God’s treat is no trick – trusting Jesus saves people

Rather than celebrating everything dead this Halloween the living really ought to find out how they can receive eternal life. God is not tricking us. The treat is that by grace God gives eternal life to all who believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead. The risen Savior now gives everlasting life to all those that put their faith in Him. He is a free gift of God. Salvation is not something that people can earn themselves.

The gospel of salvation is really simple but there are many in religion that want to trick people. They tell you that you have to do something to earn salvation. The saved once were spiritually dead beggars standing at Gods door with their bag out. God filled it with His own Spirit of promise.

By Adam’s disobedience sin and death came into the world and by the last Adam’s obedience it is taken away. Those born of the first Adam became natural living souls. Those born of the last Adam take on His risen supernatural spiritual nature.

1 Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

“Quickening spirit” in this passage means “life-giving spirit”. The second Adam was made a life-giving Spirit. He gives eternal life to those born of Him. As we believers bear the body of the earthly we shall also bear the nature of the risen Jesus.

Jesus said you must be born again spiritually.

Joh 3:5 Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Now that it is established that you must be born of the spirit to receive eternal life, how do you receive this spiritual life? The scriptures say those that believe will receive eternal life. There are scores of passages in the Bible that indicate that salvation comes through belief in Jesus. Here is just one.

Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Believing also can be expressed as trusting in or having faith in Jesus. It is not head knowledge about Jesus, it is faith that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Savior promised by God. Paul tells us those that trust in Jesus receive the spiritual birth required to inherit eternal life.

Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Notice that Paul says that those that trusted in Jesus were sealed with the Holy Spirit. Other passages tell us the same thing. So scripture establishes that after you hear the truth and trust in Jesus you are born from above.

Scripture tells us that faith in Jesus come from hearing the word of God (Rom 10:17). To hear the word of God that gives salvation you must have ears to hear it and it somehow has to be delivered to you. When you hear the good news you must believe it. Those that do not have lasting faith in what they have been told about Jesus are not believers. If there hope of salvation is dependent on anything more than Jesus, they are not saved.

Ephesians 1:13 tells us that those believing were sealed with the Holy Spirit promised. He is the same Holy Spirit that filled those waiting on the promise from Jesus on Pentecost. Other scriptures tell us that believers now have the Spirit of God in them. We who have the Holy Spirit are born from above. We are a new creation in Christ (2 Co 5:17). That is why we are told to live by the spirit and not by the flesh. Our bodies of sin died with Christ on the cross. We also rose with Him.

We were spiritually baptized into Christ. Baptism actually represents dying to self and taking on the spirit of the one that you’re following. We just temporary drag our bodies of flesh around to be salt and light to the world and to preach the gospel so that others will also hear and believe. The saved are left on earth to do works of the Spirit. Our bodies of flesh are zombies left here to do good works for Christ (don’t take my Halloween analogy too far).

I think the gospel is clear how people are saved, but many religious people want to make it difficult. They will claim all kinds of stuff that the New Testament does not teach about how you have to work for your salvation and how you can lose your salvation.

Many will say you have to keep the law to stay saved. That is nonsense. Creatures born of the spirit are not subject to laws delivered to natural people. The law was given to show natural descendants of Adam they needed to be redeemed by God’s Messiah. No one born of fallen flesh could keep the law and become acceptable to a Holy God. Jesus did it for us. The God/man kept the law, now if we are in Christ God see those in Him as He sees Jesus.

Those in Christ do not need to keep laws to stay saved. The spiritual live by a higher law called the law of faith (Ro 3:27). Nothing can separate those born into Christ from Christ. Those born from above do not spiritually die because they do things that are not pleasing.

This whole idea of falling out of grace and having to get saved again is contrary to apostolic teaching and common sense. There are many reasons why saved people sin and we all do. Many saved people have not yet learned to put on the mind of Christ. That does not mean these people are not saved.

When people are born they are not born mature. It is the same for those born of the spirit. They must grow into spiritual maturity. When you were born you became part of the family, but you did not at birth contribute anything more than your presence to the family. You did not become a mature leader in your family the day that you were born. Some never will grow up and become leaders. It is the same with spiritual birth. Being born into Christ is just the beginning. The real question is who will you grow up to become in Christ? You do play a serious role in that.

