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Evangelist
Svein-Magne Pedersen
President of
Jesus Heals Ministries

 
You Can Be Saved Today!

You close your eyes at night, and you don't know if you are going to wake up in the morning. This is the reality of life. If you were to die tonight, where would you wake up? You have waited long enough to make peace with yourself and with God. You can do it now . The Bible asks you to grasp the eternal life.

How can an ordinary person get in contact with an omnipotent, invisible God? How can an invisible, divine power become part of your life? According to the Bible, this happens when you become a child of God, that means receiving God's forgiveness and becoming spiritually united with the Creator.

Every person is created in the image of God. Because of this, we have been given within us a spiritual, invisible dimension, which the animals do not have. Thus, we have not only social and physical needs. We will never be fully satisfied until we have found a positive (biblical) answer to life's three basic questions: Where do I come from? Why am I here? Where do I go after death?

Being created in the image of God, means that we - methaphorically spoken - are created with a built-in "walkie-talkie" in our inner being. Thus, we are able to receive signals from the invisible world, be aware that God is speaking to us - and we can respond through prayer. It also means that we - like God - are eternal beings, and that we have the ability to know right from wrong. However, something terrible happened shortly after the creation of man. The first human beings, Adam and Eve, alienated themselves from God by an ugly breach of one of God's commands. The peace covenant was broken. Man became an enemy of God. Evil became part of mankind. Sin is breaking God's law. Because of it, God feels so distant. But God had a plan to lead mankind back to fellowship with himself again.

We are now going to show you, by means of six simple points, what you can do to be saved, and get into personal contact with Jesus Christ.

1. YOU ARE LOVED BY GOD
God has a special ability to love us humans in spite of what we are. His love is unconditional, regardless of moral qualities or other human conditions. As humans, we usually love according to another principle. We love those who are polite and nice to us, and would rather not have anything to do with those who dislike us. Not so with God. He loves notorious criminals just as much as he loves ordinary, nice people. The greatest proof of that is that he sent us Jesus:

"But God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Rom 5:8.

This means that God loves you very much. Believe it even if you don't feel it. God demonstrated it by sending his own Son to the world. He wants to establish contact with us.

2. YOUR SIN HAS CREATED A CHASM
Mankind was created to live in harmony and have contact with the Creator. But after Adam and Eve broke one of God's commandments, what we call sin entered the world. It worked like a virus that spread to all human beings. Therefore, a lot of what we say and do is inspired by selfish, evil motives. A good proof of that is that children have to be taught to do good things. They don't need to learn to do wrong, because it is in their nature, it comes by itself.

There is nothing God hates as much as sin. By nature he is holy and righteous. Therefore, he cannot let us into his pure heaven with all our "black spots". God is love and would like for us to enter in, but he is also righteous and is therefore unable to let sin into heaven. Jesus is not only Saviour, he is also a judge. Like an earthly judge has to sentence a criminal to jail, So Jesus has to judge sin:

"For the wages of sin is death," Rom 6:23.

We are all "in the same boat":

"..for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," Rom 3:23.

Good as well as evil people will be lost, because God is righteous. Still - God has the solution to our dilemma.

3. JESUS HAS TAKEN YOUR PUNISHMENT
How, then, would God be able to take away the punishment that is due to every human being, and still be righteous? God could not just forgive people without a reason. He had no grounds on which to forgive the guilty person. A human judge can't just forgive the one to whom punishment is due. But God had a unique plan to solve the greatest problem in the world history: A totally innocent person would take the place of the guilty ones.

God has only one Son. First he had to become a human like you and me. Second he had to live a perfect life without anything that deserved punishment. And third, he had to be willing to take the punishment that mankind should have had, make atonement for their sins. Jesus filled all these requirements. The climax was on the cross. There God summed up the punishment for mankind's sins, in past, present and future. He let his wrath come upon the innocent one, Jesus Christ. Jesus was a diversion for God's wrath:

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was CRUSHED for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." Isa 53:5.

Our debt to God has been paid to the last cent. One of the last words of Jesus on the cross was:

"It is finished!" Jn 19:30.

In the original language the word finished means PAID. What God demanded from us in moral behaviour, what we could not fulfil, Jesus has paid with his death. He has written a receipt to every person for what we owe God: "PAID WITH THE BLOOD OF JESUS," it says.

