Someone recently said to me, “Well you teach that everything’s going to be ok, so it doesn’t matter what you do now.” Of course, that’s not what I teach or believe, but in my response I articulated something differently than before. After pointing out that such is not what I believe I noted that actually the traditional doctrine of judgment and salvation by faith affirms that it doesn’t matter what one does in this life. The traditional doctrine affirms that:
- Judgment is based on whether one has faith in Christ or not.
- Those who have faith in Christ go to heaven; those who do not, go to hell.
Note that in the traditional doctrine, how one lives has nothing to do with whether one goes to heaven or not. So it really doesn’t matter how one lives, all that matters is whether or not one has faith in Christ.
Of course, scripture affirms repeatedly that judgment is based on how we live, what we do with the gifts and talents God gives us, especially how we treat others less fortunate, how we administer any authority we’ve been given, etc. And many of the passages affirm punishment of evil. The traditional doctrine disregards this and affirms that judgment is based, not on how we live, but on whether or not we have faith in Christ when we die.