The Gospel is Delicate and So Easily Corrupted
By David J. Stewart
Romans 3:4, “Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar...”
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most delicate thing in the universe, because it is so profoundly simple. We are sinners and are saved by obtaining Christ's righteousness by faith (Romans 4:5). It's that simple. The Gospel is so simple that it is dangerously easy to corrupt by the slightest change or addition of anything to it (2nd Corinthians 11:3).
A minister who invites people to come down to the alter to be saved is corrupting the Gospel. Since when does a person have to walk an alter to be saved? Why can't they be saved right there in their pew by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ?
A person who teaches that a sinner must be sorry for their sins to be saved is corrupting the Gospel message. Sorrow is an emotion. A sinner need only acknowledge their sinnership before God to be saved. A person may or may not feel sorry over the sins in their life; yet they may still acknowledge that they are a guilty sinner in need of the Savior. The Law shows men their guilt of sin (Romans 3:19) and points them to the Savior (Galatians 3:24).
Some people errantly tell sinners to “invite Jesus into their heart,” but the Bible doesn't teach that. In Acts 8 we find an Ethiopian eunuch desiring to be water baptized, as a new believer. Acts 8:37, “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” And so Philip water baptized the eunuch as a public profession of his faith in the Lord. Salvation is believing from one's heart on Jesus as the Son of God, the Christ. We are saved when we believe; not when we invite Jesus into our heart. A lot of Southern Baptists have been misled to believe they are saved because they asked Jesus into their life. Well, Judas was one of Christ's very Apostles, and yet Judas went to Hell in unbelief. Ye must be born-again! (John 3:5).
Jack Chick corrupts the Gospel message in his cartoon booklets, by requiring sinners in step #2 to “be willing to turn from sin” to be saved. This is in addition to step #1 which requires a person to “admit you are a sinner.” Step #1 is Biblical; step #2 is damnable heresy. The Gospel is so easily corrupted into a lie. The Gospel is even more delicate than eggshells. Nothing is so profoundly simple, and yet so easily corrupted, than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A person need only repent of their sinful condition by believing upon the Lord Jesus for forgiveness (Acts 10:43).
Mark 1:15, “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” The Bible doesn't say, repent ye, and stop living in sin. It says, repent ye, and believe the Gospel. A changed life is the FRUIT of genuine repentance (James 2:21); and not a part of the ROOT of saving-faith (Romans 4:5-6).
To tell someone that they must be willing to give up their sinful lifestyle is to teach self-righteousness, which is damnable heresy and a false gospel. Ray Comfort, Jack Chick, Paul Washer and John MacArthur pervert the Gospel by teaching that a person must forsake their sinful lifestyle to be saved. They are corrupting the Biblical meaning of repentance and perverting the Gospel. It's not just a matter of semantics as some deceitfully claim.
There are literally thousands of perversions of the Gospel in the world today, and Satan is behind every one of them, trying to blind people from the truth of the Gospel (2nd Corinthians 4:4). The Catholic Church is notorious for corrupting the meaning of the Scriptures. Catholics trust in a false gospel. Official Catholic dogma teaches that a person must be water baptized into the Catholic Church, and keep the Seven Sacraments of the Church, to enter into Heaven. Catholicism is a prisonhouse of religion. From the cradle-to-the-casket, Catholicism has a religious package for you; but Jesus said “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).
Religion Wants to Fit Us with Glasses; the Lord Wants to Open Our Eyes
I have a staunch Catholic neighbor, who does all sorts of things for his parish, and is a good man as far as sinners go; but he doesn't believe in a literal Hell. I asked him where people go who aren't born-again when they die? He answered, “They're stuck in limbo.” That's a lie of Satan. I showed him from the Bible (and it's also in the Catholic Douay version of the Bible) 2nd Thessalonians 1:8-9, which warns that God will punish with vengeance all Christ-rejecters with flaming fire in Hell forever. The question is... Do you believe that the Bible is God's Word? I hope for your sake that you do. Despite having explained the Gospel repeatedly to him, my neighbor still maintains the false notion that he will be saved by keeping the Ten Commandments to the best of his ability. This is what Catholics are taught—self-righteousness. Sadly, he will go to Hell forever unless he repents and believes the Gospel.
Every false religious cult corrupts the simplicity of the Gospel. Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-Day Adventists all require self-righteous works to gain Heaven. They all require water baptism, which is unscriptural. No one in the Old Testament ever got baptized in water. There is only one Gospel. Abram (Abraham) was saved in Genesis 15:6 by believing on the Lord, the same way we are saved today, 4,000 years later. There has always been only one plan of salvation, and it is by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). A person need only repent of their sinful condition by believing upon the Lord Jesus for forgiveness (Acts 10:43). Salvation is receiving; not giving (John 1:12). Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15), freely offered (Romans 10:13) and freely received (Revelation 22:17).
CCM's False Gospel
There's also a group of people today who corrupt the Gospel by reducing salvation to “praying the Jesus prayer” as I've heard some Contemporary Christian Music [CCM] singers state. There can be no salvation without the Law of God that reveals men as sinners. Romans 3:19, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” To be saved, a person must acknowledge their guilt of sin for breaking God's commandments. Turning over a new leaf is not salvation. Making a commitment to live a better life is not salvation. Deciding to join a church and become religious is not salvation.
Certainly, there is nothing wrong with a sinner's prayer, for we find the thief on the cross crying out to Jesus to be saved in Luke 23:42. However, a person may be saved without ever opening their mouth. What if a person were mute? Salvation is of the heart, by simply believing on Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. Romans 10:10 tells us that it is with the heart man believeth unto righteousness. In Matthew 7:21-23 we find a group of religious phonies, who called Jesus “Lord, Lord” as the Lordship Salvationists do. They were unsaved; but yet religious.
The majority of CCM artists today propagate a wishy-washy false gospel that teaches that a person need only open their heart for God to fill the emptiness. Michael Smith is one such heretic. Christian Rock, Rap, Hip Hop, House, Pop, et cetera, are all of the Devil, because they love the praise of men more than God (John 12:43), and love money more than the hellbound souls of men (Matthew 6:24). The CCM artists get rich, and their evil producers; but no one gets saved because the true Gospel is drowned in obscure, meaningless lyrics. Their worldly message is to unite at all cost, even at the expense of the truth of God's Word. They teach that love supercedes everything, thus the doctrine of Christ is forgotten. Anything goes with these apostates, just so long as they keep making money.
Not one, and I mean not one, CCM mainstream artist preaches the Gospel on their website. They're a bunch of religious imposters who masquerade as Christians. They are wolves in sheep's clothing, shameful souls, who hurt the cause of Christ. The world is going to Hell. Do you really think that their screeching guitars, sensual singing, worldly concerts and lame religious testimony are going to bring anyone to salvation? How, when they don't even preach the Gospel?
Nearly all CCM artists sinfully embrace the Catholic Church, refraining from saying anything negative about the demonic cult of Catholicism, and are pulling on the same rope as the Devil. The simplicity of the Gospel is corrupted. Opening one's heart to Jesus is not salvation. Jesus' name is thrown around a lot these days, and most professed Christians are not saved. The Gospel has been changed, altered, corrupted, watered-down, perverted, misrepresented, and so forth; but the truth has not changed in any way. The Word of God still stands! Ye must be born-again! (John 3:5).
John MacArthur's False Gospel
Multitudes of apostate ministers and churchgoers herald pastor John MacArthur as a mighty man of faith; but in reality, he is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Perhaps MacArthur's most incriminating work is his book titled “HARD TO BELIEVE,” in which he errantly states...
"Salvation isn't the result of an intellectual exercise. It comes from a life lived in obedience and service to Christ as revealed in the Scripture; it's the fruit of actions, not intentions. There's no room for passive spectators: words without actions are empty and futile... The life we live, not the words we speak, determines our eternal destiny" (Hard to Believe, p. 93).
To say that salvation comes from a life lived in obedience and service to Christ seemingly indicates that salvation comes from something that man does. The Bible says that salvation is “not of yourselves... not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort are admirers of John MacArthur, and Cameron promotes The MacArthur Study Bible on his website. MacArthur's false theology has corrupted millions of people. MacArthur supports modern corrupt Bibles and is a Calvinist who teaches that God predestinates people to salvation. MacArthur also tramples under foot the precious literal blood of Jesus.
MacArthur's formula, as derived from his above statement, seems to be as follows:
Man's obedience + man's service to Christ = SALVATION
Does not this formula indicate salvation by works? The Bible consistently teaches that salvation is not based on man's self-righteous works; but rather, upon the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
MacArthur, in the second part of the above quote, makes a statement that is even more problematic: “The life we live... determines our eternal destiny.” The implications of this statement are startling. If MacArthur's statement is true, then Hell is going to be the eternal destiny of every human being! We are all horrible sinners in God's eyes (James 2:10). According to Romans 6:23 and Revelation 21:8 we have all earned for ourselves eternal death in the Lake of Fire. The life we live here on earth does not determine our eternal destiny. It's Jesus' work of redemption that makes salvation possible, guaranteed to those who believe on Him. John 11:25-26, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?”
It is not our COMMITMENT that saves us; it is CHRIST who saves us. Following Christ is a result of salvation, not a condition of salvation. Before we FOLLOW CHRIST in discipleship we must COME TO CHRIST for salvation. Before we COME AFTER CHRIST (Luke 9:23) we must COME UNTO CHRIST (Matthew 11:28). The term “BELIEVE” does not mean “turn from sin and follow Christ.” It means “trust fully, rely upon, resting one’s whole weight upon the WORTH, WORD and WORK of Jesus Christ.” We must not re-define saving faith to make it some kind of a “work-requirement” for salvation. Justification is for the person who “worketh not, but believeth” (Romans 4:5).
The Universal New Age False Gospel
New Age teaches the masses of this world to believe in a universal Christ that does not conform to Biblical teaching. The one common denominator of all such falsehoods is a tolerance of all faiths as being honored by God. However, Jesus plainly proclaimed in the Bible that He is the ONLY way to God the Father, and thus, the ONLY path to Heaven. John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” This means that all the followers of Judaism and Islam are going straight to Hell when they die, because both groups deny that Jesus is the Christ, nor the son of God. They are liars (1st John 2:22).
One of the great joys of being a born-again Christian is contending for the Christian faith (Jude 1:3). I do not enjoy exposing false teachers and stepping on toes, but that is exactly what the truth does. If the shoe fits, wear it! God makes no apologies for His Word. God said what He meant, and meant what He said. The Bible is brutally honest, telling it like it is, which is why so many people hate the Bible, and greedy villains have to pervert it to sell more copies. The true Bible has become very unpopular with this sick-minded, child-murdering, wicked, society in America. Most people don't want a Bible that condemns them to Hell, and calls sin by name, and worships Jesus as Almighty God Who came in the flesh.
The King James Bible is a lonely soul today, sitting quietly and unloved on most bookstore shelves (if it's even there). While churches buy corrupt Bibles by the millions, the lonely King James Bible is left in the dust, waiting for someone to pick Him up and read Him. Jesus is the Word of God, the Living Word (John 1:1-3,14; Revelation 19:13).
Any Christ that is not the Lord Jesus Christ of the Scriptures is a fraud. The Jesus of Mormonism is a fake. The Jesus of the Jehovah's Witnesses is a fake! The Jesus of the Seventh-Day Adventists is a fake! The Jesus of Judaism is a fake! The Jesus of Islam is a fake! The Jesus of Catholicism is a fake!
Catholics teach that Jesus honors His mother in Heaven and that Mary has special power of influence with God, and that Catholics are to praise and honor Mary by reciting the Rosary, so she'll go to Jesus on their behalf. That is Hellish doctrine! Mary is nothing more than a dirty sinner (Romans 3:23). Mary is no more deserving of Heaven than a pimp on the street, or a mass-murdering, or you. We are all sinners in God's eyes (James 2:10). Religion is the worst thing to ever happen to this world. Salvation is not found in any religion; but rather, in a Person—the Lord Jesus Christ!
We are Saved By Christ's Righteousness
The Gospel is profoundly simple, and thus, so easily corrupted. We are sinners and are saved by obtaining Christ's righteousness by faith (Romans 4:5). It's that simple. The Gospel is so simple that it is dangerously easy to corrupt by the slightest change or addition of anything to it (2nd Corinthians 11:3). This is why I vehemently fight against any false prophet who dares to change, add, or diminish from what the Word of God teaches concerning salvation. We are saved by Christ's righteousness. Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; and all these things shall be added unto you.” We cannot be saved by our own self-righteousness, and a good thing because we have NONE to offer God. We all need the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. This means that God attributes Christ's righteousness to us, by faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, to forgive our sins (2nd Corinthians 5:21). Salvation is that simple.
There is nothing in this universe as delicate as the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God made salvation simple, so simple that even a child can be saved by simply believing on Jesus as the Son of God, the Christ. If a person must clean up their life of sin to be saved, then salvation is very complicated. If a person must be willing to turn from sin, it implies that God expects a person to clean up their life of sin to be saved. Again, that is a very complicated Gospel. The truth of the matter is that Jesus paid a sin debt He did not owe, because we owed a sin debt we could not pay. Jesus paid it all. The Bible says that a man's faith is COUNTED for righteousness (Romans 4:5). That's simple! We believe on Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, Who gave His precious blood for our sins, and we are saved by Christ's righteousness. No works of self-righteousness are required on our part (Romans 3:20; Titus 3:5). That's the simplicity of the Gospel. Jesus paid it all.
Note: All Scripture references are only to the precious and trustworthy King James Bible. All modern Bible translations are corrupted by Satan because of the love of money. Satan is a beautiful liar (2nd Corinthians 11:14).