Since another person has paid our debt, salvation is not a product of our own efforts (good deeds, prayers, moral behaviour and so on). Doing good is a human duty, but salvation itself is A GIFT OF GOD. One can benefit from a gift only after one has accepted it personally. How, then, does a person receive the gift of salvation?

4. YOU ACCEPT JESUS
It is not enough to know that God loves you, that you are a sinner, separated from God, and that Jesus has paid for your mistakes.

A METAPHOR - "THE CANCER PILL"
Let us use a metaphor: What if your doctor one day told you that you had cancer. But he gave you hope, because he had been able to get you a new medicine that would get rid of the cancer. You leave happily with the pills in your pocket. You read a book about these superpills, and give a speech about the extraordinary effect they have on cancer. But - just knowing all this won't help you.. Unless you swallow the pills, the cancer will continue to grow, and you will finally die. Knowledge alone cannot save you. Believing without receiving is not enough.

In comparison: You have to let Jesus into your life so that he can remove the threatening "cancer" of sin from you. Otherwise, you will die in your sin and live an eternity away from God, under constant punishment.

There are two kinds of faith: knowledge-faith and active faith. The first kind is described in the above. Isolated it is without effect, dead. But if our knowledge leads to action, a miracle called salvation happens in our inner being. Our sins are erased from the heavenly books, and our conscience becomes clean.

But how is a person saved? We become saved by inviting Jesus into our lives:

"..to all who RECEIVED HIM, to those who BELIEVED in his name, he gave the RIGHT to become children of God," Jn 1:12.

This verse tells us that believing in Jesus is the same as receiving or accepting him.

"WELCOME IN, JESUS !"
Then how do we receive him? Jesus said:

"I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and OPENS THE DOOR, I WILL COME IN," Rev 3:20.

What Jesus tells us here, is that becoming saved is as simple as opening a door to welcome a friend into your home. "Welcome to my home," we would say to our friend. It would only take him two seconds to cross the threshold. You can be saved in a moment! "Welcome to my heart, Jesus!" you can tell him today. The Bible says, "EVERYONE who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Rom 10: 13.

5. WHAT IT MEANS

Since Jesus has paid for your sin, salvation is free. But God still has certain conditions that we must accept when we get saved.

a) Change of power.
Jesus wants to be the boss. You must be willing to give up that position, and give it to Jesus. Jesus is now in charge of your life:

"..whoever loses his life for me will find it," Mat 16:25. We give up the right to own ourselves, and we become the property of God.

b) Giving up our past.
We must be willing to give up things in our lives that are not pleasing to God, whatever we could not imagine Jesus doing.

TURNING AROUND
But God does not want to take away from us what is wholesome and good for us. He does not take joy away! He is full of life, and he wants us to have the good things in life to the fullest. But sin is like poison in drinking water. It ruins something good inside us, and makes us frustrated and empty. It also hurts our relationship with other people and with God. Sin is like sand in the machinery, and finally everything stops working. Conversion is therefore a prerequisite to be saved. Conversion means turning around. It means to turn away from sin and to God, who then becomes the boss.

By means of conversion God wants to remove the stinking "garbage" in our inner being:

"Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon," Isa 55:7.

God is the one who gives us both the desire and power to turn around. And if we do that, we should not be lonely in this world:

c) Member in the family of God.

The greatest family in the world is called the family of God or the church. It consists of all people who have accepted Jesus as Lord of their lives, Acts 2:47. We have all received a power within us which is called the Holy Spirit. This person in the Godhead lets us know Jesus more all the time, he leads us and teaches us many new things. We feel a kinship with other people who have let Jesus into their lives. They may belong to many different denominations.

In the family of God we need to be taught, encouraged, and maybe corrected. We need one another, and we need to get together to be inspired, to get help when we have problems, get teaching in the word of God and how to lead other people into the kingdom of God. In the family of God we can find rest and be protected from threatening dangers from the kingdom we previously belonged to: The kingdom of darkness with Satan as a ruler.

The person who wants to be saved, should therefore know that it also means to enter a fellowship with other believers. The family needs you, and you need the family. With the membership in the kingdom of God comes a guarantee: Your name is written in the Book of Life and it will not be erased from it as long as you want to be a member, Rev 3:5.

Let us sum this up. Becoming a child of God means three things:

CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP, DIRECTION, AND MEMBERSHIP.
If you understand what it means to be saved, and have decided to give your life to Jesus, you can pray the following prayer to him who said,

"..whoever comes to me, I will never drive away," Jn 6:37.

