John MacArthur / Lordship Salvation

I was recently challenged by a person who responded to my comment on another Blog. Because he was a devotee of John MacArthur, he was upset that I called MacArthur a proponent of “Lordship Salvation.” (LS) He claimed, in very eloquent language, not to understand LS, indicating he had learned much from MacArthur.

I also made the statement very clearly that MacArthur is a Reformed Calvinist.

This is my answer to him — which, unfortunately, leaves much unsaid on my part — simply for fear of too much verbiage and a lack of time to prove a point. The gentleman never answered my comment.

My definition of “Lordship Salvation” is described as any doctrine which adds works to salvation or to the keeping of salvation. Christian carnality is a shame but cannot be cured by adding or demanding works to gain, keep or insure salvation.

LS has its roots in Covenant/Reformed/Calvinist teaching, which leads a person to believe he must continue in good works to prove his salvation to God, the “P” in the Calvinist TULIP,  Perseverance of the Saints.

Here are some quotes where MacArthur misses the mark in his teaching. He is indeed a learned man and respected by many, but alas, he projects errors in some of his doctrine. There are many references where he utters truth but likewise, there are too many times when he contradicts himself and the Bible.

MacArthur espouses Covenant/Reformed/Calvinist doctrine and consequently, this evidently influences his teaching of Lordship Salvation. It seems deliberate, not accidental, even though at times he denies his Reformed teaching. Look at some of his quotes:
From Saved Without A Doubt – MacArthur Study Series (Chariot Victor Books, 1992), p 58.

“….. It’s not that He [God] merely sees what will happen in the future; rather He ordains it. The Bible clearly teaches that God sovereignly chooses people to believe in Him.”

This is clearly Covenant/Reformed/Calvinist teaching with no scripture to support it. And yet in his statement before the Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA) Board, 1989, in plenary session he said,

“I believe with all my heart and soul that you cannot come up with a covenant view of theology and maintain any kind of coherent hermeneutics.”

This contradicts his theology quoted above that  “God sovereignly chooses people to believe…” Incidentally the words “sovereign” and all its derivatives do not appear in the King James Bible, but are catchwords of Calvinists.

An example of his Lordship teaching:
John MacArthur – Grace to You
….. no one can be saved who counts the cost and is unwilling to pay it.”

My friends, this is the confusing essence and tenet of Lordship Salvation. Clear Biblical teaching says there is NO cost to being saved or staying saved.

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.
(Red caps my emphasis)

From: Grace to You Website (Grace Community Church – MacArthur, Pastor)

What we teach about God:

He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own.”

Again, this is Covenant/Reformed/Calvinist doctrine. This means God therefore chooses NOT to pick others (the un-chosen) leaving them condemned to hell. Bad Doctrine! “The Lord is … not willing that any should perish.” 2 Peter 3:9

From: John MacArthur
Master’s Seminary Journal
TMSJ 4/1 (Spring 1993) 5-24

“A faith that is void of submission is a merely intellectual faith, ….. Those who adopt such a view must then scale back the definition of faith so that believing is something that even depraved sinners are capable of.”

I would ask MacArthur, “Submission how? Obedience to a doctrine of mandatory works?”
Did not Christ die for every sinner, the whole world, no matter how “depraved?” (Incidentally, the word “depraved” does not appear in the Bible but it is an invention of Calvinists). What could possibly be the difference between an ordinary sinner and a “depraved” sinner. Christ died for the most “depraved” of sinners the Apostle Paul — who called himself “The chief of sinners.” We are all sinners by nature and deed and even our finest righteousness is, in God’s words, as “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:5). We all deserve the condemnation of Hell.

MacArthur defines Perseverance of the Saints (Covenant/Reformed/Calvinist doctrine):

“It [perseverance] opposes the radical easy-believism teaching that genuine Christians can choose to ‘drop out’ of the spiritual growth process and ‘cease to confess Christianity.’ It [perseverance] is the polar opposite of the brand of theology that makes faith a ‘historic moment,’ a one-time ‘act’ that secures heaven, but offers no guarantee the ‘believer’s’ earthly life will be changed.”

Therein is the very definition of  Lordship Salvation. MacArthur thereby declares and proclaims that if your life does not change, you are not saved.

Scripture says:

“… for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Please remember, Christian carnality cannot be cured by adding or demanding works to gain, keep or insure salvation. The answer for the carnal Christian is (among many verses):

2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

And to be absolutely sure of your eternity — to be sure of Heaven some day, without a doubt:

Eternal Life For You

83 responses to “John MacArthur / Lordship Salvation

  1. katmazdobelieve

    I can also relate.
    Having been steeped in the deception of LS since I was a child, then having the back and forth of recommitting, and then being in such a frantic and fearful state before I was actually saved leaves me unable to pinpoint exactly when I began to trust in Christ alone. It was sometime during 2015 and that I do know for sure.
    Not being able to say exactly when ( like being able to say May 5th, 2015 at 2:42 pm is the moment I first believed) has bothered me in the past. It doesn’t anymore since I am in God’s hand and nothing can take me out it.

  2. Chas, I can sure relate. I believe it was when I believed when I was young, but one thing I’m sure of. I’m very thankful that I know the truth. That’s what those who have believed should be pointed to (Jn 8:31-32). So very thankful for faithful people who have contended earnestly for the faith once delivered.

  3. chas, I am glad that you found that old comment to be helpful.

    I think I read somewhere that you don’t need a birth certificate to know you’re alive!

  4. Whoa, going over an old thread here, but I just had to say “thanks” to you, johninnc, for your post of 11-22-14 at 10:26 AM wherein you brought up the issue of a believer not being able to “pinpoint” the date/time of their conversion. I can certainly relate. Being raised RC I’m quite certain I was NOT saved until after I left that “church”, but due to the inconsistent “accept Jesus into your heart and life” gospel of the popular evangelical movement, I was never quite sure if I had “believed” the right way, and every now-and-then I’d “re-commit” just to make sure. Real, stable assurance never came to me until I found out what “repentance” in salvation really means. That was about 2006 or so. Consequently, I’m one of those who have never been able to pinpoint the time when they first believed and it always bothered me a little.

    So I do appreciate you pointing out that it shouldn’t be a faith-killer. Thanks again.

  5. Phil, I cannot tell you where, but I have heard JMac state Romans 7 was Paul speaking of himself pre-conversion.

  6. Totally agree with you John, I see I did not word it well, in that it sounded as if I was saying he is stating we believe these things, vs. suggesting (it seems to me) that we try to present the gospel this way to lure people in. The gospel is free, they just don’t seem to get it, nor do they believe in thhe power of the gospel.

  7. john, I think Bott Radio Network may only be in the mid west.

    The only time I have seen MacArthur, other than some brief ads, was on this “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” in this ’90’s show by John Anchorburg on a panel with D. James Kennedy, Chuck Colsen, and RC Sproal where they were all trying to explain why they almost drank the Kool Aide in some sort of faith statement with the RCC. Anchorburg had all four of them: JMac, Colsen, D. James Kennedy and Sproal all on this panel looking like they had egg on their faces trying to explain their blunder cozying up with the Catholics. I’m sure glad none of them are leading us and I’m sure glad when people see the light and liberate themselves from this Calvinist faith+works=salvation bondage.

  8. Phil, I haven’t listened to that network, but all great points about MacArthur.

    I think J Mac is one of Satan’s favorite tools for two reasons:

    1. He preaches a false gospel; and
    2. He makes others who teach false gospels of LS Lite seem more reasonable

  9. I don’t know if you have ever listened to any Bott Radio Network stations. They are a bit perplexing: they will carry broadcasts of John MacArthur’s “Grace to You”, and yet may have J. Vernon McGee’s “Through the Bible” , and Chuck Swindoll all in the same afternoon. I guess that Bott may think is all they have to do is throw Bible teachers out at you and that’s somehow the answer. After all, Botts mission statement is, “Getting the Bible into people….”
    Fortunately, Bott is the only media I have ever heard JM. I guess no one else will have him; I’ve never seen his GTY on TV.
    There are other contradictions to JM’s LS. Paul’s confession in Romans 7. If JM heard Paul’s failures with sins in Romans 7,would JM declare that he doubted Paul was ever saved in the first place? Or would JM come up with this lame interpretation that Paul did all this sinning before his conversion on the road to Damascus? And what about the Prodigal Son? Would JM say his leaving home and turning to sin was proof that he was not one of the elect and never saved in the first place? And what about the thief on the cross who trusted Christ for salvation? Wouldn’t JM insist that he also needed to do some “faith-works” before he died so he could make it to Paradise? And according to JM, shouldn’t Paul and Silas have told the jailor to not only to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, but also “count the cost” in order to be saved, repent of his sins, and do faith-works?

  10. Holly, following are three of the most outrageous of MacArthur’s heretical quotes, from the first link:

    1.I often wonder if those who espouse easy-believism have simply adapted their theology in order to try to get a sinning loved one into the kingdom.

    My comment: Christ died for the ungodly. No one needs to adapt his theology to “try to get a sinning loved one into the kingdom.” MacArthur makes it sound like he has done something to merit grace that people who sin haven’t.

    2.It was Jesus, after all, who first stated, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).

    We could go on and on quoting from Jesus’ hard sayings, which he often preached to unbelieving multitudes but never offset with any qualification. Clearly he was insisting on wholehearted commitment. He did not soften his demands with words that would accommodate the halfhearted.

    Our Lord was certainly not fearful that people would be turned away by such hard demands. He said, “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me” (John 6:37). Likewise, I am confident that those being drawn by the Father and convicted by the Holy Spirit will not be turned away by the straightforward truth of his Word.

    My comment: MacArthur teaches that we must work for the free gift of eternal life.

    3.The glorious truth of God’s sovereign election guarantees that those he has chosen will respond to his Word with true faith and repentance. So we can be assured that God can work in the hearts of those we love in response to our prayers, even if the gospel they hear from some Christians is not complete.

    My comment: This is idiotic. Why would we pray for God to work in the hearts of those we love, if He has already decided who will be saved? Does God not love those we love?

  11. Joy, MacArthur is doing everything he can to frustrate grace, including deriding the gospel itself, and those who preach it faithfully. What he derides as a “corrupt gospel” is the gospel itself.

    I don’t know why he is so concerned, because he thinks that God chooses who will be saved.

    In an article that he wrote way back in 2007, the late Jack Weaver exposed MacArthur’s false gospel, as well as those of Billy Graham, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Presbyterian Church USA.

    Following are errant MacArthur quotes from that article that also appear in the first of the two MacArthur links that Holly posted earlier today:

    “A person might be truly born again without explicitly considering the cost of following Christ, but no one can be saved who counts the cost and is unwilling to pay it.”

    “The problem with easy-believism is not that it will keep God’s elect from getting saved, but that it allows people who are not genuine Christians to live comfortably with a false assurance”

    Jack’s comment: Mixing Salvation by faith with Lordship/Discipleship.

    You will find the link to the entire article below:

  12. “Faith, however, is something that God effects in us (pre-regeneration) . . .”
    So contradictory that LS/MacArthurites give God all the power to create faith in us (“reborn from God”) yet they do not allow for God to completely save us. These judgers of man and accusers of the brethren tell us we must persevere, or continue, or take up our cross, repent from all of our sins, desire to change (well we all know the list never ends).
    Apparently for LSers God uses up all His powers infusing us with faith and has nothing left to give to completely save us?

    O.k. Holly I’ll go sit down with some coffee and check out that link > ugh not a great way to start the New Year with the doctor of doom.

  13. MacArthur correctly asserts what I believe. He incorrectly asserts that it is erroneous.

    Salvation is not a process, whereby we agree to let Jesus change us in order to be saved.

    Excerpt from MacArthur quote:

    Sinners today, you see, are hearing not only that Christ will receive them just as they are, but also that He will let them stay that way. Many erroneously believe that they can come to Christ, receive absolution from their sins, or forgiveness, be granted the gift of immortality, or heaven, and then walk away to continue living life any way they please, even choosing, as one well-known Bible teacher, author and theologian says, quote: “To leave God out and live according to the old nature.”

    My comment: I believe that people can receive eternal life, by grace through faith in Christ, and that He will allow them to continue to live any way they please. There are consequences to how people choose to live, but whether or not someone has eternal life is not conditioned on how they live, nor how they choose to live.

