Questions on Salvation

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What does the Bible tell us about those with dementia or Alzheimer's? Will we see them in heaven? How do we know if they still believe in God's saving grace?

The Bible says nothing directly or explicitly about dementia and Alzheimer’s. Ironically, the strong majority of references to the aged, a frequent target of these diseases, view old age as a blessed time of life. The subject of the loss of mental capabilities through diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s does not surface in the Scriptures. Continued.

Can homosexuals go to heaven and are practicing Christians supposed to love them?

A distinction needs to be made in answering your question.  “Homosexuals” can refer to Christians who struggle with temptation to engage in same-sex sins.  These individuals recognize the sinfulness of thoughts and actions that run contrary to God’s word that spells out that sexual relations are for men and women in marriage (Hebrews 13:4).  They Continued.

What is the relationship between faith and good works? Are good works necessary for salvation, even if it's only indirectly?

Article IV of the Formula of Concord takes up your question in great detail. When Scripture says that God saves people who “do not work” (Romans 4:5), and that he saves us “not by works” (Ephesians 2:8-9), “apart from observing the law” (Romans 3:28), “no longer by works” (Romans 11:6), and “not because of righteous Continued.

I am currently working my way through the Book of Concord. As I read through the Creed of Athanasius I questioned the last part about giving account of our deeds and that those who have done good deeds will have eternal life and those who have done evil will go into eternal fire. Isn't this contrary to the basis of Christian faith of salvation through grace in Jesus Christ?

What a wonderful and worthwhile reading project you have!  Your question is one that many people ask when they read the Athanasian Creed.  Your question also demonstrates the value of providing an explanation—in the service folder or by way of verbal announcement—when congregations use the Athanasian Creed in a worship service. The section of the Continued.

Do miscarried babies go to heaven?

You are asking a question that is often asked and that fills us all with strong emotions. And perhaps the reason why it is so often asked is that the Bible does not explicitly give us an answer, and we then end up emotionally dissatisfied. We rejoice at every mention of people being baptized and Continued.

How can one be a Christian and believe in Christ but still have problems with sin, sinful habits, and doubt? I know Scripture says that we become new creatures in Christ, but what if one does not feel like a new creature in Christ because of sin and spiritual doubts? Does this mean one is not meant to be saved or was never truly a Christian?

As you rightly say, the Bible affirms that believers are indeed “new creatures” in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Ephesians 2:10 use this kind of language. The Bible also affirms, as does our experience in living as believers, that we remain sinners with a sinful nature, weakness of faith, and spiritual challenges when we’re tempted to sin Continued.

Even though I've attended a WELS church for 44 years, I have no peace that I will be saved. I see the horrific things being done to people around the world and then I see me and how easy I have it. I think of it kind of like survivor's guilt. Surely they will all be saved for having had to suffer in this lifetime, while I will suffer in hell when I die because I had it so easy. Help! I believe Satan is completely crushing my faith. How should my thinking be?

Trying to find a correlation between people’s earthly sufferings and salvation can lead a person to go in two directions.  You went in one direction.  Asaph went the other direction in Psalm 73.  He looked around at the cozy, comfy lives of unbelievers and saw a huge contrast with his life of suffering as a Continued.

What's our position on once saved, always saved, and where in Scripture is it found?

We state our position on this in This We Believe (IV, 9):  “We reject the teaching that believers can never fall from faith (‘once saved, always saved’), because the Bible says it is possible for believers to fall from faith (1 Corinthians 10:12).” In addition to the Bible verse listed, we could add Luke 8:13; Continued.

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