Southern Baptist Convention and J.D.Greear Promote: “The Posture of Lordship Salvation”


Lordship Salvation: The Devil is in the Details

By: our dear friend, John

A friend of mine recently brought me a parenting magazine he had picked up from his Southern Baptist church. He pointed me to an article entitled “Should We Stop Asking Jesus into Our Hearts?” The article was a series of excerpts from the book of the same title; written by J.D. Greear, lead pastor of the Summit Church in Raleigh, NC.

In reading the article, I was reminded of a couple of old adages.

The first adage isthe devil speaks with a forked tongue.” Greear aids and abets the evil one by mixing Biblical truths with his LS-slanted opinions and quotes from other shameless promoters of LS, including Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Consider the following excerpt:

In his parable about the different types of soil, Jesus spoke of a group who heard his word and made an initial, encouraging response of belief, only to fade away over time. These are those, Jesus explained, who hear the gospel and respond positively to it—pray the prayer, walk the aisle, get baptized, or do whatever new converts in your church do. They remain in the church for a period of time. But they do not endure when the sun of persecution comes out and will not in the end be saved.”

Jesus did not say that these people “will not in the end by saved.” Those are Greear’s words, and they reflect an LS orientation. That LS orientation is corroborated by the following quote, which reveals Greear’s belief in the Calvinist/LS false doctrine of “perseverance of the saints”:

The apostle John almost always talks about “believing” in the present tense because it is something we do continually, not something we did once in the past…The posture begins at a moment, but it persists for a lifetime.”

Which brings us to our second adage:The devil is in the details.”

Like virtually all Lordship “Salvationists”, Greear pays lip service to belief in the Gospel, but then betrays that belief by what else he says.

First, the lip service:

Salvation is not given because you prayed a prayer correctly, but because you have leaned the hopes of your soul on the finished work of Christ.”

Then, the betraying twist:

Repentance means understanding that Jesus is Lord and that you have lived in cosmic treason to him and reversing your direction based on that.”

Greear’s definition of repentance to include “reversing your direction” is code for turning from sins for salvation, making Christ Lord of your life for salvation, and so on. He repeatedly uses the term “posture” toward Christ (I counted at least six) as a way of expressing this flawed belief system. The word posture is never used in the New Testament.

As a follow-up, I read Trevin Wax’s interview with Greear, from January 31, 2013. Following is a telling quote:

Disciples of Jesus are the ones who are saved; not those who go through a ritual.”

And from Mark Driscoll’s interview with Greear from March 26, 2013:

“…I would ask them if their present posture is one of submission to Christ’s Lordship and trust in his finished work. If so, they are saved, even if they don’t remember the prayer or the moment they got into that posture.

Second, I would ask them to consider whether the signs of eternal life are present in them. As John explains so thoroughly in 1 John, conversion does not bring sinless perfection, but it does begin to make fundamental changes in the human heart.”

Greear reveals, with these comments, his errant belief that discipleship and evidence of a changed life are requirements for salvation.

My friend who brought me Greear’s article did not buy into it. But, the article is indicative of the kinds of false information that millions of people are being fed in their churches every week. In fact, Greear has received glowing recommendations from a veritable “who’s who” of Lordship “salvationists”, and is a prominent leader in the Southern Baptist Convention.

We must pray for those who preach the gospel faithfully, and be vigilant in exposing false doctrine and false teachers.

God’s Guarantee of ETERNAL Life << Clivk

91 responses to “Southern Baptist Convention and J.D.Greear Promote: “The Posture of Lordship Salvation”

  1. I have heard of false prophets who are brazen enough to declare themselves to be “the Two Dreadful Witnesses” and assert that photoshopped miracles were real. They announce that the rapture will happen at one of their conferences.

    It is certainly possible to be premillennial and dominionist. Pentecostals act as if they were both.

  2. Holly, yes, certainly the NAR dominionist seven mountains, and certainly the devil seeking to elevate himself to God’s level. I see also the symbols as freemasonic/jesuit as well. As false teachers, they have an agenda that is the same as the NAR and purpose driven agenda, to unite everyone under their little group. The NAR comes out and says that they want all churches under them. And that’s why they can’t have the pre-millennial theology, because then they can’t build their religious world empire without being exposed as having it lead to antichrist. Their lordship salvation position unites all religions, from catholic, to protestant, to every other belief system in the world, where we can all do good works and find “common ground” that way. In their theology.

  3. Shane, interesting observation, mountains, or elevation or heights, they want to ascend… A lot of that I think has to do with dominionist theology (the seven mountains) which has a bit in common with Amillennialism’s posture that we’re somehow winning and in the Kingdom now. Similar also to how Satan desires to be like God in His place. Reminds me a bit of the Pharisees too and how they would not have Him rule over them. They claim He is, but it’s their theology that rules them.

  4. Shane, yes, Greear has been a rising star in the SBC for quite some time. His teaching is very similar to that of the late A.W.Pink, Spurgeon, and other works “salvationists,” who would have people look to themselves and their transformed lives for assurance of eternal life.

  5. I hope you don’t mind me digging up an old post, however, this latest teaching by a “superstar” big name, made me think of the website here. This is about JD Greear of North Carolina’s “Summit Church” (Why do some of these churches have these names about going up up up up in elevation??? They’re even complete with the pyramid emblems and symbols for their trademarks).

    Greear is teaching from Matthew 25:31-46 (can you already guess where this is going?), in a message that he named “Either a Sheep or a Goat”. It seems to be his most recent Sunday morning message. Around the 15 to 17 minute mark or so, he teaches works righteousness, that of course a “true” believer will give help to poor Christians. Those that don’t give help to poor Christians, are “counterfeits” that will be in hell for sure, and that the difference between the sheep and the goats had nothing to do with what they believe at all. It was only based on what they do and do not do (this he says verbatim around the 18:46 mark).

    He didn’t teach it in any form as belonging to the dissertation about the end times, tribulation, the Jews, rewards for helping persecuted Jews during the tribulation, and so on. Nothing about all that. Only about “rooting out sin in your life” (around the 20 minute mark).

    He goes on to say, wait, aren’t we saved by faith alone? No. The kind of faith that saves you, is more than intellectual assent. It is a faith that transforms you into engaging in the mission of God.

    Well, you get the point.

    Greear will probably be nominated for the Presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention. So the SBC continues to pop giant holes in the ship.

  6. Holly, that is really unfortunate. If Chandler thinks the people at “Got Questions” have any of the answers, he is delusional.

  7. Matt Chandler recently came up in a conversation my daughter was having with a pastor friend of hers. He posted a short video by Chandler, which said basically if you did not have the desire to obey, if you weren’t obeying, if you weren’t ‘stumbling forward’ etc., then you were lost and close to damnation.

    This guy, likable in general personality, and causes empathy in that he’s been through a brain tumor, but so much wrong with his doctrine. These friends of hers had no idea how bad this man’s doctrine is, and how it did add works. They didn’t realize how they were jumping on the ‘accuse-the-brethren-bandwagon’ as they ‘liked to ask hard questions of people’ (something to that effect).

