Q. I’m bothered by an article I read on the Internet about being “saved.” The writer quotes multiple scriptures, and states quite dogmatically that “one must believe in the resurrection…confess the resurrection…to be saved. He lists a series of common steps seekers are guided to take by various churches and evangelists such as, “Invite Jesus into your heart….” or “Accept Jesus as your personal savior …” or “Say the sinner’s prayer” as being inadequate. Do you agree?
A. Here’s what it comes down to. In John 1:29 John the Baptist introduced Jesus as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” These and other passages tell us that Jesus died for all the sins of mankind, but it takes belief for us to benefit therefrom. Those who don’t believe in His completed work will not inherit eternal life.
In Romans 10:9 Paul said, “If you confess (agree) with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Jesus literally took upon Himself all of our sins (2 Cor. 5:21) when He went to the cross. After the resurrection He ascended to His place on the throne of God. The point here is that since the Father cannot dwell in the presence of sin, the Son’s death had to be sufficient to take away every single one of our sins. If even one remained unpaid by His death He couldn’t be sitting at the right hand of God today and would still be in the grave. Simple logic tells us that His resurrection is proof of ours. In order for our belief in eternal life to have any substance, it has to be supported by our belief in the resurrection.
This doesn’t mean that I’m in agreement with the article you referenced, which I also found to be quite dogmatic. God judges us according to the motives of our heart, and is not looking for loopholes that would allow Him to exclude us. The Bible doesn’t say we have to confess the resurrection with our mouth, only that we have to believe it in our heart.