Category Archives: Assurance of salvation

Lordship Salvation: Trusting Jesus as Far as You Can Throw Him

by johninnc

Of all of the idioms on the subject of trust, there is one that seems to capture the essence of Lordship “salvation” (LS): I trust him as far as I can throw him.

The meaning of this idiom is that when you say you trust someone as far as you can throw him, you really don’t trust him at all.

Before we move on, I will address something unusual about this idiom. According to “The Phrase Finder”, most people who use this expression use it incorrectly:

If you search the expression in Google, you will discover something very odd. A large proportion of those using the expression use it incorrectly, as “I DON’T trust him as far as I can throw him,” thus depriving the sentence both of meaning and of the sardonic wit that inspired it.

For those who understand and believe the gospel, the applicability of the above idiom to Lordship “salvationists” (LSers) is likely to be readily apparent. And, the fact that this idiom is mostly used incorrectly is analogous to the fact that most people, including LSers, present the gospel incorrectly.

Let’s ground ourselves in what LS is. LS is essentially salvation by works. But, it wraps itself around the name of Christ in order to camouflage itself as Christianity. Below is a good working definition of LS:

LS is the unsupportable belief that the PERFORMANCE of works, the PROMISE of works, or the EVIDIENCE of works must accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

Because of its focus on works, behavioral change, good intentions, and the like, LS is not really faith in Christ at all. LS is trusting Jesus as far as you can throw him.

Following are three ways that LS dogma changes the gospel of Jesus Christ into a false gospel of works.

Redefining Faith in Christ

Redefining faith in Christ is one of the more subtle ways to undermine the gospel and to keep people lost. Popular terms for redefining faith in Christ include “head faith versus heart faith” and “intellectual faith versus saving faith.” While these terms may sound clever and appealing, they are nothing more than a negation of what the Bible teaches.

John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Charles Stanley, a popular Southern Baptist pastor, redefines faith in Christ this way in his sermon outline from “A Saving Faith”:

Intellectual Faith (Natural Faith) – Believing something is true without proof or commitment.

And

It isn’t enough to simply believe in the actions of Jesus Christ or the abilities of God. True saving faith is more than that; it is a personal relationship with the Savior.

What Charles Stanley says above is not what the Bible says. Charles Stanley is teaching that faith implicitly involves commitment and that saving faith is a personal relationship with the Savior, whatever that is supposed to mean. The Bible says that one receives eternal life, that can never be lost or forfeited, by trusting in Christ alone as Savior.

Inability to Distinguish between Faith in Christ and Faith in Works

The Bible teaches that eternal life is a gift, received through faith in Christ.

Ephesians 2:8-9:

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

But, the inability to distinguish between faith in Christ and faith in works is pervasive within professing Christendom.

Consider the following quote from evangelical icon and LSer Billy Graham’s recent book “The Reason for My Hope”:

I am afraid that many Christians, in their zeal to share their faith in Christ, have made the Gospel message of making disciples for Him too simple. Just to say “believe in Christ” can produce a false assurance of the hope of Heaven. Jesus spoke often about the gift of eternal life. To make it clear, He said, “Count the cost.”

What Billy Graham says is not what the Bible says. There is no cost to us for the gift of eternal life. Otherwise, it would no longer be a gift.

Looking for Works to determine if Christ Can be Trusted

The Bible teaches that one can know, with absolute certainty, that he has eternal life the moment he believes in Jesus as Savior.

John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

This seems crystal clear, yet the LS community won’t have any of it. Their mantra is more akin to the cold war era statement of US President Ronald Reagan: Trust but verify.

Consider the following false doctrine from “The Baptist Faith and Message”:

All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end.

This message is false, because it conditions the receipt of eternal life on a person’s endurance, or perseverance.

Charles Stanley, who we discussed above, served two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), which adheres to “The Baptist Faith and Message.” He further punctuates the SBCs false belief in perseverance with the following false statement (from his sermon outline “A Saving Faith”):

Even demons and the devil believe and have intellectual faith. We must both believe and bear fruit.

