One of the six persuasive reasons a person should use The Salvation Meter is “A Lost Person’s Eternal Destiny Can Be Changed in an Instant.” See pages 33-35 of The Salvation Meter book (The Salvation Meter – Biblical Self-Diagnostic Tests to Examine Your Salvation and Spiritual Growth). This article is a revision of the above discussion and the related questions. There are two reasons I revised the discussion.
First, a sermon is never finished, merely preached. In the same way, there will always be ways and a need to revise and improve the discussion of this crucial reason why a person should use The Salvation Meter. Hopefully, this revision will give the book a “dynamic” aspect rather than remain “static.”
Second, this revision contains more detailed information and discussion than in the book. Through these additional materials, I hope this revision will assist anyone who reads, teaches, preaches, or merely considers the substance of this test to appreciate better the importance of this reason to use The Salvation Meter book.
No matter how entrenched a person is on the road to hell, God can change their eternal destination in an instant. A person can transform permanently from death to life in one irreversible moment.
God transformed early 1st Century Jews, as shown by Peter’s Pentecost Sermon. Acts 2:38, 41 (ASV 1901) which reads:
38 And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. … 41 They then that received his word were baptized: and there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls.
The ASV 1901 translates the Greek verb metanoeō as “repent ye,” meaning to change one’s way of life as the result of a complete change of thought and attitude regarding sin and righteousness—‘to repent, to change one’s way, repentance.’ See Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). In Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 509). United Bible Societies. The Logos 9 sense of the verb is to reconsider (repent) – to have a change of self (heart and mind) that abandons former dispositions and results in a new self, new behavior, and regret over former behavior and dispositions.
The verb is in the aorist tense, which means the writer intends to present the action of a verb as a “snapshot” event. The verb’s action is portrayed simply and in summary fashion without respect to any process. See Heiser, M. S., & Setterholm, V. M. (2013; 2013). Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database Terminology. Lexham Press. By using the aorist tense, Luke intended to convey to his audience that the salvation of the Jews at Pentecost was a one-time happening. Salvation is a one-time event that anyone can appropriate through repentance and trust in Christ’s finished work.
The ASV 1901 translates the Greek verb apodechomai as “They … that received.” It means to come to believe something to be true and to respond accordingly, with some emphasis upon the source—‘to accept, to receive, acceptance, reception.’ See Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). In Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 371). United Bible Societies. Like with the verb metanoeō, this verb is in the aorist tense, which shows that Luke intended to convey to his audience that the salvation of the Jews at Pentecost was a one-time happening.
God saved 1st Century Greeks as shown by Paul’s Sermon in Athens reported at Acts 17:31, 34 (ASV 1901), which read:
31 inasmuch as he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. … 34 But certain men clave unto him, and believed: among whom also was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
The ASV 1901 translates the Greek verb pisteuō as “believed,” and it means to believe in the good news about Jesus Christ and to become a follower—‘to be a believer, to be a Christian, Christian faith.’ See Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). In Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 378). United Bible Societies. The Greek verb pisteuō is in the aorist tense and indicative mood. By verse 34, Luke intended to convey to his audience that “certain men” ‘s saving belief was a one-time “snapshot” event that took place in the past.
Peter’s Pentecost sermon (Acts 2:38, 41) and Paul’s sermon in Athens (Acts 17:31, 34) teach that salvation is a one-time event that anyone can appropriate through exercising biblical saving faith.
Salvation is a one-time event that anyone can appropriate by exercising biblical saving faith. Please answer the following questions that arise from this fundamental truth.
Question 1-46: Before now, have you ever given it much thought that the 1st Century Jews and Gentiles who responded to the saving gospel of Jesus Christ did so in a fashion like what you did or can do today? In other words, it was a one-time event that took place in response to hearing the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. Please explain your answer.
Question 1-46A: Peter’s Pentecost sermon was addressed to Jews who had acquiesced to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ only about 50 days earlier. Yet, many were saved in response to the proclamation of the gospel. How does this make you feel about the potential for the salvation of lost people no matter the extent of their depravity?
Question 1-46B: Paul’s sermon in Athens was addressed to pagan idolatrous people. Yet, some were saved in response to the proclamation of the gospel. How does this make you feel about the potential for the salvation of lost people no matter the extent of their depravity?