Your view of salvation leaves no real urgency for missions, it simply robs the Gospel of its urgency.
- Jacksons Pond, Texas.
- Matthew 8:18-22.
- SECOND LISA: book three.
I was saddened to read of the gentleman who was kept from witnessing to a dying man because he had a faulty view that the man could be saved without Christ. This highlights what is at stake. In short, not offering correction in these matters is unloving both to the people who hold these views, and to those who will not hear the Gospel because of these erroneous views. And most importantly, failing to offer correction would not be honouring to Christ, who died to make salvation possible, and who is the only name on heaven or earth by which we may be saved.
We have supplied this link to an article on an external website in good faith. But we cannot assume responsibility for, nor be taken as endorsing in any way, any other content or links on any such site. Even the article we are directing you to could, in principle, change without notice on sites we do not control. Related Articles What about those who have never heard the Gospel? Helpful Resources. From Creation to Salvation. Soft cover. Samuel B. US June 16th, I have read through these comments. The office of Evangelist has been played down in congregations for years resulting in turned-in fellowships and a silencing of the mission we are all called to regardless of personal persuasion preference the antithesis of the call of Christ to all who believe on His name.
David B. US June 13th, John is not a suggestion Sounds unfair especially if a person never has a chance to "hear" the Gospel. That is the thinking of arrogant self serving believers in the Gospel but NOT the transforming power of the Gospel. No doubt the most important words ever said by Jesus was The parable of the "Workers in the Vineyard" Matthew is VERY unfair and it not only reveals the mercy of God but it points out that a person's salvation status can never be known except by God and we therefore must avoid the trap to imply that that "so and so" will go to hell because they reject or don't know Jesus, not "born again" or practice a religion that does recognize the Gospel as the "new" Law.
Such a person could be like the "last" worker" to work in the vineyard one hour and got paid the same as the guy who worked all day. Jesus said "do not judge or you will be judged with the same measure. The parable is clear God does the watering and the harvesting! In the Precious Name of the Lord Jesus David Brown.
Stephen N. Not long ago, I had the chance to help on aging neighbor when his car wouldn't start in the grocery store parking lot. He was uncomfortable and very resistant and asked, "You mean now, I have to accept Jesus right now? He refused. A short time later, I saw his name in the obituary section. I don't know what my old friend eventually decided but, I was obedient to Christ to share God's Word, even though it was uncomfortable for me, too, since he had been a highly respected military doctor and Lt. We are all called to preach the truth of God's Word in any place at any time.
We don't have to go to Papua New Guinea or leave our town to be missionaries. We are all called to share that Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Rodney P. Consider Revelation , At the white throne judgement the dead are judged according to their works and the one who is judging is Jesus.
CA June 11th, I'm going to throw a few more thoughts and verses in here more regarding works versus belief since I have been down this road myself and it is one of the tougher thought challenges of being a Christian. First off, for belief, I pondered for quite some time what works I needed to accomplish to be saved. Was it baptism, fellowship, Bible reading, believing in creationism ; I was under a lot of condemnation and spent much time in study and meditation on this topic. Then one day I came upon this verse.
John Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent. My works, were no longer spiritual merit badges but acts of love in recognition for His gift to me and an opportunity to point to Him Then later I was thinking about the thief on the cross. Though this has be argued against, I always liken him to the guy who gave the first sinner's prayer. The only question I'll ask you is what works did he do to be saved? I'll let you go study that to better appreciate the context. Finally, I'll leave you with this verse that I hope the church will preach more because every time I have used it as a test, it has not failed when challenging an unbeliever 1 John Testing the Spirits 1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
King T. ZA June 5th, God Himself said " I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy". We do not know to whom God will show mercy, i. Thank you for once again throwing light on this rather testing subject. I have a neighbor who also uses this topic as an excuse to reject the bible. From a slightly different perspective one can look at the words Jesus used: John "14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.
We all know that no one gets cured from a venomous snake bite just by looking up at a bronze snake. In the same way, it doesn't make sense to be saved from condemnation just by believing that someone died in one's place on a cross. Except that there is no other prescribed way to be saved since no amount of human effort and ingenuity can do it.
