Our friend John made a revealing comment on another Page which is not widely distributed — so with his permission I wish to post it here so all of our subscribers will get the benefit of this wonderful Biblically based teaching.
[A]s I read these comments, [from those who have been deceived by Lordship “salvation, Commitment salvation teaching], I am saddened by how many souls are damaged by bad teaching, such as turn from sins for salvation, commit for salvation, or work for salvation. If one applies any of these teachings to clear Biblical doctrine, they cannot survive. I like to think of it this way:
1. Is it consistent with salvation by grace through faith? [Ephesians 2:8-9 and many more]
2. Is it consistent with eternal security?[John 10:28 and many more]
3. Is it consistent with the doctrine of assurance? [2 Timothy 1:12 and many more].
None of the works-based systems of salvation pass these tests. If one believes he must modify his behavior (or promise to modify his behavior) or do anything as a requirement to becoming saved or staying saved, he is trusting in works and not trusting in Christ.
Moreover, if one believes that acts of righteousness are in any way evidential of saving faith, he would always look to himself and his works to justify himself.
[These few verses above were added by Jack.. There are many, many more Scripture passages which prove beyond a doubt John’s wonderful Biblical assertion.]
These are amazingly simple statements yet full of Biblical Truth and they cover the lie of Lordship or Commitment “salvation,” Calvinism, cults and false doctrinal statements from many “main-line” denominational churches.
Thank you, John for expressing so clearly your insight into Biblical Truth.
…but I was not (am not) the poster child for LS- thats for sure.
Me neither. 🙂 In fact, LS gave me spiritual hives before I even knew what it was.
Some time back we reported on Andy Stanley’s Ecumenical Catalyst Leadership Conference in Atlanta. Please read the newest bash, featuring Rick Warren:
In Christ, Jack
When I reached high school and into my college years I was not in fellowship with the Lord- then I went through severe depression. I knew that the Lord used this time to wake me up and say “Where are you going Faith?” I knew that I was way off course from where I had started as a child, but as a child I did not have the understanding of an adult – how could I?
But I did have the faith of a child that I knew that He was God who died for me and I needed Him. Pure and simple. Throughout the years I just became more mature and still the process is going on, but I was not (am not) the poster child for LS- thats for sure.
Anyway, it is the knowing and trusting that Jesus died for you that is the determining factor in salvation, not knowing when you made that decision to trust.
Kev did a post on this very thing some time ago because in MacArthur’s testimony, he does not give any indication of a specific point in time that he was saved. There was some other preacher who took issue with him on that for the same reason you site: this other preacher could say with crystal clarity when it was that he got saved and apparently MacArthur could not do likewise. So Kev put up a post asking people about their salvation experience and whether or not they remembered it. The first commenter — I don’t know who it was — said he could not remember when he trusted Christ, I think it was because he was too young to remember, but he knew Jesus died for him and that was where it hope was, so he knew he was saved.
I am one of those people who can tell you with very clear recall what happened when I got saved. I didn’t pay any attention to the date, so I can’t tell you that, but I can recall the event and the circumstances leading up to it very well.
But it is perfectly clear that anyone who knows that they are trusting Jesus and what He did for them is saved.
One interesting point about my testimony (at least, I think it’s interesting. :)) is that I did not know until several years later that having a personal relationship with God through Christ meant I would go to heaven when I died. I got saved at age 11, but didn’t learn that saved meant heaven until I was 15. One of the youth group mothers was talking to us about how we knew we would go to heaven when we died and I did not know the answer. She said basically the same thing I heard and responded to when I was 11 and the Holy Spirit quickly bore witness to my spirit saying, “you did that!” and gave me the joy of knowing I not only got Jesus, but heaven too! I never felt any need to do it again because I didn’t know about heaven the first time. That was a pretty neat day, I must say.
But that is another reason why it is so good that God is in charge of doing the saving.
Thanks for that story. It is a shame that people make God’s Free Gift of salvation appear so difficult and un-free. They are more concerned with numbers, baptisms, “saved in my church,” etc and it ends up as total confusion.
In Christ eternally, Jack
Reading these posts about John and knowing when he was saved reminded of on of the last churches I was at where I was doubting. I knew when I was save, but I was 9 years old, which many in the church frowned upon those who were saved as children. They claimed that children could not make an “accurate” assessment about sin and what Christ truely did on the cross to make that kind of decision. It was at that point that I was confused on when I was saved then. Thankfully the Lord cleared that one up! 🙂
Thanks bro. Jack! I love that 5th verse of 1 Peter 5 as well, especially where he says that our salvation is reserved in Heaven for us, so that we can’t get at it to mess it up! I sure would have messed it up by now if that were possible but by God’s wisdom & grace it is not possible! Thanks for sharing Minnie’s story bro. Jack. I surely don’t begrudge those dear folks who remember the date & time of their salvation, but you are right that it is all-important as to WHOM we have believed rather than necessarily when. God Bless you bro. Jack!
Two encouraging verses that indicate we have no worries about remembering dates, etc..
2 Timothy 1:12
…. for I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.
Notice it says “Whom I have believed”, not when I believed. 😎
1 Peter 1:5 speaking to believers:
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Not our power but by the Power of God!!!
The Lord does it all after we have trusted Jesus!!!
In Christ eternally, Jack
Thanks for your encouragement.
Your note reminds me of a dear 75 year old believer/member of our church, Minnie Dunn. Years ago she came up to me after a Sunday sermon, practically in tears, saying “Jack, I don’t remember the day I was saved.. ” I could recall nothing in my sermon would have prompted that response, except that day I gave my testimony of the day I trusted Christ as my Savior. At every meeting we shared the gospel message and asked people who had never done so to make a decision to trust Christ as Savior.
I gave Minnie a hug (she was a hugger) and asked, “Minnie, right now, today, do you know for sure you are going to Heaven some day?” (We had talked many times about her salvation, eternal life, etc) She answered almost indignantly, “Why sure, you know I believe that Jesus died for me and I trust Him alone as my Savior!”
I answered, “Well, it doesn’t matter WHEN — but that you HAVE trusted Christ as your Savior.” Her eyes brightened, she smiled, said, “Thank you” and happily walked away with her friends.
Too often preachers make folks think that if they don’t have a single moment in time when they remembered making that decision to believe (usually they require it be in that preacher’s church), then that “poor soul” may not really be saved after all. Not true. If we remember the day, it may help in our verbal testimony.. but the Lord remembers our faith, our mind and our decision whether we do or not. He knows in Whom we have believed. His Holy Spirit keeps our eternity safely for us, (1 Peter 1:5) That is His responsibility. Now THAT is ETERNAL security!!
However the essence of our testimony is that we have trusted Christ alone as our Savior and now have the assurance of eternity with Him.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Thanks so much for your testimony. I wish I had time now to run over some things in my life that I’ve struggled with over the past, & candidly, stll pop up every now & then. One that still pops up from time to time is that old notion that a person must know the exact time they were saved or they are likely lost. I’ll have to say that I can’t exactly nail down the time but I know I am saved because I have trusted in Jesus Christ & His finished work on Calvary for me alone to be my only hope of salvation, & when those doubts try to trip me up, i go to wonderful texts such as Acts 13:38-39, where I am justified from ALL THINGS through faith in Him, even the not knowing the date! It is as the old hymn goes, so sweet to trust in Jesus. Thanks bro. Jack also for your principled stand for grace & truth. God Bless you all, you are special to me.
Thanks so much, John, for your POWERFUL testimony. All the praise and glory goes to God!
You express it all very well. I understand completely.
Thanks again, John. I know your testimony is helping clarify things for many.
Pearl, It goes deepeer than that. I had to thoroughly reject the notion that my behavior had anything to do with being saved. I had to accept Christ – alone. I had never done that. It had always been Christ plus me. I had to do this against the backdrop of most of the big names in the salvation business (past and present) teaching Christ plus. I had to do that with Satan attacking me and trying to confuse me. I was trying to hold onto the notion that I had always been saved, just confused. Once I quit worrying about that, I was able to just take Jesus at His word.
Everywhere I go, I still hear the lie. I hear it from street corner preachers, who play “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus” on accoustic guitar and pass out handbills that tell the “turn from sins” for salvation lie. I hear it on the radio from people who talk about “giving your heart to Jesus”. I see it when I’m at the airport in Charlotte and see the ads for the Billy Graham library, and I’m reminded that he teaches the turn from sins for salvation lie. When the evil one taunts me with doubt, I go back to the clear scriptures (I like Romans 4).
People can spin my comments however they want. If they think that if I’m out whooping it up has any bearing on my salvation, there is a good chance they are lost. I know that no matter what I do, or don’t do, I am saved!
Having said all this. I know that I am responsible for the choice to accept Jesus as my Savior, no matter how bad the teaching has been.
I am very thankful that I was able to get past this destructive teaching and put my faith in Christ alone.
Come to think of it, you could very well be at a bar right now. Like I’ve said before, when I first became a believer, I didn’t immediately forsake my sinful ways. I was living with my boyfriend at the time, and continued living with him for a few more years (though, miserably as far my guilt went). Based on my continuance in sin, I struggled with assurance for many long years. I don’t think I’m one of those lucky few who can look back and say for sure “this” is when my life did a 180. It’s been a struggle, ebb and flow, accompanied by askewed, as well as sound, teaching.
I now know, without a doubt, that salvation, is, indeed, a gift and have learned to say “thank you” and leave it at that. As His child, I’ve had to be taken behind the shed for a whipping more than once, but I know He is my Father.
Thanks John. I think I understand now: you’re saying that after a lifetime of being brought up with askewed teaching (which leads to damnation) you finally got to the place where you refused to be moved by the appearance of fruit/behavior to assure you that you were saved. You have since simply taken Jesus at His word (“whosoever believeth in Me shall not perish but have everlasting life”) and said “thank you”. Therefore, technically, you are a “new” believer.
