Have you ever wondered about life after death? Most believe it is one of those questions that can’t be answered. Many do their best, live a decent life, don’t do too much wrong; but there is still a nagging doubt in the back of their mind… about whether God will accept them into Heaven. Many say, “I hope so.” There’s good news! God doesn’t want you to “hope so.” God wants you to “Know that ye have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). Wouldn’t you like to find some real answers? I’d like to help you in that search. The Bible clearly explains God’s way of salvation. I have written quite a lot on this doctrine and its Biblical ramifications; but for this post, let’s keep it simple. Let’s keep it to the bare necessities of the gift of eternal life.
Salvation is an equation. God is bound by His character to cause justice to happen, but His love towards the world makes Him desire to show mercy as well. How can these two mutually exclusive concepts be “reconciled?” It’s by someone else paying off our spiritual credit card, someone who has no debt of His own. The title “Salvation Equation” is fitting and accurate, God uses financial terminology when writing about eternal life. If I may use the same illustration: we are all deeply in debt to the Law of God, but Jesus settled our books. He paid off our debt!
Consider what God says.
1. People = Sinners
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
God is perfect. We are not. The standard given in the Bible is too high for any of us. God says that we are to obey our parents, never lie, always think pure thoughts, love other people as much as we love ourselves, and love God even more than that. Also “…Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23) In essence, everything we do and think is to be focused on pleasing God. That’s why we were created. Every thought, every action is to be good enough for God.
I am the first to admit; that standard is higher than I am. This is bad news for all of us. People = Sinners
2. Sin = death
“The wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a)
There’s good news coming, so hang in there. Some more bad news first.
God is just, He does justice, He is equal in His dealings. He makes sure people get what they earn. Our wage (paycheck) for sinning is death. Separation from God forever in a place the Bible calls “The Lake of Fire,” (Revelation 20:15) a literal Hell intended as punishment for Satan, but adapted for humanity because of sin.
Everyone is under the Law of God, no one will escape justice.
We love justice, until it applies to us. Then we try to sweep it under the nearest rug. God must make sure justice is done. He is the “Judge of all the earth.” This is really bad news for disobedient, lying, impure, greedy, selfish, prideful sinners like us. Sin = Death
Now for some relief.
3. Gift > Death
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”(Romans 6:23)
Finally, Good News! The verse didn’t end with death.
God offers a gift, and gifts are free. Gifts are bought by the giver, but free to the receiver. The Gift of God is “Eternal Life,” and it’s through Jesus Christ the Lord. We will explore this gift further down the column. Gift > Death
4. Jesus ≠ Sinner
2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Jesus Christ came (in His own words) “To seek and to save that which was lost.” He was born, grew up, and lived as a human just like us; with one major difference…
He Never Sinned.
Jesus is God, God is perfect. Jesus is perfect, so He didn’t deserve that “wage of sin” which is death. Jesus was debt free, but Jesus paid our debt. He swapped places with us! Jesus ≠ Sinner
5. Jesus > Death
The religious leaders manipulated the Roman governor to crucify Jesus. To explain it in short: they scourged Him, beat Him, pressed a crown of thorns into His head, and ultimately nailed His hands and feet to a wooden cross.
The pain of the crucifixion was unbelievably intense; it was the worst death the Romans could invent, but the pain was not the worst part. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” The Holy One, Jesus Christ the Righteous, became sin for us. God placed the guilt of all sin on Jesus, and He suffered the wrath of the Justice of God; as it is written “…Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Galatians 3:13). One thing Jesus said while on the cross is: “My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken Me?” He was separated from God His Father, cast away from God’s presence, isolated from God’s love. He suffered what every sinner deserves; not for our sin only, but also for the sin of the whole world. (1 John 2:2) Jesus shouted “It Is Finished!” and then He died for our sins.
Let’s not leave it there though, He is God! He can’t let death win. Speaking of Jesus, Acts 2:24 says “Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” Death couldn’t hold God. He rose up from the grave.
Jesus > Death
4. Jesus + Nothing = Eternal Life
How do I get eternal life? (Acts 16:32, Romans 10:13)
In summary of a long (10 chapter) explanation of salvation, God gives these excellent verses, Romans 10:10,13: “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation…For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Believe and ask. Call on the name of the Lord Jesus; RSVP to His invitation! Receive permanent, eternal life based on God’s Word of honor.
The only thing that needs to happen for a sinner to be saved is that the sinner expresses to the Savior that he wants to be saved. The gift is “His life for mine,” it has already been bought; all you need to do is “call.”
What is the key to eternal life? It’s God’s promise. You must trust (believe) on the Lord Jesus Christ. Trust in the fact that He swapped places with us; and that justice was done on the cross so it does not need to be done to you.
Jesus + Nothing = Eternal Life
Just ask Him!
If you need help with what to say to God, here’s a prayer:
“Dear Jesus, I know I’m a sinner. I know I don’t deserve heaven, but I believe you died for my sins, and rose up from the grave. Jesus, please save me. Thank you Jesus, amen.”
So, was that any help? God doesn’t want you to doubt, God wants you to know that you have eternal life; that’s why He wrote it all out. Have you accepted Jesus Christ’s gift? Are you still hanging on to some work, or association, or ritual? Here’s the Salvation Equation.
People = Sinners
Sin = Death
Jesus ≠ Sinner
Jesus > Death
Jesus + Nothing = Eternal Life
Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Have any questions, comments, or snide remarks? Feel free to respond with your feedback in the section below!