John 3:3, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
I was talking with a professed Baptist Christian recently. She has a family member who is a member of the Church of Christ. Her family member has been pressuring her for years, trying to convert her over to the Church of Christ heresy that says you must be water baptized to get to Heaven. Thankfully, the woman I was speaking with kindly told her family member to stop trying to convert her, or she was going to hang up the phone. The Church of Christ woman ended up hanging up the phone instead, in frustration. Cult members can be pushy!
But what concerned me was what the Christian woman said to me concerning her family member, when I said that we need to pray for her salvation. My friend said that her family member is saved, she is just confused. I kindly corrected her wrong thinking with the Bible, explaining that no one is saved who thinks you must be water baptized to get to Heaven, which is a counterfeit Gospel. My friend replied that God sees her family member's heart and knows that she believes the Gospel. I again needed to correct her with the Bible, explaining that there is only one Gospel, not two or three or more.
Galatians 1:6-8, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
The Apostle Paul said to the Galatian churches that he marvelled (he was astonished) that they had quickly drifted away from the true Gospel of free grace which he had preached unto them previously. Paul said that they had been deceived, bewitched (Galatians 3:1) to believe another gospel, which is not really another gospel, because there can only be ONE GOSPEL!
In the following Scripture passage Paul plainly defines THE GOSPEL (i.e., GOOD NEWS), as given unto Him by Jesus Himself (Galatians 1:12). Paul said that whosoever BELIEVES this GOOD NEWS, and does not stray away from it (which would prove that they had never been born-again at all), is saved...
1st Corinthians 15:1-6, “ Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.”
There you have it dear reader, THE GOSPEL. Notice the three elements of the Gospel:
- Jesus DIED for our sins on the cross
- Jesus was BURIED.
- Jesus RESURRECTED three days later from the dead.
This is all ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES. This is not religion, which is man's interpretation of the Scripture. This is directly from the inspired Word of God.
Getting back to the two women that I mentioned earlier, one saved and the other lost, the Church of Christ woman who thinks you must be water baptized to get to Heaven is as lost as the Devil. She has never been born-again. How do I know that? I know because there is nothing mentioned in Paul's Gospel (which he received directly from Jesus) about being water baptized to be saved. I just gave you the three parts of the Gospel.
Of course, you do need to know and acknowledge the Bad News too. You must admit that you are a guilty sinner to see your need for the Savior (Romans 3:19-20; 1st John 1:8-10). You need to know what you are being saved from (Romans 6:23). To be saved you must know three things about Jesus:
- WHO Jesus is - He is the only begotten Son of God, the Christ (John 20:31).
- WHAT Jesus died for you - He died on a cross for our sins, was buried and raised up the third day (John chapters 19-20).
- WHY Jesus did it - He did it because we are all guilty sinners, and the penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23), including the second death in Hell fire and brimstone (Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).
Anyone who comes to God as a guilty needy sinner, who accepts Christ's sacrifice on the cross as payment for your sins, believing that Jesus has raised up from the dead, is saved. 1st Thessalonians 4:14, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”
I hope you can now clearly see why the Church of Christ woman I mentioned earlier cannot be a born-again Christian, regardless of how sincere she may be. Proverbs 16:25, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” In Matthew 7:21-23 we read about a group of people who followed Jesus as their “Lord.” They called Jesus, “Lord, Lord.” They boasted of their “many wonderful works” all done in Jesus' name. They boasted of prophesying (preaching) in Jesus' name. These were committed, dedicated and loyal servants of Christ, disciples. Yet, the dear Savior made this horrifying statement to them in Matthew 7:23b, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
You see dear friend, you cannot get born-again by following or serving Christ. You cannot get born-again by getting water baptized, or by keeping sacraments, or by being faithful to attend and serve in your favorite local church. That is religion, not salvation. That is churchianity, not Christianity!
Look at what Jesus said was their problem in Matthew 7:21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” They had been dedicated to follow and serve Christ in their own self-righteousness, but they had never submitted themselves to the righteousness of God, which is by faith alone in Jesus. They failed to put their trust in Jesus alone as their personal Savior. The Bible plainly tells us what the will of the Father is in John 6:40, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” The only way to become born-again is through faith alone in Jesus as the Christ.
Galatians 3:26-27, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” The word “baptized” in verse 27 does NOT refer to water baptism. The Bible says as many of you as have been “baptized into Christ,” not baptized into water. The transliterated word baptizo from the Greek simply means “to immerse.” The 54 King James Bible translators didn't have an English equivalent for the Greek word baptizo, so they just carried it over without translating it, which is called transliteration. So what verse 27 means is, as many of you as have been immersed into Christ have put on Christ. That is, they got saved.
I love Galatians 3:29, “And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Every born-again child of God is a Jew spiritually, part of the promised seed of Abraham. And every unsaved Christ-rejecting Jew (whether he or she be an ethnic, national, cultural or biological Jew) is NOT a Jew spiritually in God's sight. Which means they cannot go to Heaven. Romans 2:28-29, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” The moment that you trust Jesus Christ as your Savior, you become a Jew, related to Abraham through the common Fatherhood of God. God is every believer's heavenly Father, including the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Dear friend, if you only put partial faith in Christ, plus something else (whether it be water baptism, turning away from your sinful past ways, following Jesus as “Lord,” living a lifestyle of repentance, running the Christian race faithfully to the end, or anything else), you will go to Hell forever to burn and suffer in torments. I didn't say that, God did in Matthew 7:21-23 and John 6:28-29, 40, 47; Revelation 20:15). I assure you on the authority of the Scripture that God will NOT allow you to slide because you were sincere. The road to Hell is paved with sincerity and good intentions!!! We see this truth plainly in Matthew 7:21-23 in the Bible.
