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Scripture Reading: Psalm 25:1-7
1. There is renewed discussion about what constitutes a "salvation issue" (SI) among brethren: "A salvation issue is usually defined as something for which a person will go to hell if he persists in and does not repent." (Wes McAdams, How to Determine if an Issue is a Salvation Issue, radicallychristian.com).
2. Some of what is being said about SI is the same old wolf in new sheep's clothing:
a. Core gospel of New Unity Movement (Ketcherside-Garrett) ('70's).
b. Romans 14 unity in diversity among "conservatives" ('90s).
c. Now we are being told that explicit statements that condemn sin are salvation issues (like 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21; Rev. 21:8). (Ibid)
d. But, inferences from "deductive reasoning" remove something from being a "salvation issue". (Ibid)
e. Jesus expected the Sadducees to deduce the truth (implied, not explicit), Matt. 22:29, 31-32 (Lk. 20:37-38).
3. By this reasoning, McAdams (and others) reduces necessary inferences to "mature Christian reasoning", but not "salvation issues".
a. What about denominationalism? Institutionalism? The Social Gospel? (McAdams, Baker Height coC, Abilene TX) Instrumental music in worship? Moral sins not specified (and the like, Gal. 5:21...dancing? etc.).
b. By smooth and fair speech the naive are being beguiled, Rom. 16:17.
I. SALVATION IS IN AND REVEALED BY CHRIST, Acts 4:12.
A. Salvation is Proclaimed and Obtained through the Gospel of Christ, Rom. 1:16-17; Acts 13:26; 16:17; 28:28.
1. Requires obedience, Heb. 5:8-9.
2. Plan of salvation (conversion), Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; Rom. 10:9-10
B. Christians Must also Live so as to Obtain Salvation (not wrath), 1 Thess. 5:9.
1. Requires daily exercise of personal faith, Phil. 2:12.
2. Live so as to receive the end (result) of your faith--salvation of your soul, 1 Pet. 1:6-9.
II. CONSIDER SOME SALVATION ISSUES ACCORDING TO CHRIST.
A. Sin Issues are Salvation Issues, Rom. 6:23.
1. Some advocate an "inclusive faith" that tolerates sinful choices.
2. Yet, we are to contend earnestly for the faith, not change it.
B. Worship is a Salvation Issue, John 4:22-24.
1. Both attitude (heart, spirit) and actions (truth) determine "true worshipers".
2. Can we offer God "vain worship" and be saved? No! Matt. 15:9
3. We must deduce from silence that we cannot add the instrument, Eph. 5:19. Is the instrument in worship a "salvation issue"? Yes!
4. McAdams' premise of "explicit" but not "implicit deduction" is faulty and his definition of salvation issues is false. Heb. 7:12-14
C. False Teaching is a Salvation Issue, 2 Tim. 2:16-19.
1. The fact of the resurrection, when denied, destroys faith and is iniquity (v. 19).
2. cf. Binding circumcision, Acts 15:1-2, 5, 7-20 (CENI).
3. Again, McAdams' premise flounders and fails.
D. Spiritual Neglect is a Salvation Issue, Heb. 2:1-4.
1. Failure to grow in Christ constitutes sin that will be punished (3).
2. McAdams: Spiritual neglect such as "habitually skip(ping) mid-week Bible study" is based on "inferences" and as such, "I believe we can teach, implore, and warn Christians about engaging in these behaviors without adding the unjustifiable shock value of guaranteed eternal condemnation." (Ibid)
a. Yet, willful neglect of spiritual things is damning, Heb. 2:3; 10:26-27.
b. Forsaking our assembling together is willful neglect; therefore, a "salvation issue", Heb. 10:25.
3. McAdams' inference that spiritual neglect is not a salvation issue is wrong.
III. THERE TRULY ARE SOME ISSUES THAT ARE NOT SALVATION ISSUES, Rom. 14.
A. Those things which Scripture Reveals God to be Indifferent about are not Salvation Issues, Rom. 14:1-5.
1. Such things do not constitute sin (transgression of His law) and are discretionary; not salvation related (meats or herbs, etc.).
2. Choices of judgment in such areas in order to advance the gospel, 1 Cor. 9:19-23.
B. When God Speaks His Will, it is a Salvation Issue.
1. Whether authorized by C, E, or NI, Col. 3:17 (Lk. 6:46).
2. This is how Christ speaks to us today, Heb. 1:2. Not only explicitly, but also implicitly (all the NT is implicit message to us!).
3. All things that pertain to life and godliness, 2 Pet. 1:3-4.
1. Inspired Scripture thoroughly equips us for salvation, 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
2. "Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God!" (Rev. 19:1).
3. Thank God He defines salvation, not the wisdom of men.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: May 28, 2015