John Chapter 8 has some very interesting comments made by Jesus. John Chapter 8 verse 30 states "many believed on him" because of his preaching (words). Verse 31 continues, "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him....ye seek to kill me because my word has no place in you....You cannot hear my word. You are of your father the devil....you believe me not....you dishonor me....they took up stones to cast at him." John 8:30-59.
Why did Jesus call those who believed on him "sons of the devil," those who have "no acceptance" of the Jesus' words, and those who "dishonor" Jesus? Why would those who believe on Jesus "take up stones" with a heart to kill Jesus?
As a Baptist, we are quick to interpret the words, "Jews that believed on him" (John 8:30) as Jews that became believers in Jesus (Jews that "got saved").
Jesus' words are clear. These Jews did believe on him and they were children of the devil! How can a person believe on Jesus and still be a child of Satan?
The only viable answer is that there is a kind of "believing" that does not lead to salvation. James 2:19 states, "...the devils (demons) believe...." Certainly, the demons are not saved. There are a myriad of people who will tell you that Jesus is God, but they will also tell you they are not Christians. Their belief in Jesus did not save them.
Salvation from hell is not a prayer although a person prays as a part of their salvation. Salvation is not just believing that God exists or that Jesus is who he says he is, although everyone who is saved has believed in Jesus. Salvation is a person; the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. A prayer of faith and believing unto salvation always results in a personal relationship with Jesus. "He that has the Son has life. He that does not have the Son does not have life." 1 John 5:12. If your salvation attempt yielded only a prayer and only belief, but did not bring you in to a relationship with Jesus, then your prayer and your believing did not save you. Re-enter your prayer and reestablish your belief in Christ until your efforts to find the person of the Lord Jesus Christ succeed. That does not change the fact that salvation is by grace through faith, alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). Salvation comes to a soul when a person is led by the Spirit and fully sincere. It is impossible, otherwise.
"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 23:9.
There a story about a young man who came to a pastor telling him that he (the young man) searched for God for years, but could not find Him. The pastor had the young man wait while the pastor filled the baptistery. Then, the pastor asked the young man to trust him and enter the waters. More than a little confused, the young man honored the pastor's request. Then the pastor asked the young man to trust him further and let him (the pastor) baptize him. More bewildered, the young man thought about it and decided he would follow the pastor's directions. "What could it hurt," the young man thought. The pastor placed the young man beneath the water and held him there for about 15 seconds. The young man began to fight the pastor in his effort to rise above the water line, but to no avail. Finally, after about 30 seconds, the pastor lifted the young man from the water with the young man gasping for life-sustaining air. Before the young man could catch his breath and tell the pastor what he thought of the whole ordeal, the pastor said, "When you want God as much as you just wanted air, you will find him."
Really "believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved...." Acts 16:31.