This question was asked to one of the followers of Jesus Christ nearly 2000 years ago and is still just as important and relevant of a question for you today.
Have you ever thought about this question?
Do you know the answer to the question?
I would like you to seriously consider this question today because your response will determine how you will live your life and where you will spend eternity after you die. So please, read this page carefully in its entirety.
Here is how the follower of Jesus answered the question:
“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
It is a simple response, but what exactly does it mean to “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ”? And from what do you need to be “saved”?
The Bible, which claims to be the inspired word of God (2 Timothy 3:16) and entirely truthful (John 17:17; ), gives a straightforward answer to what you need to be saved from: you need to saved from God Himself.
The Bible says that God created and sustains everything in the universe (Genesis 1:1; Job 38:1-41) … including you. It is He who established the unchanging laws of nature and morality. It is He who has ultimate authority over His creation. It is He who desires for you to be in a right relationship with Him.
In addition to being the Creator, God has another title — Judge. He has established good and righteous laws for our benefit, but sadly you (and I and everyone else) have disobeyed His laws in one way or another: by lying, lusting, gossiping, slandering, envying, coveting, stealing, cheating, using God’s or Jesus’ name as a curse word, or loving someone or something more than God. Some of God’s laws that we’ve broken are listed in Exodus 20:1-17 (The 10 Commandments) or in Matthew 5 (Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount). If your violations of God’s laws aren’t resolved on His terms, you will stand before Him as Judge someday.
There will be no injustice in God’s court; no one will get away with any crime against Him; God has seen and recorded in His “books” every single sin ever committed and He will be completely just in pronouncing His sentence.
That is what you need to be saved from: God’s judgment and wrath. Or to put it the terrifying way one of the final chapters of the Bible does, you need to be saved from God “throwing” you into the “lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).
While it is certainly true that God is loving, forgiving, merciful, and gracious — as will be shown in the following sections — the Bible also presents God as being full of wrath against those who break His laws and reject His offer of reconciliation.
While many people wrongly conclude that hell isn’t an actual place, “and if it is, a loving God certainly wouldn’t send anyone there,” the Bible states clearly that God, the just Judge of the universe, has the authority, the power, and the intention of sending all those who reject His Son Jesus Christ there. Consider the following passages from the Bible:
“He who believes in the Son [Jesus Christ] has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him [God] who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).
“God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man [Jesus Christ] whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).
The concept of God sending those who reject His Son to a literal hell may seem unlikely, unfair, or even crazy to you. Yet the Bible plainly and consistently speaks of its reality (Luke 16:19-31; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10) which leaves two options: either hell is real or hell is not real. Since nothing else in the Bible has ever been proven false — historical events, places, people, prophecies — it would be wise to take the Bible at its word — hell is real.
Being separated from God and punished in hell for eternity should cause everyone to ask, “What can I do to be saved from God sending me there? The answer is clear: “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
What does that mean though? Does that simply mean that you believe Jesus existed like some other historical figure, like Plato, Napolean, George Washington, or Alexander the Great, or is there something more to belief than that?
To “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ” is much more than intellectual assent to the fact that He existed; it means that you place your trust, your faith, you learn from Him, you obey His commands and your expectant hope for being saved in who Jesus is and what He did for you.