LIFE AND THEIR LIFE MAY BE FULL. JOHN 10:10
In English our Saviour’s name is JESUS, but it is actually YESHUA which means “YAHWEH IS SALVATION”.
Jesus is the only redeemer. Your sins can be forgiven only through believing that he died on the cross for your sins. Yes, only by accepting Him as our redeemer and saviour that we can be saved. There is no other way of forgiveness from sins. The deceiver, Satan, and his demons will say there are many other ways of salvation, even ways to comfort the spirit of the dead, but all in vain, only Jesus can save us. Also, there’s no second chance or third chance for salvation after death. Some people pray that the souls of their deceased family members will be saved. But really, this is deception of the enemy. By declaring and prophesying the word of truth in season, we are confronting the deception of the enemy. So let’s declare that Jesus is the only way, and the truth and the life, and be one of the workers to bring in the harvest.
THEN JESUS SAID TO HIS DISCIPLES, THE HARVEST IS TRULY PLENTIFUL BUT THE WORKERS ARE FEW. MATTHEW 9:37