I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel. (Galatians 1.6)
With so much religion abounding every where these days, I have given some thought to “To whom shall we go (John 6.68)?” You can turn on the TV or radio about any day or time and have some multiple assortments that advocate every thing from a total or partial works system, to a system so foreign to the Bible that one wonders, where does one go to find the real truth? It would be my thought there are really only three possible meanings for Christ’s plan of salvation. A total works system, a partial works system, or as I believe, a plan that is totally dependent on God, and there are NO works involved. Those believing in a work system for man to carry out are usually known as Arminians.
One is continually bombarded with statements as, “Jesus has done His part; now all you have to do is your part, and take the first step.” I firmly believe that those who believe and preach this are those that are talking about “another Christ” and “another gospel” and certainly not the Christ of the Bible.
For the purpose of this article, any time I use the term “another Christ” I will be referring to Christ as seen by Arminians. A common expression used by these people is: “You must accept Christ as your personal Savior.” I am confident if you search the entire Bible you will not rind anything about accepting Christ or the use of the term personal Savior. The Jesus I read about in the Bible said: “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of Him that sent me that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have eternal life: and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6.37-40).”
Typically, those who are preaching “another gospel” will devote much of their time begging for money. Likewise they always have something “blessed” - clothes and numerous other items that, if you purchase, will [supposedly] bring you blessings from God (and of course add to their money supply). I once heard one of these hustlers say that for every dollar you sent into him, he could save a soul from hell. What a disgrace to even think that salvation could be bought with money. This certainly is “another gospel” to me.
A second common practice you will find among the “another gospel” people is that they have dragged about every known type of entertainment and practices of the world into their so called churches. The music many use is some sort of jazzed-up type of music that appeals to the natural man. They have used “magic” to appeal to the children, and an assorted amount of worldly functions to entice the natural mind. I have viewed on TV such music that it reminds me more of a rock concert than any thing else.
I viewed a telecast on March 6, 2003 by the Billy Graham group. The Program was as follows:
1 - A short talk by ex-president Bush (it seems Billy Graham thrives in having a celebrity or a well-known character from Hollywood on his programs);
2 - A group of singers and musicians that entertained for over ten minutes. The music (if you want to call it that) sounded more like something out of the jungle. Certainly there was nothing spiritual about it;
3 - An introduction of another celebrity who talked five minutes;
4 - A different singing group then followed with so-called music fit for a rock concert;
5 - A few words from Cliff Barrows, mentioning their need for more money. There was also a pitch for a new book they are selling;
6 - A hymn by George B. Shea. By this time 35 to 40 minutes had been used;
7 - Billy Graham then gave his typical sermon, how that “God loves everyone.” “You can receive Jesus now, as it is all up to you. He has done all that he can,” and “All you need do is come forward and know for sure that you are going to heaven.” Many came out of their seats to “accept” “another Jesus.
I may be being too critical, but this summarizes what the program meant to me. Instead of asking people “what are you going to do with Jesus?” they should be asked, “What is Jesus going to do with you?” Many of the Arminians are so involved in “soul winning,” that it has become the god of their religion.
No one can save a soul but Jesus Himself. You cannot do it with a tract, coming forward in a meeting, praying the sinner’s prayer, living a good life, believing, praying - the list of what these false prophets will tell you to do to be saved is endless.
The Bible teaches that God has chosen His elect before the foundation of the world. None of these will ever be lost, and none of those who are not so chosen will ever be saved. It is ALL of God, and man can only be “made willing in the day of His power.”
“What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For He saith to Moses, I will Have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy (Romans 9.14-16).” “Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me. Why doth He yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will? Nay O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour (Romans 9.18-21)?”
“Another Jesus” can be found in about any organized so-called church that you may choose to attend. They have all sort of programs aimed at the children. Everything from Sunday School, to training unions, missionary societies, suppers, and various types of games, including Bingo (for the adults also). They have their vacation Bible Schools, numerous sport activities, and the list could go on and on. Actually what they are doing is trying to make little “Christians” of those that attend these activities, thinking that man can teach people to be Christians by the teachings of man. God alone through His Holy Spirit can change the heart of lost sinners who are without hope. Jesus said He came to save sinners. “For they shall call His name Jesus, for He came to save His people from their sins,” a people “chosen before the foundation of the world.” “For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast.” Faith is a fruit of the spirit that can come only from God.
“Another Jesus” can also be found in those who say we must keep the ten commandments and the Old Testament laws. Their favorite one is that we all should bring a tithe to their church. Some even say that we should still keep the Sabbath day and obey the laws such as the children of Israel were commanded to do.
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John4. 10).” “It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray Him. And He said, therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him. Then said Jesus to the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered Him, Lord to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God (John 6.63-69).”
