Seven principles to eternal life
Give grave deliberation to the doctrine of Christ, for in doing this, you will save yourself and them that hear you (1 Tim. 4:16). He that abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son (II John 9). Christ’s and the Father’s doctrine are the same, and by doing His will, you will know His doctrine (John 7:16-17).
Satan promotes an attractive but pseudo-Christian religion. It is artfully presented to look like, feel like even smell like true Christianity, but renders one’s Christianity ineffective in the least and an abomination in the most. Paul describes Satan’s false Christianity as a doctrine of devils, heeding seducing spirits promoting traditions, rituals, and creeds, based on lies and is contrary to the doctrine of Christ. Peter warns us to be vigilant, for Satan is constantly looking for those he might destroy (1 Pet. 5:8).
But what is doctrine?
Doctrine: a teaching, belief, creed, dogma, generally accepted as fact. Biblically speaking the doctrine of Christ (truth leading to everlasting life) or a doctrine of devils (lies leading to eternal death, extinction).
Ephesians 4:14 advises us to understand doctrine so that we will be mature in the word and not be deceived by every new thing, enticing revelations, cunningly crafted by the cleverness of men. John 4:24 states that God is a Spirit and must be worshiped in spirit and truth; it takes both for true worship. Paul warns: “though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8).
William Booth, the founder of The Salvation Army, foresaw these times.
“The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be, religion without the holy spirit, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, heaven without hell.”William Booth
Are we there yet?
Verify your beliefs!
A false gospel cannot save but can make you think you are.
Hold to the doctrines you have proven. Beware of contrary doctrines and come to you from impressive speakers, smooth words, deceiving those not well-founded in truth (Rom. 16:17-18, Isaiah 30:10, II Cor. 11:14-15).
Paul chastises the Hebrews because they have become dull of hearing and not ready for meat. While by now they should be teachers, he has to teach them again the first principles of the oracles of God (Heb. 5:8-14).
The first principles:
“Building on the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, “Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment” (Heb. 6:1-2).
We must be retaught these fundamental principles, says Paul, so we’ll be well-founded and skilled in the word, for they have been distorted, diluted, and even bypassed by many Christians.
The voice of one crying in the wilderness, John the Baptist, came preaching repentance (Matt. 3:3). Repentance was the first thing Christ preached when He proclaimed that the time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand (Mk. 1:14). When the question was asked, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent…” (Acts 2:37-38).
Repentance is not an option; it’s a prerequisite, beginning with an honest and sincere admission of guilt and revulsion for previous deeds. It’s with the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:10). “For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation … but the sorrow of the world works death” (II Cor. 7:9-10).
Condemnation awaits those who proclaim Christ’s name in their works rather than repent. “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (lawlessness)” (Matt. 7:21-23).
Is forgiveness without repentance being practiced?
FAITH IN CHRIST!
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 5:11).
Jesus asked, “Whom do men say that I am?” (Mark 8:27).
To some, Jesus Christ is just a name with little meaning; some do not believe in the virgin birth, perhaps a man who attained a higher order. Others say Jesus was just a concept, a divine idea, not actual flesh and blood. Still others claim that He was the angel Michael or Satan’s brother. God’s word calls them deceivers.
Peter’s answer to Jesus was: “Thou art the Christ.”
The false Christs are here now, just as Jesus warned (Matt. 24). He told us how many of them can be exposed by understanding the ordeal of Jonah (a type of Christ). (Matt. 12:40).
“For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:40). Anyone who claims to be or is promoted as being Christ that did not fulfill that sign is a false Christ. The falsity of Easter is thus exposed.
How many days and nights are there between Friday p.m. and Sunday sunrise? The Friday crucifixion is a supposition based on the assumption that the next day was Saturday. If you understand God’s annual high days, you know that Christ, our Passover, was crucified on a Wednesday, the next day being the first day of unleavened bread, a high (Holy) day. He was resurrected Saturday PM, fulfilling the sign of Jonah. Could it be time we examine some of these ‘sacred cows’ that have been handed down to us over the centuries, which we aren’t supposed to question?
Is this Christianity without Christ?
Is cleansing or washing the same as baptism as some modern versions would indicate? Can sprinkling on a little “holy” water accomplish baptism? Some even baptize for the dead, a classic example of building a doctrine on one scripture taken out of context. Think about it, if anyone dead or alive has not believed or repented, what good is baptizing going to do them?
The examples are given in God’s word describe it as an act of obedience, done by immersion after repentance. Jesus chose to be baptized by immersion; isn’t His example adequate?
LAYING ON OF HANDS!
This is the point of conception by the Holy Spirit, the time when we are personally endued with power from on high (Luke 24:49). Consider the Spiritual change in the Apostles after receiving the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, still physical, but spiritual giants boldly facing death and performing miracles, but remember, not all miracles are from God. (Study Deut. 13:1-3; II Thes. 2:8-12 and Matt. 7:2-23). This can be a severe problem for those who look to miracles over God’s word. There are seemingly miraculous exploits performed by some who ignore God’s doctrines.
Try the spirits! “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:20). We see lots of phonies in this area. If they disagree with God’s word, they are certainly suspect.
Wouldn’t this be religion without the Holy Spirit?
By convincing people that they go immediately to either heaven or hell at death, fully conscious opens the door for much demon activity and false doctrine. So we have such deceptions as purgatory, praying to dead saints, séances, reincarnation, spiritual guides, etc. Superstition and uncontrolled emotionalism reign supreme if you choose to believe that death is not like sleep as described in God’s word. Why the need for a future resurrection if the dead are already in heaven? Why does Christ say He will bring His rewards with Him when He comes if the good already have them? This subject requires more than a superficial study.
Do you know the sequences of the resurrections (Rev.20:5-6)? Who is resurrected in the first resurrection? When does it occur? Do you understand why there is both a spiritual and a physical resurrection (Ez. 37)? When will Tyre and Sidon be resurrected (Matt.11:21-24)? Why are some not called now (John 6:44), yet in John 7:37, any who desire are welcomed? Why are some resurrected at His coming while others must wait 1000 years (Rev. 20:5)? Will those who never had a chance to know Christ get their chance? Will the rapture really be secret (1Thes. 4:16)? Are you actually born again if you are still physical (John 3:7-8)? Can you give biblical answers to these questions, if asked?
Are some preaching salvation without regeneration?
The world teaches that the unsaved go to hell at death and continue burning throughout eternity. Why then the need for the great white throne judgment? Wouldn’t that be double jeopardy? Haven’t they already received their sentence? Doesn’t the Bible say they will be ashes under our feet (Mal. 4:3)? Who are those that are exempt from the second death (Rev. 2:11, 20:6)? What is the second death (Rev. 21:8)? When will death and hell be no more (Rev. 20:14)? Can you explain the confusion over the word hell in our English translations?
Growing in grace and knowledge throughout our life is a sequential, step-by-step process (II Pet. 3:18). Having secured these foundations, let’s move on to perfection, which is ultimately reached at the resurrection.
Consider Paul’s mandate in II Timothy 4:1-5, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ … Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (Not striving, but patiently, gently teaching, II Tim. 2:24). For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; … And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (Are there fables practiced in today’s Christian churches?) But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” Remember, by now, we should be teachers, be ready always to give an answer (1 Pet. 3:15).
Although the doctrine of Christ will save you and those who hear you, you will:
cause division with those contrary to Christ’s doctrine (Rom. 16:17).
Be falsely accused (Matt. 24:9).
Be afflicted (II Cor. 4:17).
Be hated for His name’s sake (Luke 21:17).
But take courage, they hated Him too (John 15:18).