The Terrible Legacy of Lordship “Salvation” (Lordship “Salvation” Exposed)

By Jack Weaver

Just today I received an email from a dear new reader, Doug. He describes himself as a believer in Jesus Christ but is afraid that he may not be showing enough good works to prove it to himself (or maybe to God). Whether he is aware of it or not, he is describing the terrible legacy and symptoms of the Lordship “Salvation” teachers.

I know Doug will appreciate our readers’ and contributors’ help and comments in order to give him the assurance he so desires from our wonderful Savior. Your comments and help will be welcome. I have emphasized in bold what I believe are some very important points in Doug’s note.

Doug, we certainly want to help you with the assurance God offers so prominently in His Word.

Some of our wonderful friends/readers either know of others who have struggled with these same questions and emotions or have themselves been through the same torture.

~~ Doug’s Note ~~

I have been having some trouble concerning salvation and wanted to know if you could help me?

I think my feelings are getting too involved with my salvation, ie. I feellike I need to do something to be good enough to be saved. I know this is not what God says about eternal life but what this does is causes me to doubt if I have truly trusted Christ alone for salvation.

I believe the only way to be saved is to have faith in Christ alone and want to be sure I have put my faith in Christ alone for my salvation.

One thing I focus heavily on is my fear of being cast in to hell. An eternity in hell scares me to death and that’s why I am wanting to be sure I have my faith only in Christ. I guess the thought of adding works to grace scares me because then there is no more grace.

I think I’ve transferred all of my trust to Christ alone for salvation but get scared I haven’t because of the thoughts that come in to my mind sometimes about turning my life around or not doing that otherwise you’re not going to be saved etc… I know I should not do certain things but not in order to be saved. But the question makes me doubt my motives and I know God knows my heart better then I do.

Doug, we appreciate you and will pray for you. We are sure some of our dedicated readers will have great words of consolation for you from God’s Word.

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43 responses to “The Terrible Legacy of Lordship “Salvation” (Lordship “Salvation” Exposed)

  1. Happy 4th of July to all of our wonderful grace friends!

    Here is a brief post and video celebrating our Freedoms in Christ:
    https://expreacherman.com/2012/07/04/july-4th-2012-let-freedom-ring/

  2. Another good explanation of saving repentance comes from Chafer:

    “The sinner cannot turn to Christ in confidence from any other dependence without a change of mind which is repentance.”

  3. John Gregory

    THANK YOU FOR THE CORRECTION AND GUIDANCE!
    God willing, I will purchase and read the volume you mentioned! I am always grateful for being shown my error and I will study deeper!
    Thank you so very much!
    Your brother in Christ,
    John Gregory

  4. Jack, I’ve read Dr. Cucuzza’s book and have found it to be a great resource. My current copy is on long-term loan with a friend of mine.

    In addition, on the subject of eternal security, one of the best things I have read is “Must Faith Endure for Salvation to be Sure” by Tom Stegall. See link below:

    http://duluthbible.org/files/Publications/Grace%20Family%20Journal/GFJ%202003%20PDF/GFJ%202003%2003%20Summer/GFJ%202003%2003%20Must%20Faith%20Endure%2008%20Stegall.pdf

    Another great source is Clear Gospel Campaign, which has extensive compare/contrast between both false doctrines of Arminianism and Calvinism, as well as how each of them deviates from Biblical truth. Please see links on eternal security and assurance below:

    http://www.cleargospel.org/topics.php?t_id=7
    http://www.cleargospel.org/topics.php?t_id=1

  5. John G,

    Thanks for your comments. True!! Man made books can have error. But…..

    One of the best books on Free Grace vs Calvinism and such error is Secure Forever! God’s Promise or Our Perseverance?, by Dr. Tom Cucuzza.

    You can see the book mentioned in the upper right column on this page. It comes in regular book form or e-Book format.

    Thanks again for your interest in Free Grace Truth.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  6. John G., thanks for the explanation.

    I read extensive sections of Olson’s book today, and based on his writings, I would never know whether I was saved or not. If I was not confident in my salvation, based on sound Biblical exegesis, and read Olson’s book, I would be more confused than ever.

