Saved From – Saved For

anohter-gospelThe Holy Spirit warns again and again about FALSE GOSPELS, if you will, OTHER GOSPELS than the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. He does so in Galatians 1:6-9 KJV where we read,
“I marvel that ye are so removed from Him that called you into the grace of God unto ANOTHER GOSPEL:
“Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the GOSPEL OF CHRIST.”
“But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach ANOTHER GOSPEL unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed (damned).
“As we said before, so say I now again, ‘If any man preach ANY OTHER GOSPEL than that ye received from us, let him be accursed.’”

Or again, Paul in II Corinthians 11:4 KJV writes,

“For if he that cometh preaches ANOTHER JESUS, whom

we have not preached, or if ye received ANOTHER

SPIRIT, which ye have not received, or ANOTHER

GOSPEL, which ye have not accepted, you might

well bear with him.”

On and on the warnings come in those verses about:
-ANOTHER GOSPEL
-ANOTHER JESUS
-ANOTHER SPIRIT

It is obvious here therefore that when the Holy Spirit brings through His Word the only TRUE GOSPEL, Satan has a variety of FALSE GOSPELS, FALSE CHRISTS, AND FALSE SPIRITS on his delicious but deadly menu of deceptions.

We should also note carefully, and be strongly warned, that where there is ANOTHER GOSPEL, there will always be ANOTHER CHRIST and ANOTHER SPIRIT. Do you hear that? Where the Gospel is redefined, Christ will be redefined, and the Spirit will be redefined. You can never have a false gospel without a false Christ and a false Spirit. These falsities always come bundled together.

And more than that, the penalty for spreading or accepting these deceptions and falsehoods is not merely a slap on the wrist. Rather, it is to be eternally accursed (damned). We are not simply dealing here with GOSPEL VARIATIONS, but with GOSPEL FALSIFICATIONS which lead to eternal punishment for the falsifiers. Just one taste of these FALSE GOSPELS can doom the rogue chef and the taster.

ILLUSTRATION

At Stone Mountain in Decatur, Georgia, there is a warning that keeps sightseers from getting anywhere near the edge of that great rock. So gradually does it slope downward that if one were to get within 75 or 100 feet of the edge, he would already find himself slipping toward the precipice and would be unable to recover himself. With no way to stop, he would continue to slide downward until he plunged over the edge to his death hundreds of feet below.

False and deceitful gospels are the same way, as the lie and deception more often than not cannot be easily discerned at first, for they are all preached in the name of Jesus. The ones who yield to them think that they are walking toward the light, and they cannot see the blackness of the pit to which they are slowly sliding, and into which they shall be fatally plunged.

*******

I. THE  TRUE GOSPEL

First of all, the TRUE GOSPEL of the Lord Jesus Christ deals with the SPIRITUAL AND THE ETERNAL. It’s true SAVED FROMS AND SAVED FOR are these:
a. SAVED FROM SIN’S GUILT – SAVED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS. (II Corinthians 5:20-21)
b. SAVED FROM SIN’S POWER – SAVED FOR FREEDOM. (John 8:34-36)
c. SAVED FROM HELL – SAVED FOR HEAVEN (John 3:16)

Here you see that:

“IN THE TRUE GOSPEL, MAN HAS EVERYTHING BAD TO

LOSE AND EVERYTHING GOOD TO GAIN.”

As the late D. James Kennedy writes, “How terrible is sin! We haven’t got a clue, for we live in it. We wallow in it. It’s up to our necks. Only those who live in a perfect world like Heaven would have the foggiest notion of how horrific sin really is.”

How bad is sin? We hear the words of the Prophet Habakkuk in Habakkuk1:13, as he writes about God and sin,

“Thine eyes are to pure to look at evil, and Thou canst

not look on wickedness with favor….”

That is how bad sin is, in that God cannot even stand to look at it. It is too gruesome a sight for His holy eyes. And many people, even church people, watch it for hours on end on television and in the movies for entertainment – violence, perversion, adultery, fornication etc. It what sells movies and gains viewers. Sin has lost it horror even for the religious.

Kennedy adds:

“SO WE STAND IN HIS PRESENCE AMAZED THAT HE

COULD WANT US FALLEN CREATURES, AND THAT

HE FOUND A WAY TO MAKES US CLEANSED,

RADIANT, AND FREE OF SIN.”

All glory be to Jesus Whose shed blood on Calvary cleanses us from all sin, its guilt, its power, and its shame. That is the heart of the true Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

*******

II. ANOTHER GOSPEL

Secondly, the OTHER GOSPEL of the modern apostate church in these last days deals with the MATERIAL AND THE TEMPORAL. It has an altogether different set of SAVED FROMS and SAVED FORS. They are as follows:
a. SAVED FROM FAILURE – SAVED FOR SUCCESS.
b. SAVED FROM AIMLESSNESS – SAVED FOR PURPOSE.
c. SAVED FROM POVERTY – SAVED FOR RICHES.
d. SAVED FROM SICKNESS – SAVED FOR HEALTH.

