Latest John Piper News: John Piper Speaks to 42,000+ Youth, Redefining the Plan of Salvation; Latest on John Piper

Source:  The Christian Post, Jan. 5, 2012

Posted by CalifGracer 

John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minn., stood before more than 40,000 Christian college students Wednesday and told them that some of them might not be saved.

  • John Piper addresses the crowd at the Passion 2012 conference in Atlanta, Ga.
    (Photo: Andrew Shepherd)
    John Piper addresses the crowd at the Passion 2012 conference in Atlanta, Ga.
While speaking at the Passion 2012 conference in Atlanta, Ga., an event which was also broadcast on the Internet, Piper said some people might be deceived into believing they have received salvation because they made a “decision” when they were young, yet they still haven’t “waved the white flag of surrender” to Jesus Christ.
 
Piper continues:
 

“Believing in Jesus is a soul coming to Jesus to be satisfied in all that he is. That is my definition of faith on the basis of John 6:35. This is not…a decision,” he said.  Piper gave his definition of salvation, explaining one concept in three different ways. He said that saving faith is “Seeing and savoring Jesus, being satisfied with all that God is for us in Jesus, and trusting Jesus,” and that those three things are “equivalent realities.”  But those realities should also be apparent in our actions, Piper said, because “God did not come into the world in Jesus or create the world in order to be glorified invisibly.”

COMMENT:

It seems that John Piper knows something more about the plan of salvation than the Bible itself!  He clearly promotes a Lordship Faith salvation plan which demands complete and immediate surrender along with a call to action (works-based salvation) to prove or to guarantee one’s eternal life.  This is formula for a life of doubt, fear and a decimation of a believer’s assurance of salvation.

The Bible makes the way of salvation so simple, so straightforward, so clear—We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone!:

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

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

Romans 4:5:  “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” 

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.”

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

Your comments are welcome . . . .

299 responses to “Latest John Piper News: John Piper Speaks to 42,000+ Youth, Redefining the Plan of Salvation; Latest on John Piper

  1. Holly, it was the same place.

  2. Abe, here is my thoughts, and of course open to hearing if I am wrongly understanding, but Paul named names, and it was to protect the other sheep, not just from being deceived, but also from wasting time as I see it. They are a cancer in the church. And if we do not know, how can we avoid?

    Please don’t post because I think you should, but aren’t we all to mark (publicly?) any of these we have seen for ourselves and is public (more than 2 or 3 witnesses) so that not only we, but all the brethren can avoid?

    Just a thought. If it’s already been covered here I understand. God bless 🙂

  3. Hi John, I knew George Zeller was compromising with Spurgeon, I hadn’t yet seen his Lordship or perseverance position when Jack gently let me know awhile back. I just wondered if it was the same place, I agree with you both.

  4. Curtis – So many in one way, shape or form have been affected by the Load-ship teaching lie. And we all regret works that were done that were bad, but so many don’t think of the good works that truly were not done in His name. Fortunately He works all things together for good, I see it all the time (not that what I see vs. His Word makes it true) but so many testimonies that have helped others greatly.

    Praise God we are practicing the truth now prayerfully, and that we know to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good…

  5. John, I agree with you about Zeller.

    Interesting update about this, the other website I was referring to…. the person that runs the site jumped on the LS bandwagon with a commenter that hadn’t showed their whole hand doctrinally. That commenter now showed themselves to be part of the “hebrew roots” movement, which is LS on steroids. So now the person that runs the website has some egg on their face over the whole thing, but it opened a door to show them why LS is wrong, steroids or not.

  6. Holly, I didn’t want to answer for Abe, but I think Middletown and Zeller are poison.

    Zeller has been featured prominently in some free grace circles (for example, Grace Family Journal published Zeller 19 times between 1999 and 2007). Spurgeon is also prominently featured in some of the same places. I believe Duluth Bible church, the sponsor of Grace Family Journal, is sound. However, I think they use extremely poor judgment in who they choose to publish in GFJ.

    In my opinion, using “teachers” like Zeller and Spurgeon because they “have some good things to say” is like setting fire to your house because it creates warmth.

  7. Holly wrote “I was pondering those who believed the gospel, and were bewitched by the Lordship doctrine for however long. No matter how many good works, they were done with the wrong motivation. Has to be some of the works that are burnt up…”
    As one who came out of LS yes it is a spell I fell under via Calvinism . Yes I still cry very easily when I think on the Judgment seat of Christ because of how I mishandled the Good news that Jesus paid for our sins. During my deep time of depression and the bitter church split over LS, I found Curtis Hutson sermons on youtube that Jesus used to continue to bring me out and back into the light, as I seek after Truth. I also learned to study the bible for myself and study my workmanship as I study. The walk in dark doctrine I once knew I am thankful God did take it away from me.
    I have been pondering this verse wondering how this happened to me to maybe help show how it can happen . we need to “Practice the Truth” to stay in the light for fellowship.
    to me one of the hooks in the bait of LS is We can “repent of sin”, “turn from sin” and do right and never trust Jesus paid for our sin.

    We are to “confess our sins” Practicing the Truth

    1Jn 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

    Curtis

  8. Jim and John, yes, this site has actually covered a lot of various topics in the comments, which is wonderful, and I am sure God has used that to bring many people here that might not have found it without it. So that is great!

    Holly, I’d rather not say what site it is (I don’t want to give them any further publicity), but no, it isn’t MIddletown. As for the Calvinists and their resources, i believe you are right, they have people and money, and they try to cover all the bases. How many would not be Calvinist/LS if they just heard the Gospel presented correctly, which is why I am so thankful for this website right here.

  9. there was about 10 of us Stone Cutters that got together online and Started the “Stone Fabricators Alliance” that is now 3000 members strong worldwide with yearly membership dues. At the time we started we started because there was no place online were we could have thoughtful conversation and learn from one another the craft of stone cutting granite counter tops. were people did not attack one another,
    It would be nice to have a forum were Free Grace Gospel is proclaimed . there is so much junk out there on the internet calling it Free Grace and it is not.

  10. Jim, I put up some of your articles from your blog, and also plenty from here, and will keep adding over time, maybe it will help, we can do a little here and there. There are some great comments, I was thinking too, it probably wouldn’t be hard to copy and paste the entire page into a word doc either, (faster) and you know how it divides it up into headers? Might be interesting to see how it does, then you could make your own ‘headers’ that could be searchable for your own categories. But names etc. would just be a ctrl +f, but I’m sure I’m telling you something you are way more familiar with than I am. Good idea if it wasn’t too time consuming… don’t know….

  11. Abe, was it Middle town? Always like to know where the problems are, mark and avoid…

    I just put up a pinterest page, it might seem lame, but somehow I’ve gotten followers, don’t really get it, but I see people re-pinning, and also listed as coming to read articles because of it. I figured I’d start grouping the ones I’ve found sound, or those who are willing to be corrected if something is ‘off’ (I sure want to be).

    The Calvinists have taken over most of those areas, but it is because they have a large following I believe, and great resources…they are MANY…

  12. Abe, I know what you mean. It’s just not worth it to refer people to LS sites so that they can learn about other things.

    Good search engines on the relatively few dependably free-grace sites would help enormously. Like Jim said,we have discussed quite a few topics here over the last few years.

  13. I do have to say though that this site covers the gamut really if you count all of the comments. Sometimes it might be hard to find a specific thing though. I’ve considered starting a spreadsheet with links and notes to help me find things that I want to go back to.

    Jim F

  14. Abe, what type of topics would you like covered specifically? Some of us have blogs of our own. Maybe more free grace minded believers could start simple sites of their own maybe specializing in what interests them.

    I know what you are talking about most sites are unreliable and the ones that are are not widely known.

    Jim F

  15. “They are the ones who do their own works calling Him Lord, Lord”

    Charlie Bing once well said that they never regard Him as, “Savior, Savior”.

    I had a terrible disappointment tonight with a certain online resource that I considered good for a lot of the doctrinal troubles out there, and I used it to refer others to for good information. However, the issue of LS never really came up on that site, until the last couple of days. And the person running the site is angrily LS, angrily attacking those that even dare say anything against LS. Very sad and disappointing, and so now I can’t use them as a reference.

    Those who teach the true Gospel of grace need to pray that the Lord raise up laborers to cover all the various bases in Biblical issues out there. If I wanted a site that only talked about modern church issues, that wasn’t LS, such a site doesn’t exist. If I wanted a site that only talked about defense of creation per Genesis, that wasn’t LS, a site doesn’t exist.

    I hope what I am talking about is clear. Maybe it’s not. But I know that what we have here is purely defending against LS, but obviously it would defeat the purpose of this site to go off on many topics that are completely unrelated to the LS discussion. That is why other sites that do teach the Gospel correctly, that would cover those other topics, would be such a great thing. But such a thing is almost impossible to come by.

    Thus, the LS crowd has the “market” on most of those types of topics. We need to pray that those who understand the true Gospel, would be raised up by the Lord to serve in such ministry capacities.

  16. And then there are those false prophets in Matt 7 they so often like to quote to falsely accuse those who preach the unfettered gospel. They are the ones who do their own works calling Him Lord, Lord… They are also the ones He never knew, because they didn’t do the will of the Father and simply believe, and so they never had Christ’s righteousness imputed to them, they are the workers of lawlessness…

  17. I was pondering those who believed the gospel, and were bewitched by the Lordship doctrine for however long. No matter how many good works, they were done with the wrong motivation. Has to be some of the works that are burnt up…

  18. Califgracer thank you i just hope people will analytically review the truth here and compare with an open mind really what the Bible is saying. and John i agree how many people have been turned of away from true teaching of the Bible by false teachings.
    I have noticed many false teachers make the claim that what they are teaching they will be responsible to God for any false teachings, making the claim that what they are saying is truth. On youtube paul washer does this on a video, speaking to, as the video says, 5000 youth. basically what he is saying is why would i lie to you because God will hold me responsible.

  19. Thanks Jack and all
    I love to be sharpened , I didn’t know debate was in rom 1:29 but knew Spirit to spirit something was not right trying to debate Truth. We proclaim the Truth. We Proclaim hold fast . Heb_10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

    Curtis

  20. Curtis,

    Good points..

    Contend for the Gospel but not debate it.

    Romans 1:29 puts “debate” alongside:

    “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,”

    And the Biblical definition of that word “debate” is: “a quarrel, i.e. (by implication) wrangling :- contention, debate, strife, variance.”

    Rather, we speak the Truth in love:

    “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” Ephesians 4:15

    No need for debate when one speaks the Truth — Truth is not debatable.

    Praying for you in your search for sound fellowship — and be assured, we are happy you are here at ExP to share our fellowship in Christ.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  21. Yes , what John said ,and to add
    Now for me to hear a Clear Gospel message and or messages of Free Grace , I need to travel about an hour away to hear “Jesus paid for my sin’s” and pass probably 100 churches along the way.
    to me this LS salvation message is in epidemic proportion’s and could very well be the “falling away” .
    I am still looking for a Free assembly in my area that do not front load or rear load the gospel and is clear on Justification and Sanctification .
    I know I have a lot to share with others and would love communion fellowship in the beloved with others. To me when educated grown men strike down words in doctrinal statements. I am just asking for a spiritual whooping going against them words. I rather not do that to myself and I am no longer going to debate Bible text. I will contend for the Gospel but I am not going to debate it. Scriptures are clear to me . I am to depart from Iniquity.
    Please correct me were I need it

    Thank You Curtis

  22. Curtis, I think your analysis of 2 Timothy 2:16 is correct. In context, it clearly relates to false doctrine.

    2 Timothy 2:15-18:

    [15] Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
    [16] But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
    [17] And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
    [18] Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

  23. d taylor, very well said. Even people out of church often know they are lost sinners, but they have “tried church” and found the weren’t “cut out” to be Christians.

    A typical fact pattern is that a person, under conviction of sin, goes into an LS church and is told a false gospel. He tries that. It doesn’t work. He tries again later. It doesn’t work. He gives up.

    Clear Gospel Campaign explains this phenomenon as follows:

    “Those unregenerate who subsequently lapse from their confused ‘profession of faith’ are more likely to become hardened to the gospel, having seen the emptiness and worthlessness of what they understood to be biblical true Christianity.”

    Or, in my case, he becomes aware that he believed a false gospel of faith plus works and trusts in Christ alone. Then, he realizes that most churches teach false gospels. He realizes that many, if not most churchgoers are still stuck on those false gospels. He comes to realize that many, if not most churchgoers are either very confused or very lost. He wonders why people who are clear on the gospel would attend churches that teach false gospels. He wonders why so many churches that are clear on the gospel use legalistic approaches toward discipleship.

  24. What John posted from Clear Gospel

    “Because these pithy little aphorisms destroy the capacity for believers to meaningfully multiply themselves through evangelism, they are not just a minor difference between Christians. They are a hindrance to the great commission, and a cancer to the church. They are not “advancing the gospel in their own way.” They are destroying the advance of the gospel.”

    2Ti 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

    this verse of scripture been chewing on me. “shun” is only used 1 time in KJV. as a Pharisee I would use this as a reference not to laugh about sin and jokes and such. But now as a chief of sinners standing in the love of Christ’s finished work alone for eternal life. it appears to me in context that this is a reference to other gospel’s . It makes sense to me too why Paul would get so upset to the point of cursing false teaches because they are destroying the advancement of the gospel.

    and or /if souls are messed up by mixing Justification and sanctification for salvation they are hobbled and ineffective in their witness if they even do share the good news.
    I had a local LS church knocking on my door inviting me to their “church” but the elder with them couldn’t look me in the eye and tell me my sins are paid for . when the elder with them said “If” I spoke the truth with as much love as possible and they all ran away.

    Curtis

  25. Thanks D. Taylor,

    You gave a pretty good nutshell version of what lordship “salvation” is all about.

  26. People (that is in church) know they are sinners and that Jesus died on the cross for their sins. But instead of taking that knowledge and looking to Christ who offers them eternal life to all who will trust in Him for it (by His death, burial and resurrection Christ has the authority to give eternal life to all who will trust in Him for it). They look back to themselves and some act they are doing or either have done in the past for their salvation or at best they believe they can combine faith with their acts of perseverance. Not realizing that their faith is not is Christ but in what they are doing, their perseverance. They believe, that all that Christ did was not enough, that they must add to His work with actions of their own.

  27. Anne, welcome to ExP and thanks for your comment.

    I agree completely that Satan is behind Lordship “salvation”. LS has become the shadow religion posing as Christianity.

  28. Satan’s greatest plan was Lordship salvation. So very sad. Thank you for yr website.

  29. They are like a dog that chases its tail until it gets tired and collapses.

    Eventually, the dog will get enough stamina to chase his tail for awhile, and I think the adrenaline has him feeling pretty good during the chase, but he is still going in circles and is never going anywhere.

    They cannot get assurance based on their works, EVER. Forget it, give up now! THIS is why we NEED a Savior. WHY we need Jesus. It is what HE did, not what we have done, are doing, or even will do in the future. He has DONE it, it is FINISHED, those who have believed on Him for their salvation, we are perfected FOREVER. We HATH eternal life. We have believed the Testimony or Record, God has given of His Son.

    Have you? Or have you made God a liar?

  30. Bobby, If I were to give my testimony (which you can read under the Whitney Houston thread) at the church in which I was brought up, people would gasp and look at me like I had two heads.

    I believe in salvation by Grace through faith in Christ alone. I have not found many venues in which this Biblical view is accepted. Some churches will say they believe it, but then offer fruit inspection checklists to help people determine whether they, or others, have been saved.

    If someone bases his assurance on anything other than having heard the Gospel and having believed it, he is looking in the wrong place.

    I categorically reject works as having any part in the matter of eternal salvation. This would include the performance of works (baptism, public confession of Christ), the promise of future works (desire or willingness to turn from sins, making Christ the Lord of one’s life), or the evidence of works (perseverance of the saints).

  31. Yes, I agree Lordship Salvation is works-based salvation. I have been dealing with this for a couple of years; in fact, a preacher on a radio station in my area last April did a whole show on my email that I sent to him regarding this problem; he told me at end of program that I needed to repent. NoCo radio.

  32. Awww. Sorry to hear it, Jimmy. Don’t give up!

  33. Pearl,

    You stated, “I don’t have a whole lot of confidence that they’ll ever admit their entire spectacle was in vain. Besides, they have too many other slaves spurring them onward. (Sorry for my pessimism).”.

    You have possibly turned out to be quite right. Trey has yet to respond.

  34. Dear John,
    I agree with your assessment on CEF. They are trying to subvert the free grace Gospel and leading the kids to believe the Lordship Salvation gospel.

  35. Bruce, sorry for my careless reading of your comment. The analogy that you gave was from your pastor, not Dr. Scudder.

  36. Bruce, Dr. Scudder’s analogy is good. And I agree that people are sometimes saved despite a poor gospel presentation.

    You are probably familiar with the book by Dennis Rokser called “Seven Reasons Not to Ask Jesus Into Your Heart”. See attached link, below.

    http://duluthbible.org/widgets/download.aspx?file=%2ffiles%2fResources%2fPublications%2fBooklet_PDF_Files%2fSeven_Reason_3rdEdition.pdf

    Also, Clear Gospel Campaign has a section called “Silly Gospel Substitutes”. In addition to enumerating at least six grave dangers of using non-biblical gospel presentations, Shea concludes with:

    “Because these pithy little aphorisms destroy the capacity for believers to meaningfully multiply themselves through evangelism, they are not just a minor difference between Christians. They are a hindrance to the great commission, and a cancer to the church. They are not “advancing the gospel in their own way.” They are destroying the advance of the gospel.”

  37. John, solid statements on the necessity of keeping the gospel message pure!

    Last summer, at the Chicago Grace Conference, Dr. Scudder spoke similarly, using Ephesians 2:8-9 as his reference text, of the need to keep our proffering of the gospel message Biblical, straightforward and clear. He talked about how so many presentations of the gospel “muddy the waters,” with statements like, “Just ask Jesus into your heart.” Dr. Scudder did acknowledge that sometimes people do get saved in spite of poor gospel presentations. But he emphasized the great need to keep the gospel simple and biblical; he even pointed to two huge banners on the sanctuary wall which spelled out the words of Ephesians 2:8-9 in huge letters.

    John, see if you think the following statement (once given by my pastor) is an appropriate statement as an analogy for clearly presenting the gospel :

    “We don’t try to clean the fish before we catch the fish.”

  38. Thanks for clarifying, John.

    To avoid any confusion as to where I stand, I fully agree with what you have stated and quoted. I’m having a difficult time adequately conveying my insubstantial concern, which obviously needs to be fully understood even by me before I attempt to describe it here.

    Thanks again.

  39. Pearl, it was more of a question to Eddy on what the objection was to CEF.

    Believing on Jesus Christ does include knowing that one is a lost sinner, in need of being saved. It includes knowing that Jesus is God, that He became a man, died for our sins and was raised from the dead.

    I don’t think the question of turning from sin should be part of the Gospel presentation. The reason is that it can be so easily misconstrued as being a requirement for receiving Christ, which would be adding works to the salvation equation. I think that remorse can be a part of realizing that someone is a lost sinner, but I don’t think it is a requirement. I definitely don’t think that resolving/wanting to turn from sins is a requirement for salvation. Even if you could, it would do nothing to deal with your sin nature, nor to atone for your sins.

    It is a mistake to take the lost sinner’s eye off of Christ and turn it to himself.

    I think the following quotes say it very well:

    From “The Gospel” by Ron Shea:

    “Saving repentance has absolutely nothing to do with regretting your sins or resolving to turn from them. God is willing to save you just the way you are. ”

    From “What We Believe” (Northland Bible Baptist Church):

    “One of the counterfeits Satan is using today is the misuse of the word “repent”. To insist upon repentance that in any sense includes a demand for a change of conduct either toward God or man is to add an element of works or human merit to faith. Penance is payment for sin. Penitence is sorrow for sin. Works add something of self in turning from sin. But repent (metanoeo) means a change of mind. Nowhere does Scripture use the phrase “repent of sin” to be saved.”

  40. If the gospel is presented clearly, it should be apparent to the hearer that as sons of the first Adam we are all born under sin. And if one doesn’t recognize he’s eternally separated from God, dead in his sins, what need is there of a Saviour?

    I understand the gist of what you’re saying, John (and if I’m not, please help me to see), which is that the tainting of the gospel occurs when the hearer’s motivation is scrutinized (is he really, really sorry and/or is he willing to change his ways, both being the introduction of works). But I have to admit (and as Jack can attest to) I had a problem overcoming this hurdle not too long ago, that a hearer of the gospel may not necessarily be sorry for his sins, and I’d be dishonest if I claimed to not still struggle with this. Believing on Jesus Christ is to comprehend Him in his entirety: why He was born, why He voluntarily laid down His life in one’s place, and that He is risen from the dead, now sitting at the right hand of God the Father.

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding something pivotal, but I worry that the emphasis here is the tremendous effort to keep the hearer of the gospel from experiencing any regrets, or realization of self, whatsoever, which may ultimately work against understanding His purpose for coming in the first place.

    Help me out here!

  41. Eddy, a while back, you mentioned CEF. That is an interesting group. They seem to embrace salvation by Grace through faith in Christ alone, yet their evangelism materials for children are very confusing – their “Gospel Clean Page” seems to imply a “turn from sins for salvation” or at least “desire to turn from sins for salvation” view. In addition, it says to “call on Him to save you from your sin”. The Bible says that one must believe in Christ to receive the free gift of eternal life, not “call on Him” to receive that gift. This seems to be the error of asking for salvation, rather than just believing.

    See excerpt, below:

    “The Bible says: “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believed on His name.” — John 1:12 The Clean page reminds us of a CLEAN heart. How can you have a clean heart? A = Agree you are a sinner and want to turn away from those sins. B = Believe in Jesus Christ, that He is God’s perfect Son who died for your sin, was buried, and rose again. C = Call on Him to save you from your sin. Would you like to do that right now? He has promised to hear, and once you are His child, He will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5). Take a moment and talk to God right now. It will change your life forever. “

  42. Jack,

    While I’ve agreed to not continue a creation discussion on-line, I hope you will allow me to correct a previousely made statement. The Gap Priniciple of Genesis does not in any way come in opposition with the notion of “instant creation”. Creation by God is always “instantaneous”, and moreover is the act of bringing something into existence which previousely did not exist before. No more from me on the subject.

    Thank You,
    Jimmy

  43. Dear Jimmy,

    To keep this from going into a Creation discussion on line I’ll drop you another personal note about your comments.

    I respect your opinion and agree that whether one believes instant creation or a Gap theory, it has nothing to do with one’s salvation in Jesus Christ alone. It is a side issue but unfortunately, some make it a war between enemies.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  44. Jack:

    Thank you for your comments. Max is a good friend of mine as well. I’ll honor your request to not delve into the topic OEC vs. YEC on this thread, but since you brought it up, I should tell you up-front that I find the Gap Principle of Genesis taught in Scripture. That said, unlike Ken Ham, I do not make it (one’s CREATION position) an essential-to-salvation matter. In truth, I am deeply troubled by Ham’s penchant for casting salvific doubt on those who believe the Gospel but find no scriptural basis for his view of creation. I think he’s done irreparable damage in that regard. I am curious about something, though, Jack. As you know, the founders of Florida Bible College–A Ray Stanford and Mark Cambron–both believed and taught the Gap Principle of Genesis. Have you never held that position? According to Ham, Cambron, A. Ray Stanford, Ironside, Scolfield, M.R. DeHaan, Curtis Hutson, Donald Grey Barnhouse, etc. (all defenders of the faith who held the Gap Principle) undermined the Atonement. Nonsense.

