A REASON AND PURPOSE FOR EVERYTHING (PART 11)
To believe in error about God is to believe in lies about Him. It is to believe with the faith that is natural to man, and not with the faith which comes by grace as a gift from God. Consequently, to believe in error about God is to not believe in the true God at all, but in gods which appeal only to the carnal mind of lost men. A man who believes in a false gospel only thinks he believes in the true Gospel, until he actually DOES believe in the true and only Gospel of God. The Scriptures state voluminously that God is the Saviour, and there is no other (see 1 Tim. 1:1; 2:3; Titus 1:3; 2:10; 3:4; Jd. 1:25). Merely because one says they believe in God, and that His Son’s name is Jesus Who died on a cross in order to save sinners, is no evidence that one holds to the Gospel of the true God. One man has stated that there are over 150 verses of Scripture which teach that “believing is the determining factor in salvation”. However, what this gentleman fails to point out is the fact that believing is a gift from God based on His will, grace, mercy and purpose, and so, it is God Who is the determining factor in salvation, and not something we do. Believing is simply the evidence of who God has determined will be saved. If salvation is by something we do, then salvation would no longer be by what God does, it would no longer be by grace at all, but by an act of the individual. The gentleman in question also failed to address the issue of what exactly it is which must be believed. He merely stated that one must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Such an ambiguous statement means different things to different people until they are taught the true meaning of what it is to believe by the Spirit of God through the means of the Word of God, and Who exactly the true Lord Jesus Christ is.
Another gentleman has rightly stated: “The new birth is the work of the Holy Spirit, Who places the believer in a right relationship with God. It is a work of God, not of man”. However, this gentleman later completely cancels out this statement by adding: “…if we trust Christ as Savior, salvation can be ours…the new birth occurs when faith is placed in Christ…the new birth is an act of God. This experience is accomplished by placing faith in Christ as Savior”. Notice how this man very subtly joins God’s work with our decision, our action. He states that the new birth is a work of the Holy Spirit, a work of God and not man, and yet hinges a man’s salvation upon a man’s trusting Christ. He says the new birth occurs when we place faith in Christ. So it would appear, according to this gentleman, that salvation comes after we do something first, a matter of our work preceding God’s grace. The problem with this is that grace does not follow, it is not at all subsequent to, what a man does. Grace always precedes what a man does, therefore, salvation is wholly by grace. Just as man’s loving God is only due to the fact God loves the man, man’s pleasing God can only occur after the grace of God has saved the man (see 1 Jn. 4:19). Each time this man speaks about salvation being a work of God, he refuses to allow the whole experience as being a work of God, and instead places what a man does as the perquisite for what God can only do subsequent to our doing something first. THIS is the subterfuge of Satan. Like the spitting cobra, the old Serpent sprays his false, lying gospel among people who can only see it as truth. Many people claim to believe in Christ, but the gospels they hold to demonstrate the unavoidable reality that who they say Christ is, is nothing but a counterfeit. What Christ did on the cross, and for whom Christ died are essential questions which must have the right answers if one is to show evidence that one is aligned with what the Scriptures teach, that one is rightly abiding in the doctrine of Christ by God-given faith. Believe God’s Gospel, believe God’s Jesus, and you will be saved. Now, salvation is not about ‘getting the answers right’, but is the evidence that one has the truth. A man is not saved because he believes, but he believes because he is saved. His answer does not make him right, but provides the necessary evidence that shows his thinking is in accord with truth. A man is not saved after, or because he believes the right things, for a saved man’s believing is the evidence that he is a saved man, that he is born again. Believers do not gain eternal life by believing, but are first ordained to eternal life, and at the appointed time, believe: “…as many as were ordained (or, appointed) to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48).
