Misconceptions Concerning Salvation
By David J. Stewart
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." —2nd Corinthians 11:3
There are many misconceptions concerning salvation. As innocent as some of them may seem, they effectively pervert God's GIFT of salvation into damnable heresy. At a minimum, such misconceptions confuse lost sinners about what God expects from them to be saved. There's a fine line between faith and foolishness, and between salvation and damnation. To be wrong about salvation is to be wrong about everything, for one's eternal destiny hinges on it.
"For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ" (2nd Corinthians 2:17).
Jesus commanded in John 5:39... SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES!!! Thus, the Word of God ought to be our Final Authority in all matters. I'm going to share with a few of the most common heresies circulating in America's churches today. Let see how they compare to the Bible:
Ask Jesus into Your Heart.
|There's nothing in the Bible about "asking Jesus" into one's Heart to be saved. Revelation 3:20 states, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Howbeit, this Scripture was spoken to believers (the church of Laodicea); not to lost sinners. To teach that a sinner needs to "ask Jesus to come into their heart" will likely confuse young children. How do you invite Jesus into a muscle that pumps blood? The bottom line is that a person DOESN'T have to ask or invite Jesus into their heart to be saved. One need only come as a guilty sinner, and BELIEVE on Jesus as their Savior to be eternally forgiven. Salvation is receiving; NOT giving.|
Be Sorry for Your Sin.
|There is nothing in the Scriptures about "being sorry" for one's sins to be saved. 2nd Corinthians 7:10 states, "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." The Apostle Paul was speaking to the church, concerning the man mentioned in 1st Corinthians 5:1-5 who was living in open fornication in the church. He was a believer (1st Corinthians 5:5). The man afterwards repentant, because of godly sorrow, i.e., the convicting power of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 12:5-8). A lost sinner, who has not the Holy Spirit, cannot reasonably be expected to have godly sorrow before salvation. Being "sorry" for one's sins is a matter of growing in grace, which requires time. Jesus never asked anyone to "be sorry for their sins" to be saved. Rather, one need only come as a guilty sinner, and BELIEVE on Jesus as their Savior to be eternally forgiven. Salvation is receiving; NOT giving.|
Forsake Your Sin.
|This is perhaps the most popular, and damning, misconception concerning salvation today. Although it is true that "repentance" is required for salvation, the word "repent" doesn't mean what a lot of people think. "Repent" in the Greek simply means, "a change of mind." Thus, repentance is a change of attitude concerning sin and the Savior; and NOT necessarily a change of lifestyle or surrender to Christ's will for their life. The heresy of "Lordship Salvation" requires a lost sinner to be willing to forsake their sinful lifestyle as a prerequisite to salvation. This is unbiblical. In effect, Lordship Salvation combines the FRUIT of one's faith with the ROOT of their faith, which is nothing less than WORKS SALVATION. A person does not have to forsake anything to be saved. One need only come as a guilty sinner, and BELIEVE on Jesus as their Savior to be eternally forgiven. Salvation is receiving; NOT giving.|
Pray a Prayer.
|I've read several Gospel tracts which lead the reader to "pray a prayer." Although there's no harm in praying a sinner's prayer for salvation, it is NOT necessary. The danger is that many people think prayer alone can save them. It cannot. Any prayer that is not rooted in faith in Jesus Christ is void. Only guilty sinners who "call upon the name of the Lord" shall be saved (Romans 3:19;10:13). I believe that soulwinners need to teach people that prayer by itself cannot save anyone. It is the precious, literal, physical blood of Jesus Christ that washes one's sins away (1st John 1:7), in response to our faith in Jesus Christ. Catholics pray, pray, and pray; but they are wasting their breath (Mark 7:6-13; Matthew 6:7). They have not Jesus Christ (Romans 10:3,4).|
Give Your Life to Jesus.
|This is another
popular heresy in ecumenical circles today. I've heard
numerous "Christian" radio personalities lead listeners to "give
your life to Jesus" to be saved. This is a lie. There must be
repentance concerning sin; NOT turning away from the act of sin
itself, but from the guilt and condemnation of sin. Romans
3:19 states, "Now we know that what things soever the law saith,
it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be
stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God."
The soul that TURNS to Jesus Christ by faith to be forgiven of sin
has repented. The Gospel of John mentions the word "believe"
85 times without ever mentioning "repent" even once. Clearly,
to believe is to repent.
In order to repent, there must be something to TURN "from and "to." Hence, Biblical repentance is TURNING "to" Jesus Christ "from" one's sins to be forgiven. If a person realizes their GUILT and justly deserved condemnation under God's Holy Law, because of personal sin; then all God requires for salvation is to BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST for forgiveness and salvation (Acts 16:31).
Judas gave his life to Jesus as one of His 12 Apostles; but Judas went to Hellfire in his sins. Being saved, born again, is one thing; learning to live a consecrated Christian life is an entirely different thing. 1st Peter 2:2 speaks of feeding on the "milk of the Word" of God. Giving one's life to Christ is a matter of Christian discipleship, and not of salvation. Many people are confused concerning salvation, foolishly mixing up the FRUIT of one's faith with the ROOT of their faith. It is clear from Romans 12:1,2 that the believers at Rome HADN'T surrendered their lives to God yet.
So we seen clearly from the Word of God that a lost sinner DOESN'T need to "be sorry" for his sins, DOESN'T need to "ask" Jesus into his heart, DOESN'T need to "forsake his sins", DOESN'T need to "pray" a prayer, and DOESN'T need to "surrender" his life to Christ to be saved. Salvation is receiving; NOT giving. Jesus paid our sin debt in full with His redeeming blood (1st Peter 1:18,19).
To be saved, you need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS... "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33). You need Jesus' righteousness, which is by faith alone in Him... "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2nd Corinthians 5:21). "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth" (Romans 10:3,4).
Salvation is not some hocus-pocus. It is not a philosophy that one learns. It is not a mere prayer. It is not a religious experience or ritual. Salvation is a supernatural act of God Almighty in response to our personal faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, Who came to earth as the Godhead in the flesh (John 1:1-3,14; 1st Timothy 3:16; Colossians 2:9). We are the sinners, and Jesus is the Savior. It's that simple. You don't need to give up anything to be saved. Eternal life is a "Free Gift" (Romans 5:15;6:23), paid for by Jesus precious, literal, physical, redeeming blood (Hebrews 9:12; Revelation 1:5).
Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness!