THE PROCESS TO OBTAIN SALVATION: THE NEW BIRTH PRINCIPAL
Normally a seeker of Christ doesn't know the scriptural process of getting saved. He or she is simply drawn to church and to Jesus. They listen to some preaching and teaching about Jesus and salvation. They realize they are lost and they want saved.
A time of decision comes. They decide to either accept Jesus as Saviour or refuse Jesus as Saviour. It is obvious they already believe in Jesus if they are willing to pray. They pray and it is done; they are saved. When they get done they are glad to confess that Jesus has saved them. It is that simple.
The information below explains in detail and by scripture the spiritual mechanics of the salvation process. By this you can see all the beautiful effort, wonderful patience, amazing love, locked in safeguards and infinite grace and mercy God exerts to help someone obtain salvation.
If you are an unsaved person it is of the greatest importance that you know how to get saved when the time of God’s drawing comes because (Mark 8:36 & 37) “For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Wealth can’t buy life from death and wealth can’t buy mercy at God's judgment. The only question is; Do you care, really care, what happens to you eternally?
You may think; “Man, that’s a stupid question!” Or you may think; “Man, that’s an unfair question, especially at a time like this!” No, it is a reasonable question. Just look around you; how many people do you know who died and sad people said; “He wasn’t a Christian and he didn’t leave any hope.” OR: At the funeral, being kind to the family, all the preacher can say is; “Well, he’s in the hands of a merciful God.” How wonderful it is to hear the preacher say; “He was a Christian and he’s gone home to be with Jesus.”
And then the preacher preaches about that happy family reunion in Heaven where there will never, ever, be any more sorrow, pain, tears or dying. So what do you want for you? That is a reasonable question.
First let’s face some facts. (Rom. 3:23) You are a sinner because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Matt. 18:11) You are lost and God wants to save you. (John 3:16) “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.” (John 12:30) Jesus said; “He that is not with me is against me.”
One is either for or against Jesus and death will make sure there is no third choice. Contrary to popular belief a person does not get saved from their sins; (Luke 19:10) Jesus came to seek and save people who are lost. Sin prevents salvation and (1John 1:7) Jesus' blood is what cleanses a person of that sin so they can be saved from being lost. It is God's way that (Heb. 9:22:28) without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin and Jesus' blood is the only thing (1Pet. 1:18-21) precious enough to remove sin from a person's soul.
So many times people think of God as some red faced malignant entity who is wildly looking for any excuse to send us to hell but the following paragraph tells the truth about how God really feels. Think about this: (Matt. 25:41) hell was prepared for the devil and his angels and man was not supposed to even go there. (Isa. 5:12-14) Hell enlarges itself only as men choose to go there.
Think about this: (Rev. 20:15) God does not have a choice in the matter of who He sends to heaven or hell! When a person gets saved their name goes into the book of life. When judgment time comes each individual comes before God when their name is called. God checks the book of life and if their name is not written there that person is cast into the fire.
So, just like Adam and Eve's choice to live or die, (John 5:24-30 esp. V.29) each person makes the choice to live forever or die forever. God sends each person WHERE THEY HAVE CHOSEN TO GO!
You already know these things about your life: You know what you've done and how you've lived. You know something is missing and things are just not quite right in your life. What you don't know is there is a God place in you that is empty because; (Col. 1:16) you were made by God and for God. God wants you to love Him for who and what He is. God is not living in your soul in your God place and that causes the sense of lacking that is like there must be more to life than what I've got and what I feel".
From that God place comes the need to worship. People try to fill God's place with things and they worship money, possessions, power, popularity, pleasing self, or people. But the God place will still be empty and you will always want more of whatever it is you are attempting to fill your God place with; but it will never be enough because it is God's place in you and nothing can ever fill that place except God. Really now; what has ever completely and permanently satisfied you?
(Ps. 149:4) God takes no pleasure that you are lost, it breaks His heart but His honesty makes Him live by your choice.
