Berean Call Promoting – Not Only Calvinism But Now – The Terrible Lordship “Salvation” of Ray Comfort!

<img Ray Comfort 2

By Jack Weaver

We have mentioned here at ExPreacherMan.com how Dave Hunt’s ministry, The Berean Call has been compromised by promoting and favorably quoting Calvinists and Arminians in their weekly newsletters. In their latest newsletter, Monday, 17 Dec 2012, entitled, “‘Genius’ Movie Includes Look at Beatles’ John Lennon” the Berean Call published a glowing, favorable report on Ray Comfort’s latest Lordship Salvation movie, “Genius.”

If you wish to be sick, you may view the “Genius” video at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7pe3_VQbUM&feature=player_embedded

In the same newsletter The Berean Call also advertises another Ray Comfort DVD, Hell’s Best Kept Secret” The recommendation and advertising from The Berean Call asks the questions:

“What is the principle that Spurgeon, Wesley, Whitefield, and others used to reach the lost? Why has the church neglected it? This video provides the answers.”

The principle used by these men and their answer is Calvinism, Arminianism and radical “Turn from sin for salvation,” in other words a “works” message of Lordship Salvation. And that is exactly what Ray Comfort is preaching in his movie, “Genius”!

Comfort brings his audience to a realization of their sinfulness but then, as Dr. Tom Cucuzza wrote to me:

“The movie is filled with Comfort’s strong lordship salvation message. I saw it on line and was almost sick to my stomach.
“As always, he does ok in getting people to understand their lost condition, but then he puts the very strong ‘turn from sin’ and more for salvation to mess it up.”

I bit my lip and listened to the video clip and I agree with Tom completely. After Comfort convinced his audience of their sin, he tells his audience that, in order to obtain God’s Salvation, they must:

repent and be sorry for their sins and turn from their sins for their salvation. Then they must continue to do so and live in holiness to remain a Christian.” (approximate transcription from the video)

But with all of this apostasy, Tom’s point is true:

“My point in writing is not Ray Comfort, but how far The Berean Call has deteriorated.”

I’ve had a sickening feeling for some time. The Berean Call, i.e. Dave Hunt, published many years ago one of the best books exposing Calvinism that I have ever read, What Love is This?. He has, however, in the last couple of years, given favorable mention to and glowing quotes from, Leonard Ravenhill, Calvinist; from Gresham Machen (founder of The Orthodox Presbyterian church); C.H. Spurgeon, John MacArthur, Francis Schaeffer and CARM, a radical Calvinist Internet info site, etc. Putting them all together in context does make me sick and I wonder if Hunt and Tom McMahon have gone mad — condemning Calvinism on the one hand yet promoting false teachers, Calvinists and Lordship Salvationists on the other with their favorable quotes.

In all fairness I understand that Dave Hunt is no longer active in the management of The Berean Call due to illness and confinement.

The Truth of Free Salvation << Click

525 responses to “Berean Call Promoting – Not Only Calvinism But Now – The Terrible Lordship “Salvation” of Ray Comfort!

  1. I don’t know who is running Dave’s ministry, I think that might be who we need to be really asking WHY? What a shame. What a lack of wisdom. Ray Comfort, besides his Lordship salvation also has his own bad associations as well. Seems they all have an agenda, and as long as their agenda is promoted, they do not seem to mind.

    These men HAVE misled people, I am one. I did not know who these people were years ago, Spurgeon, MacArthur, Schaeffer, and even CARM, and this is the big compromise… They are compromising HIS truth, it is not theirs to compromise. They think it’s clever I suppose to quote other men’s words… I shake my head and thank the Lord that He has been gracious to me, to show me that this TULIP teaching is dangerous, and is NOT the gospel, contrary to what Spurgeon says.

    Sadly, most of the “discernment” sites are also Calvinist, and although some do not teach it, I am now never sure if it’s because they wanted to reach a more diverse audience, or if it is to pull them in to the Calvinist flock, as they have been disenfranchised in the ever growing emergent and contemplative church movement.

    Your post caught my eye, because on my blog (which you can keep here or not, it is fine) I wrote about Comfort’s association too with Joyce Meyer last May, something we discussed on FB today, as we saw also Ravi Zacharias praising Meyer for her “great Bible teaching”. We truly are in the last days. Here is the blog also about Ray if you want to share.
    http://redeemingmoments.com/2012/05/17/177/

  2. It is so sad to see a man of God like Brother Hunt slide into the muck of
    apostacy. I dropped his blog 4 months ago because of his ambigous
    remarks. But he is not the only one that has taken the wrong path in the
    last few years.
    Thank you for the update.
    God bless,
    John Gregory

  3. Jack, thanks for the article. The truth is that most purveyors of LS who oppose Calvinism don’t realize that they share the same roots with the Calvinists. This is why these groups find it so easy to coalesce.

    Additionally, I avoid ANYONE who is comfortable with Spurgeon. The only way a Christian would promote or defend Spurgeon is out of ignorance of Spurgeon or lack of clarity on the Gospel.

  4. Tomorrow I will post a downloadable PDF copy of an Email I received From Berean Call in answer to my complaint about them publishing a quote from Calvinist, Gresham Machen in 2010. It was signed by someone named “Ed.” It is easy to see the false logic by which they are promoting false teachers.

    In Jesus only and eternally, Jack

  5. Ray Comfort said: “…to remain a Christian”.

    Comfort’s words make me ill to my stomach. What a blasphemy against the finished work of Jesus.

    As for Berean Call, another one bites the dust it seems. These are such days…

  6. To ALL:

    Got it right this time – I think.

    Here is the link to the Email from “Ed” at Berean Call defending their use of false teachers (they don’t call them false).

    http://www.weaverclan.com/Berean%20answer%20-%20Machen.pdf

    In Christ, Jack

  7. Jack, say what? What a bunch of gobbledygook!

  8. hi does anyone know what hebrews 9 says where paul states where jesus blood cleanses your conscience from dead works to serve the living god.
    Hebrews 6 mentions dead works which ron shea mentioned are anything
    we try to earn salvation with. Not sin as we do not repent of sin but dead works to faith in christ for salvation. But why does it mention dead works that the blood of jesus cleanses us from if not sin ? one teacher mentioned that proves sin is dead works. Which does,nt add up with the grace teaching. Sorry to be so deep but it got me thinking

  9. I noticed how in Ray Comfort’s video that there was a brief moment where he first sounded like he was giving a clear gospel then he quickly tacked in repenting of sins. So many preachers do this and it frustrates grace. What really irritated me more was his misuse of the verse that says that idolaters etc will not enter the kingdom. He not only was giving lost people the gospel of works but he could also have been telling real believers that they weren’t good enough and might be unsaved. This illustrates the travesty that is perpetuated by people who have a lot of learning to their credit but not the real understanding of the gospel. The odd thing is that the woman trying to shout him down was wrong and Comfort was closer to the truth yet he was still wrong himself.

    As far as The Berean Call goes, it appears that they don’t really care too much about taking a clear stand. They remind me of those in churches today who want to cater to a broader constituency and will therefore tolerate quotes from or even people though they might otherwise disagree with them in areas. To me, there is not really anything good to be gained by that type of approach. It is better to wash your hands of those who destroy the grace of God and twist His gospel into a work that man does.

  10. Have any of you noticed the “web” or “network” of LS preachers, writers and advocates: Ray Comfort is closely associated with former sitcom television star Kirk Cameron who wrote a glowing opening tribute to Francis Chan’s caustic LS diatribe “Crazy Love” and had Chan on his TBN program. Chan got his Bible training at Calvinist LS popularizer John MacArthur’s Master’s College and Seminary. Francis Chan has been teaming up in televised forums with David Platt, author of LS book “Radical.” David Platt has had the backing of John Piper, New Calvinist LS preacher. Piper invited Platt to be one of the keynote speakers at the 2011 “Desiring God” Conference.
    And on it goes . . . . .

  11. “Have any of you noticed the “web” or “network” of LS preachers”

    Yes I have noticed it, and I call it the “blob” of supposed evangelicalism, marching its way to Rome and ecumenicalism in general.

    Ray Comfort goes on Joyce Meyer’s program, who hosts Ravi Zacharias as well, who speaks at Calvary Chapels, who have Greg Laurie teaming up with Rick Warren and Mark Driscoll, who are close associates with John Piper and Francis Chan, Chan who is a product of John MacArthur, who is in league with Laurie, who goes to conferences with James MacDonald and Perry Noble, who support heretic TD Jakes, who is teamed up with Joyce Meyer……

    I could do that all day long, literally.

    What does every person I listed, have in common?

    They’re all LS, and they’re all going to support one another.

  12. Hi folks,

    They have a good method of getting people to see their lost state….. Albeit at the end they bring in the lordship stuff… The holy spirit even so can help us too see that there are too many believers playing it fast and loose, they do need to be confronted with their sin. Not because of salvation but because of accountability to the Lord and his body..

  13. Good point, Bruce and Abe! And yes, I have noticed it. I can’t help humming the following tune after reading your last sentence, Abe!

    The hip bone’s connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone’s connected to the knee bone, the knee bone’s connected…

    And It looks a lot like Frankenstein to me!

    Yep, the discernment sites are pretty much useless now. I’ve been receiving the Levitt Letter for many years. As I was perusing the most recent one just this morning, what do I see but a devotional by Spurgeon. Disappointed? Yes. Surprised, no.

    And speaking of Spurgeon, I can’t make out what the Berean Call’s rep “Ed” was trying to say about him. Mid-way through, he lost me. My eyes glazed over and my mind wandered far, far away.

  14. TO ALL

    FYI, here is the Newsletter that prompted this post. It is in PDF format and you may download it:

    http://www.expreacherman.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/berean-comfort.pdf

    Please pay close attention to the glowing recommendation Berean Call gives to Comfort’s book “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” collaborating with Kirk Cameron, whom Bruce mentioned previously.

    Because of the format it was necessary to split it into two pages thus the book review is split.

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  15. One guy recommending “hell’s best kept secret” said that it destroyed his entire theology.

    I’d have to agree, that is exactly what happened to his theology after his believing Comfort’s message.

    Pearl, there is a religious frankenstein being created, we are watching it every day. Yours is an astute observation.

  16. Jesus talks about this kind of stuff.

    Matt. 13:31-32 we are witnessing that mustard seed turn into the “frankenstein” tree.

    Personally I wont knowingly listen to or read anyone who wants to stay with a little leaven. I believe even a doctrinally sound believer will eventually get leavened if He compromises true bible doctrine.

  17. Jarrod,

    Welcome again — We agree!!

    Pray for us here at ExPreacherMan.com that we and our Fellowship of friends will stay on the path of God’s Gospel of free Grace and not stray into and buddy-up with the Frankensteins of doctrinal compromise.

    Pearl,

    Thanks for that “Pearl” of wisdom.. “FRANKENSTEIN!!”

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  18. Mike F,

    You say, “there are too many believers playing it fast and loose, they do need to be confronted with their sin. Not because of salvation but because of accountability to the Lord and his body..”

    You are right — and that is exactly what the Apostle Paul did in his first letter to the Corinthians.

    But, I know from your writing that you understand that.

    But I take this opportunity to say, it is important for us to note that Paul did not ever tell them that they must “shape up or you will lose your salvation or that you were never saved to start with.”
    He addressed them as dear brethren.

    Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
    I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:” 1 Corinthians 1:3

    And then in Chapter 2, Paul confirms, that even though the Corinthians were a terrible testimony to the body of Christ, they were, nonetheless, brothers in Christ:

    And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:1-2

    The lordship folks (Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, et al) would have these poor Corinthian folks tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.

    On Jesus eternally, Jack

  19. Matt for Grace and Truth

    FREE GRACE

    For Lordship salvation readers, please be reminded that: Biblical GRACE is God’s undeserved, unmerited, and unearned favor. I am saved by God’s free grace gift alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.

    Eternal life salvation is a grace gift alone (Romans 6:23). Salvation must be by grace alone or works alone…it cannot be both…it’s one of the other. (Romans 11:6) God declares that salvation is by free grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).

    Being a gift, I am NOT saved BY good works before or after salvation. Rather, I am saved FOR good works. God desires good works. We “should” produce works (Ephesians 2:10; Titus 3:8). They provide a profitable and “visible” witness to other people (James 2:14-26). God urges us to do so (Romans 12:1-2). Good works which will be rewarded. Lack of works does, however, produce a horrific loss, but not a loss of eternal salvation (which is a free gift), rather a loss of profitable rewards (1 Corinthians 3:12-15, 2 Corinthians 5:10).

    “Turning from sin” and “surrender to God” as a CONDITION of salvation implies reformation or penance as a condition of salvation, thereby ADDING more than what God requires, that is, simply receiving the GIFT of eternal life by faith.

    If I say, I will give you a Christmas “gift” only if you commit to stop doing such and such, that is not a gift, but a bargained for transaction, that is, a contract. By definition, a gift does not require any payment or action in return. A gift merely has to be received (Revelation 22:17).

    Thus, Biblical free grace theology truth protects against legalism (working to earn salvation), Galatianism (working to keep your salvation), and antinomianism (grace is a license to sin).

  20. Another thing that is interesting for me. When i first got saved i thought it was now me against unbelievers! And how that thinking was so flawed.

    Satan’s Ace trump is religion, what makes a counterfeit so good is its likeness to the real. inwardly Satan is complete opposite of God but outwardly He tries to be like God. And thats what this battle is. satans counterfeit looks so close to the real for people who dont learn bible doctrine. Thats what this whole battle is in Christiandom , so many people are ignorant of Gods word , That the majority of genuine Christians are left open to the deceit of religion.

    Heb 5:11-14

    It takes a mature believer to discern from evil and good! that means evil can look good!

    I believe thats whats going on with this LS and calvinism stuff, which is just catholicism with a different brushstroke. Its Satans counterfeit and a whole lot of Christians are falling for it.

    God wants to reveal His Grace and His knowledge.
    Satan want to antagonize Gods Grace and Knowledge.

    With these LS , calvinism teachers satan gets both, he veils Grace from the unbeliever and he veils knowledge from the believers.

  21. “Have any of you noticed the “web” or “network” of LS preachers, writers and advocates: Ray Comfort is closely associated with former sitcom television star Kirk Cameron who wrote a glowing opening tribute to Francis Chan’s caustic LS diatribe “Crazy Love” and had Chan on his TBN program. Chan got his Bible training at Calvinist LS popularizer John MacArthur’s Master’s College and Seminary. Francis Chan has been teaming up in televised forums with David Platt, author of LS book “Radical.” David Platt has had the backing of John Piper, New Calvinist LS preacher. Piper invited Platt to be one of the keynote speakers at the 2011 “Desiring God” Conference.”
    And on it goes . . . . .

    Oh yeh the “hamster wheel preachers and theologians”- they are all meeting each other in the same place running around in circles.- Is that what you mean?

    Just got off of a horrendous post Jack, Bruce, and others. Will post the link> {link removed by Administrator}

    This is exactly what we are up against and I am angry about what these guys are doing to the assurance and joy of the body of Christ, not to mention putting Adam Lanza up as a whipping boy without having the facts present and what they are putting their family through.
    We are going to see a very theocratic church here pretty soon. I was told I was on dangerous ground and the Word of God was going to judge me for not going to church right now in this post. Where they have no clue as to my family and what the Lord is doing in our life. This comes to show you, though, the mindset of the Calvinist and Reformed doctrines- look at Calvin and see if there is any love of Christ there.

  22. Faith (Trust4Him)

    Thanks for your comment. Yes we see the Hamster (rodent) wheel of lordship/Calvinism spinning ever faster as those folks enjoy their devilish fellowship.

    I pray you will understand, I removed the link to the SBC Voices blog. It is terrible with all sorts of mixed up doctrine. But all of it is SBC Doctrine of one kind or another.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  23. Oh yes I understand Jack….

    Holly I looked to see on your FB site to see about Eric Metaxes that you and I talked about in a later post here. Interesting about the New Canaan Society and like we have been talking about the connections all these guys have with each other- I saw the names Rick Warren, Tim Keller, Ravi Zacharias, etc…. Boy these guys make their rounds. You wonder how many groups do Christians need to be a part of and why? why these odd connections with opposing doctrines- one is arminianist and the other calvinist. Why in the world would you call yourself the New Canaan Society? Canaan has to do with paganism, whereas God change its name when His people took over this promised land.

  24. “You wonder how many groups do Christians need to be a part of and why?”

    They want us to be a part of every group so they can unite every group into one. That is the nature of the goal of the ecumenical movement. “Unity” void of any truth.

  25. Right Abe!

    Don’t you see this ecumenical movement, of which you speak, moving steadily and more rapidly toward the one-world “church” of Revelation? I keep thinking that the rapture of the true church can’t be too far off on the horizon.

  26. Yep you are right Abe. This is way to get everyone on board, but in reality it is causing confusion in Christians. There is a huge trend of Christians leaving church- they are called the “Nones”. These pastors cannot handle the fact that many are leaving and they are calling those who are opting out of the mainstream church deserters of the faith. I just had two people state today that I was on dangerous ground and that the Word of God would judge me. Did not bother me one bit- I know where I stand in the Lord. Hopefully one of these days we will find a church that is not reformed, legalistic. or fluffy in any manner. Hard to find it though.

  27. Califgracer, yes it does look to be moving into the unity church of Revelation. It feels like it gets thicker that way every day. It will take the rapture to separate the true from the mass of confusion.

    trust4himonly, I would be a “none” myself, if it weren’t for the fact that there happens to be a very good grace-based church right here in my hometown. I know that very many don’t have that where they live, so I would be in that situation too in that instance.

    It ties back into the move to unity without truth problem, in that as more an more churches want to fit into the mold, less churches will take a strong stand for truth. I don’t want to be just negative Ned here about it all, so if I’m wrong, I would certainly welcome being told that I’m wrong. :)

  28. I don’t know who Negative Ned.is, but our friend Honest Abe merely tells lt like he sees it! Often, harping on the truth may come across as stubbornly narrow, but the alternative is compromise, and that simply won’t do.

    Sorry you got knocked around at that place, Faith. I can’t believe there are actually pastors out there teaching that if you don’t go to church, you’re bound for hell! How medieval!

    I’ve been temped to visit a few places and be that “fly on the wall”, and have been even more tempted to step in and help some of the beguiled to understand the subtle deviations they’re ingesting. But, those temptations have become fewer these last many months. If I’m somewhere where there is clear hostility to God’s simple grace from the get go – which I can usually discern from their statement of faith and/or their blogroll – then I hightail it outta there.

    God has been most gracious in directing the steps of weary, questioning, limping souls to this blog and that’s when I know God is doing a great work.

  29. Thanks Pearl,

    We pray for the “weary, questioning, limping souls” the Lord send by here to ExP (some of which we are all at times). And we pray He will continue to use Exp for many years to come and that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;”Philip. 1:27b

    But we would be nothing without our faithful friends who comment here. We appreciate all of you Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  30. My first warning light about the Berean Call was several years ago, when someone wrote to them concerning A.W.Tozer’s possibility of being a mystic. They responded by posting Tozer’s own pithy defense and left it at that. At the time, I wanted to believe the best of Tozer, and even wrote to a fellow blogger regarding same (and she wrote extensively on Contemplative mysticism). She also chose to believe that Tozer was being unfairly labeled. I filed these concerns in the back of my mind and went on listening to him, even posting his wise quotations (to my shame). Since then, I have learned how extensive his Catholic recommendations are and I am truly baffled that the Berean Call found him worth defending. Just goes to show how biased they really are, and unable to come to terms with the plain evidence that someone they so highly regard was steeped in Catholic adoration.

    The way I see it, they had the opportunity to face up to the hard truth (just like they expect their readers to do), and warn folks. But their hero worship prevented them and they compromised . Choosing this road, they sealed their fate as a crumbling, biased so-called discernment ministry.

  31. Hi Faith,

    I have made a few comments here and sure like this site. I was in a grace (but a ton of fluff) church here in Montana and it was slowly taken over by a calvinist pastor. Even the old pastor was the dog and pony type pastor but we put up with that because just about every church around here is either the dog and pony show or reformed, so we just stuck with it until calvinism slipped in.

    So we did do a real search for a good local church in Missoula, we decided that we would find a church with out all the fluff and games even if it was a grace church. Couldnt find one!

    We just wanted the Word, none of the coffee breaks and 45 min of music and 20 mins of running around the church and talking about how bad our jobs are. We just wanted to skip all that and have someone teach us the Word.

    Well we found a bible doctrine church on the internet that teaches grace and has couple of good worship songs at each service, the main part of church is the message!!

    I believe God was faithful to us , we just wanted His word (some meat ) because we had heard just about every topical and sin message there was!

    My wife and I have grown in the Lord more in the past 3 years than my first 8 years of being saved, we actually learned more in a few sermons from pastor Robert then all the topical sermons we heard for 8 yrs!

    Its funny the difference,

    He teaches , now that you have the Son, Let me teach you about the Son. And most other pastors from my experience say,” now that you have the Son, Let me tell you about your sin!”

    We plan to stay at home and continue to learn a personal relationship with our personal Savior. In time He might move us on somewhere but for now He is totally content to just let us relax and enjoy to get to know Him. I had 8 years of running around and showing God who I was, when I finally stopped and said ,” I really have no idea who you really are!” He was faithful to show me!

  32. Hi,

    I am heading off to college next year and I’m really confused about what I want to do with the rest of my life. I’ve asked God to give me direction, but I don’t feel as if he is giving me direction.

    Also, there are a few people in my family and pets that are no longer with me on this Earth. How can I be sure they are in heaven (I know they were believers, but…)? Also, when I am to pass, will I be reunited with them or will I even care about them? I’m just so confused and to make it worse people tell me at school that I’m stupid for being a Christian and believing in what the Bible says. They are quite sure that there is nothing after death, and it makes me soo sad sometimes. And another thing that confuses me is why are people so concerned about extending their life on earth by staying in shape, etc – could it be that they doubt their faith?

  33. Anonymous,

    Welcome. You will find friends here.

    Thanks so much for dropping by and having the courage to comment — to let us know what is on your mind. I am sorry to hear of the passing of family members. Those are difficult times for anyone — especially a young person making long term life decisions.

    You have a lot of questions — and I will make a couple of suggestions — maybe others here will be able to give you Scripture to help guide you.

    1) Primary question!! Are you sure you are going to Heaven some day — based on your faith in Jesus Christ alone, apart from any good works on your part? I suggest you read, understand and believe the Scripture in our web page Eternal Life for You at: http://www.expreacherman.com/eternal-life-for-you/

    2) If you are sure of Heaven and you do not know what the Lord wants you to do there is Scripture which tells each believer to
    Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
    I personally recommend at least one year at a great college, Dayspring Bible College just NW of Chicago — i.e. http://www.dbc.edu/ You cannot go wrong there.

    3) Don’t be intimidated by your “friends.” Since they probably are not believers in Jesus Christ and His Grace, they should not determine your future with the Lord.

    Be assured — there are many mature believers in Jesus Christ right here at ExPreacherMan who will be praying for you and your future. You also may gain much good Bible information simply be reading and studying the articles and web page Scriptures we have for you at the top of our web site:

    2 FREE Booklets by Dr. Cucuzza
    36 Amazing Things
    Eternal Life For You
    Share Your Faith
    Statement of Faith
    What Is Bible Hope

    Please stay in touch with your friends here!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  34. Anonymous,

    Hi,
    First off, what would you like to do? God wants you to do what you like and enjoy for employment. He can and will use you where you are at any given point in your life. We see in the Bible that the Lord used all sorts of people from every spectrum of “employed life”. 1Tim 5:8 says to provide for your family. notice that there are no specifics in what kind of job we are suppose to have in doing so. If God has a specific job that he wants you to do, He will let you know! Our main job is getting to know who He is and we do that by studying and applying His word. There are not as many “Thou shall not” and “thou shall” in the Bible as we suppose! Getting to know His will through His word will help us to “know” what direction to take in life.

    The first thing I would do is find the Pastor teacher that God has designed for you. Just to set the record straight also, being a Christian is simply believing on The Lord Jesus Christ Acts 16:31. Everything after that point is living the Christian life. And we learn how to live that life by Studying His word with our Mentor the Holy Spirit.

    If your family members believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, and if you have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ you WILL see them in heaven. We are the church here on earth and we are called his church from heaven. Rev 19:14
    Do not doubt your or any other believers eternal security, our eternal security depends on our CREATOR and His behavior, not one bit of that security is based on the CREATURES behavior. JOH 5:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My Word, and believes Him Who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”
    As ROM 8:1 states, Therefore there is now no condemnation [katakrima, or judgment, punishment, doom] for those who are in Christ Jesus. Those in Jesus Christ will never be judged or come into judgment – not ‘might not’, but ‘will not’.
    In John 5:24 the “truly truly” is known as a sentential participle, which emphasizes an important point of doctrine. These two words actually mean, for certain, without a doubt, or indeed. The Lord knew that the kingdom of darkness was going to attack eternal security, thats why He stressed this very important doctrine, that is why Christ dogmatically states this promise of eternal security.

    Sorry so long, but the world will look at you as foolish, because the world is perishing, You are no longer a fool because you Have Christ in you. dont take your peers personally, our battle is not against flesh and blood. your peers are deceived. make a goal of learning His Grace and knowledge and in Love you will be able to deliver the good news to those who call you “stupid”. Because He died for those that persecute us also.

  35. Matt for Grace and Truth

    Jarrod,

    You wrote that “he teaches, ‘now that you have the Son, Let me teach you about the Son.’ And most other pastors from my experience say, ‘now that you have the Son, Let me tell you about your sin!’

    That is a deftly and pithy worded insight!

    And this wonderful blog has so many treasured nuggets of insightful wisdom!

    Anonymous,

    People have different motives for exercising and seeking optimum health…some carnal, some spiritual. The Bible says that “bodily exercise profits little.” And the “flesh profits nothing.” But “godliness profits all things” both in the mortal earth life and in the immortal life in heaven. It is profitable to give some time and effort to seek to maintain one’s good health. But daily time with God, His word, and other believers is the highest, top priority for the believer. In other words, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” But, I agree that some go overboard regarding health which might, in some cases, reveal some deep seated doubt about the existence of life after death.

  36. Hi Anon and welcome!

    If your loved ones who have died believed on Jesus Christ for salvation, then they are in heaven with Him as we speak. Jesus told the believing thief on the cross, “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43.

    Animals? I honestly don’t know because I don’t think the bible gives us enough information being that the Word’s main focus is on the reconciliation of man to God the Father through Jesus Christ. I have heard preachers say “yes” and others say “no”. I, however, don’t put too much stock in their wisdom, but rely on God’s character. Jesus made all creation (John 1:3), and as much as the environmentalists would have us believe otherwise, the Godhead must surely care for His creatures more than we can possibly imagine. I, for one, look forward to the new heaven and the new earth; perhaps that’s where we’ll be reunited with our beloved pets.

    As for standing on the intimidating threshold of the rest of your life, I agree with Jack’s wise counsel. The most important thing is growing in Christ, discerning not just right doctrine from wrong, but discerning right doctrine from the “pretty good”. Know and understand what you believe and why, and get firmly rooted therein. God is faithful! He will direct your steps as you walk in Him.

  37. Hi Pearl,

    I have heard both sides of the animal story also. I believe that the Lord can do anything and i know that animals in the whole scheme of things are on a lesser plain. But knowing the character and nature of our God, it would not suprise me if I saw Buster my great black lab in heaven!

    We have horses to ride on so we know that there are animals in heaven.
    But I do want to say that 1 Cor 2:9 is a verse that no finite mind can comprehend! Heaven will be so wonderful that i cant wrap my mind around the idea that i will see things on this earth as dung! But with a finite mind I would sure like to see Buster again! And i believe if it mattered that much to me that the Lord would grant me understanding about Buster or just let me have him back in heaven.
    I Know it will be all answered by our Great God. We will be in awe of our Savior and i bet for the first trillion years or so we wont think about much of anything else!

  38. I dont want to bother you guys that much, but i will!

    what about pets being in heaven? I know its a side issue, And its not relevant to Gods redemptive plan with man. But if no pets in heaven, why not? I can see the idea that its perfect in heaven and we will not worry about this in heaven . But why wouldnt there be pets in heaven? I have to be honest, its one thing that I have not thought about much. And I have to stress that I know that its not an Issue with redemption and not an issue of heaven not being complete. If there are no pets , no problem. But why couldnt there be?
    I do think that animals on this earth are a stumbling block to some people and to much emphasis put on a lower creation, to veil the true relationship that comes through Jesus Christ. But what a joy to have that big tongue hit your face after a great pheasant hunt!

  39. Jarrod,

    Yep, animals in Heaven is a side issue and tends to take us off topic. Has no bearing upon our redemption provided in Jesus Christ.

    The Lion will lie down with the Lamb during the Millennium Period but that is not Heaven.

    So, let’s just leave it there for now. Thanks.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  40. Jack,
    Thank you for this blog entry, for the eye-opening information on yet another preacher who has jumped on the LS bandwagon. I’m afraid I don’t understand why he focused on John Lennon. Genius? If he thinks John Lennon was an admirable man and is trying to present that view in the video, that by itself is disturbing. But the way he baited people by bringing them to an understanding of their sinfulness before God who is holy, and then did the switch to the message of “Well, Jesus died for you, so you better clean up your act or He won’t take you to Heaven!” was so obviously confusing to people that it made me sad to watch each one. Each person the camera focused on as Comfort asked them when they were going to do something about it would reply, basically, ‘Well, today I guess’, but you could see the confusion on their faces as to just what exactly was theirs to do and just how they could hope to be successful at it. Heartbreaking. To give someone the bad news and not the Good News is just a crime. And the discouragement of those who thought they knew what they believed and in Whom they trusted, only to have doubt put into their minds about the status of their salvation because they aren’t perfect — well, we know who the accuser of the brethren is, Satan himself. Comfort’s message brought to mind the message I heard so often over the years from the primarily Baptist churches I attended, which was basically, ‘Your sin put Jesus on the cross!! Aren’t you ashamed?! So you better quit sinning!!’

  41. Jarrod,

    As you well stated, First Corinthians 2:9 is more than I can ask for; and like I said earlier, I steer away from preachers’ inconclusive conclusions on this issue and fall back on God’s character who made it all for us to enjoy in the first place!

    Hi Kim! You’ve been missed!

    I suspect Comfort has been on the bandwagon for most of his evangelical career if not entirely. Otherwise, we’d never have heard of him before.

  42. sorry Jack,

    I knew it was on a rabbit trail and didnt stop!

    Hi Kim, I hear ya!

  43. This is for KIM. Greetings, I do agree with most of your statememt. But let me ask you some things. When we read the letters of the Newe Testament,
    Paul’s letters, Peter’s letters, John’s letters, The letter of James, & the rest
    of the New Testament letters, DO WE SEE ANYWHERE THAT WE ARE TOLD TO STOP SINNING? IS THERE ANYPLACE WE ARE ADMONISHED TO LIVE HOLY LIVES AFTER OUR SALVATION?
    ARE WE NOT ADMONISHED REPEATEDLY TO LIVE HOLY LIVES?
    The Baptist preachers that you so easily condemn were, after all, only
    repeating the Scriptures. That is PART OF THEIR JOB. When I read the Scriptures, the sin in my life, & I am not perfect yet, is exposed. I can see from the Word of God that my sin put Christ on the cross, and to live a life of holiness I should strive to be Christ like. IS THIS NOT TRUE? I do NOT
    strive for my salvation. Please read Romans 6 & 7. Did Paul strive against
    the sin in his life? Or did he pick up & leave when someone preached the
    Word of God in his presence? Those Baptist preachers were quoting
    the Words of God, to which do you object? Those that expose my sin? or
    those that tell me to be holy because my God is holy?
    By now you realize that I am a Baptist. I have been a Baptist for
    over 50 years. But before I was a Baptist, i was saved for ever while
    attending a Methodist Church. I have NO anger or ill will toward you,
    You are my sister IN CHRIST! BUT I DO GROW WEARY WITH ALL THE
    BAPTIST BASHING. My parents, grandparents, & all my familly were &
    are BAPTISTS. I totally agree with free grace theology, and I am a Baptist!
    I teach free grace theology in the Baptist Church where my whole familly
    attendS. IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH THAT? WHEN I COME TO A PORTION OF THE WORD OF GOD THAT ADMONISHS THE READER TO BE HOLY AND TO CONFESS THE SIN IN THEIR LIFE,
    AM I SUPPOSED TO NOT READ THAT? SKIP OVER OR IGNORE
    THAT SECTION? NO! I THINK NOT.
    God bless ALL of you!
    a Baptist in Californis,
    John H. Gregory

  44. John Gregory,

    I am gonna take a chance and stick my nose in here for a moment.

    I do not believe Kim was condemning all Baptists — but those Baptist preachers who condemn sin and sinners without offering the solution, the Gospel of God’s Grace by salvation in Jesus Christ.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  45. Jack,

    Thank you. Exactly the case.

    John Gregory,

    Jack’s point was exactly my point, which I realize I failed to spell out, thinking it was obvious. And I can only speak from my personal experience, having only heard the approximately 10 Baptist preachers and their teachers whose churches I happened to attend growing up. And of course there were some ‘reformed’ churches sprinkled in there throughout those approximately 50 years, so those messages were a little different. But my point was that that was the sum total of their message and focus, since not a single one was a free grace Baptist church. I’m sure there are free grace Baptist churches out there, but being brand new to the whole understanding of free grace and realizing I’ve been victimized for so many years by Lordship Salvation teaching and preaching, I find myself a bit resentful for the time I’ve lost being made to worry that maybe I wasn’t saved because I wasn’t perfect when I could have been enjoying the wonderful freedom of knowing that my unavoidable occasional sins (and believe me, I had an extremely sensitive conscience and tried my hardest to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, ‘beating’ myself into submission, studied much, etc.) neither affected my saved status nor reflected an unsaved or never saved status. So, I’m sorry I offended you, John Gregory, but I don’t know all Baptist churches. I was only bashing the ones I have attended, and I can honestly say that every one of those was pretty pitiful, now that I am looking back on them from this perspective.

    Kim

  46. Hi, Pearl! Hi, Jarrod!

    Thanks! I missed y’all’s comments when I wrote above. Thanks for the encouragement!!

    Kim

  47. John G.,

    Coming down a little hard on Kim, don’t you think? Especially taking into account the clear evidence from past threads how dreadfully and shamefully a great majority of the Baptist denomination has soiled the grace of God, blurring the distinct line between salvation and sanctification. And it should go without saying that all denominations are guilty.

    Using all caps is equivalent to shouting, and I don’t believe anyone deserves that kind of response.

  48. Hi Pearl,

    I always enjoy your insightful comments. You said, “I suspect Comfort has been on the bandwagon for most of his evangelical career if not entirely. Otherwise, we’d never have heard of him before.”

    So, it seems that, based upon his long-time guilt and fear-producing teaching, Comfort’s name is a misnomer.

    Thanks, Pearl, for all that you contribute to Expreacherman.com and thanks for your friendship.

    Merry Christmas to you and to all of our other regular contributors.

  49. Hi John,
    I just want to encourage you to stay after the Grace aspect of Christ. The free Grace will turn into Holy living in the Christian life.

    I suspect that your church has done a solid job on preaching the condition of the creature, but how has it done at teaching you your position in Christ?

    Thats a serious question Sir. The 36 or more amazing things that we have given to us at the moment of salvation are ours for the taking! And at that moment we can use them, but do you know them all?

    If that position in Christ is taught to a believer he will know how to utilize all of those gifts, and then the condition will improve in the believer.

    one of those gifts is 1 john 1:9 for the Believer. Name it and site it and be done with it! Carry on in your position.

    what the truth of the matter is ,is that we as creatures will live in our condition(and our focus will be our condition) all of our lives if everything is SIN focused. If the creature is taught his position in Christ we will start to live in our position and thats when the old mans condition can really be dealt with.

    If your church is teaching you positional truth AMEN!
    But if you know more about your CONDITION than about your POSITION, I would find a church that taught position.

    If your baptist church quit preaching the truth and you had to leave, would you have to stay baptist or could you just seek a truth teaching church?

  50. Pearl,

    Thank you for coming to my defense. And I agree with Bruce – your succinct expressions of your truly keen observations are really enjoyable to read. I guess I’m not too good at this blog commenting stuff yet. I appreciate the kindness and patience of you and others here.

    Thanks,
    Kim

  51. Kim, I apologize if you have already read the post that I am linking below. I think it gets to Jared’s point in his above post.

    http://expreacherman.com/2012/12/11/can-an-unbeliever-produce-christian-music/#comment-15779

    I grew up in SBC churches and believed that I had to “repent of my sins” and “commit to Christ” in order to be saved. It wasn’t until about two years ago when I finally realized that eternal life was a gift – not a trade – and I believed in Christ alone.

    I know that there are a lot of believers in SBC-affiliated churches. That is why I wrote a recent article pointing out the error in the official SBC doctrine. Believers who are in SBC – affiliated churches have four possible courses of action:

    1. Separate immediately
    2. Encourage the church to separate from the SBC
    3. Encourage the SBC to adopt belief in the Gospel
    4. Remain willfully blind to the false gospel promoted by the SBC

    [Editorial note]: to view John’s article in its entirety, see:

    http://expreacherman.com/2012/12/04/southern-baptists-fragile-detente-the-fight-over-competing-false-gospels-calvinism-and-lordship-salvation/

  52. I loved the Southern Baptist church I attended from the age of 5 through my college years, and where I was married by the preacher who showed me the plain and clear free grace plan of salvation. I wandered away for several years, and, as is the case with many, realized, with the birth of my children, that I wanted them to understand the salvation and come to know Christ as their Savior.

    Once I started attending SBC churches with my children, I became aware of a judgmental tendency of the church members. I found that I couldn’t seem to please anyone, and I got the impression that I was not presenting myself as “holy” enough for these churches. These Southern Baptist churches that I had been attending were confusing me with regard to salvation. I KNEW I was saved, regardless of what I did or how I acted, but these people didn’t seem to think so. I would hear them talk about others with statements like “a saved person wouldn’t act that way” or “that person will be burning in hell for that.” They were linking behavior and holiness in some way to salvation that I had never heard and couldn’t quite understand, but I knew it was wrong. I finally decided that I didn’t know where I would search for a church home, but that it would never be another Southern Baptist Church.

    After finally reading the Southern Baptist Convention’s Statement of Faith, it became clear to me why I was so uncomfortable in these churches. We didn’t believe the same thing! The church I had grown up in should never have been affiliated with the SBC – neither should the few other member churches who teach the grace message (as opposed to the repent and commit your life message [LS]).

    My husband and I have since decided that we absolutely will not attend an SBC church, even if the church seems clear on grace. We pray that the churches who teach the correct message would disassociate from the SBC because the SBC’s message is so vile and corrupt – it confuses anyone who hears it. I am baffled as to why any grace church feels the need to align themselves with something they do not agree with.

    It has been said that the churches within the SBC do not have to hold to its Statement of Beliefs – if so, then why associate?? It just doesn’t make sense! Why not align with Buddhists or Jehovah’s Witnesses? It would be exactly the same!

  53. John and Jarrod,

    I could not agree more with what you both have written above. You both have expressed so well what I have come to understand over the past 3 months, thanks to God’s grace in leading me to this wonderful site, and thanks to the obedience and ability of you all here who understand and share the free grace of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you for the link, John. Yes, I have been following each blog entry and accompanying comments since mid-September, and have gone back and read many that preceeded those, as well. Wonderful, wonderful Truth! And the experience of that freedom that we have in Grace, of being able to see when some are trying to pull me back under the Law, is a huge relief. Jarrod’s Position vs. Condition was very helpful. Easy to remember phrases are always nice to help the mind refocus on the crux of a matter! Thank you both!

    Jane,

    The description you gave is very much like what I experienced. And I should have clarified that I have always been in the South and in SBC Baptist churches. I am so glad for you that you recognized the difference between what they taught and what you believe. In the particular churches I attended most (and was a member of), there was a strange mix of elitism – the basis of which was hard to put my finger on – and shallow ‘ism’ at the same time! There was an attitude with the core membership that they were the ‘best’ Christians and the ‘best’ Baptists around, but the subjects, messages, and even the supposedly convicting ultimate points of the studies and sermons seemed always frighteningly shallow to me. There was so much focus on psychology, family relationships; and by one particular very ‘big’ mega church pastor, an honestly inappropriate level and manner of focus on sex. And of course they all were quite unapologetic in their attempt to convince everyone there that if they didn’t tithe, and on gross rather than net, then they definitely couldn’t be sure they were saved. Another offered a real estate class shopping class as one of the Sunday School options — in the church building, given by a local realtor. My husband wrote the pastor expressing his concern and received the answer that it was his, the pastor’s, call on what was appropriate or not to offer for Sunday School classes, and that it was a way to help people new to the area find a house to buy near the church and help them deal with the paperwork and have the member realtor get that business. I don’t know about everyone else here, but that just makes me sick.

  54. Anon,

    Don’t worry. God gives you direction through the Word. You are free to choose for yourself what you would like to pursue and what you feel you are best at. It is also a good idea to have a backup plan if things don’t work out. I also recommend spending a year or so at Christian college like the one that Jack recommended. Many in the world will not understand and will even hate you for your beliefs. It might therefore be a good idea to go to a school where there are more like-minded people. A secular university will bombard you with views that are anti-God in nature.

  55. Hi John,
    I just want to ask a question,and I am a believer on the road to being conformed to His image. so I dont want to be confrontational or any thing of the sort , i am just curious.
    What happened for you two years ago? Did you find a church that taught the truth? And if you are still at the same church why stay? you went your whole life not knowing the truth at SBC.

    I think its Kims point, i would be MAD if I grew up in SBC my whole life and NOT taught the truth. If we are going to church our whole lives and dont really know the truth from our church I would leave it all also! For me it would be very hard not being resentful.

    Going to a church for our whole lives and not getting the truth, I would leave. But I say that from my maturity level, I could not sit there and constantly discern from false and truth.

  56. Jarrod, thanks for your questions. I do not consider your question confrontational.

    Just over two years ago, I was not attending any church at the time. I felt lost. I had “made a decision for Christ” twenty plus years earlier, under the direction of a pastor at an SBC church who told me that I had to “repent of my sins” and “commit my life to Christ” to be saved. He told me “even the demons believe, and they tremble.” I fell for that. I spent a while trying to act like a Christian, but gave up after a while.

    Every few years, I would start to feel lost, and would try to decide whether my commitment to Christ had been sincere enough. I was convinced that my commitment had been sincere, and so I felt all the more lost, because I couldn’t see how I could “muster up” a more sincere commitment. I couldn’t quite understand how the “Good New” was really good news at all, since I couldn’t seem to do what I needed to do and since the change I had looked for in my life never seemed to happen.

    One night, as I was laying in bed, I prayed that God would let me know whether eternal security was true or not. I did a Google search on the topic, and found a variety of opinions on the matter. I became convinced, after reading a site that actually contained scriptural references, that eternal security for a believer was true.

    For the next couple of weeks, I began to read some Grace oriented materials, and it dawned on me that I had viewed salvation as a trade. I had offered God my repentance from sin and lame attempt at commitment for eternal life. When I realized that salvation was a gift, and not a trade, I became a believer in Christ – alone, without my good intentions.

    I am not in any church right now. I am unwilling to sit under teaching that compromises the Gospel.

    I listen to Dr. Cucuzza semi-regularly, and actively post on this site.

    I am married to the “Jane” who posted above.

    I hope this answers your question. Please let me know if not.

  57. I’ve been reading through this post and comments and it has been a blessing. It is encouraging to hear about people who have found their way out of the churches that had actually shielded them from some or most of the truth in God’s word. If a church can obstruct the view of the true gospel then they are indeed obstructing a lot! No amount of preaching on sin or making the church into a social club can remedy the lack of a clear gospel.

  58. Hi Jane,

    I just recently found this site,and Am probably too excited. I can hardly keep from commenting on everything! It is a wonderful thing to find a like minded people around this world. It seems that we are all alone out here at times but the Lord brings folks around like you to remind us that He is still working powerfully through His church.

    Glad to see you here and i am staying as long as they will have me.

  59. Thanks, John, for your testimony of coming to faith in Christ alone.

    If I may, I would ask the Expreacherman.com contributors to refer to contributor John as “John” and to contributor John Gregory as “John G.” That would help alleviate any confusion for me and possibly for others.

  60. Hi John,

    Thank you very much! and yes you answered my question!

    Thank you for the detailed answer.
    God bless

  61. Thank you Brother Kruger. I am aware of the 36 aspects that you mention.
    I teach them. I have been free grace dispensationalistic since 1968.
    I cannot speak for other or all SBC Churches Nor wouild I want too.
    I only speak for the one that I am a member off. Yea! I have left different
    Churches that were doing exactly what this blog has stated. After trying to
    lead them out of their error & their refusal, I was forced to leave!
    But my statement remains. to misaline all SBC Churches, too lump
    them all together as bad is wrong. The Church that my familly & I attend
    was started by my fatherinlaw, a graduate of Dallas Seminary under Chafer.
    We KNOW about our posotion IN CHRIST, & we teach it. We are free Grace
    & praise God for that fact.
    God bless,
    John G.

  62. Hey Jarrod
    Thanks for sticking up for me on the SBC blog- I appreciate it. I went back on to see if anymore was written – I was sure getting beat up over there; then I saw a fellow brother in Christ batting for me. :)

  63. Actually I am a sister in Christ not a fellow brother lol!
    I meant to say Fellow Christian.

  64. Hi Faith,
    It was my pleasure and it was nice to see that truth was placed in that discussion. I thank you for putting it there!

    I do believe that your words were placed there so someone in the future that reads that stuff has the truth there so they can make a choice.

    I came to the conclusion a long time ago that we are not going to change the mind of the religious crowd.(very rarely) But the spirit and truth placed in front of them might get through to them and in time they might change their mind. I am more convinced that its for future readers that happen to come upon those conversations and they have a choice to make.God had His truth expressed there for a purpose, He probably knows about an unbeliever that is going to read that some day and that person will come to the Truth because His Word was presented there.

    So thanks for putting it there Faith!

  65. Another timely article! I have been attending an Evangelical Free church and have been blessed by the preaching. However, this Sunday toward the conclusion of the sermon the pastor presented the gospel in a two part fashion…turn from sin and believe on Christ. It’s like a dagger through the heart. It almost seems like a last days epidemic of false teaching.

  66. Jack, watched the Genius video- half way through wham! Goes right into heavy morality issues expecially when he starts talking with those who have professed Christianity (did not like his yelling at the lady either). Now whether or not they are truly saved is not the issue (for maybe some of these do not truly believe)- they have professed Jesus Christ as who they believe in; this is a case of discipleship of new believers. If the church DID ITS JOB it would have discipled these people in their new found faith or would have found out whether or not they wanted Christ. Many babies end up like this because no one is there to show them truth. Discipleship is imperative, but no one tends to take this time with new believers except to chuck them back out there to do the biddings of the church. In this they tend to fall back to their old ways because of the pressures of the “legalist” or “loosey-goosey” mindset instead of patient and loving guidance from those who have been “around the block” (more mature in their faith). If you noticed in the video Ray Comfort goes heavy into the mindset of “if you do not show that you are “holy” – (whatever that means in the Calvinist agenda) you have not persevered and therefore are not Christs”. The funny thing is their vision of holiness is convoluted at best because they themselves are caught up in the same sins, except they “look” better because they wear the religious garments. Just look at all the scandals that are coming out of these churches today and performed by the same men who are chastising others. Also again I havve mentioned before -we do not see the thoughts and heart of others so this goes for the pastors and leaders as well (what? pride, jealousy, hatred, fear, compromise)

    Now the story of John Lennon was a poor choice of candidates to look at. Maybe he looked to Christ at one point but he clearly chose his path and it was down the path of occultism. Lennon was not a genius because he has stated before where he got his lyrics from and that was from the Prince of Darkness.

  67. Brad, my family and I attended an EFCA church for a while. To quote Forrest Gump, “it was like a box of chocolates. You never knew what you were going to get.” I noticed it drifting toward a guilt-laden social gospel just before we left.

  68. Yes John I am seeing that so much- the guilt laden church. All leaning towards the RCC. The church (Reformed) I use to attend is now doing Advent. You would have never seen this church do that 10 years, even 5 years ago. This will just be a continual adding on of “stuff” to do and feel guilty for if not done.

  69. Hello Everyone
    I just returned to town. An interesting blog on Dave Hunt we have here. Mr. Hunt (along with many others) is a good sample for the call of discernment. Matthew Chapter 7.
    Trust in Jesus
    Levi

  70. Hello Levi,

    Glad you are back in town and active..

    Merry Christmas to you and yours..

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  71. Expected Imminently

    Hello, I am a bit nervous as I have been churchless for decades. For a long time I have been ‘Free Grace’ but didn’t know it until recently. My online teaching has come from AFruchtenbaum and Robert Dean. Amazing teachers but I have not become a cessationist. I pray in my ‘heart’ language, make no apologies as its the only way I can succesfully express myself to Father – so if that offends – but that’s who I am. I have googled Jarrod Krugger and followed him here from DTW because I hope for clarity about the ‘crossless gospel’ used by the GES which I reject. Sorry again, but I insist on the truth. I love the fact that he has a grasp of grammar and Greek like RD does. I am SO dissapointed with Berean, I know DH is very old now and being nursed, it must be down to newcomers? Anyway, here I am, what now? Cheers!
    Maranatha

    Sue

  72. Welcome Sue.

    Jack has a good link on the “crossless gospel” at his other site:

    http://www.weaverclan.com/CrosslessGospel.pdf

  73. Hi Sue,

    Good to have you visit. You say you are a free Grace believer — you’ll will find many Grace friends here. You seem to apologize for wanting the Truth. That is nothing to apologize for — but it is a wonderful attribute.

    I pray you checked out the “Crossless Gospel” PDF that Bruce recommended. It is a full explanation.

    You said, “I have not become a cessationist. I pray in my ‘heart’ language, make no apologies as its the only way I can succesfully express myself to Father..”

    First, I have not seen any Biblical record of what you call “heart language” but have heard of the concept being taught by Pentecostal and Charismatic teachers.

    When you say you are not a cessationist, I assume that you believe the Acts 2 miracle gift of languages is still in effect for today and the gift has not ceased. We would disagree with that — with good reason which I will explain.

    There are two distinct times in the Bible when “tongues” (languages) are covered. One in Acts 2 which is the supernatural miracle of languages and later in 1 Corinthians when Paul speaks of confusion in the church with people speaking their natural born language or a language they have learned, addressing a group where no one understands what they are saying.

    Referencing your note about “cessationist” and “heart language” I will try to make a couple of quick notes and observations rather than writing a sermon.

    The Greek for “tongues” is glossa, meaning simply language.. so I prefer to use that word language rather than the misunderstood word “tongues.” There are two primary contextual explanations of “tongues” (languages) in the NT (KJV). The miracle gift of languages (Acts 2 – where no interpreter was needed – everyone heard in their own language) and the use of learned languages (1 Corinthians 12, 13, 14 – interpreter needed – thereby no miracle).

    In Acts 2 we see the miraculous gift of languages under the guidance or influence (filled) of the Holy Spirit:
    Acts 2:4-22
    “And they were all filled with [influenced by] the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues [languages], as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

    The next few verses speak of the many cultures and languages represented (every nation).