"Faith is not the cause, or condition of the decree of eternal life, but a means fixed in it, and is a fruit and effect of it, and what certainly follows upon it, as in these persons…The Arabic renders it as we do, and the Syriac thus, ‘as many as were put, or appointed unto eternal life’; and the Vulgate Latin version, ‘as many as were pre-ordained’…their faith did not arise from previous dispositions to eternal life, but was the fruit and effect of Divine ordination unto it; and the word here used, in various places in this book, signifies determination and appointment, and not disposition of mind (see Acts 15:2; 22:10; 28:23) The phrase is the same with that used by the Jews, (Mlwe yyxl wnqtad) , ‘who are ordained to eternal life’; and (yyxl bytkd lk amle), ‘everyone that is written to eternal life’; i.e. in the book of life; and designs no other than predestination or election, which is God's act, and is an eternal one; is sovereign, irrespective, and unconditional; relates to particular persons, and is sure and certain in its effect: it is an ordination, not to an office, nor to the means of grace, but to grace and glory itself; to a life of grace which is eternal, and to a life of glory which is for ever; and which is a pure gift of God, is in the hands of Christ, and to which His Righteousness gives a title: and ordination to it shows it to be a blessing of an early date; and the great love of God to the persons ordained to it; and the certainty of enjoying it.” A man’s believing the Gospel is not the prerequisite for his being ordained to eternal life, but is the product of it. What a man does or says does not make him a Christian, it is what has happened within him—the work of God, expressed by his acknowledging God’s Gospel—that makes him a Christian. Believing is like the first cry of the new creature born in Christ, and is then the very breath which eternal life has produced in him.
Believing in God is to not merely believe in His existence, even demons believe that (see Jas. 2:19). To believe in some general truths about God will do as much for a man as it does for devils. Nothing! To truly, savingly, believe in God one must repentantly believe the only true God’s only Gospel. Only the doctrines of the Gospel of God separate Him from all false gods, the doctrines which expressly and explicitly describe and define Who He is, what He has done and for whom He has done it. Being saved is not a matter of believing the right things in order to get saved, for salvation is evidenced by a man’s believing the Gospel of God. Believing is the immediate effect of salvation, not the cause of salvation. Salvation, as with being ordained to eternal life, comes not as a result of believing, but is the reason why a person believes the Gospel of God. “…as many as were ordained to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48). The cause of salvation is God by grace, the effect of salvation is believing in the Gospel of God. God is not, and cannot be, influenced by man, but solely by His predetermining will. “…by grace are ye saved…” (Eph. 2:8), proves that salvation is not something that comes after what a man has done, but only after what God has done. Salvation is not spontaneous, but predetermined. Salvation is a premeditated act of God toward those He has chosen to love. Salvation is not extemporaneous, it is not something which was pre-planned by God, but only deliverable by the ‘indispensable’ assistance of man. Grace cannot come after something a man has done first, for it is no reward, but a gift. Grace, then salvation, then believing. First the seed, then the tree, then the fruit. If believing came first then salvation would be a reward, not a gift by grace. It would not be something which God had determined, but what man had worked for, something a man had chosen for himself by what he had done. Salvation comes from God according to God, and not as a reward for anything we have done. Seeing that salvation is not a reward, but a gift, we learn that being saved is not a matter of one’s intellectual prowess, or degree of intelligence, but simply a matter of grace: a work of God upon one’s heart. Believing the Gospel is not an achievement of man’s, but is the indispensable gift of God given to a man. A man must believe the Gospel, not in order to get saved, but to show that he is saved. A man must believe the Gospel in order to trust in the true God and His only Way of salvation. One who claims to be something, yet knows nothing, or is wrong about that which he claims to know, shows no evidence to support his claims. Knowing how to change a tap washer does not make one a plumber, just as knowing how to change a light bulb does not make one an electrician. Likewise, knowing some truths about God does not make one a Christian. To be a Christian one must know, understand and exclusively believe the Gospel of God wherein is revealed the only Righteousness which saves: the Righteousness of Christ.
