The Ultimate Question

The turbulent Bhagirathi river (foreground) on...

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“What must I do, to be saved”  (Acts 16:30)

Paul found himself in jail for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This jail was in Philippi where he had been working. The jailer (essentially the old man, night watchmen) is the one who asked the Ultimate Question listed above. Why did he ask this? You’ll soon find out, but why, is not nearly as important as what he meant by asking it to begin with. The jailer is not the first person to ever ask this question, or the last is he? Men of ancient Greece tried to answer it by building temples to many gods, and ultimately even an altar to the “unknown God”. In the Old Testament non-believers sacrificed their own children on an altar to Moloch, believed by man to be a demon who deceived them into worshipping him (and ultimately satan) as opposed to the One True God. Women of India, in not-too-distant history tossed their babies into the Ganges, only to come home empty-handed, and hearted trying to answer this question.

People in tribal areas of Africa, even today, dance around a fire until they collapse late at night in an attempt to answer it too. In our story of Paul, he travelled to this Roman city, and conflicted with the local law keepers. They were humiliated by having their clothing torn, being severely beaten, and finally being imprisoned. Paul’s back was ripped apart and bleeding still. What did they do? Well, first they PRAYED. This prayer eventually turned into SINGING songs of praise to God. Could they have sung from Psalm 23, about the “shadow of death”? Or maybe Psalm 37 about the Lord “laughing at the wicked”? In my mind, they sang from the Psalm 46 about how God was their “refuge and strength”.

What happened next? The jail began shaking, an earthquake, I like to think that they voices were lifted to God in such a powerful way that the very foundation of the building was vibrating violently. All the cell doors rattled open, and the jailer woke up, saw the doors open, and feared for his life. He was so afraid he was about to take his own life. Paul then said “We are ALL here, do yourself no harm”. This made the jailer fall on his face before them asking our Ultimate Question: “What must I do, to be saved?” Now, I don’t know the education level of the old jailer, or even if he had ever left his home-town before. What I do know, is because of his involvement in the early church at this time, he presented the most important question in all of creation.

Notice what he DID NOT ask. “What must I do to be respected”, “What must I do to be decent”, “What must I do to be rich” (a questions that millions today still ask), or  “What must I do to be beautiful/handsome” (one that many pay thousands to a plastic surgeon to gain an answer to). Nope. None of those, he asked “What must I do, to be saved”. What, in fact, was the jailer asking?

He was acknowledging that there was a NEED for him to be saved. He knew there was a difference between the two. Saved, and NOT saved. He knew there were two REAL classes of people, not poor and rich, not educated or un-educated, those who have life, and those who do not. I know all too well, that today’s politically correct world wants us not to see things this way. The problem is that the Gospel tells us that it is very real. Jesus himself, made them. There are two foundations a man can choose to live his life based on, loose sand, or a solid rock. Jesus said “He that hath the Son, have life and he that hath not the Son hath not life”. If you are reading today, without God in your life, I plead you to reconsider your life, you can do that by clicking HERE. You see, in order for you to HAVE a Savior, you HAVE to FIRST understand that you are lost and need one. You MUST believe that the wavering Peter, could be turned into the Rock that is the foundation of our church.

You too, can join in being that rock. How? Well that is the answer to the Ultimate Question (What must I do, to be saved?). And the answer is simple: Paul responded to the man “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved”.


Stay blessed,





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