One either believes in the saving power afforded by Jesus or one perishes. Look up to the serpent in the desert or die. There is no other way. Peter W. JP June 5th, Is there a difference between these five statements? I'm thinking these are all biblical truths, reflecting different depths of understanding the gospel. This is not to boast, but to explain: Challenged to defend and explain the first, I've had to articulate the fifth.
A witnessing Christian should be able to explain WHY salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Many Christians are uncomfortable to talk about blood, but a mature believer should not be ashamed of going there. When someone asks 'What about people who have never heard the Gospel? May your witness always stand on the Rock that is Christ, may your ministry be blessed and guided. Open to correction and His rebuke, Peter W.
John B. AU June 4th, Thankyou for the article. Just one correction to a very good response, probably a slip of the pen : "Christ, who died to make salvation possible" is not Biblical. He came to save His people. He did not make it possible, but did and will save His people from every tribe, tongue and nation. Norman P. GB June 4th, I have read all the comments and responses in the original article, and feel sure we are not giving sufficient place to the Sovereign grace of God. Our thinking is 'two-dimensional', i.
But Scripture abounds with wonderful insights which, by the Spirit i. There was much discussion about people having the opportunity to choose to believe, yet no-one mentioned the words quoted by Paul in Romans 3: "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips To quote Paul again: "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
This should not deter us from the Great Commission, inaugurated at Pentecost with great power. Take comfort, brother Warren. Phil K. US June 4th, My issue had more to do with the over-emphasis on emotion. Doctrine had a hand in it, too. But this isn't the platform to discuss that. I get it, humans are emotional beings and praise feeds the spirit while sermons feed the soul. But emotions have a dark side when it blinds us to the hard facts that we don't want to see. My Pentecostal father died in the hospital because he wouldn't follow the physician's orders while in ICU. He only followed the Great Physician who was going to heal him.
In my studies on the Doctrine of the Trinity, I learned that God is not who we want him to be. God is who he revealed himself to be. When emotion guides our doctrine, God becomes who we want him to be. When reason is our guide, we accept God as he is. If the only way to Heaven is through Christ alone, then that is how it is, regardless of how we "feel" it should be.
Salvation Bible Verses
Lita, I agree that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Regarding those who have never heard the Gospel I believe that on the last day Jesus, sitting at the right hand of the Father, will judge all those who have ever lived.
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Only Jesus will decide who will be saved and who will not. Who are we to say who will be saved and who will not? Only Jesus has the infinite wisdom to decide. Lita Cosner June 5th, I agree, we cannot say who will and will not be saved. But Scripture is abundantly clear on this matter. Henri D. ZA June 4th, Thank you Lita for making this point very clear. I cannot agree more.
I am afraid that people are often all too willing to let an opportunity to bear witness go by for any reason they find good enough, because bearing witness can be uncomfortable and humans have a very understandable fear of rejection. I admit that I too struggled with that problem earlier in my life. We tend to be afraid to speak out about the Gospel because we fear being ridiculed or rejected. It is especially hard to witness to people close to us. I pray that your correspondent will see the truth and change his heart on this matter.
If his position was correct, Stephanus would not have been stoned, Paul would not have been beaten and thrown in jail, Peter would not have been crucified upside down and Thomas would not have been murdered in India. Because they would not have bothered sharing the gospel and bearing witness to God's grace through Jesus Christ. May God always lead and guide the people at CMI and bless them for their important work.
Geoff C W. A thought occurred to me as I was reading this article. Is it possible that some will be saved without hearing the Gospel as you say in your related article, Lita: ' If anyone could be saved through ignorance of the Gospel, why would we send missionaries to risk that they will reject the Gospel they've heard and spend eternity in Hell?
Examples of Content-Limited Faith in the Bible The following are examples of persons in the Bible who exercised faith in Christ for salvation without understanding all the gospel message. Abraham — He believed God and it was imputed to him for righteousness Romans There is no evidence that he knew about the resurrection of Jesus, but his faith was still a saving faith. Job — There is no question that Job trusted in God and was in right standing before God, even without knowledge of the atonement of Christ. Yet is interesting to discover that Job had revelation to believe in a redeemer and to have hope of eternal life.
