There Are No Shortcuts to the Cross

ShortcutOur world is quickly racing toward convenience and short cuts in almost every facet of life. The things that used to require time and effort can now be accomplished online in seconds—things such as banking, paying bills, shopping, ordering a meal and even securing lucrative employment. These conveniences require little effort and almost no thought as we take for granted what technology has given us—short cuts! We just click a button and we have instant success. However, when we’re looking for salvation, there are no shortcuts to the cross.

Many people want to become Christians because they want to go to Heaven when they leave earth, and they want to enjoy the blessings of God while they’re here. But they don’t want to change who they are or put any effort into being a Christian. They look for the shortest and easiest way to become a Christian that requires the least amount of effort to gain instant results. And the world has offered a shortcut under the guise of Christianity that millions of people are falling prey to.

There is a false doctrine spreading like fire across the globe—the Inclusion doctrine— that teaches Jesus died and saved all of mankind at the cross,  regardless of whether you accept it now or not.  And when you get to Heaven, you’ll be judged on how well you loved your neighbour because Jesus said in Luke 10:27 that we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

The Inclusion doctrine twists this scripture to mean that every person ever born is automatically included in this salvation. It teaches that hell is the destination for the devil and his angels only, and that no loving God would send a person there; therefore, no human is going to be there. It teaches that if someone doesn’t acknowledge the cross here on earth, then they’ll acknowledge it when they get to Heaven and meet Jesus. They use the scripture at Romans 14:11 that says every knee shall bow to God, and say that it doesn’t matter if you accept Jesus and bow to Him now, or accept Him later when you realize He’s God at Heaven’s door. Either way, you’re saved because you’ll bow to Him.

However, salvation requires more than just believing that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross. The Bible tells us in James 2:19 that even the devil believes in Jesus—and yet he has been sentenced to hell. We also learn in Isaiah 5:14 that sinners will go to hell, and in Matthew 23:33 Jesus warns the Pharisees about hell. He also tells the story in Luke 16:20-31 of Lazarus and the rich man—who was in hell. Finally, in Matthew 25:41-46, we read how Jesus will judge the unsaved and how they will be sentenced to hell along with the devil.

This new age doctrine is not the gospel that Jesus preached, nor is it the gospel that Jesus inspired the apostles to preach, nor is it the gospel that He has instructed us to preach—(Mark 16:15). If we were all automatically saved, then what is the purpose of the gospel of Jesus? Why does He tell us to preach the gospel if we’re all saved anyway?

Jesus said in Matthew 24:24 that this “gospel” would be Billy Graham preaching1preached throughout the nations. He also instructed us in Mark 1:15, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Repent? The new-agers have missed that part. They feel that repentance isn’t necessary; yet, the gospel of Christ, as taught by the Lord Himself and by the apostles, preaches repentance IS necessary for salvation.

Jesus said in Matthew 9:13 that He has “called sinners unto repentance”, and in Luke 3:3 it says that Jesus was, “preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins”. In Luke 15:7, Jesus further confirms the need for repentance: “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”

After Jesus was raised from the dead, He walked with His disciples and told them, “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”—Luke 24:47. So now we see that the gospel message includes repentance and remission of sins.

Paul said in Acts 26:20 that, they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” Jesus paid for our sins, but we must each come to Him on our own and repent! We need to give our sinful nature to God with all of its sins, and then ask Jesus to forgive us and to come and live in our heart so that the old nature can go—so the old nature can die.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”… 2 Corinthians 5:17

Jesus died for everyone BUT not everyone is saved.—(John 3:10). Those who believe and accept what Jesus did on the cross, and who repent of their sins will also follow the next step. They will turn away from their sins and their old sinful nature and follow Jesus. He told us in Luke 9:23 to pick up our cross and follow Him. We cannot continue to live the way we did in the world if we are saved. We are changed. We are filled with His spirit and we are different because we repented and left our sins at the foot of the cross.

We learn in Matthew 6:24 that we cannot serve two masters; we will love one and hate the other. We also learn in 2 Corinthians 6:14 that darkness cannot live in the light. And also in John 3:3 Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, ‘Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’.”   We need to repent to have our sins forgiven and so the old nature in us will die. Then we will be born again and receive His spirit in us.

“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”…Acts 26:18

John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” We hear His voice because His spirit is in us. When we were of the world, we only heard the voice of the spirit of the world. But when we repented, turned from our sins and followed Jesus, that world in us was removed and we were filled with His spirit.

Jesus came to earth because He wanted to come—because He loves repenting He preached repentance and remission of sins and that we need to be filled with His spirit. He told us that it wasn’t His will for anyone to die—that’s why He died and took on the sins of everyone. Yet, not everyone will accept it and repent.

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. … 2 Peter 3:9

Apostle Paul teaches us in 2 Timothy 2:15 that we need to study the Bible so we can know Jesus and so we can become wise in the things of God and be productive Christians here on earth. We cannot take a few scriptures and twist them to our convenience. Remember Cain? He did that with his offering. God asked for a blood offering for the atonement of sins, symbolic of the cross to come, but Cain wanted to do it his way—and he expected God to bless it. The Inclusion doctrine is doing it their way and they expect God to accept it. But they are deceived because they think they are saved without the need to repent or to turn from their sins. And God will refuse their way, as well.

Let’s not follow foolishness because we’re lazy and want a short cut to our salvation. Let’s get to Heaven through the door that Jesus has provided—(John 10:7), and let’s do it by repenting of our sins, turning away from them, and then being filled with His spirit so we can follow Him. Let’s do it with a grateful heart and through obedience to His faithfulness of the cross!

“Then Peter said unto them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost’.”

… Acts 2:38

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