Questions tagged [soteriology]

The study of the mechanisms by which an individual is saved.

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96
votes
17answers
11k views

How were people saved prior to 33 AD?

The exact date isn't important but at some point about 2000 years ago Christ died on a cross. Since that point Christians everywhere have put their faith in Him. He claimed to be the Way, the Truth ...
71
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10answers
14k views

What happens to people who have never heard about Jesus? [closed]

There seems to be general consensus inside Christianity that in order to be saved, you must have faith, and that this faith has to be in Jesus Christ. Here is one verse sometimes cited for the ...
22
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3answers
2k views

Do the Catholic Church ex cathedra pronouncements about necessity of Catholicism to be saved still apply?

I think the following was spoken Ex Cathedra: “The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but ...
23
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4answers
36k views

Does the Catholic Church officially recognize Protestants as Christians?

I have always thought that the Pope did not recognize the validity of the faith of those outside of the Catholic church, but in comments from a different post I am surprised to find out I may be ...
43
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8answers
2k views

Biblical basis for baptism as a prerequisite for salvation

Some people believe that if you have not been baptized, you cannot be saved. Others (including myself) believe that it is merely the outward declaration of what has already happened in the heart. ...
14
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3answers
3k views

Basis for the concept of an “Age of accountability”

Having attended Baptist Churches for years, I've often heard the term "age of accountability" bandied about. The idea is that if a child dies at a young age - before reaching the "age of ...
12
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3answers
4k views

How do you “Convert” somebody to Christianity? [closed]

A highly debated topic I know. There are hundreds of answers for this, but I would personally like to know what the Bible says about this. If somebody was interested in being saved, what is my ...
4
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3answers
843 views

Does my monk go to heaven? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What happens to people who have never heard about Jesus? I have found this very basic question perplexing to different pastors, rectors, and members of churches: If there is a ...
26
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8answers
9k views

Can an atheist go to heaven? [closed]

The question of who goes to heaven and who to hell seems to result in very different answers depending on which tradition the Christian answering belongs to. Some traditions, especially evangelical ...
27
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8answers
20k views

Can a Christian choose to walk away from his or her salvation? [closed]

There is a plethora of verses that say that people can not cause a saved Christian to lose his salvation, such as John 10:29 (NLT) 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more ...
15
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7answers
3k views

What is the biblical basis for salvation by faith alone (sola fide)?

One of the key issues in the Reformation was the doctrine of Sola Fide, that is, that salvation is by faith alone, apart from works. What, then, is the biblical basis for this belief?
15
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4answers
2k views

Is repentance required for salvation? [closed]

I know that through faith alone I am saved. But is repentance a requirement for that salvation as a part of my faith? Is repentance a single act, or should it be continuous?
8
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2answers
605 views

Is Catholicism a “works” denomination?

Catholicism venerates people's works as that is the only way to become a saint - you actually have to DO something. I understand that there has been a strong debate regarding faith or works (or ...
4
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2answers
567 views

Does a Christian who commits sins against Christian doctrine and commandments still remain Christian? [duplicate]

What is the position of the Christian denominations about whether a person who commits sins and lives un-Christian lifestyle, yet believes he is Christian, still remains Christian? This question is ...
23
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8answers
10k views

What is the Biblical basis for Universal salvation?

Universal salvation, or universal reconciliation is the belief that God will eventually reconcile Himself with every immortal soul. That is, everyone will be saved. This doctrine has a long history. ...
18
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5answers
3k views

Are there unforgivable sins? [closed]

Jesus came and died for our sins so that we may be forgiven and have salvation. But Matthew 12:32 (NIV) says there is at least one thing to prevent being forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word ...
7
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3answers
9k views

What is Heaven like according to Catholics?

What does a person experience who is saved, after their death? Are they going to have a bodily resurrection in the New Jerusalem, in the real world, or is it a spiritual existence? If in the real ...
24
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11answers
18k views

What is the Biblical Basis for a Good person going to hell simply for not believing?

