"Where is this place represented by the 'outer darkness' in Jesus' parables? To be in the 'outer darkness' is to be in the kingdom of God but outside the circle of men and women whose faithfulness on this earth earned them a special rank or position of authority. The 'outer darkness' represents not so much an actual place as it does a sphere of influence and privilege"(30).Please note that Charles Stanley actually teaches that the outer darkness that Jesus taught about is "in the kingdom of God"! He further comments on the related phrase "gnashing of teeth" with the following:
"... 'gnashing of teeth' ... does not symbolize pain as many have thought. . . . They were extremely frustrated with themselves .... And so it will be for many believers. Just as those who are found faithful will rejoice, so those who suffer loss will weep. As some are celebrated for their faithfulness, others will gnash their teeth in frustration over their own shortsightedness and greed. We do not know how long this time of rejoicing and sorrow will last. Those whose works are burned will not weep and gnash their teeth for eternity."(31)EASY REFUTATION: One of Charles Stanley's Strongest Support Passages For Eternal Security
In the Parable of the Wheat and Tares, Jesus addressed this very issue:
"The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear" (Mt. 13:41-43).Please note that Jesus taught there are only two groups: (1) those who do evil will be gathered out of His kingdom to be cast into the fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth and (2) the righteous who are in the kingdom of theirFather.
Similarly, Jesus' teaching in the Parable of the Net drives home the same truth about "weeping and gnashing of teeth":
"... the angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Mt. 13:49, 50).According to Jesus, it's the wicked who will experience the weeping and gnashing of teeth and who will also be cast into the fiery furnace. The righteous don't experience this!
One other combination of passages speaking of the same event clarifies this even further:
"I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Mt. 8:11, 12).
"But He will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!' There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out" (Lk. 13:27, 28).Notice that outer darkness is where people will be cast into. Its location is clearly outside of the kingdom of God! Also, the weeping and gnashing of teeth will occur, not when shortsighted Christians see their works burn up, as Charles Stanley's gospel declares, but when those who experience this see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but themselves thrown out into the darkness. The difference compared to Charles Stanley's view of this is infinite!(32)
So, why does Charles Stanley give a conflicting interpretation of this? The answer is obvious -- to perpetuate his gospel of eternal security! If the weeping and gnashing of teeth in outer darkness as found in Mt. 25:30 refers to Hell, then there can't be an unconditional security for the believer, since the one subject to this destiny was previously saved! This is obvious since he too, like the others in this same parable, was entrusted with his master's property and expected to bring forth gain over time, which could only be true in the case of real believers. God knows those who are His and expects "fruit" (Jn. 15:1-6; Lk. 13:6-9). The others in the Parable of the Talents who did bring forth gain heard the Lord say:
"Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" (Mt. 25:21, 23).On the other hand, this other servant, who had the same potential future, was consequently called wicked(33) (v.26) and given a different eternal destiny:
"And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (v.30).
According to the Bible, only some sins committed after salvation are automatically cleansed by Jesus' blood (1 Jn. 1:7). This same verse, however, states that automatic cleansing is only true for those who meet the condition of "walk[ing] in the light as He is in the light." Other sins committed after salvation must be confessed(34) to be forgiven (1 Jn. 1:9). Therefore, we know forgiveness of future sins is not always automatic. An attitude of repentance is understood with this confession of sin, based on Prov. 28:13. Finally, according to the Lord Himself, if we do not forgive others who sin against us, our sins will not be forgiven (Mt. 6:14, 15; 18:21-35; Mk. 11:25). [In contrast to what many are saying, Jesus taught we must forgive others so that our sins can be forgiven, not just so that our prayers won't be hindered.] Remember, all of your future sins from the point of salvation on are not automatically forgiven, according to the Lord's teachings and the Apostle John's. There are conditions which must be met to obtain forgiveness after initial salvation. When Jesus personally shed His blood and died for all our sins, John was actually there at the foot of the cross when it occurred. Yet both the Lord and this Apostle deny an unconditional, automatic cleansing of all future sins.
One final Charles Stanley quote is needed at this point:
"When you believe that Jesus took your place and that His blood counts as the payment for your sin, then God sees you as sin-free and pure for all time. ( John 3:16)"(35)Incredibly, Charles Stanley reads into Jn. 3:16 and sees that one who gets saved is "sin-free and pure for all time"! Besides what was just stated regarding this issue, Paul, the true grace teacher, wrote the following to those already saved, which would be nonsensical if staying "sin-free and pure for all time" were automatic and guaranteed from the point of salvation on:
"... let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God" (2 Cor. 7:1).
"Keep yourself pure" (1 Tim. 5:22).
"But a man or woman who has been rescued once from a state of unforgiveness need not worry. For once 100% of a man's or woman's sins have been forgiven, the potential for being unforgiven has been done away with. The risk factor is zero. There are no more fires from which the believer needs to be saved."(36)Remember the term believer to Charles Stanley can include a person who is presently "living like the devil" and has completely abandoned the faith. [One might ask, "How can a believer be a person who no longer believes?" According to Charles Stanley's gospel, this is a possibility!] This must also be his definition of a Christian, since a believer and a Christian are synonyms. This also goes hand-in-hand with his unique interpretation of Jn. 3:16, as already cited.
In contradistinction to this type of Charles Stanley message, Jesus taught the following about sin to those who were already believers, as the immediate context clearly shows:
"If your hand or your foot causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell" (Mt. 18:8, 9).Sin is obviously still an issue, even for Christians. According to the Lord, sin can send previously saved people to Hell. This is true New Testament grace teaching.
Moreover, God Himself seated on His throne, who infinitely loves us and understands everything about grace, gave the following truth. Also, let it be emphasized that it was declared after the Lord Jesus shed His precious blood for all of our sins:
"But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars -- their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death" (Rev. 21:8).Plainly, the unbelieving are not the only ones who will be in the lake of fire, as the teaching of eternal security states. In fact, such is not even listed first among the eight categories cited in this verse that will. This Biblical fact is devastating to the eternal security proponent! Perhaps that is why this verse is almost never mentioned by them.
"This statement is one of the strongest supporting eternal security to be found in the entire Bible."(37)As Charles Stanley would see it, the ones who have their works burned up represent:
"... believers who have no time for the things of Christ, who live their lives for themselves. One by one his deeds are evaluated, and one by one they burn. His works are described as 'wood, hay, [and] straw.' His works have no real substance, no eternal value."(38)According to other statements made by Charles Stanley, as already cited, one's rewards will be lost through sinful behavior such as "living like the devil" and suicide. But is all this really consistent with what the Bible teaches about the loss of rewards? >
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing - in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full .... When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you .... But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal."Clearly from the lips of the Lord Jesus, our acts of righteousness, such as giving to the needy, praying and fasting, all carry a potential reward, but only if we do these with the proper motive -- one of not seeking to be honored here and now by man. Our motive is the "quality" of our good works (1 Cor. 3:13) that will be revealed on that Day (1 Cor. 4:5 cf. Prov. 16:2b). Notice, in contrast to Charles Stanley's message, a motive of being honored by men now attached to an act of righteousness will cause that good work to be burned in the fire (1 Cor. 3:11-15)! Nowhere does Mt. 6:1-20 even remotely hint, as Charles Stanley teaches, that sinful behavior such as "living like the devil" or suicide will cause our good works to burn up. Please make a note of this! Sinful behavior is a totally different subject unrelated to the believer's rewards. Furthermore, it is impossible to properly equate the motive to be honored by men when doing commendable things to "living like the devil" by saying such is the cause of loss of rewards! Charles Stanley connects the two without any Scriptural backing in an effort to support eternal security -- a teaching which removes the fear of sinning.
Remember, according to Charles Stanley, 1 Cor. 3:11-15 is one of the "strongest" statements supporting eternal security "in the entire Bible." In light of Mt. 6:1-20, Charles Stanley's interpretation of 1 Cor. 3:11-15 is clearly destroyed, thereby greatly jeopardizing the teaching of eternal security as a whole, since this strong supporting passage obviously means something else altogether.
Is the believer's security, as revealed in the gospel, conditional or unconditional? Let 1 Cor. 15:1, 2, written by the true grace teacher himself, settle this question forever:
"Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain."The Apostle Paul, who is noted for emphasizing grace, stated as an integral part of his gospel the basic truth that the believer's security is conditional, even before citing Jesus' atoning death, burial and resurrection! Since this was so emphasized by him, how dare some today omit this condition yet claim at the same time to be truly representing the teachings of Scripture. 1 Cor. 15:2 is often entirely omitted by the eternal security teachers when describing the gospel of grace from verses 1-4 in this chapter. The reason for this omission is obvious!
By teaching that one can be sexually immoral, among other things, and a Christian at the same time because of grace is to change the grace of God into a license for immorality. The Bible makes no distinction between one who has never been saved and is sexually immoral and one who has been saved and afterwards becomes sexually immoral. Both will go to the lake of fire unless they repent and get forgiven!
The difference between the real gospel and Charles Stanley's gospel, for those who carry it to the sinful extreme, is as infinite as the kingdom of God is to the lake of fire! Undoubtedly, millions throughout the world are presently in danger of Hell because of the teaching of eternal security but don't recognize it. The allurement and tendency for a real believer to sin in this age is great. Even some Christians who reject eternal security "fall away" (Lk. 8:13), "die" spiritually because they choose to live according to the sinful nature (Rom. 8:13 cf. Lk. 15:24, 32) and turn away from Christ to follow Him no more (Jn. 6:66). Since this is true, how much more readily will one "fall away" who accepts Charles Stanley's type of gospel which is so lenient toward sin's spiritually deadly effects on the soul (Jam. 1:14, 15)? One can only assume it must be incredibly high! Only in eternity will the number be known, but it will be too late for those who died physically in a "dead and lost" spiritual condition, as the Prodigal was in before he repented.
