What did Christ’s death on the cross mean?
The Bible insists that his death means the assurance of everlasting life for all those who believe in him! As Jesus himself tells us “He who believes in me has everlasting life:” (John 6:47) And elsewhere “….He who hears my word and believes in the One who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned, he has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24) This promise is at the center of the Good News or Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus uses these words to plainly tell us that he shed his blood to the death on the cross to secure everlasting life for all he has chosen to believe in him as the Son of God in the flesh, as our Lord and our Savior. Jesus has earned us an eternal place with him. He has given us the gift of faith to believe in him and he promises we will never lose the gift of faith he has given us. No one will snatch us from his hand (he promises in John 10:28)! Jesus even promises us that he has gone to prepare a place for us! (John 14:1) Yes, Good News indeed!
Is your eternal place with God in heaven just a “possibility” or is it a “certainty?”
Here's what God's word says:
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:13)
Some call themselves Christians even though they believe that Christ shed his blood to his death on the cross to do no more than give them the “possibility” or “chance” –an “opportunity” to join him one day in heaven. Is this the so-called Christ that you believe in? It was the one I believed in for several years--the one who died to give me "a shot" at salvation. I didn't know it, and they may not know it, but all of us were refusing to give Jesus full credit for his accomplishment on the cross and if we continue to believe in this false christ, we will be held accountable by God for believing a false gospel.
Through Paul, God has placed a curse on everyone who preaches that there is anything that you can do to help save themselves--to help themselves attain heaven. (Galatians 1:8-9) There is only one who has done all that is necessary for the salvation of those who believe in him--Jesus the Lord--God in the flesh. God has also warned everyone who belongs to a church that believes in a gospel that includes their own works for their salvation that they must leave that church or share in its punishment: "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins."--and they certainly will not want to share in that destruction--all of it aptly described in Revelation 18: Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her. .
This is why I urge you to reject the well intended lie that I call the "possibility gospel" and believe instead what Jesus himself promises us in the Bible. Namely, that he shed his blood to the death on the cross to fully accomplish your sure and certain salvation. Yes, if you believe in him, you can be sure that his sacrificial death accomplished something great for you—nothing less than eternal life with him! “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
All those who believe that Jesus truly is who he says he is—God in the flesh—also believe that he died on the cross to ensure the salvation of all who believe in him Some call that salvation assurance or eternal security. No matter what it is called, the Bible indicates that it is central to the Gospel or good news message of Jesus. (As you'll read below, Jesus offers repeated assurances about our salvation--our eternal life with him.) He came preaching about the kingdom of heaven, because he was getting ready to open it up with his once and forever sacrifice on the cross.
It appears the early church also believed that Christ truly came to save and not simply offer the "possibility" of salvation. As we read in the statement of faith, the Nicene Creed: "For us men (believers) and for our salvation, he came down from heaven..."
Though the largest church bodies in the world have ignored Jesus’ plain and true message for hundreds of years, Jesus himself and his apostles tell us this good news of the certainty of the true believer’s salvation again and again in the Bible:
He who believes in me has everlasting life. (John 6:47)
He who hears my word and believes in the One who sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (hell): but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24)
Even as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: That whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:14-15)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
What works must we do to do the works God requires? Jesus answered: “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent. (John 6:29)
All the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I shall in no wise cast out. (John 6:37)
You did not choose me, but I have chosen you… (John 15:16)
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:4-6)
And I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them to me, is greater than all and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. (John 10:28-29)
Philippians 3:9 …and being found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2)
This is the Gospel of Jesus, the good news that he has indeed saved all those who believe in him as Lord and Savior, God in the flesh..
For those who reject this simple Gospel of Christ alone winning the salvation of all he has chosen to believe in him, please be aware of the consequences found in Galatians 1:8-9.
"But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than that which you have accepted, let him be eternally condemned!" (Galatians 1:8-9)