Please note: This article is intended to contrast the false gospels being propagated during the coronavirus crisis with the true gospel. It is not intended to generate any discussions of political or epidemiological responses to the coronavirus, nor any conspiracy theories. We also cannot purport to know God’s role in or intent with respect to the coronavirus.
We will not allow any comments related to the above as those things detract from the mission of this ministry which is to promote and defend the gospel.
Matthew 7:13-14: 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: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
From “American Greatness”:
“Herd immunity” is a settled concept in epidemiology. It occurs when “a large percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through previous infections or vaccination, thereby providing a measure of protection for individuals who are not immune.”
“Herd mentality,” on the contrary, provides immunity from independent thought. It protects a population from thinking clearly by spreading a spirit of conformity. It increases a people’s docility, thus rendering them more susceptible to the blandishments of usurping authority.
Herd immunity I regard as a good thing. Herd mentality, not so much.
The coronavirus outbreak and the resultant stay at home order has given me a lot of time to read and watch various leaders try to use it to their perceived advantage. Among these are religious leaders, who like their purely political counterparts, never let a crisis go to waste. Also, like their purely political counterparts, these religious leaders have their blandishments amplified by a fawning, compliant press.
Many religious leaders who preach false gospels have been featured prominently in opinion pieces, or human-interest pieces, that are haphazardly interspersed with news stories, thus undermining both the news and the gospel. Some prominent religious leaders have even had their Easter services streamed live by one or more national news networks.
Prominently featured false teachers have included:
- Franklin Graham
- Robert Jeffress
- Kirk Cameron
- Joel Osteen
- Greg Laurie
- Pope Francis
While each of the above teachers undermines the gospel in his own unique way, they are part of the herd mentality that man’s works are somehow involved in receiving, keeping, or proving that one has received eternal life. In this case, the herd mentality is the wide gate and the broad way that leads to destruction.
Following is just a small sample of their errors:
Franklin Graham: We have to repent of our sins in turn. A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God. You’ll have to repent…
I’m a sinner. But I’ve been forgiven, and I’ve turned from my sins. For any person that’s willing to repent in turn, God will forgive him.
(Note: Franklin Graham is son of the late Billy Graham, who also taught a false gospel of salvation by man’s works)
Greg Laurie: Jesus essentially said the only way your sins are forgiven and to know you will spend eternity in Heaven is by putting your complete trust in Him. And there will be tangible results to show you have done that…
You see, the outward change is often without the inward. However, the inward change is never without the outward…
Here are the elements of the Good News that we must believe and receive to become a born-again child of God…
Repent of Your Sins
To repent means to “change” or to “turn.” It’s like driving down the highway, pulling a U-turn and heading the other direction. More than simply being sorry, it is a word of action. Many people feel remorse for their sin but never truly repent. Remorse is being sorry, repentance is being sorry enough to stop.
Robert Jeffress: Jeffress is pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas, TX. The statement of faith of his church is based on “The Baptist Faith and Message” and includes the following:
Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior.
By contrast to the above false gospel messages, the Bible is crystal clear that Jesus is both the straight gate and the narrow way by which one may have eternal life. Consider the following verses:
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.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
There is only one way to have eternal life. That is to believe in Jesus as Savior.
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.
And, man’s works have no bearing on receiving, keeping, nor showing evidence that one has received eternal life.
John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
The above verse literally means that the believer in Christ presently possesses eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.
If you would like to know more about how to escape the herd mentality of salvation by works click here: THE GOSPEL
Many thanks, John. Yeah, that’s the impression I had early on, that prayer is the only thing I can do at this point to crack his wall of religiosity. An opportunity for sharing the real Gospel may come in time.
chas, I have prayed for your friend.
David J’s list was probably derived from his own appraisal of himself; his performance as a Christian. Sort of a “Christian” version of self-affirmation. He’s achieved a level of “holiness” that he thinks will satisfy the Lord, for the time being at least, and he’s doing his Christian duty by passing the info on to us.
