Messing with the Gospel doesn’t make you wrong…

…it makes you an evildoer.

In this sermon on Philippians 3:1-3, Christian Pastor Troy Dobbs examines the Apostles Paul’s warning to watch out for “the dogs” –religious people who “mess around with the Gospel.”

“Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—” (Philippians 3:1-3 ESV)

"Run For Your Life: Starting Block" from Grace Church on Vimeo.

Bottom line: Look out for counterfeit Christianity. Stop trusting in religion. “Run to Jesus. Run to Jesus Christ.”

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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12 Responses to Messing with the Gospel doesn’t make you wrong…

  1. SoCalExile says:

    One of my biggest challenges since moving to a new town earlier this year is finding a church that actually teaches the Bible. Most churches in my area (Georgia coast) have pastors who read one or two verses then spend 45 minutes talking about something else. And it’s gone national. Our good Bible expositors are dying off, and what we have left are people who know how to market and motivate and don’t know God’s word.

    This leaves the young and uniformed ripe for the marketing of the LDS and other groups.

  2. MJP says:

    SoCal, one of my worries is that our American church is becoming too sales oriented and based on a selfish pitch.

  3. falcon says:

    I was just thinking about this the last couple of weeks. That’s what’s recently happened at the church I attend. I’m not a member and my involvement is Sunday service only so I have no right to complain. But I’m thinking I’m probably not going to attend any more. What you described is exactly what’s happening. The problem is that even at that, it isn’t done well.
    Preaching is a real gift. There’s something called “expository preaching”. The idea is that you are exposing the Word of God to the listener. I can get a motivational speech just about any where. Should I pick on Joel Olsteen? People are pouring into those types of mega churches especially if you throw in some prosperity messaging.
    On occasion I’ll watch “Billy Graham Classics” which are sermons he preached over the years. If we get back to the 1950s, it’s a real preaching cultural shock. I often think, “People wouldn’t tolerate that now days.” Billy does change his delivery some as the years go by but the content never changes. It’s the Gospel of Jesus Christ, exposed to the listener, brought with conviction and demanding a response.
    Our LDS friends really don’t know they have a different Gospel as revealed by Our Lord and contained in the Word of God. They think it was lost and needed restoration. These folks are woefully ignorant of the early history of the Church and simply pull out a few memorized lines that stand as the need for such a restoration. The “restored” gospel they preach has been a slow roll out which continues even today to change.

  4. Mike R says:

    falcon ,

    You said, ” The ‘ restored ‘ gospel they preach has been a slow roll out which continues even today to change .”

    Perhaps a better way to describe the gospel that Mormon leaders have preached since 1830 is that it’s a pattern of vacillating teachings from religious men who have told their flock that they need to give them allegiance as authorities in their lives in order to please God and qualify for eternal life .

    Verses in the New Testament that appropriately can be used to describe latter days prophets not endorsed by God , like Mormon prophets , and sadly the error they produced in their preaching —
    2 Tim 4:3,4

  5. falcon says:

    So what is “the gospel” that Paul warned not to deviate from? The first thing is that the LDS sect gospel preaches another God, another Jesus and another Holy Ghost. I want to remind our LDS readers that the god that they acknowledge isn’t the God that Joseph Smith acknowledged at the beginning of his religious experiment. I think the CoC Mormon sect reflects the early doctrine of God of (Mormonism). The LDS sect is so far off the bubble of normative Christianity that they believe there are millions if not billions of gods in the universe, that the god of this planet was a man and that they also will become gods.
    Let me summarize the Gospel Paul was referring to . I goes something like this; for it’s by grace that you’ve been saved through faith not the results of works that anyone should boast. In other words, salvation is a free gift that God is offering by grace that we receive by faith.
    Grace is an interesting thing in the LDS religion. The LDS member gets grace after they all they can do to earn the reward of becoming a god.
    The Christian gospel is God extending His grace by which someone might be saved. We don’t earn grace. A Mormon has to earn grace.

  6. MJP says:


    I expect a Mormon would say that grace is freely given. However, it is up to the person to use that grace to earn his part in celestial glory. I think the Mormon would say that grace is what saves everyone (who does not wholly damn himself) from the outer darkness, but to reach the higher degrees of heaven you must be obedient. In Mormonism, despite the free grace, the ultimate salvation of a person is dependent on what they do.

    I really think the Mormon sees grace as a gift from God free to all of us. Grace to them is what enables us to act to please and honor God. Without grace, such actions would be impossible. Previous posters have given various examples, including the rich uncle bequeathing his fortune to a nephew (the grace) dependent upon the nephew’s showing he is worthy (the requisite obedience).

