Picture of Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller. He is the author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, and Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith.

Biblical Salvation: How It’s Possible To Be A Christian And Still Not Be “Saved”

Growing up evangelical, one of the primary questions we were taught to ask strangers was: “Are you saved?” Or, better yet: “If you died tonight do you know where you’d go?”

The concept of being saved was pretty simple, really: You’re a sinner headed for hell, Jesus died to take your punishment, and if you “ask him into your heart” you’ll go to heaven instead of hell.

Salvation as understood this way has taken root in much of Americanized Christianity, and even global Christianity thanks in part to the American way of packaging and exporting an Americanized version of the faith. It is a simple, non-costly understanding of salvation that has little biblical precedence even though it is so commonplace.

This truncated version of salvation turns it into something elusive, something secret. Like a membership card tucked into the deepest corner of your wallet, you have no way of knowing who has one, and who does not. This is precisely why and how so many Christians came to see Donald Trump as “saved” and one of us: leaders like James Dobson reported rumors that he “accepted Christ” (as if it’s like accepting an offer for a low interest credit card) and from that moment on, Trump is seen by many to be “saved” and thus one of us.

But that’s not biblical salvation– biblical salvation has little to do with a secret transaction that points you toward heaven or sends you to hell, in the commonly understood sense.

While the NT term salvation can hold a variety of nuance, the ultimate contextual meaning of salvation in the NT is in reference for one who joined God’s Kingdom as proclaimed by Jesus. Joining God’s Kingdom is much like joining any other Kingdom that has one who rules from a throne: you join by pledging your allegiance and obedience to the King– and then living that out.

In Americanized Christianity, salvation often only includes half that equation, or at least offers a footnote to the idea of living out Kingdom principles. They’ll often say things like, “Well, we don’t have to emulate Jesus in this particular area of life because he was unique” or, “Well, the Kingdom of God isn’t fully here yet, so Jesus was just describing how we’ll live one day in a perfect world.”

Readers Digest version: As long as you have the card in your pocket, you’re saved. The second half is nice, but not totally necessary, because there’s a lot of “reasons” why we don’t always do what Jesus did. In this case, the faux version of salvation we grew up with was an easy, individualized transaction that was focused on where you’ll go when you die, not on how you live in the here and now.

However, biblical salvation is directly linked to net-result of actually doing what Jesus said (aka, living the principles of his Kingdom). This is precisely because biblical salvation has little to do with life after death (though it does some), but has a lot to do with life right now. In fact, when Jesus uses the term “eternal life” in the NT, he often uses this term in the present tense.

Since the Kingdom Jesus proclaimed is founded upon very specific principles, a specific culture that must be lived out (see the Sermon on the Mount for his full manifesto), biblical salvation seems to be heavily focused on being saved from an old way of living, and saved into a new way of living– a way of life that Jesus described as “eternal.”

For those who reject Kingdom principles, for those who oppress the poor, for those who reject the immigrant, those who refuse the way of nonviolent enemy love, those who refuse to live out the culture of the Kingdom right now, it would be a stretch to say they are “saved” in the biblical sense, because until they put down their guns, feed the hungry, and welcome the immigrant, they have not yet entered God’s Kingdom and begun living in it. They may have “asked Jesus into their heart” but they have not yet joined the Kingdom- and that’s what salvation is about.

Thus, salvation is not a transaction that is open and shut, taking place in totality within the recesses of one’s heart. It surely begins in the heart, but salvation doesn’t end there– it is not possible to be “saved” in the biblical sense if one is not actively striving to be obedient to the King and the culture of the Kingdom– and Scripture speaks quite forcefully on this point.

This is precisely why Jesus said it is possible to be deeply religious, to be a lover of the Bible, and to still not be saved (Matthew 21:31, John 5:39-40). It is also why he said that many who are thrown into the lake of fire on judgement day will be Christians who did not care for the poor and needy, and thus never actually entered the Kingdom (Matthew 5:31-46). Certainly, other NT writers back up this concept of salvation, such as the author of James who wrote that faith which is not followed up by caring for the poor and hungry cannot save you (James 2:14-17).

Does biblical salvation have anything to do with the afterlife? To a degree, yes. God’s Kingdom will be eternal. However, the bigger issue is this: If one is not willing to live in the Kingdom now, no matter who they ask into their heart, the chances that they’d even want to live in the Kingdom then seem slim. God, of course, sees that– and the Bible warns us in that regard to not think that simply raising our hand at the end of a sermon means we’re headed to paradise when we die.

