This may be hard to swallow. According to the Bible, anyone preaching a different gospel than what Paul preached will be cursed. Furthermore, false teachers and prophets are included in this final judgment, which means that people we know will be lost because they have changed the salvation message.
By the time John wrote his first letter, false preachers had already appeared. He called them out: 1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Jesus said: Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
Paul preached Baptism in Jesus’ name and the infilling of the Holy Ghost. Paul himself was baptized in the name of Jesus. He thought it was so necessary that he even re-baptized believers in Jesus’ name. Acts 19:1-7. Peter preached on the day of Pentecost saying that everyone should repent and be baptized in Jesus’ name. He said that they would receive the Promise of the Father, which was the infilling of the Holy Ghost. They all spoke with other tongues as the Spirit gave them the utterance.
The controversy of salvation is not a Bible problem. There are ample scriptures declaring His death, burial, and resurrection. The issue is that the modern-day church does not really believe baptism to be a Heaven or Hell issue. I say, if there was ever a Heaven or Hell issue, this is it!
Many equate being a “good person” with salvation. However, the Bible does not hold to this philosophy. Nice people with pleasant dispositions will not enter Heaven if they are not Born Again of the Water and the Spirit. Jesus said so! John 3:1-8. Shall we argue with the Savior? Shall we dilute His written Word?
There is an urgency as the Last Day approaches. This is the not time to be timid. The early believers thought it was essential that everyone was baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost. Ours is not a “private faith” which in itself is an oxymoron. My burden is for lost souls to be saved. My concern is that too many believers are satisfied just attending church, but will not spread the Gospel. Whatever the cost, it is time for us to reach the lost!
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole