By Josef Urban
WIDE IS THE WAY TO DESTRUCTION
The world is full of people who think they’re on their way to Heaven when in reality they are on their way to Hell. This is a shocking statement, yet it is true. In fact, the Lord Jesus Christ taught us that a majority of people in the world would go to Hell. He said: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14). According to Him, many take the wide road and end up in destruction, and only few take the narrow road and end up in eternal life. This is a solemn thought!
And what is even more shocking to think, is that many of those who think they are heading to eternal life are actually deceived and heading toward eternal destruction. There are few people in the world who say, “I know I’m going to Hell, and I don’t care”. Most of the people in the world say they want to go to Heaven. They say they desire to be saved. And they think that they are well off for the most part, and deceive themselves into thinking they’re on their way to Heaven while they’re really on that wide path that most people take to destruction.
Since there is such a large degree of ignorance in the world today, there is a good chance, dear reader, that such a person could be YOU. Indeed, you may claim to believe in God, and you may even do many seemingly ‘good’ things. But the question is: Do you know that you have eternal life? How certain are you? And if you would say yes, and that you’re certain, then the next question is: How do you know, and what makes you so sure that you’re not deceived? What are you trusting in to save you?
These are important questions, and I want to help you answer them in truth by examining yourself with what the Word of God says. We are going to look at what the Bible says about salvation, about Christ, about the right way to God, about knowing the truth, and much more. If you care about your eternal soul and want to truly have eternal life, then I ask you to read this booklet carefully and prayerfully.
Many people are ignorant about the things of God, and they don’t even know how to get to Heaven. This is a tragedy! If you are reading this booklet, it is a good sign that you do care about your soul and you’re taking a step further toward seeking God than most people ever will, since most people never bother to read a book about God. As you continue to read, I encourage you to press in to seek God with all your heart, since He has promised in His Word: “Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
Whatever you do, make sure that you’re not on that wide path that leads to destruction! And if you are, then now is the time to turn from it, and enter in on the narrow path which leads to life!
MAN’S STATE BEFORE GOD
Most people think of themselves as being generally ‘good’ people. They will admit that there have been times when they have made mistakes, however, they will say that overall they are moral and lovable people. And they think that because they are for the most part ‘good’ that there is a good chance they will go to Heaven. However, this is not what the Bible says about man, and it’s precisely because of ignorance such as this that most end up in Hell, since they never see the graveness of the danger they are in and therefore, never flee from such danger into the true salvation that is found in Christ. They are trusting in a false salvation that won’t save them, since they are trusting in their own morality and their own idea of who God is (thinking that He won’t punish them for their sin), even though it’s not Biblical.
So would you consider yourself to be a ‘good’ person? Most people think they are. Yet, despite what many think, the Word of God says that man is far from being ‘good’:
“For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Ecclesiastes 7:20).
“There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10-12).
This means that you are not a good person. You are just the opposite in God’s eyes. You are an evil person. This is because you have sinned against Him. You have violated His holy Law. You have failed to glorify Him properly. You have not lived a life in completely obedient service to Him; instead, you’ve lived your life selfishly for yourself, for your own pleasures and purposes. You have sought to please yourself first and foremost, rather than seeking to please God first in all things. And this is highly offensive to God, since He rightfully deserves to be glorified and loved and obeyed and served.
You are not a generally good person who on seldom occasion has done a bad thing. The Bible teaches that all men are generally corrupt at heart and defiled before the eyes of a holy God and so evil in His sight that He looks down with grief and disgust on man’s selfish and defiled thoughts:
“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart” (Genesis 6:5-6).
This is what caused God to flood the whole earth in Noah’s day and destroy every man, woman and child from the face of the earth, except faithful Noah and his family. It was the sin of mankind, the thoughts of their hearts so continually evil. And it is the same today. Who can honestly say that in the eyes of a perfect, holy God who is infinitely pure and righteous, that their thoughts are clean and without sin before Him?
Our problem is that we don’t view sin the same way God does. We try to sugar-coat the standards of God’s holiness and justice by thinking that lies aren’t really that bad, that cussing isn’t that serious, or that getting angry at someone is acceptable. Yet God sees these things as serious offenses of His Law that must be punished. Even if you’ve only committed one sin in your whole life, it is enough to separate you from God forever.
In the book of Genesis, the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, were created in a state of innocence and placed in the Garden of Eden. They didn’t have any sin the day they were created. They were able to fellowship freely with God and have a personal relationship with Him. God would come down and walk in their midst, and they enjoyed free conversation with God in holiness. It was a perfect paradise. However, God had given to man a single command, saying to Adam: “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17).
It wasn’t long before both Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit of that forbidden tree and sinned against God. The anger of the Lord was kindled. His wrath boiled. God cursed the earth, He cursed woman and He cursed man. Mankind was brought under bondage to sin and the consequent curse of the Law that God pronounced upon it. God cut man off from His goodness and His life, and banished him from the Garden of Eden under the sentence of eternal death for sinning. Man was separated from God, and placed under the punishment of eternal vengeance.
