The World Tomorrow

Salvation - Part 3

by Herbert W Armstrong


Despite all of the churches, despite all of the preaching, not one in hundreds of thousands actually knows what salvation is. I’ve been speaking on it the last two programs and I’m a long ways from being through. There’s so much I haven’t covered yet. I want to carry on.

Some will say, "Well, I don’t attend church; I’m not interested in things like that. Why should I be interested in such a thing as salvation?" Well I’ll tell you why everyone ought to be interested: if you don’t, you are under the death penalty because God says - now most people don’t believe God. I know that’s true.

Adam and Eve didn’t believe God. Not many believed Christ when He was on earth. But when He says you’re under a death penalty, if you don’t get out from under it, you’re going to pay that penalty because God is in charge. He is the supreme power. And God says, "the wages of sin is death [it’s a death penalty]. But the gift of God is eternal life." (Romans 6:23)

Now it’s a very important thing that we learn what it means if we’re under a death penalty. "All have sinned," as you will find in Romans in the second chapter, or the third chapter, rather, in the twenty-third verse: "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. You have; I have; everyone has. Everyone has done that.

Now I’ve said that you don’t have life. You are in the process of dying. Every one of us is in the process of dying. All we have is a physical, chemical life. Just like a clock wound up it’s running down and once it runs down it’s going to stop. It’s through. It’s dead unless someone winds it up again.

We keep winding our little clock up every day by eating food and drinking water. But, you know, that isn’t going to keep you going forever. We sustain life by the breath of air, the circulation of blood in our veins and we provide fuel by the eating of food and the drinking of water. And some of these days we run down.

The life of some expire in the first minute or two of life, right practically at birth. Or some are "still-born." Others live a year or two. The average life might be close to seventy if you live into mature life. Some very, very few might live to a hundred and past – very few.

You’re not going to live forever and the most certain thing in life is that everyone who ever lived is going to die – everyone. And we’re in the process of dying while we live.

But God also says in the – everyone has heard this because it’s called, "the golden text of the Bible," John 3:16: – "God so loved the world that he GAVE..." (John 3:16). See, God is a giver; He’s not a getter. There are two ways of life: one is giving, the other is getting. But giving is an out flowing concern for the welfare of others. It’s love out flowing: first, of course, of all, to God, and then, loving neighbor as yourself.

But people are on the getting side. "I love me; I don’t care about you." You want to take from others. We want to get the best of others in a bargain. Why do stores have sales? Because people think they can get the best of the store. And they go down to the sale; they think they can get something cheaper. Everyone wants to get – get, get, get. And we don’t like authority over us. And they especially don’t like the authority of the Eternal God.

Well God says; "God so loved the world that he GAVE his only begotten Son [who was Jesus Christ] that whosoever believeth in him should not [what?] perish." (John 3:16)

Now that doesn’t say, "…live forever in hell fire." "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). It isn’t living forever in hell fire. No, the wages of sin is death, but it’s a second death. Your Bible says, "[that] as in Adam all die" (I Corinthians 15:22). And again it says, "It’s appointed to all men once to die and after this the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27)

After this the Judgment(Play from 5:03)

How judgment after you die? Well the Bible gives only one hope of life after death – and that is the resurrection. If you ever had an idea of any other way of living after death, you just don’t know what you’re talking about because it’s God who determines these things. And God says, "When you die, you’re dead," except, by a resurrection, you come back to life. And it’s appointed to all men once to die and after this - through a resurrection - the judgment.

And judgment doesn’t mean a condemning. Judgment means an opportunity of salvation. I wonder if you understood that. Judgment means you’re being judged as to whether you can have salvation. But it means an opportunity, too, to have eternal life.

Now God only has eternal life. I read that to you before. I’m going to repeat some of these scriptures that I’ve had in just the previous broadcasts. "[God] who only hath immortality" (I Timothy 6:16). And that is in I Timothy 6:16.

Now in I John, the fifth chapter and verses eleven and twelve – I John 5:11 and 12. I’m going to give you a lot of scripture in this program, so listen.

"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life [but how; how does God give us eternal life?] And this life is in his Son." (I John 5:11)

You see, "God so loved the world, that he GAVE [God’s a giver – He gave] his only begotten Son [Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ gave Himself for us. He also is God and He also is love] That whosoever believeth in him should not [what? Not…go to hell] should not PERISH" [should not die and be dead forever] (John 3:16).

I’m going to cover some of that in a succeeding broadcast later.

