When are we Saved?

We know beyond doubt that we are saved by Grace EPH 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, …note that we are saved by grace THROUGH FAITH …. How many times have I heard people saying “I am saved by grace and grace alone”.

When we are called by God, a process is put into action …the first step being an inexplicable urge within us to turn from your sinful, wicked ways (in many spheres this is known as Prevenient Grace); and it is the initial prompting of the Holy Spirit of God for us mere sinful mortals to ask for forgiveness and turn to Him; a process referred to as repentance; this happens after hearing or reading of the Kingdom and Jesus’ work on Calvary’s cross… we may respond immediately to this anomaly; or it may takes days, weeks or even months for us to respond…or we may never respond. ROM 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Jesus referred to this process in His parable of the Sower Matt 13:18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower:

13:19 “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.

13:20 “But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;

13:21 “yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

13:22 “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

13:23 “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

From the above parable we can see various ways that the message (seed) is received and our subsequent responding to it by faith. We must ask ourselves the question “Were those that received the word by the wayside, or on stony ground, or among the thorns saved, and then subsequently lost their salvation?” How many times have I heard the argument “Oh he or she obviously was not saved in the first place” or “If they were truly saved they would never have done that”…

Jesus never ever said that ‘being saved’ would be easy and He tells us this in Matt 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.

7:14 “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. That is correct dear reader THERE ARE FEW WHO FIND SALVATION.

We as believers get so hooked up on certain elements of doctrine that sometimes we are blinded to the truth…we are so frightened of this word ‘works’ that we believe that we can do nothing to enter into salvation it is solely by grace … well possibly we are wrong. Paul tells those at Philippi 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;

2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

John writes in his epistles of the importance of loving our brothers and he goes on to say 1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. The inference here is that there are some who did not continue to believe and no longer have eternal life…

Jude tells us categorically that we are justified by our works

Jude 2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe-and tremble!

2:20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?

2:22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?

2:23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.

2:24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

Jesus tells all the believers Matt 24:12 “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.24:13 “But he who endures to the end shall be saved. Please note that these are true believing Christians Jesus is referring to, not some group of ‘Left behind’ Jews as some Dispensationalist preachers would have us believe in there false “Rapture’ doctrine.

Here Jesus is talking to the likes of you and me and He is saying “Keep the faith….keep going in spite of all tribulation…Love your God with all your heart mind and soul…love your neighbor as yourself …do unto others as you would have them do unto you…THEN YOU WILL BE SAVED….

Paul did exactly that until he breathed his last and fell asleep 2TM 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Jesus paid the price for our sins upon Calvary’s cross, this gift comes with a price (nowhere does it say that it is a FREE gift) Love the Lord your God with all your mind, heart and soul and your fellow man as yourself…If you are not doing that, then I would suggest you start right away…remember well what happened to the man who never used his Talent?

Matt 25:30 ‘And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

There is no better time than right now to spread the Gospel; why not do it?

Father Forgive them.

Luke 23:32 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death.

23:33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.

23:34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.

Jesus, nailed to the cross by Roman soldiers, cried out “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

There are few Christians who have not heard these words from the lips of our Savior Christ Jesus …But the question begs to be answered …who are the ‘them’ whom Jesus is asking The Father to forgive? Most Christians have never questioned who specifically Jesus is asking His Father to forgive.

Is it the Pharisees?…Is it the Scribes?…Is it the Sadducees?…Is it the Jewish crowd who cried “Crucify Him” …Is it Caiaphas? …Is it Pontius Pilate?… No it appears that it is none of these people.

If we exercise sound Hermeneutics, we have to come to one conclusion only; it has to be the Roman soldiers who were following orders and were the only ones who had the authority to fulfill the Roman command… if we follow the text of Luke he specifically says ‘there they crucified Him’ …’they’ also crucified the two criminals ‘and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left’. And so that we were in no doubt who the ‘they’ are Luke continues ‘And they divided His garments and cast lots’

The Gospels of Matthew and Mark are very specific of the ill treatment laid upon Jesus by the Roman soldiers; from their mocking, scourging and final nailing of Jesus to that dreadful cross…

It was the Roman soldiers who Jesus requested forgiveness for and no-one else…not even the Jews who cried “Crucify Him”…for they knew what they were doing.

JH 1:11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.

And they still do not receive Him …nothing has changed….