Confused about Salvation - 07/02/2004

Hello Contender Ministries, I am a little confused about Salvation and what is really needed to acquire it. Is Baptism by full immersion really necessary? What about attending church, for what I have seen, this website talks about many different religions under the apologetics menu and it doesn't seem to support a church if any. Do you support any church or type of Christian cult? I have also visited and read some of the materials listed at http://www.biblestudies.org/ and it made me even more confused.

Any help would be appreciated
God Bless You
Anderson.





CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:

Hi Anderson.  In the book of Acts in the Bible, a jailer asked that same question of Paul and Silas.  He asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved."  They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household."  Essentially, salvation comes through faith that Jesus Christ is God the Son who died on the cross to pay the penalty for you and me. 
 
First, you need to acknowledge that you are a sinner.  Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  We are ALL sinners, and we have to acknoledge that.  We do this through prayer to God.  I don't know if you've ever prayed before, but if you haven't, all you have to do is speak to God, either out loud or in your mind and heart.  The Bible tells us that God knows our thoughts.  All you have to do is start the conversation.  Tell God that you realize you are a sinner. 
 
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16.  Next, in your prayer, ask Jesus to forgive your sins.  1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."  This is a promise to you.  After you have confessed and asked for forgiveness, just ask Jesus to be the Lord of your life.  That is what saves.  Everything else, from baptism to church attendance comes afterwards. 
 
Jesus commanded us to be baptized, just as He commanded us to share the gospel.  We are baptized by immersion out of obedience to Jesus, and to publicly symbolize that we belong to Him.  It's a wonderful experience.  Once again though, this act of obedience comes after our salvation.  While some churches today baptize by sprinkling water, we prefer baptism the way it was performed in the Bible -- by immersion.  In fact, the Greek word from which we derive Baptism means "to immerse." 
 
It IS important to find a church -- not for salvation, but so you can grow in your faith.  There are many religions that are unbiblical, and we have been critical of unbiblical beliefs.  However, there are churches in your area that teach the Bible and the true gospel of Jesus Christ.  If you tell us where you live, we can try to locate some for you if you'd like.  We attend a non-denominational Protestant church, but the name on the church building means less that what's taught on the inside. 
 
I hope this helped.  Anderson, I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be a Christian.  When you have truly placed your faith in Jesus, you will have a peace and fulfillment like you've never known.  You will WANT to be obedient to Jesus, and you have the blessed assurance of knowing that when you die, you will live forever in heaven.  We will pray for you too.  Remember to email us with any more questions.  We're only too happy to help.
 
In Christ,
 
Ben and Jennifer Rast
Contender Ministries