Salvation - Details

PART 1:   What Does The Bible Say?

PART 2:   Be Born Again....Don't Be Deceived !!

PART 3:   What Some People Teach

PART 4:   What Can You Do To Be Born Again?

PART 5:   How Can You Know If God Has Saved You?

PART 6:   What If God Does Not Save You?

A short version of parts 1-4 is also available as a flyer or handout. Paper size: letter or legal.



PART 1:  What Does The Bible Say?

"There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, 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. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." (John 3:1-8)

Jesus said that unless a person is born again, he can not see the kingdom of God. He can not choose the things of God because he can not see them; he is dead in his sin. Before a person is born again, he is spiritually dead. In verses 5-6, God says that the new birth is a spiritual birth. God's people are born of water and born of the Spirit; this work is accomplished by God; the water is God's Word (Ephesians 5:26). Unless God accomplishes this mighty work in the life of a person, he can not enter into the kingdom of God.

In Ezekiel 18:4, God says, "Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die." In Ephesians 2:1, God confirms His Word by saying, "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;". In Ephesians 2:5, God says, "Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)". Quicken means to make alive, to give life, to revive from death. In Genesis 2:17, God told Adam that in the day that he ate of the tree he would surely die, yet Adam lived to be 930 years old (Genesis 5:5). So, what part of Adam died when he ate of the tree? His soul; his heart. That is our condition when we are born into this world (Psalms 51:5, Psalms 58:3).

In Romans 3:9-18, God reiterates our spiritual condition before Him: "What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one....There is no fear of God before their eyes."

This is our spiritual condition before God: We are spiritually dead. This is why Jesus said that unless a person is born again, he can not see the kingdom of God. When a person becomes born again, it is the result of the mighty work of God; God literally resurrects a person's spiritually dead soul back to spiritual life! In Colossians 2:11-13, God puts it this way, "In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;". When God makes a person spiritually alive, this is the act of being born again; this is the act of God's saving grace in the life of a person!

In Ezekiel 36:24-27, God says, "For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." This is what it means to be born again; this is what it means to be saved. God must cleanse you, God must take away your stony heart, God must give you a new heart, and God must put His Spirit within you; these are things which only God can do; this is the work of God.

Here are some more words that God uses to describe salvation: circumcision (Deuteronomy 10:16, 30:6; Jeremiah 4:4; Acts 7:51; Romans 2:28-29), be converted/become as little children (Matthew 18:3; Mark 10:15), new cloth/new wine (Mark 2:21-22), born of God (John 1:13), new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15), raised/risen (Ephesians 2:4-7; Colossians 2:12, 3:1), regeneration/renewing (Titus 3:5), resurrection (John 11:23-26; Revelation 20:6).

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PART 2:  Be Born Again....Don't Be Deceived !!

"He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 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: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:10-13)

Did the world receive Jesus?...No. Did God's own people receive Jesus?...No. Is this any different today?...No! But, look at these verses... Don't they teach that if a person receives Jesus and believes in Jesus that he is saved? At first glance, they appear to teach this and many people quote these verses in such a way as to mean just that. However, let's take a closer look at the last two verses...

Verse 12 says "as many as received him." BUT, just previously in verses 10-11, we learned that NO ONE receives HIM (we also learned this from Romans 3:9-18). The crucial question is: How then can I receive Him??? What is a true conversion? Verse 13 reveals what the true conversion is as well as what three false conversions are: The one true conversion is when a person is born of God. The three false conversions are 1) being born of blood, 2) being born of the will of the flesh, and 3) being born of the will of man.

Let's take a closer look at this...

The only person who can TRULY receive Jesus and believe in Jesus is someone who has FIRST been born of God (Jesus said this in John 3:1-8 as we read earlier); this is a TRUE CONVERSION. In Romans 9:15-16, God says, "...I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." It is not a matter of us receiving Christ; it is a matter of Christ receiving us (Romans 15:7).

However, God also states that there are three other methods of conversion; each one of these methods serves only to DECEIVE a person into believing that he is saved when, in fact, he is not.

ONE FALSE CONVERSION is being born of blood. Just because a person's parents are Christians, does NOT mean that he is or will be a Christian because he came physically from their bodies (a blood descendant); a person who thinks he is a Christian just because his family members are, is a person who is deceiving himself into thinking that he is saved. Likewise, a person is NOT saved by any special physical characteristics he may have; for example, belonging to a certain race or ethnic background, speaking a certain language, being male or female, growing up in a Christian home, etc. "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." (Romans 2:28-29)

THE SECOND FALSE CONVERSION is being born of the will of the flesh. A person can NOT be saved because he wants salvation. Salvation is NOT the result of a person's will, or his choosing God, or his making a decision for Jesus, or his accepting Christ, or his believing on Him. Salvation does not result from any action of a person's will. We learned this earlier in Romans 9:15-16. Furthermore, in PART 1 of this article, we learned that a person is SPIRITUALLY DEAD and therefore is NOT able to TRULY believe or receive Jesus prior to being born again.

THE THIRD FALSE CONVERSION is being born of the will of man. A person is NOT saved because a pastor or priest tells him that he is saved. There is NOTHING that any person can do to save any other person. A person can NOT save another person no matter how hard he tries or what he does (e.g., by his arguments, evangelism, baptism, laying on of hands, ceremonies, or any other works).

Another part of Scripture in which God talks about different kinds of conversion experiences is Matthew 13:1-23; take some time to read this passage. Again, God describes a total of four different conversions: one true and three false. The language is different, but the message is the same: God saves His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). The people of the world will try to receive the Word of God, but can not because God has NOT prepared their hearts to receive it (Matthew 13:10-15; Luke 16:16; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 9:18). In fact, God has elected a remnant for salvation, and He has blinded the rest (read Romans 11:5-8, and 2 Corinthians 4:3-4). God is in control, not man (read Romans 9:10-29).

Consider what God teaches in 1 Corinthians 10:1-11: They were all baptized. They all ate the same spiritual meat. They all drank the same spiritual drink. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. These things are examples for us.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." (Romans 8:28-30)

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PART 3:  What Some People Teach

Gift Method

Some people teach that salvation (being born again) is a free gift which God extends to all mankind and that it is up to mankind to reach out and take hold of this free gift which God is offering to everyone.

The ONLY truth to the previous statement is that salvation is a free gift of God; in Romans 6:23, God says, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

However, the rest of "the Gift Method" is a lie.

First, God does NOT extend His salvation to everyone: In Matthew 1:21, God says, "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Again, in Romans 9:27, God says, "...Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:". "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)

Second, it is impossible for anyone to TRULY reach out to God in ANY way; remember that God clearly says that before He saves us, we are SPIRITUALLY DEAD; it is impossible for a DEAD person to take ANY action on his own. Furthermore, in Ephesians 2:8-9, God says, "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." If salvation were partly based on whether or not a person reaches out to God, then salvation would be based partly on a person's works. However, God clearly states in Ephesians that salvation is "not of works".

Two-Party Check Method

Some people teach that salvation (being born again) is like a two-party check which God has completely filled out and signed with one exception: the recipient of the two-party check must also sign the check in order for the check to be valid. Again, this may sound like a very nice analogy, but it is a lie. Salvation (being born again) is not the result of works. The Bible says that before we are born again, we are dead in our sins; it is impossible for a dead person to sign a check; signing a check is a "work" (especially for a dead person!).

Receive and Believe in Jesus Method

Some people teach that all a person has to do to become born again is to believe in Jesus, or to receive Jesus, or to accept Jesus, or to make a decision for Christ. These people quote several Bible verses such as John 1:12 and Romans 10:9-10, and John 3:16 which says: "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."

We already discussed John 1:10-13 and "receive" in PART 2 of this article.

There is nothing wrong with John 1:12, John 3:16, Romans 10:9-10, or other similar verses. The problem is the way in which people use these verses. In 2 Timothy 2:15, God commands His people to "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Many caring, loving, well-meaning people do NOT handle the Word of Truth accurately. A chief example of someone who does not handle accurately the Word of Truth is the Devil; take a moment to read Matthew 4:1-11; you will notice that the Devil quotes the Bible correctly and in context; however, he does NOT handle it accurately. On the other hand, Jesus is the perfect example of someone who handles the Word of God accurately; again, carefully read Matthew 4:1-11.

