Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Why Pastors Need To Clarify The Gospel

2nd Corinthians 11:1-5, “Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.”

Billy Sunday Preaching THE TRUTH!

One of my favorite preachers is Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold. who made this tremendous accurate statement:
“There is power in this Gospel message. Most people just don't know how to present it... The clarity of the Gospel is what makes it easy for them to believe.” —Pastor Yankee Arnold, a quote from the excellent MP3 sermon titled, “WHY GRACE CAN SAVE THE WORST MAN!
I have been attending a local Baptist church in Pensacola, Florida for the past year. When I started attending last year in late 2021, the first thing I noticed is that the church's young pastor preaches a vague and distorted gospel message. He keeps telling the church congregation that to get to Heaven they must “have a relationship” with Jesus. Dear reader, the word “relationship” is not even found in the inspired Holy Bible.

So, to help teach that pastor, I personally handed a hardcopy of Michael P. Bowen's helpful book titled, “I Never Knew You: The Horror Of The Great White Throne Judgment And How You Can Avoid It.” He never thanked me for the book nor commented about it, which was fine with me because it was a gift for him. Tragically, the pastor must not have read the book, or disregarded it, because Michael Bowen clearly refutes the heresy of telling lost sinners to start “a relationship with Christ to get to Heaven. Here is what the Michael Bowen says on pages 19 and 20, to refute Pastor Joel Osteen's counterfeit plan of salvation at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas:
Before I was born again, I followed Mr. Osteen’s teachings with great enthusiasm; in fact, I couldn’t get enough of his teachings. From one show to the next, what he had to say made me feel so wonderful that I forgot all about the agony of not being sure of my eternal destiny. At the end of each show, Osteen would tell his audience that everyone needed to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and he instructed everyone to repent of their sins and to make Jesus their Lord and savior. He still teaches the same message today at the end of every service. 
Now, in my case, as a result of watching Osteen and because I was so hungry to know for sure where I would spend my eternity, I did exactly what he said to do at the end of every show, which is to repent of sin, to ask Jesus into my heart, and to make Him both my Lord and my savior. I made up my mind to stop sinning to the best of my ability and to make Christ my Lord at the end of every show I watched, but it never worked. I was never born again according to the way Osteen said we had to be born again, but I was happier as a result because my opinion of myself changed, I was empowered, I felt better about who I was as a person, yet, had I died while believing in Osteen’s plan of salvation, I would never have made it to heaven, according to the bible. 
What is the problem, here? Does the problem arise from a mere lack of understanding of what Mr. Osteen says to do? Or could it be that what Mr. Osteen is telling us to do is not even found in the bible, at all? And what shall we use in order to determine the answers to such questions? For the answers to these questions, let us look at the Greek translation of the English word “repent” as well as look at some key verses about salvation in the bible; however, before we do this, I have to say on the authority of the Word of God (not my opinion) and with a very disappointed feeling in having to say these things about someone who has meant so much to me in the past, I can say most strongly that Mr. Osteen unknowingly provides an unbiblical, counterfeit plan of salvation to both the members of his church and to his world-wide audience at the end of every presentation and that I honestly believe that no one has ever explained to him how to be saved, and that he, like so many others in the Christian business, simply copy each others’ plans of salvation in order to sound similar so as not to be seen as “different” from the mainstream.

SOURCE: “I Never Knew You,” Michael P. Bowen, pp. 19-20
My friend Michael Bowen continues on page 22 with these edifying words:
Salvation, according to Joel Osteen, consists of having a “relationship” with Jesus Christ. In order to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, Osteen says we must 1) repent of sins, 2) ask Jesus into our hearts, 3) ask Him to wash us clean, and 4) “make Him” our Lord and savior. Now, according to the bible, this is not how to go to heaven. What this is, however, is a blueprint for discipleship. More accurately, what we really need is a “savior.” When you become born again through faith alone in Christ, you are automatically in a “relationship” with Jesus Christ the very instant you trust in what He did for you by His death, burial and resurrection from the dead. To say that we need a relationship with Christ is not an accurate statement. We need salvation in order to escape the wrath of God, not a “relationship.”

