Tag: religion

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.

A Nameless God?

I had a great exchange with one of the recipients of the Bible Sessions. She lives in the Philippines and was recently married. Even though she lives far away, I will keep her name anonymous:

Anon: I agree with you, I personally like to talk to people with different beliefs, not to challenge their religion, but to understand their faith. I am a very broad-minded person so trying to understand people’s feelings, culture and faith are things that interest me. I like to know their views and know more about their religion. I sometimes share with them my faith. I try to avoid telling them this and that about the Bible, but instead, I share with them my experience with the Lord and how God loves everyone. I try to emphasize that our God loves each of us equally, no matter what religion we have, and that there’s no right or wrong religion. I honestly have not encountered any “cults” although I’ve seen some on television. There are cults and I pray for their enlightenment. I know that God still loves these people and would want to save them. I pray that they find and experience God’s love.

Dave: Thanks for commenting. I always look forward to your thoughts. It is great that you share with others the love of God. When you say that there is “no right or wrong religion,” however, you must be careful about the ramifications of that statement. Our life’s experiences should not trump what God has said to mankind. Jesus gave plenty of warnings about false teachers, false Christs, and false religions. If other religions such as Islam and Hinduism (which worships thousands of gods) are right, then Jesus and the entire Old and New Testaments are wrong. The Bible clearly states that only Jesus is the Door to Heaven (Acts 4:12 and John 14:6 among others) because He alone conquered sin and death. No other religion has done this. Islam states clearly that Jesus is NOT the Messiah and that He is NOT the Son of God, and Hinduism either never acknowledges Jesus or merely adds Him to their list of thousands of gods, which is a huge slap in God’s face and it breaks the number one rule of the Old Testament that there is only One God and we should never worship any others. Islam says that their god, Allah, would never demean himself and become a mere man, he is too high up to lower himself to our level. Our God says that he loves us so much that He was willing to come down to our level so that He could save us. Quite a difference! To say that the other religions are right hurts the true God very deeply. So think your belief through more on this issue as to what you are actually saying and believing. Please realize that I am not making up these statements about Christianity, I am taking the Bible for what It says because the Bible is either the Word of God or it is not. If It isn’t, then maybe all religions do work, but then Christianity is a lie. We all must decide which side are we on. There is no middle road when you compare what religions believe. Please feel free to comment further if you would like to. Thanks.

Anon: I was actually thinking that I respect other people’s religion that I don’t consider their faith as “right or wrong” because as long as they do good and share love to their neighbor, then their faith in their God is doing them good. Everyone thinks that their religion is the “right” one and the others’ wrong. They have different “scriptures,” thus they base their faith on their “book.” I base my faith in my love of God, and my experience with Him. Every time other people talk about their religion, I listen but if they start telling me that MY choice of religion or faith is wrong, then they will definitely hear from me… but of course, I don’t fight with them. I tell them what I need to say and keep quiet. It’s up to them to listen to me or not.

Dave: You said, “As long as they do good and share love to their neighbor, then their faith in their God is doing good for them.” But then do they have eternal life with the true God? The Bible states that “all have sinned and have fallen short of God.” So no one ever does enough good or loves their neighbors enough to deserve eternal life. All must go through the cross of Jesus to gain forgiveness. He is God’s ONLY Son. When the human race in Adam choose to disobey God, all humans were locked out of eternal life. God had to do something to open that door again and He says that faith in Jesus alone will do that because of what He accomplished on that cross. If what you’re saying is true, then there would be no need to evangelize to our neighbors and to the nations as Jesus has commanded us to do. Furthermore, if I were Jesus and there were other ways to God the Father, I would never come down to earth and suffer and be crucified. We cannot trash what Jesus has done for us by saying other religions, which will contradict the Bible, are okay for others even though we believe in Jesus. Ever wonder why many people get mad or just turned off when we tell them about Jesus? At first thought it is strange because it’s such a lovely story about love that guarantees eternal life. This should be perceived as good news to everyone. But the Bible says that sinners are blinded by the god of this world, the Devil, and he hates Jesus and God. He is ruling their souls but they do not realize it. This is why they get mad or turned off. With all issues, believers in Jesus must use the Bible as a guide to sift truth from error because the Bible is God’s Word. If other “scriptures” from other religions are true also, then whoever is up there (God) is contradicting himself and I do not want to worship a phony, contradicting deity. Food for thought – Thanks for taking time to write,

Anon: Hmmm.. it only proves that I really really need to start reading my Bible. 🙂

Dave: Great response! I really appreciate what God is doing in your heart! Hugs and kisses from the Savior to you.

End Note: I recently contacted her and asked how she was going, and she said she is still reading her
Bible. Music to my ears!

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