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  “Have You Been Saved?”

Jarrod Jacobs

 

 

"The Old Paths" Bulletin by Jarrod Jacobs

   www.southside-churchofchrist.com

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Jesus said in the Great Commission: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mk. 16:15-16). To be “saved” from sins means to have the “remission of sins” (Lk. 24:47). Our sins are forgiven through the blood of Christ (Eph. 1:7) when we have enough faith in the gospel (and in Christ, Jn. 8:24) to repent of our sins (Lk. 13:3; Acts 2:38), confess our faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10), and be immersed in water (Mk. 16:16; Acts 22:16).
The gospel message is the same regardless of who we are, where we live, or our economic status. There are not many roads to Heaven, just one (Jn. 14:1-3; Matt. 7:13-14). Unfortunately, some people know they are lost and have made no effort to accept salvation in Christ. Other people have been misled by false theories and false teachers into thinking they are saved when they are actually lost. This is why there is no more urgent question than the question, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30) Each one of us needs to ask the question, “Have my sins been forgiven by the blood of Christ — have I truly accepted the salvation He gives through the gospel?”
Yet, the world today wants to fight against God’s plan and deny the simple statement of Scripture that says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved...” (Mk. 16:16). Sadly, this simple statement has been distorted by many through the years. Let us compare what the world teaches with what the Bible says.
ATHEISM teaches, “He that believeth and is baptized shall NOT be saved.” Atheism says there is no sin, there is no Hell to shun, and no Heaven to gain. This doctrine teaches the exact opposite of the Bible. We cannot be saved by professing atheistic theories.
UNIVERSALISM teaches, “He that believeth not and is not baptized will still be saved.” This doctrine teaches that everyone is going to Heaven, all roads lead to salvation, and all religious and irreligious people will be saved. Universalism says God will accept us in atheism, Judaism, Mohammedism, Buddhism, Satanism, idolatry, or in anything else we wish to follow. Yet, that is not what Christ said (Jn. 14:1-6, 10:1-2, 9).
CALVINISM teaches, “He that is saved shall believe and be baptized.” This theory claims that God picked out some people to be saved and some to be lost, and picked them by name before they were born. The Bible does not teach this. Calvinism comes from the concept of “fate” in ancient Greek philosophies. Jesus said to preach the hope of salvation to “all the world” and to “every creature.” All who obey the gospel can be saved; He did not teach that the “elect” or saved people were chosen by God before the world began (Matt. 20:28; Heb. 2:9; Matt. 28:19; Mk. 16:16).
CATHOLICISM teaches, “He that is baptized as an infant shall be saved, then he can believe at age 12 in a confirmation service.” An infant is NOT a sinner, but is born pure and innocent (Ezek. 18:4, 20; Matt. 18:1-4; Col. 3:25). Jesus said no sinner can be saved unless he first believes the gospel. The infant cannot do this (Rom. 10:17; Mk. 16:16). This theory of inherited sin has been passed down in several religious bodies (Episcopal, Lutheran, etc.), but it is not the gospel of Christ. Infants are innocent, but they are guilty of sin when they “grow up” and reach an age in which they choose to yield to temptation and sin (Jas. 1:14-15). Then, they are lost until they are immersed (Acts 2:38).
PROTESTANT DENOMINATIONALISM teaches, “He that believeth shall be saved immediately at the point of faith, and can be baptized later as an act of obedience.” Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, are just a few of the popular preachers that have taught this human tradition through the years. The most popular religious bodies (Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc.) hold out the same false hope. This is not the gospel which saves by the authority and blood of Christ (Gal. 1:6-9).
Conclusion
   Some folks might say, “Any and all of these theories will save.” Jesus said that there is just ONE GOSPEL and ONE WAY to accept the gospel — it is the same for “all the world”and “every creature” (Rom. 1:16; Jn. 14:6; Mk. 16:16; Matt. 28:19; Gal. 1:6-9). We ask in love, kindness, and deep concern for your soul, “HAVE YOU BEEN SAVED FROM YOUR SINS?”
The Question Was Asked: “What is the eternal fate of children killed by abortion?”
Response:
According to the Bible, a child killed by abortion (I might add a stillborn child, etc.) is one that is safe before God. What do I mean by “safe”? Simply put, this child (killed by abortion, stillborn, etc.) stands before God as one without sin. Ezekiel 18:20 says, “The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, or will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.” On one occasion, the apostle Paul discussed Jacob and Esau when they were yet unborn, and said they had not done “any good or evil” (Rom. 9:11). Once we understand the Bible truth that men are individually responsible for their own sins, and no one else’s, we can understand how it is that an unborn child would be safe before God. That unborn child has done nothing which could be called sin. Why? Because “sin is the transgression of the law” (I Jn. 3:4), and that baby within the womb of the mother has not transgressed God’s law. The apostle Paul said on another occasion, “He who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality” (Col. 3:25). As we continue looking to the Bible for answers, I find hope and comfort in the words of David. After losing his son to death, he said, “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me” (II Sam. 12:23).
As opposed as I am to the slaughter and killing of our unborn babies, and as sorrowful as it would be to endure the stillborn death of a child; one thing that provides me with some comfort is knowing that they are safe before God. Thankfully, they will not have to answer for the sins of their parents.
Thank you for your good question. Please feel free to write again, or visit with us as you have the opportunity to do so....
Sincerely,
Jarrod Jacobs
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