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Thursday, 26 August 2010

Why Jesus Is The ONLY Way To Heaven and How To Be Saved

Edited 31 Oct 2011 and 13 Feb 2012 (see sections in bold)

If you are reading this it is probably because you are either intrigued or you are someone who is serious about getting right with God but maybe do not know why Jesus is the only way? Let me give a fairly brief analysis on why Jesus is the only way to be eternally saved and why He is the only way, through whom we can become worthy and certain of Heaven.

Before I do this let me just say that NO religion in the world can come even remotely close to offering what Jesus offers. Only Christianity claims their messiah and Lord to have risen from the dead and because of this only Jesus can offer us the following:

* sins forgiven eternally
* enabling us to become "born-again" becoming a new person with the characteristics of God
* enabling us to be transformed, washed and cleansed from the inside from all guilt, shame and impurity
* being filled with God's Spirit
* a close intimate relationship with God through His Spirit within us
* the resurrection from the dead
* certainty of going to Heaven
 (after physical death or at the rapture - whatever comes first) receiving new glorified bodies which can always experience constant joy, love, peace, purity, perfection and boundless abilities
* everlasting life in the presence of God eternally

I will now explain why these things are a reality through Jesus! 
The reason Jesus came into the world was for a mission to bring us back to God! This was because humanity had become separated from their God. So He came for the sole purpose of reconciling us back to God as a "go between" by taking upon Himself all the punishment that we deserved. So He died in our place to rescue humanity from the destination of an eternity separated from its Creator.

God made humanity perfect at the beginning and designed to live forever in eternal bliss on Earth. However, after the first humans disobeyed God, a separation from God began for ALL of us because we all inherited the same (sinful) nature with a tendency to rebel and do wrong. Man can only live eternally if perfect and in close unity with God.

Because of disobedience (sin) spiritual death occurred and the initial impact of that was the sudden commencement of decay in our bodies leading to physical deterioration, sickness and death. Physical death became a reality (the commencement of cells dying within the body). From that time all mankind inherited a sinful (imperfect, self-centred) nature with the tendency to do wrong things because of the sinful nature deep within our souls. This is why everyone is SELF-centred (to a lesser or greater extent) at their very heart.

Adam and Eve were tempted to become like God, to know good from evil. What actually happened after their disobedience is that they only knew evil and NOT good. They became gods sure enough (gods of their own life - self-important and self-centred, ie self on the throne of their lives) becoming fully corrupt having fallen a long way from where they were.

God cannot look on sin, but He loves us so much that He wants to rescue us from the consequences of sin and spiritual death. The penalty or wages for sin is death - we HAVE to die. But God does not want us to die, so He had to step in and pay the price for us HIMSELF.

Before I continue, let me just digress for a moment to explain something Immensely Important (without which the rest may not make sense).

We do not believe in 3 Gods but ONE God made up of  3 entities (or manifestations) of the ONE God, as revealed throughout the Bible. Jesus said "when you see me you see the Father",  "I am in the Father and the Father is in me" "I and the Father are ONE". The scriptures teach that Jesus was NOT created but has eternally existed and is the visible part of God and that Jesus was the one creating the whole universe "all things were made by Him and nothing that was made was made except through Him". So it is the visible manifestation of God that made Himself vulnerable by coming to Earth being born as a baby, growing as a man and then dying on the cross. The Man Jesus died on the cross, but the divinity did not die. Jesus said "it is finished". He then said "into your hands I commit my Spirit".  It is a complete mystery what happened on the cross, but what is clear when we compare all the scriptures together is that "the Word became flesh", The Son Of God took on human form. When He died the divinity left the body and the body died. So that means that "God" (in His entirety) did not die, it was the body (the sin stained body - because of OUR sins) that died. But to show that Jesus had dealt with sin and death once for all, He needed to re-enter that body on the 3rd day and amazingly He retains that body (although now glorified) for all eternity.

So, Jesus took our place.

When Jesus died on the cross, He was punished by God for all our sins and for our sinful nature. He took upon Himself all the consequences of our sinful nature and died as a sacrifice for ALL our sins once and for all time. This means that we can (again) have a close intimate relationship with God because the blood of Jesus has cleansed us from sins once and for all. Because we are clean, He can live within us through the Holy Spirit.

However, not everyone can benefit from this "grace" unmerited favour of God without doing anything. There is a condition (as follows)!!!:

Jesus said "for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life". So you need to believe!

However, this does not mean just an intellectual belief because Jesus said the demons believe and shudder. True belief means to take steps of faith.  I mean if you believed that a chair would take your weight but you were too afraid to sit on it, you would not be practising your belief. 

An example of faith in action is by confessing aloud that Jesus is the Son of God etc. Romans 10:10 says "For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved" ie confessing Jesus verbally is evidence that you believe. Justified means being forgiven and made acceptable to God. The act of confession is simply a way of "exercising and confirming" your faith in action and proving to yourself that you believe and are willing to take the consequences of your faith.

