What is Francis Chan Doing Now? Francis Chan’s Latest Speech to 5000+ Christian Youths, Questioning Their Faith; Latest News on Francis Chan

Recently we chronicled (see the link below) how Francis Chan continues to use the standard Lordship Faith promotional tactics of guilt, doubt and fear [fear of damnation] as primary motivational tools when addressing large Christian audiences. This seems to be an ongoing theme of his sermons/speeches since he introduced the concept of condemnation of “the lukewarm,” which appeared in a 2008 sermon entitled, “Lukewarm and Loving It,” as well as in his best-selling 2008 book, “Crazy Love.” In March of this year, continuing with the same theme, Chan gave a speech in which he declared that failure to help the poor could cause you to wind up in hell. In this speech (below), Francis Chan’s pronouncement links him with the social welfare “gospels” of popular authors David Platt and Richard Stearns. SEE:

http://www.expreacherman.com/2012/03/27/francis-chans-latest-pronouncement-failure-to-help-the-poor-could-send-you-to-hell/

Just this past week, Francis Chan utilized a similar motivational approach as the keynote speaker at the CHIC 2012 Christian Youth Conference in Knoxville, TN. As typical of other Lordship Faith teachers, Chan challenged his Christian audience to look at themselves introspectively to see if they were really saved, based upon their behavior, attitudes and lifestyle. This speech was similar to one given by John Piper to another large gathering of Christian young people (see: http://www.expreacherman.com/2012/01/13/john-piper-speaks-to-42000-youth-redefining-the-plan-of-salvation/).

At this current event, Chan spoke to over 5000 Christian students in a large arena in Tennessee [see information source below]. Preaching from John 21 about Jesus’ verbal exchange with Peter, Chan invited the audience to reexamine the sincerity of their faith in Christ. He inquired of the audience, what would be their reply if Jesus asked them, “Do you love me?” He followed that question with, “Is it obvious on your Facebook that you love God or is it obvious that you love yourself?”

Writer, Stan Friedman, finished his article with the following observations about Chan’s speech:
“In an extended illustration that enthralled the audience, Chan drank from two different beverages—lemonade and Starbuck’s Frappuccino. Much to the disgust of the gathering, he alternated between the two. Christians too often do the same [he said], switching between holy and sinful behavior. Finally, he poured the coffee into the lemonade to show what happens when sin is allowed to rule part of a person’s life—it makes the rest distasteful. Chan told the worshipers that hiding the truth about sin with which they are struggling and trying to look as if they have their lives together would have eternal consequences. ‘What’s going to happen at the end because you just keep the facade going?’ he asked. ‘So then, you go to hell and you say to yourself, ‘Oh, but that’s okay because everyone up on earth thinks I’m in heaven. I fooled them.’ That’s your goal?’ Chan ended by asking the students to pray quietly and be open to God so that they might listen and confess. And be restored.”

Post Source: “CHIC Students Challenged to Answer Christ’s Question,” article written by Stan Friedman, Knoxville, TN; article accessed from http://www.covchurch.org/news/2012/07/18

For updates on Francis Chan 2013, see:

http://expreacherman.com/2013/01/05/lordship-salvation-authorsspeakers-francis-chan-and-david-platt-team-up-to-create-the-multiply-discipleship-movement/

160 responses to “What is Francis Chan Doing Now? Francis Chan’s Latest Speech to 5000+ Christian Youths, Questioning Their Faith; Latest News on Francis Chan

  1. So, let me get this straight. Is Francis Chan now saying that one’s having a secret sin, or a struggle with ongoing sin, is something which will consign him to hell?

  2. Bruce,

    Excellent report. Thanks, Seems like Chan is determined to continue leading gullible folks astray — down the path of Lordship Probation — which cannot save.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack.

  3. I’m confused. How is it that Chan/Piper are so popular with the emergent church? On one hand, the dominant emergent message reassures folks that God isn’t mad at them; He’s laid back and all encompassing – it doesn’t matter if you’re Catholic, Muslim, New Age – it’s all good!

    On the other hand, once you’re in the fold, watch out. You’re no longer beloved, but a slave and God is watching you like a hawk. Get to work, slave!

    Crazy “love” indeed!

  4. Hi Jack,

    Thanks for your comments. You and I have been watching this man’s teaching for about four years. In spite of the sad fallout that we have witnessed from people’s testimonies, it seems that his condemnatory teachings have only increased in their severity.

    Blessings brother!

  5. Hi Pearl,

    Excellent observations. There are sure strange things going on out there in the “Christian” world. When I bring up these concerns about aberrant teachings to other Christians, other than on this site, I generally get blank stares or I get chided for daring to speak out against “God’s annointed.” I think that if in churches we can’t get back to a place of honest knowledgeable dialog, based upon the Bible, then the organized church is deep trouble.

    By the way, thanks for your encouraging “side bar.” You’re always a blessing to me.

  6. Lemonade and coffee, wow, that’s some real ministry going on there. How absurd and lame.

    Why don’t these guys just join the catholic church and get it over with?

    I feel most sorry for those that hear these guys, and are just confused and thrown off. Those people that really want to please God, and just fall into these guys like a snare.

    I have actually run into a few people that listen to these guys, that are more angry than you can imagine at the free grace message. A few out there only want to hear this lordship nonsense, so they’re the ones with which you have to really hold their feet to the fire. They’re helping to, with itching ears, heap these guys up that have nothing but a “ministry” of telling everyone that they’re going to hell for sinning too much, not giving to the poor, etc.

  7. Hi Andy,

    Excellent comments! I, too, have experienced the anger that you mention coming from the lordship camp. Pretty intense at times.

  8. “secret sins”? “ongoing sins”? wow! Chan must be sinless… oh yes he still sins but at least he does not sin willfully or continually or habitually! oh wait… is there really such thing as “unwillful sinning”? hmm… ah ok, i forgot these folks are Calvinists, they don’t believe in free will, and they believe that only the “chosen ones” will be saved, and these “chosen ones” will inevitably do good works and they will inevitably and unfailingly not sin willfully or habitually, and that would prove they are the “chosen ones” indeed, and if the “not chosen ones” have no “free will” to believe and be saved, these “chosen ones” have no “free will” as well to have secret sins and habitual sins. I therefore conclude that the “chosen ones” are not those who the Bible says that are sinners (Rom. 3:10,23), and that they are those who can claim to have no sin (1 John 1:8,10) . . . at least in secret, or continually, or willfully . . .

  9. JR,

    Brilliant satire!

    You point out so clearly the failed logic of the LS/Calvinist position!
    And your concluding scriptures were right on point.
    Thanks for your incisive comments!

    Join us again soon!

  10. Jack, you said:
    “Excellent report. Thanks, Seems like Chan is determined to continue leading gullible folks astray — down the path of Lordship Probation — which cannot save.”
    Chan’s performance-based religion is no more Christian than any other false religion. It has absolutely no capacity to save. I feel most sorry for those who have never trusted in Christ alone, who listen to Chan and thus reinforce their errant belief that they need to help save themselves. I also feel sorry for those believers who lose the effectiveness of their witness through falling into Chan’s false doctrine.

    Bruce, in your review of Chan’s book “Crazy Love”, your section on “Strengths of the Book Crazy Love” was an understated indictment of this book. The strengths you cited were as follows:
    A. The Book’s Popularity
    B. Good Intentions

    Matthew 7:13-15 speaks to popular teachings and teachers: “”Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

    And, the old aphorism regarding good intentions also comes to mind.

  11. Hi John,

    Excellent comments, as always.

    When I was preparing the original manuscript of the “Crazy Love” review for publication, the original publisher (NOT FGA) required me to first say a few positive things about the book. At that time, about 3 1/2 years ago, I didn’t realize the depth of Francis Chan’s descent into Lordship Faith teaching. Over the years, it seems as though his speeches have gotten increasingly condemning and, sadly, many of them are targeted at Christian high-schoolers and collegians. Yet (can you figure this out?) his speaking docket is booked probably over a year in advance!

    Blessings friend!

  12. “Why don’t these guys just join the catholic church and get it over with?”

    Bingo.

    Required to say a few positive things about “Crazy Love”? That had to be difficult. But then even tripe is made into a savory dish which many find delicious (usually those recovering from a massive hangover).

  13. Pearl,

    Thanks — I laughed out loud at your “even tripe” comment.. so very appropriate.

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  14. :-) ;-)

  15. Someone asked “why his speaking docket was booked years in advance” – it’s because their is a problem in Christendom with charity and love. We, as a whole, are intolerant, ungracious, unloving, judgmental etc, towards non believers and believers, and the poor and the rich. A lot of Christians are also “lukewarm”, and don’t love God in a demonstrable way. And so Francis Chan and others like him are hitting on a pressure point within churches – they are attempting to address an issue that is real.

    However, they completely miss the entire point. Instead of helping to overcome the issue and solve it through truth, they are simply adding to it, with fear and condemnation.

    The message I got from Crazy love is basically “God is mad, you don’t love him enough, love Him more because He deserves it”. Sure He does deserve our love – but He loved us first, and our love to Him is a response that occurs WHEN we know how much He loved and loves us still. You can’t scare someone into loving God. You can’t guilt someone into loving God. However, you can guilt people into giving to the poor, but to what end? It will only alleviate the giver’s guilt, and is not a real act of charity (love).

    They worsen the issue by making it a deal or no deal when it comes to salvation.

    I currently attend a church that is in love with Francis Chan. It’s the only church in town that isn’t a high church (all formal and traditional). I’ve made it pretty clear to the pastor that I don’t care for Chan one bit. But you know what I’ve noticed – his preaching makes no difference in the lives of those who read him.

    Someone got up and quoted from him one morning, about how he wrote something about how amazing and beautiful and crazy loving God is (she must be only up to chapter two), and how it’s a great book. But the night before, she was watching some pretty odd movies (I know because her husband told me. Nothing rude, typical hollywood fare).

    I won’t judge them for their taste in movies, I mean, I went to see batman the other day, but to endorse the teachings of a man while obviously not practising them says to me that A) you either don’t really believe what he is saying or B) what he has said has had no impact except sentimental or emotional.

    There are five books I recommend wholeheartedly to any believer struggling with Lordship Salvation. You won’t agree with everything in each one, nor will you agree with everything each author teaches, but when it comes to grace, these five are the best I have read (not in any order)
    [Administration note: Excellent, insightful comments! Thanks. However, it has been a long-standing policy of the site to disallow recommendations of books or writers who promote viewpoints which may be contrary to the stated Free Grace emphasis of the site, such as Charismatic teaching or Reformed Covenant views.]

  16. Wow…. in a bad way. Hello Pearl I think you hit the nail on the head. The emergrent church need teachers of the likes of Chan/Piper to bring “Obey god” part. So that when the one who will come in his name they will just step in line.
    Trust is Jesus
    Levi

  17. emergent church…..sorry.

  18. No doubt you’re right, Levi.

  19. Wow, here are my thoughts.

    You should not look at yourself introspectively to try to judge for yourself if you are saved. Look to the Savior. Salvation is not based on behavior, attitudes, and lifestyle so why look to those things for assurance!?

    It is sad to hear that people are being pulled into this abuse of scripture. I’ve lately seen more and more how Calvinism’s so called “Perseverance of the Saints” really just becomes works salvation. Calvinists will deny this but it makes sense why it is so once you realize that the other four points are false. Arminianism is as bad or worse btw.

    It should also be no surprise that Christians can be lukewarm. The sin nature is not magically eradicated once a person believes. Why can’t preachers like Chan give people a real Biblical way to deal with their sin as a believer rather than scaring people that they may not be good enough to “show” that they are saved?

  20. Jim F, great points. I don’t know what motivates Chan and such others, but they are leading millions of people astray. Every time I see someone on a plane reading “The Gospel According to Jesus” or my visiting relatives reading “Not a Fan” or a co-worker reading “A Hole in the Gospel” it just tears me up inside.

    I continue to believe that the mission field is every bit as fertile inside of the church community as outside of it.

  21. John, i agree. Those kind of things bother me too. Also, what is up with these guys using the music that they do? Couldn’t it be said that bands like Skillet are indeed sinful in their so called worship style? So then using Chan’s logic are they not saved because they practice this sinful style of music or is it just that the new Calvinist of today has so dumbed down what sin really is that there is no longer any point to call anything a sin. It’s truly sad that the Lordship position doesn’t even follow it own flawed logic. I mean really, can you say that a so called Christian rock band exemplifies being sold out as a disciple of Christ?

  22. Flawed theology and flawed practice seem to go so well together. Sad thing is that this is being offered to our youth. I’m not looking forward to see what kind of fruit that bears in the next generation. God’s people have their work cut out.

  23. Jim F,why do you consider Christian rock a sinful style of music? Is the message not more important than the style it is delivered in? Here is a quote from Charlie Bing you might want to consider: “Legalistic Christians can easily fall under the expectations
    of others that make them feel guilty falsely. For example, they can be made to feel that they are not
    spiritual because of what Bible translation they use, how they dress, what they eat or don’t eat, what
    movies they see, what music they listen to, what church meetings they do or don’t attend—or any
    other issue which the Bible does not address directly.” Taken from here: http://freegracealliance.com/pdf/TheGraceLife_Bing.pdf This is not meant in any way to defend Francis Chan or LS, I hope you realize that.

  24. Hi Jon,

    I think we have two separate issues here. First, music is not amoral. It is communication with can carry with it morality and context. Putting truly Christian words with truly worldly music sends a mixed message at best. Why would you want to feed ones sinful flesh while trying to speak through the Spirit? Sure there can be degrees but how far do you think the Spirit of God would lead you to compromise His truth with clearly worldly contexts and entertainment? How is rock music like that of Skillet the kind which is songs and hymns and spiritual songs? Could you picture the disciples starting up any form of rock band back then to use to carry their initial message of the gospel?

    Second is the issue of legalism but I ‘ll have to get to that later.

  25. Jon and Jim F, the problem I have with a lot of “Christian” music is the same problem I have with a lot of “Christian” churches. It is often confusing or non-biblical.

    For example, a couple of the songs used in my church growing up, with attendant decorum and reverence, were very confusing.

    Victory in Jesus – “then I repented of my sins and won the victory!”

    I Surrender All – used as a hymn of invitation, this is very confusing – particularly when matched with an unbiblical “turn from sins for salvation” doctrine:

    “All to Jesus I surrender;
    humbly at his feet I bow,
    worldly pleasures all forsaken;
    take me, Jesus, take me now”

    Then, there are the ecumenical Christian radio stations that promote any and every church or ministry bearing the name of Christ – no matter how unbiblical the doctrine.

    Finally, the Christian rock and metal bands – these are more often than not just “cool LS”

    I like clear gospel songs like “Grace Greater than Our Sin”, “Amazing Grace”, etc.

  26. Right John,

    I have also begun to re – examine some of the songs that I had been accoustomed to growing up. Not everything was written from a free grace view if salvation. It is also true that much of the ccm today is just and attempt at making the Lordship message sound cool. My local so called Christian music (rock) station oozed LS mixed with a popular rock music sound. That or it is totally seeker friendly.

    Jon,

    It would be legalistic for someone to require a set of actions or behaviors as a condition for salvation. LS and especially Perseverance of the saints can go to the place when actions become the key focus. It is not wrong however for a preacher to preach the Word on a given matter. It becomes a problem though when someone says, ” if you don’t meet such and such standard of behavior then you are not saved.” LS is good at guilting people into this way of thinking.

  27. Good question, Jon (and we know you’re not defending Chan!).

    The Christian music debate is a well worn book, and I don’t expect to change any minds by my contributions, but here I go anyway…

    I used to listen to CCM (contemporary Christian music) during my early years of my becoming a Christian. I guess it was because my husband and I were getting older, we had young children and the music style seemed to be getting more “seductive” (female singers especially with their breathy voices) and basically just tiresome to us, together with the rest of Christian radio. About that time, I discovered another station which was commercial free and listener supported playing conservative, traditional hymns. It was a breath of fresh air. Eventually, this station aired a series on music styles presented by a man called Frank Garlock which I found positively fascinating. For anyone interested, I highly recommend it:

    http://www.bbnradio.org/WCM4/BiblebrInstitute/BrowseCourses/AvailableDivisionsofStudy/tabid/1891/CourseID/19/Default.aspx

    Anyway, as JimF pointed out, music is not amoral and CCM does send mixed messages. John’s notice that most of it is just “cool LS” sounds about right, too.

