Did Jesus Really Mean What He Said?

I really enjoyed teaching the 5th and 6th grade Sunday School class at my church. It was such a treat getting to know each child and sharing my faith with them. While I was surprised to discover how often these young kids talked to their LDS friends about spiritual matters, I wasn’t surprised that they were confused about the differences between beliefs. To help, I came up with a few illustrations to show the fundamental differences. These illustrations helped to contrast some of the Lessons being taught to their LDS friends with what the Bible teaches.

Today I share with you an exercise I used with my Sunday School Class that contrasts two very important and fundamental differences between Mormonism and Christianity. While both the Book of Mormon (Alma 11:37) and the Bible (Ephesians 5:5) agree that “no unclean thing” can enter the Kingdom of Heaven; the two differences are seen when we look at what God truly demands of us and at His eternal consequences if we fail.

According to LDS beliefs, our efforts at keeping God’s commands are more important to God than how well we keep them. Elder Bruce R. McConkie stated: “There was only one perfect being, the Lord Jesus. If men had to be perfect and live all of the laws strictly, wholly, and completely [to be eligible for eternal life], there would be only one saved person in eternity.” LDS leaders claim that the majority of people will spend eternity in one of the Kingdoms of Heaven. On Judgment Day, even those who never come to faith in Jesus, including those who hated God and were the world’s vilest sinners, will eventually go to a kingdom of glory.

These LDS beliefs are in direct disagreement with what the Bible teaches. When Jesus commanded us to be as perfect as our Heavenly Father, He really meant it. There is not one single Bible verse that lessens Jesus’ demands for perfection. There is not one passage that claims our best effort is sufficient to gain eternal life. Every Judgment Day scenario in the Bible shows the consequence for any sin is eternity in Hell with Satan.

For my Sunday School illustration I bring out two chairs. Each chair has a piece of paper taped to it, one with the word “God” written on it and the other with the word “Me”. These chairs are placed apart from each other, symbolizing the distance that separates man from God. The point of the exercise is to determine what God requires from man to reach Him and dwell with Him eternally. In this exercise I represent Jesus.

Illustrating LDS beliefs, I place the two chairs on opposite walls of a classroom. The distance between the two chairs is symbolic of the degree of righteousness required by God before man can be judged worthy to dwell in His presence. As I have just shown, this distance is something far short of perfection. Each child stands on the chair labeled “Me” and attempts to jump to the chair labeled “God”. How far they jump is symbolic of their “degree of righteousness” on earth and determines which Kingdom of Glory they will go to. Not one child has ever been able to jump all the way from one chair to the other—but they all tried as hard as they could. No matter how far each one made it, I go to them in my role as “Jesus” and help them walk to where the “God” chair is. This was symbolic of how LDS doctrine teaches Christ’s Atonement saves each person “after all they can do” (2 Nephi 25:23). The fact that they jumped indicated they believed they had to do their best before Jesus would help them. This also shows they did not believe Jesus had fully met God’s demands in their place.

Next we do our exercise with chairs according to what the Bible teaches. Since a classroom really isn’t large enough for this illustration, we pick up our chairs and go outside. We go to a side road next to the Church. I walk as far down the road as I can and put the chair labeled “God” on it. Then, I walk back to the other chair labeled “Me”. This distance is symbolic of the perfection required from God. Each child stands on the chair which is so far away from the “God” chair that it is hard to see. Then, I explain the rules according to the Bible. Symbolic of obeying Jesus’ command to be as perfect as Heavenly Father, they have to jump to where God is. If they don’t make it, in my role as Jesus, I will say to them: “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.

Guess what happens with every child I have ever done this exercise with? They look at how far away the chair labeled “God” is, and then, looking down at me they say “I can’t do it—it’s impossible!!” They won’t even try! In my role as Jesus, I smile and pick each one up and carry them down to the “God” chair. Carrying them is symbolic that Jesus does it for them—they do not and can not help. The fact that they did not attempt to jump indicated they believed Jesus (me) — that anything short of God’s stated requirements was insufficient. Symbolically, instead of attempting to do something that was impossible, they put their faith solely in their Savior and not in themselves.

Can you understand what my illustration exposes? The words from the LDS Lesson explain the true reason why Jesus had to come to rescue us: “There was only one perfect being, the Lord Jesus. If men had to be perfect and live all of the laws strictly, wholly, and completely [to be eligible for eternal life], there would be only one saved person in eternity…

Guess what? We do have to be perfect! That’s why Jesus came to do it for us—because we can’t do what God requires!

