Lordship “Salvation” Authors/Speakers Francis Chan and David Platt Team Up to Create the “Multiply” Discipleship Movement


Francis Chan, author of best-selling book, “Crazy Love,” and David Platt, author of the book “Radical,” haved teamed up to form a new movement called, “Multiply.”

On the face of this undertaking, the motivation may seem harmless, perhaps even noble—to motivate, to encourage, to enable people to make disciples. But we must analyze this situation more deeply by asking a couple of pertinent questions:

What happened to the gospel? The Bible declares that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16-18; Acts 16:30-31). Why is it that this new “movement” pushes discipleship but not salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone?

Make disciples of whom or of what theology? A disciple is simply a “follower.” But whom or what are people being asked to follow? Buddhists have their disciples (followers); so do Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. Promoters of Lordship “Salvation” have their disciples too.

As I read through some of the materials on the “Multiplymovement.com” website, it became quickly obvious that the “discipleship” principle being promoted was the standard radical Lordship “salvation” agenda which David Platt and Francis Chan have pushed for years through their radical LS books, videos, sermons and articles.

Here are a few excerpts from the Multiplymovement.com website:

From Part I, # 1, page 1, “What is a Disciple?”:

“It’s impossible to be a disciple or a follower of someone and not end up like that person. . . . Yet somehow many have come to believe that a person can be a ‘Christian’ without being like Christ. A ‘follower’ who doesn’t follow. How does that make any sense? Many people in the church have decided to take on the name of Christ and nothing else. This would be like Jesus walking up to those first disciples and saying, ‘Hey, would you guys mind identifying yourselves with Me in some way? Don’t worry, I don’t actually care if you do anything I do or change your lifestyle at all. I’m just looking for people who are willing to say they believe in Me and call themselves Christians.”

Comment: Standard Lordship Faith caricature of Free Grace theology.

From Part I, # 2, page 2, “How Do I Become a Disciple?”:

“The word repent means ‘to turn.’ It has the idea of changing direction and heading the opposite way. It involves action. . . . Jesus says we need to repent. This implies that we all need to turn from the way we are currently thinking and living.”

Comment: Standard Lordship Faith “salvation” message of “turning from one’s sins” and performing some kind of action in order to be saved. For LSers, believing in Christ alone by grace alone through faith alone is not meritorious enough, i.e., it is not sufficient to save a person from his sins.

From Part I, # 3, page 3, “The Lord of Grace”:

“Salvation is all about the grace of God.”

Comment: Great! Why don’t you believe it?

Continuing from page 3, “But keep in mind that while this is simple, it’s not easy. Faith in Jesus Christ means believing that He is Lord (according to Rom. 10:9). Have you ever thought about what Lord means? We sometimes think of it as another name for God, but it’s actually a title. It refers to a master, owner, or a person who is in a position of authority. So take a minute to think this through: Do you really believe that Jesus is your master? Do you believe that He is your owner—that you actually belong to Him? . . . The problem is, many in the church want to ‘confess that Jesus is Lord,’ yet they don’t believe that He is their master.”

Comment: Again, this is the standard Lordship Faith misapplication of Jesus Christ as “Lord.” Yes, Jesus Christ is Lord God of Creation, Lord God of Redemption, Lord God of the Universe, Lord God of ALL; He is Lord, in spite of any puny declaration that one can make. We do not make Jesus “Lord.” He IS Lord!

From Part I, #5, page 4, “Count the Cost”:

“As you work your way through this material, you will be challenged to consider what it means to be a follower of Jesus. . . . But before you set out to teach other people to be disciples of Jesus, you need to examine your heart and make sure that you are a disciple. Read the following words from Jesus slowly and carefully. Understand that Jesus is speaking these words to you. Think about what Jesus is saying and how it should affect the way you approach this material and your relationship with Him. After you have read this section, use the questions below to help you count the cost of following Jesus (quotation given from Luke 14: 25-33).”

Response: This text from Luke is often cited by Lordship Faith advocates to claim that salvation requires a whole array of promises to fulfill, statements of commitment to make, promises of things one must give up (money, lifestyle, etc.), and the carrying out of these promises in order to be worthy of acquiring or maintaining salvation. This is a misuse and a misapplication of a Scripture that has nothing to do with salvation; furthermore, it is a denial of the multitude of Scriptures that declare that salvation is completely a gift of God by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. There are NO STRINGS ATTACHED!

256 responses to “Lordship “Salvation” Authors/Speakers Francis Chan and David Platt Team Up to Create the “Multiply” Discipleship Movement

  1. Keith, Francis Chan has always been bad news. It is not surprising that he is going further off the rails.

    You are right. LS is just RC-lite. They do seem to be continuing to coalesce.

  2. I just read an interesting article entitled “Protestant pastor gets praise from Catholics for his comments on Holy Communion”.

    The article is about Francis Chan’s view of communion. In the article Chan, who is followed mainly by non-Catholic evangelicals and Protestants, expressed his view that the communion elements are the literal body and blood of Christ, which is also the Roman Catholic view, as opposed to the memorial view, which is the Biblical position. He also expressed his hope that such an understanding of communion would unify Catholics and non-Catholics:

    “What if this was at the center of every Christian gathering in America?” Chan concluded. “I think we’d start seeing the divisions slowly disappear and people start coming together again.”

    Lordship Salvation, if followed to its logical conclusions, always seems to lead back to the doctrines of Rome. Its pervasiveness is increasingly leading to the false unity which is bringing evangelicals and Protestants into the Roman Catholic fold.

  3. Brady, we agree with your assessment that Chan misses the gospel completely.

  4. When I first read the book “Crazy Love” by Chan, something was just not right. There was a lot of truth in this book, but it was missing something, and I could not figure out until now what it was missing. It was missing GRACE! And that is not a trivial mistake. To miss grace is to miss the gospel completely. That is why I never finished the book. Yes, I said it. Chan misses the gospel completely!

  5. Phil and John it is almost laughable; but they are the experts and we are the “silly” ones (Sproul particularly likes the word silly to describe non-Calvinist). The whole system is based on deductive reasoning and the whole system is exposed through deductive reasoning. Hoisted by their own petard (I think I first heard that phrase from an intellectual Calvinist). There are advantages to being “silly” “stupid” and “simple”.

  6. RAS, to take the Calvinist illogic one more step, if they were to be teaching a false gospel, it would be because God made them do it, and the curse they are under would extend to the source of the false gospel – God Himself.

  7. RAS, you mentioned how many conflate salvation with justification. Sproul and other Calvinists also conflate faith with repenting (in which they mean repenting means repenting of sins.) To them, it is just assumed that repenting of sins and faith are two sides of the same coin–one in the same.

  8. Sorry. The subject of my comment spanned at least two threads. (I just combined my response)

  9. Glad we see it the same Phil. Jim F. thanks for the link to your review it was great: William good to hear you are better.

    Anymore, when engaging with somebody who wants to appeal to Sproul or any eminent Calvinist apologist as an authority I point out the logical fallacy (Calvinist love deductive logic) of Sproul or X being considered a Spiritual authority on anything being that they can’t say with certitude that they are of the elect meaning they are unsure if they have been regenerated meaning that they are unsure if they are a “corpse” leading me to be unsure of their dogma. Yet Calvinist are more sure that their theology is correct than they are that they have been justified by faith alone.

  10. RAS, I believe what you have said is the correct explanation of Romans 10. You got it right and I can’t add a thing.

  11. The actions of the mouth and heart are two different actions from two different locations, producing two different results. “Calling on the name of the Lord” is a phrase used frequently in the Old Testament that most often describes a time when people under adversity cry out to God for deliverance (salvation).

    Many conflate salvation with justification but in Romans Paul does not use the terms interchangeably. Believer’s justification is not the topic of Romans 9-10, instead Paul is talking about God’s faithfulness to His promises to Israel and how they will eventually be fulfilled i.e. the nation Israel will come to faith, reverse course and confess Jesus as God and Messiah— then they will be delivered.

    Romans 10:14 “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”—the action of the heart—hearing and believing resulting in justification—must precede the action of the mouth which will result in Israel’s deliverance.

    Lsers get this passage wrong because of their predisposition to conflate and then proof text.

  12. ddo1961, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    you mis quoted rom 109

    Jesus is Lord whether a soul acknowledges that biblical Truth or not

    does a souls doctrine biblically teach Jesus is Lord or some element or Jesus plus works ?

    the Lord Jesus
    Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    1Co 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

    Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

    How did you receive Christ Jesus the Lord ddo1961 ?

  13. dd01961,

    Here is the way “lordship” salvation is indeed heresy. It either requires obedience beyond faith to be saved or as a result of imparted grace / regeneration. Either way obedience is required beyond faith whether front door or back door. However the Bible says salvation is received through faith. Many of these guys redefine faith to include whatever extra elements they wish but men like Platt and Chan are still teaching error concerning the gospel. So is anyone that actually teaches the Baptist faith and message of the SBC or the New Hampshire confession or the Westminster etc.

    I have written (a review of) one of Platt’s books and I think it sums up his views and how I see many issues with them.


    You are right in that both views are not simultaneously right and men do have the responsibility before God one to study and two to decidedly teach the truth.

    Jim F

  14. ddo1961, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    Part of the content of believing in Jesus is believing in His deity. He is Lord.

    Believing on the Lord Jesus Christ is what is required to receive eternal life (John 3:16, Acts 16:31).

    Lordship “salvation” generally implies that something besides simple belief in Jesus is required in order to receive, keep, or provide evidence that one has received eternal life.

    We have attempted to define Lordship “salvation” in some of its more common forms. See link below:


    Everyone is accountable for his words. I am confident that those of us who are defending the gospel against Lordship “salvation” will be commended for it.

  15. Not a fan of Platt or of Chan and I listen to neither of them. However, I must say I’m so tired of people declaring Lordship salvation to be heresy and here in this article once again the author has mischaracterized Lordship salvation. Lordship salvation in no way adds to the grace of God or salvation by faith alone. Lordship salvation does not promote works in order to be saved. Lordship salvation is what the Bible absolutely teaches. Go to Romans 10:9; it clearly says call on “Jesus as Lord”. The Bible never says come to Jesus as Savior, though He is the Savior, but to come to Him as Lord. The entire Bible points out and goes to great lengths to do so, that He is Lord. Either you folks are mischaracterizing Lordship salvation out of ignorance or you’re just downright sharing lies. There are people in one camp or the other or maybe even both who will one day have to answer for their words concerning this issue. It’s really a shame

  16. Matt for Grace and Truth

    Bryan R.

    I’m glad to hear your testimony from legalistic fear to “grace and peace.” Praise and thanks to God for His finished work!

  17. Phil,

    I love your quote here, “I believe in the Christian walk, but not in any way as a means of salvation or as a means of assurance and certainty of salvation.
    My salvation is Christ taking away all my sins and imputing all his righteousness credited to me, period. That’s all the assurance, certainty and peace I need. And I can work and serve Him in joy and assurance for all he has done to save me.”

    I have copied and pasted it to my notes to reference. Simply said and simply beautiful. Thanks!!

  18. There is a subtle form of Lordship Salvation out there. I was listening to a radio preaching show on a Bott Radio Network station I think called “Focal Point” where this pastor was trying to get people to “make sure they are saved.” He had a whole list pre-requisites that one must believe: the diety of God and Christ, that God is all holy and we are doomed sinners, “repent and turn from your sins” (which is adding something from us to enter salvation), and trust in Christ’s death and resurrection to save us. He goes on to say that your assurance and certainty of salvation won’t last unless you are doing Christian service. Oh, he says that you are saved by faith in Christ’s finished work alone (double talk if you are including repenting of your sins as also required to be saved), but he says you won’t have full confidence, peace and certainty, unless you are working out your salvation. It just seems that many of these preachers that 2 Cor 5:21 is not enough; they have to burden us with more.
    I believe in the Christian walk, but not in any way as a means of salvation or as a means of assurance and certainty of salvation.
    My salvation is Christ taking away all my sins and imputing all his righteousness credited to me, period. That’s all the assurance, certainty and peace I need. And I can work and serve Him in joy and assurance for all he has done to save me.

    (By the way, these Bott Radio Network stations seem to operate under the idea that they just have to “get the word of God into people” through their preaching programs, no matter what is taught. And they carry everyone from John MacArthur’s “Grace to You”, and RC Sproul to Chuck Swindall and Tony Evans. I wonder what word is actually “getting into people”, Grace or LS legalsim? I usually only listen to radio and TV church shows just to see how much twisted teaching is going on, and there is plenty of it on the air.)

  19. Suzy,

    I can speak from experience, I read Radical, watched hours of Platt’s sermons, and some of Chan’s as well, and I never got the impression that Salvation is all by Grace by these two men. Now there may be times when they may indicate that salvation is a free gift(I don’t recall), but they are pretty consistant on hammering works to prove a person is saved. At the time, I didn’t know any better and took their teaching for granted and my motives to serve Jesus was just to make me “feel” saved. As a result, my object of my faith was in my service, rather than the finished work on the cross. I was in constant fear, bondage and doubt. Thank the Lord that I prayed for wisdom which led me to here to this blog a couple years ago.

    Platt loves to say that the “Gospel demands to this work and to do that work”, where as the true gospel only demands simple trust in Christ’s finished work on the cross.

    Bryan R,

  20. Suzy, welcome to our site.

    If I confused you with my earlier response, I apologize. I was referencing the wrong post.

    Suzy, we do not have to turn from sin to receive eternal life, keep eternal life, or prove that we have eternal life. If we did, none of us would ever have eternal life.

    Similarly, one does not need to make Jesus “Lord of his life” in order to receive, keep, or prove he has eternal life.

    The demands of committed discipleship are costly. Salvation is free. We are concerned that Francis Chan and David Platt do not make that clear.

    Growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ only happens when we get out of the way. Platt and Chan seem to want to focus people on their works as evidence of their faith. This is foolish.

  21. I didn’t get any of what you all are saying. They acknowledged that we are saved by grace, but also that Christ must be Lord of your life; pointing out that that just isn’t the case for many who call themselves Christians. They point out that it is necessary to repent of sin. I never read where their statement in any way negated salvation by grace. The Bible is very clear that you cannot remain in your sin. God cannot dwell where sin dwells, so if you choose to muck around in sin without repentance He cannot abide with you.
    I just thought all of your comments were very reactionary and aggressive. From what I could see they were bringing Christianity and salvation back to Bible 101.

  22. Jaek, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    We have received numerous inquiries about this particular passage. Please see our “Difficult Verses” section for a detailed explanation.

  23. What about James 2:14-26?

  24. Please don’t make the error that I am Lacking on Lordship . Absolutely every soul “SHOULD” surrender continually to the Spirits Prompting in the believers life . But in No way as a condition of Justification and or applied to the Blood of Jesus.
    Justification has everything to do with Sanctification. How ever !!
    Sanctification has Nothing to do with Justification they must always remain separate.
    There are three parts to salvation: Justification , Sanctification , Glorification
    believer people are sanctified and being sanctified every thing that is said and done is tarnished by righteousness while living and dealing with the Old Nature . The New Nature does not Sin.

    People who preach Lordship as a condition of salvation (Eternal Life)They are just using psychology on souls to entrap them and keep them coming back for more to learn Their system of thought and buy their book’s Because you cant understand scripture with out their books .

    1Co 4:15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

    I love how God’s Word defends God’s Word and the souls on this forum strive to use Scripture to answer questions.

    why should a believer person Listen to the Holy Spirit ?

    ” that it may be well with you”

    Deu 5:33 You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.

  25. Steve, that is kind of typical of Lordship (load-ship) teachers, they mischaracterize us, they say we believe that a prayer saves us, or a walk down the aisle, or going to church etc. But we have made it very clear that is not the case, and all anyone has to do and should do, before they bring an accusation like that, is to simply look at the gospel that is presented above in the link, or the statement of faith. We are not to bear false witness, knowingly or otherwise, so we should always do our homework.

    We believe what the Bible says, we are saved because of His grace that He offered to all men. Simply by our faith in Christ and what He did on the cross on our behalf. The gospel is declared in 1 Corinthians 15, and I am quite sure it is complete because Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said it was the same one they all believed, received, were saved by, and stood in. He also said it was the same gospel that all the apostles preached. So, it is not lacking anything necessary there.

    The problem with men like Chan, Platt, MacArthur, etc., is they continue to say disciple = a ‘true Christian’. They never make sure the person thoroughly understood the simple gospel. They don’t ask them if they believed on the one thing that is the power of God unto salvation (the gospel). They even denigrate ‘believing’ with all their ‘stories’ of who supposedly believes and is not saved. I saw John MacArthur twisting Scripture in a sermon the ‘pattern of sanctification’, and he says the Hebrews were not saved (in chapt 6).

    People better take the time to figure out if what they are saying about someone can be backed up. And more importantly, they better figure out, if what they are taking in and regurgitating out to others lines up with the Word of God. I do not believe anyone will want to hear the words seen in Psalm 50:16-17.

  26. Steve,

    a prayer does not save a soul , a soul must believe for eternal Life
    don’t confuse faith before God vs Faith before man

    I tell you, this man went down to his house justified

    Luk 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
    Luk 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

    He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself:

    1Jn 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
    1Jn 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
    1Jn 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

  27. Preston, my interpretation of Romans 10:13 is that “saved” refers to something other than receiving eternal life. One receives eternal life by believing (see verse 14). A believer (who has already received eternal life by believing), calls upon the name of the Lord in order to live a victorious Christian life.

    Larry Moyer put it this way:

    The “saved” Paul is speaking of is not salvation from damnation, but salvation from the dangers of sin in present day living. How does one escape these damaging consequences? Paul’s answer is, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness.” The words “believes unto righteousness” is a translation of the Greek word for “justified” – the same word used in Romans 5:1. There we read, “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God.” Paul continues in Romans 9:10, “And with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” The point is powerful. One becomes a Christian by simply trusting Christ. But to experience victory over sin, one must be willing to confess Him publicly. Confession is important, but not for justification but instead for living a victorious Christian life. Need help making such a confession? Paul exhorts them to “Call upon the name of the Lord” (Romans 10:13), a phrase that has the idea of worshipping God and invoking His assistance (cf Acts 9:13-14, 1Timothy 2:22).

  28. John,

    good call. bad reference. I should have used 2 Cor 11:3-4.

    3 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.

    4 For if he that cometh preacheth ANOTHER Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

    As for not trusting Jesus as Savior—–I believe you are correct. notice I said, “I hope not”.

    I am sooooooo hoping that “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”.—but the majority of the text (bible) says believe (to put TOTAL confidence in; to trust).—-as a result, I preach “believe”.

    God Bless,

  29. Steve, Preston suggested that I connect you to the James document. I think he was referring to this excellent resource on James 2, from Dr. Thomas Cucuzza. See link below:

    Click to access cucuzza-faith-without-works-is-dead.pdf

  30. Preston and others,

    When addressing a specific person or topic, please name that person or topic (or both).

    Your lengthy comment began with “please connect HIM to the James document..” (My caps emphasis on “HIM”).

    I was not sure who you meant.

    Just makes it easier to read — for me at least.


    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  31. Preston, I think the passage in Matthew 7:21-23 may be broad enough to encompass anyone who has not trusted in Christ alone as Savior, but has tried to get into heaven by faith and works.

    You referenced Galatians 1:8. Paul was not referring to Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons. He was referring to those who taught that circumcision – in addition to faith in Christ – was required in order to be saved. He refers to those who taught this as “false brethren”.

    Galatians 2:3-5:

    [3] But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
    [4] And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
    [5] To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

  32. Good day,

    please connect him to the James document. as for Matt 7:21-23 here is a long ( I apologize) explanation.

    notice verse 15 – its about false prophets

    21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
    22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity

    – lets start with VERSE 21 – but he that doeth the will of my Father. We must ask, “WHAT is the WILL of the Father?????
    – John 6:40 – And this is the WILL of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and BELIEVETH on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day

    – VERSE 22 – in thy name done many wonderful works.
    – notice what these people were relying on…they were relying (trusting in) their WORKS to save them. The bible states over and over – NOT by works (eph 2:8-9, titus 3:5, Rom 4:5, rom 3:25-28 and my all time favorite-Rom 11:6 which reads,
    -“and if by GRACE, then it is NO MORE of works; otherwise grace is no more grace, and if it be by works then it is no more of grace, otherwise work is no more work”
    – NOTICE what they DIDNT say. they didn’t say,” Lord, I believed you paid my sin debt at the cross”. NO-they were trusting in works (themselves)

    VERSE 23 – I never knew you.
    – he DIDNT say, I once knew you and now don’t. He said I NEVER knew you.
    – remember, Jesus ate with sinners and told the Pharisees that harlots and publicans were getting into the kingdom before them. (matt 21:31)
    – remember the woman washing His feet with tears – he said to her thy sins are forgiven, thy FAITH hath saved thee. (Luke 7:48-50)
    – POINT – Jesus knows sinners

    VERSE 23b – ye that work iniquity.
    – look at iniquity (SIN) that came from SAVED people in the bible
    1. David (a man after Gods own heart) murdered and committed adultery – saved
    2. Noah got drunk – saved
    3. The church of Corinth was a “carnal” church – saved
    4. Paul called himself carnal and hated what he did (Rom 7) – saved
    5. Peter denied Jesus AFTER his name was written in heaven – saved
    6. Lot lived a sinful lifestyle, offered his 2 virgin daughters to the mob – saved
    7. ETC – I think you get the point

    – matt 12:31-32 – Wherefore I say unto you, ALL manner of sin and blasphemy shall be FORGIVEN unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
    32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
    – Jesus said he will forgive ALL sin
    – the only “unforgivable” sin is unbelief.

    many say the problem is that these professing Christians were relying on their works and not going to heaven. This COULD very well be true, I certainly hope not!!!! HOWEVER, I AM THINKING SOMETHING SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT.

    Those who fit this “manta” are Jehovah witnesses and Mormons.
    1. Both groups were started by a supposed prophet (v15) (Joseph Smith and William Russel Taze)
    2. Both groups do many wonderful works in the name of Jesus (and declare that works are needed)
    3. Both groups DENY the deity of Jesus. They think he is the arch angel Michael (NOT God in the flesh)
    – thus Jesus will say I NEVER knew you
    – Paul wrote, he that preaches ANOTHER Jesus; let him be accursed. (Galations 1:8)
    – Jesus said in john – unless ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins (John 8:24)

    With humility and respect,

  33. Steve, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    You said: “I have much more of a problem with people like you saying all you gotta do is pray a prayer.”

    My comment: Steve, I challenge you to find where any of us said that saying a prayer will save someone. We do not believe that. It is very frustrating to try to have a rational discussion with someone who resorts to fabricating things and attributing them to us. Please do not put words in our mouths.

