Some Lordship Salvationists’ Pet Passages Explained

We have received a lot of e-mail and comments with questions about Biblical passages that have been twisted by Lordship “salvationists” to try to prove, or bolster, their false gospels of salvation by works.

Following are some actual questions we have received, summaries of multiple questions on the same topic, or answers to false doctrine we have read or heard in other contexts.

Each of our answers is consistent with ALL of the following clear tenets of scripture:

1.  Eternal life by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone.

2.  Eternal security.

3.  Assurance of eternal life, based on God’s promises alone (i.e., not internally-focused on changes in attitudes, behavior, etc.).

There may be alternative interpretations that are also consistent with ALL of these tenets.

Any scriptural interpretation that is not consistent with ALL of these tenets can be categorically dismissed as false.

Please note that this is not a complete list. There seems to be no limit to the innovation with which Lordship “salvationists” try to prove their false religion of salvation by works.

Place your cursor over the Footnote number in the bracket on the right of the address. Click and it will Jump to the verse in question. Ex [x]

Follow the same procedure to jump back to the original reference verse by clicking the bracketed Footnote number on the left of the explained verse.

Ezekiel 36:26[1]

Matthew 6:14-15[2]

Matthew 7:16[3]

Matthew 7:21-23[4]

Matthew 10:32-33[5]

Matthew 19:16-24[6]

Luke 3:8[7]

Luke 8:12-15[8]

Luke 9:23-24[9]

John 5:28-29[10]

John 14:12[11]

John 8:30-32[12]

John 10:27[13]

Acts 2:38[14]

Romans 7:22-23[15]

Romans 8:12-13[16]

Romans 10:9-15[17]    

1 Corinthians 4:5[18]

1 Corinthians 6:9-10[19]

1 Corinthians 15:2[20]

2 Corinthians 5:17[21]

2 Corinthians 7:9-11[22]

2 Corinthians 13:5[23]

Galatians 5:19-21[24]

Galatians 6:7-8[25]

Ephesians 2:10[26]

Ephesians 5:3-6[27]

Philippians 1:6[28]

Philippians 3:18-19[29]

Colossians 1:23[30]

Hebrews 6:4-6[31]

Hebrews 12:14[32]

James 2:14-26[33]

1 John 3:9[34]

1 John 4:20[35]


[1] Ezekiel 36:26

[26] A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Question: Does Ezekiel 36:26 teach that all real Christians, once they have received the Holy Spirit and a new sinless nature, will no longer have the old nature with which to contend? In other words, this verse seems to say that a Christian will always want to serve God, because he has received a new heart.

Answer: This passage refers to the perfected Nation of Israel. If we look at it in context, this becomes clear:

[24] For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

[25] Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

[26] A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

[27] And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

[28] And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Christians have a new, sinless nature, that is incapable of sin, as is made clear by many passages, including:

Matthew 7:18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.


1 John 3:9: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

However, the Bible is clear that the old nature will be resident with Christians until death or rapture. If it were not so, then it would not even be possible to manifest the lusts of the flesh. We know, from both experience and scripture, that all Christians continue to sin to some extent. We see this clearly in the following verse:

Galatians 5:17: For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

[2] Matthew 6:14-15

[14] For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

[15] But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Question: I once heard a baptist pastor on TBN say that a christian who doesn’t forgive is probably not forgiven himself by the Lord because if he was truly saved (forgiven), then he would also forgive. What is your opinion on this?

Answer: An unforgiving Christian may not experience as intimate a fellowship with God, but his failure to forgive does not remove God’s one-time judicial decree that the believer’s sins have been fully paid for by the atonement provided by Jesus.

Think about it. If someone had wronged you, and you had not yet forgiven him 5 minutes later and you were to die right then and there, would you still be saved?

No matter what these guys say, if it doesn’t line up with God’s Word it isn’t true.

[3] Matthew 7:16

[16] Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Question: Does Matthew 7:16 mean that you can tell real Christians by the way they act?

Answer: No. Matthew 7:16 refers to false prophets. Their “fruits” are not their behavior. Their fruits are their words, and the words of their “converts.”

Matthew 23:15: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

If you read on to Matthew 7:18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

This is absolute. A good tree (the new man, born of God) CANNOT bring forth evil fruit. Similarly, 1 John 3:9: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. Again, the new man does not commit ANY sin.

But, a Christian’s behavior is both good and bad (being short of perfect). Therefore, “fruit” in Matthew 7:16 cannot possibly refer to behavior.

[4] Matthew 7:21-23

[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.

Question: Does this passage mean that that people who are not faithful and obedient to Christ prove by their behavior that they are not true believers?

Answer: No. This passage refers to people who are trusting in their works – either in whole, or in part – to get into heaven.

These people recognize Jesus as Lord. They tout their works as the reason they should get into heaven. They are not thrown into hell because of sinful lifestyles, or lack of sufficient good works. No, they are condemned because they have not believed in Jesus as Savior. Please note that Jesus did not refute their claims of good works. They were not His, because they did not believe.

[5] Matthew 10:32-33

[32] Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

[33] But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Question: I had a question on what is the best response to those who use Matthew 10:32&33 as a tool for telling a lost person to be saved?

I can remember a youth pastor years ago had everybody come up and confess Christ because he said if we didn’t, then we aren’t completely saved.

Answer: I would simply ask your pastor (or others that think that publicly confessing Christ is required in order to receive the free gift of eternal life) how they can arrive at that conclusion when so many other passages clearly say that anyone who BELIEVES in Jesus as Savor has eternal life.

You might also ask them to explain John 12:42-43:

[42] Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
[43] For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

These people who believed on him had already received eternal life. There is no such thing as not being “completely saved.” Receiving eternal life is a gift that happens the moment one believes in Jesus as Savior. Eternal life cannot be earned (by publicly confessing Christ), anymore than it could be purchased with money, by performing good deeds, etc. The only thing that could take away our sin was the death that Jesus paid on our behalf.

When someone believes in Jesus as Savior, they are at that moment declared “not guilty” of any sin they committed (that covers sins committed in the past, present, and future).

Confessing Christ is essential in being identified with Christ, being an obedient disciple, and having close fellowship with Him. But, it is not required to receive the free gift of eternal life.

When Jesus says He will deny the person who denies Him, he means that He will not commend him at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Such a person cannot expect to hear “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” at the Judgment. But, he still is saved.

[6] Matthew 19:16-24

[16] And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

[17] And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

[18] He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

[19] Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

[20] The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

[21] Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

[22] But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

[23] Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

[24] And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Question: Was Jesus telling the young man in this passage that he had to give up his money in order to have eternal life?

Answer: No. Jesus told the young man in this passage that he must be perfect to enter into heaven. In verse 17, Jesus says: “…if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”

Of course, Jesus knew that the young man had not – and could not – keep the commandments. Therefore, the young man needed another approach to receiving eternal life. He was trusting in his self-righteousness, which Jesus unmasked. The young man needed to trust in the righteousness of Christ for eternal life. In verse 17, Jesus asked the young man: “… Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God:” The young man did not know that Jesus was God.

The Bible is clear that understanding and believing in the deity of Christ is essential to believing in Him as Savior. This is made clear in 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.

[7] Luke 3:8

[8] Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

Question: What are the “fruits of repentance” to which John the Baptist is referring in this verse?

Answer: None. There is no such thing as “fruits of repentance” in the Bible. The verse says “fruits worthy of repentance.” This may sound like mincing words, but it’s not. Fruits of repentance would mean that fruits AUTOMATICALLY follow repentance. They don’t. That’s why the people asked John the Baptist what they should do.

Luke 3:10-14:

[10] And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?

[11] He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.

[12] Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?

[13] And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.

[14] And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

The object of repentance in this verse is the mistaken belief held by some of the people who had come to be baptized (the Pharisees and Sadducees – see Matthew 3:7) that their Jewish ancestry would save them. That is why Luke 3:8 says: “…and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father…”

[8] Luke 8:12-15

[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.

[13] They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

[14] And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

[15] But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

 Question: Which groups of people in the parable of the Sower represent saved people?

Answer: The first group (Luke 8:12) represents unsaved people. The other three groups (Luke 8:13-15) represent eternally secure believers, with varying degrees of faithfulness. The Bible is clear that anyone who believes in Christ as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.   Those people represented by soils 2-4 all believed in Jesus.

 [9] Luke 9:23-24

[23] And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

[24] For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

Question: Does Luke 9:23-24 teach that someone must take up his cross daily and follow Christ in order to receive eternal life?

Answer: No. Being a committed follower of Christ is not a requirement for receiving eternal life. If it were, then salvation would be by faith plus works. The Bible teaches that salvation is by grace, through faith in Christ.

Romans 11:6 makes this clear: 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.

Being a disciple is costly. Those who follow Jesus must give up living for themselves. Following Jesus is the wise course for believers. Failure to do so will result in a wasted life, rather than the abundant life that God desires for His children.

 [10] John 5:28-29

[28] Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

[29] And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Question: These verses seem to teach that Christians are people who have a pattern of having done good things in their lives, whereas non-believers are people characterized by having done evil things in their lives. How does this comport with salvation by grace through faith in Christ?

Answer: The reason the dead in Christ are described as “good,” is that their new nature is completely sinless. They are righteous and without sin in God’s eyes, by virtue of having Christ’s imputed righteousness.

The people that are described as having “done evil” have only filthy rags. Because they have not believed in Jesus as Savior, they have not been born again. They are still dead in their trespasses and sins, and are not acceptable to God for entrance into His Kingdom.

[11] John 14:12

[12] Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

Question: In an attempt by a friend of mine to claim that a Christian will have a changed behavior, he quoted John 14:12. I can’t seem to give a good answer. Any help?

Answer: John 14:12 is part of a wonderful passage in which Jesus is telling the disciples about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that will happen after He has gone to the Father.

John 14:16-18 makes this clear:

[16] And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
[17] Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
[18] I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

It should be obvious to anyone reading John 14:12 that the verse cannot be interpreted to mean that “real Christians will bear fruit.”

Let’s break it down:

John 14:12: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

To what works is Jesus referring? His miracles? That doesn’t seem likely. The Apostles performed some miracles in Acts, but they were certainly not greater than those performed by Jesus. Was He referring to bringing others to faith in Him? This could be, because through the preaching of the Apostles and those who came after them, more people became believers than did so during Jesus’ earthly ministry. Does this mean that every individual believer will do the works that Jesus did, and do greater works than Jesus did? I don’t think so.

Also, other scriptural passages speak of the possibility of eternally secure believers being barren and unfruitful.

2 Peter 1:5-8:

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

[12] John 8:30-32

[30] As he spake these words, many believed on him.

[31] Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

[32] And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Question: Does John 8:30-32 mean that all “true believers” will be disciples?

Answer: No, this passage teaches quite the opposite. Once someone believes, he is a “true believer.” The Bible never once mentions any other kind of believer.

This passage sometimes confuses people, because Jesus is addressing two different groups of people:

  1. Those who believe in Him (see John 8:30-32)
  2. Those who do not believe in Him (for example, see John 8:45-46)

[13] John 10:27

[27] My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Question: Does John 10:27 mean that all people who believe in Jesus will follow Him in discipleship?

Answer: No. “Follow” in this context means to believe in Jesus as the way to eternal life.

John 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 10:25 provides a contrast to John 10:27, as the people Jesus is addressing do not believe in Him and are not His sheep:

John 10:25: Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

[14] Acts 2:38

[38] Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Question: Does Acts 2:38 prove that you have to be sorry for your sins and turn from them in order to be saved?

Answer: No. Peter was speaking to the Jews about their rejection of Jesus. They had been complicit in His crucifixion, which could not be undone. So, in this case, there is no sin to turn from. They simply needed to repent (change their minds) about who Christ is (God) and what He did for them (paid the full price for their sins). And, being baptized for the remission of sins means that once they believe, they should be baptized, not in order to become saved, but as a testimony of their belief.

[15] Romans 7:22-23

[22] For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

[23] But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Question: I thought all sins started from the mind, or heart. Romans 7:22-23 seems to say that anyone who is a real Christian will always want to do the right thing in his mind, but that his body “members” won’t cooperate. Does this passage teach that real Christians will always want to obey God, but can’t?

Answer: No. The “inward man” and the “law of my mind” in this passage refer to the new nature of a Christian that is sinless and incapable of sin. The “members” refers to the flesh nature (including sinful thoughts and actions) that does not go away when one becomes a Christian.

[16] Romans 8:12-13

[12] Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

[13] For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Question: Does Romans 8:12-13 mean that only Christians who mortify the deeds of the body will get into heaven?

Answer: No. If it did, it would contradict the many clear passages of scripture that teach that all Christians have received eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

The “death” referred to in Romans 8:12-13 refers to failure in the Christian life. And sin, fully developed, can result in abject failure in the lives of believers, and even premature physical death. We see this in the following passage from James 1:15-16:

[15] Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

[16] Do not err, my beloved brethren.

But, there is never the threat of loss of eternal life for anyone who has ever trusted in Christ as Savior.

[17] Romans 10:9-15

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

[10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

[11] For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

[12] For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

[13] For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

[14] How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

[15] And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Question: Romans 10:9-15 seems to say that believing in Jesus AND confessing Him are required in order to be saved. This seems to contradict the many passages in the Bible that say that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ. Is confessing Christ (verses 9 and 10) required in order to receive eternal life?

Calling on the name of the Lord (verse 13)? Both?

Answer: No. No. No. The Bible says repeatedly that whoever believes in Jesus Christ as Savior has eternal life. Neither calling on the name of the Lord or confessing Christ are additional requirements for receiving eternal life.

The confusion comes from the errant assumption that the word “saved” in the Bible always refers to receiving eternal life. There are many places in the Bible (such as Romans 10:9-15, Matthew 10:22 and James 5:20) in which the word “saved” has nothing to do with receiving eternal life.

Why would God park additional requirements for receiving eternal life in the middle of Romans, and fail to mention them anywhere else in scripture?

We know that confessing Christ is not required in order to receive eternal life from John 12:42-43:

[42] Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

[43] For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Here, we can see that these men believed on Him (Jesus Christ), which always results in eternal life. But, they did not confess Him.

In Romans 10:10, we see that someone believes unto righteousness. That means he is declared not guilty of his sins. He has eternal life from that moment on. He is not required to confess Christ in order to receive eternal life again. So, the words “saved” and “salvation” in this passage clearly cannot have to do with receiving eternal life.

Once someone has received eternal life, by Grace, through faith in Christ alone, he may confess Christ and pray to God for deliverance from trials, temptations, physical danger, etc. But, neither confessing Christ nor calling on the name of the Lord is required to receive eternal life.

We see this same concept in Romans 10:13-15, in which the Apostle Paul speaks of this process, rhetorically, in reverse order.

Here is the chronological order:

  1. A preacher is sent – verse 15 (except they be sent)
  2. He preaches – verse 15 (how shall they preach)
  3. The unbeliever hears – verse14 (how shall they hear)
  4. The hearer believes, and is therein justified – verse 14 (how shall they believe)
  5. The believer calls on the name of the Lord – verse 14 (how then shall they call on him)

One does not receive eternal life through faith in Christ and any additional conditions, such as confessing Christ or calling on the name of the Lord. One receives eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

[18] I Corinthians 4:5

[5] Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

Question: Does 1 Corinthians 4:5 mean that every Christian will have works, or bear fruit?

Answer: No. This verse means that faithful Christians will receive praise from God, and so they should not be concerned with the praise of men, which is fallible.

There are other passages that say (or imply) that spiritual fruitfulness is conditional and that some people may have little –or nothing – worthy of praise or reward in their Christian lives.

Consider the following passages:

1 Corinthians 3:12-15:

[12] Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

[13] Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

[14] If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

[15] If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

2 Corinthians 5:10:

[10] For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

[19] 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

[9] 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,

[10] Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Questions: 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 seems to say that people who commit serious sins, or whose lives have a pattern of serious sin, won’t go to heaven. Does this mean that true believers won’t commit these sins, or at least that they won’t have a pattern of any of these sins in their lives?

Answer: No. The passage means that people who are not in Christ (that is, who have never trusted in Christ as Savior) will not get into heaven. They are condemned because they have never believed in Jesus, not because they have committed these sins. Christ paid for all of our sins, past, present, and future, including the ones listed in this passage.

[20] 1 Corinthians 15:2

[2] By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

Question: Does 1 Corinthians 15:2 mean that we have to maintain our faith in order to remain saved? Does it mean if we don’t, that we have believed in vain?

Answer. No and no. This passage is part of a vigorous defense of the resurrection of the dead by the Apostle Paul.

There were apparently those among the Corinthians who were beginning to deviate from the truth of the gospel, as we see in 1 Corinthians 15:12:

Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?

The central thesis is that if the dead in Christ will not be raised, that means that Christ Himself was not raised from the dead. And, if Christ was not raised from the dead, then our faith is in vain.

But, Paul reminds them emphatically that Christ died for our sins AND was raised from the dead, in fulfillment of the scriptures. He reminds them that Christ was buried, and that the resurrected Christ was witnessed by hundreds of people, including Paul himself.

In verses 8-10, Paul discusses his spiritual birth, his call to apostleship, and his work as an apostle.

In verse 11, he reminds the Corinthians that whether they heard the message from him, or through the ministry of one of the other apostles, that they had heard, and believed, the right message.

1 Corinthians 15:11: Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

So, Paul is telling the Corinthians that they did not believe in vain, because Christ is our risen Savior! He is not telling them that they will lose their eternal life if they stop believing this. He is telling them they will be bereft of any power for Christian living if they stop believing this central tenet of the faith.

[21] 2 Corinthians 5:17

[17] Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Question: Does this verse mean that whoever has believed in Christ as Savior will have an instantaneous change, in which their mind receives a holy disposition, their will is subdued, and their affections are changed from a love of sin and self to a love of holiness and God?

Answer: No. The affections of a saved person are not automatically changed from a love of sin and self to a love of holiness and God. Changing our way of thinking to line up with God’s way of thinking takes our cooperation, as Romans 12:2 makes so clear:

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

2 Corinthians 5:17 means that whoever has received eternal life through faith in Christ has been regenerated, resulting in the creation of a new man who is a sinless, incorruptible child of God.

This new man is a result of the second birth, a spiritual birth, which all who possess eternal life have undergone. The flesh nature, which is neither good, nor righteous, does not go away when we are born again. That results in a conflict between the flesh and the spirit, which will continue until we die, or are raptured.   We are instructed to walk in the newness of life (Romans 6:4), to put on the new man (Ephesians 4:24), and to walk in the spirit (Galatians 5:16 and 25) so that we can manifest the fruits of the spirit (which are good things) and not the works of the flesh (which are evil).

[22] 2 Corinthians 7:9-11

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

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

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

Question: Doesn’t 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 prove that one has to be sorry for his sins in order to be saved?

Answer: No. This passage has to do with Christians repenting (changing their minds) about tolerance for sinful behavior in their fellowship. Paul makes it clear in verse 11 that the consequence of their repentance is that they have become “clear in this matter.” In other words, the consequence of their repentance, in this case, had nothing to do with receiving eternal life through faith in Christ.

[23] 2 Corinthians 13:5

[5] Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Question: What does it mean by examining oneself to see if whether one is still in the faith, does it mean that a person could falsely believe he is saved while not really saved. Am asking for i heard many people including my own pastor who denies eternal security teach that a Christian can lose his/her salvation through excessive sin.

Answer: The verse to which you are referring (2 Corinthians 13:5) is often misused in the way that your pastor is misusing it.

This entire passage is one of Paul defending his apostleship.

Verse 3:

“Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.”

Basically, verse 5 means something like:

“You became saved through the word that I preached. Since you are saved, it should be obvious that Christ is speaking through me – what other proof do you need?”

I would choose another church.

[24] Galatians 5:19-21

[19] Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

[20] Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

[21] Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Question: Does Galatians 5:19-21 teach that people who commit these sins will not get into heaven?

Answer: No. This passage teaches that these works of the flesh will be manifested in the lives of Christians if they choose to not walk in the Spirit.

The people referred to as “they” in this passage are unbelievers. They will not inherit the kingdom of God (go to heaven), because they have not believed in Jesus as Savior.

People who are not Christians cannot walk in the Spirit, because they have never received the Spirit.

[25] Galatians 6:7-8

[7] Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

[8] For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Question: Does Galatians 6:7-8 mean that people who sow to the flesh will not go to heaven?