“Another gospel” could be described as those that believe you must be baptized before you can obtain eternal life through Jesus. Here again we have a works system. One of the malefactors crucified beside Jesus said unto Jesus, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” And Jesus said unto him, “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” When, where, and how was he baptized? Obviously he was not, but what a pleasant thought that he would be with Jesus and certainly not with “another Jesus.” It is the hope of all the elect and chosen of God that someday they will be with Jesus. And they will give no credit to themselves. As Jonah said, “Salvation is of the Lord.” From our opening text, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ to 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 any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
How many times today do we hear the words: “All you have to do to be saved is give your heart to Jesus”? This may sound plausible to the natural mind, but in the scriptures we read that the heart of man is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it (Jeremiah 17.9)?” Even if we could give our hearts to Jesus, did He not say, “I will create in you a new heart”? Then our salvation is based on what Jesus does for us, and since there in no good in anyone, Jesus by His Holy Spirit alone can impart to anyone believing faith.
The new birth is all of God, and man cannot, by any decision or by any other means, become a child of God. As in nature our physical birth is a totally passive act. The Holy Spirit of God through Jesus Christ alone has that power to give us the second (spiritual) birth. We are all dead in trespasses and sin.
Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believest in me shall never die. Believest thou this (John 11.25-26)?” As God alone can give life to a dead person, likewise, only God can give spiritual life to those dead in sin. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6.44).”
One believing in “Another Jesus” could be described as one that may have a mental knowledge about our Savior, yet their heart is far from Him. “Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25.34).” “Then shall He say unto them on them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, Prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25.41).” If you will note that He said to those on His right hand, “inherit” which would mean that they did not obtain eternal life by action of their own, but by birth, as by being born again. Eternal life is a gift that only Jesus Christ can give to His chosen people. They certainly may have done many good works, but only because they were alive spiritually, and the good works were only a fruit of the Spirit given by God alone.
We might ask the question, are all of those that believe in “Another Jesus” lost for all eternity? Certainly not, as God works in the hearts of all of His chosen people, even though some may be deceived for various amounts of time. If they are His chosen, then His Holy Spirit will, at the exact time appointed by God, make them alive by the new birth. Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand (John 10.27-28).”
There are those that think if we can distribute the Bible to as many people as possible, then we can have more “saved.” This also is “another gospel.” The Bible is a dead book to any until God first works a miracle in giving them a new heart. Much money is raised today by the “Another Jesus” crowd, again deceiving their hearers into thinking that souls can be saved in this manner.
The “another Jesus” people have a short poem that goes like this: “Only one life that will soon be past, and only what’s done for Jesus will last.” It should, however, read more like this: “Only one life that will soon be past, and only what Jesus has done for us will last.”
Perhaps I have spent too much time discussing the “Another Jesus” people. Let’s now look at those that believe in the Jesus of Nazareth, the true Jesus, who “openeth and no man can shut, and He shutteth and no man can open,” and, “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood (Revelation 1.5).”
I would hope the God we worship is the God of Abraham, Isaac, andJacob, for thereis none other like unto our God, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last (Revelation 22.13).” “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. lam the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star (Revelation 22.16).” Jesus said: “You have not chosen me but I have chosen you.” “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved (The Acts 2.47).” What a wonderful church we would have today if only the Lord did the adding, and man and all his works would be counted worthless. Of Jesus they said: “Never man spake like this man.” “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulders: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9.6).” They also said of Him, “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!” He was “the Lion of the tribe of Juda”; “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.”
Numerous other names are given in the Bible to describe our wonderful Savior. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. “Thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins (Matthew 1.21).”
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.” Is it any wonder that today the world knows Him not?
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord (Amos 8.11).” I believe we are certainly living in those days now at the present time. It was some years that my own heart, like the “troubled sea,” could find no rest in any religion or place that I went, and the day arrived when I hope and believe I was able to see the place that was called “The Lord is there.
We that believe in the true Jesus have our many doubts and fears. We often ask ourselves, are we one of His chosen sheep? “Will ye also go away?”
John Newton wrote a wonderful hymn. It starts with the words:
How tedious and tiresome the hours,
When Jesus no longer I see;
Sweet prospects, sweet birds, and sweet flow’rs.
Have lost all their sweetness to me:
The mid-summer sun shines but dim,
The fields strive in vain to look gay;
But when I am happy in Him,
December’s as pleasant as May.
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I say unto you, that ye also have seen me and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me ; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
“For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call (Acts 2.39).” Is it not much more comforting to be able to rest from any works we might do and rest in the finished works of Jesus? When dying on the cross, did He not say, “It is finished”? If He has died and taken on Him the sins of His people, why would anyone put a burden on us to try to add to His finished work? We can neither add to nor subtract from what He has done for the salvation of His people.
Since Jesus did it all, is that any reason for God’s people to “sin that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” What greater motive for those that believe that they have a hope of eternal life through Jesus, to live as unsinful lives as we possibly can, realizing it is all of grace if we have any hope at all. How wonderful it would be if we could see fulfilled the words of John, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (Revelation 21.1-2).”
“Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen (Galatians 1.4-5).”
My words and thoughts fall far short of me being able to describe the One that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood. So I will close with the words that close out the Bible: “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”
Thomas W. Jackson