John MacArthur Changes His “Lordship salvation” Message??

By Jack Weaver

Dr. Tom Cucuzza tipped me off to the following interesting link from John MacArthur’s (JMac) Grace To You web site.

I’ll quote a couple of passages in which someone in JMac’s camp tries to “correct” JMac’s Lordship error.

Article title:

“Does John MacArthur teach salvation by works in his book Hard to Believe?”

One paragraph in the first edition of Hard to Believe contained a glaring error that has the potential to mislead readers about the book’s whole intent.

As one reads the original and the “correction” one sees very little difference in doctrine. Both ooze Lordship Salvation, just slightly different.

The Grace To You writer seems to try to blame everyone for the error.

The error was inadvertently introduced into the [original] manuscript in the late stages of the editorial process, when (in order to simplify the book) four chapters were deleted from the original manuscript and one of the remaining chapters was severely abridged. John MacArthur approved the abridgments.

…..Unfortunately, that [later] change was not submitted to John for approval. We believe the error was an oversight, and not anyone’s deliberate attempt to tamper with the book’s theology. The result, however, severely muddled the message of the book.

A revision was sent to the publisher for future editions of the book. In all subsequent printings, here is how the opening paragraph of chapter six reads (revisions are in bold):

Here is John MacArthur’s original Lordship “salvation” quote from the guru of the lie:  chapter 6 (page 93), (My emphasis in bold.)“Hard to Believe”– Original edition:

Don’t believe anyone who says it’s easy to become a Christian. Salvation for sinners cost God His own Son; it cost God’s Son His life, and it’ll cost you the same thing. Salvation isn’t the result of an intellectual exercise. It comes from a life lived in obedience and service to Christ as revealed in the Scripture; it’s the fruit of actions, not intentions. There’s no room for passive spectators: words without actions are empty and futile…The life we live, not the words we speak, determines our eternal destiny“ (John MacArthur, Hard to Believe, p. 93).

Here is the so-called “corrected” revision of the error in his original passage — from the opening paragraph of chapter 6 (page 93), The changed portions are in bold, according to JMac’s web site.

Don’t believe anyone who says it’s easy to become a Christian. Salvation for sinners cost God His own Son; it cost God’s Son His life, and it’ll cost you the same thing. Salvation isn’t gained by reciting mere words. Saving faith transforms the heart, and that in turn transforms behavior. Faith’s fruit is seen in actions, not intentions. There’s no room for passive spectators: words without actions are empty and futile. Remember that what John saw in his vision of judgment was a Book of Life, not a book of Words or Book of Intellectual Musings. The life we live, not the words we speak, reveals whether our faith is authentic. Chapter 6 (page 93)

Not surprisingly, I see no substantial difference — Both preach a works based “salvation, probation” message. JMac has managed to survive an apparent internal controversy and continues preaching the same old Lordship probation message he has preached for years.

What say you?

Salvation – Not By “Commitment” But by Faith Alone. << Click

135 responses to “John MacArthur Changes His “Lordship salvation” Message??

  1. Holly, I think that is a very appropriate verse.

  2. Interesting… There really are not any pro’s although I’m sure they’d say they are ‘living for Christ’ or ‘submitted to His Lordship’, but in truth, who are they doing it for? To prove they are saved. It is not by grace for them. I just feel sickened at the way this heresy has grown by leaps and bounds. And it never dawns on them to wonder about the popularity of these people (Luke 6:26 always comes to mind).

  3. Holly, agree. John MacArthur is one of the more ardent LS deceivers.

    By the way, one of the search terms that someone who found their way onto ExPreacherMan used today was “pros and cons of Lordship Salvation.

    I can tell them in a nutshell:
    No pros. All cons.

  4. Phil – exactly! According to Calvinists who believe faith is the gift spoken of in Eph 2:8-9, if they really examine what they are saying, they believe that ‘faith’ is the power of God unto salvation, vs. the truth, that the ‘gospel’ is the power of God unto salvation. Excellent observation.

  5. John I find it interesting so many people see JohnnyMac as somehow reasonable. His rules and regulations, His ‘to-do’ list in order to ‘enter in’, is so stringent, that he has to be tortured nightly (if he believes what he says) as to whether or not he’ll make it, either that or he’s sure he’ll make it because of his pride…

  6. Phil, good point.

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

  7. Tonight I was looking through the list of TV channels and I noticed that J Mac had a half hour Grace to You TV show in this NRB network. Well, I thought i would watch it. His sermon topic was on Hebrews 11 on faith. Right off, J Mac said, “salvation is by faith.” He went on to elaborate on how some of the OT people mentioned in Heb. 11 by faith did things. Now, I have no problem with what it says in Hebrews 11. What bothered me is J Mac’s statement, “salvation is by faith.” There is something missing in this statement. Salvation is by the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, the gospel, and is received by those who by faith accept this gospel for their personal salvation. So which is it J Mac? Is it a life of faith that brings salvation? Or is it the cross and our accepting it for our salvation?

  8. Holly and RAS, MacArthur so ardently preaches a false gospel of works, that he makes other people who teach less ardent false gospels of works seem reasonable by comparison.

  9. None of these guys can know, no matter what they say. The fact that a lot of people love their teaching, buy their books, sit in their pews seems to pacify them to some degree regarding their own justification. But in the end, they’re just mere men who will stand before the Lord trying to justify themselves by their wonderful works I’m afraid…

  10. One more thing for Newt for clarification purposes: It is not necessary for me to ask JMac in person to go into depth about what he means (I have not but have heard from others who have). He is a prolific writer and speaker, his writings and sermons are all that is need to see what he is teaching. We just compare what he says to scripture.

    When you had your personal conversation with JMac the answers he gave you about “Lord” ,“fruit” ,“truly saved” and “mistaken” all dealt with the court of opinion and a justification that JMac does not preside over; he is usurping the role of Judge in the name of shepherding. He did not deal with the objective truth of the Gospel — Christ crucified in substitution for sin and Christ risen to give life to all who believe on Him for it. This is the offense that so many take to his teachings.

    If you were to ask JMac if he is 100% sure that he is born again, saved, has Christ as Lord of his life, I wonder what his answer to you would be. I know that when he has defended his system his answer has been “about 95% sure” seeing that his system requires perseverance in faith and good works. It’s kinda strange how being truly born again and having Christ as Lord of one’s life- and the fruit there of- happens all at the same time, yet perseverance is required to know if it happened at all.

    And if JMac is not 100% sure that it has happened for him—being born again— how can anybody trust that his teachings are correct? Why would anybody?

  11. Newt, I truly feel for you as John MacArthur has you so twisted up, you don’t really know what the Scriptures say. I do pray you will be a Berean, John MacArthur may see like a man who knows the Scriptures, however, he is a wolf who twists them subtly and very dangerous.

  12. Note to Newt:

    We understand your comments, but don’t agree with them. Your additional comments are simply rehashes of your earlier comments, so we won’t be posting any more of them.

    If you agree with MacArthur’s view of “salvation,” we are not on the same page.

  13. Newt,the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement.

    If a man responds to such conviction by believing in Jesus Christ as his Savior, he receives eternal life at that moment.

    God does not save anyone until they believe.

    God offers man eternal life without cost or obligation to the recipient. God desires that we live according to His will, but that isn’t a requirement for receiving eternal life, keeping eternal life, or providing evidence that one has eternal life.

  14. And yes to repent is to be saved and to repent is another way of making Chrst lord of our life, which is imposssible to do unless you are saved the whole point is without being saved by God and changed By God first there is no salvation or repentance or ability to make God Lord of our life. But when God saves the instant simutaneous result is Him being Lord and repentance and everything else

  15. It doesnt proceed it happens at the same time and yes it is a gift not by works so although man is responsible or accountable for his sin. And told to repent. At the same time God gives them understanding and insight to even want to repent, that part is a mystery, but its in he scripture. John does not teach that works proceeds, he does teach that Gods work proceeds mans in salvation. While we were still enemies he loved us “first not after” then man responds… After not before God work god initiates the work not man

  16. Newt, a believer who is not in the word and not walking in the spirit may live a life that is not distinguishable from the lost world.

    This is why God’s word says:

    Romans 12:2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

  17. Newt, believing in Jesus as Savior is the responsibility of the creature, not the creator.

    Based on what you have said, John MacArthur seems to believe that regeneration precedes faith in Christ. In other words, God gives a lost person repentance and the desire to live a holy life.

    If a “true Christian” WILL inevitably “make Christ Lord of his life,” then making Christ Lord of one’s life is a requirement for receiving eternal life. This is a false works for salvation gospel, no matter how MacArthur tries to dress it up.

  18. Also i know we cannot see somone heart and i am aware that somone may do or have “works” or do good behaviours etc. but not be saved and that is esy to understand because works dont save and we can be fooled but God isnt, i also know all people saved or unsaved have sin but he response atitude ans desire should look alot different in a saved person overall it should be a repenting growing joyfull type of living out. etc. the big question is how can you tell if somone is just sinning or just not saved and i dont think we can tell on the outside, except that we can confront encourage etc. and see what they desire etc. and how they respond to instruction and teuth etc will tell alot but for somone to say they are save because they said a prayer or beielive in God etc. and have no desire for the word, no conviction of sin, no love of the church etc. than that is most likely greatly unhappy sinning believer or somone who is not saved here is no oher option

  19. Ok i read my comments and i need to be more clear i see that what i just said can be taken wrong.
    “Not by works so no one can boast” eph. We know the bible teaches that a person who is saved, or made alive, or born again, or made new, etc. we all know the bible says it is not mans works that accomplishes this. If i understand the argument clearly ans maybe i dont but if i do, what i am seeing is that some people think that jmac and others think that a person cannot be saved “until there is works” specificaly the work of making Christ Lord of their life. I have ask john specifically in person about this topic in depth and he does not believe a person as a sinner can just decide to “make Christ lord of thier life” he believes that the sinner, or enemy of god, or unregenerate person etc. can only by the “work of God first” not man but by Gods work first in their life can actually come to im repent and persue a holy life. And when he says a person cannot be saved with making chrsit Lord of thier life what he means is, if a person is truly saved they will have Christ as Lord of thier life its a fruit of being born again and he believes it all happens at the same time, What jmacs main point is if people claim to be christians but do not have Christ as Lord of thier life then they are mistaken. I hope this is clear and i hope i am understanding the argument correctly sorry for the mispellings here and there but please let me know if i am misunderstanding the points being made thank you

  20. Newt, it’s good that you see a difference but JMac doesn’t preach a difference. I ask: Are there two different “provings” taking place in the same court? Might there be two courts for two “provings”? JMac would say there is one court one “proving”, How about you?

    Consider James 2:24 —“You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.”

    People (such as JMac) read only one justification in that passage. They read —“man is justified by works plus faith, or faith that works or…”. But ‘only” modifies” justified it does not modify faith. The verse is saying that man is justified by faith and man is justified by works. The justifications are in different courts of opinion. One court (God’s) grants life, the other court (man’s) gives witness.

    This is what JMac and LSers always miss.

  21. Newt, thanks for commenting.

    Just because Jmac says something doesn’t make it true. Works do not prove that one has eternal life. That is why the Bible tells believers to be careful to maintain good works (Titus 3:8).

  22. it is a proof of Gods work not ours jmac teaches that only God changes he heart ans only works can proove salvation cause as jmac says fruit is works not how you”became” saved but the proof of being saved its all together same time part of being reborn

  23. I see a big difference The first shows that it is action based instead of action prooved, the second shows that it “salvation” is proved by action not bought ot erned by action

    Here is a huge difference

  24. Holly, I went back and looked at your article.

    MacArthur is insidious, because his obviously false gospel makes less ardent false gospels look more like grace.

