The story begins long; long ago a perfect couple known as Adam and Eve; lived in a perfect environment, called the Garden of Eden. This is no fairy tale; the people and the place are real. This wonderful setting took place in God?s original creation. God the Father the creator of heaven and earth and all that is within would visit with them in the cool of the day. Can you imagine the creator of all things coming out to visit with you; this is much bigger than the president coming to visit.
One day they received a visit from another created being, commonly known as that old serpent ?the devil? he persuaded them to disobey God. This perfect couple known as Adam and Eve had been previously warned by God not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God further warned that in the day that they did eat from that tree they would surely die (Genesis 2:17). Even after a stern warning they willfully disobeyed God and ate from the tree. The rest is history; sin entered into the world, and man was separated from God which is spiritual death.
You and I weren?t blessed to live in the first sin free environment, but God has provided for us a second; in Heaven alone, no sin is found. The day will come when God will once again dwell among His people.
The Bible said, ?And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." (Revelation 21:3-4)
Has anyone ever taken a bible and explain how you can go to heaven, if not may I? The bible contains both bad and good news. The bad news is something about you. The good news is something about God. Let us discuss the bad news first:
Bad News: The bible said, ?All have sinned and come short of the glory of God? (See Romans 3:23 KJV). When the bible said we sinned, it means we lie, we lust, we hate, we steal, we murder, we gossip, we commit, adultery, fornication, homosexually, lesbianism etc.
The word sin means to miss the mark; and the mark is God righteous standard set for us to live by. No man has ever lived up to that standard, except the Lord Jesus. Let me explain: Suppose you and I were to take a rock and aim for the moon you may throw it further than me, but neither of us are going to hit the moon.
The same is true with people, some may be a little better morally than others; but according to Romans 3:10 none is righteous; no not one.
The Bible said in Romans 6:23-a, ?The wages of sin is death. Let me explain, suppose you were to work for me for a day and I gave you fifty dollars. The fifty dollars represent your wages, this is what you have earned.
The bible said, because you and I sin we have earned death; death in this scripture means to be thrown into the lake of fire (See Rev. 20:15-15).
Good News: Because of our sinful condition there was no way we could come to God, so He decided to come to us in the form of a man through His Son Jesus Christ (See John 3:16). "God demonstrated his love toward us, in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us (See Rom. 5:8).
Let me explain: suppose you were in a hospital dying of cancer and I wanted to save your life. I willingly ask the doctors to remove the cancer cells from your body and place them in my body, what do suppose would happen to me? You guess right I would die and you would live. The reason you would live is because I took the thing that was causing your death, placed it inside of me and I died as your substitute.
Jesus came into the world and took the sins that was causing your death, place them upon himself and died in your place. Jesus was your substitute. Through Jesus death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave, he conquered death, sin, and Satan.
- By faith, you can receive Jesus Christ into your heart; if you will make Him your Savior and Lord, you will receive eternal life.
- Jesus explains the new birth in (John 3:3-6); it is not church membership; on judgment day there will be many who names are written on the church rolls; But not in the book of life, will be cast into the lake of fire (See Rev. 20:12-15).
- It is not water baptism; water baptism is an outward sign of an inward change. Without that inward change a person will go down into the water a dry devil and come up a wet devil.
What must I do to be saved?? was the question of the Philippian Jailer in (Acts 16:30). Perhaps the question we need to ask is, ?What is salvation?
Old Testament: There are several words used when referring to salvation: such as born again, regeneration, the new birth, being converted etc.
The Greek word for salvation is Sow, which means to save or to be delivered from some life-threatening danger. There are several aspects of salvation in the in the Old Testament:
- First: salvation implies that a person or nation is in great distress, and the sufferers do not have the ability to help themselves.
- Second: salvation involves a deliverer (a Savior); this person acts on behalf of the sufferers to deliver them from their distress.
- Third: the action of the deliverer affects a release from the circumstances that caused the suffering. So then, salvation is portrayed as a movement from distress to safety. Man is born into sin, faced with eternal separation from God; which means everlasting torment in hell that is our distress.
New Testament: The Greek word polygenesis translated to salvation means, ?to be born again.? ?There is no substitute for salvation it is the only way we can enter into heaven.
- Salvation/Born Again is the spiritual change made in a person, by the Holy Spirit; they become the possessor of new life. It is the act of God through the Holy Spirit that gives eternal life to those that believes in Jesus Christ, they are a new creature (See 2- Cor. 5:17).
- This new birth is similar to Genesis 2:7), the Holy Spirit comes inside of us and He gives us a new heart, one that love God and hate sin.
- The New Birth is different from justification, because justification is a change in our standing. The New Birth is a change in our moral and Spiritual nature. The New Birth is not rehabilitation, it is re-creation.
- Born Again is the impartation of a new divine life; the production of a new thing; it is (Gen. 1:27) over again. By nature, man is dead in sin (Eph. 2:1); the new birth gives new Spiritual life which is eternal.
Jesus said, ?Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believe in Him that sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life? (John 5:24 NJKV).
- It is very important that we understand the meaning of being Born Again; because there is no other way of entering Heaven except by being born again. He who does not enter here, does not enter at all (John 3:5; Titus 3:5).
The Necessity of the New Birth: (Salvation)
The need is as far-reaching as sin and the human race; because ?All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). And the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6?23-a), which is eternal separation from God.
What this means is those who are separated from God, will spend eternity in hell with Satan, his angels and all those who have not been born again.
- Salvation is needed because sin has separated us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2 KJV); and separation causes us to lose out on many of God blessings, leaving us without any hope of going to heaven.
- Your first birth was of flesh; born in sin and shaped iniquity (Psalms 51-5). That?s why Jesus said, ?Except a man be born of water (I believe water is referring to the Word (see Eph. 5:26); and of the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God? (John 3:5 KJV).
Note: you had no participation in your first birth, nor had you committed any sin that would cause you to be born in sin. The Bible said, ?By one-man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned (Romans 5:12 KJV).
Choices: we had no choice in our first birth; which resulted in us having a sin nature. Nevertheless, it is our sole choice to remain a sinner.
Different Phases of Salvation:
There are three different phases of salvation; phase one, two and three. Remember salvation is the act of being saved or delivered from some life-threatening danger.
Everyone must enter phase one before entering into phase two or three.
- First: everyone needs to be saved or delivered from the death sentence caused by sin. The Bible says, ?All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23 KJV); and the penalty for sin is death (meaning eternal separation from God) (Romans 6:23-a KJV)
- Second: Christian needs to be saved from the power of sin. The Bible says, ?Sin shall not have dominion (meaning power or authority) over you (Romans 6:14 KJV). Sin will take you places that you are not willing to go; it will keep you there longer than you are willing to stay; and it will cost you more than you are willing to pay.
- All those who are saved from the penalty of sin, will one day be saved from the presence of sin. In heaven alone, no sin is found (See Rev. 21:27; 22:15).
The hands of time:
The hand of time is wound but once, and no one has the power, to tell just when that clock will stop, at a late or early hour. To lose one?s wealth is sad indeed, but to lose one?s health is more? But to lose one?s soul is such a lost that no one can restore.