    Please note that we do not believe that one is saved by “praying a prayer.” In fact, many of us believe that leading someone in a “salvation prayer” is inappropriate, and confusing.

    Rather, we believe what the Bible teaches – that we are saved by grace, through believing in Jesus Christ as Savior (Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16, and many others).

    Should believers live for Christ? Absolutely! Is it automatic? Absolutely not! If it were, then the Epistles would have been a waste of ink and paper.

    You said: “Most people I grew up in church with have prayed the prayer but no more act like Jesus than a dog. In other words, their prayer didn’t take.”

    My comment: If any of the people trusted in Christ alone, they are eternally secure believers, whether or not you can sense by their behavior whether or not “it took.” Whose standards are you using to judge? Yours? Jesus is the measuring stick. He is perfect. We have to be perfect to enter heaven. We can only have perfection imputed to us through faith in Christ.

    You said: “There will be MANY in that day that say, “Lord, Lord”.

    My comment: Indeed there will be! Let’s read what the Bible says about them:

    Matthew 7:22-23:

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

    These people recognize Jesus as Lord. They tout their works as the reason they should get into heaven. They are not thrown into hell because “they act no more like Jesus than a dog.” No, they are condemned because they have not believed in Jesus as Savior. Please note that Jesus did not refute their claims of good works. They were not His, because they did not believe.

    John 3:18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    You said: James says that’s fine if you SAY you have faith. Prove it. Show me you’re a child of God by the way you live your life. If there’s no evidence, guess what?

    My comment: You are close to the truth, but still not there. James did call CHRISTIANS to an active faith. James was written, because not all Christians were living for Christ and he wanted to spur them on. How could he spur someone on to an active faith who didn’t have any faith? That would have been stupid. If he thought they weren’t believers, he would have preached the gospel to them – not provoked a bunch of lost people to show they were saved by their works.

    You said: “Jesus said if there is no fruit, there is no connection. They aren’t alive in Him.”

    My comment: No, Jesus said you must abide in Him in order to remain fruitful. The Bible is clear that not all Christians are fruitful.

    2 Peter 1:5-8:

    [5] And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
    [6] And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
    [7] And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
    [8] For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  34. They aren’t saying those “works” get you salvation. They are saying it is proof you are saved. Most people I grew up in church with have prayed the prayer but no more act like Jesus than a dog. In other words, their prayer didn’t take. Because if it did, there would be fruit. Jesus said if there is no fruit, there is no connection. They aren’t alive in Him. I have much more of a problem with people like you saying all you gotta do is pray a prayer. There will be MANY in that day that say, “Lord, Lord”. It’s not just praying a prayer. It’s not just going to church. James says that’s fine if you SAY you have faith. Prove it. Show me you’re a child of God by the way you live your life. If there’s no evidence, guess what?

  35. Hi Holly,

    Yes, I made some comment about Chan’s possible “sincerity” in the review, “Balanced Love,” at FGA:

    Click to access BookReview%20ofCrazyLove.pdf

    I wrote that over four years ago and, at that time not fully understanding the horrors of Lordship “salvation” teaching, I was inclined to give Chan some benefit of doubt. But now that I have seen the damage caused by this false unbiblical teaching, in the form of broken lives, shattered assurance of salvation (for believers who have fallen prey to LS teaching), and people being blocked from salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, I would probably not be so generous in my assessment today.

    Thanks for checking that out and clarifying things.

  36. Bruce, somewhere, I believe in your review of Chan’s “Crazy Love (over on freegracealliance.com), or maybe here, you mentioned how you used to think Chan was sincere. You know, one time I gave Paul Washer a pass on his ‘sincerity’ and immediately John 7:24 came to my remembrance.

    I thought, surely I am not judging by the appearance, I was being ‘fair’ and ‘nice’ or ‘giving him the benefit of the doubt’. And it came to me again, and I considered that if I could not judge the motives of their heart to be bad, then I certainly should not suggest that he “appeared sincere”. Hit me like a ton of bricks. I could just as well say, “he looks like a sheep”… He might look like one but it doesn’t make it true, and he might cry and weep and speak with a pleading voice and say Jesus is my Lord as he beats on his chest, but doesn’t make him sincere for sure….

  37. Mike,

    There is a Biblical principle by which we should abide:

    2 Corinthians 6:14-17
    “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? [15] And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? [16] And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [17] Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”

    You may search our web site for “Platt” and realize that he is Calvinist, Southern Baptist and a Lordship Salvation teacher. That should be reason enough. Your Pastor or Elders/Deacons should be made aware of Platt’s position. Do they know and approve?? Platt will likely be selling his books and CDs so his false doctrine will be “innocently” spread in your church including your SS students.

    Will be praying for you for God’s Wisdom:

    James 1:5
    If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  38. mike thomas

    would like some feedback with what I am about to say I teach sunday school at greystone church in durham nc they are having a 6 week course with you guessed it David Platt it is expected for the teachers to attend I have chosen to NOT attend because of my free grace beliefs what say you ? mike t.

  39. Thanks John for the helpful comments.

    By the way, Dr. Charlie Bing is traveling in Ghana right now with GraceLife Ministries, doing training and teaching of local pastors. I’m sure that he would appreciate our prayers for him and for his traveling companions.

    Thanks again!

  40. John M., in addition to Bruce’s excellent comments, the following quote from Clear Gospel Campaign is very instructive:

    “We believe that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the regenerate man is able to overcome his sin nature in this lifetime (Romans 6:5-19), but that the old nature of sinful man remains after regeneration, that it is at war within the members of the regenerate man, and that this battle will continue until death or rapture separates the regenerate nature from the fallen nature (Romans 7:15-25). Because of this, we believe that no man, other than Jesus Christ, has achieved, or will achieve “sinless perfection” in this lifetime, and that any man who claims to achieve sinless perfection is self-deceived (1st John 1:8). We believe that every motive and every action of all men remains tainted by sin, even after salvation through Christ (Romans 7:17). However, we believe that, because sin, both inherent and realized, is resident only in the old man (Romans 7:17) and because the regenerate man is holy and incapable of sin (1st John 3:9) that regenerate man may present works of righteousness to God that are untainted by sin in God’s sight, and therefore worthy of reward (1st Corinthians 3:11-15).”

  41. John M:

    First, as Jack indicated, regarding your quotation from the NIV, although I do not advocate the use of the NIV, IF you are going to do so, do so with caution and use the 1984 Edition, NOT the 2011 edition. The 2011 version removes most male references—“him” or “his” become “them or theirs;” “son” or “sons” become “child” or “children” (it’s called, “gender neutral”). This practice seriously alters the meaning of a mulititude of texts. One can only imagine the kind of damage that can result from this wholesale change of original verbiage.

    Regarding 1 John 3, I recommend your reading of the article, “Real Christians Don’t Sin? by Dr. Charlie Bing: http://www.gracelife.org/resources/gracenotes.asp?id=59

    As you read 1 John, keep in mind that John is speaking to Christians, fellow believers (he addresses them as “my dear children,” “dear children,” “brothers,” “children of God,” “dear friends”) about the quality of their faith; he is not giving them tests to determine WHETHER they are saved or not. Rather, he is admonishing them in love to live lives befitting the rich spiritual heritage which they already possessed by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

    Listen to Dr. Bing’s concluding statement in the article cited above:

    “Real Christians sin, and sometimes seriously and repeatedly. We know this from experience and from the testimony of Scripture. But when the Christian is abiding in fellowship with Jesus Christ, it is impossible to sin because in that sphere—in Christ himself, there is no sin [edit. note: we assume that Bing is referring to each moment or period of time when the believer is walking in close fellowship with the Lord, not entertaining any sin in his/her mind; Bing has already stated that Christians can and do sin]. Jesus came to take away the sin of the world. He did that provisionally when He died on the cross for sin, and He does that experientially for all believers who abide in Him. Without this understanding, many Christians will doubt their salvation because they know that they sin. God’s grace gives us not only a way to avoid sin (3:6, 9), but also a remedy when we do (1:9).”

  42. John M.

    Yes we do — in context and from the Authorized 1611 KJV Bible — rather than the quote you use which appears to be somewhat close to the incorrect NIV paraphrase..

    What is your point?

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  43. Commenters, please tell me if you agree with this scripture; thank you.

    1JOHN3: 7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

  44. Hi David,

    I believe that DaySpring College also has online studies. Here is another Free Grace Seminary:

    “Free Grace Seminary,” which has online studies: http://www.freegracelibrary.com/free_grace_theology.htm

  45. David,

    You are right about that church link — very legalistic and little Grace. For that reason I removed the link.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  46. also jack,

    thank you for the seminary recommendation. i will look into it! my only concern is i still want to work in industry/corporate world because i believe we still need believers out there in the workplace. will going to seminary undermine my chances of finding a job?

  47. jack and califgracer,

    thanks. i think this article was pointing to exactly what i was mentioning on the other post. theres a big church on campus at my college, and i would like to ask you guys to evaluate their core values and such.

    { Link removed by Admin – as inappropriate and legalistic.}

    this church pushes discipleship to the max, to the point of where it seems like there is an unhealthy environment where people judge each other based on their good works (all believers of course). respect seems to be given upon how holy, devoted, knowledgeable one is as a disciple. you can probably see that through its membership process. please help, as i am confused. they are believers hungry to go all out as disciples, but critical of each other’s walks. please help me discern.

    thanks you guys.

  48. FryingPan9

    . . . Whoops. I wasn’t quite clear. I meant that if Covenant Theology is addressed in Hunt’s WHAT LOVE IS THIS? I’ve completely forgotten all about what I read . . .

  49. FryingPan9

    Back on 1/11/13 this thread mentioned “Covenant Theology.”

    Could someone elaborate on that for me? I don’t believe I’ve heard of that term until discovering this blog, unless it’s addressed in Dave Hunt’s WHAT LOVE IS THIS?, which is his critique of Calvinism.

    Is it the same as the New Age and/or “Kingdom Now” or “Dominion” theology I’ve read about in some of Dave Hunt’s older works? I understand it’s a Calvinistic dogma, but something tells me there’s more to it than that and while I’ve done a little research, I’d prefer a Free Grace perspective on it.

    Thank you

  50. Alan, all

    When you hear talk from preachers and teachers about “engaging” culture the look around the corner for the LS gospel. This has been my experience. Many so called conservative and new evangelicals love to both “engage” the culture and promote their LS gospel.

    It is better to promote the true gospel while giving the lost the proper opinion of God in the process. Why tarnish God’s image with our attempt to evangelize or worship?

    Jim F

  51. Alan,

    You should read the following post and all 84 comments..


    This may be sufficient to express our distaste with secularizing church services. In my opinion Grace Believers should not emulate the world in their effort to attract the world. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation:

    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16

    That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Cor. 2:5

    Perhaps others here at ExP will care to comment further on your question.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  52. Alan,

    Even if you can try to stretch to make the verses mean all that, you would have to do so ignoring other principles that talk about worldliness, worship, ministry etc. I have heard this line of reasoning before from evangelicals to try to justify their lax standards. The problem is that we are not to be worried about engaging culture in that fashion. Just look down at verse 25 were Paul was temperate and 27 where he did not want his gospel that he preached to be rejected due to the way he behaved himself. Rather he wanted to keep his body in subjection.

    The only thing needed to win people to Christ is to preach the gospel. It also helps to be living a life that is pleasing to God. “Engaging” culture us usually more of a hindrance than anything.

    Jim F

  53. i should also add that paul preached the gospel upon “being like” a greek or a jew. similarly, many ministries engage in the world’s culture to preach the gospel and attract them to Christ. what do you think about that?


  54. 1. paul stated that to the jews he became like a jew. to the greeks, he became like a greek. all for the purpose of winning them to Christ. i see this as engaging in jewish or greek culture. today, american culture has the “modern” services – worship band, lights, basically a modern atmosphere. many churches engage the culture.

    2. 1 Cor 9:19-20. that is my main scripture verse.

    i hope i was clear.

  55. Alan,

    Welcome to ExPreacherMan. Thanks for your question.

    I would ask you to qualify your question:

    1. To which “secular culture in ministry” do you refer?
    2. In which secular ministry did Paul engage. Scripture Verses, please.

    Thank you.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  56. do you think 1 Cor 9:19 can be used to justify engaging secular culture in ministry? if not, why? seems like that’s what paul did.

    thanks for the answers.

  57. Andy, I know what you mean about the adds. Every day I see billboards and hear radio spots for the Billy Graham Library. A recent exhibit was:
    “God’s Ambassador to World Leaders.”

  58. Andy, (and Abe),

    Great observations.

    The reason David Platt did not present the Gospel in his video may be obvious.. He is a radical Calvinist — and most if not all of them do not know the Gospel. Just that simple.


    In Jesus Christ eternally,

  59. Andy, that is the catch with these LS guys. They’re selling a product. And they want everybody to work for it, as they want everyone working to get a free gift.

  60. There is a new video making it’s way around Facebook that many of my friends have reposted. It is a promotional video for David Platt’s book “Follow Me”. The video lasts about 4 minutes. In those 4 minutes Platt asks a lot of questions but offers no answers, obviously because he want’s you to buy his book to find the answers. It is unfortunate that instead of using those 4 minutes to deliver the good news of Salvation, he uses it as a shameless marketing tool to promote his latest Lordship Salvation book.

  61. Amen! Great message!
    Dr Cucuzza is a skilled articulator of the Gospel of Grace and a really nice guy! He is one of not very many, who preach and teach the clear gospel.
    All of us here would do well to go to hear as many sermons as we can by “Dr C” and James and Jim Scudder Jr,, Dennis Rokser, and others who offer valuble teachings to equip the saints.

  62. Please find below excerpts and links from Tom Cucuzza’s sermon of January 13, 2013 entitled “Glory to the Newborn King”.

    I believe that this sermon directly addresses the error of Lordship salvation, in that Dr. Cucuzza correctly states that preachers are encouraging people to reject Christ. See below:

    Minutes 26:12-28:55

    “Look at Luke chapter 2. Luke chapter 2. Now, I don’t believe most preachers in America understand what they’re doing. But, when you add one thing to faith alone in Christ alone, you are, whether intentionally or not, friend, you are attempting to do away with Jesus Christ. You’re trying to strip Him of His whole purpose in coming to this world. And that’s to be our Savior.

    He did not come to show the way. He came to save. For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost. How many of us are lost? All of us. So, then who did He come to seek and save? All of us. Every person. Every man, woman and child.

    Luke Chapter 2, verse 10. You know the Christmas story. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to (How many people? All people. Anybody can be saved). For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior.

    A Savior. Not a helper, not an example. A savior, which is Christ the Lord. Good tidings. That word good tidings, that’s where we get our word gospel. Good news is what it is. The word gospel means good news. And where is it? It is found in the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the One who came.

    Folks, listen. Yeah, what do we have? We live in a world that is rejecting Christ. And not only that, the worst thing of all, and me being a preacher, I’m qualified to talk about this, friend. The worst thing of all is there are preachers – and I believe a lot of them not necessarily on purpose – who are encouraging people to reject Jesus Christ.

    Oh no, they’re not. Wait a minute. See, everybody’s fine with Him being a little baby in the manger. But, when you talk about Him bloodied, being suspended on the cross, making the full payment of our sin – and when He was done, after those three hours of suffering for our sin – when He was done, He said “it is finished.” To deny that is blasphemy. To deny that is you’re trying to do away with who He was and what He accomplished.

    Preachers need to repent! They need to change their minds. They need to think differently. I want you to know something. We have a suffering Savior who suffered for us and He came back from the dead victoriously and He offers us the forgiveness of sins. All who believe are justified from all things from which you cannot be justified by the law of Moses. Acts 13:39. He offers the forgiveness of sins. “


  63. Welcome iaagrace!

    I had to laugh at the word that you coined, “Lordshippers.” As a UPS worker for over three decades, any word with “shippers” in it strikes a chord with me.

    Glad to have you onboard.

  64. Hey John,

    I think you are right about fruit bearing through walking in the Spirit and abiding in Christ. Great point! The only thing I would add is that when someone places faith in Christ alone, there is the fruit of peace. Yet, that too could be subjective.
    Or for example a deathbed conversion, others may see the peace of that person and and it may cause them to want to know why etc. The gospel may be shared, someone may get saved.

    And you are correct about self introspection. I have struggled with that and you are right not all are harder on others.

    My point about pride was in reference to what the doctrine can potentially muster up in both those who teach it and those who believe it. When they speak of themselves they give the impression that they have turned from their sins, they have made Christ Lord etc. Why? Because by their own words you must do that to be saved…right? And they never say they are not saved. I think someone sitting under that teaching can get “puffed up” because you notice with the Lordshippers it’s always about what “you” or “me” must do.
    The put the spotlight on man and not on Christ’s finished work.
    The victims are those who buy into buy into that teaching.
    We must pray for them and speak the truth in love.
    Great conversation!

  65. Iaagrace, welcome. I love your handle!

    I heartily agree with your recommendation of Dr. Cucuzza’s book “Secure Forever”.

    I hope I don’t come across as nitpicking regarding one of your other comments. You said: “Of course fruit will stem from trust in Christ, but to judge that fruit is subjective and we are always harder on others than ourselves.”

    I don’t necessarily agree either that fruit will always stem from trust in Christ, or that we are always harder others than ourselves. It is through walking in the spirit and abiding in Christ that we bear fruit – not the automatic outcome of trusting in Christ, but His desired outcome for us. Also, some people are extremely hard on themselves, and assume that others “have it more together.”

    I agree with your overall point regarding LS adding something of self to the gift of God. For a very long time, I believed that I had to repent of my sins and commit my life to Christ in order to be saved – I thought it was required. In my case, I don’t think it was because of pride, but because that’s what I had always been taught.

  66. You are welcome Matt,

    I am thankful to have a place were we can peaceably discuss even things that are disagreements. For me, I am content to let it be up to the Spirit’s teaching through the Word concerning the Spirit possibly directing the lost toward the gospel. I don’t have to make people see things the way I do, but I do need to give people reasonable explanations of what I believe at times.To get into it too much more would distract from the idea of the original post. Plus it seems that you have had your mind made up already which is fine with me.

    In relation to people like Chan and Platt, I’ll say that any supposed leading by the Spirit is downright false if it is leading to a compromised gospel message. The Spirit always leads to the truth and is grieved by false gospel messages.

  67. “…you know, une petite du la lange francaise.”

    Es todo griego para mí. 😉

    Grace said,

    “Remember our battle really is with the evil one. When those thoughts enter your mind ‘Did you REALLY believe the gospel?’ And if we are honest many of us have had those thoughts.”

    I’ve thought about this often. My battle with LS didn’t come from my being brought up in a specific denomination, like Baptist, but hinged mostly upon whose sermon I had just listened to or what book I had just read, or through hearing/reading conflicting messages by the same speaker (Funny, in all this, I considered myself more discerning than most Christians I encountered).

    During those times when I was visited by the question “Am I really saved?” (which happened over too many agonizing years), I found that only when I went back to who Jesus is, what he did on my behalf, and believing that He is raised again, as well as reviewing key verses such as Acts 16:30-31, and knowing that there’s nothing I can do to earn his grace (which, btw, is always verbalized by LS, but in reality means nothing) only then could I find rest, that is, until the next sermon from a trusted source came along.

    Since learning that it wasn’t I who was necessarily the problem, but the subtle, conflicting messages and having done away them entirely and replaced them with the Word and this blog’s instruction, fellowship and accountability, have I finally become firmly rooted and at peace.

    Thank you!

  68. Matt for Grace and Truth

    Jim Floyd,

    Thank you for your thoughtful and reasoned explanation.

    Although I do not fully agree with your analysis at this time, I appreciate you taking the time to share your opinions and analysis.

    I believe that God can and occasionally does use dreams or visions to communicate with people. But, we as discerning believers must weigh the evidence and, most importantly, verify that the dream or vision lines up with the written Word of God. The Word is the “acid test.”

  69. Expected Imminently

    Hello Iaagrace – it surely is!

    (Laagrace)I thought you were trying to say La Grace – The Grace – you know, une petite du la lange francaise. Silly moi! Mustn’t upset my next door neighbours dontcha know 😀


  70. Expected Imminently

    Califgracer Thank you so much for that reassurance. It’s not that I want to be ‘right’ to prove them ‘wrong’. To know THE Truth is the desire of my heart, and being without a church I am dependent upon The Holy Spirit to lead me aright. You are all one of His ‘leads’. 🙂

    I have come to realise that LS isn’t just an organisation, it’s a spirit sent out among the saints to test how much we value Jesus who is the Word, and every jot and tittle (Matt5:18) the minutiae in God’s Word are vital nuances that, with the ‘repent contrivance’ changes the Truth, into a deception. imo

    LS ridicule the passion of Free Gracers for our demands to make the Gospel crystal clear. It has been said that we strain at a gnat and swallow a camel, so placing us among the blind leaders of the blind.Matt23:24.

    I have asked of The Lord about the value of this accusation! By reading that ‘little dart’(vs24) plucked from it’s God given context, I can see it is the SMALL but nourishing things that are INSIDE the cup and platter that Free Grace is concentrating on. Grace alone, Christ alone, Faith alone, Scripture alone… these are the vitamins of the clear Gospel that LS is calling ‘nit-picking’!

    Prideful LS has polished the outside of the vessel of God’s Grace, where man’s effort can be gloated over for their loving, hard work. LS is a whited sepulchre full of dead men’s bones – the result of a gospel with the heart of God’s Free Grace torn out.
    Vs.28 “Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”

    Heavenly Father, please quicken all those caught in the trap of LS, alert them to recognise the loss of their inheritance. Please grant them a godly sorrow to bring forth a speedy repentance; and fully equipped to serve You in the Millennium and for all eternity. Amen.


  71. Hey Jack and Pearl and all 🙂
    I have been reading this blog for over a year at least and decided I had to chime in. The handle is actually Iaagrace=It’s All About Grace. I as in
    IHOP. Buttermilk or Blueberry?

    By the way,if any of you have not read Dr Cucuzza’s book Secure Forever, I recommend it as well Pastor Dennis Rokser’s “Shall Not Perish Forever.”
    Both books are great tools in proclaiming the truth.

    Remember our battle really is with the evil one. When those thoughts enter your mind “Did you REALLY believe the gospel?” And if we are honest many of us have had those thoughts. We need to rest in Christ’s work for us…not our faith! Nothing about me is perfect, not even my faith! Quite the opposite…faith simply lays hold of what CHRIST has done!
    It’s the object of your faith, not the quality of faith. I rest in the finished work of my Savior, Christ the Lord! (Yes he is Lord, God in the flesh who died a cruel agonizing death for ME and ALL.)

    I also must concur with Califgracer. The KJV and NKJV do tend to do less interpreting and more translating. Though I find value in the NASB and even ESV for comparative purposes, the KJV/NKJV are by far superior for accuracy in my opinion.
    Then again, I do favor the Majority Text and TR, (they are different but similar) over the Critical Text, but that is another discussion for another time.

