What Must I Do To Be Saved?

Excerpts from the writings and sermons of Evangelist Lester Roloff

The cry of the ages, “What must I do to be saved?” That’s been the cry of every civilization and yet, all have gone under.  That’s the cry of education.  Yes, that’s the cry of the denomination.  More than that, it’s the cry of a diseased and a decayed human race. The times—yes, these perilous times!  I’ll grant you that we’ve built our Babels of science, education, religion, and I’ll grant you that we are in a mighty space race, but we need to get in the grace race. No one would have to use imagination to see that these are the day of Noah and the days of Sodom.

The kind of society this old world needs is the society that comes through salvation from the Savior.  But again I say, we’re just going through Bible days.  If we were to stop with Isaiah, we could ask with him, “Who hath believed our report?  And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way” (Isaiah 55:1-6).

Or we could visit the next door neighbor, Brother Jeremiah, as he said, “No man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done?  Everyone turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle” (Jeremiah 8:6).  He lived in an unblushing generation, and so do we.  Verses 14-15 say, “Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defensed cities, and let us be silent there:  for the Lord our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the Lord.  We looked for peace but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble!”

Verse 19-20 say, “…Is not the Lord in Zion?… The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”  Verse 22 says, “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there?  Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?”  Jeremiah 9:23-24 says, “…Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:  But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth:  for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.”

So we are not really on new ground and there is nothing really new taking place.  Enoch was an astronaut and Elijah was an astronaut without a space suit, but they sure had on a grace suit.  Elijah knew nothing about a parachute, but he knew a lot about a prayer-a-chute.

“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done:  and there is no new thing under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

“That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past” (Ecclesiastes 3:15).

The wireless was built in our generation, but each man of God had one built in him.  Radar belongs to this generation and yet, God put radar in Elisha’s heart and in Simon Peter’s heart. 

The helicopter was built in our generation and yet, the hummingbird will be put to shame any of man’s helicopters.  Mr. Bell’s telephone system is a product of this generation and yet, Jesus operates a switchboard with billions of private lines.  He’s the only operator and the Bible is the telephone directory.  The Holy Spirit is the repair man and builder who strung his wires of faith from heaven to the hearts of men.

The radio is a product of this generation and yet, God’s people have listened to heavenly choirs while sitting around a campfire on the Judean hills in the long ago.  The television set arrived in this generation, with all of its garbage for the gullible, and yet, Moses saw Him who is invisible and endured.

Man is just fixing to wake up and find that he’s not half as smart as he thought he was.  Religion, along with every denomination, is crying, “What must I do to be saved?”

We must return to the soul because if we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all these things will be added unto us.  God said if we who are called by His name would humble ourselves and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, then would He hear from heaven and forgive our sin and heal our land (II Chronicles 7:14).

The jailor voiced the cry of the ages when he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”—to which they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).  The answer is plain. We must acknowledge our need as sinners.  We cannot save ourselves. We must believe that Jesus Christ died for us and rose again according to the Scriptures.

There’s not but one way to be saved because there is “one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5).  “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).

The priest can’t save.  Hebrews 10:11 reminds us he “can never take away sins.”  The virgin Mary can’t save.  She said, “Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it” (John 2:5).  Much of the world is saying as in Luke 11:27, “Blessed is the womb that bare thee.” But Jesus said, “Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the Word of God, and keep it” (Luke 11:28).

John said a similar thing, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:1,14).

Your mother and father can’t save you—“Every man shall bear his own burden” (Galatians 6:5).  “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up” (Psalm 27:10).  The saints can’t save you because they are just sinners saved by grace. Jesus needs no help to save the sinner! 

Now what does the Scripture say?

“He by Himself purged our sins” (Hebrews 1:3).

”Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth, and abideth forever” (I Peter 1:23).

“…Receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls.”  Good works can’t save.  Titus 3:5 says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration.”  Ephesians 2: 8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast” (James 1:21).

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.  And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (I John 2:1).

“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:  no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

“As many as received Him, to them that believe on His Name” (John 1:12).

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:  That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.  He that believeth on Him is not condemned:  but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:14-18).

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 10:27-29).

