Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. - Jude 1: 3-4 (ESV)
I have consistently said that Joseph Prince is the most dangerous preacher alive today. A wolf of the highest order, mangling the Bible and the sheep nearly every time he takes to the pulpit. What makes him so dangerous is twofold. First he mixes the truth with error so smoothly that even many well versed Christians can fall prey if they do not test everything. Secondly, the message is just what itching ears want to hear, without some of the obvious falseness that many mainstream false preachers carry. Who would not want to hear that we no longer have to worry about our sin? Who would not want to hear that God is never angry with you? Who would not want to hear this greasy grace message that tastes so good going down but slowly will kill you? I say kill you and I mean it. It is not hyperbole. It is not exaggeration beloved. Countless people will follow this teaching straight down the broad path that leads only to their own destruction. A gospel that is devoid of sin and repentance is no gospel at all. It is stripped of the power to save anyone. It really is that simple beloved.
The link above is to a 16 minute portion of a sermon from Prince. He usually only provides a small snippet because he wants you to go to his website and purchase the entire message. As usual though, he packs so much wrong into the snippet that it suffices very well to expose him. The key verses today are the same from the message. It is a clever tactic of Prince to finally address these two verses from Jude because they are used correctly to describe the heresy of Joseph Prince. This sermon is a not so obvious attempt to take that accusation out of the hands of those who speak the truth about Prince and use it against them. Before he gets there however, Pastor Prince decides to set the stage by comparing himself to Jesus Christ, using these verses:
And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, "Why does he eatwith tax collectors and sinners?" And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." - Mark 2: 15-17 (ESV)
After reading these verses Prince actually says that when you preach the "real gospel of grace" people will accuse you of the same thing the Pharisees accused Jesus of here - that "he compromises with sinners." Where do we start to unravel this nonsense? First of all, there is no such thing as the real gospel of grace. It is something that Joseph Prince has made up in his own mind. He claims it was divinely given to him by God Himself. That it is a direct revelation from God. It is too bad that Prince did not just flip one chapter back and see this from Mark's Gospel:
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God,and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." - Mark 1: 14-15 (ESV)
Beloved, the grace of God is enormous. You and I can do nothing without the grace of God. We would be destined for hell without it. This is the truth that runs through the leaven of Prince's preaching. Whenever someone dares to point out his heresy, he is quick to pretend that they are speaking against the grace of God. That is absurd. What we speak against is the same thing Jude warns us about in the key verses. It is the perversion of the grace of God. This central preaching message from Christ in Mark 1 is the same in all the Gospel accounts - repent. Joseph Prince so hates that word that he once preached it merely means to "consent to be loved."
Putting this aside for a minute, how unseemly is this comparison Prince makes? So anyone who speaks against his false gospel are now Pharisees? Who does that make him? You guessed it; Jesus Christ. For the record, Prince also misses the point. No one accuses Joseph Prince of compromising with sinners! The problem is that he fails to address their sin! He gives them a false fire insurance policy. He tells them not to worry about it! What happens then? These folks will spend their lives as fully churched people who have no real relationship with Christ! Do you want to know how that road ends?
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.' - Matthew 7: 21-23 (ESV)
Think how sad this day will be when so many people find out they had been lied to. While we are here I want us to pay close attention to verse 23 because it absolutely eviscerates the preaching premise of Prince's false grace message. What does Jesus call these condemned people as He sends them away? You who practice lawlessness! Wait a minute! Pastor Prince teaches that the law has no place in the life of a believer! He has preached that the Ten Commandments have no place in the life of a believer! If that is truth then Matthew is lying in verse 23. Jesus Himself bemoans in the Gospels why people bother calling Him Lord if they refuse to do what He says!
I am going to briefly leave the sermon review to teach where the error is. Joseph Prince confuses our eternal position in Christ with our temporal condition as a sinner. The grace of God is what will allow us to stand before God covered by the blood. It does not however change that while encased in this flesh, we remain sinners. We do not try and obey the laws of God in order to earn salvation but rather because we have matured to the point that we realize God only has our best interests when He says what we ought not to do. In other words, obedience is not a pursuit of salvation it is the result of it. This is the point that always escapes Prince. Repent is not a dirty word. It is the turning away from sin because now we look at sin differently. When we walked in darkness we did not understand our sin offended God. Now that we know it does, we should desire to not sin. Repent, turn from, our sin. That is not being a legalist. That is not being a Pharisee. That is obeying God because we love Him and do not desire to offend Him.
In the hyper-grace world of Joseph Prince however, nothing offends God. He has taught entire sermons based on the silly notion that God never is upset with us. Committed adultery? Who cares! Certainly not the sugar crusted fairy god that Joseph Prince preaches. Getting back to this sermon however I just want to make some obvious points. First of all, Prince said this:
"The devil does not mind if you preach a compromised Gospel but the moment you preach the gospel of grace all hell breaks loose."
The first half of this statement is absolutely true it is just sad that Prince fails to see it is his gospel that is compromised. That is why the devil does not come against it at all. All hell breaks loose? Where? There are precious few who rightly call out Prince for his heresy. He is internationally known, flies all over the world preaching, and is seen on untold number of media outlets. He has penned bestselling books with such pious titles as "Destined to Reign." Exactly where is the hell breaking loose? Nowhere. He has found very little resistance specifically because his gospel is so compromised. After this however, he references another portion of Jude: