I became a Christian in 1972 after attending a service at a youth ministry. Like so many others that were saved through that ministry, I came from an old line denominational religious background. After accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior, I began to wonder why the Lutheran Church that I attended with my parents did not preach the Gospel as simply as the youth ministry did. I wondered WHY they did not tell people that they needed to be born again. The answer to that question seemed obvious, but was weighed down in theological double talk that took me years to translate.
As I grew in Christ, I finally came to the startling and sad conclusion that the gospel being preached in the Lutheran Church I came out of was not the same gospel that I heard at the youth meeting. It is easy to understand why the Apostle Paul continually warned Believers to avoid false teachers and the gospels they were trying to share.
The Bible tells us in Galatians 1:6-12 (KJV):
"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ 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 any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."
Paul clearly spells out the attributes of the gospel that he and others delivered to sinners in Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV):
"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."
More than just thinking or knowing about it, we must make a decision at some point in our life to accept the free gift that God offers. We can't just say, "Oh, how nice. Christ died for me and now I am headed to Heaven." Paul explains how in these verses:
"But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the scripture saith,
Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
- Romans 10:8-13 (KJV)
At some point in our life we pray the sinner's prayer accepting the free gift of salvation by admitting we're sinners and asking Jesus to forgive our sins. It sounds simple and it is. There are no works involved or anything we can do to purchase or earn our salvation. It's free and that's that.
The "other" gospels that Paul warned about are never simple and they always end up adding or subtracting something from the teachings found in God's Word. Millions of people sitting in churches all over the world this Sunday will eventually die and go to hell because they listened to another gospel; one that came from a corrupt teacher, teaching corrupt doctrines from a corrupted book (bad translation of the Bible).
In order to get far enough away from true doctrine, the devil has managed to convince people that they are using an antiquated version of the Word of God. The whole thing began innocently enough with various Bible Scholars trying to update the words found in the King James Version of the Bible to modern language. However, it wasn't just an update, it was a series of new translations and transliteration based on corrupt interpretations that attacked the very heart of sound Christian doctrine.
Here is a list of eight specific areas of sound doctrine that new versions of the Bible and those that support them most frequently attack, try to deny or change which create a "modern" and terribly corrupt gospel that will not save anyone from anything:
1. The Virgin Birth of Christ
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS."
- Matthew 1:18-25 (KJV)
Some versions of the Bible substitute 'young woman' for virgin, removing the miraculous nature of Christ's conception and birth. This would make Jesus like any other man. It is any wonder why so many churches today merely refer to him as a 'great teacher.' Well, he may be a great teacher to them, but he is God to me! If he is not God, he cannot lead a sinless life...
2. The Sinless Life Of Christ
"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"
- I Peter 1:18-19 (KJV)
Only a sinless Savior can die and pay for our sins on the cross. If he was a sinner, he would be like everyone else and, perhaps, just a great teacher espousing worthwhile sentiments. But, that is not the case. He came to Earth as God in the flesh. The attack on the diety of Christ and his sinless nature has gotten to the point that many liberal theologians and preachers look at the Bible as a 'Paper Pope."
They want nothing to do with an 'antiquated book' teaching an 'antiquated gospel' and view the Word of God as a book filled with a few good suggestions and ideas that support Humanism. That philosophy rejects traditional morality and established doctrine as defined in the Bible and seeks to redefine the search for spiritual fulfillment by examining the human spirit in the light of the complete reinterpretation of Bible teachings. These apostate teachers, preachers and theologians believe that Bible teachings have to be viewed and interpreted in the light of "modern" ideas, newly established societal norms and progressive thought and attitudes.
Humanism has birthed such ideas as, "If it feels good, do it" and "Everyone is basically good." Is it little wonder why so many people are divorced today, do not care for their children or abandon their family to "find themselves." Humanism creates excuses for people to involve themselves in all sorts of deviant and even unlawful behavior. If someone kills people, they are not bad, just sick and in need of treatment.
Let's see what the Bible says about trusting God verses trusting ourselves or other people:
"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings."
-Jeremiah 17:7-10 (KJV)
3. The Vicarious Death of Christ
"...Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."
- I Peter 2:21-24 (KJV)
Also called the substitutionary death or atonement, this means that Christ died in place of us to pay for our sins. Only a sinless Savior could do that, not merely a great teacher. If Christ was not born miraculously, he could not be God and could not be a sinless Savior. Here we see how by rejecting one fundamental, the others fall like a house of cards.
This is the very basis for much of what liberal theologians believe. They seek to reinterpret the Bible to agree with 'human reason' believing that the Bible is not a reasonable book to believe by the standards of most educated people. The Bible explains their actions well:
"For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."
- 1 Corinthians 1:17-21 (KJV)
4. The Victorious Resurrection of Christ
"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time."
