Summary: The most important question any person could ever ask is, "What Must I Do To Be Saved?" Many paths are taken to God today, but there is a way to be saved, and there is but one way to heaven.
From The Desk Of Pastor Toby Powers
Truth Baptist Church
What Must I Do To Be Saved?
Intro: For preaching the Word of the risen Christ, Paul and Silas were arrested, beaten, scolded, and imprisoned, yet at midnight, in shackles and chains, they prayed and sang praises unto God- I’m glad in this midnight hour of time, we can still have a song! When they sang, God sent a great earthquake that shook the prison. The shackles fell from them, and all the prisoners were set free.
The jailer, seeing this sight, knew he would be held responsible for the loss, took out his sword to commit suicide before the Romans set in to punish him, but Paul cried out to him not to do it. The prisoners had not run away. This man retrieved a light, sprang in to where they were, and asked them this question, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” That is where I want to preach today. Before I tell you what can and will save you, I want to tell you what will not. Many are looking for a new way to God, but they really are the same ways man has always tried. And none will work. No one is saved by:
I. Works: a man cannot have enough religion, exhibit enough charity, volunteer for enough social programs to be saved. John 3, Nicodemus was a religious ruler who was constantly working for some religious cause, but Jesus said, “Ye must be born again.” Able offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, for Cain brought of the fruit of his labor, but Able offered of the blood of the Lamb. Gal 2:16, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”
II. Water: Matthew 3:6-12, “And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” As John baptized those who confessed and repented, and Jesus was baptized, and he commanded the apostles to baptize, believers should be baptized. It is an outward representation of the inward work of Christ- the immersion shows our death, burial, and resurrection in the likeness of Christ. Still, baptism can not save anybody!
III. Wealth: Luke 12:16-21, Wealth can not go past this life! If it could, how would a man acquire enough wealth to impress God? If God had not allowed it, you would have nothing, and he can take it away in a moment! Proverbs 11:4, “Riches profit not in the day of wrath.” Prov 11:28, “He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.” Money is not everything! Prov 15:16-17, “Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.”
IV. Wisdom: I Cor 1:17-29, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.” In these last days men have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof, from such turn away! Men are ever learning, and never come to the knowledge of the truth (II Tim 3:7). Man gained knowledge of good and evil in Eden, but he lost knowledge of God. Wisdom of this world can not save!