Jesus: “Depart From Me, I NEVER Knew You!” or Missing The 3rd Part To Salvation

Why did Jesus prophesy of telling Christians, “depart from me, I never knew you”—despite all they do “in his name" (Mt 7:21-23)? Who are these Christians and which ingredient for salvation are they (and most likely you) missing? Read on to understand the most important prophecy regarding Christians and Jesus' requirement for salvation that most Christians “NEVER” hear of, let alone meet...

Understanding Salvation Thanks to Jesus and Prophecy

In this article I'm going to share what I learned from Jesus' words about salvation by my study of prophecy such as Mt 7:21-23, Mt 24:4-5 and more.

I'm convinced that without all my prophecy research and insights derived there from, I would not understand salvation today. I would probably not be saved. This understanding of salvation from Jesus' words has changed how I think and what I do for the better, something Christianity's teachings never did for me.

I'm thankful and happy to share these insights for you for free in this public study, as made possible by my supporters.

Now join me as I cover the following exciting points:

  • Why Jesus "never" knew and will reject sincere believers at the rapture (never means never)
  • Why I am convinced less than 1% of Christians are saved (and yet this proves God's love?)
  • 3 Ingredients to Salvation (miss any and you will be told "depart from me")
  • The missing 3rd ingredient (that I bet you don't have because Christianity has you convinced is a "heresy")
  • The most important verse in the Bible (that took me over 30 years to identify)
  • The most important parable of Jesus (it both clearly describes the missing 3rd ingredient and ties it directly to salvation)

“Jesus, are there few saved?” (Lk 13:23)

Many Christians avoid Bible prophecy because it tends to be dark and scary. (I have heard Christians confess they never read the Book of Revelation for this reason.) Yet, you probably have read several of Jesus' prophetic statements that are arguably even more troubling for Christians in particular. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus cryptically said:

Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV) — 13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Speaking about this current age under Satan's deception (Rev 12:9), Jesus predicted "few" will get saved while "many" go to destruction. (In the Millennium, there will be no more deception and the narrow path will be wide and found by all (Jer 31:34; Hab 2:14)) Of course, Christians today assume that they are the saved and that it's mainly the non-Christians who are "the many" who are the lost.

This sounds good until you realize that Christianity is the most popular religion in the world. It's so popular that nearly one out of three people are Christians (2.5 billion Christians worldwide as of this writing). Although 33% is a minority of the population, it still fits the label of "many" a lot better than it does the label "few."

How do we make sense of that as Christians? There are too many of us!

You might say to yourself that perhaps the answer is that at that time, before Christianity, few were saved because, after all, didn't Jesus tell them to pray to God for more workers for the harvest for this very reason (Lk 10:2)?

"Depart from me; I never knew you" (Mt 7:23)

Hope for this explanation is dashed quickly a few verses later. Further on in the Sermon on the Mount you encounter our titular passage:

Matthew 7:21-23 (ASV) — 21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'"

This is the day of the rapture and, just as Jesus promised, it will also be "many" (Mt 7:13) being rejected. Yet, as suspected above, the many group is easily confirmed as Christians:

  • Only Christians call Jesus "Lord" (and emphatically at that, hence the doubled title).
  • Only Christians do things "in Jesus' name" (literally and figuratively)
  • Only Christians would be surprised at being rejected by Jesus from the kingdom "on that day." (Atheists and other religious groups don't recognize Jesus or expect to receive anything from him. Only Christians.)

Yet still...why are they rejected? How can this be possible? What did they do wrong or miss? This makes no sense!

Unless...OK, could it be maybe this is talking about are the "phony Christians" and not the true Christians like us? That's where our mind goes immediately to resolve this conflict, doesn't it?

"That's Not Me/My Denomination/My Movement!"

We want to avoid the uncomfortable conclusion staring at us in the face that most Christians are deceived (Lk 21:8) and going to be rejected by Jesus. Therefore we imagine Mt 7:22 refers to some subset of Christianity who is not us. For example:

  • "It's the Catholics!" (say the Protestants) "Because they follow the Pope!"
  • "It's the Protestants!" (say the Catholics) "Because they have left the true church led by the Pope!"
  • "It's the Charismatics!" (say non-charismatics) "Because they focus too much on prophesying, demons and miracles" (Mt 7:22).
  • "It's those who aren't baptized in the spirit/speaking in tongues!" (say the Charismatics who do this) "Because if you don't have the spirit that way you're not 'born again' and saved."
  • "It's Sabbath breakers!" (say the Sabbatarians) "Because it clearly says they are committing lawlessness like Sabbath-breaking!" (Mt 7:23)
  • "It's the Christians keeping Christmas and Easter" (say the Hebrew Roots/Messianic folks who keep the Leviticus 23 festivals) "Because they are doing pagan idol worship and neglecting God's law." (Mt 7:23)

Obviously, this "pass the buck" approach to resolving what's wrong with the Christians Jesus is talking about is biased and not ideal. It is not based on systematically looking at the entire passage to see which one answer logically fits all of the given parameters about these rejected Christians.

Once you figure why these Christians are rejected, then you can find out which Christians they are or who is in danger including yourself.

Article continues below...

The End In 2026? It's Now Possible

Since learning in 2001 that Yeshua must return in a Sabbath year, I've had to rule out three Sabbath year cycle windows for the final 7 years (2003-2009, 2010-2016, 2017-2023). With the next window (2024-2030) less than 7 years away, I'm ready to share why I believe, based on the real end time sign of Mt 24:14, that this can be the one. If it is, the "birth pains" (WW3 + Wormwood, Lk 21:10-11) would hit near its middle in 2026 with Yeshua returning in 2030. Find out what's changed to convince me about 2026 and what you can do about it...

So, What Did These Christians Do Wrong?

I already wrote a very large study for my supporters to carefully break down Matthew 7:21-23 and find out what these Christians did so wrong to miss out on salvation in such epic fashion. The key I explain there is to not focus on what the Christians say or did in the middle verse (Mt 7:22) but on what Jesus said they failed to do and did instead in the first and last verses, respectively (Mt 7:21, 23).

The first verse gives us the first characteristic of those who miss the rapture: they were simply not "doing the Father's will" (Mt 7:21).

But what is the "will of the Father?" We can find that out in the third verse where Jesus names these Christians according to their failing. Depending on the Bible version used, Jesus calls them practitioners of "lawlessness" or "iniquity" or simply "evil."

The Greek word there is anomia which literally means "without law," "no law" or "lawless." That gives us the second characteristic of the rejected: they are acting in violation of a key law.

Combining this new characteristic with the first characteristic we get:

  • not "doing the Father's will" = "practicing lawlessness"

and the inverse would be:

  • "doing the Father's will" = practicing the law 

The "Father's will" then is that we follow his "law."

Which Law?

You're probably wondering how it could possibly be true that Jesus taught law keeping when everyone knows "we are under grace, not law?" Christianity commonly teaches that law-keeping is a heresy called "legalism."

But this is Jesus, so, as crazy as it sounds to Christian thinking, if he is saying we need to keep a law to enter the kingdom, let's trust him, hear him out and try to follow.

What, then, is this law he is referring to? Certainly not the Law of Moses, right? If we move on to Luke's version of Jesus' warning we'll immediately rule that out and find the right answer:

Luke 6:46 — "Why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and don't do the things I say?"

OK, not what "Moses" said, but what "I" Jesus says. That's a relief! Putting Matthew's and Luke's accounts together then gives us the following:

  • not "doing the Father's will" = "practicing lawlessness" = "not doing the things Jesus said"

The inverse of that then tells us exactly how to enter the kingdom:

  • doing the Father's will = practicing the law = "doing the things Jesus said"

The "Law of Christ"

Finally, Jesus' message is plain and understandable!

It means, number one, that the commands of Jesus are a law for believers to follow; he is to be obeyed to receive eternal salvation (Heb 5:9). Although that may sound "wrong" to Christian thinking, the NT confirms "the law of Christ" that we are to "fulfill" (Gal 6:2) and his gospel as a thing to be "obeyed" (2Th 1:8; 1Pe 4:17). (Shocking, eh?)

Number two, and more importantly, it means to be saved you must truly submit to Jesus as Lord by adopting this law. If you continue living life as a law unto yourself, like everyone does as the free moral agents they are, then you will be rejected from the kingdom!

In other words, it's not enough to believe in Christ; you must decide to become like Christ. Don't let that idea overwhelm you with some misconstrued concept of "perfectionism." Christ submitted to God, obeyed his commands and loved people as a model for all of us. To be Christ-like means you operate with the same heart and intent, even if you can't do it perfectly like Jesus did. Remember, God judges by the heart (1Sa 16:7; Jer 17:10), not performance!

What exactly is "God's law?"

Briefly speaking, Jesus concluded his Sermon on the Mount with the statement "do unto others as you would have done to you for this sums up the Law and Prophets" (Mt 7:12). This ethic is called the Golden Rule or treating others well unilaterally (meaning regardless of how they treat you). It's what we all know we should do already (without ever cracking a Bible), but we don't find the motivation or incentive to make ourselves do it because it is so hard and unpleasant. We easily justify not doing it or judge others as not deserving of this kind of love.

So the reason Christians will hear "depart from me" is because they are breaking God's law of love. They don't love their neighbor as themselves (Mt 19:19). This means the key to avoid hearing "depart from me" is by obeying Jesus who said the Golden Rule sums up and fulfills the whole Bible (Mt 7:12=Gal 5:14).

"I Never Knew You?"

I settled this question almost three years before this writing with that answer. It was quite a thrill and also very helpful to finally be 100% clear on what God wanted me to focus on.

I am revisiting it now in this new article because of an email I recently received. Someone wanted me to know that my advertised conclusion about most Christians being told "depart from me" was wrong (without having read the study) simply because Jesus said he "never knew" these rejected Christians while in John 10:14 he said "he knew" his sheep, which we "know" are Christians. Thus, the "I never knew you" statement cannot be talking about Christians (or so he argued).

Dear Tim...

In John 10:27, Jesus states categorically: "I know them" when referring to actual born again believers. ... Jesus could "never" say to any born again believer: "I never knew you" (Mt 7:23) because that would be a lie. It is therefore obvious, that any Bible teacher who says that actual born again believers are appearing before Jesus in Matt 7:21-23 for judgment, has had a "close encounter of the demonic kind." ... No offense, bro. Whenever there is a misunderstanding of Scripture, it is almost always traceable to (PRIDE). Pride is an emotion, logic is not!

name withheld

What's wrong with his argument (besides resorting to ad hominem by accusing me of having a demon and pride, lol)? Take a look at the passage he is basing his case on:

John 10:14-29 (HCSB) — 14 “I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me, 15 as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the sheep. ... 19 Again a division took place among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and He’s crazy! Why do you listen to Him?” 21 Others were saying, “These aren’t the words of someone demon-possessed. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” 27 My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

(Notice that the Pharisees also accused Jesus of having a demon in the passage he quotes, before accusing me of the same. Like the surveys say, Christians behave more like Pharisees than like Jesus.)

Do you see the flaw in his argument?

It's simple, but probably not for most Christians.

My correspondent is making an unsupported assertion that "the sheep" Jesus refers to in John 10 are Christians or "born again believers" (as he calls them). He never proves this. I know why he never bothers: every Christian already assumes this. "We're the sheep!" In contrast to this assumption, Jesus said these are "his sheep" because "they follow me" (John 10:27)—not because they accept him as savior or holding some other mere belief with no repentance.

This goes back to the whole problem brought up and covered above: Christians do not follow Jesus which means doing what he says (Lk 6:46). They do what their pastor/church/religion/denomination says. They assume (like I did as a young man) that those telling them what to do are saved and if they copy them, they will be saved, too. And so on with everyone assuming everyone is saved but not going back to Jesus' words to be sure. Jesus said this leaves you on a foundation of sand (Mt 7:24-27).

Defeating this argument was easy. Ignoring his insults was easy, too. What was not easy was to put out of my mind was that word he was focusing on: "never." I had ignored that word up to this point. How could Jesus say "never knew" about so "many" Christians.

Is Christianity really that inept? Are so few Christians finding and acting on the truth of loving their neighbor as themselves for God (Mt 7:12)?

Less Than 1% of Christians Saved?!

This all lead me to ask myself the question:

"What percentage of Christians are saved?"

I had never asked this exact question before. I had only generally considered it to be low, perhaps 10% if you had asked me a month prior.

