What Must I Do To Be Saved?
If there was ever a question that any religious person would find compelling,
the above question is it. The whole thought contained within those few words
sums up the desire of the individual to seek salvation from sin. Our challenge
is not in the asking but the answers that are given today. It is not the purpose
of this article to list the numerous answers given by religious people today in
seeking to answer what a person must do to be saved. The reason is simply that
only one person has the authority to give that answer and that is Jesus Christ.
Jesus tells us "all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." (Matthew 28:18)
If any person seeks to give any answer other than the one given by Jesus, they are teaching a false doctrine. Paul wrote in Galatians 1:8, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." Paul emphasized the importance of teaching only the doctrine of Jesus Christ.
How did Jesus answer the question, "What must I do to be saved?" We find His own answer in the four gospel accounts of His life, His death and His resurrection. We begin with Matthew's account in chapter 28:19-20 - "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Jesus tells his disciples to make disciples by baptizing them and teaching them. Let us turn to Mark's account.
Mark 16:15,16 says, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues, they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." Again Jesus tells His disciples to
go and preach the gospel - when a person believes and baptized, he will be saved. If a person does not believe the preaching of the gospel, they will be lost. Certain signs would follow those who sought believe in the Christ. When we read the book of Acts, we find these signs to be true.
Luke tells us of the commission of Christ in chapter 24:46-49 - "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high." Luke writes about the
suffering of Christ which made our salvation possible. Jesus tells the disciples that repentance and remission of sins should be preached to all nations and all these things would begin at Jerusalem. In Acts 2, we find the apostles gathered together on the day of Pentecost - they preached the gospel of Jesus Christ, many believed on Him, they were told to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins - they responded - "And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."
What the early disciples followed was the simple plan given by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-18 and Luke 24:46-49. If you are looking for the answer to the question, "What must I do to be saved?" - compare the answer you get with the answer Jesus gave in these passages. Jesus has the only authority to give the answer to that question. If we believe any other answer, we will be lost.
By Kent E. Heaton Sr.
From Expository Files 2.11; November 1995