Poll: Who of these four people is really saved?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Wittenberger, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. Wittenberger

    Wittenberger
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    I am curious how readers of this forum would respond to the following situation (this is not a trap to prove any doctrinal/denominational point):

    Four persons, John, Jane, Bob and Betty, who profess to be Christians are asked this question: How do you know that you are saved?

    All four answer this question with the exact same reply: “I know that I am saved because God says in his Word, the Bible, that if a person will believe, by faith, in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and repent/turn from his sins, God will save him and give him eternal life.”

    Then the same four people are asked a second question: Do you know “when” exactly that God saved you?

    John: “God saved me when I was 13 years old, on August 22, 1982 during an altar call at my church. I was convicted of my sins by the preaching of the Word. When the pastor called for those who wanted to accept Christ to come forward, I went forward and prayed a version of the “Sinner’s Prayer” with him, repented of my sins, turned my life over to the Lord, and was saved.”

    Jane: I grew up in a Christian home. I have loved Jesus ever since I can remember! I started praying to Jesus when I first learned to talk! I really can’t pinpoint an exact day and hour when God saved me, but I know that I am saved because I can state at this very moment that I believe by faith in Christ as my Lord and Savior and I repent daily of my sins. No good deeds will ever help save me. I rely 100% on the grace of God and his free gift of salvation for my hope of eternal life.

    Bob: I too grew up in a Christian home. I believe that salvation is 100% an act of God and is not dependent on anything I do, say, or pray. Salvation is a free gift of God’s grace, received only by faith.

    I was baptized as an infant, and due to my understanding of the Bible, I believe that as a child of Christian parents, God gave me the promise of salvation in my infant baptism. However, my getting wet in infant baptism nor my parent’s decision to baptize me, saved me. My parents raised me in the Word to nourish the faith that God implanted in my heart in my baptism. But I know for sure that I am saved ONLY because I can tell you at this very moment that I believe by faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and I daily repent of my sins. My salvation is a free gift of God, not dependent on my good deeds. To me, the “when” of salvation is God’s business. According to some Christians I am wrong about “when” exactly God saved me, that He didn’t save me in my baptism, but since my faith and hope is in Christ and not in my baptism, I don’t believe that my belief on the exact “when” of salvation, negates my salvation. It is the “how” of salvation that matters! The “how” of salvation is always by believing in Christ, by faith, accompanied with true repentance.”

    Betty: “Well, I’m not very religious. I only go to church at Christmas. I try to be a good person, though. That’s what really matters. Besides, I was baptized as a baby, so according to my Mom that means I’m a Christian.”

    So who of these four people gives sufficient testimony for you to believe that they are true Christians, children of God?
     
  2. The Biblicist

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    Three things wrong with this response. First, this response is a purely intellectualized ABSTRACT response without any related personal application of what they are abstactly affirming. A lost person could make the same claim.

    Second, salvation is an experienced change not a correct abstract response.

    Third, what they claim here to be the very basis for knowing their own salvation is what they directly contradict by their responses to the second question. They claim that the basis of knowing they are saved is their repentance of sin and faith in Christ and yet by their responses to the second question that is all repudiated in determining "when" they were saved. If this is their basis for KNOWING their salvation then it must be the basis for "WHEN" they were actually saved or they have repudiated this as their basis for knowing they are saved.



    This is also a questionable profession. This is a typical response under high pressured evanglism where they are made to feel guilty and then called to come forward and told how to confess and then told they must be saved because they did all the above. The same response could come from a lost person who simply was pressured to come forward and go through a recipe prayer and told they were saved. Again, salvation is a experienced transformation not a recipe or feeling.



    The truth of this confession is found in the words "I can't pinpoint an exact day and hour when God saved me" but in nothing else about her professed experience. No one can be saved without comprehending the need to be saved. No one is born saved but unrepentant. Repentance precedes faith and there is no such thing as a saved person who is in complete ignorance of their own sins and need for salvation. IF this person is a saved person it was somewhere between her consciousness of sin and her conscious faith in Christ as her savior and but not a millasecond before.



    This profession is a contradictory mess! The contradiction lies in the fact that he confesses he knows that salvation is received by faith but the only thing he THINKS to be true, cannot demonstrate to be true is that merely "the promise" of salvation had been given to him as an infant and yet faith must be RECEIVED or the promise is nothing! The scriptures clearly state that "faith cometh by the hearing and hearing by the Word of God." Salvation does not come by giving anyone the "promise" of salvation because the promise must be understood and received by faith or the "promise" is worthless.





    Not much doubt by the profession this is a lost person.


    There is good reason to doubt the salvation of all of them. However, if any of the first three are saved it is because of the PRESENT MOMENT confession rather than anything related to their past.
     
    #2 The Biblicist, Sep 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2012
  3. billwald

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    Straw man question. Jesus died for the sins of the world. All these people are "elect." None claim that Jesus performed miracles through the power of Satan.
     
  4. Wittenberger

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    None of us can be 100% sure that another person is saved. Only God can look into the heart of man and see whether he has true faith and repentance.

    What I'm asking in this poll is this: We each have a standard that we use to guage whether, to us, another person is truly a Christian. For instance, I have Jewish friends who consider anyone born of Christian parents as Christian. That is a very broad definition of "Christian". I would not use this definition.

    What is the "standard" that you use before you make the decision to acknowledge/address someone as your Christian brother or sister?
     
  5. The Biblicist

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    The Scriptures provide all kinds of characteristics for the sole purpose to help us distinguish between true and false professors. The whole book of First John is written that we might be able to "KNOW" what characteristics distinguish the saved from the lost.l

    Your post intentionally fabricated characteristics which you called upon the readers to make that very detemination.

    The problem is that you simply did not like the answers.




    If our "standard" is not Biblically based then what value is it? No value! Does the Bible provide characteristics to discern between the false professor and the truely saved? Yes! That is the standard I employed in my answers.

    1. Correct abstract professions do not mean that person is saved - James 2

    2. The "promise" of salvation saves no one unless it is received by faith - Jn. 3:16-19

    3. There is no salvation for those who are not conscious of their sins and need of a Savior - Mk. 2:17 (you cannot argue that dying infants are not made conscious of their salvation transactions because you have nothing to base that upon).

    4. No normal human being is born without need of repentance and faith but must respond to the gospel by repentant faith - Rom. 10:16; 2 Thes. 2:13-14;Rom. 1:16-17; etc.

    5. Salvation is inseparable from a CHANGED NATURE.

    The idea that a person can repent of sin and beleive in Christ and NOT KNOW IT is the absurd rediculous claim of paedobatist theology.
     
    #5 The Biblicist, Sep 8, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2012
  6. Amy.G

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    Did you realize you were a sinner bound for hell?

    Did you turn to Christ to save you by believing in His death, burial, and resurrection?

    Did you change afterwards?

    Do you now hate sin and the world system which promotes it?

    Do you love God more than anything or anyone?

    Do you hunger for His word?

    Do you go to church and worship with other believers?

    Do you love your brethren?

    Do you immediately feel conviction when you sin?

    Do you desire to please God in all you do?

    Do you desire to obey God?

    Do you study God's word daily?


    I could probably come up with more, but that's a start. :)
     
  7. saturneptune

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    None of us knows who is saved and who is not. Probably number four is not saved, but the other three could be. I really do not understand the point of the thread, but based on threads of the past, it is probably some type of anti-Baptist doctrine.
     
  8. The Biblicist

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    You got it! He is trying to justify infant salvation in connection with infant baptism.
     
  9. Wittenberger

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    Dear brother Biblicist,

    Some of my previous behavior has you spooked that I have an hidden agenda in this OP. I do not.

    I am very much aware that many Baptists/evangelicals would find it almost impossible to believe that a Lutheran,Roman Catholic,Greek Orthodox, or Anglican could be Christian. Your answer does not surprise me or upset me at all.

    I am just curious to see what the majority on this site say.

    I am very familiar with the criteria you give. But I would be interested in seeing a statement from you, written in the first person, of the public profession of faith/deeds that you would accept to believe someone is a true Christian. Let's use an imaginary person named "Roger":

    "Hi, my name is Roger. I know that I am a Christian because...".

    This isn't a trick, brother. It's simple curiosity. I'm not going to attack anyone who has a different criteria than I do.

    If you want to know what I would think of the four persons above it is this: I would accept the professions of faith of the first three as long as their lives/deeds match what they say. Do they "walk the walk, not just talk the talk."

    I would seriously counsel "Betty" that just knowing the right words to say when asked "how do you know you are saved", is not enough. True faith and repentance will always produce good works, as the Epistle of James tells us.
     
  10. Wittenberger

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    Once again, I apologize if some of my past behavior has you spooked to answer this OP.

    Its simple curiosity. I know some Baptists/evangelicals who believe that one absolutely must know the day and hour of your born again experience. Others (Calvinists) do not insist on knowing a day and hour, just that you know right now.

