There seems to be some confusion among Christians on how one is saved. So let me try to clarify what the scriptures teach on this.
We first have to acknowledge that we are talking about the Church since Pentecost and not those believers that lived and died before the New Covenant promise was given at Pentecost. The believers that died before this are also covered by the blood of God’s lamb sacrifice but we are not talking about them because the New Covenant had not yet been given.
To find out how people are saved since Pentecost we only need to go back to the book of Acts. We see five things are evident in salvation in the book of Acts.
1. They first heard the gospel message given to them by the witnesses of the Lord.
2. They believed in their inner most being the message that Jesus died for their sins and that He rose again and will save them from their sins.
3. They trusted Jesus and received the free gift of salvation from their sins.
4. They were born from above and given the inner presence of the Holy Spirit. As a witnesses of this, the Holy Spirit’s presence was initially confirmed in the very early Church by outward signs such as tongues and prophecy.
5. They confessed that salvation by giving witnesses of that inward spiritual rebirth by confession and through water baptism.
Paul made this way of salvation clear when he said, “That 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” (Ro 10:9-10).
Jesus testified of the Holy Spirit being given to believers when He said, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” also in (Joh 16:7) where Jesus said, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”
If you actually have gone through this salvation process you can be assured that you are saved. HOWEVER, no one should deceive themselves. The gospel heard and believed must be the gospel that the Bible teaches and the gospel that the eyewitnesses of Jesus taught. If you claim Jesus, but have a different Jesus than the Bible teaches and the eyewitnesses testified of, you are not saved. The Jesus you believe in must be the Messiah that the Bible foretold and that actually went to the cross and died to pay for your sins. Paul warned about those teaching and receiving another gospel, yet many are doing so today and are calling themselves Christians (2 Co 11:4 Ga 1 6-9).
If the Jesus you believe in was just a prophet, or a decent man, or your own personal self-help guru, you are still dead in your sins. If you think you know Jesus because you attend a church that believes in Jesus, or because your family or culture claims to be Christian, you are still dead in your sins. If you think Jesus taught others how to become Christs, or to receive Christ conscious, or think salvation comes by emulating Jesus, you are still dead in your sins. If you think Jesus is one of many gods, you are still dead in your sins. If you think good works will get you saved by Jesus, you are still dead in your sins. If you think keeping doctrines of any church can save you, you are still dead in your sins. If you think Mary or the Saints can help save you, you are still dead in your sins. If Jesus just becomes the higher power to help you overcome your habits, you are still dead in your sins. We could go on. The point is that there is only one way of salvation and that is by God’s grace through faith in His Savior.
All those that confess some designer Jesus that is not taught in the scriptures are not saved. This very likely is the majority of those calling themselves Christians today. Nevertheless, people can know if they are saved. Those who actually believe and confess the Jesus that the Bible is a witness to are saved. Even so, don’t you think you ought to read what the Bible says to find out about the one you claim to confess?
Here is food for thought for those denying the salvation that God offers. If I offered you a pill that would give you an extra 100 years of health and prosperity on the earth what would you pay me for it? There are rich people who would pay billions. God offers an eternal life of bliss to you and it is given freely but few will take it. Why? Because to take it they have to acknowledge that they are sinners in need of a Savior. Many love their sins and they are too proud to submit to their Creator. Many of these people would give up all their wealth for just 100 more years on earth but they trample on the message that God gives eternal life to those that trust in Him.
They want to be their own God while still existing in their sinful nature. For that reason, they cannot coexist with God in a restored creation because they would eternally corrupt it. The only destiny that remains for those that reject so great a salvation is the Lake of Fire eternally separated from God.
Don Koenig founded www.thepropheticyears.com website in 1999 after almost thirty years of independent study on the Bible and learning from many astute teachers within Christendom. Don created his website to write about Bible prophecy, biblical discernment and his Christian worldviews. Don wrote a free Revelation commentary ebook in 2004 named "The Revelation of Jesus Christ Through The Ages". The World and Church and Bible Prophecy section of this website was started in 2007.