Forget “Just in case”
By David J. Stewart
Galatians 1:6-7, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ."
There is only one Gospel, not two or three. The word “Gospel” means good news. That is, the good news of God's love which sent His Son into the world to pay for our sins, to make redemption possible. 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 defines the Gospel as the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Note: All Scripture references are from the trustworthy King James Bible). Whereas mankind had sinned and was condemned by God's Law to burn in Hell for all eternity, God made a way of escape through the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, Whose precious blood taketh away the sins of the world. There is only one plan of salvation. There is only one way to Heaven—through faith in Jesus Christ. There are many perversions of the Gospel, but they are not good news, they are bad news.
I have heard many people in my lifetime make the statement that they were doing additional things besides solely trusting Christ for salvation... “just in case” faith wasn't enough to get them to Heaven. Such thinking is evidence of unbelief. Those people had never been saved to begin with. If a person is trusting anything apart from the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive their sins, then they are still hellbound in their sins.
I remember reading in the Chicago Sun Times during the first gulf war that many of the troops were getting baptized “just in case” they died in battle. Folks, that is damnable heresy. If you are relying on anything as a backup plan to get you into Heaven, then you are not trusting Jesus Christ. To add good works, church membership, the sacraments, water baptism or anything else to faith alone in Christ Jesus for salvation is a guaranteed road to the Lake of Fire. Many people fear going to Hell and think that they will be safe by doing everything everyone says one must do to get to Heaven. The truth is that we are all sinners in need of forgiveness. Salvation is about having one's sins forgiven by God. The reality of sin must be death with.
The popular belief is that God will pardon anyone who sincerely does their best in life. Nothing could be further from the truth of God's Word. Isaiah 64:6 plainly teaches that all of our self-righteousness is filth to God. This is because no amount of good works can remedy the sins one has committed. Sin must be paid for. A crime against God has been committed. This is why God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay our sin-debt. Thankfully, the price has been paid. Eternal life is a free gift, freely available to anyone who is willing to acknowledge their guilt of sin and come to God the Father by way of God the Son. There is no other name on earth by which a person can be saved other than Jesus Christ (Acts 4:10-12).
So I say to you friend, forget the notion of adding anything as a backup plan to get to Heaven. Forget the idea of getting water baptized or doing good deeds “just in case” your faith is insufficient. God has promised to save all who call (i.e., appeal unto) the name of the Lord to be saved (Romans 10:13). If you come to God the Father by way of the Son to have your sins forgiven, then you will be saved (John 1:12; 14:6). There can be no salvation apart from Jesus Christ. No amount of sincerity can get a person to Heaven apart from Christ (2nd Thessalonians 1:8-9).
I am trusting the Lord for my salvation. I have no backup plan. All my faith is in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. I am not doing anything in hopes of bettering my chances of going to Heaven. Sadly, many people are doing just that. Please understand that salvation is a promise from God (Titus 1:2), a certainty and a guarantee to those who believe on the Lord Jesus as the Christ to forgive their sins. The Bible teaches that we can KNOW that we are saved (1st John 5:13). This is because salvation is of the Lord and not mankind. Our part is simply to believe upon the Lord with a childlike faith and then God does the rest. It is not what we are doing that gets us to Heaven; but rather, where we are looking. Look to Jesus (Isaiah 45:22).
Forget “just in case” and rely exclusively upon the Lord Jesus and His work of redemption. 1st Peter 1:18-19, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” God doesn't need any help in the salvation department.
1st Corinthians 1:21 states, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” What an interesting Scripture. The Bible says that men by their wisdom know not God. The preaching of the Gospel is utter foolishness to the lost world. But the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to us who believe (Romans 1:16). The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the key to Heaven's door (John 10:1,9). Trust Jesus!!! Forget doing anything else “just in case.”