You make some vitally important observations. I was raised to believe that salvation came by faith alone in Christ alone. No human works involved to gain or maintain salvation. For a while, I thought that the majority of "christian" denominations believed that, but now it seems that "faith alone in Christ alone"&"once saved always saved" is the minority. I guess my childhood was a bit sheltered in that aspect.
I used to exclusively believe in works salvation because:
A) I wasn't paying attention to defined words & concepts
B) Nobody ever discreetly defined anything regarding salvation, so I never paid attention to it
C) Confused vocabulary is used along with prependisms
D) **the natural 'learned' human response** is to deny grace: "there's no way you can do XYZ and still go to heaven". Case in point, I've told people who weren't even believers
and they vehemently recoiled in fury in response to grace.
As a result it hit me harder than anything else to date. Because I was so wrong
, and it's so obvious
I created one of the biggest articles going through every single contradiction and issue with works salvation here:
Consider it a WIP since there's always something to add, but that covers *most* of it. It's funny because I always cringe when I hear key terms like: "repent" / "genuine" / "authentic" / "heart" / "faith". Repent should always be MIND CHANGE, genuine/authentic/true/actual don't exist and are prependisms to create an artificial layer on belief. Faith is not good for pistis (should always be 'believe/belief') unless we're referring to monadic pistis "THE faith".
If these other so-called believers are mixing works with their faith, I wonder how many self proclaimed christians are truly saved? I suppose its futile to ask such questions in this age, but think about it...
Aha, you're either saved or not saved-- "truly" saved isn't a thing as you can't be re-saved, right? That's one problem with works salvation: there's no mention of being able to lose the holy spirit, or an imaginary holy spirit meter to determine when you're not saved / saved and what variables affect it simultaneously in real time. The problem is (and I have this problem a lot) is you hear phrases like that and you start to subconsciously utilize them
(I'm not trying to be rude but to show how it starts to affect everyone--and I am no exception). It was the basis for my analysis on prependisms:
And of course these are words that are used to REPLACE 'believe' (pistis) entirely:
You can do any one of those and it is meaningless. I can *admit* Christ and not believe. I can *accept* Christ and not believe. I can *acknowledge* Christ and not believe. I can *commit* Christ and not believe. I can *invite* Christ (however the heck you would do that) and not believe. I can *trust* Christ and not believe.
The issue starts to become
not so much salvation, but Bible Doctrine in your thinking. I mean, salvation is the greatest gift: but the focus isn't on it since the Christian life focuses on post-salvation. For a case scenario, let's say everyone in the world 'believed' instantly. That'd be great but instead of the lake of fire, people would be in heaven in outer darkness: retaining their original thinking. Possibly despising God or envying those who became kings.
If the Rapture were to happen today, would the world even notice?
If the rapture happened today, I would say yes. At this point right now because we have computers, loads of manuscripts and some fantastic teachings that were dug up after being on standby for so long-- the ratio of potential
pleroma believers is probably higher than it has been for a long long time. I mean, you could probably count the individuals on a set of hands, but that's still a lot! When the rapture nears there'll be no pleroma believers.
There are so many false gospels that require action on the belivers part:
1) The faith+works gospel
2) The "salvation maintenance" lifestyle (faith+ intermittent works)
3) The "Let Christ into your heart" gospel
4) The water baptists
5)The tongue mumblers
It almost seems hopeless for so many people.
I've always used the term "salvation upkeep" but I quite like "salvation maintenance". I've been meaning to get further into baptismal regeneration, but haven't had the chance yet since it's on low priority.
At any rate, perserverance of the saints is the *opposite* of permanent salvation.