A man’s believing God’s Gospel shows that God has revealed Himself to that person, that God has revealed His truth to that person, that God has granted His faith by grace to that person, that God has saved and separated that person to believe and trust only in Him as He has revealed Himself in the Gospel. A person who does not believe the Gospel of God shows clearly that God has not revealed His truth to that person, that God has not granted His faith to that person, that God has not saved that person which is why they do not believe His Gospel as His only power unto salvation. Salvation is not principally a matter of knowledge, but of revelation. Salvation is given, not gotten. Salvation is a blessing, not a reward. If God has not revealed Himself through His Gospel, if God’s Gospel remains hidden, or veiled to any man, then the true God remains hidden from that person, and such a person is lost (see 2 Cor. 4:3). Man is not rewarded with salvation because he has believed, but the fact that he believes is the evidence of a work within, that God has visited that person with His grace and granted them the Faith to believe His Gospel. The fact salvation is by grace shows that it cannot possibly be by anything else. The grace of God is the only means of, the only avenue to, salvation. The fact salvation is by grace indicates that it can in no way be something which is deserved based on what the saved person has done. The presence of Grace does not suggest something done by man, but something done by God. The presence of grace is no sign of man’s love for God, but comes only because of God’s love for the man. All who believe were ordained to believe before the foundation of the world (see Acts 13:48). That is grace. The gift of salvation is evidenced in a man’s believing the Gospel of God, it is not awarded because a man believes, but is given SO THAT a man believes the Gospel of God and no other. Believing does not spawn salvation, but salvation brings with it the faith which believes God’s Gospel as the solitary means by which God saves. Salvation is not an achievement of man’s, but something which God has appointed His people to. The fact that salvation is predetermined is conclusive evidence that it does not come after a man has done something first. Anything which is opposed to such teaching is a doctrine of devils. Spiritual death never rides alone, but is always accompanied on its travels by false gospels and eternal death. Paul the apostle showed that if one believed and taught another gospel, one which differed in content with the Gospel that had been revealed to him by God, and which he preached just as accurately to others (otherwise it would not have been God’s Gospel he was preaching), they were accursed. Only the Gospel of God teaches salvation by grace alone. All other gospels add to, thereby, taking away from grace, diminishing its role in salvation by always supplanting it with what a man must do. What the carnal mind of a lost man can never do is see the reality of the fact that GRACE NEEDS NO AUGMENTATION! The grace of God needs no man-made enhancement to complete it, or increase its power to save, for grace IS God’s power to save His people from their sins. His people are saved by His grace. There is simply no room for a man’s works in salvation which comes only by grace. There is no deficiency in the power of grace to save for which man must make up for by what he does. What is done by God does not need to be, for it cannot be, supplemented by man. God does not require any man’s help to save His people by grace. There is simply no room in “…by grace are ye saved…” (Eph. 2:8), for anything a man does.
Anyone who does not believe the Gospel of God is corrupted in what they believe that Gospel to be, for they evidence an absence of grace, an absence of God, an absence of the right knowledge of the Gospel of God, and, therefore, an absence of salvation in their lives. The faith which God gives is attracted only to HIS Gospel—the WHOLE of it—and is repulsed by any other, no matter how closely it may resemble it. Paul told Titus that he should teach the young men to speak God’s doctrine with exactness and preciseness, simultaneously showing that not only is it most assuredly possible to do so, the Gospel of God must be preached and believed perfectly: "In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works; in doctrine shewing UNCORRUPTNESS, gravity, sincerity" (Titus 2:7). If the Gospel of God is not preached perfectly it cannot be believed at all. If it is not the doctrines of God which are accurately preached, how can one possibly believe His Gospel. Do you think there is any room for error in that word uncorruptness? This word carries the meaning “…freedom from corruptible mixtures or adulterations”. The apostle advises that God’s doctrine “…should be delivered out pure and incorrupt, free from error and heresy, and every mixture and invention of man's; and with all gravity of speech and countenance, without levity in expression, and airiness of gesture…” Corruptness of the Gospel is a corruption of grace. This is why it is so simple to identify a false gospel. Any gospel which teaches that any part of salvation is conditioned upon what a man does rather than on what God alone has done, is a false gospel. It is not the Gospel of grace, but a lying gospel of man. If Titus was to teach God’s doctrine with uncorruptness, then it is of a surety that Paul taught it thus. The Gospel of God must be taught as accurately as God gave it to Paul, and it must be believed as accurately as Paul the apostle has taught it. What would be the point in emphasising the importance of preaching the Gospel accurately, free from error, if one did not have to believe it just as accurately? Absence of God’s truth means the presence of human error. One either believes God’s Word or man’s words. One either believes God’s Gospel, or a man’s perversion of God’s Gospel. Perverted truth is not God’s truth, and a perverted gospel is not God’s Gospel. If one is not trusting in God’s truth, one is trusting in human error. If one is not trusting in God’s truth, one cannot be trusting in the God of truth. It is important to remember that God’s grace is not that which enables a man to believe, but the grace of God is that whereby a person is given the faith that ensures a man believes in HIS Gospel alone. One who is dead in sins cannot be enabled to do anything. Grace is not that which merely opens the door for a man to walk through, for it literally carries the man through. Man does need enablement, he requires enlivening. That enlivening, that energizing, is salvation, and it can only be done by the grace of God.
