How to be saved?

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The author of article - Igor Kudryashov - Pastor of Udomlya Baptist church.

I decided in this article to designate a serious problem of all people, I won't be afraid to tell, all mankind. And though many at all don't see value to this question, nevertheless, it is the most important in life of each of the man and women living on the earth.

How to be saved? It is clear, what to any person, having heard it, there is a wish to understand from what it is, actually, necessary to be saved, level of danger is how great and it concerns personally how nearly it? When danger is obvious, it is necessary to explain nothing. If there is terrorism, the state develops against it certain methods of protection and fight; if the person committed a crime against the law, such person must be isolated from society in imprisonment places that society won't suffer from it again. In each of us the self-preservation mechanism works when we face to face have danger. But when you hear somewhere about salvation in the religious plan, everything, on feelings and on a situation looks differently. At this moment bombs don't fall on you, your rights aren't struck; you can simply sit in front of the TV or in front of the computer screen, watching performances of any preachers; you can read any book of the religious contents, can be even to come into the temple or a house of worship where to you can tell about danger to lose rescue. At this moment it seems to you that everything about what is spoken, is both in physical and in temporary sense is very far from you personally that it not so seriously and doesn't demand momentary decisions and actions of you. And many simply change the channel, close the book or, having indulgently smiled, and leave the temple. After all is how it seems to us, the real important issues, whether it is worth spending time for religion?

But danger, actually, exists and it also has the global sizes. What is this danger, we will consider from the point of view of the Scriptures – Bible. Why we want to use the Bible, instead of any other religious book, we will talk in other article, today on it we won't stop. So, the Bible says that such danger really exists. Also it is danger – to appear after terrestrial life in an awful place which in the Scriptures is called the lake fiery. The present tragedy is that the person, who has appeared in this terrible place of tortures, remains there forever, the way back isn't present. The description of a condition of the people who were there rather short, but very eloquent: "there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 22:13). Place of the greatest for all history of mankind of sufferings, a place of separation from God, a place, having got in which, the person any more has no rescue, it doesn't have simplification and prospects to leave it.

Arguing logically, it is possible to expect the following question which the person who has heard about an essence of this danger can set – really there is an eternity, really with the termination of terrestrial life everything doesn't come to an end? And afterwards, probably, one more question – well, even asks to be set if to assume, what the eternity exists: why I have to appear in this lake fiery, after all I am the quite good person? All these questions can be answered, but problem is that answers, as though convincingly they didn't sound can have all these questions, at a certain stage demand from the people asking these questions, belief manifestations. This faith definitely helps the person to orient with this difficult spiritual space. Therefore when we speak about the lake fiery, to that person who doesn't trust in it, will be absolutely uninteresting to listen, it is beyond his ideas of the Universe and the nature of things. These words won't touch it, and, especially, won't frighten, won't induce to change life and belief. But, I hope very much that there will be among readers of this article those who already looks for long ago answers to similar questions who is ready to show belief to glance for this veil of spiritual sense of life of the person.

