Monday, August 17, 2020

Have You Believed In Vain?

1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

I immediately thought of the heretical Lordship Salvation crowd, who pervert the Gospel of grace. Paul is simply saying that some people think they believe right, but they have it wrong. Paul makes it easy for us, telling us exactly what we need to believe to be saved; namely, that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, He was buried, and He bodily resurrected three days later from the dead. Anyone who comes to God as a needy sinner, realizing their need for redemption, who places their confidence in Christ's death on the cross, burial and bodily resurrection is saved.

There are three things that one must know to be saved: the WHO, WHAT and WHY about Jesus...
  • WHO He is - Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (John 20:31)
  • WHAT He did - Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins. He was buried. Three days later He bodily resurrected for the justification of our faith.
  • WHY He did it - We are all sinners and the penalty is death (Romans 6:23), including a second death (Revelation 21:8). Christ had to pay our sin debt.
John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” John 20:31 says that these are written” were written to convince us that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing we will be saved. So we could eliminate the other 65 books of the Bible, and just use the Gospel of John, to find out everything we need to know to be saved. The word "repent" is not mentioned even once. We find the word "believe" mentioned 85 times in John. In chapters 19-20 we read about Jesus' death on the cross, burial and physical resurrection. In John 3:20-21 we read that those who love sin will not come to Christ to be saved, but "he that doeth truth" will come. That is repentance, not turning from sins, but the acknowledgement of the truth that we are a sinner, and believing the truth of the Gospel to be saved.

Repentance is acknowledging THE TRUTH that we are a needy sinner, and faith is believing THE TRUTH of the Gospel. Getting saved is strictly a matter of THE TRUTH, and has nothing to do with forsaking one's sins, which would be works. I can prove what I just said with 2nd Timothy 2:25, "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;" Most people today are enjoying their life of sin, and refuse to acknowledge THE TRUTH that they are a sinner in need of a Savior. I like to capitalize those words "THE TRUTH" for emphasis, not to shout, but to bring out (no pun intended) THE TRUTH.

One of the deadliest things in the world today is “Lordship Salvation.” What is this? Lordship Salvation is a false doctrine which says that you must surrender to Jesus as the absolute “Lord” of your life to be saved. Proponents of this damnable doctrine teach that a person must “repent of your sins” (turn away from your past sinful life) to receive God's free gift of eternal life. In so doing, the proponents of this heresy have moved away from the Gospel of grace, and made iron shackles for themselves! THEY HAVE BELIEVED IN VAIN!!!
Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
In Matthew 7:21-23 you can bet that these people believed in something. They boasted in their own defense in Christ's presence as their Judge, that they had done “many wonderful works” in His name, and that they preached in Jesus' name everywhere they went, and had even cast out devils in Jesus' name. Yet, the Lord spoke these horrifying words to them: “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” They had believed in vain, because what they believed did not agree with what the Bible teaches. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions! Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” 

You don't turn from your sins to be saved, Jesus came to save you from your sins, and turn you from them. Turning from sin is a matter of Christian growth, and not a matter of receiving God's free gift of forgiveness of them. Salvation is a judicial matter. You are a guilty sinner. Sin must be punished. Christ took your place on the cross and paid your debt owed. Therefore, God the Father can declared you justified, on the basis of Jesus' blood which was sacrificed for you! Pastor Jack Hyles said it this way:
“Redemption is a work of God the Son. Regeneration is the work of God the Holy Spirit. Justification is the work of God the Father as He declares the sinner righteous in the Son. Conversion then becomes the work of the church as we change the use and purpose of a life.” ―Pastor Jack Hyles, “Conversion And Salvation” (chapter 3) from his book: “Salvation Is More Than Being Saved”
Amen, that is how salvation happens. God saves a man, and then the indwelling Holy Spirit changes him. But nobody can mandate those changes as a requirement to be saved, nor as a condition to prove that one is saved, which would be works. The Bible says we “SHOULD” live godly in Christ Jesus; not MUST (that is works); and not WILL (that would be Calvinism). Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” Living a faithful Christian life has nothing to do with receiving God's free gift. You are born-again the very second that you trust Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, and it is a done deal Lucile!

Please listen to me dear reader, tens of millions of false Christians in neo-evangelical churches today are just as guilty in God's sight, as are hellbound Roman Catholics and Mormons who have perverted the Gospel of grace. The damnable doctrine of Lordship Salvation has infected Bob Jones University, Moody Bible Institute, Pacific Garden Mission (Unshackled radio), Harvest Baptist Church on Guam, and thousands of other apostate pseudo-Christian organizations today! They are all pulling on the same rope as the Devil, preaching another gospel of partial faith in Christ plus works. Have you believed in vain?

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