No one is saved because he or she says so; no one is saved because another person, a priest or a minister, says they are. No one is saved by going through some kind of ritual, teaching, baptism or liturgy simply because salvation is not external in any way. You may go through some kind of ceremony but that does not mean the ceremony has any effect or ever will.
When I was in China I learned that Chinese people are told there is a “Chinese Heaven” and that is where they go. Not so! There is only one heaven just as there is only one God and He is God of all mankind.
Even a marriage can be so out of order that God Himself does not recognize it. In Egypt in 2020 Christian girls are snatched away from their families, even their husbands, and “married” to a Muslim. That is not a marriage no matter how many pieces of paper say otherwise.
The Bible says clearly, Mathew 19:6 – What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
There are a group of subsidiary meanings we can infer.
#1- What God has not joined together, don’t try putting together.
#2 -God, ultimately is the One who joins people in marriage, who endorses a secular divorce, or perhaps refuses to acknowledge a divorce.
#3 – Nor does God automatically recognize people entering the church and saying they are part of the Kingdom of God. And finally,
#4 People that God does recognize as His People, no man, no prelate, no council of any kind can say otherwise.
And what is true of marriage and divorce also applies to the salvation process. So when a person asks you, “Am I saved?” your response should be well, are you? Ultimately every individual must know in his-her heart and have an assurance there. Sometimes it is many years later this happens.
Assurance of Salvation
My friend Betty found herself in a bizarre situation in 2001. The New York towers had just been hit by the terrorists and all airplane travel was closely watched. She went to Kansas for Christmas for business reasons and because she was in a airplane seat for so long a blood clot developed and she went to a hospital.
After being released to fly home she had a one-way ticket, a red flag to the authorities. She was also traveling alone in a wheelchair, another red flag. Sick and wanting to get home as soon as possible, she found every way home seemed to be blocked. January’s ice and cold chilled the entire USA. She told me, “As I faced possible death in the hospital, as I faced the authorities suspecting me of terrorism at every turn, I got serious with God. Was I going to make it?”
Alone and on an unfriendly tarmac, she learned that she was confident in God’s eternal care. You don’t need to be at death’s door, alone, cold and under suspicion. You can learn anytime what is your status in the kingdom. God said He is available always; we just must latch on to that and make it real in our lives. The ball is in your court.
Salvation is a Holy Disease
Either you have it or you don’t. But how to people recognize the holy position in the heavenlies when there are no outward signs?
We know all babies and small children are saved. Jesus says of them, “of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matt 19:14) The verb here is “Is” which means right now, today. At the age of consent the child becomes culpable for the sin that he/she inherited as a human being and the rest of that person’s life is devoted to the search for salvation, by faith… or not.
Repentance and its fruits
All the answers are right there in the Bible. It says:
Matthew 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
John the Baptizer was known for plain speaking. When the religious leaders came out to be baptized, which was to indicate a change of heart, he doubled down on them, insisting, don’t talk about being saved. Show us with a changed life. That is what “fruits of repentance” means.
God does not need to do different things or to do things differently. His word is settled so you are the one who changes, and all by faith.
You know someone is saved when their life changes for the better. Old ways are gone. Not necessarily all of them. Getting to know the King of Kings takes time.
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The Ministry of the Watchman – Not a prophet who maps out God’s future for the people of earth either individually or collectively, but an observer on the wall sharing a report of what God is seeing and doing in the world at large and also in the congregations of His people. Cornelia Scott Cree, Watchman, Change Agent, Essayist. See www.CorneliaScottCree.com.