How many sins did it take to cause such catastrophic effects? –Just one. It only took one sin to plunge the entire human race down into the pit of destruction. It was just one sin that opened up the world as we know it to pain, suffering, sickness, disease, war, death, and every other lamentable effect of sin. God is so holy that He looks upon just one such sin as so disgusting, so deplorable, so wicked, that it is worthy of eternal death and everlasting contempt. And if this is how God looks upon and treats just one sin, imagine how He must look upon you, a person who has sinned not just once or twice, but many times during the course of your life. If God punished the one sin in the beginning to such a great degree, do you honestly think that you, dear reader, are going to escape the righteous judgment of God?
THE LAW OF GOD
If your soul is going to be helped on finding the true way of salvation that God offers, first you’re going to have to understand where you stand apart from it. In case you’re not yet convinced that you are separated from God or you don’t yet understand what that means, we’re going to labor to further convince you of your sinful state before Heaven. This is necessary because unless you deeply understand that you are a sinner, you won’t see your need for a Savior, nor will you run to Him with all your strength to be saved. So please read this section carefully and answer every question in your own mind.
About 5,000 years ago, God gave to man a copy of His holy Law, the 10 Commandments. This Law is very simple, yet very straightforward in showing us whether we’re guilty or innocent in His sight. Many people think that they’ve kept the 10 Commandments for the most part, yet they are sadly mistaken. Let’s take a look at each command. You can find these stated in your Bible in Exodus 20. We will quote the command, and next to it ask you some questions to examine you to see if you’ve kept or broken that command:
1. “I am the Lord thy God, Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” –Have you always put God first in your life, above everything else, at all times, under all circumstances, and in every situation? Have you always lived for His glory alone and not for the glory of another? If not, then you’re guilty of breaking the first and greatest commandment.
2. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.” –Have you ever bowed down to or adored an idol, which includes a statue of a dead saint or an emblem of Mary? Have you ever prayed to someone or something other than God? If so, then you’re guilty of adoring other things next to God, and His jealousy has been enflamed against you.
3. “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” –Have you ever said God’s name without saying it in reverence and respect and honor to Him? If so, you’re guilty of dishonoring God Himself.
4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” –Have you always kept the Sabbath holy, setting aside time to pray to and seek God, and not committing sin on that day? If not, you’re guilty of this one.
5. “Honor thy father and thy mother.” –Have you always honored and reverenced your father and mother on earth, treating them with high respect and love and always obeying them? If not, then you are guilty in the sight of God of dishonoring the parents He gave you.
6. “Thou shalt not kill.” –Have you ever murdered somebody? If you have, then you are surely guilty. However, maybe you’re like most people and you haven’t ever killed anybody. But the Apostle John said that if we have hatred toward our brother, then God sees that as murder (1 John 3:15). Furthermore, Jesus said that if we are angry without a just cause, then we’re already in danger of the judgment. This includes having unforgiveness toward anyone. So do you hate anybody in your heart? Are you angry with someone and you refuse to forgive them from your heart? If so, then God sees you as a violator of the 6th commandment and a murderer in His sight.
7. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” –Have you ever cheated on your spouse, or been with someone else who was legally married to another person? If so, you are an adulterer. However, God’s standard doesn’t stop there, it goes further. In Matthew 5:27, the Lord Jesus said that whoever even looks at someone with lust has already committed adultery in their heart in God’s sight. This means that if you’ve ever sexually desired to be with somebody you’re not married to then you are an adulterer at heart. Even all those who are in sexual relationships outside of marriage are condemned before God as fornicators, and the Bible says that fornicators won’t enter the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
8. “Thou shalt not steal.” –Have you ever taken something that doesn’t belong to you? If so, God sees you as a thief.
9. “Thou shalt not lie.” –Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever deceived anyone? If so, you are a liar in God’s sight.
10. “Thou shalt not covet.” –Have you ever desired more money, a nicer house, a better car? Have you ever looked at something that belongs to someone else and thought that you really, really wanted it? If so, then you are covetous by God’s standard.
So the question is: Have you kept or have you broken the 10 Commandments? We all know that the verdict is: GUILTY!
You have broken God’s holy Law. This should be frightening to you because God is full of justice and has promised in His Word that the soul that sins shall die. Just as Adam and Eve were punished in the beginning, so you must be punished for sinning against God. No excuses will work with Him, because you’ve already sinned and He knows you’re guilty. So what is going to happen when you stand before God on that great fearful day, known as Judgment Day? “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).
JUDGMENT DAY AND THE WRATH OF GOD
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
Dear reader, you have an appointment that you must keep. This is an appointment that no matter how bad you don’t want to go, you’re going to have to. There’s no way around it. This appointment you have is one in which you will meet your Creator face to face and stand before His mighty throne to be judged. When the God of all the earth summons you to stand before Him for judgment, you are going to stand there. Let’s read what the Bible says about the final judgment:
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).
