The Gospel According to Internet Comments

The false gospels that pervade our churches are reflected in comments that show up in response to articles on the internet. Whether the subject is moral, political, or religious, “defenders of the faith” can be counted on to respond with their versions of how people can receive eternal life.  I have rarely seen anyone who gets it right.

Following are some examples that I have garnered over the past few months. The comments are in italics, and my responses are in bold:

Jesus Christ, the Son of God loves you! As a matter of fact He loved you soooo much that He came to Earth and lived a sinless life and died on the Cross for your sins and if you Repent of your sins and accept Him as Lord and Savior, then you will be saved. Jesus Christ loves you! :)

 My comment: Repenting of your sins is not a requirement for eternal life.

…I have a changed life and heart after turning my life over to the god of the universe. I struggled for 20 years to obtain these changes to no avail. His word did the work that I could not. If you really want proof I can tell you how to obtain it, but you have to really be serious. If you are joking around it won’t work. If you really want to know and if God is real and He proves it to you will you give him the rest of your life? Will you make Him your God? If you are serious, God says that when you seek him with all of your heart you will find him. You must be willing to give up everything. If you are willing He will answer you. The God I serve cannot lie. Willing to take me up on it? I will lead you every step of the way.

My comment: We are not saved by giving God our lives. We are saved by believing that Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, died for our sins, was buried, and was raised from the dead.

 It is also clear that there are those who don’t like rules, don’t want to be judged, and want unconditional forgiveness. Jesus didn’t say there wouldn’t be any rules. Jesus said “if you love me, keep my commandments.” So I can understand why some would want to call me a hypocrite for pointing to the commandments. Because it causes people examine their own faults. But the bigger picture here is that Jesus paid the price for sin. He didn’t take away the rules, but He paid the ransom for breaking them if we abandon our lawlessness and follow Him. To all sinners, there is forgiveness, but it wad bought with a price, and we must repent of our sins, abandon them and walk in the light. We can’t have it both ways. We can’t serve two masters. We can’t live in sin and live for God. True Love is Jesus dying on the cross for you while you were yet an enemy of God and extending peace to you if you will surrender your life to Him and follow Him and deny yourself.

My comment: This is full of errors. We are not saved by surrendering our lives to Christ, nor are Christians under the law.

 doesn’t matter if the muslims love and follow Jesus.it doesn’t matter if ISIS loves and follows Jesus or angels.if either group is not saved and have not repented for their sins all of the above groups are lost in eternal hellfire.without accepting JESUS as LORD and savior NO ONE can be saved according to the bible which IS GODS word.it is simple really,do you believe Jesus is the son of GOD and do you believe he rose from the dead for the remittance of sins? just pray and ask Jesus to come into your heart and save you and forgive you of your sins and GOD promises in his word you WILL be saved.this is the ONLY way to heaven.see Romans 10:9,10,11,12

 My comment: We do not have to repent of sins to receive the free gift of eternal life. Jesus is Lord – we cannot make Him Lord.

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The Bible says that we are saved by grace, through faith in Christ

Ephesians 2:8-9:

[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
[9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

If you are a “defender of the faith”, but have never received eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, click here:  The Real Story

“I Give Unto Them Eternal Life”

Note: the following article was originally posted on July 30, 2014. I decided to re-post it today, in memory of my earthly father, who died yesterday at the age of 95, and in honor of our heavenly father who gave his only begotten Son through which all might be saved.

img_0677John10:28:  And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 

My family and I recently traveled to France for vacation. Among our stops were the beaches of Normandy, on which the allied invasion of France began on June 6, 1944 (D-day), and the American Cemetery.

These sites held particular significance for me, as my father was among the soldiers who fought in the Normandy campaign. He and my mother were able to visit Normandy for the 70th anniversary of D-day about a month before we were there.

The American Cemetery tells the stories of many of the brave soldiers who fought and died to liberate Europe from the grip of tyranny. There is also a chapel at the Cemetery. The chapel contains an altar that tells the story of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice to save mankind. The altar has an inscription that reads: “I GIVE UNTO THEM ETERNAL LIFE AND THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH”.

