One day, everyone will know everything you have done in secret.
“For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” – James 2:10
The Lake of Fire is real.
If you have lusted, Jesus said that is adultery of the heart. If you have lied, that is bearing false witness. If you have hated, Jesus said that is murder of the heart. If you have ever wanted something that wasn’t yours, including your fellow man’s wife or daughter or big screen TV or car (or your fellow woman’s husband or son), then you have coveted. If you have taken something that wasn’t yours, including a pen or the download of “free software” or “free music”, then you have stolen. This is only half of the Ten Commandments and already I have some inkling of a thought that if you think you’re going to heaven on your good works that you’re in big trouble.
A.W. Tozer said:
“It is my opinion that tens of thousands of people, if not millions, have been brought into some kind of religious experience by accepting Christ, and they have not been saved.”
D. James Kennedy said:
“The vast majority of people who are members of churches in America today are not Christians. I say that without the slightest contradiction. I base it on empirical evidence of twenty-four years of examining thousands of people.”
Have you heard the saying “Not everybody talking about heaven is going there“?
What if you think you’re going to heaven, but you end up in the lake of fire?
- Does church attendance or having grown up in a devout family help you?
- Does tithing, baptism or other works assist one’s salvation?
- If baptism is an act of obedience after one receives salvation, then why are so many young people in Christian colleges and schools calling themselves “Christians” when we have not seen any of them being baptized?
- Do they feel that a general belief in Christ is the same thing as repentant faith whereby one gives the ownership of their lives over to Jesus and asks for the Holy Spirit to indwell them? Do people have a belief or a belief? A creed or a relationship?
- How much money would you pay to keep yourself from being shoved into a furnace?
- How about a flaming furnace where the pain of burning never ends”?
- Is your soul eternal in the next life, so that the pain of the lake of fire never ends?
- Would you spend millions or just a few bucks to avoid it?
- What if it were totally free to find out?
- Would you be willing to read one article such as this one to learn more?
- With all the false religions in the world, can we really know the way of salvation?
- Or can most religion be boiled down to two main religions on this planet as mentioned in the articles at this link and this link?
- Will you be able to use excuses on Judgment Day?
Jesus is the Way and His way is narrow.
“Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. – Matthew 7:14
“Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” – Luke 13:23-24
“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “Therefore by their fruits you will know them. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'” – Matthew 7:19-23
Did you know that every single thing that you have ever done will be known to all?
“Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.” – 1 Timothy 5:24
“For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.” – Luke 8:17
One day everyone will know what you did in secret.
Did you know that your works will be judged, but that all will be “short of payment” on Judgment Day? Even those who have had Jesus Christ “pay their way” will be allowed to enter heaven, but they will still be judged for rewards.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” – 2 Corinthians 5:10
“But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” – Romans 14:10-12
- Is it works by which we are saved?
- Is it faith by which we are saved?
- Is it confusing?
- What is the “will of My Father” which Jesus mentioned in the previous Bible verses?
- Does the Bible answer these questions?
- What is salvation? The term is used so frequently that it oftentimes loses its meaning.
- What does the Bible say? Isn’t it the handbook for the path to salvation?
- What does hell look like?
- What’s the lake of fire? To learn more about this question, be sure to visit the article at this link.
- If people are really burning eternally, and the Bible indicates that its most of the human race who are burning, then shouldn’t we be concerned that we’re not in that number of people who are screaming?
Humans will make preparations for life insurance which will never benefit themselves personally, but only their family, while at the same time making no preparations for “eternal life insurance”. Humans spend an enormous part of their lives working for earthly things, but oftentimes no time to work for heavenly reward. Humans hunger after earthly food, but fail to thirst for righteousness or knowledge of GOD or the Truth about their eternal soul. Humans stay so busy on this planet trying to stay alive that they fail to realize they won’t live forever and they fail to prepare for that ultimate statistic known as death that eventually will be the end of all of us without some divine intervention.
How many do you know who are living forever?
Does GOD have the right to burn so many people in hell forever?
