Simply Salvation

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Today I saw a news article about a Pentecostal snake handler who was killed when one of his snakes bit him and he refused treatment.  He thought that since he’d shown so much “faith” in handling these deadly creatures, God would save him.  Too often people fall for these kinds of lies.  They think they have to perform this ritual, or that ritual, or go to a certain number of church services, or say enough prayers, et cetera.  Then after that, as long as they work hard and do enough good things, God will love them and let them into Heaven.

That is just not the case.

The truth is, there is NOTHING any of us can do to ever be “good enough” to make it on our own.  Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  God demands holiness and perfection.  Human beings are simply not capable of this high standard.  That is why Jesus came to Earth, to be the ultimate sacrifice for sin.  His blood was the price required for all of mankind to be offered salvation.  What’s more, he makes that offer freely, to any who would accept.

Almost everyone has heard John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”  (emphasis mine) Those two verses pretty much say it all.  Despite all of our sin, all of our imperfection and unholiness, God still loved us enough that he was willing to send his own son to live among us, teach us, be an example to us, and ultimately, to die for us.

Now, although salvation is offered to everyone, we do still have to choose to accept the gift.  This is where some people get tripped up.  There is no long, drawn out process, no magic words, no feat of strength required.  The Apostle Paul says in 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.”  It’s that simple.  Believe on the inside, confess on the outside.  The gift of salvation is available to anyone.  Paul goes on to say in verse thirteen, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God doesn’t care about your man-made rituals or stunts or anything else you dream up. This snake handling nonsense does not represent the truth of God. All God requires of us is faith and obedience. Matthew 22:37 says, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

That’s it, folks.  That’s the “secret” of Christianity.  First, believe.  Second, confess that belief.  Beyond that, it’s loving God with everything you have, and loving others as yourself.  There isn’t a single verse that says anything about snakes, popes, fees, candles, or anything like that.

 

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  1. Ddayvid says:

    That was simply put. Why is it that something so simple, is made so difficult? Is it, that we cloud our own thoughts. In other words, OUR intellect(how we wish to perceive) blocking out the WISDOM of GOD. Answering our own questions on line. Priceless.

  2. d taylor says:

    You include Romans 10:9 making confession apart of a person receiving eternal life. The receiving of eternal life is by belief,faith,trust only no other act is needed to, add to or help the act of belief. The Gospel of John the only book of the Bible whose stated purpose for being written (John 20:31 But these are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.) is as this verse states to tell people how to have life (Eternal Life). over 90 times this point (belief only) is stated in The Gospel of John as the only condition given for a person to receive Eternal Life.
    I will pass along this information that can be looked up and read and studied. Do a internet search of the title – The use and abuse of Romans 10:9 by John Hart
    This a very good article about Romans 10:9 and how this verse is not a verse telling a person how to have salvation (Eternal Life salvation) but Romans 10:9 is speaking of a physical salvation from death or physical harm.
    Simply put: Eternal Life is as you stated in John 3:16 whoever believes that Jesus is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament and believes in Him for the gift of Eternal Life receives it, the moment they believe and can never lose the Gift

  3. Christian says:

    I appreciate your comment. Your concern that I am adding to the requirements for salvation are misguided, however. The whole point of the article was that the only thing necessary for salvation was a genuine belief in Jesus, his deity, his complete sacrifice through death, burial, and resurrection. It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that.

    I am quite taken aback at your assertion that Romans 10:9 is “speaking of a physical salvation from death or physical harm”. There is no basis for such an argument. To imply that a public confession of Jesus will save a person from death or physical harm is misleading at best. A cursory glance at history, let alone current events, would tend to prove the opposite. I don’t think Paul was adding a public declaration of faith to the requirements for salvation. I also don’t think he was giving us an “abracadabra” to escape physical harm.

    This passage is clearly about the end of the Law and the beginning of Grace. Nowhere in the chapter is Paul discussing physical death or danger.

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