Wonderful Truths About Salvation
by David J. Stewart | December 2016
Luke 8:12, “Those by the way
side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and
taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.”
I love that last part of our text Verse, “LEST THEY SHOULD BELIEVE AND BE SAVED.” Again and again in the Scriptures we are told that the way to salvation is simply to “BELIEVE.”
Lately, I have been reading the statements of faith of many independent Baptist churches and Bible colleges across America, and it is sad, tragic and shocking what many of them are requiring to be saved. In fact, many of the things that I read are plain ole heresy! Truly, the Devil has already crept into most of the churches, perverting “the simplicity that is in Christ” (2nd Corinthians 11:3).
In this article, I want to refute some of these ridiculous, unbiblical, false teachings that you'll read and hear today all across the world, most of which sadly originated from corrupted Bible revisions and corrupted churches in the United States. After reading this article, you'll have the truth and a much clearer mindset on the important matter of salvation.
You Don't Need to “Ask” Jesus to Save You
Jesus doesn't forgive sin, Jesus has already paid for our sins with His blood. The holy Bible plainly tells us to “BELIEVE” to be saved, nothing else. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” It is false teaching to tell someone to “ask” Jesus to save them. I can hear the Lord saying something like this, “Why are you asking Me to save you? I have already promised to 'save them that believe'!” 1st Corinthians 1:21, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” There you have it! You don't have to “ask” God to save you, you simply need to BELIEVE on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ—the One Who died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and bodily resurrected the third day.
No one needs to “ask” Jesus to save them, because God has already PROMISED to save them that BELIEVE. John 11:25-26, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”
You Don't Need to “Walk Down a Church Isle” at Invitation Time to Be Saved
All across America, pastors add an unbiblical requirement to God's plan of salvation, which He does not require—walking down a church isle to find out how to be saved! Why cannot a person be saved right there in the pew? Why must they walk an isle down to the front, to be saved? Is walking a church isle a requirement to be saved? No, of course not! Every pastor ought to preach the Gospel—so that the layman in the pew, or the visiting guest, or the small child, or someone who doesn't feel too well, or perhaps someone who is timid and shy, or simply too embarrassed to walk an isle—can still receive the free gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life by faith in the Gospel.
I was saved in a pew. I don't remember the day, week, month or even year. I heard Dr. Hyles testify yesterday in a sermon that he doesn't remember the day, week or month that he was saved either, but he remembers where he was, and the experience. Dr. Hyles was saved at age 11. I am in the same boat. I think I was 13 years old, or close. It must have been about 1980. I remember that I was saved on a Sunday morning in Chicago. I remember where I was sitting in back of an independent Baptist church. I was brought to church by the bus ministry. I remember feeling the Holy Spirit's conviction in my soul during the church service. As best I knew how, with childlike faith, for the first time in my life I made a personal appeal unto the Lord Jesus Christ to save me, and He wonderfully did.
Now, I mentioned this to say something. I also remember that an invitation was given to come forward. I was too scared and shy. The pastor never told anyone how to be saved from the pew. However, I had attended Sunday school for years, and knew what I needed to do, sort of. I knew that only Jesus could save me, and so I called upon Him in my heart, BELIEVING on Him. But I didn't fully understand the simplicity that is in Christ. For the next 7 years I wept often, fearful that I hadn't done something correctly to be saved. The question haunted me, “What if?” What is I go to Hell? What if I miss Heaven? I was ignorant of the holy Scriptures. Had that pastor (whom I am not critiquing) told me how to be saved in the pew, perhaps I would not have spent the next 7 years struggling to find the assurance of my salvation. If you are a pastor, you should always tell people how to be saved in the pew.
You Don't Have to “Pray a Sinner's Prayer” to Be Saved
My parents enrolled me into the same Baptist church's Christian school. I love and thank my parents for doing that, more than anything else I appreciate them ever doing. Folks, my website ministry wouldn't exist if it were not for my parents putting me into that Baptist church and school. The pastor was a Hyles-Anderson graduate. I was influenced to attend Hyles-Anderson myself in 1985. I met Dr. Jack Hyles, and spent 8 years serving the Lord under Brother Hyles' ministry. That is my greatest treasure in life, next to my salvation. I could have so easily ended up a neo-evangelical, or not saved at all. It's quite strange, because my father was from the Moody camp (a graduate), which is totally neo-evangelical.
