Answer: Salvation is the acceptance of Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, through confession with your mouth and belief in your heart that Jesus died, was buried and resurrected in three days, so that you could have redemption of sins through Gods loving forgiveness. Through salvation we are all accepted as Gods children, given access into heaven when we die and are justified to receive all of the benefits and blessings that we read in the Word of God.
Romans 10:9, 1st John 4:1-4
Answer: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Works follow salvation…. It is God’s plan that the true believer will obey the Lord and that means live for Him….living a godly life and doing good works. An unsaved man cannot do spiritual things because he does not have God’s Spirit and the new nature. (1 Cor. 2:14) Verse 10 says, Believers are God’s workmanship. Until a person by faith receives Jesus Christ as their Savior they are not God’s workmanship which means “something that is made.” Believers are made by God…”created” meaning to “to fabricate or manufactor” to do good works. The verse is saying plainly good works is what salvation by faith is to produce in one’s life. You saying works is a part of salvation is putting the cart before the horse.
The reason that James made the statement in James 2 confirms this truth. A man who has not by faith been born again, had his sins forgiven and received eternal life and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit cannot do works that please the Lord. God says that “faith without works is dead” meaning that true faith will produce works. Works without true faith…is done in the flesh, not in the spirit. A person who is not born again does not have God’s Spirit and cannot do “good” works. The flesh does not honor the Lord, only that which we do in the power and Spirit of God.
Therefore works are not a part of receiving salvation, but they follow true salvation.
Answer: Many people are being taught that a person can lose their salvation. I can assure you, by God’s own word, that if you have trusted in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation you have everlasting and eternal salvation. There is no salvation that is not eternal. That is plainly what God’s word says to us. Yes you can have absolute assurance of your salvation.
The fact that you are so concerned about assurance and knowing you will go to heaven shows that you are spiritually minded which is the mark of a true Christian. The lost or unsaved are not interested in the things of God. They do not ask God for forgiveness because they are not concerned about their sins. Being sorry for sins and repenting of them is what true believers do because the hate sin and want to overcome it in their lives.
I can honestly say that the devil wants us to be confused and wishes to keep us from having the full joy and peace of our salvation. Those who teach the false doctrine that one can lose their salvation do not understand God’s salvation and are being used to enslave people in a sea of doubt. Bible believing Christians believe and teach “Once saved, always saved.” 1 John 5: 1-13
Answer: The New Testament answers your question several times. It is not by faith alone or grace alone but as Paul states, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
In Romans 4:16, Paul is addressing the issue of law and grace with the Jews. God said through him, “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all” (Romans 4:16). Paul is saying that salvation is by faith through the grace of God. Salvation is not of the law (works) which never saved anyone but by faith as exampled by Abraham. God says we are saved by grace through faith. Faith is not a work, but a belief in Jesus Christ and God’s truths. This verse refutes the ideas of Calvinism which teaches that God has already chosen those who will believe and be saved. The offer of grace can certainly be rejected. The verse is saying that salvation is received by faith and if not by faith it is not grace and therefore a work under the law which cannot save.
Paul explains further saying, “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:2)
Answer: The phrase “Once saved, always saved” refers the biblical doctrine of the eternal security of a believer in Jesus Christ. It means that if a person believes and by faith receives Jesus Christ as their Savior, they cannot lose their salvation. Once a person is saved they are eternally saved.
When a person is saved God forgives all their sins and gives them eternal everlasting life. In simple terms that means, the true Christian has become an adopted child of God and will eternally be in God’s family. God forgives all past, present and future sins all we are required to do is to confess them and Gods forgiveness power releases us from the debt of sin which was paid by and through the blood of Jesus.
Sadly, some churches teach that salvation can be lost, but they are wrong and really do not understand salvation. Man cannot earn or merit salvation. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) In other words doing any “work” like baptism, church membership, good deeds, etc does not merit us salvation with God. A person is saved when they believe God and in faith repent of their sins and accept Jesus’ sacrifice alone for our sins. Therefore a person cannot earn their salvation, nor can they keep themselves saved by their good works.
Those that teach a person can lose their salvation are basically teaching that Christ only made the down payment on one’s salvation and the person then must keep up the payments by living a faithful life and not sinning. They teach a person can reject God and go back into sin and God then will reject that person and he/she will lose their salvation.
Believers can and do sin, God will chasten a believer who refuses to repent of their sins, but God does not take away their salvation. (1 John 1:8-10)
Answer: 2 Corinthians 5:1-8 addresses that question. It states that when a believer dies, they go to heaven to be with the Lord. “absent from the body, present with the Lord.” (Verse 8)
Christians then remain in heaven until the Rapture which is described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. At that time the believer returns to the earth and is resurrected and receives their new resurrected body. Christians will be with Christ in heaven and on earth in the Millennial Kingdom serving Him for all eternity.
Answer: A person may have”head knowledge” of Jesus and accept that He is, but not accept Him as their Savior. Theirs then is simply knowledge of Christ and accepting that He is real, but not believing in Him for salvation. It is hard to find anyone who does not say they believe in God. Yet, they refuse to have Him in their lives or to obey what He says. Thus they truly do not have a saving faith. Faith believes and acts upon that what they accept as truth. If they believed in God, then He is their Creator and they are responsible to Him…but they refuse to accept Him as their being responsible to Him.
Many say they believe but will not live for the Lord. This shows they are making a false profession, because their actions do not back up what they say. Jesus said to such people in His day….. “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46)”
Further Jesus explained this in Matthew 7,
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.“ (Matthew 7:21-23)
Answer: The Bible does not address the matter of how much time it takes to be saved, only that salvation is received by faith. “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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)
If the person who was dying had enough time or was coherent so they could understand and they believed asking God in their heart, or aloud, to save them they would be saved.
If the person had heard the Gospel earlier in their life they would have sufficient knowledge to believe.
We have all heard of what is called the “fox hole” prayer in which a person in a moment of danger when their life was threaten would pray and ask God to save them. Some of the time their belief in Jesus Christ was genuine and other times, people who prayed a “fox hole” prayer did not die, and when the danger was over continued to live like they had before.
So in reality we do not know if a person in such a situation, who asked God to save them expressed saving faith, or not. Only God knows our hearts and as Romans 10:10 says, with the heart man believes unto righteousness.
Our service to the Lord is to give a witness for Jesus Christ when we have the opportunity and circumstances permit it. It is the Holy Spirit that works in people’s hearts and brings genuine conviction over sin and enables a person to exercise saving faith. You would need to tell them that God loves them and that Jesus Christ died for their sins and offers them forgiveness of sins and eternal life if they will believe and accept God’s offer of salvation. Their response or understanding of the matter would depend on their prior knowledge of the Gospel to some degree, but mostly all men know there is a God. Your verbal witness to the person would be the convicting power of the Holy Spirit to illuminate the truth so that person could understand it. God is certainly capable of giving a person an understanding of the saving Gospel in such a situation, so understanding salvation would not solely depend on our being able to explain it in a short time. Whether they are saved or not would depend on their believing the truth as you explain it to them, and as the Holy Spirit works in their heart.