Lordship “Salvation” – Playing Hide and Seek with the Gospel

hide and seek

By our friend, contributor and commenter, John

 2 Corinthians 4:3-4:  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

How does Satan use Lordship “salvation” to keep people from believing the Gospel?

Following are some of my random thoughts on this question.  Please feel free to add yours.

False Fronts

 Luke 8:12:  “Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.”

Much of mainstream Christendom teaches some form of false gospel of faith plus works.  Churches that fall into this category are not really churches at all – they are false fronts.  Satan loves to steer lost people into these buildings of bewilderment.

Consider the following from the Statement of Faith of a large Southern Baptist Convention affiliate in South Carolina:

“Our only hope is God’s free gift of salvation provided through Jesus’ death on the cross. When we repent of our sin, place our faith in Jesus, and surrender to Jesus as Lord we are saved.”

Of course our only hope is God’s free gift of salvation by Grace through Faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8).  Unfortunately, by adding “when we repent of our sins” and “surrender to Jesus as Lord” as conditions of receiving eternal life, this church is not preaching the Gospel.

Note that the SBC mantra is “Reaching the World for Christ”.  This is not a likely outcome.

Playing for the Wrong Team

Closely associated with false fronts are believers who align themselves with them.

According to a March 27, 2013 blog in “The Christian Post”, the combined membership of the top 15 denominations in the United States is 62 million.  At the top of the list, with 16.2 million members, is the Southern Baptist Convention, followed by the United Methodist Church at 7.8 million.  Following is a quote:

 “…I have noted on a number of occasions how church membership, unfortunately, is fast becoming a meaningless number. Only the Assemblies of God on this list reported membership growth from the previous year, and their growth rate was only one-half 0f one percent.”

The real shame is that the membership numbers for many of these denominations are not shrinking faster.


 The Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) is a specific message that is unique in that it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes.  Countless false gospels have been created by adding to the content of saving faith.

In his article “Attaching Personal Righteousness to the Backside of the Gospel Message”, J.O. Hosler writes:

“…one’s positions on the millennium, the rapture, or the length of days in creation do not fall within the parameters of what is essential to personal salvation. If we take a biblical concept that is important and profitably true and make it a contingency of the gospel when it is not, we have changed the gospel (Gal. 1:6-9).”

Fomenting Dissension among Believers

My final thought is that Satan’s work does not stop once a person believes.  He loves to cause dissension between us by appealing to our fleshly natures.  He hopes to divide and conquer by appealing to our emotions.  This includes misplaced loyalty to pastors or theologians, hurt over perceived slights from other believers, and disagreements over non-central theological issues.

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50 responses to “Lordship “Salvation” – Playing Hide and Seek with the Gospel

  1. Amen, Jack! 🙂

  2. Great comments Angela. I think one of the commenters was trying to say unbelief is not sin, but of course the Holy Spirit convicts the world specifically of that particular sin as well, “Of sin, because they believe not on me” (Jn 16:9a).

    Of course all sin is worthy of death, and we are all sinners, so if we do not obey the gospel (as you put it so well) by believing it, then we are going to pay for it by our eternal death and torment…

    Great to always see your comments 🙂

  3. Welcome Dori, great question, great to have you here! 🙂

  4. Angela,

    Great to have you visit and comment.

    The essence of your comment:

    For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23
    For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
    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. 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. John 3:16-18
    He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:36

    Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. John 6:47

    The problem: all are sinners.

    The Solution, an individual, personal, one-time decision to trust, by Grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  5. Also, scripture explains that, “to him therefore that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” Believing/obeying the gospel is good, and it is the same as obeying God. Not doing that which is good is sin.

