Beware of Preaching Religion Without the Gospel

by David J. Stewart | July 2016

Matthew 7:22-23, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

       At some point in the business of religion, many people went astray from the Gospel. The Bible plainly teaches us in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 what the Gospel (i.e., Good News) is:

1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “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.”

There it is—Christ DIED on the cross for our sins, He was BURIED, and He bodily RESURRECTED the third day for our justification. This is “the Gospel.” If you try to get into Heaven any other way besides believing the Gospel, you won't be allowed!!! Luke 13:23-24, “Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Hundreds of millions of people have died throughout history, thinking they were going to Heaven, just to discover the horrifying reality that they weren't born-again. They had served Christ, but they had never trusted Christ. They had gone through the motions, but they never

We are hearing all sorts of teachings by preachers today that are not the Gospel. I heard one Baptist preacher say yesterday in a sermon that to be saved you must “ask Jesus to come into your heart.” There was no mention of the cross upon which Christ died. There was no mention of Jesus' resurrection. I heard another preacher recently say over the radio to “invite Jesus into your life” to be saved. Pacific Garden Mission's “Unshackled” radio is terrible, teachings all sorts of junk theology, besides the Gospel. Listen for yourself! When God's plan of salvation is watered-down, diluted and weakened to merely “following Christ,” the Gospel has not been preached!!! To “trust Christ” is not the Gospel truth! The cross must be mentioned. Christ's death and resurrection from the dead must be mentioned. 1st Thessalonians 4:14, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” It is not enough to “invite Jesus into your life” to be saved. It was on the cross that Christ bled and died to pay for our sins. Inviting Christ into one's life doesn't include the necessity of payment for our sins on the cross.

As the religious people in Matthew 7:22-23 (our text passage) were horrified to learn, their sincerest and best efforts weren't satisfactory to God on Judgment Day. The Lord said He didn't know them at all. They had served Christ their whole life. Yet, he didn't recognize them as His sheep. They had “done many wonderful works.” They were sincere. They were devoutly religious. Yet, Jesus said that He never knew them. Does Jesus know you? The only way to be saved is to BELIEVE THE GOSPEL.

Pastor Rick Warren's False Plan of Salvation

Rick Warren teaches that to be saved a person must invite Jesus into their life, and turn away from their own life to following Christ. At 17:45 minutes into the preceding video, Warren teaches a strange doctrine. He says you must BOTH believe AND receive Christ. Warren says you “receive” Jesus by “admitting that you need Him” (he says the Bible calls this “confession”). He says you receive Christ by “switching to His plan” (which he says the Bible calls “repentance”). Warren says you must “turn from your self-centeredness” to be saved. This is human effort for salvation. This is not the Gospel. Warren also says to invite Jesus into your heart. My friend, none of this is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Warren mixes religious mumbo-jumbo with basic Bible teachings and perverts the Gospel.

Judas Iscariot had a “relationship” with Christ, but still went to Hell. Warren keeps talking about having a “relationship” with Christ. You won't find that terminology anywhere in the Scriptures! Many people had a relationship with Christ, but that didn't save them. Even Satan has a relationship with Jesus Christ. Examine 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 again. Then measure how Rick Warren's plan of salvation stacks-up in comparison. It doesn't. Also, praying is not the way to be saved. It is Ok to prayer a sinner's prayer as an expression of one's faith in Christ at the time of salvation, but the truth is that you are saved before you open your mouth to pray. The reason why, is because you are saved by BELIEVING (1st Corinthians 1:21; John 6:28-29).

The great danger of leading someone in a sinner's prayer to be saved is that they may misunderstand and not believe at all. I've met many people whose total testimony of how they were saved is, “I prayed a prayer to Jesus.” That is not the Gospel. If that's your testimony, then you need to get saved my friend. Not one verse in th Bible says we are saved by praying. To “call” on the name of the Lord in Romans 10:13 doesn't mean to pray. It means “to invoke, to appeal unto.” It means anyone who comes to Christ by faith is saved. John 5:40, “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” You are saved the very moment you receive Christ's sacrifice on the cross as full-payment for your sins, believing that He raised up from the dead 72 hours later!

