WHO ARE THE LOST?
Most people who are at all religious believe that invariably they are or will be saved. Most are under a fairly strong conviction that they know God and are known by Him, that God understands them and how much they have suffered on this earth and how much they have tried to be a good person by doing their best to lead a decent life, obey Him and attend church etc. They draw a certain comfort and security from their good intentions. They believe that God knows their heart and because of this they feel confident that He will not cast them into Hell. Just as most people never think they will end up a murder victim or die by shark attack so, too, most are convinced that they could never actually be one of those people who end up in hell. But people do get murdered, they do get taken by sharks and real people do go to Hell.
Nobody really believes that they, let alone any member of their family, are on their way to Hell. Much less that they are worthy of Hell. Every eulogy of every funeral service conducted boasts of the ‘goodness’ and ‘kindnesses', the 'honesty’ etc., of the deceased. One would think that only good people die. ‘He was hard working and good to his family’ etc., is what is heard at almost every funeral. Most are under the impression that Hell is for the really bad people of this world who have no time for God, or worse still, go about doing much harm to others or leading immoral lives. Hell is for Mafia hit men and satanically inspired Rock stars, not for decent tax-paying folk who obey the laws of the land, are hard working and raise families. Most are convinced by the simple fact that because they are sincere in their particular religious beliefs and well meaning in the conduct of their lives, that surely as there is a God, He will see that they have done their best and that nothing more could be asked of them. All they ask is that He see their ‘goodness’ and forgive their sins. After all, God is Love and He is the God of Mercy. ‘God is a reasonable God and full of compassion’, they say, ‘so surely He will not cast me into Hell knowing that I have done my best to live a godly life and that I have abstained from the more serious sins that a man can commit'. The reality of the situation is that sincerity in one’s religious beliefs is no sure sign that one is saved and secure for Heaven. The hard truth of the matter is that most people are not saved and on their way to heaven but are in fact in a lost state, careering towards an eternal fiery Hell!
The Word of God plainly teaches that there will be few who will go to Heaven and many who will end up in Hell, there to endure the very real torments of an eternal existence without God: "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matt.7:13,14). Immediately following this statement, the Lord Jesus warns of false prophets who would come in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves (Matt.7:15); men who would even come in Jesus’ name but with false teachings which do not profit a man (Matt. 24:5). Most believe that Hell is a place reserved for exceptionally bad sinners, those who are overtly sinful and immoral. A place for murderers, for those who molest children, for incorrigible career criminals who have no regard for others and their property, and for those who feel no remorse for their ugly deeds. The Holy Scriptures teach otherwise. God’s Word states that not only will such people suffer the torments of Hell but that many people who spend most of their lives in religion and trying to do good to others will also end up in Hell. Many who have followed lives of strict discipline in obedience to their particular religious beliefs, such as the Pharisees of Israel, are destined for Hell. In fact, the Lord Jesus states that even many who call Him ‘Lord’ will one day find themselves lost in the Lake of Fire. "Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity" (Matt.7:22,23; see also Psa.5:5). Obviously these people were fully convinced they were true believers. They called Jesus ‘Lord’ and went about doing things in His name showing they were zealous and sincere, and one may assume that they also prayed to Him. Yet none were His children; none were known by Him and all that they did was evil in His sight. But how can this be? Surely a person who is sincere in their faith and doing their best to be obedient in their lives and who sincerely believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, that He is God, that He is the Second Person of the Trinity, that He was born of a Virgin in the town of Bethlehem, and that He died, was buried and Resurrected, is fitly qualified for an eternity of bliss in the Presence of the Holy and Righteous God. How many people are there in this world who go about doing good to others believing they are serving God? How many charities are there and how many organizations which help those in need, to tend to and cure the sick and do it in Jesus’ name? And what about those who give up materially fruitful and comfortable lives in Western society to go overseas and help the sick and starving in disease ridden Third World countries? It is argued, ‘Surely these will not be cast into hell, for look at the good they have done and continue to do day in day out. They wish no harm upon any but only to do good to others and help in any way they can. Look at how many ‘churches’ have been established in foreign lands and all sorts of programs put in place designed to ‘civilize’ natives and give them western culture and religion. Surely if such people are not worthy candidates for heaven, then who on earth can be saved?’ Christ states that with man salvation is impossible. But not with God. For with God all things are possible, yes, even the salvation of a man (Matt.19:25,26).
This book will show what God has said in His Holy Word concerning saved and lost. It will state what the biblical Standard of Judgement is concerning saved and lost. It will show that a man’s spiritual state before God is measured by the Standard which God has set and not by the many and varied standards which man has erected and of which he is sincerely convinced. It will show in detail who those people are who are currently in a lost state and what it is they believe. Moreover, it will teach what every saved person believes and what the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whom all have been commanded to believe, actually is. And it will show conclusively that all who do not believe in that Gospel of God, have not God, but a worthless counterfeit that cannot save. Contrary to popular belief the primary evidence of saved and lost is not measured according to moral living or immoral living, but by what a man believes. The word believe and others like it such as believed, believeth etc., appears only 45 times in the Old Testament but 273 times in the New Testament! This is quite a significant difference and shows how vital believing is in New Testament teaching. The principal evidence that a person is lost is that he does not believe the Truth of God: "...That they all might be damned who believed not the Truth..." (2 Thess. 2:12). The principal evidence that a person is saved is that he does believe God’s Truth, i.e. His Gospel. Most religions teach morality as fundamental to a godly life but only one teaches God’s Gospel Truth. All whom God has chosen have/will believe His Truth: "...God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and BELIEF OF THE TRUTH" (2 Thess. 2:13). Those who are chosen by God are said to be called of God by His Gospel Message (see 2 Thess.2:14) "...separated unto the Gospel of God" (Rom.1:1). Jesus prayed that God would bi (Jn. 17:17).
