There are no salvation issues

Jay Dee

There are no salvation issues

Nov 02, 2016

Yesterday I mentioned that, when discussing theology, there are no “salvation issues”.  I said I’d elaborate on that today.  It’s common in Christianity to side-step theology conflicts by saying Well, it’s not a salvation issue This usually means This won’t save you or cause you

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There are no salvation issues - Only relationship issuesYesterday I mentioned that, when discussing theology, there are no “salvation issues”.  I said I’d elaborate on that today.  It’s common in Christianity to side-step theology conflicts by saying

Well, it’s not a salvation issue

This usually means

This won’t save you or cause you to go to hell, so it’s not worth arguing.

It’s used to avoid issues that don’t seem important, or perhaps ones you don’t want to talk about.

My problem with this response is that twofold:

  1. It’s legalistic
  2. Everything is a salvation issue

“Salvation issues” are legalistic

I know people are going to get upset about this one, but it’s true.  Often people say “well, it’s not a salvation issue” because they’re trying to argue from a “saved by grace” position.  However, they end up arguing the opposite.  If you are going argue that things are not a “salvation issue”, that means, the opposite must be true.  It means you believe some things are salvation issues.  This means you believe that there are things you can do or believe that will invalidate your salvation.

And they’re right, in a sense.  You can invalidate your salvation.  There are a lot of people confused about this.  There are a lot of verses that seem to be in conflict with each other.  That is, they are if you either take a position of “Once saved always saved” or one of “You can do things that make God reject you”.

The answer is to take neither position.  You have to ake one that encompasses both and makes all the verses fall into place.

Everything is a salvation issue

If you look at it from a relationship perspective, suddenly everything makes sense.  God is always willing to offer salvation, but it is we who must be willing to accept it.  God continues to want us in heaven once we decide to be there.  The truth is, we can decide to reject God, even after we’ve made a commitment to Him.

What matters is the relationship, and this is why everything becomes a salvation issue.  Because everything we do affects our relationship with God.  Lying won’t immediately remove your salvation.  However, a pattern of lying, of rejecting the conviction to stop.  Continuing to ignore the guilt that God places on us to repent and deciding to continue to lie will change our heart.  Eventually, we will stop listening to the Holy Spirit altogether.  Eventually we won’t want to be with God.

Because, ultimately, living in Heaven when we don’t want God’s influence in our life wouldn’t be paradise.  It would be hell.

So, lying becomes a salvation issue, because it’s a relationship issue.  But it doesn’t have to be one of the 10 commandments.  It could be over-eating or holding on to anger, or not giving your time and money, or not keeping Sabbath.  Or, it could be none of those things.  Because everyone will feel convicted about the issues in their own life.

You might need to work on generosity, or pride, your fidelity to your spouse, truthfulness, or hospitality.  Whatever God is calling you to change, that becomes a salvation issue, because it’s already a relationship issue.

Everything is a relationship issue in marriage too

And I think this is another way that marriage exemplifies salvation.  In marriages, there are no hard and fast rules.  Affairs won’t lead you to divorce.  They might, they might not.  Lying won’t lead you to divorce.  It might, it might not.  It’s not a divorce issue.  It’s a relationship issue.

You know what will lead you to divorce: a destroyed relationship.  I’ve even had one couple who had some issues communicating.  Nothing major, just the normal stuff.  They decided to get a divorce.  Why?  Because it was easier than investing in the marriage.  Neither had done anything wrong that someone would say “Oh, that’s a big problem in a marriage.”  What was wrong, was a fundamental relationship problem: They didn’t want to be there anymore.

And that’s the real issue, whether we’re talking marriage or salvation: Do you want to be there?  Are you changing to show that?  When either God or your spouse convicts you to change, do you take it seriously?

I say seriously, because while God is perfect, and His convictions are perfect, our spouse is not.  When our spouse wants us to change, we need to look closely at it, because our spouse is as sinful as we are.  But, with God, there’s no question.

