The Plan of Salvation

How can man escape eternal damnation?

Corrupt and sinful people stand before a holy and just God. They have not "simply sinned". They have sinned against Him, the holy and perfect One. What will the righteous Judge do with them? The Bible is very clear on this. He already punishes the wicked here in this life: "Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors" (Psalm 73:18-19). At the judgment, God will say to them: "Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41). This doesn't apply only to murderers and cheats – even a bragger cannot stand before God. David writes: "For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, nor shall evil dwell with You. The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man" (Ps. 5:4-6).

The question we are faced with today is: How can man escape certain damnation? What can he do to be redeemed? The prophet Micah calls out, "With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offer- ings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" (Micah 6:6–7). The Bible teaches us that man can do nothing to appease God. In the book of Revelation the situation is described to us in this way: "And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, 'Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?' And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it" (5:1–4). No one was worthy; no one was able to deliver mankind from the power of sin. That is why God established the plan of salvation for mankind, even before the foundation of the world. We read about it in 1 Peter 1:18 – 20: "Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you." The plan was hidden for millennia. The angels wanted to know how God would redeem His creation, but God only showed it to His prophets in commandments and in evocative allegories – like a shadow play on a wall (Colossians 2:16 – 17). But then we see how the plan is fulfilled! All that the prophets saw and foretold suddenly becomes real! The eternal Son of God is born as a little child to a virgin. He exemplifies love and submission to His Father for us. He takes the sins of the world and carries them up to the cross. As the inno- cent and spotless Lamb, He spills His blood. He becomes the sacrifice that propitiates the wrath of God. He calls out: "It is finished!" And then comes Easter morning. The triumphant resurrection! The sting of death is bro- ken. As mighty conqueror, Jesus ascends to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. Dear Reader, are you not deeply moved when you study this plan of salvation and its consummation in Jesus Christ? Please, take a moment and think about it. Then, take your Bible and read the remainder of Revelation 5.

Oh, what a plan! What a way of escape! The Lion of Judah: What a wonderful Savior! Let us bow down and worship Him who lives from everlasting to everlasting!

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