I’m glad you have come to read this answer. God wants you to become a Christian. He wants you to be saved from the consequences of your sins, no matter who you are, or what you have done.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
If you want to know God personally, if you want God’s forgiveness of your sins, if you want God to give you His gift of eternal life, He’s willing to save you no matter how many sins you have committed, no matter what you have done, no matter how long you have done it.
God’s way of salvation is called the Gospel – or the good news. There are some things in the Gospel you must know about and believe.
1. You must believe Jesus is God the Son. Jesus said:
“For unless you believe that I am He [God], you shall die in your sins” (John 8:24).
The Apostle Paul said about Jesus:
“Who, being in very nature God [Greek word is huparchon, which indicates before Jesus came to earth and after His birth, He was always and continuously existing in the form of God], did not consider equality with God something to be grasped” (Philippians 2:6).
“He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
“Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was, I am [God]” (John 8:58).
Here, Jesus was referring back to Exodus 3:10-15 where Moses was standing before God at the burning bush. Moses asked God for His name, “And God said to Moses, ‘I Am who I Am’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I Am has sent me to you.... This is my name forever and this is my memorial name to all generations.’” In John 8:58 Jesus was claiming to be the “I Am,” the very God who brought Moses and Israel out of Egypt.
In Matthew 25, Jesus claimed that He alone will come back at the end of the world and be the Judge of ALL men:
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him; He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”
For a man to be excluded from Heaven on the last day, all that will be needed is for Jesus to say, “I never knew you.”
“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:23).
In John 10:30-33, Jesus said,
“I and the Father are One [In Greek, “one” is neuter–not one person, or one in thinking, but one in essence or nature].’ The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered, ‘I showed you many good works from the Father, for which of these are you stoning me?’ The Jews answered Him, ‘For a good work we do not stone you, but for blasphemy; and because you, being a man, make yourself out to be God.”
John 1:1-3; 14 says:
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.... And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
“No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only [Jesus], who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.”
“Again, the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, ‘Are you the Christ [the Messiah], the Son of the Blessed One [the Son of God]?’ And Jesus said, ‘I Am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.’”
“The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many.”
“And Jesus...said to the paralytic, ‘My son, your sins are forgiven.’... But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’ He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, “Rise, take up your pallet and go home.”’”
That’s why the Apostle Paul could say, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
On Immediate observation anyone casual reader of scripture could see that he has excluded ONE vital element of initial salvation, REPENTANCE! "Unless you repent you will all likewise parish!" Lk 13:3, "Bring forth fruit worthy of your repentance!" Lk3:8. The FIRST thing Jesus preached is repentance for the remission of sins, Mk1:15, Matt4:17. In the Book of Acts at the inauguration of the Gospel message to the world at large, it began with the message of REPENTANCE, Acts 2:37-39. Turn from sin to Christ, bare FRUIT WORTHY of such repentance! In other words, SHOW by your conduct that you have 'received' and 'put-on' Christ, for 'Faith without works is dead!' James 2:17. The 'Devils believe!" James2:19. Real faith WORKS by love, Purifies the heart and has Victory over the world! Gal 5:4, 1Pet1:22, 1Jh5:4. These 'wolves' will never tell you this, they imply that a single moment of faith or acknowledgement of Christ will save your soul for eternity, but nothing could be further removed from the truth. Many have performed the 'repeat after me' formula and remain in their sins. They are told that 'sinning' everyday is normal Christian behavior and everyone does it, although they are given NO Bible passage to back up this assumption. But millions 'believe' themselves 'saved' because they have 'received' Christ, that what makes men like Ankerberg so dangerous! He has effectively 'closed' the doors of heaven on millions of souls and given them a 'half-truth' that will destroy their souls for eternity. (For a full explanation of Gospel repentance click here and read....)
2. We must understand and be willing to admit that sin has separated us from God and keeps us from knowing and experiencing Him.
Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 3:10: “As it is written, there is no one righteous, not even one.”
Isaiah 53:6: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.”
Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death” [spiritual separation from God now and eternally].
The Bible says no matter who we are, none of us have measured up to God’s standard, none of us will make it–that is, be accepted by God and allowed into Heaven on the basis of our good lives.
