Denying the Overall Message

Beware of Bible teachers who claim that A = B. It's more common than you may realize.

In this series, I discuss three deceptions used by false teachers, all of which require a low view of God's ability to communicate.

Deception #1- Denying the Obvious 

Deception #2- Denying the Overall Message

For example: 

1 Timothy 2:3-4: “[Praying for leaders] is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

Teachers of universal salvation claim that this Scripture proves that all men will be saved because it's what God wants.

To accept this meaning, we must deny the overall message of the gospel and ignore multiple passages about hell. (See What Jesus Said about Hell).

We must also ignore what Scripture teaches about God's desires:

In Exodus 24 God gave His people the law because He wanted them to do things that were best for their souls. In Exodus 32 huge numbers of His people broke just about every law He'd given them. 

In Jeremiah 19:5, God said the actions of his people were so vile that such evil never entered His mind. He didn't even want them to think of such things let alone do them!

In Matthew 23:37, Jesus said, "how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing." Jesus wanted something He didn't get.

Scripture clearly refutes the belief that God gets whatever He wants.

However, God's final purposes will prevail. And what are His final purposes? To redeem the repentant and punish the wicked.

The overall gospel message helps us understand individual passages. If someone uses individual passages to negate the message of the gospel, we can be confident that they are false teachers.


Why is this important for us to fully understand? Because universal salvation is a major belief in the ex-vangelical movement, and we should know how to respond to these false beliefs when someone teaches them or asks about them. I encourage you to read 6 Scriptures Used to Promote Universal Salvation as well as the information below.

For more confirmation of this truth: 

Beware of false teachings which use Scripture to deny the basic truths of the Gospel.
Galatians 5:17: "For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want."

Every sinful act of mankind is displeasing to God and contrary to God's Spirit. But He doesn't force men to be good. However, His purposes will prevail. He will forgive every sinful act of those who repent and follow Jesus, and he will punish every sinful act of those who refuse.

Read Hebrews 3, noting verses 7-8 and 18-19: "So, as the Holy Spirit says: 'Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts' whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief."

It was not God's desire for the Israelites to harden their hearts in unbelief, but His final purposes prevailed: He refused to let them enter His rest. This passage tells us the same is true for all of mankind. If we refuse to believe in God's Son, His final purposes will prevail and we will never enter the rest of heaven.

John 3:36: "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on them."

God's wrath is based completely on people doing things against His will. But His purpose in sending Christ will prevail: to seek and save the lost, forgiving and redeeming those who depend on Christ and punishing those who do not.

Beware of Bible teachers who claim that A = B. It's more common than you may realize.

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