Have you been looking for answers about salvation and forgiveness? You can learn how to become fully accepted by God and forgiven for all sin by believing in Jesus and receiving him as your personal Lord and Savior. In this booklet, Bible verses are quoted by chapter and verse to help you believe. A believer is anyone who simply believes what God says and accepts and asks Jesus to forgive and save him. This writing is an effort to share the simplicity of God’s plan of salvation, extended to us through his only begotten son, Jesus Christ. Many believers adopt certain Bible verses that they use to base their salvation-security on—many of those verses are cited in this essay.
There is a story in the Bible of a prison guard who asked the same question that many ask today, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30) Paul answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved”. The message has not changed, and many other Scriptures with the same direct message urge all to receive the wonderful gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
The Bible wastes no time in pointing out the failure of man in the Garden of Eden, as detailed in the book of Genesis. The Bible says Adam and Eve sinned as they disobeyed God. And God’s Word states that sin cannot be overlooked by a Holy God. Sin has its penalty— it must be paid for, and the Bible further states in Hebrews 9: 22—“Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin.” Jesus shed his blood for all who will believe.
In the book of John: 3:1-21—Nicodemas asked Jesus a direct question about salvation when he went to see Jesus one particular night. Nicodemas began the conversation, expressing a degree of faith in Jesus, acknowledging that he knew that Jesus was sent from God, because of the miracles he had been performing. Jesus said to Nicodemas, “You must be born again,” then Jesus took time to explain the meaning of “being born again.” Jesus made it clear that he was speaking of a spiritual birth, as he restated, “Except a man be born again, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God—he must be born of the water and the Spirit to enter Heaven.” When a man only experiences a physical birth, he is born once and dies twice, but when he experiences both the physical and spiritual birth, he is born twice and dies only once.
Some believe a person must be a member of a certain religious denomination or perform certain qualifying acts to obtain salvation. Jesus addressed that misinformation as he gave his life on the Cross of Calvary for us: One of two thieves being crucified with Jesus asked him, “Please remember me when you enter into your Kingdom?” Jesus replied, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). Jesus did not instruct the thief to be baptized, sprinkled or join a certain church, or perform any certain act of qualification in order to be saved. The thief did what Jesus asks of every sinner — he called on Jesus to save him. It is that simple, but men sometimes tend to make God’s message complicated with their own ideas. However; a person must be sincere, and be of a repentant heart while asking for forgiveness.
Many people have the misguided conception that salvation can be earned or achieved, by doing something deserving enough that God would grant a pass into heaven. Some believe their life’s deeds will be placed on the scales of justice, hoping their good deeds will outweigh their bad, while hoping that God will smile and say, “That is good enough.” But, that would be in contradiction to everything the Bible teaches about Jesus’ dying on the Cross to pay for our sins. How then can man try to nullify Jesus’ plan of salvation for us, by trying to fabricate his own plan? The Bible best addresses that issue in Proverbs 14: 12, “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof is the ways of death. We must believe that God’s Word is the only authority—The Holy Bible—which holds answers and solutions to life’s problems.
The New Testament describes man’s hopeless, sinful state and the price that must be paid for it. Then, it details the good news, how Jesus gave his life in our place, paying for our sins. The Bible says, Jesus paid it all, and all we have to do is accept his generous, loving gift of eternal salvation to us, as we believe in him and seek his direction for our lives. The following is a step by step simple explanation, with Bible references.
Every person needs salvation. God’s gift of salvation, how we can receive salvation, and how it is assured to all who will ask and believe:
There are many other scriptures which state the same promise and invitation to accept Jesus as Savior. For example, in the Gospel of John 1: 12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”
John, 6:37, shares another promise from Jesus, “All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Verse 44 states: “No man comes unto me except the Father draws him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Many people believe that it doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you are sincere. A traveler being confident of reaching a certain destination solely based on his sincerity, made a wrong turn, because of bad directions he received from someone he trusted. The result was his ending up nowhere near his intended destination. Although being absolutely sincere, he wasted so much time that he missed a crucial meeting which altered his entire future.
Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock, and if any man will open the door, I will come in unto him.” There is a painting by an unknown artist illustrating that Bible verse. The painting depicts Christ Jesus standing before a closed door knocking, requesting to be invited in to fellowship with those within. As you can see, the artist deliberately left the door knob out of the painting. The door knob was obviously on the inside, leaving the decision totally up to those inside to decide whether or not to answer Jesus’ knock. The artist intended for us to conclude that man’s heart is the same—the door knob is on the inside—it is Jesus’ desire that the heart’s door be opened from the inside. He will not force us.
It is up to us to decide: will we let him in, or will we ignore the knock? Jesus also said: “I am the way, the truth and the life.” He didn’t say: a way, or one of many ways, or just be sincere in whatever you may believe. No, he stated that he is “THE WAY”, and that there is no other name under Heaven whereby we can be saved. God’s Word poses a serious question: “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Heb. 2:3.) The issue of salvation is about eternity—a period of time that only has a beginning—eternity is forever.
We must understand that Salvation is God’s gift to man. He loves us so much that he gave his only son in our place. Most every person can quote the scripture which proclaims the truth of that ultimate, loving gesture of our Heavenly Father: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. (John, 3:16) However, the gift of salvation must be accepted. We cannot buy it, earn it, or inherit salvation. God provides salvation on his own and does the keeping on his own.
Paul, the Apostle stated, in 2 Timothy 1-12: “Nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” It is good news to know that God keeps us saved, if it were left up to us, surely we would fail. We can never reach perfection, but we can strive to please him—the least we can offer in appreciation for the great sacrifice he suffered on Calvary.
To receive salvation, and to please God, a person has to acknowledge his own sin, turn from sin, and sincerely ask for forgiveness—the Bible calls it repentance—the act of being genuinely sorry and broken over sin, while turning from a sinful life with the promise to follow God daily to pursue the wholesome life that God desires for all. Jesus knocks.
So, if you feel the Lord is dealing with you, wherever you are, simply ask Jesus to forgive you of every sin you have committed. Ask him to come into your heart and save your soul for eternity. He fully understands your situation. He gave his life on the cross to meet you just as you are right now, with all the concerns and problems you have. If you are not sure exactly what to pray, simply pray, “Jesus I believe you are the Savior of lost souls, please forgive my sins and save me as you have saved others for so many years—I believe you honor your promises and I trust your word as I call on you right now.”
You have just read many of his promises—he cannot lie—he promises to save you when you invite him in. After you have prayed this prayer, contact another Christian or a Pastor and share your decision. The Lord calls Christians to confess him before others, so go to a Bible-believing Church as soon as possible and make a public confession as the Lord requires.
Jesus Knocks Today
Revelation 3:20, Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."