The Arch of Titus (Rome)
About ten years ago I was deeply impressed by some of the sights we visited in the city of Rome - especially its former connection with Israel, when the Roman empire was at its peak. The above picture commemorates Rome's infamous history in the Holy land, 2000 years ago. The detail on the arch of Titus records in stone how the Roman soldiers in AD70, destroyed the city of Jerusalem, just about 35 years after the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus at Calvary.
Another piece of history is to be found at St. Paul's (outside the walls) which claims to be the place where the great apostle was beheaded and buried. In addition to the many ancient monuments we saw, it was most interesting for us to walk on the same ancient roadway that the apostle Paul mentioned in Acts ch. 26. - the Appian Way.
However, a much greater link with the most important Personality of the New Testament (the Lord Jesus), is the GOSPEL MESSAGE, which continues to be preached throughout the world until this present hour. It is in fact the undisputed evidence of God's love for his creatures.
Sadly, in my conversations with my fellow countrymen, 1 have discovered that, though we live in a 'CHRISTIAN' LAND, many are NOT CLEAR about the way of SALVATION. For the Christian, the Bible is the best authority for the contents of the gospel preacher's message.
The Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of PAUL and PETER explain the GRACE of GOD toward the people of the world, since the resurrection of the LORD JESUS. It is a great privilege to be able to turn to this section of the Bible for certainty regarding GOD'S great Salvation.
In Romans 3:23 we are shown our need of Salvation - "For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God." Hebs. 9:27&28 informs us of God's compassion for perishing sinners - "As'it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement, so CHRIST was once offered to bear the sins of many." The great goodness of GOD is also made very clear in 1 Tim. 1:15.-"Christ Jesus came into the world to SAVE sinners."
But if we required any further evidence, that God is really interested in us, we discover in EPHESIANS 2:8 that Salvation is, in fact, a GIFT; "For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of GOD, not of works lest any man should boast." - (Mark well! - a FREE GIFT - . ) Do you really believe God would appreciate it if we offered to pay for it? The only right response would be to take the gift and thank the kind giver. SALVATION is a GIFT from GOD offered FREELY to all.
The Bible declares that it is GOD'S will that all men should be SAVED; saved by Christ dying in our stead on the Cross at Calvary. What we are talking about is known as the GOSPEL of the GRACE of GOD. It is all HIS doing. CHRIST took the guilty sinner's place on the CROSS and cried 'It is finished' - meaning that all is accomplished for the salvation of sinners.
What the word of God teaches us, regarding the way of Salvation, is summed up in the words of one of my favourite hymns -
Nothing either great or small,
Nothing, sinner, no
Jesus did it, did it all,
Long, long ago.
It is finished, Yes indeed
Finished every jot,
Sinner this is all you need
Tell me, is it not?
THAT IS GOD'S WAY OF SALVATION AS PRESENTED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
That God is in the business of saving sinners is confirmed by the positive message Paul preached in Acts 13:38&39 "Be it known unto you therefore men and brethren, that through THIS MAN is preached unto you, the forgiveness of sins. And by HIM all that believe are justified from all things."
Since Salvation is SO GREAT, it is imperative that we appreciate such wonderful GRACE by simply resting on that PRICELESS Sacrifice of the LORD JESUS on the CROSS. -Believe on the LORD JESUS CHRIST and thou shalt be SAVED. Acts l6:31.
My advice to anyone who realises that they need to be SAVED, is to consider the words of a well loved Gospel hymn, and apply it personally -
The LAMB of GOD for sinners died,
A victim on the tree:
HE gave HIMSELF a sacrifice
To set the guilty FREE.
Let the chorus be the response of your heart -
I seek no other argument,
I want no other plea,
It is enough that JESUS died,
And rose again FOR me.