You’ve Said the Words, Now What?
By Dennis Huebshman
If I had just a dollar for every time I’ve heard a pastor say, “Just repeat this after me and you will be saved.”; I would never have to work again. After this, they give what is called a “sinner’s prayer” and they tell the people, “If you repeated this prayer, you’re now saved.” Sounds wonderful, but hardly the case. It would be the same as if I stood in a garage and told you, “I’m now a Buick because I’m in the garage.” I can say it all day long, but it will never come true. The same applies with the words used in the simple “prayer”. This also is how the Father sees those who “profess” to be Christian, but in word only. He looks for the seed that was sown on fertile soil; not the ones on the path, rocky soil or among the thorns. (Matthew 13: 3-8) It must be truly meant for there to be any validity to it.
In Matthew 25: 31-46, Jesus tells a parable of judgment where those being judged are divided into two groups; sheep and goats. The sheep are on His right and the goats on the left. The ones on the right are invited into the Father’s kingdom because they lived according to the commandments of “Love God and Love your neighbor.” (Matthew 22: 37-39) Because of this, they were in His will and would be with Him forever. Their treasure is in heaven and not of this earth. They will hear, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
The goats were the ones that lived for themselves and enjoyed the pleasures of the earth. They did not offer to help the needy in any way but lived in greed and debauchery. They were told words that should frighten all of us – “Depart from Me, you accursed, into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41) (paraphrased and emphasis mine.)
To just say some pre-determined words that are magically supposed to insure our salvation falls short of having a true relationship with Jesus. Anyone can say they believe Jesus exists because even the demons believe and tremble with fear. (James 2:19) In fact, satan loves these types of people because he roams around like a lion trying to find those who he can influence. (1 Peter 5:8) Those who follow his lies and refuse to see the truth will not do well. John 12:40 says “He has blinded their eyes and hearts, so they would not see with their eyes and understand with their hearts and turn to Me and I would heal them.” Here Jesus is telling that the Father will turn over to the evil one those who desire the world more than Him.
Also, 2 Thessalonians 2:11 – Consequently, God sends them a deluding influence so that they would believe what’s false. This is for those God knows will never repent and turn to His Son, but are hardened to whatever this world has to offer.
Please note, the Father does not want anyone to fail (2 Peter 3:9) and will give everyone the opportunity to call on the name of the Lord and be saved. (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13) However, eventually His patience will run out and He will allow them to choose their own destructive destiny.
Some people see and yet do not believe. John 12:37 says “Although Jesus had performed so many miracles before them, they still refused to believe in Him.”
It is well documented throughout the gospels the 12 apostles were with Him constantly during His ministry years. Yet, until He appeared to them after the resurrection and when they received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they all still had doubts. Judas betrayed Him and did not repent but killed himself; Peter denied him three times when He was arrested; all deserted Him at that arrest as Jesus told them they would, and Thomas doubted He had risen until Jesus stood in front of him and had him place his hands in his wounds. (John 20:24-29) Thomas then declared, “My Lord and My God!”, but only after having seen and touched the Savior. Jesus made it known that all who believed in Him after this, but would not physically see Him, will very special indeed.
This brings us back to the beginning of this message. Just saying some words isn’t going to do what is needed. For one to truly be saved, the process is not all that complicated, however there are a few “musts” that have to take place:
-one must believe that Jesus is the True Son of God and therefore is God. (John 1:1)
-one must believe He came to this earth and was fully human yet was still fully God. He was “made to be lower than the Angels for a little while”. (Hebrews 2: 7-9)
-one must believe that throughout His life on earth, He committed no sin. If He had, His sacrifice for us would have been worthless.
-one must believe He truly died on the cross at which time His earthly body went into the grave, however, His Spirit was immediately with the Father in Paradise. This was to fulfill the promise to the thief on the cross that accepted Him that they both would be in Paradise that very day. (Luke 23:43)
-one must believe He rose from the dead to conquer sin and death once and for all and was therefore the perfect and final sacrifice that was necessary to cover our sins.
Finally, one must believe Jesus is the only way to the Father and an eternal Home. (John 14:6)
Sounds like a lot, but to begin to want to know the Savior will lead to truly asking Him into your life. The hardest part of all this is to believe this is free for the asking as it was paid in full at Calvary. It’s good to read the Bible, and for beginners I would recommend reading the book of John first, then the book of Romans. John tells of the love the Father has for us and His Son and what He did to make it possible for us to love His Son and give us a pathway to Him. Romans gives the mechanics of a Christian life which is only difficult if the person makes it so.
You do not have to recite anything before any earthly minister. You can talk to the Savior yourself and let Him know you are lost without Him as all have sinned. (Romans 3:23) Let Him know you want Him to come into your life. Once you have accepted Him, He will accept you! When you have Jesus, you are no longer condemned. (Romans 8:1) To refuse Him is the unforgiveable sin, however all else can be forgiven.
From this point on are you going to be totally free from sin? Absolutely not. However, God provides a way to receive forgiveness in 1 John 1: 8-10. It gives you the pathway to forgiveness in plain easy to understand terms. Does God prefer someone else rather than you? Romans 2:11 clearly states there is no partiality with God.
Before anyone thinks they cannot be forgiven and be accepted by Jesus, a couple of illustrations should set this straight. Peter denied that he even knew the Lord, yet later he became a major leader of the Church. After Pentecost, his boldness grew, and he never backed down from the truth again. James and Jude were brothers of Jesus who denied he was the Christ until after the resurrection Both became believers, and each has a book in the New Testament, and James became a major leader of the Church at Jerusalem.
With all this, we cannot forget Saul that later was called Paul. He was an aggressive persecutor of the WAY which is what the Church was originally called. He even had people put to death and believed this was right. However, after an encounter with the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9), he became one of the most powerful advocates of Jesus and is responsible for the majority of the books in the New Testament. Even with all he had done, the Lord forgave him and gave him a vital ministry in taking the gospel to the gentiles.
No matter what you have done, you can be cleansed through the blood of the “Lamb; the Lion of the Tribe of Judah”. We will still face consequences for our actions, but the sin will be forgiven which is a promise of the Father. To not have the Savior means you will not receive that forgiveness and you will face the Father at the Great White Throne to answer for them completely. When we are forgiven through the blood of Christ, Psalm 103:12 says He removes our guilt as far as the eastern horizon is from the west.
Finally, to delay may be the biggest mistake you could ever make. If you take your last breath on this earth and have not accepted Jesus, you will be in eternal punishment. Jesus will be coming back to claim His Church (All Believers) and no one knows the day or hour. Thing is, it’s getting very close to that time as all prophecy that had to happen before His arrival has been completed. Jesus told us we won’t know exactly when; however, we are expected to know when we’re in that season. Never before in history was everything in place as it is today. Once Israel came back as a nation after almost 2000 years, the final clock began ticking to His return. We are that generation that will see Him.
There are two options; accept the Savior and have eternal life with Him. Don’t accept Him and it will be eternal punishment. (Revelation 20: 11-15). There are no third options available. Time is short, and I can’t express this strongly enough. Please don’t delay but call on Him today.
Come Lord Jesus! Your Children are waiting!