‘The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved (Jer. 8:20),’ are the somewhat pathetic words of the nation of Judah. The question I want to ask is; Are they your words as well? They have a certain pertinence in that you are reading them in the November newsletter. That means, very literally, the summer has ended and harvest-time has past. It means as well that another year will soon be passed away. So is it true that you, yes you, are still not saved?
To make any issue of you being saved, we must immediately explain what it is to be saved. When the Philippian jailer was in a state of shock after an earthquake had shaken his prison he was forced to be suddenly faced with his weakness before God (see Acts 16:25-28). As a result he was fearful of what that meant for his future. Through the earthquake he had some taste of the great impending judgement of God and he was afraid. It is in that context that Paul mentions about how to be saved. So Paul urged him to “believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved (Acts 16:31)”. Through believing in Jesus he will be saved from the real and anticipated suffering that comes under and through the wrath of God.
To be saved then, is very much connected with being rescued. It is about deliverance from danger; it is about salvation. When Paul said to the jailer that he must believe on the Lord Jesus he was indicating to the jailer that there was an escape from the terrible rigours of hell. But how is it that Jesus delivers us from this perilous future. It is because Jesus died for our sins. As Isaiah prophetically says But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities (Is. 53.:5a). The wrath that the jailer anticipated comes because of sin; my sin. However, the Lord Jesus died to take away our sins. So when we believe in Him truly we are turning from the foulness of our sins, and realising that we can be accepted with God and delivered from the wrath to come in and through Jesus Christ. This is salvation and as Peter declared Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Only in Jesus can we be saved.
So returning to our original question about being saved we ask, in an alternative fashion: has Jesus saved you? It is so important that you face this question. If you are not saved you face eternity under the righteous judgement of the Lord God Almighty because you have offended His holy majesty and decided that you don’t want him. This is terrible and it reminds us how offensive our sin and rebellion are to God. So you must be saved.
To be saved you need to realise the vile character of your sins and turn from them. You then need to look to Jesus Christ who died on the cross to bring salvation. You must turn to Him and believe. If you do then you will be saved.
Oh you must do this. Let nothing stop you. Which leads me to ask this November of you: What is stopping you if you are not saved. Salvation is on offer as God’s great gift to you. Is there a problem of understanding it? But it could not be simpler. You have a problem and that problem is your sin. There is one remedy for your problem and that is found in Jesus Christ. So heed the Word of Isaiah 45:22 ‘Turn to me and be saved all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.
You say that you are just fine without Jesus Christ and you don’t understand this fuss about God, judgment and eternity. If this is your case then I urge to you to think and re-think. You may persuade yourself that life is OK here, but what of God and His judgment? His eternal judgment is real for those who die in their sins outside of Christ. If you die in your sins you face an angry God, fall under His judgement and anticipate an eternity of suffering: will that not make you to think?
Finally, you may have been made thoughtful about these matters through reading this, but you are thinking: I don’t know if I am saved. To which I say go and seek counsel from a Christian you trust. But most important go to God to seek to sort our the matter with Him. In particular test yourself by reading through 1 John. John said of his writings in that book: I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13). So read I John to test whether you are really saved
And if you are saved. Then praise Him for His goodness. Thank Him for His salvation. And go live for Him.
(Taken from the Feltham Evangelical Church newsletter of November 2016)