(What a terrible shame that some teachers today claim that none of these words of Jesus apply to us since they were spoken before the cross. That is one of the more serious deceptions of our day.)
Now, to be perfectly clear, salvation is a gift, paid in full by Jesus.
It cannot be earned, and 10 million years of our best works cannot possibly pay for the gift of eternal life. And God forgives us, freely and fully, the moment we put our trust in Him to save us from our sins.
But when God saves us, He purchases us, and for the rest of our lives, we belong to Him and are called to do His will, completely given over to Him.
That is Gospel 101.
We serve Him because we love Him, and we serve Him because He is our Lord. (According to Paul, in order to be saved, we must confess Jesus as Lord, which means nothing if it does not include submission to Him.)
The bottom line is that we were guilty sinners, deserving of divine judgment, but Jesus took our place and died for our sins so that we could pass from death to life and from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of God, receiving eternal life and becoming His sons and daughters.
To lure sinners to Jesus with the "wonderful life" gospel is to do a disservice to them and to dishonor the Lord.
Michael Brown is the author of Can You Be Gay and Christian? Responding With Love and Truth to Questions About Homosexuality and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or at @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.
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