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The majority of mainstream Protestant churches in the U.S. proclaim this age is the only opportunity for salvation. There's a prominent minority, mostly non-denominational, that claim the period after the second resurrection is another opportunity for salvation.

The implications today concern evangelism efforts. My experience with Baptist churches are they need to reach people before they die in THIS age, otherwise they are lost forever. My experience with the non-denominational churches (who believe otherwise) are many simply are not called in this age (e.g. John 6:44), they will be given a chance for salvation in the second resurrection (e.g. Rev 20:5, barring the obvious that those who've received, then rejected Christ, are impossible to redeem thereafter, e.g. Heb 6:6).

Although I was reared around the Baptist and Methodist churches, I don't know their scriptural basis for their belief if you die in the life never knowing Christ you are lost forever. The churches proclaiming that is not the case point out a lot of scriptural support.

Some examples:

  • the Lev 23 Holy Days, an annual reminder of the milestones in God's annual plan of salvation for mankind. For example, TO THE DAY Christ was crucified on Passover, TO THE DAY the Holy Spirit was made widely available to mankind on Pentecost. To come: Trumpets (Christ's return), Atonement (Satan's binding), the Feast of Tabernacles (1,000 year of Christ on earth), and the Last Great Day (8th day of Tabernacles, is the Great White Throne Judgement).

  • birthright and firstfruits theme throughout scripture. This is way too long to post here. But, I'll reply if requested. But, it is throughout scripture from Genesis to Revelations.

  • lots of scripture showing God is not calling everyone in this age, even causing them to be spiritually blind and deaf so that they cannot respond to the gospel.

  • and various other scriptures supporting this, e.g. Isaiah 49:8's proper translation is "a" day of salvation, not "the" day.

and more.

My question: what is the Baptist/Methodist/same Protestant scriptural basis the age we are currently living in is the only age for salvation?

marked as duplicate by David Stratton Dec 21 '14 at 2:09

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    I don't get the question. Baptists believe in eternal security, meaning you cannot lose your salvation. If you can't lose your salvation, you can only get saved once. Hence it only happens on one singular day. It has nothing to do with "this age". That's mixing up two distinct theological beliefs. However, we DO believe that this age, this life is our only chance for salvation, based on Hebrews 9:27 among other verses. – David Stratton Dec 15 '14 at 13:09
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    I don't understand at all what you are asking. Can you clarify? When editing your question, assume we don't have any background information to go on, so explain as much as possible. – Flimzy Dec 15 '14 at 13:37
  • I think he's asking why people can only become saved before death, rather than after death as some (Mormon) people believe. – Please stop being evil Dec 16 '14 at 9:44
  • Please see the Types of questions that are within community guidelines if you have not already. If possible, edit this question so that it better fits into one of those question types. – 3961 Dec 17 '14 at 4:40
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What is the Biblical basis for the Baptist belief in a singular day of salvation

Here is a description of one Baptist view.

  1. Those who were saved before the cross are saved by faith, but receive their eternal life at the first resurrection.

Hebrews 11:39-40 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

  1. Those who trust in Jesus since the cross have immediate eternal life.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Those who died in faith before the cross will have a single day of salvation (when they receive eternal life). Those who die after the cross each have a particular day when they are saved.

  1. The second death is reserved for those of the second resurrection. This is a resurrection for the judgment of works.
  • Thank you for the reply. I will earnestly and objectively look at these scriptures from that perspective. Per #2, Jesus is not saying they will never die (all die, once, then the judgement). Rather, they will live again (first resurrection). Per #3, the second resurrection will include EVERYONE who has lived. The categories of those people are (a) never heard of Christ, (b) heard and didn't respond, (c) received Christ and rejected Him. "c" is explicitly condemned per Heb 6:6. The other two are not per scripture; they do not have a first resurrection reward, though. – Trober Dec 17 '14 at 3:32
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The second resurrection is the judgement; by which no one will be justified.

We know based on Luke 16:31 that there is no second chance, we either respond to the Gospel or we are lost forever.

"It is appointed unto to men to die once, and after this the judgement."

"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.'