To answer this question, let me ask you if you have the right to kill a sand gnat, a fire ant, a hornet, a viper, or any other creature on this planet? Did you create them? No? Did GOD create you? Does He have a right to do with you as He wishes? Is GOD loving? Well, can you tolerate having a viper in your bed at night? Can you tolerate having fire ants in your baby’s playroom? Can tolerate having a car full of sand gnats that bite you? Your tolerance for these would be based upon a shallow desire to protect yourself from pain or death. GOD cannot tolerate sin and He must judge it or else He is no longer just. Without GOD, the universe could even cease to exist. GOD must be GOD. He must maintain His integrity as Judge of the universe. You don’t necessarily have to be free of sand gnats, but do you not swipe them in intolerance?
Do not people who preach that animals should not be eaten, such as P.E.T.A. and other animal rights advocates, show their own hypocrisy when they kill vipers, sand gnats, hornets, fire ants, or other creatures that may pose danger, pain, or distress to their lives? Yet, GOD has come to the earth in the Person of Jesus Christ, knowing that we would beat Him, mock Him, laugh at him in ridicule, scourge Him, reject Him, and crucify Him between two criminals after He lived a perfect life before us. He then entered hell for us. Why? To ensure we never have to enter hell, and to purchase our salvation from the eternal flames of the Lake of Fire.
What is our reaction? Are we to judge GOD for sending men to hell who justly deserve the flames of eternal fire when He suffered death and hell for us as an Eternal Being? Or should we humbly acknowledge our wicked condition as sinners and plea to Him for forgiveness and pray for His Spirit to enter and indwell us? Do people even care enough about their eternal future to read the below article?
- Why does GOD have to judge sin?
- Doesn’t that mean that He had no choice but to send men to a fiery torment eternally?
- Why did GOD create people when He knew many would spend an eternity in the lake of fire?
- Was it because He wanted someone to love and by whom to be loved?
- Why didn’t He create robots if He wanted someone to love?
- Can robots really reciprocate love?
- Why does love have to hurt so much?
- Why did it cost Jesus so very much in ways we can’t even imagine?
- Couldn’t GOD have found a better way to save us from damnation?
Although you may not have all your questions answered in this life, I have attempted to clearly outline below the most important aspects of salvation. In short, salvation is given to all who repent and believe in Jesus Christ, the Creator of the universe, who came down to earth to die as a substitution and sacrifice for the sins of all who believe. Their beliefs are based upon the Word of GOD, not men or angels. They place their faith in the true Jesus of the Bible and not another god, because only through the name of Jesus (not Allah or Buddha or some other name) is salvation obtained. Jesus was exclusive. They do not trust baptism or other works as additions to Jesus’ finished work, but instead trust wholly upon Jesus Christ. Finally, they ask for the Holy Spirit to indwell them and receive the Holy Spirit by Whom they are sealed and saved. This constitutes salvation. You will see in the following article that repentance, faith, and the Holy Spirit are all necessary for salvation, and that “means of grace” and other “works salvation” teachings are false gospels taught by legalists or false teachers which result in false brethren.
Salvation truly is simple, but I am spending more time on this subject due to the many false teachers who have created their own false gospels and false teachings resulting in many false brethren. Some of these false teachers would even sing “In Christ Alone” while teaching a gospel of works through various means of grace such as baptism. Thus, people must be aware that deception abounds.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” – Matthew 7:13-15
One must take a moment to ponder the destiny of human beings from a bird’s eye perspective.
1. EVERYONE DIES AND WILL SPEND ETERNITY SOMEWHERE: Billions of people on this planet exist and they are dying every day. Death is the ultimate statistic in that it affects every one of us. Where are all of these people going?
2. EVERYONE IS A SINNER DESTINED FOR ETERNAL FIRE: The Bible says that Adam was the first human and that he and his wife Eve failed to obey GOD in their first home, the Garden of Eden. Therefore, their sin was the first and the result was eternal damnation. Who else is a sinner? All humans are sinners.