    Looking back on the artists I used to listen to (and whose CDs I spent good $$ on) I have since learned that most of them are influenced by the likes of Brennan Manning and other contemplatives. What a waste.

    Bottom line, we know that we are saved by grace. We are all at different places along the narrow road and we will forever be learning as we go. I see how God has worked in my life by way of showing me where I’ve been off on something, and it never came by making me feel guilty or by my being defeated in a debate, but simple, gracious revelation over time.

  28. So is being told your preference of music is sinful part of Guilt Free Christianity? How are you NOT imposing artificial man-made standards that aren’t found in the Bible? I guess as long as you don’t dangle me over Hell anything else goes. Don’t worry I’m not interested in winning or losing a debate, I give up. Goodbye.

  29. Jon,

    Sorry you see things that way. A person’s music preference can change over time, become more biblical or less biblical. I’m not drawing a hard and fast line in the sand for standards. The Bible does have quite a bit to say about music but it takes a good bit of time to study through it all.

    It is the same as with any other issue of moral judgement. There is the obvious sin, obvious right, and can be some gray areas. Music also can be a deeply personal issue that can tie strongly to the emotions. Also guilt in the Christian life is due to conviction of the Spirit based on Bible truth. It can be a blessing if responded to rightly. It is also part of the process of sanctification.

  30. Oh no, Jon. Please don’t misunderstand me. In no way do I believe one’s music preference determines whether one is going to hell or not. Certainly not! I cling strongly to the verse which says “all things are lawful to me, but not all things are profitable.” And my saying that this is was a well worn debate was not intended to be a snide remark, but rather hoping this discussion wouldn’t become a heated one. If anything, I completely identified with your concerns. Who am I to judge you? It wasn’t in my heart.

    I feel very bad that I didn’t express myself better.

  31. Jim F, you said: “guilt in the Christian life is due to conviction of the Spirit based on Bible truth.” This is not necessarily true. Guilt can be of one’s own making, or it can even be caused by doubt and bad influences. There were likely some Galatians who were feeling guilty about not having been circumcised until they heard from the Apostle Paul.

  32. True John, you are talking about the difference between guilt and false guilt. I was talking about Spirit caused guilt based on God’s Word in the life of a believer. Being that this is a blog it is hard to always put down every qualifying thought.

  33. I think it is also helpful to understand that are differences sometimes between true Spirit induced conviction and guilty feelings. Feelings can come from false sources. This is one of the biggest problems I have with LS preachers. I have seen many that play to guilty feelings rather than the soundness of the Word of God. We should also remember that some issues are weightier than others. A false gospel is much more serious than musical convictions. However, one has to be careful that a small error doesn’t lead to a bigger one. We need to test all things through Scripture to see if they are so.

  34. Jim F, I agree that some issues are weightier than others. Hosler has an interesting perspective, which is excerpted from “The Baptismal Regeneration / Believer’s Baptism Debate”:

    “Though all scriptural truths are profitable (II Tim. 3:16), there are those which are more profitable, those that are less profitable, and those which are, or are not, essential to receiving the gospel. For instance, one’s positions on the millennium, the rapture, or the length of days in creation do not fall within the parameters of what is essential to personal salvation. If we take a biblical concept that is important and profitably true and make it a contingency of the gospel when it is not, we have changed the gospel (Gal. 1:6-9).”

  35. Sorry I wasn’t more clear Pearl. I wasn’t accusing you or anyone else of threatening me with hell. I know your comment about the music debate was not a snide remark. I am weary of hearing about the evils of certain kinds of music. I used to listen to a fair amount of secular rock/pop and have of my own accord switched to mostly ‘christian’ music. I know all forms of media have been corrupted to some degree or another. We could all give our personal lists of which tv shows or movies we feel Christians should or shouldn’t view. We could even say that a TRUE Christian shouldn’t even own a TV or have access to the internet. The so-called support group(which I am sure was Calvinist) that I joined briefly praised any member who sent in pictures of the TV’s they had smashed to pieces or the movies they had thrown away or burned up. Talk about seeking man’s approval. People on this site talk about LS preachers and their impossible standards and how they try to get people to live up to whatever their idea of holiness is. I would hope Free-Gracers don’t try to do the same and just leave out the going to hell part. I’m not really interested in belonging to a group that wants to micro-manage my life. So much of Christendom feels controlling and manipulative to me.(which is why Charlie Bing is such a breath of fresh air to me.) Are we to try to play the role of the Holy Spirit in other people’s lives? I’m sure that Old Order Mennonites and the Amish would condemn all Christian rock as well. I’m almost surprised no one brought up the so called Jungle Beat of rock and roll either. I guess I have so no one else has to. I try to listen to songs that I feel encouraged or touched by. I try to get rid of ones that discourage me or feel like LS guilt trips. The really good songs are definitely outnumbered by the garbage. Skillet may be just a cool LS band, I’m not sure. I don’t care for them that much because I feel they are targeting a younger audience. I might be encouraged by listening to more hymns but i don’t feel led to limit myself to just that.

  36. Jon,

    Thanks for your thoughts. You will always find Christians that think something that you do or don’t do is a sin. I may think certain kinds of music is sin based on Bible principles and someone else may think that something else that I do is sin based on their view. This need not be a bad thing. We can realize that we all as Believers have the same Holy Spirit and the same Word of God and that each person is at different point in their Christian walk. There is nothing wrong with real iron sharpening iron interactions and relationships. I can tell you that my view on music has changed over time. Same way with LS. It’s one thing to have standards, but I think Bing’s point was that there are the extremes of license or legalism.

    I’ve seen that some LS preacher’s like Chan jump to conclusions about people. For example, they target a particular thing like not giving to the poor and jump to the conclusion that a person is not saved if they don’t give to the poor. This is where legalism can come in. Truth is that there can be many reasons why a Christian does any one particular sin.

    You mentioned playing the Holy Spirit. It is not wrong to give someone your Biblical reasoning behind whatever convictions you have. This allows the Spirit to work. Where we run into problems is if I then would try to demand that you must line up with me exactly on every fine detail in order to be Spiritual. Of course we know this is not true.

  37. Jon, I have found this site very helpful in proclaiming and defending the pure Gospel. Please don’t misconstrue what I or anyone else on here has written to you as judgmental.

    I am a relatively new believer and have much to learn. I think that both becoming a believer and living the Christian life must be rooted in faith in Christ. Galatians 3:2-3 are excellent verses on this topic:

    “This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?”

    I believe that most of the folks who have been teaching people how to live the Christian life are not even clear on the Gospel. I stayed lost for a long time, due in part to LS teaching. The guys who teach “turn from sins for salvation” and “commit your life to Christ for salvation” are not going to provide very good advice on how to live the Christian life. Such false teachers do not believe that one is saved by Grace through faith in Christ alone. If they ever did, they don’t now.

    I would refrain from trying to teach Christian living to anyone who is not crystal clear on the Gospel.

    I agree with the following from Clear Gospel Campaign:

    “First and foremost, the discipleship of a believer must root them in Christ crucified . . . the truth and the purity of the message of salvation. If it does not do this, discipleship is little more than misguided cheerleading.”

  38. John’s 7/26 9:47 am comment is so true. When the person is LS in their understanding of the Gospel, then they will naturally put discipleship growth under the general Gospel umbrella. So Christian living for them becomes a moment by moment attempt to avoid “falling away” or avoid “ceasing to abide” or avoid “proving I was never His”.

    Then anything goes. You “listen to the wrong music” (Christian music or otherwise), you “watch the wrong movies/TV”, you “fail to help the poor”, you “don’t walk in truth as much as you should”, and so on and so on. The end of it becomes a constant running treadmill that never stops.

    So eventually you learn to jump off the treadmill, thank the Lord Jesus for His infinite grace, and rest in Him.

  39. Andy,

    Very insightful comments. Thanks.

    .

  40. The presumptuousness of the Philippian jailer! He began rejoicing in his new found salvation so soon after he simply believed on the Lord Jesus. Paul must have made a terrible blunder in letting him get away with it. He really ought to have warned him that this was not safe–that not until he had produced a sufficient amount of fruit, and refrained from sin for a sufficient period of time (at least the serious sins), did he have a right to this joyful assurance. And even then, one must not be too hasty. Was it Perkins who spoke of much of temporary faith–a faith so temporary that it could last throughout the course of one’s entire life?

    But Paul was no Puritan.

  41. Andy,
    Great comment!

    “So Christian living for them becomes a moment by moment attempt to avoid “falling away” or avoid “ceasing to abide” or avoid ‘proving I was never His’.” That describes the past 4-5 years of my life!

    “So eventually you learn to jump off the treadmill, thank the Lord Jesus for His infinite grace, and rest in Him.” That describes me the past few months, thank God! But I’m still learning :)

  42. Joey,

    I appreciate your satire about Paul and the Philippian Jailor.

    And we are all rejoicing to see that you have broken the chains of Calvinism. We will pray for your continued growth in Truth and your “Philippian Jailor Joy” in being FREE.
    Jesus said:

    And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  43. Hi! First time responding here and I have a few quesitons. After reading over the comments, it seems that everyone here is on board with a “free grace” theology and opposes the “Lordship” theology. Can some one please explain the difference between the two and why they oppose the “Lordship” theology? Thanks

  44. Phillip,

    Welcome to our discussion. You ask a very salient question… one we have discussed in many articles and comments on this web site.

    In very simple terms, Grace is unmerited favor. Salvation by Grace means we can do nothing to either earn or keep our salvation. We simply decide to trust Jesus Christ as our complete Savior, that He was crucified for our sins (for which we deserve eternal punishment in hell) and then He was resurrected, completing all that is necessary for our eternal salvation. Our one decision to trust Jesus as Savior is eternal and thereby we can never be lost or separated from God. That is His Free Gift to all who believe in Him.

    On the other hand “Lordship salvation” (LS), which I prefer to call Lordship Probation, requires some element of change in an individual’s lifestyle, behavior or actions to be saved and to stay saved. LS folks say one must continually and obediently “make Jesus the Lord of our life” to be saved. Of course this is not Biblical. Their required works are varied and often differ in types and performance of works by the individual. The LS rules are usually prescribed by the teacher or proponent of LS, John Piper, Francis Chan, John MacArthur, etc. They misinterpret scripture to justify their errant position.. This teaching is so pernicious that one who follows such can never be absolutely sure of their salvation, never knowing if they have done enough quantity and/or quality of works to “please God.”

    This is certainly not a complete explanation but hopefully, others on this web site will expand on the differences — because most folks here fully understand and many have, by Grace, been delivered from the curse of Lordship Probation.

    Thanks again for your very timely question.. we pray you will continue with us.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  45. Phillip, Lordship “salvation” may come in very subtle form.

    For example, such common phrases as “repent of sins for salvation” or “turn from sins for salvation” are really nothing more than trying to buy salvation with our good intentions.

    God will not sell eternal life. He will only give it away freely (by Grace – which means without cost or obligation), conditioned upon belief (through faith) in Christ.

    Closely related to Lordship “salvation” is the belief that one must persevere in holiness to confirm that he is saved. This belief is also contrary to the Gospel, because it ultimately depends on works to secure salvation.

    Since Lordship “salvation” is a false gospel, it has no saving power. It is natural for lost people to believe they have to do something to gain eternal life. So, when they hear un-Biblical aphorisms (like “repent of sins”) as part of a gospel presentation, they are likely to stay confused and lost.

    Genuine believers may also become confused by errant teaching and thereby lose any effectiveness in their Christian lives.

    Accordingly, Lordship “salvation” falls under the very stern warnings of Galatians 1:8-9:

    (NKJV) “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”

  46. Phillip,

    Lordship salvation is a logical conclusion of Calvinism. Without the theological framework of Calvinism, it would make no sense. I view Calvinism to be false in all of it’s points, therefore LS is false as well. Calvinism starts by saying that man is so incapable of coming to God that God must do everything. This can sound good at first but becomes dangerous when taken to their extreme. They then say that God chose of His own will those who will be saved. This implies that He also chooses who will be condemned. They then say that Christ only died for the elect and that those elect will be irresistably drawn to Christ and be regenerated allowing the later gifts of faith and repentance to become a reality. (Some see this sequence as one of time while others view it as a logical progression where everything basically takes place all at once.) This all leads them to the idea of perseverance of the saints. They believe that those who were chosen, regenerated, and given faith will likewise be given the ongoing power and ability from the Spirit to live in obedience unto Christ and will continue on to the end for their final salvation. It is common for many with this view to see people who struggle with sin as those who were not really one of the elect. Like others have said, because of these presuppositions, there really is no true certainty that one is truly one of the elect. There are only shades of gray. You will even hear people like John Piper talking about how even he is perpetually testing himself to see if he is in the faith. I however believe based on God’s Word that you can know because your faith can be placed squarely on Christ.

    I do not agree with Lordship salvation for these reasons :

    Man is able to believe the gospel or reject the gospel.

    God does not choose some to salvation and some to damnation.

    Christ died for all – all may believe.

    The Holy Spirit’s conviction and the gospel can be rejected.

    God preserves those who have trusted Christ as Savior from the moment of salvation through all of eternity.

    Salvation is not a question of discipleship, lordship, allegiance, works, repentance of sins, penance, or perseverance.

    Salvation comes when a person sees his need and trusts Christ as his Savior.

  47. Calvinism tries to circumvent the necessity to believe in Jesus Christ for His promise of eternal life based on His death and resurrection. So the entire right foundation is avoided by calvinism.

    So, the calvinist then places his faith in “hopefully being part of the elect”, a faulty foundation that has no power, so they have to work hard to prove to themselves most of all, that they are part of the “elect”.

    Arminianism isn’t any better, as it demands works after “arminian salvation” that might cause the person to fall away into hell if there is too much sin or not enough good works.

    Neither is based solely on Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

  48. Jim F, excellent description and link to Calvinism.

    There is an excellent multi-part series on Lordship Salvation by Dennis Rokser available at Grace Family Journal. The first installment is in the 2007 Journal summary and the tenth installment shows up in 2009. Some of the great quotes from part two are as follows:

    “It is fair to say that while some pastors and teachers perhaps reject the whole of LS teaching, other still accept certain tenets of LS.”

    “If LS doctrine is not teaching salvation by works, what then is it teaching?”

    “If eternal salvation is the free gift of God to you and me because it has already been paid in full by Jesus Christ on the cross, then it must cost us NOTHING”

    ‘Salvation is either by God’s grace or by human effort, commitment, or work. It cannot be by both, anymore than law and grace were both means of salvation in Paul’s day” (quote from Dr. Robert Lightner)

  49. John, JimF, Andy,

    Thanks, those are all great and thorough analyses of LS.

    Phillip, we will appreciate your comment if you are still with us.

    In Christ eternally, Jack

  50. Thank you to all who answered Phillip’s inquiry. Excellent responses everyone!

    I just received the startling news that Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love has now reached total sales of over 2.2 million copies! We who disseminate a Grace understanding of Scripture and of the message of Salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone have our work cut out for us in warning the Christian world of the pernicious nature of Lordship Salvation philosophy. Sometimes I feel as though we are trying to hold back a tsunami with a surf board.

    For a complete review of the book Crazy Love from a Grace perspective, see:

    http://www.freegracealliance.com/pdf/BookReview%20ofCrazyLove.pdf

  51. Hi Grace Friends,

    We have a behind-the-scenes question from an inquirer named “Brad”:

    comment: Excellent website! One question I hope you can help me with. Can you explain the difference between having faith/trusting that Jesus Christ Alone CAN save you, that He is ALL you need VS having faith/trusting Jesus Alone TO save you? I believe there are many people who have come to a point of having all the faith in the world that Jesus alone CAN save them, but they still haven’t trusted Him alone TO save them. Could you give me some help in explaining the subtle differences in these two things? I’d appreciate any comments.
    Thanks & keep up the good work!

