If being religiously honest, sincere and morally good cannot earn me Salvation: Then, What must I do to be saved?
Many people, in our world are worshippers of the true God while many others worship different idols (Acts 17: 16 17).
Many people have even become fanatics and persecutors of others because of their conviction in the god/religion they have chosen for themselves to believe.
It is a pity; however, that hardly can we find just one person out of these many people that will stop for a minute and ask that great question asked by the Jailer in Acts of Apostles 16 and verse 30, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
The multitude on the first Pentecost after the ascension of Jesus Christ, in Acts 2 and verse 37, asked the same question when they were convicted by the apostle Peter’s preaching. They were guilty of crucifying the anointed one of God. “Now, when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
The apostle Paul, who truly encountered the Lord Jesus Christ and the Savior of mankind, on his way to Damascus, did not fail to ask that great question of all time. “And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do…”(Acts 9: 6).
1. Who is this multitude of people we read about in Acts chapter two? They were Jews who practiced the religion known as Judaism. They were very honest, sincere and devoted all their lives to their fathers’ religion. They came to Jerusalem, from about 17 different countries of the then world where they had gone to sojourn, purposely to observe one of their religious feasts, the Pentecost and that was their yearly practice(Acts 2: 5 – 11).
2. Who was Saul of Tarsus? “Men, brethren and fathers, hear ye my defense which I make unto you… I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous towards God, as ye all are this day” (Acts 22: 1 – 3).
3. Who was Saul of Tarsus? (Acts 22: 4 – 5) – He was a persecutor of the religion of Christ to a point that he wasted it (Gal. 1: 13 – 14). He did this in order to preserve Judaism, the religion of his fathers!
4. Do you think God can still find just one person in our world today, to whom He can attest to his character as He did to the man Cornelius?(Acts 10: 1 – 2).
ü Cornelius was a devout man.
ü He feared God with his entire household.
ü He gave much alms to the people.
ü He prayed to God always.
If we can find someone in our neighborhood today, who has just one of the 4 attributes listed above, and such a person should drop dead this minute, what shall we be saying? Oh! A good person has gone so soon. Ha! We have lost a gem. Uh! Papa has gone home to rest. Yes, there is no doubt; our Mama is heaven-bound straight way because she has lived well! Etc.
But, God says, NO! The Jews who practiced Judaism would have missed the joy of eternity, if they had banked on their religion, Judaism, to save them! (Acts 2: 37 – 41; cf. Gal. 5: 1 – 4).
Paul would not have been saved if he had not asked the Lord for the next thing to do when he met the Lord, face to face, on his way to Damascus (Acts 9: 1 – 6; 22: 16).
Cornelius was not saved until he was told what to do by Peter despite all the good qualities found in by God (Acts 10: 47 – 48).
Do you think you are religiously honest, sincere and morally good like any of the people mentioned above? Even, if you think you are, you are not the first and you are not going to be the last person.
God’s plan of salvation is not based on being religiously devoted alone. Neither is being morally good alone is all that is needed for you to be saved. You must hear the word of God, believe it, repent of your sins and be baptized for you to put on Christ (Mk. 16: 15 – 16; Gal. 3: 26 – 27).