So, we will return to our questions. Can the person lives eternally? And once again yes! Even in the Russian word "person" this sense of eternal existence is put. Certainly, those from us who quite often had to see death of people to endure personal tragedies, losing relatives, will tell – well what eternal life about what you speak? There was a person, and there is no him – such we hear quite often. Yes, our human, limited abilities we aren't able to comprehend it, but we can't tell that we know everything especially as all of us know about our Creator about this world. The Bible tells us about an eternal Heavenly Kingdom where the Lord expects believers in Him and about eternal death in the lake fiery about which we already spoke. The new body, new cover for our soul which we will receive after terrestrial life, it will be capable to exist eternally, and, both in the Kingdom of Heaven, and in a place of eternal tortures. To comprehend it and to agree, it is necessary to show belief. Everything about what we speak, is truth of the Bible therefore we either trust the Bible, or we reject it as lie. So, if we believe, what there is an eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven which we while only casually mentioned, and, also there is a place of eternal tortures – the lake fiery - where then there have to be we and why? It is very important question. Bible says that the Kingdom of Heaven is intended for righteous persons and the lake fiery for sinners. In Gospel of Matthew, in the 25th chapter, in the 46th verse we read Christ's words: "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal". When you ask people a question – whether the sinner you, you hear the answer "yes" more often. Any person, who doesn't believe in God, realizes that he is far from perfect, and that it is possible to call his many acts sins. Perhaps, also there will be what will tell that is innocent, but this his delusion because any of us at least once in life sinned, and is enough of it to appear on God's court and to go to the lake fiery. The bible in this respect speaks very much specifically: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). In fact, on the earth it is impossible to find the person who wouldn't sin because each of us, being born in this world, already is the carrier of sinful essence. We got it from the first people Adam and Eve who opposed command of God and ate that the Lord forbade them to eat. The problem isn't in a fruit which they ate, but in their disobedience to God, in their desire to arrange the life, without accepting and without wishing to listen to God's manuals and adjustment. Then for the first people it ended is deplorable – they were expelled from the Eden garden (Paradise on the earth), they became mortal (at first they were created by God not knowing death), they began to get by the sweat of the brow the bread, but the most sad consequence of their disobedience that between them and God there was the insuperable abyss, which name – a sin. This abyss which didn't stop existing still, deprived of the person of opportunity to come to God freely, the sin made the dirty deed, we are divided with the Lord. Certainly, being born, we don't realize it. It is very joyful to us to see newborn children who learn to speak, go, and, apparently, everything is so fine. But any parent notices that from very early age at the child the feeling of greed, feeling of property, feeling of a physical and moral superiority over others, desire to offend with whom they play together can already be shown, cases when one child beats another are frequent. From where in small fine beings these manifestations of aggression and pride. In total from there – from the Eden garden where there was a fall. If we begin to speak now about what terrible things can do more the adult, it can occupy a huge number of pages and time, and it becomes very sad to us. About it now it is possible to hear everywhere, news are flooded with various criminal chronicles and to that similar things. Someone from you will exclaim – but, excuse, I am not a murderer and not the tyrant, I am the good family man, I love the wife, never changed her with other women, I care of children, of parents, I help people, etc. All this is remarkable, but there is one "but". Before God a sin is not only concrete offense of any of us, but even the sinful thought which has slipped in our reason. Jesus Christ told: "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-28). And even, if you, being the man, never in life looked at the woman with desire (in difficultly what to believe), for certain, you condemned someone in the thoughts, to someone wished the evil, to someone envied. The list can be continued further, but in it there is no sense. I want to illustrate thus only that us not to escape anywhere from the sinful nature, it constantly accompanies us, penetrates consciousness unworthy thoughts and pushes to make forbidden, which so impatiently. We are sinners is the fact, and all sinners as we already spoke, the terrible eternity expects, and it is the most tragic result of life and a choice of the person.

Here the word "choice" was heard. Any hope began to dawn ahead. Remember, we said that there is a Kingdom of Heaven where the Lord will eternally reign over the people – over righteous persons. How they there will appear if they don't exist in the nature? How the sin abyss between Saint and Just God and the person who has drowned in sinful passions can be overcome? Actually, it is possible, and it is that main and surprising about what I want to tell you. When I said that on the earth it is impossible to find the righteous person from people, I told not all truth. One such person lived long ago on this planet. There was it about two millennia ago. There lived this person in Israel and His name was Jesus. Yes, He is Jesus Christ, He was That innocent and Saint person Who turned a history course. He became the center of life of millions people. He continues to excite and attract still to Himself look and hearts of many. Christians believe that then the person was born not simply, God came to the earth in image human. God’s Son, having executed will of Father, He was embodied, having become the person to bring to people the great message about reconciliation. In the Bible there are such words: "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:19). God reconciled the world with Himself in Christ – the phrase up to the end not all clear, but very exact. Let's understand it. As we already told, sinners are all people on the earth, respectively, in such state to them one way – in eternal death is prepared. It is necessary to find a way and a way to be transported through this abyss, dividing us good luck. Jesus Christ became this way. And it was completely the initiative of God. So Jesus speaks about Himself in the Gospel of John: "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). In order to understand how there is a process of reconciliation of people good luck, it is necessary to glance literally on some lines in the Old testament of the Bible and to realize to what the bringing ceremony in the victim of animals was in the ancient time applied in the Israeli people. There was a firm establishment from God – to sacrifice an animal for sins of people. Specially put priests were engaged in it. Throughout long centuries this procedure was made. The people who have sinned before God, had to bring for sacrifice a certain animal (a lamb, a calf) or a bird (pigeon) and by that to decline all responsibility for a sin, having shifted the fault to the head of this innocent creation. Thus, God showed to people all weight of their sin, weight which led to death, but not the person, but an animal. It is possible to tell, something that happened to an animal, had to happen to the person, but didn't occur because the animal became "a replaceable victim", assuming sin and knife blow. Thus, God's justice which demanded punishment by death for a sin was restored.

But the problem of a sin couldn't be solved through sacrificial animals. Look that is written in the Hebrews: "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect" (Hebrews 10:1). In other words, people who brought sacrifices didn't change at all internally, their sinful nature didn't leave anywhere, and they continued to remain helpless before a temptation to sin. Through any time they needed to go to the priest with the next sacrificial animal. But what Christ made? Oh, it something surprising and great in the essence! All of us know how Lord Jesus’ terrestrial life ended – He was crucified on a cross by the authorities of the Roman Empire. Having hung on this cross almost whole light day, Christ died. This death was recorded by his executioners, having speared for the certificate His body. After that Christ's body allowed to remove from a cross and to bury. I want to stop here. Jesus’ death – why it is so important; why all Christians of the whole world often say the phrase: "But we preach Christ crucified" (1 Corinthians 1:23). It is because only Christ could become that only great victim for sins of the whole world. The victim after which any need in any else victims already disappeared. In the Hebrews we read such words: "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified" (Hebrews 10:10,14). Any other person, even the best and just, never could become this victim because as we already spoke, he has the sinful nature and needs rescue himself.