Here is how far we have failed to measure up to what God requires. Picture three people coming to the Grand Canyon being chased by an enraged mountain lion. One person says, “We’ll have to jump. We have no choice.” The problem is, the other side is a mile away. The first person runs as fast as he can and jumps 10 feet and falls all the way to the bottom and dies. The second person tries even harder and jumps 15 feet, but still is a long way from reaching the other side of the canyon. He, too, falls and dies. The third person is an Olympic broad jumper. He runs and jumps farther than all the rest, but still doesn’t come close to reaching the other side. Of the three people, even though two were better than the first, none came close to actually making it. The Bible says all of us “have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
These wolves are masters of illustration, but remember that illustration is NOT Scripture! We have one SOLID Foundation to stand upon and that is the Word of God, not 'partly' quoted or broken from context, but stated as written, the WHOLE Counsel of God, given as His testament to man whereby we must be saved! Yes the Bible says that 'all have sinned' as stated in Rom 3:23, but he showing you this to 'set' you up for the kill. Read on, but beware, he's about to introduce one of devil's most 'twisted' doctrines ever conjured up, guaranteed to 'deceive' and cruse your soul to hell!
3. How good do I have to be to get into Heaven?
“I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20).
The Jewish people knew that the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law tried to keep over 500 laws in trying to please God. The lay people believed they would never be able to keep all of those laws. In actuality, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law didn’t either. But Jesus told everyone that “unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
A few verses later, Jesus went further and said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). In other words, if you’re not as perfect as God, do not even think that you’ll be admitted into Heaven. (If you wonder if you have lived perfectly, ask your husband, wife, or family members!) Do you think you have lived a perfect life? None of us have.
Here again, he's setting you up. Explaining that God requires 'perfection' under the law, but what he's leaving out will automatically sear your conscience with a hot iron and destroy your soul forever. Yes, the Bible states what is shown in Matt5:20 and Matt5:48, but reading the ENTIRE Context of this sermon by Christ Himself (which takes up Matt Ch 5-7) we find that it addresses those who would be His followers or disciples. "Blessed is the man who hungers and thirst for righteousness!" Christ states in Matt 5:6, is this aimed at the 'religious' hypocrites of His Day or those gathered to hear about entering the Kingdom of God? The Bible teaches many things about faith upholding and establishing the law, (Rom 3:31) Faith DOES NOT supersede the law, as they imply, nor does it exempt you from holy conduct and behavior. But under the devil's 'lawless' gospel, the law is abolished and conduct is of no consequence.
4. When you die, the Bible says you will be judged by God.
“It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh the judgment [not reincarnation or extinction]” (Hebrews 9:27).
When you stand before God, what will He be looking for?
“For not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the Law shall be justified” (Romans 2:13).
Maybe you are a person who has gone to church all your life and heard the Bible read and preached. But notice, the Bible doesn’t say those who have heard the Law will be just before God; but rather, those who have obeyed it. Have you always obeyed God’s laws?
You better believe that it's the DOERS that are justified before God! Nothing could be more clearly stated in Scripture, from start to finish. (James1:22, Lk11:28, Lk9:62, Matt7:24-27, to name just a few) The Word of God MUST be put into practice or you have 'believed in vain!' (2Cor6:1) If Abraham had merely heard the Word of God but never OBEYED what he had heard, he would have been disqualified from the promise. But as Rom 4:19-22 clearly states, he put his faith into practice, never wavered and remain steadfast to the end and THEN it was imputed to him as righteousness! Your faith will not be imputed to you as righteousness by merely repeating words and continuing in your sins. Only OBEDIENCE to the Word will Prove that you have faith.
5. If we’re going to be judged according to how we have obeyed God’s Law, how are you doing?
When God gave the Ten Commandments, He said, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3). You may say, “I’m not an idolater!” But whatever you put before God, becomes your God. You may have put fame, sports, drugs, money, prestige, or your job before God. If so, you have broken this Law.
God said, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). You say, “I haven’t done that.” But Jesus said, if you hate someone in your heart, you’ve broken that Law. When was the last time you told someone, “I hate you!”
God said, “You shall not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16). Everything we say is either true or false–there is no such thing as a “white” lie. Have you lied today? How many lies have you told in the last week, the last month, over your lifetime?
God said, “You shall not covet” (Exodus 20:17). Coveting is an intense desire to have what someone else has just because they have it and you don’t. Does it bother you when someone else receives a promotion, praise, a better grade, a nicer house, a better car? Then you have broken this law.
