Thursday, August 20, 2009

Quick Q&A: Will I Be Saved When The Lord Returns?

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

That depends on your response to Jesus.

The Bible says that all people are sinners and need to be saved (Romans 3:23). The Bible says that there is only one way to be saved and that is by receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior (John 14:6).

Those who have refused to repent of their sins and receive Jesus as their Savior are subject to the wrath of God (John 3:36). If they die in their sins, or if Jesus returns before they repent, they will suffer the eternal punishment of Hell (Revelation 20:11-15).

But if you repent of your sins and confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will be saved, and you will spend eternity with God (Romans 10:9-11 and John 6:47).

Again, the choice is yours. Salvation is a free gift of God through Jesus (Romans 6:23), but you must reach out and receive the gift in faith.

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17 comments:

davidsoncounty said...

Dr. Reagan, Do you think there will be revivals during the Tribulation?

Laura said...

Salvation is so much more than just repenting of our sins and asking Jesus to be our Savior. If that's all the gospel we preach then you have a bunch of people who "get saved" and just wait around to die and be with the Lord.

Oh wait! That IS what we have today in the church! How unfortunate because salvation is so much more than just having our sins forgiven. In fact, forgiveness of sins isn't even the main event in salvation.

What we would do well to understand is that we needed our sins forgiven so that we can be holy and pure to contain the LIFE. Whose life? Why the life of Christ, of course (Phil. 1:21).

So what unsaved people need most is the life of Christ. After all, that's what the resurrection is all about--bringing life to the walking dead.

Rom. 6:4 "Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life."

Col. 3:4 "When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory."

John 14:6 Jesus said, "I am . . . the life."

Nathan Jones said...

From Dr. Reagan's article under Salvation After the Rapture:

There is no doubt that there will be a great harvest of souls after the Rapture (Revelation 7:9-14). Some will be convicted by the Rapture itself. Others will be converted by the preaching of either the Two Witnesses in Jerusalem (Revelation 11) or the 144,000 Jewish disciples who will proclaim the Gospel (Revelation 7). Some will repent in response to the judgments of God (Isaiah 26:9). Others will respond to an angel of God who will preach the "eternal gospel" to all the world at the end of the Tribulation, right before the final pouring out of God's wrath (Revelation 14:6).

davidsoncounty said...

Thank you for this forum and that you center on souls being saved, speaking the word in season and out. It seems that it might be an "out" season right now but still there is Psalm 50:2. And because the LORD shines,His power to draw souls to Him is "in" season always I believe.

puzzled said...

Dr Reagan
You say 'repent of your sins and confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will be saved'. Yet the Phillipian jailor was told 'believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved'. Repeatedly The Bible only ever say's 'BELIEVE'. I understand that 'believe'is to accept something to be true, but no more than that. I can understand how we can recognise what sinners we are AFTER we are born again, but not before because as sinners we are in deep darkness and we do not even seek after God. The Father draws us to Him with the invitation to 'believe' and we accept or reject.
Wasn't repentance specifically for the Jews to change their minds about Messiah?
During our sanctification it is necessary to repent and get back into fellowship with The Father; but surely repentance to be born again is not mentioned in Scripture. if it isn't mentioned, then surely to say 'we must repent to be saved, is an addition to the Gospel message.

Nathan Jones said...

Puzzled, the Bible over and over teaches that without repentance along with belief there will be no forgiveness of sins and therefore salvation.

"From that time on Jesus began to preach, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.'" - Matthew 4:17

"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord," - Acts 3:19

"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." - 2 Corinthians 7:10

In just the Gospels - Matthew 11:20-21,23; Mark 6:12; Luke 5:32; 13:1-5; 15:7,10; 24:47; not to mention the many reference to repentance in the rest of the New Testament.

still puzzled said...

thanks for answering me, but I am still puzzled because most of the verses you quote concern the Jews need to recognise Jesus fulfilled the prophecies about the coming Messiah. other verses concern the believers. Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, that meant unbelievers as well as believers, so sin was dealt with and all we have to do is through faith, believe. meaning its not repentance, which is an after thought,or think again. it is information about Messiah but of itself cannot save, its belief through faith in Christs blood that saves and that happens in the heart or human spirit bu repent is in the head. Literally read it s seems faith to believe is a simple matter made hard by adding repent and something we have to do which is works.

puzzled said...

not to worry,im not so puzzled now, I think I understand where Dr. Reagan is coming from. He is an Arminianist is he not? seems to be Premillennial Covenant Theology who prefer to be called Historic Premill.? tendancy to use a miss match of both Literal and allegorical interpretation for scripture. Dr.Fruchtenbaum explains this viewpoint in 'Israelology'. Because I am a traditional dispensationalist and use a literal hermeneutic, I find Covenant Theologies view of things very different due to the ambiguous interpretation. sorry to have troubled you.

