(Article for publication week of 3-13- AD 2013)
“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24).
We showed you in our last two articles that faith is a gift of God and that it is the channel, or conduit through which the grace of God is brought to a sinner trusting in Christ alone for salvation. Properly speaking, a believer is not justified by his own act of believing, but rather by Christ Alone, the proper Object of a believer’s faith. Salvation is all of the Lord. Everything necessary for justification is furnished by the Lord.
That being said, I now want to emphasize that no one is saved by his own act of believing, but no one is saved apart from a real and living faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Even a cursory reading of the Bible makes it clear that no one has ever been saved apart from faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and no one ever will be or can be saved apart from such justifying faith. Some of you dispensationalists may inquire, “but what about the Old Testament saints?” If you will go read the fourth chapter of Romans and the eleventh chapter of Hebrews you will see that the Old Testament saints believed in the same Saviour as New Testament saints. The Old Testament saints believed in the Christ Who was coming, and New Testament saints believe in the Christ Who has come, but we all believe in the same Christ for salvation. Again, the two chapters I just cited make it clear that all believers are saved the same way. Some of you universalists will inquire, “well, what about those who never heard the gospel?” Your argument is with our Lord, not me, for He plainly says here that all who will not believe in Him are doomed and damned forever. Our Lord says here in our text in John 8:24 that you will either die in your sins, or you will die believing in Him. There are no two ways about it.
Salvation is promised to all who will cease from their rebellion, and repent of their sins, and trust in Christ Alone. But there is only a fearful looking of judgment and fiery indignation to those who will not believe in Christ. Mark it down friends and neighbors, no one can be saved who will not believe in Christ. The poor deluded Moslems are damned unless they turn to Christ. The unbelieving Jews are damned unless they believe in Christ. The Deists are all damned unless they believe in Christ. The secular humanists are all damned unless they believe in Christ. The Unitarians are all damned unless they believe in Christ. The liberal churchmen who deny the atonement of Christ are all damned unless they will repent and believe in Christ. All the cultists who deny the proper Deity of Christ and the satisfaction He made for sin are all doomed and damned unless they repent and believe in the Christ of the Bible. All the works mongers who are trying to add their own works to Christ’s are all damned unless they trust in Christ Alone. And you my dear reader, will certainly be damned forever except you believe in Christ for your eternal salvation.
Let our Lord’s warning sound in your ears and awake you from your slumber of death. “If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins.” “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that beleiveth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16). The unbelieving shall be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:8). May the Lord give you the gift of faith so that you may believe in Christ for the eternal salvation of your never dying soul.