In Acts, as soon as people saw the seriousness of their sins and the joy of forgiveness that could be theirs, they wanted to be baptized immediately, even in the middle of the night (Acts 16:25–34). Waiting was not something they wanted to do.
Have you obeyed the gospel? Whatever others may have done, have you responded rightly to the glad tidings of salvation in Jesus Christ? The gospel is the best news in the world, but the results of refusing it would be more tragic than we can imagine.
Paul spoke of the hope provided by the gospel when he said, “If we have died with him, we will also live with him” (2 Timothy 2:11). It is no exaggeration to say that whether we have died with Christ is the most important question we will ever ask.
There is no more important activity than self-examination. Are we, or are we not, in a right relationship with God? Do we, or do we not, have the hope of eternal life? And no less critical is this question: by what standard are we going to judge?
Let’s look at three biblical descriptions of what happens when a person obeys the gospel, all of which point to the same experience. Each of these emphasize the deep, inward nature of the change that takes place when a person turns to Jesus Christ.
We often hear people talk about having “accepted Jesus as their Lord” when a quick look at their lives makes us wonder if they even know the definition of “lord.” Jesus said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46).
If you haven’t already said an unalterable “No,” I hope you will give the gospel of Christ a chance to convince you of its truth. I hope the day will soon come when someone will ask and you’ll be able to say enthusiastically, “Yes, I am a Christian!”
When we have wandered away from home, our Father fervently desires for us to come back to Him. And when we return, we can expect that, by His grace, there will be a banquet at which He will show us how much He has always loved us.
By God’s grace, let’s stop the damage right now. He gave His Son to make our forgiveness possible. More life than we can imagine is waiting for us, but we must accept His pardon on His terms and we must come back to Him . . . before it is too late.
We should never become so familiar with the gospel that we underestimate what God has done in Christ. Our salvation from sin is a gift much greater than mere survival. It will be the enjoyment of nothing less than the glorious triumph of God Himself.