The following is compiled from six chapters from the Should You
RUN From Jesus Always? book. It presents the test criteria used
for one of the evaluations of Jesus Always. You'll need to
read the book to find out how Jesus Always does based this
your copy on Amazon.
What Are The Characteristics of False Teaching?
In his book Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones lays out six characteristics of false teaching.
Not all false teachers exhibit all six, and it is possible for some
false teachers to have none of these characteristics. But, if a teacher
(or book), has most these characteristics, they are most likely a
To be as fair as possible Im using biblical criteria from an
independent expert to evaluate Jesus Always. In other words,
Im not picking and choosing criteria in such a way as to make
Jesus Always look bad. The results of evaluating Jesus Always
against these criteria will be published in the book "Should
You RUN From Jesus Always?"
Here are D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones six characteristics of false
Number 1 There is a Vagueness and Absence of Doctrine
It does not like doctrinal preaching; it is always so vague
The false prophet very rarely tells you anything about the holiness,
the righteousness, the justice, and the wrath of God. He always
preaches about the love of God, but those other things he does not
mention. He never makes anyone tremble as he thinks of this holy
and august Being. D. Martyn Lloyd Jones, Studies in the
Sermon on the Mount, 1976, pages 501-502
What Ill be looking for in Jesus Always is for Sarah Young
to talk about the holiness, the righteousness, the justice, and the
wrath of God in a way that actually says something specific about
these attributes. These are all foundational to Christianity.
When Martyn Lloyd-Jones says false prophets tells you nothing about
the holiness of God, he does not mean they never mention the word
holy. False teachers love using spiritual words such as
holy, but they dont talk about holiness. They never
tell you what it means to be holy.
We have a holy God, meaning that He is separate. For example God is
separate from His creation. It also means God is separate from all
that is evil and wrong
separate from sin.
Therefore, listen to me, you men of understanding. Far be it
from God to do wickedness, and from the Almighty to do wrong.
To be righteous means to be free from sin
to be perfectly reflecting
the righteousness of God. We were created in the image of God, and
thus we should demonstrate the righteousness of God. But we dont
we sin (disobey God)
and that means we deserve destruction.
God cannot just say, I love you all. Everyone can come into
heaven. That is neither love nor righteous. What God did
was to say, I love you all. So I will pay the penalty youve
earned for breaking the law. I will be punished in your place so that
you are free to enter heaven. That is righteousness. Speaking
about what Christ did on the cross, Paul wrote:
This was to demonstrate His righteousness Romans
A simple definition of justice is: the right and appropriate consequences
for our actions and thoughts. We see this clearly on the cross. We
broke Gods laws, and the penalty for breaking His laws had to
be paid. God in His mercy and grace took on Himself the punishment
you deserved in order to pay the penalty you earned for breaking His
laws. The Got Questions web site describes it this way:
His mercy and grace are not in spite of His justice, but because
of it. He loved us so much that despite the fact that our sin demands
our death, He sent His Son to be our substitute upon the cross,
thus demonstrating that His justice was not violated, but instead
satisfied (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9). - http://www.gotquestions.org/God-of-justice.html.
The fourth characteristic on the list is Gods wrath. For human
beings, wrath is the emotional response, in many cases anger, to something
we think is wrong or unjust. But, what is Gods wrath?
Gods wrath is His response to our misrepresenting who He is.
We are created in the image of God and should reflect His character.
For example, the Ten Commandments describe the character of God. When
we dont reflect Gods character, that is called breaking
His law (sin) and there are consequences. Those consequences are called
Gods wrath. It is the just punishment for sin.
Gods wrath is sometimes poured out in this life. He may use
natural disasters (earthquakes, storms, disease, etc.)
or human means (war, deportations, oppressive government, etc.), or
divine means (a withdrawal of His providential blessings) to bring
His wrath for sin on those living in this earthly realm. Gods
wrath is also poured out on all of those not trusting in Jesus Christ
when they die. This post physical death wrath is sometimes called
hell, the lake of burning fire, or outer darkness.
Number 2 There is Nothing About Final Judgment and the
Eternal Destiny of the Lost
There has not been much preaching about the Last Judgment
and very little preaching about hell and the everlasting destruction
of the wicked. No, the false prophets do not like teaching such
as you have in the second Epistle of Peter. D. Martyn
Lloyd Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, 1976, pages 502
Jesus talked about hell more than he talked about heaven. Why? Because
He loves you.
Imagine a courtroom. Every defendant who comes into that courtroom,
no matter what the crime from murders to jay walkers
is set free. There are no fines. No jail time. No penalty of any kind
is imposed. Is that judge a good judge? No. Not at all.
God is good, righteous, just, and perfect. You will stand before Him
as your judge
and you cannot hide anything. He knows it all.
You are guilty and the penalty must be paid. There must be punishment,
a place we call hell. Otherwise God is not a good and righteous judge.
Let me tell you the most terrify truth I can possibly speak
to you. Are you ready? Here it is. The most terrifying thing I can
tell a man, a woman, a child, is this
God is good
whats the problem with that? The problem with that is youre
not good. What does a good God do with someone like you?
Paul Washer, YouTube video God is Good, Youre Not!
God is good and you are not. What is He to do with you? What He did
was to go to the cross and pay the penalty youve earned for
not being good
for your having broken His laws. If you refuse
to believe this is true, you must pay the penalty yourself
eternity in the lake of fire
Number 3 There is Nothing About The Utter Sinfulness of
In the same way the false prophets teaching does not emphasize
the utter sinfulness of sin and the total inability of man to do
anything about his own salvation. It often does not believe in sin
at all, and certainly does not emphasis its vile nature. It does
not say that we are all perfect; but it does suggest that sin is
not serious. D. Martyn Lloyd Jones, Studies in the Sermon
on the Mount, 1976, pages 502
The song Amazing Grace says it perfectly:
Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
We may not like to think of ourselves this way, but we are wretched
sinners. Jesus said:
No one is good except God alone. Mark 10:18
Even the very best we can do
our very best good deeds
(our righteousness) are like maggot infested filthy rags:
But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses
are like filthy rags; - Isaiah 64:6
Until we accept that we are sinners (there is nothing good in us),
we dont know we need a savior. A law-breaker needs saving from
the consequences, but a good person does not need saving. As long
as you are thinking you are good, you will not see a need for the
cross. (Take the Good Person Test at: www.911Christ.com.)
Number 4 The is Nothing About the Cross Being the Only
The false prophet talks about Jesus; he even delights
to talk about the cross and the death of Jesus. But the vital question
is, what is his view of that death? What is his view of that cross?
The one test is this: does he realize that Christ died on
the cross because it was the only way to make expiation and propitiation
for sin? D. Martyn Lloyd Jones, Studies in the Sermon
on the Mount, 1976, pages 503
The cross is the only way. The Son had to die, taking on Himself
the sins of the world and the full wrath of God for those sins. Books
such as Jesus Always tend to speak to our emotions. They build up
self-esteem and present a very sentimental type of Jesus whom everybody
likes. They rarely mention the cross.
The problem is that the cross is offensive. It is a stumbling block
to the Jew, and foolishness to the Greek (anyone who is not a Jew).
The Offensiveness of the Cross
- The cross is offensive because it is exclusive. It is the ONLY
way to salvation.
- The cross is offensive because, before we can come to the cross,
we must admit we are not good. Ive talked to thousands of
people, asking them why they think theyll go to heaven. Id
guess that over 90% of them said, Because Im a good
- The cross is offensive because we need to come to it poor in spirit
meaning that we know we are totally helpless and there is nothing
we can do to save ourselves.
We want to be in control of our destiny. We want to be the one who
is in charge. But, to come to the cross we need to fully accept
Jesus as Lord
He is the one who is in charge and the ONLY
one who can save us. There is NOTHING we can do to contribute in
any way to our getting to heaven. It is 100% God, or nothing.
- And the cross is offensive because it is available to everyone.
Charles Spurgeon in his sermon The Offense of the Cross
The Cross makes moral and immoral persons go to Heaven by the
same road! The Cross makes rich and poor enter Heaven by the same
door! The Cross makes the philosopher and peasant walk on the same
highway of holiness! The Cross procures the same crown for the poor
creature with one talent that the man with 10 talents shall receive.
Therefore, the wise man says, What? Am I to be saved by the
same Cross which saves a man who does not know his letters?
Your fine lady asks, Am I to be saved in the same fashion
as my servant girl? The gentleman says, Am I to be saved
the same way as that chimney-sweep? And he who boasts of his
selfrighteousness cries, What? Am I to jostle against a harlot,
to elbow a drunk on the road to Heaven? Then, I will not go to Heaven
The cross is offensive, and because of that false teachers do not
teach the full truth about the cross. They may mention the cross,
but to say it is the only way
well, thats just too offensive.
Number 5 The is Nothing About Real Repentance
It does not emphasize repentance in any real sense. It has a
very wide gate leading to salvation and a very broad way leading
to heaven. You need not feel much of your own sinfulness; you need
not be aware of the blackness of your own heart. You just decide
for Christ and you rush in with the crowd. D. Martyn
Lloyd Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, 1976, pages 503
In Matthew 7 Jesus talks about the wide gate on the broad path leading
to destruction, and the narrow gate that leads to eternal life. The
wide gate and the narrow gate both offer the same promises
life in heaven. But only the narrow gate actually delivers on that
The wide gate and broad way are easy because they satisfy our human
desires. They are easy because they do not require repentance, nor
do they require you to give up your pride and humbly accept Jesus
free gift of dying to pay your penalty for sin. The wide gate is easy
because it requires is that you say a prayer or ask Jesus into your
and then you are pronounced saved
as you head through
the wide gate of destruction.
The narrow gate is small and not many find it. It requires repentance
turning away from sin and obeying Jesus Christ our Lord.
Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped
away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence
of the Lord; - Acts 3:19
Number 6 There is Nothing About the Jesus Being the Only
The false prophet does not emphasize the absolute necessity
of entering this strait gate [the narrow gate] and walking along
this narrow way. He does not tell us that we must practice this
sermon. If we only listen to it without practicing it we are damned;
if we only comment on it, without carrying it out, it will rise
in judgment against us and condemn us. D. Martyn Lloyd
Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, 1976, page 504
A couple of years ago I was handing out gospel tracts and talking
with people who had come to the annual Cannon Beach Sand Castle Competition.
There were thousands of people admiring the sand sculptures, including
one woman who, when I approached her about the gospel, said that she
was fine. She her life based on the Sermon on the Mount.
she had her own interpretation of what Jesus said and it
did not include Jesus as her savior. She talked about being a good
person because she was living according to what Jesus taught. But,
the Sermon on the Mount shows us that none of us can be good. None
of us can even come close to the standards Jesus sets in the Sermon
on the Mount.
We cannot take Jesus words and spin them to mean whatever we
desire them to mean. We cannot make Jesus words conform to our
desires. We must listen to the words of Jesus and believe what He
and Jesus says He is the only way:
Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the
life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John