The LDS words expose why faithful Mormons will not gain eternal life. Believing that you don’t have to “be perfect and live all of the laws strictly, wholly, and completely [to be eligible for eternal life]” means that you don’t believe your Savior. It means you won’t say “I can’t do it” and turn to your Savior who did it for you. It means that you won’t give up trying to gain eternal life by your faith and obedience. It means that you will stand before God on Judgment Day in your own woefully imperfect works of righteousness: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Is 64:6)

There was only one perfect being, the Lord Jesus Christ. If Jesus had not come to earth to be perfect for us, in our place, no one could be saved in eternity. Christ’s mission was to meet God’s requirements for us– to be perfect and live all God’s laws strictly, wholly, and completely. Christ accomplished His mission and met all God’s requirements for eternal life. He did this for you—in your place, as your substitute. It is through faith that He has met all the requirements for you, that you are credited with His righteousness. Only through faith in His atoning sacrifice will anyone meet God’s command to be as perfect as He is: “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all… For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:10-14)

All who honestly believe they are credited with righteousness through faith respond to this gift with love, praise and thanksgiving. They will do “all they can do” voluntarily. Not because it is required to gain something for themselves, but simply out of love for their Savior who loved them so much He washed their sins away with His blood (Revelation 1:5).
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References for LDS beliefs, taken from two Lessons for 12 & 13 year olds:

Explain that we came to earth to show that we would do everything the Lord commanded us and serve him with all our might, mind, and strength…read Matthew 5:48: [Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”] “What commandment is given here? Has any person other than Jesus lived a perfect life? (No.) What do you think the Savior meant when he told us to be perfect?”…Enoch knew that in responding to God the test is not our capability but our availability… “There was only one perfect being, the Lord Jesus. If men had to be perfect and live all of the laws strictly, wholly, and completely [to be eligible for eternal life], there would be only one saved person in eternity… Explain that none of us knows when the end of his mortal life will be, but if we are on the right path we will continue until we become as our Father in Heaven is, and we will be able to live with him forever…” (Aaronic Priesthood Teachers Manual 2, Lesson 1: “Who Am I?” pages 2-3)

The Truth about Heaven and Hell Quiz…Have class members mark each statement as “True” or “False.”
1. After we have been resurrected and judged, each of us will dwell in one of three kingdoms of glory. True. Just as there are different degrees of righteousness on the earth, there are kingdoms of differing glory in the next life… To reward many different levels of faithfulness, there will be “many mansions” (see John 14:2)…
5. Hell is a place of never-ending suffering where sinners go. Most of mankind will be there forever because of their wickedness. False. Hell, or spirit prison, is a place for people who have rejected the gospel and people who have died without a knowledge of the gospel. The gospel is preached to them there, and those who accept the gospel and repent of their sins will be released and allowed to enter paradise until the Resurrection and Judgment (see D&C 138:29–34). Most of those who do not accept the gospel there will have to suffer for their own sins but will eventually be resurrected and go to a kingdom of glory (see D&C 76:81–85, 98–106).
” Preparing for Exaltation, Teachers Manual, Lesson 8: “The Three Kingdoms of Glory”, pages 38-39.

References for Biblical beliefs:

Now, let’s look at the Bible and determine if Jesus really meant what he said in Matthew 5:48. Reading the passage in context we see that Jesus gave this command while preaching His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew Chapters 5, 6, & 7). In His Sermon we discover that Jesus gave many difficult commands. We read that we commit sins of commission by swearing, getting angry, or judging others. Lusting after a woman is the very same sin as committing adultery. He also gave many commands that expose our sins of omission; such as loving our enemies, forgiving others and turning the other cheek. Amongst these and numerous others comes Jesus’ ultimate command: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Reading this passage in context it is quite evident that Jesus really did mean what He said.

Another aspect of studying scripture is to let the Bible interpret itself. That means that the rest of scripture must agree with our conclusion, and it does! There is not one Bible passage that disagrees with or lessens Jesus’ command to be as perfect as Heavenly Father. James’ testimony supports Jesus’ command: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all (2:10). The most compelling evidence that shows Jesus really meant what He said is seen when we read what God’s stated consequences for sin are: “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” (Galatians 3:10b). Jesus taught what happens on Judgment Day to those who merely committed sins of omission: “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink.” (Matthew 25:41-46).

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The Pre-Existence: How Could a “Loving” God Send One-Third of His Children to Outer Darkness for Eternity?

Today, I feel such an urgency to warn you of the grave danger you are in. Your prophets and apostles have told you that only a handful of people will spend eternity in hell—but they are deadly wrong!!! They declare that even an unbeliever as vile as Hitler will spend eternity in a glorious Kingdom of Heaven. This false teaching exposes that the LDS Church is led by false prophets who are not Christian. A Christian believes what Christ taught—and Jesus very clearly testified that all who die in their sins will dwell eternally in the very same domain as Satan.

Usually when I tell a Mormon about this teaching of Christ, they respond by saying:

Heavenly Father is a loving God—He would never send someone into eternal punishment.

This belief in a “loving” God is expressed by LDS Apostle Dallin Oaks, who recently spoke about the fundamental differences between Christian and LDS beliefs. In speaking of what happens after the Final Judgment, he explains this unique doctrine of Mormonism:

“Finally, our understanding of the purpose of mortal life includes some unique doctrines about what follows mortality. Like other Christians, we believe that when we leave this life, we go to a heaven (paradise) or a hell. But to us this two-part division of the righteous and the wicked is merely temporary while the spirits of the dead await their resurrection and Final Judgment (see Alma 40:11–14). The destinations that follow the Final Judgment are much more diverse, and they stand as evidence of the magnitude of God’s love for His children—all of them… The theology of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is comprehensive, universal, merciful, and true. Following the necessary experience of mortal life, all sons and daughters of God will ultimately be resurrected and go to a kingdom of glory more wonderful than any mortal can comprehend. With only a few exceptions, even the very wicked will ultimately go to a marvelous—though lesser—kingdom of glory.

