In Which Direction
Have you ever made a wrong turn on a dark road at night and wondered which direction you were going? During my almost 23 years in the U.S. NAVY my family and I made many trips back and forth across the United States. I remember that on one of those trips we were driving through Kansas. It was a dark, moonless evening, and we were headed south through Wichita, Kansas towards Oklahoma. After making a couple of turns in Wichita, we started down (we thought) I-35. We were cruising along nicely when we noticed a signpost that said, "Topeka - ?? miles". Very quickly we realized that we were headed in the wrong direction. The signposts alerted us to our mistake in direction. Just as signposts on our highways enable us to know what direction we are traveling in our vehicles, God has given us some spiritual signposts that we are on the "way of salvation." Now, we are not saved by the signposts. We are saved by trusting in Jesus Christ as our Saviour.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
In our churches of America there are a lot of folks depending upon what they have done for their salvation. The Bible tells us that we are to examine ourselves:
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
True salvation will result in a desire to follow the Lord Jesus Christ in Bible reading, prayer, church attendance, and service to the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
Notice that, after the folks at Thessalonica got saved, they had a desire to live for God and to serve the Lord. If you don't see those same desires in your life, then it is highly likely that you didn't really get saved.
Look at John 14:23-24 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
Again, we call your attention to the solemn words of the Lord Jesus Christ in those verses found above. One of the sure signposts that a person has really been saved is that he or she will want to obey the word of God the Father. We hope and pray that the desire to obey God is also present in your life.
Further Bible study will also reveal some other 'signposts' of the "way of salvation."
Acts 16:17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
Another one of the sure signs of Bible Salvation is an heartfelt belief in the Deity of Jesus Christ.
1 John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
2 John 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
Do you believe with all of your heart that Jesus is not only the Son of God but God the Son?
1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Not only will a really saved person believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, he/she will want to "walk in the light."
1 John 1:5-7 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
What does the Bible mean when it says that we will want to "walk in the light?" From the verses seen above it is obvious that to "walk in the light" is to have fellowship with Jesus Christ. How do we do that? We spend time in the word of God, reading, studying, memorizing, and attempting to obey what God tells us from our time in the Bible. If a person says, "I'm saved," but that person has no desire to read the Bible, follow Jesus' teachings, or learn what God has to say from His word, God says that person is a liar.
1 John 1:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Therefore, any person who claims to be a Christian, has some signposts to look at to see if his/her life is really on the "way of salvation." These are not the only things to examine in your life, but these are enough to make you seriously consider whether or not you are really saved.
Merely saying a prayer, joining the church, getting baptized in water, doing good works will not save. Only Jesus Christ can save. Only Jesus Christ can bring about the new birth. If Jesus Christ has really saved you, then your life will be different.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
Can you say with all the assurance of your heart that you have been made a new creature by the new birth? If not, trust Jesus as your Saviour before it is too late.
Written by Dr. Robert E. Bliss
Old Paths Baptist Ministries