The problem with this OTHER GOSPEL is that it does not save from sin or Hell, not one bit. A person can be very successful, highly purpose driven, a millionaire, and healed of cancer, and still be totally unsaved and eternally lost.

Why do we say that? Because there is only one thing that can separate us from God and send us to a Hellish eternity, and that one reality is SIN. Not failure, not aimlessness, not poverty, and not disease. ONLY SIN!!! We read in Isaiah 59:2,

“But YOUR INIQUITIES have made a separation between

you and your God, and YOUR SINS have hidden

His face from you, so that He does not hear.”

Of course, God gives success, wealth, healing, and purpose to people! But none of those things will save a sinner now and forever. A man can be poor, sick, unsuccessful in the world’s eyes, and be gloriously saved when he puts his trust in Jesus Christ to forgive and cleanse him from all unrighteousness.

Nothing and no one else saves sinners, for as we read in Matthew 1:21,

“And she will bear a Son, and you shall call His name

JESUS, for it is He who will save His people

FROM THEIR SINS.”

There is THE GOSPEL in a nutshell, as it is contained in the name of JESUS-SAVIOR.

ILLUSTRATION

Paul’s insistence in Galatians 1:6-9 on a correct understanding of the true and only Gospel as the foundation of a fruitful Christian life remind me of those last lines of Robert Frost’s famous poem, “The Road Not Taken” –

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the road less

traveled, and that has made all the difference.”

In a world that thinks all roads lead to Rome,  Paul’s fierce words to the Galatians warn us that there is only one right road to salvation.  Putting your faith in Christ and His precious blood alone and not relying on anyone or anything will make all the difference. Any other gospel is a dead end.  You can’t grow into maturity in Christ, and go to heaven with Christ, if you aren’t rooted in Christ by faith alone.

ILLUSTRATION

D. James Kennedy shares the following pointed story:

The old-time comedian, W.C. Fields, who in his professional persona seemed to be in a continual state of inebriation, came to the final illness of his life.  He was in the hospital and neither he nor his friends or doctors gave him much hope. One of his friends, who had known him for many years and had seen his disdain for religion and everything godly and moral, walked into the hospital room. He stopped as if he had run into a pane of glass, because there before his eyes was W.C. Fields in his hospital bed reading the Bible. His friend said in utter amazement. “W.C., what in the world are you doing?” And he replied,

“I’m looking for a loophole…looking for a loophole.”

It seems that there are lots of people who are looking for loopholes – who are trying to find some way to escape the just consequences of their sins.

There is no way around God’s judgment, but there is one who went under it and has promised a way of escape from it. His name is Jesus!

*******

III. SAVED NOT FROM  HELL – JUST SAVED FOR HEAVEN

People have found the loophole in today’s apostate church, and that is the NO HELL RELIGION. That is to say, A GOSPEL OF HEAVEN FOR EVERYONE AND ETERNAL HELL FOR NO ONE. Universal salvation! Universalism! Everyone ends up in Heaven, and no one ends up in Hell. That other gospel today is rampant, and will send many people to the Hell they deny.

If you will:

“SAVED FOR ONLY, BUT NOT SAVED FROM.”

In short:

“THIS OTHER GOSPEL HAS NOTHING TO LOSE BUT

EVERYTHING TO GAIN.”

The huge problem is that the teaching about an eternal hell for unrepentant sinners is as abundant in the Bible as the teaching about eternal Heaven for repentant sinners. You can’t believe in one without believing in the other. To deny one  is to deny both.

The TRUE GOSPEL proclaims an “either-or” message. THE OTHER GOSPEL proclaims a “you-can’t-lose” message.” If you will, it is Heaven for everyone and Hell for no one. That is the OTHER GOSPEL that is being preached and believed in by pastors and parishioners alike.

If you will:

“LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL, SO EAT, DRINK, AND BE

MERRY, FOR TOMORROW WE LIVE – CHEERS!”

***

In other words:

“IN THIS OTHER FALSE AND RAMPANT GOSPEL, YOU

CAN FORGET ABOUT GOD AS JUDGE AND

REMEMBER HIM ONLY AS SAVIOR.”

And it all spirals downward from there. Listen:

“YOU CAN BE THE SERVANTS OF THE PRINCE OF

DARKNESS HERE, AND BE THE SERVANTS OF

THE PRINCE OF PEACE HEREAFTER.”

And again;

“YOU CAN ADVANCE SATAN’S KINGDOM HERE, AND

ENTER GOD’S KINGDOM HEREAFTER.”

What a deal McNeal! Hey, Hey, Hey!

Or again:
“YOU CAN IN YOUR DRUNKENNESS AND SEXUAL

UNCLEANNESS AND PROFANITY MAKE A

COVENANT WITH SATAN AND DEATH

HERE, AND YET MAKE A COVENANT

WITH JESUS AND LIFE

HEREAFTER.”

