True or False: A Person Who Believes In Jesus For Salvation WILL Have A Change Of Behavior

By Jack Weaver and our fellow Administrator, John.

 In a recent Internet conversation with a gentleman, he insisted that a person who believes in Christ WILL have a change of behavior.

He insisted that a believer, being indwelt “with the Holy Spirit in their life, there WILL be change.” [our Caps emphasis]

Too often folks look to changes they have experienced as a validation of their salvation. Let’s not get bogged down in “experiences” of change, but look to Bible doctrine. Experience will beg the question, “How much change would satisfy God”?

By saying “there WILL be change” in a believers life, this gentleman seems to be discounting the fact that any believer in Jesus Christ still has a human will which can be motivated by his personal choice to disobey (or obey) the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

Every Christian, upon the first moment of believing, is instantly indwelt, sealed and regenerated by God’s Holy Spirit (simultaneous events – Ephesians 1:13). Believers do not become robots by faith, but have the choice to obey or disobey the promptings of the indwelling Holy Spirit. That is why believers are told: “Quench [extinguish] not the Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19).

Most churches to whom Paul wrote had some (often many) believers (addressed as Brothers in Christ, or brethren) who CHOSE not to change and CHOSE to be disobedient, thus quenching the Holy Spirit:

1 Corinthians 3:1-3:

[1] And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

[2] I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

[3] For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Among the believers in Corinth there were contentions and strife, they were puffed up, there was fornication with one’s own father’s wife, covetousness, idolaters, etc. (1 Corinthians 5)

Believers were constantly admonished by the Apostles to “walk in the Spirit”, “be filled [controlled] with the Spirit”, “walk in good works”, “put on the new man”, and “put on the whole armour of God”.   They were guilty of such despicable behavior that Paul found it necessary to instruct them in how to behave – it was not automatic simply by virtue of them being believers in Jesus.

Thus we see in Scripture that behavioral change is NOT automatic upon belief.

To say that believers WILL change (behavior) means that good works must accompany faith in Christ.  And, if good works must accompany faith in Christ, than good works would be required for someone to go to heaven.

The Bible does not teach that works are required as a condition for receiving eternal life, nor does the Bible teach that good works will accompany faith in Christ.  The Bible teaches that salvation is received by grace, through faith in Christ.

 Ephesians 2:8-10:

[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

[9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

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

 It is obvious that God wants our behavior to change once we are saved (Romans 6:4).  Of course God wants us to do good works.   Tom Cucuzza explained this concept in part 1 of his sermon series on the book of James:

 “Grace.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.   Not “must” – that would be works.  Not “will” – that would be Calvinism.  No, it’s should.  We should.”

 We see this concept repeated throughout scripture, as believers are exhorted, admonished, and beseeched to live their lives in a way befitting their identity in Christ.  Please note the following examples, all of which are instructions to believers – not to be saved, to keep saved, or to prove they are saved, but because they are saved:

 Romans 12:1-2:

[1] 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.

[2] 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.

 Titus 3:8:

This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

 1 Peter 2:11-12:

[11] Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

[12] Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

 Galatians 5:16

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

 Hebrews 13:22

And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.

 James 4:7-8:

[7] Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

[8] Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

 The notion that a believer’s behavior will change is nothing more than the false teaching of perseverance of the saints – the “P” in the Calvinist TULIP. Calvinists proclaim that a believer willpersevere to the end” or he will not be saved. OR, because he does not persevere to the end, he is not really saved to begin with. That is terrible teaching.

And of course, these teachings are the very essence of Calvinism and Lordship “salvation” which represent NO salvation at all.

Questions to ponder:

1. Could one say that without good works a person cannot be or stay saved? NO!! Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us

2. Does God look at our good works to determine the validity of our faith, our righteousness in Jesus? NO!!! Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

3. How many good works could it possibly take to satisfy God and justify one before God? NONE !! Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

4. Who dictates to a believer which good works are good enough to justify one before God? NO ONE: 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.

5. Can a person trust Jesus Christ alone as his Savior, be excited, do “good works” for a week or two and then do nothing more until he dies — and still have eternal life? YES, Jesus said: John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.   (Please note that NOWHERE in the Bible does it say that one can walk away from his salvation, and thus lose it.)

6. Are there any circumstances whereby a believer in Jesus Christ can lose or forfeit God’s Gift of Eternal Life? NO!! Jesus said: John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

True, Simple, Easy Eternal Life For Anyone << Click

406 responses to “True or False: A Person Who Believes In Jesus For Salvation WILL Have A Change Of Behavior

  1. I marvel at those who are so quickly removed from Him, who called us into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel …. (pp of Gal 1)

    Somehow, these proponents continue to take a few verses spoken some regarding fellowship, some regarding lack of remorse over heinous sins, some regarding the church repeatedly ignoring rebukes from the apostles regarding their behavior, but always, they will take a few isolated verses, make their point, without I guess any real desire to find out what the Word really says,, or to even identify if how they are interpreting one passage conflicts with another… The Word of God does not contradict itself, so where there are seeming contradictions a person should make an honest attempt to study to show themselves approved unto God. No works is no works. If someone is not believing on Christ, and says so, and says they never truly did, then of course, we cannot say they are saved. If someone says they have heard and believed the gospel, then regardless of their current condition, they are still a son, they have not returned back to a servant.

    There is no earning the sonship, it is a gift, a promise from God, made to the Seed through which the promise would come (Gal 3) and so He will fulfill the promise of salvation IN HIM (Christ), and when we believe IN HIM, He becomes our righteousness. Where do we see His righteousness removed, or someone un-born again, or passed from life back into death, or conveyed from the Kingdom of the Son of His love back to the god of this age? Where do we see someone unsealed by the Spirit, made an old creation again? It just completely goes against the truth of God’s Word, and it is they who possibly have not believed God’s testimony of His Son (1 John 5:9-13).

    I think it was Dr. Hank Lindstrom or maybe Dr. Yankee Arnold who said, eternal security IS the gospel, and of course if we do not believe we have eternal life, then how have we believed? What did we believe? What did Jesus save us from? And it’s temporary life we are given?

    Weren’t we perfected forever? (Heb 10:14 I believe)…

    Thank you Jack for another timely article. In His love!

  2. Holly,

    Thanks — The simplicity that is in Christ seems elementary to those of us who know and believe the Truth of the Gospel.

    But I feel sorry for so many who have been blinded by the Calvinist and Lordship “salvation” lies of Satan. Where can their Joy possibly be?? Always wondering if they are showing God enough good works to satisfy Him for their salvation.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  3. It is truly sad that people settle for the works gospels. Satan is great at getting people to think that their current works gospel is a grace gospel. I second your question Jack. Where indeed is there any joy in a works gospel? It must be terrifying to wonder either if you are showing enough good works to be saved or to wonder if God really chose to save you. Either one is deadly and denies God and the gospel. It also make a wreck of Christian sanctification should any believer fall for this lie.

  4. Reblogged this on Stand For the Faith and commented:
    Here is a very worthwhile discussion and I felt the need to post it here and spread the word. This deception is spread through many churches. It is time to stand for the clear truth of the gospel and not let works gospels rule the day unchallenged.

    Jim F

  5. Excellent article Jack and John! Our works and behavior are not automatic after we are saved. God gave us all a freewill to choose to accept or reject and to obey or disobey with its accompanying consequences, but that in no way affects our eternal salvation which is absolutely FREE.
    Contrary to what Calvinism/Lordship Salvation teaches, people whether saved or unsaved do indeed RESIST the Holy Spirit. The unsaved were resisting Jesus left and right despite the fact that Jesus performed miracle after miracle before their very eyes. (Acts 7:51) Jonah resisted the Holy Spirit, and the Israelites, God’s chosen people were always resisting the Holy Spirit – Leviticus 26:19, Exodus 32:9, 33:3, Deuteronomy 9:6, 9:13, 31:27.
    I have to admit that I sometimes resist the Holy Spirit. A gospel message that insists upon good works, good behavior, changes in behavior, ongoing perseverance, ongoing commitment, and ongoing obedience, that are “musts”, or “will be automatic” is a false gospel. “Automatic” would imply the negation of man’s free will. We are NOT saved by unfailing faith on our part which is susceptible to failure and faltering at certain times in our walk with God, BUT we are saved because we have BELIEVED and put our faith in an UNFAILING SAVIOR – John 5:24, John 6:47, John 10:28-29, Romans 8:38-39, 2 Timothy 2:13.
    I presently have 3 fruit trees in my backyard. I have a lemon tree that is not bearing any lemons at all, but once did, a peach tree that bears immature peaches about the size of a golf ball, and an Asian fruit tree that bears no fruit at all. Now, despite the fact that I have 2 fruit trees that bear no fruit and one tree that bears immature fruit, that in no way negates the fact that these are fruit trees.
    The same is true of Christians. Some bear much, some bear little, and some bear none at all during certain times in their walk with God, but that in no way negates the fact that they possess eternal life which is a FREE gift – Ephesians 2:8-9.
    Calvinists/Lordship Salvationists are always quick to dismiss and write off Christians who bear little or no fruit, or little or no change in behavior, or lack of commitment, obedience, and perseverance as signs that a person is not saved or had lost his/her salvation. They are quick to write off and dismiss Luke 8:6-7, 13,14 as unsaved people and they ONLY see Luke 8:8 and Luke 8:15 as the only saved people.
    Good works (which are not automatic) in a Christian’ life AFTER they’re saved will earn eternal rewards. Eternal salvation is AUTOMATIC and INSTANTANEOUS at the moment of BELIEVING – Luke 23:42-43. If the same was true for that thief on the cross, then the same is true for anyone who simply BELIEVES. I mean Jesus did not say to the thief, “Sorry son, I cannot save you because you did not live a life of commitment, obedience, and perseverance, and didn’t do good works”, but Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, TODAY you will be with me in paradise.”

  6. I believe one of the reasons why Lordship Salvation exists is because we are born and raised in a society that constantly teaches that nothing in life is free and that everything in life has to be earned and achieved by WORKS which is true when it comes to money, possessions, and academic degrees. This mentality has become so ingrained and deep seated in the minds of MANY that the simple promise/simple truth of John 3:16, John 5:24, 6:47, 10:28-29, Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 16:30-31 sounds too easy and too good to be true.
    Lordship Salvation theology has invented the pejorative terms, “easy believism” and “cheap grace” to blatantly MOCK John 3:16 because it sounds too easy and too good to be true in their minds. Everything in “their” minds is EARN, ACHIEVE, and WORKS, then eternal salvation will be the end product in “their” minds.

  7. William Tom, I think you are right. In human accounting, for every credit, there is a charge. My daughter is studying latin in school, and told me that Lordship “salvation” is “quid pro quo”, which is literally translated as “what for what.”

    That’s one of the reasons that humans struggle so much with the concept of a free gift. No matter how many times the Bible says that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, many are insistent that it cannot be that simple and straightforward.

    I have heard and read Lordship “salvationists” try to explain away the thief on the cross with all of the following:

    1. His situation was special – he didn’t have a chance to do any works, but would have gone on to a life of holiness and obedience if only given the opportunity, thereby proving that repentance of sin and commitment to Christ’s Lordship really are necessary conditions for receiving eternal life.

    2. His “works” were confessing faith in Christ while he was on the cross, thereby proving that every believer does some good work.

    3. Both thieves on the cross believed in Jesus, but only one of them repented of his sins and was thereby saved.

    There is no Biblical support for any of these theories, they are simply conjecture on the part of works “salvationists” who simply will not believe or concede that one may be saved without the presence of any works whatsoever.

    Richard Seymour pointedly addresses this in the following excerpt from his article entitled “Faith Without Works:

    “Let me be blunt. Not only is it true that a person can be saved by faith without any works of any kind, but it is the only way that anyone can ever be saved at all.”

    The reality is that every saved person has been like the thief on the cross – condemned until he trusts in Christ as his Savior. The thief on the cross is not an exception, or an isolated incident.

  8. If It wasn’t for hank lindstrom and some of clarence Larkins books I’ve read and also now Yankee Arnold and you guys i would be entrenched in all types of works salvation.(three churches and 10 years of lordship salvation teaching ) I did try to stand for the clarity of the Gospel until I decided It was more than I could deal with. Now when I can witness one on one outside of a church setting seems to be where I need to be.I think once you discover the the Grace of God he seems to drive you to bring this truth to others. I still struggle occasionally with some verses but will bring them to you guys and girls (Holly) thanks

  9. Sam,

    I am glad that those men were able to be used of God to help you see the truth and I believe that you will also be used by God in your efforts to witness and testify of the grace God. I think for me it is realizing just how precious the truth is. Once you see the immense value, you tend to want to share it out of love for Christ and others. We are also more than glad to defend the truth all the while looking for others that we can encourage in the faith.

  10. Great article! Much needed!

  11. John Clendenon

    Arminian: you need good works to GET saved and to STAY saved.

    Calvinist: you need good works to BE saved.

  12. Thespeedyz Speedy

    Excellent article.
    They think they can burden people to change by threats..

    Change in Position? True (Ro5:1 “justified”, Col1:13 “translated”);
    Change in Internal spirit? True (Ep1:13, Ez36);
    Change in Ownership? True (we become His, instantly Jn1:13);
    Change in God’s dealings with me? True (now get disciplined “as sons” Heb12)
    Change in Behavior? False… this is:
    (1) not automatic
    (2) not universal
    (3) potentially possible
    (4) absolutely available
    (5) biblically encouraged as normal
    (6) humanly unmeasurable
    (7) experientially Varied:
    (a) sometimes Immediate
    (b) sometimes Stagnated
    (c) sometimes Punctuated
    (d) sometimes Accelerated
    (e) sometimes Gradual
    (f) sometimes Negative (might actually change for the worse, due to the new warfare)
    (g) sometimes Non-existent (/non-discernible)
    (To be balanced, I would contend that if the (f) or (g) happens continuously, the “loving discipline” process of Heb12 will take its course -because they are a son- which can ultimately lead to early promotion to heaven!)

    2 Reasons I would not say “you will have a change of behavior”,
    (apart from sounding like a Pharasaicle “dog” or a communist prison guard– “you will…!”–)

    1) It Violates the Bible.
    Actually, 2 Bible doctrines specifically, which are 2 of the believers present possessions, namely:-
    (a) free volition
    (b) the flesh /sin nature

    2) It is Impractical:-
    (a) It makes a false promise – to believers who might then be inclined to take their attention from the finished work (eternal), to their own performance (in time, by sight), thus actually hindering their potential to be transformed outwardly,
    (b) overlooks the examples of believers in the Word of God who did not manifest any outward change, yet are in heaven, such as
    (1) Saul, who had nothing by sight which would have distinguished him from an unbeliever, yet was “not divided” from Jonathan in his death (2Sa1:23),
    (2) Lot who might have suffered the same false judgement from legalists, yet God classes as “just Lot” and
    (3) the thief on the cross, who is the all time classic example of a non-works salvation!
    In His grace..

  13. Bob Gilbert,

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Always good to have a fellow Grace believer visit. We look forward to seeing you regularly.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  14. To all,

    Here is a wonderfully clear Video by Dr. Yankee Arnold “The Only Evidence You Must Have To Prove You Are Saved.” GOD SAYS SO!!!

    Thanks for that link, Jim F.

    What a blessing it was to have Yankee work with me for a year while he attended Florida Bible College.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  15. Thanks John Clendenon,

    Yes, and Calvinists who subscribe to the “P” in their TULIP insist that they must “Persevere” to the end in their faith and good works to qualify for eternal life…

    Of course this contradicts their un-Biblical claim that only those chosen to be saved will be saved.. which contradicts God’s Word. Calvinism is a passel of contradictions.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  16. Jack, the Yankee Arnold video was well worth the 21 minutes and 39 seconds it took to hear it. Jane is sending this to one of her LS friends right now.

  17. John,

    One could say Yankee’s message was a tad long but there was nothing superfluous about it.

    I usually lose interest if a video is longer than 4-5 minutes but Yankee kept my interest to the end.

    Good for Jane — we will pray for her as she witnesses to her LS friend.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  18. Thanks, Jim and Jack for the Yankee Arnold video link. I’ve seen that one–probably twice by now. I could watch videos of Yankee and Hank Lindstrom for hours on end if it weren’t for, well . . . you know.

    Great to see some new folks chiming in.

    And I learned a new word: “passel.”

  19. Just about every denomination in the church is contaminated by FALSE DOCTRINE. Check out the following:

    1) Anglican/Episcopalian theology believes that baptism is imperative for salvation.
    2) Assemblies of God believe that salvation can be lost and reject OSAS.

    3) Baptists do not believe salvation can be lost, but some believe that true believers will never fall away and will endure to the end.
    4) Lutheran theology believes that salvation can be lost if believers do not persist in the faith.
    5) Methodists do believe salvation can be lost, but that a person can be saved again.
    6) Presbyterian theology is Calvinism to the core and believe that true believers will persevere to the end.
    7) Roman Catholicism believe that salvation can be lost and believe that final perseverance is a gift from God, but man must cooperate with the gift.

    Every denomination has a trace of Calvinism in it. The focus is ALWAYS on what man has to do rather than what Christ has already done at the cross.

  20. Willam,

    Thanks, Great analysis. It is a sad state of affairs in church denominations, though.

    I might add that your view of Baptists may represent some of their groups but there are strong Calvinist influences in many Baptist churches and organizations today.

    Also, those Baptists who preach a Lordship “Salvation”, “Turn or Burn” message would say that unless you toe their “Turn from sin for salvation” line, then either you may lose salvation or they judge that you never had it. Bad either way.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  21. Yes, William–excellent. Thank you for that contribution.

  22. William Tom, excellent points!

    You said: “They are quick to write off and dismiss Luke 8:6-7, 13,14 as unsaved people and they ONLY see Luke 8:8 and Luke 8:15 as the only saved people.”

    My comment: In the parable of the Sower, Lordship “salvationists” are represented by either soil one (never saved, because they have always believed a false gospel of faith plus works) or soil two (saved and eternally secure, but in the time of temptation they fall away – in this case because they have quit believing in salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone).

    So, I think it is extremely ironic that Lordship “salvationists” claim that soil two was never saved. And yet, if those same Lordship “salvationists” were ever saved, they will not bear any fruit whatsoever, unless and until they return to faith in Christ alone.

  23. Jack, Jane’s LS friend deleted her as a friend on Facebook tonight. He refused to listen to the Yankee Arnold video, or to read any of the material that she sent him.

    I have prayed that her friend will either turn to, or return to, faith in Christ alone.

  24. I pray and hope so too. The fight against false doctrine is indeed tough. I remember there were times up on YouTube when I was engaged in debates refuting Calvinism/Lordship Salvation. I could just sit there all day and use Scripture after Scripture and reasoning, but the deceived person just will not budge. J.I. Packer who is now a leading proponent of Calvinism/Lordship Salvation once openly admitted in a TableTalk article that he once believed in the Free Grace gospel of John 3:16, but now does not.
    He is eternally saved, but somewhere down the line he got led astray and deceived by the false gospel of Lordship Salvation. What makes it difficult for people who are deceived by this false gospel is PRIDE and STUBBORNNESS. I’ve been a believer for 30 years now, but when I was young believer, literally a babe in Christ, I was for a period of time deceived and led astray by the teachings of John MacArthur which did nothing but create much confusion in my head and eroded away my assurance of salvation.
    It was not until I started studying about Calvinism and comparing it with Scripture and reading expositional articles that I realized that Calvinism is a false doctrine of Satan and that Lordship Salvation spawned from it. Let’s all pray that the Holy Spirit will persuade and open the eyes of those deceived by it.

    2 Corinthians 11:3 – But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

  25. You’re welcome!

  26. the gospel is such a simple message most christians say they believe in eternal security but then they switch it with they must endure until the end.
    the gospel is easy believism and yet its so hard for people to accept it. john macarthur who most christns look to for their theology is the most doctrinally confused man and misleads people with his false repentance and his false gospel putting people under law.

  27. the baptist believe in many more false teaching that just (true believers will never fall away and will endure to the end)
    1. invite Jesus into your heart 2. say a prayer for salvation 3. turn from sin 4. Romans 10:9 5. make a decision for Christ 6. receiveing Christ as my Savior and Lord

    usually you will find at least one of these or sometimes a combination used in a gospel presentation.
    just look at any southern baptist churches website if they have a what we believe and more than likely one of these will be found.

    very rarely have i found there to be an exception

  28. Willam,

    Thanks for that interesting comment.

    Yes, we all pray that that folks will respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and see the Truth of the Gospel, thereby trusting Jesus Christ alone as their Savior.

    However, I prefer the KJV rather than the NIV rendering of 2 Corinthians 11:3

    “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the SIMPLICITY that is in Christ.”

    “Simplicity in Christ” is so much more powerful and has a different meaning in this context than “sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”

    The Gospel of Jesus Christ IS glorious in its simplicity!

    We do love and appreciate “the simplicity that is in Christ” which escapes so many in the Lordship “salvation” and Calvinist camp.

    We are happy for you that you escaped that foul teaching and we all pray together for those who are still lost in the clutches of counterfeit “gospels.”

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  29. This is Jane, John’s wife, reporting further on my discussion on Facebook with an LS friend. He messaged me, then blocked me so that I can no longer communicate with him. I found it interesting that is was OK for him to have the correct gospel, but not for me to have it. His rationale is that what he believes is true because everyone else believes it. I also find it fascinating that he does not see the circular argument that you don’t have to have works to be saved but that you have to show them as proof you are saved. He also posted a video of someone’s description of an out-of-body experience where this person met and talked to Christ and was told to forgive people, then Christ would forgive him, and he could be saved. Following is an excerpt of his last response to me:

    “You clearly DON’T understand the truth — and have deliberately turned away from it. You’ve just as CLEARLY become a heretic — and a disruptive one at that — actively trying to HINDER people from getting saved. For anyone to try to contend that works aren’t an outgrowth — and a definitive indicator — of salvation is just deluded. But for you to try to throw a monkey wrench in my sharing the Gospel with an unsaved world and friends — and sitting there sniping at and passing judgment on the process — is approaching inexcusable. Let me leave you with this: why is it that YOU — and ONLY you — have the “right” way on the nuances of the salvation/works issue — when everyone is wrong — even people who’ve clearly been born again? The Scripture in place after place after place points outs that works flow OUT OF salvation — and are absolutely indicative of it — but that works AREN’T necessary FOR salvation. How can you have allowed yourself to get so deceived? Exclusivity of the kind you’re “brandishing” is the hallmark of EVERY heresy and every cult that has ever existed. Obviously, you don’t see that — which is ANOTHER hallmark of heresy. And of course, cult members ALL think they have the ONLY answer — and they are God’s only hand-picked “Jane of Arc” delivering the Sole Truth to a deceived world. And in case you’ve forgotten your Bill Gothard, “heresy is truth — out of balance.” You’re so swallowed up in and consumed with pride and disobedience that I question whether you will see your way clear of it. My fear is you’ll just sink deeper and deeper into into it — and wall yourself off more and more. Do NOT contact me again about this! DO NOT!”

  30. Dear Jane,

    Wow, what a delightful “friend,” so full of false accusations and wicked, heretical thoughts (of which he himself is guilty).

    You are to be commended for your patience in sharing the Truth with him. Don’t be discouraged. We pray you will find many more receptive friends.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  31. Jane,

    I’m sorry to hear about your friend who is deceived by Lordship Salvation and has blocked you. I have been blocked several times on YouTube when I was refuting false doctrine. It reminds me of one of my high school classmates who is also deceived by LS. I think my friend was worse because he was a graduate of the Master’s Seminary which is John MacArthur’s seminary. He was the one who led me astray when I was a new believer in Christ. I lacked spiritual discernment and experience because I was a babe in Christ.
    He meant well when he lent me those tape recorded messages by MacArthur, but as I look back those messages were those of a false teacher. No doubt we will lose friends over the truth of the gospel, but we must always hold Biblical TRUTH dearer than we do friends.

    William

  32. A pastor, personal friend of mine from Talbot Seminary, said this to me (paraphrased a bit to protect identity):

    “I see theology as a man-made thing A way for us to understand God, the Bible, Jesus, etc. It’s a system to help us learn and understand. If we place that system/theology over people. In other words, if what I know and being right is more important than people and being loving, then I’ve missed the point.”

    This is in direct contradiction to William’s statement about holding biblical truth dearer than we do friends. What bible verses can you (or anyone) use to defend that claim? Where does the Bible ever say that you should place theology over people?

    He also said this:
    “I think if we truly KNOW something, it’ll change us. So someone can have solid theology…but there may be a disconnect somewhere…that either it’s not good theology or that the good theology they think they know, they don’t really KNOW. For example, I preach the truth of God’s grace….but as long as I’m not showing grace to others (like my son who definitely tries my patience), then I don’t truly GET it and I am still learning/growing.”

    I don’t believe there is a lordship tone there, but it can certainly be misunderstood that way. Anyway, any thoughts?

  33. David J,

    Thanks for visiting and your note.

    I sense your Pastor friend may be teasing you or a tad mixed up and “missing the point.”. “Theology” is the proper study of God, The Creator of the Universe and can ONLY come rightly from God’s Word, no matter what man may say. Studying Theology is the means by which we show and bring to mankind the True Love of God, the Gospel of his Salvation..

    We are told:
    2 Timothy 4:2
    “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (Theology)

    Further:
    1 Thessalonians 2:4
    “But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.”

    And then:
    Hebrews 4:12
    “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

    The Word of God properly taught as correct Biblical “theology” “is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” of man, not the opposite which your friend seems to believe. The Word, properly taught (“theology”) brings faith as we see in the following:

    Romans 10:17
    “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

    Though he may try, man cannot change the Word of God. Man cannot be more loving than God in His Word, it is the ultimate Love Letter to all mankind.

    1 Thessalonians 2:13
    “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”

    There are many more scriptures. I pray this helps.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  34. David, you quoted your friend as having said: “I think if we truly KNOW something, it’ll change us.”

    Then, you said: “I don’t believe there is a lordship tone there, but it can certainly be misunderstood that way. Anyway, any thoughts?”

    My comment: This statement does not have any Biblical support. The whole point of the above article was that faith in Christ does not automatically result in a change of behavior. There is plenty of scriptural evidence provided to support this.

    I think there is a Lordship tone to your friend’s misconception. I don’t think it is a misunderstanding on my part.

    Following is a an excerpt from Clear Gospel Campaign (an exegesis of James 2:18-20) that addresses the misconception that “if we truly KNOW something, it’ll change us”:

    “Perhaps the same heretical belief that permeates the church today, that faith automatically results in works, was present in the time of James.”

  35. (if what I know and being right is more important than people and being loving, then I’ve missed the point)
    this is where i see in churches where either they do not have a clear understanding how to tell people clearly what the one condition there is for eternal life and how to have it, so they fall back on the God loves you i love you teachings and in among this they throw in a jumbled message about salvation hoping something will click with their audience. i guess they feel if they speak enough about love some how they will find salvation. i have notice this can be big among youth directors.

    (What bible verses can you (or anyone) use to defend that claim? Where does the Bible ever say that you should place theology over people?)
    when you are presenting the correct teachings concerning what a person must do to receive eternal life then you are truly correctly loving that person in a Biblical way and are placing their eternal welfare at the utmost importance. trying to label the simple message of Faith alone in Christ alone as a theological issue is adopting satans approach at trying to create/add confusion, to clear statements as John 3:16 and to facts that in The Gospel of John the only condition for eternal life is faith,belief, trust and that no other book makes this statement
    John 20: 30, 31
    20:30 Now Jesus performed many other miraculous signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not recorded in this book.
    20:31 But these are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

    when confronted with facts like this if a person continues to reject Faith alone in Christ alone, to me it seems like there is a big issue with humility. That they are placing their ego above simple truths.
    so really are we placing theology over people. or are we placing Biblical truth in front of people and giving them at least a chance to believe or to reject the evidence and not believe.
    But at least this way, their believing or not believing was based in them being given the correct evidence to begin with.

    false teaching are loving people right into hell

  36. One of the most loving things we can do for people is share God’s truth with them. Even if it contradicts their views, we can present it in a manner motivated by love. Too often people shy away from this and think they are loving by embracing all types of error. We should not try to cooperate in ministry with those who teach a false gospel for example. The is no way in which we should be partakers with them in their evil deeds. 2 John 1:11. Reprove, rebuke, exhort… 2 Tim 4:2

    Col 4:5-6

    5) Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. 6) Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

    Jim F

  37. Following up on Jane’s interaction with her LS friend:

    He said: “And in case you’ve forgotten your Bill Gothard, ‘heresy is truth — out of balance.’

    My comment: Truth is truth. Truth cannot be “out of balance.” This is similar to the non-Biblical statement emanating from Middletown Bible Church that “the truth lies somewhere in between.”

    Jane’s LS friend also invoked a video in which someone who purportedly had an out-of-body experience represented a non-Biblical condition for salvation (forgiving other people) as being the words of Jesus.

    The common theme in this gentleman’s error is that he appears to believe the Bible is not the Word of God. Rather, he seems to believe that the Bible merely CONTAINS the Word of God. The distinction seems to be that God’s Word is not complete, but may be augmented by the words of men. This gives way to all sorts of false beliefs.

    We hear this theme a lot:
    “My pastor says…”
    “My friend says…”
    “People say…”
    “Spurgeon said…”
    “The Pope says…”
    “The Baptist Faith and Message says…”

    etc.

  38. John, seems like he has more problems than just lordship

  39. John, Jane,

    Jane’s “friend” is obviously preaching a false religious message and is accursed according to Galatians 1:8-9.

    He speaks of and displays a combination of mysticism, Catholicism and his own concoction of vile religious terminology which he proudly claims — then shuts Jane off without allowing her any truthful discussion.

    My Shirley said, “He is obviously a coward.” NOT a friend!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  40. Thespeedyz Speedy

    D taylor,
    Amen! I love that statement, “when you are presenting the correct teachings concerning what a person must do to receive eternal life then you are truly correctly loving that person in a Biblical way and are placing their eternal welfare at the utmost importance”

    David,
    What a strange confusing quote from that leader. It’s almost like a justification for watering down truth, (in the name of “love”!) What kind of love is that? Surely if you love people you “speak the truth – in love” (Ep4.15). Love without truth is sentimentality. Yet truth without love can be legalistic, don’t you think?

    I’m new here & I love your clear “no compromise” on grace. It’s been refreshing, & I’ve just done a series on “only believe” for a couple of weeks, due to this refreshment!

    The truth of grace should be above people’s opinions, likes, dislikes etc, (Is55) because it’s the only message that glorifies God & edifies people (Ac20:32, Rev4:11). Putting people before truth is being a “servant of men”. (Ga1). Obviously by the same token, speaking truth without God’s heart for people is equally unbalanced right? I mean, I don’t feel comfortable about attacking, say a man of God that has won many to Christ, because of a “blind spot” in an area (like start slinging shots at their character etc). I’m not saying compromise on grace, not for a moment. I would, and always do refute distortions to the gospel (especially if a preacher’s error os public /open false doctrine, (like Paul withstood Peter “to the face”).

    But my question is, what is the balance between, on the one hand, compromise (having a “love without truth”, where you implicitly agree & refuse to stand up for truth); and on the other hand, having the spirit of the “sons of thunder!!!!!” –where we have truth–, but devoid of God’s heart, and are prepared to destroy people with it; where instead of attacking the error, we wrestle flesh & blood & attack the man. Do you understand my dilemma?

    Obviously I don’t want to endorse false teaching out of sentimentality. Yet at the same time, I’d hate to get to heaven and find that, whilst I had condemned error, I also condemned men, some of whom –despite their blind spots– were used by Him to win many to salvation, and rewarded for it– despite human weakness & perhaps being unbalanced in areas (and all the havoc that created subsequently). For example: Luther. I’d contend that God used him, mightily. I totally disagree with his replacement theology as well as other areas. But whilst his error had horrific consequences, surely his illumination on “the just shall live by faith” let many to Christ? Why is it that I feel like I couldn’t start firing attacks at him, whilst I could readily refute his error. Is that compromise?

    Sorry such a long post. Thespeedyz

  41. Reblogged this on Redeemingmoments and commented:
    How often do you hear you MUST have a change of behavior or you are not a Christian? John MacArthur or Paul Washer ring a bell?

  42. You know the saying, “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”? I want to continue reading, but reading up above about ‘quid pro quo’ and William Tom speaking of society and how we’ve been taught we earn things made me think about that saying. We do not expect or actually believe that gifts don’t come with strings attached. We don’t expect respect or our wages if we haven’t earned it, or even love…

    I think the problem is, men do not believe in the power of the gospel, nor the power of the Word of God. They always have to help “fix” the Word, by explaining it, adding their own colloquialisms with no conscience or understanding, not knowing which always, but most just ignore and will not address the clear passages regarding salvation, and will muddy the waters by corrupting minds from the simplicity that is in Christ. Oddly those same ‘pastors’ are the ones that over and over again preach about the ‘narrow road’, having no understanding as they are the ones preaching law, not knowing what they affirm.

  43. Surrender, (let go of pride and ALL self-will (JMac), commit, put Him on the throne, submit fully (JMac), make Him Lord of your life, turn from your sins, abandon all (JMac), let go of love of all sins (JMac), repent from all your sins, give Him your life, Drop EVERYTHING (JMac), give Him your heart, seek Him with your WHOLE heart (JMac), give this, give that, do this, don’t do this, don’t do that…..the flesh profits NOTHING…

    By the way, John MacArthur describes the Narrow Gate, not as being Jesus, but as an IT that has to do with US.

    JOHN MACARTHUR DEFINING THE GATE

    “It’s the gate of self-denial. (HE REPEATS) It’s the gate of self-denial.

    Strip off all the sin and self and self-righteousness. (I always wondered if he truly thinks he accomplished this in his whole lifetime, let alone somehow before he was allowed into the kingdom)

    It’s the way you unload yourself.

    It’s where you say, “I no longer want to be the person I have been.”

    Dropping all the baggage isn’t easy.”

    End of MacArthur Quote

    I think you get the picture.

    So who really is the Gate?

    Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. John 10:7,9

    Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6

    We have to believe. Believing comes when we hear the gospel, through the preaching of it, through the power of the gospel, the power of the Word. We enter through Jesus Christ, NOT our own efforts.

    John MacArthur preached against what the Word itself says by adding his own thoughts, endeavors, actions, WORKS….

