The Only Way to be Saved

Date: 10/01/2022 
What is the only way to be saved?

Can a Saved Man Choose to Be Lost? - Paper or Digital PDF

Can a Saved Man Choose to Be Lost? - Paper or Digital PDF
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Doug Batchelor: It's been many years, but it still feels like yesterday. Living in a cave high above Palm Springs, no money, no prospects, just drifting through life deeply confused about who I was and wondering if life held any purpose. Coming from a wealthy family, I could have had it all: money, power, fame. But this all struck me as plastic and empty. It wasn't until I was at the lowest point in my life when I found true meaning. Somebody had left a Bible in my cave and I quickly discovered why this is the number one bestseller in the world.

Friends, I can't even begin to tell you what the Bible has done for me. It's the awe inspiring living Word that has the power to transform human hearts. Jesus said, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you'll know the truth, and the truth will make you free." And this is still the truth today. And it's the reason that I'm standing here today, thankful to be able to proclaim His Word and eager to bring hope to those in need. I truly believe that today's program is going to fulfill that desire and leave you with a rich blessing. And don't forget, stay tuned for our very important free offer at the end of this presentation.

Doug: So, if God is going to judge us all for our sins, we're doomed because we're sinful. We inherited a selfish nature from our parents, our original parents. Adam and Eve were created good, holy, loving, and when they disobeyed God and they ate that forbidden fruit, something became perverted in their natures. Instead of being naturally motivated by love, the compass needle swung around the other way and instead of pointing a way to loving God and loving others, it was all about love for self. And humans became selfish and all sin is some form of selfishness. And ever since that time, it's just been a universal problem.

We all sin. Unless there's a transformation, we're in big trouble. No one is righteous and, no, not one. Now, understanding that, what is the penalty for sin? Romans 6:23, there is a looming penalty. "The wages of sin is death," sin is fatal, "but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord."

Now, everybody today, whether you've accepted Jesus or not, everybody around the world, whether they know about Jesus or not, is alive because of Jesus. Don't miss this. If the penalty for sin is death, and since everybody has sinned, why are there so many people alive on the planet? And let's admit it. Most people don't know or accept or follow Jesus. Not only did Jesus buy with His sacrifice a way for people to have forgiveness and everlasting life, it is the sacrifice of Jesus that purchased probationary time for people to make a decision. So, even people who curse Jesus are alive because of Jesus.

God gave His Son to not only save us from our sins, but to buy us time to make a decision. There's a looming penalty for sin. Ezekiel 18:20, "The soul that sins will die." If you are not saved from your sins, if we don't deal with the problem, it's terminal and it's a bad ending. Well, there is a penalty for sin. It is certain. The penalty for sin, if your sins are not forgiven, if you do not repent and turn from your sins, is death. The soul who sins will die. Psalm 145, verse 20, "The Lord preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy." Revelation 21, verse 8, "But the unbelieving, the abominable, the murderers, the sexually immoral, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars will have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

Now, something else that I should probably just pause here and make clear, the Bible is very clear that the penalty for sin is death and we believe there is a lake of fire, that there is punishment. Two things happen in the lake of fire. People are punished according to what they deserve, that will have something to do with intensity and duration, but they do not burn forever. Now, we believe the Bible teaches there is a lake of fire. It says this is the second death. That means they are punished and destroyed. There's a world with no more pain, sorrow, suffering, death. All things are made new, sinners are ultimately annihilated. "The wicked will perish into smoke," the Bible says. "They will be destroyed, root and branch, they are consumed, they dissolve, they are no more." Those are the words the Bible uses to describe sinners after judgment. But there is punishment, and that's frightening enough, if you think about it. So, we have the looming penalty.

Now, there's only one prescription, there's only one solution. What is that one solution? Ezekiel 18:31. There, the prophet says, "'Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourself a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die?'" If you don't have the new heart and the new spirit, Jesus said, "Unless you are born again, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." "Lest you die. For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone." This is what God says, "'I have no pleasure in the death of anyone,' says the Lord. 'Therefore turn and live!'" That word turn, it means to repent, to turn away from your lives of sin. And Jesus came into this world, and to show us the love of God, and the Bible says it's the goodness of God that leads us to repentance, hoping that He'd save us from destruction.

