Suggested Further Reading

Four fundamental truths of the faithSpiritual Light is the result of four visitations from the Lord over a period of 4 years. Starting with the 3rd commandment and then insight into Christ's sacrifice the book reveals desperately needed understanding that dispels the confusion about conversion, baptism, salvation and works.

Related Topics

Other subjects from the topical index related to Salvation & Conversion.
The New Birth
Speaking in Tongues
Grace, Faith & Works
The Sacrifice of Christ

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Salvation & Conversion

Are you saved? Is it the same thing as conversion? Many are asked that question as if the two things are the same! No one in the Bible ever spoke of the day that they "got saved" as so many people do in this time. What does the Bible say about the subjects of salvation and being saved?

Jesus said that he who endures to the end will be saved. Paul wrote of the "hope of salvation" and Peter spoke of salvation being the end of our faith to be revealed in the latter time. What is the truth? Are you already saved, or not?

Study this page to learn the truth about Salvation. There are also audio clips taken from the What Must I Do to be Saved CD teaching series. Click on an article title in the box in the right column to read from a range of articles covering different aspects of the truth about salvation.

What Must I Do to be Saved CD Set

What must I do to be saved CD set, 4 hours of wonderful teachingWhat Must I Do to be Saved? examines an issue that everyone needs to understand. Confusion and error are everywhere on this subject and your eternal fate depends on understanding these things. Learn about salvation, being saved and the things you must do to be saved. This 4 CD set available at cost price from our eBay storePurchase at cost on ebay. This is vital understanding for walking with the Lord.

Gospel Tract #


by John David Clark, Sr.

It is like facing a hurricane and trying to blow it back in the other direction. Once a fad such as this catches on, the best that anyone can do is avoid being crushed by the huge, advancing wheels. I'm talking about what is called “getting saved”. For millions, persuading others to go up to a Christian “altar” and “get saved” is to do the work of the Lord Jesus. But to partake of the “get saved” routine is to ignore the clear teaching of the holy Scriptures and merely to “go with the flow”.

We are repeatedly exhorted in the Scriptures to ask questions and are encouraged to expect God to answer them for us. James wrote (1:5), “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.” So, let me ask some questions which I am certain many of you have never asked of God, but which you would do well to consider taking to Him.

  1. If we are already saved, what did Jesus mean when he said, “Ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake, but he who endures to the end shall be saved”?
  2. If men receive salvation when they are born again, what was Paul’s point in saying to men who were already born again, “Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed”?
  3. If Peter was already a “saved man”, as the saying goes, why would he, years after his new birth, speak of looking forward to receiving salvation (Acts 15:11)?
  4. It was about 1923, and my father was a young student in the Baptist seminary at Ayden, North Carolina. A guest speaker from California mentioned in his message to the seminary student body of an experience he called “getting saved”. Although my father had been raised a Free Will Baptist, he had never heard of such a thing, and he leaned over to a friend and asked, “Blackwelder, what’s he talking about?”

    “I don't know,” his friend responded, “but I think he means, ‘converted’.”

    Later, having searched the Scriptures concerning the word, “saved”, they both concluded that the visiting speaker had misused the word. Little could they have imagined how that simple phrase, “get saved” would catch on in the 20th century, and how it would become the heart of the gospel for an entire generation of saints.

    I spoke with another elderly saint, now with the Lord, who began her religious career as a Methodist, and she recalled the time early in the 20th century when “getting saved” was an unknown phrase. She remembered when that phrase came into vogue and remembered how it slowly became the gospel for millions of people. It is a sobering, stunning lesson that only a later generation will be able to consider because the current one is consumed with the “get saved” fad. It has swept millions off their spiritual feet-even to the point of causing otherwise reasonable people to angrily denounce those, like me, who reject the notion that men “get saved” when they are born of the Spirit.

