My wife, Jamie, told me the other day about an experience that she had when she accepted a Baptist friend’s invitation to attend a “judgment house” around Halloween one year. The people inside the judgment house began by acting out the deaths of two men. One, a very moral and decent young man, was killed. But he had never “accepted Christ as his personal savior,” so he was sent to hell. The other man, a forty year old drunk, who mistreated his family, died. But since he had accepted Christ by saying a simple prayer when he was a very young man, he was sent to heaven to be rewarded for all eternity. It is true that the young man’s morality, without obedience to God, would not save him (Mt 7:21-23). But the idea that the man who had lived in sin for years without repentance would be in heaven is certainly not a Biblical concept.
Here is how one Baptist explains this doctrine: “We take the position that a Christian’s sins do not damn his soul. The way a Christian lives, what he says, his character, his conduct, or his attitude toward other people have nothing whatever to do with the salvation of his soul.” (Sam Morris, First Baptist Church, Stamford, TX). This absurd suggestion did not come from the mouth of God. What does the Bible have to say about this?
Paul was speaking to Christians in the church at Galatia when he explained that those that try to bind the old law are “severed from Christ,” and “have fallen away from grace” (Gal 5:4). In order to be severed from Christ, they must first have been joined to him. In I Corinthians 8:11-13, Paul warned that we had better not be the reason that a weaker brother stumbles in sin. If we do this, not only can that brother for whom Christ died be “destroyed,” but we also “sin against Christ.” Also, the author of Hebrews wrote “How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?” (Heb 10:29).
The idea that one who becomes a Christian cannot fall from grace and once again be lost in sin is clearly contrary to the teachings of the Bible. It is sad to think about the countless souls that have been convinced that all they must do is say a little prayer (that is also foreign to scripture) and they will be secure in Christ no matter what. There is security in the Lord, but only to those that obey Him (Jn 14:15).
- - - - Darrell Powell