If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
He who believes and is baptized will be saved.
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He Who is coming after me is mightier than I... will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved.
Enrollment in God's Royal Academy is voluntary and personal. This much we know: a profession of faith in the Principal is essential, and He is the One Who meets us at the Door. Here's what we don't know:
1) Do we have to enter God's Acting School to get to Heaven? I don't think so, because babies don't go to school. Neither did the sinner on the cross. Upon a true and final cry out to Jesus, Heaven's Gates open.
2) Do we have to be baptized to get to Heaven? If baptism means immersion, yes. We must be immersed in Jesus. But whether that immersion is followed by a moment of brilliant illumination or a lifetime of fruitful work is a Person-to-person agreement.*
3) Do we have to suffer on Earth before we get to Heaven? 'Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution' (2 Timothy 3:12). But the time and degree of our suffering are variable. They are not within man's ability to understand.
We can't see the past and present with perfect clarity. We can't see the future at all. Neither the countless lives interwoven by the Hand of God... nor the countless schemes directed by the lies of Satan. Faith in God's good ending is required.
Even so, Jesus told us our time on Earth is limited, and multitudes need enlightenment. In order to help others, we need to get polished ourselves--that the Sun's Light may reflect from us to them.
As gold is mined and hammered... as silver is heated and polished... as jewels are chiseled and cut, so actors, models and talent for Christ must learn how to shine in God's Acting School.
Because pearls are nothing more than irritations endured.
To Be Continued...
* The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+20%3A1-16
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Acting School series.