We will begin with a description of the beliefs of those who fall into the category of the more obviously lost and work our way through to those people whom the world, even the so-called Reformed-Protestant world, would say are definitely saved and could not possibly be Hell bound. Before we begin our study, it is important for all to realise that man is born dead in sin. The race of man represented by its Federal Head, Adam, is a damned race and under God’s Curse because of Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden: "...as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned....for the judgement was by one to condemnation....by one man’s offence death reigned by one....by the offence of one judgement came upon all men to condemnation....by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners..." (Rom.5:12,16-19). God told Adam that in the day he ate of the fruit of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil that he would surely die (Gen. 2:16,17). This meant not only would the curse of physical death come upon man but that he would also die spiritually, meaning that he would be eternally separated from the Holy God because of his sin. Adam’s guilty sin nature was inherited by all his offspring. Scripture teaches that those in such a state cannot please God in any way, not even religiously or morally "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God" (Rom.8:7,8; see also Heb.11:6). So we see from this that man is born in a lost Godless state. Sin is such an integral part of man that the Bible says that man is even conceived in sin (Psa.51:5). Man is rebellious against God by nature, and is born for trouble as the sparks fly upward (Job 5:7). Man’s rebellion against God is not always displayed by way of immorality, but IS consistently manifested in the many ways and means man has concocted in seeking after and coming to God. Everyone, including those who do end up receiving salvation, are all born into the Kingdom of darkness. None are born saved. All are born children of disobedience and children of wrath. The Word of God says that all have sinned (Rom.3:23) and that those who commit sin are of the Devil (1 Jn.3:8). Scripture says even the elect of God at one time lived their lives "...fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were BY NATURE the children of wrath even as others" (Eph.2:3). This was evidenced by the erroneous beliefs and concepts they had about God and salvation and in the many false religious refuges they had taken shelter, which they expected would shield them from the wrath of God which is to come. None by nature know God, nor do they understand the things of God for these things are discerned spiritually (1 Cor.2:14). Contrary to what man believes, God states: "There is none that 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; see also Psa.53:1-3).
It does not take a very wise mind to realise that those people who have no belief whatsoever in the existence of a Supreme Being—God—are clearly in a lost state, for they have no belief in God or in His Word. They simply believe that the whole concept of God is man’s invention, that the Bible is not the Word of God but the words of mere men and that there is no spiritual world or a Judgement to come. The only things that exist, according to these people, are matter and physical beings who, once they die, cease to exist. They believe, as the popular song states, that there is no Hell below us, and above us only sky. No angels, no demons and no Devil according to this group, and certainly no God to answer to. These people call themselves Atheists and are proud of it. They actually consider themselves to be among the more ‘highly evolved’ of the species of man, the more intellectually advanced who believe not in the existence of God. The Bible, however, brings reality crashing down upon these deluded ones by the following declaration: "The FOOL hath said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity..." (Psa.53:1). A man in such a state demonstrates clearly that he is Hell bound. Now, this is not to say that all of these people are necessarily outwardly bad people who constantly perform lawless deeds. Their character and conduct appears to suggest a high level of morality. It is a trait of fallen human nature to immediately assume that one is attacking the character and conduct of a man if one states that that person is in a lost and damned state before God. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many of these people who call themselves atheists are quite solid citizens who greatly benefit society in general and their local communities in particular. Many of them are members of charity groups etc. They wish no harm upon anyone, they love their spouses and children. They do good to others and often help in any way they can. They are, for the most part, honest hard-working people and, like most, simply get on with their lives and trying to help their fellow man along the way. Many have strong moral values and feel quite good about themselves, satisfied that they are fine upstanding citizens and respectable members of society. In many cases they have a very high self-esteem which comes from their positive judgment of themselves based on their good deeds and worthy contributions to society, and comparing themselves with others. It might be added, however, that some of them may think secretly to themselves that, if perhaps they are wrong and there really is a God, they surely have nothing to fear because they have led very moral lives, done the best they could and have always done good to others and made it a point to right any wrong they may have done to another. They have done their best in life and surely if there is a God, whoever He might be and whatever He might be like, He would not frown upon their best efforts at being model citizens. This is man projecting his false impression of God onto God—what He would/should be like—and is based on nothing but man’s natural and corrupt understanding of God and is a denial of God’s Word.
This attitude in life, one of doing good to others yet rejecting any notion of the existence of God, even when held to by those who do believe in the existence of God, is in actuality the most evil of attitudes. The Bible calls it going about trying to establish a righteousness of one’s own. That is, trying to store up a multitude of good deeds and living a moral life in order to please God and be found acceptable in His sight on Judgment Day. The person living this life denies the need of a Savior and proudly goes about with a self-righteous attitude. God says: "...there is none righteous, no, not one!" God has also stated: "Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Psa.53:3; see also Rom.3:11,12). The Bible says that not one does good in the eyes of God, that is, according to His Standard of what good is. God has not said that there are none who are moral in the eyes of man. God does not even deny that there are many who are very religious and who show a great zeal in their religious beliefs and who would not dream of acting contrary to those beliefs. But God does say that there are none righteous (Rom.3:10), meaning that there are none who are in right standing with God, none who are innocent or holy in the sight of God based on their efforts at morality and obedience. The reason for this is simple: "...by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin" (Rom.3:20). "Every act of obedience that we might think would recommend us to God is rejected by God’s law because it comes short of the perfection that God’s law demands as to the ground of salvation." God tells us that "...all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom.3:23). Every one of us in our natural state has come short of the mark, or the Standard, which God has set. No matter how far or how close the archer’s arrow comes to the bull’s eye, he has missed the mark if he does not hit it dead centre. None have ever or, could ever, reach the Standard which God has set. God’s law demands perfect obedience or it will curse eternally. God does not tell us this to discourage us and leave us in our hopeless, sinful state but He uses these truths of man’s state before Him to point us towards the Savior Whom God has provided, Who can and has established a Perfect Righteousness by which a man can appear in right standing before the Holy God. The Standard of Holiness by which God judges is manifested in and through the Life and Death of His Son Jesus Christ. If one thinks he can approach God with his own ‘goodness', he and all that he has done must be as perfect as Christ Jesus was in His life on earth, both in thought and in deed, otherwise he has missed the mark and his righteousness is nothing but wickedness in God’s sight. Christ is the Standard of Holiness which God has commanded every man to live according