Archive for November 2018

Reformed Baptist Jimmy Demoss Wants Less Gospel and More Works to get Rewards

November 2, 2018

On the first page of his “Gospelism Exposed”, Jimmy Demoss refers to some “Primitive Baptists who did not believe that one had to believe the gospel to be saved”. For the rest of his 102 page rant against those who put too much emphasis on the gospel, Demoss attempts to define the gospel in terms which would leave out from the gospel each and every one of the “five points”

Therefore if you deny total depravity and insist that “divine activity” depends on human ability, Demoss would say that this has nothing to do with the gospel “you have to believe to be saved”. Therefore if you believe that God’s election is based on the human condition of believing, Demoss would say that this has nothing to do with the question of which gospel you need to believe.

John 10:26 Jesus: But you don’t believe because you are not My sheep. 27 My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.

But Demoss believes that, even if you reverse this and believe that “people are not sheep because they don’t believe”, this still has nothing to do with the gospel you need to believe. Demoss teaches that the sheep of Jesus do not necessarily listen to or obey the gospel Jesus preached . Sure, Jesus said, if you are elect you will believe, and if you are not elect you will not believe. Demoss denies that anybody who believes the gospel needs to agree with Jesus about that. First of all, Demoss teaches that you can completely disagree with Jesus and say instead that “you become a sheep because you believe”. Second, and this is what Demoss most
continually stresses, if you are lost, you should only pay attention to what is taught in the book of Acts (not in the gospel of John).

Demoss teaches that, whatever gospel may be taught by Jesus in the gospels, or by the apostles in the epistles, the lost should only pay attention to the gospel found in Acts. Without speculating about all his motives for his dogma about “only in Acts”, we have to ask where the Bible teaches “the gospel for the lost is only in one place” and “the gospel for the non-lost is found in other places”. Is Demoss a dispensationalist, with one gospel for some people, and another gospel for another time and place and people? Does Demoss so hate the doctrine of unconditional election that Demoss deceives himself that the doctrine of unconditional election is not to be found in the book of Acts?

Does Demoss believe that Christians after they are “saved” (justified before God?) move on to some second stage where they don’t need the gospel anymore, and that these “already saved” people only need the law in order for them to engage in “the human activity” which will bring them “greater rewards”? Does Demoss think that once Christians are “saved”, they then have to prove to themselves (and others) that
they got saved by believing “the gospel for the lost in Acts”?

Does Demoss think that the way Christians get assurance (and rewards!) is to obey enough of God’s law? How much of God’s law does one have to obey to prove to yourself that you believed the gospel? Is it enough obeying the law to live as right as most of the other people in your church? Or would be better to focus on your sins and to wonder about yourself (and others) if you are living well enough to be sure that you believed (the gospel for the lost)? Was Demoss himself “saved” by means of a gospel found only in the book of Acts?

Mr Demoss writes as an arrogant and self-righteous man of religion. Not only does he think that he’s living right enough to know that he is saved but he seems to think that everything in the Bible (besides the
book of Acts) is only for mature well grown second stage Christians like himself.

John 9: 34 “You were born entirely in sin,” the Pharisees replied, “and are you trying to teach us?” Then they threw the sinner out

Here’s the gospel Jesus taught in John 10:3 The sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought all his own outside, he goes ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. They will never follow a stranger; instead they will run away from him, because they don’t recognize the voice of strangers.

Demoss believes that you can completely reject any idea of God’s effectual calling and still believe the gospel (for the lost in Acts). Where Jesus teaches that His sheep will listen to Him, Demoss teaches that we become sheep by believing a different gospel than Jesus taught, one that leaves out election—, whatever Jesus said is law or something not necessarily for today, but not good news for a lost sinner, according to Demoss. While lost sinners may not recognize the voice of Jesus, they have another gospel in the book of Acts which will not be so complicated (ie, offensive) to them.

In John 10, Jesus teaches that He will only die for the sheep and that the sheep will only believe His gospel because they are His sheep for whom He died. But this kind of thing, while it may be accepted in some advanced theology class for people like Demoss who like to study books, this kind of talk about election being about who Jesus died for, is ruled out by Demoss as being a suitable gospel for lost people to ever need to hear.