    For me, I was lost for most of my life because I thought I had to repent from my sins to be saved. This is not Biblical, and in the chapter in Olson’s book entitled “What Must I Do To Be Saved”, he seems to say that someone must repent from his sins to be saved. I did not repent from my sins to be saved. My repentance meant to quit believing that I had to repent from my sins or commit my life to Christ to be saved. I decided to trust in Christ alone and to give up trusting in my repentance from sins or anything else.

    Olson’s sections on eternal security are equally confusing, and seem to involve “testing oneself”.

    If Olson’s book is Free Grace Biblicist theology, then I don’t believe in Free Grace Biblicist theology.

  7. John Gregory

    Greetings! My only purpose in recommending Dr. Olson’s book was to give us an alternative to Calvinism and Arminianism. You had asked me what Mediate Theology was and I tried to explain. But you are correct! Mediate means to seek to resolve differences between two or more conflicting parties. Arminianism & Calvinisn can never be reconciled with each other and especially never with Scripture. Both are wrong.
    But I do think that to date, Olson’s book gives us the best statement of NOT Mediate Theology but Free Grace Biblicistic Theology. If you know of a better volume which elucidates Biblicistic Theology, which also eradicates
    both Calvinism & Arminianism please tell me.
    Any book written by man will have areas where we will not agree! This volume does have problems, that need to be corrected. I agree. On pages 105 through 107 Dr. Olson gives the reader his thoughts on repentance, etc. On that page 105, the 5th paragraph he uses the words “repentant faith.” I think that Dr. Olson is saying that the faith of the Christian must include repentance. I am Not sure.
    I realize that the purpose of the book was Not to explain Free Grace and or Dispensational Theology, but to attempt to show where Calvinism & Arminianism are both wrong. I do think that, even though weak in some areas, the volume does present a concise, short and brief statement of what should lead to a much more in-depth volume which lays out a detailed and in-depth presentation of Biblicistic Pauline Dispensational Theology. Other than say Chafer’s works, I cannot find any that I am able to
    agree with in all aspects! Again, if you know of one, please share that information.
    God bless,
    John Gregory

  8. Ephesians 2:8 does not use “repentant faith”
    Romans 4:5 does not use “repentant faith”

    I can’t find this anywhere in the Bible. I believe the use of the term “repentant faith” confuses the otherwise clear Gospel message of salvation by Grace through faith in Christ.

  9. Matt for Grace and Truth

    I would be interested to know precisely and incisively what Olson means by “repentant faith”? What does he mean exactly and succinctly by “repentant”? Cut to the chase.

  10. Eternal security is part of the Gospel message. If someone says he believes the Gospel, but does not believe in eternal security, he has believed a false gospel.

    On the topic of self-examination, in the proper Biblical context, I like what Charlie Bing has to say:

    “The Apostle Paul does not question the Corinthians’ eternal salvation. Quite the contrary, he affirms it many times in this epistle (1:21-22; 3:2-3; 6:14; 8:9; and here in the context, 13:11-14). For him to cast doubts on their salvation or encourage them to question their salvation is against the tenor of both his first and second epistles to them.

    Self-examination, by definition, diverts one’s attention away from the legitimate object of faith, the gospel of Jesus Christ (His person, His provision, His promise), to a subjective self-evaluation. The assurance that comes from faith alone in Christ alone becomes impossible because of the subjective nature of evaluating our walk, our works, or our faith. Fortunately, there is a better way to understand this passage…

    Conclusion
    For Paul to cast doubt on the Corinthians’ salvation would be contrary to his affirmations and declarations of their saved status which are ubiquitous in his epistles to them. Paul is motivating his readers to grow in their Christian experience not by having them question and seek their salvation again, but by recognizing and submitting to his apostolic authority and the truth he teaches (13:7-10). After twelve chapters of assuming and affirming their salvation, why would he now question it and undermine his whole appeal?