I told the pastor that I had not turned from my sins, nor committed to turn from my sins to be saved.
Whooooweee! This is gonna make folks mad! (Of course, they’d take it and twist it to mean that you’re, at this very minute, hanging out at the corner bar, whooping it up). Romans, as we know, deals with this fallacious argument.
Good for you!
One more thing – my fifteen year old son was baptized the same day and I was. My mother is aware that we were both baptized (she saw it on my daughter’s facebook page), and probably wonders why, since I was baptized when I was eight years old. She is a devout SBC member and one of the most kind and considerate people I know. I am afraid she would be scandalized by my outright rejection of the SBC LS dogma.
Pearl, I grew up in an SBC church, but never really understood God’s plan of salvation. I thought that I needed to do something to be saved. The natural inclination of man is to think that nothing is free. I went to see the minister of my boyhood church when I was in my twenties (he was not the minister there when I was growing up). I told him I was worried that I wasn’t saved, due to my reckless lifestyle. I told him that I believed Jesus died for our sins. He said “even the demons believe and they tremble.” He said that believing was not enough, that you couldn’t have Heaven without Jesus. He said that I had to turn from my sins and commit to follow Jesus to be saved. I came back the next day, and said I was ready to do this. It didn’t last very long. I spent years trying to convince myself that my commitment had been sincere. But, as I now know, that commitment, even if I had kept it, would not have helped save me.
About fourteen months ago, I prayed as I laid in bed that God would let me know whether someone who was saved would stay saved. I read lots of points/counterpoints on the internet and finally found a website that gave a decent explanation of once saved, always saved. I became convinced that day that eternal security of a believer was true.
Then, I had to wrestle with the question of how someone became a believer. The SBC had always been my denomination, and their statement of faith confirmed what the SBC minister had told me years earlier. I knew I couldn’t reach any deeper and make any more sincere a commitment than I had before. It also seemed odd to me that believers could lack commitment, but the lost had to have it. It started to occur to me that Grace was the only possible way that one could have eternal security and assurance.
I remember looking up from my Lazyboy on Labor Day weekend last year and telling my wife “its a gift, not a trade.” She said she thought that I already knew that.
I would be less that honest if I told you that I haven’t been angry with LS teachers. I pray that I can be gracious and charitable to LS teachers. But, despite their good intentions, they are leading souls down the path of destruction.
I have more sympathy for people who emphatically believe the LS lie (such as the aforementioned minister) than I do for people who know the truth and try to coexist with the false teachers. For example, we began to attend an SBC church earlier this year, due to the very clear Grace-oriented statement of faith on its website. I was baptized in that church on Superbowl Sunday. Prior to being baptized, I told the pastor that I had not turned from my sins, nor committed to turn from my sins to be saved. I told him in writing that those things were works. He was OK with that. Later, I asked him what he thought of the SBC statement of faith that said that turning from sins and committing the entire personality to Jesus as Lord and Savior were necessary aspects of becoming saved. He said he believed the SBC statement of faith. This broke my heart.
I was told by a great soul winner, shortly after I trusted Christ as my Savior, that if I understand and believe the Gospel, I have more knowledge and ability (God’s Holy Spirit) than 99% of the world and 75% of “church” members. Therefore I was encouraged to share my faith.. I stumbled and made mistakes but I recovered.. I thank the Lord that some folks trusted Christ as Savior and I was encouraged.. so the more I witnessed, the more I studied. I think that is sorta the Lord’s plan for folks trusting Christ. Believing then sharing our faith.
Your testimony is encouraging to each one of us here.
Pearl, your description of the “flirtatious” church is priceless. So true and sad.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Seriously, John? You’ve only been saved a year? I got the impression you had been saved by grace much longer, and merely got caught up in the LS mill.
According to one website which expounds on the errors of Calvinism, they said most folks who adhere to same adopt that teaching after salvation, not before. Of course, they said it much better than I just did… wish I could remember the source (Jack highlighted them one of his posts and I followed the link to learn more).
Regardless, you seem quite more capable of leading a soul to the Savior than the most seasoned biblical scholar. As for lacking church bodies, you, Faith and I are in the same boat. (Well, Faith, I guess that makes three things in common!).
Based on your putting up Northland’s church link last night, I was reminded of a church in our area that I may gather our family (and strength) to visit for a while to check out. I remember Bruce mentioning months ago someone there.
But herein lies my hesitation (and I get no joy from being so picky):
It has been my observation that “free grace” churches have a sort of naivete when it comes to accepting other questionable teachings, primarily coming from the emergent church (Chuck Swindoll is a good example). The false seems to come in by way of association (i.e. AWANA – which may have sound origins, but is a shamelessly flirting with contemplative spirituality). A flirtatious church sets me at great unease.
I strongly believe it is this woeful lack of discernment which has given the LS/Calvinist branch momentum, as they seem to lead the “discernment brigade”.
