When you ask a question like, “Who will be saved?” you first need to answer another question: “Saved from what?” At this point, I bet you can already answer that question by yourself. But since a lot of people don’t actually know what Jesus came to save us from, it’s probably a good idea to review the answer.
Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” And Romans 6:23 goes on to say, “The wages of sin is death..” When you put those two things together, you realize that everyone is a sinner facing a forever fiery death outside of God’s good kingdom. That’s what we need to be saved from – forever death! We need our sins forgiven!
Back to the first question: who will be saved? In Acts 16:31, Paul gives this answer: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…” But over in Acts 2:38, Peter gives his answer: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” So what’s the answer? Paul says, “Believe and be saved!” And Peter said, “Repent and be forgiven!” They can’t both be right, can they? Well, yes they can!
Listen to what Jesus himself said in Mark 1:15: “‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’” If you asked Jesus, “Who’s right: Paul, who tells us to believe, or Peter, who says to repent?” he would say, “They’re both right!” That’s because only people who repent and believe will be saved!
In the next few questions, we’ll look more closely at what it actually means to repent and believe. We’ll see that repenting and believing are best friends who walk together hand-in-hand. You can’t really repent if you don’t believe. And you show that you don’t really believe if you don’t repent!
But for now, we need to focus on the important part: only those who repent and believe in Jesus the Christ will be saved. There’s no other way. We can’t be good enough to save ourselves. And no other “god” is going to come and save us – they don’t exist! In John 14:6, Jesus himself told us, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father (God) except through me.” There’s only one road that leads to the heavenly kingdom of God our Father, and that road goes straight through Jesus!
Now, you might be wondering: what does it mean to repent? And what does it mean to believe? Well, I have good news for you – those are the exact two questions we’ll look at next!