Melchizedek — This was a non-Jewish godly man that Abraham even paid tithes to. He worshiped the true God and rejected the false gods of the cultures that surrounded him. David — Psalm 51 shows that this man knew what it meant to repent and to trust God for forgiveness and cleansing. Yet long before the crucifixion Jesus told his disciples to rejoice that their names were written in heaven Luke What truths did the thief on the cross affirm?
Believe On the Lord Jesus Christ – Acts 16:31
It appears that he recognized Jesus as a divine person the Messiah who had the power of the Kingdom entrusted to him. The thief realized that he was a sinner and that he needed salvation. He also recognized that Jesus was willing and able to provide salvation. He even believed in the afterlife. He acted on this knowledge by asking Jesus to remember him when He entered into His Kingdom his repentance from sin and commitment to Christ are implied in this. Jesus responded to that act of faith even though the thief most likely did not have an understanding of the meaning of the atonement or an explicit faith in the bodily resurrection of Jesus though if the thief had been asked about it, he probably would have agreed that Jesus had the power to rise from the dead.
It is such a divine conviction of God, and the things of God, as, even in its infant state, enables every one that possesses it to ' fear God and work righteousness. But he is at present only a servant of God, not properly a son. Meantime, let it be well observed, that 'the wrath of God' no longer 'abideth on him. They did not clearly understand, that even one 'who feareth God, and worketh righteousness, is accepted of him. For they frequently asked those who feared God, 'Do you know that your sins are forgiven?
It might have been said, and it is all that can be said with propriety, 'Hitherto you are only a servant, you are not a child of God. You have already great reason to praise God that he has called you to his honourable service. Fear not. Continue crying unto him, "and you shall see greater things than these. They will receive the faith of the children of God, by his revealing his only begotten Son in their hearts. Thus, the faith of a child is, properly and directly, a divine conviction, whereby every child of God is enabled to testify, 'The life that I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Yet let no man discourage him; rather, lovingly exhort him to expect it every moment. In some way, they were already trusting Christ for their salvation, and were living in obedience to him. Lewis and Tash C. Lewis is a famous inclusivist, and the following story from his The Last Battle is a well-known description of certain aspects of his inclusivism.
In this story, a noble pagan named Emeth is confronted by Aslan, the Lion: "Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion who is worthy of all honour will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him.
But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reason of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook but his wrath was not against me and said, It is false.
Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child?
I said, Lord, thou knowest how much I understand. But I said also for the truth constrained me , Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou shouldst not have sought so long and so truly. In fact, he had decided to serve Tash instead of Aslan. But evidently, Emeth had attributed character traits to Tash that belonged to Aslan and visa versa.
The things he thought were true of Tash were really true of Aslan. He, unlike the other Tash followers, lived according to the holy principles that he thought Tash had, but that really belonged to Aslan. In the end, he found out that he was really seeking Aslan rather than Tash. Quite the surprise!
If it was, I disagree.
Believe On the Lord Jesus Christ – Acts | Your Bible Questions Answered
Certainly motives and actions are important, but beliefs are just as important, as motives and actions flow from belief. Emeth did have correct belief, though he associated those beliefs with the wrong name. A follower of another religion who actually begins following God will not just be an extra-zealous adherent of his false religion and be saved by sincerely believing it.
A follower of Tash who exceeds the other followers of Tash in his zeal would be even more cruel than the others. In contrast, a person who is implicitly following God while in the religion of Tash if this is possible would be exceptional in that he would take a diverging course and not uphold the same ideals at all. Remaining skeptical that there could be some Emeths in the real world, I wonder if the story could partially apply to the followers of Allah.
Is Allah simply the Arabic name for God though the Muslims define him inaccurately or he is a false god? If the Muslim is truly seeking the Creator God, then Allah to him may be the true God, and the Muslim may have more correct belief about Allah than the Muslim textbooks have. To this Muslim, Jesus may appear and show him how to know the true Allah, and that Jesus is Allah himself. On the other hand, if the Muslim is not truly seeking God, Allah may simply be another false god, as he is for the Muslim terrorists, who are really serving Satan.
I am not saying that the Muslim is in a right relationship with God. Muslims, if they believe the fundamentals of their faith, deny the deity of Christ, his atoning death, and his resurrection.
