The Saw Dust Trail ( Pleading for Salvation)
There was a man named Billy Sunday who was a famous evangelist back in the early 1900's. He put on what were called revivals or tent meetings. He would set up a large circus tent and invite people to come and hear the word of God. These meetings were often held at logging camps and sawdust would be put down to cover the mud. After Billy Sunday was finished preaching he would tell the people to hit the saw dust trail. It was an alter call where he would invite the people to come up to the stage, get down on their knees, and get right with God. Some of the people would walk down the saw dust covered isle toward the stage, get on their knees, and plead with God to save them. This is by definition a works salvation. These people were not trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross to get them saved. They were begging God to have mercy on them and find them worthy of heaven. As if there was something that they could do, that would merit eternal life. Salvation was up to them. "Owe God, if you could just find me worthy of heaven". This was the attitude of these people. They were looking for favor with God when it had all ready been given to them. When Christ died on the cross, he paid the sin debt of the entire world. All anyone has to do to inherit eternal life is to believe that Jesus paid it all. All of the people listening to Billy Sunday and people like him are deceived. They are lead to believe salvation must be earned. Pleading with God, asking for forgiveness and being found worthy, is the same as asking what can I do to get saved. No amount of begging is going to make God feel sorry for you and have mercy on you. He already has mercy on you. He just wants you to believe he does. You do not need to work out your salvation with God as they say. Where you get down at an alter (stage) and incessantly pray for an hour and when it is over you are changed and saved. I believe some people simply accept Christ at these alter calls and get saved. I believe far more remain lost. What they often have is an emotional experience. They get caught up the fervor of the moment and convince themselves it is God and that they are saved. I here a lot of southern Baptist's preaching this kind of "salvation". They will say that you need to really get down and have a personal encounter with God where you invite him inside you or you need to spend time meditating on your salvation and really work things out with God. You notice how the word "work" is used there. All of these are work based salvation. It is you reaching up to God and bringing him down into your life. Where in actuality it is God who reaches down to you. There is nothing that we can give God. He does not need our obedience to save us. Obedience is needed for blessing and reward, but not for salvation. If salvation relied on begging God, then how would anyone know they are saved. How much begging would be enough? How could you ever be sure that God has granted you entrance into heaven. The same can be said about sin and good works. How many good works are enough? How much sin is to much? There is no amount of good works that can get a person saved. There is no amount of sin, that can keep a person from salvation. The only way to heaven is by trusting that Jesus Christ died for your sins; past, present, and future. Jesus Christ was God and he came to earth for a singular cause, to save all man kind from hell. Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and rose from the dead, as payment for all sin. If you simply believe this, you will be instantly saved and have eternal life.
I hope you enjoyed this article. If you are not a Christian, I invite you to get saved now. Tomorrow may be to late. To get saved all you have to do, is admit that you are a sinner and that Jesus Christ died for your sins. The only way to take away sins is with the pure shed blood of Jesus Christ. Good works can not take away sins. If they could, then Jesus Christ died in vain. Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead as payment for all sins. Once you believe that, you are saved forever. You did nothing to earn it and you can do nothing to lose it. After you get saved, if you live a wicked sinful life you are still saved, but God will chastise (discipline) you. Sin will not take away your salvation.
I Corinthians 15
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
16 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.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.