    My daughter asked where in the Scriptures it said the things they were saying and the pastor said he didn’t have time to look up Scriptures but helpfully gave her a link on obedience from the mixed up Calvinist/loadship site ‘gotquestions’.

  8. Once one begins to understand grace, His undeserved mercy, it teaches us how to live. It’s His love that constraineth (compels) us. Satan is just as happy with rendering believers ineffective by trying to put them back into bondage, which also makes them confused on the gospel and unable to be sufficient laborers for the harvest.

  9. I agree john, saved believers are not under any of the law including the ten commandments.. The non believer is under it’s condemnation while the believer is not. The believer is under grace alone. The condemnation and impossibility of keeping the law is to lead the unbeliever to Christ to save him from the law and place him under grace alone.(Gal. chap 3) But rather than being under the law commandments, the believer has the God’s law of love in his heart through the Holy Spirit to guide him. (2 Cor chap 3)

  10. Preston, that is good additional perspective.

    As Christians, we should seek to honor God by obeying the lead of the Holy Spirit. We do not have to agree to do this to become saved, nor do we have to do this to stay saved.

    I like the below quotes from Ron Shea on lawkeeping:

    “However, we believe that, by failing to appreciate, on some fundamental level, the existence of distinct administration in God’s governance of humanity, false teachers err by imposing on believers in the church age legal requirements that are properly ascribed to different ages or dispensations. We further believe that, when such demands are not only imposed on the church, but made a requirement for salvation, that grave violence is done to the doctrine of grace, and the message of the gospel…

    Although believers are not under the law of Moses, many of the demands of the New Testament on believers, such as the prohibitions against murder, adultery, or idolatry, are similar to portions of the Ten Commandments of Moses, leading some Christians to categorize the law of Moses into Ceremonial, Civil, and Moral, and to maintain that Christians are still under the moral law. However, the New Testament never imposes on believers of the church age the requirement of keeping the Sabbath, rendering inadequate the explanatory power of this categorization of the law.”

  11. Good day,

    a little different perspective on the comment.

    He said – Yet I can’t help but see how “our” side extrapolates beyond what Greear et al actually say. We denounce errors that aren’t actually what “their” side thinks.

    ME – in some respects, I can agree.

    For example, how many people THINK, because we are “free grace” (Rom 3:24), we endorse a “sinners prayer” for salvation when we REALLY believe faith in the gospel saves?

    Another example, how many people THINK we “free gracers” endorse the cross-less gospel when in reality, we REALLY believe the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to whoever believes it?

    POINT – bad perceptions happen when assumptions are made; this happens to me all the time.


    He said – Part of my perspective is my observation that anti-LS activists’ actual lifestyles are hard to distinguish from legalism.

    We cant look to life-styles for salvation (see article “stemming fruit Inspection”).

    Second, if a SAVED person lives their lives by “the law” BECAUSE of salvation, is that a good thing? Of course it is. This is what the believer SHOULD do. THEN it is NOT legalism.

    BUT, when one adds ONE LAW to the gospel, it becomes “another gospel” that does NOT save. THEN it IS legalism. The law SHOULD be established by the believer BUT never a requirement. (Rom 6:4-6 KJV)
    – IT is a “subtle” change BUT a major one.

    This is why Paul “feared” that our minds would be corrupted from the SIMPLICITY of the gospel.

    just some thoughts.

  12. Holly, I agree that if one doesn’t start with the right gospel, none of the rest matters. They are just inviting people to become whitewashed tombs.

    I am also not impressed by mens’ credentials.

  13. John, if I could get one thing across to people, is the real heartbreak the sheep suffer in these teachings. And worse, the confusing gospel those same sheep end up sharing, along with the fear they live in. And the wasted time… I know from my own life.

    Then there are those who were lost, and all because of these teachings. In my women’s Bible study today, I can share that most of them have been affected by this pernicious doctrine, and it’s hard for them as most have a multitude of friends still in it or pushing it, or sharing platforms with those who corrupt minds from the simplicity that is in Christ.

    I wish men who were teachers would consider the destruction it causes when they compromise, or how the gospel’s clarity is affected by their associations, along with those people who may follow after them. Woe to them if they make a young one stumble.

    Whether one associates with a “Moody Professor” (I have known a few good ones) or someone from DTS, hermeneutics won’t make a bit of difference when one applies them with loadship lenses on. One needs to start with the right gospel and move from there.

  14. Hi Phil… I find myself in agreement with Johninnc. I’m not needing to go over it, but just ask you to consider, in trying to somehow find middle ground or make excuses that Greear is ‘really’ speaking to our walk, when clearly he is adding to the gospel, are you possibly compromising the only way? The truth? The way people come to life?

    Our only desire should be to keep the gospel clear of encumbrances. John did such a clear job of answering you, I do pray you might consider if you are defending Greear before really proving all things (1 Thess 5:21)?

    In Christ…

  15. Phil, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    First, I do not agree that the grace vs. LS fights are “shadow boxing.” If they were, then the Apostle Paul was “shadow boxing” throughout scripture, when he drew a clear line differentiating between grace and works as the basis for eternal life.

    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.

    Second, we are not “extrapolating” the comments of JD Greear, et. al. Consider the following quote from Greear:

    In his parable about the different types of soil, Jesus spoke of a group who heard his word and made an initial, encouraging response of belief, only to fade away over time. These are those, Jesus explained, who hear the gospel and respond positively to it—pray the prayer, walk the aisle, get baptized, or do whatever new converts in your church do. They remain in the church for a period of time. But they do not endure when the sun of persecution comes out and will not in the end be saved.

    My comment: Are we “extrapolating” Greear’s comments, or is Greear extrapolating Jesus’ comments?

    Third, you said: Only by “explaining” what Paul really meant with similar statements do we avoid seeming to attack scriptures themselves.

    My comment: If I understand you correctly, you are seeming to say that the LS comments that we attack are in line with what the Apostle Paul taught in scripture. Hence, when we attack Greear’s comments (by this so called “extrapolation”), we are really attacking scripture. So, in order to keep from attacking scripture, we “twist” Paul’s words?

    If that is what you are saying, I reject it outright.

    Fourth, you said: If we set salvation aside and consider Greear’s arguments as pertaining to spiritual growth, we might come up with more relevant responses.

    My comment: If we set salvation aside, then the gospel really doesn’t matter. Nothing else is relevant if the gospel message is tainted.

    Fifth, you said: Possibly. Part of my perspective is my observation that anti-LS activists’ actual lifestyles are hard to distinguish from legalism.

    My comment: Your observations have nothing to do with scripture. Sure, there are people who are clear on the gospel who give in to legalism in their lives. The Bible warns believers not to do this.

    Sixth, you said: Personally, what I object to is popular preachers who clearly don’t even try to “do” hermeneutics when they prepare their messages. And, I’m chagrined to say, I’ve noticed that I myself more often than not forget to “do” hermeneutics when lambasting LS or Calvinist minions.

    My comment: I think that you are trying to find a bridge between grace and Calvinism/Lordship “salvation”. There is none.