    This passage should never be used to make those who have believed the gospel doubt their salvation by self-examination. On the contrary, this passage should teach us that the best way to motivate Christians toward truth and maturity is not by making them doubt their salvation, but by affirming it. The fact that we are saved by God’s grace, belong to Christ, and have Him within us, is the best basis to appeal for godly attitudes and conduct.

    http://www.gracelife.org/resources/gracenotes.asp?id=53

  11. I have read lots of explanations of saving repentance. Following are two that I think say it best:

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

    ” Repent (metanoeo) means a change of mind. Repentance in salvation means a change of mind from any idea of religion that man may have and to accept God’s way of salvation. Repentance does not in any sense include a demand for a change of conduct before or after salvation. Matthew 21:32, Acts 20:21, 2 Corinthians 7:8-10, Eph 2:8-9, Rom 4:5, Rom 5:8, John 3:16-18, Gal 3:10-12, Acts 16:25-31, Rom 11:29.

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

    2. From Clear Gospel Campaign:

    “WHAT SAVING REPENTANCE IS NOT:

    1. Saving repentance is not being sorry for your sins.

    2. Saving repentance is not turning from your sins or reforming your life.

    3. Saving repentance is not the willingness to turn your life over to God so that He can direct your path.

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

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

    WHAT SAVING REPENTANCE IS:

    The principle word for “repentance” is from the Greek noun “metanoia,” and the Greek verb “metanoeo.” Metanoia simply means “a change of mind.” When used in the context of eternal salvation, repentance is a change of mind about Jesus Christ, and His eternal divinity, His atoning death, His victorious resurrection, and His offer of eternal salvation by faith alone, apart from the works of the law. On page 19 of The Gospel Booklet, the content of saving faith is summarized as follows:

    I. Man’s Need:

    i) Man is sinful, and his sins separate him from a Holy God.

    II. Salvation:

    i) God will declare a lost sinner “Not Guilty” of all his sins, past, present, and future; and

    ii) God offers a perishing man the gift of eternal life.

    III. The Requirement:

    i) Faith

    III (a) The Object of Saving Faith:

    Jesus Christ.

    III (b) (The content of Saving Faith):

    i) That Jesus is the eternal creator God;

    ii) That Jesus death paid in full for our sins;

    iii) That Jesus rose again from the dead; and

    iv) That Jesus offer of salvation is a gift apart from any work of man.

    If someone denies, or does not understand his need for salvation, he must repent. He must recognize his lost condition before his Creator, and the salvation offered by his Creator.

    If someone denies that Jesus is the one true God, he must repent. He must recognize that Jesus is not simply an exalted created being, or a god of a great pantheon of Gods, but the eternal Creator God.

    If someone believes that his relationship with God can be restored through any work of man, he must repent, and recognize that Jesus has paid the sin debt through His death on the cross, and that it is through Jesus alone that salvation can be found.

    It should come as no great surprise, therefore, that, in the context of salvation, we see the object of repentance directed to some of these very elements.

  12. John G,

    Thanks for your explanation. I read quite a bit of Olson’s Mediate web site — and some of which I agree but other points I am not clear about what he means:

    Olson:

    CONDITIONAL ELECTION
    God foreknows those who by repentant faith will become the elect.

    RESISTIBLE GRACE
    People continuously resist God’s grace and only those who repent and believe will be declared righteous and be born again.

    Under: ETERNAL SECURITY
    Those who depart from the faith were counterfeits, so self-examination is important, but not continuously.

    Self examination sounds a lot like Lordship “salvation.” Do you know what he means by that?

    I note that Olson uses “repentant faith”, “repent and believe” and “repent toward God” frequently without defining the often mistranslated word “repent.”

    I also wonder still, what is Olson trying to Mediate? The word Mediate means to settle differences between parties or reconcile two ideas. We cannot reconcile Calvinism/Arminianism to Free Grace.

    Maybe I misunderstood so I have written Dr. Olson a note asking him questions about these things.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  13. John Gregory

