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Chapter: 10.01
(Section 10: Understanding Salvation)
Copyright Michael Bronson 2006, 2007
BibleHelp.org

Summary
Have you ever wanted a clear and interesting way to present the gospel? Following is a real life incident that does just that. This story has been so helpful that several people have asked me to make a printout version so they can pass it out to their friends. To download this full color printout go to the download page and click on the “Got Milk” download.

Click Here to go to the download page

Click Here for a book version of this material

 

Yesterday I had an unexpected conversation with my doctor. During my physical exam my doctor asked me how my parents were doing. When I told him my father died about five years ago he said he was sorry to hear about it. I told him, “It’s okay, because he was ready to go.”

My doctor asked me if my dad was ready to die because he had lived a long full life. I said, “No, he was ready because of another reason. When he was about 35 he resolved the issue of his eternal destiny. After that he knew he was going to Heaven. Death was no longer the end, but the beginning of his life.” I also told him I had done the same thing when I was a young child and I too am certain I am going to Heaven when I die.

My doctor asked me if my assurance was because I have lived a good life. He asked if I knew I was going to Heaven because my good deeds outweighed my bad deeds. I responded, “No. My assurance of going to Heaven has nothing to do with how good I’ve been.” Chuckling, I said, “Fortunately, my salvation is not based on my perfection because if you really knew me you would know I am not that good. In fact, none of us even come close in being good enough. The Bible says anyone who has sinned, even once, is going to Hell. I crossed that line a long time ago.”

A little surprised, he said, “Well … everyone has sinned. That means everyone is going to Hell, doesn’t it?”

I said, “Yea. That’s right. That’s the reason I was destined to Hell like everyone else. The only reason I know I’m going to Heaven is because I have a contract with God stating that I’m going to Heaven.” My doctor gave me a very quizzical look so I picked up a piece of paper and said, “Let’s pretend this piece of paper says:

‘ I, God Almighty , hereby declare that Michael Bronson will immediately go to Heaven upon his death .’

“Let’s say this document was certified by Michael, the Archangel, and notarized by the Angel Gabriel. Let’s also say that Lucifer, the Prince of Darkness, signed off on this agreement. A document like this, of course, would give you a great deal of assurance you are going to Heaven. Yet, believe it or not, the contract I have with God gives me that much assurance.”

Still confused, he asked me to explain this contract a little more. “The Bible,” I said, “clearly declares if certain things take place, I’m guaranteed to go to Heaven when I die. It’s important to understand, however, none of these things involve me doing good works. It doesn’t involve me being religious, going to church, helping others, or trying to live a sinless life. Although these things are nice, none of them will help a person get to Heaven. Like I said earlier, everyone who has sinned is destined to Hell and there is nothing we can do to resolve this sin problem.”

I placed the sheet of paper back on the table and said, “Let’s say a person murdered 28 people and this murder was caught on tape by seven different surveillance cameras. At the trial there were 46 people who gave eyewitness testimony of his heinous crime. This was a rock solid case. At the end of the trial the judge says to the murderer, ‘I realize we all have bad days and that day was obviously one of yours. If you promise to be a little more careful in the future I’ll let you go with a $10 fine.’”

Looking at my doctor, I said, “Would you consider this judge to be a good judge or a unjust judge? Obviously,” I said, “he is a bad judge. A good judge could not ignore the violations. It is the same thing with God. He is a just and upright judge and He cannot just ignore violations of the law. It would be wrong for Him to say, ‘Well, since I love you I will ignore all of the laws you have violated.’ A just God can’t do that. As a just judge, God has to deal with our violations justly. In our situation He had to find a way to satisfy the law and still be able to restore a relationship with us.”

I said to my doctor, “Think of the worse thing you have ever done; the thing in which you are most ashamed. Now visualize Jesus mischievously looking around to see if He was alone and then doing this despicable sin. This is how God looked at Jesus when He was on the cross. God, the Father, looked at Jesus as though Jesus actually committed that sin and He damned Jesus for it. The recent Passion film showed Jesus being tortured during the crucifixion. As brutal as this was, this physical suffering is not what saves us from our sins. It was the spiritual damnation Jesus also endured that saves us from our sins. This is why Jesus cried out, ‘My God, why have you forsaken me.’ Jesus was spiritually damned for every sin you have committed, every sin I have committed, and every sin the rest of the world has committed.”

