|God's Way of Salvation by Alex Marshall
Difficulties met from the Word of God
Which One of These Difficulties Has Been Yours?
Table of Contents
This booklet has been written especially for
you. Whether careless or interested, indifferent or anxious about your
relationship to God and Eternity, you will find words of instruction in
its pages. Please do read it and read it carefully. Man's way of
salvation, and God's way of Salvation are compared and contrasted;
popular excuses and objections are examined and replied to, whilst
difficulties of inquiries are explained.
Ruin by the fall, redemption by the Blood,
regeneration by the Holy Spirit and reception by faith are expounded.
Hitherto you may have thought that it was a
matter of little concern to God whether you were lost or saved. Read
these pages and you will see that, in spite of your sins, God loves your
precious soul, and longs to bestow upon you pardon, peace, joy and
"pleasures for evermore."
GOD'S WAY OF SALVATION
"I pray thee have me excused."Table
of contentsA distinguished person in the East,
at great expense, provided a sumptuous feast, and invited many. When the
time came for the arrival of the guests, they all absented themselves,
and sent excuses. The fact was, they did not wish to go, and, not
having the courage to say, "We won't," they said, "We
cannot." Whatever may have been their reasons for refusing
to speak out their minds and attend the feast, their excuses were
extremely silly (Luke 14).
The first said, "I have bought a piece of
ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me
excused." What was the hurry? Could he not have gone at some other
time? The second was not a bit better. "I have bought five yoke of
oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused." What
harm could have come to the oxen by giving them a night's rest? Besides,
whether they were value or not for the money he paid for them--they were
But the third excuse was the worst of all.
"I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come." Why
didn't he go and take his wife with him?
"All things are ready, come!"Table
of contentsThe spiritual application of the
story must be evident to all. God, at infinite cost, has provided a
feast for perishing sinners. He has commanded His servants to go into
all the world and proclaim the glad tidings to every creature.
"All things are ready, come!
Come to the supper spread,
Come rich and poor, come old and young,
Come, and be richly fed."
The invitation is universal. None are excluded.
"Whosoever will" may come. Millions have partaken of the feast
are now in the glory; millions more are on the way, and still the cry is
heard, "Yet there is room."
Worldly people have pictured a Christian's life
as gloomy and melancholy. They have imagined that the partaking of the
Gospel feast fills the heart with sadness, and causes a shadow to rest
on the countenance. They seem not to know that the Gospel is "good
tidings of great joy," not "sad tidings of great misery."
The persons in the parable were invited to a
"feast," not a funeral; and in the parallel passage in
Matthew, we are told that it was a "marriage feast."
"I never did any harm in my life."Table
of contentsSuch an excuse has often been
given. Reader, is this your excuse? Do you really mean that you
have never done any harm? Have you never sinned in thought, word, or
deed? Have you never cherished an impure, unkind, or wicked thought?
Have you never spoken a hasty word, told a lie, or attempted to mislead
anyone? Have you loved God with all your heart, soul, strength, and
mind? Have you loved your neighbor as you have loved yourself? "Oh
no," you reply; "no one has done so."
Never mind others just now. You admit
that you have sinned. If one were found guilt of breaking
the laws of this country, who would believe that he had done no harm?
Reader, there is no use in concealing the fact, you have not been what
you ought to have been; you have not done what you should have done--in
other words, you are a sinner, and the Word of God declares, "THE
SOUL THAT SINNETH, IT SHALL DIE" (Ezekiel 18:4); "The wages of
sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Take your place as lost and ruined in
God's sight, and give up all attempts to excuse or cover up your sins.
"I'll turn over a new leaf."Table
of contentsIt is all very well to say that you
will "turn over a new leaf." But let me ask, "What about
the past black leaves of guilt?" The school-boy, after
spilling the ink on the page of his copy-book turns over a new leaf,
resolving that in the future he will be more careful; but "turning
over a new leaf" does not remove the blotted one, and soon the
teacher's eye detects the blots and punishes him for his carelessness.
It may be, dear reader, at one time you were
addicted to drinking or swearing or other bad habits; but of late you
have "turned over a new leaf," and are become what the world
calls a "reformed" person. This is right and proper, but don't
forget that FUTURE GOOD CONDUCT CAN NEVER BLOT OUT PAST DISOBEDIENCE.
A merchant finds that he is in difficulties. He
takes his cashbook and begins a "new leaf," forgetting that
there is a "carried over" and a "brought forward"
column. New figures on the "new leaf" won't pay the old
debts. Every page of our life account is headed with a "brought
Reader, "turning over a new leaf"
won't do for you. You must become a "new creature" in Christ
"God is merciful."Table
of contentsSatan goes about with his bundle of
lies, giving one to one person, and another to another. To one he says,
"God is too merciful to punish sinners"; and if this is not
believed he tries another, "If He does punish the sinner in hell,
the punishment won't be eternal."