SOURCE: “I Never Knew You,” Michael P. Bowen, p. 22 

As I type, the pastor of the local Baptist church that I have been attending, still refuses to stop using the unbiblical phrase for people to have “a relationship with Christ to be saved. That is not how you get saved! If you think that Bible preachers like Michael Bowen and myself are splitting hairs, that we are barking up an empty tree, or that we are being too picky; then humbly said, you are greatly mistaken dear friend. I say that kindly with God's love.

Not surprisingly, the Baptist church I am attending is affiliated with the cult at Pensacola Christian College (PCC), which explains a lot because PCC uses the same unbiblical terms to confuse people. In their official Foundation's Class, PCC's Campus Church heretically teaches that, quote: “Repentance is a change of mind resulting in a change of behavior.” That is a lie of the Devil!!! Repentance (Greek noun: metanoia) is a change of mind, period, end of story!

Like other religious cults, PCC is very deceitful, like the Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA). If you look on their Campus Church website, you'll see a free grace Gospel. But as I was horrified to learn firsthand on July 21, 2021, while attending their mid-week Bible study on Wednesday evening, they teach something very different in their church services. Why don't they tell people on their church website that your behavior must change to prove that you've repented to be saved? Why don't they be honest and tell people on their website, as they do in church services, that you must repent of your sins to be saved? I'll tell you exactly why—because PCC's ungodly and incompetent leaders are straddling the fence doctrinally, driving in the middle of the road, playing both sides of the card table!!! As Pastor Curtis Hutson rightly says: “The only thing you'll see driving in the middle of the road are dead skunks!”

He who lies down with sleeping dogs, rises up with ticks and fleas! The accursed Bob Jones University (BJU) camp have been doctrinally corrupt for the past 50 years!!! After Dr. Bob Jones Sr. (1883-1968) went to Heaven, his son and grandson ran the institution into the ground, adopting Calvinism instead of a free grace Gospel. As a clear indicator of the downward spiritual descent of BJU into darkness, they have officially dropped their reference to Roman Catholicism as "a cult." Roman Catholicism is the biggest cult in the world!!! Catholicism is a prisonhouse of religion!!! Shame on Bob Jones University!!!!!!! Why would any parent entrust their precious child to such a rotten, incompetent and corrupt place as BJU? It is the LOVE OF MONEY. Carnally-minded parents and their kids want a money-making career for their children, with no concern for right doctrine and no regard for right morals or ethics.

By the way, PCC teaches the same crap as does Dr. Steve Pettit. They all teach that justification, sanctification and glorification are a package deal and you cannot separate them. They are all WRONG! Pilgrim's Progress author, John Bunyan gets it 100% correct:
“If you do not put a difference between justification wrought by the man Christ without and sanctification wrought by the Spirit of Christ within, you are not able to divide the Word aright; but contrariwise, you corrupt the Word of God, and cast stumbling blocks before the people.” —John Bunyan (1628-1688)
The payment for sin is not works! The payment for sin is death (Romans 6:23). That is why Christ had to pay our debt of sin on Calvary's cross with His blood, which He then sprinkled upon the heavenly Mercy Seat (Hebrews 9:12, 22-24; 12:24).

I have been listening and paying attention to what church members are saying, at the church I have been attending. I heard one lady in our church express her worries that she may not be saved, because of the sins in her life. I heard another man, while talking about the Gospel with him, say that he thinks water baptism is necessary to go to Heaven. Oh my! This man has been an usher in the church for the past six years!!! How could this happen in a Baptist church? This is what happens dear reader when pastors don't preach a clear and concise Gospel message!!! As Pastor Yankee Arnold wisely says: THE CLARITY OF THE GOSPEL IS WHAT MAKES IT EASY FOR PEOPLE TO BELIEVE!!! ...
Acts 16:29-34, “Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.”
Amen, they all got saved in Acts 16:30-34, the entire family and all therein. When the Bible says that they “believed in God,” I think it is clear from the context that they believed God's written Word concerning the Good News (Gospel) of the Lord Jesus Christ. John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

I did what I could to help the young Baptist pastor that I mentioned earlier, but he refuses to heed my help. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink it. Pastor Jack Hyles is so right, who said: “Unsought advice is seldom taken and usually resented.” A friend helps a friend to see! I have been a friend to that young pastor, but it seems in vain. I handed him the book, “I Never Knew You,” just as I did to the incompetent pastors of the Harvest Baptist Church on Guam in 2014, but they all rejected the book. Michael Bowen's book is 100% Scriptural, in which he simply compares the plan of salvation of 15 big name preachers in the United States, versus what the Holy Bible teaches about how to get to Heaven. Their plans of salvation DON'T match up!!!

