BELIEVING HAS A BEGINNING
Everything has a beginning. Like all things in life believing, too, has a beginning. The Christian life has a beginning. Which begs the question, what is it that changes a man from non-Christian, a lost person, to a Christian, a saved person? What makes the difference? The fact of the matter is there is no Christian life before believing, and no believing without the Gospel of God. To be a Christian, a child of God, one must believe the Gospel of God. No one expects to be a Christian whose faith is in the Buddhist gospel and no one expects to be a Buddhist believing the Christian Gospel. So we see that to be a Christian one must believe Christ, one must believe HIS Gospel and no one else's. When the jailer asked Paul and those with him "...Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30), they responded immediately by saying, "...BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be SAVED..." (Acts 16:31 cf. 1 Corinthians 1:17,18 & Mark 16:15,16). In order to be a follower of Christ one needs to believe on Him and to believe on Him signals the beginning of one's Christian life, the beginning of salvation. Before salvation one is not saved. Before believing one is not a Christian. It is important to point out that believing the true Gospel of the true God does not make one a Christian, it is simply the primary evidence that one is a Christian. For to believe, to savingly believe, the Gospel of God requires the Gift of Faith from God. Those who are Christians today have not always been Christians for we have not always known or believed the Gospel, and as a consequence, the God of the Gospel. There is no true Christianity without believing the Gospel and knowing God. There was a time for most Christians today when they had not heard the true Gospel. For those who had heard it, but did not immediately believe it, did not for a time recognize it as the True Gospel of God. What we did believe in our religious, but pre-Christian days, was only a false gospel, in some cases a succession of false gospels. Belief of such gospels does not provide any evidence that one believes in the true God of the true Gospel but only shows that thus far in that person's life they have yet to be brought to a saving knowledge of God, an acknowledging of His Truth. Scripture teaches that the servant of the Lord must be gentle and able to teach others the Gospel of God "...if God peradventure will give them repentance to the ACKNOWLEDGING OF THE TRUTH" (2 Timothy 2:25). Not knowing and believing the Gospel of God is not knowing and believing the God of the Gospel. Notice, too, how Paul speaks of repentance being part of acknowledging. One must repent of ever believing lies or errors to rightly and biblically qualify as an acknowledger of God's Truth. More on this later.
Belief in a false gospel is to believe only in that particular false gospel's god. Clearly, everyone's intention is to believe in the True God, or to be more precise, everyone believes that the god they believe in is the true God for no one ever intended to believe and trust in a false god. However, WHAT A PERSON BELIEVES ABOUT GOD REVEALS THE GOD THEY BELIEVE IN. The only god a person can love at any one time is the god of the gospel they believe. Most true Christians spent several years believing a false gospel and not the Gospel of God prior to their hearing and believing the true Gospel. Then there came a time in each of our lives when we actually heard the doctrines of the Gospel of our salvation preached with power, or read the doctrines taught, and were given the Gift of Faith from God to recognize Him as the only True God and His Gospel as the only true Gospel. There actually came a time, appointed by God, when He gave to us His Faith that we see, understand, believe and trust in His Gospel as His sole power to save, and repenting of all others we had ever believed as having saved us and counting them as counterfeits and rejecting them all as false gospels, which have no power to save anyone. I am not talking here about the false christian who claims to have 'found God' or 'experienced God' in some mystical way. I am not speaking about those false christians who claim to have 'found God' without ever being taught the true doctrines which are contained in the true God's Gospel which alone reveals the true God. I am not speaking about those people who base the beginning of their 'Christian' lives merely on an experience and perhaps some knowledge of a few basic truths about God. I am not here speaking about false christians who either do not know, understand, believe and therefore reject the God Who manifests Himself through, in and by the doctrines of the Gospel of the grace of God. What I am talking about is REAL Christians who HAVE heard and seen and understood and now love and believe the Gospel of God as His power unto salvation. I am talking of REAL Christians those who have been given the Faith of God to see, hear and recognize the Gospel of God, and the God of that Gospel, as the one true Gospel and the one true Almighty God. I am talking about Gospel believers, true Christians, who believe that only the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation and that NO OTHER GOSPEL COULD POSSIBLY BE! "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation...for therein is the Righteousness of God revealed..." (Romans 1:16,17).