to and if man even breaks one law he is guilty of all and unacceptable before a Holy God. God is a Holy God Who demands perfection (see Matt.5:48). To be perfect before the Holy God is not merely to cease sinning but to present oneself to God entirely without sin. Even if a man could stop all his sinning he could never do anything to undo the sins which he had committed prior to this and therefore can never change his state of imperfection. Every sinner is commanded, not only to obey the Law perfectly, but is a debtor to pay the penalty his sin has incurred. God cannot and does not accept any who are not perfect in their character and conduct. Some would argue, ‘Surely this is not fair. It is unfair to expect any man to be perfect in obedience. It is unfair of God to demand of man something which He knows he can never do'. God has not only given the command to be perfect but He has also provided the Way a man can be perfect in His sight, and His name is Jesus. It was not God’s fault that man sinned: "Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions" (Eccl.7:29). It is not God’s fault that man, by nature, is without God and therefore without hope in this world (Eph.2:12). It is not God’s fault that "...every man at his best state is altogether vanity" (Psa.39:5). But it was man himself who rebelled against God and plunged head first into sin and now finds himself, in his natural state, without God and without hope in this world. Man disregarded God’s Word in the Garden and he continues to disregard and disobey what God has said in the Gospel by seeking salvation in every way other than God’s Way: Jesus Christ (see Jn.14:6). The lost religious multitude in the world, in all their attempts at obedience to God, fail in that primary act of obedience that God has commanded, which is to believe His Gospel. The fact that no man can obey God perfectly does not in any way deny the fact that God is Holy and that He demands Holiness from all those who seek to enter Heaven. There are no degrees of holiness, as there are no levels of perfection, so we see that unless God’s demands are met absolutely no man can be saved. God has laid down His Law. Any who break even one of God’s Laws have broken the whole Law and are deservedly damned: "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, cursed is every one that continueth not in ALL THINGS which are written in the book of the law to do them" (Gal.3:10; see also Jer.11:3). Again, this is not said to discourage any man from a hope of Heaven, but to show him that he can never come to God by his own efforts and that he is to look to Another: Christ Himself for all of salvation. God does not change, but man has changed from a state of perfect fellowship and acceptance with God to one of abandoning God and choosing another ‘god’, Satan. All are condemned because of Adam’s sin and all, quite freely and happily, have sinned as individuals against the Holy God: "...as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Rom.5:12).
LOST are they who are nominally religious. Those who have some basic religious beliefs merely out of tradition, be it cultural or due to loyal dedication to family beliefs. These people nullify the Word of God by their traditions (Mk.7:13). They are guilty of "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (2 Tim.3:5). Sincerity in, and loyalty towards, erroneous family or national religious beliefs does not impress God. One can never please the True God by sincerely believing in false teachings. God told Israel in the Old Testament NOT to adopt any of the religious ways of the pagan nations: "Thus saith the Lord, ‘Learn not the way of the heathen...for the customs of the people are vain...’" (Jer.10:2,3; see also Deut.12:30-32; 2 Kings 17:15); "...they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save" (Isa.45:20). Religious zeal which is not according to knowledge, the knowledge of God’s Gospel, does not in any way qualify or entitle a man to heaven. This is evidenced by the apostle Paul’s prayer for the salvation of those Israelites who "...have a zeal of God but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s Righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, (show that they) have not submitted themselves unto the Righteousness of God" (Rom.10:2,3). The more loyal to religious tradition a man is the more confirmed he is on the broad way that leads to destruction (Matt.7:13). They attempt to understand the things of God with their natural minds, and because of certain feelings which often accompany these thoughts, and that there are so many who share the same thoughts and feelings, interpret them to be right, spiritual and of God. They see apparent answers to their prayers as further confirmation that they are worshipping the True God. They have an image of God in their minds which is just as real and idolatrous as any graven image of a god, which cannot save, made of wood or stone formed, not by the sculptor’s chisel, but by years, even centuries, of false teachings and superstitious beliefs about the Character and Attributes of the True God. None can understand God and the Ways of God unless they have been Regenerated by the Holy Spirit of God and given the Mind of Christ: "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor.2:14). Unless Regeneration occurs by the grace of God, man will remain in his lost state with a mind that has been blinded by the god of this world, Satan (2 Cor.4:3,4) and easily impressed by false teachings that promote false gods which cannot save.
Ironically, many religious people make no great effort to live upright, moral and productive lives. They are quite content with their life and the small part of it which they ‘give’ to God. No disciplined religious life for them but a general adherence to an outwardly respectful life is, to their way of thinking, all that is required. They are good providers for their families. They work hard and are generally honest people. They will admit to little ‘white lies’ on occasion and perhaps other ‘small’ indiscretions etc., but generally the way they conduct their lives is ok according to their standard. They do no real harm to others or at least very little. They all admit to some sin but none consider their sins worthy of eternal punishment in the everlasting fire of Hell. Besides this they are, for the most part, sorry for their sins. One of their strongest ‘defences’ is: ‘I have certainly never murdered anyone’. Many make it a point to go to their ‘church’ every Sunday or at least on special days. They have their babies ‘christened’, send their children to religious education classes and teach them the basic beliefs which the family holds to, encouraging them to be good and to lead good lives etc. What these people do and what in fact all of the lost do, according to their natural state, is they judge themselves to be right with God by their own standards, or the standards taught by false ministers of false gospels, especially those of great reputation, and take them on face value rather than correctly testing the things they are taught by God’s Standard which is laid out in His Holy Word. This is among the deadliest of errors, for billions have lived their lives secure in their delusion that God was on their side and that He Would ultimately save them. Their fatal error was that their beliefs were not based on God’s Promise revealed in His Word but on their particular viewpoint of what God is like and how God saves. Their views of God vary greatly but they all conclude that it is the same God they follow, regardless of the severe and contradictory differences in their beliefs—who they say God is and what they say He has done—and that all, or most, will be with Him in Heaven one day. The Ecumenical movement has brought together millions of people from different religious backgrounds and belief systems who all concede that they follow different teachings but believe sincerely that they are all following the same Supreme Entity. They claim that ‘It doesn’t really matter what one believes about God so long as one believes in His existence and does one’s best in life'. The whole idea of safety in numbers is a fallacy when it comes to religious beliefs. No matter how many believe in a particular way to salvation, IF IT IS NOT GOD’S WAY IT IS A FALSE WAY, a refuge which will not protect any from the Wrath of God which is to come. The whole safety in numbers concept is of no comfort now to those who perished in the Great Flood. None of them worshipped the True God and therefore they were consumed by the Waters of God’s Judgement. None heeded the teachings of Noah, who was a preacher of Righteousness, for over 100 years. Every worshipper of false gods and false religions DO follow the same god and his name is Satan, for none of them teach or believe in God’s Gospel wherein the True God is revealed.