    If believers could not decide to leave God out and walk according to the old nature, then instructions to believers to walk in the newness of life (Romans 6:4), walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), not let sin reign in our mortal bodies (Romans 6:12), to not be conformed to this world (Romans 12:2), and many others would be nonsensical, and utterly unnecessary.

    One does not have to intend to obey Christ in order to be saved.

    MacArthur goes on: In a Bible conference several years ago, a well-known speaker brought a message on salvation. He argued that to tell unsaved people they must surrender to Christ is the same as preaching salvation by works. He defined salvation as the “unconditional gift of everlasting life given to people who believe the facts about Christ, whether or not they choose to obey Him.” And one of his main points was that salvation may or may not alter a person’s behavior. “Transformed character,” he said, “is desirable, but even if no change in lifestyle occurs, the one who has believed the facts of the gospel and received Christ can rest in the certainty of forgiveness and heaven.” That’s pervasive in our society, preaching today; multitudes approach Christ on those very terms. They think there’s no real price to pay. They respond eagerly when offered forgiveness. They respond eagerly when offered the prospect of heaven, victory over death. They have no sense of the severity of their guilt before God. They have no desire to be freed, particularly from sin’s bondage, and they certainly have no overwhelming desire to obey Christ. And I’m convinced that such people are deceived by a corrupt gospel. The faith they are receiving and the faith they are relying on is only intellectual acquiescence, or maybe emotional grasping of something or someone to solve their problems, and it will not save. Yet this is the most common form of evangelism. And many are preaching this kind of weak deceptive message.

    My comment: I agree with the “well-known speaker” whom MacArthur is criticizing. One does not have to desire to be freed from sin’s bondage in order to receive the free gift of eternal life. One may want to continue to sin, and receive eternal life. Nor does one need to have an overwhelming desire to obey Christ in order to receive the free gift of eternal life.

  14. Looking at the links from John MacArthur’s page, he goes on and on about Martin Luther (using the statement some attribute to them about being saved by faith alone, but real faith is never alone).

    (Luther as quoted by Mac) It’s not faith at all. They just call it faith. Luther goes on to write in the commentary on Romans, “Faith, however, is something that God effects in us (pre-regeneration). It changes us, and we are reborn from God. Faith puts the old Adam to death and makes us quite different men in heart, in mind, and in all our powers. And it is accompanied by the Holy Spirit. Oh, when it comes to faith, what a living, creative, active, powerful thing it is (Hmmm… thought that is the Word of God). It cannot do other than good at all times. It never waits to ask whether there is some good work to do; rather before the question is raised, it has done the deed and keeps on doing it.(He makes IT sound like some entity that has taken us over, rather than the Spirit of the Lord dwelling within us). A man not active in this way is a man without faith. He is groping about for faith and searching for good works, but knows neither what faith is nor what good works are. Nevertheless he keeps on talking nonsense about faith and good works. It is impossible indeed to separate works from faith just as it is impossible to separate heat and light from fire,” end quote. So said Martin Luther.

    Seems to me that James, Galatians, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Hebrews, etc. makes it clear faith can and is separated from works and believers need constantly reminded to do good works (Titus 3:8) and to add to their faith (2 Pet 1:5-9) so they will not be barren and unfruitful. So it is indeed POSSIBLE to separate works from faith. It clearly has been a problem with unfaithful, carnal, undiscerning (tossed about by every wind of doctrine) believers from the beginning.

  15. RAS – very interesting… Similarly, many of the lawkeepers around, deny that Paul was an apostle, and that all his writings are false. Yet others, the hyper/ultra-dispensationalists, lean solely on Paul’s writings and say the rest are for the Jews, keeping the body of Christ separated into two parts and two gospels. We know who is behind it, the one that uses partial Scripture to tempt people. The father of all lies.

  16. Phil
    That’s an interesting question considering the inconsistent arguments and proof text that LS adherents put forward to buttress their theology. For an example of how some propagators of LS get caught between tradition and Scripture consider the case of Robert Gundry and his claim that Matthew’s Gospel portrays Peter as exactly that; a false disciple and an apostate. Gundry argues against tradition “the history of interpretation” in favor of logical consistency with LS and he has been rebutted by a JMac underling in defense of Biblical inerrancy. Perhaps the rebuttal is in defense of the tradition of Biblical inerrancy I don’t know. But I see the inconsistency. You can read for yourself just search Robert Gundry ETS.

  17. You can find it here,

    The second link here, John discusses the ‘insidious’ twist of what we have done to the song “Just as I am without one plea”, and frames a ridiculous offer of the gospel, that somehow we share the good news and tell people they can stay how they are, as if that’s the package we’re selling. Read and watch how he weaves this false web of deceit, mischaracterizing the real gospel, and making people fear.

  18. By the way John, MacArthur and other Loadship cronies tend to remove their Q & A to different website addresses, but he’s proud of his work so most doesn’t go anywhere, just gets moved. So your link above is not working, but I’ll get you another.

  19. Joy Founder – I have to laugh, in a sad way, that is what they are. Many don’t realize it. I wrote an article about it last April because I’ve always said many of them are accusers of the brethren.

  20. Phil, we’ve asked that of them, their answer of some has been that he didn’t have the Spirit yet so he wasn’t saved then. Some just say that he proved he was saved by continuing to walk the right way. But I imagine if MacArthur was there, he’d probably have declared he was headed to hell.

  21. Wow Phil that’s an astute thought! It is so sad that someone like JMac who has spent his life preaching, authoring, guest speaking, to not understand and experience personally God’s UNDONDITIONAL grace, love and forgiveness. I read somewhere recently where JMac was described as an ‘accuser of the brethren’ > referring to the passage in Revelation 12. (This was in connection to JMac’s Strange Fire conference a few years back.) So many brothers and sisters in Christ were hurt and offended because of that conference.
    Thank you for your insight.

  22. Phil, perhaps MacArthur would doubt that someone who denied Christ in the manner that Peter did was saved. Particularly if Peter had died just after having denied Christ.

  23. This hasn’t been posted on for a while, but I was thinking; would MacArthur or some of these Calvinists say that the Apostle Peter was really saved? After all, he did the unthinkable sin of denying Christ three times and abandoned him. If Peter were around today, maybe in MacArthur’s GCC, and he denied Christ three times and abandoned him, would MacArthur say that he was not one of the elect and his sins proved he was never truly saved?

  24. Actually Cyndi, that is a cult, all these great big christian men of “god” [the god of this world, 2 Cor. 4:4] seem not to be just wolves, but christian gurus as well, many saved, many not.
    JMac has no testimony of his conversion, that he ever was a sinner, ever rebelled against God, so it is reasonable to doubt his salvation by his very own words.

  25. Cyndi (JoyFounder)

    Yes Holly, I too had doubts throughout my childhood due to my very young conversion experience (perhaps partially because as a pre-teen I started attending JMac churches). But you are so correct that is a key issue > JMac doesn’t seem to find the need of a ‘refresh’ re: his own salvation and the certainty of the gospel as it relates to his personal beliefs and relationship with Jesus Christ. Curious.
    Also JMac has ‘handlers’ and ‘protectors’ who cover him physically and doctrinally. (Insiders say he has a Security Force that train @ a para-military camp. Could be internet tall tails but I would not be surprised if it were true). There is no way Phil Johnson would ever contradict or challenge JMac in this particular interview because he is a paid employee in the Grace system. And they have to continue the illusion of JMac as the ultimate authority on scripture. I think JMac encourages idolatry. He cannot admit to sin in his own life and those who follow him would never admit to him being anything other than perfect. Hmmmmmm is this beginning to sound like a cult?

  26. Nathan Paul, I think many of us can, so thankful for the Lord, and His Word and our brethren who contend for the purity of His Word and the clarity of His gospel.

  27. Phil and Joy, I did hear that testimony, and even when MacArthur said what he did about the Mark of the Beast, and suddenly it wasn’t available on his website, the funny part was, I think he can’t bring himself to be wrong, so they backpedal and explain what they REALLY mean. Or he has Phil cover up for him (badly) as he did on the mark of the beast. This is the trouble with misunderstanding meanings of words, and so they believe if one repents, they can be saved. Repent about what? So they use the truth that they did not repent, to say that they still CAN repent….

    He can’t remember a time when he didn’t believe, fine, I can’t either, but I remember a time where I wanted to be sure I was His, and went to my mom and she went over the gospel with me, each point and I knew I believed, don’t know when, maybe 4, but the point is, we believed the gospel at some point and were born again.

    Where I find it contradictory, is that MacArthur also says salvation is an ‘adult thing’. So how was he saved as a child? And his father instantly takes bad behavior as proof his son was not saved and prays for him to be saved. Why didn’t he present the gospel to his son at that moment?

    The thinking is so convoluted, minds corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

  28. John,

    You said…………….. “For about four months after it first occurred to me that eternal life was a gift that did not require my “repenting of sins” or “commitment to Christ”, I was under a withering attack from Satan that had me going back and forth on whether or not I was really saved. I would read things that would give me qualms about the real meaning of “repentance”, and whether or not “repenting from sins” was required for salvation.”

    As you well know I can identify with your story. Thank you for your honest testimony.

  29. Joy, I agree that MacArthur never really acknowledges his sinful condition and need for Christ, just that his heart was fertile ground.

  30. Thank you Jack & John. Pope of Doom! Yes you’re correct > I shouldn’t hang onto a ‘pinpoint’. My husband cannot state a date/time he began trusting in Christ & yet he’s always trusted that Christ saved him during a most difficult time in his life. My biggest issue with JMac was his non-admission of his own sin and that is in direct violation of his beloved Calvinist TULIP teaching. So he’s not even obeying his own false doctrines! JMac wouldn’t even be on the radar if he didn’t have so many idolatrous followers.
    Thank you for sharing your testimony John. Such maturity in only 4 years! God be praised.

  31. Joy, I read the MacArthur comments and agree that many of them are problematic. However, given the false gospel that he teaches, I would have been surprised if his particular conversion testimony was consistent with grace. After all, if he were to have testified that he had become saved by grace through faith, it would run counter to many of the other Calvinist/LS tenets that he teaches.

    I am not surprised they left this on the GTY site. I would think this kind of testimony would be somewhat common for a Calvinist.

    Regarding his not being able to pinpoint when he became a believer in Jesus Christ, he seems to think that he was pretty much always a Christian, having grown up in a “Christian” home. That is why I made the comment about him possibly believing he is God’s grandchild instead of being God’s child.

    However, I do not think it is necessary for a believer to “pinpoint” when he became a believer. Anyone who is currently trusting in Christ as Savior had to have decided at some point to believe. And, many believers cannot pinpoint when they became believers.

    Some believers can pinpoint an exact moment that they became believers, and will testify that they’ve never had any misgivings, or qualms, or lack of assurance at all after that point. There is no reason for me to doubt these testimonies, but I don’t think this is the pattern for all believers.

    With myself, I think it was about Labor Day 2010. I was confident in my salvation initially, but my confidence didn’t last very long. For about four months after it first occurred to me that eternal life was a gift that did not require my “repenting of sins” or “commitment to Christ”, I was under a withering attack from Satan that had me going back and forth on whether or not I was really saved. I would read things that would give me qualms about the real meaning of “repentance”, and whether or not “repenting from sins” was required for salvation. I was even goaded into asking for salvation, because a so-called “grace” website said that believing wasn’t enough. I thought the advice from the website was a little sketchy, but I asked just to be sure. I realized the same day what an awful act of disbelief it was for me to have been goaded into asking, when the Bible says that believing is enough. So, was I saved on Labor Day 2010, or some months after, when I quit going back and forth, or after I got through the incident of asking, and realizing that was wrong? And, if I am attacked today, or tomorrow, and have momentary lapses of assurance, does this mean I’ve never trusted in Christ? No.

    The only point in my going on and on about this is I think we have to be careful with this “pinpoint” concept. If being able to “pinpoint” when we became a believer in Jesus Christ becomes the basis for our assurance, then we may be tempted to take our eyes off of Christ and onto our “pinpoint.”

  32. Joy,

    Thanks — I will re-read your analysis – but I detest listening to the pope of doom, JMac. I will try.

