Sunday, April 10, 2011

Reasons People Get Saved

Reasons People Get Saved
By Kevin Probst

It is disturbing that 70% of Americans believe there are many different ways to heaven. Oprah Winfrey reaches millions of viewers with her New Age message declaring there are many ways to heaven. President Obama also promotes this idea of inclusive salvation. But Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6) No one, absolutely no one. Not the Hindu, not the Buddhist, not the Muslim, not the Protestant, not the Catholic. No one can come to the father except by Jesus Christ.
Why do people get saved? People get saved because:
1. There really is a hell.
Many today would like to believe there are second chances. They want to believe that perhaps there is a purgatory somewhere and if you missed getting saved here perhaps you can get saved there. Many embrace the idea of reincarnation. They think you can live multiple lives which provide you with multiple opportunities to finally get it right. It’s a lie that will damn multitudes. “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)
These words must be shared in a loving way because many are not so openly rebellious as they are simply ignorant. Many believe that God is so good and so loving and so full of kindness that he couldn’t bear to see anyone endure the suffering of hell. Every heresy contains some partial truth. God is love. He is kind and loving. But God is also just. He is righteous and holy. His holiness demands that he hate sin. Were he to go soft on sin his very nature would be compromised. There is a hell and it testifies to a holy God determined to destroy sin finally and eternally.
People get saved because:
2. Time is running out.
Many say, “I’ll get saved but I’ll do it later. I’ll choose my own time.” These are common words especially among the young. The truth is, we can’t choose the time of our own salvation. We can’t pick a day and an hour and say, “God, I’ll meet you then.” God is not subject to our time schedule.
Back in my college days I worked at Bristol Memorial Hospital in Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia. The state line actually ran straight through the hospital. I was a young and enthusiastic Christian. I wanted to save the world. There was an old man on my floor who was expected to die any day. I entered his room one evening and asked him, “Sir, are you a Christian, do you know Jesus as your personal Savior?” It was as if I were looking into a demonic face as he looked me in the eye and growled, “Don’t you ever mention the name of Jesus to me again.” I watched as the last grains of sand emptied into this man’s hour glass. He died and went to hell without Christ the next day. How do I know he went to hell? Because I believe God’s word and it says that no man denies Christ and goes to heaven.
People get saved because they finally realize there is danger and death in delay.
It’s like a man standing on the railroad tracks. The train is hurling toward him at 100 miles per hour. He is deaf and blind and he doesn’t know how fast that train is coming. He stands on the track and he says, “I have time enough.” But his time has run out. I pray along with Isaiah, “Open the eyes of the blind and might the ears of the deaf be unstopped.” (Isaiah 35:5)
Many try to outsmart God. “I will enjoy my sin and then right before I die I’ll pray a prayer of repentance. I’ll have my cake and eat it too.” God is not mocked by our feeble and pretentious manipulations. Those who continually put off and say ‘no’ to a merciful God will one day find that their hearts have become so hardened they can no longer respond. “Today if you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Hebrews 3:15) No man knows the last time he will hear the voice of God calling him.
We must not take childhood conversions lightly. 80% of those converted are converted in childhood. Why do so few older people become Christians? It’s because their hearts have become dangerously hardened.
People become Christians because:
3. Life is brief and uncertain.
The Psalmist says a man’s days are like grass, the wind blows and the grass is gone. James said life is like a mist, here one moment and gone the next.
Ask any older person and they will tell you that life is brief. The years fly by until they seem like months, the months seem like weeks and the weeks like days.
Life is not only brief, it is also forgettable. Do you know your grandfather, I hope so. Many don’t know their great-grandfather and most people can’t even name their great-great-grandfather. We will be completely forgotten a couple generations after we die.
The uncertainty of life hit home for the family of Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the United States. His son, Calvin Jr., went out to play tennis one day. He developed a blister on his heel and in a few hours’ time he was dead of blood poisoning. Death unexpectedly strikes the young as well as the aged.
One of my co-workers received good and bad news recently. The bad news was that he had cancer. The good news was that there was a cure available. There is bad news and good news regarding our God. The bad news is that he is just, righteous and holy and he will judge us for the sin we have not repented of. The good news is that he has provided a remedy for his own wrath. His son, Jesus Christ, died because he loved his father, because he loved us and because he hated sin. The only way for us to experience salvation is through the sacrifice of the precious Son of God.

Kevin Probst - Is a teacher of Apologetics and History at Calvary Christian School and Associate Pastor of Crosspointe Nazarene Church church in Columbus, Georgia.

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