    Brad

  52. Brad, I suppose it is possible to understand, but not believe the message.

    I think that once someone understands and believes the message, he need only accept that he is a “whosoever” .

  53. Brad,

    Welcome. If I understand your question, maybe the simplest answer is:

    Anyone may believe or think that Jesus alone CAN save him..

    But.. It takes a personal mental decision to depend upon or trust Jesus alone TO save.

    I don’t necessarily mean a walk-the-aisle decision but upon hearing and understanding:
    We are all sinners, condemned to hell and separated from God, that no sin will be eternally present with God, that eternal life in Heaven is perfect, that Jesus (God in the Flesh) came to earth as a Man while fully God and gave Himself to be crucified on the cross as the death penalty that everyone deserves to pay… and then Christ arose bodily from the grave and is alive today.

    One may say, “Well, I understand all of that and I think or believe that Jesus CAN save me.” But until he decides to trust (depend upon) Jesus alone TO save him, he is simply acknowledging that Jesus has the Power to save but he has not taken advantage of that Power and received Jesus as his Savior — he has not appropriated God’s Gift of eternal life. (A decision).

    That whosoever believeth [a decision to put in trust] in Him [Christ] should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:15

    Christ died for the sins of the world — That’s history.
    I believe/trust that Jesus Christ died for me, that’s salvation.

    Brad, I pray this helps and invite other comments and more detailed thoughts.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  54. Brad,

    Romans chapter 4 and 5 is a good place to start. Rom 4:5 says: But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

    Rom 4:20-25 looks to me to be saying that Abraham believed God and that included believing the he can and will do what He has promised.

    Believing God can save you is not all there is to it. There are many Arminians and Calvinists that believe that God can save them but just may not have chosen to actually have done so or to keep them saved.

    The faith we are talking about comes as a compete trust in God for salvation based upon the sinless life, death, burial, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. Also people have no need of a Savior if they don’t understand that they are lost in sin and are guilty before God without any other way of remedy than faith in Christ. As Rom 4:5 says above, works don’t save but belief in God does. I fear that those who don’t trust Christ TO save them may be basing their salvation on their own works or may have a wrong understanding of God and therefore are still not saved. Belief should include can save, will save, and has saved. I think it is Biblical that they all go together.

    The other thing I’ll say is that some would take your question and turn it into a question of Lordship. Ray Comfort is one example, where in his sermon Hell’s Best Kept Secret, he said that a man needs not only to believe that God can save him but has to act out in faith. He uses the analogy of a man trusting a parachute to save him from a failing plane but is not saved until he actually trusts enough to put the parachute on and jump. The subtlety of this analogy is that it seems logical but the thing is that is not an apples to apples comparison and can lead to a works focused, commitment oriented, discipleship view of salvation.

  55. Jim F, you said: “I fear that those who don’t trust Christ TO save them may be basing their salvation on their own works or may have a wrong understanding of God and therefore are still not saved.” I agree.

    I think a great deal of this stems from false, misleading or confusing Gospel presentations.

    The following quote from “The Handbook of Personal Evangelism” by Dr. A. Ray Stanford illustrates a well-intentioned gospel presentation gone awry:

    “Many people, having a sincere desire to see the person come to have the joys of serving the Lord, speak of salvation and service in the “same breath,” and we have heard many, many testimonies of those who had heard this kind of invitation, who testify they were never saved under that preaching, but were only confused, made bitter, and caused to think they could never be saved because they didn’t think they could change the way they were living.”

  56. Please listen to this Gospel presentation.

    In minutes 24-26, you will hear Tom contrast Lordship “salvation” (repentance from sin for salvation), Arminianism (working to keep salvation) and all such contributory methods of salvations with the real thing – salvation by Grace through faith in Christ.

    http://northlandchurch.com/2011/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/VOA-MP3-Message0260-ToTellTheTruth.mp3

  57. Dear Friends,

    Is there anyone who can transcribe into text the short two minute segment from the link that John recommends from Dr. Cucuzza’s excellent message? We would like to post that segment.

    Thanks for your help.,

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  58. John has taken the task of transcribing the segment from Dr. Cucuzza’s sermon.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Jack, here is the best I could make out from Tom’s sermon.

    Minutes on the recording – 23:50 26:24

    And when Jesus died on the cross, He took our sin upon Himself and He made the complete payment, leaving us nothing to pay for. He was buried. He came back from the dead. The Bible says if you put your faith in Him, He will save you from hell to heaven and He will give you, as a gift, everlasting life. That is an amazing, an amazing truth.

    But yet, most people say “No I can’t accept that. I have to do good works.” But, that’s not what the Bible says. You notice what it says in verse 9 (Ephesians 2:9)? Not of works, not of works, not of works. Lest any man should boast.

    Now, there are those who say that salvation is a gift, but you have to make a pledge to God that you’re going to live right. But, wait a minute. He never said you have to make a pledge. He realizes we can’t do it, that’s why He paid for our sins through Christ.

    Some will say you have to “repent of your sin.” What does that mean? Do you know that nowhere in the Bible does it say repentance from sin brings salvation? Did you know that? It doesn’t say it one place in the Bible. I challenge anybody. See, that is man. Still he has to interject that: “Well, I gotta do my part. I gotta do something to earn it. I have to do something to deserve it.” But, that s contrary to Grace. Grace is unmerited, undeserved favor. And the minute we try to put in our two cents it’s no longer grace, it’s works according to Romans 11:6.

    See, this all may sound like a noble idea, but you will still fail to achieve it. And you are adding works to the finished work of Christ on the cross. You are adding your own merit and performance to salvation, which is works for salvation. You are trusting in yourself. If you have to live right to get to heaven, you’re trusting in yourself. You’re saying “I put confidence in myself.”

    Now, people will say this: “oh no, salvation’s a gift, but if you don’t remain faithful then you’ll lose it.” OK, now what did you just say if that s what you believe? You said: “If you don’t remain faithful, you’ll lose it.” That means the way you keep it is remaining faithful. Right? It’s just saying the same thing. One’s positive, one’s negative. So, what are we back to? We’re back to that same thing. It depends on you and not what Jesus did for you.

    That’s a false religion. True Christianity is this: We are utter failures, incapable of saving ourselves. That’s why Jesus came – to die for our sins, make the full payment. And when we put our faith in Him, instead of ourselves, the moment we do He saves us and He gives us everlasting life.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Friend as you read this — if you are not absolutely sure you are going to Heaven, that you have True Eternal life God’s way, please, right now, place your faith/trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you — to give you Heaven freely. Believe what God says!! Eternal Life IS eternal… without end in Heaven for all who decide to put their faith in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation. Believe/trust that fact. It is simply and solely what Jesus did on the cross for you and your decision to trust Jesus alone as YOUR Savior is sufficient to give you eternal life with Him.

  59. This was a fantastic post!

    “Jim F | July 24, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    Wow, here are my thoughts.

    You should not look at yourself introspectively to try to judge for yourself if you are saved. Look to the Savior. Salvation is not based on behavior, attitudes, and lifestyle so why look to those things for assurance!?

    It is sad to hear that people are being pulled into this abuse of scripture. I’ve lately seen more and more how Calvinism’s so called “Perseverance of the Saints” really just becomes works salvation. Calvinists will deny this but it makes sense why it is so once you realize that the other four points are false. Arminianism is as bad or worse btw.

    It should also be no surprise that Christians can be lukewarm. The sin nature is not magically eradicated once a person believes. Why can’t preachers like Chan give people a real Biblical way to deal with their sin as a believer rather than scaring people that they may not be good enough to “show” that they are saved?”

    Hi all, I’ve been greatly encouraged by the comments on this site. Thank you all for standing firm to the gospel. I myself have solely trusted in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for Him to be my Savior! I listened to the sermon that Jack posted about Francis Chan, and it seemed like to me that Francis Chan isn’t dealing with their salvation but rather the life that they can live upon being saved. Personally listening to this, he is using guilt tactics unintentionally in order to help people live for God (that would mean the congregation is Christian) and not addressing whether they are saved or not. He seems primarily focused on discipleship. What do you all think?

    -Matt

  60. Hi Matt, thanks for your compliment and for your comments.

    You state correctly that Calvinism’s “perseverance of the saints” becomes works salvation. Dr. Tom Cucuzza’s book (see the link, upper right) develops the theme of perseverance in detail. He shows that, in reality, it is nothing other than Lordship Salvation. I highly recommend reading his book.

    Regarding your comments about Francis Chan, I appreciate your giving him the benefit of the doubt regarding tactics and motivation; years ago, I did the same thing. But we have reviewed his writings and sermons on this site for the past few years and I have come to the conclusion that he preaches a caustic condemning form of Lordship Salvation philosophy in which only the on-fire “super-Christians” are considered worthy to go to heaven. All of the average churchgoers, whom Chan calls, “the lukewarm,” are going to hell. There’s just no way to sugar coat his message. And we have witnessed much fallout from his teaching in Christian lives who have had all assurance of salvation obliterated by this man’s teachings.

  61. People who think that works contribute in any way to salvation are either non-believers or believers who became confused after they were saved.

    I think it would be tragic to assume that Chan’s congregation (audience or readership) are all Christian. It likely includes a large contingent of non-believers, as well as some believers who are well on their way to falling from Grace. For the second group, they are still eternally secure, but are at risk of being robbed of any effectiveness and joy in their Christian lives.

    I don’t know which category Chan falls into. If I were to meet someone that seemed to garble the message as badly as Chan does, I would be concerned that they never understood or believed the Gospel. I would evangelize them as if they were a non-believer. To assume that they were saved would be a huge gamble.

    Any firmly-rooted Christian would refuse to sit under this teaching. He would recognize it as false teaching and would either attempt to change it, or would remove himself from the situation.

  62. Thanks John; solid comments as always.

    You said, “Any firmly-rooted Christian would refuse to sit under this teaching. He would recognize it as false teaching and would either attempt to change it, or would remove himself from the situation.”

    Oh, how I long for more biblical discernment, of which you speak, among Christians. Over the past two years, I have witnessed the hostile takeover of a long-standing evangelical Christian church by a neo-Calvinist group. The changes to the church, in the area of doctrine, staff structure, music, the gospel (there isn’t one now except for a false one), and even the painting of the building gray, all came swiftly and massively. Most of the people who had attended there for years simply remained and put up with the changes, much to their shame!

  63. A note to all:

    We are excited and pleased to offer anyone and everyone two new FREE booklets by our dear friend Dr. Tom Cucuzza. These are: (1) Faith Without Works is Dead – What does it Mean? A detailed study of one of the most controversial passages in the Bible, and (2) The Permanence of Salvation. – Twelve Reasons why Once Saved, Always Saved is True.

    The links are in the header of this web site 2 Free Booklets By Dr. Tom Cucuzza.

    Enjoy!!!
    In Christ eternally, Jack

  64. Hello all,

    Our friend John has written another insightful article which you will find very interesting:
    Lordship Salvation: Blinded From The Light; Satan’s Devious Campaign Tricks
    http://www.expreacherman.com/2012/09/11/blinded-from-the-light-satans-devious-campaign-tricks/

    In Christ, Jack

  65. Only two words come to mind with Mr. Chan. “Graceless Christianity”

  66. KC,

    Welcome to our discussion. You have, in two words, summarized Chan perfectly.. The only problem is that most of what the world calls “Christianity” fits your description, Graceless Christianity.

    We would love to have you visit and comment regularly — You will find much agreement here where we promote the true meaning of free Grace Christianity.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  67. KC,

    Actually we might say that Christianity without God’s Grace is not True Christianity at all. Chan is found guilty by God’s Word.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  68. I don’t understand the challenges you have with Chan – he is asking his listener to examine himself (1 Cor 13:5; the book of 1 John (esp. 5:13) say as much). Of course, if we see ourselves walking in a pattern of habitual sin and lack of care for others, then we should have concerns for our soul. The answer is not to muster up more ‘works’, but return to the cross – repent and believe in the gospel – and you are saved. The fruit of belief will be a pattern of following Christ that looks something like scripture. If our pattern of life is not like what scripture describes (pattern of unrepentant sin, etc), then the reader (and the writer!) should be concerned.

    It is important to note that Chan has admitted to struggling with the knowledge of his own salvation, as did his grandmother, a very devout woman. His preaching is self admittedly tinged with this perspective. Unfortunately in ALL messengers of the gospel, you must adjust for their biases and pet issues. They struggle with the same question that many do: how closely should our lives reflect the actual holiness in living that we legally have in Christ that moment we believe? Debates rage (belief one can be a ‘carnal Christian’ to holiness movement on the other end). The answer is unlikely found on a message board. Instead, open your scriptures, open your heart before the Lord, and spend time with Him. It is the God the Holy Spirit that reveals His Word to our hearts. My own struggle is to stop listening to a multitude of preachers (pre-processed truth) and just be with the Lord – move on from milk to the Gospel in communion with the Lord.

    Living with perpetual concern about your salvation is not what God desires as he reveals in his scripture: 1 John 5:13 is clear: God – through John – wrote this Epistle to you so that you may KNOW you have eternal life. Match your life against the epistle, go before the Lord, and ask that he reveal areas of sin, so that by the spirit you might mortify the deeds of the flesh – it is God who works and wills in you for His glory!

  69. Just went back and read Pearl’s statement from July, and she is so spot on! “I’m confused. How is it that Chan/Piper are so popular with the emergent church? On one hand, the dominant emergent message reassures folks that God isn’t mad at them; He’s laid back and all encompassing – it doesn’t matter if you’re Catholic, Muslim, New Age – it’s all good!

    On the other hand, once you’re in the fold, watch out. You’re no longer beloved, but a slave and God is watching you like a hawk. Get to work, slave!

    Crazy “love” indeed!” This type of EC teaching is surely becoming dominant, and destructive as well. So is Commitment Salvation-ism, both unbiblical. Thanks Pearl and Jack and all, for your commitment to Bible truth.

  70. Hello Will,

    Thanks for your comments.

    A number of us here at the Expreacherman.com site have well-chronicled Francis Chan’s sermons and writing for the past three to four years, going back to the time when he resigned from his own church because he had serious doubts about his own salvation. We know exactly what Francis Chan preaches: namely, a caustic extreme form of lordship salvation teaching which leads Christians to a state of dread, doubt, fear, and hopelessness, NOT to a place of hope and confidence in Christ, the cross, and the resurrection. We have many articles here that detail Chan’s unbiblical teaching. Some have demonstrated how lives have been ruined and assurance of salvation has been destroyed through the reading of his writings. I also wrote a detailed book review of his book, “Crazy Love,” which shows unmistakeably his lordship salvation stance:

    http://www.freegracealliance.com/pdf/BookReview%20ofCrazyLove.pdf

    You said, “Living with perpetual concern about your salvation is not what God desires as he reveals in his scripture: 1 John 5:13 is clear: God – through John – wrote this Epistle to you so that you may KNOW you have eternal life.”

    Will, this is a true statement with which I agree. This is NOT what Francis Chan teaches!

  71. It’s a head-scratcher, isn’t it, David?

    Last spring, my family and I attended a Dave Ramsey seminar. I’d describe him as one of the emergent’s “front men”, greeting well-meaning, sincere folks into the fold with his embracing warm hug of affirmation (via his free “gospel” cd), as is one of his comical, down-to-earth co-speakers whose blog, I discovered, has a “Christian” section promoting Francis Chan’s book.

    So many inconsistencies…

  72. Will stated (Oct 26, 2:52am), “Of course, if we see ourselves walking in a pattern of habitual sin and lack of care for others, then we should have concerns for our soul.”

    Every believer still sins. What does ‘habitual’ mean in that context? And what is a ‘lack of care for others’? I believe that I care for others, and I believe that my sins are not ‘habitual’, but what if I’m self-deceived on either or both of those points?