If one believes Christ died for all, as false Christianity teaches, then one completely changes what Christ did on the cross, and has, therefore, a different gospel, a false gospel. Christ dying for all is a doctrine which savagely attacks grace, for if Christ died for all then salvation becomes something which is based on a sinner’s decision, his work, rather than the will (decision) and grace of God. It makes salvation something which is decided upon by man today, rather than on the predestinating will of God which was settled before the foundation of the world. Praying to the Father, Jesus said: “As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him” (Jn. 17:2). Notice that eternal life is not given to as many as choose God, but to as many as God has chosen and given to the Son. Salvation is fully dependent upon God, for it belongs to God, and is issued forth by God according to His mercy. Salvation does not come by man’s will, but God’s mercy (see Rom. 9:16). Christ said all those whom the Father has given Him, not those who have chosen Him—a case of giving themselves to Him—but those whom He has chosen by grace, will come to Him (see Jn. 6:37). Any who believe they have chosen God, and given themselves to Him, have not the God of grace Who chose His people before the foundation of the world. Only if one believes that Christ died for the people His Father entrusted Him with, can a man rightly lay claim to believing the Christ of the Bible. Believing in a false gospel is a work of man’s, and is no evidence of the gift of Faith given by God to His chosen so that they will believe only God’s Gospel. Man believing is a work. Man believing the truth of God via God’s gift of faith is a work of grace. Believing in a false gospel is not being saved. Being wrong, is not a case of one being in need of correction, but nevertheless having the right answer, or a ‘right enough’ answer, for the very fact that one needs correcting is the sure and unmistakable sign that not only is one not right enough, but, indeed, not right at all. It is one thing to be wrong, but it is entirely another to hold to error which leavens the whole lump, which corrupts, therefore, changes a true statement into a lie, and the true Gospel into a false gospel. To believe in something that changes truth into a lie is to reveal one’s lost state. Being wrong about God—Who He is, what He has done, and for whom He has done it—is to have another god. Trusting in that which God has not done, is not trusting in Who God is. No one has the true God if the doctrine they believe about God is not of God. Christ declares: “…if ye believe not that I Am He, ye shall die in your sins” (Jn. 8:24).
Believing that ‘Jesus’ is God is not necessarily believing that the Jesus Whom God declares to be His Son, is God. Believing in one’s idea of who Jesus is and trusting in what He did not do, is believing in a false Christ of an equally false gospel. A false Messiah called ‘Jesus’ is NOT the true God. Only the One Whom God has described and defined by means of His Gospel record is the Saviour one must believe in. “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the Witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son” (1 Jn. 5:10). To believe in the Son of God is to believe what God has testified of him in the Gospel. To not believe the words of God, the doctrines of the Gospel concerning Christ, is to believe in another Christ whom God does not testify of in His Gospel. To have the Witness in himself is to manifest “…the need he stands in of Christ, and of the suitableness, fulness, and excellency of Him; the Spirit of God enlightening him into the impurity of his nature, his impotence to do anything spiritually good, his incapacity to atone for sin, and the insufficiency of his righteousness to justify him before God; and convincing him that nothing but the blood of the Son of God can cleanse him from sin, and only His sacrifice can expiate it, and His Righteousness justify him from it, and that without Him he can do nothing; testifying also to the efficacy of His blood, the completeness of His sacrifice and satisfaction, the excellency of His Righteousness, and the energy of His grace and strength: so he comes to have such a witness in himself, that if ten thousand arguments were ever so artfully formed, in favour of the purity of human nature, the power of man's free will, and the sufficiency of his righteousness, and against the sacrifice and Righteousness of Christ, the dignity of His person, as the Son of God, which gives virtue to His blood, sacrifice, and Righteousness, they would all signify nothing to him, he would be proof against them. And such an one very readily receives into him the Testimony God gives of His Son, of the glory and excellency of His person, and retains it in him. The Alexandrian copy and the Vulgate Latin version read, ‘hath the witness of God in him’”.
To believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God is to believe only GOD’S Gospel, GOD’S WITNESS, His Testimony of Who His Son is and what His Son has done. He who does not believe in the One God bears record of as being HIS Son—not just by name, but Who He is by what He has done—is calling God a liar! Even when the Lord Jesus walked this earth it was not enough to simply point to Him and say, ‘I believe in Him’, or ‘He is the Messiah I believe in’, if one did not know, understand and believe His Gospel. The essence of believing in Jesus is to believe the truth concerning Him: Who He is, what He has done, and for whom He has done it. There is no point in ‘believing’ in the historical Jesus, when what a person believes about Him fails to define Him as the Gospel Witness of God defines Him. How can a person rightly claim to believe in Him when what they believe about Him does not identify Him, and is not what He has done? This is the key to realising that what a person says Christ has done, is either true or false. If it is true then one has the true Christ. If what a person believes is false, then it is fantasy, and the Christ they believe is a false christ. Jesus Christ is the God and Saviour Who has saved His people from their sins. It can hardly be said that believing in lies about Jesus, which identify another jesus is also believing in the true God. It can hardly be said that one who believes in lies about Jesus is trusting in the Jesus Whom God bears witness of in His Gospel. God saves by revelation, by revealing Himself, His truth, to His people. He gives all His elect the same faith to believe the same Gospel. This saving faith is called “…the faith of God’s elect…” (Titus 1:1). Those to whom the truth of God is veiled, hidden, are simply not saved: “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are LOST” (2 Cor. 4:3). Clearly if one cannot see the Gospel, and believe exclusively in the Gospel, one is not saved. Without the Gospel which reveals the true Jesus one cannot be saved. How can one believe in the true Jesus when one’s gospel does not reveal Him? Requiring one’s doctrine to be corrected is the sure and unmistakable sign that one is NOT a Christian. Error is the spoiler. Error is the distinguishing element in all false gospels. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. The smallest amount of error changes the truth into one big lie.
To believe the true Gospel inaccurately amounts to not believing it at all. To believe that 2 + 2 = 4¼ is to believe that it does not equal 4. To rightly believe that 2 + 2= 4, is to believe that it cannot equal anything else. To truly, savingly, believe that the Gospel of God is the power of God unto salvation, is to believe that every other gospel is not the power of God unto salvation. There is no difference between believing the Gospel of God inaccurately and believing it erroneously. To believe inaccurately is to believe erroneously. To believe inaccurately is to not believe with the saving faith God gives to His people. According to Scripture, to believe the Gospel of God inaccurately is to not believe it at all, for a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. In cautioning His disciples concerning the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees, the Lord Jesus warned not of true doctrine, but only of false doctrine (see Matt. 16:12). Error changes the shape and substance of truth and turns it into nothing more than a lie. Add truth to error and you have nothing but error. Likewise, if one adds error to truth one has nothing but error. Truth cannot be mixed with anything but truth for it to remain truth. Any alien substance added to truth leaves one without truth. The Lord Jesus warned His disciples to "...beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees" (Matt. 16:6). "Then understood they how that He bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees" (Matt. 16:12). Any doctrine which is foreign to the Gospel of God changes the whole into another gospel. Error and inaccuracies of whatever degree are the identifying characteristics of a false gospel. Such a gospel is not what God has said, but merely a vehicle of deceit which only purports to be the Gospel of Truth, but in reality is a gospel which is of Satan, the father of lies. To believe the Gospel inaccurately is to believe it erroneously. To believe inaccurately is to show that one believes with man's natural faith. To believe the Gospel of God inaccurately manifests a singular lack of understanding that salvation is based on grace alone, and not on any act of man. To actually and accurately believe the Gospel of God, without any error, is to believe with the gift of Faith from God that salvation is entirely a work of God. To believe the Gospel of God with any amount of imprecision is the primary evidence that one believes with a perverted faith and not with that Faith given by God to all His children to see, understand and believe His perfect Gospel perfectly.