Exactly because so many fall prey to the errors of LS we must do what we can to warn and provide the biblical answers to help the unsuspecting avoid falling into the trap.
Faith, we have had a problem finding a church as well. I pray almost every day that I will find a fellow believer, who is unashamedly free Grace – oriented. I have shared my faith with a few people, but I wouldn’t know where to get them plugged in. I am a new believer (about a year now) and do not feel comfortable being the spiritual mentor for people. Almost everyone I meet who is interested in matters of faith is either caught up in the LS lie, or tolerant of churches in which it is taught. I had one of my best friends at work tell me in disgust that I twist everything to fit a free grace lens. Guilty as charged!
Thanks for the site John.
Since we have no church at this point, will have to listen to his sermons.
That is the good points of the internet- you can find sermons and articles that preach the gospel.
Faith, and all,
I, too, find this a restful spot and am grateful for the fellowship. (sniff)
GROUP HUG!… 😉
Dr. Pickering was deputation director for my mission board when I was on deputation. Saw him often, spoke often. He asked me to write an article on the deputation ministry for the mission news letter. He was as gracious, scholarly and eloquent as they come. The mission board is Baptist World Mission, and the board is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this week at my home church during our missions conference. BWM was founded at my church 50 years ago.
John, Jan et al,
Tom Cucuzza is a wonderful and thoughtful Christian scholar and soulwinner. As I have mentioned before, he served as my Assistant Pastor and before that as Youth Director in our church. He was indispensable and we certainly regretted seeing him and his wife Sue leave our area.
But we all see now what a wonderful way the Lord is using them in their church and school in St. Cloud, MN. He has written his wonderful, easy to read book on Calvinism (see: upper right side bar), his recorded sermons are always clear, understandable and beneficial, he is a regular speaker at the Grace Conferences in Chicago and so much more. We are so encouraged and happy for Tom but certainly not amazed at how the Lord has used him. Tom has always applied the gifts given him by the Lord and run with them full speed ahead. He called me about a week ago while on his way to Dayspring Bible College and Seminary where he had been invited to teach for a week. He is a busy man for the Lord.
Jan, that soulwinning guideline is one he and I adopted almost verbatim (with slight tweaking) from our original Florida Bible College Statement of Faith — from which we both graduated. (different times– different ages). My Statement of Faith:
Those paragraphs were very effective as a guideline for those desiring to learn to win souls for our Savior. We used those articles to teach practical, personal soulwinning in our church, Bible studies and classes. We found it is also a great way to study and practice applied Scripture.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
I know you use his quote a lot (it’s a great quote, isn’t it?), but I didn’t know you knew Pickering personally!
That’s neat that you find this a peaceful place to rest. 🙂
One of the most interesting things I’ve learned about the rest of God is that it provides the basis for that courage and strength we need in times of fear, as you describe.
From Northland Church’s doctrinal statement:
(17) It is every Christian’s privilege and duty to make clear God’s plan of salvation wherever and in whatever vocation he or she may be. Mark 16:15, I Thessalonians 2:4
(18) The general plan of salvation in God’s Word in a brief outline that is believed and practiced by the Northland Bible Baptist Church is as follows:
(a) Establish the fact that all men are sinners. Isaiah 64:6, Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23, James 2:10.
(b) Establish the fact that the penalty of sin is death. Ezekiel 18:20, Romans 6:23.
(c) Establish the fact that you must be perfect to enter heaven. Habakkuk 1:13, Revelation 21:27.
(d) Establish the fact that man can do nothing to obtain this perfection. Romans 4:5, Galatians 2:16, Ephesians 2:8-9.
(e) Show how God provided a sin-bearer in the person of Jesus Christ and imputes to man His righteousness. Isaiah 53:6, II Corinthians 5:21, Philippians 3:9, I Peter 3:18.
(f) Establish the fact that man needs only to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour for salvation. John 1:12, John 3:16-18, Acts 16:31, John 6:47.
(g) Establish the fact that man can be certain of his salvation now and that his salvation cannot be lost because eternal life is eternal. John 6:37 & 39, John 10:28, Hebrews 10:10-14, I Peter 1:5.
Thanks John for sharing the link with all of us. Dr. Tom Cucuzza, pastor of Northland Bible Baptist Church, is a wonderful man of grace. I had the privilege of meeting him this past summer at the Grace Conference in Chicago. Check out his recent sermons; he has a really good one on the dangers of Calvinism.
Faith, thanks for your kind words!
I am sure I am preaching to the proverbial choir, but, I just read the statement of beliefs from Northland Bible Baptist Church. This is one of the most articulate and concise documents I have ever read. If you have not already done so, please read it and share it with folks. Thanks. John
Well said Jack about discernment- and yes Jan very humbling. It was because I stumbled in these areas of false teaching that I learned. And still the journey continues……
My area right now is fear, and praying to the Lord Jesus about it. And know He will continue His work in me- use to though I would fret about this fear because I felt from teaching in church that if you were not bold (or this or that) for Christ you “may not be saved”.
Horrible- Fear was and is one of those sins that the Lord is convicting me on and I have to submit it to the Lord daily.
Thanks Pearl,Jan, Bruce, Jack for displaying His grace unfettered. It is a
peaceful place to rest. Sorta like being in House Beautiful of Pilgrims Progress 🙂
…more good examples…
I also use a sizeable portion of the Pickering excerpt in my book. I knew him personally through our mutual ministry at Baptist World Mission.
Thanks for giving to us the Earnest Pickering quotation. It is kind and lovingly delivered, as you said, but it is also clearly, comprehensively and strongly declaring the gospel of grace.
…a sincere servant…
No, it is not automatic at all. It is very laborious and humbling. But we do desperately need it and the Lord leads us along bit by bit.
I always find it amazing that I see so much respect from teachers at the seminary level toward other teachers with whom they disagree. I understand why that is, because they all had to labor in the word and struggle with opposing views and face where they have been either wrong or ignorant and so they can deal gently and respectfully with those with whom they disagree.
One of the men I really respect is Earnest Pickering because of how he dealt with John MacArthur when he said:
John MacArthur is an sincere servant of the Lord, of that we have no doubt. He is a good man, but good men can be wrong. We believe in his advocacy of so called “Lordship-salvation” he is wrong. He desperately desires to see holiness, lasting fruit, and continuing faithfulness in the lives of Christian people. This reviewer and, we believe, all sincere church leaders desire the same. None of us are happy with shoddy, fleshly, and disobedient Christians. But the remedy for this condition is not found in changing the terms of the gospel. Well over 100 times in the New Testament, we are told that salvation is by faith or through believing. It is a very serious matter to add an ingredient to the gospel of salvation that is not found in the New Testament. While one may argue that “faith”, if properly understood, includes the ingredient of “submission” or “enthronement”, we believe the Scriptures do not support this contention. Our task is to keep preaching the plain, simple gospel of free grace. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to produce in true believers those qualities of righteousness which we all devoutly long to see.
I imagine when the Lord intercedes for us before the Father, He has the same kind of gentle compassion toward our weakness, making sure to mention where we have gone right along with gently requesting the Father deal with where we need help. Pickering was clearly a grace taught man.
Miles Stanford is another one who was VERY gentle and gracious with MacArthur, and that when he confronted MacArthur on something MacArthur said against him in one of his books, which was not an accurate representation of what Stanford believed. Both Pickering and Stanford are definitely examples for us to live up to.
But I see I’m getting off on something of a tangent again….
Faith and Jan,
Over many years I discovered that Biblical discernment is not an automatic skill-set. It comes from studying God’s Word, sometime making mistakes and, in my case, by sharing Jesus Christ with everyone I met. Doing so, even with some of my family, meant I was confronted with teachings that did not match my doctrine so, rather than read their books or take their word for it, thankfully, I was forced back to the Bible to clarify and reinforce my own Free Grace doctrine via God’s Words. I’m not there yet, but I’m still studying to sharpen my discernment.
We occasionally have visitors who challenge what we write. That is appropriate as long as we discuss things in Christian love with correct and reasonable dispensational exegesis. If we disagree we will discuss it as long as the conversation remains Biblical and civil.
And we do appreciate and thank the Lord for each of you who are so well versed in God’s Word. You are valuable assets to this web site and to the Lord’s service in this Blog, You contribute greatly to any “success” we have here for the Lord and His Free Grace Gospel.
Probably by tomorrow this time, the Blog will have surpassed 150,000 views. In some secular and “religious” blogs, that is an miniscule amount yet there is no way I could have conceived of that number as I first started with my crude and unsophisticated writing. I thank the Lord so much for this opportunity.
And Bruce and I especially thank each one of you!!
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
I agree with your theory, Jan, and it goes for each of us. I suppose through it all, it ought to refine in us discernment, wisdom, long-suffering, and humility (so many of us have been acquainted with this frustration in varying degrees).
Faith, that you’ve not grown bitter in the struggle is an encouraging testimony.
I can see this now and pray that Lord helps me to have balance – not legalistic nor licentiousness. Both the early churches had to deal with and even today they are dealing with it. Discernment will help us know what is amiss and what not to follow.
Jan and Pearl- Will it not be wonderful to know that our perfect Teacher will be coming soon!! I will be so relieved when this happens. Pearl you are so right about the pessimism- I am guilty of that to, in light of all my dealings with church these past few years. I, however, have learned so much by going through these experiences and also know that wherever I went that had error in their teaching there were wonderful Christians (whether Calvinist or Arminianist). I pray and hope that they see what is wrong and leave that false teaching.
Pearl you are spot on in what you wrote. This is why we must continue and be good stewards of what God has given us- the Word. Study it and ask the Lord to help us be obedient to it.
Pearl and Jack thanks for the advice on BBN- will keep my ears alert.
