Lordship Salvation’s J.D. Greear – The Situational Calvinist

By johninnc

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

In doing research for another recent post, I stumbled across an article written by pastor J.D. Greear, pastor of Summit Church and president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), entitled “Don’t Be A Fundamentalist (Calvinist Or Otherwise).”

Following are some extensive excerpts from Greear’s article, along with my comments.

Some people give such enormous weight to minor issues that the gospel itself is obscured.

Calvinism is one such issue. We only have so much “bandwidth” as a church, so I choose rather to be known for the gospel than for a tough stance on particulars of Calvinism that are less important than the heart of the message.

My comment: Calvinism undermines the integrity of the gospel. Each of the five tenets of Calvinism strikes at the core of the gospel message. The tenets of Calvinism are often remembered as an acronym “TULIP,” which represents Total Depravity (the false view that people are unable to believe without having been first gifted faith or regeneration); Unconditional Election (the false view that God chooses who will believe); Limited Atonement (the false view that Christ died only for the elect); Irresistible Grace (the false view that the elect are irresistibly drawn to faith in Christ); and Perseverance of the Saints (the false view that the elect persevere in some unquantified level of sinning less and doing good works).

The truth is that anyone can believe the gospel; that God did not choose who will believe the gospel; that Christ died for the sins of the whole world; that people can resist and reject the drawing ministry of the Holy Spirit; and that no one need evaluate his life for signs of persevering in the faith to know whether or not he has eternal life.

So at The Summit Church, I often say, “Calvinism is not an issue to me until it becomes one to you. But when it becomes one to you, it becomes one to me… and I’ll probably take whatever side you are not.” What someone believes about the finer points of Calvinism is not usually the issue; it’s how they believe it. We may have trouble achieving absolute clarity together on every one of the “five points,” but we can be absolutely clear on the fact that the Bible condemns a divisive and uncharitable spirit over something about which gospel-loving Christians have historically had trouble finding complete agreement.

My comment: This is astounding! I’ll probably take whatever side you are not is sheer devil’s advocacy. Whether or not someone has believed the gospel is the defining issue in whether or not he has eternal life. Greear may have trouble achieving absolute clarity on every one of the five points of Calvinism, but the Bible is crystal clear that all five are false.

Everything in the Bible is important, especially things that relate to salvation and evangelism. I have my own convictions. But we must learn to be comfortable with certain scriptural tensions, and live with grace and freedom in some places God has not bestowed clarity to the degree we’d prefer. As Alister McGrath says, the ability to live within scriptural tensions is a sign of maturity, not immaturity.

My comment: it is good that Greear has his own convictions. But, it is not a sign of spiritual maturity to be able to live with Calvinism. It is more a sign of the desire to appeal to a broad enough constituency to ascend to the heights of a large religious organization such as the SBC.

When you elevate your doctrinal system too highly, you become a fundamentalist in a second sense: you start to believe that all of God’s graces, or at least the best of them, are found only within your narrow little camp.

My comment: the gospel is not a “camp.” It is a message to be believed. It is incumbent upon every Christian to be firmly rooted in the truth of the gospel and to promote and defend the gospel in its purity.

Anti-Calvinism fundamentalism can be just as bad, of course. “Calvinists don’t ever share the gospel.” “Calvinists kill missions and evangelism.” “No one who believes in any form of limited atonement believes in a God of love.” “Calvinists believe in a different God than the God of the Bible.” These are all actual statements I’ve heard from Christian leaders over the years. How these people cut out Martin Luther, George Whitefield, Adoniram Judson, William Carey, Charles Spurgeon and Bill Bright from their “faith tradition” I’ll never understand.

My comment: Greear appeals to men, not scripture, to make his false argument that Calvinism is within Christian orthodoxy.

The gospel—not the 5 points of Calvinism—is the center of our faith. If you believe in the loftiness of God’s glory, that salvation belongs only to God, and that God is sovereign over the world, and that he that has begun a good work in you will see it through, then you and I can stand in alignment, even if we parse some of the particulars differently.

My comment: the gospel is the center of the Christian faith. I hope it is the center of Greear’s faith. But, we know that one could likely not become pastor of a large SBC church, much less the president of the SBC, by ardently defending the gospel against either Calvinism or Lordship Salvation. It seems more likely that Greear’s situational Calvinism is a window into his worldly motivations.

If you would like to know how to have eternal life click here: THE GOSPEL

Who Said That? Part II

By johninnc

This is a follow-up to an article we ran in 2015.

From Wikipedia: Who Said That? is a 1947-55 NBC radio-television game show, in which a panel of celebrities attempts to determine the speaker of a quotation from recent news reports.

The twin “emergencies” of COVID-19 and civil unrest have made strange bedfellows of politicians, public health “experts,” Hollywood luminaries, and prominent pastors. Following are quotes from various organizations and individuals that are attempting to influence contemporary society in one way or another on these issues. I thought it might be both entertaining and thought provoking to guess, and then to reveal the sources of each of these quotes.

I will publish the the answer key as the first response to this article.

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  1. Wear a mask. It’s so much easier to wear a mask than to wear a ventilator. Wear a mask. Social distance yourself, even from people you know and love. If they don’t live with you, keep your distance.
  2. I think we have to recognize we are in a very special moment right now that the answer is not just for this to go off the radar screen, go back to talking about COVID-19, to talk about world peace, the environment, … politics is going to be coming up here this fall. I believe if we miss this moment we would have failed in our generation.
  3. We know that, when you do it properly, you bring down those cases. We have done it. We have done it in New York.
  4. What we don’t like is when people protest against things that we’re not that upset about. Then we get kind of bent out of shape and we really don’t like property damage. That’s understandable. There are people all over the world that are being persecuted in ways that are real and violent and bloody, and way worse than losing your favorite Arby’s. So it’s OK, they had insurance, they can build a new Arby’s. Stop staring at what’s happened and look at the issues behind. Ask the question, what would make you so upset that you would be willing to do that? 
  5. Now as you would imagine, that was not a casual decision. In fact, back in May when we announced a possible August 9 reopening, the COVID numbers were actually moving in the right direction. That has changed. Consequently we cannot guarantee your safety and that’s a big part of this decision.
  6. And, oh by the way, let’s not respond by saying ‘all lives matter. 
  7. In any case, the important point is there is not one “expert opinion” from the scientific community on the coronavirus, from which it is “crazy” to depart. There are many studies and many scientists with many opinions. 
  8. I don’t think that the people posting ‘All Lives Matter’ should be canceled. I think they should be educated.
  9. Science says don’t wear a mask. Except that you absolutely should wear a mask. Even though it isn’t recommended by medical scientists using data from other respiratory disease outbreaks. But it’s still helpful. Or actually it’s not really, according to the Centers for Disease Control in 2017. Yet you should still wear a mask, or else. Who knows?
  10. This site is not managed by a medical professional and does not make any claims as to the effectiveness of the resources, suggestions, or other information that is presented herein.

We realize that during times of chaos and confusion people look for leaders and credentialed experts to guide their decisions. Having said that, it is good to be mindful of the possible motivations of those providing advice, or even premises that they may have accepted without challenge. And, it is always good to remember that truth cannot be reliably measured by popularity.

Lordship Salvation: SBC Leadership Seeking Unity

By johninnc

Hebrews 2:9: But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

As the world goes through its twin convulsions of the coronavirus pandemic and racial discord, the world’s religious leaders have joined in the fray, offering everything from medical advice to proposals on police reform.

While there is nothing to preclude any citizen from offering his perspective on current issues, many so-called Christian leaders focus on worldly issues to the near-exclusion, or even the contradiction of the gospel message.

Some allow themselves to be tools of politicians, helping to push the exigent political narratives du jour. Others get entangled with popular social causes. And still others are so theologically bereft, callous, conniving and logically inconsistent that it boggles the mind.

Standing solidly in the last camp is the cynical opportunist J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).

There was an article today in Fox News entitled “Southern Baptist president calls for members to declare: ‘Black lives matter’.” Following are some interesting excerpts:

Southern Baptists, we need to say it clearly as a gospel issue: Black lives matter,” Greear said. “Of course black lives matter. Our black brothers and sisters are made in the image of God. Black lives matter because Jesus died for them.”

My comment: I agree with Greear that our black brothers and sisters are made in the image of God and that Jesus died for them. Every person is made in the image of God, and Christ died for every person.

But, Greear didn’t think that the fact that Christ died for everyone was essential when he was making his climb to ascend to the top of the SBC.

In a Christian post article entitled “Calvinism Not to Blame for Southern Baptist Decline, JD Greear Says,” Greear made the following astounding claim:

 In an interview with the Christian Post last Thursday, Greear, pastor of Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, said it doesn’t matter how many “points” of Calvinism one holds because “Jesus gave every one of us the Great Commission, and if we’re not carrying it out, that’s just plain unfaithful.”…

“We only have so much ‘bandwidth’ as a Convention, so we should seek to be known for the Gospel and the Great Commission, not for a particular stance regarding Calvinism. What unites us is so much greater than what threatens to divide us. We are united by a Gospel too great and a mission too urgent to let any lesser thing stand in our way,” Greear said.

My comment:  One of those tenets of Calvinism that Greer references is limited atonement, the false teaching that Christ died only for the elect (those that He has chosen to believe in Him).

The horrific, false tenet of limited atonement would mean that some lives mean more to God than others. By extension, this would mean the only way that Christ could have died for them (the black lives that matter, or anyone else for that matter) is if He had chosen them to believe the gospel. This is a remarkable thing to gloss over in the name of unity. If it doesn’t really matter to Greear that people in his convention are teaching limited atonement, then it doesn’t matter to Greear whether or not they are teaching that Christ died for everyone.

Continuing, from today’s article in Fox News:

“And, oh by the way, let’s not respond by saying ‘all lives matter,'” Greear said.

 My comment: Greear’s advice to his congregants (and readership) is politically expedient, in the same way that his comments about Calvinism were.

And, finally, from the today’s Fox article, one of the other members of the SBC elite weighed in:

“It is clear that change is imperative,” Dr. Ronnie Floyd, CEO and president of the SBC executive committee, told Fox News in a statement.

“We often find ourselves chasing after the winds of our own preferences, opinions, issues, and social media streams, but we must reimagine a new future together built around a unified Great Commission vision,” he said.

My comment: Ronnie Floyd, J.D. Greear, and the SBC teach a false gospel of eternal life by works. There may be unity in their worldly false gospel, but it has nothing to do with the Great Commission.

A good summary of the false gospel of the SBC can be found in the article linked below:

Southern Baptists Hold Lordship Salvation All-Star Event

In addition, both Greear and Floyd endorsed the false gospel message of Greg Laurie and his soCal Harvest event. See links to articles below:

Greg Laurie’s Bitter Harvest

Participating in Greg Laurie’s Evil Deeds

While worldly religious leaders scramble to get their ducks in a row and strike just the right political tone, the gospel seems to take a back seat. And while man’s perception of his greatest needs is ever-changing, his greatest need has always been eternal life through Christ Jesus.

So, without clearing it with J.D. Greear, or any focus groups, and without fear of the cancel culture, I will state unapologetically: Eternal life matters!

If you would like to know more about the gospel click here: The Gospel

Note to Lordship Salvationists: Absence of Evidence is NOT Evidence of Absence of Eternal Life

By johninnc

Please note: This article is intended to promote and defend the gospel by comparing the incontrovertible word of God to shifting scientific claims. It is not intended to pick sides in suggesting what the proper public health responses are for COVID-19. 

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.

