Category Archives: Eternal Security

Something Greater than a Mother’s Love

By johninnc

My wife’s mother passed away last week, and I had the privilege to deliver the following message at her funeral. My wife’s mother (Doris) did not write this, but we are sure she would have approved.

Ephesians 2:4-7:

[4] But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
[5] Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
[6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
[7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

There’s something that Doris knows is true that she wants everyone else to know. I don’t think she would mind us paraphrasing for her. It goes something like this:

Dear friends,

There is an old adage that there is nothing greater than a mother’s love. As someone who has a mother, and is a mother of five, I understand why some would say this.

But, a mother’s love cannot compare to the perfect love that God has for us.

There is a God. He is the eternal creator, without beginning or end. He created everything, including you and me. He is perfectly holy, perfectly just, and perfectly loving. As such, He cannot allow anything that isn’t perfect into His presence.

You and I aren’t perfect. We have all broken God’s laws, and can’t do anything to fix that. Our efforts to work our way back to God are completely useless.

But, God loves us so much that He would rather die than spend eternity without us.

So, He gave his only begotten Son –Jesus Christ – God in the flesh – to reconcile us to Him.

Jesus had no sin of His own, but bore our sin so that we might be reconciled to God. He had no sin and we had no righteousness. Jesus took our sin from us. He made the complete payment for our sin, leaving us nothing to pay.

He did this by suffering a criminal’s death by crucifixion. He died on the cross, He was buried, and He was raised from the dead three days later, proving that His payment for our sins was accepted.

Anyone who believes in Jesus, and what He accomplished through His death and resurrection, has eternal life. Eternal life means that it can never be lost or forfeited. God no longer sees believers in their sins, but sees them as perfectly righteous.

People will tell you all kinds of different ways to have eternal life, or even that there’s no such thing.

Many people will tell you that Jesus is necessary for salvation, but that He isn’t enough – that you have to “do your part” by reforming your behavior, doing good works, and so on. But this is not true. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

You should listen to what Jesus has to say, above what anyone else tells you. Since Jesus is God, and God is perfect, He cannot lie.

Here is what Jesus says on how to have eternal life:

John 11:25-26:

[25] Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
[26] And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

I hope you believe this. I do.

Love. Doris

 

 

 

“I Give Unto Them Eternal Life”

Note: the following article was originally posted on July 30, 2014. I decided to re-post it today, in memory of my earthly father, who died yesterday at the age of 95, and in honor of our heavenly father who gave his only begotten Son through which all might be saved.

img_0677John10:28:  And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 

My family and I recently traveled to France for vacation. Among our stops were the beaches of Normandy, on which the allied invasion of France began on June 6, 1944 (D-day), and the American Cemetery.

These sites held particular significance for me, as my father was among the soldiers who fought in the Normandy campaign. He and my mother were able to visit Normandy for the 70th anniversary of D-day about a month before we were there.

The American Cemetery tells the stories of many of the brave soldiers who fought and died to liberate Europe from the grip of tyranny. There is also a chapel at the Cemetery. The chapel contains an altar that tells the story of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice to save mankind. The altar has an inscription that reads: “I GIVE UNTO THEM ETERNAL LIFE AND THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH”.

This brief inscription, which quotes Jesus, is extremely well chosen. Its eleven words affirm many Biblical truths that are central to the gospel, including the following:

Jesus is God.   The Bible says that God grants eternal life. So, if Jesus gives eternal life, it follows that He is God in the flesh.

John 1:14:  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Eternal life is a gift.  The Bible calls eternal life a gift – unmerited favor.

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

The gift of God is eternal life. Jesus is not only necessary for eternal life. He is enough. Believing in Jesus as Savior means believing that our good intentions or good works have nothing to do with receiving eternal life. Neither does their presence or absence prove whether or not we possess eternal life. We need only believe in Christ alone as Savior in order to receive eternal life.

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

Eternal life is available to everyone.  Who is the “them” to whom Christ gives eternal life? The Bible says that anyone who will believe in Christ as Savior will receive eternal life.

John 20:31: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.  

The God of the Bible did not choose some to receive eternal life, while making it unavailable to others. The Bible says that God desires that everyone be saved.

1 Timothy 2:4: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 

Eternal life is eternal.  The doctrine of eternal security of Christians is taught throughout scripture. Eternal security is a necessary conclusion of grace. We cannot work our way into eternal life, and we cannot work our way out of eternal life.

Ephesians 1:13-14: 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, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Every one of the soldiers who has defended our freedom on the battlefield deserves our gratitude. Jesus Christ, who came to seek and to save that which was lost, deserves our gratitude infinitely more. He died for our sins. He was buried, and He rose from the dead. He offers us eternal life as a free gift.

All one needs to do to have eternal life is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.

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

Lordship Salvation: The Devil’s Advocate

by johninnc

Romans 5:15-18:

[15] But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
[16] And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
[17] For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
[18] Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

During my short time serving at ExPreacherMan in an administrative capacity, one thing has become abundantly clear: It is very difficult for many people to believe that eternal life is a free gift, without cost or obligation to the recipient.