Many who claim adherence to some form of religion believe that if a person has suffered much here on earth it is an evidence that God will accept them into His Presence and would surely not cast them into the eternal fire to suffer further agonies. They also say, ‘Surely those who are in agony on hospital beds will not also have to suffer the pains of Hell. Surely a murder victim would never find himself or herself in Hell, or those who are handicapped in some way could never be the recipients of God’s everlasting wrath. Those who die innocent victims of tragic road accidents, or on their sick-beds clinging to their god by way of their ornamental crucifix or other religious icon could not possibly now be in Hell, nor could any who have sacrificed their own lives while protecting the lives of others’. As sad as all these situations are this line of reasoning is as absurd as that which concludes that a person confined to a wheelchair could never commit a criminal act, or that an elderly person could never commit murder or harm anyone in the least way. This line of thinking is simply ludicrous and cannot find any backing in the Word of God. It is based on feelings and steeped in sentiment which have no affinity with reality. Such thoughts are not founded in reality but on superstitious, sentimental nonsense. This may sound harsh but it is fact, biblical fact, and the sooner people who think in this manner stop listening to themselves and what others say who are just as ignorant of the True God and HIS Way to salvation as they are and start listening to what GOD has said, the better. The religious world can only find support for its religiosity and superstitions in its own feeble understanding of God, which is founded in ignorance. They do not judge themselves according to God’s Word, according to His Gospel, and are ignorant of God’s Standard of Righteousness revealed in that Gospel. This is like judging the measurements for the foundations of a house by one’s idea of how long a metre is, rather than judging by the correct standard which in this case would be a proper and accurate measuring tape. Most are familiar with those scenes on the television news which show a truck which has jammed itself under a low bridge, much to the embarrassment of its driver. The driver has foolishly judged the height of the bridge purely by his own estimate. He was confident in his own judgement, which was supported only by his prediction, which was in turn based on his opinion that his truck would make it safely under the bridge with room to spare, and has not correctly noted its height in comparison with that of his truck. That’s why low bridges have their measurements posted clearly on them: so that people can make an INFORMED decision and not one based on their own judgement. Had the truck driver paid heed to the measurements, he would have realised beforehand that his truck was not going to pass safely under the low bridge no matter how sincerely convinced he was, that according to his judgement, the truck would make it. Sadly, and of most concern, is the fact that this is precisely how most handle their judgement of saved and lost. They simply judge according to what seems reasonable and acceptable to them of what God is like and how He judges and how a man can be right with Him, and will be shocked on Judgment Day when they realise that though they were sincere in their beliefs and lived moral lives, they had been sincerely wrong, sincerely deceived. They did their best to reach the standard they had set, whilst being ignorant of THE STANDARD which God has set, which is the only one which matters. One MUST judge according to God’s Standard, that is His Holy Gospel, wherein the Righteousness of God is revealed (Rom.1:16,17). IF THERE IS NO BELIEF IN THE GOSPEL THERE IS NO SALVATION. Christ said that he who believes His Gospel, which is to abide in the doctrine (teachings) of Christ, would be saved and that those who believed not the Gospel would be damned: "...Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; BUT HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT SHALL BE DAMNED" (Mk.16:15,16; see also Mk.1:15). In fact, Christ stated that those who believe not are condemned already: "He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already..." (Jn.3:18). Those who believe not Christ’s Gospel stand condemned whether they are moral or immoral in their conduct, and the Bible states that God will take vengeance on all those who disobeyed and believed not His Gospel Message: "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that KNOW NOT GOD, and THAT OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the Presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power" (2 Thess.1:8,9). Salvation is about believing God’s Judgement concerning saved and lost, believing His Testimony on the matter and not following our ideas, beliefs or traditions no matter how sincerely and loyally, or those of false teachers which the Bible calls "...cunningly devised fables..." (2 Pet.1:16; see also 1 Tim.1:4; 2 Tim.4:4). False teachings are not of God. They were all originally and cleverly devised by the enemies of God in order to deceive and are now often preached and promoted by those who are as sincerely deceived by them as their followers are. It is important to note at this point that those who lead the spiritually blind are blind themselves! (Matt.15:14; see also Lk.6:39).
LOST are they who are involved in religions which do not teach the Eternal Truth that Jesus Christ is God. Religions such as the so-called ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ are false religions for they do not promote the Truth that Jesus is the Eternal God and therefore could not possibly be promoting God’s only Gospel. This category includes the billions of people who make up the religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam (Muslims), Judaism and many others. Literally billions upon billions of people who are now in hell or who are headed towards it, followed or do follow these fable-promoting religious deceivers. Many, even some professing christians, find this hard to accept. Some refuse to believe it because so many of these people, though involved in false religions, are so kind and loving. Natural man just cannot help but judge according to the appearance. God does not judge in this manner "...for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart" (1 Sam.16:7), and God, sees the heart of every man as "...deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked..." (Jer.17:9). Many of those who live in multi-cultural societies have neighbors who follow these religions and get on well with them. They are so kind, courteous and very friendly. There is nothing wrong in being kind and courteous but there is something very wrong, perilous and sinful in being involved in false religion and thinking that a man will find favor with God by his own ‘good deeds’. The serious nature of man’s sin is something few have fathomed. To sin against the Holy God of the Universe is the most abominable act that a man can do. God is Personally offended at each and every sin, particularly the sin of trying to establish a righteousness before God according to one’s own efforts, for He has outlawed sin and yet man continues to break His Law without fear of retribution, because "There is no fear of God before their eyes" (Rom.3:18). Most of the people involved in false religious organizations are very sincere but it must be noted that sincerity of belief is not the evidence, proof or qualifier for salvation. Everyone believes something and most are very sincere about what they believe, but it is WHAT a man believes that is the central issue and not how sincerely he believes it. Many agree that the Bible is the Word of God but remain ignorant of what God’s Word actually says. This is evidenced by their trying to establish a righteousness by their personal obedience. Sincerity is not the key to freedom, it is the TRUTH of God which makes a man free: "And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free" (Jn.8:32). Many are moved to silence by the perceived sincerity and honesty exhibited in a person’s religious life and conclude from this flimsy ‘evidence’ that they must be saved. Most Buddhists and Hindus lead extremely moral lives, particularly the followers of the false god Krishna. Some monks and nuns of the more extreme Roman Catholic sects actually beat themselves bloody to show how sincere they are in their remorse for their sins. These people are devoutly religious and deeply sincere. They are gentle and very loving to others, more so than even some true believers and this coupled with their religious beliefs, feelings and experiences is conclusive proof in their minds that they are in right standing with God and that He will never reject them. Many receive great comfort in believing their particular religious beliefs are correct, and that they have the true God simply because their religion has existed for thousands of years, or because it was around before Christianity. Antiquity is no evidence of superiority. Others are convinced because there are so many who follow Buddha or the millions of Hindu gods. ‘Look at how much ‘good’ they do for ‘god’ and how disciplined their lives are’ is the argument. ‘How strictly they obey their religion’s teachings and moral code. Many even give their lives for their ‘god’.’ What makes you think you are any better than them?’, they ask. No true believer has ever said that they are better than these people. It must be added that some involved in false religion actually kill others thinking they serve God with such ‘honorable’ deeds in and for the cause of their ‘truth’. Again, these types of arguments show a standard of judgement based not on that which God has set but on that which has been set by man in his lost state.
