Sunday, May 14, 2017

Remember the God of the Bible

Today, most of us are privileged to gather together with a segment of the body of Christ and worship the one true and living God. We are called together to give praise to God and to exhort one another. As you prepare to gather, let me share some words with you from Richard D. Phillips, from his commentary on the Old Testament Book of Jonah:

"If our primary concern in worship is our consumer preferences rather than the God whose name we praise, if we gaze on the wicked around us and see mainly a threat to our Christian lifestyles instead of perishing sinners in need of the gospel, and if we pray for forgiveness of our sins but justice for the agents of a wicked culture, then it cannot be doubted that the Pharisaical spirit of Jonah is in us...Jonah's resentment reveals a deep ignorance of God. He understood the Lord as his God and Israel's God but not the God of Nineveh." 

Whom do you understand this morning as you gather with the body of Christ?

(taken from Jonah & Micah, Reformed Expository Commentary, p. 8)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Throwing Stones and Barking Dogs

Please accept my apologies for being slack in posting lately. I am truly sorry and beg your forgiveness. I have been distracted lately due to the following things:
     dog and Animated gif
  • I am not happy with the outlining and development of the second part of our study in Jonah. As a result I have ordered some additional tools and am actually starting over on chapter two of Jonah.
  • My sister, Mother and Father unexpectedly drove up from Austin, Texas and spent a few days with us. We had a great visit. It has been quite some time since I saw my folks. God has been so good to them; my Dad is 85 and my Mom is 83 and they are strong in mind and body, in excellent health, and in great spirits. 
  • We drove up to Lynden, WA (top of WA state on the Canadian border) to visit my sister Nancy, brother-in law, Emmet. We were able to see our niece, Jessica and her new baby boy, Emmet. We spent a couple of days up there. 
  • We celebrated Bryttany Lynn's 19th birthday. (She is our granddaughter, Sonja's girl. Our third grandchild turned 19! Oh my, where did the time go?
  • We are actually enjoying streamlining some old movies on Netflix on our new Smart TV.
Once I get Jonah, chapter two re-outlined I hope to resume regular posts. Thanks for being patient with me! 

Winston Churchill once remarked, "You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks." So, I guess I need to stop throwing stones at barking dogs, huh?

Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Guide to A Personal Quiet Time


Since I have put our study of Jonah on hold, I thought for today at least, that I would share with you my pattern, or system, or manner of my personal devotion. I do so for at least three (3) reasons:

  • I believe a regular personal devotion or quiet times is a major means of growing and/or developing spiritually
  • I am cognizant of the fact that many believers struggle with how to have a meaningful and beneficial devotion
  • I, myself, function far better with a pattern or guide to follow
Let me say, this is only a way and not the only way, or the end of all ends for use in your personal quiet time of devotion. I share only in hopes that you might find it useful and beneficial to you.

My pattern for my quiet time consists of three (3) main areas:

WORSHIP

I begin my time with prayer and worship of God. My worship in my devotion consists of four (4) parts:
  • Praise - praise God for who He is. I take a single attribute each morning and praise God for that attribute
  • Adoration - I tell God how much I love Him. He is my Father and I am His son.
  • Thanksgiving - Thank Him for what He has done. Find at least one thing to thank God for specifically and specially each day.
  • Hymn - I praise God by singing or reciting a hymn, Psalm, or spiritual song to God. Listen, He said make a joyful noise, not a symphonic noise!

From my Worship portion of my quiet time, I move to what I called the...

WORD

I use a method I came across sometime ago called the "SOAP" formula. First, choose a book of the bible, and begin reading, meditating, and praying through it. Read approximately one (1) to six (6) or seven (7) verses slowly, carefully, prayerfully, and earnestly. Do not try to read a chapter or too much - you won't be able to meditate on it. Your quiet time is not the time to do your annual bible reading plan. The SOAP method goes like this:

S - the scripture passage for the day
O- any and all observations that you derive from the passage
A- any and all applications that apply directly to you
P - pray through the passage & pray for compliance with the passage principle thought or key truth

Buy a good journal and record these truths, principles, observations, applications and prayer. Write it down!