    Sorry about the link to the hat diagram not working. Did any of them work?

    P.S. Everyone I read gets the same level of scrutiny–friend or not. We must always side with God’s Word.

  45. Dear Jack,
    You said: “As with all teachers, simply use discernment — even with those of us who write articles on this Web site.”
    I agree completely.
    “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Act 17:11

  46. Jimmy,

    Yes, the “Old Hat Diagram” in its original form is a great Dispensational teaching tool — Max Younce and I both borrowed it from Florida Bible College Professor, Dr, Mark Cambron when we studied side by side in his Bible Doctrine classes. BTW, the link you gave came up unreadable on my computer for some reason.

    Max Younce, wife Marge and family and my family are dear personal friends. Years ago they visited us in our home many times. I love him and his family in Christ. We have remained friends since we were fellow students in Bible College together (late 1960s – both in our 40s then).
    But please use some discretion and discernment in taking some of Max’s teachings verbatim. From what I read and understand, he and I have some differences in our interpretation of Genesis Chapter 1.

    I believe in a literal 7 day, (24 hour day) creation as stated in Genesis 1 — that the Lord created everything (Heavens and the earth) immediately with apparent age, NOT a Gap Theory and not over eons of time. Max apparently believes the Gap theory from what I understand.. If I am wrong about his teaching I will happily apologize. (Jimmy, I’ll write you a personal note)

    However, this is just a “heads up” and I suggest we NOT get into a discussion of Creation here now; it is not a subject for this thread on Piper.

    From what I know, Max is still a good, clear Gospel preacher, I am sure many are blessed by his church and online ministry.

    As with all teachers, simply use discernment — even with those of us who write articles on this Web site.
    Be Bereans 😎

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  47. Jack, thanks for the Larkin charts. I’ve read through Bruce’s thorough, yet simple to understand course (thanks again Bruce!), and I’ll give the same attention to Larkin’s over the next few days.

    Bruce, Jack, Eddy:

    Dr. Younce’s material has helped shape my eschatological understanding as well. I’ll share a chart and a few articles that you may find interesting:

    1. Prophecy Outline/Diagram–“Hat Diagram” http://www.heritagebbc.com/archive3/0233.html

    2. Will The Church be Raptured Before, During, or After the Tribulation?http://www.heritagebbc.com/archive3/0203.html

    3. Who Are The Two Witnesses in Revelation Chapter Eleven?
    http://www.heritagebbc.com/archive3/0253.html

  48. The link to Larkin gives pictures of his dispensational charts. Unfortunately they are not clear to my eye — I bought Larkin’s informative original book of charts shortly after I was saved but I cannot see it well enough either.

    I thought about itemizing the timeline by 1,2,3,,etc but Bruce’s timeline above is excellent and probably needs no 1,2,3.. etc.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  49. Jimmy and Eddy,

    It is my understanding that the anti-christ is revealed at the middle of the Tribulation.

    Here are several excellent, yet old, dispensational charts by Clarence Larkin — which I believe to be mostly accurate. I may try to simplify the end-time events with a time line.. later.
    http://www.larkinestate.com/OldSite/Charts/chartlist.html

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  50. Jimmy,
    Sorry for not making myself clear. I believe Antichrist will be revealed immediately after the Rapture. Also, there will be the two prophets, possibly Elijah and Moses, returned to the city of Jerusalem immediately after the Rapture. They will teach the Gospel in the City of Jerusalem for the first three and a half years of the seven year tribulation. Just right at the middle of the seven year tribulation, there will be the abomination of desolation, and the killing of the two prophets.

  51. Eddy:

    Thanks. Lest there be misunderstanding, I am pre-mil, pre-trib in eschatology. So, to be clear Eddy, you put the Antichrist (revealed, that is) AFTER the Rapture, correct?

  52. Dear Jimmy,

    I agree with Bruce and Jack on their interpretations of Matthew 24 and their views on the imminence of the rapture. There are just too many indications pointing to the soon to start Daniel’s 70th week. Since the twin tower incident, the world is changing in a very rapid pace, preparing itself for the seven year tribulation. Psalm 2 is a prophetic psalm and has double fulfillment. The first fulfillment was during the years of Christ’s first coming, and the second fulfillment is the present-day till Christ sets up His millennial kingdom. We are indeed living in an unprecedented time.

  53. Bruce,

    Thanks for that outline — we agree. 😎

    Exactly as I taught it for years..

    Watching, working, waiting and lookin’ UP ^^^^

    In Christ eternally, Jack

  54. Thank you for your detailed thoughts Bruce. I look forward to reading your course! my email is —–Got it, thanks.

    Jimmy

  55. Hi Jimmy,

    Regarding the coming of the antichrist, I believe that this man is alive on earth today, which tells you that I believe that we are not that far away from the rapture. The antichrist will probably not be revealed publicly until after the rapture.

    I see Matthew 24-25 running the entire gamut of the pre-end times to the rapture through the tribulation and culminating in the second coming of Christ. Matthew 24:32-34 seems to start the prophetic clock ticking with the “budding of the fig tree” which is usually thought to be the reestablishment of Israel as a nation in 1948 (some say that 1967 is the preferable date with the six-day war and the retaking of the West Bank). Matthew 24:30-31, to me, clearly refer to the second coming of Christ at the end of the seven-year tribulation. Yet Matthew 24:4-8 appear to be precursors to the rapture. Verse 9 could occur during the tribulation. Verses 10-14 I see as occurring largely during the tribulation. Verse 15 happens at the midpoint of the tribulation when the antichrist desecrates the Jerusalem Temple and sets up a false image to worship. Verses 16-31 look to me to cover the second 3 1/2 years of the seven-year period called “the great tribulation.” They culminate in the return of Christ in verses 30-31.

    I will forward to you a summer course that I taught on Daniel and Prophetic Themes which covers these issues in more depth.

  56. Bruce/Eddy:

    For purposes of clarification, is it your respective understanding that the Antichrist will be revealed (or make himself known) before or after the Rapture? This end-times stuff fascinates me.

    All:

    It’s my understanding that when Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John speak of Christ’s return, it is always in reference to the SECOND phase of His second coming (i.e. the Revelation), not to the first phase of His second coming (i.e. the Rapture). Do any of you see any problems/weaknesses in this view? See Mt. 24:39-4; 25:31-33 as an example.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

  57. Eddy and Jimmy,

    Thanks for your kind words.

    Pearl,

    I think that your assessment of the beginning of Francis Chan’s book, “Crazy Love,” was right on target. If I may add just one thought, the very beginning of the book, prior to the portion that you described, spoke about the greatness of God and the vastness of his creation. This section even had an accompanying internet link to an attractive video which displayed stars, planets and solar systems. I found nothing wrong with the opening part of the book. But, as you so rightly stated, the first part of “Crazy Love” was the bait, the lure, the hook, if you will, to attract the reader to the TRAP, that is, the rest of the book! Thanks, as always, for your keen analysis.

  58. To each of you (too numerous to list) who appreciate the stand we take here at ExPreacherMan for the clarity of the Gospel of God’s Grace, Please Note:

    I sit back in amazement at such Biblical knowledge and wisdom I read in your comments. I appreciate your logical discussion without rancor. We thank the Lord for YOU, your participation and insightful scripturally based comments. Without YOU helping us with your enthusiasm, we would experience difficulty reaching others.

    Thanks so very much. Shirley and I will continue to pray for all of you daily..
    For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; Colossians 1:9

    Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: 2 Thessalonians 3:1

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  59. Pearl/Bruce, very insightful thoughts on the possible appeal of Chan’s nonsense!

    Eddy, you’re making me take another look at certain eschaetalogical positions. Thanks for taking the time to write down all these thoughts. All of you make me think…”iron sharpening iron”. I, too, appreciate it Eddy.

  60. Pearl, excellent!

    You said:”
    For those who recognize bunk when they first see it, praise God!”

    Let’s pray that more people will recognize it as bunk!

  61. Right back at ya, Eddy. 🙂

    “What would cause a person to seek, defend, and, as you said, even praise a book that puts forth an unbiblical message of uncertainty, gloom, guilt, anxiety, fear, and doubt?

    With one particular person in mind who read and was thoroughly stoked by Crazy Love, writing a review in kind at his blog, I can only guess his motivation, which I believe is progressive. I have not read so much as the forward to this book, much less held it in my hands; but I have read enough about it to put forth my own speculation as to how so many are mesmerized by its contents:

    It may first come from an emotional exhilaration, energized by a series of affirmative nods primed by a steady lament, a sort of “State of the Union” address concerning the complacent, disjointed, worldly church in America, and the West in general. Thus primed and bursting with a sense of emergency, a solution is put forth which seems easy enough to gauge: the thermomether of self! After performing a complete examination of self (which, if done with all honesty, will only depress self), one learns that one can do more! Believing that staying busy – and for the right Master – is enough to ensure a continuous surge of empowerment, one may very well be impervious to initial doubts. I suppose it’s the lucky ones who begin to suffer serious exhaustion, depression and unrest (perhaps vertigo symptoms of “falling from grace”{?]), as they’re very likely to move on (toward what likely varies). For those who recognize bunk when they first see it, praise God!

    Like I said, I haven’t read Chan’s book, but having watched enough youtube sermons of similar preachers, the above seems to be the usual playbook tactics toward undermining one’s faith.

  62. Dear John, Jimmy, Pearl, Bruce, Jack, Faith, and Jim F,

    Thank you all for sharing your thoughts, giving me corrections, challenging my thoughts and giving me encouragement. I am having such a great time with you all.

    Eddy

  63. Bruce, first and foremost, thank you for not being one of the people to defend or praise Chan’s book. Thank you for taking a stand against it!

    I think the primary reason someone would praise this book is because they believe that Grace is dependent on works (usually in the form of promises of future works) or is evidenced by works.

  64. Hi Pearl,

    The question that you posed about Francis Chan’s book “Crazy Love” (which could just as easily apply to many other LS books like John MacArthur’s “Slave”) was extremely astute. I think that you really grabbed hold of a topic that needs to be examined. You inquired:

    “Going by their glowing words, one would think the book [“Crazy Love”] was full of encouragement and edification, when the exact opposite is the true: where’s the encouragement in doubting your eternal standing in Christ, and never being able to know for certain?”

    This question is excellent! It cuts right to the issue of motivation. What would cause a person to seek, defend, and, as you said, even praise a book that puts forth an unbiblical message of uncertainty, gloom, guilt, anxiety, fear, and doubt? And yet, you are absolutely right: reviews praising the book outnumber the ones denouncing the book by three or four to one.

    I’ll pose a possible answer and then others can give their ideas. Could it be that those who praise the book think that it is normative or even desirable for Christians to need or to desire punishment from God rather than grace, much as a young child might want to be punished by a parent to assuage guilt for a disobedient act? Just a thought. What do you think?

  65. Thanks, Jimmy. These pastors (Chan/MacArthur/Washer, etc) are extremely persuasive, and I can sure understand the reasoning behind your friends’ motivations. Surely God has placed them in your lives for a reason, and we rejoice that nothing is impossible with Him.

  66. Eddy, I think your comment from above is very interesting.

    You said:

    “…both Francis Chan and John Piper are partially correct but for the wrong reasons. They are correct that only a small number of professing Christians are genuine Christians. However, they try to label those who believed in Lordship Salvation as saved and those who put their trust in Christ alone as unsaved.”

    Guys like Chan and Piper cause people to look away from Christ and to themselves. For believers, this will steal their joy and power for living. For non-believers, it will reinforce their preexisting belief that salvation is by works and likely harden them to the real Gospel.

    By the way, I don’t see any difference between “radical” LS and any other form of LS. It is a false gospel.

  67. Hey Pearl,

    As for the details we received, Trey and his wife had recently visited his sister who lives in Oregon, fell in love with the state, somewhere thereafter read Chan’s book which made them seriousely reevaluate what was important in life–didn’t want to be “lukewarm” any longer and felt like a “radical” change was in order. He mentioned also that they felt like they had fallen in the materialistic trap (had a house they coudn’t afford, and which was too big for their family anyway). Some good things there, but what concerned us was the lack of any statement like, “We’d been praying about this for sometime and God opened the door”, the apparent abandonment of prudent preparation (i.e. not getting house with mortgage sold before moving half-way across the U.S., no job waiting in Oregon, etc.), her parents not appropriately kept in the loop (in our opinion that is), and lastly……….the notion that taking this step would somehow initiate them into the class of non-“lukewarm”.

    I’ve not received a response yet from Trey on the information I sent him yesterday. Thanks for your prayers.

  68. Hi Eddy,

    Thank you for giving such a detailed response. The viewpoint that you espoused on 2 Thes. 2 is probably the more common one. I consider it to be a valid possibility. Thanks again for writing.

  69. Dear Bruce,
    Here is my take on 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3

    “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him”
    It is clear that Paul was talking to the believers. Their main interest was the Rapture. Hence, I think it is not too far a stretch to interpret “but the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” is referring to our Lord coming back to take us to be with him. Besides, the phrase “gathering together unto him” is after the phrase “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”, further support that the “coming” is not referring to the second coming.

    “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that said the day of Christ is at hand”
    Here, “the day of Christ” is referring to the second coming. There were people telling them they were already in the tribulation, and the second coming was imminent. That of course troubled them a lot, since if that was the case, they had missed the rapture.

    “Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;”
    “[that day shall not come]” is referring to the day of rapture, not the day of second coming. Paul was trying to assure them they did not miss the rapture. Than Paul was telling them what would like before the rapture and immediately after the rapture. “except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed.” My take is that the “falling away” was always in place since the times of the early church; it is just getting worse and worse. We know that the “falling away” will end at the time of the rapture, but we don’t know the day nor the hour of the rapture. That is why the “falling away” climaxing at the time of rapture would not violate the doctrine of immanence. The only way one would be able to tell the climax of “falling away” is to look back in time after the climax has already happened. (It is analogous to the only way to tell how big a bubble can be blown is after the bubble bursts). Paul also tells them that the anti-christ will be revealed immediately after the rapture. Notice here that the phrase “a falling away first” is before the phrase “man of sin be revealed”, a hint the “falling away” is before the rapture.

    Since we know that “falling away” is departing from the faith:

    “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.” Ephesians 2:8-9

    and we also know that there is absolutely no way for a believer to depart from the faith, ie. becoming unsaved, the “falling away” could only mean their are more and more people not believing in the free grace Gospel. This falling away will end, or climax at the time of the rapture. Immediately after the rapture, there will be no believer left in the world, hence no “falling away” possible. Instead, starting from not even a single believer, there will be more and more believers during the tribulation, a revival instead of falling away.

  70. Jimmy, I know you weren’t. I guess I was indirectly addressing Eddy’s point.

    The belief that the people being addressed in Revelation 2-3 are saved is not in any way a concession that most of the professing Christians in the earthly churches are saved.

  71. “…we’re all simply discussing the merits of different views on a non-essential to salvation matter.”

    Exactly. And even though I have stated my current conviction (I’m always learning), I am not willing to defend it to the “death” by way of debate and potential division. My respect for each of your insights, together with my desire (and need) of your fellowship, far exceeds my “needing” to be “right”.

    You are all a blessing to me, more than you know.

  72. John, I don’t see anyone on this thread implying (certainly not myself) that this issue (overcomer) has anything to do with salvation by Grace through faith in Christ alone. In my mind, we’re all simply discussing the merits of different views on a non-essential to salvation matter.

  73. John,

    Great verse.. let us not grow weary.

    And always remember — we can absolutely count on our eternal life being eternal in Jesus Christ.

    Yet I don’t know of any way to count our rewards or our ruling and reigning positions with Christ until we arrive at the Bema seat before Jesus our Savior.

    A good attitude may be to realize that a believer has Heaven guaranteed — with no works.. But we who believe do voluntarily work for our Savior, not for rewards but simply because His Love constrains us. (2 Corinthians 5:14) There are many confused and lost souls who need Christ and His message of Free Grace — which we have to offer.

    Never grow weary!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  74. Whoa, Jimmy! Your friends’ abandoning all is indeed cultish behavior (sobering observation by Jack…so true…). I’m curious to know, why Oregon? What are their plans (if you don’t mind filling in some blanks)? I will offer up my prayers on their behalf as well, but I have to say that since a deep-seated pride seems to accompany this mindset, I don’t have a whole lot of confidence that they’ll ever admit their entire spectacle was in vain. Besides, they have too many other slaves spurring them onward. (Sorry for my pessimism 😦 )

    I have been surprised by the very positive reception Chan’s book (not to mention Mac’s “Slave”) has had among many blogging acquaintances. Going by their glowing words, one would think the book was full of encouragement and edification, when the exact opposite is the true: where’s the encouragement in doubting your eternal standing in Christ, and never being able to know for certain? It’s the ol’ switcheroo…“oh, I just thought I was saved, but then I re-read the verse 2Cor.13:5 (wearing Chan and/or Mac’s tinted glasses) and realized I wasn’t because I didn’t really mean it the first time around!”

    How can one effectively reason with this thinking? It seems an impossible hurdle.

    On the other topic of “overcomers”, I believe scripture does teach that we will be rewarded according to how we lived our lives as Children of God. A believer could be very, very busy doing all sorts of well-intentioned works, all the while keeping a bible tucked beneath his arm as he toils on God’s behalf, yet in vain. IICor. 3:11-15 says,

    “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (Incidentally, the verse which follows stumps me completely. I can’t assert with confidence the accuracy of my understanding of it, but can only guess that such a believer makes it by the “skin of his teeth” given the wasted life he lived, grieving the Holy Spirit.

    Regarding the “sorting” of same, I believe the “wood, hay, stubble” are works of the flesh and the “gold, silver and precious stones” are works of the Spirit.

    While I believe they are overcomers in that they will enter the millennial reign of Christ and even enjoy life therein, I don’t believe those which had nothing to show for their fleshly works will be given much responsibility there, if any. When it’s all said and done, maybe God the Father’s wiping away every tear will include those whose heads bow in shame for having wasted away their lives as His carnal children.

    I would add to John’s verse that which precedes it: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
    For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Gal. 6:7,8

  75. Consider also Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart”.

  76. Jimmy, sorry for the double negative and typos in my last sentence, above. I mean, that I don’t believe that a complete understanding of Revelation 2-3 is fundamental to someone believing in salvation by Grace through faith in Christ alone.

  77. Jimmy, I am not equating crowns with position in the Millennial Reign, if by that you mean whether or not we rule with Christ in the Millennium. I think there may be degrees, based on faithfulness.

    This is a very difficult part of the scripture for me and I can’t dogmatically defend any of the interpretations. I guess my main point is that I don’t believe that a complete understanding of Revelation 2-3 is not fundamental to someone believing is salvation by Grace through faith in Christ alone.

  78. Eddy,

    If I may give you some encouragement, there are arising several Free Grace colleges and seminaries out there. See the list on the right for some of them.
    Dr. Fred Chay, of Phoenix Seminary, is leading many young aspiring pastors toward a free grace understanding of the gospel. Another such man is Dr. David Anderson is doing the same: http://www.gsot.org/freegrace.php
    Dr. Scudder also has a solid grace Bible college in Illinois.

    So I am becoming greatly encouraged for the future of the movement.

  79. Are you, John, (in considering the viable options) equating crowns with POSITION in the Millennial Reign? As an aside, if being “faithful until death” marks the believing overcomer, I’m guessing the number of believers ruling and reigning with Christ will be miniscule.

  80. Eddy, let me tell you where I am coming from on the churches in Revelation 2 and 3. There are two interpretations that I see as being compatible with salvation by Grace through faith in Christ alone.

    1. Not all of the people in the churches are saved. Jesus’s warnings to the churches are for those non-believers to repent and accept Him alone as their Savior. Anyone who is a believer is an overcomer.

    2. All of the people He is addressing are saved. His warnings are that there will be consequences for faithfulness and lack of faithfulness. The consequences are either temporal (dealing with this life. Think about Revelation 2:22-23 (NKJV) “Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.”) or eternal (dealing with rewards. Think about Revelation 2:17 (NKJV) “”He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it .”’). The consequences are never loss of salvation or being left behind after the rapture.

    I believe verses such as Revelation 2:11 may use the approach of understatement, and must be considered in light of the context. Revelation 2:10-11 (NKJV) “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”

    Remaining faithful until death is not a condition of eternal salvation. Receiving the crown is a reward. Someone who is faithful until death and receives a crown as a reward for faithfulness, would not be in any way be harmed by the second death.

  81. Jimmy,

    What a tragedy about your friend Trey! We will certainly pray for him and his family.

    This story sounds remarkably like the script for joining a cult and reminds me of my article on the “Catalyst” movement some months back. A friend in Atlanta was absolutely enthralled by these meetings by Andy Stanley — featuring Francis Chan among many other false teachers.

    Beware: Catalyst Conference 2011, Chan, Driscoll, et al.
    http://www.expreacherman.com/2011/10/06/beware-catalyst-conference-2011-chan-driscoll-et-al/

    We who understand Biblical Free Grace must continue with what we can do to expose the LS lie and proclaim the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ so folks will be less likely to get caught up in these awful cults.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  82. Eddy, I don’t think the issue regarding believing overcomer vs. believing non-overcomer position is a central issue in whether one is saved by Grace through faith in Christ alone.

    You would probably be surprised how much variance of opinion there is on this subject within the Free Grace community.

    But, I agree with you that the spiritual condition of the professing church is appalling. If most professing Christians currently believe in salvation by Grace trhrough faith in Christ alone, why are there so few Free Grace churches? Why are there so few Free Grace ministries? Why are there so few Free Grace websites?

    Conversely, why are there so many LS/Calvanist/ecumenical churches, ministries aand websites?

  83. Bruce, good idea regarding Amazon and the LS article. I emailed those as well. Thank you for praying for him, and for the information.

    Eddy, thanks, I was just trying to understand where exactly you were coming from. Like you, I personally do not find the believing overcomer vs. believing non-overcomer position in Scripture, but am confused as to how this relates to your deduction. Sometimes these things don’t come quickly to me, so I ask for your patience.

  84. Dear Jimmy,
    I said “I am curious to know who proposed the idea ‘most professing Christians are saved’ within the free grace circle at the first place.” in my last post is purely based on my logical deduction from my general observations of the following doctrines being circulated in the free grace community:

    Not all believers are overcomers.
    All people belong to the seven churches of Revelation are saved.
    I should mention here that in order to accept “all people belong to the seven churches of Revelation are saved”, one must accept “Not all believers are overcomers”. Otherwise, one would automatically come to the conclusion that there will be no non-overcomer belong to the seven churches, which clearly contradict the messages to the seven churches as recorded in the Rev 2-3.
    Although there are strong proponents of the free grace Gospel, the free grace community seldom acknowledges the fact that a large majority of nowadays professing christians are not saved because they believe in the Lordship Salvation gospel rather than the free grace Gospel.
    There is a tendency to give too much benefit of the doubt to the professing Lordship Salvation Christians that they may still be saved because they might have believed once in the past, and seldom give warnings that most professing Christians are not saved.

    “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. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23

    I agree that there are possibly many modern day foolish Galatians are among the genuine believers, but genuine believers are only a small minority in comparison to a much bigger majority of unsaved professing Christians. Hence, there should not be that many modern day foolish Galatians among the professing Christians as a whole.

    Since I do not have much exposure to the free grace community, my observation and my understanding could be dead wrong. I would love to be corrected by Bruce and others who are much more familiar with the prominent people in the free grace community.

