If I were to visit you some evening and explain that I have discovered a new church outlined in the Bible that, if you become a member, you are guaranteed entrance into Heaven when you die, would you be interested?
Interested or not, you would probably be curious and begin asking a few questions:
"What do I have to do to become a member of this church?"
I replied, "Just let me immerse you in water and you'll become a full-fledged member!"
You ask: "As a member, what would be expected of me?"
My reply, "Nothing in particular."
You ask: "How many services would there be each week, and how often would I have to attend?"
My reply, "Well, there would be three services each week, but you don't have to attend them all, in fact, if you just show-up once in a while we'll leave your name on the membership roll."
You ask, "If I become a member f this church, what would be my responsibilities?"
My reply, "Oh, you would have no responsibilities. In fact, you would have to demonstrate no loyalty, no commitment, there are no dues to pay, and you would not have to participate or become involved in any of the work or activities!"
You would probably say, "Toby, are you telling me that the Bible outlines a church that all you have to do to become a member is to be dunked in water, and after that there is nothing expected of me ... that I only have to attend services once in a while ... that no commitment or loyalty is demanded of me ... that I don't have to participate in any of the work ... plus, membership will not cost me anymore than my kid's allowance -- and I'm still guaranteed to go to Heaven?"
I respond with a modern affirmative: "Yep!"
You would probably say, "Well, Toby, I may not know much about the Bible, but I do know enough to know that such a doctrine is ludicrous!"
If that is your response, you would be absolutely correct! There is NO such church revealed in the Bible! Yet, is this not the church that too many have in their heads? "By their fruits ye shall know them" (Matthew ). Toby Miller