Q. My question: When I became a Christian at 19 it was because someone told me about Jesus Christ dying for my sins. I didn’t know anything else except I wanted Him as my Lord. I built my doctrine from there by reading the Bible and attending churches and fellowships.I’d like to know what you believe can keep a person from actually having been saved.
A. The Lord gave us the bottom line for salvation in John 3:16 and again in John 6:28-29. Belief that Jesus died for all of our sins is all God requires of us. He added no other conditions.
Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness and Catholic theology have two big problems with their official doctrines on salvation. First, they all add some kind of religious work to to belief, making behavior part of the cause instead of the effect of our salvation. In so doing, they’re really saying that the Lord’s death alone was not sufficient to save us, we have to apply our own effort to get the job done.
Second, when you peel the onion all the way back, you see that they make Jesus out to be a created being, contrary to the Biblical position that He’s our Creator. Speaking of Jesus, Paul wrote, “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him” (Colossians 1:16). No created being is qualified to die for our sins, whether angel or man.
Both these beliefs are in conflict with the Lord’s teaching on salvation and if accepted whole heartedly can prevent it.
All that said, I’m convinced there are untold numbers of ordinary people from those and other organizations who in their hearts believe that Jesus is Lord and His death was sufficient for their salvation. I base this belief on the Lord’s letters to the Churches in Thyatira (Rev. 2:18-29 and Sardis (Rev. 3:1-6). I believe Thyatira was written to the Catholic Church and Sardis was written to Protestants. In both leters the Lord hinted that some from among them would be saved while others will not. In both cases those described as overcomers are the ones who reject the false teaching being criticized by the Lord and rely solely on Him for their salvation.