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The Gift of Salvation

Do “good” people go to heaven and “bad” people go to hell? Do we earn it or deserve it?

Salvation is one of the most misunderstood concepts of the Christian faith; yet, according to Scripture, receiving it or rejecting it determines where you will spend eternity. The confusion may be due to the fact that salvation was designed by a God who isn’t limited by human reasoning and worldly thinking.

Salvation is bigger than that. And bigger than us.

What the Bible Says about Salvation:

  • Salvation is a free gift (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8; Romans 5:15-17, Romans 10:13)
  • Salvation cannot be earned—and therefore can’t be boasted about (Ephesians 2:8-9)
  • Salvation does not hinge on our day-to-day actions, good works, sins or confessions (Philippians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Titus 3:5)
  • Salvation is not just for those who’ve lived a “good life” (Romans 3:23; Matthew 20:16)
  • Salvation has been given to repentant thieves, murderers, adulterers, and all types of sinners (Luke 23:32-43, 2 Samuel 11)
  • Salvation is not something we as sinners deserve, yet we are to receive it without guilt or regret (2 Corinthians 7:10)
  • Salvation is not automatically given (Romans 10:9,10)—keep reading to learn your role

Ephesians 2:8, 9 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

What the Bible Says about Receiving Salvation:

  • Repent of your sins and declare that you choose to follow Jesus (1 John 1:9)
  • Receive forgiveness that comes as a result of His grace (Eph. 2:8)
  • Believe that Jesus is who He claimed to be—the Son of God and your Savior (John 1:1, John 3:16)
  • Invite the Holy Spirit to take up residence in you, and guide your thoughts and actions (John 16:8, Romans 8:16)
  • Begin a personal, whole-hearted relationship with Jesus today

Notice there is nothing above about being perfect or “having it all together.” However, remaining on the spiritual sidelines is not a path to salvation. You don’t have to measure up to some impossible religious standard, but you will be changed if you truly and faithfully follow Him.

Scripture is clear that those who accept Jesus will spend eternity in heaven; those who reject Him as Savior—which includes living a “good life” but not following Him—will not. Jesus also refuses to be treated as an insurance policy or back-up plan—He loves you too much for an unreal relationship.

Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Salvation begins with Jesus.

You can receive Christ as your Savior right now, this moment! You don’t have to be in a church or special place, or have the help of a minister or priest.

You can pray now, wherever you are. God is listening. Tell Him in your own words that you are sorry for your sins and that you want to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Ask God to help you change your heart and life. It’s your prayer He wants to hear. You can pray the following prayer, but it is not enough just to say the words. You must mean it from your heart:

“God, I know I have sinned. I believe Your Son, Jesus Christ, died to take the punishment for my sin. I believe Jesus came back to life from death and has the power to forgive my sin and change my life. Forgive me. Come into my life and change me. I want to live for You and follow Your plan for my life. I believe You have forgiven me, and I thank You for hearing my prayer, in Jesus’ name.”

God has forgiven you if you prayed this prayer and meant it from your heart. God knew before you were born that you would receive His Son as your Savior. Now you can begin the life He has planned for you! Step by step God will lead you to what He has chosen for you. He will show you the way to live and will teach you each day as you grow spiritually and become the person He planned for you to be.

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