  6. In that scripture explains that obedience to the gospel is *believing* the gospel, and it is obedience toward God to believe it, then to not believe it is to disobey. Scripture points out in many ways, even if non-explicitly, that disobedience is sin. The first act of sin in the Garden was disobedience to God’s command, to His word. To disobey God is to commit sin. Scripture says that all unrighteousness is sin (scripture also uses words like iniquity, evil, wickedness, wicked thoughts, evil actions, etc. to describe sinfulness). One who has not believed on the Savior is unrighteous, their unbelief is unrighteousness, and in their unbelief they remain in a state of unrighteousness because they do not have the righteousness of Christ on them. So, rejection (call it unbelief if you will) is disobedience, which is sin. Anything against what is good and anything done against God is sin. SIn is disobedience to what is right, to the standard God, who is perfect, has set (which all have fallen short of). The Law shows us what sin is and points to the need for Christ. Scripture doesn’t have to say it exactly in those words, that unbelief is sin, but the inference of it is utterly clear. 🙂

  7. Welcome Dori! Thanks for joining our Free Grace fellowship today.

    The text that you cite from Matthew 12 has been debated for a long time (as long as I can remember, at least). I recall one preacher in my youth who claimed that the passage means that anyone who willfully says blasphemous words against the Holy Spirit will be damned at that point with no hope of salvation. This interpretation is wrong. Even a person who said such words could, at some later point, repent, meaning, to change his mind about his unbelief and rejection of Christ and thereby trust in Christ alone for salvation by grace alone through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). According to John 15:26, God the Father sent the Holy Spirit to bring confirmation of Christ and his gospel (“he shall testify of me”). So, if one willfully rejects the leading and confirming of the Holy Spirit who is trying to woo him to trust in Christ alone for salvation by grace alone through faith alone (if he rejects the leading of the Spirit and rejects Christ in a lifetime of willfull unbelief to the point of death), then, at that point he would be committing what is called, “the unforgiveable sin.”

  8. Matthew 12
    31 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.

    What does this mean, ‘blasphemy against the Holy Ghost’, and ‘speaketh against the Holy Ghost’?
    And, is this not saying there is a sin that is not forgiven?

  9. Hello Alisha,

    Thanks for commenting today. Yes, narrow is the road that leads to eternal life—we are saved, not of works, but by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).

    One of our regular commenters, John, has discussed Matthew 7 well on another recent discussion. I will re-post his thoughts on Matthew 7 (thanks John!):

    Matthew 7:

    [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.
    [24] Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

    This addresses people who are trying to work their way into heaven. They acknowledge Jesus as Lord. They never knew Him as Savior. I believe this includes people who mix faith with works (i.e., Lordship “salvationists” who believed that Christ was necessary, but not sufficient).

    Notice that Jesus never says “No, you didn’t do the things you claim to have done.” That is because one’s works are not relevant to whether or not he is granted eternal life.

    The Apostle Paul summed it up succinctly, as follows:

    Romans 11:6: And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

    A good article on this topic is linked below:


  10. Matthew 7:
    13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

    17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

    Few find it because few truly believe. because faith ignites the heart and initiates action and those who do not bear the fruits of the Lord, who have not been changed by their belief do not have faith

  11. Jack,

    I don’t know if Northland is “emerging” or will become “emergent” eventually but it is for sure a negative direction regardless of if others see it as that or not. I do think that embracing rock music in worship is a step toward becoming like the world to supposedly reach the world. When you then mix in erroneous gospels such as LS ten you have a dangerous mix. I also wonder how they expect students now not to go even further off into compromise. I’d say that almost half of the former students even from the days of when Northland was taking a more separated stance against error, have run off to follow Reformed, new evangelical, and other errant groups. Many do embrace some form of LS. What is going to happen now after this shift? It makes me shake my head in disbelief that some of the school leaders cannot see the dangerous position they and their students are in.

    Everyone else should take notice as to just how easy it is for a place to fall off into error.

    Jim F

  12. Thanks Sam,

    Great true illustration of Lordship “salvation.”

