Many folks have stated their concern about Salvation. As we all should be! I learned many years ago that the single most important detail in our lives is to guarantee our Salvation. Note: I didn't say work for our salvation, that is just not correct. See what Paul had to say in Eph 2:7-10 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.". Please take a moment to re-read this verse. Take notice of the last sentence.

We are created for good works, which God prepared beforehand, we will discuss this in a moment. Your Salvation is more important than anything else, including your job, your family, etc! You might ask, what about the faith vs. works debate surrounding salvation? All cults and world religions except Christianity believe in a works centered life. There really isn't any debate within true Christianity. Faith and works go hand in hand. Let me explain!

Rom. 10:9-12 "....if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. NKJV. Note the key verse here: "For with the heart one believes unto righteousness". This makes it very clear the feeling of our heart and soul is what Jesus is looking for.

Also in Acts 4:8-12 "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them........... let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead...........Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.". So, there it is, only by the name of Jesus can you be saved.

Now, let's compare Eph 2:10 (from above) with James 2:17-26 "But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?.......... was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also". You see the phrase in Ephesians: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good work" Is further articulated in James; that faith without works is dead? So, faith must come first, and then for a life-time comes Christ's work through us.

It is important to understand that these "works" are NOT to gain access to heaven. These are acts that your inner soul wants to do because of your Love for Jesus. You will live eternally. The question is, where will you spend eternity? If your choice is to be in heaven with Jesus, and you have not accepted Him in your heart, repeat the following prayer of repentance. Upon completion, you will then start a wonderful journey with the Lord, doing whatever He asks you to do.

"Dear Jesus, I am sorry for my sins, thank you for dying on the cross for me. I know that you created me and can give me glorious salvation to spend eternity with you. Teach me to repent from my sins. Guide me in the directions you want me to follow. Make my heart pure. Teach me to truly love You and my neighbors as you direct us. Amen"

This next section Jesus tells His audience the following: "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them". Matt 7:15-20.

A person's life style will give you some idea of just where they are with the Lord. That lifestyle is referred to here as "fruit". Jesus tells us more in John 15:1-10, "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine dresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit......... As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing...... By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love". So, we will "work" and we will "bear fruit" and we will be "pruned".

Read all of John, chapter 15. When all is said and done, only Jesus knows the heart and if a person is saved. We as outsiders certainly do not know.
Folks also ask, "If a person is truly saved and backslides has he/she lost their salvation?" The key word here is "truly" and the answer is "NO"! But, the next question is, who among us are truly saved? First of all, as we said above, only Jesus Himself knows if a person is saved. We certainly do not know a person's heart. Therefore, we may judge a person's actions, but, certainly not with Christ's finality.

What does the Bible say about forgiveness? Let's look at; 1 John 1:8-10 " If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives." Jesus will forgive our sins when we come to Him and repent and He does not keep a score card of our sins. In fact The Holy Spirit in Heb 10:17 says: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."

This short phrase is a true mystery to me and to many others who read it. I simply don't understand how He can not remember our sins. One commentator puts it this way: "The text is a testimony given by the Holy Spirit of Christ, and shows that final forgiveness, such as the New Covenant promised, meant that there was no further need for any sacrifice for sin." This is a promise that He will keep.

I admit, there are passages in Scripture the are troubling. See Heb 10:26-29 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left". What deliberate sin is being referred to here? I believe it is mentioned in our next passage in Mark 3:28-29 Jesus mentions "But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin." The best explanation that I have read concerning Mark 3:28-29 was by Walter Kaiser Jr. et. al, which says that the nature of the sin (blasphemes against the Holy Spirit) is such that the one committing the sin does not, and will not repent of it.

When all is said and done, if you and I are truly children of the Most High God Jesus Christ, it would take more power than the devil himself to pry us out of the arms of Jesus. I would like to be able to answer this question as well as Paul, we will end with his marvelous explanation in Rom 8:34-39 "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?.........For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." 

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