Justified by Jesus Christ or Justin Case?

By our friend John.

I want to believe in Jesus, but…

The evangelist said you have to say a prayer asking for salvation. I saw that on a couple of websites too. I don’t know why God would go to all of the trouble to do everything necessary for my salvation and then make me ask for it. But, I’ll pray the prayer to help insure my salvation — just in case.

I should feel worse about my sins. In the Bible study that I attend on Tuesdays, we are using a study guide which says that confession of sins is a requirement for salvation. I can’t find that anywhere in the Bible. Why would God need to be softened up by my remorse to be willing to save me? But, a great “Prince of Preachers,” who is favorably referenced by lots of Free Grace ministries, said that no one comes to God with a hard heart. So, I will cry and confess my sins to help insure my salvation — just in case.

My pastor says believing in Jesus isn’t enough – that even the demons believe there is one God and they tremble. My pastor says I have to repent of my sins to be saved. The Bible doesn’t say that anywhere, but if I don’t do it, maybe the deal will be off. I will resolve to give up my sins to secure my salvation just in case.

My denomination says that faith is an active verb. That a person needs to follow Jesus to go to Heaven. They say that believing with your head is not enough. You have to believe with your heart. I’m not sure what that means, but I read a tract that said you could miss Heaven by a foot-and-a-half. I don’t want to do that. I will resolve to follow Christ to help my salvation — just in case.

My church says that faith in Christ plus a public confession of Christ are required for salvation. Public confession seems like a work. It seems like if I have to make a public confession of Christ in order to be saved, that my confession would be that I don’t believe in Christ alone. But my Elder explained that public confession was a “spirit work” and not a “work of the law.” So, maybe God won’t know the difference. Besides, why wouldn’t I want to confess Christ before men?   I’d better do it to make my salvation secure —  just in case.

What about baptism? My father always said it was required to be saved. The Bible says we are saved by Grace, through faith. But, my father was a devout Christian up until the day he died. I know he wouldn’t have steered me wrong. Plus, you’re supposed to get baptized anyway. I’ll do it to let God know I’m serious — just in case.

Some people become Christians and fall away later. How do I know I won’t be like the second soil in the parable? I mean my behavior should change if I am saved, right? All of the testimonials I hear at church are about how the people’s lives changed as a result of their salvation.  I will wait and see if it takes root and my life changes dramatically — just in case.

But, what if I fall into serious, habitual sin? Won’t that mean I was never saved in the first place? I’d better guard against that or my salvation may be in jeopardy — just in case.

I heard a sermon today about a rich young ruler.  The preacher said he didn’t go to Heaven because he was selfish.  Am I selfish? Jesus said it was easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into Heaven. I know He also said that with God, all things are possible.  But, maybe I should give away more of my money — just in case.

I read a bestselling Christian book about how to take your “spiritual pulse.”  It gives a bunch of test questions to see whether or not you are a believer.  The Bible says that I can be assured of my salvation the moment I believe.  But, one of the leading Grace expositors says the truth lies somewhere in between, that an inventory of righteousness should be part of an ongoing inspection process.  I did OK on it yesterday, but today I’m not so sure.  I’d better take it again tomorrow — just in case. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And John concludes with:

I actually experienced and believed certain of the false teachings depicted above.  Some of the others were not part of my direct experience.  In either case, I was lost until a couple of years ago when I finally understood and believed that salvation was a free gift, available by Grace through faith in Christ alone. – John.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks John… for that chilling account of the Lordship “salvation” and “works” teachings of “religions” today. We are thrilled you finally understood and believed the Truth of the Gospel of the Grace of Jesus Christ.

Understand SALVATION by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone. << Click

61 responses to “Justified by Jesus Christ or Justin Case?

  1. Phil, I agree.

  2. It is interesting Keith. But we as believers will be taken in the Rapture before all this occurs in the Tribulation.

  3. Phil, that’s an interesting question about whether a person who takes the mark will be able to believe later. We know that the Holy Spirit draws the unbeliever so that he can place his trust in Christ for eternal life (John 6:44). It may be that those who have chosen the mark as their allegiance to the antichrist will no longer be drawn by the Spirit as an act of divine judgment so that there will be no further chance for them to be saved.

    The terms by which a person will be saved during the great tribulation will be exactly the same as today, by faith alone in Christ alone.

  4. And I have come to the point where any exception to the ban on fruit inspection bothers me. So those who take the mark have never truly believed and never will? I guess things will be so extreme that people won’t be thinking things like, maybe taking the mark will allow them to stay in their comfort zone. Plagues will be happening, and that will limit the enemy’s ability to persecute. Neither taking the mark nor not taking it will get anyone’s loved ones back or their country back. People will simply decide based on whom they believe in, and many will sadly make the wrong choice, for only Jesus saves.

  5. John, you’re right, I agree. (Rom 11:6)

  6. Phil, all I know is that no believer will take the mark, and no one who takes the mark is a believer. I vigorously object to those that say that only faithful believers (faith plus works) during the Tribulation will have eternal life.

    I think the terms of grace are always the same – that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

  7. John, there are also some who say that during the Tribulation the terms of grace are different: whereas we have a lifetime to believe the gospel; but during the Tribulation one can make the permanent, eternally fatal decision to pledge himself to the beast an be outside of redemption. I don’t think I agree with this. I don’t see in the Bible where the terms of grace we know and love change during the Tribulation.

  8. Phil,that is a very interesting perspective that I hadn’t considered.

  9. I have wondered about those in the Tribulation who will take the mark of the beast being permanently disqualified from salvation. What if the person later becomes a believer? John might just be simply saying that those who receive the mark, that none of them will ever change their minds and become believers. Perhaps this is part of his prophetic vision where John is allowed to see the consequence of receiving the mark in Rev. 13. Or, maybe I just have trouble seeing anyone totally outside the bounds of redemption. I think lean toward what God has allowed John to see in the future.

  10. To pledge one’s allegiance to the antichrist would be to embrace a false belief system which would preclude that person from placing his or her faith in Christ.

  11. As I study the passages which pertain to the scriptures which relate to the Great Tribulation, it seems that conditions will be so extreme during that period such that those who accept the gospel will reject the mark of the beast, and vice-versa. It may be that those to whom the gospel is given will have a clear choice of whether to believe on Christ for eternal life or pledge their allegiance to the antichrist.