“What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” – Romans 3:9-12
“… But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” – Galatians 3:22
3. EXCEPTIONS EXIST – NOT ALL GO TO HELL: If you read the above Scriptures, you realize that everyone is going to hell. Wow! Isn’t that depressing? Well, not really, because there are some exceptions and those exceptions are the difference between an eternal existence in the fires of the lake of fire and an existence in the beauty of heaven. What are the exceptions?
EXCEPTION #1: Children go to heaven. If it is due to their lack of understanding of salvation, then is it possible that some mentally retarded people may also qualify? GOD is the judge, but I think this is very likely. Where do we read about this exception? David sinned with Bathsheba in committing adultery, and GOD graciously allowed his child to die and go to heaven (I say graciously, because think about what happened spiritually with all of David’s other children).
We read about this in II Samuel.
“And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” – 2 Samuel 12:22-23
“But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” – Mark 10:14
EXCEPTION # 2: After Adam, the first man created by GOD, fell into sin, GOD formulated a plan by which He would redeem or purchase those who were willing to be bought from the “spiritual slave market of Satan”, metaphorically-speaking. He would descend, in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ, to the earth as a baby, live a perfect life, so that by His perfect life, He might die and redeem all of those who believe upon Him. He did this by taking our sin upon Himself in a spiritual sense, and playing the “sacrificial lamb” by becoming a spiritual “serpent” for us. Do you remember in the Old Testament when the people of Israel were judged by serpents that GOD sent to bite them for their sin? What was the cure to avoid dying? A brass serpent was raised upon a pole and all who looked upon that pole, believing GOD’s Word, would be healed (i.e. “look and live”).
“And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.” – Numbers 21:9
The same applies today in a more spiritual way. Those who look to Jesus Christ’s death on the cross by which He took our sins upon Himself, and who also believe GOD’s promise that He can save them from hell, are saved.
“And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s [Adam's] sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s [Adam's] trespass, death reigned through that one man [Adam], much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. … For as by the one man’s [Adam's] disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s [Jesus'] obedience the many will be made righteous.” – Romans 5:16-17, 19
“Belief in Christ” in modern times doesn’t seem to be what it was in Biblical times though. Today, grace is more about freedom to sin, instead of freedom from sin. Today, grace is more about “giving a break” to false teachers or disobedient believers in cases when congregational discipline should be exercised. Why is this? Today’s “belief” or “faith” lacks repentance, today’s “grace” doesn’t seem to match with Truth, and today’s “believers” oftentimes lack the Holy Spirit. Today’s “belief” or “faith” also mandates that “believers” must do some special sacrament or keep some special covenant gesture in order to receive GOD’s grace. Such teaching is called “means of grace” theology by which a person can do some deed like baptism or the LORD’s Supper in order to “show belief” or to “receive grace”. Is it possible to go to heaven without repentance or the Holy Spirit? Are people truly required to offer some merit of their own in order to receive GOD’s grace or to show they believe?
True believers …
- Have repented of their sins and acknowledge Jesus as the owner of their life
- Believe in Jesus Christ alone and His work of redemption based upon His Word
- Believe exclusively in Jesus as described in the Bible and not a false christ
- Do not use baptism or other works as merits or means to grace for salvation
- Have prayed for the Holy Spirit to indwell and fill them, and He is now within
SALVATION IS BY FAITH, BUT NOT UNREPENTANT FAITH
FAITH is more than mere words. Repentance is required. I will use the Scripture to prove this in the paragraphs that follow.
Salvation’s “root” is repentant belief which is nourished by the “soil” of the Word of GOD, “showered” by the Holy Spirit, and its “fruit” is works. This horticultural word picture is not my idea, but a concept that Jesus and the apostles used.
True faith works as evidence and substance that the faith is true; however, true faith is not gained by works. Faith is a gift from GOD.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
” … so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:7-10
The above passage from Ephesians chapter two is so very rich in knowledge. What do we learn from this passage?