  44. Jane, I wonder if your ‘friend’ named you as he was to do? Did he publicly rebuke you as he should have if you are indeed a heretic? I think not, because they are afraid they may be found out themselves. Every cult is deceived by thinking they can work their way into heaven.

    Every single one of these accusers of the brethren, always use the same tactic it seems. They themselves almost always accuse of exactly what they are doing. It is as if Satan takes joy in accusing the brethren, but in accusing his own puppet. That man is puffed up. Very sad…

  45. Thanks for the responses..

    If the fellowship here believes that Christians ought to value their theology over people, then honestly for myself, I don’t think I’ll be able to have any friends. I would only care about what I believe and shun all others that disagree with me, and viewing them as almost an enemy because I think they hold demonic doctrines (maybe like charismatics, calvinists, methodists).

    I do understand the dangers of valuing people over theology though..it invokes compromise and Emergent-related doctrine/churches. Maybe a more appropriate thought is: Does the bible really tell believers to only fellowship with those that believe the exact same doctrines or have the exact same theology? Let’s just assume that there is agreement on the gospel, but not on other doctrines. 1 Cor 13 says in the end that if we lack love (in relation to PEOPLE), then everything we do is useless. Jesus said that we should love one another as much as we love ourselves. I think that’s why my friend said that if we value what we think is right more than we value people, then we’ve “missed the point” of what Jesus was saying to us.

    Jack, the verses you presented, in my interpretation, pertain to a preacher preaching the truth despite how offensive it may be to those who may not receive it well. I am not sure if it addresses my point above.

  46. On another note…

    Holly,
    your point infuriates me about John MacArthur. That man seriously scares everyone into not being saved while he lives “the life” with a half million dollar salary. I honestly think it’s a great way to scare people to tithe their money, surrender their all, and still not be sure that they’re saved. I heard MacArthur say that when confronted with the question of salvation assurance, his response is always “What do you treasure the most in your heart? If it’s your bank account, job, or money, then I would get a bit scared because that tells me something about the heart.” Well what do you know, any MacArthur worshipper would donate, or tithe as much as they can to prove they don’t hold onto their money. I bet if TRUE grace was taught, there wouldn’t be so much abnormal giving out of fear, but out of thanksgiving. It’s easy for someone as wealthy as him in the top 0.1% to scare everyone into surrendering their all, when I am sure MacArthur doesn’t. Francis Chan isn’t far off. I’d be much more comfortable if these guys preached what they preached and proved to all of us that they lived on the streets or something. That would validate their own lordship salvation.

  47. I know why this is believed by some as being true. I really never pondered on this question until now. I believe the basics for this is found in 2 Cor 5:17( Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.) Wow this verse has nothing to do with behavior ! Um so if you are saying, this is how you can tell or shall I say prove if someone is saved, then the answer is false! First of all we are Saved by believing on the finish work of Jesus on the Cross! ( The Gospel ) secondly it’s not by any works of our own doing, but by Grace!( Ephesians 2:8-9 ) Behavior which is works has nothing to do with Salvation. Also What about the Christian who continues to sin? There is a difference between continuing to sin and continuing to live in sin. No one reaches sinless perfection in this life, but the redeemed Christian is being sanctified (made holy) day by day, sinning less and hating it more each time he fails. Yes, we still sin, but less and less frequently as we mature. Our new self hates the sin that still has a hold on us. The difference is that the new creation is no longer a slave to sin, as we formerly were. We are now freed from sin and it no longer has power over us (Romans 6:6-7). Now we are empowered by and for righteousness. We now have the choice to “let sin reign” or to count ourselves “dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus”
    (Romans 6:11-12). Best of all, now we have the power to choose the latter.
    The key here & most important to note is ” It’s Not About You ” It’s all about Having a relationship with God the Father through God the Son Jesus! Accepting His Death, Burial, & Resurrection! ( The Gospel ) Grace not of Works!

  48. Terry,

    Welcome back and thanks for your comment.

    I will make a couple of statements about your comment.

    Just a point. In conclusion you said, “It’s all about Having a relationship with God the Father through God the Son Jesus!”

    For a believer it is about Fellowship with Jesus (not relationship), for an unbeliever he must first have a relationship by faith in the finished work of Christ.

    You said (with my insertions): “the redeemed Christian (SHOULD BE) is being sanctified (made holy) day by day, (SHOULD BE) sinning less and (SHOULD BE) hating it more each time he fails.

    Please understand my emphasis in your quote. Being sanctified, sinning less and hating it is not automatic. That is the point of the article. We SHOULD mature but that also is not automatic or guaranteed.

    Every believer has the choice to “quench the Spirit,” hence so much of the New Testament Bible tells believers what we SHOULD be doing in obedience to God’s Word.

    There is always a battle between the old and the new creation. Paul speaks of his own battles frequently.

    Believers are free from the penalty of sin — but do still sin.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  49. David, I have a couple of thoughts regarding your comments:

    There is no reason to write-off our relationships with friends or loved ones who are unbelievers, or who believe aberrant doctrines. We can continue to love them and pray for them. We can be friends with people with whom we disagree on theological matters.

    However, we are told to not be yoked with unbelievers. I personally will not fellowship (spiritual camaraderie, participation in ministries, etc.) with anyone who believes that salvation can be lost, or who believes in Lordship “salvation” or Calvinism. I believe that these beliefs contradict the gospel. I have far fewer friends than I might otherwise have by taking this position, but so be it.

    I believe the following statement on Christian unity, from Clear Gospel Campaign, is useful:

    Scripture teaches the unity of the church as one of the highest goals toward which the church should aspire (Ephesians 4:3). We believe, therefore, that not every theological dispute merits separation…

    We believe, however, that any area of doctrine even remotely affecting the integrity of the gospel is inherently serious (Galatians 2:11-14), that Scripture calls us to draw the line at the earliest point, and to yield not one inch on matters that jeopardize the integrity of the gospel, a compromise that jeopardizes the eternal life of every man, woman and child on this planet who has not yet heard the gospel message (Galatians 1:6-9, 2:5).

  50. Speedy, please see my response to David, above.

    It is incumbent upon anyone who teaches the Word of God to remain faithful to the message. Noah preached for 120 years, but by man’s standards, might not have been considered a “great man of God”, due to his lack of converts. However, he remained faithful to God’s word.

    It is not our job to condemn any man. But, if his teaching contradicts or otherwise obscures the truth of the gospel, he should be corrected, or marked and avoided as a false teacher.

  51. Thank you Jack.
    Yes as believers we have fellowship with Christ. I used relationship because we have so many religious people trying to get to God by their works, or what ever means necessary other then Jesus. So I always express that need for relationship! I like your comment that showed the differance. Also the rest about sin. We are on the same page I just sometime don’t always type what I’m thinking :)

    Thank you again & God Bless!

  52. David,

    “Maybe a more appropriate thought is: Does the bible really tell believers to only fellowship with those that believe the exact same doctrines or have the exact same theology?”

    He are some of my thoughts:

    1) The Bible does say:

    14 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.

    2) You can’t really have Christian fellowship with an unsaved person.

    3) Fellowship is strained many times with other believers that disagree on certain doctrines – depends on what it is to an extent. ( For example, a disagreement about a particular nuance of eschatology is different than a disagreement about a fundamental of the faith.)

    4) You will usually feel like your fellowship is closest with those who most closely share your beliefs.

    5) None of this is to say that we can’t both love others and strive for the best possible theology. They are not mutually exclusive but are compatible.

    6) Since I have taken a stronger stand for free grace theology I have lost some fellowship with some but gained so much more with others that agree with me. Albeit many of these new friendship are online but I’ll still take it! :)

    7) Those of you lucky enough to have a nearby fellowship of free grace believers no doubt cherish the fellowship you have with the others there. Especially if you realize have lucky you are to have like believing friends.

    8) If you wish to have more Christian friends there is always a simple yet not always easy solution. Pray for and witness to those you already have relationships with or those that cross your path.

    Jim F

  53. Thanks Terry,

    I pray I did not misrepresent your thoughts. Glad we are on the same page because such fellowship is encouraging.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  54. Speedy and David J,

    We appreciate both of your comments, but we try to stay on the topic of the thread as much as possible.

    The topic of this thread was not doctrinal purity, nor Biblical separation. It was to dispel the false notion that believers automatically change.

    Thanks. John

  55. Holly, this is Jane.

    My friend did not call me out publicly – it was more of a “hit-and-run.” After calling me a heretic and prideful because of me thinking that only I had the right answer, he blocked me so that I could not respond. I have known this person since elementary school. While I no longer live in my hometown, I still consider the people I grew up with and went to church with my friends. While I vehemently disagree with this person’s doctrine, it never crossed my mind to no longer be his friend. I would still enjoy his company; I just wouldn’t have a Bible study with him! It hurt my feelings that he felt he could not be friends with someone whose doctrine he disagrees with. I guess though, it makes a better story that he will tell his LS Sunday school class when he describes the altercation, and that, as much as it pained him to do so, he just had to “shake the sand from his shoes” and move on. I don’t think it’s “free-gracers” giving Christianity a bad name. I think it is the LS group!—And prideful? I think the person who thinks he needs to “help” God complete his salvation would be the one who is prideful.

  56. i can’t believe since i have come into this understanding of the free grace gospel what opposition i have had. everyone says to me they all believe that we r saved by grace thru faith but then they all do the evidence to show u are a true christian by yr works even though they understand faith without works is dead. the question i would like to put out there is if somebody say like oprah made a profession of faith at the age of 10 and showed no sign(works) then later gets into the new age like she has and says there couldn’t possibly be one way to heaven. people are saying that person surely could not be saved. it just doesn’t work out there with christians we are either in error or they are under works salvatn. like a friend of mine said we have nothing to loose by the simplicity of the gopel even if works don’t happen to be evident. but they add works to their gospel the lordship/calvanist teaching. and thats the difference between adding to the gospel which is no gospel. its the difference between heaven and hell. i would like to ask someone asked charles ryrie so with this simple gospel if one made a profession and there saved and it doesn’t look like it so will there be a lot in heaven or few in heaven. as jesus said few find it who are the few is it only the free grace people as they say u are so arrogant to think yr way is the only right one. thats the thing we are facing.

    at times it seems with this teaching a lot will be there and at times because the message is so simple its a stumbling block that there will be few that truly understand it. how far back does this free grace movemt go. as this gospel is the gospel god gave to us in the bible. where the harry ironside and even earlier on who were the great bible teachers as it scares me that i have it wrong as i do not want to mislead others if this is not truly the gospel. it all sits right but that can be subjective the battle i see now is u can hardly be sure what is the gospel. mainly with the people that believe in free grace BUT they say. then i guess they have not truly understood grace is that the majority of christendom.

  57. also as ralph yankee says that we can only know if someone is saved is by the testimony of their faith by ephesians 2. 8 9. by their mouth we really can’t question if they are saved after that point as we r justified in one act. how come people have a problem if the behaviour doesn’t change. then they say they can’t b saved. does this all come from lordship salv. teaching.
    its so hard to put it out there that if there is not a change people just are reacting badly to this message.someone gave me 1 cor 5 11.12.13. that we shouldn’t hang out with them can u tell me what this script is referring to.

  58. Mary,

    Thanks for your comments… but I am (and maybe others) having trouble reading and understanding them. Wonder if, in the future, you could make them less lengthy and use punctuation and Caps to make it easier to digest. We don’t want to miss or misunderstand what you are writing. Thanks!!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  59. Thespeedyz Speedy

    The idea of automatic, universal “Change” (as a proof) Is it something so subjective, INSIDE of us, therefore undependable –especially because it can be faked by unbelievers– as put so well in the video by Dr. Yankee Arnold.

  60. Thespeedyz Speedy

    Isn’t there something more dependable & objective OUTSIDE of us?

    This one verse so greatly helped me and changed my life:-
    Rom 4:25 : He was “delivered (crusified) FOR our offenses and was raised again FOR our justification”.

    Greek brings out the RESURRECTION was:
    -FOR our justification
    -PURPOSE WAS our justification
    -BECAUSE OF (/PROVING) our justification
    -ON ACCOUNT OF our justification
    -TO declare us righteous

    Meaning:-
    1) On the negative side, the proof I’m a sinner is NOT what I do, but WHAT HE’S DONE!!! (His Death)
    —Even if I’m an outwardly clean unbeliever, I’m a sinner, because Christ died. Why?? Such a vile penalty on my behalf means I’m worse than I thought!! We make the mistake of trying to prove people are sinners because of their works, when the greatest EVIDENCE is HE DIED a criminal’s death in our place!

    2) The proof I’m justified (in right standing with God eternally is NOT what I DO (change, etc) but also WHAT HE”S DONE!!! (His Resurrection)
    —-Even if I’m outwardly IMPERFECT as a believer, my proof is not my works, the greatest EVIDENCE is HE ROSE. Why??? Because if the Father wasn’t satisfied with His vicarious work (and me, the believer He died for with the promise that if I believe, I’m saved), iif He wasn’t satisfied with ME IN HIM, included in that finished work, He wouldn’t have raised Him up, but was totally satisfied and declared my justification by raising Him up. The fact He’s raised = the proof I’m saved!! Praise the Lord!!!!

    By the way, the only one in the bible who changes himself is Satan, right? (2Co11:14)

  61. In regards to comments on relationships with people who are unbelievers and even in regards to fellowship among believers in the church, I have found time and again that it has been VERY frustrating and hard in my own personal experience. It is not always about a friend who’s a non-believer or a Christian friend in regards to false or aberrational doctrine. It’s sometimes about integrity. I have discovered time and again as a believer for 30 years that the relationships that I had with unbelievers and the fellowship with Christians in the church have been very shallow and superficial.
    I have discovered over and over again that people are always “there” for you if there is food, going out and having fun, and partying.
    I noticed that if a crisis occurs in my life, I hear nothing but the very repulsive phrase, ” I’ll pray for you” and then they all basically shy away.
    Three years ago, my son had major surgery and was hospitalized. My son and I had been attending a church for about 2 years and got to know everyone there and before his major surgery everyone in my son’s fellowship group knew about his imminent surgery.
    On the very night after his surgery, my son was vomiting up blood in the middle of the night and his blood pressure dropped drastically and his nurses and doctors were very concerned. I personally called up a fellow believer from his fellowship group who was close to me and him, hoping that he and others would come to pray for him, but he basically shrugged me off and said that it was probably nothing serious and that I should not worry.
    The doctors and his nurses were getting ready to give him a blood transfusion if his condition did not improve! Can you imagine the insensitive and cold response on the part of that brother in the faith that was close to me and my son?? My wife got really emotional seeing our son vomit up so much blood. She’s been a backsliden believer for years ( a Luke 8:13 believer) and after experiencing the insensitivity and unconcern from that church, well, that pushed her even further away from the faith.
    Thank God after some injections, my son finally pulled through and the vomiting stopped and his blood pressure went up where it was not life-threatening. He pulled through because he was young and in his 20’s, but his doctor said that if my son was older like say in his 60’s, he would have died.
    Even after my son was released from the hospital and was at home for a full month recovering, not one person from that church bothered to e-mail, or even call to ask how he was doing. I noticed that among especially the younger generation of believers and even among some older ones that they are only there for you if the situation is EASY, CONVENIENT, and fits COMFORTABLY in their schedule and does not disrupt or interfere with their comfort zone.
    I’ve also noticed and some from my generation group also agree is that even though now that we have cell phones, i-phones, i-pads, laptops, and high speed internet that more and more people are becoming irresponsible in their relationships. Maybe it’s me, but correct me if I’m wrong. I believe people including Christians are losing their social skills and are spending too much time “texting”.
    Regarding relationships, I would like to say that the “acid test” to determine which “friends” would be worthwhile or not is when you’re in a crisis situation. Decades ago, the “acid test” to determine which of my mother’s true friends was when she was diagnosed with cancer. The majority of her so-called “best” friends including a Christian woman basically ditched her, but only an elderly woman and her very small group from her church came for her and attended her wake and funeral. May we all as Christians emulate and be more like the Philippian Christians of Philippians 4:15 in love and concern for those in need and in a crisis.

  62. sorry i guess i was a little distressed yesterday as i have lost a good christian friend due to this teaching.

  63. Sorry Mary,

    I did not intend to distress you further.

    It is tragic that friends sometimes tend to wander into false teaching. But we do continue to pray for them to change their mind.

    You are also in our prayers.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  64. William,

    Thanks for your note on “relationships.” Believers and unbelievers alike can be cruel in times of our needs. Believers should adopt an attitude of compassion and help. We are happy your son recovered and is doing well. Such can be a traumatic experience for a parent. We don’t think “We will pray for you” is repulsive when sincere, therefore we will pray sincerely for your wife, that she will recover her Joy in Christ.

    Let me please reiterate about our comments:

    Comments should be one or two short paragraphs in line with the thread prompted by the topic. Some folks tend to lose interest and the point with reading long, multi-paragraph comments. Thanks.

    It might be helpful for us to review our ExPreacherMan Comment Rules at:
    http://expreacherman.com/comments/

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  65. TO ALL:

    Incidentally, if we feel especially verbose, (as I sometime do), we can always break a comment into two or more comments if we feel it is worthy.

    Thanks to all of you for your comments and cooperation.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  66. Speedy, you are right that Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf proves that we are sinners. There are, unfortunately, many who are either oblivious to that fact, or they think that they must establish their own righteousness in order to be saved.

  67. Dear Jack,

    My apologies for the lengthy long winded comment. Now, on to a comment that I wanted to make that is pertinent to the topic of A Person Who Believes In Jesus For Salvation WILL Have A Change Of Behavior. I’m sure many of us are aware of the fact that MANY Lordship Salvationists have used and abused James 2:14-26 as one of their most notable “proof texts” to “prove” to the world that salvation will result in a change of behavior. ( I will continue my comment in the next paragraph.)

    William

  68. (Continued)
    As I was saying about James 2:14-26, what is making matters worse is the fact that I’ve noticed that a small group of Free Grace believers up on YouTube have already posted some videos claiming that James is a heretic preaching a false gospel in James 2. This is based on the premise which they believe is true that James is arguing in opposition to Paul in Galatians and Romans and they have used Acts 15:1 among others to defend their view on James. Anyone have any thoughts and insight on this?

  69. Lordship Salvationists who use James 2:14-26 as supporting evidence that faith PLUS works will result in a change of behavior and eternal life is heresy, but now for a small group of Free Grace believers on YouTube to throw the book of James out the window is adding more to the already existing mass confusion over what a person must do to be saved.

  70. William,

    James 2:14-26 is indeed used by LS people of every persuasion, to argue the “inevitability” of good works for the one that claims to be Christian. They have, of course, taken it out of context. James is only speaking to already saved people, calling them brethren throughout (James 1:2, for example). And he is telling them that they ought to let their faith be visible to others via good works (James 2:15-16).

    Being in heaven and avoiding hell as topics, are not in view at all in James 2:14-26.

    It is clear from Acts chapter 15, that Paul and James are on the same page. So whatever supposed “free grace” individuals that are arguing against James being in the Bible, they are way off.

    But equally as way off, is the LS position that tries to use James to “prove” salvation via works.

    The great verse that annihilates their attempt to do that, is Matthew 7:22, where certain people are pleading their standing in the Lord based on their works, and the Lord sends them to the lake of fire.

    James is exhortation for the already saved, to get up and do something.

  71. Abe, in addition to Matthew 7:22, we have Revelation 20:12-15 that makes it crystal clear that one’s works have no bearing on whether they go to heaven or hell:

    [12] And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
    [13] And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
    [14] And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
    [15] And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

    In light of this, I find it fascinating that Lordship “salvationists” use Matthew 7:23 as one of their proof texts that only those believers who live up to some arbitrary standard of holiness get into heaven.

  72. d taylor,

    You said: “ask Christ for this life He is ready and wating to give this to you.”

    My comment: I don’t want to quibble, but one receives eternal life by believing, not by asking.

  73. i had this verse in mind when i was making my post to me this is say asking = believing
    John 4:10 Jesus answered her, “If you had known the gift of God and who it is who said to you, ‘Give me some water to drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

  74. Whenever I hear someone talking about a “change” in someone’s life after they get saved, I point them to the story of Cornelius the Centurion in Acts 10. This was someone who was doing many good works: he feared God, gave to the poor, prayied all the time, had humility, etc. But, he didn’t believe in Christ. Peter was sent to him to preach the Gospel and he got saved.

    I ask, “Now, what change would this Centurion have to have in his life AFTER he got saved?” I read that he was already doing MANY ‘good works’. Every time, I’m met with silence.

    This “change in behavior” proof of salvation is false doctrine.

  75. d taylor, I thought of that passage too. But, if one believes, asking is unnecessary. If one does not believe, asking won’t result in eternal life.

    The woman at the well did ask for living water – before she believed, I think. I don’t interpret that to mean she received eternal life at the moment she asked for living water. I think she did receive eternal life, once she realized who Jesus was and believed. But, note that once she realized who Jesus was, she did not ask Him again for living water. See John 4:15-29:

    [15] The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
    [16] Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
    [17] The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:
    [18] For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
    [19] The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
    [20] Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
    [21] Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
    [22] Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
    [23] But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
    [24] God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
    [25] The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
    [26] Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
    [27] And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?
    [28] The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,
    [29] Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?

  76. i was not trying to add another condition to eternal life
    i was seeing this as John representing believing in figures of speech
    i may be wrong about ask it may not fall in this category

    like enter, in John 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved, and will come in and go out, and find pasture.

    and eateth me, in John 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me

    come to me, in John 5:40 but you are not willing to come to me so that you may have life.

    receive in John 1:11 He came to what was his own, but his own people did not receive him. 1:12 But to all who have received him – those who believe in his name – he has given the right to become God’s children

    these activities are essentially passive. they do not communicate the idea of merit, work, effort, or achievement.
    they also do not communicate an exchange of one’s life, commitment or the ongoing submission of one’s life to Jesus as Lord in order to obtain eternal life

    i understand verse 15 as she is still thinking in terms of actual water. so her asking there, was still with the mind set of actual water
    (so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”)

    the actual misunderstanding gave Christ a chance to explain what he meant and who He really is.
    that is the reason for His bringing up her living conditions: not so she can see she is a sinner but so she can recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah. and then place her faith in Him.

  77. d taylor,

    You said: “…that is the reason for His bringing up her living conditions: not so she can see she is a sinner but so she can recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah. and then place her faith in Him.”

    My comment: I agree. Lordship “salvationists” take the other view and insist that Jesus was confronting her with her sin and that she actually had to repent of sin before she was saved. It is amazing the contortions they will go through to make the scripture fit their mindset.

  78. Luke, very good points regarding Cornelius. Jesus saves us just the way we are. In the case of Cornelius, he was a kind, generous person before he was saved.

  79. Abe, I definitely agree with your view on James 2:14-26. James is indeed exhorting saved believers to put their faith into action. The one verse that really throws many people off and is heavily misused by Lordship Salvationists is the latter half of James 2:14 which reads, “can such faith save them?” Many interpret that phrase to mean “save them from hell?”, when in reality James is asking if a Christian’s inactive faith will save them from appearing hyprocritical and insensitive in the eyes of those who are in need.

    Will inactive faith “save” a person from losing eternal rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ? Will inactive faith “save” a person from spiritual atrophy and stagnancy? Will inactive faith “save” a person from God’s discipline on the lazy Christian? I believe these are the questions that James is asking in the latter half of James 2:14.

  80. It’s really unfortunate that a small group of Free Grace Christians on YouTube have dismissed the book of James as heretical teaching. When I tried to correct their erroneous view, they basically wrote me off and
    accused me of being a dogmatist. It appears that some Free Grace
    Christians are not immune to false teachings. God’s Word is flawless and that includes the book of James. (Proverbs 30:5) Acts 20:30 – Even from your own number men will arise to distort the truth in order to draw disciples after them.

  81. I believe Dr Cucuzza is teaching through the book of James right now. northlandchurch.com
    Merry Early Christmas to all!

  82. i do not want to add any confusion to Faith alone in Christ alone.
    on my original post where i used asked, it may make the discussion hard to understand if that area was deleted, but was thinking maybe a note under ask explaining that i was meaning ask = believing and not the actual speaking of words. i know that is brought out in the post after that, but was thinking someone may miss the discussion after the original post. with the amount of confusion out there unbelievers and new believers or people confused by the many false teaching i do not want to be adding more confusion.

  83. William. I agree. There is no excuse for thinking one could remove part of God’s Word, just because some people misinterpret it out of context.

  84. Iaagrace, it’s great to hear from you.

    Like you said, Dr. Cucuzza has been doing a series on James. I have listened to the first few of the sermons. Following is an excerpt from the first installment of the series:

    Minutes 14:30 – 17:27

    “Well, I thought I had to repent of all my sin.” You can’t repent of all your sin. Number one, what do you mean by repent? Really, it doesn’t even matter. But, the word “repent”, used with salvation means “a change of mind – a change in your thinking.” From trusting in yourself – understanding you can’t save yourself – and understanding Jesus is the only way. That’s repentance in salvation.

    Repentance does not mean to turn from your sin. It says that in the modern dictionaries, but that’s not the Greek word. Metanoeo – meta means “another”; noeo means “the mind.” To “have another mind.” That is literally what it means.

    About what? About believing you could save yourself. And, instead, you understand you can’t save yourself and you put your faith in Christ. That’s Biblical repentance.

    For people to say you have to turn from your sin, that’s you trying to do something to reform your life. That’s works. Well, then people say: “well” – as soon as you get them on that, then they say – “well, you have to be willing to turn from your sins.” What is that? That’s the mindset that I am going to try. What is that? You’re still thinking works for salvation. You’re still thinking works for salvation.

    Friend, salvation does not come until you understand you are helplessly, hopelessly lost. There’s nothing you can do to save yourself. And if God doesn’t do the saving, you’re gonna spend forever in hell. That is when you become a candidate of the grace of God. OK?

    Well don’t you think Christians ought to live right and turn from sin? Yes. But, you said the key word: “Christians”. Not lost people. To say to a lost person “you have to turn from all your sin to go to heaven”, let me ask you a question: Have you turned from all your sin?

    If you go to a church where the pastor says that, go up and ask him sometime – in kindness and humility – say, “pastor, have you turned from all your sin?” See what he says. “Well, I’m trying.” Trying’s not the same as doing it. And, by the way, did you just notice what you said? You are doing what? Trying!

    So, wait a minute! You’re telling me to go to heaven I have to try to turn from all my sins. What is that? That’s works. You’re trying to make it. That’s works. Friend, no! It’s not of works, lest any man should boast. The good news is Jesus did all the work when He died on the cross, and all He asks you to do is to trust in Him that He did that for you. And He gives you everlasting life.

    Now, shouldn’t Christians live right? Yes! Yes, Christians should live right. That’s what James is all about. But, not to get to heaven. It’s because we have the gift of salvation, and we’re going to heaven. That’s grace.

    Don’t put the cart before the horse! You’ll end up in hell!

    Grace. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Not “must” – that would be works. Not “will” – that would be Calvinism. No, it’s should. We should.

  85. D. Taylor,

    The comment your requested has been deleted. Thanks for that clarification.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  86. There is a large, purportedly grace-oriented church in Charlotte, NC called Forest Hills Church. It is a huge mega church, with multiple campuses and thousands of members. Their Bible of choice is ESV. Following is a terrible perseverance of the saints message that I found on pastor David Chadwick’s blog of March 20, 2013:

    (he is explaining things from Jesus’ perspective)

    “Through my obedience, my Father has given me the final authority to execute judgment over all humanity. One day, everyone will hear my voice and appear before me in final judgment. Don’t marvel at this saying. It is true. This judgment will solely depend on those who have believed in me. John’s gospel repeatedly states this truth (3:16;5:24,25; 14:6). However, good and bad deeds will prove an individual’s faith. If good deeds aren’t there, it proves faith isn’t present. These people face eternal judgment. If good deeds are there, it proves faith is present and they are granted eternal resurrection life.

    Do you believe in me today? Do you believe I came from heaven, lived in human flesh as a man, lived the perfect life you’re incapable of living, died for your sins and rose from the dead to prove your righteousness and grant you eternal life? It’s a free gift, given by grace through faith. Accept this gift. Believe in me. Trust me for your eternal life.

    Then express your gratitude for what I’ve done by doing good works. You are not saved by your good works, but you are saved for good works. Your good works prove you truly know who I am and have accepted me as your Lord and Savior. And when you look into the faces of the poor, needy and oppressed, you are looking into my face. You are literally serving me. True religion is when you care for the widows and orphans of the world. Love your neighbor, as you love yourself. This is proof you love me!

    Give me your life today. Give away your life today. There is the path to eternal life.

    You can trust me today.”

  87. That message given at the Forest Hills Church in Charlotte, NC is just reeking with Calvinism and the exhortation to do good works as proof of salvation and a contradictory statement.

  88. William, the insidious nature of these comments is that you won’t find them in the church’s statement of faith. You have to dig. I looked for them because I know some long-time members of this church who expressed some Calvinist perseverance-type viewpoints to me.

  89. Johninnc, It appears that people who embrace Calvinism/LS don’t ever get it do they? In their minds there’s ALWAYS “perseverance” attached with faith to secure salvation. They fail to realize that we are not saved by “unfailing faith” “unfailing perseverance” which is always susceptible to faltering and failure at certain times in our walk with God, but we are saved because we have believed and put our faith in a UNFAILING SAVIOR.
    They fail to realize that unfailing perseverance will EARN the believer eternal rewards NOT eternal salvation which is FREE.
    I believe many Calvinists/Lordship Salvationists have no real assurance of their salvation because they have to wait until AFTER they die to find out if they “persevered” good enough to make it into the Kingdom. Their assurance can fluctuate anywhere from 99% down to 20% depending on how well they “persevere” which is all self based shaky ground assurance.
    It appears they will be the ones PLEADING in front of Jesus to let them into heaven based on their works and perseverance – Matthew 7:22-23.
    On the other hand, Free Grace believers are guaranteed Kingdom entrance for all eternity at the moment of BELIEF – John 5:24, 6:47, 10:28-29, Romans 8:38-39.

  90. William, I was lost in that LS mindset until about 3 years ago. Once I realized the gospel did not include me contributing my own righteousness, then I believed in Christ. I believe many lost in Calvinism/LS have never experienced grace. Others trusted in Christ at some point and are still eternally secure, even though they have been ensnared by false doctrine.

    One of the reasons lost people stay lost is that we fail to reach them with the gospel, or believers undermine the gospel message by associating with apostate churches and organizations.

  91. Johninnc, Yes, I agree. When I was a new Christian, literally a babe in Christ, I was for a period of time deceived by the teachings of John MacArthur because I lacked spiritual discernment and experience. Many people also stay lost because of pride and stubbornness. Our Lord has always called people “stiff-necked” in Leviticus 26:18, Exodus 32:9, Deuteronomy 9:6, 9:13, 31:27.

  92. William, I agree that many people stay lost because of pride and stubbornness. Many are also blinded from the pulpit. I think the following quote from Tom Cucuzza is very insightful:

    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.

  93. What I am finding out there, is that most people say yes I do believe in eternal security and then do a switch most probably due to the teaching they are under these are pentecostals i was talking to. They claim to believe in eternal secrity but then they say u have to perservere and if u don’t right up until the end then u can’t of been saved. This is what i am hearing from the catholics and the pentecostals thats why u can see them all merging and converging together.

    My understanding is that the pentecostals are arminian in theology, but i can see lordship salvation has creeped into every denomination. So i wonder are these people saved or just fallen into deception. What a confusing world we live in.

  94. Mary,

    The world (the unsaved) are indeed in a state of blindness. Some are in effect doubly confused and blinded to the truth because they have bought the works for salvation lie and have stopped even looking for the true gospel because they think they have it already in their fool’s gold gospel. Could any of these people be saved? Maybe but there is no reason to think that they are. Just continue to share with them the true gospel and pray for them. Maybe eventually they will drop the crutch of works and trust Christ alone to save.

  95. Mary,

    I experienced something very similar one Sunday years ago at my church when our regular pastor was out and a substitute pastor filled in for him. After he gave “his” message, I knew something was not right about him and that his theology was contaminated. After the service, I asked him if he believed in eternal security and he said “yes”.
    Then I ask him another question. I asked if he believed that a Christian can lose his/her salvation if he/she committed apostasy or fell into grievous sin, and he tells me, “oh, yes definitely”. Well, his second statement contradicted his first. Then he tells me that he’s a 5 point Calvinist and a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary.
    Well, that explains why his 2nd statement contradicted his 1st, but his case was very ironic. Dallas Theological Seminary is world renowned for advocating Free Grace theology and eternal security. (Back then, I don’t know about now.)
    It is a tragic shame how a man like him who was a graduate of a reputable seminary in terms of correct Biblical doctrine would let a man made doctrine (Calvinism) contaminate his theology. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a Lordship Salvatkionist because of his embracing Calvinism.

  96. Calvinism, Arminianism, Mormonism, Pentacostalism, Buddhism, etc. Any so-called “gospel” with an “ism” is always FALSE. It appears that Satan has a whole inventory of phony gospels at his disposal and he puts them into different attractive packages to attract people of ALL ages.

  97. William,

    That is a tragic story of the substitute “pastor.” But not a surprise.

    Mary: as we are prone to say about Calvinists, in the vernacular of my native state, Alabama, “The woods is full of ‘em,” We need to stay on guard. You are doing really well in the discernment department!

    William:
    About Dallas Theological Seminary:

    Before and after I graduated from Florida Bible College (FBC) in the late 60s and early 70s, I witnessed several folks leave the solid Grace teaching of FBC and go to Dallas — only to graduate from there as full fledged Calvinists. There is something about “theological seminary” that becomes “theological cemetery” through a terrible lack of Biblical, contextual discernment with some “learned professors,” many of whom have been educated beyond their capacity to learn.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  98. Mary, Calvinism and Arminianism both teach salvation by works. They seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum, but in reality, they are both opposed to Grace.

