If Jesus paid for my sins, aren't I forgiven even if I choose not to accept
Christ's gift of Salvation?
Some may come to the conclusion from the two following verses that they will be saved even if they don’t decide to accept Christ’s payment on the cross for their sin:
1 Timothy 2:6 “who gave himself as a ransom for all”
1 John 2:2 “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”
When only one or two verses are considered, it’s easy to come to an incorrect conclusion. This is why it is important to consider many verses when researching an important subject in the Bible. And can there be a more important subject to have a correct understanding of than Salvation?
Let’s look at a few other verses which give additional insight.
John 5:40 “you refuse to come to me that you may have life”
Luke 13:23-24 “And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”
And the verse we saw earlier:
John 1:12 “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”
As we can see, there are people who will not enter the kingdom of heaven. God actually indicates that he doesn’t know them in Matthew 7:21 above. And this is even after a plea on the part of some that they were doing his will.
It seems that those making the plea that they were doing God’s will have decided on their own what God’s will is. Could it be that since they are pointing to things they’ve done, they are trying to justify receiving God’s gift through the works they have done? As we’ve already seen, it is an insult to God for us to think that we can do anything to have any justification for us to go to Heaven. God paid an incredible price and he will not allow anyone to take credit for what He has done. Since He is God and has paid this price, He has every right to take credit for his work. He and He alone deserves and receives the Glory.
The first verse above, John 5:40, clearly indicates that some will refuse to come to Him. Remember, he will not force anyone to choose Him. He respects everyone’s freedom of choice, and will not force anyone to do what they don’t want to. It is only those who decide to follow God’s will who will be saved, and this by accepting Christ’s payment on the cross for their sin, and then validate their choice by living for Him.
Lastly, think of God offering a pardon for your sin because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. You still have to make the decision to accept his pardon or else it doesn’t apply. Until recently, if a criminal sentenced to death was pardoned, they still had to accept the pardon otherwise the sentence was carried out. This link shows an event in history where someone refused a pardon.
The Man Who Refused A Pardon
In the end, it ultimately comes down to who or what we place at the center of our lives, who or what we choose to worship and follow. Some will say that they don’t worship anything, but in reality we all worship regardless of our belief in the existence or non-existence of a God. For each of us there is something that drives us that gives our lives meaning. Whether power, influence, money, sex, God, or something else; we all worship something.
Everyone Worships Something
Counterfeit Gods - Tim Keller (14:25 in video)
David Warner Wallace - Anything Else You Worship Will Eat You Alive - This is the author referenced in Tim Kellers Counterfeit Gods presentation at 14:25
Anything else you worship will eat you alive – what David Foster Wallace came to see
The most important part of David Warner Wallace’s speech is the following segment. David Warner Wallace proves to be amazingly insightful.
“Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship — be it JC or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles — is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.
If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth.
Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you.
Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear.
Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out.
But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful, it’s that they’re unconscious. They are default settings. […] And the so-called real world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self.”
The very sad reality is that three years after David Warner Wallace gave this presentation he committed suicide. What do you suppose it was that ate him alive? The futility of these things that so many worship was written about over two thousand years ago in the Bible:
Ecclesiastes 5:10 "He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity."
If that thing that is worshiped, that one's life is centered around, is not God, it is an idol. Tim Keller covers this in his book, Counterfeit Gods. The link below is a presentation he gave on the subject, and the second link is the Google preview of his book.
Counterfeit Gods - Tim Keller
Counterfeit Gods - Tim Keller - Book Preview
Previews of other books in this category
I Am Second
This site shows a number of individuals who indicate the change Christ made in their lives. Some are celebrities you may have seen before. They tell in their stories, or testimonies, about an issue they dealt with and the pain caused by that issue. They indicate how God met them and their decision to turn to him. The videos are categorized to assist others who have experienced similar issues. If you have experienced or are currently experiencing a similar situation, I hope you find inspiration in their experiences.
If Christ loved you so much to Die on the cross for your sin He wants to reach you in your situation and provide healing in your pain. He will not force Himself on you, and you will need to call to him and ask him. The important realization we need to remember is that Jesus Christ is God, and so He knows everything. Since He knows everything, He knows how to meet your need in the best way possible, and in the best time possible. This is not necessarily what we would conclude as the best way and time. As such, we can’t conclude that since God is not meeting us in the way we think is best, he is not meeting us. If He is not meeting us in the way we think is best, it is because He knows everything while we know very little.
Next Page: So What Now?