Q. Are people saved if they are in a corrupt institution but truly seeking God?
I hear and read comments from many Christians regarding this subject, and have been in discussions where I have myself been called weak and soft due to my view.
However, I think that those accusers and hardliners are slightly misguided, not affording other truth seekers the grace, mercy and time to change that they themselves received of God and others.
I believe there are three questions that need to be answered here:
Is a person saved if they are in a corrupt environment or institution but seeking the truth and being led out toward God?
How long is that transition stage?
Whose followers are they anyhow?
God allows people to come to him from all nation and tongues, from all religions, from all institutions, and from all concepts; and this displays His mercy and equity.
Those who decide to earnestly come to God will or should eventually remove themselves from those religions, cultures or family values that bind them; eventually seeing them for what they are.
Servants that become judges
If these ‘judging’ people were trial judges of who makes it to heaven and who doesn’t, it would be a very small and specific population that would be heaven-bound.
They use a different measuring device for others than they use on themselves, and certainly different from the device God used on them when they were seeking.
They have either not thought about the subject enough or forgotten that they too were once bereft of all hope.
Change takes time
Zaccheus’ life changed dramatically from the time that Jesus saw him up the tree. He may not have expected to be seen, but what a wonderful turnaround from that point onward. Jesus coming to his house to eat and meet his family; his family losing 50% of their stored wealth and future income due to Zaccheus returning money; from that point, he was changed ! It is almost like a Road to Damascus experience – very short and powerful.
However, lets look prior to Zaccheus getting up the tree.
How long had he been watching Jesus?
How long had he been thinking about the saviour?
How many times had he prayed to God to reveal the truth to him?
We Christians are meant to become judges. The term God means Judge, and with the many decisions we have to make in life , many more than non-Christians, it certainly seems as if we get our fair share of experiences to hone our judgment skills.
We have to make:
judgments of honesty in every dealing;
judgments on anger in situations of argument;
judgments on prayer, who to pray for and how to pray;
judgments on loving thy neighbour;
judgments on praying for our enemies and those who despise us and use us up;
judgements on how to deal with other Christians who have ripped us off in a dealing; and
many more instances that non-Christians really don’t have to deal with.
We are called to be judges.
In all this though, there is a fault line upon which some Christians build their life. That fault line is called Harsh and Unlearned Judgment.
They use it when speaking of those people within false religions who are actually seeking God and are being drawn out toward the truth.
They place people who currently bound in false religions in hell , without ever contemplating that God may be working on some of them.
After all, where did Martin Luther come from?
Or, Daniel Scott, Danny Naliah, Brother Yun, Alberto Riviera, Chiniquy, and the many now strong Christians who were once Muslims, Seikhs, Buddhists, JW’s, Mormons, and atheists, and everyone else who has ever been saved by the power of the Blood of Jesus Christ?
The reformation was built upon people who had come out of the apostate Roman Catholic Church: so let us not throw out the people when we throw out the institution.
We do not know who is earnestly seeking God. Just because they don’t come out of the institution within the timeframe that we have set in our minds, doesn’t mean they won’t eventually.
We ourselves have been saved by the mercy of God, and that only.
We were nothing but sinners prior to that, and bound for hell to be burnt as a farmer burns rubbish on his farm – absolutely nonredeemable for any good purpose – and a farmer can generally find a use for everything!
I say farmer, because God is a husbandman – a farmer. Due to the shedding of Christ’s blood, we are now fit for some use.
God calls his people ‘servants’. This means that we are meant to serve, and not to master. In fact, God himself despises the ‘Master’ mentality, and has written much about it.
If we are not diligent with long memories, we are apt to think we are members of an exclusive club; master’s in fact, and not simply very basic servants of a merciful King.
Those seeking entry to the Kingdom of God do NOT need to fit our criteria, but His.