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They persist in a denial of these essential truths. But I think some are more prepared for the gospel than others because they have developed, by responding to prevenient grace, a true heart for the true God. Missionaries are not just delivering a message; they are also speaking to the conscience of sinners, and trying to motivate them to give their hearts to God. I ask my students how many of them responded to the gospel the first time they heard it. My count of students who were saved the first time they heard the gospel is still zero. In spite of the possibilities of faith in unevangelized regions, missionaries are still needed.
There is still an extremely important and clear rationale for missionary activity. The purpose of the missionary is to make this message known and to make disciples of all nations based on this message. How can they hear without a preacher? This teaching of the possibility of salvation for everyone in the world should spur us on to do more evangelism since we know that God out of love and concern is at work in every heart and that we can increase the possibility of salvation for any person by bringing more light to him.
If God is saving some apart from our work, how much more will He do if we intercede for the lost and witness to them? Sometimes inclusivists talk about the many unevangelized that are saved because they are being faithful to the light they have already been given. But this may be an argument against missionary activity.
If they reject it, they may bring damnation to themselves. Accordingly, they would be better off without the light of the gospel. Though some of the unevangelized are genuine seekers after God and will receive all the grace they need to be saved even apart from a missionary , missionaries are desperately needed.
Experience has taught missionaries that unevangelized areas are generally full of darkness. This enables missionaries to make a connection with the unevangelized and be able to adequately teach them the gospel, which many accept! Missionary statesman Don Richardson has written extensively about these analogies that God uses. Richardson is simply showing that the analogies prepare the way for the presentation of the gospel. In cases where the unevangelized are actually saved before a missionary reaches them, I believe that because of the work of the Spirit, the unreached will respond positively to the truth when the missionary shares it.
After all, they may have heard the truth already in a vision. Conclusion The more one knows about theology such as God, Man, Sin, Christ, and Salvation , the better Christian he can be all other things being equal. As a Systematic Theology professor, I know theology can be very practical and beneficial. However, the focus of this paper has been on the minimum that an unevangelized person must believe to be saved. I believe that God in his mercy has tolerated a lot of ignorance and misinformation in his human creatures.
Yet there are certain beliefs that must be affirmed for salvation to occur, and there are certain beliefs that cannot be denied. I have outlined above what I think should go on those lists. In both cases, they are exclusive. Many people are left out because they do not affirm basic Christian truths or they deny others. Prevenient grace opens up some real possibilities. If anyone anywhere in the world persistently and whole-heartedly cries out for mercy to the God they know made them, God will respond to their cry.
Because of his great love, and through his great grace, he will send a missionary to them, or reveal truth to them in another way, such as a vision. If one of these whole-hearted seekers needs a clear presentation of the gospel presented to him, that is what God will reveal.
If someone can exercise genuine faith in Christ without as much information, then God may not reveal quite as much. In any case, by grace the genuine seeker will repent of his sins, and trust in Christ for salvation, though maybe in an implicit way. A seeker with implicit faith in Christ should recognize the truth when it is finally revealed to him.
Since the vast majority of people in the world are not actively seeking God with all their hearts, and there are many false religions that are deceiving would-be seekers of God, evangelists are needed to share the truth about Christ and motivate people to turn to him in repentance. Since God requires more of those who are given more, we should tremble at the responsibility that we have. IVP Academic, Gundry, Stanley N. Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, Lewis, C. The Last Battle. HarperCollins; Collectors edition, Markos, Louis.
Apologetics for the 21st Century. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, Morgan, Christopher Editor and Robert Peterson. Oden, Thomas. Life in the Spirit. Pinnock, Clark. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, Punt, Neal. Richardson, Don. Eternity in Their Hearts.
Ventura, CA: Regal Books, Regal, Sanders, John. No Other Name. Volf, Miroslav. Allah: A Christian Response. Wesley, John. These can also be called exclusivists or particularists. Inclusivism more broadly defined is the view that the unsaved can be saved apart from hearing the gospel message in this life. Faith Comes From Hearing, God has not obligated himself to share the full gospel message to those who reject him though he does allow many God-rejecters to hear it. Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
And everyone who heard this message should be expected to respond in repentance turn away from sin to Christ. Also, Acts says, Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
It is only through the person of Christ and in his authority that anyone can be saved. He is reporting an astounding phenomenon.