The grace of God has been given for all people to be able to come to Christ when and if they accept God’s grace. The invitation is open to all mankind, but it is up to each and every person to accept God’s inviting grace and so be saved from their sins through His grace.
The great thing about the grace of God is that it does not fade or go away. His grace is always there and ready so that we may receive His salvation. His grace is a constant and it both saves and forgives when we fall.
But we must first accept His grace, which we are able to do only by coming to God through Jesus Christ. God’s grace was made available and salvation made possible only by the sacrifice of Jesus. It is through Christ that God’s grace is made effective in our lives and understanding how His grace works through Christ is an important part of our walk.
The primary reason people come to Jesus Christ is that they recognize the fruitless ness and worthlessness of their life on earth through sin, and are seeking salvation. Jesus Christ is the Saviour and He is the way we must find salvation for salvation comes from God alone, through Jesus Christ.
But there is an interesting perspective on salvation that we can see in this scripture. Christians often talk amongst themselves asking the question of people whether they have been saved or not. There is also a movement in parts of the church who claim that when you come to Christ, you become “Once saved, always saved”.
This OSAS position is not correct, for being saved and receiving salvation are not the same thing. This scripture shows us this amongst other things. So let us look at what this verse is telling us.
In my last post we looked at the fact that God has subjected the whole of this creation to futility. This world, in fact this universe that we live in is basically futile for it will not last. And if there is one thing common to all mankind it is the desire for eternity.
God has put the idea of eternity and life forever into the mind of mankind but not so that he can actually achieve it. As Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:11,
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
And so man has a problem. There is a constant tension and stress between what God has created and the futility of the creation because it will wear out, and man’s desire for eternity. These two forces clash within the hearts and minds of people and it is this stress, especially the fear of death in men and women that leads to the desire for a way out. And THAT is where the hope of salvation sits, bridging the gap between these two extremes and bringing peace into our hearts as we await the salvation of the Lord. Continue reading “Hope Of Salvation”
In my last post on this blog I wrote about the protection of The Lord. As Christians we are protected in many different ways, both physically protected and spiritually protected.
We do have a responsibility to not put ourselves into situations where we are in danger if we can, but that is not always possible. Often danger comes to us. Sometimes while we are among people or in unfamiliar places we may not be aware that danger is nearby.
This was the situation Paul found himself in after the ship he was travelling on was shipwrecked on the island of Malta. He was unaware that while doing the innocuous task of collecting firewood that a deadly viper, one of the most poisonous snakes in the world, would bite him and attach itself to his hand. What happened after this though is nothing short of miraculous for he did not die. And there is also another lesson we can take from this regarding other “snakes.”
Who can be saved? This is an interesting question. When you look at some of the things preached in many churches you would think that there are very few who can or have the right to be saved. And then others believe that almost everyone will be saved.
Whether we like to admit it or not there is often a degree of prejudice among Christians against certain groups of people. There are some who scream hell fire and damnation against anybody who does not believe as they do, and as for the people of the world…well according to such people they are without any hope whatsoever.
But is this what the bible says? Is this what Jesus preached? No it isn't. Jesus came to save sinners and He did not really care about the nature of the sin. Under the grace of God ALL sin was the same and ALL sins were able to be forgiven. In fact as far as God was concerned there is only one unpardonable sin and that was to speak blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
But if you fall under any other form of sin you were able to be forgiven and God was more than willing to offer His grace so that you could turn and come to Him in order to do what is right. This section of scripture in Acts 19 shows us how some people were accepted in spite of them being practitioners of one of the most evil of all sins. Sorcery.
As Peter concluded his oration on Pentecost Day we see the unfolding of the first massive calling to the people and the revelation of salvation. In these few words we find an example of the Great Commission that Jesus told the disciples they were to carry out.
This day brought the beginnings of the church as the Apostles preached the word and the people recognised their sin. In these words they were offered the hope of escape and salvation from sin. Three thousand people were added to the church that day after Peter had finished his speech and preaching.
So let us look at the process as it took place. Not only were there insights into the process of these people coming to The Lord, there are also insights into the promises of God that come down to us today.
After Lazarus was raised from the dead, a great many of the Jews believed in Him. They recognised the power of God in Jesus for no one had ever seen a man resurrected before.
This confounded the leaders, the chief priests and the Pharisees and threw them into despair. They were utterly at their wits end about what they were to do about Jesus. And it was at this time they came together to begin plotting against Jesus and how they would be rid of him once and for all…or so they thought!
Quite often you hear people talk about how hard it is to be a Christian. They talk about all the rules and regulations and laws and how if you make a mistake you’ll be condemned to hellfire and brimstone. Unbelievers in particular talk about God as if he were ready to damn every person for every mistake they ever made and that everyone is under the constant threat of condemnation and damnation.
If you have heard such talk too, then you need to read this post, because nothing could be further from the truth.
While speaking to Nicodemus, the Lord provides him with an insight into why He had come. He shows this by using a parallel from the old testament to show how the faith revealed in Christianity would work. In this section there are several valuable lessons to be learned which will benefit us today. Jesus shows us here why some will live and others will die, and it is all based upon faith.
There was a belief amongst the religious people, and perhaps all the people, at the time when Jesus appeared that he was coming to be king over the earth. They had an expectation that he would reign as supreme and all powerful and that the religious leaders would perhaps take positions of authority in His government. How wrong they were. But if Jesus did not come to rule and take over, why did he come that first time?