Or how about this: “Jesus said, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.’” Have you broken this commandment? None of us have loved God with all of our heart, soul, and mind every moment that we have lived. If so, then according to Jesus, you’ve broken the greatest commandment of them all.
That’s why the Apostle Paul concluded:
“Therefore, no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the Law” (Romans 3:20).
And the Greatest of these Commandments are summed up, as Jesus said in Mk 12:29-31, Lk10:27, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and will all your mind and with all your strength. That is the FIRST and Greatest Commandment.' This has NOT be magically abolished by 'faith', as the devil and these men would have you believe. But in order to set you up for the 'perfect' deception, they will imply that God has somehow overruled His own law, cut you some slack and allowed you to sin your way into His Kingdom.
6. Wrong ways of thinking: “Okay, I have committed a lot of sins, but here is how I will make it up to God.”
Ray Pritchard, in his book, An Anchor for the Soul, tells a humorous story which depicts our situation before God.
Picture a rich, well-dressed man coming up to Saint Peter at the entrance gate to Heaven. He rings the bell and Peter says, “Yes. Can I help you?”
The man says, “I would like entrance into Heaven.”
Peter said, “Excellent, we always want more people in Heaven. All you need to enter is to earn 1,000 points.”
The man says, “That shouldn’t be any problem. I’ve been a good person all my life. I’ve been involved in civic things; always given money to charitable causes, and for 25 years I was chairman of the YMCA.”
Peter writes it all down and says, “That’s a marvelous record. Let me see, that will be one point.”
With a look of fear on his face, the man says, “Wait a minute! There’s more. I was married to my wife for 45 years and I was always faithful. We had five children–three boys and two girls. I always loved them and I made sure they got a good education. I took care of them and they all turned out all right. I was a very good family man.”
Saint Peter says, “I am very impressed with your life. We don’t get many people like you up here. That will be another point.”
The man is really sweating now and starts to shake with fear. He says, “Peter, you don’t seem to understand. I was a member in my church. I went every Sunday. Further, I gave money every time they passed the plate. I was a deacon, sang in the choir, and I even taught Sunday School class.”
Saint Peter said, “Your record is certainly admirable. That’ll be another point. Now let me add this up: That’s one, two, three points. I believe we only need 997 more.”
Astonished and trembling, the man falls to his knees and in desperation says, “But for the grace of God, nobody could get in there!!”
Peter looks at him, smiles and says, “Congratulations! The grace of God is worth 1,000 points.”
A lot of people think that the way they are going to have their sins forgiven and get into Heaven is to believe in Jesus and do something! They think by believing in Jesus and being baptized, or becoming a church member, or doing good deeds, or by the taking of the sacraments that their belief in Jesus plus their good works will get them into Heaven. The Bible utterly condemns such thinking:
“It is not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy Christ saved us” (Titus 3:5).
“By the works of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight” (Romans 3:20).
Here's another nice little story to tickle your ears and sooth your conscience. But NO Scripture to back it up! This type of presentation takes the edge off Gospel preaching, that's why they use it. Since they deny repentance, godly sorrow and conviction of sin, they must replace with a 'feel good' substitute that will not gender any undo stress in the congregation. In the Bible people were cut to heart, wept and were struck to the ground in conviction of sin. Read Acts 2:40-47 to see the effects of the Real Gospel preached by faithful men of God instead of exploiters peddling the Word for profit. People were warned to flee the Wrath of God, forsake their sin and follow Jesus at all cost. The wolves would have you believe that you can 'receive Christ' and go and ignore God's law as though it does not exist!
7. 7. If we have not lived a perfect life, if we have broken many of the Ten Commandments, then how will we ever be accepted before God? On what basis will He allow us into Heaven?
What if we could stand before God and use the record of Jesus’ life as the record of how we lived? Jesus lived a perfect life. He never sinned once. He said He always obeyed the will of His Father. Certainly, if we could stand before God and use Jesus’ track record, God would accept us. As unbelievable as it sounds, God has provided Jesus’ righteous life as a gift to be legally credited to us, and has also paid the total penalty for our sins. The Apostle Paul says:
“But now a righteousness from God [a righteousness we need and don’t have] apart from law [apart from our keeping the Law], has been made known,...this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:21,22).
Did you get that? How can you or I become as perfect as God in order to get into Heaven? The good news is that God Himself made the way.