Here, Stanley states unequivocally, that works are required to get into heaven. This is in direct contradiction to what the Bible teaches. In other words, Stanley teaches that one cannot trust in Christ’s finished work on his behalf until he sees that good works, or a changed life, have materialized.

Maybe you grew up in churches where some of these false notions were taught. Maybe you have trusted in the false gospels of men instead of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Maybe you have trusted in Christ as far as you can throw Him.

If you would like to know for sure that you are going to heaven, please click here: HOW TO BE SURE YOU ARE GOING TO HEAVEN

I Marvel: Lordship Salvation’s Spookiest Passage

By johninnc

Galatians 1:6-9:

[6] I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

[7] Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

[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.

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

Galatians 1:6-9 is one of the most misinterpreted passages in the Bible. This is true, in part, because of the mindset of Lordship “salvationists”, who do not realize the passage is talking about them.

Lordship “salvation” (LS) 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 establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

There are two varieties of LSers:

The first group is those who have never trusted in Christ alone as Savior. The Bible refers to this group as “false brethren.”

Galatians 2:4: And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

The second group is eternally secure Christians who once believed the gospel, but who have since incorporated LS into their understanding of the gospel.

Galatians 5:4: Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

According to the NIV Bible that is the mainstay of many LSers, Paul is consigning both of the above groups to hell.

Galatians 1:9 (NIV): As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

This translation is woefully inaccurate.  While it is true that anyone who is preaching a false gospel is accursed, it is not true that they are beyond redemption.  In fact, the sad reality is that some people who preach false gospels are eternally secure Christians who have turned from the good news of the gospel to the bad news and uncertainty of LS.

The mistranslations of Galatians 1:8-9, such as the one featured in the NIV, are part of the reason that Christians fail to mark and avoid the false teachers of LS.

I marvel that someone thinks that God could both desire that everyone be saved (John 3:16, 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9) and also desire that people who are teaching a false gospel be eternally condemned.

I marvel that people cannot discern the contradiction in the NIV “translation” of Galatians 1:8-9 with other scripture.

I marvel that anyone would think that an eternally secure Christian, who falls from grace by incorporating LS into his understanding of the gospel, would be consigned to hell.

I marvel that LSers are not totally freaked-out and spooked by this passage in the NIV!

I marvel that LSers think they can please God with their lifestyle changes, cessation from sin, good works, and so on, without ever having believed in Jesus ALONE as Savior, or after having believed in Jesus as Savior and then having fallen from grace.

I marvel that LSers look to themselves for assurance of eternal life and think they have found it.

I marvel that LSers, who insist that an inspection of self and others for “fruit” of salvation, seem to find it in themselves, but not others.

I marvel that LSers think people represented by soil 2 in the parable of the Sower were never saved. Particularly in light of the FACT that any LSer who is saved is himself represented by soil 2.

I marvel that someone who has never believed in Christ ALONE as Savior thinks he can be a disciple, a “Christ follower” or have a “relationship with Christ.”

I marvel that someone who has fallen from grace thinks he can stay in that state and be in fellowship with Christ.

I marvel how LSers, who mistakenly interpret the book of 1 John to be a series of tests to determine whether or not one has eternal life, routinely conclude that they have passed the test.

I marvel that LSers think the book of James, which was written to believers, is a field guide for determining whether or not one has eternal life – which is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone – based on an evaluation of his works.

And finally, I marvel that someone who understands and believes the gospel would attend churches and financially support ministries that preach a false gospel. I marvel that someone who understands and believes the gospel would hold hands with those who do not and pretend they are all on the same page.

I DO NOT marvel that those who take a stand for the gospel are harangued, hassled, maligned, unfriended, unwelcomed, and disavowed by the religious masses claiming the name of Christ.

Have you been spooked by LS? If so, click here:  Not Scary!

