Ask Your Preacher
I have confessed to God, asked Him to come into my life and change me according to His will. I have acknowledged my belief in Jesus' dying on the cross and also His blood cleansing/washing away my sins as well as Him being crucified on the cross and being resurrected on the third day. But why don't I feel different?
It is impossible to say why you (or anyone else) feel a certain way. Emotions are fickle and can be deceiving. Some people feel that they are saved when, in fact, they are lost (Matt 7:21-23), but whether our heart condemns us or not isn’t what saves us (1 Jn 3:19-21). It is our adherence to God’s Word that saves us (Rom 1:16). If you are doing what God says you must do to be saved, then you can have confidence regardless of how you feel (see “What Must I Do To Be Saved?” for further details). Serving God is often an issue of doing what is right without regard to our emotions… showing bravery when we are afraid, working when we are tired, praying when we feel we aren’t heard, and persevering when we are discouraged. One of Satan’s greatest tools to destroy us is that we often don’t feel as we ought, and sin has a way of numbing us to the truth of God’s Word (Heb 3:13).
What do you have to do to get into heaven?
The Bible outlines five things you must do to become a christian. The question, “What must I do to be saved?” is the most important question any human can ever ask. Plenty of groups will pick and choose what they want to focus on. Many groups say that all you must do is “believe in your heart” and you will be saved – unfortunately, this is cherry-picking out one requirement and leaving the rest behind. We must always remember that the sum of God’s Word provides the truth (Ps 119:160). Belief is obviously an important element to salvation, but it is not the only condition. The Bible outlines five separate requirements for salvation, and all of them are necessary.
- Hear the Word. Faith comes through hearing, and hearing comes through the Word of God (Rom 10:17). Until someone hears God’s Word, they are incapable of obeying it.
- Believe the Word. It is impossible for someone to become a christian unless they believe that Jesus is the Savior and Son of God (Jhn 20:31, Acts 16:31, Jhn 3:16).
- Repent of your sins. ‘Repent’ means to ‘change your mind’. That change of mind always involves a change of action as well. Repentance is when we change our mind about what is important and submit ourselves to Jesus and His Word. Repentance is a necessity of salvation (Mk 6:12, Lk 13:5, Lk 15:7).
- Confess Jesus to others. If we have sworn our allegiance to Jesus, we must be prepared to publicly confess Him as our Lord. If we won’t confess Jesus before men, He won’t confess us before God (Matt 10:32-33, Lk 12:8-9).
- Be baptized in the name of Jesus for salvation. Many groups baptize people, but very few baptize people for the right reasons. Baptism isn’t merely an “outward showing of an inward faith” or “for membership”. Baptism is what saves us (1 Pet 3:21). Baptism is the point where someone goes from being lost to saved because they are buried and resurrected with Christ (Rom 6:4-5). Baptism is the final requirement to become a christian (Acts 2:37-38, Mk 16:16, Acts 2:41). There is not a single example of someone becoming a christian without baptism. Baptism is just as necessary as the other four requirements.
After that, there remains nothing else but to find a faithful congregation to assemble with (Heb 10:24) that teaches God’s Word and God’s Word only (see “Finding a Church” for more details) and to continue to grow in knowledge and practice of God’s Word (1 Pet 2:2). If you would like help finding a faithful church in your area – simply e-mail us at email@example.com and we would be happy to help you locate one.
I have been raised in church all my life and have been baptized in water. I have recently rededicated my life to the Lord, and I am thinking I would like to be re-baptized. I was wondering about this… if I should do this as a sign that I am totally selling out to God. What do you think?
Dear Starting Over,
The word ‘baptism’ simply means ‘immersion’ – it is the reason for your immersion that makes baptism a soul-saving act. When we understand that baptism saves us from our sins (1 Pet. 3:21) and are baptized by the authority of Christ (Acts 2:38) and believe in His Name (Mk. 16:16), then that baptism saves us. Many people are baptized without understanding these things… in which case, they just get wet. You will have to evaluate for yourself whether or not you understood what you were doing when you were baptized the first time. If you did, there is no need for re-baptism. If you believe you didn’t know what you were doing, then you should be re-baptized.
Why are you telling people that it's okay to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? Everyone should be baptized according to Acts 2:38… in the name of Jesus Christ. Remission of sins comes through His name.
Get It Right
Dear Get It Right,
There is no difference between being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and being baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; both phrases are used in the New Testament to describe the same baptism (Acts 2:38, Matt 28:19).
I’m a high school kid. My group of friends is not a good one. I nearly overdosed on pain medication. I collapsed in the corner of the room, and I nearly died. I had a very clear vision of hell, and it was not fire. I just felt the worst pain I have ever felt. In this vision, I was in that same corner of the room watching myself take that medication over and over. All I could think of was God as I was motionless on the floor. They say I died for three minutes at the hospital, and I was brought back to life when I repented to God and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. You may not believe me, but I went to hell and need help in changing my life situation to make it more appealing to God’s eyes.
Dear Never Again,
Whether you actually went to hell or not… you had a turning point in your life, and you are ready to make sure that you don’t ever go there – good for you.
There are a few things that you need to do to make sure you are ready to meet God and are prepared to go to heaven. First of all, you need to take the steps to become a Christian. Believing in Christ and repenting are two things that you must do to be saved, but they aren’t the only two things. We recommend that you read our post “Five Steps To Salvation” and make a plan to do those things.
The last thing on that list that you must do is be baptized. We would love to get you in touch with a congregation that can baptize you and that you can grow with over the years. Not all churches are focused on the Lord, and we would be happy to help you find a congregation near you. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if we can help!