Notice how he claims that the various “destinations that follow the Final Judgment… stand as evidence of the magnitude of God’s love for His children—all of them”?

As I read his words—it hit me! The god of Mormonism did NOT show such “love” to ALL of his children. Literally one-third of all your spirit brothers and sisters were kicked out of the Pre-existence and became demon spirits on earth. Heavenly Father permanently punished his own children by throwing them out of his presence forever–never to return! Where do we see the “magnitude of God’s love for these children”? How could a “loving” God send one-third of all his children to an eternity in Hell? Given current estimates of the number of people to be born into this world, that amounts to at least ten billion of God’s children being permanently sentenced to Outer Darkness. Doesn’t this expose as false Elder Oaks statement: “With only a few exceptions, even the very wicked will ultimately go to a marvelous—though lesser—kingdom of glory”?

According to the false LDS teaching regarding the Pre-existence, an entire one-third of all your spirit brothers and sisters simply made one bad choice. They used their agency unwisely and chose to follow Lucifer’s plan instead of God’s. Because of this one mistake, they were doomed to spend eternity in Outer Darkness. Their Heavenly Father didn’t even give them an opportunity to repent:

Because our Heavenly Father chose Jesus Christ to be our Savior, Satan became angry and rebelled. There was war in heaven. Satan and his followers fought against Jesus Christ and His followers… In this great rebellion, Satan and all the spirits who followed him were sent away from the presence of God and cast down from heaven. A third part of the hosts of heaven were punished for following Satan (see D&C 29:36). They were denied the right to receive mortal bodies.” (Gospel Principles, pages 15-16)

I find it appalling that Elder Oaks claims the LDS belief that “even the very wicked will ultimately go to a marvelous—though lesser—kingdom of glory” to be “the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.” Jesus never once taught nor supported this horrendously false teaching. In fact, He declared the exact opposite! Every time Jesus spoke of what happens on the Final Day of Judgment, He clearly testified of a “two-part division of the righteous and the wicked.

While I hate all false teachings, the LDS doctrine that almost all people will go to a Kingdom of Heaven really makes me angry. Because of this false teaching I have numerous loved ones who have no sense of urgency. They are blissfully unaware of the danger they are in. I cringe every time my mother tells me that an LDS acquaintance has passed away and how happy she is that they are now in a much better place. She has no fear of death—she’s LDS and unfortunately believes what her church leaders have told her.

But Mormon prophets are false. By claiming that only a handful of people will spend eternity in Hell, Satan has successfully worked through these false prophets to deceive millions of people. By claiming that God will allow sinful human beings into His Kingdom, Mormons have been blinded to the truth. Many are left with complacency as a way to Heaven, where complacency is rewarded. LDS prophets have removed the ultimate consequence of sin–eternal death (Ezekiel 18:4). Because of this, the urgency to seek out a Savior who has removed every one of your sins has been taken away from you.

Christ clearly taught that having even one sin remaining at death means you will be cursed to spend eternity in Hell with Satan and his demons. There is no more vivid picture of this truth than Christ’s words, recorded in Matthew 25:31-46. He testifies that on the Final Day of Judgment all the nations of the world will be gathered before God. But even before the Judgment begins, God’s angels divide everyone into two groups—a “two-part division of the righteous and the wicked”:

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left… And these (the wicked) shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (verses 31-33, 46)

According to Christ you are either righteous, or wicked. Those who are placed on Christ’s right are called righteous because they did “good” to others in need. Those on His left are declared “wicked” because they didn’t do “good” to those in need. Notice that those He calls “wicked” aren’t even charged with doing what we humans might call grievous sins like murder or adultery. They are simply accused of committing sins of omission.

Another important point that Christ makes is the length of time that these sinners will spend in Hell—the very same domain as Satan. He uses the word “everlasting” to describe how long they will be there:

Then shall he (Jesus) say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41)

Jesus condemns them as “cursed” then sends them into everlasting fire to live eternally with Satan and his demons. Jesus clearly taught that the “two-part division of the righteous and the wicked” is NOT temporary. His Judgment and pronouncement happens on the final Day of Judgment. These very words of Christ certainly testify that Jesus does not believe that “even the very wicked will ultimately go to a marvelous—though lesser—kingdom of glory.

Amazingly, the truth is that Heavenly Father is a merciful and loving God. He does want every person to live eternally with Him. He loves us so much that He offered His Son as the final sacrifice for our sins. That’s why He punished Jesus instead of us. Christ’s shed blood truly covers over every one of your sins.