Helping a New Believer Find an Oasis of Grace in a Desert of Lordship Salvation

By johninnc and Jack Weaver

We recently received an e-mail from a fellow grace believer who wants to spread the gospel to people with whom he comes into contact.  Following are excerpts from the e-mail:

When l share the simple plan of salvation and they believe in Jesus to give them the gift of eternal life, what do l do with them to help them grow as christians. lt seems to me that if l send them to a church in my area, they will get this LS teaching…l know that l will have to have a fellowship in my home to encourage and also be encouraged, if you know of a web site that would teach new christians ” what’s my next step” i would love to know about it.

This is a great question.  Many of us do not have a home church, and would not be comfortable steering anyone – much less a new believer – to any church that distorts the gospel in ANY way.

Before anyone begins looking for a church, he should be thoroughly grounded in the gospel.

In addition to the home fellowship that you suggested, below are some recommendations to help new believers grow in grace, and some things to avoid.

1. Suggest that they repeatedly read clear explantations of God’s plan of salvation.  Such resources will remind them of the Biblical truth that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. This will also reinforce the truths of eternal security and assurance for the believer in Christ.

We recommend two such resources at ExPreacherMan.

“The Gospel” booklet by Ron Shea

http://expreacherman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/the-gospel.pdf

“How to Be Sure You are Going to Heaven” by Dr. Thomas Cucuzza:

http://expreacherman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/how-to-be-sure-you-are-going-to-heaven-with-cover.pdf

2. Have them learn to read God’s Word.  Start by suggesting they read through the book of Galatians several times, one chapter per day. The book of Galatians is a defense of the gospel that will help new believers understand the nature of the attacks that they will face from the world of professing Christendom, and the Biblical response to those attacks.

3. Emphasize the importance of  not looking to changes in our lives for assurance of salvation, nor to let the lack of sufficient changes in our lives undermine our assurance of salvation.

4. Suggest they read ExPreacherMan articles and comments.

5. Have them listen to online sermons from sources that you have evaluated and are convinced are reliable.  We recommend Dr. Cucuzza’s sermons.  See link below:

http://northlandchurch.com/go/downloads

6. Warn them to avoid playing “Russian Roulette” with books, sermons, and websites that claim to be teaching Christianity. There is more bad teaching out there than good.

7. Make yourself available for questions – within reason. Some people will fail to do things they need to do to grow in grace, or will do things to undermine their faith (see number 6) and be pretty shaky. Challenge people to take an active role, and not just have you feed them.

8.  Pray that God will provide for them, and for you, a church in which the gospel is taught clearly, consistently, and without contradiction. If you are unable to find a church, don’t despair.  ExPreacherMan is available as a place for fellowship, discussion and encouragement for people who have church homes, as well as for those who don’t.

9.  Let them know to never let down their guard and to maintain vigilance. Avoid any church where there is evidence of Calvinism or Lordship “salvation.” Many churches and pastors will claim to believe in grace, but their words will betray them.   Consider the following from one false teaching mega-church:

From “Core Beliefs:

Those who put their faith alone in Christ for Salvation are children of God and heirs of eternal life.

From the Senior Pastor’s blog:

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.

10.  Tell them to share the good news with others.

Want to know the good news?  Here it is:  Good News!

How Eternal is Eternal Life and How Secure is Eternal Security?

By Jack Weaver

John wrote a wonderful article June 30th about the precious Bible verse John10:28. I have recently corresponded with some of our dear friends in Australia so I analyzed for them the verse John 10:28. In doing so, I investigated the meanings of some of the exciting words in that verse.

It answers the question, How Eternal is Eternal Life and How Secure is Eternal Security.

Our Australian friends had been witnessing to a gentleman who proclaimed that a believer can walk away from an ETERNAL relationship with Jesus Christ.

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.

I usually like to ask such folks; “When Jesus Christ gives you ETERNAL life upon belief, what does the word ETERNAL really mean to you”?

The Greek word for ETERNAL is Aionios, and it means perpetual – eternal, forever, everlasting.

That is very clear and pronounced by Jesus Himself  – it is absolute and not debatable.

The most interesting and amazing word in that passage is the word NEVER. It is a compound word made up of four different words or word phrases.
These words are:  Ou me, Eis, Ho, Aion.

Ou Me is a double negative strengthening the denial; not at all, by any (or no) means, neither, never, in no case (no wise), nor ever, not at all in any wise.