Being saved brings you an assurance that overrides all disappointment, worry and defeat because you know everything will be alright in the end. (Luke 12:32) It is God's good pleasure to save you. (James 5:11) God is very pitiful (extreme compassion) and of tender mercy and (Luke 15:10) God expresses His joy in the presence of His angels when a person accepts the salvation He offers.
Here is the process, in steps, by number, which must happen before a person can accept God’s offer of salvation.
#1 (Acts 4:10-12) about Jesus; Jesus is the only name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.
#2 (John 6:44 & 12:32-33); “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.” “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL men to me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.” Jesus was lifted up (Luke 23:33) when He was crucified, (Luke 24:1-6) lifted up when He rose from the dead and (Luke 24:51) lifted up when He ascended into heaven.
God uses His people as part of His drawing. He will send Christians to witness to you and ask you to come to His church. He has His Christians on radio, TV, internet and publishing articles that draw you by their testimony, preaching and teaching.
(1Cor. 15:2-7) Jesus died for your sins. Jesus was resurrected from the dead on the third day and after forty days of visiting His friends and (Luke 24:46-51) giving final instructions about establishing a church He ascended into Heaven. God’s drawing is the key to the whole thing.
God’s Holy Spirit accomplishes GOD'S DRAWING in three ways: (Matt. 20:15 & Luke 5:32) A calling, which is an invitation from God to stop living a life of sin and stop being lost. God will open your understanding and you will see the need for something more in your life. Nothing will ever completely fill that emptiness but the presence of God. It is an invitation to come on back home where you are loved and appreciated; back where you belong.
(Luke 10:21-22) A revealing: God reveals to you that you are lost; that you, precious you, are really going to die; and that hell is a terrible reality. God reveals His own loving and forgiving nature, the reality and goodness of his person, and that salvation is possible for you.
(John 16:8) A reproving: God convicts you of your lost sinful condition; that you are terribly vulnerable; that the devil is really using you and mocking you; that your life is just plain old wrong, and that the world is really a taking place and by its actions it is attempting to take away your shot at eternal life in paradise. You must understand that God loves you; He does not want to hurt you; He wants what is best for you. He is not some, some, some “weird dude” entity who takes a twisted, perverted, hateful delight in being cruel and punishing you. God is love.
Satan is just the opposite. Satan is hate. Satan is the one who wants you to go to hell so it will hurt God. Satan doesn’t want you to have a choice or a chance. God loves you so much He gave His only Son to die on a cruel cross so you can get saved. Think of that! His Son! For you! That is what you are worth to God.
It’s a poor example but compare the process of God’s drawing to visiting Yellowstone National Park; you’ve read about it, heard about it, seen it in the news, and maybe even studied it in vacation brochures; YOU KNOW ABOUT YELLOWSTONE! (Think: you know about God because you heard about and learned some things about God and Jesus in your lifetime.) Then you get a chance to go to Yellowstone. (Think: God is drawing you.)
You stand on the edge of Yellowstone and you start to get a feeling about it; there’s some fear, a little intimidation and a bunch of questions. People, signs and literature answer your questions. Then you get in and start to feel Yellowstone. (Think: you are responding to God's drawing.) As you get deeper your questions are being answered as you see the wonders and the reality of Yellowstone that is all around you.
The tour guides (the Holy Spirit) help you become immersed in Yellowstone. Then Yellowstone becomes a part of you and you FEEL Yellowstone. (Think: you get saved.) If you live; fifty years later you’ll say; “Let me tell you about the time I went to Yellowstone:” BECAUSE YOU KNOW YELLOWSTONE! Getting into Yellowstone was a process and getting saved is also a process.
#3 (James 4:7-8) “Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you.” Each of these steps begins with God’s word because it is His instructions, promises and guarantees and only God can fulfill them. God’s drawing is so gentle and starts so early in life most people aren’t even aware of it for a long time. Think about this a minute: Before you got hardened by life and before you got is such a big hurry living your life you were aware of God in the natural world around you, weren’t you (God's drawing)?
