Salvation, Repentance, and Sin – Jesus the only way?

“What does it mean to be saved or born again?   I don’t understand!!!!”.

  1. You must be awakened and realize that there is a God (Isaiah 41:4,10, 42:8, 43:10-11, 44:8, 45:5-8). He gave you the creation to see that there is a designer for the grand design (Romans 1:18-20). Nobody will have an excuse!
  2. You must realize that you’re a sinner and guilty before God. When an individual faces his/her sin and realizes they have broken the laws of God (10 Commandments), – conviction results thru the conscience. This in turn leads to a feeling of condemnation. Have you ever lied, cheated, stolen anything, lusted after a man or a woman, hated someone, been envious or angry…etc. We are all guilty! We all deserve judgment and eternity in Hell (Romans 3:10-12, 23, 8:6-7, 5:12, Isaiah 59:2, Ezekiel 18:20, 2 Corinthians 5:10-11, Psalm 9:17, Acts 17:31, James 4:4, Matthew 13:41-42).
  3. So what can a man do? God commands all men to repent (or turn) from sin and believe the Gospel. It is not an option but a command (Acts 17:30) for one to be saved. A change of heart must accompany repentance. It is not just feeling sorry. The Bible says Godly sorrow works repentance to salvation (2. Corinthians 7:10). You must turn to serve God and your fellow man instead of living a life of selfishness or sin. When a man’s heart is broken and he has a contrite spirit he will began to realize God is worthy and deserves to be served. (See Mark 1:14-15, Luke 13:3,5, 10:25-28, 9:23-27, Acts 17:30, 2 Peter 3:9, Proverbs 28:13, Ezekiel 18:30-32, 2 Chronicles 7:124, Psalm 34:18, Romans 10:9-10, Ephesians 2:8-10).
  4. D. Christ died for you and rose again to take away the sins of the world. You must make an appeal and cry out to God and ask for forgiveness of your sins. Faith in Jesus Christ is essential as there is no other way (Act 4:12). He is the only mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:1-5)! You must believe in your heart that He died and rose again and confess it with your mouth (Romans 10:9-10). We are not to be ashamed. God loves you!!! He wants you and desires to have an intimate relationship with you. He has given His love and desires yours in return. (See also 1 John 4:8, Romans 5:8, John 3:3, 16, 5:24, 6:28-29, 20:31, 14:6, Acts 4:12. 16:31, Ephesians. 2:8-10).
  5. You must continue in His word and grow as well as adhere to the teachings of Christ. You are now a new person and His provision for grace will strengthen and establish you (1 John 4:4, Philippians 4:13, Hebrews 4:16). Sin has no more dominion over you! You can truly live as a light and overcome temptation while representing God to a lost world (Matthew 5:14-16, Romans 6:1-18, 8:1-14). Jesus has commissioned you to preach the Gospel (Matthew 28:18-20, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, 2 Timothy 2:1-4, Luke 24:47). “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes;” (Romans 1:16). (See also John 8:31-32, 14:14, 21, 15:1-6, Galatians 5:24-25, Colossians. 3:1-10). Pray that God would send you into the Harvest as it is ready (Luke 10:2)!!!

“What does the word repent mean? Does it mean just to say your sorry?”

Many professing Christians and people in general misunderstand what this word means! We must all realize that God commands all men to repent (Acts 17:30). It is not an option!!! Jesus said this is what must be preached (Luke 13:3,5). Repentance is necessary to be saved (Mark 1:14:15, Revelation 2:5, 16, 22, 3:3,19, Acts 2:38, 3:19, 26:20).

Many people feel this word just means to say you’re sorry. This is wrong and must be corrected! The Bible says that Godly sorrow works repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). The New Testament words used (Greek: – metanoeo, metanoya, epistrepho) for repent means to change one’s mind and purpose for living; to turn and go the other way; to return or convert and turn one’s self around; and a change in principle or feeling and practice. Just saying I am sorry and going on living the same sinful life is not repentance.

These people are in great danger of God’s judgment! This false conception of repentance and lack of preaching in defining what it is has led to many false conversions. Sin separates you from God! Without holiness no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). After coming to Christ and going back to a lifestyle of sin will result in spiritual death (2 Peter 2:20). Christianity is a growth process where God desires to walk you through life by His grace and guidance.  The truth will set you free (John. 8:31-32). We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians. 4:13)

“Do I have to give up things when I become saved or a Christian?”

The question should not be “if I have to”, but “if I want to”. Many people have this concern as they see religion as “do’s” and “don’ts”. As you see and understand the Kingdom of Heaven and God’s nature and character the things that you were holding unto become less important. You will see that your sin grieves God.  As your heart changes so will your reason for living.