As some recognition started to grow in my doctor’s eyes, I said, “Since Jesus was actually punished for all of your sins, God can now offer you an amnesty (or pardon). This pardon does not violate God’s righteous nature because the sins have been dealt with in a way that was just and legal.”

“It is important to understand, however, we are not automatically pardoned just because God offers us a pardon. God will not force Himself upon us. Each person must personally accept this pardon. About 200 years ago, in the early history of our country, a criminal was offered a pardon. The prisoner refused the pardon because he committed the crime and he felt he deserved the punishment. Up to this point no one had ever refused a pardon. After several hearings, the lawmakers drafted a policy. If a person accepts the pardon offered to him, he will go free and he can never be punished again for that crime. However, if he refuses the pardon, he will be punished for the crime as though the pardon had never been offered.”

I said to my doctor, “This pardon is like a gift. You have to personally reach out and accept it. A couple years ago my brother’s car died and he didn’t have enough money at the time to get another one. My wife and I had just got a newer car and she suggested giving him our old car (a six year old Buick Park Avenue.). When we got to my brother’s house, he had no idea why we asked him to step out to his driveway. Standing by the car, we held out the keys and said, ‘Here are the keys to your new car.’ Shocked, he said, ‘Why are you doing this?’ He just stood there for a while looking back and forth between the car and us. Finally, he took the keys.”

Pretending to hold a set of keys in my hand, I said to my doctor, “This situation with my brother is a good example of what I was talking about. If my brother didn’t reach out and accept the keys, he would never have taken possession of the car. Likewise, if we don’t reach out and accept the pardon God is offering us, it will never be ours.”

Reaching over and picking up the piece of paper again, I said, “Remember the contract I was talking about? There are three basic parts to the contract. The first part is you have to accept there is nothing you can do to remedy your sin problem. Trying to be sinless or doing good works does not influence your eternal destiny at all. In fact, thinking you can earn even a small part of your salvation nullifies the contract. The second part of the contract is we need to understand there is a legal reason why God is not holding us accountable for our sins. Jesus was spiritually damned in our place. This pardon satisfies all parts of the law. The third part of the contract is we need to personally accept the pardon. It’s as simple as that.”

My doctor said, “I’ve never heard this before. No one has ever told me anything like this. When I was growing up, my priest told me salvation was like a pitcher of milk. When you first start out in life your pitcher is completely full. However, every time you sin you lose some of the milk. If your pitcher still has some milk when you die, you will go to Heaven. Otherwise, you will go to Hell.”

I said, “Well, in a sense salvation is like a pitcher of milk. One sin, however, completely empties the pitcher. It only takes one sin to spill all of the milk and send the person to Hell. Your example of the jug of milk raises an important question. How do we know which is the right way to Heaven? Is it true, like some people say, all roads eventually lead to Heaven? It is true all methods of salvation ultimately produce the same results?”

Looking over to a chart of medicines I said, “Well, as a doctor would you say all medical procedures are the same? Could diabetes be cured by a random prescription of any drug? Would surgically removing a person’s toe cure a person of liver cancer? No, of course not. There are specific cures for specific diseases. Likewise, there is a specific cure for our spiritual disease. The method of salvation created by God is the method we must use. Therefore, we must carefully read the Bible to find the method of salvation God has prepared for us.”

The above story is the actual conversation I had with my doctor. Although there are probably a few things I would change if I were to do it over again, it does provide a clear explanation of what is necessary to go to Heaven. For more information, go to my website: Bible Help .org. If you want a printout version that you can pass out to your friends, go the my download page and click on “Got Milk?”

Editor’s Note: Although I’ve tried to be as accurate as possible in recording this account, some editing was done for the purpose of grammar, clarity, and readability. Copyright © Michael Bronson 2006, Bible Help.org

Printout Version of this story

Once again, if you want to download a full color printout version of this story, go to the download page and click on “Got Milk?

 

Other Chapters in this Section

Home
A Case for Christianity
"Got Milk?" -An interesting way of presenting the gospel
A Walk on the Wild Side
Delusions of Grandeur
Good Intentions
Making up for Past Wrongs
Misguided Commitment
Grace:  Unmerited Favor (an emotional example)
Is Jesus God?
Reference 1:  Verses Showing the Trinity
Reference 2:  Verses Showing Jesus is God
If Jesus is God, Why did He have so many Limitations?
Is Hell for Eternity?


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