I have a theory about this. I think God allows this so that we don’t make idols out of any teacher. There will always be a flaw of some sort that will be visible to us. I don’t believe there is a teacher on the planet that always gets everything right. That’s also why He has so many. One will be right where another is wrong and vice versa. Perfection would sure be nice but if we had perfect teachers we would never need to learn discernment.
I just want to add that I note my own contradiction by suggesting two good sources for study (neither solely coming from the scriptures), and then in the very next comment suggest to John that his leader attempt a bible study using solely the bible! Just sayin’…
This is a problem I confront in my own life as well! There are many teachers I have trusted and have come to learn that they were off by oh, so very little on some very important points. It is heartbreaking to me, and my resulting pessimism too often rears its ugly head (sigh).
Yep, Pearl does not work for BBN but the gent she mentioned, David Wyatt, does, He is a dear friend and I have his blog in my blog list — in the right column above.
I have spoken to David about the rare faulty teacher. He agrees and says, though he works there, he has no power to manage the program schedule.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
John, I wonder if it’s possible to actually hold a bible study using the bible instead of other books and videos. Such might be a necessary challenge to that “leader”. Just sayin’… 😉
Neat, Faith! You and I have that (and homeschooling) in common! We have BBN playing continually in the background from our kitchen radio. They are a wonderful ministry (though not perfect; an impossibility this side of heaven – I, for one, wish they’d remove a certain teacher).
The music might be hard for some to get used to given CCM is the main diet of many. But we have grown to be very blessed by it and find it difficult to withstand the former. In fact, check out the free, on-line bible courses. Therein you’ll find a very enlightening series on the study of music (this would be great for your daughter too.) http://tinyurl.com/StudyofMusic
Additionally, there is another course I learned of when David Wyatt mentioned it here months ago on the occurance and meaning of “repentance” throughout scripture; essential to our understanding when confronting LS. http://tinyurl.com/DoctrineofRepentance
(Nope, I don’t work for BBN…just a grateful listener of many years 🙂 .)
Apparently your friend in the “James Gang” (apropos), bringing booklets and videos to the study, is going to be tough to convince with God’s Word.. because he perverts God’s Word to convince you of a lie. Praying for you and your fellow Bible studiers. UMC (United Methodist Church I presume) is a church built on Arminian false doctrine, that salvation is never secure, etc. This seems to be a good example of what Jan mentioned above about Arminian Lordship “salvation.” Interesting.
Glad you are enjoying BBN. We are well aware that they have a great majority of wonderful teachers but we have also heard that there may be an occasional questionable one inadvertently slipped by and included in the bunch. Since we have no control over their programming, we do not give a blanket recommendation for all their schedule. So please use discernment when you choose programs and teachers at BBN.
It is sorta like listening to the radio or TV. There may be some news programs we would turn off while others we appreciate, only with Bible doctrine it requires more discernment.
If you should have questions about programs or teachers, call their Bible answer guy and/or drop them an email.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
I appreciated your testimony and glad you have joined fellowship here.
By the way Jack, I have been listening to BBN (Bible Broadcasting Network) and have been enjoying it so much. What good, solid teaching! My daughter is now listening BBN and incorporating it as her Bible studies for school.
I don’t know how common it is, but I know it exists.
fg, thanks for your note. Regarding extra-Biblical material, I am in a Bible study with a small group at work. The leader is a member of the “James Gang” (that is, he interprets the book of James to mean that one has to have works to prove his faith). He has brought some nonsense booklet, along with a companion youtube video series, for use in the discussion. I looked up the statement of faith of his denomination (UMC) and it is gobbledy gook. Their definition of faith includes everything but the kitchen sink.
Fascinating observation re. Arminian-LS. Is that a very common position?
Thanks John and Bruce..
I concur — and do pray that AP will understand God’s Free Grace — and by Grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone — trust Jesus as his Savior and pass from eternal condemnation and a miserable life to a guarantee of Heaven and the Peace that passes all understanding in Christ Jesus.
We will be praying for AP to make that decision.
Securely In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
AP would be your Arminian LSer.
Thanks, John, for your heartfelt testimony and plea to AP. We pray that AP will listen and receive God’s GIFT of GRACE.
AP, I have prayed that you will accept Jesus Christ as your Savior (if you have never done so) or return to the faith (if you have). I know it is threatening to give up a faulty, yet ingrained, belief system. I often talk to friends and co-workers about the Gospel and find that many have something holding them back from trusting in Christ alone. It is often from faulty teaching. I pray that whatever is holding you will lose its grip. Jesus died for your sins. Please accept His Grace today!
Some of you may notice that a person with the pseudonym of “AP” is no longer commenting here. His unapologetic and abusive discussions coupled with his foul anti-Grace doctrine are not representative of this Blog. Therefore we have excluded him from any further discussion.
