Which One Are You?
After one of my shifts on the October Share-a-thon, I sat at my desk, as is my custom, opened up a commentary and began studying. I’m in the book of II Kings, and, to be transparent, II Kings is one of my favorite books in the Bible. While reading the introduction to that particular commentary, a statement that my grandfather made really hit me. Paraphrasing, he said that there has always been two separate and distinct Israels—one that truly obeyed the Lord, and one that didn’t.
Following that statement about the two Israels, he added that it’s the same presently within the modern church—one group made up of those who are truly born again, and another that professes religion, but has never accepted Jesus Christ. That is a profound but true statement.
Look at it from this perspective: there are scores of people who sit in churches and are happy to do religious deeds, but they have never made a true profession of faith in accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. They believe that what they do constitutes them as being saved, not what they believe. They believe that by performing good deeds within the community or by helping out around their neighborhoods means that they are going to heaven.
Ladies and gentlemen, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but doing those things, as good and upstanding as they might be, does not constitute one’s salvation. Neither does it guarantee their admittance into heaven. The only thing that constitutes one’s salvation, and the only thing that guarantees admittance into that wonderful place called glory, is a person’s acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. That’s it, plain and simple. There has always been one way to be saved, and that is to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, not by the doing of religious activities.
Look at what the Bible says about the issue. In Ephesians Paul writes, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). This plainly tells us that the only way we can be saved is through faith in Christ and what He did at the Cross, and not by any other means.
Much of the church world is based on performance, meaning that it relies on a works-based righteousness. In other words, they base their salvation on what they do, or on what they don’t do. When asked if they will make it to heaven, many reply by saying what good things they do. Now, you must not misunderstand me; I believe in doing good things, and, as a Christian, you should want to do good things. But doing good things does not save you. It has never been this way, and it never will be this way. Salvation is not based on the good things that you do, but rather by believing in Christ.
Listen to what Jesus said: “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” (John 3:16). This is one of the most quoted Scriptures in the world today, and it means that we are saved simply by professing Jesus Christ with our mouths and believing on Him with our hearts. This is the only way to salvation, and this way is paved with blood—the precious blood of Jesus Christ. It has been stated that the red blood of Jesus can wash a black heart and make it as white as snow. Only the blood of Jesus can do this.
As the jailer asked Paul, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul’s response was “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house” (Acts 16:30-31). It is the same today—believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. And as salvation is for all, it is a personal decision. Every person has the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ, however, many don’t because they fail to take advantage of God’s redemption plan, which is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The terms are extremely simply, accept Christ and be saved or reject Him and spend eternity in hell.
There are more people sitting in churches today than every before, but there are less people being saved than every before. How can that be? The reason is due to the works-based righteousness that most churches promote. They say that it doesn’t really matter how you live as long as you do these certain things, then it’s all good. No, it’s not all good. It will be all good when one accepts Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Saviour.
Going back to my original statement: there are two types of people in the modern church—those who are truly born again, and those who are religious, my question to you today is, which one are you?
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