There are times you may hear a person say, "I wish I could gain salvation." In fact this is what happened to Peter and the other apostles on the day of Pentecost after Peter preached unto them about Jesus (Acts 2:14-36). These people were listening to what Peter had to say and they then realized that they too wished they could have salvation. We see this fact in their response to Peter in Acts 2:37, "Now when they heard this they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Peter responds to this all important question by saying, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:38). Then in Acts 2:41 we see their response to what Peter had just told them, which was, "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."
The Bible abounds with many invitations to come and obtain salvation! Maybe the most popular is the invitation which Jesus Himself gave when He said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30). Also we have an invitation recorded for us in Revelation 22:17 which says, "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
As you can clearly see, this invitation is open to all. It is an invitation which is universal. It is an invitation which is given to every one, no matter what your background, color, sex, etc. happens to be. Yes, it is extended for every one to gain salvation which is found in Jesus Christ. Jesus clearly brings this out when He said, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture" (John 10:9). Jesus also said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me" (John 14:6). Yes, it is because of Jesus' great sacrifice of Himself that we can gain salvation (John 3:16; Ephesians 1:3-7 and Hebrews 9). Yet, there is something that we must do to gain this gift of salvation (Romans 6:23). The writer of the Book of Hebrews brought this out when he said, in speaking of this salvation found in Christ, "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" (Hebrews 5:8,9). Thus it is through Christ and by our obedience to His will that we can have salvation.
Now the important question arises, "What must I do to be saved?"
The New Testament clearly shows us what a person needs to do to have this salvation. It teaches that a person must first hear the Word of God. That is why Jesus told His apostles, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations..." (Matthew 28:19). He also said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). That is why Paul said, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17)
The New Testament also teaches that a person must have faith (in other words a person needs to believe that which he hears from the word of God). Jesus, after he told His apostles to "preach the gospel to every creature," said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16). The Bible shows how important it is to have faith when it says, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that dilligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6).The New Testament also teaches that in order to gain salvation we must repent of our sins, to change our ways from sin unto righteousness (Romans 6). Acts 17:30,31 shows to us the importance of repentance, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent. Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."
The New Testament also teaches we need to confess Christ before others. Jesus said, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32). Paul 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" (Romans 10:9,10).
The New Testament also teaches us that we must be baptized. Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved..." (Mark 16:16). Peter in Acts 2 said, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins..." (Acts 2:38). Ananias told Saul, "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16).
By doing these things we are then added by the Lord to His church (Acts 2:47). We are not voted on by men, but rather the Lord adds you to His body himself when we are obedient to His will (Ephesians 1:22,23). And Jesus is the saviour of that body (Ephesians 5:23).
The New Testament also teaches that we must then be faithful unto death. Thus, we must keep on following the will of God, the Bible. If we are faithful unto death we will receive the crown of life (Revelation 2:10 and James 2:25).Yes, this is what God would have you to do to gain the salvation that he offers to you today. God offers you salvation NOW! There are some who may say, "I would like to have salvation some day," and these people may even know what to do for salvation. Well the Bible shows us that there is no better time than now to gain salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2), and it says we do not know what tomorrow may bring (James 4:13-17). As the old saying goes, "There's no better time than the present!"
Yes, my friend, the choice is yours, and yours alone. Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). Jesus also said, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed" (John 8:31). Where are you today? Are you following the will of God? Why not follow these simple steps and gain salvation today? Did you begin to follow God's word and then fell away? If so, why not make your life right with God today (1 John 1:9)? If we obey God and continue in His word we can be assured of a mansion that will be awaiting us in heaven (John 14:1-3).
We would like to help you in following God's commandments, and we invite you to come and worship with us at the Emerald Beach Church of Christ. We are located at 301 Alf Coleman Road in Panama City Beach , Florida . "Come now, and let us reason together" (Isaiah 1:18).