“Just google it!” Thus rings the clarion cry of our current culture. Whether fact, fiction, formula, definition, or historic or current event, just google it! The entire world and all its information instantaneously at your inquiring fingertips! What a tool! What a weapon! What an incredible blessing… or is it?
Now the answer to the question is, yes, of course, it is all of those things – an incredible tool, weapon, and blessing – just as long as the Christian who is using it is always and forever mindful of the fact that it does exactly that: Puts the entire WORLD at their fingertips. You see, Google can only give out, the information that man has put into it. The Christian – and especially our young people in the church – must be ever aware that Google is but a tool of man, programmed by man, and thus subject to the false and fallacious religious errors of man. It must never, therefore, be allowed to replace or become a substitute for consistent, personal, and in-depth Bible study, knowledge, and application.
For example, in recently googling the question, “Is baptism essential for salvation?” the top website referred to (1) said in part: “…Being put right with God by union with Christ in the divine miracle of conversion and new birth — is by faith and faith alone on our part.” That is precisely the exact opposite of what God’s word says (Jms. 2:17-24). Said website went on to say, “God uses faith as the sole instrument of union with Christ, and thus counts us righteous and becomes one hundred percent for us in the instant that we have faith in Jesus. That’s my answer.” That’s the problem: That’s his answer – and not God’s answer.
When asked further about those Biblical texts that clearly state that water baptism is indeed essential to salvation, Google’s top website referred to in answer to our question said: “The first thing I would say is that the thief on the cross was told by Jesus that that very day he would be with him in paradise. He was not baptized. I know he’s a special case. I don’t think you build a theology of baptism on the thief on the cross. But one thing it says is baptism is not an absolute necessity, because it wasn’t in his case.” If ever there was a religious response that proved the absolute necessity of taking Bible study over the word of man on anything (Rom. 3:4), it should be this one. This, because if this man had truly studied his Bible as much as he should have, then he would know for certain that the thief on the cross both lived and died under the Old Covenant (Hebs. 9:15-17) – the same Old Covenant as Abraham, David, and the like – and therefore did not need to be baptized like those of us living under the New Covenant do today (Matt. 26:27-28; Acts 2:38-41). The New Covenant, which, again, only came into effect AFTER the death of Jesus on the cross (Col. 2:8-14). Google’s number one/this man’s answer/conclusion to the question? “Baptism is the outward expression of calling on the name of the Lord in faith.” Once again, God’s word never calls baptism an ‘outward expression’ of anything, but the very act of faith by which we are cleansed and forgiven of our sins by the blood of Jesus Christ to become children of the living God and added by Him to His Son’s church (Col. 2:12-13; Acts 2:38, 47; 1 Peter 3:21; Gal. 3:26-27).
In further response to our question, “Is baptism essential for salvation?” Google additionally supplied the following under the “People Also Ask” section: “Is immersion baptism necessary? The immersion used by early Christians in baptizing need not have meant full submersion in… water.” (2) Once again, this is a complete contradiction of God’s word, easily recognized by those who have actually studied and know their Bibles (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12).
Google took us to yet another site (3) which answered: “Is baptism necessary for salvation? If the question is concerning water baptism, the answer is no. We are not saved by ritual or works but by “grace through faith.” “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Therefore, water baptism does not save us.” Once again; if these googled folks had actually studied their Bibles as much as they should have, then they would know that there is not just one, but a number of different, essential elements listed therein which God says save us – including water baptism! Hear what God said in 1 Ptr. 3:20-21 (ESV), beginning with those who: “formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you.” Did you get that? God said that “Baptism… now saves you.” So, who are you going to believe, trust, and obey when it comes to your eternal soul? God, or google?
It’s also high time to get just as serious about Siri and Alexa. Despite the fact that the Biblical record, fully considered, confirms that the earth is only about 6,500 years old, when Siri was recently asked how old the earth was, the answer was a whopping 4.54 billion years! When asked which religious group(s) were going to heaven, Siri’s top answer was to send us to a website (4) which contained only people’s opinions – and we know from God’s word how eternally life and death, Biblically dead wrong those can be (1 Sam. 13:11-13; Matt. 7:21-27; Acts 26:9-11; Eph. 4:4-6).
The thing we must always remember as truth seeking New Testament Christians, is that while all of these newly-minted electronic devices and resources may put the WORLD at our fingertips, they are still completely man-made, and therefore wholly subject to and reflective of, man-made error; while the word of God is forever pure, perfect, and totally unpollutable by earthly man (Ps. 19:7-11; 119:89; 2 Tim. 3:16-4:4). Therefore, when it comes to your eternal soul and all other things religious, don’t google it – but thoroughly study the word of God for it. That is the only way you will ever show yourself approved of God (2 Tim. 2:11-19). After all, the words of Jesus are just as true, timeless, and relevant to our eternity today, as they were the day they rolled off of His divine lips: “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” (Jn 8:31-32).
Footnotes: (1) www.desiringgod.org (2) www.wikipedia.org (3) www.gotquestions.org (4) [https://www.pewresearch.org%20%20%20%20%20/fact-tank/2015/11/10/most-americans-believe-in-heaven-and-hell/]www.pewresearch.org