Some religious people will say that sin proves that someone is not saved, but they will sin themselves but think their own sin is not bad enough to disqualify them. What degree of sin means that you are no longer a Christian? Someone better not commit disqualifying sins just before they get hit by a streetcar. They would not be able to repent again like the living and in this thinking would be doomed to Hell. In the final analysis, the streetcar or whatever suddenly kills your body then determines your eternal fate but not the others with time to repent. It is not logical.

Do all believers carry the same baggage? Is someone brought up in a good environment more deserving of salvation than someone brought by in a bad environment? I ask because those brought up wrong will tend to sin more. What if the defective brain that you were born with does not see things the same way as the person born with a brilliant brain. Does the brain you were born with determine your eternal fate? You see where I am taking this. If salvation is dependent on anything of the flesh in this fallen world, it is not fair.

The truth is that salvation is all about what God did. It is a free gift. All we do is receive it or reject it. Scripture says that those destined to be saved were determined before the foundations of the earth (Eph chapter one). Those with ears to hear will receive what is offered.

Being saved by God’s grace is no license to sin either. If we become born again, sin becomes contrary to our spiritual nature. We either learn to reject sin or if it continues we might expect a loving Father to take us to the wood shed for our own good. God disciplines His children. He does not disinherit His children. Jesus said, He will lose none given to Him by the Father. Only God can righteously judge what we did with what we were given. All in Christ will be judged by Jesus at the Bema Judgment.

2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

This is a judgment of the saved. Those that built on the spiritual house of God with precious things will receive rewards but those that did not overcome the flesh nature will lose rewards they could have had. Even so, they all are already saved.

1 Cor 3:11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

I think the last verse above says it all. Those that believe are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit dwells in them.

If you do not yet believe in Jesus, You might look into what I am saying. You have nothing to lose and eternal life to gain. Eternal life is not going to come through scientific breakthroughs like some think. Science cannot make man into a supernatural spirit. The best they can do is postpone the decay of our natural bodies. Or pretend that brain functions upload to a machine becomes you. It certainly will not.

Many smart people have set out to disprove the biblical claims about Jesus and while doing so found out that they not only could not disprove Jesus, instead they came to believe in Him. They changed their minds (repented), and they are now believing Christians. Some have written books about their experience. The evidence about Jesus is overwhelming for any with an open mind.

Believers should not let legalistic people confuse them. You really know if you believe what scriptures claim about Jesus or not. And if you do believe that Jesus is Lord, and confess that truth you are saved. You can take comfort in the knowledge of your salvation. Don’t allow legalistic religious people to take away your hope.

Most of the religious leaders in Israel rejected Jesus because He did not meet their expectations of the Messiah. The religious leaders thought the Messiah would be more like their father the devil. They thought Jesus should have told people that keeping the religious traditions and the religious interpretations of the law that they taught was necessary for salvation. Instead, Jesus made it clear that He is the way to salvation. Nothing else will get people there.

Many religious people of today also want to make salvation difficult. Having Jesus is not enough they say. You must also keep their religion. You must follow their way and not God’s Way. Don’t even come to their door. They have no treats to offer. What they give comes out of a Satanic or misguided bag of tricks.

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About Don Koenig

Don Koenig is the founder of ThePropheticYears website. He has been publishing articles on the Internet on Bible prophecy, biblical discernment and Christian worldviews since 1999.

You can find well over a thousand articles and thousands of comments written by Don from the homepage of this website.


Comments

God’s treat is no trick – trusting Jesus saves people — 28 Comments

  1. Well said Don,

    The Bible speaks for itself. Indeed, hearing the word through the Left Behind series was when I came to believe. Reading and studying the Word, reinforced that belief in the promises. And an indepth study of church history, showed me the difference and dangers of the false religious pretenders. Being saved, you know what’s right, and pleasing to God, and feel the chastisement of doing wrong. Fortunately, God also provides a way to repent, and get back on the right side. The Apostle Paul wrote of his agonising struggles with the flesh, to deny this, only aggregates or prolongs one’s struggle.

  2. Don,

    Thank you for this Good News Message at this time of year.

    What Jesus offers all of us is no trick, but it is a treat for those who love Him.

    As you said, the tricksters are those that make religion about anything other than Jesus and His Message…The Way, The Truth, And The Life.

    I have read also, where very wealthy doubting archeologists and researchers went to The Holy Land and the surrounding areas to adamantly disprove Jesus and His Word…many of those that attempted this came away stunned, amazed, and very strong believers.

  3. Brilliant post, Don.
    I am going to e-mail this to some family and friends, with your permission. So many Christians need encouragement and assurance of their salvation and the number of people out there teaching add-ons to the Gospel message is growing.

    I came across a youtube channel a few days ago where the men speaking were teaching that Christians need to keep Torah (I’m not even sure what that really means). They sounded so persuasive and both claimed the Holy Spirit had led them into this truth (one used to be a Calvary Chapel pastor).
    It is easy to see why many get led astray as it appeals to our sense of having to perform, to be seen as “good people”, I guess.

    Thank you for this reminder of how simple and yet how profound is the Gospel message. By grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
    His love for us is incomprehensible but I, for one, am so grateful He does love us so much.

  4. Good solid and true message of how to be saved. My hope is that everyone will come to this faith, but for some reason they will not. I would like to add that after being saved, we still have to deal with our sin nature. It doesn’t go away. It’s a constant battle but we get stronger over time with our helper. But that’s another topic. Thanks for another great article.

  5. Don I’m glad you wrote this.

    When I tell people how to be saved I usually use Romans 10:9,10 and Acts 16:30,31. I tell them it’s simple. God did everything including giving us the faith to be saved; all we have to do is believe it.

    Then along come the well meaning evangelists and tell the same people they must repent of their sins or give them a ‘sinner’s prayer’ to recite, or tell them Jesus wants to take control of their life. I don’t see any of this as requirements for being saved.

    I see wanting to not sin and or repenting of sin coming with spiritual growth. As for Jesus wanting to control your life I don’t find that anywhere in scripture. I find the Holy Spirit wanting to lead.

    I don’t want people to be confused about salvation so what I want to know from you, Don, is where am I off base if I am. (I should add that people should know Jesus was the sacrifice for our sins on the cross but that’s the basis for being able to save us.)

  6. Hi Caitlin,

    Your not off base. Many leaders in Western Christendom have been off base for a long time. They want to make Christianity a religion with their methods to get saved or stay saved. However, true Christianity is a spiritual birth given to those that come to believe that Jesus is the risen Lord of creation. The pastors were suppose to lead the sheep to maturity not grow the numbers in the flock. The sheep reproduce other sheep. Most so called pastors are not being pastors. They are CEO’s of religious corporations and motivational speakers.

  7. Thank you Don, a very succinct post concerning things it took me years to figure out (or be revealed to me through Bible reading). My mother’s church raised me to believe that salvation could be lost. Beliefs one is raised with are very hard to discard, even when repeatedly seeing scripture that it was not true. I wish I had read this 50 or so years ago.

  8. This post was exactly what I needed to hear. The struggle against sin definitely weighs down on me quite often, especially when being fully aware, on an earthly level, that I keep losing that battle again and again.

    This constant reminder that one will receive eternal life if they truly believe that Jesus is their Saviour is what eases the weight of sin that I carry around.

    Thanks again for another encouraging article Don, and thanks again for this website. I might not have ever corrected my beliefs on numerous biblical issues if not for this website aiding in the Holy Spirit’s opening of my eyes. God definitely does provide wisdom and understanding to those who ask for it.

  9. Hi Don,

    I had a discussion with a Lutheran Pastor Long ago. He said exactly the same thing you do. Then, one day I was listening to David Hunt talk about the importance of the obedience portion of faith. So I have to say that my view is not yours or the Lutheran pastor.

    If simple belief was all that is necessary then why does Paul tells us this:
    2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
    2Co 13:6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.
    2Co 13:7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.

    Obedience to Gods word is much more a part of faith than simple belief. At least it is to me. Our Lord tells us himself, Strive to enter at the narrow gate for few will find it. (MAtthew 7-13).