After worship, and the word, it is now time for what I call the:

WALK

After I have read, prayed, and meditated on the passage I use the following five (5) questions to help me arrive at the specific application for my life.
  • What is the key or principle thought of the passage?
  • What is a short yet concise summary of the passage?

  • What way does this passage apply directly to me?
  • What do I need to change or do to comply with this passage?
  • What is my specific plan to change or to comply?

I hope this pattern or guide is helpful to you. Please do not become a slave to it or to any plan. These things are always guides meant to assist not to imprison. 

I hope you will utilize some or all parts of this plan for at least three (3) reasons:
  • If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
  • If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time
  • I want you to grow in the grace & the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Jonah Put On Temporary Hold

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Having come to a passage in Jonah that I am having a difficult time in determining the meaning, I have decided to put Jonah on a temporary hold.

I have recently come into the possession of a wonderful bibliography of works on Jonah. After reading it over a couple of times I have decided to order a couple of more commentaries on the book of Jonah for some assistance. Unfortunately it can take up to three weeks for these to travel by media mail.

I am not sure what I will post as the Sunday Sermon, but hopefully, I will think of something!

Please forgive any inconvenience that this postponement might cause. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Does Prayer Really Move the Hand of God?

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Last night at our mid-week bible study someone made this statement, 'Prayer moves the hand of God.' The individual was quite confident & comforted in this idea.

Quite frankly, I think if you ask the majority of believers they would think and say the same thing. However, I don't think we:

  • cause God to move or work contrary to His eternal purpose
  • cause God to change His mind in regards to something He has previously and more than likely eternally purposed
  • cause God to respond in the manner of an servant or slave to our desires and/or wishes

Although I should have said something I didn't. After I got home his statement continued to rattle around in my head and I formed a single thought about his statement.

I am not sure that prayer in fact moves the hand of God at all, as much as I am convinced that prayer moves the heart of man to the will and purpose of God. I think prayer is the means by which we, God's children, commend ourselves to the "hands of God" in order to submit and acquiesce to His purposes for our lives.



Monday, April 24, 2017

Book Review: The Ragamuffin Gospel

Title:  The Ragamuffin Gospel
Author:  Brennan Manning
Publisher:  Multnomah
General Subject Matter:  Christian Living, the Gospel 
First Copyright:  1990
Type:  Hardback
Price:  US $19.99/25.99 CAN
Image result for the ragamuffin gospelISBN: 978-1-60142-868-4

The purpose of The Ragamuffin Gospel is to provide the reader with a different image of an individual’s relationship with God in juxtaposition to the popular concept of God’s acceptance of individuals. The author gives us his purpose statement in the section he has entitled, “A Word Before.” The author states that the purpose of the book is to bring comfort to what he calls “the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt out.”
The theme of The Ragamuffin Gospel is that salvation or redemption is not earned by anything that an individual can do. However, the author does not seem to have an understanding of the true gospel revealed in the Scriptures.
This book propagates a false gospel. The author was a defrocked Roman Catholic priest. He has written extensively on subjects that have been deemed to be heretical by main stream Christianity.
There are several problems within this book. I will list some problems without developing them either from the author’s viewpoint or from a Scriptural refutation.
In relation to salvation there is no mention of repentance, there is no reference to a new birth or regeneration as outlined in the Scriptures. The author promotes a type of special “sealing” that takes place during infant baptism.
Additional problems with this book include the author’s approach to redemption and sanctification from a psychological viewpoint. A major problem is the fact that Manning quotes from false teachers and philosophers such as Paul Tillich, Carl Jung, Beatrice Bruteau, Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, Francis MacNutt and others.
An example of his false teaching is found on page 120 of his book where Manning states, “To evangelize a person is to say to him or her: you, too, are loved by God in the Lord Jesus.” (The Ragamuffin Gospel, 2nd edition, 2000, p. 120). This is not the gospel. It is not the way to evangelize those who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ. The gospel includes that fact that men are loved by God, but they are dead in trespasses and sins and must put their trust in the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.