  16. These Grace vs LS fights seem to be shadow boxing, I think. I officially come out for Grace and tend to debunk LS and Calvinist arguments whenever they come up. Yet I can’t help but see how “our” side extrapolates beyond what Greear et al actually say. We denounce errors that aren’t actually what “their” side thinks. Only by “explaining” what Paul really meant with similar statements do we avoid seeming to attack scriptures themselves. If we set salvation aside and consider Greear’s arguments as pertaining to spiritual growth, we might come up with more relevant responses. Possibly. Part of my perspective is my observation that anti-LS activists’ actual lifestyles are hard to distinguish from legalism. Personally, what I object to is popular preachers who clearly don’t even try to “do” hermeneutics when they prepare their messages. And, I’m chagrined to say, I’ve noticed that I myself more often than not forget to “do” hermeneutics when lambasting LS or Calvinist minions. A Moody professor and I are about to publish a series subtitled “the practice of hermeneutics” as an attempt to promote better reasoning and critical thinking among those of us who, obviously, are “right”.

  17. I never got it either Phil R., to me, in the wedding, they were not wearing the garment of salvation, the robes of righteousness… (Isaiah 61:10). Seemed fairly straightforward to me.

  18. Thanks john, I must have forgotten about that thread, “Lordship Salvationist Spookiest Passages”. I re read the posts about Stanley. It seemed that when these preachers get on TV, (like on TBN), there teachings can become flexible and changeable.

    Holly, just to clarify, Stanley in his book “Eternal Security” was referencing that passage about the banquet in the Gospel account about the guests who were not properly dressed and thrown into the outer darkness. Again, I don’t see how Stanley could possibly think this would be how God would treat and eternally security person after death. Stanley has definately gone LS.

  19. Yes, holly I do remember his writing about the “outer darkness” passage in his book “Eternal Security.” As I recollect he does apply it to the church and today’s Christians, It sounded like he meant it like thrown into the outer darkness as some temporary judgement after a saved person dies. He seemed to make it sound like some purgatory for saved people. CS doesn’t always rightly divide what was under the law for Israel and what is for the church under grace. He was raised under holiness or pentacostal teachings and became Baptist I think in seminary. But I am not sure he ever shed all the pentecostal teachings.

  20. Yes, Charles Stanley was inconsistent back then, I don’t know when he got into the ‘Outer Darkness’ teaching for the church, but I don’t get how these ‘learned men’ can understand that the Olivet Discourse speaks to Israel, Jacob’s trouble, the second coming and even are pre-trib, but somehow believe believers who have been raptured, are suddenly the servants identified there. Which would mean they’d be raised incorruptible, and then thrown into outer darkness after 7 years with the Lord? How is it then we are ‘always with Him’?

  21. Phil, I agree. It is the object of our faith, not the quality of our faith, that determines whether or not we have eternal life.

  22. Charles Stanley used to be the exception at least in the 1990’s and was pretty much free grace, or at least border line free grace. I have read some of his literature and his book, “Eternal Security. He taught salvation as faith in Christ plus nothing else required beyond the moment of saving faith. But he did put a big premium on the quality of ones saving faith almost to the point of like it had to be like jumping out of a plane with a parachute in the dark. Also, he would say things that could cause one to doubt whether they actually really trusted in Christ for salvation in the past. It really ticked me off listening to one TV sermon back in the ’90s of making “absolutely, absolutely sure you trusted in Christ.” (People who practice this fearmongering are making ones faith the object instead of the grace to be received, so that ones faith actually become a work to attain salvation.) Like I said, Charles Stanley was at best border line free grace back then.
    Back in the ’90s when I first read some of his literature it said he was twice president of the SBC. I found it a little hard to believe with his free grace teachings along with his saying that repentance is simply changing once mind from unbelief in Christ as ones Savior to faith in Christ as ones Savior.
    BUT, some time since then he has apparently acquiesced to the Southern Baptist Conventions Doctrines with their LS teachings. From what I have read he now is teaching repentance as turning from ones sins as part of being saved.

  23. In his online blog, Southern Baptist Pastor and President of Midwestern Seminary had a recent article entitled “Whither Christian Higher Education?”

    Following is an interesting excerpt on how to promote the survival of “Christian” institutes of higher learning:

    First, Christian institutions must be clear and consistent about their convictions. Faithfulness to one’s confessional heritage and mission demands it; a discerning constituency should expect it; and courts of law will necessitate it.

    My comment: He has just “shown his hand.” Allen either equates “confessional heritage” with scripture, or places a higher priority on confessional heritage than he does on scripture. In so doing, he confuses Biblical discernment with the ability to discern whether or not something is aligned to an institution’s “confessional heritage.”

    Every professor at Midwestern Theological Seminary is required to subscribe to the “Baptist Faith and Message,” which despite representing a “confessional heritage” does not align with scripture on the gospel message.

  24. Blinded and naive both. They need to hear the truth and some will hear, some want to know the truth, some do not want to know, they’d rather count on the wisdom of these ‘scholars’…

  25. Holly

    Right. The enemy promotes the prevaricators, invents words, phrases and “bibles” to agree with and support their lies.

    It will continue as long as there are naive folks lifting them up. A shame.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  26. So many… I pray others will find the truth, and see what is written in His Word. “Repent of your sins” is not part of the gospel, so many insist the ‘concept’ is there. One person I know commented on Paul Washer’s post today on something, and another told him the ‘correct meaning’ for repent was found in NIDNTT, (The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology), and that ‘brother Washer’ had it right….

  27. Jingles, welcome and thank you for your comment.

    You said: “I think it is true that those who have been truly saved and regenerated by the Holy Spirit will show evidences in their life of a changed heart.”

    My comment: Jingles, one of the great benefits of having God’s Word available to us is that we don’t have to rely on our thoughts for the truth. Our thoughts are not God’s thoughts.

    Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

    The Bible does not say that a believer will necessarily show evidences in his life of a changed heart. The Bible actually says that a believer may be conformed to this world (that is, indistinguishable from the lost world):

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

    We are encouraged, admonished, and beseeched throughout scripture to walk in the newness of our lives in Christ. This is because doing so is not automatic.

    Let me ask you a hypothetical question Jingles:

    If you KNOW you have trusted in Christ as your only hope of salvation, do yo look to yourself for evidence of a changed heart to validate it? If so, are you really trusting in Christ?

    You said: “The evidences of salvation may be lesser in some and greater in others, but if there is none throughout the whole life of a believer, then it is doubtful that he ever truly repented of his sin. However, God only truly knows who is saved and who is not, since he sees the heart.”

    My comment: A believer is someone who has received eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. A believer has eternal life, and is eternally secure, the moment he trusts in Christ. Therefore, a believer who never repents of his sin has eternal life.

    One does not have to repent of his sin to be saved. That would be salvation by works. You are right – God knows who is saved. If someone believes he must repent of his sin to receive eternal life, he is not trusting in Christ. He is trusting in Christ plus repenting of his sin.

  28. I think it is true that those who have been truly saved and regenerated by the Holy Spirit will show evidences in their life of a changed heart.

    The evidences of salvation may be lesser in some and greater in others, but if there is none throughout the whole life of a believer, then it is doubtful that he ever truly repented of his sin. However, God only truly knows who is saved and who is not, since he sees the heart.

    Now about this “Lordship Salvation,” even as Christians we are sinful so it is impossible to fully make Jesus Lord of every area of your life, but it is something that we should strive to do as best we can, even though it is impossible to do it perfectly.

  29. thanks guys found it.

  30. Mary, the Wiki Index is linked below (and above at the top of this website):

  31. Mary,

    Sorry, we don’t understand your question.

    What — and where is the “lime green logo” of which you speak?

    What article or Page do you wish to read? Is it the Wiki-Index Page? If so, that is the last link in the ExP Web Site header above.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  32. i pressed on that lime green logo i am not on wiki how do i get that info

  33. Mary, I would avoid Brenda Nickel. Please see the “Wiki Index” section of this website.

  34. does that mean brenda nickel who has written a good book on reformed theology she has spoken out against Lordship and calvinism. but some claim she is the same as zeller she recommends most of his teachings so am i to b cautious of hers. i am currently looking up some sites as macarthur has just had his strange fire confernce and the moderate charismatics are unhappy with him as they are saying he is lumping them in with the hyper charismatcs. does anyone have any info on the conference? is the charismatics movemnet false as i have been lead to believe and should we b doctrinally separating from them as the macarthurs and the brannon howses and chris pintos don’t separate from them. if u are in a church and u have calvinists in the midst what is the pastor meant to do biblically if they don’t c thru the error?

  35. Mary, almost everyone says some things that are right and useful, even if they get some other things wrong.

    But, when their teachings undermine the gospel, we have to be particularly careful.

    I would be extremely reluctant to recommend any of Zeller’s articles to anyone, without a very strong warning that he is a Lordship “salvationist.” I know Zeller would object to this label, as would many of his “Free Grace” advocates. However, Zeller’s writings make it clear that he believes in the Calvinist/Lordship “salvation” tenet of “perseverance of the saints.”

  36. very disappointing to hear that middletown bible studies zeller believes that way as he has some very good articles.

  37. Johnson, welcome and thanks for your comments.

    I think it is far-fetched that Hebrews 3:6-14 was written to tell an unbeliever to “hold on” to something that he never had (belief) in order to prove he had it.

    The passage in Hebrews 3 is written to believers, as can be readily verified by contextual clues.

    Hebrews 3:1: Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

    Hebrews 3:12-14:

    [12] Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
    [13] But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
    [14] For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
    [15] While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.

    It would be impossible to depart from a faith that one never had. Likewise, it is possible, as this and other scriptures point out, for a believer to not continue in the faith. Please note that once a person has believed in Christ as Savior, he has eternal life, even if his faith itself does not endure.

    However, I believe that 2 Timothy 2:13 makes it clear that people who lose their faith are still saved:

    2 Timothy 2:13: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

    Once a person believes in Christ as his Savior, he is permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit and sealed unto redemption.

    Ephesians 1:13-14:

    [13] In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
    [14] Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

    “Earnest” means “downpayment”. The Holy Spirit is our seal. We literally have God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, within us once we become believers. He will NEVER leave us!

  38. “We are kept by the power of God, but God keeps us ‘through faith’ (1 Pet. 1:5) not apart from faith. He not only keeps us saved but He keeps us believing in Christ as Saviour. Our faith may be very weak but it does not utterly fail. The person who does not ‘hold fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end’ (Heb. 3:6,14) proves that he is not part of Christ’s true house (v.6). He was just a temporary attachment (scaffolding). The way you can tell that scaffolding is not part of the true building is that after a time it falls away and does not continue with the building (see 1 John 2:19 and Luke 8:13).”

    I understand the misuse of the 1 John and Luke passages to support this man’s beliefs, but his interpretation of Heb 3:6,14 seems convincing. How else do you interpret those verses (Heb 3:6,14) to not mean that the inability to hold fast the confidence to the end proves that one may not be saved? Basically, what do those verses mean then?

    Thanks for clarifications.

  39. Greear has a lot of company in his views on the “parable of the sower”, including some so-called “Free Grace” advocates.

    George Zeller, for example, has been featured prominently in some “Free Grace” circles. Yet, he seems to believe fairly emphatically the Calvinist/Lordship “salvation” tenet of “perseverance of the saints.”

    Consider the following excerpts from Zeller’s article “Can a True Believer Depart from the Faith?”:

    “We are kept by the power of God, but God keeps us ‘through faith’ (1 Pet. 1:5) not apart from faith. He not only keeps us saved but He keeps us believing in Christ as Saviour. Our faith may be very weak but it does not utterly fail. The person who does not ‘hold fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end’ (Heb. 3:6,14) proves that he is not part of Christ’s true house (v.6). He was just a temporary attachment (scaffolding). The way you can tell that scaffoldinig is not part of the true building is that after a time it falls away and does not continue with the building (see 1 John 2:19 and Luke 8:13).”


    “Obviously there are signs of physical life. If there is a heartbeat, a pulse, movement, etc. we can safely assume a person is alive. If we are really alive in Christ (1 John 5:12) then there ought to be signs of life evident. True, in some believers these signs are very faint and dim. There is a great difference between 100 fold and 30 fold.”


    “…you teach that a person may be justified but not sanctified. On the other extreme MacArthur teaches that a saved person is automatically sanctified, and that if God gives saving faith then that faith cannot be defective. Is there not a Biblically balanced view in between these two extremes? Does not God bring along and complete that great work which He began at the point of salvation (Phil. 1:6)? Does not God keep believers from going on in sin by way of conviction (hopefully leading to confession) and chastisement? Hebrews 12:6-11 teaches that 1) every saved person is chastened by God (v.6); 2) chastening yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them who are exercised by it (v.11). Since all believers are exercised by God’s chastening hand, does not this mean that it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness unto all saved people? Are you saying that in some saved people God’s chastisement does not yield any fruit?”

  40. John and Jim F,

    Thanks for those clear points of Biblical doctrine.

    Assuming that the Lord wants His dear children to sit under false teachers is a grave error and just ludicrous at best.


    We will pray for you as you share Christ, His Word and eternal salvation with your friends. And likewise as you lead them to web site. Be strong and encouraged in God’s Grace and pray for us here at ExP to remain steadfast and unmovable in the Gospel.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  41. Ken,

    All believers today are part of the universal church. Local church attendance is to be sought after but not all people have good places in their areas. We should not just settle and submit to false teacher as authorities. We submit to God’s Word which over rules them. Being a part of a church that over complicates or twists the gospel is no good. I am better off staying home and fellow-shipping with other believers in Bible studies or online at places such as this one until I can find a decent place or move to a place where there is a good local church. Eat the meat and spit out the bones is an awful philosophy that lacks Biblical wisdom and prudence. It will set a person up for deception and numb them to error. The problem also that discerning types may realize the error but your support of compromisers may lead others that you influence to fall for their error because you support them.

    Case in point. Last church I went to had some free grace sounding things at times but was really four point Calvinistic and had Lordship viewpoints. (Things like willingness to turn from sins and faith is the gift of God). I was always aware of these deceptions and these bugged me once I realized they were there and often thought to myself: What if my friends and family come here looking for a church either because I invited them of they did so just because they knew I went there so it must not be too bad? Then what if they fell for or got sucked in to the errors because they couldn’t see the danger and falsehood that I could not having studied the issues. I couldn’t live with that possiblity so I eventually left. Not just for that reason but also on principle. I now, because of that decision, have no current place to attend but I am not in sin. It is my earnest prayer and desire to find a place but no works oriented grace robbing place will do.

    Jim F

  42. Reader Ken had a comment, which I have summarized below. My comments follow each of Ken’s points:

    1. Jesus established the church to be a public, earthly institution that would mark out, affirm, and oversee those who profess to believe in him (Matt. 16:18-19, 18:15-20).

    My comment: Agree, with one exception. Jesus did not want the church to be comprised of those that profess to believe in Him, but those that do believe in him.

    2. Jesus established the church to publicly declare those who belong to him in order to give the world a display of the good news about himself (John 17:21, 23; see also Eph. 3:10).

    My comment: The church was established to carry the gospel to the lost and to make disciples of believers.

    The earthly churches of today are not a good indicator of those that belong to Jesus. For example, about 24% of Americans identify themselves as Roman Catholics. There are 16 million Southern Baptists in the US. Given that both of these groups teach patently false gospels, why would this be a display to the world of who “belongs” to Jesus? There could well be just as high a percentage of believers among people who don’t regularly attend church.

    3. Jesus wants the world to know who belongs to him and who doesn’t. And how is the world to know who belongs to him and who doesn’t? They are to see which people publicly identify themselves with his people in the visible, public institution he established for this very purpose. They’re to look at the members of his church.

    My comment: See comments to number 2, above.

    4. If some people claim to be part of the universal church even though they belong to no local church, they reject Jesus’ plan for them and his church. Jesus intends for his people to be marked out as a visible, public group, which means joining together in local churches.

    My comment: Some believers do not have a doctrinally sound place to attend. Jesus also commanded us to not be yoked unequally with non-believers (2 Corinthians 6:14). So, this leaves many believers in a quandary. Perhaps if believers would separate en masse from the apostate churches, more believers could find church homes.

    5. Scripture commands Christians to submit to their leaders (Heb. 13:17; 1 Thess. 5:12-13). The only way to do that is by publicly committing to be members of their flock, and saying in effect, “I commit to listening to your teaching, following your direction, and to submitting to your leadership.” There’s no way to obey the scriptural commands to submit to your leaders if you never actually submit to them by joining a local church.”

    My comment: Scripture also teaches that anyone who preaches a false gospel is accursed of God (Galatians 1:9). I do not believe that scripture commands believers to submit to doctrinally aberrant churches, particularly in matters even remotely affecting the integrity of the Gospel. I also do not think that scripture commands believers to submit to legalistic leaders who set arbitrary rules that are not clearly scriptural, or that allow their members to be exposed to false doctrine through “eat the meat, spit out the bones” philosophy.

  43. I don’t want to monopolize all the comments here as I already have, but John, Johninnc, Dtaylor, Mary, Jack, Charlotte and Bruce above, I have sure appreciated reading tonight…

  44. You know funny thing about books? I have Gendron’s book, and have used it for understanding Catholicism’s catechism’s vs. Scripture. But I tend to be a lazy reader, or a skipper shall I say? I get right to the meat, the passages they provide, and many times I miss what they are saying. I’ll have to go back and take a look at what he ‘really’ said in that book…

  45. I have a Bible study I attend, there are 5 – 6 of us is all. We meet at a church, but it is not under the auspices of it, the room is rented out. We come from various places, probably up to 30 miles apart I’d guess, not really sure. Finding online fellowship has been a blessing too that is for sure. I agree that we certainly seem to be in an age where there is not much faith on the earth.

    I looked up your link with Will Metzger and two gospels. It’d probably make a good review for someone here. He has taken a mish mosh of red herring arguments in some areas, and oddly mocked some truth in others such as making a decision (believing I am assuming he is referring to) or knowing we can be saved. He says this ‘other gospel’ omits ‘repentance’ for salvation for it’s works he says. (We of course omit their false definition of repentance) Jesus calls us friend. God loves us. They take the ‘if’s’ that they have defined and add, ‘therefore it means this’….

    Reminds me of the accuser of the brethren. Sad to see Mike Gendron going so far into the dark realm of Calvinism.

  46. Mary, I am so sorry for the sudden loss of your son. One Scripture I especially took comfort in when I lost my husband was this:

    But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Cor 2:9

    I also take comfort in this.

    For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. Jer 31:25

    My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. My soul melts from heaviness; Strengthen me according to Your word. Ps 119:25,28

  47. Mary, I can only imagine how much you must miss your son. How wonderful it is that he is in heaven, and that we will all meet him and one another there soon!

    Psalm 23:6: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

  48. D Taylor,

    You are right.

    I agree — that the church at Laodicea represents the Church time period (Dispensation) in which we find ourselves today… Christ has nothing good to say about the organized church of these last days.

    Jesus promises to rebuke and chasten them.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  49. thanks for your responses they are really helping me stay encouraged in these discouraging times we live in when no one wants to hear truth and especially in the church. i thank god for this site i must tell others of it. thanks john and jack and holly god bless i look forward to meeting u in heaven someday soon hopefully. i lost my son who was 19 years old suddenly and i am so envious of him that he got a head start to heaven i long to c him again. this world is not our home.

    god bless guys.

  50. To the Church in Laodicea : if we are in the time period of the church of Laodicea then Christ does not have any positive statement about this Church.

  51. Mary,

    Great observations and questions.

    I agree with John — ecstatic that we are not in a church that is preaching error.

    I and many others find blessed fellowship with other discerning believers here at ExP, where one of our readers described our web site as “An Oasis of Grace.”

    Yes we are told to assemble together as believers — but also not to have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, separate from error and false teaching.

    “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:11

    I cannot believe the Lord would be pleased if a person is a discerning believer yet sitting under a false teacher.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  52. Mary, it is God’s will that we be in a local church. Having said that, I do not attend church and I do not think that God is angry at me. I simply cannot find a church that is doctrinally sound. I would not be welcome at any church I know of in my community, unless I were to just sit quietly and listen to their errors.

    I am ecstatic that I am not sitting under teaching of false gospels of works salvation, or ecumenical mishmosh, or pastor worship, or the “eat the meat spit out the bones” philosophy of hirelings.

    I believe it is incumbent upon those of us who are clear on the gospel to defend and advance the gospel the best way we know how.

    From Clear Gospel Campaign:

    “Section 4 Christian Unity and The Gospel Message

    Scripture teaches the unity of the church as one of the highest goals toward which the church should aspire (Ephesians 4:3). We believe, therefore, that not every theological dispute merits separation. For example, whether the church of Galatia was located in North Galatia or South Galatia is a valid question, and one that has been explored and debated by theologians, but it is certainly not a question over which fellowship should be broken.

    We believe, however, that any area of doctrine even remotely affecting the integrity of the gospel is inherently serious (Galatians 2:11-14), that Scripture calls us to draw the line at the earliest point, and to yield not one inch on matters that jeopardize the integrity of the gospel, a compromise that jeopardizes the eternal life of every man, woman and child on this planet who has not yet heard the gospel message (Galatians 1:6-9, 2:5).