Anyone who does not believe the perfect Gospel of God perfectly is yet to comprehend the grace of God. Not a few eyebrows are raised when the word perfectly is mentioned, especially in light of the fact that no one is perfect. However, the faith which is given by God to His people is given so that they will all believe God’s Gospel error-free, and to the exclusion of all other so-called gospels. So that they will all believe that salvation is only by grace: the Work of God, and not by any work of man. If this were not so, why then would God grant His chosen people a faith with which they could only believe His Gospel imperfectly? To believe and understand imperfectly is something man does naturally, so obviously, the faith which God gives must essentially be different to the faith which lost man already has. The understanding which accompanies the faith that God gives to His people is one which rightly discerns the spiritual things of the Spirit of God. If “…Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of (natural) man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9), then surely the eye of a saved man has seen, the ear of a saved man has heard, and the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him have entered into the heart of the saved man. The faith which God gives is perfect, and so, His people believe His Gospel perfectly. To believe the Gospel of God is to believe it perfectly, for any imperfection, any deviation, and one has a useless faith which is at the mercy of a man’s sinful nature. The faith which God gives is given to ensure His Gospel is not only believed correctly, but, moreover, so that it will also continue to be preached impeccably by His people. The faith which God gives is called the faith of God’s elect (see Titus 1:1), not because it emanates from them, but because it is the faith which God gives to all His chosen ones so that they all believe in salvation by grace alone. Importantly, man needs no gift from God to believe in a gospel that conditions salvation on what a man does, for this is what every man, spiritually dead in his sins, believes by nature. The gift of faith is given so that God’s elect will all believe only in God’s Gospel of salvation by grace alone. To believe perfectly is to believe that all of salvation is of God by grace through the gift of faith. NO error, which by its very nature is contrary to and contributes to the perversion of the Gospel of Christ, thereby revealing another gospel that God has not declared and another christ that God does not claim to be HIS Son, will be tolerated. No one who believes in such error can be considered among God’s people, for, God's people are all taught of Him and have had His Truth revealed to them and have been given the Faith to believe the Truth of God, and not the errors of men. As God does not tolerate error, so, likewise, His people do not tolerate it either. What qualifies as an error when it comes to God's Gospel? Anything man says about it which contradicts what God has said constitutes His Gospel. Anything which clashes with the grace and mercy of God in the salvation of His people is a deadly error. Anytime a person hears of a gospel proclaiming that man must do something to get saved or remain saved, they are hearing a false gospel which promotes a hatred of grace, and, therefore, a hatred of the true God. No amount of works can ever make amends for one’s sin, or belief in a false gospel, so too, no amount of good works or committed religious lifestyle can ever rectify error.