In the ongoing development of pseudoscientific theories about how to best deal with the public health threat from COVID-19, a trite phrase has come into common usage: The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

In the absence of solid scientific evidence to compel whatever the desired universal behavior du jour that public health officials, newly-ordained media experts, and political opportunists are promoting, the phrase the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence is somehow seen as sufficient. In other words, the absence of evidence that something is helpful is of little consequence if there is the chance that it might be. Guidance often changes frequently, with little consideration given to any possible negative consequences.

In diametric opposition to the pseudoscientists, we have Lordship “salvationists” (LSers) – religious “experts” who create false gospels by teaching that the absence of evidence IS the evidence of absence. That is, if the promise of good works, the performance of good works, or evidence of good works do not accompany faith in Christ, then that is evidence that a person does not have eternal life.

Unlike their perhaps well-meaning pseudoscientific counterparts, these religious “experts” override absolute, incontrovertible  proof to promote their false gospels.

The Bible does not teach that there is any evidence of salvation. Rather, the Bible teaches that anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

Lordship “salvation”, on the other hand, involves the endless search for evidence of salvation – even while explaining away the proof of salvation.

Here are some examples in which LSers override biblical proof in search of evidence:

Soil number 2 in the parable of the Sower

Luke 8:13: They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

The Bible CLEARLY and unambiguously says these people believed. As such, they have passed from death unto life (John 5:24).

This is is not good enough for many LSers. Consider the following quote from J.D. Greear, pastor of the multi-campus Summit Church in Raleigh, North Carolina:

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. 

Believers who do not confess Christ

John 12:42:  Nevertheless among the chief rulers many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

The Bible says these people believed. What other evidence should we need?

But, that’s not good enough for LSers.  For example, another huge North Carolina church – Calvary Church in Charlotte – has something contradictory to what the Bible says.

Calvary says that one  must confess Christ in order to be saved.  From their “Articles of Faith”:

We believe that all who receive by faith alone, Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and who confess Him before their fellow men, are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God. 

Demas

Philemon 1:24: Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers. 

2 Timothy 4:10: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

Paul describes Demas as a fellow laborer, but later says Demas has forsaken him for the world. Demas is a Christian who did not persevere.

What would the Southern Baptist Convention – a group of 50,000 cooperating churches – have to say? Following is an excerpt from”The Baptist Faith and Message”:

All true believers endure to the end. 

What does “endure to the end” even mean? Did Demas “endure to the end”? Was Demas a “true believer”?

LSers are so hung up on works providing evidence of salvation that they will deny irrefutable PROOF from scripture that someone has eternal life.

I will give you a couple of takeaways from the above:

Science

The argument that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence has no place in science. It is a refuge for those who expect you to accept their “scientific” claims without having met the scientific burden of proof.

Science involves the scientific method. From Wikipedia: the scientific method is an empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century. It involves careful observation, applying rigorous skepticism about what is observed, given that cognitive assumptions can distort how one interprets the observation. It involves formulating hypotheses, via induction,  based on such observations; experimental and measurement-based testing of deductions drawn from the hypotheses; and refinement (or elimination) of the hypotheses based on the experimental findings.

Please note: rigorous skepticism is inseparable from true science. It is not a sign of moral weakness, lack of virtue, or irresponsible citizenship.

Eternal life

The argument that the absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence is completely appropriate in terms of eternal life, since God’s word says that anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life, without reference to any confirmatory evidence.

Therefore, the argument that the absence of evidence IS the evidence of absence of eternal life is wholly inappropriate, and contradicts God’s clear word. This statement is at the heart of the false gospel of LS.

If you would like to know more click here: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: Spiritual Wickedness in High Places

By johninnc

Ephesians 6:12: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

From “The Billy Graham Library” August 1, 2012

We have just unveiled a new exhibit at the Billy Graham Library called “Billy Graham: God’s Ambassador to World Leaders.” It showcases Billy Graham’s relationships with United States presidents, as well as other heads of state and world leaders.

“When a President of the United States wept in my presence, or knelt with me to pray, or privately unburdened his concerns about his family,” Billy Graham once said, “I was not thinking about his political philosophy or his personality, but about his need for God’s help.”…

In the exhibit, informative panels share intimate stories of Billy Graham’s meetings with U.S. presidents, from President Truman to President Obama, in addition to encounters with world leaders such as Queen Elizabeth, Mikhail Gorbachev, Sir Winston Churchill and more.

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Billy Graham was proclaimed “God’s Ambassador to World Leaders” by none other than his own Library. Graham became an instant celebrity in 1949 when publisher William Randolph Hearst told his minions to “puff” Graham. Just like today, the press helped make celebrities out of false gospel teachers.

Billy Graham taught, like so many today, the false gospel of Lordship “salvation,” which at its core is salvation by man’s works. Please see below for more information:

Lordship Salvation Defined

Billy Graham: King of Lordship “Salvation’s” False Gospel!

Lordship Salvation’s Billy Graham Sets Trap

I find it incredibly hard to believe that God would have led Presidents and other world leaders to the spiritual deception that Billy Graham taught. In my view, that was no more of God than the other people who have taught false gospels to world leaders over the centuries, including those now claiming to influence leaders in the name of Christ. I don’t think it was any more of God than horoscopes, extraterrestrials or many of the “keep the faith” pieces we see in various media today.

Spiritual wickedness abounds in our world today, just as it always has. Sometimes, naive nostalgic views aid and abet deception.

A good example is the view that the United States used to be a “Christian nation” at some point in the past. This view is highly-speculative and likely dangerous. It has no scriptural basis and it ignores a lot of history. It also may unwittingly lead people into deception.

(A better way to describe our historical religious freedom in America, which is under attack, comes from frequent Expreacherman commenter Keith, who wrote in part: This nation was founded on the principle of religious freedom, which provides a climate in which the biblical Gospel can go forth unhindered to be freely accepted or rejected by its citizens as well as exported to other nations.)

First, a recent (70 year) historical look-back. This period is an illustrative example only, as it happens to correspond to the beginning of Billy Graham’s self-proclaimed “ambassadorship.”

Matthew 7:14: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

The above verse does not expressly rule out that there may be times and places in which more than a few find it. But, it does not say “except in the United States of America up until about the 1950s.”

In 1950, according to Gallup, 25% of Americans identified as Roman Catholic, 66% as Protestant, 4% as Jewish, 3% as other religions, and 2% as unaffiliated.  We can’t know how many people in 1950 possessed eternal life any more than we can know that today. However, we know that the Roman Catholic and protestant religions have been doctrinally compromised for a very long time. Church affiliation was more socially mandated in 1950 than it is today. It is likely that many of their adherents never believed the gospel. False gospels had no more power to save people in 1950 than they do today. Even though fewer people identify as Christians now than back then, it does not mean that a higher proportion of people in 195o were actually Christians.

The fact that US presidents starting with Harry Truman consulted with Billy Graham reveals that either they did not recognize Graham’s error, or they did it for political purposes.

In addition to the highly-speculative description of the US as a “Christian nation” in the 1950s or any other era, such references may unwittingly deceive people in the here and now.

First, such references may cause people to look back to the false religious leaders of bygone eras, such as Billy Graham, and lend them unwarranted credibility. Some might mistakenly think that if the nation was Christian in the past, then its religious leaders must have taught the true gospel. This could lead to comparing the doctrine taught by current preachers to that taught by false preachers from other eras rather than to the word of God.

Second, people may incorrectly assume that their false church traditions only recently became that way. We know this isn’t true. Much of so-called “church history” is likely no more credible than what we are presented with today.

Third, people may be misled to think that anything claiming the name of Christ is good, resulting in false unity.

Last, people may be misled into thinking that the false doctrine of dominionism, which often attends the false gospel of Lordship “salvation” actually “worked” once upon a time when we had a Christian majority in this country.

For Christians, the defense against spiritual wickedness in high places is the full armor of God (see Ephesians 6:11-20).  This guards a believer from the wiles of the devil including unwittingly helping the devil with his deception of others.

Please remember to pray for our leaders, including their protection from spiritual wickedness in high places.

If you would like to know how to have eternal life click here: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: Herd Mentality

By johninnc

Please note: This article is intended to contrast the false gospels being propagated during the coronavirus crisis with the true gospel. It is not intended to generate any discussions of political or epidemiological responses to the coronavirus, nor any conspiracy theories.  We also cannot purport to know God’s role in or intent with respect to the coronavirus. 

We will not allow any comments related to the above as those things detract from the mission of this ministry which is to promote and defend the gospel.

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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 unto life, and few there be that find it.

From “American Greatness”:

“Herd immunity” is a settled concept in epidemiology. It occurs when “a large percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through previous infections or vaccination, thereby providing a measure of protection for individuals who are not immune.”

 “Herd mentality,” on the contrary, provides immunity from independent thought. It protects a population from thinking clearly by spreading a spirit of conformity. It increases a people’s docility, thus rendering them more susceptible to the blandishments of usurping authority.

Herd immunity I regard as a good thing. Herd mentality, not so much.

The coronavirus outbreak and the resultant stay at home order has given me a lot of time to read and watch various leaders try to use it to their perceived advantage. Among these are religious leaders, who like their purely political counterparts, never let a crisis go to waste. Also, like their purely political counterparts, these religious leaders have their blandishments amplified by a fawning, compliant press.

Many religious leaders who preach false gospels have been featured prominently in opinion pieces, or human-interest pieces, that are haphazardly interspersed with news stories, thus undermining both the news and the gospel. Some prominent religious leaders have even had their Easter services streamed live by one or more national news networks.

Prominently featured false teachers have included:

  • Franklin Graham
  • Robert Jeffress
  • Kirk Cameron
  • Joel Osteen
  • Greg Laurie
  • Pope Francis

While each of the above teachers undermines the gospel in his own unique way, they are part of the herd mentality that man’s works are somehow involved in receiving, keeping, or proving that one has received eternal life. In this case, the herd mentality is the wide gate and the broad way that leads to destruction.

Following is just a small sample of their errors:

Franklin Graham: We have to repent of our sins in turn. A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God. You’ll have to repent…

I’m a sinner. But I’ve been forgiven, and I’ve turned from my sins. For any person that’s willing to repent in turn, God will forgive him.

 (Note: Franklin Graham is son of the late Billy Graham, who also taught a false gospel of salvation by man’s works)

 Greg Laurie: Jesus essentially said the only way your sins are forgiven and to know you will spend eternity in Heaven is by putting your complete trust in Him. And there will be tangible results to show you have done that…

You see, the outward change is often without the inward. However, the inward change is never without the outward…

Here are the elements of the Good News that we must believe and receive to become a born-again child of God…

Repent of Your Sins

To repent means to “change” or to “turn.”  It’s like driving down the highway, pulling a U-turn and heading the other direction. More than simply being sorry, it is a word of action. Many people feel remorse for their sin but never truly repent. Remorse is being sorry, repentance is being sorry enough to stop.

Robert Jeffress: Jeffress is pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas, TX. The statement of faith of his church is based on “The Baptist Faith and Message” and includes the following:

Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior.

By contrast to the above false gospel messages, the Bible is crystal clear that Jesus is both the straight gate and the narrow way by which one may have eternal life. Consider the following verses:

John 10:9: I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

 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.

 There is only one way to have eternal life. That is to believe in Jesus as Savior.

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.

 And, man’s works have no bearing on receiving, keeping, nor showing evidence that one has received eternal life.

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.

The above verse literally means that the believer in Christ presently possesses eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

If you would like to know more about how to escape the herd mentality of salvation by works click here: THE GOSPEL

Good News in the Midst of Coronavirus

By johninnc

Every day we are hearing of more and more people getting sick and dying from Coronavirus. Many will get sick, or have loved ones who get sick. Many more will face the uncertainty of job loss. Everyone’s lives are being disrupted.

