Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 11, 1963

The Safe Course

James A. Allen

If it turns out in the end that the Bible is false, and that Jesus Christ was an impostor, then the Christian has lost nothing. If there is no God, no Christ, no Holy Spirit, no truth in the Bible, no heaven, no hell, but only eternal nothingness, the Christian certainly will fare as well as others.

But, if it turns out that the Bible is true, as many infallible proofs demonstrate it to be, then what? Those who have not believed it, and conformed to its holy teaching, must lament their eternal suicide, world without end.

If it turns out that people do not have to take the Bible for just what it says, but that just most any old thing is acceptable In the sight of God, then certainly those who conscientiously endeavor to go by what the Bible says have nothing to lose and will certainly fare as well hereafter as others. God cannot be displeased by a man's striving to do what His Word tells him to do.

But, if it turns out that every word in the Bible is true and that God actually means exactly what he says, then what a predicament are those in who have taken the Bible loosely, and who have thought that just any old thing in religion would do!

If it turns out that it does not make any difference what church a man joins, but that he may join any church of his own choice, then the man who chooses to be a member of the ancient, apostolic New Testament church, that Jesus built upon the Rock and that every Christian was a member of in New Testament times, certainly has nothing to lose. If the Lord does not care what church a man is a member of, certainly the man who belongs to the primitive, New Testament church, has nothing to lose.

But, if it turns out that God, in the judgment, will recognize just one church and that this one church is the church spoken of in the Bible, then what about those who live and die as members of other churches, which the Bible does not even mention? Jesus said: "Every plant which my heavenly Father planted not, shall be rooted up." (Matthew 14:13) It will be a desperate thing for a man if the judgment finds him in a church that the heavenly Father did not plant.

If it turns out in the judgment that sprinkling or pouring will do as a substitute for baptism, then the man who is immersed can lose nothing. All agree that immersion is baptism. Jesus was immersed. All of the apostles and early Christians were immersed. Paul says, "We were buried" and "raised," as Christ was buried in Joseph's tomb and raised from the dead (See Romans 6:4)

But if it turns out that God will not accept a substitute, and that those who have had a few drops of water sprinkled or poured on them have not been baptized, then what? Jesus commands every creature to believe and be baptized. Is it safe to go to the judgment unbaptized in direct violation of the commandment of Him who will be the Judge on that dread day?

"And I saw the dead, the great and the small standing before the throne; and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works." (Rev. 21:12) Every man must face the Bible in the judgment. Hence every man, if he values his eternal destiny, had better become familiar with the Bible. Something might be in it that he does not know is there. And again he might think something is there when it is not. He cannot plead ignorance, because if he is ignorant, he himself is responsible for it. God has given him the Bible and commands him to study it. If he will study the teachings of the inspired apostles he will find his duty made so plain that "the wayfaring men, yea fools, shall not err therein," "that he may run that readeth it."

There is, then, amidst all the confusion and uncertainties of the religious world, a course that men may follow that is infallibly safe. This course is to read and study the Bible, believe and do what it actually says and refuse to have anything to do with anything that cannot be found therein. "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God." (1 Peter 4:11)

Under the preaching of the apostles every one who believed in Jesus was commanded to "Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins." There was not one exception. All penitent believers were baptized. Then God added them to the church. They were in the fold, saved and safe for time and eternity. To pursue any other course is to build upon the sinking sand.