There was nothing about this book that I liked or could recommend. It is amazing that this book was published and more amazing that it has found a “reception” in mainstream Christianity.
________________________________________________ 
I received a free copy of The Ragamuffin Gospel for this review. I received nothing else nor was I required to give a positive review. This review is my own thoughts and opinions. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Jonah Does the Unequaled (Part 1)



Sermon:     GM17-151

Series:             Jonah: The Gospel of Grace

Service:   
       
Setting:  
        
Subtitle:          Jonah Did the Unequaled (Part 1 of 2)

Scripture:       Jonah 1:17-2:1

Subject:          The Supplicating Prophet

Scope:             Jonah supplicated His God when he found himself still alive in the belly of the large fish

Scheme:          To provide God’s people hope of experiencing the graciousness of God when they are in desperate situations when disciplined by God

Scrutiny:        What did Jonah do that was so unequaled?

Solution:         The passage before us describes four (4) details of the unequaled actions of Jonah – the unequaled predicament of Jonah, the unequaled petition by Jonah, the unequaled problem of Jonah, the unequaled product for Jonah and the unequaled preservation of Jonah.

Sketch:    
      
Main Idea:      In the most desperate situation of his life, Jonah supplicated, or prayed to his God.

Supporting idea #1 – The disciplining hand of God forced Jonah to prayer

Supporting idea #2 – God may determine to instigate desperate situations which often provide great opportunities for prayer of preservation.

Supporting idea #3 – Regardless of the desperation of a situation, prayer can be made; but failure to pray may forfeit hopes of experiencing God’s grace.

Supporting idea #4 – Desperate situations designed by God frequently result in humbling which is reflected in the activity of prayer.

Supporting idea #5 – Jonah’s prayer for deliverance from his desperate situation was answered resulting in his rescue onto dry land.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Principles of Justifying Fatih



SERMON            GMT14-014

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM

SUBTITLE:        The Principles of Justifying Faith

SCRIPTURE:     Romans 4:23-25

SUBJ:                  Christians believe in God

SUMMARY:       Faith is the critical element of Christianity

SCHEME:           That the members of NKBC rest in the evidence of God’s satisfaction by the exercise of faith
         
1A     Justifying Faith believes in God’s Promise                  (Vs. 23)

          1B     The Origination of God’s Promise
          2B     The Clarification of God’s Promise
          3B     The Definition of God’s Promise

2A     Justifying Faith believes in God’s Person          (Vs. 24a)

3A     Justifying Faith believes in God’s Plan              (Vs. 24b)


4A     Justifying Faith believes in God’s Purpose                  (Vs. 25)

1B     God’s Purpose Included a Revelation
          2B     God’s Purpose Included a Rejection
          3B     God’s Purpose Included a Resurrection

Monday, April 10, 2017

Obedience Borne From Love

Inherent in the gospel is the reminder of the amazing truth that God loves me; this reminder is my motivation to love God with all of my heart, mind, soul, and strength and to keep His commandments. Thank God for His grace and for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

(Gregg Metcalf)

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Jonah Does the Unexpected (Part 4 of 4)



Sermon:     GM17-150

Series:         Jonah: The Gospel of Grace

Service:    
 
Setting:   
   
Subtitle:     Jonah Did the Unexpected (Part 4 of 4)

Scripture:   Jonah 1:11-16

Subject:      The Sinning Prophet

Scope:        Jonah sinned against God by attempting to run from the presence of God, who sent a storm in order to convict Jonah of sin by the use of the pagan sailors, who threw Jonah into the sea because of his sin. (Central Point of the Text)

Scheme:      To provide motivation for my people to resist the temptation to sin against God (Purpose of the Sermon)

Scrutiny:    What did Jonah do that was completely unexpected?

Solution:    The passage before us describes four (4) details outlining the unexpected actions of Jonah – the defiant servant, the devastating storm, the determined search, and the desperate solution.
Sketch:  
    
Main Idea: Jonah sinned against God.