Man in his natural state is so consumed with self that he oftentimes judges whether or not he is saved by looking at the lives of others. He judges himself saved by comparing himself with others. In other words he judges himself saved not according to God’s Standard of Holiness as revealed in the Gospel but according to his appearance and works and that of others: "...but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise" (2 Cor.10:12). They evidence their lost state by judging saved and lost by the amount or quality, or a mixture of both, of their religious deeds and moral lives, sincerity and zeal. As was mentioned earlier, natural man judges his salvation and that of others by works, deeds performed for the good of others and aimed at pleasing and gaining favor with God. This is the sin that deludes us all by nature and by what our wicked hearts deceive us: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jer.17:9); "...yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead" (Eccl.9:3). God has said that, despite appearances, no one would be righteous in His sight or saved according to their works: "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works 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). Again, this is said not to discourage anyone from seeking salvation but to show man that he cannot be saved based on his efforts at obedience, and to point him to the Savior. Scripture states clearly: "...by Him (Jesus) all that believe are justified from ALL things, from which ye could NOT be justified by the law of Moses" (Acts 13:39).
Man has done away with God’s Testimony and replaced it with his traditions and what other men have set up as the standard whereby he judges saved and lost. Christ has said: "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgement" (Jn.7:24). Whether it be in a negative sense or in a positive light, judging according to the appearance is strictly forbidden by Christ, one of the reasons being that any man can appear righteous unto another according to appearance and a man’s opinion of what righteousness is. Some serial killers have, on the surface, been respectable members of society during the time of their killing spree and the last person one would think was the murderous fiend. NO ONE appears righteous unto God in their natural sinful state for all are corrupted and fall short of His glory (see Heb.4:13). Many may appear righteous according to man’s standard but none are righteous according to God’s Standard, and, it is God’s Standard ALONE that matters: "God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ ACCORDING TO MY GOSPEL" (Rom.2:16). Many have an outward appearance of holiness but all are inwardly corrupt and fall far short of the glorious Standard of Righteousness which God has set. Listen to what Christ said of the Pharisees who were the most religious, dedicated and (outwardly) holiest of men in the nation of Israel: "Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity" (Matt.23:28; see also v. 27 & Lk.16:15). Christ also referred to these ‘most righteous of men’ as being of their father the Devil, for these religious leaders did not abide in the Truth (see Jn.8:44). In light of this Christ also said of them: "But ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep..." (Jn.10:26). All their good works amounted to absolutely nothing and all of their religious dedication and ancestry was in vain for they believed not Christ and His Gospel. Notice that Christ said that the Pharisees appeared righteous unto men, but not to God. Appearances, to say the least, can be extremely deceptive. All that glitters is NOT gold. Just because a man appears to be religious and has great zeal and sincerity in his religion, is no evidence that this is a saved man who knows the True God. For instance, how many people have been led astray by a person who outwardly appeared sincere and honest, so sweet and gentle and kind and yet ended up relieving them of their life savings? Jesus said that deception in religious circles would be no different. He stated that false ministers who promoted false gospels which told of a false christ who cannot save, would appear outwardly as sheep but inwardly they were wolves: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves" (Matt.7:15). Paul the apostle referred to them as grievous wolves in Acts 20:29 and warned that these ministers of Satan would appear as the very ministers of righteousness, yet they had no true Gospel to tell, only a counterfeit (2 Cor.11:4,13-15). Christ teaches that judging by appearance was not the way God has commanded (Jn.7:24), but rather judging according to righteous judgment is the way which God has commanded. The spiritual man judges all things in this manner (1 Cor.2:15). This judgment is according to God’s Word which never changes and can never lead a man astray. It is judging according to the Gospel of God which is made up of various doctrines, which are the terms of what is called the New Testament or New Covenant. The way of judging a person according to what they teach or believe is evidenced many times in Scripture and is summed up in the following statement: If a man has not the Gospel he has not God (2 Jn.9). There is no talk here of conduct, whether good or bad, for any man can appear righteous but not all believe in the Gospel of God. There is no hope to be found outside the Gospel. No hope for any man even at his best (see Psa.39:5). Only by the True Christ may His Holy Message be heard for He alone is the Truth and only in that Message is His Righteousness revealed (Rom.1:16,17), and that Righteousness of Christ is the only Righteousness by which a man may enter heaven: Jesus saith unto him, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (Jn.14:6). Jesus Christ proclaims: "I am the Door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved..." (Jn.10:9). Any other way is a false way and any doctrine other than Christ’s doctrine is false doctrine which will not lead a man to the Father.