Eis is a primary preposition; for in any place, time, or any purpose — continual, far more exceeding, for [any intent, purpose], of one mind, never perish.

Ho including the feminine he, hay; and the neuter to, in all their inflections; the definite article – the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc.

Aion is from, and the same as, the Greek word (aei); properly an age; by extension perpetuity (also past); by implication the world; (present or future) – age, course, eternal, forever (forevermore), the beginning of the world (since the world began, world without end).

So we see the ETERNAL implications of what Jesus personally promised to every person who believes in Him, that they would NEVER perish.

That statement, by Jesus, includes:
Male, female, neuter.
• It means eternal, never ceasing, world without end.
• It means in any place, any time, or for any purpose not at all, by no means, never, in no case, no wise, not ever, not at all in any case.

Read that over carefully and digest it fully.

Shortly after I trusted Christ as my Savior, the man who led me to Christ preached a sermon explaining John 10:28. He included all of explanations I have used here. I was surprised, amazed, thrilled and excited.

How much more definitive, fixed and final could ETERNAL life and NEVER PERISH be, especially when promised by the Savior, Jesus Christ Himself?

A person who says they are Christian but does not believe in Eternal Security has probably never taken the time to check out the depth and meaning of those powerful words in John 10:28.

The bottom line, by Jesus Himself:
Eternal Life is proclaimed ETERNAL!
Eternal Security is Proclaimed ETERNALLY SECURE.

We need never doubt our eternally secure position in Jesus Christ. If we do, we would be saying to Jesus, the Creator of the Universe “I don’t believe you”!! Would you stand Him to His face and say that?

Titus 1:2: In Hope (guarantee) of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

The Gospel of Jesus Christ IS the Power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). If a person chooses not to believe Jesus, as Jesus Himself proclaimed in John 10:28, he is calling Jesus a liar.

We pray you have trusted Jesus Christ alone as your eternal Savior. If not, please do so right now. Read the link below, study the Scriptures therein and trust Jesus.

Eternal Life, God’s FREE Gift to You

Christ Is Risen. Go Quickly and Tell…

Israel Garden Tomb EntranceThe “Garden Tomb” in Israel.
1 Corinthians 15:17
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

Thankfully, the Cross on Calvary is empty~ The tomb where He lay is empty.

Beware those teachers who would deny the power of the Resurrected Christ to have paid for ALL sins of the whole world. As He said on the Cross, “It is finished”!!.

Here is such a denial, according to the guru of Lordship “salvation” John MacArthur:

Salvation isn’t the result of an intellectual exercise. It comes from a life lived in obedience and service to Christ as revealed in the Scripture; it’s the fruit of actions, not intentions. There’s no room for passive spectators: words without actions are empty and futile…The life we live, not the words we speak, determines our eternal destiny (John MacArthur, Hard to Believe, p. 93).

Pure HERESY!

Now the exciting and joyful Good News:

Matthew 28:1-7
[1] In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

[2] And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

[3] His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

[4] And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

[5] And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

[6] He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

[7] And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

We believe in a living resurrected Savior Who was crucified, buried and rose again as our substitute sin-debt payment. Jesus alone is the object of our faith.

Eternal Life Is FREE <<Click

Another Gospel – The Truth about Lordship “salvation.”

Our friend Mark Andre has produced an amazing Biblical video, proclaiming the Truth of the Gospel of Grace and exposing all that is wrong with Lordship “salvation,” Calvinism and other false teachings.

Mark called several months ago asking permission to use some material and ideas from ExPreacherMan.com. We are happy we consented.

The progression of the video keeps your attention — Mark explains the simplicity of the Gospel of Grace and then, naming names, he exposes the preachers and proponents of “works salvation” (Probation). This mission is especially important to Mark because his is a former member of John MacArthur’s church. He realized the Truth, abandoned the lie perpetrated by JMac and is dedicated to exposing those who insist on adding works to the Gospel of God’s Grace.