  25. John – the comment attributed to MacArthur I read and did an article on my site. It was the ‘Only Road to Heaven’, although he had recycled his sermon many times under different titles. His search feature on his site reveals his heresy has been there for decades, just a little more undercover as he snuck in privily…

  26. Donald – Welcome! I heard some pastors say that is why they think John MacArthur preaches a false gospel, because he’s seen too many sin and saw one professing believer go far off the deep end. Whatever the reason, God only knows, but there is no excuse (as you said) for preaching another gospel.

  27. Hi Donald. My take on MacArthur is he is, unfortunately, grounded in Calvinism/reformed theology. I think he sees it as a gift, BUT, the gift, faith and grace, will manifest in a changed life of the person. If it doesn’t then the persons faith was never genuine. He may see it in terms of the parable of the talents where this gift was handled unproductively and foolishly. In short, JM insists that its all a gift, faith and grace, but it must be acted upon in perseverance in the persons life. So JM’s false gospel of salvation is by grace thru faith/works/perseverance. At least this is my take on JM.

  28. Hi Donald
    Welcome to an oasis of Grace thank you for your comment
    Thanking The Lord Jesus you see the Free Gift of salvation

  29. Donald, welcome and thanks for your comment. We agree.

    We can’t know whether or not someone is saved, even if he is preaching a false gospel. So, how in the world can MacArthur and other Lordship “salvationists” teach that we can tell whether or not someone is saved by his behavior?

  30. Donald Haaning

    Lordship salvation is clearly satan’s attempt to confuse the gospel message.I wonder what part of salvation being a free gift does macarthur not understand.just because macarthur sees certain christians living ungodly lives doesnt give him the authority to twist scripture to fit his heretical beliefs.

  31. Beholdason, I think it goes along with distractions, with Martha distractions at times, but it is so good to be a Mary. When we are refreshed, revived, strengthened in His Word, how good it feels, but as you say, fleshy lusts war against the soul. But I thank the Lord that His Word is always there for us, and I know I need the Lord and I need His Word, His counsel, His light.

    I’ve had many a good cry as His Word settles on me, like the rain and the snow from heavens. Praying His Word will satiate you.

    Psalm 119:25,28; Pr 22:17-21; Jer 31:25

    In Him.

  32. Thanks for the encouragement guys.

    Huge marshmallow fans in our house so might take that suggestion and run with it. haha.

    Holly, that’s a great idea. I don’t know if I’m ‘switched’ on enough to really know what the errors are without being confused again so might just box them up for a later date.

    Curtis, when I think of all the spiritual wickedness contained in those books (which most Christians love to fill their minds with), “curious arts” hits the mark.

    I have an old friend in his eighties who recently emailed with and said this:

    “It seems imperative then, that access to the Scriptures as originally written, and use of available helps in understanding its texts, written as they were in Hebrew and Greek, should be a first priority for the serious and sincere.

    The older I get (it happens by the day) the more I am persuaded that I do not and have not read Scripture enough. Fleshly lusts that war against the soul have hindered the mind seems to want to feed on anything but the Word of God itself.”

    I printed off that law study so will go through it today Holly.

    Looking forward to a good cry as the truth of God’s word seeps in. haha God is good.

  33. Curtis and Preston, I feel ashamed too, but He showed me how important to acknowledge Him in all my ways, still learning as I check lyrics I used to think were good in old hymns, however, I trust Him to show me as I go along and prove all things. Deleted a couple of songs the other day.

  34. Beholdason, I did tear up or water down and throw away many, but then I felt I should keep some for ‘reference’ so I mark them in black marker, outside and in, FALSE – for reference only. Might not be for everybody, but it’s helpful for me. Send them my way 🙂

  35. you could always make the fire “profitable”…..bring some marshmellows!!!

  36. Act 19:19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

    The context maybe different but the principal is the same.
    I did the same the first batch of books before I repented (changed my mind) and got onto the clear gospel in my ignorance I gave to the leadership of youth. after the clear gospel the rest of my books went to the recycling center (dump) after being assured no one will go dumpster diving.
    all my books along with wrong context CC music CD’s was over thousand dollars it my estimation

  37. I recently came to the conclusion that I need to have a bonfire.

    Approximately 30 books will make the cut.

    Oh what a waste of the Lord’s provision. (Sorry God) 😦

    I repent of having purchased them.

    That is, I have changed my mind about my need for them.


  38. Well, no comment box at the bottom, will try another time.

  39. Thanks Jack, I hope some will re-read, I’ll go post my comment over there. You can delete it here if you want. In His love, Holly

  40. Thanks Holly,

    I have now approved comments for that article.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  41. Sorry Jack, I actually meant to post the link so people could read and also see the comments which are typical in so many ways, praying some of those may have come out of it.

  42. Holly,

    I was not aware we had closed comments on any articles or why. Please post the link so I won’t have to hunt for it. Thanks. Unless I see a good reason for closing it, I will open it.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  43. Jack, I am sorry that your other MacArthur/Lordship article didn’t have comments open. That is an excellent article for people to read then see the many responses by Calvinist/Lordship proponents. It shows where their faith lies, (quoting the Institutes of Christianity – Calvinism) Yikes!

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

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

    Speaking of DTS, he says that those at Dallas Theological Seminary, “insisted there is no place in the gospel for the proclamation of Jesus’ lordship”. He also says that their ‘doctrine’ stems apparently from “Chafer’s misguided attempts to develop a uniquely dispensationalist soteriology.” I guess MacArthur misses that we do not want to add his long list of requirements to the gospel, as he falsely does in defining accepting His “Lordship”, vs. recognizing and believing Jesus is indeed Lord.

    He continues to say that Chafer (and other early dispensationalists), were so zealous to eliminate every vestige of law from the dispensation of grace that they embraced a kind of antinomianism (another one of their favorite false accusations), which was how (MacArthur says)“That (zealousness) was the seed from which the no-lordship gospel sprouted. Didn’t Christ remove every vestige of the law when He fulfilled all written of Him in the law of Moses, the Psalms and the Prophets? Doesn’t free mean free, and break one law mean one?

    Again 2 Tim 3 comes to mind. The boasters, proud people who resist the truth, corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. Have people forgotten in following these intelligent, learned, scholarly deceivers, that the deception of the evil one is subtle? Or am I too strong?

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

  44. I wrote a little on MacArthur once on my blog, because he adds such a long list to the gospel, i decided to basically copy and paste and format it into an outline. His list is so long, these guys must be puffed up so big to dream they could possibly fulfill a small portion of their own “what must I do to be saved”…. His sermon was called the Only Road to heaven or some such thing… If it is o.k. to add, it’s mostly MacArthur’s words.

    Look at MacArthur re-define the way….

  45. Hooray, Cyndi, welldone in your discernment, I know exactly how you feel my friend and myself and been crying out about the direction Brannon Howse has been going. He is bound to turn Calvanist he surrounds himself with them all. My emails have gone unresponded too. I’m sure justin peters, Gendron are lovely guys so are the mormons but their big ministries are deceiving the masses. Howse is supposed to be a discernment ministry and know we have arrived at a time we have to discern the discernmt ministries. Brannon is not dogmatic about his eschatology he said it doesn’t matter, it does matter how we divide the word. I will not be subscribing again to the situation room anymore. I still tap into his ministry to see who is saying what. He separates himself from all other errors, but they don’t see a need to separate from Calvanists. I have recently had these discussions in the churches but Calvanism is the monster of the day, all are tolerating it. I want nothing to do with it.

    Hang in there, I have been so disheartened and weiry wishing the lord would just come. We are all feeling battle weary in fighting doctrine and the evils of ecumenism. So good to come to an oasis of free grace to vent all our frustrations.
    I have just posted a sermon that Macarthur did, that just arrived, about which is the right gospel. People are saying to me that Macarthur does not preach a works salvation gospel, here is the proof.

  46. Cyndi, I think many of us have been grieving for years over some of these people. I have listened to Justin’s discernment dvd’s years back, and Mike Gendron, read his book, “preparing Catholics for eternity”, (Mostly read it, used it for comparison, Catholic doctrine against the Word), and I’ve spoken to Mike more than once, he is a very nice and seemingly gentle man, haven’t seen otherwise.

    However, sadly, Justin and Mike are both Calvinists and Lordship teachers. I no longer listen to any of them…

  47. Cyndi,

    The Lord will answer us from His Word and answers will never contradict His Word in proper context.

    Thanks for that report on your son’s singing the Psalm. Good, encouraging words from the Lord.

    Here is the Lord’s battle plan for Believers:

    Ephesians 6:11-18
    Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
    [12] For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
    [13] Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
    [14] Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
    [15] And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
    [16] Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
    [17] And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
    [18] Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication {prayer} for all saints;

    Pray for each other here for Wisdom (James 1:5), courage (Joshua 1:9, Acts 28:15) and strength (2 Corinthians 12:9) as we battle against the wiles of the Devil. His “ministry” knows no bounds and involve every denomination on earth.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  48. I appreciate your insight into my present grief. “I feel your pain!” LOL I will look at the Holly link. Thank you. You are correct that this has been a time of mourning for me, the realization that “narrow is the path” seems to be a bit different than what I’ve been led to believe? The true meaning is only now becoming evident personally. But as I know you’ve experienced, God meets us at our weariness and He ministers to us through His Spirit, His word and His people and sustains us through the difficulty and pain resulting from truth. May I share something with you? I hope you said yes > My 17 year old son sings in (Mom bragging now) a phenomenal choir at his Christian school, and their recent gospel performance included a gospel song I wish you all could hear. During my prayer time this a.m. my head would involuntarily LIFT as I would call out the names of GOD and proclaim his attributes and character and I thought of the song his choir sang just last weekend “But Thou O Lord are a shield for me, my glory and the lifter of my head”. Psalm 3:3 I looked up the passage and read the remainder of it ” . . . I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. Selah I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.” Could that include ten thousand angry Calvinists? 8} Thanks again for your ministry.

  49. Dear Cyndi,

    Thanks for sharing your excruciating pain with us here at ExP. Most of us have been through the same thing with other “teachers” and churches. We understand!!

    True, the “only haven” is close to the fact and that is the reason we exist — to explain the simplicity that is in Christ and expose those who pervert that sweet message.

    Many if not most of our readers and commenters have suffered the disappointments you express.. but you and they have grown in Grace and Truth and now see clearly the error of so many.

    Howse was exposed by our friend Holly in her comment here our Wiki of false teachers:

    Cyndi, please continue telling us your thoughts and joining in the discussions. There are so many false teachers today that we have a tough time keeping up with them all.

