Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part column.
Man sinned in the Garden of Eden. God had provided all man needed to survive. But man, being tempted by the devil, gave into the temptation.
“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Gen. 3: 4-6).
If we are to understand how people are truly saved, we need to look at a few things. We need to look at why man needs salvation, how God provided salvation, and how, according to the Bible, God saves.
God hates sin. It was because of sin that God caused the world to be destroyed by water in the flood. Noah and his family were the only human survivors of the deluge. Sin still plagues man – even today.
Paul wrote, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Rom. 3:23). The world will not be destroyed by a flood again, the next time it is destroyed it will be by fire, and time on earth will be no more.
Some believe that because there has been so much time since God made his promise that the final destruction will never come.
Peter warns against such false hope: “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up”(2 Peter 3:3-10).
Thankfully, God has made provisions for man’s salvation. He gave his Son to die for the sins of mankind. If man will obey the gospel according to God’s word, he can be saved.
Next week we will continue our discussion on how God saves people.