The Great Conspiracy

Many people are fascinated by conspiracy theories. Some believe the attacks on the World Trade Centers on September 11, 2001 were a conspiracy by the U.S. government. There is the theory that we did not really land a spacecraft on the moon in 1969, but that it was staged in a secret location as part of a government conspiracy. While many of the conspiracy theories we may hear are probably not true, they are still a source of fascination for many.

What is a conspiracy? Generally, a conspiracy can be described as a secret plan by two or more persons intent on bringing harm to a person or group and/or causing the conspirators to gain power, wealth, or both. Conspirators have a goal, something they want to accomplish. This is not always apparent, of course, because it is secret. Conspirators have to hide the truth, both of their goal and their plan. But people generally will want answers or an explanation as to why certain things are happening. So they have to convince them of a lie or a partial truth. These things are generally true for conspiracies.

The Great Conspiracy

While there may be some “great” conspiracies or conspiracy theories in the world, there is one conspiracy that is greater and far more evil than any of the others. What is so bad about this one? It could lead to the destruction of our soul. Jesus said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). The worst that a victim of most conspiracies would have to endure is physical death. But in discussing the need to fear God, Jesus taught by implication that it is far worse for one to lose his soul than his physical life. The conspiracy we will notice here is one in which the goal is the destruction of the souls of men.

What must I do to be saved?” This is the most important question one may ask. Our soul’s salvation depends upon getting the right answer to this question and acting upon it. But Satan will work to give people the wrong answer. He will try to hide the truth, convince people of a lie or a partial truth, all in an effort to cause them to be lost eternally.

What Do the Scriptures Say?

The question, “What must I do to be saved?” (or a variation of it), was asked three times in the New Testament (Acts 2:37; 9:6; 16:30). When the Jews asked on the day of Pentecost, they were told: “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38). On the road to Damascus, Saul was told to “Get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do” (Acts 9:6). When Ananias came to him, he told him, “Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name” (Acts 22:16). When the Philippian jailer asked this question, Paul answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31).

The same question was asked each time, but different answers were given. How do we explain this? The common thing in all of these is the goal. The goal was salvation. The reason different answers were given was because each individual or audience was at a different place on the road to salvation. The Philippian jailer was told to believe because he had not yet done that. In fact, Paul had to speak “the word of the Lord to him” (Acts 16:32). Then he was baptized “the same hour of the night” (Acts 16:33). The Jews on the day of Pentecost believed: “They were pierced to the heart” (Acts 2:37). They did not need to be told to believe. So they were told to repent and be baptized. Saul believed – he called Jesus “Lord” (Acts 9:6). He was penitent, evidenced by the fact that he spent three days in prayer and fasting (Acts 9:9, 11). Ananias did not have to tell Paul to believe and repent. So he told him to be baptized. Again, in each of these, the goal (salvation) was the same; but not all of them had reached the same point when they asked the question.

We should also note that confession is also included as being necessary for salvation. Paul wrote, “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Romans 10:9-10). Before his baptism, the eunuch confessed, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:37). Confession is just that, an affirmation of one’s belief. This confession is necessary for salvation.

The psalmist wrote, “The sum of Your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). If we want to know what we need to do to be saved, we simply need to look at all that the word of God says on the subject. “What must I do to be saved?” Well, what do the Scriptures say? We have seen that in order to be saved, one must believe that Jesus is the Christ, be willing to confess that faith, repent of his sins, and be baptized to have his sins washed away.

What Do Men Say?

Most people in the denominational world believe that belief, repentance, and confession are necessary for salvation. Some believe that mere faith alone is enough. We have all heard the common ideas among men as to what one needs to do to be saved. Some talk about saying a “sinner’s prayer.” We hear that one must simply call on the name of the Lord. They define calling on the name of the Lord as nothing more than a verbal appeal to Him, asking Him to save them. This is often associated with the sinner’s prayer. Others will say that as long as someone is a good person, he will be saved.

Generally, baptism is rejected by the denominational world as a requirement for salvation. Many groups still practice baptism, but they do not do so as prerequisite for salvation; instead, they see it as a rite administered to one who has already been saved. So while they might believe and teach that belief, repentance, and confession are necessary for salvation, they will deny that baptism is necessary as well. They believe part of what God’s word says we must do to be saved, but not the sum (Psalm 119:160). What is the result? They are not doing what God says we must do to be saved. This is exactly what Satan wants.

Why Does Satan Want Men to Reject Baptism?

Of the conditions we noticed from the Scriptures that one must meet to be saved (belief, repentance, confession, baptism), baptism is the one that is the most heavily and zealously attacked and derided. Belief, repentance, and confession are generally accepted. We can see why Satan wants so much for men to reject baptism when we notice what the Bible says about baptism.

  • Baptism puts us into Christ – “All of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death” (Romans 6:3). “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:27).
  • Baptism washes away sins – “Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name” (Acts 22:16). “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38).
  • Baptism is our entrance into the church – “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13). The “one body” is the church (Ephesians 1:22-23).
  • Baptism saves us – “Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21).

Our salvation, forgiveness of sins, and entrance into the body of Christ are all connected to baptism. Satan wants to prevent these things. He has been very successful, too. He has convinced people they can still believe in Christ, yet reject baptism. Their belief in Christ soothes their conscience, yet they are lost. But their feeling of security in their salvation without baptism will keep them from finding out all they need to do. If they are secure, there is no need to worry. Satan has convinced them they are secure when they are not.

The Servants of Satan

Satan is not working alone in this. This is why I called it the great conspiracy. Paul talked about those who were “false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:13). These men were servants of Satan, yet they “disguise themselves as servants of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:15).

Who are Satan’s servants (co-conspirators)? Those who would teach his message. Most of the “Christian” preachers, ministers, and pastors are his servants. They are leading people down the road to damnation while making them think they are being led to heaven. Yes, they talk about Christ. Yes, they make people feel confident in their salvation. But they are not teaching them what they need to do in order to be saved, to have their sins washed away, and to become a part of the body of Christ. So they are leaving them in a lost condition and making them feel content to be there.

Do not be deceived by what men might say. Do not be fooled by one who claims to be a servant of righteousness when he tells you that you must believe to be saved, but that baptism is not necessary. Rather, listen to the words of Jesus: “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). “Let God be true but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).

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