What do you have to do to be saved?

Submitted by Kim on 8/2/06 at 5:07 PM. ( )

In response to another post, here is your answer.

A MAN once asked Jesus: "Lord, are those who are being saved few?" How did Jesus reply? Did he say: 'Just accept me as your Lord and Savior, and you will be saved'? No! Jesus said: "Exert yourselves vigorously to get in through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will seek to get in but will not be able."—Luke 13:23, 24.

Did Jesus fail to answer the man's question? No, the man did not ask how hard it would be to be saved; he asked if the number would be few. So Jesus merely indicated that fewer people than one might expect would exert themselves vigorously to receive this marvelous blessing.

'That's not what I was told,' some readers may protest. These may quote John 3:16, which says: "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." (King James Version) However, we reply: 'What, then, must we believe? That Jesus actually lived? Of course. That he is the Son of God? By all means! And since the Bible calls Jesus "Teacher" and "Lord," must we not also believe what he taught, obey him, and follow him?'—John 13:13; Matthew 16:16.

Following Jesus

Ah, here the problem arises! Many people who have been told that they are "saved" seem to have little intention of either following or obeying Jesus. In fact, a Protestant clergyman wrote: "Of course, our faith in Christ should continue. But the claim that it absolutely must, or necessarily does, has no support at all in the Bible."

On the contrary, the Bible lists immoral practices that are common among some people who think that they are "saved." Regarding one who continued in such ways, it instructed Christians: "Remove the wicked man from among yourselves." Surely God would not want wicked people contaminating his Christian congregation!—1 Corinthians 5:11-13.

What does it mean, then, to follow Jesus, and how can we do that? Well, what did Jesus do? Was he immoral? a fornicator? a drunkard? a liar? Was he dishonest in business? Of course not! 'But,' you may ask, 'do I have to clean all those things out of my life?' For the answer, consider Ephesians 4:17 through 5:5. It does not say that God will accept us no matter what we do. Instead, it tells us to be different from the worldly nations who have "come to be past all moral sense, . . . but you did not learn the Christ to be so . . . Put away the old personality which conforms to your former course of conduct . . . Let the stealer steal no more . . . Let fornication and uncleanness of every sort or greediness not even be mentioned among you, just as it befits holy people . . . For you know this, recognizing it for yourselves, that no fornicator or unclean person or greedy person—which means being an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of the Christ and of God."

Are we following Jesus if we do not at least try to live in harmony with his example? Do we not have to work on making our lives more Christlike? That vital question is rarely, if ever, considered by people who say, as one religious tract does: "Come to Christ now—just as you are."

One of Jesus' disciples warned that ungodly men were "turning the undeserved kindness of our God into an excuse for loose conduct and proving false to our only Owner and Lord, Jesus Christ." (Jude 4) How might we, in fact, turn God's mercy "into an excuse for loose conduct"? We could do so by assuming that Christ's sacrifice covers deliberate sins that we intend to keep on committing rather than sins of human imperfection that we are trying to put behind us. Surely we would not want to agree with one of America's best-known evangelists, who said that you do not have to "clean up, give up, or turn around."—Contrast Acts 17:30; Romans 3:25; James 5:19, 20.

Belief Prompts Action

Many people have been told that "believing on Jesus" is a single act and that our faith does not have to be strong enough to prompt obedience. But the Bible disagrees. Jesus did not say that people who begin the Christian course are saved. Instead, he said: "He that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved." (Matthew 10:22) The Bible likens our Christian course to a race, with salvation being the prize at its end. And it urges: "Run in such a way that you may attain it."—1 Corinthians 9:24.

Thus, "accepting Christ" involves far more than just accepting the blessings that Jesus' superlative sacrifice offers. Obedience is required. The apostle Peter says that judgment starts "with the house of God," and adds: "Now if it starts first with us, what will the end be of those who are not obedient to the good news of God?" (1 Peter 4:17) So we must do more than simply hear and believe. The Bible says that we must "become doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving [ourselves] with false reasoning."—James 1:22.

Jesus' Own Messages

The Bible book of Revelation contains messages from Jesus, transmitted through John to seven early Christian congregations. (Revelation 1:1, 4) Did Jesus say that since the people in these congregations had already "accepted" him, that was sufficient? No. He praised their deeds, their labor and their endurance and spoke of their love, faith, and ministry. But he said that the Devil would put them to the test and that they would be rewarded "individually according to [their] deeds."—Revelation 2:2, 10, 19, 23.

Thus Jesus described a far greater commitment than most people have understood when they were told that their salvation was a "finished work" as soon as they "accepted" him at a religious meeting. Jesus said: "If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and continually follow me. For whoever wants to save his soul will lose it; but whoever loses his soul for my sake will find it."—Matthew 16:24, 25.

Disown ourselves? Follow Jesus continually? That would require effort. It would change our lives. Yet, did Jesus really say that some of us might even have to 'lose our souls'—to die for him? Yes, that kind of faith comes only with knowledge of the magnificent things you can learn from studying God's Word. It was evident on the day Stephen was stoned by religious fanatics who "could not hold their own against the wisdom and the spirit with which he was speaking." (Acts 6:8-12; 7:57-60)


Well, there you go. Give me trouble!

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Stop posting religion on here

This response submitted by Cecil on 8/2/06 at 5:36 PM. ( )

and get some counseling!

Now Cecil, was that a nice thing to say?

This response submitted by KIM LOL on 8/2/06 at 6:48 PM. ( )

LMAO: Be nice Cecil. If you don't like the title of a post, DON'T read it!

Have a fine one!

BTW, have you heard the word of God today?--LOL

it was in current events

This response submitted by DaveT on 8/2/06 at 6:49 PM. ( )

I thought Cecil did not post here?


Dave where have you been?

This response submitted by Cecil on 8/2/06 at 9:59 PM. ( )

on Mt. Sinai?

Kim, I'm gonna stop going to church. I've got a one stop minister on the taxinet. Kind of a like a drive up sermon. Yee Haw! Not!

Hope your fish business picks up.

This response submitted by KIM (LMAO) on 8/2/06 at 11:57 PM. ( )

I know, but I answered your questions on other posts. Hope your business starts to increase. Maybe you should start mounting game heads?

Unless of course, you like factory work! LMAO!

Been busy cecil

This response submitted by DaveT on 8/3/06 at 7:56 PM. ( )

But I see you are still at your old ways... man one day your cuteness is going to be held in a light that your twisting will not avoid.


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