II Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
God cares immensely for the people of this world. What is often misunderstood is the role that God has chosen to take in the affairs of mankind. Many think that God should take a more visibly active role in the problems of our world. However, this is not what He is most interested in.
Instead, He is more interested in helping people to get right with Him and to restore a relationship with Him that was broken by sin. Indifference to God and His claims on peoples’ lives are evidence that there is a problem.
Trouble in our world causes people to seek God because their world, whether personal or on a national scale, is shaken. This happened very noticeably when 911 occurred. After that, churches in America were suddenly filled. Once again, however, God must send trouble to disrupt lives so they come back to Him.
The above Bible verse indicates that some people mistakenly think that God either does not exist or does not care about life on planet earth because He seems distant or inactive. Although He has promised to come and straighten out our world, He seems to be taking a long time to do it, they say.
Again, as the verse indicates, they are sadly mistaken. The reason he waits is so that they, and more people, may be saved from Hell and destruction. He does not want to cast them or anyone into Hell, but sin cannot be allowed into Heaven. He has promised a righteous judgment. He is giving them time to repent (turn from sin), and to trust Christ to be their Savior.
Although Christ appears to be patient today, He will not wait for you forever. If you are not saved, the Bible tells us, in II Corinthians 6:2, that now is the best time: “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” Won’t you call on Him today for salvation, and have the matter settled forever? There is no need to wait – do it now and ask Him to forgive you, change you so you can do His will, and to save you from Hell. He will do it, according to His promise.
If you would like to know more about God’s sure salvation, I invite you to download my eBook for free: it’s entitled How to Be Saved and Know It(no log-in required, PDF). It explains Bible salvation in clear detail.
James 4:8 “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”
The desire of God, ever since creation, has been to walk with and fellowship with humans. This overall purpose of God has never changed.
This is why He created Heaven. For those who will enjoy Him, He has reserved many special future blessings. Those who choose to walk with Him on earth already know and experience many of those blessings.
God, however, is very different from humans. In the beginning, man was created perfect and was able to walk with God. Sin entered, and so did separation from God, Who is infinitely holy.
Because of His love for us, God did not let this disruption in our relationship with Him remain constant. He took the first step to heal that broken fellowship by sending His own Son, Jesus, to die for us. That was the ultimate Sacrifice, as well as the necessary payment for the penalty of our sin.
The above Bible verse summarizes His promise to us. There is no need to continue to wonder “Is God real?” If we seek to find Him and desire to know Him, He will reciprocate. Remember, He wants you to know Him. He has promised: “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.”
The issue of sin, though, is a serious one. He cannot let it go or overlook it. So, God tells the individual seeking Him: “Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” In plain English, this means stop sinning (repent). In prayer to God, admit you were wrong by breaking His commandments. Ask Him to forgive and to save you because of what Christ did on the Cross, and to help you serve Him the way He wants you to – according to the Bible.
This is certainly the greatest invitation ever given at any time, from the Creator of all, to you and me. He invites you to know and fellowship with Him. How will you respond today?
I have no doubt that some people reading this title are going to be at least a little surprised by it. It is not a gimmick, or a trick. It is just plain Bible truth, and it is a truth that is repeated throughout the Bible.
Before I get to those reasons, I ask that you think for a moment why Jesus needed to die at all. You see, if Heaven could be gained by being or doing enough good, then Jesus did not need to suffer at all. The implication would then be that God made His Son to suffer for nothing. Of course, an all-knowing God did not make that mistake.
Here are five reasons from the Bible why good works cannot save anyone.
Because God’s Law Demands Perfection
Every one of us knows that nobody is perfect. We’ve all said it. With God, though, it is different. If He let sin and sinners into His holy Heaven – it wouldn’t be Heaven anymore. It would become just like earth – not much to look forward to, in that case.
To let us know what He wanted, He gave us the Ten Commandments. They are the gatekeeper, and they reveal what we really are inside. The problem with law is that it knows no mercy. Do the crime – do the time, is its motto.
God’s Law is also merciless. It says, in James 2:10: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” In plain English, it means if you sin, you forfeit Heaven. Now, the Bible also tells us that: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This means everyone is in serious trouble with a holy God!
Because Sin Is Not Erased by Good Works
Since we all have sinned, it means every human is facing a horrible penalty – Hell. Romans 6:23 tells us that the “wages of sin is death.” Hell is the price for sin – even if there were only one. Even judges on earth operate on a similar principle. Doing good works after a crime does not mean you won’t have to pay for the crime. Plainly, crimes against God will also have to be paid for in full.
Here is what the Bible says about paying for sin: “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood” [death]; “and without shedding of blood is no remission” (“remission” means payment for) (Hebrews 9:22). This Bible verse teaches that no sin is erased – ever – without a sacrifice!
Because Good Works Will Not Change Your Sinful Nature
The Bible makes it plain that we all had a wrong birth. We were born into Adam’s family, and this means we are cursed. Every human needs a new birth and a new nature – one that can please God. The one we are born with loves to sin!
This is why we find that Jesus told one leader in his day: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Once any individual is “born again,” God gives that person a new nature – one that can please Him.
Because God Does Not Accept Good Works for Salvation
God will never corrupt justice. He will punish sin. If He were to let unrepentant sinners remain unpunished for their sins – then that is not just. Good works cannot buy God off so that He will overlook your sin.
Besides, what people consider to be good works, God does not see them that way at all! In Isaiah 64:6, He tells us: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses” (good works) “are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Even the best works are just rags to God, if offered in hopes of being saved by them.
Because Good Works Do Not Glorify God
The reason people try to work their way to Heaven is because they want to try and make themselves look good to God. They want the praise. Unfortunately, it can’t work because God very well knows we are sinners.
Besides that, He sacrificed His Son to buy salvation for you. This means that anyone trying to work their way to Heaven is completely ignoring this great Sacrifice God made for us! They are discounting the very blood of Christ – the only thing that can save their soul!
Notice carefully what God says about works in this verse: “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” (Ephesians 2:8,9). Works cannot save the soul. Faith in Christ’s work for you can save.
Notice in these verses also, that works cannot save anyone: “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:27,28).
The single key to getting saved is to trust Christ to save you. He died to take your penalty for sin. Recognize what He did for you. It cost Christ a lot to be able to offer salvation freely to you. Ask Him to forgive you of your sin and to become your Savior today. He is more than willing and able to do it.
Listen to the words of Christ: “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 Salvation and Revival, Evangelist Mike Valles
If you want to read more information about salvation, I encourage you to read the following posts:
Many people believe that God offers salvation to those who work hard for it. This concept is taught by a large number of religious leaders all over the world.
The idea, some think, is that if the good deeds outweigh the bad, then God will overlook the sin and receive them into Heaven. While most people believe this, this way of salvation is not found anywhere in the Bible.
Part of the problem as to why it is believed is because so few people actually care enough about their soul to discover the truth – Bible truth. So, they leave it up to religious leaders to present it to them – and they hope the leader really knows. Unfortunately, when the blind lead the blind…
Now, I am not trying to be overly critical, but I do want you to know the truth that can save your soul. The Bible does make it very plain to those who really want the truth. This is why Jesus said, in John 8:32: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
This freedom that Christ spoke of is not some fleeting feeling or mere religious idea that has no real value in this life. Instead, it is a real knowledge that your sins are forgiven because of a very real transaction that took place between you and God.
What is the truth that sets you free from sin and its eternal penalty? There are several elements to it, but it is not difficult to understand. After all, God has told us that He wants to save all people.
The first essential truth that must be understood is that God tells us we all are sinners. There are no exceptions. The Bible says: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10); and “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Of course, this includes both me and you.
The next thing to be understood is that sin sends the sinner to Hell. A holy God cannot let sin into Heaven. He also is just and the Judge of all. His Word, in Romans 6:23 tells us: “For the wages of sin is death…” The word “death” in this verse is a reference to eternal death, or Hell.
The sin of every human is written in God’s books. There is no sin left out. In Matthew 12:36, Jesus tells His disciples that: “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Jesus told them that even the “idle words,” the words carelessly spoken are all written down!
The next thing to know is that no good work can erase a single sin! It does not matter what type of work it is – religious works included! It needs to be realized, that if salvation could be obtained by being good, then it would have been totally unnecessary for Christ to die on the cross!
The Bible makes it clear that no one has ever been saved by being good. Sin condemns us all! We are told in Ephesians 2:8,9 that: “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.” Did you see that part where it says “not of works”?
When God sent Christ to die for us, it was because there was no other way to erase our sins and let us go to Heaven! Our sin demanded both physical and spiritual death. The next important truth is to understand that Christ’s blood was the payment for what we owed. The sinless Son of God became our Substitute, and His sacrifice was sufficient to obtain our forgiveness and freedom from such a penalty.
Christ died and rose again to not only pay our debt of sin, but also to reveal that the debt was fully paid! If not, He would not have come out of the grave!
Now, I mentioned a “transaction” earlier in this post. Here it is – don’t miss it. Christ’s payment for sin is not to be taken lightly. God offers forgiveness to those who are sorry for their sin and want to turn from it.
The final truth necessary for salvation, which will make you“free”, or “saved,” is that you need to personally go to God in prayer and admit to Him your sin and sinfulness. Confess that you are worthy of His wrath and damnation, but that you know that Christ paid for your sin. Ask Him to forgive you and to save you right now on the basis of what Christ did for you, and He will save you this very moment!
Consider these verses:
Romans 3:24 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
John 3:16,17 “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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
By making salvation so easy to obtain, anyone can get saved. God loves you and He wants to save you. This is, however, the only way.
Have you asked Him to save you today? I hope and pray that you have. The freedom comes because you know your sins are forgiven and that you are on your way to Heaven.
Or, if you already are a believer and would like to learn more about Christ and how to serve Him better, I invite you to look at these Christian eBooks and other materials that will help you grow spiritually.
Have you seen these other posts about Bible salvation?
Many people today are finding out that life is tough. There is stress and turmoil at work, in the nation, and often at home. Looking around the world, one quickly discovers more of the same. Money is tight for many people, and health problems can make matters worse. Of course, not everyone is feeling the pain of these things, but I know that many of you are.
When Christ walked on earth about 2,000 years ago, the situation was not much better. Hardship abounded in Israel, largely because the Roman soldiers were oppressive and cruel.
Into this mix of division, hardship, and suppressed dreams, Christ came. No, He did not attempt to overthrow the government and free Israel from the Romans. Still, He told them that He was the Door of the sheep, and in John 10:9 He promised: “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
As the Door to Heaven itself, and the only One, Jesus Christ promised those who come to Him, salvation, daily sufficiency, and comfort. Along with it, He promised a better life in the very next verse (John 10:10): “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
The abundant life that Christ offers begins with forgiveness. The guilt of our sin against God can be heavy, but God promises forgiveness to those who seek it from Him. Face it, you know very well that guilt can produce stress; but God wants to take it away, if you are serious about turning from sin. God’s Word tells us that we all are sinners: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
If you will but come to the One Who loves you immensely – enough to send His own Son to die for you – He promises to forgive and save you from Hell, too. In that well-known verse, John 3:16, Jesus said: “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.”
Notice that the “abundant life” doesn’t begin until Christ gives it. This means you don’t have it yet. In fact, you can’t have it until your life gets in line with God’s plan for your life. Once you seek Christ for forgiveness and salvation, then you can also begin to know what the “peace of God” is in your heart. There won’t be any real peace there until you make peace with God first.
The abundant life Christ offers is not one in which everything is just fantastic every day. It won’t happen. What will happen after you come to Christ is that you will discover a new life, a new power to live the way God wants, and have His guidance through life from the Bible. There will also be so much more.
In order to receive God’s abundant life, you need to be willing to trade in the one you are living now. Why not ask Christ to forgive you of your sin right now, and ask Him for salvation and His abundant life?
Yours, for Salvation,
Evangelist Mike Valles
You may also want to read more about salvation in the following blog posts:
P.S. – If you have still questions about salvation and the abundant life Christ offers, I encourage you to download my free eBook: How to Be Saved and Know It and read it carefully. It will answer many questions.
Being that today is Sunday, I am sure that many people will be going to church. This is a good thing, and I hope that many more people will go, too, even those who have not been in a church for a long time.
The thing that I want to focus on this morning is the issue of “why” some people go to church. Of course, many people have been brought up in church. They plan on going and are often faithful to every service. Again, I think this is a good thing.
For those who may look at going to church as a part of going to Heaven, however, I want you to pay attention to this post. Salvation does not come to people through the local church.
Don’t get me wrong. It certainly can be valuable in showing people how to go to Heaven – but it cannot confer the gift of salvation to you.
I have met a number of people who have gone to church all their lives. They thought they were saved and on their way to Heaven, but one day they discovered they were wrong. What brought them to this conclusion?
A number of them just thought it was kind of automatic. They knew the lingo, the songs, were faithful and some had even been serving actively in the church for years. Others around them thought they were saved, too.
