In This Issue:
There Are Not Different Ways to Be Saved
How Good Are You?
Christ, Our Captain
Volume: 872 August 22, 2022
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There Are Not Different Ways to Be Saved
No matter what anyone thinks or says, there is only one way to Heaven. The Word of God says that Jesus is the only Way (John 14:6).
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
We must believe we cannot save ourselves and that our salvation is the gift of God purchased for us by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. He died in our place for our sins! If we accept that and trust in that way only, then we can have God’s promise of an eternity in Heaven.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
However, many will not accept God’s terms of having an eternity with Him. They want to get there their way. They trust they will get there by doing what they think is right or what their religion has taught them is the way, even though it is contrary to what the Bible teaches.
Before I was saved, I also had my ideas of how to get to Heaven, and they were just as non-biblical as:
- “I believe I’m going to Heaven because my grandfather was a preacher….” Well, that is wonderful that he was. Still, nobody’s righteous living or salvation can earn them Heaven for another. We must have a personal relationship with Jesus and trust Him as our Saviour.
- “I believe I’m going to Heaven because I’m a good person.” Well, I am sure you are by most people’s standards, but going to Heaven is not measured by human standards. It is measured by God’s commandments, and He says that all are sinners (Romans 3:23)!
It is not the sins one has committed lately that condemn one’s soul; it is a lifetime of transgressions. One must realize all are born with a sinful flesh incapable of pleasing God unless we allow God to create a new creature in us and save us from Hell.
Before I was saved, I thought my good works would get me to Heaven. Then I wondered, “If good works get one to Heaven, how many do you have to do? Is it 50, 100, or 10,000? Have I done enough?” That haunting question led me to read the Bible. After 40+ years of reading the Bible, I have never found the answers to that question because God’s Word never says that goodness will get anyone to Heaven. Salvation is God’s gift to you; it cannot be earned.
- “I believe I’m going to Heaven because I’m an American.” That is good. I am American also, but being born in a “Christian” nation does not get anyone any higher than the tombstone. It is only by trusting Christ as Saviour!
- “I believe I’m going to Heaven because my wife saved me.” That may sound funny to some, but some people who have married a spouse whose example helped alter their lives think that because they are better now, they will go to Heaven. Well, maybe you have a wonderful husband, wife, or parents, but again, we are accountable for ourselves (Romans 14:12, Matthew 13:36), and goodness cannot get us to Heaven!
- “I believe I’m going to Heaven because I’m very religious.” Well, you may be. Unfortunately, some “religious” people try to do more to please God than many true Christians do. However, “religion” cannot save anybody; only trusting what Jesus has done for us will!
- “I belong to a very good church.” Your church may teach biblical doctrine, but joining any church will guarantee no one Heaven. Some “religions” claim that only their religion can save. That is a lie! Only trusting Jesus Christ’s finished work on the Cross can get anyone to Heaven (John 3:3, John 3:16).
- “I don’t believe there is a Heaven, Hell, or God, and I’ll just die like a dog, and that’s it!” Although I always handle that remark politely, the truth of the matter that is a foolish belief!
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” Psalms 14:1
Too many people try to out guess God and do his thinking for Him. It does not matter what you or I think about obtaining Heaven, but what God says! It is God’s Heaven. He will allow us to go there under His conditions. His way is to accept Christ as our Saviour from eternal punishment (Romans 10:9). His way is the only way.
“Human nature’s way of salvation is, “Do, do, do.” But God’s way of salvation is, “Done, done. It is all done.” You have but to rely by faith on the atonement that Christ accomplished on the Cross.” — Spurgeon
How Good Are You?
In the Bible, young David’s foe, Goliath, was a giant warrior. It is recorded he was “six cubits and a span” tall. One immediately wonders, “How big is a cubit and a span?”
A cubit is from the tip of one’s middle finger to the tip of the elbow. Most assume it to be 18 inches.
Others say that it may have been measured by the cubit of the king at the time. King Saul was a large man, so his cubit could have been 20 inches long.
To make it more confusing, other lengths are attributed to this measurement. The Babylonian cubit is 20.65 to 21.26 inches long. The long Hebrew cubit was 18.36 to 18.9 inches.
The exact size of a span is also questionable. Its length is derived from the distance from an extended hand’s tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger. Most assume it is nine inches. One can easily see that this is also an unreliable measurement because it depends on whose hand is measured.
Depending on what standard was used, the giant Goliath may have been 9.75 to 11.5 feet tall. One can easily see that a subjective, comparative measurement is not accurate. Man’s measuring is not always reliable.
Similar measuring is used when one compares his “goodness” with that of another. “I am not as bad as that adulterer,” or “I’m not as bad as that liar and murderer.” Who made you the standard for measuring who is naughty or nice?
Ultimately, it is not man’s standards that are accurate or count. What one may think is good behavior, another may view as poor. Standards on measuring good conduct can change from one person to another and even change several times a day. What is acceptable in one country may be abhorrent in another. Some behavior accepted today was frowned upon in previous generations.
“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” II Cor. 10:12
Ignored by most, the origin of what defines righteousness and evil is God’s Word, the Bible. Within its preserved pages, man can read what God says is right and wrong. His opinion never changes and is the only one that ultimately matters. His measurements of behavior have been steadfast throughout human history.
God cuts quickly to the chase. He makes it quite clear, by His gauge, none are “good.” As hard as man may try, he is still a sinner, and his efforts in controlling his conduct are only external, temporary, and fall short of what God deems good.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Rom. 3:23
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” Romans 3:10 Also: Rom. 3:9, Gal. 3:22.
God’s honest judgment of us certainly should change our judging of others. We are all sinners!
Except for God’s mercy and giving us a way to have our sins forgiven and forgotten, there would be no hope for us to miss Hell. Forget your opinionated judgments of others and see yourself as God sees you — a sinner and not “good.” Your measuring tool of goodness means little.
However, we can be forgiven of our iniquities. The only way is by trusting that Jesus’ death on the cross is payment for our wickedness. Then, once cleared of our sins, we can follow God’s scriptural commandments and please our heavenly Father. Our obedience and deeds are then “good” in His eyes.
“Don’t judge a man because he sins differently than you. Some may be forgiven of their iniquities, but we are all sinners.”
Christ, Our Captain
The Highland chief, McGregor, fell wounded by two bullets. Seeing their leader fall, the clan wavered and gave their enemy an advantage. The chieftain, beholding the effects of the disaster, raised himself upon his elbow, and while the blood gushed in streams from his wounds, he cried, “I am not dead, my children. I am looking to see you do your duty.”
Those words revived the sinking courage of his clansmen to stem the dreadful tide of battle. The leader’s presence was worth a thousand men.
The Captain of our salvation, Jesus, though slain, yet lives and looks upon his militant followers with unutterable tenderness of affection. He desires all of us to continue onward and fight the good fight. Don’t quit! Onward you must go!
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”
I Timothy 6:12