"This is the record, that God has given to us eternal life [but how?] and this life is in his Son Jesus [now God has eternal life and He’s given to the SON to have life in Himself, also, as you read in first John {1}]. He that hath the Son hath life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." (I John 5:11-12)

You’re just dying every day you live. You don’t have life without the Son of God. That’s all; you just don’t have it. You’ve been taught you’re an immortal soul. You can’t find a word of that in your Bible; you cannot find that in your Bible. The Bible says, "The soul that sinneth it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4). And again it repeats it and says it the second time, "The soul that sinneth it shall die." (Ezekiel 18:20)

God said to the first man, a soul, it says in Genesis the second chapter and verse seven, "God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man [made of the dust of the ground] BECAME [what?] a living soul" (Genesis 2:7). Not an immortal soul, a living soul, a living 'nephesh'. And a nephesh is a breathing animal that gets its life through breath. It’s a mechanical existence only.

So, God only has immortality.

Now, but how do you receive it? You receive it through Christ, but how? Let’s turn next to Luke, the thirteenth chapter and verse three – Luke 13:3, where Jesus said: "I tell you, Nay, but except you repent you shall all likewise PERISH." (Luke 13:3)

And once again it’s, ‘perishing.’ "God so loved the world he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him SHOULD NOT PERISH" (John 3:16). You’re dying every day you live. And, if God doesn’t give you life, you will perish. And that means you will be as though you had never been. I can read you scriptures like that and I’ll save that for another broadcast. But I’ll do that later.

Nevertheless, you’ll notice now that Jesus said, "Except you repent [and He repeated that two verses later, If you don’t repent], you will all likewise PERISH" (Luke 13:5). He didn’t say, "go to hell."

But how do you receive? Now turn to Isaiah, the fifty-fifth chapter. Back to Isaiah just a minute, then we’ll get back to the New Testament again.

"Let the wicked forsake his way [you’ve been living the wrong way. I’m going to show you in just a minute what sin is – it’s the way you’ve been living. Let the wicked forsake his way,] and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him, and will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:7)

Sin is the transgression of the law (Play from 9:47)

So God is full of mercy and grace. And He would like to give you eternal life. But there are conditions. First, you have to repent. You have to change your way of life.

Alright, the next: what do you repent of? You have to repent of sin. But what is sin? The Bible definition of sin – well it’s back here in first John, the third chapter and verse four.

"Sin is the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4).

" Sin is the transgression of the law ". Now the law is the way you ought to live. You’ve been living the wrong way. Let the unrighteous man forsake his sins and forsake the way he’s been living. I just read it to you; let’s go back once again:

"Let the wicked forsake his way." (Isaiah 55:7)

Your way is contrary to God’s law. God’s law is: "Thou shalt love the LORD thy God" [and]. "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27). It is out flowing love. You’ve been living the way of incoming, well, shall we say, lust and greed? I should say, ‘coveting,’ and use a little nicer word, perhaps. But sin is the transgression of the law.

Now what law is it sin to transgress? Now again we need to turn back to Romans the seventh chapter – Romans 7 and verses 12 and 14.

"Wherefore the law is holy; the commandment is holy, and just, and good [and then in verse 14]... for we know that the law is spiritual." (Romans 7:12;14)

Now it is transgression of God’s law, but that is a spiritual law. Let me say once again, the accomplishments of mankind – in this twentieth century, especially in our industrial west, and especially in the United States – is absolutely awesome: sending men to the moon and back, having the space shuttle, sending unmanned spacecraft to bring back close-up photographs of Jupiter and Saturn, and photographs right on the very surface of Mars – landing on the surface and giving us close-up photographs right on the surface of Mars, and all of the marvelous things – the marvelous inventions we have today, the communications systems, the transportation systems of flying through the air – all of these things are awesome. But they’re all physical and mechanical and material.

Our problems and our troubles are spiritual in nature. AND ALL OF OUR TROUBLES AND OUR PROBLEMS AND OUR FEARS AND OUR WORRIES AND ALL OF OUR SUFFERING is coming by transgressing THE LAW THAT IS A SPIRITUAL LAW because they are spiritual in principle.

We can’t get along with other people. We can do marvelous things in the physical realm. But we can’t live together. Husband and wife can’t get along together, children and parents, family with the neighbors, nation against nation. It’s that way – we’re just divided in every way because we’re transgressing that spiritual law. It’s a spiritual principle and we’re living the wrong way spiritually. That’s the whole thing just summed up in a nutshell.