There’s little point in talking about being saved then, if we aren’t first saved right now– because salvation isn’t as much a distant event, but a present reality.

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Picture of Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and earned his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller.

He is the author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, and Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus.

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  1. Yes, in a way I agree with u, Mr Benjamin (the blogger) as regards salvation being nt merely stopping at accepting Jesus into one’s heart n then go on living life as one wishes that may contradict what we see lived in Jesus Himself n also as per the exhortations in the epistles, etc.. etc..

    Nevertheless, I would not negate d imperative necessity of being initiated into the Kingdom of God by being born again as a child of God (p. s. John 1:12,13)… Faith n repentance plays a compulsory part in this initiation… N being indwelt by the Holy Spirit from henceforth, the genuinely initiated life will eventually continue to bear the Fruits of the Spirit that should form the basis for what a Christian is expected to show in action Jesus’ Sermon on the mount or any other kind acts of mercy n love for all… Without this inner life, any kind person, merciful or do-gooder expressly living out the Sermon would be merely a MORALLY GOOD person BUT NOT a Christian as such…

    Moral acts of goodness tho undeniably much desired n commendable, bt precisely not being a living out of the Fruits of the Spirit hs no eternal value nor salvific consequence for that would be “salvation by works” which is NOT Christian at all!… This is not to disqualify all good n kind souls out there living a morally good life… On the contrary, coz I am merely but full-heartedly stating a Truth which God has revealed to all man… But as cn be seen, many of these who would believe if they hv heard or known The Word hv not heard n so continue merely as good bt still unsaved ppl… Thus, it rests on the heart of all Christians to share the true Gospel of Salvation that as many as these good-willed souls would come to know of this Wonderful Saviour who has offered His Life that they too may live, n not merely to be claimed as a title by those aldy Christians, genuine or not…

    Also, it rests on the individual who comes to know of the Gospel to truly n humbly accept The Truth n live accordingly less he/she remains a non-genuine Christian who is still unsaved tho bearing d title of a Christian … I believe it is such “christians” that nonbelievers rightly comment that “We like ur Christ but we don’t like u Christians coz u Christians r not like ur Christ”…

    If u r a Christian, Mr Benjamin n all u dear commentors out there, do give this a thought… Thanks.

    1. “Moral acts of goodness tho undeniably much desired n commendable, bt precisely not being a living out of the Fruits of the Spirit hs no eternal value nor salvific consequence for that would be “salvation by works” which is NOT Christian at all!” You are totally wrong here. Living in the Kingdom means doing things out of Love. Love is not works. Love your neighbor as yourself is not “works”. The American conservative evangelical message of salvation is works and is not the Kingdom of God. 2 Cor 7-10 “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regrets.” Meaning we learn the love like Jesus. 2 Cor 7-11 “See what this godly sorrow produces in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what concern, what readiness to see justice done.” This describes what Love looks like and how we now treat our neighbor and who they are ie. the poor, the sick, the refugee, the target of racism etc . Godly sorrow/repentance/Love/salvation is not limited to just those who call themselves “Christian” it happens in all faiths, in all cultures, in all peoples, throughout time and history. “Works” is what the Pharisees did, and unfortunately describes much of today’s conservative fundamentalist Evangelicals.

  2. ‘It is also why he said that many who are thrown into the lake of fire on judgement day will be Christians who did not care for the poor and needy, and thus never actually entered the Kingdom (Matthew 5:31-46).’

    – I think the reference should be Matthew 25.

    – As Ive said before, this passage refers specifically to people’s attitudes towards Jesus’ disciples, not people in general. That does not negate a Christian’s responsibility to the poor etc, as Jesus showed in other words.

    – A ‘Christian’ will NOT be thrown into the lake of fire, because a Christian (follower of Christ) is, by definition, saved. But clearly there are a number of people who, for example, attend church and perhaps think they are ‘Christian’ by doing so, or viewed as such by others, when in truth they do not ‘know’ Jesus or asked for His mercy.

    – As James said, genuine faith automatically leads to ‘good works’, so you cannot claim to have the former without the latter.

    – as Ben says, salvation begins NOW and continues into eternity. It is not ‘now’ and ‘then’. The Kingdom is already here, albeit not fully.

    – May the Lord help us to reflect Him more in our lives!