    We will be praying for you.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  50. ” . . . the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ”. Galatians 1:11-12.
    I finally have a few minutes to update my recent post and comments after listening to Brannon Howse’s (WorldviewWeekend) ‘Is Repentance Necessary For Salvation?’ for a second time. Yes I took notes. I feel the need to explain the reason I want to detail some of his comments. The first time I listened to his assertions I truly was in shock. I knew Brannon Howse to be a huge follower and friend of Dave Hunt. Dave Hunt who wrote an entire book exposing Calvinism: ‘What Love Is This?: Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God’. (I assume Dave Hunt had correct teaching as I have not read his book.) So I was devastated to hear Brannon teach a doctrine of works with faith for salvation. What makes this so difficult is the relationship he and Dave Hunt had. Based on Howse’s comments it sounded as though they had a close relationship with one another. Howse most likely had a lot of exposure to correct teaching on salvation. I now am forced to conclude Brannon Howse’s heart is hardened to the truth of the gospel. Tragic! (I have since sent him an email responding to his false teaching receiving no response from him.) I find this disconcerting as Howse has a lot of influence and has many reputable speakers attend his conference: Justin Peters, Jesse Johnson, Mike Gendron to name a few (and Dave Hunt who is now in Heaven). Regarding the WorldviewWeekend “ministry” I first started seeing red flags last fall during the John MacArthur ‘Strange Fire’ conference. There were many @ Worldviewweekend who applauded this weekend of a grace-less and love-less witch hunt, wallowing in the dividing and conquering of Charismatics (guess Chuck Smith didn’t know he was a false teacher). But that’s a whole different subject (even though all these issues have a common thread?).
    But pertaining to Howse’s dissertation on the necessity of repentance, at the onset he smugly comments: “It almost seems like a silly question to be honest with you. How can one think that repentance is NOT required for salvation? As we’ll see the Bible is FILLED with passages of scripture that speak to the issue of repentance . . . faith and repentance is necessary for salvation”.
    He defines repentance during his 6 points on Repentance as “change your mind as well as turn from sin”. He continues: “Repentance not only produces a change in your mind it produces a change in priorities, a change in your desires, a change in your direction”.
    During this presentation, in the back of my mind I’m thinking of close to 30 times in the Old Testament where GOD repented (KJV). And the Israelites repented TOWARD evil. He also quotes 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 ” . . . for Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation . . . ” as a very important verse to him personally. Funny I thought Paul was writing to BELIEVERS in the church of Corinth.
    The evangelical-fundamentalist church seems to be the new stronghold of false teaching while they point fingers and look down their noses at everyone else. My heart grieves for The Church. If these theologians and ministers can’t even get the essential doctrine of salvation correct, how can we impact ANYONE or ANYTHING for Christ? God have mercy on us and grant us grace during this famine of truth in the body of Christ.

    As far as I can see this website is our only haven. Thank you again for allowing us to vent.
    With Christ’s love, because He first loved us,

  51. Jan Kotlarski

    I seriously ask myself why people like Reader come to this blog and then blatantly post their arminian and/or calvinistic drivel, that even multiple times, most likely fully knowing that the administrators and regulars vehemently disagree with them…
    Barely even quoting scripture as well to make their case.

    I think this verse applies to them: Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

  52. Reader, you said: “Obedience is the evidence that we are saved.”

    My comment: No it’s not. Otherwise, how much obedience would be required as evidence that we are saved? God does not require our obedience as evidence that we are saved. He knows whether or not we have trusted in Christ alone.

    By the way – you sound like a broken record. We have not posted your other comments, due to their repetitious nature. Should you come up with any new material, we may consider posting it. So far,You have not said anything that we have not already addressed with other commenters. Your comments are just “garden variety” LS.

  53. Obeying God is not the means by which we are saved. We are not saved by our obedience. Obedience is the evidence that we are saved.

  54. Thank you so much for these helpful comments/articles. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get to all these excellent articles/posts (no taxi-mom duties on Sunday!) Forgive me but I must share this hymn >
    Since the Holy Spirit has been revealing to me His sufficiency in the cross, while at the same time revealing the error and blaspheme in these destructive works doctrines, the hymn Faith is the Victory (John H Yates, 1891) has been quietly encouraging me regularly.
    But there’s an even more appropriate hymn that I’m sure everyone is familiar, which I think expresses more profoundly fullness of redemption and that point of realization that the cross is the only path to salvation and Jesus’ completion there, when with His final breath said;
    “tetelestai” (“IT IS FINISHED”).
    At The Cross
    Alas! and did my Savior bleed
    And did my Sov’reign die?
    Would He devote that sacred head
    For such a worm as I?

    At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
    And the burden of my heart rolled away,
    It was there by faith I received my sight,
    And now I am happy all the day!

    Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
    And bathed in its own blood—
    While the firm mark of wrath divine,
    His soul in anguish stood.

    Was it for crimes that I had done
    He groaned upon the tree?
    Amazing pity! grace unknown!
    And love beyond degree!

    Well might the sun in darkness hide
    And shut his glories in,
    When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
    For man the creature’s sin.

    Thus might I hide my blushing face
    While His dear cross appears,
    Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
    And melt my eyes to tears.

    But drops of grief can ne’er repay
    The debt of love I owe:
    Here, Lord, I give myself away,
    ’Tis all that I can do.
    I’ve just decided to do my next word study on “tetelestai”. 8}
    Blessings to you in Christ Jesus,

  55. Cyndi – There are quite a few new posts, but just on other articles, glad to have you here!

    I think you, (along with a number of us that see clearly that the Calvinist theology is the emperor without clothes) feel we could write a book on our experiences with this ‘reformed’ Catholicism doctrine…

  56. Cyndi,

    Welcome to ExPreacherMan — we are happy to have you here with your excellent comment. We pray you will stick around and enjoy our fellowship of believers..

    Better late to the party on that article than never. And you seem to have a good understanding of God’s salvation by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Wonderful!! We appreciate folks like you.

    It is my understanding that Howse is a Calvinist — which would explain his ignorance on repentance and his subsequent implied “regeneration before belief” which is a prime mantra of Calvinism. JMac, Sproul, Piper, Washer et al, ad infinitum all Calvinists and all agree with that false teaching.

    Here are a couple of links to our articles that help explain Biblical Repentance, the lie of Calvinism and Lordship “salvation”:</B?

    Glad to have you here.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  57. I am arriving a bit late as I don’t see any 2014 posts. Even though I’m ‘late to the party’ I am so grateful to find this blog and read the posts from brothers & sisters in Jesus Christ our Lord and SAVIOR. You are all so loving and encouraging! Since 1975 I have attended (& been a member) of 3 John MacArthur type churches (pastors & elders who graduated from Talbot or Master’s Seminary). I could not put my finger on why I felt a constant oppression and condemnation in these churches, concluding I was the problem since I wasn’t a seminary grad. God has finally revealed to me why those churches were so ‘grace-less’ as I have revisited the Doctrine of Salvation and found myself studying and wondering how JMac’s version of salvation stands up against the entire Gospel of John where the word ‘believe’ is mentioned I think over 100 times. (The word repentance is not mentioned). As far as I can remember the Gospel of John is rarely used by JMac and his minions. What compelled me to this recent study and revelation (thank you Gracious and Merciful Savior) of faith alone through Christ alone was a presentation given by Brannon Howse on his worldview weekend website titled; “Is Repentance Necessary For Salvation?” Mr. Howse teaches a resounding ‘of course!’ > my words not his.
    He claims that God causes our hearts to repent, so therefore it is not a works based salvation, and quotes John MacArthur during his dissertation. I was appalled to hear this as I am a member of Brannon’s online Situation Room. (Ironically Howse’s most recent book: “Twisted Scripture, Twisted Theology”). According to Howse, God infuses (for lack of a better word) us with repentance during salvation > I guess timing is everything with this tricky theology > than why doesn’t God give us the ability to repent of everything rather than just enough to get us saved? So now it isn’t just Christ’s death and shed blood on the cross that is insufficient but God’s ‘infused’ repentance is imperfect and incomplete as well? How do these teachers get away with this stuff? They have reputable Biblical scholars and Theologians flock to their ‘ministries’ and conferences (I.E. Strange Fire and Worldview Weekend) aligning themselves with this false teaching! And JMac & Brannon Howse devote a huge percentage of their teachings to the calling out of false teachers, doctrines and conversions. I’m sorry for this lengthy rant. (I could write a book!) Thank you for your patience. God bless you all as you contend for THE faith.

  58. Stephen, amen, sadly, it is ‘exactly what they mean to say and convey’….

  59. Welcome Stephen! Thanks for your comments.

    Unfortunately, MacArthur’s viewpoint is shared by Billy Graham, the Southern Baptist Convention, and many of the other big names in the evangelism biz.

    In fact, a 2008 release of MacArthur’s “The Gospel According to Jesus” was published by Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and Franklin Graham wrote the introductory tribute to the book and to MacArthur.

  60. I haven’t read ALL the comments so apologies if this is a duplicate observation, but what really stands out to me is the first two sentences of JMac’s quote which is unchanged in both versions — “Don’t believe anyone who says it’s easy to become a Christian. Salvation for sinners cost God His own Son; it cost God’s Son His life, and it’ll cost you the same thing.”

    That couldn’t be more wrong and antithetical to the true gospel of salvation, and that it survived perfectly intact even when the passage was purposefully reviewed to “correct” it is glaringly telling — it tells you that this is no misprint or misunderstanding, it is exactly what they mean to say and convey. Thank you Jack, Lou, and others who continue to champion and point others to a pure gospel of grace — one that recognizes sin as the utterly offensive thing to God that it is, yet doesn’t confuse it with the grace of the free gift salvation.

  61. Jack, thanks for sharing! Maybe one day John MacArthur himself will repent of teaching his false gospel.

  62. John and all our readers:

    I have been contending with a young lady (last “name” handle of LoveU) who has been commenting on a friend’s FaceBook page where I debunked Calvinism, John MacArthur and Lordship salvation. The good friend is Mark Andre who is a solid Free Grace advocate. I thought our readers would be interested in and pleased with Mark’s answer/testimony to the young lady’s defense of JMac:

    “As someone who attended MacArthur’s church for almost eight years, it pains me to have to come against him publicly, but it must be done because I believe that his teachings on the Gospel and the works of a believer after they are saved, is at odds with with Scripture says. I have no personal animosity towards Dr. MacArthur, but he is dead wrong on Calvinism, and more specifically, on the Gospel of our salvation. Sorry to say, in many of his books (Hard to Believe and The Gospel According to Jesus), MacArthur preaches Faith and Works (Lordship Salvation), and that is Roman Catholicism to the core.”

    This is a first for me — to hear from a former attender of JMac’s church. I thank the Lord and pray for Mark and his stand for Truth.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  63. d taylor, one of my friends at work told me his pastor said the word “disciple” is used way more times in the Bible than the word “Christian.” I believe this was part of the pastor’s argument that being a believer and being a dedicated disciple were one and the same.

    I pointed out to my friend that the words “saints” and “believers” are used extensively throughout the NT to describe someone who has trusted in Christ for eternal life. And, that he should ask his pastor why we don’t see the word “disciple” used after Acts 21:16.

  64. Johninnc the last post she made she made a reference to Luke 14: 25-35 disciple is mentioned three times in these verses. not sure if she is applying this to an unbeliever for salvation or if she understands that this is speaking about discipleship
    also holly thank you Rembrandt humbles us all

  65. d taylor, it is amazing how two people can be saying such different things, yet only one of them sees a difference.

    You said: “i have found it hard to help people see the correct truth of Bible people are very defensive of the commit, obedience, lordship message.”

    My comment: Many have been taught bi-lateral contract salvation from the time they were first put in the church nursery. They have parents, grandparents, children, and other loved ones who held these beliefs. Some of these loved ones may have passed away. It is very painful for someone to admit that everything they have ever thought about salvation is 180 degrees from the truth, particularly if they have been teaching it to others – maybe even their own children.

    Bi-lateral contract salvation is what is taught in many/most churches. It is the official position of the Southern Baptist Convention. If you have already seen this, I apologize.

    Following is under “How to Become a Christian” from the SBC website:

    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.”

    The Baptist Faith and Message has evolved over time, but it has been based on A FALSE GOSPEL OF WORKS at least as far back as 1925, and much likely, even before that. Excerpts from the Baptist Faith and Message, two old versions, are set forth below:


    VIII. Repentance and Faith

    We believe that repentance and faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Saviour.

