I was reading the Holy Bible today and a truth jumped out at me from Acts 10:30-45 concerning the simplicity of the plan of salvation. I'll share what I learned with you in a moment, but first let me share with you the story of Cornelius. We read in Acts 10:1-2 that Cornelius was a military leader, a centurion over an Italian squad of 100 soldiers. Cornelius was a good man, but lost. Acts 10:2, “A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.” This is amazing! Here's an important man in the community, well respected, who fears God, prays, and gives much money to the poor and needy. Yet, Cornelius was not a born-again Christian, on his way to Hell.
My friend, no amount of religious devotion, involvement in your church, sincerity, or personal human effort, can get you to Heaven. There are millions of people burning in Hell this very moment—who spent their lives doing good, helping others, praying, fearing God—yet they failed to do the will of God concerning salvation. What is the will of God? I'm glad you asked. John 6:40, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
This leads me to the heart of this article that I'm writing. In a vision God appeared to Cornelius and told him to go see the Apostle Peter, so that Peter could witness the Gospel to him. Here is the Biblical account of the matter:
Acts 10:30-45, “And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Carefully notice that:
- Peter didn't tell Cornelius to follow Jesus.
- Peter didn't tell Cornelius to surrender all to God.
- Peter didn't tell Cornelius to get water baptized.
- Peter didn't tell Cornelius to make Jesus his Lord.
- Peter didn't tell Cornelius to join a church.
- Peter didn't tell Cornelius to get religion.
- Peter didn't tell Cornelius to publicly confess Christ as his Savior.
- Peter didn't tell Cornelius to invite Jesus into his heart.
- Peter didn't tell Cornelius to start a relationship with Jesus.
- Peter didn't tell Cornelius to change his life.
- Peter didn't tell Cornelius to turn away from his sins.
- Peter didn't tell Cornelius to forsake the world.
1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” [emphasis added]
Every false religion in the world teaches a whole bunch of things that a person must DO to get to Heaven. But as we just saw for ourselves in the wonderful Scriptures in Acts 10:30-45, Peter simply preached the truth of the Gospel, and Cornelius BELIEVED and was instantly and forever born-again and saved. Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith.
The Bible interprets itself. Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980) used to say that the best way to interpret the Bible is not to interpret the Bible. Where the Bible is silent, we should be silent. Don't put a question mark where God put a period. You'll find all sorts of additions and perversions to the simple plan of salvation in today's religious groups. Even most evangelical churches these days have been contaminated, because the Devil has crept into them unawares with a false GRACE PLUS WORKS plan of salvation. I love you in the Lord friend, whoever you may be, and I don't want you to miss Heaven and spend eternity burning in the Lake of Fire.
I love this passage of Scripture in Acts 10:30-45, because it plainly teaches that salvation is obtained simply by BELIEVING THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. The Apostle Peter simply told the Good News (Gospel) of Christ crucified on the cross for our sins, buried and risen three days later. When Cornelius believed, he was immediately saved. This is the childlike faith which brings eternal life. The way to be saved is not to DO, but to BELIEVE! That is, make it your own. If you've made what Christ did on the cross, and His resurrection, your personal hope for Heaven, you are saved!
The Bible refers to the Gospel as “THE SIMPLICITY THAT IS IN CHRIST.” 2nd Corinthians 11:3, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” We find further evidence of “THE SIMPLICITY THAT IS IN CHRIST” in Galatians 3:2, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit [capital “S,” for Holy Spirit] by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” When a person is saved, God's Holy Spirit comes to indwell their earthly body permanently (1st Corinthians 3:16-17; Romans 8:9; 1st John 3:24).
Please don't allow anyone to mislead you into following a false plan of salvation, because you will go to the Lake of Fire (Hell) forever. Nearly every religion today, including many Baptist churches sad to say, are teaching the Satanic lie that you cannot be saved unless you forsake sinful behavior and surrender your life to live for Jesus. This heresy is commonly called “Lordship Salvation.” That is a false plan of salvation. That is human effort. That is not what the Bible teaches. As you read for yourself, Peter never asked Cornelius to do anything. That's right, nothing! God doesn't save those who are TRYING to be saved; but rather, those who are TRUSTING to be saved. Salvation is receiving, not achieving. Salvation is a TAKE proposition, not a GIVE proposition!
This is such a beautiful passage of Scripture in Acts 10:30-45. The Apostle Peter never told Cornelius to do one thing to be saved. Peter never told Cornelius to “turn away from sins” (a popular heresy taught in today's apostate churches). In fact, Peter never mentioned the word “repent” to Cornelius. You won't find even one mention of the words “repent” or “repentance” in Acts chapter 10. Could the Bible be any clearer that the man who believes has repented? I think not.
“More people will die and burn in Hell, because they're trusting too much!”—Pastor Jack Hyles, “Yea, Yea, And Nay, Nay!”
“Everything that's hard and complicated about salvation is God's side of it!”—Pastor Jack Hyles, “Yea, Yea, And Nay, Nay!”