The Gospel Articles
Nowhere does the Bible say the gospel is that Jesus Christ came to die for our sins! Instead, the true gospel tells us why He did so. More than that, it reveals the momentous purpose that God is accomplishing, what it means to be born again, how to receive eternal life, what salvation is, and the reason reconciliation through the blood of the Lamb is necessary.
A Christian Nation? Reprise
Summary: Several weeks ago, this column commented on the state of American "Christianity" ("A Christian Nation?", January 4, 2002). ...
Apostasy and Faith
Summary: Biblically, apostasy is rebellion against God or the abandonment of faith in God by those once enlightened by the truth. In the Old Testament it always relates to rebellion against God. In Israel, apostasy was a capital offense. One who sacrificed to another god was stoned to death. ...
Basic Doctrines: Salvation
Summary: Are you saved already or are you being saved? What is salvation anyway? What part do we play in our own salvation? These are important questions that we must answer from God's Word.
Basic Doctrines: The Reward of the Saved
Summary: Before going on a trip, it is a good idea to have a destination in mind, and so it is with Christianity. Just where do true Christians go after they die? What is their reward? Where is their reward?
Beware of Philosophy
Summary: In the end, philosophy is merely man's search for answers without God. Mike Ford exposes philosophy's fundamental faults and directs us toward real truth, found in God's Word.
Born Again or Begotten? (Part One)
Summary: Throughout its recent history, the "born again" or "begotten again" doctrine has time and again been a point of controversy in the church of God. Clearly an important principle, it is the subject of Jesus' first discourse in the book of John, a gospel made up of our Savior's expansions on vital, spiritual subjects. John Ritenbaugh explains that "born again" is entirely a spiritual matter, a fact that Nicodemus misunderstood and one that continues to elude many even today.
Caught Up in the Rapture
Summary: Is the rapture biblical? If so, when will it occur? Where do the saints go? Richard Ritenbaugh clarifies this sometimes confusing subject from the Bible.
Summary: Indeed, many heresies crept into the church over the past several years. John Ritenbaugh explains the difference between heresy and apostasy, how Satan works to introduce heresy into the church, and most importantly, what we can do about it!
Deceivers and Antichrists (Part One)
Summary: By the time the apostle John penned his gospel and epistles, he had witnessed the ministry of Jesus Christ, the crucifixion, the resurrected Messiah, and the founding of the church of God. ...
Deceivers and Antichrists (Part Three)
Summary: In II John 7, the apostle John identifies an antichrist as one who denies that Jesus Christ is presently in His followers. ...
Deceivers and Antichrists (Part Two)
Summary: The apostle John gives various descriptions of the antichrist spirit that was prevalent at the end of the first century and continues today. ...
Deceptions of the End Time
Summary: Our world is full of lies and liars, and many in God's church are ignorant of just how much deceit is out there. Jesus tells us, however, that the best way to resist deception is being convicted of the truth.
Do We Have 'Eternal Security'?
Summary: Are we "once-saved, always-saved"? Once God grants us His grace, are we assured eternal life? Richard Ritenbaugh exposes the fallacies of this Protestant doctrine of "eternal security."
Summary: When the incorrigibly wicked are thrown into the Lake of Fire, will they be tormented forever? Richard Ritenbaugh sets the matter of Revelation 20:10 straight.
God's Master Plan
Summary: Like any good builder, God has a master plan to accomplish His purpose for humanity. We find the blueprint for His creation in the pages of the Bible.
God's Promises Are Sure!
Summary: Using primarily the story of Joseph, John Ritenbaugh expounds the lessons we can learn and the encouragement we can glean from God's dealings with men during the time of the Feast of Trumpets.
Holy Days: God's Plan in the Holy Days
Summary: Leviticus 23 not only reveals God's holy days—it also provides, in symbol form, a detailed schematic of God's plan!