We are all hoping for a cure, or for this disease to go away so that we can get back to normal. But, as bad as it is, coronavirus isn’t mankind’s biggest problem. Mankind’s biggest problem is spiritual separation from God.

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

You and I aren’t perfect. We have all sinned (done things that are wrong in God’s eyes) and can’t do anything to fix that. Our efforts to work our way back to God are completely useless.

Where is the Good News? The Good News is this:

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

So, He gave his only begotten Son –Jesus Christ – God in the flesh – to pay for our sins. Jesus took our sin from us. He made the complete payment for our sin, leaving us nothing to pay.

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

Anyone who believes in Jesus, and what He accomplished through His death and resurrection – that he paid the full price for our sins, leaving nothing for us to pay – has eternal life. Eternal life means that we are no longer spiritually separated from God.  God no longer sees believers in their sins, but sees them as perfectly righteous. Eternal life begins the moment a person believes in Jesus as Savior and lasts for all eternity. It can never be lost or forfeited, no matter what happens in our lives down the road.

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.

Anyone who does not believe in Jesus as Savior remains spiritually separated from God, and does not have eternal life. This does not end at physical death, but lasts for all eternity.

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.

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

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

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

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

John 11:25-26: Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

If you want to know more about the GOOD NEWS click here: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: Don’t Give My Regards to Broadway

By johninnc

Matthew 7:12-13: 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 unto life, and few there be that find it.

From Wikipedia: “Give My Regards to Broadway” is a song written by George M. Cohan for his musical play Little Johnny Jones which debuted in 1904 in New York.

Cohan, playing the title character, sings this song as his friend is about to sail to America, looking for evidence aboard ship that will clear his name for allegedly throwing the English Derby He is sure he’ll become a star at Broadway, therefore signing off with: “Give my regards to Broadway.”

Cohan, of course, was making an innocuous reference to the street in New York with his song.

By contrast, Lordship Salvation (LS) gives its regards to the broad way that leads to destruction.

In Matthew 7:12-13, Jesus describes Himself as the way to eternal life. He is both the straight gate and the narrow way that leads to eternal life:

John 10:9: I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

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.

The wide gate and the broad way that lead to destruction include any other means by which one tries to justify himself, including the pernicious false gospel of Lordship Salvation (LS).

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.

LS is the unsupportable and unbiblical belief that the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

Proponents of LS teach that one receives eternal life by believing in Jesus as helper, instead of believing in Him as Savior. In other words, they see Jesus as necessary for eternal life, but not sufficient.

Some forms of LS are more subtle than others, and their variations are seemingly endless.

Following are some examples of false LS gospels:

Franklin Graham:

We have to repent of our sins in turn. A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God. You’ll have to repent…

I’m a sinner. But I’ve been forgiven, and I’ve turned from my sins. For any person that’s willing to repent in turn, God will forgive him

My comment: Turning from sin is not required to receive the free gift of eternal life. The Bible describes eternal life as the gift of God (Romans 6:23). If turning from sin were required to receive eternal life, eternal life could not be called a gift.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:

To receive Christ you need to do four things:
1. ADMIT your spiritual need. “I am a sinner.”
2. REPENT and be willing to turn from your sin.
3. BELIEVE that Jesus Christ died for you on the cross.
4. RECEIVE, through prayer, Jesus Christ into your heart and life.

My comment: One does not receive eternal life by being willing to turn from sin or asking Jesus into one’s heart.

19th century preacher Charles Spurgeon:

Another proof of the conquest of a soul for Christ will be found in a real change of life. If the man does not live differently from what he did before, both at home and abroad, his repentance needs to be repented of, and his conversion is a fiction.

My comment: If a changed life were required to have assurance of eternal life, then the word of God in the John 5:24 would be a lie.

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.

Chick Publications from their tract entitled “God’s Plan of Salvation”:

 Trust Jesus Christ today! Here’s what you must do:

…Be willing to turn from sin (repent). Jesus said: “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5) 
”And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:” (Acts 17:30)

My comments: This is not God’s plan of salvation. It is one of Satan’s counterfeits. Turning from sin is a work. Being willing to turn from sin is an IOU for a work.

The above individuals and publications point(ed) people to the broad way that leads to destruction.

Christians should not give people who teach false gospels any regard. They should not be given a pass, no matter what their motives may be. They should be marked and avoided. The only contexts in which they should be quoted is to contrast their BROAD WAY that leads to destruction with the Bible’s NARROW WAY that leads to life.

Don’t give your regards to the Broad Way.

If you would like to have additional information on how to receive eternal life, please click here: THE GOSPEL

 

 

 

 

Lordship Salvation: Talking Turkey

By: johninnc

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

With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us once again, I found myself musing about the origin of the idiom “Let’s Talk Turkey” and thought I would look into it.

Here’s what I found at the website writingexplained.org:

Let’s Talk Turkey Meaning

Definition: To engage in a frank and practical discussion about a matter (usually a business matter).

Origin of Talking Turkey

This expression was in use by the first half of the 1800s. Its origin story is said to come from an apocryphal tale about a white man and an Indian hunting.

In the story, a Native American and white man are trying to divide some game from a hunt. The white man offers that he (the white man) can take the turkey while the Native American man can take the buzzard. Alternatively, the Native American can take the buzzard and he (the white man) can take the turkey.

These two offers sounded different because the white man reversed the order. However, in both instances the white man would walk away with the larger prize. The Native American realized this and said to the white man, “Now talk turkey to me.”

There is no evidence that this exchange actually happened. However, this story appears in multiple first hand sources throughout the 1800s. This seems to mean it was a popular origin story for the idiom.

This origin story, whether true or not, reminded me of two of the ways in which Lordship “salvationists” (LSers) misrepresent the gospel, and in so doing, serve to keep lost people lost and to confuse believers.

Lordship “salvation” (LS) is the unsupportable and unbiblical belief that the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

First, LSers present the gospel as some sort of business transaction that entails a lost sinner giving something to God in exchange for the receipt of eternal life. The variations on this are endless, but examples include:

  • “Repent of your sins”
  • “Turn from your sins”
  • “Be willing to turn from your sins”
  • “Put Christ on the throne of your life”
  • “Give your life to Christ”
  • “Commit to follow Christ”

Consider the following quote from the late Billy Graham:

Giving up something to follow Christ is not earning salvation; it is giving up what keeps you from salvation. When we hold on to something that is dearer to us than receiving the greater gift of salvation in Christ, we lose.

Graham subtly changed salvation from a “free gift” to “a greater gift.”  In this way, Graham suggests that what man “brings to the table” in exchange for salvation is but a pittance, compared to the greater gift of salvation that he receives in return (kind of like “I’ll take the turkey, you take the buzzard”).  This view denies the work of Jesus as being sufficient to save us, and changes the nature of Grace from being a gift to being a trade.

Here is a less subtle example from Steve Lawson:

If you want to receive this gift it will cost you the total commitment of all that you are to the Lord Jesus Christ. There are many here who think they are saved, but are not; they have never really done business with God

He will agree to terms of peace and surrender, but they are His terms of peace, not ours. His terms are this: you must love Him more than anything. If you cannot do this, you will meet Him in the final judgment and glorify God in your destruction.

Like Graham, Lawson denies the sufficiency of Christ and misrepresents the gospel .

These would be “evangelists” may have thought they were “talking turkey” to their audiences with these false messages, but they were really just teaching false gospels of salvation by works.

Second, like the white man in the idiom, LSers say the same thing in two different ways. This takes the form of either front-loading or back loading the gospel with works.

The following quote from prominent pastor David Chadwick is an example of this double-speak:

(note that Chadwick writes as though he is Jesus giving first-hand information)

Through my obedience, my Father has given me the final authority to execute judgment over all humanity. One day, everyone will hear my voice and appear before me in final judgment. Don’t marvel at this saying. It is true. This judgment will solely depend on those who have believed in me. John’s gospel repeatedly states this truth (3:16;5:24,25; 14:6). However, good and bad deeds will prove an individual’s faith. If good deeds aren’t there, it proves faith isn’t present. These people face eternal judgment. If good deeds are there, it proves faith is present and they are granted eternal resurrection life.

This pastor is encouraging his audience to look to their works for assurance of eternal life. The Bible does not teach this. In fact, the Bible is clear that one can have assurance of eternal life without waiting around to see if good works manifest themselves.

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.

The above examples of false gospel messages remind me of another Turkey-related idiom: Jive Turkey.

From Dictionary.com: A jive turkey is someone who is unreliable, makes exaggerations or empty promises, or who is otherwise dishonest. The phrase is so associated with 1970s culture.

Whether or not they intend to, LSers are unreliable because they run afoul (pun intended) of the gospel.

If you have been exposed to false gospel messages and would like to know the truth about how to have eternal life click here: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: A Case Study

By johninnc

Galatians 2:21: I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Below is a rather lengthy exchange from an internet article I read today. I would have generally relegated this to a comment under “The Gospel According to Internet Comments,” but I have made it a separate post because it is very instructive as to the subtlety of works for salvation that so many people confuse with grace.

The first commenter (varnuke) seems to be upholding grace, though he has some error mixed in. The other commenter (Frank Zimmerman) has serious Lordship “salvation” error.

The commenter’s names are highlighted in bold. I have also interspersed my comments in bold parenthesis.

varnuke Jim James • 2 days ago • edited

No matter how much I try to abstain from sins, I find that actually impossible as long as I live. “The thought of foolishness is sin.” Proverbs 24:9 (KJV). “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17. (KJV) My only way out was Jesus Christ dying for ALL of my sins, past, present, and future. Nothing I can do to add to that at all! PERIOD!

Frank Zimmerman varnuke • a day ago

Christ’s life needs to be in you though…otherwise you are frustrating His grace. “How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein?” Rom 6:2. “Awake to righteousness and sin not; I speak this to your shame.” 1 Cor. 15:34.

(My comment: This is a strong indication that Frank objects to the grace of God. Varnuke gave a comment that should not need to be qualified or rebutted. Frank seems uncomfortable with it. Frank also seems to confuse instruction for Christian living with believing in Jesus as Savior.)

varnuke Frank Zimmerman • a day ago • edited

When Jesus Christ died for my sins (as well as everyone else), He paid the price for my sins (past, present and future) so that I could become a member “of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” Eph. 5:30 (KJV), by placing all my God-given faith and trust in His sacrifice for my sins, which I definitely did not deserve at all, “. . . whereby [I am] sealed unto the day of redemption.” Eph. 4:30 (KJV). “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Eph. 2:6 (KJV).

I understand it the other way around. I need to ‘be in Him.’ not personally “working” my way into a false sense of being saved by claiming that I don’t sin anymore after ‘being saved,’ as if what He did was not perfect enough, and thus requires me to do something else (like trying not to sin, which is absolutely impossible in the flesh).

Eph. 2:8-9 (KJV) says it all. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it [faith] is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” And that “gift” of faith is a “free gift” of God. Rom: 5:15-16, 18 (KJV). Gifts are already “free,” by definition. And that ” . . . faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Rom. 10:17 (KJV).

Problem is, if a person claims to have “Christ’s life” in him, or her, that person still sins after such claim. Even a lie is enough to send one to hell. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Rev. 21:8 (KJV)

Not trusting what Jesus Christ did 100.00%, without the addition of righteous personal ‘works,’ wherein a person mistakenly thinks he or she no longer sins is nothing less than total self deception – usually misleadingly taught to them by some false so-called “Christian” religion.

