By Jack Glover
Yesterday, while watching a parade, I noticed a lady circulating through the crowd and passing out something. After much time had passed (long parade), I felt a tap on my shoulder, and the lady handed me a small tract with the title in the headline for this article.
The tract continued:
Did you know that it only takes 30 sincere seconds or less of your life to assure you have a place in HEAVEN for all ETERNITY? This is SERIOUS BUSINESS for you and for me … so PLEASE READ HERE and you will find THE VALUE DEAL OF ALL ETERNITY!
When it comes to a serious matter such as: Eternal Life – or – Death, Heaven – or – Hell, there is only one place to go to get THE TRUTH.
The tract then quoted John 8:32 and II Tim. 3:16 before making the following points:
- The Bible says all have sinned (Ecc. 7:20, Rom. 3:23)
- Where did sin come from? (Rom. 5:12, Rom. 5:19)
- The Bible says God sent his Son to pay for our sins (Rom. 5:8, Gal. 1:4)
- The Bible says we have natural and spiritual bodies (I Cor. 15:44, John 3:6, 4:24)
- The Bible says God knows every thought and sees everything you do (I Chron. 28:9, Prov. 15:3)
- What must we do to take care of our sin to assure eternal spiritual life? (John 3:16, Rom. 10:13, Acts 16:31)
Then came the question and a suggested answer to it:
Will you call upon the Lord now and reserve your Eternal Life Assurance Policy? Pray this prayer:
Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner. I do believe that Jesus Christ died for me to pay my sin debt, and the best I know how, I trust him now as my Savior, and to take me to Heaven when I die.
After I read the tract, I wondered how many people in the crowd were, or would be, led to believe the message presented. After all, scriptures were quoted. People were told the Bible was the place to get the truth, that they were in sin and that Jesus died to redeem them, all of which is true.
The problem was in the rest of the tract — that all they had to do to heed the message was to pray a short prayer. Thirty-second salvation could be obtained while the bands in the parade marched on!
Here are the problems with the tract:
- Salvation cannot be assured to anyone in 30 seconds. It requires faithfulness until death. (Rev. 2:10)
- The scriptures never teach salvation can be reserved by prayer, and no prayer like the one above is found in the Bible.
- It teaches that once one decides to serve Christ he/she cannot fall. Notice the words “assure,” “eternal life assurance policy.” The Bible teaches the opposite. (Gal. 5:4; I Tim. 4:1)
- It doesn’t tell “the rest of the story” — that much more is required of anyone who desires a home in heaven. (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:15-16; Rom. 10:9-10; Rev. 2:10)
- The tract’s definition of “calling on the Lord” is wrong. It defines the idea as saying a few words in a man-made prayer. In reality, calling on the Lord is better defined as what we do when we obey his commandments. Paul was calling on the name of the Lord when he was baptized (Acts 22:16). Also, we note that if “calling” assured one a place in heaven by mere words, Jesus must be wrong when he says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter” (Matt. 7:21).
- The tract contains false doctrine that will cause those who follow its advice to lose access to heaven, not go there.
Do you want to go to heaven? If so, then God requires obedience to all His commands. Telling Jesus that you are a sinner and believing He died for your sins is necessary (it’s called confession, Rom. 10:9-10), but so are the commands to be baptized for remission of sins, repentance (Acts 2:38) and living obediently (Eph. 4:1).