Two-Minute Guide to the Plan of Salvation
Why are we here, living in this world?
Mankind fell out of God's direct presence when Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden. This is spiritual death--separation from God--also called the 'First Death.' Without redemption, we're doomed to spend eternity away from God, which is the 'Second Death.'
How is it possible for us to get back to life in God's presence?
Nothing with sin can dwell in God's presence. God knew that because mankind had sinned, we would all be doomed to spend eternity away from Him. God also knew, however, that celestial law provides that only an eternal sacrifice of God in the flesh (Jesus) could atone, (a Hebrew word meaning 'to cover') for the sins of man. This is the foundation of the plan of redemption.
Does scripture teach there anything we humans have to do? I've heard people say that all we have to do is say we believe in Jesus and we're saved...
Believing is only the first step. It was not a lack of faith in God that drove man from God's presence (i.e. Adam did not suddenly disbelieve that God existed); rather, it was man's choice to sin. Sin is when people choose to put their ways over God's. Choosing sin was the real cause that separated God from man, therefore turning from sin is required to redeem man to God. God offered the atonement to mankind--it's our choice to accept or reject it.
What then, does scripture teach as correct response to God's offering of the atonement to mankind?
1. Faith. It starts with faith, not only in God, but faith that the shed blood of Jesus paid the price to allow repentance to occur. Read that again. The atonement (Jesus death) was not merely to make forgiveness possible; but to make a way for repentance to have any eternal affect.
2. Repentance. If we truly have faith, we'll Repent of our Sins. Repentance means to turn from sin, morally, spiritually, physically. It was sin that separated mankind from God; it is turning from Sin that brings us back to His presence, via the atonement. Repentance includes sincere prayer asking for forgiveness.
Historically, When Adam asked God why it was that men needed to repent, God said that he he had already forgiven Adam in the garden of Eden, but to lay claim on redemption, turning from sin must occur.
3. Baptism by water. When true repentance occurs, baptism by immersion in water signifies our becoming 'dead to sin' and alive in Christ. Baptism establishes our covenant with God--a covenant which He, God, will never break.
4. Baptism by The Holy Ghost. After baptism, God seals a portion of Himself called the Gift of the Holy Ghost. This is a spiritual magnet to draw us to Him, to know His mind and will, to guide us in all things. This gift is necessary to turn from sin--we can't do it on our own. It is also required to be able to dwell in the presence of God. Baptism by fire comes by the Laying on of Hands by God's priesthood.
5. New in Christ, Enduring to the End. We are now new Creatures in Christ. Empowered by a covenant with God and His Gift of the Holy Ghost to guide, we are required to live lives reflecting Jesus. We must not reject God and turn to a life of sin. It is by our works that we will be judged. God will judge whether we've used His gifts to us to magnify Him to the world.
6. Resurrection from the dead. At the end of this life, at the beginning of The Millennium, those 'good' people of the earth will be resurrected in the 'Resurrection of the Just'; those who chose evil will be resurrected at the end of The Millennium, at the 'Resurrection of the Unjust.'
7. Eternal Judgment and Eternal Life. Each will be judged whether he chose Jesus and was found transforming his life unto Christ, or found living unto himself. Those found on the right hand of God after the Millennium are those who will have chosen God through the redemption of Christ, made covenant and received the Holy Ghost. These will dwell with God forever.
A beautiful message of the true gospel is that every person will have an opportunity to make this choice. Only those who knew God's power and willfully rejected it will be found on the left hand of God.
3. Baptism by water.
Now, if you're ready, study the Plan of Redemption in Detail. (in progress)
Finally, for the most amazing proof that this is really God's plan of redemption, see how he revealed it through the Life of the Israelites. (in progress)
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|Watch your Thoughts,|
|They become Words...|
|Watch your Words,|
|They become Habits...|
|Watch your Habits,|
|They become Character...|
|Watch your Character,|
|It becomes your Destiny.|