The bumper sticker said, “Try Jesus, if you don’t like him, the devil will always welcome you back.”
The concept of one trying Jesus has much to merit it. However, there is a problem with that phraseology. Jesus is not some food that one tries to see if he likes it. I am sure that we have all tried something new and decided that for some reason we did not like it. Jesus, however, is in a completely different category. Before one can really try Jesus, he must come to believe that Jesus is the Christ. Jesus said, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). Further, one must make the good confession, “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 2:37). Thus, in order to “try Jesus” one must make a commitment to Him. Furthermore, lest any get the idea that belief is all that is necessary, one must repent of his sins and be baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of his sins in order to be saved and added by the Lord to His church (Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 2:38, 41; 22:16; Mark 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21; etc.). When one has become a Christian, only then can he truly “try Jesus” by living in harmony with His will. If one is not willing to live the kind of life that Jesus commands in His words, then he is not willing to “try Jesus.” One cannot expect the blessings of the Christian life without being willing to live according to the commandments of Jesus. Our Lord said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
However, the second part of the statement on the bumper sticker surprised me. Recognizing that the source from whence the bumper sticker was obtained and judging by other stickers, etc. on the truck would indicate that it came from a source that believes the doctrine of “once saved, always saved” or “once in grace, always in grace.” If one believes that doctrine, how could they possibly say that the individual that “tries” Jesus can go back to the devil if he does not like Christ? If, according to that false theology, one has become a Christian in order to “try Jesus” then he continues in a saved state regardless of what he might do for such an individual, according to that false theology, cannot be lost.
On the other hand, if the intent of the bumper sticker is to encourage people to “try Jesus” without coming to faith in Him, even in accordance with their false theology of faith only or faith alone, then they are encouraging people to think that they can enjoy the benefits of Christianity without any form of commitment to the Christ.
We should never encourage people to simply “try Jesus” but rather we should teach them the necessity of obedience to the Gospel and commitment to living the Christian Life. The only way one can experience the blessing of salvation in Christ and the blessings of the Christian life is for one to be “in Christ” and we get into Him when we are baptized into Him (Gal. 3:27). If you are not a Christian, we would urge you to believe that Jesus is the Christ, repent of your sins, confess the name of Jesus before men, and then be baptized into Him for the remission of your sins.