  3. I am strongly drawn to your column’s sentiments but, in the end, differ a bit.

    Salvation is an act of God and is dependent on nothing I say or do. I believe that one lives the righteous life in response to the transforming experience of salvation given as a gift. I do not necessarily believe, however, that all those saved by the act of God are transformed by it. This, however, does not affect their standing before God—they are saved, period. Some “live the life” of the saved, some don’t. But they are equally loved/saved.

    Wesley was once asked if “works” were required for salvation. He replied, “No. But they can be evidence of it.” Some evidence their salvation via the righteous life. Others do not. But salvation goes to the righteousness of God, not our own.

  4. Commenters so far, there are 33 at time of writing this are quoting bible verses about the need for personal salvation. So, for 15+ centuries AD, how did people know this? They did not have the bible in their own language, it, and the liturgy were in latin. Society was illiterate for many centuries. Church attendance was compulsory – hence in the UK, the Pilgrim Fathers seeking to escape – but I have yet to hear of any priest from those centuries bible-thumping John 3v16 in latin and and making altar calls. Heaven will be populated only by folk from, what, the 19thC onwards when they could read the bible for themselves and ‘accept Jesus as their personal Saviour’? Don’t forget everyone was a, shock horror, a Roman Catholic till 1517.

    1. Maybe those Christians who lived prior to the Reformation were saved as Abraham was in the Old Testament … via faith … regardless of how the church looked or what the church taught at that time. Maybe the reformers only discovered what was already written on the hearts of those who truly believed.

      Just a thought … not doctrine of course. Your post certainly has me thinking. Thanks Jennny.

    2. Excellent questions, I have found that avoidance to these questions is the “answer” that you get from “salvation via scripture” folks. Your questions make the Phd’s in Divinity sometimes look like fools.

    3. We are talking about contemporary Christian initiation from the time of Jesus Christ… Yes abt 30AD when He first started His Teaching Ministry… However, Jesus’ Saving Ministry already began from the time God the Father declared His Loving Intent to save mankind immediately after the fall of man through Adam & Eve….

      Nevertheless, the efficacy of Jesus’ Salvation Ministry was applied in distinctly relevant ways throughout the ages from BC to AD…

      In BC, souls were saved by looking forward in time towards the Cross of Jesus Christ, to His one time Salvific Sacrifice as The Lamb of God, dying in place of fallen mankind in sin, original sin n personal sins… Similarly yet differently in terms of time flow, we the AD souls look backwards to that one and the same Salvific one time Death of Jesus Christ on the same Cross.

      As u questioned on ppl in the AD during Jesus’time n later bt before the NT was written, not having the NT to follow like us, well… Remember that Jesus once said to the Apostle Thomas… “You believe because you see; Blessed are those who believe though they do not see”… Besides, many times, Jesus reprimanded the crowd for not believing in Him nor accepting Him though they claim Abraham as father?… Thus, we see that although not exhorted in the same way in the written NT after Jesus had risen, yet the same requirement runs through the ages… FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST AS THE SON OF GOD… N coupled with this is the need for true REPENTANCE… even from the time of John the Baptist.

      if u read the OT clearly, the same thread runs all through… Repentance from sin n believing in God as He had revealed of Himself through Moses n the Prophets of the OT…

      Thus, salvation has all along been offered to man from the very beginning but in various forms but the SAME BASIS REMAINS -FAITH AND REPENTANCE… However, not faith in anything even tho many supernatural happenings seem plausible based on man’s thinking, but FAITH BASED ON WHAT THE ALMIGHTY, LOVING AND HOLY GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has revealed n defined in the Scriptures even tho some of it may seem rather impossible n unlikely of one whom man would think of as God …
      One very common argument against believing the Bible totally is that “How cld a God of Love bring death to souls merely by virtue of them not believing in n living by Him? “…This poses an obstacle to faith for some but to those who are being saved ie who totally believe n rely on the Grace of God alone, it is an extension of God’s revelation that “My thoughts are above your(man’s) thoughts… “…Thus, we humbly believe n trust in His Wisdom n true Justice, not as we would hv it bt as He defines n would hv it… After all, God is the Creator of all mankind n He loves all alike, whether believers or nonbelievers… N being the Loving Creator (let alone Father to those who would believe n accept His Fatherhood) don’t u think man’s suffering would break His Heart even more than ours, to see His creations subjected to evil n suffering … n death due to unbelief n non-repentance???

      I believe we rather ought to be asking,.. “Where did n does evil n suffering come from? ”
      Do we ourselves not hv a hand in bringing it upon ourselves n others?

