Category Archives: Reformed theology

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

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

Giving Thanks for What and Why

By Jack Weaver

Realizing that ExPreacherMan is read and commented upon all over the World, this post will not necessarily be about the American Holiday, Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, the act and attitude is not unique to America but should be a constant thing for Believers in Jesus Christ all over the World.

Join with us as we itemize our thanks. This can always be iffy since many things for which we are thankful will be neglected.

Our friend John wrote a note to me this morning: “By the way, the word “thanksgiving” shows up in Psalms eight times.”

THANKFUL FOR:

  • The Gospel of our Salvation so free for the taking.
  • That God loved the whole World and desires that each individual in the whole World choose to believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life.
  • God’s Amazing Grace that saved a wretch like me.
  • That we have been given a choice to believe in Jesus Christ or not.
  • That once one believes in Jesus for Eternal Life — it is Everlasting and without end.
  • God’s everlasting, infallible Word that explains His FREE Gift of salvation so clearly.
  • That God does not require the Performance, the Promise or the Evidence of good works to accompany our faith in Christ in order to make that faith result in eternal life.
  • That our eternal life in Christ is in no way dependent upon our behavior.
  • That when we depart this earth by death or Rapture, we shall “ever be with the Lord”!
  • For the opportunity to share the Gospel of God’s Grace and expose those who would pervert that Pure Gospel.
  • And so many thousands more, ad infinitum.

And we here at ExPreacherMan are forever thankful for our  friends and visitors, some of whom have come out of the darkness of false teaching into the Light of the Gospel Truth. Your testimonies are a blessing to all of us.

If you desire to express your thankfulness, pleases do so in a SHORT paragraph or two. [Edited] 8-)

Thankful – The Gospel! << Click

What are The Motives Behind Lordship “Salvation” and Other False Teachings?

By Jack Weaver and our friend, John

Are we able to assess the motive of those false teachers/prophets who preach “another gospel”? Galatians 1:6-8

We can certainly assess and discern a false “gospel” message. That would be adding anything to the Gospel of salvation by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. If we see or hear ANY teacher, Pastor, CD — or read any books, web sites or articles that tell you any of the following are requirements for eternal life, “the performance of any works, the promise of any future works, or the evidence of any works,” (to quote our friend John), such are teaching a false “gospel,” which is no Gospel at all. (Examples: Repent, turn from sins to be saved, Turn or burn, make Jesus the “Lord of your life” or commit your life to Christ to be saved, persevere to the end, etc.) These are all Satan’s add-on to the precious Gospel of God’s Grace and totally pervert the Gospel (Good News).

We came up with at least four general categories of people teaching false gospels:

  1. Believers who still believe the gospel, but teach error out of a personal motive.
  2. Believers who no longer believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone (Luke 8:13, Galatians 5:4).
  3. Non-believers, who are counting on their own righteousness to get into heaven (Matthew 7:15 and Matthew 23:15).
  4. Satan’s ministers, disguised as ministers of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:15).

While the first and second groups are saved, and therefore eternally secure, all who preach false gospels are under a curse (Galatians 1:8-9).

To even attempt to discern the motives behind the person doing the false preaching, we must carefully analyze them, their behavior and their statements.

Following are some of the reasons that believers may teach false gospels:

  1. Ignorance or misuse of scripture – includes use of “proof texts”, always out of context, as well as use of poor or plainly false Bible translations.
  2. Sense of belonging – desires to be part of something big and exciting, with lots of structured programs for kids, etc. Willfully blind to obvious error.
  3. Respect for authority – putting the doctrine of men on par with, or above, the word of God.
  4. Social pressure – a desire to hold a position of honor, even it requires compromise.
  5. Financial allure – big churchs, big money, lucrative demand for books, etc.
  6. Family legacy - “my Daddy’s Daddy’s Daddy believes that, and so do I.”
  7. Eat the meat and spit out the bones “theology” – disregarding the Biblical warnings to separate from false teachers/teaching.
  8. Ecumenism – going along to get along.
  9. Fear of “failure” – desiring the praise of men above the praise of God.
  10. Hero-worship – reverence for icons of evangelicalism, such as Calvin, Spurgeon, Billy Graham, etc.
  11. Gatekeeping – They don’t want “nominal Christians” in their midst, so they change the Gospel from Grace to fit their own rules of behavior.
  12. A Feeling of Spiritual Invincibility – Failure to separate from false doctrine – as if they are not susceptible to being misled by false teaching – thus they let down their guard and find no need to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11).

It should come as no big surprise that non-believers also teach false gospels for many of the same reasons as those who purport to be believers in Christ — even so, each of them manage to slip in a teaching of Lordship “salvation” (probation).