We receive countless comments and e-mails that attempt to contradict the gospel by adding conditions to God’s way of salvation, which is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. The conditions may be front-loaded, back-loaded, or both. But, they are all designed to try to prove that belief in Jesus as Savior will not ALWAYS result in eternal life.

Usually, the assaults on the gospel are predictable and trite (“What about James 2:14-26?”; “It’s not faith and works, it’s faith that works.”; “repentance is a change of mind that leads to a change in behavior.”) Other times, they are innovative and subtle. Either way, they reflect a misunderstanding of grace, and a disbelief in the finished work of Jesus on our behalf.

And, leaders of professing Christendom – past and present – have promulgated these errant views. And, they continue to do it, with very little challenge from the duped masses.

Consider the following false doctrine, quoted by some of the so-called “great men of God”:

Billy Graham: 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.”

Charles Spurgeon: The faith which does not produce good works is not saving faith: it is not the faith of God’s elect: it is not faith at all in the Scriptural sense.

Charles Ryrie: Unproductive faith cannot save, because it is not genuine faith. Faith and works are like a two-coupon ticket to heaven. The coupon of works is not good for passage, and the coupon of faith is not valid if detached from works.

Why is it so important for these people to attempt to persuade others that simple faith in Christ will not result in salvation? God has given us the Bible to convince us that eternal life is available as a free gift, without cost or obligation, to anyone who will believe in Jesus as Savior. Why all of the energy in professing Christendom trying to convince people otherwise?

Isn’t that Satan’s job?

Most people think that Satan’s main goal is to get unsaved people to sin more. In reality, he uses LSers to do his job – to keep people out of heaven by confusing them about the truth of the gospel message.

Matthew 13:19: 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.

Satan also uses LSers to help him accuse believers (“you might not really be saved if…”).

Revelation 12:10: And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Note to the Devil and his advocates: You are right that I am a sinner. You are right that I don’t always live like I should. But, Jesus Christ is my advocate. God has imputed righteousness to me WITHOUT WORKS. My sins are forgiven, based on Christ’s finished work on my behalf.

I HAVE A SAVIOR!

Romans 4:5-7:

[5] But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
[6] Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
[7] Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

Hebrews 7:25: Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

1 John 2:1: My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

If you would like to have Jesus as your advocate, click here: Advocate

 

The Gift That Is Not An Exchange

by johninnc

Luke 2:11:  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

One of the most difficult concepts for people to grasp is the concept of a gift.  That is due, in large part, to how our world system has redefined the meaning of “gift” to be a reward, a bonus, or a reciprocal arrangement.

At Christmas, we have Santa, theoretically giving out lumps of coal to bad boys and girls and “gifts” to the good ones. We have the Elf on the Shelf keeping an eye on things.

One of my favorite Christmas classics – “A Christmas Carol” –  features the godless miser Ebenezer Scrooge finding redemption by promising to “keep Christmas.”

And, in Cathedrals and churches throughout the world, we have seasonal musicals and Christmas Eve services worshipping Christ the Lord as Savior, while teaching that He really only helps save us.  This takes many forms, but generally boils down to the vain attempt to change eternal life from being a gift to being a trade. In other words, much of professing Christendom falsely teaches that our works are necessary to gain or keep the gift of eternal life, or to provide evidence that we have received the gift of eternal life

The Bible teaches that eternal life is the gift of God, given freely to anyone who accepts it by faith in Christ Jesus.

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.

Just as our world system has redefined the meaning of “gift”, many churches and ministries have redefined the “gift of God” to be faith itself.

But, the Bible is clear that eternal life – not faith – is the gift of God.

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

Likewise, many churches and ministries have redefined the meaning of “faith” to include works, either implicitly or explicitly.

The mission of ExPreacherMan is to proclaim the gospel clearly, while soundly refuting the many false gospel substitutes that are collectively referred to as Lordship “salvation”, or LS.

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: 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.

The gospel – which means “good news” – is that Jesus (God in the flesh) died for our sins (in complete payment, leaving us nothing left to pay for our sins – past, present, or future), was buried, and was raised from the dead three days later (proving that God had accepted His sacrifice on our behalf).

God offers eternal life, that can never be lost or forfeited, as a free gift to anyone who will believe that Jesus made the full payment for his sins. There is no cost or obligation to us in accepting this gift.  We need only accept it by faith.

This is the greatest gift imaginable, and it is available to everyone.

2 Corinthians 9:15: Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

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.

If you would like to know how to receive the greatest gift ever – the gift of eternal life – click here:  The Gift of Eternal Life

A Thanksgiving Gospel Message

By Jack Weaver and johninnc

Colossians 2:6-15:

[6] As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
[7] Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
[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.
[9] For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
[10] And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
[11] In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
[12] Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
[13] And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
[14] Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
[15] And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

From Wikipedia: Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.

For Christians, abounding in thanksgiving is an integral part of our walk in the Lord Jesus Christ.   We should be exceedingly thankful for our Savior – for who He is, for what He has done for us, and for our resultant position in Him.

