In light of eternity, the seriousness of this subject is inescapable to every sincere soul. That seriousness is enhanced by the fact that God, not willing that any should perish (II Peter 3:9), has provided the way of salvation (John 14:6), a way in which the majority (despite the sacrifice at Calvary) will fail to enter. "Enter ye in at the strait gate: For wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:13-14).

The few and the many is descriptive of humanity, but that is general. Specifically, it addresses you and me. We are in one group or the other. Now obviously, if one is in the many which are lost, and the condition was unalterable, this article would be at the very least pointless.  Please do not misunderstand, I am not suggesting that the rebellious are not among us (Luke 19:14), nor that the devil has not blinded the minds of others (II Corinthians 4:3-4). What I am saying is that there are some honest souls in desperate need of hearing the clarion tones of the gospel of Christ, not some counterfeit or watered-down version of the gospel that is so prevalent among us today. For example, I could tell you that all you need to do to be saved is to pray for forgiveness and invite Jesus to come into your life as your Lord and Saviour. But lying is a sin (Revelation 22:15), and that would be a lie, for the inspired word of God never reveals anyone becoming a Christian in such a manner.

Then again, I could tell you that salvation is by faith only and make a lot of friends in this life, trusting that in all probability you would never locate me in the darkness that would surely come (Matthew 25:30). Well, upon further consideration, what could you do to me that would make that existance any worse (Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:44)? For salvation is not by faith only (James 2:24), nor by any other "only". Or, I could simply tell you the truth. Granted, it will not be nearly so popular, perhaps not even a single soul will respond. But the seed will be sown (Luke 8:11), hearts will be searched (Hebrews 4:12), and I will be free from your blood if the gospel is rejected (Acts 20:26-27). On the other hand, I would be blessed both in time and eternity with the presence of another soul if the gospel is obeyed. Therefore, I have everything to gain by preaching the truth (I Timothy 4:16), and everything to lose by failing to (Galatians 1:8-9).

Now I believe we are ready for the truth concerning salvation as provided by Him who is the author (Hebrews 5:8-9): 1) Hearing: The first step of salvation is in hearing the glorious gospel of Christ. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17). 2) Belief: You must believe the gospel of Christ (Mark 16:15-16). Certainly a significant part would be in believing that Jesus is who He claimed to be (John 8:24). John stated that a whole book was written "...that ye might believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God; and believing ye might have life through His name." (John 20:31). 3) Repentance: Repentance (which is a change of heart which leads to a change of life) is commanded (Acts 17:30), defined (II Corinthians 7:9-10) and illustrated (Matthew 21:28-31). 4) Confession: Confession is a condition unto salvation (Romans 10:10), a condition that is recorded (Acts 8:37) and emphasized (Matthew 10:32-33). 5) Baptism: Baptism (immersion) is for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16) and is the only means by which one can get into Christ Romans 6:3-5; Galatians 3:27).  That begins a new life (II Corinthians 5:17), a life that must remain consecrated to the service of the Master until your time is no more (Revelation 2:10). That, beloved, is Biblical salvation. Are you ready for a pilgrimage that will span your lifetime? Then obey Him today (II Corinthians 6:2), for there may be no tomorrow (Luke 12:20).

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