If you were to die in the next five minutes,
would you go to be “present with the Lord?”
If you can answer “Yes,” then we rejoice with you and we look forward to seeing you one day in God’s presence. However, if you cannot confidently answer “Yes,” then let us ask you another question. If we told you that there was a way of knowing for sure that when you die you will go to God’s Heaven, would you want to know it? Sure you would. Then let’s open the Bible and read what God says about it.
In the opening chapters of Romans, God has the apostle Paul preach the very message He wants you to hear. It’s called “the gospel of Christ.” And as Paul says,…
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:16-17)
God says that “the gospel of Christ” is “the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” This, therefore, means that if you will believe “the gospel of Christ,” God will save you. He will save you from the debt and penalty of your sins, and instead of going to hell when you die, you will go to Heaven.
Now you do need to be saved. As Paul begins to preach the gospel, the first thing he does is show that all men need to be saved. Listen to what he says.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (Romans 1:18)
The “wrath of God” is what all men deserve, including you. All men are ungodly and unrighteous by nature. Instead of deserving to live with God, we deserve to be eternally banished from God’s presence as the natural judgment of God for our ungodliness, unrighteousness, and sins. We are “by nature the children of wrath,” and the “wrath of God” is what we deserve. It is also what we will get, if we don’t find a way of escape.
Now the tendency is to think that you can somehow escape the wrath of God on your own. But you cannot. After verifying in the remainder of Romans 1 the reality of all men being worthy of God’s wrath, Paul shows in chapter 2 that it is not humanly possible to escape the wrath of God.
3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? (Romans 2:3)
No attempt to better yourself will work, no matter how sincere. No attempt to make up for your sins will work, no matter how diligent. It will be of absolutely no avail to you to have a list of good works to your credit that makes you appear more righteous than others. Nothing whatsoever you do, or could do, will help you out at all. For as Paul says, God can only accept your works if they are “patient continuance in well doing.” This means that your whole life is one continuous good work. You have never sinned or done any evil, not even once. This, of course, is something you know full well that you have not done.
In fact, as Paul goes on to say, God’s perfectly righteous Law demonstrates that it is not humanly possible for anyone to save themselves.
19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:19-20)
“Guilty before God” is what men are, including you. Guilty, deserving of God’s wrath, and unable to do anything about it yourself. That’s not good news. But there is good news. Though you can’t do anything about your predicament, God has. And He has done it through the work of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Listen to this.
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Romans 3:21-26)
What you couldn’t do for yourself, God has done for you through the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ came into this world and functioned as your substitute-redeemer. That is, He took the debt and penalty of your sins upon Himself and died upon the cross of Calvary in your place under the judgment of God’s wrath. He did that to “propitiate,” or satisfy God’s Justice regarding your sins and to make it so that God could “freely” give you the very thing you need — complete forgiveness of sins and justification unto eternal life. Moreover, what Christ came to do, He successfully accomplished. Therefore, God raised Him from the dead.
Forgiveness of sins and the righteousness of God you need so that you can live forever with God are now available to you “by faith of Jesus Christ.” His faithful performance as your Redeemer makes salvation available to you. And God now offers it to you as an absolutely free gift of His grace. You can have it simply by “believing in Jesus.” This is the “gospel of Christ.”
What God now urges you to do is to “believe in Jesus.” Believing in someone is the issue of exclusively trusting in that person; depending upon him and what he has done, and not on yourself and what you can do. “Believing in Jesus,” therefore, is the issue of placing your complete trust in Him and what He did for you on the cross for your salvation, and not trusting in any of your own works. You, therefore, depend upon His death payment for your sins as the only means of your acceptance with God. If you will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, God will do exactly what He says — He will forgive you your sins and justify you unto eternal life.
Don’t put off the offer of God’s grace to freely save you right now. You don’t know whether or not you will die within the next five minutes. So, why not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ right now, right where you are? God can look upon your heart, He will see your faith, and He will forgive you your sins and save you. The decision is yours.
If you have decided to trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, God wants you to know that you are now saved from the debt and penalty of your sins. In immediate response to your faith, He has saved you. No longer are you under the “wrath of God.” No longer is the condemnation of hell and the lake of fire your destiny. Instead, this is what you now possess.
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2)
You now have “peace with God,” no longer wrath. You now “stand” in grace with complete acceptance before God, and will always be dealt with by God on the basis of His grace. In addition, you now have the “hope of the glory of God.” The eternal destiny of your soul is forever settled. You now have the confident expectation of being with God in the glory of His presence. Moreover, should you die before the Lord ends this dispensation of His grace, you will go to be “present with the Lord.” This is the best news you could possibly hear. This is the greatest gift you could ever receive.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. (II Corinthians 9:15)
Salvation from the debt and penalty of your sins is not all that you now possess. Amazingly, the gospel of Christ does not stop there. As Romans 5:2 says, you have “access by faith into this grace wherein we stand.” There is more, much more, of the riches of God’s grace unto you that you should know about. Enjoy The Bible Ministries® would count it a privilege of God’s grace to be a helper of your joy in these things. We are eager to share more with you from God’s word.