It is a blessed truth that "God is
merciful"; but He is also HOLY and JUST, and never can be merciful at
the expense of His justice. All His attributes are equally balanced
and cannot conflict with each other. He who is long-suffering and slow
to anger "will by no means clear the guilty." Yon prisoner who
is being taken to jail by the officers of justice has learned that the
judge would not allow the law-breaker to go unpunished.
God's pardoning mercy flows only through one
channel, and that is the atonement of Christ; and all who refuse to
accept of life through His death must forever "dwell with the
devouring fire." "THE WICKED SHALL BE TURNED INTO HELL, and
all the nations that FORGET GOD" (Psalm 9:17); "He that
believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the WRATH OF GOD
ABIDETH ON HIM" (John 3:36).
"If a man does the best he can, he will
be saved." Table
of contentsHave you done the best you
could? Have you not, again and again, done what you ought not to have
done, and omitted to do what you should have done?" "I don't
pretend to be perfect." Assuredly not, but remember that this
admission removes every possible hope of your being saved by your
doings. One sin is sufficient to condemn you, and you know that you
have committed thousands. What is the use of such suppositions as,
"if a man does the best he can," when God has declared that
NONE HAVE EVER DONE SO?" "All we like sheep, have gone
astray" (Isaiah 53:6); "They are ALL gone aside, they are ALL
TOGETHER become filthy: there is NONE that doeth good, no, NOT ONE"
(Psalm 14:3). Unsaved reader, the "best" that you can do is to
admit that you are ruined, helpless, and undone. If from this day until
the day of your death, you did not commit a single sin, you could not be
saved; for sinners are not saved by WHAT THEY DO, but by virtue of WHAT
CHRIST HAS DONE FOR THEM. "To him that WORKETH NOT, but believeth
on Him that justifieth the ungodly, HIS FAITH is counted for
righteousness" (Romans 4:5).
"Don't you believe in good works?"Table
of contentsWhen sinners are shown that
salvation is all of grace, and "not of works," it is not an
uncommon thing to hear such say, "You don't believe in good
works." This is a great mistake. What the Word of God shows us is,
that an unconverted man cannot do a good work, as a "good
work" must spring from a good motive, and that must be love to the
Lord Jesus Christ.
The moment a person is saved, that very moment everything
he does ought to be done to the glory of God. No sooner do we read
of the Jailer's conversion than we see him proving his faith by his
works. "He took them the same hour of the night and washed their
stripes." Next we find him seeking to obey the Lord in baptism. He
wished to show his love by obedience to Him who had said, "He that
hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me"
Reader, without faith it is impossible to
please God (Hebrews 11:6), and so long as you are unsaved, you are
utterly unfit to do a single "good work." Believe in God's
wondrous love to you, and you won't be able to keep from working
for Him in return for what He has done for you.
"It is so difficult to be a
of contentsDo you mean that it is difficult to
become a Christian? If so, you are completely mistaken. "But
I have again and again tried to become one and have failed." You
have not taken God's way, dear reader, or you would now be
rejoicing in the knowledge of sins forgiven. CEASE TRYING TO BE SAVED BY
YOUR EFFORTS; CHRIST HAS FINISHED THE MIGHTY WORK, AND JUSTICE IS
SATISFIED. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be
saved" (Acts 16:31).
"I meant that it was difficult to live the
life of a Christian." Granted at once. Let me, however, ask,
"Whether is it easier to serve Satan or Christ? Which is the best
master? Who gives the best wages? In himself the Christian is
weak and helpless; but He who SAVED has promised to KEEP him, and has
declared, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Hebrews
13:5). It is far easier to serve the Lord Jesus than Satan.
In serving Satan, you have to turn your back on
your best Friend, despise or neglect His great salvation, resist His
Holy Spirit, trample under your feet the Son of His love, and rush
headlong to eternal ruin. Why, then, perish forever, seeing you can be
"I cannot give up the pleasures of the
of contentsYou are not asked to "give
up" anything until you are saved. Salvation, it is true,
includes deliverance from the thraldom and dominion of
sin, as well as from its penalty, and you can't have one part
without the other. It must be all or none.
God does not, however, say to the sinner,
"Give up the pleasures and amusements of the world, AND I will
bestow on you pardon and peace." His way is, "RECEIVE CHRIST
now into your heart by faith, and you will be saved from the power
as well as the doom of sin.
A lady, in conversation with a Christian at the
close of a Gospel meeting, said, "God won't save me now."
"Why?" "I have made up my mind to go to a ball on Tuesday
evening, and He won't save me until I am willing to give up going to
it." She was shown that "now" was God's time, and that He
was beseeching her to accept of a free and present pardon--as she was
and where she was. The word was blessed to her soul, and I need not
add that she was not at the ball, as she had got something better.
Now, as you read these lines,
"receive" Christ by simple faith, and you will gladly
"give up" whatever displeases Him (John 1:12).
"I don't wish to be gloomy."Table
of contentsNumbers imagine that a Christian is
one who goes through life hanging his head, heaving sighs, drawing a
long face, and looking very sanctimonious. This is one of the biggest,
and we fear one of the most widely believed lies Satan ever coined.
