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(Zephaniah 3:17 paraphrased) The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing [he will spin round in a violent motion with gladness, shouting and triumph]!  


Claiming Salvation      Heaven and Baptism     Salvation Assurance
Praying  For The  Lost

Q.  Do you need to be baptized in order to go to heaven?

A. No, the Bible does not say that.  John 3:3 says “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Baptism is to follow the salvation experience, and is an outward expression of the inward change that has already taken place in your Spirit.

Acts 16:31 Claiming Salvation
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Q. Is it biblical to claim someone’s salvation, according to Acts 16:31?

A. No, that is not a scriptural thing.  Simplified, if Jesus can’t “claim” anyone’s salvation, we
can’t either.  He has made salvation a free gift to anyone who will believe on him, yet he can’t force us to accept his sacrifice.  God has given every person a free will; he won’t make us accept him if we don’t want to.   We can either choose to believe that Jesus paid for all our sins so we could receive his eternal life (John 3:16), or we can choose not to accept him or his sacrifice, and when we leave this world we can live forever with Satan and all the wicked in the lake of fire to be in eternal torment (Matt 13:49-50; 2 Thess 1:8-9).  I’m not trying to use this as a scare tactic, but these are the only two options that exist.

 Many people mistakenly try to use the scripture in Acts 16:31 as a verse that promises our
loved ones will be saved as we “stand in the gap” or “stand in faith”, believing for their salvation.  We’ve heard from hundreds of people who want us to pray with them to “claim” their family members.  I looked up the word claim in Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, which gave me several definitions including, “to take as the rightful owner; to ask for as a right such as an inheritance.”  So to claim someone borders on manipulation and witchcraft because you are wanting to become someone else’s “rightful owner”—overriding their will with your own.  That dog just won’t hunt.  We cannot get anyone born again by our faith, even if that person is part of our family or related to us.  It’s not that God doesn’t love them, but that they need to respond to the word of God for themselves.

 In Acts 16:31, Paul and Silas were saying that this jailer could be born again by believing on the Lord and the same thing would work for his family if they would believe.  We can be encouraged to believe for salvation of our family members with scriptures such as Matthew  9:38, 2 Corinthians 4:4, Luke 10:2 and Ephesians1:17-19, but we can’t claim someone’s salvation with Acts 16:31.

Q  I’m born again, but still seem lost.  Where and how do I walk with Jesus?  I am not ready for the Lord’s return.  I don’t know where to start.  God bless you all.

A. It sounds like you need to first assure your heart that you are indeed saved.  That is the first place to start.  Once you are saved, your spirit becomes THE spirit of Christ and is sealed with the Holy Spirit.  The rest you need to do is apply Romans 12:1 and 2 by providing your body as a living sacrifice to the Lord and then renew your mind to the Word, to demonstrate the perfect will of God in your life.

Dear Heavenly Father,  I know I have sinned against you and Your word, but I believe that your son, Jesus, died for me and that he paid for ALL of my sins -- past, present and future.  I believe he rose from the dead and is alive today.  I ask you to come into my life and not only save me, but be the Lord of my life in every area.  I know that without Jesus, I will never be good enough and with Jesus I will not only live forever with you, but can live a victorious Christian life while I am on Earth. Thank you for making a way for me. Amen.

Next, we suggest you get a Bible and start reading in the Book of John and then the rest of the gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) after that.  If you would like us to pray with you, please email us with your phone number and we’ll call you.   Get hooked up in a good local church because
it’s important to be around other believers who can encourage and pray with you on a weekly basis.

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