THAT'S JUST YOUR OPINION! (PART 12)
Returning now to our earlier statement, 'What the person saying such a thing does not realise is if what I have said is not the Truth of God but merely my opinion of it, then accordingly it must mean that whatever that person believes must either be ranked as the Truth of God or also just an opinion'. I would ask do such people believe this is the condition the God of Truth has left His people in? Is this what is outlined in Scripture? Is this what believing in God is all about? That even God's people, along with the lost, would forever remain in the dark, utterly incapable of knowing what the Gospel of God is let alone be able to preach it? That even though they are now saved they would reap no benefit from God's having saved them and granted them the gift of Faith that would enable them to distinguish the true from the false, the light from the darkness, the Word of God from the words of men, the Gospel of God from the gospels of men? That even though God has told His people to believe and preach His Gospel, this Good News is now unattainable and has somehow been lost to antiquity? Can it be anywhere found in the Scriptures where God has told His elect, 'Believe the Truth but I will not reveal the Truth to you. Try and find it but you never will? I will even give you the gift of Faith to believe it and My Spirit to guide you to it, but even with these you will never be able to determine which is My Gospel'. Can the best that any of God's people do is merely declare, not the Gospel of God, but only that which is their opinion of what the Gospel of God is? What then of differing views, nay, of utterly conflicting views among those professing to be Christian? They could not all be right. They could not all be teaching the One Gospel of God. If God has not given them all the same Faith to believe the same and only Gospel, what would distinguish them from the lost who know not the Truth of God for their views of it would greatly differ? Does God give His people different Faiths so that they will believe all sorts of differing and conflicting gospels and be left to bicker and sneer at one another and forever argue over who has the true Gospel or the truest Gospel? Can we say that despite all the differing and opposing views of what the Gospel is, of Who God is and how He saves, are all, nevertheless, expressions of God's Truth: a portrayal of the one and only Gospel of the one and only God which He teaches to all His people? If so, how would any know what the Gospel of God is not? If every doctrinally different and contradictory gospel believed in by those who profess to be Christian can rightly be labelled the Gospel of God, how then would a false gospel ever be distinguished from the true? How could anyone judge the true? Where would the line be drawn and who would have the authority to draw it? How could anyone discern the true Gospel preacher from the false? Are they all to be viewed as truth teachers or should they all be considered as the pied pipers of, and educators in, error? How can conflicting beliefs corroborate one truth? "...contradictory statements cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time, e.g. the two propositions "A is B" and "A is not B" are mutually exclusive." A false gospel cannot be the true Gospel nor can lies about God point anyone to the true God. Only the true doctrines of Christ lead His chosen ones to God. False doctrine can only ever lead one away from the true God. How could conflicting beliefs be the evidence of one truth, of the One True God? How would any man ever discover the truth? What of Jesus' command to preach His Gospel if no one knows what it is? Moreover, what need would there be for preaching if any and all views and opinions produced by the mind of man, of what the Gospel of God is, would be expressions of God's Truth? One day it would be this and the next it would be that. A man could hear ten versions of the Gospel in a day and be told they are all correct! How could any man answer the question, 'What must I do to be saved?' What of God's Word which assures us that His people will be led to the Truth by the Spirit of God Who is the Spirit of Truth? Is there confusion within God as to what His Truth is, hence the many differing versions of it held to by those all claiming to be His people? Is God the Author of multiple gospels? Is God the author of confusion? Hardly! If we do not have the absolute truth of what God's Gospel is how much truth would be enough truth to consider ourselves true believers? How much error could one believe in and still be declared right? And, how would we ever know? According to whose rule would all this be judged? Furthermore, what would qualify the views of someone who considers themselves saved of more weight than those who do not even claim to be Christian? How could one opinion be viewed as better than another's if all men had is merely opinion rather than God's verifiable Word on the matter? You see, if lost people are right when they say that no one knows what the Gospel of God is, what then must a man believe in order to be sure that he is trusting in God's only salvation plan and therefore only in the true God? Or, does it not matter what a person believes but only what a person does in their life? Are we to believe that only behavioral morality is important and that doctrinal obedience is non-mandatory? Any disobedience to God's Gospel is to engage in spiritually immorality. Has God left His Word here only to show that what a person believes is insignificant? Does it not matter what we believe about Jesus Christ the Savior but only that He existed? "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble" (James 2:19). If all we have are gospels filled with truth and error, truth and lies about Who God is and how He saves, then how can anyone say that they have the true God? How can anyone say they are saved? Scripture teaches clearly that there is only one Gospel which is the power of God to save (Romans 1:16,17) and that all those who are elect of God have been granted the same Faith to believe in that solitary and unique Gospel of God. Paul addressing Titus said: "Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, ACCORDING TO THE FAITH OF GOD'S ELECT, and the acknowledging of the Truth..." (Titus 1:1). One God - One Jesus - One Spirit - One Faith - One Gospel. According to the apostle all the elect of God have one and the same Faith so that they will acknowledge and believe the same Truth, the same Gospel, the Gospel of God. Those who are of the world believe with the faith which is inherent in every man by nature, hence, the kaleidoscope of false gospels espoused. Those who are of God, have been granted one Faith to believe only one Gospel: the Gospel of Truth. The only Gospel which the Spirit of Truth leads all God's people to. Those who do not believe that Gospel have not the gift of Faith nor the God Who grants it. Can the reader think of one area of life where differing and conflicting opinions are all said to represent one and the same thing? Neither is license given to anyone having not the Faith of God's elect, who does not acknowledge the Truth of God, to think they are saved. This author is not teaching that I am the only one who has the true Gospel, but what I am saying is that GOD is the only one Who has the true Gospel and it is this very Gospel and NO OTHER which God teaches to ALL His chosen people, and no other by which God saves. I am not pointing you to any religious organization, I am not asking you for money, I am not attempting to deceive anyone. All I am doing is teaching the one, true and only Gospel which God has taught, does teach and ever will teach His people. I have no other motive but to fulfil my Lord's command to preach the Gospel to every creature. You WILL be saved ONLY if you believe God's Gospel and no other.
As we have shown, Scripture often speaks of the true and the false. The true Gospel and false gospels. The true Holy Spirit and false spirits. The true Christ and false christs, (see 2 Corinthians 11:4). The true God, Who saves His people from their sins, and false gods who cannot save (see Isaiah 45:20), of true brethren and false brethren (2 Corinthians 11:26; Galatians 2:4). The fact that God says there are false gods that cannot save, reveals that people actually do pray to gods which are only figments of their imaginations (see 1 Corinthians 8:4-6). In reality there is only one God. It behoves man to make certain that the one he believes and trusts in is indeed the true God for no other can save. How does one differentiate between the true and the false? Indeed, how does one differentiate the true from the false in any area of life? Let us turn our attention briefly to the matter of counterfeit money. How would any of us recognize the counterfeit without knowing what the genuine article looks like? We would all know of its existence but be completely at odds as to its appearance. Some would say 'this is the true' while others with equal certainty would say, 'no, no, that is the false'. If we did not know what a real dollar bill looked like we'd all be walking around with Monopoly money in our wallets! A bank teller is able to recognize, even by mere touch, the true from the counterfeit by spending countless hours, not with the counterfeit notes, but with the genuine article. They do this so as to become familiar with the genuine, so they can really know the genuine, in fact, become expert as to its appearance and detail. Counterfeits vary from one to another and change all the time. They do not all look the same having become more sophisticated over time, while the genuine always remains the same. Imagine the confusion if the genuine was to constantly be subject to change, if there was more than one 'version' of it. The opinions of each individual as to how long 15 inches is, vary, but the tape measure's 'opinion' is always the same, it is always right. Bank staff have spent countless hours being trained in such a way that they become so familiar with the look and feel of the genuine article that they are able to detect the counterfeit, no matter its level of sophistication, almost instantaneously. Importantly, they do not spend time with different types of counterfeits comparing them with other counterfeits to see which one is genuine, but they always and only compare the counterfeit with the genuine in order to see if it is a legal government distributed note or a fake originating from a private printing press. The problem with people who do not know the true Gospel of God is they keep comparing their false gospels with other false gospels in an attempt to work out which is true, or truer. Or to try and formulate the truest by taking the best parts from an assortment of false gospels. They fail miserably on each occasion to distinguish the true for they know not what it looks like as all they ever do is spend time with the false (see 2 Corinthinas 10:12). If you believe you are the strongest man on earth you do not go about comparing your strength to that of 5 year old children to confirm your claim. You must compare your strength with the one who is the strongest man on earth. If you believe what you believe is the True Gospel then you must not leave it untested. You must challenge your gospel by comparing it with God's Word to see if it really is in accord with the Scriptures. To see, if it is indeed the Gospel of God which you have placed your trust in or a cleverly disguised counterfeit (see Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; 2 Corinthians 10:12). Just because we all look alike, have the same general appearance, does not mean we are identical. The smallest type, the minutest degree of difference to the genuine item and, to the trained eye, the forgery is exposed. You must know the true in order to be able to discern and reject the false. Indeed, to know the truth is the only way to recognize error. If there was no truth all you would have is error. If it is not God's Gospel you believe then whose is it?