    As you know we have written extensively about JMac and his errors. We could no doubt write an article a week and still not cover all of his deceitfulness.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  33. John;
    Are you at all familiar with this interview? Do you find it stunning that it is still on the GTY website? Are they so arrogant that they do not recognize what this sounds like? The epitome of man’s pride. The emperor has NO CLOTHES! I would love to pick your brain re: your opinion of JMac’s comments/responses (also to see if you think my summary is off base) but understand how busy you are. When I first became aware of this interview I thought I must be reading too much into these answers by JMac. But these scripture verses kept popping into my head as I read/heard the interview. Now I will state the obvious > JMac is considered by many to be the Evangelical, fundamental pope. He has published Bible commentaries, books, radio/TV/internet, even Larry King and a sought after guest speaker. He can’t even pinpoint when he became a believer in Jesus Christ! So I guess it’s appropriate he’s considered a ‘pope’!

  34. Joy, it sounds like John MacArthur thinks he is God’s grandchild instead of being God’s child.

    And, we know God doesn’t have any grandchildren.

  35. Over a year ago when I started questioning all this LS teaching I stumbled onto JMac’s own personal life testimony. Anyone can listen to Phil Johnson interview JMac, or read the transcripts on the Grace To You website. (Going there is playing with fire however as the entire Grace ‘ministry’ is like wondering through an explosive mine field).
    In my opinion, JMac’s testimony correlates well with his LS teaching, however not well with Calvin’s TULIP as JMac does not mention sin (total depravity?) in his own life. Reading the transcripts & listening to the interview . . . well . . . I found it very disturbing. 
    Phil Johnson is a paid employee as Executive Director of John MacArthur’s Grace To You ministries. He conducted the interview in which John MacArthur recounts his ‘conversion’. 
    JMac evidently was reluctant to have the interview, but was urged by friends. (This is a first > I’ve never known of any Bible-believing, God-fearing Pastors/teachers reluctant to share their conversion experience).
    Q: “How old were you when you first recall sensing your need for Christ?”
    A: “Well I always believed the gospel. I don’t ever…I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t believe the gospel. I mean, it was so wonderfully modeled by my Mom and Dad, it was so consistent. They were exactly at home what they were in the church. And what my Dad was in the pulpit he was in the house. And Christ was always very wonderful to me and inviting to me. And my Mom and Dad lived out their Christian life before me.”
    (‘The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.’ Psalm 58:3)
    “And so, I never rebelled against it. I always knew I needed Jesus to be my Savior.”
    JMac continues with an account from his boyhood. ” . . . Some kids had kind of prompted” him to participate in vandalism. ” . . . one of them happened to be the pastor’s kid and so he drags me along . . . I felt terrible and frightened by it. And I sat down on the steps with my Dad . . . I remember my Dad praying with me on the steps that the Lord would save me. . . And as to whether I was actually converted at that time, I don’t know. Again, in the years following I never rebelled, I was always responsive to the things of Christ. . . . ”
    Q: “So you’re saying…are you saying it would be difficult for you to put your finger on when your conversion took place?”
    (‘These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.’ 1 John 5:13 KJV)
    A: “Yeah. I’ve never been able to do that. And it doesn’t bother me. I think I’m one of those kids…I was one of those kids that never rebelled”
    (‘As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:’ Romans 3:10 KJV)
    “and always believed. . . . I didn’t ever revolt against, you know, the gospel or not believe. And I guess that’s…in some ways that’s a grace act on God’s part. So that all that wonderful training found some level of fertile soil in my heart and none of it was wasted. . . .”
    (‘But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.’ Isaiah 64:6 KJV)
    And so when God did His saving work in my heart, it was not discernible to me. I went away to high school and for all I knew, I loved Christ, I was part of the ministry of the church. . . . I went away to college. . . . But at some point along the line, I really do believe there was a transformation in my heart, but I think it may have been to some degree imperceptible to me because I didn’t ever have a rebellious time,”
    (‘For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;’ Romans 3:23 KJV)

    Being raised as a ‘Preacher’s kid & Missionary’s kid’ myself I found it easy to sympathize with JMac’s upbringing. It is confusing being born into the church and blurs the lines of sin & grace to a certain extent. (I always envied those conversion testimonies from believers literally pulled out of the gutter to a saving Grace relationship with Christ. They were miraculously transformed and it was obvious!) That said I DO remember my salvation from death unto life. I was 5 (or 6) and attending our church’s summer 5 day club. A Sunday School teacher showed me the ‘book of colors’. At that young age I recognized my sin and need of Jesus’ salvation. I remember believing on Jesus to save me and praying to Him to save me. He answered my prayer & looking back I can exclaim Glory to God! I am redeemed! 
    Because of my 4 decade indoctrination into all things JMac and his Seminary Grads I am dealing with my need to forgive him and all who regurgitate his lies and deceit. (I also have an issue with JMac on his teaching about the blood of Jesus. He claims: “Not His bleeding, but His dying” but my comments are too long already).
    Hearing and than reading this interview I think helped me understand him, perhaps just pity. It is my conclusion that this man does not recognize his own sinfulness before a holy and righteous God. Therefore he is confused and uncertain about who God is, who the Holy Spirit is and how much love Jesus actually bestowed in order to suffer and die for JMac. He considers the fact that he ‘didn’t ever revolt’ an act of God’s grace, not wasted because his heart already had fertile soil? Is this implying JMac considers himself a sort of sinless, ordained deity? Tragic. Sobering.

  36. This hasn’t been posted on for a while, but I thought I might ask a question or two to the Calvinists, Reformed, Covenanters, Arminians, and the “gospel according to John MacArthur” fans:
    Since, as Paul says, you have been crucified with Christ, and you the sinner with all your sins have been buried with Him, and you have been raised with Him, and you have been seated with Him in the heavenlies (Heaven), and you now possess all the sinless righteousness and perfection of Christ, and you received all this as a free gift that cost our Lord and Savior everything; then, are there still more works, or as Johnny Mac says, “faith-works” you must do to seal your eternal salvation? Is there more persevering, discipleship, and more Lordship making and more worthiness that must be added to your account?
    The only things that count that will grant you blessed eternity is the imputed righteousness and sinless perfection of Christ which anyone can receive the moment they believe the gospel of their salvation. Your good works, charity, Christ’s Lordship over your life, truly becoming his disciple, forsaking sins, taking up your cross in your life, your persevering….do not factor into whether you are saved or not: but they are a matter of rewards and crowns in Heaven, but your works do not determine whether you make it to Heaven or not..

  37. I think this is why John MacArthur is one of the most popular ‘reformed’ theologians around. His wide acceptance is partly due to his intellectual prowess which you can read about in the marketing for his Bible. You can also hear in his marketing on Amazon in the first few books listed under John MacArthur.

    Some of his promoted accomplishments are:
    • Pastor-teacher
    • President of Master’s College and Seminary
    • “Featured teacher” with GTY Media ministry
    • Writer of dozens of best-selling books.
    • Written a Best seller Study bible
    • Popular author and conference speaker
    • Producer of daily radio programs
    • Writer of hundreds of books and study guides
    • 1998 ECPA Gold Medallion recipient

    His own website says similar things to the above self-promotions and offers his ‘hundreds’ of books all the way back to 1969. There is obviously no way to read all of his books, and I have no desire either. He is a master self-marketer for sure and has built quite a successful corporation. Kudos for that.

    John MacArthur obviously seems to get quite a lot right, and appeals to the people who are sick of the Joel Osteens and Paul and Jan Crouches, the Benny Hinns,Todd Bentleys, Kenneth Copelands, or Pat Robertsons of this world. Or even tired the legality, religiosity, and pomp of the Roman Catholics, Mormons and Jehovah’s witnesses among others.

    But because of his immense popularity, he is a dangerous man I believe. Just because he “packs in a 3500 seat auditorium every Sunday for two services” (his own website’s pat on the back), among his other many accomplishments…it doesn’t make him sound. It doesn’t mean he is preaching the gospel.

    He appears on Larry King, Fox News, television, radio shows and conferences, along with other guest appearances. It might make him appeal to the masses as solid and conservative, definitely loved and defended by his churchgoers. He has many who claim to be his “fans”, and he even has his own “Mac Rap” song, done at Master’s Seminary during Spring Sing 2010, but disturbingly they ‘just want to be like Mac’ (at the end they faint when they see him).

    I am always reminded of Luke 6:26, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.”

  38. Covenant theology, springing from people like Roman Catholic Bishop of Augustine, or murderous John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards (among others), kind of ‘ratified’ if you will, in the Westminster confession is definitely mainly Calvinist.

    But MacArthur claims to be a ‘classical’ dispensationalist, yet has turned out to be more ‘progressive’ as he says, (whatever that means). He isn’t understood or touted as typical covenant theology as would be a John Piper or an R. C. Sproul (or most of the reformed theologians), but he still mixes much of the covenant teaching with his supposed dispensational beliefs.

    He obviously sees a covenant of works still ongoing in the perseverance of the saints (I believe). Also their understanding of the covenant of grace, primarily in teaching the Holy Spirit being given in advance of belief. with the sermon on the mount. I don’t understand all of supercessionism, but saw enough to know it didn’t line up with the Word of God.

  39. This is an excellent article for people to read then see the many responses by Calvinist/Lordship proponents. It shows where their faith lies, (quoting the Institutes of Christianity – Calvinism) Yikes!

    Anyways, I had seen a recent comment by John MacArthur on the 15 year debate on Lordship doctrine.

    MacArthur uses the typical ploy of these Load-ship teachers, as if we deny or somehow do not teach Jesus IS THE Lord… Shame on them.

    In speaking of DTS, MacArthur says that those at Dallas Theological Seminary “insisted there is no place in the gospel for the proclamation of Jesus’ lordship”. He also says that their ‘doctrine’ stems apparently from “Chafer’s misguided attempts to develop a uniquely dispensationalist soteriology.” I guess MacArthur misses that we do not want to add his long list of requirements to the gospel, (another gospel). He falsely adds works in accepting His “Lordship”, defining that as surrendering complete control of our lives, abandoning all, etc. Instead this passage I believe speaks to recognizing and believing Jesus is indeed Lord. We do not make Him Lord by submitting, surrendering, or committing. I guess it’s why John MacArthur denies there are ‘carnal Christians’ contrary to what the Word of God says in 1 Corinthians 3.

    MacArthur continues to say that Chafer (and other early dispensationalists), were “so zealous to eliminate every vestige of law from the dispensation of grace that they embraced a kind of antinomianism (another one of their favorite false accusations), which was how (MacArthur finishes)“That (zealousness) was the seed from which the no-lordship gospel sprouted.

    Didn’t Christ remove every vestige of the law when He fulfilled all written of Him in the law of Moses, the Psalms and the Prophets? Doesn’t free mean free, and break one law mean even one?

    Again 2 Tim 3 comes to mind with men like John MacArthur (I know this will shock many who love him.). The boasters, proud people who resist the truth, corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. Have people forgotten in following these intelligent, learned, scholarly deceivers, that the deception of the evil one is subtle? Or am I too strong?

    (As a good reminder, I have saved the link and screen shot)

  40. Sola,

    I believe Dave has brilliantly and adequately countered your specious and silly arguments, therefore this post is closed to further comments.

    You are welcome to question your salvation all you want — but I will pray for you that you will gain your assurance from God’s Word and not your behavior.

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

    I KNOW because I have trusted Christ as my SAVIOR — He is not my probation officer.

    In Christ ETERNALLY,


  41. I need to make one correction to what I have said. I said:

    “I do not believe anyone is saved that does not have both faith and complete assurance simultaneously.”

    That statement can be misleading and I apologize. I believe assurance grows as faith grows. My saying that I do not believe anyone is saved that does not have “complete” assurance is misleading. The Bible speaks about “much assurance” so assurance has a place to grow in the believers life but my using the word “complete” doesn’t convey that.

    I simply believe that faith that is void of assurance is not faith and that is how I should have worded it. This certainly is not the “hope so” assurance of that Puritan of 1600’s as that is no assurance at all. It isn’t a “I hope I am saved” or “I am pretty sure that I am saved” but “I know I am saved” assurance.

  42. My above comments were to Sola. Sorry about the length. I apologize Jack as I am done.

  43. It says, “If you love me you will keep my commandments” and not “If you are saved then you will love me.” Keeping His commandments are a product of love but here is the problem with LS and even those that are not LS. They try to do His commands because they do not want to show in their works that they do not love Him. Works now are forced and not natural. Don’t add words that are not there.

