God wants All to Come to Him, But It's Always Our Choice
"The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).
God's Salvation Plan for You and Me
Here’s some great news: God has made a plan for your salvation! And even more wonderful news: God has revealed His whole plan in His word, the Bible. It’s a plan anyone can understand and follow.
Before anything, we need to hear about God’s plan (That makes sense! You can’t act on a plan you had never heard about). The Bible calls this plan the gospel, or the “good news,” of Jesus Christ.
First Corinthians 15:1-4 articulates this good news. God, the eternally existent One, became human and lived on earth in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, also called the Christ, or the “Anointed One” (John 1:1-3; John 1:14; Acts 2:36; Philippians 2:5-11). At the end of a sinless life, Jesus was crucified for the sins of humankind (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22-28). He was buried in a tomb and was raised again the third day, which was the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1-10). He ascended again to the Father, where He lives forever to plead our case and intercede with God for those who are His (Acts 1:6-11; Hebrews 7:25; 1 Timothy 2:5-6).
Having heard that Jesus has died for our sins and been raised, we need to believe and trust that this is true (John 3:16; John 8:24; Romans 10:17). Genuine belief is called faith (Hebrews 11:1, 6). Faith motivates action and obedience (James 2:14-26).
Once you have faith, we then must repent of our sin (Luke 13:3, 5; Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; Acts 17:30-31). “Repent” means “change directions.” In this case, repentance means turning away from a life of disobedience to God and toward a life of obedient submission to His will.
After repentance has occurred, we must confess our new faith in Jesus Christ (Luke 12:8-9; Romans 10:9-10). Our confession is that Jesus is Lord.
Having confessed Christ, we must obey His command to be baptized — fully immersed in water — for the forgiveness of our sins (Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27).
But baptism is not the end of the matter. We must continue to live faithfully in Christ for the rest of our lives (Revelation 2:10). This means obeying all that He has commanded (Matthew 28:19-20; John 15:10,14; 1 John 5:2-3).
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
— Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15-16)