IS SALVATION HARD TO RECEIVE?

Listen to most any christian preacher speak of salvation, and you will likely hear claims about how easy it is to be saved. I mean, all you have to do is come forward, make a decision to be a part of something, say a prayer (and really, really, mean it), and then change the way you live. Of course, to most christians, if you refuse to do the last part, then you weren't really saved.

Do you know what the theological term is for that teaching? It's called “garbage.” It is a complete misrepresentation of what is necessary to be saved. Messiah Yahoshua told Nicodemus that he had to be “born again.” But, to hear what christians peddle, one must conclude that man is the one who rebirths himself by his own decision or prayer.

In fact, I was very familiar with a famous preacher who had a large “church” and university who would tell folks, after they had come forward in his service and prayed a “sinner's prayer,” that they were now saved, and they should never let anyone tell them that they weren't. Isn't it amazing that he had the ability to look on the hearts of all those people?

Actually, what he proclaimed is exactly what Satan wants christians to believe. It's his same old story: just do what I'm telling you is right, and “you shall not surely die.”

But, what did Messiah Yahoshua say about salvation?

In Mark 10, we see a rich young man speaking to Him about salvation, and Messiah tells him to sell everything he has and follow Him. The young man walked away grieved, because he knew he was not willing to sell everything he owned.

Messiah Yahoshua then said to the disciples in Mark 10:23, "How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!" And then, to follow up that statement, He makes an even more general declaration in verses 24 and 25, because the disciples had been amazed at His words: But Yahoshua answered again and said to them, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

Now, in the King James translation, there were marginal notes that got included as if the notes were actual scripture, and a phrase was added that earlier manuscripts did not contain. In verse 23, the KJV adds the phrase “for those who have wealth” to the statement, “how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God.” Now, why would the translators have added that phrase where it didn't previously exist?

It's because that one statement essentially blows up the false narrative christianity peddles that all one has to do to be saved is make a decision—and, really, really, mean it. Not only is it difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, it's not easy for anyone else, either, when the truth about receiving salvation is understood. He said that entering the kingdom of God is so hard that it is even difficult for a rich man to enter in.

The disciples responded in disbelief because, if even a rich man has difficulty entering the kingdom, how can ANYONE enter the kingdom? And, Messiah told them, "With men it is impossible, but not with Yah. With Yah ALL things are possible! Mark 10:27

Think about it, if salvation is received by making a decision or praying a prayer, why couldn't a rich person just make a decision and/or pray a prayer? Of course, anyone can do that. BUT, that is NOT salvation, contrary to what most christian teachers falsely claim.

Salvation is not belief, as christianity often teaches, for the demons believe and tremble. They're not saved. Moreover, Messiah Himself stated in Luke 8:13 that some will BELIEVE with all joy for a while, but then they fall away because they have no root (they never received the source of life, who is the Holy Spirit).

In fact, in Hebrews 10:39, we're told of some believers who did not shrink back from their belief, but who endured in their belief all the way to the saving of their souls. Believing is not very difficult, when one is presented with facts. However, simply believing facts is not salvation. Saying one has trusted Christ with his salvation is not being saved. Living a moral life is not salvation, or proof of it.

It is the enduring in belief that results in receiving the covenant. It is having belief, and enduring in it, that scripture states will end in salvation. When scripture tells us that those who believe in Messiah SHALL BE SAVED, that is a future condition. It never states that simply believing IS salvation, but that those who believe (present tense) shall be saved (future tense).

This is the patience, or endurance, that James speaks of. If enduring will result in being made perfect and complete, lacking nothing (which is what it means when one receives the Holy Spirit), then why is patience even needed?

Why would one need endurance to be made complete and lacking nothing, if all one needs to do is make a decision, and then claim the Holy Spirit was placed within him? It's because the Holy Spirit is placed within someone by the will of the Father, and in His timing alone. It is not by man's decision.

And, THAT is often a very difficult thing. One of the most prevalent concerns and anxieties I encounter with those who have been illuminated to understand that christianity is a counterfeit of the true faith, and that salvation is not a decision man makes, is the waiting for the confirmation from the Holy Spirit that they have been adopted as children of Yah.

You see, christianity's false teaching that man is the one who decides to be saved places all the control of salvation in the hands of people, and humans do not possess that power or authority. Only the Father does. So, for those folks, it can be a real struggle to endure in their belief, as they learn that they must wait upon Yah to be adopted into His household.

Imagine a neighborhood kid suddenly stating that he is a legal member of your household, simply because he decided to be. Who decides who is a member of your household? A child? Who decides who is a member of Yah's household? A human? That's not possible. Only the Father decides who is a member of His household. And, those who believe and who confess Messiah Yahoshua before others SHALL BE saved (future tense).

That “confessing Messiah Yahoshua” before others is where the difficulties usually lie. To stand for Him and His truth can result in mocking, ridicule, rejection, and sometimes, much worse. What was Messiah's greatest suffering? Isaiah 53:3 tells us “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”

In Romans 8:17, Paul tells us that we are “fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” Where is the suffering in making a decision or praying a prayer? No, those who are given the covenant are those who confess Messiah Yahoshua before others regardless of any earthly consequences.

It is not those who assent to some truth, and who also cling to that which is false. It is not those who privately claim to believe what is true, and then shrink in the face of commonly-believed false teachings like what is found in christianity.

Belief is the first step on the path to salvation. But, it is necessary to take a stand for the truth of Messiah Yahoshua's Gospel in the face of so many false doctrines that are at the heart and soul of religion, be it christianity, or any other human belief system (like the Hebrew roots cult).

It is the need to patiently await the giving of the covenant that so often results in those who begin the path to salvation ultimately falling away, because it can be so difficult to yield total control of the outcome of their belief to the Father, trusting that enduring in belief WILL result in being given the covenant.

That's exactly what we see with the Passover journey to the mountain to receive the covenant (a physical foreshadow of Messiah's bride receiving the seal of the Holy Spirit). While waiting for the covenant, many chose to worship Yah by their own design, and crafted a golden calf with an altar, proclaiming that they would use it in a feast to Yah.

In the end, those who repented of their unbelief (lack of endurance) received the covenant. Those who did not repent were put to death. That's a physical picture of the present spiritual real substance. Repenting (which means to change one's mind) of the false teachings of christianity, and believing the actual truths of the Holy Spirit, is necessary to receive the covenant.

Written by Dean Haskins for Way of the Tabernacle. Reproductions with proper attribution are allowed and encouraged.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But now in Yahoshua the Messiah you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to Yah through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. Ephesians 2:13-16