I had several encounters with just such a person over the last week; a friend that I hadn’t seen since 1971. Long story short; he “came back to God” as a sort of quasi-Catholic; rejecting the Pope (the current one, anyway) and the notion of the RCC as being the only true church, but still going to Mass, reciting the Rosary once in a while, being a “loving”, “moral” person, etc-etc. Overall, he seems quite comfortable in his “spirituality”, counting it his purpose in life to “spread wisdom” to those he meets. I got a clear look into one of his influences when he asked if I’d heard of Sarah Young and her book “Jesus Calling”. I had. “Oh yeah, I’ve heard of her. Her views are very un-biblical…” I said. He seemed to let that go by without a reaction, but after that there was no more talk of “spirituality” of any kind. Dunno if it was my imagination, but from then on there seemed to be a subtle effort on his part to keep the conversation away from any biblical issue.
By all indications, he is a warm, generous, good person. And of course, I can’t judge his salvation. Only God knows his heart. But from where I sit, his assurance of eternal life appears to be grounded in his present “changed” life. At this point I can only pray that he’ll encounter the Gospel of grace. And, of course, there’s email.
Holly, Regarding that Orthodox woman’s argument where she copied and pasted David Jeremiah’s criteria that goes:
“You must ‘confess Jesus as Lord’
A changed life, practicing righteousness
A ‘birthmark’ of compassion
Being victorious (his definition of an overcomer) in temptations
If we are ‘truly’ born again, we’ll truly grieve over sins, confess them and seek God’s grace to do better.”
My comment – “You must confess Jesus as Lord.” – Joseph of Arimathea was saved, but did not openly confess Christ as Scripture refers to him as a “secret” Christian because of his fear of the Jews – John 19:38. Then we have the chief rulers who BELIEVED on Christ and were saved, but because of their fear of the Pharisees of getting booted out of the synagogue and their love of praise from men, they would not openly confess Christ – John 12:42-43.
A “changed life”. There are scores of people in society who experience a changed life after spending years in prison and then going through rehabilitation, BUT are not saved. There are people who experience changed lives that are Mormon, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Buddhists, BUT are not saved.
A “birthmark of compassion” – Compassion can be seen in unsaved humanitarianists, philanthropists, the Boys/Girls Scouts of America, and even among some atheists.
“Being victorious in temptations” – Again, this attribute can be seen among many unsaved people who recover from alcohol and drug abuse after spending time in a rehab program.
“Grieving over sins” – There are plenty of unsaved people who grieve over their sins and confess them, but are not saved. Judas Iscariot certainly woke up and later felt remorse after he betrayed Jesus, but he went to the wrong people to do that – Matthew 27:3-5.
Holly, the sad thing is that those lists require one to look for subjective assurance of eternal life, based on their performance, which is really no basis for assurance.
So, an Orthodox woman came arguing on my page, really not making much sense. Occasionally sounding more organized but most of the time not. She copied and pasted some words from David Jeremiah on the ‘5 birthmarks of Christianity’.
Why is it these people cannot just simply take God at His Word, His promise, that if we have believed upon Jesus and His work for us, we possess eternal life and shall never perish?
Instead, they have their own cutesy lists and even name their ‘ministries’ after their must do’s.
His short list: (He says more)
You must ‘confess Jesus as Lord’
A changed life, practicing righteousness
A ‘birthmark’ of compassion
Being victorious (his definition of an overcomer) in temptations
If we are ‘truly’ born again, we’ll truly grieve over sins, confess them and seek God’s grace to do better.
Jesus is Lord, and He is my Lord, but I didn’t need to confess Him as such to make it so. When did I have a changed life? Is my life changed? It’s a work in progress and for many years it was not, so is salvation a lifetime process for proof? Oh, how many years I was not ‘victorious’ with some temptations. I was with others. What gradepoint average is passing? What is ‘truly grieving’? I no way ‘truly grieved’. I didn’t even really understand all my sin, didn’t see certain sin in my life.
I wonder where their conscience is, or are they just on auto-pilot?
John, I believe we are all on the same page on confessing with the mouth not having to do with eternal life (or I hope so). I’m just baffled that they seem to pick and choose a stand-alone verse and never look for confirming witness in other passages.
Holly, I don’t believe confessing with the mouth in Romans 10 has anything to do with receiving eternal life.
The problem with LS ministries and proponents is that they either outright add conditions to believing, imbed conditions to believing by changing the definition, look for exceptions, or look for evidence.
The seminaries are awful. My old pastor was the dean of a seminary in my town, that also Calvinist Wayne Grudem was a part of. The confusion that disseminated from that place was troublesome to me. I did take Revelation (the seminary class) from him. He was wishy washy. He had allowed too much compromise. His son was into post trib. His other son, pre-wrath. Both were pastors, one at my old childhood church. Wayne Grudem was an elder at the second church (before I knew who he was and the issues, I just knew I tried so hard to take some of his classes and could not ‘hear’, thank the Lord).
I think communicating in many forums is hard, if you disagree, or see something differently, sometimes people mistake you for being contentious or wanting to debate, vs. just you voicing your thoughts. It’s hard, it’s flat, you can’t see eyes, facial expressions, etc.
All that to say, making someone understand that eternal life is received by faith in Christ and His work, seems awfully hard at times. They will still repeat the mantras. Many sites now don’t even use the word ‘believe’, but anything but. Christ follower as we all know is a popular one. Praying always for the deception to be lifted from their eyes.
Phil, I agree, except it is speaking to the remnant who will do this. Until they believe in Him, they won’t confess Him or call on Him. 9 is Israel in the past, 10 is present, and 11 Israel in the future.
Some years back (about 10) I did a Bible study on all the church terms we use instead of believing. Very confusing for people, and at the very least you think you’d want to keep the gospel clear. I had also studied Romans 9-11, and was studying the Olivet Discourse around the same time. It seemed to suddenly open up to me, that at the end of the woe chapters, Israel had to say Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord (from Ps 118). Israel repeats that now publicly all the time, but not about Jesus.
A little before that time, in my Jewish roots of Christianity class, we were studying about the Davidic Covenant, and what was promised – A kingdom, a throne and a house. And Jesus is telling them that their ’house’ is left unto them desolate. In Romans 10:5, Moses is brought up, and then many CR to the OT speaking to Israel. Jewish people would recognize them. The big one is Deut 30, which speaks basically to choosing good and evil, life and death, keeping His commandments — whether or not they will prolong their days on the land, blessing and curses basically.
I do not believe the confessing with their mouth even speaks to eternal life, because they still will believe unto righteousness, but that it speaks to physical deliverance from out of the 70th week of Daniel.
Holly, glad you mentioned “call on the name of the Lord” a few verses down in Rom 10. The same applies as with confessing with ones mouth; it was directed to unbelieving Israel, not individuals or the church.
I think some people go through these seminaries and Bible schools and are never taught to rightly divide the word. They just see the Bible as universal doctrines or dogmas for everyone in every age.
I recently watched a You Tube video done by Andy Woods, as terrific grace alone pastor who mostly does series on the rapture and end times. Andy gave the Matt. 23:39 verse as the support for Romans 10 being to Israel to confess the Lord Jesus and call on the name of the Lord requirement for Israel, not us the church.
It can be hard to communicate with people particularly on some Christian forums if they have been fed these salvation slogans at church or from the media and are told this is what you need to do to be saved, like “give your heart to Jesus’ or ask him into your life and to forgive you, or the ABC’s of salvation or follow the Roman road way be saved…and on and on…. Not to mention their misuse of the most misused word in all of Christian history, “repentance,” which they twist around to mean turning ones live around and forsaking their old sin life all in order to be saved instead of its correct meaning, to change one’s mind.
