"To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins" —Luke 1:77
By David J. Stewart
Table Of Contents
The most important question you will ever be asked in your entire life—DO YOU KNOW 100% SURE IF YOU DIED RIGHT NOW THAT WOULD GO TO HEAVEN? Have you ever been asked this question before? Have you ever given this question any thought? There are many “If’s” in life but this is NOT a matter to be taken lightly. Your soul’s destiny is at stake!
Many folks are in the dark concerning their soul’s salvation. They’ve heard umpteen religious teachings all their life but aren’t really sure of anything. They’ve never really settled down to business on this matter. Friend, I would like to guide you in the following chapters into many of these Scriptures—with a sincere desire that you may come to the glorious knowledge of the truth and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as your Savior. I use the term “relationship” carefully, because Judas also had a relationship with the Lord, but still went to Hell in his sins. By “relationship” I mean that you have received Christ's death, burial and resurrection (the Gospel) as payment for your sins, and now you are God's child.
I thank God for all the millions of Gospel tracts which get passed out each year in this nation; however, it has always concerned me that too many are vague and lacking any real substance. Nothing can replace a personal soul-winner. Howbeit, many people have been led to the Lord Jesus Christ by a simple and short Gospel tract. A simple tract is helpful because many people will not take the time to read a long brochure. Further, salvation is not a difficult matter and God only requires a child-like faith to be saved.
Nevertheless, there are some people who need more than a simple tract. It is not unreasonable for a person to have many questions and concerns. I wish I had found a book such as this when I first began to seek the Lord as a teenager. I have written the following chapters in an attempt to “lay it all out on the table” in hopes of giving you a more complete understanding of God’s wonderful plan of salvation. This just may be the world’s longest Gospel tract. I pray that God’s Holy Spirit will speak to your heart as I speak to your mind in the pages ahead.
There are many uncertainties in this life, but your soul’s salvation does NOT need to be one of them. You can KNOW beyond any shadow of a doubt that you are saved and on your way to heaven. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life…” (1st John 5:13). We all know that we have to die, but we don’t know when. Why not take out a fire insurance policy with God and make ready your soul for the day when you die and pass from this life into the next?
The honest truth is that God has provided a simple and easy way for all mankind to be saved. God does NOT want one single sinner to perish into Hell. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, but that ALL should come to repentance.” (2nd Peter 3:9). What a wonderful truth! The promise mentioned is the return of Christ as prophesied in the Bible. There were “scoffers” and “doubters” in those days (just as there are today) who make light of the Bible and laugh at the Scriptural teaching that Jesus Christ will someday return for His own.
These scoffers are known as “liberals” or “modernists.” The apostle Paul here assures these folks that God is not a liar and does indeed keep His promises. The reason for the Lord’s delay is simply because He is “LONGSUFFERING to us-ward, not willing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.” It is you my dear friend whom God is waiting for! God does not want you to perish! You have no idea how much God loves you, what He has made available to you and how very much He wants you to get saved. Again, it is my humble prayer that the Holy Spirit of God will speak to your heart in the extremely important pages ahead.
The only accurate way to interpret the Bible is to interpret the Bible with the Bible. The Bible speaks for itself! May I say, there will always be areas of doctrine that puzzle us. Someone wisely said that BIBLE is an acronym which means: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. I like that. Every answer brings ten more questions. We're either going to trust God or else put Him on trial in our minds. I choose to trust God.
We are challenged in 2nd Timothy 2:15 to “STUDY to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH.” This is how we learn the Bible, i.e., by dividing it (cross-referencing). When we compare one Scripture with other Scriptures, we obtain true doctrine. This is where many people get into big trouble—by failing to “rightly divide” the Word of Truth.
For example, we are told in Mark 16:16 that “Whosoever believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” The casual reader might mistakenly conclude that water baptism is essential for salvation. This would make water baptism a sacrament. This is not correct however because we are told elsewhere in the Bible that Paul was not sent to baptize, but rather to preach the Gospel. “For Christ sent me NOT TO BAPTIZE, but to preach the gospel” (1st Corinthians 1:17). Paul never would have made such a statement if water baptism were necessary for salvation. This is just one of thousands of examples of why it’s important to know your Bible well. It is my earnest belief that every Christian should have a thorough understanding of the Bible.
I’ve written this book because I feel it is very much needed. I’ve met many people who thought they were saved, but in fact were NOT. There is an abundance of false teaching and false religion all around us in society. The Devil is a master counterfeiter! Many false religions have birthed from sincere misunderstandings (false teachings) from the Bible.