  72. Amen…Amen
    Thank you Bruce

  73. Hi Sue,

    Yes, I agree with you that Acts 16:30-31 is about the most clear concise completely strong declaration of the gospel that one can find. In fact, I would probably say that, if I were forced to choose only one verse of the Bible to tell someone how to become saved, it would be Acts 16:31. Of course, intrinsic to believing on the Lord Jesus Christ is the gospel message of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (see, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8). You ask how LSers don’t understand this straightforward declaration of the gospel. One issue is that most of the modern Bible translations remove the title “Christ” from Acts 16:31. The KJV, following a different Greek text, keeps it in. Also, LSers can’t seem to accept the fact that, as the old hymn said, “Jesus paid it all; all to him I owe; sin hath left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.”

  74. Matt,

    The basic reason that we should not expect visions and dreams to be used today is the same argument that can be used for the fact that tongues (gift of languages) has ceased. We also know that God’s special revelation is complete. God now primarily speaks to us through His Word/His Son. Heb 1:1-2. Paul being directed to preach in certain places or Cornelius having a vision can be explained in that this was part of the transitional period between the law and the being of the spread of the gospel. Consider also 1 Cor 13:8-10.

    Concerning revelation for believer’s there is more to go on. 2nd Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:19-21. We know that the Bible is sufficient for all that we need that pertains to life and Godliness.

    We also know there were those that were false dreamers and deceivers. Jer 23:25-32 for example. How does one know what a dream is unless there is an interpretation. How can we be sure a dream directed someone to the gospel and that that dream itself was from God? Especially if the supposed gospel message they heard was a Lordship style message.

    Some of this can also become a moot point to an extent. There clearly IS a need to preach, teach, and spread the gospel. We can pray, if we desire, for God to direct the lost to those who have the truth. We just shouldn’t get carried away with extreme possibilities. I mean, what would be the stopping point? Couldn’t that kind of thinking lead to advocating that tongues “can” be used today or that “lectio divina” might actually be something we should participate in? You’ll have to make up your own mind with the Spirit’s help through the Word.

  75. Welcome, LaaGrace! I enjoyed reading your comment and agree with your observation – pride does seem to be at the center of LS. Also, we have yet to come across one sound response to the perfectly logical questions you put forth, because there is none.

    Looking forward to more input from you!

  76. LaaGrace,

    Great to have you with us. You sound like a real free Grace advocate. You are in good company.

    We pray you will be back and comment often.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  77. Matt for Grace and Truth

    Jim and Bruce,

    Regarding Joel Rosenberg, I am citing him as one of my sources.

    Jim, you wrote that you “don’t believe that visions and dreams are used to today.” I would appreciate it if you would please provide at least three separate Bible references that support that belief.

    The cases that I recall hearing about some time ago are frequently that when a person receives a dream, they are led to a nearby fellowship or church of believers.

  78. The crux of the Lordship issue is pride.
    It’s almost like they want to be looked at as “Super Duper Saints”.
    Perhaps Ryrie said this “Of course he is the Lord.”
    Lordship Salvation adds something of self to the gift of God in saving man
    from a hell he deserves to a heaven he does not. It’s almost like ” Look At Me…I turned from my sins” How many did they turn from? For that matter how many must you turn from to be saved? Lordshippers will never ever answer that. They will say repentance is a turning from sin, but how much sin must one turn from? I have yet to hear any of them answer that.
    I trusted in Christ’s work in my behalf. I rest in Christ’s finished work which has nothing to do with me apart from child-like faith.
    Lordshippers tragically mix up salvation with. sanctification
    Of course fruit will stem from trust in Christ, but to judge that fruit is subjective and we are always harder on others than ourselves.
    Look to Christ and be saved!

  79. Expected Imminently

    Hello Jack, Bruce and all,

    My thoughts about Acts 16:30,31

    I have been through the following before with a LSer. His objection against this verse is that we ignore all the many verses that say ‘repent and believe’ which ‘proves’, repentance for Justification. LS demands this one verse must not be used to ‘make a doctrine’. Generally, this is good advice, but imo, LS ignore an important truth within Acts 16:30,31.

    1)The Jailer was a GENTILE who knew little or nothing about the Jewish Messianic Doctrine.
    2)Jews and Proselytes were thoroughly taught about Messiah.
    3) The majority of Jewish religious teachers rejected Jesus as Messiah
    4)The Jews expected a King David type Messiah to fight the Romans.
    5)Jesus of Nazareth’s character was of a shepherd/servant.
    6)Jesus performed the miracles as evidence that He was Messiah.
    7)These persuaded some Jews that Jesus was the promised Messiah.
    8) In recognising Jesus as Messiah, some Jews ‘changed their minds’
    9) In ‘changing their minds’, some still rejected Jesus as their Messiah.
    10) In ‘changing their minds’ some Jews believed in Jesus as Messiah.
    11) The Jews FIRST had to change their minds about Messiah.
    12) Some changed their minds – but didn’t believe.
    13) Some changed their minds AND believed.
    14) The GENTILE Jailer had nothing to change his mind about concerning the Jewish Messiah.
    15) What must I do to be saved? BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus CHRIST…(supported by over 200 verses in agreement)
    16) Specifically believe in CHRIST Jesus. CHRIST evokes knowledge and acceptance of God’s chosen Anointed One.

    It bothers me that LS don’t get this. It is so obvious that I can’t help but doubt myself. What do you think?

    Thanks 🙂


  80. Hi Matt,

    Five or six years ago, I read the book “Epicenter,” by Joel Rosenberg. As I recall, it was a pretty good depiction of Exekiel 37 and 38. I don’t know anything else about Rosenberg, so I will defer to others here about his web site and his other positions theologically. I tend to agree with Jim that there must be some kind of biblical gospel presentation in order for one to become saved. I also believe that God, through the working of the Holy Spirit, can get the gospel out to all races of people, to all kinds of places worldwide through all kinds of vehicles: radio, tracts, magazines, the Bible, internet, Television, missionary contact. Expreacherman.com, for one example, goes to over 180 nations worldwide and even reaches the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and all over Asia. I believe that we are living in the age in which the gospel has indeed gone global.

  81. Matt,

    I don’t recommend Joel Rosenberg based on what I’ve seen so far. His blog has a link for people to follow if they want to be saved. Clicking on it takes them to a Campus Crusade site that gives a turn from sin style Lordship gospel. The suggested prayer was: “Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.” There was also one article that I read that made it sound like the message the people were getting was a Lordship style trust Jesus as Savior and Lord.

    There are a few things here that I don’t believe.

    I don’t believe that millions of Muslims are being converted, especially not without the gospel.

    I don’t believe that visions and dreams are used to today. One article related to this claimed not only that they were but that tongues and the like have not ceased.

    I don’t believe that even if the Spirit spoke miraculously to someone that the message would be a Lordship gospel.

    There are two things that I do believe.

    1. The Spirit always leads people to and works through the true gospel.

    2. We are to take the true gospel to the lost. They must have it communicated in some fashion. Why else have the great commission or missionaries? (We could just have a bunch of guys in a room praying for everyone and save a lot of money on missionary expenses.) Of course that is ridiculous and it would be better to just continue to spread the gospel and pray that it is heard and understood.

  82. Matt for Grace and Truth

    Jim and Chuck,

    I first learned of this happening listening to an End Times prophesy speaker, namely, Joel Rosenberg. You can search query utilizing the words
    “jesus” “dreams” “iran” “joel rosenberg”.

    Of course, we must be careful to determine if the dreams are from God or not. Is the message consistent with sound Biblical doctrine? False manifestations are common.

    “Intercession is truly universal work for the Christian. No place is closed to intercessory prayer. No continent – no nation – no organization – no city – no office. There is no power on earth that can keep intercession out.” Richard Halverson

    And, in response to such prayers, I believe that God will cause His gospel Word to be heard notwithstanding man-made attempts to prevent same or other obstacles.

  83. Hi Matt,

    I would also like to hear a testimony of a person saved after having a vision or dream and no other special revelation. I believe special revelation is needed concerning one’s need for salvation, Christ and his work, and the way to receive salvation. We don’t have evidence in scripture that that special revelation will come via dream or vision. Sure there are times in the Bible when God gave people visions but they were exceptions, not the rule. Along with tongues, I believe these have ceased.

  84. LukeNC,

    Thanks for dropping in… Glad to have you here.

    You find yourself in the same predicament as many of our readers and commenters here at ExPreacherMan.. attending a church that either does not preach the Gospel of God’s Grace — or vacillates between Truth and a lie (which ends up being a lie).

    We have found that most pentecostal churches veer from the Gospel and do not accurately preach the Whole Counsel of God.

    Many folks try to sow seeds of Truth in a church that preaches a false message — but few are successful — especially in a mega-church where pride is abundant.

    Maybe others here will have suggestions — I would suggest you stick around here at ExPreacherMan where you will find some great Bible teaching, earnestly pray to the Lord for wisdom and start looking for a good Grace church in your area. If you care to tell us your area, we may be able to make suggestions.

    If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  85. Hey Matt! Sorry I missed you in my last reply. You provided good definitions and references. This is interesting that people have been saved after experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus Christ. Do you happen to have any more info on any of these?

  86. Matt for Grace and Truth

    Interestingly, for many years, over and over again in the Muslim world, people, without any knowledge of the gospel and without any contact with Christians, have been saved after experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus Christ. This often happens in countries where preaching the gospel is forbidden and where converting to Christianity may result in a death sentence. Doubtless, these occurrences are in response to intercessory prayers of the people who are led by God to thus intercede for the lost in such countries.

  87. Great discussion here. I wanted to ask the following. I attend a pentecostal mega church where the leadership sort of waffles between the free grace and LS message.

    For example, our pastor will say that all you have to do is believe on Christ but then he’ll also say that you can’t do anything to get saved, God gives you the ability to get saved, a Calvinist-type predestination message. He will also throw in the “you don’t want to sin when you get saved”. Yet, he calls that the grace message. About a month ago, he said those who just say they believe but want to do their own thing aren’t really saved. It’s got to be very confusing to those struggling with assurance.

    I cannot find any decent church in my area that preaches that real Gospel message. I’m a recent believer in the true free grace, non-works, non-calvinist Gospel message — the one preached here. The family has been in attendance for 15 years now. I was thinking I would just sow seeds of the real gospel in this church, and I have been but I wonder if I should continue to seek out another place to worship?

  88. Bruce,

    Thanks for the great analytical study for Chuck and all of us. Exceptional!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  89. Not sure what happened, but clseaman is me…

  90. I really enjoy this site! It is so nice to be able to have civil discussions on such potentially sensitive subjects. Thanks to all for your responses.

    Thanks, I now agree that there no such person as described by group 4.

    Thanks for the audio link to RD. He’s here in Houston, but about an hour’s drive from our house. I plan to listen to this with Kim. We’ll have to go visit there when we can!

    I believe that there must be a group 5 as you suggested, and the scripture you provided convinces me. God is more merciful than we can imagine and I believe he has mercy on those who cannot be held accountable!

    I did read on further to v16 and that is good food for thought! Thank you for pointing that out.

    Thanks for the welcome, and I’m looking forward to more of your “creative” comments! I’ve seen some on here already. Thanks!

    Thanks for your answer and especially for the additional thoughts you provided. Really good stuff to keep in mind!! I was beginning to think that group 4 must be empty, but your reference to Acts makes me think that we can’t be sure. Therefore, I believe this could become a purely intellectual discussion, and we should simply share the gospel as we can to whomever we can.

    Yes, everyone has provided great input, answered my questions, and I am really thankful! Shortly after posting my questions, I realized that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and other OT believers should be promoted (lol) to group 1 as you so convincingly showed! I’m glad I left my post as it was because you provided a much better answer for group 4 than I ever would have. Also, thanks for the effort you took to look up all those references and I plan to read through them. Thanks again!!

  91. Bruce,

    Thanks for all of the scripture references and examples.

  92. Hi Chuck,

    Abe and Jack have answered your questions well, as well as Levi, Pearl, Sue and Jim. Thanks to them!

    Abe spoke well of how people of the OT were looking forward to the coming Christ and to his coming death, burial and resurrection.

    I would like to address one of your questions/premeses Chuck. You said,

    “4-Do Not Hear & Yet Believe – Is there anyone in the last group? How could anyone not hear the gospel and believe the gospel? Would Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob be in this group since they never heard the gospel of Christ and yet had faith? ‘For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.’ (Romans 4:3).”

    I would assert that the men (and women) of the Old Testament era did indeed have a lot of information about the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. God spoke to the people through his prophets. Later, he spoke through the written Word. God also spoke in person through the preincarnate Christ, through the Holy Spirit, in a voice from heaven, in dreams, or in a burning bush, or as the angel of the Lord, to many of the Old Testament characters (to some of them God communicated many times): Adam and Eve, Cain, Noah and his sons, Abram (a.k.a. Abraham) and Sarah, Hagar, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Pharaoh (Genesis 41), Moses, Joshua, all the Israelites (Judges 2), Gideon, Manoah—father of Samson (Judges 13), Samson, Hannah, Eli, Samuel, Saul, David, Nathan, Solomon (1 Kings 3), Elijah, Elisha, Daniel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Jonah, and the list goes on and on . . . .

    Many Old Testament prophecies spoke in detail about the coming of Christ Jesus, about his death, and about his resurrection. Others, like Isaiah and Ezekiel, spoke about events yet future to even us today.
    Gen. 3 points to the crushing of the serpent’s head; Joseph, in at least fifty ways, was a strong type of the coming Christ and of his death and resurrection; In Gen. 22, the offering of Isaac on the altar pictured the coming sacrifice of Christ on the cross; the animal sacrifices of the OT pointed to the coming death of Christ at Calvary; Psalm 22 gave thorough details about the future crucifixion of Christ; Isaiah 7 declared the coming virgin birth of Christ; Isaiah 9 speaks of the coming birth of the Savior and how he would one day rule over the earth; Isaiah 11 speaks of the lineage of the coming Messiah; Isaiah 52-53 speaks of the coming suffering servant, Christ Jesus. There are many other references to the coming Christ Jesus; this is just a sampling.

  93. Chuck,

    You have brought up some interesting thoughts and I hesitated to answer until I felt I had time to go through some it.

    1-Hear & Believe

    Yes, there definitely are those that hear and believe.

    2-Hear & Do Not Believe

    Likewise some hear and reject, some reject repeatedly until death, while others reject for a time then believe.

    3-Do Not Hear & Do Not Believe

    Many heathen fall into this category. These are people who are born and do not ever believe the gospel message because they never heard it.

    4-Do Not Hear & Yet Believe

    People like Abraham believed God and his faith was accounted for righteousness. Many would indicate that he and others would have looked forward to Christ’s coming. We today have the luxury of looking back at his atonement. We should also remember that the Holy Spirit was not given to believers then the same as today.

    Today those who “do not hear yet believe” would only possibly be those who have not heard yet, recognize by creation the Creator’s handiwork, and seek further truth. This is related to general revelation or that mentioned in Romans concerned God’s revelation in creation. (They are not saved – just without excuse.) Here is the thing though. I am not 100% sure that all who seek for truth eventually find it in the gospel or special revelation. There are some stories in Acts that I don’t know that are meant to be normative in that we should expect the God always does that as a rule – the story of Cornelius being an example. I have heard arguments both ways. One side will say that God is so loving that he will send someone to them to give them the gospel. Others say that they are without excuse and will die condemned unless they hear the gospel and believe. I tend to side with the latter but it is also possible that God will move to help in sending someone to them. I just don’t know what verses to use to prove dogmatically that he always will or, that even if He does that the person will necessarily believe. Most likely they would but I don’t necessarily see a guarantee of that.

    Here are some more things that we do know that may be helpful.

    We that have the gospel are to teach all nations. We should take the gospel to as many people as possible. There will be many people in hell partially because believers have not been faithful to spread the gospel message.

    We can and should pray for the salvation of the lost. Part of this includes praying that people will get the chance to hear the good news. I do think that God is more likely to respond to prayer and send someone to the lost person who has not heard than if no prayers are ever offered for that person. Prayer does matter and I think we sometimes lose sight of that. We should remember though that prayer is not a guarantee of the person’s eventual salvation.

    We must make sure that the gospel we preach is accurate and make sure that our accurate gospel is backed up by our lives. The gospel has power regardless but the gospel is more effective when presented by those with a good testimony.

    The last thing that comes to mind is that belief comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. How will they believe if one is not sent and preaches to them? Romans 10:14-17 Here we see that the Word did indeed go out to Israel but most rejected it anyway but they at least had the opportunity.

    I hope that answers some of your questions along with what others have already said. Jack and Abe make very good points too. I know that I cannot always speak directly for “Free Grace” but I can speak on what I have learned from the Bible. I do believe that what I have said would be basically consistent with a non-calvinist non-Lordship view. Their alternative would be to make God the sole decision maker on salvation based on His supposed election of some to salvation and reprobation of the rest to hell.That whole notion is unbiblical and paints the wrong picture of God.

  94. Welcome Chuck!

    I find the analytical mind very helpful to my scattered one (though I prefer the term “creative” 😉 ). Lists such as the one you developed causes a lot of unnecessary clutter to fall away and make things much more clear.

    Truly, every one of the regular contributors has much to offer and unique ways of showing up well-concealed fallacies.

    With Levi, I too, am blessed on a daily basis.

  95. Hello Everyone
    I have been on the side lines on this blog. I have read it almost every day. I find this site to be a blessing.
    Hello Chuck
    You touch on Romans 2:12 but if you read to verse 16 you may gain more insight.

    Trust in Jesus

  96. Chuck,

    Thanks for your questions. I think Abe has answered the four categories quite well. I am not a deeply analytical person such as you so my answers may not satisfy. Our friend John is very analytical, yet he will be away from his computer over the weekend. Maybe he will respond when he returns.

    Your statements about God’s Mercy and Judgment are accurate.. and it is doubtful we Believers will ever plumb the depths of God’s Mind on all things until we are in Heaven.

    Maybe there is a fifth category, 5. Unable to comprehend. We can understand there is the issue of Children and at what age they may have enough comprehension to understand and believe. Or such as a child in the womb or one born with no capacity to comprehend or believe. Our example is King David.

    We do know about David and his statement about his child who died seven days after birth: 2 Samuel 12:18-23

    We know that David, like Abraham who “believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness,” and others — he believed the revelation God had given him and is now in Heaven. Read the faith chapter in Hebrews 11:13,32 for details about David being in Heaven by faith.

    Therefore we know that children (and others who have not the capacity to comprehend) will go to Heaven by God’s Mercy. In 2 Samuel 12:23, upon hearing of the death of his son, David said: But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”

    I pray this helps somewhat and if not you or Kim will ask further. We are so happy to have you and Kim who have shed the shackles of Calvinism into God’s free Grace salvation.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  97. Expected Imminently

    Hello all
    Concerning the accountability of those who have never heard the Gospel! I only have my toe on the edge of this very deep water, and I can’t swim, so here’s the name of my Audio life raft.

    Robert Dean Audio # 064 John 10:7-11 The ‘I Ams’, The Abundant Life.


    RD agrees with Jack also quoting Romans 1:19-21. RD says “Some think God must have an alternative to salvation for those who have never heard … Every person is born with free will, and at some point become ‘God conscious’, becoming aware that there is a God. There is enough evidence of the existence of God in the heavens to hold every man accountable.

    ‘Some’ ask if you can you prove God exists? This is an assumption of the unbeliever that there isn’t enough evidence that God exists, so he has to have more evidence. But the Scripture says that the invisible attributes of God are made evident and they are known WITHIN them so that they are without excuse. Every unbeliever, no matter how dogmatic and insistent they are that they have no evidence that God exists – GOD says they do have more than enough evidence – at some point they KNEW He existed, and if they reject that with negative volition, then they suppress the truth in unrighteousness.
    # 105 John
    #42 1st Corinthians;


  98. …I would add John 3:18 as part of my answers for all 1 through 4.

  99. Chuck, I do not speak for Jack, and he is very gifted at all of this. So what I am saying here is just me alone talking. To answer your four situations:

    1) Yes, that is how it is supposed to go of course (Romans 10:17).
    2) This also happens.
    3) Jack shared a Scripture from Romans 1:18-20, that says that everyone has enough information to seek for truth, and all who seek will get it, using the example in Acts 10 where unbelieving Cornelius sought for truth, and the Lord sent Peter to preach to him. The Lord is always fair.
    4) No such person, really. Abraham knew the one true God (who is Jesus), that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob revealed Himself to the world as coming to save, the Messiah was coming to save. And so those in the OT needed to look ahead to the coming of Jesus to save, in order to be saved (Genesis 15:6), as we look back at Jesus who has already come to save (John 3:16).

    Again these are just my answers. 🙂

  100. Well, that’s just it. Upon closer inspection, there are differences, which has to do with the defining of “hell” (and accompanying synonyms) and the duration of the punishment (which, according to him, is neither eternal nor necessarily painful) and ends in complete annihilation.

    So, it would seem that at face value some attributes may appear to fall under the heading of universalism, but aren’t necessarily so.

  101. Hi Jarrod, Pat, Jim, Matt, and Bruce and others! Thanks for addressing my earlier comment, concerns, and questions. I really appreciate the efforts here by all, and was hoping to get the Free Grace perspective on some of these issues.

    Please forgive me if my approach is a bit analytical. I am a Chemical Engineer by education and tend to be detail oriented. Regarding my questions about those who never hear the gospel, I now see four possible groups of people with respect to hearing the gospel of Christ and believing. They are those who:

    1-Hear & Believe
    2-Hear & Do Not Believe
    3-Do Not Hear & Do Not Believe
    4-Do Not Hear & Yet Believe

    Is there any other possible group? Is it fair to look at this issue using just these two conditions? I think so, but I would like any feedback…

    4-Do Not Hear & Yet Believe – Is there anyone in the last group? How could anyone not hear the gospel and believe the gospel? Would Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob be in this group since they never heard the gospel of Christ and yet had faith? “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Romans 4:3). I would enjoy your thoughts on this…

    1-Hear & Believe – These are believers. They are not condemned for their sins because of their belief. I don’t expect any dissent here.

    2-Hear & Do Not Believe – These are those who actively reject Christ. These have trampled under foot the Son of God and are condemned for unbelief as in John 3:18. Again, I believe this is consistent with all of you.