If you have faith in Jesus you are righteous in God’s sight right now—because every one of your sins have been forgiven and removed from you. When you die, you will have no sins to be judged! God’s angels will gather all who have faith in Christ to sit at His right hand—before He even begins judging anyone’s works. Every person who trusts in Christ as their Savior will spend eternity with God in His celestial glory.

Only those who reject this undeserved gift and deny this loving God will spend eternity in Outer Darkness. Unfortunately, that includes every Mormon whose hope for eternal life lies in their ability to qualify for this gift through worthiness.

Link to Dallin Oaks talk, Ensign, January 2011, pages 22-29:

Additional Testimony from Christ, His Apostles and God’s Prophets:

Jesus:

– Matthew 7:13-15; 21-23
– Matthew 13:37-43
– Matthew 22:11-14
– Mark 9:43-48
– Luke 16:19-31
– John 5:28-29
– John 8:24 (Without faith-die in sins)

John the Beloved:

– Revelation 20:10-15
– Revelation 21:7-8 (All liars go to hell)
– Revelation 21:27

The Apostle Peter:

– 1 Peter 4:17-18

The Apostle Paul:

– Romans 2:5-10
– 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10

The Prophet Isaiah:

– Isaiah 66:24

The Prophet Daniel:

– Daniel 12:2

The Psalmist:

– Psalm 1:1-6

The Prophet Ezekiel:

– Ezekiel 18:4

The Prophet Malachi:

– Malachi 3:16-4:2

Do Christians Ignore Passages About Our Need For Works?

An LDS member recently commented “I think it is always interesting that people focus so much on the quotes concerning faith, but then ignore those that testify to the need for works.

After thinking about this comment and looking at the Bible passages referenced, I realized that Mormons are much more likely than Christians to ignore passages testifying of our need for works. This happens because LDS prophets have lowered God’s standards and removed the eternal consequences for failing to meet His standards. As I have written many times, Jesus commands us to be as perfect as Heavenly Father (Mt 5:48). Search the entire Bible and nowhere will you find a passage that lessens this standard of works set for us by God’s own Son.

Current Mormon teaching ignores God as the standard for works and claims that as long as you are giving your best effort, you can be found worthy on Judgment Day. This week’s Gospel Principles Lesson claims: “Obey all His commandments as best we can (see John 14:21-23). As we do these things, we will come to know God and eventually have eternal life.” Read the passages listed and you will discover the LDS teaching “as best we can” has been added to what Jesus really said about obedience.

Many passages which testify to the seriousness of each and every sin are virtually ignored in Mormonism. We see one example from the second chapter of James: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” A second example is the Apostle Paul in Galatians 3. When quoting the Old Testament he writes of God’s consequence for less than perfect works: “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” (Galatians 3:10) Other quotes ignored in Mormonism are ones showing horrendous consequences for the “cursed” whose works are lacking (Matthew 25). In particular, LDS prophets ignore the words of Christ which equate ‘minor‘ sins (like lust and anger) with ‘major‘ sins (Matthew 5-7).

The consequence for not meeting God’s standard for perfect works can be seen in every Judgment Day scenario found in the Bible. These quotes testify that our works will be judged and we will not be graded on a curve. Each and every sin carries the same eternal consequence—living forever in the same domain as Satan. Unbelievers, idolaters and all liars will be sent to the very same place as murderers and whoremongers (Revelation 21:8). Mormons aren’t too worried about spending eternity with Satan because LDS prophets ignore these passages. They teach that the worst place you could go to is a kingdom more glorious than earth. They claim that only a handful of people will spend eternity in outer darkness.

There is nothing more dangerous than not taking God seriously. The writer of Hebrews testified “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” There is grave danger in ignoring the passages that testify of your need for perfect works. God sets the standard so high to ‘scare the Hell’ out of us! That is, turn us to give up on self and rely on Christ. Yet, millions of people will spend eternity in Hell with Satan because they believed the words of LDS prophets, which ignore God’s Words. Your leaders tell you that it is possible to do all that is required of you. If you continue to believe in this, then you will keep on trying. But in doing so, you won’t despair and give up on yourself. You won’t recognize that you are hopelessly lost. You won’t see your need for the Savior who came to meet God’s demands for perfection—in your place. Instead, you will continue to turn to a false Christ—one whose “conditional” Atonement requires that you erase your sins with your own works. Trusting in this Christ means you reject the Savior whose blood covered all your sins.

I was tormented for many years because I knew how unworthy I was. There are many thousands of Mormons who know they are unworthy. But the true Savior is hidden from them as they keep trying to do what has already been done for them—by that very Savior. The gospel is the good news that Christ came to be our substitute. LDS prophets do not preach the true Gospel message. They twist the gospel passages that claim it is only through faith we can be declared righteous—just like Abraham was (Romans 4:20-24). They ignore the passage that testifies “For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:10-14). As our substitute, not only did Christ take the punishment that we deserved for our sins, He also obeyed perfectly every command that God required of us. Through faith in Him we are credited with His righteousness.

