Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Heaven Awaits!

“…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)

This simple passage of Scripture has probably been responsible for bring more hope into the heart of Christians than any other in the Bible. It is beautifully written and speaks to the heart of the doctrine of Salvation. All people, young and old, at one time or another in their lives consider the question of salvation. They may not know or understand the term, but when they consider eternity, the afterlife, and what the future holds for them, often that term or its sister, Redemption, comes to mind. In our heart of hearts we know that there are times when we sin and often hurt others in the process. It is a given for all of humanity and unfortunately, there is no escaping it. The shame, the contempt we exert toward what others may think, the defense we bring for upholding or dismissing our actions, and possibly (rather hopefully) the apologetic reaction  we display are all things that may come into bloom during those moments. But what most do not know is that the Scripture teaches that sin separates us from God.  The greatest witness to that is the feelings and attitude we incur against ourselves, that loud inner bell that harshly rings, teaching us that something has just gone awry …again.

The diverse ways people deal with its annoying clamor are as numerous as the flavors of ice cream. Nevertheless, it is that clanging bell that keeps us aware that we are not perfect.  Many a mouth has been fed or a structure erected as a result of the self-efficacious works accomplished to the tune of that bell. And in a way, we feel that our shortfall becomes justified; but to whom? To whom are we trying to gain justification? Our peers? Family? Colleagues? If any action of benevolent undertaking stems only from a root of wrong doing, then surely we must question our motives that prompted our actions. Doing good to others is awesome! But doing it to gain the approval of others is vanity at its best.

I think the clamor of the bell goes much deeper than we think or are willing to accept. The ringing of the bell awakens our heart to a sense of right and wrong. The fleshly nature within us is a deceiver. It says it is ok to kill what lives! Then it flees for enough of a moment to leave us reeling in the aftermath. So, whether through the things we say or the things we do, inflicting pain on another will kill a little something both inside that person and in our own heart as well. The Bible calls these things sin. In the beginning it was not so; for it was in the perfection of the garden that mankind first sinned and it was there also that God first clothed and covered the nakedness of the sin with His work of righteousness. (Gen. 3:21) Mankind’s problem is accountability.

When you were a small child you were accountable to your parents. But now that you have grown you are accountable to one who gave you life, God. God is Holy and to enter His eternity, heaven, we too must be holy. Is it possible that God has provided a way to deal with the damaging effects of sin? Can we ever become un-separated, that is reconciled to God whom we have offended? Yes we can! God has provided for us a way to be clothed in righteousness through the one who led a perfect life and gave it for you upon a cruel cross two thousand years ago, Jesus the Lord. The Scripture declares with authority:

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor. 5:21)

Again, Romans 10:9-10 states:

“…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

The steps to heaven are clear, but they require recognition of the following:

1)      Our unclean condition because of sin and our desire to be free from it. This is required or the concept of believing unto righteousness makes no sense. In order for His righteousness to be effective there must first be unrighteousness to eliminate.
2)      Our acknowledgement that there is only one way to heaven; the Lord Jesus
3)      Our confession and acceptance of Jesus with our mouth because of what we believe to be true in the heart, that is, that Jesus defeated death.
4)      Because He is Lord we need to show Him our faith in the following ways:
a.       By turning our hearts away from the sin that destroyed us.
b.      By allowing Him to speak to us through the daily reading His word, the Bible, to gain instruction.
c.       By submitting to His call upon our lives in obedience.

God loves you so much. He does not put a burden upon us that we cannot bear. He simply asks us to realize we need Him. We cannot make it on our own. Won’t you trust Him today? Remember, if you have accepted Christ you are a new creation, 2 Cor. 5:17, old things have passed away and all things have become new.

God Bless
Bro. Mike