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How to Get Saved

About two years ago, I went through crisis of faith. Although I had
been a Christian for over two decades, I began to doubt my salvation.
Worse, I feared that I was on my way to hell. I had to resolve this fear
somehow, so I turned to the internet - you know, that Great Black Hole
of Disinformation. I read everything I could find about salvation. There
were so many different ideas. Just to be sure of my salvation, maybe I
could do all the things these different groups proposed. That turned
out to be a bad idea, as they all had conflicting ideas. For example,
there is the Lordship Salvation crowd, headed by well known
expositor, John MacArthur. According to them, you must prove (or
earn) your salvation by following MacArthur's "Eleven
Commandments". If you don't have have these evidences, you're not
saved and you're on your way to hell. Others have condemned
Lordship Salvation as teaching salvation by works. They are sure that
John MacArthur and his followers are also "on their way to hell". So
maybe they're all on their way to hell - or not. What's an ordinary,
normal, thinking, searching person supposed to think about all this? I
was even more confused at this point. You're probably wondering why
I didn't just go straight to the Bible for answers. Well, later I did. And
I'll tell what I found there after I list a few things I discovered in the
Black Hole of Disinformation.

Christians generally agree that you must believe in Jesus, his life,
death, and resurrection in order to be saved. Beyond that there a
many things which are considered necessary for salvation. Also, there
is rather unclear distinction between things which are prerequisites for
salvation and things which must accompany or follow salvation. Here
is small sample of what I've found:

You have to confess your faith in public.

You must be born again - whatever that means.

You have to prove your salvation by doing good works.

You must belong to a certain group.


You must show mercy to your fellow man.

You must have faith.

You must believe that Jesus is "God Almighty in the Flesh"

You have to be baptized in water.

You have to be baptized in the Holy Spirit (with the initial evidence of
speaking in tongues)

You must love the brethren - whatever that means.

You must observed the Sabbath (which of course is Saturday, not


Sunday)

Jesus must be "Lord of all" If Jesus isn't Lord of all, he's not Lord at all.

You have to say the "Sinner's prayer".

You must believe in salvation by grace. If you try to earn your


salvation, you'll end up losing it.

You must feel a "Godly sorrow" for your sins.

You must repent of your sins first.

You must be willing to repent of your sins.

You must obey the Gospel.

You must obey the Ten Commandments.

You have to observe certain parts of the Law of Moses, such as dietary
restrictions or moral laws.

You must be predestined to be saved.

You have to called by God.

You have to endure until the end.


You have to believe in the Trinity

You must believe in certain doctrines.

You must be sure you really are saved. If you doubt your salvation,
you're not saved.

You must experience physical healing.

Are you confused yet? I was confused so I said to myself - what are
you doing wasting your time searching this bottomless pit of useless
opinions. You have a Bible, why not check there instead? Surely, the
Word of God must have the answer on how to get saved. After all, isn't
the most important thing in the Bible the message of salvation? So I
cracked open the Bible, certain that God would clear things up. So
exactly how does the Bible tell us how to get saved? We are saved...

(Note: This section copied from a web site, see reference at end)