This is a must watch video. Please recommend it to your friends, especially those who may be mixed up in false teaching. It is also a good doctrinal review for all believers.

Great job, Mark!!

Eternal Life for You << Click

Lordship “Salvation” — Willful Naiveté ?

By Jack Weaver and our fellow Administrator, John

We will borrow some ideas from a Conservative friend’s web site. He applied the thought to politics, but we see some parallels between the politically naïve and the theologically naïve.  In both cases, otherwise intelligent people seem to park their brains at the door and believe astonishingly stupid propositions.  For lack of a better term, we will call it “willful naiveté.”

In politics, willful naiveté can be seen in people who hold advanced degrees in economics that have convinced themselves that 1+1 = 3, because it fits their political narrative. In the theological realm, there are scores of prominent “educated” theologians who are teaching their theological narrative, the lie of Lordship “salvation”, to vulnerable non-believers and believers alike.

Lordship “salvation” (LS) 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 in order to make that faith result in eternal life.

LS arrived on the scene just after the start of the church.  It was first manifested in false teachers who claimed one must be circumcised – in addition to trusting in Christ as Savior – in order to have eternal life.

Acts 15:1:  “And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved”

LS has shown up in various forms ever since, and has dominated popular Christendom through the centuries.  And, the raging wave of LS continues to invade and overtake our Grace Faith communities.

We see stunning examples of “willful naiveté” in those who advocate LS.  The Bible has more than 150 verses that state that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.  See article linked for more information: Believers Justification << Link

However, this overwhelming biblical evidence does not daunt LS advocates.  Instead, they lean on their own understanding of certain biblical “proof texts”, always taken out of context to support their false teaching.  Or worse, their misinterpretation of scripture leads them to believe there are biblical “paradoxes”.  For example, many LS advocates say things like “salvation is free, but it will cost you everything.”  This is non-biblical nonsense.  The fact of the matter is that there are no paradoxes in God’s Word.

LS destroys everything it touches.  It impedes the advance of the gospel, thereby keeping lost people lost; for believers who are bewitched by LS, it undermines their faith and assurance, it robs them of the power to live the Christian life, and it keeps them from a sound spiritual understanding of scripture.

LS has only two potentially “attractive” features that both appeal to the flesh.  First, it appeals to man’s pride.   One may internalize feelings of having contributed to (or merited) his salvation in some way.  He may feel like he has somehow “purified” himself.  There are side benefits, including a sense of comfort in “group think” and a sense of belonging in the ecumenical mainstream. Second, it appeals to the tribal need for an external, common enemy.  So, LS advocates make bogeymen out of proponents of salvation by Grace through faith in Christ alone.  Accordingly, they malign believers, using all sorts of pejorative language. Lordship “salvation” is very much a separate “religion,” a cult in the worst sense of those words.

LS advocates will continue to be deceived and to deceive others until the Millennium. They have successfully “converted” many into a works-based religion, false salvation and probation — which result in no salvation at all. By selling books, designing seductive web sites, producing slick YouTube videos, by infiltrating and taking over churches, religious schools, Bible colleges and seminaries, LSers have raised yet another generation of “Christians” who will continue to refuse, or fall from, God’s true Grace. They abhor the freedom and individual liberty we are to have in Christ Jesus as is so clearly delineated in God’s Word, the Bible. (John 3:16-17, Ephesians 2:8-10, Titus 3:5)

Is their deception a willful naiveté or deliberate?

Our suggestion: We waste our time using secular logic on these folks, so let us use God’s Powerful Word!!! (Hebrews 4:12)  Scripture says, “Let us reason together.” However, we often find LS advocates very unreceptive to either reason or scriptural proof.  They find it virtually impossible to accept Biblical, contextual “reason.” We must continue to “earnestly contend for the Faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3) and do it Biblically. That is the goal of our ministry here at ExPreacherMan.com which, by God’s Grace, we will continue! We thank the Lord for our many friends who support this ministry by commenting here in support of God’s Biblical Grace.

Please click here >> Wiki-Index of False Teachers for our compilation of a partial index of false teachers.

The Truth of FREE Eternal Life << Click