Showing posts with label Universalism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Universalism. Show all posts

Monday, May 13, 2024

Will the real Radical Grace Gospel please stand up: Discerning truth and error

 For the Law was given through Moses, but grace [the unearned, undeserved favor of God] and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17 AMP

... By this we know (recognize) the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error. 1 John 4:6b AMPC

 The Gospel is Good News. God has restored the simple truth of the Gospel within the last 20 years. The "Grace message" can be summed up as Jesus at the center of it all. Grace reveals all that Jesus has accomplished and freely provides for us in the Finished Work.

 The enemy tries to steal the Word when truth is restored and revealed afresh.  One way he does this is by perverting truth and promoting error. If truth is overshadowed by the counterfeit, by error, it is diminished in its effectiveness to reach people and transform them.

 Nothing new is under the sun. Grace has always been the Gospel. God's Love has always been unconditional and freely received. Receiving salvation and a new life has always been by Grace through Faith. Simply believing in Jesus has always been the way to the Father.

 What else is not new is the erroneous concepts of universalism, inclusionism, and ultimate reconciliation. The enemy satan has always tried to subvert the Gospel. Legalism and works-driven messages were one way he had hidden the Gospel. 

 Works and performance-based theologies hinder evangelism because the lost believe the Christian life is too hard. They see their failures and know they can't measure up so why try they conclude. Still, mixed messaging has some success in reaching the lost. 

 The enemy conjured up a more sinister scheme. If he can convince the lost they aren't actually lost, they won't come to Christ and receive salvation. If he can convince the lost that there is postmortem salvation available he knows people will live a life never considering God and the Gospel. 

 Enter the ancient lies of inclusionism, trinitarian theology inclusionism, ultimate reconciliation, and universalism. Proponents of these errors point to early voices who proclaimed some of these sentiments as proof of their truth. Error spoken is still an error no matter how ancient it is. 

 Something to consider is that these views are not Christianity. Just as Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses claim portions of the Bible prove their views they also create their own source material and rely heavily on those, such as The Book of Mormon and the Jehovah's Witnesses' New World translation. So it is with the inclusion/universalist groups. They rely on the Mirror Bible, the writings from Grace Communion International, and various books and talks given by its proponents.

 These views are not Christianity and they are promoting a different gospel. In truth, they are promoting a doctrine of devils. Twisting and misapplying Scripture and rewriting a portion of the Scriptures to fit a narrative is not the work of the Spirit. 

 These groups use subtle tactics to try to disprove the truth that mankind apart from Christ is lost. They go so far as to push the idea that no one was ever lost, that it was all a wrong belief mankind adopted. To promote this error, they misapply misinterpret, and misrepresent Colossians 1:21 from the KJV

 This passage is not claiming no one was ever lost. This passage indeed says the exact opposite;

This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions.  Colossians 1:21 NLT

 Because we were all lost and needed a Savior Christ came and paid the price for whosoever will receive. Because of the great need, God provided an even greater answer. He has provided a way to eternal life apart from works, performance, or behavior. He provided the way of Grace through Faith.

 These groups also claim all humanity is saved or will be saved post-mortem. They say Jesus paying the price for all equates to Him redeeming and saving all. Redemption, salvation, and Righteousness are already purchased at Calvary. For one to be redeemed, saved, and be made Righteous, they must believe.

 Salvation is not an invasion of the will. Salvation must be received. Look at what Grace really does;

We have cause to celebrate because the grace of God has appeared, offering the gift of salvation to all people. Titus 2:11 VOICE

 Grace appears to all mankind and offers them new life in Christ. This is not "automatic." Romans 5 declares those who receive abundant Grace and the gift of Righteousness reign in life. Receive is the optimal word. We have to lay hold of it by Faith it is not "automatic." 

 The notion that all humanity is righteous but doesn't know it is contrary to clear Scripture. We are only Righteous by Faith. No one is righteous apart from Christ. There is no secret righteousness indwelling the lost unbelieving one. Those who say all are righteous apart from faith are echoing the spirit of error and not the spirit of truth.

to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Romans 3:26 NKJV

For Christ is the end of the law, so now there is righteousness for everyone who believes. Romans 10:4 MOUNCE

 We were not saved before we believed. Those proclaiming inclusion/universalism state believing is a work or some kind of legalistic ritual or performance. They twist words in Scripture and claim we are not saved by personal acceptance and trusting Christ alone but saved by Jesus' faith. 

