How to Identify a False Gospel

We live in a world where there is a growing number of false teachers, false religions and counterfeit churches. The Bible warns us about false teachers who will preach false doctrines.
2 Corinthians 11:4 warns us to take heed of people who will proclaim a different gospel, a different Jesus and a different spirit.
Galatians 1:18 says “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed”

So the question is: How can we identify a false gospel?

1. A false gospel will distort, devalue or attack the true Gospel of Salvation
Galatians 1:6-7 says: I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7  not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.

For example, certain false gospels will require various works and rituals to be performed, thereby distorting the fact that salvation is a free gift received by grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).


2. A false gospel will create and portray a counterfeit Jesus than the Christ portrayed in the Bible
2 Corinthians 11:4 says: For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough

For example, the Jesus that is portrayed by the Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons has a different nature and character than the Jesus who is manifested in the Bible.

Even preachers of the prosperity gospel and the seed faith offering movement are guilty of preaching a different Jesus and a different gospel because they portray God as a lover of money.


Below are some of the false gospels that you might face in the world today

False Gospel #1 – You Must Earn Your Salvation by Your Personal Effort
There are people and religious groups who teach that a person must work for his/her salvation. They believe that salvation is something you work for through trying to be a good person by your own personal merit. The Bible teaches that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:26) therefore our own good works are not good enough to make us enter Heaven (Isaiah 64:6).
It is only through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross that we can enter Heaven (John 3:16).
Scriptures such as Ephesians 2:8-9 addresses this viewpoint. It says that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. We are not saved by our own effort or personal merit. Salvation is a free gift for mankind purchased by the blood of Jesus on the cross.


False Gospel #2 – All Religions Are Paths Which Lead to Heaven or to the Same God
Some groups may teach that all religions can coexist. They teach that there are many religions that can lead us to Heaven or lead people to essentially the same God.
However, the Bible teaches that there is only ONE path to Heaven and that path is Jesus Christ. Jesus is God in the flesh who died on the cross to save mankind from sin and to reconcile man with God. Without Christ, we cannot be eternally reconciled with God.
Jesus Himself says “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
Therefore Jesus is the only way we can enter into Heaven through repenting and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior by faith.


False Gospel #3 – Prosperity Gospel & Seeding Doctrine
Many religious groups may teach that a bankrupt bank account means a bankrupt faith. They will teach that God’s hand is moved by the amount of money you donate or “seed” to the church or the pastor, thereby insinuating that God is motivated by material donations.
This type of doctrine classifies people incorrectly whereby those with material wealth are seen as being blessed by God and the poor are seen as being cursed by God. This doctrine fosters covetousness instead of contentment.
However we learn from the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus that our financial situation in society is not related to salvation nor our spiritual relationship with God (Luke 16:19-31).
Jesus taught that life does not consist in the abundance of things (Luke 12:15). The Bible also teaches that we should have an attitude of contentment (Philippians 4:11-13).


False Gospel #4 – Grace is a License to Sin / Antinomianism
The Bible warns against false teachers who pervert the grace of God. Jude 4 says “For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Antinomianism is when people pervert the true meaning of grace by completely ditching the moral laws of God. They falsely believe that because there is grace, then it means they are not obliged to obey God’s moral laws or commandments. They falsely teach and believe that sin becomes acceptable because there is grace.
Romans 6:1-2 addresses this issue and says “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”
Therefore grace is not a loophole or a license for a person to sin. If one is truly saved, then that person’s salvation will reflect by the fruits that person bears (Matthew 3:8). Faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26).


What is the True Gospel?

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 best describes what the true gospel is all about. It is about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ according to the Scriptures, for the salvation of mankind.

1 Corinthians 15:1–4 says: Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

The word gospel means “good news”. Therefore the gospel is the good news that God is able to save sinners doomed for hell and save them from eternal punishment because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (John 3:16).
The gospel is the good news that God is able to reconcile with sinful man and that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the debt of sin that mankind could not pay (Mark 10:45).
Man is by nature sinful and therefore spiritually separated from God because of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:6).
Man is not inherently good. Mankind has broken God’s laws and commandments and man cannot fulfill God’s laws by his own ability.
Man cannot reconcile with God through his own efforts or his own ability but he can only be reconciled to God by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8,9).
Therefore the gospel is the good news about the free gift of salvation that God graciously offers to anyone who would by faith turn to Jesus Christ and recognize Christ as the only way that a person can have an eternal relationship with God (John 14:1-6).
The gospel “is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” in Christ Jesus as their personal Lord & Saviour (Romans 1:16).

Therefore, all of mankind needs to hear the true gospel. People need to hear the good news that God offers salvation as a free gift and that Jesus Christ died that we may have an everlasting relationship with God.


It’s only by understanding and having knowledge of what the true gospel is all about that we can differentiate between a falsely gospel and the true gospel. When we study the genuine gospel, we will discern the fake gospel when it is presented to us.



1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.

2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.

3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.

4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God


Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?

We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.

PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus.
Thank You for forgiving my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”

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