Salvation Is No Trick, It's God's Treat!

Halloween is only a few days away, the second largest holiday commercially to Christmas. Children and adults alike will be buying costumes and decorations; and preparing for Trick-or-Treating, parades, and parties.

     This is all fun for the moment, a great TREAT, from the boredom of life. However, November 1st the news will report atrocities done to innocent children and lives lost to drunken drivers: the TRICK. While we tend to believe that these things will never happen to us or our loved ones, they do happen to someone just like you. If something awful did happen to you this year, would you be ready for what comes next? Halloween makes much ado about death and the afterlife, but are you ready for the real thing when it comes - whether it’s a few days or 40 years?

     Since everyone seems interested in the devil at Halloween, Let’s start with the real devil, Satan or Lucifer, and with his TRICK. How do we know he is TRICKing us? In the Bible, John 8:44 says, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is NO TRUTH IN HIM. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for HE IS A LIAR, and the FATHER OF IT.” His first lie was in the Garden of Eden, recorded in Genesis. He still is deceiving and destroying (murdering) people everywhere even today. How? In Isa. 14:12-14 God addresses Lucifer, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, who didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north, I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I WILL BE LIKE THE MOST HIGH.” The reason the devil was cast out of heaven was because he tried to be like God by asserting his own will. No one can be God except God, for He alone is holy. The devil was proud. He thought he could do it on own without God.

     That is the same lie he perpetrated on Adam and Eve thousands of years ago, and the same one with which he’s trying to TRICK you today. We all want to think we are good - right? But have you ever noticed you never have to teach a child to do wrong? It’s just in him. We have to teach him to do right - NOT wrong. Why? Jer. 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” The devil is TRICKing us into thinking we are good so we never accept God’s true TREAT of salvation - a clean heart. Rom. 3:23, “For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Isa. 64:6, “ALL our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” All means me. All means you. All means all we do.

    Rom. 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is DEATH…” This is not talking about physical death, like the bodies in the coffins you see in front yards. This is talking about eternal death - eternal separation from God and all others in darkness, pain, and unquenchable fire - in other words: hell - the real thing.

      The good news is the TREAT. Rom. 6:23 doesn’t stop there. “But the gift of God is eternal LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord.” OK, how do we get this TREAT? Do we just walk up to God with a Trick-or-Treat bag and ask him like a child? Answer: YES. Let me explain. Rom. 5:8 says, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” I Cor. 15:3b-4, “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried; and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.

     About 2000 years ago a perfect, holy God sent His perfect, holy Son to take our place and pay the penalty for our sin. Our sin account was paid, just like someone paying off our mortgage for us. We wouldn’t owe it any more, would we - unless we refused to accept the money put into our account on our behalf?

      That’s the way it is with Christ. All we have to do is accept the payment He already has put into our account and claim it as our own. To do this we must:

          A: ACKNOWLEDGE: we are sinners and can’t do anything good enough on our own to get to heaven.

          B: BELIEVE: Rom. 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt BELIEVE in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

          C: CONFESS: Rom. 10:10, “For with the heart man believeth into righteousness; and with the mouth CONFESSION is made unto salvation.”

      The answer is “yes”. Just come to Jesus with your heart open like a child, claiming his TREAT of forgiveness; believing in His death, burial, and resurrection; and you will be saved!

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copyright 8/28/2008 Merilee S. Waddell

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