I was worse than many of you could ever imagine, I was a sinner beyond what many could sin, and I did so of my own volition and with desire.
Have you ever wondered about the thief on the cross, the one that said, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” (Luke 23:42) Do you suppose he was a professional thief, a rabble rouser, bad to the core with no thought towards those that he inflicted his evil desires upon? Did he live the life of Proverbs 1:18, “And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.” Or did he only steal once and get caught doing so?
Look what he says in Luke 23:41, “And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.” He knew the man hanging on the other side of the Lord, whether from their thieving days or not, they knew each other. One died in his sins, one went to paradise. He didn’t say that he believed the Lord Jesus Christ was the Messiah, he didn’t ask to be forgiven, he surely was not baptized. He hung there gasping for breath until they broke his legs.
It does not matter how much I sinned, it does not matter how much you sinned, if you will call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be saved. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
And for those who cannot speak? “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7)
There are no prescribed set of words you must say, counting beads, attending church, trying to live a good life, none of that is good enough. “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 18:13-14)
Religious organizations have taught those who they have deceived for centuries that this is not enough, that believing alone will never save you, and I have yet to meet one that does not turn to the book of James to attempt to validate the falsehood they believe.
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?” (James 2:14)
“Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?” (James 2:21)
Man wants to get up on that cross with Christ as He dies, adding to what they believe is not enough, some work, some deed, some special words said in the prayer order. False churches are very proficient at this lie, deception is their forte, works, continual works are the bondage they have place upon those who follow their lies. “You will never be forgiven unless you do something, unless you add something to His sacrifice.” They are no less than Simon who wanted to buy the Holy Spirit, they want what is offered and they are willing to pay almost anything for it, but they will not accept the truth of grace.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)
We all know that we are not good enough, yet everyone who will die in their sins will not accept that the Lord was the only one good enough, and that if you want to be saved, He is the only way to the Father.
By saying that we must perform some deed, we are saying that the Lord Jesus Christ was not sinless, that there was some blemish upon Him, that God will not accept the sacrifice of His only Son until we add something to it.
If you believe that, you are not saved.
It does not matter what kind of person I was before He called me to Himself, He does not care how bad, how evil you were, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
“Just as I am, without one plea, except Thy blood was shed for me.”
Moses killed a man, David killed a man and stole his wife, Peter denied Him three times, where do you believe they are today?
It is so simple that most cannot grasp it, simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. It cannot be stated any clearer than that.