The most important question asked in history was asked in a Roman prison of an ancient city in a land we now know as Greece.
It was the middle of the first century, and two followers of Christ were imprisoned there because one of them had thrown a demon out of a slave-girl. It’s a bit complicated, so you can read about it yourself in Acts 16, starting at verse 16.
This slave girl had been hanging around the Christ-followers for days, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” It was true, but one thing led to another and they ended up in prison. But about midnight, the jail-keeper decided he’d better ask these men about this “way of salvation” — and he was very wise to ask.
“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” he asked. That’s the good question every individual should ask. Even today it’s still the question wise enquirers seek the answer to.
But many wonder, “Saved from what?” Matthew 1:21 says that Jesus came to save people from their sins — that is, their wrongdoing. He said later that he came to seek and save the lost, and he likened his mission to a shepherd who goes looking for a lost sheep. We all, like sheep, have gone astray; we each have turned to our own way. And wandering away from God takes us into a perilous place, so Jesus came to save us.
So the jail-keeper was asking what he had to do to get into the safe arms of the good shepherd Jesus.
Do you know the answer? If you don’t, then keep reading the account in Acts 16. The jail-keeper was told, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” But what were they to believe about Jesus? And how were they to believe unless they had heard the message about Jesus? This man must have invited them to tell him more, because “they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all those in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptised at once, he and all his family.” We then read that he rejoiced greatly that he had believed in God with his whole household.
He asked the good question. He was answered, and did what he had to do. Others in the Book of Acts asked what they were to do. In Acts 2:37, people asked the apostles, “What shall we do?” Peter had already told them about Jesus, and they seemed to believe him—enough to ask that question.
So Peter answers them, “Repent, and let each of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.”
They asked the good question. They were answered, and we read in verse 41 that “those who gladly received his word were baptised”.
Later on, when Saul (also known as Paul) was confronted by Jesus speaking from heaven, asked him, “What shall I do, Lord?” He was told to get up and go into the city, “and you will be told what you must do”. You can read about what happened to him and what he was told to do in Acts 9:1-18 and 22:6-16.
He asked the good question. He was answered, and did what he had to do. He became a follower of Jesus the Christ.
Lots of other people through the book of Acts were told what to do to be saved. You can read for yourself what they did to become followers of Jesus and be saved from their sins. Not every instance tells you everything they did — that would get pretty repetitive — but if you put them all together you’ll get the full picture.
To sum it up, here's what they were told to do:
Believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God;
Stemming from that belief, express their belief in words and deeds;
Repent (change their mind and ways) away from doing wrong, towards doing what pleases God. That is, resolve to live for Jesus above all else.
Be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins.
Now ask yourself the good question: Have I done what I need to do to be saved?
Links we like
We don't know the people who did these, but the material is good.
This is a nice succinct look at what we can learn from conversions we read about in the book of Acts.
No, it's not the same one. It's another one we found, but this is a video presentation on the same topic. Not exciting viewing, but good material.
This one's very much related to what we deal with on this page, so it's good to get a slightly different angle on it.