New Heresy Claiming Victims in the Name of Love
For some time I have been very concerned over an idea that is garnering growing acceptance in some parts of the body of Christ. It is the idea that since Jesus came and died for the sins of the whole world, then the whole world is indeed, saved. It is an offshoot of old fashioned universalism that is being preached by several men such as well-known Oklahoma pastor, Carlton Pearson and an Illinois preacher named Mike Williams.
I began receiving Williams' emails a few months ago and though they were laced with Scripture and Christian jargon from the very get go it was easy to spot the universalistic heresy therein. Obviously, there are very powerful forces at work to derail any Christian off into this mess. Besides demonic seduction, I surmise that those who are buying this new "gospel" are doing so because they are finding it too much bother to live a life worthy of the calling of Christ. Following Jesus' own admonitions, let alone that of Paul, Peter, James and other New Testament writers has given way to trusting the LIE that all men are already saved so holy living and righteousness are part of an old antiquated system.
In an email to Williams' ministry recently I stated:
"Jesus did NOT teach universalism. Quite the contrary actually. He taught that He was the way the truth and the life and that no man would be saved without Him. Moslems hate that message. Jews too. I am happy to say that many from Islamic and Jewish backgrounds ARE finding Jesus Christ, but they won't ALL be saved. Not even close.
It is an absolute affront to the Cross of Christ - a slap in the face to God - to believe that "all" will be saved or that there is any other way than through repentance of sin, believing in Jesus redemptive work on the Cross. If there were ANY other way to get to Heaven and be free of eternal damnation, or if there was going to be true salvation handed out to EVERYONE - REGARDLESS OF FAITH IN CHRIST AND REPENTANCE FROM SIN - then our loving God sent His only Son to die a horrid, painful. torturous and needless death on the cross! What Father would do that if there were any other way. Scripture is replete with contextual proof that neither the old or new testaments ever elude to universal salvation for all men. Instead, the Scripture teaches that without faith (in Jesus) it is impossible to please God and without Jesus as savior by faith you and I eternally damned."
Last month (October 2002) Williams took part in Pearson's "Contending for the Faith Once Delivered Summit" in Tulsa. How twisted to infer the use of Jude 3 when the gospel they are holding to is anything BUT the faith, once delivered to the saints!
My fellow minister, Michael Tummillo, has written a terrific piece on this subject. I have included it here and hope that you'll not only read it and be warned about this growing heresy but that you'll tap into Michael's resources, in particular his email newsletter (see link at the end of his article).
Please join me in warning others about this insidious end-time heresy. Think of how many people may be adversely effected by the Gospel of Inclusion." Also, please pray earnestly for Carlton Pearson, Mike Williams and others in this trap that they might repent (something they sadly no longer believe in) and turn back to the truth.
Bless you as you truly contend for the authentic, historic faith...
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EXPOSE' - The Universalist Myth
"There are many roads leading to Heaven," some say.
A man with whom I was once discussing spiritual things angrily closed the conversation with the words, "You have your truth and I have mine!"
He was a professing Christian.
Lots of folks, even those calling themselves Christians, actually agree with such nonsense. In this day of political correctness, ultra-tolerance, and ecumenism, let's face it, this kind of attitude fits right in. Kinda warm and fuzzy.
These are lies!
Jesus said, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only few find it," (Matthew 7:13-14). Don't be deceived by the crowded pews on Sunday mornings, folks. By Christ's own definition, very few pew potatoes qualify to be called His disciples.
Consider God becoming a man and dying on the cross so we can have forgiveness and eternal life in Heaven. Consider people over the centuries either accepting or rejecting God's love. Now, consider all those who died and suffered as martyrs (and still do!) for their faith in Christ. Then, imagine the end of time, judgment day, all of mankind standing before God. He shrugs His shoulders and says, "Oh, all right ...ya'll come on in!"
Not a chance. Not because God wants anybody going to Hell. He doesn't. The Bible clearly says God does not want "anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). And He provides EVERY opportunity for us to do so.
The Universalist asks, "How could a loving God send anyone to Hell?" Again, He doesn't. We send ourselves by making that choice, refusing God's love and deciding not to make Jesus our Lord.
A recent Agape Press article began with the headline: 'Gospel of Inclusion' Draws Attention, Stirs Controversy: Tulsa Bishop Says Conversion Through Christ Unnecessary. The article goes on to say: "A Pentecostal bishop in Oklahoma continues to stir controversy with his teaching that Jesus Christ has saved everyone, regardless whether they accept Christ as their Savior.
"Carlton Pearson ... has raised eyebrows among his fellow evangelicals recently for preaching what he calls the "gospel of inclusion." Associated Press says other prominent ministers have denounced him for teaching that Jesus has saved everyone -- both believers and unbelievers. He teaches that sincere people who do not directly acknowledge Christ -- such as Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Unitarians -- will go to heaven. Consequently, according to Pearson, conversion is unnecessary. "The finished work of Christ at Calvary redeemed all of humanity, not just Christians, back to God," Pearson says. "The whole world is already saved -- they just don't know it."
"Pearson goes as far as to say that a God who eternally condemns non-Christians would be worse than Hitler. "Hitler killed six million [people], mostly Jews. He is the most despised man in the twentieth century. Is God worse than Hitler, who's going to burn eternally, endlessly, billions of people?"
"Many Christians who consider Pearson's teaching heresy will likely point to his views on the Bible as the source of his error. "I'm saying, don't put your trust in the Bible -- put your trust in God. [The Bible] shouldn't be an idol. This is paper and ink."
"Pearson is opening a three-day conference at his church today entitled "Contending for the Faith Once Delivered Summit," at which the "gospel of inclusion" is to be the main focus. Speakers at the three-day conference include Pearson himself as well as several others who are proponents of universalism.
"But Charisma News reports that at least one scheduled speaker has asked to be removed from the list of scheduled speakers. Pastor Michael Pitts of Cornerstone Church in Toledo, Ohio, says he has been "deeply troubled and concerned" about the direction Pearson's ministry has taken...
When Shirley McLaine was out spouting her new revelation that she was God, appearing on talk shows, in magazines, authoring a book entitled "Out On A Limb" and appearing in a TV movie by the same name, author F. LaGarde Smith attended one of her workshops ($500 per attendee). I recall hearing him tell of his astonishment as Shirley opened the program with the words, "Remember the words of Jesus and of Buddha... be still and know that YOU are God." He gasped in unbelief and looked around at the other attendees who sat merely smiling and nodding.
Poster children for Biblical Illiteracy every one!
These are prime examples of why it is that Christians must fulfill Christ's command to "go and make disciples" (Matthew 28:19), sharing the TRUTH of Scripture with everyone by any means possible. Someday, that opportunity will be gone for everybody. Maybe someone you love. we're living in the era of the false prophet where heretical teachings abound. Jesus said there'd be days like this before His return. Now is the time: the TRUTH of Scripture MUST BE TAUGHT! Who will go for the cause of Christ, bringing the Church TO the people? Who will even dare to forward this eMail to others as a warning?
READ 'EM AND REAP!
2 Corinthians 13:5
There are MANY ways to make disciples. The BEST way, is by our OWN example. WARNING: someone is ALWAYS watching you! Do it right in private (at home with your kids, sibs, mom and dad) so that, when you go public, you won't be faking it. That way you can ALWAYS be yourself, at home, school, and at work. A Christian 24/7! A living epistle read by all.
Michael, a servant of God
t.e.a.m. ministries . . . reaching the largest congregation on planet earth!
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Email - Team1min@aol.com
"The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!" (Matthew 10:7)