    Verse 6 “Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language [Gr. dialektos = Dialect]. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? [8] And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? [9] Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, [10] Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, [11] Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues [language] the wonderful works of God. [12] And they were all amazed,…..”

    No interpreter needed – as all from all nations heard in their own language.

    The reason for the miracle was to propagate “The wonderful works of God..” Such languages were and should always be in a language understood by all listeners. Notice, because it was a miracle where everyone heard in their own language, they did not need an interpreter.

    Some thought the disciples were drunk — because every man heard these uneducated common folk disciples speaking to them in their own language !!!

    Then Peter got up and explained this was the miracle predicted in Joel.

    So we go fast forward in time to 1 Corinthians 12, 13, 14:

    Whereas, Acts 2 speaks of the miracle of languages by unlearned men to the ears of the multitudes, in 1 Corinthians Paul speaks of the conflict of many folks speaking their native or learned languages in church and causing confusion. They should only speak in the accepted natural language of the church, to be understood by all, otherwise someone should interpret their words (totally different from the Acts 2 miracle of languages that everyone understood which needed no interpretation).

    And Paul, as illustrated in these verses is a learned man of many languages writing to the church at Corinth:
    1 Corinthians 14:18-20
    “I thank my God, I speak with tongues [languages] more than ye all: [19] Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue [language unknown to his audience]. [20] Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding [sensitivity] be men.”

    In other words, Paul is pleading with the Corinthians to be reasonable — and “speak words easy to be understood.”

    The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:9:
    “So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.”

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  74. Hi Sue,

    I apologize that I neglected to include a series of verses which explain my position on your observation of “cessationist.”

    We know that God’s Word is perfect because:
    “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21

    We also see in 1 Corinthians 13:8-10
    “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

    I believe “that which is perfect,” being God’s Holy Word has come. There is no more need for the miracle gift of languages — it has ceased because “The wonderful works of God” are now proclaimed and codified into His Holy Word.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  75. Expected Imminently

    Jack said “I have not seen any Biblical record of what you call “heart language” but have heard of the concept being taught by Pentecostal and Charismatic teachers.”
    That’s right – I made it up to try and describe a form of communication that isn’t a language. :)
    I am not, nor ever have been a Pentecostal or a Charismaniac. I realise all the objections and agree with them. Robert Dean has done a very intensive study which I have followed faithfully. In my opinion, all I know who teach that the Gifts were temporary, non-the-less, DO have The Holy Spirits Gifts working naturally in them. I stress ‘naturally’ because that is how He works, not as the P&C do, but quietly, as and where and when He wills.

    There are no more genuine Apostles and Prophets, but there are apostles and prophets speaking out God’s WRITTEN Word to build up the Body. E.g if I said ‘I am so alone’, the prophet would say “Jesus said ‘I will never leave you or forsake you even to the end of the world’, so believe His Word, not your feelings.” The apostle is the same, but he is sent out by a congregation to build others up in God’s written Word, not dreamed up in their emotions. We can receive a gift of healing from God when we are ill. Miracles occur when a mother has little food to give her family – she asks of the Lord and somehow, there is enough to go around with left-over’s.

    I won’t labour this with the other gifts, but they are all naturally the same but people only have them as the Holy Spirit decides and we each have some, but not others. All are to build up the Body of Christ corporately, and ‘tongues’ are also to build up the individual who is a part of the Body. Now I have always found speaking difficult, and it helps me to give a ‘voice’ to my heart/mind that becomes stunted by my inability to speak/pray to God. He knows my heart, He doesn’t need the ‘tongue’, in my weakness its me that benefits and no-one else.

    I had identical twin sons. Sat in their playpen as little babies, they communicated with one another in their nonsensical jibber-jabber. It was more than just trying to imitate my voice, they actually responded in action to what the other said. Picking up a red brick met with ‘words’ that said ‘no, not that one’, and another was selected and presented with gibberish that expressed approval. That’s what I mean by ‘heart’ language. Outwardly it is gibberish and unscientific, but it expresses a longing in my heart I am unable to express verbally (unless I have a pen and paper).

    I’m not trying to convince you or argue my case; it’s just the fact of the matter and like it or loathe it, that’s how I speak to my Lord with the utmost faith that he knows exactly what I mean. I even sing in my gibberish with my heart swelling in praise, and it ‘sounds’ melodic and pleasant to my ears. Not to anyone else perhaps, but I am not singing to any one else, I am singing to the Lord my God with the sincerity of a thankful, adoring heart/mind. No one else is meant to understand what I am saying, it is personal between me and The Lord and He understands every bit what I am trying to communicate.

    I can’t pretend, I am just telling you the truth of what I do and I have no desire to cause you any concern and I do understand and respect your position and don’t disagree with the technicalities of it. As I mentioned, I have faithfully followed the guidance of Robert Dean on this very subject; it is a much smaller opposition that I have than you may think. That’s not why I am here, I love the teaching ability of Free Gracers and am thankful I have not allowed myself to be turned off and missed some thrilling, amazing Doctrine.

    Concerning ‘the perfect’ imho the context’ involves Christ’s Body – now we see in part – when the perfect is come is when we are changed and this mortal puts on immortality. The old sin nature, that we have to battle against along with the world and the devil; is a part of the mortal, and is finally ‘put off. It is the uniting of the Head with His Body which is her completion at the Rapture of the Church when individually and corporately we shall see Him as He is and are finally just like Him. It is then we shall have no need of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit that have aided us through the difficulties of the Church Age. It is only then that they will be done away with imho.
    Thank you Pastor Jack for giving me a hearing. :)

    Hello Califgracer. You may be pleased to know that I have already read, and downloaded the article by Tom Stegall. I am so glad it meets with approval here.

    Out of interest, I have just been banned from DTW being accused of false teaching (Free Grace) Ah well, what else is new :) If I get things wrong here, I trust you will graciously correct me with Scripture instead of slamming the door in my face. I am very happy to be corrected; it’s a good way to learn from mistakes.

    Thank you and God bless you all!

    Sue

  76. Hello again Sue,

    I am glad to hear that you are not a Pentecostal or, as you call it, a “Charismaniac.” The whole discussion about what you call, “heart language,” could be problematic to many readers. It’s probably better to say that the sign gifts were given for the early confirmation and launching of the church. Now, as believers in Christ by grace alone through faith alone, we have the Bible and the quiet leading of the Holy Spirit to guide our lives.

    Sue, you also said, “There are no more genuine Apostles and Prophets, but there are apostles and prophets speaking out God’s WRITTEN Word to build up the Body.”

    There is no longer an office or position of apostle or prophet since the first century; however, we do have pastors and teachers today who speak forth the Word of God. The positions of apostle and prophet were no longer needed after the completion and giving out of the written Word of God. In a loose sense of the term, “apostle,” apostolos in Greek, can mean, “one sent forth on a mission” [NASB Exhaustive Concordance]. But, again, I wouldn’t want us to label missionaries as “apostles,” for that could lead to confusion as to their proper role in the body of Christ today.

  77. Sue, I am glad that you have found your way to this site. I can attest that you will find many here who seek to continually proclaim and defend the true gospel.

    As far as “heart language” goes, I agree with Jack and Bruce. I do know that the Holy Spirit is our interpreter when we pray. (Rom 8:26) God does indeed always know our heart but I never took this to mean that we should pray in tongues and let the Spirit interpret. Rather we should pray exactly the best we know how (with words if at all possible) and leave it up to God trusting Him that He understands us. This includes the things that we might not have been able to clearly articulate. I am also glad that you are at times making a melody in your heart to the Lord. He is after all worthy of praise. I think there is a time to please God with praise and adoration and also a time to talk to Him directly with our words. You see this modeled in the Bible many times.

    Sorry to hear about your treatment for being Free Grace. Sometimes people do lump us in with the “crossless” false gospel crowd or with what they deem to be “easy believism” but you can rest assured that God will reward those who stand firm for the sake of the true gospel despite the opposition.

  78. Welcome Sue,

    I’m very sorry you had a door slammed in your face somewhere else. I mentioned on a different thread here that I no longer read from other blogs and discernment sites because they’re all entangled within the bonds of LS, specifically by their misunderstanding of the term “repentance”. But on occassion, I have peeked in at a few places and am shocked by the thin veneer of civility which so easily falls away as soon as they’re met with any form of opposition. So many are concerned with the gifts of the Spirit, yet have no desire to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22), and if they do, it’s on a very short leash. The hardness was always there, I suppose, but now that I’ve weaned myself from same, encountering it now and then brings with it an offensive bitterness.

    I hope you’ll find this place to be one of consistently sound instruction and fellowship.

  79. Pearl,

    I can identify some with what you said about other blogs and discernment sites. Previously, before I started looking into what exactly Lordship Salvation was, I might have glossed over the deception. I was just looking at a site the other day for Answers in Genesis relating to their new Sunday school curriculum. I have read some books by Ken Ham in the past and even attended a few of his seminars back when in the mid to late 90’s. Now it appears to me that he has gone right along the lines of Ray Comfort. He may have some decent things to say about Creation and worldviews but I think his gospel is Lordship – Ray comfort style.

    The following is seen on his site in a lesson to teach children the gospel.

    “If you repent (are sorry for and turn from your sin) and trust
    in Jesus’ death for you, you can become a child of God!
    Do you understand that you are a sinner? Do you admit that you
    have disobeyed God’s commands?
    God says, “Do not lie.” Have you ever told a lie?
    God says, “Honor your parents.” Have you ever disobeyed your
    parents?
    Because you are a sinner, you deserve to be separated from God
    forever. Are you sorry for disobeying God?
    “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
    Romans 3:23″

    Under how to become a child of God it says: “Do you believe
    that Jesus lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and rose
    again as the perfect sacrifice (punishment) for your sin? Do you want to love and obey God forever?
    “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
    You can pray (talk) to God and tell Him you are sorry for your sin. Tell Him you believe Jesus was punished for your sin, and you want to love and obey Him. Would you like to do this now?
    “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12
    You will still be a child of your parents, but you will also be part of God’s family!
    “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us,
    that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1

    We should all be wary of this kind of works oriented gospel presentation.

  80. Expected Imminently

    Thank you all for your gentle kindness, it is really welcome and be assured I will make every effort not to offend on any matter, in particular with my gibberish :-) I’m smiling, but I really do take what you say very seriously :-|

    Pearl said “I no longer read from other blogs and discernment sites because they’re all entangled within the bonds of LS, specifically by their misunderstanding of the term “repentance”.

    This has helped me so much as only today, I have come to exactly the same conclusion. It has really troubled me at how bitter and antagonistic they were in the name of discernment and so called ‘love’. Discernment is so important in these days, as well as the need to uncover error, but I now wonder if it can quickly become a case of ‘judging before the time’? They have done me a service banning me so quickly from such aggressive miseries. “All things work together for good…” Praise The Lord!

    Sue

  81. Expected Imminently

    Jim said .“If you repent (are sorry for and turn from your sin) and trust in Jesus’ death for you, you can become a child of God!”

    Oh dear. I have to admit you caught me out there. I understood how the above was wrong straight away; but I was wondering what you had against the rest, it sounded fine at first – then the penny dropped and I realized it was all about the ‘works’ of the flesh not Free Grace – whew, I had better shape up. :-(

    Thanks for the warning.

    Sue

  82. That’s disheartening, JimF, but not at all surprising, is it?

    I know I glossed over it for years, and now that I know the difference, I see and hear it everywhere. Just yesterday, the announcer at the end of Vernon McGee’s Sunday Sermon asked “have you made the decision to turn from your sins to God?”

    That’s all it takes to thwart the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  83. Pearl, I agree with you 100%. Bad translations of the Bible are a big part of the problem. I don’t think that it’s any accident that they are translated this way:

    Luke 13:3 (NLT): “Not at all! And you will also perish unless you turn from your evil ways and turn to God.”

    Satan does not follow any ground rules.

    You said: “I know I glossed over it for years, and now that I know the difference, I see and hear it everywhere.”

    Hebrews 5:14 (KJV): “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

  84. Previous version of Luke 13:3 from NLT:

    “Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God.”

  85. John, thanks for the fascinating look at Luke 13:3 and how bad translations of the Bible (these “translations” are very pervasive) can directly affect common theology, teaching in the pulpits and acceptance in the pews. This was an eye-opener. I agree with you that the mistranslations were by the design of the translators and not by accident. Or maybe the translators were so steeped in LS/Calvinist mindsets that they saw everything automatically through that skewed prism.

    Building upon your quotation of Luke 13:3, I would like to quote several more translations which serve to underscore strongly the point that you were making. I’ll start with a common Roman Catholic (RCC) translation because all of the rest [LS/Calvinist slanted versions] seem to mirror RCC theology. Just for the record, the NIV (1984), NKJV, RSV, NRSV and NASB kept the verse close to the King James Version translation.

    Douay-Rheims 1899 American Ed. (DRA) (RCC): “No, I say to you: but unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish.”

    New Century Version (NCV): “No, I tell you. But unless you change your hearts and lives, you will be destroyed as they were!”

    Good News Translation GNB [Good news?] : “No, indeed! And I tell you that if you do not turn from your sins, you will all die as they did.”

    Worldwide English Translation, NT (WE): “I tell you, ‘No!’ But if you do not stop doing wrong things, then you will all die as they did.”

    New Life Version (NLV): “But unless you are sorry for your sins and turn from them, you too will all die.”

    New Intl. Reader’s Version (NIRV): “I tell you no! But unless you turn away from your sins, you will all die too.”

    Amplified Bible: “I tell you, No; but unless you repent (change your mind for the better and heartily amend your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins), you will all likewise perish and be lost eternally.”

    Thanks again, John, for the revealing look at mistranslations.

  86. Interesting comparison of the “versions”, Bruce. You also pointed out that you started with the catholic DRA, which is the most butchered of all of them, even using the word penance. I’ve long suspected that LS is a road to Rome, so, this was very enlightening in consideration of that.

  87. Thanks for the comparisons Bruce. I remember some version called “Good News for Modern Man” being given away at the church I grew up in. I don’t know if that was the same as the “Good News” you referenced above.

  88. Very Interesting! Of course, t’s not for their abundance of integrity that the other versions neglected to butcher that particular verse, but only because Christendom in general has laid the necessary groundwork to convince the vast majority that repent means “change of behavior”.

  89. Hi Pearl,

    Very strong point!

    The RCC version points out that this kind of “turn from your sins” and “change your behavior” mentality has been around for a long long time—over one hundred years at least!

    Happy New Year to you and to all of our regular readers and contributors at Expreacherman.com!

  90. Hi John,

    Yes, you were correct about the “Good News” Bible Translation:

    From a site called, “Good News Babel,”

    “In 1976 the Old Testament was completed. The American Bible Society later shortened the name from the Good News for Modern Man to the Good News Bible (GNB).” To date it has sold over 100 million (some estimates go as high as 200 million) copies worldwide. It is the most popular version in Europe still today.

  91. Thanks Bruce. What an awful translation.

  92. More on Dave Hunt’s Berean Call.

    I just received the latest newsletter from them dated 1/1/13, with a long article by Gary Gilley — Calvinist, Mystic, teacher of Spiritual Formation and advocate of the mystical reading and application of Scripture called Lectio Divina.

    The Berean Call sinks even deeper into propagation of false doctrine.

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  93. I apologize and offer a correction about Gary Gilley.

    Thanks to our dear friend Pearl, who at my request researched some links I found on Gilley’s writings.. Gilley to his credit is apparently not a Mystic, not teaching Spiritual Formation nor Lectio Divina…

    But Gary Gilley is a doctrinaire Calvinist.. and that alone should be enough to make his article at The Berean Call a shame and contrary to TBC’s stated (but not practiced) stance against Calvinism.

    My apologies for the inaccurate reporting.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  94. Hi there Jack and everyone,
    It’s been a while since I posted on the forum here though I have been reading the new posts you have been sending out Jack. This one was particularly interesting to me. In 2003, not long after I understood that Jesus really was the promised Messiah my people had been waiting for, I got mixed up in lordship salvation teaching and was attracted to Ray Comfort’s ministry. I got very involved and bought many of his DVD’s, audio cd’s, his evidence Bible and lots of tracts. I lived almost exclusively on a fervent spiritual diet of Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron as I listened to almost every sermon and teaching I could get from Ray. For the most part, the teaching I was getting from the Pentacostal churches at that time did not help me understand the Gospel either. I got involved with the way of the master (WOTM) ministries and started go out and witnessing with them. I never did the soap box preaching where they would go out basically yell at people, showing them that under the law they are vile filthy disgusting abhorrent sinners going to hell and then the remaining 10% of the time they spend telling people their version of the Gospel. But I did do alot of one on one witnessing and handing out WOTM tracts. On one hand I promoted their lordship salvation false Gospel, telling people they must turn from their sins (TFS) and put their trust in Christ in order to be saved and on the other hand my own assurance of salvation was stripped to shreds as I had to honestly assess myself as their were certain habitual sins I found myself choosing to do. Ray Comfort actually teaches that a Christian sins, but does not sin willfully. He says that a Christian falls into sin but does not jump into it. He also says that any backsliden believer in serious sin never slid forward in the first place and were never saved to begin with. In WOTM introductory evangelism instruction video titled ‘The Firefighter’ Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron even tell say that if you are not going out and telling the lost about Jesus then Jesus will one day say to you ‘depart from me I never knew you’. They actually have a few gems bits of truth in their teaching but with they they mix in and preach their damning lordship salvation message. Unfortunately many people have believed this false Gospel. Through my own lack of assurance I pressed on for answers. It’s really only in the last year that I have firmly accepted that no TFS is necessary for salvation, nor is a holy lifestyle to be used as a proof of someone’s salvation, but only whether they have believed on Christ alone without any reliance on their works or behavioral standards. I have these days much more assurance, there are times I have felt 100% assured but not usually. I still have some doubts and questions. Now I have finished my teaching degree and have finished organizing my interstate move, I have a bit more time to post here. I am hoping it is ok to post some of my and my recently wed wife’s questions here on this forum for some solid answers? Is that ok that I dialogue with you and ask questions about this most important issue?

    Many Blessings
    Daniel

    ps. I have been listening to various Free Grace and Independent Fundamental Baptist teaching about Salvation since I posted last.

  95. Daniel,

    Welcome back.. I seem to recall you are in Australia. You are welcome to ask questions any time. We have many here who are anxious to answer or refer you to previous articles where we may have already answered the question.

    Just a quick warning — there are some Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) pastors who are “turn from sin” salvationists and LSers. Even some teachers who proclaim they are free gracers should be watched. Just be very careful and compare ALL teachers with God’s Word through the prism of free Grace. Feel free to ask our opinion on any teacher. We will be honest with you.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  96. Expected Imminently

    Hello Daniel

    I find other people’s questions stir up things in me that have troubled me and didn’t know how to ask! Pat, Kim and Chuck have been a great help that way lately, and the encouragement as people ‘get it’ and get growing as Jack applies ‘fertilizer’ to unsteady roots. That’s priceless to me.

    Looking forward to reading the answers to your questions. :)

    Sue

  97. Thanks Jack and Sue,
    Yes that’s right Jack I am in Australia. I’m just about to move to beautiful Queensland on the coast. I have many questions so I will just ask one or two at a time and everyone part of this group that has a free grace perspective, feel free to answer me directly, redirect me to previous answers or to any links of some good teaching that would answer the question. I prefer to listen to sermons or watch video clips that answer the question but am happy to read brief articles that answer the question and of course am very happy to read your responses. I think that some of my questions and doubts are probably very common, others are not so common, so hopefully you will find the responses to my questions as edifying as I do Sue and we can benefit together : )

    Most of my questions are regarding interpretation of some Bible passages. I do have one Bible preacher I would ask you opinion on however, his name is Pastor Steven Anderson from Faithful Word Baptist. What do you think of him? I have been listening to ALOT of his preaching. I disagree with him about some things though such as his stance on Israel which seems to verge on replacement theology, I disagree with that, he can be a bit abrupt at times but I find his preaching spot on for the most part. There is a couple of other things I have questions about that he preaches but I would like to hear what you have to say of him, please give your honest opinion on him????

    Ok, let me start with one big question first before moving onto the many simple questions I have on problematic interpretations of various Bible passages….

    Ok, here it is, the big question, I rang several churches today in the area that I will be living. Mostly Baptist Churches. My wife and I, who have been married just over a year in Dec 2011, need a good Bible believing Church to attend. I only understood the errors of LS about a couple of months after we got married. Not long after that, a few months later, we stopped attending a Church here in Melbourne once I found out how reformed the leadership was, even though they were only moderately Calvinistic that really put me off. My wife and I have not attended church much in the last 9 months or so even though we aim to read our Bibles regularly and I personally listen to heaps of online sermons, it can’t replace Church. God says in Hebrews 10:25 that we should be assembling with other believers so first of all my wife and I want to obey the Lord in that area. Ok, so I rang several Churches today in search for a good Church to attend as I find doctrinal statements of faith vague and insufficient most of the time. Often they say they believe salvation is by faith alone and with a few probing questions many of them do not actually believe that at all.

    So, as far as denominations go, I thought Independent Fundamental Baptist would most likely subscribe to a free grace perspective? If not which denominations are most likely to? I understand that no matter the denomination, I need to investigate what they actually believe bc its such a mixed bag these days…

    Anyway, after ringing several churches, I did find one seemingly good Baptist Church. I spoke with the Pastor for a while. He explicitly rejects LS, rejects replacement theology and is not inclined to a Charismatic leaning. Great I thought. I asked him what Bible version he preaches from the pulpit and he uses the NIV. Not great I thought! But would you dismiss this Church bc of that even if their salvation doctrine is good? Also, if you were to advise me, what else would you tell me to help me find a good Bible believing Church? Also whats your position here regarding the KJV???
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I have come to the conclusion that the KJV is the best English translation bc the textus receptus manuscripts have not been corrupted like the other manuscripts have which almost all, if not all the new Bible translations use. Also, i am not of the opinion that the KJV is inspired, only the originals are inspired, but that God has preserved His word through the textus receptus manuscripts and bc the KJV uses those manuscripts, this is the best translation to use in English. I threw away my ESV by the way! Please give me the low down of Bible translations also as I am in no way a textual criticism expert!

    Thanks for that, i will be sure to keep future posts a bit shorter, sorry, this is a bit of an intro and want to get the ‘finding a Bible believing Church issue’ out of the way since thats on my plate right now and before I ask you regarding problematic interpretations of Bible passages…

  98. Hi Daniel,

    You have many questions. I’ll answer one. Regarding the KJV, you have stated the case pretty well for the preference for the KJV. If you search on this site, there’s a whole article on the KJV with many good comments from about a year ago. This is just my opinion regarding the NIV: I use the old NIV (1984 ed.), with caution, along with the KJV in my studies. Sometimes that helps me understand passages a bit more clearly as the KJV uses some old English terms that don’t make much sense in today’s vernacular. I am well aware, however, that the NIV has problems, which have been well chronicled at this site, so I only recommend its use to those who will use it with great discernment and, by all means, stay away from that 2011 edition of the NIV which really alters the meaning of certain passages. Regarding choosing a church (again, in my opinion), if the pastor were a solid Free Grace teacher with no hint of Calvinism or LS in his teaching, I would not hold the one fact alone against him that he used the (1984) NIV. Others here may have differing opinions.

    Blessings on your search.

  99. Welcome back, Daniel! I remember you! Belated congratulations (and first anniversary) to you and your wife!

    One thing stuck out to me which I would like to touch upon, and hopefully others here might offer more thorough answers.

    You said,

    “I did find one seemingly good Baptist Church. I spoke with the Pastor for a while. He explicitly rejects LS, rejects replacement theology and is not inclined to a Charismatic leaning.”

    When I was first learning to recognize LS, many anti-LS sources recommended to me still contained reformed characteristics, some plainly, others not so. The more subtle characteristic would be the teaching that the Holy Spirit enables man to believe. More than a few of these sources would be insulted to be labeled Calvinist or Arminian, and rather prefer the term “biblicist”. I’m certainly no expert on either theology by any means, but this is too important to be glossed over. I can’t help but be convinced that such a teaching allows for more subtle, undefined LS characteristics to gain a foothold in one’s Christian walk.

    Of course, you will have to make that determination as you continue to investigate this particular church, and maybe there is a way to ask the question so as to prevent the Pastor from waffling on the matter.

    It really is surprising to learn how many folks, even “free gracers”, believe this.

  100. Expected Imminently

    Hello Daniel

    Apart from phone calls to my goddaughter, I have been churchless and on my own in The Lord for many years. Every time I tried ‘winking’ at things like Arminianism, it was no good, eventually I HAD to come apart, not from the people, but from the teaching. In my minds eye I ‘saw’ a barrel of rotten apples and realised that was what would happen to any good apple that stayed there.

    I have had to get out of several barrels and trust mightily that God’s Grace is sufficient. It isn’t my will to be without Christian fellowship, and The Lord knows that I am not being disobedient but facts are facts, and I was called to be where Jesus is, physically outside the camp. Now here I am in a virtual good barrel, I just hope I’m not bad and get chucked out. :D

    Beware ‘The Alpha Curse’ ( I mean Course) it’s Ecumenical and in your neck of the woods, be wary of Hillsong. Many love the music :-| but there is false teaching in the words! Keep to the sound hymns for home worship, I have just been singing ‘Praise To the Lord the Almighty the King of Creation’, the old uns is the best uns. imo. ;)

    I love my Nelson 2nd Edition NKJV Study Bible as it has a very good running commentary including some Free Gracers. I put my NIV in the bin; The Holy Spirit wouldn’t allow me to get comfy with it at all, it wasn’t until years later that I found out the problems.

    I am learning not to despair when things go wrong, as it won’t be a wasted trial “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.” Romans 8:28. So “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”Prov3:5-7 BECAUSE Romans 14:10; 2Cor5:10.
    [...]
    God bless and keep you both. Keep your eyes upon The Word while being led by The Holy Spirit every step.

    Sue

  101. I have just two brief commints. First to Daniel. It is not easy finding a local congregation that teaches & believes free grace theology. Not many know just what that means. I will be praying for your situation.
    For Pearl, You mentioned a facet of teaching that I find a lot:
    “the subtle teaching that the Holy Spirit enables man to believe”.
    I agree that this statement of needed enablement is calvinistic double-speak. Any enablement by any other source for the individual to believe leads to the encroachment of calvinism.
    Correct me where I’m wrong, The Biblicist, which I claim to be, may also be termed a Traditionalist. Both are against any form of Calvinism or Arminianism. The subtle idea that we need any enablement in order to make a free will choice will lead to the quagmire of LSC!
    The only argument that I am able to see is the calling, wooing, and drawing of the Holy Spirit which is prior to the point of decision of the person. But this calling, wooing, & drawing is unlimited.
    As stated above, correct me please if & where I am wrong.
    God bless all!
    John G.

  102. Hello Everyone
    I understand Daniel about being without a church. I have been without a home church for many years and unable to find a home church. I will pray for you to find a Free Grace Church.

    May I speak on the subject of Mr. Anderson. Have you found the gospel on his website?

    Trust in Jesus
    Levi

  103. Hello again Daniel!

    You inquired, “I do have one Bible preacher I would ask you opinion on however, his name is Pastor Steven Anderson from Faithful Word Baptist. What do you think of him?”

    I did a bit of research on Pastor Anderson at his church’s web site. I found his positions to be, in my opinion, to say the least, extreme! The following are a sampling from Anderson’s church web site:

    1. All Bible colleges and the institution of a Bible college are considered inherently unscriptural, wrong and blasphemous. One reason given was the utilization of the term “Master” in regard to “Masters” degrees given out at Bible colleges; this terminology is somehow considered to be “blasphemous.” The web site proudly declares that Pastor Anderson did not attend any Bible college.
    2. Birth control of any kind is considered sinful; members are expected to follow what they consider to be the biblical “mandate,” “Be fruitful and mulitiply.” The web site proudly declares that the pastor has been married for twelve years and has seven children!
    3. The web site declares that all male gynecologists are considered to be perverted and adulterous.
    4. All members are forbidden to watch television at all as it promotes worldly values.
    5. Ladies are commanded to have long hair; they are forbidden from wearing any form of headcovering.
    6. The King James Bible is not simply considered to be the best Bible translation in use today, of the best textual origin available, inerrant in its original manuscripts. It is considered by Anderson and his church to be THE ACTUAL INERRANT Word of God, preserved by God and 100% flawless in every way.

    Daniel, again, what you see above is just a small sampling of what I read on Anderson’s web site.

    My humble advice (my opinion) is that you steer clear of this web site and these teachings.

  104. Daniel,

    I urge you to stay away from Steve Anderson. What Bruce has said is right. Also, I noticed that he has a message where he calls dispensationalism satanic. In it he goes on to rail against dispensationalism claiming that it, is Satan’s deception, prevents God from doing miracles, and advocates evolution and non-literal 6 days of creation. One of his main beefs is that he thinks that the rapture and second coming take place half way through the tribulation and he criticizes the idea that God can come at any time. This all reeks of Mid-Acts Hyperdispenationalism even though he tries to deny that he is dispensational at all. He can say whatever he wants but his beliefs betray him. He also holds to, as Bruce mentioned, the error that the King James Version itself is the inspired innerant Word of God, not the original manuscripts. This all reminds me of a nearby church that claim to be “Right dividers”. As for college, Pastors like this could have benefitted from a Biblical college degree. Good Bible colleges will seek to prevent heresy not promote it. Some Pastors are just wolves in sheeps clothing who say a few good things (Calvinism is bad) but are full of error and rhetoric. My honest opinion is that Anderson is more of a wolf than a sheep.

    If you have found a free grace type church and the only obvious problem is that they use the NIV then consider yourself lucky. You will still have to test all things through scripture and be discerning realizing that nothing is a given but it sounds like you are making a good start. I’ll be praying for you.

  105. Daniel, I would stay away from Anderson. Not only are several of his views on scripture errant, but he seems to add lots of extra-biblical moral holiness standards of his own design. This guy is not the Holy Spirit, but it looks as if someone forgot to tell him.

  106. Great research, Bruce.

    Daniel, not that you need another voice of warning, but yeah, Anderson is clearly soul-sapping poison!

    A few years ago, my family and I visited a KJ-only church, and that one visit was plenty. Their church literature was comparable to what Bruce uncovered on Anderson’s. Given that kind of power over the congregation, I don’t think calling them cultic is a far stretch.

    I agree with your conclusion on the King James translation, that it itself is not inspired, but the originals are. Early on in my Christian walk, I read a few KJ-only authors, namely the most prominent one, and while she had some interesting things to say on the KJ, and her comparing plenty of verses with those from other translations was quite enough to convince me, I could never quite dismiss her “style” (for lack of a better description). Thankfully, I merely stuck with the conviction that KJ was the obvious choice of versions, and moved on. Today, looking back and having perfect vision, I’d never recommend her or any other legalistic KJ-only author. Their false gospel shows them to be the first steps to other skillfully manipulative and power-driven false teachers.

    John Gregory said,

    “The only argument that I am able to see is the calling, wooing, and drawing of the Holy Spirit which is prior to the point of decision of the person.”

    Yep! :-)

  107. Daniel,

    You have received some good advice.

    While you are looking for (and if you find) a good Grace church and you want to listen to accurate Bible study and sermons by a dependable teacher, we highly recommend our friend Dr. Tom Cucuzza’s website and the wonderful collection of hundreds of his sermons. Check out Tom, his book, Secure Forever, his Bible studies, sermon recordings and writings here:

    http://www.northlandchurch.com/

    We recommend Tom to everyone who is serious about learning God’s Word and His Grace.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  108. Thanks for the great responses everyone. This just confirms to me that finding a good church that has a free grace perspective is not easy to find. Very few people that call themselves Christians these days actually affirm that faith in Christ alone is sufficient for salvation, though they almost always give lip service to that and say that they believe salvation is faith alone in Christ, but then they add works in a variety of ways. That much has become very clear to me since coming out of a LS perspective. Most people either demand TFS/’repentance’ + Faith in Christ in order to be saved, front loading the Gospel with works; or, they back load the Gospel with works by saying that if you are saved you will have good works to prove you are saved. Or they may simply deny the doctrine of eternal security and thus make works a way of maintaining your salvation. I can’t go to a Church that affirms any of the above, it’s unacceptable. That said, Hebrews 10:25 is a command to do church and assemble with others who believe. The only way I can see not attending Church to be acceptable is if there are no other believers in the true Gospel to assemble with. Besides, I have too many things in my life that God wants to straighten out, I can’t afford not to go to Church. When I have experienced quality fellowship with other believers in the past, it really has been a strength and inspiration for me in my walk. Not saying we can’t get our strength from God but I think it’s clear there are benefits that God intends for us in fellowship with other believers. The question now becomes, how much wrong teaching is acceptable? Obviously, they gotta have the Gospel right, that’s crucial, but even then, there are other false doctrines and practices that can seriously affect our faith by being continually exposed to them. No Church is perfect and I guess we need always to test every sermon/teaching against the Word, no matter how much we respect a certain preacher. But even if they have the Gospel right, there is a lot of other things in the Bible after salvation. That said, I know I need to steer clear of Pentecostal churches, Calvinists, LS type churches, those that deny or are not clear on eternal security and those that are liberal and interpret the Bible through modern culture and would say that salvation occurs after saying a prayer. As mentioned, these can all be in varying degrees and particularly Calvinist doctrine can be oh so subtle. My discernment on these things is getting a lot better but maybe still a little foggy so if I’m in doubt about what a church believes and if it hints of LS teaching but I am not sure, I may need to check in with you here.

    (By the way, I am not against the sinner’s prayer by the way, but this should happen after a person has been given a thorough scriptural understanding of what salvation is and what it is not).

    Ok, here is the Church that I was talking about that is not LS but uses the NIV, could you give me your opinion on that, here is the link:

    http://cpcc.org.au/index.php/our-beliefs/

    Regards
    Daniel

    ps. I have to go out but will respond regarding your feedback on faithful word baptist and Steven Anderson in a few hours. Also, I spoke with another church pastor and I think it has some subtle LS teaching but I am not sure, I will respond and tell you what the pastor told me during my phone conversation when I get back.

    pps. I found an article titled ‘Why I Use the King James Version’ so I trust this is the main article for me to read to get educated regarding the KJV?

    ppps. Just a question, is it possible that if you are very strong and won’t be affected by a church that preaches a garbled Gospel, that because there will be saved people there and if that’s the only option we have, then we should still attend? I mean you can evangelise those people, as long as it’s not going to affect your walk with the Lord by hearing wrong teaching maybe attending that Church is better than no church???? Again, just a question as I have seen that many here don’t attend Church, my current stance is, at the minimum they have go to have the Gospel correct at the very minimum.

    pppps. sorry for al the ps’s!

  109. Daniel,

    Remember, going to church will not “straighten you out.” God’s Holy Spirit using His Word is the guiding solution for that.

    We are told in Scripture to separate from unclean things. A church with a false or garbled message is “an unclean thing.”

    Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” 2 Cor. 6:17

    Fellowship with other believers is wonderful and important but if they sit under and believe error, they WILL influence you. As you study God’s Word you will realize that we should not tolerate any error in any church. “A little leaven leveneth the whole lump.” Galatians 5:9

    We will be happy to advise you about a church if you send a link (which we may have to delete if it is unscriptural) or please describe their Statement of Faith.

    A “sinner’s prayer” is not necessary — only Faith in Jesus Christ alone. Too many of these “prayers” are totally off the wall and unBiblical theologically.. Run from them.

    Daniel, avoid any church with a garbled message.. period!! The Gospel of our Savior is way too precious to take a chance with some preacher or teacher who preaches a lie, whether intentional or by ignorance.

    I pray one of our regular friends will check out your NIV church’s link to their beliefs and report back to us/you.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  110. Daniel! I did check your link to that specific church. As are most statements of faith, their’s is somewhat short & ambigous. I prefer more elabration. The head pastor is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. That is Good. I do NOT care for the NIV. From what I have seen, try it out and listen to what is taught. If this is the only place near you, then try it out.
    God bless, John G.

  111. Daniel, If you can’t tell whether or not someone believes in Grace, that may be a bad sign that they don’t.

    You said: “When I have experienced quality fellowship with other believers in the past, it really has been a strength and inspiration for me in my walk.”

    Did these other believers help you find your way out of LS? If so, then they may have helped give you strength and inspiration in your walk. If not, then they may not have really been helping you.

    Jack recommended listening to some of Tom Cucuzza’s sermons to help get you grounded in what real Grace messages sound like. I would concur.

    Until my wife and I had heard Dr. Cucuzza, we had heard very little clear Grace messaging from the pulpit. Following is an excerpt from one of Dr. Cucuzza’s recent sermons from Hebrews:

    Minutes 2:03-3:33

    You notice it says “if our gospel be hid it is hid to them that are lost.” And you notice how they’re blind. Satan is blinding them. Now, how does Satan blind people to the truth of the Gospel? Can I tell you this? Unfortunately, friends, he does it through the pulpits of America and through the Word.

    Because, for generations, for generations – really for all of history – most people have been saying that you go to Heaven through religion of one kind or another. You go to Heaven through rituals. You go to Heaven through ordinances, or sacraments, or good works of one kind or another. And what that does – see people automatically want to believe the authority and so what that does is it leads people astray, into something that’s false and they believe that.

    And then, when someone comes along with the true Gospel of Grace, that says your sins have been bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ, once and for all, and that all you can do to be saved is to put your faith in Him, trust in Him as your Savior, they say this: “I can’t believe that. That’s too easy. That’s easy believism. That’s cheap grace.” And all these kind of lines that they come up with. “You can’t tell me it’s a gift. You can’t tell me that you can put your faith in Christ as your Savior and, no matter what, you’re going to Heaven. You can’t tell me that”. Why would a person say that? I’ll tell you why, because they have been blinded by Satan.

    Minutes 21:38-23:34
    This is why the Lord rejects any attempt at us earning our salvation through good works or reformation. This is why you hear these people say: “well, what Christ did is important, but you have to be willing to turn from all your sins. “ Okay. “Write that in the contract!” Okay. “You got to put that in there – these are the things you’re agreeing to in your purchase agreement here.”

    No dear friend! Paid in full. “Well Christ it is partner – you gotta be sorry. You gotta promise to change. You gotta promise this, you gotta promise that. You gotta get baptized. Well Christ it is partner. It’s a free gift, but if you don’t walk forward, you can’t be saved. Cause, cause you know, Billy Graham used to say ‘everybody Jesus called He called publicly’”.

    Well, you haven’t read your Bible lately. Sorry Mr. Graham. Nicodemus came to Jesus by night. The woman at the well – it was one-on-one with the woman at the well. No-one came till later. Those were personal, one-on-one things.

    Let’s believe God. Okay. Listen, you don’t have to walk forward to be saved, you don’t have to raise your hand to be saved, you don’t have to do anything but believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you’ll be saved. That’s the condition. The sole condition- it’s simply to believe.

    Again, this is why the Lord rejects any attempt at us earning our salvation through good works or reformation.

    Salvation is not a bi-lateral contract. That’s why this so called “Lordship salvation” being preached today by people like Piper, and MacArthur, and Sproul, and all these other people – that’s why it is a damning, false message. Because it is adding to the condition of salvation – which is Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. It’s the only way you’re saved. It’s not a bi-lateral contract. It’s unilateral! It’s God saying: ‘I promise you this’.

  112. Hi again, Daniel.

    A lot of Free Grace believers have given you very wise advise. I hope that it has been helpful to you.

    Regarding the church web site that you asked us to check out, I took a couple of hours and checked it out tonight. I agree with John G that the statements of faith and theology were a bit vague, although I didn’t see any evidence of LS or Calvinism. And I also agree with John G that the pastor’s being a Dallas Seminary graduate is a plus. I graduated from Talbot Theological Seminary in California; several of my professors were Dallas grads (most had doctorates from there).

    I watched and listened to one sermon on discipline. Keep in mind that this was ONLY ONE sermon, so I am not making any general assessment of his preaching. I saw nothing negative or unbiblical there, but I thought that it was quite top heavy on illustrations and too light on the Bible or theological depth. The pastor didn’t read any passage of Scripture but he did cite a few verses from Paul’s writings. He didn’t do this until exactly 22 minutes into the 31 minute sermon. So, again, I’m not being overly critical. I thought that the pastor was engaging, sincere and a good orator, but, again, for me personally, I would like to see more Bible content and depth.

  113. Expected Imminently

    Hello Daniel

    Limited checking revealed red flags for me. Q&A Quote ‘ Be careful what you desire, we are driven by what we desire’. (I THINK that is in the Purpose Driven literature?)

    He also mentioned favourably Erwin MacManus and Tony Campola.

    Pastor said he stopped judging the ministries of others because we are told ‘do not judge’.re Matt 7. This is definitely Rick Warren teaching. If RW had his way we wouldn’t judge him and his ministry. Its true we must not judge one another’s faults and failing, but Jesus goes on to say we MUST judge the TEACHING of others in case they are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    Sorry chum, that’s a no from me. :(

    Sue

  114. Expected Imminently

    Hello Daniel

    After a cuppa I realised what I had seen on the Q&A was about the social gospel. I usually love the Q&A’s, peeps ask questions about the Scriptures and I also benefit from the answers. From memory the pastor answered a Q on homosexuals, he said the Bible says NO, but from a social standpoint paedophilia and rape concerned him more.

    He was asked his opinion on what line to draw watching TV and film, he gave a socially acceptable reply. I would need to go back and double check, but not one Q was about the Faith. He did mention Scriptures, but to my understanding this church teaches a liberal social gospel not the Free Grace through faith in Christ Gospel.

    Psychology would play the main role in counselling. It is at least the ‘Purpose Driven’ that split my family. Emergent – the spirit of the age.

    Sue

  115. I hear what you are saying about the Spirit using God’s Word to be the guiding solution that will ‘straighten me out’. I still do think that fellowship/the church when the teaching is good, can really edify us and help us in our walk though I don’t think you are disagreeing with that but that our reliance should be on God and His word not people who are unreliable. I also hear what you are saying that if a church does not have the Gospel right then we should simply stay away. And yes, it’s true that regularly sitting under bad teaching WILL corrupt someone and your use of 2 Cor. 6:17 and Galatians 5:9 is very apt. I was questioning if possibly it may ever be appropriate to be in a church that has the Gospel mostly right, however, you are right, it is so important that we should not compromise when it comes to the Gospel and if the Church in question has not got the Gospel right, stay away, run away! Regarding the sinners prayer, the Bible teaches that believing is sufficient, I agree that no prayer needs to be said, however I have some very specific questions on this regarding the sinner’s prayer and calling on the name of the Lord but ask about in a future post. First let’s finish with what we have started. Before I begin to ask some Bible passage questions can I respond to your feedback on Pastor Anderson? Thank you all for your feedback and honesty. Let me say I hear you and see what you are saying about him being on the extreme side. Not that I am defending him or anything but a big part of how I came out of LS was by listening to several of his sermons, particularly one called ‘repent of your sins heresy’ and ‘false repentance doctrine’ and others as well. He also has a great sermon called ‘Soul-winning advice’. I actually have heard him say several things that are extreme and don’t agree with some of that but his teaching on several issues, including salvation is very clear, That said, I am glad to hear you think he is too extreme; I’ll start looking for other more recommended sources and since Dr. Tom Cucuzza’s website http://www.northlandchurch.com/ comes so highly recommended I will start there. I have listened to a few sermons there already, (as well as gracelife, though there are only a few sermons on Charlie Bing’s site) and found his tone much more gracious than Pastor Anderson who can be rather abrupt often times. Let me say this however, and I want to be upfront about this, that I do agree with Pastor Anderson’s view on birth control and while I disagree with him about dispensationalism (I believe the scriptures show that God has dealt differently with man as his revelation increased but that salvation has always be by grace through faith). I do agree with him about his position on the post trib, pre wrath rapture. I understand that many, possibly most may disagree with me about this, that’s ok with me, I don’t think we need to divide over these things; I really hope you agree that we can agree to disagree about these secondary issues regarding eschatological views and birth control and still have fellowship. That said, I am open to discussion on these topics (if Jack would allow; possibly it may not be appropriate to discuss these things since it’s not the purpose of the forum here and matters concerning the Gospel of salvation are what this site is about). After I get more education about some of my questions on difficult Bible passages that LS use to distort the Gospel. I am sure you would agree, the Gospel is what is the most important thing.

    Also, thanks Bruce and others for checking out the church website and giving me such honest and sound feedback. As well, thanks to all who have posted to respond to me; I really appreciate this ministry. My spiritual discernment is benefiting from this ministry.

    [Editorial note: the main focus of this site is on declaring and defending the Free Grace Gospel of Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16-18, Acts 16:30-31, Titus 3:5, etc. We do discuss eschatology a bit when it is appropriate to a topical category. We generally do not delve into issues unrelated to the gospel, such as birth control.]

  116. Please listen to the attached sermon if:

    1. You are not sure you are going to heaven; or
    2. You are sure you are going to heaven, and are not sure what you should be looking for in a church.

    If you don’t want to listen to the whole thing, please read this excerpt:

    Minutes 19:30-21:00:

    “You know what gifts are? Gifts are things that you buy and pay for that you give to someone freely. And you give them that and it’s theirs and all they have to do is receive it to receive the gift. There’s no strings attached.

    If I say ‘Okay, I wanna give that person a gift’ and I give it to them and then I say ‘now before I give you this, you have to promise me that you’re gonna do this and this and this and this and this’ you might say, ‘where’s the gift in that? It sounds like a contract.’ Yes. And can I tell you this morning friends, bringing this home, why did I cover this? Bringing it home, here’s what it comes down to: the majority of people in this world think going to heaven is a contract. They do not understand what the Bible says.

    The Bible says getting to heaven is a gift. It is the gift of God. That’s what God says on this. Forget about what the preacher says. This is what God says on this issue: “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God.” Gifts are free. By nature, they’re free. They’re not based on behavior – either on the front end or on the back end of it. It isn’t ‘you have do these good things to get the gift.’ Or, it isn’t ‘I’ll give you the gift, but now you have to promise you’re going to do this’.

    Now, I know there are people here who hear that and they say ‘Oh, what he’s talking about – he’s just saying that – accept the gift and then just go live like a wild man.’ No, I’m not saying that. I’m not saying that’s what we should do. But, I’m saying this: a gift is a gift is a gift is a gift. It’s free. Gifts are free. This is what God says.”

    http://northlandchurch.com/2011/sermon-archives?sermon_id=16

  117. John,

    Thanks for that link and quotes from Dr. Tom Cucuzza. Excellent!!

    It is refreshing to hear the Good News basics plain and simple.. and not get tangled up in the weeds as we so often seem to be recently. Thanks for transcribing those excerpts!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  118. Daniel,

    I have to agree with Sue and others. That church would be a no for me. It appears to be seeker friendly and focused on the social gospel. Much of the talk is about being in a relationship with God and the sermon’s that I listened to seemed to have a lot of talking and examples but little scripture. There were even places where the scripture interpretation seemed a little sketchy but not necessarily outright terrible. I get the feel that you would have to be very direct with this pastor as to his actual stances. Waiting for him to get around to explain it in his sermons could take quite some time :(
    The Tony Campolo reference that Sue mentioned is a giant red flag. I see other red flags in their vision statement (making the gospel culturally relevant etc). I also noticed that the pastor is studying for a degree in psychology. My question would be: Why?

    I’m not really personally interested in the birth control issue but the pre-wrath rapture thing is more interesting. I agree that there are differences that can exist that may not restrict fellowship. That aside, it think it is good to look not just your position: Pre-wrath, post trib, and all but how and why you got there. Answering that question may reveal a bigger problem in one’s theology. Agreeing to disagree may indeed be possible but you should still be willing to examine things that are suspect. Trying to go into it too much here would be well beyond the intended scope of this post but I may do an article on it an post it at my blog in the next few months or so.

    I totally agree that it would be a good idea for you to listen to a good free grace type preacher like Cucuzza. Though I am sure that he is pre-trib and pre-wrath rapture.

    Praying for you,

    Jim F

  119. Daniel,

    I would like to add to the Editor’s note on your comment.

    You have some wonderful questions and observations — however some may be difficult to follow and get lost in the weeds, so to speak.

    I quote from our “Comment Rules” in the top header of our web site:

    We appreciate and welcome as many comments as you please. However, we suggest you limit each comment to one subject, question or observation; digested into a couple of short paragraphs for each comment. That way we will not miss a question or observation you have posted.

    Daniel, it is obvious you are growing in God’s Grace according to 2 Peter 3:18

    “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  120. Hello brothers and sisters,

    I have a coworker who believes in Christ as Savior. He believes Christ is the son of God, and that the only way to heaven is by believing Christ died on the cross for his sins. He, however, denies that the bible is entirely true. He thinks other religions have potential to save despite only believing in Christ. As far as the bible, this means he’ll only believe what he wants to believe, or can believe, or is willing to believe. What advice would you all have for my coworker?

    In addition, I have been quite confused lately especially in visiting churches recently. Can any of you help describe to me clearly and biblically what is inherently wrong/unbiblical with seeker-sensitive churches with worship bands? In addition, the services have a lot of lights, upbeat music, and biblical teaching (which can be ironic)? I have some sort of answer in my head, but I cannot articulate it. Of course, my first reaction is that it’s worldly and cultured…but I can’t put a finger on it. This is not related to Calvinism/LS. Here is the church’s website so you can browse their doctrinal statements and what not: http://www.southbaychurch.org/

    It has been typical that these “cool” but theologically non-LS churches have a mega-population.

    Thanks for always pointing to truth,

    Pat

  121. Pat, Southbay’s site has some interesting stuff on it:

    First, their statement on how to receive eternal life by Grace through Christ Jesus is called “How to Start a Relationship with Christ”. This is kinda goofy.

    Under that section it has:

    “If you continue to sin, you will pay the penalty of spiritual death: You will not only die physically; you will also be separated from our holy God for all eternity.”

    It has Revelation 3:20 as an invitation to salvation. This is not a salvation verse, it is an invitation to fellowship.

    Finally, under “Make a Decision” it has:

    “If you are making this commitment to Christ today or would like to talk to someone about this, fill out the following form.”

    They have a lot of confusing language.

    Clear Gospel Campaign has the following section on the seeker-friendly movement:

    http://www.cleargospel.org/topics.php?t_id=24

  122. Thanks again for your responses. I shall keep your feedback in mind in making my final decision regarding that church. And thanks for that link John, I shall have a listen. And yes Jim I shall have a listen to Northland Church, I’m keen to listen to a solid recommended grace preacher. The fact that Cucuzza is pre-trib concerns me not the least, it’s a secondary issue. Regarding how I got to my post trib pre pre-wrath position, it was after many years of being a pre-tribber myself, I came to the conclusion based on what I see as the explicit teaching within scripture and changed my mind about my position not long after getting rid of LS. Anyhow, if the topic regarding the rapture comes up again under Jack’s approval, I shall be happy to dialogue. For now, let’s keep it about the Gospel cause I have some Bible passages I would like to discuss. So if it’s ok with you all, may I begin to ask you about some Bible passages?
    Regards
    Daniel
    ps. Yes Jack, from now on I shall divide my paragraph into sections to make things easier to read and more digestible. I shall also aim to address only on topic at a time, though it’s a bit hard when I am responding to multiple people’s responses to me. I shall try and simplify as mush as possible.