In your life experience there’s a little attraction when you hear about God (God's drawing). Life goes on, you hear about God, His Son Jesus, and salvation and you can’t help but wonder about it (God's drawing). You may disregard it; you may scoff at it; you may not believe it; you may even say you stand against it; but somehow the God awareness is there (God's drawing). Way down deep inside you where nobody else is allowed, in that terribly empty God place; you wonder about your death and eternity (God's drawing).
You’ve probably heard all your life that scared religion is worthless but the Holy Bible, God’s word, screams out that is a lie. (Ps. 111:10) “Fear is the beginning of wisdom.” Read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Everybody that came to Jesus had a problem, a disease, an emergency, or a need and they were afraid of their problem because they couldn't handle it. Please understand: these people knew who to go to for help (God's drawing).
Being lost and on the way to hell is the greatest emergency that can be imagined because what could possibly be worse than to be in torment forever and no way out (God's drawing). (Matt. 18:11) Think about it: what if you, precious, precious, precious you die lost?
(James 4:8-10 examples: Acts 8:26-38 esp. V.28 & Acts 10:1-48 esp. V.2 both men were not saved yet they were reading the scriptures and praying) When you draw nearer to God by thinking (meditation), praying, reading the Bible, talking about the Bible and going to church; God guarantees He will draw closer to you and God’s calling, revealing and reproving will intensify.
Please understand this: (Eph. 2:8) As long as you keep drawing closer to God He will give you the faith you need to keep going through the process of drawing right on through to being saved. Think of the fairness of that! God knows each of us intimately. Examples: (Acts 10:34) God will “draw” a very stubborn man a little harder than He does a less stubborn man OR: (Eph. 2:8-9) God will give an extra measure of faith to an extremely doubting man and give less faith to a less doubting man thus we all get an equal opportunity to be saved.
Think of the loving, wonderful, fairness God shows each of us! God may have been drawing you for years and you just didn’t understand what was happening.
No man understands it completely until he goes through it for himself. No man can tell you how long it takes for you because he isn’t you and he sure isn’t God. God knows you intimately; He knows your needs, your fears, all that you think, feel and are; He knows what it takes and how long it takes to draw you.
The final realization of His drawing may be only minutes, a few hours, or some days. No man can tell you because it is His time for you and your time for Him. You “feel” God’s beautiful, amazing and wonderful love for you and you “know He is God.” Follow that love because it will lead you to wonder, beauty, peace, security and joy. (Luke 15:10) GOD IS ANXIOUS AND HAPPY TO SAVE YOU!
You cannot reason your way to God. You cannot just decide to make yourself saved. GOD MUST BE THERE TO WORK HIS DRAWING IN YOUR SOUL, YOUR EMOTIONS. (James 4:8) When you draw nearer to Him He will draw nearer to you and His revelation of Himself will cause a time to come when you know it is time to make a decision. IT IS YOUR CHANCE AT SALVATION; RELIEF; A PEACE YOU’VE NEVER HAD; AND FINALLY, SAFETY.
#4 (Eph. 2:8-9) It doesn’t matter what you have done in the past. “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.” Only by God’s grace can you be saved because you have nothing valuable enough to purchase salvation, you cannot live good enough to deserve salvation and you will not be able to generate enough faith to obtain salvation. Enough faith to get saved is a gift from God. What amazing fairness!
#5 (Rom. 10:9) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Do you believe Jesus is the virgin born Son of God? Do you believe Jesus died for your sins and that He was resurrected from the dead? Can you say it?
It is a tender, sorrowful, poignant time of almost unutterable sweetness as God reveals the reality of the remarkable depths of His loving character and that He loves you enough to send His own Son Jesus to the cross to pay your sin debt which, because of your sins, you could not pay.
TAKE IT! Take salvation while it is offered! (Luke 12:32) It is God’s good pleasure to give you salvation. It hurts God when you choose Satan, the devil, instead of God’s Son Jesus. God gave all He had; God gave His level best for you; GRAB IT!