I remember when I was reading, "Foxe's Book of Martyrs," about the Reformation that tells a story about someone by the name of Dirk Willems. He lived in May 1500s. He died 1569. He was a young man who had converted to being an Anabaptist. They believed that you can't baptize people as children, that the Bible taught that we need to make a decision, you need to be born again. And when the church leaders found out that he had the audacity to be rebaptized, they put out a warrant to arrest him. Actually, he was in prison and he escaped, and they hired the equivalent of a bounty hunter to hunt down Dirk and arrest him, and it was in the winter. And he was fleeing up there in the Netherlands somewhere and he came to a river that was frozen. He went across the river and the bounty hunter wasn't far behind him. And the bounty hunter, a little bigger man, fell through the ice and was drowning and freezing and calling for help. Well, Dirk heard that and he thought, now, if I go back and help him, the posse that's following him is going to catch up to me. They're going to catch me, they're going to try and torture me to get me to give up my faith, which I'm not going to do, which means then they'll torture me, then they're going to burn me at the stake. But if I don't turn back, this man is going to die. Maybe if I turn back and he sees my witness, he can still repent and be saved. So, what would you do?

History tells us that he turned back and went and rescued the man who was drowning in the ice, pulled him from the river. And sure enough, the burgermeister, the posse, caught up and now the bounty hunter said, "He just saved my life, I can't arrest him." And the posse and the sheriff said, "You have to, you've taken a vow." And they put him in chains, they brought him back where he was tortured. He would not recant and give up his faith, and he was burned at the stake.

Now, when you hear that, you think of what terrible injustice, but at the same time, what love. To love your fellow man that you'd be willing to suffer and die, that there's some hope that he might be saved. So, when Jesus asks you to repent of your sins--keep in mind, this is someone who has died to buy you an opportunity to change. That should soften your heart and make you want to repent from your sins that hurt Him so much. Peter said, Acts 3:19, "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins might be blotted out."

Now, this is a good news. Sin is the death of us. He says, "When we repent and our hearts are changed, we're converted, they're blotted out, washed away by the sacrifice and the blood of Jesus because Jesus died for all our sins." "So that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord," His Spirit. 1 Corinthians 15, verse 3 and 4. "For Christ died for our sins." Jesus on the cross died to provide mercy for everybody who has ever lived in the past. People in the past were saved by faith, looking forward to the cross. We are saved by faith looking back to the cross. It's the central point in history. Indeed, history is dated from His birth, you know. And it all points back to the cross. "Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and He was buried, and He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrated His own love towards us."

How does He show us His love? "In that while we were sinners, He died for us." He died for us while we were still His enemies, He died for people who say, "We don't even believe He exists." That's a lot of love. So, there's only one solution. What is that solution? There's a single provision that is made, and a lot of preachers love to quote this verse, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved," Acts 4:12. There's how many names?

Well, there you have it, friends. The only name that can save anyone under heaven is the name of Jesus. So, does that mean everybody around the world who has not heard the name of Jesus is lost? What about all the people in Old Testament? Well, they were saved by faith looking forward to this allegory of a Savior, Messiah, the Lamb was a type of this Messiah that would come, so they at least knew something about a Savior that was to come. But what about everybody else? I'm going to leave that question hanging a little longer. Acts 10:43. "To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive the remission of sins."

Good news is there is a way for people to receive the remission of sins. It's through who? Through Jesus. There is no other way. 1 Timothy 2:5. "For there is one God and one Mediator." How many? "One Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus." There's one. And Jesus, if you don't believe what Paul said about Him, do you believe what Jesus said about Himself? Christ said, "I am the way." Do you notice He doesn't say, "I am a way"? It's politically correct today to say that, yeah, Jesus is a way. He's one of the ways. But He not only said that He is the way, He said, "I am the truth." He didn't say, "I am a truth."

The way the world teaches it today is, "Well, you've got your truth and I've got my truth. And your truth is as good as my truth. And"--and that all sounds really sweet and diplomatic. It's kind of like these politicians that blow sunshine at everybody, don't want to make anybody mad. They just tell everybody what they think they want to hear. "Your truth is good for you and my truth is good for me, and your truth is as good as my truth." I don't want to get on an airplane where the pilot says, "I know that some people think that we need to follow the laws of aerodynamic design for this thing to become airborne, but I've got this theory and I'm sincere that it'll work like a submarine as well. So, once we get over the Pacific, I'm going to try it out. I'm sincere."

