This is a compromised and empty, man-centered gospel where humans have made the rules, instead of following the path as presented by God in the Bible. Paul said, “The gospel I preached is not something that man made up” (Gal 1:11,12). In today’s world the salvation of the Bible has increasingly been misrepresented, compromised and distorted, making it a ‘cheap gospel’ so it appeals to the masses who ask, ‘what’s in it for me?’ It considers the benefits of Christianity without the costs involved; offering forgiveness without repentance, which is an inaccurate understanding of a fundamental and foundation principle, as is grace without discipleship. The warning is given that people with itching ears will turn from the truth to embrace fables with any such perversion of the gospel is really no gospel at all (Gal 1:6-9; 2 Tim 4:3,4).
Salvation is a serious issue that can’t be treated flippantly
doom many to a Christ-less eternity in the lake of fire. If a genuine change has taken place in the heart it will be outwardly manifest – there will be a transformation that the unsaved will see and acknowledge, “This person has been with Jesus” (Act 4:13). This ‘just accept Jesus’ teaching which says everything is taken care of gives people a dishonest and deceitful assurance of salvation. There will be a tragic outcome of being turned away from heaven because of a failure to be transformed within and therefore no outward manifestation either for “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Mt 3:8, 7:21-23). “If you want to enter life, obey the commandments” (the moral laws of God) and live out your faith (Mt 19:17, 25:31-46; Heb 5:9). Liberalism and modernism have diluted the Bible’s uncompromising hard and fast message, making it compatible and with the modern politically correct concept so it doesn’t offend.
To be valid, any decision for Christ must be followed by a life directed by the Spirit of Christ for it is direction, trend and progress that gives evidence to a person’s destiny. “If a righteous person turns and does the same detestable things the wicked do, because they have been unfaithful the righteous things they have done will not be remembered but they will be guilty and they will die” (Ezek 18:24).
Our responsibility, with the Holy Spirit’s help, is to put off the old life and outwork the new life of Christ (2 Cor 5:17, 7:1; Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:5-10). While not a works based salvation, we are to die to sin and continue to walk in godliness and holiness, for unless there is a valid expression of a changed life that holds to the NT teachings any faith is vain (Rom 2:6-10, 6:19,22; 1 Cor 15:2; 2 Cor 7:1; 1 Thes 4:3,4,7; 1 Tim 6:11; Heb 12:14; 1 Pet 1:16, 2:24; 2 Pet 3:11). The symbolism of baptism is to be displayed by a God-honouring life. Jesus said, "If you love me, you will do as I command...Those who don't love me will not obey my teaching" (Jn 14:15,24).
Salvation is on His terms, not ours; although we will be tempted and sometimes give in to sin (of which we must repent), we are not to carry on in the old lifestyle of catering to the fleshly desires instead walk in newness of life “Proving your repentance” (Amos 3:3; Act 26:20; Rom 6:4; 1 Jn 1:8,9, 3:3,6,8-10). While salvation is solely a work of God’s grace, a gift that humans have the privilege of receiving, it must go beyond a one-time event to an ongoing life-changing experience that will reflect in our daily life. Many people have been deceived into a false security that heaven awaits them after this life when in fact they will be doomed to a lost eternity along with those who blatantly rejected the offer of salvation through the work of Jesus on the cross.
Eternity is too long to regret you are not a Christian; it involves repenting of and turning away from the past sinful lifestyle, receiving the gift of forgiveness of sins available only through Jesus, walking in newness and holiness of life in Christ and in humble obedience submitting to His authority and guidance as your new Master.
The ramifications of an ill-founded belief are enormous
Though there is an abundance of grace extended to us sinners, we are not to continue in any sinful habitual pattern or lifestyle for “Can we go on sinning because we are not under law but under God’s grace? Absolutely not” rather, the requirement is to depart from iniquity for “Those that live by the carnal desires will not inherit the Kingdom of God” as “What do righteousness and wickedness have in common?” (Rom 6:1,2,15; 2 Cor 6:14; Gal 5:16-21, 6:7,8; 2 Tim 2:19).
These and many more passages from God’s manual for life clearly show that just a causal faith are not sufficient for a person to reach heaven. A saving faith must manifest itself in a continuing heart changing lifestyle, with there being “no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not in the flesh, but in the Spirit” (Rom 8:1).
Repentance and faith are the means of getting right with God, while obedience and faith are the appropriate ongoing responses to the gift of salvation leading to growing holiness. Jesus said, to be His disciple we must carry our cross and give up everything; in effect this is a laying down of one’s life for His service along with any ungodly lifestyle, habits and anything He requires of us (Lk 14:27-33).
The cheap grace/gospel teaching is closely aligned with hyper-grace teaching that considers all sin (past, present and future) has already been forgiven, so there is no need for a believer to ever confess it, with God only seeing holy and righteous people when He looks at us. Both of these erroneous teachings minimize the seriousness of sin and claim that provided we have made a confession of faith, we are saved regardless of how we live as the grace of God covers or overlooks all our failings.
As our eternal destiny is determined by our response to His offer of salvation and subsequent manner of living it is of utmost importance to study the Bible and draw your own conclusions, and live accordingly (Acts 17:11).
See also: belief/believe, Christian, connection, disciple/discipleship, eternal security, gospel, grace, hyper-grace, new/newlife, put off/put on, repentance, salvation, sanctify/sanctification, sinners prayer.