“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10 NASB).
If you asked 50 random people, “How do you get to Heaven?” you’d get a lot of different answers. But most of them would be based on the idea that you can (and have to) earn your way to Heaven.
You’d hear things like, “Try to be good, and do your best” or “Do more good things than bad things in life.” Those ideas are all based on works, not grace.
But Romans 3:24 says, “All need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ” (NCV).
God says that salvation is absolutely free to receive! You don’t work for a gift, and you can’t earn it or buy it.
This is the fundamental difference between Christianity and every other religion. Every other belief system can be summarized by one word: “do.” You do certain things to gain bliss, gain Heaven or some other kind of eternal reward, and gain God’s approval.
On the other hand, you can summarize Christianity in one word: “done.” Jesus Christ paid for our salvation on the cross, and now he offers his grace as a free gift. That’s why Jesus Christ, when he was hanging on the cross, stretched out his arms and said, “It is finished.” What’s the “it”? It’s our salvation — the plan to provide grace for every person who needs it.
We all have people in our lives who do not have a relationship with Jesus. They may include family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and acquaintances. The Bible says to pray for their salvation. In fact, Jesus “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4 CEB), so when we pray for the salvation of an unsaved person, we are doing what pleases God.
We can trust that God’s love reaches everywhere and everyone. His power is limitless, and his forgiveness is endless. Your prayers for people who do not know the hope we find in Christ do not go unheard. Keep on praying, and don’t lose heart.