How Revelation Enters the Church
Summary: ...Only a little more than a generation had passed since the founding of the church, yet false gospels, perversions of the truth, were making serious trouble for those early Christians ...
Is God a False Minister?
Summary: John Ritenbaugh exposes the deplorable contraditions in the arguments of those who advocate doctrinal change. By their reasoning, they portray God as 'a confused and false minister who lacks the power to instruct his chosen leaders to 'get it right." But that is not the way the Bible portrays Him!
Is Heaven the Reward of the Saved?
Summary: Most of Christianity believes humans go to heaven or hell after death, but is this so? This belief does not originate in the Bible—and in fact, the Bible reveals a very different Christian destiny.
Is the Christian Required To Do Works? (Part Five)
Summary: Jesus Christ came to this earth with a message of salvation, which the Bible calls 'the gospel of the Kingdom of God.' John Ritenbaugh, in setting up the final article in the series, describes just what Christ's gospel is and its relationship to Christian works.
Is the Christian Required to Do Works? (Part One)
Summary: Why do so many nominal Christians reject works and obedience to God's law? John Ritenbaugh posits that they do this because they fail to gather God's whole counsel on this subject. In doing so, they miss vital principles that help to bring us into the image of God.
Is the Kingdom of God Within You?
Summary: Luke 17:21 has tripped up Protestants for centuries. Using the context and the meaning of the Greek, Richard Ritenbaugh explains that this verse's meaning is very plain!
Is There a True Church?
Summary: With many "churches of God" around the world claiming to be part of or even the only church of God, the question "Is There a True Church?" is a pertinent one. John Ritenbaugh examines, not their claims, but what the Bible reveals about the makeup of God's church, especially as time draws near to the return of its Head, Jesus Christ.
Jesus and 'the Spirits in Prison'
Summary: Peter's statement that Jesus 'preached to the spirits in prison' (I Peter 3:19) has for years baffled many a Bible student. Richard Ritenbaugh examines this verse in context, showing that the traditional interpretation is woefully off-base to the point of suggesting a totally unbiblical conclusion.
Let No One Deceive You
Summary: We live in a day of increasing knowledge—to the point that we are increasingly overloaded with information. Richard Ritenbaugh argues that these and other modern factors lend themselves to deception, yet this is one of the primary end-time trends that Jesus warns us against!
Many Are Called, Few Are Chosen
Summary: The subjects of God's calling and predestination can be confusing at times, especially the idea that many are called but few are chosen. Why does God not just choose everyone? John Reid explores the Parable of the Wedding Feast to discover some answers to these vital questions.
Summary: Three of the seven churches of Revelation 2 receive warnings from Christ to beware Nicolaitanism. What is it? Richard Ritenbaugh shows how Nicolaitanism—a form of Gnosticism—still plagues the church today.
Religious Confusion and You
Summary: Nothing is more confused than the state of religion today. God's people can stay above the fray by being firmly grounded in His Word. Included are seven principles of Bible study.
Rightly Defining the Word of Truth
Summary: One of the ways the “unlearned and unstable wrest” Scripture (II Peter 3:16) is to misapply the meaning of a word they find there. Wrongly understanding some word's denotation ...
The Awesome Cost of Love
Summary: We assess costs and values all the time in our daily lives: Is it better to buy used or new? Should we prefer traditional or contemporary? Paper or plastic? John Ritenbaugh employs the same process to God's love for us in giving His Son as the sacrifice for sin. What costs have been paid for our redemption?
The Elements of Motivation (Part Six): Eternal Life
Summary: If you knew you would live forever, how would you live? John Ritenbaugh explains that, biblically, eternal life is much more than living forever: It is living as God lives!
The Flood Is Upon Us!
Summary: In Matthew Christ likens end-time events to the time of Noah's Flood. John Ritenbaugh gives insight into how this end time flood might manifest itself and what we can do to avoid being swept up in it.