    XI. Perseverance

    All real believers endure to the end. Their continuance in well-doing is the mark which distinguishes them from mere professors. A special Providence cares for them, and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.


    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. Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer into a relationship of peace and favor with God.

    All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the cause of Christ, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

  66. I will not keep posting these but i thought i would pass along one more discussion i had on this girls blog i came across one day in the past.
    To set this up, unlike the last post where my name is connected with the other persons reply and vice versa . the post here my name is connected with my reply and the girls name is connected with her reply . I will first post the title of her web post followed by her blog post then my comment and then her reply and so forth. also i do not know this person, even where she is from or what church she is connected
    (Blog title)
    Bad News, Good News: Our Sin, Jesus’ Gift of Salvation
    (Her blog post below)
    God’s first call in our lives deals with salvation. In fact, most of the Bible centers around John 3:16 (NIV), “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

    The word salvation appears 164 times in the Bible. According to Strong’s Concordance, salvation is “mattâth” in Hebrew and Aramaic, which means “a present: ― gift; reward.” The Greek translation “soteria” means “rescue or safety.”
    The Bad News of Sin
    Salvation can be summarized as follows: deliverance from the power or penalty of sin.
    Whose sin? Both yours and mine. We’ve all done wrong things and failed to obey God’s laws (Romans 3:23; 5:12).
    The result? Separation from holy God, our Creator. This separation―the penalty of our sin―is eternal death (Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:10-15). Our best efforts–moralism–fall short in our attempts to unite with God (Isaiah 64:6). That’s the bad news.

    The Good News of the Gospel
    The good news: Jesus–God’s unique Son–never sinned (Hebrews 5:9). He alone bridged the gap between sinless God and sinful mankind when He freely died on the cross (1 Timothy 2:5-6; 1 John 5:9-12). He took our place in order to save us from sin’s consequences―including God’s judgment and death (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 5:8-11).
    The result? We can have new life because Jesus took our past, present, and future sins upon Himself, forgiving all our wrongdoing (Hebrews 10:5-18). Thus, He reconciles us to God (1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 10:19-22).
    Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the proof that His substitutionary sacrifice on the cross was acceptable to God. His resurrection has become the source of new life for whoever believes Jesus is the Son of God (John 11:25; Romans 10:9). He grants eternal life, giving union with God to those who believe and receive Him (Ephesians 2:4-7; John 1:12). This is His precious gift to us. He longs to save us from eternal death, which is a forever separation from Him in hell.
    I love good news, don’t you?
    (Now her last statement)
    Do you believe Jesus is God’s Son? If so, have you confessed your sins to Him and asked Him for the gift of eternal life and forgiveness?
    (Now her last statement above is what i am calling her on, now our discussion begins below)
    d taylor says
    September 11, 2013 at 8:20 pm
    A person only has to believe to receive eternal life, confession is part of a believers life not part of an unbeliever becoming a believer. In the Bible when a conditiion is given for a person to receive eternal life: belief, trust, faith is the only condition given. The only book written for the specific purpose of evangelizing so people may believe in The Messiah is the Gospel of John, John 20 30, 31 . In The Gospel of John, believe (or the equivalent word) is used around 98 times, throught the New Testament Bible faith alone is used over 150 times.

    kdmanes says
    September 12, 2013 at 1:00 pm
    I agree with you, and
    as I stated in the first part of my post, salvation is a gift. Yes, a person
    only has to believe, trust, and commit their lives to Christ to receive eternal
    life. True faith involves a commitment of one’s whole self to God. “For
    even the demons believe. . . and shudder.” (James 2:19). I’m not
    advocating salvation by works. . . . Why wouldn’t a person seek forgiveness
    when turning to Christ? Eternal life and forgiveness go hand in hand. Sin is
    what separates us from our holy God. He wants to not only save us, but also
    sanctify us. The book of John is a great book, especially for evangelizing. But
    the entire Bible centers around this wonderful truth: God loves us. And this
    message boils down to His beloved Son’s sacrifice on the cross for the
    forgiveness of our sins and eternal life found only in Him.

    d taylor says
    September 12, 2013 at 7:24 pm
    you are saying salvation is a gift, but are you saying as the Bible does that the gift is free. i did not see any reference to the idea of free being connected with the gift. The reason i say this is because your use of (a person only has to believe, trust and commit their lives to Christ to receive eternal life). you add to faith the work of commitment. that completely goes against what the bible says is require for an unbeliever to become a believer. The only condition, when a condition is given for a unbeliever to become a believer (to receive eternal life) is to just simply believe that Jesus is The Messiah (The Christ) and gives eternal life to any person who looks to Him for it.
    Look at John 6:28,29 the only condition given is belief
    John 6:28 So then they said to him, “What must we do to accomplish the deeds God requires?” 6:29 Jesus replied, “This is the deed God requires – to believe in the one whom he sent.”
    d taylor says
    September 12, 2013 at 7:24 pm
    commitment is connected to the believers life under the area sanctification/discipleship, not to the unbelievers as a requirement added to faith for them to receive eternal life.
    also the verse in james you posted about the belief of demons that verse is not even about receiving eternal life. salvation was never offered to demons their fate was sealed some time back before humanity was created when they chose to either stay with God or follow satan in his revolt aganist God.
    Hebrews 2:16 For surely his concern is not for angels, but he is concerned for Abraham’s descendants. 2:17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in things relating to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people
    (note about demons i am not sure (still studying this) if demons are fallen angles or connected to the nephilim in Genesis)

    kdmanes says
    September 13, 2013 at 9:36 am
    I don’t wish to argue with you. But if you are sincerely wanting to know my perspective. Here it is:
    A gift is freely received, or it wouldn’t be called a gift.
    My entire post is based on salvation being free: “Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the proof that His substitutionary
    sacrifice on the cross was acceptable to God. His resurrection has
    become the source of new life for whoever believes Jesus is the Son of
    God (John 11:25; Romans 10:9). He grants eternal life, giving union with
    God to those who believe and receive Him (Ephesians 2:4-7; John 1:12).
    This is His precious gift to us.” In Luke 14:25-35, Jesus gives some strong words about people who come to Him and consider following Him. . . . No, works of commitment won’t get us into heaven . . . . Yes, Jesus makes it clear that we should consider the cost before committing to following Him.
    My point about James 2:19 is about choices: True faith will result in believers taking up their cross, dieing to self, and submitting to God.

    and the discussion ended, well i did make another post but it was removed.
    but this is what i am seeing, seems like someone who says they agree with me yet say that salvation is by (believe, trust, and commit their lives to Christ to receive eternal life) so much confusion is out there and i have found it hard to help people see the correct truth of Bible people are very defensive of the commit, obedience, lordship message.

  67. d taylor, I don’t see any point in a salvation prayer. If someone believes in Christ, saying a salvation prayer isn’t necessary. If someone doesn’t believe in Christ, saying a salvation prayer won’t help.

    If a non-believer is told he must say a salvation prayer to become saved, this will add one more impediment to his ever believing in Christ alone.

    If a babe in Christ is duped into saying a salvation prayer because he thinks he has to, he is being led quickly down the path of Galatian error.

    I had a conversation with the pastor of an SBC church about the Baptist Faith and Message, and how it contained a false gospel. He became angry and pointed out his stat sheet in leading people to Christ. That seems to be a common reaction.

  68. Jan Kotlarski

    David, Acts 10:34-48 is an excellent record in the scriptures of unsaved men believing the gospel and on the Lord Jesus Christ and in such getting saved by faith alone, as one cannot receive the Holy Spirit while being unsaved.
    Dr. Hankins is just too hung up on the whole “1 2 3, repeat this prayer after me.” way of salvation, maybe this portion of scripture may change his mind about how one is saved by faith alone.

  69. David, what a mess, when men/women let their pride or traditions get in the way of seeing the truth of Scripture… I am glad you spoke the truth and maybe he’ll consider it later, I pray so.

    On the other hand, you are quite a talented artist. I have been an art dealer for a good part of my adult life. My mother is/was an artist (not now) but I was around it quite a bit. God bless you 🙂

  70. Holly, the Southern Baptists are one group of mixed up people. I know in MS just type in first baptist church for most any town in MS (example first baptist church Kosciusko, MS) and more that likely (95%) of the time you will find some type of performance based presentation of their idea of a salvation message on their church’s website somewhere. Below is a part of a conservation I had (2012) when I sent an email to the pastor of First Baptist Oxford, MS about the sinner’s prayer. How to read this is when you see my name it is Dr. Hankins replying to me and when you see his name it is my reply to him. This happened in one day in a matter of a few hours. Hope this is not too long. discussion below
    My position on the Sinner’s Prayer is a matter of public record. The criticism of its place in evangelism is misplaced. Can the sinner’s prayer be used in a manipulative way for the wrong reasons? Sure. So can music, invitation, and the Doctrines of Grace. I came to Christ by praying a Sinner’s Prayer as my father led me. My wife and I led our children to Christ the same way. My position is that we use the sinner’s prayer too little, not too much.
    The idea that the sinner’s prayer is not supported in the Bible is just riddled with hermeneutical problems.
    One question: How many people have you shared the gospel with this year? When you were calling them to decision, what did you say?

    Dr Hankins
    If you want to see what I say to people when sharing the Gospel you can look at my website under the John 3:16 section.

    1. You didn’t really answer my question.

    2. Your website tells people what to believe and do. How are they to express that to God? I think they do it by praying. On the basis of your website, they’d say: “Jesus, I believe you are the Christ. I believe that you are saving me this very moment. You have done your part by sending Jesus to the cross for my sins, and I accept your grace by faith alone in Christ alone.” Sure sounds like a sinner’s prayer to me. You just put it out there for someone to pray. What, pray tell, is the difference between the invitation on your website and a God-honoring public invitation to come to Christ by praying a sinner’s prayer. The answer: Zero.

    Dr Hankins
    I say Believe and that is the moment of eternal life. God does not have to be told when a person is believing He knows the very moment when a person believes.

    Now you’ve switched subjects. We are not talking about God’s knowledge; we are talking about the sinner’s prayer.

    I want to know how this works out in evangelism, since the Bible is pretty clear about that. What do we say to the lost about “belief”? What do the lost say to God about “belief”? What are the people who read your website supposed to do? You answer, “They should believe.” Great. And what will that look like? Something like this: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” Sounds like a sinner’s prayer to me.

    Tell me about the last person you led to Christ. How did your sharing of the gospel play out in their trusting of the Savior?

    Dr Hankins
    I have not switched subjects I am saying that when a person believes, God knows that. He does not need to be told by words coming out of a persons mouth. What about a person who can not talk, can they not be saved is that what you are saying only people who can speak be saved.

    The Bible is clear that when a person believes he receives eternal life.

    Do you really believe that I or anyone else with any sense thinks that it is the actual recitation of the words that saves? Do you think that I think that only people who can talk can be saved? Really, it’s this sort of ridiculous nit-picking and fastidious hairsplitting that drives the unnecessary division concerning the work of the gospel.

    I want to know who you’ve shared the gospel with recently and how the Lord used you in their process of coming to faith. Did you invite them to trust Christ as savior? If so, how did they go about trusting Christ? If it’s been a long time since you’ve shared your faith or led anyone to Christ, then why should I be particularly interested in your criticisms of anyone’s approach to evangelism?

