By Richard Aegerter
The Moore American
MOORE — We are grateful for all the Moore American readers’ presence today as we take a little time to continue our study on the teaching of Christ.
You can learn more about that knowledge of Jesus the Christ by visiting us this Lord’s Day at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at 728 S.E. 12th St. in Moore.
Please grab your Bible today and follow along and check our message (1 Thessalonians 5:21). In Acts 4:12 the writer tells us that only in Christ is there salvation. Only Jesus the Christ “is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him” (Hebrews 7:25).
God designed the scheme of redemption, the plan of salvation not the members of the East Ridge church of Christ. Christ carried it out and the Holy Spirit gave it life. God does not save men apart from their voluntary will. Salvation is freely offered but it must also freely be received. How and where does one find that plan of salvation?
It seems that I sometimes encounter individuals who endorse what is called “The Sinner’s Prayer.” In brief, it says we must 1) admit we are sinners who are unable to save ourselves, 2) acknowledge that Christ is the only Savior, and, 3) accept him as our Savior by confessing ourselves to be sinners and saying “Lord, I accept you as my Savior.” One writer said, “It’s that simple, but it is a prayer with eternal results.”
Well that may sound divine, but nowhere will you read that a Christian did that in the New Testament?
We plead that you use only the Bible for your soul saving instructions. Why? John 17:17, tells us why, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
When the people on Pentecost realized they had crucified the very Son of God and asked, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Did Peter say “Pray?” Peter did not. They were told to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, Acts 2:38. When Saul of Tarsus had been praying and fasting for three days and nights, what did Ananias tell him to do? “Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).
It was Christ who said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16). What Jesus said was not popular then or today; this was the only way one is saved. Why isn’t it a popular message? Because we know so many good people who have never done it that way and some feel that to teach the necessity of being baptized would in effect be condemning them. We do not preach the truth to condemn people but to persuade people to accept Jesus’ plan of salvation.
Raising your hands in prayer, calls for no commitment. To humble one’s self to the command to be baptized (Acts 2:38) when it looks so useless is a true admission of our helplessness and dependence on God’s grace.
“For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son” (John 5:22).
Many people do not believe there will be a Judgment Day. Judgment is as certain as death. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
Jesus pictured Judgment like a shepherd dividing his sheep from his goats. “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: v. 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: v. 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” (Matthew 25:31-33). He said those on His right would enter eternal life and those on his left would go into eternal damnation (Matthew 25: 34, 41, 46).
Paul addressed the men of Athens saying God would judge the world by the One whom He had raised from the dead (Christ) in Acts 17:31.
Paul also wrote that Christ would come again in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God and who obey not the gospel in 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9. The same reading says his coming again will be to give rest to those who have been troubled by persecutors.
2 Thessalonians 1:6-9 “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; v. 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, v. 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: v. 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.”
The word of Jesus will be the standard by which we will be judged, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).