(By Crystal Holmes)
Mainstream “Christianity” today says, “If you just ask the Lord Jesus to come into your heart, He’ll forgive your sins, and you’ll be saved.” It assumes, at minimum:
(1) that God wants to come into your heart no matter how vile you may be;
(2) that simple admission of sin means that it’s forgiven regardless of whether you repent; and
(3) that, once you “prayed this prayer” and “asked the Lord into your heart,” you can’t lose your salvation.
(1) That God wants to come into your heart no matter how vile you may be.
The scripture used for this assumption is:
Revelation 3:20. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
It says, “if any man” which means just that – ANYONE. Yet the person has to hear His voice before Christ will enter. And what did Christ say?
Matthew 19:17-19. …if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
So, Jesus wants and instructs people to keep the commandments! The Ten Commandments are an OUTLINE of the Law, NOT the TOTAL Law. And those who don’t keep God’s law have been separated from God by their sins.
Isaiah 59:1-2. Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
And what is iniquity, transgression, sin, or whatever you wish to call it, but breaking God’s law?
1 John 3:4. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
If you are not keeping the law of God, WHY WOULD HE WANT TO BE WITH YOU? Sin – ANY sin – puts a barrier between you and God. Any and all sin makes you ABOMINABLE in God’s sight!
Titus 1:16. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
You profess to know God, but it is only in keeping His commandments that you CAN know God (1 John 2:3). And if you’re not keeping God’s commandments, and are therefore abominable to Him, why on earth would He want to be yoked – and married – to filth?
2 Corinthians 6:14. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
For Christ to walk with an individual, he must be keeping the commandments. Otherwise, Christ would be yoked with disobedient sons of the devil. Clearly, this is not right. God hates iniquity (Psalm 5:5) and will not allow His Son to be yoked with unbelievers. When Christ returns, He will separate the wheat from the chaff, the true sheep of His pasture from the disobedient goats.
Matthew 25:32. And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
God does not like the vile person. He does not want to be with the vile person. Those who do not keep His commandments are vile, and if you’re not keeping the commandments, you are vile, too! And God won’t want to be with you!
(2) That simple admission of sin means that it’s forgiven regardless of whether you repent.
The scripture used for this assumption is:
Romans 10:9. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Confession is necessary, but it is meaningless if not accompanied by a complete lifestyle change (repentance). God clearly says you must REPENT before you can begin to be saved. Repentance is simply changing what you do (and consequently who you are) so that you conform to the law of God. It is not a sorry, woe-is-me emotion or attitude. It’s simply making up your mind to NOT SIN ANYMORE!
Acts 2:38, 3:19. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost…. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Peter says you must (1) Repent, (2) Be converted, (3) Be baptized in the name of Christ. And it must be done in that order! Then – and ONLY then – your sins are blotted out and you receive the gift of the holy spirit.
Further, God follows His own teachings. He cannot forgive someone until they’ve repented:
Luke 17:3. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and IF HE REPENT, forgive him.
The admission of your sins is necessary, but not sufficient, for salvation. God will not forgive you until you’ve made some serious changes (repented, been converted, been baptized) in your life. If you don’t repent, God will come to fight against you:
Revelation 2:16. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
And the “sword of His mouth” is the word of God (His law!), which “is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword” (Hebrews 4:12). He will judge you by His law, whether you recognize it or not!
(3) That, once you “prayed this prayer” and “asked the Lord into your heart,” you can’t lose your salvation.
The scripture used for this assumption is:
Romans 10:13. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Mainstream Christians take that as a bottom-line of all they have to do. They pray a “sinner’s prayer,” which asks Jesus to come into their hearts and asks for forgiveness. But without repentance! Without conversion! Without baptism! Then they have the audacity to say, “Once saved, always saved”!! Is this in the Bible at all? NO! Note what Jesus said:
Matthew 24:13. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Two questions come to mind. Endure what? Saved when? Firstly, Christ was talking about persecution and how that those who would live godly would have persecution:
2 Timothy 3:12. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Those who follow Christ, who was persecuted, shall be persecuted as He was, since servants are not above their masters (Matthew 10:24, John 15:18-20).
Which means if you don’t endure the trials and temptations of this life, if you revert back to your carnal, sinful way of living, then YOU WILL NOT BE SAVED! Which means you CAN lose your salvation! Why would God say to “endure” if salvation was a one time only act? Wouldn’t He just say, “Oh, pray this prayer, and then it’s all okay. It doesn’t matter what you do after that”? Hm.
Secondly, scripture indicates that salvation is an on-going event. Paul writes that believers have been saved (2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:5, etc.), are saved (Romans 8:24, Ephesians 2:5, etc.), and will be saved (Romans 5:10, etc.). This covers the past, present, and future. Further, if you will be saved in the future, you must continue in the word of God:
1 Timothy 4:16. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
And it is only in continuing in the Word – the footsteps of Christ – that you can be His disciple!
John 8:31. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Which means if you don’t continue in the commandments, then YOU ARE NOT HIS DISCIPLE, AND YOU WILL NOT BE SAVED! Which also means you CAN lose your salvation!
Paul did not count himself to have attained salvation. He was a Pharisee and a devout Benjaminite and did great work for God, yet he said he continued to press forward so that he MIGHT attain to the resurrection of the dead.
Philippians 3:11-14. If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
If HE of all people had not attained salvation, then NO faithful Catholics or Protestants could even come close! It is a rare conversation with such a “Christian” who will firmly state that they are equal to Paul in any way, much less prove it with works. So why would they dare to think that they have attained and apprehended, thus surpassing Paul? Either their judgment is clouded, or Paul misunderstood what obtaining salvation is all about. Since Paul wrote the larger part of the New Testament scriptures and “all scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16), it should be clear that Paul had it right and those who believe otherwise are wrong.
Further, the practice of “asking the Lord into your heart” is a tradition of men, and it makes void the law of God (Matthew 15:3, 6). It is a tradition not found in the Bible and should not be adhered to. So if you’re not keeping the commandments, then there is NO WAY that God would want to be with you! Your breaking His law separates you from Him and makes you FILTHY and VILE in His sight! It would be pointless to ask Him to be with you if you’re not doing what He asks! Continuing in your own REBELLIOUS, PERNICIOUS ways will NOT get you saved! It is only in keeping His commandments (repenting, being converted, and being baptized) that you can know God and be pleasing in His sight! And it is only in continuing in His doctrine until the end that you can be saved!
Romans 10:5. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.