In 1 John 3:23-24, God says, "And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him..." Believing in Jesus is a COMMANDMENT of God. Earlier, we learned from Ephesians 2:8-9, that salvation is NOT the result of works. If a person thinks that he is saved by obeying God's commandment to believe in Jesus, then he is only deceiving himself into thinking that he is saved; being born again is NOT the result of obeying God's commandments.

John 6:28-29 says, "Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." Notice what is going on here: The people wanted to do something for their salvation; in fact, they wanted to do God's work. Jesus tells them very plainly what the work of God is; the work of God (not the work of man) is that God's people believe in Jesus whom God has sent. When God performs this work in the life of His people, then and only then are His people born again; then and only then are His people able to TRULY believe in Jesus and receive Jesus. If a person tries to accomplish this work on his own (just as the multitude wanted to), his efforts (no matter how good they may be) will NOT result in his being born again.

Many people teach that a person must choose Christ, or accept Jesus, or make a decision for Christ in order to be born again. However, God does not depend on people to make decisions for Him; God makes His own decisions. In Ephesians 1:3-5, God says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,". In John 15:16, God says, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you..." In John 13:18, God says, "I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me."

The issue is NOT have you chosen Jesus, or have you accepted Jesus, or have you made a decision for Christ. The issue is: Has God chosen you? Has God accepted you? Has God made a decision for you?

Sinner's Prayer Method

Many people teach that if you repeat a special prayer with them, then you will be born again. They say, "You can be born again simply by praying and asking Jesus Christ to work a miracle in your life. You can do it at this very moment. It is your heart's attitude that counts. We suggest the following prayer that may guide you."

The act of prayer or praying does NOT save a person. Prayer and praying are actions; they are works. The same is true of confession; confessing with your mouth or your heart is a work. We are not saved by the things we do or say; we are not saved by works.

Being born again is NOT the result of simply repeating a few magical words at this very moment. Our hearts' attitude does not "count" toward our salvation. Salvation is not a matter of our positive thinking. Our hearts' attitude does not save us. God describes the condition of our hearts before Him in Jeremiah 17:9: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Also read Mark 7:14-23.

Our hearts need serious spiritual surgery which only God can perform. In Ezekiel 36:26-27, God says, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." This is what it means to be born again; this is what it means to be saved.

God must cleanse you, God must take away your stony heart, God must give you a new heart, and God must put His Spirit within you; these are things which only God can do; God does these things in His time (NOT when we think He should); we must wait on God to accomplish His saving work in our lives; we must trust Him and hope in Him to perform His saving work in our lives, if it pleases Him to do so.

Your Faith Method

Some people teach that all you have to do to become saved is to put your faith in Jesus. Others say that you need to exercise your faith in order to be saved. They point to verses like Mark 10:52, Luke 7:50, and Luke 18:42. But what they do not tell you is that faith is a work, as God tells us in 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 and 2 Thessalonians 1:11. The words "believe" and "faith" are related (i.e., they are the same Greek word). Believe is the verb form of the word. Faith is the noun form of the same word. We already learned that believing is a work. Faith is also a work. The faith that saves is the faith of Jesus, not our faith in Jesus. Our faith cannot save us, but it can deceive us into thinking that we are saved. We read about the faith of Jesus in Romans 3:21-22, Galatians 2:16, Philippians 3:8-9, and Revelation 14:12. It is through the faith of Christ that God saves His people from their sins (Ephesians 2:7-9).

Water Baptism Method

Some people teach that water baptism is required for salvation, or that water baptism contributes to a person's salvation in some way. Some people trust in water baptism by remembering the day they were baptized (as if it has some meaning to their salvation). Others are quick to ask, "Have you been baptized?" And still others go to great expense to travel to places like the Jordan River in Israel to be baptized. Some churches require sprinkling of water, while other churches require immersion in water.

Water baptism does not save a person. Water baptism does not contribute to a person's salvation in any way. Water baptism is a sign for Christians...just like physical circumcision was a sign for Israelites or for strangers who sojourned with them (Genesis 17:10-11; Exodus 12:48; Romans 4:11).

