I guess if you’re Rob Bell, "everyone is already saved". However, there are those in the COG circles who want to go to the opposite extreme and add all sorts of un-Biblical (yes, the "Bible" with a capital ‘B’, not someone’s notion of it) requirements to salvation. What does the Bible say?
Q: "Endure" what? Persecution? For what?
23But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. (Matthew 10:23, King James Version)
Q: Where else does it say we must "endure"?
Q: Again, "endure" what?
Q: Who will do the persecuting?
Q: "Betray one another"? Does that mean people in the Church?
Q: Will people rise up and become false leaders within the church? Will they take titles upon themselves that should not be? Will they turn people away from the truth?
Q: But, that’s just the world’s version of love, right?
1) affection, good will, love, benevolence, brotherly love
2) love feasts
Q: Are you sure this is the love of God being referred to?
Q: Is anything required to be saved?
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18, King James Version)
Q: So, I hear it is a "free gift", and so therefore I don’t have to do anything, right?
Q: So, you mean I must do something?How does that make it a "free gift", then?
A: If you are drowning and someone throws you a life preserver, would you give credit to yourself for saving yourself? No, I hope not. Would you consider the person who threw you the life preserver and reeled you in as a savior? I hope so. Would you hang onto the life preserver? Only if you want to be saved.
Q: Isn’t that giving me too much credit? What about the Holy Spirit?
A: It’s the rope that connects you with your Savior. Without it, you will be separated from Him.
Q: What about all these commandments? Weren’t they done away?
17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19, King James Version)
Q: What identifies God’s people?
17And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:17, King James Version)
25And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. (Luke 10:25-27, King James Version)
Q: I hear all these people saying various things. How can I be sure if what someone’s telling me is true?
A1: HWA said, "Don’t believe me, believe your Bible!
10And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:10-11, King James Version)
Q: Some people say that if I don’t belong to their group or believe exactly what they believe that I am "Laodicean" and will go through the tribulation!
25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Q: Some people say I am Laodicean and will go into the Lake of Fire!
A: Laodicea is one’s of Christ’s Churches in the Book of Revelation. So, is God going to send His children into the Lake of Fire?
Q: So, what does "Laodicean" mean?
A: It is a compound word meaning "The people judge" or "Judgment of the people". It is people deciding for themselves what is right and wrong instead of God, much like what happened in the Book of Judges. It is the spirit of self-sufficiency, hypocrisy and self-righteousness that leads to judging others in an unrighteous manner.
Q: So, what of these people that seem so judgmental, especially about things I cannot find in the Bible?
1Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Q: Why does God allow this?
25But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. [The wheat must endure even in the midst of tares.]
30Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. (Matthew 13:25-30, King James Version)
36Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
37He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
Q: What are tares?
A: Tares are believed to be the darnel or cockle. From Wikipedia:
Darnel is mentioned as a weed in Shakespeare’s King Lear. It usually grows in the same production zones as wheat and is considered a weed. The similarity between these two plants is so extensive that in some regions cockle is referred to as false wheat. It bears a close resemblance to wheat until the ear appears. The ears on the real wheat are so heavy that it makes the entire plant droop downward, but L. temulentum, whose ears are light, stands up straight. The wheat will also appear brown when ripe, whereas the darnel is black. When the Lolium matures, the spikelets turn edge ways to the rachis where the wheat spikelets remain as they grew previously.
It parasitizes wheat fields. The French word for darnel is "ivraie" (from Latin ebriacus, ‘intoxicated’), which expresses that weed’s characteristic of making one feel poisoned with drunkenness, and can cause death. This characteristic is also alluded to in the scientific name (Latin temulentus = drunk).
Q: So, tares are poisonous?
A: Yes, and another word for poison in the Bible is "bitter".
Q: What are you referring to?
15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
~ Heb 12:15 (NLT)
Q: What could a bitter attitude of viewing God as cold and harsh lead to?
24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 25:24-30, New King James Version)
Q: So, where in the Bible does it say I must read the Mystery of the Ages in order to be saved?
Q: Where in the Bible does it say I must acknowledge HWA as the End-Time Elijah in order to be saved?
Q: Where in the Bible does it I must believe in “God’s form of government” in the church in order to be saved?
Q: Where in the Bible does it say I must be able right now to identify the Man of Perdition in 2Th 2 in order to be saved?
Q: Where in the Bible does it say I must declare any living man a prophet in order to be saved?
Q: What will happen to people who insist upon adding such things to God’s Word?
18For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19, King James Version)