Would you be happy to accept a fifty dollar note even though it only had one '50' on it instead of several? Of course not. Even though the note may be a very good likeness of the true this one relatively minor difference would cause you to readily recognize it as a forgery and immediately reject it as useless. It does not matter how good the forgery is, once a person recognizes it as a worthless forgery, or is made aware that it is a forgery, it is rejected. Fakes, no matter the sophistication or quality, are worth nothing no matter how closely they resemble the genuine article. No matter how many people sware it is the real thing, the fact remains that if it is not the real thing it is a fake. So, too, God cannot accept anyone who comes to Him having their trust in a fake gospel, a forgery, and not exclusively in God's true and only Gospel. God cannot accept, He cannot for one moment certify as His own, anyone whose trust lies in a gospel which is not God's Gospel, which is not of Him, which is not loyal to, and therefore does not rightly describe, the true God, or correctly articulates what He has done to save His people from their sins. How could God ever certify a person as one of his own who believed in a false gospel? Who was clothed, not with the Righteousness of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ as it is revealed only in and by His Gospel, but with the miserable rags of one's own righteousness (see Matthew 22:1-14). False gospels are only believed in by false Christians. To believe in a false gospel is to believe in a false god. Trying to get into Heaven whilst believing a false gospel is like trying to board an aeroplane with a home-made ticket! And who ever heard of the absurd situation of an airline recognizing a ticket as a forgery but still welcoming the bearer of it! How can anyone imagine that God, whilst hating the false gospel nevertheless lovingly welcomes the one who trusted in the false god of that false gospel whilst rejecting the true God of the true Gospel? Trying to convince someone who knows that the fifty dollar note with only one '50' on it is genuine and that you were given it by the bank, is as futile an endeavor as trying to convince a true Christian that the false gospel you are spouting was revealed to you by the true God. You can make your point using truth and you can make your point using lies, or a mixture of truth and lies, and if your audience does not know the truth and therefore cannot recognize the lies, the untruths, the misinformation you are giving them, then what you are saying will appear to be reasonable, logical and unassailable fact. Like the true Christian, the bank teller does not merely have a view of what the true looks like and what the counterfeit is, they know exactly what the true is. They know exactly what it looks like, they know exactly what it feels like and they even know what it smells like and so in whatever guise the counterfeit is in it is readily recognized, absolutely, as false despite its quite genuine appearance to the ill-equipped layman whose eye has not been trained and therefore cannot distinguish the one from the other.
