Introduction ~ In modern “tolerant” society many make significant efforts to not offend anyone. Some believe that it is “sincerity that counts. Others think that if their good deeds out number their bad deeds since God will consider the balance of their life on earth. Others believe God grades on a curve. But God, His Word, and Truth have not and will not change.
Key Passages ~ “Jesus said to Thomas, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6).
The Reality ~ Not everyone will believe, and Jesus knew that. “Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one’” (John 10:25-30).
The Key Difference ~ There are many religions in the world and they are all based on man doing his part to earn his way to eternal life in heaven. Christianity is distinct: followers serve a living Master; it is not a religion but a relationship with that living Savior; and most importantly our Savior has done it all and we can add nothing to our salvation. On the Cross Jesus said, “It [salvation] is finished” (John 19:30).
The Result ~ “We love Jesus because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Our response to His great love is good works—not for salvation but as a result of salvation. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10).
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