Posts Tagged With: Salvation

Is Jesus Really the ONLY Way to Salvation?

I came across this image on facebook, posted it, and enjoyed a lively discussion. Jesus claims to be the only way of salvation. That is an incredible and very exclusive claim, which contradicts every other proposition for salvation or enlightenment, doesn’t it? I want to share with you why I know this is true.

Jesus said:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NLT)

Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, repeats this idea as he addresses the Jews in Jerusalem:

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 (NIV)

Could this be  true? Where does the evidence point? Or do we still care about such things as evidence and truth?

The Evidence:

Jesus fulfilled hundreds of specific prophecies, he performed miracles (even raising the rotting corpse of his friend Lazarus!), his Father testified about him from heaven in front of witnesses on three separate occasions, and he rose from the dead and appeared to more than 500 witnesses at once. I think it’s quite amazing that you can take the evidence that is presented regarding the resurrection and actually prove in a court of law that it did indeed happen. Everything hinges on his resurrection and God did everything to secure this ultimate witness and testimony to who his Son really is. I wrote and talked about this here: Resurrection

The Bible teaches us that God has revealed himself in Jesus. God has made a profound statement in Jesus! God is telling us, “If you want to know what I Am like, what I think, what moves me, what angers me, and how desperately I love you, then look no further than my Son Jesus.”

Why is Jesus the ONLY way?

Jesus came on a rescue mission to save the world. The cross was an essential part of this rescue but He didn’t want to go. Jesus was practically begging his Father, “If there is any other way, please, please, don’t make me endure this!”

Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26:38-39 (NIV)

“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” Luke 22:44 (NIV)

His Father listened with a profound ache in his heart as His Son pleaded with him for another way. Don’t you think that God would have provided another way to save mankind if there were one? If anything other than Jesus resulted in salvation for mankind, wouldn’t he have not sent his Son to suffer and die on a cross?

But this was the only way.

God knew it was the only perfect way to rescue us.

Only through the cross could God be both just and loving. A price had to be paid, sin must be judged and none of us could survive the weight of sins judgement. So God himself stepped in and became the One to save us. Jesus bore all punishment for sin… every last drop of punishment for every last sin.

 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

Yes, God has made a profound statement to the world.

Here is your salvation, I give you my Son!

Jesus very name (in his own language is Yehoshua) literally means, “I AM Salvation” or “I AM your Savior”.

Those who receive him are made holy and new and free and have a glorious future in paradise with him. They are reconciled to God and have begun a relationship with him that will last forever. It’s this relationship – this connection – that is our salvation.

But Scripture is clear that those who reject him or ignore him are doomed. (Ignoring Him is rejection).

“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:18

The wrath of God remains on them, and they will suffer the torments of hell. Forever alone. Forever suffering the same torments, agony, and rejection that Jesus has already suffered for them. Yet they chose to reject his sacrifice for them and chose sin and hell instead.

So you see, Jesus really is the only way of salvation and we must choose.

We are not free not to choose. We must surrender our lives to Jesus and ask him to save us. He will! Ask him to save you right now! Read the Gospel of John to get to know Jesus better and then read the New Testament and then the whole Bible. Get to know God!

What are your thoughts? Leave a Comment!

Categories: Gospel, Redemption | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

The Love of God

I’d like to share a few thoughts with you about the love of God. There is a Scripture that simply says, “God is love” (1 John 4). Love is at the core of who God is. His very nature is love. God’s word also tells us that God, “is not far from any one of us, for in him we live and move and exist…” (Acts 17:27-28)

A very significant and powerful world view paradigm shift takes place as we let the truth of these two Scriptures sink in. I mean, this is a radical, life changing truth!

Think about it. If God is love, and in him we live and move and exist, then we are in this very moment immersed in love. We are surrounded on every side by love, by God. God permeates everything… everywhere… everything, that is, except what exactly? Are there any exceptions? Perhaps the space in our own person?

God is the creator. The entire universe, seemingly infinite in size, cannot contain God. God’s word tells us that nothing exists in all the universe apart from him and his willing it to exist, for he created all things.

“All things are made by him and for him” (Colossians 1).

Heart cloud crossYou and I are made by God, for God; we were made by love, for love. Isn’t that amazing to think we were created by a loving being just to be loved?

This is only thing that ultimately offers us any meaning and purpose in this life. Only In the love of God.

