Vast libraries have been written, and hundreds of sermons delivered to assure people who are living contrary to the revealed will of God that they no longer have anything to fear from God in terms of the possibility of judgment.
We have been "so well taught" that salvation is a gift that we have come to think that it is primarily an unconditional entrance into the Kingdom of God and an escape from the fiery judgments of hell.
Do we base this teaching on the BIBLE, or on the TRADITIONS OF MEN?
Folks, salvation is a gift that cannot be earned. It is also a salvation FROM something – chiefly SIN. You aren't saved from sin if you are living in it. Receive salvation FROM sin.
I would like to list some New Testament Scriptures which seem to PLAINLY contradict such notions.
At the same time I am aware of many of the theological tricks used to tone down the teachings of Jesus, Paul and Peter. One of the favourite ones used is to simply ignore the passages and verses which teach things that don't fit in comfortably with the standard Four Spiritual Laws or Romans Road type gospel presentation.
Here are some of them:
Lets start with Paul's declaration of the gospel itself. This is his preface in 1 Corinthians 15.
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
Paul is saying here:
I preached it to you.
You received it.
You currently stand in it.
Your salvation through it is CONDITIONAL or CONTIGENT upon something.
That something is that you HOLD FAST to the message preached to you.
It is possible to BELIEVE IN VAIN.
If you believe in vain, you won't be saved.
To believe and then give up believing is expressly declared here as something which is POSSIBLE. To deny this is to deny the plain meaning of words.
Jesus taught the same thing to the Jews who believed in Him in John 8:31-36
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Isn't this plainly teaching that people can believe in Jesus and yet be cast out of God's house? In fact the very Jews that believed in Jesus one moment, were later on in the same chapter telling Jesus he probably had a demon and were getting ready to stone him.
What Jesus is saying here is simple:
You have to stick with my teaching.
Real Christians / disciples stick with my teaching.
Don't rely on some status as God's child you imagine you have in order to assure yourself of God's final acceptance of you, in spite of your unbelief, bondage to sin and your refusal to remain in Jesus and in His word.
Nothing could be plainer to an honest reader of the text.
Here is another one:
God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”:[a] 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. 11 For there is no partiality with God.
Paul is writing here to CHRISTIANS. Either he is teaching them the TRUTH about salvation, or he is teaching some kind of dangerous falsehood that implies that you have to KEEP DOING GOOD if you want to enter LIFE, and that you will not ENTER LIFE if you are self-seeking and do not obey the truth.
Paul is teaching that there are two ways to live. If you live selfishly and disobey the truth, you will go to hell – where there is indignation, wrath, tribulation and anguish. If you work what is good (by faith – for that is the only way to work what is good in God's eyes), and if you patiently continue in this way, if you keep seeking God and His will – THEN you will actual enter life.
You can't trump the authority of the Word of God any more by appealing to Calvin, John Macarthur, Charles Stanley or Martin Luther than you can by appealing to the authority of the Pope of Rome. It won't cut any ice with God. It doesn't matter who your favorite Bible teacher is – if they imply you can go to heaven after living a life of selfishness and disobedience to the truth, or that you don't need to ENDURE in doing the will of God, that Bible teacher is an enemy of your soul. Much better to stick with the Word of God.