      Now, God did immediately, out of Love, provide a way out from this consequences of sin ie evil n suffering n spiritual death… Does every man believe or know that there is a way… n it’s provided by the God whom many blame on for evil n suffering?

      I would say, d presence of evil n suffering in this world should NOT be an excuse for not believing in a God who Loves, a God who Saves… To the humble n trusting before God, all things are possible…

      Granted n in Truth, it doesn’t mean evil n suffering will not nor cannot touch us when or once we are in God… No, in this fallen world, we can’t avoid them altogether until we reach the Promised Land again from where the human race has fallen!

      Thus, though we believe that God is able to help us through suffering, we also trust in His Wisdom of bringing that about… which may sometimes be giving us the strength to bear them with patience and continued trust…

      Thus, Jenny… At all times, n in all the ages, the Way is already there by God’s Intention n God’s Plan throughout history… N souls have bn saved up n down the ages through the ways already revealed in the Scriptures both the OT and the NT…

      Ponder upon that.. Thanks for bringing up the query… n God bless!

      1. Wow, I certainly got a sermon and a half there. And you know that it’s all true, how exactly? Because the bible says of itself that it is true? Wonderful that you are sooo certain you know the mind and plan of your God so comprehensively. I feel such a poor worm….and realise I should fall on my knees and accept Jesus as my personal saviour through his precious blood. Or not, I have no desire to worship a genocidal deity. My secret hate for many years at Christmas services was the euphemism Herod ‘slaughtered the innocents’, it made me cry to think of those mothers weeping in Ramah for their murdered babies.. And I’d certainly dislike being associated with the many ‘christian’ bigots whose aim is to exclude sections of humanity. I am totally inclusive of EVEN, shock horror, those who’ve had an abortion, refugees and those whose sexual orientation differs from mine. (Sorry).

  5. Lets not forget that many people from every faith in the world live in the “Kingdom”. They live in the Kingdom in the here and now in spite of their birth imposed religious doctrines.

  6. So could we also say that people may feed the poor, care for the homeless, welcome the immigrant and still not be saved? Based only on what you said we have morally good people. Let’s not leave out repentance and surrender.

      1. Yes exactly; it’s very important to understand what exactly is meant by ‘salvation’. It has very little to nothing to do with “going to heaven when you die”.

  7. This is a fantastic post! Your writing has a heart-to-heart quality that really causes you to get introspective. I’ve started a Christian blog too and am just looking forward to building a community around God like you’re doing, and educating people about the authentic salvation through Jesus Christ.

    Thanks for being here,
    Sam Valladares

  8. The problem is with Americanized Christianity that has dominated the narrative on what Christianity is.
    It is a flawed and deceptive view , heavily influenced by politics and American Constitutionality.
    But I am reminded of the following that should caused us to reassess our relationship with Jesus Christ:
    Matthew 22:14 ” For many are called, but few are chosen.”
    Philippians 2 :12 ” …work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”
    Luke 13 : 27 “…. depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity”
    and so many verses that should caused us to take God seriously.

    1. I wouldn’t name that as Americanized Christianity… It is the valid way for our times from the time Jesus Christ started His Teaching Ministry on earth…

      We can’t look to the OT n say since we can’t find them doing the same way, thus it’s not necessary… We just focus on being good n living life as Jesus Christ did… That would be salvation by works that is not Christian at all n will not save mankind…

      Even throughout the OT the good works of men of God were wrought by faith in God… not by mere morality…

  9. “In fact, when Jesus uses the term “eternal life” in the NT, he often uses this term in the present tense.” That’s because, as you are pointing out, it is (mostly, or perhaps entirely) the present tense to which he is referring. The word(s) that have been translated ‘eternal’ don’t actually mean eternal in the modern English sense, unless (possibly) it is modified by the referent as something that clearly is “eternal”. Aion and its derivatives are by definition temporal. Aionios/ aionion is also often used qualitatively rather than quantitatively, such as when Jesus gives us the definition of eternal life (Which is knowing himself and the Father).

    “It is also why he said that many who are thrown into the lake of fire on judgement day will be Christians who did not care for the poor and needy, and thus never actually entered the Kingdom (Matthew 5:31-46).”

    Is it the lake of fire that is being referred to in Matthew though? If so, what exactly is the lake of fire and what does it represent? (Whether here or at least in Revelation). It’s certainly not a literal lake of literal fire. I think understanding this point is very critical.