Every person with faith in Christ has had every single sin washed away with His blood. They have no sins left to be judged! These believers don’t do works to gain forgiveness of their sins—they trust in the Savior whose blood has already done that. This trust, tied with the knowledge of the magnitude of the suffering Jesus endured, literally transforms these people. Now, they freely serve God out of love and gratitude for all that God has done for them. On Judgment Day, these works of love will be shown in sharp contrast to the works of unbelievers—works done to gain something for themselves. These works of love will be evidence of a living faith in the works of Christ, as contrasted with a dead faith of trusting that one’s own imperfect works are “good enough”.

I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Galatians 2:21)

How Long Will Eternity Last?

How long is a long time? My grandson Bryson thinks thirty minutes is a long time. For two years I drove him back and forth to a Pre-school in Nampa, which is a 30 – 45 minute drive from where we live in Boise. We would try to make the time go faster by singing songs or playing “I spy” games. But 3 and 4 year olds just don’t like sitting still for that long. The reason I drove this distance is because I wanted him to attend a Pre-school run by our Church. Here I knew he would be taught not only his ABC’s but also the truth that he has full forgiveness through Christ’s blood.

Bryson’s Mom and Dad split up when he was just one, so my husband and I get to spend more time with him than the average grandparents. It has been a blessing to have him stay with us every Saturday evening and Sunday. Even though his mom and dad don’t attend Church, he has always gone with us. I absolutely love this little boy and am so thankful to have the opportunity to share my Savior with him. I love my own kids as much as I love my grandchildren. My hearts desire is to spend eternity with them—to be an eternal family. I pray every day that those I love will embrace their Savior so that they can be with me for eternity.

Eternity is a long, long time compared to how short our time is on this earth. When we read the words “eternal” or “everlasting” in the KJV New Testament, these words are most often translated from the Greek words “Aion, aionios, and aidios”. Whenever we read about the amazing blessings of eternal life with our Heavenly Father, we don’t question that “eternal” means forever. But did you realize that this same word is used to describe the length of time that someone will spend in hell? Those who go to hell and live eternally with Satan and his demons will be there as long as those who spend eternity with Heavenly Father—forever!

Eternity is a long, long time and that is one of the reasons I have this blog. I know that you have been misled into believing that there is no way you could possibly spend an eternity in Hell. You have been taught that even if you were bad enough to be sent to hell, you will only be there until Judgment Day. But this teaching is false!! If you don’t believe me, then trust the words of John, the Apostle whom Jesus loved! He described the lake of fire as a place where those who go “shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10-15).

Forever is a long, long time. The Apostles Paul and Jude, along with Jesus, claimed that Hell will be a place of everlasting destruction, fire, punishment and chains (2 Thessalonians 1:8/Jude 7/Matthew 18:8, 25:41). Jude testified that those from Sodom and Gomorrh would suffer the vengeance of eternal fire. Jesus quoted the prophet Isaiah when he said that it is a place where “their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:43-48).

Doing this thorough Bible study about Hell has reinforced my desire to share God’s truth with you. I can’t bear the thought that so many deceived people will spend “eternity” in Hell. My last post declared God’s truth that sin, any sin, is the reason someone will be cast into Hell. But why will someone gain eternal life? Human logic tells us that since disobedience disqualifies us, obedience must be the way to qualify. Mormon prophets tell us that if we just try hard enough—if we can just be obedient enough, we can qualify for eternal life with our best effort.

But God has told us differently. Jesus himself testified that our best effort is not good enough–we must be perfect (Matthew 5:48). No one can meet God’s requirements to gain eternal life by their own obedience. Because of this truth God lovingly provided a way—a different plan. He sent His son Jesus to be obedient and fulfill His law for us.

Jesus came to be our substitute for the perfection required to dwell in God’s presence. His shed blood washes away all your sins. The truth—God’s truth, is that only through faith in His Son can you be declared perfect. The only way to gain eternal life is through faith in the fact that Jesus has already gained it for you!!!

The Bible is very clear that faith in Jesus is how to receive eternal and everlasting life. No one describes this truth more beautifully than the Apostle John. His testimony is that it is through belief in Jesus that a person escapes the fires of everlasting hell and gains eternal life. When we read his words describing eternal or everlasting life, he always uses the present or the past tense.

John wrote down the very words of his Savior when he declared boldly that for those with faith, gaining eternal life is a done deal! “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” (John 6:47)

I beg of you to listen to my words. The next time you think time is moving slowly, think about how long eternity will be. Re-read the story Jesus told us in Luke chapter sixteen about the rich man who was stuck in hell for eternity. “Forever” is a long, long time to spend in an everlasting fire, in the same domain as Satan.

But praise the Lord, you don’t have to be afraid! Jesus came to save you from this fate and He has cleansed you from all sin. Heavenly Father desires to spend eternity with you. It is His will that you believe and receive everlasting life: “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40)

Eternal life is guaranteed as long as you believe in the true Christ. If you don’t believe my words, believe the Apostle whom Jesus loved. The following passages are words the Holy Spirit inspired him to write, declaring that the way to gain eternal life is by belief in the Savior who earned it for you:

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24)

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)

“If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:9-13)

Have LDS Prophets Changed God’s Definition of Hell?

