Salvific Issues

W. Terry Varner
June 12, 2016

Salvific issues or salvific matters has become a great talking point and often a topic which involves extremes. By salvific issues or salvific matters we mean those biblical teachings that affect one’s eternal destiny. Consider that one hand there are matters a person may believe in which a person may engage that do not adversely affect one’s eternal salvation. On the other hand there are matters in which a person may engage and may believe that do adversely affect one’s eternal salvation. The problem is to be biblically wise enough to know the difference.

In relation to the former, the Christians meeting at Corinth asked the apostle Paul about eating meats sacrificed to idols (cf. 1 Cor. 8). To eat or not to eat such a meat is a matter of indifference (cf. 1 Cor. 8); i.e. neither eating nor not eating would not affect their eternal destiny. Another example, the early Christians traveled by boat, walked, or rode animals to go preach the gospel. Today, we can travel to preach the gospel by airplane, train, car, or by any other means of transportation. Likewise, we can preach the gospel using radio, television, Internet, or any other mass media without violating any command of God. None of these mediums were available to the apostles and early Christians. None of them are salvific issues or salvific matters.

In relation to the latter, some advocate that one’s sexual preference is not a salvific issue or salvific matter. It is slyly reasoned that God made men and women with a sexual orientation toward the same member of the same sex; therefore, to practice homosexuality will not affect one’s eternal destiny. Taking it a step further, they reason that this qualifies them to contract a union of matrimony with another of the identical sex. Yet, biblically God condemns such behavior with language which declares that they who practice such behavior will not inherit eternal life (cf. Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-10).

One asks, “Why does this happen?” There are many answers. One answer is we live in an age of tolerance. Such involves the argument that what is true for me may not be true for you. This is based on man’s standards rather than God’s. If there is no real truth except what each accepts, then anything and all things go. As a result, the floodgates are flowing wide-open allowing man to decide and accept varying and conflicting views on eternal matters m the name of tolerance, freedom, and openness. For one to say same sex-relationships is sinful results in the charge of being unkind, narrow-minded, legalistic, and judgmental. BUT it is not unkind, narrow-minded, judgmental, or legalistic to teach, to practice, and to uphold what God teaches. After all, every individual will be judged by God’s word (cf. John 12:48).

The safe and biblical principle upon which we practice biblical teaching is to teach and practice only that which is authorized in the Bible. “If man speak; let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11). We are advised that the Scriptures are written “for our admonition” (1 Cor. 10:11). Let God speak and allow that to settle matters. There is an old saying, “God speaks, that settles it.

By complying with the above principle, many religious issues that separate men would be settled. God has “given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3). When the Bible speaks to a doctrinal or moral matter, we cannot view it with indifference, we are to comply.