Supporting idea #1 - Jonah sinned against God by running away from God

Supporting idea #2 - Jehovah sends a storm to identify Jonah’s as a sinner

Supporting idea #3 - Jehovah uses the pagan sailors to bring Jonah’s sin to light

Supporting idea #4 - Jonah is thrown into the sea because of his sin

Friday, April 7, 2017

Somebody, Help Me!


I thought this was too funny, at least to me, to pass up. Hope it tickles your Gospel-Driven funny-bone! We all know someone like this, don't we?

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Jonah Did the Unexpected (Part 3 of 4)



GM17-149

Series: Jonah: The Gospel of Grace

Title: Jonah Did the Unexpected (Part 3 of 4)

Date:

Text: Jonah 1:7-10

Main Idea: Jehovah uses the pagan idol worshippers to bring Jonah’s sin to light
__________________________________________________________________

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Greatness of Grace

Image result for greatness of grace

The whole plan of the way of salvation is for this end: to glorify the free grace of God. God had it on His heart from all of eternity to glorify this attribute; and therefore it is, that the device of saving sinners by Christ was conceived. The greatness of divine grace appears very much in this: that God by Christ saves the greatest offenders. The greater the guilt of any sinner is the more glorious and wonderful is the grace manifested in his pardon:

"Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." (Romans 5:20)... The Redeemer is glorified, in that He proves sufficient to redeem those who are exceeding sinful in that His blood proves sufficient to wash away the greatest guilt, in that He is able to save to the uttermost, and in that He redeems even from the greatest misery.

From "Great Guilt No Obstacle to the Pardon of the Returning Sinner" in the The Works of Johnathan Edwards, Vol. 2, reprinted by the Banner of Truth Trust.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Jonah Did the Unexpected (Part 2 of 4)

  
GM17-148

Series: Jonah: The Gospel of Grace

TitleJonah Did the Unexpected (Part 2 of 4)

Date:

Text: Jonah 1:4-6

Main Idea: Jehovah in response to the disobedience of Jonah sent a storm against the ship that was so severe it frightened the crew members.

Purpose:     To inform my people that disobedience brings the chastening hand of God upon those who willfully sin against God.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

There is Only One Gospel!

Image result for george whitefield‘Mr. Whitefield told me he and I preached two different gospels'’(his meaning was that he preached particular and I universal redemption); ‘and therefore he would not join with me, but publicly preach against me’

From the Works of John Wesley (Letters from 1751)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Sermon Back Next Week


The Sunday Sermon in Jonah is in process and will be posted next Sunday, Lord willing on the 26th of March. Please forgive the delay.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Support for Prosecution of Thugs & Criminals

This is in response to those who oppose the prosecution of rioters. 



Image result for rioting and lootingHere is what you have to understand - it is not the free right of peaceful assembly that we object to; it is the wholesale criminalistic and immoral behavior of thugs who riot, disturb (destroy) the peace, damage and destroy property that is not their own, disrupt commerce, and injure, maim, or kill other people that needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Protest all you want peacefully without injury or destroying property and I support you. But if you burn, loot, break, destroy, interrupt the flow of traffic, and etc. you are nothing more than a thug and criminal. 
This is what we law abiding, tax-paying, hard working families are fed up with. The hard working merchants are not responsible for laws, policies, and/or social activities that you do not like. They only pass your destruction on to hard working singles and families to cover the cost of your infantile tantrum. But truly, more so than merely or simply being infantile your behavior is criminal and needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.


I spent 6 years in the USMC to ensure you have the right to peaceful assembly, but I did not serve one day for thugs to disrupt and destroy property or lives. Your constitutional freedom does not allow for, permit, or approve of the behavior that has been utilized in recent months.

