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But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,

-Romans 4:5

How a Person is Not Saved

Written by Mesa Bible Study

On August 6, 2018
How you are not saved
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How You Are Not Saved

It is just as important to know how a person is not saved as it is to know how a person is saved. The obvious and simple answer is rejecting the gospel. Not believing is not believing, but there is a more sinister way people are not saved. Which is, unfortunately, happening to thousands of good people every day.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. ‘

Colossians 2:8 

A Person is Not Saved if:


They believe the gospel of the grace of God. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

and…then add:


  • They believe that Water Baptism is required for their salvation
  • They believe that they must produce good works for salvation
  • They believe that they must join a Church for their salvation
  • They believe that they must walk an Isle for salvation
  • They believe they must repent before believing the gospel for salvation
  • They believe that they must ask Christ into their heart for salvation
  • They believe that they must persevere to end for their salvation

As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 

Galatians 1:9 

The Gospel  “Good News”

Before we move on let’s look at the clearest definition of the gospel in Scripture. 

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein you stand; By which also you are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

The verse above is the gospel, the good news, the ONLY way to heaven. The gospel is really simple and clear and all mankind will be judged by this gospel

In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Romans 2:16


Tradition Tell’s God – It’s Not Finished!

The gospel of the grace of God is so clear and simple. But men in all their foolishness and tradition come along and corrupt the gospel. (Colossians 2:8)

It’s amazing that we have a clear record of the horrifying torture and death that Jesus Christ experienced. Taking upon Himself the wrath from God the Father to pay the sin debt on our behalf. Fulfilling everything the Father demanded, therefore, God reconciled the whole world back to Himself. That’s why God says over and over it’s a FREE GIFT!  

Yet mankind comes along and says “that’s great Lord I appreciate that you died for my sins, was buried and rose again three days later. But I don’t think you really finished it! I can do the rest.


I’ll start off with repenting because you can never be too sure if Your blood covered everyone? Right? So, under my own power I will repent then you can step in with the whole cross thing.”


Next, I’ll get water baptized because it makes me feel like I’m participating in my salvation. Also, my pastor says Baptism is my first step of obedience. Even though there is NO Scripture support for it and I know it’s just a Church tradition. 

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. ‘

Colossians 2:8 

The Apostle Paul Warned the Church

The apostle Paul warned that when he was taken off the scene that “savage wolves” will come in not sparing the flock. (Acts 20:29) He goes on to say “And from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. (Acts 20:30)

The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to warn the elders and the Church (even for us today) of what will happen as soon as he was gone to be with the Lord. No doubt it did happen, as a matter of fact, Paul’s message was attacked and his character slandered as soon as his ministry began.  (Romans 3:7,8; 2 Corinthians 11:4, 11:13)

For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.

Romans 3:7-8

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. 

2 Corinthians 11:13,14,15 

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1 Timothy 4:1

Ministers of Light in a Church Near You

It is no different today. When you teach or preach a free grace message. You will be accused of preaching grace means a license to sin. (Antinomianism)

A well-known preacher of days gone by had it right when he said;

“If your preaching of the gospel of God’s free grace in Jesus Christ does not provoke the charge from some of antinomianism, you’re not preaching the gospel of the free grace of God in Jesus Christ.”

― David Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Satan, being who he is, is always behind the total destruction of everything God does and says. The Devil has his ministers of light (2 Corinthians 11:14,15) corrupting the gospel of grace to this very day! Scoffing at free grace and accusing those that believe that salvation is faith in the gospel alone plus nothing of Antinomianism. These Pastors, Theologians, are at a Church near you, some covert and some more overt than ever with their seducing spirits and doctrines of demons poisoning the Truth. (1 Timothy 4:1; Galatians 1:6,7) 

A More Sinister Way A Person is Not Saved

Not being saved is not being saved. But when you have a Pastor or Denomination that preaches the true gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) but they add their Denomination’s traditions as a requirement for salvation you have a more “Sinister Way A Person Is Not Saved”.

There are many mainline denominations that proclaim “by grace alone”. They even say openly that salvation is by grace through faith alone. But…what they don’t push is their tradition that you also need to fulfill in order to REALLY BE SAVED.

For instance on the front end its all about by God’s grace through faith alone. Then the individual is hit with a truckload of tradition. Like baptism, perseverance, producing good works, repenting, church membership or anything else that the modern day Judaizer wants to add. All the things the modern day Judaizers decided they need to do to please God. It’s no different today than it was in Paul’s day.




