Were They Saved?

Q. When Jesus was dying on the cross He cried to his Father to “forgive them Father for they do not know what they do”. Are these people saved because of Jesus’ asking the Father to forgive them?

A. In a word, no. The Lord was interceding for them, but the only way people can be saved is by admitting they’re sinners and personally asking the Lord to save them. This was the lesson of the manna in the wilderness. Each person had to gather his or her own, and got just enough for themselves (Exodus 16:4-5, 16-18). In John 6:48-51 Jesus said the manna was only a model, and that He is the true bread from Heaven.

The manna was there for everyone, but could only feed those who gathered it. Jesus died for the sins of the world (John 1:29), but His death only saves those who ask for salvation (Matt. 7:7-8) and everyone who asks gets just enough for their own needs.

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