Category Archives: Religion

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

Mariella, Sadly “Repenting” Herself to Death – Literally.

By Jack Weaver

Just recently I experienced an example of a pitiful case of non-Calvinist “perseverance” while witnessing to my Audiologist. It is an awful object lesson showing an ignorance of scripture and “following the leader” to hell:

Mariella, my Audiologist, is a sweet, early 30s, young Latino lady. I pray she reads this and “changes her mind.” On my first visit several months ago I shared the Gospel and a tract.. She said, “Oh, you are a Christian, here read mine.” Her tract was titled, “The Grace That Saves.” Great Title!! Since I could not read the fine print, I took it optimistically believing the title may be a hint of Biblical contents.

When we returned home I magnified the tract. It was distributed by Fellowship Tract League. They advertise hundreds of different tracts in hundreds of languages. It sounded good until the “salvation” prayer. Very dangerous false doctrine.

The obvious errors are highlighted in bold.

Please pray this prayer or one similar to it: Dear Heavenly Father, I know I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus died for my sin. [1] I am willing to turn from sin. I now [2] ask Jesus Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Saviour. I am willing, by God’s grace, to follow and obey Christ as the Lord of my heart and life. Amen.

[3] Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart. (Revelation 3:20) [3] Will you let Him in?”

[1] The Bible NEVER tells us we must be willing to turn from sin to have eternal life. That is a lie!!

[2] The Bible NEVER says to ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart and life as your personal Saviour to have eternal life. That is a lie!!

[3]  The Bible NEVER asks anyone to “let Jesus into our heart and life in order to have eternal life. That is a lie!! The heart does not have a “door.” That whole statement is a gross misrepresentation of the verse  Revelation 3:20 – which is plea by Jesus, asking for renewed FELLOWSHIP and to dine with the seven last days churches listed in Revelation Chapter Three.

Two weeks later on my next visit I handed her a great booklet illustrating that Salvation is a free gift, (“The Gift,” by Dr. Richard Seymour). She promised me she would read it and make notes which we could discuss. I asked her why she felt that God’s gift of salvation by Grace required her to turn from sin in order to have eternal life. Her answer, “I must repent continually to be ready.” Sadly, we had to depart to make room for another patient.

On our next visit I questioned Mariella further. Amazingly she said that she repents continuously all day long and before she goes to sleep at night. Then she asked me in somewhat broken English, “My father wanted me to ask you if you believe in ‘once saved, always saved?’”

I answered, “Of course, Jesus is The Savior. He alone saves eternally with no works on our part!! We cannot add anything to His work on the cross.” She answered, “My father says I cannot accept your booklet because it has false doctrine and is against the Bible.”

I was flabbergasted. As we left, she said, “I must repent, repent and repent all the time.” I asked “What does repent mean to you?” She said, “Turn from my sin, be sorry for any sins and bad thoughts, etc, etc.” As we departed, I left her with this thought, “I am so sorry you are not sure of eternal life, that you must torture yourself with continually  ‘repenting.’ Just remember, Jesus is The Savior. He alone SAVES!! Biblical repenting is simply changing your mind about Jesus being your Savior — and not your works.” She answered, “Yes but I must always be ‘ready’ by repenting.

This is a pitiful example of a person believing the false doctrine of repentance and turning it into her own personal “perseverance until the end,” and a father who is teaching his daughter the direct “works” path to hell.

I found her church in the Internet. It is a Latino, Charismatic, holy-roller, “healer,” works preaching mega church in Hialeah, FL. Terrible.

Please pray for Mariella that she may read this and believe the Gospel in order to have the peace that passes all understanding by trusting that her salvation is by Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Eternal Life — FREE- No Charge!! << 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

Dr. Tom Cucuzza’s Collection – NEW!!

Friends of ExP,

We are consolidating Dr. Tom Cucuzza’s Collection of works on the ExPreacherMan website header. We have posted all of his currently available works, his Gospel Video and wonderful PDF doctrinal files. We will post more as he makes them available.

We have just received Tom’s NEW color PDF, “Be Sure You Are Going to Heaven!” © (A beautiful color cover – suitable for an attractive Gospel Witnessing Handout.)

Please click here >> Dr. Cucuzza’s Collection where you may download the NEW article\handout plus his other works and Gospel video. Together for Souls!!

Wiki-Heresies Debut – Exposing Lordship “salvation” In All of Its Vagaries

We at ExPreacherMan take great care in proclaiming the Truth of the Gospel of Salvation by Grace Alone through Faith Alone in Jesus Christ Alone. We know the doctrine of Salvation by God’s Grace alone is Biblically verifiable and true. (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Such Great Salvation is absolutely independent of any Biblical mandate for a performance of “good works,” before, during or after a person makes that one-time decision to trust Jesus Christ as Savior. That is Grace.

Of course, every believer in Jesus Christ SHOULD walk in good works, as taught in many, many places in God’s Word  (Ephesians 2:10), but there is no redemptive power or benefit by doing in good works. God’s Salvation is a FREE Gift, by Grace alone in Jesus Christ alone, without work, effort or merit on man’s part. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved..”

Therefore, we at ExP have created a Page whereby our readers may visit and browse a list, of teachers, preachers, writers and organizations who pervert the Biblical doctrine of God’s Free Grace. We include  descriptions, evidence and (in most cases) links to those whom we discuss.

The link has a permanent place as the last line of several links on our Header at ExPreacherMan. It is easy to find. We invite you to visit:

Wiki-Hweresies << Click

Always remember, Eternal Life is a FREE Gift

Lordship “Salvation” Icon Kirk Cameron, Promotes Calvin’s Geneva Bible and Teams Up With Liberty University.

CameronKirk Cameron

By Jack Weaver

If we thought things could not get any “weirder,” we see that Lordship “Salvationist” (LS) and teeny-bopper Idol, Kirk Cameron is:

  1. Promoting the sale of John Calvin’s terrible Geneva Bible on TV and news web site like World Net Daily.
  2. Convocation speaker and now teaming up with Jerry Falwell’s Liberty (“Christian”) University (LU) in starting a “Christian Film Production” course of study. But this should come as no surprise since LU’s Statement of Faith basically agrees with Cameron and reads: “We affirm that each person can be saved only through the work of Jesus Christ, through repentance of sin and by faith alone in Him as Savior. The believer is declared righteous, born again by the Holy Spirit, turned from sin, and assured of heaven.”
  3. Teaming with Calvinist LSer, John MacArthur on YouTube about their unbiblical idea of the way of Salvation. I’ll not provide the link — but they both agreed that total submission, heart, mind, soul and body to the Lordship of Christ “is the only way of salvation.” Total apostasy!!!
  4. Cameron has been a long-time friend and compatriot of apostate “evangelist” Ray Comfort. We have commented many times about the terrible doctrine of Comfort. Here is one comment by our friend Holly Garcia: Link:>> Comfort- 2013/07/23 at 6:11 pm If there was ever any doubt about Comfort and Cameron preaching an accursed message — this will dispel it. You may follow the link for further excellent comments from our readers.

Friends, we as Free Grace Believers, must remain constantly vigilant in the face of “sweet, charismatic double-talkers” who pervert the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus:

“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

That time has come. We who know the Truth must preach the Word, in context, the Gospel of the Good news of the Death, Burial and Resurrection of our Savior (1 Corinthians 15:1-8) as His all sufficient provision for anyone’s salvation by Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ alone!!! (Ephesians 2:8-9) No more, no less!!

The TRUTH of Salvation

Southern Baptist Convention and J.D.Greear Promote: “The Posture of Lordship Salvation”

False

Lordship Salvation: The Devil is in the Details

By: our dear friend, John

A friend of mine recently brought me a parenting magazine he had picked up from his Southern Baptist church. He pointed me to an article entitled “Should We Stop Asking Jesus into Our Hearts?” The article was a series of excerpts from the book of the same title; written by J.D. Greear, lead pastor of the Summit Church in Raleigh, NC.

In reading the article, I was reminded of a couple of old adages.

The first adage isthe devil speaks with a forked tongue.” Greear aids and abets the evil one by mixing Biblical truths with his LS-slanted opinions and quotes from other shameless promoters of LS, including Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Consider the following excerpt:

In his parable about the different types of soil, Jesus spoke of a group who heard his word and made an initial, encouraging response of belief, only to fade away over time. These are those, Jesus explained, who hear the gospel and respond positively to it—pray the prayer, walk the aisle, get baptized, or do whatever new converts in your church do. They remain in the church for a period of time. But they do not endure when the sun of persecution comes out and will not in the end be saved.”

Jesus did not say that these people “will not in the end by saved.” Those are Greear’s words, and they reflect an LS orientation. That LS orientation is corroborated by the following quote, which reveals Greear’s belief in the Calvinist/LS false doctrine of “perseverance of the saints”:

The apostle John almost always talks about “believing” in the present tense because it is something we do continually, not something we did once in the past…The posture begins at a moment, but it persists for a lifetime.”

Which brings us to our second adage:The devil is in the details.”

Like virtually all Lordship “Salvationists”, Greear pays lip service to belief in the Gospel, but then betrays that belief by what else he says.

First, the lip service:

Salvation is not given because you prayed a prayer correctly, but because you have leaned the hopes of your soul on the finished work of Christ.”

Then, the betraying twist:

Repentance means understanding that Jesus is Lord and that you have lived in cosmic treason to him and reversing your direction based on that.”

Greear’s definition of repentance to include “reversing your direction” is code for turning from sins for salvation, making Christ Lord of your life for salvation, and so on. He repeatedly uses the term “posture” toward Christ (I counted at least six) as a way of expressing this flawed belief system. The word posture is never used in the New Testament.

As a follow-up, I read Trevin Wax’s interview with Greear, from January 31, 2013. Following is a telling quote:

Disciples of Jesus are the ones who are saved; not those who go through a ritual.”

And from Mark Driscoll’s interview with Greear from March 26, 2013:

“…I would ask them if their present posture is one of submission to Christ’s Lordship and trust in his finished work. If so, they are saved, even if they don’t remember the prayer or the moment they got into that posture.

Second, I would ask them to consider whether the signs of eternal life are present in them. As John explains so thoroughly in 1 John, conversion does not bring sinless perfection, but it does begin to make fundamental changes in the human heart.”

Greear reveals, with these comments, his errant belief that discipleship and evidence of a changed life are requirements for salvation.

My friend who brought me Greear’s article did not buy into it. But, the article is indicative of the kinds of false information that millions of people are being fed in their churches every week. In fact, Greear has received glowing recommendations from a veritable “who’s who” of Lordship “salvationists”, and is a prominent leader in the Southern Baptist Convention.

We must pray for those who preach the gospel faithfully, and be vigilant in exposing false doctrine and false teachers.

God’s Guarantee of ETERNAL Life << Clivk

John MacArthur Speaks on Predestination: A Rebuttal

photo

John MacArthur Speaks on Predestination Question:

A Grace-Based Rebuttal

Source of the MacArthur Interview: Shepherdsconference.org, 2010, Media, General Session 5, an Interview with John MacArthur
Johnny Mac
Introductory Comments:
Generally speaking, when I review an article or interview, I will select several salient statements upon which to comment. This methodology usually works well, but, at times individuals have made the accusation that the writer’s or speaker’s statements have been misquoted or taken out of context. In order to head off this dodge, I have chosen to print the MacArthur interview on the subject, “The Question of Predestination,” in its entirety. My brief, clearly-labeled comments or responses to MacArthur’s open questions and statements will be inserted throughout the text of the interview; they will be in [brackets].

Note: To view the article in its entirety, go to:

http://califgracer.wordpress.com/

John MacArthur on Predestination:

A Grace-Based Rebuttal

Source of the MacArthur Interview: Shepherdsconference.org, 2010, Media, General Session 5, an Interview with John MacArthur

[Interspersed with bracketed comments]

Question posed to MacArthur:

“Why witness? How do we tell people that God loves them and that Jesus Christ did not die for them? Or do we tell them that?
[Inserted comment: A great question posed to John MacArthur. I have often myself asked Calvinists a similar question: "If God's got it all slated as to who gets to go to heaven and who must go to hell, and the individual has abolutely no say in the matter, then, WHY HAVE MISSIONS?" To date, I have never heard anyone give a logical biblical answer to that question. Let's see whether John MacArthur will be the first] . . . .

MacArthur answers:

Well, you tell them whatever the Bible tells you to tell them. And the Bible tells you to go into the world and preach the gospel to every creature. That’s what you do because that’s what the Scripture says.”

[Inserted Comment: Right so far, John: Mark 16:15. And verse 16 tells why Jesus commanded the preaching of the gospel (the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, 1 Cor. 15:1-8)---so people would believe and become saved (cf. Acts 16:30-31); he also warns that those who refuse to believe (right through the point of death) will be lost (cf. John 3:18, John 5:40, 47). Christ Jesus would never command something be preached to the world if that proclamation had no possibility of efficacious results, i.e., if the individual had no ability to respond to the message in belief (Calvinists teach "Total Inability," the "T" of the Calvinist acronym "TULIP," that is, that men and women are completely dead in their sins and have absolutely no ability to respond in believing faith to the gospel of Christ Jesus). In view of the multitude of verses that call people to believe and thus be saved, e.g., John 3:16-18; Acts 16:30-31; John 5:24; John 6:29, 40; John 7:37-38 (ALL are welcome); John 11:25-26, this (Calvinist) teaching is UNBIBLICAL and illogical.]

MacArthur continues: “Any tension you have between that and the doctrine of divine election and predestination; any tension you feel in those areas, I feel. I feel the same tension. I ask the same question. I don’t know that there’s some kind of quick answer to the question. I am, however, happy to concede that God can resolve all things that I can’t (crowd laughter and applause). Really! I don’t expect the view and you shouldn’t expect of me to be able to unscrew the ‘unscrutable’ [inscrutable?]. Uh, you, you, really don’t think that I’m going to solve all the vast theological dilemmas that have existed since the Scriptures were penned. [Interviewer inserts, ‘Actually, some people do.’ (crowd laughter; then MacArthur continues)] Ya; the best answer to this question is, ‘My brother, I feel your pain’ (crowd laughter).”

[Inserted Comment: Really, Dr. MacArthur? The best answers that you can give are, "I feel the same tension," "I ask the same question," "I feel your pain"? Might it be that these issues are "painful" and "unresolvable" only because you view the Bible and the gospel through skewed Calvinist lenses? Christ called us, not to live in tension, anguish and fear, but in trust and rest in his finished work on our behalf. Matthew 11:28 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." ]

Mac Arthur: “I, uh, I’m not here to give you an answer, but, I will tell you this: I do not believe that Jesus died for nobody. I believe he died for somebody. And I believe he died specifically for those who would believe in him, and those who believe in him are those who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit based upon the eternal sovereign electing purpose of God. I think his atonement was an actual one, not a potential one. I don’t think that it was a general one; I think it was a specific one. I think it was a real death for sin. The issue here is the nature of the atonement.”

[Inserted Comment: Wow, Dr. MacArthur, you are speaking at a leadership conference at a question and answer session, and you say, "I'm not here to give you an answer"? Let's look at some of your statements: "I do not believe that Jesus died for nobody. I believe he died for somebody." Response to MacArthur: The Bible declares that Jesus died for everyone, for the world: John 6:33 "The bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto THE WORLD." 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 eternal life." 1 John 2:2 "And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of THE WHOLE WORLD." 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some me count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH but that ALL should come to repentance." 1 Timothy 2:3-6 "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who WILL HAVE ALL MEN TO BE SAVED, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who GAVE HIMSELF A RANSOM FOR ALL, to be testified in due time."

