I wrote, “We are sent to preach the gospel so that we might preserve lives.” as part of our conversation surrounding salvation. But now here comes a good question from an unbeliever. “Why do I need to be saved?” And drawing from the traditional doctrinal teachings of scripture and how it is presented, we as Christians will say. “It is because we all have sinned and came short of God’s glory.”
But is that sufficient answer for the unbeliever to walk away understanding why they need to be saved? Looking at how we have been presenting the gospel over the years, I do not believe it is. Because when we investigate the full message of the gospel, we will find the unbeliever needs to be saved because of what God is about to do upon the return of his son.
I will say this again, “We are sent to preach the gospel so that we might preserve lives” because throughout scripture we are warned there is a coming judgment described as the wrath of God. And looking back at the prophecy of Isaiah, we are to consider what will and has happened over time when one kingdom overtakes another.
The process of one kingdom overtaking another is the process many who are not in Christ need to be saved from. And for those about to die, it is from the dungeons of hell spoken often by Jesus the king. And looking back at Psalm 37 and the words of the King, we can understand this need to be saved from the perspective of a King.
Psalm 37:1-2 “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.”
From the perspective of the King, those described as evildoers are in rebellion against his kingdom, who will in time be cut down like grass and withered away. Therefore, the King warns those tempted to join those in rebellion, not to consider evil or vengeance because to do so would result in the penalty of judgment.
This is not a new message, and looking at the book of Revelation and what it has revealed concerning the day of the Lord, we can understand it will be a day of terror for the unbeliever. In Revelation 1:7 we read “Behold, he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.”
All kindred of the earth shall wail because of Jesus Christ, and so when an unbeliever asks me, “Why do I need to be Saved?” I can say with authority, you need to be saved because God will destroy those who had refused his offer of eternal life, and those choosing to oppose his son Jesus.
What did John the Baptist say to those of his age? We read, Matthew 3:7-10 “When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”
John asked a pointed question, “Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” It is clear John was out presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ and presenting the gospel we can find John stating the reality of why he was out presenting the gospel. It was because of the wrath of God to come. And following that question John then said these words.
“Bring forth, therefore, fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore, every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.” Every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.
As I have said before, the gospel is both good and unwelcome news, good for those willing to accept the offer of God through his son Jesus, and unwelcome news for those choosing to reject the offer of God. And so, as we look at this question “Why do I need to be saved?” It is good for us to say according to scripture, we need to be saved because of the coming wrath of God. And only Jesus has the authority to save us from God’s wrath.
Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: However, he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:” We will touch on that point later. But as we continue to look at why we need to be saved; expanding on the traditional answer “We were all born in sin and came short of God’s glory.” It is again important we present the gospel the way John did.
Let us now expand on the traditional answer as to why we need to be saved, and what we will find, our shortcoming was a result of a rebellion that took place in the garden back in the story of Genesis. And uncovering what that sin was we can find a common reoccurring theme running throughout the Bible pointing to this sin.
First, there was the temptation and offer to become a god which Lucifer presented Adam and his wife, and then there is Lucifer swearing he will be as the Highest God. The sin of man is there his attempt to go after the throne of God so that he might sit on God’s throne as God. However, his plan was brought to an end and the penalty that came upon humanity as a result was death.
Now, what we have before us is a day appointed on which God will establish his kingdom of earth, and when he does, the law of death will come into full effect because it will also be a day of execution. This is why we are sent to proclaim the gospel, and why John asks that important question.
“Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? He asks that question because what is coming is what we called the day of judgment, again because it is the day God will bring the fullness of the law to bare upon this world, and those who are not prepared for his coming will fall on the sword of God.