Biblical faith is a response to the Word of God. (068) Any religion is flawed that adds something to the Bible as a valid object of faith. Now, because the vast majority of churches that exist today actually do this, we need to clarify what we are claiming. Are we claiming that biblical faith cannot be exercised unless the person doing the believing has done his own study of the Bible and discovered its meaning? Are we claiming that churches that add to the Holy Scriptures so mislead their followers that those followers cannot be saved from the wrath of God? Are we claiming that the only way to God is through years of diligent study of the Bible? What are we claiming?
Let's take the questions one at a time. First, are we claiming that biblical faith cannot be exercised unless the person doing the believing does his own study? The answer, in a word, is no. Faith doesn't come from studying the Bible. If it did, only students of the Bible would have faith, and all students of the Bible would have faith. Neither of these are the case. Many people come to faith apart from personal study, and many who study much have no confidence in what they discover. What then, are we claiming? Simply that the Bible must be the basic source of the doctrines claimed to be truth. Churches who have to go somewhere else besides the Bible to support their teachings are unworthy to be called churches.
Second, are the followers of such churches automatically blocked from eternal salvation just because they are in such an organization that adds to the Word of God? Again, the answer is no--that is, not necessarily. There are few people in any church who believe everything that their church teaches. This is both good and bad. It is good if the person only believes what the Bible actually teaches as it is proclaimed in the church. It is bad if the person dismisses a teaching as only a church doctrine when it is, in fact, a biblical doctrine. What do we mean? Only that God saves according to faith in the real truth. Thus, if a person believes the Truth God will save him even if he also believes some things that are not true. But, and here is the kicker, everything that we believe that is not true sets us up for disaster down the road because we act on what we believe.
And, third, is the only way to know God to be found through years of Bible study? Again, the answer is no. God is not hard to find. He claims that anyone who will call upon Him in the name of Jesus with a repentant heart will find Him. The only thing hard about that is that we cannot make our selves believe what we don't believe--even if God said it--and it is not easy to repent. Generally we do what we want--and it is hard to repent of that.
So, what are we saying? This: the Bible is the only valid source for faith in God as Savior. If you want to be sure of whether God is going to accept you in the day of your death, why not pick up your Bible and begin to study it as it is indeed, His Word? Trusting in your church could be an enormous mistake.