Salvation in Christ is not a willy-nilly “free for all” gift bin. You can’t just say “Okay Jesus”, “Sure thing – God”. The Gospel of Christ is not a “come one, come all” offer by God. You must be born again.
Scripture does not say “Whosoever wants to say a little prayer… may come and be saved. Oh! And then go and live however you want to.” No.
The meaning of God’s promise is like this: Whoever bows their will to Me may come to Me and I will save them. The stark reality is (Hebrews 10:26) “if we go on willfully and deliberately sinning” after hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ — you are not saved.
The Bible makes it clear. It says “Whosoever wills may come.” To be truly saved – we must bow our will to Him, follow Him — not practice sin and go on following our own way. The full Gospel of Christ says:
For if we go on willfully and deliberately sinning
after receiving the knowledge of the truth,
there no longer remains a sacrifice
[to atone] for our sins
[that is, no further offering to anticipate]
For whosoever shall do
the will of my Father which is in heaven,
the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
It’s a very scary thing to examine your heart and think: What if I’ve been fooling myself, not bowing my will to Christ?
Jesus did not teach simple “easy believism”. He did not offer heaven free! He demanded all of me. He said “You shall….” He did not say “you may”. And from the context of His heavenly standard, from His Holy Kingdom, He demanded “all”. Not a partial. Not some kind of halfhearted, lukewarm, lackadaisical, “well, okay god…” response.
Luke 10:27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
That is what Jesus said: All… all… all… all.
Would a Fortune 500 company hire you on the basis of your commitment to their company — if it were the same type of commitment you have made to Christ? Or would they conclude that you really are not what you say you are? Would they say, “Sorry. We are seeing very little evidence of being sold-out and totally given over to our standards and mission.”
The English language is not as exacting as Greek. So when you read the Bible, it is sometimes recommended to read several translations to really get down to the exact meaning of the passage. For instance the word “believe” is not communicating all of what is in the original. Don’t be fooled. Don’t just say, “Yes I believe.” That’s not good enough for God.
The New Testament original Greek of John 3:16 makes it very clear that “believing” is more than mental assent. It means: “whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
– John 3:16 Amplified Bible (AMP)“ For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] [a]only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.
When the ancients dyed their clothes, or “baptized” the cloth in color (same word), it took on a completely new identity. That is what one is expressing to all the world around them with being baptized. He/she totally identifies (like as definitely as with a new color of cloth), becoming brand new. Is THAT the type of belief you have put yourself into by accepting Christ as Savior?
This is the type of belief John is referring to. It’s the same in verse 16 and 18: “Whoever believes and has decided to trust in Him [as personal Savior and Lord]“. It is not just our common everyday word type of “believe”, not simply an intellectual mental agreement that “Christ is real”. (The Devil has that kind of belief in Christ!)
On the contrary: It is a belief in Jesus that makes a volitional choice and truthfully puts his/her full trust in Jesus, sincerely bowing his/her will to Him as their Savior and their Lord (God).
18 Whoever believes and has decided
to trust in Him
[as personal Savior and Lord]
is not judged
[for this one, there is no judgment, no rejection, no condemnation];
but the one who does not believe
[and has decided to reject Him
as personal Savior and Lord]
is judged already
[that one has been convicted and sentenced],
because [b]he has not believed and trusted in the name
of the [One and] only begotten Son of God
[the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind,
the One who alone can save him].
Salvation is not purchased by your good deeds and service to God. Salvation was purchased by God the Father for you — by the sacrifice of His Son Jesus at Calvary, by His dying on that cross, and then arising from the grave victorious over death and the penalty of sin.
He paid the price. Salvation is all paid for. To receive His gift — we just have to come sincerely to Him, repent and acknowledge Him as Lord.
Why would anyone pass-up such an offer! What we have without Christ, really really is not worth losing our eternal soul over. We must begin to walk with Jesus now — not wait until you see Him on His Throne. It will be too late then.
2 Peter 3:3-9 Amplified Bible (AMP)3 First of all, know [without any doubt] that
mockers will come in the last days with their mocking,
following after their own human desires
4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming [what has become of it]? …
8 Nevertheless, do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved,
that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years,
and a thousand years is like one day.
9 The Lord does not delay
[as though He were unable to act]
and is not slow about His promise,
as some count slowness,
but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you,
not wishing for any to perish
but for all to come to repentance.