How are you going to do when you stand before this holy God to face the judgment? On that day, all the books are going to be opened, wherein God has recorded every single thing you’ve ever done –including every single violation of His Law. Think about it: every evil thought, every wrong motive, every impure desire, every hateful intention, every sinful act, all of it is going to come out into the light on that day. God has seen it all and He has it all recorded. Jesus said that we will have to give an account even of every single word we speak: “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36). God has even seen what you have done in the secret place, in your secret thoughts, all the things that no one else ever saw. And it’s going to fearfully come out at the judgment.
What terrifying news for those who have broken the Law of God! The God of the universe is certainly not going to bend justice on that day and let sinners into His holy Kingdom. “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day” (Psalms 7:11). Truly, His holy nature must see to it that sin is punished. God doesn’t bend His Law or lower His standards. Since He, by His very nature, is absolutely full of justice and perfect holiness He must punish those who have set themselves in opposition to Him by sinning. On that great day, His anger is going to be kindled against sin, His wrath will be blazing forth in fury, and His hatred against the works of evil is going to cause Him to cast every worker of iniquity into Hell.
All those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life will be cast into the lake of fire. This means YOU if you have not been redeemed by Christ’s blood and born again to a new hope by His Spirit. If you are not saved and following Christ as your personal Savior, you are on your way to the most horrendous fate that anyone could ever imagine.
Jesus described Hell and the lake of fire as a place where “the worm never dies and the fire is never quenched” (Mark 9:44). When He talks about the worm never dying, He’s talking about the worm that eats your body when you die and decay. What He’s saying is that your body will never decay and disappear, that you’ll live forever and ever in conscious torment with no hope of relief from the pain. And when He talks about the fire never being quenched, He’s is talking literally of the flames of God’s vengeance that will burn and torment you day and night forever and ever. This is what Jude talked about when he spoke of “suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 1:7).
This is the wrath of Almighty God which is kindled by His anger. The Bible does make it clear that God is very angry against sin, and it is because of this that He has sworn to punish it to such an extreme degree. The Lord said, “For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains” (Deuteronomy 32:22). If you have broken the divine Law of God and sinned against Him, then this anger and wrath is poised to strike you and crush you.
Don’t think you are going to escape if you neglect the great salvation that God freely offers to you through His Son. Your sin demands eternal punishment. If God didn’t punish your sin, then He would be unjust, and would be under no obligation to punish the Devil himself. But don’t flatter yourself that you shall escape it, for you shall not, unless you repent and come to Christ: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).
Judgment Day is coming for YOU, dear reader. I ask you if you are still in your sins. Can you not hear the cries of the damned in Hell, screaming in agony under the weight of their transgressions, tormented day and night under the wrath of God? Can you not feel the flames already beginning to leap up and singe your heals, ready to consume you where you sit at this moment? Can you not perceive the place in that dreadful pit that even now is reserved just for you; ready to receive you the moment death snatches you suddenly? Can you not feel as if the ground itself is ready to split open underneath you and swallow you whole?
Then I warn you, dear soul, I beg you: Flee the wrath to come! Run from the coming Judgment and don’t look back! There is only one safe Place to run to –into the arms of the Savior who bled and died for you.
THE SAVIOR PAID IT ALL
Perhaps you are now despairing under the thought that you are a guilty sinner and are dreadfully afraid of the terror of facing God on Judgment Day. Perhaps you are inwardly trembling and wondering if there is any hope for you. Perhaps you feel as if your sins weigh a million pounds and are so heavy upon your soul that you would do anything to get the burden off in order to have peace with God. If so, then there is some extremely good news for you.
There is One who already suffered for your sins and bore the punishment for them in full. He took every last sin you’ve ever committed, from the least to the greatest, and carried them away on His own back, and died under their burden in order to forever rid you of them and set you free. This great Man suffered for every time you’ve violated God’s Law. He took the curse of the Law upon Himself and suffered it in full in order to free you from its penalty.
This great Man’s name is Jesus Christ. And He is not only a Man; He is God in the flesh (John 1:1). He was supernaturally conceived in the womb of a virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit, and being born as the only begotten Son of God, He was born as a sinless Man (Luke 1:35). He was born as the Holy One. He lived a life of perfect obedience to the commands of God, and never sinned (1 Peter 2:22). Therefore, He didn’t deserve to die. Yet He chose to die out of love for us.
Almost everyone knows that Jesus died on the cross. But the question is: what happened when He died on the cross? The most significant thing in the history of the world happened when the Son of God was hanged upon that cross, and it is essential to understand it and to believe in what He did there in order to be saved.
The Bible says that when Christ, the sinless One, was hanged upon that cross, that He carried our sins upon Himself and suffered and died on our behalf. Let’s read a portion of Holy Scripture, which was actually written several hundred years before the Lord died on the cross, yet was written about Him and what He would go through. This is written in Isaiah 53:
“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:3-12).