 They believe God overrides free will, bypasses personal desire, invades the heart, and claims it as His own. This is not love in action. This is forced fellowship, compulsory relationship, and a seized spirit. Again none of this is voluntary. This is a non-consensual relationship with humanity. Somehow the proponents claim this is true grace and true love. Overriding one's decision, forcing oneself upon another, and seizing their heart is love in their mind. That sounds more like the work of the enemy and not a loving Father.

  He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36 

 Truly, truly I say to you, whoever believes in Me has eternal life. John 6:47 MEV

To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through · his name.” Acts 10:43 MOUNCE (Forgiveness needs to be received).

 For with the heart a person believes and is made righteous, and with the mouth he confesses and is saved. Romans 10:10 MOUNCE

 The Grace Gospel of Jesus is not a message that all are saved. It is not a message that all humanity is righteous, has the Holy Spirit indwelling them, is adopted into the Family, and is born again apart from believing and trusting in Jesus. The Grace message doesn't proclaim there is salvation after death. There is no Biblical passage promoting this. 

 The message of universalism, inclusion/trinitarian theology inclusion, and ultimate reconciliation is false teaching created by the enemy. It is not Christianity, it is not Biblical and in opposition to the Gospel. It is truly a doctrine of devils, and it comes to steal and kill and destroy. It robs people of hearing the Gospel and kills and destroys ministries and churches promoting this error. 

 Those following these doctrine of devils, also adhere to the notion there is no future judgment. That hell is non-existent or simply a fantasy in Christian's minds. Hell exists and those who reject the Gospel of Grace choose to go there. God doesn't send anyone to hell.

 The lost are headed to an eternity separated from the Father. This is why the Grace Gospel must be proclaimed. Now judgment and eternal separation are not the Gospel message. They only serve to remind us of the urgency of the Gospel proclamation. 

 In summation, the real Radical Grace Gospel must be proclaimed error-free. The Gospel of Grace is the Good News. God is not mad and the price for the forgiveness of all sins, and redemption has been paid for by Jesus. Righteousness, forgiveness, and redemption are all received by Grace through Faith. Grace is the Gospel. Radical Grace is the error-free Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Monday, November 29, 2021

Don't take the Amazing out of Grace: Everybody is already saved?

So you, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:1 MEV 

 In our last study, we detailed how even though God's Word and His Grace are powerful and amazing we can cause them to be diminished and ineffective in our own personal life. Grace is made effective when we fully receive it and aren't mixing it with Law. We want to experience all God has for us in its fullness.

 Again mixing Law and Grace takes the amazing out of Grace. The religious tradition that says we are only forgiven of our past sins removes the full impact of Grace in our life. It diminishes the full revelation that Grace forgave us of all our sins. It creates a sin conscienceness instead of a Righteousness conscienceness.

 Just as detrimental as religious tradition is to Grace, so also are additives to Grace. That is Grace alone is amazing and too good to be true but true. Grace doesn't need help from man to make it seem more palatable to the rebellious and bitter. Grace is great all by itself, it's the too good to be true but true Good News of Jesus Christ.

 Yet some insist on adding their own philosophies and reasonings and surmisings to "help" the Gospel or to simply "deconstruct" and tear down parts of the Gospel they don't like. Many conclude the Biblical concept of receiving by Faith is a work and therefore must be rejected. In doing so they are taking the amazing out of Grace.

How so? If no one needs to believe, if it's automatic, no response required on anyone's part then it's not love it's force. Grace isn't an overriding or invasion of the will of any individual. 

 Think of it, if one paid your way fully to a college, that is tuition, books, housing, food, and even recreational money for weekend trips home or to any destination of your choice, that would be gracious. All of this blessing apart from you doing anything to earn it or pay it back is Grace in action. It isn't a wage earned or some reward it's simply a gift.

 That's good news. However, what if the one who was willing to pay for all this, demanded you only go to a specific college? What if they made you major in business and economics instead of the major of your choice? How Gracious is it now?

 Imagine a 30-day vacation package with all expenses paid offered to you. The person offering says they will pay for all your personal expenses as well. They will pay all your debt and even give you a "better" job than you have now. Sounds great, but you can only go when they say and can only go where they say. What if you say you're not interested in this vacation for your own personal reasons, but then the one offering uses force to get you in their limo and on the plane there? Is it still good? Is it still Gracious?

 Yet some claim this is what Grace is. That God who paid the price at Calvary, placed all humanity in Christ, apart from their own knowledge and permission. That God placed His Spirit within them without their knowledge or consent. That all are saved whether they believed or not, whether they received His Grace or not, whether they trusted in Christ or never trusted in Him. This is Grace? Nonconsensual relationship with all? 

 That's not Grace. Universalism and inclusion use the enticing words of man's wisdom to sell a cheap copy of Grace. They hijack the love language of redemption to sell a false and fake philosophy that has zero power to produce hope or healing in the lives of mankind. Grace is inclusive and universal in its procuring redemption and making it available to whosoever will, but universalism and inclusionism are not Grace.

 Some have misapplied a passage in Colossians 1 declaring no one was ever really lost. They misunderstand and misapply the passage because they lift it out of its setting in Colossians as well as the overall message of the Scripture. let's see the passage in another translation that makes it clearer.

This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Colossians 1:21 NLT

If no one was really lost why did Christ even come? Think of it, if no one was really lost, no one was really spiritually separated, if no one was apart from God, then what's so amazing about Christ? What is so great about Jesus dying? 

 Teaching people that no one was really lost or separated takes the amazing out of Grace. For Christ to die on a tree for people that were just fine the way they were would be a colossal waste of time. If no one was lost, Christ never needed to come as a man. No need to die on a tree bearing a curse that apparently never even existed. Jesus could have just wandered the earth telling people you are all fine, don't worry about how you live or treat others, everyone is ok.

 The truth is so much greater. Grace is amazing. All humanity was lost, apart from God, spiritually dead or separated from a loving Father because of sin. God in His Goodness and Love stooped down to rescue us from ourselves. God became a man. Jesus took all our just deserved punishment and wrath for our many sins and paid the full price. Grace has now appeared offering Salvation, Righteousness, acceptance, forgiveness, healing, and wholeness once for all time to whosoever will freely receive.

 Another way man tries to add to Grace, thus taking the amazing out of Grace is by denying the reality of a literal hell. If there is no hell, what exactly did Christ save us from? If hell is "restorative", "temporal" or nonexistent then why did Christ die for us?

 Some would argue that sin needs no punishment. How foolish. Look at what Paul the Apostle of Grace declared via the inspiration of the Spirit.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 MEV

 Clearly, the just recompense for sin is death. This is clearly punishment for our sins. Here we clearly see Grace defined and illustrated. God's gift was Jesus dying for us and purchasing eternal life offering new life as a gift. 

 Now, understand, a gift no matter how free must be received. The concept of receiving a gift is not works or self-effort. All are offered a free gift. It's not forced upon anyone. Jesus made a way for all to simply receive. That's the Gospel. That's the amazing Grace of God.

 I sense some are still fuming and agitated because I mentioned hell. Hell was never made for any man. It was made for the devil and his angels. God never sends anyone there. Men choose hell over a loving God.

 Listen, for one to go to hell, they must bypass the Cross, dismiss His great Grace, reject His everlasting and unconditional eternal Love, and refuse the gift of eternal life. They jump feet first into eternity without God fully understanding the consequences. It's not His will that any perish but He will not override anyone's will or choice.

 People claim hell is a construct of men to scare people into giving money. Hell is real. Hell is the dark place of eternal separation for all those who want to gain acceptance and approval by their own sense of goodness and works. The Cross shows us we can't earn anything. 

 There is no bad news in the Good News. We share His Love and Amazing Grace to a lost and dying world. We let the world know it's only in Christ will you find true rest and peace and fullness of life and joy. We proclaim God isn't angry at anyone. God is a Good Father who Loves all unconditionally. 

 In summation, let's keep the amazing in Grace. Jesus came to die for the unworthy. He came to find the lost and offer them new life. Though hell is real and there awaits final judgment for all who reject the free gift, our message is the same, God is Good, He isn't mad at you, and He longs for a personal relationship with whosoever will. Grace is Amazing. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Grace Q & A: Is universal salvation and inclusion the true Gospel of Grace?

17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17 NKJV

For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1 NASB

 We've been in an extended study of the Gospel of Grace, the Good News of Jesus Christ. We've been getting back to the basics of the Gospel. We've been using a Q & A format, and so far we've seen that under Grace we are no longer under condemnation. We've seen that Grace is not a false message

 Today, I sensed the leading to address an area of the Grace Gospel that those just hearing the truth need to have established in their heart. When we hear the true Gospel of Grace, after having the Gospel shrouded from us by traditional religion, perfect peace and His amazing love cascades over us and our eyes are open to the sincere goodness and love of our Father. With our eyes open to the truth, we begin to see where religion misled us.

 With this Grace awakening, we can then begin to question everything we've ever been taught. It is ok to ask questions. It's ok to ensure what you're hearing is the real and not some tradition of men. However, what we use to discern what is true or false is key. 

 If we are using the words of social media "poets" or online video makers as the source of truth or error then we are making a stand on a faulty ground. In order to distinguish truth from error, to discern the real from the religious, we must use the infallible source of God's Word. God's Word is the only genuine source of truth.

 With this foundation laid, I felt impressed to ask and answer the question what about universal salvation or inclusion concepts? Is the Gospel exclusionary? Is the true Grace Gospel one that proclaims that all humanity is saved or will be saved ultimately?

 As I have said, when we hear the truth, the temptation comes to disregard each and everything we've ever been taught. That is incorrect. What we must do is filter what we've been taught through the lens of the New Covenant and God's Grace. 

 Now let's address some of these controversies. Let's ask the hard questions. Let's allow the New Covenant to answer all questions and concerns we may be having about life and eternity.

Is all humanity the children of God?

 This is the subtle lie the enemy seeks to mislead and trip up those who hear the Good News. If this news is so good, surely it means that all are partakers of this goodness regardless of their willingness right? If God is love, how could there be someone who is not His? How could God, who is a Father, not include all humanity as His children?

 The truth is because God is supreme love, there are those who are not His. Is that exclusive? Is God saying there are some welcome and those who aren't? If so what are the criteria for being cast aside? 

 There isn't anyone who ever existed who desired to belong to the Family of God and God said: "No. you're not welcome." True love is not an invasion of the will. Think of this. Say you had a daughter, and the richest man on earth, who was handsome and rugged and lived in a twenty-room mansion overlooking the ocean decided it would be best for her to marry him and partake of his kindness and goodness and riches. What if he just came and took her with him and disregarding her feelings or will, forced her to marry him? Would that be genuine love? Would that be for her best? No, for that was an invasion of her will. 

 The truth is it's not about a mythical exclusion. It's about love honoring the person's free will. God's love doesn't overtake you and force you to become a son or daughter. 

 See how John details this sonship, here. See how he details it here. In the Word of God, we see John describes a sonship because of belief in Christ. John distinguished the children of God and those of the World. Paul the Apostle of Grace also details this truth;

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26 NASB 

 Is all humanity the children of God? No, only those who've put their faith in Christ are now the children of God. Sonship is by faith not by natural birth. Again this isn't an exclusion, that's a myth. An open invite to all has been given. If one ignores or rejects the invite that's a refusal on their part, not God's. God isn't overriding anyone's will. 

 Because of the Cross are there no longer people who are lost, sinners?

   Here is yet another subtle error that many seem to fall for. Because we believe the Cross worked, surely it means all are partakers. Sadly, that isn't the case. The invitation to partake of the Finished Work has been made available to whosoever will receive. However, that doesn't mean all have automatically received.

 The truth is the social media "poets" proclaiming this error are in reality simply repackaging the lie of universalism and inclusionism without using the labels. They may twist the truth that all of humanity's sin was paid for at the Cross to mean all, therefore, are saved or will be saved. Or that all humanity was included and are therefore righteous and no one is seen as a sinner, a person separated by their sin and unbelief. 

 Paul addressed these errors clearly in his Epistles. He speaks of those in Christ before he was. If people were in Christ before he was that means being in Christ isn't automatic. The truth is the Cross paid for the sins of all mankind but that benefit must be received by faith. Paul speaks of when we were included.
13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1:13 NIV

 This should settle the issue. We were not automatically included in redemption until we partook of the payment by faith in Christ. That's good news. We don't want a bully for a Father who declares He knows what's best for you and makes the decisions for you.

 So is all humanity saved? Is there no such thing any longer as a lost sinner? Does the Finished Work mean all are spiritually alive in Christ? No, that is false. That's why we proclaim this Good News to all giving them the chance to receive new life. 

