From Mormon to Christian, hope in these trying times

This picture is a young lady getting baptized.  CCN President Jenifer friended her on Facebook.  It turned out she was a Mormon and went to the Church of the Latter-Day Saints.   Jen messaged her back and forth over social media about the gospel, particularly about what Mormons believe v.s. what the Bible says.  After hearing the gospel she left the Mormon church and went to a Christian Church!  Jen saw pictures of her on Facebook back at the Mormon Church a little bit later.  Jen asked her about it and the young lady expressed that they are not as loving at the Christian Church.  Jen talked about how the Mormons practice what's called "Love Bombing".  Jen showed her how the Mormons say that they do Love Bombing on their own website (Note: Mormons do not use the term "Love Bombing:, but their training says how they friend people).  Jen talked to the young lady about getting the gospel right and how important it was that she has the right gospel and the right Jesus.  Jen pleaded with her.  Jen told her she did not want her to go to hell because the Christian church was not as loving as the one that would take her to hell.  She found a good church and is being discipled by the pastor and his wife.  Here she is getting baptized.  Please continue to pray for her.  She has lots of questions still.  A  great place to read more is https://carm.org/mormonism

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that its members are to strive to be perfect.  This perfection, hopefully, results in exaltation--in becoming a god.  Very often Mormons will quote the Bible to support their position: "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matt. 5:48). Note it says to be perfect--not become perfect.  Mormons teach that to be perfect means to become a god, which is a future occurrence; yet the verse says to be perfect in the present tense, not the future.

In addition, the book of Mormon says:

"For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do," (2 Nephi 25:23).

Note that it says they are saved by grace after all they can do.  This confirms the Mormon teaching of working very hard to be good, to do good works, and to attain to the highest level of exaltation.

The inclination to be perfect in Mormonism is repeatedly taught to its members.  This perfection is not merely trying; it means to triumph over sin:

Spencer W. Kimball 1 said: "Being perfect means to triumph over sin. This is a mandate from the Lord. He is just and wise and kind. He would never require anything from his children which was not for their benefit and which was not attainable. Perfection therefore is an achievable goal."2

As you can see, the Mormon is taught that he must triumph over sin, that he is saved by grace after all he can do, and that he must be perfect.  In fact, many Mormons have told me that the gospel is the Law and Ordinances of the Mormon Church--further verifying that forgiveness of sins in the LDS church is dependent upon the persistent and necessary effort of the Mormon to keep the Laws of God.

My sympathy to the Mormon

I sincerely sympathize with the Mormon who is seeking to please God, honor Him, and bring glory to Him by trying to obey His commandments.  However, when all is said and done and in the quiet of his own heart when he faces the reality of God and his lack of holiness and perfection, can anyone say he has done all he can do, has triumphed over sin, and is perfect? Of course not.

Mormonism teaches that salvation/exaltation is based upon keeping the Law.  But, isn't this a great burden upon the Mormon?  Isn't keeping the Law of God and seeking to be perfect (in order to become a god) a great strain?  How do Mormons deal with their persistent sins and failures that reveal that they are not being perfect--that they are not triumphing over sin?  If they are not triumphing and not doing all they can do, then will they not be cast into outer darkness?

Please understand that I am not in any way mocking the situation of the Mormons or their sincerity to do what they feel is right.  But, we must ask whether or not anyone can achieve perfection through his own efforts of keeping the Law or any part of it.

  • "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all." (James 2:10).
  • "For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them. (Gal. 3:10).

The Bible teaches us that if you want to be made right before God based on your efforts, then you better not make any mistakes.  If you do, then you are guilty of all of the Law!  This is not good news.  If anything, this is what condemns us since the Bible says "through the Law comes the knowledge of sin." (Rom. 3:20).  The Law, the commandments are those things that when we break them, and we all do, condemns us by revealing our sinfulness.  And since anyone who keeps the Law must keep all of the Law and since he cannot, he is only fit to be cast out into outer darkness for not being perfect!

What is the Gospel?

Does the gospel of the Bible really teach that forgiveness of sins is based, even in part, upon our obedience to the Law's and Ordinances of any church, and that we are to be perfect?  I'm happy to say, no, it doesn't.

  • Rom. 3:28-30, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one."
  • Rom. 4:5, "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,"
  • Rom. 5:1, "therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,"
  • Gal. 2:16, "nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified."

