Ask Your Preacher
What are some Scriptures that show the depravity of man and our need for God’s salvation?
Give Me Book, Chapter, Verse
Dear Give Me Book, Chapter, Verse,
The term “depravity of man” is normally used by those who teach that people are born sinful – there are no Scriptures to show this teaching because it is false (read “Calvin And Sobs” for more details on this teaching, also known as Calvinism). However, there are lots of verses that show that mankind has chosen to sin and that we need God’s salvation. Many of them are found in Romans because the book of Romans spends a lot of time dealing with that particular subject. Here are a few:
- “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23)
- “Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned.” (Rom 5:12)
- “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 6:23)
- “What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we before laid to the charge both of Jews and Greeks, that they are all under sin; as it is written, ‘There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God; they have all turned aside; they have all together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not, so much as one.’” (Rom. 3:9-12)
- “For God appointed us not into wrath, but unto the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess 5:9)
- “And with many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this crooked generation.’” (Acts 2:40)
What happens to a believer that commits suicide? Will he be saved still? What does the Bible say about the eternal security of a believer?
Looking For A Guarantee
Dear Looking For A Guarantee,
Suicide can send you to hell, and the teaching of eternal security isn’t biblically accurate. Let’s deal with them one at a time.
Suicide is murder, self-murder, and is therefore very clearly a sin (Rev 21:8). The only difference between suicide and murdering someone else is that you don’t get a chance to repent after suicide. Suicide is a final decision and leaves no room for correction or for asking forgiveness. It is a willful act of disobedience against God without opportunity for repentance. The final judgment belongs to God (Heb 12:23), but we certainly wouldn’t want to face that judgment with our own blood on our hands.
The teaching of eternal security says that it is impossible for someone to lose their salvation once they become a christian… this is false. The Bible clearly states that people “drift away” (Heb 2:1), “are rejected” (1 Cor 9:27), and “fall away” (Heb 6:4-6). Christians can fall away from God in this life; that is why we are commanded to be faithful unto death (Rev 2:10).
Once saved always saved… is that true? Is every person’s name already written in the Book of Life, and if we don't receive Jesus as our Savior, is that when our name is blotted out?
Wanting A Guarantee
Dear Wanting A Guarantee,
It is the exact opposite of that. We don’t lose our salvation if we don’t receive Jesus; we gain salvation when we do believe in Jesus. It may seem like a trivial difference, but it has huge implications. People go to hell because of their sins (Rom 6:23), not because of Jesus. Jesus’ death on the cross is a cure for mankind’s self-inflicted spiritual death sentence. It is the same as a disease outbreak – the disease kills people, not the lack of a cure. If Jesus had never come, and none of us had ever heard of Jesus, we would all have been lost.
As far as the issue of “once saved, always saved”… it is possible to lose your salvation if you turn your back on Christ. Read “Salvage And Recovery” for specifics on that issue.
If apostolic authority was meant to end with the last apostle, how are autonomous local congregations meant to settle doctrinal disputes? The sheer number of differing Protestant denominations only proves that leaving the church with the Scriptures alone only leads to division and fragmentation. Calvinists believe in predestination, Lutherans believe in baptismal regeneration, Baptists believe in symbolic adult full-immersion baptism, Pentecostals believe in speaking in tongues, the church of Christ believes in no musical instruments, and Seventh Day Adventists worship on Saturday. All of these local congregations are interpreting the same Scriptures, and yet, all are divided on any one of a number of important doctrinal positions. They can’t agree on the nature of baptism, the causes of salvation, the gifts of the Spirit, the study of eschatology, and so on. The differences are endless. Why would Christ leave His church with a set of Scriptures but no authority to properly interpret them?
Dear Needing More,
Religious confusion isn’t because of the Scriptures. The Scriptures aren’t the weak link; people are. If you look at the vast majority of religious organizations, they don’t take the Scriptures as their only guide. They allow religious tradition, personal whims, various creeds, etc. to sway them from basic Bible teachings. It is when people warp and pervert the Scriptures that they get the divisions and fragmentations that we see today (Gal 1:6-8). False teachers disguised as ministers of righteousness infiltrate churches and lead many astray (2 Cor 11:13-15). False teachers are described as “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matt. 7:15) because they pretend to teach Bible, but instead, they teach their own devices. False religions spring up when people are tired of the pure and simple Bible pattern and itch for a more comfortable message (2 Tim 4:3-5). The problem isn’t that we have too much emphasis on Scripture – it is the exact opposite! If you want to remove division and chaos, return to simply studying Scripture and expel all creeds, traditions, and personal preferences from religious discussion.
Your assertion assumes that the Scriptures alone aren’t powerful enough to teach and prepare people to meet their God. The Bible teaches that the Scriptures are the power of God for salvation (Rom 1:16). 2 Pet 1:3 says that the Scriptures provide every answer to life and godliness. Peter said that the apostles wrote down the wisdom God had given them so that long after they departed, we would still have it (2 Pet 1:12-15). When Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, He condemned them for their lack of Bible knowledge (Matt 22:29). Jesus believed the Scriptures were plain enough for anyone to understand if they had an honest heart and applied some effort… He believed it enough to be angry with the Pharisees when they didn’t know their Bibles. When Paul taught the people, he reasoned with them using only the Scriptures (Acts 17:2). The Berean converts were praised as being noble-minded for not accepting the apostle Paul’s teachings without first examining the Scriptures for themselves (Acts 17:10-11). The Bible is sufficient for our salvation, and there is no need for anyone to have modern abilities to “interpret” the Bible for us (2 Pet 1:20-21).
I would like to know if once you are saved, are you always saved? Can you never lose your salvation no matter what you do? This is what I was told about this basic teaching in Jhn 10:27-29. Thank you.
Dear For Keeps,
The idea that you can’t ever lose your salvation is a warping of Christ’s message in Jhn 10:27-29. “Once saved, always saved” is a basic doctrine of Calvinism (read “Calvin And Sobs” for more details on the errors of Calvinism). The Bible clearly says that you can lose your salvation. Heb 3:12 says that we must be wary and protect our hearts because an evil, unbelieving heart can fall away. 2 Pet 3:17 says that we can lose our salvation if we get caught up in false teaching (1 Tim 4:1 also states this). If we return to a life of ungodliness, then we crucify Christ again (Heb 6:4-6).