When it comes to the Word of God, and in particular the Gospel of God, we know from Scripture that God has only one Gospel and that many false gospels exist. (see my book 'How Many Gospels?' at godsonlygospel.com) Salvation may be found only in the true Gospel of God and not in any false gospel no matter who approves of it, how many adhere to it or how many truths it may contain or who preaches it. This all may be split into two categories: what the Truth of God is and what the views of men are. The Gospel of God is the true Gospel and the gospels of men are the counterfeits. A counterfeit gospel is one which differs in any way and to the slightest degree from God's Gospel by either adding to His Gospel or by taking away from it. The only thing you can add to God's Gospel of grace to change it is a work of man's. Something that man must do to either get or maintain his salvation. The reason why this is so serious a matter is because when you condition any part of salvation on the sinner you make that condition at the least a part of the only ground of salvation and at worst the ground of salvation rather than the Righteousness of Christ alone. This type of false gospel may teach that Christ's Obedience was necessary to salvation but that man's obedience is the one that 'clinches the deal'. The only thing you can take away from God's Gospel of grace, is grace: any part of what God has done to save His people from their sins. Any time you add a work of man's to the Gospel you reduce the need for the grace of God in salvation, in fact, you do away with it completely. So every false gospel has one basic element: something that man must do to ensure his salvation. The reality of the situation is that every part of salvation requires, and is covered, by the grace of God. All that grace has done to save God's people from their sins is revealed in and by the doctrines which make up the Gospel of the grace of God, the Gospel of their salvation. The moment you specify that man must do something to either get saved or maintain his salvation you do away with at least part of the grace of God, part of what God has done which is necessary to the salvation of His people from their sin thus leaving room for man to boast. You may say you believe in salvation by grace alone, but if you believe in a gospel where any part of grace has been substituted for, or has had added to it, a work of mans, something which is wholly unnecessary seeing that salvation is something which is by Grace through Faith and no works of any kind, you are believing in a false gospel. At no time before, during or after a man's salvation is his obedience required to ensure he is, or remains, saved. EVERY FALSE GOSPEL OUT THERE TEACHES THAT MAN MUST EITHER DO SOMETHING TO GAIN OR MAINTAIN HIS SALVATION. THE GOSPEL OF GOD, HOWEVER, TEACHES THE GRACE OF GOD ALONE IN THE SALVATION OF HIS PEOPLE THROUGH HIS SON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST ALONE! To believe the Gospel of grace is to trust in what God has done to save, and to completely and forever sever oneself from, and abandon any blasphemous notion that, any part of God's saving anyone is dependent upon them. "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by Faith without the deeds of the law" (Romans 3:28 cf. Romans 3:20-28). Scripture says that salvation is by the Obedience of One, Jesus Christ, not by the individual obedience of many. None have ever become righteous in the eyes of God by their efforts at obedience for "...by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous" (Romans 5:19 cf. Romans 3:26; 4:5,6). Along with the fact that the sins of God's elect are purged by Christ alone (see Hebrews 1:3), without that One Obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ NONE are, or can ever be, Righteous in the eyes of God and therefore saved (see Romans 3:10-12).
What adds to all the confusion in the minds of those to whom the Gospel of God is hid is that those who believe and preach false gospels which cannot save are very religious people. They do good, they go to 'church', they pray, they are very moral, they have a great zeal for God and they are keen to witness and share their experiences with 'God' with anyone who will hear them. They are able to quote Scripture verbatim and write books and present sermons etc. Some suffer persecution, even death, for their faith. In fact they all appear as wheat. Yet to the ones who know God's Gospel and are therefore able to identify a false gospel, they are seen for what they really are: tares. Good for nothing. Not to be stored in the barn along with the wheat, but only fit for the fire (see Matthew 13). We have learned that man by wisdom cannot discern the things of God. The Truth of God is therefore something which God must convey to those He chooses to see it, and the Faith from God is given to ensure they believe it. God's Gospel cannot be seen unless it is revealed by God. He it is Who must be the One that causes them to see it for salvation is by grace alone, through Faith alone by Jesus Christ alone. The Gift of Faith, through which God saves, is the difference maker. Salvation does not start at our end. It does not begin with man, nor is it something which is perpetuated by man to the end of his days. The Gospel believer is "...kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation..." (1 Peter 1:5). Our love for God is not the catalyst for Him to save us but His love by grace for us (see 1 John 4:10). And it is His love and grace through Faith which maintains the salvation of all His people. Salvation comes from God: the Author and Finisher of it (Hebrews 12:2). So, a person can be as religious as they can but if they do not believe God's Gospel then it is clear God has not begun a good work in them. Their unbelief signifies their state of lostness. 