Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Salvation and Eternal Life

This is a repost:

Have you ever thought about where salvation comes from?  Have you considered what salvation really is, what it really means?  The concept of salvation is foreign to most people, but not the concept of eternity, of life after death.  Almost every culture, ancient and modern, has some concept, some belief, some picture in their mind of what life after death will be like.  Why is that so?  Of course the Scriptures give us the answer for that and it is contained in Ecclesiastes 3:11"...He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end." 

Where does the concept of eternity, life after death, come from?  It comes from God, who has planted it within the human heart.  So when you look at the different cultures and their different religions, you see their idea of eternal life and how to achieve it, or how to enhance its quality. For many of them there is no concept of salvation, but an assumption of eternal life that contains their vision and their version of what that eternal life will be like. 

When Nicodemus came to Christ in John chapter 3, he was coming with the question of how he might obtain eternal life. In fact, if you read through the gospel of John you will see eternal life, or one of its synonyms used 47 times.  John even states in 20:31 that his reason for writing that book is so that we will believe and have life (eternal life) in His name. So what must man do to obtain eternal life?  Yes, he must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. He must turn from his sin and turn to God.  He must depend wholly upon the finished work of Christ on the cross. He must receive Jesus Christ by faith.  But what is done when man does this?  He is saved, by grace through faith. In other words, the Bible shows us that man must be saved to obtain eternal life (John 3:16). 

When you look at the first four verses of Titus chapter one, you see the promise of eternal life.  This eternal life, is bound up in salvation and is promised by God, who calls Himself the Savior, along with His Son, Christ Jesus. Two other times in Titus, God lists both Himself and His Son as the Savior.  In fact, the term Savior is used 37 times in the Bible, 24 in the OT and 13 in the NT; and is never used to denote anyone other than God or Christ. God states this in Isaiah 43:11, "I, even I, am the Lord, and there is no savior besides Me.  In Titus 3:5-6 God states that it is He that saves.  

So what is God letting the Cretans and us know in the Bible, and in this letter?  He is the author of salvation, the only author of salvation.  Salvation comes from Him and Him alone, and it is He who does the saving and in that salvation is the promise of eternal life.  Man does not, has not, and cannot save himself.   So what must man do to obtain true eternal life?  He must turn to the one who can save him and give him that eternal life, and that is God Himself in the person of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is God alone who possesses eternal life, and it is His to give; and He only gives it to those whom He saves.

How about you, my friend?  Are you under the deception that you can achieve eternal life all on your own?  Are you mistakenly assuming that you will automatically have a good life after death, and that its quality will be enhanced depending on how well you have performed or how nicely you have behaved or on how many kind deeds you have done during your physical life?  Be aware, do not miss the fact, that if eternal life is tied up in salvation, and if God has called Himself the Savior, then there is something that you must be saved from, something that you must be delivered from in order to obtain eternal life.  And if you are not saved, if you are not delivered then you will not obtain eternal life.  

What must you be saved from, what must you be delivered from?  It is the the second death (Revelation 20:11-15), the eternal death (The eternal state of dying, but never being dead. Isaiah 66:24) that is just the opposite of eternal life.  It is not bliss, but torment (Psalm 11:6).  It is not happiness, but sorrow.  It is not joy, but anguish.  And all for eternity.  

God has revealed Himself as the author of salvation, as the One and only Savior.  He alone possess eternal life, and it is His alone to give, and He only gives to those whom He saves.  Come to Him today in repentance from your unbelief and rebellion against Him.  Come to Him today in repentance from your depending on your own self for your eternal life, and place your faith in what He has done in His Son on the cross to provide eternal life for you.  Don't forfeit your eternal life because of your own sinful pride and self reliance.  Ask Him in faith for the eternal life that only He can give.

No comments: