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Most Recent Update
June 21, 2012
Can an Individual Be Saved Without Hearing the Gospel?
One might ask the question, What do you mean by "being saved?" The answer is: When an individual receives Jesus as his personal Savior, God gives unto him eternal life (John 3: 15), everlasting life (John 3: 36), and at the same time, God forgives him of his sins and thus, he becomes saved. Because of all that, he can go to Heaven. That is, providing that individual has received Jesus as his Savior (John 1: 11 - 12) by faith, (Rom. 3: 25, Gal. 2: 16, Eph. 2: 8 - 9) (with a true, sincere, heart), and has done what the Bible says he needs to do to be saved, namely, "...whosoever shall call upon (through prayer) the name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be saved." (Rom. 10: 13). By asking Jesus to save him and forgive his sins, that individual at that point becomes saved. This is only possible because Jesus died on the cross, shedding His precious blood, which atones for men's sins, and God, the Father, raised Jesus from the dead by His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. And now, when an individual receives Jesus as his Savior, that individual is then taken out of Satan's family (John 8: 44), and placed in the family of God. He is passed from death unto life (John 5: 24) and shall not come into judgment for his sins (John 5: 24). That all happens when one accepts Jesus as his Savior (John 1: 12). God (Jesus) causes that individual to be born again (John 3: 1 - 5). Born again of the Spirit. That's God the Father's Spirit, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of Jesus. He is called the Spirit of Christ (See Rom. 8: 9.). When an individual receives Jesus as his Savior, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, comes into his heart and causes him to be born again. (See Gal. 4: 6, Eph. 3: 17, II Cor. 1: 22, I Cor. 3: 16, Rom. 8: 9, 15.). The Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Christ) comes into his heart and he is placed into the family of God and he is born again (John 3: 1 - 3). Thus He is saved at that point. And when he dies he will go to Heaven to be with the Lord. So, he is saved from the penalty (punishment) of sin (Rom. 6: 23), which is to spend an eternity in eternal damnation, in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20: 11 - 15) and is, instead, in its place, given eternal life in a place called Heaven where there is only joy, peace, and happiness for all eternity.
Another question one might ask is: What do you mean "receive Him?" This is putting one's trust in Christ. Accepting Jesus' conditions for one's salvation. And in this case, one places his trust in Jesus' finished work on the cross for his salvation. He receives, accepts, and believes in God's Word (the Bible), and because his faith is genuine, he then puts those things into practice that he has learned in God's Word. This too shows that one receives not only Jesus, but His Word also. So, when one "receives Him" he puts his full trust in Jesus and in those things that are written in His Word, the Bible (I Cor. 2: 9 - 10, 14).
When an individual quotes statements such as the following, they are often refuted or ridiculed.
"A person cannot go to Heaven if he or she does not receive Jesus as his/her Savior."
"He or she must hear the message of salvation to be saved."
"An individual has to hear '...how that Christ died for our sins...', '...that He was buried,...' '...and that He rose again the third day...' (I Corinthians 15: 3 - 4) to be saved."
Jesus shed His precious blood, which atones for our sins, to save us. That blood atonement is not automatically applied to, nor does it wash away, one's sins, until he/she receives Jesus. For the Bible says, "In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins:" (Col. 1: 14). (See also Ephesians 2: 8. Here are some other verses you should read Eph. 1: 7, I Peter 1: 18 - 19, Rom. 3: 22 - 25, 5: 8 - 12. Read also Gal. 1: 8 - 9.).
Also other statements such as,
"There has to be a witness or he/she must read God's Word (the Bible) to know how to be saved and to do what God says he/she has to do to be saved." (Read Rom. 10: 13, John 1: 12.). Man is not automatically saved. (See also Rom. 8: 9, John 3: 36, Heb. 9: 27.).
"The Bible teaches that Jesus is the only way to Heaven and the only way to God the Father." (Read John 14: 6.).