I mean, this idea that there's no absolute truth is absolute foolishness because you realize that anybody that says there is absolutely no truth, that is an absolute statement and they are saying their statement is truth. Did you catch that? These professors who say, "There's absolutely no absolute truth." Was their statement an absolute? Yeah. So, of course there's absolute truth. We may not know all the absolute truth, but one truth we do know, Jesus says, "I am the truth. I am the way. I am the truth. I am the life. I am not a life." You can live your life and be a Christian, but I'm going to live my life and--the only life that's going to give you life is Him. The Bible says, "He that has the Son has life; he that has not the Son has not life." Those are some absolute truths. There is a single way.

I remember hearing Billy Graham used to tell this story about he was traveling around doing evangelism and he was in this town and he's looking for the post office so he can mail a letter and he sees a boy standing nearby that looked like he knew his way around. He said, "Can you tell me where the post office is?" And he pointed him up the street and Billy Graham says, "You know, I'm a pastor and I'm an evangelist. I'm here in town and I'm doing some meetings that begin tonight in this auditorium. And if you want to know how to get to heaven, you should come to my meetings." And the boy said, "Well, you can't even find your way to the post office. How are you going to show me how to get to heaven?"

Jesus said, John 10, "I am the door." You notice, He didn't say, "I am a door." And Jesus is the door. And some people try to make the door small and they'll say that if you have not heard the name of Jesus and if you have not heard all the details of the gospel and if you can't, you know, understand all the prophecies in Daniel, you are not going to make it. Well, that's not true. Then there's people who try to make the door too big and they say, "Well, just as long as you're a nice person, everyone's going to get there." That's not true. What's the criteria? Well, God gives it in His Word. You can read in Revelation chapter 1, verse 17 and 18. Christ said, "I am the First and the Last. He who lives, and was dead, behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of death and the grave." Who has the keys? The only one that can resurrect us and give us eternal life is Jesus.

I remember hearing an illustration about some people that are out in the woods and they start smelling smoke, and soon the hills begin to glow orange, and the sun is going down and, frantically, they're trying to find their way out. They can't even tell what east and west is anymore because the sky is all obscured. There's trails everywhere and they can hear the crackle of the fire behind them and they look up the road and they see there's two figures off in the distance by one of the trails and they run up and they see one man is a park ranger and he's standing there in perfect health wearing a uniform. The other one is on his face, on the ground, smoldering because he's just burned to death. Which one of them are you going to ask for directions? I would hope you'd ask the living one. Jesus is alive.

Now, there have been some wonderful religious leaders through history, but they're all dead. Jesus is the one who's alive. He's the one to ask. Amen? Jesus said to Martha, "I am the resurrection and the life," John 11:25. "He that believes in Me, though he may die, yet he will live. Whoever lives and believes in Me will never die." Then He said, "Do you believe this?" See, believing is crucial in the plan of salvation. So, I told you there's only one way. The only way is what? The only way anyone gets to heaven is through Jesus.

All right, back to our question now. We're going to hit it head on. Does that mean that everybody around the world--think about all those people that lived in Australia for millennia that maybe never heard about Jesus, or in some South American tribes or North America, or different parts of--they never heard about Jesus. They're all lost, never had a chance. All right, let me share some verses with you. There are particular exceptions. Romans 1, verse 19. Paul said, "Because what may be known of God is manifest in them," in our hearts, people sort of have a knowledge of what's right and wrong. I was raised an atheist, but I had an inherent knowledge that certain things were wrong. "For God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood even by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so they are without excuse."

God has shared truth with everybody through the world because God the Spirit can reach everybody and He can convict everybody no matter where they are. Jesus, when He shares a parable in Matthew chapter 25 regarding the judgment, He tells a story about a shepherd and the great judgment day that will separate the sheep from the goats. Now, the sheep and the goats may all follow a shepherd when they're foraging, they behave a little differently. But sometimes then you need to separate them because you don't shear the goats. And when that separation happens, then the shepherd, he asks this question, "The King will say to those on His right hand," that's the sheep, "'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'" So, you're going to inherit the kingdom.

Now, what is the criteria by which they gain access? "'For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'" They're showing love to their fellow man in their need. And then, "They, righteous, they turn to the king and they answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You a drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you've done it for one of the least of these My brethren, you've done it for Me.'"

That's interesting. He doesn't say, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord because you are a member of My denomination." "Those that have done good, the resurrection of life; those that have done evil, the resurrection of condemnation," or punishment. Luke 13, verse 28. He says, "There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham Isaac and Jacob and the prophets in the kingdom of God." And then Jesus speaks to the religious leaders and says, "And you yourselves thrust out. And many will come from the east and the west, and the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last." Jesus said, "Other sheep I have that are not of this fold," John chapter 10, right? And--but He says, "Them also I must bring, and there will be one fold and one shepherd."

