At the May 22-25 GES annual conference, I heard a great message from Bob Bryant. At one point, he referred to a July 2009 Grace in Focus article I had written, “Four Free Grace Views Related to Two Issues.” See here. I didn’t recognize it because he explained it so much better than I had. He told me afterward that he just simplified what I wrote.
This blog is my redo.
According to most Free Grace people, there are one or two saving issues. One group says you must believe the first truth in order to be saved. Another group says you must believe truth two. A third group says that both truths must be believed. And a fourth group says neither truth needs to be believed.
Group 1: Jesus, the Giver, guarantees the Gift of God, everlasting life, to all who believe in Him for that gift (John 3:16; 4:10-14; Eph 2:9).
Group 2: All who believe in Jesus’ deity, death for our sins, and bodily resurrection are saved, whether or not they believe they are secure (1 Cor 15:1-11).
Group 3: In order to be saved, you must believe in His deity, death, and resurrection, AND in His promise of everlasting life that cannot be lost.
Group 4: You do not need to believe in Jesus’ deity, death, and resurrection, or His promise of everlasting life. Instead, you must believe that God sent Jesus (John 5:24).
Here is how these different saving messages impact your desire to share your faith with professing Christians who believe in salvation by faith plus perseverance in good works.
Group one is concerned about the eternal destiny of nearly everyone inside and outside Christianity. The only people they aren’t concerned about are those who believe in Jesus for the gift of everlasting life that can’t be lost.
Group two is concerned about the eternal destiny of non-Christians. Since almost all professing Christians believe in Jesus’ deity, death, and resurrection, this group is unconcerned about most Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox.
Group three is unsettled about the same people as group one–nearly everyone.
Group four is not concerned about the salvation of most Christians. If we are to take them at their word, they are not concerned about most Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists either, since those religions teach that Jesus was sent by God.i
What do you believe that a person must believe to gain everlasting life? That is a vital question for your assurance of your eternal destiny. But it also impacts how (and whether) you evangelize friends and loved ones.
iHindus call Him an acharya, a person whose life shines as an example of true spirituality. Muslims call Jesus Isa and consider Him to be a Muslim prophet. Buddhists believe that Jesus was a wise and holy man.