Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Jesus has come to save your soul

I am reading an extremely satisfying and thought-provoking book by Richard Wurmbrand, a Romanian Jew and evangelical pastor who spent a total of 14 years in Communist prisons. He began the organization Voice of the Martyrs. He wrote several books, including Tortured for Christ, but the title of the book I am currently reading is The Oracles of God. This is where I came across the statement: "Jesus has come to save your soul." (p. 47)

Jesus has come to save your soul.

This true statement brings about a question for me. Perhaps you have asked it yourself. Jesus has come to save us from WHAT exactly? The answer could be a multiplicity of dangers, really. But rather than imagine the possible consequences of all our sinful choices, I would like to dive straight to the heart.

Jesus has come to save you from 'hell' (eternal conscious torment).

Jesus has come to save you from sin [and its consequences].

These two possible answers are what I imagine would result if we boiled down the responses of believers to the question, "What does Jesus save us from?". You may have recognized that the 'consequences' of the second option could be said to include hell, but if we rule out option one then it would cease to apply to the latter.

(I meant for this to be a quick point. In my mind it was quick and briefly understood - but here I go again with so many words!)

Jesus has come.
Jesus has come to save.
Jesus has come to save your soul.

The Word says from the foundation of the world, Jesus was already marked to die His gruesome, humiliating and torturous death as a ransom for sinful humans. As we turn this Great Sacrifice over in our minds, we are amazed that the Father would allow for this unfair exchange - His perfect Son for the dirty rags we are. Why did He die for us?

Did He really die to save us from a fate that He created? The eternal fire was prepared specifically for Satan and his angels (Matthew 25:41)Unmistakably, God is the author of the lake of fire. Did God set up eternal torment in the lake of fire so that He would have to turn around and kill His Son to save us from it? This is just another reason I do not believe in the idea of forever torment. Again, it would be contrary to God's character and purpose to offer up His Son to a violent death to save His people from His own creation - the so-called hell of eternal torment!

The eternal fire that is also called the lake of fire and the second death is what I believe to be a great purger of sin. If you are 'all' sin, like Satan, then you will be completely destroyed. (see the study "Everyone will be salted with fire" )

So now we turn to consider sin.

Is God the author of sin? No, God did not author sin nor has it any part in Him. Now this I could see Him rising up against.

Sin as the blot on His people, sin the great destroyer - the agent that brings about death and ruin. Once ruined, always ruined, right? No. God said no, I will cleanse them Myself with the most powerful action the earth has ever seen: the shedding of the holy Lamb's blood as a ransom payment for sin, all sin, once for all. (Rom. 6:10, 1 Tim. 2:6, Heb. 9:15)

Jesus indeed has come to save our souls. He saved our souls from sin. When the power of sin is broken, Satan loses all his so-called power. He is nothing, really. When sin is defeated and taken away, so the consequences of sin also disappear: evil, death, destruction and all its sufferings and sorrows. Gone forever. All is made new.

Be glad and rejoice! Jesus has come to save your soul from sin!
"Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"  - John 1:29 

"He has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself."  -  Heb. 9:26

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I understand this is a difficult subject and there are different views from folks who all value God's inspired word. I value your feedback, corrections and questions. Please leave a comment!