The purpose of this article is to show you the true gospel, and how to go to heaven according to the bible, so you will not be deceived by false prophets who pervert the gospel.
One of the most popular of such false prophets of our day and age, which has duped many sincere Christians, is Dr. John MacArthur. He is damning souls to hell because of the heresies he preaches and the false gospel. II Peter 2:1: But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
Matthew 7:15: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16: Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17: Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Many people think that when it talks about how you shall know them by their fruits that it is talking about being able to tell if someone is saved or not by the way they live, but actually it is not talking about judging if someone is saved or not, but whether someone is a false prophet or not, even as it says in verse 15 "beware of false prophets." This means the good fruit of a truly saved man of God is souls being saved and kept out of hell, whereas the man who preaches a false gospel leads people to hell, which is evil fruit. This portion of scripture is not talking about the fruit of the spirit; it is talking about the fruit of a Christian. Everything begets after its own kind and the fruit of a Christian is a Christian. MacArthur is getting no one saved because he preaches a false gospel, therefore, he is bringing forth evil fruit. It grieves me how so many true Christians are following MacArthur and have no discernment when hearing a false gospel preached. In Galatians chapter one the bible says this about it:
6: I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8: 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.
9: 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.
It is so serious of a matter that God said it twice to make sure we get it. John MacArthur preaches another gospel and so the bible says he is accursed (or damned to hell). There are people who have been truly saved by the grace of God and now they are following a false prophet according to verse 6 above. And the people who have never been saved at all will never get saved by John MacArthur's gospel because it is not the true gospel of Christ, in which salvation is offered as a free gift to anyone who puts their trust in him and what he has done for them with his sacrifice on the cross. Jesus paid it all.
The following are some of the major ways that John MacArthur preaches a false gospel.
First of all, MacArthur says if you want salvation it is going to cost you everything. It demands self suicide, the death of self, a willingness to embrace suffering, persecution, and maybe execution. The person who is truly saved is saved with difficulty. (The Gospel In Perspective.) He also says there's a price to pay, a real price. (Which Way to Heaven?) But wait, the bible says salvation is a free gift. If it is a gift, the one who gives the gift is the one who pays for it, not the person who receives it. Jesus has already paid for our salvation in full. It costs us nothing to be saved, not everything, because Jesus paid for it. Jesus is the one who did all the suffering on our behalf because he was taking our punishment for us on the cross to pay for our sins, and all we have to do is receive the free gift. It is not difficult to receive a free gift, you only have to believe with all your heart.
Ephesians 2:8-9: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. 9: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
John 1:12: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
John 1:12: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
MacArthur likes to use the rich young ruler as an example of someone who could not get saved because he was not willing to give up everything to follow Christ, he was not willing to sell everything he had and give to the poor. MacArthur has this to say about it: "Jesus said 'If any man will come after me, let him deny himself.' In other words, abandon all your own ambition, all your own will, all your own direction, your own choices, and totally and fully submit your life to the lordship of Jesus Christ. It is to say it is the end of me and I commit my life to Christ, to follow him whatever the cost, even if it is a cross and to obey him. That was not what the rich young ruler was willing to do. He is a classic illustration of someone who will not deny himself. He wanted to hold onto his own will, his own pride. He wanted to hold unto his own money. He wanted to hold onto his own ambition." (True Salvation Through Jesus Christ).
That is a totally false interpretation of this scripture. The reason he didn't get saved was because he was trusting in his own righteousness to get him to heaven, and Jesus was showing him that he had not kept all the commandments because he was covetous, he loved his possessions. See Matthew 19:16-24 to read the whole account of the rich young ruler. Throughout the entire bible salvation is referred to as believing on Christ, having faith in Christ, or being saved by grace or mercy. You can't just take one story in the bible to base your beliefs on and disregard all the very clear scriptures about salvation being by faith and not works. You go with what the bible clearly says throughout the entire bible. If a small portion of the scriptures seems to not correlate with the clear scriptures, it means you are interpreting it wrong.
For instance, the bible clearly answers a question asked about how to be saved in the book of Acts. Acts 16:31b: .... Sirs, what must I do to be saved?31: And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And that is it, just BELIEVE on the name of Jesus Christ. You don't have to give up anything, deny yourself, or make a commitment to follow Christ and obey him. In the book of John it says the word believe in reference to salvation over 80 times. The only thing you have to obey is to believe the gospel. The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and when you put your trust in that alone for salvation, that is obeying the gospel. I Corinthians 15:3: For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4: And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Romans 10:16: But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
Obeying the gospel is the same thing as believing the gospel. Mark 1:15: And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Notice, it does not say repent of all your sins, like many false prophets claim. This verse means to repent of whatever else you are trusting in to go to heaven or maybe not even believing in an afterlife, and instead of these false beliefs, believe the gospel. Repent actually means to change your mind. Believe means not to just believe that Jesus is the Son of God or that he existed, but to actually believe on him to be your very own personal savior. It is to apply Jesus's shed blood to your own heart, that was shed for you for all of your sins, past, present, and future. Believe on means to place all of your faith and trust in what he did for you on the cross to pay for your sins, to depend upon him and rely on him alone for your salvation. That is your only ticket to heaven. It is just as the hymn goes, "Jesus Paid It All," so it costs us nothing. If you are trusting in what you do, you will never make it to heaven. You have to put all your faith in what he did.
