Wednesday, April 24, 2013
P4 Christianity vs Mormonism: Doctrine of Salvation
1 John 4:4-6 "You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error."
The intent of this particular blog series has been to carry out a comparison between Mormonism and Biblical Christianity in an informative yet evangelistic manner. The one question we have aimed to ask in every post has been: "is Mormonism another Christian denomination or is it a non-Christian system of belief? In light of 1 John 4:1-6 we have been testing the spiritual claims of Mormonism to see if it is a restored form of the true Gospel. Thus far the findings have shown Mormonism to be totally incompatible with Christianity in the following three areas:
1. Doctrine of God
2. Doctrine of Jesus Christ
3. Doctrine of the Word of God
We have appealed mostly to an article entitled: "Always Ready, Sharing the Gospel with your Mormon Friends" , found in the March 2012 issue of "SBC Life" (an online magazine accessible through the website: www.sbc.net). Additonally, these blogs have utilized primary source materials from the Mormon website lds.org and the Southern Baptist Website sbc.net. My aim in this entire series has been to balance honesty and fairness with a heart to share the Gospel with those involved in Mormonism.
Today's post will focus on what Mormonism and Christianity each have to say about the very important subject of salvation. Again we begin with a quote from the article: "Always Ready, Sharing the Gospel with you Mormon Friends".
Mormonism vs Christianity on the Doctrine of Salvation
The Doctrine of Salvation - Historic Christianity
"Salvation is release from the guilt and power of sin through God's gift of grace. Prompted by God's love, salvation is provided through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross and is received by personal faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. John 3:1-18; Acts 4:12; 13:38-39; 20:20-21; Romans 3:20-28; 10:9-13; Ephesians 2:8-10"
In Article IV of The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 we see the following definition of salvation:
"Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer.....There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord."
As you can see, salvation hinges upon accepting by grace through faith Jesus Christ. We must in the context of this blog series specify which Jesus, since the Mormon Jesus and the True Jesus are two totally different persons. Jesus Christ alone is the necessary and sufficient grounds of salvation and faith alone is the sufficient and necessary means of receiving salvation. So how does Mormonism define salvation? The article "Always Ready, Sharing the Gospel with you Mormon Friends" explains:
Mormonism's view of salvation
"The Mormon plan of salvation is built on the premise that all people have eternal life, but only the most faithful Mormons enter the celestial kingdom. Jesus' atonement provided immortality for all people. Exaltation (godhood) is available only to Mormons through obedience to LDS teachings: faith in the god of Mormonism, baptism in the LDS church, endowments, celestial marriage, and tithing.
Additionally, Mormons must keep the "Word of Wisdom" by abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine; attend weekly sacrament meetings; support the Mormon prophet; do temple works; and be active in their support of the church. Some of the blessings given to exalted people include:
1. They will live eternally in the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
2. They will become gods.
3. They will have their righteous family members with them and will be able to have spirit children also. These spirit children will have the same relationship to them as we do to our Heavenly Father.
4. They will have everything that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have—all power, glory, dominion, and knowledge (See GP, p. 302).
5. They will receive a fullness of joy.
Baptism or "immersion performed by the living for the dead," provides post-mortem salvation for non-Mormons. This ordinance is "performed in temples" (GP, p. 375)."
The Mormon gospel is so profoundly different from the Biblical Gospel as to be no gospel at all. The Mormon Jesus who is supposed to be their Savior functions as a backdrop to the true grounds of Mormon salvation: participation in the Mormon system of belief. The failure of Mormonism to be a saving message is the fact that it believes in the wrong God, revealed by a wrong Jesus, out of a wrong set of books (Pearl of Great Price, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants).
We have discovered that Mormonism is a non-Christian system of belief based upon its different doctrines of God, Christ, the Word of God and salvation. I would urge the reader to read the entire March 2012 SBC Life article from which we have been drawing much of our material in this series. The article covers many other areas that detail the profound differences between Christianity and Mormonism. I leave the reader with some final tips on sharing the Gospel with Mormon from the resource: "Always Ready, Sharing the Gospel with you Mormon Friends" .
-"Don't hesitate to repeat the basics of the Gospel again and again in your conversation. The Gospel of Christ is "the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16)."
-"Do not feel like a failure if your friend does not come to faith in Christ after a single witness. Very few followers of Jesus were saved the first time they heard the Gospel."