Sunday, July 21, 2024

Stop Making Salvation Complicated; God Made It Easy!

By Ken Blue

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13.

While a student In Bible College, I remember a story that I will never forget. Dr. Malone was preaching, and he told a story about a student who brought a lost man to the “altar.” Dr. Malone said he overheard the sinner say, “I don’t feel like getting saved today.” The student said, “You don’t have to feel like it, you just need to believe what Jesus did for you on the cross.” The sinner responded, “But I want to feel something.” Again the student assured him it was not a feeling he needed. He only needed faith. Finally, the sinner knelt and prayed, asking the Lord to save him. Dr. Malone said, “As soon as the two of them stood, the student asks, how do you feel?”

One of the issues confusing pastors and sinners, is the concept that one must “feel” a certain way or his salvation is not real. The problem is we have made feeling a synonym for conviction. Now, feeling may follow conviction. However, feeling need not, and many times does not. Feeling is not conviction, nor is conviction a feeling.  Conviction is a conclusion that one comes to about an issue. Some who get saved may weep and tremble, while another may laugh and shout. Then, there are those who show little or no emotion. Now, who of us can say for sure which person REALLY got saved? The answer is, none of us.

Getting saved is the easiest thing in the world. For the life of me, I can’t figure why pastors and evangelist want to put razor wire between the sinner and the Savior. “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;  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. 10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”Romans 10:8-13. Now, what could be easier? The text says the word is in the heart and mouth.

Then we hear the criticism about “the sinners’ prayer.” I am not sure how a sinner gets saved without a prayer. I guess there is some kind of sinners’ prayer that doesn’t work. If anyone knows what it is, they should enlighten us. We hear that one, two, three, repeat after me, won’t save the sinner. I would be curious how anyone knows that the sinner led in a prayer isn’t saved. The fact, my dear brother is, you don’t know if anyone gets saved or not. If they bawl and crawl their way to the “altar” on their knees, you and I have no assurance they really got saved. Personally, I would no longer announce if people get saved or not. I think the safe thing to say is we had a certain number of professions.

The Scriptures tell us how to believe, and what to believe. But, we are never told what emotional response or feeling one must demonstrate. Let me conclude with one example, and I have many.

About fifty-five years ago, my wife and I went to her brother’s house for the sole purpose of leading him to the Lord. Vernon worked on the rail road, and the heat in his boots had caused a rash. He was setting at the table applying alcohol. I presented the gospel to him, and ask if he understood. He said he did. I ask him if he would be willing to accept Christ, if I prayed with him. He responded with a “yes.” We prayed, afterward he continued to rub the alcohol on his leg. There was no weeping, shouting, or visible emotion. Vernon is still living for the Lord, and I am as sure of his salvation as I am that of any person reading this.

I believe in easy believeism. I think there is a mindset that we are in some kind of “Laodicean period,” where people have no interest in salvation. That mindset conditions our attitude toward the lost. So, we put every obstacle before them, and if they aren’t willing to jump them, we beat them up to confirm what we believed. I think we should remove every obstacle between the sinner and the cross, and do everything in our power to get people to accept Christ; so did Jesus, and Paul. Believing is easy for those who believe.

“…unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21  To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22  To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” 1 Corinthians 9:18-22

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  1. This is 1) irresponsible and 2) unsound.
    1) Easy-believeism is not a cute phrase but a dangerous error. Salvation is more than simply “believing” in Christ. One must believe and repent. There must be a change of heart, a turning from sin. To promote easy-believeism, even only defined as emotionalism, is irresponsible.
    2) The author does not like the criticism of the “sinner’s prayer” as if the critics do not think that prayer is necessary for salvation. This is a straw man. Those who criticize easy-believeism do not think that just a prayer is enough. Nor do critics expect outward emotional displays. Another straw man.
    Easy-believeism is wrong because it does not require a change of the will, a sorrow for sins, a heart desire for godliness. It only asks for mental assent to the facts of the gospel. One needs only bare belief in the truth. A sinner could hold on to his sinful passions, his enmity toward God, he only needs to accept the facts. This is wrong and goes against the tenor of the gospel. The unbeliever does not need an emotional display, but he does need to repent and believe.

    • So, the thief on the cross had at best, a vocal and mental assent. Explain?

      Where is mental assent distinct from the heart in the Bible? The Bible never makes a distinction from the heart and the head, as many believe.