Working to keep from ‘sinning’ is nothing more than evidence one has not placed their complete trust in Him, thinking their own “filthy rags” righteousness is also required for salvation. “. . . all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags . . .” Isaiah 64:6 (KJV)

(My comment: varnuke’s comment requires a very important clarification: Working to keep from sinning is not evidence that one has not placed their complete trust in Christ. Working to keep from sinning is evidence that someone is not currently trusting fully in Christ only if someone thinks they must do that to earn, keep, or prove that they have received eternal life. And, even if someone is not currently trusting in Christ alone for eternal life, that does not mean that they never have. Anyone who has ever trusted in Christ alone as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

Varnuke has also referred to faith as “God given” and has quantified faith with 5 significant digits (100.00%). Our ability to have faith in anything is God-given, however we must never confuse that with God giving us the faith to trust in Christ as Savior. And, it is the object of our faith – Jesus Christ – not the quality of our faith that is the only distinction as to whether or not someone has eternal life.)

Frank Zimmerman varnuke • 21 hours ago • edited

I know what you are saying is a popular version of the gospel, but what is missing is the death of the old man. There are two deaths required to save anyone: Christ’s death, and the death of your old man of sin.

“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me.” Gal. 2:20

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” Rom. 6:6-7.

According to Romans 7:1-4, Christ will not marry you (i.e. you will not be “in Him” and He will not be “in you”) unless the old man has died first…otherwise He would be an adulterer.

(My comment: Believing the gospel that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead results in the death of the old man. No one needs to turn from sin, or do anything to make that a reality. The Bible makes it clear that it is possible for a Christian to continue to let sin reign in his life, even though that is not God’s will. See Romans 6:12. Further, even knowing that the old man is dead is not required to receive eternal life. It is a forensic fact!)

Check also the object lesson of redemption in the deliverance from Egypt: the death of the lamb was required, and also the death of the firstborn of Egypt, before the Israelites were free from the land of bondage. We need to be likewise free from the bondage to the power of sin.

(My comment: Believing the gospel that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead results in a new birth of the Spiritual Man that does not even have the capacity to sin. Yet, the flesh is still with us in this lifetime, which is why we still sin. One is therefore free from the bondage to the power of sin by virtue of having a new nature. That does not mean that there is any inevitable change in the nature, extent, nor degree to which any believer in Christ will sin in this lifetime. Otherwise, the instructions to believers in the Epistles would be unnecessary.)

Your charge, that someone who trusts in Christ to keep him from sinning, is somehow “trusting in his own works” is foolish. Do you suppose that the Israelites celebrated their stepping into the Red Sea as the cause for their victory? They well knew it was the power of God working in their behalf. So will it be with the truly righteous man…he knows it is the power of God working in him, and not of himself.

(My comment: Believing the gospel that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead does not require trusting in Him to keep from sinning.  This is Lordship “salvation” 101!. If we were required to trust in Christ to keep from sinning in order to have eternal life, then we would need to examine whether we had turned from sin (which is a work) to determine whether we had eternal life. The presence of ANY SIN would negate the evidence supplied by the absence of all other sin.)

In Romans 4, the promise to Abraham is set forth as an example of the power of the gospel. Abraham and Sarah were dead within, they had no power to bring forth the son that God had promised. But they trusted that what God had promised, He was able to perform (in them). God gave them His life, and they were enabled to do the impossible.

(My comment: Believing the gospel that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead is not about “our doing the impossible” by turning from sin!  Abraham and Sarah were not enabled to do the impossible. God did the impossible. This is about our believing that God has taken away our sin, and that He is able to accomplish what we could not – our eternal salvation.)

You say it is impossible for the life of Jesus to be manifest in us. Therefore, you do not have the faith of Abraham. You are in high danger of accepting “a form of godliness” but “denying the power.”

(My comment: varnuke never said that it was impossible for the life of Jesus to be manifest in us. Frank simply put those words into his mouth. Then, Frank said that varnuke didn’t have the faith of Abraham, which means Frank has assumed the position of God. Finally, Frank has intimated that varnude is “denying the power” by asserting that sinless perfection is not attainable in this lifetime.)

______________________________________________________

We have received lots of comments and e-mails with doctrine similar to that set forth above by Frank. To summarize Frank’s error:

  1. Frank falsely implies that trusting in Christ to keep us from sinning is necessarily included in, or is the same thing as believing in Christ as Savior.
  2. Frank falsely teaches that to assert that life change and less sinning are not inevitable in the lives of believers is to “deny the power.”
  3. Frank confuses the fact that the “old man” is forensically dead the moment someone believes in Jesus as Savior with what one must believe in order to have eternal life. One does not have to know that the “old man” is dead in order to receive eternal life, and one need not do anything to manifest that understanding in the way he lives his life in order to demonstrate that he has received eternal life.
  4. Frank falsely insinuates that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead in order to enable us to earn eternal life.

If you have made, or heard, similar “frank arguments”, and would like to know the truth about how to have eternal life click here: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: “The Harris Poll”

By johninnc

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.

According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, one of the definitions of “poll” is as follows:

 aa questioning or canvassing of persons selected at random or by quota to obtain information or opinions to be analyzed

ba record of the information so obtained

Joshua Harris, well-known author and former pastor, recently announced that he was leaving his wife and that he was no longer a Christian.

Let me start out by saying that I have no idea whether Joshua Harris ever believed the gospel, or even heard the gospel presented faithfully. I have conspicuously avoided delving into Harris’ beliefs, because that isn’t the point of this article.

What I would like to focus on is the reactions of some well-known “Christian leaders.” Almost all of the reactions I have read are condemning of Harris, either suggesting, or expressly stating, that Harris does not have eternal life, and never believed in Jesus in the first place. Following is a sample:

Franklin Graham (from “Hallells” article entitled “Franklin Graham Comments on Joshua Harris & Hillsong’s Marty Sampson Walking Away from the Faith”)

They weren’t real Christians. They were young. Their faith wasn’t very strong. They might have been atheists. They hate God. And they just wanted publicity.

Michael Farris (Op-Ed Contributor to “The Christian Post,” in an article entitled “A letter to Josh Harris”)

We knew each other very well for many years. And I loved you like a younger brother. And still do…

Jesus says about people like you that in the last judgment, He will say, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”

You know that this means you never actually knew Him.

Dr.R. Albert Mohler, Jr. (president of “The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary”, from his blog albertmohler.com)

Can believers lose their faith? Can one ultimately fall away if one was genuinely regenerated? The answer is no…

There may be even some who sin by repudiating Christianity, but if they ever were genuinely Christian, they will return by repentance at some point, and that is a gospel promise. If persons do continue in their repudiation of Christianity, then we have to remember the text in 1 John 2:19, where they were told that, “They went out from us, because they were not of us,” which is to say they were never truly Christians. They were pretend believers.

Jesus also speaks of this in Matthew 13 in the parable of the four soils. There are those who show signs of life, but they eventually go away. Jesus makes very clear they were never true Christians.

John Piper (from article in “The Christian Post” entitled “John Piper on Joshua Harris: ‘I could commit apostasy this afternoon and go to hell’ if not for God”)

“It shouldn’t call into question the doctrine of eternal security to say, ‘yes, I could commit apostasy this afternoon and go to hell.’ I wonder if that’s a jarring juxtaposition for you.

“Nothing you do originates the decisive act or impulse that saves you,” he continued. “Nothing you feel, nothing you think, nothing you will, nothing you do, originates the act of the soul or the act of the body that causes God to elect you, predestine you, call you, keep you, or glorify you. All of it is a free gift. So, nobody should have the mindset, ‘I can keep this from happening.’ I can’t. No, you can’t, God can.”

“You are secure in Christ, but your security is totally in the hands of God,” he continued. “If God is faithful to you, you will make it. If you don’t make it, He didn’t cause you to make it. So, that’s foundational to what I believe and think.”…

Piper added, “The evidence that that has happened is, ‘are you pressing on?’”

 _______________________________________________________

The Bible promises that anyone who believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. The Bible does not promise that our assurance can’t be undermined, or that all Christians will have enduring faith.

Of the men quoted above, we have written articles that document that at least three of them (Graham, Mohler, and Piper) preach false gospels of Calvinism/Lordship “salvation.” However, we can’t know whether any of them has ever believed in Christ alone as Savior. We do know that the false gospels that they teach keep people lost and serve to undermine the assurance of those who do possess eternal life.

When we, or anyone else, put ourselves in the place of determining who does, or who does not have eternal life, we are playing god.

We featured a great article a few years back on this topic. Please see link here: Why We Can’t Judge Whether or Not Someone Possesses Eternal Life

If you are a Christian, please pray for Joshua Harris, and also for his human judges.

And, if you would like to know how to have eternal life, click here: The Gospel

Lordship Salvation’s Mad Libs

By johninnc

From WIKIPEDIA: Mad Libs is a phrasal template word game where one player prompts others for a list of words to substitute for blanks in a story, before reading the – often comical or nonsensical – story aloud. The game is frequently played as a party game or as a pastime.

Calvinists, Lordship “Salvationists” and others who teach false gospels of works often do so by playing a game similar to Mad Libs, in which they implicitly change scripture to fit their false doctrine. Unfortunately, the result is never comical, even if it is nonsensical.

Following are some of clear verses regarding eternal life that must be ignored, or implicitly altered in order to fit various perversions of the gospel. I have provided some Mad Libs to exemplify the various errors.

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.

Calvinist version: For God so loved those he had elected unto eternal life, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever He had chosen to believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Lordship “salvation” (LS) version: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, turns from his sin, and demonstrates such by his changed behavior, should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Arminian version: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, unless he sins too much after believing, or quits believing, but have everlasting life, again conditioned upon him not losing it.

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.

Calvinist/LS version: 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, provided he perseveres in faith and good works.

Arminian version: 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 unless he backslides; but is passed from death unto life, but can be passed from life unto death again.

Acts 16:31: And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

LS version: And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, which includes turning from sin, counting the cost, and persevering, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Romans 4:24-25: But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Calvinist version: But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if God hath chosen us to believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

LS version: But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, turn from our sins, and faithfully serve God for the remainder of our lives; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again to assist in our justification.

Ephesians 1:13-14: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Calvinist version: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and God implanted you with belief: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

LS version: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed and had forsaken all of your sin and had decided to commit your life to following Jesus in obedience, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Arminian version: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, unless or until ye become unsealed again, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

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

Calvinist version: For by grace are ye saved through grace; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Ye have no responsibility upon hearing the gospel. If ye are going to believe, it is because God decided ye would. Not of works, lest any man should boast.

LS version: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. However, if works fail to materialize, ye probably aren’t saved.

If you find all of the Mad Libs maddening, and would like to know the truth about how to have eternal life, please click here: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: Bound and Determined

By johninnc

Galatians 3:1:  O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

The Marshall Tucker Band has a song by the name of Bound and Determined that starts with the line: Well she’s bound and determined to make a fool out of me.

Proponents of Lordship “salvation” (LSers) are bound and determined to foist their false gospel on others, thus making fools of them. In many, if not most cases, such proponents don’t even realize they’re working against God, rather than for Him. Some LSers have eternal life, some don’t. It’s impossible to know which is which. However all people who teach LS are under God’s curse.

Galatians 1:8-9: 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. 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.

Lordship “salvation” (LS) is the unsupportable and unbiblical belief that the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

LS keeps people from understanding the gospel message, so that they might believe and be saved (Matthew 13:19). It can also undermine the faith of believers who fall under its spell. LS frustrates grace!

For believers, some of the ways we weaken our defenses against false LS teachers are:

  • Failing to mark and avoid them
  • Consulting them for insights into biblical prophecy
  • Looking to them for spiritual advice on Christian living
  • Using them to make points in proving the existence of God or the truth of the Bible
  • Supporting their churches or other ministries
  • Confusing any of our common affinities with spiritual fellowship

LSers are happy to use any of the above ties to try to bind us.

The Bible tells us that eternal life is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

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.