What happened when Jesus was upon the cross is that God the Father took all our sins and placed them upon Jesus, and then He crushed Jesus in His wrath against sin and punished Jesus for all those sins. In doing this, God was satisfying justice which demanded that sin be punished. The Lord Jesus chose to take the punishment that we deserve upon Himself in order to satisfy the wrath of God. He took God’s wrath and vengeance upon Himself in order to divert it away from us. Now, because He did this, and only because He did this, we can escape the just judgment of God against sin. Since our sin was punished in Christ, we don’t have to be punished for our sin if we will receive the Savior and be saved.
This all happened according to the plan of God, because God loves us and doesn’t take pleasure in the death of the wicked. The Bible says: “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” (John 3:16-18).
The Savior died to pay the penalty for your sins in full and to purchase for you a glorious salvation so that you can freely receive the gift of Eternal Life from God. Jesus didn’t come to condemn you, shame you, or to just make you feel bad about your sin. He came to show you God’s love, to pay the penalty for sin, to satisfy the justice of the Law that you’ve violated, to make the way for you to be restored to God, so that you can have a real, living relationship with God. He came to pay for your sins and to give you a new life. His blood was poured out to make atonement for your sin, to purchase forgiveness, so that you can be cleansed from all your sin and given new hope and Everlasting Life in the Kingdom of God. He bought your salvation with His own blood. It is finished. He purchased it in full. There’s nothing more to add to it, you have only to receive it and rejoice in God! Oh, come to Christ, dear burdened, weary sinner, and you shall find rest for your soul.
A LIVING SAVIOR
Jesus Christ not only died for your sins, but He also rose from the dead on the third day. After Jesus was risen, He appeared to His Apostles and said to them:
“Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things” (Luke 24:46-48).
The Apostle Paul wrote: “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, 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” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).
There were many witnesses to His resurrection, especially the chosen Apostles that Christ ordained to be His major witnesses and preachers, to establish the Christian faith in the world and to lay the foundations of the Church. Their witness is reliable, as they had seen Him face to face and had their lives transformed by seeing Him in His resurrection glory.
So you may be wondering: what is the significance of the resurrection? Why is it so important and what does it mean to me? It means everything! The resurrection of Christ from the dead is the proof of the Christian faith. It is the proof that His sacrifice for sin was acceptable to God, that sin is paid for in full, and that all who believe the Gospel can in like manner be raised to a new hope and a new life.
Remember that, “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Yet, Christ had no sin. Therefore, when He died, death couldn’t hold Him down. He didn’t deserve to suffer the wages for sin because He was sinless, so when He did and died, death lost its power and had to give Him up. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he (Jesus) also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15). Death overstepped its bounds by laying hold of Christ and therefore was defeated by Him. By His death, the Lord defeated the Devil who held the power of death, and thus liberated the souls of all the righteous who believe in Him.
Now, because Christ rose from the dead, everyone who has died will be raised up again. Jesus said: “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:28-29). This means that both the righteous dead and the wicked dead will be raised up in their bodies to live again. Those who are saved will be raised, given their reward, and inherit Eternal Life. Those who are wicked, will rise, be judged, and be cast into the lake of fire to suffer the vengeance of eternal damnation.
And although this is a fearful thing for those who are not right with God, it is a glorious hope for those who are. For them, this is wonderful news! Christ is the victor over death and Hell and now all those who turn to Him and believe in Him share in the same victory and have Eternal Life. Jesus said: “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). Those who believe in the Lord Jesus and love Him and serve Him have His promise that they will never perish, they will never be lost, but that He will be faithful to save them.
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:37-40).
Because Jesus rose from the dead, now you can have a new chance, a fresh start, in life. You can receive an entirely new life from God and be born again. Even though you may be spiritually dead in your sins right now, you can be raised up to a new life in Christ with victory over sin and power over the works of Satan. You can be born of God and have the power of the Holy Spirit empower you to live an entirely new life in love and devotion to Jesus. He can certainly save you, since He is not a dead Savior, but a living one! He is forever alive and can save all who come to God through Him: “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN
In order to be saved, a person must be converted. Nobody can be born a Christian, and nobody is a Christian simply because their parents are Christians, or because they go to church, or anything of the manner. There must be a definite time and place in a person’s life where they can point to and show that they have changed, have been converted, and have become a different person. Jesus called this change being “born again”. He said:“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
His words are extremely clear. Unless you are born again, you won’t see the Kingdom of God. This means that without being born again, you won’t inherit Eternal Life and you won’t be saved. According to Jesus, being born again is essential to being saved.
Who did Jesus originally say this to? (You can read the whole context in your own Bible in John 3.) Jesus was speaking to a man named Nicodemus. This man was a Pharisee, which was a strict Jewish teacher. Pharisees were very religious and extremely devout. They were respected by the common people as being holy men, dedicated to God, teachers of the Law. If anybody would be saved, people would think a Pharisee would be.
