This blog article is in response, by request, to a Facebook post shared by “Pilgrim- Ministries” on September 01, 2022. This author is not attacking anyone personally. This author is not attacking the individuals referenced in the post itself. This author is not against the rehabilitation of drug addicts. However, this author is for biblically accurate truth. Especially, when it comes to the souls of men who are being misled. The Bible is unmistakably plain when it deals with salvation. The question (or a form thereof) is asked multiple times, “What must I do to be saved” (Acts 2:37; 9:6; 16:30). The Bible deals directly and plainly with that question each time it is asked (Acts 2:38; 9:18; 16:31-33).
The Facebook post being referenced pictures two young men who have “made their profession of faith public.” One was said to have “asked the Lord into his heart” at a “Wild Game Supper” and another “felt the Lord calling him to salvation” at a Sunday service at the Harbor Lights Baptist Church. The post goes on to say, “Both of these young men along with ****** (another young man) will be baptized Sunday at our own home church, Toms Creek Baptist Church.”
The writer of this blog would like to ask the reader a couple preliminary questions.
- Where in the Bible does it ever record “ask Jesus into your heart” for salvation?
- Where in the Bible does it reveal a single person “feeling the Lord calling them to salvation?”
Now, there are a couple verses that are used by the denominational world to say, “invite Jesus into your heart”. They are Revelation 3:20 and Ephesians 3:17.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man
hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in
to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye,
being rooted and grounded in love.” – Ephesians 3:17
Please notice that the “Ephesian” letter is written to Christians, to “the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ” (Ephesians 1:1). These people have already responded to Christ and are saved, note, they are called “saints.” The passage used more often is the verse found in Revelation 3:20 (see above). Notice that Jesus is speaking to a church, a body of people belonging to Him, and in need of repentance (Revelation 3:19). This is the congregation at Laodicea. These people have already been saved, but have fallen short. This is not a verse to council anyone who is an alien sinner and outside of Jesus Christ.
Notice, in Revelation 3:20, it is Jesus who is standing, knocking and pleading. The text says nothing about a heart, or a person asking Jesus to come in! The key is the response to Jesus, the faith response to, “open” or “do” something. But the context here isn’t initial salvation. The truth of the matter is, if one is looking for salvation for the alien sinner (outside of Christ) one must look at the “book of conversions” or the “Acts of the Apostles”. It is in the book of Acts where one finds the backdrop of all the Epistles as the accounts are recorded of the missionary journeys. It is Acts that records the Apostles spreading out and establishing the churches that are later written to in Romans – Revelation. Now, there’s no doubt, information is present in the Epistles that are doctrinally accurate regarding salvation. The evidence of what Paul wrote to the Romans regarding their salvation is in Romans 1:7-12…but they were established sometime after Pentecost day (Acts 2:10). So, no one should go to Romans 10 to find salvation to the exclusion of Romans 6, or Acts 2, or any other passage!
Now, one of the fellows stated that he “felt the Lord calling him to salvation.” The problem with this “feeling” is that men are called by the Gospel not a feeling! “Whereunto He called you by our Gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:14).
Now, the challenge is this: Name an Apostle who ever told someone to “ask Jesus into their heart” and supply the verse for it.
The Bible explicitly says that “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).
Grace is Gods part. Grace is what God bestows on mankind. It is seen in the action of Jesus coming to earth (2 Corinthians 8:9) dying on the cross and being raised for our justification (Romans 4:25). The Gospel is couched in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). The Gospel is that which demands obedience (1 Peter 4:17; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). When a person realizes that they are outside of Jesus Christ, they must get into Jesus Christ wherein is salvation (2 Timothy 2:10) and every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3). The question, “What must I do to be saved” is equivalent to asking, “how do I get into Jesus Christ?” It is the faith response of man that makes a person pleasing to God (Hebrews 11:6).
Gods grace brings His instructions to man (Titus 2:11-12). Mans faith response is according to His instructions whereby men can stand in a right relationship with Him. Many will try to come to God their own way and Jesus addressed this (John 10:1; Matthew 7:21-23). Jesus said, “No man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6). Men must obey Jesus if they want to enjoy the salvation He offers.
So, did God give mankind examples of others responding to Him in faith? YES! In the wilderness, the Children of Israel “looked upon a brazen serpent” and lived (Numbers 21:9). The instructions of God were to look (grace), the faith response was to obey God and look (faith). When the people did what God requested, they enjoyed the benefits He offered. In Joshusa 6, God told the leader of Israel that He had given Jericho into their hand (Joshua 6:2). That’s the grace of God! But, they had to do something! In verses 3-5, God gives the instructions that they are to follow to access the grace of the defeating of this heavily fortified and defended city. They did as God commanded, and that was their faith response. The same way men are saved by grace through faith today. God gives instructions (Mark.16:16; Acts 2:38) and anyone who wants to enjoy the benefit of eternal salvation must obey Him (Hebrews 5:9; Romans 6:17-18).
It is devastating to think that so many dismiss the very words of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-19; Mark 16:16; John 3:3-5). There is coming a day when everyone will stand before Jesus and give account as to why they refused His command (John 12:48).
Consider this question. If you were Peter on the day of Pentecost, and you were asked, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” What would you have said? If you respond with any other words than what Peter did, you are denying inspiration. Peter said, “repent every one of you and be baptized for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Now, what did Peter by the inspiration of God say baptism is for? FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS.
What does the Bible say about baptism and salvation? It says that Paul needed to “arise and be baptized, washing away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). The post this author is bringing under question has these young men “saved” before they have obeyed God. Annanias said “wash away thy sins”. Do you wash something that is already clean? No, no you don’t.
What does the Bible say about salvation? It says that it is “in Christ” (2 Timothy 2:10). So, how does one get in Christ? Acts 2:47 says that those who were baptized are “added to the church”. The Bible says “the church is His body” (Ephesians 1:23; Colossians 1:18). How do men get into the church, the body of Christ?
The Bible is extremely clear about getting into Jesus “where all spiritual blessings are” (Ephesians 1:3). “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). Now, baptism, to be a faith response to Gods command has to be for the reason God gave it for. If Baptism is to “show an outward sign of an inward grace”, then a person has gotten wet, but not been biblically baptized. Where is the verse that says that baptism is a “public showing?”
If it is merely a public showing the first century church was unaware! They baptized at midnight (Acts 16:33), they baptized in the desert (Acts 8:38). The Bible tells us that the people of Sameria “were baptized both men and women” “as soon as they believed Phillip preaching concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 8:12). You will never find a single text in the Bible where anyone ever ate a bite, drank a drop, or slept a wink before being baptized for the remission of their sins! They never put it off to have a “baptism service!”
Baptism is “Gods powerful working” (Colossians 2:12 ESV). How dare anyone call baptism anything other than what God calls it! God says it “washes away sins” (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16). God says it is where He operates, removing the body of sins (Colossians 2:11). God says it saves you (1 Peter 3:21).
Once again, this blog isn’t an attack on individuals, but it is an indictment on the religious error promoted by men who claim to be teaching the word of God. And, remember, “teachers shall receive the stricter condemnation” (James 3:1).
Can men not unify around the Bible? Forgetting creeds and manuals of men that divide the religious world? Can men just settle on calling Bible things by Bible names and doing Bible things in Bible ways? If you cannot find “ask Jesus into your heart” or “feeling God calling to salvation” in the Bible- put it far from you. If men in the Bible were baptized for the remission of sins- you should too.
Let’s study this subject together. The Bible is always right. God bless you.