    3-Do Not Hear & Do Not Believe – These are those who do not know of Christ at all. In this group are those that have the written law, but do not know of Christ, and those who do not know of the written law and do not know Christ. These cannot be justly condemned for unbelief in Christ since they have never heard of Christ. Those who have the written law are condemned by that law for failing to keep it. Those who do not know of the written law cannot be justly condemned by unbelief in Christ or by failing to keep the written law since they have never seen or heard of the written law. However, haven’t those who do not know of Christ and do not know of the written law rejected God the Father from general revelation? (see Romans 1:18-21 quoted by Jack earlier) and “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;” (Romans 2:12). Again, I am looking for confirmation of my understanding, or correction here…

    The four groups above are irrespective of age and/or mental capacity. If there is any particular revelation for children and/or those who are mentally disabled in some way, then I do not know how to treat them as separate groups other than to say that if they are condemned for the reasons above, then their punishment is just since God is just. And, if they are not condemned, then their salvation is of mercy like all believers. Remember, everyone receives either justice (i.e., they are condemned) or mercy (i.e., salvation) – no one ever receives injustice from God.

    As I said, I would really enjoy your thoughts on groups 3 and 4. Being new to the Free Grace theology, I am trying to make sure I understand these issues correctly. Thanks in advance for your correction to, or confirmation of my understanding.

    Last, Kim and I are so relieved to be out from under the burden of Calvinism and LS. It truly is a weight lifted from our spirits! Thanks again for this site and your faithfulness!!

  102. Pearl,

    I am not an expert on Trinitarianism.. but your analysis seems right on target. “What is the difference?” Apparently, very little.

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  103. Thanks Matt

    In answer to those who have questions about “those who have never heard the Gospel:”

    For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Titus 2:11

    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Romans 1:16-23

    In Christ eternally, Jack

  104. Not too long ago, there were concerns of someone else being a universalist based on teachings he was asserting. I later learned from his writings that he flat out denied this accusation (emphasized by underlining bold type, adding that they are heretics) and claimed, rather, to adhere more to Trinitarian theology (which, upon my very brief glimpse of same, appears to have in common with the universalists the denial that God would send anyone to hell). So…what’s the difference?

  105. Matt for Grace and Truth

    Universal Salvation versus Quasi-Universal Salvation versus Lost Heathen:
    A small group of people take the view that, by virtue of Jesus death on the cross, all persons are or will eventually be saved (Romans 5:12-21).
    Some take the view that because Jesus death paid the penalty for all the sins of everybody (1 John 2:2; John 1:29; 1 Timothy 2:5-6), all are judicially declared in right standing before God (Romans 5:18; Colossians 1:20) except those who reject Jesus (Mark 3:28-29; John 3:18, 16:7-11) and/or (according to some) those would have rejected Jesus.
    Many (including most of the regular participants on this blog) take the view that the heathen are condemned and subject to God’s wrath (John 3:18, 3:36).

    Isolated Heathen:
    Regarding the “heathen” that never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, I don’t believe that the Bible is specifically explicit as to what their standing will be at death. However, we are assured that our God, who is both loving and just, will always do what is right (Zephaniah 3:5; 1 John 4:8; Genesis 18:25).

    Infants and Children:
    Infants (and even possibly minor children according to a few per Exodus 30:14, Numbers 14.29) and those incapable of committing conscious sin might be saved without themselves exercising faith in Jesus before death (2 Samuel 12:21-23; Deuteronomy 1.39; 2 Samuel 12:15, 23; Isaiah 7.16; Matthew 18:3, 19:14; 1 Corinthians 7:14, Romans 9:15-16).

  106. Jim,

    Good points. I agree with you, Bruce and Pat about Jarrod’s statements.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  107. Jarrod,

    It might be helpful if you clarify if you indeed have a type of universalist view. That is what it appears as on the surface to me. I’ve also noticed that people with universalist ideas sometime rail on what they call religion.

    It does seem that you have things backwards in the sense that you have all men saved then some falling away due to unbelief as opposed to all men being lost until they are saved by faith in Christ alone. As Bruce mentioned, this does not have bearing on children or the handicapped as that is a different issue. I do believe that the lost need the gospel in order to believe and not the opposite in that the lost are actually elect(saved) and allowed to be lost once the gospel is presented. That is almost a reverse idea of spreading the gospel. We must remember two things: the gospel is Good News and those saved Will Not become unsaved. To say otherwise would be to start going against scripture.

  108. Sue,

    Thankful you and yours are OK.

    Glad to have you back.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  109. Expected Imminently

    Dear Jack

    Thank you for your concern. It is a disaster for the families of the people, who died poor souls, however, by God’s Grace it was no where near as bad as it could have been in such a busy area. It hasn’t affected me or mine personally as we are in Gloucestershire in the West of England – London is South East.

    We have been away for two nights so have just returned from Gower, in Wales, the snow threatened to isolate us as the M4 had been closed this morning, but not for too long. Thankfully the main roads were well gritted; it was the B roads and lanes that were badly hit. We arrived safely with our home swaddled in a blanket of ‘cotton wool’ – so pretty, but brrr. I had a parcel waiting for me from FGA with Dillow’s new book to get stuck into. 🙂

    It’s the first time anyone can remember there being a red alert for the weather. The winds are so fierce and the sea was incredibly rough – I thought about the ‘wind and the waves roaring’ truly the strange weather patterns around the world with firestorms in Australia MUST be an indicator of the near return of Jesus as the earth ‘groans’.

    I am looking forward to catching up on the comments; I notice Jarrod has posted again, I’m so glad, such enthusiasm is infectious.

    Trusting you are all safe and well. 🙂

    God bless you.


  110. Jarrod,

    I agree with Pat and JimF that your comments about election are problematic. Frankly, what you are saying could almost be viewed as universalism and it seems to deny the concept of original sin (through Adam—1 Cor. 15:21-22). Pat was correct to point to 2 Peter 3:9—yes, God wants all men to be saved, but, sadly, many or most refuse his gracious offer of salvation. See, for example, Matthew 23:37, in which Jesus laments that, although he longed for the people of Jerusalem to come to him, by faith, believing in him, yet they stubbornly refused to come (a demonstration of their free will).

    You said, “I believe that we are covered by the Cross until we reject the Holy Spirit and willfully deny Jesus Christ.”

    Reply: If this statement were true, then it seems that missionaries would be performing a great disservice to bring the gospel to the heathen, thereby educating them to a point in which they could, then, lose or reject the universal salvation that they might otherwise have had by default.

    Regarding unbelievers being or becoming, as you say, “unelected,” I can’t find any biblical grounds for that. It’s rather akin to a common Calvary Chapel teaching that, although a person can’t lose his salvation, he can (they say), walk away from it.

    Regarding the Great White Throne Judgment of Rev. 20, keep in mind that no believer will be at that judgment. No one will be saved out of that judgment but there will be different levels of punishment meted out. No one will be able to make the claim that God wasn’t being fair.

    Regarding babies, very young children, Down’s syndrome, and the like, we should leave this category separate from the whole issue of election. Trying to fuse the two concepts creates confusion and leads to unbiblical conclusions. Some commentators say that these people are sanctified (protected/covered) through the faith of the believing parents. One “Christian” television spokesman made, what I considered to be an asinine declaration after the occurrence of the great Pacific tsunami a few years ago. He said, to the effect, “It was better for the multitudes of Asian children to die young before they could have grown up and would probably have rejected Christ.” I thought that this was a terrible statement to make.

    I place this issue (re. babies, young children, etc.) in the category of God’s fairness and all-loving nature and leave it at that.

    Dr. Tom Cucuzza explains well and succinctly, in an earlier comment, the meaning of foreknowledge and election:

    “The word “foreknowledge” is the Greek word “prognosis”, and it is made up of two parts:

    1. “Pro”, which means “before”, and
    2. “Gnosis”, which means “to know”.

    Therefore, it means exactly what it says. It is to “know beforehand”. Regardless of what the Calvinists say, it means exactly what it says. In the context [Eph. 1:4; cf. 1 Ptr. 1:2], it is clear that election is according to foreknowledge, not the other way around, as the Calvinists interpret it.

    The Lord knew before hand who would believe and elected those who would believe to certain benefits and blessings, such as eternal life, the adoption as sons, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, objects of God’s grace for all eternity, etc.

    He does not make anyone believe, but has given man the choice of believing or not believing.”

  111. Jim,

    Hello, if not all people are elected from birth for salvation, that would mean some babies and children go to Hell? What about some mentally ill people? are some of them going to hell?
    I don’t believe that , I believe that we are covered by the Cross until we reject the Holy Spirit and willfully deny Jesus Christ.
    And every man that has lived And who has the potential to make a choice God will somehow and somewhere bring His Gospel to that person. And that person will have no excuse. He is elected for salvation but he denied that election. But if this man died as a baby and could not make the choice he would be safe in his election.

    Its the character and nature of our God. He is the one who saves and he would never create a human who was not elected to be saved. We are the ones who are responsible for our unbelief and our ultimate destination. He has been very clear to us that we have a choice to make if we make it to the age of accountability and it is for or against Him.

    Religion has had such an influence on us as Christians that we all have a hard time seeing what God has really done. God is NOT running around condemning us and totally depraving us because we deserve it! We do deserve it ,but God is acting towards us as He is not as we are! He loves us and wants all to come to repentance not because of how bad we are but because of how GOOD he is. This whole plan is about who HE is not about how bad and undeserving we are!

  112. Jarrod,

    I think I understand what you are saying but you may want to consider something concerning the elect. I don’t believe that all people are elect (in other words “saved”) but that the atonement is potential for all in that by faith in Christ, based on who He is and His finished work, it can be applied to one’s account. Those who don’t believe and die were never part of the elect (those seen by the foreknowledge of God to be in Christ). Once saved you can’t be lost. You are right that believer’s names will not be blotted out. I also agree that God does not choose some to damnation. That is a perversion of scripture perpetuated by Calvinists.

  113. Tom,

    Thanks, I did find it helpful. I agree that Eph 1:4 does mirror I Pet 1:2. It looks to me that the second part of Eph 1:4 is indeed talking about sanctification. The point is that we continue on in sanctification but some of these verses also contain historical explanations of God working out his purposes. I think it is interesting to note the words: hath blessed, hath chosen, and having predestinated and then to go back to the last half of 1:4 and see that it says, “that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:”

    I guess I was then interpreting this as a standing in justification as well but it could be related to positional sanctification and and encouragement to go on in progressive sanctification. Comparing it to 1 Pet 1:2 does bring out more of the sanctification aspect.

    The sprinkling concept of being a practical cleansing is interesting. I am inclined to agree and it gives me something else that is interesting for me to look into. I(I have to say that if you don’t find something interesting to go study further while reading this blog then you are likely trying hard not to 🙂

    I also agree with your point that we should grow in Christlikeness and cooperate with God in the process.

    Thanks again for taking time to answer and don’t worry – some things just take longer to explain properly because they can be complex for human minds and we should always try to be thorough with our studies anyway.

    Despite some of the nuances in these verses, the bottom line is that Calvinist’s would be incorrect to try to use these verse as support for their view of unconditional election.

  114. Jarrod Kruger

    Hi Pat,

    Sorry I see what you mean by my paragraph. The election and predestination does not come into fruition until they are “in Christ” believing on Him. God has not elected any one to Hell, and He is not willing that any should perish, thus he has elected everyone but it is contingent upon belief in Christ.
    Predestination is really the predesigned plan that God has for the elect (that are in Christ). 1Cor 2:7-9
    In rev 3:5 and Exodus 32:33 we see God saying that he will and can blot out names in His book, if it was only believers in the book He would never have to warn us. We are eternally secure in Christ. So that must mean everyone is in that book if He can blot out names (John 16:9). He can never blot out a believers name.

    I see that as God has elected everyone and everyone has that chance of being aware of that election when they put their trust in Christ alone.

  115. JimF, John, Bruce,

    Thank you all for the teachings, clarifications, and recommendations. I am grateful.

    Thank you for your warm welcome and for taking the time to instruct me.

    With that said, I am a bit puzzled by Jarrod Kruger’s last paragraph, specifically the second sentence. I always thought election and predestination referred to those who are already ‘in Christ’ from which God foreknew. I think it is still safer to say that God wants everyone to be saved and to have their names in the Book of Life. This is more in accord with 2 Peter 3:9. If God elected and predestined everyone to salvation, then I think it would be explicitly clear in the Bible. Maybe it’s just the wording that is misleading.

  116. Jarrod Kruger

    Hello all,

    I wanted to touch a bit on what Chuck(Kims husband) said;

    Chuck said,”My understanding is that we are condemned by our sin, rather than by our unbelief. The wages of our unbelief (i.e., the result of our unbelief) is that we stand naked before God with all of our sins exposed. God then pronounces us guilty of our sins and imposes the death penalty for those sins rather than for our unbelief.”

    Christ paid for the sins(personal) of the whole world,so sins are not the issue any more. Christ paid for the sins of the unbeliever and the believer.We Were all condemned at birth by the imputation of Adams original sin. Rom. 5:12; Rom.5:18 . God did this so He could make EVERY man an object of salvation.

    We are condemned by our sin(nature) not our personal sins. Christ died for the ungodly(thats everybody) Rom 11:32

    The Holy Spirit now has ONE sin that He will convict us of. John 16:9 concerning SIN, because they do NOT BELIEVE in me.

    At the great white throne judgment notice that the unbelievers SINS are not mentioned. They are being judged for what they have done(deeds) not sins. They had all their sins taken care of at the Cross, so now they get to see if their human works in life were righteous enough. And we know that those deeds are filthy rags, and they will see that their works amounted to squat compared to Christ’s deed.Rev 20:13

    It is always about that Cross, and what we do with that Cross. It is not about anyones personal sin. The ultimate in Gods power and Grace, eradicate sins so we can’t even blame sins for not believing!

    One more thing about predestination and election. I believe God has elected and predestined EVERYONE to salvation, every person ever born was in the book of life. But man being able to use volition is able to unelect himself, by their unbelief in Christ alone for salvation. Rev 3:5

  117. Jim,

    Interesting point. I have always looked at Ephesians 1:4 as referring to sanctification in all aspects. The word “holy” in Ephesians 1:4 is the same root word as “sanctification” in 1 Peter 1:2. Hagios. –

    We HAVE BEEN SANCTIFIED (made holy) the moment we believe, we ARE BEING SANCTIFIED (made holy) if we allow the Lord to work in our lives as believers, i.e., we are being more and more set apart and purified in our daily lives, and we WILL ULTIMATELY BE SANCTIFIED (experience holiness completely) in the future IN OUR EXPERIENCE as believers, when we shed our old natures.

    I think Ephesians 1:4 parallels 1 Peter 1:2.

    1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

    In 1 Peter 1:2 where it speaks of sanctification of the Spirit, I think it is saying this: When we believe, we are set apart by the Spirit, are made pure and holy, UNTO or for the purpose of, obedience. The Lord has plans for every believer to serve Him. (Ephesians 2:10: That we SHOULD walk in them). But it is not automatic. We choose to yield and obey.

    I also think the “sprinkling of the blood of Christ” is a practical sprinkling. I am aware that there is some disagreement as to whether this is a positional truth or a practical truth, I believe this is practical. This is a daily cleansing that takes place as we walk with the Lord.

    1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

    My point is this: It is God’s will that our CONDITION as believers would come into harmony with our POSITION in Christ, that we would become more like Christ in our character. God’s will is that we would be conformed to the image of Christ.

    I totally agree that the Lord in His foreknowledge knew who would believe (our choice) and determined that those who would believe would be the beneficiaries of all the privileges of being children of God, “in Christ”. This not only includes what is going to happen in eternity, but also the blessings and experiences of our present lives. But in this life, we still need to cooperate to with the Lord in order for us to grow as we should.

    Hopefully I answered your question. Sorry to be so “wordy”.


  118. Hi Tom,

    I was wondering your take on how Eph 1 compares with 1 Pet 1:2.

    Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
    Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
    Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

    Verse four always seemed to mean to me that we as believers were chosen in Him because He is the chosen one and therefore if we believe and are then identified with Christ then we are also the chosen ones or elect. God’s foreknowledge would have comprehended who would eventually believe and be identified with Christ. Those identified with Christ then would indeed be holy and blameless before Him in love because Christ is Holy and blameless before God the Father in love. This is much different than the Calvinist that says that man is chosen for salvation or damnation.

  119. Jack, yes, the litmus paper from high school proved in our class if we did the experiment right or not. Usually those things didn’t work for me, and I’m sure the error was with me 🙂

  120. Sue,

    We heard about the terrible helicopter crash in densely populated London this morning.

    We pray it was not near you or that you were not impacted. Please let us know.

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  121. Abe and John,

    AMEN!! – If the Gospel of God’s Grace is wrongly proclaimed — then all the rest of their teaching is faulty!

    The Gospel IS the litmus test.

    (Abe, it is amazing that I remember “litmus” from High school Chemistry class 67 years ago.)

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  122. John wrote: “I meant that I don’t concern myself with the rest of their teaching if they get the gospel wrong.”

    I’ve come to that point as well. If a person gets the Gospel wrong, then it is sure that there are other issues that are off track as well. I use the Gospel as the litmus test.

  123. Hi Pat,

    Others have responded well to your questions. I want to focus on your citation of Matthew 28:19. That was very astute of you to pick up on the subtle distortion of matheteusate, the Greek word translated “teach” in the KJV.

    Apt quotation from a discontinued blog site:

    “The modern translations at [of] this verse [Matt. 28:19] seem to support the man-centered evangelism techniques that we see so prominent in the church today.” Implication: it has become more important to make disciples, i.e., converts to the LS way of thinking, than to bring people to salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

    Notice how the KJV of Matt. 28:19 not only follows the Greek, but it keeps the salvation through sanctification progression in its proper order (LSers are always confusing justification with sanctification, causing a jumbled mess of a “salvation” call):
    1. Teach all nations (the gospel); 2. Baptize them in the name (one name, demonstrating the Triune nature of the one God) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; 3. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you (i.e., discipling them—process of sanctification).

    Removing the breaks in the English wording that aren’t there in the Greek, one of the phrases could be rendered, “and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all things . . .,” hinting that the Triune God, and in particular, the Holy Spirit is intimately involved in the sanctification process.

    Another major problem with the distorted translation of Matthew 28:19 is that it has been used to support infant baptism and baptismal regeneration, both of which are false doctrines.

  124. Tom, thanks for the very helpful discussion on foreknowledge.

    The Calvinist teaching on predestination is an insidious perversion that brings to mind the warning of Colossians 2:8:

    “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

    I believe that the word philosophy shows up only one time in the New Testament, and in a negative context.

    Calvinism creates a false caricature of God, based on philosophy and vain deceit. Calvinists cannot fathom that God is sufficiently sovereign (their word) to have foreknowledge, while at the same time giving humans the volition, or freedom, to accept or reject Christ.

    It is astounding how many learned theologians have become philosophers and then drifted into this error, thus becoming vain deceivers. The collateral damage is something that my small mind cannot even fathom.

  125. Tom,

    Thought I would jump in front of John and make an observation. “Foreknowledge = prognosis.” Great analysis — for some reason I just never connected that in my mind.

    You said: “The Lord knew before hand who would believe and elected those who would believe to certain benefits…” Exactly — NOT “elected TO believe!!” That truth is totally contrary to the Calvinist teaching.

    In addition to writing their own commentaries, Calvinists and the Calvinist camp produce their own Bible (ESV) with false doctrine throughout.

    Thanks Tom, Praying for you, Sue and your ministry.

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  126. Pat, I didn’t mean that I wouldn’t try to teach the real gospel to people who believe a false one. I meant that I don’t concern myself with the rest of their teaching if they get the gospel wrong.

    Sorry to be confusing.

  127. Pat,

    What you are describing sounds like what some call “conservative evangelicalism.” It is for sure totally Calvinistic and Lordship. They would probably be big supporters of people like Chan and Platt. They probably have disdain for fundamentalists.

    As John alluded to this, their whole doctrinal basis is likely flawed especially if they teach a false gospel – which Lordship salvation is. Everything else then will be suspect if not flat out wrong to some degree or another. One thing that always raises red flags with me is the talk about culture. If you find preachers constantly talking about being relevant to culture, or worse yet ” …must be faithful to the continually changing context of the culture…”, then you should look for a new evangelical compromising mindset not far behind. To me, mixing older new evangelical ideas with Calvinism and calling it conservative is a good mixture for double the error on all fronts. I also don’t believe that the passage 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 is a support for the things they would advocate. In so many ways, I don’t feel that they understand the apostle Paul very well at all. Especially if the didn’t understand his gospel.

    Jim F

  128. John,

    Thank you for your response. I couldn’t help but chuckle at your comments. I did not mean to say though that each of their points above are LS heavy (do you think they are?), but rather that the church is. I guess, to rephrase my question, I was wondering how their views in those 3 statements might contribute to their LS? Can non-LS churches identify with those 3 statements?

    I will also take note of the way you handle theological conversation with potential unbelievers. Thanks.

  129. Pat, if by “LS heavy” you mean that they teach a false gospel, then they are likely to have lots of false converts. I don’t usually trifle with folks once I realize they teach a false gospel. I have no interest, whatsoever, on their opinions on any spiritual matter. I don’t consider them fellow believers.

    That said, I have the following observations on each respective point – assuming they are, as you say, “LS heavy”:

    1. “We are not liberals who embrace culture without discernment and compromise the distinctives of the gospel…”

    My comment: If they are LS heavy, they don’t believe the gospel and, by definition, they are compromising it.

    2. “We are not fundamentalists…”

    My comment : Duh!

    3. “We believe that our local churches…”

    My comment: they are churches in name only.

  130. Hi all,

    There is a church nearby where I live that is a church plant of Matt Chandler’s Act 29 Network — LS heavy. I would like to request everyone’s input on the following statements on their website if possible.

    According to the LS website, it says:

    1. We are not liberals who embrace culture without discernment and compromise the distinctives of the gospel, but rather Christians who believe the truths of the Bible are eternal and therefore fitting for every time, place, and people.

    2. We are not fundamentalists who retreat from cultural involvement and transformation, but rather missionaries faithful both to the content of Scripture and context of ministry.

    3. We believe that our local churches must be faithful to the continually changing context of the culture(s) in which they minister (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).

    Any thoughts upon how they approach the modern culture by becoming “one of them” as Paul did in 1 Corinithians 9?

    I just noticed that in the KJV, Matthew 28:19 says: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” in contrast to “make disciples of all nations” in other bible versions, which they use as an excuse to foster discipleship instead of preaching the gospel.


  131. Expected Imminently

    Hello Abe

    My hand sir! Consider it well and truly slapped! 😀

    “…but I don’t believe any counsel did anything but rehash what was already known and believed”

    Positively, abso-blooming-lootly spot on squire!
    It’s a negative that develops slowly, not a God given Doctrine.

    What about “300 years to be universally accepted by the Church at large” hm? tic 😐


  132. Brad,

    Good one!!! You are so right!!!