  12. Jason, as far as I can tell, if someone takes the mark, he is not a believer.

  13. What puzzles me even more is that a believer will not take the mark. Is this the one exception to fruit inspection that the Bible allows? The best answer I have so far seen is from Yankee Arnold.

  14. Phil, how true that is (regarding those old films and the unclear salvation message in them).

    Jason – I’m not sure any of us completely understand it, as we’re not fully apprised regarding it. But I believe the parts we do know for sure is that the people will do it willingly. In doing so, they are acknowledging worship for the beast and rejecting Christ and it is eternal. We also see their attitudes towards God, no matter what powerful things He does, they do not care or change their minds, because I believe it is they were already given over in their hardness (2 Thess 2:9-12). They hardened their hearts, they did not desire the truth. The mark of the beast I see as kind of a demonic seal, the only common denominator is that like the seal we get from the Holy Spirit, it is permanent and irrevocable. We don’t see anyone regretting the mark in the Bible, quite the contrary (as at least one did in the series). But in the Word they do not regret it, they rail against God.

  15. In Left Behind, Bruce Barnes misses the rapture because he wasn’t “truly saved”. He didn’t have the fruit.

    The mark of the beast is something I probably won’t understand before I’m in heaven.

  16. Phil, I think that is an apt warning.

  17. I recently watched again some to the main parts of the “Thief in the Night” rapture tribulation movies, “Thief in the night” and “Distant Thunder” (sequel) It had been quite a while since I had seen these campy, kind of cheezy, yet kind of entertaining films. But I noticed that they introduced salvation faith add on’s or cliches to just simply faith in the gospel alone, like “asking Jesus into your heart” as necessary for salvation, and “asking Jesus to save you.” They also have “wanting Jesus as your savior” (Not sure that’s a requirement). There is one scene where a woman does just simply believe the gospel. But these youth oriented films generally seem to put out a confused method of receiving salvation. The reason I bring up these films made in the ’70’s and ’80’s is that they are still viewed today by teens and adults and they may be getting fed a faith plus this or that salvation message.

  18. Good one John:

    I guess if I want the FREE GIFT, I better do these things:

    Hate my father and mother
    Surrender all
    Abandon all
    Count the cost
    Turn from sin

    -Justin Case

  19. Right on jim a lot of people want to point to an event to authenticate their salvation dwight l moody said salvation happens in a nano second since we are saved by faith in the gospel he said after all how long does it take one to believe after one is convinced that Jesus sacrifice was for he or she personally you tell a child to look and he or she looked a split second same way in believing on Christ you believe is a nano second so a lot of people cannot give a date or time of their salvation because of the instantaneous of it mike

  20. Bruce and John,

    I think what Moyer is saying makes sense. It is also not always easy to keep something from getting taken too far.

    I remember, as many do, saying a prayer when I first believed in Christ for salvation at age five. I knew though that He would save me. The problem comes in when, children especially, mistake their prayer as the actual thing that saves. That or their prayer plus Christ etc. This can also be applied to repentance. Many times you will hear the person told something of the following:

    Admit you are a sinner, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and Call upon the Lord to be saved. Too often though admitting you are a sinner / (recognizing that you are lost and in need of a Savior) gets turned into something like admit you are a sinner then be deeply sorry for your sins and determine to turn from a path of sin. Believing and Calling upon the Lord then beings to include things like, making Jesus the Lord of your life, telling God that you will turn from or asking him to help you turn.

    When working with people concerning salvation, it is much better to have a person convinced through the Bible and Holy Spirit that they are a lost sinner deserving God’s wrath and that their salvation can be through Christ based on who He is and his finished work. Salvation then occurs when the person believes.

    As far as cementing the decision in a persons mind, I think that is also part of the traditional practice of an altar call.

  21. And, here are some approaches that do not include a prayer:

    1. Notes from a Retired Preacher:

    DECIDE NOW!!!

    Friend, will you right now, the best you know how, trust Jesus Christ alone to be YOUR Savior? He guarantees you eternal life in Heaven.

    You have read this and seen the Scripture. You now know the truth of salvation in God’s Word. Right now, you WILL make a decision to either believe in Jesus Christ alone as your Savior, or you will choose to reject this, His offer of eternal life.

    Please choose to trust Jesus alone to be YOUR Savior right now. Study this verse carefully:

    John 3:18

    “He that believeth on Him [Jesus Christ] is not condemned but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the Name [Jesus Christ] of the only begotten Son of God.“

    If you do not make your decision FOR Christ, then you have decided, “NO!” And by God’s Word, you do not have eternal life!!

    Friend, if you are not sure of Heaven or Eternal Life, I urge you right now, just as you are; simply trust Jesus Christ for who He is – God in the Flesh, who came to earth, died on the cross for you – to pay for all your sin debt. He arose from the grave proving He is God.. and pleads with you right now to receive (believe on) Jesus Christ as your Savior. He paid the price for your eternity with Him in Heaven. Please trust Him as YOUR Savior now.

    2. AWANA (from “Scriptural Evaluation of Salvation Invitations”):

    Will you accept the Lord Jesus as your own personal Savior?
    This invitation is biblically correct. Accepting (receiving) the Lord Jesus as my Savior is believing that He died for me and paid the penalty for my sin (Rom. 5:8). Because He loves me, He died for me. Placing my personal trust in His death for me is God’s only requirement for salvation (Rom. 3:24). Trusting Christ is personal. Christ died for me, and I personally trust Him to save me from the penalty of my sin. “As many as received Him” (John 1:12) is the open invitation to anyone to be saved. “Receiving” results in an immediate salvation. Christ died for your sins. Believe it personally. That’s all you need to get saved. This is the heart of the gospel (Rom. 5:8). The Bible uses believe as an absolute trust in the work of Christ for me (John 3:18). Christ died for my sins and demonstrated His victory over sin by His physical resurrection from the dead (Rom. 4:24-25). The work is all done! Our Savior lives to assure the believer that He can and will complete our salvation (Phil. 1:6). The payment is complete for the penalty of my sin (1 John 2:2). Knowing my guilt of sin, all that I can do is believe that He died for me and trust that payment to be all I need for salvation (Rom. 4:5; 6:23).

