by Gus Nichols (1892-1975)
What is the greatest question ever propounded by mortal man? Some businessman might say it is the question of how to make a fortune. Those old and feeble might say it is the question of how to live to be one hundred years of age and remain in good health all that time. The sick might answer that the greatest question has to do with a cure for cancer, tuberculosis and diseases of the heart. However, the statesmen might contend that the greatest question is how to promote peace among nations and prevent all future wars. While these are all important questions they have to do with the fleeting things of time and this life only.
“What Must I Do To Be Saved?”
But it must be agreed by all those who believe the Bible that the world’s greatest question is, “What must I do to be saved?” or “What shall I do, Lord?” or “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 22:10; 2:37; 9:6.) This question has to do with the soul of man and eternal destiny. The soul of one man in one side of the balances would outweigh the whole world in the other side! Jesus said, “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:26.) The soul is the skyscraper to stand through the eternal ages, while the body is no more than the scaffolding and ladders round about, and very temporary in nature. Once the soul is lost eternally, it will be too late to do anything about our great question.
But let us analyze our question and show that it is exceedingly simple. First of all there are two parts to the question. “What must I do” refers to the sinner’s part, and “to be saved” refers to God’s part of the plan. In other words the sinner must believe and put his faith into obedience in order to be saved of God, and on God’s terms. But let us further analyze the question. “What” – of all things possible to be done, just what must one do to be saved? “What must” – it is not what may one do. Jesus said, “It shall be told thee what thou must do.” (Acts 9:6.) Again, it is “What must I” – it is not what must God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit do. All heaven has already moved and done its part, and it is our move next. It is “What must I do?” It is not how must I feel or what must I imagine, or what must be done to me, but “What must I do?” it is not what must I do to blot out my own sins apart from God but what must I do “to be saved.”
Published in The Old Paths Archive (http://www.oldpaths.com)