Yet, sadly, NOT ALL THE WORLD WILL RECEIVE his gracious gift (Ephesians 2:8-9) of salvation: John 3:36 (which clearly demonstrates man's free will to accept or reject God's gracious gift of salvation through believing in his Son, cf. Matthew 23:37; John 3:18) "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."]

To view the entire article, go to:

http://califgracer.wordpress.com/

An Admitted Lordship “Salvationist” Visits ExPreacherMan and Asks Questions

By Jack Weaver

A gentleman named Ryan addressed us here at ExPreacherMan by direct email, asking some interesting questions about our Biblical beliefs. With his permission we  print his letter anonymously as an article post. We have numbered his questions to make answering by number more orderly and have made our comments in between his questions.

We urge our discerning readers to kindly answer Ryan’s questions from a Biblical point of view. We have emboldened some phrases for emphasis.

Ryan, we appreciate your note. After reading your questions it seems, as you say, you are indeed a Lordship Salvationist (LS) and like most LSers, also a devotee of Reformed/Calvinist teachings. (Ref. question 6).

Ryan’s Note:

Ryan: Hello, I have spent some time reading various topics on here. I would probably be considered an LSer.
 

1.) Ryan: I think we agree that Christ’s righteousness is given to us once we believe in Christ as our savior.

ExP: We here at ExP know that any believer in Jesus Christ has His Righteousness imputed the very moment he makes the personal decision to trust by Grace alone through Faith in Jesus Christ alone as Savior. He is secure forever, and it is “not by works of righteousness which we have done” before, during or after believing in Jesus. Period. (Titus 3:5)

2.) Ryan: Where I am trying to find an answer on your beliefs, and where we may disagree, is on how we can have a hint of who is a follower of Jesus or not.

ExP: It is not possible to identify a believer by his behavior. We would be more likely to accept that a person is a believer in Jesus by his clear words expressing that his salvation is dependent completely by Grace through their faith decision in Jesus Christ as Savior. There are many who call themselves “followers of Christ.” Such as Roman Catholic, Baptist, Charismatic, Calvinist, Methodist, Church of Christ and “Christian” religions of every description, yet those mentioned here, by their doctrinal statements, are not depending on Christ’s finished work on the cross for their salvation. These religions add good works to the salvation message. Example: Catholics are some of the nicest, cleanest living, most charitable, good works folks I know yet they do not trust Jesus Christ alone as their Savior. They trust their church, the Pope, their charity, Mary and the priests as their means of salvation.

3.) Ryan: I don’t want to be the Judge, but doesn’t the new creature show himself as sanctification takes place?

ExP: The new creation or creature should show — but may not. Visible evidence is not a requirement for salvation. Every Believer has two natures, the new man and the old man, the righteous nature and the sin nature — and as Paul (whom we KNOW was a believer), said: If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. [19] For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (Romans 7:16-21).
.
4.) Ryan: Shouldn’t we speak warning (not condemnation) to those who don’t show change in their lives?
.
ExP: We assume you are speaking of one who has trusted Jesus as his Savior. If so, we should teach him God’s Grace. Let him understand that 2 Corinthians 5:14 advises us that it is the Love of Christ that constrains [compels] us to live the Christian life and to walk in good works, not primarily by threats and warnings. Part of that teaching can be warnings if needed. Such teaching should never be a threat of loss of salvation (such as Chan, MacArthur, et al) but an understanding of God’s grace filled discipline to a believer.
.
5.) Ryan: Isn’t Jesus Lord over all…even the devils?
.
ExP: Yes, as we see in Scripture, “The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)” Acts 10:36.  Jesus IS Lord of all, but without Christ one cannot submit to His Lordship, they are alienated and lost. Certainly one must believe that Jesus is the Lord God Almighty in the Flesh in order to trust Him as Savior, and in doing so they remain under His Lordship — whether they are obedient to Him or not. A lack of obedience and of “following” Jesus’ Lordship does not negate one’s salvation. Fellowship, “Yes” but salvation, NO!
.
6). Ryan: I agree it’s God’s gift to us to cause us to believe and repent by the power of the HS. Isn’t this considered salvation…when we trust in Him as our salvation? 
.
ExP: You said it is God’s gift to us to “cause us to believe and repent.” We vehemently disagree with that statement which is the  Reformed/Calvinist notion, from the “I” in the T.U.L.I.P, “Irresistible grace.” That is NOT a Biblical teaching. God’s Grace has appeared to all men and every man/woman has a will and a choice to either believe or reject Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:11) God’s Holy Spirit convicts every person (the world) of sin, righteousness and judgment John 16:8, and Jesus Christ draws every man unto Himself.  “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” John 12:32. Some will believe, some will refuse — but all have a free will choice.
.
 7). Ryan: Lastly, wouldn’t our lives change as we re-direct who or what we are trusting in?
.

ExP: A believer’s life SHOULD (not must) (Ephesians 2:10) show a change and he SHOULD walk in good works as he learns and is obedient to God’s Word. But that is dependent upon his free will and choice. We make a decision to believe in Jesus to have eternal life and then afterward we SHOULD make a decision/choose to serve Him. I understand your concern for those who might use as an excuse, “I believe in Jesus — now leave me alone.” Please understand this wisdom from a friend just yesterday, “Separate your concerns for a lack of behavior, works or service from the message of the FREE grace Gospel of Christ. The two doctrines are completely apart. (Romans 11:6) We decide to be saved by God’s Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ alone, then we decide to serve or work for Him — (or not).

Ryan asks: Please, just a little light on this would be appreciated…or a link that would help answer this for me. I don’t want to be divisive and am only asking for your input seeing that you are someone who is trying to be faithful to the gospel.

Ryan, Click on these Links:

Dr Tom Cucuzza, Secure Forever (E-book or hard back)

Eternal Life For You

Biblical Hope

Gospel Video; Cucuzza

Clear Gospel Campaign

Freed From the Bondage of Lordship Salvation and Religions

OUR REGRETS, by Jack Weaver:

We regret to say that the lady who was so excited about being freed from the bondage of Lordship Salvation and gave us permission to print her testimony here at ExPreacherMan has requested that her article be removed.

It is a tragic shame but she has succumbed to false teachers and no longer believes what she originally wrote about her salvation. She cannot get clear in her mind the true Biblical meaning of the word “repent,” A CHANGE OF MIND, in spite of all the scripture many of us have shared with her in personal communications.

We request that you pray diligently for her in her search, that she will heed the Truth of God’s Word and salvation by Grace and not by works of any individual righteousness.

Titus 3:5
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

Jesus alone is The Savior and He alone has done all the saving for us by His Death, Burial and Resurrection, apart from our good works. He tells us that we appropriate that salvation by simply believe in Him — that He is the ALL SUFFICIENT SAVIOR. (John 3:16-18)

God’s Guarantee of Eternal Life!! << Click

Lordship “Salvation” – Playing Hide and Seek with the Gospel

hide and seek

By our friend, contributor and commenter, John

 2 Corinthians 4:3-4:  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

How does Satan use Lordship “salvation” to keep people from believing the Gospel?

Following are some of my random thoughts on this question.  Please feel free to add yours.

False Fronts

 Luke 8:12:  “Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.”

Much of mainstream Christendom teaches some form of false gospel of faith plus works.  Churches that fall into this category are not really churches at all – they are false fronts.  Satan loves to steer lost people into these buildings of bewilderment.