These Pharisees believed in the true God, they attended synagogue (church) every week without fail, they gave their money to the poor regularly, they fasted (abstained from food) for two days every week, they prayed for at least two hours every day, they had much of the Bible memorized, they were very zealous in missionary travels making converts, and much more. Pharisees were the preachers of the times of old. They were the ones instructing others on how to get to Heaven. Yet Jesus said that all this religious devoutness wasn’t enough to get them into the Kingdom of God. All these religious works couldn’t save them. Despite his good intentions and religious morality, Nicodemus wasn’t saved –he still had to be born again.
Maybe you’re a lot like Nicodemus. You’re a moral person and you think you do a lot of good things and you think that you’re on your way to Heaven. Well, the truth is that your morality and good works can’t save you –you must be born again. Or maybe you’re not like Nicodemus at all. Maybe you have no morality of your own, and you know that you do many wicked things all the time. The truth is still clear –you must be born again. No matter who you are or where you’re at in life, unless you are born again you won’t enter the Kingdom of God.
So why do you need to be born again? You must be born again because by nature you abide in a spiritually dead state (Romans 5:12). The sin you have committed has caused you to be dead, spiritually dead, to God and to everything good. The Bible says that all men are naturally “dead in their sins” (Colossians 2:13). It is impossible for you to do anything that is pleasing to God while in a spiritually dead state. You need to receive new life from above in order to make you alive to God so that you can live to God and follow Christ and please Him. You won’t be able to serve God unless you receive the new life He gives you by His Spirit to empower you to obey His commandments.
So what happens when someone is born again? God spoke through the prophet Ezekiel and gives us an amazing picture of what happens in the new birth: “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them” (Ezekiel 36:25-27).
When someone is born again through faith in Christ, God supernaturally cleanses them from their sins. They become conscious of being inwardly cleansed from the filthiness and pollution of sin and they receive a clean conscience. They also receive a new heart from God. Their old heart was like stone, it was cold, hard, and unresponsive to God. But God gives them a new heart, a heart of flesh, a heart that is warm, soft, moldable and responsive to the things of God. And when someone is born again, they receive a new spirit, the Holy Spirit, within them. The Holy Spirit enters their hearts and dwells within them, supernaturally empowering them to love and obey the commandments of Jesus. This supernatural power dwelling within them gives them a new hope and they know that they’ve been changed not by their own strength, but by God’s power.
When you are born again, you are cleansed from your sin and given a new nature that delights in the things of God. Your heart is filled with new desires. Before, your old heart used to delight in serving self, in things which gratify your sinful nature, in doing things that God didn’t approve of. But once you’re born again, you now hate to do things that displease the Lord. Instead, you have new desires, and your heart delights in obeying His commandments, and you have an inward cry in your heart to call upon God as your Father (Galatians 4:6). You now love the things that God delights in. You now want to know the Scriptures and are hungry for God’s word (1 Peter 2:2). You now find that you need to pray regularly. You now delight and take pleasure in knowing God, in drawing close to Him, and the cry of your heart is to know Him more.
SALVATION IS BY GRACE ALONE
Salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9). Someone is saved not by anything they do, but solely by the mercy and grace of God. Christ purchased salvation in full on the cross, and rose again to provide it freely for all who receive it. Salvation is not the work of man; it is the work of God. It is entirely supernatural and divine in origin. The Bible says that before the earth was created, God the Father predestinated the salvation of His people (Ephesians 1:4-5). Then, in the fullness of time, Christ came down and purchased their salvation by His death on the cross (Galatians 4:4-5). And then during their life, the Holy Spirit comes to them personally and calls them to come to Christ, and they respond to His call by faith and are saved (Romans 8:30). And thus God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all involved in the work of saving men.
Since salvation is God’s work, there is nothing that you can do to earn it. No matter how many good works you try to do, you can never earn your own salvation. The Bible says that salvation is solely by grace through faith: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Grace means, “undeserved favor”. It is a free gift. God gives us salvation as a free gift even though we never earned it. In fact, we have earned just the opposite. We deserve to die and go to Hell and suffer eternal punishment, since we have sinned so greatly against God. Yet God is so full of love, and compassionate, that He is willing to save us on the basis of grace. He is willing to freely wipe all our sins away and to freely give us Eternal Life, not on the basis of what we deserve, but on the basis of what Christ did for us when He died on the cross and rose again.
“But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7). It is God’s kindness and love that has chosen to save us by grace, that is, not by any good works we could do to try to earn it, but by His mercy in washing us from our sin and giving us a new life through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are therefore justified, or in other words, forgiven of our sins and placed into a relationship with God, by God’s free favor through believing in Jesus Christ.
What this means for you is that you are totally, completely, utterly dependant on Christ alone to save you. Since there is nothing you can do to earn your own salvation, you are desperately dependant on God to show you mercy and give you His grace. There is nowhere else for you to turn. Nobody else can help you. Nothing else can save you. If you are to inherit the Kingdom of God, it will be by God’s grace alone. If you are to be born again, it will be by God’s power alone. You need to look to Christ alone and trust in Him to save you. If He doesn’t work on your behalf and blot out your transgressions and give you His Spirit, you will certainly perish in Hell. Dear soul, you must hope in God, and call upon Him in desperation until you know He has saved you.
Yet, you must understand that God is full of grace, and He is willing to save you. He delights in showing grace to men and in saving them. He sent Jesus to die for you because He loves you, because He is willing to save you. You can trust Him. Just thrust yourself upon His mercy, and cry out to Him to save you, trusting that as you do, He will answer. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). Either God must freely save you by His grace, or else you will be forever lost. It’s time to get desperate and seek the Lord. You must find Him. Your life depends on it.
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
We understand that salvation is a free gift from God, given to us because He loves us and delights in showing mercy. And we understand that there is nothing we can do to earn it or deserve it, we can only receive it. But the question arises: How do I receive the grace of God? What must I do to be saved? On this point the Scriptures give us hope, for they are very clear. Hear the words of Christ Himself:
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
Jesus said this when He started His public ministry, and began to announce the coming of the Kingdom of God, over which He would be reigning. He’s saying that since the Kingdom of God is at hand, men need to repent and believe the Gospel. In other words, in order to enter the Kingdom and be saved, this is what men need to do. The Apostle Paul preached the same thing, saying that the message he proclaimed was, “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). This is the only way to receive the grace of God and to receive the gift of Eternal Life.
There are two things necessary to receive salvation: (1) repentance and (2) faith in Christ. These two things are actually summed up in one action of turning to God, and no one can fully do one without doing the other, yet for the sake of clarity, let us break them down and define what each one is and what it looks like:
(1) Repentance is a turning away from sin in order to do what’s right. It is more than just confessing our sin, or telling God that we’re sorry. It includes confessing our sin, but it goes beyond that, to actually turning away from the sin that we’ve confessed. To repent means to renounce sin with all our heart, and to make a firm resolution to cease from sin and to do what is good and holy. To repent means to turn around and take the opposite course. We once were on a pathway of sin, continually committing sin and following Satan, but when we repent, we turn completely around in order to turn our back on sin and Satan and to turn toward Christ, following Him by habitually doing what is good and right. If a drunkard repents, he’s going to stop getting drunk. If a liar repents, he’s going to stop lying. If a gossiper repents, he’s going to stop gossiping. If he says that he’s serving God now, and that he’s repented, but is still continually committing the same sins that he’s always committed, then obviously his repentance is not true and it doesn’t save him. If there is genuine repentance in our life, it will be evident by what we do.
(2) Faith in Christ involves a wholehearted trust in Him alone to save you. Someone that believes the Gospel, and has genuine saving faith in Christ, believes with all their heart that Jesus died on the cross to save them, that they are saved by what He did, and they trust Him in a real, personal relationship. Faith is more than just intellectual assent. Many people say they believe in Jesus, but they don’t truly have real faith that saves them. The Bible says: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:19). Obviously, the devils aren’t saved even though they believe that the true God exists. Many people have faith like a devil –they believe in the existence of God, but they don’t follow Him or love Him or truly trust Him in their hearts, and they aren’t saved. True faith is more than just saying we believe. It involves surrendering ourselves to Christ as our Master to obey Him and to live for Him every moment of our lives. If you truly believe the Gospel, you are going to show it in your life, and you are going to live solely for the glory of Him who died for you. True faith in Christ involves surrendering to Him with all our heart, and dedicating ourselves to His service.
Dear reader, if you know that you’re not saved, then you need to get saved immediately. Turn from your sin, renounce everything you know you be sin, and truly turn to Christ with all your heart, trusting Him to save you, surrendering yourself to Him to obey Him from now on. Then continue to seek Him, following Him by faith every day, reading His word, spending time in prayer, worshiping Him, doing good deeds to others, and obeying His commandments.
If you truly repent and turn to God, it is necessary that you be baptized in water to publicly declare your faith in Christ. Jesus told His people: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16). It is necessary if you believe the Gospel to be baptized by submersion in water to say to the world, “I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and now I’m going to follow Him with the rest of my life”. Being dunked in water does not save you, but it does declare that you believe Christ has saved you, and is therefore a necessary sign of true faith. If you say you are trusting in Christ to save you, but don’t obey His command to be baptized, then there is very much reason to doubt that you truly believe.
Finding salvation for your soul is not about joining a religion or converting to a certain church or practice. It is about coming to Christ. Dead religion can’t save anybody. But Christ is a living Savior and He can save all who come to Him in faith. If you want to be saved, simply cast yourself upon Christ. Surrender your life to Him. Give Him your whole heart. And dedicate yourself completely to understanding Him and knowing Him. Salvation is not about joining a religion; it’s about knowing a Person. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).
THE HOLY SPIRIT BEARS WITNESS
God does not leave us having to guess whether we’re saved or not. Where we’re going to spend eternity is a huge deal, and determining where we’re going to go, whether Heaven or Hell, is the most serious decision that we will ever make in our life. As such, God doesn’t leave our eternal destiny to us as mere guesswork. The Bible says that we can know that we’re saved: “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
The reason the Bible was given to us was so we could read the testimony that God gave us of His Son and believe in Him, and as a result of believing, that we would not just guess, but know that we have Eternal Life. We can be assured that we’re on our way to Heaven. We can know that we’re going to inherit the Kingdom of God.