12 He who has the Son [by accepting Him as Lord and Savior] has the life [that is eternal]; he who does not have the Son of God [by personal faith] does not have the life. 1 John 5:12 AMP

 John the Apostle of love makes it pretty clear. How can we argue this point? Unless we purposefully seek to mislead and deter people's faith this Scripture puts to rest all these falsehoods such as universalism and inclusionism. This passage reveals there are those in Christ and those outside of redemption. Those who possess life and those who choose not to. The Good News is salvation is made available to any who desires to receive new life.

What about Hell? Is there no real devil?

 The denial of eternal separation in Hell is nothing new. This idea is making a comeback along with the liberal theology that satan is not a real entity. We could spend an entire blog post about Hell. I don't like to focus on the bad news though. 

 The truth is Hell is a real place but it was not made for any man. Hell was made for the devil and his angels. It has never been God's will for any human to end there. So why does He send people there, you may ask? The truth is He doesn't.

 The lost soul has to leap over the obstacle of the Cross. They must sidestep the amazing Grace of God. They have to ignore the Good News Gospel. They have to run to and fro to resist the drawing of God's Spirit offering them freedom and life. They have to jump feet first into eternity apart from Christ. God has made the way for all to simply receive.

 The idea that there is no devil or any more battles spiritually because of Grace is clear error. All you need to do is live one day on this planet to see there is such a thing as spiritual warfare. The truth is though, we don't fight or strive for victory but stand triumphant, fighting from victory. In truth, we are simply enforcing the enemy's defeat by faith in the Finished Work. 

 In summation, relinquish the traditions of religious men, but don't then embrace the lies of the spirit of error. Stay in the center, stay with the truth. The great balancer is God's Word. When we abide in the truth, we will experience growth in Grace and walk in His triumphant victory.
 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Good News vs fake news: All humanity is already saved?

15 Now let me remind you, brothers, of what the Gospel really is, for it has not changed—it is the same Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then and still do now, for your faith is squarely built upon this wonderful message; 1 Corinthians 15:1 TLB

13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do. Mark 7:13 NKJV

 We've been in an extended study distinguishing between the Good News of Jesus Christ and His Grace with the fake news of the traditions of men. As we continually stress each week, people are not our enemy. Don't allow bitterness to dominate your thoughts. His Grace is welcoming to all. 

 We've been contrasting the Good News with fake news of tradition. However, the religious traditionalist isn't the only one proclaiming fake news. This week, I sense the leading to expose the fake news of false leaders, teachers, and preachers perverting the Gospel. 
Anyone who runs on ahead [of God] and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ [who is not content with what He taught] does not have God; but he who continues to live in the doctrine (teaching) of Christ [does have God], he has both the Father and the Son. 2 John 9 AMPC

 John warns here of those leaving Christ behind to embrace their own philosophy, teaching, or concept. One translation words it as don't become so progressive in your thinking, you leave Christ behind. In other words, don't get so "out there" you leave everything behind, constantly chasing some new idea or concept. 

 When contrasting truth and error, it's best to get back to basics. The Word of God was written to three people groups. Now we know we can receive truth, insight, wisdom from all Scripture. We must understand that it isn't all addressed to us specifically. The Word was written to the Jews, the Nation of Israel. The Gentile, the lost. The believer, the Church of Jesus Christ. 

 What we must keep in mind is what may be true for Israel, isn't for the Church. As an example God gave the Law to the nation of Israel, not to Gentiles, or the Church. Again, what is true for one group isn't necessarily true for the other group.

 This is where the perversion of the Gospel and Grace occur. Many want to attribute to the lost what is only benefited to the Saved, the Church, those born again by Grace through Faith. The truth that God loves all the World, doesn't mean, however, that all the World is now the recipient of eternal life. Eternal life is only received by Grace through Faith.

 Here are three major areas where the fake news of false teaching continually miss it and try to pervert the truth;
Inclusion: One famous minister coined this phrase to proclaim the false concept of ultimate reconciliation. That ultimately, at the end all humanity will be saved. Hell is a temporal place. This is the proclamation of salvation extended to the lost after death.

Trinitarian Theology Inclusion: This erroneous concept of man taught that all humanity is already, in Christ, born again, made righteous, possess the Spirit of God within, are adopted in the family, apart from personal faith and trust in Christ. It is a historical inclusionism. In a nutshell, this concept says, God in Christ, in His work on the Cross, saved everyone, people are just mentally unaware of their salvation. 

  One issue, of many, that arose with this teaching was that salvation is merely a mental awakening, not a heart transformation. It was often asked what if the individual never awakens to their righteousness? Then they said they would be lost. This would then equal that all our in until they are out. 
 This didn't sit well. So many who proclaimed this viewpoint, have now erased Hell from their view. Since Hell is out of the equation it apparently doesn't matter if one awakens to this "truth". As the previous view, salvation also becomes an invasion of the will. All are in whether they want to be or not.

 Universalism: This error manifests in various forms. One concept is that all roads or paths lead to God. It doesn't matter what you believe just be sincere. A more "Christian" universalist view, all are saved because of Jesus' death on the cross. The existence of Hell is denied.

 Those are the major errors. However, some in Grace circles, are subtly being seduced away by these false teachers through crafty, alluring words spoken in their midsts. They are proclaiming the seed forms of these three errors with enticing words. They adopt "Grace language" but add their own definitions to those words.

 When I am talking to say a Hindu or Buddhist and they say the word "god", and I say the word God, We must understand how we are defining the term, so as to properly understand each other. When I say "God", I am referring to the Lord God Almighty, Jehovah. The Only God. If they say, god, they may be talking about the many deities they follow in their religion. 

 So when someone is speaking of Grace, His mercy and love and kindness seek to understand the context in which they speak. Ask them for clarity so you can know whether or not to add your agreement. As I have said their error is often easily spotted because they attribute to the unsaved the same benefits of the saved.

 For example, Paul lets the Church know that there is nothing that can separate the believer from God and His love. This is the Good News of Grace. This is true because a believer has been redeemed. He has been made new. He has been cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus. All his sins are eternally forgiven, once for all time. Can this be said of the lost? No, they haven't yet received Him and the forgiveness Jesus appropriated at Calvary. 

 This then is where error sows its seeds in the unrenewed mind. The mind susceptible to receiving error. That is the believer who has chosen not to develop discernment. 

 The perversion is to exalt God's love to disregard man's free will. To disregard the other true aspects of who God is, such as the faithful and just Judge of all. This perversion also eliminates the concept of spiritual separation. 

 Many are now proclaiming that no one was ever separated from God. That mankind since Adam has never been spiritually separated from a loving God. That God, who is love, would've never allowed such a thing to happen. They say any sense of separation is simply in our minds. Placed there by the lies of the enemy or religion. They pervert the King James translation of Colossians 1 to promote this error. Honest and sincere translation of Colossians easily disproves this.

21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Colossian 1:21 NLT

 Be sincere and honest. Before Christ, did you really have a concentrated concern whether or not your action was pleasing to God or not? Whether or not it was sinful or not? Of course not. We were rebellious and serving our own interest, whatever that may be. Even our good deeds often had a self-serving purpose.

 Why does it matter? Why should we guard against falsehoods? Paul the Apostle of Grace, repeated the warning a little leaven, leavens the whole lump. We don't want to build upon a faulty foundation. We desire the sincere truth of the Word, the truth that revealed the Pure Gospel of Grace.

 What you will find if you grow in Grace, and in your discernment (not suspicion), is that many who are proclaiming such falsehoods are merely seeking a following. Often they won't openly speak about what they believe. They will blend some Grace truths with elements of the errors I mentioned. 

 The proof is clear if you are aware. A popular author penned a novel that showed the Trinity and proclaimed a God of mercy and love and that's all. No judgment, not justice. They even made a movie. I will admit there are good elements of the story. However, with discernment you see a person sowing just enough seeds to garner a following.

 After the success of the feature film, the author penned another book. This time he didn't conceal his message. He proclaimed a universalist/ultimate reconciliation message. No one is separated from God. He had successfully garnered a massive audience and because of the success of his earlier work, many would read this work. They opened themselves up to feeding on error.

 Again, people aren't our enemy. However, they may be submitted to the enemy or unwittingly be being used by the enemy. So we must use wisdom, discernment and rely on His guidance to preserve the Gospel from error and to not be susceptible to receiving error.

 The Gospel is Good News. It is the glad tidings of God's great love for all. That because of Christ, anyone can freely receive new life, peace, perfect acceptance and right standing with the Holy, righteous God, the Creator of the Universe, apart from works, efforts, and achievements. 

