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What Does It Mean to Be Saved?

What Does It Mean to Be Saved?

What does it mean to be “saved?” Can I REALLY know God personally?

By Dirk Sanders

Saved? I remember thinking how silly that sounded to me for many years. If I needed to be “saved”, that would mean I must be lost. I found that ridiculous. After all, I knew exactly where I was. I wasn’t lost and I sure didn’t need some “Christian” dude to tell me otherwise! I had my own life under control and didn’t need their crutch to hold me up!

I figured myself to be an Atheist the first 25 years of my life. An agnostic for the next 5. I thought I had a “Higher Power” in my life for that last 5 years, but at age 30, I found myself completely empty from a spiritual standpoint. While life was going along OK, I came to the realization that I was becoming hungry spiritually. Whatever I’d been getting up to that point wasn’t cutting it. I began asking questions and doing research on God. After 30 years, I had developed a real interest in pursuing God.

Now, I could go through a long story about many “spiritual” paths I checked out, but I’ll spare you the details. The question is this: Would you like to know God in a real, vital and personal way? Most people say they believe in God, but ask yourself this- Do I really know Him? While I believe many of us have sensed His presence at times, deep down inside, you know if you really have a true relationship with Him or not. I’m not talking about a warm fuzzy feeling from a beautiful sunset, but a real relationship with God Himself! The kind with real love and communication- where you know His feelings and plans for you. Where being close to Him is the most beautiful of realities.

I knew I didn’t have that. I was also at the place where I wanted that- IF it was available.
Well, to spare you many more details about the journey, I can confess to you that God is absolutely real. He created us to be in fellowship with Him. If you are not in that relationship, there is a reason why. It is called Sin.
To understand the problem with sin, we must first understand how perfectly Holy God is. He is the all-mighty God, the perfect and Holy one. NO Sin can exist in His presence. He is perfectly righteous. Darkness cannot exist in light. God hates sin with a holy hatred and has the perfect right to do so.

While the human race was created by Him without sin, we didn’t stay that way. All of us are now born into this world as fallen, sinful people – separated from God. The Bible says: “The wages of sin is death.” For violating His perfect standard, we will spend eternity apart from Him. This is the ultimate tragedy.

The Bible tells us that “ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” I had no problem with that. I knew I was a sinner. I’d proven that over & over in my life, in big ways and small. If sin is ANYTHING other than perfect holiness, I can’t measure up for even a few minutes! I will say, do or think something that falls short of such a standard all day long. If the slightest sin- even one- can separate me from God forever, then there is no greater definition of lost. The need to be saved is the single greatest need in my life.

This is why Jesus Christ came into this world. He took on human flesh for this purpose. He was born with absolutely no sin and lived a perfect, sinless life. He then willingly laid down his life- brutally crucified on a Roman cross to pay the sin debt of everyone in this world- Once and for all. He IS the bridge that restores our fellowship with God. Love doesn’t get any stronger than this.

The Bible tells us that God is not willing that ANYONE should perish, but that ALL would be saved. Jesus gave us a gift. That gift is eternal life. It allows us to enter into the life we were created for in the first place. His perfect righteousness is deposited into our account. Our sins were placed on Him at the cross. He died in my place and yours.

You cannot earn this gift. It is free. Our loving Lord and savior gave this gift to us.\r\n\r\nA gift MUST be received if you are to possess it though. Many choose to ignore it or reject it. I did for many years. How do we receive it? It”s simple.

The Bible teaches us that we need simply to repent and believe. That means that we make a U-turn on the road of life. We confess that we are sinners, turn away from that sin and live our lives for Him- believing that He died for our sins and rose again from the grave. It’s that simple. We choose to follow Him instead of our own selfish ways.

It doesn’t mean we will act perfectly. We still live in a sinful body. We’ll still sin on a daily basis. Nonetheless my life has been completely transformed. His presence is real in my life. Where there was emptiness, there is now relationship and purpose. Eternal life is mine right now. When this body dies, I know exactly where I will be.

I have a huge family in Christ now. The future is amazing and eternity is forever. Heaven, new bodies, no sickness, sorrow, pain or death. That’s another article though…
The Bible says in that most famous of verses: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

If you want to know God personally and live in right relationship with Him now and forever, you can! Just pray this prayer and mean it in your heart: God, I know I’m a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins and rose again from the grave. I turn away from my old life now and receive your precious gift of salvation. Thank you for saving me- in Christ’s name. Amen.

As simple as that sounds, if you prayed that prayer and meant it, your life is changed forever!

Drop me a line at info@dpgoffroad.com if you want and let me know if you did or if you have questions. I’ll be glad to hear from you.

Less TV Time:

Less TV Time:

A Brief Testimony By Pastor Dennis Turner: Eastside Community Church

Several years ago, when our kids were about 7 and 4, my wife and I realized that the Television sets in our home had become a major distraction to our family. I would probably even say that TV was the focus of much of our time. We began to realize that when we were at home, the first thing to be turned on was the TV and it held everybody’s attention to the extent that we did little talking, sharing of our lives, or really connecting with one another. Sometimes, even at meal time, when we would all sit around the table as a family, we would be focused on a TV program and watch it instead of connecting with one another. 

We came to a clear conclusion that the last thing we needed was more TV time and the thing we needed and wanted most was connection with our children and with one another in our relationships. So, our course of action was to remove the TV from any place where it would become a distraction in our relationships. We removed it from our living room and kitchen and placed it in the basement, where it got used very little. From that time on, we’ve watched very little TV. We do watch the News almost every day and we gather periodically as a family to watch a movie together. So we do watch some, but now it doesn’t interfere with our relationships and our ability to connect with one another and stay focused on what matters most. 

Our best times now are the times we simply gather (almost every evening) for an hour or two in our living room and sit and talk and laugh and share our lives and stories together. None of us would trade those times of connecting with one another and the laughs and fun we’ve had together for anything, much less a single moment in front of a TV. So, in our case, removing the Television as the focal point in our home was a decision we will never regret.

Blessings to you as you focus on staying connected with those you love the most.

Dennis Turner