I remember reading a story about a man that was in one of the Towers when the plane crashed into the World Trade Center. On the 27th floor he had ample time to get out, but instead he decided to stay in the building to answer the phones. His co-workers made it to safety but he lost his life. Obviously this man didn’t recognize the true danger he was in. He died because he didn’t feel the urgency to leave a building which he believed had a solid foundation.

This is the way LDS members feel about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They believe that their Church is the only Church that can guide them to eternal life. But the truth is that one day Mormonism will collapse because its teachings are not “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets” and “Jesus Christ”. And the tragedy is that anyone who places their trust in these false teachings will spend eternity in Hell.

God has declared that there are only two eternal destinations—Heaven and Hell. Hell is a very real and horrible place of suffering. The Bible uses many different words to describe Hell: Outer Darkness, the Second Death, a Lake of Fire and Brimstone, a Furnace of Fire, Eternal Fire, Everlasting Punishment, Everlasting Fire, Everlasting Destruction, Damnation and Where their Worm Dieth Not.

All these words and more describe a horrible place of suffering that does not end at Judgment Day. Hell lasts forever! Satan and his demons will spend eternity in Hell; so will many people (Matthew 7:13-14). Heavenly Father tells us that sin is the reason a person will be cast into Hell. God is so offended by sin, that on Judgment Day, any sin will produce the verdict of “guilty”.

LDS prophets have taken God’s stated truths found in the Bible and have omitted, altered and twisted His Words to mean something totally different. What makes me angry about the false LDS teachings regarding Hell is that because of it—Mormons are completely unaware of the danger they are in. LDS believe that as long as they don’t deny the Holy Spirit they will be OK. They trust that the worst kingdom they could spend eternity is in a world far better than earth.

Referring to the lowest Kingdom of Heaven, Joseph Smith taught that it’s glory surpasses all understanding: “And thus we saw, in the heavenly vision, the glory of the telestial, which surpasses all understanding. And no man knows it except him to whom God has revealed it.” (D & C 76: 89-90)

Those who supposedly go to this “Kingdom of Glory” are those who:

“did not receive the gospel or the testimony of Jesus either on earth or in the spirit world. They will suffer for their own sins in hell until after the Millennium, when they will be resurrected. “These are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie.” These people are as numerous as the stars in heaven and the sand on the seashore. They will be visited by the Holy Ghost but not by the Father or the Son. (See D&C 76:81–86, 103–6.)” (Gospel Principles, page 298).

Comparing these words to God’s Truth proves they are false!! Jesus Himself told us about those who will be sent to Outer Darkness, and here are His reasons:

Showing up for God’s feast without a wedding garment (Matthew 22:13) an unprofitable servant who was so afraid of God that he hid his talent in the earth instead of using it (Matthew 25:30) and, Israelites who didn’t have faith (Matthew 8:12). People who simply don’t know God and those who don’t obey the Gospel will be sent to Everlasting Destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

Our Savior testified that everlasting Fire and Punishment describe the eternal destination of those who merely commit sins of omission!! He also tells us that on Judgment Day, those who didn’t “feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked, visit those who were sick or those in prison” will be cast out to spend eternity in the very same place as “the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41-46).

The Apostle John taught that the devil’s eternal destination is the “Lake of Fire and Brimstone”. But did you know it will also be the eternal home of “the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars” (Revelation 20:10 & 21:7-8).

Look closely back at those words—all liars will spend eternity with Satan and his demons, the very same place same as murderers and whoremongers! This is because God does not grade sins. Every sin receives the same consequence—eternal torment in Hell.

But despite these words of God, take heart—there is hope!! If you believe that Jesus’ blood covers over every one of your sins, then it does!! You are completely sin-less—right now!! John the Beloved tells us that those who overcome are God’s children who will inherit all things: “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” (Revelation 21: 7).

This Apostle whom Jesus loved also tells us who overcomes and why: “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-54).

Link to Additional Bible References:

Are You Afraid of Death?

I got a call recently from one of my dearest friends, telling me she has an aggressive and terminal cancer. It was amazing how calm and peaceful she was. In fact, she’s actually excited to die so she can finally be with her Savior Jesus. She teased me that she will get to be with Him before I do. My friend Linda and I are very similar in that we both love Jesus with all our hearts and souls. Our entire purpose in life is to praise our Savior and serve Him by bringing as many people to heaven with us as possible. Linda has worked for several years at a nursing home where her love for Jesus has shown brightly through her many acts of love. Many people, including some of her patients, have heard from her the wonderful message of free and full forgiveness through Jesus.

The only concern Linda has is for her daughter, whom she asked me to watch over for her after she dies. Speaking with her and hearing her concern for her daughter reminded me of a story found in Luke chapter sixteen. Here Jesus tells about a man who, like my friend Linda, was also concerned about the eternal destination of family members. The main difference between my friend Linda and the man in Jesus’ story is that this man did not believe in Jesus. He had died in his sins and was suffering the consequence of eternal torment in hell.