John 10: 14 “I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me,15 as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the sheep.

Demoss believes that you can (and should) be ignorant about any idea of Christ having died only for the sins of elect, and this will make it more possible for you to believe (the gospel for the lost in Acts). In fact, the gospel Demoss wants sinners to hear does not get into any doctrine about what Christ’s death means or about atonement or propitiation which justly pays for sins, so that it would be unjust for those sinners (the sheep) to pay for their sins. Demoss wants to have a different gospel than Jesus teaches in John 10, a gospel that only tells the fact that Christ died and rose again. This is why Demoss writes 102 pages against “Gospelism”. He writes, “this is the name I gave this group because of its almost complete emphasis on the gospel”. But then Demoss adds—“or what they claimed was the gospel”.

It seems to me that Jimmy Demoss is trying to have it both ways. On the one hand, he wants to say, if you agree that Jesus died and rose again, then you are saved if after that you live right. But on the other hand, Demoss suggests that “this group” believes what they claim is the gospel but what is not the gospel. Does this mean that, if we believe the gospel taught by Jesus in John 10, we are not believing
the gospel and therefore we are not saved (since we have the wrong gospel?)

Demoss cannot seem to say that straight out—these people are lost because they believe the false gospel. To say that, he might have to talk more about what is the doctrine of the true gospel. Instead, Demoss switches to the idea that those in this “group” are not living right. The people in this group are wanting to sin, which is why they have this different gospel about Jesus dying only for the sheep. Thus Demoss writes “many of these people have a little or no connection to a Christian church and have no accountability.”

Instead of telling us that we have a false gospel and teaching us what the true gospel is, Demoss focuses on living right. And it doesn’t matter if you belong to a Methodist or a Lutheran or a freewill church, it’s still a Christian gospel church and if you don’t belong to a church, then you are not living right.

On page 106 (almost to the end of His many pages on how we are all going to be judged according to our works, on the basis of works), Demoss lists several areas in which “people in this group” are not living right. Have I believed enough, these guys must think. For Demoss, this question is not about “is the nature of my saving faith such that it causes me to live and work enough”. Demoss is not being critical about the nature of our faith (as in, are we too dogmatic or too doubtful). Demoss is thinking that saying that Jesus dying only for the sheep is “too much” and so Demoss turns that objection to the object and content of our faith into the accusation that a gospel which includes election is “too much”.

You can say, Jesus died for everybody and that includes everybody, and that “gospel” won’t make anybody ask themselves if they “believe enough”. You can say, well I don’t know but I just feel in my heart that “Jesus died for me”, and Demoss would not object, because that’s not too much for him (even though the Bible never tells any sinner by name before they believe that Christ died for them personally).

But if you agree with the gospel Jesus in John 10 that Jesus died for the sheep, then that’s way too much for Demoss. In point of fact, it’s not enough. Many sinners do believe that Jesus died only for the
elect, and still are not believing the gospel, because along with that truth of His death only for the sins of His elect, these sinners add to that the condition of God causing them to live right. So instead of asking “do I believe in election” (which Demoss rejects as part of the gospel), these sinners instead “do I live right enough to know that I believe” So Demoss fakes some kind of pity for us, with an hypothesis that we can’t be sure that we believe this “extra gospel” about election. But in reality, Demoss is accusing those “in the group” of not living as well as he and those in his church live. He won’t say directly that we have a false gospel. Instead, he wonders if “we observe all the things Jesus commanded”.

Demoss is not asking if we imitate Jesus by not answering evil with evil. Demoss is wondering about us because we have no “affiliation” to a church (like his or the Methodists or some club where there is accountability and dues). DEmoss explains that the gospel is “not enough…The Shepherd does more-much more” (106). But Demoss is not talking about Jesus the Shepherd of John 10, the one who dies only for
the sheep and the one whose gospel the sheep hear. Instead , when Demoss talks about the Shepherd, he is talking about “the elders of the church”. If you are not a member of a church, or if your church does not have elders, Demoss warns, then Jesus dying on the cross is not enough. How are you going to live right, if you are not a member of some church. And if you don’t live right, how are you going to know if you really believe the gospel (the gospel for the lost in the book of Acts)?

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