  22. Bruce, I don’t find Moyer’s approach objectionable. Note that he is not invoking Romans 10:9-13 in his discussion.

    The ministers who invoke Romans 10:9-13 in their discussion of saying a prayer for salvation are often fuzzy on this passage and thereby create further confusion in the matter.

    The reason I gave the quote from the “Grace Thru Faith” website was just to show how far afield this concept can get.

    It is because of the potential for salvation prayers to create confusion, together with their misuse throughout professing Christendom that I generally prefer to see them excluded from a gospel presentation and invitation.

    Here are some really bad examples. BBN is fuzzy. SBC is full-on LS.

    1. BBN

    The Bible clearly tells us how to be saved:

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

    This is a free gift from God because He loves you.

    Romans 6:23b “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

    Romans 10:13 “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

    Are you ready to believe right now? If so, simply tell God what he asked you to confess. You might use a prayer similar to this one:

    “God, I admit to you that I am a sinner and I know I cannot do anything to earn my way to Heaven. I truly believe that Jesus died on the cross, was buried and rose from the grave. I put my faith in His sacrifice to pay for my sin in full.”

    2. SBC:

    “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10

    God says that if you believe in His son, Jesus, you can live forever with Him in glory.

    “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.” John 3:16

    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.”

  23. Hi John and Jim,

    I think that Larry Moyer’s article expresses the “prayer” issue well:

    “So what part does saying a prayer have to do with salvation? Absolutely nothing. We are not saved by saying a prayer. We are saved by trusting Christ. That’s why Christ could look at the thief on the cross and say, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43) Nothing is ever said of the thief “saying a prayer”. There on the cross as he hung alongside of the Savior of the world, he believed in Christ as his Savior. Hence Christ said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today, you will be with Me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43) That does not mean saying a prayer at the moment one comes to Christ is wrong. Such a prayer has two advantages. One is that it cements in the person’s mind what he is doing (and probably did at least 30 seconds before he prayed) – trusting Christ. Secondly, having verbalized it to God, such a prayer encourages one to verbalize it to others. God does not need to be informed. He is fully aware of what the person is doing – trusting Christ. But having expressed his decision to God encourages the new convert to now express it to others. Several things are important though. One is that in leading people to Christ, we need to make clear that saying a prayer does not save. Explain to them that it is trusting Christ that saves. Prayer is only how they tell God what they are doing. That is why if I sense the non-Christian is prepared to come to Christ I ask, “Would you like to pray right now and tell God you are trusting Christ?” If they respond positively, I then say, “Now before we pray, let me explain something. Saying a prayer does not save; it’s trusting
    Christ that saves. Prayer is only how you tell God what you are doing.”

    To view the article in its entirety, see:

    http://freegracealliance.com/pdf/IsTheSinners%20PrayerEssential.pdf

  24. I agree with you John. A person doesn’t have to formally pray and ask God for anything in relation to salvation. He has to put his faith in Christ alone thereby turning from any previously held belief contrary to that.

    It would be like this: A person offering you a gift and you, instead of accepting it, asking the person for the gift that is already being offered. At some point people have to quit asking and take it (believe).

  25. Please note in my post above, that the objectionable content starts with “When Believing Isn’t Enough”. Everything leading up to that is my commentary.

  26. On the subject of prayer for salvation, please see the following appalling Q&A from the “Grace Thru Faith” website. I did not provide a link, because the site has a lot of heretical doctrine.

    Introducing prayer into the salvation equation, particularly when invoking Romans 10:13, can result in at least three potentially grave errors:
    1. That salvation is not “secured” until the prayer is said.
    2. That asking for salvation, rather than believing in Christ, is how one appropriates God’s gift of Grace through faith in Christ.
    3. That doubts can be addressed by repeatedly asking for salvation.

    “When Believing Isn’t Enough

    If a person does not have a definite instance in their life where they declare that they are a sinner and accept Christ as Saviour by praying something similar to the Sinner’s prayer (i.e. a salvation experience) are they really a believer?

    Q. My question is this. If a person does not have a definite instance in their life where they declare that they are a sinner and accept Christ as Saviour by praying something similar to the Sinner’s prayer (i.e. a salvation experience) are they really a believer? It was a topic of
    conversation with a friend who has no such experience yet believes she will go to heaven and longs to see Christ.

    A. Romans 10:9 states that there are two conditions necessary for salvation. 1) confess with your mouth and 2) believe in your heart. Verse 10 continues, “It is with your heart that you believe and are justified and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:13 says that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.

    It sounds like your friend has believed in her heart. What prevents her from formally asking the Lord to save her? Does she understand that the word confess means to agree that she’s a sinner in need of a Savior, not to spout off a list of all her sins? The Lord already knows what all of her sins are. Now He’s waiting for her to ask Him to save her. She doesn’t need to do this publicly or even audibly, but she does need to do it”

  27. The statement that “we cannot deny that true faith in Christ will produce a change” is a perseverance of the saints concept, which is a perversion of Grace.

    Clear Gospel Campaign has an excellent resource entitled “The Four Perversions of Grace”, linked below. A salient excerpt follows:

    “Those who would deny or pervert the doctrine of grace attempt to introduce the performance of works, the promise of works, OR THE EVIDENCE OF WORKS into the equation of eternal salvation offered freely through Jesus Christ.”

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

  28. Hello again Jim. Thanks for writing. I’m glad to hear that you do not hold to Lordship Salvation. I must say, however, that some of your statements are rather problematic in the sense that you utilize terminology very similar to what is used by Lordship Salvation advocates. Let’s take a brief look at some of your comments:

    Some of the problematic terms that you used are: “will,” “is,” “are” and “every.” You vacillate between the words, “should” and “will.” This leads to confusion in what you are trying to declare. Also, the phrase, “submitting to the Lordship of Christ,” is standard Lordship Faith terminology. It’s better to say, as in Ephesians 2:10, that we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works, . . . that we should walk in them. Yes, after one becomes saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16; Romans 4:5; Titus 3:5; Acts 16:31), he should serve the Lord; it is the proper and right thing for him to do.

    Let’s examine some of your statements:

    First, you said, “Lordship Salvation emphasizes that submitting to Christ as Lord over your life goes hand-in-hand with trusting in Christ to be saved. Sorry, but I do not believe that for a minute nor did I say it was necessary to submit to Christ for salvation.”

