CAN A PERSON BE SAVED BY FIRST TIME HEARING THE GOSPEL?
March 9, 2005
by Andres C. Guevara Jr.
Although many times according to some life experiences many people got saved after they heard the gospel several times, it is however unfair, unscriptural, unchristian to say that nobody will get saved by one time hearing the gospel.
Can a person be saved by hearing the gospel once? Let us find out some scriptural answers.
1. It says in Romans 10:17, “faith cometh by hearing and hearing". It does not teaches us how many times the soul winner encountered the person but it does point out plainly how many times the gospel has been heard on one day encounter.
Example: The Eunuch of Ethiopia one day met Philip and on that same day he accepted Christ as his Savior. Hence, we see only one encounter but possibly the gospel was heard as explained repeatedly as they took journey at that time.-Acts 8:27-39.
Example: The Philippians’ Jailor got saved the same hour when he asked how he could be saved. The Bible says, “the same hour”.-Acts 16:30-33.
2. Salvation does not depend on how a person strongly connected on certain denomination but on the power of God through the gospel- Romans 1:16
The Lord Jesus Christ in His great commission of the disciples commanded them to “preach the gospel to every creature”-Mark 16:15. We are told to go and preach the powerful message of salvation to all kinds of people which includes the fanatic, devoted old people who spend all his/her life in a wrong religious group. If we are commanded by the powerful God to preach the powerful gospel, could it be possible for a person to be saved when he/she first time heard the powerful message?
3. Peter not only the first convert led by his brother Andrew to the Lord but also it was Andrew on the other hand as the first person who introduced the Messiah to Peter. The Bible gives us an idea that it happened in one time sharing on the same day.-John 1:40-42
4. We can not find in the Bible that before presenting the gospel the soul winners motive is to interview the lost sinners if they were the first one who approached them. Actually, most of the lost contact don't have an accurate view since they consider some false religious group have the same doctrines and message with all bible believing churches. It is not the primary business of the soul winner to discover how many times the sinner heard the gospel but it is the Christian main duty to pray, preach and persevere the sinners to trust Christ as Savior.
5. The Bible teaches that God calling of sinners to be saved is today.-II Corinthians 6:2
Every soul winner should think of the urgency of the present salvation. Why still need to open your mouth to preach the gospel if you are not positively thinking of salvation on that moment. Be like the Apostle Paul having that strong desire that Israel might be saved.--Romans 10:1. Be a today soul winner because of today need's of salvation.
6. We should bear in mind the seriousness of physical and spiritual death.
Nobody knows if the person whom you are sharing with the gospel that day will still live tomorrow.-James 4:14; Hebrews 9:27. How tragic and tremendous the sentence of death and judgment awaits the lost sinner. The sentence of condemnation will be removed if someone has faith on the Savior Jesus Christ disregarding how many times the person heard the gospel.-John 3:18. The Bible said that the wrath of God abides on the person who do not believeth on the Son of God not to those who heard the gospel once.-John 3:36. Why still focus on how often the sinner heard the good news if you think seriously the certainty of the person’s death and the eternal torment in hell.
7. If we are going to make a bigger issue on how many times literally should the sinner heard the gospel before they got saved, it is specifically limited to two times.-Romans 10:17 "faith cometh by hearing and hearing".
But why are there real experiences of people who got saved after three or even more times hearing the message of the gospel of Christ before trusting Jesus as their Savior? If the argument does say it is not literally teaches us “two times hearing” therefore it is acceptable to claim that a person could be saved thrice and above or even once.
8. The salvation of the grace of God does not disqualify nor disregard the wicked and the worst evil person who ever lived.
Example: The malefactor at the cross who is guilty of death penalty trusted Christ as his Savior and attained the promise of assurance from word of the Lord.-Luke 23:42-43.
