Therefore leaving 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 resurrection of the dead, and of eternal
Faith is much more than easy
believism. A true, saving faith bears fruit in acts of
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.
For in Christ Jesus neither
circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The
only thing that counts is faith expressing itself
Galatians 5:6 (NIV)
Faith "alone" is not
enough. A true assurance of salvation involves sincere
repentance as well. Repentance is much more than "a
change of mind about who Christ is." It involves a
change in the pattern of sin, or as Acts 3:26 says,
"turning away every one of you from his
Now after that John was put in
prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel
of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is
fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent
ye, and believe the gospel.
Repent ye therefore, and be
converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when
the times of refreshing shall come from the presence
of the Lord;.... Unto you first God, having raised up
his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away
every one of you from his iniquities.
Acts 3:19 & 26
Bring forth therefore fruits
worthy of repentance
A believer's willingness to be
baptized has a direct bearing on their salvation. Is this
taught in your church?
Whosoever therefore shall
confess me before men, him will I confess also before
my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall
deny me before men, him will I also deny before my
Father which is in heaven.
And now why tarriest thou?
Arise, and be baptized, and wash away they sins,
calling on the name of the Lord.
In it [the ark] only a few
people, eight in all, were saved through water, and
this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you
also -- not the removal of dirt from the body but the
pledge of a good conscience toward God.
I Peter 3:21 (NIV)
Laying on of Hands
Hebrews 6 refers to baptisms
[plural]. The gift of the Holy Spirit is legitimately
conveyed by the formal ordinance of laying on hands. Is
this practiced in your church?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily,
I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of
the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Then laid they their hands on
them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when
Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles'
hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them
And when Paul had laid his
hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and
they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
Neglect not the gift that is in
thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the
laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
I Timothy 4:14
Laying on hands to administer to
the sick is also a practice of Christ's true church. Is
this done in your church?
Is any sick among you? Let him
call for the elders of the church; and let them pray
over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the
Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick,
and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have
committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
In Christ's true church, laying on
hands is the means that God uses to ordain ministers.
Does your church follow this biblical pattern?
And when they had fasted and
prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them
Whom they set before the
apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their
hands on them.
Resurrection of the Dead
Behold, I show you a mystery;
We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last
trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead
shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be
changed. For this corruptible must put on
incorruption, and this mortal must put on
I Corinthians 15:51-53
It is appointed unto man once
to die, but after this the judgment.
It is common for our evangelical
friends to use passages like John 5:24 and Romans 8:1 as
prooftexts to say that "believers" will be
exempted from the judgment that the rest of the world
will face. Many maintain that there will be a separate
"believers' judgment" solely for the purpose of
determining rewards. Some evangelical teachers even
maintain that there will be anywhere from three to twelve
separate judgments. If this is the case, then Hebrews
9:27 incorrectly refers to "the" judgment.
While it is true that believers who
faithfully endure to the end will find forgiveness and
eternal life through the atonement of Christ, there is no
passage in the Bible that says believers will have an
exemption from the judgment that others face. II
Corinthians 5:10 is said to be a reference to this
For we must all appear before
the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may
receive what is due him for the things done while in
the body, whether good or bad.
II Corinthians 5:10
First of all, this is not just a
special judgment for believers, but for all people.
Secondly, this passage does not simply refer to a
judgment of rewards. The words "or bad" even
indicate the possibility that they might receive
something other than a reward. But in addition, there are
many other verses that indicate this theory of a special
exemption cannot be substantiated:
For the time is come that judgment
must begin at the house of God: and if it first
begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey
not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely
be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner
I Peter 4:17-18
And whatsoever ye do, do it
heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing
that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the
inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he
that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he
hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
But as he which hath called you
is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And
if ye call on the Father, who without respect of
persons judgeth according to every man's
work pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.
I Peter 1:17
If we [believers] deliberately
keep on sinning after we have received the
knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is
left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and
of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without
mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How
much more severely do you think a man deserves to be
punished who has trampled the Son of God under
foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the
blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and
who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him
who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will
repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his
people." It is a dreadful thing to fall into
the hands of the living God.
Hebrews 10:26-31 (NIV)
Do not be fooled. Judgment must
begin at the house of God. As to the criteria by which we
are judged, God is no respecter of persons. He will judge
according to every man's work. Even those who have
"received the knowledge of the truth" and been
"sanctified" and are "his people"
will face the same judgment that others must encounter.
It is obvious that this is not simply a judgment of
Believers will not be exempted from
the judgment that the rest of the world has to face. For
the benefit of those who have not read all of the above
questions and answers, the following additional
information about eternal judgment is provided:
Then shall the King say unto
them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my
Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the
foundation of the world: for I was an hungered, and
ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink:
I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye
clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in
prison, and ye came unto me...... Then shall he say
also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye
cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil
and his angels: for I was an hungered, and ye gave me
no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I
was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye
clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited
me not...... And these shall go away into everlasting
punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Matthew 25:34-36, 41-43 & 46
Who are the righteous that pass on
to life eternal? Christ seems to indicate that it is
those who believe and bear the fruit of obedience in
their lives. Obedience will be a criterion for judgment.
This is not just a criterion for judging non-believers.
Nothing in this passage suggests that believers will be
given a free pass to escape this judgment.
If we deliberately keep on
sinning after we have received the knowledge of the
truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a
fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire
that will consume the enemies of God.
Hebrews 10:26 (NIV)
A just God will judge each person
based on how they have individually responded and will
apply the same standard to all people.