Presbyterian Church Doctrines And Beliefs
The Presbyterian Church began in Scotland in 1560 under the leadership of John Knox. The Presbyterian Church gets its name from the Greek word ďpresbuterosĒ which means ďelderĒ. Instead of the Bible they are governed by the Westminister Confession of Faith which was revised in 1967. It is a strange thing that the Presbyterian Church claims to believe the Bible to be God's word, but at the same time they take their man-made denominational creed over what God says in the Bible. John Calvin did not begin the Presbyterian Church, but he laid the foundation for much of its doctrine. Many of the Presbyterian beliefs came from Calvin. John Calvin is the founder of the doctrine called Calvinism as is represented in the word TULIP. Calvinís false doctrine can be summed up in five points: 1) Total Depravity, 2) Unconditional Election, 3) Limited Atonement, 4) Irresistible Grace, and 5) Perseverance of the Saints.
From Calvinism they believe that God has predestined and foreordained from the beginning of the world those individual people who are to be saved and those to be lost. But this contradicts what the Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:3-4, "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." God "desires all men to be saved", but each person makes the choice to obey God and go to Heaven or not to obey Him and be eternally lost in Hell. They falsely teach that because God has already selected the individual people who are to be saved they believe the Holy Spirit acts directly upon the heart of the individual to persuade him to obey the gospel. They believe that one cannot fall from Godís grace and be lost, but the Bible says differently in Galatians 5:4.
Their "baptismal mode" is usually sprinkling or pouring. Sprinkling or pouring is not a scriptural baptism. The original Greek word used in the Bible is BAPTIZO which is translated baptize. BAPTIZO only means to immerse and does not mean to sprinkle or pour. The Bible says, "Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there" (John 3:23). The baptism of the Bible requires enough water to bury a person. Also we read in Romans 6:4, "Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism". One is not buried in baptism by having a few drops of water sprinkled or poured on his head. One who has been sprinkled or poured has not been baptized and still has every sin he has ever committed and is still lost. Sprinkling or pouring is not baptism at all. Satan has many ways of causing people to be eternally lost.
The Presbyterians say one is saved by "faith only". But what does the Bible say about "faith only"? James 2:24, 26 says, "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith onlyÖFor as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." The purpose of Presbyterian "baptism" is to join the Presbyterian Church. With Presbyterian "baptism", one is not "baptized into one body" (1 Corinthians 12:13) which is the Lord's one church (Ephesians 1:21-22), but he is "baptized" into the Presbyterian Church, which is a counterfeit church. Since Presbyterian "baptism" is not done for the purpose of forgiveness of oneís sins and to be saved, then with Presbyterian "baptism", oneís sins are not forgiven and one is not saved. One still has every sin he has ever committed and is still lost. One has only joined one of Satan's many counterfeit churches.
They practice infant "baptism". They sprinkle or pour water on infants and call it "baptism". Infants do not have any sin and are not candidates for baptism because they cannot believe. In Acts 8:36-37 a question is asked and the answer given, ďSee here is water, what hinders me from being baptized? Then Philip said, If you believe with all your heart you mayĒ. An infant cannot believe with all his heart and he does not have any sin that needs to be washed away. When a person who was sprinkled as an infant becomes accountable and begins to sin, he thinks he does not need to ďrepent and be baptized for the remission of sinsĒ (Acts 2:38). Since he himself does not obey the Lordís command to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of his sins, he still has every sin he has ever committed and is still lost. Satan has many ways of causing people to be eternally lost.
Where Will You Spend Eternity?
Our soul is worth more than the whole world and everything in it. Jesus says in Matthew 16:26, "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" Our soul is the part of us that is going to live on forever and ever throughout all eternity. Jesus says concerning the lost, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life" (Matthew 25:46). Everlasting punishment in Hell and eternal life in Heaven will both be forever and ever, without end. We cannot afford to lose our soul and be eternally punished in Hell.
If you were to die today do you know for certain, without a doubt, that you would go to Heaven? We will not accidentally go to Heaven. This is a question about which we cannot afford to be wrong, because eternity is very permanent. One day each of us will know the true answer to this question, "For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ" (Romans 14:10). Everyone of us have two appointments that have already been made for us and that we will definitely keep. They are, "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). These two appointments: death and judgment cannot be canceled; we will keep them.
The Bible says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death" (Proverbs 14:12). Our feelings are not a safe guide, but only the Bible is. We must not make an error concerning our eternal salvation in following what "seems right" to us, or that we "feel in our hearts we are saved". We will not have a second chance on the Day of Judgment to make things right. We have to get it right in this life. We are told in Amos 4:12, "Prepare to meet your God". On Judgment Day we will be either prepared or unprepared. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. We cannot hope or wish our way into Heaven.
