What if you were reading in your Bible and you read James 2:24, "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." Maybe you were making a study of the book of James, and you kept coming back to passages like James 1:21-25 and James 2:14-16, and that James 2:24 passage just kept coming to mind. And . . . what if you were then given a book called "THE TWENTY-FIVE ARTICLES OF RELIGION", and you read "Article Nine" which says, ". . . that we are justified by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort."??? You clearly see the contradiction . . . One says we are justified by faith only, and the other says we are not justified by faith only.
What would you do? Which would you accept? Would you accept what the inspired James says in James 2:24, or would you accept what John Wesley said in his "TWENTY-FIVE ARTICLES OF RELIGION"??? To whom will you go for the true answer? Obviously both cannot be right, for they are diametrically opposed one to another.
What if you were studying further in your Bible and you read the last chapter of the book of Mark. Here you read the words of Jesus Christ, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Maybe you pause to contemplate these words, for maybe you’ve never considered them carefully before. What if, as you are meditating upon this particular passage, someone gives you another work by John Wesley, his "LETTERS," and you read at section III, 36 the following words, "You think the mode of baptism is ‘necessary to salvation.’ I deny that even baptism itself is so; if it were, every Quaker must be damned, which I can in no wise believe. I hold nothing to be (strictly speaking) necessary to salvation but the mind which was in Christ." Again, what will you do? Which will you accept? There is again an obvious contradiction. One says baptism is necessary to salvation and the other says that it is not. Will you accept John Wesley’s comments on the subject of baptism, or will you accept what Jesus Christ says? To whom will you go for the true answer?
One time, during the personal ministry of Jesus upon the earth, many of those who had at first followed the Lord, " . . . went back, and walked no more with him." (John 6:66). As one looks at the world of religion today, we see many who fall into this category. Jesus said unto the twelve apostles, "Will ye also go away?" Peter spoke up and answered, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life . . ." (John 6:67-68). There’s your answer, friends. If you want to know the Truth so that you might be free (John 8:31-32), go to Jesus . . . go to the Bible!!!
Yes, dear reader, He does indeed have the words of eternal life! In fact, on that great and terrible day of Judgement it will be these very words that we will be judged by. "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." (John 12:48-49). We have this very picture of the Judgement Day in Revelation 20:11-15. Go ahead . . . read that now and see that "books" will be opened on that Great Day that is coming, and we will be judged out of those books. Obviously these are the Old and New Testaments as well as the "book of life", and we will be judged by whatever law we lived under. In Acts 17:30-31, it is said that the Lord commands all men everywhere to repent, "Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."
Did you notice that God will "judge the world in righteousness"? God’s judgements are righteous . . . or right! He cannot but judge righteously! He has revealed His righteousness through the gospel . . . through the verbally inspired Word of God. (Read Romans 1:16-17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Titus 2:11-12). We can know what is righteous . . . what is right. This is why we who strive to be "godly" are to not judge according to appearances but we are to "judge righteous judgement" (John 7:24). Our judgements are to be made according to the Word of God which is our standard of right and wrong. (Hebrews 5:12-14; 2 John 9-11).
So, dear readers, where will you go to find what is right and what is wrong? To whom will you go for words of eternal life? Will you go to men like John Wesley or will you go to Jesus who is the Christ? You may contact me with questions and/or comments at:
James E. Farley
P.O. Box 285
Crum, WV 25669
or Email me by clicking here