CAN YOU GO TO HEAVEN BY JUST HAVING FAITH ONLY?????…
CAN YOU GO TO HEAVEN BY JUST HAVING FAITH ONLY?????
SALVATION BY FAITH ALONE?
Believing in this doctrine is quite dangerous, because your salvation is at stake. What is my point in saying this? There are some Christian congregations that will tell you that your spiritual salvation could be attained just by having faith in God. That you don’t have to do anything more, like good works, sacrifices, etc., just have faith, and presto!, you are saved from hell, or the lake of fire. Now, is this claim biblical? Will faith alone save you from the fires of hell? Let us try to find out if this is true or false. Let us use the bible in explaining this complicated doctrine.
In 2 PETER 1: 5-11, it states = “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” = In these verses, it is very clear, that faith alone is not enough to attain spiritual salvation. There are many traits that you have to add to faith, like godliness, goodness, etc. If somebody will tell you that faith alone will be enough to attain heaven, then tell them to stop and read this verse. In fact some congregations will claim that faith is the greatest trait that we could have. Now, is this true? To answer this, please read the next verse.
In 1 CORINTHIANS 13: 1-13, it states = “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain, faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” = These verses state that there are three factors in attaining spiritual salvation. Those are FAITH, HOPE and LOVE. But the greatest of these three is LOVE. In the next verses, I will discuss faith, hope and love. Please continue reading.
In HEBREW 11: 6, it states = “And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” = This is faith, believing in God with all your heart, soul and mind. You have to believe the existence of God, and his goodness to us. You have to have faith in your being, before you accept God in water baptism, because without faith in the acceptance of water baptism, you will never please God. Faith is one of the factors in our spiritual salvation. Unless we have faith in God, our chance of attaining spiritual salvation is nil. But as what I had said, faith alone is not enough.
In 1 JOHN 3: 2-3, it states = “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be, had not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” = These verses speak of hope. That we have to keep on hoping that we still have the chance to attain spiritual salvation. That someday, we will have the chance of seeing God in heaven. Hope is the second factor in our spiritual salvation. When you lost your hope, and totally abandon the fight for your eternal salvation, then I could say that your spiritual salvation is in danger.
In HEBREW 3: 6, it states = “But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.” = Hope is very important in our spiritual salvation. When you lost your hope, it is like throwing all your chances down the drain. We have to keep on hoping that God will never forsake us in our quest for heaven. Do not despair, keep on the good fight, and someday we will attain the crown in heaven that we had been hoping for.
In COLOSSIANS 3: 14, it states = “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” = Love is very important. Love is greater than faith. Love for God, love for your fellow individuals, love for the poor, the destitute, the widows, and so on. You could never attain spiritual salvation without love.
In JAMES 2: 14-17, it states = “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action is dead.” = So, faith alone is not enough, unless faith is accompanied by deeds, then faith alone will not bring you to heaven.
In JAMES 2: 24, it states = “You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.” = There it is again, faith has to be accompanied by deeds, not by faith alone.
In JAMES 2: 26, it states = “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” = There you are, my brothers and sisters in Christ, this verse is as clear as a bell. Faith has to be accompanied by deeds.
In GALATIANS 5: 6, it states = “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” = When you express your love to any individual, you are doing good works for them, since love is also considered as good works. In this verse, faith to be effective has to be expressed through love.
In 2nd TIMOTHY 3: 16-17, it states = “All Scripture is Godbreathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” = In these verses, it state that a man of God can use the scriptures of God, to be equipped in doing good works. Therefore, good works are part of salvation.
In TITUS 2: 14, it states = “who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” = Even Jesus Christ wanted us to do what is good, and doing what is good is part of doing good works.
In TITUS 3: 8, it states = “This is a trustworthy saying that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.” = It says doing what is good, and doing what is good is part of doing good works.
In EPHESIANS 2: 10, it states = “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” = From the dominion of darkness or sin, God the Father had transferred us to Jesus Christ. Now, that we are in Christ Jesus, we are obliged to do good works.
In MATTHEW 25: 34-40, it states = “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? ‘When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” = It is very clear from these verses, that all these deeds mentioned in these verses are good works, and Jesus Christ had promised to them who did these deeds the reward of eternal life in heaven. Faith is not enough to bring you to heaven, it has to be accompanied by good works.
In MATTHEW 25: 41-46, it states = “”Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you? He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” = These are the people who did not do good works, and their punishment for not doing good works is eternal damnation. Faith has to be combined with good works if you wanted to gain eternal salvation.
Some spiritual teachers will claim that good works are the result of having faith. This is tantamount to saying that ‘when you are hungry, and then you eat, the result is you become full.’ This result of being full is almost 100% sure. So, when you say that good works are the results of having faith, it means that after you have achieved your faith, it is 100% sure that you are going to do good works. The question is: are all people who have faith are doing good works? No! Some people, although they have faith, they don’t do good works, but of course, there are also some people who have faith that also do good works. Take for example those prisoners who are in prison. It is safe to say that they have faith, but did they do good works? What they have done are bad works, that is why they are in prison. And according to the teachings of the bible, if you don’t do good works, just like feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, giving shelter to the homeless, visiting prisoners, and etc., etc., etc., then eternal damnation is waiting for you. First, how do the bible defines faith? Please follow the next verse.
In HEBREWS 11: 1, it states = “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” = The moment you believed in God, then, that is faith. The moment you believed that a supreme being had created the universe, then you have faith. Even though your faith is as small as a mustard seed, still that is considered as faith. Now, the question is, how do you develop your faith in God? Please follow the next verse.
In ROMANS 10: 17, it states = “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the words of Christ.” = Therefore, when you keep on hearing the doctrines and teachings of Christ, you developed your faith. Then, we could state that those who have faith are hearers of the law. Now, are hearers of the law, or having faith only, justifiable in the eyes of God? Please follow the next verse.
In ROMANS 2: 13, it states = “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” = This verse is as clear as a bell. If you are just a hearer of the law, or if you are just a person who only have faith, then you are not righteous in the eyes of God. To be righteous in the eyes of God, you have to be a doer of the law. It is not enough to just hear the law, but you have to do what is being commanded in the law. And one of the commands of the law, is, you have to do good works, and good works is under the category of love, and love is greater than faith. Now, let us try to look at the other side of the coin. Not all who do good works have faith. An example of this, are the Atheists and the Agnostics. These people do not believe in God or the existence of God. Therefore, these people do not have faith. They might have faith in some other things, but definitely, they do not believe in the existence of God. But in spite of being Atheists and Agnostics, they are still capable of doing good works. With this statement, it destroys the belief, that good works are the result of having faith as what some spiritual teachers will claim. Of course, there are doers of good works who have faith, but not all.
But some people will say that God himself did not require people to do good works to be saved, because He saved us by means of His grace. To explain this, please follow the next verse.
In EPHESIANS 2: 8-9, it states =”For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” = Proponents of this belief will say, see Bro. Ed, we don’ need good works to be saved, we only need grace. I had explained this fully on the tract I had written entitled ‘ONCE SAVED, ALWAYS SAVED”, please read it. But, anyway, I will explain it briefly, in case you have not read the tract. The word ‘saved’ is in the past tense. Does this word ‘saved’ means you have been saved from hell? No! Because, nobody had ever been to heaven or hell yet. The word ‘saved’ means you have been saved by God the Father from the dominion of darkness or sin, and then transferred you to Christ. God the Father saved you from the dominion of darkness or sin, because he knows that you have faith in Him. By means of His grace, he took us out from the dominion of darkness. He did not take us from the dominion of darkness because of our good works when we were still sinners, because whatever good works we had done when we were still in sin, has no value to God, but by means of his grace, he had transferred us to Christ, where there is redemption and forgiveness of sin.
With all these verses, I had proven that our spiritual salvation could not be attained by just having faith alone. You have to add lots of traits to faith.