How is a person saved from the eternal damnation we are all heading toward? Is it by paying money to the church? Is it by living a good life, treating everyone kindly, doing good deeds? Is it by praying, reading your Bible, going to church? Is it by doing anything?
Salvation involves doing but not as we may first think. To start with, all the doing was done by Jesus. Everything that needed to be done was done by Jesus. There was nothing we could do so Jesus came and did it. There is a little bit of doing on our part but that doing is simply to believe. To believe Jesus is who he says he is and to believe that he did what he said he did.
He was not a good man. He was not a prophet. He was not an early version of Gandhi. He was not a wise man teaching about love. He was the sacrifice to end all sacrifices, the one who could pay the price we could not pay, to do what we could not do. But it is a useless sacrifice if we do not believe.
Not that "everyone won't perish" but "everyone who believes in him won't perish". He has done it all but we have to believe. Is this promise applied only to the Jews or a select group? The word "everyone" deals with that. Paul the apostle also made this matter clear:
God’s righteousness comes through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who have faith in him. There’s no distinction. (Romans 3:22)
The word "faith" is used here as a step beyond belief. Faith is belief in action. When we live by faith we live our lives in the belief that Jesus is the sacrifice that paid for all our sins and now we are saved from the eternal consequences of our sins. Salvation is not earned, cannot be bought, is found nowhere else other than through the sacrificial Lamb, who is Jesus. It is the reason this Lamb told us:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
Now everyone is left with the choice to believe or not. And that is all you need to do to be saved; believe. What happens to you after you choose to believe is another story.