Issues and Answers
How to be saved (English)
Here are some great Chick Tracts that also help explain the Way of Salvation in comic-book format.
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How to be saved, and know it!
First, you must know that you are lost, BEFORE you can be saved.
Have you ever told a lie? What do you call someone who tells lies? A liar. Are you a liar?
The Bible says, "You shall not bear false witness" (Exodus 20:16)
Have you ever stolen something, or taken something without paying for it? What do you call someone who steals? A thief. Are you a thief?
The Bible says, "You shall not steal." (Exodus 20:15)
Have you ever lusted after a person that you are not married to? Jesus said that if you lust in your heart after a woman/man you are not married to, you are an adulterer. Are you guilty of adultery in your heart?
The Bible says, "You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14).
Have you ever used profane language? How about blasphemy? Have you ever used God's Holy Name in vain? Or used the Holy Name of Jesus in vain? The Bible says "You shall not take the Name of Jehovah your God in vain: for Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that takes his Name in vain." (Exodus 20:7)
Let's be honest. There is not a person who has ever lived who has not been guilty of one or all of these sins. Even if you didn't actually steal something, you wanted to. The Bible calls that covetousness, which is a sin. Or if you only wanted to commit adultery or fornication (sex outside of marriage) or homosexuality (sex with another person of your sex), and didn't actually do it, that is also sin, because God looks on our hearts and judges us by what is in there, not just by our actions.
"For Jehovah sees not as man sees: for man looks on the outward appearance, but Jehovah looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
"for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them." Ezekiel 11:5
You see, we think of ourselves as pretty good in our own sight. We judge ourselves by what everyone else does. "I'm not so bad. I don't rob banks, or kill anyone. And I work hard for a living and try to be a good human being. And just look at the hypocrites over there. I'm much better than they are."
The problem with this line of thinking is that God looks at us in a completely different way. He doesn't judge us by comparing us with other people. He judges us by the Law that He has given in his Word, the Holy Bible.
"You shall not bear false witness" (Exodus 20:16)
"You shall not steal." (Exodus 20:15)
"You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14)
"You shall not take the Name of Jehovah your God in vain: for Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that takes his Name in vain." (Exodus 20:7)
And many others, too many to list here.
"Now we know that whatsoever things the Law says, it says to them who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be shut, and all the world may become guilty before God" (Romans 3:19)
Do you agree with God, that you have broken his Law and sinned against Him? Then read on.
So why do we sin?
We sin against God, because we were born that way:
"Therefore, as by one man, that is, Adam, sin entered into the world, and death through his sin; and so death passed upon all men, because all have sinned.Therefore, as by one man, that is, Adam, sin entered into the world, and death through his sin; and so death passed upon all men, because all have sinned." (Romans 5:12)
This is our problem when we come into this world: we are born into a state of being unable to know our Creator.
Sin is like a giant gulf or canyon between us and God
We cannot know our Creator because we have a BARRIER between us and Him, and that barrier is our sin.
"Behold, Jehovah’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither is his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear" Isaiah 59:1, 2
It is like a giant wall between us and our Creator God.
It is also like a giant CANYON or a "great gulf fixed" between us and God that cannot be crossed, unless God Himself helps you across it.
Why is sin like a wall or a canyon between us and God? Because God hates sin of any kind, even the slightest sin is offensive to his holiness. (1 Peter 1:16) "it is written, “You be holy: for I am Holy.”"
And, because we are separated from God by our sin, when we die, we cannot enter into God's presence in Heaven, because God hates our sin. God loves us very much, but he hates our sin, so since our sins have not been forgiven, He must put us some place other than Heaven, and that place is called Hell.
"..the rich man also died, and was buried; and in Hell he lifted up his eyes, being in extreme pain..." Luke 16:22-23
So how can we cross this "great gulf" or canyon between us and God?
We cannot cross this great gulf because we are sinners, but God can and did, and that is what the GOSPEL of Jesus is all about.
Jesus came down from Heaven almost 2,000 years ago, so that He might be born of a Virgin, live a perfect sinless life, and then die on a cross for the sins of all mankind, and that includes you and me, my friend. Then after 3 days, Jesus rose up from the dead, and returned back to Heaven, awaiting the Day when He will return in Judgment upon this world and to claim his rightful Kingdom over all mankind.
Here is the Gospel (the GOOD NEWS):
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up on the cross, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have Eternal Life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have Everlasting Life." (John 3:14-16)
"For there is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him: for it is written, “whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:12-13)
Jesus came down from Heaven to cross that great gulf or canyon between us and God. He died on the cross to pay for our sins, so that our sins can be forgiven by his Father.
