Salvation is not a reward or a payment we get to deserve through our works (which we cannot do fully on our own in the first place). Neither is it an automatic qualification we become entitled to after the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. Salvation IS a FREE GIFT of LOVE, which we RECEIVE only out of love and wholehearted faith in the person of Jesus Christ, with the deepest honor, respect, and gratitude for all that He has done.
If we say then that we love Jesus, how can we disobey His commandments and do evil to our neighbour? On the other hand, we also cannot claim that believing in Jesus automatically makes us perfect or without sin. But believing in His mercy and love, we come again and again in repentance, seeking His grace to be able to help us in our journey of faith so that we may persevere to the very end, not forsaking what we have received but surrendering all things, even our helplessness and allowing God to complete the good work He has begun in us.
A relationship of love consist of the cooperation of the two persons involved. It also requires commitment, sacrifice, and many times, a time of trial and testing. When one hurts the other, it needs forgiveness. But before that, a recognition of the offense, repentance and coming back. It also requires trust in the other person, that one can be forgiven and accepted not because one deserves it, but because one knows how much one is loved. One does not however continue hurting the other, but intends to do better and change for the sake of the beloved.
HEAVEN is seeing the face of God, and the face of God is the face of LOVE. Who can therefore go to heaven? They who do not turn away from love.
And how do we know what love is? We know love by knowing JESUS. See the cross and you will know the way.
But is it possible to know love through other means? It isn’t easy to answer that, for being God’s creatures, I think we all have a certain capacity to know love, to receive it, and to give it.
But to be able to know LOVE in such a way as Jesus has shown it, to the highest heights and to the deepest depths, beyond the very limits we are even capable of comprehending, God Himself coming down toward us, becoming man and dying for us in that darkest hour of forsakenness, pain and even death… I don’t think I could ever know such a love other than by knowing it through Jesus.
Without Jesus, how do you save a sinner? What do you tell the brokenhearted? The poor? The sick? The lonely?
It is Jesus who brings not only eternal life, but a life that is worth an eternity.
It is Jesus who loves the person, and it is love that saves.
With Jesus, we are never alone, even in our pain. With Jesus, we find healing.
It is Jesus we are truly longing for. And to those who seek Him, I trust His Mercy. To Him, there is nothing impossible to reach us where we are.