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.  My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand” (John 5:24).

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).

“All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

“For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13)

I read the story of a little ragged orphan that knocked at the gate of an orphans’ home and when the superintendent came, he began to ask the little boy some questions, “Son, what are you doing here?”  To which he said, “I want in.”  He said, “Did you send in an application?”  To which the little fellow said, “No, sir.”  “Did anybody write a letter for you or recommend you?”  And he said, “No, sir.”  He said, “Well what made you think you could get in?”  And the little boy pulled at his little old rags and looked at his bare feet and said, “Sir, a man downtown told me that all I’d have to show you in order to get in would be these rags I had on.”

Even so, sinner friend, all the ticket you are going to need is to confess your rags and say with the song writer,

"I am coming to the cross;
I am poor and weak and blind;
I am counting all but dross;
I shall full salvation find. 

"I am trusting, Lord, in Thee,
Dear Lamb of Calvary,
Humbly at the cross I bow,
Save me, Jesus, save me now." 

Now, my friend, let me state as simply as possible how I got saved.

I heard the Word of God.

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

I knew I was a sinner.

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10).

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

I felt condemned and lost.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

I knew I could not save myself.

  • The priest could not save me. He “can never take away sins” (Hebrews 10:11).
  • Mary could not save me. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5).
  • Baptism and church membership could not save me. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

I felt that I must respond to the Holy Spirit’s invitation immediately.  

“Behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Corinthians 6:2).

I confessed my sins and asked Jesus to come into my heart, and He did!

Now I am saved, and going to Heaven for eternity. “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” (I John 5:13).

He will do for you what He did for me.

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

Sinner friend, why be lost when you could be saved?  Let Jesus stop the war and give you peace.  Why go to hell when you could go to heaven?  And remember, today is the day of salvation and now is the time.

"I've tried in vain a thousand ways,
 My fears to quell, my hopes to raise,
But all I need the Bible says
Forevermore is Jesus. 

"He died, He lives, He reigns, He pleads,
There's love in all His words and deeds,
There's in Him all a sinner needs
Forevermore in Jesus. 

"Though some may sneer and some may blame,
I'll go with all my guilt and shame,
I'll go to Him because His Name
Above every Name is Jesus."

Did you read that sweet experience of Civil War days when the soldier got an emergency message from home saying his wife, the mother of his little children, was dying and he would have to come quickly if he wanted to see her again? When he presented it to his commanding officer, the commanding officer also presented to him orders from the President, “No more furloughs under any circumstances.”

This tearful soldier asked what could be done to get a release to go home for a few days and he said, “You’d have to talk to the President.”  He made a desperate attempt to see Mr. Lincoln, but was turned away.  And as he walked away in tears, a little boy said, “Soldier, what’s the matter?”  And he said, “I wanted to see the President on a very urgent matter —my wife is dying and I need to go to her.”

The little boy took him by the hand and said, “I’ll take you to him.”  And boldly we are told, he entered the door and said, “Dad, this soldier must see you.”  At least that illustrates the fact that you and I as sinners cannot come to the Father, but Jesus with His nail-scarred hand can lead us into the presence of our heavenly Father.

Now are you still asking, “What must I do to be saved?”  If so, let me make it as plain as I can. 

1.    You need to be saved because one day you will die.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:27-28).

2.     You cannot save yourself.

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5).

3.    Only Jesus can save you.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

4.    You must repent.

Turn to God from your sin (Acts 26:20). You must believe and receive Jesus Christ to save you. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12).

5.    You need to be saved now.

“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).

Today can be your day of salvation, so receive Him as Lord and sing,

"'Tis done; the great transaction's done!
I am my Lord's, and He is mine;
He drew me, and I followed on,
Charmed to confess the voice divine. 

"Happy day, happy day,
When Jesus washed my sins away! 
He taught me how to watch and pray,
And live rejoicing every day;
Happy day, happy day,
When Jesus washed my sins away!" 

If the Lord has spoken to your heart, let us know. Read the Bible and pray each day that you may grow and become a healthy, happy, and a holy Christian.

Roloff Evangelistic Enterprises
(copyright 2021)