    Your opening statement is incomplete. Yes, LS emphasizes submitting to Christ as Lord to become saved. But LS also teaches complete submission to maintain and to prove one’s salvation.

    Again, your use of the phrase, “submitting to the Lordship of Christ,” is standard problematic LS terminology. The moment one trusts in Christ alone by grace alone through faith alone, she acknowledges that Christ Jesus is the Lord of her life. We cannot MAKE Jesus the Lord of our life. At the point of salvation, he becomes our Lord and Savior eternally (John 10:27-30). No amount of works of submission will alter that fact one iota.

    You said, “According to GotQuestions, we cannot deny that true faith in Christ will produce a change (2 Corinthians 5:17). A person who has been delivered from sin by faith in Christ should not desire to remain in a life of sin (Romans 6:2).” This statement is inconsistent, again, it vacillates between the terms “will” and “should.” Yes, again, Ephesians 2:10 says that we SHOULD do good works for the Lord; it is the right and proper thing to do.

    You said, “A person does not have to submit to God in every area of his or her life in order to be saved. A person simply has to recognize that he or she is a sinner, in need of Jesus Christ for salvation, and place trust in Him (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9).” Again, this is a dubious statement. Your second sentence is correct, but your first sentence implies that submitting to God is a part of becoming saved, which it is not. Again, this approach rings of the standard LS teaching that one cannot become saved unless he trusts Christ PLUS “submits to his Lordship.”

    Regarding your final statement:

    “With regard to my quote from Ray Comfort, I said nothing about Lordship salvation. I simply said, “Jesus would spew Lukewarm believers out of his mouth who are not part of the Body of Christ.” If you are not part of the body of Christ, you are not saved.”

    Ray Comfort and Francis Chan, as I said in an earlier post, are both Lordship Salvation preachers and they both use the quotation that you cite to promote an LS understanding of Revelation 3. The statement is inconsistent and simply wrong. First, how can BELIEVERS be also, “not part of the body of Christ?” This statement makes no sense. Second, in Revelation 2-3, Christ is speaking to the Christian churches of Asia, backsliders to be sure, but part of the Body of Christ—true believers! He admonishes them to live lives befitting the rich spiritual heritage that they already possessed in Christ.

  29. Thank you for posting my July 25th comment. Like you, I do not believe in Lordship salvation. My post does not in any way suggest Lordship salvation. Everything quoted is from the apostle Paul who said there is a flipside to salvation involving sanctification, putting off the old for the new. My point is that too many of us stop short of this responsibility to put off the old man. Paul taught it and Jesus inspired him to teach it with the caveat that eternal rewards would be weighed in the balance. Paul is simply saying that a person can lose rewards (1 Corinthians 3).

    Lordship Salvation emphasizes that submitting to Christ as Lord over your life goes hand-in-hand with trusting in Christ to be saved. Sorry, but I do not believe that for a minute nor did I say it was necessary to submit to Christ for salvation. I simply said that when a person is saved, they should not forget about the need to go on to fullness in Christ that involves submitting to the Lordship of Christ. In other words, the Bible clearly teaches that “true” faith in Christ will result in a changed life (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 5:22-23, James 2:14-26, Ephesians 2:10).

    According to GotQuestions, we cannot deny that true faith in Christ will produce a change (2 Corinthians 5:17). A person who has been delivered from sin by faith in Christ should not desire to remain in a life of sin (Romans 6:2). At the same time, submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ is an issue of spiritual growth, not salvation. The Christian life is a process of submitting to God in increasing measure (2 Peter 1:5-8). A person does not have to submit to God in every area of his or her life in order to be saved. A person simply has to recognize that he or she is a sinner, in need of Jesus Christ for salvation, and place trust in Him (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9). Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:10). Christians absolutely should submit to Him (James 4:7). A changed life and submission to Christ’s lordship are the result of salvation and never a requirement for salvation.

    With regard to my quote from Ray Comfort, I said nothing about Lordship salvation. I simply said, “Jesus would spew Lukewarm believers out of his mouth who are not part of the Body of Christ.” If you are not part of the body of Christ, you are not saved.

  30. Thanks Bruce for the reminder of the Grace Conference. It is underway today and tomorrow. Well worth attending for anyone wanting a better understanding of God’s Amazing Grace.

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  31. Please pray for the Chicago area Grace Conference this week.

    http://www.graceconference.com/

  32. Jim,

    Thanks for joining the conversation today.

    In your first sentence you say, “This site is correct to teach our salvation is a finished work and therefore ‘nothing we do’ can add to it.”

    Fine so far. Stop right there and you have everything right and biblical! Sadly, you had to include the word “however,” and what follows, well, . . . your first sentence belies the Lordship Faith, a.k.a. Lordship Salvation or Lordship Probation thrust of the rest of your post. Your final quotation from Ray Comfort seals the deal; this paragraph is quoted almost word for word in Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love;” both authors promote a radical, condemnatory, over-the-top Lordship Faith philosophy, a fact which has been well chronicled on this site.

    For a complete review of Chan’s book, see:
    http://www.freegracealliance.com/pdf/BookReview%20ofCrazyLove.pdf

  33. This site is correct to teach our salvation is a finished work and therefore “nothing we do” can add to it. However, what many fail to teach with equal emphasis is the need for believers to press on (struggle in the spirit) towards the high calling in Christ Jesus. The struggling (or working out our salvation – Philippians 2:12) is an external display of a deeper work taking place within the soul. During the struggling phase, the Holy Spirit is at work helping believers digest the essential nutrients of the word needed to sustain and strengthen the flight muscles of faith. Pressing on is a daily decision to trust God for the power to overcome temptation, sin and the world. Pressing on, day by day, is a measure of abiding in Christ and holding fast to one’s confession of faith.

    God is calling believers to participate in the sanctification process by putting off the old with the new, which is analogous to transformation from an earthbound caterpillar to a heaven-bound butterfly. The struggle to emerge is real, it is daily, and it is for all believers. What believers do after the new birth will play into the quality of their eternal reward. Believers will enjoy great reward or suffer loss of reward for their measure of faithfulness (1 Corinthians 3:12-16; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8). A butterfly falling prematurely from its cocoon, for whatever reason, is still a butterfly except for the fact that its flight muscles of faith are underdeveloped and too weak to produce flight. A believer who lets up in the struggle to overcome sin and enticements of the world is in danger of not developing fully, and enduring the eternal consequences thereafter. To be sure, believers are like butterflies God created to soar in the heavenlies, not to be earth-bound and move about in the soil like lowly worms.

