“For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.” Romans 10:10 NRSV
A few years ago, on the suggestion of our younger son Jordan, I read the book Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Those not familiar it is the biography of Louis Zamperini. While serving in WWII, his plane crashed in the ocean during a rescue search mission. After surviving 47 days at sea, he and one other survivor successfully made it to shore in the Marshall Islands, where they were captured by the Japanese and held as prisoners of war. The conditions in the camp and his treatment were nightmarish. For years after the war, Zamperini suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, finding his solace in alcohol. In 1949, upon encouragement from his wife Cynthia, he attended a Billy Graham crusade and accepted Jesus. From that time until his death, Zamperini became an evangelist spreading the message of forgiveness for the guards who tortured and mistreated him during his captivity.
Salvation is very simple, but getting there sometimes is the difficult part. Many in the world today, like Zamperini, may be struggling with alcoholism or other escapes to mask their pain. For those looking for a true escape from the sadness and anguish you are experiencing right now, you only need to accept that Jesus Christ is Lord and confess your sins. That’s it! Jesus is waiting there for your right now. For folks who have been Christians for a while, this is an essential message for us to remember. Like Louis’ wife, we must continue to share the message of Christ’s love. Do not get discouraged! Sometimes the hearts of the ones we love are not quite ready yet, but keep sharing the promise found in Jesus.
God, we are so thankful for the plan of salvation offered through Jesus Christ. In your salvation, we can find peace, healing, and forgiveness. It does not matter whether this is our first time, or we have come to you often before, today we accept you as our Lord. We confess we often have not done what is right. We lament our sins and ask for your forgiveness. In your Son, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
Hillenbrand, Laura. Unbroken: a World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption. Randon Hause Trade Paperbacks, 2014.