Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A simple answer to a simple question

"I would like a simple answer to a simple question. Do you believe that people who die without believing in Jesus Christ as their savior will be saved and go to Heaven?"

God promised that He would liberate the human race from death, and that He would do this through the suffering death of the Jewish Messiah (see Isaiah 53). The result would be peace with God for all who would humble themselves, repent and trust the God-given Savior (see Isaiah 55:1-3). Peace with God would mean everlasting life for humanity.

The Old Testament said that the result of conversion would be a new heart with new desires--desires that wanted to please the God, with Whom we were once at enmity (a "heart of stone" towards Him):

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them" (Ezekiel 36:25-27).

The salvation of God (eternal life) would be offered to all men: to the Jew first, then to the Greek, the Indian, as well as Chinese, Russian, Moslem, Hindu, Buddhist, Kiwis, Aussies and even to atheists--those who are red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His sight. Anyone can be saved from death and Hell (see Romans 10:13).

There is only one stipulation. They must come to the God-provided Savior, not through a man-made religion which cannot wash away sin. Jesus Christ is the only One who can forgive sin and give peace with God because He was God manifest in human form. There is a big reason for this exclusivity.

All man-made religions are "works righteous" religions. They think that they can get to Heaven by being good, praying, fasting, doing good works, through repentance, etc. (see Romans 10:2-3). This is because they don’t understand one very important truth. God is utterly perfect. His Law therefore demands moral perfection. It says that lust is adultery in His eyes and hatred is murder. His moral Law (the Ten Commandments) shows us that He is a Judge and we are desperate criminals in His sight. That changes everything. Now, anything we offer the Judge isn’t “good works,” but a despicable attempt to bribe Him, and that is an abomination in His sight (see Proverbs 21:27). The only thing that can save us is the mercy of the Judge.

Fortunately, we are told that God is "rich" in mercy. In His kindness He provided a Savior--someone to pay our fine in His life’s blood. That happened at the cross.

This is what that Savior said about Himself: "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the father but through me" (John 14:6). Old and New Testament Scripture is consistent: "They shall be My people, and I will be their God; then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them" (Jeremiah 32:38), "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

Tragically, whoever dies in their sins will get fearful justice. Whoever dies in Christ will have mercy and thus have everlasting life. It’s very simple. See Romans 2:6-9.

So let's not complain about God being unfair because people perish if they die in their sins. Instead, we should become missionaries and spend our lives telling this God-hating world the good news of eternal salvation for all humanity. I did.