- In verse seven, we are shown that we will never understand how GOD’s mysterious grace works in this life (though Calvin and Arminius tried unsuccessfully).
- Salvation is by faith given to us as a gift by the grace of GOD.
- True faith is manifest by good works.
Faith is manifest through works.
Faith is not purchased by works.
Men’s works show that they have believed and makes them do things that they otherwise would never have done. In other words, Samson never would have pulled down pillars upon the enemies of GOD, extinguishing his own life in the process, unless he firmly believed that GOD would reward him for a life spent for GOD.
This example is the essence of faith. It’s EVIDENCE that someone truly DOES BELIEVE, because his life shows it. It is not just words. This is why we must “count the cost” as Jesus said.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. … But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. … By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.” – Hebrews 11:1-2, 6, 24-26
“And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it– “lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, “saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ – Luke 14:27-30
Christians are slaves to Christ in this life, so that one day they may reign as kings with Him.
In other words, Jesus is saying that we must be prepared to believe on Him with full knowledge that cross-bearing is required and persecution is inevitable. Salvation is not a glib prayer by which you inherit eternal life. A true prayer of salvation is a commitment to Jesus Christ, acknowledging that He owns you. We can call this concept “ownership salvation”.
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. – 1 Corinthians 7:23
True believers fall, but they get up again. False believers stay down and justify it.
True believers may fall into sin, but they get up and keep going. They do not begin to justify their sins or try to legislate their sins as societal norms. Have you looked at the statistics of adultery in “churches” today? How about those who attempt to justify porn as a “GOD-given outlet for release”? And how about all of those so-called “brethren” who are trying to install pastors in their congregations who commit sexual crimes against nature? There’s a reason that false brethren are mentioned in Scripture.
Where do we read that salvation is by repentance and by faith (or belief)? Here are the Scriptures:
“… But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” – Hebrews 10:39
“But what says it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed. 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. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. … So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:8-13, 17
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” – Romans 5:1
“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” – Acts 16:31
“… Therefore many of them believed; also of honorable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.” – Acts 17:12
“… For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” – Romans 1:16
“… Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.” – Romans 3:27
“… Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” – Romans 3:28
“… Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.” – Romans 3:30
“… But to him that works not, but believes on Him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” – Romans 4:5
“… Comes this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.” – Romans 4:9
” …repent ye, and believe the gospel.” – Mark 1:15
” …And they went out, and preached that men should repent.” – Mark 6:12
“… I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:32
“… I tell you, Nay: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.” – Luke 13:3
“… Repent you therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” – Acts 3:19
“… And the times of this ignorance God did not acknowledge; but now commands all men every where to repent:” – Acts 17:30
“… Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Acts 20:21
“… For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” – Romans 1:17
“… Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” – Romans 3:25
“… Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” – Romans 5:1
“… By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” – Romans 5:2
” … For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of:” – 2 Corinthians 7:10
“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God” – Hebrews 6:1
“… The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9
“… Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone; …” – Romans 9:32
“… Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” – Galatians 2:16
“… Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” – Galatians 3:6
THE WORD OF GOD
The Bible is the most published Book on planet Earth. It is quoted by all major religions and has more historical authenticity than any other book with over 15,000 manuscripts with which to verify its authenticity and accuracy, more than any other book, historical work, or religious work on this planet. The Word of GOD states that it was communicated by the very breath of GOD using holy men of GOD as its oracles or mediums of communication. All other religious books claim to be from angels or men. The Bible (its original manuscript) claims to be one hundred percent Truth, unfailing in its prophecies, and completely free of error. In spite of thousands of copies being created of the original manuscripts, a comparison of these many copies show forth amazing accuracy for having so many manuscripts transcribed by various translators over thousands of years.
The Word of GOD is so important that Jesus is shown as being at one with His Word.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” – John 1:1-3
The Word of GOD is a key part of salvation.