This is possible because when we repent and turn to Christ, the Lord gives us His Holy Spirit as a seal of our salvation: “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14). This means that when we hear the Gospel, and believe it and are saved, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit becomes the proof that we’re on our way to inheriting the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit gives us the evidence here and now that God is true to His Word in saving us and that we are going to receive the full reward of Eternal Life in the end.
The Holy Spirit is not just an impersonal force or power. He is a real Person. He is God. And as God, He comes to live within us when we believe in Christ and are saved. Jesus said to His disciples before He left the world to go to the Father: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16-17). The Holy Spirit comes to make God real to us, so that we can know Him, fellowship with Him, walk with Him, and have a real relationship with Him. The Holy Spirit abides with us when we are saved and makes the fact of our salvation more real to us than anything in the world.
We are assured of our salvation and we know that we are saved when the Holy Spirit comes to abide in us. This is because He does many real, extraordinary things:
He testifies within us and gives us an inward assurance that we are now God’s children: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16).
He becomes our personal Teacher and teaches us everything Christ commanded: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).
He reveals Christ to us and enables us to know Christ: “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me” (John 15:26).
He fills our hearts with the love of God: “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5).
He gives us overflowing peace, joy and hope in our hearts: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13).
The Holy Spirit does many more glorious things when we know Him personally. When the Holy Spirit is living within you, you know that your life has been changed. You will be convinced that your soul has been saved, and Christ will be real to you. You will know that you are saved. You will no longer have to guess. Your heart will be filled with God’s love and you will be crying out to God as your Heavenly Father, and you will know the Living God personally.
DIFFICULTIES AND OBJECTIONS ANSWERED
When people are seeking God, there are frequently many obstacles that arise in their way which they must overcome if they are to be saved. It is not uncommon for them to think many thoughts which seem to hinder them from receiving salvation through faith in Christ, their own hearts which are so naturally prone to unbelief cause evil thoughts to rise up and bring doubt, and the enemy of their soul, the Devil, is hard at work to discourage them from finding salvation. Let’s address a few of the most common and prevalent difficulties and objections that find themselves in the way of those seeking to be saved:
1. “My sins are too many, too grievous, and too great for me to be forgiven”. This is really casting doubt on the sufficiency of the blood of Christ to cleanse us from all sin. The Bible promises: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). If you are saying that your sins are too many and too great for you to be forgiven, then you are saying that your sin is greater than the blood of Jesus which was shed to cleanse you from those sins. But certainly you don’t mean that! Surely you would admit that the blood of Jesus is more powerful than all the sins you’ve ever committed put together! In fact, you are a great step toward finding salvation in Christ, because the Bible says that understanding how great our sins are is a the first step toward accepting God’s forgiveness. Christ didn’t come for the righteous; He came to save sinners: “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Romans 5:6-9). God loves us while we are still sinners, and it was while He knew we were sinners that Christ died for us. While the Lord Jesus was on earth, He frequently had in His company the most wicked, vile sinners imaginable, and He was even accused of being the “friend of sinners” (Luke 7:34). Thank God, He is still the friend of sinners today, willing to save any and all who come to Him!
2. “I’m in bondage to sin and I could never change”. This is frequently used as an excuse by those who simply don’t want to change because they love their sin. They plead that they can’t stop sinning. Yet, the Lord will have no such excuses. He said: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire” (Matthew 18:8-9). If you are still walking around with an eye or a hand or a foot, and you still say that you can’t stop sinning, then you’re excuse is going to be found to be rubbish on Judgment Day. You weren’t desperate enough. You didn’t “hunger and thirst for righteousness” and so you weren’t “filled” (Matthew 5:6). Moreover, the Gospel promises that if you believe in Christ and serve Him, that He will set you free from sin and give you power to habitually overcome it and live a holy life: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house forever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:34-36). There are many other such promises in the New Testament, promising us victory over sin if we will serve Christ.
3. “I cannot believe with enough faith to be saved”. This is a poor excuse, for it makes God out to be a liar.“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son” (1 John 5:10). You are saying that you don’t believe the testimony that God has given of His Son, and that God’s word is not good enough to warrant your wholehearted trust and faith. This is called the sin of unbelief, and it would be wise for you to cease from further sinning against God by doubting Him and to simply accept His Word as it is. The simple remedy for this kind of unbelief is to read the Holy Scriptures and ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to the truth of the Word and make it real to you. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). It is true that faith is the gift of God, and you cannot believe and be saved unless God opens your spiritual eyes and gives you the faith with which to lay hold of Christ. Yet, at the same time, God uses means to accomplish an end, and the means He has ordained through which to bestow upon you the gift of saving faith is the reading and study of His Word. Therefore, make a careful study of the Word, and read the New Testament persistently until you find faith rising in your soul. And in the meantime, obey everything you know to be right, obey all the commands of the Gospel that you know, and live up to the light that you’ve received. Frequently, people use the excuse that they don’t have enough faith because they are simply unwilling to fully commit themselves to Christ and to obey the Gospel. Don’t use such an excuse. Instead, know that as you commit yourself to follow Christ, and you are obeying Him and reading His Word and walking with Him and praying, that He will increase your faith as you honor Him in your life.
