BELIEVING HAS A BEGINNING (PART 3)
True Christianity is not some religious game that is played according to our rules. We are not saved when we feel saved, when we think we are saved or when we say we are saved or when someone else tells us we are saved. No one is rightly deemed a Christian if they do not believe the Gospel of God and that there is no other gospel which is the power of God unto salvation. (please see my book 'How Many Gospels? at godsonlygospel.com). The Christian life has a beginning. One cannot have a Christian life without belief. Belief in the truth of God AS HE 'sees it', according to what God says His Gospel is. The evidence of election is belief in the Gospel of God. To believe one is elect and yet not believe God's Gospel is a nonsense. To say a person is elect of God without there being any Biblical evidence to support such a claim is delusional at best. There can be no salvation if there is no belief of the Gospel. There can be no election or salvation without the evidence of the Gift of Faith revealed in a person's believing the Gospel of God as His only power unto salvation. I believe my son is saved, but I never believed that until after he was taught the Gospel of God and then believed it. Now I no longer pray for his salvation but I thank God for his salvation for I now see the undeniable evidence of his being elect unto salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth (see 2 Thessalonians 2:13).
Those who do not believe the Gospel, made up of those who believe a false gospel or no gospel at all, can pray all they like and attend scores of church services and prayer meetings and say they love God a million times a day if they want to. They can go about doing good in the community, help the elderly or comfort the sick, etc. They can write a million devotionals and preach and teach all they like: BUT, IF THEY DO NOT KNOW AND BELIEVE THE TRUE GOSPEL THEN THEY SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW AND BELIEVE THE TRUE GOD. Many forget that Scripture says that Christ will return "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that KNOW NOT GOD, AND THAT OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess. 1:8). We learned earlier how that belief of the truth is connected to knowing God and being saved and that disbelief is connected to damnation. Now, notice here how knowing God is inextricably linked to obeying the Gospel of God. The link between unbelief and a state of lostness is demonstrated in the Old Testament as well as the New as shown in the Letter to the Hebrews: "And to whom sware He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the Word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest..." (Hebrews 3:18,19-4:1-3).You cannot obey God if you do not know God. You cannot obey His Gospel if you do not know His Gospel. You cannot know God if you do not obey His Gospel and you cannot obey His Gospel unless you know Him.
Those who believe in false gospels know God's name and His Son's name. They are familiar with historical facts about His Death and Resurrection etc., many can even quote Scripture verbatim. Imagine how many years Roman Catholic priests spend studying. How much knowledge they gain about the history of the Bible, etc. How many years Protestant ministers spend in Bible colleges, etc. Most wear different clothing to the average person don't they, to show who they represent and thus what they know and believe. And yet, they are not and never have been saved for if they do not believe God's Gospel they do not know God. Nothing can make up for that. Nothing can be as good as that. Nothing can fulfill the requirement to believe than BELIEVING! You see, to believe God's Gospel is to place one's trust in God's Way of Salvation which is to simultaneously reject every other salvation plan no matter how close it comes to God's plan. THE TRUE GOD BELONGS TO, AND IS ONLY REVEALED IN, GOD'S GOSPEL. False gods belong to false gospels. The most deceptive of all false gospels are the ones which attribute the most truth to their false god. Yet it is not the truth which reveals these gospels as false. The truths which false gospels contain only serve to gain entrance into a person's life for the lies they contain. Much like a delicious, yet poisoned, cake is used to be the carrier of the poison. The Devil is most assuredly in the detail. A counterfeit note is not recognized as such by its similarities to the genuine article but by its dissimilarities, in the detail. In fact, it does not matter how accurate the counterfeit note is. It does not even matter if there is only one thing wrong with it. It's that ONE THING, that ONE ERROR, that ONE DISPARITY which reveals it to be a WORTHLESS counterfeit no matter how sincerely you believe it to be the genuine article. A false gospel is identified as such by the false doctrines it contains not by how many true ones it has. It does not matter how many truths the gospel you believe contains, it's that ONE DOCTRINE, that ONE ERROR, that ONE DISPARITY which reveals it to be a WORTHLESS counterfeit no matter how sincerely you believe it to be the genuine article. Belief in a false gospel has never saved anyone.
