WORLD RELIGIONS 101
When Joseph Smith Meets Jesus
June 1, 2003
Recently I was chilling out in my house, minding my own business, when I heard a knock on the front door. Unlike a telephone that I can let ring and ring and ring, I had to go and at least see who is at the front door. So I got up, made my way to the door. As I tell my kids, always check who it is first, and I have the advantage of being tall enough to look through the peep hole. As I looked through the peep hole on the other side of my door I see two young guys wearing white dress shirts and a tie. You have no idea how happy that made me to see them. The only way I could have been any happier was if Ed McMahon himself would have been standing in front of them with a big old check. I opened the door and met the guys. Very nice and polite.
They said, “Hey, we are here from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Have you ever heard of us before?” Yeah, I think so. They said, “We are here to share a message, a message we have from God. Do you want to hear a message?” I said, “Yes, I would love to hear your message.” So I just listened to them for a while and played very dumb. I just asked questions, as if I were inquiring into their particular religion. I usually do this and one of my questions that I ask people from different religious perspectives, whether they are Mormon or Buddhist or whatever is, “What do I need to do if I want to become a Mormon?” I was kind of taking this more inquisitive, spiritual-seeker motif in the first part of the conversation.
Now, I will tell you what happened in that conversation later on in our message. And hopefully that will provide some practical tools for us on how to dialogue with people coming from different religious perspectives, especially the Mormon perspective because that is what we are studying.
We are in a series called, When Buddha Meets Jesus. But, we are not just talking about Buddhism; we are talking about the various religions of the world and giving a brief introduction to these religious perspectives. And now if some of you are coming out of some of these different religious perspectives and you are thinking,”That is not what we believe, you forgot to say this…” I realize that there is no way I can cover everything Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims believe in 30 minutes. That is not possible anymore than I can cover what Christians believe in 30 minutes. This is an introduction to some of the religions of the world. Throughout our study we have looked at the different religious perspectives and hopefully discovered that everybody has a religious perspective. Religion is a worldview. In other words, everyone has answered questions like: Is there a God? How should I relate to Him? How should I live my life? What happens when I die? Most people have answered these questions, if not on a conscious level then on a subconscious level. And they live their lives according to this worldview or in contrast to it.
Open your Bible to Galatians 1:8.
I want you to have Galatians 1:8 cemented into your mind because this is a verse I believe is so important in understanding and refuting the false claims of different religious perspectives like Mormonism and Islam. Paul writes, “But even if we (that is referring to Paul and other Apostles) or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned.”
Now, the hermeneutical implications of that verse are so vast – we don’t even have time to get into it. In other words, how that verse affects how we interpret the entire Bible is tremendous. Paul says, the gospel I received, I received directly from Jesus Christ. This gospel is the standard for what is true; for what God has revealed to us. He says, even though I come back to your church (Paul went around the world planting churches in different places) and change the gospel I originally gave to you, or if I add on to it, then you should cast me out the back door. Push me out the window. Paul says, “Even if an angel comes to you and preaches something different, don’t listen to the angel.” So Paul, in the book of Galatians unpacks the standard. The standard by which we judge that which is right and that which is wrong, when it concerns the essence of the Christian faith.
Now, we’ve been looking at “other gospels” or how people from different religions have deviated from the Christian truth. I call these deviations, “Christianity’s religious competition.”
Christianity’s religious competition can be divided into 3 groups. First, you have all of the mystical religions. Hinduism is an example of a mystical religion. Some New Age philosophy also falls into this category. Second, you have moralistic religions like Buddhism, Confucianism, religions that are concerned about ethics and how we live our lives. They are more concerned with ethics than ultimate reality and the hereafter. The third category is the counterfeit religions. They are what I call Christian knock-offs. They fall into 3 different categories. First, you have polytheistic counterfeits, which is Mormonism. Second, you have Unitarian counterfeits, which we looked at with Islam and Afshin Ziafat who was a former Muslim. It is a Unitarian counterfeit of Christianity. Then you have Neo-Messianic counterfeits, which have to do with people like Jim Jones and the Son of Sam – the guys who claim to be the new messiahs and have these new religious spins on Christianity. If you want to really group the different religious perspectives that try to go against the Christian faith, you can group them in one of these three categories 99.9% of the time.
