That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life...
Philippians 2:15-16a

Thursday, June 9, 2011

From Eschatology to Soteriology

When I was in Bible College I had to take 4 semesters of theology.  Which basically makes me an expert on God!

JUST KIDDING!!!  No really...  Bible College didn't make me an expert in spiritual things, but 4 semesters of theology taught me a lot.  There's certain subjects that if you studied them for that length of time you probably would qualify as an expert.  With God is different.  There's always more to learn.  The knowledge of the Bible can never be exhausted.  That's what makes being a Christian fun!  We're always learning, growing, and discovering more about our Almighty God.

Anyways, in my 4 semesters of theology ("theology" is the study of God), we studied a lot of other "ologies" too.  Ecclesiology, Eschatology, Bibliology, Soteriology, and... yeah, I can't remember the rest, but I'm pretty sure there were more.  

My last post dealt with eschatology, which is the study of end times.  I think this is one of the most debated of the religious "ologies."  Lately, I've been doing some reading about soteriology.  That's the doctrine of salvation.  I wrote a bit about salvation before here.  I know there's a lot of differing opinions about many Bible doctrines, but honestly, I thought soteriology was one we all had figured out.  I mean Romans 10:13 is pretty clear! Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.  It's not that complicated.  At least to me it isn't.  

But then people start asking questions.  What about faith?  What about repentance? What about grace?  What about works?  Doesn't the Bible say you need to be baptized for the remission of sins?  What about the elect?  What about the un-elect?  What about predestination?  What do I have to DO to be saved?  Do I need to pray a prayer?  How do I know if I'm saved?  Can I loose my salvation?  What if I sin after I'm saved?  Is Jesus' blood necessary for salvation?  Can I resist the grace of God?  Does man have a choice when it comes to salvation?  What part does the cross play in salvation?  What part do I play in salvation?  Do I need to speak in tongues if I'm saved?  What about the baptism of the Holy Spirit?  Do I receive the Holy Spirit immediately, or is it a separate event from salvation?

There are many who would say questions like this don't matter.  These are unessential details.  Don't worry about the answer.  It's okay if we have different ideas or opinions.  Really?  Is it OK?  Is it unessential?  I mean we're talking about the salvation of souls here!  We're talking about deliverance from sin, death, and hell!  That sounds pretty ESSENTIAL to me!  What's the point of the death and resurrection of Christ if we categorize aspects of salvation as unimportant or non-essential?

Sadly, many of come up with some very non-biblical answers to these questions, even though God's Word has ALL the answers.  This article deals with a common mis-interpretation of salvation, and is kind of what got me thinking about this again.

Salvation is vitally important, because what you believe or don't believe about it will determine your eternal destiny!

Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. 

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:


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