    Many, many years ago I used similar illustrations in sermons — that was before LS was labeled such. They’ve come a long way — but their lie is still the same – a “works salvation” message which is no salvation at all.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  13. I read this in a reponse to the book written by a lordship salvation teacher. I thought this was a good explanation of the Gospel that was presented in his book.
    This was the reviewer’s reponse to the Lordship view that the author presented:

    I personally would like to extend an offer to every Lordship believer in here. I have a $1000.00 free gift that I would like to give to every Lordship believer in here right now. However, you must mow my lawn, wash my dishes, clean my car, shovel my snow in the winter, wash windows, clean my house and if there is any reserve in your obedience will only prove that you were never serious about receiving that free $1000.00 gift that I am offering. Unless you are willing to surrender all for me then don’t bother seeking the free $1000.00 gift. I have gone through much trouble to buy the best soap, the best lawnmower, the best cleaning products for you because I love you and given my all for you. Remember, my free gift is both free yet costly. I hope that one day I can give you the $1000.00 free gift only after I say, “you GOOD and FAITHFUL SERVANT!” I will not give you the free gift if you even cherish one thing contrary to my wishes. You must endure to the end to be paid or you will prove that you were never my true servant to begin with. It doesn’t matter how hard you have been working in the past but it is what you are doing today that counts. Are you faithfully serving me today? Then you can be sure that the free gift is yours but if tomorrow you fail in your service then that will prove that you never were part of my crew. Do you want that free $1000.00 gift?? Then get busy!! I do not have lazy and indifferent people in my crew. You might have “carnal ways” about you but you cannot simply be lazy as I would never offer my free gift to you.

    This is my view of Lordship salvation since I used to believe that damnable heresy years back. Praise God for saving me from that non-sense!!

    If you already read this somewhere before just delete it. Thanks Jack

    [ed. note: Great illustration of the folly of Lordship “Salvation” teaching. Yes, we have run this before, but it is well worth running again. Thanks!]

  14. Jim F,

    So true.. I thought NIU had started the process of solving their downward drift with the firing of the “University” President Olsen but they turned right around and re-hired him, apparently reversing any hope of change.

    This tells me that they are more entrenched than ever with continuing their “emergent church” direction. Their introduction of John MacArthur-ism speakers and programs last year(?) while Olsen was at the helm says to the world, “We will accommodate you — come on in”!

    This reminds me of my post on Emergent teacher Dan Kimball a few years ago. His book, “I Love Jesus But I Hate The Church” was read by a young man who was a Junior at another “conservative” Bible University. Kimball’s book urged young folks to virtually throw out traditional church values and conform to the world for the sake of reaching the world. After finishing the book on the Emerging Church philosophy, the young man proclaimed to all of his friends and family, “Sign me up”! He is now a “worship” leader in a seemingly conservative church. We pray he will come to his senses.

    A sad state of affairs – but common.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  15. Abe,

    Your comment is very appropriate at this time in light of other things going in in the world.. Looks to me like the end times with a push for ecumenical religious “togetherness,” or else.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  16. John,

    I think it is just another way that we can see that the love of money is the root of all evil. Northland no doubt feels financial pressure and at some level sees this new direction as a way for financial success. It is sad to see people sell out the truth of God’s Word and the gospel for either “academic” prestige or financial gains. I guess it comes down to who you are trying to please – God or man. Many will say that they are trying to please God but their actions say otherwise – especially if they are promoting false gospels along the way.

    Jim F

  17. John, your comment about the “Christian Post” is so very true. They are hard-core supporters of catholicism, their moderators are all LS and will rebuke you for teaching free grace (I speak from experience). I am suggesting they change their name to “LS Post”.

    And yes, local radio and denominations also want to conform to the “majority”. But when was the majority ever right? I have been involved in deep church ministry in three recent geographical locations, and in all three, there is this very heavy-handed push to “unite” all the churches. Even as they all contradict one another in doctrine. What is going on? It is happening in all three places, and I suspect it is happening everywhere in reality. The issue is to get a “magisterium” over all the churches in a region, a small group of “leaders” to “oversee” all the churches. They are doing it on purpose. It is the “new apostolic reformation”, a wing of pentecostalism that insists that they are to run all local churches in their assigned region.

