Christ is absolute truth and that means there can be only one true Gospel, one true message of Christ and what He has done for us and what it means for us. However, today we hear many “gospels.” We will illustrate the range of these “gospels” with the following two examples. Only one of them can be proved by God’s holy word. One of the following insists that Christ died to give true believers the “possibility” of salvation. The other tells true believers that Christ has absolutely secured their salvation. (updated 5/05)
The Gospel? Version One:
“Christ died for everyone’s sins to
give all the 'possibility' of
salvation. However, only those of us who choose to believe in Him, by
our own free-will and with the help of His grace, have the possibility
of salvation. We will receive further grace through the Sacraments
(specifically through baptism—through which we are first saved,
confession of our sins to a priest and reception of Holy Communion.)
With these aids we are able to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and
perform the works that, along with our faith, will help us fully
repent and atone or make reparation for our sins. In this way, with
the help of the Holy Spirit, we will attain righteousness or
justification in and of ourselves (in this theology justification is
the same as sanctification, being made holy or righteous) be found
holy in the sight of God and join Him in heaven when we die. However,
this justification can be lost by our serious sins and if we die after
committing a mortal (serious) sin and before receiving absolution
(forgiveness) from a priest—we will spend an eternity in hell, On the
if we fall short of the holiness God calls us to in our lifetime and
die with only venial or small sins on our soul (all the “large”
ones being confessed to a priest), we can fully atone for the
punishment due them in Purgatory. Among the large or serious sins are
those that indicate our refusal to believe certain Church teachings.
For instance, if we fail to believe and ascent to even one of the
following dogmas: Papal Infallibility, Papal Supremacy, the Assumption
and the Immaculate Conception of Mary, Purgatory, sacramental grace,
transubstantiation, the Mass as a true sacrifice of Christ as well as numerous others
(required-for-salvation Church teachings, click here
for more.) then, no matter our faith in
Christ, we are condemned to hell by the Church.”
Gospel? Version Two:
“Christ died to totally atone for the sins of all who come to believe in Him. We are born into this world lost in our sins, destined for hell and totally unable to choose him. He chooses us (or chose us before the beginning of time) and He raises us to new life with him while we are still in our sins. He gives us the gift of faith and justifies (makes right) all believers in the sight of God, indwelling them with his Holy Spirit. Through this gift of faith, the Holy Spirit enables us to see and acknowledge our sins. Through the same Holy Spirit, we come to realize that Christ took our sins upon Himself and He bore all the punishment we are due for them on the cross. Christ justifies us by covering us in his own righteousness, a righteousness that is not our own, and thus He assures our salvation. All of this is the product of the grace (the unmerited or undeserved favor of God). The Holy Spirit gives us a gratitude for what Christ has done for us, and a desire to obey Christ and continually repent of our sins that we may be used to glorify Christ in all we say and do. We desire to share his Gospel and obey his commands (baptism and Holy Communion) that he commanded for us as true signs of his Gospel forgiveness. Our works, including our acts of love and repentance, are gifts of grace from the Holy Spirit and a sign (of our sanctification—that we are covered in the righteousness of Christ) that we will join Christ in heaven.
In short, Jesus has won heaven for all who believe in Him and the work He did on their behalf. We recognize Christ as our Lord and Savior, as God in the flesh. We are saved by Christ’s atoning blood and covered in His own righteousness. He promises that no true believer will be condemned. So while we may fall away into sin for a time, He will always bring us back. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. Those who die rejecting Christ will spend eternity in hell.” Click here for the verses that prove this is indeed the Gospel.
According to God’s holy word, the Bible, version two is the true Gospel (see verses below), the first is an illustration of the Roman Catholic gospel.
The Roman Catholic "version" vs. the True Gospel:
Sadly, many, including several Protestant denominations, have adopted or retained one or more of the Roman Catholic errors that make the gospel they preach less than the true Gospel. Here's some examples of what to look for:
They will tell you such things as “God looks down the tunnel of time to see whether a person does good works or not” and then bases his decision for your salvation on whether you did those works.
They will tell you that God died for everyone but that you can lose your salvation by sin.
They will tell you that they do not believe in “works righteousness” but that you can still lose the gift of faith you have been given.
They will tell you that you can be saved by “an altar call” or by publicly professing your faith in Christ.
They will ask you to repeat a certain prayer after them and insist that, because you did so, you are now saved.
They will tell you that obedience to all God’s commands is essential to your salvation but they will not tell you that you are unable to be totally obedient in your lifetime and that's why Christ's forgiveness and his righteousness is so very necessary.
They will rightfully tell you that perseverance is required, yet not tell you that you cannot persevere (continue in the faith) without the gift of faith that only God can give--and that he will by no means remove that gift once given.
They will tell you that you yourself can make yourself holy with the “help” of God’s Holy Spirit.
They will tell you that Christ’s death was sufficient for all but effective for a few and yet be totally unable to explain, biblically, how this is so.
But what few of them will tell you is that “it is all a gift” from first to last! From your justification to your sanctification to your salvation to your glorification in heaven with Christ. It was and is all the work of One—the Christ—the Son of the Living God, even Jesus.
We come to him with nothing but our empty hands—and even those empty hands—He gave us. You see, it is not about us—it is about Him. It is about what He has done for us—all those who believe in what they cannot see. For those who believe that Christ is truly Lord and Savior, God in the flesh, Praise God and Rejoice! For truly, your salvation is near.
The root of most of these errors lies in the lack of faith that is often accompanied by a lack of recognition of the total sovereignty of God. Without the acknowledgement that God is truly almighty and in control of all things, many find it unimaginable that he is able to keep all of the promises found in his word. But it is precisely because of his total sovereignty that He can be fully trusted to keep each and every promise!
can you be sure which Gospel is the one Christ gave us? Read His word, the
Bible, what does He tell us there?:
who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. I tell
you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal
life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.
tell you the truth, he who believes in Me has everlasting
life. (John 6:47)
am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live,
even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. (John
have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me
should stay in darkness. (John 13:46)
this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he
has given me, but raise them up at the last day. (John
give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;
no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to
me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and
the Father are one. (John 10:28-30)
In these few verses, Christ makes His Good News clear: all who believe in Him as the Son of God, God in the flesh, have eternal life; that is, salvation. He has won the salvation of all who come to believe in Him. The salvation He gives them is a gift “..the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.” Given through the gift of faith “For by grace you are saved through faith and this is not from you it is the gift of God—not from works, so no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). (Romans 6:23) and this gift cannot be lost “…no one can snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28)