The Importance of the New Covenant

By Jim Allen

Apostasy always begins with a simple idea that appears tenable, perhaps even right, but if acted upon brings forward dire consequences. "As an example, the Cambodian killing fields in the 1970s was the product of the radical worldview of Jean Paul Sartre and his teaching. The Khmer Rouge's leader Pol Pot lived out Sartre's philosophy toward the (Cambodian) people in a clear and frightening way, which was articulated in this manner: ...To keep you is no benefit. To destroy you is no loss.'" [1] Estimates of the number of people slain under this world view are between 1 and 3 million people.

While Sartre's malicious idea acted out by Pol Pot might seem unrelated to the church and of no consequence to the Gospel, the core of Sartre's idea has the signature of satanic origin. "It should be remembered that Satan did not come to the first couple in the Garden with an external armament or supernatural weapon; instead, he came to them with a simple idea that when embraced would condemned them and the rest of humankind." [2]

Today, this kind of dangerous thinking is alive and well in the church, but in a different way. A growing number of evangelicals are looking at specific salvation doctrine and thinking, "This is a hard teaching...I am not sure it means what it says...who will accept it?" They reason among themselves what to do with these difficult truths that involve blood and would most certainly offend the seeker-friendly crowd. One doctrine falling prey to evangelical scrutiny is the New Covenant* (Matthew 26:28) and, like Pol Pot, the evangelical elite say to this fundamental truth, "To keep you is no benefit. To destroy you is no loss." These evangelical leaders misguidedly think this foundational truth involving the shed blood of Christ is nothing more than slaughterhouse religion, and by getting rid of this "problematic doctrine," Christianity will become more acceptable to the world. They are wrong!

Roger Oakland writes that the gospel of Jesus Christ is under attack and in exactly the same way the Bible warned about it two-thousand years ago (1 Timothy 4:1). Deceiving spirits have and will continue to possess impure hearts causing many to abandon their faith to follow after new ideas promoting a bloodless gospel. As a result, many professing evangelicals (unaware of their peril) will not hear the candid message from Satan that says to them, "To keep you is no benefit. To destroy you is no loss." [3]

While some emerging church leaders say they love the message of the Cross, others are entangled in an underlying theme of disagreement. The underlying theme says Jesus' going to the Cross was an example of sacrifice and servant-hood that we should follow, but the idea that God would send His Son to a violent death for the sins of humanity is not the God we know. In fact, they say a loving God would never commit such a dreadful act of violence against his own Son. Christianity is not a slaughterhouse religion. [4]

While there is growing rejection of sound doctrine in the church, other evangelical movements gloss over key doctrines to such an extent that few people notice. When I ended my brief involvement in the Alpha Course and Promise Keepers Movement several years ago, I notice a similar trend in "redemption shallowness" shared between these two movements. To be more precise, the foundational truths required for salvation were noticeably missing and imperceptibly replaced with easy believism. The problem with religious-lite movements is not the truth they contain but the truth they reject and twist or fail to include, and herein the deception and warning.

The Bible foresaw this long ago. In order to combat apostasy, the apostle Paul wrote, "For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). In other words, ministers of the true Gospel preach the entirety of the Gospel including the New Covenant and its many accompanying doctrines. To preach anything less is to preach a partial gospel that is another gospel, one that condemns all who embrace it.

As Christians, we are to be gentle, forgiving, forbearing and accepting of one another. When it comes to the message of the Gospel, however, there can be no compromise and no easy pass for false teachers. The reasons why are first, the Gospel is the core of Christianity and when you change the foundational truths, cracks appear in the entire gospel structure and weakens its holy purpose. Secondly, if ministers teach another gospel, people will be confused about the path to salvation and risk an uncertain eternity. Finally and most critically, evangelicals who knowingly compromise the gospel by removing truth are an affront to the perfect work of the Lord Jesus Christ. [5]

Jesus also has a world view and promises to deliver it in person (in a clear and frightening way) to those who tread upon His shed blood (Hebrews 10:29). Jesus will say to the Pol Pots of Christianity, "To keep you is no benefit. To destroy you is no loss" (see Matthew 7:22-24).

In closing, it is critical that believers pray for discernment (2 Timothy 2:15), combat apostasy, and contend for the faith (Jude 1:3). [6] Those who follow after and support false teachers are in danger of sharing the fate of their teachers (2 Peter 2:1-3). Of all the doctrines in the Bible, the New Covenant, in my opinion, is absolutely foundation for every believer to embrace. Why? Because once you understand its importance you will apply its redeeming power to the doorway of your heart (Exodus 12:7).

*New Covenant - 'Jesus said, "I will put my law in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people'" (Jeremiah 31:31, 33). Jesus Christ came to fulfill the law of Moses (Matthew 5:17) and create a new covenant between God and His people. The old covenant was written in stone, but the new covenant is written on our hearts, made possible only by faith in Christ, who shed His own blood to atone for the sins of the world. Luke 22:20 says, "After supper, [Jesus] took another cup of wine and said, 'This wine is the token of God's new covenant to save agreement sealed with the blood I will pour out for you.'"

1. Read more: Got Questions - Apostasy
2. Read more: Got Questions - Apostasy - Edited
3. Roger Oakland -
4. Beka Horton - Church History and Things to Come - Pensacola Christian College, 1997 printing), p. 156
5. Shawn Abigail...Another
6. Read more: Got Questions - Apostasy

Photo Credit: Sheila Guevin

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Published 7-2-13