As a Christian writer, I get many emails from all over the world. Most of these are words of encouragement, and sometimes I’m asked questions. I am not a theologian – we shall leave that to the men who pastor their churches and those who have Sound Biblical Ministries which impact the church for Christ.
I do study the Word of God to help me in my writing, but I am certainly not a resource for deeper understanding of God’s Word. This is why I include the writings of gotquestions.org so often. In all my years of writing, I have never found this wonderful website for Christians to be in blatant error and opposed to God’s Word.
The beauty of “gotquestions” is simply that they rely on the teachings of godly men who have been proven to be reliable when expounding on God’s Word. But, as the Bereans did so many centuries ago, we should also compare what a man of God is saying to us against the written Word of God. People are people, and therefore can make mistakes.
When a reader asks me a question which is beyond my scope of understanding the Word, I always recommend that they seek out their pastor or deacons, or write to a well-known and trusted teacher/preacher of the Word of God. And of course, I recommend “gotquestions” to help clarify passages of Scripture.
An excerpt from gotquestions.org
Question: “What is the definition of heresy?”
Regarding biblical Christianity, what is heresy? Second Peter 2:1 says, “There will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” From this verse, we see that heresy is anything that denies the teaching of Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 11:19, Paul takes the church to task for having heresies among them—heresies that led to schisms in the body.
These verses touch on both aspects of what constitutes heresy in the church: denying the doctrines God has given, and dividing the body He has created. Both of these are dangerous, destructive actions that are soundly rebuked by Scripture. See also 1 John 4:1-6; 1 Timothy 1:3-6; 2 Timothy 1:13-14; and Jude 1. – source
Paul warned the church about heresies causing schisms in the body – and strongly rebuked them for having these heresies among them. “Denying the doctrines of our Faith” and “Dividing the body” was strong language from Paul, which was absolutely warranted for the spiritual safety of the brethren.
What is Christian Universalism?
Universalism is also known as the gospel of inclusion:
The gospel of inclusion runs counter to the clear teachings of Jesus and the Bible. In John’s Gospel, Jesus clearly states that the only path to salvation is through Him (John 14:6). God sent Jesus into the world to secure salvation for fallen humanity, but that salvation is only available to those who place their faith in Jesus Christ as God’s payment for their sin (John 3:16). The apostles echo this message (Ephesians 2:8–9; 1 Peter 1:8–9; 1 John 5:13).
Faith in Jesus Christ means no longer trying to secure salvation based on works, but rather trusting that what Jesus did was sufficient to secure salvation. In conjunction with faith is repentance. The two go hand-in-hand. Repentance is a change of mind about your sin and need for salvation through Christ by faith (Acts 2:38). The act of repentance is one in which we acknowledge that, before God, we’re sinners incapable of earning our way to salvation. When we repent of our sins, we turn away from them and seek Christ by faith.
Jesus offers salvation to everyone who is willing to repent and believe (John 3:16). However, Jesus Himself said that not everyone will believe (Matthew 7:13-14; John 3:19).
No one likes to think that a loving and gracious God would send people to hell, but that is exactly what the Bible teaches. Jesus says that, at the end, the Son of Man will separate all the nations as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. The sheep (representing those who, through faith in Jesus Christ, have salvation secured) will go into the kingdom with Jesus. The goats (representing those who have rejected the salvation that Jesus offers) will go into hell, which is described as eternal fire (Matthew 25:31–46). -source
Many a pastor has died and gone to hell, and taken so many of his congregation with him, by preaching Universalism. There is absolutely nothing in God’s Word which supports the belief that in the end – everyone will go to heaven! If that were the case, then the agonizing death of our Lord Jesus could have been avoided by God merely offering a grand pardon for the entire world!
Brethren, the devil (author of confusion and the father of lies) brings heresy into the body of Christ. Remember – the devil knows the Word of God better than any of us. His specialty to bring about deception is to take a small bit of the Word and then twist it. Ultimately, the Word that has been twisted and perverted by Satan becomes something entirely different than was penned by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
“But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him” (1 John 2:27).
I do not believe that this Scripture is in any way saying that we should not seek out godly and anointed men who will help us in our walk with Christ. It is simply reminding us that, as true born-again children of God, we have God the Holy Spirit living within us!
Remember before we were saved, when we would read the Word of God – it seemed beyond comprehension to us? I believe that the passage of Scripture above shows us that, when we are truly born again and have the Holy Spirit living within us, He is able to bring understanding to our minds about the meaning of the Word.
The thought of hell, as it is described in the Word of God, is so frightening and to many “unthinkable” that the lost souls of the world will remain in a fiery place where the flames are never quenched and the torment is eternal – so some teachers of the Word errantly teach their congregation that the torment is not forever. They teach that, at some point, the soul is destroyed (annihilated) and the torment is over.
Again, the evil one has whispered his diabolical lies into the ears of weak Christians who do not search the Scriptures to reveal God’s Truth.
Hell was never intended for people
From the beginning, God reserved this place of torment for Satan and his fallen angels. I have heard people say:
“A good God would NEVER send a person to hell for not believing in Him.”
To these deluded and deceived people, I answer with this:
God never sends a person to hell. His love and desire to reconcile mankind to Himself was so great, that He sent His Beloved Son Jesus to Earth, wrapped in human flesh, and gave Himself as an offering on the Cross. Why did He do this? God is Holy and cannot abide sin in His presence. Mankind is fallen, and to make a way for God and man to be reconciled, the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the Cross paid for the sins of mankind. This is the greatest gift ever given.
The Creator of the Universe made a way for men and women to be able to spend eternity with Him. When we agree with God that we are sinners in need of a Savior (Jesus) and trust the finished work of Christ on that Cross, and believe that God raised Him from the dead (to conquer hell and death), and we place our trust in Him – WE ARE SAVED. No – God sends no one to hell. Their rejection of Him sends them there.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
I hope that this article has helped anyone struggling with these heresies. I would strongly advise the reader to leave a congregation in which these lies are taught as truth from the pulpit.
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