Through this series, as you know, we have been learning to ask the Big Four Questions. The Big Four Questions help you understand what your Christian world view is and what the worldview is of other people and of other faith systems. First Question, What is Ultimate Reality? That is a God question. God has revealed Himself to us; He is the great Triune God of Scripture. John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God.” God has revealed Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and He has revealed Himself to us in His Word, Holy Scripture, and in The Word, the God-Man Jesus Christ.
Second Question. Big Question. “How do you know?” We know primarily through revelation. God has revealed Himself to us in His Word. He has revealed Himself to us in time, space, and history in the person of Jesus Christ.
It is important to make this point – there is a balance here. We worship and we have given our lives – not to the Bible. The Bible, God’s Word does not save us. The Bible did not die on the cross for us, Jesus did. So we give our lives to Jesus Christ. He is the focal point of all Scripture, New Testament and Old Testament. They speak of Him. Now obviously, there is a reflective relationship. To have a high view of Christ, you have to have a high view of Scripture. If you have a low view of Scripture, you usually have a low view of Christ. They are reciprocal. But we don’t need to get into Bible-idolatry either. That is what we tend to do in our western world. We worship information instead of worshiping and following the risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The third big question is, “What happens at death?” God’s word tells us at death we will be judged. We will have to give an account for our life. We will either spend an eternity together with God or an eternity separated from Him in hell. Jesus Christ talked more about hell than any person in Scripture.
Fourth big question, “How should you live?” We should live by keeping in step with the Holy Spirit. When we come to know Jesus Christ and we enter into a relationship with God, He is our mediator, He is our God, He forgives us, and He cleanses us. He places His Spirit inside of us to teach us all truth and to help us live a life that will truly honor and glorify God.
Now, we are going to ask these big four questions to Joseph Smith and his followers who are known today as Mormons or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
First question,“What is ultimate reality?” Mormons would say, if you have enough time to talk to them, they would say “gods” Mormonism is polytheistic, that means they believe in many gods. And they believe at one point every god was at one time a man. So, the heavenly father from a Mormon perspective was at one time a man, who through exaltation, evolved into the god that he is. And that is what is really difficult if you have no knowledge of the Mormon religion because they use almost the exact same terms that we do.
They will use the terms Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, Holy Ghost, Scripture, Grace, Mercy, Atonement, Second Coming, Heaven… they use all the same terms but they pour entirely different meanings into those terms. So you might think, “Hey…we are talking, we are clicking, but when you ask … What do you mean by ‘Jesus Christ?… What do you mean by ‘the Heavenly Father?’ What do you mean by ‘grace, atonement?’” When you do this you will see that they have radically different answers and perspectives on these biblical terms.
Here is what Joseph Smith the founder of the Mormon religion, he said, “I am going to tell how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea (which in essence he is saying he is going to refute the Bible) and take away the veil so that you may see. God the Father of us all dwelt on earth, the same as Jesus Christ did. And you have to learn how to be Jesus Christ yourself. The same as all the gods have done before you.”
Mormons teach that through living a certain life and reaching a certain standard; you can eventually evolve into a god, even the same nature as God, the Heavenly Father or as Jesus Christ. They believe that each god had a mother and a father, who copulated and produced them. They believe that human beings were born in the pre-existent world by our spiritual mother and our spiritual father- having spiritual sex creating our spiritual beings. Then on earth, our spirits are put into these human beings and we go through this time of testing to see how we can work our way up the ladder to achieve a type of exaltation, which we will talk about later. They believe that Jesus Christ is a created being. I was having a conversation with a guy in San Diego who had converted from Catholicism to Mormonism. And we had a long talk and finally I asked him if he believed there was a time when Jesus Christ was not. And he said, “Yes.” I said, “Then the Jesus that you believe in and the Jesus I believe in are two different beings. “
They believe that Jesus Christ was a brother of Satan. I was reading in one of their books this week, a practical doctrine on how to apply their doctrine, about how there are two plans of salvation. Satan had one plan, Jesus had another plan and God chose Jesus’ plan over Satan. Strange.
That is their ultimate reality. The Mormon’s ultimate reality would be gods, many gods. And they say, well we only worship one god while we are on earth. In other words, we worship only one god while here on earth but in actuality there are many, many gods. It is like the heresy of modalism as far as the Trinity is concerned. God reveals Himself to us on earth, sometimes as Father, sometimes as Son, sometimes as Spirit- as a Triune God. But they would say, really God is not a Triune God, He is a Unitarian. Same deal there.