Probably other statements are heard also. When an individual makes statements such as these, because that is what he or she believes, some people get angry. A lot of ridicule is heaped on them for making those kinds of statements, statements indicating what he or she believes in, his or her beliefs. When an individual talks about this, the usual responses are, "Well, what about the Muslims, the Buddhists, and so forth? If that is what they're taught from childhood on, how can a holy righteous God punish them for something they did not even know was wrong? That's not their fault. They don't know any better. What if that's all they knew? What if they never heard? What if they do not hear about how Jesus died on the cross? That's not fair for God to send them to hell for that. Some people will never get the chance to read the Bible. They don't even know there is a book called the Bible. They may not even know that God exists. So how can God send them to hell for something like that? I think God will take them to Heaven." That is what they say. Those are some of the questions and statements that are made when an individual says, "A person cannot go to Heaven if he or she does not receive Jesus as his/her Savior.", etc... or "For an individual to be saved, he or she needs to be told how to, according to the Scriptures.", etc....
Well, you will find the true answers in this paper, if you'll read it. Can an individual be saved without hearing the gospel? Or you could say, "Can a person be saved without a witness? Can an individual be saved just by doing the best he or she can, just by living a good life?" The answer is, "No!" He or she must hear, or read, God's Word (the Bible) to know how to be saved, and that individual needs to receive Jesus as his Savior.
The Scripture says,
"For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Rom. 10: 10) (See Gal. 1: 8 - 9.).
"For the scripture saith (says), Whosoever believeth on Him (Jesus) shall not be ashamed."
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Rom. 10: 17) (And you can increase your faith by reading the Bible too.).
How can they confess Jesus as their Savior if they never heard about Him? How can they call upon Him if they never heard about Him? That's impossible! Yet the Bible tells us they need to do that to be saved. You must hear the Word of God to desire to be saved. (Or you can read the Bible. Reading God's Word will also increase your faith and desire to be saved.). That's why it's so important for Christians to tell others how to be saved, and how to read the Bible, for they cannot go to Heaven apart from Christ. They must receive Him and call upon Him, through prayer. Prayer is the only way to communicate to Him. To be sure, He hears and knows all things, but we still need to pray to Him. Jesus told us that we ought to pray, as He Himself communicated with His Father in that way. And, of course, He can communicate with us through His Word, the Bible. That's one of the reasons we should be reading His Word. That's how we learn all about God and the things that have happened, and the things that will happen in the future (prophecy). So, can a person be saved by just living a good life, doing the best he can, or by looking at a tree and saying, "My, that represents the God who made it," and thus be saved? No he can't. He must hear the message of salvation or read God's plan of salvation in the Bible, to be saved and then receive salvation. And if you receive Jesus as your Savior by faith, true genuine faith, then you will not be ashamed to talk about Him, and about the Bible, with other people, whether they are saved or unsaved. You will enjoy talking about God and the things of God.
Is There Such a Thing as Being Saved?
Yes there is. The Bible tells us if we do something, namely, confess Jesus with our mouth and believe that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved. When we do this we are receiving Him as our Savior.
"He came unto His own (the Jews), and His own received Him not."
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt (shall) believe in thine heart that God hath (has) raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Rom. 10: 9)
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be saved." (Rom. 10: 13)
"Whosoever therefore shall confess Me (Jesus) before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven."
You need to confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior. This is very important. And confession is simply telling others that you received Jesus as your Savior. When we receive Jesus we often make it public by walking down the aisle to the front. You're not saved by walking down the aisle. You are saved by asking Jesus, through prayer, to forgive you of your sins, and at the same time, you can ask Him to come into your heart and write your name in the Book of Life (Rom. 10: 13, Rev. 20: 15). Then, after praying, it is important to acknowledge and confess Jesus as your Savior. You can acknowledge and confess Jesus by giving your testimony, telling others when they ask about your salvation and by making it public by walking down the aisle and by giving your testimony at the time of baptism. It's a sign to those around you that you're confessing Jesus before man. However, you may not be in a church when you receive Jesus. Then just make sure you tell people that you received Jesus as your Savior, especially if they ask you, "Have you received Jesus as your Savior?" Tell them you received Jesus as your Savior. Tell them "I invited Him into my heart." Explain to them when and how it happened. Now, if you don't remember a special moment in your life when you asked Jesus to save you, then pray and ask Jesus to come into your heart and give you the assurance of your salvation at this moment. Don't be ashamed of Him. He wasn't ashamed of you when He hung on the cross. When you're baptized, it's a sign to the world that you're taking your stand with Christ, identifying yourself with His death, burial, and resurrection. And, if you really love the Lord, you'll have a desire to do those things that He asks and commands us to do. Not only that, but you'll enjoy talking to other believers about the Bible and about the things of God. If you don't like to talk about God and His Word with other believers, maybe it's because you're not saved or you are still struggling with your faith and with accepting the absolute certainty of your complete salvation. I have found that if a person really loves the Lord, he has a deep desire to talk to others about the Bible and the things of God. And if an individual does not want to talk about those things it may be because he's not sure of his salvation. If you're saved you'll also desire to read the Bible and other good Christian books. And you'll take time to spend with God in His Word. Remember, "...faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Rom. 10: 17). And might I add, faith will come by reading God's Word (the Bible) too. And then tell people about your experience, and ask them if they would like to go along to Heaven too, and tell them how to be saved. It you don't know how to tell them to be saved, then learn how to tell them. Learn the Scriptures, that will make a big difference.
You Must Believe in Jesus the Son of God
"For God (the Father) so loved the world, that He (the Father) gave His only begotten (one and only) Son (Jesus), that whosoever believeth in Him (Jesus, the Son) should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3: 16) (Also read I Cor. 2: 9 - 10, 14, Gal. 1: 8 - 9.).
That word believeth does not mean just to know in your mind, but it means to believe in your heart also.
"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils (demons) also believe, and tremble (shudder)." (James 2: 19)
The Devil and the demons know and believe, more than we do, that Jesus is God. (Read Phil. 2: 5 - 11, Col. 1: 19, 2: 9, Heb. 1: 1 - 10, also 1: 6, John 9: 37 - 38.). Men and angels worshipped Jesus and only God can be worshipped. See Gen. 1: 1, John 1: 1, 14, 10: 30. There is more, but that is enough for now.). You can also read "The Essentials of the Faith". Satan and the demons were with God in the beginning. They saw Jesus and they believed and knew that He was real. He created them, but, even though they believed, they still rebelled against Him. That's like people do today. They know about God and they say they believe, but they don't want anything to do with Him. They won't study the Bible to learn more about Him, and they don't read good quality books about God. Even people who are basically good people, try to just live a good life. They're the hardest to witness to because they believe they're good enough to go to Heaven when they die. But little do they know that their sin still remains recorded against them. All it takes is one sin, and down they go into hell with all the evil people like Hitler, Stalin, and the rich man that's mentioned in Luke 16: 19 - 31. There is a difference in believing with head knowledge and believing with heart knowledge. If you believe with your heart than that's true faith. (See Romans 10: 9 - 10, 13, 17.). And if it's genuine faith you'll desire to read Christian books, God's Word (the Bible), go to church and fellowship with the believers, etc.... However, doing those things doesn't mean you're saved. You need to receive Jesus; then if you do those things, it shows that it's genuine faith. You're not saved by works. However, God expects some works. We call them fruits. (Read Gal. 5: 22 - 23, Eph. 5: 9 - 10, Col. 1: 10, Matt. 7: 16 - 20.).
"For the scripture saith (says), Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed." (Rom. 10: 11)
"But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleaneth us from all sin." (I John 1: 7)
I believe that means having fellowship in church with other believers. God wants us to go to church because the Bible says, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,...". (Read Heb. 10: 24 - 25.).
Saved By Faith in Christ
You're saved by faith, but you also have to do the other things that the Bible says you need to do to be saved, namely, call upon Jesus, receive Him, and believe in Him with a true heart. Trust in His death, burial, and resurrection, and His shed blood. Trust His Word (the Bible) to be true. So your trusting in these things is by faith.
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Rom. 10: 17)
When you hear God's Word, your faith in Him will increase and that pleases the Lord.
"Now the just (the saved) shall live by faith:..." (Heb. 10: 38) (See Heb. 11: 1, 6. Read also Gal. 3: 11.).
Faith in whom? Faith in what? In Jesus Christ, His blood, and His Word, etc....
"Knowing that a man is not justified (saved) by the works of the law, but by the faith of (in) Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified (saved) by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." (Gal. 2: 16 - 17) (Also read I Cor. 6: 9 - 11, Rom. 3: 20, 28.).
How Can a Person Be Saved?
I already told you, but I'll tell you again. When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we pray a sinner's prayer, asking Him to forgive us of our sins and to save us. At that point, He causes us to be born again of the Spirit. Jesus' Spirit (the Holy Spirit) comes into our hearts and we're born into the family of God. He forgives us of our sins, He justifies us, and washes our sins away in His own blood. And now that He has justified us (it's as if we have never sinned) the slate is wiped clean and our sins are forgiven and forgotten. God doesn't remember them anymore. Praise God for that!" (Read Isa. 43: 25, Jer. 31: 34, Ps. 103: 12.). That's why a person can go to Heaven to be with Jesus when he dies. His or her sins are forgiven and are washed away in the blood of Jesus. Now this only happens to those who receive Jesus as their Savior.
This is talking about Christians. If you haven't bowed your head and asked Jesus, through prayer, to save you and to forgive you of your sins, most likely you're not saved, because you didn't do what the Bible says you need to do to be saved.
"and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Acts 2: 21)
The opposite of that verse is, that if you don't call upon the name of Jesus, who is Lord, and ask Him to save you, you're not saved.
"He came unto His own (the Jews), and His own received Him not. "But as many as received Him,..." (John 1: 11 - 12)
This is speaking of Jesus. He is called the Word. He is the living Word.
"...to them..." (John 1: 12)
To those who received Him. To them, He (the Word, Jesus)
"...gave... (the) ...power to become..." (John 1: 12)
You're not automatically a child of God. You become a child of God when you receive Jesus as your Savior. There are two families. Jesus said to the religious leaders of His day, "Ye are of your father the devil,..." (John 8: 44)
Let's continue to look at the second family.
"...the sons of God,..." (John 1: 12)
The sons of God or the children of God (which is the same). If my brothers and I are the sons of Donald Duitman, we are also his children. The same principle applies here.
"...even to them that believe on His name:" (John 1: 12)
"He that beieveth on the Son (Jesus) hath (has) everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3: 36)
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him (the Father) that sent Me (that's Jesus), hath (has as of now) everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (judgment); but is passed from death unto life." (John 5: 24)
We were dead spiritually, but made alive when we received Jesus, the Son of God. (Read also Acts 4: 4, 12, Rom. 10: 9 - 11 - 13.).
We Are All Sinners
"Wherefore (therefore), as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" (Rom. 5: 12)
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Rom. 3: 23). (See also Rom. 3: 10, 22, 24 - 25.).
Those last two verses include you and me. We know that everyone has committed sin, we have all committed at least one sin, therefore, we are sinners. All it takes is one sin to be lost (unsaved). Therefore, we cannot go to Heaven because God is Holy and He cannot tolerate even one sin in His presence. That's why we cannot go to Heaven without accepting what Jesus did on the cross for us. His blood is our ticket to Heaven. And when we receive Jesus as our Savior and pray asking Jesus to forgive us of our sins, He forgives us and washes us in His precious blood. He comes into our hearts through His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, who is called the Spirit of Christ and He dwells within each Christian. He does not dwell in the unbeliever. And God causes us to be born again of His Spirit. The Holy Spirit seals us until the day of redemption, which will be when the Rapture takes place (unless, of course, we die first, then it will be the day we die). God takes us out of the family of Satan and puts us in the family of God. And at that point we become one of God's children (sons of God). But all of us have sinned. And, if we want to go to Heaven, we need to get rid of those sins and you can only do that by receiving Jesus as your Savior and having your sins washed away in His precious blood. Even after we accept Jesus as our Savior, we still fail the Lord so often, but we strive toward a cleaner life in Christ. We need to try to turn from our sins. We know that our sins past, present, and future are all covered by Jesus' blood.
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying (building up), that it may minister grace unto the hearers." (Eph. 4: 29)
"...And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (II Tim. 2: 19) (Read also I Cor. 2: 9 - 10, 3: 16 - 17, II Cor. 1: 22, 5: 17, 6: 2, Rom. 8: 9, John 1: 12, 3: 3, 18, 35, 36, 14: 6, Gal. 4: 6, Eph. 1: 13, 3: 17, 4: 30 - 32, Col. 3: 8.).
The Fundamentals of the Bible
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