The Bible says to us about one important event – that Christ not only died for sins of people, He revived for the third day after death and arrived before His disciples, confirming the God’s power and a victory over death. It is the basis in Christian confession of belief. The apostle Peter writes in the first message: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3). Believing in the crucified and revived Jesus Christ, the person gets the new spiritual nature which allows him to have new relations with God and opens a way to an eternal Kingdom of Heaven.

If we return now to our main issue – how to be saved, that we considered, the answer will sound so:

1. It is necessary to believe that Jesus Christ, having Divine essence, took a human image to become the unique victim for sins of all people of the whole world.

2. We need a faith to accept that the death of Jesus on a Calvary directly concerns each of us, Christ died for world sins, so, both for mine and for yours sins too.

3. To ask forgiveness for Christ for the sinful godless life, confessing before Him those sins which remember, and what you won't be able to remember, He knows and will forgive.

4. To accept Christ with faith as personal Savior. Here it is necessary to explain. In other words, to invite God to become Lord of your life, to accept from Him this gift of salvation and to live by the His Word, believing that He forgave you and accepted you in the Kingdom of Heaven which will meet you after this terrestrial life. So Christ speaks: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24).

5. Your saving prayer to God can sound so: "Dear Lord Jesus! I believe that You came to this world in human image to suffer on a cross and to die for my sins. I accept with my faith that You are also my Savior. Forgive all my sins which I made throughout all my conscious life. Enter my heart, my life and be my Lord always. I believe that upon termination of terrestrial life You will take me in the Kingdom of Heaven. Glory and praise to You! Amen!"

If your prayer is said with belief and in all sincerity, the Lord will hear it – don't doubt, you will feel forgiveness and acceptance you in God's number of children. Heavenly Father will look now at you, as at righteous persons because in you there will be not yours, but the Christ's righteousness. And having taken cover in Him, we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

I want to give, as the church minister, some council for them, who will respond to Christ's appeal.

1. Don’t be afraid of new internal feelings – when God enters heart, you become other persons – but it always changes to the best.

2. Don’t be confused that many people (and relatives including) start you not to understand, even to be irritated on you. This is a normal phenomenon because two beginnings – God's and sinful face. Remember that we spoke about sinful human nature, the nature which opposes to God.

3. Don't give in on various temptations and provocations which can be in your address. There is an ancient opponent of Lord – a Satan who in every possible way wishes to deceive people and to take away them from a true way of salvation. Believe, he is completely controlled by God, and he won't be allowed to cause damage to your faith.

4. Surely start reading regularly (literally every day) the Bible, especially New Testament. I recommend to take for the main the text of the Synodal Translation, it is possible to use also and other translations, such as the translation of the Russian Bible Society of 2011, the translation of the bishop Cassien. Take for reading the checked, not distorted translations of the Scriptures (this question is very actual in the modern world).

5. Continue to communicate with God in a prayer, do it regularly, as well as reading. The Lord rejoices when His children are ready to tell and trust Him all the secrets and needs. Believe that nobody else won't listen to us, won't understand and won't help. Pray with own (not learned) words, tell Christ about all experiences and needs which you have. But learn to thank God for his mercy to us more.

6. The last important council – start visiting church services of Christian church which gathers in your town, maybe, somewhere nearby. It is necessary that you had fellowship with the same believing people who share your faith and views. I won't speak about concrete Christian denomination, I trust, God will direct you there where you receive all necessary for the spiritual growth and full communication.

And one more thing else. Modern society which especially rationally and financially thinks recently, always has a question – for the sake of what I have to do it, what benefit will be personally for me? You know, it is for the sake of what. Though in Christianity it isn't accepted to resolve issues on mutually advantageous conditions, it is more spoken about service to another gratuitously, but the Lord gives us a great and surprising Kingdom at the end of our terrestrial way. Look that the Bible speaks about this Heavenly city: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son" (Revelation 21:1-7).

Limit of all terrestrial dreams – eternal pleasure and peace, eternal close fellowship with God, eternal prospects of knowledge of the All-mighty Creator. All this things will be given to everyone, who accepted Jesus Christ as his own Savior! Remember that Heavenly Father not simply sent to the earth His the only Son; He made it because He loves us with surprising unconditional love which was shown in practice:

"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).

May God bless you!

Igor Kudryashov - Pastor of Udomlya Baptist church