Section 4 .. The Heart Of The Matter/Salvation

003white  Index To   The Heart of The Matter ... Introduction and Index To  Salvation


Index To Salvation

Carol Brooks

You, like every other human on the face of this planet, have one need that surpasses all others and that is to be forgiven for the sins you have already been condemned for and released from the death sentence that you have already been sentenced to.

Index To All Sections Below

001orange If you have ever heard Christians mention “salvation” but had no idea what they meant - let me put it in the simplest possible terms - Biblical salvation means being saved from death, i.e. being given eternal life in God’s coming Kingdom (A utopia we can only dream about). However, unless grasped with both hands it remains no more than an offer.


Introduction... You Are Going To Die - And Stay Dead.
When all is said and done, virtually all humans have two things in common.

    1) Almost everyone is searching for a 'better life', if not a perfect one. Most people are constantly striving to make their living happier, healthier, and less difficult. We grasp at every shred of happiness we can find, but find that it frequently slips from our grasp, often through no fault of our own.

    2) No one wants to die. Through the centuries men have tried to penetrate the veil of death and find out what, if anything, lies beyond. Our spirit rebels at the thought that no matter what we have accomplished in our seventy odd years here on earth, we are eventually going to become worm food. Fighting the inevitable, most humans will cling to the last shreds of life - even if that life has been far from perfect.

While happiness, fulfillment and good health are wonderful things to have in this life, 'this life' doesn't last forever. In fact, if you think about it you will be shocked at how quickly the last decade or two have flown by.

It does not matter how many face lifts you have had, how well organized your retirement plans are nor how financially stable you may be. It makes no difference  how much under control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are, how much you exercise and refrain from smoking, how enlightened and in touch with yourself you are, and how much meaningful companionship and mental stimulation you have.. you are going to die.

Some of the above will certainly improve the quality of your life in the time you have left on this planet, and will probably even prolong your life by a few years  - neither result to be sneezed at. But eventually all efforts will make no difference and you will be left with nothing but a deep dark hole in the ground which is where they are going to put you. In fact, a great part of the problem of growing old is that all our dreams, hopes, aspirations and spiritual principles we might have lived by come to an undignified end - a putrid mass of decaying flesh or dry ashes and bone fragments. The fancy urns and expensive coffins only serve to soothe the feelings of those left behind. However, even they will eventually move on. And you? You will be relegated to a few photographs in a dusty old album.

Or are we supposed to take heart in the belief that we are rendered immortal through our offspring or those that remember us because of a heroic deed we may have accomplished, a book we might have written or a statue or plaque dedicated to our memory. While all this sounds very tragically romantic, lets not forget the fact that none of this does the dead person a whit of good. For most of us, the best we can hope for is that our grandchildren remember our names ten years after we are gone. (Even this seems unlikely in this day and age).

The real calamity is however the fact that for most people an absolutely certain answer to the question of what lies beyond the grave remains elusive - most do not even realize that permanent death is not the only option.

If your defenses are well honed and you claim that you are satisfied with the short life given to you then don't bother to read on. The rest of this page is for those who do not wish to arrive at death's door without being certain of where it leads.

The Message Jesus Was Sent To Proclaim
All too many people picking out a random phrase or two, think 'love' was Jesus' core message. Unfortunately, they are terribly wrong.  Inexplicably, they seem to completely miss the fact that Jesus never stopped talking about the "kingdom of God" - a phrase used over 50 times in the four Gospels alone. He even said that the proclamation of the Kingdom was the reason He was sent to earth (Luke 4:43). See The Message of Jesus

But what and where is this kingdom?

The Bible's description of the kingdom of God (also called heaven) is no pie in the sky ethereal place 'somewhere out there' but matches, in every respect, the world most men and women would choose to live in. A place of peace and safety right here on earth where there is no hunger and disease, crime and war and, almost unbelievably, no death. Far from being outdated, out of touch, and irrelevant to modern society, the Christian Gospel or 'good news' promises exactly the utopian world most men and women can only dream of. Unless, of course, your idea of paradise is "an ineffable transcendental state" (whatever that means). 

Wrap your head around the concept of eternal life for a moment. It means no running out of time, never any fear of death and the accompanying problems that old age brings. Certainly eternal life in a world such as ours may actually not be very attractive since there are worse things than death. However, the eternal life we are promised is a sin/crime/disease/disaster free world - NOT an offer you will find anywhere else. See The Message of The Bible.

However, there is one stumbling block that keeps you (and everyone else) out of God's kingdom and that in a nutshell is sin, the one thing that God hates and will not tolerate. Therefore I cannot stress enough how important it is to clearly and accurately understand what sin is. The natural human tendency is to think of the Hitlers, child molesters and axe murderers of the world as sinners, and ourselves as not perfect - but not really sinners. Even when many Christians think of sin, they simply think of a violation of the Ten Commandments. However, none of these views come anywhere near agreeing with the Biblical definition of sin. The problem is that the verdict is already in - because of your sins, you have been condemned to death far more surely than any person sitting on death row in a federal penitentiary. In light of which, it is perhaps wiser to find out how God defines sin, rather than to trust in your own idea.