  99. I always wonder how so MANY people in the church are so gullible in believing a person’s teaching and doctrine, namely John Calvin’s and Jacobus Arminius’s and just let these false doctrines spread like an epidemic in the church for centuries. I mean after all, what is Calvin and what is Arminius? 1 Corinthians 1:12-13 – “Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”
    Now we have many people in the church of the 21st century who basically say, “I am of MacArthur” , “I am of Piper”, or “I am of Washer”. A virulent disease, often terminal, resulting in hell.
    I know one thing for sure, any teaching that is derived from mere men who take Scripture OUT OF CONTEXT and passed on for centuries will always be overruled by the truth of Scripture. Colossians 2:8 – Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

  100. So can someone tell me, Jesus says the road is narrow and few find it, was he just talking about the people that just get the whole gospel of grace only.
    I am baffled as I am facing all these people who say yes we believe in eternal security as I said in my previous blog. So we don’t really know which are saved and which are not. Like the galatian christians they were saved but went under the spell of legalism (law). So how do we treat the calvanists and the arminians if at one time they got it, and know they don’t because they have fallen into false doctrine.
    It then seems so many are saved and at times it seems little are saved. I hope I am making sense. As I find it confusing. Can someone clarify this for me.

  101. Mary, I think I know what you are asking. It is whether people who’s personal testimonies contain heretical statements that contradict grace are, or are not saved. We simply don’t know. It is not possible to believe both the gospel and things that contradict the gospel at the same time. So, if someone expresses beliefs that are contrary to grace, we must assume that they don’t believe the gospel now. What we don’t know is whether or not they have believed in the past, and are therefore saved.

    There was a previous comment from Bob Gilbert that is re-posted below that I think may be helpful:

    I have remarked recently that we might be pretty sure, based on someone’s CLEAR statement, that they are saved, yet we cannot really know for sure that anyone is lost – regardless of their present message – because we do not know all that they heard and believed in the past. So we share the gospel, clearly and simply, and rejoice when folks believe in the Savior.

  102. CARNAL (backslidden) Christians could easily be MISTAKEN FOR NON-BELIEVERS (by sight, according to works) –eg Corinthian brother who had his mother-in-law;
    But equally, those infected by/infecting others with LEGASLISM, LS etc, could perhaps be MISTAKEN FOR NON-BELIEVERS (by hearing, their “works” confession) —eg Galatians etc

    We really can’t judge Mt7.1. This is why Christ never judged “by the hearing of His ears”. It’s also why He never listened to a charge against the Jn8 woman.

  103. WE can be absolutely sure of OWN own salvation 1Jn5.13 based on simple pistis plus nothing
    – “I KNOW” whom I have believed

    GOD is absolutely sure of the believer’s salvation!!!!
    – The “LORD KNOWS” those that are His

    WE being sure of OTHERS’ salvation?
    For other people’s salvation—
    -We can’t JUDGE (purpose: condemnation),
    -But….. we are told to DISCERN (purpose: edification)

  104. Speedy, I have a couple of thoughts on your above comments. The first may sound nitpicky and pedantic, but I simply must comment:

    You said: “Carnal (backslidden)…”

    My comment: Carnal does not necessarily mean “backslidden”. It means “fleshly” or not spiritual. When we use the term “backslidden”, it implies that a carnal Christian is someone who had “cleaned up his life”, but then regresses into carnal behavior. That is certainly a possibility. However, there are some Christians who haven’t ever “slidden” into being spiritual. Therefore, they are still carnal, but not “backslidden.”

    The reason the above distinction is important is that people that believe in Lordship “salvation” will allow for a temporary lapse in spirituality, but generally will not concede that a Christian may remain carnal indefinitely.

    You said: “We really can’t judge Mt7.1. This is why Christ never judged ‘by the hearing of His ears’

    My comment: I agree that we can’t really judge. However, if someone’s confession is that they are trusting in Christ for eternal life, and they are clear on it, we should take them at their word. They clearly understand the gospel, so they have clearly heard it (no matter how carnal they may be). Such people do not need to be presented with the gospel, but need to be instructed, by God’s word, in how to live.

    By the same token, if someone’s confession is that they are not trusting in Christ for eternal life (or that they are trusting in Christ plus works), we don’t KNOW they aren’t saved. But, their testimony would lead us to believe that they may not be. We need to present the gospel to this group of people.

    Let me give you an example. Suppose I am discussing a heinous crime with my friend. I tell my friend that the person who committed the heinous crime was a Christian at the time that the crime was committed. My friend responds with “people who do that crime go to hell.” That is a pretty good signal that my friend does not understand the plan of salvation and needs to hear the gospel.

  105. Thank you. I see what you mean.

    I guess backslidden is not a Bible term (unless you include the “backsliding heifer” of Hos.), perhaps even a bit works orientated.

    I understand the more limited “worksy” definition as used my most believers, used to describe someone who has been “spectacularly converted”, “slides forward” into “clean living” & amazing “performance”, get’s experientially delivered from some “large” overt sin, and then “slides” right back into that sin & substandard performance -right? …And I agree this is not always (actually, not usually) the case, because salvation does not guarantee someone WILL have a change in behavior. You are right & there are many who don’t experience this. According to this definition, carnal Christian would not necessarily be a backslider, because they have no positive change to slide back from.

    But that’s why, just to clarify, I prefer to use backslidden in a broader sense than most Christians, describing believers who are “spiritually backslidden”, ie. after being given a perfect position in Christ (permanently), consistently live outside of fellowship with God & thus, beneath that position -experientially- through not being Spirit filled; (being controlled by self & subsequently, the sarx (osn). To me then, backslidden would include those who (a) have no history of victory (ie. even if they have never “lived right” for a minute they could still be spiritually backslidden), and (b) have no current overt sin (ie. they are doing everything a Christian “should” do — yet they still could be spiritually backslidden.

    Obviously this condition can not go on perpetually (with them never agreeing with God & speaking the same thing homologeo as Him 1Jn1.9), because His Heb12 discipline process will at some point kick in & interrupt it or, in the case that they never get right, end it with a premature promotion to heaven..

    The broader definition could then be applied to Saul (1Sa13 -up to his premature death), David (1Sa11), Solomon (Eccl), Paul (Ro7), Noah (Ge9-?), just Lot, & Peter (Jn21). (The last one is a real Ps139 case, where Christ literally “slides right back”… to Galilee with them!!!) –if I make my bed in hell, even there you are with me!!

  106. It reminds me of a certain time I had with a group of believers, when the conversation turned unedifyingly morbid & someone decided to ask everyone at the table if they had ever backslidden since they got saved! As they went around, most people, piously gave a “spectacular” AAA+ testimony until it got to me :) And —because I consider backslidden, something deeper than just falling “back” into overt sin, but but a spiritual condition where someone is consistently living outside of fellowship with God—, my reply was…. “Well, many many times!” And “I remember sitting in a nice, but backslidden, church for a long time!!!! But praise be to Jesus, He slides right back with me & never leaves us nor forsakes us!! Underneath are the everlasting arms”. The thing kind of ended right there & they changed the subject!!!! My wife told me later that had it come around to her turn, she would have said “I am backslidden right now” –just to see what their response would be!!!!!

  107. Speedy, your recent posts reminded me of one of the great contradictions of Lordhp “salvation”/Calvinism. People that believe in perseverance of the saints will insist that a believer may have a temporary spiritual lapse, but that a believer will always return to fellowship with Christ. This reasoning implies that a believer who is in a back-slidden spiritual condition is impervious to death while in that condition. It also implies that God would not give someone “an early promotion to heaven”!

  108. Hi Johninnc
    There are plenty of examples in the Bible of believers who did not return to fellowshipping with the Lord & did not persevere in the slightest, yet are in heaven today! Salvation does not guarantee change, nor perseverance.
    Perseverance of the saints is just another way of tagging on works.
    Our so-called “perseverance”, or “continuing” is undependable & totally un-guaranteed (-so long as I have a free will and an osn!)

    Christ persevered FOR ME, period!

    Saul is an example of a believer who would not repent & suffered the sin unto physical death. There are many others in the word of God. It just couldn’t go on indefinitely. Why? Not because of “perseverance of the saints”.. Not at all.. But because of that practical little spanner in the works called… Loving discipline -because they ARE saved. And perhaps, when this doesn’t work, God in His omniscience knows that, no matter what, they are making such a mess and -this is interesting- though He could not see the SIN they were living in (because His eyes are too pure to behold iniquity Ha1.13) nevertheless He senses the lack of FELLOWSHIP, and so He decides, Saul it’s time to come home where you will be in perfect unbroken fellowship for eternity…

    Alrighty, gotta go -God bless you and hope you people have wonderful services tomorrow!

  109. “Perseverance of the saints” will inevitably result in failure at some point, but it is “preservation of the saints” that keeps all believer’s eternal salvation intact – 2Timothy 2:13

  110. William, excellent point.

    Tom Cucuzza has written a wonderful book on this topic. It is entitled “Secure Forever! God’s Promise or Our Perseverance” I would recommend it to anyone.

  111. William said..
    “PRESERVATION of the saints”

    -Awesome, I love it!
    +Add 1Pe1.5 -kept by the power of God!

  112. I hope different opinions can be offered. I listen to a lot of the preachers named as promoting false teaching, and I’m reading on ExP things ascribed to them that I never took them to be saying. There is so much written above so I’ll just try to take a one representative example. I hope there is room to consider you might be reading too much into their quotes without the benefit of their fuller teaching.

    Example: Quoted from above, “Thus we see in Scripture that behavioral change is NOT automatic upon belief. To say that believers WILL change (behavior) means that good works must accompany faith in Christ. And, if good works must accompany faith in Christ, than good works would be required for someone to go to heaven. The Bible does not teach that works are required as a condition for receiving eternal life, nor does the Bible teach that good works will accompany faith in Christ. The Bible teaches that salvation is received by grace, through faith in Christ.”

    I have never heard MacArthur, Piper, Platt, or Chan say that immediately upon belief behavior would change. John 15:1-2 shows the Father is gardener and is interested in seeing us produce more and more fruit in us. We all grow at different rates. What I have heard taught by guys like MacArthur is that over time, there should be evidence of some fruit in your life. MacArthur teaches good works are an EVIDENCE of salvation … not a REQUIREMENT of salvation! If you can be a Christian for 30 years and have absolutely no fruit / good works to show for it, MacArthur would say there is good cause for self-reflection on whether or not you are Christian in the first place. Even that statement doesn’t suggest a change in behavior necessarily has to have taken place in 30 years. Maybe it takes 31 years for you to produce fruit / good works. Maybe you die before you ever produce fruit / good works. MacArthur is only saying the lack of evidence of fruit / good works is cause for self-reflection on whether you were ever saved to begin with. “… by their fruits ye shall know them” – Matthew 7:20.

    This isn’t that different from James taking about faith and works in James 2:14-17. “14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

    James isn’t saying good deeds are a requirement of salvation in James 2:14-17, but he is saying that such faith is dead and raises the question if such faith can save them. To go back to the vine and branches example in John 15, if you are alive in Christ and connected to the life giving sap of the vine, as a branch you are going to eventually produce some fruit … otherwise you are a dead branch and dead branches are thrown into the fire. Fruit / good works and saving faith go hand-in-hand. Quit trying to make it out that others are adding salvation requirements … especially when these same people over and over specifically teach against a works-based soteriology.

    All these preachers I have listed above have made it emphatically clear that good works are an evidence of salvation and I have NEVER heard them state good works are a requirement of salvation. I humbly suggest you are putting words in their mouths by often taking short portions of transcripts and parsing it to death and then applying what you think they are saying without the fuller benefit of their complete teaching.

    These same preachers have taught clearly and consistently the very things I’m reading ExP holds dear. Over and over and over and over I have heard guys like MacArthur and Piper preach salvation is by grace alone through Christ alone. We are eating our own to be so critical of other believers who don’t exactly match the details of our understanding of doctrine. These guys agree with you more than you know. If it was approved for viewing by the moderator, you can read elsewhere where I address how they have been misunderstood about adding the work of repentance as salvation requirement.

    Don’t get me wrong, there is a place to sound the alarm to other believers about false teachings, but let’s be more clear about when a dangerous line has been crossed. None of us have perfect doctrine. I’m a Calvinist. I’m not prepared to call the people that hold to the doctrinal statement on this website nor am I prepared to call those that hold an Arminian view as false teachers or heretics. Sure I disagree with some of their doctrine and as a result I think they are missing out on the glory of a fuller correct understanding, but they think the same of me … and that’s okay. Ultimately in the big picture we are on the same team because we do believe in the same Triune God and we believe that salvation is found by grace alone through Christ alone. Can you not agree that ultimately we are talking about the same gospel? Can’t we give each other some grace? What happened to the saying “In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. And in all things, charity”?

    I say again there is a time and place to sound the alarm about false teaching. If you want to sound the alarm about false teaching, surely there are better places to focus your time/energy where the danger line has been more obviously crossed and where a different gospel is being promoted. Sound the alarm on a universalist like Rob Bell. Sound the alarm on Word Faith / Prosperity Gospel preachers like Kenneth Copeland. But let’s give a little grace to such devoted Christians as MacArthur, Piper, Platt, Chan, and others who may not match up perfectly to the details of our own understanding of doctrine, but who are ultimately on the same team. Let’s not eat our own.

    Do you really expect to get to heaven and find out you had absolutely perfect doctrine? You’re arrogant if you do … at least not when you start getting down into the level detail in which I see you pick apart other Bible teachers and parse their statements out-of-context. While we may not be able to have perfect doctrine down to the nitty-gritty the details, in the big picture, we can be confident we serve the same God and preach the same Gospel and we should LOVE each other.

  113. imbanachek, different opinions may be offered to a point – see guest rules:

    http://expreacherman.com/comments/

    You said: “I have never heard MacArthur, Piper, Platt, or Chan say that immediately upon belief behavior would change. John 15:1-2 shows the Father is gardener and is interested in seeing us produce more and more fruit in us. We all grow at different rates. What I have heard taught by guys like MacArthur is that over time, there should be evidence of some fruit in your life. MacArthur teaches good works are an EVIDENCE of salvation … not a REQUIREMENT of salvation!”

    My comment: See quotes. MacArthur clearly adds WORKS to becoming saved – not just as evidence of salvation.

    “The gospel according to Jesus calls sinners to give up their independence, deny themselves, submit to an alien will, and abandon all rights in order to be owned and controlled by the Lord. By confessing Jesus as Lord (Kurios), we automatically confess that we are His slaves (douloi).” John MacArthur

    “Faith, like grace, is not static. Saving faith is more than just understanding the facts and mentally acquiescing. It is inseparable from repentance, surrender, and a supernatural longing to obey.” John MacArthur

    ““Verse 36 goes even further, equating disobedience with unbelief: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” Thus the test of true faith is this: Does it produce obedience? If not, it is not saving faith. Disobedience is unbelief. Real faith obeys.” John MacArthur

    “Jesus never sanctioned any form of cheap grace. He was not offering eternal life as an add-on to a life cluttered with unconfessed sin. It is inconceivable that He would pour someone a drink of living water without challenging and altering that individual’s sinful lifestyle.” John MacArthur

    I would challenge you to read the below links from Jim Floyd on MacArthur:

    http://standforthefaith.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/the-gospel-according-to-macarthur-examining-the-book-the-gospel-according-to-jesus/

    http://standforthefaith.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/the-gospel-according-to-macarthur-examining-the-book-the-gospel-according-to-jesus-pt2-nicodemus/

    http://standforthefaith.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/the-gospel-according-to-macarthur-examining-the-book-the-the-gospel-according-to-jesus-pt3-the-woman-at-the-well/

    Once you have read all of these, you should have no more questions as to how our beliefs at ExP differ from those of MacArthur, Chan, Washer, Piper, etc.

    You said: “I’m a Calvinist. I’m not prepared to call the people that hold to the doctrinal statement on this website nor am I prepared to call those that hold an Arminian view as false teachers or heretics. Sure I disagree with some of their doctrine and as a result I think they are missing out on the glory of a fuller correct understanding, but they think the same of me … and that’s okay. Ultimately in the big picture we are on the same team because we do believe in the same Triune God and we believe that salvation is found by grace alone through Christ alone. Can you not agree that ultimately we are talking about the same gospel? Can’t we give each other some grace? What happened to the saying “In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. And in all things, charity”?”

    My comment: We are not “on the same team.” Both Calvinism and Arminianism are false doctrines. Calvinism is not the gospel. Arminianism is not the gospel. The gospel is the gospel.

  114. Imbanachek,

    Are you the same poster as David B on my site standforthefaith.wordpress.com? I just got the same basic post there the other day with some of the exact phrasing? Just wondering. If so I have answered many of your questions there in my response to David B.

    I will also comment further on your comment on the other post here. My hope is that you do consider what we are saying.

    Jim F

  115. Imbanachek wrote: “MacArthur teaches good works are an EVIDENCE of salvation … not a REQUIREMENT of salvation!”

    Evidence = requirement.

    Because, if someone says, “the works will come as evidence that you are saved”, then the works are a requirement of the salvation. Since, without the works, then the person will say, “you lack the evidence, so you lack the salvation”. MacArthur is a false teacher.

    James chapter 2 is not referring to salvation at all. Salvation is not in view. So that doesn’t support MacArthur.

    Imbanachek wrote: “I have heard guys like MacArthur and Piper preach salvation is by grace alone through Christ alone.”

    We just proved that MacArthur doesn’t believe in salvation by grace alone through FAITH in Jesus Christ alone. Piper doesn’t believe it either. Piper has routinely said that he is waiting for the judgment to see if he was part of the “elect” as he defines it. Well that is too late. By that time, it is too late. A person has to know right now that they are saved, and that is only by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. So Piper has a false gospel that doesn’t save anyone.

  116. I agree Abe with everything you just said..

    Jim F

  117. Lots of good comments, will have to come back, and whether MacArthur said ‘immediately’ upon belief good weeks would follow or ‘within a year’ or whatever time parameter, I’d just like to ask, what speed would not be acceptable, and do these men know the inward part of a man?

    Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    But it continues, we will know them by their fruits (and obviously it wasn’t the great works they were doing, nor was it about calling him LORD as all Lordship teachers do. We will know them because their doctrine does not line up with the Word.

    I have a friend who went faithfully to John MacArthur’s church since the late 80’s and finally saw the false teaching in all the recycled sermons, the pattern is clear over and over, works, finishing in the flesh, how much the person DOES, and it’s clear, many will be in line justifying themselves by their works even on that day.

  118. Thespeedyz Speedy

    HollyGarcia BRILLIANT comment, which captures the absurdity of leaving grace… “what speed [of fruit/works] would not be acceptable?” !!!!!!!!

    When we get into WORKS & SELF analysis, (-vs. His Finished Work & His character of grace-), it degenerates from…
    **” GLORIOUS *** IMMEASURABLE *** INCOMPARABLE ***
    — human — quantifiable — comparable —

    “My gospel was not human!” Ga1 (Wuest Lit. translation)

  119. Speedy… :) Not sure I’ve ever had anything I said called ‘brilliant’, made me laugh. But God’s Word is indeed powerful, and if people will look into the fruit of what these false prophets were doing (or not), I think they’d get a better glimpse at what ‘fruits’ we will know them by.

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

    (All non-believers are workers of iniquity, children of disobedience, the unrighteous).

    Something I shared on my site.

    Look up John 6:28-29, John 6:38-40, Rom. 10:3-4, 1 Cor 1:30-31

    Answer questions regarding the passage in Matthew 7 above. Also refer to vs. 15 on to know it is false prophets being spoken about.

    1. What do you see to be the works God wants us to do? (versus the one they justified themselves by)

    2. What do you see to be the will of the Father in the passages provided? (or find some of your own.)

    3. Note that He NEVER KNEW them. (Look up John 10:14)

    4. Note sadly that they call Him Lord, Lord… (Lordship teachers certainly do that, and they accuse the sheep falsely saying they don’t want to submit to His Lordship. Not true, we just do not submit to their false definition of what it means)

    5. Ask yourself, who did these false prophets in Matt 7 glory in? Is it about what God is doing in their life? Or about how radical a disciple they are?

  120. 1) The work that God wants us to do is to BELIEVE. The false prophets in Matthew 7:22 believed that their own works would merit them eternal life.

    2) The will of the Father is to BELIEVE.

    3) Jesus never knew them because they never BELIEVED that it was faith alone in Him apart from works that saves.

    4) Calling Him Lord, Lord did not save them. I’m sure Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses call Him Lord too, but don’t possess eternal life. In Matthew 7:22 the unsaved were calling Him Lord, Lord out of desperation to try to convince Jesus to let them into the Kingdom based on THEIR works. It’s obvious that their calling Him “Lord, Lord” takes place at the Great White Throne Judgment. I can see that there is pleading and urgency.

    5) These false prophets gloried in themselves in their own works, and lifelong efforts.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I feel that Matthew 7: 24-27 is conceptually parallel to 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. Do you see the similarities?

  121. William, I do see a parallel between those passages.

  122. Do you see how a passage like Matthew 7:24-27 is taken out of context by Lordship Salvationists and used as one of their “proof texts” to prove that eternal life is merited by faith PLUS works, but when we do a comparison of Matthew 7:24-27 and 1 Corinthians 3:10 -15 it becomes evident that it is the saved Christian’s works being assessed and evaluated at the Judgment Seat of Christ to determine eternal rewards and the privilege of reigning with Christ.

  123. Johninnc – I am going to include your note (and cite this page) for the comment above on Dec 20th, 2013 regarding Tom Cucuzza’s sermon if that is o.k. with you. (Lord willing of course that I get to it). Doing a compilation of repentance quotes and verses for a blog I pray.

  124. Holly, go for it. This is a good quote from Tom.

  125. BTW – Imabanachek, MacArthur may or may not have used the term immediately regarding behavior, but he did give a list of things you must do in order to even BE saved, so you might need to do a little more proving.

    John MacArthur teaches a top loaded, work laden, false gospel. I can prove it and have, straight from his transcripts against the Word of God, as much wiser people than I here, have already done so, should you care to know the truth.

  126. William – thank you for answering those, it is so true, believe, believe, believe, His Work not ours…

    1 Cor 3 speaks to rewards regarding believer’s walks, hadn’t thought on the similarity, I’d cut out verses 26-27 from Matt 7 though, because that house was never on the foundation, and all was washed away. I believe that speaks to unbelievers.

  127. Oh, thank you John, you slipped in there, I’m citing Tom of course on some other things. So many have confusion there, think it’s important.

  128. William – I missed what you posted behind what you first asked, so sorry….you already answered that, and far better than I explained it, agree completely.

  129. Following is an excerpt from part 12 of Tom Cucuzza’s series on the book of James:

    11:25 -13:18

    What drives people to have that theology? It’s pride. It’s pride. For them to be able to say “I’ve got it.” How do you know you’ve got it? “Well you know, I used to have these thoughts, I don’t have those thoughts any more.” Yes you do, by the way, but… “ I used to think this way, I used to have that habit, I don’t have that habit any more. I used to…” Wait a minute. Do you still sin? “Well, yeah I still sin.” Well, then, you know what? You’re disqualified.

    If you’re basing whether you’re saved or not on the way you live your life, or what your life looks like, friend the day’s going to come when you’re going to doubt you’re saved, because you will fail. If you’re honest, you’ll fail. “ Oh no, I never, I know I’m saved because my life is all cleaned up now. “ I’m sorry. According to 1st John, God says you’re a liar. God says you’re a liar. We still all sin. That’s why we need to confess, OK, to come back into fellowship with God. Not eternal relationship, but fellowship with God.

    But, you see, what drives that kind of mentality, that Lordship salvation message that leads people into despair and darkness and frustration and uncertainty? What drives it? It is pride. And can I tell you folks, the seminaries and Bible colleges and churches in this world today are dripping with this stuff.

    Salvation comes to the person that understands there’s not one thing I can do of myself to deserve heaven. I am a lost, perverse, wicked sinner. And if it wasn’t for what Jesus Christ did on the cross when He paid for ALL of my sin, I would have no hope at all. But, now I have the assurance of salvation, based on the finished work of Jesus Christ. Isn’t that beautiful? That’s grace.”

    See link to the full sermon below:

    http://northlandchurch.com/2011/sermon-archives?sermon_id=65

  130. And here is one more excerpt from the same sermon:
    36:21-37:22

    Now you might say “a saved person surely is going to live for the Lord, aren’t they?
    Not automatically. Not automatically.

    Just like you had the choice whether you were going to trust Christ, you have the choice whether you’re going to submit to Christ as a Christian. Not automatic. I got news for you friend. If it was automatic, the Bible would be a whole lot thinner than it is. You’d just need a one page job. How’s that for a handy, handy Bible. You know, forget the idea of this Bible with thousands of pages on it. All these people that make all these Bibles, they would just be frustrated to no end.

    You just put it on the front page of one page, you just “here’s how to be saved” And, OK you trust Christ as Savior, and there you are. Automatic. You’re on the assembly line of the Christian life now. You’re going to automatically do the right thing and say the right thing and not do the wrong thing. It’s just going to be automatic. You’re going to love everybody and you’re going to love everything that’s right and hate everything that’s wrong, and everything’s going to be perfect. Right?

    Well that’s not the way it is. See, it’s because we have a will that God, through the scriptures, reasons with us. And you know what? That takes space.

  131. Thank you for taking the time to transcribe that, John. I agree with Tom Cucuzza’s words above. (My wife and I just listened to this very same message earlier this morning.)

  132. Yes, Tom Cucuzza is right. Pride has always been the problem for a lot of people in the Lordship Salvation camp. Pride breeds self-righteousness and arrogance and opens up the door for comparison with other believers. It’s like, “my life is holier than yours.” They become fruit inspectors.
    Proverbs 16:18 – “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

  133. Pride goes hand in hand with fear and destruction (as the Proverb says regarding the latter). And as I just noticed William quoted :)

    For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. 2 Cor 10:12

  134. Thanks John for the transcript, really appreciate reading those words, shared this over on FB, hope some will take the time to read.

  135. Funny, didn’t expect another person to share this on FB, and it got quite a vehement response.

    One person said in disagreement with your article, “If you don’t become a ‘new creature’ with a new heart.. if there is no change in your life… there is no new birth. When The Holy Spirit indwells you, you become a new creation..born again from above.. you’re changed. It may take some time (a little or a lot)but there will be change in your behavior too, sooner or later, or it’s not real.. nothing happened and you just mouthed words… and you are still in your sins… because if there’s no change.. the Holy Spirit is ineffective in you.. that is not possible.. He is God!!! I’m not going to argue this with any of you… but you all are going to answer for assuring those who have no change that they’re okay if they’re not!!!”

    This is the same person who argues you must feel sorry for your sins when you believe, and have a change of behavior after. I guess it’s hard to explain sometimes if they are angered and don’t want to hear, it instantly becomes about us wanting to somehow live in sin.

  136. Can someone explain to me Luke 13:3, and Luke 13:5? I’ve encountered a person who is using Luke 13:3 and Luke 13:5 to defend his view that “repentance” is a requirement for salvation. I know that repentance in Greek is “metanoia” which means “change of mind”, but what exactly is Jesus saying in the context of Luke 13:3 and Luke 13:5? Is he referring to physical death?
    I have 2 excellent Bible commentaries written by Free Grace Bible scholars, but both did not give an adequate explanation on both verses.

  137. William, first of all, let me say, we believe that repentance is a requirement for salvation. Please see the below excerpt from the ExP Statement of Faith:

    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.

    One of the clearer passages that make it clear that repentance (when properly defined) is required for salvation is Luke 24:47:

    And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

    Now, regarding Luke 13:3, 5, following is an explanation from Clear Gospel Campaign that I think is pretty good:

    In the above passage, the words “sinners,” “repent,” and “perish” occur in the space of two verses. For the simple minded, this proximity is all the evidence needed to reinforce the mantra, “Repent of your sins to be saved.”

    As in Matthew 3:5-9, the underlying Greek word for “repent” is “metanoeo,” “to change one’s mind.” It will therefore be recalled that the most significant marker to the object of repentance is something in the context that tells you what the subject is said to “believe,” or “suppose” or “understand” or “think” or “regard.” This identifies the object of repentance (the belief about which the lost sinner must “change his mind.”)

    Jesus speaks of a tower in Jerusalem that collapsed and killed 18 people. The Jewish mind searched for an answer for this tragedy. They realized that only God can know the secret thoughts and deeds of another man. Perhaps then, they reasoned, those 18 persons on whom the tower of Siloam fell were actually the 18 worst sinners in all Jerusalem. God could have gathered them together at the appointed time and place to execute his righteous judgment. And this is exactly what Jesus says of their faith . . . “Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?”

    The question arises as to whether this passage is soteriological . . . a warning to the lost that they are in need of eternal salvation. An alternative view holds that the warning of temporal judgment on the nation of Israel, not the eternal judgment of a lost sinner. Verses, 6-9, which immediately follow, appear to be dealing with God’s pending judgment on the nation, and therefore provide some contextual support for the temporal-judgment interpretation of Luke 13:1-5.

    6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
    7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
    8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
    9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

    Verses 6-9 strongly appear to be directed to temporal judgment on Israel, and context should never be dismissed lightly. However, an examination of the “overall context” of chapters 12-13 will show that a variety of judgments are discussed in the short space of those two chapters.

    Luke chapter 12 is largely directed to the judgment of believers at the judgment seat. Verses 1-12 are directed to the believer’s willingness to confess Christ, and remembering that our lives will be reviewed by the God of the universe. Luke 12:13-34 deals with money, and remembering that our stewardship will be judged. The passage encourages believers to therefore trust God for our physical needs. Verses 35-48 about being ready for the Lord’s return in general.

    Luke 13:23-30 appear to be dealing principally with eternal salvation, although arguments could be advanced that it deals, at least in part, with the believer’s acquitting himself honorably at the judgment seat.

    Luke 13:34-35 return to the theme of the temporal judgment and destruction of Jerusalem earlier addressed in verses 7-9 of this same chapter.

    This rapid sequence of contextual shifts includes temporal judgment of cities, the judgment of the believer, and the judgment of the lost. The unifying theme is simply judgment. The context is not limited to temporal judgment.

    On the other hand, in chapter 18, Luke discusses men who seek to justify themselves through their own works of righteousness.

    9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
    10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
    11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
    12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
    13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
    14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other.Two Interpretations of Luke 13:1-5

    Temporal Judgment (upon the nation of Israel)

    Pro: Verses 6-9, immediately following, deal with temporal judgment on Israel.

    Con: Chapters 12-13 deal with a least three different judgments:
    1) the temporal judgment of Israel;
    2) the judgment of the believer at the judgment seat of Christ; and,
    3) the judgment of the lost at the great white throne.
    All are equally bound to the context. The theme of this section of Luke is not limited to any one form of judgment. It is addressing judgment in general.

    Eternal Judgment (upon those trusting in their own righteousness):

    Pro: This same motif, salvation by self righteousness, is addressed in Luke 18:9-14, and throughout Scripture, as a soteriological issue.

    In view of Luke 18:9-14, the demand to stop trusting in one’s works as a precondition for salvation is clearly part of the contextual fabric of Luke. And it is clear that Luke 13:1-5 is directed to trusting in one’s self righteousness. To do so is to secure God’s judgment unto eternal condemnation. This provides contextual support for the soteriological interpretation of Luke 13:1-5. Moreover, when one is trusting in the works of the law to save oneself, a warning of national judgment hardly seems appropriate! The most urgent need of such a person is not the temporal deliverance of their nation, but the salvation of their eternal soul. Returning to our summary questions, therefore:

    1) Is this passage in Luke soteriological (dealing with eternal salvation)? Yes, in all likelihood. Reasonable arguments can be advanced for interpreting Luke 13:1-5 as a warning of temporal judgment on Israel, or of the eternal judgment of the unbeliever. Each student of Scripture holds in his hands the scale of judgment, and bears the responsibility before God for interpreting Scripture.

    2) Is repentance in Luke 13:1-5 presented as a requirement for eternal salvation? Repentance is clearly required to avoid God’s judgment. If one understands Luke 13:1-5 as referring to eternal judgment, the answer is yes. Repentance is needed for eternal salvation.

    3) Is the object of repentance consistent with the message of salvation in Scripture? Yes, throughout Scripture, men are told they must accept God’s offer of salvation by faith alone, apart from the works of the law.

  138. Hey, John Thanks for the above article on repentance! The difference is that the FREE GRACE definition of repentance is this: Change of one’s mind regarding Jesus and BELIEVE by simple faith apart from works to be SAVED – Ephesians 2:8-9, John 5:24, 6:47, Acts 16:30-31, whereas the LORDSHIP SALVATION definition of repentance is this: Turn from sins, change of behavior, commitment, obedience, perseverance, and willfully submit to the Lordship of Christ for life in order to be saved. What a difference!

  139. That is a very good article. Somehow men feel they have owned the term “Free Grace” and then turn around and disown the term, or men like Calvinists use the word Grace when they don’t truly believe in it at all.

    I think on the Biblical definition of repentance, that His grace, through our faith, delivers a free gift of salvation to the one who believes. Understanding the term repentance has been something I am really thankful for, and get now that we have to let go of any filthy rags of our own self righteousness when it comes to receiving the free gift of salvation. Nothing, no promise, no performance can accompany His gospel.

  140. Everywhere I go I am dealing with the 3 evils of the day, which is Calvanism, Arminianism and Lordshp. It has so infiltrated the church, that I can no longer fellowship with Christians who have blindly accepted all that their colleges and churches have told them. I am also encountering christians, if they are that are buying the lie that catholics are christians. I’m talking about the institution is not. There maybe some that are in spite of their denomination. The confusion out there is so intense. I pray I have the right gospel, somedays. Does anyone know of sugarland bible studies, I listen to Andy Woods, Tony Garland they claim to be free gracers, but are sounding more Calvanistic. They may not be full blown Calvanists, but may be 1,2.3 pointers. So confusing, I can only hope the lord is coming soon. God bless Dave Hunt, when he made seduction of christianity series, which were excellent , he said we were at the climax of the apostasy , that was then.
    . Come lord, Come Jesus we are so tired of it all.

  141. Hi Mary,

    Tell me about it. I totally understand how you feel. I don’t even go to a church anymore because of the pervasiveness of false doctrine. Dr. Robert N. Wilkin who is the founder of GES estimates that 95% of all denominations, seminaries, seminary professors, and students have embraced the false doctrines of Calvinism/Lordship Salvation. I noticed that even some Free Grace Christians are not immune to false doctrine.
    2 Timothy 4:3 – For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

  142. I don’t know about Andy or Tony, I know someone brought them up the other day on a website (which on won’t bring up, not knowing if sound), but he joins in with other teachers, seems like you can probably check them out. Someone asked me the other day about Duluth, I didn’t know what to say because I haven’t checked them out much either, but their point was that they noticed them favorably quoting Spurgeon (do not know if that is so) and another person mentioned one there who has turned from being associated with free grace. I don’t know if it’s because of those who teach unfaithful believers being judged at the Bema seat and going to outer darkness, or if it is about deity, or the gospel seen in 1 Cor 15, the crossless gospel idea. Whatever it is, seems that those particular people should be marked and avoided vs. the actual doctrine of how I see free grace. But I understand if people are compromising, no matter their claim to a type of doctrine.

