Is Jesus Christ only a “ticket” to heaven ?
The only hope for sinful mankind to be spared from God’s righteous judgment and wrath is in God’s only Savior Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. Jesus Christ is the “Bread of Life” and the “living waters”. Jesus Christ is God in human flesh. Salvation and Eternal Life is a gift of a Sovereign God. God will give this gift freely by His Grace through Faith alone in Christ alone. God will give His Gift by Grace freely to all who will come…….“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37-39
A really sad truth is that within the visible churches, there are many who only want a ticket to heaven but do not accept nor believe in submitting, obeying and living like the Lord Jesus Christ. For many, Jesus Christ is seen as only a “ticket” to heaven. Sadly, what do people normally do with a “ticket” after they thought they have already “entered” a place needing a “ticket”, they throw it away ! Jesus Christ is not supremely treasured, he is just a mean to an end.
Walter Chantry in his classic book “Today’s Gospel Authentic or Synthetic?” said, “Jesus’ invitation flies in the face of modern evangelism. More often than not, sermons imply that Jesus is a personal Savior to help people get out of trouble and danger. He is pictured as standing anxious and ready to assist all who will simply sign a permission slip for Him to be a Savior. But there is silence about His being a Master to be followed, a Lord to be obeyed. In Scripture the demand for following as a disciple is made plain at the outset. The narrow gate is at the beginning of the narrow way to everlasting life. It is not an after-thought added for more enthusiastic believers.”
Are we one such professing believers , who after making a profession of faith, has absolutely NO desire to follow Christ and NEVER ever hunger and thirst after God’s righteousness ? If a person has NO desire to follow and live like Jesus Christ, has he or she really BELIEVE or KNOW Christ or born again ? Are we still a rebel steep in rebellion or have we bow in surrender to the Sovereign King of Kings ? Was there saving faith?
All believers, we need to check and ask ourselves : Did God do His mighty power of regeneration by His words and Holy Spirit in me? Was there saving faith?
It is absolutely true, salvation for a believing sinner is by Faith alone in the finished works of in Lord Jesus Christ to justify the sinner. A person is saved because of God’s grace alone, not merit nor works.
Watch Video: Justification by faith in Christ alone: Where do you stand before God ? by Dr R.C. Sproul
However turning to love God and knowing Jesus Christ is more than just simply praying a prayer with NO CHANGE of mind or heart to turn to follow Jesus Christ. Matt 7:21-23 gives clear warning that faith or believing in Jesus is more than just agreeing with the facts and doctrines of the Gospel. Was there saving faith ?
We need to ask ourselves: Have you been born again by the word (God’s power in His Gospel) and Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who regenerates. Have you really turn (repent) from following Satan to vital, living and saving faith to follow Jesus Christ? When we are born again as a new creature, we have received the adoption to be sons and daughters of the most High and Righteous God, who is HOLY, HOLY, HOLY (see Isa 6).
Arthur Pink said, “Salvation is by grace, by grace alone. Nevertheless, divine grace is not exercised at the expense of holiness for it never compromises with sin. It is also true that salvation is a free gift. But an empty hand must receive it and not a hand which still tightly grasps the world. Something more than believing is necessary to salvation. A heart that is steeled in rebellion against God cannot savingly believe. It must first be broken. And only those who are spiritually blind would declare that Christ will save any who despise His authority and refuse His yoke. Those preachers who tell sinners they may be saved without forsaking their idols, without repenting, without surrendering to the lordship of Christ are as erroneous and dangerous as others who insist that salvation is by works and that heaven must be earned by their own efforts,”
Pastor John Piper said Jesus must be our most valuable treasure. He is someone we will give up everything and everyone we have on this earth to lay hold of because there can be nothing more valuable than Jesus Christ. A short clip with a terse warning to every professing believer to ask ourselves: who is Jesus Christ in your life ?
Faith must of course be sincere. It must be a faith that does good works through love. If faith lacks love it is not true faith. Thus the Apostle bars the way of hypocrites to the kingdom of God…To believe, “If faith justifies without works, let us not work,” is to despise the grace of God. Idle faith is not justifying faith. In this terse manner Paul presents the whole life of a Christian. Inside it consists in faith towards God, outside in love towards our fellows” (Luther, Commentary On Galatians, Page 240).
In his book, Faith Alone, Dr. R.C. Sproul wrote: “The Reformers saw saving faith as necessarily, inevitably, and immediately yielding the fruit of works. Martin Luther insisted that the faith that justifies is a fides viva, a vital and living faith that yields the fruit of works.
We must read carefully and heed Apostle Peter’s words in 2 Peter to every professing believer : “2 Peter 1:10-Therefore brethren, give diligence all the more to make your calling and election sure, for if ye do these things ye shall never fall.”
WHAT THINGS are Peter referring the believers to do ?
Read 2 Pet 1, it is very clear that God has made available all that is necessary to every true and born again sheep; MIGHTY power through regeneration by His Word (Water) and Holy Spirit, miraculous power to LIVE and DO righteousness (thirst and hunger) after God. God promised His all sufficient Grace is available. (2 Cor 12:9)
As born again sheep of Jesus Christ, by grace of God, we should be like the man in the parable who found the amazing treasure buried in the field, he immediately sold EVERYTHING to buy the field and get hold of that treasure: Jesus Christ.
Was there saving faith? Is Jesus Christ your greatest treasure ? Is Jesus Christ your Lord and Saviour?