In hindsight, I believe God put it in my parent's hearts to enroll me into an independent Baptist church. What's more amazing, is that the Christian school on Chicago's Northside was only there for a very short time frame, a few years. The church then moved 10 miles (80 city blocks) south in Chicago, where I was bused to and from church and school for the next 4 years for high school. In hindsight, only God could have worked everything the way he did. When I think about it, I am so blessed and fortunate to have been given that special privilege, and I don't take it lightly. THANK YOU LORD JESUS!!!
Having said that, when I was 17 years old, I was still struggling with the assurance of my salvation. So I went to my pastor. He made the common mistake of assuming that I must not be saved, since I wasn't sure. So he led me in a “sinner's prayer” (Oh boy!), and then I was water baptized, still fearing that I might miss Heaven and go to Hell. Meeting with my pastor hadn't helped me at all. And now I was really reluctant to tell anyone that I still didn't know that I was saved, because the whole church now thought I just got saved! I had been saved since age 13, under that same pastor's preaching, but he simply didn't know how to help someone find the assurance of salvation. I've heard errant preachers say from the pulpit, that you're insulting God if you doubt your salvation. That is a cruel thing to tell a person in doubt. What they need is to be taught correctly how to now for sure they are saved.
The truth is that I had been misled and confused by the requirement to “pray a prayer” to be saved. That obscured the Gospel. I did believe on the Lord, and I was saved. I know because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life, since I was 13 years old. Albeit, I was confused. Did I pray right? I knew that I was a sinner. I knew that I deserved to burn in Hell for my own sins. I believed that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I believed that He was buried and bodily resurrected three days later. THAT'S WHAT ALL THE GOSPEL TRACTS SAID!!! So why couldn't I obtain the feeling that I was saved? Why was I was so afraid of going to Hell? The answer is so simple. I had read over a hundred religious tracks, including dozens of corrupt Chick Tracts (which I loved to look at as a youth), but I had never been shown the Scriptures! You can read the Bible and not understand it. That's why Philip had to help the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts chapter eight.
I cannot warn pastors and Christian workers enough about the spiritual dangers of leading people to pray a prayer to be saved. I am not against it. I believe in the Romans Road method of leading a sinner to Christ. But it is of paramount importance that you make sure the person to whom you are witnessing to, fully understands that “saying a prayer” is not required to be saved. Personally, I don't lead anyone to pray. Instead, I simply present the Gospel, and then I ask them, “Will you make that decision right now to receive Christ's sacrifice on the cross as payment for your sins? And do you believe that Jesus was buried and three days later He bodily resurrected from the dead? Will you, right now, make that you're only hope for Heaven?” If they agree to “believe,” they are saved. Then it would be appropriate to pray with them afterwards, thanking God for saving them. I've just met too many people, who testify when asked, that they were saved by praying a prayer long ago. They're not saved.
All the Faith You Need to Be Saved is “Just Enough” to Call Upon the Lord
I used to ask myself the question, “Do I have enough faith to be saved?” But then I learned a wonderful truth from Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” If you have “just enough” faith to call (i.e., trust) upon the Lord, that is all the amount of faith you need to be saved. You can be saved simply by BELIEVING, even if you never say a prayer. You don't have to “ask” Jesus to save you. To “call” in Romans 10:13 doesn't mean to pray, it means “to appeal unto,” that is, you are saved by going to the Lord to be saved. Hundreds of times we are told in the Scriptures, especially the Gospel of John, to simply BELIEVE on the name of Jesus Christ to be saved. When I was a child, I remember seeing a sign in the local grocery store which read, “Please call again!” It is an old English expression. It means that you “called upon them” for their business services. In this case, to provide groceries and supplies. Well, Jesus is in the business of providing salvation to sinners, and if you call upon Him, the Lord promises to save you!!!
The Lord said that unless a person humbles them self like a little child, they will not enter into the King of God. Matthew 18:3-6, “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Adults are full of skepticism, selfishness and pride. I worked with a good man one time, but unsaved, who said to me, “I won't believe the Bible until God's knocks on my door and says, 'This is my Word'.” Kindly, that man is a fool. Jesus exclaimed in Luke 24:25, “Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.”
