Rightly Dividing The Gospel

The other day, I saw a video in which John MacArthur said that it’s not the blood of Jesus that saves you and yet he said some people have made a sort of fetish of the blood itself, and that “some even claim somehow God collected all the blood, took it to heaven and it’s sitting in a bowl on the mercy seat and every time someone gets saved it’s dumped out and re-collected again”. I know I heard with my own ears MacArthur also say a person can get saved after taking the mark of the beast. The Bible explicitly says otherwise, but that was an old video and “the internet is forever”. So even if a person mis spoke or learned better later, they can never live it down.  I have heard from others that MacArther later recanted the claim that people can be saved after taking the mark, although I cannot find any video showing him doing so.

When he made the statement about the blood, at first I took pause, it didn’t set well, but after hearing the rest, I thought it was a matter of wording, you know, semantics; but the seeming flippancy still bothered me.

Today I saw Robert Breaker’s video below. He doesn’t name MacArthur, so I don’t know if that’s who he refers to in it.

I don’t like to hear any preacher take even a quazi-“humorous” swipe at another pastor. I also don’t have a problem with a pastor calling out heresy, and even naming names in that case, but I don’t think this qualifies. Pastor Breaker made it sound like different means in different dispensations. I don’t see it that way, and I am not even sure sure he does either. He is saying there are different “gospels” (methods), but surely he doesn’t believe those who are saved out of/ during tribulation are going to atone for their own sins. They just won’t experience the grace of getting to escape all the Tribulation wrath, God’s judgment.

Am I missing something? I feel a little disappointed in both pastors for the confusion this sows. But no pastor is perfect.

The Old Testament example of atonement did require blood on the mercy seat, as both preachers acknowledged. The blood of animals was a “stand in” fore-shadowing and pointing forward to such time as Jesus would shed His own blood.

The method was different in the Old Testament dispensation (animal sacrifice). The means of purchase of their eternal life still was not completed until Jesus actually died. But he was slain ” before the foundation of the world”.

The means of all salvation is the shed blood of Jesus as our passover lamb.

During the tribulation, people will have to forego the mark of the beast and somehow persevere to the end, or be martyred by beheading. Taking the mark will render them unredeemable. But that shed blood of Jesus, His death, burial and resurrection is still the only thing that ever has, ever will, or ever can purchase(d) sin-tainted man’s reconciliation with Holy God.

I think a lot of times the folks in one “denomination” don’t fully understand the beliefs of the ones in another denomination, and over the decades, same words took on slightly different connotations for each, and their actual positions on things are often not as mutually exclusive as they have been assumed to be.

So? Nit-picking and semantics, or a (spiritual) life and death distinction?

Don’t “follow” pastors. Follow the Word.

MacArthur clip:

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