WHAT IS THE LIFE AND DEATH ISSUE?
The Life and Death issue is 'What is the Gospel': What does God say about mankind; What does God say about His Son; What has the Son of God, Jesus Christ, done by His Death and for whom has He done it.
The Bible is the Word of God and is the sole and sure standard by which we can judge something to be of God or not. It is the sole authority which can be relied upon and is the only Standard by which a true believer judges all things. Confusion, of which God is not the author, sets in if we allow ourselves to be moved and swayed by the utterances of mere men who either take away from what God has said or add to what the Lord has stated. Such men are false teachers and false prophets, which the Scriptures warn about on more than one occasion. If you should come across anything on this website that seems wrong to you, may I encourage you to immediately test the veracity of the specific teaching with what the Word of God says. Do not allow your bias towards one teaching to be the catalyst for emotion that will impede, obscure and therefore corrupt, your judgement and subsequently lead you to an unjust and erroneous conclusion.
Please note that you must not turn to what men have said the Word of God says and rely solely upon that, but rather turn to the Word of God itself, which can be proved by the uniformity of the whole of Scripture. If we turn to the writings and opinions of men or rely upon the natural thoughts and opinions that come immediately to mind, then we shall forever remain in a state of confusion and never arrive at the true knowledge of God’s Truth: "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim. 3:7).
Test all things by the Word of God. There is no need for you to prove anything to me but you owe it to yourself to prove these things right or wrong in the proper biblical manner. These teachings must be tested by God’s Word and if you have disagreement with any then you must: Prove to yourself from Scripture that the teaching is wrong and why it is wrong. Show what the Scripture IS saying upon which the teaching you disagree with is based. Show that your interpretation is consistent throughout the pages of the Bible and not merely in a verse or two.
One very important issue is the ‘exemplary lives’ lived by people, such as Mother Teresa and the Queen Mother for instance. God has spoken clearly in His Word that "..if righteousness (right standing or acceptance) come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain" (Gal. 2:21). This verse is teaching that if acceptance with God is achievable by, or based on, a man doing his best and living a repentant life, and that this is all that is required, all that is necessary to make up for past sin and to please a Holy God, then the death of Christ was a vain thing. This not only shows us that Christ’s death is linked directly with the salvation of those for whom He died, but also shows us that in the matter of salvation there is nothing that a man can do to either gain or maintain a state of salvation; there is nothing a man can do that entitles him to any part of salvation. Scripture shows that salvation does not come by our obedience but only the obedience of Christ the Savior: "...by the obedience of ONE shall many be made Righteous" (Rom. 5:19). Christ says that with man salvation is impossible: "...'who then can be saved?'...with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible" (Matt. 19:25,26). In other words, if left to himself man has absolutely no hope of heaven, for he is a sinner and everything he does is tainted with sin.
If a man has not God, he has not hope in this world "...having no hope, and without God in the world" (Eph. 2:12). Christ says that salvation is only possible with God for only with God are all things possible, even the salvation of a man. "...Every man at his best state is altogether vanity" (Psa. 39:5) Moreover, to say that doing one’s best is something that can gain us entrance into heaven and find acceptance with God and merit eternal salvation, or that it at least contributes to one’s salvation, is to do away with what Christ has done to save His people from their sins. It is to do away with salvation by grace through faith alone and, therefore, with God Himself. If there was something we could do or contribute to our own salvation then there was no need for a Savior.
The Savior came to do that which those for whom He did it could not do. Anything short of perfection is sin. Only Christ has done all things perfectly and could do no more, for there was nothing more to do. All the Lord Jesus did was perfect and there was nothing He could have done that would have improved His efforts, for they were all without blemish and absolutely perfect and necessary for the salvation of all those for whom He died. Scripture says "For all have sinned, and come shortof the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). All have missed the mark. All have fallen far short of the Standard which God has set, which is why He has sent a Savior to the earth to save those who could not save themselves. This is one reason we are to look solely to Him for salvation and not anything that comes from ourselves accompanied by the best of intentions and with all sincerity.
God says "...There is none Righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God" (Rom. 3:10,11). At the height of man’s religiosity and ‘spirituality’ God‘s Word remains unchanged: "There is none who understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Rom. 3:11,12).