It was almost too scary a question to consider. In fact, when I asked the question on my Facebook page, many refused to answer saying they were not to judge individuals or presume to know what only God knows (which was not required for what I was asking: only an opinion of basically how successful Christianity was by assigning percentage to it.) Of those who dared to answer, a couple said 100%, more said 50% (ten virgins, half were saved), a few said 33% (like one third the angels who rebelled?), several said 25% (one out of four categories of the Parable of the Sower were saved) or 10%. A handful of people answered 1-3%. (Two of them were Sabbath keepers who think anyone not keeping Sabbath is not saved which explains their low opinion of 99% of other Christians, lol).

This idea of "never knew" now seemed to me to point to a percentage on the very low end or a very poor "conversion rate" of Christians to followers of Jesus who he knew. For this to be true, Christians would have to have the completely wrong idea about salvation so that they ever attain it for even a second. Otherwise Christ could not say he never knew them. Is that the case?

The timing of the question was perfect. Among the people I fellowship with who know to try to "love your neighbor as yourself" I had been noticing a recurring pattern of a large percentage feeling depressed or defeated after starting to work on it. They were either people with self-worth/low self-esteem issues, or who didn't feel God was fair, or who felt people were horrible and annoying. Thus they were failing at the "love everyone (including yourself)" commandment and it was taking its toll on them as they struggled to cope with the negative feelings of shame, guilt, and failure that this brought up. Sharing the truth about what Jesus required for salvation according to Matthew 7:21-23 was causing many who tried to fail, just as Jesus said:

Luke 13:23-24 (HCSB) — 23 “Lord,” someone asked Him, “are there few being saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because I tell you, many will try to enter and won’t be able...

After two weeks of much prayer, thought and observation of people actually trying to observe Matthew 7:12 and failing to stick with it, my conclusion was this:

I think < 1% of Christians are saved or not even 1 out of 100. It may be only 1 out of 1000 or even only 1 out of 10,000!  I say this because Christians are never taught they need to work on loving others as their responsibility in their salvation nor are they trained on how to do it. They are told instead it's a heresy to avoid. It takes a special Christian to ignore all this and listen to what they see Jesus say in their Bible if they even read it.

I know that's hard to hear, even depressing or shattering to your view of God being loving. When I shared this with one close personal friend, she quipped that it sounded "horrific" for me to believe that. Another sister shared that she could not rectify a God of love with such a low percentage of people saved. She put the number at 30%, admittedly just to maintain her image of God as love.

My answer to 1% sounding "horrific" or "unloving of God" is this:

  1. 1% is only talking about this age, the first 6000 years under Satan's great deception (Rev 12:9), not ultimately. With the second resurrection, it does not matter how many or how few get saved now. Everyone who did not make it in their first lifetime in Satan's world will have a chance when Satan is in prison and God's truth fills the earth. Overall when God's entire roughly 8000 year plan of salvation is over, I would guess more than 99% will be saved in the end because God's way of life is so attractive once you know and experience it.
  2. I would argue when we're talking about eternal life that is given and cannot be taken back, it would be unloving of God to let people into the Kingdom who are not ready for it because they have not adopted and practiced God's laws that alone result in peace and harmony forever. (More on that point below.)

"Many Deceived In My Name"

Is it really possible that Christians are misunderstanding salvation so badly that they never even come near it? I say yes. Consider what Jesus predicted in the Olivet Discourse prophecy:

Matthew 24:4-5 — 4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Once again we see that "many" word coupled with a perfect description of Christians: those who come in Jesus' name, calling him the Christ. (Are you beginning to wish there were not so many Christians, lol?)

Satan would be behind this deception, after deceiving the "whole world" already on many issues (Rev 12:9). What would be the purpose of targeting Christians with more deception? Obviously, the ideal goal for Satan's targeted deception of already deceived believers (Rev 12:9) would be to make for sure that they also are deceived about salvation so well that they completely miss it!

Do you think for a second that Satan was not successful in hijacking the church, the church, mind you, that is divided into over 40,000 warring denominations? (Hmm. Care to bet on that?)

No doubt about it. Satan has been successful in deceiving the world about Jesus through the Christian religion that formed under Constantine.

Want proof? Tell me, are you mostly following what other Christians have said or taught you, or are you mostly studying daily and following the red letters in your Bible, the words of Jesus?

I know the answer for me: for more than 30 years since first becoming a Christian and even first reading the Bible, I was not studying and following Jesus' words. Not until that last few years. How pathetic and sad is that?

Three Ingredients For Personal Salvation

Are you ready now to get undeceived and find out what Jesus said on salvation?

First, let's review what Christianity has told everyone on the subject which is wrong. Christianity has taught us there are only two parts to salvation:

  1. Jesus' perfect sacrifice (and perhaps resurrection from the dead).
  2. Faith in that, once you hear about it, renders it to you as a free gift.

Additionally, Christians are taught that claiming any action requirement on our part (beyond the faith part), is "works-based salvation heresy." This has been drilled in everyone's head so much that the minute you raise any of the verses where Jesus talks about a third ingredient to salvation of works, they immediately shut you down for suggesting "we must earn salvation." They bring forth all the many verses that talk about Jesus being the only way to the Father, salvation is a free gift we cannot earn, no one could keep the law perfectly except Jesus, etc. This is also wrong.

What they are missing is that all those verses do is talk about Jesus' role in providing his part for our salvation, yes, freely. The verses don't talk about our role that other verses do. Our role is both faith and works because, as Jesus' brother James said, "faith without works is dead" (James 2:17, 20, 26)!

When asked how to enter the kingdom/have eternal life Jesus gave an answer that is called heresy in Christianity:

Matthew 19:16-19 (ESV) — 16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Whenever I share Jesus' astounding direct answer above to the question on how to have eternal life, Christians always, always say it's wrong, "salvation by works," etc. Either they don't believe Jesus, or they don't believe Jesus meant what he said!

But he did mean it. Therefore, according to Jesus, James, Peter and even Paul (1Pe 4:17; 2Th 1:8), Biblical salvation looks like this:

  1. Jesus' perfect sacrifice counted from the foundation of the earth  (Rev 13:8) (whether you know about or "accept" what he did or not. This is how people before 30 AD could be saved. This also means even Jews who reject Christianity and its pagan, Xmas-and-Easter-wrapped Christ can still receive Jesus' atonement because they are not rejecting God's word/the Jewish Messiah, only Christian word/the paganized Christ. See 2 and 3...)
  2. Faith that God is good and rewards those who seek him (Heb 11:6). (Jews believe this from the Word of God like many Christian Bible readers do.)
  3. Works/Fruits of repentance in obedience to God's will which we learn directly from seeking him (mainly love). (Judaism has the concept of tzedekah or charity from the Old Testament.)

Note: the works do not "earn salvation!"

They do, however, earn something according to the Bible. They earn reward in this life and the next (Mark 10:30; Rev 20:12-13). The next life comes as a free gift for your faith, but the reward in that life ("some 30, some 60, some 100;" (Mt 13:8) "one city, five cities, ten cities" (Lk 19:17)) is determined by how much you overcome in this life once you get saved by faith (Rev 21:7; Rev 2:7,11,17; 3:5,12,21). Again, see my study on Depart From Me for a helpful chart on Salvation vs. Reward.

"If Salvation Is A Free Gift, Why Do We Need Works?!": Here's Jesus' Own Answer

At this point you are probably confused and thinking of lots of verses that seem to contradict the interpretation above. The chief one is that Paul said salvation is a free gift (Eph 2:8) and we don't get saved by works "so no one can boast" (Eph 2:9).

How does that fit with works being required? What are they required for? Allow Jesus to answer with his own analogy:

Matthew 22:1-14 (HCSB) — 1  Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables: 2  “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3  He sent out his slaves to summon those invited to the banquet, but they didn’t want to come. 4  Again, he sent out other slaves, and said, ‘Tell those who are invited: Look, I’ve prepared my dinner; my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ 5  “But they paid no attention and went away, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6  And the others seized his slaves, treated them outrageously and killed them. 7  The king was enraged, so he sent out his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned down their city. 8  “Then he told his slaves, ‘The banquet is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9  Therefore go to where the roads exit the city and invite everyone you find to the banquet.’ 10  So those slaves went out on the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good. The wedding banquet was filled with guests. 11  But when the king came in to view the guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed for a wedding. 12  So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. 13  “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14  “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

This parable may look similar to others Jesus gave using "the kingdom as a wedding supper" motif where the invited, honorific people did not come as expected and then others come, basically the unwanted of the world. But this one has an additional plot twist that no others have. In it, someone who agreed to come and take the seat of a no-show gets kicked out for improper attire.

What? Why? I don't know about you, but this was another saying of Jesus that I didn't understand. It's seemed incredibly unfair. What if nobody told him or if he was too poor to have fancy clothes? How petty to judge someone on their outfit who shows up last minute to help you in a bind! Or so I thought as a young man reading this. I admit that I was offended by this parable at one time.

Now that I'm older and understand salvation from Jesus' words, it all makes sense:

  1. Firstly, everyone knows you don't come to a wedding looking like a bum and stick out like a sore thumb. It dishonors the couple's special day and the setting. No one has to tell anyone to not show up to a wedding wearing sweatpants.
  2. Secondly, I understand now what the wedding attire represents in this parable and why it's so important. End time prophecy describes the actual future wedding feast and stops to comment on how they are dressed, why and what it means:

Revelation 19:7-9 (HCSB) — 7 Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has prepared herself. 8 She was given fine linen to wear, bright and pure. For the fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write: Those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb are fortunate!” He also said to me, “These words of God are true.”

Righteous works are required for salvation so you fit in the kingdom as a proven, loving individual like Jesus and God are. You will stick out like a sore thumb in the kingdom if you show up dressed like a bum/acting like a typical Christian who has not focused on loving others.

How Jesus' Parable Teaches All 3 Parts of Salvation!

Therefore, in Jesus' "wedding clothes" analogy from his parable above, we could say salvation looks like this:

  1. Jesus: Jesus' sacrifice is the invitation that makes your entrance to the wedding even possible. (It was free and you didn't earn it, amen?)
  2. Faith: You believing the invitation to the point that you plan on it. You "save the date," make travel arrangements, ask the neighbor to watch your dog, etc.
  3. Works: Getting your wedding attire and getting dressed before you go: "The bride has made herself ready" (Rev 19:7).

That's why you need works: so you are "fit for the kingdom" that Jesus got you into!

If Christianity's gospel was true, here's how Jesus' wedding clothing analogy would play out:

  1. Jesus: Jesus died for you to have your invitation
  2. Faith: You believe Jesus not only invited you but will do everything! He'll make the arrangements with your neighbor to watch your dog and he'll even come to pick you up and dress you in the wedding outfit that he picked out and brought especially for you.

Ridiculous sounding, I know, but not far from the truth of how Christians think salvation works, yes?

But, Faith In What?

Unfortunately, Christianity has trained us to ignore all the verses on works "because everyone knows salvation is a free gift by faith!" Yes, it is free, but based on faith in what? You don't get the free gift without the right kind of faith.

You should know there are all kinds of faith. For example, you no doubt have "chair faith." That's faith that it's safe to sit in a chair and know it will not break your weight and cause you injury. That kind of faith saves, too. It saves you from the exertion of standing all the time. But it does not get us to heaven.

Similarly, faith in "Jesus as my personal Savior" does not save us for eternity or make us right with God. Satan knew Jesus was coming as Savior to cause trouble for him. That's why he was trying to stop him in any way possible, even slaughtering the innocents in the first century. Satan believed in Jesus as the savior of mankind. By the definition of Christianity that makes Satan saved or Christian. The demons also believe in God and tremble (James 2:19). But none of them accept Jesus as Lord and do what he says and love others for God. (Jesus called out those who call him Lord without treating him as Lord by obeying him (Lk 6:46))

We must have faith that God is good and rewards us for doing his will (Lk 8:21). If God is not good like Jesus said and demonstrated (Mt 19:17), then it's game over. Life is not worth living under a bad or capricious god. But if God is good, and we believe this, then we should do everything he says because it will also be good and good for us always.

God says to love others like he does, helping even wicked people (Mt 5:45). Loving others like that is challenging. It's harder yet when you don't feel good or the person seems especially undeserving of love. Yet we are to love even our enemies (Mt 5:43). The only way to sustain this kind of love is by having the type of faith that saves: faith that God is good and will help and reward you for doing this very hard counter-intuitive action of loving stinky ugly offensive people!

Only Way To Harmony In Eternity

Why is this the only faith that saves or why does God request such sacrificial love? In the end, it's quite pragmatic.

The only way we will have harmony for eternity is if God only lets people in to the kingdom who have not only agreed on love but who also have practiced and proven they don't quit when its painful to do.

By the way, that's why God tested Abraham by asking him to do the unspeakable act of sacrificing his own son. Would he obey even when it made no sense? He passed that test and God said now he knew he would obey him always. It also showed us all God is serious about us doing wild or hard things just because he says so. If you really believe and trust "God is good no matter what," where's the problem with anything he requires?

On the other hand, imagine an eternity church. Everyone at church agrees on one thing, not love but rather "I need a savior and Jesus saves." How do you feel about Christian behavior? Is it a "love fest" like we read about the Jerusalem church in the Book of Acts (Act 2-5) because they were following the doctrine of the apostles (Act 2:42)? Or is it more or less like the behavior you see in world (manipulation, judgment, gossip, backstabbing, politics) but with religious dress on it?

Can you see how it's actually necessary and loving of God that he does not set the bar so low for salvation that people who only agree "Jesus saves" are not let in? Instead, everyone in the kingdom will have passed the love test.

No, they won't love perfectly yet. Aren't you glad that is not the requirement for entrance no matter how many times Christians claim this when you bring up "works?" Yet they will be experienced enough at loving others through regular focus and tested by God like he did with Abraham as an example for us all. They will be getting better at being more like Jesus all the time in eternity as will we all.

"But, Tim, what about [Jesus salvation verse]?"

How do I answer all the verses that talk about salvation and Jesus?

Simple: I believe and accept them all as telling us about just one part of our salvation: Jesus' part or role. We need that part, but it's not the only part. Those verses do not tell us the whole story. No single verse does.

We have a role in our salvation, too, with two parts. We know this because the Bible talks about our part of having faith in God=his will=his Word=his goodness (Mt 19:17=Heb 11:6). But it also talks about works or "fruits of repentance" (Lk 3:8) that come out of what you learn from the Word of God you claim to have faith and respect for.

The verses about Jesus' role in our salvation don't negate or contradict the verses about our role in our salvation; they complement each other. Together they tell the whole story. You cannot negate any of the three parts by showing me all the verses about an isolated part. It's called tunnel-vision when you focus on one issue to the exclusion of all else and does not lead to truth. It's not how you understand the full intended picture when it comes to the Bible.

Most Important Verse in the Bible?

If you still have doubts about us needing to love others for God if we want to enter the kingdom (Mt 19:16, 19), allow me to share with you my exciting insight on the most important verse in the Bible and how I came to it.

For my summer vacation from high school in 1984, I postponed getting a job in the fast food industry in order to read the entire Bible. Why? I had become serious about serving God after reading some free material on the Bible given to me. I arrived at the point of wanting to make sure I knew what God required of individuals. The only logical next step to my mind was to read the entire Bible to find out what God wants. (Only later did I understand how unusual I was when I read a survey saying only 5% of Christians have read the entire Bible.)

Thirty years and many rereadings later, in 2016 I finally recognized the verse that answers my question: what does God want us to do?

Why did it take so long just to understand what God wants from us and see it in this most important verse?

Well first of all, like most, I was heavily trained and influenced by Christianity. This loaded my mind with paradigms that affected my reading of the Bible negatively as described above. When reading Jesus' difficult words, what I had learned from religion caused me to doubt what Jesus said. Or at least I doubted he really meant what he said. This is not as crazy as it sounds when you remember some of the choice statements of Jesus like "pluck out your eye," "cut off your hand," or "eat my flesh and blood."

On top of the obstacle of religious misinformation, the Bible itself presents obstacles to understanding its main message. The Bible is a big book and full of many difficult commands and even more difficult mysteries. Unlike most Christians, I did not write off and ignore the Old Testament. I was influenced by Sabbath-keeping Christians who study the whole Bible. I, too, studied the whole Bible from 1984 on.

That's a lot of territory full of rabbit trails to go down. I explored many hard mysteries such as the Nephilim, God's name and end time prophecy. God helped lead me to the people with the clues and answers. That took a long time!

Finally, in 2016, after moving to Germany and into our new house, I was led to just keep reading the gospels over and over. I knew I still did not understand the "Gospel of the Kingdom" Jesus taught and I believed it had to be in there somewhere. I came to slowly understand the Sermon on the Mount which opened the Gospel up to me. I wrote several studies on it for the support team such as Three Keys to the Sermon on the Mount.

In that study I map out how the final teaching verse of the sermon (before the first of four concluding warnings, two of which we already covered above on the narrow path and depart from me) also sums up the entire sermon:

Matthew 7:12 (HCSB) — 12 Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them—this is the Law and the Prophets [the whole Bible at that time].

There it was. Jesus said that whole Bible was summed up in the "Golden Rule." That's what God "wanted" from us. Do that and you are pleasing God. Do that and you are going to please a lot of people, too (although there's no promise all will recognize or appreciate your love or not persecute you for it!).

No surprise really, is it? We can all agree that the world would be quite nice if everyone followed this rule (as it shall be in the kingdom). But few do because it's hard and they don't realize God will help them do it if they do it for him (Mt 6:33)—which by the way is the "Good News of the kingdom" summarized in one verse (bonus!). More on that in that supporter study.

If Jesus said the fulfillment of the entire Bible is to love others, do you still think it's "works-based salvation heresy" that we should forget about?

Jesus' Most Important Parable Also Explains the 3rd Salvation Requirement

Still not convinced? I can imagine some are still struggling. That's OK. "It sounds like earning salvation" is a hard paradigm to shake.

Well, you can't expect a single summary verse in the Bible to say everything you'd like. That verse tells us unequivocally that the complete summary of the Bible is "do the Golden Rule." As I argued, we can reasonably conclude that choosing to obey "the whole Bible" that way makes us acceptable to God. Admittedly, it does not explicitly tie that action to salvation.

That's where Jesus' prophetic Parable of the Sheep and the Goats comes in (Mt 25:31-46). After giving 23 mystifying parables (obfuscated on purpose, as he states in Mark 4:10-13), in his last parable, number 24, he finally speaks plainly. He describes this Golden Rule behavior that we should adopt to enter the kingdom and he ties not adopting this behavior as the reason people will be kept out of the kingdom, the same as he predicted in his famous "depart from me" prophecy (Mt 7:23):

Matthew 25:31-46 (HCSB) — 31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of Me; I was in prison and you visited Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?’ 40 “And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’ 41 Then He will also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels! 42 For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger and you didn’t take Me in; I was naked and you didn’t clothe Me, sick and in prison and you didn’t take care of Me.’ 44 “Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or without clothes, or sick, or in prison, and not help You?’ 45 “Then He will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me either.’ 46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

It doesn't get any clearer than that in the Bible! Yet it's sadly all too easy to miss even this as my own life shows. After 23 confusing parables, the 24th is able to almost remain "hidden in plain sight." It's also a mere 17 verses out of 31,102 in the whole Bible, coming after some 23,000 verses of the Old Testament. Therefore it's as easy to miss as a needle in a haystack. That's what I've started calling the truth that God wants us to love our neighbor for him in order to have salvation: a needle in a haystack!

These 17 verses also do not help if you read them with the built-in assumption that you are good and certainly, certainly one of the sheep because you chose the right religion and are a born again Christian, like the person I quoted above assumed. In his rush to prove me wrong with Jesus' parable of the sheep who follow him, he forgot that Jesus also spoke about goats who did not follow what he said.

Under that paradigm, you just keep reading on past Jesus' warnings without asking if you really are thinking and acting like a sheep or more like a goat.

Obviously, our default action mode is "goat mode" (even if we look in the mirror and see a sheep). We find many good and justified reasons not to act in love to others. It takes conscious thought and effort to act like a sheep and see everyone like Christ as he said they were in the parable. This is what Mother Teresa reportedly did. She looked for the Christ in people she helped. Sounds like she did not ignore this parable but was inspired by it to find a strategy that worked for her.

(And I know mentioning her that some will wrinkle their nose that Mother Teresa "was Catholic," or "believed XYZ heresy", etc. But, again, that's religious thinking. Jesus' recorded thoughts above convince me that Mother Teresa will be in the Kingdom while many Christians who despise and judge her won't be...)

"Sorry, Dear Christian: You're Probably A Goat!"

Given the above, if you're a Christian reading this, I regret to inform you that, in all likelihood you're a goat and not saved. Ouch! I know, right? I bet you're almost as surprised and displeased to hear that as the Christians in Mt 7:22 will be. But I'm telling you this so you don't end up a part of that sad, scary prophecy.

I know you've been told by your religion that as a Christian you're a sheep and saved just for "accepting Jesus as your personal savior." Or you told yourself this out of a natural self-serving bias whereby we tend to view ourselves more positively than we are. But according to the many words of Jesus shared above, "few" of us are sheep and we're only one of them if we are acting like one towards others in accordance with Jesus' instructions.

How can you be sure? Well you can be pretty sure you're not a sheep if up to this point you have not had it in mind daily that your salvation requires you comply with what the Lord said about loving your neighbor (Mt 7:12=Mt 19:19). Thought precedes action. Actions do not happen without premeditation especially when the action is hard or unnatural. Also, because loving people takes effort, if you don't think something valuable hinges upon doing it, you won't stick with it. You'll quit and look for a way to justify or feel good about it.

Letting Christianity tell you "works are not required" or focusing on the verses that seem to say that, are the usual routes to feeling good again. Yet always the "depart from me" prophecy is looming to be fulfilled with people who sought appeasement now or the wide, easy path (Mt 7:13).

If you want to become a sheep and sustain that, pray to God for help to do so daily. You don't have to be perfect, you just have to make that your goal. You'll find that just trying every day will manifest a marked difference between you and the old you and you and other people around you who are not worried about the Golden Rule to receive salvation. You'll begin to receive compliments from people noticing you're "different" or "changing" or "treating me better." It's quite a thrill because you'll know God's doing it and working through you maybe for the first time.

Jesus’ Two Parables I Never Understood—Before This Article

In Luke 13:18-21, Jesus compared the “kingdom” to a mustard seed and yeast. He then moves to a full grown mustard plant and a fully risen/yeast-fermented piece of bread dough. In both examples we go from absolutely tiny or microscopic to something big enough to support birds or to fill all space. This pictures how in the millennium under the kingdom the earth will be filled again with people practically all of whom will be saved or “yeast”. (When they die they will enter the ruling kingdom of  glorified saints themselves to live forever.)

What is missing and what I didn’t understand is what the sizes of the mustard seed and yeast represent. They represent what we are starting with today until Jesus comes back to start the Kingdom rule of the earth. He picks such small things to emphasize how “few are saved” in this current 6000 year age! There’s so many Christians in history who I assumed at least half of which were saved I just could not make sense of what Jesus was saying by the sizes. My mind was blocked from understanding what Jesus said by my paradigm of “so many saved Christians.”

Obviously once I understood the other passages above saying the same thing about very few saved  like “depart from me”, “are few saved now?” (Luke 13:22-23) and “few find the narrow path to life” these two parables could be understood…which by the way appear right before in Luke 13:18-21!

Next Steps

At this point I recommend reading my previous article on the end time checklist of where to look to find areas of love you can grow in so that you're strong and ready when the end time comes and our resolve is tested on whether we are offended and our love waxes cold (Mt 24:12).

Finally please consider joining my support team where I have much content to share wisdom (Lk 1:17) for success on this narrow path.

Luke 13:23-24 (HCSB) 23 “Lord,” someone asked Him, “are there few being saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because I tell you, many will try to enter and won’t be able

Frequently Asked Questions

I have received many comments and emails since writing the article above and since this topic is so important, I'm updating the original article with a FAQ to improve understanding of Jesus' instruction on salvation:

Q. "Jesus' words don't apply to Christians because he said, 'I only came to the house of Israel'"...or "Romans to Philemon are the only 13 of the books for the Body of Christ"...etc.

A. On a personal note, I was kind of shocked after releasing the article above to hear multiple Christians say I'm wrong to quote quote Jesus' words on salvation to Christians "because Jesus words were to the Jews." That emotion aside, logically, this is easy to work out. Jesus' itinerant ministry of preaching and healing was indeed limited to mainly the people and land of Israel which is what Mt 15:24 explains to a non-Jew trying to get a healing from him. Jesus never traveled abroad in his ministry for this stated reason. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that his instructions are for "all" when he told his disciples to "go out into all the world making disciples to follow all he had instructed them" (Mk 16:15; Mt 28:19-20). Don't be confused about this and that he came to teach salvation to mankind!

