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Question #371

One future Ph.D. thinks we are wasting our time...

May I kindly suggest that you direct your energy and web-design talents to greater and nobler kingdom pursuits than articles such as the one outlining the dangers of Songs of Faith and Praise. I may be wrong, but I doubt this one has led many people to Christ or strenghtened believers. Signed “Ph.D. Student - French Linguistics”

The Answer:

Thank you for your “kind” letter. The only thing I know about your background is that you are a Ph.D. student in French linguistics. I assume that was provided so that we would be duly impressed with your comment. Letters behind names are irrelevant and do not impress people who are students of scripture. Some of the greatest Bible scholars I have known did not even have one degree, must less a Ph.D. When the now departed Foy Wallace was asked self-impressed people how many degrees he had he responded, “About 98.5.” He debated J. Frank Norris, a Baptist preacher who held degrees, brought him to his knees, and saved the Lord’s church from premillennialism. Others could be named, but that makes the point. The important thing is how much Bible do you know and how committed are you to the defense of the truth. Apparently you are not committed to speaking against false doctrine if it is sung. Are you opposed to false doctrine if it is spoken from the pulpit? Do you believe that there is any such thing as false doctrine? If you believe that there is such a thing a thing as false doctrine do you believe that it should be opposed wherever whenever, and in whatever form it is encountered? Do you believe that the worship of God should be something that honors him and uses language and style that expresses that honor and praise or will just any little ditty that pleases us do?

One last matter. Should you believe that the two who are involved in this website are just anti-intellectual uneducated folks, you might be interested to know that between the two of us there are four doctor’s degrees in hand. Not a one of them is in French. (It ill becomes one pursuing a doctorate in French to speak of “better ways” to use one’s energy!) This background has not been expressed before on this website because we were not and are not seeking to impress people because of letters following our names; however, no one ever played the degree card before. Not one of the four degrees is worth anything if we are not committed to teaching and defending the truth. We want visitors to this website to be impressed with our God and His word, which is truth. We hope to hide behind the cross and let our readers see Jesus and accept his will. Thus, we will oppose error and conduct that is unworthy of our God whether in song, the spoken or written word, or in worship that is unworthy of true and living God.

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)