There are many things that we as Americans are currently concerned about saving. Save lives, save the economy, save our liberties, save jobs, and save the sports season are just some of the many things we want to save. And in this time of crisis, many people out of fear are asking the question, what must I do to save my life from COVID-19?
In Acts 16:30, a prison guard asked the question, “What must I do to be saved?” This guard was in a state of panic. He had just woken from sleep and he saw the prison doors open, and he thought that all the prisoners had fled. In those days, if a prisoner escaped, the penalty for the prison guard would be his life. The panic this man was in caused him to draw his own sword, and he was about to kill himself. And that is the context for the man’s question to the Apostle Paul, one of the prisoners. The guard, in fear and panic, is thinking he is going to lose his life. Trembling, he falls down before Paul and Silas and asks them the question, “what must I do to be saved?”
It is interesting to hear how Paul and Silas responded. They did not address the man’s primary concern about being executed for losing a prisoner, but rather they addressed this man’s greatest need of salvation. This guard wanted his physical life spared, and that is a good desire. It is a good desire to be pro-life and to see lives spared. There is nothing wrong with desires to save jobs and the economy and other noble things. But what would happen if we saved everything, but lost our own souls? Paul and Silas responded to this man by telling him how his soul could be saved; “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”
Jesus said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Matthew 10:28). Today, we recognize that viruses can kill. But the Lord says that is not something we should fear. The prison guard was fearful of being put to death, but Paul and Silas told him how his eternal soul could be saved. Job loss, economic loss, liberties lost and even death itself cannot touch the soul that believes in the Lord Jesus Christ. Why Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again, and there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus himself said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26. The good news for the prison guard is he did believe and his eternal soul was saved.
Our neighbors and our fellow-citizens are conversing about “what needs to be saved?” May the Lord give us the love and boldness to speak about what really needs to be saved. Here is a link to a fitting resource during this time that might help you in sharing the message of eternal salvation!