The word “converted” in Matthew 18:3 means “to turn, reverse.” That is what repentance is, a change of mind. Most people question the holy Bible, casting doubt about it, and taking the advice of atheist idiots like comedian George Carlin, actor William Shatner and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. I believe the Bible, thank God! Unless an adult reverses their mind, becoming as a trusting small child, they will never trust the Lord, and will never be saved. This is why, the older a person gets, the less likely it is that they will ever get saved. Most people are saved as children. Dr. Jack Hyles was saved at age 11. I was saved at age 13. Charles Spurgeon was saved at age 15. Dr. Curtis Hutson was saved at age 11. And I could name hundreds more men of God, all saved as youth.
I believe the reason why Jesus warned “wide is the gate” and “broad is the way” in Matthew 7:13-14, saying that “few there be that find it,” is because it is so simple to be saved that most people complicate it and never get saved (Matthew 7:21-23). Men complicate everything. Adam tried to cover his sins with fig-leafs. God rejected Adam's fig-leaf religion. Cain foolishly tried to impress God with offerings of grain from his field, but able properly demonstrated his faith in the blood of the coming Messiah, by killing an innocent animal and offering a blood sacrifice (Hebrews 12:24). Catholics pervert the Gospel, adding seven sacraments as a requirement to be saved. Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and Church of Christ pervert the Gospel, adding water baptism as a requirement to be saved. Dr. John MacArthur perverts the Gospel, adding “turning from your sins” and “making Jesus 'Lord'” as a requirement to be saved. None of these are the Gospel.
All the faith you need to be saved is “just enough” to BELIEVE the Gospel, and nothing more is required nor permitted. We are saved by childlike faith in what Christ has done to pay for our sins. Jesus is our sin payment.
Faith is the Presence of Belief, Not the Absence of Doubt
I love the illustration of a chair. Let's say that you use a chair to replace a defective lightbulb. Faith is not saying, “I believe! I believe that this chair will support my weight!” That is not faith; but rather, optimism. Optimism cannot save you! Optimism is a positive outlook. Faith is trusting Jesus Christ to do what He has promised to do, which is SAVE THEM THAT BELIEVE! If you stand upon the chair, placing all your weight upon it, you have placed your complete trust in that chair. But if you hold onto something as an aid, just in case the chair doesn't hold up your weight, you have not placed your complete truth in that chair. Salvation is no different. Unless you are placing your total trust in Christ alone, you are not saved at all.
Years ago I read in the Chicago Sun-Times that soldiers in the Iraqi War (which began in 2003) were getting water baptized, “just in case” they died in combat. May I kindly say, according to the holy Bible they would go straight to Hell, having died in their sins without Christ. You can get baptized as many times as you'd like, you can join a dozen different churches, you can tithe everything that you own, and do a hundred good deeds every day of your life until you die, but YOU WILL GO STRAIGHT TO HELL if you don't get born-again by faith alone in Christ. There is no other way to be saved. You either come through the precious name of Jesus or you don't go! (Acts 4:10). John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
John 6:47, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” I love that! Notice that no mention is made of turning away from sinful behavior, nor of following Jesus as one's “Lord,” nor of surrendering one's will to Christ. No mention is made of “being willing to turn from sin” (aka, Chick Tracts). Jesus simply said to “BELIEVE on Me.” How wonderful! How simple! What a precious truth!!! If you'd like to have your sins forgiven my friend, and spend eternity with Jesus, all you need to do is BELIEVE ON HIM!!! Believe that He is the Christ, the Son of God. John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” Could the Bible be any plainer? I think not.
Most Roman Catholics don't see the harm of trusting the Catholic church, and their sacramental salvation. But by doing so, they are not trusting the Lamb of God. If you add anything to the simple Gospel, you are not completely trusting in Jesus Christ. 1st Corinthians 1:21, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” Do you believe my friend? By “believe” I don't mean intellectual consent; but rather, you are relying upon what Christ did to pay for your sins on the cross to save you. And you believe that He was buried and physically raised up three days later from the dead. Either you are completely trusting the dear Savior to get to Heaven, or you are not going.
My friend, it doesn't matter how many doubts you may have. Even if you have 99% doubt that a chair will support your weight, you have placed 100% of your trust in it, if you place 100% of your weight upon it unsupported!!! The same is true in salvation. Even if you have many doubts, it is no less than 100% trust if you BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST to save you!!!
