Childhood salvation claims


I’m really leery when I hear people say, “I’ve been saved since I was seven. Three. In the womb. Before I was conceived. Whatever.”

Like yesterday, I’m sure it has really happened. I’m very sure that some little kid somewhere heard the Gospel story, got scared at the thought of Hell, and prayed a terrified little prayer to Jesus Christ, and a miracle happened.

A miracle happens ANY time that anyone is saved. But it’s an EXTREME miracle (good name for a sensational TV show) when any child, not yet at the age of accountability, still unable to understand between good and bad – does this.

What happens really is that some adult explains a simplified version of the Gospel (hey, really, almost any way you explain the Gospel is simplified), and the child, wanting to please the adult, makes a sweet little prayer and everyone feels good.

Then at age seventeen, they’re hooked on Chrystal Meth and breaking into cars, and something’s not right with that profession of faith.

Here’s really my feelings on this – you’re free to disregard. But if you lived a life where you made a profession of faith at age 7, very probably that’s not a valid conversion. You just really can’t comprehend a lot of the situation. “Saved? God? Jesus? Hell?” To a lot of little kids, Hell is a bad word that makes you giggle, not a terrifying reality of burning, endless torment.

Now, you may have been a sweet little kid (not the little monster I was!) and lived a good and decent life, and later on, heard the Gospel again, or reasoned it out within yourself, and bowed your head and prayed.

That’s far more likely, In which case, you got saved at age 27 or whatever.

If ever I had a point with this blog post, it’s long since gone like my cup of coffee.

I’ll just sum it up by saying, if your claim to salvation is a childhood prayer, examine yourself. If you’ve got doubts, take care of it.

Nothing is more important than salvation. Everything I’ve written about since day one on this blog either concerns getting people out of cults (and saved), or is some minor little details like you know, tithe and sanctification.

The important thing is, get saved.

“All the rest is commentary.”

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Salvation


What is saved? What does that mean? we use the term far too loosely for such a great miracle.

Psalm 3:8 (KJV) Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

“I raised my hand and got saved.”

By exercise?

“I walked the aisle and got saved.”

Roughly the same objection.

“I prayed…”

Okay, we’re getting closer.  I’ll make a disclaimer first, that I have absolutely no doubt that someone went to a church, heard a preacher used questionable tactics to manipulate yourself into getting a confession of faith, and as you were manipulated, God reached into your heart and encouraged you to do exactly this.

I have no doubt that some who raised their hand or walked the aisle were doing so out of a sincere need for salvation, a recognition of their sinful state and their eventual eternity in Hell, and did as they were told.

The Gospel is very simple. It has to be simple enough for a drowning man to understand.

“Do you understand that you are a sinner? And that your sins have separated you from a righteous God who will judge all mankind?”

There’s only one right answer there.

“Do you understand that you will spend an eternity in Hell because of your sins?”

Same thing. One right answer.

“But God didn’t want you to perish eternally in everlasting torment. So He sent His Son to die in your place. Salvation is a free gift, paid for by the only righteous man that ever lived, the only sinless one, God in human flesh, Jesus Christ. All you have to do to have it is to ask God to forgive your sins, and to give you the free gift of Salvation.”

Okay right there, that’s enough. You don’t have to get into prayer, tithe, sanctification, church, living for Jesus Christ, Bible reading, Bible Study, etc. Leave that alone. They’ll learn about it and start doing it soon enough, if the conversion is a valid one! And if not, well… they’ll drop away.

Just a yes or no answer. You say no, and it’s going to mean… nothing. You say maybe, same thing. You can’t accept with reservation. It’s like opening your hands and someone pouring gold dust into them. You open them all the way to receive them.

Now, if you’ve been a Christian for 18 years, you read your Bible and worry ENDLESSLY about pleasing God, you’re probably tempted to bow your head and ask to be saved all over again. Sorry, you’re already part of the family, quit beating yourself up! You can rededicate yourself. That’s great.

But if your conversion story lacks most of that, was just a feeling of “I need to do better” and you’ve lived a lackluster Christian life of halfhearted Christian behavior punctuated by years-long periods of backsliding… um… go back to the beginning of the article.

This one’s for you. Just want to make sure that when the starting gun of the Rapture is fired, we don’t leave anyone behind.

Simple truth: Catholics are not Christians


Logos opened this morning… to show in its startup screen a book by G. K . Chesterton.

I’ve got a headache – one of my sinus headaches – so right away Philip is grumpy. Plus my cats woke me at 5:30 howling for food, and I’ve gotten 292 steps so far because I have to keep getting up and shutting the door to my office because they keep opening it ALL THE WAY OPEN to shine out the light from my office and wake everyone else up at 6:08 am on a Saturday!

Here’s my point: Official Roman Catholic literature says that we are saved by works. As a matter of fact, official Roman Catholic literature specifically pronounces damnation on anyone who declares that we are saved by faith through grace – it is a gift of God lest any man should boast.

