What a question. What an important question. A question most Christians probably answer to quickly. Ask these same people how a person gets saved today in the age of grace and you will in some cases get a blank stare for a good many seconds until they can gather their thoughts. Ask these same people detailed questions about the doctrine of salvation and you might just get them either mad or embarrassed, and maybe both. So how is it that many Christians will answer the question of “are you ready to die” and then struggle to give a detailed description of how a soul is saved? More disturbing is the FACT that you can go to different denominations and get very different opinions on HOW person is saved, what you must do/say to be saved, and weather a person can lose their salvation. You SHOULD ask yourself why God made it so confusing. Did God make it this confusing OR PERHAPS are you confused? Did God make it plain and clear and are YOU the one confusing it? I understand that you don’t think you’re wrong because you believe your church is the one that has it figured out and all those other churches are confused. I hope you realize ALL THOSE OTHER CHURCHES think they are right and you are wrong. So who is wright? Scripture is of course. But then why all the confusion? That’s the easy part…. Why does your pastor stand in front of a congregation week after week and tell people they need to “Ask Jesus into your heart” when there is NO evidence that this is required for salvation? Why does another church show you verses that CLEARLY seem to say water baptism is a required part of salvation today? Why does another church show you verses to insist that eating Christ’s body and drinking his blood is required for salvation? WHY THE CONFUSION???????? Did God make it this hard for me to figure out if I AM READY? Given the confusion in Christianity about salvation, this IS a reasonable question is it not?? The stubborn, arrogant demeanor of so many Christians is the reason this confusion continues. We fight anyone that dare question our denomination and our church’s position but we can’t accurately explain the details of how a soul is saved today. We defiantly hold up our own position as right when there are thousands and maybe millions of people with differing opinions. I ask you again why did God make it so confusing?? My friend HE DIDN’T! He actually left VERY CLEAR instructions for us. He left these instruction to ONE MAN. He gave this ONE MAN the truth for us today in the age of Grace. This man is Paul. The Bible teaches that Jesus NEVER had a ministry to Gentiles during his earthly ministry. The Bible teaches that today we DO NOT get our doctrine from what Jesus said while he walked this earth. When Christians TODAY try to teach salvation from Jesus’ earthly ministry only confusion results. Jesus taught Paul how a soul is saved today in the age of grace. Jesus sent Paul to the Gentiles with the message of Grace (Acts 20:24) Salvation is CLEAR when we get our information from the ONE MAN Jesus sent to us. Salvation is confusing when we try to mix what Jesus taught to the Jews and what Jesus revealed to Paul. You will NEVER be able to accurately answer the question “are you ready” until you rightly divide the Bible the way the Bible tells you. Christianity will never be of “one mind” until it gives up its pride of position and allows the bible ALONE to instruct us. No, Christianity DOES NOT use the Bible alone! Christianity uses the Bible to prove their position right. Christianity uses verses plucked from anywhere they like to prove their position right. When you teach salvation the way YOUR apostle taught it, salvation is clear, concise, and easy to understand. When you mix what Jesus and Paul both said, salvation becomes muddy, and hard to understand. Do you know for a fact you are ready? If not, read what Paul said about salvation today. It’s the ONLY hope you have for clarity. Salvation by grace alone through what Jesus accomplished on the cross is only taught by Paul. Jesus never told people he was going to die till the END of his ministry. His disciples DID NOT believe he rose from the dead. Based on these two FACTS, how then could he have been teaching is death, burial, and resurrection for salvation? HE COULD NOT HAVE. This ministry of Grace was revealed by Paul. Please DO NOT rely on what your pastor or your denomination says if it does not line up PERFECTLY with what Paul says. It could cost you eternity.
As far back as I can remember the church services I attended were always quiet and solemn times where you didn’t move or get up unless it was an emergency and no one ever stopped the preacher to ask a question or request further explanation. It was quite rare to ever see anyone come up to the pastor after the service to get a question answered. I’m sure it happened on occasion but not enough for me to notice. Why is this? I can think of a few reasons why this is the norm in most churches I have attended in my lifetime and maybe yours too. We wouldn’t want to put the pastor on the spot. This might be a reason but not a very good one in my opinion. No one expects the pastor to be able to answer every possible question off the cuff. Questions supply opportunities for both the person asking and the teacher to better understand scripture. Maybe we don’t want to show our own ignorance to others by asking questions? This is very possibly one of the more common dilemmas. Having taught service technicians for many years I can tell you we are NOT willing to ask questions for this reason more often than not. God hates pride for a reason. Pride hinders our growth, our spiritual life, and keeps us from learning the material the way God EXPECTS us to. The Bible clearly tells us we need to study and that we need teachers. If we are expected to study and learn from teachers then it goes to say that you MUST be WILLING to ask question when needed. Many times I think we don’t ask questions because we don’t have an opportunity to. The preaching service is a perfectly executed series of sections meant to build to the invitation. We all know when the invitation is coming because the pastor slows down and changes tactics. Most times a perfectly timed illustration or story sets up the crowd for the invitation and questions are not part of the program. Many Sunday school classes are plagued by the same “rules”. The questions we have typically are never asked much less answered. If you’re like me you spent too much time looking through commentaries only to find the writers avoid the hard verses and tough questions just like the preachers do. It’s funny how the commentators can give a “spiritual” application or a devotional comment but steer clear of the obvious doctrinal questions about these verses. Truth be told the writers are steering clear of the doctrinal statements many times so they can sell their books to a wider audience. My feeling is we have become accustomed to reading past the questions, and hard to understand sections of scripture without a second thought. Many Christians don’t question anything they hear. I think you should question EVERYTHING you hear! I think you should stop when you hit that hard to understand section of scripture and search till you have an answer. If you did this you would be in the minority for sure. Christians don’t seem to ask questions or test the doctrine being taught all too often. Here, every hour we spend teaching is completely open to questions, comments, critique and further explanation. In fact I encourage question every Sunday. On more than a few occasions we have chased a rabbit or two to clarify what the Bible is teaching us. This is EXACTLY what right division is; letting the Bible teach US. When the Bible is approached from a Bible believer’s position, you can just believe the verses exactly as written. No need for cute stories, analogies, and illustrations. The Bible can be understood just as it reads. If you don’t think so, maybe you should start asking some questions. Start with this one: Why does my church grab verses from all over the Bible that are clearly written to someone else and apply them to me today….. If you don’t know the answer, right division does.
Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul