There Has Always Been Only One Gospel
By David J. Stewart | November 2012 | April 2015
Acts 10:43, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”
I was recently informed that Dr. Peter Ruckman falsely teaches multiple plans of salvation. I confirmed this fact quickly by reviewing his teachings on the internet. Ruckman does in fact teach that Old Testament saints, and saints during the Tribulation, are saved by both faith and works.
May I say, nothing could be further from the truth. There has always been only one plan of salvation, that is, by grace through faith in the Messiah. That's exactly what our text verse above in Acts 10:43 says. All of the Old Testament prophets preached that whosoever believes on the Messiah will have their sins forgiven. Old Testament saints were saved by looking to the Lord, just as we are today. Isaiah 45:22, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”
Evidence that salvation is solely by faith in the Messiah is found throughout the Old Testament Scriptures. Old Testament saints did not know the name of Jesus, but they did know about the coming Messiah. Their faith in the Lord was counted for righteousness. That's how Abram (Abraham) got saved in Genesis 15:6, “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” What a wonderful Scripture! Abraham believed on the Lord and it was counted to him for righteousness. This precious truth is confirmed in Romans 4:2-6...
Romans 4:2-6, “For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.”
Clearly, we learn from Romans 4:2 that Abram was not justified by works in any manner; but rather, only by faith in the Lord. God imputes Christ's righteousness to us by faith at the time of salvation. Thus, salvation is based solely upon Christ's righteousness, and not upon our own human effort (self-righteousness), not in the least. Salvation is of the Lord, as Jonah pondered in the belly of the whale in Jonah 2:9. That was Jonah's revival message which Jonah preached to Nineveh (the Assyrian capitol), that is, that salvation comes from believing the Lord.
Also, consider that when Adam and Eve sinned, they were ashamed. Adam attempted to hide their shame by sewing together fig leaves to make clothing (Genesis 3:7). God rejected Adam's fig-leaf religion and instead killed an innocent animal (Genesis 3:21, which pictured Jesus, the Lamb of God slain for our sins). Man's human efforts are filth in God's eyes. Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
The Bible says that the Jews in the Wilderness heard THE GOSPEL, but they didn't have any faith. What a sad and tragic thing. Hebrews 4:1-2, “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” The Bible says that the Jews in the wilderness heard the gospel message, that is, the good news of the coming Messiah. That is how they got saved back then, just like today, that is, by receiving Christ's blood sacrifice as full payment for our sins.
Further, consider that God rejected the grain offerings which Cain brought before the Lord (Genesis 4:3), which represented the best man has to offer. Instead, God received Abel's blood sacrifice from an innocent animal which he slew, which again pictured the coming Messiah, the Lamb of God. Genesis 4:4,“And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering.”
John 1:29, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
There has always been one plan of salvation, never two or three. Jews do NOT have their own covenant with God to be saved. Many Jews today claim that only the Torah (Mosaic law) pertains to them, but they are dead wrong. Not one verse in the Bible teaches that Jews have a special plan of salvation. In fact, Jesus (a Jew) told Nicodemus (a Jew) that unless a man is born-again by the Spirit of God, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Jesus said, “Ye must be born again” (John 3:5-7).
The Holy Bible defines “THE GOSPEL” plainly . . .
1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
The Gospel (Good News) is that Christ died on the cross for our sins, He was buried, and the third day He bodily resurrected. If you acknowledge that you are a guilty sinner in God's holy eyes, and receive the Gospel as payment for your sins, you are saved.
In Acts 10:1-2 we read about a centurion (commander) over a squad of 100 Italian soldiers. Cornelius was a God-fearing man, who prayed continually and gave much alms (money) to the poor. Yet, Cornelius was not born-again, still hellbound in his sins. God appeared to Cornelius in a vision and told him to go meet with the Apostle Peter. So he did, and Peter witnessed to him. Peter didn't tell Cornelius to do anything to be saved, except to believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, as evidenced in our text verse from Acts 10:43. Also, the word “repentance” is not mentioned once in Acts chapter 10, because the man who comes to Christ has repented. There has always been one, and only one, plan of salvation, which is by faith in the Lamb of God.
1st Peter 2:17, “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”
The Hypocrisy of the Critics of Eternal Security
"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."
—2nd Thessalonians 1:8
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