That They Might Be Saved Sermon by Dr. W. A. Criswell
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. [Romans 10:1]
Is that not an astonishing avowal here in chapter 10 of Romans, a book addressed to the Gentiles and not to the Jewish people at all? He began the ninth chapter with the same earnest intercession; what he actually says is, “For I could wish that I myself were damned in hell for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh” [Romans 9:3].
However we may be interested in the salvation of people of other languages and other tongues and other colors and other nations, our first and primary interest is in you—you who belong to our own families, you who live in our own city.
What a tragedy if we gave the energies of our lives for the conversion of the lost in other continents, in other nations, among other peoples, and then our own people and our own families and our own loved once are lost.
However the world may be outside and beyond us, our first love and our first care and our first prayer is always for you.
Paul explains why they were lost in verses 6 and 7. “Who shall ascend into heaven and there find the way of salvation?” They said the way to be saved is like climbing a ladder, rung after rung after rung.
If I can be better and go upward on this ladder that leans against the bulwarks of heaven and climb high enough, then I can finally be saved.
Others said just the opposite: “Who shall descend into the deep?” They said the way to be saved is not something a man can plainly see or plainly do.
The way to be saved is to dig and to study and to ferret out the truth of God;Êand finally, if we can go down to the depths enough, then we can bring up the way to be saved.
But the apostle quotes the Word in verse 8: “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart, that is the word of faith which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth that Jesus is Lord, and shalt believe in thine heart that He lives, that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart one believeth unto righteousness”—a God kind of righteousness, not a man’s kind of righteousness; “and with the mouth”—open, public, unashamed— “confession is made unto salvation . . . For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” [Romans 10:9-10, 13]
That’s the way God says we are to be saved. We are to believe on Jesus in our hearts, and we are to openly, publicly, unashamedly, before men and angels confess Him with our mouths.
That is the one way of salvation. That’s the way of salvation for the richest man who ever lived, that’s the way of salvation for the poorest man who ever lived.
That’s the way of salvation for the oldest man who ever lived and that’s the way of salvation for the youngest fellow who ever came into the kingdom of God.
That’s the way of salvation for the learned student in the highest university,Êand it is the way of salvation for that unlettered man who has never learned even to read.
All of us are saved alike; it’s just one way, and it is nigh and close as our hands and feet, as the very air that we breathe.
There’s just one way to be saved. Think of Noah’s ark: there was just one door. And in that one door of that great ark the great elephant lumbered in and the little snail crawled in. Into that one door swooped the great eagle, and in hopped the little wren.
Into that one door went Noah and his wife, Shem, Ham, Japheth, and their wives; they were all saved alike. And that is a type and a picture of our salvation; all of us are saved alike. We go through that plain and simple door of faith in the Lord Jesus.