This is a topic which old-time preachers explained in detail. Some might suggest they did it too frequently in those days, but at least nobody was in the dark.
However the pendulum has now swung the other way.
The answer to the rhetorical question "from what are we saved?" is, of course Sin.
We are saved from the effects of sin which we inherit at birth and which we then build upon from the ideas and attitudes of those around us who influence all our thoughts as we grow and develop our own personalities as failed sinful people ourselves.
If you belong to the modern folk, in what is described as the "post-modern age", you may very well have never even hear sin mentioned in your church from the pulpit. We have been conditioned into looking at everybody through rose-tinted glasses, and we must never never ever disturb their "self-esteem" - in other words, never rock anyone else's boat.
Those who actually read and re-read the Bible are often name-called "pharisees" by those who want everything to go on nicely and not to need teach anything that doesn't fit in with political correctness.
Do you think someone who explains the gospel message in scripture is actually a "pharisee"? Do you know what a pharisee is? Maybe you might like read this page and see if they are?
So where do we find out about sin? Simple answer, from the bible.
But many people tell us that a lot of the bible is not relevant, so how do we select the parts that are relevant?
Ah. Now maybe we have found the crux of the matter. If you regard parts of the bible - those you choose, or those you have been told to choose, as irrelevant, then you are effectively saying that only parts of the bible are true, and therefore valuable.
Okay, what does that make the other bits they don't call relevant? Well by logical reasoning it makes them unreliable and inaccurately recorded, doesn't it?
And taking the next step, we have little choice but to say that they are not true. And what is not true is by definition a lie.You can't actually say that a "myth" belongs in amongst sayings you can (or should) believe, can you?
Now this has become a situation we should find disturbing and difficult to deal with. Because while there are many other bits that aren't as difficult to come to terms with, how likely is it that they are true? Or are they perhaps lies also? And to whom can we turn to for advice?
Maybe the guy who preaches on sunday?
If that's the person who has described the other stuff as being unreliable, then maybe he is unreliable? Or she, if it is a female minister?
So where do we go to check it out? After all the bible wasn't written in English. And nobody has the original writings, do they? Weren't they changed by monks in monastries? Someone told me that, I remember.
Perhaps studying where the bible actually came from might help here. Yes there is plenty of evidence to show that the likelihood of error each time they discover earlier manuscripts is very minor, if at all. And despite the difficult archaic English language used in earlier translations, in many cases we just don't have modern words (also called "idiom") which concisely express the original Hebrew or Greek meaning nowadays.
Interestingly, the bible says that all scripture is worthy of reading and learning from. When that was written, there was no New Testament, just the Old Testament, so that destroys the context of those who say "New Testament only" - which is a similar platform or position taken to that by "Jesus only" people.
Are they actually Christians if they are choosing not to accept a major part of the gospel message? This actually is serious stuff because when we all stand before God and Christ, and are judged by Christ Himself, it tells us there will be no question of "sorry I thought..." because how we reacted to the whole counsel of God - not just the nice bits we picked - will be used by Him to decide our destiny. We need remember that He tells us (in the New Testament) that there will be many to whom he says "I don't know you mate... doesn't matter what you said you did in MY name".
Yes, I know there are some who teach that God is a sort of Santa Claus figure who really wants to bless us all regardless. And because He is all love, he wants us all to be with him for ever and ever, amen. But does scripture actually say that? I'll give you a clue to the yes/no answer I'm looking for. The answer is "not YES" :)
Consider this thought, carefully. God allows us choice. Do you think he will force you to spend eternity with him if you have already said to him "I don't want anything to do with you, and I'm going to do it MY way".
So how can we tell if we are sinners? Easy, the answer is there. We all are sinners. Not a single one of us is worthy to be saved from the judgement that comes from being sinners.
So let us use this set of paragraphs, put together for an internet chat channel, in which we closely examine what sin is. .
When this was originally presented, someone in the chatroom started abusing the person who posted these points, saying they were being personally attacked.
I leave that to you, with your ability to discern truth from lies, sense from stupidity, and honesty versus hipocracy, to decide one way or the other. Is it perhaps more likely they could have been feeling a twinge of "the guilts" at the excuses they themselves were making for their own behaviour or attitude?
In 2003, I wrote a few paragraphs about another human trait, that of ridiculing others to get our own views established by default. While it was included in a page about "endtimes theology", it is a concept I had been aware of for decades, since first becoming aware of the way in which lobbyists and the "politically correct" movement operate.
Why put it in here? Well, because it is used to great advantage by some people - maybe without even realising it - when they chose to rationalise their own pet sin and brand those drawing them to their attention as "pharisees" (if they know that word). If you didn't take that link earlier to "The Pharisee Card" page, please do so before leaving.
Ridicule is also a wonderful weapon used in the hands of the bureaucracy to intimidate people into changing their views on anything, because it eventually attacks the person's integrity as perceived by their peers, their family, their workmates... without actually providing any evidence that the claim or comment was wrong.
This is very useful for conveying misinformation about something the bureaucrat wishes to just become a fait accompli without the troublesome problems of defence!
May I suggest, as you ponder these thoughts, that you recognise two things. First, that in your personal sin, you are in a large majority. A total majority. 100% of the human population of this planet are sinners, so that does not make you unique in that regard.
Second, that in your preferred sin, or your undiscovered sin, you are in a very small proportion of the rest of us, who each has at least one different sin with which we are wrestling, and those of us who have understood what Christ preached and taught know that it can be overcome.,
At times we go about it the wrong way, or we even give up. Remember what Christ preached and taught in the large majority of cases is significantly different from what we hear, or more importantly seldom ever hear, from pulpits in churches. A much overlooked response by Jesus to the woman taken in adultery and was about to be stoned to death was "Go and sin no more".
That is the punch line. But please don't use it out of context. All scripture needs to be read in the context in which it is written.
He previously had asked "Where are your accusers?" having convicted them of their own sin in the eyes of God. He challenged them with "He that is without sin, let he cast the first stone" - and they slunk away. Rather like Shakespeare's rendering of the judge's remarks to Shylock (The Merchant of Venice) when he said "You are entitled to the pound of flesh from your debtor. But not to any blood which might come out while you are removing it".
So please don't call those who try to help you bigots, hypocrits or pharisees out of condemnation. Yes we may be pharisees in the true sense of the term (read the link above lol) but not in the way the word is usually misused. If you do that, you are being hypocritical in passing off your stealing of pens from the office (or whatever) as "okay".
Thank you for your attention. You might consider letting the writer know what your opinion is when you come to one. May God bless you as you consider this point, which may seriously affect your eternal destiny, and also that of those who rely on your for their supernatural food.