So Roman Catholic literature specifically pronounces damnation not only upon me, but upon the Apostle Paul.

Christianity, on the other hand, adheres to the clear teachings of the Bible, which states that we are saved by grace through faith.

It’s a simple truth, a simple math equation – Roman Catholicism teaches that we are saved by works, Christianity teaches we are saved by faith – thus Roman Catholicism is not Christianity.

If I’d written this and used the term “Hinduism”, nobody would be upset. But skillful public relations have gotten a vast majority of Christians to assume Roman Catholics are Christians when they are not.

If I dissemble, and try to say it any nicer, nobody will get the point. The man who witnessed to me showed absolutely no worry in the world if he offended me when he preached at me. Any offense he gave to me is of course long forgotten, let alone forgiven!

But if I come out and tell Roman Catholics, “I’m sorry, but you’re not a Christian – you’re in a cult that pretends to be Christian, but secretly is not” – then I stand a good, good chance of reaching people.

Of getting you saved.

If, on the other hand, I keep silent, the moment you realize there is no purgatory and that you are in hell will be way too late. You’ll be pulled out for the Great White Throne judgment, and you may even shout to me, “Why didn’t you warn me?”

And that really is the entire point to my blog.

Being a Christian – Saved church Membership


To be a member of a church, the only requirement is that you be saved.

You can ATTEND a church and be unSaved. Amazingly, we have entire groups of people who SERVE in churches and are unSaved!

We need to get those Deacons right with the Lord! 😉

The standard way to join a church is through Baptism. Get saved, find a church, meet with the pastor, ask to join, the church votes, and then you are Baptized.

But what if you move from one place to another? Or (more common today) the church apostates, and you have to resign and move out? How do you transfer to the next church?

The next method is by letter. Many say it’s Biblcal, but I really have to say I don’t see it directly addressed in Scripture. However, transfer of membership by letter is the usual way.

What if your church is apostating, and you don’t want any taint of that apostasy on you? Then the last method of transfer of membership is by personal statement, that you were a member of another church and have been baptized, and are a Christian.

If you are saved, you may join a New Testament church. But let’s say your spouse is not.

They may attend with you, but they may not join. An unsaved person may not vote in church meetings, nor partake of the Lord’s Supper.

Not fair? Look, Salvation’s a free gift! Nobody’s forcing you to join. But… we can’t risk someone who is unSaved voting in something, and afecting the direction of a New Testament church. It’s important.

So, if you want the benefits of belonging to a New Testament church… why not get saved?

Sure beats eternal suffering!

Signs of the Times


Evangelicals have begun to oppose the Bible.

Evangelicals have begun to link arms with the unsaved.

Evangelicals are beginning to reject Fundamentalists, in favor of the unSaved, such as those who sprinkle babies and call it salvation. Such as Mormons. Such as Catholics.

We hear that over a billion people are Christians, and we assume that means people who understant “ye must be born again”.

While in Seminary, my teacher asked the rhetorical question of how many people were saved? He guessed 5%, and everyone in the class was scandalized.

I took the Operation World manual, and took their statistics. It was very simple. I took out all the denominations that assume you are predestined to be saved. Why? Because by the second generation, they are relying on their infant baptism as a sign of their “election”.

I took out all the Protestant denominations that believe that being baptized saves you.

I took out the Mormons.

I took out the Roman Catholics.

It left Charismatics and Baptists. I didn’t take out any of those numbers, because I was estimating a “fudge factor” of, “Some of those Protestants must have gotten saved despite their denominations’ stand”.

I ended up with 1.67%, if I recall correctly.

Right around 85 million people.

I did the statistics in reverse, and ended up with the same number. And now I’m thinking I was optimistic.

With that in mind, let’s look at the problem – Evangelicals prefer the company of all those people the Bible rules out as being saved.

15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15 (KJV)

1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 1 John 3:1 (KJV)

19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. John 15:19 (KJV)

The last verse is the bottom line. If you’re an Evangelical Christian, and you reject Fundamentalist as “pharisees”, and use phrases like “I don’t view the Bible as the fourth member of the Trinity”…

The Bible is saying you many not be saved.

Just saying.

First Principles 3


Why do we accept that his righteousness passes to us by Eating his Flesh and Drinking his Blood symbolically or otherwise?

I’m answering these not to fight with you – indeed, I’m not striving with you. I’m answering gently, understanding the pain of indecision.

His righteousness does not pass to us by the Last Supper at all. It passes to us by belief.

By acceptance.

Abraham believed by faith, and it was reckoned him as righteousness.

And that’s how God set it up.

It’s so easy, we instinctively believe it can’t be right. We WANT to be able to do it our way.

Why? Pride.

If I can earn my righteousness somehow, by crawling to the Ganges river on our knees, we can stand with pride, “I did it.”

Christians say, “I didn’t do it. Jesus Christ did it, and offered it as a free gift. I just took it.”

Why is pride wrong?

Becuase, as I heard in a sermon today, pride made a Satan out of Lucifer. Your hands are polluted, dripping with the bloddguiltiness of your own sin. Everything you put your hands to take that, like the leper in the Torah who had to cover his lip and call out, “unclean! Unclean!” His house bacame unclean. His clothes became unclean.

Everything I touched became unclean by my sin. So any deed I did, such as spinning a thousand prayer wheels like the Tibetan Buddhists, is unclean as well. “Our righteousness as as filthy rags.”

So, you are powerless to save yourself.

Caiaphas examined Jesus Christ and pronounced him fit to die for the nation. Since prophecy included the Gentiles in with the Jews, and since a mixed multitude went up out of Egypt and recieved the Law along with the Jews… Gentiles too are included in this Jewish religion.

Christ died for your sins. All you have to do, like Abraham… is believe.

You’re in agony over this. I understand. When I was in Judaism, I knew it couldn’t help me. I begged God for a way, I rejected the faith of my people, walked away, and began a search through every religion I could find out about in the books.

I became convinced that Jesus Christ was the only way. But I couldn’t wrap my head around the Trniity. Once I was able to do that, I was able to cry out, “Abba! Father!”

And Jesus Christ saved me.

My salvation night was horrific. I wept for hours. I begged for forgiveness for what seemed like hours. And then I reached a point where I could no longer strive with God all night, like Jacob. And like my great great grandfather Jacob, I too said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me!”

And He did.

Stop striving. Accept. Repent.

Believe.

And be free.

First Principles 2


If the bible says in several places that no one person can be punished for another’s sins, and that the sins debts of the father cannot be passed to the son, as the righteousness of the father doesn’t either…

Logical, but not what the Bible says.

Let’s review two of the fundamental laws on how to interpret the Bible.

  1. We must compare spiritual with spiritual – all scripture on a topic must be compared before we derive our doctrine
  2. Less clear passages give way to more clear.

These are well established rules of Biblical Interpretation, and the person speaking who I’m adressing is well acquainted with them.

Here’s what to take away from the passage in Ezekiel you’re reading. Part of what you’re struggling with is this – you keep talking about sin. Think about that.

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 5:12 (KJV)

15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. Romans 5:15 (KJV)

The issue is, the existence of sin and the curse of death entered by Adam. However, Ezekiel, the passage you’re referring to, says you will die for your own sins.

4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Ezekiel 18:4 (KJV)

You are asking in effect, “Can I not then atone for my own sins?”

How?

22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. Hebrews 9:22 (KJV)

Without blood, without something dying in your place, your sins cannot atone for.

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 (KJV)

That’s why you cannot atone for your sins.

Then why do we believe in The Indwelling Sin Curse of Adam that passes to all humanity from birth?

That part already I’ve answered. I think what it is, is that you’ve had an incorrect understanding of atonement, redemption, propitiation, and sin. You’ve had, rather, the Roman Catholic understanding that we all are corrupt and will go to hell for Adam’s sin. Rather, the Bible says “…by one man sin entered the world.” This is the curse of sin, and the penalty of. Death. All will die, now that death has entered the world. And all will go into Hell, without forgiveness, atonement, and propitiation.

It sounds like semantics, but it’s not.

Why do we accept that our sins can be laid on another and paid for?

Why is it that in the OT the accepted sacrifice was fully consumed by either fire or eating, but christ was allowed to be resurrected and his body not destroyed?

You’re misunderstanding the offerings. We do not eat the sin offerings. THe blood of the sin offering, and certain parts of the sin offerings, were poured out onto the altar, and the fats burned. THe blood atoned for the sins, and the fats were as prayers, as God said it was a sweet smelling savour unto Him.

The offerings we ate were festival offerings. It was a communal meal, one with another.

Now, here’s the part that I never noticed while I was in Judaism. The blood atoned for the sins… but the Bible did not say “the blood of the bull will atone for the sins.”

The Bull or the goat died in your place. THe lamb died in your place. One offering could not, once and for all, take away all your sins. else the High Priest would have offered them once and for all. Indeed, before Aaron and his sons could function as priests, THEY had to be atoned for! So their ministry obviously was not a perpetual one. Their offerings were temporary.

Our sins can be laid on another because God said so. Your hand was placed upon the offering’s head, a prayer was said so that it was an effectual transfer, and then the animal died in your place.

Now, here’s what you’re asking.

“Jesus Christ was a man, so how could he die in my place?”

The obvious answer is – he wasn’t a man. He was fully man and fully God.

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:6-11 (KJV)

Jesus Christ is both the party aggrieved, as He is God… and He is the atonement, the offering, the perfect man without sin. Thus, He was not only the perfect sacrifice, being utterly without blemish…

…but the High Priest even examined him, and pronounced Him fit for the sacrifice.

49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. John 11:49-50 (KJV)

We’ll finish this up tomorrow.