'Good' works alone is no sign that a man is saved. Just as faith without works is dead, so too, works without saving Faith are just as dead. The apostle Paul said: "...we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have NO confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3:3). The apostle referred to all his works as "dung" (Philippians 3:8), prior to Faith in Christ. Many have heard the Gospel and yet do not recognize it as the true and only Gospel of God, and therefore the God of that Gospel as the true God, for they have not been made alive unto God and given the Faith of God to believe it. Jesus said to His disciples: "...Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given" (Matthew 13:11 cf. 13:23; Philippians 1:29; Colossians 1:26). Many, who might even agree with parts of it, see even God's Gospel containing disputable doctrines and as only one of the many 'interpretations' of what the true Gospel is and not the only Gospel that saves. Whilst others see God's Truth as anything but and speak evil of it (see 2 Peter 2:12). Simply because a person has a dispute with a Gospel doctrine is no indication that the doctrine is wrong but rather a sign that the person who disputes the veracity of it is ignorant of the truth and is lost. Many Calvinists give a solemn nod to the doctrines of grace yet simultaneously deny them by claiming that they and others were just as saved when they believed the false Arminian gospel. A gospel of works which is diametrically opposed to every doctrine of the Gospel of God's grace! The Grace of God, through which the Faith which comes from God as a Gift to His chosen ones, is the difference between a man believing the Truth of God as well as his recognizing and rejecting the lies about Him. Those who do not know or do not recognize God's True Gospel for what it is, but who cling to false gospels which are filled with the imaginations and opinions of men, have no categorical right in laying claim to salvation, having evidently not been visited by the grace of God and therefore being without the gift of Faith which comes from God. All such people are currently lost. If this were not the case then all anyone would have is ignorance of what the Truth of God is both before and after receiving the Gift of Faith! A man would be declared born again whilst still dead in sin. Before the Gift of Faith is given a man sits in ignorance of the true God and His Gospel. It is only after a man believes the true Christ of God's only Gospel with the Gift to believe that comes from God is a man truly saved (see Ephesians 1:12,13). No one has ever savingly recognized and believed the only Gospel of God prior to, or without the gift of Faith. Likewise, no one who has been given saving Faith has ever counted a false gospel as having any power to save. For our spiritual eyes to see they need to be opened by Another.
If no one knows what the true Gospel of God is then it must follow that no one believes the true Gospel of God. And, if no one believes the Gospel of God then no one is saved. If all a man has, even after receiving the Gift of Faith, is merely an opinion of Who God is and how He saves, for what practical purpose then would the Gift of Faith have been given? Can anyone honestly say that God's gift of Faith to His people is given so that they will continue to ignorantly believe what they consider the truth to be rather than to ensure that what is believed is actually the Gospel of God? Some say that we will all know the true Gospel only after we get to Heaven. But what then of the gift of Faith? Why is it given and what is it given to believe? Part of the Gospel but not all? Why would God grant His gift of Faith to all His people only to leave them in ignorance of the very Gospel that saves? The very Gospel which is God's sole power and means to salvation! The very Gospel that is to be trusted in for salvation. How can the Gospel remain hidden to those who have been given the gift of Faith to believe it, when Scripture says that if God's Gospel is hid it is ONLY hid to them that are lost and not those who are saved! Scripture says that salvation is through the sanctification of the Spirit and BELIEF OF THE TRUTH OF GOD and not via the means of a perpetual ignorance of it! "...God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto He called you by our Gospel..." (2 Thessalonians 2:13,14). The Lord Jesus prayed thusly for the people God had given Him: "Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth....And for their sakes, I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the Truth" (John 17:17,19). To be sanctified is to be made holy. "...it signifies to be set apart for God, to sanctify, to make a person or thing the opposite of common... to hallow, sanctify, in the Passive Voice, to be made holy, be sanctified, is translated 'let him be made holy' in Revelation 22:11, the aorist or point tense expressing the definiteness and completeness of the Divine act". How then, can a person ever get to the Truth of God as revealed in and by the Gospel of God, if even the best the very God-given gift of Faith to His people can do is leave them, not believing the Truth, not conforming their beliefs to the Word of God, not sanctified by the Truth, not cause them to hold fast to the Truth of God but to merely remain in an uninterrupted ignorance of it? To leave the Truth of God forever obscured by our own views, our own opinions, our own judgement of what the Truth is. No one believes the Gospel of God but somehow all know how to be saved! No one believes the Gospel of God but somehow they all believe enough of it to consider themselves saved? IS THIS SALVATION? Christians would be left in the curious state of claiming to know the true God but not His true Gospel wherein God and His Righteousness are revealed.
