What of the mafia members who kept the Sabbath, gave to charities and believed in God while also knowingly and wantingly committing mortal sins (Murder, adultery, etc.)? Some of these men confessed they believed in Jesus, accepted him and yet knew they were destined for Hell.
I submit that judgement comes only from God. Any interpretation by man is a best guess.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum
Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you?
What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him.
And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”
As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him
Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”
Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you twelve? Yet is not one of you a devil?”
He was referring to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot; it was he who would betray him, one of the Twelve. [John 6: 49-71]
“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.”
Like most things, much easier SAID than DONE.
Of all the people I remember telling me they had accepted Jesus into their life... none have actually been 'true' to Jesus.
Those who tell others all they have to do is accept Jesus into their life (like Televangelists)... always turn out to be the biggest sinners.
False dichotomy, based on a wrong understanding of the term "religious." Of course those who are adherents of false relgions are not saved, since they don't believe in the one true God. But Christians, i.e., those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, are also--and should be--"religious," meaning that they are members of a church, are regular and active in the life of the congregation, attending services, receiving Word and Sacrament, etc.
Look at the life together of "those who were being saved" (Acts 2) in the very first church: "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers" (Acts 2:42). Those folks sound pretty "religious" to me.
And, while we cannot read hearts, there may be some people who are "religious" hypocrites, outwardly active in a Christian congregation but inwardly not trusting in Christ. But hopefully they are in the distinct minority--at least in the congregations I pastor. ;^)
As though anyone should take that whiny Charlie Hustle guy seriously...
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast
You left out the "and this not from yourselves" part of the verse. It's important. There can be arguments over it, but I see it saying that even faith is a gift from God.
But works helps our faith grow, doesn’t it? We all have something to give and in that giving we nurture what God has placed in us all. We become happy doing the right thing and we are ashamed and miserable when we do the wrong thing.
If I’m ashamed I don’t feel worthy of God or His grace—even if I know I can’t earn worth I won’t be trying to hide from God in shame. I know you can’t hide from God but we try when we are not living right. At least I do.
When I do what I know in my heart is the right thing, I find happiness and it helps my faith to grow and I feel closer to God. I don’t think I can change the grace of God, because grace is an unwarranted gift but it certainly helps me from trying to hide and hanging my head in shame.
That’s why government welfare is so insidious, it steals our faith and is a barrier in our faith. If we aren’t directly involved in helping one another it is all empty and we aren’t happy and we are ashamed with ourselves—that keeps us far from God and trying to run from Him. It makes us hopeless slaves to this world not a free people of God?
Religion and salvation are two vastly different things.
Have to disagree just a bit on that harsh of a statement. There are two types of religion manrntioned in Scripture. One certainly meets the criteria for what you piece is trying to say. The other is salvific religion.
James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Your definitions are lacking.
** 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.**
So true, and I wish people would not do it here on FR.
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the King will say to those on his right, Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?
The King will reply, Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
Then he will say to those on his left, Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.
They also will answer, Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?
He will reply, Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.
C-bear, you posted: 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.
You nailed it. Faith is not so much a choice; it is a gift of God. We should remember this so that we don’t brag about our own faith, and so that we don’t act unkindly to those who do not (yet) believe.
And while we can’t make anyone believe, we CAN be one of the means by which God gives the gift of faith to one who presently doesn’t believe.
Faith requires action. Faith has substance.
Deuteronomy 4:19 and Malachi 1:11.