Saved by what you say, is that really all it takes to break through to the other side? A lot of people reduce Christianity down to this: You ask God to forgive you (maybe even while shedding a few tears) while you have an emotional moment. Then that's it...whala, you are a Christian and you are saved for all eternity. You now have your "get out of Hell free" card and you can go on living your life doing whatever you want to because you've been saved. In fact some "preachers" on TV will even suggest that you repeat the sinner's prayer after them. Once you've done that, they say "if you've just said this prayer you are now born again."
Is this really all there is to Christianity? You say a few words and then you are saved? You can do whatever you want to any time that you want? I wrongly thought this way for 33 years. I said the sinner's prayer at 11 years old and then I spent the next 33 years doing whatever I wanted to do. I spent too many years drinking too much and lusting after women. On top of that I had a really bad temper. If you saw me you wouldn't think that I was a Christian, but I sure thought I was and told everyone that I was (even when I was doing things that I knew I shouldn't be doing).
Folks, if any of this sounds familiar to you, I beg you, please read the Bible. Salvation is not just mumbling some words when God is convicting you of your sins (or more likely when a preacher is exhorting you to come to Jesus for health, wealth and prosperity). No, salvation is from God and from Him alone (Eph. 2:8-9
). In Mark 1:15
Jesus told us that we need to "Repent and believe the gospel." Salvation comes by repenting - turning away from sin and putting our faith in Jesus. We are to surrender our lives to Jesus Christ our Lord.
Once you do this, God takes away your heart of stone and He gives you a heart of flesh. You are new creature. The old passes away and you become a new person. Then you are truly born again. Born again is not saying the sinner's prayer. To be born again means you are changed, you are cleansed by the shed blood of Jesus. God changes your mind (your thinking) and your heart. There is a real change in you. God takes away your old lusts and desires. He fills you with the Holy Spirit and you start desiring the things God desires.
If you are standing on "saved by what you say" then please listen to what the Bible says. We are to have repentance toward God and faith toward Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21
). When you are saved, God changes you from the inside out. There is a genuine change in you because the Holy Spirit lives within you - this is the deposit of the eternal life to come. Salvation is more than saying a few words. Won't you choose today to turn from your sins and surrender your life to Jesus from this day forward?