You know, there's going to be people in heaven and they're going to come up to Jesus and say, "What happened to your hands?" And--you know, it even talks about in the prophecy, "What happened to your hands?" He said, "I got wounded in the house of My friends." You can start having heart problems and realize you're having heart problems and call 911 and the ambulance arrives and say, "Take me to Doctor Christopoulos," and they'll take you to the hospital and Doctor Christopoulos will put you under and operate, and hopefully you'll recover. And then there are people who wake up in the hospital. They say, "What am I doing here?" And they say, "You had a heart attack." "What happened?" "Doctor Christopoulos saved you." "I don't even know him." "But he still saved you." The same doctor--some know the doctor before, some meet him afterwards. You see what I'm saying?

There are some people that are going to be in the kingdom, and they've listened to the voice of God's Spirit. They've turned away from what the Spirit told them was bad. Some hear from angels. I can think of a couple of examples. You know what brought about the conversion of Paul? It wasn't Peter, it was Jesus Himself that stopped Paul in his tracks and appeared to him. God said, "You--look, the apostles are going too slow." Paul did not listen to the preaching of Stephen, says, "I've got to get his attention. I'm coming in person." Jesus personally went to Paul. And you know what God told him after He went to him? Said, "Paul." He--Paul says, "What do I do?" And Jesus said, "Go into Damascus and I will send a missionary to talk to you. I typically work through people. I made a rare exception for you."

Cornelius is praying in his house, Acts chapter 10, no missionaries had reached him yet. An angel comes to him. Cornelius is from the Italian band. He is an Italian Roman soldier and the Bible says he feared God. He didn't know the Bible. He didn't know the prophecies. He didn't know about Jesus. He didn't know about the plan of salvation. But he feared God and he gave alms to the poor. And the angel says to him, "Cornelius, your alms have come up as a sweet incense in a memorial before God. I want you to send messengers down to Jaffa. There's someone named Peter. He's going to come and he's going to teach you." Said, "Normally, I work through preachers but I'm appearing to you through an angel."

And I think we're going to be surprised in the kingdom. There'll be people who come from the east and the west, and through angels, through God's Spirit, and through providence. God has reached these people because God doesn't just love Christians, you realize. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God loves everybody. He doesn't want anyone to be lost. That's why He says, "Turn ye, turn ye. Why will you die?" He wants to save all of us.

Now, "Pastor Doug, are you saying that since God can reach the people in foreign countries without missionaries, we don't need to go?" That's--I've heard that argument. "Pastor Doug, if you don't think that Jesus is the only way, then why do missionaries need to go?" Well, one thing, you need to go for your sake. You can see it says here in Romans chapter 10, "How shall they then call on Him who they have not believed? And how shall they believe on Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?" So, please don't fire the pastors. How are they going to hear? Typically, God sends missionaries and you should be one of those missionaries, not just the pastors. He typically works through people. Part of it is so that you can participate in the blessing of sharing the good news.

You know, occasionally the devil and his demons will appear personally to tempt and to confuse. It doesn't usually happen that way, He does it in the background. Occasionally, God and His angels were--will appear personally. But normally, the battle between good and evil in our world is happening through people. And if we don't go, there are people who will not be saved. Did you catch that? It's a rare exception that God will reach people everywhere. If there's no other way, He'll strive with them. But there are some people who will not be reached if we do not go. There is something else in the world called the law of cause and effect. And you and I have the privilege of being used by God to share the good news with others and heaven forbid that we would cease going. Amen? The whole idea is that people can hear the good news and be saved. Penalty for sin is very serious, but Jesus is the solution. Amen?

Doug: You know, the power of choice is an amazing gift from God. But when a person is saved, do they choose God or does he choose them? And once a person is saved, do they still have the freedom to reverse that decision? Well, this is probably one of the most deeply discussed concepts in the Bible. But if we're confused about what really constitutes true salvation, well, that could be the most expensive mistake we ever make. Fortunately, you don't have to be confused about the good news. Amazing Facts would like to send you a special gift called, "Can a Saved Man Choose to be Lost?" This is a short but very insightful book for anyone who has questions about the once saved, always saved teaching that's now exploding through the Christian church. It'll help you to find clarity and lasting meaning for your life, while inspiring you with the goodness and the fairness of God's kingdom. So don't wait, friend. To get your free copy, call the number on the screen and ask for offer number 112 or visit the web address. And after you read this incredible resource, make sure and share it with a friend.

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