    This is why my salvation is based on Jesus’ payment for my sins. Paid in full (John 19:30, Acts 10:43). I don’t look at myself in terms of salvation. I look at Jesus and what He has already forever done (John 3:14-16).

    I do look at myself in terms of rewards that I will receive in heaven, and how my life is as a testimony for Jesus. But those are not a part of salvation.

    I now know from reading here that Francis Chan stepped down from his church some years ago due to his concern for his salvation? I feel bad for Chan and I pray that he would find the Lord’s free grace. I must also say that I have always said I would avoid anyone as a pastor who believes that they themselves could potentially lose their salvation (or prove they never had it, etc.). Therefore I also pray that much of his former congregation would take the same stance.

  73. Will, welcome to this website! I’m glad you are here. I would like to lovingly address a few of the points that you have raised.

    First, you said: “Of course, if we see ourselves walking in a pattern of habitual sin and lack of care for others, then we should have concerns for our soul.”
If by “concern for our soul” you mean eternal salvation, then I don’t think you are looking in the right place. Our patterns of behavior and levels of concern for others are not reliable indicators of whether or not we have trusted in Christ.

    There are no “tests of salvation.” This concept is entirely un-Biblical, and promulgated by those who would lead us away from faith in Christ to faith in our works.

    The scriptural passages that you cited are not tests of whether or not we are saved, and they should not be used that way. “If I pass the tests today, what guarantee do I have that I will pass tomorrow? What standards should I use? Should I grade on the curve?” God requires perfection to enter heaven. We receive that perfection the moment we trust in Christ alone as our Savior.

    2 Corinthians 13:5 is not — I repeat IS NOT a test to see whether the way we are living our lives gives evidence of our salvation. It is constructive to make sure we have believed the correct Gospel. But, it is destructive to try to confirm our salvation by our behavior or attitudes (which are works). Charlie Bing summarized it nicely:

    “For Paul to cast doubt on the Corinthians’ salvation would be contrary to his affirmations and declarations of their saved status which are ubiquitous in his epistles to them. Paul is motivating his readers to grow in their Christian experience not by having them question and seek their salvation again, but by recognizing and submitting to his apostolic authority and the truth he teaches (13:7-10). After twelve chapters of assuming and affirming their salvation, why would he now question it and undermine his whole appeal?”

    This passage should never be used to make those who have believed the gospel doubt their salvation by self-examination. On the contrary, this passage should teach us that the best way to motivate Christians toward truth and maturity is not by making them doubt their salvation, but by affirming it. The fact that we are saved by God’s grace, belong to Christ, and have Him within us, is the best basis to appeal for godly attitudes and conduct.”

    Likewise, 1 John should never be used as a test of our salvation. Again, from Charlie Bing:


    “The tests of 1 John address a believer’s experience. If properly understood, they lead the readers into a more intimate relationship with God Who is already known through their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The book’s purpose is not to establish their relationship with God, but to deepen the relationship that they already have. Taken in this way, 1 John does not lead believers into insecurity about their relationship to God, but enhances their desire to be more intimate with Him.”


    You also said: “The answer is not to muster up more ‘works’, but return to the cross, ‘repent and believe in the gospel’ and you are saved.”
    This assumes that you are able to determine, from the tests of your behavior and attitude (works), that you are lost. Again, this is not Biblical. Otherwise, every time you think you fail the test, you would return to the cross, repent and believe all over again. You would need to repeat this until you judged that your works were sufficient. Do you see how this would lead to people trusting in their works instead of trusting in Christ?

    Also, I don’t know what you mean by repent. If you mean to stop trusting in any other way of getting to heaven and trust in Christ alone, then I think you have a good definition. If you mean to turn from sins, be willing to turn from sins, etc., then I would challenge you to read The Gospel booklet, which is linked below:

    http://www.cleargospel.org/booklet.php?b_id=3


    Last, you said: “The fruit of belief will be a pattern of following Christ that looks something like scripture.” Does the Bible really say this? No. It says that your life will manifest fruits of the Spirit by virtue of walking in the Spirit. In other words, it is not automatic.

    Chan teaches false doctrine. The most horrific thing is, it is so common that most do not even recognize it as error.

    Please consider all of the above, which I humbly offer.

  74. I re-read the above article and was floored by this statement from Chan:’So then, you go to hell and you say to yourself, ‘Oh, but that’s okay because everyone up on earth thinks I’m in heaven. I fooled them.’ That’s your goal?’
    Who in their right mind would be OK with or have it as their goal to go to hell for all eternity? That whole premise is absurd!
    And I can remember coming from a Mennonite background the threat of the lukewarm message very well. It made me fearful but it never helped me to lead a holy life or to love God more. Knowing now that Salvation is a free gift and that Eternal life is just that (Eternal) I have far more interest in studying God’s word and believe that He can be trusted, and He does love me. Legalism and threats of hell for poor performance certainly never made me believe these things.

  75. Hi Jon, great to hear from you.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. Yes, you are right; guilt and fear are very improper motivators indeed. But they are certainly used wholesale in churches today. In my early teens, as a boy scout, I had a leader at my church troop who told us all that if we did not read at least one chapter of the Bible each and every day we would all go to hell. How unbiblical and mean! What did this lead me to do? I found the shortest chapter in Psalms (maybe in the whole Bible as well), Psalm 117. It has only two verses. So I read those two verses one time each and every day to fulfill the legalistic demands of a “Christian” leader. How foolish and how sad that such teaching is foisted upon the Christian masses by oh so many pastors, writers and teachers, in the name of lordship salvation.

  76. Jon, Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I appreciate your emphasis that believers can know if they can be saved – just yesterday I shared 1 John 5:13 with a man that didn’t know if he was going to heaven. He CAN know for SURE! Praise God that we don’t have to worry about engaging in some sin in which grace does not abound all the more!

    As I’m open to the truth of scripture, whatever it says, I am weighing each of your points in light of the Word. More to follow on these…

    I also appreciate the introduction to Charlie Bing’s http://www.gracelife.org. In his statement of faith he says “We believe in the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit, that He performs the miracle of new birth in an unbeliever and indwells believers enabling them to live a godly life.” As much as I don’t want to take this discussion away from the words of scripture, it may help to start with Charlie’s words given your knowledge of his work. Assuming you’ve discipled others and seen in a man patterns of unrepentant sin, do you counsel that professing believer differently than one who appears to be walking in step with the Spirit and putting to death the deeds of the flesh?

    As a separate point, it was providential that my morning reading today was in 2 Cor 12 and 13. The commentary your provided doesn’t fit the context of 2 Cor (and may be colored by a bias which exalts the grace of God over the other aspects of his character, then applied to every passage… common in churches and movements that see everything through their ‘distinctive’). Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church addresses their failings in love – start at 2 Cor 12:11 and read on. “…I fear that when I come again … I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.” [Also note the use of the word 'repent' - it is from sinful acts, though I agree that we must also repent of depending on our 'righteous' acts.]. Paul’s loving concern is evident, and thus he asks them to examine themselves as his rebuke intensifies in 1 Cor 13.

    So to keep this dialogue focused – how do you counsel the un-repentantly sinning professing follower of Christ?

    Thank you again for your response!

    Will

  77. Thanks Bruce. I appreciate the very sad experience you have shared as well. It does seem that lordship salvation is being preached at so many churches,in books and on websites.I am thankful for the clear presentation of the Gospel on this site, I visit regularly even if I don’t post comments.

  78. It really is an absurd quote, Jon. Kinda strange how he makes the leap to the assumption that professing Christians are living to fool others. Rather, its seems quite the opposite to me, as I think on it, that performance-centered Christians are the ones bending over backwards to impress the world. Surely they’re the ones who lie in bed at night knowing they’ll never measure up and eternal security continues to elude them.

    Btw, Bruce and Jack, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the new photo of Chan at the top of this article…just in time for Halloween ;-) ! So apropos.

  79. Hello again Will,

    Regarding your quotation of 2 Cor., I will let John’s strong explanation stand.

    As to your last question about how to deal with a professed Christian who continues in visible ongoing sin, I would take him first to 2 Corinthians 5:10: “For we must all [that is all Christians] appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether good or bad.” . . . Then I would follow with 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man [again, Paul is speaking to a primarily Christian audience] build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

    Salvation is eternal; it can never be lost (John 10:27-30; Romans 8:38-39). However, Scripture clearly warns of a possible loss of rewards or potential rewards for a believer who refuses to give up a sinful lifestyle.

  80. Hi Will,

    I appreciate your genuinely respectful tone, which prompts me to even dare to interject my understanding. There are others here who are much more able than I, and I look forward to their comments.

    I completely agree with Bing’s scriptural statement saying that the Holy Spirit is our enabler. Jesus Himself said,

    “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5

    Lordship Probation’s trap at the get-go is embedded within their gospel message, emphasizing “repenting of sins”, commitment to Godly living, etc, simultaneously to receive Jesus’ pardon, and really, that is a puzzle, is it not? That is to say that salvation is a life-long process, which, if I’m not mistaken, Paul Washer believes as he stated same in one of his sermons (sorry to not recall which sermon that was, but I seem to remember our discussing that some time ago).

    So, if we are to believe Jesus’ statement, then what’s the use of even trying to repent of sins in order to receive salvation?

    Salvation and sanctification are separate.

    While disturbing, there will be believers who never grow into maturity; but for us to come alongside and insist they have either lost their salvation or were never saved to begin with is not our calling, but God’s, which is why all believers’ works will be tried by fire at His future appointment and not before. Our calling is to love and encourage the brethren. Love is what motivates faith to action, not fear.

  81. Will, I agree with Bruce’s approach on counseling. I might add that I would tell them that they are missing God’s blessings in this life as well as not storing up treasure in Heaven.

    Will, you said:

    “The commentary your provided doesn’t fit the context of 2 Cor (and may be colored by a bias which exalts the grace of God over the other aspects of his character, then applied to every passage… common in churches and movements that see everything through their ‘distinctive’).”

    Will, churches that teach salvation by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone are almost unheard of in my area. It is not common – it is very uncommon.

    God’s Grace is not exalted over the other aspects of His character. It is completely consistent with His perfect holiness and righteousness. To use Chafer’s words:

    “God does forgive, but it is only on the righteous ground that the penalty for sin is borne by the Savior. It is for this reason that the sinner must come to God by Jesus Christ and that salvation is conditioned on faith in Christ. There is no need for Christ to die if God is free to make light of the sinner’s sin by a mere attitude of graciousness apart from satisfaction because of outraged holiness.”

    Also, I don’t understand what you mean when you say:

    “Also note the use of the word ‘repent’ – it is from sinful acts, though I agree that we must also repent of depending on our ‘righteous’ acts.”

    In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul is indeed talking about repentance from sinful acts. But, he is speaking to a body of believers. Although Paul would be bitterly disappointed to find his flock had not repented from these sinful acts, this has nothing to do with questioning whether or not they are saved.

    The clearest teaching on repentance that I have found comes from Ron Shea at Clear Gospel Campaign. I will provide a link below. A key excerpt follows:

    “The Bible never teaches that one must repent of their sins to be saved.

    Whenever sin is the object of repentance, the consequence of repentance is never eternal salvation.

    Whenever eternal salvation is the consequence of repentance, the object of repentance is never sin.

    In every passage on repentance relating to eternal salvation, the object of repentance is, in some way or another, the person of Jesus Christ, his eternal divinity, his atoning death, His resurrection, or the freeness of the eternal salvation he provides. The object of saving repentance is no different than the elements of saving faith described in other terms throughout Scripture”

    http://www.cleargospel.org/topics.php?t_id=27&c_id=45

  82. John,
    Thanks your thoughts – we are in full agreement that salvation is in keeping with Eph 2:8-10 – by grace alone, though faith alone. We also agree that on behalf of all who have a saving faith in Christ, Jesus fully took upon himself God’s holy wrath that we would have endured for our sins (past, present, and future).

    I have read Dr. Shea’s website which prompted thought about the word ‘repent’ and have planned to do a word study so I can fully confirm his point regarding the use of the word repentance. It seems that through our dialogue and what was revealed in my reading of 2 Cor 12-13 this morning, that indeed the term ‘repent’ *is* used in association with sins, a verse I didn’t find on Dr. Shea’s site. My point in citing this is that Paul asks the believer to examine himself to see if he is in the faith. I disagree with the aforementioned commentary, asking you to set it aside and read the passage yourself slowly, without a filter that throws out the possibility that Paul may be asking the believers to examine themselves to see whether they are in the faith – Paul’s exact words.

    Bruce, Your points are well made and I will give them more consideration and I will consider them more fully later. I do appreciate you commenting, especially to point out that we are called to encourage all to follow Christ, not to determine who is a ‘true believer’ and who isn’t.

    I do appreciate and look forward to more dialogue later – I’m up for a busy week and will tune in after next weekend. I’d like to pick it back up with the question of ‘what should we Christ followers do for a professing believer who lives in egregious, unrepentant sin’? I may be reading into your words, but it appears you would advise such a ‘carnal Christian’ to think about how much more he would get in heaven if he’d just sin less and do more good works, which I find somewhat barren next to bringing Glory to our God. My mind goes to 1 Cor 5:11 and Matt 18:1-17 (note the progression in exhortation). The points here aren’t to judge the person regarding their salvation, but if they are completely out of step with the Spirit, scripture calls the church to act in such a way to let that professing believer experience separation from the church. This is uncomfortable, has been done poorly at times, and so is practiced rarely in evangelicalism. It also would reduce numbers of the ‘visible church’ dramatically, which puts significant pressure on well-meaning, but still administratively-minded pastors.

    Ok – I won’t go far and hope that we can pick up the dialogue after next week. I’m actually going to a Bill Glass Prison ministry weekend and am brushing up on my old Evangelism Explosion training materials – so am sure you might have some pointers/corrections on that curriculum. ;) Bless you all and have a great Lord’s day!

    Will

  83. Will, you asked two questions:

    “Assuming you’ve discipled others and seen in a man patterns of unrepentant sin, do you counsel that professing believer differently than one who appears to be walking in step with the Spirit and putting to death the deeds of the flesh?”

    “So to keep this dialogue focused – how do you counsel the un-repentantly sinning professing follower of Christ?”

    (I assume by “un-repentantly sinning professing follower of Christ” you mean a sinning believer.

    There is not necessarily a set way that you have to approach one vs the other but I believe in approaching all with a set plan. For me, whenever I work with someone in a Christian counseling situation, I want to know as much as possible about the person’s salvation testimony, what they believe about the gospel, God, repentance, faith, God’s Word etc. You have to establish a foundation for every person in order to know where to go with them. We should remember that any believer can have a habit pattern of sin. Thankfully, they can be overcome. Once the initial groundwork is done, it would be beneficial to use scripture to confront the person with exactly what God says about their sin. As Bruce mentioned, there will be a time to point out that they are in danger of loss of rewards in heaven. There also may be loss of blessing in this life, like John pointed out, or actual consequences to their sin – both physically and emotionally. They need to be shown how much Christ’s loves them and is hurt by their sin. They need to see that God loves them despite of their sin. They need to be shown how their sin is not in vacuum and that it adversely affects others. For some unrepentant people, you have to take them to a point of decision and leave them to it and pray for them. Then you can come back and start again if they are more willing to listen. I also agree that church discipline is in order at times with the goal being that they will eventually be restored.)

    What I would not do is accuse them of being unsaved, guilt them into repenting of the sins for salvation, guilt them into “making Christ Lord of their lives”, or assume that I am automatically dealing with an unbeliever because sin is present.

  84. Will, you said:

    “The answer is not to muster up more ‘works’, but return to the cross – repent and believe in the gospel – and you are saved.”

    Why would you as a believer living in a habitual sin pattern, have to go back to the cross to get re-saved? Or are you saying that the sin pattern actually shows that you were just mistaken before that God had given you life?

    “The fruit of belief will be a pattern of following Christ that looks something like scripture.”

    The problem here is that no believer can truly measure up to the pattern of Christ. He was the sinless one. Believers will still sin because they still have the sin nature present. You would basically have to take one nature position in order to have any assurance of salvation in what Chan is describing.

