WHAT IS BEING SAVED? WHAT IS SALVATION?
(THE SOJOURN TO PEACE & PARADISE)
PART 5: DESCENDANTS OF ABRAHAM ARE NOT GUARANTEED SALVATION (MATTHEW 3: 7-9)
In the name of God Master, of the Universe, Ruler of the earth
Editors Note: Beloved we live daily and die some forever and as some who are saved for an eternity. As the time of the Lord has no end for the lost or the saved to eternal life. Meanwhile many belief systems have emerged and have made the transition from the time prior to and after the Reformation. The Bible although in the hands of the brethren has been shrewdly (with the nerve only coming from Satan) taken away. Is there a contemporary Dark Age?
No one is guaranteed anything with the Lord absent of your own responsibility. There is no way to gain admission in the Picture Show unless you have 50-Cent. However there is no literal price that can be counted by man that will allow you admission to Heavens Door. Therefore take notice of those that come with plans as a secular insurance company promising you salvation to eternal life.
Peace be unto you. To the Church (the Church of Christ Jesus the Prophets and Apostles) and believing Christians everywhere. To those that believe in the Bible (the Spirit of God) as the supreme authority that governs all of humankind. In this we give thanks to God the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit that leads and guides us the straightway. We also come with no material motive or gain or profit from rendering the Truth of God. Those called to great service are given the greatest prosperity that exists by God and not man.
Beloved as we look to this question in this discussion we are called to the preaching of John the Baptist. Similar scripture is found at Mark 1: 7-9 and Luke 3: 7-9, 16, 17. However the scripture at Matthew 3 is more conducive to our discussion as it also notes several religious groups during the time of John the Baptist.
Is it possible that many people today still have some of the sentiments of the Pharisees and the Sadducees? Follow us now as we open up these verses for our review and for your thought and mediation.
Matthew 3: 7 “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”
First of all who were/are the Pharisees? The secular world describes them as a member of an ancient Jewish sect that was very strict in keeping the essence of tradition regarding the laws of its religion. A Pharisee is also known as a person who makes a show of religion rather than following its spirit; formalist; hypocrite. A person who considers himself much better than other persons.
Josephus records that to become a member of this group one had to maintain a strict adherence to the Law, oral or written. He further describes them as a body of Jews who profess to be more religious than the rest, and to explain the laws more precisely. C. F. Moore also renders a take on this group (See “Judaism in the first Centuries of the Christian Era,” p. 66).
The Sadducees meanwhile rejected the oral law and denied the resurrection of the dead and the existence of angels. In the New Testament and the Talmud and of course in the research of the Jewish historian Josephus is where we find data on the existence of this group and their practices. Josephus notes that this group was greatly influenced by their aristocratic nature. For example he noted that they only look and respect the well to do and affluent. They were also a political party of the Jewish antistatic priesthood from the time of the Maccabees to the final fall of the Jewish state.
Beloved we have taken the time and space to give you a brief description of these two groups because we believe that those that believe in the “Once saved always saved,” doctrine share some of the views of these two groups. Although they had basic differences there were some things that they both agreed on. One such prominent point of agreement was the mood of hypocrisy. Both also made great claims of excellence which they did not possess.
So as you look further at the text we note that the phrase “generation of vipers” is a figure of speech meaning a class of vile and poisonous characters. These characters came to John’s baptism service for outward show. Do some come today only for show? John’s preaching ministry consisted of exhorting the people to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, in order to escape the wrath of God. If you are already saved from sin and on the way to heaven will you repent? What do those “Once saved always saved” have to repent for?
But John did not specify any particular class. So was the attitude of these sects and outward admission of being sinners though their attitude was one of self-righteousness? Are there people today in the church that also show sins of self righteousness? Why? Is it because of how much money they give to the Church? Is it because of the positions they hold in the church? Is it because of their works and righteous living? What is righteous living? Is it governed by God or man?
For additional scripture references see: Matthew 12: 34; 23: 33; John 8: 44; Romans 5: 9; I Thessalonians 1: 10 and I John 3: 8, 10. Now look with us to verse 8 as we continue to explore this bracket of scriptures.
Matthew 3: 8 “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:”
The phrase “meet for repentance” means for the people to prove by their works that they have really repented. Well is repentance the way to salvation? Remember we define and describe salvation as first the deliverance of sin granted to all that liveth by our Savior Christ Jesus. As this process makes its transition among those that accept Christ it becomes a gift of eternal life and Heavens door.
We remind you as noted here that mere sorrow (I am sorry) or regret for sin does not equal repentance in the sight of the Lord. You have to reform and restructure your life by ceasing to do things that are wrong. You must become a new creature. Brethren you cannot just verbalize that you love the Lord and continue a way of life that lifts up the world while letting the Lord down.
Salvation thus comes with responsibility and action. Thus “Once saved always Saved” is a fleeing fantasy. However we pray with hope that those under the Word will realize that the way to Jesus and the Lord is by keeping God first. “Once saved always Saved” is a man made doctrine.
Peace and Paradise,
Dr. Carl A. Patton writing for the FreedomJournal Press 30 June 2010 in the year of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.
All Rights Reserved by FreedomJournal Press 2010.