Who Will Fare Better?
The Heathen? Or the Heretic?
It is a grave error to go to the wrong church.
By Ken Raggio
What is it like in Hell?
One of my old pastors used to tell about a recurring dream he had. He dreamed that he was looking into Hell itself. Running through the flames was a man who was looking for somebody. He reached down into the flames and pulled a man up. He looked into his face until he could identify him. Then he threw him back into the flames. Then he would pull up another and another, in a futile search. The dream was always a desperate search for someone. When he awoke, the preacher asked the Lord, "What is the meaning of this dream?" The Lord said, "You are looking at a man who is trying to find the preacher who lied to him about his soul!"
Looking for the Preacher who lied to them about the Gospel
I have often found myself wondering which is better -- not going to Church at all, or going to a Church whose message is grossly misleading. Anyone who loves the Bible would probably argue that some Bible teaching is better than no Bible teaching. On that assumption, going to any kind of Church would arguably be better than going to no Church at all. I no longer agree with that argument.
There are too many kinds of pulpits.
Having begun in the ministry in 1964, and having ministered in hundreds of Churches of at least a dozen denominations, including the Assemblies of God, Southern Baptist, Freewill Baptist, Church of God, Church of God of Prophecy, Foursquare Gospel, Pentecostal Holiness, United Pentecostal, Nazarene, Methodist, Church of God in Christ, and numerous non-denominational congregations, I have seen and experienced a broad perspective on religion.
I came to a hard conclusion. It is not possible that all of them are right.
If Truth means anything at all, then error also means something. Certainly everyone errs to some degree. But to err in a life-or-death matter of the doctrines pertaining to eternal salvation cannot be allowed.
It is better not to listen to a preacher than to listen to a lying preacher. A lying preacher fills your mind with lies that will damn your eternal soul to Hell.
The worst enemy of Truth is a thing called "easy-believism".
Easy-believism is the deception or the delusion that merely a mental belief in the person of Jesus Christ will save your soul.
NOTHING is more unscriptural. Jesus profoundly, clearly and emphatically established the doctrines of repentance and the New Birth of WATER and SPIRIT as absolute essentials for anyone who desires to enter into or see the Kingdom of God. He clearly defined the New Birth: Water Birth (water baptism by full immersion in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins), and Spirit Birth (receiving the Holy Ghost, speaking in other tongues).
"I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish," Luke 13:3.
"I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish," Luke 13:5.
"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old?
can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,
he CANNOT enter into the kingdom of God.
[PROOF that "faith alone" won't save you.]
That which is born of the flesh is flesh;
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again," John 3:3-7.
"And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached IN HIS NAME
among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
And ye are witnesses of these things.
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you:
but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem,
until ye be endued with power from on high,"
(These instructions of Jesus included repentance, remission of sins in HIS NAME, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost.)
"Then Peter said unto them,
Repent, and be baptized every one of you
in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,
and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For the promise is unto you, and to your children,
and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying,
Save yourselves from this untoward generation," Acts 2:38-40.
"Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ [the Holy Ghost],
HE IS NONE OF HIS," Romans 8:9.
(See the BIBLICAL plan of Salvation)
They say you can get saved any old way.
Amazingly, the VAST majority of fundamentalists today declare their converts "saved" without ever having baptized them. They use a totally unscriptural formula: "Accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior..." and then boldly make the false claim, "Now you are Born Again!! Now your name is written in the Book of Life!"
Baptism is said to be a mere option -- only a "witness" to others -- contrary to Jesus’ own teaching that we must be "BORN" of the water. Multitudes are said to have been converted in large public meetings when nothing more than a so-called "sinner’s prayer" was prayed. That is grossly unscriptural.
It is damnable heresy to announce to an audience that so-and-so has just been saved, and that his/her name is now written in Heaven before they have clearly repented of their sins, or before they have been either baptized in water in the name of Jesus OR filled with the Holy Ghost as on the Day of Pentecost (that is to say -- before being born of the water and the Spirit). To do so is to deceptively contradict Jesus Christ and His own teaching.
It is the worst deception in the universe to tell a man or woman that he or she is saved if they are not truly BORN AGAIN of the WATER and of the SPIRIT. There is no more consequential lie in all the universe. A lie that deceives and deludes you about your eternal destiny is the worst of the worst of lies.
Is this really an important matter?
Ask yourself how you will feel on Judgment Day if you find that you are being sent to Hell because you never obeyed Jesus’ command to be born of the water and of the Spirit. No matter that you sat in Church all your life, or gave in the offering, or sang in the choir. YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN by the Apostolic Pentecostal PRECENDENTS set in the Book of Acts!
If a Church will mislead you year after year and could cause you or your loved ones to be deceived into believing they are saved when they may not be, how is that better than being an unchurched heathen? Lost is lost!
I, for one, am outraged at these sanctimonious lies! I have no tolerance for any minister who willfully tells me I am forever saved when according to the scriptures I have not yet obeyed the true plan of salvation. In reality, I cannot think of a more damnable lie than to lead someone to believe they will be going to Heaven when in fact they may be going to Hell.
Unchurched heathen are easier to convert than religious people who have been taught doctrinal heresy
My experience of almost 50 years in ministry has shown me that a person who has grown up with less religion is usually more apt to take the Bible at face value, and make whatever changes it calls for, while a person who has been fed doctrinal error for an entire lifetime is exceedingly difficult to change. Instead, he builds defenses with the errors he has been led to believe.
But it is also true that a person who has never been close to the Bible can easily and quickly be taken in by any of the many misleading FALSE doctrines of our time. That is an enormous reason why men like myself are heavily indebted to Almighty God to preach the TRUTH, the WHOLE TRUTH, and nothing but the Truth, and to DENOUNCE lies, heresies, deceptions and deceivers.
Do you want a whole car, or just car parts? There is a big difference!
If you want to buy a car, don’t go to an auto parts store. Go where you can get the whole thing fully assembled. You can't drive across town with a box full of car parts. And you can't get to heaven with an incomplete gospel.
If you want the Gospel of Jesus Christ that will save your eternal soul, why attend a Church that only preaches PARTS of the Gospel? Find the one that preaches more Bible than all the rest, and attend it faithfully!
If your preacher won't preach Acts 2:38, repentance, water baptism in Jesus' name, the baptism of the Holy Ghost and speaking in other tongues, and holy, godly living, separate from the fads and fashions of the world, HE IS NOT A TRUE MAN OF GOD. Dump him.
Find an Apostolic Pentecostal Holiness Church and obey Acts 2:38-39.
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity," Matthew 7:21-23.
The foolish virgins who had no oil in their lamps said, "Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not," Matthew 25:11-12.
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty," 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it,
to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb,
The dog is turned to his own vomit again;
and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire,"
2 Peter 2:21-22.
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