    “My own struggle is to stop listening to a multitude of preachers (pre-processed truth) and just be with the Lord – move on from milk to the Gospel in communion with the Lord.”

    Milk to the Gospel… isn’t the gospel the beginning or are you taking a John Piper- like stance on going continually back to the gospel. Some of the things you say sound like this.

    Please also consider Bruce’s point again from the original post.

    “As typical of other Lordship Faith teachers, Chan challenged his Christian audience to look at themselves introspectively to see if they were really saved, based upon their behavior, attitudes and lifestyle.”

    This is actually not really possible and is a “logical” extension of Chan’s Calvinistic presuppositions. The proof of our salvation is not left up to human subjectivity and self biased introspection. Rather, it is based objectively on our faith in Christ.

    Our assurance is only as good as Christ is righteous. If He is righteous…, and He is, then any person who has repented of their unbelief and believed on Christ alone for salvation is saved and eternally secure because Christ is eternal and has eternally satisfied God’s wrath over sin. Believers are forever linked with Christ. Any actual examining to see if one is a Christian goes back to belief in Christ alone, not works.

    I just hope that you understand the difference between repentance from sin in the Christian life and repentance and faith at conversion. Some who teach a “regeneration before faith” position along with a “faith and repentance are gifts” position have difficulty making the distinction. I’ve found that discussions sometimes, with people that I know that have these views, are difficult because we use the same words but have different meanings or different frameworks from which we are coming from. Chan, Piper, Washer etc are not coming from things with the same Biblical framework that many of us on this blog come from. Theirs is a Reformed, Calvinistic, and Lordship view.

  85. Hi Jim,

    Excellent comprehensive responses to Will’s questions! Thanks. You, John, Pearl and Abe have answered his questions with much patience and clarity. You have all presented a clear grace message. I hope that Will takes to heart all of the things that you and others have shared with him.

    Blessings brother

    .

  86. Will, I have read 2 Corinthians 13 slowly. You said:

    “I disagree with the aforementioned commentary, asking you to set it aside and read the passage yourself slowly, without a filter that throws out the possibility that Paul may be asking the believers to examine themselves to see whether they are in the faith – Paul’s exact words.”

    Will, the only filters I use when examining interpretations of scripture are these:
    1. Is it consistent with salvation by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone?
    2. Is it consistent with eternal security?
    3. Is it consistent with a believer being able to have full assurance of his salvation the moment he is saved?

    If one has to ask himself if he is saved based on the amount of sin in his life, he will never know he is saved. Even if he passes the test today, what guarantee will he have that he will pass tomorrow?

    Regarding the use of repentance in 2 Corinthians 12, Shea does address it. Please see link below:

    http://www.cleargospel.org/topics.php?t_id=27&c_id=241

    Shea also addresses 2 Corinthians 13:5. I am not completely convinced of his interpretation, but I believe it is consistent with Grace, Eternal Security and Assurance. Please see below:

    “iii) Reprobation and Deception. We believe that there exists a class of persons known by various names including “reprobate,” “sociopath,” “the wicked,” “narcissists,” and “character disordered,” who, in varying degrees of reprobation, regard truth as a mercurial commodity for advancing their selfish pursuits, personal gain, self aggrandizement, or appetites. We cite, for example, Herod, who professed interest in the worship of the Christ for the purpose of slaughtering the innocents (Matthew 2:8) We believe that such a profession is so transparently worthless as to not merit refutation.

    iv) Reprobation, Self Deception, and Self Examination We believe that when someone lives a life of lies, wherein truth is not weighted on the intrinsic merit of a proposition, but only as a mercurial commodity for advancing one’s self interests, that such a person become progressively hardened to the truth, and increasingly susceptible to self deception. We acknowledge however that every fallen descendent of Adam has some capacity for self deception and denial (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 1:18; 1 st John 1:6-8; James 1:22-25; 2 nd Thessalonians 2:10-12; 2 nd Peter 3:5-6). Accordingly, we believe that Scripture admonishes professing Christians to examine themselves to evaluate whether their profession of faith is genuine, or whether they are a self deceived reprobate (2 nd Corinthians 13:5). We believe that some professions of faith, though initially motivated by deception or self-deception for personal gain, such as prison parole, social approbation, employment, familial harmony, or romantic interests, may eventually grow into valid saving faith in spite of the insincere origin of the initial profession.”

  87. Will, I thought of one more thing you might be interested in. It is an article called “Attaching Personal Righteousness to the Back-side of the Gospel’s Requirements” By Pastor J. O. Hosler, Th.D. A salient excerpt follows:

    “Salvation repentance is not turning from sin to Christ, but rather a turning to Christ with one’s sins.

    If someone believes in a false gospel, he cannot add Christ to his idol, but must turn his faith from a gospel which cannot save to Him Who can. It is not what one does with his sins, but rather what Christ does with his sins, that saves him.

    When a born again Christian falls into sin, he is expected to work at turning from that sin. But this is not a form of works that belongs within the prescribed boundaries of the gospel definition.

    A lost person can change his mind about sin and reform from some forms of wickedness, but he will be neither saved nor eternally rewarded for this. He may, however, reap some earthly benefits from living a prudent life.

    We do know from Scripture that assurance of salvation is possible, and we also know that no one completely ceases from sin. This brings us to the question of quantification. If salvation repentance entails the work of ceasing from all sin, when does one know that he has ceased enough to be certain of his salvation? The Bible presents absolutely no quantification standards. What sin would assure us that we were never saved in the first place—the first cigarette; the first pack; the first carton; the first crate, or, what if one never quits smoking? When do we quit sinning enough to know that we are saved? No one would know, and assurance of salvation would be impossible.

    Even after we have practiced godliness for extended periods of our lives, what is our guarantee that we will not fall into sin again and suspect that we were never saved in the first place? If we have no such guarantee, then we have no logical basis for assurance even after years of consistent godliness. From such a perspective, the biblical promises that the believer in Christ has eternal life are stripped of their assurance (Jn. 3:16; 5:24; 6:47; Acts 10:43; 16:31; I Jn. 5:13).”

    http://www.freegracealliance.com/pdf/Lordship%20Salvation%20Response_Hosler.pdf

  88. In dealing with a Christian who continues in visible ongoing sin, might not Galatians 6:1-2 be applicable?
    Galatians 6:1-2 (NKJV) Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

  89. Hi Jon,

    Very appropriate Scripture and very helpful.

    Thanks!

  90. Will, you said: “Paul’s loving concern is evident, and thus he asks them to examine themselves as his rebuke intensifies in 1 Cor 13.”

    This sounds a lot like “I’m going to count to three. If you’re still sinning when I get to three, I’m going to ask you to think about whether or not you are really saved.”

    Our basis for assurance can never be how we live our lives. Our basis of assurance can only be whether or not we have trusted Christ as Savior.

    A lot of people claim that they believe in salvation by Grace through faith, apart from any works. Yet, they look for proof or corroboration of their faith through how much sin they have forsaken or how many good works they have done. This is a bottomless pit.

    Such people should “test themselves to see if they are in the faith”, because their reliance on subjective evidence of salvation contradicts their stated belief that salvation is by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

  91. That’s it in a nutshell, Jon. And then there’s the one-on-one talk, followed by the intervention approach (Matt. 18:15-17). If the person remains hardenened and unwilling, then the door needs to be closed. But note that in 2 Corinthians, the outcast brother has had a change of heart and wants to return, and Paul exhorts the church to welcome him back lest the brother’s sorrow overtake him:

    “Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” II Cor. 2:6-11

    But Will, we need to be clear here – we’re not talking about whether the brother is a “true believer” or not (that could be determined in the counseling session, and even then, if the brother is angry or under the influence of something, he’s liable to say all kinds of things he doesn’t really mean). The issue we’re talking about is church discipline, and so doesn’t necessarily apply to Lordship Salvation, does it? Apples and oranges if you ask me…well, maybe not because this is precisely why LS is such a huge problem to begin with…they blur the lines of distinction. You say you realize the difference, so I’m just wondering why this is even a topic with which you desire further dialogue.

    “Evangelism Explosion” is D. James Kennedy’s curriculum, right? I haven’t persused it myself, but knowing Coral Ridge Ministries (and like most everybody else), I’ll bet the gospel message is works-based. Assuming most folks “commit” to this gospel (simply because it’s flooded the worldly landscape), is it any wonder that so many lapse into depression and self-loathing? The foundation is all wrong.

    Will, have you visited Jack’s gospel page and examined whether or not you are saved? If you read the gospel and say “yeah, but…” then you may be very likely building upon a sandy foundation.

    http://expreacherman.com/eternal-life-for-you/

  92. Pearl, I have gone to Evangelism Explosion and read their primary tract. I will not provide a link. It is LS, through and through.

    Will, please do not teach this false gospel of works to prisoners. They have enough problems already. This false gospel cannot save anyone. It could not have saved you. If you are saved, you were not saved by this false gospel.

    Below are excerpts:

    “Along with trusting in Christ for salvation, saving faith includes:

    RECEIVE JESUS CHRIST AS LORD. Give Him the “driver’s seat” and “controls” of your life, not the “back seat.”

    REPENT. Be willing to TURN from anything that is not pleasing to Him. He will reveal His will to you as you grow in your relationship with Him.

    Now, if this is what you really want…

    YOU CAN GO TO GOD IN PRAYER right where you are. You can receive His gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ right now.

    ‘For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (Romans 10:10-13).

    If you want to receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, then call on Him asking for that gift right now.

    HERE’S A SUGGESTED PRAYER:

    ‘Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and do not deserve eternal life. But, I believe You died and rose from the grave to purchase a place in heaven for me. Lord Jesus, come into my life; take control of my life; forgive my sins and save me. I repent of my sins and now place my trust in You for my salvation. I accept the free gift of eternal life.’

    If this prayer is the sincere desire of your heart, look at what Jesus promises to those who believe in Him:

    ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.’ (John 6:47).

    WELCOME TO GOD’S FAMILY!

    - If you have truly repented (forsaken, turned away) from your sins
    - Placed your trust in Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death
    - And received the gift of eternal life
    - You are now a child of God! Forever!

    WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD”

  93. Pearl and John,

    You both nailed the D. James Kennedy Evangelism Explosion (EE) lie.

    A young man worked for me for a couple of years while he and I attended Florida Bible College (FBC). We graduated the same year. He was solid doctrinally the best I could tell.

    After graduating he was hired on as a teacher at FBC and while there attended nearby Kennedy’s Coral Ridge EE. In training sessions he was told he MUST tell a person to whom he was witnessing that they MUST repent of their sins, turn from their sins in order to “trust” Christ as Savior. Kennedy was LS before it was well defined.

    My friend refused to learn the “repent” lie and asked to speak to Kennedy. In so doing after a long session, Kennedy persuaded my friend that repentance means to turn from sin and commit one’s life to Christ to be saved. He became a Reformed teacher and when FBC folded he took a church in PA and is spreading the false message today. I tried to convince him to the contrary but was unable. Kennedy was a persuasive person, teaching the lie world wide through Evangelism Explosion. What a pity!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  94. Jack, this was the false gospel I fell for in 1988. These guys say they believe that salvation is a free gift, yet one must trade obedience and commitment for this gift. Incredible. It was just a couple of years ago that I finally understood and believed the real Gospel of salvation by Grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.

    I am not going to engage in round after round of theological debates with anyone who unrepentantly holds to a false gospel of works, such as that taught by EE.. I will answer questions from honest seekers, but not the false teachers who are just trying to deceive. We are not supposed to engage in polite debate with false teachers. They are under a curse. Galatians 1:9 (NKJV) makes this abundantly clear:

    “As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”

    Jesus said: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

    EE, and so much of the rest of professing Christendom, are escorting lost people by the millions to the wide gate that leads to destruction.

  95. What a tragic, up-close and personal account of your friend, Jack. He clearly knew the difference! Paul’s lament is directed specifically to such as these:

    “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

    As for those who commit to a false gospel (i.e. Evangelism Explosion), they remain lost and are blind guides depending on their own obedience to do what is already finished.

    “Depart from me…I never knew you…” Terrifying words…

  96. Having been a student of Ian Thomas for many years, this exchange caught my eye. On some of the responses re Evangelism Explosion, Kennedy is criticized for teaching repentance as part of the salvation message which leaves the question, Why? unexplained, or at best murky.The Fleshly nature has no desire to either repent or become a Christian unless the Spirit of God motivates him to..In that sense the repentance would need to be the result of the Spirit at work, not the other way around. (not dogmatic but confident) Interesting site. I also was exposed to Evangelism explosion and didn’t pick up on what you mentioned above, since they never mentioned repentance as preceding the work of the Spirit. The truth of Romans 5:10, that Christ’s death was to cleanse me so that Christ life could change me and empower me, (Thomas) was the teaching that caused me to put faith where it belongs and I came alive. Spent the next forty years in evangelism. Thomas is my hero. Rather than majoring on the negative and showing people where they are wrong, I had more success in majoring on the saving life of Christ and putting my faith in the Spirit of Christ to change their hearts. I love how real truth exposes error much more convincingly than I can. Thanks for letting me respond. GeneM.

  97. Pearl,

    Great observations and thanks for those pertinent verses. Over time (while he worked for me) this friend and his wife became close friends to my wife and me — until he strayed..

    I was personally devastated. Later several friends and I tried to counsel him about his false teaching but he would not listen. He claimed he “was not a Calvinist but studied the Bible.” (Most Calvinists say this). However he also studied Calvinists D. James Kennedy and R.C. Sproul who both teach a Calvinist philosophy contrary to God’s Word.

    He exemplifies tragedy multiplied.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  98. Hello Gene:

    Thanks for joining the discussion today. Regarding the issue of Ian Thomas, he and his teachings have been discussed in detail on at least two discussion posts at the Expreacherman.com site that I know of. As I recall, it was mutually agreed upon by several commenters and the site administration at the time that the discussion was beginning to become divisive and nonproductive. I believe that the folks involved then agreed to shelve the discussion and discontinue any further public debate re. Ian Thomas.

    Feel free, however, to search out and read about this or any other topic of interest to you at the Expreacherman.com site. I think that you will quickly discover that the emphasis here is the free grace gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).

  99. To behind-the-scenes commenter “Jan.”

    We appreciate your sending in your comments today. They seem to indicate that you are of a free grace theological perspective. It would be appreciated if you hone down the lengthy discussion and just send in a few highlights of your online discussions with the LS blogger. This will make your points stronger and more clear and will lead to less confusion for folks who may just want to do a quick perusal of what you post. Hope that this approach works for you. Thanks!

  100. Timothy Sanders

    Hello again everybody,

    I wanted to ask what, if there are any, differences in theology exist between the Free Grace camp and the independent baptist fundamentalists. It seems that the doctrines/theology between the two are pretty similar, i.e. non-LS, advocating KJV only, dispensationalism, and premillenialism. Are there any highlighting theological differences?

    Thanks,
    Timothy

  101. Hi Timothy,

    Nice to hear from you again!

    Regarding your question, yes, I see similarities between the two groups in question. KJV only is widespread in the Free Grace camp but not universal. As to the other three categories, I would agree with your assessment. One thing that I have noticed, some of the Independent Baptist churches are very stringent on enforcement of “unwritten” man-made rules. One large church with which I am quite familiar, for example, does not allow mixing of the sexes for any kind of group activities, other than church service attendance, church dinners, or the like. All children’s Sunday Schools are separated that way. For another example, a friend of mine attended one of their “family” camps and was chided for playing outdoor tennis with his own wife! At this same church, KJV only is enforced from the pulpit; visitors are instructed to leave any other versions unopened and on the floor under their seats. Dress codes, while unwritten, are nevertheless enforced: men must wear suits, or at least dress shirts and ties to church; women must wear floor-length dresses. I could go on, but I think that you get the picture. I think that Free Grace theology actually frees us from those kind of rules.

    I hope that this helps a bit; perhaps others here have differing opinions.

  102. Hi Gene,

    I was really hoping someone else would answer your question, because I tend to state things too succintly which may lack the explanation you’re after.

