Different Views of Truth
via The Lilbourn light, Vol. 9, No. 11, March 2009.
Isn't it interesting that two people can see the same thing and come away with two different conclusions? The same thing can be said concerning what we hear or with what we read.
When the twelve spies were sent to explore the Promised Land in Numbers 13 and 14, they all saw the very same lush green fertile areas and the fruits borne there. Yet ten were intimidated by the size and number of the hostile people who lived there. They said it would be foolish to invade and it couldn't be done. But, the other two spies, Joshua and Caleb, insisted that with the Lord on their side they could take the territory. By faith they saw God and His promises beyond the obstacles.
There are countless examples of the gospel message being preached. Some believed and were baptized, others ignored it and scoffed at it. The same message was preached and heard by multitudes of people, but people reacted differently to it.
Today, people can read the same passages, hear the same gospel preached to them, and yet react differently toward it: "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved: but he who has not believed shall be condemned" (Mark 16:16). "No, Jesus couldn't have meant that," some will say. Others will determine that it's the "believing part" that's really important in the matter, and that the "has been baptized" part is optional and can be or not be followed. Still some will actually believe that Jesus meant all that He said and that it applies to us today. How about you? Do you believe that Jesus meant all that He said on that occasion or just part of it?
On the Day of Pentecost, just fifty days after the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, we find Peter, one of the inspired apostles, making this statement: "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission (forgiveness) of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). Some will say concerning this: "See you do have to believe and repent and then you are saved. Then you can be baptized later to show that you are already saved." Then some will say: "How did you come to that conclusion? When Peter said: "Repent and be baptized," what is so hard to understand that those two requirements go together and are not to be separated?"
There are not two different truths being taught in the passages mentioned above. There is only one right answer. What
was taught by Peter in the first century is the same thing that is
taught today from the New Testament. As some believed and
others did not believe when it was taught by Peter on the Day of
Pentecost over two thousand years ago, so it is today that some
will believe and others will not believe when the same gospel is
taught. Things are not so different now than they were back then. Some
will desire to see the truth that is taught and others
will refuse. Which side will we find ourselves on: On the side
of belief and obedience or on the side of unbelief and disobedience? It is left us to us. God has made the offer of salvation to
us through His written Word. We will either accept and obey it,
or we will not believe and obey it. Make your choice today.