Consider the following from the Statement of Faith of a large Southern Baptist Convention affiliate in South Carolina:

“Our only hope is God’s free gift of salvation provided through Jesus’ death on the cross. When we repent of our sin, place our faith in Jesus, and surrender to Jesus as Lord we are saved.”

Of course our only hope is God’s free gift of salvation by Grace through Faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8).  Unfortunately, by adding “when we repent of our sins” and “surrender to Jesus as Lord” as conditions of receiving eternal life, this church is not preaching the Gospel.

Note that the SBC mantra is “Reaching the World for Christ”.  This is not a likely outcome.

Playing for the Wrong Team

Closely associated with false fronts are believers who align themselves with them.

According to a March 27, 2013 blog in “The Christian Post”, the combined membership of the top 15 denominations in the United States is 62 million.  At the top of the list, with 16.2 million members, is the Southern Baptist Convention, followed by the United Methodist Church at 7.8 million.  Following is a quote:

 “…I have noted on a number of occasions how church membership, unfortunately, is fast becoming a meaningless number. Only the Assemblies of God on this list reported membership growth from the previous year, and their growth rate was only one-half 0f one percent.”

The real shame is that the membership numbers for many of these denominations are not shrinking faster.

Camouflage

 The Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) is a specific message that is unique in that it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes.  Countless false gospels have been created by adding to the content of saving faith.

In his article “Attaching Personal Righteousness to the Backside of the Gospel Message”, J.O. Hosler writes:

“…one’s positions on the millennium, the rapture, or the length of days in creation do not fall within the parameters of what is essential to personal salvation. If we take a biblical concept that is important and profitably true and make it a contingency of the gospel when it is not, we have changed the gospel (Gal. 1:6-9).”

Fomenting Dissension among Believers

My final thought is that Satan’s work does not stop once a person believes.  He loves to cause dissension between us by appealing to our fleshly natures.  He hopes to divide and conquer by appealing to our emotions.  This includes misplaced loyalty to pastors or theologians, hurt over perceived slights from other believers, and disagreements over non-central theological issues.

The Grace Gospel of TRUTH << Click

To Free Grace Believers, Sunday is Not “Easter”

By Jack Weaver

This coming Sunday, March 31, 2013, is not “Easter.” We who place our faith in Jesus Christ alone for our eternal salvation do not worship Ostara, one of the Nordic or Germanic pagan goddesses of fertility for whom “Easter” was named. It is not a day to celebrate with eggs and bunnies.

I must admit, before I trusted Christ as my Savior and even some time after, we celebrated the world wide pagan tradition of Easter — with bunnies, eggs and such gifts for the children. But now — it is clear:

Our celebration is the remembrance of the RESURRECTION of our Savior, Jesus Christ who showed Himself alive after He gave Himself to be crucified for the sins of the world (to pay the death penalty we owe). The crucifixion was three days and three nights earlier, just as Jesus predicted. (Matthew 12:40)

John 3:16-18

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten [born] Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name [JESUS] of the only begotten [born] Son of God.”

As a child of about six or seven I memorized the 1st verse in that series but never understood or believed it until age 35 when it was fully explained. Until I trusted Christ as my Savior, I had no idea that what we called “Easter” was actually a celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead.

It is important that we put those verses in context with these:

1 Corinthians 15:1-5

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if [forasmuch as] ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ [The Messiah, Savior] died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:” [and factually witnessed by many]

The Resurrection (not “Easter) is a fact and is vital to the Gospel of our salvation:

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

The Gospel of our salvation is only by believing it is God’s Gift of eternal life by Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. His Salvation is eternal – it is NOT probation!!

Let us be thankful and remember — this Sunday is not Easter! It is the remembrance of the Resurrection of our Dear Savior.

If you are not absolutely sure of Heaven, please read the next verse from the Bible, click below, read, and believe the link below and trust in Jesus Christ as your only Savior.

Titus 3:5
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; “

Have the peace and Joy of KNOWING:  Eternal Life is FREE << Click

Lordship Salvation for Kids? “Crazy Love” Lite: A Review of Francis Chan’s Children’s Book, “Halfway Herbert”

“Crazy Love” Lite: A Review of Francis Chan’s
Children’s Book, “Halfway Herbert” (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook Publishers, 2010)

by Califgracer

Halfway Herb

At First Glance:

Here’s a sampling of praises from glowing online reviews of Francis Chan’s children’s book, “Halfway Herbert”:

· “Excellent children’s book!”
· “great book for children of all ages!”
· “awesome book for kids and adults alike.”
· “a favorite with my children”
· “the book is great!”
· “an excellent book that helps teach honesty, integrity, hard work, and doing your best work.”

After taking a brief glimpse at the book, cover to cover, my superficial assessment was somewhat in line with the comments listed above. The artwork is attractive, bright and colorful. The narration is pithy with large letters for children to be able to follow along. The book’s layout is skillfully organized with artful interspersing of pictures and narration. The basic theme seemed innocuous, emphasizing virtues such as achieving goals, integrity, proper enthusiasm, and honesty. If my children were still young and I came across this book in a secular bookstore, not knowing anything about the book or its author, I might be inclined to pick up a copy. However, let’s investigate the book, “Halfway Herbert,” a little further.

A Closer Examination:

First, let’s look at the author of “Halfway Herbert,” Francis Chan. Chan is a former pastor from Simi Valley, CA, who now spends much of his time speaking at various conferences nationwide. He is the author of the best-selling book (two million plus copies sold to date), “Crazy Love.” He teaches and preaches a caustic, judgmental, all-or-nothing, brand of Lordship Salvation which absolutely decimates assurance of salvation for the believer who follows his teachings. For the unbeliever, his teachings may thwart that person from experiencing genuine Biblical salvation through trusting in Christ alone by grace alone through faith alone for salvation—Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16-18; John 11:25-26. This fact has been well chronicled at Expreacherman.com. See, for example, the articles:

http://expreacherman.com/2012/07/22/francis-chans-latest-speech-to-5000-christian-youths-questioning-their-faith/

http://expreacherman.com/2012/03/27/francis-chans-latest-pronouncement-failure-to-help-the-poor-could-send-you-to-hell/

Chan’s book, “Crazy Love,” could be viewed as a manual for Lordship Salvation teaching (a.k.a., Lordship Faith or Lordship Probation). In “Crazy Love,” Francis Chan concocts his own artificial list of characteristics of what he dubs, “the lukewarm.” In a nutshell, “lukewarm” means basically any churchgoer who does not live up to some lofty, on-fire, over-the-top level of service for God, whatever all of that entails. According to Chan, all of the “lukewarm” are unbelievers bound for hell. To read a complete review of “Crazy Love,” coming from a Free Grace perspective, see:

http://www.freegracealliance.com/pdf/BookReview%20ofCrazyLove.pdf

Since “Halfway Herbert” comes from the pen of Francis Chan, I would expect for there to be an emphasis on Lordship Salvation in the book. I was not wrong, although Chan’s approach was more subdued and veiled in this book written for children. Was “Halfway Herbert” intended to be a “Crazy Love” Lordship Salvation message targeted at children? The top headline on the rear of the book answers that question in no uncertain terms. It boldly and proudly refers to the book as, “The ‘Crazy Love’ Message for Kids!” I refer to the book as, “Crazy Love Lite.”

