By Ben Cordes
Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Many, if not most, of Christendom, today, teach that one must believe in Christ in order to obtain eternal salvation. They tell you that believing in Jesus is the way to accept His offer of forgiveness and live with Him forever. They also teach that by failing to accept Him and never believing in Him means you will be destroyed in an everlasting lake of fire.
This leads me to ask, have they read Romans 8:38-39? For that matter, have they even read the eighth chapter of Romans, entirely? You see, what is explained within that chapter doesn’t just apply to the Romans, but rather to the entirety of God’s beloved. Paul explains that God foreknew (Rom. 8:29) His people and that He predestinated them, called them, justified them and, lastly, glorified them (Rom. 8:30). God did all of this so that nothing would separate us from His love (Rom. 8:38-39). He took the steps for us, to both choose us in love and to make atonement through Christ for those that He chose (Rom. 5:11), so that nothing would separate us from His love.
What is being propagated when one teaches that you must believe in Christ in order to receive salvation and eternal life is the lie that unbelief is the one sin for which God cannot atone. We know that it is impossible for one who is dead in sins to accept or believe anything (1 Cor. 2:14, Eph. 2:1, Col. 2:13). Surely, we are blessed to know and believe in the name of Jesus Christ. Truly we can all agree that to live in the freedom found in His name and in His gospel while here on earth is the greatest blessing we could receive while we walk this earth. I have no intention to minimize the biblical importance of believing in Christ. However, we know that if belief in Christ were a requirement, then there are many for whom God loves that would never receive eternal life: the deceased infants, the mentally handicapped, the foreigners without the gospel, because these all failed to believe in Jesus.
For all whom God loves, He also saved. That is the truth straight from Romans chapter eight. Remember, if you love Him, that is evidence, not the cause, that He first loved you (1 John 4:19). If you are His eternally beloved, then there is nothing—no thing that can separate you from His love. Not even ourselves. That is the love that only God—our God, can give.