What the Bible says about... Who Is Saved?      

Durch Rev. John Odhner

Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, aerial view

There is a common tendency with people to make negative judgments about other people. In high schools, this tendency shows itself in cliques. A few popular kids get into a group, and gradually begin to think that they are better than others because they are better liked. Kids who aren't "in" may become objects of pity, or contempt, or even of cruel jokes. In one way or another the clique passes subtle judgment on the others as being a lower class of human beings.

The same tendency to look down on others shows itself in various religions. Some religious groups become so self-centered that they believe no one of a different faith can go to heaven. When taken to an extreme, this kind of attitude is far more cruel than the snobbish teenage cliques.

The teachings of the Bible are quite a contrast to this. To begin with, God's Word tells us that we should not label people as "saved" or "sinner." Jesus said,

"Judge not, that you be not condemned. Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?" (Matthew 7:1, 3)

The disciple James put it this way: "There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?" (James 4:1)

When the Lord was on earth, a judging attitude was prevalent among the leaders of the church. Many thought that when the Messiah came, He would save Jews, and not others. When Jesus did come, they condemned Him for associating with non-Jews and Jews alike.

Jesus discouraged this kind of attitude. Once He was speaking with some people who "trusted in themselves" that they were saved and others were not. He asked them to consider two prayers: "God, I thank you that I am not like other men," and "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!" Jesus praised the man who thought he was a sinner. (Luke 18:9-14)

It's better to think of yourself as a sinner than to think you are saved.

You may remember the parable of the good Samaritan, too, who stopped to help the wounded man by the roadside. Even though this Samaritan was of the "wrong" faith (from the Jewish point of view), Jesus said that the Samaritan should be loved as a neighbor, because he was a good man. In fact, He said that a person who wants eternal life should be like this Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37), even though the Samaritan was neither Christian nor Jewish. Jesus saw - and sees - what is in a person's heart, not just what church one belongs to.

The Bible states clearly that it is the way a person lives, not just what he believes, that determines whether he goes to heaven or not. Jesus said, "Not every one who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven." (Matthew 7:21)

Again, "He shall reward every one according to his works." (Matthew 16:27)

"Those who have done good," He says, will go "to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation." (John 5:29)

Since a person's life, not just his faith, determines his eternal lot, Jesus foretold that many Christians would not be saved, because they had lived an evil life.

"Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you: depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Matthew 7:22-23, Luke 13:25-27)

One reason why a non-Christian can be saved, is that he can love his neighbor. Anyone who genuinely loves his neighbor also loves Christ, although he may not realize it. Jesus said, "Inasmuch as you have ministered to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." (Matthew 25:40)

Faith in Jesus, without love to the neighbor is meaningless.

"Though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:2)

Genuine love, on the other hand, is a sign that a person knows the Lord in his heart, regardless of the religion he professes outwardly.

"Love believes all things." (1 Corinthians 13:7)

"He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God." (3 John 1:11)

"Let us love one another, for love is of God, and every one who loves is born of God and knows God. God is love, and anyone who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." (1 John 4:7-11)


Some Christian churches teach this: Only Christians are saved.

What the Bible actually says (and what the New Christian Church teaches): Good people from all religions are saved.

Some references from teachings for the New Christian Church : Heaven and Hell 318-328, Divine Providence 326

Used with the permission of John Odhner, the author of this very useful site: http://whatthebiblesays.info/Introduction.html

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Die Bibel


Luke 10:29-37

Studieren Sie die innere Bedeutung


29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.


   Studieren Sie die innere Bedeutung

Explanation of Luke 10      

Durch Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Verses 1-2. That all, who are in good derived from truths, are ordained of the Lord to announce His advent, since the Church, which was about to be established by the Lord, consists of many members, but the teachers of truth from the Lord are comparatively few.

Verse 3. Thus they who are in innocence are to instruct those who are opposed to innocence.

Verse 4. And to confess all to be from the Lord alone, and nothing from themselves.

Verses 5-6. And to make enquiry concerning those who received the Lord and the things of His kingdom.

Verse 7. And shall abide in the principle of love to the Lord and of charity, but should not pass to any other.

Verses 8-9. And it they come amongst those who are in the doctrine of truth and good, they may consociate with them, remove all false and evil principles, and proclaim the Lord's advent.

Verses 10-11. But if they come among those who are in opposite doctrine, they must then testify, that the evils, which reject goods and truths, adhere to those who are in evil, but not to those who are in truths and goods.

Verses 12-16. And that thus it is better not to know the truth, than to know it, and still continue in evil of life, inasmuch as doctrine the most celestial cannot deliver from condemnation, unless the life be formed accordingly.

Verse 16. For all good and truth is in connection with the Divine Human principle of the Lord, and consequently, whoever receives good and truth into his will and understanding receives the Lord, but whoever rejects good and truth, rejects the Lord.

