Salvation is the central theme of the Gospels and apart from certain doctrinal issues, I’d say that it is the overall message of the whole New Testament.
The Old Testament refers to salvation 119 times and the New Testament is mentioned 169 times, so it must be important.
There are various meanaings for the word salvation.
They include deliverance, health, help, welfare, safety, victory, savior, defend, avenge, rescue, preservation and of course...salvation.
It is simply a matter of making a change or of choosing the free gift of salvation that God offers us. Because it is a free gift, there is nothing we can do to earn it. In fact trying to do the good deeds and charitable acts associated with religion offends God. There are many scriptures that tell us this. Here is one taken from Ephesians 2:1-10:
Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.
You and I were born as descendants of Adam. When he and Eve ate that piece of fruit iun the garden of Eden, they did what the bible describes as "falling short of the mark". It is like aiming an arrow at a target miles awayfor you, only to have it land one inch away. Many scriptures like Romans 3:23 explain it. See also Romans 6:23.
We have a solution. It is seen in John 3:16
God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life.
This is basically what salvation is about.
What to do
Jesus came to earth, died on the cross and went to hell to pay the price for sin. Once that price was paid, Jesus was raised from the dead, triumphant over Satan fixing the sin problem forever.
When Jesus paid the sin price for you, He was your substitute, but that doesn’t mean you will automatically go to heaven. Even though God sent Jesus to pay for your sin—even though He holds nothing against you—you can still go straight to hell because salvation is not automatic. It also involved what is called repentance. This means that you change your whole attitude. It is like "apologizing" to God for your way of life and a deliberate choice to go in the opposite direction. Once we were sinners, but chose to live the way God wants and stop living the way we once were and start living God's way. This is a very complex topic in itself, but this sums up the process.
Salvation comes by accepting what Jesus did for you. You have a free will and you have the right to choose your own destiny. God will not force you to receive salvation. The choice is yours. You can go straight to hell and God will not lift a finger to stop you. He did all He is going to do when He sent Jesus into the world.
Your choice is yours.
If you do choose to make Jesus your Lord, God will receive you as His very own child. You will become a part of God’s family. He will be your Father and you will be His child.
This is what we call getting saved or becoming born again.
When you become a Christian (or become born again)—you take on the nature of God, your heavenly Father. The nature of sin and Satan is death; the nature of God is life.
You are a threefold being: You are a spirit, you have a soul (mind, will, emotions), and you live in a body.
When Jesus was having a conversation with a religious leader by the name of Nicodemus He told him that he had to be born again.
Nicodemus thought this meant returning to his mother’s womb, thinking in the natural, but Jesus was talking about his spirit (see John 3:1-16).
Being born again is a spiritual rebirth and we are born of the Spirit of God. It is like the change that happens when a grub goes into a cocoon and emerges as a beautiful butterfly.
This is what Paul explained this in 2 Corinthians 5:17, saying that when you accept Jesus as your Lord, you become a new creature, or new creation. Life seems new and different. We might still have certain things to deal with in life, but now, we have entered into a covenant relationship with God. That changes everything.
There are some specific steps to take for all this to happen.
The bible states that there is only one way and this way is Jesus. He said-
I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him. John 14:6-7.
The apostle Peter affirmed this in Acts 4 when he said-
Clearly, no church or denomination, no person or prophet, no lifestyle or belief can achieve this. Preachers like me cannot do anything other than to help you make your own intelligent decision based on scriptural facts, some of which I have shared with you).
The Bible gives some specific instructions that you are to follow in order to become a Christian, or in order to be born again. I’d like you to read the following passage carefully.
Brothers, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is, that they may get salvation.
I have shared this word of faith with you.
This is an illustration of what I mean. We receive Jesus as Lord and saviour by saying we believe Him and want to receive His free gift of salvation.
He will never turn you away, no matter what you may or may not have done in life. Jesus promised-
This is God’s promise to you concerning salvation. You might not feel saved! There could be many questions or doubts coming your way, so rely on what God has said in His word, including the few scriptures I have already shared and there are many more.
Are you ready to take this important step yet?
Heavenly Father, I come to you now in the Name of Jesus.
I pray and ask Jesus to be Lord over my life. I believe it in my heart, so I say it with my mouth: “Jesus has been raised from the dead.” This moment, I make Him the Lord over my life. I am sorry for my sin and ask you to forgive me.
Jesus, come into my heart and make me a son of God. Give me a new start. I believe this moment that I am saved, I say it now: “I am reborn. I am a Christian. I am a child of Almighty God.”
When such a pryer or confession comes from the heart, or in other words, you mean it, you have just been made a partaker of an inheritance from God. You have just inherited the kingdom of God! You are a son or daughter of God.
This is the first step, but that really is it. That's all you have to do...
Welcome to the family
I hope that you reached out to God in your own way and prayed as I recommended, God has heard you.
God sees what is in our hearts and if you reached out in some way to him and asked Him to become a part of your life as I suggested, it is accomplished. It is like making a totally new fresh start to life. We call it getting saved or being born again.
You are still the same person as before, but now things are different. Think of a grub going through a transformation process to go into a cocoon and eventually emerging as a beautiful butterfly. That's the journey you have now embarked upon.
I did that myself way back in September 1968 and can assure you that, even if life has its ups and downs, it is worth it.
I encourage you to learn more about this. Get a good bible if you do not have one. I recommend an easy to read one to start with. This is your handbook or operator's manual that will show you what to do along the way.
Find someone of like mind to talk things over. If you cannot do that, please feel free to send me an email and ask questions. Yo do not have to join me or for that matter start going to church. Sometimes this is not possible, or you might go somewhere that would not be able to understand or help.
Above all.. see yourself as a new person who has a wonderful future.