The truth is that this world and all of mankind is heading towards a great Day of Judgment. This Day is also called the Day of the Lord, and the Day of Eternity. On this great Day, God will judge all unrighteousness (sin) for all eternity, and all sin will be completely and finally eradicated from God’s creation.
On this Day, everyone will stand before God to give an account of themselves. Nothing that has been done or whispered in secret will be hidden; in fact, what has been done or whispered in secret will be made known to all and shouted from the rooftops.
Those who stand righteous (blameless, justified, morally pure, declared “not guilty” of sin) on that Day of Judgment will enter eternal life in heaven (paradise) – for eternal life can only be found in the presence of God, who creates and sustains all life. Those who die in sin (through their own choice) will be banished to hell, which is a real literal place of “outer darkness,” where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” away “from the presence of The Lord,” with the memory of their sins searing into their consciousness for all time. That is the torment of hell. Nothing sinful will enter heaven with God when He restores His creation to righteousness.
If you cannot stand righteous before God on that great Day, you will not enter into heaven with God. The judgment will stand for all eternity.
This Day will happen when most are not expecting it – it will start just like any other “normal” day, but then just like a “thief in the night” without any further warning it will arrive. The only warning you will get of it is from the Bible, from books like this one, and from others who also tell you the gospel message. There are no more signs, wonders, signs in the stars and moon, nor remaining Bible prophecy yet to be fulfilled, except the arrival of this day. Friend, we are very much near the end of this age of grace.
Like a charging grizzly, this awesome and fearful Day of the Lord is rapidly approaching. And just like an encounter with a charging grizzly, the eternal consequences will be devastating for those who are unprepared for the encounter. If you were staring down a grizzly bear in a life or death situation, wouldn’t you want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth on how to handle it? This book gives you that truth.
What a glorious day that will be for the saints (those who are in Christ, keep reading); and what a terrifying day that will be for everyone else. Therefore, know that God in His infinite wisdom, love, mercy and grace has provided a way for you to stand righteous before Him on that Day.
Contrary to what the world teaches, death is not your ending – you don’t disappear into nothingness. Know that we are born with immortal spirits which will live on even after the body dies. In fact, death is the doorway to eternity, when you put off this old self, this earthly vessel, your fleshly body (tent) with its’ corrupt (sinful) nature and inherit a new glorified eternal (immortal) body.
Furthermore, your eternal spiritual state, righteous or sinful, is sealed at your death – there is no “second chances” to change it after you die. Everyone who has ever lived will be raised immortal – those who died in righteousness will remain righteous for eternity (eternal life), and those who died in sin will remain in sin for eternity (eternal death).
The Holy Bible tells us what we need to do to be saved to eternal life on that Day, so you don’t have to be caught unaware or unprepared, for it is written: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). This book herein declares to you the pure and accurate truth (knowledge) of the gospel that saves to eternal life.
Many do not realize they the Bible is actually “God’s Love Story” for mankind (humankind for the modernists/liberals). God desires everyone to have eternal life with Him.
This book explains how. It outlines the gospel message (which means “good news”) of the Holy Bible which is found in Christ Jesus. You will also read who our hope is: Jesus Christ the one true and living God, the Lord our Savior. This is Jesus of Nazareth; Christ is not His last name – Christ means the “Messiah” or the “Anointed One” (of God).
The information provided herein can help you understand how we “got here”: why we are today in this situation of a sinful fallen world, with disease, destruction, disasters, death, famines, wars, lying, cheating, stealing, murder, killing and other sinful behavior and misery all around us.
While technically the gospel is the message of hope found in Jesus Christ in the New Testament of the Bible, you must go back to the beginning of creation, and of mankind, to get a full and proper appreciation and understanding of that message (and of God) – the story starts in the Genesis book of the Bible. This book therefore starts from the very beginning.
Consequently, in this book, I use the word “gospel” to mean the entirety of the redemption story of the Bible, from beginning to end. Indeed, Jesus was mentioned even in the very first chapters of the Bible in Genesis (Genesis 3:15). If you don’t understand how we (mankind) got to the place where we needed a Savior (Jesus), you won’t fully appreciate what He did for you (and me).
True Christianity isn’t achieved through the performance of “religious” rites, rituals and ceremonies; nor does it live in a church building. It lives in you – who lives (abides) in Christ, who also lives (abides) in you. This book seeks to once again shine light on the pure gospel message and truth.
So, as we proceed along the path of truth, we must however also confront the common/popular false teachings and distortions of Scripture that you are almost sure to encounter, or may have already encountered, from sources both outside of (the secular world) and within the church. And we are not trying to just get doctrine “close enough” or “good enough” or “almost right,” the goal is to get it exactly right and in 100% agreement with what is written in Scripture.