- 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (KJV)
This is yet another Fundamental of the Christian Faith that is under attack. Liberal theologians constantly stress the 'human' side and nature of Christ. After all, if he rose from the dead he really was God. if not, he was a great teacher espousing worthwhile sentiments and suggestions for the pattern of human behavior.
Some even prefer to paint Jesus as a Jewish Revolutionary bent on stirring up rebellion against Rome in his day, therefore using him as an example to ferment rebellion today. Others still have Jesus on the cross suffering for our sins everyday. These explanations come from another gospel, not mine.
The Bible gives us the truth and predicts that people will abandon Scripture in favor of false teaching more and more as time goes on:
"Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness."
- 2 Timothy 2:8-16 (KJV)
5. The Visible Return
"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
- Titus 2:13-14 (KJV
"Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
- Revelation 1:7-8 (KJV)
The Bible makes it clear that Jesus will come back to Earth as a triumphant Savior in a manner that is visible to all. Those who wish to deny this fact do so in the hope that they can remove the divine nature from Jesus. Again, they seek a humanist humanitarian, not a risen Savior who died for the sins of the world.
6. The Triune God
"In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
- Matthew 3:1-17 (KJV)
The third chapter of Matthew in the New Testament is a perfect illustration of the fact that we worship a triune God. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Those who seek to separate any or all of the Triune God do so to rob God of divinity or try to prove that Jesus Christ was not the Messiah who died for the sins of the whole world.
7. The Infallible Word Of God and The Perfect Preservation of the Bible
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men."
-John 1:1-4 (KJV)
Jesus Christ came to Earth as God and, according to the Gospel of John, was also the very living Word of God. When he spoke, he spoke with the power and authority of God because he is God. Is it any wonder why those who hate the truth would seek to attack and defame the Bible?
The Bible also says:
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV)
All Scripture is inspired by God and he has delivered it down through the centuries for us, ready to use in our daily lives. His Word is perfect and without blemish. It began with those he allowed to write down His Words:
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man:
but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
- 2 Peter 1 :19-21 (KJV)
Can we trust that today we have the Word of God, perfect in every way and ready to come alive in our hearts, thoughts and life? The Bible gives us the answer:
"The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
- Psalms 12:6-7 (KJV)
I believe that God has passed His Word, perfect and intact, down to us today. Personally, I use the King James Version (also known as the Authorized Version) of the Bible. Why? Let's compare the same verse I just presented to you in both the King James Version and the New International Version:
"The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
- Psalms 12:6-7 (KJV)
"And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. O Lord, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever."
What??? The NIV, like so many other new versions of the Bible, seems to remove the doctrine of Perfect Preservation. That's because many of the liberal theologians that support it would have you to believe that only the original manuscripts (or their copies) are perfect and infallible, if that. However, there are a number of these manuscripts and various denominations and sects pick them apart and choose those that suit their own beliefs the best.
Even worse, many of these false teachers and preachers believe that the Word of God is an evolving work that grows with people's ability to understand and obey it.
This supports the philosophy of humanism by passing off the Bible as a working model for individual and societal behavior.
For example, they would teach "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth" in Matthew 5:5 as literal; but would say that "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" in Matthew 10:28 as more of a parable that warns against self-destructive behavior and the earthly consequences of it.
The scholars that gave us the King James Version of the Bible prayed and fasted before beginning their work.
They chose only the most reliable copies of the original manuscripts to translate from and compared all the manuscripts available to them before translating.
I believe that God used them to deliver His Word to the English-speaking world. I trust the King James Version as the very Word of God and I am not alone.
Great men of God down through the centuries have taught and preached from the KJV. Now four hundred years old, the King James Bible has proven itself over and over again to be the Word of God.
Let's face it: If we do not have a reliable Bible, we do not have a reliable Gospel, Savior or Salvation to depend on. That's why the devil uses various people to attack the Bible and pervert it into new and watered down translations.
8. The Priesthood Of Believers
"Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."
1 Peter 2:1-5 (KJV)
These verses make it clear what God expects of Christians. We are to offer up "spiritual sacrifices" by sharing the gospel with a lost world. Appearing to his followers after he died and rose again from the grave, Jesus told his followers:
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
- Mark 16:15
We have our marching orders from Jesus, what more do we need? Too many churches and believers are merely interested in "growing in the Word" instead of sharing it. Instead of standing on the promises, they remain seated on the premises of their church building.
The simple fact is that churches that do not emphasize Soul Winning do not grow. They do not bring the "spiritual sacrifices" to the Lord that he has told us to bring to him. They become cold and dead and indifferent to the things of God.
Yes, we are supposed to learn the Bible and grow in Christ, but how can we do that if we are not obedient to the entire Word of God?
Understanding, accepting and following the Fundamentals of the Christian Faith will keep you from apostasy (the abandonment and renunciation of belief in what God teaches us in his Word) and help you to grow in the Lord.