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Scriptures on the way to be saved

In the New Testament one finds many different statements of the way for being saved, going to heaven. There is a large body of scripture that states that in order to be saved one must repent of his sins, turn to God, and live an upright, godly life. I believe this is a good statement of the requirements for being saved. And it corresponds to the requirements of common sense. However, there are many other statements, many the words of Jesus himself, which have the appearance of giving different criterions, and which raise questions. In many the requirement is given as “believe on Jesus”, “believe in Jesus”, “believe in the name of Jesus”, or “believe on the name of Jesus”. Exactly what do these phrases mean? How much do they include? The phrases seem very imprecise, vague, nebulous. Does believing in Jesus mean simply believing that he was God? Don’t even the demons believe that? We know the demons won’t go to heaven. On the surface these phrases don’t appear to include a requirement for repentance or upright living. Examples of some of these scripture:

      John 3:16 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.

      John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but

      he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath

      not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

      John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting

      life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life;

      but the wrath of God abideth on him.

We also have the following:

      John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe

      that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing

      ye might have life through his name.

Is it indeed sufficient to simply believe that Jesus is the Christ (i.e. the Jewish messiah) and the Son of God in order to be saved? Is there no need for repentance and obedience to Christ’s teachings?

Then there are other scripture that seem to give even different requirements for going to heaven. For example:

      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.

Is it indeed sufficient to simply do two things:

1) Confess Jesus with your mouth

2) Believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead

in order to be saved? How about turning away from your sin and living uprightly?

There are plenty of New Testament scriptures that confirm the general Biblical principle that the godless, wicked, immoral man will go to hell. For example:

   1 Cor 6:9-10 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not

   inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither

   fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,

   nor sodomites, {10} nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards,

   nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

We know that God is not a God of sham. No one will go to heaven by cheap tricks or devices. Obedience to God in the form of godly, upright living is a requirement. I think that phrases such as “believe in Jesus”, “believe in the name of Jesus” are meant to imply obedience to his teachings, following the way of living and behaving that he taught. However, the ambiguity, vagueness and nebulousness of the above language is responsible for a lot of questions for readers of the Bible and responsible, I suspect, for a lot of theological error and Christian apostasy. The evangelicals, for example, have a strong preference for those scripture that give as a requirement for being saved “belief in Jesus” as opposed to those emphasizing obedience to Jesus in accordance with their doctrine that one is saved by faith and not by works. By always citing these “just believe in Jesus” scripture I think they are being misleading and dishonest with scripture. I think they are presenting a skewed, unbalanced message.

Oct 2016

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