Far too often the retired Christian faces Boredom & Loneliness in their final years. This need not be. While your body & mind may not be what it once was, you can still be very fruitful for the causes of the Lord.
“They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;”
7 Ideas for the aged (or young) Christian facing BOREDOM:
B– BIBLE STUDY & Teaching. Titus 2:2-3
O– OTHERS who are bored & need company. Jas 1:27
R– RECORD lessons for your posterity. Prov 31:1
E– EVANGELISM. 1Cor 9:19-23
D– DEVOTIONALS w/ Family. Eph 6:1-4; 1Tim 5:10,14
O– OLD Age Wise. Psalm 92:14
M– MAKE something to share, give, encourage. Heb 10:24
What is the “church of Christ?”
The word “church” means the “called out ones.” The church is composed of those who have been “called out” of the world by the Gospel unto Christ (2 Thess. 2:14). Thus, these “called out ones” are simply Christians trying to be just what the followers of Christ were in New Testament times (1 Thess. 1:5-6).
In New Testament times, each local congregation of God’s people was a church of Christ. For example, there was a church of Christ at Philippi, a church of Christ at Corinth, a church of Christ at Jerusalem, etc. (Phil. 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:2; Acts 8:1; Romans 16:16).
What We Are
The Saved – The church is the saved (Eph. 5:23). The church is NOT the Savior; Jesus is. The church is the body of Christ, with Jesus as its head (Eph.1:22-23). ALL who believe in Jesus, repent of their sins, and are baptized (immersed in water) for the forgiveness of sins are saved (Mark 16:16); that is, they are “added to the church” by the Lord (Acts 2:38, 41, 47). The church at Samaria consisted of the saved, those who had believed and been baptized after hearing the things concerning the kingdom of God (i.e., the church of God), and the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 8:5, 12).
Subject to Christ – Jesus is “the head over all things to the church” (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:24). We have no synods or conventions to guide us. We are not part of any amalgamation or association of churches. We are subject only to the authority of Christ (Matt. 28:18; Col. 3:17).
What We Are NOT:
A Denomination – We are not associated or affiliated with denominationalism. The creeds of denominations are foreign to the Bible teaching on Christ’s church. The only church founded by God is the one mentioned in the Bible (Matt. 16:18).
Catholic or Protestant – We are not a Catholic Church. We honor and revere no man or human authority such as the Pope (Matt. 28:18). We are not a “Protestant” church in the popular sense. We “protest” sin, false doctrine, ungodliness, and immortality, but we are not allied with Protestant denominationalism. Catholics and Protestants are not referred to in the scriptures; Christians are (Acts 11:26).
A Social Club – The church was purchased with the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28). The Son of God did not die for a social organization, but for a “spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5). We are not a glorified social center. We are the church. We worship God “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24), not by fun, food, and frolic (Romans 14:17).
Why the Name “church of Christ“?
In New Testament times, the church was called:
“the church” (Acts 2:47; 5:11; 8:1)
“the church of God” (1 Cor. 1:2; 1 Tim. 3:15)
“the body of Christ” (Col. 1:24; Eph. 4:12)
“the churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16)
“the church of the first-born” (Hebrews 12:23)
Christ Promised to build His church. Mat 16:18
Christ died for the church. Eph 5:25
Christ purchased the church with His blood. Acts 20:28
Christ is the Head of the church, which is His body. Col 1:18; Eph 1:22-23.
Christ is the savior of the body, which is His church. Eph 5:25.
Wouldn’t the most accurate & scriptural designation be ‘the church of Christ?’
Individual members of the church were called:
“Disciples” (Acts 11:26)
“Saints” (Romans 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2)
“Brethren” (1 Cor. 1:10; Gal. 6:1)
“Christians” (Acts 11:26; 1 Peter 4:16)
Whatever we do in word or deed must be by the authority of Christ (Col. 3:17). Jesus Christ is the only creed of the church (Matthew 16:16-17). Anything more or less is of human origin (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
As Christians, How Do We Worship The Lord?
The New Testament says, “Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, the same hath not God: he that abideth in the teaching, the same hath both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9). Christians must conduct worship consisting only of those elements found in the New Testament church (John 4:24).
