“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Acts 2:21, KJV
Growing up in the church, I don’t remember the exact time that I asked Jesus to forgive my sins and grant me eternal life. But I do remember how I felt when I first realized that I had the assurance of salvation–a love, joy, and peace came over me that I will never forget. I couldn’t understand why other people were not as excited when I told them the good news about righteousness by faith in Jesus.
But the reality is that false religion has always been the majority opinion in the world. The church has often neglected the grace of God in favor of a more human focus on keeping rules instead of fostering loving relationships with those who need to know that God loves them.
The early church knew the power of the Holy Spirit, because many could still hear the words spoken by Jesus: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:43-45, NIV).
It is true that God will judge the wicked, but true wickedness resides in self-righteous pride. Those who reject the free gift of salvation have doomed themselves to destruction if they do not admit their sinfulness and plead for God’s forgiveness. Genuine faith is the assurance that God’s promises are truth. Jesus offers the gift of eternal life to those who call out to God for the forgiveness of sins. Those who attempt to cover their sins with the fig leafs of this world, instead of the righteous covering of the spotless lamb of God, are under a curse.
If the word of God proclaims that whosoever calls upon the name of Jesus will be saved, we are to believe exactly what it says to be the truth. There is no such thing as holiness without the assurance of salvation in Jesus. There is no condition on salvation other than simple faith in the atoning blood of our Passover lamb.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” ~ 1 John 4:10, NIV
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” ~ 1 john 5:13, NIV