What does the Gospel you believe teach about the true God? What does the gospel you believe teach about the True Jesus? Have you ever challenged the doctrines of the gospel you believe in? Have you tested them by the Scriptures? By that I mean have you tested what you believe by what you do not believe the Gospel of God is? If not, what are you afraid of? Surely not the truth. Surely a person who claims to love the truth is not afraid, is not so insecure as to fear having what they believe seriously and objectively challenged by the Truth. If you are in the water and need help and are thrown five lifesavers the one you hold onto is the one you've trusted in to save you, simultaneously rejecting the other four. Which gospel are you trusting in to save you? Are you sure that the one you have is the one from God? There are myriads of gospels out there but only one that saves. TO HOLD TO THE TRUE GOSPEL IS TO REJECT ALL OTHERS AS HAVING ANY POWER TO SAVE AND THE UNGODLY, HERETICAL BELIEF THAT ONE WAS EVER SAVED BELIEVING THEM.
To be born, physically, into this world involves quite a lengthy process. Birth is always preceded by conception. The seed of man must be passed on to the woman and then conception, development and growth in the womb must occur and continue for a period of 9 months before birth can take place. Of course in many cases there are premature births where a child is born even up to a dozen or so weeks earlier. Nevertheless there is a period of gestation which must take place before the actual birth. So too, the spiritual re-birth of a man is preceded by the Seed of God, His Word, the Word of Truth or the Word of the Gospel, being received. A man is born again, saved, by the will of God but never without the Seed of God: His Word of Truth: "Of His own Will begat He us with the Word of Truth..." (James 1:18). The apostle Peter adds: "BEING BORN AGAIN, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, BY THE WORD OF GOD...And this is the word which BY THE GOSPEL is preached unto you" (1 Peter 1:23,25). As you can plainly see, NO MAN is born again but by the Gospel of God. Man is taught of the Father. He hears or reads the doctrines of the Gospel and is taught of the Father. He is given the Gift of Faith and so sees and understands the Gospel of Christ as the power of God unto salvation: "...and they shall all be taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me" (John 6:45). He does not receive the truth as mere words but the words come with power and for the rest of his life he believes the Gospel doctrines, he understands them and knows deep in his very soul that no other gospel in the universe can rightly be called and trusted in as God's Gospel for he has been taught of God and come to the true Jesus. No false gospel has ever led anyone to the true Jesus just as a false god has never taught anyone the true Jesus. Christ does not pray for the world but only those whom God has given Him "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine" (John 17:9). Also, one cannot come to the true God unless one believes in His Son as He is revealed in God's Gospel: "Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25). Do you now understand how no person is saved, has begun their Christian life, unless they have been taught by and learned of the Father and come to the true Jesus? Can you see that no one HAS EVER come to the true Jesus unless they were first taught by, and learned of, the Father? Believing a false gospel is no evidence that you have been taught of the Father, in fact, believing a false gospel is THE evidence that you love a false god.
