Last night on television, during the vice presidential debate, Mike Pence publicly gave his testimony regarding his faith. He stated, “My Christian faith became real for me when I made a personal decision for Christ.”
Bear in mind that the aforementioned ‘statement of faith’ was seen and heard by an estimated viewership of over 50,000,000 people (that does not include online viewers). Therefore my observation is Theologically significant.
My dear friends this unbiblical soteriology (the doctrine of the study of salvation, or how one becomes saved), cannot be found anywhere in the Scriptures. This is a false teaching also known as ‘decisional regeneration.’
This is a reason why America’s Churchianity is full of false converts. I do not doubt this man’s sincerity, and one cannot know if he is truly born-again of Christs Incorruptible Seed. But if you are saved, the Lord does not want your decision, He demands your life.
Nowhere in the Bible are we told to “make a decision” for Christ, nor accept Jesus, nor repeat this prayer, nor walk forward in this altar call, nor slip up your hand if you want to be saved. None of which are salvific, and all of them are man-centered.
Salvation is of the Lord, and not of ourselves. When the LORD does save a person, they will respond to Him in faith, belief (πιστεύω an entrustment/commitment), trust, repentance, and obedience.
Perhaps some would say that I’m splitting hairs here, or causing division. My friends, there is a time to split hairs, and divide. Because sound Doctrine and Theology matters.
Christians are to rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15). Though Jesus is the Prince of Peace, Jesus said in Luke 12:51 “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.”
(Δοκειτε οτι ειρηνην παρεγενομην δουναι εν τη(ι) γη(ι); Ουχι, λεγω υμιν, αλλ’ η διαμερισμον” (Luke 12:51).
These aforementioned verses do not contradict each other, they complement each other.
In regards to Luke 12:51 Matthew Henry said –
“We should be zealous in making known the truth, for though divisions will be stirred up, and a mans own household may be his foes, yet sinners will be converted, and God will be glorified.” 
Dr. John MacArthur put it this way –
“Though the ultimate end of the Gospel is peace with God (John 14:17; Rom 8:6), its immediate result is frequent conflict. Conversion to Christ can result in strained family relationships (vv. 35,36), persecution, and even martyrdom. Following Christ presupposes a willingness to endure such hardships (vv. 32,33, 37-39). Though He is called the “Prince of Peace”(Is. 9:6), Christ will have no one deluded into thinking that He calls believers to a life free of conflict.” 
John Wesley said it this way –
“Suppose ye that I am come to send peace upon earth – That universal peace will be the immediate effect of my coming? Not so, but quite the contrary.” 
My dear friends, handling the Sword of the Lord (διαμερισμὸς) appropriately, will bring division. His Sword will even be scandalous to some that profess to believe. However it can become heretically dangerous if not wielded properly. That is why we must handle Gods Word with fear, trembling hands, and with reverence. That is why we must repent from cutting and pasting Gods Word out of context, on social media. One of the biggest travesties I see today, is Christians ignorantly making the unsaved worldlings believe that they are saved, by sharing verses with them, which only apply to the saved (the bride of Christ).
Oh my dear Lord please forgive me when I have missed the mark, grant me more discernment and repentance.
I believe that soteriology is an essential doctrinal difference. Because life is short, death is certain, and eternity is a very long time. Moreover, if we don’t have salvation right, then perhaps none of the other doctrines will matter to the lost.
As I said in a previous article –
“If a doctor misdiagnosed you, he could be sued, or disbarred for medical malpractice. If an attorney gave you bad legal advice, he could be sued, or disbarred for legal malpractice. Then could you imagine the eternal damage done by many pastors and Christians, who have committed this theological malpractice?” 
Lastly, a Christian (an ambassador of Christ) must handle Gods Word like a surgeon handles a scalpel.
As the great Johnathan Edwards said in regards to Luke 12:51 –
“I believe that saying of our Saviour, Luke xii. 51. “I came not to send peace on earth, but division,” has been abused; as though when we see great strife arise about religion, violent heats of spirit against the truly pious, and a loud clamour and uproar against the work of God, it was to be rejoiced in, because it is that which Christ came to send. It has almost been laid down as a maxim by some, That the more division and strife, the better sign; which naturally leads persons to seek and provoke it, or leads them to such a manner of behaviour, such a roughness and sharpness, or such an affected neglect, as has a natural tendency to raise prejudice and opposition; instead of striving as the apostle did to his utmost, by all meekness, gentleness, and benevolence of behaviour, to prevent or assuage it.—Christ came to send a sword on earth, and to cause division, no otherwise than he came to send damnation; for Christ, that is set for the glorious restoration of some, is set for the fall of others, and to be a stone of stumbling and rock of offence to them, and an occasion of their vastly more aggravated and terrible ruin. And this is always the consequence of a great revival of vital religion; it is the means of the salvation of some, and the more aggravated damnation of others. But certainly this is no just argument that men’s exposedness to damnation is not to be lamented, or that we should not exert ourselves to our utmost, in all the methods that we can devise, that others might be saved, and to avoid all such behaviour towards them as tends to lead them down to hell.” 
As always – Ye must be born again. Repent – love Biblically – be salt and light – be holy – be sanctified – fear God – pray without ceasing – keep His commandments – walk circumspectly – believe in and trust Jesus – obey the Gospel – share the Gospel – preach the Gospel – contend for the faith, – hate the things that God hates, and love the things that God loves – keep the faith, work-out your salvation, and endure to the end! #TheologyMatters
For a Biblical response to the hysteria of this 2016 Presidential election, click here.
 Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible (Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publisher, 1997) 959.
 The MacArthur Bible Commentary (Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publisher, 2005) 1142.
 Parallel Commentary on the New Testament (Tennessee: AMG Publishers, 2003) 224.
 IPOC Ministries, “The Sinner’s Prayer – Biblical or Unbiblical,” www.theexpositor.tv/blog/the-sinners-prayer-biblical-or-unbiblical-by-bill-rhetts/ (Accessed on October 5th, 2016).
 Christian Classics Ethereal Library, “Johnathan Edwards, Luke 12:51, www.ccel.org/ccel/edwards/works1.ix.v.ii.html?scrBook=Luke&scrCh=12&scrV=51#ix.v.ii-p21.1 (Accessed on October 5th, 2016).