A message for all
MY FRIEND, surely your desire is to go to Heaven when you die. No
doubt, you believe there is a God and that He expects of you certain
requirements -- qualifications, if you will -- before you can be allowed into
Heaven. After all, if just anyone were allowed to enter, it wouldn't be Heaven,
If you are a member of a typical mainstream Christian denomination, you
know that your church has certain "sacraments" they expect you to fulfill.
Such as: Baptism, Confirmation, Communion, and so on. Chances are, you
have already fulfilled one or more of these sacraments.
However, please take a moment to ask yourself: "What role does a church sacrament play in my salvation?
Does it play a major role? A minor role?"
"If I were to ignore what my church expects of me,
would it affect my chances of going to Heaven?"
"If I don't take communion, would I have a lesser chance
of going to Heaven? Would I even be allowed to enter at all?"
"What if I had never been baptized as a child?"
"What if I had not gone through confirmation?"
Friend, these are not trivial questions. Like most, you probably assume that
satisfying these sacraments are important -- even vital -- to your salvation.
However, if this is what you believe then according to God's Word, the Bible,
you have been given the wrong impression.
A wrong impression will often lead to an erroneous assumption.
Whenever a church requires one of the sacraments mentioned above, its
members will often assume that:
A. The sacrament is found written "somewhere" in the Bible.
B. The sacrament is necessary for their salvation.
However, both assumptions are false. Let's look at what the Bible actually
says, beginning with a very famous verse:
"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." John 3:16
"For God so loved the world, ..."
God does not want to see mankind eternally condemned to a devil's Hell. Yet,
death and Hell are the consequences of sin. God hates sin. The Bible says: "For
our God is a consuming fire" (Heb. 12:29). We are ALL sinners; the instigators
of the very sin that God hates. "For ALL HAVE SINNED, and come short of the
glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). "There is none righteous, no, not one" (Rom. 3:10).
Sin produces God's wrathful judgment--God's love produced an escape.
"...he gave his only begotten Son, ..."[PROVED] his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,
His Son, Jesus Christ, paid the price for our sins. The Bible says that: "God
CHRIST DIED FOR US" (Rom. 5:8). Christ's death is the only way to pay for our
sins: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through
Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23). That's why Jesus, Himself, said: "I AM
THE WAY, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, BUT BY
ME" (John 14:6). "I AM THE DOOR." John 10:9
"...that whosoever believeth in him should not perish..."
Because of the blood that Christ shed on the cross, the Bible says we can be
saved, and on our way to Heaven: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth
the Lord Jesus [i.e. REPENT], and shalt BELIEVE IN THINE HEART [i.e. TRUST]
that God hath raised him from the dead, thou SHALT BE SAVED." Rom. 10:9
Salvation is simple. It's realizing and admitting that you are a lost, helpless,
hell-bound sinner in need of a Saviour, and asking Christ to save you. "For
WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL upon the name of the Lord SHALL BE SAVED"
(Rom. 10:13). Christ does ALL the saving, with no help from us. After all, if
we were expected to do something to earn our salvation, why did Christ die
in the first place? The Bible says He would be, "Dead in vain." Gal. 2:21
Yet, many erroneously assume that fulfilling a church sacrament somehow
HELPS Jesus with their salvation! Thus the person goes through life trusting
in those sacraments to save them. However, Jesus warned: "That ye shall die
in your sins: for IF YE BELIEVE NOT THAT I AM HE, ye shall die in your sins"
(John 8:24). HE is "THE WAY"--the ONLY way. Friend, if you are under the
impression that He is NOT THE ONLY WAY to Heaven, and that fulfilling a
given church sacrament is contributing to "the way," you will die in your sins.
To illustrate how dangerous a wrong impression is, let's consider a prediction
Jesus made. He said: "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter
into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is
in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied
in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done
MANY WONDERFUL WORKS? And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER
KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY." Matt. 7:21- 23.
Please notice what these poor souls are trusting in. Their statements represent
the best arguments they have for being allowed into Heaven. No doubt they are
giving it their best shot, confronted with the awful prospect of being cast into
Hell. But if it were you standing there, what would you say? What would be
your best shot? What argument would you offer in a desperate effort to
convince Christ that you should be allowed into Heaven? Would you say:
"But Lord, Lord, I was Baptized!"
"But Lord, Lord, I took communion often!"
"Lord, I was a faithful member of my church!"
"Lord, Lord, I went through confirmation!"
Sadly, none of these things will count. They will only force Jesus to say:
"I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY."
There is only one valid argument: "Lord, Lord, your Word said that you died in
my place; you paid the price for my sins. That's why I've been trusting in
YOU, and you alone, to save me!"
Friend, honestly, can you say the last statement and truly mean it from
your heart? If not, and your best argument would be based on some
sacrament that you feel God should take into account, then you are living
under a wrong impression--a false impression that will take you to Hell.
ONE FINAL WORD: please understand that no one is claiming that any church
practicing a sacrament, is purposely trying to send people to Hell. However,
as is often the case, a church will allow its traditions to get in the way of what
the Bible teaches.
Jesus encountered this very thing during His time. He warned, the then
religious leaders, the Pharisees: "Thus have ye made the commandment of God
of NONE EFFECT BY YOUR TRADITION." Matt. 15:6
The Pharisees had added so many traditions and "sacraments" to God's Word,
the Jews were under the impression that it was all necessary for their
salvation! All those "extra rules" complicated the simplicity of the Gospel, so
much so, that when Jesus told them: "I am the way," they couldn't believe it
was that simple. The same thing happens today! Jesus called the Pharisees:
"BLIND LEADERS of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind,
BOTH SHALL FALL INTO THE DITCH." Mat. 15:14
IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven? The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).
BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you
from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God," Isaiah 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: Not of works, lest any
man should boast." Eph. 2:8-9 Baptism, good
deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are
all examples of good works that cannot save you,
because: "Not by works of
righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he [Christ] saved
us," Titus 3:5.
THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through
Jesus Christ. He said: "I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) THAT'S
WHY: "...while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us." (Rom. 5:8-9)
THEREFORE: You must REPENT (change your
mind); admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner
and can't save yourself. And call upon Christ, and
Him alone, to save you. "if thou shalt confess
with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [REPENT], and
shalt believe in thine heart [TRUST] that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved." Romans 10:9
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[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]