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  133. Sue wrote: “It’s a marvel to me that it took more than three hundred years for the Doctrine of The Trinity to develop due to the rubbish that formed in it’s wake”

    I don’t believe personally that it took 300 years. I believe that the true believers always understood one God in three Persons as the right doctrine of the Godhead, in the simple way that Paul and Peter and John talked about the Godhead. There are others that want us to believe that “counsels of men” had to “work all that out” hundreds of years later, but I don’t believe any counsel did anything but rehash what was already known and believed. 🙂

  134. “Multiply”, what a great title for a teaching that “multiplies” the requirements for salvation. That is one of the more honest LS titles on the market!

  135. John,

    Thanks for bringing this out. I have recently started a series on 1 Peter, and just this last Sunday I spoke on 1 Peter 1:2. The word “foreknowledge” is the Greek word “prognosis”, and it is made up of two parts:

    1. “Pro”, which means “before”, and
    2. “Gnosis”, which means “to know”.

    Therefore, it means exactly what it says. It is to “know beforehand”. Regardless of what the Calvinists say, it means exactly what it says. In the context, it is clear that election is according to foreknowledge, not the other way around, as the Calvinists interpret it.

    The Lord knew before hand who would believe and elected those who would believe to certain benefits and blessings, such as eternal life, the adoption as sons, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, objects of God’s grace for all eternity, etc.

    He does not make anyone believe, but has given man the choice of believing or not believing.

    What Calvinists and others do is add their own commentary and by doing so, pervert the meaning of the word. They do the same with “repentance”, as you all have recently discussed so well.

    Tom Cucuzza

  136. Expected Imminently

    Hello John
    Although I haven’t studied much of Chafer’s work myself, Robert Dean has made some of his own observations to be wary of. It’s good and proper to warn where a teacher is at fault, at the same time not to disregard the majority of his worthwhile teachings. Chafer doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a teacher; it was the Prophets who weren’t allowed to make even one mistake which revealed them to be false.

    The Church has now learned a great deal more, in particular knowledge of the Koine Greek, Chafer didn’t have the advantages that we now have. Much more is slowly being revealed by the Holy Spirit as the 2nd Coming draws nearer; we now have the advantage of standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before.

    It’s a marvel to me that it took more than three hundred years for the Doctrine of The Trinity to develop due to the rubbish that formed in it’s wake, this needed to be sifted through and picked over as The Holy Spirit led our fore-fathers in the faith to THE Truth. Yet even today there are those who deny the facts and refuse to learn through the hard study of others.

    I’m glad that you have alerted to the dangers of Chafer’s errors, we need to face facts. I did think about the problems, but you have only given us what we can affirm as valuable, and Biblically correct. Chafer has given us much more good than bad, so thank you for selecting the best for us to grow by. 🙂


  137. All,while I have posted some seemingly useful quotes from Chafer and others, I would caution that Chafer appears to have drifted into the serious error of Calvinism in some instances. I am particularly concerned that his teaching on foreordination (predestination) may lead to people questioning their salvation because they don’t know whether or not they are “one of the elect.” These comments also seem, to me, to be an affront to the character of God.

    I believe that God’s offer of salvation by grace through faith in Christ is authentic, and available to anyone. These quotes from Chafer lead me to believe that he may not have shared this view.

    Following are excerpts from a Chafer article entitled “Foreknowledge vs. Foreordination”:

    “Nothing could be foreknown as certain that had not been made certain by foreordination, nor could anything be foreordained that was not foreknown. Of three passages bearing on the relationship between these two divine activities, two mention foreknowledge first in order, while the other reverses this arrangement. In Romans 8:29 it is written, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate”; and in 1 Peter 1:2 believers are addressed as “elect according to the foreknowledge of God.” But in Acts 2:23, where the divine purpose in Christ’s death is in view, it is said: “him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.”


    “”Referring again to passages already cited, it will be seen that God chose from the beginning those to be saved, and predestinated them to “belief of the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13); and He chose some before the foundation of the world that they should be holy and without blame before Him in love (Eph. 1:4).”


    “It would therefore be folly to expect the God would foresee in men what could never exist. Doubtless, multitudes of people cling to a conditional election lest they be forced to recognize the depravity of man.”

  138. Thanks Jack,

    I will still certainly make sure to come here often.

    Jim F

  139. Thank you, Sue. Your words mean a lot to me. The more I think on it, I really should’ve known better and am kicking myself for being so easily derailed.

    But, as my mistake was addressed promptly enough, I’m hopeful it didn’t cause others to stumble. And having made such a blunder, this stinging experience will surely encourage me to be swift to hear, slow to speak, and, hopefully, more astute as I continue to learn to rightly divide the word of truth.

  140. Jim F,

    I visited your Blog and think it is great and honoring to the Lord and His cause for the Free Grace Gospel of Jesus Christ. We will put a link to it on our “Blogroll” on the right side-bar.

    However, as your Blog becomes widely known and you become famous, I pray you will stay in touch and participate as usual with ExPreacherMan. We value your wisdom.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  141. Expected Imminently

    Hello John

    Thank you for the piece by Chafer. Excellent! What an astute man he was.

    So, the ‘paternity test’ reveals the LS ‘baby’ of ‘godly sorrow for repentance 2Cor7:10’ is the Previent grace eisegesis of the Arminians, not the Sovereign grace of the Calvinists (this time).

    I’m glad you have repeated, yet again, Clear Gospel revealing the true interpretation of 2Cor7:10. It’s as you said the FIRST time while helping me get to grips with the correct interpretation of verse 10; verse 11 reveals the perfect result of a believers repentance during Sanctification = FELLOWSHIP with God restored, and with one another.

    I would be glad if you will continue to ‘watch my back’. Many, many thanks and Praise The Lord!

    God bless you.

    Dear Pearl

    I’m sorry you were troubled by the godly sorrow eisegesis of LS; at least we now know who the ‘father’ of the ‘baby’ is. 🙂 Please don’t be hard on yourself; the word ‘salvation’ has tripped me up so many times.

    It’s the same old problem of LS confusing passages that are addressed to believers in Sanctification/Fellowship, who are being admonished to repent of their post–salvation sins to get them back into Fellowship with God as 1John1:9. Instead LS muddies the water by misinterpreting the verse to be for the UNsaved, who need only to believe the Gospel to gain Justification/ Relationship with God.

    Regardless of how many different ways we can use to correct LS eisegesis; no doubt they will still refuse to recognise the sheer common sense of it, and insist on misappropriating Scripture to claim proof for their need of repentance, and sorrows, for Justification. Sadly it will be their loss at the Bema. It’s my hope that onlookers will recognise the LS folly and begin to rejoice in God’s FREE GRACE.

    God bless you and many thanks for your guidance,


  142. I agree John. Public confession is not needed to obtain salvation.

    Also, for anyone interested, I have started my own blog. It is simple so far but I plan to work on it going forward.



    Jim F

  143. Bruce reminded me of something we discussed about the use of the word “salvation” in the Bible. Sometimes “salvation” has a meaning other than eternal life. Please see a repeat of a discussion of Romans 10:9-10, below:

    Jack correctly affirmed that Romans 10:9-10 do NOT teach that public confession of Christ (or any other work) are a condition of salvation. If works contributed to salvation in any way, then it would no longer be by Grace.

    Romans 10:9-10 reaffirms that one believes unto righteousness (eternal salvation) and achieves victorious Christian living and deliverance from life’s trials through confessing Christ and calling upon Him. See the following excerpt from “Four Reasons Not to Make an Altar Call” by Larry Moyer:

    “One might ask, “But what about Romans 10:9, 10?” There we read, “That if you confess with your month the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Space will not permit me to develop Paul’s argument throughout Romans but the context clarifies the issue. The “saved” Paul is speaking of is not salvation from damnation, but salvation from the dangers of sin in present day living. How does one escape these damaging consequences? Paul’s answer is, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness.” The words “believes unto righteousness” is a translation of the Greek word for “justified” – the same word used in Romans 5:1. There we read, “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God.” Paul continues in Romans 10:10, “And with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” The point is powerful. One becomes a Christian by simply trusting Christ. But to experience victory over sin, one must be willing to confess Him publicly. Confession is important, but not for justification but instead for living a victorious Christian life. Need help making such a confession? Paul exhorts them to “Call upon the name of the Lord” (Romans 10:13), a phrase that has the idea of worshipping God and invoking His assistance (cf Acts 9:13-14, 1Timothy 2:22).

    It is therefore not surprising that Paul continues in Romans 10:14-15 by saying, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’”. Note the clear distinction made between a public profession of Christ and believing in His name.

    A public confession of Christ is never in scripture made a requirement of salvation. It is indeed a requirement for victorious Christian living, as made clear in Romans 10:9, 10.”

  144. Chuck,

    Welcome. That is also a good point that you make. We are certainly condemned by our sin. Unbelievers still have all of their sin that they are guilty for regardless if they have heard and rejected the gospel or not. Rejecting the gospel however is why they stay unsaved otherwise they would believe and be converted. John 3:18 says that they are condemned already because they don’t believe. However the reason they are unsaved in the first place is because they were born in sin and have sinned.

  145. Hi All,

    This being my first post here, I should let you know that I am Kim’s Husband. Kim has posted a few times here. We have really learned a lot from reading the various blogs here on ExPreacherMan and we are so thankful for this site.

    I was a little confused by Sue’s statement above where she said, “It isn’t sin of any variety that will send a man to hell, we sin before and after Justification – or is it just me? It is failure to BELIEVE God’s Word that sends to hell.”

    However, the penalty for sin is death: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 KJV)

    My understanding is that we are condemned by our sin, rather than by our unbelief. The wages of our unbelief (i.e., the result of our unbelief) is that we stand naked before God with all of our sins exposed. God then pronounces us guilty of our sins and imposes the death penalty for those sins rather than for our unbelief.

    And as believers, the reason our sins before and after Justification do not result in a death sentence is that we now stand before God clothed in the righteousness of Christ. God does not see (i.e., consider) our sins. We are not just pardoned. We are not just declared to be not guilty. We are declared innocent! Granted, we are not inherently innocent, but we are declared innocent due to the imputed righteousness of Christ.

    So, I’m a little confused. Isn’t it our sin that condemns us rather than our unbelief?

    A related question. Can someone who never hears the gospel have unbelief, or is that reserved for only those who hear the gospel and actively reject it?


  146. John and JimF: the word salvation in that verse threw me off, causing me to assume Paul was referring to that moment when we first believe. But it does seem inconsistent with the point he’s making in regard to the Corinthians’ response to his previous epistle.

    Just sloppy comprehension on my part. I really do appreciate your insight.

  147. Expected Imminently

    Many apologies if my last comment seemed tetchy – I was a bit, but with none here at Jack’s place. 🙂 I have already addressed the context of this verse somewhere in one of the threads, which I am certain, was read by DTW who have chosen to ignore context and run with a false interpretation to support their false view of repentance for Justification.

    2 Cor 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death

    The word salvation does not in this context refer to Justification – being born again. It is about believers needing to get right with God and be delivered (saved) from post salvation sin because their FELLOWSHIP with their heavenly Father has been spoiled. NOT their Father/son RELATIONSHIP.

    This is where repentance comes in during our SANCTIFICATION, FOR if we regard iniquity in our heart, the Lord will not hear our prayers. We are already washed (by Christ’s Blood) but our hands and feet get grubby in our contact with the world, the flesh and the devil. We need cleansing on a regular basis to ensure right FELLOWSHIP with the Father.

    This is what 1 John 1:9 is all about, cleansing from post salvation sin or we will suffer a loss of rewards at the Bema.

    If we fail to repent under God’s discipline during our SANCTIFICATION, this does not result in a loss of Justification/salvation as our RELATIONSHIP is NOT affected, but our FELLOWSHIP with the Father is spoiled. Again, this leads to a loss of rewards at the Bema seat affecting what we can do with Christ during His Millennium reign and into eternity.

    Repentance. Metanaeo – think again.

    Salvation. Soteria –
    1. deliverance, preservation, safety, salvation
    a) deliverance from the molestation of enemies
    b) in an ethical sense, that which concludes to the soul’s safety or salvation
    (1) of Messianic salvation
    2) salvation as the present possession of all true Christians
    3) future salvation, the sum of benefits and blessings which the Christians, redeemed from all earthly ills, will enjoy after the visible return of Christ from heaven in the consummated and eternal kingdom of God.

    Well done Abe. Now its time for you to spend time with Jesus in His Word and get refreshed. 🙂


  148. John,

    I just read through 2 Cor 7 again and I don’t see that verse as meaning eternal salvation in that context. Rather, it is in context of Paul talking about his previous letter that had instructed the believers there. Their godly sorrow was in response to that instruction and we see clearly indicated that it produced in verse 11.

    What I just mentioned is not always the popular interpretation. Many like to lift a few verses out of the context of the whole chapter and indicate that sorrow is need in repentance in order to be saved.

  149. Sue wrote: “I have just been looking at your exploits and would say you can take that horse to the trough but it won’t drink because they are in fear you put arsenic in the water.”

    They are desperately lost and talking in circles, so I won’t be returning to that place. I will never go there again. They are angry mocking LS’ers (is there any other type but the angry and mocking type?). At least if they didn’t have the anger, they could be reasoned with. But I’m sufficiently confident in the Lord that, once I’ve given someone the Gospel clearly, did a few exchanges, and they’re still against it, I won’t beat my head against a wall. There are too many people that are open and want the Gospel, for me to waste time with them. 🙂

  150. Expected Imminently

    Hello Bruce
    Amen! Acts 16 leaves no room for manoeuvre, where is the ‘godly sorrow leading to repentance’ needed before a man is able to believe. The conviction of the Holy Spirit IS the Gospel, sin is no longer the problem because Jesus paid the full price of sin at Calvary. It isn’t sin of any variety that will send a man to hell, we sin before and after Justification – or is it just me? It is failure to BELIEVE God’s Word that sends to hell.
    God bless you too. 🙂
    To all
    I have made the mistake of reading DTW… my limited response as follows.
    Abraham, was in a deep sleep when God burned the unilateral Covenant between them, it was all God’s doing, nothing came from Abraham except to believe God – it was that single, one and only, simple act of FAITH that God accounted to Abraham as righteousness and was saved.
    The New Covenant is also unilateral; Abraham was dead asleep, we are dead in sin and not required to perform ANY action except BELIEVE what God says in the Gospel. It is that one and only act of faith while dead – stinking dead – in sin, where we do not even seek after God, let alone mange a godly anything. Rom3:11. Calvinist or Arminianist LSers, should have a proper read of Romans 3:9-20.
    Think on! To have a sense of godly sorrow sat in the filthy mire of sin? Can’t do it, it’s impossible, we are totally helpless being stung to eternal death. HOW can we ‘have godly sorrow’ and repentance for salvation? Only by removing it from its rightful context!
    The only thing we are capable of, after hearing the Gospel message, is ‘pisteuo’ – believe/faith/trust in Jesus to save us from the eternal death trap we live in, and with our own volition ONLY BELIEVE in Jesus to do what He says He will do, lift us out of our pit of corruption, set our feet on THE rock giving us His own righteousness as He takes us to Himself; benefitting us with Eternal Life by His Free Grace alone. That’s THE Gospel of Jesus Christ, add repentance or commitment or confessing or ‘calling unto Jesus’ are requirements for ANOTHER gospel, another Jesus, another spirit.
    The Gospel of Jesus Christ doesn’t have any requirement for such fleshly extras, or to have an emotional sorrow for being what we are – sinners. It is the failure to BELIEVE in the Gospel when we are given the facts – straight down the line – you are a sinner, the wages of sin is death, Jesus took your place IF you will believe in Him to do this in your place. It is the provision of God’s Grace free gratis and for nothing, nowt, it doesn’t involve flesh in any way. ONLY BELIEVE.
    One more time. SIN IS NOT THE ISSUE – FAITH IS!
    That’s my view Jack and all. I can’t be doing with this repentance godly sorrow milarky. If you disagree I am open to listening to those who are kosher regulars on this blog.

    Hello John
    Thank you for your reply, I am glad you did. I addressed Pearl because we had already spoken about it. I shall enjoy digesting Chafer’s article and all following… 🙂


  151. Pearl, I’m not trying to be argumentative, and I know you’re not either.

    No doubt a lost sinner needs to know he is lost, before he can recognize his need for a Savior.

    I was not aware that the Bible says there is a godly sorrow which leads to a change of mind toward salvation in Christ alone.

    I am confused by this. Romans 4:5 says that God justifies the ungodly – I take this to be exclusive. That is, God does not justify the godly.

    That makes me wonder how an unsaved person (who is ungodly) can have a godly sorrow.

    2 Corinthians 7:10 says:

    “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”

    I always thought that godly sorrow was the exclusive domain of saved people, and that the salvation spoken of in 2 Corinthians 7:10 was something other than eternal life.

    Any thoughts?

  152. John, I’m in complete agreement with you. That’s why I asserted my initial question about sorrow a few days ago, only to be reminded and red-faced that the bible does say there is a godly sorrow which leads to a change of mind toward salvation in Christ alone. And even in that, I don’t believe the Holy Spirit rubs our noses in our sin to make sure we “get it”, as I don’t think man in general has any qualms with the idea that he’s a sinner to begin with (isn’t that why mankind is so religious anyway?).

    I realize I stumble in my understanding of this concept, and welcome to be shown where I may be off, but even in Jack or Ron Shea’s gospel presentations, both make sure the recipient first understands his need, who Jesus is, and why He died and rose again, which conveys to me that this simple recognition is required to receive the pardon, which I take to mean “godly sorrow”.

  153. Regarding saving repentance, Clear Gospel Campaign has this:


    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”

  154. Sue, I know your question wasn’t addressed to me. But, according to the last part of the Chafer quote referenced below, Chafer seemed to think that this was an Arminian concept.

    Pearl, I don’t see sorrow as a necessary outcome of conviction of the Holy Spirit in passages related to salvation. Chafer said it like this:

    “…it is safe to say that few errors have caused so much hindrance to the salvation of the lost than the practice of demanding of them an anguish of soul before faith in Christ can be exercised.

    Since such emotions cannot be produced at will, the way of salvation has thus been made impossible for all who do not experience the required anguish. This error results in another serious misdirection of the unsaved, namely, one in which they are encouraged to look inward at themselves and not away to Christ as Savior. Salvation is made to be conditioned on feelings and not on faith. Likewise, people are led by this error to measure the validity of their salvation by the intensity of anguish which preceded or accompanied it. It is in this manner that sorrow of heart becomes a most subtle form of meritorious work and to that extent a contradiction of grace.

    Underlying all this supposition that tears and anguish are necessary is the most serious notion that God is not propitious [God’s willingness and eagerness for His holy nature to be satisfied], but that He must be softened to pity by penitent grief. The Bible declares that God is propitious because of Christ’s death for the very sin which causes human sorrow. There is no occasion to melt or temper the heart of God. His attitude toward sin and the sinner is a matter of revelation. To imply, as preachers have done so generally, that God must be mollified and lenified [to make more lenient] by human agony is a desperate form of unbelief. The unsaved have a gospel of good news to believe, which certainly is not the mere notion that God must be coaxed into a saving attitude of mind; it is that Christ has died and grace is extended from One who is propitious to the point of infinity. The human heart is prone to imagine that there is some form of atonement for sin through being sorry for it. Whatever may be the place of sorrow for sin in the restoration of a Christian who has transgressed, it cannot be determined with too much emphasis that for the unsaved—Jew or Gentile—there is no occasion to propitiate [satisfy] God or to provide any form of satisfaction by misery or distress of soul.

    With glaring inconsistency, those who have preached that the unsaved must experience mental suffering before they can be saved, have completely failed to inform their hearers about how such grief of mind cannot be produced at will and since many natures are void of depression of spirit, to demand that a self-produced affliction of mind shall precede salvation by faith becomes a form of fatalism and is responsible for having driven uncounted multitudes to despair. However, it is true that, from the Arminian point of view, no greater heresy could be advanced than this contention that the supposed merit of human suffering because of personal sins should be excluded from the terms on which a soul may be saved.”

  155. To all:

    I have been out of the loop, outside looking in just a bit but what an exciting time I had this morning reading all of these comments on this thread!! Brilliant!!

    I especially chuckled at John’s quote from Newell:

    What a place heaven would be if men were allowed to pay their way! They would boast all through eternity, one about this, another about that.

    YES!!! That is a keeper — Works and Grace ARE mutually exclusive!! That wonderfully illustrates the absurdity of the “works method of going to Heaven.” Impossible!! As Ephesians 2:8-9 says:

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

    One wonders why the LS/Calvinists/works teachers cannot see that simple truth – except they have their own “axe to grind” to keep the flock in line. Pitiful.

    Thanks again to all of you and your discernment.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  156. Morning, Sue.

    Solomon indeed, or better yet, Jesus had a way with silencing the hypocritical naysayers!

    I have no problem whatsoever with the Holy Spirit convicting of sin beforehand, intended to lead one on to godly sorrow, and ultimately salvation (John 16:8-11). I don’t see that conversion is possible without realizing why Jesus died on the cross for me. But even then, I believe the Holy Spirit is an outside influence, not working from within the unbeliever and “regenerating” or imparting prevenient grace enabling him to believe. The responsibility of what to do with the evidence rests upon the soul who has been confronted by the Holy Spirit. Also, how one defines such sorrow might be a debatable one; I wonder that some make it an ongoing sorrow which, of course, reeks of Catholicism.

    Back when I used to blog, about the time I was first learning the ropes of LS, a man would frequently comment and “boast” how this post or that video brought him to tears, how unworthy he was, yada yada yada…it got tiresome real quick. Jack quickly exposed him for the LS disciple he was.

  157. Hi Sue,

    Acts 16:30-31 is probably my favorite salvation text. It’s so straightforward, concise and clear. But LSers will still try to explain their way around it.

    Bless you sister.

  158. Expected Imminently

    Hello Abe
    I have just been looking at your exploits and would say you can take that horse to the trough but it won’t drink because they are in fear you put arsenic in the water. Keep praying for them to ‘see’. It’s hard for them because it’s too easy.

    For your interest, the following made me chuckle.

    Quote: For example, we say “invite Jesus in to your heart” they say “invite Him into your soul” Is there any REAL difference?”

    That’s right Abe, no difference at all because both phrases came from the same writer while doing previous deliberations on what he THINKS the Gospel of FREE GRACE is, and that’s what he came up with.

    In Acts16 The Jailor had heard in the prison about sin, Jesus, the cross, death, resurrection – then the man was shaken by an earthquake, stopped from killing himself and asked ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved’? The answer came ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved…’
    The only thing that goes before Salvation is the necessity of hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many Jews had heard and even believed Jesus was the Messiah, but until, by an act of their own will, they actually trusted in Jesus to save them, they remained lost in spite of any good or bad feelings on the subject.

