This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, reminding you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me.
This weekend, a lot of attention is being paid to the canonization of Pope John Paul II as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. According to the Catholic Church, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints investigates the life of a candidate for sainthood. Their requirements are: (1) that the person be dead; (2) that the person has lived in a “heroically virtuous” manner and pursued holiness in this life, and (3) that at least two verifiable miracles had occurred through intercession to that person. The Vatican conducts an intense investigation of a candidate’s life and any miracles that are said to have occurred by that person’s intercession before declaring him or her a “saint.”
Now, if we are waiting on the Catholic Church, most of us don’t stand a chance at becoming a saint. First, thank God, we are not dead. I’d rather be a living “ain’t” than a dead saint. In the Bible, the saints such as St. John and St. Peter were saints before they died and therefore remained saints after they died. Second, none of us have lived “heroically virtuous” lives and that is for sure. In fact, the Bible tells us that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” and that “all our righteousness are as filthy rags”. Third, no one has prayed to us to get a miracle and if they did, they could not get a miracle from us whether we are alive or dead. The only One who can give anybody a miracle is God through His Son Jesus Christ. That is why we should be glad the Catholic Church is not in charge of making people saints. God is, and according to God’s Word, anyone can become a saint. Yes, ordinary people like you and me — with all of our sins, faults, and failures — can become saints.
Now, what is a saint? The word “saint” comes from a Greek word used in Scripture which means, “consecrated to God, holy, or set apart to the Lord.” Throughout the New Testament, numerous individuals were referred to as saints, and they lived all throughout the Mediterranean world. In fact, the word “saints” is used 67 times in the Bible. For example, in Acts 9:32, we read, “And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda.” In his letter to the Philippians, Paul writes, “Salute every saint in Christ Jesus…”
We also refer to biblical figures such as the apostle John, the apostle Paul, the apostle Peter, and others, as saints — Saint John, Saint Paul, Saint Peter. These men were not made saints by the Pope or the Catholic Church. How did they become saints? How did all of the people whom the Bible refers to as “saints” become saints?
Based on God’s Word, we see that “saints” are the members of the body of Christ. They are those who have trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior, have been forgiven of their sins because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and have been given eternal life. All Christians are saints. Christians are not made holy or virtuous by their righteous actions, because the Bible says in Romans 3:10, “there is none righteous, no, not one…there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Rather, Christians are made holy or virtuous by having their sins washed away in the blood of Jesus Christ who died on the cross to save mankind from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. All of those who trust in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice automatically become saints.
In the New Testament, there is a letter written by the Apostle Paul to a group of believers in a city called Corinth. In this letter, Paul refers to the Christians as “saints.” In First Corinthians 1:2, he writes, “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…” In this very same letter, however, Paul goes on to rebuke the Christians at Corinth for their sinful behavior. Some of the sins that were being tolerated among these “saints” include: division in the church, lawsuits between believers, a man being in a sexual relationship with his stepmother, disorderly worship, visits to prostitutes, drunkenness, and adherence to false Greek philosophies.
In 2 Corinthians 12:20, Paul says, “For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults: And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.”
In 1 Corinthians 6:9, Paul states, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.“
Now, you might be wondering how these believers could still be called saints considering the numerous sins that had to be addressed in their lives. Well, the status of the Corinthian believers as saints was not based on their actions, rather, it was based on the shed blood of Jesus Christ, His sacrifice on the cross, and their acceptance of that sacrifice as payment for their sins. Of course, the Corinthian believers should still strive to live lives free of sin, but they were “saints” because of what Jesus Christ did for them, not because of what they themselves did or did not do. Like Paul says in that last passage: “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are SANCTIFIED, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
Just as the Corinthian believers became saints, anyone — no matter the sins, failures, and faults in their life — can become a saint by believing on Jesus Christ for salvation.
That’s all it takes, dear friend. The path to sainthood for John Paul II began on May 9, 2005. Nine years later — according to the Catholic Church — that process is finally complete. But you can become a saint instantaneously, right now today, by choosing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior. God wants you to be a member of the body of Christ, a member of His family — a true saint. If we trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, God will no longer look at us as sinners and enemies of Himself; He will see us as saints because we are washed and cleansed in the blood of Jesus Christ. Because of this new status, we can go to Heaven to live with God forever when we die. If you trust Jesus Christ for your salvation, you will no longer be in bondage to sin, you will no longer be destined for eternal punishment in hell because of your sin, and you will have a relationship with God and an eternal home in Heaven.
Why don’t you make the decision to become a saint by trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour today? Here is how:
1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2:8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “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.”
6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment.
The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9 and 13: “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.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
7. If you are willing to trust Christ as your Saviour please pray with me the following prayer:
Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have sinned against you. For Jesus Christ’s sake, please forgive me of all of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose again for me. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart, save my soul, change my life, and fill me with your Holy Spirit today and forever. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God. You are now a saint! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your new found faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God Bless You!