“And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
This English translation might obscure the actual statement in 1 Peter 4:18, but what it is asking is this: if it is with great difficulty that the righteous were saved, then where are the wicked and ungodly in that scenario?
This verse flies in the face of what most preachers of christianity declare on a regular basis (usually in their unscriptural “altar calls” or “invitations”). You see, in most flavors of christianity, it is preached that salvation is easy to receive. They typically say that all one needs to do is to “come forward and accept Christ” (not scriptural) or “ask forgiveness for all your sins” (not scriptural), or pray a “sinner’s prayer” (again, not scriptural).
How could christianity get salvation so wrong? Their counterfeit of salvation is the result of christianity being a counterfeit of the true faith that was invented by stripping the faith of its foundations and replacing them with paganism and humanism.
Both scripture and the Father’s traditions (those things of the Father that christianity despises and rejects, which include the weekly Sabbath and feasts, the wedding traditions, and the temple ordinances and practices) teach that salvation is a journey, not a decision.
Man does not have the power or authority to “decide” himself saved, just as a child doesn’t have the legal authority to make himself the child of adoptive parents. It is the parents who choose to adopt the child—and the adoption must be decreed by a judge.
The same is true of salvation. It is the Father alone who decides that one who has believed and who has confessed His Son Yahoshua before others shall be adopted as His child. And, those who are adopted by the Father are confirmed that they are His children by the direct, literal, personal, confirmation of the Holy Spirit (who has NEVER changed how He communicates with people) 1 Corinthians 1:6-8.
In christianity, many falsely teach that belief IS salvation, when belief is just the first step on the path TO salvation. As Messiah Yahoshua said in Luke 8:13, “And those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.”
So, how could it be that belief IS salvation, if Messiah Himself said there are some who will believe for awhile, but during their time of testing (enduring in belief), they fall away because they have no source of life? Who is the source of life? It is the Holy Spirit who resurrects the dead spirit of man to newness of spiritual life.
Messiah was speaking of those who liked what they heard about the Gospel, and they chose to believe what they heard; but, during the time of testing that all go through (See: James 1), they either refuse to believe they had anything to receive beyond their “decision,” or they simply walk away from it all.
Most christians are in the former camp—they don’t think there is anything else they have to receive. They think that their decision saved them—as if a child can declare himself adopted. They are who we see in Matthew 7:21-23.
So, scripture tells us that the righteous (which are those who have received salvation by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) were saved with difficulty (they had to endure in their belief, confessing Messiah Yahoshua before others until the Father gave them the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is eternal life).
Those who are Messiah’s bride are sealed eternally by the Holy Spirit when He is placed within them—for His seal is the covenant of marriage (“ketubah”) to Messiah–the real substance of the old covenant that was given to the physical Jews as a foreshadow; and, both covenants were given on the Feast of Weeks (seven Sabbaths plus one day after Passover). It was physical foreshadow (picture) first, then spiritual real substance later.
That will be different with those in the tribulation, just as it was with those who lived before Messiah came to earth, paid the price of redemption for His bride, and then sent the Holy Spirit to seal her until the consummation of the marriage takes place after the bride is fully removed from the earth on the Feast of Trumpets.
Those who have merely made some sort of a decision, or “accepted Christ” (found nowhere in scripture), or went forward and prayed a prayer, but who have never been told personally by the Holy Spirit that they have been redeemed, have no claim to being saved. No, they have been deluded by false teachings.
Believe in Messiah Yahoshua (identify yourself with His Passover sacrifice), and confess Him before others until the covenant is received. Salvation requires no asking of forgiveness for sins of the flesh, for salvation is of the spirit, not the flesh. There is only ONE SIN that condemns, and that is unbelief—a dead spirit that has not been resurrected by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Those who repent of their unbelief (which is to believe), and who endure in their belief (confessing the true Gospel of Yahoshua regardless of relational consequences), SHALL BE SAVED (future tense).
That is not an immediate transaction by man’s decision. It is a journey that all those who believe must trod. From Egypt, being led by the Holy Spirit through the wilderness, to the mountain, and then receiving the covenant, which is shown in the tabernacle, with the priestly progression from the Outer Courtyard, through the Holy Place, and then into the Holy of Holies, where the covenant is.
So, christianity says that salvation is easy, but the Holy Spirit says in His scriptures that salvation is difficult—one MUST endure in belief to be able to receive it. That is just so different from the imitation salvation peddled by most of christianity.
We are told in Hebrews 10:39 of those who did not shrink back from their belief, but who believed all the way to the saving of their souls. If belief were salvation, or if salvation is by decision, then Hebrews 10:39 is a lie. It’s not a lie.
For more information: Is Salvation Hard to Receive?