    Dr Hankins
    I only believe what you are saying you told me, your words (I came to Christ by praying a Sinner’s Prayer as my father led me. My wife and I led our children to Christ the same way) sounds like you are placing your faith in a prayer you have said and not in Christ and His promise of eternal life for one who Believes in Christ for salvation. Is your faith placed in Christ or a prayer, if it is in Christ why do you feel you had to say a prayer. Do you not believe God new the moment you placed your faith in Christ. Did you have eternal life at the moment you believed in Christ for Justification (the facts of scripture 1Corinthians 15:3,4 ) or at the saying of your prayer.
    Then why have someone say a prayer and take a chance of that person placing their faith in a prayer they have said instead of placing their faith in Christ. why confuse the Gospel by adding to the Gospel the saying of a prayer. Tell them what the Bible says by placing their faith in Christ for salvation (and not some prayer they are saying) they will have eternal life. Christ is the Object of a persons faith.

    When telling someone about salvation the object of faith is Jesus and His promise of eternal life to the believer. If a person believes they have eternal life no prayer can make that any truer.
    Did you invite them to trust Christ as savior? yes i did (to trust Christ and not a prayer they say) If so, how did they go about trusting Christ? by simply placing their faith in Christ for their salvation they just believe the facts of the Bible. John says 98 times salvation is by Believing in Christ for salvation
    If it’s been a long time since you’ve shared your faith or led anyone to Christ, then why should I be particularly interested in your criticisms of anyone’s approach to evangelism? You should not be interested at all if what i am saying is not correctly in line with the Bible. Have you taken the time to do any research on how many people in the Bible are recorded receiving salvation by praying a prayer compared to people receiving salvation by believing (placing their faith) in Christ.
    I recently watched an interview of Steve Gaines pastor of Bellview Baptist church Memphis say a person can not be saved without praying. Its thinking like that, that is confusing the presentation of what a person must do to be saved Paul answers that Question 16:30 when asked by the jailer in Acts 16:31.

    he replied last with something like thank you have a good day

  71. d taylor – we were just speaking of the Baptists tonight (a friend and I), and how we never thought we would start hearing these types of things in that church (not sure why we thought that), but even knowing what the Word says about many being deceived, I guess it still floors me, and saddens me…

  72. Choose: pick out or select (someone or something) as being the best or most appropriate of two or more alternatives.
    “he chose a seat facing the door”
    synonyms: select, pick (out), opt for, settle on, decide on, fix on, take;
    appoint, name, nominate, vote for, elect
    “we chose a quiet country inn”

    Kathleen when the evidence (that Christ is the promised Messiah) convinces you that Jesus is who he said he is and that that eternal life is given by believing in Christ for eternal life. a person either believes that or they do not. Do you really choose to believe or choose not to believe, i see belief working fine without having to add choose to the belief.
    Like Jack said about the giving of the car keys and title to you, do you have to choose to believe that. in a moment of time belief occurs, i believe so quickly that nothing is needed to go with the act of belief. not even the act of choosing to believe.
    do little children choose to believe that santa is real it seems like they just simply believe their parents lie that there is really a santa. like wise when a person finds out santa is not real do they then choose not to believe. when the evidence that something is true people believe it when they are not convinced that the evidence is true they do not believe.
    maybe i am splitting hairs here but there is so much confusing language connected to the simple act of faith and in a sense adding the act of choosing to belief, does it really give the correct idea of what occurs when a person places their faith in Christ.

  73. Kathleen, you have said a lot, but really only seem to have two questions. I will try to take them one at a time.

    First, you said: “I guess what I am missing is like when you said no one needs to admit to God he’s a sinner, I always thought and was taught it wasn’t for God’s purpose I know he knows everything but it was for ourselves like in humbling our selves-most people don’t want to admit they are lost they have sinned and they can do (NOTHING) to escape the consequences. I was always taught (you first have to know your a sinner before you choose to be saved or not. As you said the gift is there but you still CHOOSE TO TAKE IT OR NOT.”

    My comment: I would recommend taking what you were always taught with a grain of salt. There is a good chance that much of it is not Biblical, and instead reflects church tradition. One does not need to “humble himself” by confessing his sinfulness to God and asking for salvation.

    Following is the plan of salvation, as set forth under the “Statement of Faith” section of this website. You will see that it includes knowing that one is a sinner (number 1) and that one can do nothing of himself to obtain righteousness (number 4).

    1. Establish the fact that all men are sinners. Romans 3:10; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9; James 2:10.
    2. Establish the fact that the penalty of sin is death. Romans 6:23; Ezekiel 18:20.
    3. Establish the fact that you must be perfect to enter heaven. Revelation 21:27.
    4. Establish the fact that man can do nothing of himself to obtain this perfection. Ephesians 2:8,9; Galatians 2:16; Romans 4:5.
    5. Show how God provided a sin-bearer, Jesus Christ [God in the flesh], and imputes to man His righteousness. II Corinthians 5:21; Phil. 3:9; Isaiah 53:6; I Peter 3:18.
    6. Establish the fact that man needs only believe/trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior for salvation. John 3:16; John 1:12; Acts 16:31.
    7. Establish the fact that man can be absolutely certain of his salvation now, and that his salvation cannot be lost because eternal life is eternal, a guarantee from God. John 6:37-39; John 10:28; I Peter 1:5; Hebrews 10:10-14; I John 5:13.

    Second, you said: “then the next question is take the person that says oh yeah I am going to heaven cause I believe Christ is who He said He is and did what He said He did. (AND THEN CONTINUES ON HIS MERRY WAY NEVER OPENING HIS BIBLE TO SEE MORE ABOUT THIS GUY HE SAID HE BELIEVED IN, never even knowing he might need to pick some new friends or stop some addictive behaviors all because he SAID I believe.”

    My comment: Our eternal destiny is based on what we believe, not how we behave. Ephesians 2:8-9 makes this crystal clear:

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

    Now, a believer SHOULD live for Christ, but whether or not he chooses to do that has NO bearing on his eternal destiny. He has eternal life by virtue of his belief in Christ alone as his Savior.

    Kathleen, don’t be confused. You are in the right place. There are more than 650 million websites out there, and I believe that the Holy Spirit has brought you here for a reason.

    I have prayed for you to grow in the knowledge of grace. Pray for guidance. Read your Bible. Challenge conventional wisdom, church tradition, the majority view, and what you have always been taught.

  74. d taylor, even if they seem to teach grace at the front end, many others backload the gospel with the “perseverance of the saints” error. In other words, “a true Christian will…”

  75. Holly Yes the turn from your sin is very much a southern baptist staple. I know the faith program (bobby welch) that many southern baptist churches participate in uses turn from sin as part of a list of about 5 things to do ending with most of the time a sinners prayer to receive Christ. I would say southern baptist are a very confusing group of people they speak faith in Christ out of one side of their mouth and at the same time out of the other side they are saying turn from sin, say a prayer walk a isle, invite Jesus into your heart, confess Christ. i look at the Baptist now and really have to closely listen to what they are saying to see if they truly are teaching a free grace, believe in Christ message. there are a few in the state. all to far for me to travel to on a regular basis.

  76. Boy I think I am confused but I can’t tell where I am missing it. Everything you both have said I and ALL the verses I know by heart and have used even the illustration more times than I can count. I guess what I am missing is like when you said no one needs to admit to God he’s a sinner, I always thought and was taught it wasn’t for God’s purpose I know he knows everything but it was for ourselves like in humbling our selves-most people don’t want to admit they are lost they have sinned and they can do (NOTHING) to escape the consequences. I was always taught (you first have to know your a sinner before you choose to be saved or not. As you said the gift is there but you still CHOOSE TO TAKE IT OR NOT. I DON’T mean that choosing is a works part of salvation but that it IS conditional, because even not by choosing you have chosen correct–I think– wow Yikes I am brain dead. then the next question is take the person that says oh yeah I am going to heaven cause I believe Christ is who He said He is and did what He said He did. (AND THEN CONTINUES ON HIS MERRY WAY NEVER OPENING HIS BIBLE TO SEE MORE ABOUT THIS GUY HE SAID HE BELIEVED IN , never even knowing he might need to pick some new friends or stop some addictive behaviors all because he SAID I believe. HELP PLEASE !! ALSO HOW MANY BLOGS DO YOU HAVE, HOW DO I KNOW WHICH TO WATCH AND WHICH TO COMMENT AND WHICH ONE IS THE BEST AND WHAT ARE THE TITLES- OH MY I QUIT . I TOLD YOU I WAS A NOVICE ON THIS THING. AND WHAT IF I HAVE A QUESTION THAT ISN’T ON THIS SIGHT? THE ONLY WAY I KEEP GETTING HERE IS CLICKING ON AN OLD E-MAIL. HELP ME HELP ME I’M DROWNING!!!!!!

  77. That is so great just to read your posts. I didn’t see Kathleen’s second post. We all understand a gift, we take it thankfully hopefully.

  78. Kathleen,

    You have asked some pertinent questions — which, incidentally, have been answered in previous comments on other articles at ExP. John’s answer above is excellent.

    About Romans 10 and “asking Jesus for salvation,” please consider this. Jesus has done all that is necessary for your salvation by His work on the cross and His resurrection. He now says salvation is His GIFT, given to you and to everyone in the world (John 3:16) for the taking,” whosoever believeth.” Why would anyone denigrate Christ’s Glorious, priceless Gift of Eternal Life by pleading, “Jesus, I beg you, will you please give me the gift of eternal life that you have already given”? A gift is for the taking when offered, not for asking or begging. We take the GIFT of Eternal life by BELIEVING in Jesus alone for our salvation.

    The GIFT:
    Romans 6:23
    “For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    Ephesians 2:8
    “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that [salvation is] not of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God:

    Kathleen, if I were standing in front of you with the keys and clear title to our car, signed over to you and I said, “Kathleen, here is my gift to you – take it, it is free, I have paid the price.” Would you then say to me, “Please, give me your car. May I have your car”? NO!!! The car is yours when you simply believe me and take the gift of the car.

    That illustration falls down because Jesus is God and His Gift is ETERNAL LIFE — but the principle is the same. We should tell people the Gospel of Salvation in Jesus alone and simply ask them to believe God’s Word and take His unspeakable GIFT, Eternal Life.

    2 Corinthians 9:15
    “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable GIFT.”

    IN Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  79. Kathleen, thanks for your questions. I’ll take a shot at them, and let Jack and others follow up.

    Romans 10:9-10: [9] 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.
    [10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    Once someone believes in Christ, he is justified. That means he is declared not guilty of his sins. He has eternal life from that moment on. Once someone has received eternal life, by Grace, through faith in Christ alone, he may pray to God for deliverance from trials, temptations, etc. I do not believe that “saved” or “salvation” in this passage refers to the receipt of eternal life.

    Jesus never mentions confessing Him as a requirement for eternal life (see John 3:16). Nor is this mentioned in other direct salvation passages, such as Acts 16:31

    We see this same concept in Romans 10:13-15, in which the Apostle Paul speaks of this process, rhetorically, in reverse order.

    Romans 10:13-15: [13] For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
    [14] How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
    [15] And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

    Here is the chronological order:
    1. A preacher is sent – verse 15 (except they be sent)
    2. He preaches – verse 15 (how shall they preach)
    3. The unbeliever hears – verse14 (how shall they hear)
    4. The hearer believes, and is therein saved – verse 14 (how shall they believe)
    5. The believer calls on the name of the Lord – verse 14 (how then shall they call on him)

    Regarding your question about the “ABCs”

    Admit – In order to be saved, one needs to know he is a sinner in need of a Savior. He does not need to admit this to God, as God is a mind reader and knows the person’s heart.