Therefore, this book sheds much needed light on the false teachings, concepts invented by man which are not indicated in Scripture and which are absolutely rampant and widespread in “modern Christianity” today. False teachings such as:
- You are saved by “faith only”,
- That a Christian “once saved is always saved” no matter what you do or how you live subsequently,
- Calvinism (i.e. “Reformed” Protestantism) – limited atonement, total depravity, perseverance of the saints, – ALL false teachings,
- We are all born in “original sin” (babies also),
- Saying the “the sinners prayer” (nowhere to be found in the Bible!) once somehow magically saves you for all time no matter how you live subsequently,
- Baptism isn’t necessary to be born again because it is a “good work”,
- And many, many others!
Furthermore, modern liberal “Christian” churches are simply not doing a good job explaining complete plan and path of salvation for a Christian.
When I use “Christian” in quotes it’s because what they are teaching is not the Christianity defined in Scripture. Some of these groups are well meaning but are misguided; while others clearly have an intent to deceive. They all claim to be Christians adhering strictly to Scripture, but in fact they are not. Whether they are true Christians or not I leave up to the Lord to judge, for only He knows the hearts of man. I’m simply indicating that many who call themselves “Christians” are not telling you Scriptural truth, and they are distorting the pure truth of Scripture. These groups often do more harm to the gospel message and the name of Christ through their spreading of clear hypocrisy and false-teachings than they do to help. It’s no wonder that many today aren’t ever sure of what/or who a true Christian or Christian church even looks like, because they are confused by the myriad of false teachings which abound. Sadly, many who are lost also just give up, when confronted with so many different and conflicting teachings which all claim to be true Christianity. Hypocrisy also runs rampant in modern Christianity.
Some might think that my condemnation of false teachings, and the false prophets, the wolves and vipers that teach them, is too sharp. But Jesus didn’t mix any words when He dealt with them. Also, maybe this book can serve as a wakeup call to American Christendom which is very much dead asleep and deeply deceived in many areas. Maybe even some of the vipers and wolves will come to see the error of their ways, so we can dwell together like the lamb and the wolf in God’s Holy Mountain. We are being fed today fake news, fake science, fake entertainment, fake food, and fake “religion”; it’s time for a good dose of solid food – the truth of the gospel given without false teachings galore.
Scripture is very clear that the initial salvation/forgiveness of sins (i.e. being “born again”) is not the same as final eternal salvation! Being born again is simply the first, but by far the most important, step on the road to eternal (final) salvation; being born-again is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for eternal salvation – when you receive your crown of life. After being born again, one must submit to the will of Christ, be obedient to the commands of Christ, thereby proving your faith through works, and persevering in faith unto death. True Christianity is as much about action as profession!
Additionally, it is expressly (and repeatedly) warned about in Scripture that you can quit the faith. This is also called “falling away”, “turning back”, “backsliding,” “going apostate”, etc. You can turn away from Christ, but He will never turn away from you.
Furthermore, it is written that you can even be “led astray” by the false teachings of others! So, beware, Scripture is very clear that many who start out in faith (i.e. they are born again) will not finish their journey to eternal life. This book helps to explain all of this, clearly and simply.
You will notice that in every single step of the way to eternal life you will be confronted by at least one, but oftentimes many, false teachings! It is staggering to see! I have striven to list the major ones in each chapter. But if you want eternal life you must be a warrior in Christ and blast through every single one of them! Each of these false teachings seeks to turn you out of the path or turn you away from Christ. They are snares and traps of man setup for you, orchestrated by Satan the devil ruler of this world. You conquer them first by accepting Christ and then by the power of Christ living in you and you never stop growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus, each and every single day.
Scripture is abundantly clear that to receive your final salvation, you must not only believe in Jesus, you must act on your belief, through obedience to the commands of God as given through Christ in the New Testament, but you must also persevere in your faith all the way through until death, no matter what. It is only then that you receive your “crown of life”; this is also referred to as “making sure your election and calling is sure” and “working out your faith”.
When you are “born again”, you are a new creature, a baby/infant in Christ – but never forget that it is only your first step on the rest of your Christian pilgrimage!
This is why the warnings and exhortations in Scripture are numerous and explicit that you must not stay an infant in Christ, and that you must press on to maturity lest you fall short of our eternal goal, by reading and studying Scripture and that you must always be “growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
It should be understood therefore that the act commonly referred to as “being saved” is a misnomer – as salvation doesn’t occur in an instant but is a continually progressive process that starts at the moment you believe in Christ by faith but continues throughout the life of a Christian until you die also in Christ.