I have often asked:

  • Just how close does God want to get?
  • How intimate a relationship – friendship does he desire?
  • Just how loved are we?

How would you like to be loved the way you always dreamed of being loved? How would you like to be cherished, valued and adored just for being you? The reason we want to be loved and treasured like this is because we were made to be loved and treasured like this – by God.

if-grace-is-an-ocean-we-re-all-sinking_design_thumbRemember this, We are made by a God who’s very core and essence is love, who is the source of all love. And we were made to be  loved. We live and move and exist in love. You are deeply loved by God and that changes everything. As a song lyric says, “If grace was an ocean, then we’re all sinking”.

God is love… but sadly, we are not. Though we are made in his image, Humanity is bankrupt when it comes to love.

This is why God gave us his law of love, to show us that we don’t know how to love others, we don’t know how to love God, and we don’t even know how to love ourselves. Why else do we treat each other like shit? Why else do we ignore God and his loving commands and words to us? Why else do we pursue self destruction with smoking, drinking, or porn? And why do we give the best parts of ourselves and our best years to money, sex, and entertainment, etc…?

But, though we are bankrupt when it comes to love, God holds out hope and salvation to us. He provides redemption through the rescuer and savior of the entire human race, Jesus (whose name literally means, “I AM your salvation” or “I AM your savior”).  He is our hero – the protagonist – in this often painful human drama

No longer is it about us and our “love bankrupt” lives. No longer is it about us trying hard enough to please God, to earn his acceptance, to somehow win the Almighty’s favor. No, now it all about our hero Jesus and what he has accomplished on our behalf.

The focus now becomes Jesus and the perfect holy life of love he lived and the cross where he suffered more than we will ever know for all of our bad living, all our unlove, and ungrace.

It’s now about the cross where he achieved the tremendous victory over sin accomplishing through his sacrifice more than we will ever know.

It’s now about how he rose from death and conquered the power of death. He overcame all that separates us from God.

And it’s now about how all these things, his holy life of love, his death on the cross, his resurrection come to have their significance in our lives as we place our trust in him.

Jesus now, with all his heart, offers everything to you. He gives you his victory over sin. He gives you his perfect love to live in your heart by his very own presence through the Holy Spirit. He now offers you paradise forever, that you might eternally be discovering the glories of his infinite love.

So what’s required of us to get in on all of this? Simple trust. We believe. We believe what God says and we receive him by faith. We believe that he really is that good, and that we can trust him for everything.

It means having the courage, and I know, sometimes it takes an enormous amount of courage to accept your acceptance when you feel so unworthy. Maybe you even think that God is better off without you. God’s heart breaks for you to know that you are already accepted by him.

Your acceptance is not on the basis of your own merit, but solely on the basis of Jesus merit. It’s based on his cross, on his blood which he gladly shed for you – all for just the chance, just the chance, to know you, and to love you.

So here is what I’m going to ask that you would do in response to all of this. Would you pray with me?

“Jesus, you are famous for your mercy, grace and love. In you alone is the perfection of grace and truth. Your word tells us that you are God, the savior of the world. I believe. Save me. Rescue me.

May I come to experience your love, to fully grasp that you love me. I want to know that love that prompted you to die for me, for my sin. And to experience you as the one who created me for love. Thank you for loving me and accepting me. Thank you God that I don’t have to earn your love but that I get to just embrace and receive it.

Please clear my head of all the false notions of who you are that keep me from knowing you as you really are. Reveal your mercy and love to me Jesus . Reveal yourself to me.”

Categories: Love of God, Redemption | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

The Beauty of Redemption

by Daniel Lovett on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 2:33pm

(I am finally sharing this post after years of having a particular movie come back to mind time and time again. It continues to bless me with a glimpse of God’s redemption.)

The Razor’s Edge is a movie in which Bill Murray plays Larry. Shortly after WWI, Larry goes on a quest to find truth, to find something worth living for, to find a purpose to life. He was not content to simply be who everyone else expected him to be, living the status quo life he saw all around him. No, he wanted more.

And so he parts ways with the girl he was seeing at the time, Isabel, and goes off for a year to tour the world, eventually finding himself up on a snowy mountain peak in Nepal. At the end of the year he returns to London to learn that Isabel had married one of Larry’s wealthy and influential friends.