When I handed a hardcopy of the book: “I Never Knew You,” to Pastor Sean Quinlan at the Lighthouse Baptist Church on Guam in 2018, he literally handed it to his children to play with. I kindly informed Sean Quinlan that his church track display contained literature that says you must "turn away from sinful ways" to get to Heaven, which is NOT the Gospel by which we are saved. His lame reply was: “Well, you have to turn FROM something in order to turn TO something.” I agree, but that something is unbelief, not sinful ways. The only thing that a lost person needs to know to be saved is found in Romans 3:19, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” You don't have to turn from your sinful ways to be saved, the Bible says you need to acknowledge that you are a guilty sinner before God, and that is repentance!!! Faith is the only righteous thing that I can do.

Here is the best quote that I've found on repentance, by Pastor Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951):
“Which comes first, repentance or faith? In Scripture we read, 'Repent ye, and believe the gospel.' Yet we find true believers exhorted to 'repent, and do the first works.' So intimately are the two related that you cannot have one without the other. The man who believes God repents; the repentant soul puts his trust in the Lord when the Gospel is revealed to him. Theologians may wrangle over this, but the fact is, no man repents until the Holy Spirit produces repentance in his soul through the truth. No man believes the Gospel and rests in it for his own salvation until he has judged himself as a needy sinner before God. And this is repentance.” (Except Ye Repent, p. 16)
When the Philippian jailor in Rome asked Paul and Silas what he needed to do to be saved, would it have made any sense if their answer to him was: “Have a relationship with Jesus”? Surely not! In fact, the Philippian jailor would have been utterly confused. It is tragic that over 95% of clergy today are theologically incompetent, preaching a distorted plan of salvation which cannot produce the new birth. Satan's greatest weapon is to con people into living the Christian life without ever being born-again. That is what 99% of religious people are doing today, living the Christian life without ever being born-again by the Holy Spirit of God.

Here is a list of some of the unbiblical things that foolish preachers are adding to God's simple plan of salvation, thus corrupting the Word of God and casting stumbling blocks before the people:
  • Be willing to turn away from sin
  • Live a lifestyle of repentance
  • Turn from your sins (reformation)
  • Be sorry for your sins (penitence)
  • Make a men for your sins (penance)
  • Forsake a lifestyle of sin
  • Repent of your sins
  • Have a change of behavior
  • Get water baptized to wash away sins
  • Invite Christ into your life
  • Ask Jesus to come into your heart
  • Follow Christ
  • Surrender to Christ
  • Make Jesus “Lord” of your life
  • Live for Christ the rest of your life
  • Give up the old ways
  • Faithfully run the race until the end of life
  • Count the cost and pay the price
  • Confess the name of Jesus publicly
  • Pray a sinner's prayer
  • Pray the Jesus prayer
  • Walk down a church aisle to learn how to be saved
Dear reader, you may have done ALL THESE THINGS and yet never be born-again. What saith the Scripture? John 6:40, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” You get to Heaven as a guilty sinner by placing your trust in the crucified, buried and risen Savior (I Corinthians 15:1-4).

(by Pastor Max D. Younce)

Salvation is not a reward for the righteous, it is a gift for the guilty!

Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith.

Turning away from sinful ways would be a work. Faith puts all of the merit where it belongs, on the object of our faith, Jesus and His work.

If to “repent” means to forsake our sinful ways TO BE SAVED, but Jesus already paid for our sins by dying on the cross, then what are we repenting from?

The true Gospel always points you to CHRIST; a false gospel always points to YOU.

We must stay true to the simplicity of the Gospel!! Repentance regarding salvation is a change of mind from unbelief to belief!!! We must earnestly contend for the faith (Jude 1:3).

Can I Know I'll Go To Heaven?
(Pastor Jesse Martinez)

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