  123. Matt for Grace and Truth

    Daniel,

    There are plenty of free grace believers with differing views regarding the rapture. I agree that it is a secondary issue.

    May the LORD give you wisdom in finding a gathering of free grace believers. No church is perfect doctrinally or otherwise, but doctrine is extremely important as a Christian because what you feed on spiritually affects your walk with God.

    Eternal salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone (not by works at all) is foundational and primary. You may wish to ask the Pastor at a prospective church what his views are on this critical issue and other issues. A godly pastor should be happy that you desire to make such inquiries.

  124. Thanks Matt,

    Great advice for Daniel about several things, especially about the vital importance of the clarity of the Gospel of God’s Grace.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  125. John,

    Thanks for the ClearGospel link and for the feedback. I do concur that the lyrics are not theologically rich and can be “meaningless” as he describes them. I cannot say that makes them wrong though. Their beliefs section also does not appear to contain anything faulty besides an incorrect use of Rev 3:20. http://www.southbaychurch.org/about/beliefs/

    “If you are making this commitment to Christ today or would like to talk to someone about this, fill out the following form.”
    This “language” is common in churches here. However, I do understand your point. Overall, what do you think about this church? Goofy? Would you think it is worth pursuing?

  126. Pat, I can’t tell enough about it to call it goofy. I am concerned anytime belief is portrayed as a commitment. That would seem to confuse people. I know that language is common in churches today. So is “repent of your sins to be saved.”

    When we start using or excusing sloppy language, we can end up distorting the message. See excerpt from Clear Gospel Campaign, below:

    “The gospel is often contradicted by works-oriented invitations such as requiring an unbeliever to “make a personal commitment to Jesus Christ,” which is, in its essence, a requirement of a promise of future works in exchange for salvation. The gospel is not how we must “commit our life to Christ.” The gospel is that Christ committed His life to us at Calvary. The requirement that the unbeliever “commit his life to Jesus” is NOT “basically the same thing in different words.” It is 180 degrees opposite of the message of salvation. It is heresy, it is a false gospel, and it is high time that the true church of Jesus Christ stopped tolerating such false gospels as “just a different expression of the gospel.”

    http://www.cleargospel.org/topics.php?t_id=18

    I also don’t know why they have the part that says: “If you continue to sin, you will pay the penalty of spiritual death: You will not only die physically; you will also be separated from our holy God for all eternity.”

  127. Pat,

    I’ll throw a thought in here. The statement in the church’s statement of beliefs is a shocker:

    “If you continue to sin, you will pay the penalty of spiritual death: You will not only die physically; you will also be separated from our holy God for all eternity.”

    That (among other things John pointed out) would be a deal breaker for me. The church obviously does not believe Jesus when He says He gives ETERNAL LIFE to anyone who believes in Him. Eternal Life is Eternal.. without end!!! Sinning does not cancel God’s promise. John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote:

    If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8

    I could not recommend a church that teaches a believer can sin and lose his Eternal Salvation promised by God. Not possible!!

    In Jesus Christ ETERNALLY, Jack

  128. Daniel,

    As you know, we welcome your questions — however your Rapture mention is a non-starter and we would prefer not to be involved in that kind of discussion. Since you mentioned Dr. Cucuzza, please be advised that our Administrators and advisers here at ExP are in agreement with his position.

    In-depth analysis of the Rapture/Tribulation is not our purpose or emphasis here at ExP.

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  129. Jack, very good eyes finding that horrible statement on that church’s website. It wasn’t on their main page of “beliefs” that I ended up looking at, but you found it on another page called “relationship with God”. Notice how on the surface level, they can even attempt to look “free grace”, but as you dig just a bit, you find they are as hardcore LS as anyone. And that statement you found, is shockingly LS.

    And even ending with the word “commitment” means that they are asking people to commit whatever to Jesus, in order to be saved. Typical LS works for salvation.

  130. Abe,

    My eyes are terrible.. That research was John’s.. To his credit, he dug it out.

    LSers (works for salvation advocates) are a tricky bunch of folks, aren’t they??

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  131. Oops, sorry about that! John, thank you for doing the digging. But yes, the LSers are tricky.

  132. Pat said,

    “It has been typical that these ‘cool’ but theologically non-LS churches have a mega-population.”

    I have yet to see one anywhere. Usually these these “cool”, “relevant”, “passionate followers” reek of LS sweat.

  133. Jack, John,

    Your inputs are invaluable. I did some deep digging and found them connected to a Covenant church. That is unacceptable. Thanks for your discernment.

    Pearl,

    Interesting observation. While what you say is true, isn’t it also true that churches that are “cool”, “relevant” with mega-populations are full of believers and nonbelievers that attend just for entertainment and fun? I’ve been to many “cool and relevant” churches in the past, and the preaching does tend to call the congregation into a higher commitment to Christ. However, it’s never in the context of salvation. These are churches that I saw with no “repent of sins” message and did not mix salvation and sanctification. The preaching merely called them to a higher commitment to Christ without threatening them to hell. The reason I did not join these churches was only due to them being “cool, cultured, and relevant.” I’m not entirely sure that’s a good reason, however.

    Thanks.

  134. Every “relevant church” I’ve ever seen, was very LS in their doctrine. Very much so. There might be exceptions, but I haven’t found one yet in my journeys. Perhaps someone else had better fortune :)

  135. John H. Gregory

    Pearl, You state that “the preaching merely called them to a higher commitment to Christ without threatening them to hell.”
    Can you please explain A. What is wrong with the higher commitment
    to Christ. & B. Why threaten some one allready commited to Christ with
    hell. Just wondering.
    God bless
    John G.

  136. Hi there, JohnG ~

    You’re quoting Pat, not me.

  137. John H. Gregory

    Please forgive my ignorance! I do apologize! SO I will direct my questions to Pat! Please bear with me. Pat will you be so kind to answer me?
    Thank you,
    John G.

  138. No worries, JohnG! :-)

    Hi Pat,

    No doubt there are many churches attended by believers and unbelievers alike. But going by the bulk of “gospel” presentations alone, I’m left to assume that most professing Christians are still lost simply because they believe on “Jesus Christ and…” rather than Jesus Christ alone.
    What a devastating thing to contemplate! :-(

    As for your visiting many mega-churches which appear to be grace oriented, that would be a rare and wonderful thing, but my pessimistic side bubbles up and seriously doubts it. Kinda similar to the services you describe (?), last spring, the family and I attended a Dave Ramsey seminar where a lot of the things he said would probably lead many of us to conclude that he’s a man of grace. On top of that, he was a funny, genuinely likable, down-to-earth guy. I couldn’t shake the “emergent” feel I got from the entire performance, but it was l “just a feeling” I had, nothing more. At the end of the seminar, he gave a sort of “introductory” pre-gospel presentation saying how Jesus Christ changed his life, encouraging folks to take the free CD being passed out at each exit, and learn how to become a Christian. I listened to that CD, and though he began fairly well (i.e. God isn’t mad at you – in fact, He thinks you’re GREAT!), he ended up at the same ol’ place as all the other 99.999% gospel presentations end up: “commit” your life to Jesus and “turn from your sins” to be saved. Also, one of his co-speakers touring with him has a few blogs (one for secular folks and another for Christians). He, too, comes across as “cool”, “fun” and “relevant”, but digging just a little deeper revealed that he is a bigtime endorser of Francis Chan’s book “Crazy Love”. {{sigh}}

  139. Thanks Matt for your wise words and encouragement. I agree with everything you said and thanks for giving me the heads up on everything that this site is about Jack. I am happy not to get involved with discussion on the rapture and other secondary issues as the primary reason I am here also is to discuss the Gospel so I respect and understand.

    Ok, before I begin to ask about Bible passages, one topic/passage at a time, let me just say that I believe and affirm that to be saved, one simply needs to believe in the Biblical Lord Jesus Christ (that He is God, the Messiah, Son of God, born of a virgin and lived a perfectly sinless life) and believe the Gospel, that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose from the dead for our Justification. That’s it, period, nothing else! No TFS is necessary, no need to raise a hand, no need to recite a prayer or confess Christ publicly or privately, no penitence or sorrow over sin or even willingness to turn from them is necessary. All one needs to do is believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in which every human being has free will to do so or not to do so. In addition I affirm that once saved always saved, eternal security, which is secured once believing on Christ alone. Ones election is not ‘proven’ by continuing in faith or holiness, it is simply a fact for the believer who has trusted in Christ alone forever more.

    The reason I state the above is because not every question I have has caused doubts regarding my salvation. There are 2-3 specific issues that I have and at times caused me doubts and I will get to those in due course one passage/issue at a time. Some of these questions I ask are because they have caused doubts or confusion for my wife. Also many of these questions have at times caused confusion for me in that what I understand that salvation is secured by believing on Christ alone, yet as i read some of these Bible passages, on the surface they seem to be saying something else (works) so I have shelved them into the ‘there is an answer for that passage but I don’t know what it is yet’ compartment. I also ask some of these questions because in my time evangelising evangelicals, I have got some common objections to the free grace Gospel and I don’t always have a sufficient answer to defend the Gospel.

    So with that ado, let me ask my about a Bible passage that my wife was confused about. I did not have a sufficiently good answer for her so maybe you all here can help out. Again, please feel free to link back to previously answered answers on this site, links to short articles that answer the question elsewhere and/or especially any preaching or short audio or video clip that answers the question with a solid Biblical foundation.

    Ok, passage and question:

    (All Bible I use here from now is going to be KJV)
    Mark 11:25-26
    25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
    26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

    Now, in 1 John 1:9 I can clearly see this is saved people that the passage is instructing and the forgiveness there is clearly about fellowship with God. If we sin and don’t confess our sin, it does not affect our salvation but it does affect our fellowship with God and to me its clear the forgiveness that 1 John 1:9 is talking about is a relational fellowship forgiveness, not a heaven and hell salvation forgiveness. I can only say that this passage in Mark 11:25-26 (and other like passages in the Gospels after Jesus instructs his disciples how to pray) I assume must have the same meaning though it is not so clear because in this passage Jesus is instructing His disciples at the time BEFORE the institution of the New Covenant, BEFORE he Cross, resurrection and pouring out of the Holy Spirit. Please explain….

  140. Forgot to mention, parallel passages are Matthew 6:14-15 and especially Matthew 18:21-35 where Jesus gives a very strong parable and even says to His disciples in verses 34-35 says that as the unforgiving servant was handed over to the tormentors that the Father will also do to them if they do not forgive from the heart.

    Who are ‘the tormentors’???
    Many Lordship salvationists would say that this passage is saying that if you dont forgive then to Hell you go. Obviously this cant be right as salvation is secured by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. Please explain these passages….

  141. Hi Daniel,

    I think that you are on the right track when you view the passage above (Mark 11) as speaking of limiting close fellowship with God. One additional thought (from the Communicator’s Commentary) is that harboring unforgiveness in our hearts can hinder, hurt and limit the power of our prayer life. That’s pretty similar to what you said.

  142. Hello John Gregory,

    A. What is wrong with the higher commitment
    Nothing is wrong with higher commitment unless it’s preached in a manner that if believers are not striving for higher commitment, then they might not be saved to begin with. Macarthur used to say this a lot: “It’s about the direction of your life”
    B. Why threaten some one already committed to Christ with
    hell.
    Francis Chan and David Platt threaten those who are already committed to an even higher, all-out commitment.

  143. Pearl,

    Thanks for your insights! It’s absolutely true that many have trusted not only Jesus but also their own works, and done so in a subtle way. You said, “I couldn’t shake the “emergent” feel I got from the entire performance, but it was l “just a feeling” I had, nothing more.” Did the emergent feel come from the church being relevant, cool, and hip?

    I think by this time, it’s rather difficult to find a church that does not endorse Crazy Love. The few churches that don’t endorse it probably have never heard of it, or just theologically solid. Pearl, the church services you attended were not on-paper Calvinists correct?

  144. John H. Gregory

    Daniel, you have brought up questions that have troubled many Christians through the ages. I can only submit what I believe. You touched upon the correct answer when you mentioned the fact that all of these passages occured durring Christ’s earthly ministry,before the cross, before the ressurection, and before the Church began. Herein is your answer. The earthly ministry of Jesus Christ was Jewish, under the Law, & concerned the Gospel of the Kingdom, NOT the Gospel of the Grace of the risen Lord & His Church. The Gospel of the Kingdom is NOT the Gospel of the Grace of God for the Church. Second Timothy 2:15 tells us that we must acknowledge & identify the right division of Scriptures. During His earthly ministry, what Jesus taught, advocated, & spoke was under the Law, the Old Testament. The Sermon on the Mount, which is a beautiful portion of Scripture is, nevertheless, all under the LAW. WE are now under the Gospel of the Grace of Jesus Christ, Not under the Law. Romans 3:21 is a crucial portion concerning this. Please read this chapter. A big change has occurred. Right division is a must. This is the basis of Free Grace Theology. True, our fellowship with God is harmed by our sinful acts, but our destiny to Glory is never in jeopardy.
    God bless,
    John G.

  145. “Francis Chan and David Platt threaten those who are already committed to an even higher, all-out commitment.”

    It would be comical if it weren’t so spiritually damaging. Chan and Platt won’t rest until every person on earth is 100% unsure of their eternal destiny.

  146. That’s the funny thing about it, Pat. It wasn’t a church service at all, but a secular financial seminar! So, you can imagine my surprise (and tentative delight) upon learning Ramsey was a Christian. I think it’s safe to say his brand of Christianity is along the same lines of Mike Huckabee, and evangelical right-wing politics (though I’ve never compared them side-by-side, that’s just my off-the-cuff observation); you know, the homogenized, unite-for-the-sake-of-America variety. Maybe that’s why I detected an emergent atmosphere.

    “I think by this time, it’s rather difficult to find a church that does not endorse Crazy Love.”

    I totally agree. Reformed or not, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that most churches gather for Francis Chan “bible” studies, followed by Beth Moore devotionals.

  147. Daniel,

    John G had a great explanation for you.. and it is based on the true and accurate dispensational teaching of the age of Law (before the cross and resurrection of Jesus) and the age of Grace (after the resurrection) — which is the dispensation in which we live today.

    Proper dispensational study of God’s Word puts Biblical things in perspective, especially in Matthew, Mark and Luke (age of law).

    But we must always remember, God’s Gift of Eternal Life by Faith is Eternal.. no exceptions. There are no dispensational or time periods that change that Truth.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  148. Thanks Jack and John G for your responses. I understand that whilst God dealt differently with man through the different dispensations, salvation (Justification) has ALWAYS been by grace through faith, no exceptions. For example, Abraham was made righteous and was justified when he believed what God had told him in saying that as the stars in the sky could not be numbered by Abraham so would his descents be; Genesis 15:5-6 and Romans 4:3-6. Likewise, in the dispensation of the law, salvation was a free gift received by grace through faith. I am not exactly sure what message they needed to believe but I have been told; and this sounds right to me but correct me if I am wrong, that the people living under the dispensation of the law needed to believe that as they were doing the sacrifices that they needed to believe that these sin offerings were but a shadow of the Messiah who was to come in the future and pay for their sins. I am guessing that the people of that time would have known some of the Messianic prophesies and God would have based their justification through faith in believing that the Messiah would die in their place as an atoning sacrifice. Still not exactly sure if that’s what people under the law needed to believe to be saved but something along those lines.

    Now, considering that this parable was said BEFORE the cross and therefore under the dispensation of the law and if you take the position that EVEN during the dispensation of the law, salvation is by grace through faith. Therefore I can only conclude that Jesus was still talking with SAVED people. After-all, it says in John 2:11 “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him”.

    So, basically, it says His disciples believed on Jesus after He did His first Miracle; that’s when they got saved. Later in Mark 11:25-26 and Matthew 6:14-15 and Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus told them this parable. They were already saved when they heard it because they had already believed on Christ, the Bible says. So basically the forgiveness that is withheld from the unforgiving believer has the same context as 1 John 1:9, basically a consequence of a hindered prayer life, fellowship with God and loss of the joy of one’s salvation. I am pretty sure that’s the answer; correct me if I am wrong. It may sound like I answered my own question here but through dialoging with you and reflecting on what the scriptures say and the replies given here I don’t think I would arrived at that answer so easily. I certainly did not have the answer before our dialogue, thanks, makes sense now!

    Still a couple of more questions about this passage before moving onto the next passage I have questions about….

    John, you mentioned that there is a difference between the Gospel of the Kingdom is NOT the Gospel of the Grace of God for the Church. I have no idea what the difference is, please explain using scripture.

    Also, if the parable is NOT referring to Heaven and Hell, who or what are ‘the tormentors’ mentioned in this passage referring to???

  149. John H. Gregory

    Daniel, in respect to this blog & its owner, I will give you what I can, but what you ask is, I believe, far more involved than the purpose of this blog.
    First: Go and get yourself a Scofield Reference Study Bible, King James or New King James. Then immerse yourself in that book! There is NO easy or short way to to gain the knowledge that you want & need. Ya gotta work for it! Learn that Book! It took me 3 years to get through that course, but you will never regret the time spent learning that Book.
    That said, I will give you some Scriptures that will set you on your way. This is the Class that I am teaching @ my Church presently.
    Biblicistic Classic Freegrace Pauline Dispensationalism.
    The first Scripture that I will give you is II Timothy 3:16-17:
    ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD,
    AND IS PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, FOR REPROOF,
    FOR CORRECTION, FOR INSTRUCTION IN
    RIGHTEOUSNESS.
    THAT THE MAN OF GOD MAYBE PERFECT,
    THROUGHLY FURNISHED UNTO ALL GOOD WORKS.
    The second is: II Timothy 2:15:
    STUDY TO SHEW THYSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD.
    A WORKMAN THAT NEEDETH NOT TO BE ASHAMED,
    RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH.
    Below are listed some ideas that we all need to keep in mind
    when trying to understand God’s Word. All the Scripture is written
    FOR us, but NOT all Scripture is written TO us. The excitement & challenge is to discern these things.
    TIME PAST BUT NOW AGES TO COME
    OLD TESTAMENT MYSTERY NEW TESTAMENT
    FOR US TO US FOR US
    PROPHECY CHURCH PROPHECY
    ISRAEL THE BODY ISRAEL
    OF CHRIST
    THE CURCH
    THE BRIDE
    OF CHRIST
    Christ & His disciples were under the Law & living under the Old Testament, which is related to Israel. The Church is Not Old or New Testament! It is Mystery! The Church is Not prophecy! The Church is Mystery! What Christ taught during His earthly ministery was Jewish Kingdom prophecy. What John the Baptist came preaching was the Gospel of the Jewish Kingdom. Jesus following John the Baptist taught the SAME thing. Only when the Jewish Nation rejected the offer and Killed Christ & Stephen did the offer change from Kingdom Gospel to Church or Grace Gospel.
    Concerning the parables? They are mostly Jewish & Kingdom oriented. The idea of the Church IS there, but not prominent. Who are the tormentors? I don’t know. Again, that is under the Law & the Jewish aspect. Get yourself a Scofield Bible! AND LEARN IT!
    I apologize to the owner of this blog for being too long.
    Please forgive me for this.
    God bless all,
    John G.

  150. Daniel,

    I think what is often confused is the difference between the gospel of Good news of the coming kingdom – (Jewish) and the Good News or Gospel of Christ. The plan of salvation however is the same that is by grace through faith in Christ alone based on who He is and His death burial and resurrection – looking backward in our time or looking forward in OT times. We have the blessing of having the completed Word of God.

    Also, tormentors does not refer to hell, but I believe to the idea of jailers or those that would hold control over a person until, in sense of the passage, the debt was paid. It still ties into the fellowship with God idea.

  151. John G,

    Thanks. If I read you correctly you gave some good advice for all Believers in Jesus Christ.

    Your statement is very true: “All the Scripture is written FOR us, but NOT all Scripture is written TO us.” A great Bible study principle to remember.

    There are simple, basic, starting understandings of salvation; We are sinners, We all owe a death penalty for sin, Jesus paid that for us and the whole world on the cross, He was buried and rose again. Then “… Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved…” (Acts 15:31)

    However, it does take time and study to understand Scripture and the extent and depth of God’s Grace. But this permanent, never changing principle of interpreting Scripture never fails: God’s GIFT of Salvation is ONLY by Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. That is the benchmark.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  152. John H. Gregory

    Thank You Brother Jack. Of course, down through the ages, from Adam & Eve, Abraham, Moses, David, etc. The ONLY way of salvation is by Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.
    My statement is: The faith of Adam & Eve was in the shed blood of the animals that God provided to clothe them. They knew of a coming messiah. This faith in the blood of a future savior is the basis of justification. God’s will & plan is progressive & accumulative. As one age ends, the information in the new age is added to what is already known.
    God bless,
    John G.

  153. Thanks for the answers, they make sense to me, hopefully I can explain this to my wife in a way she can understand.

    Regarding the Scofield Bible, I have actually been told that while it is not LS and has the Gospel correct, it has many other false doctrines. One such strange doctrine is the idea that there was a pre-adamite civilization, I realise this also is secondary stuff but I have been warned that this reference Bible is filled with lots of false doctrine. What’s the opinion of others regarding the Scofield reference Bible???

  154. Hi Daniel,

    I, too, have found some problems with the Scofield Reference Bible. As with any commentary, the reference notes are not inspired. Often times they are helpful, sometimes not. If you keep the Bible itself always as your primary source, you won’t go astray. The Bible sheds great light on the commentaries!

  155. I realize others here may disagree on this particular point (it’s bound to happen on some issues), but I have trouble with the idea of studying from a bible with commentary. I can’t help but believe it robs the Holy Spirit of His opportunity to instruct and reveal things to me in His time, rather than always having to depend on some fallible scholar’s position.

    Ah! As I type, I see Bruce has just left a similar comment. :-)

  156. Pearl, I agree completely.

    I have found lots of things I disagree with, even from great Free Grace expositors.

    Examples:

    On repentance: I have seen several treatises on repentance that many people swear by, that I think are way off in the following ways:

    1. The use of the term “fruits of repentance”. This phrase is NEVER found in scripture. There are “fruits meet for repentance” (Matthew 3:8), “fruits worthy of repentance” (Luke 3:8) and “works meet for repentance” (Acts 26:20).

    Note that there are “fruits of the spirit”. They are not referred to as “fruits worthy of the spirit” or “fruits meet for the spirit”

    Why do I think “fruits of repentance” is wrong? Because it is not in the Bible and because “fruits of repentance” makes it sound like someone who is saved will automatically bear fruits.

    2. On repentance: “A change of heart, that leads (or normally leads) to a change in behavior”

    Why do I think it is wrong? Because repentance is best translated to a “change of mind”. If one interprets it as a change of heart, one may look to his change in heart or behavior for assurance. Even if someone concedes that a change in behavior does not automatically follow a change of heart, this interpretation would still cause a person to question his salvation, leading to the following type of introspection:

    “Is there something wrong with my faith? A change of heart normally leads to a change in behavior. I don’t feel like my behavior has changed as much as it should.”

    This introspection can ebb and flow, based on how one is feeling at any given point in time.

  157. Pearl, as someone who has been duped by false teaching, I am particularly careful in the use of commentaries.

    Most things written about the Bible start with a false gospel. Once I understood and believed the Gospel, it has become progressively easier from me to recognize Biblical “junk mail” and disregard it.

    I believe the Holy Spirit wants to teach me in His time as well, and that much of the dogma that I have exposed myself to is counterproductive to this process.

    Like Bruce said, “as with any commentary, the reference notes are not inspired”.

  158. John H. Gregory

    I have said enough! I say no more.
    God bless,
    John G.

  159. Hi all,

    I did not mean to say that commentaries have no value. In my weekly preparation for teaching the Bible, I often utilize commentaries to gain background information. I’m currently teaching the Book of Micah. I read a few short commentaries to determine the time frame of the prophet’s life and ministry, the historical context and political setting, who were the contemporary kings of the time, who were the dominating nations and pertinent geographical data. All of these factors give a framework for digging into the text.

    Blessings everyone!

  160. John H. Gregory

    During 1918 — 1920 Doc. C. I. Scofield, & his puple Later To become Doc.
    Lewis P. Chafer Worked together on the notes for their Reference Bible.
    False Doctrine? I don’t think so. It is easy to repeat what we have heard
    with out taking the time to find out for our selves. Dr. Charles Lee Feignburg,
    Dean of Old Testament Languages @ Biola Bible College was one of the
    General editors of the 1968 Scofield Reference Bible. I knew him well &
    learned New Testament Greek under his teaching. The idea of FALSE
    doctrine is an insult. Doc. Chafer later in 1920 founded the Seminary in
    Dallas Texas. He produced a great number of extremely sound doctrine
    theology books etc. False doctrine? Where? One of the biggest problems
    Christianity has is the ignorance of the laity. Their refusal to study not only
    the Bible but books that are proven true concerning the Bible, is a
    tremendous handicap. Ask ANY ordained Minister if he regrets his Bible
    College training or his Seminary Training. Saying that you think that reading
    only the Bible is enough and relying only upon what the Holy Spirit leads you to, sounds very spiritual. It is just an excuse for not digging deeper!
    Those of you who shun studing Theology, studing Reference Bibles,
    and refusing to learn from the Men of God who dedicated their lives to
    making the Scripture clear for the lay people are missing a great amount of
    needed knowledge.
    The idea of Free Grace Theology that this blog stands for came from
    men like Scofield, Chafer, Ryrie, Bing, & hundreds of others! I know that I have said too much, & I do apologize to the owner of this blog. But to remain
    ignorant when so much is needed to be accomplished is a sin.
    God bless anyway!
    John H. Gregory

  161. John G:

    Please forgive me if you took my recommendations to Daniel as any kind of affront to you. They were certainly not intended that way. My only point was that commentaries and reference editions can be helpful study tools, if utilized cautiously as supplemental aids only, never superceding the direct study of Scripture.

    Regarding formal Bible training, I, too, am all for it! I earned a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies at the same place that you attended, Biola University/Talbot Seminary. And, I knew Dr. Feinberg, although not well. I went on years later and got a doctorate in Biblical Studies in Indiana.

    Blessings to you brother!

  162. John H. Gregory

    Brother Bruce! NO offence! One of the enjoyable aspects of Biola is the
    fact that Dr. Feignburg was shorter than me! I am 5ft. 7in. He was 5ft. 1in..
    But he had a mind like a steel trap, and a heart of gold.
    God bless,
    John G.

  163. John Gregory,

    I never said that Scofield, et al ware false doctrine. I said that most commentaries start with a false gospel.

    If that were not the case, then why do 99.9% of churches teach “turn from sins for salvation”? Why are there so few Free Grace churches?

    I use articles, books and commentaries and have benefited enormously from some of them, including Chafer, Tom Cucuzza, Ron Shea and Jack Weaver. Having said that, there are several sources of commentary that first appear Free Grace, but that in my opinion have some pretty bad doctrinal errors or tolerate them.

    Among them:

    1. Miles Stanford – turn from sin for salvation (personal testimony of Stanford)
    2. William Newell – predestination and absence of free will
    3. Thomas Constable – wishy-washy interpretations of Galatians 5:19-21 and similar passages that allow for an LS variety fruit inspection.
    4. Middletown Bible Church – back door LS
    5. GES – cross-less gospel
    6. Duluth Bible Church, Clarity Trumpet, Jesusissavior.com – praise for Charles Spurgeon (Talk about lazy! To be ignorant of the fact that Spurgeon was a Calvinist is beyond lazy! Jesusissavior.com says definitively that Spurgeon did not teach Lordship salvation. Even a cursory review of Spurgeon’s sermons would prove definitively that he did.)
    7. Gracethrufaith – popular website that teaches that faith is the gift of God and that one must ask for salvation in order to be saved.
    8. Pure unadulterated grace – website that teaches that 1 John 1:9 is a salvation passage and that hell may not be eternal.
    10. The Brown Bible – teaches that 1 John 1:9 is a salvation passage and that one must accept Jesus as Lord to be saved.

    I have been a believer for just over two years. I am sure that I could have spent more time reading and studying God’s word (including commentaries) than I have.

    So, I agree with much of what you say. But, you have got to be CAREFUL.

    I do not agree completely with this statement: “The idea of Free Grace Theology that this blog stands for came from
    men like Scofield, Chafer, Ryrie, Bing, & hundreds of others!”

    I think that the idea of Free Grace Theology came from Jesus, Peter, Paul and hundreds of others.

  164. Very well said, John. Thank you for explaining so well what I couldn’t.

    I’m confident we could add many more names to that list, perhaps even some of our own heroes, but since there are no lazy theologians here, discovering like errors and exposing them to warn others should be no burdensome task whatsoever.

    “I think that the idea of Free Grace Theology came from Jesus, Peter, Paul and hundreds of others.”

    Amen!

  165. John G,

    Please accept my apology for being late to this current discussion.

    I am a little surprised at your remarks toward other faithful commenters on this web site.

    Speaking of them as mere “laity” is rather condescending and unnecessary in this discussion.

    I appreciate their in-depth study and willingness to express it here. Also I appreciate their pointing out possible errors in various theologian’s statements rather than taking their words at face value. I try to do the same myself.

    If we encounter false teaching, we should warn and point it out and I am thankful that John, Bruce, Pearl and others do so rather than assuming theologians are faultless.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  166. Thanks Bruce, John G, John, Jack, Pearl and everyone for your feedback. I realise people have differing opinions on commentaries. Thats ok, I think it’s healthy to discuss these things and it’s really good to see that although people disagree on some of these things and have passionate views, everyone has respected each other and that’s great. I will take a pass on the Scofield Bible though, it’s true I have not checked it out but because it has mixed reports, some good some bad, I best steer clear of it. In regards to commentaries, I agree that if I stick to the Bible, the Holy Spirit can teach me simply through the reading of the word. Like sermons, I think good Bible commentaries can be useful if they are always tested against the Word as long as they are not our primary source of Bible knowledge. I can definitely say that even though I was reading the Bible before I came out of LS that because of wrong teaching I had been given, primarily from Ray Comfort and WOTM ministries, that when I approached the Bible, the Bible was filtered through an understanding of the false teaching grid I had in my mind. It was by reading written Bible commentary and listening to sermons and examining that and TESTING that against the scripture that enabled me to come out of LS.

  167. Let me correct what I just said. Because it’s easy to listen to a 1 hour sermon and not as easy to sit and read the Bible, I would actually be getting more actual time listening to sermons than actually reading the Bible. I think it’s not so much how much time we read commentaries or listen to sermons but what our source of authority is. A lot of Christians are too quick to accept everything a pastor or theologian says and accept it as truth without being as the Bereans and searching the scriptures to see if a particular teaching is true or not..

  168. Expected Imminently

    Hello all

    I agree we need to be cautious of all commentaries, but what of those I know who refuse all human teaching, even daring to quote a verse, in the belief the Holy Spirit will be hindered to teach them. Seemingly ignoring the fact that one of the many Gifts the Holy Spirit gives to the Church is teaching!

    1John2:26 “These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.
    27But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and YOU DO NOT NEED THAT ANYONE TEACH YOU; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”

    Is this one of those Scriptures that are FOR us, but not directed TO us?

    Sue

  169. Expected Imminently

    John
    I am grateful for your list of those with ‘Doctrinal Errors’ – I have seen the same one’s but felt sure the fault was with my understanding of Scripture ! (It is sometimes) but not this time according to certain ones in your own observations. :)

    Daniel
    I’m a bit late, but I agree with Jim F! The ‘tormentors’ were the jailers who tortured those imprisoned for debt never able to repay their debt all their lives. The Parable concerns God’s call to us all to FORGIVE .

    It’s a warning for those who refuse to forgive others when God has forgiven them a much bigger debt. He will discipline the unforgiving by the same measure, during their lifetimes, as the torturers did to the debtor in prison.

    My source of guidance is written in a book based on all the words that Jesus spoke, but I’m a bit nervous about putting my foot in it again.

    Also agree that ‘this gospel of the Kingdom’ concerns the 1000year Messianic Jewish rule on EARTH as part of the New Covenant of a SEED (Jesus), a LAND (Israel) and BLESSING (Spiritual).

    Dear Pastor Jack; have you heard of, and approve, Dr. Dwight Pentecost? :)

    Sue

  170. Hi Sue,

    I’ve always been of the opinion that the entire epistle was written to a fellowship of believers, and I therefore take it to be for me as well. Proven teachers (and commentaries) absolutely have their place, and to believe otherwise is just a ridiculous, extremist position.

    I believe what John is saying is that I needn’t depend on a pope or a pastor (or a commentary!) to have to always interpret (spoon feed) God’s Word for me being that I am indwelt by His Holy Spirit. He wants me to enter into the relationship which has been opened to me through Christ Jesus and learn from Him, that I might “…see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. “ Eph. 3:9-21

    At least, that’s how I’ve always understood it.

  171. I agree with what many of you say about lordship salvation. However, I believe every believer truly saved is sanctified to some degree in this life. God does not save without sanctifying the believer as well. It does not stop at salvation. No one can measure the level of sanctification of each believer, but every true believer experiences some level of sanctification.

  172. Expected Imminently

    Hello Pearl
    I have specific people in mind who use 1 John 2:27 as evidence that whatever subjective idea they come up with must be right because it was taught to them by the Holy Spirit – apparently!

    All Scripture is valuable to us…but some are meant for specific people. John was addressing his very own, well taught flock. They were taught by John himself so he could confidently say these particular believers were equipped to abide in Christ for the Holy Spirit to continue John’s work.

    When John says “you have no need for anyone to teach you,” he is not saying that we don’t need teachers at all as some are claiming. We have to learn doctrine directly, or indirectly, by a tutor under the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit who makes it understandable.

    John was confident of the spiritual maturity of these particular believers, as well as other believers who also have knowledge of the fundamentals by another source such as you and I have learned Pearl.

    I don’t believe this verse can be automatically directed to all believers, such as the new babes in Christ, or any who haven’t bothered to learn doctrine and think all you have to do is read the Bible alone while doing charitable deeds (social gospel).

    The Holy Spirit would gradually teach such a believer, but understanding will come over many more years (if ever) than those who apply themselves to diligently understand Doctrine.

    God bless :)

    Sue

  173. John H. Gregory

    Thank you Sister Sue for saying what I have been saying all along. To ignore the teachings, doctrines, and learning of those who have gone before us is myopic. To shun the study of Theological Doctrine that is Biblically correct is to disobey 2 Timothy 2; 15. How in all honesty can we as ambassadors of Christ limit ourselves in our study? Diliberate ignorance is never condoned by God. Even as I wright these words, I know that there will be those who will tell me that ALL they need is the Bible & the Holy
    Spirit. I am NOT saying that is wrong. I am saying that to NOT learn what our Godly Bible colleges and/or Study Bibles can teach us is wrong and an excuse for laziness. Ask your pastors if they would be closer to God if they ignored or refused the teachings of their professors in the Seminary. Yes! All teachings must be to the standered of the Word of God! But to shun these studies is to remain uneducated. I prefer my Pastor to betrained in God’s Word.
    Be honest! Remain unaware of the vast learning that is available
    for every one of us? NO WAY! Greater minds than mine have
    written great lessons concerning God & His Word. To remain ignorant of this vast amount of teaching is wrong & lazy.
    John G.

  174. Dave,

    Welcome to ExPreacherMan on your first visit to our web site!! Good to have you aboard.

    I am not sure of your point. Every believer is sanctified (Hagiazo Greek = – set apart or made holy) the moment we believe, hence we are referred to as Saints (sanctified – same root word). That is unchangeable and sealed by God’s Holy Spirit.

    Daily sanctification is not automatic but something we as believers do or don’t do voluntarily as we see in 2 Tim. 2:19-21

    Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

    Daily sanctification as we see is not automatic but the result of what we do — and the purpose is for service to the Lord — “prepared unto every good work.”

    We do not judge another believer’s salvation on what we might think of their good works or sanctification.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  175. Morning Sue,

    When you asked if this was another one of “those” scriptures which was written to another group, but may be used for us, I understood you to mean it in the same context as was discussed just days before on this thread (February 1st) by JohnG, JimF and Jack, in which it was pointed out that some verses are “kingdom” verses and others are for the church. Therefore, I was speaking in a general sense – the epistles are written for the body of Christ; while you were being even more specific.

    Chapter two of the epistle addresses three groups of people: fathers, young men, and children. I’m not certain if these are to be taken literally, or if they are the stages of development within the fellowship, but as he begins to warn them about deceivers, which brings us to the verse in question, I don’t see that he then narrows it down to only the Fathers or specifies “mature” believers, but says “my little children” which becomes clear to me that a term of endearment is being used which must surely encompass the entire fellowship.

    I don’t see that you and I disagree on the importance of teachers. Scripture is quite clear on this, as well as the expectation that we to go on to maturity (1Cor.3:1-10 & Heb. 5:12). However, I don’t see how this can happen if we consistently substitute commentaries/teachers for one-on-one fellowship with our heavenly Father, especially nowadays as we have so many commentaries/teachers who can’t even get the gospel right. How did we get here? I think it’s pretty clear that it’s because the church is in the habit of substituting man’s teaching for God’s.

    If there was a brand new Christian who fell off a ship and ended up on an island with no one but his bible (preferably King James), and he read and studied it alone for years before he was restored to civilization, I have confidence that the Holy Spirit would raise him up just fine, and he may even be more stable than a great many of us.

  176. John H. Gregory

    No where did I ever suggest that the individual CONSISTENTLY SUBSTITUTE anything for the one-on-fellowship with our heavenly
    Father or the reading of the Scriptures! We must judge all things upon
    the Scriptures. We do not disagree. But I do know of individuals who shun
    not only reading their Bibles & the Doctrines Taught in extra-Biblical books.
    This is what I am against
    God bless, enough said!
    John G..

  177. Thank you Pearl.

    Pearl said,

    “I don’t see that you and I disagree on the importance of teachers. Scripture is quite clear on this, as well as the expectation that we to go on to maturity (1Cor.3:1-10 & Heb. 5:12). However, I don’t see how this can happen if we consistently substitute commentaries/teachers for one-on-one fellowship with our heavenly Father, especially nowadays as we have so many commentaries/teachers who can’t even get the gospel right. How did we get here? I think it’s pretty clear that it’s because the church is in the habit of substituting man’s teaching for God’s.”

    This is a good summary statement, Pearl! If I understand you correctly, we should utilize study tools and commentaries wisely as SUPPLEMENTAL aids to our primary study of the Word itself. I, myself, am a Bible teacher, as are Jack and several other contributors at this site. So, obviously, none of us is against the sound teaching of the Word of God.

    Hopefully this will put a cap on this discussion and we can all move on to other subjects.

    Thanks again Pearl!

  178. Glad to hear we ultimately agree, JohnG. Likewise, no one here ever suggested that teachers/commentaries ought to be entirely shunned, only that they must first be proven then consulted, though when and the frequency of same might be different for each of us.

  179. Just now saw your gracious response, Bruce. Thank you. And yes, that’s where I stand.

  180. John G,

    We must qualify our recommendation of study Bibles, ministries and commentaries. Discernment is key. That is our mission because we know there are many new believers here. Our goal is to make the Gospel of God’s Grace so clear that the truth stands out from the false message.

    I could never recommend John MacArthur’s study Bible or any of his writings — nor Piper nor Sproul nor Comfort nor Spurgeon nor Westcot and Hort, etc — so we mark them out as false.

    And I would caution our readers to use extreme discernment when using or recommending the works of two theological icons, C.I. Scofield or Lewis Sperry Chafer. While there may be truth in their work, there is also a subtle stain of Calvinism in both. Of course that is not surprising since both were ordained Presbyterian ministers and I have never met a Presbyterian minister who was not Calvinist.

    We must never use a carte blanche recommendation of the “theological giants.”

    I have heard the excuse that we believers should, theologically speaking, “Take the meat and throw away the bones.” That is dangerous because I have seen many baby Christians choke on the “bones.”

    Discernment, Discernment, Discernment!! That is what we attempt to teach here. No compromise!!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  181. A Disclaimer:

    The first two Bibles I bought as a believer were Scofield Reference Bibles and I used them throughout my Bible college days and while Pastoring my church. BUT I constantly reminded and warned my congregation of the dangers of Calvinist error in the Scofield Bible.

    I see today that using the Scofield Bibles was probably not a wise thing to do. No excuses.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  182. All…..

    Well, I noted Bruce’s call for a cap on this topic moments after I posted my two remarks.

    Good idea — but what I said about discernment needed to be said — and if there is disagreement, we should allow discussion about it.

    Thanks..

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  183. John H. Gregory

    Of course, the base & solid rock that we stand upon is the Word of God.
    ALL teachings & doctrines must be judged by the Word of God,
    God bless,
    John G.

  184. Expected Imminently

    Hello Pearl and all
    I am really sorry for being the cause of this confusion. I have been away and didn’t catch up properly before commenting. I saw the words that all Scripture is for us, but not to us and thought it explained the way this verse is falsely manipulated by the mystics in the Church to give leverage to their many ‘visions’. It is an area that troubles me no end!

    By what I have read, I haven’t noticed anything we disagree over as yet! :D

    John G said “But I do know of individuals who shun not only reading their Bibles & [the Doctrines Taught in extra-Biblical books.” ] I take this [] to mean preferred over the Bible?

    I agree with this statement and consider it part of my own observations. The Post Modern church scoffs at God given knowledge of those who have gone before us in favour of reading books such as ‘The Purpose Driven Church’ et al by the infamous Rick Warren. The Bible is ‘lucky’ if it gets a mention let alone opened and read in context. This is the form taken by the neo Bible study. :(

    The ‘CEO’ of one church has a book list he reads through and comments on for others to ‘benefit’; all based on mans philosophy that The Bible warns us against.

    Col.2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

    In the middle of all this muck and mire, LS stands waist deep, harsh and proud.
    Maranatha!

    Sue

  185. Jack wrote: **That is dangerous because I have seen many baby Christians choke on the “bones.”**

    Glad you said that. And there are a few out there who’s teachings are bone and no meat. :)

  186. Jack, thanks for the reminder regarding discernment.

    I remember, when I was a brand new believer, being really confused by glowing references to Spurgeon from what I thought were Free Grace sources. Spurgeon would have been a ten-point Calvinist if there were that many!

    Regarding Chafer, some of his work is sound, but some of it seems overtly Calvinist to me.

    I have personally erred on more than one occasion, by posting commentary from, or about, people whose beliefs I hadn’t thoroughly investigated. The community at ExP has gently guided me back “onto the fairway” on these occasions.

  187. John,

    You are not alone — If I may take the liberty to paraphrase a verse: If we say we have not erred, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us..(1 John 1:8)

    The secret is to understand the error as soon as possible, correct it if possible and move on to further discernment.

    John, I appreciate your rare diligence in digging to discern truth from error. It would be great if every believer was as concerned for the Truth of God’s Gospel of free Grace.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  188. I don’t see that you added to any confusion, Sue. And I can see how my first response to your question on 1John 2:26,27 might raise your eyebrows (looking back on it, me thinks it begs for clarity). But have no fear, had I any shred of mystic-emergent tendencies in me when I first came aboard back in 2011, I wouldn’t have lasted a week given Jack, Bruce, John & JimF’s keen discernment and diligent watch. Though, to be sure, I’ve had my own wrinkles to iron out along the way (and the learning/growing never really ends).

  189. Expected Imminently

    Dear Pearl, very many thanks for your reassurance” :)

    Sue

  190. Hi Everyone,
    Ok, before I move on to a few more Bible passage questions, I found this free grace preacher on youtube which Ive listened a bit to, he seems pretty good. I would like you discerning souls to give me your feedback before I listen to anymore of his preaching. I would particularly like your opinion on this message he had uploaded to his account. It is titled:
    WHAT IS THE “BARE MINIMUM” TO GET SAVED? [Zane Hodges]
    Also this one: [links removed by site administration]

    Personally I see many scriptures that simply say that if you believe on Christ then you are saved. On the other hand there is the danger that a person could believe on ‘another Jesus’ and not the true Biblical Jesus and faith is illegitimate and obviously cannot save. The true Biblical Jesus needs to be the object of our faith.

    I don’t think that what brother Luke here is saying is that if someone denies the death burial and resurection of Jesus that they would be saved but rather that if they had no knowledge of those facts and put their trust in the God-man Jesus that He can guarantee their eternal destiny that they are saved even without understanding the whole Gospel. Sounds a bit shaky to me, I would always preach the Gospel according to I Corinthians 15:1-4 because the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation.

    Please give your feedback about this ‘Brother Luke’ and his youtube account here:
    Also please feedback regarding the first video and what he says about someone believing on Jesus without all the facts of the Gospel and if they are saved according to what he preaches in the video:
    [links removed by administration]
    regards
    Daniel

  191. Daniel,

    It has been the long-standing policy of the Expreacherman.com’s founder, administrators and regular advisors to disallow links to GES, the reductionist “gospel”, the crossless “gospel,” the promise-only “gospel,” the writings or videos of Zane Hodges or other past or present leaders or spokesmen of GES, as well as links to those who promote or teach like views.

    Daniel, I believe that you were right in your instincts of reservation about Zane Hodges’ and Brother Luke’s teachings. I listened to and watched several “Brother Luke” videos. In my opinion, his views are much akin to the teachings of GES and Zane Hodges (perhaps even identical).

    Stick to the Biblical Gospel of Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 16:3-31, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (Paul calls it, “the gospel”), John 3:16-18, Titus 3:4-7, Romans 4:5.

    Thanks for your thoughts today.

  192. John H. Gregory

    Brother Daniel, The advice to read the chosen Scriptures is good.
    I humbly also suggest that you prayerfully study ALL the letters of
    Paul. Spend time, lots of time in the letters of all the New Testament.
    Do not read through them in a hurry! Read Ephesians at least 15 times
    with prayer & again do not be in a hurry. You will find what you seek in
    God’s Word with the aid of the Holy Spirit.
    God bless,
    John G.

  193. Since the definition of the meaning of “repentance” has been brought up, I am going to weigh in.
    Below are links to Strongs Concordance of the meaning of “repentance” translated from Hebrew and Greek.

    Hebrew:
    Greek:
    {Links deleted by Administrator}

    Please take the time to expand and read each link where it should become apparent that the definition of the word “repent” is defined broader than to simply be a “change of mind”. Such a statement is a misnomer which removes and dismisses the fuller picture that the two definitions of the word describe.

    Whether someone has an overwhelming sense of repentance when they first believe and confess the gospel, or if it is a process leading up to or after confession is up to the Lord as he works in each individual heart. Regardless of this, the Holy Spirit always points believers to Christ and convicts us and the world concerning sin and righteousness which does indeed bring about a sense of remorse. I can speak from my own experience that the fullness of the definitions of “repentance” as per Strongs are indeed accurate when applied in the fullness of the definitions and not minimized to the narrowest point of reference.

  194. waveripper101

    Thanks Bruce and John G for setting me straight. In future I will be sure to avoid GES and Zane Hodges and not post any links of that here. Shall also stop listening to brother Luke.

    I have lots of Bible passage questions which over time I would like to get your feedback on. For now, I have basically come to the point of realising that there are only 2 Biblical passages/teachings that are causing me doubts a times and from not having 100% assurance so I shall post those here in my next post in next day or so. I still have only just moved into my new home here in beautiful South East Queensland Australia on the coast a few days ago and have only just unpacked 3/4 of the boxes so will be posting those questions in next couple days as I get time. Thanks again for your ministry here and clearly explaining and speaking the truth in love.
    Blessings
    Daniel

  195. Just a note: Ignore the display name above. Have just made an account. I shall appear as Daniel R from now on.

  196. Expected Imminently

    Hello Daniel

    It is encouraging to see how The Holy Spirit is leading and warning you! In particular because the late Zane Hodges, and others akin, were once on the straight and narrow.

    No matter how much I read THE truth, it is only when it is challenged by fakes that the penny finally drops for me. Having said that, the penny wouldn’t ‘drop’ if I hadn’t already steeped myself in The Truth in the first place; error then floats to the surface ready to be skimmed off. (Discernment)

    I’m a bit odd that way but the Lord still sticks close to me and my desire to know only Christ and Him crucified 1Cor2:2.
    God bless you both in your search for Truth.

    Sue

  197. I have perusedd your blog in the past few days and I have to admit I was left scratching my head. My initial impression was that there was a message to simply confess Jesus and then go on your merry way and indulge in the world if one so chose, since salvation was thus secured anyway. Again, my initial take on this blog was that it was flippant with the message of the gospel.

    Names such as John Macarthur and Zane Hodges were being bantered about and I could not quite understand what the kafuffle was all about. And after putting together a pithy comment for your blog that still remains in moderation mode, I decided to delve deeper.

    To give you background, I am an American who has lived in Canada for close to 40 years and have been a believer for 35 + years. And in the Christian circles here I had never heard of the “Lordship Salvation controversy” until I read your blog. It simply has not been an issue. Having said that, I suspect it is on the forefront of becoming an issue in this region and am thankful today for your blog which lead me to taking the time to look into this matter.

    And looking into this matter today is indeed timely. The reason for this is that my brother for the last month or so has being going on and on about John MacArthur and listening constantly to his sermons and has been eagerly desirous of having me listen as well, which I did for about 5 minutes a couple of weeks back. When I listened something felt amiss and I conveyed this to my brother which of course did not deter him because I was not able to quantify what I was feeling.

    But today, I took the time to look into John MacArthur and simply had to hear the first 54 seconds of the post below and I saw a GLARING ERROR which I have no other way to describe it, but as blatant heresy.

    In this particular Youtube video entitled “The Lordship controversy Part 5 of 5” John MacArthur states at 51 seconds of video, “ The power to then keep the law, which he prior could not keep”. He is of course speaking of someone accepting the gospel according to him.

    The power to keep the law?! Unbelievable. This is rank hearsay.

    Now in terms of my previous post, that is still probably sitting in moderation mode, it was not posted for the purpose of refuting your blog or undermining. I was unaware of what you and your commenters were dealing with.

    Now that John MacArthur and his heresy has made its way to Canada and virtually on my doorstep, I will be speaking with my brother tonight about this doctrine of deceit.

    Thank you for your blog. Definitely and enlightening day for me.
    Video
    John MacArthur – The Lordship Controversy Part 5 of 5
    {Link to John MacArthur deleted — we see too much of JMac as it is}
    scroll to sec 51-54 MacArthur states “The power to then keep the law, which he prior could not keep”. He of course is speaking of those who just accepted the gospel. Again, simply unbelievable.

  198. Carol L,

    Welcome to ExPreacherMan.

    It seems as if you may not have searched and read all of our articles and comments about “Repentance.” We have explained the contextual words and meanings thoroughly.

    I sense by your statements that you may be a Calvinist or Reformed or at least have tendancies in that direction.

    Your links to the Blue Letter Bible quoting Strong’s are accurate but as we have stated over and over, Repent (NT) in regard to salvation always means “a change of mind,” specifically about the Savior, Jesus Christ and never a change of action.

    While the Strongs definitions are correct, they must be taken in context and not applied in the “fullness” of the definition but applied to the direct point of context.