4. “I do not know which religion is the right one”. This sounds a lot like the objection that the Apostle Thomas had. When the Lord Jesus said He was about to ascend into Heaven, Thomas said: “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:5-6). The Lord’s answer is the same to all today who would say that they don’t know the way to Heaven. Which religion is the right one? Jesus says that He is the way, He is the truth, and He is the life. The truth is not in a religion; the truth is a Person. The way to Heaven is not found in following a religion; it is received through knowing a Person. Jesus is the only One who died to pay the penalty for your sins, and rose again for your justification. Follow Him. He didn’t come to start a new religion; He came to make the way for us to know God. The Devil has many counterfeits in the world so don’t fall for them. You can never go wrong by following Christ. That’s what Peter did. When he was fishing, and Jesus walked by, and said, “Follow Me”. Immediately Peter dropped everything he was doing, dropped his net, and followed Jesus (Matthew 4:18-20). You would do well to do the same. Drop what you’re doing, drop everything, and right now, make the resolution to follow Him. He is the only way to God. And He is just as alive now as He was when Peter followed Him. Christianity is not about a religion; it’s about following Jesus.
There are many other such objections and difficulties in people’s minds that hinder them from truly finding salvation. You will no doubt face them as you seek God. But don’t give up! Keep seeking and keep crying out to God to save you. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).
PARDON FROM SIN AND PEACE WITH GOD
Your sins, though they be great and many, can be freely forgiven, wiped out, and you can be made clean in God’s sight. Though you have stored up a great debt against God in sinning, and that list of your sins is long and dreadful, the Savior took that debt away and nailed it to the cross once for all: “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (Colossians 2:13-14).
You can now stand boldly before God in the Judgment knowing that your sin is forever pardoned. The love of God shown toward you can give you a holy boldness wherein you know that you are going to stand at the Judgment clothed with the righteousness of Christ: “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he (Jesus) is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). Just as Jesus is, that is, righteous and holy, so are we when we receive Him and He gives us His grace to make us right with God. When you are right with God, then He looks down from Heaven, and He no longer sees a wicked, filthy, miserable sinner that deserves to be punished in wrath. Instead, He sees you as He sees His Son, as just and holy, as one who He loves in a perfect relationship with Himself. The merit and standing of Christ is freely accredited to your account, and is given to you, so that you no longer stand before God as a sinner, but rather, are covered by Christ’s blood and accounted as a saint.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). You can have peace with God now. Prior to this, you have not been at peace with your Maker. You have been at enmity with Him, and it was nothing but His pure mercy that prevented Him from killing you in your sin and sending you to Hell forever. But now that Christ has died for you, and risen again, you have a new chance, a new hope. You can receive peace with God. Your sins can be forgiven if you will only believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart, and you can receive the righteousness of Christ that will forever cover your shame and nakedness before God.
Don’t make it a complicated thing to find salvation for your soul. It’s not difficult; it is exceedingly easy to be saved. It was difficult for Christ to purchase it, no doubt, through His brutal, agonizing death. But for you, it is easy, for all you have to do is humble yourself, repent, and believe in Christ. The Scripture says: “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Romans 10:8-11).You don’t have to perform some great, grand work in order to be saved. You don’t have to scale the heights of Heaven and you don’t have to dig to the depths of the heart of the earth. It’s near you. Right now, it is as near as the air you are breathing. You can be saved right now. You simply have to believe with all your heart in the Gospel, and confess Christ with your mouth as your personal Savior and Master, and receive freely the wonderful salvation that He graciously offers.
Your sins are no obstacle to receiving the grace of God. The Savior conquered them all. He stands willing and able to set you free from their bondage, burden and heaviness. Though your sins have weighed heavy upon you for a long time, and they have burdened your guilty conscience with such a weight that at times it has seemed almost unbearable, the Savior invites you to come to Him to find peace with God: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Behold, He stands ready to accept you with open arms, if you will only come to Him. The only question that remains is this: WILL YOU COME?
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).
Come to Jesus now. Don’t tarry. The time is short. He’s coming back soon. The invitation has been given, and He is now standing with an offer of mercy and pardon. But soon, His mercy will be expired, and the day will be too late, for the day will soon come when He parts the sky and steps out on the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that don’t know God (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). Then it will be too late. But now it’s not too late. Now is the time to seek God. Now is the time to receive His forgiveness. Now is the time to accept His love and obey the terms of the Gospel, the glorious Good News that offers eternal riches to all who receive it. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).–