© 2014 Stan Hallett
I recently joined a “Christian” social site called CHURCHBUD (I recently learned that the site no longer exists). I did it knowing that most people that call themselves Christians in the world follow what is called “Orthodox Christianity” and believe a false doctrine concerning salvation. There are a few that continually post this false salvation message on the site (sort of preaching to the choir, if all of these folks are Christians). Here is a post that I just saw this morning:
“Do you have the peace of sins forgiven, and a hope beyond the grave? We need to be prepared to meet God before it is too late. Are you ready? If you died today, do you know if you would make it to heaven? The heart of the Gospel Message of salvation is found in the Holy Bible in John 3:16. John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. You can become a child of God and inherit eternal life in heaven when you die. Ask Jesus to save you today. Romans 3:23: All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Then where will those that reject Gods plan of Salvation go to get their wages? The answer: Hell! Psalm 9:17: The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God. Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Matthew 10:28: And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell. Romans 5:8: But God demonstrates His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Are we saved by good works? The answer: No! Ephesians 2:8,9: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. James 2:10: For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. How to be saved: Romans 10:9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. To accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, ask Him into your heart and He will save your soul! “Lord Jesus, I am a sinner. Forgive me of all my sins! I repent of my sins. I believe you died on the cross and rose from the dead on the third day for me. I now receive you as my personal Lord and Savior! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!”
The only part of this that is in the Bible is the part that refers to repentance. But that is only part of the gospel message. We don’t accept God as our “personal savior”, He accepts us! True repentance is from our own heart and not repeating some words or phrases. This is a watered-down gospel. If this is all that you did, you would still die in your sins because you have not obeyed the gospel. John 3:16 is often taken out of context. It says that; “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” It says that IF you believe in Him, then you SHOULD not perish. In other words IF you believe that He is the Savior and that He is Lord, then you should be obedient to Him as Lord, and not perish but have eternal life. It takes more than simply believing and accepting. The gospel must be obeyed (2 Thessalonians 1:8, 1 Peter 4:17).
Note that the majority of scriptures that they use are from the Epistles, which are letters, mostly written by the Apostle Paul to various Churches (people already saved). The Epistles do not tell us how to get saved, or how to obey the Gospel! They tell us how to stay saved once we are. If you want to know how to get saved, what the Gospel is, and how to obey it, you have to go back to the beginning. The beginning of the Church is in the book of Acts, The Acts of the Apostles was the beginning and history of the early Church. This is where people were being told how to be saved and were saved.
Then the writer does not put John 3:16 in quotations or italics, but continues on with: “You can become a child of God and inherit eternal life in heaven when you die. Ask Jesus to save you today.” If one did not take the time to look up the verse for themselves, one might think that was written there as well.
They go on to say: “Are we saved by good works? The answer: No! Ephesians 2:8,9: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” This is to say that we don’t have to do anything else but accept the gift. This varies with all who preach this doctrine. Some say that you should repent, as this person does. Most say that you at least need to accept and pray some prayer, and they usually tell you what to pray.
Indeed we are not saved by our good works. These are being a good person, or giving money to causes, or feeding the hungry, etc. Salvation is a gift of God, and cannot be earned lest any man be able to boast that they earned their salvation because of how good that they were or how many good works that they did.
Obedience to God is not a work, but it is obedience. Unless you obey the gospel you cannot be saved. God is going to take His vengeance on those that do not obey the gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:8).
Note that most of their scripture references point to the epistles. The epistles (Romans to Jude) are letters, mostly written by the Apostle Paul, and were written to various Churches (people that are already saved). If you want to know how to be saved, don’t read letters to people that already are. You need to go back to the beginning of the Church where Peter stood up and told the people how to be saved (Acts 2:38). Or, go back when Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3-5, that a man must be born again of the water and of the Spirit to enter the kingdom of God.
We have a great challenge in front of each of us to know what is truth, and obey that truth. But how can anyone be assured that they are making the right choice? There are approximately 41,000 denominations just in the professed Christian faith alone. Each have different doctrines, even concerning how to be saved. We know why this is. Satan is the author of confusion and the father of lies. How, without God’s help could any of us make the right choice? We need to seek Him diligently concerning what is the truth.
Those that go even further and take it upon themselves to be minsters, pastors, evangelists, and do not have the truth themselves, heap a great judgement upon themselves when they come face to face with God, as we all will one day. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
Do not make what it is that you believe concerning the gospel a sentimental thing. Some believe a certain way because it was what their parents believed. Some believe a certain way because they are comfortable with their Church, like the Pastor, like the music, or worship, or people, or programs, etc., etc.. We need to challenge what people tell us, and prove it out in the Word of God. Pray that God will reveal to you what the truth is, no matter who’s right or wrong, or where the chips fall. Your eternity and those you witness too, preach to, or lead depends on it.
What is the gospel? Read the answer to the question; “How Can I Be Saved?” It’s not hard to be saved. Jesus said: “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30) But we cannot follow man-made doctrine of how to be saved, we need to do what God says. It’s in His Word. Pray that God would illuminate His Word to you.
There is nothing in the Bible that tells you to “accept Jesus as your personal savior”. Nowhere in God’s Word does it say to “say this prayer”, or “accept Him into your heart”, or any other of this man-made nonsense. We need to obey the Gospel.
Don’t take my word for it, or anyone else’s. Pray to God to lead you into His marvelous light and reveal the truth to you in His Word.
“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2 Corinthians 4:1-7)
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