On Romans 10:9, I agree COMPLETELY that this addresses Israel, and what Jesus said to them in Matthew 23 about public confession with the mouth.
I do not understand why people don’t consider what you might share with them on these passages, they just insist on making doctrine from one passage or verse taken out of context.
1) The Bible doesn’t contradict itself, so if it were a requirement, what about John 12:42-43 and the ones who did not confess Him publicly?
2) For a witness to be considered reliable, there had to be two or three trustworthy witnesses to the same thing. If they can’t find the same thing related to the receipt of eternal life elsewhere, why do they use it?
3) Applying passages spoken to Israel to the church. Same goes with calling upon the name of the Lord, but if they would again, just read context, we know it asks, how shall they call upon the One in whom they have not believed?
Phil, people who belabor this passage to be some kind of a salvation slogan sound like a broken record (for those of us old enough to remember what that is).
On the subject of preachers who make a salvation slogan out of Romans 10:9. This whole passage Paul is directing to Israel as a nation, and is not to individuals who are simply to believe Christ’s death for our sins, his buriel and his resurrection from the dead–this is our completed salvation. In Romans 10:9 Paul is calling on Israel as a nation, not the church, to confess and believe in the risen Christ. Christ says the same thing in Matt. 23:39 when he says, ” For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” This verse is proof that Romans 10:9 is actually addressed to Israel to accept Christ as their King and his promised Kingdom.
Paul explains in Romans 3 -5, 1 Cor 15, Ephesians 1 and 2 that for individuals, Jew or gentile, that all one has to do is accept by faith that Christ was put do death for our sins, buried, and raised from the dead for our salvation and a person is then eternally saved from that moment on. This is the gospel we are to believe and which saves us (Eph 1:13,14). A person is not required to also confess the Lord Jesus Christ. Again, this was to be for Israel as a nation to accept Christ as their promised Messiah and King.
It is sad to hear trained pastors and teachers who should know better using verses like Romans 10:9, adding confessing as some requirement to be saved. This is faith plus works false teaching. They misuse other salvation slogans like “inviting Jesus into your heart”
Over and over the Bible, from cover to cover, says salvation is by faith alone, not faith put this or that.
If you want to be saved simply believe the gospel of Christ’s death for your sins, his burial, and his resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 4:25.
Mary, people receive eternal life the moment they believe in Jesus as Savior. Calling on the name of the Lord, or public confession of Christ should never be held out as requirements to receive eternal life.
If someone believes in Jesus as Savior, calling on His name or confessing Him publicly are not necessary for eternal life, because they possess eternal life the moment they believe. And, if they don’t believe, then calling on His name or confessing Him publicly will not result in eternal life.
I think that passage is confusing when presenting the gospel and it is often part of a works for eternal life message that imbeds commitment into believing.
We have some old comments on this, one of which are linked below:
Hi Guys, you have covered Romans 10.9 s error in bible tracts, what about Romans 10.13 . For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. People say that we have to call upon the lord in order to save us, if people put this in their bible tracts is it corrupting the simplicity of the gospel or nullifying grace.
Jen, glad you came here. People complicate the gospel, it’s why believers had to be reminded of the gospel over and over. In 1 Corinthians 15, believers needed to hear the gospel again, because they were being led astray by those saying the resurrection didn’t happen. We need reminded in His Word, because there are many false teachers who would steal our assurance or joy. That’s what the Word is for, we need to be Bereans always with anyone we listen to.
Christ died for our sins on His cross (Col 2:13-15), all of them forgiven. We were justified by believing He did this for us. By knowing and believing who He is. That He is the only way. We are not declared righteous by turning from sin, by living Holy, by surrendering, by confessing with our mouth, etc., although these things will save us from consequences in this life and from loss of potential rewards in the next.
Stay in His Word and stick with others you know have a sound gospel.
