“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him” (Heb.2:3). 

THE SALVATION of the souls of men and women is central to the whole purpose and plan of God. In the foreknowledge of God the plan was devised to provide a way back to God after Adam sinned and death was passed upon all men as  a consequence. 

When God created man He made him in  His own image. Man was made a free will agent who could voluntarily love and serve the Creator but because he had a free will he had choice. 

The angels are intelligent spirits  created by God to serve God. Their  worship must also be voluntary to be meaningful. Therefore they too were given a free will to choose lovingly to serve their Creator. 

Among the angels there were three arch-angels (chief-angels) each with  leadership over one third of the millions  of angels. These dwell continually in  the immediate presence of God and  their names were Lucifer, Gabriel and  Michael. 

When God created the heaven and  earth He intended it to be the location  of His throne in the new heavens and  earth. Then it will be said, 

“The tabernacle of God is with men, and  he will dwell with them, and they shall be  his people, and God himself shall be with  them, and be their God” (Rev.21:3).  

When one third of the angels sinned  and followed Lucifer they sinned in the  light of full knowledge. It was wilful  rebellion against God and His throne.  It was rebellion and an attempt to  replace God with Satan on the throne  of heaven. It was no mere single sin  of disbedience but an attempt to exalt  his throne “above the stars of God” (Isa.14:13). 

Satan will make a second attempt at the  mid-point of the Tribulation but Michael  and his angels will cast him down and  confine him to the earth (Rev.12:7-12)  until he is finally judged in the abyss  and the lake of fire. 

All the “sons of God” (angels) including  Lucifer had witnessed the creation  of the universe and “shouted for joy” (Job38:7) so the angels were created  first. Lucifer had been given authority  over the earth and its nations (Luke4:6)  and with the benefit of full knowledge  he sinned and he with the angels who  followed him, lost their place over  the throne of God. They still had  access to heaven but God prepared an  eternal lake of fire for “the devil and his  angels” (Matt.25:41). God has allowed  Satan freedom and uses him to test the  obedience of mankind.

There is no mercy available for wilful sin  against light. When men sin they sin due  to ignorance and are deceived by the  deceitfulness of sin and Satan but once  fully enlightened, if a sinner rejects God  he commits blasphemy against the Holy  Spirit and that sin has no forgiveness now  or in eternity (Matt.12:31-32). Paul said  that before he was saved he 

“was before a blasphemer, and  a persecutor, and injurious: but I  obtained mercy, because I did it  ignorantly in unbelief(1Tim.1:13). 

Thankfully God is patient,  “longsuffering, not willing that any  should perish” (2Pet.3:9) and He gives  people many opportunities to turn  and seek the Lord and this He does  because He  

“so loved the world that He gave His  only begotten Son, that whosoever  believeth in Him should not perish  but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). 

Salvation is from sin, death and hell. It  is sin that separates us from God and  sin is disobedience to the will of God. 

God is our Creator and loves us with an  everlasting love and seeks our willing  response. For this reason we have all  been given a free will and can choose  to follow Satan or God; righteousness  or sin; obedience or rebellion. The  choice is ours. 

When we are saved it is more than  a mere choice to change for “God  requires that which is past” (Ecc.3:15).  Past sin accrues debt and must be  paid. When we sin we become sinners  by nature and need a new nature. 

When a child reaches the age of  understanding it chooses to sin and  succombs to the temptations of Satan  and the world for “all have sinned  

and come short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23). 

Sin brings spiritual death. We are all  sinners and in our unsaved state we  are spiritually “dead in trespasses and  sins” (Eph.2:1) i.e. separated from the  life of God. Jesus said: 

“I am the way, the truth, and the life:  no man cometh unto the Father, but  by me” (John 14:6). 

Eternal life with God for eternity can  only be found in Jesus Christ. To  reject or neglect Christ is to seal one’s  eternal damnation. Jesus, the Son  of God left heaven, became man and  lived a perfect life among men. As God  manifest in flesh He willingly took the  sins of the entire world upon Himself  and endured the wrath of God as our  substitute and Saviour on the cross.  On that cross during three hours of  darkness Jesus Christ, the sinless Son  of God, was separated from the Father  that we might never be separated from  God for eternity. He cried: 

“My God, My God, Why hast thou  forsaken me?” (Matt.27:46). 

Jesus was buried and then on the  third day He rose from the dead in  resurrection power making it possible  for us to be raised from the dead which  was passed onto the human race when  Adam sinned. Heaven is assured for all  who accept God’s offer of free salvation  in Christ. Now we can say: 

“O death, where is thy sting? O  grave, where is thy victory? The sting  of death is sin; and the strength of  sin is the law. But thanks be to God,  which giveth us the victory through  our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Cor.15:55-57). 

Thus the Apostle Paul could say when  contemplating his own departure from  this life

“For to me to live is Christ, and  to die is gain … yet what I shall  choose I know not. For I am in a  strait betwixt two, having a desire  to depart, and to be with Christ;  which is far better” (Phil.1:21-23). 