And that’s why I say, there are no “salvation issues”, or rather everything is a salvation issue.  Because everything is a relationship issue.

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6 thoughts on “There are no salvation issues”

  1. Mike says:

    I will have to think about this one.

  2. Libl says:

    I recently started attending a Baptist church and they believe once saved always saved. I do not. I believe you can reject God. In books like the Corinthians they talk TO the church, TO the believers, and tell them to stop their sinning, especially sexual sins, because adulterers, fornicators, whoremongers, etc WILL NOT RECEIVE THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN!

    The Baptists argue this by saying if someone backslides or turns away or continues in unrepentant sin, they have not truly ever been saved….therefore, they cannot lose their salvation because they never had it to begin with.

    I actually agree with you, JayDee. I know “Christians” who treat salvation like a superstition. They heard the verse that if you believe Jesus died for your sins and rose again, then you are saved. So they acknowledge that, but have no life for Christ. It is supposed to be “just enough” to get into the pearly gates.

    Not everyone who says Lord Lord will enter into the Kingdom. Half the virgins didn’t make it to the wedding for being careless and unprepared. Depart from me you worker of iniquity. I never knew you.

    To know requires relationship. Knowing. Deep intimacy…..

  3. Not enough grace says:

    “Once saved always saved” “Once saved barely saved.” I have lived the latter all my life. Blink twice burn in Hell, blink once burn in Hell, wear your hair up burn in Hell, wear it down burn in Hell, don’t obey pastors every command yep you guess it burn in Hell. I have never been taught or indoctrinated on the once saved always saved position so I have no comprehension of it. Now the other side yes any and everything will send you to Hell. Even staying out passed midnight because well Christians dont do that. I was never given a chance to discuss heaven or hell issues or the chance to ask God what is right or wrong. Someone was always there to tell how to live my Christian walk down to the minute. So through all my confusion,headaches, tear stained pillows,head banged against the wall, contemplation of suicide because why even try anymore,does really love me and want to save me questions, am I doing enough to gain salvation I have come to the conclusion of…..well I’m still sorting it out. I just asked my self thr question the other day “why does the one thing that’s supposed to bring me peace comfort and assurance brings me the exact opposite of fear stress and worry that thing being my salvation.”

    1. Strider says:

      Raised in an Armenian church that was legalistic to its core, I believe many walked away from the Faith, believing that they couldn’t keep all those requirements; so why try?

      We raised our daughters away from those legal excesses, allowing them to be able to sleep at night, knowing a loving and compassionate Father was with them. But not with excesses in the other direction.

      Along with the promise that there is now “no condemnation for whose who are in Christ Jesus”, a balance was also struck that, even though works will not save someone, they are the evidence of a changed life. Keeping those two issues in their proper perspective I believe is essential for an understanding of James’admonition, as well.

      I believe Dr. Norman Geisler categorizes this type of view as being a Moderate Calvinist, rather than an Extreme Calvinist. This position I can live with!

  4. Jessica McCleese says:

    Wow! This is a thoughtful article for sure. I really like the idea that everything is a salvation issue. I usually hear “it’s not a salvation issue” as a way to say we can agree to disagree on a number of issues (smoking, drinking, cussing) and still agree that the only way to heaven is through Christ. I’ve actually had some great discussions with people on the “once saved always saved” bandwagon as well as the “everything outside of perfection is sin and you must seek repentance” side of things. I really, really like that you see it as a relationship issue.

    Funny, I tell couples all the time that it isn’t a his problem or her problem but a relationship problem when something is going on, yet I’ve never really quite thought of it that way in our relationship with Christ. That, my friend, is why I like to stay connected to theologically-minded people. Makes me think and reflect.

    Great article. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thanks Jessica! Glad you enjoyed it.

      Yeah, I find quite a few couples that their issues are more how they deal with relationships in general than a particular issue in their marriage, and often those are also theological issues. Not a few couples come to be for marriage help and we end up discussing theology instead, because that’s where their issues stems from.

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