As for Paul or anyone else's words being what the church should follow for salvation, this brings us to the very source of the trouble that the church has been in since the apostles died out. The church has been following human religious teaching because it's much easier to understand and follow than Jesus' extremely difficult words. Jesus anticipated this reaction in his four warnings at the end of the Sermon of the Mount (Mt 7:13-27) which is where the "depart from me" passage comes from (Mt 7:21-23). The fourth and final warning is the best answer to anyone claiming that Jesus' words are not for Christians but Jews only (Mt 7:24-27):

Matthew 7:24-27 (HCSB) — 24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great!”

If you're not going to follow Christ's words then you're on the sand not the rock, quite simply. If that's what you choose, then you might reconsider calling yourself a Christian or stop referring to Jesus as "Lord," based on his stated preference in Luke's parallel to the previous passage from Matthew:

Luke 6:46 (HCSB) — “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say?

Also, it does no good to write to accuse me of "not rightly dividing the word of truth (2Tim 2:15)" (as one lady did who said the article above "disturbed and worried" her). If Jesus' words disturb and worry you, then the solution is to repent and start studying and following them with God's help. When you project the problem on anyone else but yourself, you're not solving the problem. Christians who will hear "depart from me" will all have similar justifications for why it's someone else's fault that they did not study and do what Jesus said. (What's yours?)

Q. "You're so wrong. Jesus was condemning works in Mt 7:22. Paul said 'we're saved by grace not works so no man can boast.' I hope you enjoy heaven with lots of boasting people like you!"

A. This verse was quoted a lot at me but actually I agree with it wholly. Yes, Jesus condemned works in his name that were not what he commanded. The distinction that is lost on my critics is that just because the works that Jesus commanded are still required for salvation doesn't mean they "earn" us salvation, which is still a "free gift."

It's like the analogy I used above: the invitation to the wedding is free (salvation). The high standard of dress at the wedding (works) is only a requirement to fit in at the wedding (eternal life with the family of God in loving harmony). By extension of that analogy, nobody ever gets invited to a wedding only after they first work for the host or show them all their clothing, yes? The invitation comes for free to those who are willing to believe it's legit and accept it (faith). They just better not show up without proper attire (works based on the faith that it's legit) and embarrass themselves or the honored couple who invited them!

Are all of you Ephesians 2:9 fans getting this now? If not, see the question above about what Jesus will say to you at the rapture if you try to quote Paul to him as an explanation for why you didn't listen to his words about adopting a philosophy of loving your neighbor for God like he said over and over and over...

Q. "Why do you condemn Christianity or put up your condemning 1% number? Is any of this necessary? Why risk offending Christians?"

A. I don't condemn Christianity or Christians. I came up through Christianity by the grace of God and then moved on once I started checking its teachings and found it be in conflict with Jesus' words to honor its own tradition (Mt 15:3). Christianity has done a lot of good, and a lot of evil; it's a mix of truth and lies like any other religion. For this reason, I only trust basing my doctrine on the Bible.

My question "what percentage of Christians are saved" and my "1%" answer are posed to provoke discussion and thought to help people consider whether they are "in the faith" (saved) just like Paul encouraged the Corinthians to do (2co 13:5). No harm is intended, although I know some will spiral into depression when their own personal answer is not yet a "yes" with high confidence (because they  lack confidence in themselves).

This kind of "triggering" is hard for all of us, but is necessary sometimes for breakthroughs past obstacles that are keeping people stuck and unsaved. Note that Jesus did the same with his statements and questions during his ministry, offending on purpose. ("Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood..." was highly offensive and discouraging to his followers at the time - John 6:66). I've heard lots of positive fruit from my "<1% Christians saved" concept and I feel without powerful statements like this, you cannot get Laodicean Christians today (Rev 3:14-21) to stop and listen to Jesus' words that may indicate they are not saved.

Q. This "Second Resurrection" doctrine does not seem to line up with Jesus' parables like 'the narrow path that it leads to destruction' (where is the 2nd chance in that?) / I've never heard of another resurrection before. Where do you get this?

A. I get the 2nd resurrection in the literal text of Scripture (Rev 20:5, Ezekiel 37:1-14).

It's true that none of parables of Jesus mention it but neither do they conflict with it. This is the case with many things found elsewhere in Revelation like the 144,000 but not the parables of Jesus. Reading the parables properly requires careful harmonization with the rest of the Bible. This is just the same as trying to make the four gospels line up with each other so they don’t contradict. In the same way, Jesus' parables do not include everything as Revelation does yet they do not conflict either if you read them carefully without reading into them more than they say through inserting Christian doctrine subconsciously.

To that end, understand that Jesus' narrow path analogy does not say “everyone on the wide path is destroyed, 100%.” People can get off the wide path along the way before the end in either their first life or in their second. Most will only do so in their second life after Satan’s deception is gone and the truth fills the entire earth. Nobody is doomed to eternal destruction for being deceived, even though the abbreviated, shorthand explanation of the outcomes in Jesus’ parables (with people surprised they were wrong as a dramatic device) can easily lead people to that wrong conclusion that there is no second chance. If this were true, it would make God not love but hate, like Satan, condemning people to eternal hell with just one chance even while deceived by Satan the whole time. That's not the case as the consensus of Scripture tells us, thankfully!

Q. Isn't explaining "I never knew you" so much simpler than you make it and just about how Christians "don't know Jesus" or have a "personal relationship Jesus?"

A. That's completely backwards from what Jesus said and taught. He did not say, "You didn't know me." He says he doesn't know you...because you don't do his Father's will (which is what he taught the preceding 3 chapters and everywhere else). You did your own thing, lawlessly, doing "lawlessness."

That Jesus said it this way makes sense. For example, if you want to get into the White House, it's not important if you know President Trump but whether he knows you. Jesus has his own "Lamb's Book of Life" to check your name on. Conversely, and contrary to what Christianity vaguely says about "developing a personal relationship with Jesus" (?), we do not have the ability to meet and "know Jesus" today. We're on earth and he's up in Heaven until his time of return (Acts 3:21).

But we don't need to! Thankfully we can know what Jesus said to do and do it so we have our names written in his Book of Life. That's the focus that Jesus is concerned about and the one that produces fruit. Vague platitudes do not produce much of anything beyond a temporary appeasement. Jesus is not really expressing concern about who knows who, but rather who is operating in love like God the Father is (1Jn 4:7).

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Lynda Drake - November 17, 2023

This article had a profound effect on me. I was already at a point where I KNEW I needed to be nicer to others online. Especially on Twitter where every interaction is a bloodbath. But, seeing Tim lay it all out like this…my gosh. It all became very painfully REAL. Jesus Christ is not kidding when he says to love others! That was a major point for his coming to earth, after all, was it not? It wasn’t to be a great and powerful general who would fight and defeat Israel’s enemies. It was to preach love, and then to give the ultimate gift of love to all humanity in the form of his sacrifice and the salvation his sacrifice makes possible.

When you are a follower of Christ it’s very easy to become complacent and think you are good enough for God’s kingdom. After all, you aren’t living like thoooose yucky people over there. You don’t have abortions, have sex with strangers, lie, steal, murder, rape. You aren’t violent to others. Shouldn’t that be enough? Sadly. No. Christians are called to a higher law. A higher standard. Of all people we should know better.

I’m LDS (Mormon). I’ve been on the receiving end of mainstream Christian “love” many times. I’ve been told I’m of the devil, my theology is demonic, I belong to a cult, and so on etc. ad nauseum. It’s really painful. And it’s unfair. I have NEVER treated a mainstream Christian like this. Nor has anyone I know. Nor has the LDS church as a whole. I (and my church, as well as everyone I know) consider mainstream Christians as allies. After all, aren’t we all looking to the greatest man who ever lived for our salvation? Don’t we want the same things? Don’t we read, and believe in, the same Bible? “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:15-20) Are the fruit of Mormons really that awful? What has the LDS church done that has yielded evil fruit? Does having theological differences really warrant abuse from mainstream Christianity? For some Christians? Yes. Absolutely.

You could say, well, it’s only individuals who do this. It doesn’t represent mainstream Christianity as a whole. Fair enough. Yet the Southern Baptist Convention has OFFICIALLY declared the LDS a church a cult. Because of theological differences. NO ONE can agree on Bible interpretation yet the LDS faith is the cult. Alrighty then. Cool. Thanks, Southern Baptists! Love you too!

Side note: there is a A LOT of anti-Mormon material in existence and it’s mostly lies, half-truths, stuff taken out of context, obfuscations, and spin. Don’t believe everything you read, please. And don’t judge based on such erroneous information.

So, to bring this back to my original point, I have many times found myself online exchanging blows with mainstream Christians (as recently as yesterday) and it’s not the way I should behave. I don’t know how to defend myself and my faith without being unkind…or at least very pointed. But, there has to be a way and I must find it. I care very much about Christ’s opinion of me. People who have had near-death experiences all say you are given a life review. I don’t want to find myself cringing when my life review takes place. I need God’s blessings and it’s vital that I am worthy of those blessings. I am responsible for my behavior. Other’s unkindness does not justify unkindness on my part.

I know better. I’ve been taught better. I must live better.

Thank you, Katrina, for maintaining this site. Tim’s writing has clarified so many things for me. I have a different take on some things, naturally (Such as the New Jerusalem being built on the American continent and being one of the places for the honest in heart to flee to. Look up John Taylor’s vision. Also look up the Cardston Temple vision.) But when it comes to the Bible and how hard it is to make sense of it all, Tim’s insight is invaluable.

God bless you, Katrina, for you and Tim have blessed me greatly.

    Randy Hernandez - November 17, 2023

    Love you Lynda! As someone who was once LDS, I have a soft spot for members of the church.

    Do I agree with the church as a whole? No, but I do see some truths to be gleaned from it.

    Tim (RIP) and Katrina are invaluable people, who’s perspectives have helped me through some dark and trying times in my life.

Jimmy Speakez - February 5, 2021

This a great article in so many ways. I just felt need to point out what is so easily misunderstood. While belief is the first step(it is a choice) and love is the second(it grows), works are the result. There is no need to focus on works. They will come as surely as the the works that spring from a mother’s love. Focus on love.

Phillip S Yarbrough - September 14, 2020

People have many concepts about their religion, faith, Jesus and other aspects about the principles of life put forth by the Holy Scriptures. When concepts are compiled, they become creeds that people live by and will go to great lengths to defend. The most common defense is, “That is our tradition!” Most Christians live by the standard of their traditions and have done so through many generations. It is our “Family Tradition.” I am not talking about the old Hank Williams Jr. song! When searching out the Scriptures for the concepts of life we will not find “concept(s)” anywhere in the entire Bible. There is the term conception (pregnancy) which is found in Gen. 3:16 (NOT JOHN), Ruth 4:13, Hos. 9:11 (NOT WTT) [Since nothing major happened from yesterday’s math post, our Lord put this message into my mind for this Sabbath’s post. (9-12-20) [We had a good laugh this morning when I noticed the numbers in the Scripture quotes. Jesus does have a wonderful sense of humor!]
What about precepts? As in all cases my Lord moves me to search the dictionary. It is a handy instrument. (Zech. 11:15) The following is from our Standard International English Dictionary: *Concept – An abstract notion or idea. Any notion combining elements into the idea of one object. A thought or opinion. Synonymous to an idea. *Idea – (1) Any notion or thought. (2) The result of thinking. (3) A plan or project. (4) A concept; a mental representation of something perceived through the senses. (5) A vague thought or fancy; supposition. (6) In Platonic Philosophy, the archetype or external patterns of which all things existing are imperfect representations. (8) The embodiment of a concept. *Precept – A prescribed rule of conduct; instruction or direction regarding a given course of action; especially a maxim (a brief statement of a practical principle or position; a proverbial saying. Synonymous to an adage.) *Adage – A saying that has obtained credit or force by long use; a Proverb.
As you can see from these definitions, God’s PRECEPTS (COMMANDMENTS) must supersede man’s CONCEPTS for a concept in nothing more than a CEPT preceded by a CON.
Scripture for this message follow with reference numbers and Hebrew and Greek definitions from Strong’s Concordance (another instrument): {6673 – Is. 28:9-13} – {4687 – Is. 29:13-17} – {6490 – Psalm 119} – {4687 – Jer.35:18, Dan 9:5, Neh. 9:14} – {1785 – Mk. 10:5, Heb. 9:19} linked to the precept – Jn. 1:3, Mt. 5:3,9,17-18, Lk. 7:9, 16:15-17, Col. 2:8, Acts 17:18, Rev. 12:17, 14:12, 22:14. Proverbs
6673 – tsav – injunction: – commandment, precept. 6490 – piqqud – appointed, mandate (of God or law) – commandment, precept. 4687 – mitzvah – a command, whether human or divine (collectively law) commandment, ordinance, precept. 1785 – entoli – injunction, an authoritive prescription: – commandment, precept.
Yesterday was one generation (19 years) since the towers symbolic to man’s idea of a global economy fell. It was a sad day for the nation, but God will raise the victims in his time. We are in the very last days (years)! Think that it may be time to bring down some worldly towers of tradition (WTT)? God bless one and all!
This post on word. For pdf file for printing, request on messenger with e-mail address and I will get it to you.

