Easter: Does the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Bring Automatic Forgiveness and Salvation to All?

As we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, from death on the cross, I want us to meditate on what it entitles us to as the humans He died for.

Quite a number of people, including some Christians, believe that because Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose from the grave to heaven, He is now handing out forgiveness like candy to everyone, including the unrepentant. That is not the case at all. The gospel says, “Repent and be saved.”

Jesus repeatedly said He came to call “sinners to repentance (Matthew 9:13 – KJV) and told those He forgave to leave their lives of sin behind. Similarly, John the Baptist told those who turned to God through his preaching to begin to bear fruit in line with their repentance. (Matthew 3:8)

John even illustrated what he meant by living in a way that shows one’s repentance.

“10 ‘What should we do then?’ the crowd asked.
11 John answered, ‘Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.’
12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized. ‘Teacher,’ they asked, ‘what should we do?’
13 ‘Don’t collect any more than you are required to,’ he told them.
14 Then some soldiers asked him, ‘And what should we do?’
He replied, ‘Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.'” (Luke 3: 10-14 – NIV)

Jesus did not die to give everyone a ticket to heaven regardless of how they live. If you choose God, He will not only forgive your sins, He will give you the grace to shun temptations and live right.

To immerse oneself in sin and boast in unrighteousness is defiance of God and that is something He will certainly punish rather than reward.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10 – NIV).

“6 God ‘will repay each person according to what they have done.’
7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.
8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.” (Romans 2: 6-8 – NIV)

“[22] But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
[23] For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:22-23 – KJV)

Do not let anyone deceive you with a sugar-coated “gospel” of “do as you please,” no accountability required whatsoever. God seeks to see genuine repentance in us and wants us to live in a way that glorifies Him before the world.

That is why the Lord Jesus gave us this admonition: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 – KJV)

May God bless you richly as you do this, living out the true gospel everyday in Jesus’ name.

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