Jesus Christ, Truth, and Tolerable Error

Truth regarding Jesus Christ is paramount. Properly understanding man, sin, creation, angels, and more all hinge on a proper understanding of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Truth, and so we would expect truth regarding Him to be more zealously guarded and kept in our hearts.

So how “picky” ought we to be regarding a church’s teaching regarding Jesus Christ? I wouldn’t think of attending a church which taught that Jesus wasn’t Jehovah God, for instance, nor would I stick around long someplace where the Virgin Conception was denied.

I wouldn’t want to attend a church which taught Jesus was okay with homosexuality or that He had a wife other than the Church herself.

But what about other, more subtle lies about Him? What if a church preaches explicitly that Jesus Christ died for all of mankind and that all anyone has to do is believe in Him to be saved?

Wait, say what? I’m not trying to be alienate anyone, merely offering some food for thought. Jesus Christ never said that He was dying for the whole world, that the salvation afforded by the crucifixion would be open to any and all.

Rather, He made sure to point out that it was for His sheep that His life was laid down (not the goats, not the wolves). He gave instruction to the apostles that there is no greater love than laying your life down for a friend, but spoke no such thing regarding enemies. (Would God die for Satan?)

Jesus spoke of only certain people being able to come unto Him solely by means of the Father’s dragging them. To preach anything else at worst is a poisonous lie and a reproach to the Lord Jesus Christ. To preach anything else at best is still a poisonous lie and reproach. A lie is still a lie, and we ought to hate every false way, especially when the integrity of what we know regarding the Lord Jesus is concerned.

It gets worse as we look at the Gospel:

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, NASB (emphases mine)

Not a mention is made of lost people. The Gospel presented here by Paul in summary matches perfectly with that preached by Jesus Christ while He physically walked the earth. For the sheep the Good Shepherd laid down His life.

To teach otherwise treads dangerously close, if not squarely within, the territory of an accursed false gospel.

I admit I could be completely wrong in this thinking. Maybe the differences between Calvinist and Arminian churches amount to little. Or perhaps they should be made a measure of orthodoxy as other doctrines concerning Jesus have been through the ages.

Thinking these things, however, causes me to yearn for a Reformed church in Connersville. I can attend any of several churches here, but when listening to the most important messages of the church — Gospel invitations — my heart rends when what I can only consider to be grievous lies are used in an attempt at seeing people converted.

What’s a Christian to do?

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