Straight From the Bible

Salvation by Grace Alone Through Faith in Christ

Obedience to God's laws contributes nothing to our salvation; we do not merit salvation because of anything we do. We are saved on the basis of our faith in Christ's death on the cross for our sins (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Once we have received salvation and our hearts are changed by God's love, obedience to the commandments is something that comes quite naturally. We delight in doing God's will.

The Importance of Scripture in Our Lives

Christians accept the Bible as the basis for their faith, teachings, and practices. Its author is God: "All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16). Just as God inspired the Bible writers, so He inspires readers today to understand the truths of His Word. The holy Bible points the way to eternal life, also gives us a correct understanding of its principles--how to live the abundant Christian life and how we can serve others better in this present world. And amazingly, to the honest seeker for truth and righteousness this fact: "...and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free" (John 8:32). Free from sin and its destructive habits--free in Jesus!

A Special Day of Rest and Gladness

The fourth commandment of the Bible sets aside a day each week for spiritual rest (rejuvenation and fellowship with God and man), the seventh day Sabbath (Genesis 2:2, 3; Exodus 20:8, 11). The Sabbath of Scripture is a memorial of creation, and the fourth commandment reaffirms the purpose of the Sabbath. So the seventh day of the week is a 24-hour period that is different from all others because it is holy time (no other day is holy time).

Christ's Soon Return to Planet Earth

The best thing going for this planet and its inhabitants is the greatest planned rescue event of the ages--Jesus Christ is coming for His people. Jesus promised in John 14:3 that He would come again to set us free from all bondage. There is hardly a Christian anywhere who does not hold with certainty to the belief that Jesus will return--and not far hence, considering all the signs of His coming in today's world (Matthew 24; Luke 21). Revelation 22:12 has this beautiful promise: "See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone's work."

Peaceful Sleep in Death

The Bible teaches that the body and soul are essentially a unit and that death is a state of unconsciousness. Jesus called death a sleep (John 11:11). King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived on earth, recorded this convincing statement about death in Ecclesiastes 9:5): "...the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing;..." The Bible teaches that only God has immortality (1 Timothy 6:15, 16). Human beings can receive life only through Jesus (1 John 5:11, 12). God's people receive immortality at the resurrection of the just, which occurs at Christ's imminent return to earth.

The Greatest Sacrifice in the Universe

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they became slaves to Satan and his evil powers. Human beings would be slaves forever had Jesus not come to free us. Jesus made it possible for all of us to be forever set free from Satan's power, by demonstrating in His entire life on earth that human beings can obey God's laws. Jesus took our sins upon Himself (Isaiah 53:5, 6), bore our guilt and then paid the ultimate sacrifice by dying for us even though He was completely innocent. "The next day he [John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 'Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'" (John 1:29).

Pride Led to Downfall

Of all places, heaven was invaded by evil! The highest-ranking created being was Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12). He rebelled against God, was jealous of His position as Ruler of the universe (Isaiah 14:13, 14; Ezekiel 28:14-17). War broke out in heaven and Satan and his sympathizers (evil angels) were cast out (Revelation 12:7-9). Their presence on this planet is very evident in all the heartbreak and evil that Satan and his evil angels have introduced.

What God Did About Sin

God devised a plan to rescue mankind. After Satan tempted Adam and Eve in paradise, God said to the enemy, "...I will put enmity between you and the woman [God's people], and between your offspring and hers;..." (Genesis 3:15). God meant that He would change the hearts of those who would allow Him to work in them. That way they could once again be in harmony with God! In Scripture this is called "the new birth" (John 3:3; 1 Peter 1:23). It is a miraculous transformation when we permit Jesus full control of our lives (Romans 12:1, 2). We make the choice, but that only by the grace of God.

What Is Jesus Doing Now?

Jesus died 2,000 years ago. What has He been doing for us since then in heaven? (See Acts 1:11.) He said to His disciples that He planned to prepare a place for them in heaven (John 14:1-3). Jesus is now preparing a home for every follower, for those who have accepted Him as Lord of their lives. Also, Jesus is presently before His Father as Mediator (Advocate), applying the benefits of His death on the cross. After His return to heaven, Jesus sent the third Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit (the One who changes hearts and places within us a desire for the spiritual). Also, heaven sends angels to be our guardians, who many times lead us to those who are seeking God.

What Christ Made Available for Us!

It is impossible for humans to obey God's precepts without divine guidance. Certainly our own good deeds don't get us very far. We cannot earn God's favor (though many try so hard) by obedience. The holy Bible says that no one will be declared righteous by observing the law (Romans 3:20). How then are we saved? Ephesians 2:8, 9 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God--not because of works, lest any man should boast." The fact is, the moment we (any of us) ask God to forgive us, and believe that He does, He will. Obedience to God's laws is never the condition of our salvation; it is always the result of our salvation. Those who love Him, keep His commandments (John 14:15).

The Final End of This World's Sin and Suffering

There are those who believe that after Jesus returns from heaven, the righteous will rule the wicked. However, the Bible is very clear that good and evil will be separated at His coming (Matthew 25:32). Christ will accomplish this by taking His people to heaven. Satan's followers will be destroyed (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). The present era of earth's history will end. Satan is bound (held captive) 1,000 years on this desolate planet (Revelation 20:3).

God's Ultimate Plan for His People

At the conclusion of the 1,000 years, the unsaved will be raised to life for final judgment (Revelation 20:5), and Satan will be released (Revelation 20:7). At that time, the New Jerusalem, where God's people live during the 1,000 years, will descend to this earth (Revelation 3:12; 21:1-3; Zechariah 14:4, 5). Satan, his evil angels, and all who have rejected God will be totally destroyed (Revelation 20:14, 15; Malachi 4:1). The universe will then be free of all evil forever. God will recreate our world with the pristine beauty it had at the beginning with Adam and Eve (Revelation, chapters 21 and 22). 

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