Not in Words but in Actions and Deeds of the 7th century wrote “We shall recognize the righteous at the judgment because their heads will be hung low and they will say ‘We have done nothing worthy.’ ”
I am reacting here to the question “what is necessary for salvation.” The whole point is that NO ONE merits salvation, ALL HAVE sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, so therefore NO ONE can reasonably say “I am saved and I will enter heaven.” We have a very clear parable to illustrate this. One group exclaims “Lord, Lord .. we did miracles in your name” and they are told “go away I never knew you!” Now since God is the “only knower of hearts” and omniscient and omnipresent then what can it possibly mean if God says “I NEVER knew YOU?” I suspect it means that “YOU never knew God.” A second group comes along in the parable and God says “Welcome into the kingdom, I was naked and you clothed me…” and they are quite perplexed and ask “When did we do these things?” Now you would think that they would be sly and clever enough to keep their mouths shut but they are SO HONEST that their knee-jerk reaction is to QUESTION their own salvation.

We are told that we will be judged “by EVERY WORD which proceeds from our lips” and by extension an analogy we may assume that we will also be judged by every thought which we entertain (in the sense of setting out tea and cookies when it comes knocking at the door” rather thank refusing to open the door. We are told that IF we call someone FOOL (raca) we shall be guilty of hell fire.

Verbal profession of some “faith” is ALSO WORKS. Faith is not to be found in words but in ACTIONS and DEEDS which include long-suffering and patience and endurance. What about the son who said to his father “yes I will do your bidding” but then went away and ignored it while his brother at first said “No I will not do this…” but later on he repented and did his father’s will. And we are asked “which will the father acknowledge, the one who said yes and did nothing, or the one who initially refused but later did his father’s will?”

We cannot know that we are saved because it is not possible to “get God over a barrel” and point to a hand full of cherry picked verses and say “See, God! You have NO CHOICE because I conformed to all these verses so therefore my salvation is guaranteed and if you DO NOT guarantee it THEN you are a liar!”

What we have is a HOPE not a guarantee. We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling each day, each hour, each minute.


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