Just before the death of actor W.C. Fields, a friend visited Fields in his hospital room and was surprised to find him thumbing through a Bible. After being asked what he was doing with a Bible, Fields replied, “I’m looking for loopholes.”
Fields wasn’t the first to look for loopholes in the Bible, nor the last. In fact, there is no other book in existence that has received more attention, scrutiny, skepticism, and critique. People all over the world search like ravenous wolves, longing with starving eyes for a loophole into heaven. They salivate over, what appears in their bias to be, a loophole.
Deceivingly, so many have claimed to have found it. “There are many paths to heaven,” they say. And yet Scripture clearly speaks of just one (Matthew 7:13-14, 21-23; John 14:6). “We’ve re-studied _________ and have changed our minds,” they proclaim. And yet, ironically and predictably, the conclusions they draw nearly always line up with current cultural norms. “The God I know would never condemn a person doing _________,” they say with confidence. And yet, God has clearly condemned it. “All you have to do to be saved is _________,” they reassure others. And yet, God has made it abundantly clear that baptism is where salvation is found and sins are forgiven (1 Peter 3:21, Acts 22:16; Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; etc).
Perhaps the greatest tragedy is seeing just how much effort people put towards avoiding God’s commands instead of just obeying them. It takes selflessness and humility to read God’s commands and obey them. And yet, doing so shows that we love God (John 14:15).
Do we love God? I mean truly love Him. Then let’s prove it through obedience.