LOST are they who claim to believe in Jesus Christ and yet abide not in His doctrine and whom He does not know. The billions of people who have followed and do follow the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, all of the so-called Orthodox churches found mostly in Eastern Europe, the Balkan States and Russia, the Charismatic and Pentecostal movements and all of the smaller groups which these two giants have spawned, are all at this moment in time lost for they do not follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught in Holy Scripture. The leaders they follow have never taught them what the true Gospel is. These people sincerely believe with heartfelt conviction that they have heard and do believe God’s Gospel. Again, their sincerity is no guarantee that they are right. SINCERITY DOES NOT MEAN SECURITY. One can sincerely believe that 2+2 = 5 but one would be sincerely wrong. NO AMOUNT OF SINCERITY CAN MAKE THAT ANSWER RIGHT! How ridiculous would a person be to say that one has the correct answer by judging how nice or loving that person is? It is no less ridiculous to judge a man saved simply because he lives right, names the name of Christ and is not immoral. Nor is it any proof that any of these giant organizations are of God because they have so many great buildings, are materially wealthy and have billions of followers. The Roman Catholic Church alone is said to have over 1 billion followers. All are lost for all believe in a false gospel wherein is no salvation. All are blind followers of blind guides and all will fall into the same ditch if they do not repent and believe the Gospel (Matt.15:13,14). How can sincere but spiritually blind teachers, who do not know the Truth of God, lead their sincere yet spiritually blind followers to Heaven? Christ says: "...shall they not both fall into the ditch?" (Lk.6:39). These kinds of standards, that of sincerity and moral uprightness, a church’s material wealth and prosperity and charitable deeds, from which many get such a feeling of security, does not come from God, for He has only ONE Standard, the Gospel of His Dear Son Jesus Christ. ALL WHO DO NOT KNOW GOD OBEY NOT HIS GOSPEL. AND ALL WHO DO NOT OBEY HIS GOSPEL CANNOT KNOW GOD! (see 2 Thess.1:8). It is vital for all to realise that GODLY SINCERITY IS ALWAYS ACCOMPANIED BY GOD’S TRUTH. Joshua 24:14 says: "Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve Him in SINCERITY and in TRUTH: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord" (see also 1Cor. 5:8; 2 Cor.1:12; 2;17). Sincerity without Truth always leads to false gods and false religions. False gods and false gospels, and those who promote them, are to be shunned and avoided and the True God and HIS Gospel believed, in sincerity and in Truth if one is to truly serve the Lord. Those who teach contrary to the doctrine of Christ are to be avoided: "For they that are such SERVE NOT OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple" (Rom.16:18). Such men are described as "...the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things" (Phil. 3:18,19). It does a man no good at all if he sincerely believes that 2+2= 5. It doesn’t help him in any way if he is the most upright and model citizen around. If what the man believes is wrong then no amount of accompanying sincerity is going to make him right. If he believes a false gospel he is lost and doubly so if he believes it with sincerity. Sincerity and TRUTH is what comes from God. God must be worshipped in spirit AND in TRUTH. Christ said: "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the TRUE worshippers shall worship the Father in SPIRIT and in TRUTH; for the Father SEEKETH SUCH to worship Him" (Jn.4:23). The only ones whom God seeks are they who will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, and according to Ezekiel 34:11,12 those true worshippers are referred to as His sheep, His people. The only ones who will hear His voice and who will be given eternal life are His sheep (see Jn.10:27,28). The Holy Spirit Who guides all of God’s chosen into TRUTH is called the Spirit of TRUTH. "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth..." (Jn.16:13). The Holy Spirit is referred to three times in the Gospel of John as the Spirit of Truth (Jn.14:17; 15:26; 16:13). The Holy Spirit does not guide people into error, He guides them into Truth. He guides them to the True Christ and not a false christ. He guides God’s chosen to the True Gospel and not a false gospel for God calls His people by HIS Gospel and never through a false gospel. Heaven is for those who have had the TRUTH revealed to them and who have been given a love for it and the Faith to believe it. God calls His people by His Gospel, His Truth, and not a lie. The Work of the Holy Spirit of God is inseparably connected with belief of God’s Truth: "...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, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess.2:13,14).
No doubt all this comes as a great shock to many who have never grasped the enormity of sin and just how many people, including those who are sincerely religious, are actually lost, and that no man by his own efforts at obedience to God’s Law can ever attain salvation. Yes, the little old lady who lives next door to you and whom you see go off to church every Sunday and to the prayer meetings every Wednesday is lost if she does not believe in God’s Gospel and counts all of her religious efforts at finding favor with God as dung. This goes against the grain of natural man’s way of thinking. God has stated that man’s ways are not God’s Ways and God’s thoughts are not our thoughts: "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts...For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord" (Isa.55:7,8; see also 1 Sam.16:7). Man does not see and therefore does not judge as God sees and as God judges. Man is to repent of ever thinking that he could, by his works and efforts at religion and morality, ever recommend himself to the Holy God. Christ did not come to call those who are righteous in their own eyes, but to call sinners to repentance (see Matt.9:13). God commands man to forsake his ways and his thoughts and to believe God when He says that "...no man is justified by the law in the sight of God...for, the just shall live by Faith" (Gal.3:11). The Bible states that the heart of man is desperately wicked (Jer.17:9) and that any man who trusts in his own heart (which is talking about every man who does not trust in the True Christ alone for all of salvation) is a fool and heaven is not a place which accommodates fools: "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool..." (Prov.28:26). We must hear and believe what God has to say about saved and lost, about heaven and hell, if we are to be sure of our eternal well-being. Graciously, God has revealed His Testimony concerning saved and lost in His Gospel Message. However, most people today conduct their lives like those in the Old Testament, who went about doing that which was right in THEIR own eyes (Judg.17:6). This is the central ingredient in judging according to the appearance. These are the self-righteous ones who judge themselves and others worthy of heaven based on nothing else but their ‘walk with God’. Oftentimes they make excuses for themselves by judging themselves according to their good intentions and others by what they do. Notice that they do not go about doing that which is wrong or evil in their eyes but they do what they think is good. The right way to live and to seek God is according to their opinion and they judge themselves right with God according to their view of what good is. They are a law unto themselves and can never please God (see Rom.8:6-8). Outside of Noah and his family, the whole world walked according to this manner. They had their false gods and their own views of right and wrong and all received the just punishment for their rejection of Noah’s God, the True God. Yes, ALL THE WORLD WAS WRONG and only Noah and seven others were right! (See 2 Pet.2:5). The apostle John writing to Christians said: "And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness" (1Jn.5:19). The issue is not whether you judge yourself right before God but does God judge you Righteous?
Ever since the Fall in the Garden of Eden man has become a law unto himself and is under the delusion that God thinks the way man thinks and that He sees the way man sees. Man in his natural fallen condition judges good and bad according to his own standard. This is one of the reasons why man is so convinced that the god he follows is the true God. Man is by nature ignorant of the fact he is spiritually insane. Everyone, including those who name the name of Christ yet do not know His Gospel, are guilty of the sin of replacing the True God with an idol derived from his own perverted image of the True God. The world does not hold to very many absolutes in life, for one man’s opinion is as good as another’s; one man’s god is as good as another’s. If there is one thing the world is absolute about, it is that there are no absolutes! They judge not according to God’s thoughts, but by their own thoughts which the Bible calls thoughts of iniquity (Isa.59:7), and are often outraged at anyone or anything that challenges their ways and their thoughts and that calls their religion a false one and their god a counterfeit. They hate anyone and anything that poses a threat to their religious comfort zone, to which their ignorance has led them. Man, whether he knows it or not, has a God-complex. The Fall is what did it. Satan told Eve that if she and Adam ate that fruit which they had been forbidden to eat they would become as gods who could set their own standards of right and wrong (Gen.3:5). Satan believes he is God and thinks that he can do what he likes when he likes. Man, whose mind has been blinded to the truth of the Gospel, is the same as his god, Satan. Man has replaced the True God, with himself. Just look at how many religions there are which teach that man is a god, or at the very least can, and will, eventually become a god if he follows their teachings. From Hinduism to Mormonism to the Faith movement, these teachings abound. They appeal to natural man because he is bent towards that way of thinking, because the one whom man follows by nature is Satan, the one who originally sold man the line that he would become as a god. Man substituting himself in the place of God often manifests itself in the guise of a god of man’s own imagination, which is nothing but man projecting his own perverted views of what God is like, to an image of his own making. A lost man whose mind is blinded to the things of God and by which he cannot understand God, saying he understands and knows God or even seeks after God, is like a physically blind man saying he can see perfectly. It is utter foolishness. Man has bowed his knee to his own sinful perverted nature and has invented for himself countless illusionary, perverted and deceptive images of God, when all the while he is simply worshipping and believing in himself. He looks inwardly, not outwardly, and is consumed by his own thoughts.
LOST are all those who believe that they have chosen God according to their free-will. This includes ‘protestants’ as much as it does the Roman Catholic who believes that God has given him the grace, or ability, to believe but that man still has to do the choosing. No matter how much a man attributes his salvation to God, he is yet a lost man if he maintains that man has a free-will choice in whether he comes to God or not. In claiming that salvation is conditioned on man, on his choosing God, they do away with the biblical teaching that God has, according to His purpose and grace (2 Tim. 1:9), chosen us and that Christ has obtained redemption for all whom God chose. More will be said on this issue later. Scripture says that Christians are a chosen generation and not a generation of choosers: "But ye are a chosen generation...that ye should shew forth the praises of Him Who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous Light" (1 Pet.2:9).
LOST also are those who give a mere intellectual acknowledgement to God’s True and only Gospel. Their knowledge is only head-knowledge and not saving knowledge. It is purely a mental agreement with the Gospel and not a heart agreement. They care not for holy living, believing it is not necessary to pay heed to one’s conduct and manner of life but only to believe the Truth. The apostle James, in speaking of such people, stated: "...faith without works is dead" (Jas.2:20; see also v. 19). These works which accompany saving faith do not in any way, or to any degree, contribute to or maintain a man’s salvation but are simply the fruit which is evidenced by true saving Faith. The Faith which believes that all of salvation is conditioned on Christ ALONE will never look to it’s fruit as the means to, or the ground of, salvation. Those who give a mere intellectual agreement with the true Gospel, still actually judge according to the appearance, by a man’s declaration that he is a true believer in Christ, or according to a man’s reputation, the degree of respect he and his writings or sermons command etc., in spite of the anti-Christ doctrines they believe. These people consider many saved, particularly family members or close friends who do not abide in the doctrine of Christ. The Holy Spirit of God calls such a man ACCURSED, so how could anyone who considered such a man saved whom they were well aware did not hold to the doctrine of Christ, but to teachings which actually opposed Christ’s Gospel, possibly be saved themselves? Such lost ones believe that they themselves were saved before they even heard of the True Gospel. But how, it may be asked, can a man be saved before hearing the True Gospel if the only way God calls a man is by His Gospel? (2 Thess.2:14). And how can one truly be saved if they judge a man saved who does not believe the Gospel of Christ, without which there is no salvation, as there is no justifying Righteousness revealed outside of its doctrines? Such people claim that they were saved, actually received justifying faith before they heard and believed the Gospel which tells of the True Christ and what He has done. The question, then, must be asked, ‘what was it they believed which so convinced them that they were saved?’ Whatever it was they could not have been trusting in the True Christ for Scripture clearly teaches that a man truly trusts in Christ "...AFTER that ye heard the Word of Truth, THE GOSPEL of your salvation: in whom also AFTER that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise" (Eph.1:13). Salvation is not simply a matter of believing, but BELIEVING THE TRUTH!! These people judge themselves and others saved because they sincerely ‘cried out to God for mercy’ and ‘had many experiences with God’ and ‘had many prayers answered’. By these subjective means they judge themselves and others saved all those years ago despite, at the time, believing false doctrine concerning the Person and Work of Christ which is central to the Gospel Message. How many times do you think Paul the apostle believed his prayers were being amazingly answered by the True God while he was a Pharisee and of his father the Devil? After hearing and believing Christ’s Gospel Paul realised he had, up to that point, been a lost man. He did not hang onto ANY of his religious efforts and experiences whilst lost in false religion, but stated quite clearly: "Yea doubtless, and I count all things (all he did and all he was) 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, and be found in Him not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the Faith of Christ, the Righteousness which is of God by Faith" (Phil.3:8,9). That knowledge of Christ came by the Gospel, by which God calls all His elect. How can any man be saved by believing in a false gospel which tells of another jesus and not THE Jesus of God? This is a question of supreme significance, for when one realises that no one can show evidence that they are saved who does not believe in Christ’s Gospel, one is left with the ultimate question, ‘what then is the Gospel?’ Lost religious people today either reject the Gospel or deny that it is the Gospel. This is the Life and Death issue we must deal with and concern ourselves with. No matter how knowledgeable a person may be about any other matter, be it religious or not and no matter how religious or moral a man may be, NONE are, or will be saved, who believe not and abide not in the one and only Gospel of the Holy God: "But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are LOST: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which BELIEVE NOT, lest the Light of the glorious GOSPEL of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (2 Cor.4:3,4).
Man is a very sentimental creature who believes that as long as he does his best he will find favor with God. That ‘God is a good guy who won’t really send anyone to Hell’. Man indulges in emotional rather than objective judgement judging value or worth according to sentiment rather than according to objective fact. He judges a person saved and of God because they have been so nice to them over the years or because they are so sweet and kind or a much loved family elder. But God is not a sentimental Being. God is a Just God and what He does must be in perfect conformity with His Holy Character, or He would cease to be God. God is Love, but "God does not sacrifice His Holiness to His love." God is God. He is Holy and He is Just. He would cease to be God if He did not adhere to His promise that all who obeyed the Law perfectly would be saved, and to His threat that all who disobeyed the Law, even in one point, would rightly be damned: "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (Jas. 2:10). God’s law is Holy and His Justice inflexible. Many who give intellectual agreement to God’s Gospel judge themselves as not lost in those days before hearing the Gospel but saved, albeit ignorant, of many truths concerning God and His Gospel Message. This is based on a standard of judgement other than God’s Standard and is a denial of the Gospel Message. Scripture states clearly that it is eternally opposed to such deadly thinking. God states that if the Gospel be hid, if one does not see, understand and comprehend its Message, it is hid to them which are LOST. Not to them that are saved but ignorant of its Message; not to them that are saved but need to come to a better understanding, but to them who are L-O-S-T: LOST! The Word of God never once refers to those who have not heard the Gospel, or do not believe it, as ignorant but nevertheless saved people. Nowhere will you find any statement in Scripture that a man is saved BEFORE hearing and believing God’s Gospel. Ignorance of the Gospel is not something of which any saved child of God is guilty. The apostle Paul prayed for the salvation of those who were lost, whom he referred to as ignorant of and not submitted to the Righteousness of God (Rom.10:3). Those for whom Paul prayed were still going about trying to establish a righteousness of their own, showing conclusively that they were not trusting in the Righteousness of Christ alone for all of salvation and did not believe the Gospel wherein that Righteousness is revealed. The Word of God states plainly that God judges them LOST who do not believe and abide in the doctrine of Christ: "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). All who are ignorant of, or not submitted to, the doctrines of God’s Holy Gospel are, whilst in that frame of mind and at that point in time, LOST, under Wrath and accursed of God, as were even the elect before being made alive unto Him and believers in His Gospel, according to His grace (Eph.2:1-10).
Why? Why is it so important to believe all the doctrines which make up the terms of God’s Gospel Message? And for that matter, why is doctrine so important anyway? (See the book ‘God Loves Doctrine’). It is important because if one does not hold to these teachings, which are nothing less than God’s very Testimony on the matter of salvation and on Who His Son is, what His Son has done and for whom He has done it, one must be holding to other teachings about these issues, such as election, the total inability of man to come to God in an of himself etc., and what Christ did in and through His Atoning death. This would mean that one held to a view of these life and death issues that was not conformed to God’s Word on the matter. Again, none are saved who hold sincerely to beliefs which differ from what God has said and which stand in opposition to His Gospel. The deadness of a person’s spiritual state is not always revealed by what they say they believe, but is made apparent by what they do not believe. A person may hold to several Gospel doctrines and yet unbelief of even one of these teachings cancels out the rest and shows that the person does not have saving, justifying faith which has no trouble believing all the doctrine of Christ. Some protest and say, "But not all are theologians. You don’t have to know doctrine, you just have to know HIM." One man’s response to this absurd and dangerous reasoning is, "The only way you CAN know HIM is by the Gospel doctrine, the doctrine of Christ, that identifies and distinguishes HIM from counterfeits...'It is a man’s doctrine which identifies and distinguishes the God he worships and serves'. If that doctrine does not agree with Christ’s doctrine, then he cannot be worshipping the True God. If he believes false doctrine, then he believes in a false god which cannot save. Only if one believes in the True Gospel can he be worshipping the True God. ALL FALSE RELIGION IS BASED UPON A FALSE KNOWLEDGE OF WHO GOD IS AND WHAT HE HAS DONE. Counterfeit teachings are the basis upon which man’s testimony about these issues is formed, which make up false gospels which not only do not agree with what God has said about saved and lost, but defiantly oppose the True Gospel. To some degree they all promote the righteousness of man and do not rejoice solely in the Righteousness of Christ. Such teachings are in essence anti-Christ. Christ says that if a man believes the Gospel then he shows that he is saved, because he evidences the fact that he believes God’s Testimony and not that of false gospels concerning the Person and Work of Christ, and trusts solely in the Righteousness of Christ and in nothing that comes from himself. He also states that a man who does not believe the Gospel, this includes all those who are either ignorant of it or not submitted to it or do not believe it is the Gospel or that it is necessary to believe all of it before one can count themselves saved, as the DAMNED!! "...He that believeth not (the Gospel) shall be damned" (Mk.16:16; see also 2 Thess.2:12). The cursed of God are those people who do not believe God’s Gospel which reveals the Righteousness of Christ as being the only means whereby a man can be saved. Without the Righteousness of Christ man continues in his vain attempts at establishing a righteousness of his own, showing that he believes one can attain salvation, or at the least maintain it, by his best efforts at obeying God’s Law. Yet Scripture tells us clearly that those who follow the law and expect acceptable righteousness to come from that imperfect obedience, are under the curse of God: "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them" (Gal.3:10). If a man thinks that obedience to even one law is necessary to the ground of salvation, he denies the Gospel and the Righteousness of Christ and is a debtor to do the whole law (see Gal.5:2-5).