19 - Today Is The Day Of Salvation!

Although all the chapters in this book are important because they give the biblical foundation for God's complete plan for humanity, this is the most important chapter in this book. The reader's response to the biblical truths I discuss in this chapter will determine where they fit in the prophetic plan of God.

There are only two spiritual conditions in which a human being can die. Either they can die in their sins or they can die sinless by accepting the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ through the grace of God.

Many people teach and believe that if you are a good person and live a good life then God will accept you. This leads to the belief that most people will go to heaven. However, Jesus contradicts this teaching when He declares that most people will not enter into heaven:

"Enter you in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad

is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which

go in thereto. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the

way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it."1

Jesus states that few people are on the narrow path that leads to eternal life. Most are on the wide path that leads to Hell. The reason for this is that life seems easier when we are accountable to no one. For the most part we can do whatever we want. Conversely, Jesus said that He is the way that leads to Heaven yet this seems like a more difficult path to take.

The truth is that giving your life to Jesus Christ is the easier way to live. If we live our lives according to God's truths then we are completely in His hands and what happens to us is up to Him. If we live our lives without God then whatever happens to us is either in our hands or in the world's hands. I have told my children that if I obey the traffic laws then I do not have to look over my shoulder wondering where the police are. On the other hand, if I drive fast or drive intoxicated, then I may kill myself or someone else and the police would arrest me. Just as the easier way is to follow the traffic laws, so too is it easier to follow God's ways.

However, just because a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior does not insure that their life will become perfect. I have heard people say, "How could God allow some tragedy to happen to that person?" The answer to this is that we live in a "fallen" world and that sin and the Devil affect the circumstances of our lives. Yet, I can control one circumstance in my life. If I accept Jesus Christ as my Savior then it does not matter what the world or other people may do to me. I am completely in the hands of God and if a criminal harms me or kills me, I still belong to the Lord for eternity. I cannot control what another person may do to me but I can control what I can do for myself.

In Part One I illustrated how Jesus accurately fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies concerning the suffering Messiah. Likewise, He will fulfill the prophecies of the kingly Messiah and the end-times that will usher in His Millennial Kingdom. This should lead you to ask where you fit into God's plans for your life and for the last days.

I remember reading a newspaper account of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona in 1881. An editor for the Tombstone Epitaph2 used a very insightful phrase in describing the fate of those men who died during the gun battle:

"Three Men Hurled into Eternity in the Duration of a Moment."

When those three men arose the day of the gunfight they did not know that they would be leaving this world and entering into the eternal dimension. Likewise, we also do not know when our last day on earth will occur.

Whether or not humanity is indeed approaching the end-times as I believe, each one of us can decide today where we will spend eternity.

God has declared that He does not want anyone to die and incur separation from Him forever:

"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.

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night."3

He loves His human children so much that He sent His Son to die for us so that we wouldn't perish:

"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. 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."4

Many people have a wrong concept of the nature of God. They see Him as an angry, demanding deity. Although He does show His anger and will express it during the end-times, the basis of His nature is love. He directs His anger toward those who harm others or even themselves because they reject the truth about Him and His ways. However, His overwhelming quality is love as the apostle John wrote:

"He that loves not knows not God; for God is love. In this was

manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent

His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live

through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that

He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our

sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one

another. No man has seen God at any time. If we love one

another, God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us.

Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because

He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and do testify

that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God

dwells in Him, and he in God. And we have known and

believed the love that God has to us. God is love; and he that

dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him."5

Because God does love His children He made a way for us imperfect, sinful humans to dwell in His perfect, holy presence forever.

Born from Above

Jesus made two absolute statements concerning salvation:

"Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no

man comes unto the Father, but by Me."6

With this statement, Jesus declares that all other forms of religion are invalid. These false religions started out when humankind rebelled against the truth of God at the tower of Babel. God dispersed humanity throughout the world where they quickly turned from His truths and created false gods to worship:

"Sing unto the LORD, bless His name; show forth His salvation

from day to day. Declare His glory among the heathen, His

wonders among all people. For the LORD is great, and greatly

to be praised: He is to be feared above all gods. For all the

gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the


The world would have people believe that there are many paths and religions that lead to God. However, Jesus makes it clear that He alone is the way to God. If you reject this truth then you reject God, Jesus, and the Bible.

