To BE or
NOT to BE...
by Mark J. Ward
You and I CHOOSE each day what we do, basically speaking. We all have the opportunity TO BE a Christian and live for God or NOT TO BE a Christian and not live for God. God loves us (John 3:16). God sent His Son to earth, even to die a horrible death for the sins of the world. God has a plan of forgiveness for the alien (non-Christian) and for the Christian who is in sin and needs forgiveness. What we CHOOSE to do about this is up to us.
One man in the New Testament was ALMOST PERSUADED to be a Christian. He had the choice TO BE or NOT TO BE a Christian...the question needs to be posed to us.
Notice the text in Acts 26:27,28:
"27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. 28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian."
Did you notice the FACT that King Agrippa BELIEVED and WAS NOT a Christian? Please read the text above again. Most denominationalists teach the false doctrine that "faith only" will make one a Christian. This is NOT TRUE, dear Reader. King Agrippa really truly believed. The inspired man of God on this occasion affirms he did! However, King Agrippa knew that he was not a Christian. What about you? Do you think that you are a Christian "by faith only"? Faith only is NOT a most wholesome doctrine as creed books of men assert and teachers teach today. God requires that we do just what others did in New Testament times to become Christians.
1. Hear the Word of God (Rom. 10:17).
2. Believe the Word of God (Heb. 11:6).
3. Repentance toward God (Acts 20:21; 17:30; Luke 13:3)
4. Confess Christ as the Son of God (Rom. 10:9,10)
5. Be baptized in water for the remission of sins into the body of Christ (Acts 2:38, 47; Acts 22:16; Gal. 3:26,27; I Peter 3:21).
The new birth of John 3 is exactly what we are referring to. The transformation of a person from an alien (non-Christian) to a Christian. This conversion/birth process takes "steps", if you will, just like the natural birth process. The Seed of God's Word is planted in the heart of the hearer, the hearer chooses to believe and respond to God's Word by confessing Christ, repenting of past sins and submitting to scriptural water baptism for the remission of sins (Matthew 13; Romans 10:9,10; Acts 2:38).
Converting to Christ puts one in His church, the body of the saved. Christ purchased His church with His blood (Acts 20:28). Converting to Christ involves doing His will to the neglect of our likes and preferences. God's Way is the right way and there is as much difference in His way and ours as are the heavens higher than the earth (Isa. 55:8,9). There are many false prophets, psuedo faiths, and a lot of denominations that imitate New Testament Christianity today. Leave error and adhere to truth! Don't be part of a church that you know cannot find all of her teaching and practices in the Bible! Don't let a "social club" atmosphere sway you to stay with a church because you "feel comfortable" there! Do it God's Way! Turn and obey today.
To BE, or NOT TO BE, a CHRISTIAN.... that is the question. What about you and I?
Thanks for reading. mjw
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