    I have deleted the inks to Blue Letter — simply because Blue Letter preaches false doctrine about the definition of “tongues” as expressed in 1 Corinthians. Here is a quote from one of their FAQs on “tongues”:

    the tongue-speaking recorded in First Corinthians seems to be a heavenly language. This is not the same as ecstatic babbling, but rather speaking in a non-earthly language.

    This is the Blue Letter teaching of false doctrine and it is inexcusable. With all the “scholarship” available to BLB, they should know the truth.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  199. Carol L,

    Thanks for your understanding of what we do here at ExPreacherMan.com.

    Our goal is to emphasize the “simplicity that is in Christ Jesus” and expose those who would pervert the Gospel of His Grace — whoever or whatever they may be.

    Please forgive me if I misjudged you in my earlier comment as being Reformed. You seem to now understand our mission of Grace.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  200. Thank you Jack. I am not a Calvinist nor a reformer. Nor do I go to the Blue Letter bible page out any particular agreement with a doctrine they may carry. Rather it is a tool via Strongs Concordance to get to root words etc.

    I believe in free will, the grace of Jesus, and that my salvation is secure. I do not believe I or any other human being can carry out the works of the law. Rather, Christ is the propitiation of my sins and that he fullfilled the law on the cross. It is a done deal. However, I certainly have experienced a sense of conviction throughout my walk to either abstain from this or that or have felt remorse when I have indulged. I know where the cross is and recognize the Holy Spirit always points me to the foot there of.

    And you are quite right, I have not gone through your entire blog, but a couple of posts and subsequent comments. It is interesting to be sure and is certainly food for thought.

    And given the fact that John MacArthur’s name has been mentioned numerous times to me in the past few weeks, looking at your blog has proven to be timely. There will no doubt be a discussion about this tonight.

    First and foremost, it’s the gospel, the gospel, the gospel.

    Anyway, stumbling onto your blog has certainly been interesting.

    Thanks.

  201. Carol L,

    Thanks again for your refreshing comments.. Glad to know you understand Free Grace and are pleased with what we offer here. We are glad to have you participate.

    I know you say you do not dwell on Blue Letter Bible site but I want to take this opportunity to make a point. My wife Shirley and I were talking about your note and she reminded me that BLB uses the Thayer Lexicon to expand upon Strongs word definitions. BLB warns about the possibility of the Thayer error on The Trinity.

    BLB also uses Westcott and Hort as a research and reference tool. Here is the BLB quote:

    The Alexandrian based text that is shown [in their discussion] is the combined Westcott-Hort / Nestle-Aland 26th edition variants.

    Some of our readers may not be aware that the Jehovah Witness abomination they call a “bible,” the New World Translation, used the erroneous Westcott and Hort Greek text to formulate their “translation.”.

    So we see error multiplying over and over in “religious” circles.

    Carol, we are happy to have you aboard and pray for your discussion with your brother.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  202. Carol, welcome!

    I would heartily recommend “The Gospel” booklet, by Ron Shea, which I have linked below. You may find it helpful in explaining God’s plan of salvation to your brother and others.

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

  203. Thanks Jack on the heads up on the BLB. I had no idea. As I said, I simply used it as a tool for original language for Strongs since my paperback copy is just too darn hard to see with itty bitty writing.

    Anyway, love to contend for the faith!

  204. John,

    Thank you for the link. I’ll definitely give it a spin through.

  205. Carol L,

    BLB would be OK if they would simply put Strongs definitions and the Greek reference rather than spoiling those definitions by referring to Thayer and Westcott and Hort.

    I have an excellent Bible search program on my computer through which I may search words and phrases and then get the Strongs number and definitions of those words. But even so the program has The Bible Knowledge Commentary which is polluted with false doctrine.

    We must be diligent and discerning in our searches.

    It would be nice if we could simply find an online Strongs Concordance without all the extra fluff and false baggage.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  206. John H. Gregory

    Brother Jack, could you please give more information on Thayer’s error
    concerning the Trinity? I would really appreciate your enlightening on this!
    God bless,
    John G.

  207. Hi John G.,

    On behalf of Jack I’ll send a brief excerpt which explains about theological issues with Thayer.

    This excerpt was sourced from “Sharper Iron” which got it from the author’s own web site (this selected usage does not in any way imply a general endorsement of Sharper Iron or of any other web site).
    Article: “Doctrinal Error in Thayer’s Lexicon,” by Douglas Kutilek

    “Joseph Henry Thayer (1828-1901), was a professor first at Andover Seminary, then at Harvard Divinity school, and was indeed a professed Unitarian, and at the end of his life a denier of Biblical inerrancy (there are brief biographical accounts of his life in The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, and at Wikipedia).

    I have indeed found a few places in the lexicon where the theological perspective is tainted; however, since Thayer’s lexicon is a translation, revision and enlargement of C. L. Wilibald Grimm’s edition of C. G. Wilke’s Clavis Novi Testamenti [literally, Key to the New Testament], one would have to compare Grimm’s original to see what is from Thayer himself, and what is just translation of the work as he found it. But at any rate, there is theological error here, especially regarding the Trinity—

    p. 287, column b “Whether Christ is called God must be determined from John 1:1; 20:28; I John 5:20; Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8ff; etc.; the matter is still in dispute among theologians.”

    (Being unbracketed, this statement is evidently Grimm’s own, not Thayer’s). To the claim that “the matter is still in dispute among theologians,” I reply—NOT among those who are willing to believe the obvious!

    p. 521 On the word pneuma, as it is used of the Holy Spirit, we read, “The Scriptures also ascribe a pneuma to GOD, i.e., God’s power and agency,—distinguishable in thought (or modalistice as they say in technical speech) from God’s essence in itself considered,—manifest in the course of affairs, and by its [note that "it" which recurs regularly under this heading] influence upon souls productive in the theocratic body (the church) of all the higher gifts and blessings ….Among the beneficent and very varied operations and effects ascribed to this Spirit in the NT the following are prominent: by it [n.b.] the man Jesus was begotten….hence to its [n.b.] promptings and aid….it [n.b.] was imparted to the Apostles….” and so on, referring to the Holy Spirit as “it” at least 8 times (which is even more times than the KJV!). And yet, further down in this same column, we find, “He [n.b.] is present to teach, guide, prompt, restrain,…. He is the author of the charisma…. his efficiency in the prophets…his inspiration…. his utterances….” Inconsistent, to say the least.

    p. 522b “In some passages the Holy Spirit is rhetorically represented as a Person…: Matthew 28:19; John 14:16ff, 26; 15:26; 16: 13-15 (in which passages from John the personification was suggested by the fact that the Holy Spirit was about to assume with the apostles the place of a person, namely of Christ),…”

    Further down the column, this denial of the actual Personhood of the Holy Spirit is repeated, when in regard to the “seven spirits” of Revelation 4:5; 5:6, it is said that these “are not seven angels, but one and the same divine Spirit manifesting itself in seven energies or operations (which are rhetorically personified,…”). To speak of “personification” is to deny the actual Personhood of the Spirit.

    p. 555 On prototokos, [literally, firstborn]—”Tr[Ty?]opologically [i.e., figuratively] Christ is called prototokos pases ktiseos [literally, firstborn of all creation]…who came into being through God prior to the entire universe of created things….” This plainly is a denial that Christ is either eternal or God, and lowers Him to the place of a mere creature, not the Creator. The note does continue: “this passage does not with certainty prove that Paul reckoned the logos in the number of created beings….”

    (p. 521 also speaks of “regeneration wrought through baptism”—a serious doctrinal error.)

    So, then, yes, there are some clearly heretical teachings in Thayer—denial of the Trinity by denying the deity of the Son and denying the personhood of the Holy Spirit, as well as the error of baptismal regeneration. Since my knowledge of Thayer is by no means exhaustive, I suspect a careful reading of the whole would likely reveal other serious errors. But these, at least, remind us that we must always have our eyes wide open when we consult Bible-related reference books, since all authors are both fallible, and come to their task with a set of theological presuppositions, some of them plainly aberrant.”

    [ed. note: Kutilek gives a good warning about being cautious when using study aids]

  208. John G,

    It is a rather simple exercise to do an Internet search for “Thayer Trinity error.” There you will find many sources, including the one Bruce quoted.

    I thank Bruce for his research concerning Thayer errors.

    Likewise with very little effort you may search the Blue Letter Bible’s CAUTION concerning the Thayer error. (Remember use caution also when accessing Blue Letter Bible itself).

    http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3341&t=KJV

    Then Click on:
    Thayer’s Lexicon (Help)
    Look at the bottom paragraph:

    Caution: According to Baker’s modern copyright edition, Thayer was apparently not doctrinally sound in all areas, particularly in the area of the trinity, and so the user must be on guard. We would be appreciative of any actual examples of doctrinal error, so they can be marked with “caution” tags.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  209. John H. Gregory

    Jack & Bruce! Thank the both of You for the information concerning
    Thayer. Very helpful!
    God bless you both,
    John G.

  210. Hi there everyone,
    Boy oh boy! My wife and I have been getting into disagreements and some tension brewing between myself and my wife and the in laws about choosing an acceptable church for my wife and myself. They are of the opinion that ‘no church is perfect’ and to just go to a church and find out what they are about. We found a church that my wife wanted to go to tonight but I said ‘no’ after I looked at the doctrinal statement and to me its obvious Lordship Salvation. In their doctrinal statement on the salvation section they say:

    “The Holy Spirit enables the sinner to be regenerate or born again – that is to repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ – guaranteeing us forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life.28 The proper evidence of regeneration is voluntary obedience to the gospel, the fruits of repentance and faith, and newness of life.”

    {Church link removed by Administrator}

    I said to them (wife and in laws) that by saying the above, this Church is requiring works as evidence for salvation and therefore are backloading the Gospel with works. I tried to explain what that meant and they basically think I am ‘reading too much into it’ and ‘need to go to the church for a while to see what they really mean’. I attempted to explain to them (probably very poorly) that THIS IS WORKS SALVATION. Their reply to me was that I was complicating the Gospel and that I also need not judge others even if they don’t have everything perfect.

    My wife and her Mother actually said this Church are not requiring works FOR salvation in saying this statement above. They said because they are not REQUIRING works FOR salvation but only that works were EVIDENCE OF salvation that this is not works salvation preaching. I tried to explain that it still is but obviously I did not explain it well enough, they did not get it. Maybe you guys could help me explain to them how this doctrinal statement is messed up.

    My Father in Law also explained to me that he had an experience once where a man in his church said that baptism was required for salvation and he gently corrected him and even though he had obviously a wrong understanding of the Gospel that this man was still saved and he need not divide or remove himself from fellowship with such people.

    Any words of wisdom you can give me to explain to my family. If I am out of line or mistaken anywhere please tell me also.

    Regards
    Daniel

    ps; I feel they need to get some discernment and learn what ‘Lordship Salvation’ is so that they can understand things a little. Is this website and articles below recommended? Otherwise please give better links I can give them for not only explaining what the Gospel is not but clearly exposing LS.

    {Link to WordPress blog removed by Admin}

  211. Another point I forgot to mention. When talking with my Father in law, after my mother in law had said that the Bible says you need to repent and I asked them to show me one verse in the Bible that says one needs to repent of your sins to be saved they came up with this verse:

    II Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

    I explained that this verse was in the context of a pastor talking to saved people, they were already saved. That’s all I got to say on this verse but I would also say that this in its context is referring to salvation from the power of sin in ones life on a day to day basis, NOT salvation from the penalty of sin regarding Justification’ and salvation from Hell. How else would you explain this to them?

    It’s funny though cause after talking with my Father in law for a while he said he believed that ‘repentance’ is synonymous with believing on Christ for salvation in which I agreed. He also said that when a person trusts in Christ that they have in doing so ‘repented of their sin’. He insisted that repenting of sin is not repenting of sins plural but sin in the singular. He basically said that when one is an unbeliever they are living in sin but the person who puts their trust in Christ has automatically ‘repented of sin’ (not sins). I agree with him about his conclusion that ‘repentance’ is synonymous with believing on Christ and glad that is what he thinks ‘repenting of sin’ means but I dont think thats what LS mean when they say ‘repent of your sin’.

  212. Daniel,

    Thanks, you are right about the church whose link you included and the quote from it. It is certainly questionable and appears they may be teaching LS and reformed “theology” in your quote. Then their reference to “regeneration” is unclear (a subtlety often used by Calvinist or reformed teachers).

    The WordPress blog you mentioned is very conflicting. It appears it may be OK in one article which contains a quote from my mentor and personal friend, Dr. A. Ray Stanford and then in another article he lauds and quotes a sermon on “free grace” (of all things) by Charles Spurgeon (of all people)!!!

    In case you are not aware, Spurgeon’s greatest claim to fame is his terrible sermon entitled “Turn or Burn” in which he butchers the precious Gospel of God’s Grace by telling his congregation they must turn from their sin or they would burn in hell. Spurgeon is also the darling of Calvinists, noted for his occasional Calvinist leanings.

    The owner of that WordPress blog seems to be anonymous. That bothers me to some extent. I would like to know who he is — we may be acquainted.

    I am of the opinion that we have enough extensive information exposing Lordship Salvation and Calvinism right here at ExPreacherMan. (We have 369 articles from which to choose and over 8,600 comments you may use to glean information.) And the Gospel is always clear here.

    I’ll leave the rest of your questions for other commenters here at ExP.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  213. Daniel, there is an excellent resource at the back of Ron Shea’s booklet “The Gospel” called “The Grace Chart”. It sets forth something he calls “The Four Perversions of Grace”. The mistaken belief that good works automatically follow salvation is rooted in one of Calvinism’s false tenets called “perseverance of the saints” (the “P” in the poisonous TULIP of Calvinism).

    Please find link, below:
    http://www.cleargospel.org/booklet.php?b_id=3&i_id=328&s=2

    Another author (me) wrote a short article on ExP last year entitled “You Might be a Lordship Salvationist If..”. I wrote it after discussing the Gospel with a Christian friend of mine who made positive reference to a couple of subtle LS beliefs. Please find link to that article, below:

    http://expreacherman.com/2012/08/14/you-might-be-a-lordship-salvationist-if/

  214. Daniel, regarding 2 Corinthians 7:10, think about the following combination of verses:

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

    Romans 5:6:
    “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”

    2 Corinthians 7:10:
    “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”

    Christ did not die for the godly. He died for the ungodly. He did not justify the godly. He justified the ungodly.

    No-one who is ungodly can have a godly sorrow. Therefore, no-one who is unsaved can have “a godly sorrow that worketh repentance to salvation.”

    Regarding the concept that your father-in-law set forth that when a person trusts in Christ that they have in doing so ‘repented of their sin, I think this is a REAL STRETCH. That is not what LS folks mean. When I hear this kind of language, I RUN.

    Following is an excerpt from Clear Gospel Campaign’s doctrinal statement, under the section entitled “Denial of the Gospel”:

    ii) the belief that a promise of future works of the law must be offered in exchange for God’s offer of eternal life, such as “repenting of one’s sins,” or “making Christ the Lord of one’s life;”

  215. I have to say, Daniel, that you are doing very well in discerning the presence of LS, front door or back, as well as rightly identifying the crossless gospel in Hodges’ & Luke’s videos.

    The quote you included which says the Holy Spirit enables belief is such a common teaching, even among those who aren’t Calvinists. Arminianism has its “prevenient grace” to make it so. It’s simply a way of insisting that good works will follow.

    The latter half of that quote is a real head-scratcher, isn’t it?

    “The proper evidence of regeneration is voluntary obedience to the gospel.”

    Whatever.

    The pure grace of God through Jesus Christ will always cause people to say “yeah, but…”. There can be no compromise whatsoever.

    I’m embarrassed to say, but IICorinthians 7:10 caused me to stumble just a few weeks ago, and we discussed it. I mistakenly thought it was referring to being born again, but it wasn’t. Just taking the verse into context, it doesn’t make sense for Paul to be going back to preaching justification, a one-time isolated event, just as being born into this world is an isolated event. It was pointed out to me by several here that it’s in regard to maintaining fellowship with our heavenly Father.

    I’m so sorry that you are experiencing a sort of division in your home. I’ve had nearly identical discussions in mine, but it’s been quite a while since the last one. We can certainly pray for each other.

  216. John,

    Thanks for that excellent, clear explanation of 2 Corinthians 7:10, a verse over which many stumble.

    Daniel,

    Praying for you and your family as you all learn the beauty and security of God’s Grace.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  217. I came across this blog about how The Berean Call has been seemingly compromised by its association w/ Ray Comfort’s Lordship Salvation message and well . . . Let’s just say I’ve been a big “fan” of Dave Hunt and TBC for over 20 years (and even met Dave and Tom once) but I’ve had problems w/ Ray Comfort for quite some time and your article helped me put it into perspective. My main reason for writing is to let you know I’m pretty much in your camp on this one but I tend to over think almost everything to death and this is all rather significant because only a month or so before realizing this “new and unfortunate development” at TBC, I’d written them that they’d be able to count on my donating to their ministry on a fairly regular basis indefinitely, and now I’m not so sure.

    I think you get what I’m saying. I meet with some fellow believers in my neighborhood once a week for fellowship, prayer, Bible study and general discussion on matters on our hearts and this whole Lordship salvation issue took front and center last week. Like I said I’m still working/thinking this all out but I must admit if a proverbial gun (or real one for that matter) were pointed at my head and I had to say what I truly believed was the case, I’d have to say that Ray teaches a gospel of works which of course isn’t a Gospel at all. How hard it is for so many Christians to accept the simplicity of the true gospel and that only our faith in what Jesus did for us can save us. For YEARS I sort of went along w/ the whole Lordship Salvation line (to an extent at least, in terms of how it shaped my attitude) and now I’m praying and studying my way out of that false teaching.

    I can personally attest that when I used to watch Ray in the past and didn’t know any better, he really was able to do a number on me through fear and intimidation. At the time it just troubled my spirit deeply. Thanks to honestly pursuing the truth of God’s word and blogs like yours, I’m coming to a better understanding of the TRUE gospel once and for all.

    It pretty much comes down to logic. If you listen to Ray Comfort closely enough you realize he DOESN’T preach salvation by grace and I’ve NEVER heard him quote passages of scripture like Paul where he talked about doing the thing he hated and not doing what he knew he should be doing, or John who said if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves . . . or that if we sin we have an advocate w/ the Father . . . to give a few examples.

  218. Welcome Fryingpan 9. We’re so glad that you joined us at Expreacherman.com today!

    Thanks for the warnings about Ray Comfort and Lordship “Salvation” teaching. I think that many regular commenters at this site have had a similar background as you of, at one time, being influenced by Lordship “Salvation” teaching. It is so widely pervasive in churches today. It’s very difficult to find a church that hasn’t been affected [infected] by this false teaching.

    I have to keep remembering Proverbs 14:12:

    “There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

    Thanks again for joining us and blessings on you as you serve the Lord.

  219. Welcome Fryingpan 8.

    We are so happy to have you aboard. You will find many friends here who have similar experiences with one type of Lordship “Salvation” (LS) or another.

    I would suggest you invite your Bible Study group to join us here, search and read our web site, then join in the discussions. We have many articles exposing many proponents of LS. As we used to say when I was a kid in Alabama, “The woods is full of ‘em.”

    Your poignant statement,“… it just troubled my spirit deeply” is so sad and typical of those who realize the false message of LS and determine to find the Truth. One of our writers and commenters here, John, (a 51 year old successful businessman with a wonderful family) was in LS for twenty years and trusted Christ two years ago. I am sure John will comment and assure you that you are on the right track by leaving any semblance of LS.

    We will all be praying for you in your wise decision.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  220. Daniel, I read some of the material from the church about which you were asking.

    In addition to the statement that you thought might be questionable, I noticed that the church referenced the ESV Bible Translation in its “verse of the day”. The ESV translation is popular with Calvinists.

    Also, under “suggested readings”, the church included titles by both J.I. Packer and Tim Keller. You can find an article on Keller here at ExP:

    http://expreacherman.com/2012/11/25/latest-on-new-calvinist-timothy-keller-timothy-keller-in-interview-stumbles-over-the-gospel-speculates-that-there-is-a-trap-door-to-heaven/

    Packer is a renowned Lordship “salvationist”.

    I would not recommend this church.

  221. Welcome Fryingpan 8!

    Like Jack said, I trusted Christ a little over two years ago, after I finally understood that salvation was a Gift and not a trade.

    Below is a link to a previous post of mine that you may find interesting:

    http://expreacherman.com/2012/12/04/southern-baptists-fragile-detente-the-fight-over-competing-false-gospels-calvinism-and-lordship-salvation/#comment-15559

  222. Thanks, everyone.

    In my particular case I don’t think it’s a matter of me never having believed the true gospel until quite recently by “seeing the light” re LS “doctrine” and repudiating it. I’m sure I did get saved well over 20 years ago. But somewhere along the way I allowed the false doctrine of LS to cloud my judgement and confound my ability to truly know God’s will for my life.

    I’ll eventually read everyone’s comments here on this topic and can say I’m already finding more useful information here to compliment my study of scripture in order to help others find their way out of the bondage of the false gospel of LS.

  223. Fryingpan9,

    Glad to hear of your progress in coming to free yourself of the Lorship deception. We can be thankful that the Holy Spirit continually leads us to ( and back to) the truth.

  224. A few days ago I stumbled across this blog and weighed in. And as I stated above in this thread, I didn’t know what the “kafuffle” was all about concerning particular teachers. I had never heard of “Lordship Salvation”. As well, I never gave it much thought as to the breakdown of my own views down to such an extent to make an effort to decipher between whether I had a repentant heart before believing the gospel or not, simply because, I believed. And in that belief, never once did I ever feel inclined to work my way into God’s good graces. I became born again when I was 15 after my family moved across the street from a Gospel Hall in BC Canada where a scripture was presented on the church. The scripture was: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. Romans 6:23

    Everyday, I looked out that window and asked myself “what does that mean?” I would ride the bus to school and ponder. I’d lay on my bed at night and ponder some more. The fact of the matter is, is that I BELIEVED through one of my pondering sessions. I believed the gospel and the scripture verse that stared me in the face everyday, which embodied the very point that the Apostle Paul was driving home through his writing which is encapsulated in that one verse. And that verse and its message pointed me to the cross, which did not embody a message of works.

    Having said that, being young, I succumbed to peer pressure etc and long story short, became entangled in a very, very bad situation. I was with a brutal unbeliever. I now had a child who was disabled and I cried out to God.

    With respect to this point, this is where my initial post on this thread comes in. I believed I was saved all along, as indeed I was. But in the situation I was in, I was feeling deep regret for my choices and sought the Lord for a way out. This is what I was originally referring to when I posted the links from Strong’s Concordance about repentance.

    My remorse for my actions steered me towards being delivered from my circumstances. Never once did I ever feel that I had to earn my way into God’s good graces even at that time. Rather, it was the Spirit of the living God working his work in my heart as a believer to change my ways. This had NOTHING to do with my salvation.

    Now, I will testify to the goodness of God. My son, who was born with severe disabilities, who has undergone numerous operations has completed a BA in History (finished with top honours) and is about to complete his law degree. God is good. This I acknowledge as the grace of the living God. I raised him as a single mother, but the Lord was there every step of the way, even when I entangled myself in the ways of the world. His arm is never too short to save.

  225. John H. Gregory

    One of the reasons that I am so against LS / MacArthurism is that I was sucked into the deep quagmire myyself! I read MacArthur’s “The Gospel According to Jesus”. I became enamored with his books! This is a confession on my part! I kept smelling something wrong, but I could NOT identify the error! It was after reading “The Gospel According to the Apostles” that I knew that there was something really wrong with MacArthur’s theology. I had to step back & ask myself, Where was the Gospel of Grace that I had learned so many years ago? Where was the assurance that I knew that I was supposed to have? Neither the Gospel of Grace nor the Assurance were in his books! I found the answer when I realized that MacArthur was preaching the Sermon on the Mount as the
    Gospel!!! The Sermon on the Mount is NOT Grace! It is LAW!
    I realized that I do NOT have to live the Sermon on the Mount to gain salvation! I had always known that salvation was by Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. I know that the Holy Spirit showed me & rescued my from this error!
    I was ashamed of my own retardedness! But I was overjoyed to be set free from this bondage! His arguments were Good! But they were NOT sound or Scriptural! I had been duped! And I was angry! I threw away all the books of MacArthur that I had. I have been involved in undoing the damage that MacArthur’s ministry has caused for many years now.
    Some of my own family slipped into the slippery quagmire of this man’s lies. I worked on them for two years before God set them free from their blindness! The one nephew is now a preacher of Free Grace!
    We both fight LS/Calvinism anywhere we encounter such refuse.
    One reason why I love, read, & stay on this blog! I know that I can trust what I read here!
    God bless,
    John G.

  226. John,

    I have taken these several days to ponder what I discovered on this blog and see that this is not simply a matter of semantics between “protestant” doctrines, but is a matter of the purity/simplicity of the gospel. The gospel has been on the forefront of my mind for years. Prior to reading this blog, I simply considered myself a “protestant” and was in agreement with Martin Luther and really saw it as simple as that.

    I had an opportunity to speak with my family member regarding McArthur teachings and cautioned him in simply accepting what he was teaching. This family member, to be sure has ALWAYS believed in the gospel. In fact has lead many a person to faith with his simple testimony and the message of the cross and nothing more. Again, I find it timely that I stumbled on this blog whereby I was able to convey the point of “Lordship Salvation” to him. While his belief has always been pure in my opinion, he certainly has been safeguarded into being cautioned in what he is listening to. On that point, clearly this blog has proven to be an iron sharpening instrument.

  227. John G,

    Thanks for your wonderful testimony of release from LS. I pray many others who may be stuck in the morass of Lordship “Salvation” will read it and and respond to the Grace of God.

    It is amazing how hypnotic MacArthur and his ilk are. We praise the Lord for your ability to see and vividly describe the evils of LS from your personal experience and perspective.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  228. Thanks for responses guys. I told the wife that the church in question recommended LS teachers books on their website but my wife does not think it’s a big deal that they simply recommend some books by teachers even though I told her they are known LS teachers as long as they are not preaching LS themselves and she still has some pretty loose views on what’s acceptable and not acceptable. How do I get through to her???? So frustrating!!! I have pretty much said to her straight that I won’t compromise on this issue, if a church can’t get the ABC’s of the Gospel right then I will not go to that Church. Period! At least so far there is one option and I spoke with the pastor for a good 40 mins and he is definitely not LS.

    Pearl, I’ve sent up a few prayers every now and again for you and your family situation, if you want let’s pray for each other’s families in this issue. It’s really unfortunate because since I spoke with the in-laws, they seem to think I am on the extreme side in my theology and not accepting enough since I explained that most churches are preaching LS and preaching a false Gospel. I still have good relations with them but I think their ears are shut to what I have to say theologically since they have put me in the ‘extreme category’.

    I heard a LS put a point across for his acceptance of a pretty hardcore LS false Gospel. One of the scriptures he used to put forth his point was Isaiah 55:6-7.

    Isaiah 55: 6-7
    Seek YE THE LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return UNTO THE LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

    It’s a scripture that on the surface seems to uphold his view. Any sound Biblical rebuttals please let me hear them!

    Blessings
    Daniel

    ps. Chuck Swindoll – sound free grace preacher or not????

  229. Daniel, how can someone reTURN unto the Lord, if he has never TURNed to the Lord?

  230. Daniel, please ask your LS friends to explain the following verses through their LS lenses:

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

    John 3:14-17: And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

    Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

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

    Romans 11:6: “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

  231. I’m really getting a lot out of this blog and everyone’s comments. I’ve been attending a Calvary Chapel for 6 and a half years and now I’m starting to have some light bulb moments like in a movie when the main character finally “gets it” and looks back on prior events and is able to finally connect the dots. Don’t misunderstand me–I’m not saying the CC I attend is steeped in LS theology (for example, my pastor recently said of Ray Comfort, “I really don’t ‘get’ that guy,”) but I didn’t know Greg Laurie was considered LS till reading the comments here. Now I seem to recall the “prayer of salvation” (or whatever they’re calling it these days) used at my church has LS elements in it (from what I can remember–I was saved years before ever hearing of the CC movement), elements such as, “Make Jesus Lord of your life.” I never realized the fallacy in such an idea till this blog/comments. It makes total sense now. Not to mention this one time the associate pastor filled in one week to give the lesson and came REALLY close to preaching that if you weren’t living up to a certain standard you weren’t really saved. I know him well enough to know he doesn’t believe that, but the confusion and apprehension was there, nevertheless as he had to give a quasi-disclaimer by saying something like, “I’m not preaching a works salvation here, but . . . ” Now I’m reminded of a Youtube video I saw where Francis Chan (basically) said, “Yes, the Bible says we’re saved by faith, BUT . . .” But WHAT????????????? Ugh! To think I had to wait several months for it to hit me like this. I should have closed my browser the second I heard that nonsense. But I was searching and to be fair, I really shouldn’t be running anyone down.

    And I did one time have my pastor tell me that “only you know if you’re saved.” That’s not biblical. I see that now. Again, it sort of troubled me at the time, but I wasn’t sure why. It’s pretty clear NOW: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” (Or something very close to that.) And during that same conversation he said something to the effect of “It’s a heart matter, not a brain matter.” Again, it SOUNDS so good but it’s not scriptural. At least not as far as I can tell.

    So while my home church is not STEEPED in LS elements, there’s certainly some smoke there, and now I have to find out if there’s fire as well.

    My situation is more complicated (and not nearly as “bad” as one might think) than I’m able to express here, but suffice to say I feel it’s a no-brainer that the Holy Spirit lead me here and I appreciate all the great information and encouragement.

    I suppose some of you are going to have things to say about the seriousness of considering leaving my church and that’s fair. I’m mainly looking for information, wisdom and encouragement but feel free to rebuke and chasten if you see fit . . . just keep the all caps to a minimum ;)

  232. Dear Fryingpan 9,

    I’m so glad that you wrote again and that you have been enlightened and encouraged by the Expreacherman.com site and its many contributors. I think that it is one of the few sites that holds solidly to the Free Grace gospel message.

    If I may encourage you, at the church that I attend I, too, have heard on occasion statements that could have come right of an LS playbook guide. These have come from some in the congregation and from a few of the younger assistant pastors. Praise God that our senior pastor preaches a strong grace message each week. And he has made a public declaration that our church is not Calvinist or Arminian. I teach a weekly Bible class of about fifty people on Sundays. I have been given a free rein to proclaim a Free Grace Gospel message, which I do. And on a number of occasions I have spoken out strongly yet graciously against questionable (LS sounding) statements made by others. Mostly my statements have been received well by others; a few times they have not. One man quit attending my Bible class because I spoke out against Rick Warren for his ecumenical stances. Usually, when these folks say things that sound like Calvinism or LS, I think that they mostly speak out of ignorance, for that’s what they have heard on “Christian” T.V. and radio and that’s what they’ve read in “Christian” books.

    I would not presume to tell you where to attend church; I think that God will lead you to make that decision. I would just encourage you to stand strongly and boldly yet graciously at every opportunity for the Free Grace Gospel declared in Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 4:5, John 3:16-18, Titus 3:5, and Acts 16:30-31. Free Grace Christians need to speak out against unbiblical false teachings, such as, Lordship “Salvation,” Calvinism, ecumenicism, Eastern mysticism, and spiritual formation. In order to speak out strongly, we need to study the issues and know what the Bible declares. I hope that sites like Expreacherman.com help people to learn and declare the simple straightforward gospel of grace (and educate others too).

  233. Daniel, I can relate somewhat to your situation. My wife was attending a local E-Free church for some time. The messages there were a mixed bag. Some sounding Grace-friendly and some sounding much more works oriented. My wife would come home very discouraged some sundays and it would frustrate me. I would try to counteract the LS garbage that was bothering her with Free Grace and it would help some. Finally I got frustrated with the false discouraging message she was coming home with and suggested she stay home for a while and listen to Tom Cucuzza sermons with me instead of going for her weekly ‘dose of discouragement’. Thankfully she decided to try it and I see she has now turned a corner and really ‘gets it’.(the Free Grace message). We also read Tom’s book Secure Forever! and Simply by Grace by Charlie Bing. She has tried talking with some of the ladies from that church about it and is usually met with silence. One lady actually said to her that the Free Grace message just appeals to people who want to continue in their sin. So she has seen now that most or all of them simply do not agree with Free Grace at all. My point is not to say don’t attend church but just to be patient with your wife. The more people are exposed to the Truth the less they will want to tolerate lies or half-truths I think. You are wise to not compromise with the Gospel. My wife and I are church-less right now and I don’t know where we can go in my area. I hope I have made wise choices, I do feel a little guilty when my wife says she misses going to church though.

  234. Daniel, I think Jon’s counsel is spot on. I don’t see that I have anything to add to it. Let Jesus Christ be evident in you. You have the opportunity to show grace in action, as did Jon toward his wife.

    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
    And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Gal. 5:22-25

    ~~~~~~~~

    FryingPan9,

    WELCOME! WE’RE SO GLAD TO HAVE YOU ABOARD! I REALLY ENJOYED READING OF YOUR LIGHTBULB MOMENTS!
    (And those will be the only caps you’ll get from me.)

    I identified with so much of what you wrote. Just as it is when you learn a new vocabulary word, you’ll soon be hearing LS everywhere. Then, you’ll realize you don’t need to be a missionary in Africa, but have your work cut out for you in your own household.

    ~~~~~~~~

    I almost forgot, Daniel – Chuck Swindoll may have started well many, many years ago, but he’s long since taken the contemplative path. I’d steer clear.

    ~~~~~~~~

    Carol, forgive my delay in greeting you. I was very touched by what you shared about your son. He’s a very blessed young man to have a faithful mother like you. I have also prayed that your brother receives your warnings about John MacArthur, who’s really just the tip of the LS iceburg.

  235. Matt for Grace and Truth

    Frying Pan 9,

    Mixed bag churches (preaching seemingly both free grace AND works salvation) frequently preach vague and ambiguous hintings that unless you meet some uncertain level orstandard of works righteousness, you are not eternally saved.

    But Romans 4:4-5 and 11:6 declare that there can be no mixed bag. If works are needed in any degree, then salvation is no longer a grace gift and/or Christ death was insufficient payment for our sins.

  236. Thanks for the encouragement John regarding my wife. Good thing is that she is starting to become willing to listen to some sermons and read some stuff so I think I shall point her in the direction of Toms book which is on this website.

    Regarding Chuck Swindoll – sound free grace preacher or not????

  237. I Spy a very teeny, tiny answer regarding Chuck Swindoll in comment 11:33a.m. of this same date. Now go get ‘em, Cowboy. ;-)

  238. haha, I didn’t even see your answer regarding Chuck Swindoll at the end of your earlier post Pearl, thanks. Could you explain to me what you mean by saying that he has ‘taken the contemplative path’. Not sure what you mean by that or why I should steer clear of him. Is he leaning towards LS or does he have other doctrinal errors? The local Christian radio station where I am now living has been promoting him alot and I have only listened to one excerpt of a sermon he preached so far. In that excerpy he magnified the grace of God and I did not hear any LS, however, it was just an excerpt of a total sermon and I have not listened to him enough to comment. Maybe I should boycott the station anyway as they have mishmash of stuff on there. There is some interesting discussion, some decent music but I have heard them playing sermons of Joyce Meyer who is definitely on the LS side and also has a heap of doctrinal error that goes along with what most Pentacostal Churches preach. I just switch stations (when driving as that’s the only time I listen to the radio) when I hear a preacher like that come on.

  239. I just also want acknowledge the encouragement that both Jon and Pearl have said and yes you are right, I do need to be more patient with my wife and ‘show grace in action’.

    I am so grateful for God’s patience with me and I also know that when I have been struggling to find assurance of my salvation in the past, some were not very patient with me and that really was not helpful at all.

    As people who proclaim the Gospel which is all about salvation that is by GRACE through faith in Christ’ we need to be patient with people and show that grace in action while at the same time exposing the errors of Calvinism, Arminianism and LS. Several free grace proclaimers that I have heard either in sermons or on youtube have been less than patient and gracious in their dealings with other people.

    II Timothy 2:24-26
    And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

  240. Daniel, thank you for the reminder to be loving, patient and gracious with people we are trying to teach.

  241. Yeah, it’s a shame about Swindoll, because he is one of those preachers who does understand grace. When I was driving home the other day, I, too, caught the latter part of his sermon, which was actually pretty good. That’s the hook.

    He preaches from The Message a lot, and there’s no shortage of critiques of that mess online (but be very careful of all discernment ministries…they all preach an LS message too, and some, like this post’s topic, Dave Hunt’s “The Berean Call”, will actually warn about contemplative prayer, but then defend and promote those who clearly dabbled in in, like AW Tozer). The contemplative path I speak of goes by other names, too. If you come across any classes called “Spiritual Formation”, just keep walking. It’s a “spiritual discipline” which involves meditation, as in reaching the “silence”, really, a trance. I know, hard to believe, but it’s true. Swindoll actually instructs readers how to reach the silence in his book called “So You Want to Be Like Christ: 8 Steps to Get You There”. No doubt about it Dangerous stuff.. It’s as pervasive as LS, and allows for a “meeting of the minds” between the east and west, with Catholic Rome being the head of it all.

    So, how does a man like Chuck Swindoll get to a place like that? I believe by allowing tiny steps of compromise all throughout his years of being a nationally celebrated preacher. It could happen to any of us.

    I was recently shocked to learn that he and Greg Laurie collaborated on a book about 5 or 6 years ago, each sharing their version of the gospel, where one-half is by Chuck and the other by Greg. That had to be a confusing read unless Chuck has amended his gospel message to be more compatible with the LS message of Greg Laurie, who appeared with Rick Warren a few years ago, none of which is surprising when you realize contemplative prayer is the grease in the ecumenical wheels. That’s just how it works. The discernment walls come crumbling down.

    So, what could be considered a “first step” of compromise toward contemplative prayer? So-called “Christian” yoga. There’s no such thing. Reading from “The Message” would be another step. Then, getting all sentimental over books like “The Shack” and tons of other titles. There’s no shortage of ways which allow this sensual spirituality to creep in.

    We must never let down our guard.

  242. Just want to say thank you to Pearl for the supportive words. I really appreciate the verses from Galatians and 2 Timothy that Pearl and Daniel shared also. I’m happy if I have been an encouragement to you Daniel.

  243. Hi Pearl!

    Insightful comments about Swindoll and others who have drifted into weird territory. You were the one who educated me about Swindoll over a year ago, I believe. I was saddened about his drifting into contemplative thinking and preaching. I think that you nailed it with your statement about “tiny steps of compromise” for a number of years. I can give you a little background info. that kind of backs up your statement. My wife and I were members of an EV Free for five years while Chuck Swindoll was our pastor. That was back in the late 80s. In 1990, he published his best-selling book, “The Grace Awakening,” which I took as an invective against legalism in general, against LS in particular (although he never named it in the book) and against MacArthur’s book, “The Gospel According to Jesus.” I can honestly say that, at that time, Swindoll was solidly Free Grace from my vantage point. But, looking back (hindsight is 20-20), there were some red flags. On two occasions he brought in well-known Calvinist preacher, R. C. Sproul, as a special guest Sunday preacher. On another occasion, to honor “Reformation Sunday,” he invited another well-known Calvinist, Sinclair Ferguson, to be the keynote speaker. At the time I was not well-versed about Calvinism or LS and I figured that Swindoll, being a celebrity on the Christian scene, must have had many associations with other famous pastors. He also had Joni Eareckson Tada speak twice (I only discovered in the past few years about her connection with LS).

    So, I guess that the warning signs were there even in the earlier days.

    Thanks, Pearl, for speaking out and standing strongly against “drifting” from the grace gospel and the Bible.

  244. hi have been catching up on your recent blogs. I have a question when a person puts faith in jesus for eternal life after hearing the grace message that salvation is a free gift no strings attached. no front loading or back loading of the gospel with works etc.I realize god gives them eternal relationship at that moment. does he also give them temporal fellowship at
    the same time until they sin and have to use 1john to get back into fellowship. by looking at different passages it seems most new beleivers
    start off in fellowship and are encouraged to keep on abiding in him. I
    were under the impression that after believing on jesus for eternal salvation
    you then had to repent of your sins to gain fellowship with the lord.My
    husband reckons you receive eternal life salvation and are cleansed from your past sins at the same time whether you have decided to turn from them
    or not in gods eyes you are in fellowship and set free but its then up toyou
    to choose to become a disciple and abide in fellowship. wondered if someone could share somelight on this.

  245. Hi Jewel,

    Good to hear from you again.. It has been brought to my attention that we may have ignored your previous comment. I sincerely apologize.

    I believe your husband has the right idea about fellowship after salvation. Upon belief in Christ all our sins are paid for, past, present and future. Therefore I believe upon trusting Jesus, we have immediate fellowship with the Lord.. but 1 John 1:9 is given to us, realizing that fellowship is passing, temporal and depends upon our behavior, i.e. walking in the Truth (or not).

    And in light of that we see 1 John 1:6 “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:”

    Of course that does not mean we are lost — just that we are walking in disobedience and not doing the truth.

    We know that Jesus Christ has paid the death penalty for ALL our sins — therefore “there remains no more sacrifice for sin. (Hebrews 10:26) Jesus made that sacrifice for us once for all. But then we are advised to confess (acknowledge) our sins to the Lord to regain our fellowship with Him.

    I pray this helps.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  246. Hi Bruce. I don’t want you thinking I was brushing off your comments. I had attempted a response yesterday but scrapped it as I wasn’t able to gather my scattered thoughts into a more cohesive reply.

    Determining what qualifies the setting up of “red flags” could very well prompt a disagreement amongst us free grace contenders, and I’m certainly not looking to engage in such a discussion. But, as I’ve come to recognize LS and realizing its near “absolute rule’ throughout Christendom, I’ve had a difficult time finding balance when considering teachers/preachers. As we’ve mentioned here before, the litmus test ought to be whether a ministry gets the gospel right. In my mind, if any root of the tulip exists, especially pertaining to free will, then it fails (and, for the life of me, I can’t see how the issue of “free will” is a red herring).

    However, there are those who appear to convey the true gospel, yet have no qualms aligning themselves with those who don’t. One bad apple infects the entire barrel, not the other way around.

    Frankly, when I look out, I see a massive, homogenized glob of confusion, and those whom I consider worthy of instructing me can be counted on one hand.

  247. After surveying the situation over the years, after being a victim of the lies of LS/Calvinism thru MacArthor, & after being set free from that blindness, I do think that one of the problems is that there is a huge amount if ignorance in the general Christian theater among protestants of just what the true Gospel is. I do not mean that people are not capable of knowing or learning, but that there is a majority that are not willing to put in the time or effort to learn. Too many of them just listen to the Sermon & go no further. They may read their devotions etc. but there are not many willing to put in the time or effort to learn more or enough to equip themselves to discern the errors coming from the pulpit! I do believe that is why LS/C is spreading so rapidly. Too many Christians setting in the pews are not able to discern the errors that are being fed to them! They don’t know. How can they contend for the truth & its simplicity when they don’t know the truth? How can they point out the error of “repent of or repent from your sins” which is coming from the pulpit when they do not know that it is wrong?
    Again, I am not trying to be mean. I am just saying what I have witnessed thru the years. I have actually been told “What difference does it make if you are a Calvinist or not, we’re all Christian!”
    Too many just want to skate by & not study anything. Ask around, how many Christians have read through the Bible at least once in their lives? Not that many! No wonder they cannot tell when they are being confronted with incorrect doctrine.
    Sorry for being so garrulous.
    God bless,
    John G.

  248. John G., you make a good point, but…there are a lot of LS folks out there who have read their Bibles through and through. They have been to LS seminaries, are preaching from LS pulpits, etc.

    Until I had read a clear presentation of the Gospel and believed it, I could not really understand scripture. The LS lens always interfered with my understanding and belief.

    I believe there are millions of unsaved people in the pews who think they might be Christians, who hope they are Christians, but who have never heard or believed the Gospel.

  249. John G., I think the reason LS is spreading is because that’s what 99% of the churches teach – with fervor. In addition, there are study and Bible groups within the churches that spend hours pouring through and discussing in depth the latest LS bestsellers – things like “The Hole in Our Gospel” or “Not A Fan.” I don’t think it is that these people are too lazy to explore further. Instead, I think their lives are inundated with LS from the preachers they trust who went to seminary to the study books recommended to them by their churches. Many of them are very busy learning how to be better Christians without even realizing that they are vainly following a false religion, and have no idea what the real plan of salvation even is. These people don’t know this information is false because all of their research is in LS doctrine. They don’t know that there is anything different. Those who do have been taught that anything else is heretical.

  250. I certainly cannot disagree! The problem is huge. And the workers
    are few. May God give us the wisdom, to spread the simple truth of the free grace Gospel to all that we are able. That is why I reccommend this blog to all my fellow Church members and others.
    God Bless You All,
    John G.

  251. John G,

    Thanks for those kind words and the recommendation. We notice our readership steadily increasing every month and we pray others will recommend ExP as you do.

    The laborers are few but we are encouraged when we see our statistics — several regular excited commenters from Australia, the UK, Canada, occasionally from Austria and the Netherlands and other countries. Plus we have readers from hundreds of nations all over the World. We pray the Lord will use all of you to increase interest in the Gospel of Salvation by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone and people will share that Good News – The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  252. Jane,

    Good to hear from you again.

    You have a great point. Back in the days of World War II (I was a teenager), it was called “brain washing.” Thus the brain washing of LS is happening in religion like unstoppable, crowd hypnotism. Many LS preachers and teachers are really “good” at it.

    The only cure is the Gospel of God’s Grace as we share, teach and reason together with each other as encouragement — and with folks on the edge or even in the mire of LS as we plead and pray that they learn the Truth.

    We sure do appreciate your and John’s wise comments.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  253. You know, many assume that Satan is busy tempting people away from God with drinking, smoking, drugs, etc. – which I’m sure he is. But even more insidious is how he is able to work through all of the false religions of LS who are busy doing the work for him – that is, keeping people from understanding that salvation is through God’s grace and Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins, not our works, nor how much we work on our relationship with Him.

  254. John G said:
    “The Sermon on the Mount is NOT Grace! It is LAW!
    I realized that I do NOT have to live the Sermon on the Mount to gain salvation!”

    Could you expand on your viewpoint about the sermon on the mount? In much of the sermon I see what I perceive as a new perspective on scripture calling out for example, hypocrisy. However, is it safe to assume that you see the Sermon as words that were simply meant to convey that no one is capable of fulfilling even the heart of the law as opposed to the view that the Sermon was making it clear how we are suppose to be and that Jesus was actually utilizing the Sermon to illuminate the listeners to their need for a saviour?

    Hope the question made sense.

  255. I am new to all this “LS” and “free grace” lingo and as a person who has always believed in the simple message of the cross and the power there of, could someone clear up something, that some people apparently feel that “free grace” is “heretical” doctrine. Why is that? Also, since I have been reading this blog, I have NOT seen commenter state that “free grace” for example advocate that everyone go out and have a “sin fest” because believers are set free from the law of sin and death and under grace. Having said that, In terms of any misunderstandings in the general church body about “free grace” can someone weigh in and explain “free grace” concerning such things after being born again and how God views it or how it is believed he deals with it.

    My view is is that a person who is of the faith can have their concience pricked, a prodding away from sin. It is not works to abandon sin as a believer, rather it is the “WORK” of the Spirit of jesus in us steering us away from such things. In fact it is again his grace.
    Thank you.

  256. Hi Carol, Since I mentioned the “heretical” word, I will address that with regard to LS (lordship salvation) and free grace. A person who believes LS thinks that there is something you either must do, try to do, promise to do, or be willing to do (ie. turn from sin, tithe, go to church, follow commandments, be sorry for your sins, etc.). Someone who believes in free grace believes that God sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, and that it is through Christ and this special GIFT to us from God that saves us. We just believe that this is so. We don’t believe there is anything WE must do to add to, keep, or maintain our salvation. People who believe LS say we are being heretical because we are leaving out the LS part that states that you have to do your part. So they believe we aren’t giving the whole plan of salvation. WE believe THEY are ADDING to the plan of salvation, making it incorrect because people, in essence, are busy trying to help God save themselves. If they think they must help, they do not understand the plan of salvation. There are LS groups who say they believe only free grace, but add that if you can’t tell whether a person is saved by the life he is living that he probably isn’t saved (back-door LS and “fruit inspection”). The following link provides a great description of LS.

    http://expreacherman.com/2012/08/14/you-might-be-a-lordship-salvationist-if/

  257. Greetings Carol!

    Thanks for your comments and questions. I think that I get what you’re asking. Ephesians 2:10 tells us of our responsibility after we trust Christ alone by grace through faith for salvation:
    “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
    Notice that the text says, “that we should walk in them.” Once we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, then, by all means, we SHOULD serve the Lord faithfully. It is the right and proper response to God for his wonderful gift of salvation. Lorship “Salvation” teaching, on the other hand, says that we MUST do good works to PROVE that we are saved. That teaching is unbiblical; it creates unending questions and doubts in the mind of the individual (LS is a real assurance killer!): How many good works must I perform to be certain that I am saved? For how many years? What if I backslide; is that ever allowed? If so, for how long? Must I live a radical, over-the-edge, “on-fire” existence for God, as Chan and Platt would require—what all that means, who knows? Under LS teaching, can I ever truly be certain that I am saved for eternity? Do you see how all of this LS teaching is man-centered and works-based salvation?

    Regarding LS slams against Free Grace Theology, there have been many: “antinomianism” (it simply means, “lawless”), “cheap grace,” “easy believism,” “greasy grace,” are typical slurs that I hear. For some strong responses to these slanderous comments, go to the search bar at Expreacherman.com (this site) and put in “easy believism.” You’ll find several good articles on this subject. Another article, called “Grace Baiting,” can be found at Free Grace Alliance: http://www.freegracealliance.com/pdf/baiting.pdf

    Thanks again for writing.

  258. Thanks, Jane, for your excellent response to Carol’s question. It’s great to have you join us.

    Blessings!

  259. Well spoken, John and Jane.

    Of the Christians I know personally, none are lazy but very enthusiastic, feasting on sermons, “bible” studies (where they study anything but, with the possible exception of BSF [Bible Study Fellowship - don't get me started on that]), Christian seminars, Christian books and entertainment, all the while being propped up and reinforced by their contradictory study bibles which “define” for them those hard verses, by which the busy Christian is once again pricked to the heart and endeavors to prove himself one of the elect until finally he either calls it quits, despising so-called “Christianity” and its hypocrite followers, or somehow, in spite of the plethora of LS propaganda, the weary Christian learns he’s been everso subtly misled and, amazingly, finally finds rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

  260. Pearl, bingo!

    LS hardens non-believers to the Gospel.

    Some people think that LS simply confuses salvation with discipleship – putting the “fruit” before the “root.” I believe LS tries to REPLACE the root (salvation by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone) with the fruit.

    The sad fact is, LS is a much more grave error than simply confusing salvation and discipleship. For if someone has never trusted in Christ alone, he remains unsaved.

    If I thought that LS was “just another flavor” of Christianity, I would not bother with this website.

  261. First off I would like to say thank you to Pearl for her greetings to me several days ago. It’s appreciated. And thank you to Jane and califgracer for taking the time to respond to my posts last night and to clarify the distinction between free grace and LS. I absolutely appreciate it.

    Secondly, before I comment further, I really do want to say that this has been an education coming to this blog. While it gives me a term to describe how I see things with my own faith, it puts things in perspective about the convoluted messages that are out there, of which, I have heard many. And I have most certainly seen the damage take place with others who have simply believed the gospel and have had others come and say, “but wait there’s more”… you have to do to earn your salvation or to learn deeper teachings that must be grasped in your Christian walk etc. And I have seen the confusion about such matters. My personal core in my belief in the gospel has been my anchor when these winds of the “musts” have swirled around me.

    Where I live in Canada, it has either been the Word Faith, Vineyard or Pentecostal to the other end of the spectrum of Mennonite Brethren. Each and everyone of them has a component of works or outward demonstrations of fruit or evidence of salvation. And this viewpoint I do not abide in, no matter what the denomination. And if any reader of this blog is involved in any of these teachings, my advice is to go to the foot of the cross and rest. The spirit of the Lord will do the rest. And not to feel that you must show good works in order to be saved, speak in multiple tongues, sing and write the most glorious music to be in God’s good graces. It simply is not true.

    As I have mentioned before, the LS exposure is only now making its way here. Now that I have had time to ponder, what I see is this; it is the desire of the devil from the very beginning to undermine God and the message of the cross. And he certainly is attempting to do that through the insidious message of works no matter what the denomination.

    Another movement has taken root in Canada, which is Messianic Christianity. Starting with the Toronto blessing, which claimed an “anointing” that was false that brought about none other than the likes of Benny Hynn and two people named Merv and Merla Watson (among others). They are the ones who brought about the renewal of the “Feast of Tabernacles” in Jerusalem in the name of Christianity. All things of the Torah and festival are embraced and mixed in with Christianity. This festival is now the largest in Israel and has been attended by every Israeli Prime Minister except one in the last 30 + years.

    While I appreciate all the history of our faith and it Jewish roots, it is mingling faith and works. It undermines the gospel once again. And this messianic teaching is yet another teaching that made its way into my family with an in-law who got involved with such teachings, which became the catalyst for something far more sinister. She is now involved in what I describe as a cult, where the food they eat, the music they listen to, the friends they have, what they read and on and on is dictated to by a leader. And how does this leader manage to pull it off? The message is you will be closer to God. You will be more favoured. If you don’t do this or that, you can lose your salvation. You are better than those who sit around. It induces pride and fear. It is not the message of grace.

    Thanks to all your commenters. They are very helpful.

  262. Hi Carol,
    As a person who is a Jewish believer myself and has friendships with people who identify as Messianic Jews, I can agree with some of what you are saying about Messianic teaching but I feel you have probably seen the worst side of it. It would be shame to slur the whole Hebrew roots movement and throw the baby out with the bathwater so to speak. I personally have found many faults with the movement but not entirely. I do enjoy on occasion celebrating Passover (in preference to Easter) and have attended Feast of Tabernacles celebrations. To me, this is the freedom I have in Christ to choose either to enjoy or not to enjoy these celebrations. That’s what they are, celebrations not compulsions or requirements for obedience. The Feasts are not ‘musts’ nor compulsory by any means. The last few years I have not taken part due to inconvenience and I have no guilt because I am not under Law to keep these. They have nothing to do with salvation and in my understanding, in the current dispensation of the Church age, they are not required for obedience either.

    To have some Messianic’s tell me I need to keep the Feasts, food laws, the Sabbath or any such ordinance under the Law as a proof of obedience to the Lord is legalism, judgmental and unscriptural. (Colossians 2:16-17) However, to have some other Christian (as has happened to me occasionally by Christians who have no understanding of what these Feasts are about, no understanding of my motives or where my trust is resting) tell me that if I choose to attend a Passover Celebration or Feast of Tabernacles celebration that I am ‘putting myself under the Law’ is also just as unscriptural, judgmental and aims to undermine the freedom I have in Christ to keep these Feasts or not (Romans 14:4-10). There is no obligation to keep the Feasts or rule to not keep them. Let each be convinced in their own mind and not judge others that do keep them. The problem with many Messianic’s is when they start making these ordinances requirements for or proofs of obedience and when they start tying to be ‘Justified by the Law’ it is simply heretical and Christ becomes of no effect to the person trying to be justified by the Law (Galatians 5:4). That is quite different however, to a believer celebrating Christ and gaining a Hebraic understanding of the roots of our faith.

    As a Jewish believer I also see that the Hebrew roots movement as a fantastic way of reaching out to Jewish people who often think that Jesus is for the Gentiles and think of Christianity as santa claus and bowing down to statues of Mary. It’s a great way of being a testimony to my unbelieving Jewish family and the rest of the Jewish community that you can still be Jewish and believe in Jesus. Likewise, it’s a testomony to any anti-semitism that still exists in the Church. You know, the first believers in Jesus said that you needed to basically become Jewish by getting circumcised and following Judaism. Today, there are many of the opposite extreme that would have Jewish people renounce their Jewish heritage; that’s also wrong and very unfortunate though not an affront to the core Gospel message itself.

    I fully agree that within the Messianic there are some messed up factions. It seems to attract all kinds. I have personally seen a range of people from a great many denominations attend a previous local Messianic congregation I was involved in. It can also attract some works orientated people and extreme views. I once heard a practicing Messianic pastor I know call it the ‘Messy-anic movement’. I would basically summarize the Messianic movement into two very basic camps. Torah observant and non-Torah observant. Most of the Torah observant ones are LS and are on the extreme side. I would say that few of them have ever been saved but only God knows, I am sure there are some saved Christians amongst them that have gotten caught up in this wrong teaching. With the non-Torah observant congregations you will find a great deal of LS just the same as you would among the rest of evangelical Christianity. You will also find the odd free gracer just as you would in the rest of Evangelical Christianity.

  263. Daniel R and Carol,

    Carol, I understand and sympathize with your concern and know where you are coming from with your family experiencing the bad side of the Messianic movement.

    Daniel, we praise the Lord for you and every Jewish person who trusts Jesus Christ alone as his Savior. I pray daily for Jews everywhere (especially in Israel) to recognize and believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah. We were privileged to have visited Israel and to have Jewish believers in Jesus as members of our church.

    By using your liberty in Christ to attend various Messianic celebrations, I assume you must use extreme care when attending such services, that your presence does not mistakenly mean to them that you endorse their teachings — which may be perverting the Gospel of God’s Grace. Your testimony suggests that you are now very clear in your faith in Jesus. You need to continue to reinforce that (growing in Grace) by studying God’s Word and savoring clear Grace doctrine which is often absent in some Messianic teachings.

    Incidentally, using the “baby/bathwater” discussion to justify involvement with a false teaching (bathwater) is a rather fallacious exchange since sound doctrine is not a “baby/bathwater” discussion. Sound Salvation teaching is always True and never a mixture of true/false. We should completely avoid the “bathwater” from the beginning.

    Also, please, I prefer we not have further discussion on the Messianic movement and all of its idiosyncrasies but we, Jew and Gentile alike, simply rejoice in our salvation by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  264. Daniel,

    Hello to you. What I believe is this; I, being a gentile am a “jew” grafted into the tree of Israel through throught faith that Jesus Christ is the “glory of Israel” and a “light of revelation to the gentiles”, thus the saviour of us all as the Messiah.
    With respect, the founders of the “Feast of Tabernacles” had a website up until very recently where everything on the website pointed to the festivals,
    Shabbot, Hanukkah with no mention of Easter etc. This couple by the way are like me, gentiles grafted in.
    My point was to illustrate how the message of the gospel can get lost in amongst this.
    If the festivals are presented in a clear manner distinguishing what was of the Torah and that Christ fullfilled the law, yet it is enjoyable to partake as a learning tool of the roots of Christianity, I have absolutely no problem with that. My original point was that it can become a mixed message if not explained clearly.

    Paul was a son of Israel. As he put it “a pharissee of pharissees and a persecutor of those of “the way” (Christians). Until he was met on the road to Damascus by the Jesus. Paul was sent to a home where he received the gospel.
    Paul in Corrinthians 2:2 stated “and I am determined to nothing among you accept Jesus Christ and him crucified”.
    Having said that, I am mindful of Stephen’s and his testimony throughout the historionics of the Jewish faith “beginning with Abraham”.

    On that note, I, as a lover of all things history and in particular, the history of our faith and in full agreement with believers understanding the roots of our faith. My concern that when it is presented, that it be in a very clear manner, so no one is left confused and unable to understand the message of the law and the message of grace, laying out where the Jewish nation is cherished in the eyes of God.
    I hope that clears things up.

  265. Thanks for explaining that Carol and thanks for being one of the Christians who understand the freedom we have in Christ and speaking that.

    I completely agree with you that if the Feasts and these celebrations and this style of worship is not explained with very clear teaching they can certainly garble the Gospel with works and result in people getting confused. Add to that a lot of zealous people who somehow wish to do ritualistic things and don’t properly discern the difference between Law and Grace and the dispensation of the age we are in right now, works salvation and legalism can gradually work their way in.

    I am very sorry to hear how some of this mess has come into your family and I too see many concerns with a great deal of the Messianic movement and understand your concerns with much of what is happening in it. I won’t talk too much about the movement so to respect Jack’s wishes as I understand that the purpose of this website is to focus on the Gospel and exposing LS.

    Unfortunately some Messianics (Jews and Gentiles alike) feel that they are somehow superior but the clear teaching of scripture is that all are under sin and through faith in the Messiah we become adopted as God’s children and are all equal in the sight of God once we are ‘in Christ’. I would have a Bacon Burger with you any day Carol!

  266. Daniel,
    Thanks for responding. I think ultimately the orginal point I was trying to drive home is that the message of works or outword signs etc has really made it way into many areas of Christendom, whatever the schism may be.
    I think it is human nature to want to have some kind of outward expression of love or devotion. David danced naked before the Lord. Was it out of complusion or what it simply and outward expression of honouring the Lord from his heart? I suspect it was the latter. Some people travel the world proclaiming the gospel, while others are faithful janitors who keep the house of worship in order. As long as it is NOT done with an attitude of working into God’s good graces or a good showing before man, then I say go for it. God judges the heart and the motives. But, as we point people to Christ or simply share our testimony, as long as we don’t include the “musts” while simultaneously pointing people to the cross, I’m good with that.
    Cheeseburger you say? Why, I`d be up for it, just so long as it isn`t a tofu burger. lol. Just a joke to all you vegans out there.
    Nice chatting with you Daniel

  267. Sister Carol, I am sorry for being late to answer your questions concerning the Sermon on the Mount. I have been absent from the Web for a few days. I hesitate to do what you ask, but I will do so. I need to explain my theological background & schooling in order to show where my thoughts come from. I am a Biblicistical, Free Grace Pauline Dispensationalist. I have mentioned Scofield in the past. Scofield had a student named Chafer who helped him write up the notes for his study Bible. This Chafer later in life founded the Seminary in Dallas, Texas around 1920. Even though Chafer’s theology was tainted by Calvinism, I will not throw out the baby with the bath water. NO ONE is against Calvinism more than I. But I realize that at the Dallas Seminary I could learn a great amount, & I did. Dispensationalism teaches that the Church of Jesus Christ began on that one Pentecost day when the Holy Spirit came upon the group in the upper room. Before that day the Church did NOT exist. The New Testament did not exist until after the death & resurrection of Christ. The four Gospels
    are Old Testament era, NOT New Testament! In the sermon on the Mount, we have the Jewish Messiah announcing the rules of the Kingdom not the Gospel of the Grace of the Church. In the Sermon on the Mount, where is the Cross? Where is the death, burial, & resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ? The Sermon on the Mount is the big weapon that the LS’ people use to show that more than faith is needed to be a Christian. The Sermon on the Mount is for those who want to become disciples. It is not for those wanting to become Christians! And I might add that these disciples were Jewish.
    WE are Free Grace! We believe in order to gain eternal life! NOTHING MORE! Those who teach LS frontload the Gospel with the admonishments of the Sermon on the Mount for salvation!
    Everything before Acts is Law not Church! If you want rules,
    read the letters of Paul. Every thing we are told to do is for scantification! Not salvation! Our marching orders are in the letters of the New Testament. Not in the Gospels. We are members of the Church. We are the Bride of Christ We are ambassadors of Christ waiting for the blowing of the trumpet taking us home! We DO NOT WAIT FOR A KINGDOM! We wait for our groom! Our destiny is not a Jewish Kingdom where we are servants. Our destiny is to meet our groom for the marriage supper of the Lamb, in Glory where we will be co-rulers with Christ. There is SO much more to say, but I do apologize to the owner of this blog for the long entry. You may not agree with what I have written, that is OK! Sister Carol ask, and I try to answer.
    God bless you all,
    John G.

  268. To all:

    Below is a link to a new video by Dr,. Tom Cucuzza.. The Gospel of God’s Grace.

    You will never see or hear the Gospel any clearer.

    Send the link to your friends.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  269. Great video!

    Thanks for posting this Jack.

  270. How refreshing. No, “repent of your sins,” or “make Him Lord of your life,” etc.

  271. Hello John G,

    I am going to have to ponder what you wrote. At the moment I am very much embroiled in something very serious that demands my attention, but I will take the time to think about what you wrote and hopefully respond when I have an opportunity. That was pretty intense what you wrote, but like I said, I’ll have to ponder. I always think things out. I believe in examining everything in context and in the light of the scriptures. Hence my original commenting on this very post about “Berean”, as the people of Berea turned to the scriptures to ascertain if what Paul and Silas were saying was so.

    Acts 10-12
    10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.

    Anyway, I’m sure you get the gist.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond.

    Cheers, Carol

  272. John G,

    Quick secondary comment which have to be elaborated on later. I am not legalistic, as you might grab onto by my point of Berean. I certainly do not extrapolate from the passage in Acts a need for works in any capacity. I simply examine everything. Not out of any sense of being “noble” in any way. I am just a simple woman with a curious mind and have seen enough baloney over the years in my Christian walk. As my mother would put it, “from soup to nuts”, and because of that, I am cautious. I have seen people being destroyed by false teachers, where those who have been harmed have not taken the time to way things out or even consider scriptures even in the context of historical evidence, but rather so and so said so, so it must be true. Some of those people who lead people here or there in the Lord using great charisma, berating, fear of losing your salvation and on and on.
    I have seen where the rubber meets the road and am not easily moved unless I am convinced. Hense my desire to examine.

    Anyway, will have more to say later.

    Bye for now.

  273. Matt for Grace and Truth,

    Just a quick comment on Matt for Grace and Truth’s post from February 19, which I just had a chance to read through. Very, very well put. Excellent summation on getting the point of the gospel across and sifting to the boiled down product on delineating between salvation and our walk with Christ henceforth.

    John G,

    Sorry I have not gotten back to comment further, but I’ll have to wait until I have more time. You have given me food for thought and I want to take the time to think about it. I think the points made are far too important to rattle off a quick response.

    Carol

  274. Carol,

    Your participation at Expreacherman.com is appreciated; however, the editors agree that your comments today were much too long and involved to be posted in entirety (15 pages when printed out). Please feel free to comment, but we request that you keep comments concise, two to three short paragraphs is about right, emphasizing two or possibly three salient points. If you would like to edit your comments down to about one page, they will be reviewed for re-posting.

    Note to all commenters: Please review the comment rules on the Expreacherman.com home page header. Thanks in advance for your understanding.

  275. Understood. Will edit and revise.
    Thank you

  276. John G,

    With respect to the four testimonies of eye witnesses to Christ’s last words from the cross “it is finished”, at the moment he died, the curtain that separated everyone from the Ark of the Covenant was “rent in two” “from top to bottom”. I see this as a sign that the way into the “holy of holies”, veiled through the law was laid bear.

    I agree that it was on Pentecost that the Spirit was poured out, but that does not nullify the completion of the law the moment Christ died.

    As it states in Matthew 27:50 (a gospel) “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. 52The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised”, indicating that something had transpired at that moment. As it is written “he led captive a host of captives”. As well, when I read the “Sermon on the Mount”, I see Christ “fleshing out” and “enlightening” the meaning of the scriptures. I therefore do not equate the Sermon with the law.

  277. Because this thread mainly deals with Lordship Salvation, I thought I’d share an email I blind copied to several friends and staff at my church almost a year ago. It gives some insight into the confusion caused by this false doctrine. I’ve obviously come a long way since last March but by no means should that imply that I couldn’t stand to hear any an all input on this topic regardless of how “condescending” it might sound, as I believe I’m in a phase of my walk where I really could use some reinforcement to undo the damage that’s been done already, for lack of a better way of putting it . . .

    Here’s the email (edited for brevity):

    I’d like help me working out an issue that’s been causing me some distraction and trouble in my heart of late.

    I will celebrate being a born again Christian for 20 years in the next couple of months. I’ve come to notice over my 20-year walk with the Lord that I tend to struggle with really grasping the true meaning of the gospel. What I basically mean is that I was a big worrier by nature (more so than most, in my humble opinion) before getting saved. A comparison between the amount I worry now to before getting saved is, to be sure, characterized by major contrast and change for the better. I rejoice in that greatly and often pray for wisdom to remember the things from which I have been delivered.

    However, for some reason I seem to be quite vulnerable to attacks on my understanding of eternal security. For example, the “church at large” has in it its fair share of legalists, accusers of the brethren, works salvation peddlers, heretics, etc.

    Sometimes I stumble upon these people and watch their Youtube videos or whatever and rather than just thinking, “Hmm, I’m not sure I agree with that,” I basically get into a funk. I find myself having a hard time disagreeing w/ what my “gut” tells me is heresy, and then I start second guessing most if not all of what I’ve always (or at least for several years or more) accepted on faith as the Truth. To name names, Ray Comfort and Richard Rives are two of the people I’m talking about.

    So what I’m asking you to do is share w/ me your thoughts and Scripture references that you think will show me the light. I promise not to get upset if you even say something to the effect of “Oh foolish Gallatians, who hath bewitched you?” I may deserve it. We’re supposed to have joy in the Holy Spirit and I’ve been letting this issue rob me of my joy. It’s healthy to work one’s salvation out w/ fear and trembling, but I could use a little help and encouragement.

    Thanks, and God Bless.

    (I apologize if this is too long.)

  278. —Attention All: Please pray for the Graceline Free Grace Conference this Saturday, March 2!
    If you are in or near the Phoenix area be sure to attend!

    Here’s the link for more information:

    http://www.graceline.net/

  279. Fryingpan 9, I find it helpful to focus on the truth whenever I am confronted with lies. Satan loves to mess with us. We need the full armour of God.

    Ephesians 6:

    [10] Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
    [11] Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
    [12] For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
    [13] Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
    [14] Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
    [15] And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
    [16] Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
    [17] And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

    Verse 12 is key – we are wrestling against spiritual wickedness in high places.

  280. Fryingpan 9, I also think this prayer is encouraging:

    Ephesians 3:

    [14] For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    [15] Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
    [16] That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
    [17] That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
    [18] May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
    [19] And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
    [20] Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
    [21] Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

  281. Thank you, John.

    One thing that has occurred to me since finding this site and learning more about putting these things into perspective is the following thought: “It’s hard to focus on Christ (and what He did for me by dying on the cross for my sins) when someone manages to make you focus on your own efforts to ‘live up to’ one’s calling as a Christian.” In other words, it’s a lot clearer to me now that a side effect of falling for the LS line (if not the main result) is to focus on self rather than God. And when followed to its logical conclusion, focus on one’s “failures” is just the flip side of pride.

    As for Richard Rives (whom I mentioned above) the main thing that bothered me about him is that he just comes off as really cold and bordering on being mean spirited. Not to mention smug.

    After watching a couple of his videos online the main thing I found myself thinking was, “If this guy’s right, Heaven’s going to have a VERY low population.” I mean, I understand the gate is indeed narrow, but LS theology seems to preach a message that the narrow gate applies to those who consider themselves Christian, not just the world that blatantly rejects Jesus and the only salvation that comes through faith in him.

  282. hi everyone,
    I really appreciate your blog. I found it because friends recommended paul Washer to me. My only question is based on Hebrews 6:4-8 and Hebrews 10:26-31. How can I reassure myself and others when the LS teachers use these verses to question our security?
    Thanks for your help.

  283. JTowner,

    Thanks for dropping by again.

    We would seriously recommend you depart from your friends who recommend Paul Washer, David Platt, John Piper, John MacArthur, etc or any other of the Calvinist-Lordship “Salvationists.” Those teachers are theological poison – depart from them.

    CalifGracer wrote a comment which thoroughly explains your question on Hebrews. There are many other comments throughout ExPreacherMan which also address the issue (a false issue created by those who insist on works to gain or keep salvation).

    To help you be secure in your ETERNAL salvation, here is his Comment:
    http://www.expreacherman.com/2011/01/05/grace-under-fire-the-fallout-of-lordship-faith-teaching/#comment-12808

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  284. Fryingpan9 said,

    “…and rather than just thinking, ‘Hmm, I’m not sure I agree with that,’ I basically get into a funk. I find myself having a hard time disagreeing w/ what my “gut” tells me is heresy, and then I start second guessing most if not all of what I’ve always (or at least for several years or more) accepted on faith as the Truth.”

    That’s why I no longer give any body, book, or blog the time of day if they replace the simple, gracious gospel with their confusing, high-falutin’, rebellious, stiff-necked, un-gracious, warped message of grace mixed with fear-inducing works (which is no grace at all).

    Just curious, did you receive the help you were looking for? What kind of response did you get to your email?

    JTowner, welcome!

    Standing for the true gospel may indeed leave you “friendless” (as RebeccaAarup shared so eloquently last night at the most recent post), but in so doing, you’ll find that you walk with a lighter step and experience more peace than those you left behind (only they’ll never admit it!).

    http://expreacherman.com/2013/02/26/calvinists-lordship-salvationists-set-up-a-straw-man-argument-against-free-grace-teachers-it-is-called-decisional-regeneration/#comment-17088

  285. Thanks very much, Pearl. I’ll answer your question but first I also want to say hello to JTowner . . .

    I really identified w/ your last comments and could have REALLY been served well by this blog and comments/questions like yours back in say, July of last year when I seemed to be at my most confused thanks to LS et al.

    Pearl, I know it’s not much of an answer but I have to say, “sort of.” I’d have to go back and check to see how many I originally blind copied in my original email but off hand I’d say at least 7 people were sent the email. One replied he was too busy to offer anything thoughtful but my pastor and associate pastor weighed in and were helpful, but they both operate from a pretty distinct Chuck Smith/CC perspective and neither of them offered up the term “Lordship Salvation.” So you can sort of get my point.

    Now that I’ve read more on this blog I see that the whole “a believer can turn his back on his salvation” thing comes from Chuck Smith. I’ve heard my pastor spout that as well. At least now I know where he got it from.

    Obviously I would have been better served if either my pastor or associate pastor said something along the lines of, “What you’re dealing with is clearly the false teaching of Lordship Salvation.” Here are some scriptures to help understand why it’s neither biblical nor logical . . . ” The good news is that I’m apparently learning what I need to learn here thanks to you fine folks and this blog.

  286. fryingpan9 wrote: “Now that I’ve read more on this blog I see that the whole “a believer can turn his back on his salvation” thing comes from Chuck Smith.”

    Yes, he has held and taught that view for decades. Unfortunately.

  287. I (finally) just watched the “Genius” video. Wow, there must really be something wrong with me because I didn’t get sick to my stomach like I thought I would. Instead I found myself left with more of a, “I really need a better understanding of this whole thing” sort of reaction.

    A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways . . . I guess I’m struggling with being double-minded. I appreciate everyone’s heart for ministering to the confused among us . . .

    All that said please know that I’m still leaning HEAVILY towards a Free Grace perspective and stand by my misgivings about LS being illogical, but I also realize I have a lot of “unlearning” to do because SO much of what Ray preaches “just sounds so ‘right'”.

    I suppose a big part of my problem is I’ve either never learned (or have since forgotten) the Free Grace “view” on scripture passages such as 1 Cor. 6:8-10″ and the issue of “false converts” and who exactly Jesus had in mind when he taught the principles in Matthew 7:21-24 . . .

    Thanks for being patient with me . . . No one can accuse me on not being transparent, I suppose.

  288. FryingPan…three little words: “repent of sins” to be saved, which, when you stop to think about it, amounts to a life-long work. Believing the gospel (such as what we hear and see in Tom Cucuzza’s video presentation posted last week) is not enough. It’s just too easy and cheap for them, and they can’t stand the existence of backsliders or carnal Christians. They love to toss around the phrase “so-called Christians” or merely emphasize the term with finger quotes as they wink or roll their eyes (i.e. Christians).

    JimF left a more detailed response shortly after the vid was posted, together with his writing a post at his own blog on Comfort and others promoting a false, works-based gospel, which you will that find Jack links to in his blogroll.

    http://expreacherman.com/2012/12/18/dave-hunts-berean-call-promoting-not-only-calvinism-but-now-the-terrible-lordship-salvation-of-ray-comfort/#comment-15872

  289. Frying Pan, I prayed for you on the way home from work. Specifically, that you will be able to cast away all vestiges of LS teaching.

    Regarding the passages to which you referred, following are my attempts to explain them, as well as what I consider to be links to good articles on each.

    1 Corinthians 6:

    [8] Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.[9] Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
    [10] Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
    [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.

    I interpret this to mean that anyone who has not been forgiven of his sins does not have eternal life and will not go to heaven. A Christian (someone who has received eternal life by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone) is no longer guilty of his sins before God. Jesus took away the believer’s guilt and gave the believer His righteousness.

    Every single one of us has committed sins covered by these verses, both before AND after becoming believers (see Matthew 5 for what constitutes some of these sins in God’s eyes). But, as believers, we are in Christ and are justified (see 1 Corinthians 6:11).

    A good article on this topic is linked below:

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

    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.
    [22] 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?
    [23] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
    [24] Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

    This addresses people who are trying to work their way into heaven. They acknowledge Jesus as Lord. They never knew Him as Savior. I believe this includes people who mix faith with works (i.e., Lordship “salvationists” who believed that Christ was necessary, but not sufficient).

    Notice that Jesus never says “No, you didn’t do the things you claim to have done.” That is because one’s works are not relevant to whether or not he is granted eternal life.

    The Apostle Paul summed it up succinctly, as follows:

    Romans 11:6: And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

    A good article on this topic is linked below:

    http://www.gracelife.org/resources/gracenotes.asp?id=52

  290. Dear Pearl and John: Thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU both! I appreciate the patience and kindness evident here.

    I will reread all you’ve written as well as all scriptures and links noted and provided, etc.

    I’m prone to over think things (no, REALLY??) so this is all to be expected (in light of how well I know myself–maybe I need to know JESUS a lot better and stop focusing on myself so much). I used to drive an old English prof of mine many moons ago CRAZY by how much I struggled to understand poetry (certain poems at least, such as many by Emily Dickinson) because of staring at things too closely (so to speak) instead of allowing simple logic and instinct have their “hand” in it. Obviously we’re talking spiritual discernment here and some clear differences come into play, but I’m sure you know what I’m saying.

    I’ve read Romans 11:6 many times in recent weeks and still for some reason struggle to have the light bulb really go on, so to speak. I look forward to finally “getting it” regarding some of these issues that have been too long relegated to the, “I’m not sure I understand this” bin.

    I’m very encouraged by others on this blog who’ve shared how once they shed the LS “fog” they were finally able to understand Scripture a lot better. That will be a real treat. I’ve already felt that the light this blog has shed is the best thing to happen to me spiritually since I first got saved and experienced the “glow of the conversion experience.”

  291. I’m with you, FryingPan, in expressing many thanks to the discerning eyes, ears and exceptional articulators, past and present, of this rare place defending God’s precious Truth with simple clarity. It’ll be a joy to grow alongside you and others in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord.

  292. FryingPan9,

    I will be praying for you as well. It has been an encouragement to hear how you are working toward freeing yourself of “LS fog”. It truly is liberating to step clear of the LS storm clouds and look into the light of God’s Word with fresh eyes. I trust that you will find people here to help with your questions whether it be regulars such as myself or Jack and Bruce who oversee this site. I have recently started my own blog and you are welcome to comment there as well.

    Continue to focus on the truth of God’s Word and take things one step at a time. Take a break from videos and check out the real thing – which you will find in God’s Word. If you do this long enough then you will know the truth and spotting a fake will become much easier. There is also much safety in a strong group of discerning believers.

    Jim F

  293. Dear Fryingan 9,
    I so feel what you have been going through and concur with the steering that the above commenters have given to you in this thread.

    As Jim F said:
    “Take a break from videos and check out the real thing – which you will find in God’s word”. To be sure, that advice gets a big “amen” from me.

    That really could be step number one for you to be removed from any fog of confusion and come to a conclusion of what you really believe.

    For me this blog has proven to be a guide post that continuously points to the freedom of [from] the law.

    As it is the new testament, “who the son sets free, is free indeed”.
    If you have ever watched the “Simpsons” primetime cartoon, the neighbour Ned Flanders and his family are almost robotic in their kindness etc. as christians. There is an episode where Ned “snaps” and just can’t take it anymore, that is trying to be perfect. No one should have that level of pressure put on them by others or by themself. If you try, a feeling of condemnation will be ever present and ultimately depression, anxiety, sorrow and on and on. OR for those who try to fullfill a perfect existence, pride and self righteousness. That is not freedom.

    God bless you.

  294. Thanks again, everyone. I just read John and Bruce’s earlier comments (made on and around 1/1/13) in this thread about bad translations of Luke 13:3. Wow. I’m so glad my eyes have been opened to this simple but VERY important truth. It sort of makes me annoyed however, when I hear people say how they don’t like the KJV because of all the “thees and thous” or whatever they all seem to say . . . Now I know a lot more about why it’s not just a matter of preference!

    The deceit seems to know no bounds . . .

    At about the time I posted my last couple of comments it did occur to me that I haven’t really been allowing the Holy Spirit to teach me when reading my Bible for QUITE some time. Of course, this wasn’t intentional, but I had to figure it out. I certainly did get my spiritual insights directly from God when I first got saved–it’s how I knew I had found the truth and was saved in the first place. (I’ve primarily read KJV, NIV and NKJV for the past 21 years or so.) But I realized after about the first 4 to 6 months after my conversion experience, a lot of my reading of the Bible, esp. New Testament epistles and letters, was characterized by a lot of confusion and lack of understanding. The truths just didn’t leap off the page like they did when I read the Gospels.

    I think that’s a big reason why I got sidetracked by bad doctrine because while I no doubt was getting some good teaching, I was not simply letting the Holy Spirit be my guide and was instead getting sidetracked and was vulnerable to bad doctrine as well. So it’s certainly no surprise that I’ve been in need of much exhortation to stick to the “real thing” (even my pastor, when he answered my email I shared here, admonished me for putting too much stock in the ideas of men and suggested I get my counseling from God and His Word.)

  295. Okay . . . I just read Daniel’s comments (1/23/13) about HIS experience and involvement with Way of The Master ministries and that DID make me sick to my stomach! Those are some really helpful details! And I never knew Ray taught that lie that if you’re not out winning converts you’re not saved. I know the “Boston Movement” of the Church of Christ has taught that heresy for DECADES. (My pastor and his wife, when they first got saved over 2 decades ago were caught up in that cult-like system for a while and I’ve seen at least one good friend be a casualty of it as well when he was with the New York Church of Christ.)

    Now, lest I get off topic I’ll see if I can go 6 hours or more w/ out posting . . .

  296. Fryingpan 9

    Hey all . . . I just read something that leads me to believe that The Berean Call and/or Dave Hunt have actually preached (or in one instance at least preached) a “form of” Lordship Salvation well over 2 decades ago.

    I’d copy and paste my evidence here but I’d rather err on the side of caution and not share or post a direct quote w/out Jack or one this blog’s administrators first giving me a “green light” to do so . . . (I know many links get deleted so I figure I’d better know what I’m doing before pasting something lifted off another web site as well.)

    Many thanks to you all . . .

  297. FryingPan,

    Thanks for your consideration in asking. Post the quote and then the link only if the link is verifiable as The Berean Call. We can discuss the quote or text. You are right — we do not want untested web sites to be advertised here at ExP.

    Most opinion reports that the latest error by Berean Call lies at the feet of McMahon who has taken over TBC. Dave is now ill and incapacitated now but was pretty clear a decade or so ago. It might be an interesting discussion.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  298. FryingPan,

    To follow up: if you wish, you may send the link via an email through our personal email form, (right sidebar). and I will review the web site.

    Thanks again,

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  299. Fryingpan 9

    Thank you, Jack.

    Oh, I can totally confirm it’s from the real TBC website all right . . . I’ve been visiting that web site on a fairly regular basis for well over a decade now.

    Before I post the quote from the article and its respective link I’ll say here that I came upon them today while doing a search on the Berean Call website to see what they had to say about certain people and topics and out of curiosity put in the words “Free Grace” in the search and the article to which I’m referring was one of the top 3 things or so that popped up in my search result.

    It’s an article written by Dave in 1989 entitled “Eternal Security.”

    Here’s the quote I want to share (it’s the penultimate paragraph in the article); I’ve “enclosed it” with a bunch of asterisks to make it easy to see where my comments end and Dave’s begin, etc.:

    *********************
    Do we then, on the basis of “once saved, always saved,” encourage Christians to “sin that grace may abound”? With Paul we say, “God forbid!” We offer no comfort or assurance to those living in sin. We don’t say, you’re okay because you once made a “decision for Christ.” Instead, we warn: “If you are not willing right now to live fully for Christ as Lord of your life, how can you say that you were really sincere when you supposedly committed yourself to Him at some time in the past?” And to all, we declare with Paul, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves” (2 Cor:13:5).

    ***********************

    Okay, before I go on, here’s a link to the entire article:

    http://www.thebereancall.org/content/eternal-security

    Based on what I’ve been learning in the past days (and weeks), I am having a very hard time distinguishing between Dave’s hypothetical warning to one “living in sin” (“If you are not willing right now to live fully for Christ as Lord of your life, how can you say that you were really sincere when you supposedly committed yourself to Him at some time in the past?” ) and basic Lordship Salvation doctrine.

    “Obviously” the “live fully for Christ as Lord of your life” is the crux of the matter here.

    Rather than blather on as I could, I’ll leave it at that and let you all respond as you see fit.

    Thanks again so much. I’m getting SO much out of my participation in this blog.

  300. Frying Pan, I read the whole article. The author speaks out of both sides of his mouth. In addition to the quote that you gave above is the following:

    “We must give the comfort and assurance of Scripture to those who are saved; but at the same time we must not give false and unbiblical comfort to those who merely say they are saved but deny with their lives what they profess with their lips.”

    This could be construed to encompass just about anyone and lead to endless introspection.

    This errant form of teaching is “backdoor Lordship Salvation.”

  301. Frying Pan, there is a great book by J.O. Hosler called “The Baptismal Regeneration/Believer’s Baptism Debate.” Chapter 10 of that book scripturally debunks “backdoor LS.” Please find link, below:

    http://www.napierchurch.org/pdf/br_bbd/chap10.pdf

  302. Fryingpan 9

    Thanks, John. That’s pretty much exactly what I was thinking, but more in an instinctive way because I’m not yet “adept” at Free Grace lingo (for lack of a better way of putting it–by no means do I mean to define it down or denigrate anything w/ that admittedly lazy term).

    What an eye-opener. To be fair, Dave and Tom have from the very start (so far as I can remember) always told their readers/listeners to check everything THEY say against scripture as well as those mentioned in their books, articles and commentaries.

    But this all is helping me understand a lot more about things I’ve heard Dave (and others of course) on this particular “take” on the discussion of eternal security.

    And all of this this is important for another reason because a few hours ago I was about to send a link to said article to a friend of mine in my weekly neighborhood fellowship who today expressed an interest in hearing me out on the topics of Calvinism and Lordship Salvation, but now I realize to do so would only confuse him and complicate (temporarily at least) the matter.

    . . . and I doubt I’d have even caught “Lordship LS” is you hadn’t corrected yourself.

  303. Fryingpan, sorry for the lingo. The Hunt article alludes to “commitment salvation”, which is a contradiction in terms, because it depicts someone trying to make a trade for salvation (by making a commitment – which is a work) instead of receiving salvation as a gift. I was not saved until a couple of years ago, when I realized that I had believed a false gospel of “turn from your sins” and “commit your life to Christ” for salvation.

    Clear Gospel Campaign explains it like this:

    “The gospel is often contradicted by works-oriented invitations such as requiring an unbeliever to ‘make a personal commitment to Jesus Christ,’ which is, in its essence, a requirement of a promise of future works in exchange for salvation. The gospel is not how we must ‘commit our life to Christ.’ The gospel is that Christ committed His life to us at Calvary. The requirement that the unbeliever ‘commit his life to Jesus’ is NOT ‘basically the same thing in different words.’ It is 180 degrees opposite of the message of salvation. It is heresy, it is a false gospel, and it is high time that the true church of Jesus Christ stopped tolerating such false gospels as ‘just a different expression of the gospel.'”

  304. Fryingpan, if you would like to send your friend something clear on the gospel, including sections on eternal security and assurance, why not send him the following:

    1. “The Permanence of Salvation”, by Tom Cucuzza:

    http://expreacherman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/cucuzza-the-permanence-of-salvation.pdf

    2. “The Gospel” booklet, by Ron Shea:
    http://www.cleargospel.org/booklet.php?b_id=3

    3. “You Might be a Lordship Salvationist If…”, by me:

    http://expreacherman.com/2012/08/14/you-might-be-a-lordship-salvationist-if/

  305. Fryingpan 9

    Oh, definitely John. Especially your article “You Might be a . . . ” LOVE that one. Before you made your comment I’d already sent him a link to Dr. Cucuzza’s brief video explaining the Gospel (where he uses his wallet to make his point).

    When I say my friend expressed an interest in these things it’s more along the lines of he’s “willing to view and/or read” whatever I send him. I said I’d pretty much do it “one thing at a time” so I don’t overwhelm him. He’s way younger than I but tells me even though he’s admittedly “not as well versed” as I (apparently) am re things like Calvinism and LS, he’s “pretty much in total agreement with me” and is leery and suspicious of views on salvation which he agrees add “conditions” for salvation other than belief and saving faith alone.

    I’d actually planned on sending him “Free Grace stuff” exclusively but when I was reading Dave’s article on eternal security I thought, “Wow, this is really good. I’ll send him this too,” until of course I got to that next to last paragraph and thought, “On second thought . . . “

  306. Fryingpan 9

    John, I just finished reading chapter 10 of J.O. Hosler’s book you recommended. Stupendously awesome stuff. So well worth my time . . .

  307. Fryingpan, I’m glad you found it worth your while.

  308. Hi friends,
    My wife and I have been trying to find a good church in our new area. Its a small city on the south east coast of Queensland Australia and I have checked websites and spoke to many pastors of Churches to only find lordship salvation almost everywhere except that church that uses the NIV. My wife really does not like that church so we are still looking for a church. I spoke to one pastor on the phone from a independent fundamental baptist church in late January and kind of got the feeling he was leaning on the lordship side of things. Since then we went to the NIV church but as stated, my wife does not like it and I also feel its luke warm and not heard any good solid preaching. I am keen on a good KJV bible preaching church that goes soul winning door to door so I gave the independent fundamental baptist church pastor another call to clarify just what he believes on repentance, since that was the topic that caused me to wonder if he was a bit on the lordship side. When talking with him, on one side I felt he was on the lordship salvation side and at other times it seemed to be saying that it comes back to what someone is trusting.

    My wife agreed to come and check this independent fundamental baptist church out and we were going to go tomorrow evening at the 6pm service (its sat night right now here in Australia). I just checked the website again to see if i get any evidence that this church is on the lordship salvation side. When checking through the sermon list I saw a sermon titled “Repentance, Is it Necessary”. Great, this is the sermon I need to listen to I thought. As I listened the pastor mentioned a young man that called him up asking about his church and questions regarding repentance. I just laughed as I knew by the way the pastor was talking, that he was referring to me and he has come up with this sermon and preached it to his church based on my phone call with him.

    In the sermon at times it feels he is mildly on the lordship side and at other times it feels he is just saying that the lost need to repent by coming to Christ which is what I say. The link is below, love to hear what you guys think and if you would consider this church acceptable or not. Cheers, Daniel.
    http://www.sonshinebaptist.com.au/wp/?page_id=6&sermon_id=150
    [Link to specific sermon did not work - below is a link to church home page - Admin.]
    http://www.sonshinebaptist.com.au/

  309. Just a quick note, in the sermon he seems to confuse the issue by talking about believers repenting from sin. I am all for believers, saved people TFS. I need to TFS everyday but thats not salvation. My concern is if he is distorting the gospel message. To me it seems like he is but only borderline and am thinking it may still be an option for a church. Check the website, and the sermon and your feedback would be very much taken on board.

    I am honestly really keen for a good KJV solid preaching church but where are they? I also am super keen to go soul winning door to door but apart from the JW and Mormons I think only the independent fundamental baptist churches do that and I am a bit hesitant about going door to door by myself. Anyway, love to hear what u guys think on this church.

  310. Daniel,

    I was able to visit the church home page, your link failed me..

    I could not find a Statement of Faith or Beliefs, so it is difficult to know what the church believes without sifting through all the sermons. I could not find any church affiliation listed or mentioned in their church History or that of the Pastors. Likewise, I could not find a sermon titled “Repentance, Is it Necessary” but my eyes often fail me. Maybe others here can help.

    You might call the Pastor and ask him for a link to their Statement of Faith and post it here. However that does not mean they will always follow it.

    We are still praying that you and your wife will find a good solid free Grace Bible preaching church. I applaud you for wanting a church with a door-to-door witnessing program. That is a great way to learn how to share your faith. You may make some errors along the way (I certainly did the first few times) but never give up!! The Lord will honor your efforts for Him and you and your wife will grow in Grace and knowledge.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  311. Daniel, If I can’t tell whether or not a church teaches salvation by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, I stay away. Anyone who is clear on Grace should be able to explain it clearly. If repentance, when used in a salvation context, ever has “from sin” attached, it is very likely that either the writer/speaker is confused, or that his readers/listeners will be confused.

    I would try to line up a pastor’s view on repentance with the following:

    1. From Northland Bible Baptist Church:

    “Repent (metanoeo) means a change of mind. Repentance in salvation means a change of mind from any idea of religion that man may have and to accept God’s way of salvation. Repentance does not in any sense include a demand for a change of conduct before or after salvation. Matthew 21:32, Acts 20:21, 2 Corinthians 7:8-10, Eph 2:8-9, Rom 4:5, Rom 5:8, John 3:16-18, Gal 3:10-12, Acts 16:25-31, Rom 11:29.

    One of the counterfeits Satan is using today is the misuse of the word “repent”. To insist upon repentance that in any sense includes a demand for a change of conduct either toward God or man is to add an element of works or human merit to faith. Penance is payment for sin. Penitence is sorrow for sin. Works add something of self in turning from sin. But repent (metanoeo) means a change of mind. Nowhere does Scripture use the phrase “repent of sin” to be saved.”

    2. From Expreacherman.com:

    ” Repent (metanoeo) means a change of mind. Repentance is absolutely essential in salvation and the Greek the word repent means a change of mind — from any idea of religion that man may have, to an acceptance of God’s way of salvation in Jesus Christ alone. Repentance does not in any sense include a demand for a change of conduct or “turning from sin” to gain or keep, before or after salvation as that would entail a works salvation message. Acts 20:21; II Corinthians 7:8-10; Matthew. 21:32.

    3. From Clear Gospel Campaign:

    “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.”

  312. Daniel,

    The link did work for me and I listened to about 80% of the sermon. Now all I can give is my honest take on what I heard. There were many things that would lead me to conclude that you would be frustrated them because I know I would be. Let me explain:

    The preacher’s basic false conclusion is that repentance is a change of mind which leads to a change of direction – that is in essence a change of lifestyle. Then once he establishes this subtly false idea he goes on to insert this each time he comes to the idea or word repent. Many fundamental baptist preachers do this and it frustrates me every time I hear it.

    Many times he added in things like change of direction and change of action. At one point he even said something to the effect that you know they are saved by what they do.

    At 31:15 he starts listing things certain people may never have done such as soul winning – then uses it as cause to wonder are you really saved if you have not.

    In one place he was talking about God needing to first open the heart so we can implant the gospel. My response to that is: What do you think God primarily works through other than His Word?!?

    Another alarming thing he mentioned was that he advocated confronting congregations by saying “Have you changed in your life?” The implication being that you may have cause to go back and question if your salvation and previous conversion experience was genuine.

    That kind of fruit inspection squelches grace and can lead to fear and other things that paralyze believers into constantly doubting their salvation. He even mentioned at one point the common misconception of checking yourselves to see if you be in the faith. Any preacher using that verse in 2 Cor that way is probably not to keen on free grace. The thing is that people can be saved in churches like this one but some will miss out because the gospel and way to received salvation is muddied and if they do get saved by faith they stand a good chance of being greatly frustrated in their ongoing walk by all of the fruit inspection and guilt trips.

    The pastor came across like many well meaning Pastors I know but I would be at odds with them continually and I would not be comfortable in their churches. I would always feel a need to correct the error.

    I don’t say any of this to turn you off from your church hunt or to try to make up your mind for you. I am praying for wisdom for you and that you continue to grow in your faith. The pastor mentioned that the young man on the phone sounded confused. Well if he meant you, you have very good discernment in my estimation and God bless you.

    Jim F

  313. Jim, thank you for taking the time to listen to this sermon and give your feedback.

    Daniel, I agree with Jim. If you were the young man who sounded confused, then that means you can spot the leaven.

  314. Thanks for feedback guys. Jack if you click on this link:
    http://www.sonshinebaptist.com.au
    and then click on sermons then go to the third page i think you will find the sermon, however, you probably don’t need to, check this out:

    At the very end of the sermons the pastor said said, I quote:

    “Do you remember a time when you were saved, ARE YOU TRULY BORN AGAIN? Do you remember a time when you heard the gospel and you were convicted in your heart and you knew you needed to do something, and that something was repent and believe, be baptised and be added to the church, thats what God said. Im just not sure, I just cant remember…. LISTEN! If you are unsure you are better off making it so sure today that you leave here with no doubts, no doubts. And again Im not trying to cause you to doubt, Im trying to get you to think, have you truly been converted? Are there works that show forth your salvation? Great, show me, Ive got some toilets to clean… Do works meet for repentance, maybe your a Christian here today and some things need repenting of, good day to do it”. Then the sermon ends.

    I think tout of the pastor’s mouth, son shine baptist as a lordship salvationist church. Would you consider this a possible church?

    Can anyone think of the verse that says “clean the toilets and thou shalt be saved” ???? Now I’m not saying he believes that but he does seem to believe that if there are no works then there is no genuine salvation. I remember when I spoke with him the second time on the phone, he said that if someone was living like the devil he would doubt their salvation. I basically said to him, well what if there were living ungodly, ok question what they believe but if you ask them why they believe they are going to heaven and they tell you that they are trusting in Christ and that they understand they are a sinner, that Jesus died, was buried and rose again and paid for all their sin and that by believing they have ETERNAL LIFE and that they can never lose it, then they are saved PERIOD. He on the phone agreed with me that it depends on what a person is trusting in and if they are trusting in Christ they are saved but then he says a comment like that in his sermon? I don’t get it, how can he swing from one side to the other? He even told me on the phone that a person can’t turn from sin until they are saved. I see a quote from the sermon that seems to say he is lordship and then he has said other things that sound ok. I don’t know ANY churches that go door to door soul-winning in this area apart from this church. Maybe I could go and just be with them while they go out and preach the Gospel and see how they do it to build up the confidence so I can then go by myself or would that be unacceptable?

  315. Daniel,

    Here is a verse you might ponder as you see the pastor working both sides of the fence:

    A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8

    He may not know it but he is preaching two messages — Grace and works can not be compatible.
    Speaking of a remnant of believers by Grace:

    And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. Romans 11:6

    I admire your desire to go soulwinning door to door.. but Scripture tells us to separate from false teaching — not join them.

    Better to be right than compromise. Sounds like the church (or at least the Pastor) is in the toilet and needs to be cleaned.

    Get some good scriptural Gospel tracts or print out our tract Eternal Life For you: http://expreacherman.com/eternal-life-for-you/

    Take those printed copies with your Bible and visit a few homes, telling them you have some Good News for them.. Explain the Gospel and be sure, when they understand, ask them to trust Jesus Christ alone as their Savior. If they don’t understand go over the Gospel again. This is merely a synopsis — get Dr. Stanford’s book, Handbook of Personal Evangelism PDF and study the “how” of soulwinning. Here:
    http://expreacherman.com/share-your-faith/
    http://www.freegraceresources.org/persevanghndbk.pdf

    You will be comfortable witnessing after you do it a few times.. Never be discouraged!! The Lord is with you.

    We will continue to pray for you. Maybe others will have some suggestions.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  316. My wife and i did go to another church this morning as seen here:

    http://www.kawanalife.com/

    I woke up early and said to my wife we should do church in the morning but that I had to conclude that Sonshine Baptist was no free grace church so we chose to check out Kawanlife as seen above. I had a talk with the pastor but he also is a bit wishy washy. My wife thinks he is sound but I am not so sure, very subtle but I will wait till you have time to respond to this post before letting you know what the pastor from Kawana life said.

    I am still considering making contact with sonshine baptist for the purpose of being a silent partner in soul winning and then when I have the confidence going out and doing it by myself or with anyone I can find that’s willing and a free grace believer.

  317. sorry Jack, just read your message now. Yes, I thought you would say that but just wanted to confirm. I won’t be joining them.

  318. I will just add one thing before people comment, first thanks all for the feedback. I will say that as I have checked many websites and their doctrinal statements and then spoke with many pastors now on the phone things can be very subtle. Sometimes doctrinal statements clearly say that a person needs to repent of sin to be saved etc in that case i generally have not bothered to call the pastor and put them in the list of a NO GO. Often however, doctrinal statements, if they actually have one, are vague and state a few scriptural truths. Often they might even say that a person is saved by grace through faith but when you ring up and probe them, they then say yes all you need is faith and salvation is all by believing but then in the next breath they say but you need to repent of sin, need to live a holy life, you need to feel sorry for your sins or be at least willing to turn from them or they may say that if you have truly been saved and really a child of God then you WILL be living a holy life etc etc etc… I’ve also spoken with friends and I am seeing a common theme. Most people GIVE LIP SERVICE to the truth that salvation is by grace thru faith but when the rubber hits the road, you gotta TFS, be willing to TFS be sorry for your sins or otherwise you can lose you salvation because of how you live or not continuing in the faith. Only thing is they won’t admit that it is works salvation. I even spoke with one pastor that refused to tell me what his church teaches about salvation until I told him what I thought. He then said ‘I agree with that’. I asked him if he believed in eternal security and he said he did but upon further probing this pastor said that he knows he is eternally secure because he KNOWS that he will never forsake the faith ever and also said that if a person has ‘had an encounter’ with Jesus, if a person is ‘in relationship’ with Jesus then he cannot go unchanged and and live in sin. Some of these pastors are VERY subtle, others not so but it’s clear they only give lip service to salvation by faith alone. A few good probing questions reveals what they really believe.

  319. Hi Daniel,

    I listened to a sermon at Kawana. It seemed fine. Nothing negative to report. The web site was scant on declarations of theology; not much there to go by. Keep checking things out, pray and use discernment.

  320. Thanks Bruce for checking out the Kawana Life church. I had a conversation with the pastor there today and I have my doubts about wether this church is ok or not.

    Its come to the point where its essential that my wife and I find a church; and soon. After checking out Kawana Life this morning and telling my wife that I don’t think it is an acceptable church, my wife started crying profusely and becoming very negative. She said she is feeling very lonely since moving interstate. My wife has been here for a about 3 months now and apart from my wife’s family, she has not made any friends here. All her friends (and mine too) are 2000km (about 1250 miles) south of here. She also told me that she thinks that I am “deceived by the devil” with these ‘extreme beliefs’ that I have regarding salvation and that the devil is using this “deception” i have to keep me out of church.

    Honestly, God knows I want to find a good Bible believing church but where are they? The ONLY church I have found where the leadership is free grace is that NIV preaching church I posted about a couple of months ago. My wife said she ‘hates’ that church because out of the 4 times we went there, 2 times there was no Bible preaching (they had special guests come instead) and the other 2 times, in the sermons there was hardly any Bible used. The small amount of scripture used she said found to be irrelevant anyway, as the topics were on calculating the dates of Jesus’ first coming through Daniel chapter 9 (which I thought was an ok but i dont think he did a very good job of explaining it) and the other sermon was on how we can know that the Bible is trustworthy (however most of his words were not based on Bible verses but on discussing errors in the divinci code, science etc). So anyway, out of four visits it was pretty average and she feel she wont grow there, she thought it was BORING. My wife also really dislikes (tho she used the word ‘hates) that church because the worship time of song was dull and lifeless, she did not feel there were many people that she would make friends with and she says that even though the pastor said nothing wrong, there is not much right about it either. I have to agree, its a pretty average church and they use the NIV but at least the pastor is a solid free grace believer and I know we are not going to hear lordship salvation out of the pulpit. So anyway, my wife is making waves, becoming very emotional and blaming me for not having any friends since I am not allowing us to go to just any old church.

    By the way, my wife prefers to go to a Pentecostal church. (I will not go to a Pente church since the last time we went, they preached about losing salvation and used Hebrews as a proof text, besides, there is too much false doctrine and hype in Pente churches and I consider the Pente movement a false form of Christianity). She likes these Pente churches because she thinks she generally “feels” the move of the Spirit and feels close to God the times she has been in a Pentacostal church. Fortunately she personally does not speak in tongues (though she still believes its for today along with the ALLL the gifts of the Holy Spirit and 5 fold ministries) but she thinks the whole tongues thing is a lot of hype in most Pente churches. Fortunately, she has accepted that we will NEVER attend a Pente church as out home church. She is willing to go to a Baptist or other denomination other than Pente.

    Anyway, I feel this Kawana Life church is either unacceptable or possibly borderline acceptable. Let me tell you why based on what the pastor said. Your feedback will be very useful when discussing this with my wife as things are very emotional and tense between my wife and I because of our differences in understandings of the Faith. Note also:

    My wife thinks I am “deceived by the devil”, being unreasonable and “extreme”. The reasons she says I am “deceived” are because:
    1. I am KJV only
    2. I believe that people that have never believed in eternal security are unsaved; she finds that belief offensive and extreme.
    3. She says that because I believe that a person needs to believe in Christ alone to be saved. —- she says that they SHOULD believe in Christ alone but that the person that still believes in Christ PLUS _________(fill in the blank) is still saved and that its just very judgmental for me to outrightly say that such a person is not saved unless they have believed in Christ alone at SOME POINT IN THEIR LIFE.
    4. I am exlcuding most churches as heretics because they preach Lordship Salvation in some form or another.

    Extreme? Deceived by the devil? Please guys tell me if I am out of line as my wife is eager to read your responses and this may soothe the tension hopefully. Sorry this is long but things are breaking down between my wife and I and I need your feedback and am hoping this will assist my wife to see that I am not as extreme as she thinks.

    Ok, the reason I think that Kawana Life church is either unacceptable or possibly borderline acceptable based on what the pastor said. The following is basically what he said in my conversation with him:

    (Please note: I am not quoting him word for word but this is basically the conversation)

    1. Upon asking him what a person must do to be saved he said something to the effect of ‘repentance of sin and faith in Jesus’. (Note this was in a phone call about a month ago. In that conversation I told him what I believed and explained the error of LS, he had never heard the term LS before. My wife pressured me to give the church a go since I said I had the feeling he was not a hardcore LS preacher based on what he told me on the phone.

    2. Upon asking him today, “What if a person is a fornicator, understands they are a sinner and the punishment for sin is Hell. They understand that Jesus died on the cross, was buried and rose again and paid for all their sin. This particular sinner person puts all their trust in Jesus Christ as their only hope for Heaven BUT, they are not willing to turn from their sin of fornication, they know its wrong but don’t feel bad about it and have every intention to keen on fornicating. IS THIS PERSON SAVED?”

    Thats basically what I said to him.
    His answer: I dont know, I dont judge anyone, thats up to God.
    My response: Yeah, but they put all their trust in Jesus to save them.
    His response: Ok, if they put all their trust in Jesus then they are saved. Its by grace thru faith alone. However,I wont judge if anyone is saved or not, thats up to God. If they are fornicating I will continue to work with them and counsel them.

    The problem is, he already knows what I believe cause I told him about free grace and LS on the phone. Im not sure if he just told us what we wanted to hear.

    3. I also asked him today:
    Me: You said that faith alone is enough for salvation and that they dont have to actually TFS to be saved (after much probing). When you preach the gospel to people, do you still add in the bit about turning from sin?
    Him: Yes, I tell them they need to trust in Jesus and TFS.
    He did however, also in the same conversation at some point; state that trusting in Jesus is all that is required for the initial salvation; and that TFS is secondary and comes afterwards as part of discipleship (not in his immediate response to my question though).

    4. Upon explaining to him the error of LS in the phone call I had with him a month ago, he made the comment today:
    Him: I still would consider myself on the Lordship side of things cause I say that people need to make Jesus Lord of their life
    Me: But do you say that people need to make Jesus Lord of their life in order to be saved?
    Him: No, not to be saved but they still need to make Jesus Lord of their lives if they want to be followers of Jesus
    Me: Yes, true, but you know Jesus is the Lord, He was Lord before I was born….. da da da da da…. conversation continues.

    My wife is saying that because he says (after much probing) that as long as someone trusts in Christ and even if they are a fornicator, have not turned from sin etc that he is sound. I beg to differ. She thinks because I say this is not a sound preacher I am extreme and judgmental. I mean he did eventually say its faith alone but I had to sqeeze it out of him. Would you consider this a sound church or at least an acceptable church to attend? Your answers will be not only helpful for my wife but also to me as i want to believe this church is ok for the sake of my marriage but I feel its a grabled compromised church. Please, your feedback is most welcome.

    God Bless
    Daniel

    ps. I am sorry for such a long post but I think you can see the urgency.

  321. Sorry, I shall just add one more thing. The Kawana Life pastor told me that he believes in eternal security when I asked him the question but also told me that there are quite a few in his congregation that don’t believe in ES. I asked him if he EXPLICITLY teaches about ES.
    He said: No, we don’t teach ‘doctrines’ here, we just preach from the Bible and make sense of it as we read.

    Sheesh, I would have trouble not finding fault with such a sloppy church, thats just my opinion anyway. My wife also does not like ‘doctrine’ but just wants to hear about love and Christian living (which actually is doctrine) all the time.

  322. Daniel, I will attempt to answer your questions from above. I believe John 3:16 can be used to answer all of your questions except the first.

    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

    1. KJV only – I believe KJV is the preferred English translation, for a lot of reasons. However, there are believers who do not use the KJV exclusively. Someone can believe John 3:16 without being KJV only.

    2. Belief in eternal security – eternal security and Grace go hand-in-hand. No-one can believe John 3:16 if they don’t believe that eternal life is eternal. If someone thinks he can lose eternal life through sin, then he thinks he can maintain eternal life through not sinning (works). Ultimately, this is a disbelief in Jesus and a belief in works for salvation.

    3. Belief in Christ alone – one cannot add belief in Christ to a list of other confidences to become saved. “Whosoever believeth in Him” means Christ and Christ alone.

    4. Lordship salvation – is heresy. John 3:16 does not say “whosoever believeth in Him, plus promises to serve Him, or is willing to turn from his sins.” Any church teaching LS, in even its seemingly mildest forms, is teaching a false gospel of salvation by works. LS substitutes belief in God’s gift of salvation through the person and work of Jesus Christ for belief in a trade of future good works for salvation. The Calvinist tenet of “perseverance of the saints” is the same thing as LS, just manifested in a different way.

  323. Dear Daniel,

    An idea for you and your wife:
    You might agree to attend the Kawana church, make notes on the sermon and some time after the services, with prayer for wisdom (James 1:5), agree to calmly discuss your notes and the content of the sermon, using your Bibles to see what was included and what may have made the sermon clearer. Agree with your wife that together, you will be Bereans!!

    And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, WHETHER THOSE THINGS WERE SO. Acts 17:10-11

    This is not designed to criticize the pastor but to analyze the content of his message.

    I notice that they have “Home Groups” which meet on different days all over your area, Caloundra, Currimundi, Warana, Little Mountain and Buddina.

    As a long shot: The web site says these groups meet “with different passions and focuses.” You might talk to the leaders of those groups and see if you can find one whose “passion and focus” is the Gospel of God’s Grace, eternal security and concern for the lost. Make sure they teach from the Bible and not books written by folks who do not believe in Eternal Security and free Grace.

    An important verse for both of you is:

    With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
    Ephesians 4:2-3

    We are praying for both of you and your studies.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  324. Daniel,

    I’m so sorry you and your wife are having a hard time. I can identify with her loneliness, but it’s not reason enough to settle for a church which is unclear, speaking from both sides. They are either confused or deceitful, and I wouldn’t want either being the shepherd of my family.

    I have to say that I am really impressed by your conviction and boldness to undergo repeated interviews with these pastors, even to the point of becoming the subject of one of their sermons (what’s this about needing confidence in soul-winning?)! You obviously made an impression.

    Stand firm, Daniel.

    As for your wife, I invite her to take advantage of this lonely time to read from this blog, learn why LS is truly a life or death issue (spiritually speaking). LS is merely the contemporary term, but adding works to faith is an ancient heresy. It’s a counterfeit religion and the dominating force today (remember the mustard seed parable!). I invite her to ask hard questions, and, hopefully, come to realize you’re not deceived, and join you in earnestly contending for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3).

    I am praying for you both.

  325. Daniel,

    Pearl has some great advice – her family is likewise unable to find a church in her area.

    I have a suggestion:
    If each of you feel comfortable doing so — you and your wife each write a brief testimony of how you came to make the decision to trust or believe in Jesus Christ alone as your personal Savior. Every believer who reads ExP will be interested.

    I was talking with my wife, Shirley, at lunch today.. We discussed how amazing it is that we see the Lord working to have His fellowship of believers (here at ExP) praying for your family in far off (to us) Sunshine Coast of Australia with folks praying for you and your wife from all over the world, in England, Texas, California, the Carolinas, several in Florida and from many more places across the globe. Both of you should be encouraged!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  326. Daniel,

    I can identify with some of the things you are going through. My wife and I have yet to find a church that we can attend on a regular basis. We do have one that is acceptable doctrinally but it is a bit far for us to go every Sunday let alone every service. I’m looking for a place to actually be involved not just attend once in a while. For me the Pastor needs to understand and preach the straight forward clear free grace gospel. Many do not do this because it is usually either straight up Lordship salvation or it is the turn from sins, change of direction fruit inspector types. The later is common but is not necessarily Lordship or Calvinist. Remember that some Pastor’s will not harp on doctrine because they want to be inclusive or at least appear inclusive. In the last church I attended I finally got to the point where I was able to get from the Pastor that he held the turn from sin view of repentance. He said there had to be a deep conviction of sin and desire (willingness) to turn to God. He is one that would disagree with MacArthur on some points about Lordship salvation but would be in the TFS camp. He also would not make too much of an issue of those in the church who taught the Arminian version of the idea that you can lose your salvation though he doesn’t believe that himself. Some Pastor’s may mention it once in a while in a message but don’t seek to agressively root out error. They take the approach of being content with a large “Tent” so to speak and let the people decide to alter their views themselves in time as they see fit. They’d much rather do that than risk offending them and have them leave the church.

    My wife is less particular about me when it comes to doctrinal issues like LS and TFS. She understands what she believes but she looks more to things like potential for friends, worship that is not dull or fake, people that are caring and genuine etc. These are not bad things to look for but I think it sometimes is just part of the picture of the difference between men and women. There is nothing wrong with either. Husbands and wives just need to acknowledges each others gifts and strengths and use them to work together for a good solution realizing that the husband has a God given obligation to be the spiritual leader of the home.

    I like Jack’s idea of go to a church and taking notes and working through your beliefs. Take time with each other. Some things that are worthwhile take some time to figure out. It will ultimately be best for you to decide on the church that has the best doctrine. What good is exciting music or friendly people if their gospel is false?

    As far as your 4 points of belief:

    1. I am KJV only
    (Just make sure you don’t get to extreme with this. The KJV is good and safe but many have made it a point of contention that it need not be. Afterall, we still need to go back to the original languages at time if there is a dispute over an interpretation.)

    2. I believe that people that have never believed in eternal security are unsaved; she finds that belief offensive and extreme.

    (It depends how you look at this. For example a child may put his faith in Christ alone to save him upon hearing the gospel. Does he need to understand eternal security before he can believe the gospel – I don’t think every child does in depth. Most children can barely fathom the concept of eternity. It is kind of one of those things that can get established as you grow. Now it is best to explain to children that salvation is eternal but I don’t think all children that were ever saved had a vast understanding of eternal security before coming to faith. This can be different though for an older person such as what John described above.)

    3. She says that because I believe that a person needs to believe in Christ alone to be saved. —- she says that they SHOULD believe in Christ alone but that the person that still believes in Christ PLUS _________(fill in the blank) is still saved and that its just very judgmental for me to outrightly say that such a person is not saved unless they have believed in Christ alone at SOME POINT IN THEIR LIFE.

    (There really is no room for Christ plus. This one is not negotiable because the Bible makes it clear that salvation is through faith in Christ alone.)

    4. I am excluding most churches as heretics because they preach Lordship Salvation in some form or another.

    (It is easy to lump people in certain categories but it comes down to clear Bible doctrine. You want a place that take a clear stand for the whole truth of God’s Word and makes the gospel clear.)

    I also like the idea that you attend a study group or small group. Try to find a group who will be willing to be Bereans and not just rehash popular books and trends.

  327. Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, thank you all for posting your amazing encouragement and support, each one of you, thanks.

    After not only giving thought to the pastor at Kawana’s responses to my questions and initially thinking this church to be borderline acceptable, I cannot escape the fact that this is a compromised church. I found out that the church is also doing a full home group study in which all people involved in a home group Bible study will be taking part in the program ‘not a fan’. At the church yesterday, the sermons was also based on the ‘not a fan’ program and they also showed a video from the program yesterday. Looking into what this ‘Not a fan’ discipleship program is about, it’s hardcore lordship salvation. The pastor obviously has not discernment, he even promotes a local Pentecostal church’s ministry in his church bulletin as having a great youth program and was in the bulletin so his members would pray for that ministry have more access to youth in the community. I don’t think I know of any Pente churches that teach ES, they all as far as i know teach you can lose salvation. Anyway, just looking at the not a fan video and the bold text in the trailer video “there is no believing without following, no salvation without surrender” need I look any further? I also read some info regrading a review on Not a Fan and it had some pretty bad LS quotes from the book, completely on the LS salvation side. The quote from the video says it all anyway. Any pastor that tells me that even though he understands that someone does not need to TFS to be saved but said that he would still state it in his gospel presentation anyway, feed his entire flock a hardcore lordship discipleship diet program such as ‘not a fan’ and promotion of heretical churches is not acceptable.

    I told my wife this tonight. She took it pretty well, fortunately, while she still thinks I am deceived, she also believes in allowing the man to be the spiritual head of the home. So, as less than ideal, we shall go to the previous church where I know that the pastor is a sound free grace believer and not allowing LS to be taught. I guess we can really get involved there and try to be a blessing to others and maybe help build up the church there.

  328. Thanks, Daniel, for sharing your journey with us. Praise God that you have found a church in which the pastor is Free Grace and LS is disallowed. I’m sure that you and your wife will be a blessing to many people there.

  329. Just a note, I met a guy up here about 6 weeks ago. His church was, a very large church, was doing the ‘not a fan’ discipleship program. That was the first time I heard of it and honestly and from what he was telling me about it at the time, it rang alarm bells off for me and I had concerns about this program. The pastor at Kawana told me that many churches are doing the program up here. It seems to be the new Lordship Salvation program that all the churches are jumping on board to. I take it that Not a Fan is big in the US, Canada, England and the commonwealth countries too?

  330. Just saw your response Bruce, thanks, yes. My wife is not too happy but I think if we really get involved I am sure my wife and I will meet people and grow in her faith there. Like it was said, the music is secondary. As lacking as I think this church is, finding a pastor that is free grace and won’t allow LS is as rare as hen’s teeth so I am still grateful.

  331. All I know about “Not a Fan” has come from ExP contributors. I’ve long been of the opinion that if something or someone gains wide popularity in the Christian community, then it most likely ought to be avoided.

    I want to re-emphasize, Daniel, that your wife take the time to educate herself by reading this blog. While she has yielded to your wanting to stay with the NIV church, her soul may very well become stagnant by its lukewarm teaching. Please encourage her to do so. Perhaps Jack or John could suggest some posts which would make good starting points(?). My prayer is that she’ll find ExP to be her haven as well.

  332. Jim F,

    That is a good analysis of Daniel’s statements — but I have one point of disagreement with what you said. You stated:

    “Many do not do this because it is usually either straight up Lordship salvation or it is the turn from sins, change of direction fruit inspector types. The lat[t]er is common but is not necessarily Lordship or Calvinist.”

    In my studies, the message of “turn from sins or change of direction fruit inspector types” is absolutely Lordship “salvation” and/or Calvinist. Even a cursory examination shows these beliefs actually define LS/Calvinism.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  333. Pearl – Daniel,

    Thanks to our friend John’s research, here are two ExP comments which may be good “starting points”:

    http://www.expreacherman.com/2012/08/17/a-distressed-young-man-francis-chan-and-lordship-salvation/#comment-13786

    http://www.expreacherman.com/2012/08/14/you-might-be-a-lordship-salvationist-if/#comment-14017

    Thanks John!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  334. Yes, those are good choices. I would also add Ron Shea’s gospel booklet which was instrumental in helping me to discern confusing language from the pure gospel truth. As soon as we truly understand and accept what the gospel is, then marking them which distort it (and thereby make it of none effect) becomes easier, and amazingly, all too frequent.

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

    But just keeping up (daily) with this blog’s posts and discussions has taught me more in just one year – and kept me grounded – than I have experienced in my entire Christian walk.

  335. Jack, I think I agree with. What I want Daniel and others to understand is that there are many pastors out there that “claim” not to be Calvinist or Lordship and even may not be is some senses but still support the Lordship type error of turn from sins. Some of these men will even preach against Lordship salvation but usually what they are preaching against is just their view of the rigid 5 point calvinist reformed upfront in your face LS. I have found that the change your direction fruit inspector types can be more subtle and you really have to pin them down with questions to find what they really believe at times. They also tend to get very offended with being labeled as LS even if their TFS view basically makes them that. It is because they have been deceived.

  336. A perfect example of this type would be Brenda Nickle from Caryl Mastrisciana’s ministry, who wrote an anti-Calvinist/LS article some time ago, and yet rudely blasted our friend Eddy in a later post for questioning their obvious turn-from-sin message as portrayed in one of their glowing reviews of some adored author. To this day it makes me spittin’ mad.

  337. Hi, Daniel,

    I haven’t said hello to you before, but my husband Chuck and I are regular readers over here in Texas. As Jack suggested, we too are praying for you and your wife as you make this adjustment in your desire to find a fellowship of believers where the pastor is faithful to the true free grace gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ spelled out so clearly in scripture. The two of us are new to the scripturally correct Free Grace persuasion, too, though we know that we were already saved when we fell under teaching that was calvinistic and therefore eventually strongly LS. It was really when we came under intense fruit inspection by LS family members who were embracing Richard Stearns’ A Hole in Our Gospel book (it’s hard to even type out that name phrase, it’s so reprehensible), and attempting to make us accountable to them for what they view as an absence of social gospel oriented fruit in our lives, that I went searching for information and came across this wonderful website and community of believers, and thus, finally The Truth. I was pretty anxious regarding how to tell my husband about the error of what we had embraced for so long, and spent a good time praying about it in preparation. Thankfully he listened with an open heart and mind, desiring only God’s Truth for the two of us, and by the second evening of talking and reading (mostly he just jumped right on expreacherman.com and started reading as I had — as Pearl has suggested, that was the fool-proof way God got through to the two of us!), Chuck was quickly and completely convinced with me that the true gospel of scripture is that salvation is offered by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Maybe it was that truly depressing experience of being judged and condemned by people who we thought loved us that helped us to recognize the error and then the truth so quickly. We just both know that we now appreciate Jesus’ sacrifice more than ever, we appreciate God the Father’s sacrifice more than ever, and we are SO very thankful for God’s gracious leading in bringing us to this site and to the clear teaching of Jack, Bruce, John and others. We will continue to pray for you and your wife, Daniel.

    Kim

  338. I’m running into pretty much exactly what Daniel and jimfloyd12 have been talking about in recent comments here. That is to say, I find it easy to find fellow believers in my area who are quick to agree that 5-point Calvinism is wrong. But when it comes to Lordship “Salvation” one or more of the following always seems to be the case:

    1) They’ve never heard of LS until I mention it and try to explain it to them.
    2) They seem to TOTALLY agree with and embrace the Free Grace belief that we’re saved by faith alone by faith alone in Christ alone but . . . upon further inspection they still embrace things like believing a “true believer” will have evidence of their salvation (fruit inspecting), that a pattern of sin after conversion means one isn’t really saved or never really got saved in the first place (Lordship Probation and/or Arminianism)
    3) They seem unable and/or unwilling to embrace the idea that to NOT accept salvation as a free gift (works salvation) is a matter of spiritual life or death.
    4) They seem unable and/or unwilling to agree with the fact that every time the word “repent” appears in their Bible it’s a result of a poor translation of the original Greek “metaneo” (change of mind vs the English “turn from sin/sorrow for sin”, etc.) and therefore still hang onto the belief that “turning from sin” is conditional for salvation.

    I could go on but that’s enough for now. Probably more than enough.

    Let me add that for those of you not familiar with me, I’m still pretty new at being enlightened about Free Grace and LS. I’ve only come to discover, identify with and learn from this blog since around early February of this year. That being the case, the following still applies to my walk:

    A) I believe I’m under serious attack because Satan doesn’t want another believer sounding the alarm about heresy (for obvious reasons).
    B) I’m still struggling with being double minded. I know that’s not good, but I’m convinced I need to share that here so people can continue to pray for folks like me who are not so much on the fence, but not SOUNDLY grounded in Free Grace theology the way Jack, Bruce, John, and Pearl are (to give some examples).
    C) I’m not sure at this point if I need to continue trying to be a force for the truth in my “flesh and blood” Christian inner circles (that is, my church, other local fellowships, vs “virtual” inner circles like this blog) or if I need to separate from those pushing heresy and false teaching.
    D) See point B–If I’m double minded I’m going to continue having a hard time sorting out point C . . .

    I realize I shouldn’t continue to be so confused after being exposed to the truth about LS for so many weeks now but I’d rather risk getting an admonition here than listen to my pride that tells me to just keep it to myself and protect my “feelings.”

    Sorry this is so long but we all know how important this subject is for those still struggling to sort out things like where to go to church, how to deal with a reluctant loved one, etc. I wish I could be more coherent but I feel like I still have so much to say so I’ll just leave it at this for now . . .

  339. Daniel,

    Just a warning about a church using the NIV. (you can be thankful that Pastor rejects LS)

    A must read is this article here at ExP by our friend Dr. Tom Cucuzza, Why I use the King James Version:
    http://www.expreacherman.com/2011/10/28/why-i-use-the-king-james-version/

    I suggest you and your wife search the Internet for “NIV errors.” Some reviews will be good, others more nit-picking than informative. I understand that the TNIV (the newest NIV) has deleted most, if not all, gender specific references throughout. Very important, we can presume they are trying to be “politically correct” by appealing to the new modern “feminist activist” generation!

    Important: The precious word, “begotten” has been removed completely from the NIV — and substituted with “one and only son…” or some such phrases. The word “begotten” in referencing Jesus Christ, means “only BORN one.” Jesus was actually, physically born of the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit — Jesus is not just God’s “one and only son.” (John 3:16)

    Why? Because every believer in Jesus is a son of God by faith and the new birth:

    For ye are all the children [Greek: huios = sons] of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26

    Compare all Bible references given in church with your KJV and make notes of the differences — to see if the change in the NIV “translation” is significant.

    These are just specific references to Jesus the Savior where “begotten” has been removed:

    John 1:14
    John 1:18
    John 3:16
    John 3:18
    Acts 13:33
    Hebrews 1:5
    Hebrews 5:5
    1 John 4:9
    Rev. 1:5

    There are many more verses of significance in which words and meanings have been changed.

    Be Bereans and search the Scriptures. We continue to pray for both of you in your adventure and journey with the Lord.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  340. FryingPan,

    I think backdoor LS is the most insidious and pervasive. I’m almost tempted to post the links to the contrasting articles I made reference to above by Brenda Nickel (but I won’t – one would need either Jack, John, JimF or Bruce to go through it line by line to decimate its countless lies); one of them is a textbook example of how most people understand salvation. I honestly don’t know how to talk to people like that, and find them quite dangerous.

    My advice? I’d stop debating these people and spend my time further learning and getting firmly established in the faith, then reach out and witness to those who have never heard.

    Unless an LSer of either type is at their ropes’ end, I don’t believe they’ll be willing to listen.

  341. I sometimes use NKJV, but they stick fairly well to the original language of the KJV. Rev 1:5 was firstfruits I believe, but I too prefer the KJV.

    For your wife Daniel, if you want, we have a women’s fellowship and a Bible study online on Facebook, if you would like to know more let me know.

    I surely relate to her loneliness too, but more than I, so does the Lord, He is acquainted with all our sorrows.

    It’s really grievous to me to see all the error, but we were told it would be this way in the end, and we cannot compromise His truth, because it’s only the truth that will set people free. I understand she wants to be with and fellowship in person with other believers, but tell her how fortunate she is to have you, her husband to stand for the truth.

    I am a widow and I wish I saw more men in my area stand for the truth, but when we desire His will, we will know what doctrine is His. Doctrine is so important, and Paul told Timothy to take heed to it, saving himself and his hearers. I could have been spared much grief had some of the pastors I’ve known taken heed to the doctrine of Christ, and also not partook of evil deeds of others who were not abiding in His doctrine (2 John 1:9-11)

  342. Daniel and all:

    Addendum to my note about NIV errors. Be very careful where you get your information.

    I just looked at a web page after searching (as I suggested) and found a wonderful list of errors delineating NIV vs KJV. The page did not identify the organization sponsoring the list. I finally chopped the URL until it landed on the home page. The sponsor is The Churches of Christ — the loose conglomerate of churches who believe in and advertise on the web site, baptismal regeneration and then condemn anyone who believes once-saved-always-saved.

    Just beware – the enemy is everywhere!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  343. Holly,

    Good advice for Daniel.

    But we differ on Revelation 1:5 —

    And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, Rev. 1:5

    The word “begotten” in that verse uses a different Greek word than, for instance, John 3:16, but the meaning is Greek: prototokos, “pro-tot-ok’-os;” from Greek 4413 (protos) and the alternate of Greek 5088 (tikto); first-born (usually as noun, literal or figurative) :- firstbegotten (-born). Strongs.

    But you and I do agree on the basics of the doctrine of God’s Grace. 8-)

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  344. Fryingpan, you said: “I’m not sure at this point if I need to continue trying to be a force for the truth in my “flesh and blood” Christian inner circles (that is, my church, other local fellowships, vs “virtual” inner circles like this blog) or if I need to separate from those pushing heresy and false teaching.”

    I am SURE you should separate from those pushing heresy and false teaching! You are willingly exposing yourself to POISON by listening to them. Once you know someone is teaching lies, don’t go to that source for ANYTHING.

    Beware of those who try to “explain away” LS teaching. Beware of those that defend known purveyors of lies (such as Charles Spurgeon).

    I agree with Pearl. Backdoor LS is the most insidious and pervasive. Beware of those who denounce LS or Calvinism, but are willing to tolerate corruption of the Gospel message. Tolerance of error is the first step to defending, accepting, embracing and teaching error.

    Satan wants to keep you confused. According to “The Gospel” booklet, his goals include:

    1. To plant seeds of doubt and despair in order to rob you of the joy and assurance of your eternal life.
    2. To lead you astray in order to keep you from growing in the knowledge of the truth.
    3. To keep you from sharing your faith in Christ with others.

    .

  345. Thank you, John (and Pearl),

    Keep praying I have wisdom, discernment, a continually growing understanding, and that I’ll have the ability to act on the courage of my convictions.

    I know I’m still double minded. But I know I won’t be indefinitely because I know the problem is there and am determined to overcome with God’s help and w/ the resources He makes available, such of the most obvious–His Word, but also with online resources like this blog.

    I should have said in my last post that one of the things that characterizes this double-mindedness is that I struggle with “needing” to believe something because I arrived at it through a prayerful study of God’s Word as opposed to having “stumbled upon it on the internet.” I know that sounds really backhanded but I think you get what I’m saying. I’m not defending it of course–I’m identifying it and trying to deal with it.

    I’ll leave it at that for now. Feel free to admonish me as much as is necessary. I know I need it.

  346. Expected Imminently

    Hello Frying Pan 9

    I hope this helps and not confuse.

    Having a grasp on what faith truly means was an important factor for me. LS claim there is ‘saving faith’ and ‘ordinary faith’. MacArthur has redefined the traditional meaning of ‘pistis’ faith/believe to support LS. Faith is trust in any object or thing; nothing different at all. When we sit on a chair, we have faith it will do what it is meant to do and support our weight against gravity.

    I learned through Dr Robert Dean, and I don’t know where else it is taught on the web. I am fairly sure it will be in most of ‘our’ text books. I bought ‘Lordship Salvation’ recently from FGA, glancing through, the author does deal with this issue.

    I cannot stress enough how important it has been to me to properly grasp why JM is totally wrong according to Greek scholars. He only uses the ‘root’ meaning of ‘pith’ that can mean ‘obey’, but he ignores the all important context and usage. He is only supported by the ‘lesser’ dictionaries such as Vine’s; even so, they are concerned only with specific verses, not the theological explanation.

    Yes, I realise that sounds complicated, all I want to stress is how important it has been in my understanding for Free Grace versus L.S.

    The original definition of Faith ‘pistis’ is Knowledge, Assent, Assurance, Trust. We are given information of The Free Grace Gospel; that supplies our understanding with Knowledge. That results in saying ‘yes’ – Assent; it also includes Assurance of Eternal Salvation. So we Trust in the object of our faith who is Jesus to do for us what He offers if we but believe/faith in Him. That shows the depth of meaning that MacArthur rubbishes.

    Sue

  347. Thank you, Sue.

    I probably should have been a bit more specific in my past couple of postings, but based on Pearl’s and John’s recent feedback it seemed implicit that my particular struggle is not on my grasp of Free Grace vs Lordship “Salvation” but more having to do w/ the dangers and frustration associated with continual contact w/ the purveyors of a false gospel.

    Pearl nailed it on the head (at least based on my limited experience so far) that an LSer who’s not at the end of their rope won’t likely be willing to listen. Even when they seem willing to listen, if you “really press in” you see they’re not really ready for meaningful change (or should I say, “metaneo”).

    And before John recommended I indeed separate from those pushing heresy, it did occur to me that if I don’t do that sooner than later (if not immediately) it’s indeed only a matter of time before major confusion once again sets in and I’m robbed of assurance of my salvation, and the other things John listed.

    I just want to be clear here though-My wife and I are TOTALLY secure in our salvation. We TOTALLY embrace the Free Grace Gospel and are relying on nothing but salvation through faith alone by grace alone in Christ alone. But there’s been an admitted “break down” of this conviction when it comes to applying it to others around us. I’m not sure if that makes sense and I’ve been struggling really hard to make my point.

    I also want to be clear here that so far all of the folks I’ve been talking to have been very patient, courteous, and willing to hear me out. I’ve yet to encounter a really contentious spirit. I think that’s one reason I’ve been letting this go on for weeks turning into months now. But I did acknowledge there’s still a bit of stubbornness and resistance, albeit couched in very friendly terms. The enemy is subtle . . .

    But to make a long story (relatively) short, I think the main wedge that Satan’s trying to drive between me and those around me is in trying to convince me that I’m only giving LIP SERVICE to the Free Grace message but that I don’t “really” believe in it. That’s why I say I feel I’m struggling with double-mindedness.

    Weeks ago my wife and I did agree that sooner than later, if we can’t effect change we’re going to have to separate from those with LS leanings simply because we know it’s going to basically drive me crazy to be around it indefinitely. And I must admit I am struggling w/ justifying trying to be a force for change in this areas when I only got my theological head screwed back on regarding the true gospel as recently as early February.

    I think part of my struggle is discerning what’s really a “pride” issue (me thinking I’m going to save the day) vs. a “duty” issue of trying to rescue others from error before giving up on them. If I felt I was dealing with totally deaf ears, so to speak, I’m smart enough to know to move on.

    And I do understand I have to flee from those teaching bad doctrine, so John’s exhortation is not only biblical, but at this point it’s looking more and more timely. As John seemed to be saying, separation from these people is where my TRUE duty lies.

    I think this would be a lot easier if it weren’t for the fact that my wife and I have been going to our church for almost 7 years now–that’s where the whole “courage of my convictions” comes in. I struggle with knowing whether or not I’m going to be able to say what needs to be said. But over the past 12 hours or so it occurred to me that I don’t HAVE to give a long winded dissertation if I leave my current church. I’m a big boy and if I simply feel it’s time to move on I know from watching others leave this church that it’s really that simple. Anything I add as “parting words” with the intent to reach those who will listen is, I suppose, gravy.

  348. For one thing, FryingPan, don’t hesitate to post any questions for fear of being redundant. When I first came aboard back in 2011, I was posting all over the place with questions and observations. I have no doubt that much of what I contributed had already been discussed, but that was before my time. While I did read a lot of the archived posts, many of the discussions I did not (there are only so many hours in a day!). You never know how your questions/observations might help the silent bystander, as well as yourself.

    This is the most consistent, sound, active resource on the web today, blessed by a body of like minds. Take advantage of it while you can.

  349. Thank you, Pearl.

    One of the problems I was having is that I can’t figure out how to search my email for email alerts from this website telling me there’s been a new comment. And even when I can find one of the emails, sometimes the threads are SO long that it just becomes a bunch of busy work. So I appreciate your encouragement that the “worry” over being redundant is often if not always “much ado about nothing” anyway.

    I obviously need to read the same things over and over and over anyway so why should I assume nobody else does either?

    A bit off topic, (sort of) but this thread started with mentioning Dave Hunt. Does everyone here know that he passed away on April 5? I didn’t know that till last night . . .

  350. “But there’s been an admitted “break down” of this conviction when it comes to applying it to others around us.”

    Do you mean to say that you’re tempted to give these people the benefit of the doubt as to their eternal standing, that they are saved “even though…”?

    If this is what you’re saying, then I can relate. Of the Christians I know, all are perfectly sincere in their convictions. They’re hard working, honest people wanting the same thing for their families that I want for mine. We love America, cherish our freedoms, and share much of the same concerns. Genuinely nice, likeable people! But as to their eternal standing, if they insist that a person must repent of their sins to be saved, or they’re a hardcore Calvinist, or they believe one can lose their salvation, then, based on their beliefs, I must conclude that they currently adhere to and communicate a false gospel (God protect the lost from these people!).

    However, there’s no question that a person can become saved and then incorporated into a body teaching any of these things, as I did, and simply be misled. Determining the truth for each and every encounter requires strenuous counsel for which I’m not qualified.

    At the end of the day, I don’t imagine that I know who is saved and who isn’t based entirely on their spiel. That would fall under the job description of “fruit inspector”. But I do know God works in amazing ways, and He knows His own, though I don’t believe it’s my duty to set them straight. I’m a big believer that “timing is everything”.

    Now, if you were saying something else, then “whoops”!

  351. Pearl, I think I was speaking in more general terms, similar to what you said about, “Determining the truth for each and every encounter requires strenuous counsel for which I’m not qualified.” I’m certainly not interested in doing any fruit inspecting.

    I suppose it’s fair to say that I can see myself separating from those in the LS camp and if pressed on the issue saying something like, “I’m sorry, but I can’t be around this anymore for this reason or another.” But I’m not so sure I’m yet able to effectively plead with others to follow suit. And it’s appearing to be the case that little if any of that is my job anyway.

    Does that make sense?

  352. “…though I don’t believe it’s my duty to set them straight.”

    Clarification required: I choose my battles (and, the battle is the Lord’s!). I pray for Him to make clear to me His doors of opportunity, that He would set on my path a ready and receptive person, possibly dangling at the end of their rope, and that I would have the sensitivity, wisdom and boldness to meet them in their need.

    Truth be told, not many opportunities have arisen beyond this blog.

  353. Jack, sorry, you were right, I was going off of memory on Rev 1:5, NKJV said first born from the dead. I do prefer KJV, and so I don’t think we differ on that, and I do think it’s the best of the translations, but I do so appreciate now having the original languages at our fingertips too.

    I usually check the differences in the parallel option. So appreciate you :)

  354. Frying pan, you said something about struggling with wanting to find it yourself in the Bible, and you should.

    I started with John and Romans again, underlying every incident of what believe was, or receive, etc. and highlighted it. If you even read those verses to yourself, there are so many regarding this, I think your assurance will grow.

    Macarthur and others are continually re-defining words, some great new find, that usually generates a book for his following. Slave was one of them. (I agree with Pearl – rubbish)

    As for associating with bad company, we know it corrupts good morals. Now there are those who believe a certain way, but are always looking in His Word for the truth and they will be taught it, but then most of them are there to argue, insinuate, and draw you back into their way of thinking.

    Don’t go looking for trouble, I’ve seen a few fall, not having the answers, but wanting to go out and contend. We need to be in the strong meat of His Word, study the truth, be prepared, and He will give you the answers when you need to speak to them. Some truly don’t know, but others, are well-versed in it, and will try to pull you to their way of thinking.

    One thing I use kind of as a guide for myself, is that the Word of God accomplishes something. But when someone is using it to bully, prod, or act as if they have special insight to the original languages, Lord it over you, it is not the same as the way the truth, the Word of God settles as we see in Isaiah 55:10-11, and it brings forth bud, either giving food to the eater, or seed to the sower. Not returning void. (of course paraphrased).

    In the same way it should settle on us, we should also trust the Word of God, it’s power, and lay it out and let it work for others. They may not seem as if they hear, but as you become better versed in God’s Word in each of these areas, you’ll be surprised who it reaches.

    Sometimes on FB, I think what I have said has fallen on deaf ears, even wondering if I have been distracted by the enemy, and the Lord seems to show me sometimes, a person will come that I don’t even know and say they say the verses, my manner of conduct, the lack of sarcasm, rudeness, even hateful attitudes some of the opponents use, so Tit 2:7-8 comes to mind for me.

    With the church thing, I sure understand the struggle, a very good Bible teacher I had, the last place I’d been able to find solid teaching, was getting busier and busier, and then someone bought her a Macarthur Bible. As much as I had appreciated her teaching, she went from contending against Calvinism (lightly) to becoming a “2 pointer” then so on, and the last time I spoke to her, and we discussed some of the verses that address those points, she didn’t really seem to hear, and I struggled in tears about what I knew I was going to have to do. I not only loved her as a friend, but had so appreciated the depths of the studies, with no opinion of men, but digging into His Word.

    The night I decided was my final night, she announced was her final night. We have a new Bible study and the teacher is a humble man, who prepares a thorough study and stands against reformed theology, praise God…

    If you leave your church, a letter spelling out your concerns with the Word of God, might be a good idea, for all those who ask, you could have it ready, this way it won’t be a contending session but if they want to know, they will see the truth in writing and maybe even start looking themselves Lord willing.

  355. Thanks Holly,

    No problem — I pray you would do the same for me.. 8-)

    We appreciate your wise comments here at ExP.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  356. Hello FryingPan9,

    Thanks for alerting us to the passing of Dave Hunt. His writings exposing cults, especially Mormonism, are legendary. And I found his expose’ of Calvinism, “What Love is This?,” to be particularly enlightening and helpful. Sadly, in recent years, his web site has drifted into some questionable territory biblically, as Jack’s article has detailed. Apparently, Hunt has not had much involvement with his site for years, so recent pronouncements there most likely have come from others.

  357. Hello Bruce,

    Since discovering the expreacherman blog I’ve been able to look back on Dave Hunt with a bit more insight. For example, Dave’s full name is David Charles Haddon Hunt. Maybe you’re beginning to see my point. His name was originally going to incorporate even MORE of Spurgeon’s name, but one of his parent’s (I forget which) protested. (I learned this from a Youtube video of one of Dave’s lectures about Calvinism that I watched a few months ago.) Looking back on my memory of reading “What Love is This” and what I’ve read about Calvinism here at this blog it’s sort of hard to not wonder if perhaps Dave was even a bit SOFT on Calvinism. What I mean is that after reading Dave’s book my main attitude was, “Yeah-that’s bad theology. I am discarding it.” But after reading this blog my attitude is more like, “No, it’s worse than bad theology–it’s DEADLY theology.”

    Dave’s critiques of Islam, Roman Catholicism and Atheistic Evolution are also quite outstanding.

  358. FryingPan,

    This is probably the article that I wrote about Dave Hunt which Bruce mentioned:

    http://www.expreacherman.com/2012/12/18/dave-hunts-berean-call-promoting-not-only-calvinism-but-now-the-terrible-lordship-salvation-of-ray-comfort/

    It is a shame the formerly great Berean Call ministry has fallen and degraded so far from its original strong stand against error. Today TBC continues to promote Lordship Salvation teachers, Calvinists and others who should be shunned.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  359. Dave initially I believe was a bit soft on Calvinism as many are, and many who even take Spurgeon’s daily emails didn’t even know some of the things he pronounced.

    I remember him saying later (after the video and his James White debate, the first one) that he didn’t really understand Calvinism, he just knew it didn’t line up with the Word. But later he began to be stronger about it, even with Rick Warren who he had previously also been soft on, wanting to I believe think he was a brother in error, he went to “talk to him”, but in one of his later talks I saw recently, he came out very strongly against Rick Warren’s teachings, not anything like his prior posts.

    I know teachers all over for the sake of not losing their position are very soft in their stance on TULIP. I wish it weren’t the case, but I see it all the time, even those teaching against the precepts of Calvinism, one series I saw, they continually joked and teased with them as brothers. So then if this so, then they haven’t corrupted the gospel, they aren’t preaching another gospel, then why are they bothering to correct the doctrine, if it’s no big deal?

    I understand about being gentle to all men, but to suggest that these are all brethren, especially the teachers, really bothers me… What kind of gospel do they preach? It’s not the one I see in the Word, how can you believe? You can’t, unless He regenerates you first. How can you know you’re saved? You can’t. Not until you persevere until the end, can you be sure you were the elect… What a heyday Satan must have with that….

    And such piousness, and finger pointing. The lost would come to know the Lord why/how? Through their Lordship teachings? Their legalism? Their finishing in the flesh? Not possible…

  360. Sorry for posting twice Jack and Bruce, delete the other one as it had typos and this one is easier to read….

    Thanks again brothers and sisters,
    Sorry for my delayed response. Thanks for the offer Holly for a facebook Bible study for my wife but she is more wanting face to face fellowship and rarely does online stuff. She does read a little and is her preferred way of learning. Any good books to recommend to her? Just a note if you are going to recommend any books, where my wife is deceived is that she thinks a person can lose salvation, not because of sin, but because of apostasy and renouncing Christ. Even so, to say that a person can lose salvation FOR ANY REASON is to call God a liar and not believe the record that God gave of His Son according to 1 John 5:9-11. ES is a necessary part of believing the very Gospel itself!

    My wife is also deceived in that she thinks that it does not matter if a person believes in losing salvation or even if a person adds Baptism, TFS or whatever into the mix, she thinks that as long as they ‘believe in Jesus’ in some form, then they are saved. (though she understands these are not salvation requirements and understands no baptism or TFS is necessary).

    My wife has reluctantly said we can listen to 30 minutes of a sermon every week or so. Listening to sermons is also my preferred way of learning as I also do lots of driving and like to listen to some solid preaching regularly. I am not a big reader. I shall try and put her onto this blog however, starting with the responses to my previous post which i just emailed her today to read when she gets the time.

    Regarding the errors of the NIV, over the last several months listening to Steve Anderson (and I know that you don’t approve of him here and while i see a few things I think he is mistaken on and is a bit extreme about, his preaching of the Gospel and exposing of LS, in my opinion is more clear than I have EVER heard it) I have heard enough exposing of the errors of the NKJV and NIV that I KNOW they have seriously twisted the words of scripture. I’m not sure of the exact meaning of the warning in Rev 22 but lets just say i would not want to be standing in the peoples shoes who were involved in making the NIV and NKJV and pretty much most of, if not all the modern translations.

    Since this NIV preaching church is the ONLY church I can find in my area that is not LS, I will go with my KJV and read along with my KJV.

    A further note on the errors of the NKJV and NIV, this webpage below (now I understand Jack if you remove the link, it’s up to you, if you do remove it glean what truth you can from it for the benefit of all) outlines the 46 verses where the word REPENT in some form (whether that be repent, repentance, repented etc) has been removed from the NIV and NKJV (compared to KJV).

    http:// [removed by administrators; site found in the past to have problematic stances]

    The thing that this webpage shows, apart from showing all 46 verses where the NIV and NKJV strategically removed the word ‘repent’ (yes, it is intentional!) is that 36 out of the 46 verses is that God was the one doing the repenting! This proves that you can repent of something other than sin! There is nothing wrong with the word repent, it’s a Biblical word, the problem is, these new translations have tampered with the Word of God which makes it hard for people to understand what the word repent means in context to salvation.

    My favorite repent verse in the Bible is Jonah 3:10.

    Jonah 3:10
    And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

    Note that this verse calls turning from your evil way/ turning from your sins – WORKS! Turning from your sins is WORKS according to Jonah 3:10. And it says ‘God repented’ and NO He did not TFS sin because God has no sin and it’s blasphemy to say otherwise!

    AND NOTE THIS: When I checked this verse with other versions of the Bible, they all took the word ‘repented’ out, not just the NIV and NKJV. Those that took the word repented out Includes: the Amplified, CEV, ESV, Good News and the NASB! They all tampered with God’s word and took the word ‘repented’ out! And that’s not an exhaustive check!

    I don’t really trust anything other than the KJV.

  361. Fascinating! I never noticed that in Jonah, but so glad you did!

    Hey, Daniel, I’m curious: do you follow the other posts at ExP? I ask because just the other day, someone (Sue, I think) recommended Tom Cucuzza’s book “Secure Forever” which may be found in the upper-right column of this page. I think everybody but me has read and raved over its excellent defense of the permanance of salvation. I finally downloaded it to my kindle just the other day and look forward to reading it myself. John read it in one night!

    I hope you are keeping up with the other posts, because other discussions often happen due to others’ excellent questions, in addition to this one, and we don’t want you missing out on any of them.

  362. Hi Pearl,
    I do read some of them but not all. At the moment I have started my new teaching job, im a first year graduate and while i love the job, it’s hard going. Im not much of a reader but I could definitely read more of this blog. I shall download and read Tom Cucuzza’s book “Secure Forever”. I do listen to Tom sometimes too, he is a fantastic preacher, awesome.

    Just a question Jack and Bruce, I know you removed the link to the webpage, that’s ok, I respect your judgement to remove anything you feel is not quite sound. Is it ok if i post just the 46 KJV repent verses that were taken out of the NKJV and NIV for people to see or would that not be allowed? Remember, it’s just the Bible verses, not the other stuff on the page. I respect your decision either way though I think it would be interesting for people to see what repent verses were taken out of the modern Bibles. It’s definitely done on purpose in my opinion as once you see what verses they are and how they ‘fix’ them, you can see that its done with an agenda to bolster their ‘repent of your sins to be saved’ heresy.

    [ed. note, yes, you may give the 46 verses without the link]

  363. Just a note to all, not sure if i made this clear, the 46 repent verses taken out of the NIV and NKJV were not removed verses but verses where they took the word repent out in its various forms. Just thought I make that clear in case people thought I was saying they removed the whole verse.

  364. Daniel,

    Just the verse addresses will suffice. Please revise your last comment to reflect verse addresses only for the sake of brevity.

    It is certainly clear that some newer translations or paraphrases (NIV) of the Bible have dramatically changed important words from their meaning in the KJV Bible.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  365. ****
    {{ Comment Deleted at the request of Daniel R. He thought his comment was confusing, so he requested time to re-write the comment and publish later. }}
    ****

  366. Hi Daniel, I think I wouldn’t worry about getting your wife to the same conclusion you are at, but just remembering the method we all got there, and these things have been written for a purpose, so we might believe and know (John 20:31, I John 5:13).

    As for books, I do highly recommend Secure Forever, I downloaded it to my kindle awhile ago and highlighted quite a lot. I think I also recommended to you, two books, which you can also find free, both by H.A. Ironside, “Full Assurance” and “The Eternal Security of the Believer”. Both you can download for free, pdf, and if you want, most can be highlighted, copied, made into a doc or docx file and uploaded to your kindle.

    If you want to listen to some sermons, try also Fred Chay online. Just google Fred Chay sermons, the classes are good.

    Steve Anderson? The one in Phoenix? If so, he is more than a bit extreme, he has hate in his heart like the Westboro Baptists. I’ll add more if you clarify that he is the one you mean.

  367. Yes, Steve Anderson, The one in Phoenix He does say some harsh things at times. I would not group him in with the WBC people, they are horrible awful people not to mention Calvinists to the uttermost extreme.

  368. Jack or Bruce, or anyone that would like to answer, (and you can delete this link from Berean call if you like), but what do you feel about this teaching? It is brief, but there is also a followup recording of it I’ll include the link too also for your input.

    Here, Dave Hunt says, “It is foundational to the gospel that Christ experienced the suffering of the Lake of Fire for every person who would ever be born. ”
    http://www.thebereancall.org/node/2782

    Here is the follow-up link, (go down to where it says 5004c)
    http://www.thebereancall.org/content/how-could-jesus-suffer-eternal-death

  369. On Steven Anderson, anyone who calls for the “death of faggots” or says “he would not judge anyone for killing President Obama” among praying imprecatory prayers regarding his death. Saying he does not love him (in contrast to loving our enemies)… I listened to a partial sermon that someone posted to me the other day about his totally unsound speech “p-ss-eth against the wall”.

    Let’s just say, he is not above reproach and should not be an elder in any church. A broken clock is right twice a day, and Satan uses the Word of God too, albeit he twists it, so I could give you all sorts of examples, but Arminians stand against Calvinism too, so?

    I’d mark and avoid him myself as per Rom 16:17-18, he is not sound.

  370. A couple of Steven Anderson’s “preaching” comments…
    “The biggest hypocrite in the world is the person who believes in the death penalty for murderers but not for homosexuals.”[7][24]

    A few days after the listing, Pastor Anderson stated “I do hate homosexuals and if hating homosexuals makes our church a hate group then that’s what we are.”

    I realize wikipedia is not very reliable at times, but the sources of the sermons are there, and I’ve actually gone to his wife’s blog and been mortified by her own speech. (I try to go to the horse’s mouth when “proving all things”).

    I couldn’t listen anymore to either of them, remind me very much of Paul Washer on steroids. (forgive the humor)

  371. Holly,

    I don’t recall any Biblical evidence that “Christ experienced the suffering of the Lake of Fire for every person who would ever be born.”

    Christ did suffer death for every person who would be born but I find no Biblical reference that he “experienced the suffering of the Lake of Fire..”

    I did not find any explanation in either link explaining of “lake of fire.” Did Hunt give Biblical verses that proved his assumption?

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  372. Holly and Jack,

    It seems Hunt was using Isa 53 and Heb 2:9 and extrapolating from there. It strikes me as total error.

    Christ did not suffer the second death because he didn’t die spiritually. The shedding of the blood was the purchase price for our redemption.

    His explanation in the audio clip is mind boggling.

    Jim F

  373. Daniel,

    Steve Anderson has some false teacher qualities and, as Holly mentioned, I don’t believe he is qualified for any type of ministry. I don’t really have to go into to it too much because she has already brought out some concerns with him. Besides, there are much better sources out there.

    Try checking out Charlie Bing’s dissertation on lordship salvation. You can read it online for free here:

    http://www.gracelife.org/resources/dissertation.asp

    Jim F

  374. In the 3rd paragraph of Dave Hunt’s answer per hollygarcia’s 1st (of 2) links above to the Berean Call website, Dave says, “That Christ endured the pains of the Lake of Fire does not mean that He suffered in the Lake of Fire.”

    I don’t see how this is “total error.” Could you elaborate? (I’d copy and paste the whole thing here as it’s not that long but I’d rather err on the side of caution in order to avoid violating the posting rules here.) As for the audio clip, I was unable to get it to play, or was clicking on the wrong things, so I’m unable to tell if I’m equally baffled by it.

    I think Hunt’s main point was that he was explaining the difference between what he wrote about what Jesus suffered versus what Kenneth Copeland teaches.

    That said, it does seem unnecessary to try to explain so much in terms of what Hunt wrote. Why not just take the Bible’s word for it and accept that what Jesus did on the cross was sufficient to pay for the sins of mankind?

  375. Thank you Jim and Jack, the verses provided he seemed to almost daisy chain together, and I don’t know when that was done, but I had never heard that except coming from (as his concerned listener said) the Kenneth Copeland and also the Joyce Meyers, etc. I had to listen because I was so curious how he was going to put it together, and was really surprised he believed in this way.

    The verses he used regarding “tasting death” he then went into Lazarus and that it couldn’t be a purely physical death, and that it had to be the punishment of eternal separation because He was infinite, truly, it was garbled to me, maybe if I listened again, but Hunt was definitely saying that Jesus suffered in the lake of fire.

  376. FryingPan9,

    What I was mostly objecting to was his explanation in the audio clip. Maybe I’ll have time to listen to it again later and elaborate.

    Jim F

  377. Hi Holly,

    Re. your question about Christ in the lake of fire, I believe that this false teaching originated with E. W. Kenyon, founder of the modern Word of Faith, a.k.a, Word-Faith movement, of which Kenneth Copeland is probably its most vociferous modern spokesman. According to Kenyon’s false teaching (I believe that it is blasphemous), Christ had to suffer the flames of hell and had to himself somehow be born again through the experience in order to atone for his own sins as well as the sins of the world—terrible teaching! None of this horrendous teaching lines up with Scripture. The lake of fire, a place of outer darkness and torment, will be populated at the end of the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth known as the Great Millennial Kingdom, a kingdom that is yet future. Revelation 20 details how Satan, all of the fallen angels, the unsaved dead of all time (judged and condemned at the Great White Throne judgment for unbelievers), death and hades, will all be cast into the lake of fire forever. I believe that Jesus’ spirit went to be in Abraham’s bosom for the three days between his death and resurrection. Luke 16 speaks about this abode of the dead which existed prior to the resurrection; it shows a divide between hades, the abode of the unsaved dead spirits awaiting final judgment at the Great White Throne one day, and Abraham’s bosom, the latter place being the abode of saved dead who were awaiting Christ’s resurrection when they would be taken to heaven. Since the resurrection of Christ, the saved, upon death, go to heaven; Abraham’s bosom is empty today.

  378. Hi Bruce – I do know about the teaching and it’s foundations (although not Pentecostal, learned the hard way through the years about a lot of different terms and names I’d never heard). Thanks! I think was a little vague the way I asked it. My question was actually was meant to imply “what do you think about THIS teaching” (regarding Dave Hunt) did anyone know that Dave Hunt taught/believed this way? I was pretty surprised.

  379. hollygarcia,

    You wrote, “but Hunt was definitely saying that Jesus suffered in the lake of fire.”

    See, now based on the printed version that I quoted earlier (Berean Call website, Dave says, “That Christ endured the pains of the Lake of Fire does not mean that He suffered in the Lake of Fire.”) I thought Dave was pointedly clarifying that he was NOT saying he believed that Jesus suffered IN the lake of fire.

    But you seem to be pointing to the audio anyway so I want to keep that in mind and not imply that I have a bone of contention with you.

    Is it safe to say at this point you’re ONLY referring to the audio of Dave’s answer and not what’s printed on TBC’s web site? That would help clarify the issue an narrow it down a bit.

    I did finally click on the right thing to hear the MP3 of the radio program but I’ll have to listen carefully a couple more times if necessary as I was admittedly a bit distracted when listening.

  380. FryingPan9,

    This is part of Hunt’s error in my view. He differentiated his view from Copeland but I believe it is still error.

    “Tom: Or, some would say that He had laid aside His divinity.

    Dave: You cannot do that. The Bible says He laid aside His glory . He did not manifest His glory , and He said to the Father in John 17:5, “Glorify thou me with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” But He could not lay aside His divinity. Now it is beyond my comprehension, I cannot understand it, but He must have tasted spiritual death. That’s the point this person is making, and we’re not talking about dying spiritually as Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, people like that would say that Jesus ended up in hell.”

    Hunt was teaching that Christ died spiritually. He deduces this from Heb 2:9.

    Jim F

  381. Good point, jimfloyd12.

  382. Expected Imminently

    Dear All
    My own understanding that Jesus died spiritually is based on Genesis and the fall. God warned them not to eat of the tree, and if they did, they would die at that moment. It was Adam’s human spirit that died, the moment he tasted the fruit; he didn’t die physically for a long time after and God doesn’t lie. God said ‘where are you’. God knew exactly where Adam was and what he had done. It’s like any father saying to his child ‘where are you?’ when he is no longer in his presence. Likewise Adam was now spiritually separated from God. He knew he was no longer clothed in the righteousness of God, he was naked. ‘Death’, spiritually or physically never means ‘cease to exist’ as Conditionalists and Annihilationism falsely claim. Death simply means ‘separation’; as the spirit from the body at the end of life; and the spirit from God as a result of sin. Jesus was our substitute.

    Jesus, the last Adam, cried out for God when He experienced the same spiritual separation from God as He paid the price for Adam’s spiritual death when the unrighteousness of the whole world was placed upon Him. Physical death is only a result of spiritual death. Jesus cried ‘It is finished’ referring to the cost of separation from God with the death of his human spirit while He was still physically alive. It was essential that Jesus was 100% man, as we are, separated spiritually from God, otherwise He would not be qualified to die for the first Adam and his descendants.

    Jesus did not go to ‘hell’. He went to Sheol which consists of two compartments Hades and Paradise or Abraham’s bosom. Lazarus and the rich man is a true story, not a parable that clearly shows this. In Paradise were the spirits of all the patriachs. In Hades were the spirits of the flood victims. It was to these he announced His victory over death and sin. When He rose from the dead, he emptied Paradise and all are now in Heaven awaiting their resurrection after the 2nd coming.

    I haven’t used Scriptures as I don’t feel comfortable about seeming to teach men. I haven’t written to argue but to state what I know is Biblically accurate. Dr Robert Dean has taught thoroughly on this issue. The teaching in the Bible about Jesus dying spiritually is not in the remotest supporting the heresy of Copeland and co.

    Dear Jack doesn’t want a link to Dean Ministries. I respect his wishes but hope and pray y’all make a visit to Robert Dean, with Scripture in hand, and hope you all realise I am not trying to be divisive as I am only replying to comments.

  383. All,

    I don’t believe Jesus died Spiritually because I don’t believe He became an actual sinner. Becoming sin for us who knew no sin – is different. He became the sinless sacrifice and body our sin in His own body on the tree thereby satisfying God’s demand for the penalty of sin – that is a blood sacrifice or a perfect lamb. Jesus is that perfect lamb because he was fully God and fully man. I don’t buy into the thinking or rationale of Dean or Hunt on this issue. There is too much extra-biblical reasoning for my liking. I also truthfully don’t believe this is really a debatable issue of Jesus supposedly dying spiritually.

    Jim F

  384. Expected Imminently,

    You said: “Physical death is only a result of spiritual death.”

    Were the people in Paradise spiritually dead? Are church age believers who have passed away spiritually dead? My only point in asking this is that it seems that physical death can exist without the presence of spiritual death.

    I have been to Dean’s site. In addition to teaching that Jesus died a spiritual death, Dean says that Jesus atoned for our sins through this spiritual death, before dying physically.

    This teaching does not comport with my reading of scripture, particularly the following:

    Hebrews 9:14: “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

    My comment: As I once heard Tom Cucuzza say, “Jesus couldn’t have just been whacked over the head.” If Jesus experienced a spiritual death that paid for our sins, why did He need to die physically? If His spiritual death atoned for our sins, why did He need to shed His blood?

    Hebrews 9:16-17: “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.”

    My comment: The “testator” is Christ. Spiritual death did not make Him that. Physical death did.

    Hebrews 10:10: “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

    My comment: It does not say we were sanctified through the spiritual death of Christ, but through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ.

  385. Dear Sue,

    I thank John and JimF for their Biblical understanding of Jesus’ death on the cross and then highlighting Dean’s error. I believe theirs is the Biblical position and I agree with them.

    Hence – the reason we do not post links to Dean’s web site and prefer not to promote his teaching.

    You might wish to correspond with Dean and see if he will correct his teaching. Maybe he has never thought it through. You should quote John’s comment and scriptural references which I believe to be accurate and in the context of the discussion.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  386. Ok, Regarding the verses that the NIV and NKJV tamper with the word of God and take out the word REPENT in its various forms, here are just the verse addresses. I have left a few of the verses in full however, I think readers would learn a lot of from seeing for themselves just what was taken out.
    Using the list of the 46 verses (from a website I found) that says that the NIV and NKJV take out the word REPENT in some form (whether that be repent, repentance, repented etc) in comparison to KJV. I decided to double check EACH VERSE in the list myself. Today, using an online linear Bible I did just that. The NIV takes removes the various uses on the word REPENT out in ALL 46 VERSES. Thee NKJV takes the word out in all but four of the 46 verses as listed below. Of the four verses that the NKJV did leave the word repent (in some form eg repentance) in the verse, its very interesting to see which ones they left. It’s hard not to include that both these translations did not have an agenda in strengthening the false doctrine heresy of ‘repent of your sins to be saved’ when they chose to leave out the word repentance in its various forms. According to the webpage I found this info at, these are the 46 verses that the word repent in some form has been removed in the NIV, there may be more! So, in conclusion, unless there are more verses that have been tampered with, there are 46 verses the NIV removes the use of the word repent in its various forms and 42 verses in the NKJV! The pastor whose webpage this was that I gleaned the info from said that in the NIV and NKJV, God NEVER repents from cover to cover! In the KJV Bible, God repents more than anyone! Just looking at the verses below and reading even a few of the verses in the KJV Bible, its so clear that God repents many times, I didn’t count it myself but will take this pastors word for it that, according to him, out of these 46 tampered verses, God repents 36 out of the 46 times. This alone proves that you can repent of something other than sin. Other verses they decided to tamper with include taking out Judas repenting in Matthew 27:3. Judas Iscariot repented of his sin but that does not save anyone. He was unsaved because he did not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (see John 6:64). The other verses that they messed with are also highly suspect and I can only conclude they had an agenda.

    Gen 6:6
    Gen 6:7
    Exo 13:17
    Exo 32:12
    Exo 32:14
    Num 23:19 (still in NKJV)
    Deu 32:36
    Jdg 2:18
    Jdg 21:6
    Jdg 21:15
    1Sa 15:11
    1Sa 15:29
    1Sa 15:35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.


    2Sa 24:16
    1Ch 21:15
    Psa 90:13
    Psa 106:45


    Psa 110:4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
    

Psa 135:14
    Jer 4:28
    Jer 15:6
    Jer 18:10
    Jer 20:16
    Jer 26:3
    Jer 26:13
    Jer 26:19
    Jer 42:10
    Eze 24:14
    Hos 11:8
    Hos 13:14
    Joe 2:13
    Joe 2:14
    Amo 7:3
    Amo 7:6
    Jon 3:9
    Jon 3:10
    Jon 4:2
    Zec 8:14
    Mat 9:13

 (Still in NKJV)
    Mat 21:29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.


    Mat 27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

    Mar 2:17

 (Still in NKJV)
    Rom 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.


    2Co 7:8
    Heb 7:21
    

Heb 12:17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. (Heb 12:17 – still in NKJV)

  387. Daniel, I think that denominations and ministries use Bible translations in a haphazard fashion because they do not recognize how subtle changes can really distort the clarity of the message.

    I think the Jonah 3:10 comparison that you provided was a very good example.

    I cannot remember the publication, but a couple of years back I saw an online survey at a popular Christian magazine, that asked whether “repentance from sins” was required for salvation. Only 11% said “no”!

    In addition to the errors of NIV, check out the following “translation” of Luke 3:13 from the NLT:

    “Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God.”

  388. Daniel, all

    The ESV is another that changes repent to “change of mind” or “regret” at times but in verses dealing with salvation they leave it as repent. Regardless, anyone including God can repent. Also, some try to get around this but saying that a change of mind needs to lead to a change of action. However they are usually viewing this in terms of living or works.

    In conversion, repentance (change of mind) is indeed a thinking again of one’s current belief and a change to hold a different belief. For example, I hold the view that faith plus works save me. I see in the Bible where is says otherwise and I think again – that is change my mind, and believe in Christ alone to save me. That is repentance/faith. The same thing would be true if I were an atheist, Mormon, Hindu, agnostic, whatever, but a change of mind about my view is irrelevant if the opposite side of that is not placing my faith in the only object that will save. That object is Christ.

  389. Well said Jim. Also, very interesting John about how only 11% of people reading an online survey at a popular Christian magazine voted ‘no’ to the statement that “repentance from sins” was required for salvation. Very concerning but honestly, in the last year i have had many conversations with church goers and the fact that about 90% of evangelicals believe that, does not surprise me in the slightest. Lordship salvation is the norm in most churches today. Has it always been this way? I mean, before Billy Graham got popular was the evangelical community generally LS?

    Regarding that verse from the NLT, absolutely appalling. I looked it up but couldn’t see that in Luke 3:13. The verse you quoted there was actually Luke 13:3. Haha, its easy to make typo’s but I found it. The Amplified in that verse is also dreadful:

    Luke 13:3
    3 I tell you, No; but unless you repent ([a]change your mind for the better and heartily amend your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins), you will all likewise perish and be lost [b]eternally.
    Amplified Bible (AMP)

  390. Daniel,

    Regarding the LS or “turn from sin” (TFS) message “before Billy Graham,” it goes a long way back.

    I trusted Christ as my Savior Christmas 1964 and recall hearing Billy Graham’s TFS/LS message before I was saved and I laughed at it. Other preachers saw the success of that lie and emulated him. After I trusted Christ I saw the terrible damage such a message could do.

    Then I, like so many, was urged by well meaning friends to read and study Spurgeon (1834-1892). He was an early version of Billy Graham, without the showmanship. I never could “get into” his sermons but realized what he was preaching I did not believe.

    Then we see John Calvin (1509-1564) and his “perseverance of the saints” LS message, Jacobus Arminius (1560–1609) preached the LS message that you could lose (or never be sure of) your salvation (LS) — and further back the Roman Catholic church from its inception as such — preaching an LS works message.

    So we see that since and before Billy Graham, Satan has used many people and religions to spread his, sometimes blatant, often subtle false “works for salvation” message.

    Even further back in the Apostle Paul’s day he warned the flock of those who would “preach another gospel” i.e. a message of works. (2 Cor. 11:4 and Galatians 1:6-9) And specifically in Galatians 1:8-9 Paul warns about those teachers, “let him be accursed.”

    Even so, such teachers still multiply because their followers listen to man “tickle their ears” without checking God’s Word to verify what is preached.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  391. Daniel, right you are! It should have said Luke 13:3.

  392. About 15 or so years ago I used to think the only people in danger of being guilty of heaping teachers upon themselves to “tickle their ears” were the flaky, warm and fuzzy new age types who didn’t seem to take doctrine or sin very seriously and who had an annoying “Aw shucks” attitude regarding things like Bible exegesis, evangelism, prophecy, etc..

    Since coming to this blog in February I of course now realize it also applies to those people who, because of their pride, refuse to believe on the name of the Lord Jesus (John 3:18) and can’t help but pervert the gospel by adding something to it to be “saved.” Satan really never stops wandering about seeking whom he may devour. The whole “divide and conquer” thing really applies here it seems.

    Great stuff posted here in the past 24 hours. I look forward to rereading it all very carefully,

    John, thank you for that example of “Yet another “bible” to avoid with your comment,

    In addition to the errors of NIV, check out the following “translation” of Luke 13:3 [Ed. by Admin] from the NLT:

    “Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God.”

    . . . Wow, That is SO bad.

  393. Daniel, the Southern Baptist Convention is one of the groups whose official doctrine has been based on a false gospel of works – Calvinist to the core – for quite some time. Following is an excerpt from the 1925 version of the Baptist Faith and Message:

    VIII. Repentance and Faith

    We believe that repentance and faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Saviour.

    XI. Perseverance

    All real believers endure to the end. Their continuance in well-doing is the mark which distinguishes them from mere professors. A special Providence cares for them, and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

  394. John,

    Interesting info on erroneous Baptist beliefs from 1925. Not too far removed from Spurgeon’s era of the 1890’s, we see where Baptist beliefs were hugely influenced by Spurgeon’s turn from sin, hellfire and damnation “salvation” preaching.

    From a “Victorian Web site” promoting Spurgeon, authored by an East Texas Baptist University professor (Robert H. Ellison,), we see these revealing facts why Baptists love Spurgeon and why they espouse his LS doctrine:

    “Charles Haddon Spurgeon, [was] Victorian England’s best-known Baptist minister,….”

    And two years after he was “converted” he “accepted his first pastorate, at the Baptist Chapel in Waterbeach [England]. The church quickly grew from fewer than a dozen congregants to more than four hundred, and Spurgeon’s reputation as a preacher caught the attention of New Park Street, London’s largest Baptist church. He was invited to preach there in December 1853 and, following a brief probationary period, he agreed to move to London and become the church’s new pastor.”

    Lordship “salvation” and like messages (Chan, Washer, Piper, MacArthur, Keller, et al), then and now, tragically attract large followings by fear and intimidation, not by the Grace message of the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Savior.

    It is no wonder ExP is so hated world wide by the LS, works “salvation” folks. The Truth hurts.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  395. Daniel,

    Just like Lordship salvation has been around for a while, so has the idea that Jesus somehow died spiritually. Here is a quote from Calvin:

    “Nothing had been done if Christ had only endured corporeal death. In order to interpose between us and God’s anger, and satisfy his righteous judgment, it was necessary that he should feel the weight of divine vengeance. Whence also it was necessary that he should engage, as it were, at close quarters with the powers of hell and the horrors of eternal death. John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, II.16.10.”

    This line of thinking seems to run through Reformed theology and is still taught by guys like Packer, MacArthur, and Piper in different ways. The big mistake here in the reformed view of penal substitution is that it tends to get away from the significance and importance of Christ’s blood and focus also on their idea that somehow Christ also needed to suffer an eternal type punishment relating to separation from God. We should all make sure to be clear that the blood of Christ paid the price of our redemption. It was in that sacrifice that Christ was penalized by death as the perfect lamb for the sins of the whole world past present and future. Going beyond that is a step toward heresy and grave error. Some people have even left Christianity in a sense in favor of agnosticism and other things due to not being able to reconcile these issues.

    Just like with the Bible versions issue, these theological problems arise with mans’ rationale and attempt to understand things that are spiritually discerned. Far too many people are following the “theology” of unsaved men of the past that sounded intelligent and credible enough to be believed. Likewise, people with agendas other than pure Biblical motives have hijacked the Word of God and made it say things that were not intended or communicated originally.

  396. Jack and Jim, do you think the Apostles’ Creed helps give rise to the error of Christ’s spiritual death? A Lutheran friend of mine told me that he was taught that Jesus descended into hell after the crucifixion. Following is the text:

    Lutheran Service Book, Lutheran Worship

    I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth.
    And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
    who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
    and born of the virgin Mary,
    suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, died and was buried.
    He descended into hell.
    On the third day He rose again from the dead.
    He ascended into heaven
    and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
    From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
    I believe in the Holy Spirit,
    the holy Christian Church,
    the communion of saints,
    the forgiveness of sins,
    the resurrection of the body,
    and the life everlasting. Amen.

  397. Jack, being hated by the “works for salvation” crowd is a blessing.

    Acts 5:41: “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.”

  398. Without delving into archives and such, I can tell you that I wrote off all of those church and “apostles’ creeds” and the like well over a decade ago for the main reason that, based on my reading and understanding of them, one cannot find the gospel in them.

  399. John,

    I believe that Martin Luther totally taught that Jesus died spiritually and more. Observe some of the following quotes from Luther and this should be warning enough for people to stay away from his error.

    “…in His tender innocent heart He had to feel God’s wrath and judgment against sin, to taste for us eternal death and damnation, and in a word to suffer everything which a condemned sinner has merited and must suffer eternally. … Look at Christ, who for thy sake has gone to hell and been abandoned by God as one damned forever.”

    Another person said this quoting Luther and Calvin:

    “He made satisfaction for sin by enduring the penalty which was due for it to mean. But this penalty was eternal death or the pains of hell. Could anybody say that Christ endured this? Luther said so, ‘…in His tender innocent heart He had to feel God’s wrath and judgment against sin, to taste for us eternal death and damnation, and in a word to suffer everything which a condemned sinner has merited and must suffer eternally.’ And ‘Look at Christ, who for thy sake has gone to hell and been abandoned by God as one damned forever.’ This is his interpretation of ‘My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?’ Calvin with all his constitutional caution is almost equally emphatic. He makes much of the descent into hell saying, ‘…that invisible and incomprehensible judgment which he underwent at the bar of God; that we might know that not only was the body of Christ given up as the price of our redemption, but that there was another greater and more excellent price — namely, that He endured in His soul the dreadful torments of a condemned and lost man.’ “

    This guy also went on to say these outrageous things:“Remember, also, if you are to ostracize those who believe and teach this doctrine, you will have to also exclude men of such caliber as Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Owens, Billy Graham and Paul Billheimer. This is not some teaching that has just emerged in one of the popular movements of our day, it has been spoken of throughout the history of the church.”

    “Let us realize what we are saying; Jesus went into hell as a spiritually dead man and suffered the torments of that God-forsaken realm.”

    Beware of all of this kind of thinking that has been passed down right along with the rest of the errors in “church history”.

    Jim F

  400. Jim, thanks for your very comprehensive answer! This teaching seems to be as pervasive as “works for salvation.”

  401. Thanks John,

    I guess for me it doesn’t surprise that a person can’t get the method of salvation right if they can’t even understand the nature of the atonement in the first place.

    Jim F

  402. John,

    Thanks for the Biblical reminder, Acts 5:41. We are in this together with the Lord.. and He wins!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  403. What a great find Jim…. had no idea Calvin believed the same way as Hunt in that regard, how ironic.

    How completely true that we try to understand things from men’s perspective or teachings, vs. digging in His Word, praying, asking for help, building a solid foundation in our studies. Or even asking others who are sound for counsel and direction in His Word, but I like to leave that to last. I don’t want really think of men beyond what is written. Interesting that you found that, just kind of sunk in….

  404. I was thinking of those I know who are confused, many operate from fear. Others you can see pride and legalism. Question: It dawned on me, since they were using the KJV, and the prophecy in Ps 16 said, For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption, do you think because hell was the word used for Sheol that is possibly where they get the doctrine?

  405. John,

    In a word, “Yes” I believe that the Apostles Creed may contribute to the “spiritual death” religious theory. The history of the creed indicates it was probably originally written by the Council of Milan in 390 A.D. Apparently, almost every denomination has a slightly different version of the Apostles’ Creed and each is so ecumenical that Creeds could be swapped from one denomination to another.

    Aside from the obvious, a large factor in the error of the creed — there are no Bible verses used to define and explain their declarative statements and no definition of very important words. Thus each version can be interpreted to mean just about anything a church desires.

    Jim F, I agree with John. Thanks for your explanation — very informative and understandable.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  406. Expected Imminently

    HollyGarcia – hello, yes, the use of the word ‘hell’ isn’t wrong but can be misleading if one does not understand the doctrine of hell and the differences between Sheol, Hades, the pit, the grave, Hell, Gehenna and the Lake of Fire which was, in time past, prepared for Satan and host. Their time will come, but the Lake of Fire is yet to be used; it is empty until first occupied by the Anti-christ and the False Prophet.

    When folk speak of ‘hell’, they all to often mean the ‘Lake of Fire’, which consists of ‘dark’ fire and total, eternal separation from God and man. Jesus did not go to hell/lake of fire, for eternal separation at any time. He was spiritually dead (separated from the Father) for the three hours of darkness to receive our deserved judgment. After which, He dismissed His spirit to His Father. Luke 23:46 So His spiritual ‘death’ was not permanent. I wondered about that, but time with The Lord in His Word has made sense of it now, that the separation was only temporary.

    Sue

  407. Expected Imminently

    Hello All

    One needs to remember that it was Jesus the MAN who suffered and shed His own human blood in the Atonement. It was Jesus the human substitute that had the sin of the world laid upon Him, and in that judgment, His Holy Father was UNABLE to look upon the humanity of Christ and they were separated “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me’ was the cry from Christ’s humanity.

    As God the Son, in His Divinity, He and The Father are inexorably and eternally together. All the objections thus far have failed to acknowledge that vital, Biblical fact.

    The KJ translators made it easy for us to understand the context of ‘spirit’. Without the Greek context, it is difficult to know if it is the Holy Spirit or mans spirit. Take a look at these verses beginning at the start of Jesus’ life.
    Luke 2:40; Mark 2:8; Mark 8:12; Matt27:50; Luke 23:46.

    Notice we are helped by the translators use of a lower case ‘s’ and clarified as HIS spirit.

    For example notice how the Holy Spirit is marked by a capital ‘S’ and THE definite article when used in. Mark 1:10 and John1:32.

    To be a substitute for mankind, Jesus the man HAD to be exactly as Adam and his descendants were with a triune human nature consisting of body, mind and spirit (lower case ‘s’), made in the image of our Triune God. Had Jesus not had a human spirit, He wouldn’t be able to be like us in all ways, and yet not sin. That would invalidate His ability to die for the human race in our place. I am willing to ‘wink’ at many things so as not to throw the baby out with the bath-water. However, bringing The Gospel into doubt I will not accept.

    Without a human spirit – that, ‘Jesus’ would be ‘another Jesus of another spirit and another gospel’. THE Gospel depends on the fact that Jesus was like us in ALL ways, having the same temptations yet choosing not to sin.

    The Greek makes it plain that there were TWO deaths (plural) on the cross, one spiritual for judgment and the other physical for the Atonement i.e. the shedding of blood for sin. Death means ‘separation’ it doesn’t meaning ‘ceasing to exist’.

    Respectfully, in His Name, Sue
    {“The ExP administrators believe that scripture is clear that Jesus Christ shed His blood and died on the cross to completely atone for all of the sins of mankind. We believe that the teaching that Christ in some way experienced “spiritual death” while on the cross is based on conjecture, and not supported by scripture.”}

  408. I have understood Jesus Christ’s work on the cross as Sue set forth above, and I fail to see any error here.

  409. Sue,

    There is no spiritual death on the cross for judgment. Yes Christ is the God/Man. The idea is that he had to, as the spotless lamb, be slain, shedding his blood in the process of death in order to satisfy God’s wrath for sin. That is it. We do not have to get into things like Jesus had to somehow die spiritually just like Adam did and be born again basically. The reason being in that the big difference between Jesus and Adam is that Jesus was sinless himself, even when taking upon himself the sin of the world. Otherwise could it not be said that God at one point became a sinner? He would cease to God. …Which is not possible.

    Jim F

  410. I do not believe that Christ died a “spiritual death” on the cross.

    Following are the reasons why:

    1. Jesus is fully God. As such, it is impossible for Him to die spiritually.

    Luke 5:20-23:

    [20] And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.
    [21] And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?
    [22] But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?
    [23] Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?

    2. Jesus did not have to die spiritually in order to die physically. Why? Because He had the power to give up His life and take it back again.

    John 10:17-18:
    “[17] Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
    [18] No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

    3. The scriptures repeatedly give reference to our justification by His physical death.

    Colossians 1:20-22:

    “[20] And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
    [21] And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
    [22] In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight”

    Romans 5:9-10:

    “[9] Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
    [10] For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

    4. The Gospel makes no mention of His “spiritual death.” Nor am I aware of any other scripture that says that He died spiritually.

    5. Our sins were imputed to Him, not imparted to Him.

    Hebrews 4:15:

    “[15] For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

    6. He did not suffer twice for our sins.

    1 Peter 3:18:

    “[18] For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit”

  411. I agree John,

    Also, 1 Peter 3:18 says he was put to death in the flesh.. not in the flesh and in the spirit.

    Also, the comparison is to the lambs that were killed in the OT times. They did not die spiritually – They were animals. It was the sacrifice including death which meant shedding of blood that paid the price of God’s penalty. In the grandest sense Jesus Christ was that sacrifice for all of mankind. A once and for all perfect sacrifice. He had to give his life, that is exactly why he had to be born and take on human flesh in the first place. So that He could live a sinless life and die the perfect sacrifice. At no point did that include spiritual death. There is not Greek or Bible verse to support that. For any discussions on the Greek I’ll defer to Jack or Bruce on that. It may also be good to drop this topic. I think John and I have been clear. Any further proving of our position may need to be done in silent study of God’s Word on an individual basis.

    Jim F

  412. “We do not have to get into things like Jesus had to somehow die spiritually just like Adam did and be born again basically.

    I have to wonder if there are some grave misunderstandings here. This assertion is going way out there.

    My edition of Strong’s says this under 2288 (Greek):

    “(3) Death is the opposite of life, it never denotes nonexistence. (4) As spiritual life is conscious existence in communion with God, so spiritual death is conscious existence in separation from God. (5) Death, in whichever of the above-mentioned senses it is used, is (5a) always, in Scripture, viewed as the penal consequence of sin, and (5b) since sinners alone are subject to death (Rom 5:12), (5c) it was as the Bearer of sin that the Lord Jesus submitted thereto on the cross (1 Pet 2:24). (5d) And while the physical death of the Lord Jesus was of the essence of His sacrifice, it was not the whole. (5c) The darkness symbolized, and His cry expressed, the fact that He was left alone in the universe. He was forsaken (Mt 27:45-46).

    If we’re strictly speaking of physical death, why does Hebrews 2:9 say that Christ tasted death for every man when, from the beginning of time, all men have died physically themselves and will continue to die (excepting those redeemed who will be caught up in the rapture)? Going by Jesus’ being forsaken on the cross, and by Strong’s definition of spiritual death, isn’t this the same as what Sue is saying (as well as Dave Hunt)?

  413. Sue and Pearl,

    I agree with John and Jim F… and …

    I think it is time we ceased this discussion as it seems to be proving divisive.

    Thanks for your thoughts and comments.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  414. Jim and all,

    I agree with your assessments and especially your statement:

    Any further proving of our position may need to be done in silent study of God’s Word on an individual basis.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  415. Hello friends,

    I’m sorry that I haven’t had the opportunity to weigh in on the main discussion due to work and family commitments. I will just say that I think that the teachings of Robert Dean are problematic and not in line with Scripture; John laid out some strong Bible passages in response to Dean’s teachings. One verse that I would personally specifically point to is Hebrews 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Also, Colossians 1:20 reads, “And having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” Notice in both of the texts, Christ’s death on the cross is the focal point of our redemption from sins, not some near-death separation.

    I will second Jim and Jack’s call to a cessation of the discussion at hand.

  416. Expected Imminently

    For clarity

    The Perfect Humanity of Christ Incarnate

    A. He had a human body
    Though Christ’s conception was supernatural, He was born with a human body that grew and developed Luke2:52. He called Himself a man John 8:40

    B. He Had a Human Soul and Spirit.

    The perfect humanity of our Lord included a perfect immaterial nature as well as a material one.
    It was not that the human nature provided Christ’s body while the Divine nature consisted of a soul and spirit.

    The humanity was complete and included both material and immaterial aspects. Matt26:38; Luke23:46
    p. 286.

    Appoliarianism 4th Century.

    Appolinarius, the younger, died about 390, sought to avoid undue separation of the natures of Christ. He taught that Christ had a human body and a human soul; but that He had the divine Logos instead of a human spirit (this assumes a trichotomous view of man). This Logos dominated the passive human body and soul. This was an error affecting the humanity of man.
    Condemned in 680
    P290.

    Nestorianism divided Christ into two persons … the humanity had the form of Godhead bestowed upon it, and the Deity took the form of a servant, the result being the appearance of Jesus of Nazereth. In this view the two natures were separated resulting in two persons.
    Condemned in 431
    P290.

    Orthodoxy claims Christ as being one Person, perfect humanity, full Deity.

    “A study of errors should help clarify the truth and make us more careful how we express it. Semantics are very important in the statements of theology”. – C Ryrie.
    p.291.

    Basic Theology by Charles C. Ryrie
    “The ExP administrators believe that scripture is clear that Jesus Christ shed His blood and died on the cross to completely atone for all of the sins of mankind. We believe that the teaching that Christ in some way experienced “spiritual death” while on the cross is based on conjecture, and not supported by scripture.”

  417. Thank you for those statements. Now this discussion is over please.

    Additional collective response from administrators:

    “The Expreacherman.com administrators believe that scripture is clear that Jesus Christ shed His blood and died on the cross to completely atone for all of the sins of mankind. We believe that the teaching that Christ in some way experienced “spiritual death” while on the cross is based on conjecture, and not supported by scripture.”

  418. I have enjoyed reading all of the above ideas. I also agree with Jack.
    Move on to another subject. I am looking forward for the next subject with
    excitement.
    God bless,
    John H. Gregory

  419. Expected Imminently

    Hello Bruce

    Thank you, and Jack, for your courtesy and patience.
    God bless
    Sue
    x

  420. Hi people, quick question,
    The Bible talks about ‘reprobate’ people, which from my understanding, is someone that has been rejected and can’t be saved because they have come to a point of hardness, rejected the truth so much so that God gives them over to a mind that can’t see the truth. There are also passages of scriptures that refer to the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit which is an unforgivable sin and also the warning in Revelation 22:18-19 which also seem to be an unforgivable sin. At times I have worried about this but not overly so. Even so, it comes up in my mind sometimes and still messes with my assurance of salvation. Would you agree that to have committed any of these sins, whether the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, Revelation 22:18-19 or one who is a reprobate, a person who is in such a category cannot come to a point of accepting Christ alone and understanding the free grace of the Gospel (which necessitates an understanding of the eternal security of the believer). Would you agree that?

    To make things a little clearer, I have come to understand what the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is and am convinced that this can’t be done except when Christ walked the earth, it’s the other two categories that I need to get clear about.

  421. Daniel,

    The only thing now that is unpardonable is dying without the Savior. This is because sin is unpardonable without the applied blood of Christ. As for reporbates, I believe that God allows people to make their own choices. This includes the choice whether or not to believe the gospel if it is presented to them no matter what sin they are committing or for how long they have done so. I would reject the calvinist’s view of reprobation that would say that God predetermines for certain people to be reprobates thereby taking away any chance for them to be saved no matter how many times they hear the gospel.

    Hope that helps.

    Jim F

  422. FryingPan9

    Daniel,

    What Jim F says rings totally true and thorough with me. I’m not sure where the idea of “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit [is and am convinced that this] can’t be done except when Christ walked the earth” comes from. I’ve always understood the idea of God giving men (people; unbelievers) over to a reprobate/debased mind as God basically giving them what they WANT. (See Romans 1:28 and 2 Thess. 2:11.)

    Only God knows who will and will not ultimately believe the gospel and be saved. If someone truly in their heart wants nothing to do with God and His only plan of salvation, God is just in giving them the desire of their hearts, even if it’s not in their best interest.

    A few years ago it was very trendy for haters of God to take the so-called “Blasphemy Challenge.” It’s as sick, annoying and heartbreaking as you’d imagine. But I personally have a hard time thinking that’s the “unpardonable sin,” –that stating something along the lines of “Yes, I renounce Christianity and want to blaspheme the Holy Spirit and consign my soul to hell,” is necessarily the unpardonable sin. It’s POSSIBLE some of those misguided souls who partook of that travesty could have a change of heart and seek forgiveness and salvation, albeit unlikely. Only God knows when someone’s heart is hardened past the point of no return.

    To my knowledge and understanding there’s only one unforgivable/unpardonable sin, and that’s to reject the atoning work of Christ and the free gift of salvation. I hope I’m not stating the obvious.

    If someone needs to correct or elaborate on what I’ve said, I’m sure they will.

    I hope this is helpful.

  423. Hi Daniel,

    JimF and FryingPan have given you good concise solid answers! Thanks to them! The only thing that I might add is that yes, Matthew 12:31 was referring historically to the men who were accusing Jesus of possessing a demonic spirit. If one wanted to make a modern-day analogy, those today who consistently and repeatedly spurn the wooing of the Spirit and reject God’s gracious offer to all of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, right up to and through the point of death, are in effect, “blaspheming the Spirit,” and, tragically, no, there is then no hope for those persons.

  424. Hi guys,
    Thanks for your answers. I probably should have made it clearer in my question. I don’t concern myself about the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit anymore, I sorted that out a while ago but mentioned it here and grouped it together because they all seem unforgivable by scripture. The things that are stopping me from having 100% assurance are the idea of reprobation and the warning in Rev 22:18-19. I am wanting to go soul winning but won’t until I have 100% assurance once and for all.

    Let me repeat, the main thing that has been messing with my assurance is the warning in Rev 22:18-19 and to a lesser degree, reprobation.

    Regarding the lesser concern, reprobation. The scripture interprets in several verses but it seems not to be limited to being handed over to doing things that they WANT to do but also carries with it the idea that they are REJECTED and can’t be saved as seen by the scriptures below:

    Jeremiah 6:30
    Reprobate silver shall men call THEM, BECAUSE THE LORD hath rejected them.

    II Timothy 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

    Jim, didn’t quite understand what you said about the calvinistic teaching on reprobation. I am not really familiar with that teaching anyway but some other teaching on reprobation which has been in my mind.

    Regarding your comment on what reprobation is, you said:
    “As for reprobates, I believe that God allows people to make their own choices. This includes the choice whether or not to believe the gospel if it is presented to them no matter what sin they are committing or for how long they have done so.”

    Just trying to make sense of your point here. From my understanding, you are saying that reprobation concerns someone who rejects the Gospel. Therefore anyone who believes on Christ could NEVER be a reprobate. Is this what you are saying? Sorry, if I am trying to be overly specific here but when I was worried about the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (which I am not worried about anymore) it took me several years to get it out of my mind and I just want to get free from all doubt about my salvation once and for all and sick of the awful feeling that comes along with the thoughts that if I died I still am not completely sure if I would go to Heaven or not. Sorry, I also doubt myself alot in these matters and sometimes just need to see if I am seeing things clearly or not.

    From what it says in II Timothy 3:8, people who are “reprobate concerning the faith” are also people who “resist the truth”. In Romans chapter 1 it also talks about people who God has given over to a reprobate mind to do THINGS that basically should not be done. Basically from a salvation standpoint, as far as I can see, a reprobate has resisted the truth of the Gospel so a believer has nothing to worry about. Would you agree with that?

    Regarding the warning in Revelation 22:18-19. This really is my main concern. I have been worried about this for about a year and its still in my head. Maybe because I listen to some preachers that believe that the KJV Bible is perfectly preserved without any error at all. The reason I have been concerned about this is cause i am fairly sure I have substituted words. For example: In passages where the word ‘Law’ is used when witnessing to Jewish people, i have used the word ‘Torah’. I cant rememeber, but I think I may have even did this in writing when quoting direct Bible verses and took the word law out and substituted the word Torah. This concerns me this is not just talk about the Bible, but written Bible quotes. Also, cause technically this is both adding and taking away. I also have been concerned somewhat with the warning in Revelation 22:18-19 cause I have jokingly made up pretend scriptures before. I know this probably sounds silly but i just know how serious God takes His word and the warning in Rev 22 is pretty serious. I have checked out what various people say about Rev 22 and some say it concerns rewards, others say it concerns going to Hell cause in the KJV its says that persons wont be in the book of life. Either way, it’s a concern I want to drop once and for all and for one in my life come to the point of total assurance.

    I have told myself that maybe the way out of this is just to stand on a solid scripture. For example. John 3:16 says “WHOSOEVER believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.

    I am a WHOSOEVER that believes in Christ so maybe that should settle the matter once and for all as simply as that?

  425. Daniel,

    I think you are the right track with: “John 3:16 says “WHOSOEVER believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.I am a WHOSOEVER that believes in Christ…”

    Assurance of salvation is as good as the trustworthiness of Christ (God) and His ability to do what He has promised. If you believe in Christ as your savior then what can anyone, including yourself, do to take it away? Then answer is nothing. No one and no thing can undo your standing in Christ.

    With regards to reprobation, I look at it two ways. One is the passage that you mentioned in Romans. FryingPan9 and I addressed this as far as God allows people to choose to accept or reject Him. The second type is related to Calvinism’s teaching on unconditional election where they suppose that God chooses some people to be the elect (meaning that only these will believe and be saved, and that therefore the rest are by default chosen to have no ability to do anything but be reprobate. Some refer to this a double predestination or “reprobation”. To be sure you will want to stay awy from folks who promote this type of teaching.

    For me I understand that it is possible for believers to be carnal but not possible for them to become unsaved again. Those who are reprobate and are known as truth suppressors as in Romans 1 are those who continue to reject the gospel. They never have believed in the first place.

    Revelation 22:18-19 is not something that can take a believer and make them lose their salvation. Look at Rev 3:5 an I John 5:3. Based on these types of verses I say that those not in the book of life were never believers. Are you going to believe the gospel and trust Christ alone for salvation or will you reject it? That is the question everyone needs to answer.

    Let me know if that has help answer your questions better.

    Praying for you,

    Jim F

  426. Daniel, I am praying for you.

    There are no caveats, “weasel words” or “small print” to God’s promise of salvation to anyone who will simply believe in Jesus Christ as his Savior.

    God cannot lie. He is not trying to trick people. He is not some used car salesman (no offense to any used car salesmen).

    God wants everyone to be saved, and he wants all believers to have assurance.

    Satan wants no one to be saved, and he wants to rob believers of their assurance.

    Check out the following from Clear Gospel Campaign:

    http://www.cleargospel.org/booklet.php?b_id=3&i_id=42&s=2

  427. Hi Jim
    Thanks for your response. As far as I can tell in understanding what you wrote, you are agreeing that reprobates resist the truth and don’t believe the Gospel. That’s what I have come to believe and that’s what I am holding on to in order to not allow accusing thoughts to pull me down into doubt. That settles that.

    Regarding your response to my query on Rev 22:18-19, not that does not really answer my question. I do not believe that a believer can lose salvation. NOT FOR ANY REASON. When I think that I did what I was talking about I did it as a person still believing in Lordship Salvation. It’s not that I think Rev 22:18-19 can make a believer lose salvation, it’s that I AM CONCERNED (it’s just a thought that pops into my head and causes doubt at times, not all the time but still messes with assurance) that it would mean that a person that has done that sin CANNOT be saved because they already committed that sin as an unbeliever.

    Please note, I have tried just accepting quick little answers from people who say ‘just accept the Gospel’ but it does not get rid of the occasional doubts. It never did for me when I had concerns about the Blasphemy of the Spirit, it worried me for YEARS until I understood what it meant and I can say with assurance that I am not worried at all about the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. If I can’t ask the question here but am expected to simply accept quick answers and not talk about it, it won’t help in the long run for me. Also note, as far as I can tell, I have trusted in Christ alone, even rejoiced when I understood the errors of LS and had a measure of assurance until later when I heard teaching on reprobation and Rev 22:18-19 that I started to get worrying thoughts. I don’t know about what you say, but I do believe that saved people can get doubts and at times lack assurance because of an introspective type of mind (which I also have). I don’t think that means they have never trusted Christ but would mean they are simply getting thoughts of doubt. If I can’t talk about it then it won’t go away by itself so please bear with me in asking the questions.

    To be honest, I am just wanting to simplify this as much as possible. I have told myself that the end to the whole question on ALL these concerns, including REV 22:18-19, is that a person who comes to Christ and believes on Him alone COULD NOT BE A REPROBATE nor have committed REV 22:18-19 for the simple fact that God’s Word says in John 3:16 “whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” and in John 6:37 Jesus says “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

    From what I understand of just those two passages alone, Jesus says if you believe on Him, your are saved. If you come to Him, He won’t cast you out, meaning you are eternally secure and also meaning that if you want to come to Him, He won’t turn you away, He will receive you.

    From what I can see, simply standing on these two scriptures alone (plus the other hundreds of promises in God’s word) should be enough for me to tell myself, I may not understand Rev 22 (and believe me, there are MANY interpretations of this verse even amongst free grace believers) but whether or not I can come to understand it or not I can hold onto the promise of God for salvation. Jesus said if you believe in Him, you saved – Period. He says if you come to Him, He won’t cast you out – Period. I think that’s the only way out of doubt for me and I think it is sound Biblically, that I just gotta believe the simple, clear statements and promises of God and not worry about getting all confused with the stuff that is not so clear. Would you agree?

  428. Hi Daniel,

    Don’t worry, most of us here enjoy relevant theological ideas and questions.
    I have no problem if you need to ask questions. From what I know of Jack and Bruce, they do not either. You are right in that it can take time to properly build the foundation of scriptural knowledge and principles that will help you keep your feelings and doubts in check when they do arise. That kind of thing can happen for all believers. Even those of us who have strong assurance can have moments of doubt at times for various reasons. It is just that you eventually train yourself with the Word. It looks to me that you are doing just that. John 6:37 is a great verse.

    I basically see those referenced in that passage in Rev 22 as those unbelievers that specifically taught error concerning God’s Word. They never became believers, NOT because they didn’t have the chance to believe the gospel but because they CHOSE not to.

    Think of the testimony of the apostle Paul. Look at I Cor 15:1 through verse 11 and take special notice of verse 9. Also notice Gal 1:13-16 Paul even violently persecuted the church of God while part of the Jewish religion. He wasn’t teaching the truth of God’s Word. Yet, he was later saved. Gal 1:23 says

    We should remember that there is no sin that an unbeliever can commit, short of something that causes their own physical death, that can cancel their ability to ever believe the gospel.

    Gal 1:23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.

    This should be great encouragement to us in that if we take the gospel to the lost then we can know that it can be believed and the people can indeed be saved. There is no sub-class group of unbelievers that are unable to be saved. Granted, the circumstances surrounding Paul’s conversion experience are not to be expected as a norm, but it is the same God that saves us by His grace through faith.

    When I was in college we would take trips to prisons and witness to the inmates and hold church services. I was required of us male students to go once a twice before graduating. Some even made extension ministries out of it and formed groups that regularly went to hold services for converts in some of these places. I’ll never forget going one time and looking some of these guys in the face and sharing the gospel. Some were Muslim, part of cults that I had not heard of etc, or just plain hardened criminals but I knew I had a message that could help should they have chosen to believe it. Some there already had believed and were serving their time taking opportunities to grow in the Word and share the gospel with others from within.

  429. Daniel,

    Btw, I just came across a message by Pastor Anderson that you had mentioned before. In it he says some things that are quite simply not true. Especially concerning Rev 22 and how he thinks that certain people have no more chance for salvation. He is wrong. This kind of thinking and teaching will not help you with your doubts.

    Jim F

  430. Daniel, I’m also thinking you might be helped by looking up the two words for adding and taking away, both by force is included, but go look for yourself. I think it’s possible you’re listening to some legalism, a KJVO’er who teaches you that the KJV is the preserved Word of God vs. the original languages, is going to be teaching you an awful lot more things that are skewed. Praying you’ll get away from some of this. If you are in Phoenix, you might consider going to see Fred Chay, he teaches on Sunday at the chapel building 9:30 am, at Scottsdale Bible. You can listen first online if you want. God bless…

  431. Holly,

    Thanks for the good advice for Daniel. The more distance he can put between himself and that preacher, the better.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  432. Thanks Jim, John, Jack and Holly for your responses also for those who put up a prayer,
    I have decided not to even give this any more concern. I am secure for the very fact of the many promises in scripture, such as in John 3:16 and a great many others. If God has said that if you believe on Christ then you are saved then Rev 22 does not nullify what God has said.

    Without going into great detail, I understand that the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit was done only in the generation of people that lived when Jesus walked the earth and it was done by people that opposed Him, not by people that had come to believe on Christ alone apart from works for everlasting life. Likewise, reprobates “resist the truth” ( II Timothy 3:8).

    I don’t believe the warning in Rev 22:18-19 is something easy to do. I don’t understand it perfectly but I believe it must be talking about intentionally, maliciously tampering with scripture. I don’t know if the warning is limited to the book of Rev or the whole Bible. Different people have different beliefs on that. In any case, after giving this alot of thought, I actually can’t even think of a time that I actually substituted the word ‘Torah’ for ‘law’ but think that I “may have done it” but thinking about how I used to be, I actually don’t even think I even did that. Even so, when I looked in the Hebrew NT (I can read a little Hebrew from when I was Barmitzvah’d and learning as a boy) I looked up a few passages in Romans where the word ‘law’ is used and the word in that Hebrew translations is actually the word Torah, so it seems to be a good choice of words anyway if one was going to translate the word ‘law’ for a Jewish audience.

