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Salvation For Those Who Eagerly Await Jesus

Hebrews 9:27-28
Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (NIVUK)

This series of five statements encapsulate salvation, the reason Jesus Christ died. The inevitability of death faces us all. It is the result of the curse upon human rebellion in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:17-19). But physical death is not the ultimate problem; much more serious, is the judgement of God on our unholy lives. Nobody can escape death, unless the Lord comes first; and in both circumstances He will command each of us to appear before Him to give an account of our lives (Matthew 12:36; Romans 14:6). His judgement will be fully informed and totally just. Without intervention, each of us would be consigned to eternal separation from God (Romans 3:10). The entrance to hell is much closer than most think.

But God did intervene. In His love He sent the Lord Jesus to become a substitute sacrifice instead of each of us. His sacrifice was so total and complete (in contrast to the repeated sacrifices of the old covenant). He only needed to die once to win the salvation of all people who would trust in Him (Hebrews 10:12). Through His death sin is not just excused, it is completely taken away, along with the guilt and shame which agitate our consciences and destroy our peace. The door to salvation is much closer than most think.

This same Jesus will intervene again in human history, not to be sacrificed again, but to complete His saving work in the eternal lives of all who eagerly await His return. Salvation started in the pre-beginning plan of God - that plan preceded Adam's rebellion. That did not take God by surprise; it was already anticipated (1 Peter 1:18-21). The precious blood of Christ bought salvation at the cross. Salvation is then applied to individual hearts who hear and respond to the gospel (Acts 15:7-8). They rightly say they are saved. And yet we continue to live in a sinful world, continuing to sin. Even though the power of sin is often curbed, it still raises its ugly head in our lives. But it is not for ever. When Jesus comes again to claim His own people, they will be saved from the presence of sin and the (wrongly) presumptive authority of Satan. Salvation will then be complete for those who are longing to meet Him when He returns (Luke 12:36).

Believers are marked by a two-way confidence. They look back to see their sin taken away at the cross, and they look forward to the coming of Jesus to complete their salvation. They are confident that they have been saved, they are being saved daily and they will be finally saved. But if anyone dreads that day, what assurance of salvation do they have? If that person is you, do not harden your heart. Come to Him, confess your sins, claim the cleansing power of His sacrifice for you and receive Jesus and be saved. When He returns you will be ready (Matthew 24:44; www.crosscheck.org.uk).

God of salvation. Thank You for saving me for Yourself at the cross, saving me from the power of sin many times, and for the hope of salvation completed on the final day. Forgive me for not anticipating Jesus' return or allowing my life to be shaped by that anticipation. Please help me to so value my relationship with my Saviour that I will eagerly desire His return. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams