"And they cried with a loud voice, saying, salvation to our God which sitteth
upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." Rev. vii. 10.
This is the cry of the ransomed around the throne when the universe is dissolving
in wreck, and terror is filling the hearts of men. It is the first cry of
the ransomed after they reach their home and have seen all that it means
to be lost and to be saved, while the earth is reeling, and the elements
are melting, and all things are quaking and trembling in the first approaches
of the great catastrophe. They see behind them all the way through which
the Lord has led them; down that long vista they behold the toils they have
come through and the perils they have escaped, and they recognize how tenderly
the grace of God has led them on and kept them safe. They see the robes and
crowns that are prepared for them, and all the joy of the eternal future
which is opening before them. They see all this, and then they behold Him
whose hand has kept it all safely for them, and whose heart has chosen it
for them. They look back upon all the past; they look forward into all the
future; they look up into the face of Him to whom it was all due, and then
they lift up their voices in one glad exultant cry, "Salvation to our God
which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." This is what salvation
means; this is what they have believed for; this is what He died to give
them. They have it all. They are saved, and the full realization of it has
come home to their heart at last.
Let us look a little at what it means to be saved. It is not at all a little
thing. We sometimes hear that certain Christians are only justified.
It is a mighty thing to be justified. It is a glorious thing to be born again.
Christ said it was greater to have one's name written in heaven than to be
able to cast out devils. What does salvation mean?
I. WHAT IT SAVES US FROM.
It takes away the guilt of sin. It frees us from all liability and punishment
for past offences. Sin deserves punishment. Salvation takes this all away.
Is it not glorious to be saved?
Salvation saves us from the wrath of God. God hates evil and must punish
it somehow. The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness
of men. But from this salvation delivers us.
Salvation delivers us from the curse of the law. We can recall the terrors
of its revealing, the lightnings and thunder that surrounded the mountain,
and the terror of Israel before it was given at all. They could not bear
that God should speak to them thus, and they entreated Moses, "Speak thou
with us and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die." But
if the giving of the law was terrible, more terrible was the breaking. It
is perilous to break the law of the land. The most tender appeal of affection
did not avail to save those condemned anarchists in Chicago recently. The
'hand of the law was on their throats, and to the gallows they must go. I
remember the days when the assassin of President Lincoln was stalking through
the land. The law would have searched the world to find him out. How terrible
it must have been for him to feel that the eye of justice was looking for
him, and sooner or later would surely find him! The circle narrowed and narrowed
around him, till at last he was grasped in the cordon. So the cordon of law
tightens around the sinner who is under its power. Salvation delivers us
from this curse through Him who was made a curse for us.
It delivers us also from our evil conscience. There is always a shadow left
on our hearts by sin, and a feeling of remorse. It is the black wing of the
raven, and its hoarse voice is ever whispering of despair. The memory of
past guilt will follow people so that after many years they tell of crimes
committed, the punishment for which they escaped, but the burden never left
their conscience. Sometimes it seemed to slumber for a while, and at last
it sprang upon them like a lion. Salvation delivers from our evil conscience.
It takes the shadow from the heart and the stinging memory of sin from the
It delivers from an evil heart, which is the source of all the sin in the
life. It is natural for men to sin even while they hate it. The tendency
to evil is in every nature, chained to it like a body of death, so that when
we would do good evil is present with us. It takes possession of the will
and heart like a living death. It is offensive, it smells of the sepulchre,
it is full of the poison of asps, it putrefies the whole moral being and
bears it, too, down to death. Salvation frees us from its power and gives
us a new nature.
It frees us from the fear of death. It takes away the sting of that last
enemy, through fear of whom we would otherwise all our lifetime be subject
to bondage. I remember when I was a child what a shock a funeral bell would
give me. I could not bear to hear of some one being dead. The love of Christ
has taken this all away. The death-bed of God's children is to them the portal
Salvation delivers us from Satan's power and kingdom. God hath "delivered
us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of His dear
Son." We are saved from the ills and the serpent and the bonds of sin, and
the devil is for us a conquered foe. Salvation delivers us from much sorrow
and distress in life. It brings a glorious sunlight into the life and drives
away those clouds of depression and gloom which overwhelm us.
Beyond all else, salvation delivers us from eternal death. We are not going
down into outer darkness and the depths of woe. Christ has unlocked the fetters
of the pit and saved us from endless death. We are delivered from that terrible
agony which the kindest lips that ever spoke has called "the worm that dieth
not and the fire that is not quenched."
These are some of the things that salvation has delivered us from. Is it
not indeed glad tidings?
II. WHAT SALVATION BRINGS TO
It brings the forgiveness of all our sins and entirely removes them. They
are blotted out as completely as though we had paid all that was due for
them, and they can never appear against us again.
It brings us justification in the sight of God, so that we stand before Him
as righteous beings. We are accepted as though we had done everything He
had commanded, and had perfectly kept the law in every particular. With one
stroke of the pen He erases the account that was against us; with another
stroke He puts there all the righteousness of Christ. We must take both sides
of this. The spotlessness of Jesus is put to your account as if it were your
own. All His obedience to the Father is yours. All His patience and gentleness
are yours. Every service that He has rendered to bless others is put to your
account as if you had done it all. Every good thing you can discover in Him
is yours, and every evil thing in you is His. That is salvation. Is it not
It brings us into the favor and love of God, and secures us full acceptance
in the person of Jesus. He loves us as He loves His only begotten Son. The
moment we are presented in the arms of Christ, we are accepted in Him. Dr.
Currie, a brilliant writer connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church,
has left a beautiful incident in his own life. He was the editor of one of
the best journals of his church, and in many ways he was closely connected
with its work. He dreamed one night, a little before his recent death, that
he died and went up to the gate of heaven. There he met an angel and asked
to be allowed to enter. The angel asked him who he was. He answered: "I am
Dr. Currie, the editor of the Quarterly Review of the Methodist Episcopal
Church." The angel answered: "I don't know you, I never heard of you before."
Soon he met another angel and told 'him the same story, and received the
same answer: "I don't know you." At last one of the angels said: "Let us
go to the Judge and see if He will know you." He went before the throne and
told the Judge about his life and the 'work he had done for the church, but
received the answer from the Judge: "I don't know you at all." His heart
was beginning to gather the blackness of despair, when suddenly there was
One at his side with a crown of thorns upon His head, who said: "Father,
I know him. I will answer for him." And instantly all the harps of heaven
began to sing: "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain," and he was ushered into
all the glory of the celestial world. Not all the preaching we have done,
or all the service we have rendered will amount to anything there. We must
be identified with the Man who wore the thorns; we must be accepted in the
Beloved, and then the Father will love us even as He loves His Son. We shall
stand with Him even as Christ does.
Salvation gives us a new heart. It brings to us regeneration of the soul.
Every spark of life from the old polluted nature is worthless, and the divine
nature is born in us as a part of our very being.
Salvation gives us grace to live day by day. A man may be pardoned and so
get out of prison, and yet have no money to supply his needs. He is pardoned,
yet he is starving. Salvation takes us out of prison, and provides for all
our needs besides. It enables us to rejoice in the glory of God, which is
"able to keep us from falling, and to present us faultless before the presence
of His glory with exceeding joy."
It brings to us the help of the Holy Spirit, who is ever at our side as a
gentle mother, helping our infirmities and bringing grace for every time
It brings to us the care of God's providence, causing all things, to work
together for our good. This is never true until we are saved; but when we
are the children of God all things in earth and in heaven are on our side.
Salvation opens the way for all the blessings that follow it. It is the
steppingstone to sanctification and healing, and the peace that passeth
understanding. From this first gateway the prospect opens out boundlessly
to all the good land we may go on to possess.
Salvation brings to us eternal life. It is, of course, only the beginning,
but the heavenly, land has its portals open even here, and when we at last
reach the throne and look out and see all the possibilities that yet lie
before us, we shall sing with the ransomed, "Salvation to our God which sitteth
upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."
III. THE PROCESS BY WHICH THESE BLESSINGS COME.
They come through the mercy and grace of God. "God so loved the world that
He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not
perish, but have everlasting life."
Salvation comes to us by the righteousness of Jesus Christ. He perfectly
fulfilled for us every requirement of the law. Had He faltered in one temptation
we could not have been saved. Think of that when you are tempted to speak
a hasty word, and you almost give way for a moment. Suppose Jesus had done
so, we should have been lost forever. Every moment He held steadfastly in
the path of obedience, and His perfect grace and obedience are the price
of your salvation.
Salvation comes to us through the death of Christ. His obedience is not enough.
He must die. His crucifixion is the atonement for our sins.
Salvation comes through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, which
was God's seal of His accomplished work and the pledge of our pardon.
Salvation comes through the intercession of Jesus at the right hand of the
Father. He is our Great High Priest there, where He ever liveth to make
intercession for us, and thus keeps us in continual acceptance.
Salvation comes through the grace of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit of God is
sent down, through the intercession of Christ, to carry out in our hearts
and lives His work. He keeps our feet in the way, and He will never leave
His work until He has put us forever into the bosom of Jesus.
Salvation comes to us by the Gospel. It is presented to us through this message,
and our refusal to accept it, or our neglect to do so, fixes irrevocably,
by our own act, our eternal condition. If we are saved, we become so by accepting
the Gospel, which is, therefore, called "the Gospel of your salvation."
IV. THE STEPS BY WHICH IT IS RECEIVED.
Conviction of sin. We must first see our need and our danger before we can
be saved. The Holy Ghost brings this to our heart and conscience. Until there
is this knowledge of the need of Christ, He cannot of course be received;
but when the heart is deeply impressed under a sense of sin, Christ is precious
There must be next an apprehension of Jesus as our Saviour. The soul must
see Him as both able and willing to save. It will not do merely to feel and
confess your guilt. What is needed is to get the eye on Jesus. So Christ
says to every seeking soul, "Look! Look! Look unto Me and be saved !" "Every
one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting
Salvation comes by repentance. There must be a turning from sin. This does
not consist in mere emotional feeling, necessarily, but it does mean to have
the whole will and purpose of heart turned from sin to God.
Salvation comes by coming to Jesus. The soul must not only turn away from
sin. That alone will not save it. Lot's wife turned away from Sodom-but she
was not in Zoar. There must be a turning to Jesus as well as a turning from
Salvation comes by accepting Jesus as a Saviour. This does not mean merely
crying out to Him to save, but claiming Him as the Saviour, embracing the
promises He has given, and so believing that He is your personal Redeemer.
Salvation comes by believing that Christ has accepted us, and counting Him
faithful who has promised. This will bring the sweetness of assurance and
peace, and as we believe the promise the Spirit will seal it to the heart
and witness that we are the children of God.
Salvation comes by confessing Christ as the Saviour. This is a necessary
step. It is like the ratification of a deed or the celebration of a marriage,
and stamps and seals our act of committal.
Salvation involves our abiding in Jesus. Having taken it for granted, once
for all, that you are saved, never do the work over again. "As ye have,
therefore, received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him."
V. THINGS THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT SALVATION.
It is called God's salvation. It was not invented by man. God alone is the
author of it, and He is the only Saviour.
It is also called "your own salvation," because you yourself must appropriate
It is called "the common salvation," because it is free to all who will accept
It is called a "great salvation," because it is full and infinite in its
provisions. It is large enough for all your needs.
Christ is called the "mighty to save," because no matter how weak or how
wicked the sinner may be, He is able to save him to the uttermost.
It is called a near salvation. "Say not in thine heart, who shall ascend
into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, who shall
descend into the deep? (that is, to bring Christ again from the dead.)
But what saith it? The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in
thy heart: that is, the Word of Faith which we preach: That if thou shalt
confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that
God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." We do not have to
get up into some exalted state to find Christ, nor down into some profound
and terrible experience, but we can find Him everywhere we are. Salvation
is at our door. We can take it as we find Him very near to us. No steps were
allowed to God's ancient altar, for then some poor sinner might not be able
to get up to it. Jesus is on the very plane where you are this moment. You
can take His salvation here now. Take Him as you are, and lie will lead you
into all the experiences you need.
VI. WHY IT IS CALLED THE GOSPEL OF GOOD NEWS.
Because of its value. It comes laden With blessings to him who receives it.
Because of its freedom. It may be taken without money and without price.
Because of its availableness. It is easy of access, being on the level of
the worst sinner.
Because of its universality. Whosoever will may take it and live.
Because of the security of its blessings. They are given forevermore. "Verily,
verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that
sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not perish."
Because of the eternity of its blessings. The sun will have burnt itself
into ashes, the earth will have been destroyed by volcanic heat, the heavens
will be changed When salvation has only begun. Then thousand times ten thousand
years shall pass away, and we shall have only begun a little to understand
what salvation means. Blessed be God for the Gospel of Christ's salvation.
VII. CONSIDERATIONS WHICH SHOULD URGE US
TO TAKE AND GIVE OUT THIS SALVATION.
Because of the fact that every man's salvation is hinged upon his own choice
and free will. It is an awful thing to have the power to take salvation and
to throw it away. And yet it is left to our choice. We are not forced to
take it. We must voluntarily choose it or reject it.
Because of the tremendous responsibility to which we are held accountable
for the salvation of our soul. God has put it into our hands as a jewel of
inestimable value, and He will hold us to a strict account for the way we
treat this precious thing. If we destroy it, how fearful will be our doom
when we meet the Judge of all the earth, and hear the stern question from
His lips, "Where is thy soul?"
Because of the guilt which will rest upon us for neglecting and despising
the precious blood of Christ, which was shed for our salvation. To neglect
it is to throw it away. He has provided a great salvation. If it is worth
so much to man, if it has cost God so much to provide it, what can be thought
of him who makes little of it? Jesus suffered intensely to bring it to us,
and shall we stumble carelessly over it? Oh, let us be more concerned than
we are, both for the salvation of our own souls and for those around us who
are not saved.
Because the little word "now" is always linked with it. It must be taken
now or never. The cycle of life is very narrow. We do not know how soon it
will end. "Behold now is the day of salvation."
Because its issues are for eternity. The decisions there are not reversible.
The soul cannot come back when once it has left the body, and have another
chance to secure its salvation. When once the Master has risen up and shut
the door, the soul will find it has been left out for ever. The cry will
then be, "I have lost my chance; it is too late." God's Word holds out no
second chance to any human soul.
Because if salvation is missed there will be no excuse for it. Not one thing
has been left undone in presenting it to men. God's best thought and Christ's
best love have been given to it. All has been done that could be done. Salvation
has been brought down to man's level. It has been placed where he can reach
it. God has provided all the resources, even the grace, repentance and faith,
if man will take them. If you lack anything, God will put His arms around
you and lift you up to Him, breathing His faith into you, and carrying you
Himself until you are able to walk. Salvation is brought to every sinner.
If the soul is lost it is because it has neglected and defied God's love.
I am glad to bring you this salvation, but eternity will be too short to
tell it all. Take it and then go out and gather others in to share it. You
will receive a glorious crown, but the best of it all will be that men will
In this city there is a picture hung up in a parlor and expensively framed.
It is a very simple picture. It has just one word on it. On a little bit
of paper-a telegraph form-is the one word,
It was framed by the lady of that mansion, and is dearer to her than all
her works of art. One day when the awful news came to her through the papers
that the ship on which her husband had sailed was a perfect wreck, that little
telegram came to her door and saved her from despair.
It came across the sea. It was the message of that rescued man by the electric
wire, and it meant to two hearts all that life is worth.
Oh, let such a message go up to-day to yonder shore. The Holy Ghost will
flash it hence while I am drawing the next breath. The angels will echo it
over heaven, and there are dear friends there to whom it will mean as much
as their own very heaven.
I have seen another short sentence in a picture, too.
It came from one who had been rescued from a ship where friends and family
had all perished. Those dear little ones were in the slimy caves of the cruel
sea. Those beloved faces had gone down forever, but he was saved, and from
yonder shore he sent back this sad and weary message:
So I can imagine a selfish Christian entering yonder portals. They meet him
at the gates, "Where are your dear ones?" "Where are your friends?"
"Where is your crown?" "Alas, I am saved alone." God
help you, reader, to so receive and give, that you shall save yourself and
"Must I go, and empty handed,
Must I thus my Saviour meet,
Not one soul with which to greet Him,
Lay no trophy at His feet?"