False Religions and Cults
In today’s world many people believe that it is intolerant to evaluate someone’s religion as being false religion or a Cult. However, it is very important to get rid of this incorrect idea.
For instance, the most Anti-Semitic thing a person could do to a Jewish person is to fail to tell them the Good News of the Gospel. Many Jewish people take offense even at the name Jesus. There is a good reason why. Jewish people have been constantly persecuted as “Christ killers” and given systematic beatings called “pogroms”. Europe was notorious for these pogroms and persecutions of Jewish people. The Roman Catholic Church was a major force in this ignorant persecution. I will not go into the reasons that the Roman Catholic Church has been a major force in this intolerance of Jewish people. All of the denominations that came out of the Reformation have the same tendency to persecute and hate Jewish people. My reasoning is that their theology tends toward Anti-Semitism. Roman Catholic Church and most of their wayward children, the Protestants, hold to what is commonly known as Replacement Theology. Replacement theology holds that God has cast off the Jewish people forever and has totally replaced them with the Church. Most of these churches hold to what is known as Amillennial eschatology. They believe that God no longer has a future for the Jewish people.
Even though many of these denominations are very sound on the doctrine of salvation, they allegorize the promises which God gave to Israel and bestow them upon the Christian Church. Does that make them a false religion? Well, to the degree that they misinterpret Scripture, they at the very least are false. But like one of my professors said, “People are not saved by perfect theology!” I agree! It may take only a simple understanding of Scripture to be saved, but in order to be effective servants of the LORD a person must master the basic doctrines of the Scriptures. While a person can be saved with a simple understanding of the Gospel, I would not have him teaching in my doctrine class or Sunday School.
Usually a false religion is incorrect in their teaching on the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. In order to be sound in doctrinal teaching a person needs to be clearly informed on Who Jesus is, and what He came to do. All sound teaching must understand these two concepts. Who is Jesus Christ? He was God manifest in the flesh! That includes his virgin birth, sinless life, substitutionary death of the Cross for our sin, his resurrection from the dead, and his second coming to rule the world.
His work was to do the will of God the Father. His work was to live a perfect, sinless life, and to die a substitutional death for our sins, and rise from the dead. Presently he is are eternal intercessor at the right hand of the Father (Romans 8 Heb. 7:25)
It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Romans 8:34 (KJV)
25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Heb 7:25 (KJV)
The Greek word behind the English word “uttermost” is very interesting. The Greek word is “panteles” which contains two components: “pan” meaning “all” as in PanAmerican and “telos” which means “end” or “complete” . Thus Jesus is able to save us “all the way to the end” because he ever lives to make intercession for us.
All the essentials of the Faith (doctrinal beliefs) are contained in these two concepts: 1) the Person, and 2) Work of Jesus Christ.
The work of Jesus Christ to pay for our sin was a complete work so any type of teaching regarding the reception of eternal life which requires personal works is a false religion. Basically there are only two systems of salvation taught in the world. Each can be summed up in one word. There is the “do” religion and the “done” religion. All false religions teach that man must earn his way to heaven by his good works. The true religion only requires a person to receive by faith what has already been “done” by Jesus Christ on the Cross. Look at the key Bible verses below!
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Titus 3:5 (KJV)
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph 2:8-9 (KJV)
“Not saved are we by trying;
From self can come no aid;
‘Tis on the blood relying,
Once for our ransom paid.
‘Tis looking unto Jesus,
The Holy One and Just;
‘Tis His great work that saves us –
It is not ‘try’ but ‘trust’!
“No deeds of ours are needed
To make Christ’s merit more:
No frames of mind or feelings
Can add to His great store;
‘Tis simply to receive Him,
The Holy One and Just;
‘Tis only to believe Him –
It is not ‘try’ but ‘trust’!”
Even though salvation and eternal life are totally free, you will want to serve God because he is a great employer!
Rev. Thomas L. Clark – Phil. 3:14