I think is good and normative that Christians believe in eternal life, but it is a guaranteed result of believing in Jesus, not a part of what must be believed to know you are saved from the punishment for your sins. I think believing in Jesus—His death for my sins, burial, and resurrection are normative for salvation. They are the Gospel of 1st Cor. 15:1-4.
1) Eternal Salvation: God’s forgiveness of all our sins, Heaven irrevocably guaranteed, eternal life, eternal security, everlasting connection with a loving God, and a new, holy, loving, righteous self, in Christ and also indwelled by Christ, are the free and loving gifts of Jesus.
We receive this free gift of God’s love in the moment of belief in Jesus, when we believe in the Gospel of Christ. The Gospel message, the Good News, is that Jesus, who is God and man, shed His blood and died on the cross for all of our sins (past, present, and future) according to the Scriptures, was buried, and was resurrected from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures.
2) Practical Sanctification and Communion with God: living daily, in this life, by faith in the perfect and righteous person we have been made in Christ, as children of God our Heavenly Father, indwelled by God’s Holy Spirit, having died with Christ and having been raised to new life with Christ. This perfect, holy, and righteous new self is indwelled by Christ. We do not not believe in ourselves, but in Christ who Himself ~is~ the righteousness of those who believe in Him, by His grace.
In Practical Sanctification, in our present daily life, believers in Jesus, by faith, are ~living by faith in the new holy person we are, in Christ~ which is in union and complete dependence on Christ the Vine. Believers were made into holy persons in Christ by God in the very moment we were saved through faith in Jesus. When we live by this spiritual reality in Christ, we live the Christian life of communion and sanctification, in God.
In the natural sinful nature of the flesh, we are potentially as sinful, evil, and wretched as we ever were.
By God’s grace, we can daily live by faith in this new life in Christ.
I believe that Salvation in Christ and Practical Sanctification/Communion with God are the two most important truths of Christianity that should be focused on and made preeminent in order for people to have eternal salvation; and also for them to have true spiritual growth in the grace of Jesus, who loved us and gave Himself for us, to forgive us our sins and deliver us from our sin and evil and estrangement from God, to His goodness and love.
— If you believe that Jesus Christ is God and man, that He died for the forgiveness of all your sins, that He was buried, and that He was resurrected on the third day, then you have eternal life right now, and you are eternally saved forever, irrevocably, and you are irreversibly guaranteed to get into Heaven when you die. CS —
Being a loving and forgiving person will NOT get you into Heaven. To get into Heaven, you must believe in Jesus—not your good works. Salvation does NOT come by good works or by being a “good person.” “Good” people still have unforgiven sins. Good people in Hell have rejected Jesus for salvation. CS
“There is a false teaching about eternal salvation being taught in “Christian” churches called, “Lordship Salvation.” People who teach this false way of salvation sometimes quote the verse where Jesus tells believers to “count the cost” of discipleship. These false teachers want people to “count the cost of salvation.” But there is ~no cost~ for salvation. The Bible says discipleship has a cost, but it also says that salvation is a FREE GIFT.” –C.S.
Salvation comes in a moment. When a person believes in Jesus, he is eternally saved. (Acts.)
“Obeying God” can mean believing His Gospel.
“Believe in Jesus” is a command that God wants you to obey. It has nothing to do with “easy believism.” Salvation (meaning “going to Heaven when you die”) is a FREE GIFT.
What is difficult is ~discipleship~. Discipleship is NOT a condition of salvation. If it were, then salvation would be achieved by your own good works.
Sorry, it gets a bit more complicated. It could in fact be that false prophets earlier in their life believed the Gospel for a moment and were eternally saved.
It is also true that those who listen to a false prophet, even though the false prophet has a false message, may be saved.
It may be that the false prophet presents a Bible verse such as John 6:47 or First Corinthians 15:1-4, and in that moment, hearers are saved, so the reality is a bit more complicated than simply saying these are damned people preaching to damned people.
The Bible is very clear that some people who are not believers preach the gospel for money and get people saved.
What we are saying is that false prophets are preaching a false gospel and if that gospel is believed, it does not have the power to save people.