Is it “easier” to get into heaven or into the Baptist Church? Well, according to a book-marker sized tract that I have the Baptist Church is a little more particular than heaven when it comes to what a person must do to enjoy membership with them!
The book-marker tells its reader “How to Join” the particular “First Baptist Church” that the tract came from. And even though it’s not the gospel there’s good news for those who are interested because there are four ways that this can be done: 1) Profession of Faith and Baptism which says “I have accepted Christ and would like to join ________ and be baptized by immersion.” 2) Baptism from Another Denomination which says, “I am a Christian but have never been baptized by immersion. I would like to join and be baptized by immersion.” 3) Transfer of Letter which says, “I am a member of a Southern Baptist church and would like to transfer my membership to ______.” and 4) Statement of Faith which says , “I am a Christian and have been baptized by immersion. I would like to join ______.”
That’s some interesting stuff to me for several reasons, but the primary one is that apparently it’s easier (fewer restrictions/requirements) to get saved and become a member of the kingdom of God than it is to become a member at that particular Baptist Church! For according to them Heaven doesn’t require a person to be immersed to enjoy salvation but immersion is required to enjoy their fellowship.
The truth of the matter, when it comes to salvation and faith and baptism, is that if one desires to become a child of God and be added to his church then one does not have to worry with meeting the guidelines or requirements of man; all one has to do is listen to the instructions that a Holy Spirit inspired preacher gave so long ago when he told a salvation seeking people, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)
According to the scriptures of God a person is not saved and then baptized – they are baptized and then they are saved! Acts 2:41,42 goes on to proclaim, “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” This is in complete harmony with Mark 16:16. And that is completely contrary to what the Baptist Church teaches.
So although, according to their own teaching, it may be easier to become a Christian than to become a member of the Baptist Church, the real question should be, “Do I want to be added to a man-made church by their rules and regulations, or do I want to be added to God’s church by the Lord?” Because the answer that one receives to the latter will not be the same answer that one receives to the former. Let heaven declare the particulars and the way to salvation will be revealed by the word of the Lord.
“…And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47)