FRIEND, IT IS ONLY THROUGH GOD'S WORD, the Bible, that a person learns how
to get saved and go to Heaven when they die. Therefore, it is important that God's
Word be clear and concise, free of ambiguities. We can't very well trust our eternity-
bound souls to a Bible whose uncertainties can easily lead to misunderstandings.
Of course, the devil would love for us to misinterpret God's Word. The Bible, referring
to Satan, says, "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field
which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman [EVE], Yea, hath God
said[?]" (Gen. 3:1). From the beginning, the devil has always tried to cast doubt on
God's Word; often, in a very subtle way. That's why the devil loves the confusion
created by all the different Bible versions on the market today. The most popular among
them is the New International Version, also known as the NIV.
If you use an NIV, perhaps you bought it because it is advertised as a translation that
strives for "the fidelity to the thought of the biblical writers." Perhaps you first tried to
read the King James Version (KJV) with its emphasis on "word-for-word translation,"
and felt it was difficult to understand. However, it's more important to know God's
exact words than the writer's "thoughts or intent." The NIV's attempt to provide the
thought-behind-the-words has lead to verses whose wording is ambiguous and
misleading to the reader. As you will learn, such ambiguities subtly work in Satan's
For example . . .
In Rom. 3:19, the KJV clearly states that since everyone has violated at least one of
God's commandments, we are all "guilty" before Him (See also James 2:10). There
is no ambiguity behind the word guilty. Guilty means guilty--we are condemned already,
a heartbeat away from Hell--we need to get saved (John 3:16-18). However, the devil
knows that human nature tries to deny its guilt before God. So along comes the NIV
and in the same verse, uses the word "ACCOUNTABLE" instead. But "accountable" is
not the same as "guilty[.]" There is a subtle, and misleading difference. "Accountable"
merely states the obvious. (Who wouldn't admit they are, at least, accountable to God
for something?!) Nor does it nail us down as guilty, condemned sinners. "Accountable"
does not instill the fear of God the way "guilty" does.
Could you see someone rationalize away their dire need to get saved, because to
them, being accountable implies that God's verdict is still out on their lives? With
enough good works he/she can still settle his account with God--so why rush? Where's
the Hell fire? In the mean time, the devil smiles, knowing that person is only a heartbeat
away from dropping into Hell.
LET'S LOOK AT MORE EXAMPLES as we compare the NIV against the less ambiguous
King James Version (KJV). You will see how clearly defined, and "black and white," the
KJV is compared to the NIV. And as we examine these two Bibles, ask yourself:
Who benefits from the NIV's subtle and ambiguous wording, God or Satan? If it were YOUR SOUL on the line, which version would you rather trust, considering
the fact that God will judge you according to His exact Words (John 12:48)?
As a professing Christian, if you were leading someone to Christ, which Bible would
clearly define the plan of salvation?
Which version would give that someone an excuse to rationalize away their dire need
of Jesus Christ as their only possible Saviour?
Judge for yourself . . .
IN THE KJV we find Jesus Christ clearly stating who needs to be saved: "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost." Matt. 18:11
In the NIV, Matt. 18:11 is NOT FOUND. What a shame, as it clearly shows that before a person can get saved, they must see themselves as lost--the way God sees them.
KJV - "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."
NIV - "THE SINFUL MIND is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so" (Rom. 8:7). "the carnal mind" describes a condition. We are all lost, a result of rebelling against God's laws. We couldn't keep God's laws, even if we wanted to. We are sinners. However, "The sinful mind" to most people, sounds like the mind of someone who is constantly thinking about wicked things. The self-righteous person will tend to rationalize that, since he/she doesn't go around scheming evils deeds, they don't have a sinful mind; they'll assume the verse doesn't apply to them.
KJV - "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin." (Rom. 7:14)
NIV - "We know that the law is spiritual; BUT I AM UNSPIRITUAL, sold as a slave to sin" (Rom. 7:14). At first glance, this verse seems to say the same thing as the KJV.
However, to most people who don't believe things are black and white, saying "I am unspiritual," does not automatically imply, by default, that a person is carnal. Carnal denotes our condition. When Paul says, "I am carnal," he means that he is a sinner, period! Paul's statement leaves no room for rationalizing away the fact that he (or anyone else) is a sinner.
Saying, "I am unspiritual," however, leaves room for a self-righteous person to rationalize and say: "Sure, I'll admit that I'm not spiritual, but at least I'm not to the other extreme (carnal) either; I'm somewhere in between--I'm not so bad."
KJV - "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." (Psalm 9:17)
NIV - "The wicked RETURN TO THE GRAVE, all the nations that forget God" (Psalm 9:17) ["and" is missing].