    You said:

    “Classical theology teaches, like Ephesians 2:8&9, that God is the granter and initiator of salvation. He even gifts us with the faith that we direct back at him. Or more technically, He changes our nature so we turn to Him in faith irresistibly.”

    Scripture does not teach that but only you. You need to reread Ephesians 2:8,9 because in the Greek you CANNOT make faith the gift there as it does not agree in how the Greek is worded and even John Calvin teaches that. I’m not going to go into the masculine, feminine and neuter translation of that verse as I am at work but leave it to you to search it out. Just remember that faith is feminine and gift is neuter so how can the gift be faith??? The neuter pronoun (“this”) requires that the antecedent must also be neuter and you really have to twist very hard the Greek to make faith a gift. See Calvin on Ephesians and even he will tell you that the gift is not faith but salvation. Remember, the Bible EVERYWHERE says that the GIFT is ETERNAL LIFE and not faith.

    The only place that “faith” is called a gift is the same place where “repentance” is called a gift and that is in the book of Acts but it is not addressing any person in particular but a race. The faith and repentance that is a gift now to the Gentiles is only that they now have the opportunity. The verses in Acts makes it clear that THEY had the responsibility to believe and not that God had the responsibility to make them believe. What was foreign before to the Gentiles is now made available (a gift).

    Just remember, if man can’t believe of his own free will then he cannot reject either of his own free will and this is where Calvinists contradict themselves. They argue that a dead person cannot respond but seek to argue the physical realm into the spiritual. No dead physical man can do anything but Scripture invites the sinner dead in sin to believe. The Bible teaches that we can either believe or reject. Calvinists love to teach that a person can reject but can’t believe and that is simply a word game. Sorry, Scripture is very clear that we are not first saved and then believe but we believe and are saved. Calvinists claim that a person has to be regenerated first in order to believe and that reverses the order and is based on man’s assumption. It is believe and you will be saved and not be saved and you will believe.

    Calvinists are notorious for hiding behind passages and making loud statements to confuse their listeners. They claim that Romans 3 teaches a universal inability instead of a universal depravity. What is the difference? Universal inability would mean that no individual could seek after God, fear God and so on. Universal depravity means that it left no race unaffected. Paul was arguing the affects upon the Jews AND the Gentiles. Question, how did Cornelius fear God and do good in His sight according to Acts 10 prior to being saved??? If you believe in Universal Depravity then it is clear but if you believe in Universal Inability then you have a contradiction. This is where LS comes in and tells you what “really” was happening without any Bible verses to back it up but only how they perceive their god to be.

    You said:

    “Salvific faith WILL cause fruit in one’s life. ”

    Where is a single verse of Scripture that says that??? I see verses that say that a person “ought” to be careful to maintain good works. I see verses that says that we “should” do good works. I see verses that say that we “might” do good works but never that we “will” do good works. There is only one verse that uses the word “will” and it is found in Galatians 5:16 that says:

    “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you WILL not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

    Does this happen automatically??? The verse clearly teaches that WE have to live by the Spirit in order to keep from the desires of the sinful nature. Nothing automatic stated there.

    I have news for you, but a believer can live a life of pure laziness. See 1st Thessalonians 5:5-10:

    5Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

    6Therefore let us not SLEEP, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

    7For they that SLEEP SLEEP in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

    8But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

    9For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

    10Who died for us, that, whether we WAKE or SLEEP, we should live together with him.

    Sleep refers to spiritual lethargy and not death as some erroneous commentators who love their LS will try to teach. How do I know that sleep doesn’t mean death here?? Because everywhere in Paul’s language when he spoke about someone actually being dead then he never used this Greek word. Compare the Greek here to 1st Cor. when Paul talked about those that sleep because of their sins and you will see the difference. Grab your concordance. Look at other verses where Paul talks about those that sleep in the grave and again a different Greek word. However, in 1st Thess. 5, the Greek word for “sleep” here remains consistently the same and we can clearly see sleep in verses 6 and 7 did not refer to a dead person. Even the word “wake” doesn’t mean “alive physically” but “watchful.” I’m afraid this is a verse that LS chooses to word differently.

    We have similar wording in Romans 13:

    12The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

    13Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

    14But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

    Wow! It sure looks like a believer can live opposite of a life of good works as he needs to be warned about such a possibility.

    Romans 12:1,2 says:

    1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

    2And 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.

    According to LS, a person must surrender all to be saved. Hmmmm, it sure looks like verse 1 and 2 is teaching about our need to present our bodies as already believers to God as a living sacrifice.

    How about in Acts 19 where you have believers saved now for 2 years still messing around with sorcery??

    Show me how Lot, Samson or Solomon demonstrated salvation, as you said, “salvation is EVIDENCED by witnessing a believer’s obedience to Christ”?? This is where LS makes exception clauses that shows their inconsistency. They say that a believer can fall into gross sin for a season or period of time and give no evidence of being a believer but somehow this is not habitually sinning??????

    I don’t know why you quoted Martin Luther as I am not a fan of his works. He taught some good things but you will find that he believed that a person could forfeit his/her salvation. His views on baptism were off as well as other things. You were right about him wanting James to be removed as it sounded too Romanish to him. This problem with Romanism seems to continue today with people using the book of James in a Romanish fashion and that is what we find in the LS teachings.

    Since you quoted James and asked me to look at it then let’s look at what LS fails to see when they do read it and how they instead read into it. The justification there is not before God but before men. How do I know that? Compare James to Paul first:

    “For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; BUT NOT BEFORE GOD. ” (Romans 4:2).

    “Was not Abraham our father justified by works (BUT NOT BEFORE GOD), when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? ” (James 2:21)

    Now you might argue that Abraham proved his faith by offering his son. OK, then if you want to be consistent then you should inform everyone that they have over the next 20 years to prove their faith because that was how long it was after Abraham believed God before he actually offered his son Isaac upon an alter. LS fails to mention that. That means if someone is saved today then maybe in 2029 they can do something to prove that they truly believed. If James gave a long list of Abraham’s immediate works from the moment he believed then your argument might be a little stronger.

    Look at James 2:14:

    “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? ”

    LS jumps on the words “can faith save him?” and shouts “there’s the proof!” What proof? “That one without works is not saved.” Ummm, Is the gospel or salvation even in the context here??? If so then where is it?? James uses the word “save” in chapter 5 and verse 15 that says:

    “And the prayer of faith shall SAVE the sick…”

    So why doesn’t LS claim that “save” there means from sin? How come LS recognizes that “save” can mean: deliver, preserve, keep and so on elsewhere but not here? Hmmm, it does make me wonder.

    So, what does verse 14 mean? I think it is universal that the opinion here is that the poor man is in the context. Let’s see if it is CLEARLY plausible that the “poor man” can be the “save (deliver, help, etc) him” of verse 14. Let’s call the poor man Fred and let’s look at the verses again:

    14What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save (deliver) FRED? (can faith save him?–the poor man).

    15If FRED be naked, and destitute of daily food,

    16And one of you say unto FRED, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give him not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

    It seems to flow just right. Here is the problem with claiming that if one does not demonstrate his/her faith here and proves that they were never saved:


    2nd, Salvation is not in the context but the poor man is.

    3rd, Our works are only a justification before man and NEVER before God (Romans 4:2). It is before others and not before ourselves that is being spoken about. This is not a test to know that you are saved as only LS seeks to add such phrases that do not exist. It clearly is before others here that we openly demonstrate our faith.

    4th, The believers here were guilty of showing partiality and yet they were called “Brethren.” The sin of dead works are clearly defined as telling a brother or sister to go and be filled and you do not give these poor people what they need then what does it profit? What kind of faith are we expressing to them? An unsaving faith? No, but an inactive faith because they are called “brethren.” Faith that does not do works is a dead or inactive faith. Only LS says, “non-saving faith” adding to Scripture when nothing there supports it.

    LS points out verse 19 as proof that faith alone is not enough:

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

    I fail to see where that is the gospel of the grace of God. Does believing in a monotheistic God give eternal life?? Nope. How can saving faith be compared to devils anyways when they cannot even be saved? A devil can have all the faith and the works that one could possibly imagine and yet they will be damned. Verse 19 has nothing to do with salvation at all!!!!!!!!

    If James 2 teaches that you can lose your salvation or that it can prove that you are not saved then make sure that you are not showing partiality to the poor because that can be your undoing. Argue the context!!

    I do not know why you quoted Charles Finney as I thought he was a heretic myself and so do many non-LS believers. Even when I was a Bible major at Bob Jones University did my faculty teachers consider him as a heretic. You can’t compare free grace to Finney. However, you did say in that paragraph:

    “When you asked a Puritan preacher of the 1600’s if you were saved, he would say; “We’ll see.””

    YIKES!!!!! If you were to ask the Apostle Paul, “Are you saved?” then we can be sure that he would have said, “I know whom I have believed and am PERSUADED!!!!” I do not believe anyone is saved that does not have both faith and complete assurance simultaneously. How can that even be called faith?? Even John Calvin taught the same that a person must have assurance or such a faith was not real. Abraham had faith as he staggered not at the promises. Your Puritan sounds as though he needs to hear the gospel and actually be saved.

    You also said:

    “I can’t tell you many people have come into our church, heard the word, sprung up quickly and when the pressures of the world comes, they choke to death.”

    Now free grace knows that people that claim to have trusted Christ doesn’t mean they really did. However, I am not so quick to judge their works to declare them unsaved. I never seen anyone do that. However, LS advocates feel comfortable pointing out the horrible sins in others and telling them that they are probably not saved.

    If works prove that one is not saved then I sure would doubt the salvation of the fornicator in 1st Cor. 5, the believers in Acts 19 still messing around with sorcery, Lot, Samson and most certainly Solomon. Would LS believe that a man today that has over 700 wives is saved? I doubt it. Would they believe that such a man would be saved if he were to make offerings to demon gods and still be saved? That should be a rhetorical question and the answer would actually be a resounding “NO!!!!”

    We do have false prophets in the Bible that says we can know them by their fruits and yet fruits has to do with their message. These false prophets were “wolves in sheep’s clothing” but their words is what gave them away (the fruit of their lips). We cannot determine by their works that they are unsaved but only by their message. They appear like sheep but certainly are not one inwardly.

    I have even been told by LS that Matthew 7:21 says:

    “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”

    I have yet to hear how they do not see what they are saying as being a works salvation??? I asked them to show me a verse that defines what the “will of my Father” is and they simply define it as a bunch of commands. How does Jesus define the “will of the Father”?? Well Matthew 12:50 teaches that anyone that does the will of the Father is a brother, sister and so on. So are we saved simply by obeying laws?? This seems to be the opinion of LS in Matthew 7:21 that a person that is truly saved will obey the laws of God willingly. OK, once again, what is the “will of the Father”??? Here it is:

    “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40).

    Question, would believing on Jesus make you a brother or sister in Christ to others or does law keeping? And a big AMEN!! to this verse prior to that:

    And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

    Also, you changed my billionaire example into something that LS just simply does not teach. I argued quotes from MacArthur and even Spurgeon. Anyone can watch Piper on Youtube and they will find a very similar type of message that I gave in my example of how to be saved the LS way. Just remember, the money is given instantly and not years later as both of our stories implied. We in a moment become heirs of the King and what is His is now ours who are true believers.

    Sorry that I went on so long. I do not believe in going back and forth with constant comments. I believe it takes away from the bloggers original message. I felt that I needed to get much more out than needed. I am done commenting.

    You are very works oriented Sola and I do greatly fear for you. I will pray for you and I mean that sincerely. Maybe talk again under a different topic!

    Great post Jack!!

  44. To my Calvinist and LS friends,

    Sufficient are the arguments and Scriptures, presented here by many wonderful and discerning commenters, proving that LS and Calvinism are false, specious doctrines. I need say no more except this:

    I was raised in a Calvinist home and environment — and therefore was a victim of that doctrine until, at age 35, I heard the truth and simplicity of the Gospel and decided to take God at His Word. I made the decision to trust Christ as my Savior (1964).

    Several years ago I was speaking to a young man, Pete, a strong, discerning believer in Christ whose Mom never trusted Christ as Savior despite his, my and many others efforts to lead her to Christ. This was some time after his Mom’s death and, in tears, he said to me about Calvinism, “I could never believe in a god who would not choose or allow my Mom to make a decision to trust Jesus as her Savior!” He knew full well it was her responsibility to believe in Christ. It would have been easy for him to blame God for not choosing her to salvation but he knew Scripture well — and he certainly did not blame God.

