By Victor Ochieng
Unless you’re born again, you cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. When Jesus made that statement, He knew exactly what it meant and He broke it down in several other scriptures by outlining some of the fruits of true salvation.
The question that many people are asking is when is the exact time someone becomes born again. We have pastors who claim that as soon as someone finishes reciting the “Sinner’s Prayer,” they become born again. There are also others who argue that one has to commence the walk of faith before they’re saved.
Well, we’ve got people who’ve confessed Jesus Christ as their personal Savior yet their deeds aren’t Christlike. Then there is the lot that recited the sinner’s prayer and started walking a completely new life in Christ.
What we should underline, however, is that no one is saved because they’ve recited some prayer. Salvation is God’s and He gives it to those He deems fit. Being the reader of the heart, He knows a repentant soul, delivering salvation when all the prerequisites have been met.
Reading through the scriptures, it becomes clear that inheriting the Kingdom of God is a process and it’s the ultimate crown to those who’re born again. Mark 1:15 says, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 says, “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you – unless you believe in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures.”
The most important thing is a contrite, repentant heart. Remember the prayer of a sinner is noise to God unless it’s a prayer of repentance. Once one has confessed Jesus as personal Savior and acknowledged that He died and rose on the third day, the next step is to conform to the walk of salvation. Once you make a decision to walk with Christ, you must kick out such things as listed in Galatians 5:19-21.
Clearly then, salvation is way more than just repeating a prayer.