The plain truth, however, is different than that. You see, just because you go to a pool or lake and start swimming, does not at all make you a fish. Walking into a garage won’t make you a car either. Likewise, going to church, no matter how often, will not make you a Christian.
The Lord Jesus tells us how to be saved. He said in John 3:3 that every person needs to have a new birth. We were born into the wrong family and our sin proves it. We love to go against the laws of God. Every one of us is guilty of breaking His laws. God’s Word tells us: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). Because of our sin, we all are on our way to Hell: “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
The only way this situation could be changed was for God to do something about it. He loved us, and proved “his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Notice that Christ, the Son of God died for us. Not the church.
Participating in religious ceremonies and services cannot wash away sin. Only the blood of Jesus can do that. It can wash away all your sin.
In order to be saved, you need to come straight to God. You must confess your sinfulness to God and be willing to turn from it. There is no one else Who can save you: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5).
The reason the church members I mentioned earlier were not saved is because they realized they had never actually asked God to forgive them and save them. They had been baptized, joined the church, and did more – but this cannot save you.
Salvation comes only by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. This must be a deliberate decision on your part and it takes places at a specific point of time. Have you deliberately chosen to trust Christ to be your Savior. Can you point to a time when you did that? Consider what Christ said: “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).
I hope and pray that you have called on Him for salvation – or will do it now.
Evangelist Mike Valles
P.S. – If you have still questions about salvation, I encourage you to download my free eBook: How to Be Saved and Know It and read it carefully. It will answer many questions.
Many people reading this post will know what Bible verse of salvation the title refers to, before I present it. That is because it also is one of the most well-known verses, and I am glad for the opportunity to talk about it today.
God never intended Bible salvation to be difficult to understand. The truth is clearly in the opposite direction. It is quite simple. In fact, so simple, that multitudes of people reject it because it sounds so simple that even a child can understand it. After all, didn’t Jesus say that children should be permitted “to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 19:14)? This verse means that many children get this truth and will be saved, and many adults will not be saved – simply because they just won’t receive salvation the way God offers it. God makes it easy to understand because e wants all to have it.
The Key Verse of Salvation
John 3:16 “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.”
Christ spoke these precious words in a discussion with Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. Jesus referred to Himself as the One God gave to everyone on earth for their salvation. John the Baptist referred to Christ as “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Although God was desirous to send the promised Redeemer to Israel, God loved the whole world, and wanted to save all.
The reason Christ could save all people from their sin is because of Who He is – the “only begotten Son” of God. Now, it only makes sense that if all need to be saved, then everyone is already condemned! Because the Bible tells us: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Ro. 3:23), it is imperative that people everywhere understand that we are not good in God’s sight.
If we really were not so bad as to deserve Hell, then there was no need for Christ to die for us. But God sent Him to die, because God wanted to give us an opportunity to be saved.
One of the most important parts of this verse is the requirements it gives for salvation. Let me encourage you to reread the verse. It says that “whosoever believeth in him” will not perish. Simply believing on Christ is all that is needed to receive eternal life.
Believing Is More Than a Set of Facts
Now, please understand that when the Bible talks about the belief or faith that can save the soul, it is not talking about a mere intellectual understanding of a set of facts, although the facts cannot be neglected. Instead, it refers to an actual trust in Christ, letting Him do all the saving for you.
It is first an understanding that you are a sinner on your way to Hell. You have willfully sinned, and God must punish sin, all sin, in Hell. Then, you need to understand and believe that God in mercy sent Christ to pay the price your sin deserves, and He died for it. Christ was raised from the dead to reveal that all sins have been successfully paid for – including yours and mine.
As a result of understanding and believing these truths about Christ, you are sorry for your sin (rebellion against God and His commandments). You also know that God said that if anyone (“whosover”) comes to Him in prayer and sincerity, and desires to turn their life around and live for God, they can be saved.
Faith Also Means Receiving
How? Simply by asking God to forgive you because of the fact that Christ already paid it all for you. You, in faith, ask Christ to save and forgive you at the very moment you pray – and He will. Thank Him for it, and then begin to follow God and His Scriptures – the Bible.
If you have never asked Christ to save you, and you recognize your need for it, why not bow your head right now and ask Him to save you now? God loves you and He is ready to hear your prayer.
If you do ask Him to save you, I would like to hear about it.