Salvation or being saved comes as a result of a person’s sins being forgiven by God because of the death of Jesus on the cross. Hebrews 10:10-23.
Our sin separates us from God. Only love can bring us together again. God has done his part in loving us by sending Jesus to be the needed sacrifice. (John 3:16)
The only love missing is our love. John 14:15 says it all. “If you love me, keep my commandments”. Yet we want God’s love without giving him our love. To show God that we love him, we must keep his commandments.
God has done his part. We must do our part. Here is the problem. To love someone, we must know them. After we know them, we can love them and obey them. It must come in this complete order: know, love, obey.
In the Old Testament times, knowing God was not enough. Before the flood, people knew God but failed to love and obey. God found Noah to be the exception and saved him and his family while destroying the rest of mankind in the flood.
God chose Abraham to build a family and finally a nation through which would come God’s love, Jesus. Even with God leading the nation of Israel, many knew God but failed to love and obey him. God dealt with them as he saw fit.
Even while Jesus walked the earth many knew him but failed to love and obey him. Many in this group brought Jesus to the Roman authorities to have him crucified, just as God had planned, that Jesus might become the sacrifice for all sin.
Throughout modern history since the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, many have come to know him but few have loved and obeyed him. Jesus predicted this when he said in Matt. 7:13-14, “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.”
Many of those who have entered the wide gate and are walking along the broad way know Jesus (God) but fail to love and obey him. This pathway leads to destruction.
One reason there are many entering the wide gate and walking along the broad way is because of false prophets. Jesus warned of these in the very next verse Matt. 7:15. He said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” These prophets do not teach the truth but what is false, therefore leading many through the wide gate to walk on the broad way thinking they are saved. This is what is so sad. They think they are saved.
The apostle Peter was given the keys to the kingdom. The keys to the kingdom include knowing who Jesus is, a reason for loving God and commandments to obey to obtain the forgiveness of sin. Obeying God’s commands breaks down the barrier between a person and God by joining the person to God’s family as his child. This is done when the person received the gift of God’s Holy Spirit because his sins have been forgiven. This is outlined for us in Acts chapter 2.
• On the day of Pentecost the apostles were all gathered in the same house. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit. They began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them utterances.
• Devout men from many nations were in Jerusalem. When they heard of the Holy Spirit coming on the apostles and them speaking in other languages they came together. Each heard them speak in their own language. They were all amazed and were in doubt, saying one to another, “What does this mean?” Others mocked and said, “These men are full of new wine.”
• Peter told the crowd they were not drunk but that what they were experiencing was what the prophet Joel had prophesied would come to pass.
• Peter tells the crowd who Jesus of Nazareth was: a man approved of God by the miracles and wonders and signs which God did by him. You took him and by wicked hands have crucified him. God raised him up as David prophesied. David also prophesied that God would raise him up and set him on his throne. (33)Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. (36) Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made this same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
• When they had heard what Peter had said, they were pricked in their heart, (they believed what Peter has said about who Jesus was) they said to Peter and the others, “What shall we do?” Peter then said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission (forgiveness) of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter continued to testify and exhort them saying to save themselves from this untoward (sinful) generation. Then they that gladly received his word (believed and loved God for who he was and what he had done) were baptized.
Acts 2:43-46 (Read)
• 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.
•And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
So in short, those who were being saved and added to the church were those who believed who Jesus was, loved God enough to want to repent of their sin and to obey what Peter said so their sins would be forgiven.
The false prophets who have come in today preach only part of what Peter preached.
Some say all a person has to do is to believe in who Jesus is and they are saved. These say a person is saved before they love God enough to repent or obey by being baptized for the forgiveness of their sin.
Others say all a person has to do is to pray a prayer asking Jesus to come into their heart and they will be saved. Again these say nothing of loving God enough to repent or obey by being baptized for the forgiveness of their sin.
Both of these are teaching what is false and are therefore false prophets.
If you believe that Jesus is both LORD and Christ and truly love God, you will want to obey the good news about how to have your sins forgiven and be added to Christ’s Kingdom, the church.
King James, NIV and others can be used as Bible reference.