The Need for Salvation
Jesus said, "for what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world
and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?"
You may have a lot of ambitions
and goals, or you may already be a millionaire. But none of your possessions or
accomplishments is nearly as important as your life. Salvation is a matter of
life and death--not just this life but the life to come. It should be your
greatest concern because it can deliver you out of evil and eternal death. We
would like to share with you something that is more important than earning the
Sin Came into the world
To protect the well being of his
creation, God established laws for us to obey. But God also created man with
the freedom to make choices. He wanted human beings to obey him out of freewill
rather than compulsion. We can choose to either obey God or sin against him.
Adam and Eve, the first human
beings God created, chose to listen to Satan, the tempter. They disobeyed God's
specific command and so sin entered the world. Since then, man has fallen into
a state of alienation from God. Though man was created to be like God, because
of disobedience, he no longer has God's eternal life in him.
Through the sin of Adam, the whole
human race has been sold as a slave to sin. Everyone born after Adam lives in
sin, under the rule of Satan.
Paul explained the frustration of
battling against the sinful nature in each of us: "For I know that nothing
good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I
cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is
what I do" (Romans ,19). Even with the best intentions to obey God, we still
sin against God because we are under the powerful control of sin.
But we can't blame it all on our
sinful nature because we, like Adam, often make a conscious choice to disobey
God. Our actions show that we are sinners as much as Adam was a sinner.
A sinner may not be a criminal. In
fact, most sinners are law-abiding citizens. Crimes are committed against
people, but sins are committed against God. When we transgress against God's
law, or go beyond its boundary, we have sinned. According to God's law, if we
do not worship God our Creator and do not love him and serve him with all our
heart, we have sinned. If we hate someone, we have sinned. If we look at a
woman lustfully, we have sinned. If we do not love others as ourselves, we have
sinned.* The list goes on.
Could anyone, then, declare themselves as sinless? ... As the Bible says, "all have
sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans ). Our transgressions prove that we are
sinners from birth.
* For scriptural reference, see
Deuteronomy 6:4,5; Matthew ,22,27,28; -39.
Consequences of Sin
Sinners have no peace or joy. They
are condemned with the curse of death from God. All have to die physically and
face God's judgment. The fact that no one has ever managed to escape death
shows that everyone is a sinner. "Therefore as sin came into the world
through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because
all men sinned" (Romans 5:12).
We have no hope, except the
fearful expectation of the eternal punishment of our souls in hell, "where
their worm does not die, and the fire is not
quenched" (Mark ).
This punishment is called the spiritual death or second death.
Because of our sinful nature, it
is not possible for us to earn eternal life. Without God's salvation, we, and
every single person that has ever lived, are spiritually dead in sin. No amount
of kind deeds or acts of obedience can save us from our dreadful destiny. To
keep our souls from the eternal punishment, the only answer is God's salvation.