True love always involves sacrifice for the others greatest good. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away: behold, all things become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Trust that God will do a work in you (Psalm 51:10, Philippians. 1:6, Romans 8:11).  As you allow Him to have His way in yourself, what you originally thought was difficult to let go of now becomes easier. The things of the world will become irrelevant in the light of eternity (1 John 2:15-17).  The mind must be renewed in Him (Romans 12:2, Colossians 3:10).

There will be struggles and temptations in the process (2 Corinthians 4:16, Galatians 6:8-9) but God always makes a way of escape when we are tempted (1 Corinthians 10:12-13). Sometimes life’s past hurts and wounds have scarred us and leave bitter memories. This many times influences the way we believe, think and act! Those areas which seem to be difficult to overcome must be prayed for. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find Grace to help in time of need “(Hebrews 4:16). His Grace is available to you (Hebrews 12:28, 1 Corinthians 15:10, Philippians 4:13). There is a great difference in your willingness to wanting to obey as opposed to having to obey. God is worthy to be served and we owe Him much for what He has done. Love Him today with all your heart!!!

“I am a Christian and I was saved when I was younger. I can live as I want!  Why would I have anything to be concerned about?”

Sin is rebellion in the eyes of a Holy God.  Forgiveness is based on your repentance [turning from sin] and faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. God does not allow sin in heaven (1 John 1:5, Psalm 5:4-6, Hebrewsm12:14). God is not in the “Hell Insurance” business, as He gives strength to overcome the bondages of sin through the enabling Grace He has provided.

“If we say we have fellowship with Him , and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleans us from all sin.” (1 John 1:6-7).

There is not one sin that Christ has not conquered!  You are God’s child and cannot be taken out of His hand as long as you hear and follow Him (John 10:27-28).   As long as we are obedient to God’s word and our motive is to serve God and others, we have no fear and certainly have eternal life. God has provided a way of escape for all temptations (1 Corinthians 10:13).  If man chooses to serve himself and sin he jeopardizes His walk with God (Hebrews 10:26-27, 6:4-6). God desires all to repent (2 Peter 3:9, Revelation 2:20-21). He has made it so nothing can separate you from His love – not even principalities (Romans 8:36-39).

Satan is limited in what he can do, but if you give him ground the consequences is eternal death (Luke 8:13, James1:12-16).  So repent and ask God to forgive you (1 John 1:9, 2:1).  We are able to fulfill the moral law of God and love Him and our fellow man (Romans 13:8-10).  Keeping His commandments is essential (1 John 2:3-5, 2:29, 3:7-10, 4:7-8, 5:1-4). Jesus said ” If you love me keep my commandments” (John 14:15, 21, 24, 15:1-14).

Through the power of Christ in conjunction with our free will, we can live holy and righteous lives (1 Peter 2:21-25, 1:16, 2 Peter 3:11, 2 Corinthians 7:1, Luke 1:74-75). Your faith will be followed by good works (James 2:17-26). Your faith will work by love (Galatians 5:6). So if you are in sin you are in great danger! Jesus had warned the churches (Revelation 2 and 3). Follow Jesus and not the words of men.

YOUR ETERNITY IS AT STAKE – stamp it on your eyeballs! The way is narrow and few find it (Matthew 7:13-14). Never take for granted the free gift of Grace (2 Pet. 2:20-21). Jesus said what will a man give in exchange for his soul (Mark 8:37). These are very sobering words. Remember, God is love and he is not willing for any a perish but you must make that choice.

“You have no right to point out sin! Why are you judging me?”

I am not judging you but instead “warning” you that sin will destroy your mind, body and soul for eternity (2 Thessalonians 2:7-9).  Warnings are an act of love! God’s Words is what condemns and judges you.

“He that rejects me and receives my words, has no one that judges him: the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).

If a building was burning would you not make an attempt to warn the people inside? Wouldn’t those warned be thankful to you? What about eternal things, especially “Hell and Judgment”?

The Holy Spirit was sent back to reprove the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8-11). Christians are to carry out the great commission with the Spirit’s help to convince the world to repent (turn from sin – Luke 24:47). The Bible talks of two witnesses to the world believers and Holy Spirit – (Acts 5:32, John 15:26-27, Revelation 22:17).  The Bible says it is the law (10 Commandments) that is the schoolmaster to bring people to Christ. The conviction of sin is an indicator that shows you can still be reached. So repent and believe the Gospel.  God can only judge your heart and know the motive of and intent of it (1 Corinthians 4:4-5).

Don’t confuse heart judgment with warning! Feelings of guilt can produce anger in people. It is because they must reason that if the Word spoken is true, they are in serious trouble and must change. Many react by saying “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1-2). They fail to read this passage in entirety where this refers to the hypocrites. Read verses Matthew 7: 3-5 and see for yourself.  IF I was guilty of the very sins I was preaching on, I have no business talking to you.