“… For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually works also in you that believe.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:13
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” – Romans 10:17
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” – Romans 10:13-14
“Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” – 1 Peter 1:23
“I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” – 1 John 2:14
“For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:8
“But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Savior” – Titus 1:3
“And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore stray into error [Greek word "planaō"], because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?” – Mark 12:24
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do stray into error [Greek word "planaō"], not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” – Matthew 22:29
In these Scripture verses we have just read, we see that proper belief or faith takes both the Word of GOD and the power found in the Spirit of GOD in order to avoid error.
THE INDWELLING OF THE SPIRIT
We are to ask the Father for the Holy Spirit’s indwelling.
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” – Luke 11:13
“And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” – 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
“These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.” – Jude 1:19
“By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” – 1 John 4:13
Circumcision of the flesh was the seal of Abraham’s faith that he completed in obedience after salvation. Circumcision of the heart is the seal of the Christian which the Holy Spirit performs.
Romans 4 explains that GOD used circumcision as a seal in His covenant to Abraham. In the New Testament, the baptism of the Holy Spirit (not water) is the seal of believers in Christ.
“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit” – Ephesians 1:13
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” – Ephesians 4:30
He therefore that despises, despises not man, but God, who has also given unto us his holy Spirit. – 1 Thessalonians 4:8
Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. – Acts 2:33
For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. – 1 Thessalonians 1:5
And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. – Acts 4:31
“But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” – Gal 5:18
“The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” – Romans 8:16
“Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” – Ephesians 4:3-6
“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” – Ephesians 2:18-22
The Holy Spirit is the One who indwells us and leads us into all Truth.
“Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” – Romans 8:8-11
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” – I Corinthians 3:16-17
“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened–not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” – 2 Corinthians 5:1-5
“All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many.” – 1 Corinthians 12:11-14
“These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of Him abides in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” – 1 John 2:26-27
Jesus had promised the Comforter or Holy Spirit to those who believe.
“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” – John 16:7-14
No other name or god can be used as a “path to Jesus”. There are not many ways to Jesus, but only a narrow way as mentioned elsewhere in this article. The names of various gods are not variations of Christ throughout history (i.e. reincarnation) or different persons of His Being. He is exclusive. He is defined by His Word and that definition defers not only from Allah, Buddha, or other gods, but it also defers from many of the false christs that are being preached by false teachers in Catholic, Protestant, and other mainline “churches”. Thus, we must go to the Word of GOD alone to learn of the true Jesus Christ.
“Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was despised by you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” – Acts 4:10-12
“Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours” – I Corinthians 1:2
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. – Act 2:38
“For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” – Exodus 34:14
“And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.” – Exodus 23:13
“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” – Acts 19:5
“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth” – Philippians 2:10
“In my Father’s house are many dwellings. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:2-6
“But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.” – Acts 9:27
“But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” – Acts 8:12
“And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keeps his commandments dwells in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.” – 1 John 3:23-24
NOT OF SACRAMENTS, COVENANTS, WORKS OR “MEANS OF GRACE”
Is baptism a covenant or sacrament that must be kept to obtain special “grace” or to “receive salvation”? First, one must question such a statement from the standpoint of logic. Wouldn’t one have already believed before they had a desire to please GOD through baptism? Could they really time their Spirit-empowered change of heart and belief to coincide with the moment they stepped into a baptismal pool? That being said, what does the Scripture say about such covenant requirements or sacraments? Well, sacraments should be tossed aside, because while covenants are mentioned in Scripture, sacraments are not even a Biblical concept. They are a Roman concept, apparently emanating from Rome and eventually adopted by the Roman Catholic religion.
The term “sacrament” comes from the Latin “sacramentum” which was a Roman oath to the gods as can be seen in the article at this link. Believers are not required to fulfill any oaths to the gods or to the Biblical GOD for their salvation. Only faith in Christ is required. Regarding covenants, the Old Testament covenants were GOD’s promises to the Jewish people. The only covenant in the entire New Testament is the one that Jesus mentioned known as the new covenant of His blood which was His promise of salvation to all those who trust in Him (and His shedding of His blood for sins, His perfect life, and His death).
Weren’t covenant requirements debated during the time of the early believers who were fighting over the need for circumcision as a covenant requirement?
“Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.” – Romans 3:30
“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love.” – Galatians 5:6
“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain–if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith– just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.” – Galatians 3:1-7
“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what says the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.” – Galatians 4:28-31
“But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.” – Titus 3:4-8
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. – Romans 3:28
Some confuse the baptism of the Spirit, sometimes mentioned as just “baptism” with the baptism of water, which is also sometimes mentioned as “baptism”. This is why the rules of context and usage in interpretation are of primary importance, because there are those who would lead you into “legalism” or salvation through sacraments, covenants, or other good works.
“I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” – Mark 1:8
“I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” – John 1:33
“For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” – 1 Corinthians 1:17
“I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius” – 1 Corinthians 1:14
In fact, believers were seen to receive the Holy Spirit of GOD before they were even baptized. Paul’s conversion appears to be an example of this truth, as well as the following passage:
“While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.” – Acts 10:44-48
So what is the point of baptism? It’s an act of obedience to the Scriptures by which we show that our life is no longer our own. We have died to our own ambitions and desires and, being owned by GOD and bought by Jesus’ precious sacrifice, we are now living for His desires and our life is now His, so that we may obtain a resurrection like unto His resurrection. It is a public display that we agree to deny ourselves our own desires and suffer for Christ (die daily) for the hope of resurrection someday. As some clergy accurately state at baptismal assemblies: “Buried into His death. Raised unto His resurrection”.
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” – Romans 6:3-6
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. – Galatians 2:20-21
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” – Matthew 16:25-27
In I Corinthians 15, Paul spends the chapter explaining how central and important the doctrine of Christ’s resurrection is to the hope of Christianity and as the reward for our “dying daily”. He makes references to the connections between baptism as a symbolic act by which a believer publicly shows himself to be “dying” to himself (or his own dreams and pleasure) in order to obtain a resurrection like unto Christ’s.
“Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead? And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” – I Corinthians 15:29-31
Those who teach that your faith in Christ needs “something more” such as baptism or further obedience are considered “legalists” by Scripture (although the actual term “legalist” isn’t found in Scripture, and only the concept is). These are those who think they will obtain salvation by some work in addition to the work of Christ on the cross. However, the term “legalist” does not apply to those who believe that Christians should show forth works fit for repentance. That is the modern and incorrect usage of the term. The Bible clearly states that we should show forth works fit for salvation. After all, true faith is not obtained by works, but it does show forth works fit for repentance.
“Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance” – Matthew 3:8
“But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” – Acts 26:20
“So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” – James 2:17-18
“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” – Colossians 2:13-14
SALVATION IS NOT GIVEN TO THOSE WITH TEMPORARY FAITH OR BELIEF
While I am not a follower of Arminius or Calvin, I realize that some may hide behind John Calvin or “eternal security” when they read this section; therefore, they should read John Calvin’s explanation of 1 Timothy 1:19 as found in his writings at this link before reading this section.
Please keep in mind that those with temporary faith, much like the “seed” that is snatched up by the devil or choked out by the cares of the world or which dies out for lack of grounded roots in the Word that Jesus mentioned, are not “the elect” and are not “saved”. Thus, as you reconcile what Scripture says to those who are the “elect”, be sure to separate those with “temporary faith” from such promises or that equation. After all, did not Jesus have twelve disciples, yet one of them was a devil (Judas)? What was it then that Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane?
“While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gave me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. – John 17:12
Those who say you can’t form your theology from the Gospels or the Old Testament must be careful that they are not adding to Scripture in order to keep their own man-made system intact. Theology must be formed from all Books of the Bible. Paul explained that Abraham was saved by imputed righteousness through faith or belief, just like we are today.
Jesus taught us that not all who say “LORD, LORD” will be saved and illustrated this truth many times such as in His parables of the ten virgins, the sower, the ten talents, the barren fig tree, and the tares. The second chapter of Hebrews states “since … every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? …” and its sixth chapter says:
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were