Now if you repent, then, of your way of life – the way you’ve been living – the way of get instead of give – then what will happen? You’ll find here, back in the book of Acts, on the very day of Pentecost where Peter said, when they asked him what to do in order to have salvation, he said…

"Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38)

Now there were 3,000 that did repent and were baptized on that very day. (Acts 2:41)

Reconciled by Christ's blood (Play from 14:06)

Now I’ve explained before from Romans the fifth chapter – Romans 5 and beginning with verse 8:

"But God commendeth his love toward us [now God who so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son - commended His love toward us] that while we were yet sinners Christ [who He gave for us, now] Christ died for us [and] much more, then, being now justified by his blood [justified only means your past is squared up. It doesn’t mean given life; it doesn’t mean saved or anything of the kind – just forgiven your past sins by His blood] we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son." (Romans 5:8-10)

Christ’s death, Christ’s blood only reconciles you to God. It pays the penalty of your sin. Now God is the Lawgiver. Sin is the transgression of the law. And, if you break the law, that cuts you off from God and you’re completely cut off from God. And God only has eternal life to give and you don’t have it unless you get it from God – unless He’s given it to you. And even so, you only have it temporarily and you only have it in the sense of being begotten of Him, but not yet born. And a lot of people don’t even understand that. A lot of people think they’re already born again. And they don’t even understand what Jesus was talking about and what the apostle Paul’s talking about in the fifteenth chapter of I Corinthians about being born again. Nevertheless, we are only reconciled to God by the death of His Son.

Now then; "for if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved [How? Not by His death, not by His blood] we shall be saved by his life" (Romans 5:10). By His life!

Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Let me just read you something that I hadn’t intended to say. Back here in the first chapter of Romans, about Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ; "Declared to be a Son of God with power, according to the spirit of righteousness, by the resurrection of the dead" (Romans 1:4). Now, Jesus Christ declared to be a Son of God by the resurrection of the dead. That is Romans 1:4.

He was "the firstborn of many brethren" (Romans 8:29). You and I can be resurrected and made immortal the same as He was. He was the firstborn of many brethren. Well a lot of people don’t understand that, either, because a lot of these things are just not, generally, understood.

Alright, now I’d like you to turn to the eighth chapter of Romans just a minute – and in verse 9:

"But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you (Romans 8:9). Peter said, "Repent and [then] believe in Christ by being baptized," (Acts 2:38) which is your faith in Christ. Going down into the water is the death of Christ; being under it is the burial of Christ; coming up is the resurrection of Christ. And it’s all pictured in a baptism ceremony.

"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, IF so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you [when you repent, you really believe in Christ and believe what He says and receive Him as your Savior. Then you receive the Holy Spirit. Peter said, "You shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit…the Spirit"]. if the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." (Romans 8:9)

Who is a Christian? (Play from 18:00)

Who, then, is a Christian? Not someone who joined a church. Not someone who’s name is on a church book. One who has, and is led by, the Holy Spirit of God – he is Christ’s; he is a Christian. And no one else is whatsoever. Now you don’t hear that preached very often I’m very sorry to say. I wish they would preach that a little more often.

But now I want to go on to verse 11 before I leave that – verse 11.

"But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you [that is a Spirit you were not born with. That is a Spirit only God can give you, that you receive after you change your way of life, after you repent of breaking God’s law, after you turn to Christ and receive Christ as Savior, then…] he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies [not immortal - your mortal bodies] by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." (Romans 8:11)

If the Spirit of God dwells in you, it’s by that Spirit you will be resurrected in a life after this life – a life after this life because there is another life after this life.

Now you were under the law – you were under the law. "Sin is the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4) and "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). And the law was over you because you broke it. A criminal breaks the law of man by murder and he’s put in a death cell. And the law is over him and has a claim on his life and it’s going to take his life. Well every one of us has sinned and broken the law of God. And so we are all in a death cell, too. And we can get out because God so loved us that He gave His only begotten Son for us (John 3:16). And I’ve been showing you, you have to turn from your way and turn to the way of the law of God which is a way of life.

Now you were under the law. You broke the law. The penalty was death. But now, after repentance and after belief, if you have done that - Jesus is a living Savior - You have the Holy Spirit and Christ is in you through the Holy Spirit.

Now Jesus is the kind of a Savior who does the saving inside of you and not outside. Now I’d like you to notice the sixth chapter of Romans, beginning with verse fourteen – Romans 6 and beginning with verse 14.

"For sin shall not have dominion over you [that’s speaking about the future: shall not – in the future, have dominion over you]: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." (Romans 6:14)

Now you’re under God’s grace, or mercy, or pardon, if you have forsaken your way and turned to God’s way. And God’s way is His spiritual law because it’s a spiritual principle, a spiritual way of life.

Now notice verse 15. "What then, shall we sin [does that mean it’s alright for you to go back and sin again and break the law some more? - shall we sin] because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness (Romans 6:15-16). By obeying the law unto righteousness.

No, you have to quit sinning. You have to turn to {2} the law and the law is a spiritual law. And how can you, who are not spiritual, how are you going to obey and keep a spiritual law? You, yourself, cannot; you simply cannot.

And God does not give you any advance permission to sin again. Notice in Romans 3:24-25, now, Romans 3:24-25.

"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past." (Romans 3:24-25)

Not sins that you’re going to commit in the future – sins that are past. That’s all that is forgiven. If you sin again, well, it says of Christians, "If you confess your sin and repent, He is faithful and just to forgive us your sin" (I John 1:9 paraphrased), - if you just slip and fall through temptation once. But you can’t continue to do it because repent means, 'turn away from it, change your mind, change your way of life, turn away from it to a different way of life, a different life and a different lifestyle altogether.'

How can you keep the law? (Play from 23:02)

Now how, then, can you keep the law? "Love is the fulfilling of the law" (Romans 13:10). The law is out flowing love from you to God and to neighbor. It is the love of God in our hearts by the Holy Spirit – that’s Romans 5:5: "the love of God in our hearts by the Holy Spirit" (Romans 5:5). That is the only love that can fulfill His law in you. God infuses into you, or into me, His Holy Spirit – His life. And the Spirit of God gives us knowledge to understand the Bible by His Spirit – and His character – and the building of His character.

Now finally, once again, Romans 8, I’d like to have you notice that just once again before we leave it – and verse 9.

"If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. [But] if [the Spirit of] Christ [dwells] in you... he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies [into eternal life] by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." (Romans 8:9-11)

Friends, there is so much more to this. I can’t take it all in this program. I’m going to have to break off there. And once again I want to offer you the same booklet that I’ve been offering the last two programs: 'What Do You Mean – Salvation?' It is an eye-opener. Not one in thousands, perhaps millions, knows what salvation is. You need this booklet, believe me.

Now we don’t have anything for sale; we don’t charge for anything. We won’t follow it up by requesting money. And I don’t know anyone else that can say that. But anyway, I hope others can and God bless them if they can. But anyway, that’s the way we work.

Now also I’d like to send you a copy of 'The Plain Truth' magazine. It’s one of the major magazines of this world. Circulation is right around three million copies. It’s published in five different languages. It has a worldwide circulation: 'The Plain Truth,' 'The Plain Truth.' It makes the truth plain.

In this particular number - (March 1981) - let me just show you the type of articles that are run in 'The Plain Truth.' 'Milestone for Europe: Greece Joins the Common Market. Now what did that mean when Greece joined the Common Market? 'The Plain Truth' explains the meaning behind world news. You get it on television news; you get it in your newspapers, but they don’t explain the meaning. Only God understands the meaning and only the Bible and Bible prophecies can give you the real meaning and what it really means. And we give you that more than they do – beside an analysis of world conditions.

Here’s another: 'What and Why the Church?' What is the church? Is it just a place you go to, a building with a sloping roof and a steeple on it pointing up to heaven and a cross on the façade? What is the church; why should there be a church? Why did Jesus say, "I will build my Church and the gates of the grave will never prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). Why? What is the church and why should there be one? Well you need to know and there’s an article in that issue about it. I don’t know if it’ll be in the issue you will get.

And, 'How Husbands Should Lead the Family,' that is very necessary because we’re…if there’s anything we're lacking, it’s a family relationship.

'How They Want to 'De-Sex' the Bible.' Now they’re wanting to 'de-sex' and re-write the Bible. And God can’t be 'He' and Christ can’t be 'He', it’ll be kind of an 'it', I guess, or something like that. They say that we’re discriminating against sexes if we call God a 'He'. Well I think you’ll find that article very, very interesting if you had that particular number.

Another: 'Uncovering the City of David.' That shows you what we’re doing in Jerusalem in the greatest dig, the greatest archaeological project on earth today, 'Uncovering the City of David.'

And then, 'Reincarnation: Have You Lived Before; Will You Live Again?' You’ve heard about reincarnation. This’ll tell you what it is and whether it’s true or false and whether you can believe it or not.

Then: 'Finding a Way Out of Fear and Depression.' There’s something there that you just really need to read.

That is a type of the articles in 'The Plain Truth.'

Well here’s another: 'Job Outlook in the World Tomorrow' and articles like that. It’s just chock-filled with them. It’s – what is this – about 64, 68 pages or something. It’s in full color – a very fine magazine. There is no subscription price.

Again, it’s all free; we have nothing to sell. Take me up on it. So until next time: Herbert W Armstrong, saying, "Goodbye friends."

{1} Here Mr. Armstrong references the epistle of I John, but it is more likely he meant John 5:26

{2} Mr. Armstrong says here, "…you have to turn from the law." He probably meant to say, "…you have to turn to the law," or "toward the law."