Jennifer, I was very glad to.
Thank you for taking the time on your time off to help me!
Jennifer, I am taking a break from administering the expreacherman website until May 24, but I just happened to see your message.
I have prayed for you, that you would not be confused.
Anyone who has ever believed the gospel has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.
This is true whether you read or heard the gospel message. If you have any confusion about the message, I recommend that you read the booklet linked below:
Click to access English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf
Can someone help me? I believed I was saved about 8 years ago when God put on my heart to read the Bible. I believed in Jesus but started looking for a church and in those 8 years I have become confused and more distant from God than ever.
I have this lordship theology, I am not exactly sure where I picked it up.
I have never heard the Gospel from a person. (so it does make me question getting saved without hearing)
Can someone just pray I can get out of this confusion and accept the true gospel. My life is hanging by a thread I can’t do this anymore. There is no peace.
Thank you for your time
Isaac, welcome. It’s good for the brethren to warn others in the body regarding false doctrine (Rom 16:17-18). Keep fellowshipping here.
Isaac, we are glad that you continue to find this site to be a blessing!
Wonderful message from God, I have understand something here about the false teacher’s around the world, hope that I will receive other teaching like this, God bless you
Helen, no need to apologize.
Helen, I agree that our hope is in Christ, not political leaders.
It is vitally important that we keep expreacherman free from political discussions and conspiracy theories. There are plenty of other forums where those are discussed and very few where the gospel is the consistent focus.
I completely understand. My partner has been carried up with the Qanon conspiracy for two years and it’s not letting up. He thinks because the media hate Trump so much that it must mean something, but he’s also believing that Trump is going to arrest the ‘bad guys’ behind the scenes. It is so easy for people to put their faith in Trump, but there is no peace in our leaders, only Christ. Conspiracies, whether they be true or false, subtly take our eyes off Christ and onto idolising human beings for change. I warn him, but I can’t change him. My partner thinks that Trump is doing something similar to King Cyrus in the bible.
Helen, the reason that false works-based gospels are so alluring is that they fit peoples’ pre-existing beliefs or mans’ ways.
We can keep promoting and defending the true gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe.
I hope everyone is well. I’ve been meditating on Isaiah 41:10 and avoiding the mainstream media.
I’ve spent much of today writing responses to the videos that I watched of my ex-church. I included a clear gospel presentation by Hank Lindstrom in one of them. I hope that they heed to it and change their gospel message, because from one of the member’s testimonies, this church’s pastor is clearly teaching that you need to commit to Christ for salvation.
Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone for salvation is rarely taught. The broad way of salvation is the majority teaching and easier for people to accept. I don’t understand why most people would believe this way.
Thank you for this faithful site and the work that you all do in defending the gospel.
Isaac Omayio, it was a blessing to meet you from Kenya on social media. May God bless the clarity of the Gospel.
Jason, yep. Conspiracy theories abound and there is lots of conflicting information. Keeping grounded in the gospel is always key.
Hello my brothersweet this is really I like the messages, surely the fake preacher’s are on the world , us you are giving away this teaching, I will like to ask you remember me to send it to me too thank you and God bless you,
It just occurred to me that some of the wild conspiracy theories are coming from the Lordshippers. Adeola had a video exposing Pastor Chris’s nonsense about 5G. Fear is their game, but Jesus is sufficient. Adeola actually had something positive to say about Trump: he wants to keep America technologically competitive. Most importantly of all, I want to keep myself grounded in the Gospel. I don’t trust China or the Fake Pastors. Make Grace Amazing Again. Free Grace Now.
Ok sorry for the trouble ! If I can figure out how to I will. I’ll refrain from commenting further until I figure it out 🙏🏻
OK. I will continue to manually remove it. This may add to delays in moderating your comments.
I would remove it but I don’t know how to.
It’s still there. Please remove it if you wish to comment further.
No problem I didn’t realize there was a video attached to my link sorry.