    You asked,

    “Kennedy is criticized for teaching repentance as part of the salvation message which leaves the question, Why? unexplained, or at best murky.”

    I guess my first question to you would be: “how do you define ‘repentance’ as it pertains to Kennedy’s version of acquiring salvation”?

    Being well-versed in the teachings of Maj. Thomas myself, I know full well that he of all people knew that repenting of sins in order to acquire salvation (changing one’s behavior) is a useless work of the flesh and impossible to do. And yet, just about every single gospel tract out there says one must “repent of their sins” (a phrase which isn’t even in the KJ bible) to be saved. To the thinking man, all kinds of questions should follow, such as “how long must I repent of sins before I’m saved?”; “are certain sins worse than others?”; “what if I do real well for about a week, and then fall back into my besetting sin, have I lost my salvation?” etc, etc…

    This is the error of D. James Kennedy’s curriculum, which is just a drop in the bucket of countless other well-meaning, albeit false, gospel presentations.

    I hope my response is helpful to you.

  103. Timothy,

    From my perspective, I don’t see too much a difference necessarily between independent fundamental baptists (of which I consider myself) and of free grace (of which I’d also consider myself). Fundamental Baptists can range from strict KJV only types to Reformed leaning Lordship supporters. There is some movement now with Fundamental Baptists toward conservative evangelicalism / new evangelicalism. I’m seeing a shift in schools from more traditional baptist to more reformed/evangelical. An example would be my own college formerly known as Northland Baptist Bible College now know as Northland International University. There have also been changes at seminaries like Central in Minnesota and Calvary in PA. There might be some southern baptists that are free grace but many seem to be going more the Lordship route.

    Basically any baptist could be free grace if they don’t hold to Calvinistic, Reformed, or Covenant presuppositions.

  104. Timothy.

    Bruce’s observations about the IFB are well done and quite right, especially mentioning their rules which I believe border on legalism.

    I might add a point or two. The IFB claims to be an assembly of pastors and churches who are mostly very adamant about their “rules” as Bruce noted above; and even those rules may vary from church to church.

    One thing I have noticed — many IFB churches and members could be considered (LS) Lordship “salvationist” because of their insistence upon “repent of sins for salvation” which to them means “to turn from sin to be saved and stay saved.

    A dear friend of mine is a pastor in IFB churches. His previous church emphasized and declared on their Statement of Faith that a person must repent, defined as “turn from sins” for salvation. His present church does not state that in their Statement of Faith. Nonetheless, even though that teaching is not published, I understand he still adamantly believes that awful misinterpretation of “repent.”

    About the KJV Bible: Most of us who write and comment at ExPreacherMan.com (while not dogmatic) use and recommend the KJV Bible. However some of us also use and quote from the NKJV.

    We have found many errors in the NIV, the ESV and other renditions of the Bible. If someone quotes from those and the quote is erroneous, we will politely point out the error and discuss it.

    We appreciate your question.

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  105. Hi all,

    I don’t see any way in which a free grace view would conflict with any of the Baptist distinctives.

    The only other thing I can think is if the person is an Arminian that holds to the idea that one can lose their salvation. In that case they would be Lordship. I’ve only met one Baptist like this but there may be some like that.

    Many I know lean toward the repentance from sin view. However there are still some like me that see it differently. Sadly, I’ve been seeing a trend in Baptist circles away from free grace ideas. Not everything Baptist is the same though . People sometimes forget that Baptists are not ruled by a central group. Some may be part of a convention or association but are not necessarily bound by that. There is also a divide amongst Baptist churches concerning issues like Lordship and conservative evangelicalism. Some embrace it while others are remaining separate and warning against it.

    For me, a Baptist church is the only possibility that I have to find free grace ideas. Most of the “Bible” or non denominational churches around here teach some form of Lordship gospel.

    As far as rules go, I don’t see what Jack and Bruce describe too often around here. If a christian school is also involved then they may have more rules for students. Thankfully the Christian life isn’t about a set of rules or law keeping. It is about Spirit living.

  106. Reply to behind-the-scenes commenter “C”:

    This site will give no platform whatsoever to the unbiblical fringe movement who are known by the terms “anti-Paulinism” or “the anti-Paulinists.”

  107. Call me crazy, but I believe the church has been infiltrated by satanists, who get great pleasure out of leading Christians around by the nose. I have no proof, but don’t rule that out in the case of Francis Chan:-(

  108. Welcome “Justin”

    The term “satanist” is certainly incendiary and not one that I would choose to use to describe Chan or other LS teachers. However, he and others of his ilk (Piper, Washer, Stearns, et. al.) could rightly be described as “purveyors of an unbiblical false doctrine of works-for-salvation.” Many articles at this site document this description with much evidence.

    By the way, “Justin,” I like your online handle. We have an excellent article by that same title at the Expreacherman.com site. It was written by one of our fine regular commenters at this site whose name is John.
    Here is the link:
    http://expreacherman.com/2012/07/06/justified-by-jesus-christ-or-by-justin-case/

  109. Thanks John, I will have to check out the article. I realize that the term “satanist” is a bit heavy..but I just can’t think of another term for someone who willingly and knowingly purveys unbiblical false doctrine, spreading fear and doubt. These are not stupid people.I believe they know their Bible and they seem to have an agenda. So I cannot rule out the possibility that straight up Luciferian agents have taken over the helm in some cases. I really hope that they are only misdirected Christians.

    Ed. note: John is the author of the recommended article.

  110. Pearl, I guess it was you who responded to my post, and I thank you. I’m thinking that I didn’t make very clear what my post was for. I’ll try a second shot at it. I was responding to a post about Kennedy teaching that repentance was necessary for salvation which caught my interest. I guess its hard to be very explicit without being wordy. I agree with Thomas, not Kennedy. If Kennedy teaches that you need to repent, in “order to be” saved, that implies that human effort, or fleshly works of repentance precedes the saving life of Christ. If I taught that Repentance is a part of the salvation process that is performed by the Holy Spirit, that would be correct. I think repentance is important, its just that it takes the Spirit to create the conviction. Seems trivial, yet one of the greatest battles that exist in churches (in my opinion) is many are trying with their old adamic nature to polish it up, brush it off and evangelize it, instead of reckoning it dead and gone to the cross with Christ, and by faith, living in the new nature, the new birth. Romans 5:10, teaching that I’m redeemed by Jesus death but I’m saved by his life, meant a lot to me in clearing that up, thanks to Thomas. Thanks for your input Pearl. By the way, I like the way that you respond in your posts. I’m always impressed by posts that show love and gentleness rather than critical and condemning. Some posts lift up others. Some put down others. I always pray that my posts will reflect the love of Jesus and not an overblown ego that turns people off.

  111. Hi all,

    Thank you for your responses. It seems like the differences are more of “practice” than of theology, and the practices can come off legalistic. Jack, repenting of sins for salvation is definitely a subtlety. I have heard many times in the past that “true Christians will repent of their sins” and I did not know how to make of that. However, I have come to an understanding now that true Christians will believe on Jesus Christ as Savior for eternal life, and repenting of sins, no matter how many times, will not save anyone. Repenting of sins is through the conviction of the Holy Spirit after believing. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe repenting, or changing one’s mind, toward Christ is not disconnected from the way a new believer views his own sin (which is separate from repenting of sin). The believer will view sin as wrong and disobedience toward God. All believers experience conviction from the Holy Spirit when they sin, but not all necessarily repent of those sins like they should and thereby incur discipline.

    I know this blog is dedicated to exposing false LS doctrines, and I am not asking or inputting many relevant things. I apologize for that.

    Thanks,
    Timothy

  112. Thank you, Gene, for your compliment. I wish I could say that I’ve maintained gentleness in all my comments, but I have reduced myself to snarkiness a few times here n’ there; mind you, it’s always their fault, not mine :roll: ;-) .

    “If I taught that Repentance is a part of the salvation process that is performed by the Holy Spirit, that would be correct. I think repentance is important, its just that it takes the Spirit to create the conviction.”

    I think it’s important to make very clear here that while it’s true the Holy Spirit convicts (reproves) the world of sin – and the verses I point to come from John 16, which say,

    “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
    Of sin, because they believe not on me;
    Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
    Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” (verses 8-11)

    - a man/woman/boy or girl still possesses within him/herself the free will to either accept or reject Jesus Christ in light of that conviction, as we can see by the accounts of Felix who trembled (Acts 24:25) and Agrippa who was almost persuaded (Acts 26:28), and even then the repentance was based on the act of acknowledging who Jesus Christ is and what He has done, not on correcting sinful behavior.

    As you said, Romans 5:10 makes perfectly clear that we are reconciled to the Father by the blood of Jesus (which makes us fit for heaven) and sealed by His Spirit, imparting to us who believe His life (making us fit for earth!). Yet this sanctifying process requires my continuance of walking by faith, resting in His ability to do it, not my own (Gal. 5:16,25, I Thess. 5:24, Philippians 2:13); therefore, there will be believers who, like the Galatians, began in faith but then falter miserably – mostly thanks to the legalists’ teachings – causing them to miss out on the Spirit-filled life and rather live lives which grieve the Spirit. Who are we to say that they were never genuine believers to begin with? They require love and guidance, not condemnation. God knows His own.

    I think we understand each other. Great to meet you, Gene!

  113. Timothy,

    Your conversation would be clearer if you would forget the phrase, “Repent of sins” for salvation. It is confusing and unbiblical.

    In the NT, Repent is simply a change of mind in whatever context, specifically in salvation, about Whom or what you are trusting for your eternal salvation. Let’s forget the words, “repent of sins” when speaking of salvation and likewise in the Christian life. Substitute the definition, “change your mind.”

    As a believer in Jesus we may repent, change our mind about something, maybe about some sin… but we should not attach repent into an action of the flesh. That would be one description of Lordship “salvation.” This change is of the mind.. and such a change of mind may or may not result in a change of actions. We prefer not to confuse our words. Religion has abused the word “repent” and we as free Grace folks should clarify it over and over. “A change of mind.”

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  114. I think it is funny how so many question Francis Chan. He simply reads the bible and learns what it truly says. He learned to accept what the bible says and not what everyone else says. So truly think about what he is saying. Is he calling true believers to question their salvation? No I don’t think so. I think he is calling every youth in that building to look at their lives. Is there evidence they were born again? Is their evidence they are living for the King? Is there evidence that they desire Jesus Christ above all else? He wants them to examine themselves. Usually examining oneself isn’t a bad thing. 1 John encourages this activity doesn’t it? Same with James? The point of what he is saying isn’t that Christians have to do these things. It is that someone with a changed heart will begin to love these things because they have new desires. Someone who is born again truly should have new desires growing within them. After years it would be probable that they have a passion for Jesus that they can’t hold inside of them. They don’t want anything to get in the way of what they have with Jesus. I think we are free in grace and free in Christ but we are free to love. We are to do what is beneficial. Chan wants the youth to see that Christians are meant to live separate from the world not because they have to be legalistic but because the life they were meant to live is one of holiness and one that is full of passion and repentance.

    Ed. addition—a portion of same commenter’s second comment:

    Assurance comes when we see that we have been changed by God’s power through the gospel. Lack of assurance comes when we don’t see that we have been changed. When we don’t see that we have been changed then it comes into question, well were you? If you were then repent and submit yourself to Christ so he can continue to sanctify you. If you weren’t…repent! It is the same repent of your sin whether you think you really were saved or not. You don’t have to know if you are saved at first. If you become obedient to Christ you will realize that you have a new heart most likely because nobody can be obedient to Christ without being born again. And when we are born again obedience comes from our hearts and is out of love and it feels amazing when we see that we are truly able to follow Christ.

  115. A brief response to the Dallas Cowboys fan:

    At the Expreacherman.com site, normally, long rambling postings which exist simply to promote the false teaching of lordship salvation are not allowed. This individual had three such postings; one entire one plus a large portion of another are shown here. I will give a brief response and others may wish to do the same.

    Cowboys fan: Many of us at the Expreacherman.com site have carefully chronicled the teachings of Francis Chan for nearly four years. We know EXACTLY what he teaches. He preaches, writes and teaches an extreme caustic form of lordship salvation philosophy which is clearly contrary to the grace gospel of Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 16:30-31, Romans 4:5, Titus 3:5, John 3:16-18, 1 Cor. 15:1-8 (as well as much of the rest of John). We have detailed this FACT in many articles at this site; check them out for yourself.

    We have also chronicled the sad, sad fallout of Chan’s unbiblical teaching in the form of many hurt lives whose assurance of salvation has been decimated by the reading and hearing of this man’s teaching. And, to answer one of your many false assertions, NO, assurance is NOT based upon our feelings about our salvation, which may be as changeable as the wind. Our assurance is based solely upon the shed blood of Christ at Calvary and our believing in Christ Jesus alone by grace through faith, and upon God’s promises to keep us saved (John 10:27-30). For a detailed look at Francis Chan’s unbiblical teaching, see, for example, the article:

    http://www.freegracealliance.com/pdf/BookReview%20ofCrazyLove.pdf

  116. Dallas Cowboy Fan,

    Study this one verse below and you will see that your effort to complicate the Gospel is counter to God’s Word. You will understand that the Lord NEVER complicates or makes difficult the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    “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 Corinthians 11:3

    Also visit our page that fully explains the Gospel simplicity through God’s Word at:
    http://www.tinyurl.com/d3m93pe

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  117. Dalcowboiz,

    Many people can begin learning truth from the Bible but not all who teach God’s Word teach it as truly intended. Many of us that post regularly on this site have come to the conclusion that the best and only source of our assurance for salvation is found objectively in Christ Jesus as Bruce describes above. Some of your reasoning is sound but the premises are wrong. It is wrong to think that our works prove much of anything. They have to be subjectively judged. The other problem is that people who judge themselves tend to be biased. Also, you argument only makes sense from a “one nature” position. What about the sin nature that remains with us while still here on earth? Should a believer who acts out a few times in the flesh or even develops a sin pattern have to go back and get re-saved?

    The other thing I want you to consider is that repentance during conversion is included in believing. We must change our minds from unbelief to believe in Christ alone based on who He is and what He has done (the gospel). Changing your mind about a sin or pattern of sins in the Christian life is a matter of obedience and the ongoing process of sanctification.

    Should a person have new desires as a believer? Sure, but that doesn’t mean the old man can’t rear his ugly head. Check out Romans 7:20-25. Paul said he had sin that still dwelt within him. Paul knew that he would grow in sanctification but that there would be a continual struggle with the flesh. It was not a struggle to stay saved or to prove he was saved but a struggle in growing to be more Christ-like. Chan asking people struggling to grow in Christ-likeness to examine themselves can lead to some questioning their faith when they should not.

  118. Dalcowboiz, I would like to add to Jack’s simplicity theme. People make salvation way too hard.

    If someone has trusted in Christ pending confirmation of his life changing, then he has not yet trusted in Christ.

    Think about it: God promises eternal life by Grace through faith in Christ. If God’s promise had to be validated by our subsequent life change, then it was never a promise.

    If the works we perform as Christians (including turning from sin, which the Bible defines as a work – see Jonah 3:10) are an automatic result or by-product of receiving eternal life, then that makes them a condition for receiving eternal life.

  119. Who is it that always seems to be demanding evidence of being born again? Is it God or man (people)? Seems to me it is always man, men like Francis Chan and the guy I saw on TV a few weeks ago whose name escapes me. He asked this woman ‘Is there enough evidence in your life, in your home to convict you of being a Christian?’ What exactly would be required to convict someone of being a Christian? A Bible or two laying about? A picture of Jesus on the wall? A picture of a sponsored child on your fridge? Who decides what evidence is admissable or compelling enough?
    Galatians 1:10 (NKJV) says: For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

  120. Great (rhetorical) questions, Jon! Goes back to the previous absurd accusation that “easy-believists” exist to fool the world. Again I say, quite the other way around.

  121. Hi Jon,

    Excellent observation about human demands for evidence of salvation. I remember that there was a popular song in the late 70s sung by Dave Boyer on that same theme entitled, “Is there evidence?”

