If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Romans 10:9,11 (NLT)
I was intrigued enough by this headline to investigate Pope Francis’ meaning.
The Pope suggests that many who claim to be Christian but don’t behave like Christians will be turned away from eternal life. He believes Jesus will say “I don’t know you” as he does in Matthew 26 to those who fail to serve the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked , ill, and imprisoned.
Will all self-proclaimed Christians go to heaven? (tweet this)
Today’s scripture from Romans seems to contradict the Pope by saying that salvation comes by both believing and proclaiming that Jesus is Lord.
I pulled out all my Bibles for this one. The original Greek helped me understand that openly declaring means zealously proclaiming Jesus so that others will believe in him and be saved. Indeed, earlier in chapter 10, Paul says his heart’s desire is that everyone be saved – not with knowledge, but with a zeal for God.
In context, Paul is preaching that salvation is available to everyone – both Jew and Gentile. He encourages believers to spread the news to everyone so they can all be saved. The scripture he refers to, Isaiah 28:16, promises honor to those who firmly, faithfully, and permanently are true to Jesus.