Prayer (Acts 2:42)
Singing (Colossians 3:16)
Gospel preaching or teaching (Acts 20:7)
Observing the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:23-26; Acts 20:7)
Contributing of our means (1 Cor. 16:1-2) for the work of the church (Eph. 4:12)
All of these actions of worship are privileges of the members of the Lord’s church and in no way will be forced upon our visitors.
How Can You Tell If a Congregation Is of Christ?
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free…” (John 8:31-32; cf. 13:34-35).
We live in a world where there are hundreds of different kinds of so-called churches, all of them differing in name, creed, and in practice: And yet many of them claim to be Christian and headed by Christ. How can one be sure which church, creed, or practice is what Jesus wants and which is of man? Answer: By examining what is taught and practiced against the only standard available – GOD’S WORD (1 John 4:1).
How Does One Become a Member of the church of Christ?
The Lord adds to the church those who are being saved (Acts 2:47). One does not “join” the church. To be saved, one must do the will of God, as expressed by the New Testament (Matthew 7:21).
For the sinner to be saved he must:
HEAR the Gospel (Rom. 10:17)
BELIEVE in Jesus (John 8:24; Hebrews 11:6)
REPENT of their sins – a change of mind involving action (Acts 17:30-31; 26:20)
CONFESS faith in Christ (Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:10)
Be BAPTIZED for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38)
People are saved and added to the Lord’s church today in the same manner that they were in New Testament times (1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Peter 3:21; Acts 2:47).
Please contact us with your comments or questions.
originally posted at: http://www.trustingodamerica.com/churchBrief.htm
6 more SIMPLE OBJECTION #2; What happens when you’re under the water at baptism?
The Objection goes like this: “What’s in the Water?” They mostly ask this in a mocking tone as if we believe in ‘magic water.’ This seldom is asked seeking an answer. Let’s answer this question without the mockery in which it is asked.
WATER has been in God’s word for a long time. Noah was saved by Water. Peter says in his 1st letter, “eight souls were saved by water.” [3:20]. He uses that example to explain that Water Baptism saves us. “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:” 
At another place, Naaman was told to dip (be baptized) in water to rid himself leprosy. [2King 5:9-14] According to the Holy Spirit through Paul, Moses & Israel were baptized by the waters of the Red sea; “And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;” [1Cor 10:2] These are just 3 examples of many. People that reject water baptism are rejecting God’s use of water throughout scripture.
ACTIVE FAITH is in the water. Submission to God’s commands is in the water. Paul said, “Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:” [Acts 26:19] What did Paul (then called Saul) obey? He was BAPTIZED. [Acts 22:16] James chapter 2 clearly shows that faith is active & obedient.
“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” [2:24]
TRUSTING faith is in the Water. We trust that God cleanses us of sins & saves us in the water. We can’t do it; we submit through faith.
“Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” [Col 2:12. emph mine seb] That phrase, ‘the operation of God’ is showing that God is doing the work while we are faithfully submitting to His will to repent & be baptized. [Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; 8:35-38; 22:16] Trusting Faith is in the water.
ENTRANCE into the church is in the water. Jesus is the savior of the church (His body). [Eph 5:23; 1:22-23; Col 1:18]
“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” [Acts 2:41]
“And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” [Acts 2:47]
This is not local church membership as some have supposed. Water Baptism is when GOD adds to the universal church of Christ. Denominational baptism is not God’s baptism.
RESURRECTION to newness of life can only occur after Death, Burial & Baptism into water. Salvation occurs upon faithful baptism. [Acts 2:41; 16:30-34] Baptism is obedience to the Gospel. Jesus will take vengeance on those who do not obey the gospel [2Thess 1:8-9]. How does one obey the gospel? Since the gospel is the Death, Burial & Resurrection of Jesus [1Cor 15:1-4], It harmonizes that water baptism is Death to sin, a Burial and Resurrection to walk in newness of life. [Rom 6:3-4]
Sprinkling or pouring are not emblematic of a burial. [Col 2:12]
6 more SIMPLE OBJECTIONS pt1.