And no, if you haven't or are unable to guess, I am not "politcally correct". I have no desire to be and see no reason to be. Political correctness is nothing short of governmental and societal approved, if not mandated bullying.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Tell-tale Conscience

Image result for phil johnsonIf your conscience is not troubled when you sin, that’s not because you have a superior understanding of grace. It's a sign you're probably not a partaker of grace at all.
-Phil Johnson

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Jonah Did the Unexpected * Part 2



GM17-148

Series: Jonah: The Gospel of Grace

Title: Jonah Did the Unexpected (Part 2 of 4)

Date:

Text: Jonah 1:4-6

Main Idea: Jehovah in response to the disobedience of Jonah sent a storm against the ship that was so severe it frightened the crew members.

Purpose:     To inform my people that disobedience brings the chastening hand of God upon those who willfully sin against God.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Night of the Lost Hour

Image result for turn the clocks ahead 2017


Here it is again - this time of year,
the one Saturday night we fear.
No one minds an hour in the spring,
but to lose an hour is a different thing.

It seems such a silly thing to do,
I think it is crazy, how about you?
Wouldn't it be nice to be like Arizona?
The one in charge must be in a coma!

Tonight you will find me at my task,
and my disgust I will try to mask;
it won't be easy, I'll tell you why,
far too many clocks we did buy!

Living room, kitchen, they each have one,
the bath and bedrooms need to be done;
I'll turn the hands and reset the time
with an hour less to rise and shine!

Listen close and I will share a secret
I will tell you if you can keep it
I have done this now for many a year
please don't scoff at me or even jeer.

To ease the pain and get in tune,
I start to turn the clocks at noon,
so by the time I am ready for bed,
the change is already in my head!

So what ever your plan, don't forget,
or you might wake in a cold sweat;
but also remember to keep from harm
 change the batteries in your smoke alarm.

Friday, March 10, 2017

How Not To Worship

Image result for worship

My devotion this morning centered on worshiping God. Worship is such a vital part of our spiritual life and spiritual health. As usual I asked the text several questions in order to effectively wrestle with the main idea of the text. This question kept coming to mind and so as I asked it, I began to jot down some thoughts. These thoughts are not clearly thought out but I am hoping they are helpful to you as you develop your worship of our wonderful God.

How Not to Worship

  • by not showing up to worship God. Whether it is Sunday morning or Monday morning, our worship should be on-going and consistent. We don't relegate worship to Sunday morning. However, each day, at some point we need to "show up" and actively worship God.
  • by singing without:
    • thinking on what is being sung
    • not meaning what you are singing
    • attempting to derive personal benefit
    • thinking on other things
    • enjoying singing for the wrong reasons
  • not focusing our mind and heart on God and His character
  • not responding appropriately to what you are learning about God
  • by "diagramming" or "calculating a worship experience. Worship is not for our benefit. It is for God's glory.
So, we must show up and worship with determination. Regardless of whether we are singing in our "closet" or corporate gathering, or praying, or etc., worship must come from the heart and be for the glory of God.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Losing the Battle of Discernment

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Viewer (and reader) beware. "The Shack" does not present a biblical view of Christianity or the Gospel. In fact, it misses by a mile. As Mohler points out, "The Shack is a wake-up call for evangelical Christianity. . . . . The popularity of this book among evangelicals can only be explained by a lack of basic theological knowledge among us — a failure even to understand the Gospel of Christ. The tragedy that evangelicals have lost the art of biblical discernment must be traced to a disastrous loss of biblical knowledge. Discernment cannot survive without doctrine." (Scott Lee)

The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians believes that heresies and divisions would come to their fellowship, not only would they come but that they were ordained or predestined to come, (1 Corinthians 11:19) Why? His answer is most telling! They were predestined to come to the Corinthian fellowship in order to demonstrate what or who was right or correct. 

Heresies will come, they always have. Spiritually mature believers who exercise discernment are able to emphasize, focus, or showcase what is true. Sadly, with the demise of doctrine in our so called fundamental/evangelical churches today, the "art" of discernment has all but left the building. Itching ears have prevailed.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Where Is The Sunday Sermon?