I rarely would quote an abuser of God’s Word, but for your info and so you will understand our decision, this the last paragraph from AP’s latest comment which has been moderated:
AP says, along with the stupid, destructive 1-2-3 salvation of the antinomian sin-promoters, now comes another 1-2-3 that is every bit as unBiblical as the former.. One of the points is LS doesn’t line up with Eternal Security. Well that is good because Eternal Security is a lie, and one of the most destructive, anti-holiness heresies to ever come down the pike. It is utterly false and so easy to refute from the Bible. It is a sin-promoting doctrine for insecure people who have weak faith, or whose conscience constant;y condemns them for all the sin and compromise in their lives. They need a wau to silence their conscience, and so this lie fits the bill.
I pray our faithful readers, who know Eternal Security is NOT a lie, will agree with our decision:
Eternally Secure IN Jesus Christ, Jack
The irony is, that once I “cleaned up my act”, I felt more lost than ever.
Another person has written of this exact dilemma which he suffered for many years before coming to the same conclusion. He added that when he was “flat on his back”, weary of trying to behave himself, or failing to keep his promises to do better, admitting to God that he was helpless, it was during these times he experienced the peace of God.
A few more battles like this and he finally “got it”.
Wrestling with God seems to be a very common occurance in a believer’s life, and blessed are those who get to the place where they are called “Prince with God” and rest therein!
She said “if you mix your grade with His, you will no longer be perfect!”
Good for her! That is exactly right.
Thanks for sharing your testimony.
The truth about LS is that it is man-centered, it has men looking to themselves: What they offer in “exchange” (JMac’s word) for salvation and then what they are doing to keep that promise to perform in exchange for salvation. Of course, no man can do or be good enough, which they learn in short order. No wonder so many, who come under the influence of LS’s false message, doubt or never had their complete faith in Him in the first place.
Lordship Salvation corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor. 11:3) and it frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21)
Yours in Him and ONLY because of Him,
Jan H, it is interesting to hear what my children have to say about these matters. I have a middle-schooler at home. Last night, we talked about grading on the curve. She asked me what that had to do with God. I told her that God requires perfection to enter into Heaven, and we can only have that through Christ, who is perfect. She said “if you mix your grade with His, you will no longer be perfect!” I think she gets it.
I sure hope any LSers, especially struggling LSers, reading what you write are beginning to get it.
I cannot imagine you are alone in your experience.
I used to equate the cessation of certain bad habits with salvation. The irony is, that once I “cleaned up my act”, I felt more lost than ever.
Jan, like I said in my earlier post, none of my efforts to turn to Christ ever lasted very long, probably because they were based on my faithfulness – which is not exactly a firm foundation. I often devolved into long periods of just trying not to think about it. I wish I could say that a didn’t live a life of sin, but my life included lots of it.
I used to equate the cessation of certain bad habits with salvation. The irony is, that once I “cleaned up my act”, I felt more lost than ever.
Like I said, I had never trusted in Christ alone. Jan, I didn’t have a sin problem – I had a Son problem. Trying to fix myself, or promising to try to fix myself later, was a dead end. I am now relying on Christ’s complete payment for my sins as the sole basis for my salvation. He saved me and will keep me saved. Their is nothing I could have done to make myself more acceptable to Him. There is nothing I can do to lose the eternal life that He has made possible.
I meant you had no agenda at the time, while you were in LS and believed it. In other words, you were just trying to find and serve God and not intending to buck their system. Nor did you leave it because you wanted to go off and live a life of sin.
I should say you are just a regular guy who had no agenda rather than with no agenda.
John in so much agreement with your post.
We (I include myself in this) have been complacent with the Gospel. This is one reason I do stay away from the big “Christian” names. I do not need them to continue my walk in Christ. I do not need them to confuse and cause me to doubt my salvation- they are good at that. Whether it is Calvinism or Arminianism they are the same- no different. It is all about works with these “doctrines”. I can rest assured of my standing in the Lord because He has already made my standing before Him sure.
I was listening to the radio the other day and the radio host on a Christian station was responding to a caller. The caller called in to ask him a question about a certain Christian doctrine and also asked for the host to give him some verses from Scripture to back up his belief. The host said this “I can do BETTER than that I will send you my latest book on this subject”. I was “HOW in the world can you do better than scripture?”
I agree stay away from the multitude of books. Ecclesiastes 12:9-12
The Whole Duty of Man
9 And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; and what was written was upright—words of truth. 11 The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars[b] are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd. 12 And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.
Jan H, I think you have a great read on my testimony, with one exception. I do have an agenda. I want to use my testimony to help lead people to the Lord or back to the Lord. I want to shake believers out of their complacency in being willing to tolerate perversions of the Gospel within their own churches. I want people to realize that some of the biggest names in the business, past and present, may lead them to very dangerous places. I want to be on guard, myself, against being corrupted by bad teaching. And hardest of all sometimes for me, I want to love the people trapped in the lies of LS or their church traditions instead of being angry or exasperated with them.