    Warnings from Paul
    Believers who get the wrong idea about their responsibility to press on in Christ after salvation can and will relax in their walk with the Lord, not realizing they must hold fast to their faith and strive to enter into the fullness of Christ (Hebrews 4:11). This expectation is not Lordship salvation. It is the higher calling to come into the fullness of Christ. The apostle Paul warns we are in a race and that if we fail to develop self-control, self-denial, and love towards others, we (including preachers and teachers) could suffer defeat (1 Corinthians. 9:27). Paul says we are to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13.5). Paul tells us to labor (struggle) in truth until Christ be formed in us (Galatians 4:19). Paul tells us not to be ignorant and points to the example set by Israel (1 Corinthians. 10:1-12).

    “Jesus warns there is no division in the Kingdom of God for those who are lukewarm towards Him (Revelation 3:16). Jesus said he would spew lukewarm believers out of His mouth on the Day of Judgment. Lukewarm believers are not part of the Body of Christ; they merely weigh heavy within the stomach of His body until such a time as He vomits them out! These are those who are hard and insensitive to the fact that Jesus died on the cross for them; they have not been broken down by the digestive action of the Word that they might be absorbed into the Body of Christ; they have not been broken down to become his hands, feet and mouth.” 2
    2Paraphrased from Ray Comfort’s book entitled “Hells Best Kept Secret”

  34. Jon, my guess is that Cornerstone knows exactly what their guest speakers are promoting, and it is in line with their heretical false gospel of works. My guess is that Cornerstone would not invite me to speak – at least not more than once.
    A famed evangelist once spoke at my local SBC church. During his sermon, he gave a hypothetical example of a funeral for a man whose life’s story could be told by placing a bottle of liquor on his casket. He said that someone pointed out the decedent had been saved as a little boy. He then proceeded to mock the proposition that one could have been saved as a child and have lived a life of alcohol abuse. I suppose the evangelist committed better sins than the subject of his story, so he was still saved.

    My open question to believers who go to apostate churches is why?

    Is it to minister to the church?
    Is the church open to Grace teaching?
    Will they let you teach Grace freely, or will they ask you to temper or compromise your doctrine?
    How long will you do it?
    Will you separate yourself if you see that the church is unwilling to turn from its false gospel?
    Will you separate yourself if the church continues its relations with apostate denominations and ministries?

  35. This is the exact quote from the Cornerstone Bible Church’s SoF: “6.) Salvation is a gift of God’s grace to all who repent of their sin and put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.” That doesn’t sound like free Grace to me. On top of that my wife went there to hear a sermon by a former co-worker who just became a pastor. He happens to be a fan of Piper so I knew his preaching would probably be LS inspired.(which is why I didn’t go) Sure enough he preached on 1 John and said it was all about salvation and it confused and upset my wife. I printed the Charlie Bing article on 1 John and had her read that which seemed to help. If a church allows even guest speakers to preach LS style messages they are doing a disservice to their congregation in my opinion. But I would assume that any message given by a guest speaker is fully endorsed by the host church. Pearl said: “Going by my personal observations, my current belief is that LS is absolutely everywhere, and an understanding of God’s grace is extremely rare.” I’d have to agree with that statement.

  36. Pearl, great comments. Here are some things that I look for:
    1. Reference to salvation repentance with no definition.
    2. Receipt of the Holy Spirit conditioned on accepting Christ as both Lord and Savior.
    3. Backdoor LS – fruit inspection.
    4. Presumption of works – that even though they are not required as a condition of eternal life, they will automatically follow.
    5. Salvation prayer
    6. Links, links, links – including ecumenical Christian radio stations, international LS evangelical crusades, daily devotionals by Spurgeon, etc.

    Most major church websites are frequently updated – some daily. Having stale statements of faith out there is kind of negligent. Also, if a church cannot clearly articulate the Gospel, how will they help fulfill the Great Commission?

    An interesting quote from Clear Gospel Campaign:

    “A church preaching a false gospel may grow in numbers. But the spread of The Gospel slowly grinds to a halt. The local church becomes a confused mix of saved and unsaved persons joined in a common commitment to real estate development out of the earnest belief that the erecting of church buildings somehow advances the kingdom of God.”

    With the prevalence of LS and other false religions out there, I don’t give anyone the benefit of the doubt. If I can’t clearly recognize the message as Grace, I assume it is not.

  37. How unfortunate that most don’t feel the need to make their SoF free of ambiguities. That’s the first place I go when considering a ministry. Next, I scrutinize their reading list/links*. I can usually get a pretty good idea of what a ministry/person believes by the latter.

    For those with unclear SoFs, I gleen from that that they are either completely ignorant of LS or else know something about it, but might believe it’s strictly a “Calvinist” issue and conclude that they’re in the clear, yet are guilty themselves of misrepresenting the pure gospel by their adherence to the incorrect definition of repentance (i.e. Ms. Brenda Nickle), the most obvious indicator of LS leaven, imo.

    For those of us who have “been there” to varying extents, these seemingly insignificant details are extremely telling.

    *By degrees I learned of LS and its subtleties and am sure that my own blogroll/reading list caused some to question my sincerity in getting the gospel right. Going by my personal observations, my current belief is that LS is absolutely everywhere, and an understanding of God’s grace is extremely rare.

  38. Jess, I agree with your point on statements of faith, to a certain extent.

    However, I do wonder why a pastor who understands and believes in Grace would belong to an organization or denomination that does not. Also, I wonder why a statement of faith would need to be vague. The Gospel is not vague or ambiguous, and I can point to several statements of faith that are not vague or ambiguous. Ambiguity is an open invitation to error.

  39. Thank you so much for all the comments and discussion, and I’d like to say that I do agree with what’s been stated. I guess I was just looking for clarification on Romans 10:10, and the comments offered did that.

    I think it’s very important that we don’t isolate verses in Scripture and that we interpret Scripture as a whole and in context rather than just picking out single verse and/or phrases and building doctrines/requirements on such things. I agree that the Bible is clear that belief and faith are all that is required for salvation, and my faith is totally in Christ and His work on the cross.