Let’s move on and ask the second question. Let me say something here. Once you deviate from the Trinity, once you deviate from how God has revealed Himself, everything else falls to pieces. You can see this in Mormonism, you can see this in Jehovah’s Witnesses, you can see this in the New Age Movement, and you can see this in Islam because you are rejecting Who God is, His very nature. Once you reject the true knowledge of Who God is, everything else is eventually going to fall apart and you are going to have arbitrariness and contradictions throughout the place. Just watch.
Question number two, How do you know? Mormons know primarily through revelation. Mormons accept four standards as divine revelations of God. As Christians, we believe in solo scriptura, our standard is God’s Word, how He has revealed Himself to us in Scripture. They have four standards. Number one is The Book of Mormon. Number two is the Bible or I should say, the Bible as corrected by Joseph Smith and clarified by the book of Mormon. Number three is the Doctrine and the Covenants. Number four is The Pearl of Great Price. Also as a bonus, Mormons also accept revelations from their modern day prophets as divine and binding. So there are modern day prophets on the earth today who can speak a word and that word or that belief becomes the word of God. You can see once again – when you deviate from the Trinity and you believe people can speak with the same authority as Scripture, the same authority as the Apostles, you are opening Pandora’s proverbial box. You will see how out of control it gets and how a lot of Mormon teachers today and theologians are always backtracking and doing this and that with some of the loony things they have said in the past.
Those are the four standards, but their knowledge is based on what supposedly happened to Joseph Smith on September 21st 1823 near Manchester, NY. He was praying by himself and alone in the woods and asking the Lord, “Which church should I join? Methodist? Baptist? Presbyterian?”And the Lord said, “Don’t join any of those churches, they are all apostate. They are all heresy.” That is when eventually, God revealed to Joseph Smith the book of Mormon, it was supposedly written in some unknown language of reformed Egyptian, which no one spoke on earth anymore. He revealed this angel Moroni and gave Joseph Smith this revelation, the book of Mormon on these golden tablets that do not exist. They have been taken up to heaven – which is convenient.
From 1831 – 1844, Joseph Smith received 135 direct revelations. One of those revelations was that after Jesus Christ rose from the dead and appeared to the Apostles and over 500 witnesses during a 40 day period, He also went to the Americas and was ministering to a group of Native Americans or a tribe known as the Neophytes, of whom there is no archeological evidence that they ever actually existed (minor problem there). This is one of the things Joseph Smith was told, supposedly by this angel. In these direct revelations he had, God appeared to him one time, God the Father and Jesus Christ separately appeared to him at one time. James appeared to him, John, John the Baptist, Peter – he received direct revelations from many people. Even Moses.
The following is a revelation that Joseph Smith had, this is a direct quote: “The inhabitants of the moon are more of a uniform size than the inhabitants of the earth.” Now if you know a little bit about science, they have not found inhabitants on the moon yet. But here he tells us how tall they are on the moon, “Being about 6 feet in height, they dress very much like Quaker style.” (You’ve seen the guy on the oatmeal box.) “And live to be very old, coming to live generally near 1,000 years.” That is a direct quote from Joseph Smith. That was a supposed revelation that he got and that revelation is ludicrous, it is false. There are many others like that that we don’t have time to get into tonight.
How do you know from a Mormon perspective? You know from these four standards. Everything though is really based upon what happened to Joseph Smith and how this angel and Jesus and God and John the Baptist and the whole Hee Haw gang supposedly told him that this is how the Christian religion really works. When you lose the Trinity, Ultimate Reality, everything falls apart. When you open up the playing field to extra Biblical revelations- everything falls apart.
I was reading in their literature this week (I don’t even think Tim LaHaye figured this out in his book, Left Behind since in the Mormon version of the Second Coming, you have Jesus Christ coming back to set up his millennium reign on earth. Guess where he is going to set up his millennial reign on earth? If you are from the LDS church, don’t shout it out, no… it is not UTAH. It is in the “show me” state, Missouri. That is where Jesus Christ is going to set up the New Jerusalem; the Second Coming is in Mizzou. When I read that this week, I couldn’t get it out of my head.
Again, there are many things like that. For example, you have in the LDS version of the Bible; you have Adam in Genesis 3 getting baptized by emersion. You have references in Genesis 50 concerning a prophecy that one day a guy is going to be born in America named Joseph Smith. I mean that is pretty convenient. That is like me going back into the Bible and inserting my name after I had a revelation and saying, here is the prophecy and my prophesy is in here. It’s incredible.
Third question: What happens at death? This is where it gets even more confusing and bizarre if you can imagine that. At death, everybody goes to some type of heaven. Some type of kingdom. You either go to the celestial kingdom, which is the highest level, or the terrestrial kingdom, the second highest level or the telestial kingdom, the third level. All this is based on how you followed Mormon doctrine/theology.
Mormons are supposedly really into the family. One of the things they teach is, if you follow and make progress in your spiritual relationship with God the Father, then you can live with your family forever and ever and you can eventually become spiritual parents that create other spiritual children. Now, that is appealing and you can even go and have a temple ceremony performed for you by people who are supposedly of the Melchizedek priesthood and they can seal your marriage for eternity. So you will be married to your mate not only till you die at the ripe old age of 72 but you will live with your mate forever and ever and ever in eternity. Which to me, begs the question, you know, if you have a great marriage- hooray! If not, you’re like – man, I thought… Sorry, couldn’t resist that.
In all seriousness though, if I had to say what one of the strengths of the Mormon Church is, I would say it is their emphasis on family. In reading some of their literature this week, there are some practical things that they encourage husbands and wives to do and families to do that are dynamic and great. The Mormons do a lot of things right. Most of the Mormons I know are good people, kind and loving people. They are good citizens of our country by and large. To me, their emphasis on family is strong. But the whole idea of sealing your family and if you work and have a certain amount of righteousness you can live with your family forever- that is a good leverage to encourage people to live a good, clean, wholesome life. Now, if you are wondering, where do you get this stuff from, where do they get these doctrines from Ben? That is not in the Bible. Again, you have to go back to “How do you know this?” when you are talking to anybody. How do you know this? I know this from the four standards that the Mormons believe in; the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, The Bible and Doctrines and Covenants and continual revelations from their various prophets who are alive today.
Question number four – the Big Question – “How should you live?”
They believe that you should obey the commandments of the Mormon Church so you can live in eternity with your family. Again, their emphasis on family is fascinating. Let’s say that your parents, and your grandparents who weren’t Mormon are dead. Where are they going to go? How can they get into one of these upper level kingdom heaven deals? Well, you can go into the Temple and they can perform some ceremonies for you and they can spring your parents or grandparents who did not believe in the Mormon Church into the higher level. They also believe in baptism for the dead and these temple ceremonies are one of the ways they accomplish that. You can see what amazing comfort that would give to a lot of people. They say, well, we can go back and get your great, great grandfather and put them into the celestial kingdom if you do this and that, have the temple ceremonies and do everything right. That is very appealing. That is why Mormons are very into genealogy and trying to trace their roots. They definitely teach a theology of works righteousness. They will tip their hat at grace, mercy and the cross and they will say, “Yes Jesus died for us, died for me but (and of course their Jesus is entirely different from our Jesus) you better do this or that.” They will say yes it is Jesus, but their version of Jesus, plus Mormon doctrine. And if you do that then you’ll progress into a higher state of exaltation.
Here is what one of their theologians named Bruce McConkie said, “One of the untrue doctrines found in modern Christendom is that man can gain salvation by grace alone without obedience. Salvation in the celestial kingdom (that is the highest kingdom) is salvation by grace coupled with obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.” You may put in parenthesis there, the doctrine of the Mormon Church. So obviously they are saying – Jesus, plus works. Jesus plus obedience to the law will justify you and bring you into one of these different levels of heaven.
Now, as we evaluate this and look at how they answered these big four questions, you don’t have to have a PhD in Christian theology to see what happened. Many of you probably think, what is the big deal, don’t they believe the same thing that we believe? No they don’t. Obviously just by taking a cursory look at some of their major doctrines and their major beliefs, we see that they do not come close to believing what orthodox Christians both in the Catholic and Protestant strain have believed for 2,000 years.
Maybe you heard the story about a lady named Bobby Denson, her mother died suddenly, no reason just dropped dead. And so she had the difficult duty of cleaning out her mom’s apartment. She was giving some stuff away to neighbors and people around her in the complex. Little did she know that she gave to her neighbors the very thing that killed her mom. She gave them a salt shaker that was filled with poisonous sodium nitrate. Two of her neighbors died and two others were hospitalized. She had no idea. Her ignorance was costly. Ignorance when it comes to these big four questions, the matter of truth, is costly. That is why we need to be able to discern the truth as we look at these various religious perspectives, as we look at Christian counterfeits like Mormonism. We have to see how they have poisoned the salt shaker.
So, how does Christianity differ from Mormonism? Let’s rewind back to my conversation with the two Mormon missionaries at my front door. I start talking to them play dumb for about 15 minutes listen to their spiel about how I can become a Mormon, what I need to do. I start getting into it with them a little bit. I said I just have a question, “How do you guys deal with Galatians 1:8. You know that verse don’t you, where it says, ‘If we or an angel from heaven preach to you a gospel that is different than the one you received let that person be eternally condemned.’ How do you guys deal with that question, because your religion, along with Muslims in 622 AD were formed by supposed angelic visitations and you guys have totally changed the gospel as revealed both to Paul and the other disciples. You’ve changed it or added to it or taken away from it. How do you guys deal with that? With that fact? I just want to know how you deal with the fact that for many, many years the Mormon church would not allow blacks to come into their church, would not allow African Americans to come in. And then Donny and Marie are on Barbara Walters and they say yes, that is right African Americans can’t come into our church and the very next day a prophet has a revelation that says, ‘I think it is time we allow African Americans into our church.’ “How do you guys deal with that? I want to know how you deal with this stuff, with adding to the gospel of grace.”
Another question I have is this,”You mean to tell me, when John, who is the last disciple to die died on the Island of Patmos in 90 AD, that the entire Christian church went into apostasy? See, the Mormons believe that once the disciples died out that there was an apostate that occurred both there in the Middle East and in the Americas with this so called Neophyte tribe that Jesus appeared to after His resurrection. They believe the church went into apostasy. If that is true, then John, Paul, Peter and James did a pathetic job of mentoring and discipleship if they couldn’t pass it on at least one generation. You mean to tell me from 90AD up until 1829 – when Joseph Smith had his supposed revelation from the angel Moroni – that all this time the church was in apostate? That St. Francis of Assisi, Polycarp, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathon Edwards, John Wesley really were not believers until Joseph Smith rediscovered the real new gospel as he added to the gospel?
I just asked them question after question, just like that and they did a pretty good job of trying to refute them. They never really got around the whole concept of the angelic visitation which is really the big one. One guy said about, not allowing blacks in the church.
“I really don’t have an answer for you.” I appreciated that honest answer.
We got to the end of our conversation and I said, “Guys, here’s the deal. You and I have a lot in common.” And these are nice guys, sincere guys. They really believe what they are teaching and spreading. I said, “We have a lot in common, we both follow the 10 Commandments, we have other morals in common and furthermore, I like Orin Hatch (he’s the Senator from Utah for those of you who don’t know.) But besides that, we are on two different pages because we have a different standard. My standard is Scripture, the Word of God. My standard is the gospel that God revealed to His disciples and the Apostle Paul. That is my standard and that has been the standard of the church for 2,000 years.” Then I used the old metric illustration: “What if I told you guys that this pencil right here is a meter long. I really believe in my heart that this pencil is a meter long – it is one meter in length. God told me with a golden plate that this is a meter long. What would you say to me? You would say you are wrong.” And I would say, What do you mean I am wrong? God told me in my heart that it was a meter long. Well it is not a meter long. And I would say, ‘Prove it.’ You would say, “Ok let’s get on a plane and go to France to the museum where they have the standards of metric measurements and you can put your little pencil up to the meter stick and see that you fall way short. “
I continued telling them, “You can see that what you believe in the Mormon Church when compared to the orthodox teaching of the Apostles, you guys fall way short of the standard. Your standard is Joseph Smith. My standard is the Word of God. We have different standards, therefore we have different gospels and different faiths.” They said, “Hey, if you dial this number we will give you a free copy of the book of Mormon.” I said, “Actually I already own one.” The guy said, “I figured. If you get this you can get a video.” I said, “I appreciate it. “This is my gift to you, read the book of Galatians. When you go home and as you are going out, read it. It’s only six chapters. Read it over and over and over again. Ask God to speak to you through that book.” Finally, I asked, “What do you guys do with jerks like me who act dumb like they don’t know anything about your faith and then they come back at you?” Then they went on their way.
