A comparison between the popular Christ who wants to save everybody and the Christ of the Bible who actually saves His people.
The Bible warns us that in the last days in which we live there will be many false Christs—those who claim to be Christ but who are impostors. Jesus said, 'Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying I am Christ; and shall deceive many' (Matt. 24:4-5). We who profess to be Christians must take heed. We must be very careful that we are not deceived. Our calling is to trust, love, and follow the true Christ and Him only. We may have nothing to do with the false Christs who are so numerous in our day.
We know about the Christ of the cults and other religions. He is a good man, a prophet, the first creation of God, a great spirit, a divine idea, or even a god himself. But he is not true and eternal God. He receives his existence from another who is greater than he. He is not the Christ of the Bible. We are not deceived by this Christ. He is a false Christ.
We know about the Christ of Roman Catholicism. They profess that He is true God. He suffered and died for the forgiveness of sin. He arose again, ascended into heaven, and is coming again. But he is not a complete Saviour. The Christ of the Roman Catholics can not save sinners without their own good works and the intercession of priests. He is not the Christ of the Bible. We are not deceived by this Christ. He is a false Christ.
There is, however, another false Christ who is much more dangerous than the Christ of the cults and the Christ of Roman Catholicism. He has deceived people for many years and he continues to deceive millions. This Christ is so dangerous that, if it were not impossible, he would deceive the very elect (Matt. 24:24). He is the Christ of Arminianism.
This false Christ is extremely dangerous because in many ways he appears to be the True Christ. They say that he is true God, equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. They say that he died on the cross to save sinners. They even say that he saves by his grace alone, without the work of man. This Christ will have nothing to do with the Christ of the cults and the Christ of Roman Catholicism.
But watch out! Be warned! The Christ of Arminianism is not the Christ of the Bible. Do not be fooled!
1. The Christ of Arminianism - loves every individual person in the world and sincerely desires their salvation.
The Christ of the Bible - earnestly loves and desires the salvation of only those whom God has unconditionally chosen to salvation (Ps. 5:5; Ps. 7:11; Ps. 11:5; Matt. 11:27; John 17:9-10; Acts 2:47; Acts 13:48; Rom. 9:10-13; Rom. 9:21-24; Eph. 1:3-4).
2. The Christ of Arminianism - offers salvation to every sinner and does all in his power to bring them to salvation. His offer and work are often frustrated, for many refuse to come.
The Christ of the Bible - effectually calls to Himself only the elect and sovereignly brings them to salvation. Not one of them will be lost (Isa. 55:11; John 5:21; John 6:37-40; John 10:25-30; John 17:2; Phil. 2:13).
3. The Christ of Arminianism - can not regenerate and save a sinner who does not first choose Christ with his own 'free will.' All men have a 'free will' by which they can either accept or reject Christ. That 'free will' may not be violated by Christ.
The Christ of the Bible - sovereignly regenerates the elect sinner apart from his choice, for without regeneration the spiritually dead sinner can not choose Christ. Faith is not man's contribution to salvation but the gift of Christ which He sovereignly imparts in regeneration (John 3:3; John 6:44, 65; John 15:16; Acts 11:18; Rom. 9:16; Eph. 2:1; Eph. 2:8-10; Phil. 1:29; Heb. 12:2).
4. The Christ of Arminianism - died on the cross for every individual person and thereby made it possible for every person to be saved. His death, apart from the choice of man, was not able to actually save anyone for many for whom he died are lost.
The Christ of the Bible - died for only God's elect people and thereby actually obtained salvation for all those for whom He died. His death was a substitutionary satisfaction which actually took away the guilt of His chosen people (Luke 19:10; John 10:14-15, 26; Acts 20:28; Rom. 5:10; Eph. 5:25; Heb. 9:12; I Peter 3:18).
5. The Christ of Arminianism - loses many whom he has 'saved' because they do not continue in faith. Even if he does give them 'eternal security,' as some say, that security is not based upon his will or work but the choice which the sinner made when he accepted Christ.
The Christ of the Bible - preserves His chosen people so that they can not lose their salvation but persevere in the faith to the very end. He preserves them by the sovereign electing will of God, the power of His death, and the mighty working of His Spirit (John 5:24; John 10:26-29; Rom. 8:29-30; Rom. 8:35-39; I Peter 1:2-5; Jude 24-25).
As you can see, although the Christ of Arminianism and the Christ of the Bible may at first seem to be the same, they are very different. One is a false Christ. The other is the true Christ. One is weak and helpless. He bows before the sovereign 'free will' of man. The other is the reigning Lord Who wills what He pleases and sovereignly accomplishes all that He wills.
If you believe and serve the Christ of Arminianism, you must recognize the fact that you do not serve the Christ of the Bible. You have been deceived! Study the Scriptures and learn of the True Christ. Pray for grace to repent and trust Christ as your sovereign Saviour.
Rev. Steven R. Houck
Ordained: September 1979
Pastorates: Home Missionary (Hope PRC, Walker) - 1979; Peace, Lansing, IL - 1990
Emeritus: 2009Website: www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?speakeronly=true&currsection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Rev._Steven_Houck
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