Justification is the legal declaration by God where God declares the sinner righteous in His sight.  Notice that this justification is by faith and not by keeping the Law in any way--that is, not by doing all you can do, not by triumphing over sin, and not by being perfect.  The reason for this is that no one (except Jesus) can keep the whole Law, triumph over sin, and be perfect.  Anyone who breaks the Law is condemned.  Therefore, unless you are absolutely perfect in all things pertaining to the Law, you will be cast into outer darkness.  But, praise be to God that " . . . while we were sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8).  You see, Jesus became sin on our behalf so that we, by faith, might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:21).  This leads us to precisely what the gospel is.

The real gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus--not the Laws and Ordinances of the Mormon Church:

"Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures," (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

I would like to add here, that if anyone says that the gospel is anything other than what it is stated in 1 Cor. 15:1-4, they are blinded by the devil:

"and even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God . . . " (2 Cor. 4:3-4).

Real Christians know what the real gospel is; and they know that they cannot keep the Law, can't do all they can do, can't be perfect, and can't triumph over sin.  They can only trust in the righteousness of Jesus and receive Him by faith (John 1:12).

It is truly good news to know that we do not have to keep the Law--don't have to do all we can do, etc. All we need to do is accept that Jesus alone is our only hope, and that we must, by faith, accept His work on the cross for the complete forgiveness of our sins.  We must receive the righteousness of Jesus and not seek to achieve our own because we simply can't do it:  "What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith;" (Rom. 9:30).  This is the true gospel--that righteousness is received by faith in Christ, and that we are not obligated to keep the law in order to be saved . . . (or exalted, if you are a Mormon).

Then what?

But, lest anyone say that such forgiveness is "too easy," let me remind them that it is not easy, at least not for Jesus.  It was He who suffered and died for our sins.  This was very costly.  But, for us, it is easy to become Christians because we are justified by faith:

"nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified," (Gal. 2:16).

After we are then made right before God, we are changed in our hearts and then desire to do that which is right before God from within because we are new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).  We then are able to freely serve God, love Him, and keep His commandments out of appreciation and gratitude to God--not to please God so we can be saved.

After salvation/justification, God works in us to bring us more into the image of His Son Jesus. This is called sanctification, and this process of sanctification is very difficult because it involves our repentance and submission to God's will.  But, whether or not we do well or not in sanctification, it does not affect our justification. We are made right in God's eyes by faith in Christ (justification) and made more like Jesus in our lives afterwards (sanctification).

So, the good news is that we do not have to keep the Law in any way to be right with God.  The good news is that Jesus has done all that needs to be done; and we can, by faith, trust in Him and be made righteous in His sight.

Lord Jesus, I trust you and you alone for the forgiveness of my sins.  I put all my faith and hope in what you did on the cross and not in any way in my own efforts of being perfect, of triumphing over sin, or of keeping the Laws and Ordinances of any church.  I am made righteous by faith, and in you alone I trust."

This section was written by Matt Slick


Do Mormons attack other religions?  Please see this link.

Will you go to heaven when you die? Here is a quick test. Have you ever told a lie, stolen anything or used God’s name in vain? Jesus said, “Whoever looks at a women to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Have you looked with lust at a man or women? Will you be guilty on Judgment Day? If you have done those things God sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous adulterer at heart. The Bible warns that you will be guilty for breaking just one of these and you will end up in Hell. God sent his son Jesus to suffer and die on the cross to take the wrath of God in your place if you repent (confess and forsake your sin) and trust Jesus. On the third day Jesus rose from the grave. Please repent, trust Jesus, pray, read your Bible daily and obey it and share this message with everyone you know.

In the new life of social distancing it is exciting to see what God can do online.  The Campus Leaders are learning to use different social media sites so they can share the gospel virtually in new and different ways.  The world is changing and CCN is changing with it in the places we go to share the gospel without compromising the message.  

We were supposed to have our annual Campus Mission Tour (CMT) this month in Philidelphia, Pa.  But due to the current health crises we held the training online instead so that everyone that had planned on attending could still receive training.

We had so many wonderful conversations before the Corona Virus hit. These past few months have been a joy on the college campuses. All of the colleges that we go to each week will be shut down for the rest of the semester. 

We are in the process of recreating the website with a new service.  We are very excited about the new look of the website and about finding new ways to share the gospel on and off the campus!  We are also reaching out to our students to have Bible Study online.

Though the idea of hosting online events is not ideal or typical of CCN's outreach strategies, we are confident that God is working not only in the physical but reaching out to those in the virtual world of social media as well.

Thank you again for your continued support and prayers for this ministry and for our campus missionaries. 

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

Stay safe, 

CCN