Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Simplicity of the Gospel



And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."

(Acts 16:30-31 NKJV)


Heaven or Hell?

Most of us who are believers wonder just what it is that the Lord wants us to do after we are saved.  We worry about our gifts and our mission.  We get a lot of teaching on knowing the will of the Lord in our lives.  But while struggling with some of these issues is extremely important, the matter of helping others find the Savior that we know and love is always of primary importance.  Whether we are support staff or out on the front lines, we all want people to understand the Gospel and to trust in the Lord.  Their eternal destiny depends on it.  Believing the Gospel saves people from eternal damnation and prepares them for an eternal home in heaven.  We never lose sight of the fact that the Gospel that saved us is the Gospel that can save others.


What is the Gospel?

The Gospel is summarized by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (NKJV),  “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you; unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” 


When Paul refers to holding fast he is dealing with a problem that we all deal with when people say that they believe.  Have they been convinced that the Gospel is true and do they believe it because it is true or do they think that by believing it they are making it true?  We don’t make the Gospel true by believing it, but we do make it effective in our lives.  Once we find out that the Gospel is true, we will have no trouble holding fast (or being completely convinced) that Christ died, was buried and rose again the third day to save us.  If we are believing in our believing or in anything besides the Lord Jesus, our believing will be empty or in vain. 


The Background of this Story

Paul and Silas and been put in prison for casting a demon out of a girl who had been bringing her masters profit by fortune telling.  She must have had some demonic insight since once the demon was cast out of her, she had obviously lost her power.  Her masters were upset with Paul and Silas and had them thrown into prison.  However, they sang and prayed while incarcerated.  The Lord sent an earthquake and freed all the prisoners which meant that the guard would likely lose his life for losing the prisoners.  He came to Paul and Silas trembling and asked “What must I do to be saved?”  Whether he was asking for his physical life or his spiritual life is perhaps something that could be debated.  But he got a spiritual answer.  “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”  The message was believed by him and by his whole household that night.  That was quite a revival!  Apparently because Paul and Silas did not leave, the magistrates did not punish the jailer.  So he got his life saved physically and he got his soul saved eternally by a simple request and a simple answer. 


A Simple Request and a Simple Answer

To believe on the Lord Jesus Christ simply means to trust the Lord.  It doesn’t mean to believe about Him.  It means to believe Him.  There are those in the Bible who seemed to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ but never really did trust Him.  But simply put, when a person trusts the Lord by trusting His promises that person has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.  We can’t believe on the Lord when we are still telling the Lord how to save us, but we can believe on the Lord when we let Him tell us how to be saved.


Confusing the Issue

When people ask us how to be saved, we all try to explain what Paul meant when he told the jailer to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.  I don’t mean to be too technical but there is no improving on the simple truth that we need to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved and that everyone who does believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is saved.  We may say that we have given our hearts to the Lord, we may say that we made a decision for Christ, we may say that we invited the Lord into our lives, we may say that we called on the name of the Lord, we may have responded to an altar call; but no matter how we say it, the only ones who are saved are those who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. 


Believing on the Lord Jesus Christ always works because the Lord says it does.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of February 11, 2018

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