“Except . . . Ye Cannot Be Saved”

By Raymond E. Harris

The foregoing title is from Acts 27:31. The context makes reference to physical salvation from a storm at sea. Those who remained in the ship would be saved. And those that tried to abandon ship would be lost. Throughout the centuries God has always provided for man’s well being.

1. Many will remember that in Genesis 6, 7, God commanded Noah and his family to get into the Ark to assure their salvation from the flood. Everyone in the Ark was saved and everyone outside the Ark was lost.

2. Then, in Exodus 12, God explained to Moses that he was going to destroy the first born of every family that was not inside a house that had the blood of a lamb brushed around the door. So, once again, God determined that salvation would be granted to the obedient that stayed in the designated place of safety. All the firstborn in the houses were saved and all the firstborn outside the specially prepared houses would die.

3. Still later, when the Jews entered the promised land, God established “cities of refuge.” These cities to which a person who had accidently killed someone could flee to save themselves from becoming victims of the law which allowed “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” God was quite explicit. The objects of vengeance would be safe only so long as they remained in the city. If they ventured out of the city during a prescribed period of time, they could be killed. Those in the city were safe; those out of the city could be destroyed.

4. Then when Jesus came to earth, God made a far greater provision for mankind. This had to do with the salvation of souls! In Ephesians 1:3, Paul explains that God has determined that all spiritual blessings are in Christ. In Galatians 3:27 and Romans 6:3 we learn that to get into Christ one must be baptized into Christ. The Scripture also teaches that one must live faithful to remain in Christ (1 John 1; Rev. 2:10; Matt. 10:22). Hence, those that die in Christ will be saved, but those who die out of Christ will be lost (Rev. 14:13; Rev. 21:8).

This is most serious! Are you in or out of God’s provided place of safety?

Guardian of Truth XXVII: 1, p. 23
January 6, 1983