A few years ago, the
Princeton Religion Research Center publication Emerging Trends reported
that 56 percent of Americans, “with most describing themselves as Christians,
say that when they think about their death, they worry ‘a great deal’ or
‘somewhat’ that they will ‘not be forgiven by God.’”
The touchstone of the
Protestant Reformation was salvation by grace. Yet, the prevailing view among
Christians today still seems to be that salvation depends on what we have done
or not done. It is as though a great divine scale will weigh all our good deeds
on one side and all our bad deeds on the other side, and our salvation will be
determined by which side is heaviest. No wonder people are afraid!
But if we are indeed saved by
grace, and the Bible says we are, then we can stop worrying and instead begin
to trust in the heavenly Father whom Jesus Christ revealed to us, who loves us
so passionately that he will never let us go. We don’t have to worry about
whether he will forgive us; he has already forgiven us. “While we were still
sinners, Christ died for us,” the Bible tells us in Romans 5:8.
We are judged righteous only
because Jesus died for us and rose again. It doesn’t depend on the quality of
our obedience. It doesn’t even depend on the quality of our faith. He has
enough faith for all of us. All we have to do is believe him, to come to his
banquet, to the place at his table that has already been set for us.
“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the
Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the
That is God’s will for you.
You don’t have to fear. You don’t have to worry. You can accept the gift of
The apostle Paul wrote in
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and
this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one
And Jesus said in John
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only
Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For
God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the
world through him.”
Grace, by definition, is
undeserved. It is unearned. It is God’s free gift of love. It is given to every
person who will accept it. God is our Redeemer, not our condemner. He is our
Savior, not our destroyer. He is our Friend, not our enemy. God is on our side.
That’s the message of the
Bible. It’s the message of God’s grace. The Judge is on our side. He loves us.
He is not out to get us. He is out to save us and bring us home. In fact, he
has already done everything that needs to be done to make our salvation secure.
Why not ask God to give you
the deep peace that comes from knowing you are eternally safe and forgiven in
his almighty hands? He’s anxious to hear from you.
I’m Joseph Tkach, speaking of