A death row inmate snarled through the cell bars to the Christian witnessing to him: “Man, my mother went to church! I was even baptized. I know about Jesus, but I need to be saved? Saved from what?” Don’t we wonder what we need to be saved from?
You’d be surprised how some respond to the assertion that they need to be saved from God. It usually goes something like this: “No way!” “God is all about love!” Oh really?
Remember how Adam and Eve committed just one sin? Did he lovingly forgive them? No. He dealt out hard labor, and thorns and thistles. He made the animals to turn wild and ferocious. Yet the worst punishment of all was something that’s been passed to us: physical death. Lucky for all of us God provides a way back into His good graces.
Yet some who call themselves Christians think they have a license to sin. They ignore the requirement that we seek to live holy lives, that we seek sanctification. They’re convinced God will wink or nod at their unrepentant state, or just agree to disagree about it when they meet Him. Nothing could be further from the truth!
When the play pretend/make believe Christian dies God pours out His wrath on him just like he does on the atheist and the pagan! The Bible even hints at the dialogue of the encounter with God. It could go something like this: “I sacrificed my son for your eternal salvation and you didn’t let it transform you? Get down on your knees and confess what you wouldn’t in the life I gave you, that I am Lord and Savior over all! Now depart from me for I know you not!”
Sound a little foreign to the “Jesus meek and mild” you’re used to? Sorry, its God’s response to those who ignore, reject or play pretend/make believe they follow Him. He has to be that way since He’s holy and strictly righteous.
Like that condemned convict we all live on death row (figuratively speaking). The difference is we in the free world don’t have a set execution day, time, manner or even place. The condemned convict does. The bars he’s behind not only keep him in but protect him from being killed or injured from without. In fact, if a death row inmate tries to injure himself, or gets sick he’s not left to die. Oh, no, he’s treated. His life is sustained so he can eventually be executed by the law. So he knows when he’s going to die giving him forewarning that he needs to be right with God before he does, but not us. It’s important that we’re prepared to die today because we might. So get right with Him now, today.
Secondly, a family member’s or friend’s faith, only guarantees their personal, eternal salvation, not yours. It’s your personal commitment or lack thereof in Him that will determine if your post-death destiny is Heaven or Hell. So it’s important that we not only believe in Him but that we worship Him and turn our lifestyle completely around and away from the conduct He calls sin.