By Dennis Huebshman
Not only have we just started a New Year, but a new decade as well. Add to that it’s a leap year with 366 days instead of 365, and this becomes a very special time for us. Also, another tradition has begun, and that is all the people, who every year, make New Year’s Resolutions as to how they’re going to make positive changes to their lives. (any emphasis mine)
It’s admirable for anyone to want to improve their overall self, but there was a recent report on a Christian radio station that stated at least 80-90% of New Year’s Resolutions are broken by February 1 each year. I have no idea where they got this information, but it sounds reasonable. In fact, I have made only one resolution for the past 30 years, and quit making all the other “promises” to myself in that time To me, to make a promise that will not be kept, is a recipe for a pathway to failure. My Resolution? I resolve to worship and work (voluntarily) for my Savior every day; to show my gratitude to the Father for sending Him to rescue me; and to the Holy Spirit for living within me and protecting me until the return of My Savior to take all believers Home. This is not a one-time pledge, but an everyday; every hour; every minute promise. Yes, I fail at times, but My Father is there to lift me back up and forgive my sins when I ask. I am not “buying” or “earning” my salvation. My main purpose is to glorify My Jesus in any way that I can, as no earthly price can be placed on the value of my eternal soul.
In my mind, there is no resolution I could make that would top this. Anyone who doesn’t think they have sinned needs to read one Bible passage; Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” God has never failed me, even though I have fallen short on numerous occasions. I take Romans 3:23 very seriously, as “all” doesn’t mean everyone except me, because I am included in this as well as every living person on this earth.
As for my failures, the Father knows I am far from perfect, and has provided 1 John 1:8-10 for me and everyone else who has received Jesus as their Savior. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”
Continuing on to 1 John 2:1-2, “My little children, I am writing these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, (2) and He Himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins; and not only for our sins, but also for the whole world.”
When Jesus gave His life on that cross at Calvary, it was with the understanding that everyone could receive the gift of eternal salvation by accepting His perfect sacrifice, and asking Him to be our Savior. (John 10:15-16) Paul provides the steps to take in Romans 10:9-13; “Because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (10) For with the heart one believes, and thus has righteousness; and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation. (11) For the scripture says everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame. (12) For there is no distinction between the Jew, and Greek (all gentiles), for the same Lord is Lord of all, who richly blesses all who call on Him. (13) For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Paul stated in Verse 11 that “scripture says….”, and there are many verses throughout the Bible that tells us God is faithful, and we will not be put to shame. On verse emphasizes this – Isaiah 45:17; “But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting Salvation; you shall not be ashamed or humiliated.” This referred to God’s chosen people when Isaiah wrote this, but Jesus included everyone in John 10:15-16. This covenant was sealed with the pure blood that our Savior shed on the cross, and with His death, burial and resurrection, He conquered sin and death for all time. It is available to everyone on this earth.
From the very beginning, our Heavenly Father has given us the ability to choose or reject His Son. Prior to Calvary, the covenant was that all who would do God’s will, would be saved. Genesis 12:3; “I will bless those who bless you (Abraham), but the one who curses you, I must curse; and all the families of the earth will bless one another by your name.” Everyone had to accept the Lord God Jehovah, and worship no other deity. This made Salvation available to anyone, gentiles included, who worshiped the Father, and the Jewish people had the same restriction. The most problems with His chosen was their turning to earthly false gods, for which He disciplined them.
When Jesus completed His mission at Calvary, the covenant with the Jewish people remained in effect. However, for anyone to receive Salvation from that time on would be to receive and accept the gift that was given by Our Savior. God will still deal with those who disrespect His chosen, as will be obvious at the end of the 7-year tribulation.
At the present time, the Jewish people mostly reject Jesus as their Messiah, as only about 1% to 2% worldwide are Messianic (believers). At the end of the tribulation, 2/3 of the Jewish population will have been killed; but all that remain will be believers. (Zechariah 13:8-9)
The “resolution” I made with Jesus was not complicated at all. The Holy Spirit put it on my heart that I was not right with the Lord. I had worked in several fields (medical and law enforcement) that showed me just how fragile our life here is. We are not guaranteed one more hour, much one more day. To continue going forward without Jesus as My Savior became something I could not allow, and I realized it was totally up to me to change my final destination. No one else could do it for me.
It was not an overnight process, but I believed in my heart that my eternal address had changed after I called out to Jesus to save me. As time has passed, my relationship with Jesus has only grown stronger, and not a day goes by that I don’t try to get closer to Him.
Life here isn’t perfect, just as the Savior said it would not be. He told us we would have “tribulations” here, but He overcame the world. (John 16:33) We’re only temporary residents of this place, waiting for our eternal Home. By the way, this applies to everyone, saved or unsaved. For true believers, our eternal home will be in Heaven with Jesus. For unbelievers, eternity will be in the Lake of Fire with satan and his demons. (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 19:20 and Revelation 20:11-15)
By developing a relationship with the Lord, I learned organized religions do not save us. I am in no way trying to discourage anyone from attending church services, but am advocating the study of God’s word for yourself. There are a number of “evangelical” groups that are not teaching the true word, and thus fall under the “false prophet” category as warned of in the Bible. Some are saying all religions worldwide worship the same god, and therefore all religions are the same.
A marvelous resolution to make and keep would be to get closer to Jesus. He will turn no one away who calls on Him. To leave this earth without Him is to be separated from Him forever. There are no “neutral” options. As a habit, I read from the Bible daily, and I know I can talk (pray) to Him at any time; either out loud or just in my mind. When He calls us home, my reservation is made. It would be wonderful if everyone who sees this shares in my resolution. You’ll find it is only difficult if you make it so. Jesus waits; call on Him today and begin your journey to an absolute marvelous forever!