Content of the Book “Halfway Herbert”

In the book, “Halfway Herbert,” we are introduced to a young boy who has quite a problem: he does everything halfway. He eats only half of his meals; he brushes only half of his teeth; he does only half of his homework; he plays soccer only half-heartedly; he tells half truths. After we find out about Herbert, he experiences a minor bicycle accident, denting his father’s car, and then lying about the incident to his dad. His dad lovingly admonishes him and then uses the occasion to give him a Lordship Salvation type “salvation” message :

“Jesus doesn’t want us to love Him halfway. God doesn’t want us to live out of just half of our hearts. He tells us this in the Bible.” (Chan proceeds in the book to tell the story of a man building a tower, from Luke 14:28-30; a classic text used by Lordship Salvation teachers to try to prove that genuine salvation requires first “counting the cost.” In actuality, the text refers to the cost of discipleship, NOT salvation.) Chan continues: “This man didn’t just try halfway with his tower, and we shouldn’t follow Jesus halfway either. He deserves our whole hearts, our total devotion.” “But I’ve never been able to do things all the way,” cried Herbert. “God knows that none of us can love Him all the way by ourselves. So He gave us a friend called the Holy Spirit to help us live out of our whole hearts,” Herbert’s dad said. “When we decide to follow Jesus all the way, God’s Spirit fills up our hearts and helps us obey God.” “Can God’s Spirit help me?” Herbert asked. “Yes,” his dad answered. “God loves when we ask for His help!” So Herbert prayed, “Jesus, I am sorry I haven’t obeyed You. I want to follow You, but I don’t want to follow You halfway. I need Your help. Please give me Your Spirit so I can know how to follow You.” God answered Herbert’s prayer. Now he finishes things! . . . He also tries to obey what he reads in his Bible. He isn’t perfect, but God’s Spirit helps him.

Closing Thoughts

So what can we take away from our brief look at the book “Halfway Herbert?” Some would certainly say, “It’s just a simple harmless book, written strictly for children, which has a nice sweet innocent message.” But think about it for a moment. If the book is really what it claims to be, namely, “The Crazy Love Message for Kids!”, then, by self admission, it is a declaration of a false gospel, namely, Lordship Salvation. Did you notice that nowhere in the father-son dialog was anything mentioned about trusting in Christ Jesus alone by grace alone through faith alone for salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 16:30-31)? On the contrary, all you see is a call to striving, a call to working harder for God, for attempting to do your best—namely, a works-for-salvation approach—a FALSE gospel! And it’s targeted at KIDS! How tragic!

Calvinist and Lordship Salvationist Objections to the Doctrine of Rewards

 Contributed by our dear friend, John

In my day-to-day discussions with professing believers, I have found several that have never even heard of the doctrine of rewards (the Judgment Seat of Christ).  When I have tried to explain the concept to them, responses have ranged from mild skepticism (“why haven’t I ever heard of this”) to outright rejection (“that doesn’t sound right”).

The doctrine of rewards is clearly taught throughout scripture, including in 1 Corinthians 3:8-15:

Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.  For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Following are the top ten reasons I can think of as to why someone might object to the doctrine of rewards:

  1. Ignorance – most churches don’t teach it.
  2. Disbelief in the doctrine of Grace – the doctrine of rewards is in direct conflict with Lordship “salvation.”
  3. Disbelief in eternal security – works must be done to stay saved.
  4. Disbelief in the doctrine of assurance – works are viewed as either the primary or supplemental basis of assurance.
  5. Belief in the Calvinistic tenets of “irresistible grace” and “perseverance of the saints.”
  6. Belief that good works are automatic in the life of the believer.
  7. Misunderstanding of the two natures of the believer.
  8. Confusing the judgment seat of Christ with the Great White Throne judgment or the Sheep and Goats judgment.
  9. Belief in a social gospel – the thought of differential rewards for believers may offend the sensibilities of someone with a socialist perspective.
  10. Confusion between scriptural passages dealing with the gift of eternal life vs. rewards for faithfulness – belief that heaven is the reward (see number 2).

From Clear Gospel Campaign:

“We believe that history unmistakably demonstrates that the lack of a clear understanding of the doctrine of the Judgment Seat of Christ leaves a theological vacuum on the question of human works and divine judgment, and that this vacuum is invariably filled by a corruption of the gospel of grace with some form of salvation by Christ-plus-works.  Accordingly, we believe that the teaching and preaching of the judgment seat of Christ, although not in any way part of the gospel message, is nevertheless essential to the preservation of the purity of the gospel message.”

Eternal Life Free For You <click

Calvinists /Lordship Salvationists Set Up a Straw-Man Argument Against Free Grace Teachers — It Is Called “Decisional Regeneration.”

strawman 2

By Jack Weaver and our friend/contributor, John

We recently received a comment (which we did not publish) from a gentlemen who stated:

I am so glad you and your generation are retired! Yours is the generation that brought us the damnable practice of decisional regeneration. I thank God for these men [Washer and Platt] and their stance for the truth.

This was the first I had heard of the accusation, the pejorative called “decisional regeneration.” As I searched the Internet for the phrase, the accusation abounds… almost exclusively from Calvinists and Lordship Salvation advocates (usually one and the same) aimed at those who preach God’s Free Grace.

The false idea and straw-man of “decisional regeneration” is built upon the error perpetrated by many Baptists (and other) religionists who preach that one can be saved or regenerated by “coming forward to the altar,” saying a “sinners prayer” or praying a “prayer of commitment.” They then presume the person is “saved” and “regenerated.”

It must be clearly understood that regeneration does not occur because of an altar call, the sinner’s prayer or a “commitment.”

The Biblical truth is that one must willingly believe or have faith that the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is all sufficient and has completely paid his sin debt (which is eternal death – separation from God) and that his faith in Jesus will save him – give him eternal life and thereby he is regenerated.

It is not an individual’s “decision” that regenerates but it is God’s Holy Spirit Who regenerates the individual the instant he freely and by his own will places his faith in Jesus Christ to save him.

However, most Calvinists, and many Lordship “salvationists,” reject outright man’s free will in responding to the Gospel by either believing in Christ as Savior or rejecting Him.

The Calvinists say no one can make a decision to trust Jesus Christ as Savior because of their belief in the first two false and ridiculous points of their Calvinist TULIP doctrine:

(1) “T” Total Depravity (or better stated, Total inability) that man is so “depraved” that he has no ability to make a decision to trust Christ as Savior under any circumstances.

This false belief is soundly refuted by J.O. Hosler in his book entitled “The Baptismal Regeneration/Believer’s Baptism Debate”:

Lost man’s capacity to see the truth, comprehend it, and desire deliverance from condemnation, is not a saving virtue. But Jesus was presenting Himself to this capacity in man when He preached, performed miracles, rose from the dead, and instituted miraculous gifts in the apostles. Fulfilled prophecy is an appeal to this capacity. Satan is fully aware of this capacity and knows that he must work to prevent lost souls from seeing the light—In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them (II Corinthians 4:4; cf. John 1:7; 12:36).”

(2) “U” Unconditional Election — that God has determined from the foundation of the world whom He would “elect” to be saved.

The Bible clearly states that God’s salvation is available to anyone and all (John 3:16) who believes in Jesus and that God has not elected anyone to salvation and likewise none to hell.

Clear Gospel Campaign explains it as follows:

We reject the doctrine of “sovereign grace,” that God infuses in certain elect persons some divine empowering substance that will “irresistibly” impel them to faith in Christ, and that apart from this infusion, men are incapable of faith.  Faith is an act of the creature, not an imposition of the Creator.  And the drawing of men to faith Christ is an act of the personal Triune God, not a product of an impersonal Aristotelian substance…

The fact that not all men respond to Christ is evidence that they are endowed with a free will to resist the drawing of the Father, and to reject the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit, thereby calling the Holy Spirit a liar.

The Bible is very clear on the terms of salvation.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou SHALT be saved.” Acts 16:31

That is not something that we or our generation brought.  It is Biblical salvation.

Eternal Life For You <click

Pure, Simple Grace Gospel Illustrated!!

Dr. Tom Cucuzza

The simple, clear Gospel of God’s Grace — The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tom’s Church: http://www.northlandchurch.com/

You will never hear/see it any clearer.

