WHAT IS IT TO DENY CHRIST?
All will agree that to deny the Lord Jesus Christ is to be as lost as lost can be. But exactly what is it to deny Christ? To deny Christ does not only entail an overt rejection of Him as Lord and God, but also includes a rejection of the truth concerning Him by many who claim to love Him. How could so many in this world who profess a love for Jesus, and who boldly proclaim, ‘JESUS IS LORD’, possibly be denying Him? Surely it is enough to believe that if one has a love for Jesus, one could in no way be a denier of Him? One man has written clearly about this: “To deny the Lord may be either to deny His existence, His claims, or His attributes; it is to withhold from Him, in our belief and our profession, anything which is essential to a proper conception of Him…it is plain that any doctrine which represented Him, His Person, or His Work, as essentially different from what was the truth, would amount to such a denial”. These are very sound words indeed and clear teaching as to what it is to deny Christ, yet this man himself was a denier of Christ, for many of the doctrines he believed and taught about Jesus Christ the Lord were false, and, therefore, lies.
To deny the true Savior is to be a believer in false teachings about Him, and about how He saves. It is to believe in another gospel, a testimony of Him which is not God’s Testimony (see 1 Jn. 5:10-12). To deny Christ is to not believe God’s Testimony of what He has done on the cross, and for whom He has done it. To not know Christ is to deny Him, which is to say, to not know THE TRUTH about Christ, who He is and what He has done, is to deny Him. When Christ referred to people believing in Him, He was not including those who believed wrong teachings about Him, who trusted in false gospels, but those who believed right doctrines, which correctly identify and define Him, and which distinguish Him from all others. How can one bring glory to the Father if one holds to erroneous teachings concerning His Son? “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 Jn. 9 cf. Jn. 5:38; 15:6; 1 Jn. 2:23). And how, pray tell, can anyone know Christ by holding to teachings which the Father has not Authored!
All professing Christians say they love Jesus. They claim a great love for Him, as well as a hunger for His words and teachings. Yet, as with those in Matthew 7, the Lord Jesus will Himself declare to them who know not, and believe not His doctrine, that He never knew them. The Lord Jesus Christ does not know those who do not know Him. Those who do know Him evidence this fact by believing the truth about Him and not lies, or some vile mixture of both. Those who do not know Christ are revealed by the false doctrines they believe about Him. The Lord Jesus Christ does not have fellowship with those who do not know Him, He does not call them brethren, because these people—whether they know it or not, whether they believe it or not—are in actual fact deniers of Him. Many people can attest to knowing a person named ‘John’, but is the John they know the one you know? Some do know the John you know, but most know another who is called John, but is not the John you know. This simple example brings us back to the familiar subject of doctrine —the true and the false. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that false doctrine has never, does never, and will never describe or define the true Jesus, but always and only a false one. And true doctrine, that which has been Authored by God and recorded in His Holy Word, has always, does always, and will always be the only teachings that describe accurately and precisely who the true Jesus is, and importantly, distinguish Him from all others. It is doctrine that defines who the true Messiah is, and that which will ALWAYS distinguish Him from the false. And it is belief of false doctrine concerning Christ that is the defining factor, the very telling and revealing element, that will always reveal a person as a denier of Him. TO DENY THE TRUTH ABOUT THE TRUE JESUS IS A DENIAL OF JESUS HIMSELF! Believe the true Gospel and you have the true Jesus. But believe a gospel which contains any straying from the truth and you have a false gospel, a false christ, another jesus, which reveals you to be, in reality, a denier of Christ, a believer in a false Christ—a lost person.
To deny Christ is to deny the truth about Christ. To deny Christ is to deny that He was sent to the earth as a man to die for the sins of all God’s sheep. To deny Christ is to believe He died for all people, and not the elect of God only. To deny Christ is to believe lies about His atonement —WHO IT WAS FOR, AND WHAT IT HAS ACCOMPLISHED. To deny Christ is to not believe the truth about Christ—Who He is, what He has done and for whom He has done it. Believe the Gospel, Christ said, not a false gospel. In other words, believe the truth about Me, not lies.
One can believe genuinely in one’s heart that one holds the truth concerning a matter, but if, when held up to the light of truth, those beliefs are revealed to be false, then no matter the genuineness, no matter the sincerity, with which those beliefs are held, one can never be said to be a holder of truth. In fact, until those lies are denied, rejected and repented of, and the real and only truth embraced, one is a denier of truth, and in this case, a denier of the very Lord they claim to believe.