 Those who've received this Good News and received Him, by Grace through Faith, are now called to proclaim this same Good News to all. What we aren't called to do is become preachers of reinterpretation. Or ambassadors of reimagining. The Good News is good enough. We don't need additives or mixture to the Good News to make God more appealing or erase portions of His character.

 Grace proclaimed, is truth proclaimed. Grace and Truth go hand in hand. Universalism, inclusion (or ultimate reconciliation), or Trinitarian Theology inclusion, denying the existence of eternal separation in Hell or denying Hell even exists, or the concept that no one has ever been separated from God is not the Gospel. These are lies, perversions, total error drummed up from the enemy designed to derail the Gospel message.

 In summation, don't fall for the enticing words of men. Concepts like, "can't God's love meet people beyond the grave?" "Saying anyone is separated from God is to say sin is greater than grace.""Proclaiming salvation is by Faith believing is preaching an exclusionary message."These are enticing, alluring seeds sown to get you to accept error. 

 Make no mistake, many churches and ministries and ministers who had made a powerful impact in this World have been "shipwrecked", shut down and their doors shut, when they embraced error in an attempt to be "inclusive." We should be inclusive, that being the salvation invitation is made for all, this doesn't mean though we invite error into our midst. Stay strong in His strength and walk in His love for you and flee from the error sent to distract, derail and deter your growth and influence in Grace. 
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Opponents of Grace: Pseudo Grace (Erroneous Teaching)

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1 NKJV

 We've been in an ongoing study concerning the various opponents of Grace. Paul instructed us to stand fast in the liberty and freedom Christ and His Grace brings. If we are told to stand fast, then it stands to reason that there are opponents that we must resist. 

 We've exposed the many opponents of Grace over the past few weeks. We've seen how shame, fear, and tradition seek to get you off of Grace ground and back into a performance-based relationship with God. Today, I want to conclude this series of study by unveiling another opponent of Grace, pseudo-grace. 

 What is pseudo-grace? The word pseudo means something that is not the genuine, false, sham, a fake. Fake grace is a really down to Earth way of putting it. There are two sides to this opponent. 

Pseudo-grace A-side Religious grace

Pseudo or fake grace manifests itself in religious traditions of men. What do I mean by religious grace? Religious grace is that false grace that adopts the language of Grace but rejects and refuses to receive the revelation and reality of Grace. 

 Religious grace embraces the lingo but insists upon keeping their traditions central to all aspects of their walk with God. The mixing of Law and Grace, the blending of the Old and New Covenant is one sure way to easily recognize this opponent. Another subtle way this opponent arises is how they define Grace.

 Allow me to elaborate briefly. How do you define the word airplane? Would you say oh, that's that winged structure that flies me from one destination to another? If you answered yes then you are incorrect. You defined what an airplane does not what it is. An airplane is a powered heavier-than-air aircraft with two fixed wings. 

 I hope you are tracking where I am going with this. I'm not giving a lesson on Airplane mechanics or vocabulary definitions. I wanted you to see how often we defined things by what they do and not what they are. This isn't detrimental to us per se, that is until we see how this applies to how we define Grace. 

 Religious grace defines Grace simply as an empowerment. As God using His ability on our ability. What's wrong with this? Because it leaves in place all the efforts, performance, and achievements tradition requires of us. It's just now we have God's empowerment to do all required of us. Many teach that we can keep the Law because we have His empowerment now. 

 This is a serious error. What they are doing is defining Grace by what it does and not what it is. Grace is God's unmerited and unearned favor. It is God stooping down to rescue lost humanity. What Grace does is produce an empowerment. Grace isn't an empowerment to keep the Old Covenant. It is an empowerment to follow God's plans and purposes for our lives. If you're interested I've devoted a whole article on religious grace, see here.

Pseudo-grace B-side error and false teaching

 Pseudo-grace also entails the false teachings and errors that some are misled into following. Allow me to elaborate from "least to worst" if you will on these errors. It begins with simple misunderstandings of the scope of Grace and ends with the rejection of Bible truths.

 Under Grace, it is ok to hold an opinion regardless of its popularity. Pseudo-grace gets offended and flees in terror if someone under Grace expresses a political stance, holds to an opinion contrary to the World's system or encourages others to vote their conscience and convictions in a general election. Grace is loving and respectful of others, but it is ok to have differences of opinions.