3 Reasons Why the Gospel of Grace is the True Gospel

By Tom Cucuzza

The Simplicity of the Gospel

Words matter. God has seen fit to communicate with us through the words of the Bible. Therefore, it is important to understand and simply believe what He says.

As the debate continues to rage as to what exactly it takes to be saved, I wanted us to think about what distinguishes the true gospel from a false one. What do I mean? There are three aspects to this issue I want to mention.

1. The terms involved. Let’s define some biblical words. The Bible states many times that salvation, in the context of this article I mean eternal deliverance from eternal death to eternal life, comes through believing the gospel. Paul said in Romans 1:

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it (the gospel) is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

a. What is the gospel? It is the truth that Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, died for our sins and came back from the dead. It is well defined in 1 Corinthians 15:

1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Luke records this:

Luke 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

In v.10, “good tidings” means “good news” and it is the same root word as “gospel” in Romans 1:16 and 1 Corinthians 15:1. Also in 1 Cor. 9:16 where it says:

1 Corinthians 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

b. What is believing? It is the Greek word “pisteuo” meaning to have faith in, or to trust in. Simply put, when a person understands their need for a Savior, and trusts in Jesus Christ, believing that He paid for their sins on the cross and came back from the dead, that person is saved.

2. The reality of what the believer already possesses. If I already have everlasting life, then it makes no sense that I have to do something more to get what I already have.

Many times in Scripture it tells us that if we will trust or believe in Christ, He saves us that moment. If we are saved that moment, then there is nothing else for us to do to be saved. In other words, you don’t have to do something more to possess eternal life if you already possess eternal life. The transaction has taken place. You have been saved. Millions can testify that when they quit trying to earn salvation, but simply put their faith in Christ, they were born again. If this is enough, and it is, then that is all a person needs to do to be saved. Many scriptures bear this out.

Let me give some examples:

John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

The word “hath” means you have it now. If I have it now, and I received it by putting my faith in  Christ, then there is nothing else to do. I am already born again, a child of God, adopted into the family of God, I possess eternal life, I have an inheritance reserved for me, etc, etc.

Put another way, if trusting in Christ “did the job” then the job is done! Look at these verses:

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.

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.

Notice that if you believe you are not condemned. John 5:24 says that passing from death to life is a one way door, and it is only by believing:

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.

Again, the one who believes “hath” or has, or possesses now, everlasting life. Also, “is passed” means “has passed”. It is a done deal. This is again repeated in John 3:36.

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

We see the same truth in Acts 16:31. Paul and Silas could have told the jailer anything when he asked them, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”. They said only one thing: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved”. They did not say, believe and commit, believe and behave, believe and turn from your sins, believe and follow Christ. All of these things are good to do, but they have nothing to do with saving you.

My point again is simply this: If I can be saved by simply putting my trust in Jesus Christ as my Savior, then why would I have to do anything else to be saved? I am already saved! If this brings salvation, then this is the gospel, the good news. To add commitment, surrender, becoming a follower of Jesus, etc. must be false, because I have already been saved through faith in Christ.

3. The fact that there is only one message that brings salvation. In Romans 1:16, it says that IT (the gospel, singular) is the power of God unto salvation. If there is only one gospel, and by believing the gospel you receive, that moment, everlasting life, then any other message must be false. The letter to the Galatians explains it ever so clearly in chapter 1:

Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

“Another” is the word heteros. It means another of a different kind.

Galatians 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

“Another” in v.7 is the word allos, which means another of the same kind.

What Paul is saying is that the Galatian believers were being led astray by false teachers who did it with a different message. In v.7 Paul says that this different gospel perverts the true gospel. The word “pervert”, metastrepho, means, according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary, to transform into something of an opposite character”.

In other words, the false teachers introduced a “gospel” that could not save but just the opposite- it kept people lost and gave people a false hope. Paul has strong words for those who would add to the true gospel:

Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

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.

What was the false gospel? The false gospel that the false teachers brought in added good works to faith in Christ. This is clearly brought out in chapter 2-

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

How is a person saved? There’s only one way- by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

Ephesians 2:8 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.

In conclusion, let me wrap things up by giving a summary: The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ died to pay for all of our sins and came back from the dead. If I put my faith in Him, that He did that for me, I receive that moment everlasting life as a free gift. If I have everlasting life as a present possession, then there are no other requirements to getting saved, for I already am saved. Therefore, any message that adds to faith alone in Christ alone, is a false, counterfeit message that cannot save.

I can rejoice in the simplicity of the gospel and my eternal security in Christ.

1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

Tom Cucuzza   Voice of Assurance

Notes on Calvin and Calvinism: Was John Calvin Really a Calvinist?

A Possible Sheep in Wolves’ Clothes or a Hard-core Calvinist Through and Through?—Notes on Calvin and Calvinism: Was John Calvin Really a Calvinist?
.
Calvin or not

Sources:

Dr. Phil Stringer, “Was John Calvin a Calvinist?” Grace Leadership Conference, 2011, Quentin Road Bible Baptist Church, Lake Zurich, IL.

Kent Kelly, “Inside the Tulip,” Southern Pines, NC, 1986.

Calvin’s Commentaries and Calvin’s “Institutes.”

Introduction:

In recent years, there has been a growing trend in Christianity for people to claim that John Calvin, the founder of modern Calvinism, did not really believe or teach what is being taught by Calvinists today. Many want to hold Calvin up as some sort of an iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation while, at the same time, they wish to distance themselves from the radical unbiblical teachings attributed to Calvin. They claim that the Five Points of Calvinism, known by the acronym “TULIP,” were actually invented by the Synod of Dort, over fifty years after Calvin’s death, having little or nothing to do with what Calvin actually taught. Some even want to go so far as to claim that Calvin really taught a Free Grace gospel. Startling!

Who are these people, mentioned above?

1. “New” Calvinists. This group generally holds to the modern five points of Calvinism but stands against “double predestination,” sometimes referred to as, “hypercalvinism,” the teaching that God predestined some for heaven and some for hell (neither can do anything to change that fate). They claim that Calvin did not teach double predestination.
2. “Moderate” Calvinists. They hold to only one to four of the five points of Calvinism. Most from this category would object to “limited atonement,” (the “L” of TULIP) the Calvinist false, unbiblical teaching that Christ died only for the elect. Some “moderate” Calvinists also deny that their concept of Calvinism teaches Lordship “Salvation.” Some also deny that Calvin taught Lordship “Salvation.”
3. Free Grace believers. Now, this is astonishing! But, yes, there are actually some who hold to the Free Grace Gospel of the Bible who think that John Calvin was, in reality, a Free Grace theologian! “He has just gotten a bad rap,” they say. How naïve is this! I submit that those who make this claim have read only short isolated clips of what Calvin wrote. Folks such as this love to answer Calvinists by saying, “Well, even Calvin himself didn’t believe what you teach.” Frankly, it is an impossible stretch to demonstrate that Calvin taught Free Grace theology. His standard pattern of writing throughout his commentaries is, when confronted with a Bible text that unmistakably declares that Christ died for the sins of ALL the world and, further, when the Bible explains the Gospel message of God’s Free Grace salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, Calvin initially states what the text says plainly (Free Grace); HOWEVER, he quickly filters the text through his preconceived skewed theological construct, restating, contradicting and denying what the text of the Bible clearly declares. This theological filter appears to have originated from his background of being a Roman Catholic Priest and, for a time, a humanist. He also held the teachings of Augustine in the highest regard.

Was Calvin simply a moderate or limited Calvinist, a Free Grace Gospel teacher who has been misquoted, or, in reality, a strong Calvinist or Hyper-Calvinist? Let’s look at some quotations from Calvin and see what he really said.