    Conformity to them is a must in their minds. Anyone daring to be different, is a “renegade” that won’t “go with the flow” and is just seeking to cause trouble. I know I sound crazy. But I would not have believed it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes in all three places.

  18. Jim, I think the crux of what you said above is the desire for ecumenism and, perhaps, commercial viability.

    The “Christian Post” would not have many readers if it didn’t confer legitimacy on any, and all, groups incorporating the name “Christian.” Many of the top 15 denominations have plans of salvation that differ from one another. Can they all be right? The author of the blog (that I mentioned in my article) must think they are interchangeable, or why would he bemoan the lack of attendance at all but one of them?

    A Christian radio station will not have many listeners if it doesn’t embrace everyone in the “faith community.” So, most Christian radio stations are simply a reflection of the ecumenical mishmosh going on in the community.

    Likewise, a grace oriented affiliate of a confused denomination (such as the Southern Baptist Convention) cannot maintain its stand for the Gospel, while maintaining its denominational affiliation. But, it knows that “marquis value” of the denomination may bring people from today’s migratory society into the doors. And, there may be other economic benefits to cooperation with the denominations. So, the stand for the Gospel is given a back seat to these other considerations.

  19. Thanks John for this post. I would like to go back to your point in your post concerning camouflage and playing for the wrong team. Many times these two go hand in hand. I am seeing this on display with my alma mater (NIU). They have thrown off what they viewed as non-essentials – dress standards, music standards, separation issues and have gone the route of incorporating more worldly styles in their worship. They have also set their direction in my view toward the LS gospel by embracing those that hold it. So effectively they have camouflaged themselves in supposed hopes of being more palatable to the lost but the rub is that they have also camouflaged the gospel. It is a lose lose scenario. It is bad enough when people present the gospel in the contexts of worldly music etc but to present the LS gospel with worldliness – now talk about playing for the wrong team!

    I am of the view that we should share the gospel with as much light as possible. Any amount of the world’s camouflage whether it is music or appearance is something that can put a dimmer on that light. Why should we hide our lights under a bushel?

    Jim F

  20. Believing is repentance. That is, if someone turns from unbelief to believe, he or she has had a change of mind, has repented in the biblical sense of the word.

  21. Sam,

    Welcome to ExPreacherMan. We try by God’s Grace to expose the Lordship Salvationists and other theological liars — but it seems at times an uphill battle.

    Your testimony and others like yours encourages us to continue. We pray you will stick around as we travel this Free Grace road together.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  22. I just want to say thanks to all of you on this website that are doing the best they can to present a clear Gospel. The confusion that Lordship salvation causes has been a long journey for me to overcome. I just wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate the effort you put in to clear up this false teaching.

  23. Duane Hawkins

    BTW Terry,

    I am glad to hear you say you believe in salvation through faith alone and that you trust in the eternal security offered by Christ. I would never claim to have all of the answers to questions like this one. I am just trying to work my way through them the best I can in the light of Scripture, just as you seem to be.

    In Christ,


  24. Duane Hawkins

    A thought just occurred to me that may be relevant to this discussion. Christ tells us in John 5, that if we believed Moses, then we would believe in Him, because Moses wrote of Him. In Galatians 3, Paul tells us that the Law was our schoolmaster or tutor to lead us to Christ. If we therefore keep the Law without coming to faith in Christ, are we not missing the whole point of the Law?

    Again this may be a question of semantics, but if the purpose of the Law is to lead us to Christ, then it would seem like following the Law apart from faith in Christ is an empty exercise.