"Father in Heaven, I have sinned against you and deserve punishment. But now I believe that Jesus through his death on the cross has paid for all my mistakes. I cannot save myself. Therefore I ask you, Jesus, to come into my life right now. I want to turn away from evil. Remove all sin from my life. You will own me, and I want to live the rest of my life for you."

6. YOU CAN BE SURE
If you prayed this prayer with sincerity, Jesus has come into your life. Remember what he promised,

"..and opens the door, I will come in."

God could never lie. So now he has come into your heart! It does not mean anything whether you feel it or not. According to the word of God, your name has been written in a book in heaven. It was not written in your feelings. None of us have been in heaven to check in the heavenly books. But you can be sure that God's book on earth (the Bible) is in accordance with the heavenly one. We choose to believe him at his word.

How can, for example, a house owner know that the house really belongs to him, if someone asked for proof? It wouldn't help him if he referred to his feelings, that it felt good to live there. His only proof would be the deed, the document where he appeared as owner. Nobody would be able to argue that. In this article you will find several such "deeds". You can memorize them if you like.

You now have a new friend, Jesus. But at the same time you have made a new enemy, Satan, who will try to make you doubt your salvation. He will remind you of old sins that Jesus already has forgiven and removed from his books. He will try to condemn you and make your days dark and gloomy. Remember: You don't need to believe him. Resist him in the name of Jesus. Recite the "deeds" for him. Never give in!

"Resist the devil, and he will flee from you," James 4:7.

GOOD ADVICE
Here are some pieces of good advice to take with you in your walk as a Christian.

1. Jesus is with you always, Mt 28:20. There will be days of testing, but without battle there will be no victory. Jesus was also tested and tried, Mt 4:1. Through such battles our faith grows, we become better soldiers in the army of God, and will be able to help others who need help, 1. Pet 1:6-7.

2. If you should fall in sin, confess it to God, 1. Jhn 1:7.9. You are then forgiven and will not be judged, Rom 8:1. One of the main tricks of Satan is to remind us of sins from the past, to make us lose heart. But remember: Great as well as small sins that have been confessed to God, have been thrown "into the dephts of the sea," Micah 7:19. Go on with great confidence.

3. Talk to God every day, Jn 16:24. Thank him often for salvation and bring your needs and worries to him, Phil 4:6-7.

4. Read often in the Bible, for example one chapter a day. Start with reading about Jesus. Some like to start with the gospel of Mark. Without spiritual food there will be no growth in your Christian life, 1 Pet 2:2.

5. Find a church with love, caring and warmth, where Jesus and the Gospel are in the center, Acts 2:42-47. No church is perfect, but you should avoid any church that lacks these qualities, because your spiritual life could be damaged there.

6. Don't hide your experience of salvation. If a scientist for example finds a cure of cancer, it is unethical for him to keep such knowledge to himself (see Rom 1:14). The Bible calls the believers witnesses, Acts 1:8. A witness is not an expert in a court case. He is merely responsible for what he has seen, heard or experienced, Jn 9:25. We can testify with our words, Jn 17:20, and/or our lives, 2 Cor 3:2; Mt 5:16. A newly saved person is often, because of his joy over having found Life, the best soulwinner, Jn 4:28-30.39.

7. Count on spiritual warfare. You have a new enemy. His name is Satan. He is angry because he lost the battle over you. Therefore, he will use all kinds of tricks to get you back as a member of the kingdom of darkness. He will use lies, temptation, discouragement, sin, and many kinds of resistance. He can even come as an "angel of light," 2 Cor 11:14. Always remember that Satan already has lost the battle over you. Jesus paid for our sins with his death. Your sins are forgiven, and Satan has no right to you. On the cross Jesus cancelled the document of guilt and disarmed Satan, who because of our sin, claimed us, Col 2:14-15.

To make Satan run, you must therefore remind him of the day when he was defeated. You can embarrass him and get him out the door if you remind him of the cross, the blood of Jesus and the name of Jesus, Rev 12:11; Luke 10:17. Also, don't forget that the word of God is called "the sword of the Spirit," Eph 6:17. The word of God is the law of The Highest, to whom Satan knows he has to bow down. There are also many other weapons God has given us for the battle: prayer, thanksgiving, worship of God, faith, and so on.

GOD BLESS YOU!

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