Nathan Jones said...

Oh no, Puzzled. Dr. Reagan and myself are hard-core Dispensationalists and Modern Premillennialists. I find Covenant Theology to be a lacking concept and very Church-centric.

Salvation means simply "to be saved," right? Saved from what? Sin. Sin isn't something tangible, but is in its reality an attitude of rebellion against God. How could one stay in a rebellious attitude towards God and yet at the same time accept Jesus' as Savior? Impossible, repentance is required to come humbly to the cross of Christ. And, that is what the Bible teaches.

Puzzled, have you asked Jesus for forgiveness from your attitude of rebellion - your sin? If not, you are still be living in rebellion against God and would not be saved yet.

puzzled no longer said...

I hadn’t intended to respond any further but this all makes strange reading to me? What you actually claim to be, compared to what you actually say, do not ‘marry’.

Today, many premill. Dispy’s are trying to combine Grammatical hermeneutic with Covenant Theology’s method of interpretation. I hadn’t expected to find it on this site, but I definitely see a mixture of hermeneutics here.

No Nathan! Six decades ago, when I was born again, I did not ‘repent’ as you describe, but I did ‘believe’. As a child, I was told that I wouldn’t be able to live in heaven one day because God was angry with me for being ‘bad’ and He would have to punish me. He sent Jesus to die on a cross; He came back to life and now lives in heaven. I had to trust Jesus to save from being punished for being bad. I believed every word of it, and have walked with Jesus all my life. When I did wrong things, I would say I was sorry and ask Jesus to make me ‘good’. Once I was young, but now I am old and my grasp of Scripture has grown with me, and I realise I am saved from God’s coming judgment upon all sin. You judge me ‘unsaved’ – I know differently!

The word ‘believe’ has two sides to its understanding, meaning ‘faith and change’ and can affect the emotions as it occurs in the heart/ human spirit.

The word ‘repent’ has been redefined to no longer being the Biblical ‘a change of mind’; which is not linked with the emotions and is a clinical decision about anything at all, not just salvation, and is made in the head. Its literal interpretation is ‘after – thought’.
To maintain one must be saved by feeling sorrow for sins and confessing them, is a wrong interpretation of the word ‘repent’, It becomes a ‘work’ for us to do so we can become saved and involves feelings, rather than faith and trust in God’s Word. It is an addition to the Gospel message,
I am sure this has been caused by a severe reaction to the ‘emergent’ heresy. The pendulum has swung from far left to far right, and both are scripturally wrong.

Your response reveals yet another professing dispensationalist caught up in C.T’s form of INTERPRETION; and maybe an unsuspecting adherent of the legalistic, works based ‘lordship salvation’ presented by men like John MacArthur and used by Paul Washer and Ray Comfort who like to tell believers in Christ Jesus that they are ‘false converts’ because they admit to ‘sinning’. These do not acknowledge the apostle Paul’s description of ‘carnal believers’, nor the Biblical fact that we all have an old sin nature. They cannot be assured of their Salvation as their ‘Eternal Security’ is conditional; and dependant upon if they are in a season of sin when they die or Jesus returns.
What I say is ‘Praise The Lord!’ for Christ exchanged my unrighteousness for His righteousness, He has declared me Justified by His shed Blood. My love and gratitude for Him is what constrains me from abandoning myself to my old sin nature, not legalistic do’s and don’ts. In spite of my ongoing battle against my old sin nature, Jesus has imputed to me all this He is. I am now dead to all my trespasses and sins, my ‘new nature’ cannot sin, and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. With Christ, I am seated in heavenly places and await the resurrection of my fallen body. It isn’t for me to keep myself ‘saved’, I am in the double fisted grip of The Father and The Son, sealed in by The Holy Spirit.
Maranatha!

Nathan Jones said...

Nothing "Lordship Salvation" or any of those other seminary words you're throwing around (and misusing), Puzzled.

We can't turn away from our sins and turn to God in accepting Jesus' salvation without repentance. Repentance by its very nature means "to turn from." Whether you realize it or not, you repented by turning towards Christ. If not, you have a rebellion issue you need to still deal with (but that's between you and God).

puzzled not said...