The Lord doesnít want anyone to be lost. God "desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (2 Timothy 2:4). If one is lost in Hell, he will only have himself to blame, but the majority of people will be eternally lost. Jesus warns us in Matthew 7:13-14 to, "Enter by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." This gets my attention. Jesus says the vast majority of people will end up being eternally lost in Hell and only few saved. Sadly the majority of people are walking the wide road into eternal damnation and donít realize it. We must take this warning from God very seriously.
Jesus goes on to warn us that, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord', shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven." (Matthew 7:21). Just calling our Lord will not get us into Heaven, but we must do the will of the "Father in heaven". The will of the Father in heaven is found in our Bibles and not in the Baptist Manual. Jesus says many people who thought they were saved will be pleading desperately with Him and saying, "Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name and done many wonders in your name? And I will declare to them, I never knew you depart from Me." (Matthew 7:22-23). Such a tragedy!! Where are these people to go if they are told to depart from the Lord? Into eternal punishment. Why were they told to depart? The answer is found back in verse 21 and it is because they had not done "the will of My Father in heaven."
This earthly life is so short, but eternity is forever and ever without end. Godís word says, "Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even as a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away" (James 4:14). This life here on earth is very short. Please don't be eternally lost in eternal torments of Hell.
Many Conflicting Beliefs
There is so much confusion in this world pertaining to religious beliefs, which can be traced to an ignorance of Godís word or ignoring what it says. How could anyone conclude that scripture authorizes the abandonment of God's plan as found in the Bible? Jesus warns us against allowing the authority of the traditions of men to determine doctrine. He says, "Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your traditionÖAnd in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:6, 9). All of the many doctrines that have come from men are vain and useless. Any doctrine that teaches anything more than, less than, or anything different from what Godís word teaches in the Bible is false doctrine, which is designed by Satan to cause people to be eternally lost in Hell. Any person who is interested in his soulís salvation can not afford to follow any of the many false doctrines that are being taught today, but will have a genuine interest to know the truth which is found only in the Bible.
Godís word warns us to "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheepís clothing" (Matthew 7:15), and "many false prophets have gone out in the world" (1 John 4:1). There is so much false doctrine being taught today, which many people blindly accept. On the Day of Judgment we are going to be judged only by what the Lord says in the Bible and not what men falsely teach. Jesus says, "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him: the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day" (John 12:48). So, if we or any other person cannot point to it in the word of God, then please do not believe it, because there is too much at stake ó your SOUL !!
The Bible warns us "that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men" (Ephesians 4:14). Man cannot be pleasing to God and be saved by dreaming up his own plan as to how God is going to save him. We must follow Godís plan and only Godís plan if we expect to be saved. Christ is only "the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him" (Hebrews 5:9). If we follow any of the many plans men have devised we will be eternally lost. Our salvation in Heaven is too great to lose, because if we donít go to Heaven we will spend forever and ever in the torments of a real burning Hell (Mark 9:43-48). We cannot afford to be wrong concerning our eternal salvation.
What Must I Do To Be Saved?
This is a very important question. Many people would answer this question in many different ways. Any way that differs from what the Bible says is false. But what does God require in the Bible for one to be saved? We must believe in God and in Christ. Jesus says in John 8:24, "For if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." To believe in Jesus is to accept and do all He says.
We must repent. The Bible says, "The LordÖis longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). It is either repent or perish. Repentance is a change of heart and mind to turn away from sin. It is making up our mind that henceforth we are going to serve God with all our might and do everything He says. Without repentance we cannot receive forgiveness and be saved. We must also be willing to confess our belief in Christ to other people. Jesus says, "Whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32).
Jesus says, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved" (Mark 16:16). One needs help to misunderstand what Jesus says here. Jesus placed both belief and baptism before salvation. To reject what Jesus says is to reject the salvation He wants to give us. Also we read in Acts 2:38, "Then Peter said unto them, ĎRepent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sinsí." Notice the Bible says that both repentance and baptism come before the remission of sins. Most of the denominational world laughs at Godís word when God says baptism is for the remission of oneís sins so one can be saved and go to Heaven. This is sad and will cause many good honest people to be eternally lost in Hell because they believed a lie of Satan. This lie of Satan says that baptism is not necessary for forgiveness of sins and to be saved. Satan says all you have to do to be saved is just "accept Jesus as your personal Saviour" and say the "sinnerís prayer". Satan says it is all right to be baptized to join a denomination, after you "think" you are saved because even Satan knows God saves one after one is baptized, not before. Satan knows that being baptized to join a denomination does one no good and that if one is not baptized for the forgiveness of sins to be saved, he still has every sin he ever committed and is still lost.
Just as Satan has deceived many people down through the ages, he continues to deceive the vast majority of people today with his lies. Anything that contradicts or is different from Godís word in the Bible is another lie of Satan. God offers salvation to all people, but He conditions that salvation with obeying His requirements which He has set forth in His word, the Bible (Matthew 7:21, Hebrews 5:9). If one is eternally lost in Hell, he will only have himself to blame.
The Lordís One Church
The fact that the Lord has only one church is unpopular with many people who want to belong to one of the many differing denominations of their choice. Jesus says in Matthew 16:18, "I will build My church". The word "church" is singular, meaning one and only one and the word "My" is possessive, meaning it belongs to the Lord. The Lord began His one church more than 1900 years ago. Ephesians 1:22-23 says that God gave Christ "to be head over all things to the church, which is His body." In Ephesians 4:4-6 we read, "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." The Bible says there is only one God even though there are many false gods in this world. The Bible also says the Lord has only one body or church even though there are many false counterfeit bodies or churches in this world. Ephesians 5:23 says that Christ "is the Saviour of the body", which is His one body, His one church. Christ is only going to save His one church, and not any of the counterfeit churches. Christ "loved the church and gave Himself for her" (Ephesians 5:25). Jesus Christ did not die for or establish any of the 28 Baptist Churches which men have begun during the past 500 years. Baptist Churches and the other denominations are of human origin and have no scriptural authority to exist.
How does one become a member of the Lordís one true church? Jesus says, "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). One must believe and be baptized in order to be saved. Once people are saved, the Bible says, "And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved" (Acts 2:47). The Lord adds only the saved to His church. Since those in denominational churches do not believe the Lordís requirement, that baptism is necessary for salvation, they remain unsaved. And since the Lord does not add unsaved people to His church, the unsaved have to join a denomination.
The one church that Christ purchased with His own blood belongs to Him and the name it wears must honor Him. We read in Romans 16:16, "The churches of Christ greet you". This name, "churches of Christ, glorifies and honors Christ who died for it and built it. Even by the names the denominations wear, they do not claim to be the Lordís church. Christ has only promised to save His one church (Ephesians 5:23).
What is going to happen to all of the many different illegitimate counterfeit denominational churches that men have started? Jesus says, "Every plant My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted" (Matthew 15:13). Since Jesus did not build any denominational church, they all stand under His condemnation. Today, there are many people laboring in vain in their man made churches. Godís word says, "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it" (Psalms 127:1). It does one no good to belong to and worship in any of the Baptist Churches. One is wasting his time and will lose his soul in eternity !! Jesus says, "And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Mark 7:7). Vain worship is useless.
If people really want to go to Heaven, they must come out of their denominations and be baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38) so they can be saved (Mark 16:16). Then the Lord will add them to His church (Acts 2:47), the church of Christ (Romans 16:16), where they can worship God "in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). Jesus promises "Be faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life" (Revelation 2:10). Letís make going to Heaven our number one priority in this life.
What Is Your Destination?
Satan does not want anyone to be saved. The Bible speaks of Satan as the one "who deceives the whole world" (Revelation 12:9). Satan rejoices at all of the religious confusion and division that is going on in the world today. Satan works ceaselessly to cause people to follow their false denominational doctrines instead of the Bible only. Anything that is more than, less than, or different from what the Bible says is false doctrine which is designed by Satan to cause people to be eternally lost in the torments of Hell. Satan has been very successful in fooling people today, just as he fooled Eve in the Garden of Eden with his lies.
Each person determines in this life as to where he will spend eternity. Where will you go when this life is over, eternal life in Heaven or eternal punishment in Hell? Do you know for sure? We must make sure because we will not be given another chance to make things right. The Bible says to "choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve" (Joshua 21:15). Tomorrow may be too late. Satan wants us to wait because he wants us to be eternally lost. Godís word says, "Behold now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).
To learn more about what the Bible says about the Lord's one true church, I recommend you study through "Are You A Member Of The Lord's One True Church?" at www.netbiblestudy.net/church If you would like to study more I would recommend a Bible study I have on the internet entitled: "Are You Really Sure Of Your Eternal Salvation?" at www.netbiblestudy.net After this study I would recommend that you study: "Are You Worshipping God In Spirit And In Truth?" at www.netbiblestudy.net/worship
Do you really want to go to Heaven? If I can help you locate a congregation of the church of Christ where you can be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and be saved, then email me your city, state, and ZipCode and I will be glad to help locate one for you. After you have obeyed the Lord in baptism you could continue to worship there..
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