If someone is an Old Earth Creationist, do they still receive salvation?
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Even if one believes that the six-day creation account in Genesis is to be taken literally (that is, six twenty-four hour days approximately 6,000 years ago, based on the ages given for the patriarchs), the same Bible that contains that account also says that the only unpardonable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit by refusing to acknowledge and accept Jesus as God incarnate, and as the only way that God has provided (through faith in Jesus' death and resurrection) to redeem humanity from the consequences of sin, and to make eternal life possible. Some may try to expand that definition by saying that, if a person does not believe in a literal interpretation of the creation account, then they are not saved (even if they profess faith in Christ), because Jesus made specific reference to aspects of the Genesis account in His teaching, which, since He is God and was present at the creation, means that a person must take it literally in order to be a Christian and to be saved; or because it would contradict the Biblical teaching of death being a consequence of man's sin, rather than something that existed long before humans appeared. But even such a belief would not be the unpardonable sin, any more than any of the other sins that people (including Christians, even after they are saved) commit. That (as Paul said in Romans 6:1) does not serve as an excuse for willful sin, but it also does not raise any specific sin to the same level as rejecting the salvation that God offers in Christ. The crucial issue is whether a person is relying on his own righteousness to make him acceptable to God, or depending totally on faith in Jesus' all-atoning death and resurrection. The Gentiles to whom Paul preached did not even have knowledge of the Jewish scriptures. Did Paul include the creation account of Genesis as an indispensable part of his teaching to them? No, just as he did not tolerate Judaizers who told those Gentiles that a person had to obey the Law (besides having faith in Christ) in order to be saved (even though the Law had been given by God), since that would make Christianity just another works-based religion. As Paul said in his epistle to the Roman Christians (who had not been Jewish) (Romans 10:9), "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved." You might also wish to check out the following websites with regard to this issue: http://www.stevenmcollins.com/articles/is-the-earth-6000-years-old/ http://www.oldearth.org/question.htm
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