He did so by doing two things. He provided a Substitute to pay the penalty for all of our sins, and in addition, provides the righteousness we need as a gift, the moment we believe in Christ.
The Substitute God provided to pay for our sins was Jesus.
“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18).
Jesus was the “righteous” One. When He died, He paid for the sins of the unrighteous–that’s you and me–to bring us to God. Every lustful thought, every harsh word, every greedy deed, all of your sins and mine were picked up and legally put to Christ’s account. Then He was punished in full for what we had done.
“God made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Notice, there is a transfer, a crediting of our sins to Christ legally. Jesus knew no sin–that is, He never committed any sin of His own. Also, He died so that we might be credited the righteousness of God “in Him.” Here, Paul says, God made it possible that Jesus’ perfect track record of His life might be credited to us, even though we are sinners.
“For he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, and each of us has turned to his own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5,6)
Here it is, the devil's chief doctrine, The "Substitute!", as though God no longer sees you, but Christ. Your sin no longer matters, even though you wallow in them. Christ paid the price, took your place and wiped out your debt. The only thing wrong with this 'feel good' doctrine is it's 100% FALSE!! God provided an 'atoning sacrifice' for sin, Rom 3:25, 5:11-12, 1John2:2, NOT a 'Substitute'. The Word, translated, 'Propitiation' or 'Reconciliation', in most Bibles, CANNOT be interpreted as 'substitute' (not even in the English dictionary) In the Parable of the unforgiving servant, Matt18:23-35, Christ teaches the concept of forgiveness in His Kingdom. The servant who owed a debt he could never repay, fell down and begged for mercy. The Master, (God) had mercy on him and forgave his debt, HE DID NOT PAY OFF the dept for him! When the servant failed to show the same mercy to his fellow man, who owed much less, he automatically forfeited the Great Gift he had received from the Master and was forced to 'pay off' his huge dept as before. The reason the wolves write off all the parables as 'not teaching doctrine' (or some other excuse) is because they CLEARLY teach that a person is obligated before God to CONTINUE in the Faith and Produce Fruit Worthy of the Kingdom!
8. Question: On what basis will God credit Christ’s righteousness to sinners?
Answer: The perfect righteousness provided by God Himself will be given to you the moment you place your faith in Christ.
“But to the one who does not work but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned [credited, counted] as righteousness” (Romans 4:5).
Notice, God justifies ungodly or wicked people who place their faith in Christ.
“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, there is no difference,...” (Romans 3:22).
Again, Righteousness is indeed 'imputed' BUT ONLY to those who, like Abraham, Persevere and remain Steadfast in the faith! Rom 4:19-21, 11:22-23. Quoting a few passages OUT of their context can lead people to 'think' that by merely 'believing' they are pronounced righteous in Christ, but I remind you that the 'devils believe' Js2:19. MANY of you have the 'devil's faith' and remain entrenched in sin by listening to these wolves. The Righteousness spoken of in Rom 3:21-26, as eluded to, upholds and establishes the law, Rom3:31, Because it promotes OBEDIENCE from the heart! Rom 6:16-17, You are a slave to whom you obey, whether it is sin leading to death, or OBEDIENCE leading to Righteousness!
9. Question: This sounds too good to be true. Do you mean to say that I don’t have to do anything? I just have to put my trust in Christ and believe that He will save me, forgive me, and give me eternal life?
Answer: Yes. According to Ephesians 2:8,9:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, that no one should boast.”
Grace is God’s unmerited favor given to sinners who don’t deserve it.
That's because it's NOT True! The 'Do Nothing' Gospel will guarantee you a quick trip into hell at the Judgment. Grace is NOT 'unmerited favor' (this is a deceptive translation) The BEST definition of Grace is provided by the Scripture itself in Titus 2:11-14, 'For the Grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and live godly, upright and self-controlled lives in the present age.' Nothing in Scripture implies that God has somehow cut us some slack under Grace and no longer requires our obedience. If you continue in your sins after you have supposedly 'received' Christ, you forfeit the Gift. The wages of sin is still 'death' Rom 6:23 and Grace is NOT License.
10. Question: Why would God provide such a gift for me?
Answer: The Bible says that even before you were born, God loved you and desired to have a personal relationship with you. Therefore, He went ahead and made it possible for you to know Him.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
“For the wages of sin is death [spiritual separation from God] but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
“For He [God] chose us in Him before the creation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4).