    Section 5 Christian Service and The Gospel Message

    In view of the above statements, we believe that it is the duty of Christians who are clear on the gospel to use whatever spiritual gifts, positions of authority, finances, and other resources available to them, to defend and advance the clear gospel in its purity and clarity (Philippians 1:7, 17).”

  53. i also want to ask when we see the errors of lordship salvation and calvinism and all the other works gospels that do not save and we are supposed to come out of them mark those that cause division and we stay home and get together with other like minded christians. all we get is u are forsaking the assembling. my friends are tired and frustrated of christians and even pastors telling them when they chose to separate from error to come to church. at the judgment seat of christ will God be angry at the christians for staying home and reading their bibles when they want nothing to do with false doctrine. are we not living in the last days surely God would not expect us to stay under error or be in compromise u virtually have to go underground when u no longer attend a church.

  54. I think some hate instruction as Ps 50:16-17 says, and just cast His Word behind their back. Scary part, God asks, “What right do you have to take my covenant in your mouth?”

    But unto the wicked God saith,
    What hast thou to do to declare my statutes,
    or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?
    Seeing thou hatest instruction,
    and castest my words behind thee.

  55. Mary,

    It is a shame that many do not see them as deceived.. but worship them as speaking their own version of truth.

    We are so thankful you see through the lies.. We who see Truth of God’s Grace are few. Pray for each other.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  56. was just listening to the latest radio show that mike gendron and jason hauser do together i was horrified. gendron does such a good job in exposing catholicism yet he is a calvanist. he was recommending a new book and that all bible studies should use called tell the truth from will metzger and he said there is a man centred gospel that doesn’t save and a god centred gospel. one is the correct by asking people to believe and receive and he is saying that doesn’t convert. the other is the god centred way which is calvanism. i can’t believe how confusing evangelism and the gospel has become. if u type in will metzer and the two gospels have a look.
    do these guys know what they are doing or are they themselves deceived i don’t know if we can ever know they may or may not.

  57. Mary, I couldn’t agree more.

    However, one wonders whether some peoples’ blind spots are willful. In other words, Calvinism/LS are more than just “blind spots.” They are belief in a false gospel.

  58. thank god for this site i will pass on to other people like minded that is. so hard to find these days it really is the death of discernment out there not too many people get it. most of the baptist churches are all in compromise. its so hard to put it out there that macarthur is a false teacher who preaches ths heresy. so sad really thought brannon howse from worldview weekend was a good ministry with people like justin peters and mike gendron. they are all endorsing calvanistic teachers they are all macarthurites justin peters who does an incrdible job in exposing the word of faith teachers yet is preaching at macarthurs current strange fire conference is so confusing. i guess we can all have blind spots we can only pray that they will c thru the deceptn they are themselves promoting.

  59. Welcome Charlotte!

    We’re so glad that you found our site. Come back often!

  60. Charlotte Atwood

    This website has been so helpful to me! I don’t know exactly how I found it but I’m so glad I did!

  61. D Taylor,

    Thanks for your comment. Interesting quote by Isaac Watts, especially in light of his historical reputation as being a “milder” Calvinist. Some Calvinists claim Isaac’s hymns contain Calvinist tendencies. I have not personally checked his hymns for Calvinist error.

    In reality Watts is simply paraphrasing what the Apostle Paul said more succinctly by inspiration of the Holy Spirit and recorded in Scripture in many verses thousands of years ago:

    “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. Ephesians 2:8-9
    “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” Titus 3:5

    D Taylor, we appreciate your participation and insight.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  62. Not sure if yall have seen this quote from Isaac Watts before. Thought i would pass it along

    Isaac Watts
    Neither the acts of love, or zeal, or repentance, or fear, or worship, or any other acts of obedience, are appointed as means of our justification, because these actions carry in them an appearance of our doing something for God, our answering the demands of some law; and this would make our justification by a law of works: but faith is the act of soul whereby we renounce our own works as the ground of our acceptance; acknowledging our own unworthiness, and giving the entire honor to Divine grace. We are saved by grace, that God may have glory of all.

  63. Hi D. Taylor. Welcome to!

    Yes, the situation of which you speak is rampant in Christian churches across the land. Probably a lot of what you to refer to is due to woeful ignorance among even pastors about the evils of Lordship “salvation” teaching and its destructive impact. Then, of course, there’s the old “go along to get along” syndrome as well.

  64. I can testify to the lordship mindset of southern baptist being a member of a small (300 to 375 attendance) southern baptist church in Mississippi. The pastor uses macarthur, the not a fan book, billy graham (my hope with billy graham program)etc.. Al the material (free grace) i give him not once does he acknowledge there is a difference in what is being said by lordship salvation and what free grace people teach and this is a pastor who will stand at the podium and say that salvation is by faith in Christ and in the same sentence will use Romans 10:9, repentance + faith, invite Jesus into your heart etc.. in a presentation of of salvation to the congregation. If i had another church to attend within the area (the closest free grace church is in starkville 1:30 minutes away) would leave this church.

  65. John, your quote by Greear on Timothy Keller is quite disturbing…

    “To Tim Keller, whose thinking has so permeated my own that I can no longer really tell where his stops and mine starts. I am heavily indebted to him for many of the ideas in this book, particularly in chapters 2, 3, and 6. I have listened to and read Tim Keller so much that I tend to plagiarize his interpretation of a passage before I even hear him teach on that passage.”

    All his bedmates unfortunately make it clear that the dog has fleas…

  66. Tom’s sermon was actually entitled “Life Lessons from the Dirt”. Following are excerpts that address soil number one:

    Minutes 18:59 – 19:12

    “How does Satan blind the mind of the lost? With false messages. You can sow the truth, and Satan will bring a false message to that person and it will keep them confused. Or, it will keep them lost.”

    Minutes 19:39-20:53

    “But you see, Satan blinds the minds of people by giving them a heavenly way to go to hell.

    And the most dastardly of all false gospels is what we call Lordship “salvation” or discipleship “salvation.” Who says ‘Jesus is necessary, but He’s not enough.” You must also be committed and follow the Lord if you want to get to heaven. That’s mixing grace and works. It does not save. It only further deceives people and makes their blindness deeper, and deeper, and deeper. Be careful! Be careful!

    So, the first soil that we see is the soil of pride. And pride of course – have you ever witnessed to somebody and they’ll say ‘I can’t believe that’. Why not? ‘It’s too easy. Oh that’s easy believism’. Or, the new one that they’ve come out with makes me want to throw up. They’ll say: ‘that’s greasy grace’. Greasy grace! You’re disgusting! How could anybody put the word ‘greasy’ with the word ‘grace’? Friends, let me tell you something. If you’re not saved by grace, you’re not saved. It’s nothing but amazing – grace! Amazing grace.”

  67. There is an excellent sermon just posted on Northland Bible Baptist Church’s website called “Lessons from the Dirt.” Tom Cucuzza provides a Biblical explanation of the parable of the sower (Luke 8/Mark 4) that everyone should hear.

    I’ll start with soil number 2, since so many people think this represents an unsaved person.