Real, lasting happiness is the portion
of every believer. "Gloomy!" What is there in the Gospel
calculated to make one gloomy? Does it make a man "gloomy" to
know that all his sins are forgiven? Will it make one "gloomy"
to be assured that he will spend eternity with the Lord Jesus in glory?
Will the condemned criminal who has been pardoned by his sovereign feel
"Tis Jesus only that can give
Sweetest pleasures while we live;
'Tis Jesus only can supply
Solid comfort should we die.
"The only one who has a right to be
happy is the Christian--he and he alone being delivered from the bondage
of sin, death, and judgment.
Well might the Psalmist say, "HAPPY IS
THAT PEOPLE whose God is the Lord" (Psalm 144:15); "In thy
presence is FULNESS OF JOY; at thy right hand there are PLEASURES FOR
EVERMORE" (Psalm 16:11).
"So many hypocrites."Table
of contentsAnd is this your excuse for not
accepting the invitation to the Gospel feast? If so, It is a very poor
one. You know some who say that they are Christians, but their
conduct proves that they are hypocrites. Though members of
churches and chapels, they do things which you and others, who make no
such profession, would not stoop to, and you are inclined to say of all
who profess to be Christians. "Nice lot! They are a pack of
But surely this would be very unfair reasoning.
Hypocrites are persons who profess to be what they are not. Those, whom
you refer to, profess to be, but are not, Christians. Are we to
conclude, because of this, that all who profess are hypocrites?
This would be as foolish as to say that all clerks are thieves, because
two were convicted of stealing.
The fact that some pretend to be Christians
proves that the reality must be good, as men don't counterfeit
that which is worthless. Suppose, however, that real Christians
are inconsistent, will that justify you in not being one? Peter surely
could not have been justified in deserting the Lord because Judas was a
"So many different opinions."Table
of contents"I really don't know what to
do. There are so many opinions that I am quite perplexed to know what to
believe." If this is your thought, let me strongly impress upon you
the importance of being guided entirely by the sure Word of God.
There is only one way of salvation, and it is very clearly stated
in the Book.
A lady, dying of consumption, was anxious about
her soul. She had asked many persons their "views" of
salvation, and had received different replies. One told her to
"pray," another to "work," and so on. A Christian
worker visited her, and she earnestly asked, "What are your 'views'
of salvation?" "I have no views," was the reply. The lady
was amazed. "You seem astonished," said the visitor; "but
supposing I had, what good would they do you seeing they would be but
the views of a fellow-mortal? I can, however, give you something better.
I can give you God's VIEWS." The result of the conversation was,
the lady shortly afterwards found peace to her soul by learning
that the question, "What must I do to be saved?" was answered
thus: "BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND THOU SHALT BE
SAVED" (Acts 16:30,31).
"It does not matter what one believes
if he is sincere." Table
of contentsThis is what many of the "mock
charity school" say; but let us see if it is true. A man, feeling
unwell, went to the cupboard, took by mistake a bottle of poison, drank
some of the contents, and died in great agony an hour afterwards. Did
his sincerity of belief save his life?
The guard of a passenger train sincerely
believed that the line was clear. "All right, forward," he
cried, and then, blowing his whistle, the train was off. Yet he was
mistaken, and the result was a dreadful collision, and numbers of souls
were suddenly ushered into Eternity.
A man's salvation or damnation depends on
his belief. If he believes the lie of Satan he will eternally
perish; but if he believes the truth of God, he will be eternally saved.
The Scriptures are very plain on this point.
"There is a way which SEEMETH RIGHT UNTO A MAN, but the end
thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12). Sincerity of
belief in that way ends in everlasting destruction. "HE THAT
BELIEVETH ON THE SON hath everlasting life" (John 3:36); "ALL
THAT BELIEVE are justified from all things" (Acts 13:39). But
"HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT THE SON shall not see life, but the wrath of
God abideth on him" (John 3:36).
A living Savior for you.Table
of contentsReader, if you are not yet saved,
even now you are a condemned sinner, hurrying to an eternity of
darkness and despair, with the wrath of the Almighty resting upon you.
"He that believeth not is condemned already" (John 3:18).
It matters not what you are--high or low, rich
or poor, educated or illiterate, religious or immoral--unless you are
"born again," unless you become a new creature in
Christ Jesus, you cannot see the kingdom of God. "Ye must be born
again" (John 3:7).
If, however, you have been led to see your
guilt and danger, and are asking the question, "Is there salvation
for me?" I can assure you, on the authority of Him who cannot lie,
that you may be saved as you read these lines; for He has said,
"Come; for all things are now ready" (Luke 14:17). "Now
is the accepted time, behold, NOW is the day of salvation" (2
Corinthians 6:2); "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of
the earth" (Isaiah 45:22).
"God loved the world of sinners lost
And ruined by the fall;
Salvation full at highest cost
He offers free to all."