      Do you not understand that when someone makes an assent to salvation, the Holy Spirit quickens the spirit that those things will come about? In other words, godly sorrow, and heart desire for godliness comes because and after of the assent. It’s from the Holy Spirit working!

      What you’re saying is that one has godly sorrow before salvation belief, what we are saying is that the Holy Spirit works out godly sorrow after salvation belief.

  2. This response is 1) Irresponsible and 2) Unsound…Salvation is NOT more than “believing” in Christ. You cannot believe without “repenting” for to “repent” simply means changing ones mind about what will save him from going to Hell. When one turns from sin for salvation then obviously he will lose it if he turns back to his sin. Silly! When we repent of working our way to Heaven and trust Jesus Christ alone then salvation is done. Otherwise it is a works salvation. When a person trusts Christ they don’t even KNOW all that is sin. They are babes in Christ and will learn as they grow. SILLY REBUTTAL!

  3. What about Acts 20:20-21 -“Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”. Clearly here repentance is different that faith, yet both are needed for salvation. I do not think “repent simply means changing ones mind about what will save him from going to hell.”. Does the Bible give this definition? It seems to have a broader meaning. Does the sinner need to be sorry for his sins, or simply recognize that they are keeping him out of heaven? Can he continue to hate God as long as he believes him and does not try to work his way to heaven?

  4. Very good Bro. Bob. Matthew Lyon has a false definition of repentance and no Bible to back up what he said. He should first look at John 20:31 and see the word belief twice. 1st it is to believe (in your head) that Jesus is God. 2nd it is to believe (in your heart) to receive Jesus as your personal saviour. Repentance is to change your mind. When you believe that is the change of mind that gets your name written in heaven. The two concepts we need to believe are in every chapter of the Gospel of John. The only book unbelievers are qualified to read and the first book every believer should read. And guess what; the word repentance does not exist in the Gospel of John because when we believe we have repented!

  5. I agree with the first too on this website. So you are telling me that the man at the beginning of this got saved. He said he didn’t feel like getting saved and the counselor still pushed for him to get saved. That was that mans convert. I sick and tired of this idea that repentance is working toward our salvation. This is hogwash. No wonder we got so many people out of church today and you talk them yeah I am saved, and you asked them where do you go to church, well I don’t feel the need to. Too many lost church members in my opinion. To many soulwinners pressuring people to get saved today If you have to pressure them to be saved they probably aren’t going to be saved.

    • Tim, you need to read my article again. I never said the man got saved. My point, and I think you understand, was salvation is not a feeling. Also, I never implied that I agreed with the man’s tactics. In fact, I do not. We never know if anyone REALLY gets saved ore not. God alone knows and sees the heart. However, believing is easy for those who believe. God bless you.

    • Tim Thank you my exact feelings making people pray makes most of them twice the child of the devil, once they see they are falling short of what is expected of them!

  6. All prayers are “sinner’s prayers” and nowhere does the Bible mention a prayer for salvation. There is nothing wrong with leading a new convert in prayer, but that one was saved the moment they believed. As you said in your article, “Getting saved is the easiest thing in the world.” Like you I believe in what is called “easy believeism” but feel we should stick with what is in the Bible.

  7. Well, all the arguments in the world will not work. I got saves at age 17, I am now 75. Ir was so easy and I am still saved. Repentance is a change of mind. When a person believe the gospel and accepts it, he is repenting. I think many of the brethren try to get the sinner sanctified before salvation.
    Must a person believe in the virgin birth, the rapture, the second coming, the KJV, eternal security, the trinity, etc. to be saved. Must one give up all sin in order to be saved? Believing unto salvation is the easiest thing in the world. “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 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” Romans 10:8-9. I fail to understand why preachers would put anything in the way of a person coming to Christ.

  8. Mr. Lyon, no one has the insight to judge that a sinner does not get saved by praying and asking the Lord to save him. In fact, that is how one gets saved. If he or she prays with heart faith, God saves them. Salvation is repentance. To separate the two is a false doctrine. Christian growth follows, and I have been saved for over 55 years, and I am still repenting. You don’t know what emotion in required, if any. Believing is “easy.” The gospel message never requires all you demand from a sinner. How much sorrow, or desire for godliness must one demonstrate? You don’t know the answer to the questions. Also, for you to set all these requirements for salvation is silly. Do you tell the sinner what sins he must give up before he can be saved? Your logic is illogical, and your doctrine of salvation is unscriptural.