UTT, please note that we will be editing out the URL and the link to your video.
UTT, it is sad when people or ministries promote false teaching, either directly or through association. We have highlighted some of which we have become aware. Beyond that, we are trying to help equip our readers to be able to identify false doctrine.
I’m just going through your blog and sad to see the berean call compromise; I’ve followed them and supported them. I emailed them with some links and asked for them to clarify the claims. 😞 sad.
Glad you found us!
A friend just directed me to your blog! Glad he did! 🙏🏻
The Blood, you are right that false gospel messages can be found in all sorts of places.
It is good to to know the true gospel which we can both advance and defend and to avoid any unnecessary exposure to false gospels.
I started doubting the correct gospel, because I am constantly bombarded with this LS “repent of sin” gospel being jammed down my throat repetitively .. So glad I came here to find a fresh new article.. It was pure delight to my soul.. Thank you
Helen, much of that false gospel message sounds like what Franklin Graham has in his coronavirus-inspired ads. The part about inviting Jesus to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit implies that one must commit to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance in order to receive the free gift of eternal life. This is just more false commitment salvation.
You are right that to obey the gospel simply means to believe it. The member who expressed the sentiment that eternal life could be found by committing his life to Christ is chasing his tail.
Thank you for writing this insightful article and defending the glorious gospel of Christ.
This morning, I watched a Sunday school teaching by the pastor’s wife from the last church I attended, called “The Meaning of Easter”. It sounded all well until she provided the ‘steps’ to receive Christ. It made me feel ill.
Admit your need (I am a sinner)
Be willing to turn from your sins (repent)
Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the cross and rose from the grave
Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit (Receive him as Lord and Saviour of your life).
Several of their sermons have raised warning bells, but my partner and I no longer attend and have not done so for over 12 months. I remember in one of the sermons, the pastor said on a sermon called “Salvation through the gospel alone Rom 10:11-21” the pastor says, “you cannot just think to yourself that I’ll accept some concept that Jesus came, died, buried, rose again and that’s it. No no, the gospel must be obeyed.”
Do these people not understand the two natures? Do they think that they no longer sin? I remember they fruit inspected me during the first few occasions, because at the time my mum was in hospital and I was upset a lot and worried about my partner.
To obey the gospel is to believe it. That’s all that we can do.
Another member of that church said that he had heard the gospel many times, but wasn’t saved, but he needed to commit his life to Christ.
The teachings are so very subtle, but they are front loading the gospel with works. Sad because this was an independent KJV church. I wish my partner and I could find a grace teaching church in the UK.
I am grateful for this site and its wonderful believers who build up the body of Christ. I am grateful for leading me to grace filled pastors like Tom Cucuzza and Ralph Arnold.
Chas, one of the biggest problems with Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Curse is that every time he is interviewed about it, he has a platform to proclaim his false gospel.
And, you are right- the usual suspects from the LS community are in high gear. Trying to go viral, as it were.
Wow. Just when I begin to feel a bit overwhelmed by the LS “gospel” preaching going on during this Wuhan virus lock-down, another timely post appears on expreacherman.com. So refreshing. Many thanks, johninnc.
Yeah, many of the usual suspects are in high gear alright. A relative was reading about Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse; all their work providing temporary hospital rooms (tents) to relieve patient loads on NY hospitals. A “good work” on its face, but it’s all to promote a false gospel. The relative asked me, “Now, what’s wrong with Franklin Graham, again?” I had to remind her of FG’s “repent-of-sin-to-be-saved” LS heresy. “Oh yeah, that…”
FG’s “good works” impress some professing Christians so much, they really can’t imagine that he could be so wrong on such a fundamental issue. A Matt. 7:22 example if there ever was one.
Fryingpan, I hope you and your family are doing well.
And I hope some of the herd will find their way to ExPreacherman.
Thank you for your continued diligence and great posts, johninnc.
A lot of good thought and research went into this.