Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The ultimate question

I was asked by a taxi driver recently about what I did for a living.  I told him that I told people about the reality of salvation and the way to heaven.

This led to an interesting conversation about the Lord, and he asked me what it meant to be saved.  I pointed out that our everyday use of the word "saved" will help us.  When we talk about someone needing to be saved we are saying that the person is in danger, and that they are unable to deliver themselves from it - they need to be rescued, they need to be saved.

These two things are true of us - we are in danger because of the fact that we have sinned against God.  God takes our sin seriously, even if we don't.  Because we have broken God's law, there is a penalty to pay, and a punishment to face - we are in serious danger, and we are helpless to get ourselves out of it.  Even if we could cease sinning from now until we die, it only means that we are not adding further offences to our criminal record - it does nothing to clear the record we already have; it does nothing to cancel the debt we have already accrued; it does nothing to cleanse the stain we have already contracted.  We are in danger and we are helpless to save ourselves.

It was then that he asked me the ultimate question - "How do you go about getting saved?"  When we recognise our danger and helplessness, the question that ought to follow is, "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16 v 30-31). 

It may be that this is the question you are asking.  If it is, I am glad to tell you there is an answer to that question!  Left to ourselves there would have been no answer, but God didn't leave us to ourselves - He loved us too much for that!  He provided the answer, even though it was at infinite cost to Himself:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

God gave His Son, not just to Bethlehem's manger, but to Calvary's cross, to bear from God the punishment due to sinners, and to pay to God the penalty we never could pay.  He rose from the dead, and He is able to save.  I told my taxi driver that, if we are prepared to acknowledge our sins really are as serious as God says, and then trust the Lord Jesus to save us, He will do it.  Many do not realise the fact that we are actually helpless to save ourselves, and they seek to merit favour with God by their works and rituals, etc. But none of these things can help us - we need a Saviour.  We need to abandon all hope of being right with God any other way, and put our trust in Christ to save us.

I related my own story of salvation to him, and told him it is a real thing to be saved, because the Lord actually enters into the life of the believer, and makes a deep difference.  I tried to let him know how wonderful it is to be saved - to have peace with God, and be sure of heaven.  He agreed it sounded good, and assured me he would read this blog.  I hope he does, and I hope he accepts the answer to his question, and puts his trust in the Saviour.  I hope you do too.