  85. Jimmy,

    Thanks for that heart-wrenching story. I will pray for Trey.

    Also, you might suggest that he look at Amazon book reviews (focusing on the one and two-star reviews) of Chan’s unbiblical book. There one will find several people whose assurance of salvation was nearly destroyed by reading this terrible book.

  86. Bruce,

    I read your book review of Chan’s book. Excellent work! In fact, I emailed it to a friend on mine. You might find this story interesting: This same friend and his wife (both Christians) showed up to our house one day informing my wife and me they were moving to Oregon (1/2 way across the country) in 3 days. We had never heard them talk of moving, so naturally we inquired what had prompted their decision. Chan’s book. They (actually him more than her) explained they were tired of being “lukewarm”, and that it was time for a “radical” change. No job awaiting him in Oregon, their $200K house (not paid off) only a week earlier put on the market for sale (in this market no less), two children under age two, her broken-hearted parents in bewilderment. But the decision had been made–he had already quit his job of course–no looking back. After some visiting we all went for a walk–girls in front, us fellas trailing behind. Not having read the book I asked him to tell me about it. He told me a little, then candidly informed me that for the first time in his life he had doubts whether he was saved (and this guy was a youth pastor at one time). Well, I used to talk with him a lot regarding our shared passion of evangelizing the cults. This is a saved person. Anyway, I was shocked that my forthcoming attempts of reminding him where our basis of assurance lies (Christ’s finished cross work and God’s promises ala 1 Jn. 5:13) were met with tepid interest.

    NOTE: This friend, to my knowledge, had never even flirted with Calvinism. As many conversations as we had over the years regarding the Gospel and grace, I would have known if he had.

    Anyway, they moved. There’s more, but you get the gist. I can’t wait to get his reaction from your article. His name is Trey. I’ll let you know what happens, and may even put him in contact with you if he’s willing.

  87. Eddy,

    You said,

    “The Bible tells us that such apostasy has to happen before the Rapture.”

    I believe that you are referring to 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3. It reads, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first; and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”

    Coming from a premillennial, pretribulational interpretational perspective, I have always taken this text to be referring to the second coming of Christ, which will occur at the END of the seven-year tribulation. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 speaks of the imminency of the rapture. So the “falling away” of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 does not have to occur completely before the rapture. I do agree with your assessment that some apostasy will occur prior to the rapture. I also see that same apostasy as flaring up dramatically after the rapture, that is, during the tribulation.

  88. Whatever the number of saved people is, the number of unsaved people is large. Let’s pray for the lost, who desperately need God’s grace. Let’s pray for Grace churches to grow and flourish. Let’s pray for one another to advance the Gospel and grow in our understanding of God’s Word.

    From the section on repentance at Clear Gospel Campaign, Shea writes:

    “In the pages of this work, you will hopefully come to appreciate how deeply confused the church is over the very message of salvation, even at the pastoral level. With this dawning realization hopefully, you will develop a renewed sense of purpose in your Christian life . . . perhaps a purpose in your life that you have never before experienced.”

  89. Jack,

    “Barna” sounds correct.

    Thanks!

  90. Bruce,

    I would agree with your personal observations.

    Could that be the Barna Polling Group? They or some similar name has polled “Christians” for years.

    In Christ eternally, Jack

  91. Hi Eddy and Jimmy:

    I don’t know how one quantifies how many of the vast professing evangelical Christian community are actually unsaved. If given a choice, I guess that I would lean toward Jimmy’s assessment that, as he said, MANY are not saved. I remember years ago that one of the leading polling agencies took a survey [does anyone know which organization that was?] and determined that 30 percent of Americans are born-again Christians. From personal observation alone, I’m sure that most of us would say that the figure is skewed, that the actual figure is considerably less than 30 percent!

    Regarding Francis Chan’s interpretation of Revelation 3, let me just say that his resulting list of what he labels “the lukewarm,” [he subsequently consigns all of the lukewarm to hell] would include about every Christian that I know. Probably even the Apostle Paul, himself, would not pass the “Chan test.”

  92. For clarification, my statement, “…the number of confused, useless for the cause of Christ believers will (if it hasn’t already) rival in number those who one day hear those tragic words found in Mt. 7:23” is DEAD WRONG. The number of saved and yet to be saved will never rival, or even come close to the number of unsaved. Few means few, many means many (Mt. 7). Significant oversight on my part.

  93. Eddy:

    What article/statement are you referencing with your statement, “I am curious to know who proposed the idea ‘most professing Christians are saved’ within the free grace circle at the first place”? In short, what makes you think this sentiment (“most professing Christian are saved”) has gained any traction within free grace circles? NOTE: I happen to agree with you that MANY who profess Christ are not saved–FEW are saved (Mt. 7:13,14,21). Incidentally, I unknowingly contradicted this truth with an earlier statement I made in this thread. Sorry about that.

  94. Dear Bruce,

    In my own opinion, both Francis Chan and John Piper are partially correct but for the wrong reasons. They are correct that only a small number of professing Christians are genuine Christians. However, they try to label those who believed in Lordship Salvation as saved and those who put their trust in Christ alone as unsaved. It is quite obvious to me most professing Christians nowadays are believing in the Lordship Salvation gospel. The pulpits are full of Lordship Salvation preachers. Another observation is that the younger the group, the more of them fall into the Lordship Salvation camp. The Bible tells us that such apostasy has to happen before the Rapture. The root cause of so many false prophets is because most of the professing Christians not willing to endure sound doctrine.

    “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” 2 Timothy 4:3

    In another word, there are so many false prophets preaching Lordship Salvation because there are already many people supporting them. Hence, I do not believe most professing evangelical Christians are genuine Christians.

    “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5

    One possible interpretation of “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” is that they are professing Christians, but they deny the power of God, which is the Gospel of Christ unto salvation. I think the above verses are talking about unsaved professing Christians rather than born again Christians.

    By studying the Bible and watching the rampant apostasy before our eyes, It is very difficult for me to accept the hypothesis that most professing Christians are genuine believers. I am curious to know who proposed the idea “most professing Christians are saved” within the free grace circle in the first place. At least I know Dave Hunt does not hold such a belief.

  95. Hello Doug,

    I would be in agreement with those who’ve responded to your question. I’m curious, what motivated you to ask the question? Thanks, Jimmy

  96. Another thought I had is that we may very well take the verse quite literally, as in Paul’s time, where we know the world was being “turned upside down” by the immediate, widespread preaching of the gospel in previously, strictly pagan cities. All of a sudden, Jesus Christ’s name is all abuzz: “He is risen!” some shout, while the scattered Jews debated and argued amongst themselves. Either way, Jesus’ name was everywhere! One would have to have been a blind, deaf mute not to have wondered who Jesus Christ is.

  97. (Didn’t mean to snub you, Jack! We were simultaneously typing out our comments and I didn’t read yours until I submitted mine.)

  98. I think it’s an excellent question, Doug. I’ve wondered about that verse too, especially in light of LS, as well as other devious diversions.

    I think John’s response makes perfect sense. So, it may refer to people who go into ministry, and yet are doing so in the flesh, not of the Spirit. Maybe some are saved, while others aren’t, but in both cases, merely parroting what they’ve been taught, whether by Pa or Professor (?).

    I remember hearing in a sermon once that a certain young man actually enrolled in seminary only because a stipulation in his deceased grandmother’s will stated that he couldn’t inherit her fortune unless he graduated from Bible school and went on to preach!

    I look forward to reading other responses to your question.

  99. Doug,

    Thanks for your comment,. Please realize that in the verses you quoted, Christ was preached, some out of love and others strife — but CHRIST was preached,

    No reason for anyone to rejoice at the message of the LS folks — they do not preach Christ but Christ plus works — which is another gospel (Galatians 1:8-9) and the person preaching it is accursed, (anathema, excommunicated, avoided)

    LSers DO NOT preach the Gospel of the Grace of Jesus Christ.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  100. Doug, great question – I have thought about it a lot. I think I would rejoice at the preaching of Christ. The trouble is, I don’t equate LS with the preaching of Christ. I equate it with the preaching of another gospel, and so the preacher is accursed.

    Clear Gospel Campaign has this to say:

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

  101. Brethren,

    I have been viewing your website for a while. I’m posting this post now. I agree with a lot of the things on your website.

    I got a question for you guys. What do you guys think about the following scripture passage?

    “Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: The former[b] preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.” (Philippians 1:15-18)

    When LS people preach their gospel (whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached) do you guys rejoice? What are your general thoughts about this passage?

    I don’t plan to post anything else but I look forward to reading your comments when I get some time.

    With love,

    Doug

  102. Dear Bruce,

    I will give you some of my thoughts after I do some digging. The dark cloud is getting thicker.

    Eddy

  103. Eddy,

    You raise some good questions about the Laodicean church of Revelation 3. I wrote a complete evaluation of the text in question in a book review of the book “Crazy Love,” by Francis Chan. Chan misinterprets the text to support his radical Lordship Faith viewpoint. In fact, the Revelation 3 text is the lynchpin of his entire line of argumentation. In his book he misuses Revelation 3 to attempt to prove that anyone who claims to be a true believer but does not live a radical on-fire life for Christ [the life of a superchristian, if you will] must therefore be declared “lukewarm” (to Chan, lukewarm means unsaved and bound for hell). He bolsters his false claim with the words “I am about to spit you out of my mouth” from Revelation 3:16.

    In my book review, I hold the position that in Revelation 2 and 3, Christ is speaking to churches, bodies of believers. He exhorts them to live lives befitting the rich heritage that they already possessed in Christ. See my book review for more details:

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

    Thanks, Eddy, for your thoughtful consideration of these issues.

  104. Dear John,
    This is one possible interpretation. Christ rebukes and instructs (chastens) them, the professing Christians, to be zealous for seeking the truth. Their problem is they don’t even care, they think they know the doctrine of Salvation, and they think they are saved. i.e. (I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing) while their spiritual position in Christ is just the opposite (wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked). An unsaved person could be described as wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. Any one of these five words could be used to describe an unsaved soul.

    Wretch: Paul was wretched too in Rom 7:24. However, in Rom 7:25 he said: “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord, So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin”
    The difference here is that Paul knew he was wretched and he put his trust in Christ. Christ did not see him as a wretch. Otherwise, a believer must out-holy Paul in order to avoid being classified as a wretch.

    Miserable:
    “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” 1 Corinthians 15:19

    Poor, blind
    “The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

    Naked:
    “For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked” 2 Cor. 5:2-3

    “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” Rev. 16:15

    “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.” Rev 17:16

    After examining these words in various verses, it is very difficult for me to come to the conclusion that Christ would use these words to describe the carnal backsliding believers.

  105. Dear John,
    I don’t think there is enough evidence to support Shea’s conclusion that Rev 3:19 only refer to the believers. Another word for love, “agapao” is used in John 13:34. The question is why agapo is not used in Rev 3:19 as well?

    “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love (agapo) one another; as I have loved (agapo) you, that ye also love (agapo) one another.” John 13:34

    Here is another verse that the word philio is not used:
    “For whom the Lord loveth (agapao) he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” Hebrews 12:6

    In the English translation, Hebrews 12:6 is very similar to Rev 3:19, yet in the the former, the word agapao is used and in the latter, the word philio is used instead. Why did the Holy Spirit use different Greek words in two verses carrying apparently the same meaning?

    I have to admit that I do not know Greek, and I am still confused with the exact meanings and proper usages of the Greek words representing “love” in English.

  106. The book “Seven Reasons Not to Ask Jesus Into Your Heart” by Dennis Rokser has this to say on repentance in Revelation 3:20:

    “While God condemns the unsaved, He chastens believers…

    Thus, Jesus Christ must be addressing true believers in verse 19. Furthermore, it would be inappropriate to command a spiritually dead unbeliever to “be zealous” (or hot – 3:15). The Bible knows nothing of “cold” or “hot” unbelievers. And, like the corrective commands given to the other four churches in this section, (Rev. 2:5, 16, 22, 3:3), the believers of the church at Laodicea were to “repent.” This would involve them choosing to have a decisive change of mind (metanoeson – aorist active imperative of repentance) regarding their spiritual condition…

    Dear friends, Revelation 3:20 is a verse for believers , NOT UNBELIEVERS! it is a promise of personal fellowship with and from Jesus Christ, NOT AN OFFER OF SALVATION”

  107. Eddy, you may be right on the matter of the churches. I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that we are eternally secure by virtue of God’s Grace and His promise to never let us go – no matter how faithfully or unfaithfully we may follow Christ.

    In the “repentance” section of the Clear Gospel Campaign website, Ron Shea gives his view of what repentance means each time it is used in the New Testament. Shea consistently holds that the consequence of repentance in Revelation 2-3 is temporal, rather than eternal judgment.

    Here is an excerpt:

    “Repentance in Revelation 3:19

    14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

    15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

    16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

    17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

    18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

    19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

    20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

    21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

    Subject Called to Repentance: “As many as I love” are called to repentance. The word “love” is not agape, God’s love for all men, but “phileo,” God’s love for the brethren of Christ. These are believers called to repentance in this passage. (For more detail, the reader is referred to “Seven Reasons Not to Invite Jesus Into Your Heart” by Dennis Rokser.

    Object of Repentance: The object of repentance is not expressly stated, and must be inferred from the context. Verses 17 and 18 immediately preceding the call to repentance suggest that the readers have not been serious in their pursuit of eternal rewards at the bema, and are encouraged to so. Verse 20, immediately following the call to repentance, is a poetic invitation for a more intimate fellowship with the Lord. Vs. 21 returns to the theme of eternal rewards.

    Consequence of Repentance: The poetic language in vs. 19-21 suggests that eternal rewards, and a more intimate fellowship in this age, are both consequences of repentance called for in vs. 19.”

  108. Dear John,

    Here is my logic:
    Let us assume for now all seven churches consist of only believers.
    Based upon this assumption, Christ is “threatening” the believers to turn away from sins or else Christ will send those backsliding believers through the tribulation. Otherwise, if one believes all pre-tribulation believers are with Christ anyway, than Christ is making empty threats in Revelation chapter 2 and 3.

    I don’t think Christ will make empty threats. Besides, why did Paul warn those filthy backsliding Corinthians if they do not turn away from their sins and living a holy Christian life, they may endure God’s wrath in the seven years tribulation?

  109. Dear John,

    My thought is that the seven churches in the book of Revelation could be alluded to earthly churches, not the one church representing all the believers. All of us believers are the members of one church, the only church of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank for correcting me on my presumption of your position on “overcomer”.

  110. Eddy, I think the word “church” needs to be examined in its Biblical context. I tend to lean to thinking that “church”, when used in the Bible, means the universal body of true believers.

    I think that our earthly definition of “church” as buildings and organizations full of saved and non-saved, alike, may confuse our understanding of “church” as used in the Bible.

    Thoughts?

  111. I came across another article, not directly dealing with the overcomer question, but very interesting nonetheless. It is called “The Privilege of Suffering with Christ” by C.H. Mackintosh. One very pertinent excerpt, that I think applies to the heart of our evangelical lives, is as follows:

    “n this, and in everything else, let us beware of a legal spirit;
    for it must not be imagined that a man with the yoke of legality
    round his neck is suffering for Christ. It is much to be feared
    that such an one does not know Christ, does not know the
    blessedness of sonship, has not yet been established in grace,
    is rather seeking to reach the family by works of law than to
    reach [their position in] the kingdom by the path of suffering.”

  112. There is a short article “Are All Believers Overcomers?” by J. Sidlow Baxter that has an interesting take on it. See full text below:

    “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne.”–Rev. 3:21.

    In this promise our Lord is referring, of course, to His Messianic throne and His millennial reign. When He comes again, in power and glory, then will He lift His resistless rod over the nations, and unfurl the banner of world-wide empire. The evil one shall be interned in the bottomless abyss. Evil shall be completely subjugated. Righteousness and peace shall be dispensed to the nations. Christ Jesus shall reign upon the Davidic throne which has been promised and covenanted to Him. A chastened and renewed Israel will send His messengers of enlightenment and peace throughout the earth. Science and invention, scholarship and art, shall all devote themselves to noblest ends. War shall be done away, and the throne of David’s greater Son shall be supreme.

    It will be wonderful to live under that reign, yet it will be even more wonderful to reign with Him; and this is what Jesus promises. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne.” What a promise!

    But the promise is to “the overcomer.” Are all believers “overcomers”? Let him think twice who would answer a dogmatic “Yes” to this question. The letters to the seven churches, at least, suggested otherwise to an unprejudiced reader. Our standing in Christ is no artificial position of immunity. As there are degrees of punishment [in hell] so there are degrees of reward [in heaven]. One is made ruler over ten cities, another over five. “One star differeth from another star in glory.”

    Let our eager prayer ever be that we may be among the “overcomers.”

  113. Eddy, I haven’t come to a conclusion on the “overcomer” interpretation.

  114. Dear Jimmy and John and Pearl,

    I have to take side here. I agree with all three of you in regard to your take on the “overcomer” and “inheritance” mentioned in the Scripture. I hope Tom is following this thread. In light of the scripture, I have to disagree with Tom on his interpretation of the interpretation of “overcomer”. I believe all believers are overcomers, as opposed to Tom’s interpretation that only some believers are overcomers. Please understand that I have great respect for Tom, I listen to his sermons every week. Please also understand that we Christians could disagree on certain doctrines, and no one would be able to have a perfect understanding of the whole Bible. I have the feeling that Tom may be influenced by some of the free grace book authors who hold the “not all believers are overcomers” view. In order to be fair to Tom, I have to mention here that Tom stated in his sermon he would not be dogmatic about his interpretation and he also acknowledged that there are other believers in the free grace camp who interpret “overcomer” differently. You could listen to the sermon he gave on January 8th of 2012 titled “The Motivation of Eternal Rewards, Part 2”.

    It is also my own opinion that, if we agree on all “overcomers” being genuine Christians, the seven churches mentioned in Rev 2-3 could not possibility consist of only believers, for the reason that not all the people in those seven churches are overcomers. Here is one possible correct interpretation: In Rev. chapters two and three, Christ is trying to ask the non-overcomers/unbelievers to repent, ie. change their mind from unbelief to belief, otherwise, Christ will send them through tribulation. These non-overcomers are professing Christians but not real Christians. If such is indeed the correctly interpretation, no wonder Satan is trying to distract the free grace community to the wrong interpretation.

  115. John, You said, “Peter will be rewarded, just like any other believer, for his faithfulness to Christ. But, his righteousness is based on Christ’s life – not on his own.)” Exactly! God would see Christ’s blood covering that sin. This is true for any believer. This has to be the case – all or nothing. Either Christ’s blood covers all your sin or you will be separated from God. After death that separation is sealed.

    Yes, it is also true that not every believer will always be a disciple and be perfectly obedient and growing as they ought. I often encourage people to make sure to be engaged in true discipleship and be involved in discipling others whenever possible. It is especially necessary today with the rise of so much false teaching. To answer my own question, I think that the biggest thing that I can do is to continue to learn of and know my God so that I can pass that knowledge on to other believers. Practically speaking I will make sure to continue in my work with discipleship in my local church and continue to seek new ways to encourage those out there in the universal church. I’ve found blogs like this one to be such a blessing. Maybe one day I will take the time to create my own.

  116. Jack, I’m so glad to hear you say that. Yes it does seem that there are a vocal few. I’ve have also noticed that much of the so called Christian writing these days has little to do with the pure truth of God’s Word. Praise God that there are however always those who remain faithful no matter the opposition and no matter who is or is not standing with them.

    Pearl, thanks for that answer. It sure is important to bring you children up with sound doctrine and Godly wisdom. I know that I would not be here today were it not for my parent’s influence and the influence of those in my childhood church. I praise God for them often. It gives me encouragement to know that there are others will not stand for anything that would distort the gospel.

  117. More from Middletown:

    “Does every true believer surrender to Christ’s Lordship?

    This question needs to be answered very carefully in light of the Scriptures. The answer to the question is both YES and NO.

    1) YES, every true believer surrenders to Christ’s Lordship.

    The person who surrenders to Christ’s Lordship is the person who bows before His authority and obeys His Word. The New Testament indicates that one of the characteristics of a true believer is that he obeys God’s Word and keeps God’s commands: “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-4). The same was true of the original disciples. Jesus said of them, “They have kept My Word” (John 17:6). This was a remarkable statement for our Lord to make in view of the obvious shortcomings of these men. Peter, for example, did not represent a surrendered, obedient believer when he denied his Lord three times. Nor was he being submissive in Acts 10:14 when he said, “Not so, Lord!” Nor was he surrendering in Matthew 16:22 when he rebuked the Lord and strongly contradicted His Word! If you were to take a snapshot of any of these isolated acts of failure you could say that Peter was a disobedient believer who did not surrender to Christ’s Lordship. But as you look at the overall picture of his life, as the Lord Jesus did, you would have to conclude that this was a man who kept Christ’s Word. As you look at the whole panorama of his life you would say that Peter, in spite of his shortcomings, was a man who surrendered to Christ’s Lordship.

    (My comment: the Lord Jesus would not “look at the overall picture of his (Peter’s) life” in order to determine whether Peter was a true believer. He would know Peter’s heart and that Peter had trusted in Him and Him alone, apart from any facet of Peter’s life. Peter will be rewarded, just like any other believer, for his faithfulness to Christ. But, his righteousness is based on Christ’s life – not on his own.)

    2) NO, every true believer does not surrender to Christ’s Lordship.

    We desire and want to please our Lord, but there are times when we fail to surrender as we should. If we are honest we would have to admit the following: All believers have sinned and come short of perfect submission to Christ. Every believer falls short of perfect surrender, perfect obedience, perfect submission, perfect compliance with all the demands of discipleship. Thank God we have an Advocate with the Father, Christ Jesus the Righteous One (1 John 2:1-2)!”

  118. Jimmy, I, too, read the article by Rokser. I have always read the verse in question plainly, naturally concluding – without assistance – that the “unrighteous” was referring to unbelievers. It would only be by a teacher’s influence (or a whole gang of ’em) that I would begin to question my “judgment” and start looking to myself for “righteous fruit”. Be careful of the company you keep!!

    Also, I’m so very relieved to hear that Shea doesn’t go all the way into the ridiculous teaching that Jesus’ own Body, the Church, would be cast into outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, which, is clearly eternal separation from God, not some kind of purgatory. The very first time I heard of this teaching was around 2007/08, when I had come upon some creation seminar DVDs by Kent Hovind. I liked the guy, then learned he was put into prison for 10 years due to tax reasons. His grown son was then put in charge of the ministry who wrote at his blog about a visit with his imprisoned father and coming away with a book his dad was being deeply impacted by: the astonishing, frightful teaching that unfruitful believers would receive lashings, then be cast into outer darkness during the millenial reign! I couldn’t believe there was such a thing! Then, about a year or two later, I read in Dave Hunt’s Berean Call Newsletter a concerned question about Missler’s book teaching the same thing. Unbelievable. Another backdoor leading to works of the flesh.

    Eddy, the real challenge today is finding a ministry which doesn’t teach LS/LP!!

    Lastly, my response to Jimmy F’s question,

    My question to everyone is what will you do to make sure that God’s truth survives to the next generation untarnished?

    In my effort to prevent potential LP from ever seeping into my children’s lives, I’m teaching them the biblical definition of repentance, the difference between new birth and discipleship, and to know God’s Word by reading it daily (and not be concerned what man has to say about God’s Word). Eventually, we’ll get to the fallacies of both Calvinism and Arminianism.

