The Aspects of Authentic Salvation :: By Donald Whitchard

Psalm 14:3, Psalm 53:1-3, John 14:6, Isaiah 53:6, Acts 4:12, Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Acts 16:11

Summary: Salvation does not originate with us. We cannot redeem ourselves because our sinful nature does not want to acknowledge that God alone is the Author and Provider of our salvation, as written in the Scriptures.

The Scriptures make it abundantly clear that we are given a set amount of time on this earth and then face the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). No one, from prince to pauper, will be exempt. We will all give an account of our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 12:13-21; John 5:28-29; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, 5:20: Philippians 2:9-11).

For the true believer who has placed their faith in Christ alone for salvation (Acts 4:12; Romans 6:23, 10:9-10, 13), the Bible says that we are no longer under condemnation for our sins (Romans 8:1), and we are freed from the wrath of God (1 Thessalonians 1:10,2:16; Revelation 14:9) that will pour upon all who reject His offer of salvation (Luke 14:18; Acts 28:27; Hebrews 2:3, 12:25). The Bible, the source of authentic truth (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21), has never been shy or secretive concerning this fact.

The trouble is that this is rarely proclaimed in the pulpits of America and the majority of the world who would rather have their ears tickled, their pride affirmed, and their egos stroked (2 Timothy 4:3-4). This, along with countless other devices, is being used by the devil and his cohorts to keep people away from the authentic, biblical message of salvation.

The criminal acts by devious individuals have stolen the hearts and minds of millions who will find themselves standing before Almighty God one day and hearing the terrifying words of condemnation that will send them to an eternal hell forever (Matthew 7:21-23, 25:41; Revelation 20:11-15). The world does not want to hear or even think about this, but it is the truth. And as a minister of the Gospel who will be held accountable before the LORD for the welfare of His flock (Ezekiel 3:17-19; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; James 3:1-2; 1 Peter 5:2-4), I must stand firm on the Word of God and teach what it says about our condition and the ONLY way that God has sovereignly ordained for us to escape from it. For anyone who wants the truth, I want to present a salient, uncompromising message dealing with the aspects of authentic, Christ-centered salvation.

The first aspect of authentic salvation is that we have NO ability or way of redeeming ourselves in our own strength. You may get upset with that fact, but your opinion and feelings have nothing to do with it. The smiling “Colgate Boys” on TV pushing the narrative of “I am blessed, I am highly favored; I am a champion,” and other self-centered drivel neglect and hate the biblical truth that we are fallen, rebellious sinners doomed to an eternal hell for turning away from God in Eden and pursuing evil (Genesis 3; Psalm 14:1-3, 51:1-3; Isaiah 64:6; Micah 7:2; Romans 1:18-32, 3:10-18, 23; 1 John 18, 5:19) instead. These verses have not been changed to fit in with the times or whims of a fickle society that arrogantly thinks God owes them something or that He needs to provide other ways of saving us.

Almighty God, who has all things under His control (Colossians 1:16-18) and who holds our lives in His hands (James 4:14-17), will NOT have us somehow think that we know better than Him when it comes to the course of our lives. He has ways of humbling both people and nations when necessary. This applied to His chosen people, the Jews. All throughout Scripture, He told them that if they remained faithful to Him, He would watch over and protect them from their enemies and bless them as a nation. Instead, what we learn is that they had periods of obedience but far more episodes of rebellion that culminated in abominable practices, such as child sacrifice. God punished them by driving them into exile and captivity (2 Chronicles 36:15-23) by foreign empires such as Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome.

Nations that reject the LORD will face His wrath and judgment. America is no exception. Ruth Graham, the wife of Billy Graham, once said that if God does not judge us for our sins, He might have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. Think on that.

It is only by the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ that we have hope, true peace, protection from His wrath, and absolute salvation the world cannot provide or equate. The apostle Paul, formerly an ardent foe of the Gospel, received this sovereign grace (Acts 9:1-6, 15-16; 1 Timothy 1:12-17) and for the rest of his life never got over the fact that Jesus used him in the spread of the Gospel. In his letters to the churches, which make up a third of the New Testament, he made it clear that this same salvation is available for everyone and that no one is exempt from receiving eternal life from the Lord Jesus Christ if they repent and believe in Him.

Since Jesus is both God and man, He alone was able to bear the responsibility and consequences of rescuing us from our sins and condemnation. The Scriptures teach that Jesus was the perfect sacrificial lamb who took away our sins once and for all (Isaiah 53:4-7; John 1:29, 3:16, 8:36, 14:6, 19:30; Acts 4:12, 16:31; Romans 5:6-11, 8:1, 10:9-10, 23; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 2:2-3, 7:25). No other religious figure can make that claim. Their tombs still hold their remains. Only one tomb is empty because Jesus Christ rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and will return soon to make all things new, as He promised.

We deserve death and hell, but look at what we are given instead. In place of eternal death, we are the recipients of undeserved mercy. When we come to Christ, we are rescued from the penalty and condemnation of sin forever. We are saved from the judgment we deserve for our rebellion, along with the eternal consequences of that rebellion (Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:11-15). The Scriptures teach that the saving grace Christ provides for us is eternal (Hebrews 5:9). When we trust in Christ alone for salvation, it is a permanent promise, and because of that, He gives us the eternality of heaven, eternal fellowship with Him and the saints who placed their faith in Him over the course of history, along with the eternality of authentic joy, peace, love, freedom, and security.

Now, let me say a few words to those of you who have taken the time to read this message and the biblical truth from which it derives. You are now faced with a decision that will have eternal consequences. Do you accept the free offer of salvation made possible by Jesus Christ alone and receive forgiveness for your sins and an eternal peace that no one can take away, or will you scoff and ridicule what has been presented and go back to your present way of life?

I never “sugar-coat” any message I present, and this one is no exception. To reject the grace of God is to condemn yourself to a literal, horrible, and eternal existence in a very real hell. God’s Word has not changed. His truth does not change, and His conditions for salvation have not changed. The question is whether you will change the direction in which your life is going and instead come to Jesus for rest, comfort, and certain peace that you will never have in this present world. Thus ends the lesson.