These are called simple objections because they could have been easily answered by the questioner through a casual reading of the text. In some cases, the objection has a mocking tone and aren’t very serious. Even then, with the application of a bit of reason they are easily answered.
God has said, “Come now, and let us reason together,” [Isaiah 1:18]
Faith in God is not blind. There is a preponderance of evidence that we may reason & consider. [Heb 11:1,6]
These simple objections are presented with this in mind, Let’s Reason Together.
SIMPLE OBJECTION #1; Was Saul (later called Paul) saved on the road to Damascus?”
This objection sounds like this; “Saul (later called Paul) saved when he fell off his horse on the road to Damascus.”
The Objection may be answered this way: Not everyone mentions a horse, but when they do you should recognize that this person either hasn’t read the passage or isn’t handling it aright. A casual reading of [Acts 9:1-9; 22:1-16; 26:12-20] will show that no horse is ever mentioned. This is a clear example of someone ADDING to God’s word.
This is an important first defense to many objections, are they accurately portraying what the text actually says? By going to the text, many misunderstandings could be readily cleared with a careful reading of scripture.
Here are 4 more answers to this simple objection:
If Paul was saved on the road to Damascus then why was he SAD, SCARED & SIGHTLESS for 3 days? For a saved person, he is the saddest saved person on record. Everyone else is rejoicing for their salvation. [Acts 9:6; 18; 22:10-16; cr Acts 8:39]
He was told to ARISE and go into Damascus to be told what to do. If he was saved on the road, he was saved without his knowledge of the gospel or the things he must do. ANANIAS had to tell him what to do. [Acts 9:6; 22:10].
His sins were yet UNWASHED. If he was saved on the way to Damascus, he was still in his sins. Ananias said, “arise and be baptized, washing away your sins.” [Acts 22:16] Can anyone assert that salvation occurs with one’s sins? This doesn’t make any sense.
Saul still needed to LEARN what he must do. Jesus didn’t tell him he was saved. For 3 days he waited Sightless & Afraid, deep in prayer and fasting. Why? Because he, as do we all, needed to hear the words of eternal life. Just as Cornelius in Acts 10:6, 22, 33. Romans 10:14, which Paul (previously Saul of whom we’re speaking about) wrote, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
Instead of telling him what to do to be saved, Jesus sent him to Damascus where a preacher, Ananias, would tell him the words on how to be saved.
“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
[1Cor 1:21 emph. mine seb]
No, Saul was not saved on the road to Damascus. He was saved when he obeyed the Gospel. The message hasn’t changed for us today. [Rom 6:3-4]
We must Hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, Believe it, Repent of our sins, Confess that Jesus is the Christ and be Baptized for the remission (removal) of our sins. We are then to live faithfully until death. It was the same for Saul, it is the same for us, it is the same for everyone. God is no respecter of person.
OBJECTIONS #10; Salvation by Grace ALONE, through Faith ALONE, in Christ ALONE.
This objection sounds like this; “We are saved by Grace ALONE, through Faith ALONE, in Christ ALONE. That’s what Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches. We who are chosen by God are gifted with salvation, nothing, not baptism nor faithfulness has anything to do with our salvation.”
In case you’re unfamiliar, this erroneous viewpoint has its foundation in Calvinism. Calvinism is the error that God chooses before hand each individual that will be saved and each individual that will be lost. If God hasn’t chosen you, there is zero way for you to be saved regardless how much you try to obey Him. Conversely, if He has chosen you, there is no amount of rejection you can do to prevent it. Eventually you will have your heart changed by the Holy Spirit (even if against your will) and submit to God.
HOW CAN WE RESPOND?
Grace is a GIFT; it is unmerited favor. It is God’s part of our salvation in the demonstration of His love by giving His Son. Rom 5:8-10.
When people point at Eph 2:8-9 to prove that baptism is useless, we should remind them what Paul taught the Ephesians when he first encountered them in Acts 19:1-5. He taught them to be IMMERSED in water (baptized) in the name of Jesus Christ.
Next, you can show them that FAITH is man’s part of salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “through FAITH.” Grace is God’s gift; FAITH is our response to His gift of Grace. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing.” In Romans 10:16 the Holy Spirit uses faith & obedience interchangeably. “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?””