Salvation is not evident when, or resident in, a person who believes anything about God but when they believe the truth about Him. Paul the apostle spoke many times of the Gospel. He firmly believed that there was only one Gospel that brought to light the truth about God and His Son and how a man is saved. It is not difficult to see that. As we saw earlier, in speaking to the Christians at Galatia, Paul said that if anyone, even if it were an angel from heaven, came bringing with them a gospel which differed from the Gospel Paul had preached to them they were in an accursed state. Paul did not say they were Christians who just needed a little correcting but twice declared them to be ACCURSED according to what they believed! Notice Paul did not say if an angel from Hell, a demon or even Satan himself dripping with evil intent were to come bringing another gospel for they would all be readily recognized as not possibly bringing with them the true Gospel. What Paul warned is that even if an angel, radiant and fresh from the Presence of God, were sent bringing another gospel do not believe him. Look closely at verse 8 of Galatians 1. We know from Scripture that any time an angel of God came to the earth he was actually sent by God for various reasons and often to speak His very words. Gabriel in particular is often viewed as a messenger of God, or spoken of as being sent from God (Daniel 8:15-26; Luke 1:11-38). In light of this, the gravity of what Paul is actually saying here is quite startling, even shocking. Paul is saying that even if an angel sent by God relays a different gospel than the one Paul had preached to them let him be accursed. So sure was the apostle that he had heard, believed in and subsequently preached God's one and only Gospel to the Galatians that Paul was essentially saying that even if God Himself brought to you a gospel which differed from the one he had preached to them let him be accursed! This is not said lightly. There is no clearer way that Paul could have communicated the certainty that what he had preached to the Galatians was the Gospel, God's Gospel, and that they were never saved before it and that no one can possibly be saved without it, or whilst believing in another. Paul was sure that the Gospel God had given him was His one and only complete Gospel. There are no additions to be made, no alterations or corrections, no changes whatsoever to suit coming generations. Paul showed that the Gospel he had been taught and in turn taught the Galatians is God's Gospel and would always be God's Gospel. Anyone, even if God Himself came bringing a gospel that differed in the slightest way to Paul's Gospel evidenced that they and their gospel were accursed!
God does not change and His Gospel does not change. Revelation 14:6 speaks of "...the EVERLASTING GOSPEL..." No one believing in anything different will be saved. This should and does assure all those who believe the Gospel and are saved that the Gospel they believe is the very same one Paul preached. People, even so called 'ministers of God' have said that no one really knows what the Gospel is. One 'minister' said 'To know what the Gospel is, that would be something.' After all the evidence you have read and seen in this article from Scripture can you believe there are even men who have set themselves up as ministers of God who say no one knows what the Gospel actually is!! If this is so then what are we to do with Jesus' words: "...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). We are all doomed!! If that minister and others like him are right, that no one knows the Gospel, then according to Christ's words we are all doomed for no one even knows what the Gospel is let alone believes it. And if the Gospel cannot be known then God cannot be known and loved and trusted and all of mankind is doomed. Utter nonsense. Do you honestly think that the Lord would allow His Gospel, the Vehicle through which He reveals the truth about Who He is what He has done and for whom He has done it, to disappear? To not be known by anyone including His own people. To leave its future in the hands of mere men knowing that it would eventually become riddled with error and even disappear from the earth. To leave even His own people with nothing but conjecture and speculation as to what precisely God's Gospel is? Is this how the God of the Universe would protect His Word, His Truth, the very thing He declared must be believed in order for any to be saved? Of course not. What then of Christ's words in Luke: "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My Words shall not pass away" (Luke 21:33). Everyone who names the name of Christ readily says that God's Word is perfect, that it is infallible and that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, etc. Then why and how can these same people say that no one knows what the Gospel is? If we cannot know what the Gospel is then part of God's Word has passed away! Whatever Paul the apostle preached has been lost forever! And if so, then all anyone is left with are gospels which are riddled with man's error! None shall ever know what exactly is missing from anyone's Gospel or what if anything has been added, for no one can rightly claim to know what the Gospel is! If the Gospel has passed away how can anyone be sure how God saves? And, if any part of the Gospel has passed away then Christ must have lied when He said His Words shall NOT pass away! THIS IS MADNESS!!! THIS IS GOD'S WORD WE ARE TALKING ABOUT! This is God's Gospel we are talking about, the belief of which is the very evidence that a person is saved. The very thing that those chosen by God to salvation would all believe. Do you honestly believe God would not protect His Gospel from error, to leave it to become distorted and perverted by men? What then of the warnings of false gospels in the Bible? How would anyone recognize a false gospel, indeed another jesus, if no one knew what His true Gospel was? And if no one knew what the true Gospel was what would it matter what we believed for there would be no way of discerning truth from error when it comes to salvation! Everyone would merely believe what they thought the Gospel was. Isn't that what is happening today and has always happened in the lives of those who do not know the true God and His Gospel? Yes indeed! Only those who do not believe God's Gospel place their faith in whatever they believe the Gospel to be. Paul's words to the Galatians show conclusively that there is no salvation in any other gospel other than God's own Gospel, the Gospel He gave unto Paul and the Gospel that Paul gave to the world. According to Jesus' words in Mark 16 and in other passages of Scripture God does not save anyone who does not believe His glorious Gospel.