John Warren - March 20, 2020

No mention of Romans 4? At all? On this extremely important topic, you leave that out?

Romans 4:1-8
1What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 6Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

7Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

8Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

    Tim McHyde - March 23, 2020

    John, what Paul wrote to the Romans adds nothing to what Jesus said or what I wrote on salvation. You didn’t think Jesus/I taught “justification by works,” did you?

Jeff Wood - February 23, 2020

Could you comment on the situation of the saved and unsaved men who were crucified with Christ? My understanding is the one saved, was saved by his profession of faith. Is that a different circumstance because he was about to die?

    Tim McHyde - February 25, 2020

    Jeff, it does not have to be different. For one, he did a bold act of love to be in a pathetic place and defend Yeshua who everyone passing was deriding. Most acts of love or persecution are of a verbal nature. Second, we do not know how God guided his life up to and including that point to be next to Yeshua that allowed him to be ready to repent there, pass that test, and be ready for the kingdom.

Cathy Bell - September 21, 2019

I was brought up a Christian and have known God my entire life, but Jesus was a historic character like Mother Teresa. He lived, he died for me and then was taken to heaven away from us here on earth. Then my husband started going to a local Sunday church – the horror! I met the people who were then leading that church and I felt Jesus’ love eminating from them. I don’t remember the day or the events or the words spoken, but I remember the love.

I came to know Jesus through that church, a church that is naturally filled with some people who are there to receive rather than give, but also with people who follow Jesus. I was inspired by those people and so I understand what you say in this article. I also know Christians who don’t carry Jesus’ love in their hearts, as much as I wish they would.

As a naturally compassionate person I think that God has given me a bit of a headstart. It has always felt like a disadvantage in the world, but I have come to realise that it matters to God and that’s more important. But I worry that I can get complacent and think that what comes naturally is good enough. Your article has been a bit of a kick up the bum to remind me to ask God to show me where I need to work to be more than a nice person. I want to eminate Jesus’ love too!

Chris Van Wyk - August 22, 2019

Revelation 7 comes to mind, who knows but a great article

david steele - May 23, 2019

I have done much study in prophecy, and in understanding the Word of God. I have indeed read the Word cover to cover. But when I was done the first time I closed the Word, and with a big smile told my self I had “done it”. I read the Whole Thing! But then it occurred to me I had not learned but one single thing. I had the wrong goal. So many do. So then I concentrated on prophecy, and the words of Jesus. I learned something that finally crossed me over into a saved condition. “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength..” In doing this, works were added to my life. That love covered all those works.
It was at that point in my life that something deep inside me…like a huge wave in my heart, overwhelming love for God appeared. So much so I could not contain it, talking about Jesus and his love, prophecy, at every opportunity. After reading all these words, I found that verse is implied in all that is said on this page. You must have that all encompassing love deep inside for a God/Jesus, you cannot see. It comes through all these things mentioned here. And compassion shown in your prayer…for others, not yourselves. For instance…..
If you are dying of cancer and your sister is as well, whom do you pray for? Not yourself. but…your sister. You already have faith that God will take care of you. That love is an overwhelming love.
Good words here. Strong and well written. Those who read this page will prayerfully consider their walks with Christ. Thanks for sharing this. ds

Sherry Phelps - February 14, 2019


Thank you for your article. I have to say, based on some of the replies I read above, you are on target because toes were stepped on. In my experience, when you are hurt by Biblical “preaching” chances are, YOU (the receiver) are in error and God is pointing it out… nuff said.

I agree with your less than 1%. I didn’t at first but after reading your article, I see what you are saying. I didn’t agree because I make the same mistake with my faith as I did with my marriage- expecting that everyone else’s is like mine.

If we are 100% “saved by grace,” “born again” children of Yehova the following happens: 1) we will believe that Yeshua Christ is God the Father’s precious, only son sent to this Earthly plain for the sole purpose of dying for our sins as a Holy Sacrifice in our stead.
2) He was raised to life on the 3rd day and now sits on the right hand of the Father.
3) That Yehova then sent the Holy Spirit as our comforter to be our guide.
4) Accepting this all by faith, unseen, and we repent of our sins and turn from them and our fleshly ways.
5) We will walk in Yehova’s grace, daily asking Yeshua to guide our steps according to His Will, not our own.
6) We will offer the grace that Yeshua provided to us freely- to others. This is His definition of Love.

I fully believe that if you are truly saved, these things fall into place. Yes, we may have to work at them but as we do, they get easier. It becomes easier to see that Yehova our Father and Yeshua our Messiah and the Holy Spirit loves every person on this terrestial plain. We begin to develop the Mind of Christ by prayer, reading His Word, putting on the Armor of Christ and proclaiming His Power!

My question to you is: How do you help others come to this understanding? How can we help them see that “love covers a multitude of sins?”

In Him,

    Tim McHyde - February 15, 2019

    Sherry, thankfully it’s not necessary to have all the beliefs you list to be saved (think of the Jews who are saved because they love God and neighbor for God). Only “God is good and rewards those who seek him” (Heb 11:6). The best way I know to teach people about love is to become love yourself like Jesus commanded and show them by your good works (Mt 5:15-16).

      Christina Gibson - July 11, 2019

      Hi Tim,
      Awesome teaching, thank you so much! Regarding your reply to Sherry on how Jews whom reject Yeshua are saved; What about John 14:6 Jesus: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”. Please explain why Jesus would say this if it wasn’t necessary after He came to die on the Cross. He also said “If you don’t believe that I am He, you will due in your sins”.

        Tim McHyde - July 11, 2019

        Christina, we come to the Father through the grace for our sins that Jesus paid for. You don’t have to know how the free grace was bought in order to receive it. Notice in John 8:24 he never said, “you must believe/accept ME.” He told the Jews wanting to kill him that their doubting who he was (the One sent by the Father) would mean they would continue to reject him and want to kill him and die without grace. Certainly, anyone rejecting any prophet of God bringing the Word of God and wanting to kill them for it (like most of the prophets of old) is not on the same page with God and not saved. They all die in their sins, not saved, like most of humanity. Read the whole chapter and it’s clear he is not demanding they “accept me as your personal savior.” Something he never said once.

      David - August 25, 2019

      How many saved?

      Some years ago I did a study using statistics from the AG and Southern Baptists Missions and on my own determined very few make Heaven. Keep in mind – less than .05% of all Japanese are Christians? Some 3% of Chinese and less than 3% of people in France even attend any kind of Church meeting on a regular basis.

      Ok, fast forward to Howard Pittman, who died and went to Heaven and was told as he traveled with his angel that the other people he saw going to Heaven with him were the 2 of 50 who had died at the same time he did. This is 4%

      Bottom line. Howard Pittman confirmed my research. Every 60 seconds 106 die on planet earth. Approx. 4 people out of 106 make Heaven. These were my calculations. 102 people go to hell every minute.

      Hell is jammed packed pal. Now you get it? Now you know? This is why Jesus told you the pathway is NARROW. Narrow means narrow – as in skinny – as in slim.

Helen Davies - December 29, 2018

Such deep meat of the Word, which can truly save us from the ignorance of lawlessness. I’m so very thankful to you, Tim, for digging out these truths that we rarely hear anywhere else. You’re a true Servant of the Lord and I pray that all who read your teaching will embrace it fully and not let go of it. I’m a much better believer because of knowing you and I am determined that I’m not going to miss one law that can hinder my readiness. Thank you so much! I pray for you and family.

Davi ramos - December 26, 2018

Tim 2030 and jubilee year 50 years? to close the cycle of 6000 thousand years, or 2017 as ben samuel prophesied?

Mario - December 23, 2018

Hi Tim, If you read all the negative comments its clear to see why only 1% will be saved…because BILLIONS of people are DECEIVED, you do not know you are deceived and thats why people will always argue. They have been brainwashed by satans fake christianity, by SUNDAY sermons, by religious teachers teaching that you “can do whatever you want” because Jesus already died for your sins…teaching you are saved by grace, you have no worries in the world. Where as, Jesus own teaching says that he came to fulfill the law…not to make it absolute, or take it away.

People should be VERY CAREFUL with Pauls teachings, My point is…would you rather follow the TEACHING OF CHRIST HIMSELF OR the teaching of Paul? It’s EASY TO RECOGNISE FAKE CHRISTIANITY…IF ITS NOT OF THE ORIGINAL TEACHING OF JESUS E.G KEEPING SABATH AND UPHOLDING THE LAW then you are following fake christianity. JESUS IS THE WORD OF GOD, NO ONE KNOWS BETTER, HAVE MORE KNOWLEDGE OR INSIGHT. Most of the 2.5 billion “christians” are deceived. Am I deceived and not another reader here? Not most likely, why? Because I believe the the TEACHINGS OF JESUS AND THAT WE MUST UPHOLD THE LAW, so how can I be deceived if you listen to the MESSIAH?

The thing that makes fake christianity so appealing is that people can feel good about their SINS, with fake christianity, you are still saved by grace! You have nothing to worry about…live as you want! you are saved! WELCOME TO FAKE CHRISTIANITY, unfortunately revelation has predicted people will NOT listen, they wil NOT see the truth, so THE TRUTH AND THE FACT IS people will oppose postings like yours and even this one of mine, because they want to live their lives as they want and still be saved…and it s heartbreaking to learn they have to make life changing alterations to follow Jesus as they should, they have to leave their comfort zones, and thats why they will rather attend a church/ charismatic church where they are fooled SUNDAY after SUNDAY into believing its all about Gods love and they can live without fear of repercussions for sin because they have already been “saved”… If you enter a church were a pastor teaches about sin and the law…the church has a few congregants…if you go to a church that focus so too much on Gods love and not laws and teaches salvation no matter your lifestyle there are thousands of congregants.

My advice to anyone reading this…always go back to the Bible if someone tells or teaches you something! If your pastor teaches you do not have to abide by the laws of God…then go back to your bible and study it…if you find a different teaching, then follow your bible and NOT your pastor…even pastors may be deceived… there are deacons and priest and pastors who studied at university…they have been “programmed” at these institutions, remember one thing THIS WORLD BELONGS TO SATAN, JESUS HAVE NOT RETURNED TO TAKE IT BACK YET….ITS COMMON SENSE TO ACCEPT THAT SATAN WILL INTERFERE WITH RELIGION AND BIBLICAL TEACHINGS

    Ron Perkins - December 25, 2018

    I have been a “Christian” since 71 and was taught to “search the scriptures” when I had any questions, doctrines, or teachings I wasn’t sure about. I also now believe that unfortunately Christianity has been tainted by the world, satan’s lies. the emerging church, ect. Following Christ and His teachings is summed up in His Commandment to Love the Lord God with all your Heart, Mind, and Strength and to Love thy neighbor as thyself! I think we need to understand that it is a daily walk as “we work out our own Salvation with fear and trembling!” { By the way, in the New Testament they were called “Followers of the Way.”} Jesus said, I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life!

    Patrick Colacicco - June 16, 2022

    So you have a problem with Paul’s writings ? He was saved by Jesus on the road to Damascus and wrote most of the New testament. Do you believe that the Bible and all the authors who wrote were inspired by the Holy Spirit ? Paul doesn’t contradict what Christ said. YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN !

    We are saved UNTO good works and not as a means to EARN eternal life. If we are not born of the spirit then we are none of his !

Melzar Daniels - December 23, 2018

Hi Tim, I enjoyed and agree with your article. Rev. CH. 1-3,seven churches written to, and only two on track. Also, as the golden rule and love is out key mission, how do we know how to love in all situations? The laws of Moses teach how God’s defines love. Should we provide welfare to the poor? Don’t harvest the corners of your fields. Is it loving to allow capitol punishment for murder? God says yes. Is it loving to buy and sell farm land? God says no. Any democratic nation with a majority of Christians should align their nations policies with Gods law…..if they believe, if they have faith.

