God’s Plan of Salvation
“For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 'Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 'You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13).
“For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:3-7).
The message of Jesus to the world is good news. A message of forgiveness, hope, and salvation in this life and the next. A message based on His kindness, to give us a real future and a real hope.
Yet, so many people have terrible misconceptions about God’s character and His plan of salvation.
God does not call us to place our faith in a church or religion - but to trust Jesus.
Salvation is faith in a person; not an organization, ritual or tradition.
Jesus has proved the extent of His great love towards us by dying a sacrificial death on the cross in our place. He did this not because we deserve it, but because of His kindness and mercy; that we might be saved from the consequences of our sin and moral failures, and not sentenced to eternal separation from Him, but instead - enjoy a personal relationship with Him forever.
This is God’s plan of salvation; to rescue us from sin and death, to save us from our inability to love God and people, and adopt us as His own children to inherit all God’s blessings and goodness.
It is a call to receive a pardon from the King of all Creation, by placing our trust in the sacrifice of atonement accomplished by Jesus on the cross, that we might be transformed at the core of our inner being into a new creation; with a new heart, a new attitude and new desires to genuinely love God and people.
This is the clear message of the Bible which unfortunately has been distorted and discredited by many people and organizations throughout history which have not represented the truth of Jesus, but have failed to obey and follow Jesus faithfully.
But even if people who claim to speak in the name of God, have been unfaithful and misrepresented God; Jesus is the perfect example and has perfectly demonstrated His is worthy of all our trust and worship.
“For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
"If anyone hears My words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. "He who rejects Me and does not receive My words, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. (John 12:47-48).
Some people think God must prevent all evil from occurring in the world, cure all diseases, and bring unconditional happiness to all people everywhere. And if this is not happening; then God is not doing His job, or He is either not all powerful or not all loving,
Some people think if our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds; then God is obligated to bless us, prevent evil from touching our lives, and must accept us into heaven based on our own good character,
Others think God is similar in character to morally flawed human beings with anger issues and erratic emotional behavior;
Still others think God is not a person at all, with a mind, emotions and will; but an unintelligent and impersonal force.
These and many other misconceptions are based on opinions with little or no evidence. But God has made Himself known through Jesus in the Bible, so we can have a true understanding of who God is and what He is like.
Jesus is not just a great teacher or a man claiming to have heard from God - He is God Himself and a faithful representative of the One and Only true God.
“I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, "I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?" The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God” (John 10:30-33).
“But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:20-21).
What is the cause of evil in the world? Is it God who commands us not to kill, lie, and steal, and to love our neighbor as ourselves? Or is it we who disobey God?
God is continually calling us to trust and obey Him in order for righteousness, justice and peace to prevail in the world, but we continue to disobey God and follow our own sinful desires; resulting in acts of selfishness, greed, corruption, and all sorts of evil, pain and suffering.
The root cause of all the evil, disease, pain and suffering in the world, is a direct consequence of our disobedience and moral failures against God.
God has proved Himself to be blameless and has demonstrated His perfect love, patience and kindness by providing every opportunity for us to turn from our evil ways and do what is right and just.
“This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4).
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
“For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies," declares the Lord GOD. "Therefore, repent and live” (Ezekiel 18:32).
History proves that all who genuinely and wholeheartedly trust in Jesus make a positive difference in the world. God’s plan of salvation involves transforming our mind, heart and will to become more like Jesus, so we can love God and people, as we grow in our relationship with Jesus and knowledge of God, through the working of the Holy Spirit in all have genuinely and wholeheartedly accepted Jesus by faith.
It is important to understand that God does not want anyone to suffer eternal separation from Him and is patient toward us, faithfully continuing to call us to turn away from evil and turn to Jesus in trust and obedience.
Jesus died and rose again on our behalf that we might become holy and righteous before God, and not only to be accepted by God on judgment day, but to live in humble obedience and service to God and man in this life.
