What makes a person saved?


Dear Roger,

If you accept Jesus into your heart at an early age and then never really do anything in your life that involves Him, and then you die, do you still go to Heaven?

Name withheld

Dear Name Withheld,

“Spiritual abortion” is the term I use to describe people who accept Jesus into their hearts at an early age and then never really do anything that indicates being “born again.” Based on the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 13:1-9 and 18-23 (and in the corresponding passages in Mark and Luke), they will not be in Heaven. Their profession of faith in Christ makes little, if any, difference in their lives. Spiritual breathing barely begins before it is quickly snuffed out.

The Parable of the Sower describes a farmer (Jesus) who is sowing seed on four very different types of soils. This is a helpful parable to read when thinking about salvation.

Some seed fell on a hard pathway and some birds ate it up before it penetrated the ground. Some seed fell on a thin skin of topsoil overlaying a shelf of solid rock. The seed sprang up quickly, but the hot sun soon scorched and withered the new plants because they had small, shallow roots. Some other seed fell among thorn bushes which choked the life out of the sprouts. However, some of the seed fell on good soil and produced a prodigious crop of thirty to one hundred times what was sown (Matthew 13:1-9).