In my last article, I talked about God's promises that He kept. All the prophecies (well, a few of them) that happened, even though it may have taken quite some time. Well, today I am going to talk about the promises that were made and still haven't come to pass. The verse that I will be basing this article off of is Hebrews 6:18.
In several passages we are promised that if we are baptized, then we will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and if we stay faithful, then we will live in heaven for eternity. We are also promised, however, that if we aren't baptized, and if we don't follow the Bible, then we won't enter heaven. In fact, in John 3:3 it says that we won't even see the kingdom. Now, based off of those prophecies we talked about earlier, and based off of all of them that came true, do you think that God is going to keep this promise? Do you think that God is going to change His mind and be like, "Well, you did do everything else but be baptized. It's really not that big of a deal, so why don't you come on in?!" No! If baptism weren't such a big deal, then why is it talked about so much? If we want to be saved, we have to be immersed in water (as the original language said) and believe what you are doing, but not just believe.
The only time in the Bible where "faith" and "alone" are together, is James 2:24 which follow "not saved by". The verse says, "You see that a person is justified by works, and not by faith alone." Now, I'm sure you have head people say, "BUT WAIT! Ephesians 2:8 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And it is not your own doing but the grace of God." If you take Ephesians 100% out of context, yes, this is a contradiction, which means we should throw the whole Bible out because one contradiction means that it's not perfect, and that faith alone won't save us anyway. However, if you read the context of the verse, you see that it's talking about baptism, and in James 2:24 it's talking about how we live our daily lives. You see, when we are baptized, is it ourselves that gives us the Holy Spirit? No. That's what it's talking about when it says that we aren't saved by our own works. I mean, just look at the wall of Jericho! Did the Israelites work hard and march around the city a lot? Yes, but was it them who knocked down the wall? No. They had faith which led to works, and because God saw that they were serious, He knocked down the wall.
God always keeps His promises, and we have to remember that that can be a good thing for us, but it can also be a bad thing for us. We need to always be working hard, and remembering that we never know when life is going to end, but also that no matter what, if we believe and follow God's word, that promise will be fulfilled, and we will end up in heaven. :)