Answer: No. This passage teaches the law of sowing and reaping. There are consequences for everything we do, even as Christians. If we sow to the flesh, we will not enjoy the abundant life that God has in store for us in this life. And,  as Christians, we will all be judged for what we have done, and rewarded accordingly. We see this in the following verse:

2 Corinthians 5:10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

[26] Ephesians 2:10

[10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Question: Does Ephesians 2:10 prove that all Christians WILL do good works?

Answer: No. Ephesians 2:10 says that all Christians SHOULD do good works. And we should. It is not that we MUST – that would be works for salvation. And it is not that we WILL – that would be Calvinism (perseverance of the saints). It is we SHOULD – and we should. SHOULD is the only word that is consistent with grace.

We see, elsewhere in scripture, that Christians are exhorted to good works. If good works were automatic, those exhortations would be unnecessary. One example:

Titus 3:8: This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

[27] Ephesians 5:3-6

[3] But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

[4] Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

[5] For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

[6] Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

Question: Does Ephesians 5:3-6 teach that people who commit these sins will not go to heaven?

Answer: No. This passage, similar to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and Galatians 5:19-21, means that people who are not in Christ (who have not received eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone) will not get into heaven.

This passage, like the similar passages in 1 Corinthians and Galatians, is an exhortation to Christians to live in a manner worthy of their position in Christ. We see this clearly, if we continue reading:

Ephesians 5:8-11:

[8] For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

[9] (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

[10] Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

[11] And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

[28] Philippians 1:6

[6] Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Question: Does Philippians 1:6 guarantee that believers will become progressively conformed to Christlikeness?

Answer: No. Paul is referring to the Philippian’s financial support for his ministry, not their practical sanctification. His statement is not a guarantee that their partnership will continue, but an expression of his confidence.

[29] Philippians 3:18-19

[18] (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

[19] Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Question: Who are the people described in Philippians 3:18-19? Are they believers who lose their salvation through sin? Are they false professors who show, by their behavior, that they are not true believers?

Answer. There are at least two interpretations that are consistent with grace.

The first is that it is referring to non-believers, who preach a false gospel of religion (salvation by works, and the necessary demonstration of religious trappings).

The second is that it is referring to believers whose minds are set on earthly (that is religious), as opposed to heavenly things.

Verses 17 is  helpful for immediate context:

[17] Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

Verses 18 and 19 are parenthetical contrasts to those who conduct themselves in the manner in which Paul conducts himself. These are people who are absorbed with the trappings of religiosity.

The destruction, of which Paul speaks in verse 19, could be one of two things. If non-believers are in view, it would refer to eternal judgment. If believers are in view, it would pertain to a wasted life and loss of rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

This passage is also somewhat reminiscent of statements Jesus makes in Matthew about avoiding fleshly displays of religiosity, meant to impress other people.

Matthew 6:2-4: Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:  That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

Matthew 6:19-21: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

[30] Colossians 1:23

[23] If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Question: Does Colossians 1:23 teach that one must maintain his faith in order to keep his eternal life?

Answer: No. Colossians 1:23 admonishes Christians to remain grounded in Christ, so that they will be presented in a favorable way at the Judgment Seat of Christ (verse 28). The conversation continues well into Chapter 2, with the following:

[6] As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
 [7] Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
[8] Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

And, what are they to beware of? Being beguiled (tricked) out of their reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ (see Colossians 2:4, 18). In Colossians 3:2, Paul exhorts the brethren to be focused on things above, not on things on the earth.

[31] Hebrews 6:4-6

[4] For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

[5] And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

[6] If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Question: Does Hebrews 6:4-6 teach that a believer in Christ can lose his salvation?

Answer: No. First of all, Hebrews is written to eternally secure believers in Christ.  We know that the Bible is clear that anyone who believe in Jesus as Savior is sealed by the Holy Spirit 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.

So, when it says in Hebrews 6:4-6 that it is impossible to renew someone to repentance, I think it means that no one can come to a saving faith in Christ more than once.

If someone could come to a saving faith in Christ more than once, then the clear Biblical doctrine of eternal security for the believer in Christ would be contradicted.

Hebrews 6:7-8 compares and contrasts the blessings and eternal rewards for faithful believers to the lack of blessings and loss of eternal rewards for those who fall away.

Hebrews 6:7-8:

[7] For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:

[8] But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

The discussion of the Judgment Seat of Christ, at which all church-age believers will be judged, uses similar language to Hebrews 6:7-8.

1 Corinthians 3:14-15:

[14] If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

[15] If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

[32] Hebrews 12:14

[14] Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Question: I have a question about Hebrews 12:14 in light of free grace. How is one to interpret that accurately? Particularly “holiness” and “see the Lord.”

Is holiness in this verse a practical holiness to avoid the discipline of the oncoming A.D. 70 judgement (ie. “see the Lord”)?

Answer: First, I don’t think Hebrews 12:14 pertains to the AD 70 judgment.

Second, I think it is entirely consistent with the rest of scripture, which teaches that eternal life is a gift, received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

My interpretation is that our personal holiness is an integral part of our fellowship with God during this lifetime. 2 Peter 1:9 refers to being spiritually blind, which would definitely impede seeing God. Note that 2 Peter, like Hebrews, is written to eternally secure believers.

Our holiness, or lack thereof, can influence other people. The Hebrew believers were at risk of “dropping out.” The steadfastness of believers was essential in encouraging other believers. In Hebrews 12:15, we see the negative of this.

In addition to the implications of personal holiness in our fellowship with God, and the influence we have on other believers, we also may influence non-believers to see God’s light in us (see Matthew 5:14-16).

[33] James 2:14-26

[14] What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

[15] If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

[16] And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

[17] Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

[18] Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

[19] Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

[20] But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

[21] Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

[22] Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

[23] And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness:

and he was called the Friend of God.

[24] Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

[25] Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

[26] For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Question: Does James 2:14-26 say that anyone who doesn’t do good works does not have eternal life?

Answer: No. The Book of James was written to eternally secure believers to spur them to an active faith.

“Saved” in the context of this passage does not refer to whether or not one has eternal life, but is speaking to deliverance of oneself, or others, from trial and perils of life.

“Justified” in the context of this passage does not refer to eternal justification before God, but to justification before men.

For a good explanation of this passage, see link below:

[34] 1 John 3:9

[9] Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

Question: Does 1 John 3:9 teach that true believers do not continue to live a sinful lifestyle?

Answer: No. 1 John 3:9 teaches that the new man (the regenerate nature) does not sin at all.   The old man (the flesh nature) cannot be reformed, and is still sinful. The flesh nature may be subdued to the extent that we walk in the Spirit.

[35] 1 John 4:20

[20] If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

Question: Does 1 John 4:20 mean that a true believer will always love other Christians?

Answer: No. When we love God, we will love those born of God. Loving God is not automatic in the life of a believer. If it were, we would not be exhorted to love one another.

1 John 4:11: Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

This verse tells us to love one another, because God so loved us.

1 John 5:1: Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

And, how do we know if we love God, and therefore other Christians?

1 John 5:2: By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

694 responses to “Some Lordship Salvationists’ Pet Passages Explained

  1. Cody Liu,

    1 John 3:6-9 has literally been hijacked by Lordship Salvation proponents. This passage will no doubt be used to teach that “repentance” or “turning from sins” is imperative for salvation.

    This passage is indeed referring to the new nature, which is the INNER MAN, the regenerate part of us that is sinless as we have the perfect imputed righteousness of Christ. However, the OUTER MAN, which is the FLESH, our old sin nature, still sins no matter what and no matter how hard we try not to.

    The apostle Paul understood this well as he still sinned AFTER his conversion and experienced the constant internal conflict where the flesh wars against the INNER MAN which prompted him to write Romans 7:14-25. We all still sin which is why 1 John 1:8-10 and 1 John 2:1 was written.

    A good refutation of the Lordship Salvation eisegesis of 1 John 3:6-9 are the New Testament examples of the Corinthian Church. There was no doubt a heap of sinning among the saved believers in that church as there was envy, strife, and divisions – 1 Corinthians 3:3, incest with one’s stepmother – 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, arrogance – 1 Corinthians 4:18, lawsuits – 1 Corinthians 6:7-8, fornication – 1 Corinthians 7:2, gluttony and drunkenness at the Lord’s Supper – 1 Corinthians 11:20-22.

    The Corinthian Christians of the apostle Paul’s time certainly would convince many people that they were “unsaved” or “had lost their salvation.” Their lives were deplorable and were living in gross sin and immorality, but Paul affirmed the fact that they were saved in 1 Corinthians 3:1 as he addressed them as “brethren” that were “carnal babes in Christ”. Paul would not have addressed them in that way if they were not saved.

    When Paul addressed the Corinthian church they were living in sexual immorality, lawsuits, divisions, etc, at the very time when he wrote to them. Lordshippers just love to change the plain text. NO, Paul was addressing and rebuking them in their PRESENT STATE while they were living in sin. It makes no logical sense for the apostle Paul to address and rebuke them if the Corinthians “grew” and matured. Paul addresses them as “Brethren” meaning they were saved, but he couldn’t address them as spiritual and mature because they were not. They were saved, but CARNAL and BABES IN CHRIST who were still not growing as Paul said they were still drinking milk.

    1 Corinthians 3:1 KJV – “And I, BRETHREN, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto CARNAL, even as unto BABES IN CHRIST.”

    1 Corinthians 3:2 – I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, YOU ARE STILL NOT READY.

    Hope this helps, God bless!

  2. Cody, there are a couple of interpretations of this passage that are consistent with eternal life by grace through faith.

    One interpretation is that verse 6 sets up the contrast between believers and non-believers in God’s eyes, based on whether or not they have believed in Jesus as Savior (verse 7). That is, God sees non-believers in their sin, but looks to the new nature of believers in seeing them as sinless.

    A second interpretation is that verses 6-8 compare and contrast believers walking in close fellowship with Christ versus not walking in close fellowship with Christ (i.e., sin is not consistent with walking in close fellowship with Christ).

  3. I see the explanation for 1 John 3:9 on this page. Could anybody explain 1 John 3:6-9 too? Is it all talking about the new nature?

  4. The only evidence is that we have believed His testimony of His Son. I know they like to use and abuse 1 John. Sad they use it for people to examine behavior for proof of salvation. Many of them might look like great sheep in wolve’s clothing that do great things.

    But they are still boasting in their own wonderful works (Ps 94:4; Eph 2:8-9; Matt 7:22-23)

  5. That’s been my sad experience while researching fellowships in my area. I can find plenty of churches that claim to believe in “salvation by faith in Christ alone”, but there’s always some qualifier added, like “a true believer will have a changed life” or some other form of backdoor LS.

    Still searching “Gospel Gulch” for a church that preaches the Gospel…

  6. It’s ESPECIALLY problematic (to put it mildly) when they qualify the word evidence with “true.”

    Like all the other “evidence” is false?

    You can’t win with these people.

  7. Yeah, when a church said “evidence”, it’s backdoor lordship salvation. When they say that, run.

  8. yerbae, I agree. I don’t like any that use “evidence” instead of “belief” as the basis of assurance.

  9. This is from a church in our area, and exactly what I was talking about. I can agree with it up to when they say, “the true evidence of this new relationship” and then they use one of the pet verses (1 John 3:6-7)

    About Salvation:
    We believe that the death of Jesus Christ and his resurrection provide the only basis for the justification and salvation of all who believe. Only those who receive Jesus by faith are born of the Holy Spirit and thus become the children of God, a relationship in which they are eternally secure. The true evidence of this new relationship appears in fruits of repentance, faith, and newness of life (John 10:27-30; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-10; Titus 3:5; 1 John 3:6-7).

  10. Cody, Yes Yankee is very clear on the Gospel. He is the one, who after listening to his You Tube videos and hearing the clear gospel message, I finally trusted Jesus alone has my Savior and not Jesus plus my good works to prove I was saved, which I had heard from so many other false gospels messages,(LS, Calvinism). I was always looking to myself and knew I was not measuring up, and never had any assurance, but praise be to God, after hearing the clear gospel, now I know I have eternal life, because I believed his promise to me. (John 3:16, 5:24; Gal. 8-9)
    Pastor Cucuzza is who my wife and I watch every Sunday morning for our church service, because we our still looking for a church, in our area, to go to, that has the clear gospel as it’s foundation.

  11. Jenn, that’s the one.

  12. Ralph Yankee Arnold, pastor of Calvary (Baptist?) in Tampa. I found him on YouTube.

  13. Cody, I’m glad to see you again. All those teachers are helpful. I hope you get some great study time in His Word. His Word is truth, and when we continue in it, it is the truth that will set us free (John 8:31-32, John 17:17)

  14. Cody, I believe Yankee Arnold is clear on the gospel.

  15. Thanks for the info, I’ll check it out. I do agree that “change of action” relating to works or turning from sin is false. But what I meant is a change of mind from unbelieving or believing in works to believing in Christ alone and changing action to put personal faith in Christ alone as saviour. Aside from that, would anyone here recommend Dr. Ralph yankee Arnold?

  16. Cody,

    In terms of receiving eternal life, I don’t believe that the term repent means a change of mind leading to a change in action. Otherwise, that would indicate a “back door” works requirement for receiving, keeping, or proving that one has received eternal life. In other words, no change in action, no eternal life.

    From our statement of faith:

    One of the common attributes of LS is a false concept of the meaning of repentance in the context of how a person receives eternal life.

    Repent (metanoeo) means a change of mind. Repentance is absolutely essential in salvation and the word “repent” in the Greek means a change of mind. In the context of receiving eternal life, repentance means a change of mind — from any idea of religion that man may have, to an acceptance of God’s way of salvation in Jesus Christ alone. Repentance does not in any sense include a demand for a change of conduct or “turning from sin” to gain or keep eternal life, before or after salvation. To insist upon repentance that in any sense includes a demand for a change of conduct either toward God or man in order to receive, keep, or prove that one has received eternal life, is to create a false gospel that attempts to add an element of works to how one receives eternal life. Acts 20:21; Matthew 21:32.

    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.

    In Acts 3:19, I believe the subjects are being called upon to repent about the person and work of Jesus Christ – from disbelief to belief.

    In Acts 20:21, I believe the subjects are being called upon to repent about the nature of God, including His gracious purpose in providing for our salvation through Jesus Christ.

    I like Ron Shea’s resource on repentance at Clear Gospel. Following are his comments on Acts 20:21 and Acts 3:19:

    Acts 3:19:

    Subject Called to Repentance: Men of Israel

    Object of that repentance: Not expressly stated. Since repentance means “a change of mind,” we can only inferentially determine the object of repentance by determining the thinking of those invited to repent. Peter says, of Jesus’ execution, “And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as also did your rulers.” Peter has softened his tone from his sermon on the day of Pentecost. Rather than accusing them of delivering Christ up for crucifixion by “wicked hands,” he notes that they did it through ignorance. Since both were probably true in some measure, Peter may have decided that a less accusatory approach would be more effective. Regardless of Peter’s motives or reasoning, the only thing we are told of these Jews is that, through ignorance (vs. 17), they delivered up Jesus (vs. 13), denied him in the presence of Pilate (vs. 13) and chose Barabus (“a murderer”) over Jesus when Pilate offered to release one prisoner (vs. 14). In addition to this inferential information of what these Jews “thought,” Peter adds that Jesus was killed and rose from the dead (vs. 15), that these events fulfilled the law and the prophets (vs. 18). The only thing that can be inferentially regarded as the object of repentance within this passage is the gospel of Jesus Christ. To repent, to “change one’s mind” in a saving way, is to go from unbelief to belief. To change from rejecting Christ to accepting Christ.

    Consequence of Repentance: “Be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.” The context is plainly soteriological. Moreover, the rhythm and meter of this passage is profoundly similar to Acts 3:38. Peter is speaking, his audience is a crowd of Jews to whom he has ascribed some level of culpability for the crucifixion of Jesus, they are told the essential facts of Jesus death and resurrection, they are invited to repent, and they are offered the remission of sins. This similarity to Acts 2:38 weighs strongly in favor of a soteriological interpretation of Acts 2:38.

    Acts 20:21

    Subject Called to Repentance: Both Jews and Greeks to whom Paul had preached.

    Object of Repentance: God

    Consequence of repentance: The purpose or consequence is not expressly stated. However, one does not go out to a mission field, labor to get up an audience with men and women who know not the Lord of Glory, and present some message about God and Jesus Christ that is unrelated to their eternal salvation! This would be the height of absurdity. The texture of the passage is plainly soteriological in nature.

  17. Could someone kindly explain Acts 20:21 and Acts 3:19? Ive heard it used a couple times for those who believe in the turning aspect. I do believe that repentance is a change of mind leading to change in action, but that obviously depends on what your changing your mind about. Also, what are some preachers/teachers you guys can recommend. I know a few like hank lindstrom and Tom Cucuzza, but I’d like to know a few more, thanks.

  18. Thank you both, it is in a couple of hours, I thought it was earlier, so I appreciate the prayers.

  19. Holly, I have prayed for your husband, and for you, as he undergoes his surgery.

  20. Thanks Holly! If you do write an article on this subject, be sure to let me know here. Will be praying for your husband!

  21. I looked for the link, and didn’t find it, so I’ll give one response here. My husband has heart surgery in the morning. Israel are the ‘sons of the kingdom’ (promised to them nationally). The servants are also Israel nationally. The service was given to them. They are given the Master’s house to take care of. These two passages below show what was given to them to handle. Two groups in Israel, unbelieving Israel and believing Israel.

    What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them (Israel) were committed the oracles of God. 3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? Rom 3:1-3 (they were to give meat in due season)

    3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 who are >>Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the SERVICE of God, and the promises; 5 whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh, Christ came.

    For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the SERVICE of God, and the promises; 5 whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Rom 9:3-5
    (Davidic covenant is a house, a KINGDOM, and a throne — 2 Sam 7, 1 Chr 17)
    Kind of difficult to explain the whole thing in one comment, but remember he said, many will come from the east and the West and sit down with Abraham? That is spoken to Jews. Coming from the East and West would be Gentiles. He contrasted the Centurion to those coming from the East and West and said he had great faith. The children of the kingdom were not faithful. Jesus was speaking to Israel in those places, most specifically the book of Matthew. If we’ve been forgiven for all of our sins, then suddenly punished again for sins, we have a problem. And in addition, we already have resurrection bodies when this happens, and he will cast us out? What about Him never casting us out? What about us always being together with Him, (and so shall we ever be)?

    That’s enough for now, don’t know if I made it cohesive enough at this time of night, sleepy but my minds on tomorrow. If I’m allowed to answer more I will, but I’ve been thinking of doing an article, but there are probably enough that cover it.

  22. Thanks for your kind explanation John. I also totally understand you not wanting to rehash this topic. God bless you!

  23. Doug, as you have found in your extensive research, there is an array of opinion on this topic within the grace community. I really do not want to rehash our extensive discussion of that at expreacherman. I think my previous comment is responsive to your question.

    Having said that, I had once given considerable credence to the idea that only believers are given a stewardship. Therefore, I thought that the servants referred to in these parables (including the wicked ones in Luke 19:20-26 and Matthew 25:24-30) must be believers.

    However, Romans 3:1-3 may hold some clue to the meaning of these parables.

    What advantage is there to being a Jew? Unto them were committed (they were entrusted with – i.e., given a stewardship) the oracles of God (the prophets). Yet, some did not believe.

    This establishes that non-believers may be given a stewardship.

    Luke 12:45 says they beat the servants. Does this mean they persecuted the prophets?

    Matthew 23:29-31 says the scribes and Pharisees are the children of them which killed the prophets.

    If this line of interpretation is correct, then the wicked servants could represent unbelieving Jews, who despite having been given illumination, did not respond in faith – buried the illumination.

    This would make these references to the wicked servant have nothing to do with his lack of works, but instead would have to do with him being denied entrance to the Millennial kingdom, due to unbelief.

    I would rather not expend any more time moderating debate on this topic.

  24. Thanks John! Actually, I did read that exchange shortly before posting my comments here 🙂 I guess I just wanted to see how those who argue for the “outer darkness” referring to hell would view the Parable of the Minas/Pounds in Luke 19. Is the “wicked servant” in v. 22 in the same category as the “enemies?” Or, does the “wicked servant” represent a believer (in which case the “outer darkness” would not be referring to hell at all)? Maybe I missed it, but I don’t believe the passage in Luke 19 was discussed previously.

    You don’t need to reply if you don’t want to. Again, I’m not trying to ignite a big debate or anything. Just searching for answers.

