Summary: What we do know is that the Bible teaches us very clearly that after a person has received salvation through Jesus that a change should take place in their lives. There should be visible evidence of their salvation!
The most important decision that any of us has ever made, or will ever make in our lifetime, is to accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, and to receive salvation.
God never wanted to have to send His Son to die for us, but He knew it was the only way. The Bible tells us in Jon 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Jesus Himself said in John 3:3 – “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
God’s plan of salvation is very simple, but the Bible tells us in Matthew 7:13-14 – “Enter ye in at the straight gate:, for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
I wonder, is there a sadder message in the whole Bible than this one? Jesus has told us that “few there be that find it.” I suspect that 80 or 90% of all the people in the world today are lost and without Jesus.
As I have shared with you before, I had the privilege of helping raise 5 natural children, 4 girls and one boy, and 2 foster children, a girl and a boy.
Attending church was never an option for my children. It was mandatory, and through the years, one by one, they all came to know and accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
The more that they learned, the more questions they asked, and often times they would ask point blank “Daddy, do you think Mr. Jones has ever been saved? What about Mrs. Williams daddy? What about Mr. Morrison next door daddy?”
I would ask them what prompted their questions and here is what they would say. “Well daddy, Mr. Jones claims to be a Christian but he never attends church. Mrs. Williams says she believes in God but sure does seem to have a pretty bad drinking problem! Mr. Morrison is a Deacon in the Baptist Church but he sure does curse a lot and my friend says that he is having an affair with her mother! Daddy, are they going to get to Heaven despite the way they act?
Out of the mouths of babes come some of life’s toughest questions. Now I couldn’t answer those questions then and I can’t answer them now, nor can you. You and I do not truly know if a person is saved or not, but sometimes we can get a pretty good idea. However, you and I see only the outward appearance of the person while God sees the inward appearance, so only God knows for sure.
What we do know is that the Bible teaches us very clearly that after a person has received salvation through Jesus that a change should take place in their lives. There should be visible evidence of their salvation!
As the Apostle Paul told us in II Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, He is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold, all things become new.”
This morning, let’s examine for a few minutes some examples from God’s Word of the changes that took place in some people after they experienced salvation. We want to look at what they were, what they became, how their lives were changed forever, and how God used them in service to Him.
I believe, but more importantly the Bible teaches, that there should be some evidence of salvation. A murderer should lose his desire to kill. A thief should lose his desire to steal. A drunkard should lose his desire to drink, and a person who has been living in sin should desire to give up his sinful ways. Old things should pass away and all things should become new!
The Apostle Paul had a personal experience and a mighty change took place in him. In I Timothy 1:15 Paul referred to himself as the “chief of sinners.”
Paul had been a vile, despicable and repulsive human being. His one and only desire in life prior to being saved had been to wipe out and slaughter all Christians. It hadn’t mattered to him whether they were man or woman, adult or child. He wanted them all to be bound with ropes and chains, and taken as prisoners to Jerusalem. Why you ask? Simple answer, because they had chosen to believe Jesus’ message of salvation.