A House for your Soul
“What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30)
“We dwell in Him…” (1 John 4:13)
Images of the recent fire, which tragically consumed a 24 storey block of flats in West London, have shocked the nation. The massive inferno broke out at the Grenfell Tower block in the early hours of 14 June, causing many fatalities.
Investigations are being made into the cause of the fire, as to how it spread so rapidly throughout the tower. Fire fighters, fire safety experts and architects were all alarmed at the speed at which the fire spread, causing residents to be trapped inside their homes, as the tower was engulfed. Furthermore, the fire safety strategy for the building directed residents to stay inside their flats in the event of a fire breaking out. Sadly, the safety strategy failed and many lost their lives in their own homes.
Surviving residents expressed anger, as they had made known their concerns about fire safety in the building over many years, and again, during a refurbishment last year. These concerns were said to have fallen on deaf ears. Their homes became a place of death and destruction.
In the face of such devastation, we are reminded of the desire we all have for homes where we and our families can live safely and securely. How neglectful we would be if we failed to consider and act upon such matters. However, many people are dangerously neglectful about spiritual matters. They are so busy with their lives that they don’t stop to consider where they are travelling. There is little concern for their souls, no thoughts of repentance from sin and of faith in Christ. The old puritan said, “they would rather put money in the bank, than tears in God’s bottle.”
Increasingly, our land is filled with those those who aggressively speak out against the Gospel and our Christian heritage. However, it has been said that hell is undoubtedly full of people who were not actively opposed to Jesus Christ, but who simply drifted into damnation by neglecting to respond to the Gospel. Those who sit in the pews of our churches, week in, week out, who know the truth, yet continue in a Christless state are following such a path. It is a dangerous and neglectful path – a path, which if continued on, will lead to a Christless eternity. Perhaps you are such a person, yet you intend to put that right, only not now, but at a more opportune time. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
On the other hand, perhaps you are aware of the danger you are facing in a Christless state. Do you seek a house for your soul? Do you desire Jesus and to “dwell in Him?” Do you seek to move from your old sinful home into which you were born? The question you may be asking is, how do I receive Christ for my soul, how do I access this house for my soul to dwell in?
When we are looking to relocate from one home to another, one of the biggest considerations we face is the cost, either the monthly rent or the purchase price. Spiritually speaking, we can often wrongly apply the same logic in relation to the salvation of our souls.
The Philippian Jailor asked the most important and urgent question that anyone could ask. He was a breath away from eternity, as he believed that the prisoners under his care had fled. He drew his sword and was about to kill himself until he heard Paul’s voice, “do yourself no harm, for we are all here” (Acts 16:27-28). He then asked the question, “what must I do to be saved?” Are you concerned about your own spiritual state?
The emphasis of the question was, “what must I do to be saved?” The emphasis of the jailor’s question is often the thinking of many today. If I am to be saved, if I am to enter heaven, then I must do so on my own merits, I must live a good morally upright life. However, our good works can never merit salvation, as the New Testament makes very clear,“for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Furthermore, we may believe that we will be saved if our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds. The Scriptures teach that we are incapable of doing good. “There is none who does good, no, not one” (Romans 3:12). We may consider something to be a good deed by human standards, but by God’s standards we are unable to carry out good deeds or to live good lives. Everything we do is tainted with sin and therefore cannot be acceptable by a Holy God.
Paul did not answer the jailor’s question with ‘something to do’, but rather ‘someone to believe in’. Paul did not say, “just have faith” or “just believe and you shall be saved.” His response to the question was, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:30-31). Would you like to pay a respectable rent for this house, to do something to win Christ? If so, you cannot have the house, as this house is without money and without price.
Saving faith is not a matter of our works or of human effort, but of ceasing from our own efforts, and trusting in Christ alone, in His sinless life and substitutionary death, to save us from our sins. There is a key to this house. If you would have this house for your soul, if you would have Christ as your Saviour, you must accept Him freely. The key to the house is to come to Christ. No other key will do.
This house is like no other house, as it is furnished with all that we could ever want in a home. It is a place of love, joy, peace, service and satisfaction. Here we have fellowship and communion with Christ in a spiritual home that far surpasses any physical home we could ever hope to have. It is a home which money cannot buy.
You may feel that you are unworthy of a place in such a house. It is true that you are unworthy and that the house is too good for you. In fact, there is no one who is worthy of a place in such a house. Nobody is worthy of salvation. However, if you come to Christ, He will provide you with the garments of His own righteousness and wash you and cleanse you, so that in Him you will be worthy for this house. There is room in this house for all who would seek to come to Christ and He promises that there is room in the world to come, “In my Father’s house are many mansions” (John 14:2).
We may be satisfied and comfortable in our physical homes, we may have lived there for many happy years, but these homes cannot guarantee our safety and security, as we have been tragically reminded by the Grenfell Tower fire. However, if we dwell in Christ, if we have come to trust in Him alone, we can be sure of a spiritual home, which is safe and secure. The house built upon the rock stood firm, but the house that was built upon the sand fell (Matthew 7:24-27). A physical home may be lost through bankruptcy or eviction, but we can be sure we will never be asked to leave this house, as whoever comes to Him, He will by no means cast out (John 6:37).
We are assured that He will give grace and glory (Psalm 84:11), so that if we receive grace in this life, we will receive glory in the next. Here we live with Christ all the years of our earthly life, until our great removal day, when we will move into another house, “not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1).
Will you continue in your old sinful home into which you were born? The most urgent question in the world is, “what must I do to be saved?” The Biblical answer is, “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.” Can this be said of you as it has been said of the Philippian Jailor? If so, you will dwell in Him and have a house for your soul for all eternity.