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We have sinned. We are lost. God in His justice could have sent us to hell for any of our sins. But because of His love for us He has decided to make a way back for us from sin. That's why He took the punishment for our sin and provided us a Saviour. But do we now act as if we are doing God a favour by 'accepting' Jesus as our Saviour? Because He has done everything on His part to make it possible to get back to Him, do we sit here and expect that He will also do everything else for us? Shall we now sit and enjoy ourselves, doing whatever we want, ask Him for protection and help at all times, ask Him to waive our sins when we indulge ourselves now and then, ask Him to pick us up from whatever mess we create for ourselves, ask Him to pretend He is rejoicing over us while shutting His eyes to what all we are doing, etc.? Don't we have any responsibility to live right, now that He has given us a chance to return to Him?
No, many Christians say! They say God does it all, and it will be wrong for us to do anything from our side pertaining to salvation! It's all grace, isn't it? How can we go back to the Law by thinking that we should obey Him, etc.?
Contrary to what many Christians imagine, God will not save anyone against his or her choice. He will not save anyone who does not want to be saved. He will not pick some people, work in their lives even against their desires, and transform them into His image. What He will do is to tell us about His offer of salvation, and then He wants to see if we will respond to Him by acknowledging our sins, repenting, and putting our hope and trust entirely in Jesus as our Saviour. Not only then but also at every stage in our life He will stand by with help for us whenever we ask.
But people love their sin. If someone offers them salvation from hell without their having to do anything they are just delighted with it. But they don't want to give up their lives and walk in a narrow path with few along with them. They want an easy and comfortable life and they expect that God will always take care of them and answer all their prayers. Taking up their cross or denying themselves are things they don't like to hear about.
Can you see the deception here? It is this false gospel that is mostly being preached all over the world, and many, many people are deceived into thinking all is fine with them because they have 'accepted' Jesus.
For us to be saved, we must want to be saved. We must recognise we are lost in sin and be looking out for a way out of sin's guilt and power. It is only then that Jesus is seen as the good news and the pearl of greatest value. Only then will we be able to put aside everything else and run after Him. It is only such people He will be able to save. Such people pursue after not only forgiveness of sins but also deliverance from the power of sin. They can't be satisfied till they know they are walking closer and closer to Jesus as time goes by. Where do we stand?