For the time being I am not preaching every Sunday as I had been for the past three (3) years. As a result I am not under the "proverbial gun" to get the Sunday Sermon done.

I am working on the next passage in Jonah and will post it when I am finished. I have found that without the pressure of a weekly sermon I have slowed down my study and research. I have also allowed myself to get side-tracked with other projects.

I will get back on track. And I will, Lord willing, complete my study in Jonah. I will post the messages weekly. Please forgive this unplanned and undisciplined hiatus. 

I am in prayer and patiently waiting for our gracious Father to reveal to me or direct me to my next "assignment." Since we are in the Lord's Army, and engaged in spiritual warfare as soldiers, I am asking God to reveal my next "duty station" and to "cut" me a set of orders so that I can get to work once again. In the meantime I am reading books, doing research, working on projects, and as you have seen goofing off with Roz.

Please pray with me that God will quickly if He pleases reveal to me a new assignment! Thanks!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Saga of the Walt Disney Company

Image result for disney boycottI don't get Christians sometimes. For example, Paul told the Corinthians to not "fellowship" with or eat with people who were immoral. Unfortunately they got it wrong and had fellowship with an incestuous fornicator but seemingly avoided the lost who were fornicators (but in need of Christ.) Paul had to correct that and tell them that he meant do not fellowship with or eat with those who say they are Christians and practice immorality. He said he did not mean that they were to boycott the unbelievers - as a matter of fact he said they would have to leave the world itself in order to avoid unbelievers who practice immorality.

Here is the part I don't get, why call for the boycott of the Disney Company? I wonder if Disney even is aware of the current boycott by the left who believe that Disney is a racist company? Then you have those who are boycotting Disney because they hire foreign people.

First, don't get me wrong, I have no desire to go to a movie that depicts homosexuality, but the Disney Company is not a Christian company. And I don't think anyone else has to either if they choose not to. Therefore it is no surprise to me if they include immorality in their venues. (I didn't say I liked it or approve it.)

Second, they (Disney) are no different than Safeway, Winco, Ford Motor Company, Sears, etc. who also are not Christian companies who promote immoral behavior. Again, you would have to leave this world in order to avoid individuals or companies that promote some form of immorality.

Third, I think truly spiritual and discerning believers can avoid movies by choice without calling for a national boycott of the offending company. Listen, we can vote with our seats and our dollars.

If we do not attend because of biblical discernment a place of business and we are not investing our cash, these businesses will feel the pinch. I just don't get the calls for national boycotts.

Here is an idea; let's share the gospel with as many people in the organization that we can. Let's emulate Christ. Let's point out the sin and need for Christ.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Non-Productive Friday!

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This is all I seem to be able to do this Friday. Roz does not want me to work, she wants to play! So, if I don't get much done today, please don't hold it against me. 

"And I said, 'The cat whom You gave to be with me, she caused me to play, and I goofed off.'"

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Six Facts Revealed in the Gospel Part 6

6.  Every sinner who trusts the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning work on the cross has been chosen, redeemed, and called, and will forever be saved.
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"So they said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.'"  [Acts 16:31, NKJV]

[It is implied here and substantiated in other Scriptures that the household must also believe. No where in the Scriptures does it say that anyone is saved by the profession or confession of another.]

"that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." [Romans 10:9, NKJV]

"For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." [Romans 10:13, NKJV]

"For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe." [1 Corinthians 1:21, NKJV]

These six facts cannot be denied by any logic or debate. They give great warning and great comfort. They are only embraced by those who are called by God through the irresistible ministry of His Holy Spirit.

Therefore, recognize, own, and admit that you are a sinner under the condemnation of God, not by action, but by mere conception and live birth, repent of that sin which has offended God, and plead for mercy by calling upon the Lord Jesus Christ to save you by His perfect sacrifice and the shedding of His blood, and believe that God has raised Jesus Christ from the dead, and declared Him to be the Son of God with power, and seated Him at His right hand, and the Scripture says you will be saved. There is no other name or mediator, or method in this universe that will ensure eternal salvation. Do not delay!