This brief inscription, which quotes Jesus, is extremely well chosen. Its eleven words affirm many Biblical truths that are central to the gospel, including the following:

Jesus is God.   The Bible says that God grants eternal life. So, if Jesus gives eternal life, it follows that He is God in the flesh.

John 1:14:  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Eternal life is a gift.  The Bible calls eternal life a gift – unmerited favor.

Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

The gift of God is eternal life. Jesus is not only necessary for eternal life. He is enough. Believing in Jesus as Savior means believing that our good intentions or good works have nothing to do with receiving eternal life. Neither does their presence or absence prove whether or not we possess eternal life. We need only believe in Christ alone as Savior in order to receive eternal life.

Ephesians 2:8-9: 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.

Eternal life is available to everyone.  Who is the “them” to whom Christ gives eternal life? The Bible says that anyone who will believe in Christ as Savior will receive eternal life.

John 20:31: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.  

The God of the Bible did not choose some to receive eternal life, while making it unavailable to others. The Bible says that God desires that everyone be saved.

1 Timothy 2:4: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 

Eternal life is eternal.  The doctrine of eternal security of Christians is taught throughout scripture. Eternal security is a necessary conclusion of grace. We cannot work our way into eternal life, and we cannot work our way out of eternal life.

Ephesians 1:13-14: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Every one of the soldiers who has defended our freedom on the battlefield deserves our gratitude. Jesus Christ, who came to seek and to save that which was lost, deserves our gratitude infinitely more. He died for our sins. He was buried, and He rose from the dead. He offers us eternal life as a free gift.

All one needs to do to have eternal life is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.

Casting All Of Your Care Upon Him

1 Peter 5-6-7

By johninnc (image provided by Holly Garcia)

1 Peter 5:6-7:

[6] Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
[7] Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

For those who have received the free gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus, learning to cast our care upon God can be frightening. Our natural instinct is to try to fix our problems on our own, or do it with an “assist” from God. Satan preys on these tendencies.

But we really only cast our care upon God when we realize we are helpless. This is when we find ourselves truly humble. Sometimes, we wait until our own abilities are exhausted and then cast our care upon Him.

1 Peter 5:8-9:

[8] Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
[9] Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Our fleshly rendition of this passage is to keep an eye out for trouble, and to make sure to fight it off. But, we are no match for the devil. He doesn’t fight fair. He gets in our heads. He influences our thoughts.

Ephesians 6:12: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Ephesians 6:13 gives us the solution:

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

The full armor of God is not His trappings.  It is God Himself.

Ephesians 6:16: Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

The shield of faith – the object of our faith – is God Himself.

Psalm 28:7: The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

 The Lord is trying to teach us to cast our care on Him. He doesn’t punish us when we don’t – he allows us to feel the pain. But, he blesses us when we do.

Psalm 23:

[1] The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
[2] He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
[3] He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
[4] Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
[5] Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
[6] Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

I find Psalm 23 to be one of the most comforting passages of scripture – the calmness associated with the Good Shepherd. He will come get us if we are in the ditch and call out to Him. He will defend us against the enemy. He is there for us always. Cast all of your care upon Him.

If you would like to know how to receive the free gift of eternal life Click Here

To Declare HIS Righteousness

By johninnc

Romans 3:26: To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

The more I think about what really keeps people from understanding the gospel, the more I am convinced that it is a problem of focus.

Once someone understands that he is lost, and helpless, then the full focus needs to be on Jesus – who He is, why He came, and how He has taken away the sins of the world.

Amytime the focus of our redemption is not squarely on Jesus, the  message gets confused or altered.

The questions about how Christians should live are not relevant to an unbeliever. The questions about any expectation of commitment are not relevant to an unbeliever. Whether or not one wants to live  the Christian life is not relevant to an unbeliever. Whether or not one wants to give up any sins is not relevant to an unbeliever.

What is relevant is this:

Is Jesus God in the flesh? Did He die for our sins (all of them, for everyone in the world – past, present, and future)? Did that include your sins – past, present, and future?  Was He raised from the dead, proving that His payment was accepted?

The “what if I?” questions need to be turned back and met with “what DID Jesus do?”

Romans 4:25: Who was delivered for our offenses and raised for our justification.