Again, rather than allow ourselves to be, in a sense, distracted from what the Scriptures say with questions that come to mind that lead us off into other areas, we need to firstly deal with what the Scripture is saying and see, for instance, if what the items on this website teach are right. If it is proven by Scripture to indeed be the Gospel that the Lord God testifies to, then one can be sure that Christ did die for a predetermined number of people whom the Lord gave Him, as He did the high priest in the Old Testament. Once this is established, then we can see clearly what exactly was accomplished on the cross by Christ the Savior, and in turn what the Gospel message of God is.
The Gospel is a matter of life and death. As we have seen, the Lord Himself says in Mark’s Gospel that if one believes THE Gospel then one will be saved but if one believes not THE Gospel then one will perish eternally (Mk. 16:16). It is imperative therefore that we study diligently to discover what exactly this Gospel that must be believed in is, for our eternal destiny depends on whether or not we hold to it. Scripture says that if we do not abide in the Doctrine of Christ then we neither have the Father nor the Son: "Whosever 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 John 9). "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the Wrath of God abideth on him" (Jn. 3:36). Importantly, this verse refers to believing on the TRUE Son of God and not a false son signified by false doctrine and promoted only in and by a false gospel. DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELVES TO BE CONVINCE THAT YOU HAVE THE TRUE JESUS ONLY BECAUSE YOU CALL YOUR SAVIOR BY THAT NAME. Make certain that the doctrines you believe about Jesus Christ are the ones found in the Gospel of Christ.
If you do not abide in the doctrine of Christ then the wrath of God abideth on you! An excellent way to test which is the true, great and ONLY Gospel of God is to search among the teachings of any religion in the world for a Message of salvation which gives 100% glory to God alone for salvation and does not teach a Gospel conditioned on what a man does. You will find that every religion in the world teaches salvation conditioned in some way and to some degree on man’s efforts at obedience. Only God’s Gospel truly gives ALL the glory to God for salvation leaving no room for a man to boast of his contribution, his efforts, to successfully recommend himself to God. Only God’s Gospel conditions salvation on the obedience, the Righteousness, of another—Jesus Christ, as that which alone can successfully recommend a person to God.
Scripture teaches, in the Book of Ephesians, that a man is saved by grace through God-given Faith and that we are not saved by our own attempts at doing good and trying to please God: "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" (Eph. 2:8,9). God says that without this God-given Faith none can please Him, let alone be saved: "But without Faith it is impossible to please Him..." (Heb. 11:6). The Word of God also teaches that salvation is a gift given to man, not something which he can merit or obtain by his efforts. Salvation is not obtainable by works. If it was then there would be room for a man to boast. Only God’s Gospel gives Him all the glory for salvation and leaves no room for a man to boast of how good or religious he has been: "Knowing that a man is not justified by the worls of the Law, but by the Faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the Faith of Christ, and not by the works of the Law: for by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified" (Gal. 2:16).
Any teaching that says justification is pardon granted upon repentance is an anti-Gospel message. Such teaching shows a grave ignorance of what the Scriptures teach in both Old and New Testaments. Scripture teaches clearly that "...He (Christ) was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities....the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all....for the transgression of MY PEOPLE was He stricken....by His knowledge shall My Righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear THEIR iniquities... He bare the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors" (Isaiah chapter 53).
These Scriptures alone, and there are many, many others in the Word of God, show clearly what was necessary for the pardon of any man. They show clearly what was required for the justification of a man in the sight of God: THE BEARING OF THEIR SIN BY THE SAVIOR. If repentance, the turning away from known sin, was enough to obtain pardon from God, we must then ask ourselves, how much turning away must be done in order for it to rightly be termed repentance? And where are the Scriptures that teach this and can convince a man that his turning away has reached the point that qualifies it as true biblical repentance? And what of unknown sin? (Psa. 19:12). How can a man turn away from that? Again, the popular and warped view of what repentance is does away with the very need of a Savior. The Word of God says that repenance is a gift from God not a work of man's (see 2 Tim. 2:25).
The Bible teaches consistently throughout it’s pages that it is Christ Who saves. The very fact that a Savior was sent to the earth shows that without Him man is lost, trapped in a whirlpool of his own vain attempts at reconciling with the Holy God. May God see fit to bless you with His Truth.
REPENT AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL