Paul’s gospel was startlingly different from Peter’s gospel as it did not contain baptism as necessary for salvation, neither did it contain repentance as a prior requirement.
“And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:19,20 (KJV)
Talk with most Christians about how people get saved, and they will invariably reply that it’s by the hearing, receiving and believing of the gospel, which is true. But then the trouble starts when I ask them which gospel in the New Testament they are referring to. That questions is usually met with a “huh?” and a blank stare. “More than one gospel?”, they say. “How can that be?” But the plain truth is that the New Testament is not entirely written either about or to Christians alone. Now a Christian can draw teaching and inspiration from all of it, but not find their doctrine in all its pages. The New Testament is a much larger story than simply that of the Christian Church.
Because the New Testament can be at any one time addressing either the Jews and Israel, the Church and the Body of Christ, or the unsaved Gentiles, it must be rightly divided to see what is doctrine for us and what is doctrine for someone else. Today we will take a look at the various different gospels contained in the New Testament, and see who they were preached by, preached to and preached for. I am not giving you the list in chronological order or in order of importance. Rather this listing will be in order of relevance to Christians in the Age of Grace alive in our dispensation.
#1). The Gospel Of Peter:
“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:37,38 (KJV)
A Christian wrote to me the other day, and said that they had been saved according to Acts 2:38, to which I replied no you didn’t. After the “huh?” and the blank stare, they asked why not? I told them that when Peter, who was the apostle to the Jews, preached that gospel on Pentecost, it was preached only to Jews. More than that, it was a gospel of faith + works. Lastly, it was not a gospel that forgave them their sins, rather it only put their sins in remission. If you have cancer and it goes into remission are you cured? No, but you’re not sick either. Safe but not saved according to Paul’s preaching, but more on that in a minute.
Peter’s gospel was preached to Jews, in Israel, who were waiting for a King to bring them a Kingdom at the Second Coming. This is why you see Peter invoking the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy of the Second Coming in Acts 2:14-21 (KJV). At this point, there is no Rapture of the Church on the table at all, and the Church which was being formed was a Church for Jews waiting for the Second Coming of Jesus. Gentiles were not part of the Body of Christ nor would they be until Acts 8 with the Ethiopian Eunuch.
Peter’s gospel was nearly identical to that preached by the last Old Testament prophecy, John the Baptist. If you wanted to “get in” and receive the salvation being offered at that time, baptism was required. Christians in the Age of Grace do not get baptized for salvation, they get baptized after becoming saved. Big difference. Someone who gets saved in our dispensation receives immediate forgiveness for all sins – past, present and future – and not the “remission of sins” offered by Peter’s gospel.
#2). The Gospel Of Paul:
“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.” Romans 16:25-27 (KJV)
Saul who became Paul, who was the sworn enemy of the Jewish followers of Jesus Christ, got knocked off his horse on the Damascus Road, and received his commission to preach and teach the gospel from Jesus Christ directly. The gospel that he received was unknown to the other apostles, and Paul constantly referred to it as “my gospel”.
Paul’s gospel was startlingly different from Peter’s gospel as it did not contain baptism as necessary for salvation, neither did it contain repentance as a prior requirement. I am not saying that Paul did not preach repentance because he certainly did, but in his gospel it’s in a different order. Peter preached that works of baptism and repentance came first, Paul preached that they came after. Christians in the Age of Grace do not receive the “gift of the Holy Ghost”, the Holy Ghost takes up residence inside of us. Huge difference. Our sins don’t go into remission, they are forgiven and removed immediately and for all time.
When the Philippian jailer wanted to know how to get saved, he was told by Paul to do one thing and one thing only – believe on Jesus Christ. The baptism came many hours after that.
“And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.” Acts 16:30-33 (KJV)
Paul called the gospel that he preached “my gospel” because it was given to him first by revelation, and he then went to the apostles and taught it to them. Paul’s gospel was the larger revelation of the Body of Christ, born again believers made up of Jews and Gentiles. Peter preached to Jews only on Pentecost. Peter ends 2 Peter by acknowledging that Paul had unique revelation from the Lord, called it scripture, and warned that it could mess you up if you did not ‘rightly divide’ it.
“And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” 2 Peter 3:15,16 (KJV)
#3). The Gospel Of The Kingdom:
“The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:16,17 (KJV)
“But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 15:24 (KJV)
Jesus preached the gospel of the Kingdom to the Jews, which included the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of Heaven is a literal, visible, earthly kingdom in Israel and the Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom. When the Jews rejected Jesus by killing Him on the cross, and then rejecting the Holy Spirit with the stoning of Stephen, the Kingdom of God was taken from them and given to the Gentiles who formed the Body of Christ. Jesus prophesied about this in Matthew 21:
“Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” Matthew 21:43 (KJV)
Jesus gospel was only to the Jews, preparing them for the coming kingdom. He came to save “His people”, the Jews, from their sins. Jesus preached salvation by a combination of faith + works, as is clearly evident in Matthew 24 and 25. The Sermon on the Mount was not preached for any Christian Church, it was preached as a kind of Constitution of the coming Kingdom. There is much in there that is profitable for the Christian, but our doctrine lies in the writings of Paul. The apostolic signs mentioned in Mark 16 are not meant for any Christian Church, and it is by turns laughable and sadly tragic when we see people in the Age of Grace attempting to prove they have those signs. This signs were given to Jewish apostles in Jesus day, and they will again be given to the 144,000 Jewish Witnesses in the time of Jacob’s trouble. But as doctrine they skip the Church Age entirely. If you would like to prove me wrong, attempt any of the following:
- Heal everyone you lay hands on.
- Drink poison and not die or be affected by it.
- Get bite by a deadly snake and not die or be affected by it.
The Jews in the Millennium will finally receive the promised Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus preached to them about, they will live safely in Israel under their promised King who delivers them the promised Kingdom. During the same time period the Church, made up of born again, saved Jews and Gentiles, will administer the Kingdom of God by ruling and reigning with our Lord.
“It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:” 2 Timothy 211,12 (KJV)
#4). The Everlasting Gospel:
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Revelation 14:6,7 (KJV)
The last gospel to be preached right before the Second Coming will be the ‘Everlasting Gospel’, and it will be preached by an angel flying overhead. This is one, last admonition to the world, mostly gentiles at this point, to ‘fear God’, to ‘give him the glory’, and to ‘worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters’.
During this time period Jews are under the Law of Moses, gentiles are told to ‘endure to the end’, and if anyone takes the Mark of the Beast their soul becomes lost and damned forever. Taking the Mark is the ‘unforgivable sin’ in the time of Jacob’s trouble, as we see here:
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” Revelation 14:9-11 (KJV)
People are saved in the time of Jacob’s trouble by having faith in Jesus Christ and keeping the commandments of God:
“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12 (KJV)
You can lose your salvation during the Tribulation, you cannot lose it now in the Church Age. Another huge difference.
The Everlasting Gospel is different from any other gospel preached in the New Testament, and will apply only in the time of Jacob’s trouble, and it will only be preached by an angel from heaven.
In conclusion, we could also talk about the differences between the gospels found in Matthew, Mark and Luke and the very different gospel found in John. MM&L are based completely to the Jews and Israel while John’s gospel talks about being born again in John 3, eternal security in John 10, and the Rapture of the yet-to-be-formed Church in John 14. None of these things found anywhere in MM&L.
The one common thing that all the different gospels contain is that they all come from Jesus Christ, albeit in different dispensations. Confusion only arises when you fail to ‘rightly divide’ the Bible and you attempt to place yourself or someone else in a dispensation that they do not belong in. The New Testament is not the story of the Christian Church alone, it contains that story but also include the Jews and Israel as a separate entity and the gentiles as a separate entity.
“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1 (KJV)
This is why the apostle Paul commands Christians to ‘follow me as I follow Jesus’, and not be followers of Matthew, Mark, Peter or anyone else. Only Paul’s gospel is for the Christian Church, and until the Rapture it will remain the only way of salvation available to lost people on this earth. In the Tribulation it won’t save you at all.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9 (KJV)
Salvation by grace through faith alone is different from any other gospel found in the Bible and is for the Church Age alone. We do no works to get saved, and we perform no works to stay saved.
Please also read these related articles:
- IS THE NON-DISPENSATIONAL ‘SCARLET THREAD’ SINGLE PLAN OF SALVATION DOCTRINAL OR A RELIGIOUS LIE?
- THE BIBLE BELIEVERS GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE RAPTURE AND THE SECOND COMING
- A BIBLE BELIEVER LOOKS AT FAITH, WORKS AND THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST
- WHAT IS THE POINT OF PUTTING THE BODY OF CHRIST INTO THE TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE?
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