Doctrine 1: The Doctrine of Household Salvation, Part 2 (continued from Monday)
“3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but having itching ears, they shall heap to themselves teachers in accordance with their own lusts. 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned toward fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
One of the great fables of our day is that, because you have decided to trust in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, that God promises to save your entire family. We have seen that this false doctrine, commonly referred to as “Household Salvation,” is based on a erroneous interpretation of Acts 16:31-33. In fact, as we saw on Monday, this flies directly in the face of what the Bible teaches in 1 Corinthians 7:16 — “For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?” (1 Corinthian 7:16) Paul’s argument is that it is precisely because you do not know whether or not you will be able to be used to save your spouse that the believing spouse is free to remarry if the unbelieving spouse leaves them permanently (by this we mean, decides to live with another person). So the spouse then, is called to peace. He or she does not need to worry that by somehow permitted the unbelieving spouse to leave, that he or she will be putting in jeopardy the salvation of the unbelieving spouse. This then is in direct contradiction to what many people are preaching today — namely, that you can “claim” you entire family for Christ, simply because you became a Christian. Nonsense!
So then, my question is, why is this false doctrine so important to expose? And what potential damage could it cause to the church? I’m afraid to say, plenty! It may be precisely because of doctrines like this that the “wealthy, pompous” church in the west is so weak. Rather than being moved to personal and corporate repentance, and being moved to examine ourselves, so that God will move on our behalf, we are believing these silly lies and resting in our so-called “victory” — which is not a victory at all for God, but rather, for the devil! Now whose side are you on?! God then, will not save your family because he has promised it (which he has not). He will save your family because you are a faithful prayer warrior, and because you are truly “clean” in his sight. “If I treasure sin in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18). Others will also rightfully argue that he will save your family members because they are “predestined” unto salvation (Ephesians 1:5,11) — this does not mean you should not pray or humble yourself so that God will work through you.
Remember Cain? While it was true that his own brother Abel was righteous in God’s sight, yet Cain was not. In fact, Cain was said to be a child of the devil (1 John 3:10-12). This is truly a contrast the the doctrine of household salvation, that says that you will all become “children of God” if one of you is a believer! I can’t tell you how sorry this doctrine makes me feel. I know so-called “grown up” Christians who have read the Bible many times, yet they still persist in believing it and “claiming it” — rather than repenting of their own sin. Who should we blame for Cain’s lostness? Abel, because he did not believe enough for his own brother? And so we see another great fallout of the false doctrine of “Household Salvation” — in the end, you will end up blaming yourself for your family’s unbelief. Satan will have you bound and condemned (which is one of the intentions of this doctrine). “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. … Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. (Hebrews 11:4, 1 John 3:12)
Here again let me clearly state to you that the Bible nowhere teaches the doctrine of “Household Salvation.” In fact, if you want another New Testament example, quite the contrary is also taught in Romans 9:6-8 in which the Bible states: “6 It is not as though the Word of God hath taken no effect. For they are not all Israel, who are of Israel; 7 neither because they are the seed of Abraham are they all children; but, ‘In Isaac shall thy seed be called.’ 8 That is, they who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; rather, the children of the promise are counted as the seed.” (Romans 9:6-8) What’s the point? The point is that God knows whom he has chosen from each family. And not all in every family will necessarily be saved — as the above passage makes clear. “That is, they who are the children of the flesh, these are NOT the children of God; rather, the children of the promise ARE counted as the seed.” (Romans 9:8, emphasis added).
The doctrine of Household Salvation makes us all feel good, and we can pat one another on the back, saying, “Just believe it, brother. Just believe it sister. God has promised it. And God does not fail.” But that makes a mockery of God’s word, and puts Satan in the winner’s seat. Now will you get out of that seat and take a stand for what is right?