"Mark 16:15 preach the gospel to every creature. Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded: Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega .. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, .. they .. have right to the tree of life, and .. enter .. the city."
I am a retired pastor of
the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
Acts 4 says: "10) Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11) This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Preachers pick up these verses from scriptures, create a sentence from the underlined portions, and explain it like this: 'God raised Jesus Christ from the dead, gave his name to us, his name is the means whereby we must be saved, and there is no other name for salvation.' Their message of salvation is simple: We must simply claim the name of Jesus Christ, and so doing we will be saved (from hell) and guaranteed to be carried to heaven, as if it is a magic chant word of 'Mantra'.
It is so unfortunate that Christians fall for such a deceptive misrepresentation of scripture. The entire chapter of Acts 3 describes a situation where Peter and John went to the temple and healed a man who was born crippled. After he was healed, he ran around the temple praising God, and people were amazed. Peter preached to them regarding the fulfillment of the prophesy about Jesus Christ. You may read the entire third chapter, but let me quote a few verses: Peter says in Acts 3: "6) Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7) And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8) And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God."
Chapter four explains that, because the people were so excited, the priests and Sadducees went looking for Peter and John, laid hands on them, and put them in jail. The next day, the authorities questioned Peter and John. Their reply is recorded in Acts 4: "7) And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? 8) Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, 9) If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; 10) Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole." The priests and Sadducees specifically asked ĎBy what power, or by what name, have ye done this?í Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said that the lame man was healed by the power and the authority that was given by Jesus Christ. Every preacher knows this passage. Knowing its context, then, why do they preach it as the means of eternal salvation, rather than Peterís answer to his accuserís questions about a miracle healing? The context has nothing to do with eternal salvation or attaining heaven. To preach that this verse constitutes the sole requirement for salvation is to deliberately twist scriptures to give a false salvation message. This is an intentional deception, yet it is widely taught by preachers. Many people quote this verse for eternal salvation. They are lie on purpose to deceive.
These verses are not at all given to teach salvation of a soul. In its context, it says that Apostle Peter used the authority given by Jesus (in the name of Jesus Christ), to heal (Acts 3:6 says: "Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.") a lame man from the long time sickness of being lame. If we twist the word of God and teach believers to use the name 'Jesus' as a magic formula (mantra) to be saved or to enter heaven, it is deception, it is a lie and it is crookedness. This preaching may not hinder a non-Christian in any way, since it is not preached to them. But it will hinder Christians, since it is being preached to Christians for salvation (but it is fake and false salvation). If Christians believe this as salvation formula, just to mention the name of Jesus Christ, no Christian will be saved and they all will go to hell. Peter said: "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk", but Peter did not say: "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, go to heaven." If Peter or anybody else have said: "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, you are saved from hell OR go to heaven" and said that "no other name is given for saving souls", we can preach that without pronouncing the name Jesus Christ, no body could go to heaven. But it is not the case. Peter just healed the sick man with the supernatural power, that Jesus Christ has given him. Further, no scripture says to use the name Jesus to go to heaven (to be saved). It is not a salvation method at all. Why should someone preach this for eternal salvation? Preaching false salvation is not the truth, and it is not from God.
Salvation, which brings eternal life, comes to us through the preaching by Jesus Christ, but not the preaching about Jesus Christ. Salvation comes to a person who, obeys Christís commandments. God gives his grace, spirit and power, to all those who strive to obey him, to help them in the path. Salvation is not a gift casually awarded to someone who says the name of Jesus Christ and it is deception.
I will reply promptly.Thanks.