by Mary Van Nattan
Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation...
A sad, even frightening trend is taking place among zealous Christians, including the KJV-Only people. We claim to believe the whole Bible and to take it literally. We blast the Roman Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and many others for preaching "another gospel" not found in the Bible. But, when we begin to examine what is actually being preached among us we find those that "pervert the gospel of Christ." (Galatians 1:6-7) We find people giving credit to "salvation" experiences that are totally out of line with the word of God. It is horrifying to say the least.
The obvious question then is "Can these people who have believed false gospels and had unbiblical 'salvation' experiences really be saved? Or, are Bible believing churches generating more and more bastards?" Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
This study will have a 3 fold objective -
1) To ask you, "How did you get saved? Was it according to the King James Bible, or according to man's wisdom?" 1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
2) To encourage you to get a testimony of real salvation from your family members and friends that profess to be saved, and from professing Christians that you come in contact with. 2Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? If they cannot or will not give you a biblical testimony of salvation, you owe it to their eternal souls to give them the true gospel!
3) To give the true gospel according to the scripture for the edification of the saints and the saving of the lost. Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Now, please do not think that this is a program to convince a bunch of saved people that they are lost so that we can give them a "retread" and get them "saved" again! There are churches that claim many souls saved each year because the preacher will convince everyone from his wife, deacons and Sunday School teachers down to the little kids that they are not really saved and then give them a "retread." This may be handy for the preacher's boasting at the next preacher's meeting, but it keeps the saints weak and crippled. It is wrong. 1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
David Ottis Fuller is generally noted for his mighty contentions for the King James Bible. (Jude 3) This is good, but we would also do well to remember his great zeal for souls. We had 2 friends that had the blessing of meeting him before he went to be with the Lord. The first thing he wanted to know was if they were saved! Because someone is interested in defending the King James Bible, because they are zealous in the work of the church, because they are "in church every time the doors are open" - it does not automatically follow that they are saved. We have come across people who did all this and more, but they were on their way to hell!
A young man that we know about has a strong zeal to get a clear testimony from people he meets about how they got saved. He has good reason for this zeal. He almost married an apparently unsaved young woman from a strong, KJV-Only, high standard family. He tried to get testimony of salvation out of her and she would not or could not give it. He had to break off the engagement, for though her father is a preacher and in "full-time Christian work", she is apparently lost!
This story proves that there is real cause for concern to say the very least. Some might say this is a singular story, that it cannot be that common among us, but one young man told my brothers more. He had asked them both for their testimony of salvation, and was very pleased at their open and free response. He told them that they would be surprised at how many people do not want to give their testimony, and only will if you press them. James 3:10 ...My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Update 2012: Please also read my account of the salvation of my friend Theresa who was "faithful in church" and active in various ministries for years before she realized that she did not believe the Gospel.
Repentance: a change of mind; a new mind about God.
Conversion: a change of life; a new life for God.
Regeneration: a change of nature; a new heart for God.
Justification: a change of state; a new standing with God.
Adoption: a change of family; a new relationship to God.
Sanctification: a change of service; a separation unto God.
Glorification: a change of place; a new situation with God.
D. L. Moody
5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
"If you aren't changed, you better find out why not!"
- "Grandma" Irene Isenhart
background & graphics by Mary E. Stephens