What must I "do" to be saved?

Bobby G. Richardson


Probably the most common answer to this question, today, is to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ". And, in keeping with my claim for 2010 as the year of gathering in, a year of restoration, which the Lord promised in Joel 2:25 ... "And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you." ... I want to talk about what it means to "believe" or to be a "believer". People have to know. People are going to know. And, I plan to help make it happen. I am a messenger. And, I consider it my duty to deliver the message God has given me.

James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. ... There won’t be any devils in Heaven, although they "believe" in one God. And, **IF** anybody believes Jesus Christ lived, died and rose again, you’d better believe satan believes it ... because it got up close and personal with him. However, many are told all they have to do is just believe Jesus lived, died for our sins and rose again. Due to indoctrination, traditions and the doctrines of man, people are using the words "I believe" OR "I am a believer" as if that is a "pass" to enter into the "golden gate" OR that they can be used against the devil the way a silver bullet or a crucifix can be used against a vampire. Now, I am not saying vampires are real, and that silver bullets and crucifixes will kill or repel them. But, "I believe" most of us are familiar enough with the scarey ... "fiction" ... vampire movies to understand my reference of them, here. In addition, people are being taught that they have been "born again" the moment they "believe". Believe ... believe what?

In a previous study, I focused on the statement Jesus made in a very interesting discourse while teaching in the temple. In is found in John 8:24 "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." According to Isaiah, Messiah is non other than Jehovah/God.

And, if you read the full discourse between Jesus and the Scripturally learned (religious) people in the temple, recorded between John 7:14 and John 8:59, you should get a better understanding why what be believe about Jesus is important. Here were religious people waiting for the Messiah (the first time around). Well, He did come. And, it was religious people who rejected Him and His Word, and had Him crucified. The Roman soldiers may have drove the nails, but religious people were responsible for having them driven, simply because they did NOT understand ... or believe ... Him. The same is true today. There are religious people in churches today who are waiting for the Second Advent of the Messiah, who do NOT understand ... or believe ... His Word. It is sad to think that there are religious people today, like those in the temple listening to Jesus that day. However, I am glad to report that there are some who are like Saul ..., or Paul after his conversion ..., though very learned in the Scriptures, was not taught, and did not receive the gospel of Christ ... which he came to believe ... by man. Instead, he received it by revelation. After the "Damascus Road" and Damascus experience he went down into Arabia for 3 years (Galatians Chapter 1) before he compared the gospel message he preached with the Apostles in Jerusalem, and found he was right on target. Then, there are those who are like the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-38. They read the Word of God, but need someone to help them understand. I don’t know where you, or someone you may know, fits into the picture, but I hope and pray it is NOT in the first category, who wanted to stone Jesus in John 8:59. Instead, when it comes to the Word of God, I hope your heart and mind is "as open as the lot gate" as my daddy used to say, AND that you allow the Word of God to interpret itself ... which it WILL do, when it is "rightly divided".

In John 3:5 Jesus told a Scripturally learned religious leader, Nicodemus, " ..., Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

A few chapters later ... in John 7:37-39 ..., Jesus was teaching in the temple, and said "... If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) ... So, **IF** you and I "believe" on Jesus "as the Scripture hath said" we "should" receive the Holy Ghost ... fulfilling John 3:5 ... because Jesus has been glorified and the Holy Ghost has been given. But, that does NOT mean everyone who believes automatically receives the Holy Ghost at the very same moment, as some insist today.

Part of Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20 reads, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;" This includes you and me **IF** we believe their word. We MUST believe and acknowledge who Jesus "really" is. And, we MUST also believe the Apostles One God Monotheistic Doctrine ... which we will **IF** we believe "their word" and NOT flawed man-made theories. What is the Apostles One God Monotheistic Doctrine. It is the "verbatim" preaching and teaching of the "foot print followers" of Jesus and the "original" New Testament Church leaders. In 1 Corinthians 1:21 Paul says, "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." Can a "believer" can be unsaved? Obviously!