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
She had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim;
I'll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv'ry's Lamb
MacArthur also wrote a book called "Hard To Believe," In this book he says it is difficult to enter the kingdom of God because the way is narrow and constricted.
Matthew 7:13: Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.
14: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Luke 13:24: Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
Another quote from this book says this, "Don't believe anyone who says it is easy to become a Christian. Salvation cost God his own son; it cost God's Son his life; and it will cost you the same thing. That is so absurdly untrue. There is absolutely nothing we could ever do to even help to pay for any of our own salvation. We are saved entirely by God's grace and mercy. We don't deserve salvation at all, it is a 100 percent free gift. It costs nothing to receive a free gift. If you had to pay even one dime for your salvation, then it wouldn't be free. Titus 3:5: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
MacArthur is of Satan because he hinders people from getting saved. Many people would like to be saved, but according to his false gospel, they would think it is too difficult to get saved, thinking, "I cannot live it, be totally committed, give up everything, totally obey, stop loving the world, stop sinning, etc.", and they are right, they can't. And even if a person thought they could do all those things to get saved, they would still be unsaved because they would be trusting in themselves instead of trusting in Christ. The truth is, you DON'T HAVE TO GIVE UP ANYTHING, YOU RECEIVE SOMETHING (the free gift of salvation,) and it is easy to be saved, not difficult. Jesus did the hard part when he suffered on the cross and shed his blood, all because he loves us and wants us to trust him.
Furthermore, MacArthur says that entering the gate to the kingdom of God is so difficult and hard that you have to agonize to go through it (Two Paths One Way) and you have to go through it naked and stripped of all your own self will, ambitions, be spiritually broken, shattered, crushed, mournful, etc. He says there is a certain violence in going through the narrow gate, that you have to struggle to get through it because the narrow way is so constricted. MacArthur says that since you have to strive to enter the narrow gate that means it is agonizing. Luke 13:24: Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. What that actually means is people who are unsaved will want to get into heaven, but they won't be able to because they did not go through the narrow gate of salvation, which is putting all your trust in Jesus to save you. Strive means to learn the truth about salvation, hear God's word, and believe the verses in the bible that talk about the way of salvation. Strive doesn't mean to agonize. Agonizing is painful, and it is not painful to accept Jesus as your savior and believe on him. In fact, it is quite joyful to have your sins forgiven, be washed in the blood, and have your name written in the Lamb's Book of Life. The following is an account of a man who was joyfully saved by Jesus. Luke 19:2: And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was chief among the publicans, and he was rich. 3: And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. 4: And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. 5: And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste and, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. 6: And he made haste, and received him Joyfully. This is also a good example of someone who did strive to hear Jesus so he could get saved. It was not agonizing for Zacchaeus to climb up a tree. The word agony is found only one time in the bible and it is referring to Jesus being in agony in the garden of Gethsemane, where he was praying right before he went to the cross. Luke 22:44: And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Nowhere in the bible does it say we have to agonize to get saved. Jesus agonized for us so we don't have to. What a great love Jesus has for us.
Furthermore, in Two Paths One Way, MacArthur says this "The rich young ruler comes to Jesus, "What do I do to receive eternal life?' Jesus said, "Take all your assets, sell them, get the cash, give it all to the poor." That is so totally absurd. That is not how you receive eternal life, and the bible does not say that either. If that were the case nobody would be saved.
Jesus likens salvation to eating a piece of bread, opening a door, or taking a drink of water. How hard is it to eat a piece of bread, open a door, or take a drink of water? It is not hard, it is easy, and it is easy to get saved. You just look to Jesus on the cross and say I believe Jesus did that for me and you put your trust in him to save your very own soul.
John 6:51: I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
John 4:13: Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
John 10:9: I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
Notice how it says "whosoever" and "any man". You must apply these verses to your own heart. Anyone can be saved if they want to be.
The following is the account of how one of the thieves that were crucified with Jesus looked to Jesus for salvation and got saved instantly.
Luke 23:39: And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40: But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41: And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42: And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43: And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
In the old testament salvation was pictured in the book of Numbers when there were fiery serpents that were biting people and causing them to die and God told Moses to make a serpent on a pole and whoever looked at it would not die but live.
Numbers 21:8: And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
9: And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
The fiery serpent is a picture of sin and the serpent on the pole is a picture of salvation from sin. In the same manner in John chapter three, it says whoever looks to Jesus will be saved.
John 3:14: And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: (meaning when Jesus died on the cross).
15: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
So do you see how the thief on the cross looked to Jesus and was saved, and so it is for anyone who wants to get saved. If you want to get saved all you have to do is look to Jesus in faith, and that's all, no works whatsoever, just faith.
