Christians tell us that the God of Creation sent Jesus to earth with a message of salvation; salvation from his righteous wrath of judgment of eternal damnation in Hell for our sins and the sins of our first ancestors. So if he is a loving, all-knowing God, wouldn’t he want to give us a message of salvation that is crystal clear and understandable to even the most “simple” of human beings?
Yet, for 2,000 years, and still today, Christians are squabbling and have even fought brutal, bloody wars over the true meaning of this message. Doesn’t it seem more likely that this message was not written by a loving, all-knowing God but by superstitious, fallible men??
1. Baptists teach that salvation occurs when someone who is old enough to know right from wrong (has reached or is past the Age of Accountability) repents of his sins and asks Jesus to be his Lord and Savior. Once this act occurs, there is no possible way for this person to lose his salvation even if he commits murder. Baptists teach that all children who die before reaching the Age of Accountability will go to heaven. This is absolute, it is not an open question. No babies or small children will be in Hell. Many Baptists teach that anyone who believes that he was saved in his Baptism as an infant is not a Christian and will go to Hell just as quickly when he dies as will the atheist and Muslim.
2. Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, and Anglicans believe that God can save infants in Holy Baptism. What happens to infants and young children who die without being baptized: unknown. It is an open question.
3. Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox believe that God saves infants and adults in Holy Baptism and that good works are necessary to assist in one’s salvation. Both believe that salvation can be lost through mortal sins/ongoing willful sin.
4. Lutherans believe that God saves infants and adults in Holy Baptism and that subsequent good works are simply expressions of a genuine faith, they do not assist in one’s salvation in any way, shape, or form. Lutherans believe that one can lose his salvation by outright rejection of Jesus as savior or ongoing, willful sin.
So who is right?