“April Fool’s Day” is upon us. No doubt that sometime during the day someone will try their level best to make us look the fool. Although, at times, pranks pulled on that day get out of hand, normally the majority of them hurt nothing but our pride. Perhaps, of all of the jokes played on people the one that sticks most in my mind is the one where a person walks down the street and sees a pocketbook or wallet laying on the sidewalk. Seeing it, they reach down to pick it up, only to have someone pull it away with an attached string and yell “April Fool.” As embarrassing as having this pulled on us is, no one is hurt. However, in the religious world, there are things concerning salvation that will, in the end, hurt much more than man’s pride. Just as with the wallet that has a string attached to it, so are there “strings” attached to important matters by God. As in the situation with the wallet, many envision great wealth before they are made aware of the “strings” attached. With this article I would like for us to consider some of the “strings” that are attached to salvation, as we seek not to be “April Fooled.”

UNIVERSAL SALVATION – Many people have been fooled by the false idea of universal salvation. They see a great prize in the words of Paul in 1 Timothy 4:10. However, when a thorough examination is made of this passage we see the “strings” that are attached. Universal salvation is the theory that man will be saved, regardless of what he believes or does. Yet when one properly considers Paul’s words, they realize that such is not what he had in mind. We easily see the “string” attached in verse 10. There can be no doubt that we must realize there are “strings” attached to salvation.

SALVATION BY FAITH ONLY – There are those who have their eyes upon the riches of God by contending that one is saved at the point of faith. With their eyes upon those riches, they point to such passages as John 3:16 and close their eyes to everything else. Their claim, “That we are saved by faith only is a wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort” is not consistent with the Bible. The statement made is the voice of human creed books, and not the voice of God (James 2:17-26). It doesn’t take 20/20 vision to see the “strings” attached to faith.

MAN IS SAVED APART FROM BAPTISM – Those who contend that we are saved at the point of faith do so in order to oppose the biblical teachings on baptism. Along these lines they refer to Galatians 3:26. There is no doubt that Paul wrote those words. However, one is making his words say more than he intended when they suggest he wrote of faith only. It is interesting that when verse 26 is read by these folks, verse 27 is overlooked. The reason for this is the simple fact that verse 27 is the “string” attached to verse 26.

THE “STRINGS” JESUS ATTACHED – Jesus promised that those who would believe and be baptized would be saved (Mark 16: 16). He did not say that everyone would be saved. It is easily seen that He attached the “strings” of belief and baptism to salvation, and He has not given man the authority to remove them. In further study, we see that Jesus attached the “string” of repentance to salvation (Luke 13:3).

“STRINGS” ATTACHED TO THE CHRISTIAN LIFE – All too often people come to the mistaken idea that all they need to do is become a child of God and sit back and wait for judgment. But nothing could be further from the truth. The New Testament is full of “strings” attached to the Christian life. “Strings” such as:

Bible study – Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Peter 3: 15.
Personal evangelism – Mark 16:15, 16.
Faithfulness in attendance – Hebrews 10:24, 25.

There is no doubt; God offers salvation as a gift (Romans 6:23). However, He has put some stipulations in His will concerning this gift. One must qualify in order to obtain it. Man must show himself willing to obey the gospel or face the wrath of God (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). If there were no “strings” attached to salvation, then all would equally share in it.

This would include the righteous, but also the unrighteous.
The devout believer, but also the infidel.
The worshipper, but also the blasphemer.
The obedient, but also the disobedient.

If God had not the wisdom to attach “strings” to salvation, there would be no reward for the faithful. All would share in the same inheritance. Don’t be “April Fooled” into believing something different from what the New Testament plainly teaches concerning salvation.

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