God wants to give you His gift of salvation. You can’t earn that gift, you can only accept it or reject it.
For example, if a girl has a boyfriend and he comes to her door with a box of candy, what if he said, “I’d like to give you this box of candy as a gift if you’ll go out and wash my car.” We all know that if the girl washed his car, then the candy wouldn’t be a gift–she would have earned it. A gift is something someone gives without you doing anything. God says He is giving away the gift of eternal life to those who will receive His gift–what Christ has already done for you.
Again, this is misleading in the sense that it implies that you do 'nothing' but acknowledge the gift, thus you have the 'devil's faith' and remain in your sins. But WHY would God say in one place that 'nothing' is required and in MANY other places that you MUST 'Work out' your salvation and 'Make your calling and election sure' ? Phil 2:12, 2Pet1:10. And this theme follows throughout Scripture. You are constantly told to 'Count the Cost', 'Take up your Cross', 'Put your hand to the plow', 'Forsake all that you have', 'Run with endurance', 'Lay hold on eternal life', 'Fight the good fight of faith', 'Be dressed and ready', and so on. The Question is 'WHO' are you going to believe? The wolves (known by their fruits) or the Word of God. It just doesn't make since that God would send Christ to die that horrible death on the Cross just to overlook our sin and take us to heaven in spite of our rebellion to His Law. Rather He would create a system by which the heart of man could be transformed by His awesome power and return him to full obedience and Steadfast endurance by faith while his freedom of choice remained intact.
11. God has provided only one way of salvation, not many ways.
There is only one way to receive the forgiveness of your sins and the gift of eternal life.
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 ).
“For Christ died for your sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18).
“Now brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you, otherwise you have believed in vain. What I received I passed on to you as of first importance, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures,...whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believe” (1 Corinthians 15:1-3).
“As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let him be condemned to hell!” (Galatians 1:9).
Simple enough statement. John 14:6 says it all, ONE Way through Christ, not many. But notice he quotes from 1Cor15:1-3 where the Scripture Clearly shows the CONDITION by which a person is saved....'By this Gospel you are saved IF you hold firmly to the Word I preached!' .... Many such statements exist in scripture showing that God will withdraw His gift IF you fail to Continue in His goodness and 'add to your faith', Rom11:23, 2Pet1:3-11. God could not possibly allow you to sin against Him with impunity and still enter the Kingdom when you die. That would violate everything the Scripture teaches about Holy and Steadfast obedience. Remember, the Evidence of genuine faith in Christ is an upright and godly life, without which no one will enter heaven. The Path is set before you, He provides the Power, but it's YOU who must take the walk.
12. Question: How can I receive Christ into my life?
Answer: We receive Christ into our life by personal invitation.
[Jesus is speaking]: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:10).
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
Notice, the Bible says Jesus is knocking on your heart’s door. He is powerful enough to beat it down–but He doesn’t. He won’t force His way into your life. If you want Him, you must open your life to Him. You can open your life by praying [calling] to Him and telling Him you are receiving Him and what He did for you by faith.
Again, no repentance or godly sorrow for sin. These men are so flippant about the sin question, they refuse to mention anything about it. What they preach is a capsulated version of the Gospel, as though everything that Jesus taught can be summarized in a single passage of scripture, like John3:16, for example. But faithful ministers of the Gospel have always preached the WHOLE Counsel of God, (Acts 20:26-32) and warned the people that false teachers would rise up among them, not sparing the flock, drawing about disciples after themselves. These men are known by their fruits and while they promise you liberty in Christ, they remain slaves to their own corruption and will bring you into bondage with them.
13. We must believe in Christ.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40).
“Then Jesus said, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent’” (John 6:29).
“Therefore, being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
We must 'trust in, cling to and rely on' Christ for eternal life, this is a much better translation of the Greek Word for Believe. It incorporates everything that Jesus taught about obeying His Word and being His disciple. These men what you to 'think' that by merely saying that you 'believe' it's a done deal for eternity and God can't take it back no matter what you do. It's good for business, but BAD for heaven! Since the road to hell is paved with good intentions, you need to take heed of the Real Gospel message and flee to Christ.