One night, while all three of them were out to dinner together they saw in the restaurant an old friend of theirs named Sophie. Isabel related the gossip about her. Evidently she had gotten mixed up with drugs and alcohol and even worse had now resorted to prostitution. Right then and there Larry decides to rescue Sophie.

Larry takes Sophie home with him, to save her. He convinces her to stay with him each new day and they spend the days just enjoying life. Picnics, outings on the lake, long walks, good conversation… Soon the light comes back to Sophie’s eyes. She remembers what it was to have fun, to laugh again, to really be alive. She has hope.

Cover of

It was in this unselfish daily outpouring of redeeming love, giving worth to Sophie, and restoring the beauty of her soul that Larry finds what he was looking for all along. He finds it in true love. He never so much as makes a reference to her past. But instead he gently woos her, wins her confidence and trust and eventually her heart.

After many days Larry and Sophie become engaged, but Isabel, though married to another, is jealous and sabotages Sophie. She cuts her down with snide remarks and tells her that she doesn’t deserve to be loved by Larry. She doesn’t hesitate to remind her of her past and her words find their mark. Sophie is devastated and begins to drink a bottle of alcohol, a gift from Isabel.

Sophie leaves. When Larry learns that she is gone, he is soon in desperate search of her. Sadly, he learns that Sophie had returned to her old life and finds her at the brothel, drugged up, drunk, and surrounded by wicked men. He pleads with her to come home with him and she replies, “Don’t you see, you’re better off without me.” The men throw him out and beat him up as he struggles to rescue her.

The next day Sophie is found dead, floating in the river.

——–

In this story, I see the heart of God for us. We are “Sophie”. We all need a Savior to come to our rescue, sweep us off our feet, and show us how to live, laugh, and love again. But, our story could end as tragically as Sophie’s if we aren’t careful. We have to fight to embrace the love of Jesus. While it may be true that we don’t deserve God’s outrageous love, that doesn’t matter to him.  It isn’t about what we deserve at all. It’s all about his passionate love for us.

There is a verse that saved my life found in 1 John 4:18:

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” NIV

or, as another translation puts it:

“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” NLT

This verse gives me hope, that though I may still fear, it’s only because I haven’t quite yet grasped God’s perfect love for me. His love is still there. It still remains to be discovered, embraced and that’s encouraging! And then there’s that whole thing about punishment. Let me ask you, are there any sins left to be punished if Jesus took them all at the cross?

What remains then is, will we receive his love? Will we fight for that love, to hang on to that love?

God will indeed receive you and lavish such love on you, never to mention the ways you went wrong in the past. But, you must not allow the devil to lie to you, and tear you away from the one who loves you so much that he would die for you (and he did). You must hang on to the hope that Jesus offers you. You need to believe!

There is a similar story found early in the book of Hosea in the Bible. Through this story God tells Hosea to marry a prostitute. Hosea’s wife then leaves him and gets mixed up with other men. Hosea searches for her and when he finds her, he even has to pay a ransom to buy his own wife back.

God orchestrated this story in Hosea’s life to represent God’s relationship with his people. That even though we have been, and are, unfaithful to him, as Hosea’s wife was to him, and even though we cheat on him with our sins, God still loves us. He will not divorce us as his people but will restore us and redeem us… if that’s what we want.

“God has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”” Hebrews 13:5 NIV

He doesn’t even wait for our hearts to turn toward him to redeem us. He redeemed us even when we still loved our sin. Even when we are still pursuing our wicked ways, he died for us. This is what Jesus has done for you and me at the cross.

Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrated his love toward us in this, that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”

It is Christ’s death that redeems us from death. It is Jesus who came to our rescue while we were still “in the whorehouse”. He will restore life and beauty to our souls.

One more note. We also must be careful not to play the part of Isabel in other peoples lives. Jesus wants everyone to come to the table of his love and grace. We cannot be obstacles to people coming to Jesus. There is room for everyone and we must not make it about who deserves to come and who is more righteous than the next and who deserves his approval more. No one deserves the extravagant love of God.  But God is desperate that everyone knows his generous love and redemption.

Redemption is such a beautiful thing!

Always remember this: you are loved outrageously by an outrageously loving God!

ps. Read Luke 15. This is the Father’s attitude toward us, and relates perfectly to this post.

This video will bless you: Love, by Jaeson Ma: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73kZ6wBoqTk

Categories: Redemption | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com