Skip to comments.Are You Religious...or Are You Saved?
Posted on 12/10/2013 5:23:53 AM PST by CynicalBear
I once heard a radio preacher make the statement, You can be religious to your fingertips and still go to hell.
This is absolutely true.
Religion and salvation are two vastly different things. Religion is man trying to reach God by his own efforts, through rituals and ceremonies and keeping of the laws and rules of the religion he is practicing. It may include doing good works, it may include trying to turn others to your religion and it may include other such things that may be well and good as far as this life is concerned, but it wont get you to heaven.
Salvation on the other hand is simply recognizing what God has already done for you, that He through Jesus has already done everything necessary to secure your salvation, and all you have to do is accept it by inviting Jesus into your life, into your inner man. Once you do that you are saved for all of eternity, heaven will be your future home, and nobody and nothing on this earth can take it away from you.
The Greeks worshiped many gods. In Athens they had altars and statues to every god they could think of, and even an altar to the unknown god just in case they happened to miss one. The apostle Paul saw this when he visited Athens while making his rounds as a missionary and was greatly moved by what he saw. He preached Jesus to them, which seemed to them as some strange new god they had never heard of.
Standing in the Areopagus he told them, Men of Athens, I perceive that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through and examining the subjects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, To an Unknown God. What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. And he preached to them about Jesus, the unknown god, as the only Way of salvation.
One thing that all religions have in common is you have to do something to work or earn your way to God (or whatever god that religion worships), or do something to merit that gods attention. Even some who profess Christianity think we have to do something to earn our way to Heaven. I believe this is mainly based on misinterpretation of the Bible, trying to mix in Old Testament teachings with human reasoning. Whatever, it isnt true.
But what does the Scripture say? In order to properly understand Scripture we have to apply some commonsense rules to the reading of it that could apply to any reading.
1. Take the writings in the Bible at face value, as literally true, unless the context indicates otherwise.
2. Dont take Scripture out of context. Read what comes before and after the passage you're looking at to get a clear picture of what it is actually saying. Dont do proof texts, which are usually isolated verses taken out of context. Much false doctrine comes from taking Scripture out of context and mixing it with human reasoning. You can prove just about anything you want to by taking Scripture out of context but that doesn't make it so and it really doesnt prove anything.
3. Do cross-references. Look at other passages on the same subject or event, compare them and see what they say together. Compare Scripture with Scripture. This will give you a much clearer picture of what you are looking for.
4. Ask some questions about the passage you are reading: Who? What? When? Where? Why? Who is speaking? Who is he speaking to? What is he saying? What event or thing is he talking about? What is he doing, and why is he doing it? Where is this event, taking place? And why? What is the occasion? When is this happening, or being said? Finding the answers to these questions will help shed more light on what you are reading.
Weve already seen that all religions are based on some sort of works, earning your way to heaven. What do Isaiah and others in the Bible say about that?
Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Romans 3:19-20, Paul: Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be shut, and that all the world may become accountable to God, because by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified in the sight of God; for by the law comes the knowledge of sin.
Romans 3:10-12, Paul: For as many are of the works of the law are under a curse, for as it is written, Cursed is every one who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.' Now that no one is justified before God is evident, for the righteous man shall live by faith. However, the law is not of faith; on the contrary, 'He who practices them shall live by them.
In other words all the law does is tell us we are sinners, but it doesnt do anything to fix the situation.
The fact of the matter is that we are all sinners, and as such have no capacity to save ourselves. Keeping the laws given through Moses will not save us. All the law does is show us that we are sinners. And as sinners we are all under the condemnation of God, because God cannot allow sin in heaven and there is only one other place to go to when we diehell. Sin is a bit like an ounce of poison in a pot of stew. No amount of stirring or adding other ingredients will neutralize the poison. The poison has to be removed but you have nothing to remove it with.
Enter Jesus. There is only one way to remove the poison of sin from our lives, and that is for an innocent substitute to take the punishment for that sin upon Himself. In the Old Testament it was a lamb or a goat or other animal without spot or blemish, a type or shadow looking forward to Jesus execution on the cross. In our case, that innocent Substitute is none other than God Himself, in the person of Jesus the Christ, the anointed Son of God.
When Jesus was crucified God the Father laid every sin of every person on earth, past, present and future, on Jesus. When He died He took all our sins to the grave with Him, never to be held against us again. When He arose from the dead it was proof positive that God had accepted that payment for the sins that He had been charged withour sins. He had no sin of His own. For thirty-three years He lived on this earth, being born as a little baby just like the rest of us once were, growing to manhood, being tempted and tried in every manner that we all are, and yet totally without sin. Only then was He qualified to be the Substitute for our sins. And we are saved by His righteousness not our own. If we could save ourselves by our own self -righteousness, then Jesus died for no purpose.
