Matthew 16:24, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
John 5:40, “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”
You don't have to COME AFTER Jesus to be saved. That is Lordship! You simply need to COME UNTO the dear Savior by faith to get to Heaven.
It is very important that we always keep discipleship completely separate from sonship.
Put another way, we must keep sanctification entirely separate from justification.
We must keep service completely separate from salvation.
I think Pilgrim's Progress author, John Bunyan (1628-1688) said it best...
“If you do not put a difference between justification wrought by the man Christ without and sanctification wrought by the Spirit of Christ within, you are not able to divide the Word aright; but contrariwise, you corrupt the Word of God, and cast stumbling blocks before the people.” [emphasis added] —Evangelist John Bunyan
Some fool comes along and call this “easy believism” or “greasy grace.” Dear reader, the hardest thing in the world is to put your trust in Christ alone, because it is in our human nature to want to help God. The natural thing is to try to help God. The hardest thing is to by faith put all your trust in someone you've never seen, never met, and you've never met an eyewitness who's seen Him. God is asking you in His inspired Holy Bible to believe on someone who lived 2,000 years ago.
That is why we read in 1st Peter 1:7-9, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” That requires faith. Faith is the only righteous thing that I can do.
We're going to be singing “Amazing Grace” up there in Heaven, not amazing surrender, amazing Lordship Salvation and amazing commitment. ...
Philippians 3:9, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”
We're not going to be singing, “We are worthy,” because we are not worthy. We're going to be singing, “Thou art worthy.” Revelation 5:9, “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;” Only JESUS IS WORTHY!!! Jesus is the precious Lamb of God. John 1:29, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
Dear friend, if you ever go to Heaven, it will only be because you have ceased from all your own WORKS, and you've completely RESTED in what Christ has already done for you through the cross of Calvary. You get saved by BELIEVING that Jesus did it all for you!
Good works are not the payment for sin, the payment for sin is death.
Salvation is not a reward for the righteous, it is a gift for the guilty!
Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith.
Turning away from sinful ways would be a work. Faith puts all of the merit where it belongs, on the object of our faith, Jesus and His work.
If to “repent” means to forsake our sinful ways TO BE SAVED, but Jesus already paid for our sins by dying on the cross, then what are we repenting from?
The true Gospel always points you to CHRIST; a false gospel always points to YOU.
We must stay true to the simplicity of the Gospel!! Repentance regarding salvation is a change of mind from unbelief to belief!!! We must earnestly contend for the faith (Jude 1:3).
Pastor M.R. DeHaan (1891-1965) wrote these helpful words:
"There is a vast difference between coming to Jesus for salvation and coming after Jesus for service. Coming to Christ makes one a believer, while coming after Christ makes one a disciple. All believers are not disciples. To become a believer one accepts the invitation of the Gospel, to be a disciple one obeys the challenge to a life of dedicated service and separation. Salvation comes through the sacrifice of Christ; discipleship comes only by sacrifice of self and surrender to His call for devoted service. Salvation is free, but discipleship involves paying the price of a separated walk. Salvation can't be lost because it depends upon God's faithfulness, but discipleship can be lost because it depends upon our faithfulness." —Pastor M.R. DeHaan, “Hebrews”; Zondervan Publishing House; 1959 (p. 117)
Amen and amen! Pastor DeHaan is absolutely correct! We must always keep discipleship separate from justification. I am going to Heaven when I die, and I 100% know it, because my redemption is not dependent upon my faithfulness or performance; but rather, it is 100% dependent upon God's faithfulness to keep His promise “TO SAVE THEM THAT BELIEVE” (1st Corinthians 1:21b). Titus 1:2 says that God keeps His promises, because God cannot lie. Titus 1:2, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”
Dear reader, please don't go to Hell. Please don't allow some misguided fool for a preacher, who has sincerely been deceived by the Devil himself, lead you into the fires of Hell. The bottom line is that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay your debt of sin, and mine. Jesus has already paid for everyone's sins with His precious blood (1st Peter 1:18-19). You don't need to ask God to save you, because He is already freely offering you eternal life as a gift. Simply take it by faith, accepting Christ's sacrifice on the cross as payment for your sins, believing that He is risen. The Gospel is not Good News to be lived, it is Good News to be BELIEVED.
Jesus did not say to “Come after Me” to be saved, which would be discipleship and service; Jesus simply said to “come unto Me,” which is justification and salvation. One thing has nothing to do with the other. How you behave as the child of your Mom and Dad has nothing to do with the fact that you are their biological offspring. The same is true with God.
It is in our sinful human nature to want to help God save us, but that is not allowed in God's simple plan of salvation, which is by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Galatians 3:26, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Many Bible students go astray when they start applying Bible verses to salvation from obscure passages. For example: Matthew 16:24, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Carefully notice that Jesus is speaking to His disciples. Christ is talking here about following Him, not getting saved.
Proof of what I am teaching is found in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” They were committed followers of Jesus, as was Judas Iscariot; but this didn't make them born-again children of God.
Every time I hear in the news about a famous person dying, I am curious what was their religious beliefs. Singer Olivia Newton John (1948-2022) died a few months ago. I love her Australian voice and some of her prettier songs. I read online that she is a Christian, but as we all know as true believers, someone claiming to be “a Christian” means little, because there are many religious cults who also falsely claim to be Christian (namely, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Roman and Orthodox Catholics, Churches of Christ, Lutherans and Calvinists, to name but a few hellbound groups). All of these aforementioned religious groups are NOT true Christians. That is, they all preach another gospel that does not align with the Word of God.
Unfortunately, I couldn't determine what Olivia believed. I sure hope that she did go to Heaven. Likewise, the queen of England died in 2022. I have my doubts about her being up in Heaven. The reason why is because she was the head of the Church of England, who falsely teach that water baptism is necessary to get to Heaven. No where in the inspired Word of God are we taught to be water baptized to be saved. The repentant thief on the cross never got baptized. No one in the Old Testament was water baptized to get to Heaven.
Furthermore, God authored the Gospel of John for the sole purpose of showing humanity how to have eternal life. John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” Yet, no where are we taught in the Gospel of John to be water baptized to have eternal life. Read for yourself what Jesus said is required to have eternal life in John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” Again and again in the Scriptures, we are simply taught to BELIEVE ON JESUS to be saved.
Dear reader, if you admit to being a guilty sinner deserving of the penalty of Hell (Romans 3:19-23, 6:23; Revelation 20:11-15, 21:8), and you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the only begotten Son of God (John 20:31), and that He died on a cross to pay your debt of sin, believing that He was buried and bodily resurrected three days later (1st Corinthians 15:1-6), you are saved. It is that simple to be born-again by the Holy Spirit into God's heavenly family