Jesus made a second absolute statement concerning salvation, yet in a somewhat enigmatic way:

"Jesus answered and said unto him, Truly, truly, I say unto you,

Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of

God...Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he

cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of

the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is


Jesus states that a person has to be "born-again" to enter the kingdom of God. There is no other way. What does it mean to be born-again?

I believe the key to understanding this passage lies in the spiritual essence of God. Jesus described the nature of God to a woman who was seeking to understand the truth about God:

"But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers

shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father

seeks such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that

worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. The

woman said unto Him, I know that Messiah comes, which is

called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things. Jesus

said unto her, I that speak unto you am He."9

Jesus the Messiah, being God in human flesh, declares that God as a whole is Spirit. To truly know God a person has to know Him spiritually. We humans do have the capacity to know Him on a spiritual level as the Bible makes clear the true essence of our being:

"And God said, Let us make man in Our image, after Our

likeness...So God created man in His own image, in the image

of God created He him; male and female created He them."10

God created humans in His image and since He is a spiritual being, we are spiritual beings. The problem is that our sin nature has quenched our spiritual nature so that we live as carnal beings. We seek only to fulfill the desires of our flesh which leads us to sin.

Jesus states that even though we are born of human flesh our spirits need to be born also. Another translation of the Greek phrase for "born again" is "born from above". I believe this second translation is the more accurate of the two because it makes clear that our new spiritual birth comes from God in Heaven. How do we achieve this new birth experience? 

The New Birth

The apostle Peter wrote concerning the new birth process in his first epistle:

"Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if you call

on the Father, who without respect of persons judges

according to every man's work, pass the time of your

sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as you know that you were

not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from

your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without

blemish and without spot: Who truly was foreordained before

the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last

times for you, Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him

up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and

hope might be in God. Seeing you have purified your souls in

obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the

brethren, see that you love one another with a pure heart

fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of

incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for

ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the

flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower thereof falls

away: But the word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the

word which by the gospel is preached unto you."11

The first issue Peter addresses is the issue of holiness. We can only attain holiness through our belief in Jesus by which we will then have "purified [our] souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit".

Peter then says that God judges every person according to his or her works. However, Jesus declared that only one work is acceptable to God:

"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God,

that you believe on Him whom He has sent."12

Everyone who rejects Jesus will have his or her works judged by God at the Great White Throne judgment.

The last issue Peter deals with is the "born again" experience. He states that we are born again by the incorruptible word of God. This means that when we believe what God says about the sacrificial death of His Son and ask God to use Jesus' sacrifice as atonement for our sins, then our spirits will come alive and will be able to receive the truths of God. The principle at work here is the same that God used with Abraham:

"And [Abraham] believed in the LORD; and He counted it to

him for righteousness."13

The basis for a spiritual relationship with God is that we believe what God says. Peter states that this occurs when we accept "the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."


What does it mean to believe the gospel? The first issue that a person has to deal with is their sins. The Bible states that sin separates us from God:

"Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save;

neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities

have separated between you and your God, and your sins have

hid His face from you, that He will not hear."14

Sin hinders any relationship with God that we may desire. Humans need a way to have their sins removed so that we can fellowship with God and abide in His presence.

In the Old Testament God set up a sacrificial system so that the Jews could have their sins atoned for in order to maintain a relationship with Him. However, as the writer of the Book of Hebrews points, out these animal sacrifices were not a permanent solution to the problem for a person's sins:

"For the law [of Moses] having a shadow of good things to

come, and not the very image of the things, can never with

those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually

make the ones who drew near thereunto perfect. For then

would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the

worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience

of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again

made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of

bulls and of goats should take away sins."15

If animal sacrifices were an acceptable, permanent solution to humankind's sin then why did God require the Jews to offer them every year? The Jewish high priest had to enter the Temple once a year on the Day of Atonement and sprinkle the blood of a sacrificed animal on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant to cover the sins of all the Jews. However, these sacrifices were just a shadow of the good things to come.


The writer of Hebrews explains how Jesus is the permanent, acceptable sacrifice for human sin:

"Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood

He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal

redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and

the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies to the

purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of

Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without

spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve

the living God? And for this cause He is the mediator of the

new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of

the transgressions that were under the first testament, they

which are called might receive the promise of eternal

inheritance...For Christ is not entered into the holy places

made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into

heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor

yet that He should offer himself often, as the high priest

entered into the holy place every year with blood of others;

For then must He often have suffered since the foundation of

the world: but now once in the end of the world has He

appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it

is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto

them that look for Him shall He appear the second time

without sin unto salvation."16

Jesus Christ entered into the heavenly Temple to sprinkle His blood on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant. This then became the one and only sacrifice that God would accept as atonement for a human's sins.

The apostle John confirms that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament sacrificial system:

"...if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus

Christ the righteous: And He is the atonement for our sins: and

not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."17

Therefore, the gospel of salvation declares that a human being can become righteous and holy through believing God's word concerning the sacrificial, atoning death of His Son Jesus Christ for their sins. With this understanding let us now look at how a person can attain personal salvation. 


A man asked the apostle Paul the most straightforward question concerning salvation found in the Bible:

"Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling,

and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out,

and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said,

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and

your house. And they spoke unto him the word of the Lord, and

to all that were in his house."18

Paul answers the man's question by stating the same principle that God used in Abraham's case: Believe! Believe what God says about His Son and His sacrificial death as atonement for your sins.

As we read above an unsaved person needs first to address their sin. You need to acknowledge that you are a sinner and that you want to repent from your sinful ways. The apostle John declares that if you do this God will be faithful to forgive you of all your sins:

"This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and

declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness

at all. If we say that 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 cleanses us from

all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and

the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and

just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all

unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make

Him a liar, and His word is not in us."19

To have fellowship with God we have to confess our sins to Him. This shows that we are willing to put our pride behind us and submit humbly to God's will for our lives. The apostle Paul also addressed the issue of sin:

"Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ

unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no

difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of

God; Being justified freely by His grace through the

redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God has set forth to

be an atonement through faith in His blood, to declare His

righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through

the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time His

righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him

which believes in Jesus."20

Every person who has ever lived has sinned. However, we can have our sins removed completely and forever by believing and accepting that Jesus' blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness according to the word of God.

Therefore, after confessing your sins you should ask God to forgive and cleanse you through the sacrificial death of His Son. Having done this you may rest assured that you are saved because God always keeps His word. Your salvation does not depend on any "good works" that you might perform. There is only one work that your salvation requires: To believe in the saving work of Jesus' death.

The evidence of God's promise to give you eternal life is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul stated that more than five hundred persons saw the resurrected Jesus Christ:

"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I

preached unto you, which also you have received, and wherein

you stand; By which also you are saved, if you keep in memory

what I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain.

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received,

how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day

according to the scriptures: And that He was seen of Cephas

[i.e., Peter], then of the twelve: After that, He was seen of

above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part

remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that,

He was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all

He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I

am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an

apostle, because I persecuted the church of God."21

There is no doubt that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Many of these witnesses died horrible deaths because they knew that Jesus had risen from the grave. Believers in Jesus Christ will also rise from their graves to eternal life.