    1. As you pointed out, what is usually translated as “eternal” is “ages” or “ages of ages,” and as you also pointed out, it has a variety of usages. But I think the Jewish concept of an “age” is important – it is a span of time defined by a particular state of affairs. Jesus even says Jonah was in the belly of the fish for an “age.”

      Not only is this important for understanding phrases like “the end of the age,” but I think it helps us get away from a Platonic concept of Jesus talking about “eternal life” and more toward a Jewish concept of “life that lasts through all the fluctuations of the world.”

      I think Matthew 25’s use of “eternal fire” is probably not the lake of fire in Revelation, but it may be a reference to 1 Enoch.

      1. Yes, or even pertaining to an age or ages (“age-during”). The Jonah example is interesting, because there an age was literally 3 days.

        That’s one of the things that sometimes frustrates me about not having some of those other books included in the canon; sometimes it can be difficult to tell where the reference is coming from. Interestingly, there have been references left in the canon to extra canonical books! Enoch does seem a possible candidate here.

    1. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and No one comes to the Father but through Me.”

      IMHO, the answer to your question then would be, “No”.

      1. Of course, Jesus says that to answer his disciple’s question about how they can follow him to where he is going, which he then expands upon by saying that, since they know and have seen Jesus, then they know and have seen the Father. It’s not just a declaration he makes in general.

      2. I have seen it pointed out that “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and No one comes to the Father but through Me.” is a response to Thomas’s question as to how the disciples will find Jesus again when he us gone, not as to how to reach the Father, with the result it actually on the face of it means the opposite of what it is usually taken to mean.
        Jesus is telling Thomas that if Thomas (or anyone else) seeks the Father, they will inevitably (re)encounter Jesus in the process, not that it is impossible to reach the Father without expressly following Jesus.

  10. Accepting the immigrant…recognizing that the Kingdom of God is not of this world, and Jesus is explicit in stating this truth, the principles of Christianity are not absolute in matters of government; especially secular government. Additionally, welcoming the immigrant and flinging the doors wide open to undocumented migrants are quite different matters. We see the violent, deadly consequences of such sentiments in the very heart of Europe, where the doors were flung open to people of an alien culture, with an aggressive religion, and disdain for western cultural values, whether they are right or wrong. Their method of assimilation has been to demand that their host countries assimilate and conform to their alien culture, which is barbaric, medieval, and antagonistic to Christians, whether they are devout or cultural Christians. The theologian, Martin Luther, saw the confluence between the needs of stability within the state, and the spiritual needs of the people. This is the “Two-Kingdoms Theory”, and it is practical. Without the safety of a stable society that is not bombarded by the internal chaos created by unfettered movement of undocumented migrants, the very lives of Christians and non-Christians would be threatened. I do not believe, for one second, that Jesus would be so rigid as to judge a nation based upon its immigration policies, which serve to protect the state and the people within that state. Indeed, I disbelieve the whole notion of collective divine punishment. So, when Zionist Christians push the notion that unwavering support of Israel is a mandatory requirement to obtain the blessings of God upon our country, I believe that it is a huge pile of manure. Welcoming the immigrant merely means to be welcoming, hospitable, and charitable towards strangers. Jesus did not advocate that we should place our families and ourselves in danger to be so. It is just not scriptural. The spirit of the law must apply here. I am welcoming and warm to people who come my way. I do not count it as righteousness unto myself. It is just part of my nature. However, I will not be welcoming to a people who threaten my family’s or my existence. I do not believe this stance is sinful. Indeed, I think it is immoral.

    1. “Blessed are are those who compromise their principals for stability, for after all, we are citizens of two Kingdoms, so we should be practical and make the best of it.” That’s a new one. Also, I’m not sure Martin Luther is the best person to be citing when it comes to how Christians should treat non-believers. I think his advice to us today would be to burn all the mosques, the homes of Muslims, and the Quran too. Actually, now that I think about it, I think that would actually resonate with a large segment of Evangelicals today, so maybe you’re not that far off.

      1. ‘I think his advice to us today would be to burn all the mosques, the homes of Muslims, and the Quran too. Actually, now that I think about it, I think that would actually resonate with a large segment of Evangelicals today, ‘

        – Im an evangelical Christian, and I really take offence at your statement. I might disagree with Islam and its foundational teachings, but the idea of attacking Muslims is the exact opposite of what I think.

    2. You do realize that the number of immigrations who “threaten your family or existence” is ludicrously small, right? There are probably more full citizens who live around you who threaten your family or existence than potential immigrants.