 Under Grace, we abide in God's love and kindness towards us. Therefore Grace believers should be the most confident and stable people there are. Pseudo-grace on the other hands exalts emotions and feelings over reason and all else and produces some of the weakest, unconfident, emotionally unstable believers in the Church. 
If you dare disagree with their viewpoint on a subject or offer correction in love to an area of their life they have a meltdown and run and hide and claim they are being persecuted and that other believers are just haughty or arrogant.  

 Through Grace, we walk in love and unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our unity, however, is rooted in Jesus and the truth of who He is and what He has accomplished in the Finished Work. Sadly, pseudo-grace in the name of love and unity impresses believers and ministers to align themselves with Universalists and those proclaiming inclusion and denying the existence of Hell. When we align ourselves with false teachers we unwittingly endorse their views. 
If this fellowship is sincerely about love, why I have yet to see pseudo-grace endorse unity or fellowship with those preaching Law or tradition? Paul the Apostle, never aligned or sought unity with the Legalists perverting the Gospel for the sake of unity. In fact, he called out false teachers and even rebuked Peter for aligning with those perverting the Gospel. Sadly, ministries who are misled by pseudo-grace to align with false teachings have folded and churches have closed their doors.

 Grace frees us from sinful habits. Grace leads us out of sin. Christ and His Grace brings a change of mind on how we view sin. We now see it as wrong and detrimental to our lives. Pseudo-grace sees sin as no real issue. Meaning, sin is ok. It is of no consequence or even an issue if people in the church are engaging in sexual immorality or adultery. Pseudo-grace says we are loved so let's not talk about sin. In order to be more accepted and popular, it embraces the World's definition of what is right and rejects what the Word defines as sin.
 The reality is Grace says love your neighbor, that includes your gay, Buddhist, Muslim, Atheist neighbor. This is true. Grace loves its neighbor in their sin but Grace doesn't celebrate their sin. Grace doesn't conform to the World's system definition of right and wrong. Grace doesn't mean that every action is good and permissible and beneficial. Sin is real and it's offers nothing but sadness and misery. Grace provides the way out, not the way in.

Universalism, Trinitarian Theology inclusion, inclusionism,
denying eternal judgment-existence of Hell:
 So many in an attempt to distance themselves from religious tradition and Law and Grace mixture have embraced the darkness. demons have offered a counterfeit to God's redemptive Finished Work and pseudo-grace readily accepts it.

 Grace plainly and clearly reveals salvation isn't by our merits or achievements. It does reveal though that it is received by Grace through Faith. These aforementioned false teachings all say everyone is already saved or will be. They say Hell is not real. A loving God wouldn't send anyone there. They say all humanity is included. These are all lies from satan to diminish the preaching of the Gospel.
Is all humanity saved?
Jesus the Person of Grace said only those who believed would be saved and have eternal life, here and here.
Is all humanity righteous apart from personal faith?
No, Paul revealed it is a righteousness by faith, not an automatic righteousness, here.
Is all humanity forgiven of their sins or do they need to receive the forgiveness of their sins?
Jesus the person of Grace has the answer,
 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ Acts 26:18 NKJV
Though He is the propitiation for all sin mankind must still personally receive the forgiveness of their sins.
Does everyone have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them apart from faith?
The Word declares otherwise, see here. Paul after his conversion had hands laid upon him to receive the infilling of the Spirit. If its all automatic why go through this ritual? This again proves it's by personal faith that we receive, that we have the Spirit dwelling in us.
Is all humanity the children of God? Are all adopted into the Family of God apart from Faith?
1 John 3 reveals otherwise. It is by Faith we become children of God. This invitation is made available for all to receive. Grace doesn't force people to come to God.

What about Hell?
Hell is a real place but was designed for satan and not any man. God is a good God. He is a loving God. He is also a just God. A just God deals with evil. Would it be loving and just for the World not to have dealt with Hitler? When a lost soul by free will rejects Grace they are saying yes to the devil and freely choose to partake of his destiny. That's why we preach urgently to see people freed from darkness. The only thing that sends people to Hell is the rejection of His free gift of Grace. 

 This sums up the aspects of pseudo-grace. Legalistic, oppressive works oriented and viewing God as the harsh taskmaster. The flip side is the distant god that is of man's own imagination and has an anything-goes philosophy. The god who says there is no urgency to reach people, for nobody is lost anyway. Stay with the Word and pure Grace will always lead you in paths of righteousness, goodness, favor and God's perfect plan and purposes for your life. 
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at