The message of salvation has for a long time been preached by ministers of the gospel, urging those who are not saved to surrender their lives to Jesus. While this remains a call to mankind up to this day, many havenâ€™t yet responded as anticipated to receive Christ as their Lord and saviour. But why is salvation of utmost importance? TAMANDANI MWALABU writes:
In 1 Timothy 2:3 â€“ 4, the Bible says: For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
This verse is one of the many scriptures which uncover the intent of God for manâ€™s salvation. No wonder, most preachers advocate for the same massage when they hold crusades, revival meetings and other forums, where they reach out to souls with the glad tidings of Jesus Christ.
However, despite these gatherings bringing an impact on some of the people who listen to the message of salvation, reluctance to heed this call is still evident for the majority. Ominously, judging by the signs, we are in a period when Jesus can come any time and many are in danger of eternal suffering if they donâ€™t change.
The question therefore is why is it necessary for one to embrace the gospel of salvation and take an appropriate step to act on it by receiving Christ as the Lord and saviour?
Winners Chapel international church Pastor, Patrick Praise, believes that salvation is a crucial decision for everyone since it enables man to partake of Godâ€™s blessing which is in Christ. He added that salvation gives one a name in the family of God hence everyone must be saved to belong to the kingdom of God.
â€œBelieving in Jesus Christ is the guarantee to salvation. In Romans 10: 9 -10, the Bible gives us a clear picture of how man can be saved and by confessing Jesus Christ and believing in his death and resurrection, salvation takes place. Its about knowing why Jesus came, believing in his death and a willingness to receive the life which God has intended us to have through Christ,â€™â€™ he said.
He noted that preachers have a great role to play to reach out to as many people with the good news of Jesus Christ.
â€œThe gospel should continually be preached and we shouldnâ€™t present it with a tone of condemnation. We need to show people the goodness of God and our message should come with clarity, with authority and contain an element of love. One of the best ways to sell a product is to portray its goodness and likewise, we need to emphasize to people how good God is. In Isaiah 1:18, the Bible shows us that God is ready to forgive regardless of how one thinks he has offended him,â€™â€™ he explained.
Director for evangelism in Fountain of Victory International Ministries, Tawonga Chirwa, stated that salvation is the gift of God to a human being and as such, everybody is supposed to accept that gift as it is offered by God himself through Jesus Christ.
â€œIt is Godâ€™s gift and it requires acceptance by everyone though you may already be in church. The problem is that many are used to receiving things which they can see with their physical eyes but salvation is spiritual and its accepted through faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation brings the life of God into man; no wonder when it is attained, there is peace in your life. In John 3:3, Jesus said that unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. However, itâ€™s not only for us to enter heaven but to live the life of God here on earth,â€™â€™ said Chirwa.
He urged those who havenâ€™t yet made a decision to give their lives to Jesus not to delay, saying that the right time for oneâ€™s salvation is the time we are living in.
â€œ Those who are delaying to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior should reconsider their stand since they donâ€™t know the exact time which Jesus can come. We need to discover the purpose of God for giving us life and this is what makes it easy for you to turn back to him for your salvation,â€™â€™ he said.
In a separate interview, Bishop Geoffrey Matoga of Faith of God church said that manâ€™s salvation is vital for restoration to take place, adding that salvation is the only way which links man to the original plan of God.
â€œIt is the most important action for everyone. The original plan of God was that we should be holy, blameless and be his sons. Salvation results in the recreation of the spirit and this is only made possible through confessing Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior,â€™â€™ he said
â€œ The death of Jesus on the cross was due to the sins of the world and all inequity was laid upon him to pay the price of sin. There is nothing comparable to oneâ€™s salvation and it brings eternal life which no currency can purchase except the blood of Jesus Christ,â€™â€™ said Matoga.
To those who are reluctant to receive Jesus Christ, Matoga said there is no salvation in none other that Jesus Christ. Those who are resisting Jesus are committing an unpardonable sin which is the sin of rejecting Christ as their redeemer.
While agreeing that those who are not saved should take a step to do so, Redeemed for a Purpose Ministriesâ€™ Pastor Aubrey Mwasinga said that the onus is not only pastors but on every believer to witness about Christ. He argued that its not right to blame those who are not saved since they canâ€™t be saved without hearing the gospel.
â€œThe gospel has to be taken to everybody and itâ€™s the responsibility of every believer to do so. Besides, we need to have compassion for those who are in darkness. If you donâ€™t have compassion for the lost souls, its difficult to pray for them earnestly and to draw them to Christ,â€™â€™ he said.
Mwasinga observed that there is a need to come up with good strategies for evangelism if many are to be saved. He cited an example of Jesus and the woman on the well, saying that the manner in which Jesus won her life proved that he was a strategic soul winner.
â€œPreaching to the lost requires wisdom and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to speak the right words. We need to focus on opening the eyes of people so that they can change completely. Its not only about saying the truth but how the truth is presented,â€™â€™ said Mwasinga.