Dotun Adeyemi - December 22, 2018

Hi Tim,

Great write up. I mostly agree with your submissions. However I wonder how this teaching will handle the case of Christians who genuinely convert and accept Jesus as Lord on their death beds without any chance of rendering works to ‘complete their salvation’. Will they also be cast out on the last day due to no fault of theirs?

    Tim McHyde - December 22, 2018

    Dotun, I’ll answer your question with a question: Did God already know the heart of Abraham before he tested him “ten times” (according to Jews) including the last test with Isaac? God knows who is just professing “Jesus is Lord” (like Christians) and who really intends to do it and will stick with it for eternity in his Kingdom and not bring violence and rebellion there.

Mark Butschke - December 22, 2018

I agree and think part of Jesus’s warning to potential believers and believers was not to discourage ‘good works’ in His name, but the ‘expectation’ that He now ‘owes’ us salvation because we worked so hard for Him. The Rock we build on is Him and our salvation depends entirely on that Rock. Whenever I find myself attempting to ‘self-improve’ I usually find myself moving away from the only One who can ‘clothe’ me with righteousness. That clothing and ‘armor’ is what keeps the Devil away and makes me presentable to God, not my white knuckle determination to stop sinning. Only God can ‘cover’ my sin. It’s my faith, but His will.

The words, in scripture, that the ‘earners’ of salvation use to implore the Lord to give them their ‘earnings’ is what Jesus seems to find so offensive. I see this attitude in many Christian denominations but especially Catholics, with all their ‘sacraments’ and bead counting, but also Jehovah’s Witnesses with their use of the Bible as a self-improvement guide. Their attitude, that we need to ‘be good’ because God is watching us is a bit askew. Our attitude ought to be like a little child who runs into your arms when they sense fear and not the attitude of ‘you better be good, better not pout, better not frown, I’m telling you why….’

    Tim McHyde - December 22, 2018

    Mark, Look at Jesus words again. He never disputes the works of the Christians in Mt 7:22 or calls works wrong. He tells them they are a law to themselves in what they decided to work on, instead of doing what he said to “do.” He very much and very clearly expects those who call him Lord to do God’s will which he said is love thy neighbor (Mt 7:12).

    Yes, there are pitfalls once you start this path like any even correct path. Once someone starts to focus on loving others it’s common to do it on ones own strength and fail. You said it. Then pride can also come in. Boasting. However, all of that can be dealt with as part of the learning curve. What you definitely DO NOT want to do is be afraid of all those pitfalls and bogeyman Christians scare you about like “boasting” and decide not to follow Jesus’ instructions!

Elizabeth Becker - December 22, 2018

I will admit I have struggled with this but the Scripture is clear. I am not naturally compassionate but I have a great teacher! I am glad to see you add in that you believe 99% will probably be saved in the end. There are so many passages that say all Israel will be saved or all will be saved. It’s just the when we don’t know. I do believe it is extremely hard right now because of the great deception and the struggle with sin plus as evil increases people’s love grows colder but great is our reward if we overcome now. This doesn’t diminish that eternal life is awesome by itself ?

Been having this conversation with a friend who says if we aren’t saved from eternal torment and people will have a second chance, why bother now? He’s a pastor ☹️

    Tim McHyde - December 22, 2018

    Elizabeth, tell your pastor friend we bother now because the reward is great: only those who make it now will be the Bride of Christ and rule 1000 years with him (Rev 20:6) and qualify to rule and teach the majority who come later when it’s easier in the 2nd resurrection (Rev 20:5). The reward is great like Paul says and not even worthy to be compared to the suffering now (Rom 8:18). (I’ll be updating the three resurrections article to address many such objections.)

      Elizabeth Becker - December 22, 2018

      Unfortunately he just calls it a nice fairytale ☹️

Nanette - December 21, 2018

Galatians 5:6 says the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love

    Elizabeth Becker - December 22, 2018

    By faith you are saved. Faith in what? It can’t be belief because the devil, his angels and the demons all believe Jesus exists, that he died and rose again, and they know he’s coming back to judge them and the world. So, faith in what exactly?

    It is faith in the promise that Jesus will resurrect us, reward us for our good works = love others, and finally save us from our sin nature and it’s consequence, death/non-existence.

      Tim McHyde - December 22, 2018

      Elizabeth, Nanette’s answer was great; short and sweet. I’m glad you trying to flesh out the faith part since Christians understand that wrong as I explained above. Your answer is close, but forgets that most people lived before Jesus came and still to this day never hear of him, so your definition leaves them out. However, people of any time or place can imagine that our Creator who gave us our lives and everything else is good and have faith in that and that he rewards those who respond to this by seeking him, like Hebrews 11:6 says. That’s a universal saving faith that leads to good works and does not require Christianity, a Bible or hearing about Jesus.

        Elizabeth Becker - December 22, 2018

        I do believe that too. Maybe I just read her comment wrong. I do believe even someone in a remote tribe who recognizes there is a creator and He wants us to love others God will reward that person.

      Patrick Colacicco - June 16, 2022

      Faith that he died for OUR sin and was buried and rose again on the third day. 1 CORINTHIANS 15.

Blaze - December 19, 2018

My understanding is you’re saved by the faith in keeping the commandment(s). So not keeping the commandment but you’re keeping this commandment because you believe in God. But I raised my hand a bunch of times when one church I went to did the close your eyes, is anyone not sure they’re saved? I think they were getting a little annoyed. 🙂 But it seems a lot simple now. It takes you years just to figure out how you’re saved.

But then again not everyone understands these commandments or that they should be doing them. Unless they really DO know and that is not a good argument. I guess if you came across the depart from me verse and didn’t take it to heart you didn’t really believe it then.

    Elizabeth Becker - December 22, 2018

    No. The New Covenant is better than the Old because the Old was based on IF. If you obey me you will have my blessing, IF not you will be cursed or destroyed.

    The New Covenant is not based on anything we do because it is better than the first. God promised to save the world even while ALL were still sinners. It is finished and done. It is what distinguishes true faith in Jesus vs ALL other religions including Christianity in its many forms. With his death and resurrection, Jesus bought everyone from Adam to the last person born (minus Satan himself, fallen angels, and his seed possibly). When he comes back, everyone will know the Lord and not have to be told about him anymore (Jeremiah 31:31).

    It’s truly amazing grace!

      Tim McHyde - December 22, 2018

      Elizabeth, actually the covenants are another area where Christianity has deceived us (Mt 24:4-5). The Old Covenant was not at all about personal salvation but conditions for ancient Israel staying in the Promised Land (which they broke). The New Covenant is not here yet and is not with the Gentile Christians but will again be with Israel and Judah when they are regathered and reunited (Jer 31:31-34).

        Elizabeth Becker - December 22, 2018

        I agree it is not here yet however Gentile believers are grafted into this new covenant and it isn’t conditional. That is supported in both the OT and NT. Like you say in your book, we will be called back before, during and after Jesus’ return.

          Tim McHyde - December 22, 2018

          Elizabeth, actually the new covenant has nothing to do with gentiles OR salvation! The “grafting in” Paul wrote of is to the tree with Jesus as the root, the tree that Israel was a part of and also had to be grafted back into after being cut off. Just as Christianity teaches salvation wrong, they also teach the covenants wrong. Neither the OC or NC is about salvation but about Israel being God’s example nation.

          Elizabeth Becker - December 22, 2018

          Woah! I read your article you linked and had no idea what messianics were saying about the grafting in. It makes me not want to say it anymore for fear of being misunderstood! For me I always understood all the passages of grafting, no Jew or Gentile, those in Christ are Abraham’s children as a promise to those in Christ will enter the new covenant kingdom along with ethnic Israel. Not a throwback to converting to Judaism.

    Anthony Ianosel - December 22, 2018

    It’s high time to STUDY the New Testament’s teachings–especially the four Gospels–by employing bible manuals which focus on the Greek Textus Receptus (the text received). We cannot rely entirely on the KJV translation, whereas it has 112 words intentionally supplanted on the instruction of King James, namely the inspired word “ekklesia” is being intentionally removed and replaced with the word “kuriou”. The difference is highly consequential! For example, in Matthew 16:18 our Lord Jesus clearly affirmed that His intention is to build “ekkesias” (global congregations)–not churches (kurion)(although the building where ekklesia people meet is “church” (kuriou). The implications are huge! The ekklesia people are “Jesus’ people” (my people), while the church building is not! Moreover, those “called out ones” (ekklesia) are HIS SAINTS because they ABIDE IN HIM (John 15:4)( NASB Furthermore, most of the Greek verbs are CAST IN PRESENT TENSE MODE (Jesus’ blood cleanses us of all sin–I John 1:7– 1_john/1-7.htm )

Thomas Noss - December 18, 2018

Thanks for challenging us with this teaching. Even if we’re in the 1%, there’s always room for improvement.
I’ll share your post on my ministry Facebook and website pages.

Bill Walls - December 18, 2018

Hi Tim, I really liked your article on the missing third element to Christian salvation. It encourages me to read more of his words and to act daily to keep his will uppermost in my mind. Your article made me think of his response when he was asked what the most important law was? He said to love God and to love your neighbor as your self. Or boiling the entire Bible down to one word it would be “love!”

But, if I read correctly you think that God gives a second chance to everyone who isn’t saved in their first life??! Which increases the “saved” from 1% to 99%!!! That doesn’t seem to go together with “depart from me I never knew you!” And the “broad path” leads to “destruction” not a second chance! Where in the Bible do you get the idea of a second chance at salvation? I believe those left behind at the rapture have a second chance, but they are still alive. And I believe God is fair so that he will give everyone including the jungle native that has never heard the gospel a chance to accept or reject him. But that seems different than your idea?

Kindest regards,
God bless, Yours because His!
Bill Walls

    Tim McHyde - December 19, 2018

    Bill, thanks, you got it, the summary of the Bible is love which is also the entrance requirement for the kingdom.

    The 2nd resurrection is in Rev 20:5 and Ezekiel 37. The parables of Jesus don’t conflict with it, but they also don’t explain it along with many things found elsewhere. Therefore require careful thought and harmonization is required just like with harmonizing the gospels so they don’t contradict. To that end, understand it does not say “everyone on the wide path is destroyed.” People can get off the wide path along the way before the end. Most will when Satan’s deception is gone and they hear the truth. They don’t want destruction and nobody is doomed to eternal destruction while deceived, even though the shorthand explanation of the outcomes in Jesus’ parables can easily lead people to that wrong conclusion.

Tosin - December 17, 2018

I wonder how you condemn Christianity the way you do in some of your write ups that I read lately and I could see you playing the same god you accused Christians of playing by judging them.
I have been a christian since childhood and I can say the kind of Christianity I was exposed to differs from what you portray as being the the way it is practiced where you are or have been but here where I am we believe in Jesus (Yeshua), faith in Him, love for him and towards others and works of righteousness which stems from your faith in Christ Jesus. Their is no way we can exhibit faith without works according to James 2:14-26 and also we cannot love God that we do not see if we cannot love our fellow neighbours that we can see. So any christian who does otherwise doesn’t understand the full details of his faith in Christ Jesus. As for Christmas celebration, yes I know Jesus may not have been born on christmas day but setting aside a day to celebrate the fact that God sent His son to us to redeem us from sin is worth celebrating but within me and my heart I know I’m celebrating the crucified Lord that was born for the salvation of the world. Yes, it could be a day that was used to celebrate Zeus before but anyone who regards a day is to him, it is of no worth to Yehovah so if I celebrate His birth and His death does not mean I’m practicing idol worship

    Tim McHyde - December 17, 2018

    Tosin, I don’t condemn Christianity or Christians; God used both in my instruction. The question is, why did you perceive it that way and feel the need to defend an institution that has deceived all of us about salvation? You learned some truths despite Christianity and so did I, but what about the billions who are not so clever or didn’t get to have “your kind of Christianity?” They are lost thinking they are saved (Mt 7:22).

    Also, I never gave an opinion on Xmas, only pointing out it’s from sun worship and this turns off Jews who see God forbade that in the Old Testament. Keep it if you wish!

Linda Hutchison - December 17, 2018

Tim, thank-you so much for writing this article. I sat and thought for several minutes after reading it and everything you said is right. My problem has been that I wasn’t seeing the needle in the haystack as you put it. After reading and thinking I feel a calm within. Now I know what I have to do. God’s blessings to you my brother in Christ.