    Following is an excerpt from pastor Cucuzza:

    Minute 23:05

    “Now, some want to say that this person is lost. Those who believe in perseverance of the saints – which is Lordship “salvation” – say this person is lost. I vehemently disagree! That would make this works for salvation. Our final salvation was taken care of the moment we trusted Christ. It says that ‘they believed for a while’. If they believed for a moment they’re saved.”

  68. John,

    Good work on this. Greear is definitely one to be avoided. He really is just another pushing LS views. He sounds just like another New Calvinist to me. There’s no doubt others have used his same approach to build mega churches but there is no value if the gospel is changed. Those who preach another gospel are accursed in God’s eyes.

    Jim F

  69. From the “Acknowledgements” section of Greear’s book “Gospel”:

    “To Tim Keller, whose thinking has so permeated my own that I can no longer really tell where his stops and mine starts. I am heavily indebted to him for many of the ideas in this book, particularly in chapters 2, 3, and 6. I have listened to and read Tim Keller so much that I tend to plagiarize his interpretation of a passage before I even hear him teach on that passage.”

    “To my friends Bruce Ashford, Danny Akin, Mark Driscoll, Tyler Jones, Clayton King, Steven Furtick, David Platt, and Tullian Tchividjian: Hearing your insights, listening to you preach, and bouncing ideas off of you have changed the char- acter of my ministry forever. You have been gifts of God to me.”

  70. Another of Greear’s odd quotes:

    “A Christianity that does not have as its primary focus the deepening of passions for God is a false Christianity, no matter how zealously it seeks conversions or how forcefully it advocates righteous behavior. Being converted to Jesus is not just about learning to obey some rules.

    Being converted to Jesus is learning to so adore God that we would gladly renounce everything we have to follow Him.”

    My comment: What is “being converted to Jesus”? I would think being converted would be by BELIEVING in Jesus as our Savior, not by LEARNING anything.

  71. The more I look into Greear, the more astounded I become. In the forward to his book “The Gospel”, Greear writes:

    “Oh, I had the facts down. I knew He had taken the penalty for my sin. I also knew that He was the universe’s most satisfying possession. But if my head knew that truth, my heart didn’t feel it. I was motivated to walk with God primarily by my desire to stay out of hell.

    Recently, however, I discovered something that has changed everything.
    The gospel. I know saying that sounds strange for an evangelical pastor
    who is leading a growing megachurch to say, but it is true.

    It’s not that I didn’t understand or believe the gospel before. I did. But the truth of the gospel hadn’t moved from my mind to my heart. There was a huge gap between my intellect and my emotions.

    The Puritan Jonathan Edwards likened his reawakening to the gospel to a man who had known, in his head, that honey was sweet, but for the first time had that sweetness burst alive in his mouth. That is what happened to me.

    ‘Rediscovering’ the gospel has given me a joy in God I never experienced in all my years of fervent religion. Now I sense, almost daily, a love for God growing in my heart, displacing a love for myself. The jealously that once consumed my heart is being replaced by a desire to see others prosper. I feel selfishness giving way to tenderness and generosity.

    My cravings for the lusts of the flesh are being replaced by a craving for righteousness, and my self-centered dreams are being replaced by God-glorifying ambitions. A power is surging in me that is changing me and pushing me out into the world to leverage my life for the kingdom of God.”

    My comment: How can one have thought he understood and believed the gospel, while at the same time being motivated to walk with God primarily by a desire to stay out of hell?

    This doesn’t seem like a matter of “head faith” versus “heart faith”. This seems like a matter of disbelief (either having never been saved or having believed and then being deceived by Lordship “salvation”).

    Greear still seems to be looking to validate his belief by his changed life.

    Greear was quoted as saying that the person represented by the second soil in the parable of the sower – the person who believes for a while, but falls away – was never really saved. Fortunately, Greear is wrong in his interpretation.

  72. Guess who wrote the forward to Greear’s book “Gospel”?

    If you guessed Timothy Keller, you guessed correctly.

    Here are some more testimonials:

    “My fellow pastor, J.D. Greear, through his book, has helped us in this quest for gospel-saturated living. He takes the principles of gospel centrality and shows us how to orient our lives around it. I appreci- ate how in refreshing and real ways he makes the gospel accessible to others so that they can experience its transforming power. I especially like the book’s practical section on gospel prayer as a way to assist us in rehearsing these truths deep into our hearts and minds. Whether you are exploring Christianity for the first time or are longing to ‘look into these things’ again and again, let me invite you to spend time with this helpful book.”

    —Timothy Keller, senior pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church and author of The Reason for God

    “J.D. is clear on the gospel, humble and humorous. He’s written a book that’s good for the Christian lacking assurance, the Christian tempted to legalism, the Christian tempted to guilt, the Christian tempted to selfishness. If you want to be missional and faithful, reach- ing out while holding fast, this book will encourage you.”

    —Mark Dever, senior pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church and author of Nine Marks of a Healthy Church

    “My soul continues to be encouraged by the stirring up of strong voices to point people to the gospel and what appears to be a genuine movement back to that thing that Paul considers “of first importance.” J.D. has done a masterful job of clarifying and wringing out the gospel implications for the life of the believer. Whether you are a pastor, have been in church your whole life, or have recently become a Christian you will find this book to be helpful.”

    —Matt Chandler, lead pastor, The Village Church

  73. Reblogged this on Redeemingmoments and commented:
    Clarity of words is so important in the Word of God. Men are muddying and corrupting minds from the simplicity that is in Christ!

  74. John, great article. Greear certainly did give “lip-service” to believing, and then a boatload of time to his own perceived qualifications of testing whether or not you are saved.

    Why don’t simply go to I John 5:9-13 and ask them, if they have believed God’s winess and record of His Son?

    9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

    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.

    11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

    12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

    13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

  75. Pat – Like you I noted that the one qualifying factor of knowing whether someone is saved, they seem to avoid. And are they doing the very things they add to the gospel? And if so, what percent? And what makes them think anything less than 100% will be acceptable. They realize they fail, but still draw a line in the sand, evidently far enough away that they think they have passed over…

  76. This is just another example to quote what my friend has said (Wish it were mine) “error begats error.” Where in the Bible does it say “Surrender control of your life to be saved”. After we trust Christ, he begins to work in our lives and he certainly wants to be in control of our lives, but that is not what saves us. Justification is one a time event, Sanctification occurs over our entire life, and it is subjective to judge one’s level of sanctification as proof of salvation. Infact, notice sanctification is missing in Romans 8:30 “30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” NKJV
    I look at it like this, read the book of Romans, Romans 1-5 tell us about salvation, Romans 6-8 speak of sanctification. We get into trouble when we mix them up.
    I really enjoy this blog!

  77. mike thomas

    Jesus went through pure agony both before and on the cross for our sins,and to add anything whatsoever is a SLAP in the face to the Lord Jesus denominations just cannot get away from preaching their FALSE GOSPELS mike t

  78. I found some additional sentiments, expressed by Greear, in an interview by Jonathon Merritt, dated February 21, 2013. Following are excerpts:

    “Salvation comes by surrendering to Christ s lordship and believing in his finished work, whether or not you pray a prayer asking Jesus into your heart.”