To believe in another gospel is to believe in another god. To believe in another gospel is to believe in the doctrines of devils, to not abide in the Doctrine of Christ. To believe in another gospel is to be in a cursed state not a saved one. To believe in another gospel shows one has yet to begin a Christian life. I would dearly love to hear from anyone proffering even one Bible-based reason, one Bible verse, upon which they believe a person is in a saved state whilst believing a false gospel. This brings to mind one Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Spurgeon is known and revered among many as 'the prince of preachers'. He wrote many books 'defending' the doctrines of grace. Mr. Spurgeon rightly adjudged John Wesley's Arminian gospel as another gospel. Spurgeon said: "I do not serve the god of the Arminians at all; I have nothing to do with him, and I do not bow down before the Baal they have set up; he is not my god, nor shall he ever be; I fear him not, nor tremble at his presence" (Sermons preached and revised by the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon, sixth series, page 241). Likewise, Wesley once said to George Whitfield 'Your god is my devil'. Astonishingly and despite Spurgeon's apparent abhorrence of the Arminian gospel and its false god, he nevertheless believed that Wesley was a saved man even after identifying his gospel as another gospel! Apparently, according to Spurgeon, one could even be saved whilst believing a gospel of a god he did not believe was the true God and to whom he referred to as Baal! Spurgeon even went so far as to say if any more apostles had been needed that Wesley would have been an ideal choice! Spurgeon said: "...while I detest many of the doctrines which he (Wesley) preached, yet for the man himself I have a reverence second to no Wesleyan; and if there were wanted two apostles to be added to the number of the twelve, I do not believe that there could be found two men more fit to be so added than George Whitfield and John Wesley" (C. H. Spurgeon's Autobiography, Vol. 1, page 173). Upon what did Spurgeon base this appalling statement? Clearly he could not and did not base it upon the gospel Wesley believed or upon the god that Wesley loved. There was nothing he could base such an asinine statement on other than Wesley's character and conduct. Wesley believed a false gospel and loved a false god but he was a saved man? That is the kind of utter blasphemy that Mr. Charles Haddon Spurgeon believed. Spurgeon did not count Wesley saved based on Wesley's gospel or the god of that gospel so all that remained is Wesley's character and conduct, his works, and it is to that which Spurgeon appeals. Though Spurgeon wrote much against salvation by works he diametrically opposed his own writings when declaring John Wesley a saved man. Spurgeon could not base Wesley's 'salvation' upon the gospel Wesley believed nor the god Wesley believed in. Once you remove the gospel and the god of that gospel which a man believes there remains nothing else but the man, his person and his works, upon which to base his so-called salvation. Truly, Spurgeon must have thought Wesley a remarkable man. A man who did not require the love of God to be saved, who did not require belief in God's Gospel to be saved, but who only needed himself and his works to gain his salvation! Wesley, a man whom Spurgeon openly called a believer in another gospel not God's Gospel, and a lover of another god, not the true God, would have been a great apostle? Was this man serious? How long do you think Wesley and his false god and false gospel would have lasted with the apostle Paul? Paul states in Ephesians 1 that one can only truly trust in the true Savior, Jesus Christ, AFTER one has heard and believed God's only Gospel, not a false gospel, for the true Christ is not revealed in a false gospel but only the Gospel of God. Paul did not say they trusted in Christ after they heard a false gospel but only after they heard THE Gospel of their salvation. Before the seed of man there can be no child, before the Seed of God, His Gospel, there can be no child of God.
