HOW MANY WAYS OF SALVATION ARE THERE?
Suppose you should ask the above question of almost any Christian; he would probably answer promptly, "One, 'repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ';" or he might quote Acts 4:10-12, where we are told that "there is no salvation" except "in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth;" and no Christian could take exception to this answer; it is without doubt the true scriptural answer. But now suppose you should ask the same Christian-"Do you believe that all who die in infancy will be saved?" He would probably answer just as promptly as before, "Yes." Then you ask, "How are they saved?" The reply would be something like the following; "Why of course they will be saved; they never have done anything wrong, they are pure and innocent, Christ died for them, and he said, 'of such is the kingdom of heaven,' so of course they will be saved." But did you ever think that this is a second method of salvation totally distinct from the first scriptural method. Infants are not saved on repentance and faith; they need no repentance and they are not capable of faith, they are saved then according to this second method entirely unconditionally. Probably on an average since the creation of man, half of the human family have died in infancy (authorities tell us that at the present time two-thirds die in infancy); these have all gone to heaven, according to the "orthodox" view; that is to say, half of the human race is saved absolutely unconditionally without being exposed to any risk whatever of being lost. If ones dies in infancy he is sure of salvation; if he grows up to the years of accountability the chances are that he will be lost, as the vast majority of the race do not accept Christ. Does it not seem as though it would be a good thing if the whole race could die in infancy? and ought we not to be glad when our little ones die? for then we know they are safe, whereas if they grew up they might be lost; and, furthermore, does it not seem as though "God's ways were unequal" (Ezek. 18:25), thus to save one-half of the race unconditionally, and to expose the other half to a trial involving the awful risk of being lost eternally? and finally, is it not strange that God should reveal a way of salvation, and declare over and over again that this is the only way, and yet that he should save half of the race in some other way entirely unrevealed?
But let us continue to question our Christian friend and we shall see that the above are not by any means all of the absurdities involved in the orthodox view. We have found according to the above that God certainly has two ways of salvation; let us see if it does not appear, according to the same reasoning, that he has a third method. We ask our Christian friend then, "Do you think that all the heathen who have never heard of Christ will be lost?" he replies. "O no; I think that those who live up to the light they have will be saved." Ah, here is another method of salvation, a third way to be saved. There is no scripture for this view (see 1-4-75) it is only a makeshift to escape the awful conclusion that all the heathen are eternally lost; it is really a third unrevealed method whereby a portion of the race are to be brought to heaven. Hence, according to the "orthodox" view there are
THREE WAYS 0F SALVATION.
One way, clearly revealed in the Bible and declared to be the only way, whereby man is to be saved through repentance and faith in the Saviour. By this method only a very small portion of the race have thus far been saved; for this way has never been made known to the vast majority of the race, and of the comparative few to whom it has been made known, only a very small minority, a very few of the few, accept it. Another way, whereby half of the human race, dying in infancy, are saved unconditionally. And still a third way where a portion (according to some, the majority) of the heathen are to be saved by living up to the light they have. Thus there are three distinct ways of salvation. One revealed, by which a very few comparatively will be saved. Two unrevealed, by which the majority of the race will be saved. You cannot escape this conclusion if you reason from the "orthodox" standpoint. Is the conclusion true? Are God's ways thus unequal?
Nay, verily, but man's ways are unequal. God's word is made void by human tradition. Infants and heathen and "all men" are to be saved indeed, but not according to the above absurdities of human tradition, but according to the one only way of salvation "by grace through faith," to be made known to the great majority of the race "in the ages to come" (Eph. 2:7), for "God our Saviour will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth; for there is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified [to all] in due time." (1 Tim. 2:3-6).