Sue W - December 16, 2018

Like Bill above, I’ve read and learned from Tim’s work for a few years.
It’s been exciting and encouraging to see the development of Tim and Katrina’s ministry to guide personal spiritual development.
I’ve moved from a fear of missing out (on entering the Kingdom, or being safe during the tribulation) to having a framework and tools to practice the law of love and gain strength (to escape all these things).
I often ask myself what kind of person would God and others want to spend eternity with.
That helps me consider better choices in thoughts and behaviour.
Who doesn’t want to hear the words “well done good and faithful servant” Matthew 25:21-23
I lam grateful for the continuing insights from this ministry.

Nanette - December 16, 2018

If I understand you correctly, I think that what you’re teaching here is sound. I’m sure that, to many, it will sound like nothing more than “salvation by works.” However, I think you are explaining the gospel in a way that is not really any different than what I have been taught in my evangelical church. Salvation is by grace alone through the finished work of Jesus Christ. However, what many people fail to bear in mind is that a faith that saves is not the same thing as merely believing the message and saying the words “Jesus is Lord.” It is necessary to actually make Jesus your Lord and follow Him. What “following Jesus” means is neatly summed up in the two greatest commandments: love God and love others.

I believe that this “third requirement” which you’ve explained is the missing ingredient that explains a puzzle that I have been wondering about. The massive evangelistic revivals of Billy Graham (and others) happened at the same time as this moral decline and apostasy. Most of those who went forward in a revival did not then go forward to be the salt and light of the world that Jesus expects us to be. They were not told that this is part of the deal. They should have been told. If you are “making a profession of faith,” then you are saying that from now on you will now make a serious effort to obey Jesus.

I think you are being too pessimistic by assuming that only 1% of professing Christians are attempting to follow the Golden Rule on a daily basis. My observation is that many Christians Are doing this, but it is very hard to tell how many, because we are all so burdened by sin. My personal estimate, drawn from the Christians that I know, living in the Bible belt, is somewhere between 10 and 20%. My life experiences have taught me that no matter what a person says, how active in church they are, how much they tithe and how Orthodox their doctrine is, if they are not making a serious effort to follow the Golden rule, then they absolutely are not being re-generated by the Holy Spirit.

I think that a lot things in the New Testament were written so that we will understand that not all who profess faith in Christ are really disciples, and we should take this for granted. This is the normal state of things in the world. So the fact that so many professing Christians are not actually disciples of Jesus is not something to fret about. And we don’t have to be afraid of saying that a Christian who has no interest in following Jesus’s commands is not experiencing regeneration.

The Bible says that regenerating a person takes the work of the Holy Spirit. I think that those people who are striving so hard to obey the golden rule — and who are feeling like they are not succeeding with this requirement for salvation —I think these people should rest in God’s grace and focus on the passages that show us how to let God work mightily within us. Any time we strive to obey God by our own effort and willpower, we miss out on some of His precious promises. The most exciting part of living is seeing God’s hand at work. And God is at work in our hearts and minds just as surely He is at work providing our food and shelter. We can follow the Golden Rule when we abide in Christ and He is working in us.

    Tim McHyde - April 27, 2019

    Nannette, yes, people must learn to obey God with his help, not on our own strength, or they will fail. Also, almost everyone thinks I’m too pessimistic when I say <1% of Christians are saved. But Jesus said "few" were saved and even said those who followed the Bible-based religion of his day were not saved and unless they exceeded their righteousness, neither were you (Mt 5:20). You can replace "Scribes and Pharisees" (followers of Judaism religion/traditions) with "Christians" (followers of Christian religion/traditions). Unless your righteousness exceeds those who follow religion instead of God's word, you will not enter the kingdom. I meet very few believers who study and follow Jesus' words instead of manmade commands (Mk 7:13;Mt 15:9).

Tim McHyde - December 16, 2018

Mindy, amen our works won’t save us or earn salvation as Eph 2:8-9 also says but they are still required. How can that be? Think of your free invitation to a wedding but the requirement to wear proper attire just like Jesus said (Mt 22:1-4). Please see the explanation above.

Obiajulu Echedom - December 16, 2018

Your teachings are spiritual classics. Always refreshing ,exciting and challenging. A major reason people dread issing the rapture and therefore label your teachings as heretic is that false belief of burning in hell for all eternity. This is cornerstone belief that cuts across almost all denominations. The thought of oneself or a loved one who missed the ‘rapture’ not having a second chance can precipitate depression against God. On the other hand if I know that there are multiple opportunities to eventually attain eternal peace with God through the first second and third ressurections then I see reason to target any of the them my faith and the grace of God can enable me. Thanks Tim for these wonderful revelations.

Jodi Batten - December 15, 2018

Tim, I am thinking that the narrow path message isn’t about only the Christians. I always thought the wide path is the lost WORLD going down the road to destruction, and the narrow path is finding life through following God’s way. More simple. So that widens the narrow more including many Christians. I might give Christians a little more credit then you do. 1% I’m not yet sure about. I see God much more merciful, not making it so hard. He knows our state of fallen. I see many many Christians living to serve God because their transformation was so powerful. I could be wrong but I do see the “I never knew you” being about the bad apples of Christianity which I see as not the majority of Christians. I know you would disagree. I love where you simplify that all we need is to do unto others. Many that have no bible knowledge can do this by simply wanting to please God, and as they say, go to heaven.

    Tim McHyde - December 16, 2018

    Jodi, mercy has nothing to do with the percentage saved today as these so-called “lost” (as Christians label them) do not go to hell like Christianity says. They go to the second resurrection where it’s easy to get saved without Satan’s lies. They don’t become the bride of Christ, but no biggie, it’s supposed to be a special honor for few.

    Likewise it’s Christian thinking that the wide path are mainly non-believers mostly. If it’s non-believers, the warning does not mean much for Jesus’ listeners. They already know most are pagans. But please go back to my study on the four warnings of which the narrow path is the first. The warnings cover what approaches people resort to in respond to hearing Jesus’ difficult words instead of acting on them directly as the last warning says is necessary to be on the rock not sand.

    Well, simply wanting to please God without even a Bible is the start, but you must still seek diligently and stick to it when it’s hard. It’s going to be rare to find humans who did all that without knowing the Gospel of how God is going to help them when it’s hard (Mt 6:33).

Linda - December 15, 2018

Thank you!
I have been learning to put on the mind of Christ for decades. Of course, it is easier said then done.
Love is the solution to all humanity’s problems, yet most continue to justify hate and condemnation instead, thus, denying salvation for themselves.
I do my best to love others anyway. Proverbs 26:21 helps, yet I am sorry to say that I enjoy visualizing the heaping of coals on their head a little to much sometimes.
I find it easier to love some people from afar; when they get in my face I just want to attack back.
And I have been referring to Matt 5:44 as the forgotten commandment, since no one I know even considers it.
Thank you for reminding me that in spite of all my failures, loving others is doing God’s will!

Larry Wayne Jones - December 15, 2018


The one that stands before God and points to what he or she has done in their life to deserve salvation is condemned by their words. In other words what they are trusting in (their works no matter what they are) determines their eternal destiny.

“Lord, Lord, look at what I have done, or not done!”

Whether it is prophesying or lifting a finger to help someone does not determine one’s eternal destiny! Believing so is the sure way to condemnation. That one is already condemned because of not believing that the shedding of the perfect blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only works that can purchase salvation for anyone. Read again what Jesus said in Luke 18 regarding the “self-righteous” pharisee and the “sinful breast-beating publican.”

Do you really want to spend eternity with others who have bragging rights?

Ephesians 2:
8 For by grace are ye SAVED through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the GIFT of God:
9 NOT of WORKS, lest any man should BOAST.

Romans 3:27 Where [is] BOASTING then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

You see, God has arranged man’s salvation so that there is only One that is righteous by his works. His name is Jesus! He and he alone is the spotless lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. Not you, not me…and not the countless number of souls praising the lamb in Revelation chapter 5. They are all (everyone of them) praising him because they are so grateful knowing that they are unworthy of God’s kingdom; yet they are there, in it, wearing white robes that have been washed…not by their feeble self-righteous deeds…but by the blood of the precious lamb that takes away the sins of the world!!!

Ephesians 2:
10 For we are HIS workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

According to the word of God, Christianity is not a merit system or anything of the kind…

Titus 3:5
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Tim, other posts that I’ve made were not posted which leads me to believe that you will not allow the words of God that I’ve cited this time be posted for your 30,000 followers to consider.

My advice to you and yours: Let go and let Christ be your Savior!

John - December 15, 2018

A very long article. I see a simpler reason for the “I never knew you” statement. The truest test in this life is to be what God created us to be. Most people spend their whole lives trying to be or appear to be something they are not. One of the hardest things in life is to Just Be You. We are told that we were known before the foundations of the earth. Then we hear a statement like this “I never knew you”. Because you are not what you were created to be. You have rejected God whether by not following his law or not allowing him to work through you “in love.” Whatever the case may be you are not someone he “knows.” You are not who he created. So who you are NOW he never knew.

    Tim McHyde - December 15, 2018

    John, there is no “simpler” not “very long” article to explain a cryptic passage like this to its deceived audience (Mt 24:5). Your answer does not work because God created us to be whoever we wish, not what he decides. That’s the richness and beauty of this gift of life with free will: no pressure or manipulation to be anything but our own creation EXCEPT we must not hurt others but love them for eternal life (Mt 19:16,19). Jesus said he does not know those who call him Lord but don’t do what he says (Lk 6:46=Lk 13:24,25,27).

      John Dyer - December 22, 2018

      Of course we have free will. How else could we “choose” to not be who we were created to be. That is the whole basis for denying the spirit. Without freewill there could be no “true” love. And if God does not create us to be anything in particular then he could not know us before the foundation of the world or when we are in our mothers womb. He has always known his “plans” for us. But if we decide to stray from that then we become someone he no longer knows.

      Just Be You

        Tim McHyde - December 22, 2018

        John, I see you are married to this “God has a plan for us and that’s the only way he can say he knows us from the womb” idea so I leave you to it and bow out of this debate.

Jody Finne - December 15, 2018

Tim…bravo for your concise review & biblical insights on Yeshua’s true plan of salvation.
Today, many older Christians like myself are appalled & sickened at the “Cheap Grace”, prosperity messages, easy 1-2-3 steps of Salvation. Christian churches today resemble a rock concert with light shows, come as you are street clothing, coffee bars, and little reverence, or fear of God!

Television has watered down the Gospel along with elimination of Wednesday & Sunday night church services.

In 2018, few Christian churches have altars or “altar calls” – simply allowing congregants to sit quietly in their seats for prayer & worship . Yeshua also warns us in Matthew 10:33: “Whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my father in heaven.” Saint Paul also cautions believers in Philippians 2:12 – to work out salvation daily and run the good race!

One personal observation – Tim… you seem to have a post 1990’s, negative viewpoint of Christianity which is about the same time many churches gave up the hard teachings to comply with gaining federal 501C3 non-profit, tax status. Trying to raise money for building funds rarely coincides with end times prophecy warnings – not too many in the flock will want to contribute financially if the end is about to occur. Very few churches in America today give sermons on eschatology which comprises 33% of the Bible. My hope is at least 50% of true believers will be raptured as the bride of Yeshua and avoid tribulation. Not all are called to wrath! What kind of bridegroom would allow his bride (beloved church) to endure 7 years of torment & abuse (great tribulation) to prove her true devotion and worthiness? However, before Yeshua went to the Cross mankind was doomed with only a few found worthy of redemption in two major genocides. (Noah & Lot’s family) during the Great Flood and destruction of S&G. Let’s hope Yeshua stands in the gap for the majority of us sinners.

Yeshua also has a sense of humor. He knew that some of the people he healed would have a difficult keeping quiet, curbing their enthusiasm about the miracles he performed on them. It seems Yeshua was using reverse psychology knowing some recipients would do the opposite of what he verbally instructed them. Also remember that a true follower of Yeshua once baptized is sealed and receives the Holy Spirit, Comforter who works on our hearts daily if we maintain faith, devotion, and commitment to God & his son Yeshua. Daily prayer, demonstrating the Golden Rule and following God’s Will are extremely important!