    As for finding a good church to attend I can sympathize with Jon’s comments on that. However, sometimes I think a lot of churches use “copy and paste” type statements of faith. There’s a good chance that the pastor may be of the free grace persuasion and really hasn’t thought out his statement of faith from that perspective. He’s just using a SofF that he’s always used or from another church in his denomination, etc. I’ve come across this before. In fact, I rarely judge a church based on their SofF. I find most SofF ambiguous and they don’t really give a clear picture of the church, it’s doctrine, and it’s practice. However, the SofF is a good starting point. Anyways, that’s just my two cents on the SofF thing :).

    Thanks again for the great comments and commentary. It was helpful to me, and I hope to others too!

  40. Jess, I have some additional thoughts on works (including public confession of Christ) for salvation.

    First, if a lost person believes he must confess Christ (or do any other work) in order to gain eternal life, he will remain lost until he repents of that belief. By the way, this is an appropriate use of the word repentance in a salvation context.

    Second, I have seen public confession of Christ used in a statement of faith as a condition for salvation in one of the largest churches in North Carolina. Please see below, from Calvary Church, Charlotte, NC:

    “We believe that all who receive by faith, Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, and who confess Him as such before their fellow men, are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God.”

    Statements of belief, such as the one above, are an abuse of Grace. This church has changed the Gospel of Grace to a false gospel of grace plus a work. This statement of faith has nothing to do with Grace. It has transformed Free Grace into cheap grace. Grace not only can be free, it must be free. Otherwise, it is no longer grace.

    Third, I have confessed Christ before men, but I have also failed to do that on many occasions. Neither my confession, nor lack thereof, has anything to do with me possessing eternal life. I received eternal life and forgiveness of sins the moment I believed in Christ – alone.

    Here is an interesting excerpt from “The Handbook of Personal Evangelism” by Dr. A. Ray Stanford:

    “That a person cannot save himself by his works…or help Christ to save him by his works…or help keep
    himself saved by his works, will be one of the most difficult things for a person to believe. It is also one of
    the most IMPORTANT things for a person to believe…because if a person does not believe this, he is not
    saved. God says you are not saved by your works but by grace through faith…

    GOOD WORKS FOR SALVATION IS SATAN’S COUNTERFEIT OF GOD’S GRACE FOR
    SALVATION. THIS ISSUE OF “GRACE versus WORKS” WILL ALMOST ALWAYS BE THE MAIN
    THING YOU WILL NEED TO DEAL WITH”

    (These were Dr. Stanford’s caps – not mine)

  41. Jon, I personally don’t think salvation prayers are helpful. I would stay away from a church with a sinner’s prayer. I would shy away from one that uses any kind of a prayer for salvation.

  42. John you said: “Christ and the Apostles warned us that the wolves would come. The Christian community has become complacent about these warnings. Believers yoke themselves with unbelievers within their churches, turning a blind eye to these warnings. It has made it virtually impossible, in some communities, to find churches that teach or believe the Gospel.”
    I agree it has become nearly impossible to find a church that preaches the Gospel anymore. I am no longer involved in the bible study I mentioned earlier. I still don’t attend a local church either. My wife brought home a statement of faith from a nearby church but they defined repentance as turning from sin so I said we can strike that one off the list. There is apparently one Baptist church in the small city nearby us but they have a sinners prayer online for people wanting to be saved. That is not a good sign is it?
    When I listen to Pastor Tom Cucuzza’s messages I realize I probably haven’t heard Grace preaching like that in any church I’ve ever attended my whole life. I’m 42 now and I think that’s just sad.

  43. Thanks John for the interesting post and discussion.

    Jess,

    It seems that Dr Chafer makes a good point about being careful not to view public confession as a type of second requirement for salvation. I have heard some LS proponents try to make this verse support their views. I remember hearing preachers who used the idea of public confession as a test to see if a person was truly repentant. I view it more as acknowledging in faith that Christ is God and putting your faith in Him for salvation. We should remember that our mouths reveal in general what is in our hearts / mind. It should not be surprising that a believer is not ashamed of His God and even testifies of Him publically. We just need to be careful about being legalistic with it.

    Similarily not only will LS advocates at times make verbal confession an extra requirement / test of salvation but they do the same thing with repentance. They can separate repentance and faith so far as to make them two separate requirements.

  44. Jess, I would like to elaborate further on my comment from above.

    “A sinner, having accepted Christ as his Savior, may confess Him as a testimony; but that is far removed from the notion that to be saved one must both believe and confess Christ before men.”

    Chafer meant that we, as believers, are to witness to others. The primary medium of communication at that time was spoken communication. We now have additional media, including electronic forums such as this, with which to confess Christ. That confession is a vital part of a believer’s witness, but obtaining eternal life is not conditioned on public profession of Christ or any other work. Eternal life is a free gift (“by Grace”) conditioned on nothing other than belief in Christ (“through faith”) – plus or minus nothing.

    Check out Romans 10:14 “How then shall they call [worship or appeal unto] 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?

    They hear the preacher, they believe (saved) and then worship or appeal or call upon or unto Him.

    Also, the use of the terms “save” or “salvation” in the Bible do not always refer to eternal life. Some people think that this is the case in Romans 10:9-10.

    While the reference to confessing Christ in Romans 10:9-10 may be confusing, there are so many other passages in the Bible that make the terms of salvation so crystal clear that I do not personally get hung up on that one. I don’t believe that God is looking to confuse us by placing an extra condition for eternal life in only one verse in the entire Bible, while leaving it out of so many other places.

    There are other individual verses in the Bible that, if taken out of context, might seem to say some other things which we know are inconsistent with Grace. For example, Acts 2:38 (NKJV):

    “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'”

    We know that water baptism is not a condition for receiving eternal life. But a cursory reading of this verse has been used by all sorts of people to advance the heresy that one must be water baptized in order to have the gift of eternal life.

    Similarly, James 2:24 has been used by people to posit the heresy that good works are required for eternal life:

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

    So, if someone is bent on proving that works (public confession of Christ, water baptism, good works, living a good life, persevering in holiness, etc.) are jointly or severally required to obtain eternal life, they will think that the Bible proves this.

