Even Jesus Christ made it clear how much of a choice salvation is when He said, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16) . And, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20).
Of course, many people choose to push away this gift in preference of an unsaved life of carnal and corrupt indulgences. After all, it is a gift. You can choose whether or not to take it.
However, it is important to note that “Although we are free to choose, we are not free from the consequences of our choices.” If someone chooses to live an unsaved life, then they should be ready to go to hell when their time on earth runs out. Nobody ever knows when that time will be (Ecclesiastes 8:8),and so nobody ever knows whether they have just enough time to make that commitment before it becomes too late and they die unsaved. This is quite unfortunate, because many people plan to get saved just toward the end of their lives. After all, that is how valuable God and salvation are to them. They see them as something to be ignored and not really paid much attention to because there are so many other things that are more interesting, worth the while and more to be preferred than God and salvation. Of course, God knows our hearts very well (Jeremiah 17:10), and He can see all this. There is no need to pretend that we adore Him when our lives and choices say otherwise. Actions speak louder than words, and what we do says
i. whether or not we value God,
ii. how much we do so, and
iii. whether we have other ‘gods’ that we have placed above Him.
We may believe that there is a God and that Jesus Christ is His Son who died for the sins of the world, but unless we put this faith into action, it is dead. Hear what the Bible says about action-less faith:
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?” – James 2:14.
“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” – James 2:26.
Therefore, the fact that the Bible says that Jesus Christ came so that “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” does not mean that if we simply believe that God and Jesus exist and that they did what they did but leave it at that then we are saved. James corrected those who think this way when he said:
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.” – James 2:19.
Our faith must therefore be matched by our actions, and believing in Jesus goes hand in hand with repenting and devoting our lives to Him. The Bible says:
“In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.” – Acts 17:30.
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” – John 3:3.
“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” – Hebrews 12:14
At the same time, the Bible warns us that our good deeds alone will not save us.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9.
“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.” – Romans 3:20
Therefore, God will not accept us into heaven just because we did several good things in our lives. We must go the whole way of putting our faith in Jesus Christ, repenting and turning away from our sins, receiving The Holy Spirit, living a righteous life based on God’s Word, and sharing the good news with others, if we are to enter the kingdom of God. As the Bible says:
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” – Titus 2:11-14
Now that you have read this, you can make what is popularly known as ‘an informed choice’. You can choose to brush salvation aside for now and wait – for who knows what (as we saw earlier), or you can choose to place the security of your soul above the many other things that demand attention, and say “Yes, Lord.” The choice, as we have ultimately seen, is yours.
If you would like to say the salvation prayer and turn your life over to God, click here.
“For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.” – 2 Corinthians 6:2.