Salvation According to Satan

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Lots of people argue over what the gospel really is. The arguments are so wild that if you aren't careful you will end up thinking that the gospel is too complicated for the common person to figure out. Within the SDA church we have had, and continue to have, our fair share of arguments over the true gospel. Some claim that you have to be absolutely perfect in order to be saved.[1] Others, like myself, agree with the exception that we see our absolute perfection as being the merits of Christ whereas these others see it as being our own effort (though they will say its by Gods grace in order to make it sound better).[2] What I find interesting is that the Bible also has two versions of the gospel. One is the gospel of Christ, the other is the gospel according to Satan.

So what is the gospel according to Satan? Satan is referred to as "the accuser of the brethren" (Rev. 12:10) which means that Satan's self-proclaimed title is to accuse Gods people. What is he accusing them of? Clearly only one thing. Satan accuses you and me on the basis of our faults. He continually brings up not only our past sins, but our present sins. He accuses us not only of the bad things we do but of the good things we fail to do. He accuses us of the sins we commit without even noticing. The time we waste. The kind words we fail to speak. And the curse words we mutter when we get cut off in traffic. Satan is constantly accusing us before God day and night. His charge? You are not good enough to go to heaven. Every time you sin Satan is there to accuse you of not being good enough for the kingdom of heaven. And the only way that you and I can pass Satan's test and escape his accusations is if we were absolutely perfect. Did you catch it? Satan is the original perfectionist! The doctrine of salvation by perfection is an ancient heresy invented by the enemy of God.

So how are we saved? In Zechariah 3 we read the following story:
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?” 
Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”
Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.
According to this vision Satan was accusing the high priest Joshua of all of His sins. God did not even argue with Satan. Instead he rebuked him. On what grounds? On what grounds can God possibly refuse Satan's charges? The story then says, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”

Those garments represent the perfect life of Jesus. When you and I accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior the Bible says that His perfect life is credited to us and we stand before God (and Satan) as though we had never sinned. We are perfect, not because of our efforts, but because of the merits of Jesus. 


The gospel according to Satan would have you believe that you have to do something beyond what Jesus did on the cross for you. It is a "What Jesus did + What I do = Salvation" gospel. You have to achieve character perfection in order to be saved. The gospel according to Jesus says yes, you must be perfect, but the perfection is not yours, it is His. It is a gift from Him.


Today I invite you to reject Satan's gospel and accept the gospel according to Jesus.


____________


[1] Perfectionism within the SDA church has many flavors, but the most prominent is known as Last Generation Theology. This theology teaches (though not explicitly) that in order to be saved at last we must attain absolute character perfection.


[2] The official position on the Seventh-day Adventist church regarding salvation rejects the concept of perfectionism. This concept is primarily present only among the ultra conservative and fanatical wing (not to be confused with one another) of our church. Although these groups claims perfectionism is the traditional SDA position which was abandoned in the 50's resulting in SDA apostasy, nothing could be further from the truth. The SDA pioneers taught the same gospel that the church teaches today - it is the gospel of Jesus Christ as found in the New Testament and taught by Christian thinkers of the past such as Jacobus Arminius and John Wesley.

2 comments:

  1. Hi brother! I thought I'd add a short comment.
    I give you a big AMEN on nearly everything except to the statement "When you and I accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and savior".

    Marcos, the truth is that no one accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and not to mention as savior.
    There is not one who seeks God, no not even one, they are all haters of God and lovers of self, including you and I.
    It is the other way around, it was the Lord Jesus who called us and accepted us, it was the Lord Jesus who has given us a new heart, a new life and has forgiven us all our sins and transgressions against Him. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

    Yes! that is too beautiful to believe, but that's my Jesus, mighty in Word and mighty in Deed and who has believed our report?
    Paul
    I also left a response on your previous post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Paul,

    To clarify: No one seeks God. God is the one that seeks us. He gives to every man a measure of faith so that by exercising that faith we cannot claim merit since even the faith is a gift of God. God does absolutely everything in the process of salvation, but it is up to us to say yes to Him. So when I say "When you and I accepted Jesus Christ..." I say that with the understanding that we don't accept him on our own. We accept him because he comes searching for us, opens our eyes, and invites us/ empowers us to say yes to him. What he doesn't do is say yes for us. We are saved by grace through faith not by grace alone.

    I don't say this to debate since I wont have any time to do that. I just wanted to clarify my position.

    God bless!

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