Do you know that you are lost?Table
of contentsThe Philippian jailer knew that he
was lost, else he would not have asked what he had to do to be
saved (Acts 16:30,31). Have you ever really seen yourself to be a
lost sinner? Do you say, "Of course we are all sinners?" That
is very true; but some are sinners SAVED by grace journeying to heaven,
whilst others are LOST, hastening as fast as time can carry them to
Reader, are you saved or lost? Face the
question fairly. Were you called to meet God at this moment, are
you prepared? "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil and canst
not look on iniquity: (Habakkuk 1:13). "Righteousness and judgment
are the habitation of His throne" (Psalm 97:2). If unsaved,
unconverted, unforgiven, listen to the Word of Jehovah: "the soul
that sinneth it SHALL DIE" (Ezekiel 18:4); "The wicked SHALL
BE TURNED INTO HELL, and all the nations that FORGET God" (Psalm
If you know that you are lost, there is One
both able and willing to save you. His mission to this world was
"to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). Take
the lost sinner's place, and claim the lost sinner's
Savior, and salvation will be yours.
The ground of salvation.Table
of contentsGod is holy and just; and though
merciful and gracious, "will by no means clear the guilty"
(Exodus 34:7). In His Word He has said, "the wages of sin is
death" (Romans 6:23). How then can anyone be saved for "all
have sinned," and all deserve to die the second death?
The Scripture has declared, "Without
shedding of blood is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22). Sin must
be atoned for! Must all eternally perish? Is there no possibility of
A voice is heard from the throne of God:
"Deliver him from going down to the pit" (Job 33:24). Justice
asks, "On what ground?" "I HAVE FOUND A RANSOM."
What was the ransom provided by Jehovah for the redemption of sinners?
"JESUS GAVE HIMSELF A RANSOM FOR ALL"
(1 Timothy 2:6). The ransom price has been paid and accepted. Justice is
satisfied, not with what you have done, but WITH WHAT CHRIST HAS DONE
FOR YOU. On the ground of His finished work, God invites and beseeches
you to accept a free, full, and present salvation.
"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to
the waters, and he that hath no money come. . .without money and without
price" (Isaiah 55:1).
How to be saved.Table
of contentsIt is a wonder that any remain
unsaved when God has shown so clearly and fully, in His Word, how
salvation is to be obtained.
Numbers, instead of being guided by what God's
Word says, go by what Mr. So-and-So thinks; thus they are ignorant of
the gospel of God's matchless grace.
If you wish to be saved, hear what God
says to you in the following Scriptures:
"For God so loved the world, that He gave
His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM should not perish
but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). "ALL THAT BELIEVE are
justified from all things" (Acts 13:39). "WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH
IN HIM shall receive remission of sins" Acts 10:43). "HE THAT
BELIEVETH ON HIM is not condemned" (John 3:18). The firstborn in
the blood-besprinkled house in Egypt was preserved from the destroying
Angel because Jehovah had said, "When I see the blood I will pass
over you" (Exodus 12:13). Salvation can only be had by faith in the
Lord Jesus Christ.
"Salvation without money, salvation
Salvation without labor, believing doth suffice:
Salvation now this moment, then why, oh, why
You may not see tomorrow; now is salvation's
"Far too easy a way."Table
of contentsMany are stumbled at the simplicity
of the Gospel. When it is presented to them in all its fullness and
freeness, they declare that believing on the Lord Jesus Christ is
"far TOO EASY" a way.
Thank God, it is an "easy way of being
saved." Well might the poet Cowper sing: "Oh,
how unlike the complex works of man,
Heaven's EASY, artless, unencumbered
plan."Though an "easy" way, it is not "too
easy," since it is obtained through BELIEVING IN ONE BY WHOM THE
DIFFICULT WORK HAS ALL BEEN DONE--the Lord Jesus.
It was not "easy" for Him to be
mocked and insulted by men. It was not "easy" for Him to be
scourged, spat upon, and crucified. It was not "easy" in the
moment of His humiliation and agony to be forsaken by God. It was not
"easy" for Him to be "wounded for our transgressions and
bruised for our iniquities" (Isaiah 53:5).
Though an easy way, it is God's only way
of saving sinners, and if the reader is not saved in that way, he will
never be saved at all. "TO HIM THAT WORKETH NOT, BUT BELIEVETH ON
HIM THAT JUSTIFIETH THE UNGODLY, his faith is counted for
righteousness" (Romans 4:5).
"I always believed on Jesus and yet I
cannot say that I am saved." Table
of contentsDepend on it, if this is what you
say or think, you are completely mistaken. No one has "always
believed on Jesus." You may have believed a great deal about
the Lord Jesus, but you have never really believed on Him. You have
never received His glorious Gospel, or you would be saved. What about
the Lord Jesus do you believe? "I believe that He died on Calvary
for sinners." Believing that won't do you any good. Do you
believe that He bled and suffered and died ON ACCOUNT OF YOUR SINS? If
you did you would see that there was no reason why you should be
afraid of meeting God. If you did you would know from the Word that you
had eternal life, and would not come into judgment on account of your
sins. No one can believe on the Lord Jesus Christ without being saved,
for He has declared: "WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHALL receive
remission of sins" (Acts 10:43); "ALL THAT BELIEVE ARE
JUSTIFIED from all things" (Acts 13:38,39); "He that believeth
on ME HATH everlasting life" (John 6:47). So you see, if you really
believe on the Lord Jesus, God says you are saved.
