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SALVATION

Jesus shed His blood on the cross to achieve salvation for us. He was crucified, dead, buried and rose from the grave on the third day. That is the gospel. Probably the most famous verse in the Bible is John 3:16 "For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten son (Jesus) that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." While not wishing to dwell on negatives it's important to realise there is a heaven, but there is a hell also. Jesus says that several times in the New Testament. Hence the reference in John 3:16 to "perish". He says we have a choice as to our eternal destination.

THERE'S MORE

Ephesians 1:7 says "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." Through whom? Through Jesus. When we recognise this, believe, and do something about it, we can have salvation. That is the way to heaven, and a better life here on earth. Jesus said there is no other way. So we need to take action.

DECIDE

When we decide to receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour we fulfil the will of God for every human being. "The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9. To repent means to have regret, sorrow for the wrong things we have done in the past. To deplore it. We must be baptised also. "Repent and let every one of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Acts 2:38. We must be baptised as Jesus was by John in the river, by full immersion in the water. We must decide to take a new road in life - to follow Jesus.

WHAT JESUS DIDN'T SAY

He didn't say we get salvation by joining a church, some religious group, or by any good works we might do. Many think doing good will get them into heaven. The Bible says "All our righteous acts are like filthy rags." Isaiah 64:6. It is what Jesus did on the cross that saves us, not our righteous acts.

And again "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Ephesians 2:8.

"BUT I'M ALWAYS DOING GOOD"

Admirable as that may be, only faith and belief in Jesus opens the door to heaven. Giving a million dollars to a charity still will not save you, according to God's word. Jesus said "I am the door. If anyone enters by me he will be saved, and will go in and out, and find pasture." John 10:9.

So Jesus is the door to heaven. We cannot open it by our good works. Dogmatic? Emphatic? Uncompromising? Well, Jesus said it.

SAY A PRAYER LIKE THIS

"Lord Jesus I admit I am a sinner, as the Bible says. I repent now and turn from my sins. I want to follow you, and be baptised in your name. I ask you to come into my heart and life, and begin to change me. I invite you now to be my Lord and Saviour. Amen." You don't have to say this inside a church. It can be anywhere, but you must be sincere. God looks at the heart.

Next you need to join a fellowship of Christians. Find a church where Jesus is the focal point. Preferably one where they have some program for taking the gospel outside the church. Pray to God each day, read the Bible. That is the way to draw nearer to God.

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