Saturday, August 22, 2015

Christianity is not a Smorgasbord

All scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
The Lord Jesus said in John 7:37-39,  "...He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water..." The Lord was speaking of the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit that Jesus said who ever believed on Him "...should receive..." So I have entitled this posting "Christianity is not a Smorgasbord." That is it isn't a take it or leave it religion. There is not much I don't like to eat. But I do like chicken and/or steak. When my wife and I go out to eat at a smorgasbord type restaurant, I will oftentimes load up on meat and forego some veggies. I have found Christianity is not that way. When I first turned to the Lord at age 23, the first thing the Lord said to me after I told Him I would serve Him if He would help me was, "read my word and start in Matthew." This was on a Monday. I hadn't yet been baptized or gone to church but I got my Bible (I had one I had just never read it) and found Matthew and started to read the it.

Well do I remember that about Wednesday, I had finished the book of Acts and Romans and was into 1st or 2nd Corinthians, when my  mother asked if I wanted to be baptized in Jesus name. I remember replying, "if its in the Bible I want it!" She immediately called a couple of United Pentecostal churches to arrange my baptism. I still didn't know there was any controversy about the mode of baptism. I just knew that the Bible commanded baptism and that it was always done in Jesus name. Later  I began to understand that some folks relied on Jesus' command to His apostles in Matthew 28:19 to baptize in the titles, that is, "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost..." (See also Mark 16:15-18, Luke 24:46-49 and John 20:21-23) I have since recognized that when the apostles obeyed Jesus' command they always baptized in Jesus wonderful and only saving name. (See Acts 4:12 and Colossians 3:17) As my mother once later said to me, no one has the right to go back and usurp the Apostle Peter or any of the other apostles.

No, Christianity is not a take it or leave it proposition. Should one repent of his or her sins? Yes, the Bible commands it (See Luke 13:1-5, Luke 24:47, and Acts 17:30 for just a few examples) Should one be baptized? Yes, The Lord Jesus said in Mark 16:16, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (See also Matthew 28:19, Acts 10:48) Should one be baptized in Jesus name alone? Again the answer is yes. Apostle Peter told his Jewish hearers  on the day of Pentecost what they should do when he said, "...Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (See Acts 2:38) In fact nowhere in the biblical record was anyone ever baptized in any other way! Should one receive the gift of the Holy Ghost? Most assuredly. It is God's promise to you "and to all that are afar off.'' (See Acts 1:4-5, Acts 2:1-4, Acts 2:39, and Hebrews 4:1)

The bottom line is God loves you and wants you saved to the uttermost. (See Hebrews 7:25) God loves you my friend, but you cannot take the part of the Bible you like and not take the part you don't want. Christianity is not a smorgasbord. If you have never repented of your sins, do so today. If you have repented of your sins but have never been baptized in Jesus name for the remission or forgiveness of your sins, find someone that will baptize you in Jesus name. Then believing the word of God in simple faith in the Lord Jesus, let God confirm His promise in you. You will never be sorry!

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