Coming With Salvation

The citizens of Israel believed that they were uniquely chosen by God for salvation. By the time that Jesus appeared at Jerusalem in 30 A.D., a majority of Jews were convinced that the primary purpose of the Gentile nations were to act as fuel for the fires of hell.[1]

No place in the Bible can we find this view by God, towards any person or nation. In fact, the Lord repeatedly states throughout the Hebrew and Greek scriptures that He loves all people and desires that everyone might be saved. The Bible describes a Messiah who will come into the world through the descendants of Abraham and save all those who believe in Him.

Genesis 22:18 (God speaking to Abraham) In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

Isaiah 49:6 …Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”

1 Timothy 2:3-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Long before Jesus came to earth at Bethlehem, it was the plan of God to demonstrate, by predictive prophecy, the entire purpose and ministry of the Messiah. When Jesus arrived at Jerusalem on April 10th, 32 A. D., this was “the day,” described by David in Psalm 118:24. This was the fulfillment of Daniel 9:25, describing the precise day the Messiah would reveal Himself. When Jesus died, He was crucified in fulfillment of the precise words of David in Psalms 22:16.

All of these carefully planned and executed prophecies were set into place by God so that every person might understand the intricate plans of God to save anyone who would believe in the Savior that He would send.

Isaiah writes; the Messiah will bring light (Salvation) to the Gentiles as well as Israel.

Isaiah 42:6 “I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, And will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles…”

New Testament Fulfillment:

Luke 2:25-32 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.”

Matthew 4:13-16 And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light…”

How Salvation Began

The Salvation of the world began when God called one man out of a pagan nation, to trust Him. It was because Abraham believe what God said concerning salvation, that God accounted—to Him—righteousness. All those who believe what God has said concerning sin, judgement, and salvation, are also accounted as righteous. Beginning with the first prophecy of the Bible, Genesis 3:15, God promised a Savior who would discharge all the sins of the world. This salvation would be made possible by the Son of God who would offer His life in exchange for all human lives. Jesus took the full judgement of God, for all sins, for all time; so that no person who trusts in Him would ever experience the judgement of God themselves.

All those who place their eternal salvation in the hands of God’s Messiah are saved. This is not a plan that human wisdom has determined, nor does it satisfy those who believe themselves capable of achieving their own redemption. This plan of redemption places the blame for our separation from God squarely on each one of us as sinners. God describes all human beings as existing in a permanent state of alienation from God. There is no good work, penance, religious act, or church membership which has the power to change our present eternal destiny. Without a Savior who has the power and capacity to pay for our sins, every human being will be lost. According to God’s word, all those who place their trust in the completed work of the Messiah will receive eternal life.

Jesus illustrates how salvation takes place

When Jesus describes the perplexing situation of mankind in John chapter 3, He informs Nicodemus that He did not come into the world to condemn mankind—because we were already in a state of condemnation before He arrived.

John 3:17-18 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

All that God requires of any person is a sincere sorrow for their sins and a desire to turn from those sins—to Jesus and believe upon Him for their salvation. The reason that God gave His only Son to save us is because there was no other method by which we might be saved.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Once the Messiah arrived on earth and died upon the cross, salvation was available to the whole world. Those who died before the Messiah arrived, trusting in His future sacrifice for their sins, are saved in the same manner as those who died after He came and completed His work of salvation. The sins of the whole world were fully and permanently discharged by Jesus death and resurrection.

Those who will be saved, have a sincere sorrow for their sins and an earnest desire to have those transgressions removed. Any person who comes to God in repentance for their sins—relying upon Jesus sacrifice, will be saved.

Acts 10:43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”

John the Baptist began his ministry by preparing the hearts of people to find true sorrow for their sins and a sincere turning to God for forgiveness. When Jesus arrived at the Jordan river, John turned to the people and said: “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”[2]

This Lamb did not have His beginning two thousand years ago. Jesus is described as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”[3]

God’s plan to save the world originated before the world. Jesus volunteered to be the single method by which God could justly punish our sins while allowing us to receive a full pardon.

The nation of Israel was chosen as the messenger of salvation

When God promised Abraham that all the nations of the world would be blessed because of his future descendent—the Messiah, He was describing Jesus, who originated from his line.