This process is called sanctification – being made to conform more and more to the image of Christ. We don’t (can’t) reach perfection while still in our earthly fleshly bodies however; we won’t reach true sanctification until we are raised with (by) Christ together with Him again in our new glorified eternal (non-corruptible, immortal) bodies.
However please however notice that Scripture does not say you are to work out your faith with doubt, for it is written that He will never leave or forsake you. Realize also that when you place your faith in Jesus, it is He who abides in you through the Holy Spirit, and you abide in Him. Unless you decide to quit the faith, which you can do (and many have, for numerous reasons, love of worldly things being paramount in cause), Christ abiding in you will empower you to both be obedient and persevere. How awesome is that! He who gives you the gift of eternal salvation also gives you the power to achieve it. Amen!
Therefore, the primary objectives of this book are threefold.
- Present the gospel message from start to finish, for many of you maybe for the first time – without the distortions, myths and false teachings of man which are rampant today even within “Christian” pulpits; hopefully, it is presented in a way that can be understood by anyone.
- Warn you about the errors, lies, distortions, myths and false-teachings of man (from both secular and Christian sources) which contradict Scripture that you will almost surely encounter, so you are prepared for them and not confused by them (as I was). At the end of each chapter I list the predominant false teachings that you will encounter for that chapter’s topic, and the section of the book called “Beware the Wolves” covers the false teachings in more detail, and
- Serve as a “handbook” of sorts for new believers then to refer to as they start their walk as a Christian. I provide some guidelines from what I have learned myself (from my mistakes) that I hope will enable you to avoid making the same ones.
It is not possible in a book of this size to go into all the nuances of faith and Christian doctrine – the main objective is to give you an accurate and truthful overview of the gospel message itself. Besides, it’s by studying the Word of God for yourself and by growing in the knowledge of the Lord that you mature as a Christian.
Please note that I am not affiliated with any particular church, sect, denomination or creed; I’m just an ordinary guy and I’m just part of the worldwide body of believers in Christ, called the Church, or the Church of Christ.
It is also important to understand what the purpose of this book is not; it is not the purpose of this book to:
- Convince you that there is a God (i.e. that God exists),
- Convince you that the Holy Bible is true and inerrant (without error), and that it is indeed the Word of God,
- Convince you (in particular) that the first chapters of creation in Genesis are true,
- Convince you that Jesus Christ actually lived and was a real person. However, I do show you what Scripture says about Jesus (e.g. who He was and is – remember He still lives!) and that He did in fact claim to be God, despite the claims of modern liberals and skeptics,
- Be an apologetics for Christianity or Jesus Christ – I’m simply going to state the truth that is found in Scripture,
- Be a complete rebuttal for the myriad false teachings you will encounter in both the secular and “Christian” world that are identified in this book; I’m simply trying to give you awareness.
There are many fine study resources available for you to read up on those subjects as you desire. But while I’m not trying to convince you of the above items, I must however spend some time here setting up the proper mental framework for you to evaluate the gospel message that is presented herein.
You see, I didn’t believe in the Bible, or “faith,” or “religious” stuff myself either – for many years. I was trained as a scientist, a physicist. I needed to use logic and reasoning and intellect, even when approaching the subject of Christianity. You see, I didn’t think it could be true, or that it was supported by a vast ream of hard scientific data also; I came to start realizing through reading what many scientists who are Christians had to say that there were other (very valid) scientific viewpoints than what I had been taught from secular books, schools and institutions (from preschool up through university level!). It was then that I started to see how the lies I’d been told since childhood had programmed me for disbelief – in effect I was being brainwashed from childhood against the truth of the Bible. And I didn’t even realize it!
Contrary to many peoples’ beliefs, becoming a Christian doesn’t mean you abandon your reason, logic and intellect and just “blindly believe” in faith in Jesus. God is not asking you to make a “leap of faith in the dark” about His Son Jesus Christ; in fact, much light has been given to you, so you can and should come to the decision to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior after carefully evaluating the facts, evidence (scientific, historical, archaeological, literary, etc.) and eye witness testimony that is available. You would do this just like any modern jury of law would do to reach a verdict.
Matthew Henry writes this:
First, Intelligent hearers; they hear the word and understand it; they understand not only the sense and meaning of the word, but their own concern in it; they understand it as a man of business understands his business. God in his word deals with men as men, in a rational way, and gains possession of the will and affections by opening the understanding: whereas Satan, who is a thief and a robber, comes not in by that door, but climbeth up another way [by deceiving you and through lies, half-truths, and distorting Scripture].