“Through faith” is our part, it’s our trust in God’s working when we’re baptized. “buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” [Colossians 2:12]
Jesus points out that belief is a work we are to do [John 6:29; cr. 1Thess 1:3; 1John 3:23]. This evidence demonstrates that man has a work to receive the grace of God, which brings us to the next point…
Verse 10 shows that we’re given a TASK to do from God. This work (Eph 2:10) is prepared by God that we should walk in them. This verse is not rejecting any work, just the work that man invents. There are two kinds of work.
1) Works that mankind invents, in which they can boast.
2) Works of God that God commands us to obey, through which God works. [Col 2:12]
“buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” [Col 2:12] (emph. mine seb)
Baptism is that kind of work. Obeying the Gospel is a work of faith on our part, fully trusting in God’s promise to save. None of us has the power to wash away our sins, God does that. None of us can die & take ourselves to heaven, God can.
Our job is to do His works, through our faith.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” [Heb 11:6]
OBJECTIONS #9; No Arguing, No Debating.
This objection sounds like this; “Christians aren’t supposed to argue or debate. “Do all things without protests and arguments; [Phil 2:14](BBE)”
While it certainly is true that we’re not to argue over vain things, [1Tim 6:20] it is NOT true that we’re not to debate or ‘contend’ for the faith [Jude 1:3].
“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” [2Tim 24-26]
We do need to be careful, for if we continue to push, they’ll redirect their objection toward you saying, “You’re ARROGANT, or unloving.
What we must recognize is they’ve REACHED the end of their ability to defend their error. When a person is still resistant but no longer has a defense, they become embarrassed & or angry. Otherwise they would continue talking. They’re stopping you because they’ve GOTTEN you on a technicality.
There are a few things that may be going on. They may be UNINTERESTED in the truth [2Thess 2:10-12]. They might be UNCERTAIN but not ready, like Festus [Acts 26:24]. Maybe they’re UNCONVINCED [Acts 26:28]. In any case, be careful, they may become UNHINGED [Acts 7:54].
The gospel always works in inducing an EMOTIONAL response. It could be anger, apathy or acceptance in Godly sorrow. So, what do we do when it’s turning towards anger? Hear this Proverb…
“A soft answer turneth away wrath:” [Prov 15:1]
Here are 4 steps to gving a SOFT answer:
STAY calm & don’t respond in kind. Never allow yourself to get angry or upset at any objection. Never allow a conversation to escalate into an emotional argument. We must always stay on the essential topics and not argue ‘vain babblings.’ “… be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:” [Jas 1:19].
Stop talking, no longer OPEN your mouth with new information. It’s clear they want to stop. Let them alone. [Mat 15:14].
A huge part of evangelism is patience & FORBEARANCE. To endure the continual barrage of rejections. But we must remember, they’re not necessarily rejecting you, they’re ultimately rejecting God [1Sam 8:7].
Lastly, TAKE off your shoes and shake the dust off (figuratively speaking). When the disciples were rejected, Jesus told them to shake the dust off their feet. “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.” [Mat 10:14] Don’t take it personally nor let rejection prevent you from spreading the gospel to others. Some will, some won’t, so what, keep trying. We keep trying because…
“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men;” 2Cor 5:11
OBJECTIONS #8; Appeal to the Old Testament for doctrine.
This objection sounds like this; “David used a harp and wrote about it in Psalms.”
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” Col 2:14
I met a person once that was starting a new denomination based on all the feast days in the Old Testament Law of Moses. This is just one example of many where people look to the Old Testament to find doctrine or practices today. It becomes a buffet of picking and choosing based on personal taste, or in this case, a BBQ buffet.
How come nobody ever goes back and brings forward stoning of the disobedient? (there was one guy that wrote a book about trying to live under the Law of Moses. He carried small pebbles around and flicked them at folks.) Yet, they’ll go back and grab any number of things from the Old Testament.
The easy answer is in Galatians chapter 5:1-4; “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”
As you can see, the Law of Moses has been fulfilled and if you intend to appeal to any part of it then you’re obligated to keep the entirety of it. This drops you from Christ.