Joyce Maloy - December 15, 2018

I really enjoyed this article! I come from an Evangelical/ Pentecostal background, but I cannot call myself one. I prefer to call myself a follower of Jesus Christ and not adhere to ANY label. I, like you, Have recently studied more and more the teachings of Christ directly ( the gospels and the Sermon on the mount). I also see a disconnect from what brings salvation and what is taught in the churches that brings salvation. I have also been looking into Orthodoxy recently because much of what is in our evangelical churches today seems more shallow and like entertainment today. I also love the reverence to the things of the Lord that Orthodoxy has. I also like writings of the pre constantine early church fathers. Anyway, If I try to say anything about works to my family they look at me like have a third eye or something.

Elizabeth Becker - December 15, 2018

I found this study eye opening and pretty on point with what loving others looks like.

    Todd Kemp - December 26, 2018


    I love that extra article. I have had trouble trying to explain the concept to many of my “church going” friends as to why I no longer “go” to church but simply try and “be” the church”. I started getting the judgmental condemnation for not having fellowship with like-minded christians which ironically is exactly the reason I left the brick and mortar church. Of course I still have fellowship with like-minded christians, it just happens to be in cyberspace with people like Tim and you who help me in pursuit just for the truth. Nothing more, nothing less. Your post will help me better explain why today’s church is more like the Pharisee’s and Sadducees than they were back in the time of Christ. I’ve been following and supporting Tim for a long time now and I love his teachings because they hit the truth of the matter and he is always able to back up every argument with scripture…plain and simple. No twisting, no picking and choosing. Pure scripture to support the truth. This is my kind of fellowship. Thank you for sharing your link.

      Elizabeth Becker - December 29, 2018

      I grew up in fundamental churches and 3/4 of my extended family is Catholic. “Fellowship with like minded believers” isn’t that something?! I can no longer join a traditional church even if I wanted to because they make you conform to their doctrines.

      I am glad you found the article helpful! It helps me stay focused with the love others part.

MICHAEL ANDERSON - December 15, 2018

Your thoughts on lawlessness remind me of Tricia Tillin Booth’s article, “What IS the ‘lawlessness’ of the Last Days?” I’ve really appreciated her articles over the years.

I thought I would share an illustration that came up in conversation a week ago. While organizing old files for backups, I came across dozens of videos of a likable “power” evangelist. He has a direct, counter-cultural style, and was commanding ailments of all sorts to leave in the name of Jesus Christ. He healed so many people that doors opened for him to minister all over the world, and to some very influential people.

For most of a year I couldn’t clearly discern what was going on, whether or not this was an exciting move of God, so I watched more videos for clues. And the clues came in the form of answers to questions such as: “Who approves of him?” “Do people listen to him because of his preaching alone, or because they hope to gain something?” and “What did he do to receive power?”

That last question can be answered in several ways, but consider that according his testimony, he prayed that others be healed between 900 and 1000 times before they were regularly healed. “What faith and perseverance!” you might say. But wait a minute—faith in what, exactly? Faith in healing in Jesus’ name, and faith as mental certainty, but not exactly trust in Jesus and the Father. Why would you have to convince a good God to grant you a good gift? “Abide in me, and I in you,” Jesus says, not “Ask me until I relent” or “Ask me until I have a legal right to overcome Satan.”

From what I can tell, he asked that his will be done, not God’s, and when the power for mighty works came, no one was the wiser. As for the source of the power (and I think there is power), does it really matter whether it’s from God or Satan? God sends them a strong delusion for the loving purpose of rescuing the faithful: those who see and value nothing as much as the love of God. As for me, I would not want to stand with that triumphant crowd when rewards are given.

(Name hidden due to fear of Christians) - December 15, 2018

Tim, this article has had more impact on me than I have ever felt or read. I have lost track of how long I have been following your writings. I think about 10 years plus. I wasn’t understanding what I needed to do.

I read the whole bible last year on my 5th attempt and continue to reread it. After reading the bible, I was feeling like I wasn’t good enough to make it to the kingdom of the Lord. I was getting depressed and thinking I was going to be left behind. I had so much to be regretful for, not the best life style and a lot of mistakes. Thank you so much for putting in a format that I now understand and can put in to practice. My ongoing education has enlightened me and I now see how many don’t really get it. That comfort zone most live in is off base for sure. My own church congregation and pastor appear to miss the point. Keep up the good work!

Christina Gibson - December 15, 2018

Thank you Tim for this thorough teaching. God bless you and your family!

Mark Douglas - December 15, 2018

I too have for over 30 years realized the eternal importance of studying ALL of God Word, daily. It says too many times that if we will seek Him with ALL our heart we will find Him. I am still seeking because to know Him is my life’s mission. Doing unto others as I would have them to do unto me is what I feel like is what Jesus would do and expect us to do as followers of Him, and my #1 goal each day is to do so. Great message, great truth. And yes, doing unto others does fulfill ALL the law and the prophets, nothing else does. Just so you know, I too have no fear of what is to come.

Matthew - December 15, 2018

I think if you really believe in and Love Jesus, loving others will come naturally, from the Holy Spirit. If it’s constant hard work or it never happens, it’s a sign you’re not Saved.

    Ben - December 15, 2018

    Pretty judgmental Matthew on your part, I’m glad you’re not the Almighty. It’s one thing to not love at all, believe me there are people who don’t, and another to find it a struggle to love all people. Maybe you have the capability to see people’s hearts as to why they may not love others and why it doesn’t come naturally for them, even believers, as it comes naturally for you. I can tell you this I have struggled and still struggle with loving all people especially people like the Hitler’s of the world who killed millions of innocent men, women and children in the most heinous of ways I’m sure you seen documentaries on the Nazi death camps or Bashar al-Assad of Syria who routinely gasses innocent civilians, a large amount are children, causing extremely violent deaths. I guess by your standards because I struggle with loving all people it’s a sign I’m not saved. FYI you’re not saved yet either but that’s a different topic all together. In this walk of faith nothing comes naturally “work out your salvation with fear and trembling”. If you have reached the level of loving “all” people good for you but don’t judge others as to who gets saved or not there is only one Judge of the universe who knows the heart of all men.

      Mindy Sharrae Robinson - December 15, 2018

      Hi Ben. Tim does not state that we are not saved if we cannot love all people, he states that Christ asks us to do this and indeed He does ask us to do this and thus because we love Christ we will strive to obey Him in this matter, which , of course , being sinners we will fail. Anyways , it is the striving to obey Christ that indicates our faith and our trust in Him and Him alone.

      I struggle with even the concept of love these day’s, what I mean is that I think it is a word that has different meaning in the bible then the huggy , kissy crap that we associate with that word today. Love to Christ did not mean accepting evil, it meant rejecting evil and teaching those engaged in it about Jesus, it meant praying for those such as hitler, the prayer would have been that he receive the gift of Jesus Christ. hitler lost the real war, spiritual darkness took him, without God’s help he did not have a chance of defeating the real enemy, satan. If hitler rose up today I would pray for him, that he receive Christ and be redeemed. God at times let me see thru the Holy Spirit and once showed me those lost to the evil of islam , what was going to happen to them, I don’t know how to explain this, I saw what God sees and I felt love for all who are lost and I pray for them. He also showed me that any one of us could easily have fallen to such deceptions as islam , we are blessed when we are not raised with such evil. This applies to hitler as well. In the end those engaged in such evil are doomed, for eternity , their suffering will be great , give thanks that it is not you and pray for those who are lost, pray that satan does not take them. I hope this helps with your struggle, it is something I struggle with as well thought that struggle has lessened since God let me see what He sees and He asked me, what if you had been born a muslim?

        Tosin - December 17, 2018

        Good response. I wish people could just understand this and know where saved by grace not of works lest any man should boast but the salvation puts a responsibility on us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

          Tim McHyde - December 17, 2018

          Tosin, not quite right. You don’t “get the salvation” and then “work out your salvation.” That’s Christianity not Scripture. There’s no compelling reason to do anything if you already get your salvation from recognizing Jesus which is why Christians are in the sad state they playing church instead of practicing love. Jesus says “if you want eternal life, love your neighbor” (Mt 19:16-17, 19) and “why do you call me Lord and don’t do the things I say?” (Lk 6:46).

          Brian - January 12, 2019

          Tim, in response to Tosin you said, “There’s no compelling reason to do anything if you already get your salvation from recognizing Jesus.” I have to disagree with you there because true salvation (which many do not have) responds with overwhelming love for Jesus. But I think I understand what you mean. “For even the demons believe, and tremble” (Jam.2:19).

          Many believe just because they believe in a historical Jesus that died for their sins, they are going to heaven. But, they also must believe that He rose from the dead and is sitting at the right hand of the Father. However, while many that claim they believe this, they do not in fact believe it; for if they did, they would do what He says; and more importantly, they would be more worried about conforming to His image instead of the image of their fellow church members. But this very action proves they do not believe He is alive, for if they did, why would they follow anyone besides Him? As Simon Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). This is where many turned away from following Him because they did not want to partake of His flesh and blood; that is, His sufferings (John 6:66).

          Ironically, the heresy of legalism that they fear so much, is the very thing they practice, because what is the main goal of a legalist but to appear righteous before others? And we know that a legalist has no love for anyone outside of themselves. And hey, if we are conforming to one another, we don’t have to worry about persecution for the cross of Christ (See Gal.6:12). For, persecution comes mainly from the self-righteous does it not? I mean try proclaiming real faith in most any church, you will find out real quick who really believes!

          Therefore, as stated in your lesson, love is the answer, and the main ingredient or evidence of true salvation. Consider the following passage where Jesus speaks of the tribulation: “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end will be saved” (Matt.24:12-13). Endures in what? Endures in love despite the love of many growing cold. And Paul wrote, All the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Gal. 5:14). So with that, I agree, and I hope others will see that as well.

          gar - February 16, 2019

          A simple summary of God’s plan:
          All humans will receive “salvation”, but not all will get the “kingdom”.
          Salvation is a free gift. It comes by grace, not works. Mostly in the white throne period after the millennium.

          Those who make the Kingdom in this age also have the gift of salvation, but more is required of them. They have to prove their suitability for that calling by (gasp)…..”works”.
          That’s the whole purpose of Paul’s and the Apostles’ instructions to the (small) true church today. Being “in the kingdom’ or “not making the kingdom’ is spelled out clearly.

          Tim McHyde - February 16, 2019

          Gar, not right, sorry. 1. Not all humans receive salvation or there would be no lake of fire pictured as receiving those who did not do God’s commandments (Rev 20). 2. Salvation/eternal life is the same as entering the kingdom of God, the spiritual reign and family of God.

          How to be sure these are equivalent? Because Jesus and his disciples used them interchangeably. Jesus taught, “Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). Notice Jesus’ teaching in chapter 19 of Matthew’s Gospel. The rich young man came to Jesus and asked, “What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16). Jesus responded, “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17). He went on to explain to His disciples that “it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:23) and “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24). His disciples, hearing Jesus’ comments, “were greatly astonished, saying, ‘Who then can be saved?’” (Matthew 19:25).

          Geoff - March 26, 2019

          How does the criminal hanging on a cross next to Jesus that accepted Christ as Lord and Master and was told he was assured of a place in paradise fit into this?

          Tim McHyde - March 26, 2019

          Geoff, The thief on the cross had works! Most of our sin and much of our goodness is in word, not deed. The thief repented and then went on to defend Jesus at his worst point, looking like he had failed and that God had abandoned him. This all while everyone else was mocking and deriding him (Mt 27:39-41). This was not easy as think of how vulnerable it is to be a convicted criminal dying in public with no dignity and wanting as little attention as possible. This defense of Jesus from a vulnerable place was a great work of love and repentance to go with his decision in faith!

          Geoff - March 27, 2019

          Well put – thanks for all you do for us that are seeking Him and the Truth!

          Patrick Colacicco - June 16, 2022

          Actually you didn’t include the whole discourse with the man Jesus was talking to.

          Matthew 19:16-26
          [16]And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
          [17]And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
          [18]He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
          [19]Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
          [20]The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
          [21]Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
          [22]But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
          [23]Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
          [24]And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
          [25]When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
          [26]But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

      Victor Talbot - December 31, 2018

      Ben the Illuminati is responsible for most if not all wars and mass murders. I personally don’t believe they are human, but the offspring of Satin. I think it’s not wrong to hate Satin or evil but with humans, you have to separate the evil from the good in your mind and pray for the good to come out in them see Jesus in them. Even Jesus whipped the money changers. He hated their evil deeds but it was a way to correct them cause he could have easily killed them, which in itself was an act of mercy. As Gandolf once said true courage is knowing when not to take a life but when to spare one

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