Sadly, Israel had not understood their great calling by God to introduce the Messiah to the world. During the days of Jesus ministry here on earth, gentiles were hated, despised, ignored, and forgotten by the Jews. Jesus found that the hearts of many gentiles were prepared for His arrival—while the greatest majority of the Jews in Israel during that time, did not receive Him and missed their opportunity to obtain salvation.[4]

Though the inhabitants of Jerusalem did not believe that the Gentiles were included in Salvation at the time Jesus arrived and declared Himself to be the Messiah, the fact remains that it was always the plan of God to offer forgiveness of sins to every person.

Galatians 3:14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus…

We might think ourselves unworthy of God’s love. There are many people who do not consider their lives deserving of Jesus sacrifice. Many are convinced that God could never forgive the things they have done. The truth is that the volume of these many Old Testament prophecies, speak of a Messiah who has such great power to forgive sin that every person can be forgiven by God. All that is required is to come and ask.

God spoke thousands of years in advance of the Messiah’s arrival; prophecies of such specificity—the world should not fail to recognize Him. He would be born in Bethlehem, to a virgin, live in Nazareth, arrive in Jerusalem on a specific day, and die on a cross for the sins of the world. He would offer the forgiveness of sins and eternal life to anyone who would place their trust in Him.

This salvation that God described in the Old Testament and revealed in the New Testament, comes to us through a very elaborate plan—formulated by God before He made the universe. This plan is intricately described and illustrated by many examples throughout the Old Testament.

An eternal plan

We must remember that God’s plan of salvation did not begin when Jesus arrived on the earth. Before the universe was created, God knew the plight of man. He conceived this plan of salvation that would save anyone who believed it. Jesus offered Himself as the conciliator who would take the penalty of every sin and thereby release, from all debt—all those who placed themselves under His sacrifice for their sins.

This eternal plan of God was first revealed to us in the third chapter of the first book of the Bible. Shortly after Adam disobeyed God and fell into sin, God promised a Savior. He allowed us the great privilege of verifying His promise to save us—by over 400 prophecies from the Old Testament. This prophetic word is so detailed and accurate that many skeptics have claimed that the words of these prophecies must have been written after-the-fact. In reality, the majority of these prophecies of the Messiah were written from 500-1,500 years before Jesus arrived in the New Testament narrative.[5]

Isaiah said: “I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, And will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles…”

The major point of Isaiah 42:6, reveals the true heart of God. This prophecy describes salvation for the gentile nations—while the general consensus during the time the Old Testament was written, excluded all but the Jews from this salvation. God has always wanted to save the entire world. He has taken extraordinary steps to ensure that every person has an opportunity to be saved. He has mapped out this plan in these hundreds of Old Testament prophecies.

No matter who you are today; regardless of how many mistakes you have made so far; regardless of how hopeless you may think your life is, Jesus is ready to receive you and give to you—the forgiveness of all your sins and the right to eternal life. All you must do is ask Him.

[1] An inquiry into the Scriptural import of the words sheol, hades, tartarus, and gehenna Walter Balfour, Otis Ainsworth Skinner – 1854
Page 308 “The Chaldee paraphrasts [by which they apparently mean any and all Targums, not necessarily Jonathan or Onkelos (see pg 283)] do often mention their expectation of being preserved for the merits or good works of their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and their writers add, that ‘hell fire hath no power over the sinners of Israel, because Abraham and Isaac descend thither to fetch them thence…. And, 3d, They taught that all Israelites had a portion in the world to come; and that notwithstanding their sins, yea, though they were condemned here for their wickedness: whereas, of all the Gentiles, without exception, they pronounce they are fuel for hell fire.”
[2] John 1:29
[3] 1 Peter 1:20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you
Revelation 13:8 …the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
[4] Matthew 8:5-13 Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, “Go,’ and he goes; and to another, “Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.
[5] Micah: 735-710 B.C.
Jeremiah: 627-580 B.C.
Zechariah: 520-470 B.C.
Isaiah: 740-680 B.C.
Solomon/David: 1000 B.C.
Ezra: 536-457 B.C.
Malachi: 432-428 B.C.
Ezekiel: 605-586 B.C.
Daniel: 605-536 B.C.
Joel: 835 B.C.
Jonah: 782-753 B.C.
Amos: 760-753 B.C.
Nahum: 660 B.C.
Habakkuk: 607 B.C.
Zephaniah: 630 B.C.
Haggai: 520 B.C.
Nehemiah: 444-425 B.C.
Genesis: 4004-2090 B.C.