Thursday, July 17, 2014
What Must I Do to Be Saved?
There is a rumor out that our family is against "biblical repentance" upon leaving a church and joining a new one recently. I have gotten many questions about our families decision. I just wanted to clear up any confusion concerning what our family believes to be God's way of salvation to anyone who was concerned =). Also if anyone reading this is not sure of where they would spend eternity please read =). There is only ONE THING you MUST DO to be saved =).
Salvation God's Free Gift
1) Every single human being is in desperate need of salvation because the payment for our sins is an eternity of torment and burning, however many will perish because they will not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans, 3:10, Romans 5:12, Romans 6:23, Psalm 53:3
2) There is not anything we can do to earn this gift of eternal life. God even says that all of our righteousness' are as filthy rags! Isaiah 64:6.
3) We believe God's salvation is an unmerited gift FREELY available to all who believe! Because it is unmerited in the first place there is nothing that can be done to lose this gift.
Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 3:24, Romans 4:5, Acts 16:31, John 3:16
4)Concerning Repentance and Salvation
You must repent (change your mind) about what you had previously trusted in. There are many who trust in another God which the bible says are really not gods at all but idols. (Psalm 96:5) You must repent of believing on those idols. (1 Thes. 1:9). There are some who are trusting their bodies and souls will both cease to exist upon the first death. There are many still who are not trusting in any "god/"gods" at all to save them but their own "good" works. There are many who look around at criminals and think well I am not so bad because I don't commit murder, rob banks or rape. You must repent of believing that your sins are not as bad as others and so God must somehow need to excuse you like those men thought in Luke 13.
You must repent of your works as a means of salvation or else there is no salvation!
Hebrews 6:1 says, "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God," The reason you must repent of these things is because we cannot just add Christ onto our other beliefs. Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the life. He is not only a way or a part of the way but THE way. Romans 11:6 says, "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." The repentance we believe for salvation is realizing you are lost, undone, without hope, on your way to hell to pay for your sins no matter if you think you are a big sinner or just done a few bad things. You must repent or turn from all your human reasoning, good works(turning from sin), believing there is no God, idols or whatever else you are trusting in to "help" you into heaven and put all your faith on the Lord Jesus Christ. He did all the work": He was God manifest in the flesh, born of a virgin lived a perfect sinless life and shed his blood for the payment of our sins; and not for our sins only but for the sins of the whole world! To have the payment of sins applied to our account all we must do is Believe! Acts 16:31 says, ..."Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and though shalt be saved."! I am confident this is the Bible way to be saved.
My Testimony of Repentance and Salvation
Before I was saved 10 years ago I had believed I was a heaven bound Christian because I went to an Episcopal church and had some water poured over my head as a child; I was even an altar girl dressed in a white robe. I believed this with all my heart I would even baptize my hamsters to make sure they too would enter into heaven. Many years later a really good looking cadet in my chemistry class at Virginia Tech who always carried a giant Bible in a black case with him everywhere invited me to church. I agreed since I thought I was a christian and he was really good looking.....yes, I am talking about my husband =).
When I heard the true gospel that you can receive Christ and have eternal life by believing on His name (John 1:12) I repented of believing I was on my way to heaven because of a church and "baptism" and trusted Christ to be my only hope for heaven and Savior! Praise the Lord what a Glorious day! I did not call on the name of the Lord to be saved and also make a covenant that I was ready to serve God with my life and be willing to change anything sinful in my life but only believed that I was a sinner in need of a savior! I walked down the aisle dressed in a Hooters shirt and tight ripped up jeans with no intention of changing my clothes in order to be saved. I just knew I had to believe on Christ! Only after hearing the gospel, believing and being sealed with the holy spirit( Eph. 1:13) did I begin to repent of certain sins in my life as they were uncovered by the Holy Spirit. Those changes in my life have nothing to do with getting to heaven though. I am not going to heaven to list off all the good deeds and sins I turned from like those in Matt. 7:22 who said, Lord, Lord have we not done x, y and z in your name. Despite those men calling Jesus Lord and living a godly life they were trusting works in combination with faith and they were sentenced to everlasting fire =(. It is eternally dangerous to teach a combination of works and belief =(.