Many people are laboring under the misapprehension that they were saved before they ever heard the Gospel. Before they ever received saving Faith. Before they ever knew the true God. This is like someone saying that they were born before they were ever conceived! (see my book 'Born of the Gospel' at godsonlygospel.com). Whilst claiming to now believe the true Gospel they are quite vehement in their insistence that they were just as saved whilst believing, what they now readily accept was not God's Gospel at all but, another gospel! They can now see and understand that what they once believed was indeed a false gospel, a gospel which despite the copious amount of truth it contained was riddled with error. These people believe that the Christian life does not begin with believing the Gospel of God but in believing just about any gospel as long as its god is called 'God' and his son 'Jesus'. And so, we have the bizarre and completely unbiblical proposition, and therefore untenable position, which such people hold to that they were saved whilst believing a false gospel! Saved now in believing the true Gospel AND SAVED WHEN TRUSTING IN ANOTHER GOSPEL!! This all sounds so illogical, so inconceivable, that I feel compelled to add that I am not making any of this up. I once received emails from a gentleman saying that he agreed with my Gospel but added that he has a friend whom he also claimed believes the Gospel and yet is convinced that he was just as saved when he believed the Arminian gospel, the gospel which teaches Christ died for everyone. Sadly, he went on to state that he believes his friend is right. So many others who claim to be Christians don't even know what the doctrines of salvation are. They simply equate a 'belief in God' and a religious, straight edge, lifestyle as proof positive that they are Christians. Simply say 'I love God' and you will be considered a 'Christian', too. The seriousness of the situation is underscored by the fact that so many who call themselves pastors do not offer any opposition or Scriptural guidance to help such people see their gross error. The problem is that so many 'pastors' today see nothing wrong with such 'conversions'. Some dare not say anything for fear of losing members of their congregations and their valuable financial contributions. Despite the word 'gospel' being often mentioned in 'christian' gatherings no one actually tells you what they mean by the word 'gospel'. They say they love the 'gospel', that great 'gospel' and 'come to our gospel service' but they never actually tell you what their gospel is. One church deacon actually told my mother 'No one knows what the Gospel is'. The man may as well have said 'No one knows Who God is'. Many so called pastors steer clear of the subject for fear of alienating members of their congregations whom they know do not agree with them and so just like the world, they refrain from things they know will cause an argument. 'Never talk about politics or religion.' They refrain themselves from teaching solid doctrine and instead allow themselves to be reduced to giving feel-good pep talks to their people. In light of this, ministers the world over simply use the word 'gospel' and the people just take it to mean just about anything they want it to. ONLY THE LOST DO NOT KNOW THE GOSPEL. Despite the major doctrinal disparities of many today concerning Who God is, what God has done and for whom He has done it everyone is a 'Christian' who professes to love 'God'. As long as you claim to love Him you are saved and all is well despite what you believe, after all, 'none of us are perfect'. 'We live our Christian lives and learn and make adjustments to our theology as we go', is their claim. Such is the mindset of millions today. This has been the biggest sticking point for many I have come across in my life: WHEN DOES THE CHRISTIAN LIFE ACTUALLY BEGIN? This leads us to two further questions: What must I do to be saved, and, what must I believe in order to show that I am saved? Does the Christian life begin when a person looks up to heaven and simply asks God to save them, or does it begin after one has heard the Gospel and believed it?