14. Question: Do I need a lot of faith to receive Christ? What if I don’t feel that I have enough faith?
Answer: Realize that in one sense, it is not the amount of faith that saves you–it is in whom you put your faith. The question you should ask: “Is the Savior strong enough and dependable enough to save me when I ask? “
Picture a two-story building that’s on fire. You happen to be on the top floor. The fire is coming up from the bottom and there is no escape. You run to the roof and see a fire truck pull up to the front. Five big firemen get out and unfold a great big net. They look up at you and say, “Jump!”
Your first thought is, “You’ve got to be kidding! I’m two stories up. I can’t jump.”
But the firemen say, “Don’t you have faith? We’ll catch you.”
Now, you don’t have a lot of faith, but with fear and trembling, you jump off the roof. As a result, the firemen catch you. It’s not your faith that saved you, it was the firemen. But they couldn’t save you until you jumped.
Now, let’s change the story a little bit. Picture another person on the roof with the fire coming toward them. This man sees the firemen. And unlike you, he has a lot of faith. He confidently jumps off the roof, only to discover halfway down that the firemen have no net; they are just standing around holding hands. How much will the man’s faith save him then? You better have real firemen holding a real net, or your faith won’t save you.
In salvation, it’s not how much faith you have or how sincere you are; rather, everything depends on the object of your faith. Have you placed your faith in a real Savior? It’s not your faith that saves you, it’s Jesus who saves you. You just need to step off and place yourself in His hands.
The more deeply we believe that Christ did all that is necessary in providing our salvation, the greater our assurance will be when we place our trust in Him. We might begin with a small faith (Christ said that faith the size of a mustard seed is all that is required), but know that in time our faith will grow. But whether our faith is little or much, it must be directed to Christ alone, for God accepts only those who accept His Son.
Another lame illustration, problem is, it's NO WHERE in the Bible! Scripture defines what is saving faith and equates with Obedience. It's the 'substance and evidence' of real salvation in Christ, Read Hebrews Chapter 11, every person of faith spoken of in this passage OBEYED God out of heart submitted to His will, forsaking their sins and walking worthy of their calling. As James points out about Abraham, he PROVED his faith by his works, Js2:22-23, Remember, Faith WORKS by Love. Real faith is a working principle motivated and activated by love and comes to fruition through repentance. That's why Jesus said, 'STRIVE to enter by the Narrow Gate!' Lk13:24, 'For MANY will seek to enter and NOT be able.' Why won't they be able, because of wolves like Ankerberg and a million others preaching the devil's message far and wide.
15. What is saving faith?
“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).
“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40).
R. T. Kendall describe what saving faith is:
“We are saved because we are persuaded that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the God-Man, and that He paid our debt by His shed blood on the cross.... If we are not persuaded that Christ has paid our debt, there can be no assurance of saving faith, hence no assurance of salvation.”
Wolf quotes wolf. Both exploiters, peddling a user friendly, watered down version of the Gospel invented by Satan. Faith is NOT repeating words or acknowledging the facts of the Gospel. It's a living breathing principle that cleanses the soul of sin and transforms the heart, stamping the very image and likeness of Jesus Christ within. That's the mystery these wolves will NEVER understand.
16. What is not saving faith?
Believing on Jesus is not just accepting facts about Him: that He is God, that He loves you, that He died on the cross and paid for your sins, and is willing to forgive you. True belief is when you transfer all of your trust to Jesus to save you personally. Knowledge about the facts of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection for us is not enough. I can believe two plus two equals four and have no personal commitment or dependence on anyone in believing those facts.
Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, came to Jesus by night (described in John chapter 3). He believed Jesus was a teacher come from God–but this was not enough for Nicodemus to have saving faith. He still had to put his trust in Christ for salvation. He had to believe in Him.
In Acts 26, the Apostle Paul was on trial before King Agrippa. King Agrippa also apparently believed many facts about Jesus’ life, but he was still not saved. Paul said, “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe” (Acts 26:27). Yet Agrippa did not have saving faith, for later he said to Paul, “In a short time you think to make me a Christian” (Acts 26:28).
Belief in the biblical sense encompasses trust. Trust in Christ is not just belief in facts about Christ, but personally entrusting oneself to Christ.
