-From “Free Bus Tickets to Heaven” (An Open Invitation to Salvation for my Family and Friends) by A L Evans.
Good Morning everyone. In many of my posts, I have reviewed God’s Plan of Salvation. However, we can never get enough of the good news of Jesus Christ, so here it is again. If you are not saved, it is my prayer that you will be saved before it is everlastingly too late. Jesus is soon to come. If you have any discernment at all, you know that this world is growing more and more wicked every day. A change is coming very soon, and you want to be on the winning side when it occurs.
Jesus wants all people to hear the gospel and to have an opportunity to be saved. Fortunately, the Plan of Salvation is straightforward. God created Adam so that He could enjoy fellowship with him. And, from Adam, He created Eve, a companion for Adam. Humankind fell into sin because Adam disobeyed God. That disobedience caused death to enter the picture as a punishment for the sin. God, a just and holy God, could not allow sin to go unpunished. The only way that the holiness and the justice of God could be satisfied was for someone to die for man’s sin.
God looked around for an individual who would be able to satisfy both His justice (the wages of sin is death – Romans 6:23) and His holiness (be ye holy for I am holy 1 Peter 1:16) so that fellowship with humanity could be re-established. He needed someone who was a relative of man but who knew no sin. God realized that the only person in existence who was pure enough to serve as a propitiation for our sins was Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. God asked his only Son to:
Assume the form of a man.
Go into a sin-cursed world.
Live a life lead by the Holy Ghost.
Die for humankind so that they would not have to die for their sins.
Be raised to Heaven from the dead.
Return to Heaven.
And stand as an intercessor for humanity.
Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior, in obedience to His Father, suffered a horrible death on Calvary’s cross as a substitute for man’s sins. Man’s salvation cost everything for both God and Jesus. God gave his Son, and His Son gave his life that man could be saved as stated in John 3:16:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Jesus willingly gave up his life in obedience to His Father so that that man might be saved. This is made known in John 10:14-15:
I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
His message is reinforced in John 6: 40, which states:
For I came down from Heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
The pathway to salvation is easy, but only because Jesus has already done the hard work. His death for our sins paved the road to redemption. When an individual comes to God for salvation through Jesus Christ, that person must acknowledge that he is a sinner, be sincerely sorry for the sins he has committed, be willing to give up his sinful lifestyle, and live God’s way. Every human being who has ever existed, and will exist in the future, is a sinner until he has been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. This includes the wealthy, the movie stars, the self-righteous, the morally good, the poor, those of other faiths, and everyone else. As we read Romans 3:23, we see God’s purpose of sending His Son to die for our sins:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
After one realizes that he is a sinner and is ready to be saved, he must repent. Repentance is merely asking for forgiveness, turning from sin, and intending never to commit it again. Acts 17:30 shows that everyone must repent of their sins.
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.
If an individual will ask for forgiveness and mean it with his own heart, Jesus will cleanse him from all sin. Jesus promises that if one repents, He will receive that individual and not cast him out. According to John 6:37, the Scripture states:
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
To be saved, or born again, requires praying a sincere but straightforward prayer in obedience to God. When an individual prays the following prayer (or one that uses similar words) and means it with all of his heart, that individual is saved:
“Father, I’m sorry for the sins that I have committed. Forgive me for all of my sins. Save my soul and give me the power to live holy. If you save me, I’ll live for you for the rest of my life.”
Anyone who prays this prayer and means it is saved. The words to state can be provided for you, but you must mean them with all of your heart. A person must believe that he is saved, not because of what he feels or thinks, but because the Word of God says he is. When God forgives an individual, that individual must receive that forgiveness and forgive himself. Once an individual has received salvation, he needs the Holy Ghost’s power to stay saved. The gift of the Holy Ghost is the second act of grace that follows salvation. Acts 1:8 states the following:
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you. Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 2:38 informs us that the Holy Ghost is for everyone.
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Someone might ask the question, “Who is the Holy Ghost, and what is his role in our lives?” The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God. He is the third member of the Godhead, along with the Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. When we receive the Holy Ghost, we can always depend on Him to lead, guide, protect and comfort us. When He left earth and ascended to Heaven, Jesus was aware that we would require help living for God. According to John 16:7, Jesus promised to send the Holy Ghost as our Comforter:
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Jesus sent the Holy Ghost to earth to help anyone who would receive Him. The Bible, In Luke 11:9-13, tells us that we must ask for it.
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?
Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
The Holy Ghost has been received in several ways. The Apostle Paul received the Holy Ghost in Acts 9:17 by the laying on of hands by a Holy Ghost filled witness:
And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
In Acts 10:44, believers were filled with the Holy Ghost while merely listening to the Word of God.
While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
In all cases, when an individual is filled with the Holy Ghost, he will speak with new tongues. The tongues are evidence that the Holy Ghost has arrived. Acts 2:4 speaks of the early disciples and that they spoke in other tongues when they received the Holy Ghost:
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:39 speaks of the promise of the Holy Ghost to all people:
For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Once you are saved, you need to become a member of a Holy Ghost filled church so that you can be taught the ways of God and how to live a clean, holy, and sanctified life for Christ. I recommend Full Gospel Holy Temple Church in Dallas, TX, or one of our other churches located throughout the country. May God bless you.