Does It Make A Difference What You Believe?
By Ralph Blackwell
Nurse the baby on milk or coffee. Shine your shoes with black or tan polish. It’s all the same!
Drink paregoric or ginger ale. Eat cereals or limburger for breakfast. Go to church or don’t go.
It doesn’t make any difference!
But that doesn’t make sense. Everybody knows that coffee is far too strong for a baby-and tan polish on black shoes will make an awful mess–everybody knows that a glass of paregoric would more than likely kill a horse–that limburger is a little strong as a breakfast food–but so many people stop right there.
They will say that whether or not you go to church-that is your own business, and it doesn’t make much difference in the long run. Which is so much nonsense.
God put us here. We are here for a purpose. We must find out what that is. We are in the driver’s seat, behind the wheel, and if we do not find out how to steer, what road to take, we are bound to crack up sooner or later.
We all know that there will be life after death–an everlasting life. Wouldn’t we be foolish if we didn’t try to find out something about it? So many of -us jump off at the deep end without having the least idea of what is in store for US.
If we decide on a new car, we think a long time before we decide on a Ford, Pontiac, or Buick. Why, if we only want a new rug for the dining room we visit one store after another. But when it comes to everlasting life -that is when we close our eyes and hope for the best.
Suppose you should wake up some day and find yourself in Hell!
Not a very pleasant thought, but then all truth is not pleasant.
Right now there are over 4,000,000 (four million) people who agree that there is a hell (quoted from Richard Ginder). Maybe you don’t-and maybe you’re wrong. You see there are some things we just have to face-and you would get quite a jolt if you were to wake up on the other side of the grave to find that you had spent this life barking up the wrong tree -to find that you were one of those standing on the left of the judge, instead of the right. It’s possible, you know! There is such a thing as a fool’s paradise.
The people of France, for instance, lived there until they woke up one day and found Hitler’s legions marching down the main streets of Paris. They had thought France-could not lose. Until the last they had thought their armies were unbeatable. They were surprised, and painfully! How can you be sure you won’t some day get a like uncomfortable surprise?
Perhaps you already go to church. Perhaps you are a devout Christian. In that event, we take off our hats to you. You are to be congratulated –praised for your piety and devotion in an age gone pleasure mad. If you can find time for God now, be sure that He will find time for you later; and if you own Him in this life, He will own you in the next.
Do you believe that yours is the right church? If you’re Baptist, what reasons do you have for not being a Methodist? And if you’re a Methodist, why aren’t you a Presbyterian? Have you ever thought about that? Or are you one of that kind of souls who says, “It doesn’t make any difference what church you go to; we’re all headed for Heaven, but by different paths?”
I wonder if Jesus Christ would agree.
Is it not right, then, to say that we are all going to Heaven, but by different roads? Suppose four of us want to get to New York. One of us takes a south bound train–another drives due north; one goes westward -and one of us goes to the Station (Bible), asks about the proper routing, buys a ticket (gets born again) and gets there in the surest possible way.
There is a right way of doing things,, and if Jesus came to earth that He might lead men to God, then you may be sure that He mapped out the only possible route, and told man all about it. And if the idea of four people starting off for, New York in-four different directions strikes us as queer, how must it seem to God, looking down on us struggling toward Heaven-one believing that it is a mere outward form; another, that there is a hell -and others, that there is not; all this, after Jesus cam to earth and told us just what was what about the whole thing.
No, there are Methodists and Presbyterians, Baptists and United Brethren, Episcopalians and Catholics, Mormons and Christian Scientists, and all kinds of people teaching all kinds of things. They can’t all be right. If they all agreed, they could all unite; they are all different, and they all claim to have the truth.
If a man has any kind of head on his shoulders, he’ll see that Jesus would want him to find the right Church–THE ONLY CHURCH!
It is not enough to say- “MY father’s church is good enough for me,” Suppose St. Paul had said that! Suppose the Romans, and the Ephesians, and the Corinthians had felt that way when the Apostles first preached to them.
It might be that one of your forefathers made a mistake, or let politics get in the way of his better judgment or was forced against his will from one Church to another. No, each man must make the quest for himself.
Which church is the right church?
Now, let’s do a little researching. If you are- a Methodist, ‘when-was the Methodist founded? It was founded about 1720; or 1687 years after the Ascension of Christ.
Are you a Baptist? When was that Church founded? It was founded about the year 1608. Are you a Lutheran’ That Church was founded about 1520. Are you a Catholic? The Catholic Church was founded about 325 A.D. It is believed there are about two hundred and fifty denominations which have branched from the Roman Catholic Church which was founded two hundred and ninety-two years after Christ, who was the founder of the true and living Church, founded about thirty-three A.D. at the day of Pentecost (Acts second chapter) with Saint Peter as the chief Apostle, which authority was given unto him by Jesus Christ, Matthew 16:18, 19, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.”
This is the beginning of the First Church–The Only Church. and God added to the Church daily such as should be saved. Acts 2:47.
Now just what must we do to get in the Church? The Lord said, “Through David, we must be born into it.” Psalms 87:5,6.
Jesus also said, “Ye must be born again of water and of the Spirit.” Saint John 3:3 to 7.
How are we born again?
Peter had the keys to the kingdom –so we will turn to the second chapter of Acts, 37th to 39th verses. “As they became pricked in their hearts they said unto Peter and the rest of the Apostles: Men and Brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter told them: Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (being born of the water) and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, (being born of the Spirit), this promise is unto you and your children, and to them that are afar off (Gentiles -Ephesians 2:13) and as many as the Lord, our God shall call. And God added to the Church daily such as should be saved. Acts 2:47.
When you were baptized in the water you knew it -and no one could tell you that you were mistaken about being baptized. Likewise, you should he just as sure when you receive the Holy Ghost. Now, let’s see how the Apostles received the Holy Ghost, and knew it!
Acts 2:4 says, they spake in other tongues as the Spirit (Holy Ghost) gave utterance. In the 13th verse the multitude mocking, said these men are full of new wine, but in the 15th through 17th verses, Peter said these are not drunken, but the Prophet Joel spoke of this day. Let’s see how Cornelius received the Holy Ghost, a Gentile convert, Acts 10th chapter, 44th through 48th verses. These also that came with Peter heard them speak with tongues, as the Holy Ghost was poured out upon them, and they were astonished, believing salvation was not for the Gentiles.
But Peter commanded them to be baptized, saying, they had received the Holy Ghost the same as they had. Acts 2:4.
Then we find again in Acts 19th chapter, 6th verse, that the converts of Paul received the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. And also in Acts 8th chapter, 17th through 19th verses, we find one called Simon who saw something, when they received the Holy Ghost, and desired to buy it with money.
There is a sure way of knowing. Search the Scriptures, make your calling and election sure. God’s spirit will bear witness with your spirit. (Your mind and understanding is your spirit.) Romans 8:16.
As you read this I pray the Lord will give you an understanding that it does make a difference what you believe.
The Above Material Is A Private Tract Written By Ralph Blackwell. This Material Is Copyrighted And May Be Used For Study & Research Purposes Only.