Hanging on to the Life Ring


If it wasn’t so sad, I would have laughed. Someone put an article that praised (or excused) a false teacher (I didn’t read the actual article) and below it was a comment about how this teacher had “saved their faith because they focused on love, which was exactly what Jesus did”. I found myself wondering if this commenter had actually ever read the Bible, since he didn’t seem to know the biblical Jesus at all.

Yes, Jesus did focus on love. He also focused on sin (Mark 7:20-23), hell (Matthew 10:28; 23:33), persecution and the expectation that the world will hate us (John 15:18; Luke 6:22). And He focused on obedience (Matthew 7:21; John 14:15), the narrow way (Matthew 7:14), and truth (John 4:24; John 8:32; John 17:17).

For a teacher–any teacher–to say there is no hell or to negate the need to follow the commands of God or to promote any other doctrine that is not found in scripture is a departure from God’s Holy Word and automatically designates them as a false teacher.

And this, my friends, is why we have to study the Word of God. There is no other way to know if a teacher is false. Sure, you can ask someone who knows more about the Bible than you do, but the bottom line is that there is only one place that you can go for counsel that is trustworthy 100 percent of the time and that is to the Bible. It never fails, it never changes, it never betrays.

But the one thing the Bible does do is to mess with our fleshly, carnal desires. And it challenges our worldly lifestyles–the one where we want to be and look like everybody else in the crowd. And so we find that most unsaved people are understandably not interested in true Christianity which calls us to deny ourselves (Luke 9:23-24) and to turn away from the world (Romans 12:1-2; James 1:27) and from our sin (Galatians 5:18-21). THIS is why so many people gravitate to a “love only” religion which is as false as Buddhism or Islam. We need to understand this. This is key to comprehend in our Western culture–

The “Jesus focused only on love” religion is a FALSE religion.

We only need to read the Gospels to understand this. There are critical pieces missing in this false religion that makes it null and void in the site of God such as God’s wrath (Romans 1:18), hell (Luke 12:5), repentance (2 Peter 3:9), turning away from sin and the world (verses above), and the call for holiness (I Thessalonians 4:7).

We cannot simply remove hell because we define it as unloving. We cannot remove the need for atonement simply because man has chosen to believe he is innately good. We cannot remove the need for obedience just because we don’t want to obey. We have no right.

God’s Word is either true or not true but we have no right to change it and still call ourselves Christians. And this is exactly what is happening all across the world. Many are changing the core of Christianity and still calling it Christianity.

A sorry, sorry state indeed.

One I honestly never dreamed I’d see. But here we are. And this leaves us with only the life ring of God’s Word. As we hang on to it to survive the massive wave of apostasy flooding over us, sweeping through our churches, and flooding our homes through our tvs, books, and podcasts, may we hang on to it for dear life. For this is the only way we are going to survive, my friend.

So, once again (I feel a little like a broken record), I urge you to pick up your Bible. Read it. Study it. Pray and ask God for insight. Know the Word of God so that you can not only stand strong against those who would twist and malign the Word but also so that you can give a defense for the hope that is within you (I Peter 3:15) to those that are lost, sinking, and crying for help in this roiling sea of apostasy.



12 thoughts on “Hanging on to the Life Ring”

  1. I see that too, and I’m so grateful for God’s word to keep my paths straight. Thank you for your words that help me focus on the Word of God.

    1. You are so welcome! I am always so very grateful when someone comments. It helps assure me that my time has been well spent in writing! ;) Thank you so much for taking the time to encourage me today :)

  2. David Armstrong

    Leslie…You are 100% spot on. Reading your post this morning…couldn’t help remind me of the book-turned-movie, “The Shack”. Why are far too many Christian’s & Pastors praising this heretical piece of work? Well…we know why. This ‘worldwide, peace/love, open & affirming, false doctrine, church movement’ has opened their doors to numbing & desensitizing the true message of God. Leslie…Stay strong & yell it from the mountaintops. In Christ…David

    1. Thank you, David! Yes, the Shack has been one of the greatest deviations from biblical Christianity in this generation and it is quite a puzzle to me that so many people don’t see it. But then I remember how illiterate people are when it comes to God’s Word…! Thanks for your encouraging words :)

  3. Another excellent post, Leslie! I remember when I was unsaved (but thought I was because I believed in God) walking out of church one day and saying to my husband, why don’t we ever hear the other side of the story! All we ever hear is how much God loves us but we never hear about hell and sin. The Holy Spirit was starting to work in me at that point and I was asking questions all the time. I remember too saying I feel like this church (I was catholic back then) is based on a true story just like some movies are! They have some of the facts but take a lot of liberties to make it their own. It wasn’t too long after that that my eyes were opened to the truth and I was born again. I left the church after that and found a great bible based church. After sharing the gospel with my husband and two sons they too were saved and our lives have been totally transformed. Reading this post made me,yet again, so thankful that Jesus has saved me because I know I would still be one of the people just believing whatever sounded good to me and made me feel good. Most people I know – both family and friends – are still lost and frankly seem happy that way. They don’t want to hear about their sin. They get very upset with me if I share anything from the bible and say it’s not something you can trust anyway since it’s written by men and can be interpreted many ways. It weighs heavy on my heart and I pray constantly for their eyes to be open and their hearts changed so they too can know the real Jesus and come to repentance and a saving faith. I am so so thankful for blogs like yours that tell the truth no matter what. You are such a blessing in my life!

    1. Wow, I am very, very humbled by your words. I am so thankful if God can use me–a wicked sinner saved by grace–to help others. I LOVE your testimony because it is a wonderful reminder that we are only saved by God drawing us to Himself (John 6:44). It is not at all natural to want to follow the real Jesus. Thank you for sharing!!

  4. This has to be one of your best articles, Leslie! And yes, staying in God’s Word gives us ultimate discernment when we understand it in proper context and apply correct hermeneutics.

  5. A,W, Tozer wrote, “What comes into your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you.” Our thinking about God MUST be tested against His revealed word, the Scriptures. The apostle John wrote: Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1 (ESV) To protect ourselves we have to be like the Bereans who searched the Scriptures to see if the things even the apostle Paul said were true. )Acts 17:11) You’ve focused us on the right source of truth, Leslie. Thanks!

  6. It is so sadly obvious that so many do not actually read the Bible .. Having recently returned from Israel where the Word comes alive daily, my discernment is at an all time high and it makes the world we inhabit for the moment so very scary.

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