    God bless


  159. Expected Imminently

    Dear Pearl
    What’s your take on the following LS quote .
    “The Scriptures are clear that the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin BEFOREHAND!!! This leads to a Godly sorrow”
    It appears to me to be a prime example of Calvinism’s and LS pre-salvation works ‘Sovereign Grace’.
    Or is it perhaps Arminianism’s pre-salvation works ‘Prevenient Grace’.
    I know the quote is wrong, as it’s the result of a pretext, but I am trying to fathom out whose ‘baby’ it is.

    Ah, what would Solomon advise. 😉


  160. John,

    You said, ‘William Newell said, “There comes a moment when a man ceases from his own works, hearing that Christ finished the work, paid the ransom, at the cross. Then he rests!”‘

    How very sad that the LS folks are unable to experience that wonderful Sabbath rest we have in Christ (Hebrews 3 & 4), for it is not provided to those who do not believe in Christ alone, who come to God with their own ‘righteousness’ rather than the righteousness of Christ, and their own works rather than the finished work of Christ on the cross.

  161. Thanks again Jim,

    Well said!

  162. That is true Bruce. I was thinking of this earlier today. There is no refuting the gospel. It is God’s truth and cannot be refuted because God is not wrong. We just need to be sure that our gospel stays the way that God has said it. The problem comes in when unbelievers (mostly) attempt to understand God’s Word and twist the Gospel into something else by addition or subtraction. In my experience, LS guys (with some exceptions) do not like to get too far into defending their position from the text of the Word. Their arguments sound better from the realm of human reasoning. They especially do not like to be shown from passage to passage that repentance in relation to salvation is “change of mind” not “turn from sins”.

  163. Powerful quotation John. Thanks!

  164. I like the following excerpt from William Newell’s “Romans Verse-by Verse” (Romans 4:4-5). It totally annihilates the LS lies:

    “So we have seen in verses four and five the working method and the believing method contrasted. What a place heaven would be if men were allowed to pay their way! They would boast all through eternity, one about this, another about that. But the works method and the grace method are mutually exclusive. Each shuts out the other. Men must cease even seeking; they must cease all works—weeping, confessing, repenting, even earnest praying, and simply believe God laid their sins, their very own sins, all of them, on Christ at the cross. There comes a moment when a man ceases from his own works, hearing that Christ finished the work, paid the ransom, at the cross. Then he rests! Such a soul believes,—knowing himself to be a sinner, and ungodly,—but he ‘believes on God, just as he is, and knows he is welcome!

    Note that Scripture does not say that God justifies the praying man, or the Bible reader, or the church member, but the ungodly. Have you yourself believed on the God that accounts righteous the ungodly? Have you ever really seen yourself in the ungodly class, a mere sinner, and as such trusted God, on only one ground, the blood of Christ?”

  165. Hi Jim,

    You bring out an excellent point about unbelievers’ stubborn refusal to believe.

    I also agree with you that the charge of “easy believism” is just like that of antinomianism. If one (your typical LS advocate) doesn’t have logical sound biblical argumentation to refute Free Grace Theology (he doesn’t because no sound argumentation exists), he will invariably stoop to unsupportable slander. I see that fallacious methodology utilized over and over in the writings of LS authors.

  166. Hi Bruce,

    The charge of Antinomianism to me is just like the charge of “easy believism”. They are used to scare people but the charges don’t apply or stick to true “Free Grace” theology. They truly are specious arguments.

    Another thing I’ve noticed is that unbelievers holding to a works oriented gospel don’t always see the truth right away. They often come up with excuses to believe the simple truth. Why – because they still don’t believe it. It really is similar to the way an atheist will put up excuses to believing that there is a God. Their real problem is never their objections or excuses but the fact that they will not believe and don’t believe.

  167. Hi John,

    Astute comment about the motivation for the rampant LS accusation of “antinomianism” leveled against Free Grace theology.

    I talked about this subject a bit in the article “Grace Baiting”:

    Click to access baiting.pdf

    The article reads as a primer for LSers who want to slam Free Grace theology but have no biblical grounds for doing so. Point #4 reads:

    “4. Employ the antinomian allegation. Accuse your opponents of advocating lawlessness in the Christian community. Charge them as the ones who regularly condone or promote sinful behavior.
    Response: This is a silly and specious argument—of course neither side would truly espouse or excuse such behavior!”

  168. Hello John & Jack

    Great! This is so what I have been longing for, to be corrected Biblically and kindly by men of God who actually know what they are talking about – however, dear Pearl accurately stated my case. I admit I didn’t phrase it clearly enough. “IF we abide in Him, we cannot sin” 1 John 3:6a.

    Fret not, for I am persuaded, that after a person is declared Justified and given a new human spirit, plus the list of at least 36 other spiritual blessings “they are signed, sealed and WILL be delivered” (quoting Curtis Hutson). Even if their whole life is spent out of fellowship with their heavenly Father. All they will produce during their sanctification is hay, wood and stubble fit only for burning.

    The consequences of that means they will suffer loss when their works are tried in the Bema fire. ‘If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire’ 1 Cor. 3:15. Meanwhile, here on earth, he will suffer the consequences of the ‘wood shed’ to such an extent that he may as well have permanent residence in the woodshed.

    Justification is incredibly EASY and totally cost FREE to the sinner; LS really don’t like that! But we can do nothing to either add or take from Jesus’ free gift of Salvation in response to our heart/mind affirmation of THE Gospel information. ‘Yes please’ says the sinner and the Holy Spirit takes up immediate residence to teach and discipline – but the saved sinner lives like the devil until his works are finally judged by Christ Romans 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:10. This sinner is one of those whose confidence will shrivel as he shrinks back from the glorious figure of Jesus Christ the judge (of works not sin) 1 John 2:28.

    LS charging ME with Antinomianism is like water off a duck’s back, but when LS’s fear of GRACE alone prevents OTHERS from accepting Free Grace, it needs, must be answered for the false teaching it is. LS is a thief, and like its author, comes only to steal and destroy. Paul also had this accusation levelled against him, he dealt with it by saying, “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” Romans 6:5

    God bless my dear brothers and sisters. Many, many thanks. 😀


  169. Pearl, I understand your point. Galatians 5:16 says: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

    Sue, if I errantly concluded that you were saying that being a believer will automatically result in good works, I apologize.

  170. Not meaning to be contentious, but Sue did stress that “a Free Grace loving relationship with Jesus WILL result in ‘good works’, being restrained from lawlessness by our Love for Christ.”

    I’m also persuaded by scripture that we who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and abiding therein (as opposed to grieving Him), will naturally exhibit attributes of His nature and be more responsive to His promptings. I believe it’s our entire purpose while we remain here on earth.

  171. Sue,

    I agree with John’s analysis in the two notes above.

    There are many verses which support that analysis.. but one stands out especially:

    In Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul proclaims salvation by Grace through Faith and then under inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit, he emphasizes:

    For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we SHOULD walk in them. Ephes. 2:10

    Nowhere does Scripture say, “will” or “must” as conditions for salvation — but that we Believers “SHOULD walk in good works” and obedience. That is the glorious, God-ordained truth of God’s Grace. We should absolutely be obedient and walk accordingly but we ALL fall short even though we may love Jesus dearly, hence 1 John 1:9.

    God’s Amazing Grace — Wonderful Grace.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  172. One postscript to my post, above: This attack of “antinomianism” being leveled by LS/Calvinist “believers” is nothing but a thin disguise of concern that someone who has sinned more than they have will get to go to heaven. And, they don’t think it’s fair. They are consumed with fear that someone less deserving of grace than they are is going to get by with something – that someone might get something (Grace) for nothing.

  173. Sue, I honestly don’t even concern myself with the charge of antinomianism leveled by people who oppose Grace. The Bible is crystal clear that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. It is also crystal clear that Grace is not a license to sin. However, a believer who lives a licentious life is a believer and is going to heaven.

    You said something that I wanted to address: “A Free Grace loving relationship with Jesus WILL result in ‘good works’, being restrained from lawlessness by our Love for Christ.”

    I don’t think that good works automatically result in the life of a believer. If they did, then there wouldn’t be scriptures telling us to provoke one another unto good works (Hebrews 10:24) and learn to maintain good works (Titus 3:14). Much of James is a passionate appeal to believers to help fellow believers in need (an appeal to do good works).

    The following from Clear Gospel Campaign discusses this a little further:

    “Perhaps the same heretical belief that permeates the church today, that faith automatically results in works, was present in the time of James. So, in one short passage:

    James presents, and then condemns, the warped “works are automatic” of the imaginary fool; James ensures that his ironic style was not taken to be an attack on the true gospel; and James avoids getting knee deep into a discussion of soteriology. Because James does not wish to divert his focus (the poor), he sets up a “straw man” of manifestly stupid theology. That way, he is able to simply dismiss the statements as the ramblings of a “fool,” and return to his foundational premise, that when the poor are starving in the streets, it is not faith that will save them. Faith without works is dead.”

  174. Sue,

    I know for certain that Jack isn’t so thinned-skinned as to moderate your comment because of a sincere error (if only I could be so lucky, it would save me a great deal of embarrassment!). Besides, I didn’t see anything amiss. Rather, having so much on his plate, I’m certain he was just late getting to the blog’s comments. No worries!

  175. Expected Imminently

    Hello Jack
    Obviously I am in error in my last comment to Pat? I would be grateful for a short sentence of direction. ? Either that or you found me to be offensive, for which I humbly apologise as that was certainly not my attention. Or a culture differences perhaps? It wouldn’t be the first time, as I have had several shocks myself while blogging the U.S. 

    Within my comment was a question about false accusations of Antinomianism. “Seek and ye shall find”! I’m glad to say I have found an article by Dr Charlie Bing, whom I trust is ‘safe’ as I saw him on the FGA site?

    Dr. Bing’s conclusion, and his link, as follows.

    We who teach free grace properly do not teach license or antinomianism. We teach that grace is given freely apart from our performance. Grace has freed us from the requirements of the Old Testament law and has placed us under the new law of Christ which we fulfill when we live by His Spirit. Grace liberates us not to serve our own sinful desires, but to serve God and others. Grace can be abused—that is always a risk of freedom—but those who do so invite God’s discipline and other negative consequences. However, when we appreciate the high price God paid for our free gift of eternal life—His only Son— we should have a heart of worship and gratitude that leads to spiritual maturity and godly living.



  176. Thank you brothers Jack and Bruce as well as the other brothers and sisters in Christ here for keeping us focused on what the Scriptures actually teach. Such a breath of fresh air to hear your comments. God Bless you all.

  177. Faith, what a lovely, uplifting message! I know it was meant for Pat, but it was a beautiful reminder to me that I am never alone.

  178. Pat
    really loved reading your testimony and your desire to run to Scripture instead of staying in a joyless and hopeless doctrine such as Calvinism. I can mirror your situation for I to came out of a MacArthur church (Rob Iverson, one of MacArthur’s henchmen, is one of the lead men in this church) and one that is definitely on board with the Calvinist doctrines. This church was not always like this and it is sad to see that it has become that way. I pray and hope you are able to find some fellowship with others that believe in God’s gift of free grace. I understand where you are at for my family is in the same position, but for a young person it is more difficult I think because you are alone (but not really because you have Jesus to keep you and give you strength- 🙂 ). The Lord’s blessings on you.

  179. Bruce wrote: “is just a natural outgrowth of the false teaching that the traditional LS/Calvinist pushed some twenty to thirty years ago.”

    I agree completely. It’s like bread rising is just a natural outgrowth of the infusion of yeast.

  180. Expected Imminently

    Hello Pat
    You are doing me the world of good. In getting replies to your questions by those more experienced than me, must be helping onlookers who have yet to realise that they are supporting ‘another gospel’. I am hopeful that most are genuinely saved, when at a moment in time, they did put their faith in Jesus to save from sin and were immediately Justified. Now the Holy Spirit is disciplining them in their Sanctification – but this wickedness of teaching repentance for Justification is leading them along the broad path as they grieve, or quench the Holy Spirit. When they get knocked with that repentance lie, it sets off the domino effect which influences all the Doctrines, such as, works become ‘evidence’ of Justification.

    In learning about the history of Christianity – I’m sure you will correct me if I am at fault here – the Reformation was stopped dead in its tracks when the RC set up a Counter-Reformation. The Jesuits complained to the Reformers that by telling the people the truth of Scripture of Grace alone, Faith alone, Christ alone … emphasising NO works; meant the people would behave without restraint and become ‘lawless’. What they really meant was the Jesuits would lose control over them, and more importantly lose income to physically build the kingdom on earth with Rome as HQ.

    I somewhere read that if the people DON’T take advantage of Free Grace, then it hasn’t been taught properly!

    TULIP was introduced to appease Rome’s fear, the Reformers had suffered so much under the Papacy, and they wearied of it, thus they found a way to keep the people in check with the false teaching of ‘Perseverance of the Saints’ and got Rome off their backs and the Reformation proper, was stopped dead in its tracks.

    Teaching Free Grace with no works will mean a loss of income to Reformed churches. I saw it happen and it was my ‘fault’. Providing Baptist friends with tapes by a Free Grace teacher, started a furore when they realised formal tithing of their income was unbiblical. The poor old Pastor wasn’t happy when his wages took a dive. This is an example of taking advantage of Free Grace. That happens because the teaching of rewards and the Bema Seat are rarely taught as is 1John1:9.

    A Free Grace loving relationship with Jesus WILL result in ‘good works’, being restrained from lawlessness by our Love for Christ. Putting the cart before the horse, Reformed churches made up a false rule of the necessity of works for Justification in order to win a loving relationship with Jesus and to ‘prove’ to everyone else that a person is genuinely born again.

    My apologies if this is too long. I am ‘sounding out’ as I am still learning about the accusations of Antinomianism against the Free Grace Alliance and Ex Preacher Man . (I do know to keep away from Grace Evangelical Society that started off well enough, but now best avoided).

    Please allow me to be sloppy and send a huge hug to Jack and his better half and say ‘thank you’. Love to y’all. 🙂


  181. Bruce wrote: “is just a natural outgrowth of the false teaching that the traditional LS/Calvinist pushed some twenty to thirty years ago.”

    Yes. And the modern LS pushers are just the next stepping stone back to Rome, as they now are using LS more and more for the “social gospel”.

  182. Hi Pat,

    Great to have you join us at Expreacherman.com.

    You were so so right when you mentioned that the Calvinists and the LSers are specifically and intentionally targeting the youth with their propagandizing efforts. So much of their efforts have gotten really extreme and weird, like the “Revolution Church,” founded by Jay Bakker, son of former televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. We have a couple of discussions on this movement at this site; you can search them out if you wish.

    Also, I find it quite fascinating that some of the more long-standing established LS/Calvinists, like John MacArthur, now try to distance themselves from this new wave of radical caustic LS/”Neo” or “New” Calvinism. The way I look at it, this new radical LS movement (a la Chan, Platt, Washer, Stearns, et. al.) is just a natural outgrowth of the false teaching that the traditional LS/Calvinist pushed some twenty to thirty years ago.

    One more thought:

    Free Gracers certainly could do much more to reach the youth with the grace gospel. One fine institution which is doing just that is DaySpring College and Seminary in Illinois:


  183. Jim F and Pat,

    Just a quick word about the fellowship here at ExPreacherMan. My wife and I are also blessed by the fellowship of like minded believers here. Your words are encouraging more than you know.

    It is especially good for me since I am infirm and physically unable to visit a church. Therefore, this is a ministry and an unbelievably wonderful fellowship. I thank the Lord for each of you.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  184. Pat,

    There are some out there that do indeed teach part of the gospel right. That is they teach that salvation if through Christ. However, the part that they often get wrong is how salvation is appropriated to us. We must change our mind of anything but trusting in Christ alone for salvation and trust Him alone to save. This is conversion – believing the gospel. Anytime you have “part gospel” and part “not gospel” you end up with “not gospel”. I have heard preachers say that salvation is by believing on Christ – only for them to later clarify that faith means repenting of sins, sorrow, willingness to change or submit etc. Such preachers are a walking contradiction.

    You said, “I can totally see why people like us are churchless, but at the same time we need to be part of a church! How can we obey and fulfill God’s commands in Scripture otherwise?”

    We certainly should be part of a church if possible. That said, these are the alternatives that I see for myself. Move to an area where there is an established Free Grace type church, drive a much longer distance to church, or start a home Bible study in my home or community, much like a missionary would do in a foreign country, and maybe one day there will be enough growing believers to take on a full time Pastor and organize as a church. If you can’t find a grace type church in driving distance then maybe a Bible study would be a possibility for you. Above all, pray for it.

    I can tell you from experience that you will find frustration at church where the leadership teaches a different gospel than you. That kind of thing grates on your soul and will lead to points contention. I am currently enjoying freedom from that kind of environment. I have learned more and have had better fellowship on this blog with virtual strangers than I have at most churches that I have been at. Especially compared to the ones that leaned Calvinistic.

    You are right about the closeness that you feel to this great group of believers here. I experienced the same thing. The fellowship is especially sweet because we all can directly identify with each other concerning the challenges that we face as we seek to proclaim God’s truth and live for Him.

  185. John,

    Your explanation on repentance of sin before salvation cleared it up for me. I understand the point you and Pearl are making. Thank you!!!

    Pardon me for saying automatically. I was merely trying to distinguish from doing good works out of the flesh vs out of the Spirit. If a believer obeys and walks in the Spirit, the Spirit will produce those good works. This is in contrast to a believer who forces good works legalistically…which are just filthy rags.

  186. Pat, you said two things that I want to address:

    1. ” I guess what I’m trying to say is that churches who get the word ‘repent’ wrong on their websites do not necessarily preach a wrong gospel.”

    My comment: I am a 51 year-old man that didn’t become a believer until age 49. As far back as I remember, I believed that Christ was the Son of God, that He died for our sins, and was raised from the dead. But, I believed that I had to repent of my sins to be saved. This meant that I was viewing God’s gracious offer of salvation through Christ Jesus as a trade, rather than as a gift.

    So, I had to repent of the false notion that I had to “repent of my sins to be saved”, BEFORE I could be saved!

    If a church believes that one must “repent of sins to be saved”, it does not believe the Gospel. The more often a lost person goes to such a church, the more likely he is to stay lost.

    Please read the following on repentance from Clear Gospel Campaign:


    2. “Calvinists like Francis Chan and David Platt figured out strategies to reach our age group effectively, however, it’s a shame that they 1. forgot the gospel 2. push believers into doing good works without first compelling them into fellowship with Christ where good works would result automatically.”

    My comment: Why would you assume that Chan and Platt “forgot the gospel”? They do not currently believe the Gospel, so why would one assume they ever knew it? If I encounter someone who does not believe the Gospel, I don’t rule out the possibility that they are a believer who has become confused. However, I also do not rule out the possibility that they never believed the Gospel.

    Also, I think a close walk in fellowship with Christ may foster good works, I am not sure that they “would result automatically.” Otherwise, why would scripture tell us to provoke one another to good works (Hebrews 10:24) and learn to maintain good works (Titus 3:14)?

  187. Pearl,

    I understand because that word wreaked havoc on me. I was questioning my salvation because of constant recurring sin, and this was only a year ago. While I believe repenting of sins is not a bad thing, it should never be presented in a way that destroys assurance and eternal security. It would distort the gospel. I apologize for my lack of clarity. I merely am trying to speculate that some churches who mess ‘repent’ up still preach salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone. Their ‘repent’ would not be a one time or continual repentance from sin to earn, prove, or keep salvation. They merely mean the process to turn to God to believe Him. Since I already know and see the error, I’m not sure how joining a church like this affects me. I hope you understand where I am coming from. If you do, then I may just not be discerning enough to just be at a point where I dismiss all ministries like that. I hope not to dismiss all, but evaluate.

  188. ” I guess what I’m trying to say is that churches who get the word ‘repent’ wrong on their websites do not necessarily preach a wrong gospel.

    I’m not so sure about that, Pat. You’ll soon find how that one word has wreaked havoc in many a soul. As long as a gospel presentation inserts that one must change (or commit to change) his behavior to be saved, to prove one is saved, or to stay saved, it isn’t the gospel according to Jesus Christ but another.

  189. Dear Pearl, Sue,

    After thinking a bit, I see why steering clear of any ministry that asks ‘repenting of sins to God’ is recommended. I think that for my case, if I steer clear of them all, I will have no church to belong to. 😦 Do you older and experienced brothers and sisters think that one must agree with all points of doctrine in a church to be a part of them? If not, then at what point should one decide to leave? Getting the gospel right would definitely be primary thing. While I know ‘repenting of sins to God’ is a grave error in presenting the gospel, I know some churches that preach belief only. They are just wrong in saying that repenting of sins is something that should be done to be brought to believing. Faith alone without any works is what saves.

    You helped bring the thought to me that even though I don’t really know any of you personally, I feel a close connection to all already. Christ’s accomplished work on the cross allowed for this fellowship. It’s very precious. I thank God that you are all willing to be patient with a 23 year old.

  190. Dear Pearl,

    Thanks for your kind words and encouragement!! I am flattered to say the least, but I know that being able to discern the truth from LS was all the Holy Spirit, and nothing of me. I am just a 23 year old kid who has yet to learn independence, responsibility, and maturity. I suppose what separates me from my young reformed friends is that I never just follow the flow, and I do not worship men of high reputation.

    One thing you said that struck me was that my age group is the target of LS or today’s New Calvinist group. It is so true. All the conferences, retreats, you name them, have become tailored to appeal to our age group’s senses. These things involve technology, upbeat music, entertainment, cool colors, masculine and charismatic leaders, and it’s sort of conforming to this culture that I believe comes from Hollywood. In addition to these things is ‘sound’ Calvinist doctrine, which almost validates the utilization of those things aforementioned. The Resolved conference, Shepherd’s conference, and etc. are all popular conferences to go to for my age group. I see the struggle for my age group, and even for myself at times, my generation wants to be entertained at all times and never bored. Calvinists like Francis Chan and David Platt figured out strategies to reach our age group effectively, however, it’s a shame that they 1. forgot the gospel 2. push believers into doing good works without first compelling them into fellowship with Christ where good works would result automatically.

    Although I see these trends happening, I can’t discern a healthy separation. I’ve begun to think about what separation from the world truly means, and where to draw that line. I am now a lone wolf. I can totally see why people like us are churchless, but at the same time we need to be part of a church! How can we obey and fulfill God’s commands in Scripture otherwise?

    Thank you for showing me that LS is not strictly limited to Calvinism but also Arminianism. I can totally see that without question. It’s funny that the ‘war’ between Calvinism and Arminianism will never end because they’re both wrong.