  9. The gospel of John is the only book that unbelievers are qualified to read? I seem to remember a certain Ethiopian who was reading from Isaiah and was lead to the savior. We don’t build doctrine from one book. We build doctrine from the whole book.

    I believe we are arguing over a definition of terms. One does not have to use the word repent to present the doctrine of repentance. The holiness of God and the condemnation of the Law “our schoolmaster” will bring a person to a decision. Repentance is a willingness to turn from sin. The power to accomplish the change is wrought by the Holy Spirit of God.

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

  10. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, -Galatians 5:22 I have only been saved for a few years. I firmly believe that since I am saved, I am of those… “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” – 1 Peter 1:5 (Now I’m only asking because I’m sure you all have been saved much longer than me, and know more about these things that I do. If a person is truly saved wouldnt he/she want to do these things, these fruits of the spirit. Wouldnt they be products of their faith (repentance) I believe as you all do, in a way… I do not believe a “sinners prayer” is required, because of this… “Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch nswered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.”-:Acts 8:29-38 (So like one of you said, he was reading Isaiah 53 I believe… Now I noticed he said “if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest..” (In order to be baptized, which simply identifyes us with Christ. So it seems faith, simple faith unites us with him, and we are ”…kept by the power of God through faith..” but I have heard a prayer of reptntance in scripture as well…” Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast,saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted”.- Luke 18:10-14 Now when I got saved I prayed a prayer, some call it “The Sinners Prayer” What ever you call it I prayed it… Now I know I was saved. My question is, was I saved before, during, or after I prayed that prayer. Because all of your scriptural evidence makes both sides of the argument seem right. And please don’t argue over me lol But I just figured I would share with a few questions. I’m not what you would call a Bible Scholar, just a kid out of highschool who was just saved and would like some info. I have known people who claim to be saved out of both expirences Prayer and confession, but both showed fruits. I was believed like this, if they get saved they will want to please God and if they fall away all of a sudden they are either backslidden and need our prayers to come back into a relationshiop and fellowship with God, or they were never saved to begin with. I always enjoy conversations like this, I learn alot. Anyone?… Sorry for the super long post.Blessings.

  11. Matthew, I do believe you have the cat by the tail. When a person accepts Christ as his Saviour it is because of the fact that he/she had realised the need to repent. When I was saved, it happened after I realised I was lost in sin. So to claim that easy believism, as you call it, does not require repentance, is the real straw man. A person accept Jesus as Saviour when the realisation that one is lost hits home. And it logically follows that repentance is required. Don’t be so argumentative. You certainly do appear to want new converts to jump through a few demonstrative hoops, don’t you?

  12. This back and forth is unnecessarily annoying . DO this. Don’t do that . Its very simple. Believe that Christ died for your sins and repent. (Belief-Faith-Grace-Salvation) God made a way to save all of us, sinful people The atonement for our sins was Jesus death and his resurrection. It was finished on the cross . Are we going to sin ? YES ! Does this mean because we believe, we have a free ticket to sin ? NO ! But we will . Intentionally and unintentionally . We ask forgiveness and move forward. Of course we need to nourish the soul with Gods word, but ultimately, salvation is a free gift . Never earned. Its Gods graciousness to us, even when we were in sin.

    that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)

  13. It is really this simple. In Acts 8:26-39 the Ethiopian eunuch had been reading Isaiah 53 which is basically the gospel in the Old Testament. Phillip then preached unto him Jesus (That kind of preaching will get results to the glory of God, AMEN!) They came to a certain water and the eunuch asked to be baptized. Phillip responded by saying: If thou believest WITH ALL THINE HEART thou mayest. The eunuch responded by saying: I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and then Phillip baptized him. You may say a prayer when you get saved, but the important thing is DID YOU MEAN IT AND DID YOU BELIEVE WITH ALL YOUR HEART. That is the key! It is much like a marriage vow. If you mean it with all your heart your marriage will last, but if you don’t then it more than likely won’t. Also, repentance involving works or fruits of righteousness comes after believing and not before, because you CANNOT repent until you first believe, because before you are saved you have no power to repent. An unclean thing cannot produce anything clean. You must first be washed in the blood of the Lamb of God, then repentance, and change of life follows. Salvation is by grace through faith then good works follow (Ephesians 2:8-10).


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