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Following is a real-life example of a young man contending with highly-experienced purveyors of a false man-focused gospel. His questions are in italics and my answers in bold.

I have slightly modified some jargon, and edited for length. 

Recently there have been several preacher guys on campus. They are no doubt LS. I asked one of them what they thought about free grace and I told him my beliefs and MANY other students seemed very interested in what I had to say. Of course he was prepared with rebuttals but I wanted to hear what his arguments were because the students are annoyed at these guys and want to hear the actual gospel. Here are some of the things he said and I wanted to know what you think about them because I feel like this would be a really good opportunity to tell people about free grace.

1. They claim that they believe you can only be  saved by the blood of Christ, but you have to want to turn from your sins (repent). They say that repenting from your sins means that when you have the desire to sin, you decide to not do it.

The Bible calls eternal life the gift of God (Romans 6:23). A gift means something freely given, without cost or obligation to the recipient.

If we had to agree to go give up anything to receive the gift of eternal life, it would no longer be a gift. It would be a trade. That is the key concept in all of this. Salvation is God’s gift to us through Jesus.

Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The phrase “repent of your sins” never shows up in the King James Bible. Never.

“Repent”, when used in a salvation context, means to change your mind about what religious people tell you that you must do to be saved (such as turning from sins) and to trust that Jesus really did pay for all of your sins (past, present and future).

2. Every sin you commit comes from what is in your heart so if you are sinning you are not necessarily saved by believing that Jesus died for your sins.

Every sin does come from your heart. But, the Bible says whoever believes in Jesus as his Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited (see John 5:24).

3. The reaction to 3:23 was that it all men HAVE sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but that a person who is truly saved will no longer sin.

A good question for them: “Do you still sin?”

4. What I gathered from them was we are saved by WANTING to be saved and the only way to WANT to be saved is to try to stop sinning.

You do not have to try to stop sinning to be saved.

Romans 4:5: But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

“Justify” means for God to declare someone “not guilty” of his sins, based on his faith in Christ. “Righteousness” means “sinless” – this is based on Christ’s righteousness imputed to you when you believe in Him as your Savior. It is not based on our righteousness in turning from sin or anything else.

The verse I cited above says God justifies (saves) ungodly people. The LSers are saying that you have to try to be godly (to be saved).

5. They talked about Matthew 21:31, Matthew 7:3, and the verse about plucking out your eye.

I’m not sure where they are going with Matthew 21:31 or Matthew 7:3. But, trust me – if none of these verses existed, they would find other verses to use to promote their false doctrine.

Regarding plucking out an eye – this is Matthew 18:9. No one has ever received eternal life by plucking out his eye. And, no one has been refused eternal life because he wouldn’t stop sinning (or even be willing to).

Romans 5:8: But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

What do you recommend I say to the people who want to listen because some people talked about it with me for a minute but I’m not prepared enough to have a good conversation. Also it would be completely pointless to try and argue with the “crazy preacher guys”. They are EXTREMELY well read.

The errors of these “extremely well read” people are no match for the Word of God.

Try this:

1. Everyone is a sinner
2. The penalty for sin is death (eternal separation from God in a place of conscious torment – hell)
3. One must be perfect to get into heaven. Not good. Not great. Perfect.
4. One cannot do anything of himself to obtain this perfection – this includes turning from sin, committing your life to Christ and so on. God offers eternal life as a gift – it’s not for sale or barter.
5. God provided a sin-bearer for us (The Lord Jesus Christ, God in the
flesh. He had no sin of his own, but he came to die for us, paying the full penalty for our sin. He was raised from the dead, proving that His payment was acceptable).
6. All we can do to receive everlasting life is to believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior.
7. Eternal life, once received by faith in Christ, can never be lost or forfeited, no matter what happens in our lives down the road.

What is there to do to receive eternal life? Simply BELIEVE that Jesus made that payment for your sin – for you.

Don’t let yourself get drawn into the snares of the LS guys. Proclaim the truth to people who will listen.

Not everyone will believe what you tell them. That’s not on you. Your job is to tell them the truth. 