Consider the following verses about the kind of baptism that does save a person:

Other Methods


Doing ANY of the following will NOT save you:
  1. Did I repent of my sins? [Luke 13:3, Acts 2:37-38]
  2. Did I accept the Lord as my Savior?
  3. Did I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? [Acts 16:30-31]
  4. Did I believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead? [Romans 10:9]
  5. Did I confess with my mouth Jesus as Lord? [Romans 10:9]
  6. Did I get baptized? [Mark 16:16, Acts 2:37-38]
  7. Did I love the Lord with all of my heart, soul, strength, and mind? [Matthew 22:37]
  8. Did I obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ? [2 Thessalonians 1:8]
  9. Did I know God? [2 Thessalonians 1:8]
  10. Did I call upon the name of the Lord? [Romans 10:13]
  11. Did I receive Christ? [John 1:12]
  12. Did I put my faith in Jesus? [Mark 11:22, Luke 7:50, Galatians 3:26]
  13. Did I choose Christ?
  14. Did I make a decision for Christ?
  15. Did I pray the sinner's prayer?
  16. Did I ask for the Holy Spirit? [Luke 11:13]
  17. Did I receive the Holy Spirit? [John 7:39, Acts 2:37-38, Acts 19:2]
  18. Did I do the will of God? [Matthew 7:21]
  19. Did I join a church?
  20. Did I make myself born again? [John 3:3]
  21. Did I make myself born of water and of the Spirit? [John 3:5]
  22. Did I abide in Jesus? [John 15:4-6]
  23. Did I speak against the Holy Spirit? [Mark 3:29]
  24. Did I sin willfully after salvation? [Hebrews 10:26-27]
  25. Did I deny myself, and take up my cross, and follow Jesus? [Mark 8:34]
  26. Did I lose my life for Jesus' sake and the gospel's sake? [Mark 8:35]
  27. Did I rededicate my life to Jesus?
  28. Did I become as a little child? [Matthew 18:3]
  29. Did I receive the kingdom of God as a little child? [Mark 10:15]
  30. "If ye love me, keep my commandments." [John 14:15] Wow that's pretty hard, and now I have to memorize a list of 10 more things?
  31. Someone told me that I had to know about the blood of Jesus Christ washing my sins away. [Revelation 1:5] I guess the water at the baptism was not enough?
Notice the repetition: I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I.

This kind of "salvation" is performed by "I", not God.
This kind of "salvation" is deception.
This kind of "salvation" gives glory to "I", not God.
God does not give His glory to another (Isaiah 42:8).

If you believe that salvation is about "Did I", then you have stumbled over the stumbling stone (Romans 9:30-33).

Israel thought that by obeying God's commands and trusting in the sacrifice, they could be right with God. The Gentiles do the same: they think that by obeying Christ's commands and trusting in Christ's sacrifice, they too can be right with God. They have both stumbled over the stumbling stone.

Consider this...

Do you know Jesus?
Do you believe?
Do you beseech God?
Do you confess Jesus is the Son of God?
Do you confess Jesus is the Christ?
Do you worship God?

The devils do the same.
They are NOT saved.

Know: Mark 1:34, Acts 19:15
Believe: James 2:19
Beseech: Mark 5:9-12
Confess: Matthew 8:28-29, Luke 4:41
Worship: Mark 5:6-7

Also read John 6:70.

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PART 4:  What Can You Do To Be Born Again?

By now, you probably know the answer to this question. You might not like the answer, but you know it! However, let's take some time to explore this question and to review what we've learned.

Consider your physical birth for a moment. Did you have any control over whether or not you would be born? Did you have any control over where you would be born? Did you have a choice of whom your parents would be? Or your brothers or sisters? Did you decide what time in history to be born? Did you have any control over your physical appearance or gender? Did you decide what your racial background would be? Of course, the answer to all of these questions is ABSOLUTELY NOT. God is in control of each of these things (and far more). The Bible says that God is spirit (John 4:24). Do not think for one moment that God is only in control of your physical birth and not your spiritual birth. TRULY being born again is the sole work of God (just as your physical birth was).

