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What Does It Take?

The greatest need any person ever has is the need for salvation. That requires repentance, which is Godly sorrow for sins. True repentance is necessary for salvation; not merely sorrow that one's sins are known, but remorse and regret for our sin. It takes the recognition that we cannot save oursleves; that without the precious blood of Jesus we have no hope. True repentance causes us such contrition, such Godly sorrow, that we are willing to turn away from our sin, to go in the opposite direction.

It takes more than merely being a "good person" to be saved. It takes more than mere positive thinking to get to heaven. It takes more than merely belief in God to be born again. Being a good person isn't good enough; if it was, Jesus wouldn't have had to die for sin. Positive thinking isn't going to get anyone into heaven. Believing in God or in Jesus is not being born again; the Bible says even the demons believe, and tremble. "You believe that there is one God; you do well: the demons also believe, and tremble." (James 2:19)

Being born again takes repentance on our part and regeneration by the Holy Ghost. We cannot regenerate ourselves. General Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, said this: "The chief danger of the twentieth century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and Heaven without Hell."

In churches across the nation today, the wonderful, life-changing message of the gospel of Jesus Christ has somehow been denigrated into a nice little "feel good" message of encouragement. They tell about God's love, and His blessings, and how to cope with life's stresses, but seldom do they talk about repentance. People NEED the powerful truth of God's own Word, messages about sin and repentance and forgiveness through Christ Jesus, much more than they need messages about how to live their best life now.

Let's not pervert the truth of God's Word, deceiving thousands of people into turning the eternal truths of God into some kind of fairy tale; let's not turn our loving Father into some kind of fairy Godfather who grants our every wish and gives us everything we could possibly desire to make us happy and prosperous in this world. God isn't interested so much in making us happy and prosperous as He is in making us holy and righteous.

But as he who has called you is holy, so be holy in all manner of conduct; Because it is written, You will be holy; for I am holy. (I Peter 1:15-16)


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