The Pryor Times

Religion

May 18, 2014

Preparing for life’s final exam

PRYOR, OK — The end of a school year means final exams for most students.  After taking those tests, students usually look forward to relaxing and taking life easy for a while.  But try to imagine how awful it would be to go in to take your final exam, only to discover that you had studied the wrong material.  Yet, that is what so many are doing when it comes to the most important final exam of all.

The Bible tells us that a judgment day is coming.  Hebrews 9:27 tells us that after we die, we will face the judgment. Acts 17:31 tells us that God “has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.  He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”  Paul writes in 2 Corinthians  5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

On that Day of Judgment, we will be judged by the things contained in the Bible.  Jesus said in John 12:48, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him-- the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.”  Yet, in preparing for that final, many are turning to teachings that are not found in the Bible.  For example, many are told to pray what is called “The Sinner's Prayer,” or they are told to ask Jesus to come into their heart.  Those things may sound good, but they are not found anywhere in the Bible.  Therefore, they will not save anyone.  We can only purify our souls by obeying the truth (I Peter 1:22-23).  God’s word is truth (John 17:17).  Please read Mark 16:15-16 and Acts 2:36-41.  And see how the Ethiopian eunuch was saved in Acts 8:25-29.

God gives very specific warnings against anyone adding to or changing the gospel in any way (Galatians 1:6-9; Revelation 22:18-19).  We do not need anything other than the Bible.  It provides all the teaching, reproving, correction, and training we need to be complete (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).  We are to earnestly contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).  The New Testament is Christ's final will and testament that went into effect when He died (Hebrews 9:15-17).  No one has any right to try to change it (Galatians 3:15).

Jesus prayed for unity among all believers (John 17:20-21).  Paul commanded unity (I Corinthians 1:10).  Since Jesus prayed for it and Paul commanded it, unity must be possible.  All believers in Christ can be united if all believers will accept the Bible, and nothing more or less than the Bible.  Jesus, as well as other Biblical writers, warned repeatedly against false teachers and false prophets.  Matthew 7:15ff and I Timothy 4:1-4 are just two examples.    

If we do not love the truth, which is God's Word (John 17:17), God will send us strong delusion, so that we will believe the lie (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).  Peter warns in 2 Peter 2:1-2, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies.”  He then warns that many will follow their destructive ways.  Jesus likewise said in Matthew 24:11, “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.”

Despite these and many other warnings, people seem willing to accept just about any doctrine set forth by anyone claiming to be a preacher or pastor.  That is why there are so many different religious ideas today.  No one will be judged by my opinion or by any other preacher's ideas or opinions.  Everyone will be judged by the Bible.  So we should all be like the Bereans who searched the scriptures daily (Acts 17:11).  Make sure you are studying the right thing (the Bible) in preparing for the final exam.  Then obey it.  Matthew 7:21-27 teaches that those who do not obey Jesus are as foolish as a man who builds his house upon sand.  Those who do not obey the Bible will fail their final exam.

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