Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”
The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God. (Acts 16:26-34)
Paul and Silas’s reputation in Philippi was well known. When the jailer realized his own true condition and need, he risked everything to find the answer. The Christian Good News of salvation is simply expressed: Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved (see Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 12:3; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 2:11). When we recognize Jesus as Lord and trust in him with our entire life, salvation is assured to us.
Paul and Silas took the family unit seriously. So the offer of salvation was made to the jailer’s entire household—family and servants. Yet it was not the jailer’s faith that saved them; they all needed to come to Jesus in faith and believe in him in the same way the jailer had. Yet his entire family did believe and all were saved.
If you have never trusted in Jesus to save you, do so quickly. Your life can be filled with joy, just as the jailer’s was (Acts 16:34). If you’re already a believer, pray that God will use you to introduce Jesus to your family or friends and that they will come to believe in him.