Ignorance or Belief In Jesus
Curtis Hutson, Salvation Plain and Simple, p13—“Jesus Christ took all my sins, past, present, and future, and bore them in his own body.” P21—“The worst sin in the world is not trusting Jesus Christ as Savour, and that is the only sin for which a man will die the second death.”
One irony here is that, If Curtis Hutson died believing this, then he will die the second death. If you die while ignorant of the true gospel, you will die believing a false gospel, and you will die in your sins. When he says that “Jesus took all my sins”, that is the outside of the tomb. The words sound beautiful. But the words are contradicted by his idea that you will die for the sin of not trusting (and that you will live if you don’t sin that sin). This false gospel is not only trusting in a different Jesus, but also is trusting in trusting.
Hutson denies the aloneness of Christ’s work for the elect alone. He not only denies election, but also says that the death of Jesus becomes insufficient if you sin by not trusting in it. In his false gospel, the death of Jesus is not enough, is inadequate for the purpose of saving the ungodly from the sin of not trusting.
But I know many “grace” folks who think that Hutson’s problem is only ignorance, and that it does not rise to the level of unbelief and rebellion. They explain the irony. When I say that Hutson does not believe the true gospel, and that he will die because of his unbelief, they think I am agreeing with Hutson that the sin for which a man will die is unbelief.
Two quick responses. One, according to John 3:17 and Romans 5:21, we are born already condemned in Adam. According to Romans 8:7-7, we are born unable to please God, unable to trust God. So we don’t have to wait to be guilty until we hear the gospel and then sin against it. Two, the Bible teaches that God gives the elect knowledge and trust in Christ “for the sake of Christ” (Phil 1:29) and “through the righteousness of God and of Jesus our Lord” (II Peter 1:1).
Jesus never died for anybody’s sin of dying in unbelief. Jesus never died for all sins. Jesus died only for the sins of the elect. The elect do not die in unbelief. Jesus did not die to take away the guilt of final unbelief by the elect but Jesus did die in order to give the Spirit to the elect so they will (not might have an opportunity to) believe and therefore not die in unbelief.
Hutson contradicts himself. First, he says that Jesus died for all sins. Second, he says that final unbelief is a sin which will kill you.
Unlike most “grace” folks, I agree with the second statement. Final unbelief will kill you. Remember what I wrote already. First, we are born guilty, even if we never heard the gospel and never disbelief the gospel. Second, non-election is not God’s response to sins, because the elect are ordained to be sinners also. But, having said that (twice), I do agree that dying unbelief is a sin and that those who commit it will die the second death.
Romans 10:3–.”for they being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their won righteousness, were not subject to the righteousness of God.” Most of the Jews were not in the unconditional new covenant, and most of them were not saved. You cannot be ignorant of the gospel and still be saved. Neither can you at the same time believe in your own righteousness and also in God’s righteousness for salvation. It is an ignorant contradiction. This “doctrinal flaw” is not merely something God will scrape off you during your sanctification or at the judgment on resurrection day.
II Corinthians 6:15—“What part has a believer with an unbeliever?” But “grace” folks tell me that sovereign grace will save people no matter what they believe or don’t believe. (These same folks often have a problem saying that grace will save people no matter what they do, because they are self-righteousness enough about their continuing efforts in the local church, and in Arminian evangelism, and in being more moral than their pagan neighbors). These folks have made “grace” a soundbite which eliminates boundaries between belief and unbelief. Some of the “new covenant” folks are so “gracious” that they seem to assume that almost everybody ( even fundamentalists who they thank God they aren’t) will be imputed with righteousness.
Almost everybody. And who knows where the line is! If you just say that Jesus is Lord. But you have to really mean it. But Ephesians 4:18 warns us of those who are “darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of their heart.” But “grace” folks say to “cut them some slack”. It’s not hardness of heart but inconsistency; it’s not rebellion but not being able to read difficult Banner of Truth books.
“Alienated from God” is a very harsh thing to say, isn’t it? It does not merely describe a sincere believer who will need to be adjusted and have some doctrinal mistakes scraped off someday. The alienated person has no knowledge of the true God and does not believe the gospel. Paul knew about being alienated because Paul did not ‘grow into” better doctrine. Paul used to be lost. Paul used to be not saved. I Timothy 1:13—“I acted ignorantly in unbelief.” The idea is not that we all still act ignorantly in unbelief, and that God will be gracious to us all anyway.
Colossians 1—“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus…Of this you heard before in the word of truth, the gospel, which has come to you…it is bearing fruit and growing, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant…
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