So, what can you do to be born again? What can you do to be saved?

There is NOTHING that you can do to be born again. You can NOT save yourself no matter what you do. Before salvation, we are all SPIRITUALLY DEAD and totally unable to respond to God. This is our predicament--our pitiful and helpless predicament--which is a result of our sins and rebellion against God our Maker.

Being born again is entirely in God's hands; it is the work of God only. God is the only one who can help you. As you see your hopeless condition as a sinner who is headed for destruction, humble yourself before God and ask Him to have mercy on you (Luke 18:9-14). Wait on Him to save you, if it pleases Him to do so. Remember, God would be justified in destroying every human being (by death; by judging them in the day of judgment; and then by throwing them into the lake of fire, which is the second death; Revelation 20:11-15).

"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44)

"And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father." (John 6:65)

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (Romans 3:23-28)

"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." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63)

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." (1 Peter 1:23)

"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:6-7)

How can you know when you become TRULY saved? ONLY God can give you assurance (Romans 8:16; Matthew 7:15-23). Ask God to make you truly humble and broken before Him as you continue seeking His mercy. Keep reading the Bible, asking God to bring your will into submission to His will. Seek God by reading the Holy Bible and praying to Him. Ask God to have mercy on you. Wait on Him to save you, if it pleases Him to do so. If you are one of the people that God has chosen for salvation from before the foundation of the world, then He will save you...in His time.

"The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations." (Psalms 145:8-13)

"The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." (Psalms 34:18) "...but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." (Isaiah 66:2) "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." (Psalms 51:17)

"I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies." (Psalms 40:1-4)

"It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD." (Lamentations 3:22-26)

"Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved." (Psalms 62:1-2) "The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation." (Psalms 118:14)

"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation." (Isaiah 12:2)

"For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2)

"Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger come upon you. Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger." (Zephaniah 2:2-3)

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

"In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah." (Psalms 62:7-8)

What Bible should you read?

What church or religion should you join?

Visit The Holy Bible.

May God have mercy on your soul while it is still the day of salvation.

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PART 5:  How Can You Know If God Has Saved You?

"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." (1 John 5:11-13)

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;" (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)

"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." (Romans 5:10)

"But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." (Titus 3:4-7)

"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (2 Corinthians 13:5)

"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:" (2 Peter 1:10)

1. Do you have spiritual peace with God?

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" (Romans 5:1)

2. Does the Holy Spirit give you assurance that you are born of God?

"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6:29)

"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:" (Romans 8:16)

3. Are the works of the flesh diminishing in your life?
    Are you continuing to turn from your sins?


"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:19-21)

"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry..." (1 Samuel 15:23)

4. Is the fruit of the Spirit becoming more evident in your life?

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another." (Galatians 5:22-26)

5. Are you able to love God and your fellow man also?

"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Matthew 22:37-39)

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:43-45)

"He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes." (1 John 2:9-11)

"We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also." (1 John 4:19-21)

6. Are you finding that the pleasures of this world do not interest you as much as they did in the past?

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." (1 John 2:15-17)

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:1-2)

7. Do you have an earnest and continual desire to obey the will of God as set forth in the Holy Bible?

"If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)

"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Philippians 2:12-13)

"For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." (Romans 2:13)

"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." (James 1:22-25)

"And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." (1 John 2:3-6)

8. Do you have an ongoing desire to thank and praise God through prayer as you learn to trust Him more and more in every aspect of your life?

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)

"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;" (Ephesians 6:17-18)

"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

9. Do you grieve more and more in your spirit because of your sins?
    Are you striving to eliminate those sins from your life for the glory of God?


"For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." (Romans 7:22-23)

"This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (1 John 1:5-10)

"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:30-32)

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31)

"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." (Colossians 3:17)

"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons." (Colossians 3:23-25)

10. Do you find that you have a strong desire to grow spiritually by reading and studying the Word of God, the Holy Bible?

"O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day." (Psalms 119:97)

"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." (1 Corinthians 2:12-13)

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Colossians 3:16)

"Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious." (1 Peter 2:1-3)

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." (1 Corinthians 13:11)

"Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men." (1 Corinthians 14:20)

"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:" (Ephesians 4:14-15)

"Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." (Hebrews 5:11-14)

11. Are you becoming more comfortable with the true gospel of salvation based on the sovereign grace of God that it is neither foolish nor offensive to you?