Unfortunately, accurate, clear and comprehensible explanations of sin and salvation have given way to (repentance is often completely ignored)

Shallow, Abbreviated, And Highly Inaccurate Salvation Messages

When it comes to telling someone else how they can be saved, a large percentage of the modern church tends to reduce the Gospel message to overused and overworked phrases.

Well meaning Christians urge the sinner to pray some version of the "Sinner's Prayer". Other phrases such as "Accept Jesus as your personal Savior" and "Invite Jesus into your heart" are so entrenched in evangelical Christianity that few stop to consider whether they are Biblical or even whether they convey anything useful.

Not only are these common instructions conspicuous by their absence in the Bible, but they are very confusing - even quite misleading. They are not Biblical, defy understanding and fall far short of accurately conveying the Gospel message.  Although it is possible to convey Biblical truth without strictly using words found in the Bible, in view of the fact that the person's decision is, quite literally, a matter of life or death, it is hugely important that our words accurately convey Biblical concepts.

 Christianity is rooted in and inseparable from the Scriptures. Everything a Christian knows about God, everything he believes and practices is based not on human knowledge, insight, or experience, but rests solely on God's word to man, as recorded in the Scriptures. And it is these Scriptures that tell us that a person's salvation depends on several essential factors.

If you happen to be one of those people who are trusting in the fact that in the past you prayed a prayer, raised your hand, walked an aisle, or signed a card, your faith is misplaced. Nor will God welcome you into His kingdom based on your efforts to live a good life, keep the Ten Commandments, do good and help others. (If being saved was simply a matter of pulling up our socks, then Jesus died an agonizing death for no reason whatsoever).

The fact is that none of these things will save you from the arrow that He has already drawn in His bow - an arrow that is tenuously aimed at every sinner... at you.

If you are looking for a short and easy answer, you are in the wrong place. And, may I add, if you think you have already found a short and easy answer, you may very well be hopelessly deluded.



Part I - Introduction HERE
You Are Going To Die - And Stay Dead.
Christianity alone offers humanity something they cannot get anywhere else.
Trite, shallow, abbreviated, inaccurate and ineffective salvation messages

 What We Need Saving From in the wrong question. The right one is WHO do we need saving from
The Wrath and Judgment of God
God's Wrath Is His Response to Sin
God Hates Sin, But How Does He Define Sin and What is the Penalty For Sin?
The Love of God
The Substitute Sacrifice... Jesus' life For Yours

Part II - Repentance, Faith and The Lordship of Christ HERE

Repentance: Repentance and faith are both absolute requirements for forgiveness Jesus did not mince words about the fate of those who did not repent of their sins.
Faith: Mental assent to Jesus's life, death, and resurrection is not enough to save a person. Biblical "Belief" Means Obedience to God's commandments, but be assured that God is not a celestial version of the consummate killjoy.

The Lordship of Christ: Salvation involves more than simply affirming in one's mind that Jesus is Lord and Savior Besides which, although believers are aware that Jesus is Savior, what happened to acknowledging Him as Lord? He is called "Lord" over six hundred times in the New Testament and Savior a mere 24 times. In fact, 60% of the New Testament books never even once mention Jesus as Savior. Does the phrase 'Lord Jesus Christ' trip so easily off our tongues that it never even dawns on us that this title has great significance - that it actually demands something of us?

Part III - A "Free" Gift? HERE
In the church today one often hears that salvation is a 'free' gift from God. But does the Bible actually say it is free or have we managed to latch on to (and spread) a completely erroneous idea? I am sure it will surprise many to hear that the word "free" isn't in the original Greek and that the word "gift" may not mean exactly what we have been led to believe.

Salvation and eternal life do not come without anything being expected of us. To imagine that we can live our lives like the rest of the world, but still be welcome in God's presence is little more than wishful thinking. The kingdom doesn't come cheap.

From the very outset Jesus made it clear that He was not interested in casual followers or even admirers but dedicated disciples whose commitment to Him supersedes all earthly ties. The minute we put our trust in Him and are born again, we are adopted as sons and daughters of God and become citizens of His heavenly kingdom - strangers and pilgrims that stop here for a little while and then move on to our permanent home. However we cannot maintain a dual citizenship - allegiance has to be to one or the other.


Also See
 Life or Death... The Choice is Yours.
The Bible very clearly tells us that we all have a choice to make in this life - the most important choice we will ever make. And, if the Bible is indeed the word of God, the consequences for the individual who chooses to ignore or counter the evidence with clever arguments, will be fatal. In view of which, If Christianity even has a one in a hundred chance of being true, perhaps we should not be demanding greater evidence, but wake up to the fact that a far more sensible way to look at it is... the more severe the consequences, the less we should take risks. What is truly interesting is that most people seem to be prejudiced against the Bible, but well disposed towards other 'scriptures'. This is a rather illogical situation, because there is far more evidence in favor of the Bible being true, than there is for any of the other 'holy books'. This includes scientific, historical and archaeological corroboration and the many fulfilled prophecies.

Heart of The Matter