Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 13, 1950

On Accepting The Gift

C. A. Buchanan, Lometa, Texas

In the Baptist Standard, issue of April 27th, page 9, is a quotation from Dr. Duke K. McCall, executive secretary of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. McCall, speaking from a radio broadcast on "The Baptist Hour" said:

"Salvation is the gift of God . . . but failure to accept the gift nullifies it and makes it of no effect for the one so refusing."

The speaker went on to illustrate by an example of George Wilson, a man who was sentenced to death in a Philadelphia court in 1829 for mail robbery and murder. Andrew Jackson, United States President at the time, gave Wilson a pardon—which Wilson refused to accept: The case went to the Supreme Court, and it was ruled that a pardon which was not accepted was no pardon, and that George Wilson must hang.

This was a very fine illustration, but the doctor needed to go on and show how the gift of salvation is accepted. The gift of salvation is through our Lord Jesus Christ, to be sure. But "he is the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him." (Heb. 5:9) Again, "if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins." (John 8:24; and, "Except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish." (Luke 13:3) These are conditions of acceptance of the gift of pardon. There are others: "Repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins . . . and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38).

Does Dr. McCall deny that these are conditions of accepting the gift of salvation? "The Pharisees and lawyers rejected for themselves the counsel of God, being not baptized of John." (Luke 7:30) Then what of those today who think they can be saved without being baptized in obedience to Christ? Yes, the gift of God must be accepted, and those who refuse the gift will never receive it. But it must be accepted upon the terms of the one who is the giver. These terms are made known in the gospel of Christ. It is unfortunate that baptism has been declared by some who claim to preach the gospel to be non-essential. They have not considered the fact that the "author and finisher of our faith" and the "author of eternal salvation" has said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." (Mark 16:16).

It is not enough to say, "I accept Christ." Jesus said, "Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"