Q. The Pastor on Sunday was teaching on Discipleship and how we can be better disciples for Christ, He was drawing from (an apparently popular book) I have never read or even heard of. The Pastor said that we needed to Love God with all of our Hearts, Minds and Souls, and that this is a commandment, which I agreed with. He went on to say in order to show God that we loved him we needed to follow and obey all of Jesus’ Commandments in the New Testament and he listed about 44 of them. He then said that if we do not follow these then we don’t love God and we aren’t saved. He even said that our salvation is based on a lot more than a little prayer we said when we accepted Christ.
A. I haven’t read the book you mentioned, but from your description the Pastor’s message sounds far too legalistic. According to the way I read the Bible we’re saved because of what we believe, not because of how we behave. It’s true, the work of the Holy Spirit will change a believer’s behavior. But nowhere in the Bible is the loss of salvation threatened if we don’t keep a specific list of commandments. Ephesians 1:13-14 says the Holy Spirit is sealed within us at the moment we believe as a guarantee of our inheritance. That means the issue of our salvation was settled before we kept or broke even one commandment, let alone 44. 2 Cor. 1:21-22 says it’s God who makes us stand firm in Christ, not obedience to a list of commandments. And Jesus said that the only work God requires of us is to believe in the one He sent (John 6:28-29). Let’s take the Bible’s word for these things, not some currently popular book.