    I will try to answer your question as well as I can. Truly, I have been a Biblicistic Pauline Dispensational Free Gracer since 1968. At that time, I was arround 23 years old. I had come under the wings of my uncle, 82 years
    old, who was a retired Dispensationalistic Baptist preacher. In the following years, I finished his whole library, and have not finished yet. I read under his teachings until he died at the age of 100. He was avidly Free Grace! Which I learned was rare for a Baptist. The volumes he gave plus the others that I got on my own were all Biblicistic etc..
    Being a Biblicist, I realized that there were few who understood what I meant by the word biblicist. You know as well as I what that term means. I was told by a certain Doctor of Theology that the term Biblicist was NOT
    a theological position that is recognized by anyone! And that I HAD to be either a Calvinist or an Arminianist. He, and other Moderate Calvinists like him denied us the freedom to have at least a third interpretation! ( Which
    is a Calvinist’s LIE!) Mediate theology is a term that is used to designate those who are NOT Calvinists or Arminianists. Thank God that there are quite a few Theologians who are under the Mediate Flag.
    Dr. Olson is just one of many who claim this stance. We are NOT Calvinists or Arminianists. WE are Mediate Theologians. Most of whom are also Dispensationalists as opposed to Covenantalists.
    Pertaining to FreeGrace, most of them are of this school also.
    As you can attest, Theology has a very broad theater of study. But the joy of Free Grace, Mediate or Biblicistic, Pauline Dispensationalism for me is the ONLY TRUE interpretation of and the ONLY WAY to understand the wonderful Word of God! I do hope that this was helpful!
    God bless all!
    John Gregory

  14. John G,

    You said, “I too am a Biblicist. Or a Mediate Theologian.”

    Frankly, I have never heard that term before your mention. Would you please, in your own words, explain the unusual terminology, Mediate Theology? If it is the same as Free Grace theology, why would we use another term to define it?

    Thanks..
    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  15. John Gregory

    Thanks Brother, I was sucked into Lordship Salvation by the book “The Gospel According to Jesus”. I did wallow in the pig pen until I discovered the Calvinistic link! Being extremely against ANY taint of Calvinism, I dug deeper & praise God, was set free from such corrupt leaven.
    I do love my calvinistic brothers & sisters, as well as the LSS!
    I do pray that the Blessed Holy Spirit will put some one in their lives to show them the truth to uncover the rancid virus of both teachings.
    I have been in their shoes. And I am so grateful to God to be set FREE unto the Liberty in & of the Body of Christ in Heavenly Places!
    God bless,
    John Gregory

  16. John and Andy,

    Great comments —

    And John G, your statement, “Lordship Salvation teaching, I believe is a fetid growth on the armpit
    of calvinism”
    is one of the most graphically accurate descriptions of Lordship “probation” I have ever heard !!! Visual!!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  17. John Gregory

    Lordship Salvation teaching, I believe is a fetid growth on the armpit of calvinism. Arminianism, though I can stomach it, not being as dismal as Calvinism, is NOT Biblical either! Thank you Brother Andy for introducing
    the subject!
    Like the owner of this site, I too am a Biblicist. Or a Mediate Theologian. The above two “isms” are both incorrect, unbiblical, & neither is able to be upheld from Scripture with a standard Dispensational stance! Correct Biblical exegesis with an inductive vs. deductive slant will prove to the Honest searcher that the only true Theological stance is the Biblicist/ Mediate Interpretation. Especially, If the individual wishes to
    start with the New Testament in the original Greek.
    It is rare that I recommend a book but I will if allowed.. “Getting the Gospel Right” by C. Gordon Olson is a concise volume that inductively lays out why both Arminianism & Calvinism Cannot be Scriptural, while proving that the Mediate &/or Biblicist Theology is the only true interpretation.
    God bless all,
    John Gregory

  18. Andy, I agree with you. I don’t see this as a “middle ground”, but just a variation on the arminian position. It is God that keeps us secure as believers, it is not up to us. And how wonderful that is!

  19. Thank you, Bruce and John.

    I have come across people that tried to make it as if they were in the the “middle ground” between calvinism and arminianism, but their “middle ground” said that you had to abide in the Lord in order to be saved (using John 15:6). So to them, not abiding means not saved.

    I didn’t see that as a “middle ground” personally, I just saw that as a variation of the arminian position. Not to mention that I don’t believe that John 15:6 is about eternal salvation.

  20. Hi Andy and John!

    Excellent comprehensive answers to Andy’s question John. Thanks.

    Andy, what you asked really is a solid question. In defining Lordship Salvation to a Christian family member, I was asked the same question that you asked, Andy. My response was something like, “One says that you can lose your salvation and the other says that you never had it to begin with.” The family member inquired in reply, “Well doesn’t that boil down to the same thing [i.e. the same result]?” I responded, you’re right! They both require an addition of works to the basic biblical gospel (Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16-18) to obtain salvation, to maintain salvation or to prove salvation [Prove to whom? Who knows?].

