It was in July of 1998.. I was talking with him and he told me that he didn't believe I was saved.
I often wondered what being saved was.
Think about it.. "Save" has so many meanings.. Save can be a button you hit so that you don't lose a document on your computer.. You can save money.. You can save time.. You can save somebody's life.. But being Born Again is the true meaning of being saved.
It's salvation through Jesus. I was speaking with Ryan the other day, and we were talking about being Born Again.
"Every human has a soul.." "..That's how they are able to go to Heaven.." Some humans' souls however are not born again. Every soul is born with every human. But there is a time when the soul has a chance for a rebirth; a cleansing. Some unfortunate souls don't take that chance, they abuse it, and they never are able to be reborn: they're not saved. And you can only be born again once.
There's something Ryan gave me the last night I saw him before he left for California. I had questions on being saved.... He gave me the pamphlet "The Promise Of Heaven." Here is what the pamphlet says:
"What will heaven be like?
Heaven is a place more wonderful than we can ever begin to imagine. It is a place of joy and beauty, of peace and happiness that will never end.
Why? Because heaven is also a place where there will be no sin or suffering, no sorrow or pain. It's a place where there will be no quarrels or disagreements, no disappointments or weeping-- because there will be nothing to make us sad. And in heaven we will never do anything to displease God.
We will then know perfect joy. Psalm 16:11 says, 'In Thy presence is fullness of joy; in Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.' Everything that now makes us groan will finally be done away with, and we will find ourselves in the very presence of God, where the purest and truest kind of joy is possible.
In heaven we will also have perfect knowledge. The Bible says, 'Then shall I know even as also I am known' (1 Cor. 13:12). We will have no more unanswered questions, no confusion, no ignorance, and no more need to walk by faith rather than by sight.
We will live in perfect comfort. We will love God perfectly and will be loved perfectly by Him. His love will engulf us forever.
Stated simply, heaven is a place of perfect joy forever.
Think of it! We will be perfectly free from evil forever. We will be set free from captivity to sin, and finally able to do that which is absolutely righteous, holy, and perfect before God. With sin and its effects erased forever, the promise of heaven is an everlasting life of unimaginable blessing!
How good do I have to be to go to heaven?
Most people understand that doing evil can keep us out of heaven. But few realize the Bible also teaches that doing good cannot get us in.
None of us could ever gain enough merit to deserve heaven. We are sinful, and God's standard is utter perfection. Jesus said, 'Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdowm of heaven' (Matthew 5:20). He added, 'You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect' (v.48).
Who then can go to heaven? Who can be saved?
Jesus' disciples asked Him this same question (Matthew 19:25). His answer? 'With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible' (v.26). In other words, being saved so that we can go to heaven is not something we can accomplish. It is something God must do for us.
What if I stopped sinning now and never sinned again?
No matter how hard we try, we could never stop sinning because we are hopelessly in bondage to sin. The Bible tells us even our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). In other words, we are sinful to the core. Furthermore, even a single sin would be enough to destroy us forever: 'Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all' (James 2:10). But even if we never sinned from now on, we would still be guilty of our past sins. And as the Bible says, 'The wages of sin is death' (Romans 6:23).
But the good news is that God has provided a way to free us from the guilt of sin!
What has God done for me to take away my sin so I can go to heaven?
When God forgives, He cannot merely overlook sin. Full payment (atonement) must be made for our sin. Christ's death made full atonement for those who trust Him. If we believe in Him, His dying counts in our stead, paying for our sins in full. The Bible says, 'The blood of Jesus . . . cleanses us from all sin' (1 John 1:7). It is only through the blood of Christ that we can ever be cleansed from the terrible guilt of sin.
But that only erases the guilt of our sin; we still need perfect righteousness in order to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:20).
Where do we get that perfect righteousness?
If you truly believe in Him, the full merit of Jesus' own righteousness is credited (imputed) to you-- to all those who trust Him alone for salvation.
The Bible teaches that God 'justifies the ungodly' by reckoning (or crediting) Christ's righteousness to them (Romans 4:5). Believers are clothed in His righteousness, and God accepts them solely and exclusively on that basis. That's why the Apostle Paul was willing to discard all his own efforts to earn God's favor, preferring instead to stand before God robed in a righteousness that was not his own (Philippians 3:8-9).
If you are not a Christian, you need to lay hold of this truth by faith: the sin that will keep you out of heaven has no cure but the blood of Christ. If you are weary of your sin and exhausted from the load of your guilt, He tenderly holds forth the offer of life and forgiveness and eternal rest to you: 'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest' (Matthew 11:28).
How can I be sure Christ will save me?
The Bible promises that no one who believes in Christ will be turned away: 'Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out' (John 6:37). In the closing words of the Bible, Christ invites all to come to Him and receive the promise of heaven: '. . . Let him that heareth . . . come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely' (Rev. 22:17b).
-- John F. Mac Arthur
If you would like to know Jesus Christ as your Savior and have the promise of heaven, we would encourage you to receive Him right now wherever you are. Simply pray:
Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I know that You died for me to pay for my sins. Please forgive me and make me one of Your own, that I may live in Heaven with You for all eternity."
SINS: If you commit sins and you feel no guilt, "then the question is, 'Are you truly saved?'" -Ryan
NOTE: If you ever doubt God's Word, think of it this way. Things happened that the Bible predicted. Everything that the Bible predicted happened, and you don't have to be "religious" to see it. All you have to do is open your eyes and look! Stop being blind. The Bible is right, God's Word is true. "It's been around for 2,000 years.. And it's still around." How blind do you have to be to not be able to see it's true??
How to be saved? To put it simply, and to put it in Ryan's words: "Accept Jesus as your Savior."
Hey, if you still have questions about being saved, I have some great verses in the Bible that Ryan read to me on February 14th 1999.. Here they are:
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" -Romans 3:23
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." -Romans 6:23
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalth believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." -Romans 10:9
"For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." -Romans 10:10
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." -Romans 10:13
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" -Ephesians 2:8
"Not of works, lest any man should boast." -Ephesians 2:9
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;" -Titus 3:5
"Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;" -Titus 3:6
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