I see most every day where someone is attempting to get to heaven their way, as opposed to God’s way. What is odd is that most think those who are doing so are good people. These are law abiding citizens, givers of those who are in need, and highly moral and descent people. Have you ever heard that God would never cast such a people into hell just because they never obeyed the gospel of Christ? If you have don’t believe it. God has given but one Lord, one faith and one baptism in order to save mankind from hell and damnation.
God gave his only begotten Son to die for the sins of man. All those who believe in Jesus ‘Should’ not perish but have everlasting life. Take note of the word ‘Should’. Some modern versions have translated this word to mean “Shall”. This in part leads many to think that “Belief only” will lead to salvation. This despite what the apostle James said, “You see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (Jam 2:24). If belief only saves, then why would Jesus tell those who call him Lord to depart from him? It was because they were attempting to do what so many are doing today. They are trying to get to heaven their way. Jesus admitted that they prophesied in His name, cast out devils in His name and done MANY WONDERFUL WORKS. Yet, Jesus told these believers, “I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity (Mt 7:23). Where had they gone wrong?
It is true that no one is saved absent of belief. Jesus called belief a work and not just a feeling. “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he has sent” (Jn 6:29). What kind of works? Certainly not the kind Jesus mentioned when he concluded his sermon on the mount. Belief requires action if it is to have any effect. I could tell you that your house was on fire, and you could believe me, but until you get into action and try to put out that fire, what good is your faith? That’s right, your house would burn down by having a workless faith. It is true that every new testament convert believed, but also is true that once they believed they got into immediate action.
Every convert who believed, confessed that Jesus was the Christ (Rom 10:10). Confession is a work of God. Every convert who had confessed also repented of their sins (Lk 13:3 f; Acts 2:38). Repentance is a work of God. Every convert who repented also were baptized (Acts 22:16 f; Acts 2:38). Baptism is a work of God. This is the “Will of God”, that all who believe and confess Jesus to be the Christ, and all who repent and are baptized in Jesus’ name “Shall” be saved. Jesus verily commanded his apostles to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every person. All who believe and are baptized shall be saved. However, if you believe not, you shall be condemned (Mk 16:16). Therefore, all who are saved both believe are baptized. However, even if you are baptized, but you do not believe, you too shall be lost. Belief only will cost you your soul. Baptism alone will cost you your soul. It takes both belief and baptism in order to be saved!
It is true that all who obey the full gospel of Christ are law abiding citizens, givers of those who are in need, and highly moral and descent people. However, absent of the gospel, all who do such shall be lost. The gospel truly saves, and all who obey the gospel must continue in the gospel and not make the mistake of those who trust in “belief only”. All faithful Christians continue in the apostles doctrine, which is the doctrine of Christ, which is the doctrine of God the Father (Acts 2:42 ff; 2 Jn 9; Jn 7:16,17). All faithful Christians worship God in Spirit and in truth (Jn 4:23,24). All faithful Christians endure persecution for the cause of Christ (2 Tim 3:12 f; Mt 10:22).
God’s people are a working people. Until we get to the promise land, it’s time to get to work. Jesus said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night comes, when no man can work (Jn 9:4). God had a work, Jesus had a work, and if we are to be saved, we too must do to the work of God. As Jesus truly said, “Why call you me Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say? (Lk 6:46). And again He said, “My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it” (Lk 8:21). May all who sincerely believe in Jesus stop doing things their way and begin to do things God’s Way. God’s Way is the strait and narrow path and the only way which leads to life everlasting Mt 7:13,14).