  25. Doug, the outer-darkness passages are fairly controversial passages within the grace community, as well as being completely butchered by works-salvationists.

    We had quite a bit of back and forth regarding the outer darkness passages a while back under another thread. Holly’s comments are included.

    Rather than rehashing that debate here, please refer to the link below (starting with comments on September 10, 2015 and ending with comments on September 13, 2015):

    Ten Verses Misused by Calvinists to Deceive People

    Quite a few of our contributors believe that the outer darkness passages refer to hell, while some others think they may have to do with loss of rewards.

    Three salient points:

    1. Lordship “salvationists” commonly misuse these passages to prove that lack of good works proves that a person does not have eternal life. This explanation is diametrically opposed to grace, and can therefore be given no merit whatsoever.

    2. The loss of rewards view ranges from the passages being a metaphor for loss of rewards in general, to church-age believers being excluded from the millennium.

    3. If outer darkness refers to hell, it applies to non-believers, who have not relied on Christ alone for eternal life (not being properly clothed or burying the illuminating testimony of the gospel).

  26. Very helpful explanation of these passages! By the way, I have been following expreacherman on and off for quite some time, but this is only my second time posting a comment. I did have a question here about some passages that have been bugging me lately. I have been really wrestling with the “outer darkness” passages in Matthew and “overcomer” passages in Rev. 2-3. I’ve read books, articles, and blog entries and listened to sermons by those defending the outer darkness as a metaphor for believers who miss the wedding feast (i.e. marriage supper), as well as by those FG advocates (e.g. Dennis Rokser) who strongly believe it is referring to hell for unbelievers.

    Anyone can reply to this, but I had one question especially for those who believe that the outer darkness is referring to hell. In the Parable of the Minas (or Pounds) in Luke 19 (which seems to be a parallel passage to the Parable of the Talents in Matt. 25), I see a distinction drawn between the “servants” (including the “wicked servant” in v. 22) and the “enemies” (which obviously represent unbelievers). This distinction is the one reason why I have a difficult time seeing the “outer darkness” passages in Matthew being a reference to hell. I am definitely open to changing my views on this, and I understand that not everyone here necessarily holds to the same views on the “outer darkness.” I remember reading something that Holly posted here years ago stating that the outer darkness is hell. Perhaps if Holly reads this, maybe she could offer me her thoughts on Luke 19 and the distinction between “servants” and “enemies.”

    I am not trying to ignite a big debate here since I know there are solid grace teachers on both sides of this issue. I’m just genuinely searching for answers on these difficult passages. Thanks so much for your site and strong stand for the Gospel of grace!

  27. Joe, they didn’t do the will of the Father (seen in John 6:39-40). Their work wasn’t the work of God (John 6:28-29). They were boasting in their wonderful works vs. in His work alone.

    I always think of Psalm 94:4 in that the workers of iniquity boast in themselves.

    Arwen, you made me chuckle.

  28. Hey. I just had to respond to get the number of replies off of “666.” Yuck! I despise that number!

  29. Joe, anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior has the righteousness of Christ imputed to him, and as such cannot be someone that Jesus never knew.

    So, it is not possible for a Christian to be cast away by Jesus due to sin. The people in this passage do not have Christ’s imputed righteousness, because they have never believed in Him as Savior. As such, all they have is the flesh. They do not have eternal life. Hence, the appeal for eternal life based on their good works.

    Romans 6:18-19 is an appeal to believers to yield themselves to the righteousness that they now possess.

    Remember, eternal life is eternal.

  30. joe Wehrwein

    I am having trouble with the explanation below. Can someone help. Its question #4. It is explained below that this person was relying on this works. But Jesus says his “work” was iniquity. Romans 6 says iniquity is uncleanness. “servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity” So these people Jesus says depart were workers of uncleanness or sin. So basically, Jesus is saying depart from me, you who work sin? Am I missing something? Yes you can do great works but be sinful and he says depart?

    [23] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    Question: Does this passage mean that that people who are not faithful and obedient to Christ prove by their behavior that they are not true believers?

    Answer: No. This passage refers to people who are trusting in their works – either in whole, or in part – to get into heaven.

    These people recognize Jesus as Lord. They tout their works as the reason they should get into heaven. They are not thrown into hell because of sinful lifestyles, or lack of sufficient good works. No, they are condemned because they have not believed in Jesus as Savior. Please note that Jesus did not refute their claims of good works. They were not His, because they did not believe.

  31. Mitch, we are thankful that you are finding the site to be a blessing.

  32. This is a wonderful site to help me learn more about what Christ has done for us (me). Thank You again and God Bless.

  33. Mitch, I have found that the following approach helps keep me grounded:

    If any interpretation upholds the following three clear tenets of scripture, it might be correct:

    1. That eternal life is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone
    2. That eternal life can never be lost or forfeited
    3. That one can have assurance of eternal life based solely on God’s promise

    If an interpretation or teaching fails to meet any of the above, it cannot be true. LS always violates at least one of these clear tenets of scripture.

    You should also be on the lookout for people who concoct different types of “belief,” “faith,” “grace,” and so on in order to imbed works into the plan of salvation.

  34. Thank You very much for your answer. It helped a bunch. I’m going to continue going through your site and try to learn more about LS vs the True Gospel. Talking with a LS person is almost like talking to a Jehovah’s Witness, or a Mormon. They just cannot or will not listen. They are well schooled in their belief. Thank You again and God Bless.

  35. Mary, its hard to know why people make the claims they make regarding extra-biblical revelation. I don’t give them any regard.

    They may dream about it, they may not. Either way, it doesn’t mean its from God.

    If anything, contemporary claims of extra-biblical revelation make me less likely to trust someone as credible.

  36. Hi guys, keep up the good work, I would like to know why I am encountering so many grace people, one Pastor named Tim Henderson on You Tube, why they are having dreams and visions regarding the Rapture and Tribulation, some even claim that god showed them that the Coronavirus was coming, I don’t buy it, but why is this happening, could god be showing the believers for encouragment that his coming is near, They are not setting dates. Or is Satan the source.

  37. Mitch, welcome and thanks for your question.

    I am not a Greek scholar, but I take it at face value.

    If good works WILL happen in the life of a believer, then good works MUST happen. That is, their absence would be prima facie evidence that a person lacked eternal life.

    The Bible does not teach this.

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

    Who is it that is speaking in the above verse? Is He credible? Does He mention works?

    Mitch, arguing with an LS pastor about greek language in Strong’s Concordance may not be fruitful. But, you might ask him how a new believer could possibly know he had eternal life before any of good works kicked in. You might also ask him what specific good works he has done and if he is sure that those are the works that are referenced in Ephesians 2:10.

  38. I have been going through your website quite frequently lately and enjoy it very much as I am a person who is very much against the teaching of Lordship Salvation. I have learned a lot more from your website than any others. Thank You. Now I have a question that I need help with.. The other day I was talking to a LS preacher and Ephesians 2:10 came up and I said that it says “should”, not “will”. He said I needed to look it up in Strong’s Concordance and see what it says. I did and it almost seems like it does lean towards “will” in the Greek.(myself not being very smart on the explanation in Strong’s with all the i.e.’s and everything), Either way, I won’t be swayed to LS, but this kind of threw a monkey wrench into my thinking on this verse. LS preachers are almost cult like in their harboring a few “pet” scriptures, and they have researched them very well, to use against people that don’t agree with them. Any answers would be greatly appreciated. Once again Thank You and God Bless!

  39. Dustin Dyer, we feel your sentiment. We’re appreciative of what has been an oasis of grace for so long. Many say they are teachers of grace, but what ends up coming out of their mouth is works. It’s that sleight of hand that politicians use too. So I’m thankful for the Word that we can check what they say is the truth by. Glad you’re with us.

  40. Dustin, welcome. We’re glad that you find the site to be a blessing!

  41. I love your TRUE gospel teaching!!!!!

  42. Ken you said something interesting, ‘even a thought will produce another thought’…

    Carnality produces carnality, so walking after the lusts of the flesh produces a carnal believer as the Galatians were. Biting and devouring one another.

    Walking after the Spirit produces things of Him, but only He knows which things are done in Him and which things are done in the flesh.

    I note in 2 Pet 1:5-9 that believers who do not add to their faith can be barren and unfruitful both. I note also that the incestuous adulterer and the church didn’t even mourn over his heinous sin (1 Cor 5 & 6) and were doing all sorts of carnal things. I think on Anna, a woman devoted to prayer and fasting, yet she never left the temple, so was it that would really know what she was doing? Who would see her works? And then I think on those who are still praying in their sanctuaries and offering up sacrifices and look outwardly as if they are doing good works, but we know they are empty.

    We can’t know if a work is done in Christ, but we can know that those who justify themselves by their wonderful works display bad fruit. We need to realize the way we can KNOW we own/possess eternal life is because we have believed the testimony God gave of His Son. It is not because we have proof somehow by our good works.

    If so, we’d be hailing Billy Graham, Mother Theresa, Paul Crouch, Jan Crouch, Ghandi, Buddha, Krishna, and others we ‘thought’ were doing wonderful works as saved (don’t know whether some were or not). But several or none of them may ever have believed on Him, instead believed on Him (or another Jesus) plus their change and works and promises.

  43. Ken, I am saved, and going to heaven, because I believed God’s promise to me (and to the whole world), John 3:16 “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”. I don’t look to myself for any proof that I am a “true” Christian, that is shifting sand, my hope is in the solid rock I stand. Christ died for my sins, that’s the only reason I get to go to heaven. I may finish the race well, or I may not, but this I know, I am his child.

  44. Ken, You also have to remember that many devout Roman Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Calvinists, and Arminians have faith in Christ and do good works and possess fruit in the name of Christ, but many are unsaved because they all have a “Jesus” that front loads and back loads the gospel with works making it a damning gospel that cannot save.

  45. Ken, I have in my backyard 3 fruit trees: a lemon tree that is currently bearing many ripe lemons, but in previous years bore nothing, a peach tree that always bears immature peaches every year about the size of a ping pong ball, and finally I have an Asian fruit tree that bore much mature fruit this summer and in previous summers.

    I have had that Asian fruit tree for over 20 years, but for the first 16 years, it bore no fruit at all. Finally, at the 17th year it finally started bearing fruit. It would be wrong to conclude that since it bore no fruit for the first 16 years that it was not a fruit tree. The same is true of saved Christians where some bear much fruit, some very little, and some none at all during certain periods in their walk with God.

    Lordship Salvation people will no doubt write off and dismiss Christians who don’t bear fruit as “unsaved” with “non saving faith” and will push them into the Luke 8:6-7, Luke 8:13-14 category. It would be ideal if all Christians were Luke 8:15 believers, but the reality is that there are way more Luke 8:13-14 believers than Luke 8:15 believers.

    Many in the Lordship Salvation camp utterly fail to take into consideration that there are periods in saved Christian’s lives where they go through CRISIS. Death of a loved one, divorce, disease, depression, unemployment, financial loss, etc, and it is during those times of crisis that a saved Christian will bear little or no fruit at all, but are still saved and possessing eternal life.

  46. Ken, thanks for swinging by.

    Christ is righteous, and his righteousness is imputed to believers (Romans 4:24).

    It is God’s will that we mature as Christians, but that is not an inevitability. The parable of the Sower makes this clear, as do many passages in the Epistles (Romans 12:2, for example).

    Teaching that good works are inevitable in the lives of believers is unhealthy and unbiblical.

    If it is obvious what a “normal healthy oak tree” looks like, we would be able to tell who believers are by outward appearance, and we would start to inspect fruit in ourselves and others.

    So, I don’t think that this is a minor difference in perspective that we can just “tweak.” I think it is the difference between maintaining the integrity of the gospel, or not.

  47. So , I just want to understand your position…Faith/belief and works do go hand in hand. And in the law of action , a thought will produce an action (even if the action is another thought..thinking is a verb),,,,,,But your point is that salvation is a gift (not earned) and the gift of this relationship is Jesus earning righteousness for us…..Hence needing to believe in this gift and the giver of it. Otherwise you don’t even know a gift exists and you would not accept an unknown gift……. so I agree with all that……
    But just as surely as God will grow a seed into a huge oak tree so too will God grow and mature us with his spirit… will see a change as God works in us, it’s inevitable……It’s not us earning anything,,,it’s God doing his will in our lives and us learning to totally trust him in that adventure, how this relationship works….You will see change, some people call this works/fruit. they are a by-product of Gods love in us…I think when some people talk of repentance or discipleship or fruit YES, it can seem they are adding things on and maybe some are doing that…But we are all looking at the same tree, so to speak, and arguing over if the acorns are required for the tree to grow. Well NO, they technically aren’t , but you will see them and it will be obvious that this is a normal healthy oak tree because that’s how it life works…..I think if it’s framed in this way we probably can all agree to it and get on with God’s purpose in our lives. Yes, I understand that adding anything on will lead to a heavy yoke, but I think for a lot of Christians , just this tweak in the way they see the role of these fruits/works will show their proper place. I do think there is a win win here.

  48. Thank you for your reply!

  49. Fryingpan, Calvinists will misuse virtually any scripture to fit their false narrative.

    Proverbs 16:4 means that God is the creator of even those that choose to be wicked. It does not say that He made them wicked, that He made the wickedness, nor that He chooses who will and who will not believe.

  50. Hi Everyone,

    I don’t see Proverbs 16:4 (KJV or otherwise) listed here.

    It reads: “The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.”

    This one troubled me a lot years ago, so much that I made a note of it in my phone for future reference. It came up again today while reading it as one of my “through the Bible” readings.

    Should I assume that since there’s already a comment that implies we need not use Proverbs as our source for how to have eternal life? This would seem to be a good candidate for “Verses people like John Piper love(d) to use as a proof text for Calvinism”.

  51. Thanks for clarifying Johninnc.

    I don’t see those Scriptures as written regarding the believer’s works, but as a warning for the believers to not be behaving like the world (as they were in Gal 5 & 1 Cor 6). We see constantly a chastisement for believers who are living like or worse than the heathens. It’s detrimental towards others coming to know Him if we are.

    But I thank you for letting me know, I agree Outer Darkness is speaking to unbelievers.

  52. Holly, I think the commment by Keith, linked below, elaborates on his position and Keith concludes that he thinks the outer darkness passages always pertain to unbelievers.

  53. Keith, I am confused with you apply all but the 2 Tim 2:12 passage to believers. Are you speaking of outer darkness for believers? You cited Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 22:12-15.

  54. I think the first interpretation John wrote is the correct one. Because of the extreme conditions that will prevail at the time, the Great Tribulation will have a powerful sifting and purifying effect on humanity so that by the end all that will be left is faithful believers and unbelievers; there will be no unfaithful believers, as there are in the church age. Daniel 12:10:

    “Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand”.

    The judgment of the believing, faithful Israelites who remain at the end of the Great Tribulation is described in Matt. 24:45-47, and that of the unbelieving Israelites in verses 48-51. The judgment of the believing, faithful Gentiles at the Sheep and Goats is described in Matt. 25:34-36, and of the unbelieving Gentiles at verses 41-43. As in the church age, the faithful Gentiles during the Great Tribulation will receive eternal life by believing on Christ alone for eternal life, but will also be rewarded with an inheritance in the following Millenial Kingdom (as a co-ruler with Christ on the Davidic Throne), on the basis of their good works as believers, in Matt. 25:34-36, as will the faithful Israelites in 24:47.

    In contrast, as church age believers, we are told to purify ourselves in light of the imminent return of Christ at the rapture and the Bema Seat judgment which will follow. 1 John 3:2, 3:

    “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as he is pure”.

    Throughout the Epistles in the New Testament, church age believers are thus repeatedly instructed to walk by the Spirit so they will not yield to the lusts of the flesh (Gal. 5:16). Failure to do so in an unrepentant manner does not jeopardize their eternal life but does endanger their eternal reward, or their possible inheritance in the Kingdom of God as a co-ruler with Christ in the eternal state (Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 22:12-15).

    Matt. 25:31-46 is often misapplied to church age believers to incorrectly imply that good works are required to earn, keep or prove that one has eternal life.

  55. LukeNz, I agree that salvation is a free gift, and that works are not required to validate oneself to God. I think this passage does underscore that there is reward for good works done by believers.

    And, you are right that this is one of the most abused passages in the New Testament, whether it is from people who teach salvation by works or those who attempt to cynically use scripture to advance some pet cause or another.

  56. I’m not sure which interpretation is correct but I am sure salvation is a free gift which doesn’t need works to validate itself to God on judgement day. if works are required in any sense to be saved then salvation isn’t free.

    something that struck me from this passage is the fact that the Lord only has praise for his sheep. There is no mention of sin or impurity of motive I’m anything they have done. it’s as though he chooses to only see the positive, there sin been removed as far as the east is from the west ? There sins and there lawless deeds been remembered no more hebrews 8?

    I think you are correct also that the sheep haven’t been counting there works. They didn’t say “well of course we did these things Jesus, we paid careful attention to the parable of the sheep and the goats” in contrast they are surprised that God has owned any of what they have done . they don’t even remember doing such works . “when ” they ask.

    in contrast the Lord only has rebuke for the goats and the works they have done or haven’t done .all there sins of omission clear for all to see.

    could it be that in this passage there is a simple principle been taught that the Lords people justified by his grace have a kingdom they are freely given. also they have reward for there good works which we ought to all walk in as already saved believers which is nothing to do with been saved ?

    Does this passage show us that anything unbelievers have or haven’t done is all sin anyway not coming out of a place of faith but a place of self confidence?
    keen for others take on one of the most abused passages in the New testament

    love in Christ

  57. LukeNz, I have seen a couple of interpretations of the sheep and goats judgment that are consistent with grace.

    The sheep and goats judgment (Matthew 25:31-46) seems to deal with sheep (people who become believers after the rapture – tribulation believers) and goats (those who survive the great tribulation, but are not believers). It does not deal with church age believers, who appear at the judgment seat of Christ described in 1 Corinthians 3.

    One interpretation that I have read is that the only believers to physically survive the great tribulation will be those believers who are faithful until the end of that period. Unfaithful believers (and many faithful martyrs as well) will die physically during the tribulation. Therefore, this specific passage deals with either faithful believers (who are the only believers who survive the tribulation) or non-believers.

    Another interpretation is that the gratitude of tribulation believers toward the messengers who brought them the message of salvation will result in the tribulation believers providing material comfort and aid to the messengers.

    I don’t know which, if either interpretation is exactly right (I am more inclined to believe the first one), but I do know this: the people in Matthew 25:37-39 express surprise that they have good works that are commended by Jesus. People who use this passage as a proof text that good works are required to receive eternal life or to prove that one has received eternal life, would not be surprised. If Jesus were to commend them for good works, they would say “duh”! Many will commend themselves to Jesus for their many wonderful works done in His name (see Matthew 7:22-23).

  58. Could anyone explain the parable of the sheep and the goats and how it fits properly with the clear gospel of grace . Persuaded that the traditional exegesis isnt correct. Many thanks Luke

  59. freegracer24 – good to see you again, been kind of caught up with things going on with my husband.

    I was going through my mailbox deleting older things and saw the last comment from you. Completely agree with you.

    Interesting in Acts 26:20, the word is ‘prasso’ where it says ‘do’ works worthy of repentance. I believe a better way to say it would be to often do (or be busy with or practice) good works, worthy of your change of thinking.

    Obviously those works would be over time as you noted, and also by the original word prasso. We know eternal life is not earned by works or over time.

    I think a similar passage would be Romans 12:1

    I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

    It’s good for believers to do.

    Similar I believe also to James 2 and being exhorted to a demonstration of faith or justification before men (our reasonable service which is good for others).

    Also reminds me of this:

    This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. Titus 3:8

  60. Thank you John. Those were 100% my thoughts, I just wanted to confirm it. Again, thanks for your reply. God bless ^_^

  61. freegracer24, we are glad that you are doing much better.

    God never wants us to focus on ourselves and our works for evidence of eternal life. There is no assurance in our performance. Even if we thought we were doing great, it would be based on our standards, and there is no guarantee that we would continue doing great by our standards. Since the standard is perfection, eternal life has to be based on Christ’s righteousness, not ours.