According to Scripture none are saved before they hear, understand and believe God's Gospel and that only belief in God's Gospel provides the crucial, primary, evidence that one is saved. Christ Himself establishes the link between believing and being saved: "...preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:15,16). You see, to believe the Gospel is to believe in God's Salvation Plan. It is to trust in God's way of salvation and no other. It is to believe in God's Son, the One HE speaks of in HIS Gospel. It is to believe and love and have hope in the true God and not in a false god. Those who do not believe, trust, in God's Son are not currently in a saved state: "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 John 5:10); "He that hath the Son hath life: and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:12). People who simply do not realize the gravity of the situation that believing error or lies which amounts to false doctrine about God and His Son is not merely something that can be corrected during one's 'Christian life', but is the key indicator that one does not have a Christian life for one does not believe in the true God. Far from being some trivial matter, when it comes to the issue of salvation believing true doctrines about God and believing false doctrines lies at the heart of being in a saved state or being in an accursed state; of knowing God and not knowing God. (see my book 'Just a Doctrinal Thing?' at godsonlygospel.com) Believing false doctrine about God is to believe in a false god. We will see later just what the apostle Paul has to say about those who teach and believe salvation doctrines which differ from his Gospel.
Anyone who believes that they were saved by any gospel other than God's Gospel is calling God a liar, claiming that God has either authored more than one Gospel or that any gospel that God has not authored has equal power to save. That God's Gospel is only one of the powers, but not the only power, unto salvation. There are no alternatives: either God has more than one Gospel that saves or there are other gospels which God has not Authored that have equal power to save as God's only Gospel. Either way you are calling God a liar if you believe He has, or there are, more than one Gospel which is God's power unto salvation. You cannot get anything more serious than calling God a liar. So rather than be quick to count a person saved who believes they or others were in a saved state before believing the true Gospel of God, God's true record of His Son, Who He is, what He has done and for whom He has done it, we need to judge saved and lost by the Gospel of God which is His Testimony, His Plan, His Blueprint, if you will, on salvation. Judging saved and lost by any other means is an exercise in futility. The only other way a person can judge saved and lost is looking at a person's character and conduct, and everyone who professes to love God should at the very least know that God saves His people by grace and not by works. Not in who they are but in what God has done for them: "...for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified" (Galatians 3:16). "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" (Ephesians 2:8,9).
To believe in the Gospel of God is the evidence that one has received SAVING FAITH FROM GOD without which no man can be saved. Salvation does not come because one believes. We do not believe and are then saved but a man's salvation is evidenced by his belief. NO ONE IS SAVED BEFORE GOD SAVES THEM. I cannot imagine anyone being in such an appalling spiritual state as to believe anything so absurd as a person being saved without God. God saves whom He wills and when He wills it. But God does not save anyone by a simple decree. That nothing else is involved in a person's salvation other than God proclaiming it. Some are under the impression that election is salvation but that is not what the Scriptures teach. No one was ever born saved. Paul tells the Ephesians that though they are now saved, it was not always so for all God's elect prior to salvation "...were dead in trespasses and sins....and were by nature the children of Wrath, even as others" (Ephesians 2:1,3). A person in such a condition, be they elect or not, is not in a saved condition. A person was not saved when they were elected, but their election was made UNTO salvation "...God hath from the beginning chosen you TO salvation THROUGH sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth" (2 Thessalonians 2:13). Further undeniable evidence that a person is not saved when elected is provided by the apostle Paul in his second Letter to Timothy: "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also OBTAIN the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory" (2 Timothy 2:10). Clearly, we see that the elect need to obtain salvation so obviously before they do this they do not have salvation. Salvation comes with believing God's Gospel, not merely by the fact that one has been elected. Of course, all the elect will all be brought to see, understand and believe the Gospel of God by the Grace of God and will all be saved. However, the elect do not have salvation until they obtain salvation through hearing and believing the Gospel of Christ. God does not save anyone through their belief in a false gospel but only through their belief of the truth. (For a detailed study on this please see my article 'Appointed to Wrath or to Salvation?' on this website. You cannot worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth unless you have been given the Faith of God by God (see John 4:23,24). Suffice it to say that God has appointed His chosen to obtain salvation through the means of, or by, Christ's Sacrificial death for them. Writing to the Christians at Thessalonica the apostle Paul states: "For God hath not appointed us to Wrath, but to obtain Salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us..." (1 Thessalonians 5:9,10 cf. Hebrews 9:15). Seeing then that none are saved unless God saves them, unless He has appointed them to obtain salvation, we need to see what the evidence of salvation that all saved people have is. The number one