    Some orthodox Christians may believe that one absolutely must be baptized to get into heaven. Most do not.
     
  11. Wittenberger

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    Cool your jets, brother! There is no hidden agenda here. I have no intention of making a "final summary" statement on this OP. It is curiosity only. This has nothing to do with infant baptism or who's right, Lutherans or Baptists.

    Simple curiosity, my friend.
     
  12. Scarlett O.

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    It's possible that this guy is saved. There is no such thing as a "Sinner's Prayer" unless you are talking about a prayer that a sinner says on his own to the Lord, so that didn't save him. But he remembers a specific encounter with Christ where God did the leading/calling and he (John) repented of his sins and turned his life over to the Lord.

    I'm hesitant about this one. Growing up in a Christian home and feeling like she has "known" and prayed to him from babyhood disturbs me. As a toddler, what type of prayers was she praying? She cannot recall God calling her to salvation, she just "feels" saved because she grew up in a Christian home. Dangerous teaching there. I have trouble with these testimonies where one presently repents and believes, but cannot recall a time in his/her life when God initiated this, but "felt" this way from birth. I'm not saying you have to recall the exactly date and time, but one should be able to remember a life before and a life after God saving them.

    It's quite possible that this guy is saved also, but the whole infant baptism thing and the "promise of salvation" bestowed upon an infant who is baptized is not Biblical. His being sprinkled ushered in NO SUCH promise from God. God does NOT promise to save those babies who are baptized. God does NOT implant faith in the heart of an infant who is baptized. This guy is grossly deceived. It sound likes he believes that he WAS saved in infancy in the underlined portion above. Again one should be able to distinguish a "before" and "after" of salvation. The Apostle Paul speaks many times of "before" and "after". It's not that one is an immoral thug before salvation and a haloed goody-goody afterwards, but there should be a CHANGE - the Bible calls it becoming a NEW CREATURE. One should be able to say "God saved me at such-and-such point in my life. Before that time I was bound for hell and after that experience with God I am dead to sin with Christ."

    You don't know many Baptists, do you? :laugh: The above statement is quite uncharacteristic of Baptists.
     
  13. Wittenberger

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    The Baptists I grew up with believed that it was impossible for a Roman Catholic to go to heaven. They even had a joke:

    When a Roman Catholic dies, God pushes a button and they go straight to hell, no questions asked.

    I would be very happy to hear that the majority of Baptists do not feel that way.
     
  14. Michael Wrenn

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    See my answer in red above.
     
  15. Wittenberger

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    Does it surprise you that many of the Baptists on this site would question that you really are a Christian because you cannot recall a specific time of conversion?
     
  16. The Biblicist

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    That is not the point! The point is that when a person cannot recall being a sinner at all - such need no salvation at all.
     
  17. Michael Wrenn

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    Nothing much surprises me anymore.
     
  18. Wittenberger

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    We are all STILL sinners until the day we die. But we are sinners who have been given the promise of eternal salvation as a free gift from God, received by faith.

    There is no where in Scripture that states that one must be able to remember when he was an unsaved sinner in order to be saved. What matters is that each day you recognize that you are a sinner and recognize that without God's grace and mercy you would be lost and bound for hell.
     
  19. dcorbett

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    <<I am very much aware that many Baptists/evangelicals would find it almost impossible to believe that a Lutheran,Roman Catholic,Greek Orthodox, or Anglican could be Christian. Your answer does not surprise me or upset me at all>>


    As Scarlett said.....I know there are saved people
    in all faiths. I just don't know how they can stay in a doctrine that
    doesn't espouse the truth! My grand daughter's catholic boyfriend is
    saved, I have heard his testimony. But he won't leave that church, which
    teaches infant baptism and garbage like that!

    My daughter in law has left the mormon church, but she still believes
    that her grandmother and others went to Heaven, so I am not sure
    she knows what salvation is...if she believes that those devout mormons
    are in Heaven!
     
  20. The Biblicist

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    The point is that if anyone is saved they are saved the very same way - the Biblical way. God saves many within denominations who do not teach the Biblical way but He does it IN SPITE OF THAT!

    However, for a person to claim they are "saved" when they have no testimony of any salvation experience whatsoever but claim they have ALWAYS been saved is a complete denial of any consciousness experience of a lost condition and therefore a complete absence of any TESTIMONY of salvation whatsoever.

    I cannot tell you the day, hour or month when I was saved but boy I can tell you about the experience and when and where it occurred and I was raised in a Christian family from birth.
     

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