    Believe – In order to be saved, one needs to believe in Christ alone (God in the flesh, who’s death, burial, and resurrection provide the basis for our redemption) as his Savior

    Choose – One does not need to call on God to save him. One is saved by believing in Christ as his Savior.


    I assume that you mean that a believer SHOULD do these things. They are definitely not a requirement for someone to receive eternal life, which is a gift, with no strings attached.

    I hope that helps!

  80. Kathleen, it depends on what you use, whether it is Google Chrome, if so, to put on your bookmark bar, go to the main page, then you just put your mouse pointer up there on the bookmark bar itself. Then right click your mouse, and choose from the pop out menu to “add page”, and then you can select “add to your bookmarks bar”.

    Hope that helps, but if you have another browser, perhaps someone else could help.

  81. D Taylor, some other friends and I were discussing the “Bible belt” and it was because I had ordered some gospel of John and Romans from a Baptist group that was close to a friend of mine who is a pastor who is now a chaplain. I had no idea that inside the back cover would be a ‘turn from and repent of your sins’ message added to the gospel…

    Evidently this is quite prevalent. Praying people will hear and understand… Oddly, these are the same people who many will declare your total depravity and inability to do anything good, but somehow you can turn from sin?….

  82. JACK I was reading the comments before my first comment and i was reading where Cheryl on Aug.24, said that we don’t need to ask the Lord to save us or to ask him to forgive us???? what about Romans 10-9-10?
    am I wrong? iI have always understood this to mean that when the Holy Spirit convicts this is our way of acknowledging that yes I am sinner and as such I am separated from God and can do nothing about this by myself. God didn’t create me to be apart from him ,sin did that .so his son paid the price. God said the penality for sin is death. Hense he died. But then it was finished (praise God we don’t pray to an idle we pray to a living God. ( it is finished. he arose. SO– First I have To realize I am a sinner, (A)-A-D-M-I-T

  83. Johninnc, thank you so much and thank you Jack for finding me. You are right. I can’t seem to find you and I want to put you on my tool bar or bookmark but I don’t know how. I have a friend that might be able to help me. I am going to try and get her to stop by because even though I don’t open my computer but about 2 or3 times a week sometimes I still love to read your comments because they ALWAYS SPEAK NOT FROM JACK BUT FROM GODS WORD. GOD SAYS IT I BELIEVE IT AND SO LONG AS IT’S NOT TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT BY MAN (THAT SETTLES IT FOR ME.Robbie Hinner (spelling ?) used to sing that song. being from the south you probably remember him. I use to say it exactly as the song says. (GOD SAID IT I BELIEVE IT & THAT SETTLES IT FOR ME. ) But now things have changed and SOO MANY are taking the Bible and using it to right their on version GOD HELP THEM BECAUSE OF REV. 22:18-19 HE’S THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN.
    By the way I have punched that little plus sign that says follow and then I put inmy email in that box several times. but I still can’t get you. Maybe it’s o.k. now since I DID GET YOUR E-MAIL HOORAY !!!! P.Y.H.N.

  84. d taylor, thanks for your prayer request. I have joined you in praying for the State of Mississippi – specifically, that they would be receptive to the gospel, and realize that religion is worthless and salvation is priceless.

  85. Kathleen, welcome!

    I never really understood the gospel until about three years ago. I had heard the “turn from your sins” and “surrender your life to Jesus” for salvation so many times, that the first time I read a gospel presentation without those add-ons I thought there was something missing.

    I am so thankful for this ministry in helping me to grow in the knowledge of Grace. I am also thankful that God brought you here!

  86. If i may ask for prayers for the state of Mississippi that the faith alone in Christ alone will be made aware to as many people that will accept the message . It is really infested with false teaching people are very religious if it is not the southern baptists pushing the repent, say a sinners prayer, invite Jesus into your heart, walk an isle, etc.. to the smaller in number but still present calvinist, catholics, Methodist, presbyterian, Episcopal church seventh day adventist, jehovah witness etc.. it is here in mississippi

  87. Kathleen (Grammie B),

    We sincerely thank you for your emotional and moving note. If for no other person in the world, you are the one for whom we write here at ExPreacherMan!!

    We are thankful you understand and reject the subtleties of the Lordship “salvation” (probation) message. No need to be ashamed — you are in good company at ExPreacherMan. Many of our regular readers and commenters freely admit that they were fooled and had fallen for the error just as you. The important thing is that now you “get it” and desire to correct things. That is the proper and wonderful Biblical attitude.

    Piper is a dedicated Calvinist (as are JMac and most of the LSers) and as such are in cahoots and consort with the LS folks — like birds of a feather. Joni?? — I presume she innocently falls into the error and folks follow her without question or correction out of sympathy and sincerity. Nonetheless any works message for salvation is wrong.

    We will pray for your health and vision — with which I can empathize — I am am legally blind in one eye, almost in the other and in ill health — but my healthy, perky wife Shirley and I best you in the age department. She is 78 and I am 84. So hang in there — things get sweeter as the days go by and we live our daily lives in the Lord, relying upon the abundant Grace of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

    “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11 (KJV)

    Thankfully every Believer’s standing is eternal in Jesus — but our state (day to day) can be wobbly from time to time. Nonetheless, we are eternally content in Jesus!

    Please come back and comment frequently. You don’t seem to be a computer novice at all.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  88. Kathleen… boy you sure echoed a lot of the feelings I had, when I had to go back to my kids and explain the ‘asking Jesus into your heart’…

    When I read you say this, you could have spoken for me then, when it began to dawn on me over time, mostly from reading John over and over and not finding the terminology, then searching for it, and the closest I found was John 1:12 ‘received’, however it says believed as you know…And Eph 3:17 about Him coming to live in our hearts but not by asking Him, but by faith, and so I’m trying so hard to use His Word, and not mine, and it’s when I really saw the gospel’s power of God unto salvation, amazing…

    You said this “I am feeling very ashamed. Everything your statement of faith says is absolutely what I believe. Yet I am sad to say as you have pointed out the different PHRASES AND WORDING of these different people they are the same words that I have been saying for yrs. I was meaning one thing yet saying another not catching onto what I was really saying. Therefore teaching my kids wrong I think. God forgive me. I Pray the Holy Spirit brought the RIGHT MEANING to their hearts. Cause with them and their parents when it came to the time for a decision I was on target when I went over the step by step plan of God to save them and give them peace and joy while still here in this world.

    I sure know God has forgiven you and me too, but I sure wasn’t trembling at His Word who I changed it subtly… So very thankful that He showed me through His Word and confirmed through people like Jack, Bruce, Jim and John. Because for quite some time, I felt I was alone, and people thought what I was trying to say was just semantics.

    We need to share His truth and excise our own words that aren’t there… yikes… All I can say with you is Thank You Lord for your goodness and mercy.

  89. Welcome Kathleen! We’re so glad that you discovered

    Yes, Lordship “salvation” teaching is very pervasive and at times very subtle. Please explore the many articles at this site on the subject. Also, for a terrific book recommendation, see Dr. Thomas Cucuzza’s fine book on the subject:

  90. Hi Jack and the whole gang. I am a new blogger, and am new also to this thing called a computer. I found you because a member of Pastor Scudder’s team , was telling me about John Mac.’s Lordship Sal. thing. I told him I had never heard of this and ask him to explain. When he did I flatly told him I didn’t believe him. I had heard John Mc. preach several times and He wouldn’t do such a terrible thing. He very sweetly suggested that I look up Lordship Salvation. I have just spent the last 6 hours. reading things on these sites. Also from John Piper He wrote a huge article against Lordship Salvation. and yet I just read from one of your friends on here that he was wrong also. ???? !!!! Boy am I confused. I need to say first I guess that I am 70 yrs. old. Was wonderfully Saved when I was Eight. I have been a missionary with C.E.F. Child Evangelism Fellowship for many many yrs. I have been very ill with several diseases over the past several yrs. and have been out of the loop. But after hearing all you are saying,
    I am feeling very ashamed. Everything your statement of faith says is absolutely what I believe. Yet I am sad to say as you have pointed out the different PHRASES AND WORDING of these different people they are the same words that I have been saying for yrs. I was meaning one thing yet saying another not catching onto what I was really saying. Therefore teaching my kids wrong I think. God forgive me. I Pray the Holy Spirit brought the RIGHT MEANING to their hearts. Cause with them and their parents when it came to the time for a decision I was on target when I went over the step by step plan of God to save them and give them peace and joy while still here in this world.
    Is it possible that people like Joni Erickson and others like her are being deceived as I have been. Perhaps their hearts are right but their missing the VERY SUBTLE changes in words like FOR salvation AND SOME OF THE OTHERS YOU MENTIONED. I was shocked to see that I missed those things. and now I am checking every statement I make . I am so used to saying some of that sort of phraseology that I am afraid I will give the wrong meaning to what I really want to say. Anyway It is by God’s grace and leading that I found you. He knows my heart and that my life’s desire is that it would count for Him and that I live to use the gift of teaching that he has given me for kids and especially delinquent kids. Before my husband’s death we had many yrs of being house parents with these special kids that the system and society has let down,and also a prison ministry for yrs with my father, and here in Il.. with a women’s prison.
    I am so grateful that you are here. I wonder is there any easy to read books that will show me more of this subtle language that is sneaking into our churches? I have trouble with my eyes so can’t read a lot but I want to clean up my mouth so it is no longer deceptive.
    thank you. I will be following you. and praying for you all. Grammie “B”

  91. “My joy in the Lord started to diminish”

    Yes, that is one thing that happens when a person believes lordship salvation. Joy leaves. It is the classic Galatian error (Galatians 4:15). Joy leaves, and is replaced by fear, insecurity, and frustration in life.

  92. Hi Cheryl,

    Yes, thanks for that stirring testimony. You are welcome here and will find many free Grace friends and fellowship at ExPreacherMan.

    If I may make a point, you said, “The Holy Spirit gave me the simple faith to trust in Christ when I was 20.” The Scripture tells us the the Holy Spirit convicts everyone of sin, righteousness and Judgment — making us understand our need for the Savior, Jesus, who said:

    “And when he [The Holy Spirit] is come, he will reprove [convict] the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” John 16:8

    Our faith is our choice, what we choose to believe about Jesus and His sacrifice on the Cross for us and isn’t a gift of/from the Holy Spirit/God. And the wonderful blessing is, the Holy Spirit continues to guide all believers into all truth:

    “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:….” John 16:13

    It is always our responsibility to be responsive to His guidance. What a comfort it is to know that.

    Thanks again for your uplifting comment.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  93. Cheryl, welcome! We are glad you’re here. What a great testimony!

  94. Welcome Cheryl!

    Thank you for your tremendous word of testimony of the Grace of God in your life!

  95. I’m so glad to have found your web-site. The Holy Spirit gave me the simple faith to trust in Christ when I was 20. I didn’t pray a prayer, walk an aisle, or any of those things. I simply came to the end of myself, knowing I had nothing to offer God but my helplessness and sin. The Holy Spirit revealed Jesus Christ to my desperate heart, I believed in Him, and a rush of assurance flooded me. I was born again!!
    As my walk in Christ progressed, I began to hear falsehoods in the church, and if you listen to these things long enough, you start to believe them. My joy in the Lord started to diminish. I came (or rather God showed me) that if truth sets you free, then error has to put you in bondage. Oh, and John McArthur was one of those teachers that put me in bondage the most! I began to ask God to deliver me from error and doctrines of demons (I still ask him to do this). He has shown me so much about the sufficiency of Christ. Not only as my Savior but also my strength. Praise His name!! The Lordship Salvationist (works Salvationists) really keep people from understanding the finality of the cross. It makes me so sad. Even in my church, I hear subtle things. For example, the altar call to “come and give your life to Christ,” pray the sinners prayer, etc, etc. I’m bothered because those things don’t save. It is Christ and Him alone who saves. He has already done everything to secure our salvation, paid every penalty for sin that has been or ever will be committed. What is our response to such an amazing salvation? Take it. Trust Christ. He doesn’t need anything added to His work on the cross. What an amazing Savior!!

