There are many salvation plans in our world, and yet there is only ONE “way” of entrance into heaven and that is through the faith and work of Jesus Christ. Whether one believes in Jesus Christ or whether one believes in doing some good deeds in the name of Jesus Christ, none of it will open the door of heaven nor affect whether one has been named in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Being named in the Book of Life has everything to with who is saved and absolutely nothing to do with what we do. Salvation is a gift, given by God to an undeserving group of people whom God saved and called “… in Jesus Christ before the world began” II Timothy 1:9. When God named individuals in “the Book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8), he did so irrespective of their person or works. This means that God chose His people according to His good pleasure.
“According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” Ephesians 1:4-5
God establishes the fact that He did not choose His people based upon any factor other than His own good pleasure. In Romans 9:16 God declares that His election of a people was based solely upon His mercy:
“So then it is not of him that willeth [chooses to accept the gift], nor of him that runneth [does good deeds], but of God that showeth mercy.”
In Romans chapter 9:11 God confirms this:
“For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;”
So, if salvation is simply a matter of choosing or seeking on the part of the ones who “receive” salvation, how then can salvation be a gift? The truth of the matter is salvation is wholly and completely a gift of grace by God. To believe otherwise makes salvation a matter of works. Even to believe in Jesus Christ requires faith, and a faith that is not of ourselves. No, true faith, the faith of Jesus Christ comes only as part of the gift of salvation. The works needed for salvation to be secured were finished by Christ Jesus from the foundation of the world:
“For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, As I have sworn in My wrath, if they shall enter into My rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” Hebrews 4:3
Even the action of believing is a work, so when and if we truly believe it is a result of the work of the Spirit of God has performed within us. Only those who have been “…born of God.” John 1:11-13
The faith to believe comes only when we have been born of the Spirit:
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” John 3:5
No, true salvation comes only to those whose names have been written in “…the Book of life of the Lamb…” and not one of us has any claim upon or deserves such an unspeakable gift! Rather, each one of us should stand afar off “…saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.” Luke 18:13
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