By Dr. Hank Lindstrom
In the final book of the Bible, in the final chapter, in the final verses, we have the final words of Jesus Christ. These words are an invitation to every member of the human race to receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely (Revelation 22:17).” Here eternal life is offered free to whosoever will. According to Romans 6:23, salvation is the “gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” “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 (John 3:16).” God’s love for mankind, and the importance of the gospel message, are emphasized by the warning God gives in Revelation 22:18, 19.
God says, “hands off” the gospel message. It is not to be tampered with. “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book. If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book (Revelation 22:18, 19).”
The book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ reveals Jesus Christ as the Savior of mankind. We read in Revelation 1:5, “…Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” Every member of the human race has sinned (Romans 3:23) and needs to be washed from his sins in the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus loved us and willingly went to the cross of Calvary and shed his blood that he might wash us from our sins.
To add to or subtract from this message is, in effect, to cancel the message. We are told in I Corinthians 1:17, “…to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” We can be preaching a message that has no saving power if we tamper with the gospel message. Remember Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” We make the message which is the power of God unto salvation of no effect according to I Corinthians 1:17 by tampering with it.
Salvation is by grace and not by works. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8,9).” The word religion comes from two latin words “re” and “ligio.” “Re” means to “go back,” and “ligio” means “to bind.” “Religion” then means, “to bind back.” Religions cannot save. Religions are man’s efforts to bind himself back to God. They are Satan-inspired. God says of all the religions of the world. “Behold ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you (Isaiah 41:24).” Therefore, religions will take you to hell.
The plan of salvation is not a religion. True Christianity is not a religion. The “Christian counterfeit” is a religion based on man’s efforts to bind himself back to God. The “Christian religion” is false and to be rejected. Satan is clever and gives to man “a heavenly way to go to hell.” Any religion you might choose is an abomination (Isaiah 41:24) and will take you to hell. No religion can save! Only Jesus Christ can save! (See Acts 4:12; John 14:6.)
Jesus said, “…I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me (John 14:6).” Look at Proverbs 30:4-6. “Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?” Here is a wonderful reference to the Son of God in the Old Testament. What is God’s name? It is Jehovah! What is his Son’s name? It is Jehovah-Yasha! The Greek form of Jehovah-Yasha is Jesus. Jesus, therefore, means Jehovah-salvation. Jesus is Jehovah who brings salvation.
Notice Proverbs 30:5, “Every word of God is pure: He (Jesus) is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.” This is the same as the New Testament. “… Believe (trust) on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved (Act 16:31).”
Notice the warning in Proverbs 30:6. “Add thou not unto His words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” Again God gives a warning against tampering with the gospel message. He says, “Add thou not unto His words.” And in the context it is talking about salvation!
For example, if a man says, “You are saved by faith in Jesus and by living the Christian life,” God will say to him, “You are a liar, I never said that.” God will say, “…he (Jesus Christ) is a shield (Savior) to them that put their trust in him (Proverbs 30:5).” If a man says, “You are saved by faith in Jesus Christ plus water baptism and church membership,” then God will say to that man at the judgment, “You are a liar I never said that.” As the man is cast into hell, God will say, “…he (Jesus Christ) is a shield (Savior) unto them that put their trust in Him (Proverbs 30:5).” And again, God will say, “…believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved…(Acts 16:31).”
God says to the man who changes His message, “You will not be saved!” God warns that all the plagues of the book of Revelation will come upon the person who adds to or subtracts from the message of “…whosoever will, let him take that water of life freely (Revelation 22:17).”
Yet, millions who claim that they are “Christians” have fallen for the Christian counterfeit of salvation. They have lowered Jesus from the position of Savior to simply being a part of the salvation process. This is heresy (Romans 11:6)!
What can wash away my sins? Nothing! Nothing! Nothing, but the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus, the one who died on Calvary’s cross, was buried, and rose again the third day. He alone is the Savior.
Don’t tamper with the Word of God. Simply believe God. Take Him at His Word. Trust Jesus as your Savior and you will be saved!