By John Larkins
“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.”
This often-seen sign at football games is so simple and short that eternal salvation must be interpreted by many as an easy and undemanding process Eternal life is a consequence of God’s will, but where that eternal life will occur is the subject of our study. And, as we must learn, following God’s teachings is the only true Way to salvation.
When asked if all would be saved, Jesus did not de-scribe salvation as simple or a common fate. Jesus said the way to hell was easy; many would choose that path, but the Way to salvation was difficult and that many would not find it. Contrast this situation with what false teachers may have told us; i.e., that all would be saved if we only believed; that once saved, you were no longer under any requirement to obey God’s laws and direction.
Please think and study God’s real words. We must understand that the coming of the Messiah, being sub-ject to becoming a human being, even though Jesus was the son of God and fully God in his own right, he lowered himself to be the son of man as well as God. Does this act sound trivial or inconsequential? Remember that when God revealed this sacrifice to his host of angels, a third angel rebelled, saying that angels were above men and would not bow to Jesus if He also became a man. The angels who rebelled were cast out of heaven to join Satan for eternity. This consequence was just for agreeing to become a man! In addition, the worst fate was to suffer disrespect in mind and body, enduring intense suffering and pain, even unto death.
Under these circumstances, do you really fall for the silly idea that Jesus was going to pat us on the head when we refused his commandments? Oh, you never heard of his commandments?
I see. You thought they were merely suggestions and that He would forgive us for ignoring them? You and our teachers may have believed the commandments were just “old fashioned” and therefore to be dismissed in light of our superior “woke” modern society.
We will get more deeply into the commandments and the fuller discussion of acts forbidden at a later time. For now, let us just say his direct words were, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Even though he was Jesus’s cousin, John the Baptist did not make much of his family ties. He was focused on telling everyone that Jesus was the redeemer and worthy of the greatest attention and respect. When John’s followers notified him that this Jesus person was baptizing and everyone was going to him, John ex-plained.
John 3: 31-36 says, “To this John replied, ‘A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. As you yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I am sent ahead of him. The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens to him and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice.’ That joy is mine, and now it is complete, He must be greater: I must become less. The one who comes from above is above all; the one who comes from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the spirit without limit. The Father loves the son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”
We must demonstrate by our concrete actions that we believe. If political persecutions of Christians return, how many could easily escape by saying, “We are not Christians!” And they would be believed because of their reputation.
For the past 17 years, John Larkins has evangelized on the street, door-to-door, in tent revivals and in church situations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.