Another heresy that John MacArthur teaches is that he denies the blood of Christ and teaches that it is not necessary for our salvation, but that it only depicts the violent death that Jesus died, that only the death of Jesus is what matters. Actually, it takes both according to the bible, his blood and his death. He says there is nothing magical about the fluid that came out of Jesus's body and there is no efficacy in his blood. He goes on to say that people have an emotional attachment to the blood because of the hymns we sing, but really the blood means nothing. He says when he sings those hymns he just substitutes the word blood with death. Some of the hymns are "Nothing But The Blood," "There Is Power In The Blood," and "Are You Washed In The Blood." These are all great hymns that are true to the bible about the importance of the blood. (John MacArthur Denies the Blood of Christ)
The following are verses that talk about how important Jesus's blood really is.
Hebrews 9:22: And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
Matthew 26:28: For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Acts 20:28: Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Ephesians 1:7: In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Ephesians 2:13: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Colossians 1:14: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Colossians 1:20a: And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself;
I Peter 1:18-19: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from you vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19: But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
I John 1:7: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Revelation 1:5b.. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.
When we trust Jesus with all our heart he then washes us from our sin with his own shed blood, meaning remission of sins. That is why it says in Matthew 26:28: For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Jesus is the one that performs a miracle in our heart when we believe. It is not us repenting of our sins, it is us trusting in Jesus and he cleanses our heart. It is not us trying to transform our own life and change ourselves, it is simply believing on Christ. You cannot be saved and deny the blood of Christ; it is impossible.
There is one more thing that I wanted to clarify and that is that in the four gospels Jesus does talk about denying yourself and taking up your cross, forsaking all, and following him, etc., but these passages of scripture are talking about discipleship, not salvation. There is a big difference. To get saved all you have to do is come to Jesus in faith. To be his disciple Jesus says come after me, to get saved he says come unto me. It does cost to be a disciple, but it does not cost to be saved because the bible is clear that salvation is a free gift. Luke 14:33: So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. Most people who are saved are not disciples. So you may be thinking, what is the benefit of being a disciple as long as I'm saved? The benefit is the joy of having your life be used of God to help other people get saved. Since Jesus saved us from going to hell, we should want others to hear the gospel so they can get saved too. If we have a compassionate heart, we will not want anyone to go to hell, where we would be going ourselves if not for the grace of God. Jesus said in Matthew 4:19: And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Notice how it doesn't say follow me and you shall have eternal life; it says follow me and I will make you fishers of men; a big difference. MacArthur has it all backwards. Nowhere in the bible does it ever say if you follow Jesus you will have eternal life. Jesus uses his disciples to reach people with the gospel, i.e., being a fisher of men.
Romans 10:13: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14:How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15: And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
If there were no disciples, then no one would ever hear the gospel. You have to hear the gospel before you can believe it, and the only way you can hear it is by a Christian who is sent to preach the gospel
Being a disciple will give you the joy of hearing God say to you one day, "well done" if you faithfully serve him. Matthew 25:21: His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
We should want to do everything we can to serve Christ since he did so much for us, but the point is, whether we are his disciple and follow him or not, we are still saved forever no matter what if we have trusted Jesus to save us. There are many examples of people in the bible that at times were not living a very godly life, but they were still saved. For example, King David committed adultery, Lot was totally living for the world, etc.
So you see there is a big difference between being a disciple and being saved. To get saved you simply put your trust in what Jesus did for you on the cross and rose again the third day to pay for your sins. Admit you are a sinner and cannot save yourself in any way, shape, or form. It is all 100 percent by God's grace and mercy as a free gift; it costs nothing. You do not have to give up anything or promise Jesus to obey him, forsake all, stop sinning, stop loving the world, etc. If your salvation depends on anything you do to earn it, then it is not free and by faith. Also, you don't have to give your life to Christ to be saved; he gave his life for us, and all we have to do is believe on him. Satan tries to flip flop everything God does. You have to get saved first before you can volunteer to be Jesus's disciple. You don't have to be a disciple in order to go to heaven.
John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
In conclusion, above all else make sure you are saved today if you have not yet trusted Christ. We are not promised another tomorrow. You never know when you might die. Thousands of people die every day who never thought it would be their last day on earth. If you refuse the free gift of salvation offered, you will have to spend eternity in hell, which the bible describes as a lake of fire. Revelation 10:14: And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15: And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
To get saved, just acknowledge that you are a sinner that deserves to go to hell to pay for your sins, but that you believe Jesus paid for those sins on the cross and rose again from the grave three days later. Romans 3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Romans 10:9: 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. Romans 10:13: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. When you believe that in your heart, then just call upon the name of the Lord and tell him you are putting all your trust in what Jesus did for you.
To call upon the Lord to save you, you could say it in your own words or you could say something like this, as long as you mean it in your heart: Dear Jesus, I know I'm a sinner and I know I deserve to go to hell for my sins, but I believe you died for me on the cross and rose again the third day to pay for my sins so that I could be given the free gift of salvation. I am now putting all my trust in you Jesus and I receive you as my personal savior. Thank you Jesus for saving me. Amen
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