Q. I have a question about something I just read on a well known prophecy website. The commentator was not addressing this subject specifically, but stated that:
“Prior to the death of Christ on the cross, it was only necessary that man believe in Who Jesus said He was. Proof of this revelation is evidenced through the testimony of Peter and the testimony of the thief on the cross. (See Mark 8:29 and Luke 23:42)
Now I do not know how exactly he meant this, but it makes it appear that the gospel Jesus preached in John 3:16 and John 6:29 changed after the cross. He could not be referring to Old Testament saints because of his scripture references. If this were to be true then we would have problems in dealing with difficult passages regarding salvation that occur after the gospels. Can you address this?
A. Think about it. Would Jesus have come into the world teaching that whoever believed in Him would be saved, and then fulfilled 300 prophecies that foretold his death and resurrection to prove that people who believed in him would be saved? Would He do that only to then tell His apostles to preach a different salvation message after He was gone? Does that make any sense to you?
Doesn’t it make more sense to believe that there are a lot of people preaching things that have distorted and re-interpreted the Gospel? Isn’t that why Jesus had His words written down, so we could use them to check out what people were saying? And in fact isn’t that just what Paul commended the Bereans for doing? (Acts 17:11)
John 6:29 is the Lord’s definitive answer to the question, “What does God require of us?” He said, “Believe in the One He has sent.” Everything that has been added to His answer has been added by man, in a misguided attempt to make expensive that which God gave His life to make free.