No one else has ever done this, nor could they do it: not Mohammed, not Mary, not Peter nor any of his Apostles, not Buddha, not Krishna, nor any other person who has ever lived. The reason is that all of them were sinners. Mary was also a sinner.
The Bible says, "And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior." (Luke 1:46-47)
Mary called the Lord her "Savior", meaning that she had sinned like all others and needed to be saved. You cannot be saved by a sinner; only by One who is perfect and without sin; and that One is the Lord Jesus Christ.
A sinner cannot save me, nor forgive my sins or your sins. Jesus Christ was the only Person who ever lived who was perfect in every way, and He died on the cross for our sins, so that we can be forgiven by his Father.
We must repent in order to be saved
BUT, we can only be forgiven, if we repent of our sins and receive Jesus Christ as our Savior.
What is repentance? It is agreeing with God that we are sinners, and being sorry for it. We must admit to God that He is right and we are wrong; otherwise, we cannot be saved.
Mark 1:14-15: "Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God; and saying, “The time has been fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is near! Repent, and believe the Gospel!”"
Jesus said, "I tell you, no; but, unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish.”" Luke 13:5
Can I do something so that I can earn God's forgiveness?
What if I do something to earn God's forgiveness, like helping an old lady across the street, or giving out money to the poor, or being a good person, or doing penance or being baptized in water?
This is very, very important to understand: you CANNOT earn forgiveness from God by "doing something"; you can only be forgiven through what Jesus has already done FOR YOU. In other words, Jesus died on the cross so that you might be forgiven by receiving Him as your personal Savior.
Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man comes to the Father, but by Me." (John 14:6)
If you try to earn God's forgiveness by "doing something" like being baptized, doing penance, or something else, THIS WILL NOT WORK! God will not accept your works as payment for your sins, because you are a sinner. This makes everything that you do unclean in his sight. Jesus was the only person who ever lived who NEVER sinned; therefore God only accepts the works of Jesus as payment for your sins; and specifically, the work of Jesus on the cross which paid for your sins in full.
How to be saved and know it
So now you understand HOW to be saved:
Realize and understand from the Bible that you have broken God's Laws and are a sinner before Him. This makes you an alien to God, because God is Holy and cannot be approached when we have sin that is unforgiven in our lives.
Realize and understand from the Bible that Jesus came down from Heaven to cross the great gulf between us and God. He did this by dying on the cross for our sins and rising again from the dead, so that we might have Eternal Life if we have accepted Him as our personal Savior and Lord.
Realize and understand from the Bible that you must now take action in order to be saved. This action is not doing some good work to earn salvation or forgiveness, such as penance, because God doesn't grant forgiveness based on something that we do. God only grants us forgiveness for our sins if we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord.
Here is the "action" that you must take NOW to be saved, if you agree with God that you are a sinner, and you want to accept Jesus as your Savior to be saved:
Pray and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to save you. Here is a sample prayer that you can use:
“Dear Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of the only True God and there is no other, and that you died for my sins and rose again the 3rd day. Please forgive me of my sins and make me your child. Thank you for saving me. Help me to follow you and live for you every day of my life. In your Name I pray, Amen.”
When you pray and ask the Lord Jesus to save you with a sincere heart, God will hear you and save you. This is the promise of God: "Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved" Romans 10:13
When you do this with all of your heart and really mean business with God, God will forgive you all of your sins and come into your life as Savior and Lord of your life and soul. Then, you will truly have Eternal Life. That means that when your body dies, your spirit will pass into God’s presence, and you will dwell with Him forever and ever, instead of going to the awful place called Hell. It also means that here on earth, your life will be transformed day by day into the image of Jesus Christ, AS YOU DAILY WALK WITH HIM in obedience to the Word of God and in fellowship with other Bible-believing Christians in a local Assembly (church), so that you might be taught the basics of the Christian life more perfectly.
And here is how you can find a good, Bible-preaching church to join and serve the Lord with. Pray and ask God to guide you to a specific church, because He knows best where you should go: “Dear Lord, please guide me and help me to find a Bible-believing, Bible-preaching church where I can be baptized, serve you, and do your will. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”
If you need assistance locating a solid, Bible-preaching Assembly in your area, I encourage you to contact JHS Publishing by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) . I will do everything I can to help you in your new walk with our wonderful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!