(Ref: The following taken and adapted from the book, Studies in Bible Prophecy, by Thomas E. Lewis with permission.)
“What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30)
This is the single most important question that every person must answer. The answer to this question is found in the pages of God’s word to mankind, the bible. The central event of all of human history was the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, two thousand years ago, to redeem mankind back to God. The message of the bible is that of a Savior and of a loving God who desires that all humans be saved from eternal separation from God in a place called hell. The bible says that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9). From God s word to mankind, we glean the following facts:
All humans are sinners: For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). In the book of Romans (3:19) we are told that all the world stands guilty before God. However, we also read:
- “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” (Gal. 3:22)
The wages of sin is death: If we were to die in our sins, the bible says that we will suffer eternal separation from God (Rom. 6:23). This is described as:
- “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:15)
The good news is: “…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). Eternal life, in the presence of God, is a free gift offered by a loving God to all mankind. We are told: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24). Salvation through Jesus Christ is offered to every human being as a free gift. There is nothing that we can do to earn our salvation. We are told in scripture:
- “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.” (Eph. 2:8-9)
Only through Jesus Christ can we be saved: Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). In the book of Acts, we read: “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). In the book of Hebrews, we read: “Wherefore, he (Jesus Christ) is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25).
What must you do to receive the eternal salvation so freely offered by a loving God? In the book of Romans we are told: “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 with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Rom. 10:9,10 and 13)
It is that simple. You just have to ask. If you will call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to save your soul, He then promises you eternal life. In the book of John (1:12), we are told: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name. We are also told:
- “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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.” (Jn. 3:16-17)
Scripture also says: “And this is the record, that God hath given unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” (1 John 5:11).
Salvation in the Day of the Lord: We are coming upon the end of the age, an age characterized as the Day of the Lord, which includes the Tribulation period. Very difficult times will come onto the entire earth, and people will be looking for answers in the midst of their own personal turmoil. In a couple of biblical passages within the context of the Day of the Lord, we are assured that, at this time, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21, Joel 2:32). Additional scriptures associated with salvation through Jesus Christ that we might also keep in mind during the upcoming trials and tribulation that will come upon the earth include:
We are saved from wrath by Jesus’ sacrifice for us and through his blood:
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess 5:9)
“Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (Rom 5:9)
Being counted worthy and righteous:
“Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” (2 pet 3:14)
“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” (Luke 21:36)
Being righteous so that we can be delivered and hidden in the Day of the Lord:
“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” (2 Pet 2:9)
“Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.” (Zeph 2:3)
(To the angel at the Church of Philadelphia) “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” (Rev 3:10)
Would you like to pray, right now, and ask Jesus Christ to save your soul? If you’re not sure what to say, you might pray something like the following prayer:
Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and I ask you to forgive me of all my sins. I’m asking You to come into my life to be my Savior and Lord. Help me to live the Christian life and to turn from my sins and follow you. In Jesus name I pray.
If you prayed this prayer, meaning it as best as you know how, according to God s word, you are saved. Jesus did not turn you away. For He said: “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (Jn. 6:37)
Why is it so urgent that you be saved? We are told: “God now commandeth all men everywhere to repent, because he hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; concerning which he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31). The good news of salvation through Jesus Christ has been preached for two thousand years. The bible clearly says that there is an “appointed time” for Christ to judge the world. If you are saved through your faith in Jesus Christ, then you can rejoice that your eternal soul will be in heaven.
For Jesus Christ believers living in our current last days time period, our true faith is very likely to be tested in the midst of the raging spiritual kingdom war. There are only two sides and this is becoming more and more apparent every day now: 1) There is Jesus Christ- the truth; 2) There is everything else that is in an anti-Christ junk pile. The anti-Christ “machine” that is already in place will force the issue from here on out until Jesus returns to establish his Kingdom and will require a clear allegiance one way or the other.
As such, true believers should be prepared for troubles and persecution in our current last days time period. No matter what, however, Jesus Christ saves. That is the meaning of his divine name. That is the good news. True, faithful believers who stand for their faith can rest in the comfort of the salvation of their eternal soul.
As for how Christ’s salvation for his people who are on earth might look in these very last days, this remains to be seen. As far as his timing, his methods, the ordering/phasing of salvation events, etc., only God knows. No matter how these transpire, they will be supernatural and divine- guided by our loving God himself. Again, for believers, this is very good news that we can trust.