    In Christ,


  25. Duane Hawkins

    This is an interesting question. The Scriptures seem to indicate that unbelief, in and of itself, leads to condemnation. This squares with what Christ said of Himself “No man comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). If the question is one of “could we live an [otherwise] sin-free life and get to heaven while being an unbeliever?” it would seem that the answer is “no,” if we take Christ at His word.

    I have seen a number of arguments to the effect that unbelief is a sin, in and of itself; but I have also seen arguments that it isn’t the unbelief that is the sin, but that it prevents us from receiving forgiveness for our other sins. The argument against unbelief being a sin seems to be rooted in the idea that if faith is not a work in and of itself (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 3:28), then lack of faith cannot be sin.

    Another way to look at this would be, if we reject the Gospel, yet keep the Law, are we not practicing a form of idolatry? Again, I guess we could argue that it is the idolatry (lifting the Law above Christ) that is the sin and not the unbelief.

    While this is an interesting question, I would throw out one word of caution: Paul instructs us in his letters to Timothy (1 Timothy 6, Titus 3) to avoid controversies and arguments over words that might detract from or confuse the Gospel. When we consider that the standard of holiness that Christ set forth in the Sermon on the Mount (even our thoughts count as sin), this argument may come down to one of semantics. There is no one but Christ who has ever kept the whole Law; therefore there is no one who will ever reach the Father, but though faith in Christ – any way we look at it.

    In Christ,


  26. Terry Treude

    Thank you! You seem to be getting it. And, I would agree, if we die in unbelief, we die in our sins, because the payment of sins was not credited to our account. The payment has been made for all, but the payment has to be received through faith/belief.

    You still make unbelief a sin, imho, if it has to be forgiven, whether before or after salvation.

    I do believe in the eternal security of the believer, btw.

  27. Hi, John, Terry, and all,

    The way I always thought of unbelief is that it’s not a bad work or sin, just like belief is not a good work that merits anything. Believing is accepting the Gift, while not believing or unbelief is a rejection of the Gift. We are in a state of unbelief until we believe. And if we die in unbelief, we also die in our sins, according to John 8:24 quoted by John above. Please correct me if I am wrong. Thanks.

  28. Duane Hawkins


    Now I see what you are getting at. But consider this: before you were a believer, you were condemned because you did not believe in the Son. When you became a believer, your former unbelief was forgiven. Since you have passed from death to life at the moment of belief (John 5:24), and since no one can snatch you from Christ’s hand, your future unbelief, should such occur, would also be forgiven (there are those who would argue this, but I would ask the simple question “How can you ever possess eternal life and go on to lose your life?”

    So unbelief is forgiven, once we believe.

    In Christ,


  29. Terry Treude

    What I am trying to address is a “seeming” contradiction. If unbelief is a sin which sends one to Hell, then Jesus’ didn’t pay for all sins. Unbelief does send one to Hell, I am just saying it is not a sin. To me this isn’t about semantics, but reconciling a “seeming” contradiction. Belief/faith is just a response, or the means by which we receive the payment for sin that Jesus provided by His perfect life/sacrifice/shed blood. He died and bodily rose from the grave, so He lives. When I believed the gospel (Person and work), not only was my sin debt paid/applied to my account/sins forgiven, but I was declared not guilty (justified)(no longer under condemnation), and received Christ’s perfect righteousness.

    John 16:9, to me is not saying unbelief is sin. I don’t know how to explain English punctuation (the colon that precedes, Of sin, because they believe not on me), but it further proves or explains John 16:8. This is the Holy Spirit’s ministry to the unsaved/pre-salvation work before hearing the gospel.

    I asked a friend to read my original comment, she could not find anything wrong in what I said, or lack of clarity. So, I am sorry, I don’t know what else I can say or add to be any clearer on my original comment.

  30. Michael Thomas

    hello do you know if dr. alex mcfarland is a lordship salvationist or not ? thanks mike

  31. Duane Hawkins

    Hi Terry!