    His statement is a great illustration of why Calvinism is a deceptive lie. We ALL have a choice — a decision — to believe in Christ.
    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.”

    Don’t wait until you die, while wondering all the time whether you have been “chosen” for salvation. You are personally responsible to make that decision to “believe on Him.”

    In Christ eternally,


  45. ByGraceAlonethruFaith

    S.T.T.B. – Thank you for the recommendation on Geisler’s Book. I will look into it.

    On “Free Will”:

    Consider prophecy. How do Pilate, Herod, soldiers, crowds, Judas, Peter and the others, and obviously Jesus himself all get placed in the orientation and circumstances that nearly every Old Testament book and ALL Old Testament prophecy (and the historical record) would place them in?!

    Picture the Lord throwing “soul darts” at a dart board of “outcomes”. And even worse, that the darts themselves have their own internal fin servo steering system. Can you imagine Him standing there saying “Aw nuts(!)” when an errant dart flies into the ceiling. This is fantasy. What about His plan of salvation. How does He execute this plan without affecting “Free Will”. When you pray for someone you often pray to “override” their free will (come to Christ, change of heart, etc.).

    On Adam, Lucifer, Lot:

    The existence of free will in Adam or The Devil is perhaps one of the most difficult doctrinal concepts in all of the Bible. I will leave that to men smarter and better looking than I am.

    Lot, however, is easy. You speak of “backslider” Lot. But consider this…

    – Did Lot have the teachings of Jesus Christ?
    – Did Lot have Paul’s letters?
    – Did Lot have the Gospels?
    – Did Lot have the relationship to the Holy Spirit that we as believers enjoy today?
    – How mature was an Old Testament Saint compared to us as believers today?

    On Lordship Salvation:

    You mix a deadly poison of “Free Will” and defense of the carnal lifestyle, dancing on the edge of a very dangerous cliff. A simple waft of Satan’s bad breath, or more likely your own fallen nature, and you will drop off the edge into Hell as surely as the “far superior to us” Adam took the forbidden fruit. Are you better than Adam? Read the scriptures!

    S.T.T.B – Your salvation is only assured when God is it’s origin, it’s author, it’s perfecter. Can’t you see! Anything you and I are involved in is corrupt! Jesus will not tolerate our stealing His glory by claiming that we helped Him get ourselves to heaven!

    And last to Jack:

    – I am jealous of your wife’s wonderful entrance flowers, in winter of all things! I am still in the frozen tundra. Global warming, my foot!
    – I love the fact that you are a narrow minded, right wing conservative, probably gun totin’ nut job like myself. Although I confess I don’t own a gun as I’m too lazy to fill out 75 the pages of applications at Town Hall. I do have one that shoots foam rockets though. My son attacks me routinely with it.
    – Thanks for being a preacher. It’s not an easy life if you’re into positive feedback. Great if you like people yelling at you.
    – Thanks for letting us hammer out doctrine here. Ephesians 4!
    – Give us Calvinst Christians a break. We are only trying to give God all the glory He deserves and demands. We are miserable sinners like anyone else, saved by a wonderful Savior by grace alone.

  46. Hmmm, LS doesn’t teach a works/grace gospel?? Hmmm, salvation is free yet costly??? I would agree with that if the “yet costly” applied only to Jesus Christ but that is not what they mean. You have to make Jesus Lord of your life and have to turn from ALL sin first in order to be saved and yet this is not works????

    The following illustration is only an illustration and not meant to be interpreted as blasphemous as I will parallel my words at times to the words of Christ but only for an instructional purpose only. I only seek to show that LS is a works oriented salvation and not dishonor the Word of God.

    Imagine that I am a billionaire and I am giving away free money on such and such a date and at a certain location. I tell people that they can have One Million dollars if they only receive it and no works or repayment is required.

    The big day comes and I show up at that certain location and see a large group of people hungry for some money that will cure all their financial woes. Here now is my speech to them:

    “Thank you all for showing today! I have a check for each and every person here for One Million dollars that is yours for free! You only now have to surrender your all to me to receive it. If I am not boss of all then I am not boss at all. You will have to count the cost because if you start working for me and look back to your former life then you are not worthy to receive this free money. If there is any reserve in your obedience then you are undone and will only prove that you were never my servant but an impostor, and you will not be given the free money. If you cherish even the slightest thing that opposes me then you are undone. You have to endure until the end to receive this money. It doesn’t matter if you endure 50 years because if you falter any time after that then it still proves that your trust in me was only an emotional trust that was never real. Such people only wanted to be rescued from their debt. I rescue people ‘from their debts’ and never ‘in their debts.’ I do know that you will have bad days and that you might even at times be lazy but the power of my money will keep you from falling away entirely if you are truly a servant of mine. However, you cannot be habitually lazy even though you can fall into laziness for a period of undetermined time. Now here is the list of my demands, I expect my law mowed, my dishes washed, my house cleaned, my food cooked, my car polished and engine kept up and so on. Only those that keep my commands do love me and know me. My burden is light as I do love people and I have shown it here before you as I have bought you the best lawnmower, the best vacuum cleaner, the best detergents and so on that will make your work better, and I did this because I love you so much. Remember, there can be no reserve in your obedience. Now get busy because many will seek but few will receive One Million dollars for free. Many will say to me on payday, “Have I not labored daily for you? Have I not done so many wonderful things?” and I will say to such people, “Goodbye, you lazy and worthless servant. You have forfeited a free gift by not choosing to give me your ALL to receive it.”

    I got a little carried away but what I shared is virtually what LS teaches. You hear such statements, “You cannot be married to Christ until you are divorced from your sins.” Really? Where does it say those words in Scripture? How many sins? You say ‘all’ then how can you be so sure that you have turned from the all when we all struggle with certain sins? You say that a believer cannot habitually sin but how do you define habitual? Sorry, every believer practices some form of sin at some point. LS allows for believers to fall into gross sins for a season and will allow a season to be years. They just can’t die in such a state but what verse says that???? How is years of gross sins not considered habitual??

    It should strike fear into any LS believers heart when the Catholic Apologist Robert Sungenis will make the claim that the teaching of John MacArthur is what Catholics all along have taught. LS only seeks to reword things. Catholics say that if you stop believing then you lose your salvation. LS says that if you stop believing then it only proves that you were never saved. Catholics say that you have to have faith and works to be saved and LS says that faith will have works if it is saving. How LS advocates can’t see the subtle changes in the wording that still stresses the same thing is beyond me. That is sort of like claiming “The glass is half empty” is different from those that claim, “The glass is half full” as they both mean the same thing but worded differently. Question, can you have a life without faith and works to be saved to either a LS believer or Catholic? Nope. Can you stop believing and be saved to either a LS believer or a Catholic? Nope. Can you live in wanton sin and die in that condition and go to heaven according to a Catholic or a LS believer? Nope. Can you only accept Jesus as Savior but not surrender your all to His Lordship and be saved according to LS advocates or Catholics? Nope. This is why the 5 point Calvinist but free grace believer Horatius Bonar said that such teaching is nothing more than Romanism raising its ugly head. This is why most free grace believers try witnessing to those that have always believed in LS so that we can see them actually trust Christ and be saved.

  47. Hello BGATF: Very briefly this time, man’s sovereignty is limited in this way, for one example: A may have the free will and desire to fly like a bird, yet his physical limitations preclude him from doing so.
    Regarding your many questions about Romans 9, again, I STRONGLY recommend that you get a copy of Norman Geisler’s book, Chosen But Free, which gives a completely thorough treatment of the subjects. Yes, Romans 9 affirms God’s sovereignty, but keep reading for Romans 10 also affirms man’s responsibility.

  48. SolatheSola's

    Exactly, By GraceAloneThruFaith! If good works are the fruit of a redeemed person, those who love their sin and show no sign of a new nature have likely not been saved. So, if a carnal Christian is one who was saved, but loves the things of this world and his sin, I would have to say the scriptures don’t speak of such a person. Remember, we all have seasons of sin and sins we concur after long battles. This is in relation to the direction of their life, not perfection. I have heard MacArthur teach on the free grace of the gospel – the same grace that saved the theif on the cross – free and having nothing to do with men’s effort. God changes our nature, and then we run to the cross and begin to show the fruit of a changed life. Using Christ as fire insurance while you live like sin is what James rails against. That’s why christ spoke of repentance 9something missing in today’s gospel presentations). It appears to be a work necessary for salvation, like fath, but in the end, it’s a gift of God.

    Contrition, repentance and a broken spirit accompany true redemption. If false faith didn’t exist we wouldn’t have the parable of the rocky soil. People can name the name of Christ without saving faith. How do we differentiate? By their fruit. Save people act like it, and do good works as they are conformed into the image of Christ. The concept of a Carnal Christian is one who has the H.S. inside, but are never conformed into Christ’s image. This is a model that says the H.S. is weak and powerless to sanctify those in whom He resides. I just don’t see that in Scripture.

  49. ByGraceAlonethruFaith

    Maybe this will help…

    Cause: God alone changes a man’s heart, saving him. No human logic involved. God’s choice. He answers to himself alone.
    (Let’s employ Ephesians 1, Ephesians 2, and Romans 9 here)

    Result/Effect: Man earnestly seeks the cross (sanctification), including ever lessening episodes of backsliding/vulnerability to potholes of sin, which is built into his fallen nature. Men are seriously warned against judging other men in scripture. How can I know a man’s heart!? I cannot. But carnality is a warning sign that this person may not believe in/love God. How do I treat him/her…as a brother/sister in the Lord, admonishment when required. With love.
    (Let’s do Romans 6 on this one, very important, or James if you’d like)

    John Macarthur does not (!) teach that the effect is the cause! You will know a man by his fruit, yes, but we must be careful!! Jack is absolutely right…a man is not saved by the avoidance of sin or by any good work. He is saved “ByGraceAlonethruFaith”.

  50. SolatheSola's

    Dear ExPreacherMan,

    May I say that you do, in fact misunderstand Lordship Salvation, Just as MacArthur did when he denounced it as works-salvation. Then, when he understood it, he recanted of his error.

    Here it is in a nut shell;
    A saved person outputs good works. A lost person outputs sin.

    And we’re speaking in life-long, general terms. If you have someone who comes to worship at church every Sunday for 12 years, yet he’s living with his girlfriend and he goes to the Casino’s every Saturday night, and he swears like a longshoreman when he’s away from church, we are NOT to tell him that he is saved. Lordship salvations states that this sentence is self-refuting; “No, Lord.”

    Now here is subtle, but important distinction. Lordship says if a person feels sorrow, and wrestles with their sin throughout their lives, they were likely regenerate or saved. If someone can live in a duplicitous way, with not more toward personal holiness, they do not have the Holy Spirit inside of them. Do you see? To say that Lordship salvation is a form of salvation by works is dishonest and a sloppy handling of the topic.

    To the ex-pastor’s other points;

    Adam and Lucifer were able to appear to choose good or evil because God ordained them to live in a pre-fall condition. Since we do not live in that condition we cannot use them as examples. They are not normative.

    And to the “Robot is not loving” point, I ask this question; Will there be love in heaven? Answer? – Yes!!!! Will we be able to sin in heaven? Answer – No! So, we will not have “free-will” as ExPreacherman defines it, yet he still wants to go there! Free will does not equal love. In fact every man, if he could, would be able to avail themselves of salvation freely. The problem is that they lack the nature to choose God. We are all God haters who, if we could, would storm the throne-room and murder God. That’s the real stench of Arminianism. They say God is helpless to save or damn anyone trying to protect His chacter. He is the potter and can do what he wants with His clay. AxPreacherman wants to think that he will go to heaven because he is smarter than the reprobate and somehow more attractive to God. When, in fact God choose Him.

    ExPreacherMan original post said the following:

    John MacArthur: “….. It’s not that He [God] merely sees what will happen in the future; rather He ordains it. The Bible clearly teaches that God sovereignly chooses people to believe in Him.”

    ExPreacherMan: This is clearly Covenant/Reformed/Calvinist teaching with no scripture to support it. And yet in his statement before the Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA) Board, 1989, in plenary…”

    No scriptural Support?!?!?!?!?!

