By Jim Miller
A lot of folks are going to be surprised on judgment day. Many will stand before Lord and hear the words depart from me I never knew you. They will not have been found faithful to God. Many people who have lived what we call good lives people who helped others, who lived lives that could be examples to others. These folks didn't drink or cuss, always willing to go the extra mile so to speak. Yet, still they will not get into heaven.
Friends that is something to really think about. Spending your whole life doing good and living right but missing heaven. You see it takes real obedience to God not just a good life to reach a heavenly home.
God loved us so much He gave us His Son to die on the cross for us. He loved us so much that he gave us a blueprint to live by. If we do not follow that blueprint how are we going to know what God expects of us.
How can we know how to live a truly faithful life and never open the Bible to see what is expected of us? If we will just open God's word we can learn there are two sides to salvation. There is God's side and our side. God has already done His part.
Let's take a look at some of these.
God gave His Son. "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 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). Paul told Titus, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men" (Tit. 2:11). God has bestowed His divine favor upon men, making salvation possible. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sin, according to the riches of his grace" (Eph. 1:7). God's love for man caused Him to send His Son to die for sinners. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). The revelation of the saving gospel was made by the Holy Spirit. Paul said, "How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words; whereby when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) – as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the spirit -" (Eph. 3:3-5). The Hebrew writer tells us that "God hath spoken unto us by his Son. . ." (Heb. 1:1-2) and we need to listen.
Now let us take a look at our part in obtaining salvation.
At the Mount of Transfiguration God said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him" (Matt. 17:5). In order for man to know what God wants him to do, he must first hear what He has to say. "For if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. . ." (Jn. 8:24). Some teach that man is saved by faith alone, but the New Testament does not teach that faith or anything else by itself will save us. James said, "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only" (Jas. 2:24). Man cannot please God without faith (Heb. 11:6). "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30). An example of repentance can be found in Matthew 21:28-31. In regard to working, one boy said, "I will not: but afterward he repented, and went." What did he do when he repented? He changed his mind. So repentance is a change of one's mind that results in a change of action or life.
The confession is of one's faith in Christ. Jesus said, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 10:32). Paul said, "That if thou shalt confess the with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Rom. 10:9-10). There is no better example of this confession than that of the eunuch when he said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. . ." (Acts 8:37). You will notice that this was not a confession of sins but a confession that Jesus Christ is the Son of God! Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mk. 16:16). The very purpose of baptism is to wash away sin (Acts 22:16). Peter said that baptism is "for the' remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). This baptism is a burial or immersion in water, not a pouring or sprinkling. The word baptism means immersion. In Romans 6:3-4, Paul calls it a "burial" and a "planting." It is at this point that the blood of Christ washes away a man's sins and we are "baptized into Christ" (Gal. 3:27).
After one has obeyed the gospel, he then is added to the church (Acts 2:47). As a Christian and a member of the Lord's church, one must then remain faithful in worshipping God, purity of life, and working for the Lord. It is summed up in these words, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. . ." (Rev. 2:10). One must "be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. . ." (1 Cor. 15:58).
Friends if you have not followed this blueprint you might want to ask yourself will I hear the words "well done" come judgment day?