How does Christianity differ? Number one, our standard is different. Our standard is the Word of God. Their standard is Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon and other prophets and revelations that followed. Number two, our leader is different. Our leader is the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the God Man. He is our leader. Joseph Smith is their leader. Before Joseph Smith became this prophet of God, he was convicted of a crime known as glass looking. People back then would put their head into this kind of black bag and they would have this rounded glass and people would come up out of this bag and say, “There is buried treasure over there… you should do this or that.” This is a type of fortune telling and he was convicted of that. If you can live with the fact that the founder of your religion believed in fortune telling, along with polygamy – that’s your deal, but Scripture doesn’t teach that. Our views are different.
Number three, our Gods are different. Our God has revealed Himself as the One Holy Triune God. One in essence and three in persons. The Mormon gods are polytheistic, they believe in many gods who copulate just like humans do on earth and produce other spiritual beings and spiritual gods and spiritual humans who eventually come to take bodily form here on earth. Again, their whole concept of who God is, Ultimate Reality, is radically different from what Scripture teaches.
Number four, our salvation is different. I can lump Mormons together with Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus and other world religions who teach a works righteousness religion. They say, if you really want to know God, to really be enlightened then you must pull yourself up by your own moral boot straps and be good and buckle down. Basically, you are dirty and if you are going to be clean, then you have to wash yourself. Christianity doesn’t teach that. Christianity teaches that someone else has to wash you. Christianity teaches that we are justified, not by works but by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Now, that doesn’t mean that once we put our faith in Jesus Christ we just sit back and kick back and do whatever the heck we want to do. Of course the faith that justifies, makes us acceptable before God is the same grace that sanctifies. Even when we are at our most sanctified moment, the holiest of holies – thirty years from now we are still utterly dependent upon the righteousness of Jesus Christ to be acceptable before God the Father.
Galatians 2:21 says, “I do not set aside the grace of God for if righteousness could be gained through the law Christ died for nothing!” Verse 15 of Galatians 2, “We who are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners know that a man is not justified by observing the law but by faith in Jesus Christ.” We too have put our faith in Jesus Christ that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.
You see, the people coming into the Galatian church are just like the Mormons. Except their doctrine of God and Jesus was a little more sound than the Mormons, but they were basically saying this, “Yeah, believe in God, believe in Jesus, do that, believe in the cross, cling to the old rugged cross and… you better get circumcised… and you better obey the law of Moses or God won’t accept you.” No, no, no Paul said you are justified by faith in Christ Jesus …plus nothing.
That is the gospel. Ephesians 2:8-9, “It is by grace you are saved through faith that is a gift from God.” Even our faith and trust in God is a gift from Him so that nobody can boast. Paul said to the Corinthians, when I came to you I only wanted to say one thing, I wanted you to know about Christ and Him crucified. If you are going to boast in anything boast in what Jesus Christ has done for you. That is the gospel of grace. That is the good news and that is where Christianity radically differs not only from Mormonism but from Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and you name any other type of Christian competition. Listen we’ve got to know what God’s Word says – we’ve got to be able to discern if someone has poisoned the salt shaker.
Glenn Lucke told me this story. There is this guy by the name of Carlos, Carlos grew up in a Catholic background, then eventually went into the Methodist church, then the Charismatic Church… basically he was a church hopper. Didn’t really know God or Jesus, but kind of knew. He was sitting in his house one day, just like I was, heard a knock on his door, two missionaries come in. Boom – they lay out their spiel… before you know it this guy is full blown LDS. He is in the church and introduces his family to the Mormon faith, the whole nine yards. He wants to go into the chaplaincy program in the army so he goes to a seminary. Somehow, some way he ends up in an evangelical protestant seminary in Florida. He is in a class and he realizes all the different and bazaar teachings of the Mormon Church and he realizes he has deceived his family. After class, he is crying to his professor and said, “What have I done? I have misled my wife, my family, I have failed them.” Listen that can happen to you.
That can happen to anyone who is not a Christian but a “Christian-ette” Right? You have just enough Christianity to be dangerous. That can happen, you can get swayed by someone who comes to your door and they have a plan, they seem to have all the answers. They can just loop you in and they have just poisoned the salt shaker and you don’t even know it. This guy Carlos cried out, “What can I do?” What can you do now? You can do the same thing this guy Carlos did. You can turn and trust in what Jesus Christ has done for you; to make you acceptable and righteous before God. You can turn to Him and have new life and a new hope. You can know that Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior who has walked out of the pages of this book, the Holy Bible, is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
[Ben leads in a closing prayer.]