By Faith (belief) only (Luke 7:50, John 3:14-16, 18,


36, 5:24, 6:29, 35, 40, 47, 70, 10:25-28, Acts 13:39,
16:31, Rom 1:16, 3:20-26, Rom 4, 9:32, Gal 2:16, 3:11,
14, Eph 1:13, 2:8-9, 1 Tim 1:16, 2 Tim 3:14-15, 1 Pet
1:9, Heb 10:38-39, and 11:17, where Paul gives as an
example Abraham offering Isaac). But mercy can substi-
tute for unbelief (1 Tim 1:13).
By Works only (including obedience to commandments)
("do the will" of God, Matt 7:21, "keep the command-
ments," 19:16-20, Luke 10:36-37, 12:47-48, 19:8-9, John
14:15; also Lev 18:5, Ps 65:12, 103:17-20). Paul also
says works ("law") (Rom 2:5-6, 13, 2 Cor 5:10), and
says we must "work out" our own salvation (Php 2:12).
James also says works, giving the example of Abraham
offering Isaac (James 2:20-24). James also says "faith
without works is dead" (James 2:14-26), and "be doers
of the word," which you must also know (so that knowl-
edge is also required; James 1:22-27). Also Ezek 18:1-
22, 30, Rev 20:12-15 ("judged according to their
works"), 22:12-14, 2 Pet 1:10, 1 John 2:3-5, Ps 62:12,
Jer 17:10, 2 Tim 3:17, Heb 5:9 (obedience). Paul says
charity is more important than faith (1 Cor 13:2, 13).
Those who do not help the needy are condemned (Matt
25:34-46).
By Grace only, i.e., it is a "gift" (John 6:44, 65,
Isa 43:25, Jer 30:21, Acts 15:11, 22:14, Rom 3:24,
5:15-21 (a "free gift"), 6:23, 9:16, 11:5-6, Eph 2:5-9,
1 Pet 1:10, 2 Tim 1:9, Tit 2:11, 3:5-7).
By confession of sin (Ps 32:1-5).
By Repentance (Isa 55:6-7, Matt 3:1-6, 4:17, 9:10-13,
Luke 13:1-5, Acts 17:30, Rom 6:23, James 4:7-10, 2 Pet
3:9, Rev 3:19-21).
By repentance plus baptism (Mark 1:4, Luke 3:3, Acts
2:37-38, 22:16).
By Baptism (Matt 3:1-17, 28:19-20, Luke 7:28-30, John
3:5, Acts 10:47-48, 16:25-33, 22:10-16, Gal 3:27, Heb
6:1-2, 1 Pet 3:21).
By Belief and baptism (Mark 16:16).
By repentance, faith, baptism, and laying on of hands
(Heb 6:1-2).
By Calling on the Lord's (or Jesus') name (Joel 2:32,
Acts 2:21, Rom 10:13; but Matt 7:21 says "not everyone
that saith Lord, Lord shall enter;" also Luke 13:25).
By stating aloud a belief in Jesus and his resurrec-
tion (Rom 10:9).
By Enduring to the end (Matt 10:22, 24:13, Mark
13:13).
By Poverty (Matt 19:21-24, Mark 10:21-24, Luke 18:24-
25, Luke 19:8-9).
By losing our life for Jesus (Matt 16:25).
By eating Jesus' flesh (John 6:48-58) and/or by
being "born again" (John 3:3).
By justice, mercy, humility only (Micah 6:8).
But God decides, regardless of what we do (Matt
20:23, John 6:44, 65, 17:2, 6, 9, Acts 2:39, 47, 4:28,
13:48, Eph 1:4-5, 11, 2:10, Ps 133:3, 139:16, 1 Thess
5:9, 2 Thess 2:11-14, Pr 16:4, 9, Job 23:14, Joel 2:32,
Rom 2:4, 8:29-30, 9:11-18, Cor 12:18, Php 2:13, 2 Tim
1:9, 1 Pet 2:8, 5:10, Rev 17:8). (end quote)

So now you know how to get saved, or your maybe you don't. One
thing clear from this long list is that different groups have formed their
beliefs about salvation by selecting a few of these passages as proof
texts while ignoring or explaining away the others.

Here are some other nagging questions about salvation (along with
possible answers)

Why does the Bible refer to salvation as both something done


already and something promised for the future?
The majority view is that you are saved at a certain point in time.

Since the Bible defines salvation as being saved from certain


things, is it possible to be saved from some of those things
and not others? Can you be partially saved?
I believe most Christians would say no.

What are saved from?


Some might assume we are saved from hell, but the Bible never says
this. We are saved from God's wrath, this present evil age, our
enemies, and other dangers.

Who can be saved?


Anyone can be saved.
Only the elect will be saved.

Can someone who never hears the gospel be saved?


No, they can't.
They can be saved by living up the light they have been given.

Are there exceptions to the requirements for salvation?


Some believe God makes an exception for babies and children who die
before reaching the age of accountability.

Is salvation a personal choice?


You must ask Jesus to save you.
God will save those whom He calls.

What happens to those who are not saved?


They are eternally torment in hell.
The are annihilated.
They are ultimately redeemed after being purified.
Can you lose your salvation? If you lose it, can you get it back?
You can lose your salvation.
You can't lose your salvation.

How many are ultimately saved?


Very few.
The vast majority.
All are eventually saved.

The following ideas appear in the Bible: salvation, entering


the Kingdom of heaven, have your sins forgiven, being a
disciple of Christ, being born again, etc.
Do all these terms necessarily mean the same thing? In other
words, is a possible to have your sins forgiven and not be a
disciple of Christ? Do you have to born again in order to be
saved? Is it possible to be saved yet not enter the Kingdom of
heaven. If you don't enter the Kingdom of Heaven, does that
necessarily imply that your are not saved?
Sorry, I found no answers for this one.

My apologies if you are as confused as I was. Temporary confusion is a


good thing, it will cause you to seek the truth. However, I do not want
you to go through the same fear I did, rather, I leave you with the
words of Jesus in Matthew 6:34 (remember, he said this to the
multitude, NONE of whom were Christian: Therefore do not worry
about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has
enough trouble of its own.
See Notes on Bible Problems (BTW, this is a skeptic site. I am not a
skeptic, but I found it fascinating.)

See my other articles on Scribd: My Articles