††††††††††† Frank was an older man who loved God and he had been a member of a denomination for 30 years.He loved to read his Bible and to help out anyone that he could.However, his passion was going to church.Well, about 10 years ago, he had a new neighbor move in and Frank, displaying his usual kindness, greeted the young couple and welcomed them to the neighborhood.The young manís name was John and his wifeís name was Sally.Frank found out that they were Christians as well, but they didnít attend a denominational church. Instead, they went to the church of Christ.Frank didnít quite understand the difference, but he didnít make a fuss about it.

 

††††††††††† As time went on Frank and John became good friends and every year John would invite Frank to come to their yearly gospel meeting.However, Frank didnít feel comfortable going somewhere different and he was satisfied with his denomination.So, every year Frank would always come up with some reason of why he couldnít go.Now the time was growing near for the gospel meeting for this year and Frank wondered if John would ask him to go again for the 10th time.Well, sure enough John was ringing Frankís doorbell and he asked Frank one more time to come to their gospel meeting.Frank paused for a minute and every ounce of his being wanted to make another excuse why he couldnít go.But, he began to think about how John had asked him over and over again and he considered the friendship they had. Finally he decided that it wouldnít kill him if he went.This of course thrilled John because his persistence had finally paid off.

 

††††††††††† Frank put on his best suite and made his way to the church of Christ.When he first arrived he felt a little nervous, but the people there took the edge off his nerves as they talked to him and welcomed him as if he was a member there.He found his friend John and sat by him.He asked him what the topic was for tonightís lesson and John told him it would be on the plan of salvation.Frank thought to himself that this was going to be a very basic lesson and he hoped he didnít get too bored considering he had been saved for the last 30 years.The only thing that seemed a little odd to Frank was that they didnít have any musical instruments and they sang a cappella.This was the first time he had experienced a cappella music and he really enjoyed it and thought it was beautiful.

 

††††††††††† Now when the minister started preaching his lesson, Frank listened closely because he had never heard a lesson quite like this one.He started emphasizing the importance of using the Bible as your sole authority.He pointed out how God told Joshua not to stray to the right or to left from His commands and how in the New Testament we are taught not to go beyond that which is written (1Corinthians 4:6).This really intrigued Frank because at his denominational church the Bible was used but more emphasis was placed on how you feel than on the authority of Bible.

 

††††††††††† Next the minister started talking about how we must be willing to change when we learn that we have been doing things contrary to Godís Word.At this point Frank was in full agreement because he loved God and he always wanted to be pleasing to Him.Frank was really enjoying this lesson.

 

††††††††††† After this, the minister started teaching what a person must do to become a child of God.He also told the crowd that there may be some there who have never heard this plan.This sparked Frankís interest, so he grabbed a piece of paper and began to take notes because he wanted to have record of this.He wrote down John 3:16 and 8:24 which states that a person must believe in Jesus to be saved.He wrote down Luke 13:3 which states that a person must repent to be saved.He wrote down Romans 10:9-10 which states that person must confess Jesus as their Lord to be saved.Frank had heard all these things taught before, so he jumped ahead and wrote down what he thought would be the next step, which was the sinnerís prayer.However, to his shock the minister said that a lot people in the religious world stop here and then tell you to say the sinnerís prayer but the sinnerís prayer is not found anywhere in the Bible.Now this really bothered Frank because he was sure that it was there.But, the more he thought about it, he realized the minister was correct, which means there is no authority for the sinnerís prayer.

 

††††††††††† Next, the minister started teaching about baptism and how it was the last essential step to ones salvation.Again, Frank jotted down Acts 2:38, 22:16; Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Colossians 2:12; Romans 6:1-14.All of these verses teach that a person must be baptized in order to be saved.Then the minister pointed out the conversions in Acts and how the people did not rejoice until they were baptized into Christ for remission of sins.He also pointed out from Galatians 3:27 and Romans 6:2 that the only way you can get into Christ is through baptism.This really blew Frankís mind and he couldnít believe that he had read these scriptures before, but had not seen the simple truth that baptism was necessary for salvation and that the sinnerís prayer did not exist.Well, the minister offered the invitation at the end of his lesson and Frank was pricked in heart but he wasnít willing to come forward at that moment because he thought he had been a born again Christian for 30 years.He wanted more time think about his situation and what the Word of God had to say on this matter.At the end of the service he thanked his friend for inviting him. When he got home he fell on his knees and prayed to God to give him wisdom and then he proceeded to pull out his notes and looked over all the verses the minister had used.

 

††††††††††† Two weeks later, after much studying and soul searching, Frank broke down andcried and prayed to God thanking Him for sending John his way and asked God to give him the courage to follow through with the truth he had discovered after all these years.As soon as he finished his prayer and gained his composure, he called his friend John even though it was late in the night.He told him how he appreciated him for never giving up on asking him to come to the gospel meeting and then he told him that he was ready to be saved by being baptized into Christ for the remission of his sins.

 

††††††††††† John was very happy for Frank that he had discovered the truth.John had been praying for Frank many times that his eyes would be open to Godís Word and now it was a reality.John didnít waste any time.They called up the minister and met him at the church building that same night and Frank was baptized into Christ for the remission of sins and he rejoiced knowing that he was now a born again Christian.Even though it was difficult for Frank to leave his denomination he had been a part of for 30 years, he realized it was more important to be pleasing to God than to be pleasing to himself.Frank lived the rest of his life faithfully unto God and he did what could to try and share the truth about salvation with all his friends.

 

††††††††††† How about you? Do you belong to a denomination? Were you taught that you were saved by faith alone or by some sinnerís prayer? If you have, I challenge you to find the authority for this in the Word of God.I also challenge you to look up the verses on salvation including the ones on baptism.If you will look at these verses with an honest heart and you sincerely respect the authority of the Bible more than man-made traditions, you will see that belief, confession, repentance and baptism are all necessary before a person can become a born again Christian.If you find that you are ready to accept the truth as Frank did in our story, then donít put off your salvation any longer.Find a church of Christ near you and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of your sins.

 

God Bless.

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