He says it is a switching of the wills, from doing things our way to doing things God's way. That is not the Gospel. In Rick Warren's false plan of salvation, a person must change the way they are living. You are required to reform. This is not God's plan for man. Warren leads people to pray a useless prayer. I typed it out, pretty close to accurate. You can hear it yourself in the provided link to his website. Warren says to pray these words aloud to be saved...

Dear God I don't understand it all. But I realize that something's missing in my life. And I know that the good life's not good enough. I want to live the better life. I don't need religion, but I do need a relationship with you. So as much as I know how, Jesus Christ, I want to open my life to you, and get to know you. ... I want to say 'yes' to you. I don't care if you're Catholic, Buddhist, Baptist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim. We're not talking about religion here. We're talking about having a relationship with Christ. Jesus Christ died for everybody. It doesn't matter if you're Baptist, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Mormon or whatever. So I open myself to You and I humbly ask you to forgive all my sins, the things I've done wrong. I ask you to come into my life and make yourself real to me. And I want to learn to love you and trust you. And I want to live a life of purpose. I pray this in your name, Amen! If you just prayer that prayer and meant it in your heart... they have a party for you in Heaven. ... write to me and say, “Rick, I prayed the prayer, I asked Jesus Christ into my life!”

SOURCE: How To be Saved, by Pastor Rick Warren.

There is no mention of Christ's resurrection from the dead! I showed you 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 earlier, which plainly defines the Gospel, which must include Christ's bodily RESURRECTION. You don't have to invite Jesus into your life to be saved. And if you do, that's not how you get saved. I can ask anyone to forgive my sins, but that doesn't mean I am forgiven. In the presentation, I didn't even hear Rick Warren mention THE CROSS. Rick Warren's way to be saved is to turn your life over to Christ and follow Him, asking Him to forgive your sins. None of that is the Gospel. Having a purpose in life is not the new birth.

Mr. Warren errantly says in the video that repentance means switching from doing your thing to God's thing. That is reformation, not repentance. True Biblical repentance leads to REGENERATION. Warren doesn't preach the Gospel because his message must be deliberately vague and ambiguous if it is to appeal to all religious faiths worldwide. He is ecumenical. Warren's Illuminati handlers pay him to unite the world's religions into one philosophical movement. He tells them to invite Jesus into their life. He tells them to follow Christ. None of this is the Gospel. I'm just going by what Pastor Warren said in this video. It's not the Bible way to be saved.

According to Rick Warren's plan of salvation, Roman Catholics are going to Heaven. The Biblical Gospel doesn't allow for any self-righteous works. Catholics add the Seven Sacraments to faith, which is heresy, and a false plan of salvation. No one can get to Heaven through a religious organization, which is what the Catholic Church is! You can only get to Heaven by trusting what Jesus Christ did to pay for your sins on the cross. You need God's imputed righteousness!!! Philippians 3:9, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” Pastor Warren doesn't base his teachings on the Holy Bible. Watch his 25 minute video on “How To Be Saved” for yourself and see how many Scriptures he quotes... NONE! Living the better life is not the new birth! Jesus warned in John 3:3, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Rick Warren is a member of the satanic Council On Foreign Relations, the official front organization for the Illuminati. Mr. Warren is an Illuminati agent, a religious fraud, a rich stooge for the Luciferian elite. His net worth is at least $25,000,000. Warren's false plan of salvation leaves off Jesus' resurrection. Warren is extremely ecumenical, working to merge the different religious denominations by preaching a vague, one-sized-fits-all type of false salvation message. Rick Warren's Emerging Purpose Driven Mysticism is the Fulfillment of Alice Bailey's Writings. If you study occult history, particularly the writings of Alice A. Bailey, you'll discover the dark truth that Luciferian worshippers planned a century ago to infiltrate, corrupt and take over th churches, using them as a vehicle to teach the ancient mystery religion (occultism). This is necessary for Satan to prepare the world to receive the coming MAN OF SIN, the ANTICHRIST!!! The authority of the Church is the Word of God. The written word reveals the living word.