Somehow, "returning to the grave" doesn't instill the fearful urgency that being turned into Hell does. "Returning" makes it sound like the sinner is merely going back into the ground, which in most people's minds can't be that bad. Also, the lack of "and[,]" makes it sound--to the rationalizing mind, looking for an excuse--like the wicked consist only of "...the nations that forget God"
The KJV says that not being able to follow God's law TEACHES us that we can't even save ourselves. We are helpless, lost sinners in need of a Saviour: "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." (Gal. 3:24-25)
NIV - "So the law was PUT IN CHARGE to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under THE SUPERVISION of the law" (Gal. 3:24-25). The term used here, instead of "schoolmaster[,]" doesn't describe the law's purpose of teaching us our need of a Saviour. It also ruins the conclusion drawn from the verses prior to Gal. 3:24. Besides, if we are "no longer under the supervision of the law," can we, therefore, sin all we want after salvation? Is that the conclusion subtly implied?
KJV - "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (Rom. 3:28)
NIV - "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith APART FROM observing the law" (Rom. 3:28). There is nothing ambiguous about the word "without[,]" as stated in the KJV.
"without" clearly excludes "the deeds of the law." However, the word "APART" can be interpreted by some as meaning: faith 'ASIDE FROM' or 'AS WELL AS' observing the law. That would imply salvation by faith AND works--in essence, a works salvation.
KJV - Jesus Christ died to pay for our sins. He shed His blood to save us. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:" (Col. 1:14).
NIV - "In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins"
[The reference to HIS BLOOD is missing] (Col. 1:14).
The KJV says we must repent, change our minds, agree with God that we are lost, hell-deserving sinners, unable to save ourselves. And with a repentant attitude, we must put our faith upon Jesus Christ. That means trust Him as our only Lord and Saviour. "When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Mark 2:17)
NIV - "On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, BUT SINNERS." [reference to REPENTANCE is missing] (Mark 2:17).
KJV - Christ, promised, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life." (John 6:7)
NIV - "I tell you the truth, HE WHO BELIEVES has everlasting life" ["on me" is missing] (John 6:7). The NIV makes a very ambiguous statement, giving the impression that all a person has to do is "believe in God." But the Bible says the devils also "believe" in God (James 2:19). Does it save them?
Matt. 18:3, in the . . .
KJV - uses the phrase, "Except ye be converted[.]" Conversion, or being born again, is a supernatural transformation GOD PERFORMS (John 1:13; Eph. 2:1-7; Col. 2:13; John 3:3-7).
NIV - the same phrase reads, "Unless you change." To the self-righteous person this implies that God expects THEM to do the changing, in other words, "clean up your own act."
"Unless you change" subtly implies a works salvation.
2 Cor. 1:9 in the . . .
KJV - "we had the sentence of death in ourselves,"
NIV - "In our hearts WE FELT the sentence of death."
Feelings are subjective; they can be rationalized away.
Rom. 11:30 in the . . .
KJV - "in times past have not believed God..."
NIV - "Who were at one time DISOBEDIENT to God..."
In several verses, the NIV uses obedience instead of belief in connection with salvation. Disobedience/obedience implies "doing what God wants." To the person already assuming that they are expected to earn their salvation through good works, "obedience" re-enforces that assumption. Whereas "belief" (faith) takes a person in a different direction, challenging their assumption of a works salvation.
Heb. 1:3 in the . . .
KJV - "...by himself purged our sins..."
NIV - "....HE HAD PROVIDED purification for sins..."
In the KJV, the phrase leaves no doubt that Christ cleansed us of our sins BY HIMSELF. The NIV's wording is ambiguous, leaving room for someone, who believes they play a role in their salvation, to assume that Christ merely "opened the way" (provided) for a person to save themselves.
2 Cor. 2:15 . . .
KJV - "...in them that are saved..."
NIV - "...among those who are BEING SAVED..."
"are saved" is past tense; it is a done deal, bought and paid for by Christ. "Being saved," encourages that person trying to pay for their sins, through their good works, to keep on working at it, because they are in the process of being saved.
The Bottom line . . .When it comes to any issue relating to salvation, "God is not the author of confusion" (1 Cor. 14:33), but there is one who is: "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." (2 Cor. 11:3) Friend, when you open your Bible, you don't normally find scholars standing around, ready to clarify any ambiguous wording. Nor will the translators of the NIV stand beside you on Judgment Day, taking responsibility for any fatal misunderstanding you may have had. It will be just between you and God. So it is important to use a Bible that doesn't leave you wondering if it really means this, that, or more than one thing. After all, your soul is on the line!
IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven? The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).
BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you
from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God," Isaiah 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: Not of works, lest any
man should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9) Baptism, good
deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are
all examples of good works that cannot save you,
because, "Not by works of
righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he [Christ] saved
us," Titus 3:5.
THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through
Jesus Christ. He said: "I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) THAT'S
WHY: "...while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us." Romans 5:8-9
THEREFORE: You must REPENT (change your
mind); admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner
and can't save yourself. And call upon Christ, and
Him alone, to save you. "if thou shalt confess
with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [REPENT], and
shalt believe in thine heart [TRUST] that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved." Romans 10:9
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