Example: Saul the persecutor, injurious, blasphemer, and even called himself the chief of sinners (I Timothy 1:13, 15) was saved because he obtained the mercy of God (I Timothy 1:13, 16) and experience the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (I Timothy 1:14). Redemption and forgiveness of sinners is not according to the measure of our sinfulness but according to the riches of God’s grace.-Ephesians 1:7. Therefore it is unrighteous and unmerciful to say a man who heard the gospel once could not be saved because he/she is too evil and wicked in the sight of God.
9. The Heavenly Father sent His only begotten Son into the world that lost sinners might believe on Him and have everlasting life.-John 3:15-18
If it is the will of the Father who sent the Son that every unsaved sinner might be saved (John 6:40) why wait the sinners to heard the gospel more than once. Why wait if it is God’s will for the perishing soul to believe on that day.
10. Satan the god of this world wants to hid the glorious gospel to the lost that it may not shine unto them.-II Corinthians 4:3-4
The Glorious light of the gospel would shine unto the lost once we preached Jesus Christ to them.-II Corinthians 4:5. It does not mean that the glorious light of the gospel will shine if it is only preached more than once and will remain hidden if it is only preached once.
11. In the great commission Christ commanded us to “Preach the gospel to every creature”-Mark 16:15. It includes all unsaved sinners including those who did not yet heard the gospel even once. The Bible said “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?”-Romans 10:14. In this passage to the Romans we are told that it is God’s desire to reach and save those people who do not yet heard the gospel even once.
12. God wants every lost people to believe once they heard the gospel (Acts 16:30-33) as God wants every believer to be doers of the Word and not hearers only.-James 1:22. Although, it is a reality that not all who heard the gospel believed Christ (Romans 10:16), but it does not contradict the truth that God in His compassionate heart wants all who heard it to respond immediately.- Romans 10:14
13. Read and understand carefully John 3:16. If God "so loved" the world, can He save lost people who heard the gospel for the very first time? If the Father sent "His only begotten Son" into the world and spared not His own Son why can He not save those people who heard the gospel for the first time? And if the Bible tells us "whosoever" does it considers and includes those who heard the gospel only once? Absolutely yes.
14. In Luke 19:10 it says, "For the Son of man come to seek and to save that which was lost?" And who are the lost? Are they all the people who are not saved because they do not believe Christ as Savior disregarding how many times they heard the gospel or does it only refers to those people who heard the gospel more than once? Is Christ seeking and desiring to save even those lost people who never heard the gospel? Exactly for that is what the Bible says.
15. The Bible teaches us that all sinners are accountable and therefore no excuse-Romans 1:19-20. If those people who heard the gospel for the first time can not be saved, are we saying they are excuse from hell? If they are not excuse, why not compassionately and urgently draw the net during soul-winning and think positively that God can convicts and converts any sinners who willfully repent from their sins and believe Jesus Christ as Savior.
16. If God can turn the heart of a King (Proverbs 21:1), and soften the hard heart, (Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:26), is it possible therefore for those who heard the gospel for the first time to be saved? Luke 1:37. Is there anything too hard for the Lord? Genesis 18:14
17. If a person will only got saved after hearing the gospel for twice or more times, therefore our prayer for the lost first and foremost is not for them to be saved instead that they may hear the gospel more than once in order to be saved! It was an heretical and unscriptural doctrine of prayer. We need to pray for the salvation of all the lost disregarding how many times they heard the gospel or even for those who do not yet heard the gospel because:
a.The Apostle Paul prayer for the unsaved Israel was not intended exclusively for those who heard the gospel twice and above-Romans 10:1
b.The Bible says we need to pray believingly. God is working in the lives you are praying for even though you did not realized it.-Mark 11:24
c.We need to pray realizing with God all things are possible-Mark 10:27
d.We need to pray asking that thoughts to be saved is for God's glory-John 14:13
e.We need to pray asking that God will awaken them-Matthew 13:13-15
f.We need to pray claiming that soul for which Christ died-II Timothy 2:26
g.We need to pray that God will tear down the stronghold in unsaved lives-II Corinthians 10:4-5
h.We need to pray perseveringly.