"I don't believe in the right
of contentsIf you are not already saved, you
don't believe in Jesus in any way. Scripture does not recognize
two ways of believing--a "right" and a "wrong" one.
Men may speak about a "living faith" and a "dead
faith," a "saving faith" and an "intellectual
faith," but Scripture speaks of believing what God says.
Faith in man and faith in God are the same exercises of mind; the
difference is not in the faith, but in the person on whom the
faith terminates. Those who are lost perish through believing the
devil's lie, and those who are saved are delivered through believing
God's truth. "The devils believe and tremble," because they
are doomed to eternal despair; and the saints believe and rejoice with
joy unspeakable, because they are to spend Eternity in happiest
fellowship with the Lord Jesus.
Paul did not say to the jailer, "Believe
on the Lord Jesus Christ with the right kind of believing, and
thou shalt be saved. Don't think about your believing, but about Christ,
the object of faith.
"Must we not work out our own
of contentsSuch a question is often asked by
anxious, as well as careless sinners. Sometimes it is put in this
form--"Does it not say in the Bible that we are to work out our
salvation? How, then, can you reconcile that with the statement that we
have only to believe in order to be saved?"
When you ask, "Does it not say we
are to work out our salvation?" whom do you mean? Do you mean every
person--saved and unsaved? If so, you have only to look at the epistle
and see to whom it is addressed. Philippians 1:1--"TO ALL THE
SAINTS in Christ Jesus at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons."
They were already saved. They did not hope to be, they knew they were
saved. "My beloved," says Paul. . ."work out your own
salvation" (Philippians 2:12,13). They were already in possession
of it. "Your own" implies possession. They were to "work
out" what God had wrought in. This passage certainly has no
reference to the unsaved. The unsaved are "dead in
trespasses and sins," and therefore cannot work out their
salvation. Besides, Scripture is very explicit--"BY GRACE are ye
saved. . .NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians
"Must I not pray to be saved?"Table
of contentsScripture nowhere states that
salvation is to be had by prayer; it speaks of sinners being saved only
in one way--through simple faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus
Christ. Did the Lord Jesus tell Nicodemus to "pray and be
saved?" No. "WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM should not
perish" (John 3:14:15). Did Paul in answer to the question,
"What must I do to be saved?" reply, "Pray earnestly for
forgiveness, and you will get it?" No; he said, "BELIEVE ON
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31). You
do not need to pray to God for salvation; He is at this moment beseeching
you to TAKE it (2 Corinthians 5:20). If you expect to be saved by
prayer you will be deceived, as it cannot take you a step nearer to
heaven. How can you dare to ask God for salvation so long as you
are guilty of the awful sin of making Him a liar (1 John 5:10, 11)?
Instead of continuing to pray for salvation, even now as you read these
lines, stretch out the empty hand of faith and take it as a gift
from the pierced hand of the Lord Jesus. "THE GIFT OF GOD IS
ETERNAL LIFE" (Romans 6:23). "Whosoever will, let him TAKE the
water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17).
"If I do my part, God will do
of contentsA Christian in the east of England
used to say it took him forty-two years to learn three things--(1) That
he could do nothing to save himself; (2) that God did not require him to
do anything: and (3) that Christ did it all.
If you learn these three lessons you
will never talk about your doings. "Your part" is to
admit that you are a helpless, hell-deserving sinner, unable to do
anything to save your self. "Your part" is to cease thinking
of being saved by anything you can do or feel. "Your part" is
to believe that Jesus did everything that was necessary--that He
finished the work of atonement and paid the ransom price with His
precious blood. Whenever you cease trying to be saved by your doings,
and believe on the Lord Jesus, who did it all and paid it all, you
become a son of God, an heir of glory, and a joint-heir with Jesus
Christ. "To him that WORKETH NOT, but believeth on Him that
justifieth the ungodly, his FAITH is counted for righteousness"
"It is finished, yes indeed,
Finished every jot;
Sinner, this is all you need,
Tell me, is it not?"
If God is satisfied with the
"finished" work of Christ, you ought to be satisfied with that
which satisfies Him.
