Dear brothers and sisters, peace to you in the Lord! Here we want to share with you how to gain the Lord’s salvation. As we all know, the prophecy of the Lord’s return has already been fulfilled, and the time of His return has already arrived. All the brothers and sisters are eager to gain God’s salvation, but how can we gain His salvation? When the Lord Jesus came to do His work, who followed Him? Why could those people follow God’s footsteps and gain the Lord’s salvation, while some people missed it? Today we will talk about these problems.
Who Had Followed the Lord Jesus and How Could They Follow the Footprints of God
Let’s take a look at Luke 19 about the chief tax collector, Zacchaeus, who was wealthy. When the Lord Jesus was passing through Jericho, Zacchaeus wanted to see the Lord, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he climbed a tree to see Him. From this we can tell he must yearn for seeing the Lord. The Bible recorded, “And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said to him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at your house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said to the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said to him, This day is salvation come to this house, as much as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:5-10). Zacchaeus longed to see the Lord, so no matter what other people said, he didn’t care. From being in contact with the Lord Jesus, he felt the Lord looked upon his heart and showed great mercy and love for him, so he confessed his sins before the Lord. He admitted he was a sinner and willing to repent, saying he would pay back four times the amount if he had cheated anybody out of anything. Because he had a heart of seeking the truth and light, he could repent immediately after knowing that what he had done was not after the Lord’s heart. Hence, he was approved by the Lord, and gained the Lord’s salvation.
Let’s see how Peter receive the salvation. Peter had only heard rumors about the Lord Jesus, the greatest of the prophets, God’s beloved Son, he would like to find Him. From this we can tell that Peter was thirsting for the truth. When the Lord called upon Peter, he left his nets and followed Him. During that time, although the Lord said some words that didn’t conform to man’s conceptions, he still had a firm belief in Him. Just as recorded in the Bible, the Lord Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum, “Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eats me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eats of this bread shall live for ever” (John 6:53-58). “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?… From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus to the twelve, Will you also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? you have the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that you are that Christ, the Son of the living God” (Jhn 6:60, 66-69). Through the verses above, we can see that some people didn’t seek the true meaning of the Lord’s words. Instead, they doubted whether the Lord is God Himself and left. While Peter had seen that what the Lord did came from God and was something no one else could do. He recognized the Jesus is the Lord, the Christ, and has the way of eternal life. Rather than following the crowd, he chose to seek and accept the Lord’s words though they didn’t match man’s conceptions. He put great importance upon knowing God in His work and words. It can be seen that Peter was a sensible man and could accept the truth.
From the two examples above, we can see that Zacchaeus and Peter all had a heart of seeking and thirsting for truth and loved things that were positive. They knew that the Lord Jesus comes from God according to His words and work, so they followed the Lord and gained His salvation. Therefore, knowing God’s work is essential to gaining His salvation. Now, we understand what kind of people can receive God’s salvation. Then we’ll talk about what kind of people cannot gain God’s salvation.
Who Didn’t Gain God’s Salvation
As we know, when the Lord Jesus did His work on earth, many people had seen the signs and wonders the Lord manifested, had seen the work the Lord did, and had known Jesus was the Lord, the Christ, but dared not accept the gospel. Just as recorded in John 9, the parents, whose son was born blind, saw the Lord Jesus had cured their son’s eyes, but the Jewish Pharisees had decided, “…that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue” (Jhn 9:22). Therefore, when the Pharisees asked them how their son could see, they denied the Lord Jesus because they were afraid that the established and powerful Pharisees would drive them out of the synagogue. In addition, many people once followed the Lord, but when He was on trial in Sanhedrin, they abandoned Him. Though these people had known Jesus was the Christ, they still denied Him. They were even more pitiable than those who never knew Jesus. Besides, most Jewish believers merely followed the instructions of the chief priests and the Pharisees, and refused to accept the Lord Jesus’ work and words. As a result, they missed out the Lord’s salvation. The Bible said, “Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said to them, Why have you not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spoke like this man. Then answered them the Pharisees, Are you also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? But this people who knows not the law are cursed” (Jhn 7:45-49). In name they believed in God, but in fact they believed in the chief priests, scribes, and the Pharisees with no discernment whatsoever. The Jewish Pharisees, though having heard the Lord Jesus’ sermons and witnessed His signs and miracles, only believed that He was just a normal and ordinary man with no influence or fame. So they condemned and resisted Him fiercely and fearlessly. And so, eventually they nailed Him to the cross and committed a heinous crime.
We believers in the Lord all know the way the Lord Jesus preached, the words He expressed, the mystery of the kingdom of heaven He revealed, and His requirements for man, are all truths and the voice of God. They’re the expression of God’s disposition and also what God has and is. The signs that He performed, healing and casting out demons, calming the wind and waves, feeding 5000 men with five loaves and two fish, raising the dead, and so on, these are the manifestations of God’s authority and power, which cannot be possessed or attained by any created being. During that time, the truth seekers like Peter, John, Matthew and Nathanael, recognized the Lord Jesus from His words and work. They found He was the Messiah who was to come and so they followed Him and gained His salvation. They saw that the Lord Jesus’ work and words have authority and power, and are the truth from God. Thus they followed the Lord Jesus, and were not bound by the Pharisees. These people were the ones who truly followed and obeyed God. While those who were timid and fearful, and controlled by people, and those who didn’t seek and thirst for God’s work and words, and condemned His work based on arrogant disposition, had lost God’s salvation. Now We know that we should have an obedient attitude toward the Lord’s words and work and practice in accordance with God’s word, finally becoming the ones who can practice the truth and do God’s will. Only such people are those who follow God and receive God’s salvation. Just like what’s written in 1 Peter, “Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5).
Hope the fellowship above can help us understand what kind of person can gain God’s salvation. May we assimilate what was good from times gone by, and reject what was bad.