    So to me the faith portion is not a mere simple belief. I say faiths main component is obedience to Gods word with the belief portion being explained by my obedience. I know scores of so called Christians that have simple belief and do what ever they want. They revel in drunkenness and adultery, or what ever they want to do,yet they attend church and have simple belief. The main concept of satanism is , Do what ever you want shall be the whole of the law.

    Now lets look at repentance. To repent does not mean to simply say you are sorry and then keep doing it. It means to turn away from and change. If you are living in known sin and refuse to change are you saved? I can not answer that. What I do know is the devil is very clever. I simply suggest that all of us should do what Paul explains to examine yourselves. (not others)

    My question to all? how do you describe faith? For me it is belief but shown through my obedience to Gods living word, Christ Jesus. are you obedient or even striving to be obedient or do you do what ever you want?

    We basically have two different views on faith. You say simple belief, I say belief but shown through obedience to Gods word.

    All of you should be getting fed through reading Gods word. Like the Apostle Peter says: 2 Peter 1:5

    For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

    10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters,[a] make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble,

  10. Hi Klaus,

    The answer can be found in what you quoted.

    2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

    Paul was quite aware that there were non believers in that assembly. Paul disputes what you imply in what he said, when Paul says know ye not your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you. If Christ is in those in the faith, they must be saved Christians. The obvious answer is that Paul was talking to an assembly that had believers and unbelievers.

    The last line in your second to last paragraph also argues against your argument. “forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins“.

    Obviously they were saved, in fact Peter calls them brothers and sisters.

    I am not arguing that we should not try to live a life pleasing to the Lord. There are consequences for sin but losing your salvation is not one of them. It is obvious that the Bible teaches that believers will go through a sanctification process. The sanctification process is for those in Christ. If you are not in Christ you are not a Christian.

    As for what the lord said about entering the narrow gate, He was telling people that He was the narrow gate. He was not telling people that salvation comes from keeping the law. Jesus was the object of the law.

    I know people that try to act holier than thou. Does that make them saved? They must come to be saved like everyone else. They are the first ones to condemn everyone else. Repenting means to change your mind from unbelief to belief. We were dead in sin with no hope but changed to believe in God’s provision for sin and salvation.

    The bible clearly teaches that man is saved by belief. There is nothing simple about it. Either you believe Jesus is who He claims and saves people that trust in Him, or you don’t. You seem to think everyone that claims to believe in Jesus qualify as believers. Only those born of the Spirit actually believe. God knows who actually trusts in Him. He gives them His spirit to bear witnesses that they are born from above. Those that could care less about how they live probably never were saved. That is not saying that believers cannot be oppressed and live in the flesh. Even so, there are very negative consequences to not overcoming the flesh.

    Ro 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.

    Joh 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.

    Luk 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

    Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

    Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

    Joh 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

    Joh 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

    Joh 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

    Joh 12:36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.

    Joh 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

    Joh 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.

    Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    Act 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

    Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

    Rom 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

    Rom 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.

    1Co 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

    2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

    Gal 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

    1Th 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

    1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

    1Ti 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

    Heb 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

    1Jo 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

    1Jo 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

  11. Amen Don you hit the nail on the head I remember when I claimed to be saved I went to church small groups and tried to do the right thing and of course since I didn’t have the spirit in me I failed and the Lord took me to the woodshed I am now saved and I can definitely tell the difference I am living in the spirit not the Flesh I still sin but it’s not like it was before before I sinned and I would say hey it’s okay I’m saved but now that I have the Holy Spirit In Me I don’t want to sin and I can feel the difference living in the spirit it’s an unbelievable feeling also just a side note it is so hard to find a good church nowadays the church on that is a good church but I have had arguments with the ministers and I’m looking for another church for my family and I they say you must be baptized to be saved I said what about the thief on the cross the response I kid you not it’s a judgment call there is no judgement call Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life believe and you will be saved he didn’t say hurry and find some water and be baptized we should be baptized but only as an outward expression of our faith because we are told to be baptized but baptism of water will not save you and I have to tell my kids and grandkids this I am looking for another church right now and I believe in the last days the church will be in the home so we do active Bible study at our home my sixteen-year-old daughter is worldly I’m worried about her her name is Rachel please everybody keep her in your prayers thanks again.

