The speaker said, “All you have to do is believe on Jesus to go to heaven.” When I heard this I thought, this man does not know what he is saying. Why? Because he believes that all one has to do is believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and he or she will be saved. It may be satisfying to those who do not read and study the Bible, however, for those of us who do read and study the Bible we know what he said is not true! Let the Bible speak!
The Word of God says, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils [demons] also believe, and tremble.” James 2:19. If what the speaker said is true and we know what Word of God says is true, it follows that there will be “devils” (demons) in heaven! Who believes that?
The Word of God says, “And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” Matthew 8:28-29; Cf. Mark 5:2-13. These “devils” knew that Jesus is the “Son of God?” In Mark 1:23-24, “And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.” Cf. Luke 4:33-37. The demon said “I know,” how did he “know”? He knew by observation. John 20:30-31. This “unclean spirit” knew that Jesus was the “Jesus of Nazareth” and “the Holy One Of God.” In Mark 3:11, “And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.” This “unclean spirit” said “thou art the Son of God.” In Luke 4:41 the Word of God says, “And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.” These “devils” knew by observation that Jesus was the Christ and they even confessed it. All of these examples show the true seeker of the Word of God that these devils (demons, unclean spirits) knew by observation of the actions of Jesus that He was the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth, the Holy One of God, the Christ the Son of God, and knew He was Christ. No reasonable person would deny that these devils (demons, unclean spirits) believed on Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the anointed, the Son of God and they confessed this belief. Will they be saved as the speaker said? NO!
What does it mean to “believe on” Jesus Christ? Let us look at the phrase “believe on (eiV, eis).” This phrase is found in John 1:12; 2:11; 6:29; 7:31, 39, 48; 8:30; 9:35, 36; 10:42; 11:45, 48; 12:11, 42; 17:20; Acts 16:31; 19:4; Philippians 1:29; 1 John 5:13 (twice). Bullinger states that eiV (eis) “governs only one case (the Accusative). Euclid uses eiV when a line is drawn to meet another line, at a certain point. Hence, it denotes motion to or unto an object, with the purpose of reaching or touching it (e.g., Matthew 2:11; 3:10; Luke 8:14; Acts 16:10). From this comes the idea of the object toward which such motion is directed (e. g. Matthew 18:20, 30; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27); and for, or with respect to which such action or movement is made….” To believe on Jesus is to have Jesus as the object toward which our faith, is directed. Jesus said, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Luke 6:46. He also stated, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21. It is hard for some to believe that faith is a work of the individual person. “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” John 6:28, 29. Believing is not a passive act it is an active act, that is, something we do. We are to “do” what Jesus said to “do.” John 8:24; Luke 13:3, Matthew 10:32, 33; Mark 16:16. The phrase “believe in (eis)” is found in Matthew 18:6; Mark 9:42; John 2:23; 3:18; Galatians 2:16; 1 Peter 1:21.
We also find that “believe” is used with the word epi (epi)” and is found in Acts 11:17; 22:19; Romans 4:24 in the accusative case. Where epi “implies the downward pressure on that upon which a thing rests; active motion being suggested…” (Bullinger). In 1 Timothy 1:16 epi is with the word “believe” in the dative. When used in the dative case epi “implies actual superposition, as one thing resting upon another, as upon a foundation or basis which may be actual…” (Bullinger). “Believe in” (epi) is found in Acts 9:42. “Believe in” (ev) is found in Romans 10:9. Bobby D. Gayton
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