Actually, what I was thinking of was John’s testimony. I failed to make that clear. I sent him the part where John says he tried to find rest in his commitment but realized the problem was really that he had never trusted Christ alone. Honestly I really can’t think of a more condemning testimony against LS than that. LSers- your gospel did not save John. It caused him to remain lost in his sins, confused about the issues. Christ alone saved him. But he did not get that doctrine from you. I have been saying for years now that the unsaved do not catch what you think you are throwing. Here is a man, just a regular guy with no agenda, who could not find the salvation Christ promised from your gospel. He heard he must work, measure up, somehow contribute to his own salvation. He did not understand faith alone in Christ alone. He understood faith in Christ plus his commitment of life.
Anyway, I am curious what Lou will say about this.
Great idea.. Think he will agree?
In Christ, Jack
I’m sending this to Lou.
Your detailed testimony has so many great truths and expose’s of error that I don’t know where to start.
Your statement “few people are comfortable letting Grace be Grace” is really the essence of the LS lie and when we look at so many churches duplicating the lie, one wonders, “Are they sowing this error on purpose.” Or maybe it is tradition over God’s clear Word!! The word “purposeful” seems to fit.
“As it turns out, my lost condition was not due to my lack of ability or willingness to turn from sins and commit to follow Christ.. My lost condition was due to the fact that I had never put my faith in Christ alone.”
John, that is so very clear.. and I agree with Bruce, You have contributed much to this discussion!!
Yes, let us all simply “Let Grace be Grace”
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Thank you, John, for your inspiring testimony. And thanks, too, for your excellent comprehensive statement on the dangers of the unbiblical LS “gospel.” You have contributed much of value to the discussion.
Bruce, LS starts with the premise that one has something to contribute to his salvation. I remember, before coming to a saving faith in Christ, that I viewed my willingness to forsake sins and commit my life to Christ as Lord and Savior as part of a salvation “package deal”.
My story is one of having been lost, in part, because of my faulty belief in LS. I am convinced that there are many others – maybe millions – still lost because of faulty LS teaching. LS teaching is no different than any other false religion, because it is focused on man working his way back to God, instead of God providing the only way for man to be reconciled to Him.
When reflecting on whether or not I was saved, I would think about the few good things I could remember doing in my life and the many bad things that I had done in my life. Then I would wonder whether my body of work was sufficient, along with my faith in Christ, to get me into Heaven. I knew that my previous efforts to turn from my sin, commit my life to Christ and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior had never lasted very long. I would try to convince myself that if I had been sincere in my willingness to turn from sin and commit my life to Christ at that one moment in my life, that I could rest on that.
As it turns out, my lost condition was not due to my lack of ability or willingness to turn from sins and commit to follow Christ.. My lost condition was due to the fact that I had never put my faith in Christ alone.
I knew that the Bible gave lots of examples of saved people drifting into sin and error or lacking commitment. A few actual examples are David (lust and murder). Solomon (idolatry), Peter (denial of Christ); Pharisees who became secret believers, etc. Some examples from parables are the prodigal son, and soils two and three in the parable of the four soils.
I had a daily devotional, called “Time with God” , that included comments by some revered old preachers, that would say outrageous things about the quality of the walk of a “true Christian” that were inconsistent with the examples above. It finally dawned on me that maybe these people were teaching lies instead of truth, or mixing lies with truth.
Once I became convinced that salvation was by Grace, through faith, I was really confused by why the mainline churches all seem to pervert Grace in one way or another. The variations are endless. Some denominations that acknowledge that salvation is by Grace through faith pervert the meaning of faith. The perversions often involve “Trojan Horse” faith, in which faith is loaded with works or the promise of future works. Other times the perversions include “head faith versus heart faith” or other such nonsense.
Still others focus on repentance and faith, with the definitions of repentance being as varied as the definitions of faith. I have heard that repentance means “a change of allegiance”, “turning from sins”, “the willingness to turn from sins”, “stop it”, etc
The creativity that people and churches show in perverting the Gospel reminds me of the creativity my children sometimes show in creating caveats that my clear instructions to them did not cover.
The bottom line is that very few people are comfortable letting Grace be Grace. The Bible says the message of the Cross is offensive to the flesh. The flesh includes the human tendency to believe we must give something to gain eternal life.
“LS is a form of idolatry, because it causes people to look to themselves for salvation.”
Now that is a bold statement! To my remembrance, I don’t remember anyone ever making that comparison before. But it certainly is fitting and I agree with you completely.
Thanks, John for your keen insights. Your comments have been very instructive and helpful.
Jack, as you saw, I included the 1.2.3 test in a response to the Lordship Salvation thread earlier this evening. Note the references from AP to Spurgeon, etc. AP misses the point completely. If someone believes the LS lie (no matter who teaches it), then they have to either become a Pharisee or give up and become hardened to the Gospel. LS is a form of idolatry, because it causes people to look to themselves for salvation.
Thanks, Jack for posting this.
And thanks, John, for coming up with this very helpful one, two, three questionnaire. I’m sure that I will utilize it some time.