From my earliest childhood recollections, I had a clear mental grasp of God’s only way to Heaven. Thankfully, I had been preserved from the misleading and non-biblical assumptions that christening, confirmation and communion would contribute to my acceptance by God.
The apostle Peter wrote, “For Christ also once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust that He might bring us to God…” (1 Peter 3.18). These words emphasise the sole sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.
And, as a consequence, a person is justified (freed from every charge of guilt) through faith alone, in Christ alone, “by grace we are saved through faith…” (Ephesians 2.8-9). It is necessary to know that “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10.17). This virtue does not lie in our faith but in the object of that faith, the Lord Jesus Christ.
To believe that we must co-operate in our salvation, through works of merit, is not only irrelevant but blasphemous in that it detracts from the uniqueness, perfection and sole merit of the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ. As He himself said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me.”(John 14.6). There is no denying that good works are an essential part of the Christian life. But it is vital to understand that good works are not the cause but the consequence of one’s salvation.
I shall be eternally grateful to God for the many opportunities I had, sitting in an insignificant meeting room in a small Scottish mining town, listening to the message concerning God’s love to pardon and save guilty sinners from the awful penalty that we so rightfully deserve. However, these circumstances did not make me a possessor of eternal life nor did they render me fit for Heaven or remove my inclination to sin against God. The Bible makes it abundantly clear “That all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3.23). This alerted me to the realisation that I was on the broad way that leads to destruction, which means loss of well-being, not a loss of being. How tragic to die unforgiven and unprepared to meet a sin-hating God!
With my increasing desire to know that all was well for eternity, there was clearly another desire for the fleeting pleasures of sin. Was it to be the Lord Jesus Christ or worldly pleasures?
Thankfully, I resolved to have this all-important matter settled forever. In the mercy and goodness of God, I was directed to the precious words of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”
The noble truth of this verse became my own. In spite of my guilt and complete unworthiness, God loved me to such a degree that he gave His only Son to die for my sins and to suffer in my place. There and then, I accepted Him as my Sacrifice, Substitute and Saviour. I reposed my faith in One who not only died but rose again and lives forever – my living, loving Saviour. Peace with God filled my soul and settled my conscience.
I warmly appeal to you to accept God’s word concerning your sin and need, producing an attitude of repentance towards God.
Why not believe God’s record concerning His Son? And you too will have this assurance that you “will not perish but have everlasting life”. Our eternal destiny is determined in time, by receiving or rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ. “He that believes on the Son of God has everlasting life; and he that believes not the Son of God shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3.36).