Here are a few more points about why we don’t appeal to the Old Testament for authority, doctrine or practices today.
First, the Old was, well… OLD. Hebrews 8:13 speaks about the better New covenant in Christ rendering the first old.
Next, the OT was given because of TRANSGRESSIONS, “till the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” [Gal 3:19] Once the one promised came, fulfilling the Old Law, why would you go back and bring anything forward?
We should then note that the OT was LIMITED in that it was impossible for the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. [Heb 10:4]. Christ’s sacrifice did what the Law of Moses only foreshadowed [Heb 9:12]. The New Testament writers also calls it, ‘faulty’ [Heb 8:7], and ‘weak’ [Gal 4:9].
Continuing on, we find the Law of Moses was ABOLISHED at the death of Christ. “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” [Col 2:14]. Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:15; “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;”
Finally, the Holy Spirit says that the Law of Moses WAS A SHADOW of good things to come [Heb 10:1]. If there was something good coming, and the real thing is in life of Jesus, why would you want to go back to the shadow?
There are several places in the New Testament that explain the shadows from the Old Testament and their application to Christ;
- 1COR 10:11 EXAMPLES.
- Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come;
- Hagar, Ishmael, Sarah, Isaac; GAL 4:22-31.
- Moses; Deut 18:15; Acts 3:22; Heb 3
We find our authority in Jesus. God said, “Hear ye Him.” [Mark 9:7]. The Hebrew writer opens the book with; “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” [Heb 1:1-2]
We find our authority from those who were given the revelation of the Lord’s will and wrote it for us in the New Testament writings. “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” [1Cor 14:37]
“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ.)” [Eph 3:1-4]
OBJECTIONS to the GOSPEL pt4.
We need not view all challenges & objections to the truth as a bad thing. Some folks are just trying to work through the differences from what they’ve been falsely taught.
For the most part it is a necessary step in presenting the gospel. Challenges and objections are necessary to help a person to learn how to study and determine scriptural authority.
It can be viewed as a sign that a person is interested. It can also be a sign of someone who is rejecting the gospel.
As long as they’re asking questions, we can be prepared to answer them. [Col 4:6; 1Peter 3:15].
OBJECTIONS #7; I THINK.
This is a subtle objection that I find myself saying. The phrase “I Think” needs to be replaced with “God’s word says.” We live in a world that has embraced the idea of ‘my truth, your truth’ as if everyone has their own version of what is true. We need to have discussions about what does the Bible say?
Naaman is a great illustration for this very point. [2Kings 5:1-14] He had leprosy, learned of the cure and was told by ‘then man of God’ what he had to do to be cured. His first words? I THOUGHT… He thought the cure should look different, be more dramatic or at least be more comfortable. [v11] What we want things to be, doesn’t change the way things are. We need to obey the cure God commands.
For some they think the way to go is through TRADITIONS of their family or culture. Jesus pointed out that the religious leaders were laying aside the commands of God for their TRADITIONS. “Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” [Mark 7:9]
Others thing that their HEART will lead them to the truth, that they can feel they’re saved. Experience tells us this is no way to go. Emotion neither proves nor disproves anything. It’s possible to believe a lie, [2Thess 2:11-12; cf. Gen 37:30-35]
God’s word says through the Apostle Paul, IF ANYONE preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. [Gal 1:6-10] We need to check out everyone, especially our own selves. Search the scriptures [Acts 17:11; 2Tim 2:15; 3:16-17].
This touches on the real problem. More and more people, even among believers, just do NOT KNOW the Scriptures. Jesus pointed this out to the Sadducees in Mat 22:26; “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” God said it this way, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee,” [Hosea 4:6]
The last part of this objection comes in the form of an appeal to what our KIN folk have done. Very similar to tradition, but this takes it further by adding an emotional spin to it. “I go to the church my grandparents used to go. I even sit in their pew.”
What if your parents, grandparents were wrong? Are you going to allow yourself to be lost because they got it wrong? Here’s a question to ask yourself, What do your grandparents want for you now that they have sight? [cf. Luke 16:27-28] No parent or grandparent wants their children to repeat their mistakes.