  119. Jim F,

    Great question you asked, “My question to everyone is what will you do to make sure that God’s truth survives to the next generation untarnished?”

    Answer:
    2 Timothy 4:2
    Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

    I think we are doing all we can in our little fellowship corner of the world.. What we need is to expand our readership, stay firm in and focus on the Truth of the Free Grace Gospel message, then encourage others who are like-minded. The enemy is deceptively prodigious.. and we are only a vocal few. But, Lord willing, we shall press forward.
    Philippians 3:14
    I [we] press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  120. “I would say that a person cannot lose assurance of salvation by sinning.”

    If by “cannot” the writer means “should not”, I agree. Any honest-with-his post-conversion-sin believer can lose assurance IF he starts believing the BDA to LS lie. He should not have succumbed to the lie since the Word of God which first gave him that assurance (e.g. 1 John 5:13) never changes. That said, I suspect most believers who get ensnared by the BDA to LS are those who never had assurance to lose. LS appears to prey on the unbelieving self-righteous (these come in via the FDA), as well as on the believing who are honest about thier post-conversion sin but who are not biblically grounded (these come in via the BDA). As for the group not mentioned–already self-righteous believers–they are already doing Satan’s “fruit-inspecting” (BDA) bidding are they not? A little tuning here and there by ole scratch and they could very well be used to advance the FDA also.

    I’ve no doubt missed something, if not many things with this line of thought, but one thing’s for sure–Satan has attempted to cover all the bases–and lest more believers start presenting the Gospel accurately and clearly, with follow-up emhasis (for the found) on biblical assurance and eternal security, the number of confused, useless for the cause of Christ believers will (if it hasn’t already) rival in number those who one day hear those tragic words found in Mt. 7:23.

  121. Dear Jack,

    Please remove the kingshighway link from my last article if possible. I accidentally included that with my posting.

    Thanks,
    Eddy

  122. Dear Pearl,

    You could listen to Chuck Missler’s exposition on James and draw your own conclusion whether he is in the LS camp.

    Google: “khouse Bible Study”

    Besides, here is the except of an article titled “A Christmas Exam” posted on Chuck’s site.

    Google: “Koinonia House A Christmas Exam”

    Is Jesus “IN” You?
    Do you ever find yourself worried that you might not really know the Savior, Jesus Christ? This is a good time to focus on that question. It is not enough for you to believe that there is a God, even the demons believe that much (James 2:19). It is not enough to just recite the right words, either. This is the real question; “Is Jesus Christ in me?”
    Examine yourself and honestly, privately determine if you are in the faith. The Apostle Paul wrote,
    Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?
    2 Corinthians 13:5a
    Can you describe a particular point in time when you understood at some level what happened at the cross? Did you accept what God accomplished there for you?
    Did things change for you after that? The change may have been dramatic or it might have been very quiet, but was there a change? Did you begin to interact with Jesus? Did you begin to live your life differently after this relationship began?
    Go back to those words in Luke, chapter 2, and let them really sink in:
    Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
    If you want to know more about this wonderful Savior, you might want to go to our website at [XXXXXXXXXX.org]. This is a great way to start this Christmas season. May God richly bless you as He answers your questions.

  123. I agree that it is dangerous to constantly try to examine yourself to see if you are in the faith.

    I think it is always dangerous to examine yourself to see if your are in the faith, if that examination is focused on your lifestyle or works.

    Consider the following excerpt:

    Attaching Personal Righteousness to the Back-side of the Gospel’s Requirements
    By Pastor J. O. Hosler, Th.D.

    “Even after we have practiced godliness for extended periods of our lives, what is our guarantee that we will not fall into sin again and suspect that we were never saved in the first place? If we have no such guarantee, then we have no logical basis for assurance even after years of consistent godliness. From such a perspective, the biblical promises that the believer in Christ has eternal life are stripped of their assurance (Jn. 3:16; 5:24;
    6:47; Acts 10:43; 16:31; I Jn. 5:13).”

  124. In looking at some of the previous posts from Middletown Bible Church, I am reminded of how easy it is to be right on many things but prone to error on others. I get concerned by those I know to be so called “moderate Calvinists.” They are the types that don’t advocate Lordship salvation, but still are prone to it eventually. I think it is dangerous to constantly try to examine yourself to see if you are in the faith. I have moderate Calvinists tell me this from time to time.

    I would say that a person cannot lose assurance of salvation by sinning. In other words, there never comes a point where a particular sin separates you again from God. However, I will say that it is possible to not “feel” too assured in your salvation. This usually happens if there is unconfessed sin and especially with younger more immature believers. The solution is I John 1:9 and to grow in the knowledge of the Lord through His Word.

    The other thing I wanted to say was that I am encouraged to find men and women who will take a stand for the clear and simple truth of God’s word. My question to everyone is what will you do to make sure that God’s truth survives to the next generation untarnished?

  125. Faith, me too!

    Eddy, yesterday I mentioned the “tweeners” – they are in between Grace and works. To that end, I will repeat Middletown’s quote: “The so called “free grace” position and the Lordship salvation position are two extreme positions. The truth is to be found somewhere in between. This is common in theology. With most areas of doctrine, there are usually extreme and unbalanced views on both sides of the truth.”

    Jack, this would be a good title for an article – especially around Superbowl time:

    The Lie of Splitting the Uprights: “The Truth Lies Somewhere in the Middle”

    or

    “The Middle Road for Middletown: Compromising on God’s Gospel of Grace”

  126. Those who consistently live in sin have no right to claim assurance of salvation.”

    John there were so many on here that I could comment on, so I took this last statement. If we went by this, the lot of Christians would be in hell. They tend to forget some little details- pride, arguing, coveting, lying, gossiping (even the little gossips), anger, selfishness (yes, that means wanting the pie that your husband wants and taking it for yourself); greed, impure thoughts (even in our dreams), etc…… I would like to see what is in their closets (not really ), I know mine is a little messy.

  127. Jimmy, thanks! I had never read any of Zeller’s stuff, so I started with reading some of the church dogma.

  128. John:

    I almost issued a disclaimer regarding the very issue you bring up regarding Zeller, but pressed for time, not wanting to distract from the topic at hand, and keeping in mind the high level of discernment exhibited by readers of this blog, I chose not to. You should know from my previous communication here that I am just as troubled by Zeller’s back door approach to LS as you are. He’s almost like Spurgeon in that he shows flashes of biblical brilliance at times (e.g. article on the folly of “Regeneration Precedes Faith”), but other times unknowingly get’s it dead wrong. I do, however think his articles on the topic at hand are worth the discerning reader’s time and attention.

  129. Middleton also quotes this, from a group called the IFCA:

    “This We Believe”

    “The Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA) published a doctrinal booklet entitled This We Believe. On page 30 of this booklet (the Chapter on Eternal Security and Assurance of Salvation) there is a section entitled, “The Marks of a True Believer.” It reads as follows:

    Not everyone who professes Christ actually possesses Christ. Some people profess Christ but by their works they deny Him (Titus 1:16). Some name the name of Christ but they do not depart from iniquity (2 Tim. 2:19). With their lips they say that they know Christ, but they are found to be liars (1 John 2:4).

    It is therefore needful for each professing believer to examine himself to see whether or not he has truly believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible clearly reveals certain marks which should characterize every child of God. Some of these are as follows:

    The true believer (1) believes the Word of God (1 John 5:9-12); (2) hungers for the Word of God (1 Pet. 2:2); (3) loves the brethren (1 John 3:14); (4) obeys God’s commands (1 John 2:3-5); (5) performs good works (2 John 11; James 2:17-26); (6) does not continue in sin but lives a righteous life (1 John 2:29; 3:6-10; 5:18; 2 Tim. 2:19); etc.

    Obviously believers often fail to fully exhibit the above characteristics, and yet if a person truly has life, that life will be manifested (1 John 5:12). Those who consistently live in sin have no right to claim assurance of salvation.”

    WOW! THIS I DON’T BELIEVE

  130. More from Middleton.

    From the article “Are Good Works the Necessary Fruit of Salvation”:

    ” We do not hold to the Lordship salvation teaching that good works automatically and unfailingly result from saving faith. There is a delicate Biblical balance on this issue that must be maintained. “The pendulum swings, ridiculous extreme, bypassing the truth which lieth between.” The so called “free grace” position and the Lordship salvation position are two extreme positions. The truth is to be found somewhere in between. This is common in theology. With most areas of doctrine, there are usually extreme and unbalanced views on both sides of the truth.

    What we are concerned about is the teaching that a truly saved person can totally abandon the faith, deny Christ, deny the gospel, and even mock the Christian faith, or that a true believer can have a life that is characterized by and dominated by immorality, disobedience, and wickedness….

    And yet, it is also true that in the spiritual realm there are signs of life: “We know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren” (1 John 3:14). Love for the brethren is a sign of life! If a person never acts and lives like a Christian should, do we not have a right to question whether the person really has life? If a tree never bears apples but only pears, should not we question whether it is an apple tree? In the physical realm, if a person does not move, has no pulse and stinks (John 11:39), do we not have a right to assume that he might be dead? So it is in the spiritual realm. We need to KNOW that we are saved; we need to SHOW that we are saved. “

  131. Jimmy, I have read the article you cited, “Another look at ‘inheriting the kingdom of God’ by Dennis Rokser. It is very interesting and I think it makes a lot of sense.

  132. Found it. The article is titled, “Another look at ‘inheriting’ the Kingdom of God” by Dennis Rosker. Click on Grace Family Journal…it’s in the Winter 2009 issue.

    Eddy: Thanks for sharing your response to Brenda. I have some thoughts on this issue which I’ll get your opinion on later.

  133. Jimmy, Middletown Bible Church has some interesting things, that I think are way off the mark. For example under “Salvation” they have “Marks of a True Believer”, including:
    1. A true believer has a hunger for the word of God
    2. A true believer prays to his Heavenly Father
    3. A true believer loves his brothers and sisters in Christ
    4. A true believer obeys the Word of God
    5. A true believer will not continue in sin but will live a righteous life
    6. A true believer will not enjoy living in sin
    7. A true believer is a person whho performs good works
    8. A true believer confesses Christ
    9. A true believer continue in the faith because of God’s great keeping power

    This church is a back door LS church based on reformed, Spurgeonesque hogwash!

  134. Another article on this topic used to be and may still be available at Duluth Bible Church’s site. For some reason I can’t find it now. I can recall thinking when I read it that it, at least in my opinion, harmonized with Scripture. I’m going to keep looking for it.

  135. I may have been mistaken to describe the “inheritance view” articulated by Shea as the “overcomer” position. My apologies if that is indeed the case.

    That said, the “inheritance view” at Clear Gospel Campaign is:

    “If you defect from the Christian faith, you forfeit your inheritance, the privilege of ruling and reigning with Christ.”

    This view appears to be alluded to in The Gospel booklet, p. 23:

    “…Similarly, receiving the free gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ guarantees a person ENTRANCE in to God’s eternal kingdom, but in no way guarantees one an EXALTED POSITION in that kingdom!”
    (my caps)

    “Our POSITION in heaven and rewards associated with that POSITION…” (my caps)

    While it seems clear Ron takes the position that there will be believers who will not rule and reign with Christ during the Millenial Kingdom, I highly doubt he would be in agreement with those who appear to take it one step, if not multiple steps further: see articles “Who is the overcomer of Revelation 2-3?”, and “Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth–Will this be the fate of True Christians?” at http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org

  136. Dear Jimmy,

    I agree with you that the Lighthouse Trails is very good at discerning Eastern mysticism and one-world spirituality. I also agree with you that the Lighthouse Trails writers neither defend, nor preach the Gospel of Christ. Actually, Deborah is leaving the gate of her ministries wide open to allow many of the Lordship Salvation proponents to walk through. After checking the theologies of some of their authors and contributors, I was very much surprised by my findings. Except for Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon of The Berean Call, I found many of them are under the bondage of Lordship Salvation. Here is the list of those people and their ministries that subscribed to the LS doctrine.

    Roger Oakland (Understands the Times)
    Andy and Berit Kjos (Kjos Ministries)
    Larry DeBruyn (Guarding His Flock Ministries)
    Bob DeWaay (Twin City Fellowship in Minneapolis, Minnesota)
    Jan Markell (Olive Tree Ministries)
    Jewel and David Grewe (Herescope/Discerment-Ministries Inc.)
    Mike Oppenheimer (Let Us Reason ministries)
    Ingrid Schlueter (Slice of Laodicea)
    Sandy Simpson (Apologetics Coordination Team)

    So far, I have not been able to find any free grace believers among the Lighthouse Trails authors I’ve checked, except Dave Hunt and T.A. McMathon of course. I don’t understand why Deborah Dombrowski refused to heed the warning from Jack. I’ve also sent Deborah and Roger Oakland emails in the past warning them on the issue of LS, but I never got any reply from either of them. Now I think I know why Roger Oakland did not reply to my emails, but what about Deborah?

    In regard to Brander Nickel, here is the email I sent back to her in response to her article:

    Dear Brenda,

    Thanks for your lengthly response to my email regarding Mark Cahill’s book “One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven. You did an excellent job in exposing the heresy of Calvinism. You certainly have a zeal of God. Please forgive me for not telling you more about my beliefs in my previous email. I am neither a Calvinist, nor an Arminian. I subscribe to the same beliefs as presented by the following ministries, some of those you may already known.

    https://expreacherman.wordpress.com/

    http://northlandchurch.com/

    Besides, I recognized your ministry, Roger Oakland’s ministry, Deborah Dombrowski’s ministry and Dave Hunt’s ministry are earnestly exposing new age spirituality.
    After letting you know more about my beliefs, I would like to address the subject of repentance. In regard to the subject of repentance, I would like to point you to the first article titled “The Gospel” written by Ron Shea on this link:

    http://www.duluthbible.org/165732.ihtml

    The Gospel is clearly explained in the article and biblical repentance is properly defined in the context of the Scripture.

    I hope after carefully examining the web sites stated in this article, you will have a better understanding of my position. By the way, you may be interested in listening to Thomas Cucuzza’s excellent recent sermons exposing Calvinism and Arminianism. All of his sermons are excellent, I hope you will enjoy.

    http://www.sermonaudio.com/source_detail.asp?sourceid=northlandchurch

    In Christ,
    Eddy

  137. Ah yes, Jack, I understand what you are saying about witnessing using the word repent.

    I will look at that post- thanks.

  138. Faith

    I rarely ever use the word “repent” when witnessing because most folks think, “turn from” instead of “change your mind.

    I wrote a post about false repentance back in June..
    http://www.expreacherman.com/2011/06/26/false-repentance-perseverance-and-lordship-salvation/

    To write a post about all references to Repent in the Bible would require a book — and it has been written by a friend, Dr, Richard Seymour, “All About Repentance.” Excellent. But I have asked Dick where to order the book and have received no answer. Maybe on Amazon.

    Pearl, That preacher is right — I preached for years that the Gospel IS the meat AND milk of the word. The Gospel is the Power of God. Any other teachings that go “deeper” without the backbone of Gospel power have no power.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  139. Not too long ago, I heard a great sermon on the Armour of God, and have been wanting to post highlights from it ever since. In light of it being brought up here, I think I’ll move forward on that, as it was a real “a ha!” kind of thing.

    Isn’t God’s Word amazing? The same verse which taught us one thing can, months/years later, teach us another amazing truth which was there all along, only we didn’t see it! The same preacher from whom I heard the sermon on the armour said that the scriptures are often categorized as milk or meat. He said rather, it is all milk and meat. Kinda neat when you think about it.

  140. Another thing here too- I always knew that that the Holy Spirit was convicting me on sin and in that then I would repent. But this could only happen if I was a believer in Jesus Christ. I would never have had the wisdom or understanding to do that before I was saved.

  141. Excellent posts guys!

    Won’t be writing much here my computer is acting up on me.
    I have to be honest with you have not given the “repentance” thing too much notice. Not until you have brought this issue up. I always had believed that it was my belief(faith) that saved me until I was being corrupted by works teachings just two years ago. Repentance to me was what I was doing after I became a Christian- and was not associated with my security as a believer. I guess what saved me from earlier confusion was that I was not reading other books from “Christian” authors, so I was not paying attention to the repentance/works fallacy. I guess you could say I was a “fool” for Christ. It was not until later that I had allowed other influences to sway my security in Christ. In that I should have studied the meaning of repentance so that I would have had my armor on. The Holy Spirit protected me I can attest to that. Thank you guys for spurring me on to study this further- which I did these past few days.

    Jack, a suggestion: It would be nice to have another post on the REPENTANCE verses in the Word and what they truly mean. This would be helpful to anyone visiting this site.

  142. If it’s the same thing Chuck Missler teaches in his book “Kingdom, Power and Glory”, then it’s not good.

  143. Jimmy, what is the overcomer position?

  144. Pearl, Brenda cut off all communication with me following our last email discussion.

    John, I was at Lou’s site a few years back asking if anyone knew of a gospel tract that included the Deity of Christ as content of saving faith. Someone there referred me to Ron Shea’s booklet, “The Gospel”. What a remarkable gospel booklet. I’ve used it ever since. In fact, it was as a result of reading the articles at Shea’s site that I first began to clearly understand what saving repentance is, and what it is not. I can’t think of anyone who articulates the Gospel of God’s grace better, so always refreshing to see someone recommend/quote him. NOTE: Having said all this, the view he shares with several others in free grace circles (i.e. overcomer position) is one I have reservations about. But I could very well be dead wrong.

  145. Didn’t think so. Thanks for confirming that.

    The 2 part article leaves no wiggle-room for those like Ms. Nickel. Worth the read.

  146. Pearl, it is not on Shea’s website.

  147. Yes, thanks to you, I do! 🙂

    This series, however, seems to be written expressly for Lou’s blog, so I don’t know if Shea has made it available at his website (?).

  148. Pearl, you probably already know this, but Ron Shea is the author of the excellent booklet “The Gospel”. His website, cleargospel.org, has great sections on repentance and “Lordship” or Bi-lateral Contract Salvation. The doctrinal statement is very clear on the content of saving faith, and those things which would taint the reception of saving faith, such as works or the promise of future works (LS). He doesn’t sugarcoat any of his comments on denial of Grace in his doctrinal statement.

  149. Jimmy, perhaps you could reintroduce the topic with Nickel?

    If she were simply to do a little reading, she would soon learn her mistake and hopefully repent of her incorrect understanding of free grace. Just today, I found an excellent article at Lou’s place (In Defense of the Gospel), written back in 2008 by Ron Shea called “Drifting Far off the Marker (2 Parts) on the crossless gospel. If that fails to make a dent, then I can only surmise that she’s just plain dishonest, prideful, rebellious, whatever…

    http://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.com/2008/08/drifting-far-off-marker-part-1.html

  150. John,
    Thanks for your comment. You have a great insight on Ephesians 6:13-17 and you gave a very good description on the difference between righteousness and holiness. I agree that although we should live a holy live, trying to out-holy the works-based religious practitioners is an unproductive pursuit. Defending and preaching the Gospel of Christ should always be the first priority of our Christian walk, especially nowadays that so many people are falling prey to the works-based gospel. I think the following verses can be used to substantiate that your interpretation of Ephesians 6:13-17 is correct.

    “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.” Galatians 1:6-11

  151. Eddy:

    Thank you for your response regarding Mennonite doctrine.

    On the other issue you mentioned in passing–Ligthouse Trails–I too used to visit their site frequently. I think Debra has nailed it with regard to eastern mysticism in all it’s forms, but have yet to see anything from her site that is a “defense of the Gospel” (which she proports is part and parcel of her and her husband’s ministry).

    On another front, which Pearl alluded already mentioned, I read a month or so ago (at Caryl’s) your comment to Brenda Nickel (and her reply). Have you had any further conversation with her regarding Cahill and the topic of saving repentance? I sure wish someone could get her to reconsider these things in light of Scripture.

  152. Jack, I used to think that SBC stuff was right. No excuse for that either. I’m really glad that I finally saw the light.

  153. Eddy, there seems to be a large group of “tweeners” out there – they are in between Grace and works. I think most people are scared to call them on it. After all, could Billy Graham really have a wrong view of repentance (yes). Could Spurgeon have lost his apprehension of Grace (his later sermons indicate that he did). Could Charles Ryrie let LS in through the back door (his writings, cited above, indicate that he could).

    We have a tremendous responsibility to our God to defend the Gospel. We can not do it by tolerating “small” errors or by letting big shots get by with perverting it. The Apostle Paul did not hesitate to openly rebuke Peter.

    We also cannot defend the Gospel by trying to “out-holy” the works salvationists. I have heard more than one Free Grace advocate waste words on how he is not soft on sin, and favorably compare himself to other people.

    We are engaged in SPIRITUAL WARFARE. We need to put on the full Armor of God.

    Ephesians 6:13-17 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”

    From Clear Gospel Campaign:

    “Certainly, the Bible commands us to be holy. But the fact is, we are not holy. Nor can we be truly holy while we inhabit a body of sin and death. But holiness is not the same as righteousness. Holiness is dependent on how we conduct our lives. We are told to live a holy life. Righteousness, however, is the believer’s legal standing before God in spite of how we live our lives. We are proclaimed “not guilty” or “righteous” not because we have lived a good life, but because the sinful life we have lived was paid for by the death of our Savior. Righteous is a key term in the salvation of mankind. It is the legal declaration when the payment of our sins by our Lord is applied to our own personal account. And “a man is justified by faith, apart from the deeds of the law.” (Romans 3:28). We will take a life time trying to live in the holy manner commanded by our Father. But no believer should enter his second month as a new believer without a clear understanding of the work at the cross by which he was made “righteous” in the sight of God. The doctrine of salvation is the first priority in the discipleship of a new believer.

    And when I realized that the reference was to righteousness, and not holiness, I realized something else about this passage: Virtually every item in the Full Armor of God is directed to the gospel message . . . the defense of the gospel message, and the spread of the gospel message.”

  154. Dear Jack,
    You said “BTW, Stanley’s church IS (or was — I didn’t look it up today) SBC.”

    According to Wikipedia, Stanley even served two terms as president of the SBC from 1984 to 1986.

  155. BTW, Stanley’s church IS (or was — I didn’t look it up today) SBC.
    In Christ, Jack

  156. Pearl, — Excactamundo??? Good word even though I don;t read Swahili.

    John,

    I have written previously that the SBC SoF is terribly wrong.. No justification for the pure works they proclaim needed for salvation. However I know of SBC folks who did/do not know the contents of their SoF. NO EXCUSE!!

    Eddy, Chas. Stanley has been off kilter for some time.. He should know that to be saved we don’t ask for forgiveness for our sins, salvation is God’s GIFT and we simply receive the offered gift. To be saved we don’t ask Jesus to take over our lives, Come into our hearts, be our master or friend, to be saved we don’t give ourselves (or anything else) to God in exchange, etc, etc.

    That is an awful invitation by Stanley — but his son Andy Stanley is even worse promoting heretics — The article can be searched by “Catalyst.”

    Everyone is jumping on the Lordship Probation, false message bandwagon — it keeps their folks in line by guilt..

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  157. Dear Jack,
    You said: “The field of Free Grace folks has dwindled.. it seems.”

    Although I have not recommended Charles Stanley to anyone, I always thought that he is in the Free Grace camp. However, it looks to me as if he is starting to drift. I watched the “altar call” part of his sermon “Who Is This Jesus?” given on last year’s Christmas Sunday and here is the my rough transcript of what he said:

    “…Your only hope is the Son of God, and it is my prayer that you would be wise enough that having listened to his message which is the simple truth of who Jesus is, all from the Word of God. You will be wise enough to recognize, there is no escape from this truth. And to hear it, to ignore it, to reject it, is spiritual suicide. Because it means you choose to be eternal separated from God. You said: “I believe in God but I don’t believe that “Jesus said” I (and) the Father of One, no one comes to the Father but by me.
    I plead with you in Jesus name, for the sake of God himself, that you will surrender your life to him at this moment. You can do that by asking him simply to forgive you of your sins that you believe of what you heard, you surrendering you life to him you don’t know (or) understand all at this point, but you giving yourself to God through his son Jesus Christ by his death at the cross, and you want to follow him, and get to know him, and love him, and obey him, and serve him, and proclaim him all the days of your life. May God help you to do it.”

    Google: “Charles Stanley video Archives”

  158. Can anyone see how someone could get confused by the SBC stuff?

  159. Exactamundo, Jack!

    And yet, those who besmirk true, free grace are dead set in putting the cart before the horse via their false teaching of repentance. Why can’t they see that it is His Spirit in you which enables you to live on a whole, new plane?!

  160. A simple search of the Bible reveals there is no phrase in the Bible “repent of sin” much less regarding salvation. Likewise there is no phrase “turn from sin” for salvation/eternal life (However, after one receives guaranteed salvation through Jesus Christ alone, turning from sin in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit for fellowship and a peaceable life, Yes!!) There are many Biblical do’s and don’t’s for believers – but these occurrences promote believer’s fellowship (changeable state of the believer) and do not affect salvation, Eternal Life (permanent standing of the believer). [Good study on standing vs state in 1st and 2nd Corinthians]

    It is a pity to see so-called Bible scholars mangle God’s Word and especially the word “repent,” meaning a simple change of mind.. Repent is not a change of actions or behavior. Why is that so difficult for teachers/preachers to understand??

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  161. Jimmy, you’re right – I wasn’t defending Ryrie.

    Regarding the “front door” vs. “back door” comment, my experience was that I bought into the repent of your sins and commitment thing. After all, that is what the SBC teaches.

    See below:

    “Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.

    Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.”

    Are you ready for more of this heresy? Please see below from the SBC website on How to Become a Christian:

    “Are you ready to accept the gift of eternal life that Jesus is offering you right now? Let’s review what this commitment involves:

    I acknowledge I am a sinner in need of a Savior – this is to repent or turn away from sin

    I believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead – this is to trust that Jesus paid the full penalty for my sins

    I confess Jesus as my Lord and my God – this is to surrender control of my life to Jesus

    I receive Jesus as my Savior forever – this is to accept that God has done for me and in me what He promised

    If it is your sincere desire to receive Jesus into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior, then talk to God from your heart:

    Here’s a Suggested Prayer:

    “Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I do not deserve eternal life. But, I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. Jesus, come into my life, take control of my life, forgive my sins and save me. I am now placing my trust in You alone for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life.”
    If you have trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please let us know. We want to rejoice in what God has done in your life and help you to grow spiritually. ”

    I was never able to “do it” for very long. I would constantly soul search to try to remember whether I had been sincere in my “comitment” or not. I knew that I couldn’t ever make a promise that was any more sincere than the first one, and that my promises were empty. I finally realized that I was trying to have faith in my commitment and Christ, rather than in Christ. When I finally figured out that God wasn’t looking for any promises from me to be saved, the light bulb finally came on.

    Since then, I have been working to fight the LS lie.

  162. Pearl:

    Like you, I am perplexed by Brenda Nickel. She and I used to communicate often on spiritual matters (mainly those involving the evils of Calvinism). She emailed me one day expressing her displeasure with the GES cross-less “gospel”, but unfortunately equated it with traditional Free Grace theology. My attempt at pointing this out was not taken well. Nor was my folllowing attempt at pointing out the unbiblical practice of “fruit inspecting” where salvation and assurance are concerned. Tragically, Brenda (with her held positions of saving repentance being “to turn from sin”, and salvation proved/disproved by works/lack of works) is unknowingly doing more harm than she could possibly realize. I pray for her often.

  163. Ryrie indeed.

    I’m convinced it’s easier for Satan to initiate people (whether saved or unsaved) into LS via the back door (“Unproductive” faith = never saved) as opposed to the front door (demands of discipleship are requirements for salvation). Moreover, I’ve noticed our Advisary often uses the most unlikely (in the eyes of man) people (whether believer or unbeliever) to accomplish his purposes.

    John you are quite right that all of us have made wrong statements (probably more than we even know), and I realize you’re not defending Ryrie with that sentiment, but for a person who is championed in Free Grace circles to contradict himself multiple times, on the same subject of eternal significance, and in the same book….all the while profsessing to be a staunch opponent of the very false gospel his contradictions help further…..is another animal all together in my mind. By the way, like the three question test. Excellent.

  164. uh, mad that is…

  165. “In the Gospel of the uncircumcision the order is: belief in Christ, repentance for sin, reception of the Spirit, and then water baptism–the public confession of identification with Christ in His death and resurrection.”

    Yep…Miles Stanford has gotta “go” for good. Another one bites the dust.

    So, what what his purpose in so eloquently refuting LS? It makes no sense to me!

    Same goes for Ms. Brenda Nickel w/Caryl Matrisciana’s ministry; she wrote a long testimony of her 14 years being deceived by Calvinism and its consequent Lordship teachings, claiming to have a clear understanding of LS, then does a 180 by defending her warped understanding of the term repentance in her published, snarky reply to Eddy. Same story, different cover. Makes me so made I could spit! >:-|

    Indeed, the road is very narrow.

  166. Jack, you said:

    “The field of Free Grace folks has dwindled.. it seems.”

    I agree. There is bad teaching, and then tolerance of bad teaching. The Free Grace churches are small, or non-existent in many communities. The LS places are often standing-room only.

    Rightly dividing the word of God is deemed to be “judgmental”, so no-one wants to do it.

    Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. This is not to make salvation inaccessable and exclusive, but to make it universally available and inclusive. Jesus saves! He is not asking you to do anything to have eternal life – just believe.

  167. I had never like Ryrie’s use of the term “spurious faith”.

    Here’s the deal – no matter who says it, if a statement is wrong it is wrong. Nobody is perfect, and I’m sure that I have unwittingly made interpretational errors.

    Having said that, assaults on the Gospel are ubiquitous, both outside and inside the professing church. They fall into three general categories:

    1. The divinity of God and/or Jesus – generally comes from outside of the professing Christian community

    2. Denial of the atonement – generally comes from inside the professing Christian community. Forms include denial of eternal security, sacraments capable of contributing to the atonement of sins, belief that sins must be further paid for through Purgatory

    3. Denial of the doctrine of Grace – generally comes from inside the professing Christian community. Forms include performance of works to secure eternal life (public confession of Christ, speaking in tongues, baptism) , promise of future works in exchange for Grace (repenting of sins, committing your life to Christ, etc.) and perseverance in works to confirm someone is saved.

  168. Charles Ryrie, huh??? Sounds inconsistent with most other info I have read from him.. But I have questioned some of his statements in the past.. can’t recall details now.

    And Stanford — just beware.. you folks have dug the depths and found writings I would never have expected from Miles Stanford (if indeed he did write them. Even though I have found disagreement and therefore no longer recommend him). I simply do not consciously recommend anyone who blemishes the pure Free Grace Gospel. Period. The field of Free Grace folks has dwindled.. it seems.

    Thanks..

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  169. The most direct comment I have seen on the errant teaching of James is this, from Clarity Ministries International:

    “Can a person be saved by faith, without any works at all?” How often this question arises and how important it is to know the Biblical answer.
    Let me be blunt. Not only is it true that a person can be saved by faith without any works of any kind, but it is the only way that anyone can ever
    be saved at all.”

    And this, from Clear Gospel Campaign:
    “1. James is not speaking of being saved by “faith plus works”
    2. James is not speaking of a “faith that works” (as if works automatically follow eternal salvation)
    3. James is not saying that works will automatically “follow” eternal salvation
    4. James is not saying that works will “prove” whether or not someone has “really” been saved.

    The reason, quite simply, is that James isn’t speaking about eternal salvation at all. He is speaking about salvation from trials and hardships.”

  170. 1. Not based on these comments.
    2. Charles Ryrie (I cheated). This one has been seized upon by all sorts of folks, including the Southern Baptists.

    This is bad teaching. If one thinks that works are the obvious result of fatih, then fruit inspection ensues, both of oneself, and perhaps others.

    This is the way I explained it to one of my LS friends:

    “One of the ways I was able to escape the error of works-assisted salvation and come to a saving faith in Christ was to think about three tests, in combination, as follows:

    1. Is it consistent with salvation by Grace through faith? Please note that by faith I mean simple belief in Jesus Christ alone for eternal security, based on His death for my sins and His resurrection.

    The variations that people concoct to pervert God’s Gospel include lot’s of add-ons to the definiton of faith. Some of them load faith up with works or the promises of future works. Others try to qualify the type of faith someone has.

    2. Is it consistent with eternal security?

    3. Is it consistent with the doctrine of assurance of eternal security for the believer?

    If one thinks that living in a certain manner is necessary for salvation, he is not trusting in Christ. If one looks to his works as evidence of his faith, he is looking at himself instead of Christ alone.”

    If one were to agree with Ryrie’s statements above (which I don’t) – what would the desired result be?

    1. Would it be for one to do more good works and change his behavior to prove (or corroborate) that he was saved (that is, work for salvation)?
    2. Would it be for one to identify (judge) a fellow believer by his works and/or changed life?
    3. Would it be for one to evaluate his faith based on his works?
    4. If yes to any of the above, what quantification standards would you use? How many works? How much changed behavior?

  171. Jack, I apologize in advance for the length of this post.

    Commenting on James 2:14 (What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?), the author writes:

    “Can faith save him? Can that (a non-working, dead, SPURIOUS faith save a person? James is not saying that we are saved by works, but that a faith that does not produce good works is a dead faith. James was not refuting the Pauline doctrine of justification by TRUE faith; but a perversion of it. Both Paul and James define faith as a LIVING, PRODUCTIVE, trust in Christ. GENUINE faith cannot be “dead” to morality or barren to works. An illustration of SPURIOUS faith is given in vv. 15-16.” (Jimmy’s captitalization for emphasis)

    NOTE: This is the backdoor approach to Lordship Salvation. If you haven’t the works, you’ve never been saved.

    Commenting on James 2:24 (Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only), the same author writes:

    “This verse is the reply to the question of v.14. Unproductive faith cannot save, because it is not genuine faith. Faith and works are like a two-coupon ticket to heaven. The coupon of works is not good for passage, and the coupon of faith is not valid if detached from works.”

    NOTE: Again, back door approach to LS.

    And yet, commenting on 2 Peter 2:7,8 (And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) this SAME author writes:

    “just Lot. Lit., righteous Lot. He was a righteous man in that he believed God and was vexed at the licentiousness of the wicked people about him, though his life was lived for himself.”

    NOTE: Lot certainly didn’t have the “two-coupon ticket”, and yet the author rightly points out that Lot was positionally righteous (saved) because he had “believed God”. How does one reconcile the author’s last commentary with the first two?

    Lest there be any doubt that the author does indeed believe Lot was saved, notice his commentary on John 15:6 (If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.):

    “They are burned. This refers to the works of the believer. The Christian who does not abide in Christ cannot do what pleases God; therefore, his works will be burned at the judgment seat of Christ, though he himself will be saved. 1 Cor. 3:11-15.”

    NOTE: Wonderful biblical commentary. But, again, how does this square with the author’s “two-coupon ticket”?

    Moving on now from a very concerning issue (contradictions where LS is in the balance) to a less concerning issue, the same author offers comment on 1 Cor. 13:8-10 (Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.):

    “13:10 that which is perfect. A reference to Christ’s second coming.”

    NOTE: According to the author, knowledge, prophecies, and speaking in tongues are still in effect today; and will be until the Rapture.

    And yet, this same author offers the following commentary on 1 Cor. 13:11 (When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things):

    ““There are stages of growth within the present imperfect time before Christ’s return. After the church began, there was a period of immaturity, during which spectacular gifts were needed for growth and authentication. (Heb. 2:3,4). With the completion of the New Testament and the growing maturity of the church, the need for such gifts disappeared.”

    NOTE: Now the author (rightly in my opinion) informs that it’s the completion of the New Testament (rather than Christ’s return) that ended the gifts of 1 Cor. 13:8-10. Regardless what one believes about tounges, the glaring contradiction in the author’s last two statements can not help but create confusion in the reader’s mind. And it should be noted that all these quotes come from the same book.

    Many more contradictory statments by this author could be cited, but it’s getting late for me. Here’s are the test question(s):

    1. Would you feel comfortable recommending this author?
    2. Who is the author?

    Goodnight all….

  172. Dear Jimmy,
    No, I don’t have any dealing with any of them. However, I have done a little bit of research on them and found that they are also under the bondage of Lordship Salvation. Here are the excepts from their statements of faith:

    General Baptists Statements of Faith:
    “ASSURANCE AND ENDURANCE
    We believe that those who abide in Christ have the assurance of salvation. However, we believe that the Christian retains his freedom of choice; therefore, it is possible for him to turn away from God and be finally lost.”

    Mennonite Confession of Faith:
    “We receive God’s salvation when we repent of sin and accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. In Christ”

    Your mention of them also reminded me of Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch professing christian who risked her life trying to protect Jews during the second world war. I came across her name because Light House Trail, the ministry I would no longer recommend, is the publisher of one of her books. I searched the internet and found the following three quotes from her somewhat confusing:

    “Surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ must not be partial, but total. Only when we repent and turn away from our sins (using His power, of course) does He fill us with the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Holy Spirit makes us right with God and God’s love in us makes us right with men. Through that we can forgive – even love – our enemies.”

    ““The purity of your life is evidence of your deliverance, “I said. “You should not worry about the dings and the dongs, they are nothing but echoes.””

    “You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.”

    I am very happy that you have the opportunities to bring the free grace Gospel to those innocent souls.

  173. John, I’ve had a chance to take another look at those quotes by Stanford you shared. I’d like to focus on two in particular:

    1. “In the Gospel of the uncircumcision the order is: belief in Christ, repentance for sin, reception of the Spirit, and then water baptism–the public confession of identification with Christ in His death and resurrection.”

    His redefining of SAVING repentance (i.e. “repentance for sin”), thus making it a work of man, and bizzare chronological placement of it in salvation (i.e. after belief) aside, it appears he’s included yet another work of man (water baptism) as part and parcel of the “Gospel of the uncircumcision” (i.e. Gospel of grace). Upon first inspection I didn’t think the latter was the case, but it sure looks like this is what he’s saying to me. Summary: Saving repentance redefined and chronologically misplaced. One, possibly two works added to faith for salvation.

    2. “The conditions upon which the Jews received the gift of the Spirit at that time (1st Century) were: belief in Christ, repentance for sin, and water baptism. This was the Gospel of the circumcision, and involved water baptism before receiving the gift of the Spirit. They were to repent of having (representatively) slain their Messiah, and in a figurative way to wash their hands of the crime by being baptized (water). Then the Spirit would indwell them. Paul was saved on the basis of this Gospel of the circumcision (Acts 9:18; 22:16). ”

    There can be no question from this quote that water baptism is seen by Standford as a requirment for salvation.

    As a result of Stanford’s seeming desire to make a distintion between requirements for salvation under the “Gospel of circumcision” vs. the “Gospel of uncircumcision”, I initially wondered if he hadn’t been influenced by “ultra” dispensationalism. But if that were the case, he wouldn’t have, as it appears he did, made water baptism a requirement for salvation under grace (i.e. gospel of uncircumcision). NOTE: Lest I be misunderstood, I agree with classic dispensationalism, not the dispensationism of C. Stram and others of his ilk.

    P.S. I have another “enigma” for you……cont’d

  174. And this (alleged) Stanford quote is also strange:

    “Then he instructed them, “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

    The conditions upon which the Jews received the gift of the Spirit at that time (1st Century) were: belief in Christ, repentance for sin, and water baptism. This was the Gospel of the circumcision, and involved water baptism before receiving the gift of the Spirit. They were to repent of having (representatively) slain their Messiah, and in a figurative way to wash their hands of the crime by being baptized (water). Then the Spirit would indwell them. Paul was saved on the basis of this Gospel of the circumcision (Acts 9:18; 22:16). ”

    Stanford appears to also include baptismal regeneration for Jewish believers at that time. This kind of sound like more works for salvation.

  175. Jimmy, I didn’t go real deep into the Stanford stuff, because of what I found in my initial search of Stanford, targeted to the subject of repentance.

    Jack, good counsel on making sure the quotes belong to Stanford and are in the proper context. I think they are, but would love to be wrong.

    By the way, here is another perplexing quote from Stanford, from a letter he (allegedly) wrote to John H. Gerstner:

    “Whatever repentance may have been required was included in my faith–that of turning from myself and my sin to the Saviour and His righteousness.”

    This sounds a lot like “turn from sin” for salvation.

  176. Jimmy, John and all.

    There was a time when I recommended Miles Stanford — but no more. He, like so many others, has flashes of genius on Bible Doctrine and at other times, seems like he drags the muck from the bottom of the LS swamp. Pitiful !! And I should go back and put disclaimers on every reference — if I can find them. (If you run across a place where I have quoted him, please let me know). Stanford’s quote reported by John is egregiously wrong.. and who but the Lord knows why. Stanford is gone and unchallengeable.

    Make sure when you go to the Stanford web site that you read an actual quote from Stanford.. I have noticed that since his death, someone else is writing articles there.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  177. John, I have seen Miles Stanford’s name mentioned by others, but have not looked into his teachings. Nevertheless, it is indeed odd (at best) for anyone grounded in biblical grace to recommend/reference in a positive way a person who makes the above statements Stanford makes.

    I don’t have time now, but I’m going to take a deeper look later tonight at the statements by Stanford you’ve shared here. They are, quite frankly, confusing on many levels.

  178. Jimmy, another enigma, widely referenced in Grace circles, is Miles Stanford. We discussed some of his quotes on another thread. Here is a summary:

    On repentance:

    “In the Gospel of the uncircumcision the order is: belief in Christ, repentance for sin, reception of the Spirit, and then water baptism–the public confession of identification with Christ in His death and resurrection.”

    Stanford seems to say that “repentance for sin” precedes “reception of the Spirit”. This is not accurate and is LS in nature.

    On witnessing:

    “We are first to be witnesses, then soul-winners. When the Lord Jesus is reigning and manifest in us, others will hunger for Him: “Sir, we would see Jesus” (John 12:21). When the Holy Spirit has convicted them of their need for the Savior, they will freely exercise “repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). Thus, they will not be badgered into a decision to get saved before they are convicted of being lost; neither will they be coming to Him to get, but to give. At his conversion, Paul, “trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6).”

    Stanford seems to be suggesting that we give something to Christ to be saved, rather than coming to Him to receive eternal life.

  179. Clarification- my dad did not end up Mennonite though.

  180. Jimmy, so you are a chiropractor? Love going to chiropractors (a good one that is).
    My dad was born Mennonite and had many Amish/Mennonite relatives. Had a great-uncle and aunt who truely did love the Lord, but you are right many are works based in their salvation. In fact, many Mennonites are leading the charge into emergent/mystic teachings.

  181. Eddy:

    Do you have many dealings with the Amish, G.B’s, Mennonites? My wife and I run a wellness center in rural Missouri (I’m a chiropractor; Cindy is a massage therapist), and many of our patients fall into that category. We just love these folks.

    I’ve found that the Amish and German Baptists (as a whole of course) are more open to re-considering the biblical Gospel than the Holdeman Mennonites (that’s the Mennonite sect in our region). One reason for this is the “One true Church” doctrine the Holdeman’s hold to. It was this group in particular I had in mind when I said, “scares the daylights out of others”. They’ve (not unlike other cults) been following man’s traditions and philosophy for so long, it appears to frighten them to not only think on their own, but dare go against what they’ve always been taught…and invested their lives in. And yet, these precious souls for whom Christ died would find real peace and assurance if only they’d realize that Christ’s cross-work is not just necessary, but ENOUGH!

    John/Eddy:

    Thanks for the comments regarding the quote. I have to almost laugh, because my wife gives me a hard, but fun time regarding my normally failed attempts at analogies, metephors, word pictures, etc… In this apparently successful and rare instance here, I can only say….”every squirrel finds a nut sometimes”!

  182. Dear Jimmy,
    You said “The simplicity of the Gospel encourages the desperate, makes angry the self-righteous, and scares the daylights out of others”
    I just love the sentence you wrote, how appropriate. Your observations on Amish, German Baptists, and Mennonites are also correct.
    Thanks for sharing.

  183. Jimmy, I like the quote: “the simplicity of the Gospel encourages the desperate, makes angry the self-righteous, and scares the daylights out of others.”

  184. Eddy:

    If you were a hypocrite, you wouldn’t admit that you fall short…but you admit such. I like your transparency. Thanks for the nice comments.

    With regard to Mt. 7:21-23, I can’t count the number of Amish, German Baptists, and Mennonites who, while a very sincere and kind people, have referred me to this passage in an attempt to bolster their faith + works plan of salvation. “We must do ‘the will of the Father’ if we are to have a hope of heaven”, they say. When I ask them to consider John 6:40 and its context, and gently explain that the “will of the Father” regarding salvation is simply to believe (trust in, rely upon, depend upon) Christ alone for salvation, I always, without fail, get a “dear in the headlights” look. The simplicity of the Gospel encourages the desperate, makes angry the self-righteous, and scares the daylights out of others.

  185. Dear John,

    Thanks for the excellent excepts. Your two postings are in my bookmarks.
    I will surely find them extremely useful in preaching the Gospel to the professing christians.

    Eddy

  186. And this quote from Pastor J.O. Hosler:

    “If we wish to define it (repentance) as a work of righteousness, then works are to be added to faith. But if it is a change of mind about thecrucifixion of Christ for our sins and His provision of justification, forgiveness,
    reconciliation, and sanctification, then it is not works added to faith. If the book of Acts seems to use the terms faith, belief, and repentance interchangeably (as we have already discussed in previous chapters), then we do not have works of personal righteousness being added to faith. If one did not believe in Christ five minutes ago but does so now, he has changed his mind. Salvation repentance is not turning from sin to Christ, but
    rather a turning to Christ with one’s sins. If someone believes in a false gospel, he cannot add Christ to his idol, but must turn his faith from a gospel which cannot save to Him Who can. It is not what one does with his sins, but rather what Christ does with his sins, that saves him.”

  187. Everyone that has read this thread should read the attached article from Charlie Bing on Matthew 7:21-23. These excerpts are right on point:

    “Works are not acceptable for obtaining God’s righteousness (Rom. 4:4-5). The only thing God wants an unbeliever to do is believe in His Son, Jesus Christ (John 6:27-29). The will of the Father is to believe in Jesus Christ for righteousness (Matthew 12:50; John 6:40)…

    Many people who think they are Christians may not be saved. They are trusting in proper Christian theology, dedicated service to Jesus Christ, or performance of great deeds. They have missed God’s will, which is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior from sin and receive His righteousness rather than try to establish self-righteousness.

