It Makes A Difference
1. It makes a difference what a person believes. Some will believe a lie and be lost (2 Thess. 2:11, 12). Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). It is not enough to be honest and sincere; one must also believe the truth.
2. It makes a difference what church one is a member of. Jesus promised to build his church (Matt. 16:18). All churches built by men will be destroyed, for Jesus said, "Every plant which my heavenly Father planted not, shall be rooted up" (Matt. 15:13). One church is not as good as another. One must he a member of the Lord's church.
3. It makes a difference what name one wears. The name given the Lord's disciples in New Testament times was the name Christian (Acts 11:26), and they were told to glorify God in this name (I Pet. 4:16). It is dishonoring to Christ to wear the name Lutheran, or Baptist, or Methodist, or any other human name.
4. It makes a difference whether one is baptized. Jesus said that "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). He also said it is for the "remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). The Bible makes no promise of salvation until we have been baptized.
5. It makes a difference how one is baptized. New Testament baptism is burial in water (Rom. 6:4), and not sprinkling or pouring. It is "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38), and not because one's sins have already been taken away. When Paul found some who were improperly baptized, he baptized them again (Acts 19:1-7).
6. It makes a difference how one worships. The New Testament furnishes us with the divine pattern for worship. It teaches, for example, that the Lord's supper should be observed each first day of the week (Acts 20:7). To do it less frequently is to subtract from God's word. The New Testament does not teach us to use instrumental music in worship. To use it is to add to God's word. Jesus taught that our worship is vain when we substitute the ordinances of men for the commandments of God (Matt. 15:9).
7. It makes a difference how one lives after he becomes a Christian. If, after having "escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ," one is again entangled therein and overcome, the last state is become worse with them than the first" (2 Pet. 2:20). Christians can so sin as to be lost eternally, if they do not turn from that sin. "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" (I Cor. 10:12).
The difference between all of these things could well be the difference between being saved and being lost forever. We beg of you, study God's word, and do what he commands. A man's soul is far too precious to gamble with. Every man owes it to himself to make his salvation as certain as possible by studying God's word and following it as closely as possible.
Truth Magazine III:3, p. 1