That depends on what you’ve done with Jesus.
The question that we have decided to answer this week is one that was submitted to us from the web site. Our viewer asked the following question:
Hello Pastor Welder,
I ‘m hoping you can help clear up something for me. I was raised in the Methodist church, and have thought for years that I was on my way to heaven, because I agree that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He died, was buried and then raised from the dead for our sins. Now, after hearing some of your broadcasts, I’m not so sure. Exactly what else do I need to do or believe?
Here is how we answered this man’s question.
I spent 5 years as a member of a Methodist Church in Beeville. We said the Apostles Creed every Sunday, which professes all of the things that you believe. However, there were many there who were not saved. I don’t say that judgmentally; I say that because after I began serving the Lord I started witnessing to a good many Methodists and found that some were saved and many were lost. The reason is that they based their salvation on something they had to “do,” as you asked in your question. They relied on their baptism, church membership, church attendance, beliefs in the fundamental doctrines you espouse and so forth. But they never “received Jesus Christ.” The Bible says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name,” (Jn 1:12).
Let me suggest two things. If you are saved, I certainly don’t want to convince you that you need to get saved again. Yet, I don’t want you to be a lost man who thinks that he is saved when he is not. So, since I don’t know which you are I can only trust that you will check these out. First, on our web site we have a link for Eternal Life (on the lower left hand side of the home page). Read that tract. Second, after you have read the tract, give me a call. I’ll gladly walk through a few verses in the Bible with you and then you can determine for yourself whether you need to be saved or whether you are already saved.
Several years ago, a Lutheran who believed what you believe called me and said that he was lost and needed to be saved. We went through the verses on salvation. He trusted Christ as his Saviour and today he is happily serving the Lord and assured that heaven is his home.
I look forward to hearing from you. My number is 361-241-6100
Pastor Bevans Welder
Now let’s expand just a little on the answer, so that you will glean a little more. Years ago, you could have heard a Methodist, Baptist, or Presbyterian pastor preach and you would have had a hard time discerning any difference among them. Three notable pastors from these different denominations were John Wesley, Charles H. Spurgeon and T. Dewitt Talmage. We have published sermons from each of these preachers in the library and they are all doctrinally sound and excellent for the soul.
Today, however, you can attend churches from these three different groups and you’ll be lucky if you hear the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ plainly and simply preached in two of them more than twice in five years. That’s the number of times we heard the clear preaching of the gospel in the church we attended in the five years we were there. That’s sad, man.
When we have asked any of the Methodists that we have dealt with about their assurance of going to heaven, they have responded uniformly, “I hope so.” But, for the most part, they weren’t sure. The reason they weren’t sure is that most of them were counting on their baptism and personal righteousness to get them to heaven. And, as you know, water baptism can’t save you and we have no personal righteousness or goodness when it comes to convincing God to let us into heaven (Rom 10:3-4).
No matter what your church background is, you will not get to heaven apart from trusting the completed work of Jesus Christ on Calvary to save your soul. We have found that, in dealing with the Methodists to whom we have had the opportunity to witness, several of these dear souls have come to Christ by simply responding to an invitation to receive Jesus Christ after hearing the clear preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They realized that repeating the Apostles Creed each Sunday didn’t result in them putting their faith in what they professed to believe.
If you find yourself in the same case as the fellow that wrote us this week, we urge you to do the same thing that we recommended that he do. Read our tract on Eternal Life linked on the home page and call us. We’d be delighted to show you how to receive Jesus Christ as YOUR Savior.
Hope this helps,
Pastor Bevans Welder