    A popular preacher, Greg Laurie, recently wrote in Christianity.com,
    “I read recently that 50 percent of all born-again Christians don’t have the assurance of salvation. Maybe some just need to memorize some pertinent passages on the assurance of salvation, like 1 John 5:13, and realize that God’s Word does indeed promise that salvation is the present possession of every true follower of Christ. On the other hand, perhaps a lot of so-called Christians do not have the assurance of salvation . . .”

    Laurie starts out his article fine, pointing Christians to Scripture and to finding assurance of salvation in the promises of God in the Bible. However, he quickly inserts the huge, “ON THE OTHER HAND,” and, you guessed it, the entire rest of the article is an LS diatribe, negating his opening statement. The rest of the article details how Christians must display a wide variety of evidences (good works) to prove to themselves and to others that they are saved. The article intimates that if a Christian cannot or does not display those kinds of evidences, then the person ought to call in to question the validity of his salvation. This type of false teaching places the burden of maintaining assurance of salvation back onto man, not where it belongs, as his opening statement said, on the promises of God in the Bible.

    This kind of doublespeak by Laurie and other LS preachers reminds me of politics, where double-talk is rampant. We shouldn’t have to hear it from Christian pulpits, however.

    Thanks again, Jon, for your astute points.

  122. “The article intimates that if a Christian cannot or does not display those kinds of evidences, then the person ought to call in to question the validity of his salvation.”

    Which means that salvation cannot be presented by such people as an instantaneous moment. It must be presented in a process happening step-by-step, where you have to live long enough to see if it “took”.

    Which means that Jesus lied to the thief on the cross? That would be the only conclusion one could arrive at using the reasoning of these guys. The thief on the cross didn’t live long enough to see if he would continue in good works and sufficient separation from sin. He lived only a few hours after his salvation.

    They undermine every believer, and put people into fearful bondage. That’s not ministry. That is heresy.

  123. Abe,

    Excellent observation. God’s Grace Salvation in Jesus Christ is not a process but instantaneous and everlasting upon belief.

    These LS/Works preaching guys ARE preaching heresy!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  124. Honest question: Doesn’t the Bible use outward behavior as a gauge of our heart?

    E.g. 1 Cor. 6:9-10: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”

    Also Gal 5:19-21: “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

    I do realize that born-again believers can and do commit these sins, but they will experience a God-given desire to be free from them. My point is that if someone claims to be born again but has no conviction over these sins or any desire to change, then it would be right to question whether he really knows Christ.

    Would you agree?

  125. Hello Tom. Thanks for joining us today.

    Regarding your quotations from 1 Corinthians and Galatians, if you keep in mind the following assumption, these sections are quite easily understood: In both 1 Corinthians and Galatians, Paul is clearly speaking to BELIEVERS. See, for example, how he refers to them often as “having a confirmed testimony of Christ”—1 Cor. 1:6; “brothers,” “my brothers,” (“brethren” in the KJV)—1 Cor. 1:10, 11; 2:1; 3:1; 4:6; 7:12, 15, 24, 29; 10:1; 11:2, 33; 14:6, 20, 39; 15:1, 50; 16:15; Gal. 1:11; 5:11, 13; “dearly beloved”—1 Cor. 10:14; and members of the church, i.e., the body of believers in Christ Jesus—1 Cor. 1:2, 12:13, 25, 27; Gal. 1:2.

    Now, Tom, with the understanding established clearly that Paul is speaking to believers in both the texts that you cite, I will proceed to answer your questions.

    In 1 Corinthians, Paul, again, speaking to believers, is carefully building his treatise to the chuch at Corinth to admonish them to live lives befitting the rich spiritual heritage that they already possessed as believers in Christ Jesus. He warns them not to live lives of carnality, backbiting among members, and the open allowance of sinful lifestyles within the church. Paul IN NO WAY is threatening the believers that they might not be truly saved or that they might lose their salvation. He does, however, warn them that they might be in danger of losing rewards in heaven one day (1 Cor. 3:10-15; cf. 2 Cor. 5:10).

    In Galatians, again, Paul is speaking to true believers in Christ who have been duped by a group of false teachers who tried to foist Jewish legalistic practices onto the new believers in Christ. Paul warns the believers to not allow the false teachers to steal away the freedoms that they possessed in Christ. Galatians, as a whole, serves as a strong indictment against the pervasive legalistic teaching of lordship salvation today.

    So to your final question, “then would it be right to question whether he really knows Christ. Would you agree?

    My answer Tom: NO it is not our role as Christians to be self-proclaimed “fruit inspectors.” When we start judging the validity of another’s eternal standing in Christ Jesus, the questions that follow become endless: How long may a person stray and still be considered a believer? Who sets the standards of behavior? What about real changes of the heart visible to God but not to men, such as a change of attitudes or a inner striving to overcome an addiction? What about real biblical examples of believers who lived pretty ungodly lifestyles for extended periods of their lives, yet the Bible declares them to have been true believers? Solomon, David, Samson, Lot, Peter, and Jacob come to mind quickly.

  126. Tom, thanks for your questions. Please find below excerpts from Richard Seymour’s article “Examining Difficult Passages Concerning Eternal Security”:

    “Galatians 5:19–21

    Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    What are the sins described in these three verses? Verse 19 says they are “the works of the flesh.” And verse 21 concludes that “those who practice such things [the works of the flesh] will not inherit the kingdom of God.” This is in perfect harmony with all of Scripture. For instance, in 1 Corinthians 15:50 we read, “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.” Those in the flesh cannot inherit the kingdom of God because the flesh is corrupt; thus, corrupt flesh must put on incorruption.

    This is further developed in 1 Corinthians 15:53, “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” “This corruptible” is the flesh and “this mortal” is the flesh.

    Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. We need a new birth—a birth of the Spirit—to inherit God’s kingdom.
    Paul spoke of the same thing in 1 Corinthians 6:9–11:
    Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

    It is not true that anyone guilty of these things is automatically excluded from Heaven. It is not true that a liar cannot go to Heaven. It is not true that an idolater cannot go to Heaven. It is not true that a thief, drunkard, or an adulterer cannot go to Heaven. What is true is that any sinner—who does the deeds of the flesh—and has not been washed, sanctified, or justified in the name of the Lord Jesus (verse 11) cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Paul was a murderer, but that did not keep him from being saved. When Saul the murderer trusted Jesus Christ, he was washed and cleansed, justified by faith and forever on his way to Heaven. One may say the same of men like David, Moses, and Lot. Every one of them was a sinner, just as we are. Because flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of God, they needed—and we need —a new birth from God. This new birth (a birth by means of the Spirit) is what enables a person to enter the kingdom of God. The very fact that those who commit “the works of the flesh” are not qualified for the kingdom of God is proof positive that such people—which includes all the world—need God’s salvation desperately. This is why God offers it freely instead of telling us to work for it, because our flesh leads to the kind of works described in Galatians 5:19–21.

    We need a Spirit-birth that qualifies us for entrance into God’s holy kingdom. God gladly gives this to those who trust in His Son. “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:11–12)”

  127. So, in short, Paul is saying that people who will not inherit the kingdom of God are characterized by certain sinful practices, but you Corinthians will inherit the kingdom, so stop acting like those who won’t. Right?

  128. Hi again Tom.

    I think that your last post is close. I would say that you should have included one more verse to complete Paul’s intended meaning from 1 Corinthians 6—verse 11: “And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” Before the Corinthian believers trusted Christ alone for salvation by grace alone through faith alone, some of their lives were characterized by the sinful categories described by Paul. Paul warns them that now that they are true believers in Christ, they ought to live like believers, that is, they should serve the Lord and not fall back into sinful practices of their pre-saved lives.

    Similarly, Paul admonishes the Galatian believers that now that they have been saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone, they ought not allow themselves to be led astray by those who would try to foist Jewish legalisms upon them in the name of Christianity.

    I hope that these responses have been of some help.

  129. Hello again, I just realized how cool it is that through the internet the body of Christ can all be connected :) it makes me happy, now down to business again. I see what you guys are all saying but when I see carnality continued on for years I think
    A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
    To me it seems like Jesus is saying that when the word of God is choked out of someone, for example, they “accept” Christ as their savior and are given assurance of salvation because they placed faith in him, and they just don’t continue in that faith, to me it seems like it was choked out of them. When a believer doesn’t continue on these verses really just speak to me. I do think that some Christians who are saved have greater works done in their life than others meaning that when the seed was sown that more crop was produced, more fruit. And I think there are those who were saved who will have much less fruit. But in much of America those who profess don’t have more fruit than even many atheists who desire to do good for the world. that is opinion though of course.

  130. Tom, there is a very good article on this topic by Dennis Rokser entitled “Another Look at Inheriting the Kingdom of God”. It is linked below:

    http://duluthbible.org/files/Publications/Grace%20Family%20Journal/GFJ%202009%20PDF/GFJ%202009%2004%20Winter/GFJ%202009%2004%20Inheriting%20The%20Kingdom%2000%20Rokser%20D.pdf

  131. Hi Tom, one thing that has helped me with that passage is to consider it keeping in mind the realities of justification. All believers have Christ blood covering their sin for all of eternity. In God’s sight, when he looks at us, He sees the blood covering our sin and therefore sees Christ’s righteousness. Even though believers can still sin, God always sees them as righteous based on Christ. Believers are declared eternally not guilty based on what Christ has done for us. No believer will be called a (murderer, thief, liar, etc) in heaven. The fact is that anyone with any sin at all left to their own account, if even one, is sentenced to eternal punishment for all of eternity. This takes place at the great white throne judgement. Believers however are tested at the the Bema Seat of Christ to receive those things done in this life for Him. As Bruce has said, there are rewards for those who live in obedience to God and walk in the Spirit. I for one do not want to stand before Him someday basically empty handed with no crowns to lay before His feet.

    It should also be noted that believers can still be carnal because they still have the flesh. Sin in their lives does not disqualify them for salvation or mean they weren’t really saved. It does mean that they are being a poor testimony and need to look to God’s Word and listen to the Spirit’s correction. I believe that there is a personal relationship with God that gets affected by sin. Believers who want to experience joy instead of heart ache and sorrow will make an effort to seek God’s help to change. Even with the Spirit present, the flesh can always put up a battle. Spiritual victory can take time depending on many factors. Complete perfection is not possible in this life because of the indwelling sin nature. There will always be somewhat of a struggle with the flesh until we see Christ and receive our glorified heavenly bodies.

    To answer your first question, yes, our outward actions do reveal our heart -that is – if were are walking after the Spirit or after the flesh. The thing is that believers can do both at different times but “ought” to always obey the Spirit.

  132. Thanks John for the article! It really is excellent and I recommend it to all. He exposes the error of Catholicism, Arminianism, and Calvinism all in one article. He even refutes Joseph Dillow’s view on millennial exclusion. This is a longer version of things that I have been trying to tell Arminians and Calvinists for some time now.

  133. Hi Jim,

    Great comments as always, and dittos to your praise of the Rockser article posted by John. It is really well done.

    Thanks guys!

  134. Dallas Cowboys fan:

    Here is a post that I made on another thread which may answer your questions about Luke 8:

    “Luke 8:14 is part of Jesus’ parable of the seeds and soils of Luke 8:4-15. Keep in mind, that parables are generally intended to present one or two spiritual truths. There are many other Bible passages that declare the gospel much more clearly, e.g. Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16-18, Romans 4:5, Titus 3:5, Acts 16:30-31, et. al. Jesus, himself, in this same passage in Luke 8, spoke of parables as being truth veiled from the scoffers. So, back to your question: Group 1 is characterized by those who have heard the Word of God but, being blinded by Satan, they refuse to believe in the Gospel of Grace; they remain unsaved. Groups 2 and 3 appear to be true believers through faith in Christ alone; however, they have fallen away from close fellowship with the Lord and other believers and have remained immature in their faith. They cannot lose their salvation because true salvation is eternal and protected by God (John 10:27-30). They do miss out on the joy and blessing which God would want for them to experience through walking in intimate fellowship with him. Group 4 refers to true believers who are serving God faithfully and are maturing in their faith. This pleases God and brings much joy to their lives.”

  135. Thanks! and wow I love this “To answer your first question, yes, our outward actions do reveal our heart -that is – if were are walking after the Spirit or after the flesh. The thing is that believers can do both at different times but “ought” to always obey the Spirit.” That really helps me see things with a bit of a clearer vision.
    So califgracer, are you saying that you think groups 2 and 3 will be in heaven? I see what you mean, but I sincerely just don’t understand how this can be true while keeping verses like this in mind:
    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21

  136. Dalcowboiz,

    I think I hear what you are saying. Believers should have more visible fruit than atheists. The problem for many Christians is not that their faith gets choked out of them but that they become ineffective (lukewarm). Believers who persist in sin do damage to their testimony and give a wrong view of God to others. Thankfully, as we see elsewhere in scripture, we know that a man that gets himself entangled with the affairs of this life can return to fellowship relationally with God. We must remember that a mans horizontal ongoing relationship with God does not change his vertical (so to speak) position in Christ.

    There is also the problem that not all people professing to be believers are basing their belief on the same gospel. Someone believing a works focused gospel is not saved. It would mean that they are trying to trust in God plus something else or something else altogether. Either way it is a non-saving outcome. If I was dealing with someone that refused to deal with sin then I would go back to see what gospel they are believing. If they really are trusting in Christ alone for their salvation then I know that I have a foundation to work from. It would then be a matter of prayer (lots) and using the Word of God through the Spirit to bring conviction. If the person responds with a Lordship style gospel or some experiential talk then I would start there first.

    There is also the reality that some people for whatever reason will have an up and down battle with sin or at least certain types of sin maybe even for their whole lives. This does not mean they can’t possibly gain more solid victory but not every one will by the end of their life. One lie that Calvinists use is that God will somehow cause all “true believers” to hate all sin virtually from the start of their Christian walk. Any who don’t are then usually labeled as those who probably were not granted faith. Just be aware that there are actually many teaching these kinds of things. They like to bash what they call the “American” church. There some other good threads on this site that deal with that topic.

    Thanks for taking time to share your ideas.

  137. Hi Jim,

    Excellent comprehensive answer to DCB’s questions. I trust that he is an honest seeker of truth and not merely looking for a sparring match.

    I appreciated your correct identification of “lukewarm” from Revelation 3 as “ineffective.” And your assessment agrees with Revelation 3′s addressing of the letters to “the churches,” i.e., bodies of BELIEVERS. Francis Chan wrongly declares that all of the lukewarm are unbelievers bound for hell. He even made his own artificial list to describe who are the lukewarm.

  138. Hello again Cowboys Fan,

    I trust that you are an honest searcher for truth and not merely trying to beat an ongoing drum in support of Lordship Salvation teaching. Assuming that your motives are sincere, I will answer you once more:

    Referring to Matthew 7:21-23: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

    This is a favorite text of Lordship Faith, a.k.a. Lordship Salvation or Lordship Probation, advocates, but they characteristically take the passage out of its proper context. As one of my Bible professors was fond of saying, “A text without a context is just a pretext.”

    Look at verses 15-16a: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them [recognize them] by their fruits.” The context is clearly a warning to watch out for false prophets [we certainly have a lot of those around in our present day]. It is not, as so many LS teachers declare, a warning to churchgoers to make sure that they are doing good works and thus are evidencing that they are really part of the body of Christ (with LS teaching a person never has any genuine assurance of salvation).

    “That day” (Matthew 7:22) undoubtedly refers to the final judgment day, the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation 20. Please note, no Christian will be at that judgment. It is a judgment limited to unbelievers for final punishment (the lake of fire). Believers will face the Bema (judgment seat of Christ) of 2 Corinthians 5:10. There will be NO loss of salvation for true believers. Their’s is a judgment for determination of rewards in eternity. See also, for example, 1 Corinthians 3:9-15.

    Another important verse in the text that you cite is Matthew 7:21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
    The pertinent question, then, is, “What is the will of the Father?” For the answer to that question we turn to John 6:28-29 and 40:
    “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that YE BELIEVE on him whom he hath sent.” 40: “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
    Combine these texts with Acts 16:30-31, John 3:16-18 and Romans 4:5; the message is crystal clear, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”.

