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God's Open Door Policy

A nation may have an “open door policy” in its dealings with certain other nations regarding commerce and trade, but God has a different type of “open door policy.” Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the door to the church, to salvation, to heaven and to eternal life (John 10:7-10). He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). The Scriptures also state, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). It is important that we emphasize that Christ is the only Savior, the only Redeemer in whom there is salvation, because multitudes of souls have been misguided and are seeking salvation elsewhere.

When we say that God has an “open door policy,” it is because God’s invitation is extended to all people. Through the Scriptures, God offers salvation to anyone who believes and obeys His Word. “God so loved the world [everybody] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever [get that “whoever”] believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men [all the earth’s inhabitants] (Titus 2:11). He “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 2:4). “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say,

‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). Those terms “whoever,” “all men,” etc. should cause people to realize the indiscriminate open door policy invitation of the gospel. There is not one soul in this whole world that God is not concerned about, and the same is true in each generation of time.

One of the major problems is that many people simply do not believe the Bible but have been deceived by false teachers who proclaim “You don’t have to be a Christian to be saved” or “You don’t have to be baptized to be saved” or “One church is just as good as another.” God has an “open door policy” for the salvation of anyone who will comply with the terms He has given in the New Testament Scriptures. The Old Testament Law that was given to the nation of Israel is not binding on Christians. It is now obsolete (Hebrews 8:13). “We have been delivered from the law” (Romans 7:6). “He [Christ] has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14). The New Covenant that God promised in Jeremiah 31 is now in effect, and the offer of salvation is open to all who submit to the plan of God revealed in the New Testament Scriptures.

People must have a Bible based faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). The Scriptures identify Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, who came from heaven to earth to be our Savior. He said, “If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). But faith alone will not save a man. Saving faith demands action, obedience (James 2:17, 20, 26). God’s plan of salvation requires that we repent of our sins (2 Peter 3:9, Luke 13:3,5), confess our faith (Romans 10:9-10) as did the man from Ethiopia (Acts 8:37), and be baptized (Acts 2:38).

How can people believe that baptism is not essential for salvation? Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). The command is recorded. “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Again, “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). The apostle Peter commanded those gathered at the home of Cornelius to be baptized (Acts 10:48). In obedience to the instructions to be baptized, we have the specific record of about 3,000 who were baptized on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41). Men and women were baptized at Samaria (Acts 8:12-13). The Ethiopian eunuch was baptized (Acts 8:38). Saul of Tarsus, later called Paul, was baptized (Acts 9:18). Lydia and her household were baptized (Acts 16:15). The jailer at Philippi and all his family were baptized (Acts 16:33). And everyone since that time who has obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine, the gospel of Jesus Christ, has been baptized.

Many people consider themselves to be Christians but have never been baptized as commanded and exemplified in the Scriptures. I find no Scripture of people being in Christ unless they were baptized, but Galatians 3:27 does teach that “as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” And it is “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7). Without Him there is no promise of salvation, but rather the God given warnings of the eternal fires of hell. The way to eternal life is narrow (Matthew 7:13-14) but the door is still open. “Now is the day of salvation”

(2 Corinthians 6:2). Submit yourself to the Lord and obey the gospel while there is time and opportunity and the door is still open.

Ordaining Deacons

Your Ship Has Docked?