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ETpro's avatar

Sunday question: Christians, which is the right path to salvation, and why do you believe that?

Asked by ETpro (34490points) October 27th, 2013

You know I am not a believer, but I’m not asking this question in order to argue or debate with the Christian believers among us. Instead, this is a question where you can state your belief/s on what God requires of you for you to obtain salvation. If anyone is going to argue with you it will be other Christians who believe that isn’t what God requires, that it’s something entirely different. I’m not sure I can provide an exhaustive list. There are three broad categories of belief in salvation. These are:

Flowing through all 3 of the above, there are a host of different ideas about what leads to salvation for a Christian. This is the real issue of what’s required to be saved, whether you subscribe to 1, 2 or 3 above. Some believe salvation is by works alone. Only by resisting sin and doing good can one attain salvation. Others say that works are useless, and that only by accepting Jesus of Nazareth as your personal lord and Savior can you be saved. Then there is the school of thought that says both are needed. You must have faith, and if you do, that faith will show in good works. Death-bed repentance won’t work. Some claim that ONLY repentance works, and that repentance requires confessing your sin to a priest.

Calvinists believe you have no say in the matter. God has chosen those he wants to save from the foundations of the Earth, and predestined some to meet his requirements and others to burn in Hell. Some, particularly in Catholic circles, think you can buy your way in. If you have enough people pray for you that will get you out of purgatory early and into the Heavenly realm. This is not so popular now, but in the middle ages the Catholic Church grew enormously wealthy by selling indulgences, and the wealthy left money to survivors in return for constant prayers for them. Some believe that you ascend to Heaven through self inflicted suffering and asceticism. Then there are those who claim baptism will do the trick.

Some say Jesus is not enough. You need to follow the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy and reject modern medicine. Others suggest that if you reject Joseph Smith’s revelations from the Angel Moroni, you’re likely to miss the trip to Heaven and you most certainly won’t get your own planet to rule over. Only the most upright Mormons get that. Still others scoff at Ms Eddy and Joseph Smith’s claims, instead being certain that faith in the living God, Sun Mynug Moon (now no longer living) is the path.

What do you think is the path to salvation, and why do you think that’s it?

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16 Answers

Aster's avatar

Just believe on Christ and be born in a Christian environment. Of the second part I give credit to my ex husband who read books and came up with this stuff then got credit for being a genius. lol
I didn’t read the entire question to be honest.

snowberry's avatar

We have heard of many reports of God showing up in the dreams of non- Christians, including Muslims. Here’s a link, (but please don’t look too long at the sappy picture of Jesus there. I have every reason to believe he looked like a black man- and I’m a white lady). Anyway, if Christ can show up and introduce Himself to people like that and they convert, I suspect it’s a bit more simple than many people make it out to be.

When I was 18 I accepted Christ as my savior. I acknowledged that He died for my sins and asked Him to change my life.

Seek's avatar

According to the United Pentecostal Church, International, in order to even have a shot at heaven, you must repent of all sin, be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (full immersion, and the actual words ‘I baptize you in the name of Jesus Christ’ must be used) and one must receive the gift of the Holy Ghost with evidence of speaking in tongues.

Or be a Jew. Chosen people get a pass.

Then, on judgment day, you will have a ticket to be measured against the word of god, to see if you’ve lived righteously.

This is not a crowd that believes you only have to believe and generally be nice to get in. They believe that most of THEM aren’t going to make it.

Very high backslide rate. And apostates go straight to hell.

If you like, I can dig up the scriptures. It’s been a while since I’ve taught a Bible study, haha.

filmfann's avatar

My belief is that you must love Jesus, and accept Him as your Lord and Savior.
Then, since you love him, you will want to do the things He asks of you.
You cannot earn salvation. We are all filled with sin, and we need Him to get to get to Heaven.
I do believe in death bed conversions, but they would need to be genuine.

KaY_Jelly's avatar

I have accepted the Christian God into my heart when I was 23. If I am looking at the list you gave then I am probably leaning more towards 8 parts of the moderate viewpoint of Exclusivism and 2 parts of something else.

At this point though I now have to say that anyone who chooses to believe or not in God, in the end it will not be my place to judge. I try hard not to judge now, but I have to admit I can fail sometimes as I am not immune to having the impeccable perception that I believe He does.

I do believe however that He wants us to hone our skills and become more like Him instead of less like Him which I also believe was the point of Him descending from the heavens to tell His story and become human like us to prove that the divine can be like us but also we can if we choose be like Him.

Who is God? God is spirit.

John 4:24
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

flutherother's avatar

Only nice people will be saved.

snowberry's avatar

LOL @flutherother!

When he was a boy, my hubby asked his mother what a Christian was. She told him that Christians are white people who go to church!

augustlan's avatar

I was raised in the Disciples of Christ church. There, it was only necessary to accept Jesus as your Lord and savior and get baptized (but not before the age of 12…you had to make a choice to do it, not be born into it.)

LornaLove's avatar

If you do not believe, then it does not concern you right?

ETpro's avatar

@LornaLove I’m not sure who you are posing that question to. I don’t believe, but I do care what believers think. I want to understand them. That’s why I asked.

I’d suspect that a lot of Christians do not believe that Brahmā created the Universe, but they are interested in what Hindus think about this belief. I see no problem with that. If one can only be interested in beliefs just like theirs, then your question is strange, since you addressed it to the very people your question claims you should not care about.

I did ask for input from believers. So your comment may be aimed at the atheists who chose to answer. If that’s what you are asking about, I think that the fact they addressed what they believed when they still believed in Christianity makes their answers as valid as those coming from current believers. I just wanted this thread to be one where it’s safe for any Jelly that’s currently a Christian or that has been to state what their Christian beliefs are/were without fear they will be attacked or have their beliefs called into question. So far, it’s gone pretty well. No open trench warfare. I’m proud of all who have restrained their impulse to engage in such.

GrandmaC's avatar

It’s a little like choosing which team to be on. If you pick the Satan team, you’ve made your choice. If you pick the God team, you really should put forth some effort to help that team. That’s what team members are supposed to do.

God doesn’t kick you off the team, but if you aren’t ready for the big game, he might send you to a special training camp. I’m Catholic and believe in Purgatory. If you sign up for God’s team, you will eventually get there.

KNOWITALL's avatar


@ETpro Nice question, no judgement or nastiness, thank you.

ETpro's avatar

@GrandmaC You may assign a lot of people to the Satan team, but the number who self idnetify as Satanist is absolutely minuscule, while the amount of evil in the world is huge.

@KNOWITALL I am trying. It’s a struggle, so forgive me when I backslide.

GrandmaC's avatar

One doesn’t have to identify with evil to serve evil. I’m sure you recognize that.

I rather like the way C.S. Lewis showed that in the movie Narnia. Edmond did not exactly set out to join the Snow Witch’s team. He didn’t even recognize she was a snow witch. He got there, anyway.

Seek's avatar

Aah, the timeless truths of the children’s novel.

Re: the movie – did anyone make it through that? I think I fell asleep five times before they got to Aslan.

mattbrowne's avatar

Not hating other people.

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