  21. Andy, I don’t think that someone who thinks one can lose his salvation is a Lordship “salvationist”. I think he would be described as an arminian.

    The basic difference is this:

    Arminian – does not believe in eternal security. This is a denial of the atonement, and constitutes disbelief in the Gospel.

    Lordship “salvationist” – believes that one must “repent of his sins” or “commit his life to Christ” in order to be saved. This is a denial of the doctrine of Grace, and constitutes disbelief in the Gospel.

    Calvinist – involves a number of false doctrines, including the false doctrine of the “perseverance of the saints”, which is a denial of the doctrine of assurance. The logical conclusion of “perseverance of the saints” is salvation by works.

    I would recommend that you refer to the “Four Perversions of Grace” chart, linked below:

    http://www.cleargospel.org/booklet.php?b_id=3&i_id=328&s=2

    You might also find the attached sections from Clear Gospel Campaign helpful:

    http://www.cleargospel.org/statement.php?label=doctrinal&c_id=347
    http://www.cleargospel.org/topics.php?t_id=7

  22. If I may ask, could it be said that someone that teaches you can lose salvation, is in the lordship salvation position based on that point alone? Just curious if anyone might want to share some thoughts on that. What if a teacher didn’t address any other issue about examining works etc etc, but just said, well you could lose your salvation? Is that point alone meaning that they are lordship salvation?

  23. David,

    Welcome to our discussion.. come back often.

    Your point, “if God depends on you, then you cannot depend on Him.” is excellent in matters of salvation.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  24. Doug,

    “Lordship Salvation” is nothing more than human effort to attain salvation. In a nutshell, if you believe it, then you either consciously or subconsciously believe that God is depending on your performance for your own salvation! Obviously, that is unbiblical in light of Ephesians 2:8. Put another way, if God depends on you, then you cannot depend on Him.

  25. Doug,

    Continuing, I suggest you consider these two verses which give me assurance.

    In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:13
    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30

    God seals every believer with the seal of His Holy Spirit.. NEVER to be broken by us, Him or anyone. That is the confidence we may have in God’s Word and His Eternal promise.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  26. Doug,

    John’s link to Dr. Tom Cucuzza’s message would seem to meet your need and answer your questions. I highly recommend it.

    We continue to pray for you that you will realize and be confident that Jesus Christ is indeed sufficient in every way.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  27. Doug, please consider listening to the linked sermon. It addresses one of the more common misconceptions regarding salvation – that “there must be more to it than that”. Start at about the 5 minute mark into the sermon:

    [audio src="http://northlandchurch.com/2011/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/VOA-MP3-Message0251-Hebrews11.mp3" /]

  28. Sorry for the type, “But to him” instead of “But to hime”

  29. Dear Doug,
    That is why I seldom use the word “trust”, or the phase “put your trust in Christ” to preach the exceedingly good news, the gospel. I usually just use the word “believe” instead. Even small kids understand the word “believe”.

    “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” John 6:29

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

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

  30. Doug, there is not much difference to me concerning faith and trust. I guess I have viewed faith in terms of salvation and trust mostly in terms of assurance. The question is why would you believe or put your faith in something that you didn’t trust it. Remember that feelings of trust or assurance can fluctuate but your reality of salvation remains in God’s keep.

    Consider Paul’s answer to the Phillipian jailer in Acts 16:31 and look what it says about the jailer in verse 34. Also look at Romans 8. It describes some realities for believers. Take notice of how the chapter finishes with the realities of Christ’s love.

  31. Jim F. I believe A) the finished work of Christ is the only answer that would save me but does that mean I trust? Maybe I over analyze but is my belief and my trust the same thing? Thank you all for your prayers and support.

  32. Doug,
    My last entry should be changed to: It would mean that you have repented (changed your mind that you or any other god can save you) and have put your faith in Christ alone.

    The one other thing I would like to mention is that there are some out there who will try to confuse you with the idea that there are kinds of faith. For example “saving faith”, “demons faith”, false faith etc. This has been discussed at times in other threads on this blog however I’d like to point out to you that faith is believing. The object of faith is what is important. Faith then saves you when you put it in Christ for salvation. And yes, your position in Christ is established at the moment you believe. It becomes a reality regardless if one is alive physically or not because it has to do with spiritual life. I would recommend passages like John 3 and Romans 10.

