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Question #199

You're nuts, you're a Pharisee, and no one likes you, right?

Unbelievable! I knew you were a closed minded group, but the "Problem Song" thing is nuts. I used to be a die-hard church of christ member, even going to a brotherhood university. But I left it all because of the pharisee like mind set. I bet you don't get many compliments for this web site!

The Answer:

Where to begin? How about with the first word: “Unbelievable”? No word could better describe this vitriolic comment. One thing the reader certainly did not learn at a “brotherhood university” was the spirit of Christ. Depending on the “brotherhood university” that he attended, the reader might well have learned how to make such vitriolic attacks upon who cling to the Old Paths. Some of the professors at some of the “brotherhood universities” are leading examples of such.

Next, one is left to wonder what song comment(s) he disagrees with since he paints with a broad brush. Of course, the reader could disagree with them all. Other readers have disagreed with one or more and have kindly given their reasons for disagreement. Those comments will be answered as time permits them to be reached. Could it possibly be that the reader takes the position that it is impossible to teach error in songs? Again, depending on the “brotherhood university” he attended, he might have learned that everybody is all right and no error is ever taught from any denominational pulpit.

It is clear that the reader has left Christ, although it is expressed in terms of leaving the “church of christ (sic).” Of course, the Scripture teaches that the church is the body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18); thus one cannot leave the church of Christ without leaving Christ. If he still claims to be a part of the body of Christ while in a denomination, then it becomes clear that the reader does subscribe to the position that all are alright no matter what they believe and whether they have followed the teaching of scripture on that which is necessary to have their sins washed away (Acts 22:16), to enter into newness of life (Rom. 6:3-4), to put on Christ (Gal. 3:26-27), or to receive remission of sins (Acts 2:38).

Finally, the reader would do well to examine himself for Phariseeism. The Pharisees in Christ’s day were those who left the teachings of God and established their own ways and traditions. Clearly, the reader has at least taken a giant step in that direction and is in danger of going over the precipice. In fact, the reader may already be in free-fall over the cliff because nothing in the comment is on solid ground. “Unbelievable.”

And by the way – our website receives many “amens” from around the world. We are grateful for and encouraged by them all. This reader is clearly in the minority, and a small minority at that.

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)