(WORDS OF FAITH)
Words of Christ:
Verily, verily, I say unto, except a man be born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3.3)
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (John 3.14-21)
God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4.24)
For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5.21-24)
But I have greater witness that that of John; for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
I receive not honor from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another come in his own name, him ye will receive.
How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will condemn you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? (John 5.36-47)
This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (John 6.29)
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6.35-40)
Forgive me Lord for things I know I have done wrong
Forgive me Lord for things I think I have done wrong but am not sure about.
Forgive me Lord for things I have done wrong but am not even aware of.
Forgive me Lord for things I should have done but have failed to do.
In thought, word, or deed.
A SIMPLE SOLUTIONAre you unsure of your salvation?
When in doubt do this:
Pray-- If you have not saved me yet, Lord, save me now.
Repeat as often as necessary.
SOME THOUGHTS ON SALVATION
(The following answers for me some haunting questions that I lay best to rest by praying and reasoning the best I can about them. So, I am not saying all of the following is necessarily or absolutely correct but it is the best I can figure and I can live with that, for now anyway. Perhaps you who read this might find it makes sense, too.)
I believe that the God of the Old and New Testament scriptures is utterly just. The words, "Ye must be born again" Jesus spoke because he came to speak and to do the will of the Father. "Except ye be born again ye cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." Jesus said. So that is the line God drew in the sand. God's weakness is his grace, his mercy, his kindness but to save Himself from the ceaseless attack of Lucifer upon that very weakness God had to draw a line. Lucifer had found God's limit. God must claim his own. He was first and there is none else beside him. It is only justice that God himself should acknowledge this. To do otherwise, he himself (the Father) would perish (He could not be himself). And so the Father went from being life itself, good, kind, innocent, and love by nature, to a God of wisdom, justice, glory, might, mercy, and grace.
Evil happened (Lucifer's rebellion) as a matter of chance. Rebellion was something that was in the realm of possibility and by chance it happened. And God (even the Father) being himself meek and even innocent at one time in the experience of and dealing with evil understands the shock one experiences in encountering evil. And God understanding, and being just, is gracious, merciful, and forgiving towards man who falls so easily into that evil.
Again, and nevertheless, God has a limit. And that limit was the cross and his only begotten Son dying thereon. And he sent his Son beforehand proclaiming the cross; repentance and salvation to whoever would receive it. He has done and will do all he can do. And what he did he did not do in a corner. In the end there is no excuse for any who will not receive his salvation, who will not seek it, who will not ask. God commanded all men everywhere to repent and believe the Gospel.
I cannot conceive of the grief of an eternity without God (life without God defining hell). Yet, put me on a spot and ask me which is it, an eternity in hell for unbelievers or some suffering and then somehow the extinction of the soul? I would have to say heaven or hell, the soul is immortal. I might hope I am wrong but that seems to be what the scripture is saying. Perhaps because that is one thing that even God cannot undue; the immortality of the soul. And if this is so does that immortality begin at conception, or birth, or some variable age of accountability? I don't know. But if the soul is immortal be it heaven or hell perhaps that helps to explain the long suffering of God towards the wicked. He knows what is at stake better than we do.
I believe that at precisely the moment that Jesus said, "Except ye be born again, ye cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." it became truth. Yet born again salvation was not available until after Jesus' death on the cross. I reason that this is why after the death of Jesus many rose up from their graves (Matthew 27.50-53). These were people of salvation faith who died in the interval of time between Jesus having said ye must be born again and his death and resurrection when that born again salvation became available.
Also, I suppose that Jesus preached the Gospel during his three days in the belly of the earth to those that were prisoners therein (Matthew 12.40 and 1 Peter 3.19). That is, the dead who were therein from creation up to that time. (The old testament saints were/are in paradise as spirits without resurrected bodies, as Jesus was, also, briefly after his death and the repentant thief on the cross next to him went there, too. But then Jesus went down into the belly of the earth for three days and three nights to preach there.) That's the best I can figure.
What about loved ones who may die or have died without apparently having received born-again salvation? You have to hope that they did. You don't necessarily know what may have passed even in the last moments of a loved one's life, so hope for the best. But God's words still stand. And God is utterly just. Remember Jesus said, "Except ye love me more than father, or mother, or husband, or wife, or son, or daughter, etc. ye are not worthy of me." Leave it in God's hands. If it turns out they are not in heaven believe that God did all he could within the limits of his grace and don't let whatever their eternal fate might be keep you from believing what you need to believe to be with God. If that happens it might turn out that the loved one or ones are in heaven but then you won't be there. How would that loved one or ones feel about that?
Also, those who since Christ's death and resurrection have died without having heard the words of salvation; what of them? This is my best reasoning on the question: As hard as it might seem and other than possible exceptions for "age of accountability" I suppose these immortal souls, not being born-again, cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. I might hope that I am wrong about this, too. But did not God give witness of himself in the earth? What of the sun, the moon, and the stars? What of the great seas, and the mountains, and all of nature? Are not these witnesses of God? Should they not stir a soul to seek after the maker of them? What of the rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling the heart with food and gladness (Acts 14.17)? Are not these witnesses of God? Should they not stir a soul to seek after the maker of them? Were not the patriarchs of the Bible witnesses of God? Didn't the report of God's judgment upon Pharaoh in the days of Moses go into all the world? God is just. If any truly seek for him, they find him. Even if it takes born-again salvation to be found of him.
What does it mean to be born again? Ask Jesus. I imagine the answer lies more in the experience than in word of mouth. However, Paul the apostle did say, "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Romans 10.9)
Are you unsure of your own salvation? Follow the simple prayer solution as suggested further back up on this web page.