Jesus Doesn't “Forgive Sin”
Jesus doesn't forgive sin. That is correct. Jesus has already paid for our sins with His own precious blood. 1st Peter 1:18-19, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Revelation 1:5, “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” Jesus has already paid for our sins, which is why 1st Timothy 4:10 calls Him “the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.” Jesus is everyone's Savior, but you must receive Him as your personal Savior, or you'll go to burn in Hell, to pay for your own sins. John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” There again we see the wonderful truth that we are saved solely by “BELIEVING.”
Jesus doesn't forgive sin, because He has already paid for it with His blood. Hence, eternal life is a free gift. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” It is a “gift” because Jesus paid for it with His own precious blood. Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Jesus doesn't need to forgive sin, because He has already PAID FOR SIN WITH HIS PRECIOUS BLOOD!!! That's why it is a free gift, that you simply need to receive by faith to be forgiven and saved. You receive God's free gifts of forgiveness of sins and eternal life by BELIEVING THE GOSPEL. If you have never read it, I ask you kindly to read Dr. Harry Ironside's awesome book, “WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?”
You Don't Need to “Invite Jesus into Your Life” to Be Saved
I hear errant radio preachers teaching that you must “invite Christ into your life” to be saved. I heard this on Pacific Garden Mission's UNSHACKLED program. “Inviting Christ into your life” is not the Gospel. “Asking Jesus into your heart” is not the Gospel. “Surrendering one's life to Jesus” is not the Gospel. “Making a commitment to Christ” is not the Gospel. “Repenting of all your sins” is not the Gospel. “Turning away from your sin” (or “being willing to turn away from sin”) is not the Gospel. “Having a drastic change of attitude” is not the Gospel. “Changing your heart and your life” is not the Gospel. “Declaring 'Jesus is Lord' is not the Gospel.” You may do all of these these are still not be born-again.
You don't invite Christ into your life, for Jesus is our life. If you are saved, Christ is your life. Colossians 3:4, “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” We don't live the Christian life; but rather, Jesus lives the Christian life through us.
How Satan Hinders Men from Being Saved
2Co:4:3 “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
Please consider our text Verse again from Luke 8:12, “Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.” This is the parable of the seeds. Jesus plainly said, “The seed is the Word of God” (Luke 8:11). In Verse 12, Jesus said that the seeds which fell by the wayside represent people who have been hindered by Satan from obeying the Gospel. “Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, LEST THEY SHOULD BELIEVE AND BE SAVED.” Again and again in the Scriptures we are told that the way to salvation is simply to “BELIEVE.”
Luke 8:12 is a remarkable Scripture. Satan doesn't want anyone to get saved. Hence, the Bible says that the Devil removes God's Word from their heart, LEST THEY SHOULD BELIEVE AND BE SAVED. How does Satan remove God's Word from men's hearts? I can think of many ways: the lies of Evolution taught to children (1st Timothy 6:20), false religion that give men false hope in a false plan of salvation (Matthew 7:21-23), counterfeit Bible versions that corrupt the Words of God (2nd Corinthians 2:17), the love of sin (John 3:20) and the “turn from your sins” heresy that substitutes manmade repentance for the new birth.
The Gospel Defined
So what is the Gospel? I'm so glad that you asked. The holy Bible defines “the Gospel” for us:
1st Corinthians 15:1-6, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.”
There you have it—Christ DIED on the cross for our sins, He was BURIED, and He miraculously and bodily RESURRECTED three days later. If you BELIEVE this, personally, making it your only hope for Heaven, you are saved. Christ died, that's history; Christ died and raised up for me, that's salvation!!! Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith. God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved. Luke 8:12, “Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.” Matthew 16:13, “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” I also believe with Peter that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. I hope you do too my friend, because your eternal destiny depends upon it!
—Dr. Jack Hyles (a great quote from the classic sermon, “
Psalms 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”
“The only inspired Words of God
are in the King James Bible!”
—Dr. Jack Hyles (an awesome quote —Dr. Jack Hyles (THE REAL BATTLE!”)
BATTLE OF THE AGES (MP3 by Dr. Hyles, “The King James Bible crowd is going to come out on top!”)