Abraham Lincoln once said, “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” The same can be said for so many other areas of life, especially when it comes to Christianity.
For example, if you want to know for sure if salvation is yours, go only by ALL of God’s Word, not just some of it, and not by what you “feel in your heart.” God’s Word says that God’s grace (Tit. 2:11) and love (John 3:16) offer salvation to us, we receive it through faith (John 3:16), repentance (2 Cor. 7:9-10), and baptism (Mark 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21), and we keep it through faithful, continual obedience (Heb. 10:26-31; Matt. 28:19-20; Rev. 2:10) and penitent confession of our sins (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:7-10). Anything more or less doesn’t give us salvation, even though we might want it or even sincerely believe it to be so. So many are told that they don’t have to do anything to be saved, God does it all. Others are told that all they have to do to be saved is “ask Jesus into your heart,” or solely have faith in him; repentance and baptism are not necessary. Still others are told that once they have obtained salvation, they could unrepentantly return to sin and still go to heaven. Unfortunately, many believe this and thus “feel” that God has saved them. But what does God’s Word say? Have they obeyed ALL of what it says?
God said through Solomon, “There is a way that feels right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 14:12). One can sincerely believe that they are saved even though they have not done all of what God in his Word has told them to do, but calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it so (Matt. 7:21-27). This is why we must grow in our knowledge of God’s Word (2 Pet. 3:18; Ps. 1:1-3), so that lack of knowledge will not destroy us in the end (Hos. 4:6).