    Acts 26:20 is an affirmation that it is God’s will that we do good works. We see this in Ephesians 2:10. We know that we don’t always do God’s will, which is why we have exhortations to do good works in places such as Titus 3:8:This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

  62. Hello everyone, I know it’s been a while, but I have thoughts about Acts 26:20. I am doing much better now with the assurance of my salvation, but I have thought about Acts 26:20 just now. I was thinking of 1 John 2:1-4 and how John said he wrote to the believers so that they wouldn’t sin, so it would be preposterous for him to then turn around and give them a conduct-based limitus test for the assurance of their salvation. Same deal with Acts 26:20. It seems preposterous that Paul would give the Gospel to people and then tell them to do things to prove they were saved, because the Gospel is meant to give full, instantaneous assurance, and mandate of works as evidence would surely cause at least some degree of doubt (which can fester and grow, and cause damage). Therefore, I think perhaps the “works meet for repentance” spoken of in Acts 26:20 might have something to do with the exhortations in the New Testament epistles. In other words, something like we would say, “Now that you’re saved, here’s what you should do.” Thoughts, anyone?

  63. Samuel Stansbery

    Thank you Johninnc. God looks on the heart. Right you are. Good website.

  64. Samuel, please see my earlier response.

  65. Samuel Stansbery

    So i know i asked a question in the previous comment but i think i have an idea as to the answer.

    I think maybe the verse means: through the word of the apostles. “Faith cometh by hearing”.

    Perhaps someone can concur or no.

  66. Samuel, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    My impression is that Jesus was referring to those who would be saved through the preaching of the disciples, and the preaching of those who would follow.

    I don’t think “believe on my through their word” refers, in any way, to confessing Christ as being a requirement for receiving eternal life, nor being an automatic consequence of someone having received eternal life.

    We know, from other scripture, that there are those who believed on Jesus, but would not confess their faith (see John 12:42). Those people have eternal life.

    And, I think there are some who profess faith in Christ who have never believed in Christ alone as Savior.

    Your last point is really not a “small note.” Had the thief on the Christ believed, he would have had eternal life, whether he said anything or not.

  67. Samuel Stansbery


    Im Samuel. I’ve enjoyed your website as it exposes the dangerous Lordship teaching and it’s hard to find preachers who teach grace instead of bondage.

    I’m curious what your perspective is on a particular verse. Maybe you’ve been asked about it. Maybe you havent. Here it goes.

    John 17:20- “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.”

    So i gather from the context in the preceeding verses that the “these alone” are the disciples.

    The “them” i believe refers to us believers on the Lord Jesus Christ.

    What does Jesus mean by “believe on me through their word”?

    Could this relate to Romans 10:9-10 where it talks of the confessing with mouth “the Lord Jesus” (not evangelism obviously)

    I agree with you that ‘save’ and ‘saved’ does not always carry the weight of the eternal but sometimes of the temporal. Perhaps Jesus wasnt praying for us at all, but somehow i dont think thats the case.

    I’m an ‘easy believer’. Jesus IS enough. I just want to understand what the Lord means with this comment.

    What are your thoughts anyone?

    Also one other small note: one could perhaps say the thief on the cross believed through his word: “Lord, remember me……” Leads me to ask what would’ve happen if the thief said nothing at all?

  68. Poor mixed up Tyler is at it again. I only allowed his comment because it was one that isn’t addressed here, thought you might like to consider adding it, this is such a wonderful resource here.

    I quickly addressed him, I know there is a longer more thorough answer, but he is more mixed up than the last few times, please pray for him as I know you have. Here is his laundry lists of reasons Jews can lose their salvation along with needing to be justified by faith + works.

  69. Bobbie Jo, I agree with John, the word for soul is also translated ‘life’ or ‘person’, so since the book addresses eternally secure believers, it might better be rendered as physical life, and or other types of death. One usage is Matt 20:28 – Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

    Life is the same word as soul and so we know Jesus soul did not die.

  70. Bobbie Jo, James 5:19-20 has nothing to do with a believer in Christ losing eternal life. If someone could lose eternal life, it wouldn’t be eternal life.

    The reference to “sickness” may have to do with physical illness, but also could refer to weariness, or fatigue regarding one’s faith in Christ. “The prayer of faith shall save the sick” does not seem to pertain to eternal life.

    There are a number of other interpretations of “death” in James 5:20 that are consistent with the doctrine of grace, including: loss of confidence in grace, in favor of returning to the law (see Galatians 5:3-4), failure in the Christian life, cessation of belief in Christ (Luke 8:13), and physical death.

  71. My apologies if this verse was addressed but I was brought James 5:19-20 by a LS person and don’t have an answer?

    A few verses up it speaks of is any sick among you so I’m thinking this means erring in the ways of God brings upon death but it says save a SOUL from death? Thanks in advance

  72. Bobbie Jo, I think your explanation is consistent with grace. If you haven’t already done so, you might like to read some of our comments in these passages. See link below:

  73. Thanks, John. I appreciate the prayers. Just got done some studying on Matthew 7:16 so I can, God willing, be able to answer questions when presented with them.

    I would like to share my thoughts and ideas on the leading my mind, and soul, was pulled towards when faced with this passage if I may?

    First, I would like to run through the words presented and their meanings if I could. Thanks in advance 🙂

    Prophet: a person who claims to speak for God
    False: not accurate; not true; in error; incorrect; wrong; mistaken

    Together meaning a person claiming to speak with the authority of God but speaks in error; teaches untruths.

    I believe the tree represents the false prophets with the fruit being their ‘converts’. The reason it can only bring forth bad fruit is because it has a false message which is spread to their students. Much like a good tree has an accurate message so the students are saved due to an accurate message. When it speaks of ‘And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity’ in verse 23 I take this to mean it wasn’t there behavior but their unbelief. The reason I say this is because they were FALSE converts so they haven’t received the correct message so they were very much still dead in their sins cause they were trusting in their works and not Christ alone. We see in verse 21’but he that doeth the will of my Father’ which they love using to attribute to a work we must do but they never seem to remember John 6:40 ‘And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day’

    Anyway, those are my thoughts. Thanks for reading my ramblings.

    Much love and I pray everyone is well. ❤

    Your sister in Christ,
    Bobbie Jo

  74. 2believe, it is great to hear from you. I am thankful that you are here and happy to pray for you.

  75. Thank you for this. I have been away for quite some time. Got swept up in fear of not having salvation due to lordship. I’m ashamed that I’ve doubted but now I’m stuck in that myself.

    I appreciate you praying for me.

  76. They certainly hate the message that grace is free. And they hate the messenger. That’s for sure.

  77. Jason, I think much of the persecution is coming from “churchianity” itself.

  78. When I hear the “warning” that persecution is coming to America, it has a similar effect, fear. Am I committed committed enough, or am I a coward?
    That “warning” has been going around since at least the publication of Tortured for Christ in 1969. And like end times date setters, the ones sounding the warning have so far been wrong every time. Even during the great tribulation, Israel won’t be sticking around for the guillotine but fleeing to Petra.

  79. Jason, I first heard that story about Perpetua in the 90s by a very liberal, social gospel, works for salvation believing Church of Christ pastor (before I was clued in enough to run for the nearest exit) and all that story has ever done is give me me is a stumbling block to shame me into wondering if I loved Christ enough to do the same (not to mention make me give unduly attention to so gruesome a suggestion).

  80. Jason, the problem with LSers is that they can always find more verses to take out of context, misinterpret and read into scripture to fit their false doctrine, no matter how many of their false interpretations we dispel.

  81. I have had Colossians 1:24 thrown at me by Lordshippers. This is no doubt a favorite of Voice of the Martyrs type ministries.

    Surely, Paul cannot be saying that the blood sacrifice of Jesus lacks anything.

    The verse before that is already covered and in the same context. The only things that could possibly be “lacking” are the missionary’s outreach and the believer’s belief. Paul fulfils the former, at his own personal cost, as he has explained. I shudder to even use the language.

    I despise the interpretations of lordshippers, catholics and mystics, who say or imply that it is not finished. Paul has the mystics in mind, when he warns later in the letter about those who worship angels (2:18) and who neglect the body (verse 23).

    Perpetua’s begging the soldiers to stab her is glorified suicide and disgusting.

  82. Jenn, that passage has to do with discipleship. No one is worthy (merits) eternal life.

  83. Can anyone help me understand what Jesus means when He says people who do certain things are “not worthy of” Him (Matthew 10:37-38). I thought that none of us are worthy of Him.

  84. Mary, following is a good explanation from Clear Gospel:

  85. Hi Guys,
    I am sure we have probably covered this passage in Revelation 3.14 the lukewarm church, jesus said he would spue thee out of my mouth. What is the context of this scripture, I don’t think its a salvation issue, how do we defend this passage to the salvation works people…..

  86. I will honor your request. I understand that Christian liberty has application to this matter where people have differing views. I was helped by the feedback of Holly, Jim Floyd, and Keith. And all of you have given me something to think about.

  87. THis will be my last comment on this topic, and I would like to end it here.

    I agree that one does not have to confess sins to receive eternal life.

    I do believe that the understanding and belief that one is a sinner, in need of a Savior, is part of believing the gospel. Hence, anyone who has ever come to faith in Christ has understood and believed that he was a sinner in need of a Savior.

  88. Sorry John, I saw your last response just now, and of course I’ll honor your request, I was just answering your question to me which I don’t even see now.

  89. For me I understand the confession of sins as agreement that we have still sin to be cleaned up in our lives.

    I see practical and positional sanctification, just as I see practical and positional forgiveness. I see physical death and eternal death, and death applied in speaking to our faith being dead. Useless, not never existing.

    Our sins were paid for once for all and taken away by the Lamb of God. That is positional, He is outside of time, but it was a done deal before we were born. As we know we still sin, we still need delivered from the body of this death. We still can walk in the flesh, and we have ways we can be delivered from that. I believe that is what the abiding is speaking of all throughout 1 John. We can either abide in Him and continue in His Word, the two needed things, or many things can happen, such as being carnal, sinning sins unto death, being caught up in error, brought into bondage, barren and unfruitful, blinded, having forgotten we were purged from our sins. We can cast away our confidence. Since we still possess our Adamic nature, I believe we still possess the natural desire to hide from God when we are harboring sins.

    I don’t usually ask for forgiveness, although sometimes I do say it. But I understand I have been forgiven for all past, present and future. It’s more like when I’m reading, it dawns on me that I have done something that was maybe presumptuous, or not esteeming the other person better than myself. Whatever it may be, it’s that the Lord through His Word has shown me, and thankfully, chastened me early with the truth. I agree with Him, and this is basically where my own thoughts are as I examine it. I see nowhere in chapter 1 where it addresses unbelievers. Not saying it cannot work for both, but I see only ‘we’ until chapter 2, and then I see ‘they’ being addressed. He says, ‘These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.’ I don’t see it saying that he is writing to those that seduce them, but that this is one of the purpose clauses. It is for believer’s sakes that these things are written. (1 John 1:3-4; 2:1;11-14

    So I ask myself how much joy and fellowship did I have with the Father when I was in bondage to loadship — bewitched by finishing in the flesh? How much joy in following after a false gospel? Did I have fellowship with other believers who were walking in the Spirit vs. when I was walking in the flesh? (Gal 5:16,17,25) I think I had to agree with Him regarding those things and talk to Him about Him as I went through His Word, so that’s basically how I see it. If I had hung onto my wrong thinking, I would not be abiding in Him, nor continuing in His Word. An ashamed workman.

    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

    So if 1 John 1:9 speaks to unbelievers needing to confess their sins for forgiveness and in order to be cleansed positionally from all unrighteousness, then we have a problem because it is law (#75/613 – Numbers 5:6-7).

    Hope that all is orderly and explains how I see it, along with Keith’s understanding, also RAS and Jim. I believe it’s a different forgiveness, only practically speaking, nothing to do with our position or relationship to Him as a child.

    I had this sitting here a good part of the day, I didn’t post it by accident, so don’t know how many more comments will be here when I do.

  90. Phil, I don’t think we will reach a consensus on this.

    I think all of the views have been adequately expressed.

    I would prefer we move on.

  91. I can’t see how John 13 is supposed to be connected to 1 John 1:9? John 13 says nothing about confessing our sins.
    Again, my problem with the usual understanding of 1 John 1:9 is how is it that a believer who has already been forgiven of all his sins and cleansed from all unrighteousness, (1 Cor 6;11), need to keep confessing his sins to get more forgiveness and more cleansing from all unrighteousness?
    Hebrews makes it clear that without the shedding of Christ’s blood there is no forgiveness. And that was done once for all time. And Hebrews 10 says that if we sin after we know the truth there remains no more sacrifice for sins. (Heb 10:26)
    I believe in being honest with God about our sins, but not to get more forgiveness and cleansing from sins–which we already have been given as believers.

  92. 1John 1 :1-10 Preached by Pastor Radke 1977

  93. What a great fruitful discussion. I have these passages and some additional ones in the article I’ve started, which may or may never come to fruition (Simon is one of them). No matter if it becomes an article because it always sparks study which in turn blesses me. If we remember that there were no chapter divisions or verses in the inspired writings, it’s helpful to see context, and 1 John 2:1-2 as well as the start of the letter shows who it is being written to and why.

    1 My little children, 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:

    2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

    I have always seen the feet washing in John 13 as an instruction for future actions of believers in practical sanctification, similarly to Eph 5:26. The Word instructs us as shows us ways we are not walking in the Spirit (Gal 5), and what are the besetting sins we need to lay aside(Heb 12); it’s part of naming His name and departing from that same iniquity in order to purge (cleanse) ourselves to be practically sanctified (2 Tim 2). We are already sanctified positionally, but the Bible speaks of us being sanctified ‘wholly’ (I believe that is practical cleansing of the Word and applying it to our lives-1 Thess 5:22-24).

    I find it interesting it’s usually false teaching we need to be cleansed from, such as we see in Galatians 2-5, 2 Tim 2, 1 Cor 15, or even 1 John that is being addressed. The gospel always needed to be reaffirmed in order for people to see their error. I don’t see it as a RC form of confession, but as we have the Word dwelling in us, we agree with God as to the truth of His Word. The same Word which the Holy Spirit brings to our remembrance.

    At any rate, it’s great to see such thoughtful and carefully laid out Scripture to express ourselves in how we might see and understand something. Thank you all for laying the Scriptures out.

  94. Keith, thanks for your thorough and thoughtful response.

    I think your analysis of the “sin unto death” makes a lot of sense, and I agree that Hebrews 6:4-6 is one of the strongest passages for eternal security found anywhere in scripture.

  95. John,

    I agree with you that 1 John 1:10 and 1 John 5:10 address unbelief as it pertains to an essential component of the gospel message. It seems that the false teachers about whom John was writing were Gnostics who denied that Christ had come in the flesh, that is, that Christ was both God and man, and maybe that they had not sinned and were thus not in need of forgiveness. It seems that such unbelief can pertain to either an unbeliever who never has been saved or to a believer who initially believes the saving gospel message and subsequently falls away into apostasy.

    If an unbeliever thinks that he has not sinned (1 John 1:10), then he cannot believe that Christ died to pay the penalty for his sins and thus, cannot be saved. Likewise, if an unbeliever thinks that Christ was not God in the flesh (1 John 5:5-9), he cannot be saved since he has rejected the testimony that God has given about His son (v. 10), and the object of his faith is a false Christ that does not have any saving power.

    A believer can also believe the saving gospel message, receive eternal life and then subsequently commit apostasy by believing the same errors as the unbeliever, consequently falling away from the faith. The apostate believer remains eternally secure, however, even if he never returns to the saving gospel. This raises an interesting point about the “sin unto death” which John mentions in 1 John 5:16 and 17.

    1 John 5:16 states, “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it”.
    I think that the “sin which is not unto death” would be any sin which a believer commits that does not affect the essential contents of the saving gospel message. Such a sinning believer still suffers a kind of death (broken fellowship with God), since John says that believers “shall ask, and he (God) shall give him (the sinning believer) life” (that is, the Holy Spirit will continue to strive with and convict the believer so that he will repent, confess and return to fellowship). James 1:14 and 15 describe the process that takes place when a believer who is abiding in fellowship is first tempted to sin, then yields to the temptation to sin, the result of which is death, or broken fellowship. Subsequent confession of that sin, per 1 John 1:9, restores the sinning believer to fellowship and fruitful service.

    The “sin unto death”, on the other hand, I think would be the sin of apostasy, or having the believer fall into error regarding the contents of the gospel message itself. Continued abiding fellowship on the part of the believer (salvation from sin’s power as opposed to its penalty), and the fruitful service that will save his life from being wasted and unfruitful or unproductive, depends on the believer’s continuing to believe the same saving gospel message that saved him from sin’s penalty in the first place (Colossians 2:6, 1 Cor. 15:2). For example, 1 John 2: 24 and 25 state that abiding in fellowship requires that the believer continue to believe that eternal life is a gift received and possessed by believing Christ’s promise (John 5:24, 6:47). As he does so, “the Spirit giveth life” (2 Cor. 3:6) by continually reminding him of his position and identity in Christ (Rom. 8:16), and the abiding believer enjoys and reaps the righteous fruits of the eternal life which he already possesses.

    If he falls into error regarding the contents of the saving gospel, the erring believer reverts to the default position of the flesh, or carnal mind, whereupon he “falls from grace” and is again under the curse of the law (Gal. 5: 3, 4). The law gives sin its power (1 Cor. 15:56) so that “the letter killeth” (2 Cor. 3:6). Consequently, the believer experiences death, or broken fellowship with God because of sin. James tells his readers that if any of them “do err from the truth”, and another “convert him”, the correcting one “shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (James 5:19, 20).

    I think that the “sin unto death” may be that which is described in Heb. 6:1-9. In the book of Hebrews, the Jewish believers were in danger of casting away their confidence in Christ and returning to the Mosaic Law for justification before God. In Heb. 6:1 and 2, the author warns his readers that the “repentance unto eternal life” (changing their minds about the role of the law from instrument of justification to tutor to bring them to Christ) occurs only once and is not thereafter repeated. In verses 4-6, he warns his readers that if they completely break away from saving faith, it is impossible for them to be renewed to repentance, meaning that they cannot change their minds about the role of the law in salvation a second time. This seems to be an act of chastisement by which the Holy Spirit ceases striving with the apostate believers to bring them back to repentance and thus, to the faith (vv. 3, 6). Consequently, they remain in the aforementioned state of death, or broken fellowship with God, for the rest of their lives, although they remain eternally secure since they at one time believed the gospel. Since they cannot bear the fruits of righteousness that depends on abiding fellowship, they yield “thorns and thistles” which will be burned at the Bema Seat (Heb. 6:8; 1 Cor. 3:11-15).

    Note that in 6:9 and 10, the author of Hebrews is “persuaded of better things of you, and things that accompany salvation [from a wasted life, not sin’s penalty], though thus we speak”. It seems that since they had already borne fruit, God would continue to prune them to bear more fruit (John 15:2) rather than casting them forth as a useless branch (John 15:6).

    In 1 John 5:16, I think that John was saying that those who commit the “sin unto death” are those believers who left the fellowship to follow the Gnostic false teachers. Since he wrote, “There is sin unto death; I do not say that he shall pray for it”, John was uncertain whether God would grant them repentance unto life a second time even if the believers in the fellowship prayed for it. In this case, “repentance unto life” may be a change of mind regarding the person of Christ rather than about the role of the law in salvation, as was the case with the Hebrews.

    I would like to add that Hebrews 6:4-6 strikes terror into the hearts of Calvinists and Arminians alike, but it is actually one of the strongest passages on the doctrine of eternal security found in the Bible.

  96. John, about that, I cannot argue, and I don’t think even the stauchest traditionalists in churchianity can, either. They used to call it the Our Father or Pater Noster. LS teaching, “Catholic lite” protestants gave it that unbiblical name.

    I think what Jim Floyd brought up about Simon Magus makes sense.

    I John 1:10 is one instance where I like the NIV better than the KJV. We cannot “make God a liar”, but one can “make God out to be a liar” through unbelief.

  97. I just wanted to quickly add my 2 cents on the so called “Lord’s Prayer.”

    I agree w/ johninnc and what he’s said about it.

    I’ve NOT been comfortable with any congregations reciting it since about the same time I put my faith in Christ in 1992. At the time (and my reasons are still the same, though I have even more reasons today) is that it makes void the word of God by being what I believe is vain repetition. Also, Jesus instructed us to pray in private. This is not to say we shouldn’t pray together, in groups, in public, or even corporately. But when I read the gospels for the first time in 8 years (in 1984 my eyes were blinded to the truth) I immediately made the connection in my mind that Jesus was referring to mindless repetition of the what is called the Lord’s prayer of the “Our Father”. No need to say more because you all covered my other reasons, such as why if anything it should be called the Disciple’s Prayer.

