Pastor Charles Stanley's False Gospel

by David J. Stewart | October 2019

Acts 15:1, “And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.”

       Pastor Charles Stanley (born 1932) teaches many excellent truths. Dr. Stanley has been pastor of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta since 1971. Although he claims to believe in the inerrancy of the Scriptures, he promotes the modern corrupt Alexandrian Bible perversions. In a recent presentation in 2019 by Charles Stanley at his “In Touch” website, he requires a person to pray a prayer to be saved, which in itself is unbiblical. In the Gospel of John (God's Gospel tract according to John 20:31) we find the word “believe” mentioned 87 times, but there is no mention of “prayer” to be saved. Kindly, Pastor Stanley is embellishing the Gospel with works.

The Lord Himself (in the inspired Scriptures) promised eternal life to anyone who will simply “believe.” John 6:47, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” That doesn't mean Roman Catholic are saved, who believe in addition to relying upon their manmade Seven Sacraments for salvation. It means whosoever believes, and ONLY believes, has everlasting life!

Also, in Dr. Stanley's suggested prayer that he leads the viewer to repeat, he requires the viewer to commit to live for Christ the rest of their life to be saved, which is NOT part of the Gospel...

“I here and now receive Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, AND choose to live for Him the rest of my life. In Jesus' name, Amen.' If you prayed with me, you've just received Christ as your Lord and Savior!'” [emphasis added]

SOURCE: Dr. Charles Stanley; 'How Do I Accept Jesus As My Savior?' (see last 2 minutes of 8:21 minute video)

Kindly, that is NOT what the Scripture saith! Our text Bible verse is from Acts 15:1 at the beginning of this article. A group of religious clowns had come to Jerusalem, teaching that no man could be saved who wasn't circumcised in the flesh (after the law of Moses). God gave the law of Moses as a measuring stick, by which when compared men fell woefully short (Romans 3:19-20-23). Thus, seeing their hopeless condition as a guilty sinner, they run to Calvary to be saved by the mercy and grace of God through faith alone in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:24-26; Romans 10:3-4). I just explained the entire Holy Bible to you! We are taught LAW and GRACE!

Well, these religious clowns in Acts 15:1 were stuck on the LAW! They actually thought they could be saved by obeying Moses' law. This is what the apostle Paul is refuting when he says in Romans 2:13, “(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” False prophets, like Dan Corner of Evangelical Outreach (a popular internet ministry), teach that Paul here is saying you are not saved unless you keep the LAW! Kindly, Dan Corner would have fit right in with the reprobate clowns in Acts 15:1! My friend, Paul was refuting the crazy idea that anyone (including Jews) could ever get to Heaven by obeying Moses' law. Since the Jews were making an attempt at it, Paul emphasizes that to attain justification through works, they must perfectly keep the LAW, which they weren't doing! Romans 2:17, “Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,”. Those unsaved Jews were “RESTING” in the Law. What saith the Scripture? ...

Hebrews 4:9-11, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”

The Sabbath Day symbolized Jesus Christ, in Whom we rest for our salvation. To do so, we must CEASE from our own labors (dead works), which is repentance (Hebrews 6:1). Preachers today have it all backwards. Repentance is not turning from your sinful ways, it is ceasing from all of your works (good and bad) and resting only in the finished redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ! John 8:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

Dr. Stanley repeatedly mentions having “a relationship” with Jesus, but may I remind you that Judas also had “a relationship” with Christ and went to Hell. We also read in Matthew 27:3 that Judas “repented,” but he still went to Hell. You see dear reader, you don't get saved by having a relationship with Christ, nor by repenting of your sinful ways; but only by receiving by faith Christ's sacrifice on the cross as full payment for your sins, believing that Jesus was buried, and then physically resurrected from the dead on the third day. That is 'The Gospel' ('Good News') by which you are saved, if you simply believe!

What exactly is the Gospel? The word “Gospel” means “Good News” or “Glad Tidings.” There is no need to guess what the “Gospel” is because the Bible plainly tells us. The “Gospel” is the Good News of Christ's DEATH on the cross for our sins, His BURIAL and bodily RESURRECTION three days later:

1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”

We are saved by BELIEVING “the Gospel,” which is the power of God unto salvation. Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” It is that simple to be saved. If you admit that you are a guilty sinner in God's sight, and you receive Christ's sacrifice on the cross as full payment for your sins, believing that He was buried, and bodily resurrected three days later, and that is your only hope for eternal life, then YOU ARE IMMEDIATELY, SECURELY AND FOREVER SAVED!!!

One of my favorite born-again authors is Michael P. Bowen, who states: 

The Plan Of Salvation According To Charles Stanley

At the time this chapter was written, In Touch Ministries had (and may still have) an Internet page called the “God Quiz.” Using the information on the God Quiz, let us examine Charles Stanley’s viewpoints on what the bible has to say about salvation.

Dr. Stanley starts by asking the question of how well each of us really knows God. He then tells readers of his page that God loves them, that God wishes to have a personal relationship with them, and that our heavenly Father has a special plan for everyones’ lives. Stanley then supports his assertion of God having a special plan for everyone by providing a scripture from the New Living Translation version of the Bible — Jeremiah 29:11 — which states, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD, ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” Again, Stanley puts great emphasis on letting readers know that God wants a relationship with each of us.

Next on the agenda is where Stanley informs his readers about the barrier of sin that stands between God and mankind. Stanley refers to a slightly reworded New Living Translation version of the Bible when he states Romans 3:23 as his proof text concerning the fact that we are all sinners. “For all [that means us!] have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Stanley also refers to Romans 6:23, which is a key verse in any witnessing attempt; however, he does not write this verse out for readers to see. Rather, he tells readers
that the punishment for sin is death in hell, and that no matter how hard we try, we cannot save ourselves or earn our way into heaven. I want you, the reader, to lock on to this assertion that Stanley justmade in that last statement (although I am paraphrasing it): “...that no matter how hard we try, we cannot save ourselves or earn ourway into heaven...” By keeping this statement firmly in your mind as you progress onward in this chapter, I will explain how the plan of salvation according to Charles Stanley is different from the plan of salvation that Jesus taught. I will say this in his favor — Stanley is correct in telling us that no matter how hard we try, we cannot save ourselves or earn our way into heaven; however, as you will soon see, Stanley’s plan of salvation goes through a process of metamorphosis. In Stanley’s version, salvation goes from being something we cannot earn or merit to being something that we, in fact, must earn by both following Christ in discipleship and by adhering to Christ’s Lordship over our lives. Essentially, he tells you “one thing” up front, and in the end, he changes the terms of God’s plan to reflect “another thing” altogether by combining human works with God’s grace in a way that is so subtle that few people ever come to the realization that they have, in fact, violated Christ’s plan of salvation by the inclusion of their own self efforts. Christ will flat-out refuse to take into consideration any self efforts on our part when it comes to a person’s salvation. Essentially, it is the equivalent of me showing up at your birthday party with a gift. I give you the gift and you receive it with joy and thankfulness. Then I hold out my hand and tell you, “That will be $25.00, please.”

Commercial advertisements used to take advantage of a form of deception known as bait and switch.

Now banned by law, the bait and switch tactic involved the advertisement of a certain item that sounded very reasonable and good; however, when you arrived at the place of business to buy your item, you were informed that the item in question was either not in stock or was no longer available.

Instead, the seller would try to convince you to buy another item. This method of operation was, at its core, a calculated plan of deception intended to bilk more money out of the customer. In a similar fashion, although I don’t believe he realizes he is doing so, Stanley offers you the free gift of salvation though faith alone in Christ, but later makes the surrender of your life to Christ (becoming a disciple) an essential element in your salvation.

...This is a “works-based” plan of salvation that will not save a lost person from God’s wrath, and therefore it is a false gospel according to the bible. While I love Charles Stanley and will always speak well of him, the plan of salvation that he teaches is not the same one that Christ teaches us in the bible. I would like to give you some choice verses for you to consider. One of my favorites is 1 Thessalonians 4:14. Examine carefully, if you will: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”

...You can invite Christ into your heart and life, you can make Him the Lord of your life, your will, your bank account, etc. You canpreach, teach and hand out tracts, etc. You can perform a plethora of amazing and wonderful works of righteousness, etc. You can pray, join the church, read your bible, etc., yet still end up in the lake of fire for all eternity despite it all if you fail to do the will of the Father, which is to trust Jesus Christ alone for your salvation by trusting totally and completely in the fact that He paid for every sin you would ever commit in your lifetime (past, present, future) by His death and subsequent resurrection from the grave three days later. God’s gift to you for placing your trust in His Son is the free gift of everlasting life in heaven.

“...He that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this isthe record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son (1 John 5:10-11). When we attempt to be saved by placing partial faith in Christ and partial faith in our works, we are essentially calling God the Father a liar. God will not accept our works in any shape, manner or form in terms of salvation. Acts 13:39 states that, “And by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” If you choose a different plan of salvation than the one that Jesus Christ offers, you will be cast into the lake of fire:

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).

In sum, no combination of good works plus faith in Christ can save a lost person from the lake of fire. No matter how sincere you are before God, partial faith in Christ and partial faith in the Christian Lifestyle will not save you. Only faith alone (apart from your good works) in the finished work of Jesus Christ will save you. Either Charles Stanley is right and Jesus Christ is wrong, or Charles Stanley is wrong and Jesus Christ is right. Whom do you choose to believe, this day?

SOURCE: Michael P. Bowen, “I NEVER KNEW YOU” - Chapter 3

Pastor Charles Stanley says a lot of great things from the pulpit. Unfortunately, like buttoning a dress-shirt, if you get the first button wrong, then all the other buttons are also going to be wrong! Likewise, if a preacher is wrong on the simple plan of salvation, he cannot be trusted on anything! The same holds true for Pastor John MacArthur and Evangelist Ray Comfort. Heresy is creeping into our fundamental churches by the hour!

“Faith is the only righteous thing that I can do!”
—Pastor Jack Hyles, a quote from the MP3 sermon titled: God's Reversal Of Psalms 51


John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Eternal Security


Confession Is Never A Requirement For Salvation

'The Gospel' In Just One Minute (by Pastor Max D. Younce)

“As a blind man has no idea of colors, so we have no idea of the manner by
which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things.”
—Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

Another Gospel Which Is Not Another
(a red-hot MP3 by Dr. Curtis Hutson exposing Lordship Salvation)

“If you have to look at your life to prove that you are saved, it proves that you're not!” Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold; an excellent quote from the awesome YouTube sermon titled, “Why Lordship Salvation is WRONG! | MP3.”

Ye Must Be Born Again!

You Need HIS Righteousness!

Believe The Gospel