Also, please notice that Rick Warren doesn't quote even one passage of Scripture!!! That speaks volumes! He focuses on having a better life, not being born again. If I were the Devil, I would love Rick Warren, because he leads people into a shallow form of religious devotion to Christ, without actually being born-again.

Warren illustrates his false teaching with a marriage relationship. He says that he would never be ashamed to tell someone about his wife. So he says if you're really saved you won't be ashamed to tell others about Jesus. Well, we read in John 12:42-43 that many of the chief rulers believed but they DID NOT CONFESS HIM for fear of the unbelieving Pharisees. In Rick Warren's little world, Christ won't save those who hold onto their own life, who choose to continue committing pet sins, who are too ashamed or selfish to confess Christ, who don't invite Jesus into their life, et cetera. You don't get saved by inviting Jesus into your life, nor by asking Him to come into your heart, nor by desiring a better life; you get saved by coming as an admitted guilty sinner in the sight of a holy God, BELIEVING that His only begotten Son (Jesus Christ) died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and three days later bodily resurrected for our justification. Jesus Christ is risen! Eternal life is a free gift, which Christ paid for by His precious blood (1st Peter 1:18-19).

What About Repentance?

There is only one requirement to believe the Gospel, and that is to admit you are a guilty sinner in God's eyes. Romans 3:19, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith. God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved. If you're not a hell-deserving sinner, than why would you need a Savior? That is what repentance is—realizing that you are a guilty sinner in God's sight, which is why you want to be saved, to avoid going to Hell. Believing and repenting are like the two sides of one coin, that is, when you flip one side you have also flipped the other. They are inseparable linked together. The man who believes has also repented. This is why the words “believe” and “beleieved” are mentioned 85 times in the Gospel of John, and yet the word “repent” is not mentioned even once.

Repentance is necessary for salvation, but it doesn't mean to cease from sinful bad habits as some religious false prophets errantly claim. That is the English meaning of the word “repent.” The Biblical meaning is very different. The Greek word “repent” in the Bible is metanoia, which means “a change of mind.” It is heresy to make repenting a separate act from believing. You wouldn't believe if you didn't also repent. Thus, the important issue is to make sure that you know why you are believing on Christ, which is, because YOU ARE A GUILTY SINNER IN GOD'S EYES. It is not enough to merely follow Christ, nor to invite Jesus into your heart, nor to surrender your will to Christ, nor to decide to live for Jesus. You can do all these things and yet never obey the Gospel at all.

You must admit that you are a sinner, and know that the penalty for that sin is spending eternity in Hell; but Jesus paid your sin debt on the cross, and by faith you can receive God's gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sins. By understanding that you are a sinner (for breaking God's commandments in the Bible), you understanding why Jesus needed to go to the cross and die to pay for your sins and mine.

Old Testament and New Testaments

Someone asked me recently why there are two Testaments in the Bible. In a simplistic view, the Old Testament focuses on God's Law. God chose Abraham's descendants to be His people (the Jews). God gave the Jews the Ten Commandments (moral laws). He also gave them civil laws to government themselves. And then there were ceremonial laws (which pictured spiritual truths). God knew that the Jews couldn't perfectly keep the Ten Commandments, but they needed to find out by themselves. We know this doctrine is true from reading Galatians 3:24-25, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” The Old Testament law is a schoolmaster, to bring us to Christ (the Messiah).

In the New Testament, we find Christ crucified on the cross, buried and bodily resurrected 72 hours later. When Christ died on the cross, the New Testament (covenant) immediately went into effect. The New Testament shows us the hope that is in Jesus Christ. So we see a balance between the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament we see that we are all sinners, totally incapable of saving ourselves, failures at trying to impress God by keeping His commandments (no matter how hard we may try). Isaiah 64:6 proclaims that all of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags in the sight of God. Our best is filthy to God, because we are sinners by nature and by choice. Only God is holy (morally perfect). The New Testament is the flipside of God's wrath, showing us His mercy, grace and love through the gift of His only begotten Son crucified on the cross for our sins. What a great God!!!

