Protestantism/marriage and salvation

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Question
Two VERY confrontational questions: especially in the CHURCH. As to marriage, most Christians say marriage is only RIGHT with God if the marriage is done OFFICIALLY by the US laws (get a valid marriage certificate in your county). I say one can have a marriage ceremony THEMSELVES IF it is given to GOD.This way is MUCH more biblical as that kind is always WITH GOD, as a traditional marriage is not always. For Example, my 1st twomarriages were traditional, and I didn't have God in mind on either one. This one was done at the river with only my wife, andwe dedicated it completely to GOD!v Oh, this one is so much better! What do you think?
2nd, salvation!Most people think Christians are saved because they believe in God, so on and on. Billy Graham said "80% of all church members are not saved." The bible says Jesus will look at so many people on judgment day and say"Depart from me I never knew you." That leads me to believe Graham, and state unequivacly: We all must really be carteful about how we talk to Christians and help them understand what salvation really is. Wouldn't it be terrible if we endorsed these "Christians" on their beliefs and they went to hell thinking they would get to heaven? That would make their blood be on our hands. What do you think?

Answer
Hi Barney

Thank you for these interesting questions.  I am sorry for my late response.  As to marriage, the binding part of marriage is the covenant... it is to be a public covenant whether it is in church or not...

Malachi 2:14 (AV)
14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

A secret promise made without the witness of others is not as good as one that is seen and witnessed by others and recorded by the government... it is a binding legal covenant.

As to salvation, you are right... not everyone who claims to be saved is... often we seek to give people assurance of salvation when they are under conviction... in stead we should acknowledge that perhaps they were not truely saved.  

2 Corinthians 5:17 (AV)
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.


I hope that this helps you.

In Christ
Pastor Don

Protestantism

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Pastor Don Carpenter

Expertise

I believe that every word of the Bible is God- Breathed. This blessed book is the foundation of truth for faith and practice. If you ask this volunteer a question you will receive an answer from the Bible that is based upon a literal, normal interpretation, taking into account the grammar and culture of the time.

Experience

I have been in the ministry for over 20 years. During that time I served as youth pastor, assistant pastor, counselor, church planter, and senior pastor. Currently I serve as senior pastr of a Baptist Church in New England.

Organizations
Evangelical Baptist Church

Publications
Revival Baptist Chronicles
The Fundamental Baptist Voice

Education/Credentials
BS in Bible from Baptist Bible College of Clarks Summit, PA

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