HOW TO FIND PARDON
“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
If there is anything of vital importance it is to know whether or not we are Christians. It is more than church membership; it is more than trying to follow the teachings of Christ. A real Christian is one who literally belongs to Christ – soul, body, and spirit. We know this from the experience and testimony of untold thousands, many of whom have gone home to Glory.
A Born-Again Christian
To be born again means more than merely taking God’s name upon our lips – more than attending religious worship and observing forms and ceremonies. Thousands today proclaim themselves to be Christians, yet they live as contrary to the life of a true Christian as any sinner does. There is no way to become a true Christian except to become Christ’s own, through the new birth.
Salvation means entering into a new life, becoming a “new creature.” It means contact with Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. He gives us the “more abundant” life through His redemption.
We receive “redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14). God planned to redeem the human race when they had become only tools in the hand of the enemy – sinners by birth and also sinners by choice. We are all “bought with a price.”
There is no one under the bondage of sin and condemnation without a chance of being a servant and follower of God. No one is serving the enemy because he has not the power of choice. No one is held captive by Satan unless he submits to his service – unless possibly those fangs of sin have sunk so deep into the soul that they have poisoned the whole moral nature. Men may go on in sin till the conscience is “seared with a hot iron,” being past feeling. God warns us, “To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3:15).
Once Hopelessly Bound
A brother said in his testimony that in his extremity, when he lay flat on his back with every hope blasted, he cried unto God – sent up an SOS call – and God heard that cry. The Everlasting Arm reached down and brought him out of that condition, broke the chains and habits of whisky and tobacco, and changed his whole career. For more than forty years he lived on borrowed time – on God’s time. That man redeemed the time by telling the story of Jesus and the power of God’s redemption.
Jesus Saves from Sin
The angel declared before His birth, that Jesus should “save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). That redemption in Christ Jesus is what this world needs. He came not only to redeem, but to regenerate us. We become real Christians by redemption and regeneration – the new birth. “According to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5).
To an Honest Inquirer
Jesus said to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, on that memorable night when he came to interview the Son of God: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again” – and that implies every man – “he cannot see the kingdom of God.” It was necessary, then, to be born again in order to inherit eternal life.
Nicodemus knew nothing about this new birth; but no doubt he had a heart that was crying out for reality, a heart reaching out for something vastly deeper than mere forms and ceremonies. And he said, “How can these things be?” The honest inquirer always gets an answer.
Jesus revealed to him the fact that unless a man is born into this new life – this pure, holy, and righteous life – there is no possibility of his entering the
We Are Saved by Faith
Faith is reliance upon the testimony of God. Jesus said, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” “Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John said, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Faith believes what God says. If you do believe, and belong to Christ, your nature is so changed that you hate the worldly things you once loved, and love the things you once hated.
What Will It Cost?
Salvation costs more than the majority of people are willing to pay. When they consider the cost, it mounts up tremendously if they love their sins more than the salvation of their soul. Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). That is just what it will take to be a Christian – all you have and are, all you expect to be. And salvation is cheap at any cost.
The Reward – Eternal Life
We declare unto you that an investment in eternal securities will bring big returns. Just as sure as you stake your life on the promises of God, you will receive the greatest returns you ever anticipated. You could not buy a ticket to Heaven, nor purchase the favour of God, with all the wealth of the world; yet it will take your all to gain this great salvation and eternal life.
Many feel they are too weak to be an overcomer. But when you are born again your nature is changed. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” God’s peace abides. The new birth works a change and takes away the “sting of death” in the soul. Faith receives the saving grace through the redeeming power of Christ.
How Can I know?
Heaven will open to your soul, and the Spirit Himself will witness with your spirit that you are a child of God and joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8: 16, 17). You will know that the work is done. You will have the witness within, the peace and joy, the love of God. The sins of the world you once loved you will love no more. Sin will have no more dominion over you, for you have “passed from death unto life.”
There is a sacred bond of fellowship and relationship in hearts that know, and can say with Job of old, “I know that my redeemer liveth.” There is a bond of connection between that soul and God. His whole life is a testimony before this world. His business, his conduct, his conversation, and his walk among men are a living testimony that he is a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.
God knows your need. Do not think you have strayed too far. Do not think you have no hope in God. Whatever your condition, we want to point you to One who is able to save. That means you; for He says, “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). Under that word “whosoever” you can write your name. Do you want to be a Bible Christian – one who knows?
Come to Him in childlike faith. He is a wonderful Savior, able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him. Many have come here the very picture of despair – defeated, hopelessly bound by sin, crime, habits, and appetites. God delivered them instantly, and their very countenance was illuminated. God will change your heart. Old things will pass away, and, behold, all things will become new, and you will love God with all your heart. It is for the one who will exercise simple childlike faith.
How Can I Find God?
If you desire above everything else to be saved, God will never turn you away. Jesus said, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). All you need to do is to meet the conditions God laid down in His Word. You can go down on your knees with an honest heart and pray, “Have mercy upon me, O God,” and get an answer from Heaven.
You may say, “I have prayed and sought, but I cannot get that feeling in my heart that I am saved.” But have you surrendered all and come in faith? When you seek Him with all your heart and cry, “O God, be merciful to me, a sinner,” then with that cry comes a step of faith.
The gap between the sinner and the Savior must be spanned by faith in God. We are saved by faith. “He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrew 11:6). Accept the Blood of Jesus. The Spirit will answer to the Blood and the witness will come. You will know that you are a child of God, that you are born again, your name written in Heaven. You can meet anyone and tell him you are saved. The Spirit of God has come into your heart. Joy and peace will fill your soul. The witness will come from Heaven. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16). Jesus Christ is born into the heart and soul and witnessed to by the Spirit of God. Many have said that when God saved them the very trees seemed to bow to the Spirit of God that was in their heart. Faces seemed changed, and everything looked different. All things had become new. The change was in their own heart. It is for the “whosoever will.”
You can be saved anywhere. Men have been saved in their room, in an old barn or garage, kneeling in a prison cell; anywhere they offered God an honest heart. “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).