  12. Hi Don,

    I believe a lot of care has to be taken on this subject. Cos when you read the Revelation of Jesus Christ chapters 2 and 3 of which I’ve read your full commentary, you’ll find Jesus saying to the seven different churches: “I know thy works” and He clearly and ambiguously declares that He would take out your candle or spue you out of His mouth, etc to those churches (I believer that talks about professing belivers) which do not have good works!

    Those who really desire truth would seek and search for it cos it does not always appear at the surface.

    “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”
    Revelation 2:5 KJV

    “Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.”
    Revelation 2:16 KJV

    “And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.”
    Revelation 2:23 KJV

    “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
    Revelation 3:3‭-‬6 KJV

    “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”
    Revelation 3:11 KJV

    “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
    Revelation 3:16 KJV

    “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
    James 2:17‭-‬24 KJV

    Thanks Don!

  13. Wow, interesting subject on Belief, Trust, and Sin.

    I am not saying my perspective and my way is correct, but the way it happens in my life is I am accountable to God in all things that I do.

    This does not mean I am without sin, I am not.

    I take Scripture literally, I consider Scripture the only absolute Truth we humans have on this earth.

    My trust is Jesus IS who He said He Is and Prophetic Events will play out exactly the way Scripture said it will.

    Looking at the Prophetic Theatre now being set up with the worldwide players Scriptural Prophecy said would be active during the End Of The Age should make everyone who gives an ear to hear (and see) what is abundantly obvious in my opinion…and that is Scripture is 100% accurate, which proves it is of God Himself.

  14. Hi Emmanuel,

    In Revelation Jesus is talking to seven specific types of assemblies on earth that identify with Christ. Not all in them were saved. In a couple of those churches Jesus made it clear that very few were saved. In the prophetic application those specific churches that Jesus condemned no longer exist, their candlestick was removed. In the later churches except for Philadelphia the wording suggests that most identified with this assembly will go through the great tribulation.

    I do not know why you threw in James? It does not say what you seem to be implying. Some of that is addressed in the link in my article to another article I wrote goes into much more depth. Devils do not have saving faith in Jesus. They know that the gospel of salvation is for humans not disembodied spirits. Of course they also know there is a God that will judge them and that is why they tremble.

    And the end of what you quoted in James disputes what you suggest it is saying. It clearly says Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness. That sounds contradictory to what he said, but it is not because James is not saying what some imply. James was saying that faith without works is dead faith useless to God. We remain here to do spiritual works pleasing to God. The redeemed shall live by faith. James was not saying that you must have works to be saved or stay saved and neither is Revelation.

  15. We all need a FIRM FOUNDATION, but unfortunately many of us were “processed” rather quickly as initial believers and we got what we got. I don’t blame anyone but myself these days—”A man’s own foolishness leads him astray, yet his heart rages against the LORD.”–Proverbs 19:3—but as with our natural family, WHY lay stumbling blocks in the path? Can’t mature believers who understand the reality of spiritual warfare come alongside new babes and lead them along to maturity? It’s at least possible, right? Or must we all travel our own bitter road?

    The more I take in Paul’s letters, the more I can see the importance of his “expert foundation”, which Don lays out in his article above. We cannot proceed successfully in this world/flesh/devil system if we do not get the awesome totality of our salvation in Christ. We have to start on solid ground and KNOW we are secure in him because Satan has a plan to ruin us, even if only temporarily. He makes a beeline to accuse us and suggest we may not REALLY be saved.

    I want a “worthy walk” in my spiritual life, as do most of us. But there is a lot of nonsense preached that tries to threaten believers with loss of salvation in order to get them in line. Absurd, and it actually stirs up unbelief as to whether or not God REALLY accomplished in Christ what He SAID HE DID, apart from us! While we were yet sinners!

    In contrast, Don’s article encouraged me and built me up.

  16. i think being saved and still sinning cannot take our salvation away its just going to take some of the rewards in heaven away from us thats all.