To be saved is to be saved FROM something TO something. Scripture says to all God's people that Jesus has "...delivered us from the Wrath to come" (1 Thessalonians 1:10). And, that God has opened the eyes of His people "...to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God..." (Acts 26:18). The apostle John, on the behalf of all believers says: "We know that we have passed from death unto life..." (1 John 3:14 cf. John 5:24). Salvation comes from God to raise His chosen people up from and out of the grave of ignorance, out of the hazy sin-filled blasphemous world of conjecture and speculation. To free them utterly from under the cloak of darkness pertaining to Who God is, what God has done and for whom He has done it and bring them into the Glorious Light of the Gospel without which there is only darkness (see 1 Peter 2:9 cf. Luke 1:79; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-14). An indispensable part of salvation is God revealing the Light of His glorious Gospel to His people: Christ Jesus has "...abolished death, and has brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10 cf. 2 Corinthians 4:4). Christ promised "And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). The freed man actually and accurately believes and therefore trusts in the true God and His one and only salvation plan as revealed in His Gospel. What good would it do to believe this Gospel inaccurately? To believe the true Gospel inaccurately amounts to not believing it. There is no difference between believing the Gospel of God inaccurately and believing it erroneously. 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. The Lord Jesus warned His disciples to "...beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees" (Matthew 16:11). "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" (Matthew 16:12). Any doctrine which is foreign to the Gospel of God changes the whole into another 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 of Satan. To believe inaccurately is to believe erroneously. To believe inaccurately is to believe with man's natural faith. To actually and accurately believe the Gospel of God, without any error, is to believe with the gift of Faith from 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.
Whatever it took for God to save His people from their sins is taught in His Gospel in doctrinal form. Whatever doctrines are in the Gospel must be believed for anyone to truly say they believe and trust only in God and His Way to salvation. To abide in the doctrine of Christ is to walk according to the Rule of the Gospel by which we judge saved and lost and are able to discern truth from error. (see Galatians 6:16; 2 John 9). How could anyone know for certain they are saved if God did not provide a Measure, His Truth: the Gospel by which we could judge? Judging by feelings or by good works or any other outward measure, all of which are subject to change, would always leave room for doubt. If judging oneself saved by our love for God be the true measure how would we know if we loved enough? If it were by our good works how would we ever know if we had done enough? If it were solely by repentance of sins how would we ever know if we had repented enough? And, if the Gospel of God was not a definite, set number of doctrines to be believed in, how would we know what to believe and if our believing was in enough to be saved? What are these doctrines, you ask, and how can we be sure they form part of the Gospel of God? The Gospel of God is the Gospel of salvation and so its doctrines deal with all that was required by the grace of God in the salvation of His people. To believe in a partially true gospel is the very heart and soul of what believing a false gospel is. Some false gospels contain only lies but the majority of the lost have placed their trust in false gospels which contain much truth but also deadly untruths. Much like tasteless, odorless poison is added to an otherwise healthy meal, false gospels only contain truth to mask their lethal lies, thereby, causing their increased acceptance. A false gospel is one that testifies to false 'good' news and cannot be the TRUE Good News of God by which He saves His people from their sins. Put simply, there is no salvation prior to, or without, belief in the pure, true Gospel of God.
If one were to see God I would dare say one would never forget what He looked like and consequently would never fall for an impersonator. And so it is for all God's chosen when it comes to what the Gospel of God 'looks like'. The saved man, the believer in the doctrines of the Gospel of the grace of God, does not merely have a view of God brought about by his imagination, he has God Himself (2 John 9). HE KNOWS HIM BECAUSE HE KNOWS THE TRUTH! For to have God is to abide in God's Doctrine (His 'view') and to abide in His Doctrine is to have God. The saved man believes the Truth of God for not only has he been exposed to what that Truth is, he has also been granted the gift of Faith with which to fully see, understand and believe it as God's Truth and to forever reject all that opinion, views, debate and speculation have to offer as to 'what it could be' or 'what else it could be'! Once a person has the Truth what further 'need' is there for mere opinion? God did not choose His people before the foundation of the world to give them unto His Son to make a Substitutionary Sacrifice for, only to see them remain in ignorance of what has been done for them who have been given and are led by, the Holy Spirit of Truth, and to have these people's beliefs and trust resting on their differing personal views and not in God and His Salvation Plan as revealed in His Gospel. God has qualified His people by His grace to believe in what His Son, the true Jesus, has done and their God-given Faith is in Him. "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light" (Colossians 1:12). This Scripture teaches that God has qualified His people to be partakers of salvation. He has rendered fit, equipped them by His Grace. God does not bless His people by grace through Faith only to see them, independent of this blessing, hold to untruths about Him through a false gospel. God's people are saved TO believe God's Gospel and not to remain in a perpetual state of bewilderment as to what it could be.
