From Baptismal Font to Damnation
– there is a road which seems right, but which ends in perdition
It is imperative that we choose the right road. Only the right road leads to the right destination. Taking the wrong road will lead one to the wrong destination, which could obviously cause great trouble.
This is true regarding most matters, but in particular it holds true regarding our eternal destination, which makes it of even greater importance. There are only two places where we can spend eternity – either in eternal glory or in eternal hell. We will either be with God for ever or we will be forever separated from His presence. Eternal joy, or eternal sorrow. Both are final destinations and there will be no turning back. For this very reason it is imperative that we make the right choice, in order for us to be sure.
It is not always simple to make the right choice, and Proverbs 14:12 warns us about a road which seems to be the right one, but which end leads to DEATH.
”There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (ESV)
”There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (KJV)
There are many roads which seem to be right or feel right, but which do not lead to life. Let us take a look down a few of the roads which people perceive to be the right ones, but which end in eternal sorrow:
1. THE ROAD OF SIN
This is a very pleasant and easy road. It’s downhill all the way! It is not difficult to commit sin, as it happens by itself. This is the natural way, because from the moment we are born we are headed along this road. Therefore, we don’t need to do something particularly evil to end up on this slippery slope to misery. Really, all we need to do is to carry on as normal. Be aware, however, that the consequence of sin and disobedience to God is death, eternal death. (Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death;”)
2. THE ROAD OF SELF CONFIDENCE
This road feels right. It follows a route without concerns. Far too many people comfort themselves with thoughts such as, “I FEEL good”, “I FEEL like a Christian”, “I FEEL as if I’m doing the right thing”… unfortunately this is a false assurance, because it is built on the sands of self-deception. Why is this? In Jeremiah 17:9 we find the answer: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
It is a huge risk to rely on our feelings or moods. You could easily find yourself on the wrong train and have no real concerns about it, however, it does not change the fact that you are going to arrive at the wrong destination. It often happens that a student feels good about an exam which he has taken, however, the result is an unpleasant surprise!
3. THE ROAD OF THE MAJORITY
It is our confused logic which argues: “I think I am on the right road, because I am doing the same as everyone else. I do not regard myself as better or worse than the average person. Everybody swears, everybody does a little stealing, everybody has a secret agenda.” It is exceedingly dangerous to approach the argument in this way. Jesus told us very specifically that the road of the majority leads to perdition. Most people are on the wrong road! The road which leads to eternal life is narrow and there are few which find it (Matthew 7:14). Because the wrong road is the easy road, most people are to be found on it. The right road is not that easy and there are few that follow it!
4. THE ROAD OF PROSPERITY
Those who follow this road find comfort in the success of their business or their profession: “Just look at how much the Lord has blessed me with in my studies or my sporting achievements. This indicates that the Lord is on my side and therefore I must be on the right road.” This is yet another fatal argument.
Of course God can bless the lives of His children as much as it pleases Him to do so, however, prosperity and success is not necessarily a sign of being a child of God. Ponder for a moment the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16). Lazarus was of the poorest of men, starving and extremely ill! The rich man lived in gluttonous luxury. When they died, however, it seemed that it was Lazarus and not the rich man who had been the one blessed by God!
5. THE ROAD OF RELIGIOUS RITUALS AND LEGALISM
You might well ask, “How can this be? Being church-going and religious is surely the right thing to do?” Friends, be warned, there is a road which runs from the baptismal font to damnation; from out of the cool baptismal water into the fires of hell! And the amount of water used does not matter. There are many people who have been baptized, some as infants and others as adults, who become church members, who get married in the church and are finally buried out of the church, but who will be eternally lost.
All of the religious steps they would have taken would simply have been steps closer to damning judgement. Why? Aren’t these all supposed to be good things? Possibly, they may have performed all the religious rituals, but Jesus was never in their lives. They might have been good people, but not saved people. They may have been covenant people, but not yet redeemed people.
Early on, the Apostle Paul was very much in the same predicament. He relied on his religion and his heritage, but he did not yet know Jesus. Paul writes about this in Philippians 3. Fortunately, he later came to rely on Christ alone and no longer on religion, tradition and heritage.
Church membership and involvement, even the most dedicated and enthusiastic participation, cannot provide a free pass to salvation. The parable of the five wise and five foolish virgins, the letters to the seven congregations in Revelation and many other Scriptures clearly show us that membership of the visible church does not equate to salvation.
So then, which is the right road?
Fortunately, the Bible tells us clearly in John 14:6, where Jesus proclaims:
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Everyone who has received Jesus and trusts in Him is on the right road. They are children of God. (John1:12,13) Jesus was crucified on the Cross at Calvary and was resurrected from the dead, and by this He did everything on our behalf to restore our peace with God. Whoever has the Son has life (1 John 5:12,13)
Turn from your sin and follow Jesus. Don’t rely on your feelings, but rely on the perfect sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. Don’t be influenced by the majority of people, just remain with Jesus, even if it means that you stand alone. Don’t find security in wealth or possessions; be satisfied with what Jesus gives you. Place no value in your religiousness or good deeds, but follow Jesus. Once you have Jesus, prayer and Bible study, church and sacraments will make perfect sense.