I know this blog won’t score a lot of hits today. The other day I blogged about homosexuality and about 100 different people looked at that post that day. Posting about sin and the cross today will probably garner 25-35 views. I don’t want to discuss why. It’s just a statistical fact that I thought I would share. I do believe it speaks well of you that you are reading it today when this topic is a little more important.
I’ve heard it said that the penalty for sin was satisfied on the cross, that sin was defeated. I’ve read that the cross was the final judgment. Some people even believe that all of humanity was saved by Jesus’ death on the cross (the ‘everyone’s going to heaven’ train of thought.) Most people call that ‘universalism’. I disagree. I do not believe the cross was the final judgment or that everyone is saved.
As I understand Scripture, for those who call upon the name of Jesus, accept His sacrifice on the cross, and love & live for Jesus, sin was indeed defeated. Scripture tells us that whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13), but not everyone will do that. As a matter of fact, Jesus is the narrow way and few will take that path, but there’s a broad path that leads to destruction and many will find it (Matthew 7:13-14). And it’s not enough to have said a prayer when you were 14 years old. Salvation is not a ticket to be punched, but is a path we travel in our lives, growing closer to Jesus as we travel that path (see justification and sanctification). There will be another judgment. Everyone will be judged at the end of this life. We who have been re-born in Christ Jesus will be judged based on Jesus’ life and Jesus has already been judged and His innocence covers us, making us ‘not guilty’. But those who have not been re-born and accepted and lived for Jesus will be judged on their own lives, their own merit, and that’s a judgment in which every accountable adult will be found ‘guilty’. There is another judgment coming after this life ends. And the irony is that we decide for ourselves during our lives our own guilt or innocence based on how we respond to Jesus’ invitation. He’s inviting you today.
When you pray this with a sincere heart, God will send His Spirit to help you live for Jesus:
“God I admit I’ve tried over and over to make myself acceptable to You and You know how I’ve failed. I realize I need You to help me. I need the forgiveness that You offer through the sacrifice of Jesus. I am sorry and ask Your forgiveness. Cleanse me of my sin. Help me to turn from those things I have been unable to clean up on my own. Help me to live for You. I ask this is Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
hi scott. just wanted to respond. the way i understand it, what Jesus did on the cross was the saving act. now, not everyone knows that, or accepts that. but he saved. if we say people are saved by doing something,then we are saying that we save ourselves. i know it is a fine line, but one worth speaking carefully about.
In a way, I believe we are saved by doing something – we are saved by saying yes. And when we sincerely say yes, the Spirit of God enters us and we are saved and begins to work in us and on us and “… he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…” Very Wesleyan as I understand it. I did put a link to a post I made about justification and sanctification – https://scottknowlton.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/justification-and-sanctification/
(And I wrestle with the thought of the Spirit even being necessary for us to be able to say yes!)