Jesus gave a very difficult saying, “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” [Mat 10:34-38]. This is not a physical sword, rather it’s a spiritual sword. [cf. Eph 6:17; Heb 4:12]
The solution to I THINK is to ask;
- What does the BIBLE SAY?
- What does GOD SAY? (I repeat myself)
- What does JESUS SAY? (I repeat, repeat myself)
“This is my beloved Son: hear him.”
[Mark 9:7; cr. Heb 1:1-2]
OBJECTIONS #5; You CAN’T lose your salvation. Once Saved Always Saved.
This Objection comes up as you discuss continued faithfulness after obeying the gospel and the possibility of apostacy. The key verse they use is, Romans 8:35-39. Nothing, they say, can separate us from the Love of God. What they fail to see is us, can we reject Him?
We can LOSE our salvation. We can stop LOVING God through our willing disobedience. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” [1John 5:3]
Can we escape through willful disobedience? “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that OBEY not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:” [2Thess 1:8; cf Luke 6:46; Mat 7:21-19, emph mine Seb]
Paul saw a connection between his SERVICE toward God as a Christian and the possibility of being disqualified. If Paul thought he could become disqualified, why do you think differently? [1Cor 9:27]
Paul wrote Timothy about those who have a shipwrecked faith. [1Tim 1:19]. The parable of the sower shows that we need to ESTABLISH ourselves in the faith, to grow roots in faithfulness and produce good fruit. [Mark 4:13-20; cf John 15:1-6]
Do you need further evidence? Galatians 5:4.
OBJECTIONS #6; The Thief on the cross wasn’t baptized.
You’re right, he wasn’t. He didn’t become a Christian either! You see, the Thief was a Jew (context bears that out) who lived and died under the Law of Moses, the Old Testament system. The New Testament didn’t come into play until after the death of Jesus. [Heb 9:15-17; Luke 23:32-43].
Therefore, the Thief HAD NO COMMAND to be BAPTIZED. That command came after the resurrection of Christ. [Mat 28:18-20; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38]
I often ask, “why pick the thief, why not be saved IN THE SAME WAY AS the rich young ruler?” [Mat 19:16-22] He asked for eternal life and was told to sell all that he had and give to the poor. When’s your garage sale?
An appeal to the Thief will not help you to ESCAPE God’s wrath [Heb 2:1-3; 2Thess 1:8-9]. ESCAPE only comes through obedience to the Gospel. [1Cor 15:1-4; Rom 6:3-4]
the Thief found FORGIVENESS before the removal of the Law of Moses, before the command to be baptized, before the New Testaments covenant of Christ, before the church was built, and before Christ died. Nobody today can meet those criteria to be saved like the Thief on the Cross.
OBJECTIONS #3; John 3:16 is all we need.
It’s not enough to know Him, we must obey Him. [Mat 7:21-23; Luke 6:46;]
Jesus does Love you. He died for you. [Rom 5:8; 1John 3:16]. His love was demonstrated toward us while we are without strength, sinners & enemies. But this doesn’t eliminate our part to receive His grace & love.
Obedience is our Love for Him. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” [John 14:15]. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” [1John 5:3].
He wants us to voluntarily submit & worship Him. “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” [John 4:23-24]
Eternal life is given after obeying the gospel. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;” [Hebrews 5:8]. “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:” [2Thess 1:8].
“But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?”
So, you see, belief and obedience are interconnected.
OBJECTIONS #4; “What if you’re on the way to be baptized?”
This is mostly an emotional response. Emotionalism is not the source of authority. Emotion never proves or disproves a fact. God’s word is truth [John 17:17]. ‘What if’ questions can go on ad infinitum. Here’s a question, what if a person is on their way to hearing the Gospel and believing in Jesus, can they be saved without belief? This is not the way to know the truth.
We didn’t bring up or invent baptism. God did:
- Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
- Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
- Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,
- Acts 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
- and more…
Baptism is submission to God’s commands. He does the work in the water, not you or me. Grace is a gift, that is what Jesus did in giving His life. Through faith is our part. Faith is dead without obedience. [Jas 2:24]
“Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”
[Col 2:12] (emph mine seb)