To believe in Jesus, means:

1) that you believe in who He is with all your heart and mind (God incarnate - the Son of God) and that he was punished by the Father for your sins, died and rose from the dead and is alive forevermore
2) that you recognise you are a sinner (as stated above)  who needs to be saved 
3) that you recognise and accept that Jesus's death on the cross was required and is sufficient to save you (personally) from your sins and your sinful nature
4) that you entrust your life to Him

Note: Unless you recognise that you are lost and dead in your sinfulness (without the intervention of Jesus) you cannot be saved.

Edited 31 Oct 2011 Section 
So here is a list of steps which happens automatically when Jesus is drawing you:

1) the realisation that God exists and that you are cut off from Him because of your sinfulness

2) a deep feeling of sorrow about your sinful tendencies and your sinful nature. "all we like sheep have gone astray, each to his own way".

3) the realisation that you cannot become good enough to get into heaven but need the mercy of God

4) you sincerely and genuinely cry from your heart to God for mercy for your sins, confessing your sins to God direct (without use of a priest) asking for forgiveness

5)  putting your trust in Jesus (because He has made the ultimate sacrifice for your sins)

Once  1 to 5 occurs, you then simply receive the free gift of salvation from God through believing in and putting your trust in Jesus

6) You invite Jesus to come into your heart and soul to save you. This is handing your life over to Christ. Then "it is no longer I that live but Christ who lives in me".

7) Jesus will fill you with His Holy Spirit so that you will become a new creation. You will be changed deep within  with the Divine nature.

Remember salvation is a free gift. It CANNOT be earned by works. The Bible says that all our righteousness (goodness) is like filthy rags in God's sight. We can NEVER be good enough to earn Heaven. Ephesians chapter 2 says "we are saved by grace though faith, not by works"

My Testimony
"I reached a point in my life where I realised my life was meaningless. I had a fear of where I would end up unless I was in a right relationship with God. At that point, I knew there was something wrong with my life but I did not understand that I was a sinner. I knew I was not perfect and did wrong things, but did not understand why Jesus dying on the cross saved us from our sins.

A minister explained to me why Jesus cried out "my God, My God, why have you forsaken me". When he explained that my personal sins were nailed upon Jesus, so Jesus suffered God's wrath in my place, suddenly the realisation hit me of God's immense love. I then realised that I was a sinner who caused Jesus agony.

I did not need to understand everything about repentance etc because the love of God melted my heart causing me to realise I was a sinner and that Jesus died in my place. It tore my heart to think Jesus was dying  there because of me. I there and then gave my life to Jesus, asking him to save me from my sinfulness and take control of my life, with a determination to go God's way - not mine, from that moment onwards.

It was only later that I learnt what true repentance was. You don't need to understand it all now. All God is looking for (at the moment) is an earnestness within you for Jesus to save you from your sins by turning your life over to Him. Beforehand (in a very child-like way) I repented in the way I knew how (at that time) simultaneously as I received Jesus into my heart as my Saviour and Lord."

Once you give your life to Christ, please let me know and I will help you in your first steps as a newly born saved believer on your journey ahead

1 comment:

Expected Imminently said...

Hello John

Well said! This has done me good to read this Biblical, uncomplicated way of Salvation.
There are so many that are very nearly demanding that the sinner needs a degree in theology to be born again of the Spirit of God.

My eleven year old Grand-daughter, who is taken to a Purpose Driven church, informed me that she is now ‘saved’. I was bemused as she had already put her faith and trust in Jesus to save her some time ago. Her response was ‘Oh Yes, but I hadn’t said THE prayer until the other day’. She then rolled her eyes and said of the Pastor “Simon is AWESOME” – now if she had said JESUS is awesome I would have agreed with her., instead I said ‘Simon may well be awesome, but Simon isn’t doing as Jesus tells him too”.

Her own father told me recently that he hadn’t been saved until a teenager when he ‘said the prayer’. He would have none of it when I told him he had put his faith and trust in Jesus to save him when he was a little boy at my knee AND walked in that simple faith while loving Jesus.

I’m not against ‘the sinner’s prayer’ as a help to go on in the Faith, but this latter day evangelism flies in the face of Romans that say’s NO-ONE even seeks after God. Rom3:11 it is He who calls us to Himself only requesting that we accept Christ not reject Him. But no, the heartfelt plea of a childlike faith, even in an adult, is not good enough for today’s work based salvation pundits.

Then there are the legalist’s who take it upon themselves to judge the actions and salvation of others. Never mind that Jesus said ‘Judge not’. The only judging we are to do is ourselves, and to judge false doctrine and avoid it. Matthew 7. Ah ha they say, but once we have got rid of our own beam THEN we can judge others. Surely the point being made is that we are not capable of casting out our own ‘motes and beams’, we all have them and only The Blood of Jesus can cleanse us from them, so we are NEVER in a position to judge others!

We did nothing to earn our salvation and we can do nothing to keep our salvation – we are kept by the power of God, not works.

It isn't that as a new believer we repent of our sin, rather, when The Holy Spirit stirs a heart with conviction, we RECOGNISE and agree to the truth of our being dirty before a Holy and righteous God. We then choose to believe in Christ, trusting Him for His Salvation.

Do you remember when we used to sing ‘Only Believe’ which is THE Gospel Truth; and “Just as I am – I come”? Where has the gentle, honest and loving simplicity gone to?

God bless you.
Sue Jakeway