2000-02-24 - Full Salvation
Rom 13:11 And this do, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. (NAS)
If you have ever purchased a home, you will remember the day you settle on the house. Some retain a lawyer to help them with all the paperwork that is involved. It finally gets to the point where the document is quickly described to the buyers and sellers by the selling agent and everybody glances to their respective legal representative who nods, couples look at each other and they sign. It is several hours of signing papers. It is an experience to say the least. Somewhere along the way, there is some money to be passed to the sellers and the mortgage company represented. This is the earnest money, or the down payment. It is a show of good faith that there is money coming behind that in regular payments toward the balance of the mortgage.
When someone accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, several things happen. First, you admit that you are not perfect and you are a sinner. Sin is a word that simply means that you have broken God's Law and are not perfect. A single thought or act is enough to disqualify anyone. Perfection is the requirement to enter Heaven. God the Father is the judge in this, not a panel of humans rating on a scale of one to ten. Good enough will not cut it here. The question can be asked, "Who can then be saved?" In our own strength, no one at all can be saved. We are born from imperfect parents into an imperfect world making us imperfect as well. When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, mankind fell from innocence and perfection.
Rev 13:8 And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. (NAS)
"How could God allow this?" God is omniscient. He knows everything that was, is or ever will be. He knew that Eve would listen to the serpent and that Adam would listen to his wife against His single restriction - do not eat from the tree in the center of the garden. The members of the Godhead knew before man was created - in eternity past, from the foundation of the world - that man would exercise his free will and fall from innocence. And so, a mighty plan was formed to save God's beloved creation, His children. The Lamb, Jesus Christ, the very Son of God would live the perfect life that God required, being born free of sin. He would become the perfect sacrifice for sin prescribed by God to satisfy the perfect Law. His own life would be sinless. But as the sacrifice, dying in our place the death that we deserve as our substitute, He would be able to offer us His sinless life in exchange for the tattered rags of our fallen lives. In pure grace and mercy, God created a way for humanity to return to Him.
The Holy Spirit is given to us at the moment of salvation, the moment we accept Christ as Savior, as the earnest of our salvation - the down payment - the promise of so much more to come. Our full salvation comes when we see Jesus face to face. Not that our salvation is currently incomplete, or in any way lacking. But we will know the fullness of our salvation, our bodies, minds and spirits will be completely renewed and perfect again. Humanity will be returned to the state that only Adam, Eve and Jesus Christ have ever known.
Eph 1:13-14 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory. (NAS)
It is a day Christians look forward to with hope in the promises of God and the work of Jesus Christ. It is a day that the world does not believe will come. Once again, it does not alter the fact that the day is coming. We will walk with joy into eternity with the Lord who will still have the scars in His hands, feet, head and side. An eternal labor of love and the battle of the ages will be ended with God as the victor and our ransomed lives as the spoils of war.
Is Jesus your Savior? If not and you are ready to stop resisting His call asking you to come home, simply pray - talk to God. He stands ready to listen, forgive and restore you. Just let Him know you know that you are not perfect, a sinner. You're not alone - no one is perfect. Tell Jesus that you are sorry for those sins, and that you are ready to repent, which simply means to turn away from or change your mind, and walk away from those things. Ask Him to save your and give you His eternal life, and thank Him for the grace and mercy that have been given to you. If you mean business, God will not turn His back on you. You have his promise.
John 6:35-37 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 "But I said to you, that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. 37 "All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. (NAS)
It will cost you your life, but your life is something that you can not keep forever. If you are willing to lose that imperfect life, God will freely give you His life which you can never lose. It boils down to this simple fact, He loves you more than you can imagine. He wants you to spend eternity with you in paradise. Come.
Lord Jesus - touch the heart of the seeker, give them the faith and the courage to reach out to You and accept this offer of freedom and grace. Help Your children to share that love and mercy with their lives and words. Thank You for the amazing work that was done on our behalf to open the one way home to You. Amen.
Grace & Peace,