    I offer the following quote from Clear Gospel Campaign:

    “Rather than coming to Scripture to learn the mind of God, some unregenerate men approach Scripture determined to justify the beliefs they already hold. Some use Scripture to justify homosexuality, and others, to justify slavery. Not surprisingly therefore, those who believe that they, rather than Jesus Christ, are the Savior of their own souls, have, for centuries, sought from Scripture proof-texts to justify this conclusion.”

  45. Thanks for the answers to my questions. I found them helpful and interesting.

    I get the first part of Romans 10:10, and I agree with your analysis of that. My question is more how the second part of that verse fits in with salvation? …”and with the mouth confession is made UNTO SALVATION.”

    Thanks!

  46. Jess, please find below links to the articles from which I gleaned the above quotes.

    Chafer: “Preaching the Gospel in its Accuracy”

    http://duluthbible.org/files/Publications/Grace%20Family%20Journal/GFJ%201998%20PDF/GFJ%201998%2001%20Jan%20Feb/GFJ%201998%2001%20Preaching%20The%20Gospel%2000%20Chafer.pdf

    Bing: “HOW TO SHARE THE GOSPEL CLEARLY”

    http://www.faithalone.org/journal/1994i/Bing.html

  47. Jess, thanks for your excellent questions. I will attempt to answer each of them, as follows:

    1. I am not a universalist. Only believers are saved.

    John 3:18 (NKJV) “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

    However, one does not need to ask. The issue in salvation is belief, not asking. If someone asks for salvation, but does not believe, he is not saved. If someone believes, asking is unnecessary. One does not have to say a prayer. One needs only to believe. God knows the moment a person believes.

    Acts 16:31 (NKJV) “So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.'”

    I generally don’t like prayers for salvation. They can be very confusing, unless handled just right. An appropriate salvation invitation is to ask a person to believe.

    I offer a couple of perspectives on asking for salvation. First, from Chafer:

    “Since God is propitious, it is wholly out of order to ask Him to save, as if He must be persuaded to do what He, at infinite cost, has prepared to do.”

    Second, from Charlie Bing:

    An invitation involving prayer can be handled correctly. The Gospel teller must be careful to make the issue faith. When inviting people to Christ, I explain how it is that Christ saves us through faith, make sure they understand the issues, then ask, “Do you believe this?” If they say “Yes,” I say, “Then why don’t you thank Him right now in prayer for dying for you and for giving you eternal life?”

    2. Feeling sorry for one’s sins is not a requirement for salvation. Neither is confessing them. One needs to know that he is a sinner, separated from God by his sin. You might think that a saved person would feel worse about his sins, but that is a fairly subjective, and slippery, slope.

    A believer is forgiven for his sins the moment he believes. All sins – past, present and future. One need not ask for forgiveness from sin in order to be saved. A saved person should confess his sins, but need not ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness happened the moment he first believed.

    3. Great question on Romans 10:9. A good first step is to look at Romans 10:10 (NKJV) “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

    “Believes unto righteousness” means that a person is declared righteous (not guilty) of sin the moment he believes.

    Again, from Chafer:

    “A sinner, having accepted Christ as his Savior, may confess Him as a testimony; but that is far removed from the notion that to be saved one must both believe and confess Christ before men. If this double requirement were really God’s will, He could not have left out the idea of confession from any of the 150 passages which condition salvation on faith alone.”

                   

  48. First, let me say that I enjoy reading this blog and I typically agree with what is written here. I appreciate the sincerity and steadfastness of the believers on this site.

    I have a couple of questions about this post. I’ll number them and include the quote from the post for clarity.
    1. “I don’t know why God would go to all of the trouble to do everything necessary for my salvation and then make me ask for it. ”
    This sounds a bit like universalism to me. I’m sure that’s not what’s meant by it, but if God doesn’t make us ask for salvation then do we just automatically “get it?” BTW, I totally believe that you don’t have to pray a specific prayer to get saved. Also, I’m wondering if there’s a difference between “asking” for salvation and “accepting” salvation? Do we just “get saved” because we decide to?????

    2. “I should feel worse about my sins. In the Bible study that I attend on Tuesdays, we are using a study guide which says that confession of sins is a requirement for salvation. I can’t find that anywhere in the Bible.”
    My question here is basically about the first statement. Wouldn’t a saved person feel worse about sins? Again, this comes across as being a bit backwards. I understand that a lost person may not feel badly about sin, but I believe the Scripture indicates that a some point a lost person must understand that it was their sin that nailed Jesus to the cross (Rom 5:8, 6:23, I Cor 15:3, etc). Is forgiveness of sin necessary for salvation or only belief? And then, why ask for forgiveness if you don’t feel badly about sin?

    3. My last question is where does Romans 10:9-10 fit in with all this? “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.
    For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” This verse indicates that confession with the mouth and belief in the heart are necessary for salvation. Just wondering what anyone’s thoughts are on this verse?

    Again, I appreciate this blog greatly. I’m totally against Lordship salvation, and I’m hoping that someone will clarify these few things for me.
    Thank you and God bless!

  49. Glenroy,

    Welcome — we are happy you dropped by to visit and comment.

    Our web site is dedicated to exposing the errors of the Just In Case preachers and teachers. We want people to understand that salvation in only by Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone…. there is no need or reason for Just In Case!!!

    Please visit often — we appreciate your comment. It is interesting that you and others who visit and comment here have experienced those same false messages as has John, the author. We are happy you now understand and believe the Truth.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  50. I think that this is an excellent post. When you confront someone who believes in adding works to salvation it always boils down to a “just in case” argument. This happened to me recently and I was confounded. I don’t think they realize that using that phrase shows the fallacy of the argument. I personally have fallen for them. It’s such an entrenched idea today and wrong.

    God Bless,

    Glenroy

  51. Matt for Grace and Truth

    John, your article echoes Paul.

    We’re “justified” by grace
    or by works “just in case”.

    It’s one or the other, but can’t be both (Romans 11:6).

  52. Andy, I am amazed that so few teach the Gospel in its simplicity. It can be done! I am ecstatic that I have found the free grace community and have had access to edifying articles (like the one Bruce linked above) and posts.

