Monday Minutes With Pastor Chris McCool: Time vs. Eternal Salvation, Part 5 (November 13, 2023)

As we continue examining this topic “time” versus “eternal” salvation, we will begin looking today a particular type of time salvation: gospel salvation. The best example of this type of “time” salvation is found in Romans 10.

I pray our discussion on this topic has been edifying. May the Lord bless you is my prayer.

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor

Last week, we began looking at the topic of “eternal salvation” versus “conditional time salvation,” as regularly taught in Primitive Baptist churches. Today, we continue that thought by looking at the “eternal” side of salvation. Remember, whenever we see the word “saved” or “salvation” in the Bible, we must ask ourselves, “Saved from what?” And we will learn that the defining characteristice of eternal salvation is that it is wrought by Christ alone, without conditions!

Join us as we continue the discussion today. 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.

C.  Gospel Salvation:  Rom. 10

In Romans 10, we find one of the clearest examples of conditional time salvation in Scripture.  Unfortunately, many people mistake the Apostle Paul’s writings in this chapter for “eternal salvation.”  This chapter actually contains one of the most misunderstood and misapplied verses in the Bible:  “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Rom. 10:13).  Our Arminian friends believe that this verse teaches that you must call upon the Lord in order to be saved eternally.  That is, before you are born again, and IN ORDER TO get born again, you must call upon the name of the Lord.  

However, I suggest that when we apply our frame of analysis for eternal versus time salvation, and ask ourselves, “Saved from what?”, we will find that this verse (along with the entire chapter 10) is speaking of conditional time salvation instead of eternal salvation.  Let’s look at the context of the entire chapter in order to answer this question.

(*NOTE:  This type of conditional time salvation is also often referred to as “gospel salvation”, or “conversion,” and rightly so.  I mention this because it might be helpful to some who have never heard of the term “time salvation” to correlate these terms together as they attempt to rightly divide the word.) 

Earlier in this chapter, we read about a people with a “zeal” for God, whom Paul desires to be “saved”.  This is what Paul says about them:  

      1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 

      2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

      3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

         4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

Notice that Paul describes these Jews as having a “zeal of God.”  The word “zeal” means an “ardent feeling” or an “eager desire” (The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary On Historical Principles, Third Edition 1952).  It comes from the Greek word ζῆλος zēlos, which literally means “heat,” and figuratively denotes “zeal” or “ardor” in a favorable sense, or a “fervent mind” (Strong’s Concordance).  It connotes the idea of pursuing something with fervor.

In the KJV translation from the Greek phrase, it is rightly translated “zeal OF GOD”.  The newer translations miss this; in fact, every other translation I have seen renders this, “zeal FOR God” instead of “zeal OF God.”  The problem with this rendering is that it is NOT the sense of the Greek phrase at all!  The Greek word “God” in this passage is in the genitive case, which denotes “possession” – i.e., it belongs to God.  In this case, then, the point that Paul is making is that their zeal comes from God!  It is not just a “fire in their bellies” FOR God, but rather something that has been given to them FROM God.  This zeal that is within them emanates from God, and was placed within them in the new birth.  

Which brings us to a critical point:  the fact that these Jews possessed a zeal that had been given to them from God means that they were already regenerated.  We know that the “natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:14), and therefore these were not simply “natural men.”  Rather, they were men who possessed a spiritual nature and were zealous to learn more about God!

To be continued. . . .