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How Are People Saved Now--Before the Great Tribulation?

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The Bible indicates that God causes us to exist (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17). However, all people have corrupted their existence by doing wrong things and failing to seek God (Psalm 14:1-3; Romans 3:10-12). In fact, near the foundation of the world, the wickedness of mankind had become so great in the earth that God “regretted that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him to His heart” (Genesis 6:5-6). “All flesh had corrupted their way on the earth” (Genesis 6:12). So God said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land,” because He said, “I am sorry that I have made them” (Genesis 6:7). Thereupon, except for saving one righteous man and his family (Genesis 6:8, 9-10; 7:1), one male and female of each animal (Genesis 6:19-20) and seven male and female pairs of certain clean animals and birds (Genesis 7:2-3), God destroyed every living thing with a flood (Genesis 6:17; 7:11-24).

The Sacrifice System

Thereafter, because God saw that “the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis 8:21) and “there is none who does good” (Psalm 53:3), and because of His mercies (Lamentations 3:22-23) and His desire to give people a chance to seek Him (Jeremiah 29:13), God implemented a system of sacrifices whereby the blood of animals would be shed to atone for the sins of people (Exodus 29-30; Leviticus 4-7).

Jesus As Our Ultimate Sacrifice and Source of Salvation

The sacrifice system instituted by God was a foreshadowing of His plan to offer His son, Jesus Christ, as a blood sacrifice for all of humanity (Hebrews 8:5; 9:11-14; 10:1). God planned for Jesus to become our sacrifice, because of His great love for us (John 3:16). In fact, having a God-given understanding of the mission of Jesus, John the Baptist, a famous preacher living during the time of Jesus, seeing Jesus coming towards him, announced to everyone, "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29). Thus, though innocent, Jesus was condemned to die by crucifixion, and he was nailed to a cross and died (Matthew 27:26-50; Mark 15:21-39; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:16-37). He was then buried (Matthew 27:57-66; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42). However, because He is God, Jesus was raised from the dead (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20). By His death, Jesus paid the penalty of our sin (Hebrews 9:26-28), and by His resurrection we will all be made alive eternally (1 Corinthians 15:20-22; Romans 4:24-25; Hebrews 7:24-25; John 14:19-20). Whoever believes in Jesus “will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9-10). Because of Jesus’ death, we have deliverance from future judgment and forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14).Thus, we are not saved by our good works, because none of us is righteous (Romans 3:10), and all of our righteous acts are nothing more than “filthy rags” in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6); we are, instead, saved only by the grace of God through our faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), believing in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, on the cross and resurrection (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10) as a gift of God to us (Ephesians 2:8-9).For those who reject the gift of God, a terrible judgment awaits; instead of being destroyed by a flood, the faithless will be cast into an eternal lake of fire (John 12:47-49; Romans 2:5; Revelation 21:11-15; Hebrews 6:2). Therefore, now in this time before the Great Tribulation comes, all of humanity has a simple choice: either accept the salvation, forgiveness and eternal life that God offers by believing in what Jesus has done for us, or reject the gifts of God and reap the consequences of eternal condemnation.

Accepting the Gift of Jesus Christ

If you wish to accept the gift of God, just tell Him by saying a prayer to Him like this:“God, I recognize that I have done things that have corrupted my life, and I have not sought You. Although I am unable by myself to make myself right with You, I now understand that through Jesus Christ You have given me the opportunity to be saved. Right now, God, I declare that I believe in and accept the great sacrifice of Your Son and my Lord, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for my sin and rose from the dead to give me life. Thank you for the amazing gifts of forgiveness of my sin, deliverance from eternal judgment and eternal life that You have given to me through Jesus. Amen.”This is how we are saved now. If you have prayed this prayer to God, then welcome to the Kingdom of God.

Next Steps for Those Who Believe in Jesus

If you have prayed the above prayer to God, you should now take the next step of being baptized, which is a public demonstration of your decision to accept the gifts of Jesus (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41, 8:12; Colossians 2:12; Galatians 3:27). You should also begin to study the Bible as the Word of God in order to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), to connect with other believers (Hebrews 10:25), and to “let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). May God bless you as you grow in your knowledge of Him.

Getting Saved During the Great TribulationUnlike now, in order for a person to obtain salvation during the time of the Great Tribulation, a person must add to his or her belief in Jesus some very important works. If you are living prior to the Great Tribulation you don't need to concern yourself with these additional works. However, if you are living during the time of the Great Tribulation, such additional works are critical to your salvation. Find out more by reading our post about The Gospel of the Tribulation and our Letter to the Saints of the Time of the Great Tribulation post.

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