Gettin’ Saved…the longest post ever.

Posted: March 27, 2008 in Theology

What does it mean to get “saved?” Around Easter everyone thinks they know the answer and they assume they know exactly how many people are going to Heaven with them when Jesus comes back. You hear it in the form of blogs or bulletins where people say, “200 people accepted Christ this weekend!!”

At the same time you hear many comments through the same church circles and the blog world where some dissenter wants to pick a fight and tell some “naive” pastor they are wrong about how many people really trusted Christ as their Savior.

Here is my take on the whole debate…

If I asked someone do you prefer Pepsi or Coke and they said, “Pepsi,” what would people assume about them? My guess is that people would assume they like Pepsi. If someone said, “raise your hand if you need a Bible” and you did I would bet that the person asking would bring you a Bible (if they had one). I think getting “saved” is a lot like that. It really is a simple declaration that someone made declaring to whom they belong. Praying a prayer is a form of the declaration, writing it down on a card might work, and ultimately you might even say yelling, “Jesus save me…I’m a sinner,” could work.

Most of the debate comes from those who want to complicate the initial step and skip all the way through the “following Jesus” process to the point where that person stands to be Judged.

In attempt to solidify my argument I’ll quote Ephesians 1:13-14 to shut up those who would run through the Bible trying to get people “unsaved,” to discredit a ministry, or to express their displeasure at their lousy own fruitless church/evangelism. It plainly says, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of His glory.”

This verse makes it even simpler…you just believe. When you do, you get a deposit that God would have to void (which would mean He wouldn’t accept Himself) to keep those that believed out of Heaven. For those “Bible Scholars” who run all over the Bible declaring some great Biblical reference to cancel someone’s salvation…here is my take.

Believed is in the aorist tense which means it’s past tense or that people believed…they aren’t believing. Believed is coincident with the “You were sealed,” so the sealing didn’t happen instantaneously. However, it means that its at God’s discretion when it’s given…but it’s promised. Finally, when they (those who believed) do receive the Holy Spirit as a guarantee, it for the very purpose of protecting them through the trials and testing of life, so they don’t “fall away.”

Bottom line…preachers share the Truth, people respond and believe (often times declaring it verbally or visually) and God sends His Holy Spirit to seal the deal. Picking apart someone’s response is tantamount to blaspheming the Holy Spirit who will soon reside in those who truly believed. If you want to pick a fight with converts you have to do it before they accept the Gospel…it’s too late afterwards.

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Comments
  1. Mitch Moyer says:

    Well said young man!

  2. Laurel says:

    APPLAUSE! Well done.

  3. Eve says:

    I never hear anyone talk about repentance and that being evidence of salvation. Why not wait to see the evidence before going around telling people they are saved. Some people may just want fire insurance and then continue on living life as they did before without turning from their sin , which they love, but now they are proclaming Christ as their “Savior” without submitting to Him as LORD of their lives. I think the danger is just telling people they are saved without knowing their hearts or seeing the evidence. There are people who have prayed the prayer many times but there is no power in their lives. Two things can happen, they either go on living an unchanged life believing they are saved or they later go on to reject Christ and believe that Christianity is a false religion because there was no change in them no matter what they did. Remember it is God that gives the Holy Spirit not any man. Also, I don’t think that getting saved is a simple decalaration nor would I compare it to a preferance to Pepsi or Coke. Give that person a blind taste test and I bet you will find that most will not even end up choosing Pepsi like they thought they would. (We actually did that one night after a ladies bible study and most everyone was suprised that they did not choose their “favorite”.) Anyway what did you have to do with your own birth? Nothing. You were just along for the ride. Being born again is the same. You have nothing to do with it and you can’t declare yourself into the new birth. Like Jesus said it is like the wind and no one knows where it comes from or where it is going. You don’t have to post my comment. I guess I just wanted you to see what I had to say.

  4. Just because someone ‘says’ he/she is saved doesn’t make it so. It just means there was a declaration. What makes it so is having genuinely beliefed in Christ as Savior. Unless I am a ‘heart reader’ all I know is that I heard a declaration, which might be true or false. Ultimately they shall be ‘known by their fruits’ and even they can be counterfeited!

    If I cannot truly know what is in a person’s heart and soul, I have absolutely no right to pronounce them saved! I can say a number of persons made professions, but since I am NOT God, I CANNOT pronounce them saved.

    “Picking apart someone’s response is tantamount to blaspheming the Holy Spirit who will soon reside in those who truly believed.”

    Questioning the genuineness of a response is in NO WAY blaspheming the Holy Spirit. And by the way, The Holy Spirit is present prior to a genuine decision to receive Christ, doesn’t appear afterwards. Due to man’s total inability to choose Christ on his/her own, being DEAD and all (see Ephesians 2), the Holy Spirit has to awaken the human heart in order to truly believe in Christ.

  5. Jeff says:

    So…Anthony,

    How do you explain John 15:1-3? Not everyone who claims to be a branch bears fruit and those branches get taken away and burned in the fire.

    The question isn’t “Do you know Jesus?” The question IS “Does Jesus know you?”

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