Monday, January 17, 2011

Salvation, Eternal Life, & Obedience

Much of the gospel that is presented today is offering a false hope to sinners. It promises them they can have eternal life while continuing to live in rebellion against God. In fact, it encourages people to claim Jesus as Savior and treats obedience as optional. It promises salvation from hell, but not freedom from iniquity. It offers false security to people who continue in sins of the flesh and spurn the way of holiness. By separating faith from faithfulness, it teaches that mental agreement to the facts of the gospel is enough to be saved and eternally secure.

This is not the message that Jesus proclaimed.

It is common today to see professing Christians whose behavior is indistinguishable from the rebellion of the non-professing. The church’s witness to the world has been sacrificed on the altar of cheap grace. Shocking forms of idolatry and immorality have become commonplace among professing Christians. And why not? The promise of eternal life without surrender to divine authority feeds the unregenerate heart. Enthusiastic converts to this unbiblical gospel believe that their behavior has no relationship to their spiritual status or standing before God – even if they continue in sin!

We have been told that the only criterion for salvation is knowing and believing some basic facts about Christ. We hear from the beginning that obedience is optional. It follows logically, then, that someone’s one-time profession of faith is more valid than the evidence of that person’s ongoing lifestyle in determining whether to embrace him or her as a true believer.

As a pastor, I regularly re-baptize people who once “made a decision” or “profession of faith,” were baptized, yet experienced no change. They come later to a true conversion and seek baptism again in an expression of genuine salvation. We hear of such testimonies each year at PCC.

What is needed today is a complete reexamination of the gospel. We must go back to the gospel message proclaimed by Jesus Christ Himself! I think you will be surprised to find how radically different the message of Christ is from what you might have learned in the past.

Our goal is to teach you what Jesus said.

PS - I wrote a similar blog about this before: How Faith Killed Works

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