  143. Thanks Holly,

    You are right when you said:

    I understand if people are compromising, no matter their claim to a type of doctrine.

    Sounds like those who claim the truth but preach the lie are guilty of:
    James 1:8
    “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

    As you have said, “avoid, beware and run from them.”

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  144. Holly, Duluth is pretty solid in their SOF and many of the articles they publish in Grace Family Journal. That said, Grace Family Journal has included articles by Spurgeon and George Zeller, both of whom I think are deadly poison.

  145. Like Mary was saying I’m just as sick and tired of false doctrine. Sooner or later we should have a major debate. The best of the best from the Free Grace camp vs. the worst of the worst from the Lordship Salvation camp. Anyone remember years ago the debate that took place between Dr. John Walvoord of Dallas Seminary vs. Harold Camping of Family Radio?
    Harold Camping is a devout Calvinist who was making the bogus predictions about the 2nd coming of our Lord and teaching false doctrine.
    I don’t remember the outcome of the debate, but I’m sure Dr. Walvoord made him look like a fool.

  146. Yes thats what I am concerned about, that they speak so favourably about Martin Luther, who taught the damnable doctrine of baptismal regeneration.Spurgeon and Billy Graham and all the reformers are favourably spoken about too. I guess everywhere we look, everyone is caving in to compromising, its just too hard to practice biblical separation, as no-one wants to be seen as unloving and divisive. Tony Garland and all these guys all seem to be great teachers, but then the red flags go up with their subtle infiltration of calvanism. Truly heartbreaking.

  147. Can someone also give me a brief summary of whats wrong with George Zeller, so I know what to look out for. In Australia, here this morning we have a missionary, from our town, who has gone to North Korea, his name is John Short, I am sure you have seen the papers and heard the news today. He is possibly going to be jailed for 15 years for giving out gospel tracts. I marvel how god is using him already, the huge write up on the front page and the gospel was preached and written out for all to see that they needed to be saved from their sins. Praise god, use John Short mightily, everyone is so concerned with our Australian in Bali, Shapelle Corby, only her and god knows whether she is guilty of drug trafficking.
    She gets 9years for drugs and John gets 15years jail time for distributing a piece of paper which names the name of Christ. I applaude him what a hero, knowing the risks he could face to free some of the North Koreans from their regime. I pray for souls to be saved in Korea.

  148. Mary, in a nutshell, Zeller believes in “back-door” LS. For example, he believes that soils 2 in the parable of the Sower is unsaved. Jesus said otherwise.

    Example quote:

    IF GOOD WORKS ARE NOT A NECESSARY OUTCOME OF SAVING FAITH, THEN…

    …why did Jesus say, “even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit…a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit…a good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things” (Matt. 7:17-18; 12:35)?

    …God’s work of chastening has failed to bring about the desired result (Heb. 12:10-11). Note: Those who are not God’s legitimate children can live any way they please all the way to the grave, but God, in His love, does not allow His children to live any way they please. Just as a human father uses a rod to keep his child from persisting in evil behavior, so the Heavenly Father chastens His children so that they will not persist in sin. [Zane Hodges claims that the “bastards” or illegitimate children mentioned in Hebrews 12:8 are probably regenerate people who do not inherit the kingdom! See the Bible Knowledge Commentary under Heb. 12:8.]

    …the God who saves is powerless to sanctify [thus, the prayer of Jesus in John 17:17 will not be answered for some believers].

    … the indwelling ministry of the grieved Spirit of God in convicting erring saints is ineffective

    …for some believers God’s workmanship is never realized and never displayed and thus there are some believers that never walk in those works which God has before ordained that they should walk in them (Eph. 2:10).

    …Jesus’ parable of the sower ought to be revised so that it would read as follows: “But other fell into good ground and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold and some zerofold” (Matt. 13:8). As the parable stands it teaches that all believers are fruitful but not all believers are as fruitful as they should be or could be. Actually, Hodges and Dillow and Wilkin teach that many believers bear ZERO fruit as represented by the stony and thorny soils.

    …John the Baptist was being too severe and demanding when he challenged the profession of the Pharisees and Sadducees and when he told them that every tree not bearing good fruit would get the axe and the fire (Matt. 3:7-12).

    …John the Apostle must have been mistaken when he wrote, “He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God” (2 John 11).

    …God is not changing all believers into the image of His Son, or if He is changing them, this change is not evident and not seen (2 Cor. 3:18).

    …God’s grace has failed in its teaching ministry (Titus 2:11-12) and God’s purpose of redemption has not been realized (Titus 2:14).

    …God’s purpose for believers in light of the cross would not be fulfilled (see 1 Pet. 2:24).

    …God’s holy new nature (Eph. 4:24; 1 John 3:9) is consistently concealed in the lives of those believers who are devoid of good works.

  149. William, please beware that Robert Wilkin has become one of the main advocates for the cross-less gospel position that holds that one can be saved without knowing about the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  150. Thanks John (for the info on Duluth), maybe that is what they had seen, was on their Journal, she specifically mentioned Spurgeon. Did Wilkin change over from the crossless gospel? I saw a portion of a video with Hixson saying he was no longer identifying as free grace, and mentioned his former association with Wilkin, but it sounded like something Wilkin gravitated to later in his teaching? Pretty serious error.

  151. Holly,

    When John made me aware of Duluth’s recommendation of Zeller I wrote to Dennis Rokser, the Pastor. Tom Stegall the Assistant to Rokser answered and told me they had purged all references to Zeller and Calvinists in that particular Journal.

    I did not know about their quoting Spurgeon so I do not know whether they removed his work or not.

    He was very apologetic and appreciative.

    Thanks John. If you have the link to their Spurgeon quote I will write to Stegall about it.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  152. Holly, as far as I know, Wilkin is still a cross less gospel advocate.

  153. Talk about getting confused even in the free grace camp, when you are new to it. New sounds silly, the gospel is not new, but I guess I had it tainted with Lorship and Calvanism and a bit of Arminianism. Romanism, Arminianism and Calvanism are all the same. You can read a good article by Tom Stegall, as they all believe we have to perservere, endure and be faithful til the end or we are not saved. We will all try to be all those things, but it we fail we do not lose our salvation. Thanks guys all good comments.
    Its getting so lonely out there.

  154. Going back to Harold Camping, I understand he was a Baptist Calvanist, how did he go under the delusion to come to the understanding of setting a date for the lords return. I came under that as some Christians still tell me that the Feast of Trumpets has not been fulfilled and that he will come in September or October, they say thet don’t know the year, but say thats when the lord will come. I got so burnt by that teaching, that if anyone ever tries to set a date with me, I will run so far the other direction, even if trumpets maybe the case.

  155. Mary, I have some of Tom Stegall’s articles, including lengthy excerpts from “Must Faith Endure for Salvation to be Sure?”

    This article provides a great scriptural rebuttal to the false “perseverance” teaching that is so prevalent.

  156. John,
    What does “cross less” gospel mean? I’ve heard that expression several times up on YouTube, but I don’t quite understand what is meant by that.

  157. Thanks Jack, I’ll be sure to let the person know that they can probably do well over at Duluth.

  158. Sounds like another gospel to me, because if the apostles all preached the gospel seen in 1 Cor 15:1-11, and it included those things, then there must be a problem with their gospel, very concerning.

  159. Hi Jack or John, I have a question regarding the Judgment Seat of Christ. Will this judgment take place on an individual basis after each Christian dies or will it take place as one big event in the future after ALL Christians have died? Also, is the same true of the Great White Throne Judgment?

  160. William, I believe the Judgment Seat of Christ is a collective judgment (one big event), that takes place just after the rapture, for everyone who has died in Christ or is raptured (see 1 Corinthians 3:13-15).

    I believe the Great White Throne Judgment is also one big event for non-believers (see Revelation 20:11-15).

  161. Hi Jack and John,
    Your ministry here online has been a real blessing to me ever since I discovered it. I’m learning a lot as I read through your comments and through the comments that fellow believers contribute. It has indeed been a real blessing because I have found a Free Grace website that is free from the contaminants of Calvinism, Lordship Salvation, and Arminianism.

    I recently came across a believer on YouTube who was experiencing extreme anxiety over the passage in Hebrews 6:4-8, but I told him not to worry and I assured him that eternal salvation cannot be lost no matter what. I told him that I was once a former living example of Hebrews 6:4-8 for 9 long years living in apostasy, sin, and rebellion against God until one day God chastised me to bring me back and He has been gracious to me ever since.
    That was 21 years ago.

    I recommended strongly that this gentleman visit this website to help him
    grow spiritually and to get back on track after falling away. I told him to stay away from the false teachings of MacArthur, Piper, Sproul, Washer, etc who are all false teachers.

    May God richly bless your ministry and keep up the good work!

  162. William,

    You are right — the first thing for any believer in Jesus to remember — Eternal life once secure by faith in Jesus IS ETERNAL and can NEVER be lost or taken away.

    Hebrews 6:4-6
    “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, [5] And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, [6] If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

    My understanding of this verse is actually a verse offering security to the believer.

    Once a believer he cannot have a change of mind about salvation that would result in him being unsaved and then saved again, unsaved, saved again, ad infinitum, as some religions teach. “Fall away” does not mean losing salvation which is eternal/permanent. Fall away implies a believer turns to apostasy and false doctrine which does not change their eternal standing in Jesus.

    Salvation in Jesus is ALWAYS permanent and never changing.
    John 10:28 Jesus said:
    “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall NEVER perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

    That word “NEVER” is exciting — it is a Greek word comprised of four significant and individual Greek words: “Ou-me, Ho, Eis, Aion,” all together basically meaning all inclusive.

    Ou-me = no way, by no means,
    Eis = eternal, every age since the world began, for any time,
    Ho = any gender or person — he, she or it.
    Aion = for any time or place, in perpetuity

    Very comforting — we pray this helps your friend.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  163. Well said guys, its a comforting site for me, not having a church to go to. People in churches get so angry with you, when you tell them you are no longer going to a church, due to all the errors that a taking place in the churches. Even all the independent baptist churches are contaminated with ecumenism and Calvanism and Lordship/Arminianism its everywhere. I’d rather stay home and do my own studies and listen to on-line sermons. We really have no choice if you do not want to take part with the compromising church.

  164. Mary, I definitely agree with you. I’ve discovered that I have been learning more and growing more by staying at home and doing my own studies of God’s Word and coming to this website and listening to sermons on YouTube rather than going to a church that is infested with false doctrine where the pastor spoon feeds poison to the congregation every Sunday.

  165. Many people mistakenly think believing in Jesus for eternal life requires trusting in Jesus to make them both good and perfect. Therefore, if they (or anyone else) don’t become good, then they must not have received Christ’s imputed perfection.

    Growing in Christ-likeness requires one’s obedience and cooperation. To think that a believer will automatically and progressively grow in Christ-likeness coincides with thinking that someone must agree to obey and follow Christ in order to receive the free gift of eternal life.

    This is why back-door LS (the belief that a true believer will grow in Christ-likeness, persevere in the faith, prove they are saved by their works, find assurance in their works, and so on) is so insidious. It is really just works for salvation repackaged into looking for “signs” that someone has trusted in Christ alone.

  166. John,

    Well said! I remember at my old church, many people had this mentality when they all noticed that when I fell away many members came to the conclusion that I was not saved and must not have received Christ’s imputed perfection. Later when I came back, no one would say “hi” to me or even acknowledge my presence. They just all assumed that I was “unsaved” because they did not see the “signs” that they expected to see.

  167. William, I don’t know why I am baffled, but when people suggest others are unsaved, I always ask them, “what is the remedy”? Most will respond with a question, or argue, or misunderstand completely what I am asking. I like John’s method of 1,2,3,4.

    If you think someone is unsaved, what should you do?

    1. Accuse them of being unsaved, judge them by their fruits.
    2. Tell them to look for signs of being saved.
    3. Not talk to them.
    4. Preach the gospel to them.
    5. None of the above.

    1-3, 5 is generally their solution.

    But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Matt 23:13

  168. Mary, generally when you discuss these things with anyone they ask whose authority you are under. Or like you say, judge you for not going to church. These are the same whose pastors are teaching out of one of their latest books, or worse, are the test subjects via sermon popularity for their upcoming book.

  169. William, I always figure if they believe Heb 6:4-6 is about salvation, they would do well not to waste their time. For it will be impossible to renew them to repentance. Don’t bother to rededicate yourself, or get saved again, not happening… doesn’t that dawn on them?

  170. Holly,

    Well said! In my experience as a believer I’ve come across people in my old church who would use #1, 3, and 5 as their solutions when they come across a believer who falls away or falls into sin. Questions start popping into their minds like, “Was he really saved to begin with?” or “He must have lost his salvation”. Just utterly ridiculous and reeking with pride and self-righteousness.
    Instead of being understanding and taking some time to talk or ask how I’m doing, they basically just write me off and not talk to me. Well, I’m glad I don’t attend that church anymore.
    In fact, there is not one church in the city where I live in that I would feel comfortable going to. Most of the churches are either apostate or reeking with false doctrine.
    There is a church in my neighborhood that has long been considered “conservative”, but when I visited one Sunday, I discovered that the 2 pastors who lead the church are graduates of the Master’s Seminary. Guess who the president of that seminary is? Yep, it’s the grand daddy of Lordship Salvation himself, John MacArthur.
    After the service, I interviewed one of the pastors and I could just tell his theology was contaminated with Calvinism/Lordship Salvation. I got out of there as soon as possible.

  171. Holly,

    I’d say MANY people who embrace Lordship Salvation have a very faulty interpretation of Hebrews 6:4-8, Hebrews 10:26-27, and John 15;2,6 just to name a few. Most of the people I’ve come across always believe that these passages threaten Christians with the loss of salvation when that is absolutely false.
    They never stop to think that “loss of salvation” would contradict the many passages on eternal security.
    The true meaning of Hebrews 6:4-8, Hebrews 10:26-27, and John 15:2,6 is that these are warnings to Christians that if they fall away into apostasy or grievous sin that they will inevitably experience God’s temporal chastisement as a wake up call for walking off the path, but their eternal salvation remains intact.
    The language in these passages are indeed ominous with such words as “cursed”, “burned” “raging fire”, and “cuts off”, but these words describe God’s righteous anger and is referring to temporal punishment on the apostate Christian, but their salvation is untouched.
    Of course, in the minds of Lordship Salvationists those ominous words mean “hell” when that is not the case at all.

  172. “William, I always figure if they believe Heb 6:4-6 is about salvation, they would do well not to waste their time. For it will be impossible to renew them to repentance”

    Holly makes a very important point here. If a person believes that they can lose salvation, then it looks like it would be lost forever:

    “Impossible to renew them to repentance”

    “It would have been better for them to not have known the way of righteousness”

    “No sacrifice for sins is left, but a fearful expectation of judgment”

    And so on…

    If a person thinks these are about losing salvation, then it looks like it can’t be gotten back. So much for the crowd that gets it Sunday morning, loses it Monday morning, and goes up again to get it back the following Sunday morning.

  173. Abe,

    The people in the Lordship Salvation camp fail to realize that the “impossibility” mentioned in Hebrews 6:4 is referring to a human impossibility to renew. The apostate’s heart becomes hardened that it will resist all human attempts to bring him/her back. When I fell away from the Lord out of anger and discouragement for 9 long years living in apostasy, sin, and rebellion, all human attempts from fellow believers failed to bring me back because my heart had become hardened.
    It was “impossible” humanly speaking, but not impossible for God. It took the chastening hand of God to bring me back and here I am today.

    As I look in Scripture, I believe that there are 2 types of apostates: those that can be brought back by human persuasion – James 5:19-20 and those that cannot – Hebrews 6:4-8. The latter would take the chastening hand of God to restore – Hebrews 6:8.

    Hebrews 6:8 – Back in OT times as well as NT times, it was a common agricultural practice to burn fields. If a farmer had a field that yielded nothing but thorns, thistles, weeds, and unwanted growth, the field would be burned. The purpose of the fire was to destroy the unwanted growth, but the field would remain intact despite being scorched.

    The farmer would then make preparations to restore the field so that it would bear useful crops again. That’s what happened to me. God “burned” the unwanted growth that was in my life for 9 years ( sin, anger, bitterness, rebellion, hate, etc) through a chastening experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. God chastised me because I was His child – Hebrews 12:8, Hebrews 12:5-6. God’s chastisement was both punitive and restorative – Job 5:17-18. Praise God!

  174. William :) I failed my own test, John is much better at putting these together than I am :)

    They always seem to use 1,2,3 and skip 4. There of course could have been a lot longer list, a lot…

  175. Abe, I think that if they would ask themselves who is being spoken to, they also might have a better grasp on those passages. If they think it speaks to those who only tasted of the experience, but were never born again, then I guess they would then have to give up on the lost one who you shared the gospel with and had been around, but they didn’t believe. Kind of the same to me. I understand and still have not quite lost that “Sunday Christian” mentality, it’s getting better over the years, but it’s hard to be transparent with those who have put their own guard up. I think there are many walking wounded, afraid to even confess faults to anyone for it gets used against them as gossip rather than prayer support and accountability.

  176. William, true, it is very hard to understand certain passages, until we take the time to search them on, contrast them with others, go in with the understanding that eternal life is a gift, and is eternal :)

    Then we can go delve for context and see what is in the picture, whether believer or unbeliever, rewards, discipline, chastisement, physical punishment, discipleship, etc.

  177. Abe,

    “If a person thinks these are about losing salvation, then it looks like it can’t be gotten back. So much for the crowd that gets it Sunday morning, loses it Monday morning, and goes up again to get it back the following Sunday morning.”

    The Lordship Salvation crowd can NEVER understand the fact that eternal salvation is absolutely FREE with no strings attached and is a one-time action of BELIEF that can NEVER be undone. Like you said salvation is NOT something that man gains when he is good, then loses it when he’s bad, then gains it back again when he’s good.

    Another name for Lordship theology is “daisy theology” which goes, “He loves me, He loves me not, He loves me, He loves me not.”

  178. Holly,
    Many people in the Lordship camp just assume that Hebrews 6 is speaking about “false professors” who don’t really possess eternal life. “False professors” of course, is a term that they invented which I think is equal to the term, “dabbler”.
    The context of Hebrews 6 is clear that the writer is speaking to people who are truly saved because only saved people can be “partakers of the Holy Ghost” as the latter half of 6:4 indicates in the KJV.
    ONLY people who are saved can be partakers of the Holy Spirit. The unsaved do not possess the Holy Spirit at all. Hebrews 6 was not written to take up blank space in the Bible, but was written because the writer knew for a fact that apostasy is a reality among Christians and I believe this passage applies to the saved from every time period including now.
    As I mentioned earlier, I was a former living example for 9 long years until one day God chastened me to bring me back.
    I also recently spoke to a person on YouTube who was also a former living example of Hebrews 6:4-8 longer than me, but he said the Lord chastised him severely and today he is back with the Lord.
    I believe Hebrews 6 is conceptually parallel to John 15:1-6. Christians who wander off the path and play with fire will get burned as a wake up call.

  179. Holly,
    The best thing we can do for a person whom we believe is unsaved is to share the Free Grace gospel of John 3:16, 5:24, 6:47, 10:28-29, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 4:3-5, Acts 16:30-31. BELIEVE AND BE SAVED. It’s that simple. BELIEVE AND RECEIVE THE FREE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE.

  180. Romans 8:38-39 – For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    John 10:28-29 – And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall NEVER perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

    These passages are to be taken literally.
    Even willful apostasy CANNOT undo the work of eternal salvation. A person cannot lose his/her salvation even if he/she wanted to.

  181. William, Hebrews 12 tells us that the Lord chastens His children, and He wants us to endure His chastening (Hebrews 12:7). Some people don’t respond appropriately, which is unfortunate.

    Regarding Hebrews 6:4, I agree that it is written to believers and that it has nothing to do with losing one’s salvation, which is impossible.

    I think the context of Hebrew 6:4-6 is that we cannot be renewed to repentance (which in this case is synonymous with saving faith), because once someone repents unto salvation he is always saved. Since losing one’s salvation is impossible, one who has believed unto salvation cannot do it again.

  182. William, I agree, the remedy when they do not understand eternal meaning eternal, never to be lost, is to share all the appropriate Scriptures. I had the pleasure of being afforded that opportunity last night at the Bible study I attend, when at the end of the class, a gentleman asked about OSAS. The teacher answered well, then I asked if I too might respond, and was able to share many passages with him, and we had a conversation after class too. His name is John and he was concerned about his son Christopher.

  183. John, I’ve heard all sorts of takes on that passage, we did Hebrews about 2 years ago, and some commentary from Missler, (who actually was o.k. on that passage as I recall), Ironside, Dwight Pentecost, and unfortunately right about that time MacArthur. Mac says in his interpretative challenges that it addresses 3 distinct groups, believers, unbelievers and those who were attracted by the gospel and the person of Christ but had reached no final conclusion (sounds like an unbeliever to me)… Anyways he says if you do not have this recognition of the three groups, then you cannot ‘properly interpret’ this epistle. He places 6:4-6 in that category.

    Tasting to John MacArthur is figuratively referring to “consciously experiencing something. It might be momentary and not continuing or permanent.”

    Final conclusion by MacArthur? Those who sinned against Christ in such a way had “no hope of restoration or forgiveness”….

  184. Holly, I’ve also seen various interpretations of this passage.

    I don’t agree with MacArthur’s view that this passage addresses three distinct groups – believers, unbelievers, and almost believers. I think it addresses believers. MacArthur probably has difficulty with interpreting this epistle, or any others, because he is trying to interpret them through a lens of salvation by grace plus works.

  185. John, well said. I will NEVER trust MacArthur’s interpretation since he reads “his” theology into the text rather than letting the text determine his theology. His statement that goes, ” Those who sinned against Christ in such a way had “no hope of restoration or forgiveness”…. implies that Christ’s atonement and death on the cross was insufficient for covering every sin.

  186. Holly, let’s pray that John’s son Christopher will BELIEVE and be SAVED.

  187. Holly, In the journal Bibliotheca Sacra put out by Dallas Theological Seminary, Thomas Kem Oberholtzer who is an alumnus there did a 5 part expositional article on all the warning passages in Hebrews which I think is very good. It describes and is consistent with what I experienced when I was an apostate.
    Part 1 ( Jan – March 1988, pages 83-97)
    Part 2 ( April – June 1988, pages 185-196)
    Part 3 ( July – Sept 1988 pages 319 – 328)
    Part 4 ( Oct – Dec 1988 pages 410 -419)
    Part 5 ( Jan – March 1989 pages 67 -75)

    The articles are written from a Free Grace perspective.

  188. John, I agree, MacArthur’s lens of works is one of the longest ones I’ve seen… It’s frightening, these men consistently accuse other of possibly being unsaved, using Matt 7:21-23 to accuse others, and here they have their long list of ‘wonderful works’ they justify themselves by.

  189. William – thank you, praying with you. John thinks his son has been saved, but others have been saying he is not, because he has ‘backslidden’ and has lost his salvation. I have a few of the Bibliotheca sacra books, but truthfully have not opened them. I am assuming those I can find online? Thank you, I’ll go look.

  190. William – I too found it interesting that MacArthur felt they could not be forgiven, yet you can take the mark of the beast and be forgiven for that? seems a little inconsistent on his part…

  191. Holly, If John thinks his son has been saved, then his son is eternally saved if his son has ever believed in the Free Grace gospel of John 3:16. The people who say that Christopher is not saved obviously don’t believe in
    John 3:16 and think that salvation can be “undone” and don’t understand the nature of eternal life.
    If salvation can be lost, then it is no longer eternal. Salvation is NOT fragile glass that shatters when tainted with sin, backsliding, apostasy, etc, but salvation which is a work of God is like shatterproof glass that will NEVER shatter no matter what happens.
    Salvation is an eternal work of God which cannot be reversed – John 10:28-29, Romans 8:38-39.

    The Israelites in the OT failed miserably both morally and doctrinally as recorded in Numbers, Joshua, and all throughout Judges, BUT were still saved. The Corinthian church consisted of saved people who failed badly, BUT were still saved as Paul addressed them as “brethren”. Simon Peter denied Jesus 3 times and Jesus even called him “satan” (Matt 16:23), but Simon Peter was still saved.

    I once fell away from the Lord for 9 years and my wife is currently a Luke 8:13 Christian.

    Here is a trustworthy teaching: 2 Timothy 2:13 – ” if we are faithless,
    he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” If we disown Him, He will disown us in the sense that He will deny us the privilege of reigning with Christ, but our salvation remains intact.

  192. Holly, Regarding the Hebrews articles, they can be found online, but there is a fee charged to be able to read the entire articles. The best thing is to do an interlibrary loan at the public library to see which other libraries have these journals so that they can be loaned out to make copies of the articles.
    I believe Dr. Oberholtzer’s articles are one of the best because they are written from a Free Grace perspective and I highly recommend them if you’re doing a study or encounter anyone who is feeling distressed after reading the ominous warnings in Hebrews.

  193. God may deal with wayward believers in a variety of ways. Some respond to His chastening in a positive way, and some do not.

    That is why this article was written. The fruit inspectors (Lordship “salvationists”) mistakenly believe that God’s chastening will always result in behavioral change, and since God chastens all “true” believers, that a “true” believer’s behavior WILL change. This is how the doctrine of chastening can morph into the heretical doctrine of “perseverance of the saints.”

    The Bible simply does not teach this. If it did, there would be no such thing as a Luke 8:13 Christian that dies of old age.

  194. John,

    You have a great point. Those who contend that God’s chastening will ALWAYS make a person “come back” to the Lord can very well lead to the lie of the LS folks or the Calvinist TULIP “P”, Perseverance of the saints. Chastening can include death of the flesh as we see in:

    1 Corinthians 5:1,4-5
    1. “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
    […]
    4. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    5. To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

    The physical death of believers by chastening from the Lord in those verses obviously shatter any idea that God’s chastening guarantees a change in a believers behavior.

    But we must be wary since the LS folks will use any opportunity to spread their lies.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  195. Jack, I agree.

    But, I’m not sure God’s chastening always culminates in physical death for the one who fails to respond.

    If it did, than any who falls from grace, and fails to return to grace (such as believers who fall for the lie of LS, and never recover) would be disciplined with physical death. That would leave a relatively youthful crowd in the LS community. Of course, many in the LS community have believed a false gospel, and are therefore not chastened as God’s children.

  196. John,

    Right,

    It was not my intention to imply that God’s chastening always culminates in death. That is why I wrote, “Chastening can include death of the flesh as we see in 1 Corinthians 5:1,4-5″ Sorry it was not clear.

    Nonetheless, the chastening of the Lord is for believer’s benefit. (Hebrews 12:5)

    The Greek word for “chasten” is “paideuo” and means “tutorage, i.e. education or training; by implication disciplinary correction, chastisement, instruction, nurture.”

    So the “destruction of the flesh” could be the extreme “disciplinary correction” from the Lord, i.e. when a believer refuses correction or when he, by his actions, and without concern for the brethren, continues the sin that disrupts the body of believers. That is specifically the context about which the Apostle Paul speaks in the verses above.

    It seems a contradiction of terms when we see Hebrews 12:6 “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” We see God’s love and chastening in the same sentence. Just as parents who love our children, we train, nurture and discipline them.

    So the lesson for me is — God’s Grace at work — Rest in God’s Love and when necessary, respond in obedience to His chastening and learn from it. It is not always easy but always beneficial for the believer.

    Didn’t mean to sermonize. 8-)

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  197. Jack, I think it is fascinating that Lordship “salvationists” will insist that people represented by the second soil (Luke 8:13) in the parable of the Sower were never really saved.

    Because IF a Lordship “salvationist” has ever trusted in Christ alone, he no longer does. That would make him like the believer described in Luke 8:13. Persecution comes from the religion crowd that has permeated so many “churches” and causes this person to fall away for the lie of LS. Otherwise, the Lordship “salvationist” is represented by soil number one – not saved.

  198. Jack, Regarding the believer in 1 Corinthians 5:1,4-5 who had his father’s wife, I believe that in 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 it gave an update on this same believer’s outcome. It appears that God had mercy on this person and did not terminate his physical life as Paul recommended in 1 Cor 5:5.
    Paul stated in 2 Cor 2:6 that the punishment inflicted on this person by the many was sufficient, and then in 2:7, Paul instructs the other believers to forgive and comfort this person otherwise this person would be overwhelmed with extreme sorrow and in 2:8 that they should reaffirm their love for this person.
    It appears that this person being chastened responded positively to the discipline. God’s discipline was both punitive and restorative – Job 5:17-18.

  199. John, I agree. Some carnal, lukewarm, or wayward believers do not respond to God’s discipline in a positive way, but eventually fall back into their sin. In those cases physical death would be the end result. My brother was a Luke 8:14 believer up to the very day of his death. Prior to that, decades earlier my mother stated to me that he had believed in the gospel and was growing, but when he immigrated to the US something happened and he just became too preoccupied with pleasures.
    Whether or not he ever got chastened by the Lord, I don’t know because I never lived with him. Over the years my mother tried to persuade him again and again to go back to church, but he would not listen.

  200. William,

    We can only assume Paul was speaking of the same man who had his father’s wife. There was “a heap o’ sinnin’ goin’ on” in the church at Corinth and it was apparently tolerated and perhaps even relished by the body, so many were guilty of so much.

    1 Corinthians generally details the many problems with the whole church body at Corinth and then 2 Corinthians shows their restorative response to Paul’s words of admonition, of course, inspired of the Holy Spirit and recorded.

    Chastened, responding and restored to fellowship with the Lord and fellow believers is the Lord’s preferred way for believer’s restoration of fellowship. This is perfectly delineated in 1 John 1:7-9, by confession to the Lord (acknowledging and agreeing with the Lord about the sin[s]) and then the believer walking in the Light.

    (Very important that we understand — these verses in 1 John are verses regarding fellowship, NOT salvation as we see some teach/preach in error).

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  201. William, it’s exactly what John said, he thought his son was saved, and exactly what I told him, then, his son has been saved, if he believed, because it’s eternal, and ‘backsliding’, well, we all do it.

    Somehow people equate backsliding to a certain state, and I’m kind of convinced ‘church people’ can sadly add to that state without maybe realizing it. Instead of dealing with whatever sin/sins the person may be struggling with and just pointing them in the right direction and discipling them, they relegate them as shunned. They misunderstand 1 Cor 5 and 6 with someone who is unwilling to even be recognizing their serious sin, and just don’t care no matter if you talk to them about it, or point them to the Word.

    Like one woman said to me recently (who called me a Pharisee for ‘throwing the Word out all the time’), “If I saw a man from my church with a case of beer in his cart at the store, I’d have big doubts about his salvation”. And I said to her, “And why would that be? Are you kidding, Really??” And she was serious.

    And I thought to myself about all the times she had been unkind or condescending to people. Just not too tenderhearted, and not a thought about her own possible lack of gentleness to others, and asked, “So what if he likes beer and has one or two a night? You consider that a problem? Or what if he’s having a fish fry and makes a great beer battered fish?” (She didn’t find that funny).

    But my own personal story is that my parents never drank or smoked and one day when I was maybe in my early teens, I saw 2 cans of beer (for the first time in my life) in our frig…. I was MORTIFIED!!! I mean to tell you, I thought my whole life had changed…. :) Well, anyways, she wasn’t buying it…. So what ‘backslidden’ was to him in the brief moment I spoke to him after Bible study was that his son was working all these hours, with several kids, and told his dad he was too exhausted to go to church (btw, hard to find a good one, so I just encouraged his dad to just try to encourage his son in the word and not worry about ‘going to church’ unless he had a good one to offer’).

    I still had that mentality for a long time… It’s why I stayed away from any church for so long. Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I do thank the Lord when I prayed for Him to PLEASE bring me some Christian friends and to help me learn and draw near, He did…

  202. John, b.t.w., If I didn’t make it clear, I was only sharing MacArthur’s ‘exegesis’ on the passage in Hebrews 6, and I steer clear of any of his teachings of course, and warn people, I believe he is one of the most dangerous men to hear, because he is the most ‘mainstream’ conservative Christian ‘scholars’ out there. I firmly believed he should be marked and avoided (I know you know that), but I want others here to be very sure of my own stance on MacArthur.

  203. William, I am an online member and have been (with Bibliotheca Sacra) but haven’t exactly taken advantage, I wonder, can I read with them being a member?

  204. Holly, regarding the woman you mentioned who inspects grocery carts for fruit (and beer) – It would be interesting to hear her testimony. Based on what you described above, she does not understand the gospel.

    I was briefly in a Bible study formed by a gentlemen who told me that he didn’t see how anyone who did this, that, and the other type sin could be a believer. I asked him if he still sinned, and got the “deer in headlights” look. Then, I read him a gospel account and he told me that believing that Christ died for my sins, was buried, and was raised from the dead was just “intellectual assent” and that one had to “want a relationship with Jesus” to be saved. I told him that the Bible does not say one has to “want a relationship with Jesus” in order to be saved, and that we don’t get to add things to the gospel because it seems like it should work that way.

    I still pray for this gentleman, because his testimony is that he is not trusting in Christ and doesn’t believe the true gospel.

  205. John, Holly,

    It still amazes me how far afield folks will go to try to justify works as a means of or helping their salvation such as believing the Gospel of Grace is mere “intellectual assent” or “One must want a relationship with Jesus.” Or the funniest (if it weren’t so pitiful) is Holly’s story of the lady who is a religious “fruit and beer” inspector!! One wonders if it takes Seminary training to qualify for that job? Lordship “salvation” at its worst.

    John, I agree. When we read or hear such “salvation” stories or queries based on experience, behavior, fruit (or beer), etc, we should ask the person a question like, “Tell me, what did YOU do to be saved and how did it happen”? (or some such question). Their answer would tell a lot. Are they trusting their own holy life experience to sustain their “salvation”? Or did they believe the Gospel; by Grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone?

    Thanks.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  206. John – I understand exactly what you mean, another time, another guy, but in person, said something very similar, if they go to bars and say they are saved, then they are not. (Not even that it might be a possibility). I asked him about Jesus and the accusation of winebibber and the company He kept. I said, “Although I might understand that people might want to avoid the appearance of evil, how do you do they are not witnessing to old friends? How do you know they are getting drunk if they drink? And if they did, how does that make them any more than one who needs disciplined”? He understood none of that. It reminds me of Yankee in one of his sermons doing a parody on them, (can still see him and hear his voice :) ) “I don’t drink, and I don’t smoke and I don’t go with the girls that do”.