It is impossible to just have a general repentance of sins as a part of salvation for many reasons. Number one we cannot even remember all of our sins that have been committed to turn from them. We don't even know all the commandments of God to keep from breaking them. There are over 600 laws to keep in the Bible. On top of all of that the thought of foolishness is sin (prov. 24:9), whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Rom. 14:23), to know to do good and not do it is sin (James 4:17) . And if that wasn't enough we even have secret sins in our heart we don't even know about and that is why David prayed after he was saved to be cleansed of secret faults(Psalm 19:12)! I am sure glad that God is not going to let me enter into heaven based on repenting of all my sins as an "element" of salvation! The exact quote from our former church we attended that lead our family to leave was this, "Once an individual turns from his sins to God and places his faith in Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:9), he is eternally secured." This belief was verified with church members accusing anyone who they didn't deem "repentant" as unsaved instead of backslidden or babe in Christ because they reasoned if you didn't turn from all your sins to be saved then you didn't get saved....and also it was uncovered that the pastor endorses a John McArthur book that teaches hardcore works salvation along with alot of other weird doctrines and he is not even a baptist....so sadly we said goodbye to many of the friends we made there. We have since found a new Church we love, the pastor even preached a great message on salvation by faith alone and exposing John Mcarthur for what he is the night we joined =). I fear many people are not fully trusting in His grace this hour and are in great danger.
The danger in telling someone they must also repent of their sinful lifestyle or be "willing to turn from bad things they do" in addition to believing on Christ for salvation is that you are adding your own works into the equation of God's grace. I love Jonah 3:10 it makes two things very clear 1) that turning from your sins is a work.
2) Also that the word repent does not mean "feel so bad for your sins that you are going to turn from them" or else God is the biggest sinner mentioned in the Bible because of the amount of times He repented in the Bible.
Furthermore the notion that you must turn from your sins to be saved expects that everyone is living in gross sin. There are many unbelievers I personally know who everyday when they wake up put their best foot forward not wishing any harm on anyone or to commit any sins....yet they are on their way to hell not because they have not turned from a lifestyle of sin but because they have not believed on the name of the only begotten of the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous! Very Similar to Judas who repented of sin but did not believe on the Lord! (Matt. 27:3)
There are many that teach this doctrine including Benny Hinn, Paul Washer, Ray Comfort and of course John McArthur. I was unaware that any independant baptist taught this until recently though =(. This doctrine is nothing new the apostles faced this as well. (Galations 1:6-7) I can just hear those critics seeking to be justified by their works in combination with faith saying this makes no sense at all!! Why would God just give out this free gift without works of the law because then everyone would just live life according to their sinful desires having secured eternal life......Pauls response, Romans 6:1
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"
There are many reasons to follow Christ and sin not after you have believed on His name for the propitiation of your sins. But we cannot ever be totally sin free until this corruptible puts on incorruption. (1 Cor. 15:53)
1) We serve him because we Love Him!(1 John 4:19)
2) We serve him out of fear and trembling because he is now our heavenly father and the Bible says for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth! (Heb 12:6, 1 Cor 11:30)
Contrary to popular belief you can be saved and not confess Jesus to the public like Joseph of Arimathea/Nicodemus and you will likewise receive wood hay and stubble at the judgement seat in addition to chastisement here on earth if you chose not to walk in the spirit but instead fulfil the lusts of the flesh. How is this possible for people to be saved without committing to living a life of discipleship? We are not saved by our works!!! (John 19:38, 1 Cor. 3:12)
Let us hear the conclusion of the matter; serving Christ with your life, turning from sin, walking in the spirit, turning over a new leaf, becoming Christ' disciple what ever you want to call it does not help you earn or maintain salvation. Salvation is not a deal you make with God that you will go and sin no more in order to receive His grace...remember your righteousness is as filthy rags. Your good works or "willingness" to do good works/turn from bad works is not the other side of a coin if salvation was a two sided coin like some would have you to believe (ie. false prophet John McArthur). If salvation was a two sided coin It would be one with two heads that both said JESUS PAID IT ALL!
Repent of trusting in repenting of your sins to save you today =)! For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!