Introduction: The Road to Eternal Life

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Introduction

The Road to Eternal Life

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What is the purpose of human life? Are we here for a reason? Does the Bible provide answers for these questions? What does the Bible mean when it talks about repentance and conversion? Inside this booklet your will find the answers to these questions.

“…Broad is the road that leads to destruction…and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14 Matthew 7:13-14 13 Enter you in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it.
American King James Version×
, New International Version).

Do you believe in many roads to salvation?

Baptism represents the most significant commitment we can make in this life. Though a simple ceremony, it acknowledges profound changes in one’s heart and mind.

Although most churches have formal procedures for admitting believers into their group, their practices differ greatly. Each seems to take a different road. Even their baptismal ceremonies are different. Some sprinkle or pour. Others fully immerse believers in a stream or lake. Some groups baptize babies, while others do not. Still others believe there is no need for baptism at all.

Most claim to obtain their authority from the Bible, yet they are widely diverse in their practices. Can such vastly different beliefs and customs be justified in the Bible? And does it really matter—to you or to God?

When you think about establishing a relationship with God, what comes to mind? Do you envision attending a revival meeting or following a televangelist? How about prayer meetings or church-sponsored bingo games? Perhaps your only contact with religion has been hard-sell, door-to-door evangelism or street-corner preachers.

Faced with so many varying and contradictory approaches, it isn’t surprising that many people have become cynical of religion altogether. To some, the idea that one can live forever surely must be one of those too-good-to-be-true notions. To the hard-core cynic, baptism may sound like just an empty religious term or quaint custom, and suggesting that it’s a necessary step for eternal life might seem preposterous. Others simply don’t know what to make of it.

But what about you? Do you know what the Bible reveals on this vital subject? Notice what Jesus Christ Himself has to say: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44 John 6:44No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
American King James Version×
, emphasis added throughout).

Clearly, coming to God is a process that He starts, and we must choose to accept or reject His way when offered. If we accept, we have a definite process to follow that He clearly reveals in Scripture.

On the Day of Pentecost following Christ’s death and resurrection, the apostle Peter instructed those assembled to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of their sins (Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
American King James Version×
). Then God gave those who did so His Holy Spirit, which He will also give to us if we follow these same steps, enabling us to live the new life to which He has called us.

Baptism represents the most significant commitment a human being can make in this life. Though a simple ceremony, it powerfully acknowledges profound changes in one’s heart and mind. It represents utter rejection of past sinful ways and embarking on a new life of fully yielding to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

God earnestly desires that we take this path. Peter tells us, “The Lord is … longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 2 Peter 3:9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
American King James Version×
). Accepting His offer allows us to become His children. In John 1:12 John 1:12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
American King James Version×
we read, “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God.”

Baptism, as explained in your Bible, is much more than a means to join a church or just a religious ceremony for infants. It represents a mature decision, made only after careful deliberation. Jesus cautioned anyone who would follow Him to “count the cost” before committing (see Luke 14:27-33 Luke 14:27-33 27 And whoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, and counts the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sits not down first, and consults whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an ambassador, and desires conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple.
American King James Version×
). Baptism portrays the magnitude of that commitment —and is a major step on the narrow road that leads to eternal life.

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