Contrary to what a multitude of Christians believe, a person does not get “saved” by attending church, participating in the choir, giving money when the offering plate is passed, volunteering at the ice cream social, being an usher, going on a mission trip to some distant country or any of a thousand other “good works”. However important these works are, they have nothing to do with salvation.
The Apostles Peter and Paul made it very clear in the Book of Acts and in their epistles that the basis for salvation was REPENTANCE. Unless a person is willing to change their heart from saving themselves to allowing Jesus Christ to be their Savior, there can be no genuine repentance. Unless a person is willing to lay down their pride and haughty self sufficiency at the feet of the Lord Jesus, there can be no eternal life given.
When it comes to salvation, there are more apparent ways to achieve it than there are groups which preach them. Everyone has a song and everyone has a doctrine as to what it takes to “get saved”. For many, the root of salvation is based on the confession of sins alone. Although this sounds good, true salvation must go a few steps further or it cannot be found.
Salvation is not limited to confessing one is a bad person who has done bad things. Salvation is built on the foundation of the understanding of who Jesus Christ was and what He did in his life through His suffering and death and what God did through Him by raising Him from the dead and ascending Him into heaven. Without the understanding of all Jesus Christ WAS, IS and IS TO BE, salvation will be elusive, shallow or quickly lost.
It is only when a person begins to understand everything Jesus did, the significance of His sinless life, loving ministry and of course His painful death that they can begin to grasp WHO Jesus Christ is and WHY that is important to them. Only after this instruction can a person honestly and from their heart be convicted of their sin and ACCEPT the forgiveness of Christ and receive the gift of the new birth.
Simply confessing one’s sin does not purchase a ticket to heaven. One must be CONVICTED of their sin, willingly decide to CHANGE and humbly ACCEPT the invitation of Jesus Christ to grant them remission of sins and the gift of eternal life. Simply put, the things needed to “get saved” are:
1. Receive instruction in who Jesus Christ was, is and is to be
2. Be convicted of one’s sin
3. Willingly decide to change
4. Accept the free gift of Jesus Christ and His mercy, grace and love
5. Receive the gift of salvation, eternal life and fellowship with God
Jesus Christ always stands at the door knocking, waiting for each person to open that door and let Him in to dine with them. Once a person understands who He is, and how much He loves them; only a fool would turn the Lord away and reject His invitation to wash their sins away and bless them with an eternity of perfect peace. May we always accept His invitations and bask in His promises now and forever more.