    Those who do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior reveal an utter disrespect and contempt for God’s command and desire for them to believe. Jesus rejects such people because this unbelief is the greatest form of disobedience (John 3:36), or lawlessness…

    This passage shows that there can be unsaved professing Christians who follow Jesus Christ outwardly, but do not know Him personally. This passage cannot be used to say that those who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior are not saved unless they also submit to His lordship. That is exactly what the passage is not saying. There is no indication that this group has believed in Jesus as their Savior from sin, yet there is every indication that they have believed and submitted to Him as Lord of their lives. The reason they are not saved is that they have not done the Father’s will—believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior from sin who imputes His righteousness. Many professors of Christianity have a false security because they are looking at and trusting in their submission and their works instead of resting fully in the merit of Christ and His work on their behalf. Sadly, on the final Day of reckoning, they will find they do not have eternal life and have misled others to the same fate. We should surrender to Jesus Christ as our Lord, but we must believe in Him as our Savior if we are to have eternal life.”

    http://www.gracelife.org/resources/gracenotes.asp?id=52

  188. oops forgot the ?

  189. Well ditto that Eddy.

    I think we all are facing our certain inadequacies, but is it not wonderful that we have a Savior who is our High Priest and states that we can boldy come before the throne.

    Eddy and John F , good points on Piper and Chan and the regeneration fallacy.

  190. Dear Jimmy,
    I praise the Lord that he has given you the courage to express yourself in honesty. That alone is not easy to achieve. I am still far from able to do that. That is way I said I am still an hypocrite. You said: “I’m sick and tired of simply desiring to be a disciple.” I am certainly not better than you in that aspect.

  191. Dear Jim,
    Thanks for the explanation. After reading your response, I suddenly realized the Calvinists also believe repentance (of sins) is a gift. That means they don’t need to take any responsibilities of their repentance (of sins), since it is a gift implying God make them repent (of sins). God is the one who is pulling the strings. They are only puppets. Since they deny their own free will on every aspects of the Gospel, that also implies they deny that they are responsible for their own sins. I totally agree with your statement: “It’s dead like a corpse because it doesn’t save.”

  192. Jack, Faith, and John:

    Thank you for your prayers, and for taking the time to encourage me with your words, and God’s Word. You are a blessing.

  193. Eddy,
    I think part of the problem with the types like Piper is that they think that regeneration precedes faith. In other words: God chose some, at some point grants them regeneration, thereby allowing them to repent (of sins) and exercise faith. They teach that even faith is the gift of God. Then because of “perseverance of the saints” they teach that one must basically continue in good works lest anyone suspect that they weren’t really one of the elect to begin with.
    I feel that their lordship/discipleship/mastery position makes more sense in that light but it is still dead wrong. It’s dead like a corpse because it doesn’t save. Why, because it doesn’t happen that way.

  194. Absolutely wonderful verses John!
    Here is another wonderful verse!
    Hebrews 4:14-16
    14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

  195. Jimmy, will do. Some of the more encouraging words I can offer:

    Romans 8:38-39

    For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Psalm 23:6

    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.

  196. Jack, I love your response. Very humble and gracious.

  197. Will do Jimmy, just keep your eyes on Christ. I know I had been exhausted of late carrying the LAYERS of unneccessary religiosity and trying to make sense of what happened to me. I completely understand.
    I am very angry (not bitter) at the messages being “preached” out there in our American churches and the confusion that is being sown amongst believers and unbelievers. I am asking the Lord to help me with that. I just don’t trust anything anymore- except Him.

  198. Jimmy,

    I pray for all of you daily and will now remember Jimmy’s request.

    A disciple is a learner or follower. We need to realize, as was said before, there are different degrees of believer’s discipleship.. We grow in Grace, study the Word, learn and follow. We lovingly share our faith. We rejoice in seeing folks trust Christ alone as Savior — and especially so when we hear of those delivered from the lies of Calvinism and LS (and a myriad of other “religions.”)

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  199. Speaking candidly to you all, I’m sick and tired of simply desiring to be a disciple. Please pray for me.

    Jimmy

  200. Faith:

    You stated, “Now reading about the fact that these reformers were not trying to leave the RCC, but REFORM the RCC. I guesss that is why they are called the Reformers.” Couldn’t have said it better.

    John:

    I enjoyed reading pastor Hosler’s book review. He communicates with precision and accuracy the free gift of salavation by faith alone in Christ alone, as well as provides a penetrating analysis and refutation of the LS false gospel.

    One comment he made, which could easily go unnoticed, is especially worth repeating IMO: “There must be different degrees of discipleship”. When the LS advocate realizes this truth from Scripture, the cloud of LS confusion may begin to dissipate. Not all disciples are believers (e.g. Judas). Not all believers are disciples (e.g. Corinthian believers). Speaking for myself, I know I have trusted Christ and His finished cross-work alone to save me. I futher know from Scripture that having believed on the Son, I have everlasting life (John 3:36; 1 Jn. 5:10-13). But I am also acutely aware that, as a believer, I am far from meeting the costly demands of discipleship…though that’s where I desire to be.

  201. Dear Jim,
    Good point. I meant “repentance of sins and confessions of sins in order to be saved kind of sinner’s prayer, let us called that Lordship Salvation sinner’s prayer. I am not questioning those who prayed the LS sinners prayer unwillingly, i.e “under the gun”, but I just don’t understanding those who prayed the LS sinner’s prayer boldly. I guess all the Lordship Salvation proponents, such as John Piper, fit under that category. Why they are have such confidence in themselves? John Piper and France s Chen required others to totally surrender to God in order to be saved, are they deceiving themselves that they already achieved that? I just don’t understand their mindsets.

  202. Eddy,
    I guess it depends on what you mean by ‘the sinners prayer.”

  203. Dear Faith,

    I had exactly the same thought as you described. That voice finally caused me to breakdown and pray that sinner’s prayer. I were so unwilling to pray that prayer since I knew I would not be able to fulfil any of the requirements in the sinner’s prayer. Repentance of sins? I am still a sinner till the day I died. Confess of my sins to God? I am still a hypocrite till the day I died. Praying the sinners prayer is basically lying to God. That is why I were so uncomfortable of praying that sinners prayer. But that voice was breaking me down and finally, I surrendered to that voice and prayed the sinners prayer. I just don’t understand why so many people are so bold and with no hesitation to pray the sinner’s prayer. Are they even honest to themselves?

  204. I apologize for the poor formatting above. I realize it may be difficult ot distinguish the reviewer’s (Hosler’s) comment from the author’s (Idleman’s) quotes. Let me clarify.

    Idleman’s quote – “Let me be clear…There is no salvation without surrender. There is no life without death. There is no believing without committing.”

    Hosler’s comment- “When evangelizing, I dare not take the sinner’s eyes off of Christ’s surrender to the cross and His death on the cross and place their eyes on the sinner’s own death, surrender and level of commitment”

    Idleman’s quote – “I am jealous for you to discover that now and not waste another day living with some sort of watered-down and diluted form of Christianity…I believe eternity hangs in the balance.”

    Hosler’s comment – “Actually, the opposite is true. Anything we pour into the finished work of Christ is water that dilutes the pure gospel. Good works plus the Cross equals no saving gospel.”

  205. I recently re-read a book review, by Pastor J.O. Hosler, of the book “Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus” by Kyle Idleman.

    Hosler deftly addresses and then undresses the false gospel of LS in this book review. I offer a couple of choice quotes, but you should read it for yourself. See attached link.

    “When evangelizing, I dare not take the sinner’s eyes off of Christ’s surrender to the cross and His death on the cross and place their eyes on the sinner’s own death, surrender and level of commitment. Kyle says on P. 35: Let me be clear…There is no salvation without surrender. There is no life without death. There is no believing without committing.”

    In chapter 7, Kyle uses Matt. 7:21-23 to prove that faith without works and total commitment is a watered down gospel that will not save. P. 101: I am jealous for you to discover that now and not waste another day living with some sort of watered-down and diluted form of Christianity…I
    believe eternity hangs in the balance. Actually, the opposite is true. Anything we pour into the finished work of Christ is water that dilutes the pure gospel. Good works plus the Cross equals no saving gospel.”

    http://www.freegracealliance.com/pdf/Not%20A%20Fan_bookreview_Hosler.pdf

  206. Jimmy, that is definitely true about the reformers. I was always taught in Christian School to look up to the Reformers Martin Luther and etc. Now reading about the fact that these reformers were not trying to leave the RCC, but REFORM the RCC.
    I guesss that is why they are called the Reformers. Should have picked up on that one long ago.

  207. And I knew the voice was not the Holy Spirit. I thought at first it was me and I was getting extremely frustrated and depressed at why I was thinking these thoughts. I thought “Well maybe I am deceiving myself in thinking I was saved”- this is what LS/Calvinism can do to you. Satan then can use this to his advantage and further the trauma more.

  208. Eddy – No I was not at a Pentecostal church or into charismatic teachings, in fact I am quite aware of the false stuff that is going on in the Pentecostal, WOF movement, and charismatic churches. I was going to a Calvinist church. And I knew those voices in my head were NOT of the Lord. I knew that after awhile being in that church that Satan was planting seeds of doubt in my head about my salvation. I knew then that I needed to get out of that church because the more I stayed the more that I was steeped in false teaching. If we allow ourselves to be deceived Satan can do quite a number on us. I do agree however about your reading His Word and prayer 🙂

  209. Dear Jim,
    Thanks for your insightful and encouraging comments. I hope many more christians with a similar childhood background like us and is being deceived by LS would benefit from your postings.

    Dear Jimmy,
    I completely agree with your assessment on Luther and Calvin and the Protestant Reformation. We are on the same wave length. Thanks for posting.

  210. Dear Faith,

    The Pentecostals/charismatics tends to attribute that small voice to be the voice of the Holy Sprit. They are often asking people to listen to the Holy Spirit speaking to them, and they also telling people that God always speak with a small voice. Many of them experience hearing God talk to them on a frequent basis. I would recommend if you ever hear that small voice again, just read the Bible and ignore that voice. Certainly that voice is not from God. I will try to avoid the Pentecostals and the charismatics, except preaching the Gospel to them. Many of the early Pentecostals were from the holiness movement, they believe one’s faith is not genuine if one does not produce good fruits. My former pastor came from a Pentecostal family ministry, although his church is a non-denominational church. I spent four years in that church, and little by little without me consciously aware, my confidence in Christ was being eroded away. If I had known beforehand he still adhered to some of the Pentecostal believes, I certainly would have avoided attending his church. The pastor’s name is Rod Hembree.

    Google: “Ron Hembree”

  211. Eddy,
    I was glad to hear about your childhood conversion. I too was saved at a young age. At about five I new that I was a sinner and trusted Christ for salvation. I knew that He was God and that He died for me. I think at the time that I prayed a prayer. I know that it wasn’t my prayer itself that saved me but it was my trust in Christ alone. I was fortunate to grow up in a church that worked to build me up in the faith. They never brought in LS or Calvinism, or Reformed ideas.
    It seems that now days that type of church is going by the wayside. Our youth especially are being bombarded by what I sometimes call “cool guy” presentations that appeal to youth. They pump them up with music and ideas that promote a works oriented performance focused gospel.

    You said, “the feeling was like someone was pointing a gun to my head forcing me to confess and repent of my sins to God or else I would be sent to hell.” I have heard this type of testimony before especially from a friend that supposedly had this type of experience after hearing a Lordship speaker at a Christian camp. You know, the type of preacher who trumps up the idea of repentance to the point where he convinces everyone that they are most likely unsaved then gives them the LS gospel. This type of preacher also attempts to scare his audience by throwing around terms like “easy believism” and bashing early childhood decisions. I can identify with the thoughts that go through your mind in that scenario, especially as a youth. However, I must praise God that His Spirit always comforts me with the fact that I am His, regardless of my performance. It is because I know in whom I have believed and He is able.

  212. Eddy:

    I own, and often refer to the book you mention by Dr. Stanford. Like you, it grieved me to read the words you quoted. While Dr. Stanford’s book on evangelism is excellent, his assessment of Luther and Calvin being “great men of God” misses the mark. Moreover, the Protestant Reformation was anything but a back to the Bible movement where the issue of salvation by biblical grace through faith alone in Christ and His finished cross-work alone is concerned. Catholicism “lite” (i.e. Protestantism) is still Catholicism–“Goes down easier, but still kills.

    Good catch on your part Eddy.

  213. Eddy,

    That is an amazing quote from Stanford’s book (Ray had a co-author and editor, however). We used that book in our Personal Evangelism class at Florida Bible College (late 60s) — taught by Ray Stanford.. and I do not recall those quotes being discussed in class. I had not been saved very long — thus those names meant nothing to me.. (maybe Calvin just a tad since I escaped from Presbyterianism to atheism at about age 17).

    The book has been through many revisions and printings — and I can’t imagine those quotes remaining in later copies.

    I hear from Ray Stanford periodically and should challenge him on those statements but he is now 95, very ill with multiple cancers and other stuff in addition to being almost totally blind.. so I’ll just leave it alone — but I have been forewarned and can warn others when I give them a copy of the book… Thanks.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  214. Eddy, your conversion and experience was very similar to mine. Same thing happened when I went through LS/Calvinist church. Two years of doubts- voices in my head on a constant basis telling me I did not believe in Christ; I was a false convert; etc. The most debilitating spiritual time I had ever gone through. I left the church and within a few months the voices left. I literally had to leave- no, run out of there. Now being with just my family and having church at home I have been able to heal from the false messages I had been receiving at church. I know that this time is temporary and just waiting on the Lord to do what He wants with this family.

    By the way, have to say thank you for “iron sharpening iron” . I needed encouragement and this hit the spot.

  215. Here is the excerpt from the beginning of chapter XIV from the book Handbook of Personal Evangelism by Dr. A. Ray Stanford:

    “Through the study of church history we discover that the majority of those Protestant churches that were started during, and as a result of, the 16th Century Reformation were formed as an effort to have and maintain pure doctrine from the Word of God in their worship.

    Men such as Martin Luther were certainly great men of God, who stood firmly for the Word of God regardless of the terrible persecution they received. Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, and John Wesley were bold servants of the Lord who helped in leading the reform of the Christian church back to the fundamental teachings of the Word of God.

    However, the doctrines taught when the various denominations were STARTED are not necessarily the doctrines taught in these same denominations today. There have been many splits branching from the main denominations, and it is difficult to correctly “label” a particular doctrine as being taught by any entire denomination for this reason.”

    I could not agree with the author on this part of the otherwise excellent book.

  216. Jimmy,

    Thanks for your candid posting on describing the issues of Free Grace supporters unknowingly supporting the reformers. I even bookmarked your posting.

    Eddy

  217. John,
    I believe he must have heard it from his parents. I don’t know his parents but it was clear to me that some authority figure in his life told him that. I know he didn’t hear it from our pastor, though there may be some in our church who hold to the lordship view. I believe they are the exception. We get many people who come to our church from many different theological backgrounds. I’ve noticed that some that have come out of the catholic background seem especially prone to the lordship error.

    I am also often bothered by those who favorably quote from LS purveyors. Even if the quote itself has nothing to do with LS. And your are right, the reasons given can be laughable at best.

  218. Dear John, Faith, and Jim F.,

    Thanks for shedding more light on the issue of LS. I believed in Christ when I were a little kid, with a very simple childhood faith. I only understood at that time John 3:16. Although I have to admit that even in my childhood I implicitly understood John 3:16 spelled out God’s promise to mankind. Similar to Faith’s childhood experience, I did not understand the role of the Holy Sprit. I believed the Bible stories were all historic facts, including Christ’s death and resurrection for the purpose of paying for my sins and giving me eternal life. I even refused to walk the aisle, or to pray the sinner’s player in every evangelical evens for the reason that I knew I was saved. I could not even recall a definite moment that I turned from unbelief to belief, since I would not be able to recall any moment in my childhood that I did not believe in Christ. However, just few years ago, after listening to all those subtitle LS lies, I had a very brief moment doubting my salvation. I even fist time in my life prayed the sinner’s prayer and repented of my sins, that was immediately after listening to my former pastor’s preaching. At that moment in time when I decided to pray that sinner’s prayer, the felling was like someone was pointing a gun to my head forcing me to confess and repent of my sins to God or else I would be sent to hell. God allowed me to go through that experience but He quickly corrected me by showing me the teaching from the book of Galatians. After going through part of the book of Gallatin, I suddenly realized I should not have prayed that sinner’s prayer. I repented to God of praying the sinner’s prayer and thanked Him for bring me back to my childhood faith. After that incidence, I started to notice there is this thing called Lordship Salvation, and I were amazed by the prevalence of both the Lordship Salvation teaching and the teaching of the “all inclusive gospel” out there.

  219. I have spoken and corresponded with certain pastors, both local and nationally know, as to why they favorably quote purveyors of LS, such as MacArthur and Spurgeon. This answer is typical of the responses:

    “… they are great quotes that clearly express things we must give serious attention to.”

    For me, this is not a great answer. I am sure that everyone has said some things that we should give serious attention to.

  220. Bingo Jimmy! When I first came to the knowledge of eternal life being offered freely by Grace through faith in Christ, I was often confused by this very thing.

    I would get confused by reading material from people who accurately and masterfully taught the Gospel, but referenced, without disclaimer, people who pedaled false doctrine. Then, I would go to the references and read the material. I read several complete sermons by Spurgeon. There was very little good news in the Spurgeon material that I read. So, in terms of influence, I was being presented with both a valiant defense of the Gospel and then, by reference, an LS-laden false gospel.

    Then, Satan would attack and mock me with thoughts like “how can you believe what they say about the Gospel when they reference – and seem to tacitly approve – people who teach things that are diametrically opposite their views?”

  221. Jimmy,

    Your statement ending your comment is the essence of the problem:

    No doubt, there will be some readers of these otherwise wonderful books who think to themselves, “This author is discerning enough to be able to distinguish between salvation and discipleship, sonship and fellowship, etc. so the people he speaks positively of in his book (e.g. Luther, Spurgeon, Calvin etc.) are surely worthy of my reading time”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Souls are in the balance.

    Yes Jimmy, who we recommend, what we say and write are all subject to scrutiny and adoption by others thus we MUST use great care.. Thanks for that.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  222. John:

    I had forgotten about the referencing of Spurgeon in the booklet; thank you for that needed reminder. While I, too, appreciate Dennis Rosker’s clear and accurate teachings on the grace of God, a disclaimer regarding Spurgeon would have indeed been appropriate.

    In truth, I am baffled by the number of otherwise good books/pamphlets which masterfully defend the Gospel of God’s grace/refute LS and other false gospel’s on one hand, then on the other hand reference (in positive terms) men who at best sided with the Gospel of grace occassionally (e.g. Spurgeon), and who at worst did everything they could to undermine biblical grace grace (e.g. Martin Luther). Spurgeon, no doubt unknowingly, confused and misled folks (which is bad enough), but Luther is another story altogether. In fact, I’ve yet to witness more clever, purposeful deceit than that penned by the so-called “champion of justification by faith alone”.

    I have on my bookshelf approximately 12 or 13 books which defend the Gospel and refute LS. However, MOST of them reference or quote in a postive way, and on multiple occassions, the likes of Spurgeon, Calvin, and Luther. One book, in particular, makes repeated attempts to suggest that Luther defended “faith alone in Christ alone”. Say what?! Luther’s message was always a sacramental gospel–faith alone in the power of water baptism to save, communion, absolution, etc. necessary to “maintain” that salvation.

    I can only conclude that these otherwise discerning authors have not applied the same level of discernment to the teachings of the aformentioned men as they have to the Gospel and LS. And this is no small concern. No doubt, there will be some readers of these otherwise wonderful books who think to themselves, “This author is diserning enough to be able to distinguish between salvation and discipleship, sonship and fellowship, etc. so the people he speaks positively of in his book (e.g. Luther, Spurgeon, Calvin etc.) are surely worthy of my reading time”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Souls are in the balance.

  223. Ewww… that excerpt by Spurgeon was downright awful! First, how in the world would we even know at the point of conversion what full repentance even was? It is like putting the cart before the horse don’t you think? When we put our belief and trust in Christ we THEN start to understand what repentance really means. Also, It is ONLY by the Holy Spirit that brings us into that point of understanding. There again we are trusting in ourselves to have something to do with our salvation!
    John – yes, as a child is what Christ was talking about- the belief of a child. Simple, trusting faith. Think about it- as children with our parents we put our simple trust in them- fully believing that they will guide us and protect us. It should be absolutely this way with the Savior! This is why the broken hearted and the oppressed could see it in Christ- they were so broken that there was no other place to go, but to Him. They simply had to believe and trust like a child. Adults lose that ability because we are baraged with man based solutions to our difficulties that we face. Do this and you will be happy? Find this path and there will be peace? Etc……. Oh, Praise God that I went back to understanding of what I did as a child!!! I listened too long to the philosophies and vain repetitions of man.

  224. Jim F, very interesting story about the 8 year old boy.

    Where would he hear that one had to make Jesus ruler of his life in order to be saved?

    Where would he not?

  225. Jimmy, I highly respect the Duluth Bible Church, agree with their statement of faith regarding salvation fro sin’s penalty, and admire Dennis Rokser as one of the foremost champions of teaching the Gospel.

    However, with respect to this particular booklet, I was turned off by the favorable reference to Spurgeon as the Prince of Preachers of the 19th century. Spurgeon is a terrible person to reference, without significant caveats. Consider these excerpts from Spurgeon’s sermon “Turn or Burn”:

    “All sin must be given up, or else you shall never have Christ: all transgression must be renounced, or else the gates of heaven must be barred against you. Let us remember, then, that for repentance to be sincere it must be entire repentance.”

    These quotes from Spurgeon are at odds with Duluth Bible Church’s statement of faith.

    Spurgeon appeared to have seasons in life in which he embraced the Gospel. But, he has a large body of work that clearly sees him drifting into the error of what we now call Lordship “salvation”.

  226. I read a wonderful booklet several months ago that, IMO, speaks to much of what is being discussed in this thread. The booklet is titled, “Let’s Preach The Gospel”, and is authored by Dennis Rokser, pastor of Duluth Bible Church. For those interested in getting a copy, the contact information is:

    (218) 724-5914 / http://www.duluthbible.org

  227. Faith, your story about coming to Christ as a child is extremely poignant and is the Biblical standard according to Jesus.

    Luke 18:17 (NKJV) “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

    A child would trust Jesus at his word. An child would not hear John 3:16 and add some cynical bargain to it. The LS religion removes childlike faith and adds a bunch of conditions to it. The LS religion reads more like an auto lease – lots of small print and weasel words.

    I had to become like a child again in order to trust in Christ.

  228. Eddy, I love your candor and agree with much of what you say. You have every reason to be concerned about your sister’s eternal destiny. It is possible she was saved as a child, in which case, she still is – even though her testimony shows no signs of life. But, it would be terribly negligent to assume that she is saved.

    For me, her case is not much different than someone who is involved with LS. They do not currently believe the Gospel. It is possible that they once did, but they do not now.

    I remember when I read the true Gospel about sixteen months ago. When I got to the part about how to receive Christ through faith, I thought I was missing a chapter. I kept thinking “where is the rest of it”. You know , the part about turning from my sins and committing my life to Christ?” My natural inclination, as well as my upbringing in SBC churches, had told me that Christ’s sacrifice and my faith in that, had to be attended by the desire to turn from sins and commit my life to Christ.

    Here is a simple logical flow:
    1. Is the Gospel true? Yes.
    2. Is LS the Gospel? No. LS is a false works-based man-made religion.
    3. Can both the Gospel and LS be true? No. They are mutually exclusive.
    4. If someone has always believed a false gospel, have they ever believed in the Gospel? No.