    Here is an excerpt from “The Baptismal Regeneration / Believer’s Baptism Debate” by Dr. J.O. Hosler:

    “This means that if the entire human race joined hands and began to recite words of worship, magnification, exaltation, and glorification to God, they could be totally excelled by one man correctly, clearly, and compassionately pronouncing the gospel of the grace of Christ to a lost soul. God help us if we think that we have discovered a better way to worship and glorify You.”

  53. califgracer,

    Very good questions, I have had similar questions over the years, these are all unanswerable by them, and it becomes a huge subjective mess.

    I remember the Lord working on me in a ministry setting years ago, about how so few men make the Gospel sound as easy as it really is. That was even before I knew about the free grace community’s existence, and when I was still a LS person myself. How the Lord planted seeds in me then.

  54. Hi Andy!

    Good comments about John’s outstanding article!

    I, too, once made reference to Lordship Faith teachers always requiring people to, as you say, “jump through hoops in the air.” Here’s a brief excerpt:

    So for the Lordship Faith advocate who loves to slander Free Grace theology with the false nomenclature “easy believism,” I pose the following salient questions:
    1. The Bible clearly presents an uncomplicated plan of salvation; why do you want to make it so difficult for a person to become saved? Why do you invent so many practical and theological hoops through which the seeking unbeliever must leap? Are you desirous of limiting salvation only to a handful of elite superchristians, the chosen few?
    2. Since you declare that true saving faith must be accompanied by a lifetime of strong commitment to God evidenced by a collection of clearly visible “good works,” how many good works must one do? For how many years? Are any periods of backsliding allowed? For how long are they permitted?
    3. If visible good works must accompany true saving faith, how can one know whether she has truly made it (to heaven)? Can there ever be any real assurance of salvation?
    4. How do you explain clear Bible examples of long-term or lifetime backslidden believers, such as Lot (called by Peter a righteous man, 2 Peter 2:7), or the Corinthian church whom Paul called brothers in the Lord, or what about the Laodicean Church of Revelation 3, clearly believers whom Jesus loved, rebuked and disciplined (cf. Hebrews 12:5-6)?

    http://www.freegracealliance.com/pdf/Free_Grace_Theology_is_NOT_Easy_Believism1.pdf

  55. Pretty much a slippery slope, isn’t it?

    It becomes jumping through hoops in the air, hoping that you might have gone through the last hoop, but no, there’s always more hoops in the air.

    Did you include the altar call? I didn’t see it there but I could have missed it. Some I heard that went forward with Billy Graham because, you can’t get saved in your seat. You have to commit your life to Christ, and if you won’t come forward, then you’re obviously not willing to commit.

    So some will do the altar call, but then, later tell you that you are an “almost Christian” due to lack of commitment, instead of a Christian by faith in Jesus. Yet they called you forward at an altar call! So if you could go forward at their own altar call, and yet still end up being an “almost Christian” and miss heaven, then why did they do an altar call at all?

    The constant inner contradictions of the whole thing is, hoops in the air.

  56. Pearl,

    Yes, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus!”

    You are indeed a blessing to all of us on this web site.

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  57. What a masterful way of setting Lordship Probation in everyday perspective, John. I bought into a few of those lies myself; up until the time I learned of the countless tactics through Jack’s blog, a true Godsend in my life. I refuse to comply with these pious demands and expectations any further, and it makes me angry to see these lies continue to play out so effortlessly with virtually no interference.

    “For I know whom I have believed [Jesus Christ, not Justin Case] and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have commited unto Him against that day.”

    “Christ and the Apostles warned us that the wolves would come. The Christian community has become complacent about these warnings. Believers yoke themselves with unbelievers within their churches, turning a blind eye to these warnings. It has made it virtually impossible, in some communities, to find churches that teach or believe the Gospel.”

    I believe this tragic reality is Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed come to pass. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

  58. Thanks John,

    Yes, complacency is a problem but sheer ignorance and improper teaching of God’s Word is the larger problem.

    As has been said many times on this web site, it is tragic how these false teachings can cause believers to lose assurance of their salvation by falling for the LS and subtle “works” salvation lies. It is all the more tragic when a non-believer is confused by such false teachings and thereby fails to understand the simplicity of the Gospel of Grace, the simplicity that is in Christ.
    “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3

    In Jesus Christ thankfully and eternally, Jack

  59. Jon, one of the major themes of my article was to be careful who we trust.

    As a non-believer, I bought into the “repent of sins” and “commit your life to Christ” as part of the salvation package. It was explained to me that way by the pastor of a huge SBC church. He used a Bible verse (James 2:19), out of context, to make his point. Satan had used this minister to appeal to my natural belief that I could help save myself. It was more than twenty years later when I read a couple of clear presentations of the Gospel that I understood and believed that salvation was a free gift and not a trade.

    Soon after that, I got goaded into asking for salvation by a so-called grace website. I felt funny doing it, and I felt terrible the next day. I knew that I believed. But the website said that if you didn’t ask for salvation that you were still not saved. It used a couple of Bible verses out of context (Matthew 7:7-8). I had trusted that website, because it had a good explanation of eternal security that I had been looking for. Satan will use any device that he can to confuse us and draw us away from Christ. This includes scripture (always out of context) and people we think we can trust.

    Christ and the Apostles warned us that the wolves would come. The Christian community has become complacent about these warnings. Believers yoke themselves with unbelievers within their churches, turning a blind eye to these warnings. It has made it virtually impossible, in some communities, to find churches that teach or believe the Gospel.

  60. Excellent article John! I fell for some of those lies myself. Not that long ago I saw a video with Tony Campolo saying almost exactly the same line you used: “My pastor says believing in Jesus isn’t enough – that even the demons believe there is one God and they tremble.” He said there’s a difference between a believer and a disciple you know. His obvious intention was to disparage believers. He even went on to promote the sponsorship of a child as a form of good works that might be just what you need to get into heaven. He said when you get to the pearly gates you can grab this child and show God what a great thing you did for him\her with your money.(Just in case) I was disgusted by his speech but no one else in the ‘Bible Study’ seemed to have a problem with anything he said. I’m glad to know now that salvation is a FREE gift also! I know I am saved because I heard the Gospel and believed it!

  61. Thanks, John, for the brilliant satire on the many fallacies of Lordship Faith, a.k.a. Lordship Salvation teachings. And thanks too, Jack, for posting this. It really drives the point home about the destructiveness of such false teachings—how they leave people with NO ASSURANCE of salvation.

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