  11. How does the conversation with Nicodemus in John 3 fit into this?
    The night I became a Christian, something changed in me and from them on I saw the world differently.
    When you decide to follow Jesus (I saw people that had something I needed), something has to change.
    This is the work of the Holy Spirit.
    The result of this is not some verbal agreement.
    The result is a changed life, which means that every thing is new and you treat people differently because you now see them as they are.
    2Thessalonians 5 describes this.

    If you want examples from the Bible, there are many, the most striking and famous being Saul -> Paul.
    Paul after his encounter with Jesus was clearly a changed man.
    I would therefore say that unless there has been a noticeable change, then you have not yet met with Jesus.

    I recognise that for many this change* does not stick – they go back to old ways or choose things that are not appropriate with the life Jesus challenges and calls us to live.
    That said, it is easy to spot someone trying, but failing and those who have the right words but not the life that goes with it.

    *possibly a purely emotional response to an appeal, either from fear, shame or the quiet playing of “Oh lamb of God I come”.

    1. I do agree with what u said here, Roger Leitch…

      Man needs to have a genuine conversion, a born-again experience for the Holy Spirit to work bringing forth a true Christian living…

      Much of what we hear complained about is such where the Christian life is not seen… that, perhaps due to non-genuinity… God, help us… ? …

  12. I’m rethinking my faith based on this premise: Jesus of Nazareth was not God. He was a man who had a deep and profound relationship with God. Jesus shows us who God is and what God is like. The goal is not to worship Jesus but to do the sorts of things Jesus did in order to become closer to God.

    I’m probably going to Hell.

    1. I strongly disagree. Jesus showed Himself to be Divine, by being and doing only those things God of the Old Testament was and did.

      I would encourage you to read a book such as ‘A Case for the Divinity of Jesus’ by Dean Overman.

      re worshipping Jesus, to quote Revelation 5:-

      ‘In a loud voice they were saying:

      “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
      to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
      and honor and glory and praise!”
      13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

      “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
      be praise and honor and glory and power,
      for ever and ever!”
      14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.’

      How could you not worship and thank the One who died for you?

    2. I grew up conservative, taking the Bible literally. I’ve changed my views. What you’ve professed above is what I believed now. That is my understanding too…

  13. Acts 16:30: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved ?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. you and your household”
    Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest anyone boast” NKJV
    So, then we see that our salvation is a free gift from God. Jesus paid the price for our sins when He died on the cross for us.
    A person becomes a Christian when they start believing in Jesus and put their faith in Him. Good works do not get a person saved and into heaven. There are guides that are given out to people who want to know how to become a Christian. These summarize the concept of salvation and the Biblical explanation. So by simple deduction a Christian is a person who has been saved by faith in Jesus.
    And there is this subject of “universal salvation” being discussed now. There is no such thing: it is a complete heresy. Any pastor who teaches that is leading their flocks astray.

  14. You seem to be mixing around the ideas of “salvation,” “Justification,” and “Sanctification.”

    Do you hold to the Catholic idea of continuing justification?

  15. I was saved from being foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of empty passions and pleasures when washed in a rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:3-8) at the age of 50. Life eternal would be icing on the cake but not as important to me than the relationship I have with and in God today as Their infant child in spirit.

    I gave very few sermons from the pulpit as an authority for the church regarding heaven or hell. When I did, each was prefaced with my honest heartfelt consideration that neither could possibly be understood from a carnal earth bound perspective. I am no longer an authority in the church for I now worship God from within; as an infant child, solely in spirit. I truly only have one Teacher, one Instructor and one Father to adore. I am finding many siblings in God today, who I did not recognize as a church official, because we each recognize the Spirit we are filled with.

    I ask any who ask if I am saved, “from what, for what and when?”

    1. Being as how I was at death’s door from alcoholism It was revealed to me in AA that being willing to be obedient to a simple program of recovery is all one needs in the first few days one realizes one’s addictions have stopped working. Following through on obedience, for me, came to be a natural existential reality in the flow of time, about three months, 90 meetings in 90 days, of not drinking or using and practicing my willingness to turn my life and will over to God on the third step and to remain in constant contact with him on a daily basis. my sobriety, obedience, changed behavior gets easier as I am willing to be connected to a recovering community, focusing on a mentor or a sponsor, being more obedient as the holy spirit opens it up to me to show me what I have never known. In my humble opinion the 12 steps are helpful and practical for someone who is addicted to anything including Americanized Christianity.

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