None can simultaneously oppose God and what His Gospel says and have God, for if you reject His Gospel and all the ramifications of it, you are rejecting God Himself. You are not saved. And, anyone who says that a person who believes in a false gospel, or who now claims to believe in the true Gospel yet stubbornly considers themselves saved whilst believing another, is saved, you, too, are a rejecter of God and His Gospel. You are not saved. Any teaching that differs from what God’s Gospel says opposes God, it opposes what God teaches about salvation and so anyone who thinks that they were saved without God’s Gospel by believing that which opposes it, is living in a fool’s paradise, which will eventually become a living, pulsating HELL!! The person who believes in that which God has not said is in ignorance/darkness, which is what a person in a saved state is brought out from in the first place. Belief of the truth, which is revealed in the doctrine of God, which every true believer abides in, is what distinguishes a saved person who has been brought out of darkness into God’s marvellous Light, from a person who is lost and sitting in darkness. Yes, Christians are different and belief in the Gospel of God is where the difference begins! The lost jailer asked: "What must I do to be saved?" The first word he heard in response to his question was "BELIEVE!" Now, do you think that the jailer considered himself a saved man when he asked this question? How could he have been saved? For how silly would he have been to ask how one is saved if he were already saved. And what of Paul and the others the Jailer posed his question to? Do you think Paul and those with him thought the jailer a saved man when they heard him ask them what he must do to be saved? How could they, for why would they have told a man they considered saved how to be saved? So it becomes crystal clear that the jailer was a lost man. Paul instructed him that to be saved one must BELIEVE! Before believing one is not saved but lost. It is only after one believes in the Gospel of Christ that one produces the evidence of salvation and not before. Those who do not believe are lost, for to be saved one must BELIEVE!! To begin the Christian life one must believe the Gospel of Christ. The state of every man by nature is shown clearly in the following verse: "Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart" (Eph. 4:18 cf. Jn. 1:5). The blinded heart cannot pump the blood of eternal life. All who are without the Gospel of God are currently in this deplorable, spiritual state. Their understanding is in the dark; they are non-participants in the life of God; this is due to their inherent ignorance of the truth about God as revealed in His Gospel, and because of the blindness of their deceitful and wicked hearts. "Ignorance is the characteristic of heathendom." Ignorance of the Gospel is not a characteristic found in ANY justified person! Ignorance, in the Bible, speaks of "...the former unregenerate condition of those who became believers (1 Peter 1:14)." The ignorance—which is inseparably connected with unregeneracy—of the person who remains in ignorance of the Gospel cannot be called former ignorance, for they still abide in it. How can any in such a state be rightly considered saved? The unregenerate obstinately adhere to what are, ultimately, their own views rather than to God’s Word. They have yet to recognize God’s Gospel as the Word of God—His power to save—but see it as merely the words of men (1 Thessalonians 2:13 cf. Mark 7:13). None can be born again and yet remain in darkness and ignorance of what the Gospel is, for "...if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are LOST" (2 Corinthians 4:3), not to those that are saved. The Gospel is not hidden, it is not concealed, from the saved nor is it that which the saved are ignorant of, but only the lost. If the Gospel is hid from any man, he cannot see it, he is ‘in the dark’ concerning it, and he is therefore ignorant of it which all amounts to a state of lostness. IGNORANCE OF THE GOSPEL IS THE VERY ANTITHESIS OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE SAVED. To be saved is to KNOW and BELIEVE! To be lost is to not know or to disbelieve. Ignorance and belief are hardly synonymous terms. Can you honestly believe that anyone in a state of ignorance can rightfully, biblically, be pronounced saved? Of course not! Can you now honestly believe that you or anyone else is/was saved, began the Christian life, BEFORE or WITHOUT the Gospel of God? To make excuses for the ignorant, to base their ‘salvation’ on grounds other than "belief of the truth", not only gives them a false security but is an injustice to the Word of God!
There can be no life without a beginning. There can be no true believing without the Gospel of God.
REPENT AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL OF GOD