Category Archives: Assurance of salvation

Lordship Salvation: Is THEIR Report OUR Report?

By johninnc (illustration by Holly Garcia)


Romans 10:16: But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

We were recently meeting with some Christian friends, who mentioned that a prominent writer would be appearing at a local megachurch to make the case for Christianity. This writer’s book makes the case for Christianity by describing how much faith it would require to be an atheist.

That is a great topic for a book, and for attendant lectures. But, let’s look at a little bit of background on the teachings of the church (Forest Hills Church, Charlotte) hosting this event.

From their pastor’s blog:

(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.

This is a terrible Calvinist “perseverance of the saints” message that is entirely unbiblical. It is an affront to the real gospel message. If good deeds prove the presence or absence of faith, then one must look at himself to determine if he is saved.

The question then becomes:

Is the person teaching that the Bible is reliable reliable? Or, are they setting records (attendance, book sales, etc.) by changing the record?

Let’s look at the conflicting, unbiblical statement of faith (in works) of another megachurch in North Carolina – Summit Church in Raleigh:

We believe that salvation is a free gift given at God’s initiative, and must be received personally by faith.  
John 5:24; Rom 10:9-10; Eph 2:8-9

We believe the Bible to be God’s Word, a true and fully accurate account of God’s love for us.  Its purpose is to teach us how to have a relationship with Him, worship Him and bring Him glory.  
Psalms 19:7-10; 2 Tim 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21

Sounds good so far, right?

Ah, but then the contradiction:

If you’d like a more in-depth explanation of our doctrinal beliefs, you may want to read The Baptist Faith and Message.

Following is an excerpt from the “in depth explanation” from the Baptist Faith and Message:

Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.

A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.

Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.

 This statement of “faith” requires that someone be regenerated before believing (unbiblical), defines repentance as “a genuine turning from sin toward God” (unbiblical), and thereby makes Jesus necessary for salvation, but not sufficient.

In the false gospel presented in the Baptist Faith and Message, Jesus’s work on the cross, and His victory over sin and death must be augmented by our works – in this case turning from sin.

This is not the record that God gave of His Son. And it is not a message that will save anyone.

1 John 5:10-12:

[10] He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

[11] And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

[12] He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

Have you believed OUR report? Or have you believed THEIR report?

OUR report:

Eternal salvation is a free gift, available to every person on the same basis: by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

THEIR report:

Their reports vary widely. They often look the same as ours – on the surface. But then, they contradict themselves with other statements or beliefs. Some examples:

  • We are saved by grace alone through faith alone. But, the faith that saves is never alone.
  • A true Christian will…
  • You must repent of your sins to be saved
  • You must commit your life to Christ to be saved
  • You must have heart faith, not just head faith to be saved
  • You can lose your salvation

For more information on OUR report, click here: OUR REPORT


Lordship Salvation: Where I Come From

by johninnc

Following is the refrain from the song “Where I Come From” by country music star Alan Jackson:

Where I come from it’s cornbread and chicken

Where I come from a lotta front porch pickin’

Where I come from tryin’ to make a livin’

And workin’ hard to get to Heaven, where I come from

I heard this song today for the first time, and it reminded me of where I come from.

I was raised in the southeastern US, and North Carolina is where I currently live. I like fried chicken (sorry PETA) and cornbread. I feel most at home when I’m here. And, I used to think I had to work to get to heaven.

Let me take a moment to explain what I mean.

I am a 53 year-old man that didn’t become a believer in Christ until age 49. As far back as I can remember, I believed that Christ was the Son of God, that He died for our sins, and was raised from the dead.

But, I thought that in addition to believing in Jesus for eternal life, I had to internally resolve to turn from my sins and commit my life to Christ in order to get to heaven. I had fallen for the false gospel of Lordship “salvation.”

Until just a few years ago, it had never dawned on me that faith in Christ and faith in Christ plus me were mutually exclusive. Resolving to turn from sins and committing one’s life to Christ are works. We cannot be saved by our works.

Romans 3:20: Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Most churches, evangelists, and print ministries teach Lordship “salvation” either explicitly, or implicitly. It is appealing to us, because it fits into our preexisting belief that we can somehow work our way back to God.

Following are excerpts from our page entitled Lordship “salvation” Defined:

At its core, Lordship “salvation” (LS) is not salvation at all but man made PROBATION – a disbelief in God’s Word which clearly states that salvation is by Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

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 establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

LS can be overt (one must forsake all of his sins and follow Christ in obedience and discipleship in order to be saved) or VERY SUBTLE (one’s behavior will change once he is saved).  But, do not be deceived. Trying to add ANY human merit to Grace makes it no longer Grace. (Romans 11:6).

Anyone who is a Christian has repented (changed his mind) from some false belief  to belief in Christ alone as Savior. For me, I had to repent (change my mind) from thinking that my good intentions had any bearing whatsoever on whether or not I was going to go to heaven.

We receive eternal life when we stop working for it, and believe in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.

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

LS is where I come from. Belief in Christ is where I am now. God never gave up trying to draw me to him.

If you are workin’ hard to get to Heaven and would like to know how to have eternal life, click here: The Gospel

God has not given up on you either. How do I know? I know, because you are reading this post.



New Video Message from Dr. Thomas Cucuzza: “There’s Room At The Cross For You”

Dr. Thomas Cucuzza has posted a new video sermon on youtube that you might enjoy.  It is entitled “There’s Room At The Cross For You.” It is linked below:

Dr. Cucuzza makes the point that the thief on the cross is a type of all of us. This is a critical point, because all of us were condemned before we believed.

John 3:18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.


Lordship Salvation: Worthless Religion

By johninnc

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

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

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

Following are some of the salient excerpts:

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

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

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

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

This is a very tragic article on so many levels.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:

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