From hell he could actually see into heaven where he saw the beggar Lazarus who used to sit at his gates begging for crumbs from his table. He saw that while he was being tormented in hell; Lazarus was being comforted by the Prophet Abraham. In misery, he asked Abraham: “send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue: for I am tormented in this flame”. Abraham told him that what he asked was impossible! His reason was because: “between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which could pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

These words of God are in complete disagreement with LDS teachings! Mormon prophets claim that after death all people go to a temporary place, either spirit prison or spirit paradise. Those who were not righteous will be given more time to repent and meet God’s demands for perfection. These false prophets testify that righteous Mormons who have gone to paradise will travel to spirit prison to preach the LDS gospel to the unrighteous. They claim that once these wicked people have repented and been baptized in proxy by someone on earth, they will be allowed into paradise.

In defining hell, they claim:
First, it is another name for spirit prison, a place in the postmortal spirit world for those who have “died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets” (D&C 138:32). This is a temporary state in which spirits will be taught the gospel and have the opportunity to repent and accept ordinances of salvation that are performed for them in temples (see D & C 138:30–35)” (True to the Faith, page 81).

But from Jesus’ story we read the important truth that at the moment of death, your fate is sealed! Your “time of grace” ends. You don’t have a second chance to come to faith; or a longer period of time to meet God’s demands for righteousness. The Holy Spirit revealed in scripture that: “When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth” (Proverbs 11:7). The moment we die our spirits come into the very presence of God: “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). No unclean person can dwell in the presence of God (Ephesians 5:5).

Talking about death and what happens to those who aren’t worthy to dwell in God’s presence is not easy, but it is necessary. My friend Linda is not the only one who will die soon. I warn you that you also have a terminal cancer. That cancer is sin. God is Merciful, but He is also Just. While He offers His mercy to all people, He extends His mercy ONLY to those who believe His Son’s blood covers their every sin. This Mercy is a full pardon, complete forgiveness, the bestowal of the perfect righteousness of His Son. And this Mercy is only offered to you during your time on earth. All who reject the Mercy God offers them through His Son will spend eternity in Hell with Satan.

You never know what day you will die, or when someone you love will die. I beg you to turn to these truths found in the Bible before it is too late. The man in hell was concerned for his brothers and asked Abraham to send Lazarus to warn them “that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment“. The Prophet Abraham’s reply shows how important scripture study is; if you don’t believe God’s Words found in the Bible, you will not “be persuaded, though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:31).

If you are reading this you are alive and your hope has not yet perished! Trust that all your sins have been washed clean by the blood of Jesus! (Revelation 1:5) If you believe Jesus is the Christ that has removed your sin, you will no longer be in your sins (John 8:24). All who have faith in Christ’s Atonement for sins “have been perfected forever” (Hebrews 10:10-14).

The Death Penalty for Even One Sin?

A commenter recently stated “I know that not all sins are equal in nature, and some sins carry a greater penalty with them, making them more difficult to repent of. I know that a person who lives an honest life, helps all those around him, and strives to be like Christ, and yet lives a little too lightheaded, or has a short temper is a good man, and a better man than one who murders, or violates the daughters of God. Logic and Justice show that a small lie is not equal to murder, or adultery, or any of these other sins.

I remember when I used to believe as this person does. I felt that I was a much worse sinner than most people because I had committed sexual sins. I certainly didn’t equate my sins on the same level as someone who merely told an occasional lie. But I thought this way because I believed what my LDS prophets had taught me. It wasn’t until I dug into God’s Word that I learned that even though we humans like to “grade” sins and think that some aren’t as important as others, God doesn’t do this. No matter how small a sin appears to us, when we sin, we are still rebelling against our Majestic God. The greatness of our guilt can be measured by only one yardstick and that is the infinite Majesty of our God whom we have sinned against.

Let me give an illustration using a story about my “little” brother. One day, when we were in High School, this kid said something very rude to me. My brother Ralph heard about it during lunch hour and proceeded to teach him a lesson. Ralph hit the kid a few times and then grabbed his arm and brought him to me. When I heard a loud commotion, I looked and saw a huge crowd all following my brother as he was dragging the kid behind him. Then Ralph threw him down in front of me and forced him to apologize to me. After doing so, the kid ran away crying. Then a teacher took Ralph to the Principal’s office. He was suspended from school for three days, but he says he has always felt like he did the right thing. I certainly never had to worry about being bothered by that kid again (or anyone else for that matter).

But, what if a policeman had said something rude to me and Ralph had done the same thing to the policeman? The consequences would have been much worse than merely being suspended from school. And, if we took that one step further, what if the President of the United States had insulted me and Ralph took a swing at the President? His transgression would have been much more serious.

In a similar way, this is why any sin is serious—because of whom we have sinned against. Every time we sin we break the greatest commandment: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.Every sin justifies the eternal death sentence.The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). This is why James testified: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” It’s not just the blatant sinner who has a big problem. As Jesus himself said “there is none good but one, that is, God.