    What is the truth concerning salvation? The truth is that from the day of Pentecost (in the second chapter of Acts) to the end of the New Testament writings, there is not one example of a person “getting saved”. There are some examples of people being born again, they never claim to have “gotten saved”. About 75% of the time, when the word “saved” or one of its forms is used, it is used in a future tense. Peter, for example, described the saints as those “who are kept by the power of God unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1Pet. 1:5). The writer of Hebrews exhorts the saints to be faithful to Christ, “whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (3:6), adding later, “we are not of them who draw back unto perdition [damnation], but of them who believe to the saving of the soul” (10:39).

    Paul wrote to his much-loved son in the faith, Timothy, “Take heed to thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them, for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee” (1Tim. 4:16). Were Timothy a typical christian of our time, he very likely would have snapped off an indignant letter to Paul that read, “I'll have you know I'm already saved, and you can't make me doubt it!” What a difference in attitude we see from Paul’s humble longing for salvation and the modern believer’s proud boast of “the day I got saved”!

    As I said, about 75% of the time when “saved” or one of its forms is used, it is used in a future sense. Of the remaining percentage, practically all are present tense, referring to being saved from sin, right now, by the power of God. For example, 1Corinthians 1:18, which reads, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but to us which are saved it is the power of God.” The word “saved” here in this verse clearly does not mean “born again”, but “kept from sin by the power of God”. Paul did not ever claim to have “gotten saved”, as it is taught today. He knew that if a man was not kept by the power of God’s Spirit from sinning now, he could not hope to be saved from the coming wrath of God. Sin will never enter there. He went so far as to say that he himself would be thrown away by Christ, if he turned from the righteousness he preached (1Cor. 9:27), echoing what Ezekiel, the ancient Watchman of Israel, had said long ago:

    If the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, and not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him. In his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. . . . But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned. In his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

    Can you feel the fear of God in these words? The spirit of humility and the firm awareness of our responsibility to walk uprightly in this life before God fills the pages of the Bible. Such is the effect, as well, of Paul’s words to the saints at Rome, warning them not to become overconfident in their newly-acquired position of “the Israel of God”:

    Be not highminded, but fear. For if God spared not the natural branches [the Jews], take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God. On them [the Jews] which fell, severity, but toward thee [Gentiles], goodness, if thou continue in his goodness. Otherwise thou also shalt be cut off” (Rom. 11:20-21).

    Where in any place in the Bible is found the doctrine of “come get saved” that now is preached? Where is the man who “got saved” and was promised eternal life, regardless of how he lived his life on earth? I have read the New Testament many times both in English and in Greek and did not see it. How did I miss it? Somebody help me!

    More importantly, how did Jesus miss it? And Paul? And Peter? If it is, as many christian teachers say, that one’s deeds will not determine his eternal destiny-as long as he “got saved” down here, how are we to understand the answer Jesus gave to the young ruler, who came to Jesus and asked him, “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

    Jesus answered, “'Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.' He saith unto him, 'Which?' Jesus said, ‘Thou shalt do no murder; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not bear false witness; honour thy mother and thy father: and, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself'” (Matt. 19:17-19).

    If holiness is not required of any who hope to see God, why would the writer of Hebrews say, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”? So, we must be saved from doing evil now, in order to have our hope of eternal salvation realized later.

    Past Tense Salvation

    Lastly, in a couple of places in the New Testament, the word, “saved” is used in the past tense, with the meaning of , “rescued”. For example, Jude wrote, “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the [Israelites] out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.” Even in this rare case of “saved” used in the past tense, the writer’s point is to remind the saints that God destroyed those whom He rescued from bondage when they turned from His holy commandments. If there is one consistent element in every man of God, it is that every one of them turned people from unrighteousness in order to enable them to escape the coming wrath of God. The “get saved” doctrine does just the opposite. It provides men with a false sense of security. It does not inspire men to fear and obey God, as Jesus warned his disciples:

    I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear; fear Him, who after He hath killed hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say unto you, fear Him” (Lk. 12:4-5).