Seminary words??? I wish! Just basics understanding I fear.

lordship salvation (works)is partly based on C.T. interp. of The sermon on the Mount as addressed to the church. They mix the gospel of the kingdom (physical messianic) with THE Gospel of Christ's death and resurrection. So no, as a gentile, I have not repented (changed my mind) of not keeping the Mosaic Law in readiness for the Messianic kingdom! My rebellion issue is no doubt based on daring to ask what Dr. Reagan means by 'repent'. Now I know!

Nathan Jones said...

Lordship Salvation, as MacArthur teaches it, means one's salvation is evident when Christ is Lord of one's life. There is the flavor there that one can lose one's salvation should the Christian fall into a life of sin, which then places that particular sin issue as lord of one's life.

I don't agree with MacArthur's view because every time we sin Christ is not at that time being Lord of our life, so we'd be in and out of salvation like crazy. But, I don't see that he's espousing a works based salvation, rather defining what the natural state a Christian should be in line with the Lord as James the brother of Jesus would have taught.

What I keep pointing out that you're hung up on, Puzzled, is that repentence is not a work, yet it is necessary for salvation. I'm sorry if you disagree, but do suggest you do a search through all the verses related to salvation and you will find the humble attitude of repentence is a necessary component of one's redemption. Without a heart change due to repentence, we're just paying lip service.

puzzled said...

Nathan I’m sorry that this has gone beyond mild curiosity to causing anxt.

Normally speaking, repentance is not a ‘work’, the problem lies with what it has been changed to mean. Repent, metanoea ONLY means ‘a change of mind’ and holds no emotion. There are other words, one of which does express ‘regret and sorrow’, such as Judas used, but this is not the ‘repent’ which is used and does not involve faith.

In ‘The Conditions of Salvation’ by Arnold Fruchtenbaum, he explains the different Hebrew and Greek words and especially notes how repent is misused to become ‘works’. He also comments upon ‘lordship salvation’.
Charles Ryrie explains “Many understand the term repentance to mean “turning from sin.” This is not the biblical definition of repentance. In the Bible, the word repent means “to change one’s mind.” “So Great Salvation”.
Miles Stanford said “Lordship Salvation is not the childlike faith of John 3:16’. (Miles then agrees ‘to repent’ is needed, yet when he defines it, he actually describes faith/belief imo). ‘but lordship salvation advocates attempt to make behaviour and fruit essential ingredients of, rather than evidence of saving faith’. Miles Stanford in his review of ‘The Gospel According To Jesus’.
MacArthur wrongly defines repent as ‘turning from your sin’s (Faith works p.74).

MacArthur’s confusing hermeneutic; while claiming Literal/Grammatical, nonetheless uses Covenant/Reformed/Calvanist. There is plenty of information on the net; I have tried to keep it as short as possible by borrowing the following from the blog of http://expreacherman.wordpress.com/2008/09/06/john-macarthur-lordship-salvation/
Concerning MacArthur “In his statement before the Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA) Board, 1989, in plenary session he said “I believe with all my heart and soul that you cannot come up with a covenant view of theology and maintain any kind of coherent hermeneutics.”
Yet he contradicts himself (as is his way) - From Saved Without A Doubt – MacArthur Study Series (Chariot Victor Books, 1992), p 58.“….. It’s not that He [God] merely sees what will happen in the future; rather He ordains it. The Bible clearly teaches that God sovereignly chooses people to believe in Him.”
(God chooses people to believe in Him? This is not the words of a professing dispsy; as with ‘Sovereignty’, and all its parts, it’s an unbiblical catchphrase of the Calvinists).
MacArthurs Lordship teaching in – Grace to You. http://www.gty.org/Resources/Issues&Answers/349
“….. no one can be saved who counts the cost and is unwilling to pay it.”
Yet Scripture clearly states there is no cost or payment for Salvation! Eph.2:8-9.
Like you Nathan, I also assumed lordship salvation to mean a part of the sanctification of the believer; as we grow, we submit to Christ as Lord “I decrease that Christ may increase” but MacArthur doesn’t mean that at all. Salvation is to be worked at in order to keep it. Jesus becomes Lord immediately one is born again, at the very moment of salvation. He denies the ‘old sin nature’ exists, so if a person sins, then they were never saved in the first place (false conversion). There is so much more to this, and it all rides on C.T. interpretation and the change of the word ‘repent’ as defined in the Bible.

2 puzzled said...