Anytime human “logic” is placed over God’s truth, you are likely to get yourself into trouble. Human logic determines that a person who “lives a little too lightheaded, or has a short temper is a good man, and a better man than one who murders”. But Jesus has declared differently! He equated anger with murder, which are both in danger of the judgment (Matthew 5:21-22). The Bible clearly shows the same consequence for all sin—an eternity with Satan and his demons! While there are specific sins that God claims to hate (pride, lying, murder… Proverbs 6:16-19) each sin has the same consequence—eternal separation from Him.

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Think of this balloon as your hope for eternal life. Think of this pin as one “minor” sin. Prick the balloon (commit the sin) just once and your dream is destroyed.

Except for Jesus, no one has or will live a life good enough to qualify for God’s pardon. Logic tells us we have no hope. But again God’s revealed truth defies logic: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). Because Jesus lived perfectly for us, fulfilling every demand of Justice; Heavenly Father can offer us a full pardon. We only need to believe in His undeserved gift.

Unbelievers are lost because they think their sins aren’t so bad. They choose to wear their own robe of righteousness, which is like filthy rags in God’s eyes (Isaiah 63:6). Those with faith in Jesus know how sinful they are without Christ. They wear His protective garment—His robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10) and will spend eternity in the loving arms of their majestic God!

Lesson 18: Beyond the Veil: Life in the Eternities

LDS Belief:

Heaven consists of three kingdoms and people will be assigned to one of these kingdoms based upon their obedience to God’s law.

LDS Words (J. Smith)

Found in Lesson 18, pages 219-220:
“My text is on the resurrection of the dead, which you will find in the 14th chapter of John—‘In my Father’s house are many mansions.’ [John 14:2.] It should be—‘In my Father’s kingdom are many kingdoms,’ in order that ye may be heirs of God and joint-heirs with me. … There are mansions for those who obey a celestial law, and there are other mansions for those who come short of the law, every man in his own order.”

But,’ says one, ‘I believe in one universal heaven and hell, where all go, and are all alike, and equally miserable or equally happy.’ “What! where all are huddled together—the honorable, virtuous, and murderers, and whoremongers, when it is written that they shall be judged according to the deeds done in the body?

Additional Testimony of the Bold Truth:

Jesus:
– Matthew 13:37-43
– John 5:28-30

John the Baptist:
– Matthew 3:2

John the Beloved:
– Revelation 20:10-15
– Revelation 21:7-8
– Revelation 21:27

The Apostle Peter:
– 1 Peter 4:17

The Apostle Paul:
– Romans 2:6
– Titus 1:15

The Prophet Daniel:
– Daniel 12:2

The Psalmist:
– Psalm 1:1-6

King David:
– Psalm 11:5

The Prophet Ezekiel:
– Ezekiel 18:20

The Prophet Malachi:
– Malachi 3:18

The Bold Truth:

The very Son of God believed in one universal heaven and hell!

Jesus taught that there were only two eternal destinations for all peoples of the world. He claimed that Heaven is where God and His eternal family will dwell and Hell will be the domain of Satan, his demons and the wicked. Jesus also grouped all peoples of the world into only two broad categories-the righteous and the wicked. According to the Son of God, you are either righteous, or wicked.

Our Savior gave us a very vivid picture of this truth in Matthew 25. On Judgment Day all the nations of the world will be gathered before Him to have their works judged. But even before He begins the Judgment, God’s angels divide everyone into two groups. Those on Jesus’ right are called righteous because they did good to others in need. The wicked on His left are there because they didn’t do good to those in need. Notice that these wicked people aren’t even charged with doing what we humans might call grievous sins like murder or adultery. They are simply accused of committing sins of omission. Jesus condemns them as “cursed”—then sends them into everlasting fire to live eternally with Satan and his angels. This picture certainly shows Jesus’ belief in one universal heaven and hell. It also shows us that Jesus divides the whole world into only two broad categories.

Many Mormons have said to me “Heavenly Father is a loving God—He would never send someone into eternal punishment”. But Jesus testified that Heavenly Father will do just that. God has given Jesus the authority to judge the world on Judgment Day. Jesus (not Joseph Smith) will determine who is worthy to receive a mansion in the Kingdom of Heaven. To be Righteous a person must have kept God’s law perfectly. Falling short of God’s law, in even one point, makes a person wicked. God does not “grade sins”. Each and every sin is disastrous because it is rebellion against God. Jesus shows that not doing the good things God commands will cause a person to live eternally in hell with Satan.

Yes, Heavenly Father is a merciful and loving God and wants every person to live eternally with Him. That’s why He offered His Son as a sacrifice to ensure this could happen when Jesus paid the demands of Justice. Jesus’ shed blood truly covers over the sins of the entire world. All who believe that Jesus kept God’s law perfectly for them, are righteous because their sins have been removed. On Judgment Day, God’s angels will gather these true believers to sit at the right hand of Jesus—before He begins judging anyone’s works. Every believer will receive a reward in God’s celestial glory.

Eternal Consequences

Please don’t reject Heavenly Father’s offer of complete forgiveness through Jesus’ blood. If you do, this means you don’t have faith in what Jesus did for you and you will sit on His left! “Then shall he (Jesus) say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”