I realized that the Christian life is not just a one-shot fire insurance decision, but a living faith that I will grow in for all time, on this side of the curtain and the other.
I keep coming across this on this Forum, and I am mystified by it, for it is not something we are taught in English Evangelical churches, whether Arminian, Calvinist or Pentecostal - and I have spent years among all of those. We are always taught that a genuine profession of faith will lead to a changed life and to progress in sanctification and Christlikeness. Slogans like "saved to serve" are bandied about. (There will, of course, be times when people, sadly, backslide, and it is true that "he who fain who serve thee best / Is conscious most of wrong within.") I wonder whether this feature of some sectors of Evangelicalism is more of an American phenomenon than a British one? Which would also mean, of course, that you good people are not arguing against Evangelicalism as such when you target it, but about one national form of Evangelicalism, as you have experienced it in one particular place and age. Just a thought: I have never been to the States.
let me explain some. I apologize, I forgot you're across the pond
In many churches in America especially in the South where I reside, there is a teaching that really permeates the Christian life that goes into 2 points:
1. Personal savior. Basically, by a singular decision, and meaning it, you ask Jesus into your heart and to be your personal savior (the wording of such prayer is different for every church, but the wording isnt totally important as long as you hit certian points) and salvation is guaranteed. At that moment, you are "saved".
2. OSAS, or Once Saved, Always Saved. Its taken from a proof text in John about "Nobody can take you out of my father's hand". basically, once saved, as long as you meant it when you asked, you can not lose your salvation, no matter what.
So basically, that is it. There are some differences such as "If you dont do good deeds, then you really didnt mean it when you asked Jesus into your heart". But even that is a minority view. So when I or others speak of "fire-insurance", that is usually what we speak of.
This is a view losing popularity, but still prevalent, that anyone...and I mean ANYONE who does not follow the aforementioned "path to salvation" is not a Christian. Period.