Life’s Most Important Question

In the first century, a Roman jailer in the city of Philippi asked the apostle Paul, “What must I do to be saved?” Unfortunately, today many religious people give various wrong answers to that vital question. They say that you have to keep religious rites, or to be a regular churchgoer, or to diligently produce a host of good deeds; then at the end of your life if your good works outweigh your bad ones God may let you into heaven. That leaves the issue of salvation as one of uncertainty. Imagine a person who is unsure about whether or not he will go to heaven coming to you and saying, “I have good news for you. I don’t know where I am going when I die and if you do all these good works you will have a chance for heaven, but you can never know for certain you will make it either.” What kind of good news is that? The apostle John writes, “I have written these things to you who believe in the Son of God so that you may know you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). Paul said, “The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed and will preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen” (2 Tim. 4:18). There is no uncertainty there.

The good news is that salvation is not earned; it is a gift. The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 6:23). “For you have been saved by grace through faith and this is not of yourselves, it is God’s gift not from works, in order that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). “He saved us, not by works of righteousness that we ourselves have done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). Eternal life is God’s gift that simply needs to be received by faith. God calls you to place your trust in Jesus Christ as the one who bore your sins on the cross, who took the place that you deserve and died for you, and on the third day rose from the dead to secure your salvation. The answer to life’s most important question that the jailer heard some two thousand years ago is still true today: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).