How To Be Saved
Another title for this page could have been "How to know you are going to Heaven." The first title has to do with the "mechanics" on being able to go to Heaven instead of Hell, and the second title would also include an absolute knowledge of the certainty that you will go to heaven, including the doctrine of eternal security, which tells us that we can not lose our salvation (once truly saved) and end up going to hell anyway.
For one to learn how to be saved, they must also learn that they are unsaved, or lost, or currently on their way to hell. In other words "to appreciate and take advantage of the "good news" one must first hear "the bad news." Once they hear the bad news "they are a sinner condemned by God to Hell" they are expected to ask the question "What must I do to be saved?" Acts 16:30. The answer is given in the very next verse "Believe on (rely on, trust in, put your faith in) the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.."
Using the book in the Bible called "Romans," a number of its verses have been put together to give what has been called "The Romans Road to Heaven" or simply "The Romans Road."
The following is the "simple" way of coming to God to be saved. "The world, the flesh, and the devil" man's basic enemies will try to "complicate" this simple way, in opposition to God's attempt to save man. People may think they are not "ready" to come to God, and so will complicate the way God gives, in order not to go that way. For the one that truly will trust God, God's simple way is sufficient.
THE ROMAN'S ROAD
Ro 3:10 "There is none righteous, no not one:"
Our first word contains the word "righteous." We will come back to this word at the end of this road. Would you think God would require absolute righteousness for you to go to heaven? "No, of course not." most people would respond, because no one is perfect, absolutely righteous. But God does require perfect righteousness. You don't have it, so out of God's love for you, He has provided you a Savior who has perfect righteousness that will stand before God's judment in your place.
Ro 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
You have sinned, because you were born from two sinners, and that is what sinners do, they sin. Sin is to do what God tells you not to, or not to do what God tells you to do. I could tell you many things God tells us not to do that all of us usually do, lie, cheat, steal; but still there is the rare person that will say "I have never done any of those things." I would respond "Have you loved God with all your heart, soul, and might?" Reasonable people will admit they haven't. Therefore, because God has told us to do this, it is sin when we don't. You see God has the highest perfect standard (mark) and we have missed it, and "come short of the glory (perfect righteousness) of God."
Ro 6:23b "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
This is the remedy for our sin.
Ro 6:23a "For the wages of sin is death;"
This is the penalty for our sin; but this is not just speaking of physical death, but of spiritual death. "Death" speaks of "separation." In physical death, the spirit separates from the body. In spiritual death the spirit is separate from God's Spirit. The unsaved person, when physically alive, is actually spiritually dead (separated from God, but not spiritually unconscious, aware of God.) The saved person (the Christian) when physically alive, is also spiritually alive, for God isn't separate from them, but has come to live with them in their own body. When the unsaved person physically dies, their spirit separates from their body, and their spirit remains separate from God, for they are spiritually dead. Where does that spirit go? It does not remain above ground as a ghost, but descends into the heart of the earth, where Hell is. When the Christian physically dies their spirit leaves their body, but stays united with God's Spirit and is immediately with Jesus' body in Heaven. "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" 2Co 5:8.
Ro 5:8 "But God commendeth (demonstrated) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
God demands that "the crime" of our sin be paid for. Someone has to pay. Either the sinner goes to Hell forever, or Jesus pays for His sin on the cross, being separated from God the Father for a time, and taking on God's punishment for our sin in our behalf. Well, if Jesus has already died in everyone else's place, and our sins have all been paid for, shouldn't everyone go to Heaven? No. Just because I pay for a gift, and then offer it to someone doesn't mean they have to receive it. Jn 1:12 says "But as many as received him (invited Jesus to come into their life as their Savior and Lord), to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"
Ro 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus (that Jesus is Lord God), and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead (resurrected bodily), thou shalt be saved."
Ro 10:10 "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness: and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
There is that word "righteousness" again, that we saw in Ro 3:10. We don't have this righteousness unless we have Christ as our Savior. But if Christ is only Savior of all positionally, but not in practicality, how do we get him to become our Savior practically?
Ro 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
To be saved, one has to ask to be saved; to ask Jesus to save them. Jesus told people that except they repent they would perish (Lk 13:3,5). "Repentance" is to change your mind and agree with God. First we think we are OK with God. God says we are not; that we are sinners, and need to agree with God that we are sinners, and that we are unsaved, lost sinners, that will go to Hell if we don't ask Him to save us. If we change our thinking and agree with God concerning this and pray to Jesus asking him to save us from our sin, to become our Saviour and Lord, then he will do just that, and do it immediately. He will come into our lives, into our very body. We will be indwelt by God the Father (Mt 10:20), God the Son (2Co 13:5; Col 1:27), and God the Holy Spirit (1Co 6:19). (See Jn 14:22,23 if you have only heard of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit.)
There are no "magic" words or prayers, or "formula" prayers God is looking for. He only requires for you to express to Him an invitation for Him to come into your life as your Lord and Savior, trusting that Jesus died on the cross for your sins. If you have never done that, is there any reasonable thing that would keep you from doing that right now? Heaven or Hell, the choice is yours. Once a person truly trusts Jesus in this way, they have eternal life, for he has promise that to them, to never leave them or forsake them (Jn 3:16; 1Jn 5:13; Heb 13:5).