The scenario is as follows: Believer, average life, many mistakes/sins. Asks forgiveness and tries everyday to be better. Goes to heaven. Non-believer, better life than the believer, fewer mistakes ...
24
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3answers
5k views

According to the Catholic Church, are Jews saved without faith in Jesus?

According to recent news stories, the Vatican has issued a report saying that Jews can be saved without faith in Jesus (see for example here). This sounds very strange, so my questions are: Does ...
18
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1answer
4k views

What does the Roman Catholic church teach about those who die having never heard of Christ?

What does the Roman Catholic church teach about those who die having never heard of Christ? Is there any possibility of salvation for them? Related: What happens to people who have never heard about ...
15
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7answers
6k views

Can fallen angels be redeemed? [closed]

We know from the Bible that devils are fallen angels, once created good but who chose to join Lucifer's rebel uprising and consequently lost their place in heaven. Can those angels ever be saved? Can ...
7
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4answers
3k views

Do parts of Hebrews 3 and 4 imply that saved Christians can become unsaved? [closed]

A few nights ago, a friend and I were reading through Hebrews 3 and 4. A few verses in particular caught my attention... Hebrews 3:11-13 (NLT) 11 So in my anger I took an oath,   &...
7
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1answer
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What is an overview of interpretations of “all Israel will be saved” in Romans 11:26? (Catholic/Protestant overview)

The phrase "all Israel" in Romans 11:25–26 has been a source a significant disagreement in church history, particularly since the Reformation: 25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want ...
21
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11answers
6k views

What happens to unborn, unbaptized babies who die? [closed]

If we accept that unborn babies are human beings and not merely a non-human organism, and further we require baptism as a prerequisite for salvation (using it as justification for infant baptism)... ...
18
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1answer
3k views

What does the Catholic church teach about fate of non-Catholic christians?

From what I've heard, The Roman Catholic Church claims to be the only representative authority of God on Earth. Does it indeed claim that, and if so what does it say happens to members of non-Catholic ...
17
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16answers
19k views

If we are saved by grace, then why does Jesus say we must be baptized in both spirit and water?

Ephesians 2:4-9 says: But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace ...
5
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1answer
227 views

What are the general positions of different traditions on the question “did Jesus have to die?”

I wish to take a much closer look at the theology of the death of Jesus. I understand that the evangelical position is largely that he had to die to pay for our sins but I fully expect that there are ...
5
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5answers
466 views

What is an overview of Christian viewpoints on the eternal destiny of individuals who die never hearing the Gospel?

Many individuals die never having heard the Gospel. Some illustrative examples are: pretty much everyone who was born before Jesus, individuals contemporary to Jesus but who were too far away at the ...
4
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4answers
1k views

Christian Position on the meaning of Faith [closed]

We are told, 'The just (upright) shall live by faith.' So I have a question for the Christians here. How do you understand faith? This does not have to be strictly biblical (since the scripture does ...
12
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4answers
699 views

According to Catholicism, in what cases is Purgatory necessary?

As I understand it, there are at least two "steps" necessary for a person to reach Heaven; I hope this description is valid from nearly all Christian viewpoints. First the person has to choose to ...
19
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4answers
2k views

How could a loving, just, merciful God have created such an unfair test for humans?

According to the Bible, God is loving: 1 John 4 (NIV) 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4 (NIV) 16 And so we know and rely on the love God ...
14
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5answers
1k views

How do the proponents of the idea that salvation once received cannot be lost explain Hebrews 6:4-6 and 10:26-29?

How do the proponents of the idea that salvation once received cannot be lost explain the following verses: Hebrews 6:4-6: For [it is] impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have ...
17
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7answers
142k views

Did Jesus actually ever say “if you don't believe in me you will go to hell”? [closed]

I just finished a five-part series on the History Channel: "The Bible". They did a fantastic job with it. However, I noticed that Jesus did not appear to condemn those who did not believe in Him, and ...
13
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5answers
2k views

How does repentance fit into the doctrine of sola fide (“by faith alone”)?

