Often times when people are going someplace they will take a shortcut. This allows them to get to their destination quicker. Sometimes shortcuts get people in trouble. If one is not completely sure about the shortcut, they could find themselves lost. In this article Colby Culbertson shows us there are no shortcuts to salvation.
“When Are We Saved?”
Among religious sects, other creeds, and doctrines there are debates and controversies over the point at which a person’s soul is added to God’s fold. Many say that a person is in a saved condition once he believes in Jesus Christ as Lord, and accepts Him as their personal savior. Those who believe this do not believe the act of baptism plays any part in saving a person’s soul. They believe baptism is a symbol or expression of one’s belief.
I could use multiple examples to debunk this belief,but for length’s sake, I would like to refer to the conversion of the apostle Paul, known as Saul of Tarsus at the time. In Acts 9, Paul is hot on the path to Damascus to kill Christians as he had been appointed to do. On the path, a most extraordinary thing happens. Acts 9:3-6 reads, And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
Notice in Saul’s unexpected encounter with the Lord there is no mention of him being saved because he believes. He clearly believes this is Jesus, because he addresses Jesus as Lord in verse 4. Saul is scared and confused at the great light. The question now becomes whether or not Saul is saved? He’s seen a light! Is he saved? The answer is no. In verse 4 Saul sees a light and this time hears a voice along with the light. Is Saul saved after seeing a light AND hearing a voice? No. In verse 5-6, Saul saw a light, heard a voice,and it’s the voice of Jesus Christ!! Surely Saul is saved now? If he is, he doesn’t know it! Because in verse 6 he asks the Lord, “what wilt you have me to do?” So is he saved then and there? No because Acts 9:18 teaches that Paul wasn’t saved until he was baptized. That’s why everybody else who desires to be a Christian today cannot become one until they too,complete the Biblical steps to salvation which ends in being baptized for the remission of sins as taught in Acts 2:38.
From this we gather and understand that salvation fully occurs once someone completes all 5 steps to salvation. There are no shortcuts when it comes to your soul’s salvation.