    Thanks for the warning about ‘repent of sins to God’! The word ‘repent’ is misdefined almost on every church’s website in San Jose. They always say ‘repent of your sins to God’ just like you have said even though repentance is never mentioned in the context of sin in Scripture. it really is just a change of mind/heart. However, even though the word has been misused/misdefined to teach a works gospel, some churches still admit that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone. I guess what I’m trying to say is that churches who get the word ‘repent’ wrong on their websites do not necessarily preach a wrong gospel. Just my thoughts, and I welcome correction with open arms. Thanks Pearl.

  191. Aww, thanks Sue! You’re certainly not irritating, and you’re obviously no “newbie” when it comes to LS.

    You asked,

    “Can you tell me if Calvinism’s ‘Sovereign Grace’ is the same as Arminians so called ‘Prevenient Grace”?

    YES! JimF wrote about prevenient grace (last spring, I believe). It was the first I’d heard of it, and I see no difference whatsoever.

    Honestly, why on earth is it so difficult for these people to accept that man has the capability to believe on Jesus Christ as God and Saviour? From their perspective, I can’t reconcile how they can accept that one may believe in the easter bunny, Santa Claus, or Allah, yet assert that that same one is entirely unable to believe apart from the Holy Spirit’s making them believe that Jesus is God in the flesh, who took one’s sins upon Himself and rose from the dead . I’m convinced that both systems, and the hybrids in-between, have a warped understanding of the Holy Spirit’s influence in the salvation experience. From my observation, even from folks commenting here, people have said that a person is unable to believe unless the Holy Spirit “makes” them believe. This, of course, is expressed much more subtlely, but that’s the gist of it. I hear it expressed in people’s prayers for lost loved ones, a sort of pleading that God would “save” this person, as if He’s withholding His grace. Is it His fault that people refuse to believe? No! It’s that people are religious to the core – they believe they can add something to what He’s already done. Quite simply, they’re prideful, rebellious and stiff-necked.

    Yeah, it frustrates me.

  192. Expected Imminently

    Pearl said “At the risk of sounding like a broken record … be aware that LS is not isolated to reformed theology, but Arminianism as well. Steer clear of any ministry which incorrectly defines the term “repent”. There are many folks out there claiming to be against LS (really, they’re just anti-calvinism) who are still off the mark by insisting that in order to be saved, a person must “turn from their sins” to God.”

    Many thanks Pearl for this confirmation and to ‘…STEER CLEAR OF *ANY* MINISTRY WHICH INCORRECTLY DEFINES THE TERM ‘REPENT…’ (caps for emphasise)

    I’m so sorry, it must be irritating when newbies like me state the obvious of already well stated information…Good for you Pearl, all of you for confirming that LS is not confined to Calvinism or Arminianism. Is it any wonder Jesus asked if there will be any faith remaining at His return.

    I did a search in the archives about Antinomianism, but nothing – do you, or anyone else have a link dealing with false accusation against FGA, and all here, of approving a ‘license to sin’. There are so many Scriptures being mangled and tortured denying God’s amazing Free Grace, surely the Apostasy is well under way. Maranatha!

    Dear Pat
    Hee,hee! When we meet in Glory you will be glad to know I don’t talk very much. There is so much I don’t know that I tend to run with the little I am sure of. I should have guessed by your comments that at 23 yrs, you are already ‘well wise’! 😀


  193. Dear Sue,

    Your post was so long I’m not really sure how to respond. All I can say is thanks! and I agree! Your words are obviously full of experience and wisdom, not to mention sound advice. Thank you so much for taking the time to write all that out for me. I really appreciate it. I have always studied the bible in a literal, historical, grammatical, contextual manner. It is quite funny how what everyone posts about Calvinism pretty accurately describes what I went through in college. I would only comment that the errors are not obvious because they’re also teaching Christians to love God, serve God, preach the gospel. They adamantly describe themselves as ‘gospel-centered.’ It is an overused term in my circle of reformed friends. Every sermon must always tie the topic to the gospel. ‘This and the gospel’…’This and the cross.’ I type these things out so you all have a clearer picture of what it’s like to be in a ‘MacArthur’ atmosphere, since I was pretty much at the front seat of all of it.

    I want to correct a sentence in my above post.
    They affirm eternal security and assurance as objective truths, but for anyone to claim those things would be subjective. —–> They affirm eternal security and assurance as objective truths, but for anyone to apply those truths to themselves would be subjective.

  194. Dear John (do you know that movie?),

    What’s funny is that Calvinists affirm all 3 of those points, as I’m sure you and everyone else here knows. They affirm eternal security and assurance as objective truths, but for anyone to claim those things would be subjective. John 6:37-40, John 10:27-28, 1 John 5:13, Eph 1:15, 2 Corinthians 1:22 all speak of believers being able to have the assurance that they are saved. The reason Calvinists won’t accept these verses as proof is because they already believe God has chosen His elect, and they will live a holy life until they die because God chose them and saved them in such a way.

    You know what I wonder? How do Calvinists have ANY spiritual victory at all? How do they conquer sin in their lives or have any power if they cannot know for sure if they are really Christians / saved until the end of their lives? Their theology suggests maybe they don’t have the Holy Spirit indwelling them after all, and serving the Lord is in vain because they might ‘fall out’ at the end. MacArthur’s favorite verse to use in 1 John: ‘They went out from us, because they were not of us…” to defend his claims.

    Also, I cannot understand why ‘Sovereign Grace’ is even a term. Sovereignty and grace are not the same thing. Leave grace alone and call sovereignty what it is. It is a Calvinist attempt to support the incorrect interpretation of Ephesians 1:4. I just read above and saw Sue post about sovereign grace. There is a well-known megachurch called Sovereign Grace pastored by CJ Mahaney. My college fellowship loved the SBC, Gospel Coalition, etc.

    Thanks John for the site. 🙂

  195. Dear Jack,
    Thank you for your encouragement. As I’ve read through more of these blog posts I am seeing how hard you fight against Calvinism, and I believe I am in-line with your doctrinal statement here. I am amazed to say the least, because you are so clear-minded even at the age of 83!! God bless you Jack! I hope you are doing well in terms of physical health too. All the old people I talk to tell me to eat healthy, exercise, etc., because all the sickness and diseases come out when you’re old. Anyway, yes Jack, I’m thankful for people like you who are helping others to see the truth!

    Dear Jim,
    I have questioned Calvinism ever since I got into it in college. I did not grow up with Calvinism, so when I started learning it I was already skeptical. However, I later embraced it when I understood it. Then upon graduating from college, leaving my college fellowship and church, and returning home, I studied the bible myself and concluded that something was off. The gospel that Calvinists preach is really the correct gospel, but with their Calvinism it distorts it into a false gospel. In another words, there’s nothing wrong with the simple gospel they preach until we dig deeper and find perseverance, faith alone but a faith that is not alone, fruit determines saving faith, etc. which really just contradicts the gospel. My college fellowship was more or less an extension of MacArthur’s church in Los Angeles, and all our speakers/teachers were from master’s seminary. The Spirit led me to the truth because I was looking hard for it, and God knows my heart that I live by what I know. It was hard getting out because my mind can’t help but think, ‘How can MacArthur, Piper, Sproul, Chan, et al. be wrong about this when devote their lives studying this?” Thanks for all your tips Jim.

  196. Bless your heart, Pat. The respect you’ve so graciously bestowed upon us “ancient ones” gives me culture shock! Thank you for your kind words.

    Going by your comment, it seems you have wisdom above your peers, which is all the more extraordinary since your age group is the very target at which these LSers aim. It’s no wonder you feel “alone”. But as this blog has testified over and over again, there are many of us who are churchless and scattered abroad.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record (I am dating myself by using that phrase, aren’t I?), be aware that LS is not isolated to reformed theology, but Arminianism as well. Steer clear of any ministry which incorrectly defines the term “repent”. There are many folks out there claiming to be against LS (really, they’re just anti-calvinism) who are still off the mark by insisting that in order to be saved, a person must “turn from their sins” to God. How can they not see that this is clearly a works-based gospel? They’re demanding an impossible task! Do they ever pause long enough to think about what they’re saying? Amazingly, they don’t.

    My prayer for you is that you increase in wisdom, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and, should the Lord tarry, become a painful thorn in the sides of those who perpetuate a false gospel, long after us old timers are dead and gone 😉 .

  197. Expected Imminently

    Thank you John, Jim and Jack for your knowledge using the Biblical Literal-G-H Interpretation of Scripture. I weary of seeing the inconsistencies of Covenant Theology endeavouring to appear ‘Biblical’. What a web of deceit it spins.

    Can you tell me if Calvinism’s ‘Sovereign Grace’ is the same as Arminians so called ‘Prevenient Grace’? There appears to be little difference to me, LS has feet in both camps, both claiming an act to be performed before anyone can put their trust in Jesus to save (freely – not!)

    It appears that Calvinism’s LS has God making a forced change while the Arminians’ LS God is making them able to make that change themselves by creating ‘godly sorrow’ – sadly removed from context as Clear Grace explained.

    Both camps i.e. Calvinism’s ‘Free Grace’ AND Arminians’ ‘Free Grace’ with both using CT allegorical interpretation, are ‘heads’ and ‘tails’of the same coin; both are erroneously claiming ‘Free Grace’ for themselves – that’s an oxymoron in my book!

    (Close your ears Jack) If I just tweak the name of Free Grace Alliance theology, just a tad, by adding CHAFER Free Grace Alliance. It is tiresome to have to stand by and see CT cause its usual contradiction of terms. A warning was given by Chafer for the infiltration of CT into the churches, that’s what started me looking into this crafty snare.

    Any thoughts?


  198. Expected Imminently

    Hello Pat
    Your comment is inoffensive and gracious, something we oldies can forget to practise?

    As I have been unable to find a sound church, I have been on the outside of the ‘camp’ looking in, since before you were born.
    It wasn’t for a lack of trying, it’s always the ‘dodgy’ Statements of Belief that insist I ‘come apart’. The Lord has none-the-less guided and taught me faithfully over six decades. James 1:5. If you lack wisdom, ask your heavenly Father for His wisdom, don’t doubt, He will answer you and trust Him for the understanding to come during your Bible study and check everything by the written Word in the Bible. I stress ‘written’ because too many have emotional experiences they trust instead of what God actually says in Scripture. Sometimes it is a case of just ‘knowing’; or a dawning realisation of the answer; but always check prayerfully with The Scriptures. Pray for the desire to know THE TRUTH, carefully discerning everything with God’s Word.

    The Lord alerted me to the illegitimate hermeneutic of Covenant Theology via ‘Israelology’ by Arnold Fruchtenbaum. What I didn’t know was the horrible battle that was ahead of me over that false method of interpretation which is allegorical. So much false teaching, not only Calvinism’s LS, is based on Covenant Theology that defies Dispensationalism’s Literal (normal)/Grammatical-Historical Hermeneutic used consistently throughout ALL Scriptures; and always in CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT. 😉

    Charles Ryrie: “This (ie literal interpretation) is sometimes called the principle of grammatical-historical interpretation since the MEANING OF EACH WORD IS DETERMINED BY GRAMMATICAL AND HISTORICAL CONSIDERATIONS. The principle might also be called normal interpretation since the literal meaning of words is the normal approach to their understanding in all languages. It might also be designated plain interpretation so that no one receives the mistaken notion that the literal principle rules out FIGURES OF SPEECH. SYMBOLS, FIGURES OF SPEECH and TYPES are all interpreted plainly in this method and they are in no way contrary to literal interpretation … Figures often make the meaning plainer, but it is the LITERAL, PLAIN, NORMAL meaning that they convey to the reader.”
    The important thing to remember is that literal interpretation DOES NOT EXCLUDE interpreting symbols in a metaphorical manner.”
    If it were possible; this is what I would tell my 23 year old self. The solid foundation that correct interpretation give.
    God bless you. 🙂


  199. Sue,

    Any church that puts regeneration before faith is most likely Calvinistic. Any give away is if they talk about faith and repentance being graces or gifts imparted to the elect. “Sovereign grace” is often how you will hear their version of grace described. Basically no one word of phrase is enough. You have to look at the majority of all of a church’s beliefs continually to see if they are lining up with Scripture.


    I was glad to hear your testimony. Don’t worry – I was about 23 when I started to look into some of these issues for the first time and God has been gracious over the last 12 years since and He has shown me so much more truth than I could have imagined. He also spared me many times from turning down a path that many of my reformed leaning friends currently find themselves on.

    Just be sure to take a good amount of time to study the true gospel and its ramification for yourself so that you will be more likely to spot the counterfeits. That principle has made my life easier many times over.

    God Bless.

  200. Pat, welcome!

    You said: “Basically, it’s all very blurry because they seem to back up all their statements with legitimate proof.”

    One of the ways the seem to back all of their statements with legitimate proof is through bad Bible translations, custom-tailored to provide their “proof.” Another way they seem to back all of their statements with legitimate proof is by taking things out of context.

    There are three doctrines that I believe are clearly set forth in scripture:
    1. Salvation by Grace through faith in Christ (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9)
    2. Eternal security (Hebrews 10:10-12;14)
    3. Assurance (John 5:24)

    If any of the Calvinist “legitimate proof” violates any of these doctrines, it is false doctrine.

    Pat, you may find the attached booklet “The Gospel” helpful in articulating your faith to others. See link, below:


  201. Pat,

    Welcome and so happy you see the the error of Calvinism and have “come out.”

    I deleted the link to the Good News Chapel, a Christian Reformed Church (CRC) or so they advertise themselves.

    There are many places in their statement of beliefs which nail them as Calvinists — This one in particular:

    “Sometimes we refer to our particular emphases as speaking with a Reformed accent. Three words that figure prominently within a Reformed accent are sovereignty, covenant, and kingdom.

    Those three emphasized words are catch words Calvinists frequently use to support their doctrine. There were many more.. but you get the drift.

    Never be ashamed of or apologize for your age. The Apostle Paul writing to his side-kick, young Timothy, under the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit:

    Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  202. Sue, there are lots of churches that claim to be grace-oriented that are anything but. If you can’t tell whether or not they believe in Grace, they probably don’t.

    It is a shame that pretenders have co-opted the name “Free Grace.” There really is no other kind of Grace. I guess the term “Free Grace” became coined because the pretenders had earlier co-opted the equivalent term – “Christian.”

  203. Hi everyone,

    Thank you for your helpful comments and sound teachings. I am 23 years old and a free gracer in northern California — San Jose, I know I am typing to you brothers and sisters that are qualified to be my parents or even grandparents. I hope you all know that I have much respect for you all even if my writing fails to deliver that.

    I have recently come out of Calvinism / LS because I concluded that Romans 3:18 and Eph 2:1 do not necessarily teach total inability. Being dead in trespasses and sins does not necessarily mean men do not have a choice to believe in Christ as Savior when Christ has revealed Himself and the Holy Spirit has convicted. However, because of my recent drop out of Calvinism, when I read Calvinist church’s doctrinal statements, I still can’t see the clear errors in their statements even though I KNOW there’s plenty of errors. Basically, it’s all very blurry because they seem to back up all their statements with legitimate proof. Most of my friends are reformed, and I am now churchless because I cannot find a church that preaches a gospel without promoting LS/Calvinism. Being a part of a church is vital to the Christian life, and I have been searching everywhere in San Jose.

    {Link, while a great example of confused Calvinism, was removed by Admin — to avoid advertising false doctrine}

    This above link is an example of my friend’s reformed church’s doctrinal statements that confuses me because it all sounds true to me. I am not sure how their statements affect my belief that only belief in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus can bring salvation to men. However, I know they believe wrongly about God’s sovereignty, and hold covenant theology, and have an entire different meaning of the word ‘grace’, and in some cases, ‘repent.’ I know the site just reeks Calvinism. The churches in San Jose, CA are either reformed, Catholic, or emergent (no emphasis on doctrine).

    I wonder what it is like to be old and wise like you all. When I read everyone’s posts, I just feel so immature. Anyway, thank you all for being so passionate and contending for the faith, and setting such a great example for me. I look forward to reading more of this blog. Again, I apologize if I failed to display a respectful tone in my sentences.

    God bless all of you,

  204. Sue,

    Thanks — Changing the name of Free Grace will do no good as the LS/Calvinist folks would eventually appropriate any name we assume. Those ideas are spreading because of ignorant pastors, charismatic speakers and leaders projecting fear into their followers… and making them “feel good” with a heavenly way to go to Hell by “good works.”

    Like a Voice Crying in the Wilderness, we just need to publish and promote ExPreacherman.com and the few like web sites as much as possible. The Good News of the Grace Gospel of salvation by Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone is the only solution for the ravages of Calvinism/LS.

    Thanks, we appreciate your help in pushing for Free Grace.

    IN Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  205. Expected Imminently

    Abe, thank you for the warning. Perhaps Free Grace could use a name change. 😐


  206. John,
    Thank you brother for that reference. It is an answer to prayer. This, combined with Cocoris’ paper, are two powerful tools we should utilize to rescue people from the LS teachings, which are rooted in this erroneous definition of metanoia. Blessings

  207. Sue, I can’t speak for the sites you visited. But I will tell you that calvinists use the word “grace” to define themselves, but they’re definition of “grace” is not the true grace found in the Bible. Calvinists will sometimes say they believe the “doctrines of grace”, but again their definition of “grace” is not the true Bible definition. So be cautious to see if they have calvinist leanings. If they are “calvinist grace”, then they are not true Biblical free grace.

  208. Expected Imminently

    I have Googled for some Free Grace Churches near my home and was surprised to find quite a few. I always thought two of them were Calvinist, so I checked all the Belief Statements with interest. For the Gospel they both stated ‘regeneration’ first, then believe closely followed by water baptism … I thought that was Calvinism, am I mistaken?

    If they are Calvinist, then why would they call themselves ‘Free Grace’ if they don’t actually believe in it? It’s very confusing.


  209. Hello again, Jarrod.

    I must say that the whole discussion of personal privacy is going pretty far afield from the main topic and from the Bible. The phrase about “nobody’s business” is troublesome to me, for as Christians we ought to be concerned about harmful, self-destructive or sinful lifestyles that our Christian brothers and sisters may be engaging in. This concern has nothing to do with covetousness but involves a genuine concern for a brother or sister who may be doing harm to himself, to others and to the cause of Christ.

    Perhaps it would be best to table this discussion as, again, it is getting pretty far out in left field.

  210. Joel, I have prayed for you in your discussion of this vital topic with your minister. If someone believes that he has to turn from sins or change his life in order to be saved, he does not believe the Gospel. This does not necessarily mean such a person is not saved, but it does mean that he does not believe the Gospel now.

    The teaching that repentance in an eternal salvation context means “turn from your sin, change your life” is a fundamental error that points people away from trusting in Christ and toward trusting in their good works for salvation. Following is a great quote from Clear Gospel Campaign:

    “This belief is not only wrong, it is an error that threatens the eternal destiny of every man, woman and child on the planet. For it reduces the gospel of grace to a gospel of works. Scripture teaches with unmistakable clarity that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law, (Romans 3:28) and that to entrust one’s eternal salvation to one’s own obedience to God’s laws is to frustrate God’s offer of the gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life, and make void the promise (Romans 4:4-5, 24; 11:6-7, Galatians 5:1-4).”

    Clear Gospel Campaign has a section on repentance that describes the object, subject and consequence of repentance each time it is used in the New Testament. See link below:


  211. I hear the term ‘repent’ defined this way (turn from your sin, change your life) so many times, I think Christians accept this usage without ever knowing why, or questioning the source. Of course repeating error never makes it any more right. Be praying for me you guys, because I am currently speaking with our pastor about this same issue.
    I would strongly recommend reading G. Michael Cocoris’ article titled, “REPENTANCE:THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD
    I find it to be the most well researched and best written article on the subject. I find this to be one of the foundational errors of LS teaching, and one we need to work hard to expose.
    I myself held the other definition for years and even argued for it. I once emailed a Christian website and argued that repentance was more than merely changing one’s mind, but a person needed to change their behavior or they weren’t a real Christian. So, we need to offer correction in love. If the Lord can reveal error to a stubborn person like myself, he can do it for any believer. Pointing people towards articles like this is a great way, as I have found that most people regurgitate the definition, not because they have sound, well researched reasons to hold to it, but because they have heard it preached so often from Pastors they learn from.

  212. Thanks Jarrod. I always enjoy learning additional insights into ancient Jewish customs, most of which can probably be understood with a thorough knowledge of the old testament, but as you said, the offering of the bread was an eastern custom. Very interesting!

  213. Jarrod Kruger

    Hi Bruce,
    I thought that was a very interesting study also! Maybe I need to change my terminology to the principle of personal privacy instead of doctrine?

    The principle of personal privacy (freedom) ties in with the commandment of do not covet. It is nobody’s business what His or her neighbor is doing in his own house as long as that person is a law abiding citizen.

    I know there was a lot going at the time of Judas and his betrayal, But in one sense it is the idea of personal volition and the Lord will never coerce us or force us to make a decision. And that ultimate decision is between that person and the Lord.

    I believe that the question of,” Who is going to betray you Lord?” is answered to the disciples in Luke 9:46-48. Jesus revealed it to us through the scripture but to the disciples he maintained Judas’s privacy (freedom). And was showing the disciples to check their own hearts and make sure that it is yourself that won’t be the betrayer. Don’t worry about anybody but yourself, I (Jesus) have this under control.

  214. Hi Jarrod,

    Fascinating information about the first morsel of bread, in Eastern culture, being given to the guest of honor. Assuming that is the case, and it certainly sounds plausible, then I would say that your conclusion that Judas’ taking of the bread was, in effect, was a usurping of Christ Jesus’ rightful place as the One to be honored.

    Regarding your phrase, “the doctrine of personal privacy,” I’ve never heard of it, nor have I seen it in the Bible. Maybe others have another opinion.

    Thanks for your comments.

  215. Thanks Abe. Christian Post is exactly where I saw that article. I don’t frequent that site by any means. I was just looking for info about Billy Graham removing the Mormon cult reference and happened to see the Platt headline. I would not recommend that site to anyone for the reasons you noted. I actually thought I might end up seeing an article here about it.

  216. Jarrod Kruger

    I just want to add that our relationship is personal with the Lord and Jesus was being personal with Judas. Between the Lord and Judas it was a personal thing and Jesus honored Judas that night (and at all times). No matter what Judas was going to do. And the Lord knew that if Peter found out it was Judas who would betray, Peter would have had Judas in a back alley somewhere to “talk ” to him! It is always personal with the Lord and a person’s relationship with the Lord is between that person and the Lord and nobody else. It was Judas and His personal decision for or against the Lord.

  217. Jarrod Kruger

    Pearl and Bruce,

    I was just reading this great alert and you guys discussing Judas—very spot on that Judas felt “sorry” for what he did, but the key in it is who Judas believed this innocent man to be!