  33. Doug,
    I can certainly relate. For quite awhile I had many of the thoughts you have shared myself. Something that has helped me that I trust will also help you, and before I share it I want to also say that the comments the other brothers and sisters have shared I know will help you as well. What I wanted to share is very simple but it has helped me & I trust it will you as well. The fact that Jesus came all the way from Heaven to earth to take our sin on Himself is a great assurance itself for us. He would not go through all that for us, then offer it to us, and convict us of our need of it, as He obviously has, then not give it because we “didn’t accept it quite right.” Salvation is a beautiful thing, He knew our desperate need, filled that need even before we came into the world, so that when we became aware of it, we could take His salvation for ourselves. I appreciate bro. Jack sharing your need with us so we can pray for you. God Bless you.

  34. Doug, you said: “The other thing is that maybe it’s hard for me to believe that eternal life is a present posession and that God saves me now not when I die. And since I’m looking for eternal life when I die I think falsely that I have to be good enough for Him to eventually save me”

    William Newell addresses this point very directly in his article “Cross Deliverance”:

    “The sinner is not forgiven by what Christ now does, but by faith in what He did at the cross”

    You also said: “I’m concerned I have only mentally assented to how to be saved.” There are a whole host of false teachers who will tell you that simply believing the Gospel is just a “mental assent”. But, they are making it too hard.

    Another great quote from Newell on this point is this from his article “Paul’s Gospel”:

    “Men do not know this, but they conceive that something stands between them and God, before God will accept or forgive them. If you tell a man that God is demanding no good works of him whatsoever, no religious observances or church ordinances, that God is not asking him to undertake any duties at all, but that God invites him to believe a glad message that his sins have already been dealt with at the Cross, and that God expects him to believe this good news and be exceedingly happy about it—if you tell an unsaved man such a story as this, he is astonished and overwhelmed—yet this is the Gospel!”

  35. Doug,

    John G is right. You said that you are afraid that you have only mentally assented to the truth. I would ask you : Who are you trusting now for your salvation?
    A) God on the basis of Christ’s finished work
    B) yourself (works)
    C) some other god

    If your answer is A, then you can rest in God’s infinite love and mercy knowing that Christ’s blood now covers you sin in God’s sight. It would mean that you have repented (changed your mind that your or any other God can save you) and have put your faith in Christ alone.

  36. John Gregory

    Doug, What has been written to you is absolutely correct! But I would like to add a few words. Faith, trust, believe are words we use to try to define
    what the Word says is needed for salvation with Christ and deliverance
    from hell. all three words come down to this: a firm, committed, confidence
    in the Person of Jesus our Lord. By committed I mean that I have committed
    the care of my eternal life to Jesus. I am relying on Him! Because I believe
    the Gospel. Read Romans 7: 1 — 25. with chapter 8. This is written by
    Paul AFTER he became a Christian! We all encounter doubts!
    There is at least one more word that is needed. That word is
    LOVE. When i think about what Jesus has done, when I see HIM on that cross, like Peter, I go and weep. How can we not love HIM? The most
    important thing my life is Jesus & His love. Jesus & I have a relationship!
    So do you! Spend time with Him in prayer. He will give you evidence of His
    being with you, and His love for you.
    God bless,
    John G.

  37. Hello, thank you for your comments. Honestly, I haven’t really been exposed much to religion or certain doctrines but just always thought in my own mind I needed to do something to go to heaven. I don’t know exactly where I picked that up, maybe from my parents, all I can say is that I have thought that way since a young child. Unfortunately what makes it worse is my nagging fear of hell. It was only about 8-9 months ago where something hit me and I needed to know where i was going when I died. I searched all over and found a few good sites that have the clear gospel on them and then most importantly I compared what they said to what the scriptures said. I know and believe that faith in Christ alone is the only way to be saved and my concern is how do I put my trust in Christ? I’m concerned I have only mentally assented to how to be saved. Now I believe He died and paid for all my sins was buried and rose from the dead. For a long time I have believed Jesus is God who came to die for the sins of the world was buried and rose the 3rd day. I didn’t know I had to accept the payment personally and I didn’t know that His payment was the only thing that would save me. I thought there was more to it. I really think my problem is one of two things one is believing that eternal life is really a free gift, which is the only way God will give me His righteousness and since sometimes I “think” or “feel” like I need to earn it I feel the impossiblity of obtaining it because I know God will not save me that way. The other thing is that maybe it’s hard for me to believe that eternal life is a present posession and that God saves me now not when I die. And since I’m looking for eternal life when I die I think falsely that I have to be good enough for Him to eventually save me, which I know is the Lordship salvation message which will not save. It just causes me doubts. Ultimately I just want my faith in Jesus alone and what He did on the cross for me as my only hope of heaven because I know this is the only way to get to heaven according to God’s word. Any other thought will be appreciated.