Sola fide (Latin for "by faith alone") is a defining doctrine of Protestantism. Wikipedia defines it as follows: The doctrine of sola fide asserts God's pardon for guilty sinners is granted to and ...
16
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3answers
2k views

How does the Arminian view of salvation account for God's sovereignty?

The Arminian view of salvation posits that man has free will and the choice to accept salvation is purely on our own free will. The total sovereignty of God (while disputed in some theological ...
14
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1answer
2k views

How do Calvinists explain God's wanting no one to perish and electing some to judgement?

I have two ideas that have support in the bible, but seem to contradict! Please help! I am looking for a Calvinist/Evangelical answer. These two verses have the general effect that God does not want ...
12
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3answers
5k views

What happens with a soul after one's death according to Eastern Orthodox doctrine?

Inspired by this question and answers for it: what happens with a soul after one's death according to Eastern Orthodox doctrine? I'm interested in all variants.
8
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3answers
4k views

Are there any tenets of Gnosticism that are still present in the church today?

Towards the end of the New Testament writing, the heresy of gnosticism was one of the chief "false teachings" against which Paul and the other writers were contesting. Could someone present some of ...
6
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6answers
2k views

What about all those who just don't know? [duplicate]

Romans 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. John 14:6 I am the way and the truth and the life. ...
6
votes
3answers
987 views

What is the purpose of attending the mass and going to Confession?

(My curiosity is going to cost me my reputation again. Anyway, here it goes...) In Catholicism, how important is attending the mass, going to Confession and other liturgical rituals? Do these ...
5
votes
1answer
255 views

Does Hell exist according to Catholicism?

Does the Roman Catholic Church believe in the existence of Hell? If YES - Who will go to Hell and why? How long will they stay in Hell? Is there any second chance after they go to Hell? What should ...
8
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the Biblical basis for multiple judgments after death?

I recently heard a talk on the notion of "multiple judgments"; the idea is one is initially judged simply on the fact of their salvation - did that person put their life in Christ's hands and accept ...
8
votes
2answers
481 views

What roles do faith and works play in the LDS/Mormon understanding of salvation?

A primary point in the Reformation was the issue of sola fide--the position that salvation is by faith alone, apart from works. This was to distinguish the position that works were necessary for ...
7
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5answers
8k views

Did Adam and Eve end up getting saved? [closed]

After answering a recent question, it occurred to me to ask: Is there any biblical evidence regarding whether Adam and Eve have been redeemed in some fashion (and are thus going to Heaven/the New ...
7
votes
2answers
411 views

What are the predominant Christian views on whether Jesus had to specifically die by crucifixion? Could he have chosen another kind of death?

As I understand it, Jesus was sentenced to die "under Pontius Pilate" and was crucified as punishment. It seems to me that Jesus had no choice but to be crucified. After all, if a criminal is ...
3
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5answers
479 views

How do the proponents of the doctrine that salvation can't be lost usually explain Matthew 7:21-23?

This question is about one particular kind of Christians (I believe most of such Christians are found among Protestants) - those who: 1) believe that a man receives salvation at his very first prayer ...
29
votes
10answers
1k views

What was it about the death of Jesus that allows God to forgive us?

I've heard many people state that it was the punishment inflicted by the Romans that allows God to forgive us. This just doesn't make any sense to me. How can a man suffer for a short while here on ...
14
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4answers
3k views

Do Christian groups which think homosexuality is a sin think you can be a practicing homosexual and also a Christian? [closed]

Many Christian groups condemn homosexuality as a sin, pointing to specific passages in the Bible and traditional Christian views on sexuality and marriage. How do these groups handle the question of ...
28
votes
7answers
2k views

Is the “sinner's prayer” important for salvation and why? [closed]

In evangelical churches the sinner's prayer is a very much emphasized aspect for someone to become or convert to being a Christian. In fact, most church services I attended growing up ended with the ...
19
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5answers
3k views

Did Augustine teach sola fide?

It is popularly taught that the reformers declared five distinctive elements of theology that differentiated them from Rome: salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the ...