The Pryor Times

Religion

June 13, 2014

The importance of faith

PRYOR, OK — Several years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Mount Rushmore and see the memorial featuring George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.  It was an awesome sight, and I highly recommend visiting there.  I believe that these four presidents played an extremely important part in the history of this country.  I believe that based upon the reliable testimony of historians.  But there is much greater evidence that Jesus Christ was the Son of God than there is that these four men served as presidents of the United States of America.

God does not expect us to blindly believe that Jesus Christ came to earth as His Son.  Many Bible scholars point out that no less than 333 prophecies regarding Christ exist in the Old Testament.  Although these predictions were written several hundred years before Christ was born, He fulfilled every one of them.  In fact, Jesus fulfilled no less than 24 prophecies in one 24-hour period.  If only one prediction came true, that could have been a guess.  Two might just be a coincidence.  But fulfilling 333 prophecies leaves absolutely no doubt!  Jesus Christ is the Son of God!

In addition to fulfilling these prophecies, Jesus performed many mighty miracles.  He restored sight to the blind, cleansed lepers, enabled the lame to walk, restored a severed ear, cast out demons, and even raised the dead.  Three days after He was crucified, He Himself was raised from the dead, never to die again.  He thus overcame the power of death.  These miracles were recorded for us in the Bible so that we might believe in Jesus as God’s Son.

John wrote in John 20:30-31, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”  We see from these two verses that not all of the wonderful things Jesus did are recorded for us; but enough of them are recorded to give us the faith we need to have everlasting life.

The Bible provides us with that faith.  Paul wrote in Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Those who believe in Jesus have the right to become children of God (John 1:12).  That is why Jesus said in John 3:16, “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.”  Believers should not perish because it would be totally foolish to believe that Jesus is Lord and refuse to obey Him.

It is impossible to be saved without faith (Hebrews 11:6).  Jesus said in John 8:24, “If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”  Those who do not believe cannot be saved.  Those who believe should be saved because they have the right to be saved.  Romans 1:16 says that the gospel of Christ is God’s power to save everyone who believes.  Again, faith gives a person the right to become a child of God (John 1:12).

But the gospel must be obeyed.  In Hebrews 5:8-9, we find that Jesus gives eternal salvation to all believers who obey Him.  Everyone who truly knows God will obey Him.  John wrote in I John 2:3-4 “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.  He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”  Those who do not obey the gospel will be punished with everlasting destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).  In summary, faith is absolutely essential.  Faith is what makes salvation possible for those who obey God.

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