The seal of God's promise to save you is the gift of the Holy Spirit:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who

has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in

Christ: According as He has chosen us in Him before the

foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without

blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the

adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to

the good pleasure of His will, To the praise of the glory of His

grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the beloved. In

Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness

of sins, according to the riches of His grace; Wherein He has

abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having

made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His

good pleasure which He has purposed in Himself: That in the

dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together

in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and

which are on earth; even in Him: In Whom also we have

obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the

purpose of Him who works all things after the counsel of His

own will: That we should be to the praise of His glory, who

first trusted in Christ. In Whom you also trusted, after that you

heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in Whom

also after that you believed, you were sealed with that Holy

Spirit of promise."22

When you ask God to forgive your sins and accept Jesus into your heart, He fills you with His Holy Spirit. Jesus gave the reason for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in a person:

"I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear

them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He

will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself;

but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will

show you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall

receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you."23

God gives us the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. Even though we have accepted Jesus as the Messiah and Savior, we will continue to sin until the day we put off our corruptible flesh. The Spirit will convict us when we are in sin and will speak through us to lead others to salvation. He will place the truths of God's word, the Holy Bible, in our spirits to help throughout our life.

If you accept the salvation of Jesus Christ, do not be fooled into thinking that everything will be perfect from now on. We still live in a fallen, sinful world, which will affect us for the rest of our lives. The good news is that you will no longer have to go through life's trials and tribulations alone. Jesus Christ will be alive in you through His Holy Spirit.

The alternative to this is horrific. Jesus told those religious leaders who rejected Him as the Messiah that they would die in their sins. This means that God will judge them according to their works, which will not measure up to His standard of perfection. He will then have no choice but to cast them into Hell for eternity where they will no longer be able to sense His presence. You however, still have a choice of where you will spend eternity.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that you are too horrible a person to ever be able to accept the grace of God. The apostle Paul gives a small list of those unsaved persons who will not inherit eternal life:

"Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the

kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor

idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of

themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor

drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the

kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but you are

washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the

name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."24

Notice the last sentence in this passage. Paul said that some of His fellow Christians had indulged in the sinful behaviors he listed here, yet the blood of Jesus Christ cleansed them all. Paul himself was responsible for the deaths of Christians before God saved him.

Therefore, nothing should hinder you from coming to Jesus Christ and asking Him to save you. He declared how important the salvation of your soul is:

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world,

and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange

for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and

of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him

also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He comes in the

glory of His Father with the holy angels."25

You could become the richest person in the world but you will still die within a hundred years or so. What good will all your wealth and pleasure do you in eternity when you are separated from the presence of God? As we have read, Jesus Christ is coming to the earth again to judge the world. It is up to you whether He will be ashamed at seeing you or blessed by seeing you.

If you are interested in giving your life to Jesus Christ but are unsure as to where to start, you may begin your walk with Him by saying the following prayer from your heart:

"Heavenly Father God, I know that I am a sinner and have led a sinful life. I want to stop struggling with my sin. I ask you to cleanse me and forgive me of all my sins through the shed blood of your Son, Jesus Christ. I believe you raised Jesus from the dead. I accept Jesus as the Messiah and as my Lord and as my Savior for now and eternity. It is in Jesus' name that I pray and ask these things. Amen.

You now have God's promise that you are saved. I would begin reading the Bible (start with the Gospel of John) and praying to God that He would give you an understanding of it by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You definitely need to find a Bible-believing church. Remember that many churches out there deny the truths and miracles of God. You should ask to be baptized in accordance with Jesus' instructions. Your sins are already washed away but baptism is a public declaration that you identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

If you do become a follower of Jesus Christ, your eternal life has begun. You may even be alive when Jesus comes to rapture the Church in the end-times. The important thing is that you will spend eternity with your Heavenly Father who created you.


1    Matthew 7:13-14

2    "The Tombstone Epitaph"; October 27, 1881

3    II Peter 3:9-10a

4    John 3:16-18

5    I John 4:8-16

6    John 14:6

7    Psalms 96:2-5

8    John 3:3, 5-6

9    John 4:23-26

10  Genesis 1:26-27

11  I Peter 1:16-25

12  John 6:29

13  Genesis 15:6

14  Isaiah 59:1-2

15  Hebrews 10:1-4

16  Hebrews 9:12-15,24-28

17  I John 2:1b-2

18  Acts 16:29-32

19  I John 1:5-10

20  Romans 3:22-26

21  I Corinthians 15:1-9

22  Ephesians 1:3-13

23  John 16:12-14

24  I Corinthians 6:9-10

25  Mark 8:36-38

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