In fact, the evidence given in the Bible supporting its inerrancy and the reality, person and authority of Jesus Christ far supersedes the “beyond a reasonable doubt” burden of proof level that is required by a jury in a modern court of law to arrive at a consensus verdict, even in the most severe of capital crimes! It is by reviewing all available information that you can then make an informed, logical, rational decision to accept Scripture as God’s Word, and Jesus Christ as truth and life and your God and Lord, if you so choose.
You see, I had literally hundreds of questions on all this stuff (i.e. the Bible). Again, I cannot present all the evidence herein and to try to convince you that the Bible and Christianity is indeed true. I can only give you an overview of it and walk you through the main thread of the Bible, so you understand the big picture and the main questions of “why” and “who” and “how”.
On our website, we list many resources which can be used to review the scientific, historical, geological, archeological and other evidence that the Bible is indeed true. Please do research further anything you have questions or doubts about. Don’t let questions and doubts discourage you from taking a serious look at the what the Bible says. Dig into them; tackle them head-on — for it’s your very own eternal life that is at stake here.
My job herein therefore is to present to you a summary of the gospel message of the Bible in the clearest, most understandable and accurate way I can possibly do; but always remember that my words are just the words of a mere man.
Indeed, it is not my words which give power, life and authority to this book, it is the Scripture verses themselves; so, please do not skip over the verses I’ve included at the end of each chapter – for it is they that have the true power of life. At the risk of making the book lengthier, I have included the full text for all Bible verses referenced; I did this as readers of the book may not have a Bible near them at the time of reading.
Similarly, I’ve listed more verses at the end of each chapter than you might first think necessary, but I’ve done this for two reasons:
- Many who will be reading the book may not have a Bible nearby or handy, and
- One must consider what Scripture has to say on any topic in aggregate to avoid false doctrine which can easily arise when one picks and chooses some verses and ignores others on any particular topic.
In some of the verses, I have underlined and/or bolded certain words of special note for emphasis to show how they relate to the topic at hand. I have also added some comments in some verses in brackets [words here] simply to help with context and reading; I’m not adding to Scripture, but I’m clarifying some words because the verses are being used without the context of the full book/chapter/setting in which they appear in the Bible. So I am doing this only in order to simply help with understanding.
You will see some verses listed as applicable in multiple chapters; that’s perfectly ok, as Scripture is multi-faceted. Always remember, my words are only the non-inspired words of a mere man; it is Scripture that is the full and final authority on all matters.
So, friend, I urge you to seriously contemplate the enormity of eternity. For we all are, each of us, rushing towards that great Day of Judgement, where we stand before the Lord to give an account of ourselves. We can be saved from judgement and condemnation only by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who die in unrighteousness will be condemned to hell for all eternity. So, this is a matter of choosing eternal life or eternal death for yourself. We each have that choice to make.
Always remember that we serve a God of love, who is love, who desires that none are lost and who doesn’t take pleasure at the destruction of the wicked. It is God alone who is from eternity past to eternity future; you too can have the new life offered by the one true and living God, the Lord Jesus Christ. He offers it as a gift to all who come and are thirsty; and He offers that gift to you!
Thank God we have the wonderful writings of prior saints and servants of God available to us today, so we may learn from, build on and stand upon them. We are the most blessed generation in history from this standpoint, having come after many wonderful saints (and martyrs) before us. It is wise to learn from those who have gone before us.
Those of us who are living at a time and place with abundant access to God’s word and freedom to be a Christian, should at the very least be diligent enough in our own studies to get the gospel truth, correct, and fully correct – those who face tribulation, persecution and even death in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ deserve no less from us.
It’s an honor, privilege and a blessing to get to write a book like this; I’m very grateful to being given the opportunity to do it and for His unbelievable slowness to anger, lovingkindness and seemingly endless patience with me. And at some particular times, you realize the full weight, authority and power of the Living Word which you are being asked to handle and represent – it can be quite emotional at times. For the Word of God is “living, active and sharper than a two-edged sword” – yes, it is alive! It is the power of eternal life.
I hope this book helps you to very thoughtfully consider very where your eternal destiny will be.
May God richly bless you with wisdom and understanding!
– In Jesus Christ, R. John Anderson
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My [Jesus] word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” – John 5:24-29
And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain— for He says, “At the acceptable time I listened to you, And on the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now [today] is “the acceptable time,” behold, now [today] is “the day of salvation”. – 2 Corinthians 6:1-2
[All] blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen. – Revelation 7:12