    Regardless of the distinction between free grace and earned grace, this belief system is contrary to John 3:16 and a host of other Biblical messages about faith and grace. The gift of eternal life and full, absolute salvation is given upon belief and faith in the power and grace of single God, Jesus and Holy Spirit.

  7. falcon says:

    Grace to a Mormon would be, I think in the case of a man seeking to become a god”, a grace that comes as a result of works and fills in the gap that might exist in his performance.
    I don’t know what they’d call the “grace” that’s extended to every person who has ever lived and gets a level of Mormon heaven depending on their works. I’m assuming that the level assigned is based on works. I don’t think it would be a result of faith since faith isn’t even necessary to be saved.
    So in this we identify two levels of Mormon salvation. The first is universal to all, the second is for those who are in the system and working to become gods. The latter is earned.
    This LDS gospel isn’t even very good heresy. In fact it’s so far out of range of Christianity that it couldn’t qualify as heresy. It would be like claiming a Buddhist was a heretic.

  8. falcon says:

    I think that some folks are drawn to Mormonism because of the structure of the sect. While some would, and do react negatively to the ritual, routine and rules of the sect, others enjoy and thrive under it. This has nothing to do with the truth of the “restored” gospel, but more to do with individual taste.
    It’s the same, I believe, with the “name-it-claim-it” Christian groups. Participants in this brand of religion learn the system and think they have power as a result. I suppose the same thing could be said of Scientology.
    If someone has a lot of enthusiasm and confidence, they can sell a program regardless of the truth of it.
    People need to question and check things out. It means taking personal responsibility but in the end the rewards are significant.

  9. falcon says:

    So the way it works for some folks is that they have the idea that God has sent them a message or confirmed something and then they go about trying to find some evidence or justification for what they believe (or desire to believe).
    I think that all would agree that the LDS gospel is not the Christian Gospel as revealed in God’s Word. So if the LDS want to continue to believe what they feel, they have to do a couple of things. One of these things is to deny that the Word of God is infallible. If I thought the Bible was filled with errors and omissions I wouldn’t have any basis for my beliefs. If what I believe is based on what I felt, that’s a real recipe for disaster. Think of all of the wildcat Mormon groups there are with “prophets” who sincerely believe they have a real deal revelation. They seem to be able to get some followers who get the burn confirming what the prophet is proclaiming.
    I’d suggest that LDS give it a try; assume the Bible is God’s revelation and check-out the gospel.

  10. falcon says:

    When we talk about the difference between the true gospel of Jesus Christ and all of the false gospels of Our Lord that are preached, a good question might be, “How can we know the difference?”
    The apostle Paul wrote a lot, in fact I think it was probably something he wrote most about, the difference between the two. Mormons have a foundational claim that the true gospel was lost and that the Bible has been corrupted. I must say, what irritates me is that it’s easy proposition to test but they don’t do it.
    That is, has the Bible been corrupted and was the gospel preached by the apostle lost? As I’ve mentioned, if I didn’t think the Bible clearly reflected the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I wouldn’t waste my time with it. And here’s the funny thing, Mormons contend that they believe in the Bible with the disclaimer, “As far as it is translated correctly”. What in the world does that mean and which parts are accurate and which parts have been corrupted?
    There’s a reason that Mormonism uses as its test for truth, the “burning in the bosom” sensation that a person is to receive as confirmation. The BITB is a subjective experience that can be produced. The Bible tells us that the heart of man is corrupt. So any messages someone “feels” they are receiving as to the truth of a matter, are tainted by their own emotions and desires.
    For those who are LDS, it might be a good idea to start doing some fact checking on the claims of those who formulated Mormonism.

  11. Brian says:

    Great post, Sharon. Thanks. Philippians 3 is a wonderful chapter to share because it contains Paul’s personal testimony (vv. 4 – 9). It begins with who Paul was before he came to know God. Paul was once so proud himself; who his ancestors were, what his religion was. And then everything changed. Paul came to know God’s love, grace, and salvation. Consider:

    … If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

    But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

  12. MJP says:


    In a real sense we are saying much the same. Grace is what enables people to work and does fill in the gaps, but it is also what empowers everyone to choose and lifts everyone up in the end.

    What they describe as grace is really not grace as I see it. Grace is forgiveness, which they argue grace is the opportunity to enter into a contract.

    Without this ability to work, which is from grace, they cannot move up the ladder. Without grace to them, when they are moving up the ladder, the gaps are not filled in; but just the same, when they don’t work, the grace won’t do what they won’t do themselves.

    That is the beauty of true grace: it does what we cannot. We cannot ever earn our way into anything, but through God’s forgiveness we are viewed as if we already did earn it. But even viewing it as earning something is not quite accurate, as we cannot earn God’s favor– its already there. We just have to accept the grace freely given.

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