ARE YOU SAVED?
Can a person know that he or she is saved? Can a minister of the gospel tell a person that he or she is saved? At what point in time can it be said that a person belongs to Christ.
Without proper teaching churchgoers may not know they are not saved. However, it’s possible to tell a person that he or she is saved or otherwise if we follow the doctrine laid down by the original Apostles of the Lord.
You know the story of how the first Gentile was saved. Peter reluctantly went to the house of Cornelius and preached the gospel to those who were gathered there. The usual pattern was: reception of the gospel message followed by baptism of the Holy Spirit and water baptism.
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.
45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered,
47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days. (NKJV)
The commandment of the Lord was: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mk 16:15 NKJV).
The early church followed a strict formula in determining those who belonged to the Lord. Salvation testimony was not enough. How did they determine that a person was saved?
- Believing the gospel preached, evidenced by salvation testimony.
- Baptism of the Holy Spirit evidenced by the ability to speak with an unlearned tongue.
- Baptism in water by immersion.
2 & 3 can happen in any order. These were the absolute minimum for admission into the local church. The original Apostles and their successors never invited unbelievers to join the assembly of the righteous that was comprised of born again Christians in fellowship.
Those who claimed to be born again were required to submit to water baptism by immersion in the name of the Lord. The baptism of John had lapsed. They were also required to be baptized in the Holy Spirit before being added to the church and allowed to exercise the gift they received from the Holy Spirit.
1 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples
2 he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”
3 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
7 Now the men were about twelve in all. (NKJV)
The major problem of this end-time church is that it has become a mixed multitude. The church needs revival to function effectively before the return of Christ. A mixed multitude can never generate the needed revival.
Consequently, the first step in reviving the church for end-time activities is to separate the sheep from the goats. The second step is to deal with the spirit of Jezebel that has entrenched itself in denominational Christianity.
How to deal with the challenge of mixed multitude in the church is the next post.