The two things they say should avoid talking about with friends and family is politics and religion. I can certainly see the politics part of this statement with the ongoing circus we call a Presidential election in 2016. People have literally lost their minds over arguably the two worst candidates in U.S. history.
But why religion? Why does that seem to stir up such tiff between people when it’s brought up? Maybe because to the sinner, the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword and it reveals their sin to them? (Hebrews 4:12)
Maybe the fact that people from different churches can’t seem to get on the same page as it pertains to some of the most important teachings in scripture? It’s funny though, I never see that happening between the Apostles or any of the other disciples throughout the Bible?
So did they all agree on major points of doctrine or did they secretly “agree to disagree” and just not let everybody know? What if according to scripture there should be no such thing as denominations? No Baptists, no Methodists, no Brethren, no Episcopalian, no, not any. Paul makes this clear in Ephesians 4:5 “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” The Apostles all believed this and thus there was no doctrinal strife or debate between them in the Bible.
Although I’m familiar with church history and I understand where and when many of these denominations started, I still have to ask myself “HOW?” sometimes. Paul told Timothy, his son in the faith, to “study to shew thyself approved…..rightly dividing the word of God.” (2 Timothy 2:15) Still, there are many Theologians out there that have studied the word intently and still do not understand the most basic doctrine in Christianity, salvation. Please understand, I’m no Bible scholar but I know the word.
Example: Many teach that salvation comes through a verbal confession of Jesus as your Lord and savior or by reciting a sinners’ prayer. Fact: There is no record of anyone being converted in scripture by this method.
Example: Some teach you must ask Jesus to come into your heart.
Fact: Again, this isn’t found anywhere in scripture.
Example: Some say only believe that Jesus died for you, ask him to forgive you of your sins and you’re saved. Fact: While half of this statement is necessary for salvation, the act of “believing” on the Lord is not exemplified in scripture as a method of salvation. James said even the devils believe but we know they aren’t saved. (James 2:19)
As a matter of fact, there isn’t ONE place in the Bible anywhere that says you must be saved to go to Heaven. Not one. BUT……..it does say that you MUST be born again of BOTH the water and the Spirit if you want to even see the kingdom of Heaven. (John 3:5)
How is this accomplished if by none of the ways I’ve mentioned above?
The answer is simple, obey Acts 2:38 because it directly fulfills John 3:5.
Peter told the Jews they must first repent, then they must be baptized in Jesus’ name (not Father, Son, Holy Ghost, that came later in history by the councils of man) and then they will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Thus, they are born again of both water (baptism) and Spirit (being filled with the Holy Ghost).
Ok, so can you create a doctrine off of one scripture? I’d be very uncomfortable if I tried so can we find Biblical evidence that others preached this message as well? YES!!!
Peter preached it to the Jews first in Acts 2 (Refere to Romans 1:16)
Phillip preached it to the Samaritans in Acts 8
Peter then was sent to the Gentiles in Acts 10 to preach the same message, how do we know it was a salvation message? Refer to Acts 11 and then focus on vs14.
Paul preached it to 12 men who were already believers in Ephesus in Acts 19:1-6 and even re-baptized them because it was THAT IMPORTANT on what was called over them in baptism. They were all baptized in Jesus’ name and received the Holy Ghost just like the Jews in Acts 2, the Samaritans in Acts 8, the Gentiles in Acts 10 etc…..
Why all the confusion then? Why do so many churches disagree on so many things? Because Satan is VERY good at what he does, and that is lie, deceive and cause division.
The name on your church sign will NOT get you or I either into Heaven. God doesn’t care about your affiliations or fellowships. What will matter in the end is did you obey the gospel? When Jesus said you MUST BE BORN AGAIN OF BOTH THE WATER AND SPIRIT, did you decide that your denominational teaching fit your lifestyle much better and that you’d just take your chances.
Well…..Jesus said that would happen, and here is the results….
Matthew 7:22-23 “ Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Buy the truth and sell it not…..blessings!