As I was walking through a shopping centre one day I was passing a small jewellery stand and happened to notice a ring with the German eagle of Hitler's Third Reich atop an encircled Nazi Swastika. Curious, I asked the lady running the stall if she ever receives any complaints for having such offensive, evil symbols in ring form on display, especially from Jews. She replied that she did not. She said that she knew some of the rings she had for sale had shady overtones so I pointed out a few of the others for her and told her of their occult origin and meaning. We had a fairly interesting discussion which she concluded by saying, ‘They’re just jewellery to me. I get sent the rings and put them on sale. Different things have different meanings to different people'. This is the world’s way of thinking isn't it. It's not the inherent, undeniable facts about a thing that people are interested in. It's not the historical origins of certain beliefs or symbols that is important, but what it means to you. It's all back to personal opinion again. It doesn't matter what a thing is but only what it is to you. Fact is not important if it is not fact to you. I wonder if this woman, and so many like her, would take the same approach in the following scenario. Imagine a table laden with food which, before eating, you were reliably informed that some of the food was poisoned. Would your attitude be, 'Well, it's all just food to me'. Or, 'Someone has obviously gone to great lengths preparing it all and I’m here to eat it, after all I'm hungry'. Or, 'For some people some of the food is poisoned but to others it isn’t. It's how you want to take the warning'. 'It's not the actual warning that's important but how you interpret it'. Ludicrous isn’t it. If some of the food is poisoned, and there is no way of telling the difference without extensive laboratory testing, I’M NOT EATING ANY OF IT!! I don’t care how hungry I am or how great the food looks!! The Word of God warns that there shall be false christs and false prophets preaching and promoting those false christs through their false gospels (see Matthew 24:24). "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). To believe a gospel because it is truth to you is not only careless and reckless, but also stupid and downright dangerous. To believe a gospel just because it is a set of doctrines which is taught by a religious denomination that has hundreds, even thousands, of years of history behind it and is respected the world over, or because it is preached with conviction by a man with a turned around collar, or dressed in a smart suit who are quite eloquent of speech and gracious in manner, goes beyond dangerous, it is spiritual suicide. Only when tested against God’s Word can a gospel be seen for what it is. Roman Catholics, Mormons, Arminians, or Seventh-Day Adventists clearly believe the false gospel they have been taught because they believe it to be true. But simply because one sincerely believes their gospel to be true does not make it true. Again, the truth is not what you think it is but what God says it is. The true Gospel is not the gospel which is according to you, but only that one which is according to God. The true Gospel is what God says it is not what you believe it to be. The apostle Paul affirms: "...I neither received it (the Gospel) of man, neither was I taught it, but by the Revelation of Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:12). The Truth comes by the Spirit and illumination of the Almighty. John the apostle says true believers: "...were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:13). "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever....And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you" (1 Peter 1:23,25 cf. John 3:6). God only has one Gospel which He gives by revelation to His people. Here we see further evidence of the uniqueness of the Gospel by which God's people are saved. IT IS NOT OF MEN! Therefore, God's Gospel is different to every gospel man has ever imagined. All the gospels of men are false and only the Gospel of God is True. God's Gospel is filled to the brim and overflowing with Grace: what God has done to save His people from their sins. Every gospel of man's includes within it something which man must do to gain or maintain his salvation. The only Gospel that saves is of God, it comes by revelation from God and speaks only of what God has done to save His people from their sins. The apostle Paul, in defending the Gospel which he had received, believed, and preached, denied that he had received it from man: "For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:12).