Hot Tub to Hell
Men will let anyone join their churches, enticing them any way they can. Not so in the City of God: “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the Tree of Life and that they may enter the City by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood” (Revelation 22:14-15 ESV).
We received this letter:
To whom it may concern:
I wanted to write to you to let you know of a teacher who is leading people to believe they are “in the family of God” and “saved.” I attended this church throughout my childhood and left soon after the new teacher moved in as the Senior Pastor. After listening to several of his sermons I realized I was not being fed do to the simplicity of his messages in addition to his “soft” approach” to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A high majority of people who attend a “church gathering” will listen to any wind of doctrine because they know no better because of a lack of basic understanding of the Scriptures. I have been a student of God’s Word from a very early age and although I do not hold any degrees, I consider myself has having more wisdom, understanding and knowledge than most.
The reason I am sending you this message is because this teacher is leading many astray including both my parents and 3 siblings. However, all the people I have talked to about this wolf have thought I am crazy for accusing this teacher of preaching false doctrine. I could go on and on but I will get to the point of this false doctrine.
Gene Appel of Eastside Christian Church is Anaheim California has quickly raised the membership of this church from 1,900, to more than 5,000 in about 7 years as Senior Pastor. How has he done this? He has done this by teachers a Jesus that wants people to “believe” in him and have “faith” in his “grace” that will cover all of their sin so that they can be “saved.” Gene is very clever in manipulating his audience into this false relationship with a god who does nothing to actually rescue people from their sinful state.
My biggest concern is that Gene does not preach a Gospel of repentance, but rather a gospel of grace. Don’t get me wrong, I know that we are “saved by grace, through faith.” But if people who attend Eastside Christian Church do not understand that their faith is proven by repentance, AND the works that they do in keeping with that repentance (Acts 26:20). People that attend this church then believe (as my family does) that they still have a relationship with God even while living in opposition to the Word of God. This is a very dangerous doctrine being propagated in the church today and I think you can help to expose it.
When preachers tell of the grace of God without also teaching that this grace allows the sinner to be changed entirely from the inside out and to truly be able to “go and sin no more” because they have the Power of the Holy Spirit within them who empowers the believer not to sin. This doctrine that does not teach complete obedience to the Word of God distorts the Truth and pads the preachers pocket book because it is easy to just “believe, and be saved,” without ever defining what belief is (being firmly convinced of the reality of dying to one’s self to live wholly to God and for His Glory.” Once again, this teaching is dangerous and leading people astray.
Here is a sermon a few months ago that fully convinced me of this man’s false gospel, and that’s exactly what it is, it is the gospel of Gene Appel: http://www.eastside.com/messages-media/ [link defunct] The title of the message should come up as, “Can a saved person lose their salvation.” Right of the bat this is an unfair question to pose. First of all because nobody is actually “saved” yet. If we were, why does Jesus tell us “those who endure to the end shall be saved”? Pay close attention to the alter call at the end, and especially to what Gene says it means to “be saved.”
I hope you can help, thank you very much in advance for your time.
Gene Appel is, no doubt, a false teacher. I watched the video you suggested, “Can a Saved Person Lose their Salvation?” (Found here: https://vimeo.com/119391932.) All one needs to do is compare the water baptism scene at the end of this video with what John spoke to those who came to be baptized of him at the Jordan, and they’ll have a vivid contrast between false and true.
Gene, with soft music playing, cajoles his audience to come forward with an impassioned speech about receiving eternal salvation, interspersed with jokes and congratulatory pats on the back enticing his listeners into “our jacuzzi for Jesus.” He says, “We’ll just light it up right there – it’s heated, it’s chlorinated, it’s filtered, it’s all ready for you today.”
Wow, jump in the jacuzzi and you’ll be saved! If John had only used this approach, he could have saved so many more people. Why did he have to be so spartan and harsh? Why couldn’t he have been more reassuring, endearing, and funny like Gene?
Luke 3:7-9 MKJV
(7) Then he said to the crowd that came forth to be baptized by him, “O generation of vipers! Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
(8) Therefore bring forth fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say within yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
(9) And now also the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.”
(Read our section on Water Baptism, which isn’t the Lord’s first commandment to those in His faith, as Gene claims.)
Make no mistake, the difference between a servant of God and a carnal preacher of men’s doctrines is as day and night. Those who have eyes to see will see, and those who love God will flee to the mountains when they see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place.
This brings me to what’s important for you to hear, David. You need to let go of your family. You can’t fight over them with the powers of darkness, if they are given over to those powers. In doing so, you’re fighting for something that doesn’t belong to the Lord. They are not His. Should they hear the truth and repent, wonderful, but if it’s not their time and they aren’t responding in faith, you must leave them alone and move on with the Lord, if you will be His.
“But Jesus said to him, ‘Follow Me, and let the dead bury their dead’” (Matthew 8:22 MKJV).
“But He answered and said, ‘Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted shall be rooted up. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch’” (Matthew 15:13-14 MKJV).
Otherwise, you’ll succumb to the powers of darkness and it will be much worse for you, having received some Light. Read Choose This Day Between Family and God.
You say that you weren’t being fed at Gene’s church because of “the simplicity of his messages.” Wouldn’t you say that Gene’s message is complicated, contaminating the simplicity in Christ by Satan’s craftiness?
“But I fear, lest perhaps as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3 EMTV).
For example, Gene says men aren’t saved by their works, but then goes on to say to his audience that they can be saved today by grace through faith by jumping into his hot tub. Isn’t that a work? Yes, and works do follow faith, but is Gene preaching the works of Christ’s faith or the works of men in their own faith using His Name? It is the latter, conveniently dispensed by Gene to keep people under the control of his church, the Devil’s church. Satan comes with cunning, posing and speaking as an angel of light, usurping the Name of Christ and holding people in the gates of Hell.
And how convenient, according to Gene’s teaching, that believers can’t judge whether the fruits of salvation are evident. This way he and his ministry can’t be judged. That’s like saying you couldn’t tell a beautiful piece of fruit from a rotten one. As men with physical senses given by God, of course we can judge such. So can the regenerate man renewed in the image of Christ discern spiritual fruit with his spiritual senses. This is no wonder or impossibility to those who believe.
If we’re saved and born again through God’s Spirit, we have the mind of Christ. Gene plainly confesses he doesn’t have the Lord’s mind, which is true. He goes too far, however, in saying no one does. Those crucified with Christ live by and with Him – we see what He sees and judge all things, as Paul said to the Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 2:9-16 MKJV
(9) But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.
(10) But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God.
(11) For who among men knows the things of a man except the spirit of man within him? So also no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
(12) But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God.
(13) These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
(14) But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
(15) But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged by no one.
(16) For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.
No pastor of God would make such Christ-denying statements as Gene Appel does. That’s because His pastors know Him and Gene doesn’t.
David, our enduring to the end in order to be saved means we come to the end of ourselves, the evil within vanquished. It’s not about the end of our physical lives on earth. John speaks of this overcoming within, where the Kingdom of Heaven appears:
“I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him Who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the Word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one” (1 John 2:14 MKJV).
“Him who overcomes I will make him a pillar in the Temple of My God, and he will go out no more. And I will write upon him the Name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of Heaven from My God, and My new Name” (Revelation 3:12 MKJV).
This is the fruit of our salvation. We’re first saved when we express the faith planted within by God, and from there, we work out the salvation assured in Heaven.
“This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:9-10 KJV).
That which was lost is found by the Shepherd Who searches out His sheep and establishes them in His Name:
“The LORD is my strength, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my rock; I will trust in Him; He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower” (Psalms 18:2 MKJV).
We walk in the faith He has given us and are saved:
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock. And the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house. And it did not fall, for it was founded on a rock” (Matthew 7:24-25 MKJV).
Many don’t have this faith, however – their works come from a counterfeit faith of tares and manmade Christianity. This is Gene Appel and his church of concoction, mixing the things of God and man. The works of his faith don’t change men into the likeness of God, as do the works of Christ’s faith in those who believe.
For example: I viewed the video entitled, “What’s the Big Deal about Homosexuality and Gay Marriage?” In this sermon Gene panders to homosexuals and transgenders, even while referring to the Scriptures that condemn their abominable acts. He uses the Word of God to administer sympathy to the LGBT agenda, not recognizing the true wickedness there.
Gene talks about how he and others are sinners with corrupt inclinations, so who are they to pick on the sexually perverted? He certainly has a point there, but he entirely overlooks the real issue. The LGBT agenda isn’t one of admission of sin, seeking repentance and the forgiveness of God. Their agenda is one of denying the sin in their heinous acts, and instead of being contrite, they vociferously condemn the Law of God and any who represent it, as seen in this episode – The Joy of Gay Sex?
In his depraved kowtowing, Gene even blasphemes the Lord Jesus Christ, intimating that He was tempted to commit homosexual acts with His disciples. Yes, you heard that right. Gene cites Hebrews 4:15: “For we do not have a High Priest Who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted just as we are, yet without sin.”
Gene reasons that if Jesus was tempted in all points as men are, and some men are homosexuals, then Jesus must have experienced same-sex attraction. But we know from Romans 1 that the reason men have this attraction is because they and their ancestors “did not see fit to acknowledge God.” How could that be said of Jesus, Who was born without sin, and Whose entire life was an acknowledgement of God?
Besides, God, it is written, cannot be tempted with any kind of evil, so Gene plainly doesn’t understand and misapplies the Scripture in Hebrews. For a true explanation of the matter, read Could Jesus Christ Have Sinned?
Gene opens his arms and the doors of his church to whoever wants to join, even if they disagree with him about the plainspoken prohibition of God against homosexuality, which Gene acknowledges.
“Go in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in through it” (Matthew 7:13 MKJV).
We speak up, so that others will hear and know these things, following the teaching of our brothers who went before us.
“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house, nor speak a greeting to him. For he who speaks a greeting to him is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 1:10-11 MKJV).