  229. To clarify- none of us can know about grace without the Holy Spirit and we are still learning more about His grace.
    And I hope I have been of grace in my response. 🙂

  230. This is what makes all this confusing to say the least and we don’t truely -100% know where that persons heart is. People, obviously, that are from unbelieving backgrounds cannot understand the doctrine of grace other then that of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit teaches in various of ways. This comes to the point of these Scriptures:
    Acts 16:25-34
    25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”
    29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
    31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.
    Luke 23:39-42
    39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ,[j] save Yourself and us.”
    40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord,[k] remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
    43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

    1 John 4:14-16
    14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

    John 11:23-27
    25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
    27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

  231. I was just mulling over all this and started thinking over my own salvation conversion. I am willing to be corrected, but this is how I see from Scripture. It is the Holy Spirit’s role to show us what grace really is. To some raised in the church and then become saved they see things by the way they were taught- whether wrong or right. They have had the opportunities to become theologically trained and some have had the opportunities to study scripture and see what grace really is. Others who were saved as a child did not have that understanding of the doctrine of grace and profess their belief in Christ based on simple faith. I know I did not have that knowledge- like I said before – I wanted Jesus. Over the years the Holy Spirit showed me what my salvation in the Lord really meant. Others who came to Christ were from unbelieving homes. Take for instance a person who was a drug abuser and then became so broken to the point he had no where else to go but to Christ. Did he understand the doctrine of grace at those moments? If he did it was the Holy Spirit that showed him- he obviously was not studying Scripture at the time to get it.
    He simply confessed his belief in Christ- not even knowing what all this grace stuff meant. Look at the thief on the cross or the adulterous woman- did they FULLY comprehend what grace was all about- No they simply confessed their belief in Him, knowing in their broken moments He would saved them. This is what makes the grace of God so wonderful!!
    We come with lots of baggage of sin and beliefs along with it- Jesus simply said come and I will give you rest. The Holy Spirit does the rest and all of us are different and come with different set of obstacles that are roadblocks along the way.

  232. I do believe however the more Calvinist/Lordship Salvation this church becomes the more difficult it will be to hear the clear message of grace and more WILL NOT know grace, because all they will be hearing is the messages of Piper, Driscoll,etc.and think that is the gospel.
    I see alot from the Calvinist/LS clan that eventually start reading Augustine and slowly but surely turn to RCC.

  233. “As I understand it, when Paul wrote the book of Galatians, Paul knew the Galatians were saved because he had brought them to Christ at the first place. He knew they were born again Christians by their confessions at the time when they put their trust in Christ. Similarly, we should know whether one is a born again Christian or not based on one’s confession. Otherwise, how are we supposed to choose those that we can fellowship with? We should only fellowship with believers. If only “God knows one’s heart”, then how are we supposed to know if anyone is a true believer?”

    Here then is the issue Eddy- the church I went to (that was Reformed based) did make confessions of knowing Christ and joyfully; also saw from their life that they were wanting to live for the Lord. In fact, they made the case continually that no one could come to Christ based on their works but in Christ alone. I could not at all put them in the unbeliever status- then what would that make me? They believed in the same Christ, they believed that He died for them, and they chose Christ. The issue was for me the attachments of works after salvation and the fact that children were not quite knowledgeable enough to know clearly what salvation is. There was an elitism that came through in theology of LS and Calvinism. But yes, I did see and hear Christians at this church- they were just getting caught up in the doctrines of man and deserting the gospel of grace.

  234. Dear John,

    May be I am not making myself clear. If someone confess to me he never even once believed in the free grace Gospel, and he confess to me he always and only believed in the LS gospel, I think it would not be too far a stretch to mention to him that the Gospel he believed in cannot save him. I do agree with you there is no way for us to know for sure. However, we should be able to know enough simply by one’s confession of his/her belief. I also agree with you that we should not judge one’s faith by “inspecting their fruits”. However, I don’t think asking one’s confession of his faith is under the same category as “fruit inspection”. Paul clearly knew the Galatians were saved. Paul also knew those filthy carnal Corinthians were saved. How would he know? By their confessions of their faith. If we have enough confidence to acknowledge someone is saved base on his/her verbal confession, why we would not be able to tell likewise one never have been saved based only on his or her verbal confession? I know all of us, ie. you, Jack, Bruce, Faith, Tom, Pearl are saved. Should I not say that all of us are saved because “only God knows one’s heart?” Is it save for us the say one is not saved if one confess he/she always believed in the LS gospel?

    Please forgive me of being straight. I just want to understand why we have little issue of acknowledging believers but have so big an issue of acknowledging those “perpetual LS believers” as not saved in need of salvation. Are we giving the LS proponents too much benefit of the doubt?

    Let me give you another real example. I and My sister went to the same two baptist churches when we were kids. We were even baptized at the same day. However, she was later renounce her faith and became an atheist. About a year ago she became a participating buddhist. Is it reasonable for me to warn her that unless she believe in Christ, she will certainly perish? I tried to preach to her the Gospel of Christ but she stopped me immediately, that was at the time she was still an atheist. I tried multiple times without success. I even offer to send her books but she refuse to accept my offer. She told me God was created by man. She even refused to read the emails I sent to her. Now I could only pray to God to open her eyes.

    Eddy

  235. Speaking of children being to LS lies. I was at my church last week asking a boy what he thought it meant to be saved. He started by talking about faith and believing in Jesus then he added the fact the he needed to make Jesus the ruler of his life in order to be saved.

    I’m sure he didn’t come up with that himself. He must have been only eight years old. I think we are seeing many of our younger generation being taken by lies even in our own churches. It should be cause for some alarm.

    I am also distressed by my friends that now have embraced the LS teachings. Many I believe are saved, but I guess there is the possibility that some never fully came to Christ without leaving their own works out of it. I have often wondered if should view them as confused believers or as lost people altogether. The answers aren’t always easy but I know that I can pray for them and trust them to God’s hands. I can also do my part to expose the lies that are put forth by LS advocates people like John Piper. This is personal to me at times because it grieves me to see the damage of the LS error on those around me.

    Jim F

  236. I meant “all of the right things or all of the wrong things”

  237. Eddy, I agree that the LS folks are trying to indoctrinate our youth. The sad thing about it is that they think they are fulfilling the Great Commission, when in fact, they are going 180 degrees in the wrong direction.

    It is impossible to tell whether someone is a born again Christian by their confession – whether they say all of the right things or all of the right things. It is also impossible to know whether someone who is dead is in Heaven or Hell, unless the Bible specifically tells us.

    If you were to ask someone if they knew they were going to Heaven and why, you should be able to discern whether or not they know the Gospel. If they seem confident in their salvation, based on Grace through faith in Christ alone, then you may surmise they have heard the Gospel and have a basic understanding of it. If, on the other hand, they seem unsure of their salvation or express confidence in their salvation based on a false gospel (such as LS or Roman Catholicism), you may surmise that they either have not heard they true Gospel, have not believed it, or once believed it and have fallen from Grace. In these instances, sharing the Gospel with them is the best thing to do.

    I think Jimmy said it very well and very succinctly:

    “…we just can’t know for sure whether the person enmeshed in another gospel has in the PAST believed Christ alone for salvation. To err toward not sharing the gospel with such a person could prove tragic (Mt. 7:21-23). To err toward sharing the Gospel with this person can only be gain.”

  238. The LS proponents are now even trying to motivate the teenagers to teach the LS gospel to the little kids. How much longer should we tolerate them? Tolerance is different than love. We should love them by pointing out their erroneous believes, hope they will change their mind and believe in Christ. Otherwise, we just watch them continue to deceive themselves and to deceive others, even deceiving those innocent teenagers and those little kids. I am very thankful that God gave gave me the opportunity to believe in Him when I were just a little kid. We should not tolerate with those LS proponents and watching them to continuously trying to destroy those innocent souls just simply because we gave ourself the excuse of not questioning their faith for the reason that “only God knows their hearts”. If one trying to point out to the professing christians that Mother Teresa is in Hell because she believed in the worked-based gospel, one will likely get the response: “How could you be certain she is in hell?. Only God knows her heart.”

    Google: “CEF Gospel Clean Page”

    Google: “That’s The Gospel CEF 5-Day Club Song”

    Google: “CEF That’s the Gospel Lyrics”

    As I understand it, when Paul wrote the book of Galatians, Paul knew the Galatians were saved because he had brought them to Christ at the first place. He knew they were born again christians by their confessions at the time when they put their trust in Christ. Similarly, we should know whether one is a born again christian or not based on one’s confession. Otherwise, how are we suppose to choose those that we can fellowship with? We should only fellowship with believers. If only “God knows one’s heart”, then how are we suppose to know if anyone is a true believer?

    “That if thou shalt CONFESS WITH THY MOUTH the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Roman 10:9-10 (Emphasis are mine)

  239. Thanks Faith,

    We need to thank Bruce for bringing up this discussion through the Piper article.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  240. Amen to all responses here- add to Jimmy, Jack, and John in the sense that wherever we go we need to preach the gospel of Grace- the FREE gift of grace that is. If we do just that, the Lord takes care of those who received that gift. If some Christian has gotten sidetracked then we lovingly admonish and bring them back to the truth of God’s gift of free grace. I so wish that when I was a child that somebody would have discipled me growing up in the doctrines of grace. I just knew that when I was nine I wanted Jesus and I knew He died for me and I believed it and in Him- it was simple faith for me; I had NO idea of the theology of grace- no one clearly explained these things to me. Also, no one even told me what the Holy Spirits role was in my life either and I went to church all my life not being taught certain truths. So you can imagine how many people who became Christians at an early age and then were led astray.

    The Lord bless you guys! 🙂

  241. I shoud have added that we just can’t know for sure whether the person emeshed in another gospel has in the PAST believed Christ alone for salvation. To err toward not sharing the gospel with such a person could prove tragic (Mt. 7:21-23). To err toward sharing the Gospel with this person can only be gain.

  242. If I speak to a person who claims he is trusting Jesus alone as his Savior and yet he also speaks Lordship “salvation” precepts — I must ask him, “Which teaching do you truly believe.” Without clear words from him we must assume he believes both.. which cannot save.
    But if he says he trusts in Jesus Christ alone for his salvation, then I would ask “What are you thinking? Why then do you continue to preach and adhere to the LS lies of works for salvation?” He is a double minded person.
    James 1:8
    A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

    My first concerned is for his soul — but even more I am concerned for those he will be teaching and influencing in the future with his false words.

    We should not play patty-cake with those who claim a dual “faith”, (mixing LS and grace – which is false), but with kindness and love we are instructed to exhort, convince and share the faithful Word:
    Titus 1:9
    Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

    Evidence of double minded thinking is obvious in the impossible and incongruous LS/Free Grace hybrid religion.

    Those who adhere to any of the LS precepts to assure their eternity need to understand and believe the Gospel of salvation by God’s Grace, through faith in Christ alone. It is a GIFT Period! And then he should grow in grace from there. We see evidence of that amazing growth from some of our wonderful friends here.

    I pray daily for wisdom for myself. Likewise I pray the Lord will continue to bless each of you, our faithful readers.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  243. John:

    Though posed to Bruce, your question, “Are you able to discern that someone who is actively promoting such doctrine truly believes in Christ alone by faith alone?”, and comment, “…if someone is ardently defending LS teaching, they need a fresh presentation of the true Gospel” are worthy of alll grace-oriented believers’ serious consideration.

    To all:

    In fact, is this (a fresh presentation of the Gospel) not the same exact remedy Paul, led by the Holy Spirit, provided the Galatian believers who were being bewitched by another gospel? (Gal. 1:3-5; 2:16, 21; 313-14, etc..)

    Paul wasn’t concerned with labeling folks “unsaved’ or “saved” (just as John in this post clearly is not), but Paul was acutely aware of the only antidote to a false gospel–The Gospel of the Grace of God.

  244. Also from Charlie Bing (on LS):

    “What is at stake, of course, is the clear Gospel, our confidence in sharing the Message, our assurance of salvation, our Christian life, growth, joy, and happiness. There‟s a lot at stake. But let‟s not forget the main thing at stake is not theology, but the souls of people who can be misled. That is what is at stake.”

    Charlie Bing is not recommending fruit inspection. He is recommending that we quit playing games with this deadly, insidious lie of LS, because it is not just a matter of assurance – it is a matter of salvation itself for non-believers who are misled by it.

  245. Burning Lamp, I agree that one must know he is a sinner in order to need a savior. I believe repent means a change of mind, but I don’t believe it has sin as an object in salvation passages. I would heartily recommend that you read the section on repentance from the tract entitled “The Gospel” – see link below. Following are some excerpts:

    WHAT SAVING REPENTANCE IS NOT:

    1. Saving repentance is not being sorry for your sins.
    2. Saving repentance is not turning from your sins or reforming your life.
    3. Saving repentance is not the willingness to turn your life over to God so that He can direct your path.

    Saving repentance has absolutely nothing to do with regretting your sins or resolving to turn from them. God is willing to save you just the way you are. The Bible says:

    While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

    WHAT SAVING REPENTANCE IS:

    The principle word for “repentance” is from the Greek noun “metanoia,” and the Greek verb “metanoeo.” Metanoia simply means “a change of mind.” When used in the context of eternal salvation, repentance is a change of mind about Jesus Christ, and His eternal divinity, His atoning death, His victorious resurrection, and His offer of eternal salvation by faith alone, apart from the works of the law.

    http://duluthbible.org/261986.ihtml

  246. I know I sound like a broken record (for anyone old enough to remember record players), but the following is a concise summary of my views on LS:

    1. We are not saved by faith. We are saved by Grace, through faith.
    2. It is the object of our faith (Jesus Christ), not the quality of our faith through which we are saved.
    3, If we try to pay for Grace, then it is no longer Grace.
    4. Someone who is saved and falls into the LS trap is still saved
    5. If people are trusting at all in their own works, they are trying to pay for Grace. This can happen to a saved or unsaved person.
    3. If someone never in their life trusts in Christ alone, there is no hope for salvation.

  247. I agree completely about Lordship Salvation, however, I do believe that repentance for sins or acknowleging one is a sinner is part of the salvation process. One has to know one needs a Savior and that one is a sinner in order to receive the GIFT of salvation. This does not in any way include works of any kind, but rather a change of mind.

  248. Here are some of my favorite quotes on the subject:

    1. “The Bible speaks of salvation as a FREE GIFT. It is not only said to be a gift, but a free gift. Yet, to the Lordship Salvationist, it’s the only gift that costs us everything. If salvation costs me a dime, it is no longer a gift because I must pay for it. There are big words like repentance that people often are confused about, but “gift?” Come on!”

    Lou Martuneac

    2. “We know that the Roman Catholics teach that we are saved by faith plus works. Lordship Salvation teaches that we are saved by faith that works. But do not both definitions include works as a condition necessary for faith to be valid, for faith to be effectual? Either way, works are a necessary condition of faith.”

    Charlie Bing

    3. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!

    Jesus (Matthew 7:21-23)

    Note that Jesus does not refute the works of the people claiming to have done them. Note that Jesus does not refute that the people did these works in His name. Note that these people recognized and respected Jesus as Lord. Note that these people had never accepted Jesus as Savior, because they were relying on their own works.

  249. Eddy, i agree with your comments.

    Faith, I agree with what you said about people drifting into error still being saved. However, the “turn from your sins” and “commit your life” to Jesus for salvation that is being taught by the SBC and others is, like you said:

    “I do, however, in total agreement with the fact if one believes at the “onset of salvation” that one has to work to get that salvation and in his or her heart did not believe that Christ’s death was enough then that is a different story.”

    Turning from one’s sins and committing one’s life to Christ are works. If one thinks, from the outset, that these works are necessary for salvation, he is not trusting in Christ. He believes that Christ is necessary for his salvation , but not sufficient. He does not believe that Jesus paid it all. He thinks Jesus made a down payment.

  250. Here we see Paul talking to the believers in Galatia and how quickly they were deserting grace. Were they still Christians? Sure they were. The problem here was that they were beginning to attach to their faith works. Even in the OT Abraham attached works by lying about Sarah and also marrying Sarah’s handmaiden. He felt in his way he could attach something to the birth of Israel on his own. He stopped trusting in God.
    We as Christians ALL do this at many different times and I would say those who became Christians as children could get caught in a works based doctrine easily.

    Galations 1: 1-12

    1 Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers and sisters[a] with me,

    To the churches in Galatia:

    3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

    No Other Gospel
    6 I AM ASTONISHED THAT YOU ARE SO QUICKLY DESERTING THE ONE who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
    10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

    Paul Called by God
    11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.

  251. I am in agreement here with Bruce from his last posts- we then become the inspectors of whether or not anyone “truly” received Christ by grace or not. Our business is to tell the gospel, it is God’s business to know whether one received Him by grace or not. God knows the heart of that individual. I came to Christ in simple faith, throughout my teen years and early twenties drifted away from that simple faith. Is it not those who drift away as Christians even with their doctrinal beliefs just the same as those who drift away into sinful acts such as adultery, etc? Are not the two putting their faith in the flesh of this world? Whether in false beliefs or immorality? Both are works of the flesh and really it depends on whether or not at the onset of salvation whether someone truly believes that Christ is who He is and believes in His ability to save him or her. We ALL tend to carry with us some kind of works attached- I did, but I still believed that Christ was who He was and that He saved me. It was over time that I began to see that my works were nothing- that He did not need anything of mine to give. So when did I become saved? At the age of nine. Christ knew me and my baggage- we all carry it. Did Paul tell the Galations that they were not truly saved because they believed a false doctrine of works/legalism? No, this letter was written to Christians, believers.
    I do, however, in total agreement with the fact if one believes at the “onset of salvation” that one has to work to get that salvation and in his or her heart did not believe that Christ’s death was enough then that is a different story.

  252. Dear John and Jack,

    I absolutely agree with you both. Let us look at the scripture:

    “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and MANY there be which go in thereat: Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 (All emphases are mine)

    I don’t think it is scriptural to assume one is saved if he or she knowingly choose the LS gospel instead of the Free Grace Gospel. Most of the churches nowadays are preaching the LS gospel, could we expect that most of the professing christians are saved?

    It is clear to me that the foundation of the works-based gospel is no difference than any other religious beliefs, they are all based on self righteousness as a necessary requirement for entering the gate of heaven. LS is the biggest lie. Satan is not only try to drag the believers into the LS camp for the purpose of making them unprofitable, but also trying to deceive many more people into believing another gospel from the outset. Please be aware that Satan is trying to subvert the professing christians into the one world false church. This false church will remain to exist after the Rapture. It is my believe that only FEW will be part of the rapture party, most of the professing christians will remain on this earth to support the one world false church after the rapture. It is very sad that many born again christians are still putting up with those who confess their belief is the necessity, but not the sufficiency of Christ. Please do not be deceived. It is very clearly stated in the Bible that there is only ONE Gospel. Base on my observation, I suspect that most of the new professing christians, including most of the young professing christians from those so call Christian Universities, are being deceived by the LS Gospel from the outset. Unless we are certain that one is saved based on one’s testimony of his/her belief, we should never assume that soul is saved if he/she show any sign of believing in Christ plus something. The Gospel of Christ is Christ plus absolutely NOTHING.

  253. Also from Clear Gospel Campaign:

    “Lordship Salvation” is the false doctrine whereby God offers a lost sinner the promise of eternal life in exchange for a lost sinner’s promise of future works. It is thereby an exchange of promises, or a bilateral contract. Because the controversy of Bilateral Contract Salvation developed more slowly than the question of other works of man commonly required within religion for man’s eternal salvation, advocates of “Lordship” or Bilateral Contract Salvation are embedded within the framework of evangelicalism, and generally regarded as a different “flavor” of the evangelical faith.

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

  254. The Bible is explicitly clear that once someone trusts in Christ for salvation, he is eternally secure, no matter what twists and turns his faith may take thereafter.

    The Bible is also explicitly clear that salvation is by Grace, through faith in Christ. I have excerpted some thoughts, on the subjects of Grace and Faith, from Clear Gospel Campaign:

    GRACE: IT MUST BE RECEIVED AS A GIFT

    The word “grace” means something which is given freely . . . without cost or obligation…there only exists a gift when the subject is willing to receive the object from the giver under the terms of the offer . . . that is, as a gift.

    A GIFT: THE MOMENT YOU OFFER SOMETHING IN EXCHANGE FOR IT, IT IS NO LONGER A GIFT. IT BECOMES A DEBT!

    “No deal! It’s a gift! Accept it on that basis, or not at all!”

    Now to him who works, his wages are not counted as grace, but as a debt. Romans 4:4

    Only when you put your money back in your pocket and stretched forth your empty hand would he renew his offer and extend the gift to you.

    The same is true with God’s offer of eternal life. People try to purchase eternal life by obeying the Ten Commandments, living a good life, going to church, or some other religious work. But God will not make Himself a debtor to any man! He does not “owe” eternal life to anyone. He will offer it only as a gift!

    FAITH: MAN’S RESPONSE TO CHRIST

    Because eternal life is the gift of God, anything man did to “earn” eternal life would nullify the reality of the gift. There is only one way by which men might receive the gift of eternal life through a free will act which did not involve work. That free will act is called faith… When we mirror in our mind the motives of God to offer eternal life freely, we are believing Him on His Word. Receiving a gift requires mirroring the offerer’s thoughts, and this requires believing the offer is true. This is why faith is not contrary to grace, but rather, is an essential part of grace.”

  255. I have to say I was influenced by LS teachings and my husband was greatly influenced by Calvinist teachings when he was younger- both of us saved. Still my husband has some residue of Calvinism in his thinking, but is relying on the Lord to heal him in these areas. If we look at the Galations, we can see the same believers influenced by legalistic/works teachings- even Peter was influenced and probably taught it himself until he was reprimanded. I even stated things to people in my life that were spiritually wrong in doctrine, but asked the Lord to forgive me even though it took me several years. At the Reformed church I went to there were definitely those who loved the Lord Jesus with all their hearts- They started out as a independant Baptist church and slid into Calvinism. I have to say it is easy to do, because Satan knows how to tempt us in many different areas of our lives, whether legalism or immorality. Paul had to deal with both aspects in the church. Subtle sin is far more pervasive then outright blatant sin- it gets you before you know if you are not rightly dividing the truth of God’s Word.

  256. John and Jack,

    Of course my comments had more to do with individuals who, largely out of ignorance of Scripture, have been influenced by the pervasive LS teachings of Chan, MacArthur, Piper, et. al.

    Bruce

  257. Bruce, my understanding of the Gospel was influenced by LS teachings to the extent that I did not believe that God offered salvation as a free gift. I thought he offered it, as long as I did my part. When I realized I didn’t have a part, except in accepting His free gift through faith, I was finally saved.

    I haven’t gone through anything personally that any other believer has not gone through. Being dead in my sins until I accepted salvation by Grace through faith in Christ alone.

  258. I find it queationable to assume that one who professes and preaches the lie of Lordship salvation is trusting Jesus Christ alone for their salvation, especially if they truly believe the lie they continue to profess and teach.
    God’s Grace and LS works simply aren’t compatible for salvation and will never mix. (Romans 11:6)

    Certainly a believer can become enmeshed in Lordship teaching and expound it til the cows come home — but aren’t we remiss if we hear their false words mixed with the occasional true words they say (not their works [fruit] but their false words) and assume that they have truly trusted Christ as their Savior? Words mean things.

    I prefer to err on the side of assuming they are not saved. We can look over scores of LS advocates who visit our web site here and we witness their double-talk and their LS error mixed with their version of LS “grace.” They need to trust Jesus Christ — not their LS doctrine.