"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:14)

"Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain." (1 Corinthians 3:18-20)

"For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 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." (1 Corinthians 1:17-21)

12. Do you fully understand that God does all the work of salvation?
      Are you willing to give Him all the praise and glory for His precious gift of eternal life?


"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6:29)

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Ephesians 1:3-6)

"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. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:8-10)

"For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." (Ezekiel 36:24-27)

13. Do you long for the day when you will meet the Lord face to face?

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2)

"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:" (2 Corinthians 5:1-2)

"Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:6-8)

"For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's." (Romans 14:8)

"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you." (Philippians 1:21-24)

"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;" (Titus 2:13)

"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?" (2 Peter 3:11-12)

14. As you grow in grace do you have a greater desire to be a witness for Jesus Christ?

"But 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." (Acts 1:8)

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)

"For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ." (2 Corinthians 2:15-17)

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" (1 Peter 3:15)

"Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." (2 Corinthians 5:20)

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PART 6:  What If God Does Not Save You?

What happens if God does not save you?
What happens if you are not one of God's elect?
What happens if God has not chosen you to obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus?

Most people die unsaved:

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)

God only saves a remnant:

"Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:" (Romans 9:27)

"Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace." (Romans 11:5)

Many people think they are saved, but they are not saved:

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:21-23)

God describes those whom He saves as vessels of mercy, and those whom He does not save as vessels of wrath:

"Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?" (Romans 9:21-24)

What does it mean to be a vessel of wrath? Consider these verses:

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." (Revelation 4:11)

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:43-45)

"As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." (Romans 9:13) "And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself." (Genesis 33:9) Also read Hebrews 12:16-17.

"And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him." (1 Kings 16:30) "But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up." (1 Kings 21:25) "And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the evil upon his house." (1 Kings 21:28-29)

"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:" (2 Peter 2:9)

"The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil." (Proverbs 16:4)

Some people teach that God will punish the unsaved in a place called hell, where God will torment the unsaved forever. These people like to use verses such as Matthew 5:29-30, 18:8, 25:41, 25:46; Mark 3:29; Luke 16:19-31; and 2 Thessalonians 1:9. These verses are misunderstood or misused. Jesus is teaching in parables (Matthew 13:34); He is speaking in such a way as to confuse those who are not His people (Mark 4:34). Jesus never actually says that the unsaved are cast into hell to be tormented forever.

God is merciful...even in judgment. Consider that He placed a limit on how many stripes a man could receive during punishment:

"Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee." (Deuteronomy 25:3)

God only gives eternal life to the saved.
God does NOT give eternal life to the unsaved.
The unsaved do NOT live forever in hell, in purgatory, or anywhere else.

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (John 10:27-28)

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36)

Here is what happens to you, if God does not save you:

"Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. 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." (John 8:21-24)

"Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ezekiel 18:4)

"For the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23)

This is what happens to a person who dies unsaved:
They die in their sin.
They are dead...both physically and spiritually.
They are dead...both body and soul.

When God speaks of "eternal fire", "eternal damnation", "everlasting punishment", or "everlasting fire", He is saying that death is final, complete, and irrevocable for the unsaved. Many times the words hell and sheol may also be translated as the grave. An unsaved person is already spiritually dead, as we learned earlier in this article; when a spiritually dead person also dies physically, they are dead...both body and soul. There is no hope for them to rise to life ever again. On the last day, their physical remains will experience the resurrection of damnation and be destroyed (John 5:28-29; Jeremiah 25:30-33; Revelation 20:11-15). Death is the final punishment; and it is forever. Even death and hell (the grave) will be destroyed in the lake of fire, which is the second death.

"Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (Ezekiel 33:11)"

"The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." (1 Corinthians 15:26)

"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:14-15)

"For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." (Isaiah 65:17)

"...turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed..." (Jeremiah 31:18-19)

"Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease." (Psalms 85:4)

For more verses, read what God says about Death, dead, destruction, annihilation, and Hell.

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