  17. i always wonder why people say when someone dies that he/she is in heaven smiling at us or whatever the case when they are clearly still in the grave, jesus rose after the 3rd day but here on earth graves have been opened and theres still a body in it months after. Jesus even appeared to his disciplines with a physical body after the 3rd day but what about us? does our spirit somehow get into heaven or do we have to wait until the rapture to be truly taken away from the grave? clearly we are not risen like christ was cuz our rotten bodies are still in the grave long after we die.

  18. Hi 126cardinal,

    The departed Spirits of believers are with Christ. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

    2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

    The first resurrection raises the bodies because our destiny is to have a body just like the risen Lord has a body. They will not be like our old bodies that died but they will take on a physical nature. Worms die and become butterflies and raised humans die and are raised to become much like the risen Jesus.

  19. Hi Greg,

    I too am concerned for kids these days, especially if they are in any public schools. I know not everyone can afford private or homeschooling, but, teens are very resourceful, and able to hide much from others, and I mean parents in particular. If you are not monitoring your daughters use of technology, social media, etc, then you may be in for a shock or two over the next few years. I would suggest you look into what’s available, to keep close tabs on her activities, because parents DO have a right to know. I’m assuming you provide access to her phone, computer etc, so, you should be up front about any monitoring. Don’t give into the line “you’re invading my privacy” because, most of what she does is public anyways. It’s just that you don’t know what anonymous profiles she might have. Any social media except facebook allows pseudononymous accounts.

    I can only speak for myself, but at 16, I was very uncontrollable and independent. It took another 30 years before I learned the truth about God. But, I had no religious family what so ever. I’m sure you are aware of the dangers facing our young people these days, so take steps to be more informed about your daughters activities. It may already be too late though, and she will have to learn the hard way. That don’t mean disowning, but also, not accepting certain behaviors that offend either. I will pray for you both.

  20. Thank you David yes I knew need to work on the social media and her cell phone she is questioning everything her faith God she is very smart but she is confused she has gotten away from the faith my wife and I are very worried about her our other kids are much older she is the baby I don’t envy her being born at these times she doesn’t want to hear what I have to say she still sits with us on Bible study on Sunday night but I think she just giving lip service anyways thanks for the prayers and good post Don

  21. What an uplifting post Don. Sometimes I forget that we have something to look forward to despite all the terrible news out there.
    I was trying to study the process of salvation, and what appears to be a very simple thing on the surface is almost incomprehensibly complex at the deepest levels.
    The fact that our free will and God’s predestination both somehow work together at the same time is amazing. We have to choose Christ, but Christ has to choose us too. Its akin to the concept of the trinity and probably beyond human comprehension.

  22. Hello Don,

    I am fairly new to Christianity, however I do not consider myself a baby Christian.I believe I have embraced Christianity, Jesus and The Word quite well, although I struggle at times interpreting parts of the Bible,thankfully my Sister is able to interpret for me what I don’t understand. Once I understood salvation, I couldn’t believe just how simple it really is. My Sister also introduced me to you and The Prophetic Years and I very much enjoy reading what you have to say, as you simplify everything so well.

    Keep up the good work and God bless you.

  23. What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.
    -Blaise Pascal

  24. Don,

    You said this. The obvious answer is that Paul was talking to an assembly that had believers and unbelievers.

    This is not the obvious answer. At least not for me.

    When I read the Bible I hear God talking directly to me. I don’t view things from the perspective of what audience Paul was speaking to. I hear the Word of the Living God(Jesus Christ) speaking directly to me. It cuts right to the very core of my spirit. After all ,Christ is the living word.

    Just like when Paul is speaking hear to Titus in 1:16

    Tit 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

    I hear Christs words speaking through Paul directly to myself. People need to read the Bible for themselves and not rely on anyone’s view of it.

  25. Klaus,

    Everything written in scripture is not to be applied as if it were to be followed by you. Some of it is instruction to the Jews. Some of it is just history, etc. God gave teachers in the Church for good reason. Without teachers people misapply what is written. The fact is that the Bible teaches salvation by belief in the Savior that God provided.

    A few scriptures misapplied does not nullify the scores of clear passages that say salvation comes by believing God.

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