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

The Bible also tells us that we have eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited, from the moment of belief in Christ.

Ephesians 1:13-14: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

And, the Bible tells us that we can have assurance of eternal life from the moment of belief in Christ based on God’s word alone, without reference to our motives, behavior, perseverance, or anything else.

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.

Anyone who contradicts any of the above clear tenets of the Christian faith, either explicitly or implicitly, may be bound and determined to make a fool out of you.

If you think you may have been fooled as to how to have eternal life, and would like to know the real story, click here: The Gospel

 

Lordship Salvation: Can You Pay the Piper?

By johninnc

Definition of “pied piper,” according to Merriam Webster:

  1. one that offers strong but delusive enticement
  2. a leader who makes irresponsible promises
  3. a charismatic person who attracts followers

Within the world of professing Christendom, there have always been “pied pipers,” who try to corrupt the gospel of Jesus Christ by adding works into how to receive, keep, or prove one has received eternal life.

These false teachers feed on each other, and have misled countless people with counterfeit gospels.

So, who are some of these “pied pipers”?

Charles Spurgeon, 19th century popular false teacher, dubbed the “prince of preachers.” Following is a sample of his false doctrine:

True conversion is in all men attended by a sense of sin (which have spoken of under the heading of conviction); by a sorrow for sin or holy grief at having committed it; by a hatred of sin, which proves that its dominion is ended; and by a practical turning from sin, which shows that the life within the soul is operating upon the life without.

Paul Washer is a contemporary false teacher who considers himself a “five point Spurgeonist.” Below is but one of Washer’s telling quotes:

However, biblical assurance that a person has passed from death to life finds a basis not merely upon an examination of the moment of conversion but also upon an examination of his or her life from that moment on.

Greg Laurie is a prominent false teacher and Lordship “salvationist,” most noted for hosting the annual SoCal Harvest event.

Laurie includes that following about how one receives eternal life:

To repent means to “change” or to “turn.”  It’s like driving down the highway, pulling a U-turn and heading the other direction. More than simply being sorry, it is a word of action. Many people feel remorse for their sin but never truly repent. Remorse is being sorry, repentance is being sorry enough to stop.

Billy Graham, who passed away in 2018, was the foremost name in American “evangelism” for over 50 years.

Following is an excerpt from his book, entitled The Reason for My Hope:

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

David Platt is the one time president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s  (SBC) International Missions Board who has been in the news of late for praying for US President Donald Trump.

In the below quote, Platt makes receipt of the free gift of eternal life contingent on “counting the cost.”

What kind of faith are we calling people to? In a day of rampant easy-believism that creates cultural Christians who do not know Christ, who have never counted the cost of following Christ, we must be biblically clear about saving faith, lest any of us lead people down a very dangerous and potentially damning road of spiritual deception.

JD Greear, is president of the SBC. Like the others above, he preaches a false gospel of works.

Following are a couple of choice excerpts from Greear’s false teaching:

Salvation comes by surrendering to Christ s lordship and believing in his finished work, whether or not you pray a prayer asking Jesus into your heart.

Neither the great Baptists of the past nor the Bible describes eternal security as a one-time ritual that produces a guarantee of salvation no matter how you live your life. They described it as the knowledge that if God had started a true work in you, he would complete it. And the way that you show your salvation is genuine is by persevering for the rest of your life.

Persevering in the faith is proof that you have the salvation you could never lose; failing to persevere shows that you never had it to begin with.

John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He is a false teacher of Lordship “salvation.” He is also the namesake for this article.

Following is a telling excerpt of his false doctrine:

Perseverance is the evidence of being born again in Christ, not the means to it.

_______________________________________________________ 

Each of the above “pied pipers” has tried to add the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works as an essential accompaniment to faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

In opposition to all of the above false teachers and their minions, God’s word is clear: anyone who has ever believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. No one needs to turn from sin, surrender to Christ’s Lordship, count the cost, or look to his own works or perseverance for evidence of eternal life.

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.

The implication of Lordship “salvation” is that one must help atone for his own sins. That is an impossibly high price for anyone to pay.

If you have been following a pied piper, and would like to have clarity on how to have eternal life, click here: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: Easy Disbelievism?

By johninnc

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. 

In my  experience administering the ExPreacherman site, I have encountered myriad search terms associated with “easy believism.” Easy believism is a derisive term generally used by people who aren’t quite comfortable with grace.

Some recent search terms include:

  • the false gospel of easy believism leading people to hell
  • easy believism preachers
  • what is wrong with easy believism
  • easy believism you will know them by their fruits

I personally have no objection to the term easy believism, because simply believing the gospel always results in eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. Always. But, what I have yet to encounter is a search term that refers to easy disbelievism.

What would constitute easy disbelievism?  It would be a disbelief in the truth of the gospel for something else, that in some way seems easier, safer, or more comfortable for people to believe. Is the false gospel of Lordship “salvation” actually easy disbelievism?

Lordship “salvation” (LS) is the unsupportable and unbiblical belief that thePERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

Following are three closely-related, interlocking reasons why LS may constitute easy disbelievism:

Preexisting beliefs

Romans 10:3: For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

A common response to a person feeling alienated from God is to try to fix it himself. It seems easy to believe that God would accept us only if we show sufficient contrition, intent to reform ourselves, agree to obey Him going forward, give of our time and treasure, and so on.

That tendency is reinforced by the almost ubiquitous false gospel messages emanating from pulpits and media that claim to be representing biblical truths. These false messages are often imbedded into local churches that are an integral part of peoples’ family, social, and spiritual lives.

Ron Shea has this to say regarding denial of the doctrine of grace:

We believe that the more ardently and regularly a pastor or teacher holds forth any of the above perversions of the gospel of grace as a necessity for salvation, the more firmly a pre-existing grid of salvation-by-works is fabricated in the hearts and minds of the congregants, progressively shackling the lost sinner more hopelessly behind a veil of deception, making it less and less likely that any forthcoming profession of faith has meaningfully grasped the message of salvation.

Popularity

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 unto life, and few there be that find it.

The above passage is generally misconstrued by proponents of LS to pertain to how one lives his life. But, the reality is that the strait gate and the narrow way are Christ alone.

John 10:9: I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

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.

In contrast to faith in Him alone, which Jesus said would be unpopular, LS is extremely prevalent. It is either tacitly or explicitly contained in the doctrine of virtually all denominations of christendom. It is either glaring, or more subtle, but lurking virtually everywhere.

The most glaring examples involve the actual performance of works, such as water baptism, or public confession of Christ for eternal life.

Less glaring examples include the willingness to turn from sin, or the desire to have a relationship with Jesus in order to receive eternal life.

The most subtle examples are those which relegate the assurance of eternal life to an examination of oneself or others for the evidence that one has received eternal life.

Any “tests” or “marks” of a “true believer” that point to anything other than whether one has believed in Jesus are not a reliable source of assurance, and will serve only to undermine an honest person’s assurance of eternal life.

Safety

Romans 11:6: And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

Some people think that there is safety in numbers. Other people want to put their safety in the hands of “authority figures,” and still others want to rely on themselves to some extent for eternal life, just in case Jesus isn’t enough.

But grace and works don’t mix for eternal life.

So, is LS easy disbelievism? Whatever its label, LS is a false gospel of works that points unbelievers away from the truth of the gospel to keep them unsaved, and that can undermine the assurance of believers.

If you would like to know the truth about eternal life click here: THE GOSPEL

 

Lordship Salvation: This Easter, Are You a Basket Case?

By johninnc

Definition of basket case from Merriam Webster: 2a person who is mentally incapacitated or worn out (as from nervous tension) also: one that is not functioning well or is in a run-down condition

This Sunday, the world of professing Christendom celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day. His resurrection was prophesied in scripture and was witnessed by more than five hundred people.

1 Corinthians 15:3-6: For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ 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: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

Following is a brief explanation of God’s plan for the salvation of mankind:

  • Everyone is a sinner
  • The penalty for sin is death (eternal separation from God in a place of conscious torment – hell)
  • One must be perfect to get into heaven. Not good. Not great. Perfect.
  • One cannot do anything of himself to obtain this perfection – this includes turning from sin, committing your life to Christ and so on. God offers eternal life as a gift – it’s not for sale or barter.
  • God provided a sin-bearer for us (The Lord Jesus Christ, God in the
flesh. He had no sin of his own, but he came to die for us, paying the full penalty for our sin. He was raised from the dead, proving that His payment was acceptable).
  • Anyone who believes in Jesus as Savior receives, from the moment of belief, everlasting life, that can never be lost of forfeited.

In contrast to God’s plan of salvation is the false gospel of Lordship “salvation,” or LS. There are seemingly endless variations of LS, but at its core LS is the unsupportable and unbiblical belief that the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

LS is insidious, and is pervasive within professing Christendom. LS both keeps people from coming to faith in Christ and bewitches Christians. LS makes people into basket cases.

Following are three categories of basket cases associated with LS:

The Case of the Counterfeit Convert

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.

This is a person who has never trusted in Christ alone as Savior. He may be a true believer – in the false gospel of LS.

He believes that Christ is necessary for eternal life, but he has never believed that Christ is enough.

For whatever reason, he has never been willing to put all of his eggs in one basket.

The Case of the Confused Christian

Galatians 3:1-2: O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

This is someone who has trusted in Christ as Savior, but through exposure to false doctrine has had their Christian growth stunted and has been rendered ineffective in spreading the gospel.

This person may have lost the joy and assurance of eternal life, and looks in the wrong places to regain it. He could become very busy in faux spiritual pursuits, or wander away from matters of faith altogether.

By returning to proper doctrine, and avoiding those who compromise the gospel, he may get back on track.

If not, he is likely to go down one rabbit hole after another,

The Case of the Careless Compromiser

Galatians 2:5: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

The careless compromiser is someone who is clear on the gospel, but willingly compromises the gospel through association with people or organizations that corrupt it.

He may have all kinds of reasons that seem rational to him (familial harmony, political patronage, financial gain, social opportunities, etc.), but his compromise contributes to creating the other basket cases, described above.

_______________________________________________________

LS is like the plastic grass in Easter baskets. It kind of resembles grass, but its not the real thing.

For the real thing click here: THE GOSPEL

 

 

 

Lordship Salvation: Blinded by the Dark

By Johninnc

Jesus is the light of men He is the Savior of mankind. There is no other!

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.

Following are some details of who Jesus is, why we need Him, and why and how He provided for our salvation:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyone who believes in Jesus, and what He accomplished through His death and resurrection – that he paid the full price for our sins, leaving nothing for us to pay – has eternal life. Eternal life means that it can never be lost or forfeited. God no longer sees believers in their sins, but sees them as perfectly righteous.

That is very good news! It is incumbent on all of us who know Jesus as Savior to become well grounded in the truth of this life-giving message so that we can tell other people about it.

There are, unfortunately, many people – both witting an unwitting – working against us to keep people in the dark.

2 Corinthians 4:4: 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.

One of the ways that Satan (the god of this world) keeps people in the dark is through the use of counterfeit gospels, such as “Lordship salvation.”

Lordship “salvation” (LS) is the unsupportable and unbiblical belief that the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

See this link for more details: Lordship Salvation

LS is one of a seemingly endless group of false gospels that draws unwitting people to “crusades,” television ministries, and local churches. It is wildly popular, because it appeals to man’s pre-existing belief that he can help save himself.

Ron Shea, of Clear Gospel, puts it this way:

We believe that the more ardently and regularly a pastor or teacher holds forth any of the above perversions of the gospel of grace as a necessity for salvation, the more firmly a pre-existing grid of salvation-by-works is fabricated in the hearts and minds of the congregants, progressively shackling the lost sinner more hopelessly behind a veil of deception, making it less and less likely that any forthcoming profession of faith has meaningfully grasped the message of salvation.

Shea elaborates on the damage that can be done by various false gospels and non-biblical aphorisms, such as “invite Jesus into your heart,” or “give your heart to God.” Some of the dangers are:

  • Even when presented fully and accurately, the gospel is camouflaged by such nonsense, thereby hindering the effectiveness of the gospel message from illuminating the way of salvation to those who know not Christ.
  • The gospel is often contradicted by works-oriented invitations such as requiring an unbeliever to “make a personal commitment to Jesus Christ,” which is, in its essence, a requirement of a promise future works in exchange for salvation.
  • The true believer who is not firmly grounded in the clarity of the gospel is likely to redefine his understanding of the gospel message according to how he hears it repeatedly presented, thereby perpetuating and multiplying this confusion, and crippling successive generations of evangelists.

If we are to let our light shine before men, we must steer clear of LS and other false gospels. We should never participate in them, try to cooperate with them, excuse them, or try to find a “bridge” between them and the gospel.

2 Corinthians 6:14: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Please note: while those who teach LS do not explicitly deny the gospel, their implicit testimony is that they don’t believe the gospel now.

God’s word is emphatically clear that we are to have nothing to do with them!

If you would like to know more about how to have eternal life, click here: The Gospel

Lordship Salvation: After Christmas Sales

By johninnc

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.

One of the Christmas gifts I received from a well-meaning relative was a book that was written by the pastor of her Southern Baptist Church. As I casually flipped through the book, it didn’t take long to find false doctrine that conflates faith in Christ with faithfulness in following Christ.

Following is an extended excerpt:

Jesus is the Bread of life. We find our salvation in Jesus, and in Jesus alone. He alone is the Source of our salvation, and He alone is the Sustainer of our salvation.

When we pursue Jesus as Lord and trust our lives to Him and determine that we are going to follow Him regardless, we find in Him all the assurance for our salvation that we need. And that will then put our minds and hearts at rest and led us into the arena of peace we so need. You need the assurance of your salvation, and that is exactly what Jesus means when he says. “I am the Bread of life.” He gives you the full assurance of your salvation when you trust your life to Him and follow Him faithfully for the rest of your life. Jesus is the Bread of life.

The author mixes truth with error in the above excerpt, and in so doing manages to mix God’s grace with man’s works for providing the assurance of eternal life. Man’s efforts are imperfect, can be inconsistent, and fleeting. Even if one has followed Jesus faithfully (based on his own quantification standards), how can he be sure that he will continue to do so for his entire life?

This false teaching would naturally lead to unhealthy introspection for a believer,  and could also reinforce a non-believer’s natural inclination toward thinking that works were necessary to receive eternal life.

In John 5:24, Jesus mentions nothing of our faithfulness as a basis for assurance of eternal life. So, the author makes assurance of eternal life contingent on either adding to, or actually contradicting what God’s word says is the basis for assurance.

How can teaching something different than what God’s word teaches on something as important as the basis for assurance of eternal life constitute following Him faithfully? Quite a conundrum, isn’t it?

In his booklet entitle “The Gospel,” Ron Shea has a section on assurance that is built entirely on John 5:24. In that section, he anticipates the error of basing assurance on man’s faithfulness versus God’s promises. Please see excerpt below:

According to this verse, how can you be sure that you have truly been saved?

  • You can be sure that you have truly been saved if your life begins to change, showing that God has really come into your life.
  • You can be sure that you have truly been saved if many years from now you are still walking with Christ.
  • You can be sure that you have truly been saved if you bear the fruit of good works.
  • You can be sure that you have truly been saved if you heard the gospel and believed it.

Hint: the last answer is the ONLY biblical basis for assurance. Our faithfulness in following Jesus is not a biblical, nor even a reasonable basis for assurance of eternal life.

The Bible repeatedly refers to eternal life as a gift. It is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. It is not for sale or barter.

Many of the same churches and ministries that so loudly celebrated the birth of our Savior yesterday do not really view Him as our Savior at all, but rather as our helper. They do this by insinuating works into the eternal salvation of mankind.

The book that I mentioned above has been relegated to the same place as the after Christmas sale flyers that will begin in a frenzied rush today – the recycle bin. After all, if we are going to save the planet…

If you would like to know how to have eternal life click here: The Gospel

Lordship Salvation: Not Out of The Woods

By johninnc

Matthew 7:20: Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

 The late Jack Weaver, the founder of the Expreacherman ministry, used to say regarding people who corrupt the gospel: The woods is full of ‘em.

We have a mega-church in our community whose senior pastor is the “go to guy” for all matters of faith. He is a frequent guest on our biggest AM radio station, and he has been called upon for everything from commenting on tragedies that befall us, to providing testimonials for the quality of the ribs at a local restaurant.

I participated in a Bible study a few years back with some men from work. Several of the people in the group seemed to have some confusion about grace, and a couple of them were actively involved with this same mega-church.

In doing some research into their church, I found a startling disconnect between the church’s stated beliefs and what the senior pastor was actually teaching (please note that both the statement of faith and the senior pastor’s blog are on the church’s website, so his inconsistencies are in plain sight).

From “Core Beliefs:

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

From the Senior Pastor’s blog:

Through my obedience, my Father has given me the final authority to execute judgment over all humanity. One day, everyone will hear my voice and appear before me in final judgment. Don’t marvel at this saying. It is true. This judgment will solely depend on those who have believed in me. John’s gospel repeatedly states this truth (3:16;5:24,25; 14:6). However, good and bad deeds will prove an individual’s faith. If good deeds aren’t there, it proves faith isn’t present. These people face eternal judgment. If good deeds are there, it proves faith is present and they are granted eternal resurrection life.

The senior pastor of this mega-church contradicts the gospel by insisting that works are necessary to prove that one has eternal life. The Bible does not teach this! In fact, the Bible is clear that one can have assurance of eternal life without waiting around to see if good works manifest themselves.

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.

Further, from the church’s website:

Forest Hill Church has transitioned from its Presbyterian roots, off of Woodlawn Road in the 1950’s, to a non-denominational, multi-campus church emphasizing spiritual transformation and service to the least and lost in our neighborhoods and around the world. 

If they mean that the church has transitioned from its Calvinist (Presbyterian) roots, it appears to me that they really haven’t. No one can be spiritually transformed unless and until they have received eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Moreover, the Bible does not teach that spiritual transformation is inevitable for believers (see Romans 12:1-2).

Last, teaching a false gospel and getting people plugged into a doctrinally aberrant church, led by a doctrinally aberrant pastor is not doing them a service.

Ron Shea had this to say regarding doctrine that churches teach:

If you want to know the doctrine that a church teaches, don’t ask to read the doctrinal statement.  It may be gathering dust!  Meet several members of the congregation who have been there for at least three years.  Ask them what they believe about certain topics of theology.  These men and women are the real fruit of the pastor’s labors!

Following are excerpts from some reviews of this mega-church that I found online. Please notice that NONE OF THEM provides the gospel message, nor includes any critical evaluation of what this church really teaches:

David is an engaging speaker and preaches the word without pulling any punches. If you want to see him preach live in person, visit the South Park location. This church and all of its locations believe and preach God’s word 100% of the time. 

My comment: Without pulling any punches is a phrase that is common in the world of professing Christendom for someone who insinuates works into the gospel, thus corrupting it and creating a false gospel.

A church that teaches the true gospel of Christ, not for pretenders. So glad I found this place. Most churches today cater to the people with a feel good message of what people want to here and water the gospel down. Not here

 My comment: What Lordship “salvationists” often mean by water the gospel down is to teach the gospel in its purity. In other words, water down falsely implies that the real gospel inherently includes works for eternal life. Likewise, pretenders is often used to deride those who correctly believe that works are not necessary to receive, keep, or provide evidence of eternal life.

Great job with the kids, just watched a very entertaining play from the 3 & 4 year olds!

My comment: These children are being indoctrinated into a church that corrupts the gospel.

If you are a true Believer in Christ or really want to know your purpose in life, this is the place you need to be.

My comment: The phrase true believer cannot by found in the Bible. There are believers in the gospel and believers in false gospels. And, there are people who falsely profess belief in the gospel, often parroting the false views of their pastors. I am pretty sure that God’s purpose for my life does not include participating in the evil deeds of a doctrinally aberrant church.

I am afraid that the members and attendees of Forest Hill church can’t see the forest for the trees.

Eternal life is not received from Life Groups, service projects, pastor-authored study materials, children’s programs, music ministers, discipleship training, or other missions. Eternal life is not received by believing false gospels of works.

Eternal life is received by believing in the Lord Jesus as Savior.

If you would like to know how to have eternal life, please click here: John 3:16

Lordship Salvation: Attacking Grace

By johninnc

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

People come to faith in Christ by hearing and believing the gospel. Accordingly, Satan has always had the gospel message directly in his crosshairs. He attempts to pervert the message through various means, not the least of which is the heretical teaching of Lordship “salvation.”

Please see definition here: Lordship “salvation” defined.

We should vigorously defend the gospel of grace against attacks from the Lordship “salvation” camp. And we should do nothing to aid and abet their attacks. Aiding and abetting attacks on the gospel can take many forms, including:

  • Prolonged participation in churches that are not clear on the gospel
  • Financially supporting groups that pervert the gospel
  • Quoting favorably those who pervert the gospel
  • Referring to people who corrupt the gospel in glowing terms
  • Ascribing good intentions to people who corrupt the gospel
  • Providing an extended forum to someone bent on perverting the gospel

This last one requires some judgment. At Expreacherman, we are generally less patient with new commenters who are diametrically opposed to what we teach than we are with people who ask honest questions, or even our longer-term commenters who have become confused through exposure to false doctrine.

Below are excerpts from a couple of comments that we entertained late last year from someone hostile to grace, before inviting him to go elsewhere. My responses are in bold parenthesis.

Comment number 1:

The only issue with claiming that works play no part in saving faith is the very sobering book of James, found in your bible immediately following Hebrews and preceding 1 Peter; a book conveniently absent from the discussion in this comment section.

(Discussion of the book of James is not “conveniently absent” from our commentary. Our site is replete with discussion of the book of James.)

We don’t do good works to be saved, but we should produce good works and good fruit once we are saved. This is an important distinction to make, one found all throughout scripture.

(There are lots of things Christians SHOULD do. But, there is absolutely NOTHING that a believer in Christ MUST do to prove he has eternal life.)

I say this not to cast doubt or condemn, but to push back against any notion of belief only, for James tells us that even the demons believe and shudder. In fact, in the gospels they properly address Jesus as the Son of God, yet we know that everlasting fire has been prepared for them. If they rightly believe in the identity and deity of Jesus, why are they condemned to hellfire? Because they are disobedient and rebellious. They don’t do the will of God. They know the truth, but refuse to practice it. The judgment for this is a scary thought.

(Jesus did not die for demons. He is the kinsman redeemer of mankind.)

Comment number 2:

Heroes of the faith, which we know are saved according to God’s Word, demonstrated their faith by their actions; not as a necessary prerequisite to be saved, nor as an accompanying trait to remain saved, but as an inevitable result that they were saved. Please recognize this distinction – there is an enormous world of difference.

(NO! It was not an “inevitable result.” If it were, these would not have been “heroes of the faith.” It is inevitable that heroes of the faith will be heroic. It is not inevitable that every believer will be. Inevitability makes it a requirement. A requirement of faithfulness to prove one is saved makes eternal life no longer a gift.)

Abraham truly did believe. But how do we know that? Because of what he did. He obeyed God.

(WRONG! We know Abraham believed, because scripture says he believed. See Romans 4:3.)

