I hear a lot of preachers and read a lot of religious articles. They all claim to be preaching or teaching the word God would have them teach. I have yet to hear one of them say that they are not teaching the Word of God. Yet when we listen closely, they almost always preach and teach many different things contrary to one another. How can this be?
Only today I heard a sermon on what one must do to be saved. The preacher told his audience all they had to do was except Jesus into their hearts as their personal Savior, and at that moment, they were saved. The only trouble with his sermon was that what he taught cannot be found in the Word of God. That concept is totally foreign to what I teach. Is he sincere in what he teaches? I’m sure he is, but then I am also sincere. One or the other of us is right, or it could possibly be that both of us are wrong, but we both can’t be right. If someone asked two different people what the sum of 5750 and 4250 was, and one answered 10000 and the other answered 20000, could we say both are right because both are sincere in what they believe? Likewise, we both claim to be worshiping the same God and proclaiming the same word.
We cannot solve this disparity by comparing what one teaches to what another teaches. This would be comparing man to man, measuring ourselves by ourselves, which is never a wise thing to do (II Cor. 10:12). There must be a higher standard by which we measure the things being taught in the religious world today. That standard of reference must be the Word of God.
We must take God’s Word and take God at His Word. God’s Word is not open for interpretation, because God means exactly what He says. When we instruct our children to do a certain thing or go to a certain place, it needs no interpretation, we simply mean what we say. When Jesus said. “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16), that simple straight forward statement is not left up to anyone’s interpretation. We “must” simply do what He says. Nowhere in the bible can I read where a person can only accept Christ as their personal Savior and be saved. I would be conflicting with what God says to teach such an idea. When we read, “Ye see then how by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (James 2:24). Anyone who teaches that a person is saved the moment they believe is a voice conflicting with the Word of God. Let us compare every man’s words with the Word of God, which says what it means and means what it says. It is only when God’s Word is interpreted that we hear all these conflicting words and ideas.
In all that we hear being taught, let us compare it to God’s Word and be sure we are “rightly dividing the word of truth” (IITim.2:15). Following God’s Word exactly will mean one can spend eternity in heaven with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, instead of being lost for all eternity. Why not, my friends and neighbors, do as God’s Word commands and be saved today before it becomes eternally too late?