There is a sad condition characterizing a vast majority of those who are outside of Christ, but who believe He has saved them anyway. They say they were saved by—as they word it—“extending a personal invitation to Christ” to come into their hearts and lives, forgiving them of their sins and saving them. That is a non-prayerful way to disseminate the Biblically unheard of, and ineffectual, sinner’s prayer. The sad situation is that these folks are open to the ideas of man, but their minds are closed to what the Bible says. The Scripture says one must be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, thereby coming into Christ and being added to His church (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Gal. 3:27; Acts 2:47; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4). Because they accept the teachings of men in answer to the question, “What must I do to be saved”?, they also take offense at one who sets before them what the New Testament says one must do to have salvation and then to maintain it. The tactic of false religion is that if you can’t disprove the message, attack the messenger.
Men say one is saved by faith only, by God’s grace only. Why people cannot see the self-contradiction in that statement is amazing. The reason they do not see it is because they would rather pursue the path of human answers to the question of “What must I do to be saved”? instead of following what the Bible says. The fallacy of that reasoning was set forth when Solomon wrote the ways that seem right to a man end in death (Prov. 14:12; 16:25). The prophet Jeremiah penned the absolute truth that man cannot direct his own steps (Jer. 10:23).
If a man says once you are saved you are always saved, many of those who believe that falsehood, do not recognize that they contradict the erroneous doctrine themselves when they say, “Yes, but if I am a true Christian I will try to live a good life.” They ignore the truth that one can fall from grace (Gal. 5:4). They further ignore that James wrote that if “one of you” errs from the truth, pray for him. If he confesses his sin and leaves it, his soul has been rescued from death; not physical death, spiritual death. That passage refers to Christians. We know that, because in it James is addressing “Brethren” (Jam. 5:16-20).
The minds of the religiously lost are open to man’s claim that if any talent or ability one has is sincerely offered in praise to God, it constitutes an acceptable act of worship. Then let the un-captured thief give praise to God for his ability to remain free, to steal, and thereby worshipping God! While their minds are open to the, “anything goes in worship” doctrine of man, their minds are closed to the truth that Jesus instructs one to not only worship God in spirit, but also in truth. Worship must be according to the acts worship set forth on the pages of the New Testament (John 4:24; Acts 2:42; 20:7 Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19). What God seeks in worship is not what man says is worship, but what God reveals. Why is that true? Because God is the audience. That goes completely against what some call worship via acts that entertain themselves, doesn’t it?
We can hear it now. Some will attack the use of all the aforementioned scriptures. “You Bible thumper,” they say. Our reply is, “You man thumper!” What a sad fact that the minds of people are open to their own ideas or those of other men, but are closed to the mind of God! When the scripture is set forth to them, they respond with an attack against the messenger. Why? Because they cannot answer the arguments. Why won’t people at least say, “I’ll check it out?” They must be satisfied with what they are. But the question, “Is God satisfied”? never crosses their mind. Nor, do they search the scriptures as the Bereans did (Acts 17:11) to see if what they believe is so.
We carry no ill will toward those who follow the doctrines of men. We sorrow for them. We hope they will obey the Gospel plan of salvation. If you are like me, you have some friends who are basically good people. Sadly, though they are good lost people. “Goodness” does not satisfy the conditions for receiving God’s grace for salvation. Just ask Cornelius (Acts 10:1-6; 11:14).
Whoever you are who reads this, please, please have an open mind and search the scriptures to see if these things are so. See if it is not the case that your open-mindedness to man has caused you to be closed minded to God.