    Ephesians 1: 4-5 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,
    Wow, Paul say that Predestination (an overriding of man’s will) was done in love! There goes the robot argument.

    ExPreacherMan loves what he thinks is his autonomy. He likes to think that he choose God. This makes him look holy and smart while at the same time rescues God’s character from the assertion that God predestines some to Hell even though the scriptures say things like “vessels of wrath prepared in advance” (Romans 9)

    You castigate John Macarthur and you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve listened to literally hundreds of hours of his teaching and have sopoken to him face to face and he rails against the works-righteousness of Rome and offers a open call for all to come to Chirst. I recommend you stop commenting on things you don’t research thoroughly.

    If you say that Lordship salvation is a works-salvation, you better taker the book of James out of your bible. He says that faith without works is dead. Lordship salvation is a position against easy-believism and mordern-day antinomianism – the same thing James was fighting. If you’re saved, your life will have fruit. If you’re not saved, sin won’t bother you.
    Can people have a life-long struggle with addictions or besetting sins? Yes, of course, but those sins grieve them. It is the greifless, lip-service Christian whose life is characterized by sin who will be surprised when he wakes up in hell. This is Lordship salvation.

    I can’t believe this has to be argued over!!!! How far has Christianity fallen?!?!?!

  51. ByGraceAlonethruFaith

    Thanks S.T.T.B for the warm welcome!

    My name is Mark, I am 46, and I live in the Northeast (gnostic/secular humanist central). Have mercy on me. I have an achilles’ heel… I am also a “free will” and “love at all costs/seeker sensitive” sympathizer (although obviously not a proponent of free will).

    You caught me. I cheated and stuck the extra questions in 😉

    I very much enjoy your posts and respect how thorough you have been in your response. Your references are excellent! Jack, thanks so much for doing this. What a way to way to interact as brothers in the Lord.

    S.T.T.B – It will take some time to fully digest and study your post references. In the meantime…

    “but man is sovereign as well, (although man’s sovereignty is limited)” We need to define the word sovereign together. “Sovereign” and “limited” do not compute for me when used together. Please help me to understand this.

    I have found that the only way to carry authority in doctrinal debate is to let scripture speak and let scripture interpret scripture. I don’t use books by men as a primary reference. I offer these two seemingly contradictory passages:

    First a Point of Order – I don’t know if you want me to post large sections of scripture, but be aware that when someone gives me a verse, at the very least I read (or already know well) the entire chapter, and wherever possible all reasonably important new and old testament references to the best of my ability at the time. For now I’ll include excerpts, however I am urging you strongly to read the entire chapter (the whole book if possible) of Romans 9. What does this mean? Remember this is Paul speaking!

    “10And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac;

    11for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls,

    12it was said to her, “THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER.”

    13Just as it is written, “JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.”

    14What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!


    16So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.


    18So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

    19You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?”

    !‼! 20On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it?

    21Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? !!!!

    22What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?

    23And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,

    24even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.

    25As He says also in Hosea,

    Next up… Your reference to 2 Peter 3:9. Excellent!

    “9The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

    We need a Greek language scholar here. Context, interperetation, historicity of authorship, all important. My view – sovereignty rules here to reveal his awesome holiness, but at the same time, God’s true desire is for all to worship Him. Did He want to crush Jesus! Was he “pleased” by this…you know the answer as scripture is clear. Yes. Contradictory to us! But not to God!

    Another question (only one I promise) –

    Why is free will so important to a person? Be careful of your pride, lest you stumble.

    I, for one, am terrified of it. My sin nature cannot be trusted! My heart: depraved, wicked, who could know it?

    I offer this: Man has a “Free Will”, relative to his life and his world. But God is sovereign. Man is not able to fully comprehend God’s sovereignty, and never will this side of heaven. Many use “sovereignty” to pistol whip other men. Sovereignty should actually humble us and drive us daily to the cross.

    Handing people firesuits is heartless, cold, and unloving. We must love each other.

  52. Greetings B.G.A.T.F:
    I highly recommend to you two outstanding books on your subject: Chosen But Free: A Balanced View of Divine Election, by Norman Geisler, and So Great Salvation, by Charles C. Ryrie.
    Much of your initial argumentation appears to flow out of the Strong Calvinist teaching of Unconditional Election and Limited Atonement. Strong Calvinists feel the need to jettison any notion of free will in order to preserve God’s sovereignty at any and all cost. Yet, clearly, both concepts are affirmed in Scripture. John 6:37, for example, reads, “All that the Father gives me will come to me [sovereignty], and whoever comes to me I will never drive away [free will]. Yes, God is sovereign (Eph. 1:4, 11), but man is sovereign as well, although man’s sovereignty is limited. Think for a moment: If there is no free will, then how is it that Lucifer and Adam fell into sin? (remember, both were created “good”: Gen. 1:31, and God never causes or tempts anyone to do evil: James 1:13-14). Unsaved people have a free will choice to either accept or reject God’s gracious gift of salvation (John 3:16, 18; Rom. 5:1-2; 10:13; Acts 16:30-31). If God merely created “robotic” creatures who were forced to love him, that would not be true love at all, nor would it bring glory to God if someone were forced to choose him. 1 Tim. 2:4 and 2 Ptr. 3:9 declare to us that God doesn’t want anyone to perish; he wants everyone to be saved. Yet, even though this is God’s desire, some shall of free will choose to reject him (Matt. 23:37).
    Re. your example of a loving father and his wayward child, I direct you to Luke 15, the parable of the prodigal (lost) son. When the son fled to a far-away country for an extended fallen life of debauchery, he left as a son. When he was far away from the father, living a complete life of sin, he remained a son. And when he returned to the loving arms of his father, he returned still a son! Similarly, Lot lived a backslidden life of sin among the worst of sinners for much of his adult life, yet 2 Ptr. 2:7 calls him a “righteous man who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men.”
    Re. your “three” questions (I counted seven):
    1 a&b; 2 a,b,c: Yes, God is the creator of the universe, of all (John 1:3). He made hell as a place of final punishment for the fallen angels (created good but freely chose to sin). Sadly, many men and women freely choose to go there too by rejecting God’s gracious offer of salvation, through his Son’s loving sacrifice on the cross (the gospel: the death, burial and resurrection of Christ—1Cor. 15:1-9; cf. Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5), although it was never God’s will that any should perish (2 Ptr. 3:9). Yes, of course, God has the power to send all men to heaven if he so chose (this is what is called, “universalism,” a false doctine), but that would violate his nature of complete holiness if he allowed unregenerate men into his holy presence.
    3 a,b,c: When one is truly “born again” (John 3) through faith in Christ Jesus alone (Eph. 2:8,9; Titus 3:5; John 3:16, 18; Acts 16:30, 31), he will possess a new nature (Ezek. 36:26). Only a lifetime of rejection of God’s gracious offer of salvation through faith in Christ Jesus, to the point of a man’s death, will send him to a Christless eternity.
    The fallacy of Lordship Salvation is that it puts at least part of the onus of man’s salvation on the man himself, in spite of the myriad of Bible verses, some mentioned already, to the contrary. In doing so, Lordship Salvation obliterates assurance of salvation. Have I borne enough fruit in my life? How can I know how far I might stray from God and still be saved? What if I refuse to do all that Christ asks me to do? For how long of a time can I live apart from God’s will and still know that I am saved? The questions are endless and Lordship Salvation provides no answer for any of them. Is there such a thing as a “carnal” Christian? Of course; in 1 Corinthians, Paul tells us that there were many in the church at Corinth who were carnal, or babes in Christ.

  53. ByGraceAlonethruFaith

    Hello ExP and all –

    I am likely considered a “Five Point” Calvinist (although I hold the Bible above all men/”human theology”), and also a “Reformed Christian”. In truth, I disagree with very little (if anything) that John Macarthur teaches, but he is not my God, just a man.

    ExP – I honestly believe you misrepresent JM. We are saved by Grace. Period. That’s it. Nothing else required. I’ve never heard him preach anything else! If a homosexual or a “drunk”, or (pick sinner and place here) truly loves God, he/she is saved. Period. Forever. God changes our hearts. God saves us. We can’t do it. And Jesus Christ sanctified us already on the cross (Pink, Doctrine of Sanctification). Problem is, I highly doubt this is the case in a consistently, repeatedly unrepentent person. Loving God is rejecting sin. Anything else does not add up. Read James, brother!

    As I read through these comments and watch the battle over Lordship Salvation rage on I offer this “doctrinally lightweight” observation for you all.

    I love my children and by God’s grace I pray I always will. If I am angry at them I never cease to be their father. They are mine. When they rebel I don’t love them less. However, long term, if they reject me and treat me poorly, our relationship suffers. As society has taught us, I, as a human being, in theory, could stop loving them. It is possible. But God never stops loving true Christians, no matter what they do. But folks, people cannot save themselves. God, and God alone, saves. How could He reject those He saved? And how could those he saved continue to live according to the old nature. Don’t fool yourselves. If you love sin – Hell. If you love God – Salvation. Can people love God by themselves – never. God performs the work. None can boast.

    Remember God is not a man, but the great ‘I Am’.

    If it is God who saves us, how is it possible to hate Him once He calls us. Let’s be clear – no person can lose his/her salvation by sinning. In theory a homosexual can be a truly saved Christian, although I highly doubt that this is often the case. In theory though, it’s possible. What sin is large enough to “un-save us”.

    We face, in human terms, a choice, some would call it “free will”. Show me a man who consistently chooses holiness and I will believe in “free will” as a vehicle to salvation.

    The question you ask here is “who goes to Hell” (more accurately for most – do I go to Hell?).

    I pose three questions:

    – Did God not “Create/Prepare” Hell, or, put differently, what was created that God did not create?

    – If God did not want someone (s) there, is He powerless to prevent them from being there? How do they get there outside His will?

    – If we love to sin, are we really “Saved”. What is our “new nature”? What/who puts a man in Hell?

    The answers will quiet the battle over “lordship salvation”.

  54. Stickin’,

    Superb research.. !!!

    Chan’s statements put him squarely in the camp with the MacArthur / LS folks… and implies a “works salvation” message.

    It is a shame that such drivel can become popular in the “church” and be so highly recommended.

    The answer to your last question is “Yes.” Generally, LS folks are very elitist and judgmental of those of us who preach salvation by faith in Christ alone — not by works of merit.

    Thanks for your great comments.

    In Christ eternally,


  55. Thanks for the information.  I have also heard that Chan is a graduate of Master’s College and Seminary, both schools founded and presided over by John MacArthur.  In Chan’s book, Crazy Love, David Cook Pub., 2008, pp. 68-78, he creates a list of what he describes as his “profile of the lukewarm.”  His descriptions are along these lines:  1. people who say they love Jesus but only include him as a part of their lives; 2. people who are moved by stories about those who do what he calls, “radical things for Christ,” but they themselves do not do such things; 3. people who rarely share their faith with others for fear of rejection; 4. on page 78 he says, “Lukewarm People feel secure because they attend church, made a profession of faith at age twelve, were baptized, come from a Christian family, vote Republican, or live in America.”   After making his list of  what he calls “Lukewarm People,” he then discards them like matchsticks all in one fell swoop on pp. 83-84.  Chan says, “As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there’s no such thing.  To put it plainly, churchgoers who are “lukewarm” are not Christians.  We will not see them in heaven.”  Pastor Jack, these statements seem to be in line with what you have spoken about so eloquently on those who hold to the teaching of Lordship Salvation.  Are LS advocates generally so all-inclusively judgmental with the Christian community at large?

  56. Stickin’

    Close — Chan is a Reformed Calvinist, ecumenical, feel good preacher.

    His college, Eternity Bible College has an almost correct statement of faith.. but is wrong on the Reformed doctrine of “Chosen” etc.

    Thanks for your comment — stop back by again.,

    In Christ eternally,


  57. Thanks, Pastor, for setting things straight about the “Lordship” teaching. What do you know about the new popular book, Crazy Love, by Francis Chan? It appears to be a newly-packaged version of MacArthur’s teaching.

  58. Dear Jack,

    My sincerest apologies I DO NOT believe in the AOG statement. I believe it Arminian based and is in error. I quoted it but do not believe in the statement.

    Because I had belonged to the AOG in former times does not mean, my journey has not also lead me far this mistaken teaching as east is from the west.