Believing incorrect doctrine, false doctrine, about God shows that one is currently in an accursed state. This is said not to belittle those who trust in false gospels, but to apprise them of the perilous state they are in. Whilst many are aware of the high degree of deception in matters spiritual, there are few who believe that they themselves could actually be among the deceived. The apostle Paul exhorted the believers at Corinth to “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves…” (2 Cor. 13:5 cf. 1 Jn. 4:1). Few there be, particularly those who have considered themselves Christian for many years, who even contemplate the thought of examining themselves and what they believe. Precious few think it even possible that the doctrine they are believing might well be false doctrine. Others who have acknowledged their past doctrinal error, still maintain that though their trust and faith was at one time in a false gospel, and, therefore, a false god, they were nonetheless saved! When one is truly brought into the Light by the grace of God, one has no desire to return to the darkness, to hold on to past errors and false gospels, for they now behold what true light is, and Who the true God is. The apostle Paul emphasizes the crucial importance of believing God’s one and only Gospel: “But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8,9). If anyone, including the apostle Paul himself, preached anything differently to that Gospel which God had revealed to him, was accursed, it would stand to biblical reason that if anyone believed anything which differed with the Gospel Paul declared, was also accursed. To preach, or believe, anything which conditions any part of salvation on what you do, is to believe another gospel. To believe that Christ died for all, is to condition salvation on each individual’s ‘free-will’ decision rather than on God’s Sovereignly having chosen a person to salvation before the foundation of the world based on His grace and mercy alone, and given them to His Son. How can one simultaneously believe salvation is conditioned on an individual’s choice for God, and God’s choosing by grace before the foundation of the world those He would save? The two doctrines are diametrically, and eternally, opposed. The principle of the Gospel is the grace of God, the principal of a false gospel is the works of man. These two doctrines cannot co-exist in the same Gospel/gospel, therefore, one is true and the other false; one is indicative of the true gospel, and the other evidences a false gospel the belief of which cannot save.
“…if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Rom. 11:6). “Upon election, being called ‘the election of grace’ (Rom. 11:5), the apostle forms an argument, showing the contrariety and inconsistency of grace, and works, in that affair; proving, that it must be by the one or the other: and if by the one, then not by the other; and that these two cannot be mixed and blended together in this matter. If election is ‘by grace’, as it certainly is; for no other reason can be given why God has chosen one, and not another, but His own Sovereign pleasure, or that free favour and unmerited love, with which He loves one and not another; and not because they are better, or had done or would do better things than others; ‘then is it no more’, or not at all, for it never was ‘of works’, was not influenced by them, does not arise from them, for it passed before ever any were done (see Rom. 9:11-18); and those that are done aright spring from it, and therefore could never be the rule and measure, causes, motives, and conditions of it; ‘Grace is not grace, unless it is altogether freed’; grace will lose its nature, and ought to change its name, and be no more called or reckoned grace, but a due debt; and a choice of persons to salvation should be thought, not to be what God is free to make or not, but what He is obliged to, as a reward of debt to men's works: if election springs from, and depends upon the works of men, let no man ascribe it to the grace of God; for there is nothing of grace in it, if this be the case: otherwise work is no more work; that will free gift: but these things are contrary to one another; and so unalienable and unalterable in their natures, that the one cannot pass into the other, or the one be joined with the other, in this or any other part of man's salvation; for what is here said of election, holds true of justification, pardon of sin, and the whole of salvation.” Christ says: “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me…” (Jn. 6:37 cf. Jn. 17:2,9). “…no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27). The Greek has it “having been set into life”. Only those who have been ordained—or pre-ordained, pre-appointed—to eternal life will believe (see Acts 13:48). Having eternal life is something which one must be pre-ordained to by God, therefore, it can only be by the grace of God, and not at all by any works of man. “God, who ordered the end, ordereth the means, and gives them opportunities to hear the Word, and by it graciously worketh faith in them whom He hath appointed to eternal life…” “God did not only foreknow, but also foreordained, that neither faith nor the effects of faith should be the cause of his ordaining, or appointment, but His ordaining the cause of faith.” A Christian does not set his own destiny, nor is he self-ordained, but is pre-ordained by God to eternal life evidenced by his only believing the Gospel of the God Who has pre-ordained him.