    “Neither the great Baptists of the past nor the Bible describes eternal security as a one-time ritual that produces a guarantee of salvation no matter how you live your life. They described it as the knowledge that if God had started a true work in you, he would complete it. And the way that you show your salvation is genuine is by persevering for the rest of your life.
    Persevering in the faith is proof that you have the salvation you could never lose; failing to persevere shows that you never had it to begin with.”

    My comment: Note the alacrity with which Greear equates church tradition with the word of God (“Neither the great Baptists of the past nor the Bible…”).

    So, how do Greear’s views comport with the Southern Baptists of the Present? The following is from “How to Become a Christian” on the SBC website:

    “Are you ready to accept the gift of eternal life that Jesus is offering you right now? Let’s review what this commitment involves:

    I acknowledge I am a sinner in need of a Savior – this is to repent or turn away from sin

    I believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead – this is to trust that Jesus paid the full penalty for my sins

    I confess Jesus as my Lord and my God – this is to surrender control of my life to Jesus

    I receive Jesus as my Savior forever – this is to accept that God has done for me and in me what He promised”

    My comment: Does this group know that it’s message is accursed by God? How can those who purport to be in full submission to Christ’s Lordship so readily promote a false gospel?

  79. Hi Preston,

    Thanks for joining us today.

    Yes, 1 Corinthians 3:14-15 confirms what you say:

    “If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

  80. “…I would ask them if their present posture is one of submission to Christ’s Lordship and trust in his finished work. If so, they are saved, even if they don’t remember the prayer or the moment they got into that posture…”

    It’s always “trust in His finished work” AND…

    If anyone has to trust in His finished work AND submit to His Lordship or whatever else bologna to be saved, then His work isn’t really finished isn’t it?

    Even if it were true that your present posture must be one of submission to Christ’s Lordship, then I REALLY wonder how those who preach this live their lives. Are they perfect or something? It is no wonder they never admit to any personal flaws, downfalls, let alone doctrinal error..

  81. Preston,

    Welcome !

    We are happy to have another Free Gracer visit and comment. We are rare indeed and need to stick together.

    You will find a fellowship of like-minded Grace believers here at ExP. Come back often.

    You’ll also find great articles extolling God’s Free Grace — and many expose’s of those who would pervert that exceptional Good News of Jesus Christ.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  82. Good morning,
    Love your website. (There ARE other FREE gracers out there :)) I am sure most know this because I am no bible scholar.
    with regards to the parable of the sower. Matt, Mark and Luke give accounts of this parable. ONLY Lukes account states who is saved or not. According to Luke, the first group failed to believe and be saved (8:12) – lest they believe and be saved. He did not say the others were not saved. Why would he tell us the first group is unsaved but not the others. I believe it is because those are folks who bear no fruit – whose works are burnt up but they themselves are saved.

    My 2 cents – not worth much

    God Bless,


  83. Abe,

    Yes, John did a wonderful job of exposing many of the general SBC errors through one particular preacher, Greear (and his cohorts). As you know, there are too many more like him.

    I receive numerous personal emails from our occasional readers who want us to expose the heresy of their particular preacher or church. That would be a major undertaking — so we will expose certain men plus their un-Biblical principles thereby shining Biblical light on the error. As a regular commenter, you also know we encourage folks to study God’s Word in context and in the light of God’s Gospel of Grace whereby they can see for themselves the Truth of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, buried and risen. The Gospel, the Power of God unto Salvation. (Romans 1:16)

    Thanks, Abe, for your appreciation of ExP. We would be very little without comments and encouragement from so many discerning Grace Believers such as you.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  84. Thus showing that the SBC, from the top down, is off the rails. I don’t say that of individual SBC guys that might actually be going against the tide of LS. But the tide is clearly LS among the SBC “big names”, and I don’t hear many voices exposing it. I praise Jesus for this site.

  85. Welcome Brad!

    Thanks for joining us today and for your insightful comments and words of encouragement. Come back soon and often.

  86. Brad Richardson

    Wow, what a timely article! I walked into a Lifeway bookstore in Olathe, Kansas, last week. I picked up Greear’s book and it took me five minutes to pick up on the false gospel it contained. This site has been instrumental in honing my discernment for the true gospel. Thanks again.

  87. John,

    I looked at Greear’s Facebook page under “How do I know I am saved”? In addition to a gobbyledegook “explanation,” he ended his instructions with this excerpt from his book “Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart”:

    “Do you believe that Jesus has paid it all? Do you know that He is Lord, and are you in a posture of submission to that Lordship? Then rest in Him.”

    Those are awful instructions for a poor soul who wants to know how to be saved or questions his salvation.

    But that simply confirms what you wrote about Greear; a charismatic, young ecumenical Southern Baptist preacher of a metropolitan megachurch who is leading his poor people astray with lies. That is apostasy and not the Gospel of God’s Grace in Jesus Christ alone.

    “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.” Galatians 1:8

    Great article of warning.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  88. John,

    That list of “preachers” is quite revealing. They all seem to feed off of each others popularity.

    Not surprising that David Platt (radical Calvinist, Southern Baptist — Our article ) puts himself squarely in line with the SBC which has always been Lordship Salvationist, but recently jumping headlong into Calvinism. It is one big circle of apostasy.

    Furtick claims to have spoken at Andy Stanley’s Catalyst Conference in ’08 (I exposed a later version of that ecumenical conference in my Catalyst article) and likewise at a conference at Willow Creek church (with Bill Hybels, Emergent, Contemplative).

    Discernment and Bible doctrine apparently mean nothing to them.

    “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Romans 10:2-4

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  89. Jack, following are a few of the testimonials to which I alluded in the article. Please note that this is a different book than that referenced in the above article. My point is that Greear is getting ringing endorsements from the very apex of the SBC, among others:

    Some testimonials on Greear’s book “Gospel” Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary” – from David Platt (author of “Radical”), Frank Page (Chairman of the Excecutive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention), Steven Furtick (pastor at Elevation Church in Charlotte), R. Albert Mohler, Jr.(president, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:


    “Radical obedience to the person of Christ can only spring from reckless trust in the sufficiency of Christ. I am grateful to God for my friend J.D. Greear and his call to plant our lives and churches solidly in the soil of the gospel. This book will help you rest daily in God’s grace as you live continually for God’s great glory.”


    “With disarming honesty, J.D. offers an insightful look at the spiritual realities which face us today. I love the section on ‘Your New Indentity’! Perhaps the most poignant and central truth for me is “being gospel centered is not moving past the gospel but continually swimming deeper into it.’ I encourage you to read this book.”


    J.D. Greear is one of the greatest men of God I know. And one of the most brilliant. His ability to communicate the gospel in a fresh yet faithful way perfectly positions him to speak to the life-giving message of Jesus into you in a way that you have never experienced. And in a way that will change your life forever.”


    “What is left if the gospel is lost? That question should haunt the evangelical mind as we are now surrounded by so many false Gospels, partial Gospels, and confused Gospels. Addressing this emergency, J.D. Greear offers sound counsel, clear biblical thinking, and the full measure of conviction in helping Christians and churches recover the authentic gospel of Jesus Christ.”

  90. Thanks John,

    This is an excellent example of SBC churches and pastors twisting scripture to match their Lordship “Salvation” bent.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack