1. What is Salvation?
Salvation cam be interpreted 2 ways. 1. It can be interpreted as being rescued or delivered from certain physical harm or even death. As when David cried out to God to save him from his troubles and enemies. 2. Salvation is also the word the Bible uses to describe what happens when you are granted forgiveness from God for your sins. In this case, being Saved means you have been delivered from the penalty of your sins against your God. People who are saved will not have to face the Wrath of God on the Judgment day because Jesus took that wrath on the Cross when he paid with his own blood.
Psalm 34.6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
2. What is Sin?
Sin is a transgression/violation of God's Moral Law. The word Morality describes what is right and wrong. Committing Sin is when you don't do something right (omitting) or you do something wrong (committing), according to God's Law. Here are 2 examples: Lying is sin because God is Truth and demands we tell the truth because we are made in God's Image. Lying is Immoral, it is defacing God's image, therefore it is sin. Adultery is sin because God is Faithful. God demands we be faithful to our spouse. Everything we do or think or say must be compared to God's holy and pure nature. If we do not meet God's standard, what we are doing is sin.
Exodus 20: 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath commited adultery with her already in his heart.
1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
Jas 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Romans 6:23 The wages of sin is death...
3. How many people are actually sinners?
Everyone is a sinner. We are all born with a sinful nature. Even a baby manifests its sinful nature by crying in protest when you put it down simply because it is selfish and wants to be held, not because it is hurt or scared. While a baby might cry, an adult might cheat on their taxes, a wife might have an affair on her husband, a father might verbally or physically abuse his child, a man might angrily curse an umpire for making a bad call, a teenager might dishonor their parent or vandalize public property, a business owner might cheat their employees, etc... Sin can be as terrible as Murder or as subtle as resentment. But even the smallest of sins is enough to make you guilty; and God cannot pardon a guilty person on the day of Judgment. Nor can you do enough good to outweigh the bad you've already done.
Exodus 34:7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty;...
Ro 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Ro 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. [men=mankind, including women]
Romans 6:23 The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
4. Who set the Standard of Morality?
We've all heard or said this statement, "Who died and made you God?". And I think we all understand what that means. When we say that, we are questioning someone's authority to make the rules or boss us around as if they were God. And by using that sarcastic question we are implying God is the only one who can make the rules. Well, whether we mean it or not, that is actually correct. God created everything that we can see and everything that we cannot see (Trees, oceans, butterflies; gravity, angels, thought). Being the Creator means he makes the rules, He is the Lord. So, the God of the Scriptures, the Creator, sets the standard and we bow to him alone.
Isa 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.
Ps 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Colossians 1:15-17 [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible,...all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Philippians 2:10,11 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.
5. Can I trust God to make the right standard?
God is the most reliable and trustworthy Being you could ever imagine. Even our closest friends and family let us down, but God will never lead you wrong or deceive you - it is against his nature.
2Sa 22:31 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.
Tit 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man [or woman] that trusteth in him.
6. If God is so good, why is there so much Suffering and death in the world?
When God created the earth and all that is in it, it was very good - there was not one thing wrong with God's creation when He finished creating it; there was no suffering and no death. Suffering and death came as the negative result, or consequence, of the first man, Adam's sin. Adam was given one responsibility by God and he blew it and disobeyed God. Because God is just, he cannot overlook guilt. Thus, Adam was cursed to die - as God had warned him and the ground was cursed as well. Death and physical disease etc... is a result of a broken relationship with God. Had God got his way, Adam would not have sinned and there would have been no suffering. The reason the world is in such bad shape is because of the human factor. We humans are the ones who hate and steel and war and fight and covet and cheat. All of our personal sin creates the chaos. But Jesus will come again and makes all things new.
Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Genesis 3:17,18 And unto Adam he said, because thou hast harkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which i commanded of thee saying, thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee...
James 4:1,2 From whence come war and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust and have not: ye kill and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not because ye ask not...
Revelation 21:4,5 And God shall wipe all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new....
7. How can we be saved from Judgment and enjoy eternity where there will be no curse?
God loves you. God proved his love to the world by sending His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who was born without a sinful nature, to live a perfect and sinless life to fulfill the Moral law of God - something we could not do because we have a sinful nature. When Jesus died on the Cross 2000 years ago, his blood sacrifice satisfied the demands of God's wrath upon sin. Then, God raised him from the dead as his seal of approval upon him and to show us there is life after death. Basically, Jesus died to be our substitute - Jesus took the Judgment for those who will repent of sin and believe this good news.
You cannot do enough good to save yourself or manipulate God into pardoning you. Even if you started today and never sinned again (which is impossible) you could not be pardoned for the sins you committed up to this point. You are guilty right now, and you deserve death and eternal separation from God because God cannot admit sin into heaven; the only way to be pardoned is to have someone die in your place - that Person was Jesus.
Every person will eventually die physically, death is a part of this life. But the person who admits their sinfulness and turns to the Lord Jesus Christ as their only option for forgiveness and salvation will be given everlasting life. Which means, one day your body will be resurrected without a sin nature and live with Jesus in the new heaven and new earth, just as Jesus was resurrected and lives today in heaven.
John 3:16,17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Ro 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Ro 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
1Co 15:21,22 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.