Read Romans 10:9-13
"Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes and is justified, and with the mouth, one confesses and is saved. For the Scriptures say, "Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on Him. For 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'"
According to these verses, what are the requirements for salvation? Is anyone excluded?
The world religions have a lot of different ideas about how to get into heaven. Or if there even is a heaven. But the gist of these religions is that we have to work hard to gain our way, or we have to be moral enough to create a sort of utopia here on earth. What strikes me as I read over these different ideas to "attain" salvation is the complete lack of confidence believers in these religions must feel. It must be unsettling to go through life, always wondering if I performed enough good works to make it. And if I am counting on my morality to contribute to a utopia on earth, I must either be in denial of my own selfishness or daily disappointed in myself.
But then, there's Christianity. God, Himself provides the way of salvation - faith in Jesus Christ. It is a free gift. We can't earn it through good works. I love the assurance we are given in Romans 10:11, "Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame." If we believe in Jesus's resurrection and confess that He is Lord, we will be saved. We won't be surprised when we die to find out we missed the mark.
There is no checklist of good deeds or penances we need to make. What a relief it is to know that we are so loved by God that He would make a way for us to be saved and clearly reveal it to us in His Word. It is not a mystical mystery, and we can know for sure that we are saved from hell.
Even better news? There are no exclusions. There are no distinctions among people. The Lord is the Lord of all people. And everyone who calls on His name will be saved. The question is, will you act upon this reality? Will you share the good news of God's grace?
Jesus, thank You for being the Name by which I can be saved. Thank You for the assurance and peace I have because my trust is in You. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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