Monday Minutes With Pastor Chris McCool: Time vs. Eternal Salvation, Part 6 (November 20, 2023)

Today we will conclude our study of “time” versus “eternal” salvation. First, we will finish looking at “gospel salvation” as described in Romans 10, and then sum up our study to this point.

I pray our discussion has been edifying. If we get nothing else from these articles, may we remember always to ask the question “saved from what?” when we read the terms “saved” or “salvation” in the Scripture!

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 (cont.)

The problem is stated in verse 2, however:  they had this zeal of God, “but not according to knowledge.”  Their zeal was an “ignorant” zeal, not informed by the truth of the gospel.  In fact, they were “going about to establish their own righteousness,” and had “not submitted themselves” to God’s righteousness (which is found only in the imputed righteousness of Christ).  The gospel clearly teaches that Christ has already imputed His righteousness to us (v. 4), yet they were still trying to “work their way to heaven.”

The bottom line is that the “salvation” under consideration here could NOT be eternal salvation, since they were already eternally saved and already regenerated.  So what kind of salvation IS being taught here?  What is it that Paul is desiring them to be “saved” from?  I believe he is referring to a conditional salvation in this time world:  salvation from ignorance of the gospel!  They are regenerated, but instead of resting in the good news that Christ has done it all, they are wearing themselves out trying to work their way to heaven.

To put it another way, these people were “saved” eternally, but they were lost in a timely or temporal sense because they refused to believe the gospel.  As we keep reading in this chapter, we find that Paul emphasizes this point by telling them that the Law service required them to keep the Law (v. 5), but the righteousness that is of faith doesn’t ask if we have to work our way up to heaven (v. 6), nor does it ask if we have to figure out how to cheat death (v. 7), but rather it (faith) speaks as follows:

      8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 

      9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 

      10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

      11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

      12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

      13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

In verse 8 he tells the that the word of faith is already in their mouth and heart, and they are able to speak this word of faith.  Why?  Surely not because they have to do so in order to be born again!  No!  The reason the word of faith is present in their mouths and hearts is that they have ALREADY been born again!

Then, in verses 9-13, he sets forth the clear path to deliverance through believing the gospel message, culminating in the admonition to believe, confess, and call on Christ.  Once again, the idea is NOT to call on Him in order to get born again, but rather to call on Him because they have ALREADY been born again.  A dead man cannot call on anyone for anything!  But a living man can and should call upon the One Who has already delivered him from eternal damnation, and is able to deliver him from the continual condemnation of the sin burden here and now.

Ultimately, the answer to our question, “Saved from what?”, is “saved from ignorance and unbelief.”  This is a conditional time salvation here in this time world, sometimes called “gospel salvation” or “gospel deliverance” or “conversion” by Primitive Baptists.


There are other examples in Scripture of those who are children of God in possession of eternal salvation, but who did not enjoy the conditional time salvation in certain areas here in this life.  King David comes to mind; due to his unfaithfulness in the matter of Bathsheba, his family was shattered and fell apart.  King Solomon is another example; as wise as he was at the beginning of his reign, by the end of it he had “loved many strange women” and not only slipped into idolatry himself, but permitted the nation of Israel to do so as well.

We began this article by asking, “Are we saved by Christ, or do we save ourselves?”  The answer is that BOTH are true! We are saved eternally by Christ, but we “save ourselves” from many troubles of life by being willing and obedient!

Thankfully, the eternal destiny of God’s children is in the sovereign hands of God.  But our salvation from many things here on earth – such as the consequences of sin, the struggle of trying to work our way to heaven, the despair of not grasping the full extent of the finished work of Christ, and even the failure to walk in faith in His blood – is in large part dependent upon our faithfulness to God’s word.

As a final thought, perhaps the best advice I could give anyone who is studying to “rightly divide” the Scriptures is something I’ve already stated:  when you see the word saved, ask “Saved from what?”  And if the salvation in question has an “if” in it – i.e., if it depends in any way on the efforts or participation of man – it is NOT eternal!