    In any case, I don’t think translating words is what Rev 22 is talking about (unless you are talking about tampering with the Word which I personally believe the translators of many new Bibles such as the NIV ARE guilty of). I don’t think the passage is talking about paraphrasing when in conversation (either through text or speech) nor is it talking about quoting half a verse, dropping a word by a slip of the toungue or even making up scriptures jokingly or to make a point (preachers often quote a scripture purposely with a wrong word before reading it correctly to make a point).

    I personally do believe that as with reprobates, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and taking the mark of the beast, committing this sin in Rev 22:18-19 is a sin that seals the fate of someone so much so that they can’t be saved and WON’T come to a point of faith in Christ. Thats pretty much what Anderson teaches, as do many others. In any case, I also realise that there are many people that believe that Rev 22:18-19 is only concerned with rewards not salvation. That said, because of the worry it caused, I don’t want to try and do any translation from one language to the next without at least putting brackets and italics, which is what I probably would have done if I even did it at all in the first place.

    However, Anderson, as a KJVer that believes the KJV is inspired and preserved and infallible he may take his interpretation a little too far. Listening to him at times I have wondered if the KJV is inspiried and perfect but at the moment still believe it is not perfect as a translation, not inspired, but uses perfect manuscripts.

  433. Just to confirm also, I had a quick listen the other night to a sermon Steven Anderson preached on Rev 22. Anderson did not say that someone who commits the sin in Rev 22:18-19 won’t come to faith but that’s how I understood what he said. He did say that it’s talking about people that tamper with scripture (as with say the NIV translators) and said they sealed their fate to hell. I understand Anderson has some errors and I can’t tell you what they are, he can also be harsh and over the top and unloving in his speech at times but regarding salvation he is very sound. I also think his teaching on end times is the best I have heard but that’s just my opinion. I won’t boycott him but will listen to more of Cuccuzza and I think he is all round very sound. When I showed my wife Anderson’s sermons she says he is abrupt and arrogant. When she heard Cuccuzza she though he was good to listen to. Anyway, just want to let you guys know I am choosing to stand on the promises of scripture in the simple and clear statements of salvation such as John 3:16, John 5:24 etc. I can’t say that there is no fear in my soul, I even think to myself that ‘maybe I have not believed perfectly or maybe I have an iota of trust in self still because of my, at times anxiety, etc etc” my mind is very analytical and introspective, my worst enemy at times, but as far as I can tell, I am trusting in Christ alone and will hold onto the promises of scripture that say that because I have believed on Christ alone and believed the record that God gave of His Son, I have eternal life which can never end or be taken away.

  434. Daniel, we are to prove all things, test the spirits, search the Scriptures to see if these things are so. It’s funny, I see sound Bible verse passages that are being passed around by Hebrew Roots Movements (Torah keepers) and I see good sound Christian music being passed around by “prophetic seers”, like Satan, they do not mind using truth to deceive, or the Word of God to mislead.

    Steven Anderson may seem to get the pre-trib rapture right, he may seem to get the gospel of grace right, but all he preaches is no repentance gospel, (change of mind) vs. teaching the correct definition of repentance, based on his own hyper/ultra dispensational position. This sets up the true gospel of grace to be maligned by his hate filled quotes and unsound speech.

    He teaches KJVO which means that the King James Bible is the inspired Word of God. He might teach pre-trib, and might call himself Baptist, but plenty of what he teaches needs marked and avoided. His wife is not seemly in speech at all for a Christian woman, her page full of mockery and hate. He curses at times, and says many foolish things.

    I hope you will forgive my boldness, but if you listen to someone you know is in error, and hates others, and you do not mark and avoid them yourself, then you set yourself up to be deceived.

    Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
    For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. 2 John 1:9-11

    Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
    For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
    Romans 16:17-18

  435. Holly,

    I believe that Anderson teaches against the pre-trib rapture. He likens the pre-trib rapture as that of a fairy tale.

    Daniel,

    Be wary of those who claim that the KJV itself is inspired. It is actually a translation into English of the original inspired texts. If I come across a person that has one or two things that seem sound but a multitude of problems then I stay clear. Anderson’s theological errors are numerous and some are very troublesome. That is even before you consider any of his hate speech.

    Also, please don’t feel like we are coming down on you or anything. I realize that much of the Christian walk and process of sanctification takes time. I’d just hate to see you tripped up by someone like Anderson. I do believe you are learning some discernment. Just keep leaning on the Bible itself and it’s truth and not so much on men. Validate what men say through scripture always including those of us here who frequent this site. If what were are saying is worthwhile then it will be proved worthy by God’s Word.

    [Editorial note: thanks to the several contributors who have given strong informed warnings about Pastor Anderson, his strange "doctrines," his hate-speech, etc. The administrators ask that there be no further promotion of his problematic views.]

  436. Thank you Jim for letting me know, I thought it was the other way around, appreciate you informing me. Since I am here in town, we hear from time to time things, also with his associations and so, I know more than I wanted to :) but it makes much more sense he doesn’t believe in pre-trib. Thanks again.

  437. Hi Jim and others,
    I understand that your intention is not to ‘come down on me or anything’ and know that your intention is to be to a guidance and blessing to me. Even if I don’t always agree with everything you may say, it’s good to know that your intention is only good and it’s great to have people around that have this intention to be a blessing.

    Anyway, looking at the editorial note above, I think the editors probably don’t want any further discussion on the subject and I personally am happy to move onto more fruitful discussions. Hoping I am still welcome here to post and discuss things regarding the gospel. God Bless
    Daniel

  438. Hi Daniel,

    You are welcome here for, as you say, “more fruitful discussions and things regarding the gospel.”

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  439. That’s good, anyway, like to steer the conversation back to my last section of the previous post before it went off track. If anyone wants to comment on what I posted that would be great as I think that part of what I said simply got forgotten. It would be great to hear some people feedback on what I said since that was the whole point of my posts. As copied again below:

    Anyway, just want to let you guys know I am choosing to stand on the promises of scripture in the simple and clear statements of salvation such as John 3:16, John 5:24 etc. I can’t say that there is no fear in my soul, I even think to myself that ‘maybe I have not believed perfectly or maybe I have an iota of trust in self still because of my, at times anxiety, etc etc” my mind is very analytical and introspective, my worst enemy at times, but as far as I can tell, I am trusting in Christ alone and will hold onto the promises of scripture that say that because I have believed on Christ alone and believed the record that God gave of His Son, I have eternal life which can never end or be taken away.

  440. Hi again Daniel,

    Dr. Charlie Bing has written extensively on the subject of assurance of the believer. My favorite text on the subject is John 10:27-30. I highly recommend your reading of Dr. Bing’s “GraceNotes” at GraceLife Ministries web site. Several of his articles address the subject of assurance of salvation. Here is one good example:

    http://www.gracelife.org/resources/gracenotes.asp?id=6

  441. Daniel, check out the following on assurance from Clear Gospel Campaign:

    http://www.cleargospel.org/booklet.php?b_id=3&i_id=40&s=2

  442. Daniel, I see some of my own struggles in what you posted; I, too, am an introspective person, prone to anxiety/fear, over-analyzing, and have deeply struggled with salvation assurance.

    Jesus very simply says that those who believe have eternal life. The people in Acts who believed after hearing the Gospel may not have been able to sit down and discern whether their faith was truly 100% perfect or not, but they DID know this… that Jesus died and rose again for their sins.. and they were saved the moment they simply believed in Him, just as Jesus said they would be.

    From what you have written you are pretty much doing what you should be doing; making the CHOICE to stand on the clear and simple promises of God, and studying His Word and growing in His grace.

    Paul has said to not give the devil an opportunity (Eph 4:26, NASB). In context he was talking about anger, but I think it goes for gaining assurance, too. When the little whisper of “Am I really…?” comes up, you have two choices: you can choose to nurture it and let it grow, or starve it by paying attention to God’s straightforward promises instead.

    Anyway, I tend to ramble, but I really hope this is sound and makes sense! I’ve got lots to learn myself. Califgracer and John have given some good links. (Jack and other admins, please feel free to delete my post if it is not sound) I would suggest adding Romans and Galatians to your studies, Daniel; they have helped me grow in the Gospel more and more… and continue to do so!

    I’m keeping you in my prayers.

  443. Welcome to Expreacherman.com, Julie!

    Thanks for your heart-felt comments to Daniel. I trust that he will find them to be helpful.

  444. FryingPan9

    Great to have you with us, Julie.

    I too am (as you described) “an introspective person, prone to anxiety/fear, over-analyzing, and have deeply struggled with salvation assurance.”

    Struggled (PAST tense of course must be emphasized), though the devil does his dirtiest to trip me up.

    I found everything you said quite sound and sensible.

  445. Thanks guys,
    Thanks for the feedback. I read the links, very good.

    Yes, Julie your words of encouragement are very sound and very encouraging! Thank you : )

    And what you said Julie, i honestly know its what I just have to do even though there are many things I may not understand (some problematic passages in 1 John that are hard to understand etc and will still aim to try and understand these things, not only for myself but also for the many whom I have already tried to share the gospel with but want to take the side of LS. I also know that I don’t need to understand everything to stand on the clear promises of God) the gospel is very clear. God has given is so many clear statements that salvation is simply by believing and I just need to stand on a very clear scripture (Such as John 3:16) or scriptures (there are so many clear and simple salvation passages) and not be moved no matter what feelings tell me. And that’s what I am doing! The word of God is true and that settles it.

  446. Hi Everyone
    I see the error of Calvinism. I am not so sure what the problem with the T in TULIP is though. Apparently when Calvinists say that T is for total depravity they don’t mean that man is totally depraved in sin but that we are totally unable to save ourselves. Is that all the T for TULIP means?

  447. Hi Daniel,

    The T of TULIP, to the strict Calvinist, means more negatively than what most people perceive. In a nutshell, it means, to the strict Calvinist, “Total Inability,” or the complete inability of a man or woman to respond to God in ANY way! Calvinists often use the improper example of a cadaver. They say, “Just as a cadaver is completely unresponsive, so a man, dead in his sins, cannot respond to God in any way.” So, salvation must basically be thrust upon the individual (even if it’s against his will), because, to the strict Calvinist, a person has absolutely no ability to respond to the wooing of the Spirit in belief in Christ to be saved, IN SPITE of the many Scriptures which call a person to believe (Acts 16:30-31; John 3:16; John 7:38; John 10:9; John 11:25, et. al.).

  448. Daniel,

    Bruce’s answer is excellent.

    Additionally:
    The “T” and all the rest of the acronym ULIP must stand together for the doctrinaire Calvinist. It goes back to their catch-phrase, “Sovereignty of God,” invented by Reformed/Calvinist teachers and means to them that God is “sovereign” over all mankind. (BTW neither “sovereign or sovereignty” appear in the KJV Bible). Thus in spite of the “total depravity/inability” of man to make a decision, God, in His “sovereign will” has chosen some (from the foundation of the world) in spite of their “depravity” to have eternal life and consequently leaving all others to go to hell. But Calvinists must then go to the “P” and “Persevere” to the end to be saved. The TULIP is all tied together.

    “True” Calvinism, which includes all letters of the TULIP, is a diabolical doctrine because, as Bruce says, man has no choice to believe or refuse to believe, in spite of many, many verses in the Bible plainly reading to the contrary.

    A 5 point Calvinist is one who believes all five point definitions of the TULIP. And, not surprisingly, some folks say that they are a 1, 2, 3 or 4 point Calvinist, believing only that number of TULIP points. Even that defies Biblical logic, so often some Calvinists or wannabes alter the meanings of the acronym TULIP..

    A Free Grace believer who knows God’s Word, understands Free Grace and is aware of the lie of Calvinism will reject all five false points as being totally un-Biblical.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  449. FryingPan9

    Daniel, one thing Calvinists and others (like some Lutherans who also) accept the idea that because man is “dead in trespasses and sins” he is therefore “like a corpse, unable to respond,” are unable to explain, is how therefore said “corpse” is able to sin. They can’t have it both ways. Oh, they have their explanations, but none of their explanations are backed up by scripture. Neither are they logical.

    I would totally discard anything remotely associated with Calvinism, personally. One of the latest excuses I’ve seen for not totally discarding Calvinists like MacArthur and Sproul is that “they know so much about the Bible.” Right . . . so does Satan. Not sure I see their point.

  450. If Jesus lighteth every man that cometh into the world…and the Spirit of the Almighty gave us life, and that we are made in His image, isn’t there some good in every man just due to those facts?

    Cornelius, without knowing God, feared Him and gave many alms to the people, and was a just man of “good report”.

    The Gentiles like the Centurion or the woman with the demon-possessed daughter, before believing, were praised for their great faith. (Is that not good?)

    Someone who leaves an inheritance to their children’s children is called a good man.

    We all have sinned and fallen short of His glory. None of us are good in God’s sight without believing on Him, but that does not mean man is not capable of doing good.

    If you being evil earthly father’s know how to give good gifts…

  451. trust4himonly-Faith

    I am so sorry, just saw your note from way back when about Metaxas and all of the people who are connected together with each other. It’s pretty amazing who you used to think were diametrically opposed, you can see the common denominator (always start to spell it demoninator, probably a better spelling). See you over on FB.

  452. Thanks Bruce, Jack and Frying Pan for your clear and informative answers,

    I see your point Jack, how that the T the U the L and the P is their false system of theology is all connected to each other and rests upon the whole erroneous and absurd idea that God from eternity past chooses some to be saved and others not.

    Basically they are saying because the sinner is (T) totally unable to respond to God that its the unconditional election (U) of God that causes someone to believe on Christ apart from their own will to choose. This false doctrine then goes on to say that because God only chose some people to be saved, Jesus therefore did not die for the whole world but that his atonement was limited (L) to only the world of the elect. Those that were ‘elected’ to salvation would not resist the irresistible grace of God to believe (I) and would persevere in faith and holy living till the very end of their lives (P) because they were elected unconditionally.

    I see how the whole thing ties together.

    Regarding the P in TULIP, I have spoken to a few Calvinists now about the doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints and said to them that it’s not the same as the Biblical doctrine of eternal security because the doctrine of the Perseverence of the saints says that those that are elect will surely continue in faith and holiness till the end of their lives. I said that their P has the emphasis is on the person to persevere in a lifestyle of holiness and faithfulness and requires a focus on works to prove salvation. In contrast, the Biblical doctrine of eternal security has the focus on the perseverance of the Savior to keep the believer secure apart from works. It’s quite different.

    They basically said that their doctrine of the Perseverance of the saints is the same as what I was saying eternal security was and made out like I was not speaking accurately of their position.

    I don’t know if they were ignorant, beating around the bush or being plain dishonest.

  453. Daniel,

    That is a wonderful analysis of the trail of tears of the TULIP. It all ties together in one tangled mess.

    Calvinist’s “Perseverance” is not the same as Biblical Eternal Security.

    You said of Calvinists, “I don’t know if they were ignorant, beating around the bush or being plain dishonest.”

    In my conversations with Calvinists I find it could be either one or a combination of any or all three:

    1.) Ignorance because they have been fed the lie for so long it becomes “second nature.” And they cannot adequately give a contextual, Biblical answer for their positions. Ignorance of Scripture.
    2.) Beat around the bush.. Yes because without a fundamental and basic knowledge of the Truth of Scriptures, they have no choice but “beat around the bush.”
    3.) Dishonest? Yes, primarily for the leaders and preachers of Calvinism. They like the strangle hold they have on those whom they have convinced that they are “the chosen.” That generates fear in the congregation of Calvinists that, by leaving, they may not really “be chosen to be saved.” They need their leadership’s affirmation.

    Thanks for the excellent thoughts.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  454. FryingPan9

    Daniel,

    Just to echo the idea that they can indeed be dishonest, I recently watched a video of the late Dr. Hank Lindstrom who, while not directly addressing Calvinists, nevertheless talked about preachers he knew of who personally admitted to withholding the simplicity of the gospel from his “flock” for fear that they’d used it as license to sin. If some who preach false doctrine are wiling to admit to their underhanded ways, imagine how many of them are capable of being dishonest without even realizing it.

  455. Hi FryingPan,
    I had never heard of Dr. Hank Lindstrom before. I googled him and watched little bits of a sermon by him on youtube and scanned through a few articles on this website below which hosts alot of teaching by this preacher.
    http://www.biblelineministries.org
    Like I said, I did not do an extensive research on this preacher or website but what i did see seems be be very sound. Yourself, fellow posters and moderators here at expreacherman.com may be able to advise further as to wether Dr. Hank Lindstrom and the above website is a recommended source of Bible teaching.

    I am hoping to expand my access to free grace teaching, particularly on topical sermons and specific articles that address various topics. So far i have found teaching from Northland Church, Grace Life and Clear Gospel to be excellent but am seeking greater variety and more exhaustive list of topical teaching.

  456. Daniel,

    Hank Lindstrom was a great friend of mine and a great preacher. He, like I, graduated from Florida Bible College and received his Doctorate there.

    He is known for solid Bible doctrine. I have never heard anything about him from reputable sources to the contrary. He had a Bible College at his church and invited me to speak at a commencement service. I was honored to do so.

    Dr. Yankee Arnold who worked for me while he attended Florida Bible College was invited to take over the church and college ministry at Lindstrom’s church, Calvary Community Church a couple of years ago. His sermons stream live on Sundays, I believe — but since you are in Australia, you will have to compensate for the time difference.Link to his web site: http://www.yankeearnold.com/

    Do an Internet search for “Dr. Yankee Arnold” and you will find many great YouTube sermons by Yankee. Before I attended Bible College, Yankee was the one primary influence to inspire me and showed me how to witness to my business customers.

    Listen to Yankee and if you hear any error, (not likely) let me know — and if it is error, I will question him about it. We talk periodically by phone.

    But like all Bible preachers and teachers, ALWAYS compare what we say in scriptural context with God’s Word.

    I know nothing about that BibleLine web site.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  457. Cheers Jack,
    I will check out the http://www.yankeearnold.com/ ‎ website for teaching also. That’s another site I can now refer to for some solid teaching. Im also glad to hear you say that Hank Lindstrom was a great Bible preacher cause there is also heaps of sermons he preached on youtube.

  458. Jack, yesterday I came across this by Ray Comfort from his ‘bible’. I guess he has joined the ranks of MacArthur in having a Bible named after him? As typical they use this passage instead of warning about false teachers, to fruit inspect “professing Christians”.

    (From page 1197, 2003 Bridge-Logos Publishers) of THE EVIDENCE BIBLE, regarding Matthew 7:22-23

    Ray Comfort says:
    “These are perhaps the most frightening verses in the Bible. Vast multitudes of professing Christians fit into the category spoken of here. They call Jesus ‘Lord,’ but they practice lawlessness. They profess faith in Jesus, but have no regard for the divine law. They tell ‘fibs’ or ‘white’ lies, take things that belong to others, have a roaming eye for the opposite sex, etc. They are liars, thieves, and adulterers at heart, who will be cast from the gates of heaven into the jaws of hell.”

    I always wonder what they are speaking of, do they not think on themselves? Do they think they are without sin? Is it just having a “regard” for the “divine law” or having enough regard, or perfect regard?

    Or is it that they always remember to ask for forgiveness? What are they thinking?…

  459. Holly, I have no idea what people like Ray Comfort are thinking but I can tell you that nonsense like those pulled quotes you shared above are EXACTLY the kind of thing I heard Ray Comfort say on his Way of the Master show somewhere around 6 or 7 years ago when I didn’t know any better and fell right into his trap, becoming intensely confused and worried.

    Of course, based on comments from other former victims or LS teaching that I’ve read on this blog, I was “one of the lucky ones.”

    It really is stirring up a lot of feelings having read that just now. Not warm fuzzies, let me tell you. I’m REALLY looking forward to reading more comments on this and feel more satisfied than ever that I ditched The Berean Call and cancelled my newsletter subscription recently.

  460. Holly,

    Thanks for this additional info on Ray Comfort. Interesting thing about Comfort, he talks about “white lies” but he is engaging in BLACK lies of a Satanic nature. He is preaching deception. There is no other way to put it.

    He and his deceptive compatriot, Kirk Cameron, fit the essence of this verse:

    Romans 10:3
    “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”

    They are sick and need to believe the Gospel of God’s Grace in Jesus Christ alone!!!

    One wonders what Tom McMahon, new honcho at Berean Call (TBC), would say about that? It is a shame to even think this — but McMahon may not see that garbage as an inherent danger to God’s Grace. TBC still regularly posts articles or quotes from radical Calvinists (even this past week).

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  461. Wow, Jack

    Thanks for that Scripture reference! (Romans 10:3) That’s one of the best ones I’ve seen to help understand the agenda behind the LS movement that I’ve ever seen. As soon as I finish my in-depth study of Galatians I think I’ll take on Romans (unless The Lord leads me to do otherwise).

  462. FryingPan,

    I appreciate your comment and we are so happy that you have shed the shackles of the Liars of Lordship Probation.

    We also appreciate your present acute discernment… so often I find the most discerning of believers are those who have come out of the Lie into the Truth of God’s Grace in Jesus.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  463. FryingPan9

    About a year ago, I wrote an article on my blog about Ray Comfort going on Joyce Meyer’s t.v. show (of all people). I don’t remember now exactly what he said, but along the lines of her being a great teacher or preacher…

    If he is a real teacher or truth, why would he associate with a false teacher like her? Or TBN [added ref. removed]. This is spoken of in Hebrews 12 regarding those who are not sons in case someone is concerned I am cursing. :)

    Anyhow, I am thankful for men and women who speak up about error, saves us time in finding out…

    Ray Comfort on the surface does indeed seem comforting with his nice little accent and his unassuming posture, etc. Very friendly… Like a wolf dressed like a sheep….

  464. Jack,

    I have written Berean Call on FB a couple of times and not received an answer on their page, one brushed me off with an off-handed remark, so I just left them alone now, they won’t hear, so they will bear the responsibility. It really is a shame, I watched Dave’s earlier video and thought he was soft on the error of Calvinism, and later in life, one of his last videos, not so soft on Calvinism or Rick Warren as I had seen earlier with Dave.

    But Tom? I don’t know, it’s such a shame. Seems men prefer the approval of man before God, and if they started actually naming names as Romans 16:17-18 tells us too, and if they would AVOID them, (as the same passage instructs), then maybe less people would be led into error. When people have been warned by brethren and theyjust disregard it, I think the blood of the people is on their heads.

    Paul thought it important enough to warn day and night with tears for three years, after he had declared ALL the counsel of God. Seems like these ‘ministry’s’ are picking and choosing what error to expose and what error to let slide. They are not “pure from the blood of all men”, but allowing these grievous wolves in, who will not spare the flock….

  465. Daniel R

    I too have enjoyed both Yankee Arnold and Lindstrom, although I have not listened to many yet, it’s a great start to hear Jack say he believes them to be sound, and also the fact of course, to “prove all things”, another warning Jack is good at :)

  466. FryingPan and Holly,

    Just a couple of quick notes.

    Yes, “prove all things” including anything we say here on ExP, or Yankee Arnold or Hank Lindstron or anyone.

    FYI some may wonder why I still receive emails from Berean Call. Just for this very reason — to prove the errors that I have charged against TBC. It is not hearsay but fact.

    My communication with Berean Call questioning their use of Calvinists was answered with a note which I shared as a PDF file. It is interesting because of the way they justify posting authors with abysmal, erroneous doctrine. TBC has continued to go downhill faster and faster:
    http://www.weaverclan.com/Berean%20answer%20-%20Machen.pdf

    Thanks to all of you.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  467. Wow-wow-wow Jack

    They used Thess 5:21 as a “don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater” type of an answer??? You must do as God leads you (as if there is different revelation then the Bible???

    Berean Call answers you

    “Regarding Gresham Machen, we certainly know his position as a Calvinist. We would suggest, however, that the point of this citation is missed. Further, some of the resources we offer or have offered are authored by Calvinists such as C.H. Spurgeon, John MacArthur, Jay Adams (addressing psychology), Mike Gendron (former Catholic), and William Webster. In each case, these resources were offered in spite of their profession of Calvinism as we prayerfully believed that the material was valuable and edifying. As Paul exhorted the Church, we are to “prove all things, hold fast that which is good”

    So their point is that, as long as they “believe” the material they pick and choose from a false teacher edifies, go ahead and partake with them, and expose your flock to them?

    Wow again, I was flabbergasted to read that letter Jack. Shaking my head in sad amazement…SHAME on Ed at Berean Call…

  468. Holly,

    One of Satan’s emissaries could not have written a more slick and slimy email.

    There is NO excuse for that lame attempt at justifying error.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  469. Wow . . . Ed’s answer to Jack is . . . baffling. Baffling as in, “I think my brain would melt by the time I finally saw the point he’s trying to make.” I think instead I’ll just move on and rejoice in knowing that this is one Berean who, when it comes to people professing to stand for God’s Word, will avoid the very appearance of evil.

  470. Frying Pan and Jack, I agree with you both. We may miss at times with the appearance of evil, but doctrine is so very important, and I just cannot fathom excusing error…

  471. I received salvation by Faith in Jesus 15 years ago and have always believed that one is able to chose or reject Jesus and that once a person has received salvation, it could not be lost again. Never knew really why, because both churches we have been members of ( Nazarenes & Salvation Army ) believe that it is necessary to continue in obedience to remain saved. This has never made much sense to me but nobody has been able to show me irrefutable proof from the Word of God that this is true. Because of this I have been a very conflicted Believer to say the least, but God has begun to show me the Truth of His Grace in recent weeks and the fear and anxiety false teachings have laid on me, is beginning to fall off of me, Praise the Lord. I read every Newsletter from you and everything I am reading now in the Word, is through the lens of His Real Grace and the Word is now a joy to read. Thank you so very much for the work you do to call attention to the many false teachings out there. God bless you

  472. Petra,

    Welcome to ExPreacherMan. We are very happy to have you here and that you read all our posts.

    We are also grateful that, though you made the decision to trust Christ as your Savior in a “works salvation environment,” you fully understand that salvation is NOT of works but only by Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

    Wonderful — we would love to have you return, join in and comment further as you see fit.

    If you have not signed up as a subscriber to receive all posts, please do so when you next comment.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  473. I have never heard of Lordship salvation until a few weeks ago. I’m confused, just what is it? It is my understanding after we are saved by the grace of God through faith, in the Lord Jesus Christ, and truly Born Again, that we turn from our sin. Of coarse we still can sin, but if we truly love God, we don’t want to hurt him. I know if I sin, and I do, he is faithful and just to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. It is my understanding as I read his true word, I grow and develop in him. Thus, he sanctifies me by his word. I will never have it all, nor will I be a perfect pot of clay until I see him. I am a work in progress. I am washed, and cleansed, but still a work in progress. I still get cracked. But Jesus repairs my cracks. :-) I am saved and justified by his blood, and washed by the blood, and the reading of his word. Am I wrong??? Any good works I do, is only because of him and his grace, working in me…Right???

  474. Petra – so great to hear your praise! I praise Him with you.

    So many voices out there standing accusing day and night, by misusing Scripture, they usually start off their diatribes with, “You were never saved if….”

    My favorite is the Pentecostals who have weekly altar calls, and the backsliders come back down and get saved again…. They frequently cite a portion from Heb 6 saying that they crucify the Son of God again, not thinking I guess about the portion that says “it is impossible to renew them again to repentance”…. They must have missed that part, because they get “saved” over and over…

    Digging into His Word, spending time with Him hearing His Words, is the best way to be assured of our salvation, because the more we know His Word, the less likely the enemy can successfully twist it with us.

    Looking forward to getting to know you. In His love, Holly!

  475. Suez,

    Thanks for your serious inquiry. This may help.

    Briefly, Lordship Salvation (LS) teaches that salvation comes from man’s works by several means: Repentance (misinterpreted to mean turning from sin), then keeping certain of man’s rules of behavior which have been incorrectly derived and adapted from the Bible but are, if in context, meant for a believer’s fellowship with each other and the Lord — never salvation.

    This LS teaching makes salvation and the keeping of salvation a matter of works — “turn or burn,” “fruit inspection by other LSers, confession of sin for salvation and confession to keep it. Actually our salvation is given by Jesus Christ when we believe and sealed with God’s Holy Spirit, whose Seal will never be broken. (Ephesians 1:13)

    All of the LS teaching is a lie because the Bible clearly says that Salvation is God’s Gift, not of our works or righteousness.

    Titus 3:5
    Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
    Ephesians 2:8-9
    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

    And then in Ephesians verse 10, He tells us, as BELIEVERS who are created in Christ Jesus, that we SHOULD (not must) walk in good works — not for our salvation but for our fellowship because we are saved .

    LS is a message diametrically opposed to the Gospel of God’s Grace. LS insists on works to be and stay saved.

    Romans 11:6
    And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

    I pray this helps make it clear.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  476. Suez, I am sorry, you and I must have posted very close together, I did not see your comment when I answered Petra. Jack’s answer is more than sufficient I believe, but I know if you having any more questions, there are number of people here who will direct you to the Word to answer. In His love!

  477. Suez, you said:

    “It is my understanding after we are saved by the grace of God through faith, in the Lord Jesus Christ, and truly Born Again, that we turn from our sin.”

    My comment: There are myriad admonitions in the Epistles – written to believers – to encourage, warn, and beseech them to turn from sin. They were written, because turning from sin is not automatic in the life of Christians. Following are some examples:

    Galatians 5:16: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

    1 Peter 2:11: “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;”

    Romans 12:1-2: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

    The belief that someone who is saved WILL (versus should) turn from sin logically extends to looking for evidence of changed behavior for assurance of salvation. This may lead to fruit inspection (of others) or introspection (of ourselves), which are not reliable indicators of salvation.

    Lordship “salvation” takes many forms, some of them extremely subtle. The subtle forms often look to different “barometers” for assurance, rather than trusting in God’s word that salvation is offered freely to anyone who will accept it on God’s terms – by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone.

    You may find the following article on the subject of Lordship “salvation” to be thought-provoking:

    http://expreacherman.com/2012/08/14/you-might-be-a-lordship-salvationist-if/

  478. John,

    Welcome back. We missed you.

    That is an excellent summary of scriptural answers for Suez explaining the wrongs of Lordship “salvation.” Clear, concise and irrefutable.

    Thanks…

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  479. John, I really love your article linked to above. I wouldn’t be surprised if it spawned a sequel at some point. Too bad that’s even a remote likelihood or at least possible.

    I don’t think it can be emphasized too much that a lot of LS REALLY is VERY subtle. The only reason I recognize it even at all is because I have been its target on many occasions (and I’ve invested a lot of hours reading this blog and the Book of Galatians, to give a couple of examples).

  480. John – It is good to see you again, and be reminded of your article, had to chuckle, I think that one got me in a bit of trouble, but if one person sees the pernicious leaven slithering into “mainstream Christianity”, that’s a very good thing. :)

  481. Well to answer you all, I trust in God, and Jesus Christ to save me and keep me. If I have to trust and keep myself, that is scarey. I could never do it. But because of my love for Christ, and not wanting to willfully hurt him, I trust in him to help me live a Godly life. I fall very short, but I know he is the author and finisher of my faith. So in him do I trust, not of myself. All my righteousness is as filthy rags in his sight. But for the blood of Christ and his mercy, I am in hell~~~! I see both scriptures in the bible about keeping ourselves from, ect, and the others that say, He keeps us. So I guess I can see how people get confused. But my above statements in this post, is how I feel. I was Born again, and few short hours later, went home and poured all my booze into the sink. No one told me to, but I just knew I needed to. Not that we were big drinkers, we weren’t. I was saved in Nov. and had the booze leftover from the last New Years eve. To God be the Glory!!

  482. fantastic site keep up the good work in these confusing times we live in.

  483. so can someone tell me should we separate from these baptist churches that teach calvanism. would we go so far as brenda nickel saying that the god of calvanism is a false god and a false gospel. bible says let him be dammed he who teaches a false gospel. so do we separate from the macarthurs even though they have some things right.

  484. i would like some help in anyone directing me to a good bible commentary that is not a calvanists. i have a william macdonald very good. matthew henry and john macarthur are calvanists, can someone direct me to a trustworthy commentary. if we can no longer trust the berean call then we are really down to no more discernment ministry he was the last for me.

  485. Mary,

    Welcome!! We appreciate your interest and comments.

    Good question about commentaries. You certainly diagnosed Matthew Henry and John MacArthur correctly — they are Calvinist. Also one should avoid The Bible Knowledge Commentary because it was written by several “Bible Scholars,” many of whom hold to certain Calvinist teachings; some blatantly misinterpret “repentance” to mean a turning from sins for salvation (which would put them in the Lordship “salvation” camp).

    I am not much of a commentary guy thus I am not very familiar with Wm. McDonald — but some discerning friends say it may be one of the better ones — yet we ourselves must continually be Bereans and search the Word and “prove all things” rather than taking them at face value without question.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  486. Welcome, Mary!

    I wanted to help clarify a matter you mentioned.

    You wrote: “bible says let him be dammed he who teaches a false gospel.”

    I believe the Bible really teaches that their false gospel is damnable and that those who teach a false gospel are “accursed.” It doesn’t mean that someone who teaches a false gospel is necessarily damned because that would allow room for someone who once believed the gospel and got saved and who then later on at some point fell away and began teaching heresy to lose their salvation. Of course we don’t believe that is possible–that one can commit a sin that would forfeit their salvation.

    I will defer to Jack and others to help me make my point as I know my understanding of this is “shaky” only because I was trapped in the confusion of LS teaching till earlier this year, so I’m not exactly much of an authority on this issue.

    Thanks for visiting this blog and for joining in the discussion.

  487. Mary,

    Thanks for your question.

    Yes, Scripture tells believers to separate from error:

    2 Corinthians 6:14-18
    “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? [15] And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? [16] And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [17] Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, [18] And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

    Also beware of Brenda Nickel. I understand that she is anti-Calvinist but she still seems to be attracted to Lordship “salvation” according to the discussion from some of our friends who have corresponded with her. Here is one comment at this link:

    http://www.expreacherman.com/2012/01/13/john-piper-speaks-to-42000-youth-redefining-the-plan-of-salvation/#comment-11221

    Thanks Mary — and maybe others here will see fit to comment on your questions.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  488. Fryingpan9,

    You hit the nail on its proverbial head with your last post referring to Gal.1:6-9. “Accursed” is correct, some translations do more interpreting than translating with that word. A false gospel is certainly accursed, and someone preaching it, whether a confused believer or unsaved person is certainly accursed while doing so, but to say they’re eternally condemned, would be to put them out of the possibility of salvation if saved and as you correctly point out, as losing salvation which is a Biblical impossibility if saved. Thank you for making that so clear! God Bless you all.

  489. Oops, I should have said “…but to say they’re eternally condemned, would be to put them out of the possibility of salvation if UNSAVED and as you correctly point out, as losing salvation which is a Biblical impossibility if saved.”

  490. FryingPan and Mary,

    FryingPan you are not “shaky” but right on target. We have discussed “accursed” in Galatians 8:8-9 frequently.

    Here is a quote from a comment by Bruce (ExP co-administrator) in explaining “accursed” to a questioning reader:

    There is a misunderstanding in the Christian community about Galatians 1:8 and the meaning of the term anathema. The term is mistranslated in some modern Bible versions as “condemned” or “eternally condemned.” The Greek does not say that. The term means “accursed.” So, the mistranslation makes people think that person who teaches a false gospel must by definition be an unbeliever who, by implication, has absolutely no chance whatsoever of being saved or of becoming saved. Galatians 1:8 does not say that!

    Let me give to you a brief scenario which will hopefully clear things up for you:
    Suppose that a young man became a true believer by trusting in Christ Jesus alone by grace alone through faith alone. Some time later, due to his lack of solid grounding in the Bible, the young man fell prey to some false, heretical preaching. Then, the young man began to promote that same false gospel message; he even became a preacher himself, proclaiming that same false teaching. Now, would these actions cause the man to forfeit his salvation? Not at all, because eternal life is by definition ETERNAL; it can never be lost (John 10:27-30; Romans 8:38-39). So how would the curse of Galatians 1:8 affect him? It wouldn’t remove his saved standing with God, but it sure could bring down a curse upon his life, his ministry, and upon anyone else whom he has led astray. And, his false teaching would remove potential rewards at the future judgment for believers (2 Corinthians 5:10—this is a judgment for believers for rewards, NOT for salvation). So, I would say that Paul’s warning in Galatians 1:8 is strong and clear, nothing with which to trifle. [And does not impact one's eternal salvation in Jesus Christ alone].

    There is another post on this subject at Expreacherman.com:

    http://www.expreacherman.com/2012/02/11/accursed-or-innocent-lordship-salvation-teachers/

    Mary, I pray this helps you understand.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  491. Those are very helpful comments regarding Galatians 1:8. I agree we must separate from anyone who doesn’t abide in the doctrine of Christ, some take to mean separation from the world, I don’t agree as per 1 Cor 5, we can’t go out of the world, and of course, the world, the lost, is who we share the gospel with.

    Maybe someone else could clarify if 2 John 1:7-11 speaks about those professing to be believers or ecumenism or being on Glenn Beck’s show, I’m not quite sure, but for me, it means I don’t share a platform or recommend anyone who isn’t preaching the same gospel, and since MacArthur does not, how could I trust anything else he says?

    As well as over the years MacArthur vacillates on many things. He used to not be Lordship, now he is the king of Lordship doctrine. He didn’t used to believe in the efficacy of the blood of Jesus, now he has backpedaled on that. He denied the eternal Sonship of Jesus previously, yet now changes his story there. He used to be considered a traditional dispensationalist, now he calls himself a leaky dispensationalist. That is so he can take the Sermon on the Mount and say it’s spoken to the church, and then incorporate some of the warnings to false teachers etc., into the gospel, or his gospel should I say….If you can’t trust their gospel, if they have that wrong, you cannot trust anything they say.

    I’d say his teaching is not leaky, but full of holes, so I’d mark and avoid John MacArthur.

  492. Someone told me to watch him. I watched for about 5 min. I got red flags in my spirit and shut him off. Never watched him since…:-) I didn’t know why, but maybe this is why.

  493. Suez, Praise God… So many ignore that warning, and don’t “prove all things”…

    I got the same the first time I saw him and also shut him off. People were still trying to convince me and over time I thought, “maybe I haven’t judged rightly, I just judged by feeling, not by content”…. Well, it is better to judge by content against God’s Word, so I have found problems that I certainly would not want anyone I love being exposed to, so I would warn anyone about him.

    I am just as sure others would wonder, “who is she”? And rightly so. All should test the spirits, and hold up to test any doctrine that they are taking teaching from.

  494. John Bernard

    I ran across the Bereans some time ago and got into a discussion about “the necessity to remain sin free” with the Pastor, whose name now escapes me. After a lengthy conversation and some intense “badgering” he finally stated that he and his flock (and I assume he was speaking for the whole movement), do-not-sin; not that they are sin less, but that they simply live sin free lives. He further stated that anyone who does not, is either not saved or in danger of being lost. It is astounding that any person can truly believe they never sin. If you believe that, you have apparently chosen to ignore or redefine sin which then suggests your self-reflection is faulty and your confession and opportunity to repent, nonexistent.

    This, conversation took place about 6 years ago, by the way.

  495. Welcome John!

    Thanks for joining us today. I have not heard anyone else report that the website “Berean Call” promotes “sinless perfectionism.” Could it have been another group called “Bereans?” Perhaps some of our readers have more information about the movement which you mention. I know that there are several groups out there who identify themselves as “Bereans.”

  496. Here is a link to the site and I presume, the same Pastor I had spoken to – at length; http://www.theberean.org/

    [ed. note: the site mentioned is different than "The Berean Call." Expreacherman.com does not endorse either site.]

  497. I just researched this again; the Pastor’ name is John W. Ritenbaugh. I actually did a little research on the “Church of the Great God” following that troubling exchange and found out they have a rather checkered history especially with its founder.

    My typical strategy in these instances is to adopt a tried and true strategy which is Maneuver Warfare; If the obstacle in the path is preventing me from achieving my goal/mission, I have two choices, destroy the target or simply go around it. In these kinds of issues, I choose the latter. You can’t win arguments or gain any truly valuable knowledge from folks who have established pre-suppositional positions largely from 1 generational deep thinkers who have then established rhetorical and “Scriptural” arguments which are forced to conform to those pre-suppostions.

    I was introduced to the predestination/preselection/destiny/fatalism positions some 6-7 years ago and have studied Church history extensively including the originator of the argument (Augustine). I am now convinced of several things, not the least of which is Augustine was not trying to teach this position but rather using his definition of Omnisicence in his ongoing debate with Pelagius.

    Even the Catholic church of whom Augustine was a member, has been unflinching in its position that Augustine didn’t teach or negate Free Will teachings. I am comfortable with this stand for two reasons; first, the Catholic church elevated him to Sainthood rather than excommunicating him and second, members of the Catholic church had conversations with him over this contentious subject (and it was contentious when he floated it). The same cannot be said of Calvin or Luther (an Augustinian Monk) or anyone who has followed since.

    In addition, there isn’t any complete agreement within the “Calvinist” camp about the totality of Calvin’s unabashed rehashing of Augustine’s debates as doctrine. There are 1,2,3,4,5 point Calvinists and those who say those who deny the teachings, are lost to those who try to soften the teaching with an evangelical “love” for the poor confused Christians who deny the teaching.

    Of course the Catholic church, which holds a synergism view of predestination and free will says all of us are likely headed for hell for essentially, denying the Catholic church…you get where I’m going with this.

    Point being; I studied this without a filter, not having an iron in the fire. I do not feel the necessity to defend former teachings or ideologies and I have absolutely no heroes in the Church – past or present; all men have sinned and all men find themselves led and often, not as much by the word of God as “translations” of men.

  498. There is more than one “Berean” site to avoid, John W. Ritenbaugh is part of the original Worldwide Church of God, which was Herbert Armstrong, and then his son I believer, Garner Ted Armstrong. (my cousins used to attend years ago).

    They are legalists into law keeping of course, Sabbath keepers, warn of pagan holidays, and they say they are the only true church. They are now called, Church of the Great God. They also are ‘bibletools.org’ and have their commentary at the bottom of Bible verses. (Forerunner commentary), so warning on all those sites.

  499. Holly,

    VERY interesting.. A couple more “churches” and movements about which to warn our readers.

    Odd, because I recall way back in the late 50s and early 60s, before I trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior, I was involved in Conservative politics — and many unsaved (I assume now) fellow Patriots subscribed to Armstrongs “philosophy” for political reasons. Weird!!!

    Thanks Holly,

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  500. John Bernard

    To both of you; thanks for the reply. The conversation I had with Ritenbaugh with related research was eye opening. It is amazing how one set of letters can generate so much controversy.

  501. John, Oddly your second post wasn’t there, or I didn’t see it, I apologize, you had the info, I had just seen the link. I see you are very well-informed :) God bless you all!

  502. OK, folks I need some help. I am in a discussion with a couple guys on NTEB. One guy says to me::::”””Sue What does it take to be born again, is it not to repent of your sins and Believe with all you heart that Jesus is the Son of God and Follow Him? That would qualify as being saved, I believe.
    So say something happens, Let’s say a young man believes in Jesus and was living his life the best he could for Christ. So let’s say that man went to college and the professors taught evolution and that made sense to that young man and He stopped believing, would he still be saved, if he was no longer a believer? I have seen this very thing happen so I’m asking you, what you think?”” So how do I answer him? I need someone smarter than me to answer. To me, Jesus would lead him back if he were truly his at one time. But then he will say, what if he would die this way, would he be saved??? HELP!!!

  503. Hello again Suez,

    Let’s address the initial statements first. The “guys” you are listening to have gotten the Biblical gospel wrong. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, Ephesians 2:8-9. Acts 16:31 says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (we must believe that he died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, was buried and that he rose again on the third day, according to the Scriptures, his resurrection being evidenced by the multitudes (the gospel, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8). The other things that you mention from the other site—repenting of your sins and following him—are not part of the saving gospel. These are add-ons by those who want to incorporate human works into the salvation message. Grace and works never mix! (Romans 3:24, 4:5-6, 11:6 “And if by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace; otherwise work is no more work.”

    Now to your second point, so if a person is a true believer in Christ Jesus, i.e., he has placed his complete trust in Christ Jesus alone for his salvation, as described above, then he can never NOT be a believer (put another way, he can never become an unbeliever). Eternal life is eternal, everlasting, never ending. John 10:27-30 and Romans 8:38-39 declare boldly that once we are true believers in Christ Jesus alone, he will never let go of us; our eternal life is secure! Yes, sadly, it is possible for a true believer in Christ to be swayed by erroneous unbiblical teachings, especially if that person is not well-grounded in the Bible. I know a woman who trusted Christ alone for her salvation as a child; later, her father took the family into Mormonism. For many years she thought that the Mormon Church was the true church. Decades later, through reading the Bible on her own, the Lord led her out of Mormonism and back into fellowship in a Bible-believing Christian church. What if she had not come out of the grip of Mormonism; would she still be saved? Yes, because, once she trusted in Christ Jesus alone for her salvation, she could never lose it.

  504. Excellent answer Bruce, so good to read sound answers.

    We are only His because we have trusted that He is our Savior. Because of what Christ did, I will be with Him in eternity.

  505. Thanks much Holly!

    The Gospel is so straightforward, so uncomplicated, so clear. Why do so many people want to mess it up?

  506. Bruce, I ask myself the same question, but I guess the motives don’t matter. For so long I tried to figure out and explain why. I surmised it was because they saw a lot of carnal believers. But the solution is to commend them to His Word of grace, exhort them daily with it, so they will be sanctified and will be built up in it, growing in grace. But their solution is corrupt minds from the simplicity that is in Christ, whether they do it wittingly or unwittingly, they are changing the gospel, and if they are believers, it is the reason why they are not seeing any harvest. They are planting the wrong seed. They are watering with poison.

    If they truly think people are unsaved (assuming they are saved and just deceived), then I tell them, there is only one solution. And it is not to take over the position of Junior Accuser of the Brethren. The only solution is to then preach the gospel. And there are two things going on, either they are not saved themselves. Or they no longer believe in the gospel being the power of God unto salvation.

    At least those are my thoughts.

  507. I came across the following quote from Ron Shea, which is a warning to each of us to guard against deception:

    “We all seek approval and validation. And it is a stark warning to each of us. Each of us is torn by a myriad of emotions. And to us, many of these emotions are invisible and unseen by us . . . because we are in the middle of them. They can taint our view of reality. Whether it is the pain of recognizing that someone we loved is probably in Hell, or the need for validation, or any other emotional motive, Satan stands ready to seduce each of us from the purity of the gospel, one inch at a time.

    This Crossless Gospel is not the only heresy we will see in our lifetime. Throughout our lives, each of us will be target by the enemy. And he will seek to sift each of us like wheat in a moment when we are weak. A moment when we deeply need an income to support our family, and a church or teaching job comes available, but at a cost. A moment when our dignity as a theologian has been abased, and we covet the validation of another. A moment when we have been rejected, and covet the love and acceptance of someone we can see and hear and touch.

    Stand strong my brethren. The battle is not behind us. It is in front of each of us. And we do not know where the ambush for us has been set.”

  508. Thanks, John. I just found your comment in my email and I can’t tell you how much it ministered to me in that it’s apropos of a conversation my wife and I were just having. Suffice to say we talked about avoiding the very appearance of evil . . .

  509. A couple of things I wanted to share more about Ray Comfort’s video.

    One, I was on Caryl Matriciana’s site, the one with Brenda Nickel berating a man named Eddy regarding his questioning her on promoting Mark Cahill and his book’s definition of repentance which she agreed with. Here is part of what she said:
    If repentance isn’t works, then what is it? According to the Bible, which Mark Cahill takes his teachings from, repentance is surrender to God and turning from sin, “And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost..& and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess 1:6,9). Repentance is a forsaking of sin to present the body, soul and spirit as a living sacrifice to Christ for the furtherance of His kingdom (Ro 12:1).

    We need to get our terms straight. Repentance is a full turning to God by faith that is willing to turn from sin, albeit imperfectly. Lordship salvation insinuates a person can’t know they’re saved until they provide a lifetime of proof through obedience. END QUOTE:

    And how Brenda mischaracterizes others who do not believe as she does.
    “Free grace” requires no repentance for salvation and in some cases, no concrete information about the gospel for salvation.

    (On the contrary Brenda, someone who truly believes that grace is free, is very careful to present the clear gospel)

    The reason for bringing it up, was that the advertisement on the side (I took a screen shot) was sadly an icon of Dave Hunt, with an linked advertisement to his site for “Genius” the movie by Ray Comfort….

    Secondly, I received a mailer today, for an advertisement for “The Way of the Master for children”…teaching them how to keep and memorize the 10 commandments.

  510. Thank you, Holly.

    I uh . . . I can’t quite agree 100% with this part of what you wrote:

    “Repentance is a full turning to God by faith that is willing to turn from sin, albeit imperfectly.”

    Doesn’t that leave room for someone who doesn’t understand the true meaning of repentance (a change of mind about how to get saved) to be confused?

    You know I’m not trying to box you in (at least I assume as much). I think I understand what you’re trying to communicate, but could you clarify that a little? I’m concerned that it can be inferred that you’re saying that turning to God AND a willingness to turn from sin is necessarily intrinsic to repentance.

    I apologize if I’m over thinking it, but after more than 2 decades of being susceptible to false doctrine and a misunderstanding about repentance and eternal security, I’m perhaps overly sensitive to things that even remotely smack of hinting at adding anything to the gospel above and beyond hearing it, understanding it, and believing it by trusting in Christ alone for one’s salvation.

    On a “side” note, and I don’t think this is getting too off track because it DOES involve Ray Comfort, can someone elaborate on the differences between what Ray Comfort teaches about the 10 Commandments vs what is that of free grace thinkers today? For example, the first time I remember ever having a “red flag” go up re Ray Comfort was around 7 years ago when on one of his Way of the Master programs he mentioned “obeying the 10 commandments” and he mentioned “keeping the Sabbath” as one of them. I was not “equipped” at the time to deal with it, but it was hard to not infer that he taught that if someone doesn’t keep the Sabbath, it’s not only a sin, but that they’re not saved. It just made me confused and uncomfortable, but I was ill-equipped to answer it from the Bible and I must confess with everything else I’ve been studying these many years, I’m still a bit uninformed when it comes to the Sabbath. I’m not TOTALLY in the dark of course. But what I’m saying is I’m not prepared to give an answer to someone who might confront me with an understanding of it akin to that of Ray Comfort’s.

    Thank you.

  511. Fryingpan, I don’t presume to speak for Holly, but I think the comment with which you disagree was a quote that Holly attributed to Caryl Matriciana’s site.

    I think Holly would disagree with that quote as well. I think she included it in her post to warn others to stay away from this kind of teaching.

    I will let others weigh in on your question about the ten commandments. Clear Gospel Campaign has this to say regarding keeping God’s laws:

    “The issue is not that it is wrong to obey God’s laws, but that it is wrong to obey them for the purpose of securing eternal life. When one’s motivation to keep God’s laws is to gain, secure or insure eternal life, he is ultimately denying that Christ alone is his savior. When someone seeks to assist in his own salvation, he dishonors God. Obeying the laws of God is a good thing as long as one’s purpose is not to supplant God as one’s Savior!”

  512. Thank you, John.

    I may have not been distinguishing between quotes and Holly’s commentary as carefully as I could have. I will reread it carefully.

    I hope I didn’t insult anyone’s intelligence . . .