God's work is very simple - Believe in Christ! HE has already paid every penalty for ALL of mankind's transgressions. This assures eternal life to all who put their faith in His finished work. I'll reference the Bible.
Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Christianity teaches Believers are Raised. This is more commonly known as: if you believe in Christ, you will be saved.
1 John 5:12-13
He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
* Whoever has the Son has life and those who are Christ's at His coming will be raised. Biblical Christianity says, "once saved, always saved." It IS this simple. Once saved, always saved = Yes, we will be resurrected because we believe Jesus Christ is our Savior. Saving Grace goes to all who are in Christ. Good works and obedience are an entirely different topic and discussion as mentioned in previous/future blog posts; neither one has anything to do with being saved OR going to heaven.
"For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."
In contrast, LDS believe quite differently. They believe man will be punished for their sins. They believe Christ paid the penalty for only certain sins. See Reason 19, Christ's Blood. LDS also teach that everyone will be saved, whether they believe in Christ or not. They also believe their good works are what will get them to the Celestial Kingdom; which allows them to live with God and rule their own planet. Unfortunately, all of these teachings contradict the Bible.
2nd Article of Faith
We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression.
* My concern with this article is the word punished. Man will not be punished for his sins. According to the law, man will have consequences for his sins while on earth, but he will certainly NOT be punished by God in any way for his sins. I completely disagree with the 2nd Article of Faith. God is not a punishing God; He is a loving and forgiving God!
Justification is by faith. True faith is God's work (John 6:28-29), granted by God (John 1:29), and is concurrent with regeneration (2 Corinthians 5:17), which God works in us by His will (John 1:13). This result of this justification and regeneration is that the sinner turns from his sin and towards doing good works. But it is not these works that earn our place with God nor sustain it. Jesus accomplished all that we need to be saved and stay saved on the cross. All that we need, we have in Jesus. All we need to do to be saved, to be justified, is to truly believe in what God has done for us in Jesus on the cross; this is why the Bible says we are justified by faith (Romans 5:1). This true belief with justification before God and regeneration in the new believer, results in good works.
but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
IT'S ALL ABOUT FAITH
Our God is an Awesome God and there is no way He will separate me from my family because of my decision to remove my name from the LDS church records. He loves us so much no matter what. All we need is Faith in Christ. We do not need "keys, sealings, ordinances, covenants, or a specific church or religion" to live with Him. All we need is Faith in Him. That was His sacrifice for all of us. All that is required of us is Love and Faith, and I have plenty of each!
From this point forward in my life, I am putting all my trust in Christ and not a specific church, temple, teaching, interpretation, prophet, revelation, etc. As a member of the LDS church, I was never confident in my relationship with Christ; I never knew what that meant until I resigned from the church. This is extremely frustrating to me. My entire life I always believed I had a personal relationship with Christ. I even told others I did have that relationship. Now I know I never really knew Him, especially when I was a Mormon. As a Christian, I have no doubt I have a personal relationship with Christ. I know Him better now than I ever have before. And I know for certain I will live in Heaven with Him!
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
My faith was only strengthened when I left the LDS church. It took this drastic life change for me to be able to hear the word of God.
This is Christ working in my life and not a religion, not a church, not a pastor, not a bishop.
Biblical Christianity is the only religion in the world where God reaches down to man. Every other religion is man's attempt to reach God. ~ Suzanne Bishop
For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."
My unanswered question was:
Why would God ever punish me, or anyone else, for sinning?
I was initially devastated when I received this answer that God is not a punishing God, yet overjoyed to find the truth that all I need to do is have faith in God and allow Him in my entire heart! Every work I do is for Him and Him alone. He created me. He knew I would not be perfect. He knew I would sin. He loves me despite my flaws! And I LOVE HIM!