But the awful fact is that those who are teaching and those who are believing that there is no such place or state of Hell, are as sure as Hell going there.  They are Divinely and eternally cursed by God.

***

How can you square the OTHER GOSPEL with the Word of God? You can’t, no matter how hard you try to manipulate the Word of God to make it fit your OTHERNESS.

Now then, look for instance at Isaiah 33:13-14,

“You who are far away, hear what I have done; and

you who are near, acknowledge My might.”

“Sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling has seized the

godless. Who are among us can live with consuming

fire? Who among us can live with

continual burning?”

God speaks here about two classes people – church people and people of the world – those near and those far away. If you will, RELIGIOUS SINNERS (hypocrites) and the GODLESS?

Well then, what about them? First OF ALL, both the RELIGIOUS SINNERS and the NON-RELIGIOUS SINNERS shall have the same hot everlasting end!

In short:

“THE HYPOCRITE AND THE UNGODLY SHALL

PARTICIPATE IN THE SAME DESTINY.”

Secondly, their common and eternal destiny is nothing less than eternal CONSUMING AND CONTINUAL FIRE. In in other words, both of them shall burn together forever and no one shall put out the flames.

Thirdly, their common destiny is not a COMMON AND GLORIOUS ETERNAL LIFE, but instead a COMMON AND FIERY ETERNAL DEATH. Hence the questions, “Who can live with consuming fire, and who can live with continual burning?” Note the words consuming and continual! We cannot even begin to conceive such a thing here, hence the question form – WHO AMONG US CAN?

***

You see:

“THE RIGHTEOUS IN CHRIST SHALL LIVE FOREVER,

BUT THE WICKED IN SATAN SHALL DIE FOREVER.”

The former shall PRAISE GOD TOGETHER, FOREVER, while the latter shall GNASH THEIR TEETH TOGETHER FOREVER.

So it is that the TRUE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST is described as follows in II Corinthians 2:16,

“To one AN AROMA OF DEATH UNTO DEATH, and

to another AN AROMA OF LIFE UNTO LIFE….”

Notice the pointed and powerful word choice here to describe ETERNAL DEATH and ETERNAL LIFE:

-First of all, ETERNAL DEATH is likened to DEATH UNTO DEATH – ETERNAL DYING.

-Second, ETERNAL LIFE is likened to LIFE UNTO LIFE – ETERNAL LIVING.

-Third, eternal death – always dying – has AN AROMA, as the eternally dying unbelievers and rejecters of Jesus Christ shall smell themselves dying forever. It will be the AWFUL AND SICKENING SMELL OF ETERNAL DEATH. THAT WILL BE THE SMELL OF HELL

-Fourth, eternal life – always living – has AN AROMA, as the eternally living believers and accepters of Jesus Christ shall smell themselves living forever. It will be the WONDERFUL AND FRAGRANT SMELL OF ETERNAL LIFE. THAT WILL BE THE SMELL OF HEAVEN.

*******

CONCLUSION

We are told by the Word of God that those who love and serve Jesus Christ are on their way to Heaven for the MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB. (Revelation 19:6-9)

Those who hungered and thirsted for righteousness on earth will feast on MARRIAGE SUPPER CUISINE OF HOLINESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS FOREVER.

Those who hungered and thirsted for unrighteousness on earth would not be able to eat the heavenly banquet food for it would make them puke.

ILLUSTRATION

Near the end of C. S. Lewis’s “Chronicles of Narnia” Aslan the Lion takes Lucy, Edmund, Peter and everyone to the New Narnia–to what we would call “Heaven” or the New Creation. It is a place of astonishing light and beauty; a place where every blade of grass seems to mean more and where every creature sings for the sheer joy of the Creator. It is a place where everything is just so real in depth and color that the mere sight of a daisy takes your breath away and makes you weep for the sheer beauty of the thing.

But then, in the midst of all this splendor, the children see a group of dwarves huddled together, convinced that they are sitting in the rank stench of a barn–a place so dark that they cannot see their hands in front of their faces. Lucy is so upset that the dwarves are not enjoying the New Narnia that she begs Aslan to help them to see.

Aslan replies, “Dearest Lucy, I will show you what I can do and what I cannot do.” Aslan then shakes his golden mane and a sumptuous banquet instantly appears in front of the dwarves. Each dwarf is given a plate heaped with juicy meats, glistening vegetables, plump grains of rice.

Each also receives a goblet brimming with the finest wine anyone could ever imagine. But when the dwarves dive in and begin eating, they start gagging and complaining.

“Doesn’t this beat all,” they lament, “Not only are we in this stinking stable but now we’ve got to eat hay and dried cow dung as well!” When they sip the wine, they sputter, “And look at this now! Dirty water out of a donkey’s trough!”

The dwarves, Aslan goes on to say, had chosen suspicion instead of trust and love. They were prisoners of their own minds. They could not see Aslan’s gift of the New Narnia for they would not see it. Aslan can but leave them alone to the hell of their own devising. Amen!