  96. Hazel, in addition to the things cited by Jack, Holly, and Jim, I would offer the following observations:

    1. I listed to some of Anderson’s sermon excerpts on the timing of the rapture. His tone was extremely caustic. He lumped people who believe in the pre-tribulation rapture in with charismatics, pentecostals, and Lordship salvationists as all teaching the “evil lie” of the pre-tribulation rapture.He says that teaching the pre-tribulation rapture is keeping believers from being prepared for the persecution that will precede the rapture. He could not come up with any reason why people would teach the pre-tribulation rapture, other than they “are scared of the truth.”

    2. On the “Soul Winning” section of the church website, I found “The Bible Way to Heaven.” Following are excerpts:

    “Eternal life is a gift purchased by the blood of Jesus and offered freely to those who call upon Him by faith. Anyone who believes on the Lord
    Jesus Christ will be saved forever…

    Let us help you word a prayer. Realize it’s not mere words that save, but your faith in Jesus Christ.

    Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I know I deserve to go to Hell. Please save me and take me to Heaven when I die. Amen.”

    My comment: One does not have to call on the Lord, nor ask for salvation, to be saved. He needs to know that he is a sinner, in need of a Savior, and trust in Christ alone as his Savior.

    3. There was some goofy list of foods to eat and avoid to help with memorizing scripture.

  97. Jack,

    Faithful Word Baptist Church is pastored by Steve Anderson and we talked about some of his erroneous teaching and behavior back when answering some of Daniel’s questions.


    I would not recommend Pastor Steve Anderson or his church. He is no stranger to controversy. Maybe Jack or Bruce know which posts many of those comments were under.

    One thing I will note is that the church is wrong to state that believers go into the tribulation. This is known as the mid-trib or pre-wrath rapture view. It is usually held either by some type of ultra dispensationalist or maybe someone like Anderson that “claims” to be non dispensational. Quite honestly i think that that leads into problems keeping things straight doctrinally.

    For starters concerning the rapture look at these verses:

    1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
    1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
    1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
    1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
    1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
    1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

    These verses are talking about the rapture, not the second coming (Christ coming to earth to establish the millennial kingdom) because the rapture is Christ coming for the church in the air. Now to establish why the pre-trib timing is correct there would have to be a lot more explanation. Here are some principles though. The church is not to go through God’s wrath during the 7 year trib period, the “restrainer” is removed during the tribulation (possibly referring to believers indwelt by the Spirit ), and the fact that the Bible says that the rapture could happen at any time whereas the second coming happens after certain specifically mentioned events.

    Jim F

  98. Holly,

    Thanks for those scriptures and comments on the Rapture. We should all be Bereans and study them to be be well “versed.”.

    In Jesus Christ eternally,Jack

  99. Whew… so glad HE is my Savior… HE does the Saving…Thank You Lord!

  100. Gil, good to meet you, my husband’s name was Gil. Did you go read my link on that sermon? Just one of many sermons where MacArthur does not use the Word of God to judge what is right, but his own human wisdom.

    I’ll give you some excerpts, and just a thought. In the end there will be a man of peace. We see today many preachers, preaching peace but they are deceivers. We don’t judge by feelings, but we must use the Sword, the strong meat of His Word to discern between good and evil.

    I don’t know about you Gil, but truly I cannot even memorize all these, let alone DO all these… I Cor 4:5

    John MacArthur says….

    “the Kingdom opens up to those who…

    1. seek with all their hearts.

    2. You’re not going to sleep your way into the Kingdom.

    John MacArthur continues….

    The Kingdom requires

    3. earnest endeavor,

    4. untiring energy,

    5. utmost exertion because….

    a. Satan is mighty and

    b. has a vast array of helpers,

    c. because he has many false prophets

    d. and deceivers all over the world,

    e. because he actually receives support from the fifth column established in every man’s heart, the love of sin.

    6. To let go of the love of sin,

    7. To desire to be forgiven of sin,

    8. (to desire to be) delivered from sin,

    9. to let go of pride

    10. (to let go of) self-will

    AND ( in order to let go of the above)

    a. demands a vigor,

    b. (demands) an eagerness,

    c. (demands) a willingness to conquer,

    d. (demands we) take possession of the Kingdom with all its blessings of salvation.


    For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. Rom 4:3-4

  101. The Rapture, Christ comes to reward (4:17)
    The Second Coming, Christ comes to judge – Matt 24:31-46

    1 Thess 4:18 says the Rapture is a time of blessing and comfort, however 2 Thess 2:8-12 says this time is a time of destruction and judgment.

    John 14:1-3; 1 Cor 15:51-55, 1 Thess 4:13-18 speaks to believers, but Matt 24-25 involves both Gentiles and Jews. Another thing to consider in 1 Cor 15 is that it occurs in a twinkling of an eye, less than 1/10th of a blink someone said. So who could ‘see’ His coming if we were gone that fast? But Matt 24:27 lets us know He will be seen by all.

    There are a lot more Scriptures I can offer if you would like, or if you have particular questions, there really are an awful lot of Scriptures that make it clear. I could on for a long time about this wonderful subject, and I’m sure others have lots more to offer, but I have waylaid probably enough 🙂

    For me, when I saw the verse in Revelation 4:1, Jesus was standing at the door. I remembered from James that He was the judge ‘standing at the door’ and of course He calls the church to “come up Hither”. There is only one other place where I saw that, and it is the witnesses in Revelation 11, they too, after being killed and coming to life are called to “come up hither” and they go up to the clouds (as does the church) to be with Him.

    Since we are told, that the church is not appointed to wrath, and Jesus is the one pouring out the wrath by opening up the seals in Revelation 6, He would not go against His Word, there is no condemnation to us that in Christ Jesus, nor is there any longer any of God’s wrath upon us.

    Jesus voice is like a trumpet (see Revelation 1) and that is the last trump we here I believe, come up hither. Unto Jesus is given all judgment and all execution of judgment. Remember when it was asked who was worthy to open scrolls, answered starting in 5:3, “And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.”

    There are people in heaven, as we see with the elders starting in chapter 4, who were wearing white rainment (means they have resurrected bodies) and wearing crowns (must mean they have been to the judgment seat of Christ, the Bema seat) and it identifies later in chapt 5, that they were ‘redeemed’ from every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation. Has to be representative of the church.

  102. Here are some Scripture references to consider. And you can look them up and ask yourself these questions.

    The Rapture, Christ comes FOR us. I Thess 4:16-17

    The Second Coming, Christ comes WITH us…His Saints, 1 Thess 3:13, Jude 1:14-15

    The Rapture, Christ comes in the AIR.
    I Thess 4:16-17
    The Second Coming, Christ comes TO the earth. Zech 14:4

    The Rapture, CHRIST gathers His bride. 1 Thess 4:16-17
    The Second Coming ANGELS gather the elect. Matt 24:31

  103. RAPTURE: For those who say it was made up in the 1800’s, not the case, even the word was used before then. The rapture is Biblical and BEFORE His second coming. Not that we take books, but here is just to show for people like that pastor who say it’s a made up word, and our gathering is the Second Coming, let me share a couple excerpts from this book: (If appropriate with admins – I had it on a note I started about three agos on the rapture).

    Paul N. Benware, from the Moody Bible Institute: (I saw him in person about 2010 here in Scottsdale.) In his book, “Understanding End Times Prophecy”, Benware notes that many writers in the 17th and 18th Centuries began to speak of a Rapture separate and apart from the Second Coming:

    • “Peter Jurieu in his book, Approaching Deliverance of the Church (1687) taught that Christ would come in the air to rapture the saints and return to Heaven before the battle of Armageddon… (Holly: we see the word “rapture” that they say was not taught until the 1800s)

    • Philip Doddridge’s commentary on the New Testament (1738) and John Gill’s commentary on the New Testament (1748) both use the term rapture and speak of it as imminent. It is clear these men believed that this coming will precede Christ’s descent to the earth and the time of judgment. The purpose was to preserve believers from the time of judgment.

    • James Macknight (1763) and Thomas Scott (1792) taught that the righteous (that’s US!) will be carried to heaven, where they will be secure until the time of judgment is over.”

  104. So, I’ve been reading through Hazel, and of course anyone who equates the rapture with the second coming is able to make their case somehow with Scripture if we don’t answer them back with Scripture, so we should carefully “prove all things”, many times they do not even offer Scripture in context, so I will be back and share some differences with you.

    So glad you’re here. Are you in Tempe? I am Scottsdale. I go to a sound Bible Study for the moment, and Sunday mornings at 9:45 am Fred Chay teaches at the Scottsdale Bible Church chapel, but because of some of the leaders there, I could not recommend their church in general. Fred Chay is Free Grace, but Steven Anderson is legalist, and doesn’t rightly divide God’s Word from the things I have searched him out on. As Fred Chay would say, “Legalism is Lethal” (a little booklet he has) 🙂

  105. Hi Hazel, glad you asked, first I just want to quickly say that the pastor of that church is more like a cult than anything else. He was the one that made national headlines for praying for Obama to be killed. Don’t know if you remember that. He is similar to the Westboro Baptists.

    Many of the Calvinists have “Discernment sites” in which of course they point out the error of all other faiths except for Calvinism.

  106. Hazel,

    Yes, you will find a myriad of questionable teachings in, not only Baptist churches, but in most all, all over the world. We hear that same readers lament from everywhere on the globe.

    We are here to help you understand God’s Grace completely and clearly. We appreciate your concern.

    Search our ExP “Search Box” (right column) for “Calvinism” or the specific verse you question and you will find many articles here which expose most Calvinist teachings, the TULIP, and their accompanying Lordship “salvation.”

    Maybe some of our regular commenters will give you assistance, either referring you to one of our articles dedicated specifically to exposing those errors. If you do not find answers you desire, ask away here.. but please try searching our web site first. You will be amazed how many articles we have on those lies.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  107. Jack,

    Thanks for responding!! I certainly comprehend the differences you point out in doctrine. I will take note of that. It’s so difficult because there are myriads of combinations of different doctrines in a doctrinal statement by baptist churches, and they all prove them by scripture. There are too many positions for one doctrinal position, and that is overwhelming to me.

    I do have many questions, Jack, but they are all the controversial ones unrelated to this posting :/
    I would not want to change the topics of this post.

    I may have several questions regarding verses Calvinists like to use to defend their doctrines. They always seem to come up with scary verses that sound like they support Calvinism. Let me know if it is appropriate to ask.


  108. Hazel,

    Thanks for visiting and your question. Note that we removed the link to the church as we only advertise churches we know and approve. The church does not say so but appears to be an IFB church, (Independent Fundamental Baptist) of which some are clear and some not. Many of them believe “repent” for salvation means to “turn from sin” a typical error. I did not find such a statement at their Statement of Faith (SoF) page.

    One phrase that does bother me at their SoF is this:

    “We believe that the rapture will take place after the tribulation but before God pours out his wrath on this earth. We reject dispensationalism.”

    He has the Rapture (the taking away of believers by Jesus) wrong, as it will precede the 7 year Tribulation. We disagree (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) and there are other scriptures which disprove his theory. Probably the reason we disagree is that he rejects “dispensationalism,) which is no magic illusion but is simply understanding the Bible by the different time periods (dispensations) of Biblical history and how the Lord deals with men in each time period. Studying the Bible by understanding the various time periods of history is an excellent way to make sure our preaching does not devolve into several errors and the “law keeping” rules of the Old Testament.

    That church may be a fine Grace church but I would certainly question it from those two points alone, what we consider error..

    We pray this helps. Feel free to ask questions.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  109. Hi everyone,

    In Tempe, Arizona, there is a preacher we know here who vehemently opposes John MacArthur in his views. I looked at their doctrinal statement, and it seems sound? They are a baptist church and reject Calvinism like you guys do at this blog. Please take a look and evaluate for me. It is a church nearby where I live here. Thanks everyone!

    {Link to Faithful Word Baptist Church removed by Admin}


  110. Gil,

    Welcome to ExPreacherMan, an Oasis of Free Grace.

    I am sorry you felt “in peace” and did not see the blatant theological error in either of JMac’s statements.

    I will explain:

    JMac’s first “corrected” error is here quoted in excerpts, “Salvation isn’t the result of an intellectual exercise. It [salvation] comes from a life lived in obedience and service to Christ as revealed in the Scripture; it’s the fruit of actions, … without actions are empty and futile… The life we live, not the words we speak, determines our eternal destiny“

    WOW!! So you and JMac believe your eternal destiny depends upon the life you live?? That directly contradicts the entire Bible’s Grace (undeserved mercy) message, exemplified by Ephesians 2:8-9, “saved by Grace through faith — NOT of works lest any man should boast..” There is NO eternal security in anyone’s behavior!!

    So you would look at a Catholic who owes his allegiance to the pope and the Catholic Church — or an atheist philanthropist — who through the life they live, doing wonderful works, are “in peace” and justified before God having their eternal destiny secured by their behavior? THAT totally contradicts God’s Word!!

    Jmac’s “corrected” error, selected quotes:
    “Don’t believe anyone who says it’s easy to become a Christian.” [Christ Himself said in: John 3:16, “… that whosoever believeth in Him [Jesus] should not perish, but have everlasting life.” That’s about as easy as it gets from the Savior Himself.

    Continuing with JMac, “Salvation … it’ll cost you the same thing [your life].” BIG error there — Salvation is not a bilateral contract but a unilateral, contractual promise from God — we believe in Jesus and we HAVE eternal life.

    Continuing with JMAC’s error upon error: “The life we live,… reveals whether our faith is authentic.” Chapter 6 (page 93)

    Do you honestly believe your life, the Catholic’s or atheist’s life, reveals authentic faith?

    Gil, we pray you will believe, by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone to give you the eternal life you need.

    Yes, Gil, a believer’s behavior SHOULD (Ephesians 2:10) reflect that he has placed his faith in Jesus alone – but behavior NEVER determine one’s eternal destiny.

    Aren’t you honestly happy that the Lord judges believers by our one time faith decision — and NOT by our behavior?

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  111. I did not see anything wrong w jmacs salvation quote; either in the original form nor in the revised version. I read both versions once, twice, thrice and both came to me “in peace”. It is apparent the revisions were made to remove any ambiguity the original might create. In fact, it did really create a problem to many, if not to all of the people here.

    Good works is indicative of a transformed life; a better monitor of what’s going on in a person. Somebody mentioned dogs barking. A dog barks because it is a dog; it does not bark because it wants to be a dog.

  112. Hi Holly,

    Thanks for the good comments and the link. One of our regular commenters a long time ago said about MacArthur and others who preach his “gospel,” “Why don’t these guys just go ahead and declare themselves to be Roman Catholics?”

  113. I say that Macarthur’s message was basically the same in his “Only Road to Heaven” message that I mentioned elsewhere. I’ll supply the link, you can remove if you want, but I find it interesting that they’ll cover up in a book but it’s all over his site.

    Works salvation, plain and simple.

  114. Bro David,

    Appreciate your prayers, and from all others.

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  115. Praying for you bro. Jack, sorry you have not been well.

  116. Kevin,

    Really appreciate the encouragement. We’ll continue as the Lord wills.

    Sorry to be late answering — haven’t been well the last few days.

    In Christ eternally, Jack

  117. Holly, you said: “The point is, who is he speaking of when he says we are not saved by ‘reciting a prayer’ or it being the result of an ‘intellectual exercise’.”

    This is an attempt, by MacArthur, to denigrate Christians, all of whom have been saved by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. No one has ever been saved by saying a prayer. Likewise, if the result of an “intellectual exercise” is that one believes in Christ, he is saved. MacArthur may have been throwing out the old LS standby that there is a difference between “head faith” and “heart faith”, which is not true.

  118. Hi Jack,

    Do not tire of the battle Brother. Dr. MacArthur’s error has not changed, but he has gotten better at packaging it. It may seem tiresome to respond to the same error time and again but I think of Paul’s words:

    Philippians 3:1b “For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.”

  119. Jack, Yes I would love to have them. I believe he is aware yet deceived if that makes sense, that is the part I am praying he might turn from. The saddest part? Many people coming out of deception see him as a solid Bible teacher and share him with others. Many other people who even disagree with that part of his theology, don’t see an issue with still taking teaching from him.

    I have personally see one change in the last couple of years and I know she is listening to him more and it is discouraging. It wasn’t a change for the positive I don’t believe. All I can say to JMac and the way we can know if they are a Christian, I agree, a transform-ing life should be happening if they are being properly discipled/taught/fed from His Word.

    Trouble is that he confuses and adds discipling to the faith from the beginning. It can’t be done. I lived his way for many years, and probably looked pretty good to the church on the outside, but I think I had a few, sweet, humble believers who saw and prayed. But, I was living by that legalism, and it’s impossible. It’s discouraging. Now I’m just happy to spend time with Him. Thankful that He has given me His Word. And thankful for those who will contend for the truth with sound speech that cannot be condemned. Appreciate your kind and gentle demeanor always, no matter how angry some may get. God bless you and your family as always.

  120. Holly,

    Just to confirm what I said about JMac, here is just one quote from his Grace to You web site: “The only way we can know a Christian is by a transformed life. Sermon on Deliverance, October 2000. We know that is a lie — look at religions and see wonderfully behaving members, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Seventh Day Adventists, Jws, Baptists, etc. Behavior neither makes a believer nor prove one.

    The more JMac talks about it the worse it gets. I have several quotes by JMac if you wish I will send links and quotes directly to you.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  121. Holly,

    Very true…

    You said, ” I pray John [MacArthur] will see the implications of what he is teaching.” We would pray the same but JMac knows full well what he is preaching and the implications of it. We have many quotes from him that indicate he is fully aware. Years ago one of his first statements (not a quote) abiout his teaching was something to the effect that he despised seeing his church folks living carnal lives — so he devised his “theology” to try and prevent it. He is now teaching that same philosophy in his California seminary, producing such terrible teachers as Francis Chan, et al.

    Though his web site is called Grace to You, JMac does not preach Grace — but puts folks under his idea of behavior (law). Christian carnality cannot be cured by putting folks under the law. They need God’s Grace; Saved by Grace, disciplined by Grace and live by Grace (as you said).

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  122. The point is, who is he speaking of when he says we are not saved by “reciting a prayer” or it being the result of an “intellectual exercise”.

    I DO see a difference in what he wrote. What I see is a very subtle approach, that still corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ, just without being so obvious. I pray John will see the implications of what he is teaching. If men would understand that they need to point people to Christ and to what He has done. To send them into His Word for guidance, counsel, wisdom and understanding, sanctification. If they would encourage them to do the one thing that Jesus said was needed, more believers would be exhibiting fruit as they are washed in the water by the Word.

    This teaching just distracts real believers and makes them live in fear. They have no peace, how can they as they look inward again at all their failures, instead of recognizing His grace, His faithfulness to forgive their sins, they are focused on the realization they can’t do it, and they’ve forgotten that He has already done it, because they were unaware as these men have come in to spy out our liberty in Him to bring us into bondage….

    It is bondage, I have seen so many who now doubt their salvation who are consistently preaching Macarthur, or others going through hard times, who are in fear, and don’t know why they are not experiencing peace… May the Lord turn them back to the lover of their souls.

  123. John G,

    2 Thessalonians 3:13
    “But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. “

    I am writing to myself as well with that verse.

    Your family’s affinity for Calvin and JMac is duplicated in some of my family also — So I empathize.

    I pray the Lord will continue to bless you too.

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  124. John Gregory

    Thank you Jack! My weariness is probably due to a lack of prayer on my part. I’m back on track now. Contending for the truth is part of our calling! I do realize that we are told to stand firm for the Word of God and to proclaim, expound, and live it. Sometimes, looking at the professing Church does, because of its false doctrines, which are so abundant, cause the individual to grow weary. That is why prayer is so much needed!
    I have relatives & loved ones who are taken up by and with Calvinism & JMac doctrine! This causes me much heartache.
    Again, thank you and God bless.
    John G.

  125. John G,

    Good to hear from you again.

    You are right — and John’s point is well taken. But we, as tellers of The Truth, not only preach the Truth of God’s Word but we are also to warn of error and attempts to persuade those who lack understanding that they deal in error. The Apostle Paul felt it necessary on many occasions and places in Scripture to warn believers and rebuke them for error. We are certainly not the Apostle Paul but we attempt to do the same in our own small way.
    1 Corinthians 4:14
    I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.”

    We appreciate your insightful input.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  126. John G, I am tired of it too. Unfortunately it is emanating from much of professing Christendom, to a greater or lesser extent. Consider this quote from Clear Gospel Campaign:

    “If you are able to remember these simple truths about biblical repentance, you will know more about repentance, and more about the doctrine of salvation, than 99.9% of the ministers filling the pulpits of Christian churches across the land. 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.

    The church will never fulfill the Great Commission as long as it is confused on the very message of the gospel! Certainly not while it continues to proclaim salvation by faith plus. And the church will never be lifted from its confusion unless each of those who understand the truth of the gospel labor to change it.”

  127. John Gregory

    I am growing weary of hearing the same barking from JMac. Whether he is howling or barking it is still the same old noise. I would just as much dislike reading a book by Sproul as JMac. Same bark, different dog. How about some good Pauline Dispensationalism instead? Let the barkers go on and bark!
    Let us strive to proclaim the Truth, not rehash stupidity.

  128. “…not an intellectual exercise…”, “not from a…Book of Intellectual Musings…”, “…not merely intellectual assent…”

    This really is a favorite, parroted phrase, isn’t it? I wonder who coined it? I believe Thomas’ book’s copyright date is 1961. John pointed out his using the phrase in a previous thread, which I had always interpreted to mean that it’s not enough for one to believe Jesus died as a historical fact, but that it was for me! It’s quite evident that the “works crew” mean something entirely different; that one should sign on as a slave for whom there is no such thing as peace, assurance, or rest.

  129. Bobby,

    Welcome. We are happy to add one more discerning friend to our web site. Yep, it is a works based message no doubt.

    Lou, thanks.

    JMac has not changed his message at all… His “changes” are just as “Hard to Believe” as his original for rational folks.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  130. There is very little difference. Jan noted it and I have written on it at my blog. When I return home I will try to remember to share a link to my thoughts on the excerpt from Hard to Believe.


  131. John,

    Did you notice any substantial nuanced changes from the Masters of Deception? Propaganda parade.

    In Christ eternally, Jack

  132. i saw this last week and i agree with you i was shocked number1 and number2 i still thought it was works based salvation

  133. It is the same old thing – salvation by works. What a waste of paper and ink!