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  • "My experience with the non-denominational churches (who believe otherwise) are many simply are not called in this age (e.g. John 6:44)"

John 6:44

No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

This passage says nothing about not being called in this age. It merely points out that all to come to Christ to believe on him were first drawn by God in the first place. Then they will be raised up from the dead when Jesus comes back.

  • "they will be given a chance for salvation in the second resurrection (e.g. Rev 20:5"

Rev. 20:5

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

This passage says nothing about being given a chance for salvation in the second resurrection. Rather, The company mentioned in verse 4 is here, and they are here because they are being rewarded for their works and character of lives: "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."

  • "barring the obvious that those who've received, then rejected Christ, are impossible to redeem thereafter, e.g. Heb 6:6"

Heb. 6:6

If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

If you believe this passage means that a person cannot be redeemed after death, then you have answered your own question. Do you believe that understanding of this passage? (It is not the only understanding.)

Equip.org has an article refuting the idea that salvation is possible after death. The article also thoroughly covers the key passages proponents use to defend their position of salvation after death. Conclusion:

". . . these passages clearly say that everyone will die and be judged (Heb. 9:27) and that each person’s eternal destiny, either reward or condemnation, will be based on what was done in this life (Matt. 7:21–23; 13:36–43; John 5:28–29). Jesus, moreover, taught that each human’s destiny is fixed at death; for example, in His story of Lazarus, who was eternally in paradise, and the rich man, who was eternally in torment (Luke 16:19–31). Finally, the description of the great white throne judgment in Rev. 20:11–15 unquestionably indicates that our eternal destiny is based on our earthly life. In these and other passages, physical death marks the boundary of human opportunity to be saved."

from http://www.equip.org/articles/is-there-salvation-after-death/#christian-books-1

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This age is the only opportunity for salvation

(Hebrews 9:27) And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment

(Daniel 12:3) And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.

(Romans 1:20) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse


The number of parables on this topic are worth considering:

Parable of the Rich man and Lazarus

Jesus told the parable of the rich man and Lazarus to show that salvation is only in this life time. If the mercies given in this lifetime are not treasured in the heart, there is no second probation.

(Luke 16:26) between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

Parable of the Ten Virgins

Ten virgins set out to wait for the coming of the bridegroom. All carried lamps but five did not bring enough oil. When the bridegroom came, the door is shut forever, even though they went to buy oil.

(Matthew 25:10-12) And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

“Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

Parable of the Wedding Feast

A king invites his subjects to his wedding feast, but they did not care for it. So he invited people out in the highways and hedges, both good and bad. However, at the wedding feast, one was found without having put on a wedding garment. This man was bound and thrown out, there was no second wedding feast.

(Matthew 22:12-13) So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness

Parable of the Wheat and Tares

Jesus told this parable to show that God permits the wheat to grow together with the tares until the final judgement. However, at harvest time, the true character of the seeds are shown, and there is no second probation for a tare to be spared.

(Matthew 13:30) Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.'

(Matthew 13:39:40) the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.


Interestingly, right before Jesus tells of the parable of the tares, He says "For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed. (Matthew 13:15)" You see, though God permits it, it is the people who have closed their own eyes, worked against the Spirit of God, and did not want to be healed.

The Holy Spirit works in everyone's life time to believe. The reason He has not yet come is because there are still sinners who want to repent.

(2 Peter 3:9) The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

  • I disagree with using parables as the only way to establishing a doctrine. Using plain passages to establish a point and then a parable that supports it is a better approach. Are you sure the story of Lazarus is a parable? – Steve Dec 20 '14 at 16:11
  • Thanks, I've edited. A parable is a story with one or more lessons. The number of parables on this topic is also worth considering. – Beestocks Dec 20 '14 at 17:20
  • "the door was shut" You sure this is in reference to salvation? It's not. "...come in here" So he came in to the wedding, then was cast out? That is saved, then lost? "so it will be at the end of this age" This doesn't tell us what happens in the next age. This is what I mean - the parables are not enough when you don't give supporting verses WITH the parables. – Steve Dec 20 '14 at 17:40
  • @Steve the parables are straight forward, no supporting verses required other than the Holy Spirit to understand. To the foolish virgins the Bridegroom says I do not know you, the wedding guest was never saved because he never put on the wedding garment, the wheat is saved and the tare are burned so there is no next age. – Beestocks Dec 20 '14 at 20:43

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