What The Bible Says

What The Bible Says

“What The Bible Says - Vol. 4 / No. 22”

What The Bible Says

Vol. IV - No. 22 / March 27, 2022


       The reason for asking this question is because there are so many people and churches which teach we are saved the moment we believe. If this is true then all is well and good; more people and more churches need to be teaching likewise. If it is not true, it does not need to be taught at all. Only the inspired Word of God can give the answer to this question. Let us look to it with open minds to learn the answer.

    First of all, the phrase “saved the moment you believe” is not found in the Bible. This should immediately cause concern because due to the popularity of this teaching you would automatically think the phrase would surely have been recorded numerous times upon the pages of God’s Word. Yet, it can nowhere be found!

    However, the Bible does teach the necessity of belief. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) We can understand from this verse that we must do more than just “believe that He is”. We must also believe “that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him”. To just simply “believe that He is” will not save anyone. We have too many examples of those in the New Testament who believed in God and/or Christ but were still lost. In John 12:42 “…many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:” James 2:19 says if “thou believest there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”

    The Scriptures do not teach a person is saved the moment they believe because more is involved than just believing. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The word “gave” does not tell specifically everything which was involved in God giving His only begotten Son. Though the word “gave” does not specifically state anything about Christ’s lowly birth, His earthly ministry, His betrayal, arrest, the mock trials, His crucifixion, burial, or resurrection, we know all this is included when God “gave” His Son.

    The same is true with the word “believeth” in this verse. It too is a comprehensive word which includes more than just the act of believing in God or believing on Jesus. It includes hearing God’s Word because “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). It includes repenting because Jesus said, “…except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3,5). The word “believeth” also includes confessing. Remember those we read about in John 12:42 who “believed on Him: but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him”? They needed to confess along with their believing on Jesus. The word “believeth” in John 3:16 also includes baptism. Yet, Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” in Mark 16:16. If we “believe” we must also be “baptized” for Jesus stated both were involved in order to be “saved”!

    Have you “believed” in the way the Bible teaches or in the way that man defines the word?   —E.R. Hall, Jr.



    In Acts 16 we read: “And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. And a certain woman named Lyda, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us. whose heart the Lord open that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us." (vs. 13-15). How did the Lord open her heart? Does He do the same thing to people today? Does this imply the necessity of a direct action of the Holy Spirit? Is it possible to know and obey the will of God without miraculous divine intervention in our lives?

    Look carefully at this immediate context. Notice that they "spake unto the women" (vs. 13), and Lydia "heard us" (vs. 14), and she "attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul" (vs. 14). It seems clear that the means by which Lydia's heart was opened was by the Word of God. There is nothing mysterious here. Rather, it is a demonstration of the power of the gospel (Romans 1:16), and an example of God's plan for "preaching to save them that believe" (1 Corinthians 1:21).

    Whatever the Lord did, and however the heart of Lydia was opened, it was the same thing that occurred in every other case of conversion in the book of Acts. Remember, God is "no respecter of persons" (Acts 10:34,35). On Pentecost they "heard" and were "pricked in their heart" (2:37). On that day many "gladly received his word and were baptized" (2:41). Other examples abound in the book of Acts that directly link the teaching of the word with a heartfelt, obedient response (4:4;8:12;13:12;13:48;15:7; 16:32-33;17:32-34; 18:8;19:5).

    The Lord "opens" hearts today in exactly the same way He always has -- through the preaching of the Word. —Greg Gwin



    Are you ever late? Late completing assignments at school or work? Late getting to work, appointments, school or church? Are you ever too late? I've known people who got the time for church services wrong and drove up in the parking lot just as church members were coming out the door. I've also known people to show up for a dinner appointment just as everyone else was finishing dessert! Now that is too late!

    What makes us late? Procrastination. Laziness. Failing to recognize and value opportunities. Poor scheduling. Not allowing for emergencies or unexpected circumstances. These are a few of the reasons that people are late for things every day. These same factors will cause some people to be too late when it comes to obeying the gospel.

    In Matthew 25:1-13, Jesus tells a parable about ten virgins who were to participate in a wedding feast. They all waited for the appearance of the bridegroom, but the five "foolish virgins" had taken no oil for their lamps. Why not? Procrastination! Laziness! Poor planning! They failed to prepare properly. Then, when the bridegroom was delayed (an unexpected circumstance), the foolish virgins had to go out to buy oil. He came while they were out (another unexpected occurrence), and when they returned, they were too late. They were not allowed entrance to the wedding. Imagine their frustration, sorrow and humiliation.

    Another Bible example of folks who were too late is found in Luke 19:41-44. As Jesus approached Jerusalem, "He saw the city and wept over it." He foresaw the day when all that were within would be destroyed and the city would be leveled to the ground, without one stone left on top of another. Why would this happen to Jerusalem and its people? Jesus tells them that it is "because you did not know the time of your visitation." They missed their chance.

    On the judgment day, it will be too late to obey the gospel. Those who squandered opportunities to heed and obey in this life will feel a lot like the five virgins who were shut out of the wedding feast - very foolish indeed. They will realize that, like the people of Jerusalem, they missed their chance. And like the children of Israel of old who disobeyed God, they will cry out in despair "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved!" (Jeremiah 8:20)

    Don't allow that sickening feeling of despair and loss to be yours for all eternity. Life is too short, eternity is too long, and the risk is too great to wait too late to make your life right with God. —Steve Klein



I asked, 'Why doesn't somebody do something?’ Then I realized that I was somebody!
Be content with what you have, but never with what you are.


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