thing that distinguishes a saved person from a lost person is not their level of religiosity. It is not their clothing or size of the crucifix they wear, nor their good works or loving smiles. It is not that they are better, kinder or more loving people than lost people. What distinguishes a saved person from a lost person is the Gift of Faith. The saved person has been granted the Gift of Faith by God to believe the Gospel of God. The lost person has not. Christ says: "...no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of my Father" (John 6:65). Paul supports this by saying "But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost" (2 Corinthians 4:3). Anyone to whom the Gospel is hidden, meaning anyone who has not heard the Gospel, or does not recognize it as God's only power unto salvation, and therefore does not believe it revealing that they have not been given the Gift of Faith to believe it and come to Christ, is currently lost. According to 2 Thessalonians 2:13 all of God's chosen ones believe the truth. THE SAME TRUTH! The truth about what? The truth of the Gospel, God's Gospel which contains the doctrines of grace concerning the salvation of His people. When the Gospel was hid to them they were as lost as anyone else from whom the Gospel is hid. But after being saved by grace through the Gift of Faith they all believe the doctrines of God's Gospel as His power unto salvation. Loving the truth, acknowledging the truth is not something which is part of a lost person's life so how could any such person be in a saved state who does not love and obey God's Gospel? Moreover, loving a lie, a false gospel is not something which is ever a part of a saved person's life, of a Christian's life. More on this later. Without the saving Faith of God given to His people so that they will only believe and trust in His Gospel, the best any person can do is believe a false gospel. Without God every man sits in darkness. Only with God does man have the truth. Again, a person cannot be saved without God and God saves by his Grace through the means of the Gift of Faith given to all His chosen ones so that they all believe His Gospel and no other. Those who say they were saved without belief of the Gospel are saying that God saved them by grace through some other means. Faith is given to believe in God's Gospel. ITS HOW WE SEE GOD! In other words, Faith is given by God to His people so that they see Him as God and His Son as God and believe His salvation Plan, His Gospel wherein the true God is revealed. Without this Faith one simply cannot know God. To claim salvation before or without that precious Gift of Faith is to believe in a salvation by works. To claim that one was saved because of election is to do away with the necessity of believing God's truth, His Gospel. But on what Scriptural basis could anyone even know they were elected of God unless they believed the true and only Gospel of God? IF YOU ARE TRULY SAVED BY GRACE YOU WILL BELIEVE IT WAS THROUGH THE GIFT OF FAITH TO BELIEVE GOD'S GOSPEL. The lost do not know the Gospel, evidenced by their not believing the Gospel which in turn is evidence that they do not have the Gift of Faith so that they can savingly believe it. Those who say they were saved years before they ever knew the Gospel are saying that salvation came to them without the Faith necessary to be saved. Apparently, the very means of how God saves does not apply to these people for their claim is that they were saved by grace but not through Faith. The Gift of Faith to believe in God and His Gospel was not required for such people. Pure fantasy! You'll notice that every time you open your Bibles to Paul's Letter to the Ephesians, the same words will always be there: "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" (Ephesians 2:8,9). The faith that a man has by nature will never lead him to seek, understand and therefore identify the true God alone as God. A lost man's faith will never seek, understand and therefore recognize the true God's Gospel as the true God's sole power to save. "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God" (Romans 3:11). How could anyone be so blind as to believe they were saved without the Faith of God and from God GIVEN SO THAT His people believe ONLY the Gospel of God?
To believe in a gospel which is not God's Gospel is to reject God's plan for salvation and His only Son and instead accept, hope, trust and believe in some other way, a false way, of salvation and in a false god. The thing that deludes so many people into thinking they have the real God, the true God, is the sincerity expressed in their belief and what they have experienced in 'coming to God'. Many professing Christians have experiences of great joy and feelings of being overwhelmed with happiness. They see how their lives have changed and how others can see a change in the way they look and act. These occurrences, these happenings are quite real, however, none of this separates them from the pagans and suchlike who believe not in the true God but in some power, some force or some other false god. Many people who follow pagan religions have the exact same experiences as those who claim to be Christians and yet are without the true Gospel and therefore without the true God. Show me a man who does not believe the Gospel of God and I will show you a man who does not have the precious Gift of Faith which is given by God to His people to believe His Gospel, and therefore the true God, and to readily recognize that no other gospel, no other plan of, or pathway to, salvation is of God and in turn authentic and therefore His power unto salvation. To believe in another gospel is to trust in a plan of salvation which is not God's plan, not HIS record of Who His Son is, what His Son has done and for whom He has done it: "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 John 5:10). Not only are false christians not believing God's Record of His Son revealed in His Gospel, but they are actually calling God a liar! Now, no professing Christian would ever say the words 'God is a liar' but through what they believe, a false record, a false gospel, they scream out 'God is a liar'!
