Why do I need to be saved? Sin separates us from God by turning us into his rebellious enemies deserving of Hell. (Isaiah 59:2, 66:24). The Bible tells us that sin entered the world through Adam, and the curse of death fell upon all mankind, thus giving us a fallen nature (Romans 5:12). In our fallen state, all humans are considered “children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3). This means that on the day of God’s final judgment, all unsaved humans will be cast into Hell for eternity. No matter how good we try to be on our own, all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard. (Romans 3:23, Ecclesiastes 7:20, 1 John 1:8). Have you ever lied, cheated, blasphemed, lusted, or stolen anything? Even if you have sinned once, that makes you a sinner, according to the Bible, and deserving of death (Romans 6:23). Make no mistake, this sinful condition applies to all human beings, myself included. We cannot save ourselves; no good works will stop you from being a sinner. Our good works are as filthy rags before a Righteous and Holy God (Isaiah 64:6). Do not be discouraged by this fact; there is good news, Jesus Christ came down to save sinners like you and me from Hell (1Timothy 1:15)
What am I being saved from? Due to the curse of death, all people will eventually die physically (Romans 5:12). However, this is only the first death. The second death is the eternal lake of fire (Hell) (Revelation 21:8). Hell is also described in the Bible as a place of unquenchable fire where the worms never die (Mark 9:47-48), a fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:42) and eternal fire, (Matthew 25:41). Jesus Christ saves us from the second death and brings us into eternal life with him in Heaven (John 3:36). The Bible is clear that Hell is a real place, not just a metaphor; it is a place of conscious and endless torment (Luke 16:23-24). Many people joke that Hell will be one big party, but Hell is no place a human being wants to end up. God is not mocked; anyone who does not repent for their sins will be in Hell. (Galatians 6:7)
How did Jesus Save me? God will execute a final judgment upon all the world for sin, and he gave us a way out before this judgment takes place. God loves us so much that he sent his only begotten Son: Jesus Christ, to receive the wrath of God in our place (John 3:16, Romans 5:9). Simply put, Jesus Christ took the punishment that we deserved upon himself (1 John 2:2). Not only did Jesus Christ suffer for us, but all judgment of sin is in his hands (John 5:22). His sacrifice is like being sentenced to the death penalty in court, but instead, the Judge gets up from his chair and takes a lethal injection on your behalf. Because Jesus has paid the price, we no longer must carry the burden of condemnation due to our sins (Romans 8:1).
What is needed from me to be saved? The Bible tells us there is no other name for salvation in Heaven by which we are to be saved than Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). You are saved by genuinely repenting for your sins, asking Jesus to forgive you, and trusting him to save you (Acts 16:31, Isaiah 55:7). Here is an example prayer to ask Jesus to save you. “Dear Jesus, I admit I am a sinner and deserve to be in Hell due to my sin. I cannot save myself; please forgive me for my sins and save me from Hell. I accept you into my life as my personal savior and ask you to give me a new heart to serve God. In the name of Jesus, Amen”. If you genuinely prayed this (or a similar prayer) in your heart, you are saved, and Jesus Christ has cleansed you from your sin (1 John 1:7). Please understand that it was not this prayer or any prayer that saved you; it is only the Blood of Jesus Christ that saved you (Ephesians 1:7). Being saved does not mean you are free to turn back into a life of sin (Hebrews 10:26, Galatians 5:13). Instead, use the freedom that Jesus Christ gave you to glorify God! (Hebrews 9:14)
What now? It is easy to think that we must work to stay saved by doing good deeds. As you grow in your walk as a saved Christian, always remember that good works did not save you, church attendance didn’t save you, and your pastor didn’t save you. You are saved by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ alone; this is a gift he gives to us from his endless love (Ephesians 2:8, Titus 3:5). Good deeds such as loving your neighbor as yourself are fruits of the Holy Spirit that pours out of you once you have been saved (Galatians 5:22). In other words: good works are a response to the endless love and Mercy of Christ. Grow in your faith by reading his word to learn more about him and his will for you (2 Peter 3:18).