2nd Peter 3:16-17 warns us about tampering with the Bible. Those who do so, do it “...unto their own DESTRUCTION.” Peter was wise to admit that he simply did NOT understand some of Paul’s writings. Honesty is always the best policy. There’s nothing wrong or demeaning about saying “I don’t know.” Many people are blinded by arrogance and are too proud to admit their ignorance on certain matters. May I say, there are many things which I do not understand. I do not pretend to understand everything in the Bible.
On the contrary, I have many questions for Jesus when I get to Heaven. We are encouraged in 1st Corinthians 13:12 concerning this matter... “For NOW WE SEE THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY; but then face to face NOW I KNOW IN PART; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” What a wonderful truth—Someday we will know God just as much as He knows us. Until then, we must be content to “know in part.”
This book is all about salvation. I am going to share with you many of the practical truths which God has used to burn my heart over the years. I think of these truths often. I can proclaim with Jacob, “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the TRUTH, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant” (Genesis 32:10). God is wonderful to me and His truths are precious indeed. I fervently pray that the truths in this book will be a blessing to every reader. These are NOT my truths, they are God’s truths. I’m simply sharing them with you, gladly, as God has taught them to me from His Word.
There is NO greater matter in life than the destiny of a man’s soul. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and LOSE HIS OWN SOUL?” (Matthew 16:26). The important thing is that you know your name is written in Heaven in the Lamb’s book of life. If you are not saved, nothing else matters! All the knowledge and wealth in the universe will do you no good if you die in your sins and go to Hell forever. As a Christian, Jesus Christ lives within my heart (and I live in His heart). If you are saved, Jesus lives within you (and you in Him). If you are NOT saved, Jesus Christ wants to save you.
I have included several chapters addressing the “assurance” of one’s salvation. I have personally known quite a few Believers who couldn’t find peace concerning their soul’s salvation. There is no reason to fear and doubt. The Bible teaches that we can KNOW beyond any shadow of a doubt that we are saved. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1st John 5:13).
When I was younger, I was always afraid to go down into the basement when the lights were out because I didn’t know what might be lurking in the dark. I used to anxiously swing my arm feeling for the pull-string for the ceiling light. I was afraid of the unknown. This is the same reason why a person doubts their salvation, i.e., they are ignorant concerning the Scriptures. They fear, “what if?” What if I’m not really saved? What if I go to Hell? People often fear that which they do not understand.
It is my heart’s desire to help you gain a greater understanding of God’s plan of salvation in the chapters that follow. I believe you will find this book helpful. I’ve endeavored to keep the chapters brief, yet long enough to say what needs to be said. Whether you're saved, unsaved or not sure you're saved—there is something in this book for you. It is my sincere prayer that God’s Holy Spirit will speak to your heart in the pages ahead as I speak to your mind, may God Bless you.A sinner saved by God’s loving and merciful grace,
David J. Stewart
A Word From My Heart Concerning My Book
*Note from my heart— Everyone, I don't care who you are, adjusts and changes your beliefs over the years. Although not addressed in this book, I'll use as a personal example. Years ago I used to believe in a Young Earth view (which is a widely held view in Baptist churches today). As time passed, I took a middle-of-the-road approach, simply because I didn't have any solid convictions either way, but in recent years I have formed solid Old Earth convictions based upon compelling evidence by faithful men of God such as Dr. Curtis Hutson (see his 6-part series on DEMONOLOGY) and Dr. Max D. Younce's book “DON'T LET SATAN MAKE A MONKEY OUT OF YOU.” Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980) believed in a Young Earth view; but his successor as editor of The Sword Of The Lord, Dr. Curtis Hutson (1934-1995) believed in an Old Earth (commonly known as the “Gap Theory,” which I am convinced is not a theory, but Biblical teaching).
I respect the freedom of speech rights of others with whom I disagree and vise versa. I love and promote both Dr. John R. Rice and Dr. Curtis Hutson, even though they are diametrically opposed concerning the gap theory (old earth verses young earth). Ultimately, we each have to do our own homework as believers and form our own conclusions, or allow someone else to do the thinking for us (which may be dangerous if the person you are following is wrong on salvation, so be careful). Thankfully, Dr. Rice and Dr. Hutson both agreed 100% on salvation, which is solely by God's grace through faith in Christ.