    It’s like the people who are out there ‘picketing’ the world, or the ‘street preachers’ who have on signs “STOP SINNING” or “REPENT FROM YOUR SINS OR BURN IN HELL”…

    Here I will get off on another story, but those were literally 2 of the signs this ‘street preacher’ had proudly displayed on his fb page. He wasn’t a friend, but commented on a post in common. I asked him how he felt those signs had anything to do with the gospel. (He also had pictures of him screaming with his megaphone into the crowd about Sodom and Gomorrah). He got angrier and more spiteful and more harsh with his words, and I said to him (sorry Lord), something to the effect, “is that anger producing the righteousness of God”? (I think I was blocked at that point).

    It stymies me, that they do not see their own hard hearts, judgmental attitudes, hateful speech, lack of understanding, not even knowing they are the blind leading the blind into the ditch as they shout at you, “Pharisee”! “Clanging Cymbal”! (or Jezebel for speaking to them).

    Thanks for letting me share, one story makes me think of another, and another…

  207. Jack, I about spat out my diet coke out of my nose when I saw you talk about the lady I mentioned, saying, “the lady who is a religious “fruit and beer” inspector!! One wonders if it takes Seminary training to qualify for that job? Lordship “salvation” at its worst.”

    I honestly didn’t expect that, but your framing of the words made me really laugh…

    I have done exactly what you said, I’ve asked them to tell me about how they first became saved, (they usually call it ‘their testimony’ but now I kind of cringe when I hear that phrase for the fact most are about them).

    Most believe when they became saved their certain emotions or feelings (being sorry enough) or their actions (turning from sin) was part of it. They use the same MacArthurism “intellectual assent” (or at least that’s who I equate that statement to).

    I usually will say, turning from sin is a good thing isn’t it? A righteous thing even to do? Of course they always say yes, but they never will equate it to the same when I bring up Titus 3:4-7. They tend to harrumph and then suggest you must not have a ‘testimony’ then… I guess it’s kind of tame when a little girl who was raised in the Word, and believed what it said, and wanted to be sure she was His, simply believed, told her mom, and wanted to be sure it was right… It was all the adults years later, who destroyed my assurance (that along with my sin and absence from abiding in His Word.

  208. Holly, you mentioned about “MacArthur’s exegesis” on Hebrews 6, well, his commentary on the book of Hebrews from pages 236 – 238, 1983 by Moody Press, within a span of 3 pages MacArthur DENIES the blood atonement of our Lord 13 times claiming that it was only “SYMBOLIC” and not literal.
    The following is an excerpt from his commentary:

    “Blood is a SYMBOL of death, and therefore follows closely the idea of a testator’s having to die in order for a will to become effective. …

    “It is possible to become morbid about Christ’s sacrificial death and preoccupied with His suffering and shedding of blood. It is especially possible to become unbiblically preoccupied with the physical aspects of His death. It was not Jesus’ physical blood that saves us, but His dying on our behalf, which is SYMBOLIZED by the shedding of His physical blood. …

    “The purpose of the blood was to SYMBOLIZE sacrifice for sin, which brought cleansing from sin. Therefore, without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

    “Again, however, we need to keep in mind that the blood was a SYMBOL. If Christ’s own physical blood, in itself, does not cleanse from sin, how much less did the physical blood of animals. It is not surprising, then, that the Old Covenant allowed a SYMBOL for a SYMBOL. … This exception is clear proof that the old cleansing was SYMBOLIC. Just as the animal blood SYMBOLIZED Christ’s true atoning blood, so the ephah of flour SYMBOLIZED and represented the animal blood. This non-blood offering for sin was acceptable because the old sacrifice was entirely SYMBOLIC anyway.

    “Yet this was the only exception. And even the exception represented a blood sacrifice. The basic SYMBOL could not be changed because what it SYMBOLIZED could not be changed. … Since the penalty for sin is death, nothing but death, SYMBOLIZED by shedding of blood, can atone for sin. … the only way we can participate in the New Covenant, is through the atoning DEATH of Jesus Christ, made effective for us when we trust in Him as saving Lord” (John MacArthur, Hebrews, pp. 236- 238).

    What a damnable heresy!

  209. Holly, you should share 1 Timothy 5:23 with the woman who is the shopping cart beer inspector.
    1 Timothy 5:23 -” Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.”

  210. William… MacArthur has a number of heresies, and somehow he manages to squirm out of the ones his followers get uptight about.

    You know what makes me so upset? The people who don’t quite ‘agree’ with his ‘Calvinism’ (not really understanding it) and yet continue to spread these men’s quotes… The ire rose up in me a little (or maybe a lot), I needed to depart for awhile, read His Word, pray for this person, who is blown about by every wind of doctrine, and yet feels sharing quotes by these guys or videos, is just somehow ‘truth’ if the particular statement contains truth, nothing wrong with sharing it… I guess I expect it from some who are naive, the worst is the pastors/teachers who are sound and quote a man like Augustine, or MacArthur, I just want to weep…

    Do they not understand their responsibility?

    And the sheep sometimes seem to have teeth as sharp as the wolves….

  211. William :)

    I saw the futility really of continuing with her, as really for her, it’s not about liberty but a list of ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ and ‘how long she has been a Christian’ and to have the conversation with her further sometimes I felt it was best to not say anything else, so that another person might not have to hear her respond again, and somehow be condemned. I did smile… they do not understand I do not think, conscience or liberty, and what I’m really concerned about, did they ever understand the gospel?…

  212. Thank you for speaking today Jack. I got to a point where some rose up in me today.

    Why do people think it’s o.k. to post Sproul with the statement ‘you don’t really know much about him’, but claim what he stated is ‘truth’?

    When one warns, the baby and the bathwater thinking comes out, or next, the suggestion that your responses may be ungodly. I pray that they will see, this is life and death. Do they not weep over these things, understand the lost will stay lost?

    Why, why do they continue to post a Wolf’s ‘truth’?

    I’m so tempted to do a “Truth a Day”….

    You know, one from the Devil, one from Hitler, one from the Pharisees, one from the Sadducees, etc?

    They might have spoken some truth, do we want to have their name on the quote, and call it truth? Thank you for your firm voice today!

  213. Thanks guys for these encouraging comments, good to know we can come to this site on a daily basis, knowing there is some discernment out there. The people in churches discernment, is non existent, it can get discouraging some days why we can see it and they cannot. I’m really starting to see only few get it, maybe only the truly saved get it.

  214. Holly,

    I could not sit by and see you and a couple of your discerning friends be pilloried by some rather snug Calvinist synthesizers (pretending to be Bereans) on FB. I pray they will consider the scriptures I gave them, in context. I could clearly discern that some of them are doctrinaire Calvinists pleading ignorance.

    Keep contending.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  215. Mary,

    Thanks. We appreciate you and your comments. Most of us are like you, in that we cannot find a decent Grace fellowship in any other place than right here at ExPreacherMan. We need to pray for each other that we will continue faithful to the Gospel and not be discouraged.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  216. Mary…

    It is good isn’t it? Today I thought as I saw some of those people, the same ones who were suggesting ‘unity’ with Arminian’s, Calvinist’s and ‘all the brethren’ (not a verbatim quote), but I just was pondering later today as I read, that they didn’t understand. I prayed for them, and wondered, “Do they know you Lord? Or if some know You, how is it they can compromise Your doctrine for ‘unity’?”

    It’s perplexing, but I am so thankful for His Word, for His truth, for the fact we can search the Scriptures, and for other brethren who are not tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine…

  217. Yes Jack, I have seen two (who are no longer my friends) turn from being in the middle of the road, to going full-blown Calvinist. Both ‘teachers’ so I had to part ways with them, so hopefully others will not be mislead. I saw one was trying to draw away followers after herself by asking one to ‘PM’ (private message her), but she does not know that this woman is no fool, and will look up the Scriptures herself.

    Another is now a ‘reformed Calvinist’ who is an ‘intense preacher’. Love and pray for them both. When I told the one I had to unfriend him and gave him the reasons, he said he had been praying for me for years to ‘stop accusing the brethren’….

    Their accusations are usually pretty vague, and it is frustrating, but mostly because they compromise His Word. Oh they quote it, but not willing to reason with it. I don’t know sometimes if I answer as well as I can, and they implicated I did it in an ‘ungodly’ way, but I believe I kept my speech sound, i believe they are feeding the sheep or others waters from poisonous cisterns….It angers me at how readily they are able to quote wolfs at the expense of the sheep. Then suggest it is somehow Berean.

    Like you saw me say, no way the Bereans would have put up with Paul if he had a gospel like Sproul, they would have thrown him out on his tookus.

  218. Jan Kotlarski

    Holly, what you wrote here “Yes Jack, I have seen two (who are no longer my friends) turn from being in the middle of the road, to going full-blown Calvinist. Both ‘teachers’ so I had to part ways with them, so hopefully others will not be mislead. I saw one was trying to draw away followers after herself by asking one to ‘PM’ (private message her), but she does not know that this woman is no fool, and will look up the Scriptures herself.¨
    That reminds me of what Paul said to the believers in Ephesus:

    Acts 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

    Are they saved or not?
    I don’t know, but they do spread heresies, should be marked, avoided and prayed for.
    The Lord will take care of them.

  219. Thank you Jan, I agree with you completely. I understand some are caught up in the teaching and are searching, but the ones who speaking those things and teaching them, have to part ways (Rom 16:17).

    But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
    And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 2 Pet 2:1-2

  220. OK, I’m not a Calvinist or anything like that, just one who is slightly confused about this whole thing. I can see your points, but I see things in the bible that would seem to say otherwise. Maybe you can answer them. #1 Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
    Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
    Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
    Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
    Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
    Mat 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.
    Mat 7:22 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?
    Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
    #2 Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. #3Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. #4Rev 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. so, we must be required to overcome. And how are we to overcome if we have never grown in the Lord, if we just got saved, and then never did anything else??? This is so confusing to me. #5Luk 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. #6Luk 12:45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
    Luk 12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
    #7Luk 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. What if they believe, but they can’t let go of hatred, anger or bitterness???? #8Heb 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
    Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
    Heb 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open sh #9 What if your trusted and gave your heart to the Lord, but couldn’t forgive someone? Jesus said if we couldn’t forgive others, he couldn’t forgive us???? I trust the Lord to see me through. I have been stuck at home and see hardly anyone, so I am not able to do much for him. This has bothered me a great deal, because I want crowns to lay before my savior’s feet when I get there and have him say, well done thy good and faithful servant! How can people be faithful if after they are saved, they just go and do their own evil things? Thanks for your understanding, because I am sure confused on this one. I can see both sides of this discussion…:roll: s

  221. The context of Matthew 7:16-19 is talking about false prophets. The “fruit” that is mentioned refers to the doctrine of those false prophets that they believe in and teach which do not line up with Scripture. Matthew 7:19 talks about the imminent destination which is hell for false prophets who preach false doctrine (Ex: Calvinism/Lordship Salvation/Arminianism).
    Matthew 7:20 – Thus, by their “fruits” – (doctrine) you will know that they are heretics.

    Matthew 7:21-23 refers to the MANY deceived people including the false prophets themselves who believed that their “good works” would merit them eternal life, but only to be denied entrance by Jesus at the Great White Throne Judgment. If you notice in verse 22, the “many” were pleading and trying to convince Jesus to let them in based on “their works of righteousness” and there is a desperate sense of urgency.

    Jesus NEVER knew them because they NEVER BELIEVED that it was by grace through faith alone in Christ alone APART from works that saves a person – John 3:16, 5:24, 6:47, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 3:20, 3:28, Romans 4:3-5, 11:6, Galatians 2:16, 2:21, Titus 3:5.

    Revelation 3:5 is not talking about the possible loss of salvation which is impossible for a believer who is saved. Once a person is saved, he/she is ALWAYS SAVED – John 5:24, John 10:28-29, Romans 8:38-39. I believe Revelation 3:21 explains Revelation 3:5. Christians who overcome will be granted the privilege of REIGNING WITH CHRIST which is a privilege that is earned by overcoming, persevering, and enduring.
    Reigning with Christ is a different thing from eternal life which is FREE.

    Revelation 3:21 – To him that OVERCOMETH will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
    2 Timothy 2:12 -13 – if we endure,we will also reign with him, If we disown him, he will also disown us;13 if we are faithless,he remains faithful,for he cannot disown himself.

    If we overcome, endure, then we will reign with Christ, but if we disown Him, Christ will deny us the privilege of REIGNING with Him. Verse 13 confirms that our salvation CANNOT BE LOST if we disown Him by falling away, etc,etc. Our salvation remains intact no matter what happens because it is a free gift.

    Luke 9:23 is a discipleship/sanctification issue NOT a justification/salvation issue.
    Luke 12:45-46 – refers to believers who abuse grace by indulging in sin prior to the Lord’s return. This type of believer will not inherit the Kingdom and his/her eternal rewards will be forfeited and will be excluded from special privileges in heaven. They will “enter” the Kingdom, that is, they are eternally saved, BUT they won’t inherit.

    When I think of Luke 12:45-46 this scene comes to mind: A parent comes home after a long day of hard work, but instead of finding his children studying and doing their homework like he expects them to be doing, they are instead playing video games, partying noisily, and turning the house into a mess. You can just imagine the parents response. Anger, reprimand, taking away their privileges and excluding them from dinner? YES! I know I would. Disowning them, and telling them that they’re no longer his children? NO. The same is true in our relationship with God. Punish us? Yes, of course. Disowning us, and losing our salvation? NO.

  222. The context of Hebrews 6:4-8 is talking about apostasy that is only possible for people who are saved. The passage is not threatening Christians that they will lose their salvation if they “fall away” into apostasy, grievous sin, etc. I understand this passage well and I was once a former living example of this passage for 9 long years living in apostasy, sin, and rebellion until one day God punished me to bring me back to fellowship with Him.
    This passage teaches that a Christian who “falls away” into willful apostasy or sin will inevitably experience God’s chastening as a wake up call to warn the Christian to get back on track. If this fails to restore, then God may terminate this person’s physical life taking the person home prematurely, but this person’s salvation remains intact. (Ananias and Sapphira were examples, but their sin was lying to the Holy Spirit).
    The “impossibility” referred to in verse 4 refers to a human impossibility at restoring an apostate Christian. The apostate Christian’s heart becomes hardened after falling away and may resist all human attempts from fellow believers to persuade the person to come back to God. This was very true of me when I fell away.
    Several fellow believers knew the condition I was in, and tried to persuade me to come back, but my heart was hardened and resisted their attempts. It took the chastening hand of God to correct me.

    Hebrews 6:7 refers to the life of a vibrant Christian who is blessed by God, and is represented by a land that is fertile, but verse 8 refers to an apostate Christian where willful sin, etc, is being represented by the thorns and thistles in a field of land. The words “cursed” and “burned” do not refer to hell as many Christians and Bible scholars believe, but refers to imminent chastening that is meant to correct and restore.

    Back in ancient times, it was a common agricultural practice to “burn” fields. If a farmer had a field that yielded nothing but thorns, thistles, weeds, and unwanted growth, the field would be burned. The purpose of the fire was to destroy the unwanted growth, but not the field itself. The field would remain intact despite being scorched. Afterwards, the farmer would then make preparations to restore the field to make it fertile again.

    When God chastens an apostate Christian, the purpose is both punitive and restorative – Job 5:17-18, Hebrews 12:5-11.

  223. Suez, welcome back!

    You have a lot of questions, and I will try to address them by repeating your comment below, and interspersing my comments in bold. I skipped your question number 2, since it is the same as number 3.

    OK, I’m not a Calvinist or anything like that, just one who is slightly confused about this whole thing. I can see your points, but I see things in the bible that would seem to say otherwise. Maybe you can answer them.

    #1 Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
 Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Mat 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.
Mat 7:22 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?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    My comment: The fruit of false teachers is their testimony and their confused disciples. It has nothing to do with behavior. Notice that verse 19 deals in absolutes – no good tree can bring forth corrupt fruit and no corrupt tree can bring forth good fruit. I would recommend that you listen to the attached explanation of these verses from Dr. Yankee Arnold:

    http://expreacherman.com/2013/12/14/title-true-or-false-a-person-who-believes-in-jesus-for-salvation-will-have-a-change-of-behavior/#comment-22638

    The lost people who Jesus is addressing in verses 7:22-7:23 are those who have not done the will of the Father that Jesus mentions in verse 21. The will of the Father is that we believe in Christ. John 6:27-28 helps us to understand this:

    [28] Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
    [29] Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

    The people in Matthew 7:22-23 never trust in Christ. Instead, they are trusting in their works. Please note that they recognized who Jesus is. They even recognized Him as Lord. But, they point to their works as evidence of why they should be let into heaven. Notice that Jesus does not contradict them. In other words, Jesus does not say that they failed to do the works they are claiming to have done. Instead, He says “I never knew you.”

    #3Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

    My comment: I believe that this verse uses a literary technique called “liotes”, which is used for rhetorical purposes.

    Our frequent commenter Abe, wrote the following regarding this verse:
    “I will not blot out his name” is indeed a litotes, an understatement that is found in Scripture on occasion, as a method to emphasize a positive point. “I will not blot out his name” is emphasizing the fact that, not only will the believer not be blotted out (which is impossible anyway), but the believer will be richly rewarded. It is stating the impossible negative to emphasize the positive.

    Another use of this in Scripture is in Hebrews 6:10, where it states that “God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love”. Well God is never unrighteous (that is the impossible negative) and stating it that way, emphasizes the positive, which is, that God will remember your work and labor of love, and reward you for it.

    #4Rev 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. So, we must be required to overcome. And how are we to overcome if we have never grown in the Lord, if we just got saved, and then never did anything else??? This is so confusing to me.

    My comment: We overcome by believing in Christ. If we were required to “grow in Christ” in order to have eternal life, then eternal life would not be received by grace through faith in Christ. It is really important that people get this.

    Please notice that it say “..I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” Where else do we see this? John 1:12-13 is probably the most clear on this point:

    [12] But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
    [13] Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    #5Luk 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

    My comment: This is a discipleship passage. It has nothing to do with how one obtains eternal life, which is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

    #6Luk 12:45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
Luk 12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

    My comment: This is a passage dealing with rewards and loss of rewards. It does not pertain to how one receives eternal life, which is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

    Please see 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 for a clear discussion of this concept. This has to do with the judgment of believers at the Judgment Seat of Christ:

    [13] Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
    [14] If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
    [15] If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

    #7Luk 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. What if they believe, but they can’t let go of hatred, anger or bitterness????

    My comment: Again, this is a discipleship passage. It has nothing to do with how one receives eternal life, which is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
    Not letting go of hatred, anger, or bitterness would be tragic and result in a frustrating life here and possible lack of rewards hereafter.

    #8Heb 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
Heb 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    My comment: Once someone repents unto salvation (that is, trusts in Jesus Christ ALONE as his Savior), he has eternal life, which can never be lost or forfeited. As such, a believer can never be renewed to repentance, because he already has eternal life.

    #9 What if you trusted and gave your heart to the Lord, but couldn’t forgive someone? Jesus said if we couldn’t forgive others, he couldn’t forgive us????

    My comment: One does not receive eternal life by trusting AND giving his heart to the Lord. One receives eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ ALONE.

    Forgiveness is an essential part of fellowship with God, and we are expected to forgive others as well. Our eternal life is not dependent on the extent to which we choose to forgive others. If it were, then salvation would no longer be by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

    I trust the Lord to see me through. I have been stuck at home and see hardly anyone, so I am not able to do much for him. This has bothered me a great deal, because I want crowns to lay before my savior’s feet when I get there and have him say, well done thy good and faithful servant! How can people be faithful if after they are saved, they just go and do their own evil things?

    My comment: We should all want to be commended by Jesus as having been good and faithful servants. But, our eternal life is not dependent on our degree of faithfulness. If it were, then salvation would not be by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

    Thanks for your understanding, because I am sure confused on this one. I can see both sides of this discussion…

    My comment: Suez, I hope you are starting to see a theme here. If we confuse discipleship and rewards passages with salvation passages, we run into all sorts of confusion. Of course, God is not the author of confusion:

    1 Corinthians 14:33: For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

    The false teaching of men is what makes God’s word confusing, as Colossians 2:8 so eloquently states:

    Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

  224. Oh, good grief, I know how to be saved! I know it is by grace through faith by the blood of Jesus Christ!!! I don’t need you to tell me that. I must not have made myself clear! I’m talking about afterwards. You seem to be saying that once a person comes to Christ they can go out and live a life of hell, as long as they believe, their okey dokey! I certainly would doubt that persons salvation. That would be a head knowledge and not a heart knowledge, I think that is the big difference!!!! I’m saying, if your truly Born Again, why wouldn’t you want to draw closer to the Lord? Why wouldn’t you want to grow in the word and in faith, and do the best for him you could? It has nothing to do with working yourself there, it is because you love him, and you want to please him, just as a child would want to please his parents when he is little! That is what I meant. Please, I know how to be saved, and it is nothing I can do for myself!! You have me all wrong! Your talking about salvation, I’m talking after salvation…:( And no, I don’t believe I can keep myself!!!! :) Do you really believe people are totally idiots but you??? that is how you make one feel! Sorry. I don’t mean that to be harsh, but that is the way you make me feel…:(

  225. Suez, did you watch the Yankee Arnold video that I embedded in my last comment? I’m sorry if I have offended you. I spent a couple of hours researching and responding to your questions, because you seemed confused as to the terms of salvation. In all honesty, you still seem confused.

    You said: “You seem to be saying that once a person comes to Christ they can go out and live a life of hell, as long as they believe, their okey dokey! I certainly would doubt that persons salvation. That would be a head knowledge and not a heart knowledge, I think that is the big difference!!!!”

    My comment: There is no such thing as “head faith and heart faith.” That is a man-made contrivance. Why would you doubt that person’s salvation? This is Lordship “salvation” 101. Do you still sin? Does God like your sins better than those of the folks whose salvation you would doubt?

    I have provided a quote below that you might find edifying:

    Dr J.O. Hosler:

    Even after we have practiced godliness for extended periods of our lives, what is our guarantee that we will not fall into sin again and suspect that we were never saved in the first place? If we have no such guarantee, then we have no logical basis for assurance even after years of consistent godliness. From such a perspective, the biblical promises that the believer in Christ has eternal life are stripped of their assurance

  226. Johninnc, you haven’t offended me! Please know that. i said I must have presented myself wrong…I am very grateful to your answering me. I never read anything about head and heart knowledge. That is something that I said myself. Judge me to whatever status you wish. I know who I am in Christ. I don’t need any-man to tell me if I am saved or not. There are the parables of the sower, that is what I am referring to, between head and heart. Some fell on stoney ground, some to the thorns, some the birds got…But some fell on good soil! HEART!!! See, no Calvinism…just my own paraphrasing…Maybe a bad job at that. Apparently some never let it go to the heart, and it didn’t become a reality, that is what I meant. The only reason I am confused, is because man makes it that way. To me, salvation and a relationship with Jesus is quite simple. It is man that makes is so very complicated. What I hate to see is the division in the body of Christ. It seems everywhere you look it is Christian against Christian, and that grieves me and frustrates me, to no end, so I can imagine what it does to the Holy Spirit. Christian talking against other Christians publicly! Isn’t our job to love them, if we disagree, and pray for them, and allow the Holy Spirit do the correcting? Thank you so much, That is how I see it. In Christ Love,,,s

  227. Suez,

    Wow, I think an apology to John is in order. He has spent a lot of hours, effort and and research answering your questions. He loves doing that but you show no appreciation for the time and accuracy of his research.

    You said:

    I certainly would doubt that persons salvation.

    You might doubt but but God does not judge salvation as do you!! He doesn’t look at your behavior or performance, just your faith in Jesus that you seem to profess.

    You said:

    Do you really believe people are totally idiots but you??? that is how you make one feel! Sorry. I don’t mean that to be harsh, but that is the way you make me feel…:(

    I noticed nothing in John’s note that would insult you or anyone. John is very concerned for the salvation of every person to whom he writes. When a person writes a hint of Lordship salvation, he is quick to point it out and correct it.

    Fact:
    Salvation — we have a CHOICE to believe in Jesus Christ!
    Service, discipleship — we have a CHOICE to serve Him, it is NEITHER automatic nor mandatory. THAT is God’s Grace.

    The Bible is replete with admonitions for believers to “walk in the Spirit” (in obedience to Him), because it is not always easy nor desirable. The new nature says “Yes, serve Him” and the old nature says “No, I don’t want to, I have no desire.” These thoughts and decisions neither help nor hurt their salvation.

    It is good that you see “both sides” of this —

    Salvation is FREE —

    Service, discipleship can be costly — but voluntary and has absolutely NOTHING to do with saving or keeping one saved, so you should not imply otherwise when you write. Just make it clear that you understand the difference and there will be no confusion!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  228. Suez, I am making no judgment about your salvation. You just seem confused. In the parable of the Sower, soils two, three, and four all represent eternally saved believers.

    I am not trying to be contentious, but it is irritating for you to put words into my mouth that I never said such as: “You seem to be saying that once a person comes to Christ they can go out and live a life of hell, as long as they believe, their okey dokey!”

    I made it very clear, when you asked a similar question last fall, that sin in the life of a believer is not OK. Following are your comment from November 1, 2013, along with my response:

    Your comment:

    OK, I am very confused in all of this from both sides. So you are saying if we are Born Again, we just continue to sin, and it’s OK, because we are saved??? It makes no difference? I always thought, if we came to Jesus, we repent and turn away from our sins, to the best of our ability. Then if we sin, we repent. I am not getting all of this, sorry. And I never listened to this Paul guy. But you’re still confusing me…sorry. I am not into Lordship salvation, but you are confusing me with your view also. :-( Please explain. I know Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of my faith. I put my trust in him, knowing I am but a filthy sinner, but without his shed blood for me. I cannot save myself, by any method, only by coming to him at the cross, and believing what he did upon that cross. His blood has washed my sins away. But, I try to live a Holy Life, because I love him. I am weak as a flesh woman, but if I know I have sinned, I repent and tell him I am sorry, and please forgive me. What am I missing????

    My response:
    Suez, thanks for your comments.

    You said: “So you are saying if we are Born Again, we just continue to sin, and it’s OK, because we are saved???”

    My comment: No one here said that. More importantly, the Bible says it’s not OK to continue to sin.

    Romans 6:15: What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

    But, sin in the life of a believer will never jeopardize his eternal life.

    You said: “I always thought, if we came to Jesus, we repent and turn away from our sins, to the best of our ability.”

    My comment: If you mean that you thought one must be willing to turn from sin in order to receive eternal life, the Bible does not teach that. The Bible teaches that eternal life is a gift, received by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

    Repentance in salvation does not mean turning away from sin. 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.

    Let me give you an example. If someone thinks he must turn from sin in order to receive God’s free gift of eternal life, he must repent. He must accept it as a gift, or not at all.

    Conversely, Lordship “salvation” is the unsupportable belief that the performance of works, the promise of works, or the evidence of works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to make that faith result in eternal life.

  229. Thank you so very very much for your responses to me. I appreciate it. I did not intend to be unappreciative. So very sorry. Thanks I will bid you a due, as your answers, or maybe my lack of stating my questions correctly , just make me more confused…:( Parables of the sower all for the saved. That is a first!! LOL I will have to study on that one for sure! :)

  230. Suez, I hope I didn’t offend you with my comments too. I wanted to comment on your statements, ” You seem to be saying that once a person comes to Christ they can go out and live a life of hell, as long as they believe, their okey dokey! I certainly would doubt that persons salvation. That would be a head knowledge and not a heart knowledge, I think that is the big difference!!!! I’m saying, if your truly Born Again, why wouldn’t you want to draw closer to the Lord? Why wouldn’t you want to grow in the word and in faith, and do the best for him you could?”

    I wanted to say that eternal security is not a license to do as we please – Romans 6:1. Many people especially Lordship Salvationists accuse us of being guilty of doing so. You have to acknowledge the reality that not all people who are saved will automatically be Luke 8:15 Christians. That would be ideal and a blessing, but the reality is, many people are Luke 8:13 and Luke 8:14 Christians.

    Luke 8:13 Christians are saved, but when the going gets rough, they fall away. Luke 8:14 Christians are also saved, but then get preoccupied with the things of this life. The apostle Paul mentions about a person named Demas who abandoned him in 2 Timothy 4:10 because “Demas loved this world”, but that does not negate the reality that Demas was saved.

    Remember that God has given all people free will and that is why not all Christians are Luke 8:15 Christians

  231. Suez, I wanted to comment on your statement, ” OK, I am very confused in all of this from both sides. So you are saying if we are Born Again, we just continue to sin, and it’s OK, because we are saved??? It makes no difference?”

    The fact is, ALL born again Christians still sin whether intentionally or unintentionally AFTER they’re saved. The apostle Paul understood this well because he still struggled with sin AFTER he was saved prompting him to write Romans 7:14-25. There is a difference between a Christian who still sins occasionally AFTER being saved – Romans 7:14-25, 1 John 1:8-9, 1 John 2:1 versus a Christian who is intentionally living in sin AFTER being saved and abusing grace – Hebrews 10:26-27, Proverbs 15:10, Proverbs 29:1, Jeremiah 2:19.

    It’s NEVER Ok to sin period. Sin will bring about consequences like inevitable chastening from God as a wake up call. We still sin because we still have the inborn sin nature in us which is the flesh. Remember King David, King Solomon, the Israelites in the OT and the Christians in the Corinthian church? The regenerate self does not sin.

  232. Wow, some great indepth and obviously time consuming responses presented. You mentioned you were confused Suez in the beginning, and I believe that they were trying to present the answer with His Word, and you were given a lot to consider, and I hope you might take the time to do it.

    You said, “Isn’t our job to love them, if we disagree, and pray for them, and allow the Holy Spirit do the correcting?”

    We are to correct public error publicly, as Paul did with his Christian brothers Peter and Barnabas, because they were to be blamed. They were not being straightforward about the truth of the gospel. And so we too must do the same, correction by God’s Word.

    Prove all things, hold fast to that good (1 Thess 5:21). Mark (name names) and avoid those who bring a doctrine contrary to the one we learned (Rom 16:17). Is there no one in the church worthy to judge? (1 Cor 5). It is by the strong meat of His Word people are able to discern between good and evil (Heb 5:14), Paul said these people who were adding works to the gospel, that their gospel was accursed. He said it publicly in front of all. He also named names throughout his epistles, there was a reason, and it was so the cancer wouldn’t spread.

    Only the truth will set people free, we are to defend the gospel, contend for the faith once delivered, and if we love Him, we feed, tend His sheep (not with half-truths, or by misapplying Scripture, i.e., those who apply discipleship verses, or rewards verses to a person’s salvation, even doubting others salvation by their works vs. who they believed on.)

    I hope you will maybe just hear and consider, I’m glad you are coming back to read, but let every man/woman, be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath…

  233. Suez, you said: “Parables of the sower all for the saved. That is a first!! LOL I will have to study on that one for sure!”

    My comment: I said that the people represented by soils 2, 3, and 4 were all eternally secure believers. I did not say that people represented by soil 1 were saved.

    I will give you a jump-start on your study with an open-book quiz.

    Question 1: According to scripture, which soil is the only one of the four soils who is said to have believed, using the word “believe”?

    Question 2: How does the word “believe” in Luke 8:13 compare to the word “believed” in John 3:18?

    Question 3: Why does Satan try to remove the seed from soil 1, but not from soils 2-4?

    Question 4: Matthew 7:19 says: When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

    What methods do you think Satan might employ to keep someone who doesn’t understand the gospel message from ever understanding it?

    Question 5: Do Satan’s efforts indicate that a lost person has the capacity to believe the gospel?

  234. Suez, You mentioned the following passage in Luke 12:46: ” Luk 12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the UNBELIEVERS.”
    I feel that a better translation would be the American Standard Version which would translate “unbelievers” in the very latter end of Luke 12:46 as the “unfaithful”.

    Luke 12:46 – American Standard Version – “the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he expecteth not, and in an hour when he knoweth not, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint his portion with the UNFAITHFUL.”

    When one reads the latter half of verse 46 in a translation where it reads, ” and will appoint him his portion with the “unbelievers”, this can cause confusion among readers who will think that the wicked servant will be assigned with “unbelievers” to hell.

    There are several translations which translate the very last word in verse 46 as “unfaithful” which would provide a better understanding and eliminate confusion.

  235. Thanks Holly…:) And William, I think the King James says it just fine! :) But let us not open up that can of worms! :-) LOL

  236. @ William, Yes William, I am fully aware that we all sin. I guess I will give a example, maybe you all will know more where I am coming from. I have a gal I know. I have tried to witness to her before several times. She says “don’t preach to me, I believe John 3:16!” I’m going to the same place you are!” Now, this person, cusses, takes the Lords name in vein, drinks to the point of drunkenness, goes to bars, lies, cheats and possibly would steal given the opportunity. Her husband goes to girly bars, and is a drunk, but is or was a few years ago anyway, he is a deacon in a Lutheran Church! I bet she couldn’t quote any other scripture in the Bible herself, as she always says to me, isn’t there something in the bible about such and such??? NOW, I ask you, is she saved? She has no love or respect for the Lord Jesus, never talks about him, never reads the bible to know him, nothing that would be a witness as to a relationship to him. I will be eager for your answers!!! Where is the good fruit here? :)

  237. Good day,

    A thought (i might get beaten up for this :))

    Luke 12:46 – I dont think it is about the church. It is a second coming parable. Why do I think so? verse 36 – and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will RETURN from the WEDDING; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.

    The wedding has already happened (the bride at the rapture). Here is where I take a hit. After the rapture I believe it it grace plus (a new dispensation). Thus “unbelievers” would then fit.

    just some thoughts – keep fighting for the the sinner!!! Keep defending the gospel!!!

    God Bless,

  238. Suez, If you were to decide to live like the people you described, would you still have assurance of salvation?

    If the answer is no, you need to ask yourself who you are trusting as Savior.
    If the answer is yes, you need to quit inspecting other peoples’ fruit.

  239. John and Suez,

    John your comment is excellent and as you know evoked a comment from Suez:

    No changes=no Jesus!!!!!!!!!!!!! You need to get off your pedestal sir!!!

