What is saved? What does that mean? we use the term far too loosely for such a great miracle.
Psalm 3:8 (KJV) Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.
“I raised my hand and got saved.”
“I walked the aisle and got saved.”
Roughly the same objection.
Okay, we’re getting closer. I’ll make a disclaimer first, that I have absolutely no doubt that someone went to a church, heard a preacher used questionable tactics to manipulate yourself into getting a confession of faith, and as you were manipulated, God reached into your heart and encouraged you to do exactly this.
I have no doubt that some who raised their hand or walked the aisle were doing so out of a sincere need for salvation, a recognition of their sinful state and their eventual eternity in Hell, and did as they were told.
The Gospel is very simple. It has to be simple enough for a drowning man to understand.
“Do you understand that you are a sinner? And that your sins have separated you from a righteous God who will judge all mankind?”
There’s only one right answer there.
“Do you understand that you will spend an eternity in Hell because of your sins?”
Same thing. One right answer.
“But God didn’t want you to perish eternally in everlasting torment. So He sent His Son to die in your place. Salvation is a free gift, paid for by the only righteous man that ever lived, the only sinless one, God in human flesh, Jesus Christ. All you have to do to have it is to ask God to forgive your sins, and to give you the free gift of Salvation.”
Okay right there, that’s enough. You don’t have to get into prayer, tithe, sanctification, church, living for Jesus Christ, Bible reading, Bible Study, etc. Leave that alone. They’ll learn about it and start doing it soon enough, if the conversion is a valid one! And if not, well… they’ll drop away.
Just a yes or no answer. You say no, and it’s going to mean… nothing. You say maybe, same thing. You can’t accept with reservation. It’s like opening your hands and someone pouring gold dust into them. You open them all the way to receive them.
Now, if you’ve been a Christian for 18 years, you read your Bible and worry ENDLESSLY about pleasing God, you’re probably tempted to bow your head and ask to be saved all over again. Sorry, you’re already part of the family, quit beating yourself up! You can rededicate yourself. That’s great.
But if your conversion story lacks most of that, was just a feeling of “I need to do better” and you’ve lived a lackluster Christian life of halfhearted Christian behavior punctuated by years-long periods of backsliding… um… go back to the beginning of the article.
This one’s for you. Just want to make sure that when the starting gun of the Rapture is fired, we don’t leave anyone behind.