    But a little tidbit I learned about that morsel of bread that Judas dipped and received from our Lord. Just notice that our Lord gave Judas his privacy and never outright told everyone it was Judas, that’s the doctrine of personal privacy.

    Jesus honored Judas up to the night of the betrayal even knowing what Judas would do. The reason the disciples did not get it was because of that little morsel of bread! In Jewish custom the person who received that first morsel was the guest of honor at the supper so the disciples ruled Judas out because He ended up being the person of honor at that supper! When Jesus offered Judas that morsel it was Judas and his last chance at the Lord’s Grace, and Our Great and wonderful Lord honored Judas up to the last minute. That’s the kind of Lord we have!

    Judas knew what it meant to take that morsel and so did our Lord. And Judas could make himself the guest of honor or give it to the One who really needed to be honored. Judas chose himself rather then our Lord and our Lord honored Judas and his decision that night. His last chance at Grace.

  218. Abe, great point regarding leaving behind the false. I have observed quite a few expositors trying to choose between the lies of Calvinism and Arminianism, and even to try to come up with theologies based on parts of each.

    Each of the various perversions of the Gospel seems to be like a cocktail made with a little bit of truth mixed with a lot of lies – usually in the form of introducing works somewhere into the mix.

    It amazes me that one could hope to come up with the truth from man-made religions, or derivatives thereof.

  219. trust4himonly, I have sometimes thought that as well, that Luther and Calvin were considered “safe alternatives” to catholicism. They carried catholic LS out the door with them, and infant baptism, and lots of symbols as you said.

    There is a reason even calvinism is called “reformed”. Reforming what? Catholicism. But God didn’t call anyone to reform catholicism, since catholicism is not truth. God called us to believe truth, and leave behind the false.

  220. Well I guess Jim we see that the apple does not fall far from the tree.
    Something interesting that I found out about Luther and Calvin: both used symbols that are connected to the RCC. Calvin’s Geneva University used/uses the sun symbol., actually it is the Jesuit sun symbol for their emblem; Luther used the rose cross symbol which stood for the Rosicrucian Cross (completely related to freemasonry). I believe, not based on real hard facts but opinion, that these guys were infiltrators to pervert true Christianity since it was growing among those who had the Bible in their hands. But that is based on my opinion.

  221. Jon, very well said by you, and I believe that is because LS them morphs into the “social gospel” for these guys like Platt. Was the website you got that from, the “Christian Post”? That website has very little Christian content, and tons of “social gospel” content, and articles about TD Jakes, and many other false teachers.

  222. I saw this headline from Platt the other day: Urbana 2012: David Platt Warns That Christians Have ‘Reduced Jesus to Puny Savior’
    The LSers sure don’t like to see Jesus portrayed as Savior, I wonder why that is?

  223. Abe and Faith,

    You are both right on.

    Faith, you said, “This is why they will “preach the cross” in practically every sermon- stating that everyone must come to the cross continually. Not unlike the Catholic.” They don’t see salvation settled at the moment of belief. John Piper is an example of a person that teaches this way. Perseverance of the saints is not too far off from Catholicism’s Final Perseverance.

    I guess it stands to reason that if you don’t know how to be saved then you will have trouble understanding if a person IS saved. They use the wrong criteria to attain salvation and use the wrong methods to determine if someone is a Christian. It is basically works in and works out but good luck getting them to see it that way.

  224. “This is why it is extremely fruitless to talk to Calvinist because they completely view scripture in a different lens then we do.”

    Yes, I’ve noticed this. Their tendency to view every verse as pertaining to heaven and hell. What an unbiblical theology, but that is what they’ve done with me.

    “Not unlike the Catholic.”

    It is catholic. It’s catholic theology, sans the pope and a few other distinctive catholic things.

  225. Yes Andy I see what you interjected….:)
    The problem with many of our churches today is that they ARE preaching Corinthians and other books in the context of justification and sanctification fused. Not as these early churches being full of Christian believers, but as them being in the PROCESS of being saved. Calvinists look at Christ being outside the picture of the believer then being inside of the believer (this is the reason you do not hear of the Holy Spirit being in taught in the context of molding and shaping within the believer). Everything is in the context of the “Christian” not being fully saved until they have persevered in the faith- which means this is an oxymoron because they contradict themselves continually by saying that only one can rely on Christ for that salvation. Calvinists are really no different then the Arminianist (even though they would aggressively disagree) because they view a work that must be done instead a ONE TIME justification based on Christs death and ressurrection. The Calvinist believes that Jesus Christ had to live a life of perfect obedience and STILL obeying for us so that we could be saved.
    So there is this continual process and does not stop until the ONE judgment day (not two judgment days: one for the believer and one for the unbeliever). This is why they will “preach the cross” in practically every sermon- stating that everyone must come to the cross continually. Not unlike the Catholic.
    This is why it is extremely fruitless to talk to Calvinist because they completely view scripture in a different lens then we do. They will take Scripture and fit it into the mold set up by Calvin, Luther and Augustine. Augustine took his viewpoints and belief systems from Plato.

  226. Trust4Him
    I have heard many pastors use that verse for us to examine our lives to make sure our faith is “genuine”. Enough cannot be said about context and proper exegesis. If I may add a few observations to your own points.
    First: The translators of the KJV put an unfortunate period at the end of 2 Cor. 13:4. That verse is actually a parenthetical thought aside from the main thought Paul began in verse 3. This is consistent with Paul’s writting style and thought process, and you can find he uses this technique of interjecting side thoughts in all of his letters. The passage would better read this way:
    “Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you (for though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God, for we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you), examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

    Notice the continuation of the thought if you were to read the passage without the parenthetical clauses.

    Second: This passage is part of a larger context which begins all the way back as early as chapter 10. Paul’s claim as an apostle has been challenged. He is providing a systematic defense for his claim as an apostle and gives proof after proof as to why his apostleship is authentic. Finally after all the other arguments, he comes to 13:3 and offers one final proof. The believers themselves are the proof! Paul was not questioning their faith, he was affirming it!

  227. Well said Pearl, thanks.

  228. I fully expected to read this morning more than one correction of my wrong assumption. Either you all missed it, or you displayed immense patience, willing to overlook my fault (though this kind needs to be exposed and corrected):

    First, I misread into Bruce’s last comment that the Calvinist gentleman questioned if Judas may have expressed “godly sorrow” and repentance, wondered if he could have been saved as a result. But as I read it again, I didn’t see the phrase “godly sorrow”, but sorrow alone, and that used by Bruce.

    Second, there is indeed a godly sorrow which works differently than worldly sorrow. 2 Corinthians 7 says,

    “9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.

    10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”

    Clearly, Judas expressed the latter sorrow.

  229. “This is a stern reminder to me to investigate what comes AFTER a verse in question, as much as what goes before it.”

    Important point Sue-
    Found this verse the other day that all throughout my life heard other pastors state this: “Examine yourself as to whether you are in the faith” WITHOUT looking at the other verses preceding and after this passage.

    Corinthians 13 ”
    This will be the third time I am coming to you. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.”[a] 2 I have told you before, and foretell as if I were present the second time, and now being absent I write[b] to those who have sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare— 3 since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you. 4 For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.
    5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. 6 But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.
    7 Now I[c] pray to God that you do no evil, not that we should appear approved, but that you should do what is honorable, though we may seem disqualified. 8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. 9 For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. And this also we pray, that you may be made complete. 10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction.
    11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
    12 Greet one another with a holy kiss.
    13 All the saints greet you.
    14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

    The question Paul posed to the Christian Corinthians is “Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?” Asking them the obvious, Paul reminds them again that they should know this then states come on people……
    “unless you are disqualified, BUT I trust that you WILL KNOW that we are NOT disqualified” Then Paul implores them to pray that “you will do no evil, NOT that we should appear approved ( which we know that when we believe in Christ we ARE APPROVED), but that you should do what is honorable, though we may SEEM disqualified.”
    Paul further states that “we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth” and states that “you may be made complete” (in sanctification, not a fused justification and sanctification state). further Paul calls them BRETHREN and to be complete (sanctification) and be of good comfort.
    Note Paul does not put heavy guilt (admonishment and exhortation, but not guilt) on the Corinthians in his last letter to them but lavishes love and good will towards them at the end of his letter. Oh that we could see pastors and elders do the same to God’s people now!

  230. Listing the many plain confirmations Jesus gave them that night makes it all the more remarkable that they still didn’t get it. But, as one of the gospel accounts tells us, not only were they wondering on the identity of the betrayer, they were also arguing (again!) about which of them would be the greatest in the kingdom of God! I think it’s safe to say that most of the things Jesus taught them, especially concerning Himself, went way over their heads, and not until they were given the Holy Spirit at Pentecost did things finally begin to make sense.

    Excellent point on Judas’ deep remorse and “godly sorrow” (which is different from “regular sorrow” how?)! LSers take note!!

    Thanks Bruce! 🙂

  231. Hi again Pearl,

    You ask a good question about Judas and whether the disciples recognized him as the betrayer. Apparently, they didn’t (John 13:28-29), but they should have. They had plenty of warning signs: First, Jesus’ alert that one of them was the betrayer (that announcement should have caused them to be on watch—Matt. 26:21), second, the warning that the betrayer would dip his hand into the bowl with Jesus and eat with him (Mark 14:18-20; Matt. 26:23; Luke 22:21), third, Jesus’ statement of confirmation to Judas (Matt. 26:25), fourth, John’s asking Jesus about the identity of the betrayer upon Peter’s prodding (John 13:25), fifth, Jesus answers John, alerting him that he would dip a piece of bread and hand it to the betrayer; Jesus dipped the bread and handed it to Judas (John 13:26), sixth, Judas accepted the dipped bread and went out from the group (John 13:27-30).

    Today in the class I taught, a man in the audience who has been influenced by Calvinism asked whether Judas could have had the opportunity to be saved or was he simply predestined to become the betrayer and thus be damned. I and others explained to him that God does not want anyone to perish, nor does he predestine anyone to go to hell (2 Peter 3:9); Jesus gave Judas every opportunity to believe in him as the Christ, the Redeemer; sadly, Judas rejected Christ and salvation in him, choosing to go his own way. The man’s follow-up question was, “Well, is it possible that Judas became saved when he repented and threw the silver coins down onto the temple floor?” I responded to the effect, “No, Judas felt remorse and sadness over what he had done, but he still rejected Christ and salvation in him; he later hanged himself.”

  232. Guys like this exist only to destroy the assurance of believers. Nothing more. They don’t teach anything else. They are parasites on the Body of Christ. Without that one note they play on that one broken record, they’d have nothing to say. And even that one note is false.

  233. “I know that it is only by Christ’s righteousness that I am declared not guilty. That verdict settles it.”

    Well said Jim!

  234. Yes, righteousness is key to standing against Satan’s attacks. We are vulnerable if we are unsure of our positional righteousness in Christ. We would then be prone to attacks aimed to get us to doubt our salvation based upon our works or performance. None of Satan’s best accusations can penetrate through to us if we will remember to stand under Christ’s righteousness. No Lordship proponent can ever bother me by claiming that I am unsaved based on something that I do or don’t do because I know that it is only by Christ’s righteousness that I am declared not guilty. That verdict settles it.

  235. JIm, there is an interesting discussion of Ephesians 6:14-17 from Clear Gospel Campaign. See excerpt below:

    “For many years, when I read the above passage, my ears heard it correctly, but my mind heard “Breast plate of holiness.” And I interpreted this verse as a call to holiness.

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

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

  236. Jim, right you are – it was Eve quoting God – and perhaps, adding something to it.

  237. John,

    Yes, I find the story in Genesis interesting. What you quoted here: “Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” was actually Eve quoting God to the serpent in Genesis 3:3. However back in Genesis 2:7 God says “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

    I have always found it interesting that Eve added in the part about “neither shall ye touch it”. Either she had further instruction from God that the Bible didn’t record or more likely she even in her sinless state was human enough to add to what God said. How much more then are people with sin natures capable of adding to and twist things like the gospel. Also, the serpent got Eve to question God and tempted with the idea that she could stand to gain something from the fruit (good for food, pleasant to the eyes, desired to make one wise). Notice that in 3:4 Satan lies then in verse 5 he tries to back up his lie by ascribing an ulterior motive to God tarnishing His character. If you think about this long enough, you can come up with similarities to how people are deceived today by a false gospel. Just as Eve was susceptible in her unfallen state, even more are men today capable of being deceived.

    Believers are not free of the possibility of deception either. I believe that is partly why Eph 6:11 is an important verse and that 6:11 – 20 is an important passage. I especially like verse 18 where Paul mentions praying for the saints and verse 19 for requesting prayer to boldly make know the mystery of the gospel.

  238. You touched upon something I’ve always wondered, Bruce. Did the remaining diciples even hear, let alone comprehend, Jesus’ identifying Judas as the betrayer? For when Jesus said to Judas “that thou doest, do quickly”, the eleven assumed he was sent on an errand regarding the feast or to do something for the poor.

    Regardless, your point still stands.

  239. Hi Pearl,

    You gave a very appropriate example of a prototypical disciple who was not a believer, namely, Judas. And, like you say, the other disciples put up with him and didn’t call him out, even after Jesus identified Judas as the betrayer in Matthew 26:25. This sounds a lot like the multitude of churches and believers today who put up with the open preaching of Lordship “Salvation” in their midst. The result, all of the remaining disciples (not just Peter) fled from Christ Jesus when he went to the cross. John was the first to return. The rest followed after the resurrection. Peter was reinstated into the fellowship at the end of the Gospel of John.

  240. Expected Imminently

    Hello John
    Great stuff! Sherlock Holmes, eat your heart out! This is a stern reminder to me to investigate what comes AFTER a verse in question, as much as what goes before it.

    The link to the Clear Gospel Campaign you gave is very new to me, so I look forward to ingesting it in the days ahead DV. I have loved watching three videos on the FGA site including Ice, Ryrie and Bing – who is new to me, as well as all the valuable instruction available on this beloved blog! It appears that the Free Grace Alliance is the standard the Lord raised against Emergent and co when it ‘flooded in’. It is all so encouraging and exciting and gives me hope that those I know without the good news of Free Grace, will soon be directed here by The Lord and be as blessed as I am.

    Thank you John and Jim F for your direction and encouragement. I am very grateful to all of you here, and to the Lord for His generous supply. I am looking forward to your blog venture Jim; acknowledge the Lord in it and He will direct your paths. Praise The Lord!

    Good insights Pearl on the Judas principle. I have an idea that when Judas begrudged Jesus being worshiped with the costly perfume by complaining that the cost of it could help the poor – that is the first record of the Social Gospel in action. Tut!

    Just to add, I was told I caused a furor, and had got the RR site ‘jumping’ because I kept challenging the LS videos of MacArthur, Washer and Comfort. (Sounds like a Scotts washing machine with faulty wiring) 😉

    God bless you lots.

  241. Jim, you said : “…a pit stop on the way to the garden of Eden.” I was just thinking about that.

    Jesus said:

    “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.”

    LS folks say:

    “Believe means turn from sin, serve and obey Christ. Anything short of that is not saving faith.”

    Jesus said:

    “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

    Roman Catholicism says:

    “You can lose your salvation by committing mortal sins.”

    God said:

    “Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”

    The serpent said:

    “Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

  242. Pearl, your comment is spot on. Chan & Platt use the term “but” to talk about the subject of assurance. Let’s compare that to more authoritative sources on the matter:

    John 5:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

    Romans 8:38-39: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    God wants us to believe Him. No “ifs, ands or buts.” He would never do anything to undermine the assurance of a believer.

  243. Sue,

    It looks like you have a good understanding of the verse. Keep up the good work!


    Yes, “misguided cheerleading” fits the bill. Think of the futility of cheering on unbelievers to be followers of Christ and to show works that prove they are disciples. False converts are the ones most likely to produce other false converts. I mean if you want a team filled with a bunch of Judas types, then start with a Judas as a coach/mentor. I mean, why would we want to steal a page from the devil’s playbook and confuse people concerning the gospel? We should start with first things first and that is a clear gospel presentation.

    Your quote of Clear Gospel Campaign said: “In view of the profound clarity of Scripture on this, it is more than a little curious that such a large percentage of professing Christendom remains persuaded that one must repent of their sins to be saved!”

    This is a true and sad statement. Think of all of the effort spent by many who are unbelievers trying to make disciples. It is no wonder why the be few that find the way to salvation. It is because the gospel is hid in so many ways from so many people by the very people that supposedly “should” know better. I’ve been working on an introductory series for my new blog and I will be highlighting the fact that the clear gospel is being proclaimed by a minority and that much of the error we see today goes straight back to Rome. (A pit-stop on the way back to the fall in the garden of Eden.)

  244. Not too long ago, I remember enduring a few minutes of one of Chan & Platt’s youtube discussions regarding discipleship. They began by saying, “We’re not looking to destroy a believer’s assurance, but…” It occurred to me that their entire ministry hinges on that last word “BUT”.

    “It’s impossible to be a disciple or a follower of someone and not end up like that person. . . .”

    Yeah, a lot of parasites and counterfeits rely upon this very principle. Judas, a disciple yet an unbeliever, is our perfect example. At the last supper, when Jesus said that one of them (all disciples) would betray Him, notice they didn’t for one second point to Judas and say, “We knew it, you rat!”

    Among other monastic classics, I’ll bet these guys have written “The Imitation of Christ” on the tablets of their hearts.

  245. Sue, Clear Gospel Campaign has a section on repentance that describes every use of it in the New Testament, as well as how it is used in the Old Testament. A subject who repented, object of repentance, and consequence of repentance are detailed for each New Testament usage.

    See attached link to the page on 2 Corinthians 7, below:


    2 Corinthians 7:11 sets forth the consequence of the repentance of the Corinthian church:

    “For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”

    The consequence of their repentance was that “ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”

    Note that the consequence was not eternal salvation. From the Clear Gospel Campaign link, above:

    “Consequence of repentance: They “approved [them]selves to be clear in this matter.” It is noteworthy that, whenever sin is the expressed or implied object of repentance, the context unmistakably denotes some consequence of that repentance other than eternal salvation. In view of the profound clarity of Scripture on this, it is more than a little curious that such a large percentage of professing Christendom remains persuaded that one must repent of their sins to be saved!”

  246. Hi John,

    Apt analogy: misguided cheerleading! I’ve never heard of LS put that way, but it fits.


  247. Thanks, Kenneth.

    I, too, often wonder why these men insist upon making the way of salvation so complicated and uncertain while the Bible makes the gospel message so straightforward and clear.

  248. Jim, you said: “Only believers can truly have any success in the great commission.”

    This is vitally important. I was invited to participate in a Bible study at work by a gentleman who was taking “Discipleship Training” in his local church. This fellow persisted in “perseverance of the saints” type comments and discussion to the point that I left the group (he was leading it).

    Clear Gospel Campaign has this to say on discipleship:

    “First and foremost, the discipleship of a believer must root them in Christ crucified . . . the truth and the purity of the message of salvation. If it does not do this, discipleship is little more than misguided cheerleading.”

    Platt and Chan are conducting misguided cheers.

  249. Kenneth Groenewald

    Great exposé Bruce.
    The scripture that comes to my mind is Matthew 18:7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
    Woe to that man that blocks and prevents the lost from experiencing salvation by making it difficult or rather impossible for them to believe on Christ alone for salvation.
    In His love

  250. Expected Imminently

    Dear brothers in Christ
    As Pastor-teacher Robert Dean has not yet covered 2 Cor 7:10; I really, really need for my own study to be checked. Can someone please confirm, or otherwise, that it CANNOT be claimed as evidence to support the LS view that ‘something’ needs to precede Faith for salvation (meaning justification); in this ½ a verse they see as proof it is a repentance full of ‘godly sorrow’ that must precede salvation = another gospel?
    Apologies if I am on the wrong thread. 😐

    2 Cor 7:10 “For godly sorrow produces repentance [leading] to salvation, not to be regretted…”

    A. This is not a soteriological passage at all, because Paul is addressing the born-again, but sinning, members of the Corinthian Church. Paul is not evangelizing the lost with the Gospel message for Salvation/Justification.

    B. The frequent error of LS theology has again confused Justification with Sanctification/Discipleship, removing it from its context within the passage of 2 Cor. 7

    C. The Greek word ‘sozo’, translated as ‘saved’, in both the O.T. Sept. and the N.T. ‘saved’ is predominately used to describe PHYSICAL deliverance from EARTHLY troubles and is not isolated to only referring to spiritual deliverance from sin. In this passage, Paul is concerned with the backsliding of the Corinthian BELIEVERS.

    D. It is Paul who has been ‘godly/gracious’ in his urging them to repent; it is not a description of a particular type of repentance (godly sorrow) that is needed for Salvation/Justification. The sorrow has been induced by the way Paul, has pleaded with them by explaining how their actions have caused a FELLOWSHIP rift with a Holy God. They MUST ‘come apart’ from their worldly, pagan fellowship, or otherwise they will suffer loss at the Bema and grieve Christ.

    E. In 2 Cor 7; Paul is disciplining his erring, Corinthian flock to restore them to FELLOWSHIP with their heavenly Father. This does not concern Father/son RELATIONSHIP, which remains intact by God’s Grace.

    The context of 2 Cor 7:10 concerns BELIEVERS repentance within the process of sanctification/discipleship.

    Thanking you in advance.

  251. Thanks, Jim.

    And you’re right; here and there some people are saved from a background of Lordship “Salvation” teaching. John gives a powerful testimony of how God delivered him from LS.

    Blessings on your seeking the Lord’s leading in ministry and finding a church home. I’ll pray for you when the Lord brings you to mind.

  252. Hi John,

    No problem, thanks.

    On another note, I’m teaching tomorrow from the Book of Jonah—great little book! I’ll be moving onward through the Minor Prophets after that.

    Thank you, John, for your faithfulness to this ministry and for your steadfast declaring the message of God’s incredible grace!

    Blessings friend.

  253. Good analysis Bruce,

    Maybe one day these two will see the clarity of the gospel and change their minds believing in Christ only for salvation. At that point maybe they could leave their mutated form of Catholicism behind and teach the truth.

    Only believers can truly have any success in the great commission.

  254. I attributed the article to the wrong author – sorry Bruce!


    Bruce, everything I just said above.

  255. Jack, great article. Chan and Platt are birds of a feather, duped by the god of this world into helping him blind the minds of them which believe not (2 Corinthians 4:4) and steering believers away from the truth of the Gospel (Galatians 1:6-7).

  256. Bruce,

    Great expose’ of Platt and Chan — two peas in a pod.

    Thanks for so clearly and carefully delineating the foul doctrine of Lordship “salvation.” Must have been torture reading that.

    What a pity that Platt and Chan will have a world-wide audience of many “evangelical” churches. So we here at ExP must continue preaching the Truth of Salvation by Grace to the world — and exposing those who deny it.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack