The Doctrine of Salvation

BUSTING THE MYTH

Around the year 2000 I was chaplain for a hospice team in Denton. The company I worked for needed me back in Fort Worth. I was more than glad to oblige them, but that meant leaving my “congregation” of terminally ill patients and families of which I felt a great responsibility. I prayed that my company would hire a minister with similar biblical beliefs. They did not. A minister’s denomination and education will most often determine his or her theology. When I discovered where my replacement went to church and where he went to school; fear gripped my heart. Those fears were confirmed during my three days with him in orientation. Throughout the first two days, my “theological alarm clocks” were ringing with every subject and approach we discussed. So, on our drive home the last afternoon I made a concerted effort to talk about the cross.

Our conversation went to Calvary and then to the two criminals crucified with Christ. I stated my belief that one criminal through faith and repentance received eternal salvation and the other because of his lack of faith and repentance did not. I was not really shocked when he said, “I just can’t see a loving god judging anyone. We all make mistakes. In the end god would accept both of them.” I don’t recall what I said, but I couldn’t wait to get him out of my car! A false prophet two feet away, in my car! Yuck. How could an ordained minister believe a myth like that? How could a Christian church or center for higher Christian learning teach something like that? The belief that eventually everyone will be saved, is a myth. The statement even contradicts itself. If everyone is granted eternal life, and there is no concept of sin, death and judgment, then why the need for the word “saved”? Saved from what? Saved from whom? It also contradicts the Holy Scriptures. For the Bible says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12, N.I.V. throughout lesson).” It’s biblically illogical too, “for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing.” (Galatians 2:21b). The belief that everyone will be saved is just something people make up in their own mind. This myth is a big part of our times. But it’s not the first time.

Purgatory was the myth of sixteenth century. It prevails today. In short, it teaches that if original sin had been remised through infant baptism, then the nominal believer could “pay off” the remainder of their sins in purgatory. Eventually they would be saved. This false doctrine and the selling of forgiveness that followed infuriated many of the reformers, particularly a young German professor.

 

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