"I am too great a sinner."Table
of contentsSome who say this really suppose
that they are too wicked to be forgiven; but in many cases it is only
said in mock humility, as an excuse for continuance in sin. There can be
no doubt but that you are a great sinner, and far worse than you
imagine. "You have no idea how wicked I am." I don't know, and
what is more, I don't wish to know; but one thing I am certain of, HE
knows all about you. Since you were an unconscious babe on your mother's
breast, God has watched over you and loved you with more than a parent's
love. In spite of your sin and folly, He stands with outstretched arms
ready to welcome you. The prodigal son was received by his father in
rags and wretchedness, misery and poverty, and God is willing to save
you now. Take the lost sinner's place and claim the lost sinner's
Savior. "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out"
(John 6:37). Though a "great sinner," you are not beyond the
reach of His pardoning mercy, and now you may receive the full and free
forgiveness of all your sins, by believing on Him who died for you (John
6:47). "The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost"
"No one can be certain of that."Table
of contentsPaul's reply to the most important
of all questions was very explicit: "Believe on the Lord Jesus
Christ, and THOU SHALT BE SAVED." He did not say, "Believe on
the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will have a good chance of being
saved"; but "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and THOU SHALT
Numbers declare it is "great
presumption" in anyone to "go the length" of saying he
KNOWS that he is saved. They affirm that "no one can be
certain," and that all we can do is to have a "humble
hope." How different this is from the teaching of the Lord Jesus
Christ and His apostles! Paul says, "We are ALWAYS CONFIDENT"
(2 Corinthians 5:6). The Apostle John says, "I write unto you,
little children, BECAUSE YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN YOU for His Name's
sake" (1 John 2:12). "We KNOW that we have passed from death
unto life" (1 John 3:14). Every sinner who believes on the Lord
Jesus is BOUND to believe that he is saved. It would indeed be
"great presumption" in any one to doubt the Word of the living
God. "He that believeth not God hath made Him a liar" (1 John
5:10,11), and he who believes on Jesus has the divine promise, thou
shalt be saved (Acts 16:31).
"Can a man be saved at once?" Table
of contentsThe same hour of the night that the
jailer asked, "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30-34)
witnessed his conversion and baptism; and it is likewise added, he
"rejoiced, believing in God, with all his house." In one short
hour, the whole household believed, were saved, and baptized. It is of
no use people saying that "No one can be saved at once," for
Scripture clearly shows that those mentioned in the New Testament,
WHENEVER THEY BELIEVED, were saved. Some have supposed that conversion
is a gradual process, requiring much time and earnest prayer. How long
does it take one to "believe what his father says? A moment.
Another figure is employed--"looking." "Look unto Me, and
be ye saved" (Isaiah 45:22). How long did it take a bitten
Israelite to be cured? The one moment he was dying, the next, by simply
looking at the brazen serpent, he was completely healed (Numbers 21:9;
The very moment you "believe"
in, or "look" to Jesus as the One who bled and suffered for
you, you are saved.
"There is life in a look at the Crucified
There is life at this moment for thee.
Then look, sinner, look unto Him and be saved--
Unto Him who was nailed to the tree."
"I have not repented enough."Table
of contentsWhat do you mean? "I am not
sorry enough for my sins."
And if you were very sorry, would God be
more willing to save you than He is now? "I think so." Then
you are completely mistaken.
"But does it not say, unless we repent we
Yes: but what do you think is the Scriptural
signification of "repentance? If you say "sorrow for
sin," you are wrong. It does not mean sorrow for sin; it
means a CHANGE OF MIND (Matthew 21:29). This change will doubtless produce
sorrow; but sorrow and repentance are two very different things
(Hebrews 12:17, margin, and 2 Corinthians 7:9). When God calls on you to
"repent and believe the Gospel," He wishes you to lay aside
your wrong thoughts, and believe the glad tidings that He proclaims to
you. Formerly you may have imagined that you were required to feel very
sorry before being saved. Change your mind. You may have supposed
you must first "feel" some great change in order to
know you were saved. Change your mind. First believe in God's great
love to you, as revealed in His Gospel, and you will KNOW that you
have eternal life (John 5:24).
"I cannot love God."Table
of contentsA lady became anxious about her
soul. She prayed and labored earnestly to "love God," in order
to obtain the forgiveness of her sins. Instead, however, of doing so,
her heart seemed to get harder.
Meetings were being held in the district, and
one evening the preacher said: "Some imagine that God requires them
to love Him in order to be saved. They begin to examine their
hearts, and they cannot find there one particle of love to Him.
"If," said he, "we were not to be saved till we loved
Him, we would never be saved at all; but the blessed truth is, HE LOVES
US." "Herein is love, not that we love God, but that He
loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins"
(1 John 4:10). The moment she saw that God had so loved her as to give
Jesus as a propitiation for her sins, peace and joy filled her heart,
and she could not help loving Him who had done so much for her. "He
that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love: (1 John 4:8). Have YOU
been trying to love God in order to be saved? If so, give it up. It is
true you ought to love Him, but so long as you are unsaved you will not
do so. Meditate on His love to you and you will be able to say, "WE
LOVE HIM, BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US" (1 John 4:19).
"I don't feel anxious enough."Table
of contentsNumbers, when awakened to see their
danger, get occupied with their feelings toward God, INSTEAD OF WITH HIS
FEELINGS TOWARDS THEM. They never seem to consider this
question--"Whether does my salvation depend on how I feel toward
God, or on how He feels toward me?" Again and again, we hear the
remark, "I don't feel anxious enough," or "I don't feel
sorry enough." Such have read or heard of some who were in great
darkness of soul, and they imagine that they must go through a similar
experience. They are very unlike the woman who, when asked how she got
through the "slough of despond" (mentioned in Bunyan's Pilgrim's
Progress), replied, " I did not go that road at all: I went
straight to the Cross."
Don't think of your anxiety, or want of
anxiety, but ask yourself--"Is God willing to save me now?"
Again and again, in His Word, He declares that His desire is that you
should not perish, but be eternally saved (Ezekiel 33:11, 1 Timothy
2:4-6). Cease occupying your mind with your feelings. Think of His
wondrous love to you, as manifested in the gift of His only
begotten and well-beloved Son. On the ground of what He did and
suffered, you can be saved even now. "Believe on the Lord Jesus
Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).
"I could not hold on."Table
of contentsThis is what many a one says. In
fact, it is a very common difficulty with those who are exercised about
their soul's salvation.
"I have often tried to be a Christian, but
have failed. Sometimes I thought I was one, but soon the happy feelings
were gone, and I was just as bad as ever; so there is no use in me
professing." You need not be troubled about your "holding
on." What you are now required to do is to believe on the Lord
Jesus Christ, and the moment you do so you obtain eternal life (John
3:36), and the assurance that you will never perish (John 10:28). Then
as to how you will "get on" after you are saved, the
same Christ who "saves from wrath to begin with, saves from sin to
go on with, and will keep you safe to glory to end with."
"Thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people FROM
THEIR SINS" (Matthew 1:21); and He "is able to keep you for
falling" (Jude 24), and has promised never to leave nor to forsake
those who put their trust in Him. The moment you believe on Jesus you
are His; and He has pledged His word to guide, guard, and keep you, and
to give you strength and grace to live and work for Him. "I the
Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, fear not"
"Would it not be great
of contentsPresumption to do what?
"Presumption in anyone to say that he KNOWS he is saved."
But if God declares you may be sure, and tells
you HOW YOU MAY BE SURE, would you call it "presumption" to
believe Him? "Assuredly not." Then listen to Him: "These
things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of
God, that YE MAY KNOW THAT YE HAVE eternal life" (1 John 5:13).
Instead of it being "presumption" to
believe what God says, to doubt Him is to be guilty of the greatest sin
a man can commit. "But I cannot say that I am saved." Then you
do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? "Oh, Yes, I do!" You
must surely be mistaken; for the Scripture states that "He that
believeth on THE SON HATH everlasting life" (John 3:36); and if you
are not saved, you cannot possibly believe on Jesus.
"I believe on Jesus, but I cannot say I am
Then you are making God a liar; for He again
and again asserts that everyone who believes on Jesus has eternal life
(John 6:47). But "He that believeth not God hath made Him a liar, because
he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son" (1 John
"I don't feel any change."Table
of contentsOf course not. How could you, so
long as your mind is occupied with your FEELINGS TOWARD GOD, instead of
WITH HIS FEELINGS TOWARD YOU? If you continue to look into your
cold wretched heart, you will become more and more miserable. By
dwelling on its coldness or hardness, your want of love or want of
sorrow, faith or feelings, you must be unhappy.
Peace is not derived from looking WITHIN: it is
only to be found by LOOKING UNTO JESUS, by thinking of what He has done
and suffered for us, and not by anything that we have done or suffered
"Look to Jesus, weary one, look and live:
Look at what the Lord has done, look and live!
Though unworthy, vile, unclean, look and live:
Look away from self and sin, look and live."
So long as you do not believe on Jesus you
cannot have that love to Him you ought. You must first believe in
His love and death for you; and the moment you know that the mighty work
has been finished, that justice has been satisfied, peace will fill your
heart, and love will flow out and over to Him who loved you and gave
Himself for you (Isaiah 42:21; Romans 5:1).
"How am I to come to Christ?" Table
of contentsA Scotch shepherd, in a state of
great anxiety of soul asked a preacher if he could tell him what was
meant by "coming to Christ." "I have been hearing,"
said he, "a most earnest discourse; we have been urged and
entreated to 'come to Christ' and I felt as if I had been sitting on
nettles all the time, for he never told us HOW to come to Him. Can you
"Can you fly to Him?" "No, I
cannot do that." "Can you walk on your feet to
Christ?" "No." The preacher then told him that Christ,
though in heaven, was beside him on earth, loving him with a deep,
strong, and tender love, eagerly anxious to save him. He was shown that
with his mind and heart, and not with his body, he was to
go to Jesus--in other words, HE WAS TO BELIEVE ON HIM WHO DIED THAT HE
MIGHT LIVE. "Is that it? Is it so simple? I see it now," he
said and went on rejoicing.
"I came to Jesus, and I drank of that
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived, and now I
live in Him."
