A family member who claims to be a Christian, yet speaks of God, heaven and hell in flippant, blasphemous terms.
A friend who claims to be saved but makes comments that cause me to wonder exactly what she's trusting in for salvation.
A fellow author who claims to be saved, yet shouts from the housetops that salvation is a four-step process and has even used the comment section of my own blog to preach his beliefs.
What is wrong with this picture?
For years now, I've been posting daily posts on this blog. For the most part, these posts have been of an encouraging and inspirational nature. There have been some instructional posts where I've shared insights I've had in my Bible reading. But one thing that has recently come to my attention is that I've not written many posts about salvation--some but not many. And the reason might surprise you. It wasn't because I felt the topic wasn't important or because I feared it was too controversial. Naively, I assumed that if someone was taking the time to read my blog, they were probably saved. But in the light of recent events, I'm beginning to wonder if that's really the case.
First off, it is entirely possible for someone to stumble upon my blog and begin reading because they're looking for answers to some of life's toughest questions. Saved or unsaved, we all have questions and will sometimes step outside of our comfort zones to find answers. Secondly, these recent events have me wondering how many definitions of "saved" and "Christian" there are in this world. What does it mean to be saved? How does one get saved? What's with the phrase "born again"? What does the word "Christian" mean, and is it the same thing as "believer"?
Sadly, the gospel of Christ has been added to, taken away from, mixed up, beefed up and twisted to the point where people don't know what to believe. Many believe a certain way because that's the way they've been taught, yet they've never taken the time to dig into God's Word and discover the truth for themselves. Some call themselves believers or Christians because it sounds good and makes them feel as if they're in good standing with "the man upstairs" (a term I personally despise). And it makes you wonder, when Christ calls the church home, how many people who claim to be Christians are going to be left behind?
For this reason, the Lord has laid it on my heart to do a series on salvation including what it entails and what it doesn't. We'll discuss grace, faith, baptism and some other topics that may be a bit controversial, but for that reason, I hope to let the Bible speak for itself. God's Word is powerful, and it has all the answers we seek. My prayer is that through this study, salvation's message will become clear and understandable.
My request to you is that you read each post with an open heart and mind. Even if you know the truth or think you know the truth, I beg of you not to skip these posts. Read them. Read the Scriptures contained within each post, and allow those verses to speak to you. If your view/belief is in agreement with the Scriptures, praise the Lord! If not, pray and ask God to reveal the error to you, and keep in mind, the error will always be in our own thinking and not in the Word of God.
One last thing, you are invited and encouraged to comment on any posts; however, this is not a battleground, and I do not wish for my blog to become a hosting site for mud slinging or name calling. If you have an opinion, please state it, but be sure to back it up with Scripture. If you don't like someone else's opinion (including mine), that's fine, but please speak the truth in love, as the Bible commands. I assure you this series is not intended to stir up strife or discord, but rather to state the truth and clear up confusion. And by God's grace, it will make a difference in someone's heart!