The False Gospels of the Catholic and Protestant Churches
The true gospel of Christ is a rare message in today’s world. Today we not only have Catholics teaching a different gospel from Christ but many Protestant churches are also teaching a false gospel.
Gal 1:6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,
Gal 1:7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
Gal 1:11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.
Gal 1:12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
When anyone proclaims the gospel to you, you should always ask yourself, which gospel are they proclaiming? The gospel of Satan or the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
2Co 11:4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!
Purpose: To learn from Scripture the true meaning of the gospel of Christ in contrast to the false gospels of Satan. This contrast between the true gospel and the false gospels will give you great discernment in knowing what is truth and what is error. It will also give you a greater appreciation for what your Lord accomplished for you on the cross.
The true gospel: God the Father, possessing all power and all knowledge, from eternity chose the specific individuals He would save;
Mat 26:64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Act 15:18 “Known to God from eternity are all His works.
Eph 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
God the Son, possessing all power and all knowledge, became flesh in order to propitiate the wrath of the Father by dying in the place of those whom the Father had chosen;
Joh 10:18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
Joh 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Rom 3:25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
1Pe 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
And God the Holy Spirit, possessing all power and all knowledge, irresistibly and in due time gives the persons elected by the Father and ransomed by the Son the faith and salvation that Christ earned for them. John Robbins, The Atonement, Foreword.
Joh 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
False Teachings Concerning the Atonement
The Cross was not a scene of an angry Father, thundering down lightning bolts of wrath upon the Son in vengeance! The Cross was not a scene of an angry and vindictive God, but the act of a God of mercy and love. It was the unity of the Trinity, seeking to reconcile fallen man unto Himself, for, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (2 Cor. 5:19). “While it is true that Jesus is our substitute, he is our substitute truly and strictly only in suffering, not in punishment. Sin cannot be punished and pardoned also. This would be a moral contradiction. Sin is conditionally pardoned because Jesus has suffered and died. There is no punishment of sin except in the person of the sinner who neglects so great a Savior. Sin was not punished on the Cross. Calvary was a scene of wondrous mercy and love, not of wrath and penalty.”2 While all of this may be quite shocking to most readers, they will search the Scriptures in vain to find a single statement that the wrath of God was upon Jesus, or that a single sin was punished upon the Cross. Most have been shamefully sold an unscriptural bill of goods when it comes to the doctrine of atonement. The only thing that can be substantiated from Scripture is that, “Christ was at no time the object of his Father’s personal displeasure, but suffered only the signs—the effect, not the affection of divine anger.”3 “The atonement did not procure grace, it flowed from grace.”4 Suffering is not punishment. One must be guilty in order for them to be punished. One however, can voluntarily suffer a punishment due to someone else. This does not make them guilty in any way. “There is neither term nor text of Scripture which explicitly asserts the penal substitution of Christ in atonement for sin. It is noteworthy fact; and the assertion of it will stand good until the contrary be shown. As a fact, it is against the theory of atonement by penal substitution and in favor of that by vicarious suffering. The punishment of Christ as substitute in atonement is rendered familiar by frequency of utterance of theology, not the assertion of Scripture.”5
For more information on Payment and Punishment, click here.
ON THE IDEA OF PUNISHMENT AND PAYMENT IN THE ATONEMENT
CONDENSED FROM THE
ETERNAL SECURITY: A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE WEBSITE
If Jesus suffered, he was not punished. If he was not punished, he was not sinful on the Cross. But what about 2 Cor. 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us.”? The Scriptures commonly use the singular term “sin” in the sense of a sin-offering. In the Old Testament we are told that the animal sacrifice was to become “sin” but yet it is translated sin-offering. In Heb. 10:4, it is said that “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.” If we say that Jesus literally became sin, then we must go against the Scripture and say that bull and goats were effectual offerings because they transferred sin.
1 Pet. 2:24, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body of the tree.” In what sense did he bare our sins in his own body? It is unfeasible that sins were transferred. He bore the weight of, or, bore up our sins a way that the responsibility for our burden was upon him as is the suffering for them were his own. Note that throughout the Epistles of Peter he is especially careful in emphasizing the suffering and not the punishment of Jesus Christ.
Gal 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.” Are we to assume that everyone that was ever crucified was guilty? History disproves that notion. While it is true that everyone that has ever been crucified was an object of a curse or, cursed in the sense of public disapproval and shame. He endured this public rejection and shame for us.
This Governmental theory looks at these judicial statements of Scripture in light of Oriental Law. God as our moral Governor, and thus, must maintain His moral government. The justice that is to be maintained is to keep the believer in this moral realm. The Death of Christ was necessary to justly maintain the integrity of His moral Government. God and His Government are inseparable, so sin is an offense not only against good law and order, but an offense against God.
Let me start with the observation that there are many theories of the atonement. Throughout history, the idea of what was the “orthodox” doctrine has been determined by the widespread acceptance of its day. With the transition of time, teaching on this subject has moved from a very broad and basic understanding, to the very specific and detailed model we have today. Any expansion of the doctrine apart from the Scriptures is theory. All theories of the atonement delve into the area of speculation. The problem is, that we buy into the theoretical and accept it as if it were Scripture itself. Now, I am not saying that theory is bad, but that it is dangerous to accept the Biblically unsubstantiated parts as absolute truth.
The theory that Charles Stanley holds to is what is called the Penal Satisfaction View of the atonement. It is no doubt the most widely accepted theory today. Few have heard anything else, and that is why what I am about to write will seem so shocking and outright blasphemous to most. The problem is that most have blindly accepted almost every element of this theory as Gospel truth apart from any clear consensus from the Scriptures.
Nowhere does the Scripture say that Jesus paid for sin, or that he was punished! By this statement, I have probably shocked most of my readers! Stanley’s theory of eternal security demands that sins are “paid for.” This ensures the end result, the salvation of the one who’s sin debt has been paid. This theory is nothing more than a mere assumption. There is not a singular statement in all of Scripture that unambiguously states this, so why would anyone dogmatically claim it as Scripture fact unless their doctrinal idol were threatened? The belief that Christ was punished also has problems. These difficulties and more will be discussed in the next section.
Several questions must be answered. If these doctrines are carried to their logical end, then where do they lead us? The first issue will be whether Jesus paid for our sins. Stanley said, “How can I lose Christ’s payment for my sin? Can God declare me “guilty” after he has declared me “not guilty”?
When Christ died, which of your sins did he die for? Which sins were you forgiven of when you trusted Him as Savior? If the sins you commit after becoming a Christian can annul your relationship with the Savior, clearly those sins were not covered at Calvary.”
With careful questioning and logic, Stanley hopes to lead you down the primrose path. This is known as the sins paid for, past, present, and future approach. If your sins were paid for at Calvary, which sins? All of your sins! In fact all of your sins were future sins 2000 years ago! If all future sins were paid for, then there can never be a possibility of being judged guilty in the future. The result of this? Eternal security of course! This sounds surprisingly logical on the surface, but leads to some difficult questions.
If it was a payment, who was the payment made to? The Scripture does not tell us. So how can we build such seemingly conclusive doctrines based on this? In fact, I will state that the reason that the Bible does not tell us is because there was no such payment!
If it was a payment, who was paid for? The sins of the world! 1 Jn. 2:2, He gave Himself a ransom for all, 1 Timothy 2:5. Here is where the problem comes in. If this payment was real and absolute as Dr. Stanley argues, then we must ask some important questions. If the payment of sin is irrevocable, and the one who’s sin is paid for must infallibly make it to heaven, then we must accept Universalism. If Jesus paid for all, then all must be acquitted on Judgment Day. Since unbelief is sin, and all sin is paid for, then belief and faith are heretical additions to the Gospel! When were your sins paid for? Two thousand years ago! So, salvation is automatic, and the born-again experience is nothing more than waking up to the fact that you have been saved all this time! If you say that it does not come into effect until you have faith, then you have two problems. Show me where it is in Scripture that Jesus is an Indian giver and un-pays the sin in the unbeliever! If He can do this, then why can he not un-pay it for the one who falls away and ceases to believe? Secondly, if you are not saved before faith, then the payment cannot be real and absolute, it is figurative and cannot carry the guarantee eternal security.
Consistent Predestinarians’ ( Augustine, Calvin and Beza, who took the existing commercial and ransom theories and developed them further to what we see today,) hold that the atonement is limited for only those who God has determined to save. If you believe that God is not willing that any should perish, and that salvation is available to all, you show your inconsistency with your use and application of this theory of the atonement.
If Jesus paid for all sin, then salvation cannot be of grace. The cause of salvation is by the merit of payment. Everyone therefore deserves to go to heaven!
If Jesus paid for sin, then there is no such thing as pardon or forgiveness! If I stand before a Judge, guilty of an infraction of the law, he has two options before him. He can pardon, and forgive me, or, he can levy a punishment or a fine. He cannot do both, it is one or the other. If he accepts payment for my violation from an outside source, then the interest of justice is satisfied, and I must be released without any further obligation. If my fine is paid, there is nothing to forgive! The opposite is also true. If he offers a pardon, he must forgo punishment. What the Penal theory must accept is, if it was paid, then God has never forgiven anything! The payment theory of the atonement voids the possibility of forgiveness.
The mercy of God is also voided by this theory. Mercy is the withholding of that which is due. But Stanley says that punishment was not withheld, that Jesus was punished for the world’s sins. This makes the concept of mercy within God nothing but cheap rhetoric. He is not merciful but demands His pound of flesh! We must conclude that this payment shows that mercy is nonexistent in the nature of God since He demands that every sin must be punished.
The conclusion of all of this is that in order for Stanley’s unconditional security to work, there must be a real and absolute payment at Calvary. If the death of Christ brought a legal satisfaction, then those who’s debt has been transferred at the cross, must from that point remain free from all obligation and punishment. If you believe the Scripture that Jesus “is the propitiation for our sins; and not for your only, but also for the sins of the whole world,” then you must accept that there will be no one in hell but the devil and his demons. If all our sins are paid for, then everybody must be saved since unbelief is a sin! This is where Stanley‘s payment theory takes us! This conclusion can be ignored, but it cannot be escaped.
The idea that the atonement was a payment demands that Jesus was punished on the cross.
Charles Stanley boldly states that, “We trust that Christ was punished in our place.” He can only “trust” this, since he does not have one unambiguous statement from Scripture to prove it!
The Bible never states even one time that Jesus was punished on the cross! So we must ask, what did happen on the cross? The Bible unequivocally and without exception reveals that Jesus suffered on the cross. Mark 8:31, The Son of man must suffer. Luke 22:15; 24:46; 17:25, Before I suffer. Acts 3:18; 26:23, That Christ should suffer. Hebrews 13:12, his own blood, suffered without the gate. 1 Peter 1:11; 2:21; 2:23; 3:18; 4:1; 5:1, because Jesus also suffered for us….suffered in the flesh. 2nd Corinthians 1:5, the sufferings of Christ.
Look them up for yourself, then try and find a statement of the “punishment” of Christ, that He was “punished” for our sins, or that the Son of man must be “punished.” You will not find it because it is not true!
You may be thinking that I am splitting hairs here. Suffering or punishment, its all the same, right? No, it is not the same! In order for a man to be punished, he must be guilty. To inflict what is due for punishment upon an innocent man is an injustice. But if a man voluntarily suffers in another’s place to whom punishment is due, it is self-sacrifice and heroism. If it is inflicted by an arbitrary authority, it is injustice on one side, and martyrdom on the other. If I go to jail on the charge of murder, but I am innocent, then I am not punished, because I am not guilty. All I suffer is an injustice. Punishment is a legal term that presupposes guilt. It is an impossibility to punish the innocent.
But, you say, ” Didn’t God transfer my sin to Jesus upon the cross?” Charles Stanley writes, God made a swap. Actually, the correct term is imputation. He imputed our sin to Christ and His righteousness to us. This doctrine may be popular, but it is pure theological fiction! Nowhere, I repeat NOWHERE! Is this hogwash found ANYWHERE in Scripture! Guilt and righteousness are personal and cannot be transferred. You can no more impute wisdom to a fool than you can impute courage to a coward. If you were a thief, I could not impute honesty to you anymore than you could impute or transfer your dishonesty to me. Impute means to “count” or “reckon.” It never means to transfer character! Faith is imputed (counted) for righteousness. It does not say righteousness is imputed (transferred) because of faith. To get the transfer that
The atonement is a provision that requires conditions to be met in order for the benefits to be applied. In Scripture, atonement is never presented as a blanket for future sins. It covers only our “sins past” (Rom. 3:25, 1 Peter 1:9), and requires confession of any failures in order for there to be any continued forgiveness and cleansing (1 Jn. 1:9). If Christ has already paid all our future fines in court, we would not need Him as our present Advocate before the Judge! (1 Jn.2:1)
Logic proves that it is impossible to reconcile the payment theory of the atonement with the universal offer of salvation and the possibility that anyone could be lost. Logic also proves that if we limit the atonement, it does not help us any in this matter of the assurance of anyone who thinks they are saved by believing, since present belief does not have anything to do with God’s decision of making someone elect in the past. According to this theory, we cannot know whether our faith and trust in God, or our believing that we have salvation, is anything more than wishful thinking and a fiction! Assurance can only be truly known after death!
The conclusion is that since there are no unambiguous statements in the Scripture that say explicitly that through the death of Jesus that our sins were “paid for”, we are justified in avoiding such deceitful terminology in favor of the idea that the atonement is a “provision” which makes the Gospel the good news, truly good news for all. A provision is not a payment and thereby is not for the limited few, but is for the whole world. As a provision it can and does demand conditions in order to receive its benefits. A provision is conditional, a payment is not. A provision is made for ALL, and a payment is made for FEW. If we admit that some will not be saved, and we believe that Jesus died for “every man” and the “whole world,” we should be able to see that it must be a provisional atonement and not a payment in times past, for a payment is denied by the fact that some are lost. A provision commands us to repent and believe the gospel as a condition (not a merit) of receiving the application of its benefits. This is not a “works” salvation, it is genuine saving faith!
Powered by ScribeFire.