Verses 17-19. That all the truths of good have power over the hells, and are operative to the removal of interior falsities, and this by virtue of their conjunction with the Lord.

Verse 20. But that they who are principled in such truths and goods are not to derive joy from the consideration of the omnipotence of truth and good, but rather from the thought of their conjunction of life with the Lord.

Verse 21. And also from the thought that the Divine mercy is alike operative to conceal truth from those who, through evil of life, are in false intelligence, as to make it manifest to the simple and sincere.

Verse 22. That the all of Divinity is in the Lord's Divine Human principle, which cannot be fully comprehended by man or angel, but that what proceeds from the Lord's Divine Human principle may be comprehended.

Verses 23-24. Therefore faith and obedience grounded in the Lord's Divine Human principle are blessed, but that such faith and obedience could not have birth previous to the assumption of the Human principle by the Lord.

Verses 25-29. No one therefore can enter into heaven, unless he acknowledge the Lord, even as to His Human essence, to be the Gop of heaven, and unless he live also according to the precepts of the decalogue, by abstaining from the evils which are there forbidden, and by abstaining from them because they are sins.

Verses 29-38. That there are degrees of love towards the neighbour, and that every man is to be loved according to the quality of the good which is in him.

Verse 30. Thus they are to be loved who are in the affection of heavenly knowledges, and at the same time are infested by evil spirits, who would deprive them of those knowledges.

Verses 31-32. All such however are disregarded by those, who are not principled in love to the Lord, and in charity towards the neighbour.

Verse 33. Whereas they excite mercy and charity from an interior principle with all those, who are in the affection of truth

Verse 34. And who therefore prepare a remedy against false principles, by giving instruction in the good of love and the truth of faith, as far as the understanding is capable of giving it, and by application to those who are more instructed in the knowledges of good and truth.

Verse 35. Also by other offices of charity, so far as they have ability.

Verses 36-37. Whence it is evident, that every man is a neighbour according to the good in which he is principled, and that true charity consists in doing works of kindness and mercy to all such.

Verses 38-39. That the Lord is received by the Gentiles, who are in the affection of truth and of good.

Verses 41-42. But that they who are in the affection of truth are not yet purified from the anxieties of self-love, and are instructed that they ought to attend to and exalt the higher affection of good.


Erklärung (en) oder Referenzen von Swedenborgs Werken:

Arcana Coelestia 4314, 6377, 6708, 9057, 9780

Apocalypse Revealed 32, 316

Doctrine of Life 2

True Christian Religion 378, 410

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 87

Referenzen aus Swedenborgs unveröffentlichten Werken:

Apocalypse Explained 375, 376, 444, 458, 584, 622, 706, ...

Charity 50

Anderer Kommentar


Sprung zu ähnlichen Bibelversen

Psalms 147:3

Isaiah 1:6

Bedeutungen biblischer Begriffe

As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

'The neighbor' is not only an individual person, but also people collectively, as a less or greater society, our country, the church, the Lord’s kingdom,...

Jericho' signifies instruction and also the good of life because no one can be instructed in the truths of doctrine but he who is in...

'Robbers' signify falsities and evils.

Soft raiment,' as in Matthew 11:9, represents the internal sense of the Word.

These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

'The Samaritans,' in Luke 10, means the Gentiles in charity towards their neighbors. 'The Samaritans' signify the Gentiles or nations which would receive doctrine from...

In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.

In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.

In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

A penny,' as in Revelation 6, signifies something so small that it is barely anything.

The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

Hilfsmittel für Eltern und Lehrer

Die hier aufgelisteten Artikel werden mit freundlicher Genehmigung unserer Freunde in der General Church oft he New Jerusalem zur Verfügung gestellt. Sie können ihre gesamte Bibliothek durchsuchen, indem Sie dieser Link folgen.

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Make a golden heart to illustrate the beautiful heart of a person who is kind to others. 
Project | Ages up to 10

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Dramatize the parable of the Good Samaritan with this simple retelling of the story, 5 characters, and suggested props.
Activity | Ages up to 10

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Activity | Ages 7 - 17

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 Picture the Lord's joy each time we take a step toward heaven. 
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Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Play: The Good Samaritan
A script for dramatizing the parable.
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

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 The Good Samaritan
We might never be on that road from Jerusalem to Jericho, but we will meet people in need of help. What will you do when you see someone in need of help at school, at home or in the neighborhood? Will you pass by on the other side or be like the good Samaritan? Sample from the Jacob's Ladder Program, Level 3, for ages 8-9.
Religion Lesson | Ages 8 - 9

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Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

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This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

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A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

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Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

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Activity | Ages over 18

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Why did the Lord tell His disciples to go out in twos? What are some of the advantages to having friends support us in challenging situations?
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