    It is a pity but Suez’s statement, “No change=no Jesus” IS HER “Theology.” That which she expressed is the very definition and essence of Lordship “salvation.”

    Suez, we will continue to pray for you that you will eventually see the Truth and trust Jesus Christ ALONE as your Savior (NOT your “fruit”). If what you wrote express your present beliefs, they are false and incompatible with God’s Word which, at the very least, means that you, the messenger, are accursed according to Galatians 1:8

    “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

    See, read and believe the Gospel message at 1 Corinthians 15:1-5, John 3:16 and 1 John 5:13.

    Suez, just FYI, “accursed” does not mean condemned to hell but “disqualified, banned or excommunicated.”

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  240. Suez, if your friend ever BELIEVED in John 3:16 at any point in her life, then she is eternally saved. She sounds like a carnal Christian like the ones in the Corinthian church during Paul’s time and a Luke 8:14 Christian and is using grace as a license to sin. If she is truly saved, she will be inevitably facing the Lord’s chastening sooner or later as a wake up call. I’m saved and I have to admit that sometimes I cuss and take the Lords’ name in vain when I’m driving on the road and someone rudely cuts me off without signalling, but I remember 1 John 1:8-9, and 1 John 2:1 and go to the Lord and ask for forgiveness.
    Christ’s shed blood cleanses us daily. My half brother who died last year was a classic example of a carnal/Luke 8:14 Christian. My mother told me decades earlier that he had BELIEVED in the Free Grace gospel of John 3:16 and was going to church and growing spiritually, but when he immigrated to the US, something happened and he did a 180 degree turn for the worst.
    He became preoccupied with the “pleasures of life” indulging in fornication, drinking, gambling, and extravagant living and was carnal up to the very day of his death. Whether or not he got chastened by the Lord, I really don’t know because I never lived with him and we had a big falling out, but if my half brother ever truly BELIEVED decades earlier, then he is eternally saved. But I have to say that he has absolutely no eternal rewards and will be excluded from special privileges and will experience rebuke at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but will be in heaven by THE GRACE OF GOD – 1 Corinthians 3:15.

    The Corinthian church during Paul’s time were just utterly carnal:

    1) 1 Corinthians 3:3 – envying, strife, and divisions
    2) 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 – sexual sin
    3) 1 Corinthians 6:7 – lawsuits
    4) 1 Corinthians 7:2 – sexual immorality
    5) 1 Corinthians 11:21 – getting drunk at the Lord’s Supper

    But yet, the apostle Paul addresses them as “brethren” in 1 Corinthians 3:1, not living by the Spirit, but carnal and babes in Christ indicating that these were saved people. In 1 Corinthians 3:1,3,4 he refers to them as carnal.

  241. Suez, In regards to “fruit”, fruit is not an accurate indicator of whether or not one is saved or not. I have 3 fruit trees in my backyard: a lemon tree that is not currently bearing any lemons, but once did, a peach tree that bears immature peaches about the size of a golf ball, and an Asian fruit tree that bears no fruit at all.
    Now, despite these conditions, that in no way negates the fact that these are fruit trees. The same is true of Christians, some bear much fruit, some bear little, and some bear no fruit at all during certain times in their walk with God, but that in no way negates the fact that they are saved and possessing eternal life.
    Also, there are people in society who bear “good fruit” and exhibit “good moral behavior”, but are not saved and are of another religion and they sometimes exist side by side with the saved.

    A careful reading of Luke 8:6-7, and Luke 8:13-14 will indicate that the seeds described germinated, but grew up to a certain point because of hindrances. The phrases, “sprang up”, “sprang up with it” and “withered away” and “choked” do not indicate a totally dead plant, but indicates the presences of hindrances which cause “stunted growth” in these plants, but they are not totally dead.

    A “withered” arm may be considered “dead” and “useless” because of muscle atrophy and lack of strength, but it is not “dead” in the sense that there is no pulse or blood circulation going through it and it certainly is not “dead” in the sense that it is decomposing flesh.

    A person may “choke” when a small food particle goes down his windpipe when eating causing him to “choke” and cough, but the person is not “choked to death”.

  242. Suez, I would like to invite you to read “The Gospel” booklet by Ron Shea. It is linked below. There is a good discussion on assurance, as follows:

    Assurance

    If you have placed your faith in Christ alone, and you were to die tonight, do you know for certain that you would go to heaven? Jesus said:

    Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
    John 5:24

    Most assuredly I say unto you … How certain of this was Jesus?

    He that hears My word…Have you heard the Words of Christ in the pages of this book?

    And believes in Him who sent Me…Do you believe that God sent Jesus to die in your place?

    Has everlasting life…Does this say that you will receive it later or that you already have it?

    And shall not come into condemnation…Does the Bible say “might not” or “shall not”?

    But has passed from death into life…At what moment does one pass from death into life?

    According to this verse, how can you be sure that you have truly been saved? Choose 1 or more that you think is true:

    You can be sure that you have truly been saved if your life begins to change, showing that God has really come into your life.

    You can be sure that you have truly been saved if many years from now you are still walking with Christ.

    You can be sure that you have truly been saved if you bear the fruit of good works.

    You can be sure that you have truly been saved if you heard the Gospel and believed it.

    (Also see 1 John 5:10-13.)

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

  243. Suez,

    I hope you stick around, if for no other reason than I know there is much to be gained by reading the posts and comments on this blog.

    You did an OUTSTANDING job of listing MANY bible verses with which people struggle, regardless of whether or not they’re believers.

    There’s a reason Jack calls this blog “A Free Grace Oasis.” That’s because (in my opinion) it IS just that. Luke 18:8b (KJV) – “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

    I used to think this only applied to professing Christians who were into certain unbiblical practices, such as Word Of Faith Name It And Claim it stuff, or who followed false teachers such as wolves in sheep’s clothing who snooker the gullible out of their money, etc.

    But I’ve since come to believe that a BIG part of the last days deception warned about in the New Testament has to do with people believing a false gospel of works without even knowing they’re doing so. John and others have alluded to this doctrine in earlier comments, so I won’t repeat it here.

    But just to give you and example of how one might believe in works while ALL THE WHILE INSISTING THAT THEY BELIEVE IN GRACE ALONE BY FAITH ALONG IN CHRIST ALONE for their salvation (sorry–not meaning to “shout” here) consider a quote from rank Calvinist John MacArthur (regarding Jesus comparing his atoning work on the cross when speaking to Nicodemus in John 3:14-15: “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.”) About this passage MacArthur has said, “In order to look at the snake on the pole, they had to drag themselves to where they could see it.” **

    Do you see the subtle confusion going on here? MacArthur’s confusion is similar to the teaching by the vast multitude in the professing Christian church today who CLAIM to believe in salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone, but say things like (and I paraphrase), “It’s after we come to believe that Jesus is who he claimed to be and put out faith in Him and turn from our sins.” This form of Lordship “Salvation” is (practically) EVERYWHERE today.

    For many years (from probably around 1994 or so till only a little over a year ago) I was one of these, “Well then if they profess to believe but live like that, I’d question their salvation/infer they were never really saved to begin with” types of Christians. All that (wrong) understanding of the plan of salvation did was keep me confused and hindered from growing in Christ.

    Consider this: When I witness to my parents, both of whom I’m convinced have not believed the gospel, I’m not thinking, “Boy, I wish they’d go to church, stop taking the Lord’s name in vain, stop drinking heavily, stop badmouthing so many of their friends, stop being gossips, stop yelling at each other, etc.” No, I simply want them to believe on The Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. All that other stuff comes after being saved, and only if they chose to do so, regardless of how obvious it is that’s it’s God’s will for their lives to live as sinless a life as possible this side of Jesus’ return.

    I will close here (this is really long–sorry about that) by echoing John’s encouraging you to read Ron Shea’s gospel booklet. I have my own copy and my wife and I have both read it more than 30 times each, and I’m STILL not finished reading it, meaning that I plan on reading it periodically more or less until Jesus returns. THAT’S how subtle the attacks of the evil one are and THAT’S how important it is that we are clear on the doctrine of salvation.

    (Again, my use of ALL CAPS is for emphasis, not to sound like I’m shouting or being confrontational.)

  244. Suez, I also wanted to go into a little more detail on Luke 8:13 -14 since you earlier mentioned about the sower and the seeds.

    Luke 8:13-14 KJV:
    13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

    14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

    Notice in verse 13, it says those on the rock “which for a while believe”. These people “believed” in the gospel which means instantaneous eternal life just like it was true of the thief on the cross – Luke 23:42-43, and the Philippian jailor – Acts 16:30-31. But when life gets rough, they fall away because of lack of patience, and experience.

    Verse 14 states that these people “bring no fruit to perfection” and in the NIV, the very latter half of verse 14 reads, “and they do not mature” which means a state of immaturity. This means that there was initial growth to begin with, but because of the hindrances, they grew up to a certain point with immature fruit.

    Calvinism/Lordship Salvation proponents will dismiss and write off Luke 8:13-14 as “unsaved” and they base this faulty conclusion on the 5th point of Calvinism which is “perseverance of the saints” meaning that according to Calvinism, the only true Christians that are saved are the ones that “persevere” to the very end and show behavioral changes, bear much fruit, etc, etc. They are quick to use Luke 8:8 and Luke 8:15 as “proof texts” to “prove” that those are the only true Christians, but the reality is, MANY Christians are in the Luke 8:13-14 category. Hope this helps!

  245. Preston, thanks for your comment.

    The reason I don’t think it is “grace plus” after the rapture, is that there is only one heaven. If someone could get into heaven by “grace plus”, there would need to be another heaven in which someone could boast.

  246. Just wanted to thank you guys for putting me onto Mark Slates new documentary. I would highly recommend all watch it and give it out to as many people. The documentary can be seen on You Tube, called Ecumenism, spiritual Whoredom. I knew Edwin Lutzer from Moody Bible Institute, had signed the Manhattan Declaration, all these pastors 150 of them signed on to say that the Catholics are our brothers and sisters in christ and that we don’t need to evangelise to them. For people who are not informed about how fast the apostasy is moving, its a good documentary to watch.

  247. Suez, I was thinking about Luke 8:6 when it mentioned about the plant that “sprang up” and then “withered” because of lack of moisture. I have a potted aloe vera plant that once “withered” because of excessive sunlight. It looked pretty bad, but it still looked like it had a little bit of life left in it, so I immediately took it out of the sun and placed it in a shady spot.

    I started watering it with the rinse water from washing rice which contains nutrients and did that for a whole month and it started showing signs of recovery. I continued with the rinse water and today it is a full grown plant again.

    If lukewarm/carnal Christians take an honest look and deal with the hindrances ( thorns that choke, preoccupations with pleasure) they would grow and move forward spiritually.

  248. Just to get a clear understanding of your theology, are you saying that when the Bible commands us to “believe,” for salvation, that it is implying we believe only in the person of Jesus of Nazareth divided from His words. Therefore, we can split the Christ in that our belief is in the historical personhood, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus for the atonement of sins yet we are somehow able to tell ourselves we believe in Him without believing Him and what he said. Put another way Christ can be “In our Heads/beliefs” (as Saviour), and Satan can be “guiding our hearts” (as Lord).

  249. Sam2, what you seem to be asking is whether we must “make Jesus Lord of our lives” in order to be saved. If that is your question, the answer is NO.

  250. I’m not at all saying that we need to “make Jesus The Lord of our life.” Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords now and forevermore, and no puny contrivance we can muster up can impact that in anyway. Jesus is not some ingratiating god fawning over us to see how he can win our favor. His Authority is what I’m understanding that your theological presuppositions are implicitly or maybe explicitly denying. If we are to say we believe in/on Christ for Salvation by faith alone how is it even fathomable that we don’t Believe Him. And if we truly believe him it would be utterly illogical that we wouldn’t believe his teachings. That would be a total disconnect from the context of the entire New Testament.

  251. Sam2, I don’t understand your point. It is cryptic in nature, and seems to be dancing around a point without making it.

    Which ones of His teachings are you suggesting that we disbelieve?

    What have we said about how to receive eternal life that you take issue with?

    One cannot accept Christ as Savior, without recognizing His authority as God. One must believe in the deity of Christ in order to be saved. But, one must also recognize Christ’s willingness to save them – without cost or obligation.

    To be explicit, recognizing Christ’s authority means recognizing who He is, and what He has done to accomplish our salvation. It does not mean being willing to submit to Him in obedience in order to receive eternal life. It If it did, then salvation would no longer be a gift, but a trade.

  252. what you folks are contending for in this blog boils down to free will vs no free will. its not really about lordship salvation, and all those other matters. all those issues stem from a view of no free will. and personally i dont believe these age-old debates can be settled here. theyve been debated for thousands of years. i believe those who hold to no free will still can be saved by the hearing the gospel. just because someone doesnt believe in free will doesnt necessarily make them believe a lordship gospel. there is only one gospel, true. but believing free will or no free will wont change whether someone is saved or believes the one true gospel. perseverance or lordship salvation is indeed false, and i know many calvinists that are tuli without the p. they dont believe works must evidence your faith. but they also believe God has chosen some to be saved through the gospel. the same 1 cor 15 gospel you guys believe. it doesnt make them or whoever they preach to unsaved or hear the incorrect gospel.

  253. Sam2, I am not getting a clear understanding of your theology. Some of the things you have said are easy answers for me.

    “Just to get a clear understanding of your theology, are you saying that when the Bible commands us to “believe,” for salvation, that it is implying we believe only in the person of Jesus of Nazareth divided from His words.”

    Nobody said that, so it is your understanding that is not clear. We know through His Word who He is, and we believe upon Him.

    Therefore, we can split the Christ in that our belief is in the historical personhood, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus for the atonement of sins yet we are somehow able to tell ourselves we believe in Him without believing Him and what he said.

    Again, another false understanding of ‘our theology’. Putting thoughts and ideas in people’s heads to somehow corral them into some theologically made corner is disingenuous…

  254. Sam2, I am going to be straight, Really? You imply we think this? Suggest this? Teach this?
    “Jesus is not some ingratiating god fawning over us to see how he can win our favor”

    All I can say is, who is your Jesus? Is it the one that pre-chose many for hell and then says something else like, He desires none should perish?

    Or the one that says I died for only the elect, but I say I died for the whole world, (even the false prophets I bought who would deny me-2 Pet 2)

    You continue:
    Put another way Christ can be “In our Heads/beliefs” (as Saviour), and Satan can be “guiding our hearts” (as Lord).

    Christ has either come to dwell in our hearts BY faith, or not… (Eph 3:17) Do you know what obeying the gospel means? Check Rom 10:14-17 for the answer.

    His Authority is what I’m understanding that your theological presuppositions are implicitly or maybe explicitly denying.

    No Sam2, it is your understanding that is flawed, and wrongly accusatory, without a sincere effort to find out how we back up our beliefs, with His Word. Had you asked without using misleading question filled with mischaracterizations, I would have answered in honesty, “we believe on Him, (the Lord Jesus) who is kyrios (God, the Messiah-deity) and Iesous (Jehovah is Salvation) , the Son of God, the Saviour of mankind, God incarnate”.

    If we are to say we believe in/on Christ for Salvation by faith alone how is it even fathomable that we don’t Believe Him. And if we truly believe him it would be utterly illogical that we wouldn’t believe his teachings. That would be a total disconnect from the context of the entire New Testament.

    Beyond cryptic to me… I am sorry, but you are making accusations of us not believing His teachings, (which is a false accusation) also of having total disconnect, denying His authority, having Satan guiding our hearts etc. (More false implications or outright accusations)

    He bought and paid for us. Some of us have lived in Lordship legalism (finishing in the flesh – assuming one ever began in the Spirit).

    Some have lived in rebellion and sin. Still a son. You are the one that might wonder if you have looked up the way that He provided, and believed. (John 3:14-18). You can drag yourself over to supposedly be able to see the serpent lifted up (as William quoted MacArthur) or you might be in MacArthur’s position, as he does not the will of the Father in his teaching and justifies himself by his own works. (John 6:28-29, John 6:39-40). If Christ is not our righteousness, we are clothed only in filthy rags of self-righteousness and will hear those words that these false teachers constantly accuse us of. I know Him, and I am known by Him. I pray you do too…

  255. Sam 2, to further explain what believing in the divinity of Christ means in terms of salvation, please find below an excerpt from Clear Gospel Campaign’ section on “Bilateral Contract (“Lordship”) Salvation”.

    Section a) describes how the requirement of belief in the deity of Christ is misrepresented by works “salvationist” as implicitly requiring obedience to Christ in order to receive eternal life:

    Although there is no limit to the number of passages of Scripture that have been twisted to require every conceivable work of man as a prerequisite for receiving God’s eternal salvation, there are three terms most commonly asserted as demonstrating the tenets of Lordship Salvation:

    a) Lord: In the time of Christ, the term Kurios (Lord) could variously mean “God,” “master,” or “Sir” depending on the context of usage. Within “salvation formulas” within Scripture (passages that declare, prima facie, what one must do or believe to be saved), the divinity of Jesus is repeatedly presented as an essential element of saving faith. (John 8:25-27, 8:23-24, 11:25-27, 20:31; Acts 9:20, 16:30-31; and 1st John 5:13). The fundamental goal of a physicist is to generate generalizations which remain true under diverse circumstances. If they can do so, they are called “laws of nature.” The fundamental goal of the theologian is to generate generalizations which are consistent across a spectrum of teachings within Scripture. If they stand up to that test, the are called “doctrines.” The fact that the divinity of Jesus is explicitly identified as an element of saving faith throughout Scripture should inform a theologian as to a logical interpretation of the term “Lord” in conjunction with eternal salvation. And the existence of over 160 verses of Scripture that declare salvation is by faith alone, and countless verses that further declare that salvation is not by the works of the law, should further inform even the most callow theologian that the call to obedience is expressly not a demand placed on man in exchange for eternal life. To interpret the word “Kurios” (Lord) as a call to obedience in exchange for the promise of eternal life is therefore to utterly fail as a theologian! To The use of the term Kurios in conjunction with man’s salvation is plainly a call to man to honor Christ as his Creator.

    b) Repentance: The extant Greek literature plainly demonstrates that the Greek verb “metanoeo” and the noun “metanoia” are simply a change of mind. This change of mind can take virtually any object, as evidenced both by Scripture, and by extant Greek literature. Sin can be the object of repentance, but there is no basis in the Greek language for understanding “sin” to be the necessary or intrinsic object of repentance. Moreover, no passage of that identifis sin as the object of repentance also identifies the consequence of that repentance as eternal salvation. And no passage of identifying repentance as a requirement for eternal salvation ever identifies sin as the object of that repentance. The discussion of repentance is thoroughly examined beginning at the following link: http://www.cleargospel.org/topics.php?t_id=27

    In passages dealing with eternal life, repentance is used in a sense that is equivalent to believing on Christ alone, which, within the witness of the New Testament, has the reasonable scope of:

    i) rejecting other gods (Acts 17:22-30), thereby affirming our Triune God as the only true God;

    ii) rejecting as the means for salvation all other vehicles, such as religion (Matthew 3:5-9), sacraments, animal sacrifice or religious ritual al or sacerdotal functions good works, animal sacrifice, religion, or religious rituals (Hebrews 6:1 [c.f. Hebrews 9:9-14]), or salvation by obedience to the ten commandments (Luke 13:1-5), thereby affirming Jesus as the only means by which men must be saved; and

    iii) evaluating the person and work of Christ and turning to Him in faith (Luke 24:47, Acts 26:20).

    “Sin” is never described as the object of repentance unto eternal salvation.

    c) Disciple: The litany of verses in Scripture could be examined to demonstrate that discipleship is not a condition for salvation. But after examining these verses, those committed to salvation-by-works will simply amble off to some other passage where God places demands on mankind. The fact that God calls us to discipleship is in no way a proof that the call to discipleship is a requirement for salvation.

  256. Just a technical issue to point out, Holly: It was I, not William who quoted MacArthur yesterday re the serpent in the wilderness and the silly “feet dragging” reference. But I’m glad you mentioned it as I forget to credit that quote coming from a footnote in Charles Bing’s book LORDSHIP SALVATION (page 57).

    Carry on . . . :)

  257. What is your take on 2 Corinthians 5:17

  258. Malik,

    Welcome and thanks for your comment.. though, if I understand it, we would disagree with your premise.

    Believing in one’s salvation by Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus alone IS an act of the individual’s will. One cannot deny that unless he is a Calvinist or some similar errorist. Unbelievers must not only hear the Gospel but decide (by their will) to believe (have faith) in Jesus — or they are already condemned. (John 3:16-18).
    The word believe:

    (pistis); to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication to entrust (especially one’s spiritual well-being to Christ) :- believe (-r), put in trust with.

    The Object of our trust, faith, belief must be Jesus Christ to do what He has promised, give everyone who decides to believe in Him Eternal Life.

    Salvation is not a cloak that mysteriously descends upon one who simply hears the Gospel and then is somehow imbued with eternal life. The words “believe and believeth” pertaining to salvation appear hundreds of times in God’s Word and in each case is a personal faith decision. Likewise, we see clearly that, with proper exegesis Salvation is the Gift of God, NOT our Faith. (Romans 6:23)

    I wonder if you are riding the fence between Calvinism and an honest interpretation of God’s Grace. If a Calvinist proclaims a “no works salvation” based upon the T.U.L.I (minus the P) they are still preaching a false message and reaching a false assumption with the T.U.L.I (because all five Calvinist dictums are false).

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  259. Frying pan, laughing with you, thank you for the encouragement to ‘carry on’ and the correction :) Noted, and thanks for the source… :)

  260. dear jack,

    you said i quote
    ” If a Calvinist proclaims a “no works salvation” based upon the T.U.L.I (minus the P) they are still preaching a false message and reaching a false assumption with the T.U.L.I (because all five Calvinist dictums are false).”

    i cannot find in the bible anywhere that makes your statement true. everything you kindly explained is what a non-perseverant calvinist believes. the only difference is that it was all predetermined beforehand. the difference is in how it plays out in reality, but the mechanics are the same, you see. therefore the msg is not accursed per gal 1:9

    whether i am riding the fence or not will have no effect on my salvation or fundamental beliefs. its a matter of perspective even though only one is right. i consider it a minor difference, although how one lives life in relation to God will be different. if two people believe that they are saved by jesus’ death for their sins and his ressurection, yet they disagree on free will or no free will, i cannot see how the one who does not believe in free will has an accursed message. please explain to me how.

  261. Malik, Glad to meet you, here are some of my thoughts as a reader here.

    Those who hold to no free will, hold to the premise they are the elect, only some ever have any ability to even believe. They have no ability to come to Him in their way of teaching, and rarely even mention the word believe, unless it is after the fact, because it’s not anything they have to do, because they cannot.

    But on the contrary, they are told they must believe in His Word; so is it really just an age old debate?

    Shouldn’t we be able to KNOW if we have life when we believe? Or was that part of the Word deceptive? Because how can you know you were truly chosen until your behavior proves you really were one of the chosen? (For remember, they question ‘real belief’)

    If He has to give us faith, (saying we have total inability to believe), then how is it that Jesus tell us we need to believe, so often in His Word? Why would He chastise His disciples for their lack of faith? Especially if it was the very faith Jesus had supposedly gifted them with?

    Isn’t it impossible for Him to give anything but good gifts? (Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17) So wouldn’t He be in effect chastising His own gift as being bad? Is He capable of doing anything wrong?

    Didn’t He beget us by His Word? The incorruptible seed? Isn’t His Word, His Scriptures, His Gospel the way He chose to call us by, and save us by? (1 Tim 3:15; Rom 1:16-17; 1 Cor 1:17-18, 1 Pet 1:23; 1 Thess 2:13)

    It is not by regeneration BEFORE we believe. The same verse Lordship doctrinaire teachers use in 2 James about the demons believing and trembling, they might apply to themselves. Did they do His will? How can God fault them if they cannot ‘do’ the Father’s will unless He makes them? None of that is correct understanding of God’s Word or His gospel.

    It is another gospel, and another Jesus, for the one that said “Come” would have been lying by omission if we had no ability. The one that told us “Believe” would be lying if no one had the ability. What about those who stopped following Him? How often had He told them to believe, but they did not. What about Jerusalem, Jesus wanted to gather them but they were not willing. Was that a lie? Shouldn’t it have said, “You were not able”?

    I could go on, but that will give you a little idea of why I personally do not believe it is the same gospel. Not only that, frequently they apply verses spoken to already ‘elect’ Israel regarding returning to Him, or believing that Jesus is the Christ, and all sorts of discipleship verses and call those Scriptures the gospel. And they corrupt the simplicity seen in the gospel declared in 1 Cor 15, and have people questioning, Did God really say?”

    Doesn’t sound like they are manifesting the truth, but I do believe to be deceitful handling of His Word for which they will answer, and it will cost many, including those who are on the fence saying “Can we not have unity”?

    How can we? We are not of the same mind, speaking the same thing…

  262. Alex,
    Thanks for your very brief and unexplained question. I will assume for the moment that you are asking sincerely, seeking Biblical answers.

    We have addressed this verse and many like it many times in our articles. You may search for them from the side-bar on each page at ExP.

    Her is a very good response to your question as well as others you may have. This link is to a comment by our friend, Bruce:

    http://expreacherman.com/2013/05/29/an-admitted-lordship-salvationist-visits-expreacherman-and-asks-questions/#comment-18643

    You might also look at our Page in the Header:
    Lordship[ Salvation Defined:

    http://expreacherman.com/%E2%99%A6-lordship-salvation-defined/

    In God’s Salvation by GRACE, He does not require a change of behavior. Lordship “Salvation” is the unsupportable belief that the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works MUST accompany faith in Christ and one’s new life in Christ in order to make that faith result in eternal life.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  263. Malik, I think Calvinism is another gospel.

    Think about Ephesians 2:8-9:

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

    If God predestined only certain people to salvation, then this would be utterly illogical. It would be “by grace are ye saved through grace…”

    Similarly, Romans 4:3: For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

    If God gave Abraham the faith to believe (or unconditionally elected him), then why would God have counted Abraham’s belief for righteousness?

    And, Acts 16:30-31:

    [30] And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
    [31] And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    If God had not chosen the jailor for salvation, the apostles would have been lying to him.

  264. Malik,

    While you rest your eternity on your “no free will, predestined ‘T.U.L.I.’ without the ‘P’,” think on this excellent observation from our Administrator, John:

    “Jack, also, John 3:18 would be a lie if God predestined people to heaven or hell. How could someone who was predestined to be saved be ‘condemned already’?”

    Now, Malik, you would not persist in your false TULI by calling God a liar, would you?

    That one verse, in context, completely cuts the foundation out from under and exposes the lie of Reformed teaching and all of Calvinism.

    Thanks John!!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  265. Jack or John, If a person is already saved and possessing eternal life, but is out of fellowship with God and other believers because of sin or rebellion, would repentance then be required for restoring that fellowship? Would “repentance” in that context be to “turn from the sin or sins” affecting that fellowship?
    “Repentance” in the dictionary also means to feel or show that you are sorry for something bad or wrong that you did and that you want to do what is right.

  266. William, first of all, I don’t think the dictionary definition of repentance is consistent with the Biblical definition of repentance, in salvation or any other context. Sorrow can lead to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:9), but biblical repentance does not include sorrow. Biblical repentance is a change of mind.

    As to whether repentance from sin is a requirement for restoring fellowship with God, I don’t think so. I think the Bible teaches that confession is required for maintaining fellowship:

    1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    Some people interpret this to mean “confess and repent”, but the text does not say that.

    However, repentance from sin is an integral part of the Christian life.

    From Clear Gospel Campaign:

    Repentance from sin is essential for Christian growth and sound Christian living.

    But the Scriptures never remotely suggest that repentance from sin is a requirement for eternal redemption through Jesus Christ. God grants us eternal life freely through the blood of his Son.

    Repentance from sin has been necessary for certain nations to avoid his temporal judgment.

    Repentance from sin may be a way for an individual to avoid God’s discipline.

    Repentance from sin is certainly necessary to avoid the natural consequences of sin. If one who “drinks and drives” does not repent of their sins, they will surely regret it one day. They are driving to disaster. This is true whether the are saved or lost. Driving and drinking don’t mix.

    Finally, repentance from sin is certainly necessary if we hope to hear the words of commendation “well done good and faithful servant” by our Creator.

    Nevertheless, Scripture never presents repentance from sin as a requisite of God for securing the benefit of eternal salvation, which is the gift of God.

  267. The last post regarding repentance Johninnc, is an excellent explanation, so many also think the salvation spoken of in 2 Cor 7:10 speaks to eternal life…

    You explained it well, “Repentance from sin may be a way for an individual to avoid God’s discipline. Repentance from sin is certainly necessary to avoid the natural consequences of sin.”

  268. Is anyone familiar with the ministry of Raul Ries? Is his theology Free Grace or works based? Does anyone know?

  269. William, I’ve never heard of him.

  270. William,

    I don’t know much much about him but I’d say works based. Based on this from one of his sites under the heading Make a Commitment:
    To receive Christ, do the following:
    1. Admit, “I am a sinner.”
    2. Confess and be willing to turn from your sin.
    3. Believe, by faith, Jesus Christ died for you on the cross.
    4. Receive, through prayer, Jesus Christ into your heart and receive eternal life.
    Pray, with a sincere heart, something like this…
    Dear Lord Jesus,
    I know I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe You died on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me for my sins and cleanse me by Your blood. I accept You by faith as my personal Lord and Savior. Give me a thirst for Your Word and Help me to follow You all of my days. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

  271. Jim, I agree with your assessment of Raul Ries, based on the heading “Make a Commitment” and the content. Classic works for salvation theology.

  272. From Raul Ries website under “become a Christian”
    Admit, “I am a sinner.”
    Confess and be willing to turn from your sin.”

    “By accepting Jesus into your life as your personal Lord and Savior”,

    The above is another Gospel it puts a soul on the tread mill of working for salvation and under the law . Yes Jesus is Savior.
    He remains Lord regardless of how I live my Life .
    We need only acknowledge Him as deity that He is Lord.

    with what I found on their website I would avoid the teachings , Yes they may say some good things BUT for me the smallest dose of lordship salvation I am still very sensitive to it.

    Curtis

  273. Curtis, very well said! I am also very sensitive to LS.

    You said: “We need only acknowledge Him as deity that He is Lord.”

    There is a short section on bilateral contract (aka Lordship) “salvation” at Clear Gospel Campaign. Please find excerpt below:

    Lord In the time of Christ, the term Kurios (Lord) could variously mean “God,” “master,” or “Sir” depending on the context of usage. Within “salvation formulas” within Scripture (passages that declare, prima facie, what one must do or believe to be saved), the divinity of Jesus is repeatedly presented as an essential element of saving faith. (John 8:25-27, 8:23-24, 11:25-27, 20:31; Acts 9:20, 16:30-31; and 1st John 5:13). The fundamental goal of a physicist is to generate generalizations which remain true under diverse circumstances. If they can do so, they are called “laws of nature.” The fundamental goal of the theologian is to generate generalizations which are consistent across a spectrum of teachings within Scripture. If they stand up to that test, the are called “doctrines.” The fact that the divinity of Jesus is explicitly identified as an element of saving faith throughout Scripture should inform a theologian as to a logical interpretation of the term “Lord” in conjunction with eternal salvation. And the existence of over 160 verses of Scripture that declare salvation is by faith alone, and countless verses that further declare that salvation is not by the works of the law, should further inform even the most callow theologian that the call to obedience is expressly not a demand placed on man in exchange for eternal life. To interpret the word “Kurios” (Lord) as a call to obedience in exchange for the promise of eternal life is therefore to utterly fail as a theologian! To The use of the term Kurios in conjunction with man’s salvation is plainly a call to man to honor Christ as his Creator.

  274. Regarding Raul Ries, I learned that he came to know Christ through the ministry of Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, CA. Does anyone know about pastor Chuck Smith? He used to have a radio ministry.

  275. By the way, Thanks Jim and Curtis for the info regarding Raul Ries!

  276. Yes Chuck Smith has recently passed away. He was tied up in ecumenical endeavours with Rick Warren, and Greg Laurie, which you can check out for yourself on you tube. I used to listen to his radio show, and I nearly flipped out of my chair, when he said he would not try to convert a catholic as catholics are christians. I am baffled on a daily basis of how people in the church, one I visited yesterday, how there is a very low emphasis on doctrine and no biblical separation from error. I wonder if the people in the ecumenical movement are really saved or have they been given over to a delusion, or they are just ignorant. They don’t see a need for biblical discernment and that they are just loving people all the way to Rome. May god have mercy on them. As I came away so disturbed and distraught, as I was feeling so lonely with very little fellowship, now I know why I can no longer church anymore.

  277. From CC Website under About :
    “We believe that all people are sinners by nature and, therefore, are under condemnation; that God saves and regenerates based upon faith by the Holy Spirit, those who repent of their sins and confess Jesus Christ as Lord. (Acts 8:15-17; Ephesians 2:1-3 and 8-9; Romans 3:23 and 5:8; Titus 3:5).”

    the above statement is a false gospel . To suggest a soul needs to repent of sins for salvation is wrong.
    you can repent of sin and never trust Jesus as your personal savior .
    you may trust Jesus that He Paid our sin debt there is nothing I can do to earn that payment it is a free gift. Eph 2:8-9.

    the biblical definition of repent is to Change your Mind

    the religious world system and Law keepers Repent = Turn from Sin

    “Confess Jesus AS Lord ” is error. Jesus IS Lord however I choose to Live my new Life in Christ.

    Jesus AS Lord = Bondage to the Law

    Jesus is Lord = Freedom from the Law

    Curtis

  278. Raul Ries believes you can lose your salvation. He stands very strong with that view, and has held that view for decades. He believes that salvation is a commitment to lifestyle.

    Chuck Smith also believed you can lose your salvation. He also believed that salvation was a commitment to lifestyle, and also at the end of his life asserted that catholics are Christians, and that even some mormons could potentially be saved.

    Greg Laurie also believes you can lose your salvation, believes that salvation is a commitment to lifestyle, and says that you could be “almost” miss heaven by being only “almost” a Christian.

    The three all come from the root of Calvary Chapel, which comes from the rotten root of the Foursquare church false gospel started by Aimee Semple McPherson, who was a false teacher through and through.

  279. Thanks, Abe

    I ALWAYS enjoy reading your contributions here.

