For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
January 13, 1996–the day I chose to follow Jesus. I was a junior in high school, and my life has never been the same. As I reflected upon the anniversary of this amazing, life-changing moment yesterday, I chuckled at my eclectic denominational background. I was raised up and confirmed in the Catholic church. In high school I began attending a Presbyterian youth group, and then by the time I graduated high school, I was also attending that Presbyterian church on Sunday mornings. I went away to college–a Baptist college–yet during my sophomore year I began going to a non-denominational full gospel church. If you are not familiar with the Full Gospel denomination, they believe all the gifts evident in Jesus’ time are still available today. I remained in this church throughout college and until I got married. After marriage my husband and I began attending the Baptist church affiliated with my alma mater. We remained at that church until we moved to our current location. And now we attend a Christian church while I teach at a Baptist school.
I guess you could call me a Cathobapteriancostal. 🙂
But I prefer Christ follower.
And this is the point I want to make. At the end of days when we stand before the Father, He’s not going to ask, “Were you a good Catholic?” He’s not going to ask, “Were you a PCA Presbyterian or a PCUSA Presbyterian?” He’s not going to ask what we think about prophecy and speaking in tongues. He’s not going to care about any of the negotiables that separate denominations.
Why? Because our denomination does not determine our salvation.
What we do with Jesus determines our salvation.
Romans 10:13 reminds us anyone (that means anyone from any denomination) who calls upon the Lord will be saved. Catholic. Baptist. Presbyterian. Charismatic. FourSquare. Whatever denomination you may attend, if you personally know Jesus–if you’ve believed in your heart and confessed with your mouth Jesus is Lord–then you are saved. You are His.
And no one can snatch you out of His hand.
I’ll say it again: denomination does not determine salvation. Each of those denominations I attended throughout my life pointed me to Jesus; they just did so uniquely.
Therefore, regardless the church you attend–regardless the denomination you currently ascribe to–join me today in celebrating all our fellow Christ followers. Befriend, converse with, pray for, and pray with all of them.
Let us unite as The Church. Let us link arms and go into battle together. Let us walk out Jesus’ prayer for each of us–a prayer for unity of mind and of purpose. For when we come together as one, the world will know we are His. And the world will never be the same.
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
John 17:20-23 ESV