Be Very, Very Careful (About Your and Other’s Salvation)
Luke 13:23-27 Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.'”
The Jesus of the kind of salvation that is being preached today (in far too many pulpits) is a Jesus who saves almost everyone, with very little requirement on the part of the “believer.”
These are very, very serious matters. In fact, Jesus states clearly that some will think they are saved, when in fact, they are not. Jesus will not know them, and will make them depart from His Presence.
How is a person saved, then? The Biblical answer is by God’s grace, through faith (Ephesians 2:8,9). The person who wholly trusts in the completed work of Jesus Christ through His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead is saved … born again (John 3:1-16).
We are not saved by good works, or even good intentions. We are saved by God Himself, as an act of His good will toward us through the gospel. We can take absolutely no credit for having been saved; it’s all of God’s doing.
We must not forget this, either: the first word of the gospel … preached by John the Baptist and by Jesus Himself, is “repent.” Turn around, take a 180 degree different direction, turn to God, turn away from your life of sin. When a person decides to repent, God will grant him/her the grace to follow through when they completely trust Jesus and what He did for us all.
Matthew 3:1-2 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Let’s not be careless about salvation, especially our own. Remember, it was to a church that Paul the apostle wrote these words: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?; unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5).