QUESTION: “Isn’t it true that all one has to do to be saved is to simply believe in Jesus and confess Him as Lord?”
According to some uninspired, man-made denominational teaching, yes. But according to the Divinely-Inspired (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21), totally inerrant (Psalm 19:7-11), and eternal truth (Psalm 119:89) of Almighty God, NO. While believing in and confessing Jesus as Lord are absolutely essential elements to the Scriptural picture of salvation (Romans 10:9-10), they are certainly not the ONLY elements essential in the salvation process. Consider these three Biblical cases:
- The demons both believe (James 2:19) and confess that Jesus is the Son of God (Mk. 5:1-7; Lk. 4:31-34); yet they won’t be in Heaven will they? Of course not! (If they were, it wouldn’t be heaven!)
- The deceived and deluded yet very committed and convicted religious people Jesus mentioned who will plead their case on Judgment Day in Matt. 7:21-23 called Him “Lord, Lord” and apparently believed they were saved with all their heart too… but they weren’t, were they?
- Saul of Tarsus, upon meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus both called Him “Lord,” and certainly believed Him enough to obey Him as such didn’t he (Acts 9:1-9, 22:6-11)? And yet, three days later (Acts 9:9), even after believing and confessing Jesus as Lord, his sins were still unforgiven, despite his having done those two things alone. We know this because he was then instructed as to what he had to still do in order to have his sins washed away (Acts 22:16; See also Acts 2:38).
(And just as a side-note to Acts 22:16, please note that water baptism for the forgiveness/washing away of their sins – and not some so-called “sinner’s prayer” which is never found since the inception of the New Covenant in Acts 2 as the way sinners are to be saved – is how and when one calls on the name of the Lord to be saved – according to the bible that is.)
Three cases where belief and confession (although essential) are not, and were not enough by themselves alone, to save anyone, nor are they now if the Bible is still true – which it absolutely is (John 17:17, 12:48). Even the Romans 10 passage indicates that those two elements are merely foundational and are meant to lead to further essential actions such as calling on His Name (vs. 13 – which Saul did: Acts 22:16) in obeying the gospel (vs. 16) which all who hope to go to Heaven must do (2 Thess. 1:6-10). To study further into all of the essential elements to being saved, please contact us with your additional questions or come and visit and study exclusively from God’s Word with us in person… and you hall know the truth… (John 8:32).