“I Want To Be Saved”

Over the years we have had a number of people come to visit with us at this congregation because of a personal relationship they have had with one of our members. This situation can result in an individual being exposed to the gospel in a way that is new to them. This, in turn, can result in the blessing of a person obeying the gospel.

We saw this very thing happen here recently. A young man came forward who had been attending very regularly with a young woman he had been seeing. He handed me a beautifully written note which, of course, I read to the congregation. What struck me about his note was not just how well it was written but the compelling desire to be saved he communicated. One does not run across things like this every day.

Here is part of his note: “As of a few months ago I would have considered myself saved. Through study and some very helpful lessons, I realize that my former baptism was for many wrong reasons. I’m a sinner and need to be saved. More and more I’ve been starting to want to be saved. Today I can no longer stand the thought that I’m living an unsaved life. I love Jesus and I want a home in heaven. I want these burdensome sins lifted from me. I want to be saved.”

This young man made the good confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Romans 10:9-10) and was baptized into Christ for the remission of his sins (Mark 16:16, Acts 22:16).

I know how reading his note for the first time affected me and those who were present in the assembly. I asked the young man if I could share it in this form and he gave me permission to do so. I hope you see the great power of the gospel of Christ displayed in his brief and effective message.

Remember the note ended: “I want to be saved.” That simple statement reminds me of some similar statements in the New Testament book of Acts. We might think of Peter’s sermon on the first Pentecost after Jesus’ resurrection. There the text says that the people were “cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’” There comes a time when we have to take firm consideration of the truth we hear and do something about it.

I also think of the Ethiopian eunuch of Acts 8. Philip the evangelist taught him about Jesus as he was traveling home from worship in Jerusalem (Acts 8:27). They came to some water and the Ethiopian asked Philip, “What hinders me from being baptized?” Philip took his confession and baptized him right then and there. Here was the power of the gospel working in the life of a man who had been concerned questions about spiritual matters. When those questions were answered he did something about it.

Let’s think also about the incarceration of Paul and Silas in Philippi (Acts 16:16-34). The two preachers were put in jail unjustly and through the night just sang and prayed. We cannot know the content of their prayers but we do know that God’s earthquake allowed for their release from the stocks and the opening of the prison’s doors. Paul kept the jailer from killing himself (Roman jailers were not allowed to let their prisoners escape). The man then asked, “What must I do to be saved?” He might have had in mind salvation for his perilous situation but he heard how he could be saved from the greater peril of sin. He heard the gospel and did what he needed to do. He and his obeyed the gospel and rejoiced.

The lesson for us is to “want to be saved” like our young friend. Where are you spiritually? Is it time to do something about your spiritual condition?

Bill Irby

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