“A Bi-lateral Contract Salvation?”

Posted: February 26, 2014 in Christianity, Resurrection, Salvation, Security

                Suppose God offered to you a bi-lateral contract in exchange for your salvation.  It might go like this:  “I (God) will save you from hell and take you to heaven if you will sincerely “say the sinners prayer,” or “give your heart to Me,” or “come forward and confess Christ publicly,” or “repent and be baptized,” or “ask Jesus to come into your heart,” or “put Jesus on the throne of your life,” or “repent of all your sins and make Jesus the Lord of your life,” or “turn from all your sins and promise never to sin again,” or “pray to receive Christ,” or “make a personal commitment to Christ.”  Suppose God had said, “Before you can ever hope to be saved you must promise to do these good works.  You must actually deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow Christ.”  Could anyone, has anyone ever been able to keep such a promise completely?  Of course not.  How then could anyone ever hope to have assurance of salvation?

                Confused?  Perhaps you’ve heard things like this being said by those who stand behind the pulpit or from some other person who honestly may be concerned about your eternal destiny.  I was confused for a long time myself.  I can’t recall how many times I walked the aisle and went forward in a church service because I was afraid I’d go to hell if I died.

Questions.  Before going on, let me ask you some questions.  Are you absolutely sure that you will go to heaven if you died today?  If not, would you like to be sure?  Do you think it’s possible to be sure?  Why or why not?  Why should God let you or anyone else into His heaven?  If you believe you’re headed for heaven, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation?  If so, what would it be?  Be honest.

Adversary.  There is someone who wants you to stop reading this, especially if you are an unbeliever.  He wants you to remain in the darkness of his kingdom (Colossians 1:13-17).  Lucifer, who had been created by God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, became His enemy when he (Satan) drew one third of the angels with him in an attempt to get out from under God’s authority and be like the Most High God (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19; Revelation 12:4).  He blinds the minds of those who are perishing (2 Corinthians 4:4; John 3:16) and resists those who long to share the Gospel truth (1 Thessalonians 2:18) with those who are bound by the devil and his demons so that they can be set free (John 8:32).

Gospel.  The Apostle makes the Gospel very clear.  “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas [Peter], then by the twelve…and by over five hundred brethren at once” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).  This is the content of the Gospel.

Condition.  In the Gospel according to John, he used the word “believe” about one hundred times to let us know what God expected of us humans.  “For God [the Father] so loved the world [the people trapped in the devil’s world system] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in [on] Him should not perish but have everlasting [eternal] life” (John 3:16, 18, 36).

Vain.  What does it mean to “believe in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2)?  Some people believe the facts that Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily.  But they aren’t willing to place their faith in Him alone for their salvation.  They want to contribute something to their own salvation that would enable them to brag about themselves.  But God won’t allow that to happen.  The Apostle Paul reminded the believers in the church at Ephesus how they were saved.  “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  Grace involves unmerited favor from God;  faith is another word for believe.  It also involves a change of mind or a transfer of trust from oneself over to Christ alone for salvation.  This change of mind is also known as repentance.

Limited.  There are some people within Christendom who believe that Christ only died for a select group of people.  This is known as “Limited Atonement.”  Those who believe this way can’t tell an unbeliever that Christ died for his/her sins because they can’t be sure if that person is one of the elect or not.  To be honest, they’d have to say something like this:  “Maybe/Perhaps Christ died for your sins.”  “Maybe God so loved you.” “Christ shed His blood for you, perhaps.” “Salvation has been provided for you, maybe.” “Possibly God demonstrates His love toward you.” “Hopefully He’s the propitiation for your sins.” “There is a possibility that Christ died as your Substitute.” “I bring you good news, maybe.”  (For more information, see  http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/danger02.htm)

Unlimited.  The Apostle Paul wrote: “For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:10).  The provision of salvation has been made for all men even though most people won’t accept God’s gift of eternal life because they love darkness rather than light (John 1:12; 3:18-21).  The Lord Jesus Christ even died for the sins of false prophets and teachers who won’t believe on Him for their salvation (2 Peter 2:1).  “And He [Jesus Christ] is the propitiation [satisfaction] for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (1 John 2:2).  That God the Father was satisfied with Christ’s payment for the sins of the whole world is proven by the Father’s raising Jesus Christ from the dead (Romans 4:25).

Eternal Life.  Today, God’s quality of life is given to every one who places his/her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (1 John 5:11-13; 1 ).  Yes, He had flesh and bones but His resurrected, glorified body lacked blood (Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:50).  His bodily resurrection guarantees a bodily resurrection for everyone, believers and unbelievers (1 Corinthians 15:22-24).  The Christian’s glorified body will be like Christ’s resurrected, glorified body (1 ohn 3:2).  We won’t become gods to repopulate other worlds in the future.  All the dead unbelievers will be raised from the dead and stand before the Lord Jesus Christ, the Judge (John 5:22).  He will determine, at the Great White Throne judgment, their degree of suffering throughout eternity (Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46).

Questions.  If you have questions/comments, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website for more information: www.kelseypeach.com.  We have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages.

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