True faith will inevitably produce good fruit. I believe the bible makes this plain. Again, we don’t do works in order to be saved; we don’t do works in order to stay saved; we do works because we are saved. Another way to say it is this: You have been saved. Now, grow in grace and knowledge, and apply it for the good of the brethren and for God’s glory.

(You are saying two radically different things in one short paragraph. The fact that you cannot see the contradiction astounds me. You mention inevitability again, and by fruit, you seem to mean works (at least, that is what you said in your prior comment). You say that we do works because we are saved. Then, you say to grow in grace and apply it for the good of the brethren and for God’s glory. Again, if it is inevitable, why do we need to be challenged to do it?)

As is clear from the above excerpts, this commenter doubled down on his errant Lordship “salvation” doctrine after our first response, and is seemingly disinterested in the truth.

At some point, continuing to try to reason with someone who is intent on teaching error reaches a point of diminishing returns, and can be damaging to others – believers and non-believers alike.

A good course of action may just be to point them back to the gospel message.

No matter why you may have come to Expreacherman – even if it is to attack – if you would like to know how to have eternal life, click here: John 3:16

Lordship Salvation: Twenty Questions

By johninnc

I have been making note of search terms that people have used that have brought them to Expreacherman. I thought I would share twenty of the questions, along with my short answers in bold.

  1. Is Francis Chan a false teacher? Yes.
  2. Is JD Greear a false teacher? Yes.
  3. Is salvation permanent? Yes.
  4. Was John Calvin really a believer? We can’t know that. We know he was a false teacher.
  5. Is the grace gospel true? Yes.
  6. What did Calvin teach? Calvinism, which is a false gospel of works.
  7. Did Billy Graham believe in Lordship salvation? We can’t know that. We know he taught Lordship salvation.
  8. Are Lordship salvation teachers saved? We can’t know that. We know they are under God’s curse (Galatians 1:8-9).
  9. Do works salvationists go to hell? Yes, if they have never trusted in Christ alone as Savior. No, if they have ever trusted in Christ alone as Savior.
  10. Does the Assembly of God Church teach Lordship salvation? They teach works for salvation.
  11. What is a five point Spurgeonist? A false teacher of salvation by works.
  12. Does Paul Washer teach Lordship salvation? Yes.
  13. Is Lordship salvation reformed? Yes.
  14. Is salvation by grace false doctrine? No.
  15. Can a professed Christian lose or forfeit his or her salvation? A Christian, professed or otherwise, cannot lose or forfeit eternal life.
  16. What does Kyle Idleman teach? A false gospel of salvation by works.
  17. Great preachers who believe in Lordship salvation? While we can never know what anyone believes, there is no such thing as a great preacher who preaches Lordship salvation.
  18. How many times is the word “hope” written in the Bible? By my count, the word “hope” appears 142 times in the KJV.
  19. How can people be so deceived as to believe in Calvinism? Because they believe the words of men over the word of God.
  20. Changed life necessary for salvation? No.

As you can see from the above questions, people are searching for the truth, and we are fortunate that some of them end up here at Expreacherman. Following is an appeal we made as part of an article published a few months back. I would ask our readers and commenters to once again reflect on it:

I join you in asking God to bless this ministry. I pray that those who come here who know Jesus as Savior will seek to honor God with their posts, that we will be faithful to Him and His word, that we will comfort and encourage one another, that we will be bold in proclaiming and defending the gospel, that we will be gentle and wise, that we won’t become confused with the wisdom of men, and that we will not allow our comments to become sidetracked with unimportant things.

Also, I pray that those who come here who are seeking truth, and do not know Jesus as Savior, would hear/read and understand the gospel message.

If you would like to know how to have eternal life, please click here: The Gospel

Lordship Salvation: Partaking in Greg Laurie’s Evil Deeds (Part 2)

By johninnc

2 John 1:11: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

We recently featured an article on the upcoming “Harvest America” event, led by false teacher Greg Laurie. See link below:

Lordship Salvation: Greg Laurie’s Bitter Harvest

In that article, we mentioned several pastors who had endorsed Greg Laurie and/or the event.

This article will provide a complete list of endorsements from pastors and musicians, all straight from the “Harvest America” website, along with the quotes provided by the endorsers. Some of these names may be familiar to you. They may be editorial pundits for popular news media, pastors of megachurches, famous evangelists, highly-credentialed officials of large organizations, or popular musicians. They have one thing in common: they are participating in Laurie’s evil deeds.

We have had some of our commenters seemingly scratching their heads over why someone who seems clear on the gospel may provide an endorsement for Laurie.  I was able to come up with only four possible reasons, none of them good:

1. They are ignorant of the false gospel that Greg Laurie teaches
2. They are ignorant of the gospel and believe what Greg Laurie teaches
3. They are not discerning enough to tell the difference between the gospel and its counterfeits
4. They know that what Greg Laurie teaches is a false gospel, but growing their own audiences and selling their wares outweighs any concern they might have

_____________________________________________________

Following are the endorsements:

“Greg Laurie is not only a personal friend, but is one of the great communicators of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our generation. They have written him up to be the evangelist of the future and he is. I highly recommend him.”

Billy Graham – Evangelist and Author

“We have supported the Harvest Crusades every year since it began. . .Greg Laurie is a man of great passion for Christ and personal integrity. He preaches an uncompromising presentation of the Good News in a loving, down-to-earth manner that today’s generation understands and responds to.”

Rick Warren – Senior Pastor, Saddleback Church

“Greg Laurie is a dynamic pastor, gifted evangelist, and trusted friend. Prestonwood is thrilled to be an anchor church in Harvest America. I hope you will be a part of this amazing opportunity too.”

Dr. Jack Graham – Senior Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church

Greg Laurie is one of the most gifted leaders and voices in America. Through his Harvest Crusades, thousands of people are changed forever by his message. I believe in Greg Laurie and the Harvest Crusade Ministry.”

Dr. Ronnie W. Floyd – Southern Baptist Convention President

“When it comes to reaching the lost, I’m grateful that every generation has a Billy Graham, and Greg Laurie is a Billy Graham to our generation. Gateway Church wholeheartedly supports Harvest America, and I would encourage every pastor and church to partner with them to reach their cities for Christ.”

Robert Morris – Founding Senior Pastor, Gateway Church

“Greg Laurie, Senior Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, presents a nationwide evangelism event called Harvest America. It’s broadcast live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Pastor Laurie, whom I have known for many years, will boldly preach the gospel to hundreds of thousands of people. Some will be in the arena in Texas, but most will be participating via a live feed in venues across America. Those who are interested in a citywide evangelism effort can take advantage of this free but powerfully effective ministry, which has a 25-year track record of boldly and biblically sharing the gospel through live stadium events, not only here in America but also around the globe. The desire of Harvest America is for every convert to join a local church where they can be discipled. Thank you for taking the time to prayerfully consider partnering with Harvest America. If ever our nation needed the gospel proclaimed, it is now.”

Dr. George Wood – General Superintendent

“God has mightily used Greg in so many different ways and at many different venues. Because of him, many people are in the kingdom through Harvest America, the crusades, a dynamic church, a great testimony, a great man. I pray that you will join me and partner in this years Harvest America outreach.”

Dr. Tony Evans – Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship

“I couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming Harvest event and love the Harvest model. You can bring your neighbor or family member, listen to the gospel of Jesus Christ be preached and proclaimed faithfully, and then you can follow up with them. I couldn’t encourage you more to come sit in and listen to the gospel message being proclaimed here in Dallas, Texas.”

Matt Chandler – Lead Pastor, The Village Church

“Greg Laurie is uniquely gifted to communicate the message of Jesus to this generation. His genuine love for people and deep understanding of both the Bible and culture come through powerfully in his teaching. Harvest Crusades are remarkable environments where people experience life change and hope in Jesus.”

Jud Wilhite – Senior Pastor, Central Christian Church

“Greg Laurie has been my friend for many years, and in that time I’ve seen God work through Greg’s evangelistic preaching to reach thousands upon thousands of lives for Jesus Christ. Hosting Harvest America in your church is a unique and powerful way for the gospel to reach people in your community too.”

James MacDonald – Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel

“Greg Laurie is one of Christendom’s great evangelists. He has been called and gifted to speak the language of today’s culture with the Message of Christ. The fields are ready to reap and Harvest Crusades is what God is mightily using to reach them.”

Dr. Wayne Cordero – Senior Pastor, New Hope Oahu

“There is no questions that Greg Laurie is making a huge impact for Christ and that lives are being changed by the thousands through Harvest America. If you are a follower of Jesus, this is the perfect opportunity to invite someone who doesn’t know Christ to hear about the life transforming power of the Gospel.”

Craig Groeschel – Senior Pastor, Life Church

“Greg Laurie is one of the most effective evangelists and faithful pastors I know in America today. His gift in presenting the gospel with clarity and conviction is something only God can give. Exercising this gift through Harvest Crusades has resulted in tens of thousands being born again into the Kingdom of God. The hand of our Lord clearly rest on this man.”

Daniel L. Akin – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President

“Greg Laurie’s focus on the Gospel is why so many Southern Baptist churches and pastors have been involved with Harvest over the past 25 years . . . I strongly encourage you to get involved as well.”

Kevin Ezell – SBC North American Mission Board President

“God has raised up my friend Greg Laurie to be perhaps the greatest evangelistic voice for the gospel in America today. I believe he now wears the mantle that was on D. L. Moody and Billy Graham. God is using his Harvest America gatherings to see thousands of people come to Christ. Both personally as a friend and professionally as a preacher of the gospel I could not give Greg a higher endorsement or recommendation.”

James Merritt –Lead Pastor, Cross Pointe Church

“Greg Laurie has been serving the Lord evangelistically since the early 1970s, when God changed his life during the Jesus Movement in Southern California. God has gifted Greg to give a clear, passionate, biblical presentation of the gospel. God uses him to call people to faith in Christ. I hope that you will invite your lost friends to this event, so that they can be saved.”

Steve Gaines – Senior Pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church, Current President of the Southern Baptist Convention

“We at Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain support the evangelistic efforts of Pastor Greg Laurie and Harvest Georgia. I have witnessed firsthand God’s blessing on the Harvest Crusade in Southern California, and am excited about its potential impact in our area. I have known Greg personally for many years and appreciate his unwavering faithfulness to the gospel. We are praying for this year’s Harvest Georgia, and invite your church to partner with us.”

Sandy Adams – Pastor, Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain

“Harvest Crusades really helped renew in our church a passion to reach our city. We are still benefiting from the vision for evangelism and empowerment in disciple-making they helped lead us into! I don’t know any other way of saying it besides, ‘This strategy still works!'”

JD Greear – Senior Pastor, The Summit Church

“Looking forward to the Harvest Crusade in September with Greg Laurie. Greg is one that God has raised up and empowered in our generation to share the Gospel in Crusade meetings where hundreds are receiving Christ. What better event to invite those you care about to attend with you. Invite and pray they will hear, receive, and be transformed by Jesus!”

Frank Cox – Senior Pastor, North Metro Baptist Church

“The gathering of thousands of people for the single purpose of focusing their praise and worship on Christ alone is more than inspiring-it is life-changing! Those who attend, longing to fill the empty holes in their hearts with reliable truth, never leave disappointed. Here’s why: God has raised up and speaks through Greg Laurie. This gifted servant consistently prepares and delivers fresh food for the hungry soul.”

Chuck Swindoll – Senior Pastor, Stonebriar Community Church

“Harvest America is a great evangelistic outreach that reaches souls from all walks of life for Jesus. I thank God for Greg Laurie and his ministry; it was a blessing to work alongside them for Harvest America in Illinois. I highly recommend other pastors and leaders get involved by supporting this remarkable crusade.”

Rev. Wilfredo “Choco” De Jesús – Senior Pastor, New Life Covenant Church:

“I couldn’t possibly be more into Harvest America. Pastor Greg Laurie has such a gift on his life that it is such an honor and privilege to get to bring our friends to hear him preach in our fellowship. Every church with a vision to reach their city should lean into the tremendous momentum that comes from participating in this fully-dialed evangelistic event that comes basically in a can. Not only is it a win for those who will get to hear a compelling and down-to-earth message of hope, but it shows a united front all across the kingdom by linking up with churches all over the nation. It is amazing. Thank you Pastor Greg and the Harvest team for making this killer opportunity available!”

Levi Lusko – Senior Pastor, Fresh Life Church

“Cottonwood Church has participated in and supported the Harvest Crusades for many years. God has used these events in a significant way to reach the lost. Greg Laurie communicates the Gospel to our generation like few others. If you haven’t done so yet, get acquainted with pastor Greg and with these amazing events.”

Bayless Conely – Senior Pastor, Cottonwood Church

“The Harvest Crusade is phenomenal. I’m convinced things are happening there that will reroute the eternal destiny of people.”

Max Lucado – Minister of Preaching, Oak Hills Church

“In a time when everything changes so rapidly, I thank God for Harvest America and Pastor Greg constantly presenting the Gospel time and time again! No gimmicks. No smoke and mirrors. Simply the Word of God being shared and people responding. MercyMe has had the privilege of being a part of several crusades, and every single time. . .the Word has not returned void!”

Bart Millard – Lead Singer, MercyMe

“I’m proud to support Greg Laurie and Harvest America in the great work that is impacting thousands of people. I’m honored to know someone with such a passion for the lost.”

Jentezen Franklin – Senior Pastor, Free Chapel

“I grew up listening to Greg Laurie Preach, and I have watched God use him to lead thousands upon thousands to Jesus. Now it’s my honor to call Greg a friend and to minister beside him. Harvest America is an amazing way to spread the gospel in your own community. Let’s all get involved!”

Phil Wickham – Singer, Songwriter

__________________________________________________

The men who have provided the above endorsements should be avoided for lack of due diligence, misunderstanding of the gospel, lack of discernment, or callous disregard for the most important truth in the world.

Lordship Salvation: Greg Laurie’s Bitter Harvest

By johninnc

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

I recently received from our regular commenter Holly a couple of YouTube videos from Greg Laurie, a prominent false teacher and Lordship “Salvationist.”

This information was very well-timed to warn people of Laurie’s false doctrine, as Laurie is just days away from hosting the 29th annual SoCal Harvest, an “evangelical” event being held from August 17-19 in Orange County California. This year’s event is expected to draw between 90,000 and 100,000 attendees. The ExPreacherman ministry has warned of Greg Laurie’s  false doctrine for years, but given the upcoming Harvest event,  it is an opportune time to chronicle  some of his teaching that contradicts the gospel.

Following are quotes from an article by Laurie entitled “How to Know You’re a Christian,” published by the BILLY GRAHAM Evangelistic Association on October 4, 2010:

Jesus essentially said the only way your sins are forgiven and to know you will spend eternity in Heaven is by putting your complete trust in Him. And there will be tangible results to show you have done that.

My comment: this is truth mixed with error. The Bible does not teach that “there will be tangible results to show you have done that.” Looking for those “tangible results” means looking away from Christ and to oneself for assurance of eternal life.

You see, the outward change is often without the inward. However, the inward change is never without the outward.

My comment: this means that if a person’s behavior doesn’t change, he does not have eternal life. This is a heretical teaching that means that no one could be sure he had eternal life unless he experienced some kind of behavioral change, which Laurie doesn’t quantify, nor specify.

By contrast, the Bible teaches that our assurance of eternal life comes from knowing we have believed in Jesus as Savior.

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

Fine. But what does “believing” actually mean? The Bible says that even the demons from hell believe, and tremble at what they know very well to be true (James 2:19). Here are the elements of the Good News that we must believe and receive to become a born-again child of God.

My comment: Jesus did not die for the sins of demons. This is a classic Lordship “salvation” line of reasoning, meant to convince the listener that faith in Christ is not sufficient for eternal life, generally followed by changing the definition of the word “believe” to inherently include works. In so doing, they are preaching a false gospel.

Here are the elements Laurie includes:

Realize You Are a Sinner

My comment: so far, so good.

Repent of Your Sins

To repent means to “change” or to “turn.”  It’s like driving down the highway, pulling a U-turn and heading the other direction. More than simply being sorry, it is a word of action. Many people feel remorse for their sin but never truly repent. Remorse is being sorry, repentance is being sorry enough to stop.

My comment: the Bible teaches that eternal life is a free gift, without cost or obligation to the recipient. Laurie’s definition means that works are required to receive eternal life. There is no good news here.

Believe and Receive Jesus Christ into Your Life  

…You need to believe that, and ask Him into your life. 

My comment: one does not need to “ask Him into your life” to receive eternal life.

Do it Now!

Good intentions are not enough. Agreeing with what I have said here is not enough. You must admit you are a sinner, repent of that sin, and put your faith in Christ.  

My comment: Laurie is correct only in that agreeing with what he has said is not enough. Believing Laurie’s false gospel will not bring eternal life. Laurie preaches that we must believe in Jesus as our helper, whereas the Bible teaches that we must believe in Jesus as Savior.

Following is a sample of some of the pastoral endorsements for the Harvest events:

Dr. Tony Evans

Rick Warren

JD Greear

Chuck Swindoll

Billy Graham

Max Lucado

Ribert Morris

Dr. Ronnie Floyd

Dr. Robert Jeffress

The SoCal 2018 event also features several prominent  “Christian” musicians (Passion, Mercy Me, among others).

All of these pastors and musicians  are throwing (or have thrown) their support behind the false gospel being taught by Greg Laurie and are therefore participating in his bitter harvest.

If you would like to know what the Bible teaches about how to have eternal life, as opposed to the false gospel Greg Laurie preaches, please click here: The Gospel

Lordship Salvation: True Believers in False Gospels

by Johninnc

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

It is extremely common in the world of professing Christendom (also known as “churchianity”) to qualify the words “Christian” and “believer” with words like “true” and “real.”

When the Apostle Paul wrote “we, or an angel from heaven,” he meant anyone, including himself. He affirms this in the very next sentence:

Galatians 1:9: 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. 

The “any man” could include: your mother, your father, your best friend, your pastor, the televangelist, the 19th century “prince of preachers,” the Pope, Billy Graham, the author of “Christian” books, your church, your denomination, your elder – anyone! It could even be someone who has previously presented the gospel to you faithfully.

Now, back to “true believers.”  Following are some things that “true believers” may believe:

  • I believe that you have to turn from your sins to receive eternal life
  • I believe that you have to be water baptized to receive eternal life
  • I believe there are mortal sins that, if unconfessed, would result in a Christian losing eternal life
  • I believe you have to manifest speaking in tongues to prove you have eternal life
  • I believe I must surrender my life to Jesus to receive eternal life
  • I believe I must publicly confess Christ to receive eternal life
  • I believe that faith is the gift of God
  • I believe Christians must persevere in good works and obedience to the Ten Commandments to prove they have eternal life
  • I believe God chooses who will believe in Jesus
  • I believe you have to have “heart faith,” not just “intellectual assent” to receive eternal life
  • I believe that you have to want to grow in Christ in order to have eternal life
  • I believe you have to be sorry for your sins to receive eternal life

While we can’t know whether someone holding these beliefs has eternal life, we do know that these beliefs are not compatible with the truth of the gospel.

When we encounter someone who has an honest question about the seemingly endless assaults on the gospel, we will try to teach them from God’s word why these assaults are not true.

But, we will not allow the “true believers” – those who desperately cling to these types of false beliefs despite having been shown the truth from God’s word – to use this site as a forum to promote their false doctrine

Pator Tom Cucuzza put it this way:

We cannot give false teachers a place – and you’ll notice what he said – not even for an hour. Now, that’s not being mean-spirited, that’s just standing our ground.

The question, then, is not whether or not someone is a “true believer.”  The question is, does the person believe the truth.

If you would like to know the truth about how to receive eternal life, click here: The Gospel

 

Lordship Salvation: Pink Makes God See Red

by Johninnc

Galatians 1:9:  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.

A friend of mine with whom I often speak regarding matters of the Gospel recently left me a false gospel tract entitled “Saving Faith,” written by the late A.W. Pink and distributed by an outfit called “Chapel Library.” He was aware that the tract did not comport with the gospel, and let me know that there was a group distributing it outside at a local event called “Speed Week.”

The tract was one of the most virulent repudiations of the gospel of Jesus Christ that I have ever read, with an attempt to substitute Pink’s false gospel.

Following are some of the quotes from that tract (in italics), as well as my comments (in bold parenthetical form):

Perhaps the reader is already a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet that, in and of itself is not proof he has been born again and is journeying to Heaven.

(My comment: STOP. RIGHT. THERE.  Anyone who has trusted in Christ alone as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. So, why would Pink reject what the Bible says about how to have eternal life? We will never know his motives, but following are some of his false, unbiblical arguments)

Among the chief rulers also many believed (not simply ‘about’, but) on Him.” Ah! but note what immediately follows: “but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:42-43) – what a proof that they were utter strangers to a saving work of God in their souls: yet they were “believers” in the Lord Jesus!

(My comment: there are varying degrees of boldness in public identification with Christ, at various times among believers.  This does not mean that the believers in Christ that Pink references do not have eternal life. In fact, the Bible says just the opposite: John 1:12: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:)

There is a faith in Christ which is saving, and there is a faith in  Christ which is not saving. Possibly, the reader says, “But I know that mine is the former: I have seen myself as a lost sinner, realize I can do nothing to gain acceptance with God, and have put my trust in the finished work of His Son.”…

Dear friends, others who were equally sure as you are  now in Hell! Suffer us to enquire, Have you tested your faith by Scripture? Have you taken the trouble to ascertain whether your faith is accompanied by those evidences which are inseparable from a saving faith?

(My  comment: Here again, Pink rejects the only basis for assurance of eternal life – dependence on Christ’s righteousnes – and tries to replace it with good old fashioned fruit inspection)

Have you been saved from pride, from covetousness, from murmuring? Christ died not to procure the pardon of our sins and the taking of us to Heaven, while our hearts still remain clinging to the things of this earth.

(My comment: Pink suggests here that those believers who cling to the things of this earth lack eternal life. The Bible says otherwise. Romans 12:2: And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. This was written to believers, and it means that it is God’s will that we not be worldly. But, it is not presented as a requirement for, or necessary consequence of eternal life.)

Saving faith necessarily involved the renouncing of our own sinful “lordship,” the throwing down of our weapons of warfare against Him, and the submitting to His yoke and rule. And before any sinful rebel is brought to that place, a miracle of grace has to be wrought within him. Saving faith consists of the complete surrender of my whole being and life to the lordship of Christ: “they first gave their own selves to the Lord” (2 Cor 8:5). Have you? Have you?

(My comment: the Bible repeatedly refers to eternal life as the gift of God. Saving faith does not require surrendering any, or all, of one’s being and life to the Lordship of Christ. Faith entails trusting in Christ alone as Savior. The verse that Pink cites, out of context here, has to do with liberality in financial sacrifice for the Apostle Paul’s ministry, not for the receipt of eternal life.)

I don’t know if A.W. Pink ever believed in Jesus as his Savior. His false gospel, presented in the referenced tract, would lead people away from Christ.

But, in this I am confident: whether or not Pink is with the Lord, he would now beg you to disregard the false gospel that is presented in his “Saving Faith” tract and believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior.

If you would like to know how to have eternal life, click here: The Gospel