If anyone claims to believe in a false gospel of works, we should take him at his word. He needs to be treated as an unbeliever, since simultaneous belief in a false gospel and the real Gospel of Christ is impossible! We should lovingly confront such a religious “professor” of faith in Christ with his disbelief. We must proclaim the Gospel, and if possible, show him from the Bible why his false gospel is false. The Lord does not require ANY works to acquire His gift of salvation – it is FREE. Grace and Works are polar opposites and CANNOT coexist as a means of salvation! (Romans 11:6)

The Only Gospel of God’s Salvation <<Click

Notes on Calvinism: Calvinism, a Rigged Carnival Game

Carnival Games
Remember going to a carnival as a child? Pretty fun; pretty exciting, right? I used to love the carnival games. So magical! So enticing! For a small price of a couple of quarters, along with a bit of skill and luck, I just knew that I could win one of those giant stuffed pandas, or a camera, or maybe even that alluring stereo set on the top shelf. Sadly, all that I ever won was a goldfish, a five-cent goldfish for a fifty-cent game fee. Rigged carnival games have been around for generations. Here are few of the most common:

1. Shooting Gallery: Air guns are armed with tiny BBs, air pressure is lowered and the sights are bent to skew the shots.

2. Land the Dime on the Plate: Plates are sprayed with silicone to make the coin slide right off.

3. Milk Bottle Pyramid: Lower bottles are filled with lead weights. Softballs are very soft indeed, being filled with straw or sawdust.

4. Basketball Shoot: Balls are overinflated; rims are undersized, sometimes slightly oval shaped and set higher than regulation height.

5. Balloon Dart Throw: Darts are lighter that store brands; tips are filed and dulled; balloons are underinflated and thick.

6. Ring Toss: Rings are made of hard bouncy plastic; their openings are only a fraction of an inch larger than the bottle tops on which they are supposed to land.

7. Sledge Hammer Ring the Bell: Hammers large but underweighted; carnival operator can apply “brake” as desired.

In many ways, Calvinism is very much like a rigged carnival game. For the Calvinist, some are prechosen to win and others are prechosen to lose. The individual has no say in his own destiny, no opportunity to trust in Christ alone by grace alone through faith alone for salvation, as the Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16-18, 36; John 5:24; John 6:29, 40; John 11:25-26; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 4:5. But in the case of Calvinism, “losing” involves much more than spending a few dollars at a carnival; it means spending eternity in hell, sent there by a whimsical Calvinist “god.” Yes, Calvinism is a rigged “game” and a very deadly one as well.

Listen to the words of Kent Kelly as he describes in detail the false “god” of Calvinism: a true ogre! (Source, Kent Kelly, “Inside the Tulip,” Southern Pines, NC: Calvary Press, 1986, page 59):

“The sovereign god of the Calvinist planned in a past eternity that billions of men, women, and children would be tormented in the Lake of Fire forever. he had no desire that any of them would be saved. This god was well aware that because of the sin nature received at conception, they could do nothing but become Hell-deserving sinners by the very fact of their existence. This same god said that the basis for their condemnation would be a failure to believe in the Saviour for them, and no atonement was made available in which they could believe. he sent forth people into all the world to command these billions of men, women, and children to believe in a Saviour who was not their Saviour. he commanded them to repent knowing that he had personally selected them to burn in Hell before they ever received their sin nature. This god of the Calvinist created billions of vessels of wrath fitted for destruction—commanded them to do what he had willed them unable to do—then sent them to Hell for not doing it. If this is your god, you have my sympathy.”

Lordship Salvation’s Demon Belief That Does Not Save

By Our Dear Friend, John

James 2:19: Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

James 2:19 is one of the favorite verses that Lordship “Salvationists” quote to try to convince themselves and others that one has to do more than trust in Christ to receive eternal life. Incidentally, you will usually hear them say “demons” instead of “devils”, because that is how the NIV and other LS Bibles have translated this verse.

When you hear someone raise James 2:19 as an objection to God’s free gift of eternal life through faith in Christ, you are hearing the voice of confusion and disbelief. You are a witness to the bad fruit of the LS tree. While it is true that demons believe and tremble, it is not true that this means that simple belief in Christ is not sufficient to save a human believer. Demons are beyond redemption, so the content of their faith is irrelevant. For a more compete discussion of this topic, click the attached link:

A Lordship “Salvationist’s” Prayer To His Prodigal Son

But, besides a demon’s belief, is there a belief that doesn’t save? Is it possible for a human being to believe that Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead and still not have eternal life? The answer to the above questions is a resounding YES. There is a belief that doesn’t save. In fact, there are all kinds of beliefs that don’t save, but not for the reasons that Lordship “salvationists” espouse.

