Monday Minutes With Pastor Chris McCool: Time vs. Eternal Salvation, Part 1 (October 16, 2023)

Recently, I wrote an article attempting to “rightly divide” the terms “saved” or “salvation” in the Scripture. Primitive Baptists believe that there are two different types of salvation taught in the Bible. We call these types “eternal salvation” and “conditional time salvation,” or sometimes “time salvation” for short. I want to begin sharing this article today in hopes that it will help us better understand that God has saved us eternally, but we must be obedient in order to experience His blessings upon our lives here and now.

May the Lord bless you is my prayer.

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor


By Elder Chris McCool, Pastor

Zion Primitive Baptist Church

Mat. 1:21:  . . . for he shall save his people from their sins.

Acts 2:40:  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.


These two verses present what appear to be conflicting concepts on their faces:  are we saved by Christ, or must we somehow save ourselves?  The answer to this question can be quite confusing, until we understand that the answer itself revolves around the type of salvation under consideration in the context of each scripture.  Ultimately, we will see that we are indeed saved by Christ with regard to eternity, but we must also save ourselves “here and now”!  The bottom line is that these Scriptures are dealing with two different “types” of salvation taught in the Bible.

The fact that there are two different types of salvation taught in Scripture is a VERY important principle!  Depending on our understanding of this concept, we will either be prevented from “rightly dividing the word of God” or we will be greatly assisted in doing so.  There will be endless confusion and contradiction found throughout the Bible if we do not see this important point.

One very pertinent example of this is found in Romans 10:13:  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  This verse has caused untold confusion in the religious world!  It can only be clearly understood, however, if we keep in mind this primary principle of bible study:  THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF SALVATION TAUGHT IN SCRIPTURE!  We will come back to this verse later on, after we have examined this concept more fully.


Primitive Baptists usually refer to the two types of salvation as “conditional time salvation” (or “time salvation” for short), and “eternal salvation”.  This distinction is essential in “rightly dividing” the word of God; without it, many people end up thinking that efforts of man are a part of our eternal salvation.  In reality, there ARE many situations wherein salvation can only be achieved through the efforts of man.  However, these situations do NOT involve eternal salvation.

In order to understand this distinction, we first need to understand what the terms “saved” or “salvation” really mean.  We can go to the Greek, or the Oxford English Dictionary, but I believe it is always best to let Scripture interpret Scripture.  To that end, let’s look at Acts 2:21 and Joel 2:32.  In Acts 2:21, we read that, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  This verse is quoting an Old Testament passage from Joel 2:32:  “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered.”  In this case, “saved” and “delivered” are interchangeable; thus, we can conclude that salvation is a “deliverance” from something.  The question is, what are we being delivered from?

If I came running into your house with your toddler in my arms, and said, “I just saved her!”, you would immediately want to ask, “Saved her from what?”  Likewise, when we read the words “saved” in Scripture, we should ask, “Saved from what?”  Clearly, not every  

When it comes to eternal salvation, the answer to “saved from what” is clear:  we are saved from the eternal penalty of sin.  When it comes to conditional time salvation, it is further clear that we can be “saved” from many things:  from divorce (by being faithful to our wives); from drug addiction (by never taking drugs); from specific sins in our daily lives (by studying the word of God and staying faithful to its teachings).

Let’s examine each type of salvation.

To be continued. . . .