Jack Weaver – Now in the Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ

ShirlJackWed

2 Corinthians 5:8: We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Jack Weaver, founder of the ExPreacherMan ministry, passed away this afternoon. Jack had recently undergone heart valve replacement surgery, and had been in the hospital for just over a month.

Jack loved the Lord, and had a heart for the gospel. He spent his life preaching, teaching, witnessing,  and leading people to understand the free gift of eternal life available through faith in Christ Jesus.

I am thankful for Jack’s life, his friendship, his mentorship, and the example he set in using his life fully for the Lord.

Please see the link below for Jack’s personal testimony:

Jack’s Testimony

I will miss Jack terribly, but I look forward to meeting him in heaven one day soon.

I will provide more details as they become available.

Thanks.  John

Lordship Salvation: Worthless Religion

By johninnc

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.

I recently read a fascinating article on Yahoo entitled “Raising Kids Without God (But Maybe Not Without Religion)”, written by Calvin Hennick.

The crux of the article seemed to be that the writer wanted his kids to go to church so that they could contemplate the meaning of life.

Following are some of the salient excerpts:

My wife and I both grew up with a fairly evangelical, literalist brand of Christianity, and while we don’t quite consider ourselves atheists, we certainly don’t believe the things we believed when we were kids…

So, if I no longer believe that God can grant my family salvation in a life after this one, why am I thinking about going back to church now that I have kids? It’s not out of a desire to instill morality in them. Anyone who takes a look around can see that there are good and bad people of all faiths, and of no faith, and personally, I have pretty much the same sense of right and wrong that I did when I was a born-again Christian…

Instead, I’d like my kids to have a place where they can contemplate essential, universal questions about what it means to live a good life. I’d like for them to be part of a community searching for something bigger than the joys and struggles of everyday life – even if this “something greater” isn’t God. And I’d like these things for myself, too…

I still think it’s possible for my kids, and for me, to find meaning and community without God. But it might be a whole lot harder to find these things without church.

This is a very tragic article on so many levels.

First, the writer says that he and his wife “grew up” with Christianity. Did they? Was it ever made clear to them that they were sinners, alienated from God due to their sin? Were they taught that God, in his love for us, gave His only begotten Son – Jesus Christ (God in the flesh) – to take away the sins of the world by dying for us? Was it ever made clear to them that one need only to believe in Jesus as Savior in order to receive eternal life?

Second, the writer seems to equate trusting in Christ for eternal life with trusting in Him to make us good, and moral. Jesus did not die to give us a “sense of right and wrong.” He died to take away our sins. Were the writer and his wife taught that one believes in Jesus in order to make them good? Or, were they taught that one believes in Jesus for eternal life?

Third, the writer says that he used to be a born again Christian. There is no such thing as someone who used to be a born again Christian. If the writer ever believed in Jesus as his Savior, he has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

Last, having one’s children explore “what it means to live a good life” without teaching them how one receives eternal life is worthless.

While the writer claims to no longer believe in God, his faulty views of the Christian faith seem to have been embraced by many groups masquerading as Christian churches. And, many such groups are worthless in terms of either leading people to the Lord, or helping believers to grow in their faith.

Let’s investigate how three groups of people who identify as Christians deny the gospel. We will use John 3:16 as the backdrop:

Calvinists – believe that God chooses who will believe and who will not. Therefore, they deny the “whosoever” of John 3:16. They also believe that all “true believers” will persevere in holiness, and Godliness, thus revealing that they are believers through their good works. Since one cannot know whether he has been “chosen”, and since one’s works will demonstrate that he has been “chosen”, these people will invariably look to works for assurance of eternal life.

Lordship “salvationists” – believe that one must either make a bi-lateral contract with God in order to receive eternal life (such as “repenting from one’s sins” or “making Christ Lord of one’s life”) or that one who has received eternal life will show some ill-defined “life change” to prove he is a believer in Christ. Therefore, they deny the “believeth in Him” of John 3:16. Like the Calvinist, LSers will invariably look to works – at least in part – for assurance of eternal life.

Arminians – believe that one can lose his eternal life through sin. Since this is a concept not found in the Bible, this group can never tell you how much sin it takes to lose one’s “eternal life.” Accordingly, they look to works for evidence of eternal life, thereby denying the “everlasting life’ promised in John 3:16.

Perhaps your church is clear on the gospel, and never teaches any of the above concepts. If so, great! But, if your church teaches any of these things – either implicitly or explicitly – you and your family are in grave danger.

If you would like to know how to receive eternal life please click here: ETERNAL LIFE FOR YOU

Lordship Salvation: Frustrating Grace Down Under

by johninnc

Galatians 2:21: I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

One of our readers sent me the following e-mail today depicting her interaction with an ardent LS minister in Australia. It was in response to our recent article entitled “Lordship Salvation: The Devil’s Advocate.” See link below:

Lordship Salvation: The Devil’s Advocate

The gentleman’s e-mail comments, which are presented with only minor edits, are in italics. My views regarding his comments are imbedded in red bold.

Hi (name of recipient withheld),

This completely denies the fact that there is a counterfeit salvation. It allows for people to think they are saved and are not.

My comment: We teach that one is saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. There never has been ANYONE who believed in Jesus as his Savior who does not have eternal life. 

Grace is grace alone but that grace comes with fruit and that fruit is works, repentance, etc.

My comment: I will go through each of the conditions that you have added to faith alone in Christ alone in order for one to be justified.

Works – we are saved by grace (unmerited favor), without works.

Ephesians 2:8-9: 

[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
[9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

And, I have heard the tired rebuttal that I need to read Ephesians 2:10, I have. Here it is:

Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Notice that it says SHOULD. Should is the only word consistent with grace. To quote a preacher friend of mine:

It’s not that we must – that would be works for salvation. And, it’s not that we will – that would be Calvinism. It’s should. And we should.

Repentance - repentance in salvation means a change of mind from any idea of religion that man may have and to accept God’s way of salvation.  Repentance does not in any sense include a demand for a change of conduct before or after salvation.

Etc. – as if insistence on works and repentance (undefined) were not enough for you to sufficiently frustrate grace, you have added “etc.” I have no idea what that even means.

There is NO justification without Sanctification. God does not start and then not finish.

My comment: one is positionally sanctified that moment he believes in Jesus as his Savior. But, the Bible does not promise progressive sanctification in the life of a believer.   Progressive sanctification requires a believer’s cooperation. We have addressed a verse (Philippians 1:6), often used by LSers to falsely prove the notion of the guarantee of progressive sanctification under our “Difficult Verses” section. See link below:

 Difficult Verses

All believers are glorified, so yes, God finishes what He starts.

This site plays into the hands of decisional regeneration. As a pastor I know that many receive Christ ‘amiss’ or ‘in vain’ as the scriptures speak. This is why we have all the warnings including Matt.7:21-23. This article completely ignores these scriptures.

My comment: We have addressed the false argument that we teach “decisional regeneration” in a previous article. Please see link below:

LS/Calvinist Decisional Regeneration Strawman

When scripture speaks of someone receiving Christ in vain, it is not because they have trusted in Christ alone, apart from works. In fact, this is the ONLY way that man may be saved. Trying to be saved by Christ PLUS works would constitute believing in vain. We have an article on believing in vain, linked below.

Believing in Vain

Matthew 7:21-23 does not refer to people who have trusted in Christ alone as Savior. It refers to those who recognize Jesus as Lord, but not as Savior.

It also has many ‘strawmen’ of what people supposedly teach on ‘Lordship salvation’ and cleverly misrepresents their views.. You may also not be aware – I do not teach ‘Lordship salvation’ as it is commonly taught today. I may do an article on that also soon.

My comment: In your e-mail to our reader, you have clearly and unequivocally confirmed that you teach Lordship “salvation”. In fact, your views are quite ardently Lordship “salvation” in nature.

I may teach on all this in (ministry name removed) soon .

My comment: You should not be teaching God’s word. As long as you continue to teach the tenets of Lordship salvation, that you deny teaching, you are under a curse.

Galatians 1:9: As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Thanks for alerting me to this article.

My comment: Why? So you can warn people against believing in Christ alone as their Savior?

Name of sender withheld

For the truth on how to receive eternal life click here: ETERNAL LIFE FOR YOU