Step 1:
You must believe the gospel of Jesus before your heart will be convicted and you can express repentance or realize you need to change your ways. In short, the gospel is knowing that God sent His son into the world to teach us His will (Jn.12:49,50) and to die for us so we could have forgiveness of our sins (Ep.1:7). It tells us that God raised Jesus from the grave, alive, defeating death (Ro. 6:9) to give us the hope of eternal life. In due time, known only by God, Jesus is coming back by the power of God and will take those who have believed in the gospel and followed God with a pure heart, to live forever in the kingdom of heaven (He.9:28; Ep.5:5; 2 Th. 1:8; 2Ti 2:22; He.12:16). After hearing and believing the gospel of Christ we recognize that our lives are independent of God and void of His ways. Realizing the jeopardy of our soul and the great love of God bestowed on us through Jesus, we are convicted and repentant. We are sorry for our ways and for forsaking God. We desire now to live a new life according to the will of God. We want to change our ways to please God. We want to live forever with God and Jesus. We will obey the teachings of Jesus who gave us an understanding of God (1 Jn. 5:20).
Step 2:
After our heart driven repentance, we seek to change our lives to be in the will of God. This changing of our lives is a process called sanctification. We begin to turn away from sin and darkness in our lives while seeking the will of God through His word and Spirit. We seek a pure mind and heart, trying to be Christ like, while we endure trials, tribulations, and temptations. In essence, it is the process of being made holy, becoming like Christ, or putting on Christ. We live to be pleasing to God. We practice righteousness and obey God in all things (just as Jesus did). We must be sanctified in order to be saved (1 Th. 4:3,8). Knowledge of God's word in our life will help sanctify us (Ep.5:26; Ph.1:9,10; 2 Pe.1:5). We are sanctified by the truth - God's word is truth (John 17:17). We have the thorough instruction book to godly living and the will of God. We must read our Bible to learn what God expects of us. Also, God has given us His Holy Spirit to help us in knowing His will. His Spirit will bring all things into remembrance (Mt.10:20) we received of the word and help us walk in holiness (1 Th. 4:7,8). Knowing the word is good, but we must do more than know - we must obey God's word. Our soul is purified (sanctified) by obeying the truth (1Pe.1:22). We are not to be hearers only of the word but doers also (Ja.1:22). What we do in word and deed becomes our works. These are within us in heart and outside us in deeds. Within us we must warm our heart and fill it with love, forgiveness, and purity. Outside of us we must be diligent to practice righteousness, turn away from sin, and love our brother. We are not to harden our hearts or return evil for evil (Ro.12:17). We are to be fair, just, and honest with all, and in all. (See The Way of Light for more on this.) Our faith will be evident through our works - by word or deed. If we do these things we will be a child of God (1Jn. 2:3,5,10; 3:7,10,23,24; 4:2,15,21). In our early walk with God, we may at times fall short of His grace. But, with a truly repentant heart and Godly sorrow (sorrow toward God - 2 Co. 7:10) we can receive forgiveness and stand upright before Him. Sometimes we will ask only from our heart and mind (no words are necessary), for God knows our heart (1Jn. 3:20). 
Step 3:
Salvation comes at the end of time. This is when we are 'saved'. We will be saved for the new kingdom and from the judgment due the disobedient and the ungodly. At the sounding of the last trumpet, the dead in Christ will rise first, and then those who remain will be changed and taken with them (1Co.15:52; 1Th.4:16,17). This occurs at the end of this world as we know it now. This is after facing all the trials, tribulations, and temptations of this present world. Satan will continue to walk about like a roaring lion, seeking whom He may devour (1 Pe. 5:8) until He is bound by God during the time of the end. No one is completely secure until then. In this present world we will still have to make choices between right and wrong, between serving God or serving self. Some will stumble on their own, not sincerely serving God. Some will even draw back from their faith (He. 10:38,39). However, the Bible is clear on who will reap the reward of eternal life: He who does the will of the Father will enter the kingdom of heaven (Mt.7:21); He who endures (the trials, tribulations, and persecutions) to the end will be saved (Mt.10:22);  He who does His commandments will have the right to the Tree of Life and an entrance to the city (Rev 22:14); He who overcomes (sin - by perfecting his heart and works) will not be blotted out of the Book of Life (Rev. 3:5); He who is lukewarm will be spewed out of God's mouth (Rev. 3:16). Ultimately, God will judge us by the attitude of our hearts, our sincerity and intent. Did we faithfully seek to live by His word and will, sanctifying our lives? Or, were we lukewarm? The sanctified and steadfast believer will be taken during the resurrection and the rapture.

We are chosen for salvation by God through sanctification and belief in the truth (2Thes.2:13). 

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