A Personal Matter


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Ezekiel 18:32, “I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies, says the Lord God. Therefore, turn and live”
Romans 10:13, “For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”

Charles W. Koller, in his book entitled “Sermon Starters” tells about a newspaper photo of a man falling to the ground from a window ledge of a tall building in New York City. He had decided to take his life. However, before his plunge, rescuers had begged him to come back into the building. The crowd that had gathered below also urged him not to jump. But in spite of all their pleas, he made the fatal leap. It was his choice.

What about the choices we make concerning our religious beliefs? Many individuals describe their belief this way: “God and I have our own thing going. I get up on Sunday morning and enjoy the day in my own way. A pot of good coffee, the Sunday paper, a walk around my yard, it’s my way of knowing that everything’s right with me and my Maker.” This may sound appealing to believe that we can have our own way of making things right with God. We may like the concept of an individualized faith that is tailor-made to get us into heaven. It fits right in with this day of tolerance for everyone’s personal choices.

However, there is a problem for tailor-made ways of getting into heaven: The Bible makes it quite clear that there is only one way of salvation, faith in Jesus Christ. The decision to receive or reject Jesus Christ is a personal matter – something no one can do for us. Ministers may warn with great eloquence about the sad fate awaiting the ungodly that persist in their unbelief. Friends may plead, invite, reason with, and try to persuade the lost to receive Christ. Only those who personally respond will escape spiritual and eternal death. Those who don’t trust Christ are lost, and they will have no one to blame but themselves. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).

Further thoughts:

Ephesians 2:1, “You He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” In Luke 7, we read the dramatic story of what happened when Jesus encountered a large funeral procession. A widow was on her way to the cemetery to bury her only son. With a heart full of compassion, Jesus spoke to the woman, touched the coffin, and with a command brought her son back to life. What happened to that young man is an illustration of what happens to a person who accepts Jesus Christ as Savior of their life.

Until we meet the Savior, we are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) and on our way to the cemetery of what the Bible calls the second death (Revelation 20:6). We will be eternally separated from God’s love unless we are spiritually reborn. My beloved, have you heard the life-giving words of Jesus? He alone can take away the deadness of your soul and give you a thrilling awakening that brings forgiveness and joy right now, and the prospect of heaven forever. If Jesus has rescued you from eternal death, ask Him to use you to tell others of the only One who gives new and everlasting life.

Closing Thoughts:

According to a poll taken by the Barna Research Group sometime ago with regard to Jesus Christ and how a person goes to heaven, they found that 42% of Americans think Jesus committed sins; 25% of professing Christians say He was not sinless, and 61% of Americans think there are other ways to salvation besides faith in Christ. These are very dangerous deviations from the truth found in God’s Eternal Word. Think about it, this is only a poll of Americans … what about the other nationalities of the world!

If you are born-again into the family of God, your Guidebook the Bible, is very clear, in that Jesus Christ lived a perfect and sinless life, and His sacrificial death on the cross is the only way to establish a relationship with a Holy and Righteous God. Thus, we cannot afford to make up our own rules. There is only one true faith (Ephesians 4:5) and there are not multiple of paths to heaven, but only one way. Each individual must receive Christ for themselves. Others would do it for them, if they could, but they cannot. Simply put, it’s a personal matter and individual choice.

(1) Out of all creation, only man can say “yes” or ”no” to God.
(2) My question would be, have you made that all important decision concerning Jesus Christ?