Question: The Bible says, “That if you shall confess with your mouth the, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Romans 10: 9-10). So, we believe that we’ve been saved through our faith in the Lord Jesus and that once we are saved we are saved forever. When the Lord comes, we will enter the kingdom of heaven. Is our understanding right?
Answer: The majority of the believers nowadays interpret the above scriptures in this way: We will be saved once we believe in the Lord. As long as we hold on to the name of the Lord Jesus at all times, and endure to the end no matter what sufferings we encounter, then we’ll be saved. When the Lord comes, He will take us into the kingdom of heaven. Is this thinking tenable and in accordance with the truth? Let’s fellowship about this question.
“That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Romans 10: 9-10). We all know these verses were said by the apostle Paul, but they are totally against the Lord’s word. The Lord Jesus never said one can enter the kingdom of heaven after being saved by faith. Instead, He said, “but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Only the Lord Jesus guards the gate of the kingdom, and only His word is the truth and the standard for man’s entry into the kingdom of heaven, while man’s word is not. We say that we are “saved by faith,” but this “salvation” only means our sins are forgiven, and we won’t be condemned or put to death by the law. It doesn’t mean that we have broken away from sin or gotten purified by practicing God’s words, much less that we can enter the kingdom of heaven. We have been forgiven of our sins by believing in the Lord Jesus, but the nature of resisting and betraying God still remains within us. When we encounter something unpleasant, such as natural or man-made disasters, illness, persecution and tribulation, we still can blame and misunderstand God. Some people have already believed in the Lord, yet they pursue worldly trends, greedily enjoy sinful happiness, and still often sin and resist God. How could such people possibly enter the kingdom of heaven? The Lord is holy and righteous, so He makes no exceptions. The Lord Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the Son stays ever” (John 8:34-35). Obviously, if we cannot break away from sin, we will not be able to enter the kingdom of heaven. So, the assertion of “One can enter the kingdom of heaven after being saved by faith” goes against the Lord Jesus’ word. Otherwise, He would not have said such words, “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
Where then did the concept of “being saved” come from? Is the real meaning of it equal to what we imagine?
Thinking back, when God created Adam and Eve, there was no death at all, and so, for them, there was no such statement as “being saved.” After they sinned, death started to come upon man. It was then that the concept of “being saved” came into existence. When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, God asked Moses to deliver them from the slavery of Pharaoh and lead them to the good land of Canaan. At that time, the Israelites were saved by breaking away from the slavery of the Egyptian Pharaoh. When God decreed the laws and commandments to guide man’s life on earth, as long as man could keep them and offer sacrifices to God after sinning, then they would be saved. Therefore, “being saved” in the Age of Law meant that man gained God’s blessing and protection through abiding by the laws of Jehovah. This salvation enabled people to know what sin was, but their sinful behavior was not resolved then. Therefore, at the end of the Age of Law, man couldn’t keep the laws, and offered lame or blind cattle and sheep on the altar as sacrifices. According to the law, they would have been condemned and put to death. However, as God couldn’t bear to allow them all to die under the law, He was incarnated for the first time against such background, and was nailed to the cross for man as man’s sin offering. As a result, man only needed to pray and repent and confess to the Lord Jesus to be forgiven of their sins, and would no longer be condemned and executed by the law. This is what it meant to be saved in the Age of Grace.
God’s work is done according to the age and the stage. It is always changing, and thereby man is required to keep up with it. If we fail to follow God’s footsteps, we cannot be saved, and will only be eliminated by His work.
When the Lord Jesus began to do His work, the Pharisees didn’t know this principle of God’s work, but lived within an imagined conception of truth, and held to the words in the Scriptures, “that whoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered” (Joel 2:32). In their belief, all that was needed to be saved was to keep the law. So, they didn’t seek or investigate the new work carried out by the Lord Jesus, but instead rejected and resisted it. Ultimately, they were punished and cursed by God. Surely, they were not saved despite their confidence in that. Isn’t the outcome of the Pharisees worthy of our contemplation? In regard to the scriptures “That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Romans 10:9-10), the salvation here actually refers to having man’s sins forgiven in the Age of Grace, with the result that man is qualified to come before God and pray, commune with God, and enjoy the abundant grace and truth of God. But the root of man’s sin hasn’t been resolved and they can still sin endlessly, so it cannot be said that man has truly been saved.
Now, brothers and sisters in all denominations and sects live in sin involuntarily, and no one is exempt. Satanic dispositions, like arrogance, greed, maliciousness, selfishness, and craftiness, can all be seen within us, and we have already got used to them. People who have believed in the Lord for years have known a fact: Though our sins are forgiven by the Lord, we can still commit sins in spite of ourselves. We still tell lies to seek fortune, fame, and position. We are arrogant and do not accept the truth. When calamities befall us, we complain against and betray God. Although we frequently speak of honoring God as great, we still adore and follow man in our hearts. Sometimes, for the sake of position, we try to exalt ourselves and stand in the place of God to let others look up to us. Worse yet, we separate into factions, form cliques, and establish our own independent kingdoms. It can be seen that, with satanic nature, we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven even if our sins are forgiven. These manifestations are sufficient to prove that we are still of Satan, are not truly saved, and are enemies of God, for which we will surely be condemned and punished by God.
God’s disposition is righteous and holy, so He requires us to break away from sin, and become cleansed and changed. It is mentioned many times in the Bible, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). “And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Revelation 14:5). “Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). These verses tell us clearly that people who can enter into the kingdom of heaven are sinless, pure and unblemished. Just think: Can God bring men as filthy and corrupt as us into His kingdom? Are such people worthy to gain entry? About these issues,shows us a definite answer. God says, “You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. And so you, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance.” “At the time Jesus’ work was the redemption of all mankind. The sins of all who believed in Him were forgiven; as long as you believed in Him, He would redeem you; if you believed in Him, you were no longer a sinner, you were relieved of your sins. This is what it meant to be saved, and to be justified by faith. Yet in those who believed, there remained that which was rebellious and opposed God, and which still had to be slowly removed. Salvation did not mean man had been completely gained by Jesus, but that man was no longer of sin, that he had been forgiven his sins: Provided you believed, you would never more be of sin.” God’s words are very clear. The root of sins is still within us although our sins have been forgiven. Though none of us are willing to sin against the Lord subjectively, we commit sins despite ourselves. It’s like cutting the leeks; they get cut over and over again, but they come back every time. Hence, we still need God to get rid of the corrupt disposition of resistance and disobedience to Him within us.
We can’t save ourselves, so we need to accept God’s salvation.
It says in the Bible, “For by grace are you saved through faith …” (Ephesians 2:8). From this verse, we can see that “being saved” is, on the one hand, because ofcoming to man, and on the other hand, because of our faith. That is, when God’s work of salvation comes to us, we must believe and follow in order to be saved. God’s word says, “Man’s flesh is of Satan, it is full of disobedient dispositions, it is deplorably filthy, it is something unclean. People covet the enjoyment of the flesh too much, there are too many manifestations of the flesh, and so God despises the flesh to a point. When people leave behind the filthy, corrupt things of Satan, they gain God’s salvation. But if they remain incapable of divesting themselves of filth and corruption, then they will still be under the domain of Satan. People’s conniving, deceitfulness, and crookedness are things of Satan; by saving you, God separates you from these things and God’s work cannot be wrong, and is all in order to save people from darkness. When you have believed to a certain point and can divest yourself of the corruption of the flesh, and are no longer enshackled by this corruption, will you not have been saved? When you live under Satan’s domain you are incapable of manifesting God, you are something filthy, and shall not receive God’s inheritance. Once you have been cleansed and made perfect, you will be holy, and you will be normal, and you will be blessed by God and delightful to God.” God’s words show us the path to the kingdom of heaven. Only by accepting this stage of God’s work of judgment and chastisement in the last dayscan we be cleansed and saved and enter the kingdom of heaven. If we are satisfied with being saved through faith, then we are simply sitting passively to await destruction. Because this stage of God’s work in the last days is to bring the age to an end, and to separate all according to their kind and reward the good and punish the evil; it is the last work to save mankind, and will bring everything to a close as well. Those who are incompatible with God and refuse to accept His work in the last days, as well as the wicked in resistance to God, will all end in destruction, which is unalterable by any person. God’s words say, “After God’s work ends, among all His creatures, there will be those who will be destroyed and those who will survive. This is an inevitable trend of His management work. No one can deny this. Evildoers cannot survive; those who obey and follow Him to the end are certainly to survive. As this work is that of humanity’s management, there will be those who remain and those who are eliminated. These are different outcomes of different types of people, and these are the most suitable arrangements for His creatures.” God’s words tell us clearly that there will be creatures who will be destroyed and creatures who will survive when His work is finished. Nowadays, God has reclaimed the work of the Spirit throughout the universe and worked on this group of people who have accepted His work of the last days. Only when we follow the footsteps of God, accept His judgment and chastisement, and have our corruptions diminished, only when we become the ones who truly love and obey God and no longer disobey or resist Him, will we be truly saved.
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