All that we can know about salvation and how to acquire it must be learned from the pages of the New Testament (Romans 1:16). Where else? God is the only one who can offer salvation and therefore He is the only one to tell us how to be saved. Anyone who would pretend to offer any means of salvation other than that recorded in the Bible is guilty of blasphemy (putting themselves on an equal par with God). The only way we can know God’s will regarding salvation is to read and understand the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 2:10-11).
A good place to start our search is in the book of Acts. There we can read of many accounts of men and women hearing the gospel story and being obedient to the salvation fo their souls. We can read of the accounts of the inspired men entrusted with spreading the gospel story doing just that, telling their listeners what to do to be saved.
In Acts 2 Peter was asked “What shall we do?” His inspired reply was, “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” (verse 38). There are several more instances of this same message being preached and obeyed. These are our instruction and guidance. These are our hope and salvation.
Sadly, there are many today who are preaching another message. A message of salvation (so-called) that is not found in the New Testament. And therefore a false message with no hope and no salvation.
Whenever someone tells you what to do to be saved, check his/her message with that found in the New Testament. No preacher can offer you salvation. That is only God’s business.
It seems that everywhere you turn you hear some preacher telling us to pray a prayer (commonly called the “sinner’s prayer”) in order to receive salvation. That seems simple, but is it God’s way? The only way to know is to go to the Book.
Going to the Book, we read the story of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9, 22, 26). God appeared to Saul and told him, among other things, to go into Damascus and there it would be told him what he would have to do.
Once he arrived in Damascus, he began to pray. Oh, what praying he must have done. A man as sincere as Saul must have been greatly troubled at his new-found knowledge (that he was persecuting the Christ Himself). Can you imagine how fervently he prayed to God. Surely if prayer alone could save, that prayer would have saved Saul.
When Ananias (the man of God who was to teach Saul what he must do) arrived he found Saul praying. He said to him, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). Saul’s prayer did not save him. His obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ did. God’s wonderful grace did. Is it any different today?
There is no New Testament passage that can be cited that tells the alien sinner to pray any prayer for salvation. None at all. If anyone tells you to pray a prayer for salvation they are telling you something that God has not said. And you would be doing something that God has not authorized.
If salvation is to be ours, it must be according to God's will. Why not do what God says? Read, study and obey the word of God. It is God’s power to salvation (Romans 1:16). Man’s attempt to alter it will fail. Man’s attempt to obey it will be rewarded. May God bless you with this reward.