Has the reader come to Jesus yet? If not, come
to Him now. Believe in His love and death for you, and you will know, on
the authority of Him who cannot lie, that you are saved, and have
"I cannot realize it."Table
of contentsWhat do you mean? "I see that
Christ has borne my punishment, and that God, is perfectly satisfied
with what He has done; but, somehow or other, I cannot realize that I
have everlasting life."
Your mistake is, you are taken up with the realizings
of your mind instead of with the realities of God's salvation.
Suppose for some crime you were sentenced to a term of imprisonment,
with the option of paying a large penalty. A friend pays the amount in
full and brings you a receipt; would you then be afraid of going to
jail? "No." Why not? Because of your "realizings" or
"graspings"? "No." Why would you not be afraid? "Because
the ransom had been paid." Would you not be required to
"realize" or "grasp," or "lay hold" of the
money in your mind? "Certainly not."
God in His Word tells you that Christ has GIVEN
Himself a ransom for you (1 Timothy 2:6), and on the ground of what He
has done you may be saved. Do not think of your "realizings,"
but believe in the reality of His death for you, and you will then know
that you are saved, and all your sins forgiven.
"I cannot feel saved."Table
of contentsMartin Luther, in one of his
conflicts with the devil, was asked by the archenemy if he FELT his sins
forgiven. "No," said the great Reformer, "I DON'T FEEL
THAT THEY ARE FORGIVEN but I KNOW they are, because God says so in His
Word." Paul did not say, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and
thou shalt FEEL saved;" but, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ
and thou shalt BE SAVED." No one can FEEL that his sins are
forgiven. Ask that man whose debt was paid by his brother, "Do you
feel that your debt is paid?" "No," is the reply, "I
don't FEEL that it is paid; I KNOW FROM THIS RECEIPT that it is paid,
and I FEEL HAPPY because I know it is paid." So with you, dear
reader. You must first believe in God's love to you as revealed at the
Cross of Calvary, and then you will FEEL HAPPY, because you will KNOW
that you are saved.
A happy old Christian, on hearing persons
speaking of their feelings, used to say--"Feelings! Feelings! Don't
bother yourself about your feelings. I just stick to the old truth
that Christ died for me, and He is my surety right on to Eternity, and
I'll stick to that like a limpet to the rock."
"Be my feelings what they will, Jesus is
my Savior still."
"God says I am saved, and it must be
of contentsSuch were the words uttered by a
young convert on the night he found peace. Reader, can you truthfully
adopt his language? "I wish I could." Then there is nothing to
hinder you from doing so now. Jesus has died on Calvary. He has
"suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust," and Jehovah has
declared that those who believe on Him have eternal life (John 5:24;
6:47). If, therefore, you really believe on Him who bore the wrath and
curse for you, you have God's Word for it that you are saved.
"I don't feel I am saved." Neither do
I but thank God, I KNOW IT, simply because He says so in His Word, and I
am confident He always speaks the truth. Salvation is not through our
feelings but through faith in what Jesus did for us (Romans 1:16). Jesus
felt the weight of sin when he exclaimed, "My God, My God,
why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46). Now as you read these
lines, believe on Him who bore sin's penalty, and with the young man you
will be able to say, "GOD SAYS I AM SAVED, AND IT MUST BE
"Time enough yet."Table
of contentsAllow me to ask you in closing, are
"I intend to be, but there is no great
hurry." What "No great hurry," and the messenger of death
at your door! The manslayer, fleeing into the city of refuge, with the
avenger of blood on his track, did not think so. When asked why you
despised His pardon, and neglected His great salvation, what answer will
you give? Don't, oh don't, allow Satan to lull you to sleep in the
cradle of a false security. Time is short and Eternity is at hand. Will
you, can you, dare you, one moment longer remain unsaved?
"Now" is God's time. "Tomorrow" may be too late. The
dark thundercloud of God's wrath is hanging over your head, and if you
remain in your present position the voice from heaven may sound forth,
"Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of
thee" (Luke 12:20). Delay not another moment. Don't be perplexed
about the future. He who saves poor sinners has promised to
"keep" them; and the moment you receive Christ into your heart
by faith, He will grant you power to overcome sin, self, and Satan, and
give you strength to live for Him who died for you.
BY ALEX MARSHALL
You Need to be "Born Again."
"Ye MUST be born again" (John 3:7).
Reformation is not Regeneration.Turning
over new leaves won't destroy the old ones. Future good conduct does not
blot out past disobedience.
God is Willing to Save You Now."NOW
is the accepted time" (2 Corinthians 6:2).
"Come now" (Isaiah 1:18).
Salvation is a Free Gift.It
cannot, therefore, be earned or bought by good works, prayers, or
"The Wages of sin is death, but the FREE
GIFT of God is eternal life" (Romans 6:23, Revised Version).
"Not of works lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8).
Justification by Faith Alone.This
is clearly taught in Scripture.
"Being justified by faith" (Romans
5:1). "If by grace, then it is no more works" (Romans 11:6).
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and THOU SHALT BE SAVED and thy
house" (Acts 16:31)