Meanwhile, a theme in scripture that those of us true, faithful believers can take comfort in these times is that we are told that we will be “saved from wrath” (1 Thess. 5:9, Rom. 5:9) or will have some kind of escape. Again, how this happens is up to God. Meanwhile, believers should maintain simple, strong faith in this promise. Believers should also naturally have a desire in their hearts to supplement their faith in the midst of today’s spiritual darkness with the action items listed in the section below. This is so that, in Jesus’ words, we may be “counted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass” (Luke 21:36). And these are things that are soon to fully come onto our scene in this last days time period.
Overall, Christians are to be looking for Jesus, not the wrath of God that one day will consume the earth. For our final resting and living place is in heaven, from which also we look for coming of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:20).
If you prayed to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, what should you do now?
Read your bible daily: The bible says: “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow by it” (1 Pet. 2:2). Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. Jesus said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4). The Gospel of John is a good place to begin.
Pray daily: Jesus said that men ought always to pray and not to faint (Luke 18:1). Christians are instructed to come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:16). The Psalmist wrote: “Evening, morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud, and he shall hear my voice” (Ps. 55:17).
Attend a bible-believing, bible-preaching church: The bible instructs Christians: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as ye see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:25). Surely, the day of his return is drawing close.
Obey Jesus’ commands: The natural consequence of a contrite heart that is surrendered to Jesus Christ as Lord will desire righteousness. The holy spirit will guide one in the difference between right and wrong, but we also have certain words from Jesus himself:
- #1) “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matt. 22:37)
- #2) “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matt. 22:39)
Jesus said on these two commandments of his “hang all of the law and the prophets” (Matt. 22:40). Jesus also summarized the law and the prophets when he spoke what is known as the Golden Rule:
- “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matt. 7:12)
Scripture is clear that nobody is perfect. One other simple instruction of Jesus to keep in mind is his words to the woman caught in adultery; he he did not condemn her, but said, “Go and sin no more” (Jn. 8:11). Even better yet, Jesus said we are to, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48).
Avoid being deceived: While Jesus mentioned above how the law is contained and summed up in his commands, one specific law that I will bring to attention in these last days is that we are to serve no other gods besides him. This may seem self-explanatory and redundant, but therein lies the deception. Secret oaths or allegiances made to any other organizations or individuals that may in any way distract or hinder one’s freedom to study God’s word, speak openly about his word, and to worship him, and him only, are an avenue for deception. These kind of allegiances are obvious cause for falling away from the truth (due to being “blinded”), and are a reason for those who may believe that they have some sort of pious-ness or spiritual righteousness to be ultimately told by Jesus, “I never knew you” (Matt. 7:23).
There is very good reason why we learn in scripture that the “way is narrow” and that “few are chosen.” Deception is rampant in these last days, leading to a very large apostasy, even in Christian houses of worship. This is part of a “falling away” from what is true.
As an initial personal test, you might consider if you truly understand the reason why we are told by Jesus, and in other scripture, that those for whom heaven awaits are those who have been: persecuted; left homes; poor; lame; poor in spirit; meek; mourning; cast out/desolate; etc. I mention on this site herein that if you do not feel persecuted in these last days, then you are likely on the wrong side of the war. Recall Jesus’ words, “The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” (Jn. 15:20).
Meanwhile, the answer to the question that I just posed lies in understanding the mystery of iniquity and what this lawlessness causes (i.e. exactly those things just mentioned). Another way of understanding where you stand personally might be to consider Jesus’ words:
- “…For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matt. 25:34)
Jesus here was speaking on behalf of any of those who become heavily persecuted, especially for his sake. He knew in his day the results of anti-Christ, gang-style persecution, which is to isolate an individual and to make them desolate. When the anti-Christ cabal targets a person, they control and influence others around them in their ability or manner to provide them assistance.
Especially given our current time period that includes heavy spiritual warfare, if you do not fall into the designations above nor understand why/how people end up what might be considered the “last,” even in a society like ‘Babylon’-U.S., then you would best be advised to find a way to “take up your cross.” Sooner or later, you will make a clear decision one way or the other. The anti-Christ Chaldeans will force this issue in these last days.
The bible says: “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation…” (Heb. 2:3). There will be no escape for those who reject or are indifferent to God’s provision for eternal salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus said:
- “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (Jn. 12:48).
The horrible fate of these people is recorded in the book of Revelation:
- “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:15)
Don’t delay. come to Jesus Christ today, while you still have the chance. The bible says: “Now is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2); tomorrow is promised to no one. Also, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Prov. 27:1).