Believing vs Following

Ruth D – My husband believes in Jesus, and he believes God raised Jesus from the dead, so it seems like Romans 10: 6-10 is saying he is saved, but he’s not in love with Jesus. So is he saved?

Dave – We can’t take one passage build an entire doctrine upon it. We need to take all verses in the Bible into consideration before drawing conclusions on questions and issues. Regarding this one, Jesus told people to not only believe in Him but to also follow Him. Many Americans will tell us that they believe in Jesus, meaning that He is the Messiah and died for our sins and rose from the dead. But many of these are not following Him. Jesus said we are to take up our cross, deny ourselves, and follow Him. This means our “self” no longer rules and we live for Him (not that saved people do this perfectly all the time, but they DO do it). If a person shows no signs of repentance or salvation, then I would say they are not saved (but I am never with anyone 24-7 to know this for sure). James speaks about faith without works is dead and that a person would show their faith by their works. This means that if a person has real faith that saves, then there will be evidence flowing through their behavior that a change has taken place. In addition, Jesus told of a man who was “dressed in the wrong clothes” at “God’s Big Banquet in the sky.” Apparently he thought he was saved, but wasn’t.

Having said all that, I hasten to say that I cannot judge your husband by pronouncing him unsaved. It is just too deep for my spirit to do correctly. I would certainly encourage him to read the Word, attend church, and plug into other believers. If he refuses all of these options until his death, I doubt his salvation but I do not sit on God’s Throne. A good question to ask folks is not if they are a Christian, but rather are they following Jesus?


Pat T – I agree with everything Dave says and want to add something I recently read by Os Guinness who pointed out that some people have many obstacles in their life to overcome before becoming true believers, but as long as they are heading in the right direction we should never judge them but encourage them in their journey toward the faith. One’s mate can be such an encourager. Guinness also points out that some may never arrive to the faith but we can’t make that judgment, only God has the privilege to know another’s future.

Alona R – I think you answered Ruth well and your answer should be taken to heart by her husband and many others that we know. Thank you for that explanation – I think I’ll save this for future use!

Gary R – I think its a very slippery slope when people start questioning people’s salvation possibly because someone’s ideas about salvation do not conform to their beliefs or behaviors. Be careful.


  1. Okay next Question, what about the thief on the cross? He said he believed, but he also witnessed to the other thief on the other cross, that this man has done nothing wrong. Jesus said, Today you will be with me in paradise. So do we really need all those works of faith? So many people or saved on their death bed. I am a follower and a believer and I am thankful that I can tell others about my savior. I feel that faith is in the fruit of the spirit, and therefore you will act accordingly.

  2. dscheer

    November 4, 2018 at 12:30 am

    Of all souls saved, I think death bed conversion is a low percentage. Sin over many years tends to harden hearts. I also think that if the repentant thief lived longer, he would have produced some good fruit since it is automatic with real faith…and God would, of course, know that.

  3. In the short time he had left, the thief repented, openly confessed his faith, cried out to Jesus, and witnessed to the second thief with the hardened heart by proclaimimg that Jesus was God. He believed, and then did the only thing that God told him to do. He obeyed God in that sense. This earned him his reward. How God measures for what reward we receive, I have no idea, but certainly it is important to respond in obedience to the Lord with each opportunity given. Remember His parable of the servants who worked different amounts of time, but the Master chose to pay them each the same amount. My first husband received the Lord in the last few weeks of his life
    During that short time God was building a relationship with him, but He spoke one message to him; water baptism. He made a decision to be obedient to the Lord in the one thing He asked him to do and then went through great pain and sacrifice to make it happen. This is an example of God giving someone an opportunity to earn their reward. Only God knows our hearts and can weigh what has been earned, but I believe every opportunity to obey Him is important whether you have one, or thousands.

  4. dscheer

    February 17, 2019 at 1:22 am


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