There are only two groups of people on earth: those who are of the world, and the people who are of God for whom the Lord Jesus prays: “…I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine” (Jn. 17:9), “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (Jn. 17:16). There are only two groups of people on earth: those whom Jesus prays for, and those for whom He does not pray; those whom the Father has given to His Son, and those whom He has not given to His Son. Christ never once stated that all who would choose Him would be saved. Only those whom the Father has given to the Son will receive eternal life. Any teaching which goes beyond this is an absolute lie! Error, when it comes to things spiritual, is the sign of falsehood, and no amount of sincerity can ever change error into truth, another gospel into God’s Gospel, and another god into the true God. Paul the apostle wrote that “…the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God…” (1 Cor. 10:20). In other words the accursed—those who believe in the false gods of false gospels, from which come lies about the true God—actually worship devils who masquerade as the false gods of their imagination. Those who do not know God only serve those “…which by nature are no gods” (Gal. 4:8). The perceived ‘deities’ of false gospels are gods “only by name, and in the opinion of men, but have no Divinity in them, are only called gods, mere nominal, fictitious deities, who have nothing of the nature and essence of God in them; for there is but one God by nature and essence, the Father, Son, and Spirit; all others have only the name and appearance, but not the truth of Deity”. There is a true God, and there is the true God’s Gospel. All other so-called gods, all other so-called gospels, are simply not God, not the truth of God, not the saving power of God. Only truth is truth – only God is God. God Himself proclaims: “…I Am God, and there is none else; I Am God, and there is none like Me” (Isa. 46:9), and this God is revealed only in His Gospel. Salvation is by grace, it is by God’s loving first, therefore, salvation cannot be something which is dependent upon a man meeting any condition, whatever it may be. God Himself asks: “…Is there a God beside Me? yea, there is no God; I know not any” (Isa. 44:8). In reality, no other god exists except the true and only God, and none of those gods which have been formed in lost men’s minds are like the true God Who knows all, sees all, can and does do all that He wills to do. No false god ‘saves’ by grace alone through the sacrifice and righteousness of his son, alone. Every false god requires the works and effort of man before he can ‘save’ him. Every false god has only one source, and one dwelling place—the mind of lost men! Christ Jesus the Lord declares: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mk. 16:16); “He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (Jn. 3:18). To believe in the name of the Son of God is to believe that He will save His chosen people from their sins (see Matt. 1:21). “…ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep…” (Jn. 10:26). “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the Witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son” (1 Jn. 5:10 cf. 1 Jn. 3:24). The true, permanent and unchangeable record, or testimony, which God has given of His Son is found only in the eternal Gospel.
How can a man be saved who does not believe the truth? This is no rhetorical question, but one which must be answered from the Scriptures by those who claim that doctrine does not matter. How can one be saved by trusting in that which is not real, and in a god which cannot save? How can one be saved by trusting in that which cannot save? How can a man be saved who believes anyone who does not believe the truth is saved regardless? How can a man be in a saved state, born again, born of the Word of God, who believes they were saved before they heard the Gospel, or believed the Gospel of God as God’s only power unto salvation? How can a man have any credibility who claims to believe 4 is the correct answer to 2 + 2, and yet insists that anyone having a different answer is also correct! How can such a man have a proper understanding that 4 is not only the correct answer, but the only correct answer, when he says those who believe in different answers are just as correct? How can a man who believes in doctrines which belong to a false gospel possibly be in a saved state? How can a man who has been given the faith of God’s elect possibly accept doctrines which are simply not part of the only Gospel of God? How can a man be saved who believes in a god that cannot save? How can anyone be saved who declares that they are saved by trusting in that which God Himself declares cannot save!! Those who believe in false gospels are precisely those who pray to false gods. The images of God which their false gospels portray are no different to, and no less impotent than, the graven images set up by those who “…pray unto a god that cannot save” (Isa. 45:20). Is salvation not only a sure thing for the one who believes the truth, but also a certainty for the one who repudiates it? If so, why the biblical emphasis on believing the truth? Why would Christ Himself have said those who believe not the truth will be damned, if indeed they will not be damned? If lifestyle, character and conduct override doctrinal beliefs, then salvation would be conditioned on what we do rather than on what Christ has done. None can be in a saved state who condition salvation on the ‘good deeds’, the character, conduct and conviction of any individual. If they do not believe the Gospel then they are not trusting in God’s only Way of salvation.