Now what do we have to do to receive this righteousness?
John 1: 9-11: He [Jesus] was in the world, the world was made by Him and the world knew Him not. He came to His own and and His own received Him not. But to as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become the sons of God, even to those who believe on His name.
John 3:16-18: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son to condemn the world, but that through Him the world might be saved. Whoever believes on Him is not condemned, but he who believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 14:6: Jesus said to him, I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.
Romans 10:9-10: That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.
2 Corinthians 5:21: He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace are you saved through faith, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.
So you see, it all works by faith. Everything necessary for your salvation has already been done, all you have to do is receive it by receiving Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior. How do you get him to come into your life and be your Lord and Savior? Just ask Him to, and believe He will. Its that simple. No rocket science needed, just sincere faith that He will do what you ask Him to do.
Religion: Do and do and doall your life and get nowhere, and maybe end-up in hell.
Salvation: Its already done, all taken care of by Jesus. Just receive Him by faith, like a child would ask his daddy to give him something he wants, believing hell get it for him. Its that simple.
Believe me, it works!
How about Vincent Price? He was on that list of converts to Roman Catholicism. You never mention him for obvious reasons.
For everyone of those that go over to Rome, there are thousands of “me” who depart.
The Mormons say the same thing and they have a pope figure as well.
Can you point me to a Biblical personality who exhibited that negative behavior? Judas does not count.
You are not seriously promoting Self-Flagellation?
The Ephesians 4 reference can be taken as baptized in the Holy Spirit since we know Peter mentions that in Acts. The preponderance of the scriptural evidence shows those who proclaimed Jesus Christ were then baptized. It goes hand in hand it was never an either or other than the repentant thief who confessed directly to Christ.
I don’t know why some come out and state you don’t need to get baptized or say baptism doesn’t save. Well the act itself does not because we see Simon Magus in Acts 8 was baptized but did not receive the Holy Spirit. The evidence shows that those who responded to the preaching of the Gospel in faith got in the water.
You may want to also look at the 1 Peter 3:21 in context as well. If Peter is truly saying there the act of baptism saves it contradicts the previous and following verses. You would also have to admit there were two gospels preached if you believe the act of baptism saves. That is why we should never base entire doctrines on a couple of verses especially without looking at the context. And we should all know the Gospel established by Jesus Christ was this:
Luke 24:45-47 NASB
Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
I thought the Mormons claimed that one true church mantra. Hey they see your Apocrypha and raise their BOM. Plus they have a 19th century “prophet” and say their apostles are infallible. So you have competition for that exclusive rights clause. You and the Mormons have loads to talk about. Not to mention most Eastern Orthodox call RCs heterodox still.
You only post the verses that may appear to favor your position...
Act_19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
These people were baptized with water like Catholics but never received the Holy Ghost...
Act 19:3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
Act 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
Act 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And then they got baptized again...A second time...How do you explain that???
Of course they didn't know that...It was a mystery, to everyone but God...
I don't believe it's a strawman argument at all...Especially in places like South America...
When I pray or worship sometimes I lift my arms and eyes to heaven...I don't lay on the ground and pray to a statue of Jesus...
So agreeing with someone else's snarky comment is a legitimate form of discourse in your view?
Behavior like this is precisely why I have been absenting myself from discussion of this nature lately. I will say my peace and leave the rest to the Holy Spirit.
Feel free to have the last word.
I have said my peace and will not be drawn in to a snark fest.
Im 65 and did the drag racing in my teens, then harness horse racing, owned several different companies, raised a family and now retired. God blessed and protected me all those years and now I look forward to spending eternity with Him in a place He said is beyond anything I can imagine. Im having a great life here and He tells me the best is yet to come.
You got any plans for eternity?
“You got any plans for eternity?”
No such thing, I’m to be cooked ansd dumped in the cheapest possible fashion!
I would also point out that there were many Disciples of Christ who in all likelihood were baptized who went back and walked with Him no more. Scripture tells us Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. Then of course there was Judas. Who would doubt that he was baptized? It seems from Jesus words that it was the believe part that was the key.
Well, one of us is correct. If Im correct then you have a serious problem for eternity. If you are correct Ive lost nothing.
The sincerity of one persons confession has no relevance to our own salvation.
True, but it has relevance to 'their' salvation.
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