John 11:25-27, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”
God's plan of salvation for mankind is so simple. In our text passage above, Martha simply BELIEVED on Jesus and was saved. This was the same Gospel preached throughout the Old Testament by ALL the prophets. Acts 10:43, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”
Sadly, humans have a horrible tendency to complicate everything, including God's plan of salvation. Here is a helpful sermon excerpt from Pastor Max D. Younce's sermon titled: 'Rapture Versus Revelation.' This excerpt explains that a lost sinner DOESN'T have to “ask” Jesus to save them, because God is already freely offering “TO SAVE THEM THAT BELIEVE” (1st Corinthians 1:21b)...
Don't Ask Jesus To Save, He Wants You To Accept Him
Jesus Christ has already paid for your sins. So Jesus doesn't forgive sins! You read correctly. Jesus does NOT forgive anybody's sins, He has already paid for those sins with His precious blood. So you don't need to ask Jesus to save you, nor do you need to ask Him to forgive your sins. The work of redemption has already been completed by our dear Savior.
Why is this important to know? It is important that you understand how simple it is to be saved, so that you can go to Heaven someday. Religion has never saved anybody! I mean that. My father used to wisely say: “Religion is the worst thing that ever happened to this world.” My Christian Dad was right! Religion has never granted anybody access into the Kingdom of God. You cannot get into Heaven by trying to get there, you must trust completely in the Lamb of God. John 1:29, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Jesus is that precious Lamb!
Jesus exclaimed to Nebuchadnezzar in John 3:3, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Someone once asked the minister John Wesley why he kept preaching on the subject: “Ye Must Be Born Again,” over a thousand times. Wesley replied: “Because 'Ye must be born again!'” Dear friend, Satan's greatest weapon is to con people into living the Christian life without ever being born again! NO ONE will enter into God's Kingdom without being born-again by the Holy Spirit of God (1st Peter 1:23). We are born again by the seed of God's incorruptible Word, that is, by the truth of the Gospel (1st Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 1:16).
You don't need to ASK God to save you, He is already freely offering to save you, if you will simply accept the sacrifice of His only begotten Son on the cross as full-payment for your sins, believing that Jesus is risen from the dead. 1st Thessalonians 4:14, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” What a wonderful Savior!!!
Now, having said that, it is okay if you do ASK Jesus to save you. I got saved when I was 13 years old. I was sitting in a pew in back of an old-fashioned Baptist church in Chicago (a rare find in Chicago, for which I count myself very blessed to have been there at that time). It was a Sunday morning during the summer. I believe it was 1980, but I cannot remember the exact year that I was saved. I didn't think at the time to write the date down, but I wish I had, so that I would know the exact age I was saved. But it doesn't matter, because I DO remember a place, and what happened that day.
I don't remember the title of the sermon that my pastor preached. But I do remember what he said that compelled me to get saved. The preacher said that if you can commit sin and have no conviction about it from the Holy Spirit, you are not saved. I knew immediately that I didn't have the indwelling Holy Spirit. I knew that I wasn't saved. But I sure wanted to be. At the invitation time, I was too shy to walk down the aisle to learn how to be saved. (This is why every preacher should ALWAYS tell people how to be saved right from their pew.)
So in my pew, as best that I knew how, I asked Jesus to save me, crying out silently from within my soul. I had grown up in Sunday school, and my father was a Skid Row preacher, so I had heard often the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus, the Christ, the only begotten Son of God; who died on the cross for my sins, was buried and then resurrected from the dead after three days (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). So believing those facts, I prayed from my soul for Jesus to save me. I knew in my soul that I was calling out to a RISEN SAVIOR! I believed Jesus was the one to whom I was speaking in my soul. I know that I got saved that day, because the blessed presence of the Holy Spirit has bene with me ever since that glorious day.
So I did ASK Jesus to save me, which is okay. However, I doubted my salvation for the next several years. I kept wondering if I left something out of my prayer. I kept hearing pastors teach people to “pray a sinner's prayer” to be saved. That is what every religious tract that I read also said to do. I was confused. No one has ever taught me that I could simply BELIEVE to be saved. I thought that the way you believe is through saying a prayer.
It wasn't until two decades later that my salvation beliefs were finally SOLIDIFIED, when I read a helpful book by Pastor Max D. Younce titled: 'Salvation And The Public Invitation' (backup link). The reason why the book had such a profound impact upon me is because it exactly described the manner in which I had been saved, from a pew. Dr. Younce explained from the Bible that you can be saved just by BELIEVING the Gospel, without praying or walking down an aisle in a church. I had never heard any preacher say that before, but the Holy Spirit confirmed in my heart of hearts that what Pastor Younce was saying is THE TRUTH.
A heavy burden was lifted off my soul. For the first time in my life I had a 100% grasp on God's simple plan of salvation. All those years that I had worried, was because preachers kept lying to me, misleading me to think that you must pray a sinner's prayer to be saved.
And then years later I read a helpful sermon article by Pastor Bob Gray Sr., in which he said that Jesus doesn't forgive sins, He has already paid for them with His blood. You simply need to accept God's free gift of forgiveness through faith alone in Christ. That is so simple!
I thank God for preachers who keep God's plan of salvation SIMPLE, the way God intended for it to be. I love something that one of my favorite free grace preachers, Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold said:
“There is power in this Gospel message. Most people just don't know how to present it... The clarity of the Gospel is what makes it easy for them to believe.” —Pastor Yankee Arnold, a quote from the excellent MP3 sermon titled, “WHY GRACE CAN SAVE THE WORST MAN!”
Amen and amen! I get so frustrated hearing local pastors in Pensacola tell their congregation to “have a relationship with Jesus“” to be saved. That is NOT the Gospel. That is confusing to people, because Judas had a relationship with Jesus, but died in his unbelief and went to Hell forever. What does that even mean, to have a relationship with Christ? Why use terms that the Bible doesn't use? Why add to the Gospel? Sadly, I even handed that bad pastor (who made that comment) a copy of Michael P. Bowen's helpful book: 'I Never Knew You,' which apparently he didn't even bother to read. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot force them to drink it. You can give a pastor THE TRUTH, but you cannot force them to heed it.
I recently spoke with a member of that church, with the bad pastor who says you need a “relationship with Jesus” to go to Heaven. That church member told me that you have to be water baptized to go to Heaven. Ladies and gentlemen, this is how messed up our churches are today doctrinally! This is why I like to teach all my blog readers the golden nuggets of truth that I have learned over the years, to help SOLIDIFY your salvation beliefs. I want you to have the blessed inexplicable joy and peace that I have, knowing 100% without question that my name is written in Heaven (Luke 10:20). I NEVER doubt my salvation anymore, because I understand it.
You don't need to ASK Jesus to save you, God is already eagerly OFFERING you His free gift of salvation, just for the taking by faith. You don't need to ASK Jesus to forgive your sins, because He has already paid for them with His precious blood (1st Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 1:5). Simply BELIEVE that Jesus did it for you, and you will be instantly, irrevocably and eternally saved by God's grace. Salvation is not a reward for the righteous, it is a gift for the guilty! Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith. Jesus is precious!!! Faith is the only righteous thing that I can do.