Man’s religion is fake because it is false. And it is fake good news because it is not good news at all. It is only bad news. No man, by his doing, can obtain from God what God does not freely give out of His pure, sovereign grace (John 3:17; 1 Cor. 4:17; John 1:12-13; Rom. 9:15; 11:6). And no man can keep what God does not immutably give according to His will and promise (Rom. 4:16; 8:31-39; 11:29). If man saves himself or triggers salvation by his will or decision, then salvation is of man. Such a salvation is fake. It is as insecure as the man who willed it. That is bad news for bad sinners.
More importantly, it is fake news, because it denies God His sovereign will (John 1:12-13; 3:5; Rom. 9:15-16; James 1:18). It is bad because it denies Christ His glorious achievements for sinners, according to the will of God (John 17:4; Heb. 1:3; 9:12, 15-16, 22; 24-26; 10:12-18). It is bad news because it claims the Spirit of God calls dead sinners who never rise to life (Ezek. 37:12-14; Eph. 2:1-6). It is bad because it denies man’s bad and sinful condition (John 5:40; 6:44; Rom. 3:10-12). No one will confess his sins or his sin unless he believes God justifies sinners in Christ alone (Luke 18:13). “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Prov. 28:13). Man’s fake-news-religion denies God’s redeeming grace, His regenerating grace and His preserving grace in salvation (Heb. 1:3; 9:12; 10:14; Eph. 2:1-10; Titus 3:3-7; John 10:27-29; Col. 1:21-23; Php. 1:6; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; Heb. 13:20-21; Jude 1:24). In short, man’s free-will, works religion is not only fake good news, it positively blasphemes God because it denies His perfections and gives His glory to man.
Think of the consequences of this fake-good-news-religion: if God willed the salvation of any who perish, or if Christ died for any who go to hell, or if God calls all men with the same grace and power, then it necessarily follows that any difference between men must be owing entirely to man, and not God at all! This is utter blasphemy!
The bad news of man’s fake good news flatly denies scripture. God alone chooses sinners to salvation; He sovereignly elects His people in Christ before they have a being (Eph. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; Rom. 9:11). Christ died for and redeemed His people alone (Matt. 1:21), His Church (Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:25), His sheep (John 11, 15-16, 27-29), His brethren (Heb. 2:10-18), His friends (John 15:13), His holy nation (John 11:50-52; 1 Pet. 2:9; Gal. 6:16); His children (Heb. 2:13), the seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:8, 13-14; 26-29; Heb. 2:16), the children of promise (Gal. 4:28; Rom. 9:6-8), the Israel of God (Gal. 6:16). And all of these were ungodly, unrighteous, sin-diseased, heart-plagued sinners! The Spirit of God gives life as it pleases Him (John 3:5; 6:63; Acts 2:39; 13:48; 16:14; 2 Cor. 3:6; Ezek. 36:25-27; 37:9-14; 1 Pet. 1:22-23; Eph. 2:4; Gal. 1:16). Christ reconciled His people to God when, in themselves, they were His enemies (Rom. 5:10; Eph. 2:1-4; Titus 3:3-7).
The Gospel is the only truly good news. All else is fake good news; it is really only bad news. It is especially bad news to lost, ruined, helpless sinners. But it is really evil because this fake news tries to remove God from His throne. Those who promote the fake good news of man’s free-will, works religion will be judged without mercy (Gal. 1:8-9). Oh, let us ever love and declare the glories of our great God and Savior, who delivered us from the wrath to come (1 Thess. 1:10), who washed us from our sins in His own precious blood (Rev. 1:5), who made us holy to God (Heb. 13:12), blameless and unreproveable before Him (Col. 1:21-22), and who will yet without fail present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy (Jude 1:24)!