10. SALVATION IS ONLY IN HIM

Paul begins his writing in Romans 10:2-3 as follows, For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. It is important to understand the sentence “they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not on based on knowledge”. Many people who have desire to be zealous in religious stuff or God, but they do not have the right knowledge. Because they don’t know the righteousness of God, and they build their own righteousness, then they do not subject to His truth. The truth of the Lord is the way of salvation, in or through Jesus Christ. Not submitting to God’s truth, means rejecting the way of salvation taught by the Gospel.

Generally, there are two mistakes occur in many non believers, so that they cannot accept the way of salvation that is taught by the Gospel (which also the same as not submitting to God’s truth). First, they do not know the truth. Second, they build their own truth. Those two things related to one another, if one does not know the truth, they will try to build their own truth. If the truth that they build becomes stronger and firmer, then they cannot be changed. This is what makes many people out there, the non believers, can never accept the truth of the Word. This means they can never be processed by the Holy Spirit to be restored to the original design. This does not mean they will surely be evil, or uncivilized like animals, but they will never be perfect like the Father or similar to Lord Jesus.

We cannot force this kind of people to be believers or Christians. Let alone us human beings, even God does not force them. That is why to those people or nations that reject the Word, Jesus has a message for us, the believers, to shake the dust off our feet (Matt 10:14). The action dusting off the dust of the feet and leaving the community behind who rejects the word was done by Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:51; 18:6). This clearly shows that, there are communities in families, or communities in a city that reject the Gospel, and they are never saved. They reject the Gospel, not because they are not determined to be saved by God, but because of their free will in responding to the Gospel. Therefore, they never know the experience of salvation, which is to be restored to the original design of the Lord. But we need to add a note here: not being restored to the original design, does not mean surely entering hell, because there is possibility for them to be the member of society in the New Heaven and Earth. However, for those who are saved because they respond the Gospel appropriately, and work on their salvation with fear and tremble, will become the children to the Father, and the family member of the Kingdom of Heaven.

From the above explanation, it seems that God is not capable in saving the non believers. But this is the fact, the dark power which builds the antichrist power, tries to fight against the truth of the Gospel. Basically, they try to make people not to believe in Jesus, reject His salvation work, and refuse Him as the Savior. Therefore, they have to build a different truth. This different truth doesn’t have to be a teaching which makes people evil, but to make them sure that the teaching is correct, promising physical blessing, God’s protection and care on earth, even the promise of entering heaven, but they are not taught about the salvation purpose, that is restored to God’s original design.

Of course this kind of teaching is welcomed by many people, and easily admitted as the truth of God. This what causes them not to accept Jesus as the Savior properly. In fact, not having Jesus means not having the Father (1 John 2:23 – No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also). From their communities, there are those who frontally go against Jesus and hate believers, up to the level of destroying them, and converting Christians into their religions forcefully. But among them, there are also people who are friendly towards Christians, and give space for them to practice their beliefs.

For this kind of communities, let us avoid arguments and dialogues that will cause hurts and conflicts. Nevertheless, the Gospel can never be put together with religions, teachings or any kind of philosophy. The truth of the Gospel is very clear, radical and extreme – that there is no other salvation outside the Christ. We have to be willing to in give space for other people to believe a truth. This does not mean we do not care for their salvation. We have to work hard, struggle for it, so that we can be witnesses for them, by doing good that shows them that we are the children of the Father with great morale. To them, our vision is to prove that Jesus is the Savior, through the life of Jesus that is resurrected in us.

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