Lordship “salvationists” believe 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. Some of the more common adages that indicate that someone might have been “bitten by the LS bug” include:

  • “There’s head faith and heart faith, and only heart faith saves.”
  • “There’s no ‘fire insurance’. You have to want to follow Christ to be saved.”
  • “A believer won’t be sinless. But, he will sin less.”
  • “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is not alone.”
  • “We’re not saved by faith plus works, but we are saved by a faith that works.”
  • “A true Christian may backslide, but he will always return to the faith.”
  • “A Christian’s behavior will change once he is saved.”
  • “It is disciples who are saved.”
  • “Believing in Christ isn’t a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card.”
  • “He can’t be your Savior if He’s not your Lord.”

Each of the above, and other similar expressions, indicate that someone is not quite comfortable with Grace. These types of statements expose an underlying misunderstanding of, or disbelief in, the part of the Gospel that says “Christ died FOR OUR SINS.”

The Lordship “Salvationist” does not believe that Christ paid the FULL PRICE for our sins, leaving us nothing to pay. He believes that Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection were necessary, but not sufficient. He believes that he must add to Christ’s finished work with his repentance from sin, commitment, or perseverance. In other words, the Lordship “Salvationist” has accepted Jesus as Lord and Helper, not Lord and Savior.

So, there is belief that does not save. It is belief in a false gospel of Christ plus works for salvation, more commonly known as Lordship “salvation.”

Can a person believe in Christ alone and not be saved? The answer to this one needs less explanation. The answer is NO.

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.

Eternal Life — No Strings Attached!<< Click

Are All “Christian” Religions Teaching Lordship “Salvation”?

By Jack Weaver

It is sadly evident that virtually every “Christian religious” system ever formulated by mankind (men and women) has veered terribly from those four vital Biblical Gospel points. All “Christian religions” now seem to contain the corrupt seeds, if not the full blown growth and fruit of Lordship “salvation” (LS) as the centerpiece of their teaching.

We here at ExP have written and commented on hundreds of articles documenting errors in organizations and churches, Presbyterian, Southern Baptists, Methodist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Churches of Christ, et al; and by teachers, featuring some of the more obvious and egregious perpetrators of LS such as Spurgeon, Francis Chan, Rick Warren, Paul Washer, David Platt, John Piper, John MacArthur, A.W. Pink, R.C. Sproul, Billy Graham, Al Mohler, Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, ad infinitum. (Find them.. search Box on the top right column >>)

We will take the liberty of quoting from our good friend, ExP Co-Administrator, author and commenter, Bruce Bauer, and our good friend, author and commenter at ExP, John.

John quotes from Clear Gospel Campaign, one of the very best descriptions of the not-so-subtle lie of Lordship “salvation”:the perversions of the Gospel of Grace is the performance of works, the promise of works, or the evidence of works as a necessity for salvation.”

We should use that guideline in our critique of all teachers, thus separating those who would twist or change the Truth of God’s Grace-Gift of Eternal Life in Jesus Christ alone.

John quotes further from Clear Gospel Campaign:

“Ultimately, however, there is no theological distinction between corrupt systems of theology that require works, such as water baptism, to be performed prior to gaining salvation, and corrupt theological systems that require the promise of future works in exchange for salvation. Any gospel presentation that makes, as a requirement for gaining eternal salvation, repentance from one’s sins, committing one’s life to Christ, making Christ the ‘Lord’ (master) of one’s life, becoming a disciple of Christ, and other equivalent statements that require a promise of future behavior is heresy.” (Romans 5:8; Titus 3:5)

We would add that according to God’s Word, the teachers pushing these false doctrines are accursed. (Galatians 1:8,9)

Another pearl of wisdom from John:

“Since the Bible unequivocally teaches salvation by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, I [we] can readily dismiss any teaching that seeks to introduce works (the performance of works, the promise of future works, or the evidence of works) into the salvation equation.”

And then John commends Bruce on his excellent article on David Platt which really gets to the core of Lordship “salvation.”

Particularly striking [is this] quote from Platt:

“To be born-again, one must repent, turn from sin and self, and believe, trust in Jesus as the Savior who died for us and the Lord who rules over us.”

[John’s] comment: This is really the crux of LS. Platt says we must not only trust in Christ as Savior in order to be born again — no, he says we must also “turn from sin” (works) and accept Jesus as Lord who rules over us (implicit obedience – the promise of future works) in addition to believing. This is exactly what is being taught by Billy Graham and the SBC.

Purveyors of LS have turned the Good News into Bad News!

Our message:

“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. 2 Corinthians 11:3

As Scripture says — and is frequently quoted by our good friend, Holly Garcia: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. [honest, suitable, worthy]” 1 Thessalonians 5:21

The Gospel is GOOD News << Click