    It is a “bi-polar” Christian condition causing much harm.

    The comment you made:

    Thanks for your comments, but the very Roman Catholic, Augustinian roots of Calvinism are unscriptural.

    Calvinism is far from being Catholic. However AOG docrine is closer to Catholic in santification concept even more!

    I think it plausable that modern researchers and preachers like yourself look at old english and heavily Latin usage and this is taken to be on the surface Catholic. The following should clear some of this up:

    1. Latin was common usage in those days.
    2. the writings seem like Catholic but you must understand what these men were doing by their work on scripture – they were breaking into the new dawn out of the dark ages caused by the Catholic strongholds on men’s minds.
    3. There are scores of new manuscripts translated even in the last 20 years that place on the table greater clarity as to what these great reformers actually meant by meaning from the scriptures.

    The foundation on which we draw our salvation is based on the same person – the Lord Jesus Christ – not on men. However the extrapolations of even our puny studies of our 20th century pale into insignificance to the works of our founding Fathers of the church who took on the might of Romany doctrine and won on behalf of the flaming touch that could not be extingished. This be the final outcome of truthfulness: “The gates of hell shall not prevail the church”

    Your brother in Christ,


  59. Digitalwise,

    Empty words.. This is going nowhere.

    I just feel very sorry for you that you believe the AOG statement that says,”….an act of backsliding that will lead ultimately to losing one’s salvation.”

    Therefore you are saying that there is nothing ETERNAL in God’s eternal life.

    Personally, I believe Christ Himself when He says:
    “That whosoever believeth in Him SHOULD NOT PERISH, but have ETERNAL life.” John 3:15

    Thanks for your comments, but the very Roman Catholic, Augustinian roots of Calvinism are un-scriptural.

    In Christ eternally by God’s Grace and my choice,


  60. Dear Jack,

    Welcome to you from across the Pond to a once free America.

    Reply: Thanks for your kind welcome.

    You write lots of nice Aussie words — but just words.

    Reply: It’s great to see that you think they are “nice” words.

    I think the greatest scripture Jesus spoke in the gospels is:

    Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

    Calvinism and MacArthur’s lordship salvation can best be described by Jesus Himself:

    Matthew 15:9

    “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

    Reply: commandments of men were LAWS of obedience taken to levels that disfranchised the commonwealth of Israel from the hope of their salvation. One of those modern day commandments of men is tithing, for example. Men apply rigid scriptures placing men and women under an OLD Covenant curse using bad expository from the O.T. and use “trap door” slips from the NT falling from the grace covenant mainly derived from Hebrews. This we have to be diligently careful of as men or women who aspire to be teachers of the Word.

    The application of this scripture CANNOT be applied to those who preach Christ from his word. This is called: Converse Fallacy of Accident (also called reverse accident, destroying the exception, –argues from a special case to a general rule (e.g., Every Calvinist I have seen is wrong, so it must be true that all Calvinist’s are wrong.)

    Truth is you do not really know. For example I do not agree with John MacArthur on end times as he follows the “home grown” or American influenced eschatology. I disagree. Because John MacArthur stresses the Lordship of Christ in the mediocre environment of Christianity proves ALL Calvinist’s deny assurance of salvation.

    Or how about the Obama incident with the MARXIST flag with young stirrers – because this small group held a Marxist flag therefore the whole 100,000+ crowd are hard nosed left wing socialists.

    I ask these simple questions:

    1) Do you know absolutely for SURE, without ANY doubt, that you will spend an eternity in Heaven?

    Reply: “… it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” (Romans 8:16)

    A bit of history: In the medieval period the assurance of the presence of God was cut off from the ordinary believer and held captive by the Roman Catholic magisterium and in the sacerdotal system. The Bible was proclaimed to be the word of God on the authority of the Church, and it was the Church that mediated God’s presence to the believer through the sacraments. God the Father was utterly transcendent, and Jesus Christ was the righteous Judge of the earth. Communication from and communion with God was in a practical sense mediated through the church hierarchy.

    The Reformers (Calvin / Luther) declared that God the Holy Spirit witnessed directly to the heart of the believer giving assurance that that believer is in fact saved, regenerate, and a child of God. Thus was born the doctrine known today as the Witness of the Spirit, or the Internal Testimony of the Holy Spirit.

    2) How do you know that you are “elect or chosen” for eternal life and then why was your next door neighbor (or me) not?

    Elect or Chosen is a POSITIONAL state established by Christ’s gift of salvation. What makes you think you are not elect or chosen is in your domain of scriptural construct. It is not the fault of Calvin’s teaching – perhaps it is your faulty view of Calvinism.

    Rom 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

    Do you choose God or did God CALL you? Perhaps it was both actions. As a chosen vessel [you] of God’s love MOVES in your heart so your HEART moves to God by the irresistible GRACE of God to Justification to Salvation to be chosen/elect. You are born again.
    Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

    3) Being Assemblies of God, do you believe there is ever ANY way or anything you could do whereby you would lose the salvation you claim to have?

    To quote AOG statement/s of faith American web site eternal security questions:

    “The truth of God’s marvelous and free grace has sadly led some to imagine and indulge in a cheap grace, a grace that covers all sins with no need to live a holy life. Such an attitude is an insult to the great price Christ paid to purchase our salvation. Though we may fail and fall, and sometimes sin, the heart of the true believer always regrets, repents, asks forgiveness, and seeks never to sin that way again. To carelessly participate in sin, expecting to gain forgiveness later, is itself an act of backsliding that will lead ultimately to losing one’s salvation. We therefore reject any “once saved, always saved” doctrine that excuses sinful lifestyles.”

    A question for you: The term “cheap grace” – where did this term originate from? The source of it will surprise you.

    Your brother in Christ


  61. Digitalwise,

    Welcome to you from across the Pond to a once free America.

    You write lots of nice Aussie words — but just words.

    Calvinism and MacArthur’s lordship salvation can best be described by Jesus Himself:

    Matthew 15:9
    “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

    I ask these simple questions:

    1) Do you know absolutely for SURE, without ANY doubt, that you will spend an eternity in Heaven?

    2) How do you know that you are “elect or chosen” for eternal life and then why was your next door neighbor (or me) not?

    3) Being Assemblies of God, do you believe there is ever ANY way or anything you could do whereby you would lose the salvation you claim to have?

    In Christ eternally by God’s Grace allowing me to make the choice to believe in Jesus Christ,


  62. I think it best you hear Calvin’s own words on assurance.

    They tell you, if you look to Christ salvation is certain; if you return to yourself damnation is certain. Therefore, your mind must be alternately ruled by diffidence and hope; as if we were to imagine Christ standing at a distance, and not rather dwelling in us.

    We expect salvation from him – not because he stands aloof from us, but because ingrafting us into his body he not only makes us partakers of all his benefits, but also of himself.

    Therefore, I thus retort the argument, If you look to yourself damnation is certain: but since Christ has been communicated to you with all his benefits, so that all which is his is made yours, you become a member of him, and hence one with him. His righteousness covers your sins – his salvation extinguishes your condemnation; he interposes with his worthiness, and so prevents your unworthiness from coming into the view of God.

    Thus it truly is. It will never do to separate Christ from us, nor us from him; but we must, with both hands, keep firm hold of that alliance by which he has riveted us to himself.

    Institutes 3.2.24.

    And if one thinks about it, how could it be otherwise? When we are yet unjustified, can we come to Christ looking to our own works for some assurance of God’s favor? Certainly not. And by the same token, how could we have assurance by looking at our works after salvation? Because our works are better?

    But as the fruits of regeneration furnish them with a proof of the Holy Spirit dwelling in them, experiencing God to be a Father in a matter of so much moment, they are strengthened in no slight degree to wait for his assistance in all their necessities. Even this they could not do, had they not previously perceived that the goodness of God is sealed to them by nothing but the certainty of the promise.

    Should they begin to estimate it by their good works, nothing will be weaker or more uncertain; works, when estimated by themselves, no less proving the divine displeasure by their imperfection, than his good-will by their incipient purity. In short, while proclaiming the mercies of the Lord, they never lose sight of his free favor, with all its “breadth and length, and depth and height,” testified by

    Paul (Eph_3:18); as if he had said, Whithersoever the believer turns, however loftily he climbs, however far and wide his thoughts extend, he must not go farther than the love of Christ, but must be wholly occupied in meditating upon it, as including in itself all dimensions.

    Institutes 3.14.19.

    I think it sums up in one place the argument. Did Calvin teach assurance then? If we go for the word – which most likely an additive of evangelicalism in the 19th century then perhaps you will not find it in his writings.

    If we then conclude that if believe on the true anchor of our soul to saves us – with that I leave you this:

    ingrafting us into his [Christ’s] body
    partakers of all his [Christ] benefits
    also of himself [Christ]
    all his [Christ’s] benefits
    all which is his [Christ’s] is made yours
    you become a member of him [Christ]
    one with him [Christ]
    His [Christ’s] righteousness covers your sins
    his [Christ’s] salvation extinguishes your condemnation
    he [Christ] interposes with his worthiness
    [Christ] your unworthiness from coming into the view of God.

    It will never do to separate Christ from us
    nor us from him [Christ]
    with both hands, keep firm hold of that alliance by which he [Christ] has riveted us to himself.

    And Calvin repeats:

    Can we come to Christ looking to our own works for some assurance of God’s favor?
    Certainly not.


  63. Bob,

    Surely you jest with a touch of sarcasm.

    Salvation is all of Grace. Our service is all of choice supported by His Grace to serve our Savior. Not to be saved but because we are saved.

    You need to study the book of Ephesians, especially Ephesians 2:8-10

    In Christ eternally,


  64. Exactly ExP!

    I’m glad I finally found someone who agrees with me!

    I chose to be saved years ago, and believe that he did so, and I am going to heaven! I have friends who tell me that I’m supposed to live “this way”, or “that way”, but I always tell them, the bible tells me to believe in Jesus, and I do!

    To think that I should “submit” to Jesus, or make him “Lord”, is silly. I believe, and that’s enough! There will be plenty of time in heaven to live life perfectly, right now we don’t have to worry about all that stuff, just believe. That would make life all about works, and legalism. I prefer to accept grace and forgiveness, and live like I live, because he has forgiven all of it!

    Thank you so much for your wisdom, and spreading this message to so many people!

    Keep preaching it,

  65. Brian E and Drew,

    Welcome to both of you. Sorry about Drew’s cold wet AU weather. I understand Summer will arrive soon Down Under. We thought about moving to AU years ago. We here in South Florida have moderate, warm bright and sunny weather almost year-round.

    First, let me say that I believe the Bible teaches neither Calvinism nor Arminianism. I am a Biblicist, just believing the Bible, dispensationally and in context for what it says.

    Calvinism is dangerous (among other things) in that it teaches that only some are chosen by God for salvation, which is wrong — and Arminianism teaches that those who are “saved” can be lost. Wrong. Both seem to believe that they must personally persevere under their own power to finally see Heaven. Both of these teachings are Biblically untrue.

    Proper Biblical and eternal perseverance is simply relying upon the promise of Jesus Christ — that He will never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) — nor will he ever lose us or cast us out (John 6:36,39). Jesus Christ perseveres for us because we have no power to persevere nor be as perfect as our Holy God. Absolute Perfection for eternal life is God’s Gift to every believer in Christ. “.. and you shall never perish.” (John 10:28)
    “And be found in Him [Christ], not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” Philippians 3:9

    We find no place in Scripture where we must “submit” to Christ for our salvation. We are told to “believe” in Christ who IS the Lord God Almighty. After we believe in Christ as our Savior, then we SHOULD submit in obedience to Him (Lordship) for our well-being and fellowship, not to secure or keep our salvation. If we say otherwise, we imply that by not doing so we put our salvation in jeopardy.

    Warning!! We must never mix works with Grace for our salvation. Romans 11:6 says that it is either by Grace or works — they cannot be mixed for salvation. And we know the Bible says we are saved by Grace– not of works (Ephesians 2:8-9) Then, as a believer, we SHOULD do good works (Ephesians 2:10) but doing good works for our Savior is a blessed privilege, not a requirement to gain or keep our salvation.

