Question: I see that your site says that one must only accept Jesus as their Savior to get to Heaven. Others say that you need to ask Him to be your Savior and Lord. What is the difference?
Answer: The difference is between what God says in the Bible, and what man adds to the Bible by his own reasoning. This could be the difference between going to Heaven; or, going to Hell!
Let us analyze what is meant by those who say “You must ask Jesus to be your Savior and Lord” to have eternal life. I have asked many; and, without exception, they mean they will allow Jesus to have complete control of their lives…for the rest of their lives! Associated with this philosophy is a commonly used phrase which states, “If Christ is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all.” In other words, if Christ is not in complete control of every aspect of your life, then you probably are not really saved. In reality, they have added serving the Lord, or works, to the salvation message.
This is untrue, as the Word of God teaches that salvation is a free gift. A free gift bought, and paid for, by the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ as payment for our sins. Ephesians 2:8,9 explains,
“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.”
All the promises and good intentions that a person offers to God, are rendered void as having any merit in attaining salvation. (Romans 4:1-5).
Salvation is obtained by faith in, trusting in, or believing in the finished work of Jesus Christ. All three words, "faith, trust, and belief," are used in Scripture, synonymously. Salvation is not obtained with promises and good intentions. God knows such promises and good intentions will never be kept in their entirety. 1 John 1:8 verifies this,
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
Romans 6:23 says eternal life is a free gift,
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
This gift is received by faith,
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1).
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36)
Only the Christian can lead a Christian life; therefore, after we are saved by faith, and faith alone; God wants us to maintain good works.
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (11) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; " (Titus 2:11,12)
Remember, maintaining good works is a result of salvation; not a means of salvation. There are many who trust Christ as their Savior; but, never serve the Lord the rest of their lives. Are they saved? Of course; but with no rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (11)
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; (12)
Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. (13)
If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. (14)
If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)