  38. Doug, In addition to the verses that Jon gave above for encouragement, please also reflect on these verses that both use some derivation of the word assurance:

    John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

    Psalm 23:6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.”

    In having read your note to Jack, it sounds like you may have been exposed to the errant teachings of Calvinism. One of the many errant teachings of Calvinism is that people who are saved will inevitably persevere in faith and holiness. Of course, there is no quantification standard for holiness – it would be in the eye of the beholder.

    Doug, there is a great book that you should read called “Secure Forever! God’s Promise or Our Perseverance?” There is a link to it on the upper right hand side of this page.

  39. Please pray also for the author of this blog : fundamentalbaptistchristian.blogspot.com, he was once a defender of the grace Gospel but slowly became a Lordship Salvationist/Calvinist , his posts nearly always borrow from John McArthur, John Piper, Paul Washer and Ray Comfort,

  40. Hello Doug. I can relate to a lot of your fears and doubts. I struggled for years with lack of assurance and doubt. I was raised in a legalistic faith and at the same time lived in a dysfunctional home with neglectful parents. This gave me a poor view of who God is. I think I saw Him as mostly an angry judge, demanding perfect behavior. But I believe the more you expose yourself to the Grace message, the more peace you will have. As Jim mentioned I think it is helpful to study God’s attributes. I was reading Psalm 86 today and would like to share two verses I found encouraging:
    5 For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
    And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
    15 But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious,
    Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth. (NKJV) I hope these verses are encouraging to you as well.

  41. Doug, I will pray for you. I am fifty years old, and I spent forty-eight plus years of my life believing a false gospel. In my case, I had been taught that one had to repent of his sins and commit his life to Christ in order to be saved. This teaching led me to think of salvation as a trade, rather than a gift. I was fortunate to read, understand and believe the real Gospel about a year and a half ago.

    The only basis of assurance of salvation is whether one has trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior. One will never find assurance by looking to himself, his life, his motives, etc. God does not require us to “turn our lives around” to become saved, stay saved or prove we are saved.

    I would recommend the following resources to you:

    “The Gospel” by Ron Shea
    http://www.cleargospel.org/booklet.php?b_id=3

    “Am I Going to Heaven”
    http://northlandchurch.com/2011/am-i-going-to-heaven

    I would also recommend that you stay away from churches, ministries, websites and printed material that compromise the Gospel in any way. These will only cause you more doubt. Almost all will say that they believe that salvation is by Grace, through faith in Christ alone, but many do not really mean it. Any that promote self-examination of works, motives, attitude toward sin, etc. as evidence of salvation are bad news.

  42. Doug,

    I can identify with some of the thoughts and concerns that you describe. The thing that helped me was coming to the point of realizing that I trusted Christ to save me. It wasn’t a matter of “trusting enough” or feeling comfortable that my actions were proving my faith to be real. The thing is that believing in Christ for salvation is real. You either believe or you don’t.

    I have heard preachers over the years that were skilled at getting people to doubt their salvation. It usually started with preaching hard on a certain sin and then saying that no saved person would live that way for long lest they prove that they had not truly repented or believed. I suggest when your doubts come that you put your eyes back on the Savior and rest in Him realizing that God loves you just as much as His own Son. If God sees Christ’s righteousness applied to you then you have no reason to ever fear hell fire anymore. Your destination is with Christ. Don’t let any works focused believer or preacher scare you out of living confidently in Christ. I suggest that you do a study on God’s attributes and specifically His love. Remember that when you sin you have an advocate with the Father.

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