• johned@aibi.ph

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Eternity 44 - The Cross and Salvation

Romans 1:16 ASV For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Today many are ashamed of the gospel. They see Zen Buddhism as "more spiritual" than Christianity and Hinduism as "ancient wisdom" and Islam as "righteousness". Christians are becoming timid, often bullied into agreeing that all religions are equal and afraid to say with the Scriptures:
"Acts 4:12 And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved.".

But Christianity is unique and it is better. What Christianity offers, that the "wise and sophisticated" religions cannot offer, is eternal salvation.

Jesus healed the sick, cast out demons, raised the dead and performed miracles that only Christians can perform.

Christians can easily cast out demons that Jewish exorcists failed to touch and which tribal religions and Buddhism have no power over at all. I speak as a missionary who has seen this first hand. The power of God unto salvation is with Christians and the gospel AND IS NOWHERE ELSE.

Firstly salvation is NOT with the Jews, for the Jews themselves are still looking for their Messiah and their salvation and Paul says quite clearly that the Jews are NOT saved and that he wishes fervently for their salvation (Romans 10:1-3).

Neither is it with Islam for Muslims say that no-one can know if they are saved or not. Neither is it with Buddhists or Hindus who have the relentless wheel of karma and cause and effect or animists who are trapped in the fear of witchcraft and the spirit world.

These religions have no real saving power, they can help a little, but final deliverance is beyond them and their originators are still in their tombs unable to rise from the dead. They have some truth and some light, but it is not sufficient and does not carry the day.

Secondly salvation only comes through "the foolishness of the cross":
1 Corinthians 1:17-24 ASV (17) For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not in wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made void. (18) For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God. ....For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom knew not God, it was God's good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save them that believe. (22) Seeing that Jews ask for signs, and Greeks seek after wisdom: (23) but we preach Christ crucified, unto Jews a stumbling block, and unto Gentiles foolishness; (24) but unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

The Kingdom of God is "at hand", that is the Kingdom is readily available like having your hammer "at hand" when you work. Its right there to anyone who reaches out. You do not have to be a wise philosopher or a disciplined ascetic or a fanatical law-keeper or a mystic.

These requirements put the Kingdom far away from many, but it is NOT far away.

The Kingdom of God is available to drug addicts and businessmen and schoolboys and children and maids and ministers.

The Kingdom is not entered by thinking harder, working harder, or praying harder. Its right at hand through the cross of Jesus Christ and by faith. Its so easy that it looks foolish and unsophisticated.

Jesus said His way was "easy and light" (Matthew 11:30) therefore it is not burdensome, hard, intellectual or difficult. The smallest child can enter the Kingdom (Mark 10:15) while wise adults stagger at it.

This is utterly different from the world religions with their beds of nails and pilgrimages to Mecca. All you have to do is believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died for you and rose again and you will be saved.

If this has touched your heart, then consider praying the following prayer:

Lord Jesus, I have made getting saved so hard, and failed to enter into your Kingdom because I misunderstood the means of salvation. I realise now that your Kingdom is "at hand" and I choose to enter in by faith, to put away my sin and trust in You alone for salvation. I believe that you are the Son of God whose death on the cross took the penalty for sin and that you rose from the dead and that with you is eternal life. Come into my life Lord Jesus and fill me with Your Holy Spirit that I may know and love you. Amen.


John Edmiston


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