Two crucial points must be made!

First, in Galatians chapter one the apostle Paul warns that by adding anything to the gospel of grace makes it a false gospel. It wasn’t that the Judaizers came into the church at Galatia with a whole new gospel (Galatians 1:7) but that they were adding “things to do” (the law) to the gospel of grace, making it a false gospel.

Secondly today, many churches are no different than the Church in Galatia to 2000 years ago. Many Pastors proclaim the gospel, believing by faith alone, but they add their own caveat or their denomination’s “traditions” to the gospel, making it a false gospel.

Teaching a person that salvation is by faith alone and then sneaking in that they must be baptized, persevere, produce good works or do anything else but believe by faith in the gospel is heresy and damnable to those that teach it and condemnation to those that believe it.

The devil is smart, subtle and more cunning than mankind could ever be, but that’s why we have the Word of God. That’s why the apostle Paul warned the church in Galatia twice (which is also a warning for us today) that if anyone even an angel from heaven preaches any other gospel to you than what we (Paul) have preached to you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8,9) 

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Galatians 1:8


He then repeats his warning again in verse nine.


As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Galatians 1:9


Twisting Scripture

One of my favorite bible verses is Romans 1:16. Because it clearly demonstrates to anyone reading it how a person is saved. Plus, it shows how God is crystal clear and never makes anything confusing. It always amazes me how difficult it is for so many pastors and theologians to interpret this simple verse. This is how many pastors interpret Romans 1:16:

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who repents, is baptized, is regenerated (before you can actually believe), believes, perseveres, produces good works, or whatever the tradition is for that particular denomination.”


Of course, that’s not how Romans 1:16 is interpreted. So why does Paul leave out all the necessary things we must do to be saved? If there ever was a place where Paul needs to mention everything a person must do to be saved it’s here in Romans 1:16.

Considering in the next couple of verses he describes the wrath God pours out on those that reject the gospel. Do you think it’s possible that Paul just forgot to mention EVERYTHING? Is the rest of the message only available to pastors and theologians that read Greek and have seminary training? Is Romans 1:16, 1 Timothy 1:16, Romans 3:21-24 and 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, not inspired by the Holy Spirit?

No, God didn’t forget to mention it, no you don’t even need a High School diploma to understand (1 Cor 1:27), and yes all Scripture is inspired by God. (2 Timothy 3:16)

Paul never commands that you must repent first, be baptized, keep the law or that you have to persevere for 2 years, 5 years or 15 years than really, really believed, nor does he mention that you’re on the clock for good works. If you don’t start producing good works in let’s say two months you never really, really believed that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried and rose again three days later.

Really, any of that sound like a free gift, like grace? Of course not. It’s the sound of man’s pride being taken over by their sin nature that was never nailed to the cross with Christ. 

 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Romans 4:4-5

How’s about this bible verse in Galatians 2:20 & 21;

20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.


“for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain”


That’s very strong language! But ignored by most in Christendom by continuing to frustrate the good news of the grace of God.

Now let’s go back to Romans 1:16, and correctly interpret this powerful and crystal-clear verse. No interpretation needed right? You believe you are saved.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Romans 1:16

God Knows No One is Fooling Him

God knows if you truly believe or not. (2 Timothy 2:19) Do not be fooled by anyone teaching to be saved one must believe by faith and  _____________________ , you can fill in the blank. No matter how many doctorates they have, how many books they’ve written, how big their congregation is, or how great of a speaker he is. If you’re in a church and that Pastor is a woman then you’re already in the wrong place. (1 Timothy 2:12, 1 Corinthians 14:34) If someone is preaching a gospel other than the gospel defined in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, or if they are preaching the true gospel but adding ANYTHING to it for salvation they will be cursed by God and the people hearing it will are condemned. 



As believers, we must realize that the gospel described in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 is not a suggested gospel, it’s not a place for pastors to start from, to turn into whatever one feels like or mold to fit “man’s tradition” or theology.

Everything we do as Christians begins and ends with the gospel of grace; Christ Crucified, Buried and Raised again 3 days later. It’s important we know the true gospel and the doctrines tied to the gospel for us today.

Thank you for reading.

Mesa Bible Study 

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