Paul told the Corinthians 

“Therefore we are always  

confident, knowing that, whilst  we are at home in the body, we  are absent from the Lord: (For  we walk by faith, not by sight:) We  are confident, I say, and willing  rather to be absent from the body,  and to be present with the Lord” (2Cor.5:6-8). 

For those who are trusting in Jesus  Christ and His blood shed on the  cross to atone for their guilt, death is  an assured entry into heaven at the  moment of death and at the end of  the age, their bodies will be raised  from the grave. 

How then Can I be Saved? 

We wonder why things happen to us  to make us seriously think about God  and our eternal destiny. It may be the  death of a loved one or a near death  incident. Perhaps “coincidences”  occur or we are caused to ponder  about where the world is heading.  We ask ourselves about the meaning  of life; become conscious of sin and  wickedness and ask about Divine  justice. Our conscience troubles us  about our sin and its consequences  and we look for a way out. That is the  work of the Holy Spirit of God.  

Before Jesus went back to heaven  He promised to send the Holy Spirit  to “convict the world of sin, and of  righteousness and of judgment”  (John 16:8). 

Jesus promised that if He was “lifted up” on the cross He would draw all  men to Himself (John 12:32). And He  does this by His Holy Spirit for though  we have sinned God wants “all men  to be saved, and to come unto the  knowledge of the truth” (1Tim.2:4). 

Nothing happens by chance for God is  all-powerful, all-knowing and always  present to turn us from our own sinful  ways. 

Our first reaction is usually to think  that I must change my ways so that if I  am good enough God will be pleased  with me. But this is just the opposite  to how God changes our lives. The  Bible says: 

“For by grace (undeserved favour)  are ye saved through faith; and  that not of yourselves: it is the  gift of God: Not of works, lest  any man should boast. For we  are his workmanship, created in  Christ Jesus unto good works”  (Eph.2:8-10). 

Being saved is not a patch up but a  whole new start made possible by a  “new birth”. Jesus said,  

“Except a man be born again, he  cannot see the kingdom of God.”  (John 3:3)

We cannot reform enough nor even  remember all our sins to confess them  in order to appeal to God for in our  natural state we are spiritually “dead  in trespasses and sins” (Eph.2:1). We  need new life; the life of God; eternal  life. Just as the new life in a tree in  spring causes dead leaves to fall off  so the new life will cause dead works  to drop off. The Apostle John wrote: 

“God hath given to us eternal life,  and this life is in his Son. He that  hath the Son hath life; and he that  hath not the Son of God hath not  life” (1John 5:11-12).

Salvation is a free gift. It can’t be  earned, paid for or worked for. It can  only be received by simple faith in the  Giver and  

“as many as received Him (Christ),  to them gave he power (authority) to  become the sons of God, even to them  that believe on his name” (John 1:12). 

“The wages of sin is death but the  gift of God is eternal life through  Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom.6:23). 

Sin pays wages but Christ offers  eternal life as a free gift however you  must receive it. A gift is only an offer  until it is received. 

Salvation is by faith and faith is taking  God at His Word. God said it and we  believe it. When He says, “Whosoever  shall call upon the name of the Lord  shall be saved” (Rom.10:9) and we call  on Him to save us, then we can have  complete confidence that he has done  what He promised. We take the gift  and thank the Giver! 

What Happens When I am Saved? 

Salvation is a miracle.  

  • I receive the free gift of eternal  life and I am sealed with the Holy  Spirit “unto the day of redemption” (Eph.4:30). I can never lose eternal  life for Jesus said, 

“I give unto them eternal life and  they shall never perish, neither  shall any man pluck them out of My  hand” (John 10:28). 

  • I am “born again” and become a  “child of God”. God becomes my  Heavenly Father and God never  divorces His children. Fellow  believers all become my brothers  and sisters in Christ.  
  • I am “justified freely by his grace  through the redemption that is in  Christ Jesus” (Rom.3:24). My sins  

are all paid for by the sacrifice of  Jesus Christ. 

  • I am “his workmanship” (Eph.2:10).  God goes to work on my life to  make me a vessel for His glory  and praise. Day by day as I walk  with the Lord He leads and guides  me in paths of righteousness. He  has a plan for me and life becomes  meaningful. He directs me to  serve Him. 
  • I receive a home in heaven; “an  inheritance incorruptible, and  undefiled, and that fadeth not  away, reserved in heaven for you,  Who are kept by the power of God  through faith unto salvation ready  to be revealed in the last time”  (1Pet.4-5). 

In fact  

“if any man be in Christ, he is a new  creature: old things are passed  away; behold, all things are become  new” (2Cor.5:17). 

How can I Grow as a Christian? 

The Christian life is a growing  experience.  

“As newborn babes, desire the  sincere milk of the word, that ye may  grow thereby” (1Pet.2:2). 

The Bible is the Words of the Living  God inerrently inspired and preserved.  Its prophecies never fail, its promises  are sure. The Word of God is our  spiritual food. 

The Holy Spirit will guide you daily as  we commit your way unto the Lord. 

Finally, seek fellowship with other  Christians who love Christ and His Word  and daily pray for guidance and direction  from the Lord. Remember Jesus is  coming again and He may come soon.

John R Ecob
John R Ecob