To rightly believe on the Son of God is to believe God. To believe God's Gospel is to rightly believe on His dear Son. Being a recipient of the Gift of Faith is to believe GOD'S record and no one else's, HIS Testimony about Who HIS Son is, what HIS Son has done and for whom HE has done it. Nothing can more fully reveal and compound the unforgiveable sin of unbelief, than believing in another gospel, a record that God has not given of His Son, for it is nothing short of calling God a liar. To believe in a false gospel is to disbelieve God's Gospel whether one knows what it is or not. "Unbelief is a source of sin, and cause of judgement, being greatly provoking to God." To believe only in God's Gospel plan of salvation is to believe God's record of His Son; it is to believe in the true Jesus and what He did for the people God entrusted to Him. To believe in the true God is to trust His Way of salvation. False gospels do not contain God's Way of salvation. Believing in a false gospel, no matter how closely it resembles God's only Gospel, is NOT the beginning of the Christian life but only another of the myriad of ways Satan deceives the lost. False gospels are simulated gospels. They pretend to be THE Gospel of God but in reality they are only worthless imitations of the real thing. They promote an imitation god who cannot save and they are believed and trusted in by imitation Christians. The true Gospel is Authored by the true God and He Authorizes no other. The false gospel is authored by anyone but the true God and therefore cannot save anyone.
To believe the Gospel of God is the beginning of the Christian life. Believing the Gospel is a two-way street. Not only does it involve the exclusive Gift of Faith from God in the doctrines of God's salvation plan, but built into that Gift is a 100% rejection of every other salvation plan presented to us in the guise of the Gospel, past, present or future. Christians are people of truth. If you truly believe that 1+ 1=2 that belief carries a built-in automatic acknowledgement that it could equal nothing else but 2. Every other answer is not the correct one but a false one. If you say you believe the right answer to 1 + 1=2 and yet claim that those people who believe the right answer is any other number as well, then you cannot believe that 2 is the ONLY CORRECT ANSWER. If you believe you had the right answer before you knew what it was you are only deluding yourself. The most that could be said is that you believe 2 is only one of the 'right answers' and not merely the only right answer. If you believe that any answer is the right answer, then what you are saying, at best, is that as long as a person sincerely believes they have the right answer, then that qualifies their thinking as correct! At worst, you believe there is no right answer and that any number will suffice. If you say you believe the true Gospel of God and yet claim that those people who believe the true Gospel is any other gospel also, then you cannot believe that God's Gospel is the ONLY CORRECT AND GENUINE GOSPEL. You cannot believe that there is only ONE GOD and that salvation is found only in Him. The most that could be said is that you believe God's Gospel is only one of the 'true gospels' and not the only true Gospel. That despite what Scripture says God has more than one power unto salvation. If you believe that any gospel is the right gospel, then what you are saying, at best, is that as long as a person sincerely believes they have the right gospel, then that qualifies their thinking as correct! At worst, you believe there is no right Gospel and that any gospel will suffice. The old and rather tiresome 'all roads lead to God' theory. Scripture states clearly in page after page, verse after verse that there is only ONE God, that He has only ONE Son and His Testimony of His Son is revealed in only ONE Gospel. The burden of proof that it is otherwise lies squarely upon the shoulders of those who so foolishly disagree.
