Cults, Sects, Sinners, and Who Gets Saved

Let's not divide the pizza meaninglessly, but in general:

  1. What is a sect?
  2. What is a cult?
  3. Who can be saved?


Exact answers aren't the purpose of this post. The purpose is to think about who God saves. For example, if God once saved a thief on a cross, might He save a JW? Morman, Catholic? Amish? Southern Baptist? Methodist? Pentecostal? (sorry, if I left your cult, sect, or church out)

This is not intended to be caustic or pointed, but to discuss a real point of consideration. Is it ours to bother judging or even evaluate who might be saved despite deceit, wicked practice, or horrible theology? Is it ours to warmly move the hearts of any and all toward God, leaving all judgments and criticisms up to Him? When do we defend the truth of the Gospel--ever?

Comments

  • Every person has redemption offered to them, but it is their choice and decision to accept the redemption offered to them.


    I have a question for you; if the darkness within the person is extra-ordinarily great, how is it the person(s) can be redeemed from the life of evil they willingly chose?


    And if the person(s) willingly chose the life and committed the crimes for which they should be condemned is God merciful or unjust?

  • C McC Mc Posts: 4,444

    Thanks @Whake Atuari for joining CD. Your questions are most valuable and valid. You appear to be a deep and sober thinker.

    @Whake Atuari said:

    Every person has redemption offered to them, but it is their choice and decision to accept the redemption offered to them.

    @C Mc responds: This is absolutely right (John 3:16; 2 peter 3:9: Matt. 9:13). Salvation is offered to all and all must respond to accept or reject. Failure to choose is to have chosen.


    @Whake Atuari said:

    I have a question for you; if the darkness within the person is extra-ordinarily great, how is it the person(s) can be redeemed from the life of evil they willingly chose?

    @C Mc responds:

    1.     Through God providential workings (nature, circumstances, events, miracles situations, etc.)

    2.     God reached people through human instrumentality (prophets—a mouthpiece), visions, dreams, defiance of nature laws, etc.).

    3.     The Holy Spirit. I am not talking of a figure of speech or “an influence”. A Divine being is what I speak. I hope you’re not having belief issues here. If so, please note: The Holy Spirit leads, guides, convicts, and converts one into all truth. Yet, God doesn’t force anyone to do anything, even the right thing. The Bible and the Holy Spirit testify about Jesus (John 5:3915:26). 

    4.     The Holy Spirit is of the Godhead:

    ·       He is our teacher and comforter (John 16:7:13).

    ·       He prays for us (Rom. 8:26--27).

    ·       He has power (Rom 15:19)

    ·       He speaks (Rev. 2:7)

    ·       He can be lied to (Acts 5:8)

    ·       Insulted (Heb. 10:29)

    ·       Grieved (Eph. 4:30)        

    Furthermore, the Bible reflects The Holy Spirit's doings and being:  

    • Romans 8:26 -- “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (NIV).
    • 1 Timothy 4:1 -- The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (NIV).
    • Hebrews 3:7 -- “So, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you hear his voice,...” (NIV).
    • Hebrews 10:1517 -- “The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says. . . . Then he adds: . . .” (NIV). 

    The Holy Spirit According to Scripture:

    ----- 1. Speak (Acts 8:29)

    ----- 2. Teach (John 14:26)

    ----- 3. Bear witness (John 15:26)

    ----- 4. Intercede on behalf of others (Rom 8:26-27)

    ----- 5. Distribute gifts to others (1 Cor 12:11)

    ----- 6. To forbid or allow certain things (Acts 16:6-7). 

    ----- 7. According to Ephesians 4:30, the Holy Spirit can also be grieved by people.


    @Whake Atuari said:

    And if the person(s) willingly chose the life and committed the crimes for which they should be condemned is God merciful or unjust?

    @C Mc responds: God is gracious and merciful, but He will not go against one’s desired will. Man was made a free moral agent. We are NOT robots or automatons. We have the freedom of choice to choose (to be save or to be lost). That is -- reject God’s offer of salvation, grace, mercy, and redemption -- to be lost eternally.

    In short, we have the freedom to choose God or to reject Him and anything He offers. Yes, the created (man) can reject the Creator! I hope this helps. CM

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,362

    They preach (announce) the gospel. They never offer it. If offered, the person who chooses to accept it becomes their own savior. This is impossible because it turns the gospel into law. And grace into works. When preached, it tells those who spontaneously believe about their salvation. And what they should do in response. Repent, be baptized, and pursue a holy life.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 4,444

    @TheWordIsOne,

    Is there a specific question here? Even without one, I can say the following:

    1. Matt. 22:14 is the last verse in the parable of the Wedding Feast. This parable is likewise found in Lk 14:15-21.
      1. Remember that parable tell “real world” stories, yet not every element has to make perfect sense “in the real world.”
    2. The wedding Feast parable is among a series Jesus told that attacks the religious leaders’ arrogance, greed, and self-righteousness.
    3. These confrontational parables show the reversal of the expected response to the coming Messiah.
    4. It speaks of those who are expected to be saved being lost and the sinners being saved. This principle is called “The Great Reversal and Upside-down Theme.”
    5. Jesus created the “messiah is like a bridegroom” from three traditions drawn from the Hebrew Bible and applied them to his ministry:
      1. First, the end of the age is inaugurated by a banquet eaten in the presence of God (Isa 25:6-8).
      2. Second, the end of the exile is often described as a new Exodus and a new journey through the wilderness (Isa 40-55).
      3. Third, the relationship between God and his people is often described as a marriage (Hosea & Jer 2-4).
    6. Jesus described the Kingdom of God as “a king who made a wedding banquet for his son” (Matt 22:1).
      1. Both Matt 22:1 and 25:1 describe the “kingdom of heaven" to make something or someone like something else.”
        1. The Wedding Parable is viewed in an eschatological context.
        2. It describes a feast that starts this end kingdom.
        3. The feast is a celebration of a marriage.

    I will stop here for now. More can be said. I want to give you a chance for input after sharing some background. I hope this helps. CM


    For Further Reading:

    • D. A. Carson, “The Homoios Word-Group as Introduction to Some Matthean Parables,” NTS 31 (1985): 277-82.
    • M. Blickenstaff, ‘While the Bridegroom Is With Them’: Marriage, Family, and Violence in the Gospel of Matthew (JSNTSup 292; London: T & T Clark, 2005), 41.
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