Harmony Baptist Herald Number 1, Spring 2005
There is a very influential person in our community, who, by means of deception, is responsible for the death and misery of a great number. Those whom he has injured are both young and old. He makes no distinction between the rich and the poorest among us. You or your neighbor may be one of his victims.
The person of whom I speak also has been very successful in obtaining the help of some of our most respected citizens. He is also aided by the fact that his deception has so long been in our midst, that it is now commonly accepted as truth. This to a great degree explains what makes him such a powerful and successful enemy to all who have a love for the truth and right.
The one of whom I speak is the great enemy of your soul, Satan, the devil, or the old dragon, as he is called in the Bible. Jesus Christ said about him, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44 Peter said, “. . . your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
This evil and powerful spirit is the master deceiver. He has been deceiving mankind from the beginning. The Word of God makes it very clear that a great multitude will be shocked and stunned on Judgment Day when they are cast into Hell, out of God’s presence. Please read very carefully the following verses from the lips of the Son of God. I believe them to be some of the most sobering in all of the Bible.
“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. Many will say to Me in That Day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23
Here, the Lord and Judge of the universe says that MANY who expected to enter His kingdom will be cast out at the last. They did many “wonderful works,” but to no avail. They had been deceived!
It is my hope and prayer, dear reader, by God’s help to open your eyes to this great deception of Satan, so that you will not be cast out from God’s presence. I trust that you will take a few minutes and carefully and even prayerfully read the truth as found in God’s Word. For I will not give you my opinion nor that of a denomination, but the TRUTH OF GOD AS FOUND IN THE BIBLE.
Satan is a Liar and Deceiver!
How has our enemy been so successful in deceiving so many? We will explain that in a moment, but first of all let’s look at what this great deception is.
The great lie that has worked so well for Satan is simply this, “The way to be accepted by God is by doing good works.” Sometimes particular works are prescribed such as being baptized, or giving money to the poor or the church, or saying a prayer. And sometimes it is simply, “Do the best you can, and everything will be OK.”
Of the thousands of religions in this wide world, they really only teach two different ways by which man can reach God, either by means (in whole or in part) of what man does or solely by the grace of God in Jesus Christ, alone. The Hindus by means of yoga, meditation, and various other rituals hope to attain oneness with “god.” Followers of Mohammed have their five pillars which they must perform in order to be accepted by “god.” They say that Allah is merciful, but he only shows mercy to those who are faithful in their duty according to the Quran. So it is partly of God and partly of themselves that they hope to enter paradise.
Among the various branches of what is broadly called Christianity, there are too many plans to list. But a close look will reveal that most teach a combination of God doing part and man by his own “free will” doing his part. Many do not believe it possible to be a child of God without being baptized, while others reject the necessity of it but insist that you must say a prayer. Some have sacraments or “The Church.” In all cases they are just like the religions mentioned above, their salvation is partly the work of God and partly their own effort.
Answer this question for me. If you should die tonight and stand before the gate of God’s Heaven and be asked by Gabriel, “Why should we let you in to Heaven?” . . . Did you answer? . . . Did your answer go something like this, “Well, because I have been baptized.” or, “. . . because I have done the best I could,” or perhaps, “I am not as bad as a lot of folks I know.”
[NOTE: It will not happen like this. I am only trying to get you to think.]
The ONLY ACCEPTABLE ANSWER must be in words similar to these: “My only hope is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died in my place. He took my sin and my curse and gave me His perfect righteousness. Jesus died for me. He is my Saviour. My hope is in Him alone.”
What God’s Word says
The apostle Paul wrote the following by inspiration of God: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.” Titus 3:5
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9
Thus the Holy Scriptures are very clear that we have no part in our being saved. It is by the grace of God. By grace we mean, the unmerited and undeserved kindness of God toward sinners. Romans chapter eleven says, “if it is by grace, then it is no more of works.”
It can not be any other way because, as God’s Word says, man is “dead in trespasses and sins, . . . there is none righteous, no not one. . . . there is none that seeketh after God, .. there is none good , no not one . . . for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; . . . so that they are without excuse.” Eph. 2:1 & Romans 3:10,11,23
This is why God’s love sent His Only Begotten Son into the world, to “save His people from their sins.” The Lord Jesus is able to do so by taking the place of sinners. He is the sinless, perfect, Son of God, yet the Father “made Him to be sin for us, . . . that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor. 5:21
“For prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21
Let me close this brief article by reminding you that the Lord Jesus said that MANY are deceived and will be cast out when it is too late. They will perish in “the lake of fire” because they believed not on the name of the only begotten Son of God. But rather they trusted in religion, baptism, or the Church to save them.
I urge you now my friend confess yourself a guilty sinner before God and trust wholly upon the Lord Jesus who “died for sinners.”
If you have questions or would like to know more about the Way of Life, please call us, or visit us at Harmony Baptist Church.