Perhaps you are a vehement proponent of the Calvinistic doctrine of Unconditional Grace. The idea that as long as one time in your life you said some words and meant it, that now you are saved and are going to heaven no matter what you do here on Earth.
Even ignoring the fact that even requiring you to accept it makes it “conditional” (acceptance is a condition), let’s delve into just what the consequences would be on both sides of the debate.
The consequences in believing in conditional salvation if it’s wrong
What would be the consequences if a Christian denied Unconditional Grace if the doctrine of Unconditional Grace really was true? What if this Christian, thinking that there are conditions really required for salvation, instead worked hard the rest of their life to please God? Would they lose their salvation for believing that they had to earn their way, or even that they had to avoid and extinguish certain sins?
Of course, what I have proposed is not at all that you are “earning” your salvation. I don’t believe that. It is not a matter of “good outweighing the bad” and then you get in. No, what the Bible tells us is that there are some sins that can exclude you.
But even if you don’t believe that, and even if my interpretations were completely wrong, what would happen if Unconditional Grace is real and after becoming a Christian you spent your whole life avoiding certain sins like the plague out of fear of losing your salvation?
Here is what would happen: you still get to heaven! If Unconditional Grace was correct, then it doesn’t matter if you worked hard to get rid of sin – it’s unconditional after all. However, I’m sure you would have a lot more rewards in heaven for being such a good Christian!
The consequences in believing in unconditional salvation if it’s wrong
Now let’s consider the other side of things: what if what I am saying is right, what if the Bible really does tell us that certain sins and lifestyles could exclude us from eternal salvation even after accepting Jesus, or even make us lose our salvation? And what if you ignore it because you think that your salvation is “totally unconditional”?
What would happen if Unconditional Grace doctrine is wrong, and there really are conditions, but you break these conditions? What then?
Unlike Unconditional Grace being correct and you go to heaven anyway, if Unconditional Grace is wrong and you have broken even one critical condition, then you are in for a big and terrifying surprise on Judgment Day. It would mean you are headed straight to Hell.
The four possibilities
So let’s summarize this.
There are four possibilities:
- Unconditional Grace is true, and you embrace it.
- Unconditional Grace is true, and you deny it and try to do good works.
- Unconditional Grace is false, but you believe it’s true and don’t bother fixing any of the conditions because you didn’t believe there are any.
- Unconditional Grace is false, and you deny it and believe in conditions, and you also spend every fiber of your being eliminating sin, especially the conditions, the rest of your life.
See the chart below to illustrate these four possibilities.
The four possibilities matrix
To make it even easier to understand, see this simplified chart matrix:
As you can see from the chart above, the only thing that will have consequences is if Unconditional Grace really is false, and if you follow it anyway and fail to meet the conditions of salvation. Is it really worth the risk?
In other words, put simply:
If you deny Unconditional Grace doctrine and it is correct, you still go to heaven.
But if you embrace Unconditional Grace doctrine and it is wrong, you go to hell.
Put even more simply: There are no consequences for denying Unconditional Grace even if it’s really true, but there are eternal consequences if you embrace it and are wrong.
Believing vs not believing in any conditions for salvation
But if I am totally wrong and the Bible isn’t really saying that, no problem, you’re still saved, it just means you’ll live a better life and have more rewards in heaven. So no harm done by this whole blog even if it’s wrong about unconditional grace – at least it’s helping Christians become better people and get more rewards in heaven.
But if I am right and God really did inspire me to believe that the doctrine of Unconditional Grace is actually an unbiblical false doctrine, and you don’t heed this truth, then you are on your way to Hell! Tell me, is it really worth the risk?
Even if you don’t believe that Unconditional Grace doctrine is false yet, following the things on this blog and the 7 conditions of salvation will still make you a better person and a better Christian. But if these conditions really are conditions of salvation, then you are gambling with your eternal life.