Romans 10:9 - 10
ESV - 9 Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
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If a person's desired eternal destination is the attainment of everlasting life in God's presence, reaching that destination is determined by what the person is relying on to do it. Relying on anything other than faith in the redemption and reconciliation to God gained by Christ through His sinless life, atoning death, and subsequent resurrection is futile. Any works done without, or apart from, that faith have no merit or value in God's eyes. Good works done by a person after placing his or her faith in Christ serve as visible evidence of the person's faith, and are the basis for the degree of eternal rewards received from God after the eternal destination has been reached, but good works (by themselves, apart from faith) do not and cannot result in reaching that destination.
I am in total agreement with my brothers Gutknecht and Maas: if we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior we will be saved from the penalty of sin, which is hell. Hell will be cast into the Lake of Fire forever. This will be the eternal destination of the unbelievers along with Lucifer and fallen angels. Salvation is a wonderful, wonder-filled gift of God that can never ever be purchased by man. However, as Brother Maas pointed out, for the believer, there are levels of rewards listed in the Bible. The Prophet/Apostle John was on the Isle of Patmos when he had many visions concerning the future and recorded them for us in the book of Revelation. This was promised back in Isaiah 65:17, Isa 66:22, and confirmed in 2 Pet 3:13, but in Rev 21:1-2, John actually saw these separate places: a new heaven, and a new earth and a new city coming out of the new heaven like a bride adorned for her husband. Rev 21:9-24 The new city is completely described in these verses, but in v24, the nations shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth shall come and bring their glory. There will be people in the new heaven (nations) and on the new earth (kings rule over someone). There are three levels of rewards that a person could obtain if they so desire. The Amen, the Faithful counseled the church of the Laodiceans to buy from Him gold, raiment and eye salve because they were blind, naked and poor. How do you suppose/propose we purchase anything from Jesus? We must give Him something from our hearts not like Him. What an awesome tradeoff! We give Him stinky attitudes, bad dispositions, terrible thoughts and He trades us gold? Raiment? Eye salve? Himself? Oh, what a Savior! Salvation is a free gift, it will get you into the new heaven God promised. But there is more, if you want it. To be like Jesus, to be like Jesus, all I ask, is to be like Him... so the song goes. Be blessed, Lena
Only a fool drifts with the wind and tide. A wise man marks out his course, sets his sails, and guides the rudder until he reaches his destination. Sin has made punishment a necessity (Mt. 25:46). (Matthew 25:46, a cross-reference of Romans 6:23, has made punishment a necessity. And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.") God is the determining factor where each person spends eternity. As our judge, being holy and righteous, God has every right to send each one of us to hell because there is none good, no, not one (Ro 3:10). -- Man's destitution is no righteousness, thus man's eternal destination is "the lake of fire, the second death." This is the one destination we all deserve/earn/merit. But now picture with me 2 links in a chain: God forges the one, and we have to forge the other. ‘God so loved the world that He gave’-then He has done His work. ‘That whosoever believeth’-that is your work. And it is in vain that God forges His link unless you will forge yours and link it up to His. John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: but he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Along with Tim Maas, I say, too, heaven or hell is not determined by good works or church affiliation but by our relationship with Jesus. Those who trust in him as Savior and sin-bearer will spend eternity with Him in heaven, and only then will we have all eternity to spend in the home of the King—a home that is now our future destination.
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