The Bible also refers to Paul rightfully judging (1 Corinthians 5). (Please read Leviticus 19:15-17, Proverbs 31:9, Ezekiel 22:2, 23:36, Matthew 3:2-7, Luke 12:57, 17:3, John 7:24, 12:48, Acts 7:51, 1 Corinthians 2:15-16, 6:2-3, Titus 3:10). If you are not warned your blood will be on my hands (Ezekiel. 33:6-9).  REPENT!

“All of Christianity consists of do’s and don’ts! Why are God’s laws so confining?”  I want to be free of all moral restraint and live like I want!

God’s laws are 10 freedoms not the 10 restrictions. They give society and its people peace and hope. They are not four fence posts with barbed wire around them to confine you to take away some perceived fun. Sin is pleasure for a short season (Hebrews 11:24-26). All that God sets down in His Word is to help you. The Bible is your operation and training manual that leads to life! It is a road map and life’s directional compass. Whenever you live in a way that God had not intended will bring consequences (Galatians 6:7-10).

If everyone would obey the 10 commandments simultaneously you would be able to walk anywhere without fear. This results in freedom not bondage. What a shame that we have tried to eliminate God’s laws from society. When the Bible says that rape is not right, wouldn’t that give any woman freedom from rape if it were obeyed? Whenever a society allows its people to go beyond God’s laws it will lead to bondage. All freedom must be based on moral absolutes. Without them people suffer. Unlimited sex, drinking, gambling etc., will thrust people into a national decay where society suffers and the innocent get hurt.

True Christianity is based on “wanting to” and not the idea of “having to”. When you truly love somebody it will result in wanting to please and to serve the one you love. It’s not “dos or don’ts” but a willingness to lay your life down for a greater good. God is worthy to be served as He gave His life for you (Romans 5:8-11, Matthew 27). His laws are designed to benefit each one of us. There is life in Christ and He wants to impart it to you.  In Christ Jesus there is liberty!

“Why are you condemning me? Preach God’s Love!”

The greatest LOVE we can give to you is to warn you of the judgment and wrath of God to come! If you were unknowingly in a burning building, wouldn’t you be thankful if someone warned you to evacuate. How much more thankful should one be when dealing with eternal things. Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, but you must realize the world is condemned already.

“He that believes on Him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).

I am not judging you but the words that are spoken are “WARNING” you to examine yourselves and see if you are right with God. “He that rejects me, and receives not my Words, has one that judges him: the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).

Many of you feel convicted or guilty of sin and you react negatively. Deep inside you know that if the words that I speak are true you are in serious trouble with God. “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4). God’s word will always reprove the world of sin, of righteous, and of judgment (John 16:7-14, 15:26-27). If you feel condemned it is because you are so repent (Romans 8:1).

God’s provision of salvation through His love then can be offered (Romans 5:8, John 5:24, 3:16). God does not offer a pardon (His love) to people who insist on their innocence and who haven’t acknowledged their sin. “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24).

You must see your sin. This is what angers many and they go into denial and self justification. Acknowledge your sin and failure and a great interest in God’s provision of love will come about. A pardon is only offered to those who admit their guilt (Romans 7:7-12, 8:1) and feel sorrow or remorse for sin (2 Corinthians 7:10). Would a judge pardon any man who did not confess and was not sorry for the crime committed? The preaching of the law brings condemnation and judgment. It can’t save you, but Jesus Christ with His love can!

“I believe in God! I have my own beliefs, why should I change mine now?”

There is one God and he doesn’t play musical chairs. The first commandment says, “Thou shall not have any other God’s before me” (Exodus 20:3). God is not Allah, Krishna, a Force, Nature, Mother Gaia or any other name you want to ascribe to Him. The Bible says His name is Yahweh or Jehovah.  Jesus came as God in the flesh to save the world. Many say they believe in God but what is His name.

The Bible says that devils believe in God (James 2:19). Do you equate your belief with the devils or is the one you have agree with John 3:16. One who believes in the one true God must come through Jesus Christ. He says to repent and believe the Gospel (Mark 1:14-15). The God of the Bible says if you believe in Him you must be born again. “Verily, verily I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3). All have sinned against God (Romans 3:23) and your only hope is Christ. No other has shed his blood as a sacrifice for you (Romans 5:8-10) to take away your sins.

Any beliefs you have must be based on some standard. The Bible is that standard! “It is the Spirit that quickens, the flesh profits nothing: the Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are life” (John 6:63). Many say they derive there beliefs within themselves. How do you know they are right? The Bible says trust not in yourself but in the One sent to save you!

“There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12).

Your beliefs must be based on God’s plan and not on man’s tradition (Matthew 15:8-9). It must not be in man’s philosophy, the New Age, occult, or vain deceit (Colossians 3:7-9).  Faith in Christ is essential as you must adhere to his teachings and continue in His Word (John 8:31-32, Matthew 16:24-26). God requires you to believe in Him and lay down your life of selfishness and serve Him and others (Romans 10:9-10, Mark 12:29-31). “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saves it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

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