Many notable Christian authors and leaders have changed their beliefs over the years. The changes aren't always good. Whereas Dr. Kent Hovind of the Creation Science Evangelism ministry once believed in a Pretribulation Rapture, he has recently changed his position to a Postribulation Rapture view. Dr. Roland Rasmussen, radio host Alex Jones and Pastor Steven Anderson also teach a Postribulation view. Contrawise, Billy Sunday, Charles Spurgeon, Harry Ironside, Dwight Moody, Bob Jones Sr., John R. Rice, Jack Hyles, Lee Roberson and many other mighty men of God all believed and taught a Pretribulation Rapture, which is exactly what I believe. The Lord said the timing of His return is a big secret, to keep Christians on their toes (Mark 13:32-37). Only a Pretribulation Rapture position supports the element of surprise, which is compelling evidence of a Pretribulation Rapture taught in the Bible. Jesus said NO ONE KNOWS WHEN CHRIST WILL RETURN!!!
Dr. Oliver B. Greene (1915-1976) and Dr. Max D. Younce believe and teach that Hades (Hell) was compartmentalized, which is what I believe, that is, the place of Torment existed on one side, and Paradise was on the other side (called “Abraham's Bosom.” See the factual story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31). Albeit, Dr. John R. Rice denied the existence of an Old Testament place called Paradise and taught that all Old Testament saints all went directly to Heaven when they died here on earth.
And finally, there is a raging debate in our churches today, and this controversy has existed throughout the millenniums, over exactly what is required by God to be saved and go to Heaven. Dr. Curtis Hutson correctly taught that a person simply needs to admit their sinful condition and believe upon the Lord. Brother Hutson's beloved predecessor, Dr. Rice used to say, “Every man who goes to Heaven goes on a free pass, but he who goes to Hell pays his own way.” And then he would quote Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Yet, sadly, Dr. Billy Graham (who is arguably the world's most well-known evangelist in history) teaches that a person must count the cost, make a full surrender to Christ's Lordship, and pay the price of forsaking sinful living to be saved. This is NOT the Gospel as taught in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4. Whether or not a person believes in an Old Earth or Young Earth, Pretribulation or Postribulation Rapture, saints went to Old Testament Paradise or directly to Heaven, WON'T prevent them from going to Heaven if they trust solely upon the crucified and risen Savior to get their sins forgiven. However, following the false plan of salvation by Billy Graham WILL send you to Hell forever!!! Human works have no place in Biblical salvation. Please read the awesome printed sermon by Pastor Curtis Hutson, “SALVATION CRYSTAL CLEAR.”
Now I've shared all these things with you for a reason. When I originally penned this book about SALVATION in 2001, I prayed and asked God's Holy Spirit to guide me. I am very pleased with the book and believe that it has honored the Lord over the years. Albeit, I was compelled for the benefit of my readers to make some minor changes. One such change is the removal of references to asking Jesus into one's heart to be saved. I am not against preachers who use that terminology, but I prefer not to use it because you can ask Jesus into your heart and still go to Hell. As Brother Jack Hyles (1926-2001) says in his sermon, “STEPS IN SANCTIFICATION (or the root of all heresy)”... “You don't get saved by asking Jesus into your heart, but Jesus comes into your heart when you get saved.” Most of the changes which I have made to my book are helpful additions to the chapters on “Repentance” and “Are You Really A Christian?” In addition I have added chapters 37, 38, 39 and 40 since the original writing in 2001.
I have since learned that you don't have to ask Jesus to save you; but rather, the Bible teaches to simply BELIEVE! It's not sinful to ask, but you you don't need to ask. John 3:16 plainly teaches that “WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM” shall not perish, but have everlasting life! You don't have to walk a church isle at invitation time to be saved. You can BELIEVE right in your pew and be saved, just as I was at age 13 decades ago. Thank God for the gift of His only begotten Son Jesus, the Christ!
With the recent theological plunge in our churches into the heresy of Lordship Salvation, I have read through my book to make sure that I carefully worded my thoughts. Remember, I am just an imperfect sinful man, capable of doctrinal error; but God's inspired words are perfect and very pure (if you have a King James Bible). If my book ever disagrees with the Holy Bible, you follow the Holy Bible! As I explain in my book on Salvation, Lordship Salvation is not God's plan of salvation; it is a satanic deception, intended to provide a substitute for the Gospel. My writings cannot, and should not, replace the Word of God. That has never been my intention. My goal is to simply share with you, the reader, many of the Biblical truths which the Holy Spirit has taught me since I miraculously became born-again by the Holy Spirit of God at age 13.
Remember, Satan's greatest weapon is to con people into living the Christian life without ever being born-again!!! Religion cannot get anybody into Heaven. Religion wants to fit us with glasses, to see man's view; but the Lord Jesus wants to open our eyes! A man is better to have no hope than a false hope, because a man with no hope is still searching. My goal is not to impress anybody with a nice book; but rather, my goal is to lead you to trust Jesus Christ alone for your salvation. Acts 13:39, “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”