It is a fearful time too. Mortal words cannot describe how awful are the consequences are of dying lost. Please read (Prov. 1:23-33) because if you keep refusing God; a time will come when He will depart, He won’t be back, and you can never get saved. I love you and I’m really sorry to have to tell you this part but you must know the truth.
This isn’t some threat to try to scare you; it’s just the way it is. Think about yourself for a minute. Have you ever had something really nice you wanted to give someone you loved and they took your “special” gift and treated it like a piece of garbage? Of course you have and that hurt you and made you angry; didn’t it? I’ll bet you never offered them something “special” again did you? God is the same way. Don’t forget; you are made in God’s image.
God is warm and loving; God has feelings and He can be hurt; God is tender hearted and filled with mercy. God is gracious and kind. All this is in the Bible but you already know it because that is what He reveals when He draws you. There is nothing more terrifying and pitiful than to have to die, depart from all you know, and face the judgment alone and without hope.
God looks at it this way: (John 8:12) “Jesus is the light of the world.” (John 3:19) “And this is the condemnation, that light (Jesus) has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
You read these words and you know they are the truth because God isn’t taking anything. God wants to give but God despises sin so there are conditions to His giving. You already know how you would feel if you were brought to face God while you were still in your sinful condition. That’s what salvation is about: it’s a chance to be cleansed of your sin, get a brand new start and when you die and go meet God, you can be glad and happily receive His rewards.
#6 (John 3:3) “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, (truly, truly,) I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (to regenerate), he cannot see the kingdom of God.” When you confess that Jesus is the Son of God and genuinely believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead; when you genuinely want to be saved more than anything; when you genuinely repent of your sins and ask God to forgive you of your sins; you will be saved.
The born again event is a spiritual rebirth of your soul, (2Cor. 5:17) you are a new creation in Christ and that is brought about in the mind of God because you are forgiven and justified by God. You will know you are saved because God will tell you and your sin burden will leave. God is the only one who can accomplish these things.
It is a time of the most incredible love. The wonderful relief you will feel is because you have been judged, your sins have been cleansed from you by the blood of Jesus Christ, you have been cleared before God, the great and eternal judge, and you are free.
(Gal. 4:7 & Mark 3:35) Best of all you have become a member of God’s personal family and when your lifetime is over you can go live in eternity where (Rev. 21:3-8) “there is no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:”
#7 (John 14:23) “we will come unto him and make our abode with him." When you are truly saved you will know you are saved because Jesus will move right into your soul and live with you through the Holy Spirit in your God place and He will stay there and start teaching you how to live as a Christian. And maybe, just maybe, you can influence somebody you love dearly to become a Christian too. It is all free. All you have to do is accept it when it is offered.
The next step is baptism. (1Peter 3:21) "The like figure whereunto even baptism (make fully wet) doth also now save us, not the putting away of the filth (depravity, wickedness) of the flesh (carnal human nature) but the answer of a good conscience (moral consciousness) toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
It is obvious baptism is complete immersion in water. It is also obvious baptism does not cleanse a person of wickedness. It is plain to see baptism takes place after the born again event when a person is cleansed of their sins by the blood of Jesus.
#A (John 9:10 & Rom. 5:11) Baptism publicly signifies you have already been saved and your moral consciousness of your sin has been cleansed by God through the cleansing atonement of Jesus’ blood. Baptism also signifies two other events.
#B (Rom. 6:3-4) Baptism is a physical public demonstration that represents the spiritual born again event; that you, the old person of sin, has spiritually died and been buried just like Jesus died and was buried. Then just like Jesus was spiritually resurrected in His glorified body you are physically resurrected from the water a new person but still living in this world.
#C (Rom. 6:5 & 1Cor. 15:42-55 esp. V.46) Baptism is also a public demonstration of your faith that after your physical death at the end of your lifetime on earth, at some future time chosen by God, you will be resurrected in a glorified spiritual body just like Jesus and you will live forever with Jesus in paradise. Think of that! It’s all free!
GOD BLESS YOU.