For example, I’ve spoken at conferences at Niagara Falls many times. I’ve learned that in the past, a famous tightrope walker strung a wire across Niagara Falls from the Canadian to the American side. In front of a stunned audience, he got up on the wire and walked across the Falls. He then put a wheelbarrow on the wire, filled it with about 225 pounds of sandbags and took the wheelbarrow across the Falls. When he came back, he said to the many bystanders, “How many of you think that I could take a person, put them in the wheelbarrow and safely take them across the Falls and back?”
Everybody in the crowd said, “Yes! We believe you can do that.”
But then he said, “All right, who will be the first to get in?”
You see, it’s one thing to say you believe, it’s another thing to entrust yourself personally to Christ. Saving faith takes place when you are willing to put yourself in Christ’s hands and totally trust Him with your sins and your eternal destiny.
A vain attempt at explanation to delude you further, as though these wolves understand saving faith. But Don't be fooled! Faith goes far beyond 'trust' It's NO wheelbarrow ride across a water fall! Faith is manifest in transformation of character, all things become new....the scripture says, 2Cor5:17, not gradually, or when you 'feel' like it. No one is saved in degrees, the scriptures deny such assertion. The New man in Christ puts on Christ, walks worthy of the Gospel and is renewed in the spirit of his mind in righteousness and TRUE holiness! Eph 4:22-24. By this faith, he will ADD more faith, 2Pet1:3-11, and be even more diligent to make his calling and election sure so he doesn't stumble and fall away from Christ. The devil's gospel will leave you in bondage to your sins, Christ will set you FREE INDEED from that sin.
17. You can receive Christ now by faith through prayer (prayer is talking with God).
God knows our heart and is not so concerned with our words as He is with the attitude of our heart. The following is just a suggested prayer. You can pray your own prayer. It’s not the prayer, putting up your hand, or walking an aisle in a church that saves you. It is the attitude of your heart and of trusting in Christ that saves you.
“Dear Lord Jesus, I admit to you that I have sinned. I know that I cannot save myself. Thank you for dying on the cross and being my sin-bearer. I believe that your death was for me and I receive your sacrifice on my behalf. As best I can, I now transfer all of my trust from myself and anything that I would do, to you. I open the door of my life to you and by faith receive you as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Amen.”
Here it is! Repeat after me and it's a done deal....you 'really' mean it don't you? You're really sincere, right? Yet you remain in bondage to lust, selfishness, strife, pride and a hundred other vices. Why? Simple, because this formula style salvation is an 'invention' it's NO WHERE in the Bible! Where's the godly sorrow, the conviction, the hunger for righteousness? This is why the churches are full of un-converted souls, wallowing in their sins. Self deception is rampant among them and the wolves are reaping the benefits.
18. How do you know that Christ is in your life?
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:20).
According to this verse, Christ said that if anyone will invite Him into their life, He will come in to him. The Apostle John wrote:
“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God in order that you may know that you have eternal life” (John 5:13).
If you have entrusted yourself to Christ and have believed in Him, the Scripture says God wants you to know – not guess – that you have eternal life.
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
He promises to save when you call and trust in Christ.
“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12).
If Christ is in your life, know that He will never leave you. In Hebrews 13:5, we read:
“God has said, ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.’”
In reading these words, maybe God has spoken to you and urged you to place your trust in Christ. If so, go to God right now. Accept Christ as the One who died for you and will save you. Call to the Lord and receive from Him what you cannot provide for yourself. God sent His Son to die for you so you could be forgiven and know Him personally. He is serious about this, so with confidence, talk to Him. Admit you are a sinner, tell Him you believe Christ died for you and is willing to save you now. Tell Him you’re entrusting yourself to Him from this moment on.
BY THIS WE KNOW, 1John states this fact nine times in five chapters. We KNOW by Keeping His Word, Walking in Obedience to His Commandments, loving one another and abstaining from sin. All these passages quoted above are no more than ink on a page to someone who follows the repeat after me method. You can memorize them all and remain in bondage to sin. Unless a true saving faith has taken hold of your soul and transformed your character and conduct to Christ likeness, you're only fooling yourself. Following the wolves will add nothing to their reputation in eternity. They have no concern for your soul, if they did, they wouldn't preach this non-sense. It would be far better for you to find out NOW they are exploiters and get yourself OUT from under their teaching, then to wait until the Judgment and hear those awful Words of Christ, "I NEVER KNEW YOU! Depart from Me you who practice wrongdoing."
The Choice is yours to make. Follow the Truth as revealed through Christ or put your trust in the wolves and lose it all.