    For a more in-depth look at Matthew 7:21-23, see Dr. Charlie Bing’s article:
    http://www.gracelife.org/resources/gracenotes.asp?id=28

  139. Dalcowboiz, you said: “But in much of America those who profess don’t have more fruit than even many atheists who desire to do good for the world. that is opinion though of course.”

    Christians should do good works. Titus 3:8 (NKJV) says:

    “This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.”

    Often, atheists and people involved in false religions and false gospels do outwork Christians. For example, one must fulfill a two-year mission in order to become a Mormon elder. The Catholic church is full of nuns and priests who dedicate their entire lives to caring for others. Jehovah’s Witnesses are conspicuously busy in handing out copies of “The Watchtower.” Islamic jihadists routinely sacrifice their lives. Lordship “salvationists” participate in worldwide crusades teaching “turn from sins” for salvation. People of all stripes pitch in heroically to help victims of natural disasters.

    Accordingly, it is impossible to evaluate someone’s spiritual condition by their good works, relative abstinence from visible sins, or level of commitment.

  140. I think everyone on this website should listen to this sermon http:// [link removed by administration]
    You might recognize his voice

  141. Thanks John . . .well said!

  142. Cowboys Fan,

    I think that we will pass on the Tozer sermon at this time. I am no expert on Tozer but I have heard a few quotations, about the nature of God, in particular, that I thought were alright, possibly even insightful. I am going to defer to one of our outstanding regular commenters at Expreacherman.com (Pearl). Pearl has studied Tozer’s writings over the years; she has found them to be quite problematic at times. With her kind indulgence, I will quote a few of her statements at ExPreacherman.com regarding Tozer:

    “Having spent much of my Christian life in the deeper life teachings and then recently learning about the subtleties of LS, I’ve recently expressed here my own reserves with many of those teachers (Tozer being one whose material I readily consumed until I heard him say in a sermon that Henri Nouwen, Brother Lawrence, and a few other mystics, were great men of God, called to cleanse the Roman Church from the inside-out). As a result, my bookshelf is looking more and more sparse as I continue to learn about the deep-seated beliefs of men/women I once followed.”

    “I also noted with interest the mention of Tozer. He is one I’ve listened to and posted on myself many times, until in one sermon of his called “Deeper Spiritual Life: What is It?”, I heard him speak most favorably of Henri Nouwen, Brother Lawrence, and a few others, as being true prophets of God sent to clean the Roman Catholic Church from the inside out. Whaaaaa?! I can no longer listen to or recommend him.”

    “There are many Christian folks who seem to think they are stronger than most and thus able to read works written by fringe personalities and not be affected by the thoughts/teachings contained therein.
    Norman Grubb and A.W. Tozer are just two men who thought they could get away with it. You know, “eat the meat, spit out the bones”. And yet, Grubb found himself adopting and spreading the teachings of theosophy as communicated by the very deep, thought-provoking works of Jacob Boehme, who is considered the father of theosophy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakob_B%C3%B6hme ).
    Tozer said in his sermon called “The Deeper Life” that Merton was a great man of God – a prophet! Really?
    And yet, Merton said:
    ‘I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity … I intend to become as good a Buddhist as I can.’
    (David Steindl-Rast, ‘Recollection of Thomas Merton’s Last Days in the West’ (Monastic Studies, 7:10, 1969).”

    JACK’S response to one of Pearl’s comments:

    “Pearl,

    I likewise have seen inconsistencies with Tozer which surprised me when I saw it.. However, I see many “sound” Bible teachers quoting Augustine (Catholic), Nouwen and the Desert Fathers without any disclaimer.. Sad!!!”

  143. Bruce, good call to remove the Tozer link. For what it’s worth, in his dissertation on Lordship Salvation, Charlie Bing referred to A.W. Tozer as a Lordship Salvation proponent. See the following quote:

    “For example, A. W. Tozer, a Lordship Salvation proponent, charges that ‘a notable heresy has come into being throughout our evangelical Christian circles—the widely-accepted concept that we humans can choose to accept Christ only because we need Him as Saviour and that we have the right to postpone our obedience to Him as Lord as long as we want to.’”

    Another quote from Tozer’s book called “Heresy” is as follows:

    “Apart from obedience, there can be no salvation, for salvation without obedience is a self-contradictory impossibility…we need to preach again…a Christ who will either be Lord of all or he will not be Lord at all!”

  144. I think Tozer was basically an Arminian and even came across somewhat Calvinistic at times. Lordship salvation whether from Arminianism or Calvinism is dangerous as noted above by the quotes that John mentioned.

    I knew one Arminian that once told a guy that he was an infidel because he committed the same sin of adultery twice. He said it proved he was a whore-monger and that he could not be possibly bound for heaven because no such person would “inherit the kingdom.” This kind of thinking is where: “…a Christ who will either be Lord of all or he will not be Lord at all!” leads. There are far too many today who instead of getting the help they need are being told that they are either unsaved based on some external actions (sins) or that they need to continually test themselves to be found real. It’s a tragedy in my view. How much better would it be for more to share the true grace that is in Christ?

  145. Thanks for the stuff about Tozer! I just recently got into his stuff because it seems to really awaken me to some sort of awareness of God that I don’t have. But I don’t think it is a bad thing, I think it is good and that is why I posted it, to hopefully bless people. I totally understand that you guys are being careful about him. I will have to be careful now as well. I am glad to have been warned! I have happened upon some who I wasn’t warned about at first and had found it to be very dangerous after I accepted them. It probably isn’t good that I am posting that stuff on this page anyways, I don’t want to trash it up. If people came here for Chan it should be about him and perhaps about LS. Sorry for changing topics. I actually have something from Chan that some of you may find interesting. Hopefully I can find the link. It was him talking to David Platt about how he thinks he used to scare people some into obedience and how he was trying to deal with that and make sure he wasn’t doing that since he knows that fear can’t drive love. You can remove the link of course but I warn you all that this is francis chan and it is david platt and you want to know who they are before you watch this. It is about 8 minutes long of them talking to each other: http:// [removed by administration]

  146. http:// [link removed]
    This is from KP Yohannan, I just wish to know your opinion of him as well. I promise I will not be posting more videos! I truly just wish to know how you feel about this man and this video, thank you :)

  147. Dalcowboiz, you said: “But in much of America those who profess don’t have more fruit than even many atheists who desire to do good for the world. that is opinion though of course.”

    Atheists don’t have any fruit (Romans 7:18). They might help a person, but that doesn’t count as anything towards God in terms of eternal matters.

    See this is the problem, those in lordship salvation, are basically catholic. Catholicism looks at the outside, and doesn’t care about the heart or about doctrine. “They do good things…”, they may say. Yet if the person is atheist, then they are sinning in the biggest way, that is, rejecting their own Creator. How can such a person be said to have any fruit at all?

    Likewise with a catholic or mormon or what have you, there is much idolatry there, so how can that be true fruit? Serving food at a shelter is helpful to others, but it will do nothing with God in the eternal sense (Romans 4:2).

    That’s what happens with lordship salvation. It is an outward pharisaical viewpoint. If they look good outward, then they’re good, so they think. But that’s the precise error of Matthew 7:21-23. They looked good outward. But they were unbelievers when it came to the true Gospel that is without works (Romans 4:5). Once the person is saved without works, only then are they called to serve, that they might walk in works towards the Lord (Ephesians 2:10), but even that has nothing to do with salvation, which is without works (Ephesians 2:8-9). The two are completely independent of one another.

  148. Thank you for also pointing out the Tozer error issue. I have long since tired of the general ‘Christian culture’ that will pick up a book and read it just because the book is supposedly some kind of ‘classic Christian material’ as Tozer, or Lewis, or Bonhoeffer. When I would point out to people that these guys had so much doctrinal error with the Gospel (and other things for that matter), some would look at me like I had three heads. Please forgive my frustration. It is not against dalcowboiz at all, it’s just a general principle.

  149. Info. on K. P. Yohannan:

    Born in India 1951. Came to the U.S. to get Bible training. Graduated from Criswell College of Dallas, TX with a B.A. in Biblical Studies. Runs a ministry called, “Gospel for Asia.” Frequent conference and guest speaker.

    Standard Lordship Faith (a. k. a. Lordship Salvation or Lordship Probation) teacher. Similar to Francis Chan, Richard Stearns and David Platt in message (Chan wrote the foreward to one of Yohannan’s books): The American Church is rich, comfortable, fat, lazy and unconcerned about feeding the poor and evangelizing the world. I find this message a bit hypocritical coming from a man who received his education in America and receives the bulk of his financial support from the U.S. as well.

    Here are a couple of brief excerpts from reviews of one of Yohannan’s books:

    Brief excerpts from readers’ reviews of the book, “Revolution in World Missions: One Man’s Journey to Change a Generation.”
    “I rarely give a bad book review especially when it is a missions book. I am not all the way done with this book yet I am disappointed in Brother K.P. Yohannan’s bitterness towards the western churches. I know our churches have a lot of problems, but it’s like with a family member, or a brother or sister, it’s okay for me to talk about them but some one on the outside can not talk about them. Brother KP seems to want to always bash the western churches in this book over and over and it seems it something he takes personally. Yet he would have never financed his ministry and been able to send out missionaries if it were not for these churches that he bashes; It’s as if he is biting the hand that feeds him.”

    “It’s very good and I do understand where he’s coming from, but after awhile I do get a little tired of being criticized because I was born here in America and we are so very blessed with an abundance of wealth. It makes you start to feel like whatever you do, it’s not enough. Should we all sell everything and live in tents?!”

  150. Excellent insights, Bruce. Thankfully, this name means nothing to me. As for Tozer, I hope that my past error of promoting him (and those like him) will be eclipsed by helping others to see what’s really behind the curtain of stimulating intellect these men boast.

    Dallas Cowboy fan, I understand your frustration…but truth cannot be compromised at any cost.

  151. dalcowboiz:

    At the Expreacherman.com site, many articles and discussions have chronicled quite clearly the radical, unbiblical LS teaching of Francis Chan. Please search them out for yourself, if you are interested.

    Regarding David Platt, author of the LS diatribe, Radical; he is another LS preacher, quite similar in approach and theology to Francis Chan. If anyone questions his stance on salvation and assurance, read the following quotations from his best-selling book, Radical (Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah, 2010, pages cited below):

    109 “The means of our salvation is faith in Christ alone, and the basis of our salvation is the work of Christ alone.”

    Comment: What Platt says is fine so far but he has to insert the infamous “Yet” and, you guessed it, the rest of his treatise is an LS invective against the grace gospel of the Bible, contradicting his opening phrase. Listen to his words going forward:

    110 “Yet, while caring for the poor is not the basis of our salvation, this does not mean that our use of wealth is totally disconnected from our salvation. Indeed, caring for the poor (among other things) is evidence of our salvation. . . . Caring for the poor is one natural overflow and a necessary evidence of the presence of Christ in our hearts. If there is no sign of caring for the poor in our lives, then there is reason to at least question whether Christ is in our hearts.”

    Comment: Platt’s use of the term, necessary evidence, means that, for Platt, caring for the poor is a mandatory, essential, fundamentally required facet of salvation. Platt’s statement is simply wrong and unbiblical!

    111 Platt continues: “if our lives do not reflect radical compassion for the poor, there is reason to wonder if Christ is really in us at all.”

    Comment: Platt reiterates the same false message.

    115 “Every Sunday we gather in a mulitimillion-dollar building with millions of dollars in vehicles parked outside. We leave worship to spend thousands of dollars on lunch before returning to hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of homes. We live in luxury. Meanwhile, the poor man is outside our gate. . . . This is not what people of God do. Regardless of what we say or sing or study on Sunday morning, rich people who neglect the poor are not the people of God.”

    Comment: As typical of many LS teachers, Platt bad-mouths American Christians as the fat, rich, uncaring people who have no concern for the poor. I hear this criticism so often from these “radical” LS preachers and writers. My question back to them would be, “What group of people in the world, by and large, are one of the greatest monetary funders of Christian world missions and programs of aid to the poor?” Could it be the Christian community in America?

    Regarding Platt’s final statement, “rich people who neglect the poor are not the people of God.” Platt, once again, adds unbiblical manmade works-based qualifications to the gospel.

  152. I hope for Platt’s sake that he doesn’t have a home, doesn’t eat lunch, doesn’t have a car, and doesn’t have more than a few bucks in his checking account. If he has any of these things, he is a hypocrite of the greatest magnitude.

  153. But we all know that Platt has all those things, and he should be thanking the Lord for the blessings that they are, instead of beating up the world to, get this, sell more books $$$$$

  154. Thanks Abe for you your comments. I think that you really nailed it about Platt wanting to sell more books. Will guys like him and Chan ever just get back to proclaiming the simple straightforward gospel truth of the Bible instead of forever trying to stir up controversy to sell more books? Let’s see, publishing controversial books and DVDs leads to fame which leads to public speaking engagements which leads to more book and DVD sales which leads to more controversy which leads to more fame which leads to more sales which leads to . . .

    Thanks again Abe; your comments are always on target.

  155. Bruce, what a great witness it would be to see someone who has taught false doctrine humble himself and admit it. Can you imagine how powerful it would be for John MacArthur to renounce his LS teachings and proclaim the simple straightforward gospel? What if the 93 year old Billy Graham were to drop his “be willing to turn from your sins” from his gospel message? What if Francis Chan were to come out and say that he had it wrong in “Crazy Love”?

    These would be bold moves! I would love to see it happen.

  156. Hi John,

    An excellent call there to John MacArthur and others to get back to the basics of the biblical gospel. It would indeed send out a powerful message to the world. I do give one piece of credit to MacArthur for speaking out against the weird practices and other excesses of the Neo-Calvinist movement. However, as an occasional Expreacherman.com commenter friend of mine named Bob once explained to me (and I agreed), it is largely MacArthur and somewhat John Piper who are responsible for having launched the Neo-Calvinist movement as we see it today. The next generation of LS writers and preachers, such as Francis Chan, David Platt, Mark Driscoll, Paul Washer, et. al., have become the next logical progression, namely, a more caustic, judgmental and extremist level of LS propaganda. And then, of course, there are those whose teachings are off the charts, like Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s son, Jay Bakker along with his brainchild, the “Revolution” church movement.

    As a brief related sidelight, I implore readers to look out for the seemingly harmless sounding adjective being bandied about in Christian circles called “missional.” This is standard code terminology for the Neo-Calvinist movement and its extreme daughter, the “Revolution Church.” It means, in effect, we are going to come into your church, swell the numbers of people and subtly take control. Then we will radicalize it as part of our “missional” emphasis. I personally witnessed such a takeover of an old established conservative Christian church in So. Cal.

    Thanks, as always, John, for your keen insights.

  157. Thank you for the warning about the word “missional”. I have found, without exception, that a person using the word “missional” always later taught lordship salvation. If there are exceptions, I would like to hear them and I will take my words back.

    There is also the word “missologist” getting thrown around out there now too. Inventing words. ;)

  158. Thanks Abe,

    You are right — Bruce pointed out the recent prevalence of “missional” and you, “missologist.” I have noticed that both terms show up in Calvinist strongholds — sorta like the mission of digging water wells in Africa — with no pretense of proclaiming the Grace Gospel of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ alone.

    Maybe Bruce could write a study article about it one day. It needs to be exposed.

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  159. Hi!
    Does it not tell it all that Chan comes from the Biola schooling?? Who cares how good it sounds, unfortunately most people do not get it, that he is sent to be that ‘good expert’ they seem to beleive he is. He will take them and throw them into the wolfs mouth sooner or later. By the way he is not the only one having that Calling , there is a whole buch of them falling from the same tree out there in the pulpit preaching, teaching, doing deliverance and more., It is indeed the last Days, many confusion is happening. Be careful and diligent, and watchout for Wolverines.
    In Christ we serve and honour, no other!

  160. Angek, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    I am not familiar with Biola schooling, but perhaps some of our other readers/commenters are.

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