Saved by Jesus
Not Just Words but a Matter of the Heart
This sermon is inspired out of conversations I often have with many of my
friends who seem like shining examples of goodness and the Holy Spirit but who
seem rather led by their feelings than by instilled doctrine.
To these, I like to refer the following passage in the bible:
RO 2:13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's
sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 
(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required
by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the
law,  since they show that the requirements of the law are written on
their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now
accusing, now even defending them.)
For example, this one friend of mine referred to a friend of hers who she
said was a Mormon but who she felt was a shining beacon of light and said she
had to believe in her (and other such friends with philosophies other than
"Christian") because of how she lived her life and that she simply could not
believe that she will burn in hell forever only for the reason that she did not
utter the words, "I believe in Jesus Christ".
I too have many friends who I would classify in the example above but who do
not confess to be Christians, yet I find it hard to believe they will not be
accepted into the kingdom on the simple grounds that they did not confess these
words with their mouth.
RO 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.
It seems that many places perhaps too much emphasis on this requirement.
I would therefore like to propose an argument contrary to this respect.
For example, one might say, "I do not believe in God but believe in Buddha".
Another might say, "I do not believe in Catholics, but believe in Baptists". The
point is, there is only one God.
And what is Jesus?
2CO 5:18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  that God was reconciling the
world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.
Christ is an atoning sacrifice, paid for by God so as to bring us nearer to
To be able to come to God then, we need to ask for or accept his forgiveness.
If, in the pride of our hearts, we choose rather to "earn" being saved and not
depend on our creator, we will fall that much shorter of the glory.
Accepting this is an act of humility and surrendering of the heart, and
focusing too much on the technicality of the name "Jesus" may be drawing us away
from the essence of the point.
This is an issue of the heart and we should not place so much confidence in
the verbal aspect. Think about it, someone chewing on a piece of bubble gum and
saying, "Yah, sure man, I believe in the dude." Do you really think such a
person has it "made", as opposed to someone who surrenders himself fully to the
will of the creator, only because he calls him by a different name?
Therefore, on this technicality, I believe we can include other "religions",
as long as the principle of surrender and accepting forgiveness in utter
humility is maintained.
RO 9:30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue
righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;  but
Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it.  Why not?
Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled
over the "stumbling stone."  As it is written:
"See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall,
and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
RO 10:1 Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is
that they may be saved.  For I can testify about them that they are zealous
for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.  Since they did not know
the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they
did not submit to God's righteousness.  Christ is the end of the law so
that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
RO 10:5 Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law:
"The man who does these things will live by them."  But the righteousness
that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, `Who will ascend into
heaven?' " (that is, to bring Christ down)  "or `Who will descend into the
deep?' " (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).  But what does it
say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is,
the word of faith we are proclaiming:  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.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are
justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. [11
Of course, what we have just read above is a translation from the original
what, Greek? Does this mean that every Christian in the world who did not utter
the confession, "Jesus is Lord" will burn forever in hell because he did not
utter the words according to the original Greek text?
No, I would rather believe in the principle that a person could surrender to
a higher being, a force of goodness, who they believe in because of what they
feel in their hearts and according to which they behave in a righteous manner.
In meek humility, they accept the greatness and forgiveness of this higher
being, the embodiment of this forgiveness and reconciliation being Christ
himself, to which/whom they surrender their will.
This is an act of the heart, which I believe God looks more favourable on
than mere, insincere words.