By Brooks Cochran
The above is the title of a booklet I found in the waiting room of a local hospital. It had been placed there by a member of the Baptist Church. The author of the booklet gives what he considers to be seven lies which the Devil tells people as to what they must do to be saved. After each listing of the lies, the author gives Scriptures from the Bible which, he feels, answer the lie. Of the seven there were two which caught my attention. For it seemed to me that in his mishandling of the Scriptures, rather than exposing, he helped the Devil to continue deception.
Consider, for example, lie number two: “Your good works and self-righteous life will save you.” I agree with him on this point. It is with his answer or lack of answer that I disagree. The writer quotes part of Titus 3:5 and omits the important part of the verse. Namely, how God saves an individual. “Not be works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. ” (The underlined text was omitted by the Baptist preacher.) He is, by such action, doing what the Devil wants done, i.e. keeping the truth from a person so he will remain in a lost state. The author, no doubt, feels that baptism is non-essential to salvation and thus feels no need to discuss the subject. However, such a position is another of the Devil’s lies. The Devil, through this Baptist preacher, would have a person believe that baptism is non-essential; but the Word of God states the truth. Baptism is essential to one’s being saved (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16 1 Pet. 3:21).
Another of the Devil’s lies discussed is that “your church membership will save you.” I agree that just having your name on the church roll does not automatically mean that the individual is right with God. The author, like most Baptists, denies the importance of the church. However, one cannot separate the saved from the church. The moment one is saved he is added, by the Lord, to the church. The church is the saved (Acts 2:41,47; Eph. 5:23; 1:22,23; 4:4)! Only those in the church will be saved. Those outside will be lost. Too, in speaking of the “church” we are referring to the church that belongs to Christ and not some denominational church such as the Baptist church.
It is sad that such men write lies and falsehoods. But we shouldn’t be surprised for the Devil has ministers that “fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Cor. 11:15).
Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 15, p. 452
August 6, 1992