**IF** anybody would be considered "believers" the "foot print followers" of Jesus should be considered "believers" ... especially the 120 who tarried about 7 days in the Upper Room, in Acts Chapter 1. However, listen to what Jesus commanded them in Acts 1:4-5 " ... commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."

Also, Jesus told them in Acts 1:8 ".. ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." This was fulfilled in Acts 2:1-4. And, we read, at the conclusion of Peter’s first Spirit filled, Spirit anointed, sermon (recorded in Acts 2:36-42) Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, 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. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

In Acts 8:5-17 we read where people "believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ" AND had even been baptized BEFORE they received the Holy Ghost.

Conversely, in Acts 10:44-48, we read where Gentiles heard the Word and received the Holy Ghost just like the Jews had, and BEFORE they got baptized. Sooo, hearing the Word, believing, baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost are NOT all imparted at the same moment. Each is a separate part of fulfilling the New Testament Plan of Salvation. The thief on the cross is a unique situation. He died under the Law of Moses, but couldn’t come down to offer any of the sacrificial requirements of the Law. However, he was granted immunity by the "Lawgiver" Himself ... God manifested in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16) ... who could do what He wanted to, when He wanted to, BEFORE the birth of the New Testament Church in Acts Chapter 2, on the Day of Pentecost. Besides, the "man in the middle" is our example today not the thief. And, He got baptized, although He had no sins to repent of. Since the birth of the New Testament Church the message of salvation has remained the same, and will remain the same, until the Lord calls His Bride (the Church) home.

In Acts 16:27-34 we read about the conversion of the Philippian "keeper of the prison". And, we’ll pick up in verse 30 ... "Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

Then, in Acts 19:1-7 Paul met 12 disciples of John the Baptist, and asked them if they had received the Holy Ghost since they believed. We’ll pick up with verse two "... Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve.

**IF** you were to conduct a survey among professing Christians today asking the question, "What must I "do" to be saved?" you would get all sorts of answers, depending upon the sect (denomination) or "beliefs" of the person you are surveying. And, the most common denominator would probably be to "believe on the Lord Jesus". But, what really matters is what the Bible has to say about believing on the Lord Jesus, NOT what man has contrived over the many years since the birth of the New Testament Church.

What must I "do" to be saved? The only one-sentence answer I know to that question, once one has heard ... or been exposed to ... the Apostles One God Monotheistic Doctrine, is this: "Obey (or comply with) Acts 2:38 ... 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." Thus, fulfilling Matthew 28:19, Luke 13:3 AND John 3:5

I hope and pray that you are convinced that it takes more than appearing outwardly pious and merely saying, "I believe" ... or that "I am a believer" ... to be saved. What really matters is "what" we believe, AND how committed we are to that belief. **IF** a person is committed to any belief system ... good, bad or indifferent ... they will "do" something about that belief system. In other words, they will "act" upon that particular belief system. The key is to have the "correct" belief system. And, we can know whether or not we are on the right track because the Word of God will harmonize with our beliefs if we are. There will be no need to pick and choose only the parts we like, and ignore the rest. **IF** there are any parts of the Word of God which don’t harmonize with our beliefs ..., or worse, contradicts us ... then the Word of God isn’t wrong ... WE ARE! This is why I encourage people to INDEPENDENTLY study the King James Version of the Holy Bible. Some of the newer versions and translations are being accepted under the guise of being easier to understand. However, there are many cases where things are being watered down, and even changed to conform with the traditions, theories and doctrines of man. There will be many who will stand before the Lord on that Great Day and proclaim that they have done many great and wonderful works in His name, only to be told to depart from Him. So, great and wonderful works in His name alone will not save us. This is very important stuff. We MUST believe the Apostles One God Monotheistic Doctrine! Remember, the crowd is wrong. The strait and narrow way is NOT always popular. But, it is always right. God bless! 


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