From Calvin’s Commentaries
1. John 6:33 KJV: “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” Calvin’s response: “This passage teaches that the whole world is dead to God, except so far as Christ quickens it, because life will be found nowhere else than in him.” NOTE: Calvin’s comment here affirms four of the five points of Calvinism (T, U, L, I) and denies that God gave his Son to the whole world (while God’s gift of salvation through belief in his Son is offered to the whole world, sadly, many will reject his gift—Matt. 23:37).
2. John 3:16 KJV: “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.” Calvin’s response: Calvin begins by acknowledging the clear meaning of the verse, but then quickly reverses his position: Calvin: “Let us remember, on the other hand, that while life is promised universally to all who believe in Christ, still faith is not common to all. For Christ is made known and held out to the view of all, but the elect alone are they whose eyes God opens, that they may seek him by faith.” Additionally, Calvin said, “We must not assume that ‘the world’ means every single individual human being, ‘world’ refers to those who have the capacity and ability to believe.” NOTE: Calvin affirms in this statement, unconditional election, limited atonement and irresistible grace (U, L and I of the Calvinist acronym TULIP). Dr. Phil Stringer relates further that Calvin repeatedly says throughout his Commentaries that “all,” or, “the world” mean, to him, all kinds of human beings, some out of each class or race of people, or ranks of life, not every human being. Calvin, thereby, attempts to dodge the clear straightforward meaning of “all” or “all the world,” in Scripture, as meaning EVERYONE. As Dr. Stringer put it so aptly, “Even a child can understand that all means ALL.”
3. Matthew 23:37 KJV: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Calvin’s response: “Again, when the sophists seize on this passage, to prove free will, and to set aside the secret predestination of God, the answer is easy. God wills to gather all men, say they; and therefore all are at liberty to come, and their will does not depend on the election of God. I reply: The will of God, which is here mentioned, must be judged from the result. For since by his word he calls all men indiscriminately to salvation, and since the end of preaching is, that all should betake themselves to his guardianship and protection, it may justly be said that he wills to gather all to himself. It is not, therefore, the secret purpose of God, but his will, which is manifested by the nature of the word, that is here described; for, undoubtedly, whomsoever he efficaciously wills to gather, he inwardly draws by his Spirit, and does not merely invite by the outward voice of man.” NOTE: Calvin holds to the classic Calvinist denial of free will while affirming the Calvinist U, L and I.
4. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Calvin’s response: once again, Calvin makes an initial affirmation of what the verse plainly states, but he quickly denies his affirmation with the following statement, “But it may be asked, If God wishes none to perish, why is it that so many do perish? To this my answer is, that no mention is here made of the hidden purpose of God, according to which the reprobate are doomed to their own ruin, but only of his will as made known to us in the gospel. For God there stretches forth his hand without a difference to all, but lays hold only of those, to lead them to himself, whom he has chosen before the foundation of the world.” Comment: Calvin clearly twists the clear meaning of the text, pushing his notion of limited atonement.
5. 1 John 2:2 KJV: “And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Calvin’s response: “Here a question may be raised, how have the sins of the whole world been expiated? I pass by the dotages of the fanatics, who under this pretense extend salvation to all the reprobate, and therefore to Satan himself. Such a monstrous thing deserves no refutation. . . . It seems to me that the Apostle is to be understood as speaking only of all those who believe, whether Jews or Gentiles, over the whole world. Then under the word all or whole, he does not include the reprobate, but designates those who should believe as well as those who were then scattered through various parts of the world.” Once again, Calvin denies the simple straightforward message of 1 John 2:2, while pushing his own theological platform of limited atonement.
6. James 2:17 KJV: “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” Calvin remarks, “He [James] says that faith is dead, being by itself, that is, when destitute of good works. We hence conclude that it is indeed no faith, for when dead, it does not properly retain the name.” James 2:18 KJV: “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works; shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” Calvin’s response: “Shew me by works thy faith; for since it is not an idle thing, it must necessarily be proved by works. The meaning then is, Unless thy faith brings forth fruits, I deny that thou hast any faith. This verse is a key to the meaning of James: faith is to be proved by works; then faith properly justifies and saves, and works prove its genuineness.” COMMENT: Calvin makes the standard error of Lordship “Salvation” teachers in misinterpreting James. James’ epistle clearly speaks to believers about the quality of their faith, NOT the reality of faith. Calvin unmistakably declares the Calvinist teaching of perseverance, the “P” of the Calvinist TULIP. Calvinist perseverance is nothing other than the false teaching of Lordship “Salvation.” For a detailed look at this subject, see Dr. Tom Cucuzza’s outstanding book, “Secure Forever! God’s Promise or Our Perseverance,” St. Cloud, MN: Xulon Press, 2008 (see the link on the right column of Expreacherman.com).
7. Finally, if there were any doubt left in anyone’s mind about where Calvin stood on what is known today as, “Calvinism,” look at this main title in Calvin’s “Institutes” section dealing with the subject of predestination. The title itself leaves no doubt on Calvin’s position: “Of the Eternal Election by Which God has Predestined Some to Salvation and Others Predestination in Hell.” This title and statement of his position, declares Calvin to be, not only a Calvinist, but a HYPERCALVINIST!

Lordship “Salvation” Authors/Speakers Francis Chan and David Platt Team Up to Create the “Multiply” Discipleship Movement

discipleship

Francis Chan, author of best-selling book, “Crazy Love,” and David Platt, author of the book “Radical,” haved teamed up to form a new movement called, “Multiply.”

On the face of this undertaking, the motivation may seem harmless, perhaps even noble—to motivate, to encourage, to enable people to make disciples. But we must analyze this situation more deeply by asking a couple of pertinent questions:

What happened to the gospel? The Bible declares that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16-18; Acts 16:30-31). Why is it that this new “movement” pushes discipleship but not salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone?

Make disciples of whom or of what theology? A disciple is simply a “follower.” But whom or what are people being asked to follow? Buddhists have their disciples (followers); so do Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. Promoters of Lordship “Salvation” have their disciples too.

As I read through some of the materials on the “Multiplymovement.com” website, it became quickly obvious that the “discipleship” principle being promoted was the standard radical Lordship “salvation” agenda which David Platt and Francis Chan have pushed for years through their radical LS books, videos, sermons and articles.

Here are a few excerpts from the Multiplymovement.com website:

From Part I, # 1, page 1, “What is a Disciple?”:

“It’s impossible to be a disciple or a follower of someone and not end up like that person. . . . Yet somehow many have come to believe that a person can be a ‘Christian’ without being like Christ. A ‘follower’ who doesn’t follow. How does that make any sense? Many people in the church have decided to take on the name of Christ and nothing else. This would be like Jesus walking up to those first disciples and saying, ‘Hey, would you guys mind identifying yourselves with Me in some way? Don’t worry, I don’t actually care if you do anything I do or change your lifestyle at all. I’m just looking for people who are willing to say they believe in Me and call themselves Christians.”

Comment: Standard Lordship Faith caricature of Free Grace theology.

From Part I, # 2, page 2, “How Do I Become a Disciple?”:

“The word repent means ‘to turn.’ It has the idea of changing direction and heading the opposite way. It involves action. . . . Jesus says we need to repent. This implies that we all need to turn from the way we are currently thinking and living.”

Comment: Standard Lordship Faith “salvation” message of “turning from one’s sins” and performing some kind of action in order to be saved. For LSers, believing in Christ alone by grace alone through faith alone is not meritorious enough, i.e., it is not sufficient to save a person from his sins.

From Part I, # 3, page 3, “The Lord of Grace”:

“Salvation is all about the grace of God.”

Comment: Great! Why don’t you believe it?

Continuing from page 3, “But keep in mind that while this is simple, it’s not easy. Faith in Jesus Christ means believing that He is Lord (according to Rom. 10:9). Have you ever thought about what Lord means? We sometimes think of it as another name for God, but it’s actually a title. It refers to a master, owner, or a person who is in a position of authority. So take a minute to think this through: Do you really believe that Jesus is your master? Do you believe that He is your owner—that you actually belong to Him? . . . The problem is, many in the church want to ‘confess that Jesus is Lord,’ yet they don’t believe that He is their master.”

Comment: Again, this is the standard Lordship Faith misapplication of Jesus Christ as “Lord.” Yes, Jesus Christ is Lord God of Creation, Lord God of Redemption, Lord God of the Universe, Lord God of ALL; He is Lord, in spite of any puny declaration that one can make. We do not make Jesus “Lord.” He IS Lord!

From Part I, #5, page 4, “Count the Cost”:

“As you work your way through this material, you will be challenged to consider what it means to be a follower of Jesus. . . . But before you set out to teach other people to be disciples of Jesus, you need to examine your heart and make sure that you are a disciple. Read the following words from Jesus slowly and carefully. Understand that Jesus is speaking these words to you. Think about what Jesus is saying and how it should affect the way you approach this material and your relationship with Him. After you have read this section, use the questions below to help you count the cost of following Jesus (quotation given from Luke 14: 25-33).”

Response: This text from Luke is often cited by Lordship Faith advocates to claim that salvation requires a whole array of promises to fulfill, statements of commitment to make, promises of things one must give up (money, lifestyle, etc.), and the carrying out of these promises in order to be worthy of acquiring or maintaining salvation. This is a misuse and a misapplication of a Scripture that has nothing to do with salvation; furthermore, it is a denial of the multitude of Scriptures that declare that salvation is completely a gift of God by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. There are NO STRINGS ATTACHED!

Can an Unbeliever Produce Christian Music?

World famous songwriter/composer/arranger/conductor John Rutter writes beautiful Christmas music. For many decades his pieces have been performed in churches around the world. The following piece is one popular sample:

There’s just one problem: From all that I have heard and read about the man, Rutter does not claim to be a born-again Christian, although he is not considered to be an atheist.

Listen to this brief excerpt from a Minnesota Public Radio interview:

“John Rutter: What Sweeter Music
by John Birge, Minnesota Public Radio
December 9, 2009
For their Welcome Christmas concerts this weekend, VocalEssence sings a tribute to the English composer John Rutter. One of his most beloved Christmas carols, “What Sweeter Music,” became famous in America when it was used in a Volvo television commercial. Rutter told Classical Minnesota Public Radio’s John Birge that it almost didn’t happen.

St. Paul, Minn. — For a composer who has created some of the most eloquent Christmas music, it may come as a surprise to learn that Rutter himself is not a believer, at least in the conventional sense. In that, he allies himself with another great English composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams, who said “I’m agnostic, but I wouldn’t be who I am if it weren’t for Christianity. It’s given me my values, and a strong sense of faith. But I’m a fellow traveler rather than a believer. ” But Rutter says that the Anglican Church remains central to his being: In 2002, Rutter’s 19 year-old son died in an automobile accident. While Rutter’s grief temporarily interrupted his composing, he retained his faith in the gift of life.”

Is it possible for an unbeliever to produce “Christian” music, music that will uplift true believers, music whose words can be honoring to God, music whose words may even lead one to Christ and salvation? What do you think?

Southern Baptists’ Fragile Détente: The Fight over Competing False Gospels, Calvinism and Lordship “Salvation”

SBC

By our good friend, John 

The Southern Baptist Convention’s long-standing cooperation between traditional Lordship “Salvationists” and Calvinists has been getting testy of late.

The crux of the issue seems to be the surge of full-fledged 5-point Calvinism within the ranks of the SBC and the reaction from the still-majority of SBC members who oppose Calvinism, but until recently have seemed willing to tolerate it.

The SBC recently formed a team to determine how SBC traditionalists and Calvinists can work together.  Following is a quote from an article dated August 17, 2012, from “The Christian Post” entitled “Calvinism Debate:  Southern Baptists Form Team to Figure Out How to Work Together”:

“There are extremes on both sides that have garnered attention and I want us to pull us back together to that group who say ‘I may or may not be a Calvinist but I love Calvinists, I love non-Calvinists and we can and will do missions and evangelism together,’ Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, said Thursday.”

This past summer, hundreds of Southern Baptists signed “A Statement of The Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation.”

Following are a couple of salient excerpts:

“For the most part, Southern Baptists have been glad to relegate disagreements over Calvinism to secondary status along with other important but ‘non-essential’ theological matters. The Southern Baptist majority has fellowshipped happily with its Calvinist brethren while kindly resisting Calvinism itself.”

And

“We affirm that any person who responds to the Gospel with repentance and faith is born again through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is a new creation in Christ and enters, at the moment he believes, into eternal life.”

The long-standing “Baptist Faith and Message” includes the Lordship “Salvation” concepts of “turning from sin” for salvation and “committing one’s life to Christ” for salvation.  See excerpt below:

“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.”

(Note:  Jack wrote a previous article called “Who Makes These Errors?” in which he commented on the SBC errant statement as follows: “…salvation is not by turning from sin nor by committing our ‘entire personality to Him as Lord’”). Link is: 

The sad part of the whole debate is that neither side is defending the REAL GOSPEL, which is salvation by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

Lordship “Salvation”, also known as “bi-lateral contract salvation” and Calvinism are both based on the same theological roots.  According to the “Grace Chart” that accompanies “The Gospel” by Ron Shea:

“Bilateral contract salvation” and the “Perseverance of the Saints” are two separate but interrelated doctrines within a complex theological system of salvation by works, which relies, at its core, on redefining the word “grace” as some sort of mystical empowering substance. This theological system is set forth in Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, Part 1 of the Second Part, Questions 109-114, “Treatise of Grace,” a 12th century manifesto of Roman Catholic Theology. In Protestantism, it is known as “Reformed Theology” or “Calvinism”.

The SBC, which is the largest Protestant denomination in the US, is now an amalgam of Lordship “Salvationists”, Calvinists and believers who lack the Biblical discernment, courage or good sense to disassociate from the SBC.

Eternal Life is Not Complicated But FREE

Latest on New Calvinist Timothy Keller: Timothy Keller in Interview Stumbles Over the Gospel; Speculates That There is a “Trap Door” to Heaven

See Interview of New Calvinist author and PCA Sr. Pastor, Timothy Keller (Martin Bashir interviews Timothy Keller):

Timothy Keller, widely popular author of, “The Reason for God, The Prodigal God” and “Generous Justice,” is also senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church of New York. He has endorsed the “Christian” Mysticism book, “Spiritual Disciplines Handbook,” by Adele Calhoun, a book which promotes contemplative prayer, labyrinth prayer, spiritual formation and inner healing. His church also teaches classes on the subject.

In the YouTube video (link above), interviewer Bashir asks Keller if Christ and Christianity is the only way to heaven. He asks Keller what is his view about other religions like Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism and what will be the eternal fate of their devoted followers. For five minutes, the seemingly befuddled Keller stammers and fidgets, dancing around the question and never giving a biblical answer, or any real answer, for that matter. Keller’s response to Bashir was very similar to Bashir’s interview of universalist Rob Bell. Neither Keller nor Bell could give any kind of definitive biblical answer about salvation, heaven or hell. Both simply sidestepped Bashir’s straightforward question.

This is how I would answer Bashir’s question:

Well, Mr. Bashir, it really doesn’t matter what I think about about the matter, but let’s look at what the Bible said and what Jesus himself said on the subject. Then I would quote:

John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved [Peter is referring to the name of Jesus].

Acts 16:30-31 “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth to life, and few there be that find it.”

John 3:16-18 “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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 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.”

What would you say if you were asked the same question?

.