    I wish I had the exact quote, but I was watching Greg Laurie at some point last year (out of curiosity after hearing he was LS) and he said something like, “If you don’t walk with Jesus in this life you’re not going to walk with Him in Heaven.” I said, “Okay, that’s all I need to be convinced he needs to be marked and avoided!

    I attended a Calvary Chapel church for almost 7 years (I ditched it last May) and I can tell you in retrospect there was very little discernment going on there that I could find. I knew one gentleman there who knew all about New Age stuff and made the erroneous conclusion that, “He’s all right.” But over time I saw and heard a lot of things that didn’t seem right and upon further investigation I concluded that nobody there understood nor preached the true gospel.

    Mary, a couple of weeks ago I too heard the recording of that radio program where Chuck Smith basically claimed that Catholics are more or less Christians. I knew his theology was confused before then, but that really was shocking. But I really shouldn’t have been too surprised. I was at a men’s Bible study with my old CC fellowship one time, ca 2007 and one of the men there who asked for prayers for his ailing mother said, “She’s a Catholic, but she loves the Lord.” I was too confused to say anything so I was part of the problem as opposed to being a part of the solution then. But looking back it’s pretty telling that neither the pastor, the assistant pastor, nor any of the edlers or deacons there that evening seemed the least bit concerned that this man’s mother likely had never heard the gospel and believed it.

  280. FryingPan9,

    The Lord showed you something very important about Greg Laurie. Laurie teaches works for salvation very strongly.

    I’m sorry for the experience that you had at the men’s study at the CC you were at, but it is very typical for CC. Many CC’s have a blinding shroud of, “we teach all the Bible” spoken of, a shroud which attempts to cover the person’s eyes from seeing that CC is very ecumenical and very works for salvation.

    Chuck Smith is the very definition of CC, so if you want to know what most of them believe, you just read what Smith wrote. Laurie and most of the rest in CC blindly follow Smith (even after his passing). Chuck Smith taught a version of James chapter 2, which I heard Laurie parrot as well, which fits right in line with MacArthur.

  281. Abe, Thanks for the info on Raul Ries and Chuck Smith! Someone on YouTube was asking me about Raul Ries. Well, now we know that they believe in a false gospel. Raul Ries ” conversion experience” was interesting. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War and when he came back to the US, he was still very traumatized and his mind was still in Vietnam.
    He said he had a lot of rage and anger in his heart and loaded up his rifle and was getting ready to kill his wife and family.
    When he came home, his wife and family were not there, but he said the TV was on and he saw Chuck Smith preaching the gospel. It was at that point that he stated that the message that Chuck Smith was preaching touched his heart and he said he fell to his knees and dropped his rifle and came to know Christ right then and there.
    It appears that Raul Ries was deceived into thinking that he was saved by hearing the false gospel being preached by Chuck Smith. Raul stated that he was a changed man thereon after.

  282. I never followed Chuck Smith much, but he sure has some loyal followers who get furious when you touch “Papa Chuck”. I heard the Catholic comment (via FB) as well as urging a girl to marry her Catholic Boyfriend, and some other bad advice. Lonnie Frisbee was part of the original Jesus people and also Kathyrn Kuhlman and Chuck never denounced either one of them. You think if you’d keep bringing up your beginnings, you’d warn your followers of the error. Chuck Laurie with his ecumenism, walk the aisle, and his foray into some of the mystical, using groups like Hillsong, show he is following in some of Chuck’s error too, along with some of his own I’m sure. Good information…

    Of course the website Blueletterbible has reflected very well the continued Lordship teachings of Brian Broderson, seeing a lot more Calvinist influence there….

  283. “Lordship teachings of Brian Broderson, seeing a lot more Calvinist influence there”

    Brodersen is even more ecumenical than Chuck Smith was, with Broderson connecting with Calvinists Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald, defending TD Jakes in two official Calvary Chapel website articles, and working with catholics in outreach programs in England.

  284. So are the people in the ecumenical movement, saved, deluded or just saved and ignorant, I don’t understand. Please help me compute.

  285. Mary asked: “So are the people in the ecumenical movement, saved, deluded or just saved and ignorant, I don’t understand. Please help me compute.”

    Here is my opinion, and it is only my opinion and it does not represent the views of the owners of this website.

    Jesus talked about how there are wheat and tares in churches. There are good fish and bad fish. Later in the NT it talks about true teachers and false teachers.

    They will exist together in churches.

    So it is my view that these people in the ecumenical movement could be in one of these two categories:

    1) Saved for believing the true Gospel at one time in the past, but deceived now by false teaching (they are still saved despite this, if they had believed the true Gospel at any point in the past)
    2) Not saved, and totally deceived at all times

  286. “1) Saved for believing the true Gospel at one time in the past, but deceived now by false teaching (they are still saved despite this, if they had believed the true Gospel at any point in the past)”

    I was pondering yesterday of the saved but religious.
    I myself am of the same persuasion.
    this conclusion comes from my own self deception having known the “Truth of The Gospel” yet falling into false doctrine.
    We live in a world system were false doctrine and false gospel’s is what sell’s.

    Curtis

  287. Excellent point, Curtis. J.I. Packer is a classic example of what you just said. Packer openly admitted in an interview that he once believed the Free Grace gospel of John 3:16, but now doesn’t, but is now a leading proponent of Lordship Salvation. He is eternally saved, but is deceived by a counterfeit “Jesus”.
    He is a living example of 2 Corinthians 11:3.

  288. Mary, I believe that all 3 are true of those who are in the ecumenical movement. I’d say some are truly saved, but later get deceived by another bogus gospel, some are saved, but ignorant of true doctrine because of laziness in reading and studying the Word like my mother was, and some are deceived from beginning to end.
    When I think of those who are saved in the church, I come up with 2 categories of Christians that I would call the wise and foolish Christian builders. I believe that Matthew 7:24-27 is conceptually parallel to 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.

    The wise Christians who put their faith into action in discipleship/sanctification practices living a life wisely and in obedience to the Word and grow spiritually are in essence building “their house on the rock” – Matt 7:24 and consisting of gold, silver, and costly stones – 1 Cor 3:12-13. That house will stand up to the heat of testing at the Judgment Seat of Christ – 1 Cor 3:14, Matt 7:25. These believers will RECEIVE eternal rewards – 1 Cor 3:14.

    The foolish, lazy, carnal, lukewarm Christians who don’t put their faith into action in discipleship/sanctification practices and does not grow spiritually are in essence building “their house on the sand” – Matt 7:26, and consisting of wood, hay, or straw – 1 Cor 3:12. That house will not stand up to the heat of testing at the Judgment Seat of Christ – Matt 7:27, 1 Corinthians 3:15. These believers will LOSE eternal rewards – 1 Cor 3:15, but their eternal salvation remains intact.

    Both the wise and foolish Christians are eternally saved because eternal life is a free gift apart from works. The only difference is the gain or loss of eternal rewards – 2 Corinthians 5:10 – ” For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

  289. Mary – good answers, and I believe I have found a variation of many of the believers and non believers in church. I think there are a basic three categories, believers, nonbelievers and deceivers. Nonbelievers are the tares and Deceivers/deceived can be either non-believers or saved.

    Why do I say that?

    Once upon a time, Peter and Barnabas were deceivers, in that they were living after the manner of Gentiles, and went back to living under the law (not ‘as under the law’ as Paul being all things to all people.) Because of their fear of certain Jews they were carried away with the other dissimulators and compelling the Gentiles to also live like the Jews. They didn’t walk uprightly concerning the truth of the gospel. Deceivers for whatever reason at that time.

    So many are afraid to rebuke people publicly in the church, there has been kind of a church-itical correctness where the sheep bleat out, “Did you pray for the wolf”, or “I wish Christians wouldn’t ‘tear apart’ other Christians”, “nobody’s perfect”, or like comments when you try to expose the false doctrine of the wolf. Many of the sheep gather round the wolf to defend him from the sheep who is warning, “wolf, wolf”! Or, the sheep tell you, “find another sheep-pen if this one doesn’t suit you”, and they shun you. The wolf graciously “forgives you and will pray for you”, and then turns around to flatter the sheep. The leader of the sheep-pen builds a whole doctrine out of one verse each week in a folksy “Beth Moore” kind of way. I hope I didn’t go too far with this story, I just see it every day.

    So, I believe Rom 16, that everyone has a responsibility with false teaching.

    17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
    18 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.

  290. Curtis, I too was saved but religious…Thankful for the truth of His Word which cleanses us if we will cooperate by spending time hearing His Word…

  291. Abe – I don’t know a lot about Broderson, but found out some lately. Seeing these men grapple for power and numbers in the “Christian” realm by pulling in a bigger audience, whether by taking on the moniker of ‘reformed’ (yet joining hands with a Catholic or two), and also being seeker friendly. I am sure they see it as the best of both worlds for the ‘kingdom’.

    For earthly reasons they defend bad associations by asking, “what if they are preaching them the gospel”? I’m thinking if they are preaching the gospel in public, these wolves have already heard it, and leading the sheep over to the wolves’ den is going against Scripture. But, this is where the confusion comes in, and sheep don’t know which way to go because the hirelings have left them in the midst of wolves.

  292. Mary, I have no idea if they are saved or not, but I sure let them know now publicly, that they are leading other’s to wolves to be ravaged…

  293. Just so heartbreaking to watch how pastors and elders today, don’t know their left hand from their right. They have all listened to Macarthurs and Paul Washers false teaching and mixed it in with free grace, and when you tell them or point it out, they make you feel like your arrogant, a know it all or the judge not lest you be judged comes at you. I can no longer fellowship with deceived what ever they are saved, deceived or unsaved. How is it possible to fellowship with them if we do not agree. I was told by this elder by trying to be discerning, who do you think you are to come into this church and judge, your only job is to preach the gospel, yes which gospel, we can’t even agree on that. I was told who do I think I am, you don’t have the monopoly on truth. I told him the bible commands us to discern. So frustrating, I have to get used to hardly any fellowship. Talk about a lonely road. The problem out there is everyone divides the word of god differently, due to listening to different men with different doctrines.

  294. Hang in there, Mary. I know it’s not easy and I’m not one to talk because I’ve been blessed with a spouse who is on the same page with me.

    But consider we are in the electronic age with increased knowledge. We have many like-minded believers here on this blog. Even having only a couple of people here with which to fellowship is more than a lot of folks have in say, Muslim countries where Christianity is outlawed and conversion means certain death, often at the hands of a sibling and/or parent.

    Consider also that you have the privilege of standing for the truth and defending the gospel. (I’m sure there are others here who can communicate what I’m trying to get across much more effectively.)

  295. Mary,

    FryingPan is right.. Hang in there.

    Most of us are in the same boat as you — Our fellowship is with the Lord Jesus and with each other here at ExPreacherMan.

    We welcome your fellowship and friendship in Christ Jesus!! And we will continue praying for your encouragement from God’s Word. Let us all pray for each other!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack.

  296. Thanks Jack, we do need to be strong and courageous in these dark spiritual days we are living in. I guess we can thank god we can see through the deceptions, Just because we can discern, they claim who are we that think we have a monopoly on truth. Pilate said what is truth, thy word is truth. Pray we don’t get too discouraged. I will uphold all of you guys in my prayers too that the lord will sustain us and give us the strength to go on.

  297. Mary,
    I feel the exact same way as you do. I can’t fellowship with the deceived either. We just argue in circles endlessly.

  298. Mary, as a widow, I have gone up to speak to a pastor of a church, who sent me to an assistant, who then gave me the Purpose driven church speech (maybe you’ll be happy elsewhere)… true, maybe I will be, but until that time, what is my next step? I want to talk to the elders. His response? They have no discernment…

    That was one thing he said that was correct… Praying you will be encouraged for being hated, or despised, spitefully used or mocked. It is the last days. But with every several curses or so, there is a blessing in a like minded believer that makes a huge difference. Come over to FB, I’ll introduce you to a few :)

    In Him, Holly

  299. what is FB

  300. Mary,

    FB is the abbreviation for the Social Network Facebook.. With few exceptions, a waste of time. Holly’s is one exception.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  301. Oh yes Mary, facebook. I was drug there kicking and screaming in about 2007 or 8. I started sharing some Bible verse pictures, and would come back and have comments and questions. People started referring people as friends, and I was too naive about the ‘social network’ experience to not go ahead and add most anyone that looked legitimate. It became as if the Lord had allowed me a mission, to minister to some who had been in error, to share the gospel with the unbeliever (One Jehovah’s witness last year became a believer, we finished up her understanding of the deity of Jesus the night before she went into a serious surgery). She has been out to visit me twice. I have some blessings of stories like that from facebook, they are all His doing, and His gracious allowance of fellowship and also sharpening as well as contending for the faith.

    Because I felt it was as if the Lord had allowed me a way to share with people out in the world, I opened up my page and made it public to all, and it has surely also allowed some ugly commentary at times with those who disagree. I have seen quite a lot of bad, a lot of hatred, name calling and even threats (from a rabid Calvinist). But, all in all, I am very thankful for what the Lord has allowed in all of it.

  302. William – I cannot either, I have had troubles as a woman just having a soft-heart, separating from those who are deceived at some point, most especially when they become a source of deceiving others. I no longer allow them to take much of my time, at times, some feel maybe I give them too much space in allowing them to go back of forth, but there are times, I know a certain person is watching, and learning, and seeing, and to see people come of Calvinism (two friends recently attributed part to conversations they saw me having) so it’s worth it. But I do try to remember once they preach a false gospel, or will not hear His Word, they gotta go :)

    I am so thankful for those I can talk to about Him however…. a blessing, I really understand the word oasis…

  303. Thanks Holly, I am so not a facebook person, but I know you have your own website, will tap into that. Thanks for all your wonderful comments guys.

  304. Just found you Holly on FB I’m now following you. ;-) I too think FB can be a big waste, however I have almost 500 friends and I see it as a way to present the Gospel. Especially to those friends I can’t see personally. I share articles from here from time to time.

  305. Bryan,

    We agree — that — unless it is Gospel related, any post is a waste of time and space.

    Thanks for posting some of our articles on FB. I try to post all of our articles on my FB account.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  306. Bryan and Mary, looking forward to seeing more of you. I just cannot believe how I ended up there, but the Lord can sure use it, so I am thankful for that. I do see how it can be a huge time-waster I guess if you let it. On my let down times, I enjoy gathering recipes for crockpot cooking or bbq or homestyle for the family, and things like that, but not too often. I like mostly being able to get the Word out. I’ve even started putting Bible verses on the recipes I collect a little at a time. Or when I was looking for hairstyles for my daughter’s wedding (for me), I collected a bunch of pictures and named the folder, hairstyles for the Mother of the Bride, and people are actually FOLLOWING the folder every day. So I’ve started trying to also incorporate Bible verses on the “Pin”, so more of His Word gets out.

    In all our ways acknowledge Him… I fail, but He’ll show us ways to relate to others and then have opportunities to share :)

    In His love to you all.

  307. This article was posted to me this morning via email, Macarthur is going to do a training film on how to undo free grace and put in his false gospel, how tragic and every pastor elder and professing Christian and true Christians will swallow all of this up. We wil have more opposition than ever now in trying to get the correct gospel out there.

    (Administrator’s note: Mary, I applaud you on trying to warn us of MacArthur’s false view of the gospel, but I did not think it would be wise to post his lies. My view of the MacArthur post was that he was criticizing someone else’s film, not planning one of his own. Following is an excerpt:

    I have a copy of a training film now being used internationally to teach Christians what they should and should not say when leading someone to Christ. A respected, conservative organization produced the film, but frankly, the warped view of the gospel it presents is appalling.)

  308. Mary, We ought to do a training film on how to undo Lordship Salvation. The best of the best from the Free Grace side versus the worst of the worst from the Lordship side.

  309. Thanks the reason I posted the sermon was to mainly show his false gospel and lordship salvation that people were denying. Thanks

  310. Mary,

    Thanks so much for your discernment and desire to expose the lies of JMac. We commend you.

    As John wrote above, we have published numerous articles exposing JMac — in fact our expose’s may be the reason for his new, vicious attack on the Gospel. Not long ago we had one of his acolytes, (I believe a member of his church) write to us saying “John MacArthur is not unaware of your efforts at ExPreacherMan.com.”

    We thank the Lord for your participation and understanding.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  311. My apologies, I misunderstood, have now re-read.

  312. William, excellent idea… I got an email from the “Puritan” hard drive today. I stay on their list to see who their new promotee’s are. (If that is a word).

    Anyways, I had to shake my head as I saw their tagline for the email.

    “Trying the Spirits To Avoid Antichrist”

    I found it interesting that Spirits were capitalized, that they were giving believers information on how to avoid Antichrist. It included the false doctrine, false worship, i guess the Antichrist even has some musical instruments that belong to him, as well as the Holy days of Christmas, Easter, Good Friday, etc. (I understand some of the implications, but I do believe all days belong to and were made by the Lord).

    Evidently you need their MP3’s videos and books exposing the antichrist’s false doctrine and unauthorized holidays… Good thing that some of them are free, otherwise what would one do?

    I think the poor person will have to just turn to the Word of God and put on His armor… :)

  313. Jack, you said: “Not long ago we had one of his acolytes, (I believe a member of his church) write to us saying ‘John MacArthur is not unaware of your efforts at ExPreacherMan.com.'”

    My comment: Maybe John MacArthur will read our posts and comments and then turn, or return, to believing the gospel and trusting in Christ alone as his Savior. We should all pray for that to happen.

  314. Holly, the prophecy aspects of most of these ministries should read: “Hurry up and believe a false gospel before it’s too late!”

  315. John,

    Great point.

    We see JMac and others like him as adversaries (which they are of the Gospel of Grace) yet the very Savior whom they demean died for them just as He died for me, an unworthy sinner.

    We should pray for JMac and others like him, that he will personally see and believe the Truth of God’s Word of Grace, salvation so free.

    Seems impossible but “with God all things are possible.”

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  316. Johninnc – So many are drawn to these ‘intellectual’ preachers, it’s frightening and tragic. I thought tickling ears would have to do with men just telling people what they want to hear. What a clever device of the enemy to get as close to sounding like the truth, by using these ‘scholars’ who cleverly twist God’s Word, sound pious and are ‘radical disciples’. I just do not see what people don’t understand about the impossibility of their demands. Heaven has been shut up to them by these Judaizers.

  317. Jack they have become enemies of the gospel, and are accursed. I know they don’t see it that way, and so I do pray for them as I think on it. I’m not really sure, I do because we’re called to pray for all men, but I pray for those they deceive more I confess.

    Usually I am told by one of the sheep when warning of their error, “Did you even pray for the wolf”?

    I can’t imagine what that day will be like for them, I have asked the Lord to help me have compassion on all the lost, the unlovable, the deceivers, our enemies, His enemies. It’s harder for me with those who are deceiving people and causing them their very souls. I know for a fact these men somewhere in them have to know that their eternal fate is uncertain. How much they drown out that fact with their many words in the daytime, I wonder if they think on it at night when it’s quiet… How can they not be afraid?

  318. I just wonder did John Macarthur always believe in Calvanism as he has been in ministry a long time. Or did he turn this way due to reading some ones writings. I just think Macarthur is the big gun out their corrupting the gospel and colleges out there. Its so frustrating trying to bring this correction out there, as I said to my friend today, do we bother or do we just be quiet about, what good will it do, I praise god we see, we just wish others would. I guess the road is really narrow and we have trouble with this.

  319. Mary,

    Not sure how to tell how long JMac has been a Calvinist/Reformed teacher. He has been a member in good standing of the IFCA (Independent Fundamental Churches of America for 20-30 or more years — and that organization supposedly opposes Calvinism. It seems big names get preferred status in some organizations.

    I have given up any immediate further tracking of JMac — just knowing he is preaching a false message today.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  320. Hi Mary,

    I see it that we that know the truth should always “bother” to defend it and stand for it. As for MacArthur, just stick to the gospel. If you are upholding the gospel and true way to receive salvation then you can just point out to people, if it comes up, where JMac adds in conditions to faith such as making Christ Lord, commitments to discipleship, or his false view of repentance. I few quotes usually work to illustrate this. If the people object, then just go right back to explaining the gospel to them. That is what I try to do anyway.

    Jim F

  321. while coming out of my own legalism discovering Grace through Faith of Eph 2:8-9 and trying to figure out why the teaching of JMac just split up our church family and friends. I did come across something he said but I am not going to quote him , he does have a reason why he chose this direction in his ministry..
    For me as well I choose not to look any longer at the who and why of the other gospels . I got enough going along just getting along with myself. All I found it does for me is gets me upset. so I choose to leave them alone. I do test the spirits I come into my realm of Influence.

    To me all religions started in the garden when Adam and Eve went for the fig leaves to cover themselves up Instead of coming as they were before God thinking they were OK because they took care of their shame. God would not have them fig leaves but shed the blood of an innocent animal and made covering to take care of sin Himself for us. it was a representation of what was to come with His son on the Cross.
    But that’s what “turn from sins” does it keeps reaching back for the fig leaves when Jesus would have us come to him with our sins as we are. He shed His blood for us for our sin debt it is Paid in full from before the foundation of the world. Jesus is not a Plan B .

    Curtis

  322. Mary, From what I know MacArthur’s teachings have been heretical since the 1970’s when he wrote a paper entitled, “Not His bleeding, but His dying” in which he denies the blood atonement of Christ claiming that the blood of Christ was only symbolic and not literal.

    MacArthur also once stated that he was utterly traumatized when 2 of his closest friends in ministry with him doing street evangelism in Southern California became apostate. One became a drug and alcohol addict/drug dealer and another became a sex addict. I believe that it was at this point that he “redefined” what a “true Christian” is and embraced Calvinism because it made sense in “his” mind after what happened to 2 of his closest Christian friends.

    In his mind his 2 closest friends are not saved based on the behaviors and the 180 degree turn they took.

  323. William, interesting story about MacArthur. The Apostle Paul, by contrast, continued to proclaim the gospel after Demas left his ministry. Paul did not use the discouragement as an excuse to change the Gospel.

    2 Timothy 4:10: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

    And, Paul never suggested that Demas was not a “true believer”.

  324. Whatever their seeming benevolent motives, they are still corrupting minds from the simplicity that is in Christ. And although it’s hard when people stand up for MacArthur, I believe all believers have a responsibility to mark and avoid when it comes into our territory/across our desk, no matter who, family, friends or strangers. Assuming we know someone teaches another gospel, we have a duty to warn.

    I believe that although we see a lot of battle in it, we also see blessing when one turns, so it’s encouraging. Never give up, we may have a little strength, but He can use us. Keep your armor on daily, and do the tasks He has for you. He is for us, who can be against us? Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world…

  325. John, great comment! I’ll bet that if I ever shared my personal testimony in front of MacArthur, he would dismiss me and write me off as unsaved and doomed for hell. I was once an apostate and a literal living example of Hebrews 6:4-8 for 9 long years until God chastised me.

  326. Good day,

    Hey WTOM4 – I think I got that right.

    Can I offer a different interpretation of Heb 6:4-6? I believe it teaches OSAS and is not about being an apostate.

    For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

    5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

    6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    I believe it says this……it is IMPOSSIBLE to renew them again….WHY?…because they are STILL saved.

    We know this is impossible because of the next line – seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    Saying that Jesus sacrifice wasn’t good enough the FIRST time is putting Him to an open shame. Once a person is saved- they are always saved. As a result, the CANT be renewed AGAIN (still renewed).

    See 2 Tim 2:13 – (WE is believers) – If WE believe NOT, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
    – Jesus cant say He wont lose one; THEN actually lose one—even if WE believe not.

    If one looks at the context of Heb 5-6, it is about doctrine. The author is reviewing doctrine to babes who should have matured. Part of that doctrine is OSAS stated in verses 4-6.

    My thoughts IMHO.

    God Bless

  327. MacArthur is such a hypocrite. In one of his videos he states, “abandon all your ambition, all your will”, “all your direction, choices, and TOTALLY and FULLY SUBMIT to the Lordship of Christ”. Well, I’m sure if we look at MacArthur’s bank account and the house he lives in that he’s not practicing what he preaches.
    I heard he loves golf and I’m sure he has not “abandoned” that. His false doctrine/teaching not only applies to others, but to himself as well. I’m sure that If at any point he fails to “abandon”, and fails to “submit”, then according to his theology, his “salvation” will be in jeopardy or prove to others that maybe he’s not “saved”.

  328. Holly, Last week I came across a person on YouTube who was deceived by Calvinism, but after I explained to him from Scripture that man has free will and that man still has the image of God in him he is now convinced that Calvinism is a false doctrine after going into Scriptures and much reading and doing the comparison. His eyes are opened to the truth! Praise God!
    In fact, the last time I saw him up on YouTube, this person was actively engaging in debates and refuting Calvinism, the very doctrine that deceived him! The Holy Spirit was at work in helping to open his eyes. Praise God!

  329. Preston, Yes, I believe that is another way of looking at Hebrews 6:4-8. It is “impossible” to renew them ( the apostates) because they are already eternally saved which confirms OSAS – John 5:25, 6:47, John 10:28-29, Romans 8:38-39. Eternal salvation is a one time event and a done deal at the MOMENT OF BELIEF/FAITH.
    Another way of looking at “impossible” is that it means it is “humanly impossible” to restore an apostate because of a hardened heart. I was such a case when I fell away from the Lord because my heart had become so hardened that it resisted all human attempts from fellow believers in trying to persuade me to come back to God.
    One must remember that the word “impossible” in Hebrews 6 is not referring to God because nothing is impossible for God – Luke 1:37.

  330. William,

    Great job of using Scripture to convince the naysayers.. and now he defends true Grace!! Wonderful!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  331. William – those times are blessings from the Lord where I believe He gives us encouragement in speaking the truth, as there is so much spiritual warfare, it is a time of rejoicing to see someone’s eyes opened to the truth after being exhausted in the battle. But with His armor we are able having done all, to stand. All glory, honor and praise to He who is worthy… So happy to hear of another, praying that one though will take time to get in the strong meat of His Word before he goes straight to the front lines :)

  332. In MacArthur’s Only road to heaven message (that he has recycled dozens and dozens of times over many years, he has such a huge list of “must do’s” in order to be saved, that I made just a portion of it into a list. I would think people would be shocked and say “this is simply false”. Or recognize that no way is that the gospel. But instead they excuse him, he truly is one of the godfathers of works salvation.

  333. We invite our readers to please read a very encouraging comment from a new visitor, John O, who has challenged JMac and Ryrie personally about their false beliefs. VERY interesting..
    Link:
    http://expreacherman.com/2014/04/05/rock-paper-scissors-calvinismlordship-salvations-game-of-deceit/#comment-29253

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  334. NOTE: For our discerning readers who want a very clear and simple explanation of God’s Grace as opposed to other “popular religions”… you must read this latest article at ExP, (5/10/2014).

    What is Grace?
    http://expreacherman.com/2014/05/10/what-is-grace/

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  335. I was just looking through 1 Timothy tonight and noticed the following.

    1 Timothy 1:15: This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

    Notice that Paul says “I am.” He does not say “I was”.

  336. Yes, Paul still sinned AFTER he was saved which also prompted him to write Romans 7:14-25. To this day I still sin after I believed in Christ 31 years ago. Lordship Salvationists on the other hand, will conclude that if a person still sins AFTER they’re saved that they must not be saved.

  337. William,

    You note some great verses that literally obliterate the false concept pushes by the Lordship “salvation” folks.

    Simply put, LS folks are BLIND to God’s Word!

    Thanks for your comment.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  338. Mary, as I’m reading in order, not sure if it was answered, but I recently went back to sermons in the 70’s and am seeing the same kind of stuff. Most of his sermons today are recycled sermons from the 80’s and 90’s, but even the 70’s.

  339. I apologize, somehow my mouse hopped up there and caught a comment from Mary asking about whether MacArthur was always a Calvinist. This is something I caught from just grabbing one sermon, see if you all see it too.

    A sermon on the ‘Simple Gospel’, John MacArthur, (from 1976 I believe) excerpt: “To go all the way back in the first set of writings that the Bible gives us, the Pentateuch, and to look at the 30th chapter of Deuteronomy and to hear the words of Moses starts off this whole pattern that goes throughout the book clear to the book of Revelation. This is what it says. “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore choose…” It’s the same two things that we see right through Scripture, life or death, blessing or cursing. “You’re either for me or against me.”

  340. Holly, MacArthur is a broken record when it comes to his warped sermons.

  341. William, the one above I found interesting MacArthur left out the word ‘life’, ‘choose life’, but that would make more sense for a Calvinist.

    I ran across the redundancy quite by accident when researching a particular comment and saw it repeated and repackaged, over and over and over again. Quite interesting. A bad broken record, because it has skips, and scratches and entire parts are missing from the original.

  342. In Grace Notes number 64 by Charlie Bing, we see the following:

    “Does regeneration inevitably produce a changed life?

    We would have to conclude, Yes. There are many reasons to believe it does. Consider these:

    A believer in Christ as Savior is certainly inclined to trust Him in other areas of life

    A believer has the instruction of God’s Word which exhorts a changed life

    A believer has Christ’s life in him which will be manifested through him in some way.

    A believer has the Holy Spirit indwelling him to influence and transform him.

    A believer who understands God’s grace is motivated to live gratefully and godly.

    A believer can experience God’s discipline for disobedience.

    Though our answer is yes, it is a cautious yes, because we have to admit it comes from inference based on the facts listed above. There is no statement in biblical texts on regeneration guaranteeing a changed life.”

    My comment: This is pretty wishy washy. If it is not guaranteed, how can it be inevitable?

    Bing goes on to say that a changed life cannot give assurance of salvation. Bing is talking out of both sides of his mouth. This is exactly what the late Zane Hodges said – good works are inevitable, but cannot be the basis of assurance.

    If good works or changed lives were inevitable, then people would be compelled to look to their presence or absence to confirm, or deny, that one had received eternal life.

  343. Zane Hodges on the inevitability of good works in the life of believers:

    “Of course, there is every reason to believe that there will be good works in the life of each believer in Christ. The idea that one may believe in Him for years totally unaffected by the amazing miracle of regeneration, or by the instruction and/or discipline of God his Heavenly Father is a fantastic notion – even bizarre. We reject it categorically.

    But this is not at all the point. The issue here is assurance. And with this, works can play no decisive role whatsoever.”

    Hodges goes on to say, in the same article:

    “Good works can never be a fundamental ground of assurance. It is logically absurd to claim that a salvation which is apart from works, is not recognizable except by works.”

    My comment: It is also logically absurd to conclude that good works are not necessary for eternal life, but that they are inevitable in the life of one who possesses eternal life.

  344. Thanks John,

    What a shame that Bing is so confused in his mind about God’s Grace.

    His statements illustrate the very dictionary definition of the word “Nebulous.” “hazy, vague, indistinct, or confused:”

    It is bad enough that Bing has such an indefinite understanding of God’s Grace.. The worst part is that he is now in the ranks of Lordship “salvationists.” The LS folks will be pleased to see what was thought to be a stalwart of free Grace fall into the error of LS.

    This will please and encourage those who promote what you described in your article Grace Ecumenism.

    Very sad.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  345. John,

    Unfortunately many “free Gracers” who would reject Hodges outright may now glom onto Bing — and perpetuate the same lie of “good works are inevitable in the life of a believer after salvation.”

    John, thanks for digging this out. Sad to hear but necessary to know.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  346. Jack, there is also no practical application to the assertion that all believers WILL have good works, but that such works cannot form the basis for assurance.

    The only implication of this error is to compel one to draw assurance of salvation from his good works.

    Once Satan can get you to look to your good works for assurance, he has got you right where he wants you.

  347. This is such a good article. There are so many reasons to maintain good works, and we need reminded of them daily. Tom Cucuzza in his recent two-parter on the rapture reminded people of the judge standing at the door, it can be any moment. Sin is destructive in so many ways, as we know… but in the life of a believer, can bring sorrow, and lack of fellowship with the Lord and other believers, doubts, despair, chastening, physical ailments, even death. I always think of the prodigal son, what a joy that he came home, how it benefited him in so many ways, and his father as well, but had he died in the pigpen, he would have still been his fathers’, but what shame….

    We all sin, and I think sometimes we don’t recognize our own sin as we look at external sins of another, we might miss a pinch of pride here, or a tad of self-righteousness there, or even a good dose of I-don’t-do-that-and-never-would….

    One thing I am sure of (because His Word says so) is that staying in His Word (with the right attitude of His approval) helps sanctify us as well as confession and keeps us in fellowship which we need. Abiding in Him will make us disciples/students. It’s a win win. But trying to make promises to do better, or attempt to ‘quit’ things or ‘fix’ things just doesn’t work, finishing in the flesh really hinders one’s walk with Him.

    These passages are helpful to store away and keep considering, thank you John and Jack :) In His love to you all here.

  348. Just now reading about Charlie Bing, how disappointing….

    It’s funny his reasoning, and Hodges. They are basing the ‘fruits’ on outward performance, and they reject categorically one will not change, yet, we do change the moment we are made a new creation, we have now a second nature, just like Christ was our firstfruits, we now have been born again. But what of desiring the sincere milk of His Word, what if they do not grow in the knowledge of Him?

    He says a believer has these things available to him, such as the Word, but some don’t have an idea how to begin, and why ever start if you never have any assurance of belonging to Him? These type of people whether knowingly or unwittingly or just speaking outside of both sides of their mouths, are stumblingblocks to young believers, or shut up the kingdom of heaven altogether.

    So we can safely assume that if one abstains from the pollutions of idols, fornication, from things strangled, and from (drinking) blood that they have exhibited the good works necessary to know they are saved?

    These men assert

  349. Good day,

    someone who has just recently came out of religion to believe the gospel asked me this very question, below were my thoughts.

    Lets talk about this statement – I noticed that a lot of people say that after you have put your trust in Jesus alone for your salvation / putting your trust in His finished work at the cross that it will RESULT in or make you have a changed BEHAVIOR. Is this true?

    ME.

    NOW, if anyone has believed in the gospel ALONE for salvation they are going whether they believe works are “automatic” or not. However, I tend to DISAGREE with that statement and here is why?

    POINT 1 – if we are not saved by works THEN why do works “prove” salvation? See Rom 11:6, Eph 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, Romans 3:24-28, Romans 4:4-6

    POINT 2 – Jehovah witnesses do MANY wonderful works for the Lord. Are they saved (sealed by the Holy Spirit)? NOPE. See Matt 7. IF a person without the Holy Spirit can do good works (also see Pharisee’s) THEN why do we judge salvation by ones’s works?

