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Question #381

Can the deaf be saved?

How can one that is a teen, or deaf and/or speechless, be saved not hearing the ONE TRUE GOSPEL, especially, when the person that's doing the teaching, or preaching is not coming straight from the BIBLE?

The Answer:

This question does not clearly state that which it seeks to ask. It could be asking how the handicapped can be saved, but if so there is no reason to include “teens,” unless the inquirer considers all “teens” to be handicapped. Additionally, if the inquiry really whether the handicap’s condition makes it impossible for them to be saved, that condition would exist whether the teaching is true or false. On the other hand, the question could be asking how anyone can be saved by the preaching and teaching of a false gospel, i.e. a gospel that is characterized either intentionally or unintentionally by false teaching. But if that is the case there seems to be no reason to list any particular group of people since no one can be saved by preaching anything other than the gospel of Jesus Christ. Gal. 6:1-9. Thus, this inquiry is difficult to answer. The best that we can do is to approach it from two directions.

There are two issues in this question: 1) how can a teen, deaf and/or speechless person be saved; and 2) how can one be saved by hearing teaching or preaching that is not straight from the Bible and is something other than the gospel of Jesus Christ?

It is unclear why a teen is categorized with those who are physically challenged is some respect; however, all such persons are saved by having the gospel communicated to them. The teens are able to read and hear; the blind can hear and read by brail; the deaf can read and “hear” by sign language; the speechless presumably can read and hear. It may be that this inquirer assumes that those with such infirmities are not capable of hearing the gospel and thus should not be accountable. That is an incorrect assumption. Not only can such persons both communicate and receive communications, new methods are constantly appearing that make such communications easier and easier.

As for the second issue, neither those who have infirmities nor those have no infirmities can be saved by reading or hearing anything other than the pure gospel of Christ revealed in scripture. It is by that word that all will be judged. John 12:48.

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)