    I’m not quite sure what you are getting at, but have a look at John 3:17-19:

    “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 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. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:17-19)

    Note that the passage indicates unbelievers are condemned because they have not believed.

    The passage goes on to indicate that those who love and practice the truth will come to the Light (believe in Christ), that their deeds may be shown to be wrought of God. The point here is that it is impossible to please God while rejecting / disbelieving the Gospel. Being an unbeliever automatically makes us a condemned sinner.

    Are you wrestling with a particular issue here, or is your question one of semantics? A more important question would be ” Have you placed your faith in Christ and Christ alone for salvation, or are you still wrestling with the possibility that there may be another way?”

    Please keep the dialog going; we don’t want anyone to be confused.

    In Christ,


  32. Holly,

    Thanks for those pitiful quotes from Francis Chan. And to think he is an “influential Christian leader”!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  33. Terry,

    What has been said here at ExP indicating that we advocate or believe that Jesus did not pay for all sins in full? Jesus definitely did pay for all sins of the whole world in full:

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

    And then in John 3:18, anyone in the world who believes in Jesus is not condemned (salvation) but those who believe not are already and remain condemned.

    Yet, as believers we still sin and spoil our fellowship — but we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ:

    My little children [Believers], these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 1 John 2:1

    We know our walk determines our fellowship:

    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. 1 John 1:7

    Therefore the blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed every believer from ALL sin, without question. But when we sin and suffer sin-broken fellowship, here is the solution:

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

    Terry, I pray this helps clarify — When we discuss salvation and then fellowship within that salvation, we must differentiate. Thanks for your interest and questions.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  34. Hi Terry! Good to see you here. I must be missing something in the translation, John 16:9 states that unbelief is a sin. But maybe I didn’t understand your first post regarding unbelief not being a sin.

    If unbelief is a sin, it would seem to me that Jesus’ work was incomplete, and Scripture contradictory.

    I was only quoting unbelief IS a sin, as I believe John also had already quoted. Or at least this is how I read it. See you over on FB.

    Of sin, because they believe not on me. John 16:9

  35. I provided this on Francis Chan article, but I thought that I would share here because of what this pervasive teaching does….

    I find it interesting that Francis Chan confessed recently on the Christian Post, that he still struggles with doubt. He says he started to slip…he said he was still currently struggling with both doubt and joy….

    It was sadly almost prophetic that he at one time had joy when he shared at Macarthur’s Master’s Seminary about 20 years prior and John Macarthur told him not to lose his joy.

    Chan said, “But here I am 20 years later and I feel myself losing it,” he declared with an impassioned pitch to his voice. “When was the last time I was so excited with the same passion to do what I do?”
    “Where did that go?” he wondered, asking of himself at another point during his Exponential 2013 remarks, “Are you even a prophet anymore? Are you saying what God Almighty wants you to say?”

    Quoted in 2013….

    People need to see what this false gospel does both to the deceived and the deceivers regardless of their “intentions” or “passion” or “sincerity” (which by the way we have no idea of any of that). It destroys people, and this is the work of the enemy.

  36. Terry Treude

    Thanks to all who provided Scripture. However, I did not read in any of them that unbelief is the sin in those references. What I did read is that those THINGS DONE/NOT DONE without faith (unbelief) are the actual sin.

    Romans 14:23 (KJV)
    23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for WHATSOEVER is not of faith (unbelief) is sin. (emphasis/parentheses mine)

    Either Jesus paid for all sins in full, or He did not.

  37. John 16:9 says it all to me, the sin of unbelief. We can choose to believe, just as well as we can choose not to believe, and we are condemned already…

  38. Terry, you asked: “How can unbelief be a sin , placing one in Hell? If unbelief is a sin, it would seem to me that Jesus work was incomplete, and Scripture contradictory.”

    This is an interesting question. I think that we are guilty of our sins if we reject Christ. I would base this on the following:

    John 8:24: “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”

    John 16:8-9: “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me”

    Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

    It seems to me, from all of the above, that anyone who does not have the imputed righteousness of Christ is still guilty of his sins.

  39. Duane Hawkins

    Hi Terry,

    I’ll try and take a stab at your question. Sin and unbelief are related in Scripture. In the Gospel of John, when questioned about good works Jesus explained that the work of God is to believe on Christ:

    “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
    Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (John 6:28-29 )

    While we tend to think of sin in terms of the Ten Commandments, we are told elsewhere in Scripture, that failing to do something required by God is also a sin:

    “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)

    So in this regard, if a person could keep all of the other commandments of God (and do it to the standard Jesus set for us – meaning without even entertaining sinful fantasies), he would still be a sinner for rejecting the testimony of the prophets and of the apostles and refusing to place his faith in Christ.

    We see also in Hebrews 3:17-19 that the sin of the generation of Israelites that wandered in the wilderness after leaving Egypt is equated to unbelief:

    “But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” (Hebrews 3:17-19)

    This makes sense when we consider that any sin we commit represents a denial of the fact that God knows what is best for us (unbelief). When Abraham lay with Sarah’s handmaid, or when he gave Sarah away to save his own life, he was essentially asserting that he did not trust God to make good on His promises unassisted.

    So essentially, unbelief is sin, and sin is unbelief. But one man, Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man, being One with the Father, lived His whole life in harmony with the Father’s will. He believed the Father perfectly and therefore did nothing other than the will of the Father.

    Those who place their faith in Christ, though imperfect in their belief in that they may still sin in the flesh, are credited with Christ’s perfect righteousness:

    “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

    So we get credit for living the life of a perfect believer, while Christ takes the penalty for our sin.

    In Christ,


  40. Terry,

    Thanks for visiting.. I appreciate your following and sharing our posts on FaceBook.

    It is our friend John who wrote this great article and I will let him and others respond to your specific question.

    I would make one comment about your statement, “So people go to Hell, not because of ANY sin, but because they rejected the payment for their sin debt due to not responding in belief/faith to the Gospel message.”

    I suggest that it is not the rejection of the inanimate “payment” but the rejection of the living Savior, Jesus Himself that condemns. (John 3:16-18)

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  41. Hi Terry,

    Good to hear from you again.

    You said,

    “So people go to Hell, not because of ANY sin, but because they rejected the payment for their sin debt due to not responding in belief/faith to the Gospel message.”

    Quoting Romans 3:23 & 6:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God . . . For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

    So I would prefer to say, all people who go to hell do so both because they are guilty of sin AND because they have rejected God’s means of dealing with their sins (i.e. they have rejected salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone).

  42. Terry Treude

    Great replies/explanations on repentance by John and Duane. I would just further add, that I believe it is intrinsic in the believing, and not a separate condition. If you have believed, you have repented (changed your mind). I know not all agree on this, and it also contributes to the confusion.

    Question: How can unbelief be a “sin”, placing one in Hell? If unbelief is a sin, it would seem to me that Jesus’ work was incomplete, and Scripture contradictory. 1 John 2;2 says: And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. Propitiation is full complete satisfactory payment. Belief is just a response, so unbelief would just be a lack of response to receive the payment for our sin debt. So people go to Hell, not because of ANY sin, but because they rejected the payment for their sin debt due to not responding in belief/faith to the Gospel message.

    Thank you, Jack, for this article!

  43. Hi! So good to hear from you! I whole heartedly agree with your statement having just read Hebrews! I am reading & falling in love with the Amplified Bible which talks alot about how we are under the Grace & favor of God which is a totally revolutionary concept which has forever revolutionizied my relationship to Christ! I never knew I had God’s favor as well as His Grace! Amen & amen! I’ve got Ps 45:7 joy going on here as well as Nehemiah 8:10 joy going too! Praise the Lord! Rapturegirl

  44. Duane Hawkins


    I don’t believe John or anyone else here is claiming that repentance is unnecessary for salvation. The problem is that, in the modern lexicon, the word “repentance” as come to be incorrectly and narrowly defined as “forsaking of sin.” In most usages of the word “repentance” in the Scriptures, sin is not in view at all. In fact, in a number of places (throughout the book of Jeremiah, for one), God says of Himself that He will repent of the good or the harm He intends for His people.