    POINT 3 – Why was 1/2 the NT written if works were automatic. For example, The church at Corinth heard the gospel and believed in Acts. LATER, Paul write a letter to this SAVED but CARNAL church to tell them what all their problems. IF they were “automatically” going to change, why even write a letter to tell them???? they would automatically change anyway.

    POINT 4 – Hebrews 12 (i believe) talks about God disciplining His own. IF works automatically happened, why would God discipline????

    POINT 5 – Ananias and Saphira were killed by God because the lied to the Holy Spirit. I think they were saved. But this leads me to Simon the Sorceror. The bible CLEARLY states that he believed. Soon after, he asked to “buy” the power of healing the disciples had. Peter told him to repent (change his mind) and ask for forgiveness so he would not perish.

    “perish” here is PHYSICAL death. Why did Peter say this? BECAUSE he just recently saw Ananias and Saphira drop dead. Why would Peter be concerned about Simon perishing IF he knew works would “automatically” come.

    POINT 6 – 2 Tim 2 (KJV) – tells us that even if ones faith is overthrown, they are still sealed. I believe it is Heb 11 that reads “without faith it is impossible to please God”. NOW, their faith was gone, they cant please God – so what profitable works were they doing? IF works were automatic, then how can a person be saved and no longer a believer.

    SUMMARY – I think the works “automatically” coming is not biblical. I think people cant explain certain passages so this is their reasoning OR people felt really compelled to do them after salvation so they think it is automatic for everyone. HOWEVER, I believe scripture DISAGREES with them.

    Also, this thinking can be dangerous. It reminds me of Peter walking on the water. When he was looking to Jesus, he was fine. When he started to look at himself, he sank.

    meaning – it takes focus of of Jesus and puts it on one’s self.

  350. Matt for Grace and Truth

    John, I suggest that you write to Mr. Bing, gracefully address your concerns, and see if or how he responds.

  351. Matt,

    I’ll jump in here and intercept your note to John.

    Some time back I wrote to Bing regarding what I saw as error (I believe it was his position on “fruits of repentance”). He was in opposition and dismissive to my position. I will try to find our correspondence to confirm.

    After that encounter I saw any effort to bring up to Bing what I perceived as Biblical error would be an exercise in futility. Given Bing’s position outlined by John’s quotes Bing, leaves no room for discussion, even though he seems indecisive. I fear that since he is a “Grace Icon” this erroneous philosophy will become pervasive in the Grace community.

    Thanks for your suggestion. I will pray about it and — if I change my mind, I’ll let you know.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  352. Jack,

    You said concerning Bing, “I fear that since he is a “Grace Icon” this erroneous philosophy will become pervasive in the Grace community.” That is indeed sad and I hope it doesn’t. Too bad he wouldn’t listen or discuss it but at least you tried.

    Jim F

  353. These comments are really helpful to me.

    I bumped into a couple from my old LS church yesterday at the shops.

    It was so uncomfortable. They looked so uncomfortable. haha. I felt like they didn’t really want to talk to me and no doubt had heard along the gossip vine why I left.

    I can just imagine their thoughts:

    “She probably wasn’t truly saved, never one of the Elect”.

    hahaha. ahh.

    Grace is liberating.

    I’m such a grubby person and I am so glad my assurance doesn’t come from the good works which I don’t do anyway.

    God is amazing.

    Thanks be to God for his unspeakably awesome gift!

  354. beholdason, amen!

  355. This is a timely post that came up for me personally
    After pondering for sometime I can no longer be a member of the Free Grace Alliance until they decide to take a firm stand on repentance concerning salvation. For me to continue with the Alliance just drag’s me right back into the Calvinism – Armianism debate from what I see going on. I do know and acknowledge there are firm narrow minded Grace believers and teachers in the Alliance of which I am thankful . However when repentance is not firmly wrote down in words and adopted this is the results that I now seeing starting to grow.
    For me personally what alcohol is to a drunkard , the Gospel with a hint of works on the front side or back side of salvation is like trying to help a drunkard with Alcohol therapy after all I have been through coming out of my own indoctrination of the teachings of men.

    Curtis Marburger

    and you can freely quote me on this

  356. Preston, you make some great points. And, I agree with your conclusion that anything that points us to ourselves for assurance of salvation can be dangerous.

    Like someone recently said (I forget where I heard it) – if works were automatic, they would be called “automatics”.

  357. I believe I heard Pastor Tom Cucuzza say that if change in behavior was automatic after we are saved, then we all will be sinless from moment of salvation. Why would God just change 10, 30, 50, or 90% of His children when He could easily change 100% of us.
    Of course I’m paraphrasing but you get the idea. We know that no one has lived a perfect life after salvation.

  358. Curtis,

    I have noticed that the Free Grace Alliance isn’t without its issues so I just stay clear as a personal decision but I haven’t fully looked into it 100%.

    Jim F

  359. Bryan,

    I agree. Those who state that behavioral change is automatic really don’t understand grace or the two natures of the believer.

    Jim F

  360. Just scatter-shooting here, friends of grace, but it seems to me that “AUTOMATIC” and “WORKS” are oxymorons. I recall a statement of a friend, that his favorite part of the word “saved” is the “ed” ending. (Think about it). I would use the same “horse sense” concerning the “inevitability” of “good works.” The two most salient characteristics of “good works” are (get ready . . . this is really heavy theology) . . . 1) that they are “good,” and . . . 2) (drum roll please) . . . . that they require WORK! (No wonder these guys need Th.D.s! That is pretty heavy stuff, isn’t it?)
    I guess Ephesians 2:10 of the MacArthur Study Bible should be rewritten: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good EASIES.” Or maybe the John Piper Commentary should read: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good AUTOMATICS,” Question: What part of the word “work” is so hard to understand? It only has FOUR LETTERS! (I seldom deal in words comprising less than twelve, but just for today, I’ll make an exception.)

  361. Hey Ron good to see you here , I was just outside with my wife pondering these things I wrote above and your name came to mind . I thanked the Lord Jesus for your ministry He has given you in taking THE stand on the Gospel and that you are not a soul who plays with words BUT one who delights in clearly defining words through the Clear Gospel of Grace the Finished work of Jesus.

    I myself need to constantly stand firm to the Truth of the Gospel and Just keep pointing soul’s to Jesus and stay out of the negativity of LS vs Grace.
    Its all about Jesus and His finished work by grace through faith
    Curtis

  362. Hey Preston
    I had a talk with a JW today again after he brought that Lord Lord chapter in Mark 7 , I said to him in response they knew Jesus as Lord but not as savior is why Jesus said he never knew them . I hope the Holy Spirit uses what was said it seamed to cause him to pause and think.

  363. Ron,

    I guess it is no surprise since these guys also don’t seem to understand the meanings of repentance, faith, or grace.

  364. Ron, thanks for stopping by! I don’t have a Th.D., but I used to be a CPA. They say if we count cows, we count the legs and divide by four.

  365. Bwah ha ha ha haa!

    Them’s some funny math reasonin’ they got there, John!

  366. Matt4Grace – I have written many men about their gospel, when I see something that seems wrong, and it’s strange many reactions. But regardless of their reactions, public error needs publicly exposed I do believe.

    I think the reason why so much error has gone unchecked in the church, is because we don’t want to be perceived as criticizing each other. Now if they have a place for ‘comments’ where the error is laid out, I will do it there. When they do not, I generally email them, but have never really had but one publicly correct himself.

    Maybe too many men went to their ‘brothers’ when it wasn’t a matter of a sin against them, instead of withstanding them publicly to their face.

    I could be wrong, I feel so strongly about this that I tell my friends, please correct me in public if you see it (I will also correct and let it stand). It’s God’s truth we’re handling (as I know you care also) so error in public we must make publicly known. I’ve gone behind and written some men after others have written, never been too successful.

    A recent one which was a big disappointment was another ‘free grace’ teacher but compromising more and more. He wasn’t very receptive although pleasant enough, dismissive of my concerns of him quoting people like Augustine, Anselm, C.S. Lewis and this one guy who advocates for homosexual leaders in the church (now dead) Smedes.

    Anyway, it’s hard to bring up names in public, I’m really sure we should be very careful we have verified from the horses mouth, but after that, if they have no place to publicly comment, the error needs addressed in public (my beliefs anyways).

  367. beholdason :)

    You make me laugh. Free indeed…. I’m a jeans type person, I’ve been a dresser for business and art shows, and give me a pair of jeans and t-shirt over anything. I’m sure for that reason they are sure I’m not the elect lol! Surely God would do better than that! :)

    Anyways, I praise God that He loves me, He loves you, He loves the whole world, He loved even the false prophets who would deny Him….

  368. Curtis, timely post of yours for me, it was Fred Chay of Free Grace Alliance that I was chatting with regarding his posting of these men. He doesn’t seem to feel C.S. Lewis is a false teacher, or that it’s really a big deal to quote the others, as he says ‘most people’ realize that he is not endorsing him.

    As I asked him, and I will continue to ask others, “what about the ones who don’t know? The ones that are made to stumble because they go start reading that person’s teaching?” I know, I was one….

    I have written more than once regarding the men quoted, in case some feel I am too hasty in bringing up his name. This is the very thing that led me astray and they think it’s ‘no big deal’….

  369. Ron Shea, so you figured out how to navigate on here! Good to see you here. Hope to see your new website up and running Lord willing soon.

    Glad you kept the ten cent words to a minimum today :)

    God bless your week.

  370. Curtis,

    good luck with that. Where I work there is a “ranked” JW. I studied a little about them to prepare for a friendly discussion. IF “religion” is brought up at work and I start talking, he turns and immediately leaves. Someone told me they are taught to do this if they cant respond.

    Anyway, it appears to go much deeper. They believe no hell; that one must work, that heaven is full, and that Jesus is NOT deity. They don’t believe in the Godhead
    – thus believing “another Jesus”

    2 Cor 11:3-4 – But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

    4 For if he that cometh preacheth ANOTHER JESUS, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him

    GOOD LUCK my friend. it appears to be sooooo hard to get one to believe the simple gospel….for me anyway. although caught 2 fish last month (a stellar month for this non-soul winner!!!!!!!) Keep on “plugging away” and casting out “a line” and pray something bites.

    God Bless

  371. it is a double edge sword with this soul. I find our discussions in some ways stimulating and we agree on a lot of area’s (its a familiar Spirit) .
    I told him you know we are not going to agree on the divinity of Jesus He is God . The double sword part that concerns me I know how a JW can end up believing like they do. Calvinism eventually led me as a believer of simple gospel to deny the divinity and trinity.
    Its the mind set of thinking like a Calvinist. when a soul goes to the scripture with an opinion one opinion leads to another were the bible makes no sense to an opinion you find yourself in a loop of thought to latch onto another opinion (madness) next you need to make up your own translation of scripture.
    some souls just end going from teacher to teacher until they hear what they want to.Like Pastor Tom said whatever you want to believe about Jesus and scripture its out there on internet for you.
    5 years ago you would of had a hard time trying to figure out were I stood on the gospel there was not much difference between my doctrine and a JW’s . My focus was on the humanity of Jesus and not the divinity. If you desire to only see the humanity of Jesus through scripture hey its there for you have at it and you will miss the divinity of Jesus. with out divinity there is no trinity.
    Thankfully I later found that there were friends who kept praying for me. One friend came to me directly and confronted me. Like Holly said to do and I listened and sought further counsel and a pastor friend confirmed I was in biblical error.

    I did find a very simple youtube vid
    “What do I say when Jehovah’s Witnesses come to my door” Mike Wenger

    I don’t know were this gentleman stands on the gospel but his approach to witnessing to JW’s is very straight forward and simple. so use your own discernment if you listen to it.

    2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
    2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
    2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

  372. for the trinity I am looking forward to showing the trinity through the use of Φ.
    0 (nothing) 1 (unity / God) now add unity to nothing Φ and keep doing it and it converges on 1.618 a constant .
    by tri-viding the whole each piece retain its unique relationship to the whole. here we see three that are two that are one.

    John 1 captures the essence of it
    Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    Joh 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

    Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.

    Here the human Jesus (the Son of Man) is to the divine Jesus (the Son of God) as the divine Jesus (the Son of God) is to God (the Father or whole).

  373. Curtis, you are probably aware, but the JW version of the Bible corrupts John 1.

  374. yes they try to reason away that Jesus was a god and or a created being .
    I do believe that in all their attempt with the NWT to pervert and corrupt scriptures from the original there is still enough preserved so that they are with out excuse even from their own corrupt translation .

  375. Curtis, I led a Jehovah’s witness to the Lord by using the witnessing handbook here and went over the Scriptures on the Deity of Christ. It’s helpful to look them up in their version, so you know which ones you can question them regarding. She had a KJV in her closet (hidden) from her other Jehovah’s witness friends, so we talked over the phone and it went on for hours. Asking her to read, or me reading at times, then I would ask her what it meant.

    I’m not sure how all the passages read in their version, (you can get NWT online) but Isaiah 43:11 in NWT reads, “—I am Jehovah,+ and besides me there is no savior.”.”

    Luke 2:11 in the Jehovah’s witness translation reads, “For today there was born to you in David’s city+ a savior,+ who is Christ the Lord.”

    There are a lot more verses, so you could have them jotted down, and ask. She went to her ‘people’ and they went straight to John 1 to disprove it. And the very next thing that happened in her life, is she got a “Christian” boyfriend, who turned out to be a Calvinist. She got rid of him pretty fast. Seems for some reason he “hated” me. Praise God for that.

    So, I’d check out the passages Ray Stanford has against what their ‘bible’ says and see what ones would be useful to either ask, or give to them. God bless them.

  376. This is the link. I meant to say, I led her to an understanding of the “deity” of the Lord Jesus. Others had also been planting and watering. She is now a dear friend and sister in Christ.

    https://expreacherman.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/personal-evangelism-handbook.pdf

  377. Another really important thing they need to know….

    And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. John 8:23-24

  378. After reading the threads.. I mean no disrespect or what… I am in no way judging or would I am declaring that I am a god knowing who goes to where..

    I’ve been raised a catholic all my life and they were teaching sacraments would save a person. When I became a Christian in 2011, I fell into the LS trap and the Lord saved me out of it this year.. Rick warren now has several churches here and their influence is growing.

    What I wanted to say was this, Just a realization I wanted to share. At first I wondered why Jesus said that few would find the road that leads to life. I mean how many is many and how few is few? The topic of this thread is “Is there supposed to be a change in behavior of a saved person”.. Man, I cannot fathom the number of people here in the Philippines who believes in a change of behavior MUST accompany salvation.

    Now why am I saying this.. ? (Guys please correct me if there’s anything wrong with what I’m saying..) I believe in what the bible says, a tree will bear a fruit after it’s “own kind”. maybe not all fruits are the same in what they have believed in their hearts but I am assuming “many” of them (fruits) are in a way the same as the main tree or many (fruits) believe the way the tree believes.

    I’m in an LS church. There are hardly any non-LS churches here. there are good ones but their oceans away from manila so the only choice I have is to share individually just like what the rest of here does. I had a dis-agreement with our senior pastor and he stated he believes that salvation is permanent and he believes that a person can “fall away” from the faith (Hebrews 6:4-6) and lose it (salvation) and that ticked me off… I mean what’s gonna happen to the HUNDREDS of my churchmates who believes in his false doctrine.. It frustrates me.. Their teaching the 3 steps to salvation which is Initial Salvation, Progressive and Final Salvation. It hurts me thinking about it. I want to share but I always get critisized, I always get shunned away.. Many times I just want to go back to what I was before but I found out that I can’t… I just realized that once I got to know the truth. I can’t find it in me to let it go..

    I have a question though. I saw some comments here stating that a person can fall away from the faith and still be saved. I believe that IF he trusted in Jesus Christ Alone as his personal Savior before he is saved no matter what happens even if he falls away(John 3:16). But I also believe that a person who trusted in Christ alone cannot fall away even if he wanted to not because he will keep himself, but that God will keep him.

    Can someone help me? is this falling away pertaining to “Faith” or “Salvation”?

    Jude 1:24
    King James Version (KJV)
    Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

    Thanks!

  379. Dino, in the parable of the Sower, soil 2 represents believers who fall away (Luke 8:13). These are eternally secure Christians. They have eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. Also, see explanations of Luke 8:12-15 and Hebrews 6:4-6 under “Difficult Verses”

    God is faithful, even if we are faithless. It is not up to us to maintain our eternal life.

    Regarding fruits,in the context in which you used it, I think it has to do with a person’s testimony and the beliefs of the people they have taught.

    One thing though – we are justified and positionally sanctified the moment we trust in Christ. There is also practical sanctification (which requires our cooperation) and glorification (which does not).

  380. Hi Dino and welcome

    If the Pastor would of simply said we can fall out of fellowship with God I could agree with him .
    I sought God as well that I wished I could go back to were LS didn’t bother me But I did ask God for revival to begin with me during a “repent of sins ” revival ministry message . I just didn’t think revival would be leaving church after church seeking for the Truth of THE Gospel. after hearing “repent of sins” I knew it was wrong but didn’t know why at the time.
    I am at a assembly now were one pastor preaches grace and another preaches commitment salvation for eternal life.
    For me what Alcohol is to a drunkard works for salvation for eternal life is to me. Its like giving a drunkard alcohol therapy. So I can relate what you are going through Dino. Could I ever get back to a place were I could sit under LS teaching and not be influenced by it ? I seriously doubt it, even now i’m bugged because of the last invitation Gospel message I heard.

  381. Good day,

    i use the KJV (the NIV really messes this up)

    The bible says that the believer is SEALED. 2 Timothy says even if their faith is overthrown, they are still sealed

    – Eph 1:13 – In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were SEALED with that holy Spirit of promise
    – Eph 4:30 – And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye ARE SEALED unto the day of redemption
    – 2 Cor 1:21-22 – Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;22 Who HATH ALSO SEALED us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts

    LETS GO TO 2 TIMOTHY – note – Timothy is a letter written from Paul to Timothy so the “WE” is referring to BELIEVERS.

    11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:

    12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: (REWARDS)

    13 If WE believe NOT, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself

    ME – Jesus promised not to lose one and that nothing will pluck us out of His hand. Jesus CANT deny himself. Let us KEEP reading.

    And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

    18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and OVERTHROW the FAITH of some.

    ME – we see that some had their faith overthrown. this MEANS that they believed. lets go to the next verse. the first word is NEVERTHELESS. this is key. “nevertheless” means “in spite of”. So some had their faith overthrown…NEVERTHELESS…

    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

    ME- see they were still SEALED. note – read next verses to explain “depart from iniquity”. YES a believer should depart from iniquity. one reason – to build rewards of gold and silver and NOT wood hay and stubble; which will be burned at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

    heb 11 – But WITHOUT FAITH it is IMPOSSIBLE to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him

    SUMMARY – these people whose faith were overthrown were producing NOTHING. there faith was gone!!! they had no more faith THUS it is impossible to please God (produce). Were they saved? YES – having this SEAL, the Lord knoweth them that are HIS.

    THIS IS ALREADY LONG ENOUGH. THIS WILL BE REAL BRIEF

    Heb 6:4-6 is an eternal security passage. YEP!!! How do we know. Look at the text. It NEVER stated one lost their salvation. It only reads “it is impossible to renew them AGAIN”.
    – this is correct, one cannot be renewed AGAIN because they are STILL RENEWED. (confirmed in 2 timothy)
    – if they lost their salvation THEN THAT crucifies the Son of God “afresh” – simply saying this “Jesus’ sacrifice was not good enough the first time” to cover all their sins so He would have to come back down and be crucified “afresh”.

    Hope this helped.

  382. Preston, thanks for this excellent discussion!

  383. Thanks Preston and John.

    Thanks too Curtis. God taught me the truth and I believe it. Salvation is simple and no behavioral evidence is needed in my part to prove to anyone I’m saved cause after all, salvation is between me and the Lord.

    Your right. I have in me a mixed feeling of frustration, sadness, and urgency for my friends and churchmates who I have personally spoken with and when I asked them if they believe works “must” follow salvation, they do. I don’t wanna sound righteous cause I know I’m not. My righteousness is not mine but of Christ’s. If I do please forgive me. It’s night time here in manila and I’m about to sleep. I’m 32 now, turning 33 this september 16. I want to get married and have kids. this sounds funny but I’m asking myself sometimes if I should pray for a wife coming from this church cause I know what the future may hold for my future family if we come together in this church who patronizes people like francis chan and john mcarthur. But then God reminds me “hey, seek my kingdom first…” haha.. I laugh at myself sometimes worrying too much and besides, it’s out of my control and so I just move along and remind myself that the Lord loves me and he is with me and wherever I go, he will carry me through it.

  384. Hi Dino,

    Your comment, ” I’m in an LS church. There are hardly any non-LS churches here. there are good ones but their oceans away from manila so the only choice I have is to share individually just like what the rest of here does. I had a dis-agreement with our senior pastor and he stated he believes that salvation is permanent and he believes that a person can “fall away” from the faith (Hebrews 6:4-6) and lose it (salvation) and that ticked me off… I mean what’s gonna happen to the HUNDREDS of my churchmates who believes in his false doctrine.. It frustrates me..”

    My comment – I was once a former living example of Hebrews 6:4-8 and Hebrews 10:26-27 for 9 long years living in apostasy, sin, and rebellion against God. God chastened me as a wake up call, and here I am today. That was 21 years ago. The senior pastor of your church is doctrinally wrong saying that salvation can be lost and is interpreting the Hebrews 6 passage out of context and using the Arminian interpretation.

    I know how you feel. After God chastened me, I remember going back to my old church where no one would say “hi” to me or even acknowledge my presence. Everyone there were very self-righteous and had an attitude towards me because I fell away from the faith for 9 years. I did not measure up to “their criteria” of what a Christian is. It was obvious that in their minds that they were thinking that I had “lost my salvation” or “never had it to begin with”. I stopped going there and went to another church for a while.

    You’re right in that there are not too many Free Grace churches around. There are just too many churches contaminated with the false doctrines of Calvinism/Lordship Salvation and Arminianism.

    Your comment, “I have a question though. I saw some comments here stating that a person can fall away from the faith and still be saved. I believe that IF he trusted in Jesus Christ Alone as his personal Savior before he is saved no matter what happens even if he falls away(John 3:16). But I also believe that a person who trusted in Christ alone cannot fall away even if he wanted to not because he will keep himself, but that God will keep him.”

    Can someone help me? is this falling away pertaining to “Faith” or “Salvation”?

    Falling away from the faith can apply to both moral or doctrinal failure and can happen to any Christian because of discouragement, etc, and because of the fact that Christians are still human with the inborn sin nature, BUT both cannot undo a person’s salvation. A person CANNOT lose his/her salvation even if he/she wanted to – John 5:24, John 10:28-29, Romans 8:38-39. Falling away will affect our FELLOWSHIP with God and will inevitably incur God’s chastening on a Christian as a wake up call – Proverbs 3:11-12, Proverbs 15:10, Jeremiah 2:19.

    King David, the man of God failed MORALLY by committing adultery and murder. God chastised him with a series of unpleasant consequences, but King David was still God’s child. King Solomon, the man of God failed DOCTRINALLY by becoming an idolater at the end of his life and even built 2 altars to the 2 demon gods, Chemosh and Molech in 1 Kings 11:7, but King Solomon is still God’s child. I’m sure there were unpleasant consequences that came with his doctrinal failure.

    The Corinthian Christian’s of the apostle Paul’s time failed morally and were living a deplorable lifestyle of envying, strife, divisions, lawsuits, cheating, fornication, gorging themselves with food, and getting drunk, but Paul affirmed the fact that they were saved by addressing them as “brethren” and “carnal babes in Christ” in 1 Corinthians 3:1. I’m sure God dealt with the Corinthian Christians with chastisement, but their eternal salvation remains intact.

    A good passage of Scripture that affirms that salvation cannot be lost is 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. Our behaviors in no way affect our eternal salvation which is free, but it will affect our fellowship with God and others, and will affect our eternal rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ – 2 Corinthians 5:10. Hope this helps! God bless!

  385. Great Conversation, I relate very much with William, they were too self righteous and I wasn’t cleaned up enough for them, later, it was worse, as I began to see error and ask questions, it became worse and worse. Not too many appreciate me and I mean that with all sincerity, it can be lonely, but no matter what, I am never alone. I started a women’s Bible study online, although I haven’t done overseas yet, I may. It’s freeconferencecall.com, you can set up an account, have live sessions and record. I am uploading notes for them too. It’s not easy but it gives us a place to fellowship over the phone. May not be optimum, but God is blessing us. Maybe some of you men might want to do the same.

    I want to say, for my life, it was probably another thing I felt I probably wasn’t capable of doing, no more time. No more strength, but the Lord provides always. Maybe some of you can start your own free-grace online fellowship study, where you can hear voices and talk amongst each other. In His name…

  386. Holly,
    Just out of curiosity. Were you among the many Arizona residents who witnessed seeing the gigantic triangular shaped UFO flying over the Arizona skies at night back in the 90’s? This incident was also reported in Belgium I believe.

  387. Thanks Mary, I will check it out…Sorry so long to respond. I never seen any of these comments. I just found my little button, I clicked on it and all of these responses came up…LOL I’m not to computer savey as you can see…LOL

  388. William, I wish I could agree, but I just don’t know. I believe if we are truly saved, their will be some kind of fruit. No fruit, no salvation. I think many have a head knowledge, but not a heart knowledge. I believe in saved by grace and not of works, but I sure don’t believe in slippery grace~ If one is really saved, you try to please the Lord out of love for him, not go out and please the devil. And of coarse we all still sin at many times, but we repent and go on and serve God. Not wallow in sin, and think we are saved…God know peoples hearts, and it is a narrow way, not a broad way my brother!!!! Those who ENDURE to the end will be saved!!! :) Pray for grace and strength to endure and stand for Christ in this evil day!!! Few that be that find that narrow way…

  389. Suez62, please read the article linked below:

    http://standforthefaith.com/2014/06/28/bible-basics-do-good-works-prove-salvation/

    You said: Those who ENDURE to the end will be saved!!!

    My comment: Saved from what?

  390. Suez

    Do you realize that you are writing your opinions which are absolutely contrary to the Bible doctrine of salvation by Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone?

    Of course you know — You are parroting the Calvinist, Lordship “salvation” lie that is so prevalent in modern churches and on the Internet that appeals to the uninformed..

    We will be praying for you that you will refer to your KJV Bible, have a change of mind (repent) and trust Jesus Christ ALONE as your Savior.

    We suggest you study our article, Eternal Life For You:

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

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  391. Hi Jack and Johninn,
    I was wondering about Galatians 5, in specific 5:17-21

    17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

    18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

    19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

    20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

    21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

    It sounds like a carnal Christians that practices these “works of the flesh” shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Can you help me understand this better?
    In Him, Lisa

  392. Lisa, see our explanation of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 under “Difficult Verses.”

    I think this explanation should help with the similar language in Galatians 5.

  393. Lisa

    Thanks for your question.

    John’s answer in Difficult verses is great. I will elaborate somewhat – different verses but the same Biblical teaching.

    First there are a couple of things we must remember,
    1.) Scripture will never contradict itself.
    2.) The GIFT of Eternal Life is Always Eternal and without end — no exceptions.
    2.) We must understand the Scriptural context.

    These verses are speaking to Believers.. and as you know, every believer, being indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit, has a Spirit nature (the New Man) which is Eternal and WILL inherit the Kingdom of God. The flesh nature (The Old Man) is corrupt. The two battle each other continually and the Flesh or old man, being corrupt, will never inherit the Kingdom of God..

    We see that battle here in your referenced verses.
    Galatians 5:17-18
    “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
    [18] But if ye be led (under the influence or guidance) of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”

    Then we read:
    Galatians 5:21b
    “…. they (the flesh, old man) which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

    There will be no sin in Heaven — there will be no corrupt flesh or old natures (old man) in Heaven.

    Believers are indwelt and sealed by God’s Holy Spirit, thus guaranteeing Heaven by God’s Promise. Ephesians 4:30

    2 Corinthians 1:21-22
    “Now he (God) which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
    [22] Who hath also SEALED us, and given the earnest (guarantee) of the Spirit in our hearts.”

    This is not a license to sin but a Gracious guarantee of Heaven for God’s children despite their earthly failure and imperfection.

    I pray our explanations will help.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  394. Hi John,
    Here are the two passages:

    1Corithians6:8-11
    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.

    Galatians 5:18-21
    18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

    19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

    20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

    21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Would you please consider breaking these passages down further, please.
    Blessings, Lisa

  395. Thank you Jack for breaking it down further, what is troubling me with these two passages are the words:
    be not deceived
    I have also told you in times past
    in relation to “shall not inherit the kingdom of God”

    These seem like stern warnings for this type of behavior.

    1Corinthians 6:11 says
    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.

    FYI I grew up in a Very Catholic town, very little “the love of God and very much the judgment of God”, I was damned to Hell by a friend when I was 10 years old because I wasn’t baptized. I didn’t even know you could get baptized as an adult until I read the book Christianity for dummy. About 3 years ago my ex pronounced over me I will get no absolution. I never understood about the LOVE of God, I only knew of a punishing God. I remember when I was in my late twenties and someone asked me if I “believed in Jesus” and by this time in my life I had heard enough wonderful accounts of him that I did believe in his miracles and his kindness. After a series of life changing events in my late 40’s I choose to seek him and trust the words of the bible. I remember vividly when I finally truly understood Jesus is God. The only God I knew prior to that was a punishing God when I understood that Jesus is God, is was the best blessing because all my life I viewed God as out to punish me, I have finally understood God more fully, he is Holy and Loving! So then the church I started attending and the Christians around me told me to listen to John MacArthur to grow as a Christian, well my antenna had been up about false teaching and as I started to see some discrepancies in what MacArthur was saying and what I was reading, then someone mentioned the word Lordship salvation and I research that and came across this website. I still have trouble slipping into the human mindset of evidence of my salvation and rightly dividing the word.
    Thanks for all your help, still a babe in Christ, Lisa

  396. Jack,

    Thank you!! I actually prayed specifically today for an answer to these verses. Praise the Lord He is faithful! Thank you for serving the Lord to encourage folks on this blog. I greatly appreciate your efforts.

    In Christ Forever!!
    Nathan

  397. Lisa, the context of 1 Corinthians 6 was that these carnal Christians were taking each other to court, to have their cases heard by unsaved people. He is admonishing them to judge matters amongst themselves.

  398. good day,

    1 Cor 6 – which were some of you BUT……

    it doesn’t read
    1. BUT ye stopped doing these things
    2. BUT ye don’t do these things as much

    It DOES read
    1. BUT ye ARE washed, BUT ye ARE sanctified, BUT ye ARE justified by the spirit of our God. (thus Heb10:14 says that this “carnal” church was perfected forever)

    the next verse – NOTHING is unlawful for me.

    Galations – when you “evangelize” to someone. we must convince them they are sinners in need of a savior. So we bring up Gods law to show them they cant keep it (galations calls this our schoolmaster).

    IN CONTEXT – Paul was preaching to some that have put themselves BACK under the law. that is what the WHOLE book of galations is about (no law). So I believe he was “convicting” them.
    – if you do these things you don’t go. EVERYONE does some of these things ……STRIFE!!!!
    – saying – you better be under grace or your in trouble.
    – don’t forget about 6:13 – 13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law (Paul said – they cant keep it either)
    – if I am discussing the bible with a legalist – I too try to convince them they still sin. that if your under the law, you must not do these things; you must be perfect.

    also see 1 Cor 3 – For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and STRIFE, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men

    How can these “babes IN CHRIST” be perfected forever and still there is “strife” (galations)? that would be a contradiction. BUT ye ARE washed, BUT ye ARE sanctified, BUT ye ARE justified by the Spirit of our God.

  399. Lisa,

    I wanted to add that Christians will enter and inherit the Kingdom of God with new eternal, immortal bodies of FLESH AND BONE just like our Lord’s body described in Luke 24:39. Our Lord’s body was capable of teleportation – Luke 24:31, 36 -37.

    Our mortal bodies of FLESH AND BLOOD cannot inherit the Kingdom of God and is literally incompatible for the nature of the new life with our Lord that is to come – 1 Corinthians 15:50. Our mortal bodies will be transformed in an instant at the Rapture with new bodies of flesh and bones – 1 Corinthians 15:51-54.

    Luke 24:39 – Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not FLESH AND BONES, as ye see me have.

    1 Corinthians 15:42-44 – 42So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.

    1 Corinthians 15:50-52 – 50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

    1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 – 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    1 John 3:2 – Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; for we shall see him as he is.

    Let us all look forward to that day when we will all be transformed at the rapture with new immortal bodies and be with our Lord forever, Amen!

  400. William, excellent comment!

  401. Lisa,

    You mentioned about Galatians 5, in specific 5:17-21 and also 1Corithians6:8-11. According to Scripture, ALL the Christian’s works here on earth whether good or bad will be evaluated at the Judgment Seat of Christ – 2 Corinthians 5:10, Romans 14:12, 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, to determine the gain or loss of ETERNAL REWARDS and also the privilege of reigning with Christ – 2 Timothy 2:12, Revelation 3:21.

    Some Christians unfortunately do commit the sins described in those passages that you quoted which will inevitably incur God’s chastening in their lives as a wake up call to straighten up and fly right, but their eternal salvation which is a free gift remains intact and untouched. There will be the forfeiture of eternal rewards and the exclusion from special privileges in heaven. King David failed morally, King Solomon failed doctrinally at the end of his life, Samson failed morally, and the Corinthian Christians of Paul’s time failed big time living deplorable lives, but Paul affirmed the fact that they were saved.

    Grace is not a license to sin – Romans 6:1, Romans 6:14-15, Galatians 5:13. When Christians live in willful sin, it will bring about God’s chastisement, and unpleasant experiences, but loss of eternal life is NEVER one of the consequences. We are kept eternally secure by an UNFAILING SAVIOR – John 5:24, 6:47, 10:28-29, Romans 8:38-39.

    1 Corinthians 3:10-15 is a great passage that affirms the certainty of all Christian’s salvation in spite of our failures in this life.

    1 Corinthians 3:10-15:

    10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss BUT YET WILL BE SAVED—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

    Hope this helps! God Bless!

  402. Lisa, I listened to a sermon by Tom Cucuzza on Galatians 5:19-21. I thought you might like to hear it. Please see below:

    http://northlandchurch.com/content.cfm?id=213&download_id=40

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