How a man like Charles Stanley could teach this type of gospel message and have a thriving, worldwide ministry that goes unchallenged is mind boggling, especially in a nation like the United States where so many own Bibles! This reflects how little time most spend directly in the Bible for themselves and/or how widespread the predicted doctrinal apostasy actually is (2 Tim. 4:3, 4). Perhaps for those in ministry, another possibility could be the promotion of their own personal ministry and finances. Woe to such who know the truth, yet remain silent on these issues at the expense of eternal souls.
[Beyond this, Charles Stanley's book on eternal security, from where many of these cited quotes have been drawn, is endorsed by other influential people such as Hank Hanegraaff who has an international influence through The Christian Research Institute.(39) Before this booklet you are now reading was printed, Hanegraaff was notified by certified mail of its preparation and warned that he too would be indicted unless he removed his endorsement of Charles Stanley's book on eternal security. His refusal to respond is an indirect acknowledgment of the same extreme teachings given directly by Charles Stanley himself. Together with Charles Stanley, Hanegraaff and other advocates will, one day, answer to the Lord for the effects of this type of teaching!]
"For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person -- such a man is an idolater -- has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them" (Eph. 5:5-7).
"But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven" (Mt. 10:33).
"... They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away"(40) (Lk. 8:13).
"From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him"(41) (Jn. 6:66).
"By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain" (1 Cor. 15:2).
"But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation -- if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven ..." (Col. 1:22, 23).
"You will say then, 'Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.' Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again" (Rom. 11:19-23).
"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexuals(42) nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9, 10).
"Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son" (2 Jn. 9).
"Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace" (Gal. 5:2-4).
"For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live" (Rom. 8:13).
"We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first" (Heb. 3:14).
"All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved"(43) (Mt. 10:22).
"The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers" (Gal. 6:8-10).
"The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissentions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:19-21).
"But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars -- their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death" (Rev. 21:8).
"... they destroy the faith of some" (2 Tim. 2:18).
"Dear children, keep yourselves from idols"(44) (1 Jn. 5:21).
"They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him" (Titus 1:16).
"What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?" (Jam. 2:14).
"... your work produced by faith ..." (1 Thess. 1:3).
"... holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith" (1 Tim. 1:19).
"Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan" (1 Tim. 5:15).
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned" (Jn. 15:5,6).
"But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My master is staying away a long time,' and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards .... He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites,(45) where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Mt. 24:48-51).
"See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you will also remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us -- even eternal life" (1 Jn. 2:24,25).
"Make every effort(46) to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to" (Lk. 13:24).
"Any one who (abominates, detests) hates his brother [in Christ] is [at heart] a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding (persevering) within him"(47) (1 Jn. 3:15, Amplified Bible).
"... be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position" (2 Pet. 3:17).
Please pass this copy on to a friend and order additional copies for others. The price is low to facilitate a wide circulation of this booklet. This is a labor of love for God done for the sake of His kingdom and for His glory. Additional contributions are rechanneled into our ministry to continue "fighting the good fight" (1 Tim. 6:12).
Two versions of Rev. 21:8
Two versions of Rev. 21:8(1) The Sovereign God from His throne, after the infinite work of Christ was completed on the cross, who knows everything there is to know about grace and His own keeping power, clearly told us it would NOT just be the "unbelieving" who would end up in the lake of fire, as the eternal security proponents teach:
"But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars -- THEIR PLACE WILL BE IN THE FIERY LAKE OF BURNING SULFUR. THIS IS THE SECOND DEATH."(2) The eternal security teachers, from their pulpits and radio stations have distorted Rev. 21:8 by their carnal Christian teaching (their interpretation is in italics above the actual verse, while they eliminate what is in brackets. God's eternal truth is bolded):
the carnal Christian, that is,
"But /\ the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars -- their place will be in the
kingdom of God.
/\ [fiery lake of burning sulfur].
grace and the gospel of Christ.
This is /\ [the second death]."
There is an infinite difference between these two messages. One is right, one is wrong; one is from God, one isn't! One is disturbing but true; the other sounds great, but is a rampant deception that will damn many!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New International Version of the Bible.
All emphasis is our own unless otherwise indicated.
Copyright 1995 by Daniel D. Corner, the author. However, for the sake of truth and eternal souls, you have our permission to copy this booklet for free distribution but NOT TO SELL.
Printed in the United States of America.
Additional copies may be obtained by contacting our ministry at the address below. See price information at Evangelical Books.This information was compiled out of obedience to "contend for the faith" (Jude 3,4). This is greatly needed in our current day for many have turned the grace of God into a "license for immorality."
PO Box 265
Washington PA 15301