Luke 15:10, “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents”
Even the best among us, young or old, think and act in sinful ways. A man I used to work with described his religious beliefs this way: “God and I have our own thing going. I get up on Sunday morning and enjoy the day in my own way. A pot of good coffee, the Sunday paper, and a walk around my yard – it’s my way of knowing that everything’s right with me and my Maker.” This may sound appealing to believe that we can have our own way of making things right with God. We may even like the concept of an individualized faith that is tailor-made to get us into heaven. It fits right in with this day of tolerance for everyone’s personal choices.
The Bible tells us we are all sinners (whether we want to admit it or not), and in Jeremiah 17:9 it speaks about the heart being deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Thus, we all need the forgiveness of sin that comes only through faith in Jesus Christ. We need Him to help us live a life that pleases and honors God, our Creator. The rich young ruler in Luke 18 was outwardly religious and morally upright; however, Jesus showed him his basic inner selfishness (vv. 22-23). My beloved, he too needed forgiveness. He needed a new birth and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Whether educated or uneducated, knowledgeable or ignorant, anyone can believe, and no one will be able to stand before God and say, “I’m not saved because I couldn’t understand the gospel.” I’m reminded of a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, who came to Jesus by night to ask Him the way of salvation. Jesus Christ answered Nicodemus, in words true and plain, “Ye must be born again.” Jesus wasn’t speaking of another physical birth as Nicodemus perceived it, but He was speaking of a spiritual birth. Open your Bible and read for yourself the conversation that Jesus had with Nicodemus found in John 3:1-21. My friend, the way has been made plain and quite clear for us.
The question you must answer is, “Have you received God’s gift of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ?” You see, receiving salvation is a matter of faith. It’s believing God and accepting His Word about His Son Jesus Christ, His payment for our sins through His death on the cross, and His bodily resurrection. My beloved, it’s trusting Him completely for salvation. John 1:12 tells us, “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”
The Bible says that the gospel “is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). In John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. So, let’s not deceive ourselves. No matter how bad or how good we may be, we all need Jesus Christ as our Savior, and He has promised to do these things with our sins, if we confess them before Him:
(1) Forgive them all (1 John 1:9)
(2) Cast them into the sea (Micah 7:19)
(3) Take them away (Isaiah 6:7)
(4) Cover them up (Psalm 32:1)
(5) Blot them out (Acts 3:19)
(6) Remember them no more (Hebrews 8:12)
A living faith in Jesus Christ, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), is the only way to have our names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and entrance into Heaven. It’s our decision to make simply because God won’t force His will on us. However, we must recognize our need of forgiveness and put our trust and faith in Jesus Christ as our Redeemer and Savior.
So, why not make absolutely certain of heaven today by opening your heart to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. This very moment, invite Him to enter, to cleanse it from sin, and to make it His permanent dwelling place? My beloved, He gives this assurance, “If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).
We are saved not by what we do but by trusting what Jesus Christ has done for us.