Monday, November 21, 2011

What Must I Do?

Acts 16:30 And {the keeper of the prison} brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

So, there is the question for all mankind to ask. So what answer does God give man for this desperate quest?

Acts 16:31 And they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ”, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

So we have several questions from these two verses:

1-Did the prison guard want to know what action he could take to secure salvation from his sin, and obtain eternal life? I would have to say, “YES”

So it seems evident that the question to the Apostle Paul carried “Theological” and “Doctrinal” implications.

I would guess that the Great religious thinker, and now converted Christian, and chosen Apostle to the Gentiles, would have surely corrected this man if indeed correction was needed.

2-So, by his answer to this guard, did the Apostle Paul reveal to us the answer of God? Is God’s plan of Salvation as simple as this, that a person must “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” to be saved?
3-Then, we ask, would the belief on the Lord Jesus Christ by this Gentile prison guard, also be enough to save his house? I would have to say, “NO”
4-This leads to a follow up question then, what did Paul mean by “and thy house”? One would have to conclude that those of his household could be saved by the exact same action of belief. {Was Paul privy to the list of God's chosen to know that this man's whole household would be saved? I don't think so}.

I am certain that we can conclude from this that God chooses to save men that believe on his Son. So the age old debate on this subject is, Does God choose people from before he created time to be saved (thereby excluding the ones he did not choose)? So that when the spirit of God begins the separation process of a person unto himself, does that individual no longer have a real choice to believe, but is compelled by something that spiritually happens to him, like “Irresistible Grace”? Or, is it really up to the individual to hear the gospel and respond with an action of either “Belief” or “Rejection”?

Listen to the response of Philip to a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch concerning belief:

Acts 8:36-37 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

5-Was Philip speaking from his own logic, or was he speaking the word and doctrine of God?
6-His reply was that the eunuch needed to “Believe with all his heart”. Sounds like an action of effort.

So, our theological debate has God’s sovereignty in view with two opposing views.

a)Does God choose based on an "unrevealed to man" method who will be saved?
b)Does God choose to choose any and all who will believe?

For man, God has set a final line in the sand between an eternity in Heaven and an eternity in Hell:

Mark 16:16 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Listen to the final instructions of our Lord Jesus to his disciples, to go, preach the gospel to all the world, to every creature, and “he that believes and is baptized (another subject to be explained later) shall be saved”. But the line drawn here is the next part, “he that believeth not, shall be damned”.

1 John 2:2 2 And he {Jesus Christ} is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Last thought: God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whosoever believes on him, should have everlasting life. His death, and shed blood is sufficient to redeem and forgive the “Whole World”

What must I do? You must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. You must be born again. You must do it today.