The Four Horsemen (Part Two): The White Horse
Summary: At God's command, the white horse and its rider gallop over the earth 'conquering and to conquer.' Richard Ritenbaugh analyzes the symbolism of this horseman, a precursor of the destruction that is wrought by its fellows.
The Power of the Holy People
Summary: Over the last decade or so, as the church of God has come to terms with its splintering and scattering, a frequently quoted verse has been Daniel 12:7. ...
The True Gospel
Summary: There are many 'gospels' in the world but only one true gospel—the message that Christ brought about the good news of His coming Kingdom! It is the ONLY gospel that will bring us salvation. We need to hear it!
This Is Not God's World
Summary: The Amish and Mennonite peoples have built a way of life around coming out of this world. Although we commend their zeal, the proper emphasis consists of avoiding the religious, psychological and philosophical systems of this world. God promises to destroy them when Christ returns.
Truth Revealed to Babes
Summary: The Bible has been the world’s bestselling book for many years; billions of people have ready access to God’s Word—as close as their own bookshelf or computer. Yet, while the words of God’s Book ...
Was God's Law Nailed to the Cross?
Summary: Many use Colossians 2:14 to 'prove' God's law is done away. Is this really what Paul means? Earl Henn uses the Bible to explain the apostle's intent in this verse.
What Do You Mean . . . Salvation?
Summary: Do you realize not one in a hundred knows what salvation is—how to get it—when you will receive it? Don't be too sure you do! Here, once for all, is the truth made so plain you will really understand it!
What Evolution Really Means
Summary: In the church, the argument over evolution was settled long ago, but such is not the case in the wider world. David Grabbe goes beyond the science to what embracing evolution actually says about a person's—and a society's—relationship with God.
What Is a False Prophet?
Summary: The Bible warns us that a great False Prophet will soon arise to sway mankind into idolatry. In addition, numerous passages speak of other false prophets and false teachers in the church and in the world. David Grabbe, in exposing the differences between false prophets and true ones, explains what we need to look out for as the end nears.
What Is the Book of Revelation?
Summary: Everyone knows what the book of Revelation is all about, right? The end of the world, strange and fearsome symbols, and enigmatic clues about the shape of things to come. David Grabbe, however, argues that, though those are included in its pages, the real subject of Revelation is readily apparent.
Whatever Happened to Gnosticism? Part One: False Knowledge
Summary: "Gnosticism" sounds like an old and very dry Greek philosophy, the subject of a somnolent college lecture. Not so, says David Grabbe. Gnosticism is very much in vogue today in books and movies—and in the belief systems of a great many people who profess to be Christian.
Whatever Happened to Gnosticism? Part Three: Satan's Three Heresies
Summary: When Satan confronted humanity's first parents, Adam and Eve, he fed them three heresies that he continues to promote to deceive the world today. David Grabbe expounds on these three lies, revealing how Gnosticism incorporated them into its parasitic philosophy and way of life.
Whatever Happened to Gnosticism? Part Two: Defining Gnosticism
Summary: For many of us, Gnosticism is difficult to pin down, and this is because it is not itself a religion but a philosophy that piggy-backs on religions. David Grabbe explains how we can see this in Paul's epistles to the Galatians and Colossians, in which he combats Gnosticism's twisting of the truth of Jesus Christ.
Where Is God's True Church Today?
Summary: This world presents us with a disordered array of religions of all kinds—from atheism to animism, ancestor worship, polytheism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and many more besides. Where can we find the true religion, the true church, in all this confusion? John Ritenbaugh reveals that only one religion with its one true church has the answers to salvation and eternal life—the church Christ founded and heads today.
Who the Two Witnesses Are Not
Summary: Many prophecy watchers have made their guesses about who the Two Witness of Revelation 11 are, but not all of their ideas have solid, biblical foundations. Charles Whitaker tackles a common view among interpreters, explaining that Scripture precludes it on very solid grounds.
For more on the true gospel, God's plan, mankind's destiny, and the coming Kingdom of God, see the Gospel Sermons page.