I have to make a concession to repentance, what it actually is, rather than what it is made out to be.
Quote by Dr.Harry Ironside "Repentance is the very opposite of meritorious experience. It is the confession that one is utterly without merit, and if he is ever saved at all it can only be through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, 'who gave himself a ransom for all.' Here is firm footing for the soul who realizes that all self-effort is but sinking sand. Christ alone is the Rock of our salvation." (Except Ye Repent page 36)
Just to help prove my point Dr. Ironside also says -
“The Gospel is not a call to repentance, or to amendment of our ways, to make restitution for past sins, or to promise to do better in the future. These things are proper in their place, but they do not constitute the Gospel; for the Gospel is not good advice to be obeyed, it is good news to be believed. Do not make the mistake then of thinking that the Gospel is a call to duty or a call to reformation, a call to better your condition, to behave yourself in a more perfect way than you have been doing in the past …
Nor is the Gospel a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits, and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all.” What Is The Gospel?(sermon)
Ican’t resist to add a little more considering MacArthur and the false repentance of lordship salvation. Dr. Ironside has a great deal to say on this. "When anyone comes promising salvation to those ‘who make full surrender' of all that they have to God, and who 'pay the price of full salvation' he is preaching another gospel, for the price was paid on Calvary's cross and the work that saves is finished. It was Christ Jesus who made the full surrender when He yielded His life on Calvary that saves us, not our surrender in any way to Him." ‘Another Gospel’ – Gospel Tract.
Well Nathan, you may still disagree with me, but I hope I have shown you enough for you to see that all my concerns have not been groundless?

Nathan Jones said...

We're in total agreement, Puzzled, we just kind of had to compare terminology on the word "repent" to realize we were. You gave me a flashback to my old PBU days as we debated "Lordship Salvation" in Doctrine 1.

I'd only add... that though repentence is a cerebral thing at it's root, I would hope since we're not robots that the decision to "change one's mind" would be naturally followed by both some remorse for our wasted old life and great joy in what Christ did to purchase our new life.

As I witness as a decision counselor and in my own experience when saved as a child, the tears of sorrow and joy just naturally flowed upon making that decision to accept Christ. It's a great start in that new relationship with our Creator.

puzzled said...

Nathan, I know all too well that I am poor at expressing myself! Is PBU Bible school? Whatever, I am glad you were made aware of lordship salvation early, it is very new to me, along with C.T. and its insidious tentacles, I have only been made aware for about six months or so through a blog here in England. I seem to have been given a crash course, and most of it has been unpleasant. I looked to the U.S. for help and guidance, only to discover it is just as pernicious in the U.S.

Yes! Repent is indeed a cerebral act of change, a mental assent.

You rightly hope for a change to take place, and this is provided within the meaning of pisteuo – to believe, meaning ‘to think to be true’. This occurs, not in the head, but in the ‘guts’ the heart or human spirit. Its root of pistis makes it clear that it is a powerful conviction that, contrary to what we previously believed, we then understand that what we have been told (The Gospel) is absolutely true; it produces a kind of shock at the enormity of it all. At the split second we believe, we are born again of the Spirit of God and we proceed in a different direction with Christ, which begins to provide the change both you and I hope for.

Considering what we had been as sinners in Romans 3:10-28 when we were unrighteous, did not understand to even seek after God, we sat in utter darkness when God shone The Light to draw us to Him like a moth to the flame. Like a guided missile with a homing device (Chuck Missler’s expression) because left to ourselves we would always continue to ‘miss the mark’. Once at the narrow gate, we then have to decide to believe and go through, or not! By exercising our faith with belief, we are born again, it is ONLY when we are reborn that we can begin to understand what we were, and now have in and through Christ, and the re born human spirit is alive and aware to God’s love for us. It is ONLY then that the tears of joy, gratitude and wonder can begin to flow, along with the sorrow of wasted life, and our re born spirits can soar. AFTER we are born again; because before, we lacked understanding.

I needed to stress this because in these last moments before Jesus comes for His Bride, it has become vital to realise that carelessly using the word ‘repent’ opens a door to ‘works salvation’teaching, something we do for ourselves; and all the additions this causes like e.g. making judges of another believers salvation. To recognise that the word ‘repent’ is used Biblically about Israel and the gospel of the kingdom; then about the needs of the Jews and proselytes to understand that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of Messiah. Then it is used when speaking about those already saved concerning their sanctification. It is never used in the context of ‘becoming saved’ which is only ever by faith.

It makes me wonder about Jesus’ words ‘When I return, will I find faith upon the earth?’ Luke 18:8. Increasingly the answer is No, not faith but another gospel of false repentance through lordship salvation. Lastly, one thing I am slowly recognising is that when certain men of God use the word ‘repent’, what they then describe is not ‘repentance’, but ‘belief’.