    Yes, God knows if they are saved or not — and they themselves should know but my job as a minister is to be sure that they, rather than erroneously quoting the book of James to justify their error, hear, understand and believe the real meaning of God’s Grace:
    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.”
    Ephesians 2:8-9

    The simple clear Gospel of Jesus Christ is the message that clears the air as we, in one spirit, strive together for the faith of the Gospel. (Philippians 1:27)

    Precious Souls are at stake!!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  259. Hi John,

    I totally get it about your wonderful conversion testimony and I rejoice with you completely in that! And I fully understand about your taking a hardline stance on LS issues as a result of what you have gone through personally. Your experience has given you a powerful voice in the Free Grace movement and you are an inspiration to many. And you have often caused me to view the issues through another set of lenses.

    Speaking purely from my own observations and relationships with other believers, I have seen many people whom I believe to be genuine Christians whose understanding of the Bible and of the gospel has been influenced (tainted if you will) by the oh-so-pervasive Lordship Faith teachings on television, sermons, tapes and books. Probably they could use a fresh presentation of the grace gospel, not for salvation, but in order that they might be able to begin to realize the joy and assurance of salvation that God would want for them to possess through their faith in Christ Jesus.

  260. Bruce, since LS is a false doctrine that involves works for salvation, how are you able to discern that someone who is actively promoting such doctrine truly believes in Christ alone by faith alone?

    I am not for labeling anyone, no matter what they profess. But, if someone is ardently defending LS teaching, they need a fresh presentation of the true Gospel.

  261. Jack,

    This comment that you made is important:

    “Obviously, we do not know the mind of others who claim to be believers — we only know what they SAY they believe. If we become “fruit inspectors” (we judging and condemning their salvation based on their behavior) we then put ourselves into the LS camp.”

    I, like Ken, want to be very very careful about labeling anyone an unbeliever based upon his or her coming to Faith in Christ through an LS church or setting, or of her falling prey to LS teachings later on. I do think that John’s warnings about some LS followers not really being saved is valid; however, my personal assessment of LSers whom I’ve known is that they are generally true believers in Christ alone by faith alone, but that they have allowed LS teaching to rob them of the joy and assurance that God intended for them to possess.

    Bruce

  262. Jimmy,

    Thank you so much for your kind words and thoughts and thanks, too, for your telling us about the Christian lady who rediscovered her joy and assurance of salvation. That was such an encouragement to us all!

  263. Pearl,

    You were correct in your assessment that my thoughts about Pentecostals were more about some of the TBN personalities. Sorry to leave such a broad-brushed comment. Thanks for your words of clarification.

  264. John,

    Your daughter says, the average of perfection (Christ) and imperfection (me) is imperfection.

    Very astute… wise daughter..

    We miss God’s mark of perfection in all our efforts (sin).. only through faith alone in Jesus Christ can we be found In Him and justified before God:
    Philippians 3:9
    And be found in him, 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:

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  265. Thanks Jack! I agree that becoming fruit inspectors puts us into the LS camp.

    Before I trusted in Christ alone, I spent a lot of time inspecting my own fruits. The fact that I was looking to my own works/lack of works as evidence of my salvation meant that I was not looking to Christ’s finished work.

    As it turns out, I was trusting in Christ plus myself. As my daughter recently pointed out, the average of perfection (Christ) and imperfection (me) is imperfection. Since one has to be perfect to enter Heaven, I feel safer relying on Christ alone.

  266. Jimmy,

    Thanks for sharing that wonderful experience with the young lady. What a weight the Lord must have lifted off of her. And what a shame that the Lordship Probation folks can’t (or won’t) see the awful pain and suffering they cause by tearing down and shredding God’s True Free Grace..

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  267. John,

    You have a great point for all of us.. Your quote:
    “For me, the critical issue is whether one thinks they have any part to play in their salvation beyond believing. If one thinks he has to “bring something to the table” in order to be saved (such as committing his life to Christ, vowing to serve Christ, turning from sins, etc), he is not accepting Jesus as his Savior. He is accepting Jesus as his helper.

    Obviously, we do not know the mind of others who claim to be believers — we only know what they SAY they believe. If we become “fruit inspectors” (we judging and condemning their salvation based on their behavior) we then put ourselves into the LS camp.

    Yet Scripture is clear about what we as believers SHOULD do, not to be or stay saved, but because we ARE saved. (Walk in good works – Ephesians 2:10)
    Also one of the first verses I memorized as a believer and then engraved the address on my Bible cover was:
    Philippians 1:27
    Only let your conversation {behavior} be as it becometh {is appropriate for} the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together {wrestle in company with} for the faith of the gospel;

    Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Jude 1:3

    Our goal as discerning believers is to contend and strive together (neither be contentious nor give in) for the faith of the Gospel — by proclaiming the Truth of God’s Free Grace and thereby exposing the error.

    I agree, John, we must kindly point out any and every clever doctrinal deviation from Scripture, even the slightest and contend for the Truth of salvation by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone. LS folks have no qualms about using every trick available to subvert God’s Grace. (ie: Piper)

    Any addition or any hint of works to salvation by faith alone becomes miserable Probation by works. (Romans 11:6) It is imperative that our Gospel message be clearly Biblical — simply God’s uncompromising Grace.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  268. Jimmy, God bless you for your counsel to this young woman! I think your approach was great – providing information both refuting LS (a false gospel) and explaining and affirming the true Gospel.

  269. Talk about a divine appointment, Jimmy! Bless her heartbroken soul. So happy to hear your good counsel restored her peace. I hope she leaves her church, though. Very disturbing, yet probably all too common.

  270. Thank you for this great post Bruce.

    You state, “This situation of young believers having their joy and assurance stolen away is so sad and tragic to me.” To me also.

    A young gal who my wife and I do weekly businees with recently asked me if there was such a thing as a backslidden christian. She explained her reason for asking–that she had been struggling over the last year with some sin, and upon going to her pastor for counsel had been informed by him there was no such thing as a “backslidden” Christian. Her loss of joy, doubt, and anxiety were palpable. I gave her a few booklets to read (one refuting Lordship Salvation, one explaining the Gospel and Assurance of salvation, and the last covering God’s Chastening of believers). I saw this dear believer the following week and her countenance had completely changed. A smile I hadn’t seen in weeks greeted me. Her joy of salvation had been restored. God is good.

    I suspect there are countless believers amongst us, who like this young lady, are in desperate need of an encouraging word from God’s Word rightly
    divided.

    Thanks again for your post, and more importantly for caring about people.

  271. Ken, I don’t think someone needs to be aware of the LS/FG debate when they accept Christ. Further, I believe someone may be led to Christ by an LS guy, but not buy into the LS baggage. For me, the critical issue is whether one thinks they have any part to play in their salvation beyond believing. If one thinks he has to “bring something to the table” in order to be saved (such as committing his life to Christ, vowing to serve Christ, turning from sins, etc), he is not accepting Jesus as his Savior. He is accepting Jesus as his helper.

  272. John, Thanks! I see your point there. I agree that a person can certainly lose their confidence (stop believing) in justification by faith alone, but am still working through the concept that a person who did not fully subscribe to the faith-alone gospel, and yet, to the best of their ability and thinking, DID truly place their trust in Jesus for salvation, was (as you write) “never justified in the first place.” This suggests that salvation happens when a person not only trusts in Christ for justification, but also has all their ducks in line concerning the LS/FG debate. When I trusted in Jesus, I was certainly NOT aware of the debate, and was led to Christ by someone whom I feel was probably a solid LS guy. Nonetheless, I did trust in Jesus to forgive me, but looked to my own works/improvement/obedience, etc., to gain and keep assurance of that forgiveness. Wrong thinking, yes, but not to the degree that I would say I wasn’t justified when I did trust in Him, as confused as I was about some of the aspects of my salvation. Thanks for responding to my comments! Blessings, Ken

  273. Ken, you said:

    “Almost all LS folks would adamantly affirm the doctrine of justification by faith alone–but they refuse to apply the implications of the faith-alone gospel to the life that follows that justification.”

    I think you are right that almost all LS folks adamantly affirm the doctrine of justification by faith alone. But, I do not think they really believe that. If they did, they wouldn’t believe the LS lies. The only way that justification by faith alone is compatible with LS is by perverting the definition of “faith”.

    The reasons that someone who buys into LS would refuse to apply the implications of the faith-alone gospel to the life that follows justification are two-fold:
    1. The believer stopped believing in justification by faith alone and instead bought into LS; or
    2. The person believed LS out of the gates and was never justified in the first place.

  274. I definitely think that there are 2nd experiences of surrender, hey even 3rds, 4ths, 5ths etc. I think as one matures in Christ it is common to dedicate oneself further or see areas in one’s life that God has not been allowed into and give those areas over to God. To me that is all part of sanctification. However in my experience sometimes a realization that leads to some massive changes in my life has not been some heightened experience where I was truly, truly, truly committed to surrender but was just listening to God and receiving from him. Every Christian walk is different, and any experience of surrender, or of the Holy Spirit as the Pentacostals push, has nothing to do with salvation. I believe these events can further confirm our salvation, but they are not where we should look for confirmation. Jesus is our confirmation. In my Christian walk further confirmation came from prolonged and disturbing demonic attack that was pervasive throughout my childhood through my teens. Now I wouldn’t say someone who hasn’t been overtly harassed by the enemy is not saved, but in a strange way that grounded in me in my knowledge of being a child of God that is unshakable. I think sometimes we can go too far and dismiss experiences of the spirit or of surrender because as free gracers we are combatting teaching that puts these experiences as a test of salvation, they are experiences in the Christian life but do not necessarily happen to everyone and are definitely not meant to be part of a litmus test to see if we are saved.

  275. Ken, I also bought into LS. I was “led to the Lord” by an LS Southern Baptist minister. He told me the standard “repent of your sins” and “commit to follow Christ” bit. I thought that he must have known what he was talking about. So, my profession would have gone something like “I gave my life to Jesus”. I was not saved, because I thought I had brought something to the table – that I had made a trade. God does not offer salvation for sale or trade, only as a gift. The LS lie turns God’s Grace into barter. It is not a saving message. Many saved people have gone astray by believing the LS lie. Many unsaved people have stayed unsaved by believing the LS lie.

    God’s Grace won the day with me also. It happened about a year ago, when it dawned on me that salvation was absolutely free.

  276. Hi John,
    I get the point, but must honestly admit that I once fully subscribed to the LS mix. Drove me nuts, turned me into a Pharisee, and drove me to hide a lot of sin, and hassle a lot of people. You’d have thought I had broken into heaven and stolen a peak into the Lamb’s Book of Life! But, God’s grace won the day with me, so I hold out hope for anyone else, even a LS brother!
    Ken

  277. Hi Brie,

    Thanks for your comments; as always, very helpful. I had a similar experience to yours of being saved at age eight. I am so blessed of God to have never had a moment of doubt of my salvation over the years in spite of receiving some exposure to LS teaching along the way. I thank God for protecting my assurance of salvation through the work of his Spirit and through a knowledge of the promises of God in Scripture (like John 10:27-30).

    By the way, your comment about “some sort of 2nd experience of surrender” made me think of how many Pentecostals try to force all Christians to have or to seek a “second blessing” of God in order to be a part of some sort of elite category of Christianity. They don’t necessarily deny one’s salvation [probably some Pentecostals do make that accusation] who doesn’t have a like experience, but they certainly believe that other Christians are missing out on some special experiential “truth.”

  278. Erring Peter changed his ways. Which of today’s church leaders has done the same?

  279. Thank you, Bruce. When you stop to think about it, who’s more open to the counsel and insight from prominent religious leaders (in the Acts case, “men from James”!) than a new Christian, who is perhaps struggling through the issue of grace and lordship issues? What an example Paul sets for us, intervening on behalf of the newer believers, confronting erring Peter, and pressing the Jerusalem church leaders for a definitive, final word on the issue! What a shepherd!
    Blessings, Ken

  280. Great link Jack!

    I hope that everyone will check out Pearl’s terrific site!!

    Bruce

  281. Hi Ken,

    Wonderful to have you join our discussion today. Your comments were very insightful and helpful—thanks! You said,

    “But upon closer examination, I see that the Judaizers from Jerusalem came and sought out “the brethren,” NOT the unsaved citizens of Antioch. They targeted those believers who genuinely felt they were Christians and attempted to disrupt their confidence in the by-faith-alone gospel.
    It appears to me that this is what the LS folks are doing today, as evidenced from the above excerpts of Pastor Piper’s address to the students. What a sad spectacle . . .”

    What you said reminded me of a statistic that I heard years ago whose source was apparently from the LDS promotion [propaganda] department. As I recall, the Mormon Church boasted that 75% to 80% of its converts came from Protestant backgrounds. That statistic may be an old one since the LDS church now proseletyzes all over the world, but still it was staggering and I never forgot it. It seems that LS preachers, similarly, target the “churched,” some saved some not saved. And as you well point out, this is a tactic that has been utilized by teachers of false doctrines for two thousand years!

  282. Pingback: Man’s Aversion to Grace « Be thus Minded…

  283. Bruce,

    Thanks again for this very enlightening article. Piper is a trickster but I am happy we have folks here who see through his deception. Well done!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  284. Oh this one gets my goat!!! I remember when I was going to my past church Pipers name was brought up constantly. I just know at the time something about Piper did not set well with me. Then I heard his views on meditation, in which, he is a proponent of contemplative prayer- which mind you is all a part of the works in your salvation. Something in Piper is very disturbing besides the fact of his LS teachings. He is not a big lover of Israel; he is a amillenialist; a mystic and Calvinist. He has rubbed shoulders with Rick Warren several times. Thanks for this article.

  285. Ken.

    Welcome, we are happy to have you aboard. We welcome and need folks like you with discernment and sound a Free Grace Biblical background to help subdue the avalanche of squawks and squeaks from Lordship “salvation” folks like Piper, MacArthur, Chan, et al.

    Your point is excellent!!I see that the Judaizers from Jerusalem came and sought out “the brethren,” NOT the unsaved citizens of Antioch.
    Absolutely right, this recruitment method of the Lordship “salvation” (Probation) proponents is the same trick Calvinists use, searching out and preying on new baby Christian believers — making them doubt their salvation.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  286. I see your point, thank you!

  287. Ken, I agree that LS may be an attack on a believer.

    However, LS also may frustrate Grace in terms of keeping people from believing.

    From the parable of the Sower:
    Luke 8:5 (NKJV) “And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it.”

    Luke 8:12 (NKJV) “Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.”

    Some of the major protestant denominations have LS in their core statements of faith.

    Consider the following, from the Southern Baptist Convention:

    ” Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.
    Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.”

    This is not an attack on saved people. This is an attack on the Gospel itself.

  288. It appears Piper may be asserting that a child can’t really be saved in confronting those who came to Christ as a child and have not had some sort of 2nd experience of surrender. As a person who became a Christian at a young age all I knew at first was that Christ had died for my sins and that he had paid the price of my sins for me. Simple. Jesus loves me. With all the upfront commitment and surrender LSrs say one needs to have to be saved could any child really qualify? It is sad that the simplicity that is the gospel is corrupted and added to so that some who did come to Christ young may question if they ever knew God at all because it was based only on Jesus and his work on the cross done on our behalf.

  289. Thanks, Pastor! It occurs to me that this issue (Lordship Salvation) is often presented as more of a crisis of assurance than one of salvation. What I mean is this: Almost all LS folks would adamantly affirm the doctrine of justification by faith alone–but they refuse to apply the implications of the faith-alone gospel to the life that follows that justification.
    I find the same LS strategy and gospel-confusion in the Bible itself: For many years I assumed that the controversy of Acts 15 was concerning the proclamation and explanation of the gospel to the unsaved. But upon closer examination, I see that the Judaizers from Jerusalem came and sought out “the brethren,” NOT the unsaved citizens of Antioch. They targeted those believers who genuinely felt they were Christians and attempted to disrupt their confidence in the by-faith-alone gospel.
    It appears to me that this is what the LS folks are doing today, as evidenced from the above excerpts of Pastor Piper’s address to the students. What a sad spectacle, to threaten a beloved, adopted child of God’s family that he/she might not “really” be adopted into the family, after all, but might be deluded into thinking they are that loved and valued by the Father. I’m a pastor in Portland, OR, new to your blog–appreciate your passion for the gospel!

  290. Brie,

    Excellent comments, Thanks!

    I, too, have considered Piper to be one of the most disconcerting of the well-known LS preachers. From my observation, watching his preaching on video, it seems that Piper almost casts a spell upon his audience. To those not grounded in Scripture, he is so warm and convincing sounding. But how many in the audience really stop to analyse WHAT he is actually saying? And then, if one dares to speak out against what Piper says, that person is often chastized by fellow believers.

  291. John,

    Thanks for your comments. Always on target and helpful strong detail is always welcome.

    Regarding your quotation: “We acknowledge that believers may fall into error or confusion regarding salvation and works after their conversion, as happened to the church of Galatia (Galatians 1:6-7. 3:1). We further acknowledge that the believers of Galatia were regarded as “brethren,” (Galatians 1:3), having fallen into this grievous error subsequent to their coming to an authentic faith in Christ (Galatians 3:1-3).”

    This quotation is so important because it reveals that there are many TRUE believers out there who have come to true saving belief in Christ alone by grace alone through faith alone who have been duped by the oh-so-prevalent LS teachers. Of course, their being led astray will never cause them to lose their ETERNAL salvation (John 10:27-30). This situation of young believers having their joy and assurance stolen away is so sad and tragic to me. It reminds me of why Christians really need to study the Word of God for themselves, being able to distinguish truth from error.

    Bruce

  292. Pearl,

    Piper IS and has been on hiatus — from the Truth of God’s Word.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  293. Bruce,

    Thanks for this great post exposing John Piper for the Calvinist, false teacher (Lordship faith) that he is. It is amazing that he is such a hero of so many in the new “theology” camp. And has been said, his clones, (the Piper-ettes) vociferously shout his false pronouncements as if they are scripture.

    Checking Scripture, I see where (contrary to Piper, et al) a DECISION to believe in Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. To “believe” or “trust” IS a decision.. it does not come as some magical, overwhelming power that arbitrarily settles upon a person. We must decide to believe in Jesus Christ and have eternal Life, otherwise we stay in our condemned state. (John 3:18)

    John, your comment is never too long when you have something important to say. And you do.

    Brie, some great points. It is a shame we never see sound Free Grace teachers able to get the same audience as those who pervert God’s Word. Young people need the Truth,of God’s Grace, not the lies of Piper.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  294. The audacity! Me thinks he ought to go back on hiatus.

  295. Of all the LSrs out there John Piper inflames me to the utmost, mainly because he does speak to such large crowds that are comprised of young people. I have ran into a few of what I call Piper followers, and yes they regurgitate him as if it is scripture when it is anything but. It really is sad because he says many things that go beyond scripture, he regularly shares his own thoughts on salvation which have no scriptural support, and this recent talk is no different. I read some of his thoughts in his book Future Grace, a book I skimmed knowing it was going to be a bunch of LS teaching but I wanted to be able to accurately understand what Piper was actually teaching since I saw so many praising him, and I was horrified. He went as far to say that even God does not know who is saved in the here and now and that salvation is determined by God in the judgment in inspecting if our tree had produced enough fruit in our lifetime. Where does he get this stuff? Men like Piper often draw young crowds and readers because teens often don’t know any better or feel equipped to confront a leader and ask “what scripture brought you to this conclusion?” Immature believers will often believe a preacher who speaks with such an enthusiastic and authoritative style that they don’t ask for explanations, and men like Piper rarely offer them as a teacher would to a more mature crowd. A teacher of mature Christians would have to back up such bold claims with some exegesis, something men like Piper are hardly ever asked to do. Last I heard of him was a couple years ago when he was going to take som time away from the pulpit, looks like he has returned espousing his own doctrine with just as much gusto as before.

  296. Sorry for the long post, but I continue to encounter people who think that holdiing onto the false LS lie is compatible with salvation by Grace, through faith in Christ.

    I was told yesterday that the idea that someone must give up all other confidences (turning from sin, commitment, etc.) for salvation and trust in Christ alone is legalistic in its own right. The person told me that I was putting conditions on salvation – by believing that someone must, at some point in their life, trust in Christ – alone – and give up confidence in anything else.

  297. Thinking that one must do something to prove his salvation or to guarantee one’s eternal life means not trusting in Christ. From the Tract “Am I Going to Heaven”:

    “9. Trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, and also serve Him.

    No. 9: Incorrect! You can do nothing to add to the finished work of Christ. By doing so, you are not trusting in Christ alone as your Savior but only as your helper. You cannot go to Heaven that way. You must completely forget about your good works and commitments as a means of saving you, and put your trust ONLY in the Savior – Jesus Christ.”

    From Clear Gospel Campaign:
    d) Regarding the Denial of the Doctrine of Grace
    We believe that the requirement of works to attain eternal life is incompatible with the belief that Salvation is a gift of God (John 4:10; Romans 4:4; 11:6; Galatians 2:21; 3:10-14; 5:1-4; Ephesians 2:8-9), including:
    i) the belief that the performance of specific works or actions, such as circumcision, baptism in water, public confession of Christ, or speaking in tongues, is required in order to secure eternal life;
    ii) the belief that a promise of future works of the law must be offered in exchange for God’s offer of eternal life, such as “repenting of one’s sins,” or “making Christ the Lord of one’s life;”
    iii) the belief that obedience to God’s laws are necessary to maintain one’s salvation, and that salvation can therefore be lost through disobedience to the laws of God;
    iv) the belief that one must persevere in good works and obedience to the Ten Commandments to confirm that they are saved, thereby requiring that works are ultimately necessary to secure salvation, and that the sure and final declaration of salvation is only offered in conjunction with the works of the law.
    We believe that the aforementioned works-based doctrines contravene the very meaning of the word “grace,” insulting the gracious nature of God Himself as the giver of eternal life, thereby constituting a rejection of his offer of eternal life (Romans 11:6-7; Ephesians 2:8-9). We find no evidence of saving faith in a profession of faith tainted by any of these heresies.
    We acknowledge that believers may fall into error or confusion regarding salvation and works after their conversion, as happened to the church of Galatia (Galatians 1:6-7. 3:1). We further acknowledge that the believers of Galatia were regarded as “brethren,” (Galatians 1:3), having fallen into this grievous error subsequent to their coming to an authentic faith in Christ (Galatians 3:1-3). We note, however, that the authors of this grievous error, who had never believed on Christ alone, having simply added Jesus Christ to a pre-existing confession of salvation by works (Acts 15:1) were regarded as “false brethren.” (Galatians 2:4). To this end, we affirm that a lost sinner must, at some time in his life, believe on Christ alone, apart from the works of the law, for his salvation, and that apart from such an authentic moment of saving faith, there is no hope of salvation.
    We believe that the more ardently and regularly a pastor or teacher holds forth any of the above perversions of the gospel of grace as a necessity for salvation, the more firmly a pre-existing grid of salvation-by-works is fabricated in the hearts and minds of the congregants, progressively shackling the lost sinner more hopelessly behind a veil of deception, making it less and less likely that any forthcoming profession of faith has meaningfully grasped the message of salvation.

  298. It seems that the Lordship Faith camp is specifically and vastly targeting huge gatherings of Christian youths to promulgate its faith + works = salvation message.

    For more recent pronouncements from John Piper (10/12)—see:

    https://expreacherman.com/2012/10/19/latest-pronouncement-by-john-piper-it-takes-a-village-to-remain-eternally-secure-john-pipers-latest/#comment-14476

    .

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