    In Acts 26:20, we see that repentance and the doing of good works are two separate things: We first repent (change our minds about our own ability to earn our salvation and put our faith in the finished work of Christ), and THEN, we are able, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to do works befitting repentance. The condition that is placed on us for receiving eternal life is to change our minds and believe in Christ, whom the Father has sent (John 3:16, John 3:36, John 5:24, John 6:29, John 6:47, Acts 16:31, Romans 1:16, Romans 4:5…)

    Turning from sin (other than the sin of unbelief) is not the means to or the measure of salvation, but the fruit of salvation. Are Christians called to holiness? Most definitely, but it isn’t our holiness that saves us; it is Christ’s, credited to our account when we place our faith in Him.

    God Bless


  45. Rob, please stick around. God brought you here for a reason.

    You said: “I’ll figure it out on my own and settle up with Jesus on assuming room temperature, and I’ll do it without a lot of people anathematizing one another over guesswork and wishful thinking.”

    Rob, this is not guesswork or wishful thinking. We have the word of God to guide us. I looked up “anathematize” and it means “the denunciation of something as accursed.”

    We are not in the “anathematizing” business. However, when someone changes the Gospel, they are accursed.

    Galatians 1:8-9: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

  46. Pastorpete, you said: “So you presume salvation without repentance or faith?”

    My comment: No. The article clearly stated that salvation is by Grace through FAITH in Christ. See quote, below:

    “Of course our only hope is God’s free gift of salvation by Grace through Faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8).”

    Regarding repentance, I was referring to to the errant Lordship “salvation” teaching that “repentance from sin” is a requirement for salvation.

    Repentance, properly defined, is a requirement for salvation. The proper definition (courtesy of Northland Bible Baptist Church) is as follows:

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

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

  47. Rob or Dawn – whichever you are,

    We hate to see you leave — especially if you plan to “settle up with Jesus on assuming room temperature..”

    Please understand that when you “assume room temperature,” it will be too late to settle it up with Jesus. You have no more choice or chance after you die. You must make the choice now – your eternal salvation rests entirely on the decision you make while you are alive — Your eternal salvation rests entirely on — by Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus alone. No other way.

    Jesus Christ died for you on the cross, paid your sin debt that you owe, was resurrected from the grave and is alive today. He did that for you. Believe Him. (John 3:16-18)

    If you must leave, look at the very bottom of the email of any comment from ExP and click on the link:
    Want less email? Modify your Subscription Options.

    We don’t want you to go before you make the decision to trust Jesus Christ alone as your Savior. We will be praying for you.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  48. pastorpete,

    FYI, we cannot unsubscribe you — you must do that when you are notified of an article or comments.

    Did you read the article past the SBC expose’?

    Did you read our statement of Faith in the header?

    Did you read the Grace Gospel of TRUTH link at the bottom of the article?

    Go back and try again, I am sure you will find many mentions of Faith and explanations of Repentance (change your mind).

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  49. Dawn Ramcharan

    I thought I unsubscribed from this blog after I realized that I don’t understand the Bible well enough to add anything useful to the discussion.  I’ll figure it out on my own and settle up with Jesus on assuming room temperature, and I’ll do it without a lot of people anathematizing one another over guesswork and wishful thinking.

    Try again…   Rob Ramcharan
    {Portion deleted by Admin}

  50. pastorpete51

    So you presume salvation without repentance or faith? You are far froim our Lord’s teaching please remove me from your list!