Thus, understanding the Old and New Testaments, helps us understand salvation (as see in Galatians 3:24-25). You must know that you are a hell-deserving, guilty, sinner, condemned under the law of God. This is what you should have learned from studying the Old testament. You cannot save yourself! You need a Savior! And so, the law brings us to the dear Savior in the New Testament, who by childlike faith will save anyone who BELIEVES ON HIM. Isn't that beautiful? Perhaps you've never looked at the Old and New Testament in this way before. I am not making this up. This is how the Bible works. The law shows us our sinnership, and the cross shows us God's gift of forgiveness through Christ's shed blood.

The Old Testament magnifies THE LAW; The New Testament magnifies THE CROSS.

I am teaching you about the law, to form in your mind a deeper theological understanding of why Lordship Salvation is so wicked a false doctrine. The purpose of the law (as plainly stated in Romans 3:19 and Galatians 3:24-25) is to show men there sinnership, so that every mouth may be stopped of self-righteous boasting, and all the world may become guilty sinners before God! (That is, realizing how much we are already guilty sinners in God's sight) This is the purpose of God's law.

Now, unsaved people love their sins and avoid the Holy Spirit. They avoid the Holy Bible. They run from a Holy God. When a person repents (i.e., “to think differently”), they agree with God concerning their sinful condition, which the law of God has shown them. They believe the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and are saved. As you can see, this has absolutely NOTHING to do with ceasing from sinful bad habits, nor following Christ, nor inviting Jesus into your life, nor asking Jesus to come into your heart, nor inviting Jesus to become the Lord (Boss, Master) of your life from now on, et cetera. Repentance is simply the admission that I am as guilty a sinner as God hath declared me to be in His Holy Word. Repentance is not turning one's life around; that is reformation and behavior modification. Repentance is a change of mind to believe the Gospel instead of whatever it was that was hindering me from previously from doing so (2nd Corinthians 4:4; John 3:20). 

You don't need to ask God to forgive your sins. That's right! Jesus has already paid for our sins on the cross! Hence, forgiveness of sins is a gift that we receive by faith alone in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. What an awesome God and Savior!

If you would like to learn much more about repentance, then I highly recommend the free online classic book by Pastor Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951) titled...


The Simplicity That is in Christ for Salvation

Romans 3:23-24, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” You are an unholy sinner (and so am I)! We have sinned against an holy God. There is a penalty on sin. We all deserve to go to Hell, to burn in flames forever to pay for our own sins! And unless we believe the Gospel, receiving Christ's payment on the cross for our sins, we will go to Hell for ever and ever! BELIEVE THE GOSPEL. 1st Corinthians 1:21, “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.” It's that simple to be saved. You must know what you're being saved from. You must acknowledge your sinnership in God's sight!

Simple BELIEVE THE GOSPEL and you are saved. That's how 3,000 souls were saved in just ONE DAY in Acts 2:41. They all heard the apostle Peter preaching the Good News (aka, the Gospel) of Jesus Christ crucified, buried and risen, and the people under the sound of his voice gladly received the truth, and were saved immediately. NOTHING else was required of them to be saved that day. They simply heard the Gospel preached, and they gladly RECEIVED it by faith, believing on the name of the precious Lord Jesus Christ! In so doing, they had received God's free gifts of eternal life and the forgiveness of sins, paid for by the precious sin-cleansing blood of the sinless Lamb of God (John 1:29; Hebrews 4:15; 1st Peter 2:22; Revelation 1:5 - Note: All Scripture references are ONLY from the trustworthy KING JAMES BIBLE). Amen and amen!

“I wish tonight every person in this room could lie down to rest and sing, 'Nothing between my soul and the Saviour, naught of this world's delusive dream.'” —Dr. Jack Hyles (a quote from Dr. Hyles' great book, “How to Treat Different Types of Church Members,” chapter 1)

Psalms 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”

Jesus Came to Save Sinners | You Need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!