Chapter 1: Why you should read this book

You are a homemaker, with three young children. Your oldest is nine, and she is sharp. One day, while she is reading the Bible, she comes across Mt 18:2-3.

Mt 18:2-3 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."

So she says to you, "Mom, you are an adult. The Bible says that you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven unless you are converted and become a child. How are you going to become a child so that you can enter the kingdom of heaven?"

You never thought of that before! How will you answer her? More importantly, does it bother you that Jesus said that? Did He really mean it? If faith is all you need, as most of us have been taught, then what does Mt 18:2-3 mean?

Consider another scenario. You are a Sunday school teacher at your local church. You are teaching new Christians to walk the Christian life. Someone gets up and asks you, "Why is a man who lusts after women allowed to remain in the church, but a man who sleeps with a woman, who is not his wife, put out of the church? Aren’t they both guilty of the same sin according to the Sermon on the Mount? Why is one considered acceptable, and the other not? Where does one draw the line regarding which sins are acceptable to be considered saved, and which sins aren’t?"

Whoa! How do you answer that one? What Scripture will you use to back your answer?

Here is the third scenario. Your spouse has had an affair. You feel betrayed. You feel hurt. You hate your spouse. How could your spouse have done something like that to you? Forgive your spouse? Never! You cannot forgive your spouse.

You are reading your Bible now. You come across Heb 13:4.

Heb 13:4 Marriage {is to be held} in honor among all, and the {marriage} bed {is to be} undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

Oooh! That sounds nice. You shout, "Hallelujah; tell it to my spouse, Lord."

Then you come across Mt 6:14,15.

Mt 6:14,15 "For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions."

Oops! You have not forgiven your spouse. Where does that leave you? Are you saved? Can you be saved if God does not forgive your transgressions? Are you sure? Just what does Mt 6:14,15 mean? Does it apply to you?

Here is the fourth scenario. You’ve got some friends. Atheists – all of them. God bashing is their favorite pastime. Christ Jesus is often the butt of their jokes. You are Christian, but they don’t know it. Sometimes, you join them in their mockery by laughing at their jokes. "It is harmless," you say.

Then you come across Mk 8:38.

Mk 8:38 "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."

You wonder what to make of it. Your pastor has repeatedly preached that salvation is by faith alone. You are not worried. Your pastor cannot be wrong. But you can’t help wondering about what Mk 8:38 means.

Here is the fifth scenario. You are in a church that insists that repentance is required for salvation. Your pastor preaches often that a person must repent to be saved. Your Sunday school teacher drills it home in your Sunday school class. You agree with them. You agree because you have seen Scripture that says that unless you repent you will perish. You also know that repentance is not easy. It is really tough. But it is worth it. Then you come across Rom 6:23.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Free gift? How can salvation be a free gift if you need to repent in order to be saved? You call your pastor and ask him. His answer does not satisfy you. You are now totally confused.

What is the answer to that question?

Take a look at the sixth scenario. You are saved. You know it. You wife knows it. Your boss knows it. Your pastor knows it. Everybody in your whole church has no doubt that you are saved. But what does God think? Would He testify that you are saved? Is there a way to find out what God thinks regarding your salvation? Does the Bible give you a way to find out whether God thinks you are saved?

Let me assure you that it does. Do you know what it is?

Consider the seventh scenario. You are a Christian woman, and you have been witnessing, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to your coworker for several weeks. Your local Bible study knows the blow-by-blow details of your conversations with her. They are all excited that she is showing an interest in what you say about the need for salvation. There is a good chance that she might soon come to Christ. All of you are praying for her.

Finally, the miracle occurs, and your coworker comes to you, and asks, "What must I do to be saved?" Your heart leaps with joy, your palms begin to sweat, and you open your mouth to speak.

This is a typical scene in many parts of the world. Whether you are an employee witnessing to a coworker, or a missionary witnessing to the man on the street, sooner or later you are faced with giving the details of the gospel to the lost.

What exactly do you say to the person who asks, "What must I do to be saved?"

A typical answer is, "Accept Christ." Another one is, "Believe in Jesus." Would you be surprised if I told you that the words ‘accept Christ’ are never found in the Bible?

As for believing in Jesus, it is absolutely true that we must believe in Jesus in order to be saved. However, what exactly does that mean? What are we to believe about Him? The Bible explicitly tells us what we are to believe about Him in order to be saved. However, has anyone taught you all that you must believe about Christ in order to be saved? Has anyone shown you the verses that support that list of beliefs? Are you really well equipped to give the full gospel to another person?

These seven scenarios have a common thread – they deal with the requirements for salvation. They perfectly illustrate my purpose in writing this book. This book is primarily about answering the question, "What is required to be saved?" I have found that this question pops up in the most unusual places and in the most unusual ways.

I have also found that the average Christian struggles to answer this question comprehensively. That is where this book comes handy. In it, you will find a comprehensive study on all the requirements for salvation – not just the well-known ones. This book can be used by the homemaker, the Sunday school teacher, the unforgiving spouse, the timid friend, the missionary, the witnessing employee, and anyone else who wants to know, and communicate, the requirements for salvation.

You can use this book to examine whether you are saved. You can use this book to communicate to others what they need to do to be saved. You can use this book as a reference to answer a specific question about salvation.

Copyright (c) 2007-2026, Rosario (Ross) D'Souza. All Rights Reserved
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