Jesus is God our Savior – in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily (verse 9). He is the head of all principality and power (verse 10).

Jesus died for our sins (verse 14), was buried, and was raised from the dead (verse 12).   He triumphed over the principalities and powers of this world (verse 15).

Once we received Him by faith, He made us partakers in His life (verse 13), freed us from the law (verse 14), and forgave ALL of our sins (verse 13) – past, present, and future. We are complete in Him (verse 10). Our bodies of sin have been put off by Him (verse 11). We are reconciled to God. We have eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

Thank you Jesus!

PS – don’t let anyone spoil (ruin) you by leading you astray with fleshly, man-made philosophies that are based on the principles (rudiments) of this world (verse 8).  This includes Calvinists, Lordship “salvationists”, and all of the various  accusers of the brethren.

If you would like to know how to have the gift of eternal life click here: Eternal Life for You

We thank the Lord for all of our visitors and readers at ExPreacherMan.  And, we thank the Lord for the opportunity to read, discuss, and spread His Word.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Lordship Salvation: How U (1/2) 2 Fans Reject Christ

By johninnc and janeinnc

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.

There have been many articles written on the subject of Lordship “salvation” and what it is, and isn’t.

What LS is: LS is salvation by faith in Christ + works. LS is a formula for rejecting Christ.

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.

The Bible teaches that faith and works do not mix for salvation:

Romans 3:28: Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Since faith and works cannot be mixed for salvation, LS is simply salvation by works.

What LS isn’t: LS isn’t faith in Christ. LS isn’t the gospel. LS isn’t Christianity.

Are Lordship “salvationists” (LSers) saved? It depends on whether they have ever had a moment in which they trusted in Christ ALONE as Savior.

Either way, LSers do not believe the gospel now.

The false LS formula is: “Salvation” = Faith in Christ + U (½) 2*

* “You have to”

Common forms of “you have to”:

  • You have to desire a relationship with Christ
  • You have to want your life to change for the better
  • You have to want to stop sinning
  • You have to love God
  • You have to have your heart set on obeying Christ
  • You have to be passionate
  • You have to believe in your heart, not just your head
  • You have to confess your sins
  • You have to be willing to turn from your sins
  • You have to surrender your life to Christ
  • You have to commit your life to Christ
  • You have to show evidence of good works
  • You have to be moving in the right direction
  • You have to love your fellow man
  • You have to follow Jesus in discipleship
  • You have to persevere in your faith
  • You have to, you have to, you have to…!

—————————————————————————————————-

Following are excerpts of a Facebook interchange between Jane and a U (½) 2 proponent (LSer), in which the LSer reads, and summarily rejects, the truth of the gospel:

LSer: Salvation by grace is one of the bedrock teachings of Baptists. For most of us it is in our blood. I speak as a Baptist preacher’s kid, a deacon, and a frequent short term foreign missionary. Nobody does salvation by grace like us.

Jane: Look at the Southern Baptist Convention website “How to be Saved.”You will see 3 works you must do to be saved – none are biblical: 1. It plainly states that receiving salvation is a commitment before it even tells you the plan of salvation. (The receiving of salvation does NOT involve a commitment! If you must make a commitment, you are doing a work.); 2. Repent of your sins. (The Bible tells us to repent (change the mind), but never to repent of our sins – unless you are reading another version where that was added, so that is a work); 3. You are told to “confess Jesus as your Lord and your God – this is to surrender control of your life to Jesus” (If you must surrender control, then that is also a work).

LSer: …so a dispassionate statement of belief, with nothing behind it, and no intention to serve God in any way is all it takes…interesting belief. Never heard that before.

Jane: That does not surprise me. Most people have never heard the Gospel clearly explained. The Gospel is not about what we do for Christ, it’s about what He has done for us. If one thinks he must serve God in order to be saved, he is not trusting in Christ alone, he is trusting in Christ plus his commitment. Salvation is not a trade of our commitment in exchange for eternal life. It is the receipt of the free gift of eternal life through faith in Christ. If we could be saved by our commitment to Christ, He died in vain.

LSer: The difference of opinion is about what constitutes works. Accepting Christ as our Savior certainly sounds like a relationship to me.

Jane: Nope. Not a relationship, a gift. If you were to pull my drowning carcass from a lake, I may just walk off without a 2nd thought, I may spend the rest of my life thanking you, or I may drift in and out of your life to express appreciation from time to time. Regardless, in all circumstances, I have still been saved from death.

LSer: I guess the bottom line is that if you are going to define belief as any of us would, but commitment as works, we’ll never get together on this. Take care of yourself.

Jane: I’m sorry that you can’t let go of the commitment part. If you are even remotely curious, please check out the following: expreacherman.com, a blog where many articles have been written and biblicly supported regarding this topic, and northlandchurch.com, the website for Northland Bible Baptist Church (unaffiliated, of course). Dr. Cucuzza has an excellent video presentation of the grace plan of salvation.