All who accept who Jesus is and what He has done on our behalf will find grace, mercy and acceptance with God; and God will begin to make us more like Jesus through the Holy Spirit.
This does not mean we will be perfect, but God through the Holy Spirit will begin to transform us as we follow Jesus through all the means of grace.
“But what does it say? "the word in near you, in your mouth and in your heart "- that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Romans 10:8-10).
Good and Bad
God created us to be perfect in love towards Himself and people, but we have all sinned and fall short of His glory. The glory of God means His perfection and beauty. But because of our disobedience and moral failure before Him, we are no longer able to function as glorious beings created in the image of God; instead we are all damaged, tainted, and dysfunctional beings unable to truly love God and love each other.
Although some people obey God more than others and some people are more righteous than others; no one is perfect as God originally created us to be. We were created to reflect the glory and perfection of God. If we are not perfect in our love towards God and people, then we fall short of God’s glory.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
People who think their good deeds will outweigh their bad deeds, and because of this will be granted access to heaven; fail to take into account that the good we do, is the good we were created to do. It is of no credit doing what we were originally made for.
If we fail to think, feel and act perfectly, then we must give an account to God and meet the demands of His holiness and justice as sinners for our disobedience and moral failures.
Either we pay for our sins on judgment day and suffer eternal separation from God or we accept God’s offer of free grace and forgiveness by having Jesus pay for our sins on our behalf.
“But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life! And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” (Romans 5:8-11).
God is a Person
God is a person and not an impersonal force or energy. He is not “the Universe” or an irrational and unpredictable force. He is an individual being with a mind that reasons, a heart that feels, and a will that acts.
God is perfectly holy and good, without sin or evil. God cannot commit any act of evil or unrighteousness. He is totally blameless and demonstrates this through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
The main message which God has communicated through the Bible is simple and straight forward:
God is the Creator of all things in heaven and earth,
God created people in His perfect image with the ability to think, feel and act,
People choose to disobey God and live against His perfect design, commands and instructions,
People have continually filled the world with violence, wickedness and evil, and provoked God to pronounce His judgments,
Because of mankind’s persistent tendency to cause evil, pain and suffering in the world; God has announced He will judge all people and destroy the present world, in order to create a new heaven and new earth, without sin and death,
God has a plan of salvation to save people from judgment and to inherit the new heaven and new earth,
God has promised to save people who place their genuine, sincere and wholehearted trust in Jesus,
Salvation is based on accepting God’s offer of free grace and mercy for anyone who will turn away from sin and evil and turn toward God, by trusting in Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross.
Make no mistake, God’s plan of salvation is not about creating a perfect world in the here and now. Many who believe God will solve all the world’s problems and cure all evil in this present life, will be sorely disappointed.
God’s plan of salvation is for a “new heaven” and a “new earth” to replace the current heaven and earth, because life in this world is filled with sin, evil and disobedience, and under the condemnation of God; and Jesus has set a day for a total destruction of this present world.
God’s plan of salvation is a promise that He will be with us through the storms of life and provide us with His loving instruction, discipline and guidance through this life, until Jesus returns or our time in this life comes to an end.
Just like the destruction of all life at the flood of Noah, the same fate awaits our current world. In the same way God destroyed the world in Noah’s time, so will the current heaven and earth be destroyed; because humanity has proved time and time again that we cannot be trusted to manage the earth and we cannot genuinely and sincerely love one another.
“Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them” (Genesis 6:5-7).
“For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. "For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37-39).
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:10-13).
The Promise of God
God cannot lie and He has made a promise; that whosoever places their trust in Jesus, will not perish along with the judgment and condemnation of the world, but be saved to inherit the new heavens and new earth; and will be blessed with the grace and knowledge of God in this life.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."
And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." Then He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. "He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.
"But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:1-8).
I hope your destiny will be with Jesus in the new heavens and new earth, and I hope to see you there on the day of eternity.
God bless you...