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Several evangelical and denominational churches pass around a tract called "The Roman's Road To Salvation." They say that by following the steps therein one attains salvation. However, there are a number of things they leave out, or add and provide no Scriptures to justify the addition. If we look at the pathway to salvation as a road, which is suitable, Jesus used such an example in His preaching (Matt. 7:13,14). We need to know that the road is complete and free from potholes, like additions and subtractions from God's Word. If one were to fall into these potholes, he would end up spending eternity in hell. With this grave point seen, we must realize that God's Word is to be viewed as a whole. The Psalmist wrote, "The entirety of Your Word is truth. And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever" (Psa. 119:160). When we consider this, it must be understood that we need to take all that God's Word says on a matter. Let us consider and fix the "Roman Road" so that it will lead one to salvation.
The "Roman's Road" does have some truth. The tract points out that we have all sinned. This is true! Paul made it clear in Rom. 3:23, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." God sees us as sinners because we sinned and violated His law. "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (1 Jno. 3:4). The tract also points out that because we are sinners, we are deserving of death. Paul writes, "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23). The tract shows that God provided a way in which our sins could be forgiven. "But God commendeth His love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).
But this is the point where the tract departs from God's Plan. The things following, if they are not completely without Scriptural base, they at the very least are a perversion of God's Divine Word.
A major pothole in the "Roman's Road" is what is left out in regard to salvation. The tract quotes Rom. 10:9,10, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." While these passages are true, the tract seems to make them the only responsibility. This is false! The Word of God speaks of other requirements to being saved, in addition to faith and confession. Jesus said repentance was necessary for salvation. "I tell you Nay; but except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish" (Lk. 13:3). The apostle Peter said, "Repent therefore and be converted that, your sins may be blotted out" (Acts 3:19). Paul, in speaking to those on Mars Hill, said, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30). Repentance is required for one's salvation! Further, Jesus included baptism as a requirement for one to be saved. Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mk. 16:16). Peter told those on the day of Pentecost to be "baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). Peter also wrote, "the like figure whereunto baptism doth now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 3:21). Another huge pothole in the "Roman's Road" is what is perverted and not clearly explained. The tract quotes Rom. 10:13, "For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." This is a true statement! In order for one to be saved, he must "call on the name of the Lord." Yet, the "Roman's Road" does not explain what it means to call on the name of the Lord. The tract leaves the impression that calling on the name of the Lord is to cry out the name of Jesus into the air. This is not true! The apostle Paul wrote this passage. There shold be no dispute that he knew what it meant to "call on the name of the Lord." In Acts 22 Paul recounts his conversion. In his speech he speaks of what was told to him that he might become a child of God. "And now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). To the apostle Paul, calling on the name of the Lord included arising and being baptized, in other words obeying the gospel. It was not a recitation of the name of Jesus into the air!
Lastly, another eternally fatal pothole is what the "Roman's Road" adds without showing it from God's Word. Near the end of the tract the reader is requested to recite the "sinner's prayer." In the prayer the reader is to request that his sins be forgiven and "accept Jesus as his personal Savior." Yet not one Scripture is give for such a prayer. There is a reason for this: it is not in God's Word! God's Word commands the alien sinner to be baptized for his sins to be forgiven (Acts 2:38; 22:16). Further, there is not a passage in the Bible that commands anyone to "accept Jesus as his personal Savior." How ignorant can one be, to hang one's soul's salvation upon something that is not even found in the Bible? Why not obey what God's Word says, rather than saying a "sinner's prayer"?
We ought to consider very carefully what God's Word says about salvation. "Work
out your own salvation with fear
and trembling" (Phil. 2:12). If we have a hope to live with the Lord, let us walk the "narrow way" (Matt. 7:13). Rather than the "Roman's Road" which is filled with potholes that lead straight to eternal death.
By Kurt G. Jones in Truth Magazine, Vol. 51, No. 1, Jan. 2007.
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