Mormons speak the same vocabulary as Christians; but for many words, they use a different dictionary. One of those words is “Gospel” (as in “the Gospel of Christ”). It wasn’t until after I became a Christian that I realized that the word “gospel” had a different meaning in Christianity. This enticed me to dig into God’s Word so I could learn the true meaning.
Whenever I did an intensive Bible study I started with what I was familiar with—my LDS KJV Dictionary and Topical Guide. Then I compared my findings with a Christian Dictionary and Topical guide. I was surprised to find that the definition of “Gospel” in both the LDS and Christian dictionaries means “the good news”. But, the stark difference came when I compared what the “good news” was according to each gospel!
What is the “good news” of the Gospel of Christ according to Mormonism? The LDS dictionary states: “The word gospel means good news. The good news is that Jesus Christ has made a perfect atonement for mankind that will redeem all mankind from the grave and reward each individual according to his/her works.” This definition is explained further in the Book of Mormon, which, according to Mormonism, contains the fulness of the Gospel:
“Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me. And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil” (3 Nephi 27)
According to the Jesus found in the Book of Mormon, the reason he came into the world to be lifted up on the cross was so that every person could be judged by their works! The “good news” of the LDS gospel is that once every person receives the free gift of resurrection, they will have the privilege of standing before God on Judgment Day. The “good news” of the LDS gospel is that the outcome of this judgment determines each person’s eternal destination. The Third Article of faith reads: “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” The “good news” of the LDS Gospel is that each individual person can be saved by obedience to its laws and ordinances.
Many Christians are flabbergasted to hear this definition. They can’t understand how anyone could possibly think that this would be good news. On the contrary, they see the doctrine of man being judged as he deserves as “horrible” news! Christians know that no one will be found worthy enough to live eternally with Heavenly Father. They see clearly in God’s Word that every person falls short of doing all that God commands.
But, the reason Mormons aren’t concerned is because LDS prophets have changed God’s Word! They have lowered God’s demands and changed His stated consequences for disobedience!!! They claim that the obedience required does not have to be perfect—even though Jesus declared differently (Matthew 5:48). They claim that all that is necessary to gain eternal life is our best effort, even though there is not one single Bible passage that supports this! They claim that on Judgment Day each person will be graded upon a curve, even though there are many passages showing that any sin is reprehensible to God and receives the same consequence.
LDS leaders falsely claim that only a handful of people will spend eternity in the same domain as Satan. They teach that even those who never come to faith in Jesus will spend eternity in a glorious Kingdom of Heaven, but the Bible claims they “shall be punished with everlasting destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).
What is the “good news” of the Gospel of Christ according to Christianity and the Bible? Ungers—a Christian Bible dictionary gives this definition for the word “gospel”:
“The good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ as provided by our Lord and preached by His disciples (1 Cor. 15:1-4). The gospel then is full and free deliverance from sin on the basis of simple faith in Jesus Christ, the vicarious sin-Bearer (Eph. 2:8-10).”
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 testifies: “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:”
How does this definition differ from the one found in Mormonism? The difference is seen in what Christ’s gospel accomplished for us and why. The Bible claims that the gospel “is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16). Christ’s Gospel saves all who believe in it! The reason we are saved is because Christ’s blood forgave all of our sins which reconciled us to our Heavenly Father. In fact, as long as we do not move away from the hope of the gospel, we are “holy and unblameable” in God’s sight!! (Colossians 1:20-23.) We are declared perfect in God’s sight because Jesus was perfectly obedient for us, in our place! We obey Christ’s gospel simply by believing in it (Romans 10: 16-17).
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8-9)