Tim Johnson, editor
June 17, 2001
THE GOSPEL PLAN OF SALVATION
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation, to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16). "Now I make known unto you, brethren, the gospel which I preached unto you, &ldots;by which also ye are saved, if ye hold fast the word which I preached unto you, except ye believed in vain" (I Corinthians 15:1-2). It is obvious from these Bible quotations that God saves us by the gospel. God planned it that way. This is the gospel plan of salvation.
To be eternally saved is to be rescued from hell; it is to be privileged to dwell with God and Christ in a place of unsurpassed beauty and happiness forever. "In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again, and will receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:2-3). And God "shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more" (Revelation 21:4). Salvation - how wonderful it will be!
To be eternally lost is to lose that which is more valuable than the whole world; "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul" (Matthew 16:26)? To be lost is to be separated from Christ, to be without hope, and to be without God (Ephesians 2:12). To be lost will mean that we "shall be tormented day and night forever and ever" (Revelation 20:10). It will mean that we "shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might" (II Thessalonians 1:9). Lost - how dreadful the thought!
HOW DOES ONE GET IN A LOST CONDITION?
One gets in a lost condition by sinning, which separates one from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). One who is separated from God is lost. Sin is literally a "missing of the mark." One sins or misses the mark by transgressing God's law. "Whoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law" (I John 3:4), or, as another translation has it, "Everyone that doeth sin doeth also lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness." One who does not heed God's law is lawless, a sinner and lost. All wrongdoing or divergence from that which is right is sin. "All unrighteousness is sin" (I John 5:17). The standard of that which is right is not custom or our own personal preference, but the Word of God, for "all thy commandments are righteousness" (Psalms 119:172). One sins also by failing to do good. "To him therefore that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17). Surely we are now able to see that "all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Every accountable being is a sinner and no sinner can enter heaven where Christ is (John 8:21). Little children are not sinners, for they have not transgressed God's law. Neither are they born in sin, as some would have us believe. Those who are able to understand God's law, and who transgress it or fail to measure up to it are lost and stand in need of salvation. How then, can this salvation be obtained? It is obtained by complying with the terms of the gospel plan of salvation.
CONDITIONS OF SALVATION
God does not want anyone to perish (II Peter 3:9). But He has laid down certain conditions recorded in the gospel plan of salvation and we must comply with them or be lost. These conditions are as follows:
Are you engaged in the performance of the above conditions of salvation? Remember your soul's destiny is at stake. Not one of the above conditions can be left out and the will of Christ fully complied with. "Even so ye also, when ye shall have done all things that are commanded you, say, we are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was our duty to do" (Luke 17:10).
Christ said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). He calls us by His gospel (II Thessalonians 2:14). He saves us by the gospel (Romans 1:16). He has done His part in the saving of our souls. It is up to you now to obey the gospel (II Thessalonians 1:8; Romans 6:17). Dear reader, it is my "heart's desire and prayer to God" (Romans 10:1) that you will search the Scriptures to see if these things are so (Acts 17:11), and if you find them to be so, then obey them in order that your soul will be saved in heaven.
An excerpt from a tract by Lynn Headrick