Salvation is Conditional

Note: By the word “salvation” in this article, I mean the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time, as Peter describes it in I Peter 1:5. (As opposed to the idea of being born again and being justified when a person first believes.) This salvation takes place when Jesus executes judgment as He promised in John 5:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.  26 “For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself;  27 and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.  28 “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice,  29 and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment30 “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me (John 5:25-30).

To keep terms straight, I will refer to this “resurrection of life” as the glorification of the saints. All who are not glorified on that day will spend eternity in hell. (These are the ones receiving the “resurrection of judgment.”)

I suspect that many Christians will object to this article. Some might assume that it teaches a works-based salvation. Therefore, I wish to set the record straight at the beginning. I believe that we are saved by grace through faith which is a gift from God. It is not of works lest any man should boast. There could be no other way of salvation because it would be unrighteous for God to share His glory with anyone.

That being said, the New Testament clearly teaches that salvation is conditional. For example, IF Jesus did not die as a substitute sacrifice for sins, no human could ever be saved because God is absolutely righteous and each and every sin must receive its punishment. God is holy and cannot have sinful flesh in His presence. In order to save sinful humans, God sent His Son Jesus into the world to die as the perfect sacrifice for sins and when He died, God received His death as full payment for sins. Jesus paid it all!

Not everyone receives the benefit of this salvation that was purchased by Jesus’ death. It is conditional. Only those who believe the gospel from the heart are justified and ultimately glorified. (in the Greek, this believing never stops.)

Now let me progress to the part that might be objectionable to some. In addition to the requirement to believe the gospel, the New Testament speaks of many other conditions that are required for salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. Below is a partial list. At the conclusion of this article are some of the verses in the New Testament that speak of these conditions.

We will receive the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time IF the following things are fulfilled in us (as a way of life, ongoing, does not stop)

-If we believe the gospel (and continue believing it)

-If we do not give up (if we endure to the end)

-If we do the things Jesus tells us to do[i]

-If we do not practice such sins as immorality, impurity, sensuality,  idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,  envying, drunkenness, carousing

-If we put to death the misdeeds of the flesh by the Spirit

-If we confess Jesus before men

-If we suffer with Jesus

-If we forgive others from the heart

-If we call upon the Lord as a way of life (live in dependence on Him)

-If we seek for glory by persevering in doing good

-If we have a personal relationship with Jesus

-If we are willing to die for Jesus

-If the cares of this world do not choke out the fruit in our lives

According to the New Testament, only those who DO these things will be glorified. The rest will spend eternity in hell. Jesus came not just to deliver us from the penalty for sin which is hell. He came also to deliver us from the bondage to sin. Through His death on the cross, Jesus reconciled us to God. If any man believes the gospel from the heart, he receives remission of sins and is reconciled to God. But in addition to this, he receives eternal life and this life is the life of Jesus Himself in us.

If any man believes the gospel from the heart, all of the conditions listed above will be fulfilled in him. In other words, these actions are the product of new life in Christ. All who observe these things being fulfilled in them do not take credit for them. They believe that it is God who is at work in them both to do and to will of His good pleasure. (See Philippians 2:13.)

Following are verses that clearly talk of these conditions for salvation (glorification).

-If we believe the gospel (and continue believing it) John 3:16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 

 -If we do not give up (if we endure to the end) Hebrews 3:6  6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.  Hebrews 3:14   For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end  Hebrews 10:38-39  But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”  39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. Matthew 10:22  you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

-If we do the things Jesus tells us to do   Matthew 7:21-23  ” Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven22 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’  23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

-If we do not practice such sins as immorality, impurity, sensuality,  idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,  envying, drunkenness, carousing  Galatians 5:19-21  Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,  20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,  21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

-If we put to death the misdeeds of the flesh by the Spirit  Romans 8:13  For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

-If we confess Jesus before men   Mark 8:38  “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”  Romans 10:9  if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

-If we suffer with Jesus   Romans 8:16-17  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,  17 and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

-If we forgive others from the heart   Matthew 18:34-35  “And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.  35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

-If we call upon the Lord as a way of life (live in dependence on Him)  See my article, What Does it Mean to Call Upon the Lord?

-If we seek for glory by persevering in doing good Romans 2:5-10  But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,  6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”:  7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;  8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness — indignation and wrath,  9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;  10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

-If we have a personal relationship with Jesus Matthew 7:21-23  ” Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven22 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’  23 “And then I will declare to them,  ‘Depart from Me I never knew you.’

-If we are willing to die for Jesus  Luke 14:27   whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

-If the cares of this world do not choke out the fruit in our lives  Matthew 13:19-23  When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.  20 “But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;  21 “yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.  22 “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful23 “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

[i] Jesus told us to do many things. Some examples include loving others (with action, not mere emotion), getting baptized, making disciples, and the list goes on and on. In other words, we gladly submit to Him as Lord of our lives and do the things He wants us to do.



2 Responsesto “Salvation is Conditional”

  1. Bradford says:

    Amen!! Alleluia!

  2. Tim Parker says:

    Nothing wrong here! As I do, you stress the perseverance “side” of salvation. While Gospel truth teaches the Preservation side of God in His Gospel, we must have both sides in balance. To have either side without the other is a distortion! Thanks, Tim

  3. […] We must all take heed. Saving faith always results in a Christ-like life. The true believer loves Jesus and shows it by his obedience to Him. When Jesus lives inside a person, characteristics such as humility, caring love for others, purity and righteousness abound and continue to increase throughout his lifetime. For more specifics, see my article Salvation is Conditional. […]

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