How much is enough to be saved?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JohnB, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. JohnB

    JohnB
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    In teaching Sunday School this past week, I made a comment that one cannot deny the divinity of Christ and be a Christian, so Mormons could not be saved.

    A class member commented that she did not think that was valid and we began an interesting discussion.

    I believe that, on the surface, Mormons would affirm the "divinity" of Jesus, his virgin birth, substitutionary death and resurrection. But, if you did dig deeper, obviously Mormons believe in a non-biblical Jesus, one who is the spirit brother of Satan. Not to mention all their other doctrines.

    My response to the class member was: Perhaps a "Mormon" can be a Christian, but only if they are a very bad Mormon, one who rejects LDS teaching. I see orthodox Christian doctrine as exclusive from Mormon doctrine.

    But the whole thing raises questions in my mind?

    How much do you need to affirm to be saved?
    How much can you deny and still be saved?

    For example - I think it is clear that you must believe in the substitutionary death and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor 15) I don't think someone has to know every doctrine at the moment of their salvation.

    So, a person has faith and affirms this and is saved. But, later, they deny the virgin birth and the divinity of Christ.
    Are they still saved? Were they ever saved?

    Trust me, I am not asking this out of some Pharisaical need to decide who is in and who is out. But if Christians cannot clarify who is saved and who is not, how can we ever identify the "lost" and evangelize them?
     
  2. JWI

    JWI
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    I think the word "believe" is misunderstood by many people.

    To believe in Christ is not to accept the veracity or to accept as true or real that Christ existed and died on the cross.

    That is one meaning of the word believe. But that is not the meaning of the Bible when it says to believe in Christ.

    To believe in Christ means to trust, rely, or depend upon Christ as your savior. You must trust in the work that Christ has done on your behalf to get you to Heaven and nothing else.

    A person may believe that Jesus was truly the Son of God and died on the cross. But if that same person believes they must perform good works to earn admission into heaven, they are not trusting or "believeing" on Jesus. They are trusting in themselves.

    I have used this analogy before, maybe not the best, but it gives an idea.

    Trusting on Christ is similar to a person jumping out of a plane with a parachute. In this situation, a person puts their very life on the line and DEPENDS upon the parachute only to get them down safely. If the parachute fails, that person will plunge to their death.

    I trust completely in Jesus to get me to heaven. I do not trust in any works that I can perform myself to get there. I have committed my very soul to Jesus to save me. If Jesus doesn't save me, then I am a goner.

    Mormons have many misconceptions about Jesus. But they do not trust in Jesus for salvation. Mormons teach that a person may obtain godhead themselves through good works. So they are depending or believeing in themselves.

    I am glad and grateful that I can depend on Jesus who will never fail. If I had to depend on myself there is NO WAY I would make it.
     
  3. JohnB

    JohnB
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    I see where you are coming from JWI.
    But here is an excerpt from from a website regarding Mormonism. Based on this , a Mormon could agree with what you said about trusting in Christ alone.

    "Salvation - Mormon: (1) For most Mormons this is equivalent to physical resurrection, the reuniting of body and soul on Judgment Day. This is the only free gift in Mormonism. This is why many can say they believe they are saved by Jesus alone. They mean that they believe they don't have to do anything to be resurrected. However, this salvation does not grant eternal life (exaltation). That is based on their successful completion of their plan of salvation. Mormonism states that if one makes no effort and is an unbeliever he / she will still be resurrected and assigned a place in the lowest kingdom. Therefore, a Mormon can say that a person is granted heaven solely on Jesus' atoning work. "

    You can see the nuances there.
    Are there not objective truths about Jesus that have to be believed? Doesn't true belief entail more than trust? But exactly the nature of the one you are trusting in?
     
  4. Salamander

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    Simply saved: an individual who acknowledges their sin to God. Convicted of that sin, is willing to repent of that sin and trust that Jesus is the Son of God and died for their sin. Then by their "conversation" ( a changed life that respects God and His Word)is willing with an open heart to receive what the Spirit saith. For with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    Works don't get a person saved, but works accompany faith. True faith/believing exhibits works that please God.

    Mormonism pleases Mormons.

    To believe Jesus to be the "spirit brother" of satan, is to belive that satan is the offspring of God: BLASPHEMY!!!!
     
  5. Salamander

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    Then God won't allow him to be a Mormon for very long. Just as there are saved Catholics that are just duped into the traditional teachings, but they don't stay Catholics long either. Just as lost people can be religious, but they junk their religion and get BORN AGAIN!!!
     
  6. Phillip

    Phillip
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    Good point JWI. You are making a decision to make Him Lord of your life.

    I will also say that a lot of new Mormons are not told the truth about their beliefs. Mormons are very tricky and usually until they go through a wedding in a temple they do not hear the full truth about Jesus and their beliefs about Satan and the fact that there was another god who created the Earth.

    Because of this reason and the fact that they do say Jesus is the Son of God and you put your faith on Him, I think more Mormons can be saved than people realize. Mormons are very sneaky these days and portray themselves as a very Christian based religion. This is also the reason they started giving away Bibles instead of the BOM on their television ads---plus the fact that whoever is their ad agency does a fantastic job of marketing them.....seriously.

    I have had family members who were Mormons on my wife's side and many of the newer ones did not know the beliefs and when they did go through the temple ceremony a few of them dropped out---and then some of them went deeper and actually became arrogant because they were going to become gods and we weren't.
     
  7. Artimaeus

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    It is not how much theology you possess it is how much of you does God possess. You may not be aware of some of the specifics before you surrender to the Lord but, you also cannot be rejecting of any of HIS truths.
     
  8. JWI

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    Don't know all that much about what Mormons believe, but I do not think they see themselves as sinners who need Jesus to die for their sins. They believe they can obtain godhead through good works and actually become equal to God.

    At least, I think that's what they believe.

    I would like to speak about the word repent. Everyone says you need to repent. And this is true. But I understand this differently than many.

    Repent does not mean turn from sin. Otherwise God himself would be a sinner.

    Gen 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

    Gen 6:7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

    Exd 32:14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

    Repent means to change your mind, attitude, or decision.

    Now, this definition makes these verses clear:

    Luke 13:1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

    Luk 13:2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?

    Luk 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

    Luk 13:4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?

    Luk 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish

    Comments- The Jews (and many other people in all ages) believed that if a man were prosperous or successful, that this was a sign that they were favored by God.

    But if a man was unfortunate, poor, ill, crippled, or disabled, they believed this to be a sign that these men were great sinners whom God was very angry at.

    Even Jesus's disciples had this misconception.

    Jhn 9:1 And as [Jesus] passed by, he saw a man which was blind from [his] birth.

    Jhn 9:2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

    Comment- This was, and still is the viewpoint of many people. Many people who were very fortunate view this as proof that they were righteous in God's eyes.

    And this explains Jesus's comments in Luke 13:2 and 4.

    "Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?"

    "Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?"

    Comment- This is where these people went wrong. They thought these people that died must have been great sinners and so God killed them. They also thought themselves to be very righteous because they were fortunate and thus favored and blessed of God.

    But Jesus was telling them that they need to change their thinking and attitude. They must realize that they too are sinners. They were no better than these unfortunate persons.

    They need to repent and quit thinking they were righteous. They need to see themselves as sinners.

    Only when a person admits to themselves that they are a lost sinner who cannot save themselves will they come to Christ for forgiveness.

    This is what repent means.
     
  9. JohnB

    JohnB
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    JWI said "They need to repent and quit thinking they were righteous. They need to see themselves as sinners."

    Great post JWI. I think that's the best encapsulation of the meaning of repentence I have seen.
     

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