Would you think it possible for a person to come to an understanding of the truth in regard to the plan of salvation, persuade a denominational preacher to baptize him “for the remission of sins”, and then mistakenly become a part of a denomination??? Some have told this writer they have in fact done such a wondrous thing. Some have acted as if I have been beside myself to not allow a person to “place membership” with this congregation based on their denominational baptism. They have felt that some “saved” person in denominationalism has been turned away from membership in this body because no one would believe their preposterous story!! The only thing “real” about their story is that it is hypothetical and not practical. In other words, their story is not real!!
Among the many questions that should be asked about such imaginary believers is this: Where did the hypothetical person learn of the true plan of salvation? They will tell you: “I read it for myself in the Bible”. To that I respond: “Did you also not read that Christ ADDS the saved to His Church? Did you not also read that “on the first day of the week, the disciples come together to Break Bread? Am I wrong in assuming that IF you could read yourself into obedience to the gospel, you could not also read yourself to others things about the Lord He has commanded?? In fact, the only place possible the denominational member could have heard of the plan of salvation would be either on a radio program, hearing a gospel preacher, or through a tract someone had given them. They definitely did not hear the plan of salvation taught in their denominational church!! A Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Pentecostal, Muslim, 7th Day Adventist, I could just deep going on, on, and on until I run out of paper naming them, WILL NOT PREACH WHAT JESUS COMMANDED HIS DISCIPLES TO ‘GO INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH’. Mark 16:16 I contend, then, that it is inconceivable for one to learn of the plan of salvation by reading the Bible and attending a denominational church hearing their damnable doctrine continuously taught!!! If, they could so learn the truth in that denominational setting, THEY COULD NEVER BE HAPPY STAYING!! If his/her appetite for truth is whetted by gospel preaching, reading the Bible, talking to Christians who been baptized for the remission of sins, it is inconceivable that he has not inquired what church the preacher is part of—-why they do not obey the command to partake of the Lord’s Supper, sing without the aid of a mechanical instrument of music, or just WHERE in the Bible did they ever get the NAME of their church!!! It is highly impossible that a man might pick up a tract in the bus station, read a gospel tract, know absolutely nothing about the truth (even the name of the Lord’s Church), and dash off to the first denominational preacher he can find to persuade him to perform a scriptural baptism and make him promise that on the Lord’s Day, EVERY Lord’s Day, the denominational preacher will SEE TO IT that this person gets to partake of the Lord’s Supper EVEN IF no one else in the congregation is allowed or desires to partake (this also includes the pastor??).
I preached in one of these “baptizing” denominations when I first began to preach. I was just 17 at the time. I would preach my heart out and then FORCE the group to watch as two or three of us would partake while the other 75-80 would pass it through the assembly. They would not try to stop me, but they would NEVER break the doctrine of their denomination by partaking “every first day of the week” as the Lord commanded!!
Before the question comes up, some of the earliest men in the restoration movement did learn the truth by personal study. We will continue this next week.