One thing that strikes me as quite odd about those who say they believe the true Gospel and yet firmly believe that their Christian life began before they ever heard it is, why the change? Why haven't these people stayed with the false gospel they formerly believed? Why not simply go on believing that it is as legitimate a gospel as God's true Gospel and, therefore, approved of God? Why adjust your beliefs when you claim to have been saved anyway? Some might think that because it was only one Gospel doctrine they failed to believe that that makes it ok. Seeing that they believed most of the doctrines of the Gospel they simply count themselves saved rather than counting all those years, and all they did, as dung like the apostle Paul did. To believe such a thing is to believe that 4 x 3 + 5 - 1 can only equal 16 is equivalent to believing that 4 x 3 + 5 equals 16 as well. To leave one element out of the equation is to be left with a different answer, a different solution. To believe in a gospel which leaves out one salvation doctrine is to be left with a different gospel. Paul was a Pharisee of the Pharisees. There was no one as zealous as Paul for the law and in his persecution of Christians: "Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the Church, touching the righteousness which is in the Law, blameless" (Philippians 3:5,6). Paul was never saved in those days. Only after Paul was shown the Light, only after Paul saw and understood and believed the Gospel of Christ did he become a saved man: "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ" (Philippians 3:8). Even the world uses the phrase 'I saw the light' as denoting that they now see the error of their ways. Do you think the Gospel Paul believed in had one or two doctrines missing? Do you think that it contained anything which opposed God's record of His Son? Do you think the Gospel Paul had been taught, and in turn taught others, contained any error of any kind. Do the above Scriptures lead you to believe that though Paul now believed the truth about the Lord Jesus he nevertheless considered himself a child of God, a saved man, when he was a Pharisee and persecuted Christ and His people? I hope not! No one could possibly walk away from Philippians 3:8 thinking that Paul still considered himself a saved man when he was a Pharisee. He counted as dung, that is, 'any refuse, the excrement of animals, offscourings, rubbish, dregs, things worthless and detestable' ALL that preceded His receiving the Faith of God that led him to love and embrace only the Truth! That's what Paul thought of what he believed as a Pharisee about the Lord Jesus Christ. That's what he thought of establishing a righteousness of his own. That's what he thought of the false gospel he had once believed. Truth and error have nothing in common. The two are mutually exclusive! They are not stable mates, as it were, but are worlds apart. "...what communion hath light with darkness?..." (2 Corinthians 6:14). Everything that preceded Paul's Christian life was abandoned by Paul for he now knew that God has only one Gospel, one Way to salvation: His beloved Son Jesus Christ. This salvation was not to be found in any of the many false christs that were being promulgated during Paul's time, not in any false gospel, but only in God's true Son as He is revealed in God's true and only Gospel.
Saying that one was saved, that one is and was a true Christian before believing in the true Gospel of God, is like saying you were saved before you knew the true God or, that you were saved before God saved you. It's like saying God did not save you by means of His Truth, that He did not choose you to be saved through sanctification of His Spirit and belief of the truth, belief of His Gospel, but by believing any gospel (see 2 Thessalonians 2:13,14). Trying to justify this insane belief is like saying before you had the correct answer to an equation you were right in whatsoever you believed was the correct answer! That you were just as right believing 2 + 2=9 as you are now that you believe that the answer is 4 and can only be 4. It's like saying you had the right answer before you knew it. And, when it comes to salvation it's like saying 'I had and worshipped the true God before I knew who He was. I believed in God's Salvation plan before I knew what it was', or, 'I believed in God's salvation plan while I believed in another'! Or 'I was saved while believing a gospel that was not God's Gospel'. Christ said: ...it is My Father that honoreth Me; of Whom ye say, that He is your God: YET YE HAVE NOT KNOWN HIM..." (John 8:54,55). Scripture says that God does not save without His Truth. Do not delude yourself. If you truly believe the Gospel of God then you believe that you were saved only after you heard it and not before: "In Whom (Christ) ye also trusted, AFTER ye heard the Word of Truth, THE GOSPEL of your salvation..." (Ephesians 1:13). If you truly believe the Gospel of God you reject any and all other gospels as having any power to save and you judge not only your own salvation based on this but also that of others. You cannot rightly claim to believe the Gospel of God and claim that anyone was saved believing anything less or more.