A recent program on “The History Channel” highlighted something people ought to remember. Human beings are easily deceived.
The program illustrated its point by showing a few pictures. One of those was of a picture that at first glance appeared to be a picture of former Vice President Al Gore and President Bill Clinton side-by-side. It wasn’t what it appeared to be. Instead, it was two pictures of President Clinton, one with black hair.
The human mind is easily fooled because it basically accepts what it is given without question. Our brains are somewhat lazy. This is how magicians can easily fool audiences with their tricks. On closer examination, the pictures show how the mouths, chins and face shapes are the same. The pictures are of the same man, not of two different men.
The same thing is true in religion. A good example of this is the escape of the prisoners in Acts 16. The Bible tells us how the prisoners were freed and how the jailer was about to kill himself. Paul called out to the jailer and told him to stop. The jailer then asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). In the following verse, Paul said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household,” (Acts 16:31 NKJV).
Many denominational preachers say, “See, that’s all you have to do is to be saved: only believe.”
But a closer examination of the entire text shows baptism is necessary as well (Acts 16:32-34). According to the remainder of the passage, it is clear the jailer and his house repented of their sins, hence the washing of the apostles’ wounds. And, they were baptized.
A continued closer examination of the New Testament teaches faith is necessary to please God (Hebrews 13:3), repentance is necessary along with confession (Acts 2:38; Romans 10:9-10). And baptism is included in every example of conversion given (e.g. Acts 10:48).
Closer examination leads us to confirm the truth. If you haven’t closely examined the scriptures, why not start today by taking your Bible and start reading and studying it? Don’t be fooled by the pretense and sleight of hand being used by the religious world. Study God’s word and find out what you need to do to be saved by yourself.