Every Roman Catholic believes that Jesus died on a cross for their sins. Catholics believe that Jesus was buried and resurrected three days later. Catholics know that they are sinners and that there is a penalty for sin, which is death and the Lake of Fire. Catholics believe all that! So why are they not born-again saints? It is simply because they also ADD the Seven Sacraments, the first of which is water baptism. Catholics are foolishly taught that water baptism is the First Sacraments, which they say is the door into the Roman Catholic Church (and they errantly think that the Catholic Church gives salvation). What Satanic garbage!
We read in 1st Corinthians 3:11, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” The Apostle Peter is not the Rock (Petra) upon which the Church is built; the only true foundation according to 1st Corinthians 3:11 is JESUS CHRIST!!! Peter was the petros (pebble), not the Petra (Rock). Shame on the Vatican for teaching manmade commandments instead of the inspired Word of God (Mark 7:7-9). Peter was not the first Pope. There is no historical or Biblical evidence to support that false claim. Peter was just one of Jesus' original 12 Apostles, not better or different than the other apostles.
I tell you, the Church of Christ is of the Devil. They errantly require people to turn away from former sinful ways to be saved. Secondly, the Church of Christ require public confession of the name of Jesus to get to Heaven. And thirdly, they errantly require their members to be water baptized to be saved. None of these things are Biblically necessary or allowed to get to Heaven. The Church of Christ is a religious cult, who preach another Gospel, accursed by God (Galatians 1:7-9).
If you know someone who believes the Gospel, but also trusts in something else, you need to warn them kindly that they are not saved yet. The ONLY way to become born-again is the take God at His Word as recorded in the Holy Bible, believing that Jesus did it all for you. You must cease from all your own human effort (works), and REST completely in Jesus Christ, believing that He died in your place on the cross, was buried and bodily resurrected the third day (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). That is the GOOD NEWS. Believe it and be saved. Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
Hundreds of precious passages of Scriptures in the Bible teach us to simply BELIEVE ON JESUS to have eternal life. Yet, the Devil's Church of Christ cult, the Devil's Lordship Salvation cult, and the Devil's Roman Catholic cult, Ken Ham's “turn from your sinful past ways” cult, et cetera—all wickedly take obscure passages of Scripture out of context to bolster up their strawman heresy.
A good rule to follow when interpreting the Bible is to never use an obscure passage to contradict a clear one. We have the entire Gospel of John, which mentions the word “believe” at least 85 times. Yet, not one verse tells us to get water baptized to have eternal life. No one in the Old Testament was water baptized to be saved. The repent thief on the cross didn't have time to get water baptized. His hands were nailed to a cross!
The same Apostle John who penned the Gospel of John also penned the Epistle of 1st John. In 1st John 5:13 John says, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” Yet, John never mentions baptism in any way, fashion or form in the Epistle of 1st John. Surely John would have said to make sure you've been water baptized, if such a ritual were required to get to Heaven. The truth is that getting water baptized doesn't make you a born-again Christian, any more than walking into a garbage makes you an automobile. You get saved by BELIEVING the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
So please, please, please dear reader, DO NOT ADD anything to your childlike faith in Christ alone to get to Heaven. Water baptism is important, don't get me wrong. Baptism is the very first step of obedience for the new believer. But water baptism always comes AFTER a person is saved, never before getting saved (e.g., infant baptism), or as as a step required for salvation. Water baptism is one's public profession of faith in the Gospel. Being dunked under the water and then lifted back out of the water, pictures Jesus' death, burial and bodily resurrection. Water baptism is an outward snapshot of what has just happened inwardly.
I don't like when churches wait 6 months before baptizing converts. That is what the shameful corrupt Harvest Baptist Church on Guam does, they only baptize about four people after 6 months of waiting since their alleged conversion. That is because Harvest Baptist Church on Guam insists on examining someone's life, to see if their behavior has first changed as evidence that their faith is genuine and real. Ladies and gentlemen, that is hardcore Calvinist Lordship Salvation heresy!!!
Since Harvest doesn't preach a free grace Gospel, they are a cult that doesn't lead people to Christ by faith alone. Harvest is a cesspool of Lordship Salvation, Devil's Bibles and Bob Jones University alumni apostates! Sincerity is not enough to please God. In John 3:3b Jesus warned: YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN!!! No one has ever been born-again by partial faith in Christ plus something more. If you have to trim your toenails once every million years, plus partial faith in Christ, you are going straight to Hell if you died right now.
Salvation is completely RESTING in what the Old Testament Sabbath Day represented for millenniums, which is Jesus Christ alone. Hebrews 4:10-11, “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” I love that! Have you dear friend entered into God's rest? Philippians 3:9, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”
Please don't tamper with the simplicity that is in Christ. Just believe the GOOD NEWS that Christ did it all for you through Calvary's cross, dying in our place and raising up three days later, because He loves us. I have heard umpteen people throughout my life tell me that they know God is so loving and sweet, that He would never cast anyone into Hell for all eternity. Believe me, if our great, fair and good God allows hunger, torture, pain, misery and death in this temporal earthly life, then He will allow suffering in the next life in eternity, so says the Holy Bible (2nd Thessalonians 1:8-9; Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 14:11).
If you die in your sins (John 8:24), regardless of how sincere you may be, you will go to Hell forever without rest or hope day nor night forever. That is 100% Biblical doctrine.