    About your comment from The Book of James. God does not need to see our works in order to know if we have trusted Christ as Savior — He knows our mind. In the verse in James which was referenced, James is speaking to the Twelve Tribes of his believing brethren, scattered abroad. He says, “You see” and is speaking to how others and they see themselves. Not as God sees them.
    James 2:24
    “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified [in context – to other men], and not by faith only.”

    If you say you have faith and do not do good works — others may not believe your proclamation of your faith… and they may see you as if you are a dead body, unproductive. The body is as dead and you are not actively producing fruit. This references believers who say they believe but don’t show it by their works. People see, but will presume the believer really does not believe — by lack of their good works. Only the person and God know one’s mind. Good works do not determine a person’s salvation.

    Drew, you said, ” Jesus really is SOVEREIGN.” If you mean all powerful, Yes., I agree. If you mean He overrules the decisions of man, I disagree. Man has had a choice ever since Adam and Eve chose to disobey God… and we still do. Christ acknowledged man’s will in the matter of salvation, “whosoever will may come,” “Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” So everyone has the choice to trust Jesus Christ… and once that decision is made, we all have the choice to serve Him. Salvation is a once and forever decision, but service and obedience to Jesus Christ is a moment by moment decision and action. That is the difference between our state (service, which is changeable hourly and daily) and our standing (in Christ eternally, never to change).

    Drew, you said, ” Besides, I believe that if someone is genuinely saved of God, they WILL make God Lord of their life.” If you had said “SHOULD” instead of “WILL,” I would agree. See Ephesians 2:10 and the explanation in previous paragraphs. If you say “WILL” and you don’t obey, are you then condemned? NO! Surely you must agree with me. He is the LORD. To you as a believer, He is YOUR Lord. But obedience to His Lordship is a privilege and voluntary. It does not impact a believer’s eternal life in Heaven.

    There are many, many folks who do marvelous works, claiming it is for the Lord. But when you speak with them of their eternity, they have no idea of salvation in Christ alone. Those always add good works to their false hope for Heaven. So, what we see in people externally is not what God knows. What He sees and knows are true.

    I would question your statement that “worship, meaning total submission.” The word “worship” in the Bible when it pertains to God or Jesus, in context means to “do reverence to, adore.”

    Drew you said, “Jesus is not just my saviour but IS my Lord.” That is fine as long as you do not assume that any indiscretion, sin or disobedience on your part (of which we are all guilty) would eliminate you from keeping His Gift of eternal life.

    We should never witness to a lost person telling them “to make Jesus Lord of your life.” This was said to me before I was saved and I rejected it because it implies that there is some work we must DO, give or commit in order to have eternal life; something other than simply receiving God’s offered Gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ. We do nothing for a gift but receive it. We may love the Gift Giver and wish to serve Him and we SHOULD but whether we serve Him or not does not revoke or alter the accepted gift of Eternal life, paid for and given by Jesus Christ on the Cross.

    Eternal Life is ETERNAL!!!

    In Christ happily and eternally,


  66. Brian E and Drew,

    Thanks for your visit. We appreciate your comments.

    I have a few health issues that prevent my answering your comments in detail today. Maybe later today or tomorrow. Please bear with me.,

    Thanks for your patience,

    In Christ eternally,


  67. Hey y’all, greetings from a cold and wet Sydney! This down under boy is pretty new to the Calvin/Arminius debate and willing to admit that I am not the most knowledgable in this debate. That said, here’s my thoughts…

    Being AOG, we have been more Arminian, and I find myself having read the Bible leaning more Calvinist of recent times. Not fully convinced, as I see there can be a harmony of sorts, however I do lean Calvin’s way. Reason being that I believe Calvin taught more clearly that Jesus really is SOVEREIGN, while Arminian theology tends to elevate man. I guess that too depends on who you listen to. Another thing to consider… there are misunderstandings on both sides of this ditch – both Calvinists and Arminians not fully understanding their own doctrine.

    With that as a pretext, I’m with Brian E – I don’t see how Perseverance teaches works – the very opposite I’d have thought. Besides, I believe that if someone is genuinely saved of God, they WILL make God Lord of their life. Faith without works truly is dead! We aren’t saved BY these works, we’re saved FOR them. But if our works cannot be seen, I believe we are in serious trouble! Not because those works save me, but because they are EVIDENCE of the unseen.

    As far as I understand, Lordship is about submission to Christ. Opponents of Lordship will say it’s not in the Bible but I don’t see any place in the word that denies that we should worship God – worship meaning total surrender. In addition, side note: I don’t see this as Calvinism, if anything I see more AOG (ie ARMINIAN) churches that teach this. Frankly I’m not sure it’s wrong. Jesus is not just my saviour but IS my Lord.

    My thoughts, would welcome anyone else. Blessings from Australia!

  68. I know this is an old post, but I’ve never been to your website before.
    I’m not here to defend John MacArthur, but I think there is a misunderstanding about Calvinism. Perseverance of the Saints has nothing to do with works, but has to do with eternal security– once saved, always saved.
    I think those of the Wesleyan pursuasion have a problem with the L– Limited Atonement, that Christ died only for the elect.
    I’m not familiar with Lordship Salvation, but was taught that if Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ, we will be saved. Their emphasis is on that we are willing to submit to Christ as a response to his sacrifice for us.
    And of course, James is always the balancing force to faith– James 2:17 So you see, it isn’t enough to just have faith, Faith that doesn’t show itself by good deeds is no faith at all– it is dead and useless. NLT
    You may not agree with Calvinism, but I wouldn’t caracterize it as dangerous.

  69. Ms. Green,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Yes I read Hunt’s great informative book several years ago when my vision allowed me to read normal print. Can’t see it now. I subscribe to The Berean Call… a great E-newsletter.

    I was raised unsaved in Calvinism and rejected it in favor of no religion.. I know the dangers — Some of my relatives are still Calvinists, despite my attempts to reason with them.

    Thanks for your Scriptural insights and your fine Blog.

    In Christ eternally,


  70. Great post, preacherman. Calvinism is on the rise, and it is a dangerous doctrine. Have you ever read “What Love is This”? It’s a great book, with very thought out arguments against the TULIP doctrine, full of scripture, and all done in a respectable and amicable way – so as to persuade rather than condemn.

  71. Frasypoo,

    You have no idea how much I appreciate your discernment and comment. Likewise I appreciate Incognito’s Blog.. she has a wonderful sense of humor and discernment also,

    You are more generous than I when you said, “he was good but not quite there !!”

    I say again, his error seems deliberate and almost underhanded.

    Thanks for recognizing his error.

    In Christ eternally,


  72. Hello
    I found you on Incognitos blog.I always knew that there was something “off” about MacArthur.He spoke at our church and he was good but not quite there !!!
    Thankyou for this post

  73. Dave,

    Thanks for a great analysis — from you — who have been there!

    I would never recommend any Calvinist author — but that is a choice individuals must make..

    Thanks for your great comment.

    In Christ eternally,


  74. I was once a Lordship believer for over 10 years. It was one of the hardest things to break from. I struggled years after breaking free from them because I had too many “what ifs??” in the back of my mind. I still viewed God in terms of what I was doing where I would question my salvation all the time on the sins I was committing or the works that I was lacking. Praise God I am free today!

    I do not know why they call what I believe as “easy believism” as they all stumble over the simplicity that is in Christ. Actually, the teachings of Lordship salvation is “easy believism” because it is consistent with what most believe out there. I noticed too that Lordship advocates will appeal to the emotions just as much as those that believe you can lose your salvation. They are both very works oriented for they both cannot conceive of a God that would give His free gift to a sinful person. Their god is a god of the spiritually successful as failure is an impossible option. I’m glad that my God is a friend to sinners that demonstrating His love to me when I was without strength and in sin. He never bid me to clean up my act and He might save me but to come just as I am. Eternity with God is a gift for bad people and never a reward to good people.

    Many might disagree with me but that is OK, but the teachings of Lordship salvation is purely another gospel that is nothing short than Romanism. I leave it in the hands of God to judge, but I will present the Lordship believer with the true gospel since I have ‘severe’ doubts about where he/she will be spending their eternity with their current beliefs.

    As for John MacArthur. I find something things he writes as wonderfully right and other things as horrendously wrong and dangerous. I have read some things he said and said, “Awesome!!” and other things he had written has caused me to cringe with disgust. I greatly fear for those that buy into his teaching and my heart breaks for those struggling with assurance of salvation as I did for years because of Lordship salvation. If they must read a Calvinistic author then let me recommend Horatius Bonar as he preached a free grace gospel and denounced those that added any type of condition or law to the gospel to be saved.

    Excellent post ExPreacherman!

  75. Every religion that is man-made, seeks to work their way to Heaven and favor.
    Older Testament Judeism and Christianity depend upon the blood sacrifice as a substitute, and G*D’s Mercy and Grace to make it possible!
    I prefer G*D’s Way to man’s!
    And my heart goes out to those folks in Haiti, Cuba, the Cayman’s, the Turks & Caicos…horrible.


  76. Thanks David,

    That is exactly what makes MacArthur so dangerous.. his brilliance mixed with his error, the good mixed with the very bad. A little bit of leaven leavens the whole lump. Just a few drops of cyanide is all it takes to make a cool clear drink of water into a death potion .. and it appears “good” to unbelievers and new believers.

    In Christ eternally,


  77. You know bro. Jack,

    I think Dr. MacArthur once was a sound Bible teacher, yet due to what he saw of carnality in the church, he took an unbiblical and therefore inadvisable turn towards works-righteousness rather than allowing the Holy Spirit in the carnal believer to discipline His erring child through the Word itself. By stripping the warning passages in the NT of their power to discipline the erring believer, and rather direct them to the lost is to undercut the Lord from using His Word to cut our hearts as believers and turn us back to the right way. IOW, by saying that a sinning believer is not really a believer at all, this undercuts the power of the warning passages for sinning believers.
    Another thing that makes this so dangerous, is that in many areas, Dr. MacArthur is right on target, such as the inerrancy of Scripture.
    I hope I’ve not muddied the waters!
    Thank you for this very important post.

  78. Yep TMW,

    I have a good friend, a Bible preacher, who told me that it looks like the Lord may be punishing New Orleans again for all their sin.

    I told him I would not say that for fear that if Ike came by hear and destroyed us, then we would be indicting ourselves.

    Naturally, we all deserve to be destroyed eternally, but God in His Grace, gave us the opportunity to make a choice to believe in Christ,

    What a Savior!!

    In Christ eternally,


  79. The biggest difference between Chritianity and everything else, is the difference between relationship and religion.
    I have a relationship with my Lord, my Father and the Holy Spirit. I’m not perfect in the day to day, but I am perfect in the Eyes of my Father BY the Blood of my Lord. The Holy Spirit guides me…and if I “do”, it is based on my “being” in Christ and loving HIM.
    Everything else is just “fluff”.
    Though HE IS working on me, I can’t do anything right on my own.
    Afternoon, ExP! I’m certainly glad to see that you and your Schweetie are most likely going to avoid another Andrew!
    My prayers are for those who will be on the receiving end of Ike, may G*D use it to wake up HIS saints and get some sinners saved!


  80. Kehrhelm,

    Thanks for paying us a visit. Drop in often..

    Your point is well taken and well said.

    Just think if a Calvinist checks and finds himself not saved, then what is he to do?

    Maybe he will give up completely because he feels he was not “chosen” to be saved?

    Maybe he will try to “get saved”: again? The Bible says that is impossible.

    As my dear wife says, “No wonder people give up on “religion.”

    However, the truth is clear, Jesus died for the whole world and asks that we individually simply trust in Him as our Savior for our eternity.

    Jesus saves and keeps us eternally by His Grace — without works!!

    In Christ eternally,


  81. Tom,

    MacArthur is quite well known and respected in “religious circles,”

    I don’t like to be critical of another Pastor, but when we see error, we are told by Scripture to warn believers. His teachings are dangerous to the Body of Christ.

    In CHrist,


  82. Calvinism is “salvation-by-works” to the core!

    In reality the works is checking your salvation!
    It costs you nothing to become saved. But it takes all your life to stay saved. For if you do not work, then you must conclude that you never have received any grace at all.

    So calvinism = Check-if-you-are-saved-ism.

    Such is clearly a works-religion.

  83. I was not familiar with “Lordship Salvation” before reading this but now that I am knowledgeable I will know to avoid this John MacArthur fellow if I run across your teachings. You are right, we are saved by grace and not by works. Good post.