  98. Jason, the “Lord’s prayer” is terribly misnamed. It is not His prayer, because it includes “forgive us…,” and, of course, He had no sin.

  99. on a positive note God did use a Legalistic revival ministry to restore me to fellowship with Him. it was around this time of year 5 years ago I heard a speaker say ” repent of sins'” for salvation and I knew something was wrong with what I heard but didn’t know what. Praying asking for wisdom and seeking then found Hank Lindstorm on youtube then Yankee Arnold and expreacherman .
    I have been down a lot of rabbit trails that just ended up to be another religious system of thought till found expreacherman

  100. Keith, I understand your perspective on 1 John 1:9

    What is your view of 1 John 1:10?

    I see parts of 1 John that seem to deal with self-deception. Self deception can apply to both believers and unbelievers.

    Other parts of 1 John seem to deal with disbelief. Specifically, those two verses that refer to making God a liar.

    1 John 1:10: If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
    1 John 5:10: He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

    1 John 1:10 and the second half of 1 John 5:10 seem to me to address unbelief. Unbelief would include any essential component of the gospel message, such as Christ having died for one’s sins. If someone had never had any sins, Christ did not die for his sins.

    The Bible is clear that someone can believe the gospel, and have eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited, but then stop believing. This would include Lordship “salvationists” who have fallen from grace (Galatians 5:4). So, denial of sin, or denial of Christ is not proof that someone does not have eternal life. But, it does mean that they don’t believe the gospel now.

  101. We would want to catch sin in our thinking before it finds expression

    1Jn 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
    1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
    1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin ( SIN NATURE), we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

  102. Yes it is strong Jason and wished it were not so but its scripture.
    I myself “went to church” a Independent fundamentalist Bible church that even taught Scofield and yet so much of the Truth of The Gospel was left unsaid . The faith rest life was unheard of .. all doctrines were taught in an attempt to harmonize into a common collective .
    Now this was still no excuse for me not to study the word of God on my own but i did with a preconceived doctrine of Calvinism that was ground into me.
    for many years i struggled with anger and overwhelming impure thoughts begging the Lord to take them away . while all along they had been taken away by “the Law of the Spirit” but law keeping “legalism” kept kicking them back up “for the Law is the knowledge of sin” . were ever there is Law keeping there is immorality.

    and Yes that is still some thing that is hard to get over all the church going I did and all the centuries of “church” doctrines that missed the Gospel and still today there are very very few places were a soul could here a clear Gospel of Grace presentation. People i have known of or thought i knew my wife and I are now shunned and ignored .
    However I am Thankful that I see what others do not and yet i realize i could wonder off into strange doctrines by not reminding myself of the simplicity in Christ . That I / We have a perfect position in Christ Jesus .

  103. I think that Simon was an eternally- secure believer who was walking in unrepentant sin until Peter rebuked him. Thus, before he repented he was headed for God’s chastisement, perhaps in the same manner as the Corinthians in I Cor. 11:29-31. Prayer for forgiveness may have averted God’s chastening hand and restored Simeon to fellowship so he could resume or begin to walk in fruitful service to God.

    As for 1 John 1:9, to me it seems to be addressed to believers who otherwise walk in fellowship with God but need the periodic cleansing (John 13:10). When such a believer sins, the Holy Spirit strives with and convicts him of sin (1 John 5:16) so he will repent (change his mind about it), confess it and be restored to fellowship and fruitful service. To “confess” I think means simply “to agree” that the believer has sinned, and does not necessarily need to be verbalized in the form of a prayer.

  104. Jin, I am aware of this passage, and that it is post-cross.

    Yet, I don’t see that as a prayer being modeled for us. Nor do I see anything in any of the epistles suggesting that people ask for forgiveness.

    I don’t ask for forgiveness, but if others feel like scripture compels them to, or if they otherwise would like to, that is up to them.

    This is an area on which we will likely not come to a consensus, so we may just have to agree to disagree.

  105. John, Jason, Curtis

    There was the example of Simon the sorcerer in Acts post cross. He became a believer and was baptized yet had sin in wanting to buy the ability to lay his hands on people that they could receive the Holy Ghost. Peter then rebuked him and gave him instruction.

    8:22) Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
    23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

  106. Wow, that was very strong. There goes more churchianity history, all the way back to 110 AD. Not many Christians want to part with the Our Father. This is hard for me to let go of. Matthew 6 is part of reflection, if not liturgy, for all Christians until the 21st century, and here we come along and figured out that it is not a model prayer for us. I don’t see where anyone asked Paul how we should pray post-cross. It seems to me that the pattern remains the same but the application has changed.

    This is going to be hard for me to break from. The misuse of Revelation 3:20 was a recent tradition and is easy to part with, but this is real old. Is this the last of the popish practices that must go? I’m usually comfortable in a congregation that recites this prayer. Some congregations do not recite this prayer, but they nevertheless teach that it is the Lord’s model prayer for disciples and not just the Twelve.

    “Kingdom agenda” is an expression Tony Evans uses a lot. I am accustomed to thinking that the kingdom is both within believers and not of this world. “Thy kingdom come” reminds me that Jesus is coming again. Now I am wondering where I have gone wrong.

  107. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

  108. the Lords prayer is John 17 if we desire to know how Jesus prays.

    Mathew 6 is not the Lord’s prayer as “Churchanity”
    calls it. Jesus is answering a question from His disciples “teach us to pray” this should be called the disciples prayer.. this is also while Jesus was on earth offering the kingdom to the Jews if they would of believed.
    this is a “Kingdom” prayer

    as believer souls in Christ Jesus we come in Jesus name..
    we are not here now to present a kingdom but to present a crucified saviour Christ Jesus.
    (myself I want off this sinking ship) . The Kingdom agenda will be back on when Jesus returns Jesus will have His Kingdom on earth of this be most assured through the word of God.

    on a personal note (knowing what i know now) if i would find myself in a group assembly were the Lord’s prayer is enforced corporately . i would quietly excuse myself and never return.

  109. It just occurred to me that asking for forgiveness is in the Lord’s prayer.

  110. RAS – I feel your pain 🙂 The people I recently discussed it with saw it as begging for forgiveness (we’ve already been forgiven), and putting myself under law (to confess my sin to the Lord), and so we never did get to just discuss. The one gentleman (bless Him Lord) was using a site to post an article on 1 John 1. The interesting part was going to his source, the guy was using ‘Namaste’ and talking about God in a panantheistic way. When I tried to warn them about that and leave in peace, they used 1 John 2:19 on me 🙂 It’s good to be able just to speak about these things with other brethren and compare Scripture with Scripture.

    I pray you all have a blessed time during this season of remembrance, however people celebrate it, may we have our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace…

  111. Curtis – I thank the Lord for all of you, for the fellowship of like minded saints.

  112. Thank you Holly
    I don’t think you are wrong for choosing not to use the word relational. I use the word in terms of function and not kinship. I think back to how many times during my teens that my mother told me she didn’t even “know me”. She wasn’t saying that I wasn’t her son but that she didn’t recognize my behavior to be honorable. The relationship was strained but the kinship was not affected. One of the individuals I was recently talking to kept calling me a legalist. I could not understand why until I realized he was using the word in the strictest sense i.e. that for me to say that propitiation and justification carry with them a legal or judicial connotation he believed that I was making God a “legalist” and that the only relationship I saw with God was “legal” and therefore I believed in law generated righteousness. Anyway…

    To all here at expreacherman I truly enjoy interacting with you all. Thanks to John for keeping the site. God bless and happy holidays.

  113. Another trap is to get distracted by politics, theories, and other things of this world, e.g. wasting time defending or attacking books, movies, or other pieces of entertainment that you like or dislike and meanwhile neglecting Christian liberty. Another example, getting so deep into cult apologetics that you actually study the occult deeply, and then you find satanic symbols everywhere you look, from government buildings to children’s books. There was one far out site that flung a page of all caps to prove that the Wizard of Oz, which many of us grew up with, is satanic. And then I think of Daniel, who studied in Babylonian schools, and he was justified.

  114. Thanking the Lord for your participation here at Holly
    and your ministry testimonials
    praying for you a healing touch to you and Adam.
    rejoicing for your marriage helpmate
    thanking the Lord for your encouragement and others here at

  115. I hope you all had a nice time of Thanksgiving. I didn’t do anything, can’t lift or stand much right now, but I did do Bible verse/passage post cards and included the gospel in our prayer, that was nice. My one friend asked if she could take all the Bible verse cards home. She was raised an atheist by her French family. She is not at all resistant as she used to be. This was my mom’s first Thanksgiving after my dad went to be with the Lord, much like mine and the kids seven years ago. I think it touched my friend. There was also a young man there who as far as I know, does not know Him. I asked all to pick a passage and read. My French friend went outside, but she cannot read English well. Praying for you all, thankful to God for all of you. ❤

  116. Phil, like John said, many sometimes split hairs and add their own wording, when they’d do well to remember to present what the gospel is (1 Cor 15:3-4), which includes all that is necessary to know. And to trust in it’s power (1 Cor 1:17-18, Rom 1:16-17).

    The Bible says we as Gentiles have the law written on our hearts, we know we are sinners even if there are some who don’t admit it, the truth remains that Jesus came to take away our sins, He died on the cross for them.

    I just prefer to make sure that message is always included and that I answer any questions, but the requirement is still the same. Freely given, freely received by faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified. All they need to do is believe it, too many add sorrow, turning, really trusting on ‘completely’, or ‘with all their being’ etc. etc., which only leads people to question their ability to do anything we do with our ‘all’. Philip did ask the eunuch if he believed with all his heart before he baptized him, but I believe the point was to make sure he understood what he had expounded to him. All the rest is just man putting their own spin on it, don’t know if it’s zeal or ignorance or bondage. I just don’t want to accidentally fall into that error at any point in time.

  117. RAS – A little late of a comment, but I too am totally convinced that 1 John is addressing believers and that the “we” are the apostles, who heard, saw with their own eyes, whose hands handled, and who bear witness concerning the eternal life which was with the Father and declare to the readers (believers) that they may also have fellowship as the apostles”, (and also that they would have fellowship with the Father and that their join might remain full). I don’t choose to use the word relational because relationally we are children of God, yet sometimes children can be far out of obedience, as we know, even to the point of physical death. But don’t want to go much further as this is not my place to do, just wanted to let you know I agree and see the difference between position and practical. God bless you, hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.

  118. not of yourselves =Jesus as Lord for justification
    Jesus IS Lord that does not change Jesus is Lord wether I appropriate the gift of salvation or not He remains Lord.
    Jesus is OUR /my Lord upon Trusting in/on His finished work
    We live the Christian life the same way by Faith the only response to grace is faith.

    as difficult for the unbeliever to see salvation by grace through faith a free gift. the believer has the same difficulty living the Christian life.
    a clear Gospel of grace. knowing the 3 tenses of
    justification, sanctification, glorifiction.
    that we have a perfect postion in Christ Jesus unchanging reguadless of our behavior. and that through our failures God wants to show us wrre we our competeting with Him to live the Christian Life.
    God didn’t ask us to do anything but to Trust rely depend on Him.
    by a mental occupation with His word and allowing the Holy Spirit to adjust are thinking.
    we dont become spiritual by anything we do other than Trusting Jesus as our Saviour and we are completely spiritual in a blink.
    Growth takes time.
    spirituality and growth seperate
    at any given time we are either spiritual or carnal
    there is carnal moral and carnal imoral

    eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

  119. Curtis, agree. When someone’s “gospel” gets confusing, it’s not coming from God.

  120. satan, self (old sin nature) and the world system never take away from the simplicity that is in Christ.
    they always add to the Gospel of Grace.
    self(old sin nature) hates that there is nothing can do to earn heaven.
    satan and world system has many many many imposter ways to god.

    along with what Jim said it got to the point for me i needed to turn everything off and seek the Truth of The Gospel myself while asking for wisdom and understanding.
    the crossless gospel is a very deceptive gospel that is not the gospel.
    i do believe souls our saved that fall into that ditch
    but confused and can keep the lost lost

  121. Phil and Jasonc65,

    To be sure men tend to over complicate the plain truth of the Word. It is good to avoid any hyper or ultra or crosswords types from the start if possible. The sad thing is that many Grace believers recently freed from the bondage of LS are not always ready to contend with other ditches. The need to be a Berean never stops.

    One of the traps is fall into what I call splitting theological hairs down to the point where it really becomes the philosophy of men. Take the crossless gospel for example. It is every bit as errant as Calvinism for different reasons. And this is trap for many even good men that we mostly agree with:
    They begin to answer point by point the charges of the false teachers but in their zeal to do so they make subtle errors themselves because they are trying so hard. And listening to so many voices around them rather than being personally as focused on what the texts are actually saying. For example take the “Jesus died spiritually” error as espoused in various degrees by various free grace teachers. What good is standing against false things like Calvinism or crossless gospels if we are going to create our own heresies.

    I am thankful for sites like this one where iron can sharpen iron.

    Jim F

  122. RAS, yes the forgiveness in I John 1:9 is in reference to people that are already believers and has to do with practical sanctification not positional justification. The book is written to believers. It warns against error of the day and show believers how to abide in their everyday lives. Not to stay saved but that their joy could be full and they could bear much fruit.

    Jim F

  123. And how does the word lost convey the torment of hell, I wonder?

    Tom Stegall has death and resurrection as essential. Lou Martuneac adds burial and appearances. Flame war results.

  124. There are things that even free grace folks can put into a salvation message that end up being sort of jumping through the right hoops and having the right thoughts for saving faith. Example: I used to meet with a home based church group and the Pastor/leader insisted that a person had to have the word “lost” , know he was “lost’ and that particular word in mind, and then trust in Christ as his Savior. Also, the person could not just have Christ’s death in mind for saving faith; he also had to include Christ’s burial and resurrection in mind. The group, who I met with 8 or 10 years ago and no longer met with, were Ultra Dispensational. They were free grace, no works for salvation, but they were very rigid about saving faith having to follow 1 Cor.15. They insisted that the person must have in mind all three, Christ’s death, burial and resurrection all at the time he is saved. I will just say there are lots of people who just trusted in the sufficiency of Christ’s death on the Cross for their salvation, but at the time they might not have also been thinking about or put their faith his burial and resurrection with being saved, but still believed he rose from the grave. Usually later they come to understand and believe that all three,His death, burial and resurrection are essential to our salvation. This is what happened with me.
    Also, beware of well meaning preachers who will put a standard on what is saving faith. Like, “you gotta believe in your heart” (Who knows what that means to different people.?) Or,” your trust or faith for salvation must that you could be willing fall backwards and God would catch you.” (I guess the preacher didn’t take into account peoples fear of heights) I actually read Charles Stanley teach something similar. I think in their zeal to lead you to salvation they will end up adding things to simply believing the good news of salvation.

  125. Sometimes the bad phraseology makes its way into songs. Anyone heard of “Into My Heart”? That hymn literally asks Jesus in repeatedly. Also, there is a Christmas carol that ends, “oh come to my heart Lord Jesus; there is room in my heart for thee”.

    I was disappointed to see such language appear in a David Limbaugh book that I was browsing. His message would have been clear without the loadship laden expressions.

    In software engineering, there is the saying that 90% of everything is garbage. In theology, make that 99.9%.

  126. Jason,one cannot conclude, based on the use of “accept Jesus as Lord and Savior” alone that someone has an LS orientation.

    But, I have yet to find a clear statement of faith, that is completely consistent with grace, in which this phrase is used.

  127. Until this year, “accept Jesus as Lord and Savior” did not bother me. It seemed to me that one could use that phrase without implying a false gospel, if one simply meant accepting the fact that Jesus is Lord and accepting his salvation. Accepting Jesus as Lord does not sound like a work of the law but rather part of the content of the gospel. So I don’t see how we can prove that one is a false teacher by that phrase alone. If they meant we had to submit to him and obey him, that would be the red flag. But to know what they meant, would we not have to interpret them by what they clearly taught elsewhere? We apply the same principle when reading scripture.

    Now it seems that more of us are avoiding that phrase because of a bad experience that we associate with it. It has become clear that, in order to be clear, we must avoid that phrase or leave the words “Lord and” out. That was not so in the past. It is hard to find a teacher prior to Jack Weaver who did not use it.

    When I was a boy, I once believed in the simplicity of the gospel. Even back then, I was hearing conflicting messages. I was warned about denying Christ, and it did not occur to me that Christ’s denying us might not mean hell. But as I have said, LS would develop in me spontaneously later.

  128. Jason, you bring up a good point regarding the crossless gospel.

  129. Curtis, I agree that asking for forgiveness is unnecessary.

    Also, we talked about Bob George a couple of years ago, and had the same concerns as folks are raising now.

  130. Bob George is one to avoid …
    “Works for salvation” (receive Jesus AS Lord and savior)
    “asking for forgiveness”
    We don’t ask God for forgiveness and or keep asking this fly’s right in the Face of God and is an insult of unbelief .
    its an insult of unbelief God because God is in the forgiving business and demonstrated that by giving His son Christ Jesus to be the only substituanry atonement for sin
    We need to understand substioanry atonement That in Christ Jesus by Grace Through Faith believing that Christ Jesus died for the ungodly and that qualifies me. There is nothing I can do to earn heaven / eternal life it is a gift.
    now as believer souls we are personal private priest before the Lord and His desire by Holy Spirit is that we we yield our bodies a living sacrifice
    delight ourselves in our salvation through Christ Jesus , enjoying The Lord through His Word .

    Personally i would not listen to any teacher apart from researching their doctrinal statement and Gospel invitation . 99.999 percent of false teachers can be caught on their gospel invitation . False Teachers CAN NOT present a clear Gospel of Grace and the Truth therein. also its not what they say most of the Time it is what is NOT Said.

    first and formost know the Truth of The Gospel for ourselves there is clear gospel presentation on expreacherman and other linked blogs

  131. I also assumed that forgiveness and eternal life go hand in hand. I can see how neglecting forgiveness can dovetail into a crossless gospel.

  132. To his credit, Hank H did object to the notion that God is a cosmic rapist, meaning that he accepts free will. He treats predestination vs free will as a debatable issue. At the time, “repent of sins” did not bother me. Other catch phrases annoyed me, but only recently did I appreciate the depth of their deceptiveness. The notion of sovereignty did not bother me, since it seemed synonymous with kingship. Hank had some issues with Warren, but he did not call him a heretic.

  133. Jason, that was pretty much my take on Hank H. when I used to listen to him on radio. I seem to remember him speaking favorably of J Mac, but never knew he was willing to have him as a radio show guest. Hank H struck me as a sort of soft Calvinist. His salvation statement seemed grace alone, but I have heard him give accolades to a caller on his show who gave a testimony that included repenting of his sins. I used to listen to his show and shake my head at some of the erroneous things he said. And it was not just JMac, he seemed to be ok with Rick Warren too. .

    Don’t know if Bob George in still on. His salvation message did not line up with the gospel message. He said in so many words that (we don’t come to Christ for forgiveness: we come to him for life, an exchanged life). I assume he means eternal life.. The problem is, this is presenting only part of the gospel message. I stopped listening to him in about 2005 mainly for this reason. But I do agree with him on 1 John 1:9.

    Let me just say, that focusing on sin is like focusing on the law, it seems to just bring more sin. Instead of focusing on sin, our focus should be on our all sufficient Savior.

  134. Hank Hanegraaff seemed sounder than most, but he does not mark and avoid LS teachers and parrots their slogans, e.g. “said faith” and “easy-believism”. He also disparages dispensationalism and is happy to have MacArthur on the air. Bob George is someone I used to avoid.

  135. I am totally convinced that 1 John is addressing believers and that the “we” are the apostles, who heard, saw with their own eyes, whose hands handled, and who bear witness concerning the eternal life which was with the Father and declare to the readers (believers) that they may also have fellowship as the apostles.

    V6 would be a false word by an apostle about fellowship. V7 would be a true word by an apostle about fellowship. V8 would be a false word by an apostle about sin. V9 would be a true word by an apostle about sin. V10 would be a false word by an apostle about sin. Apostleship is in question not justification. False apostles were spreading false teaching.

    The forgiveness in v9 is to have the joy and fellowship not forgiveness to justification. In His last discourse with His disciples (John 13-15) Christ spoke of a full washing (justification/union with Him) and a partial washing (sanctification/communion with Him). Jesus is telling those already in union with Him to remain in fellowship with Him and to do so an occasional washing is necessary. Union is positional but fellowship is experiential and there is a different kind of washing required for both.

    Paul also speaks of a washing of water by the word in sanctification (Eph 5:26). I see no reason to take forgiveness and washing to always be the same forgiveness and washing anymore than I see reason to take salvation to always mean justification. Salvation is past, present and future why is forgiveness and washing always past?

    I can’t help but see it this way.

  136. Jason, I don’t know what either of these guys teach.

    Asking for forgiveness of sins is not required to receive eternal life, nor to keep it.

  137. John and Phil, interesting, had a long several day FB discussion on this, including the gracevine article. I don’t believe it’s like Catholic confession and in our discussion I showed many other verses that say the same thing basically. I won’t get into it here, Lord willing I’d like to do an article on it. Funny thing is the ones that insisted it was written to unbelievers got very angry and hateful to those who questioned it, and it was just all in all a sadly unproductive discussion.

    I have read these articles and different view points over and over, and I don’t think there are many who haven’t struggled with it and the exact application. Some saying it’s ‘law’ and that only Paul wrote to the church (Ultra or hyper dispensationalists). Others saying it is spoken to gnostic unbelievers. Yet others like RC taking a literal confession for positional forgiveness view. And others who see it as somehow losing a relationship with God. I see it simply like a familial parent/child, He chastens us when we harbor sin and there is judgment within the church for it. But again, it’s a lot to compare Scripture with scripture on and certainly isn’t a deal breaker for me, except when people say it’s required in order to become saved, then again it becomes a work. In Christ, Holly

  138. I recall hearing that Bob George teaches something along the lines of a believer’s not needing to repeatedly ask God for forgiveness. I used to hear this criticized by Hank Hanegraaf when I listened to his talk show, and I would have never entertained the notion. Even now, I tend to obsess over confessing things. Has Bob George possibly been misunderstood?

  139. Thanks John, well said.

  140. Phil, the gospel includes “that Christ died for our sins.”

    If someone never comes to the point of acknowledging (mentally) that he is a sinner, in need of a Savior, then he does not believe that Christ died for his sins, and he hasn’t received Christ as Savior.

    This doesn’t mean that someone has to confess his sins to become saved, any more than Romans 10:9-10 means that one has to confess Christ to be saved.

    I think what you are trying to say is that the confession (mental acknowledgement) of someone who has come to faith in Christ includes their need for a Savior, and that they understand who Christ is (God in the flesh). The false teachers in the midst of the congregation in 1 John were denying both their need for a Savior and that Christ was God in the flesh. Either one of these false teachings would deny the true gospel.

  141. Holly, read page 108 in Dispensational Truth by Larkin. It is in the first full paragraph on page 108.
    In case you are interested, what is written in 1 John 1:8-10 about confessing sins for forgiveness and cleansing from all unrighteousness is never written about anywhere else in the Epistles or NT. So people who insist on 1 John 1:8-10 are making a doctrine out of those 3 verses alone.

  142. In Larkin’s book, “Dispensational Truth”, section XVII The Judgments, page 108, second paragraph. Larkin quote: “Christ died on the cross to atone for ‘sin’ to pay the penalty for Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden.” He goes on to elaborate. You can draw you own conclusions, but what he writes still comes across as limited forgiveness for the believer.
    Holly, there is an interesting article that you can google and read called, “What is the meaning behind 1 John 1:9 ?”

    (Administrator’s note: We are not familiar with this site and do not endorse it. The specifically linked article contains the following problematic sentence:

    John was saying to these unbelievers that if they confessed their sins (turned toward God and away from the world), God would be faithful and just to cleanse them from ALL unrighteousness.

    This sentence is problematic, because “turning away from the world” is not a requirement for receiving eternal life. Confessing sins, per se, is not a requirement for eternal life, nor does it result in receiving eternal life.)

    Some of us grace only believers do not believe we need to keep confessing our sins to be forgiven and cleansed of all unrighteousness every time we sin. We believe that we were already forgiven and cleansed of all unrighteousness when we trusted Christ as our Savior. We don’t need to keep re receiving or receiving more of what we were already given when we were saved, which is total cradle to grave forgiveness.

  143. Phil, I would like to know which book and page, I have all his books. I believe that 1 John 1:9 speaks to believers and not the gnostics, but to believers dealing with the gnostics. Since confessing sin is part of the law (Numbers 5:6-7), it could not be required of unbelievers in order to be saved. I believe it’s for our benefit, practical forgiveness on our part. Dennis Rokser did a good exposition on 1 John. Didn’t see all eye to eye, but I felt he opened up a lot.

  144. I appreciate your clarification RAS and john. My main concern is the false teaching that Christ’s death only covers original sin and not all our sins as well. To me, teaching original sin only forgiveness is that same as teaching limited forgiveness or probationary or conditional forgiveness which is false teaching.
    When Christ died, we died with him, we and all our sins were buried with Him and are gone forever. And we were raised with Christ in all his righteousness and perfection. God accepts us in all his Son’s sinless perfection to be with him in joy forever!

  145. RAS, I agree that justified people can accept all sorts of heretical doctrine, including that sin doesn’t exist.

    That is why there are so many Biblical warnings about false teachers and false doctrine.

  146. I don’t disagree with this “Turning from sins as a believer of course involves realizing your wrongdoing and returning to walking by the Spirit. And if there is a relational forgiveness doctrine then I think this is it.” That is what I am saying. This is an experiential relationship through experiential forgiveness. It comes only after the judicial relationship is repaired. A believer has the judicial relationship repaired and is called to the experiential relationship but can fail to abide, admit sin, confess sin, walk by the Spirit.

    Also what I am saying is that our personal sin(s) played no role in our judicial spiritual death and condemnation. This is by imputation, it took place in Adam. All sin, not just believer’s sin, was paid for at the cross. This does not justify all. Justification is by grace through faith to those who believe. Turning from sin(s) plays no role in being declared justified. One cannot believe in Jesus as Savior without realizing the need for a Savior and like Johninnc I cannot understand how one can believe justification is not “judicial” but only repairs a broken relationship (friendship/fellowship). I don’t deny the latter but I have been engaging with some who deny the former while claiming the latter. All because they want to deny, a penalty for sin, imputed sin, a sin nature and I believe this is a reaction to limited atonement as taught by Calvinism (which I think-could be wrong- is why Larkin used the word “covers”).

    As to 1 John 1:9-10 I believe that John is speaking of “apostles” (if we = true apostles not true believers) as opposed to the false apostles (probably Gnostics who taught contrary). Much of what John says is applicable to believers but not all of what he says is. True believers are capable of denying that sin exists, not at the point of being justified, but they can reach that state. I see 1 John to be very much like John 13-15 which is about relationship after justification.

    I don’t think we are in disagreement it is just that it is a huge subject and I am not articulating on it well.

  147. Phil, I lean more toward your interpretation of 1 John 1:9, although I am almost certain we will not come to a consensus among our regular readers and commenters.

  148. RAS, I don’t understand how a person could understand and believe the gospel and not believe in the doctrine of justification and having been judicially forgiven of all sins – past present and future.

  149. I’m not sure what all you are saying RAS. I don’t think there is some special scriptural doctrine of relational forgiveness. All our sins as believers, including original sin on us, were taken away at the cross. People point to 1 John 1:8-10 and try to rest some relational doctrine on these few verses, but I think John was addressing unbelievers who are saying they have no sin (probably Gnostics who had mixed in among believers and thought sin was an illusion or didn’t matter). A person who is truly saved would never say that because he knows why he needed a Savior for forgiveness of his sins in the first place.
    What is clear, especially in Paul’s epistles, is that the believer has been given a new life as a new creation in Christ and told not to return to sins he has been forgiven and cleansed from. Turning from sins as a believer of course involves realizing your wrongdoing and returning to walking by the Spirit. And if there is a relational forgiveness doctrine then I think this is it. It is emphasized over and over in the Epistles.
    God is not interested in us on some treadmill of confessing, remorse, seeking forgiveness every time we sin..over and over…. What we are to do is to turn from the flesh and walk by the Spirit–to be who He has made us, new eternal creations in Christ.
    I recall a week or two after I was saved, I caught myself getting into something sinful, and I said to myself, “This is not part of the new life God has given me; He has already delivered me from the things of the old life”, and I turned from this sin. And i think this is the way God wants us to deal with sin in our walk as believers, to turn from sin and walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh.

  150. John
    No doubt —“I see scripture to teach that justification is judicial; forgiveness is relational” is an over simplification of “forgiveness” but I was referring to experiential forgiveness, experiential relationship (1John 1:9). I guess judicial forgiveness is like a pardon where the justice of God cancels the debt of sin and I believe this pardon is for everyone. And justification is forgiveness towards individuals that come to faith in Christ where righteousness is imputed. If a person denies the first two (judicial relationship) then all I can see them holding to is an experiential relationship therefore experiential forgiveness.That’s the forgiveness I was referring to.
    I agree with you, I see all three and I am sure I don’t yet see all there is.

  151. RAS, I think Christians are judicially forgiven all sins at the moment of belief (Collossians 2:13).

    Since we have to be perfect to get into heaven, all sin must be gone (personally confessed, or not).

  152. Phil
    I can’t speak directly to what Larkin meant but I think I know what he was getting at. I think of the Arminian-Calvinist debate (mirror images) namely the L (limited atonement) which necessarily affects the T (total depravity). The Calvinist believes that Christ’s atonement paid the penalty for sin but only for the Elect since only the Elect are saved. The Arminian rejects that and believes that what Christ did He did for every person but since every person is not saved, Christ could not have paid a penalty for sin. So the Arminian has to deny or alter the effect that Adam’s sin had on the human race and change imputed and inherited guilt and condemnation to only inherited “corruption” unless they want to go the semi-Pelagian route and deny inherited corruption as well.

    By doing either of these they make justification equal to forgiveness and deny any judicial or legal aspect of imputed sin and imputed righteousness and focus solely on the relationship aspect of salvation. This leads to “Christ died to make us better people through a relationship with Him” which leads to “why aren’t you a better person if you have a relationship with Him”—Lordship salvation.

    I think what Larkin (I could be wrong) was getting at is that there was a judicial penalty for Adam’s sin. Adam’s sin brought death and condemnation to the human race. God reckons all to be guilty in Adam’s sin. Christ’s atonement paid the penalty of death, guilt and condemnation for that sin (and all sin was laid upon Him) and it also allows Him to fellowship with justified sinners who confess their personal sins. It is for Adam’s sin (not our own) that people are dead spiritually. Christ’s atonement covered the guilt of that sin but His atonement brings justification to life only to those who believe in Him for it. And this is by grace through faith. People are condemned because they remain dead; there is no longer a penalty for sin, it was paid at the cross.

    I see scripture to teach that justification is judicial; forgiveness is relational.

  153. Phil, agree that Larkin is in error. There are many scriptural passages that clearly say that the believer in Christ is forgiven of all sins – past, present, and future.

    I think even most LSers and Calvinists believe the atonement was for all sins – past, present, and future. It’s just that they believe that people who have been forgiven of all of their sins were chosen by God to believe, or that because they are forgiven, they will live to some (unspecified) level of holiness.

  154. I was not quite sure where to post this, but it concerns the biblical usage of “sin” and “sins” in terms of forgiveness that Christ’s death on the cross covers. The author of “Dispensational Truth”, Clarence Larkin wrote that Christ’s death only covers original sin and not the sins, plural, we commit after we are saved. That these sins must be put away by confession. I realize that scripture like in the Epistles uses “sin” singular and alson “sins” plural.
    Now, I believe Larkin is in error, or course. I believe Christ’s death takes away ALL the believers sins, past, present and future along with the root of all sin which is Adam’s original sin.
    I was once told this is the teaching of the RCC: that Christ only died for original sin and does not also cover other sins. (I’m not sure if this is Catholic teaching.) But i wonder if this limited forgiveness has carried over into Calvinism, Reformed, and LS since they teach bi-lateral, commitment salvation.
    I can give you the quote from Larkin’s book if you like.

  155. Yes Ben, those who insist on circumcision, or any other works, to attain, maintain or prove possession of eternal life are denying faith in Christ’s finished work alone as the only grounds for both justification before God and assurance of eternal life.

    It is ironic that Calvinists, LSers and others who use Romans 3:8 against the grace view are actually leveling the same charge that the Judaizers made against Paul and the other apostles, as the context makes clear. I remember that in one of Tom Cucuzza’s sermons he mentioned that and said it was further confirmation that he had the right gospel.

  156. Ben, you bring up some good points.

    There is no scripture which teaches that the presence or absence of good works has any bearing as to determining whether or not someone has eternal life.

    Lorship “Salvationists” are obsessed with inspecting works – theirs or others – for evidence of eternal life.

  157. Hey everyone! I just wanted to share something. When we proclaim the true Gospel of grace, the Lordship Salvationists often (falsely) accuse us of promoting and/or engaging in sin (as Romans 3:8 testifies). One of the verses they throw at us is Titus 1:16, which they also use to prove that works are needed as “proof” or assurance of salvation. So I read Titus 1:16 in its context and… Happy Opposite Day!!! Titus 1:16, with its surrounding context, is actually talking about legalistic Judaizers (or the 1st century “Lordship Salvationists” if that’s what you want to call them).

  158. Love it. Thanks for sharing John.

  159. One of our friends gave us a detailed interpretation of 1 Corinthians 8:3. I will include some pertinent excerpts, below:

    This verse does NOT say that loving God causes Him to know us (His knowledge is already completed and continuing). It says that someone who loves God now must have already entered into the present state of having become known to God. So the order is: we become known to God, He still knows us, and then we might love him now–we might not–but if we DO, it means we have already become known to Him. In other words, you can’t love God now unless you’ve become known to Him. (Of course the way we become known to Him is by believing the gospel.)

    God’s absolute and continuing knowledge of us which is in effect before we even love Him (verse 3) is juxtaposed against our self-puffing knowledge in verses 1 and 2. That “self-puffing-up” knowledge has the potential of overriding “other-building-up” love. The puff is popped a little more in verse 6 when we are reminded that we are of and in the Father and we exist by Jesus. All this is to prepare us to hear the message that we should love others enough not to let our knowledge and liberty cause us to do things that will be a stumbling block to others.

    Once again, God’s word does not contradict itself. Good news! We don’t have to do a work like “love God” for Him to know us. Yay, because I certainly don’t love Him perfectly or even all the time. “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.” 2 Tim 2:19

  160. freegracer – here are some thoughts but of course ask the questions in context. I kind of have always looked at the context of 2 John 1 speaking of those who did not confess that Jesus Christ had come in the flesh being Antichrists. It’s also brought up in 1 John 4, those whose >>spirit do not confess that Jesus has come in the flesh (Immanuel – God among us, they don’t confess – (homologeo – sp?) agree with in their spirit — that Jesus is God in the flesh. So they’re identified as deceivers and antichrists.

    1 Cor 8 is believers, and those already identified as having knowledge of Him, so I believe vs. 3 is speaking to fellowship, if I just look at vs. 1-2 before. Because as far as knowing Him or being known by Him, Galatians 4 also uses both those terms with believers who know Him and are known by Him turning back to the beggarly elements.

    As for 1 John 2- When I remember the entire book is written so that we will have fellowship with God and other believers, as well as for our joy to be full, it makes it easier to see the words about ‘knowing’ or ‘abiding’ and understanding this has to do with believers not walking in darkness, or out of fellowship. And if we say we know Him we should demonstrate it by what we do. Maybe you might appreciate Tom Cucuzza’s series on 1 John.

    As far as John 17:3, I see that as Jesus praying for believers alone in the entire passage, either current or those who would believe. If we keep our new creation in mind, we know it is incorruptible, and it does all these things, loves Him, confesses Him for who He is, and so there is really no contradiction if that is it. But I have kind of always understood that verse to mean that this is His purpose, that we (believers) should know Him for eternity, His desire is that we will commune with Him. We are reconciled to Him, but when we die, that will be complete with the corruptible being raised incorruptible and we no longer will know in part, we shall know as we are known.

    This is much of what the epistles encourage; the prayer for the believers at Ephesus, that starts in vs. 17 and continues through the end, that God may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him and later the prayer in 3:14-21. Or that we should ‘grow in the knowledge of Him’, or be ‘filled with all knowledge’ or that we ‘abound in knowledge’ etc. throughout.

    Hope that adds something to the discussion, as so many passages seem difficult, but in light of all the others, not as much. We know His Word doesn’t contradict, but we also need to ask is this a temporal thing spoken of such as practical sanctification vs. positional. I ‘think’ we could ask the same thing with knowing. We know Him to be our Savior, but how much are we growing in the knowledge of Him? 1 John doesn’t say it’s written so we can figure out whether we’re really Christians our not based on behavior. The only place it says we can know is based on whether we have believed God’s testimony of His Son. If it’s related to works, who could stand?

  161. Knowing that justification is not merited by our works or behavior is a valuable starting point in figuring out what Paul and John are saying in their epistles. Anybody who has believed in the promise of everlasting life as a gift of God through Jesus Christ is saved (declared just before God). If a person then turns to another Gospel or false teachings they do not or have not come to “know” God and are at risk of losing reward (2John 1:8) not the gift.

    I believe 1&2John were written to combat an early form of Gnosticism which emphasized “secret knowledge” and intuitive revelation (mysticism). John’s epistles center on true fellowship and truly knowing God through abiding in Christ. I think of John’s letters as being heavily influenced by the “upper room discourse” (John 13-16).

    —John 15:10-11 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” — Believers who do not abide in Christ’s teaching do
    not have God abiding with them.

    Just know that Paul does not contradict John nor does James contradict Paul etc. Apostles did have personal ways of expressing ideas and each epistle contains its own theme.

    We could never do enough to be declared righteous before a Just and Holy God; no man born into sin can. All sin was imputed to Christ on the cross so that those dead in sin could be made alive through Him. Being made alive is a onetime thing and the life given is everlasting. This is by grace through faith. Scripture never speaks of losing everlasting life but does speak to the fact that it is possible for believers to walk in a manner in which everlasting life is not being manifest in them the way it was in Christ. Scripture never speaks of losing everlasting life but does speak of un-fruitfulness and loss of reward.

  162. freegracer, nothing in the Bible teaches commitment salvation. If it did, the Bible would contradict itself, and thereby could not be the word of God.

    2 John 1:9 means that those who teach something contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ are not providing teaching that is of God. We are to separate from such teachers. Teachers who teach commitment salvation are teaching contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    1 Corinthians 8:3 seems to say that if anyone loves God, God knows that.

    How do I harmonize it with John 17:3 and 1 John 2:3-4? I think those have to do with fellowship. If not, I honestly cannot think of anyone who keeps Jesus’ commandments PERFECTLY!

    You said: It makes me feel very anxious when I hear teachings of salvation being contingent upon my behavior in any way, shape, or form, because I feel like I can never do enough.

    My comment: Then don’t listen to anyone who teaches that.

  163. Just curious, what are your guys’ thoughts on a couple verses; 2 John 1:9 and 1 Corinthians 8:3?

    I had just read 2 John 1:9 and I know that in context it is referring to false teachers denying that Jesus is the Christ, or God in the flesh. But part of me feels like it means if someone held to free grace at one point and then converted to Lordship Salvation is not saved.

    I also read 1 Corinthians 8:3. Does that teach commitment salvation? How do you harmonize it with John 17:3 and 1 John 2:3-4? It makes me feel very anxious when I hear teachings of salvation being contingent upon my behavior in any way, shape, or form, because I feel like I can never do enough.

    Can I please have your guys thoughts?

  164. Freegracer24. John’s advice is so right, one we need to remind each other of. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus. We need to obey God’s Word and avoid LS teachers (Rom 16:17-18). We need daily to put on our armor which includes the gospel, which I didn’t at all do in my past. It keeps the enemy from accusing us. Spend time in His Word when you are feeling accused, it is how we answer the enemy (Matt 4:1-11). We all fail at this, but we need to get back up again.

    I think Romans 7 is a really good one to understand that believers can be bewitched into finishing in the flesh (Gal 3), so we need to learn how to serve in newness of Spirit which comes by doing it through Him, not works of our own.

    I believe if we can remember two things and continue to go back and do them when we fall, it’s better for us in our walk, becoming disciples. We can’t bear fruit by ourselves.

    Remain in His Word to become a disciple. (Jn 8:31)
    Abide in Him to bear fruit. (Jn 15:4-5)

    When we fail our tendency is to hide I believe, and try to cover up our sin with fig leaves… Any reformation on our part (apart from Him working through us) is worthless, but spending time with Him in His Word is what we need. (Of course not just hearing but doing, we need to TAKE HEED to His Word in order to cleanse our way – Ps 119:9)

    It’s by His Word we are sanctified both by the believing of it unto eternal life (positional sanctification), and once we are His, the cleaning up of the muck we get into walking through this life (practical), so we need to chose the good part, and have the Word washing our feet (Jn 13).

    21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:21-25

    38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:38-42

    Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. John 17:17

    25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. Eph 5:25-26

  165. freegracer24, I know your question was addressed to Holly, but I’ve got a couple of thoughts.

    First, your turning from sin does nothing to pay for your sin. A death payment was required, which Jesus made.

    Romans 4:24-25:

    [24] But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
    [25] Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

    The gospel is not about our righteousness. It is about Christ’s righteousness imputed us as believers in Christ (see verse 24, above).

    Romans 3:25-26:

    [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
    [26] To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

    The best way to quit relating turning from sin to salvation is to turn your eyes upon Christ, instead of oneself.

    Hebrews 12:2: Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    Now, I also recommend that you stay away from LS teaching, churches, etc.

    To help ground you in what you believe, you should read “The Gospel” booklet every day for a month, and then also read the book of Galatians through several times. The booklet is attached below:

    Click to access English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

  166. Ecclesiastes 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

  167. Thank you Holly. Now I understand Isaiah 55:7 more clearly. Conversion is a matter of changing the object of our trust rather than trying to change our lifestyle. I want to turn from sin in my life as a Christian, and I remember many times of sorrowing over my sins and renouncing them in my heart. But lately I’ve been having difficulty thinking about turning from sin without it somehow relating to salvation (which I know it doesn’t- but I want to do it BECAUSE I am saved rather than to be saved or “prove” I am saved). Do you have any insights for me as to how I can get this idea out of my head and simply turn from sin and have intimacy with God in my life simply because I want to?

  168. All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned every one to his own way;
    and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6

  169. I was thinking on God’s way (Jesus is the way, the truth and the life-Jn 14:6) and our way.

    And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. Gen 6:12

    We have all sinned and fallen short of His glory. His way was to believe Him, but we did not go His way. We need to believe Him, for we are incapable of doing anything good enough to get to Him.

  170. Freegracer24, you might back up to context in verse 1.

    Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters,
    and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat;
    yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

    While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. We were without strength, ungodly… turning from sin is a righteous thing to do, but not by works of righteousness we have done (Titus 3:4-7). And as John mentioned in the passages above, we take from the waters of life freely . Freely we have received…

  171. freegracee24, I think your initial interpretation of Isaiah 55:7 is consistent with grace and, therefore, other scripture.

    I could be wrong,but I don’t view Proverbs as my “go-to” source for how to to have eternal life.

    A couple of verses that would support your initial interpretation of Isaiah 55:7 include Jeremiah 2:13 and Revelation 22:17.

    Implied in my prior response is this: if you could find a biblical passage that means that one must make a conscious decision to reform his life in order to receive the free gift of eternal life, then you could disregard the Bible as the word of God.

  172. By my interpretation I meant my initial interpretation of Isaiah 55:7, which I described as, “forsaking our own way of pardon with God and accepting the gift of salvation through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

  173. So do you mean my interpretation of Isaiah 55:7 is correct? If so, can you please give me some additional insights from scripture?

  174. freegracer24, I have to admit – you ask some great devil’s advocate questions that would be new material for even the most ardent Lordship”Salvationist.”

    There is no passage in the Bible that requires man to make a conscious decision to reform his life in order to receive the free gift of eternal life.

    Man is always trying to find a way to work his way into God’s grace by means such as making a conscious decision to reform one’s life.

    But, our works of righteousness (including the conscious decision to reform our lives) are as filthy rags.

    We are saved by grace through faith in Christ alone.

  175. Can someone help me with Isaiah 55:7? I previously held the position that it meant forsaking our own way of pardon with God and accepting the gift of salvation through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. But having read Proverbs 4:14-19 and comparing it to Isaiah 55:7, it seems to indicate that a conscious determination to reform one’s life is necessary for salvation. I remember times in the past when I tried to “repent” that way in order to be saved, but it just led to more despair and uncertainty over my salvation (fearing that my repentance wasn’t genuine). Again, can someone please help me with Isaiah 55:7? All I want is to walk peacefully with the Lord BECAUSE I am saved, rather than having to do it in order to “prove” that I am saved (the latter mentality kills my motivation because I never know if I am doing enough).

  176. Ron Shea has the following take on Acts 2:38:

    Repentance in Acts 2:38

    Subject called to repent: Jews from every nation visiting Jerusalem

    Object of that repentance: Not expressly stated. Since repentance means “a change of mind,” we can only inferentially determine the object of repentance by determining the thinking of those invited to repent. Peter accuses them, as a people, of having crucified their Christ (vs. 23). This implies a rejection of Christ, as well as making a statement of Christ’s atoning death. Peter gives additional information about Jesus Christ . . . that God then raised Him up from the dead (vs. 32), and that God has made Him both Lord and Christ. Therefore, the only object of repentance that can be reasonably inferred from the context is to change one’s mind from a rejection of Christ to an acceptance of Him as Lord and Christ, the one who died for our sins, and rose again from the dead.

    Consequence of repentance: 1) The remission of sins (vs. 38), 2) being saved from “this untoward generation,” and 3) three thousand souls were added to the church. (vs. 40, 41).

    Being saved from the “untoward generation” surely means to “save yourself from the fate that awaits this untoward generation.” We know that those of Jesus’ generation who rejected Him stand eternally condemned. We also know that the more immediate fate of that “untoward generation” was the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus and the Roman legions in AD 70. The consequence of repentance could therefore be deliverance from temporal judgment, or deliverance from eternal judgment. However, the “addition of their souls” to the church is plainly a reference their conversion, and consequently their eternal salvation, as is Eternal salvation is therefore unquestionably in view. This is born out in the following chapters of Acts, when Peter repeatedly invites men to repent unto the remission of sins. However, deliverance from temporal judgment on Israel may also well be in view, particularly in light of the movement of Luke and Acts, from a Jewish centered people of God to a Gentile centered people of God.

    Peter appears to connect the “remission of sins” with repentance (vs. 38). Again, it is debated whether the term “remission” is forgiveness in an absolute sense (akin to justification), or forgiveness in the sense of 1st John 1:9. Again, both interpretations can be envisioned within the context. Certainly remission of sins in the eternal sense is reasonable since these men were coming to a saving faith in Christ. But severing one’s connection with an “untoward generation” which is under God’s judgment has a temporal (here and now) sense, which might carry over to the term “forgiveness” as a temporal forgiveness, wherein they are no longer under the national judgment that faces Israel.

    Some have argued that, by the nature of their question, “what shall we do?” (vs. 37) that these 3,000 men had already come to a saving faith, and that Peter’s invitation “repent and be baptized for the remission of sins” was, in its entirety, directed to remission in a temporal sense (such as fellowship) rather than an eternal sense. The argument is not without merit, but has several weaknesses. Firstly, within the gospels, when Jesus used the terms “repent” and “remission of sins” in relation to each other, the remission appears to have always been directed to eternal salvation, not temporal fellowship. Certainly, words have a “field of meaning,” and can reasonably be used in a number of ways. However, Peter heard Jesus use the terms “repent” and “remission” together on a number of occasions, and it would be odd that Peter should suddenly use this same combination of terms with an altogether different meaning . . . particularly in view of the fact that the over terms “repent” and “remission” but in an altogether different sense.

    Another reason this interpretation is unlikely is that the “light goes on” at different rates for different people. I share the gospel often. It is possible that some of the persons to whom I witness “get it” and fully trust in Jesus before I finish talking. But I am not a mind reader. I almost always finish by asking the person if they are now trusting in Jesus death on the cross as being all they will ever need to wash away their sins and make them acceptable in the sight of God. In the same way, it is virtually impossible that the “light went on” simultaneously for all 3,000 Jews who listened to Peter’s sermon. And even if they did, Peter was no mind reader, and could not have known that all 3,000 were saved before he ever invited them to believe.

    Finally, if Peter’s invitation to repent is not directed to eternal salvation, then Peter makes no specific invitation whatsoever for these men to trust Christ. It would be absurd to think that Peter would assume that everyone who listened to his sermon had believed unto salvation while he was speaking . . . and focus his invitation exclusively on fellowship and deliverance from God’s temporal judgment on Israel. Temporal judgment may well be partially in view, but it is inconceivable that Peter’s invitation to repent was not, at its core, directed toward the positional forgiveness that is the believers once for all the moment they cling to the cross of the Savior.

  177. Ben, The context of Acts 3:26 teaches that eternal life is free, but in order for Israel to receive national and individual blessings from God depended upon their obedience and turning from sin. A person can be eternally saved possessing eternal life, but living a miserable life because of disobedience and willful sin. The issue here is fellowship with God, not positional status.

    I have found this to be true in my life. I got saved by BELIEVING the gospel back in 1983, but then later I fell away from God out of anger and discouragement and lived in willful sin and disobedience. During the 9 years when I was out of fellowship with God and non abiding in the faith, I experienced nothing but curses from God in my life and was living miserably. After God chastised me, I came to my senses and started living obediently and faithfully and my fellowship status with God was restored. It was during those times of obedience and faithfulness that God started blessing me again in many ways. I was a much happier person.

    This is what Acts 3:26 is talking about. Acts 3:19 gives the context where it says, “19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when THE TIMES OF REFRESHING shall come from the presence of the Lord.” In other words, in order for unbelieving Israel to experience national and individual blessings from God, they needed to BELIEVE in Christ by faith alone apart from works to be saved eternally. Afterwards, they needed to live in obedience and faithfulness to receive the blessings from God, both as a nation and individually.

    Israel, as you know had a history of going about trying to attain eternal life by works – Romans 9:31-32, and were living in unbelief, disobedience, and sin.

    Romans 9:31-32 – 31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.

    32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

  178. Very good point John. 🙂

  179. Ben, I will give you an excerpt from Tom Cucuzza’s booklet on repentance:

    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Repent: metanoeo to change your mind or to have another mind. They needed to change their thinking concerning who Jesus Christ was. The Jews had rejected Him as God and their Messiah. They needed to believe in Him instead. We see here two vital points:

    1. To tell them to turn from their sin would be an impossible command to fulfil. It was a once and for all sin they committed in the past, impossible to do again.

    2. To tell them to be sorry for it doesn’t change or fix anything. It was history.

  180. Thank you John. That actually makes a lot of sense. I have a somewhat similar interpretation of Acts 3:26. At first glance, it may seem like Acts 3:26 requires a conscious decision to reform one’s life for salvation. But I eventually came to the conclusion that Peter was merely addressing Jewish people who had consented to the death of Jesus. Can I have your thoughts on Acts 3:26 as well?

  181. Ben, you are right that Isaiah 59:20 does not mean that a conscious decision to reform one’s life (or a moral resolution) is necessary to receive eternal life.

    Isaiah 59:20: And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.

    Let’s consider an analysis that is consistent with grace:

    We see some similar language in Romans 11:26-27:

    [26] And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
    [27] For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

    The national salvation of Israel is prophesied. It appears that Jesus will turn away their ungodliness.

    Also, remember that all Christians have a new nature that is sinless.

    1 John 3:9: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

  182. Very good discussion John and Jackie. Now, about this issue of “turning from sin for salvation,” can someone help me with Isaiah 59:20? When I first read this, it seemed to indicate that a conscious decision to reform one’s life was necessary for salvation. I remember times in the past when I doubted my salvation and I tried to “repent” in this way in order to get “really saved,” but it led to no peace or assurance, just more despair and uncertainty of my salvation. If Isaiah 59:20 is not talking about eternal salvation, then what is it talking about? Can someone please help me?

  183. Jackie Garcia

    Thank you, John! 🙂 That’s the understanding the Holy Spirit impressed upon me. Praise God! People will no leave no rock unturned as their search for Scriptures to support their turning from sin heresy for salvation. They are nowhere to be found. 🙂

  184. Jackie, you have done as well with your explanation of this verse as I can.

    Nowhere does the Bible say that turning from wicked ways results in eternal life.

    I think this passage is similar to what we see in Jonah:

    3:10: And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

  185. Jackie Garcia

    Help with this verse?

    If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

    I have seen someone use this verse in the context of salvation. I know this is speaking to Israel and the root effects of turning from evil doing is healing of land, forgiveness, but no mention of eternal life.

  186. Wow. That pretty much sums up my interpretation of that Hebrews 12:14. Thank you John. I feel fortunate that I was able to gather this interpretation from the surrounding context. Otherwise I would have been plunged into the self-doubt that Lordship Salvation puts on many Christians. I merely brought my interpretation of Hebrews 12:14 to get a confirmation. Thank you again John. Your website has truly helped me as always 🙂

  187. Can I have your guys insights on Hebrews 12:14? I was just reading through Hebrews 12 and happened to come across verse 14 which says, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Now, I have absolutely no problem with holiness at all, I want to be holy, but I don’t think that this verse has anything to do with proving one’s salvation. I think this verse is perhaps giving an exhortation to readers to let their light shine before others, because otherwise nobody would see the Lord in THEM. Hence, I believe Hebrews 12:14 is merely stressing the importance of manifesting Christ-like character to other people. This seems evident as Paul points out to the Hebrews that they had not yet resisted sin to the point of shedding blood, if God chastises them for their sin it’s a sign of His love and favor, and gives them the exhortation to pursue peace with all men and holiness (because if they would automatically do it, why would he need to instruct them?). That is what I gathered from Hebrews 12:14. I am not worried and stressed about it, but if my interpretation is true, can someone confirm it to me? Thank you and God bless!

    In Christ,

  188. Thank you Johninnc for clearing that up and praise God for his grace in Jesus name amen.

  189. Dave, I did not mean to suggest that you are trusting in works for salvation. In my post, I was thinking of the Calvinist and the one that you mentioned about Romans 11 teaching that believers can lose their salvation.

    I think that William’s explanation is right on target. In some ways, scripture presents the nation of Israel as a prototype of the believer in the Church Age (Hosea 11:1). Thus, God disciplines the wayward believer just as He has disciplined Israel. For Israel, to be “cut off” or “broken off” in verse 20 means that God has temporarily set the nation of Israel aside in His redemptive program (Romans 11:25), as in the present, because the nation rejected Christ and the salvation He offers. Unfortunately, since they never believed the Gospel, that does mean eternal perdition for the individual Israelites who did not believe. However, God has not set aside the nation of Israel as a whole forever since they will ultimately return to God by accepting Christ and His salvation at the end of the Great Tribulation (Romans 11:26, 27). Having temporarily set the nation of Israel aside for their unbelief, God grafted the gentiles into the vine (Christ) since they, as a group, would produce the fruit of salvation in building Christ’s kingdom (Matthew 21:43; Mark 12:9).

    Paul wrote the book of Romans to the gentile believers at Rome. For them, therefore, loss of eternal life, or even certainty as to whether or not they possessed it, was never in question. For the Roman believers to be “cut off” in verse 22 means that God might set them aside as useless vessels in His redemptive program in building Christ’s kingdom, as he had done with Israel, although their eternal destiny as individuals was secure. This setting aside may occur if the Roman believers subsequently rejected faith and fell under the spell of a false gospel, returning to the dead works of the law for their justification before God, as those to whom the book of Hebrews was written were in danger of doing. Their being set aside would be an act of divine chastisement for their failure to abide and maintain their steadfastness by remembering their standing before God in Christ (Heb. 6:3; 8-10). While their salvation from sin’s eternal penalty was forever secure since God preserves the eternal life of the believer (Jude 1), their salvation or deliverance from the destructive consequences of unbelief, which William listed above, was not. For this, they would need to persevere in faith, not to make it to heaven but so that they would be useful vessels, experience and enjoy the eternal life they already possessed, go on to maturity and receive a full reward (Heb. 6: 11, 12; 10:35).

  190. Dave, “Cut off” means various things for the saved Christian. Christians who are cut off will experience the following. I got this list from Holly, who posted this earlier a while ago.(I added more Scriptural references) I am sure the Israelites experienced the following when they were “cut off.”

    1) Loss of fellowship with God – 1 John 1:3,6,9. John 15:6.

    2) Loss of fellowship with others – 1 John 1:3,7.

    3) Loss of fullness of joy in our faith – 1 John 1:4.

    4) Loss of eternal rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ – 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, 2 Timothy 2:12, 2 John 1:8, 1 Corinthians 9:27, but the Christian’s everlasting life remains intact and untouched – 1 Cor 3:15, 2 Timothy 2:13.

    5) Suffer health related consequences upon ourselves in this life – 1 Corinthians 11:29-32 including weakness, sickness, and premature physical death.

    6) Loss of physical life – 1 Corinthians 5:5, Acts 5:1-11, 1 Corinthians 11:30, 1 John 5:16-17, Proverbs 15:10.

    7) Loss of our testimony or justification before people – James 2:14-26, 1 John 3:17-18, Titus 3:8, 2 Corinthians 8:21.

    8) Shaming the name of Christ for sins named among us like preachers caught in adultery, fornication, or some other scandal in the church – Ephesians 5:3.

    9) Experience God’s chastisement as a wake up call – Proverbs 3:11-12, Hebrews 12:5-11, Job 5:17-18, Jeremiah 2:19.

    10) Experience negative consequences of our actions and possibly others suffer because of our sinful, or unethical actions – Galatians 6:7-9.

    11) Experience apostasy and fall away into willful sin – Hebrews 6:4-8, Hebrews 10:26-27, Some who fall away use grace as a license to sin – Romans 6:1, Romans 6:15, Galatians 5:13, 1 Peter 2:16, and bring awful consequences upon themselves.

    12) Fall into doctrinal error and be led astray by false teachers – 1 Timothy 4:1, Acts 20:30, 2 Peter 2:18-22.

    13) Experience shame at the Judgment Seat of Christ – 1 John 2:28, and experience rebuke – Matthew 25:14-30, Luke 19:11-26, Luke 12:42-46.

    14) We can lose the joy of our salvation – Psalm 51:12.

    BUT loss of eternal life is NEVER one of the consequences of being “cut off” – Romans 11:1, Romans 11:11, John 5:24, 10:28-29, Romans 8:38-39, 2 Timothy 2:13.

  191. Dave, The context of Romans 11 where it talks about being “cut off” is referring to Israel being cut off from fellowship with God because of their unbelief. Israel as recorded in the Old Testament has a long history of unbelief, sin, rebellion, and demon worship as recorded in Exodus 32:9, Exodus 33:3-4, Exodus 34:9, Deuteronomy 9:6, 9:13, 31:27, Jeremiah 7:26, 17:23, 18:12, Joshua 22:10,16,17, Judges 2:10-19, 3:7,12 Judges 4:1, 6:1, 8:27, 8:33, 10:6, 13:1. In Ezekiel chaptes 1-8 we read of the Israelites who persistently worshiped idols and indulged in detestable practices. In all those instances of sin and apostasy, Israel was punished by God and “cut off”, that is, set aside temporarily. Many were scattered and became exiles in other countries, but God’s anger and punishment towards the Israelites was only for a time and not forever.

    The following Scriptural passages show God’s mercy in His dealings with Israel:

    1) Micah 7:18 – Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? YOU DO NOT STAY ANGRY FOREVER, but delight to show mercy.

    2) Isaiah 12:1 – In that day you will say: “I will praise you, LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me.

    3) Job 5:17-18 – “Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.

    4) Ezekiel 11:17 – “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will GATHER YOU from the nations and BRING YOU BACK from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’

    5) Jeremiah 3:12 – Go, proclaim this message toward the north: “‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will frown on you no longer, for I AM FAITHFUL,’ declares the LORD, I WILL NOT BE ANGRY FOREVER.

    6) Jeremiah 32:37
    I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety.

    7) Jeremiah 32:37 – I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I WILL BRING THEM BACK TO THIS PLACE AND LET THEM LIVE IN SAFETY.

    8) Deuteronomy 30:4 – Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will GATHER YOU AND BRING YOU BACK.

    Israel’s rejection of God in Romans 11 meant that they would be “cut off” and “set aside” temporarily. In the meantime, God used Paul to preach the gospel to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous when they saw that eternal life has come to the Gentiles and that the Gentiles were blessed.

    I have discovered that God’s dealings with His people, the Israelites are the same in His dealings with present day Christians who willfully sin. I once living in moral/doctrinal error for 9 long years until God chastised me and restored me. That was 23 years ago. I see a parallel between Romans 11 and John 15:2-6. I was “cut off” from fellowship with God. I became spiritually atrophied just like the branches in John 15:6 who would face imminent “burning” (chastisement). The word “burned” in John 15:6 is not referring to “burned” in hell because of Christ’s promise of eternal security/OSAS for ALL saved people, including the ones that are “cut off” – John 5:24, 10:28-29, Romans 8:38-39, 2 Timothy 2:13. Willfully sinning Christians who live in moral and doctrinal error will be “cut off” from FELLOWSHIP with God, temporarily, but in due time God will PUNISH/ RESTORE as He did with the Israelites. God’s dealings with His children are both punitive and restorative. That’s the beauty of God’s grace and mercy – Proverbs 15:10, Proverbs 3:11-12, Jeremiah 2:19, Job 5:17-18, Hebrews 12:5-11.

    Of course, Calvinists/Lordship Salvation/Arminianists and all works based salvationists will interpret “cut off” to mean the “loss of eternal life” or “unsaved” to begin with.

  192. Dave, sure – by the way, I was not suggesting that you were trusting in works for salvation in any way, nor do I think Keith was.

  193. Thank you for your response

  194. Dave, I stand by the interpretation that I posted earlier.

  195. John and Keith, in no way am I trusting in works as a means to salvation, all my works are filthy rags and the only work I trust in is the perfect finished work of Christ which eternally paid for my sins..
    Our works in Christ are not evidence of our salvation, more like evidence of us maturing in Christ becoming doers of Gods word so that it might profit the lost unto salvation and unto us rewards for our labor of love.
    1 Peter 1:1-9 clearly speaks that an Christian must put on the new man through practicing the fruits of the Spirit if he/she wants to become fruitful in the good works of the Lord.
    Those who fail to do this will remain unfruitful and barren/empty of good works for God..
    Their house is built on our eternal foundation who is Christ but its not built of strong materials such as gold, silver and precious stones, rather its built out of weak materials such as wood, hay stubble.

    These types will suffer much loss of rewards unless they repent, change their mind and do the first works of the Lord which is winning souls to Christ as the fruit of righteousness is winning a soul to Christ.
    These types will have their works tested by fire for their labor done in the mortal body and only the good that they’ve done will survive the fire, but the soul is saved none the less. 1 Cor 3:13-15 KJV

    How we are rewarded depends on how we serve in the mortal body until we receive our immortal incorruptible body..1 Cor 15:54, Phil 3:23, 2 Cor 1:9-10, Rom 7:24-25, 1 Cor 3:11-15 KJV

    I’m admitting that I do not have a mature understanding of Rom 11, so I pray to God to give me wisdom and knowledge or a more mature understanding of this chater, and the only way one can understand is to obey God by allowing scripture to interpret scripture..
    Here are some scriptures I looked up with the word cut off in them.

    Thank you both for your responses, I’ll have to read them over again until I get a fuller understanding.

    Psalms 37:9
    “For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.”

    Isaiah 9:14-16King James Version (KJV)

    14 Therefore the Lord will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day.

    15 The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.

    16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.

    Zech 13:8
    King James Version
    And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.

    Maybe to be cut off means physical death, let me know what both of you think, as iron sharpens iron.
    Grace and peace to both of you in Jesus name amen.

  196. Keith, your explanation is consistent with grace.

    Like you said, Calvinists and Arminians do not focus on rewards, because their theology is that of fruit inspection.

  197. Dave and John, I would like to offer the following perspective on Romans 11. Verses 18-22 state:

    Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear; For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off”.

    Ephesians 2:8 states, “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”.

    Although he has eternal life because he believed the Gospel (John 5:24), the person who boasts about his position in Christ is under law, or at least in danger of returning to the law for his justification before God, since boasting indicates that one is justifying himself by his own works or worthiness, and is therefore antithetical to faith. Because they were boasting against Israel, I think that the Gentiles to whom Paul was writing, though they were eternally secure and possessed eternal life, were in danger of sliding back under the yoke of the law and “falling from grace” or being “severed from Christ” (Gal. 5:4). This simply means that they were no longer “standing by faith” or abiding in Christ, but were instead cut off from fellowship with God (the vine) and would be unfruitful as long as they remained in that state. If they fell away completely, they would still be eternally secure but cast aside as useless vessels (Heb. 6:4-6). The result would be barren fruitlessness, and their works would be burned at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Heb. 6:8; 1 Cor. 3:15).

    This warning is similar to that which Jesus gave to the 11 saved disciples in John 15. Note that Judas had left the company of the disciples by that time (John 13:30). The 11 remaining disciples were eternally secure (John 17:12). However, failure to abide on their part would result in fruitlessness and loss of reward (John 15: 5 and 6). If they returned to the law, they would no longer receive their spiritual vitality from their union with Christ although they were and would always be saved from sin’s eternal penalty.

    Calvinists and Armenians won’t ever bring the concept of rewards into their discourse because it contravenes their theology.

  198. Hey Dave!!

    First—that’s a new one!!! a Calvinist who believes one can lose their salvation. usually its, if predestined to be saved, then an elect is always an elect.

    anyway, I really don’t “see” what he is saying. maybe I need to re-read. Israel – Jesus came for the lost house of Israel (also see Rom 1:16 – to the jew first). But because of the “jews” UN-belief, the gentiles were allowed to be grafted in (verse 23). and that if “the jews” abide NOT in their un-belief, they too can be grafted in again (verse 23).

    So, we are told not to be “puffed up”, because God sent a partial blindness until all the determined number of gentiles are saved (verse – 25; which I believe refers to a rapture event being a number).

    Again we see, that the gift was offered to the gentiles through the UN-belief of Israel (vs 30)

    in context – the thee and thou is about “gentiles” as a WHOLE not the individual. So, in context, we “as gentiles” should NOT be highminded (vs 20) as God could send the same “blindness” to the “gentiles as a whole. In fact, after the rapture, does not God send a strong delusion to those in UN-belief. POINT – if God can send a blindness to the “original branch” (jews) because of unbelief, He can do the same to “the new branches” (gentiles).

  199. Dave, one cannot lose eternal life, nor do I believe that one who boasts against Israel proves he isn’t saved.

    If Paul were concerned about whether they were saved, he would have given them the gospel, not warned them not to boast against Israel. After all, Paul wrote Romans 1:16, so he KNEW the gospel was unique in it’s power to bring people to faith in Christ.

    As you said, this is a difficult passage, but I see it this way:

    Verse 18: Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

    My comment: This means that gentiles who had become believers were not the root supporting (bearing) the tree, but were rather branches supported by the tree.

    Verses 19-22:

    [19] Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
    [20] Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
    [21] For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

    My comment: Verse 20 confirms that the audience (gentile Christians) stand by faith (are saved). They stand by faith, so there is no reason for boasting. Yet, he is warning them against boasting against Israel. God had dealt severely with Israel (the natural branches) and can also deal severely with gentiles.

    Verse 22: Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

    My comment: God has shown his capacity for both goodness and severity. The term “cut off” does not mean loss of eternal life, but being dealt with sternly by a loving God.

    So, I can’t accept your conclusion that anyone who boasts against Israel isn’t saved (fruit inspection) any more than I can accept the position that someone who has eternal life can lose it.

    The better argument against people who teach the possibility of loss of eternal life is this:

    Question: Do you believe the Bible is the Word of God?

    If the answer is yes, then do you believe God lies or contradicts himself?

    If the answer is no, then do you believe John 3:16?

    If the answer is yes, what is it about everlasting life that you don’t understand?

    If the answer is anything other than eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited, then the person doesn’t understand or believe the gospel. It is possible that he once believed and was clear on the gospel, but he doesn’t believe the gospel NOW. Go back to the drawing board (the gospel).

    End of story.

  200. Dave, you said: This says to me that if one is boasting against Israel, the one has not the root, one is not saved.
    This is the only answer I can come up with when comparing scripture with scripture.

    My comment: I don’t believe that. This just leads to more fruit inspection and introspection. As in “no true Christian will boast against Israel.”

    The Bible teaches that whoever believes in Jesus has eternal life. It does not give any behavioral litmus tests.

  201. Thank you for your reply, and I can’t wait for more updates on the difficult scriptures section.. I’m dealing with a guy now over in facebook who is using Rom 11 to promote salfivic loss, and I must admit I’m finding it hard to give him a satisfactory answer..
    I do not believe salvation can be lost, but the only answer I can come up with is that those who boast against the branches bear not the root and the bible says the root is Jesus (root being the root of Jesse)..
    Please have a look at his responses to me if you have the time..

    Craig McLoughlin responding to me
    David Fleming

    Yes. Paul is warning the Gentile Christians in Rome NOT to boast. And Not Gentile nations.

    Do we have evidence that Paul is talking specifically to and about the Gentiles Christians in Rome in Romans 11:19-22 ?? Yes !!

    The whole book is written to Christians in Rome that consisted of both Jews and Gentiles.

    Romans 1:7-8

    7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:
    Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

    Romans 11:25

    25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

    NOTE: Paul calls these same Gentiles he has warned BRETHREN.

    They are saved Gentiles in Rome he is directly addressing and warning !!

    Craig McLoughlin responding to me again David Fleming (I’ve also put up the argument that Rom 11:6 clearly tells us that salvation can only come by grace as if it came by works then grace would be no more grace so if salvation could be lost then grace is no more grace as it would be required by works to keep ourselves saved).

    Here is his another of his responses to me.

    Rather, I am reading Romans 11:19-22 in its proper historical context and setting.

    Who is the speaking ? Paul

    Who is he speaking to in the Book of Romans ? Saved Jews and Gentiles.

    Who is Paul speaking to in Romans 11:19-22 ? Saved Gentiles.

    How do we know ? He tell us in Romans 11:13

    Romans 11:13

    13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry

    Those Gentiles that he is speaking to are not to boast against the saved Jews ( branches ) in the church at Rome.

    The text is historically grounded. There is a division between the saved Jews and the saved Gentiles in the church at Rome that Paul is adressing.

    It is very clear to anyone who reads the text grounded into its own historical context and setting.

  202. Glad we are like minded as to the book of Revelation, as I always go to 1 John 5:4-5 to explain that one who has received Christ has overcome the world, but people respond by saying that God is speaking to the church who are already saved so 1 John 5:4-5 does not apply to Rev.
    As for Rom 11, one scripture warns that if the gentile boasts against the branches he bears not the root which is Jesus as Jesus stems from the root of Jesse if we compare scripture with scripture.
    This says to me that if one is boasting against Israel, the one has not the root, one is not saved.
    This is the only answer I can come up with when comparing scripture with scripture.

    I’m dealing with a Calvinist who’s responding to me like this, so if you could have a read I would appreciate your thoughts on the matter.

    Craig McLoughlin responding to me
    David Fleming

    Rather, you don’t get it !! The words are written on the pages of the Bible right in front of anyone who picks it up and reads it.

    Seriously man… read what is right in front of your eyes…

    Romans 11:19-22

    19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.”

    You who ?? You Gentiles !!

    20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.

    Israel was Broken off and you stand… You who ?? You Gentile Christians here in Rome stand by faith.

    All the Gentiles nations are NOT standing by faith !!

    21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.

    You who ?? You Gentiles !!

    22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness.

    Otherwise you also will be cut off.

    You who ?? You Gentile Christians here in Rome.

    Paul is talking to the Gentile Christians in Rome. They are grafted in the The Cultivated Olive Tree” with the saved Jews.

    NO ONE.. … NO ONE is in that tree except saved Jews and Gentiles !!

    NOTE… Paul is talking to the Gentile Christians in the church at Rome. He is NOT talking about Gentile nations.

    Some of you people are so screwed up with bad teaching and heresy.

  203. Difficult passages aren’t always easily dealt with in a few verses as Romans 9-11 basically deals with Israel as a nation although the Gentile nation and the church are also spoken of.

  204. Dave – Romans 11 is speaking to a Nation of Israel and a Nation of Gentiles who are grafted into the promise of salvation. There is a way of speaking where they speak of the conclusion first. Unbelief is the reason one would be cut off from salvation. As for Revelation and all of the seven churches, the overcomers are believers, and each church has some (1 John 5:4-5) describes this, and John wrote both books. After Revelation 4 until the end, the church is not mentioned because this now reverts to Israel as a nation and the world in general. Israel still has a time (the time of Jacob’s trouble) that will be finished upon them (as prophesied in Daniel’s 70 x 7 weeks). So 7 more years is left. Hope that helps some. God bless.

  205. Dave, we update that section from time-to-time. There are a lot that we haven’t gotten to yet.

    Tom Cucuzza is starting a series on Revelation, so I may try to glean some points from that series.

  206. Dave, we update that section from time-to-time. There are a lot that we haven’t gotten to yet.

    Tom Cucuzza is starting a series on Revelation, so I may try to glean some points from that series.

  207. Yes, the reason I asked is because I was looking in the difficult scriptures section and there seems to be nothing answered on the book of Revelation and also Rom 11:21-22.
    A lot of babes struggle with tough scriptures and believers can also get tangled back up with the law as seen in Gal 3 KJV
    There seems to be a lot of difficult scriptures that the old pastor might of not attempted to answer, so maybe there’s a difficult scriptures 2 (a second lot of difficult scriptures answered).

  208. Dave, we get questions from people who seem to find works required for eternal life throughout scripture, including in Revelation.

  209. Do you get many questions as to certain scriptures in the book of Revelation that seem to promote works?

  210. Speaking of light and darkness. How does one harmonize John 3:19-21 with John 3:16? Verse 20 makes it sound like those who do evil(don’t we all?) hate the light and won’t come to it. Is it that some don’t want to or won’t admit they are a sinner and accept salvation from Jesus? Trying to understand this because salvation is not based on our deeds but on faith alone in Christ alone.

  211. FreeGracer24, please consider that turning to Light, is turning to Jesus, (he expounds on the gospel) if you just go a ‘little’ bit further in that same chapter of Acts 26,

    22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: 23 that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

    (See Is 42:6, Is 49:6, Luke 2:30-34, 2 Cor 4:6, Gen 12:3; 15:6 speaking of the Messiah).

  212. freegracer Welcome
    God is not out to change a souls behavior pattern. God took care of the behavior pattern (sin nature) in Christ Jesus ,
    God desires to change our thinking by a willing soul desiring to Yield from and to their position in Christ Jesus.. availing themselves appropriating the free gift of righteousness romans 5 to their thinking that what God’s word says to be True by grace through faith (the same way we are saved) agreeing with God against self. (the Holy Spirit leads guides and directs in this if we yield) Any changes not wrought be the Spirit of God are rejected by God . Wood Hay Stubble
    When a soul by Grace through faith Trust’s Jesus as their personal Savior God declares a soul Justified , Sanctified and one day to be Glorified.
    Now a believer has a Free choice either Yield to the Spirit and be spiritually minded or be carnal resurrecting the old sin nature (note Old sin nature). We are either being spiritual or carnal there is no middle ground , their is no dry spells.
    upon beliving We are made fully Justified fully Sanctified there is no such thing as being “real Spiritual” we are to grow in grace to be Mature believers this is the sanctification process . Were the clarity of the gospel is lacking in justification , sanctification stops . we are by Gods word to be renewing our minds rom 12:1-2 and you are correct this is ongoing non stop

    Worship =
    1. Knowing your position in Christ.
    2. Reckon dead to sin alive to Christ. Count up the cost that what God’s word says to be true believing it.
    3. Present ( perpetually) unto God a living sacrifice rom 12: 1,2
    4. Yield to Holy Spirit.

    below is a link to a sermon on the tenses of salvation that has helped me get a Truth of the Gospel grip in my thinking .
    Please also be aware do not go wandering around on sermon audio , they let just about any teaching on sermon audio . This sermon is from Duluth Bible church

    Comprehending The Three Tenses Of Salvation

  213. freegracer24

    That refers to spiritual growth right?

  214. Freegracer 24, also see Ephesians 5:11.

  215. freegracer24

    Thanks John, this actually makes a lot of sense. If Acts 26:18 required a literal turning from all known sins all at once in order to be saved, then it would invalidate the freeness of salvation. Also, casting off “works of darkness” is not a one-time decision, but something we must continually practice as believers, not to be saved or stay saved but because we are saved. Also, your example with 1 Corinthians 4:5 also gives the impression that the hidden things in darkness are not all “evil things” per se, but perhaps things that nobody knew, that should have been known. Thank you again John. Any additional thoughts?

  216. Freegracer 24, I don’t interpret Acts 26:16-18 to require moral resolution in order to receive the free gift of eternal life.

    If it did, we would have trouble harmonizing that passage with any number of other scriptures, including John 3:16, Acts 16:31, and Ephesians 2:8-9, among at least 100 others.

    We are not saved by grace through faith in Christ plus implicit moral resolution.

    We are saved by grace through faith in Christ.

    I think the reference to “darkness” and “light” are references to lies (darkness) versus light (truth of the gospel – salvation through Christ alone).

    There are many references to darkness and light in the New Testament.

    Some of the references to darkness are instructions to Christians to avoid the works of darkness. If moral resolution were required in order to receive the free gift of eternal life, these instructions would not have been written.


    Romans 13:12: The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

    1 Corinthians 4:5: Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

  217. freegracer24

    Can someone help me with Acts 26:18-20 and 1 John 1:6-7? Acts 26:18-20, with the uses of the words “darkness” and “light,” seems to indicate that implicit moral resolution is required for salvation, although I know that no amount of moral reformation could ever suit us for salvation. If moral reformation for salvation is a one-time decision, then how do you harmonize Acts 26:18-20 with 1 John 1:6-10? Some have taught that 1 John Chapter 1 is addressed to unbelievers, namely the Gnostics who had infiltrated the church at the time (also denying the reality of sin). Can someone please help me? Thank you and God bless!

    In Christ,

  218. Ben – there are several chapters in Revelation that go into the mark of the beast, but I also did an article, detailing what MacArthur said about the Mark, against what the Word says. The mark of the beast we see a determined end in Scripture, and salvation is always in His name (Acts 4:12).

  219. Benchap, I don’t know how else to say it.

    Anyone who takes the mark will remain unsaved.

    See 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.

    You might also find the sermon linked below to be helpful:

  220. Can you take me a little bit more in depth into that statement – the mark seals unbelievers in their unbelief?

  221. Benchap,no. Saints don’t have to maintain their salvation.

    Their salvation is preserved by God.

    The mark seals unbelievers in their unbelief.

  222. I agree, but isn’t that perseverance of the saints?

  223. Benchap, believers will not take the mark. Believers will have eternal life. Otherwise, what would be the message they would be believing?

    God will keep believers from taking the mark during that time.

    Remember, John 3:16: 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.

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

    I find nothing in scripture that cancels these out during the Great Tribulation.

  224. Thoughts on Revelation 14?

    “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”

    Post rapture/church….but doesn’t this indicate that believers will either:

    a) be unable to take the mark


    b) lose salvation if they do

    Confused and, yet again, shaken.

  225. Keith, this is very well put!

  226. It seems to me that Matt. 5:29 and 30, and its companion passages in Matt. 18:8 and Mark 9:43, should be favorite passages of those who insist that turning from your sins is necessary to get into heaven:

    “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell”.

    Jesus, of course, was using hyperbole to teach that if one chooses the law as one’s standard of justification before God, as His Jewish audience had done, he had better be willing to go all the way and take drastic measures in order to be morally perfect, since perfect behavior is required under the law (James 2:10). That daunting prospect should have then prompted His hearers to turn from the perfect demands of the law and place their faith in Him as their savior.

    In order for their theology to be consistent, LSers and Calvinists have to teach that passage literally and implore their hearers who struggle with sin to actually practice self-mutilation to make it to heaven. However, I have been around LS and Calvinism for most of my life, but have never once heard those passages taught that way.

    Doesn’t that make them vulnerable to charges of “easy workism”?

  227. RAS – I agree with you, so many don’t see that passage as speaking to already believing disciples, who have been rebuked for being unbelieving, who are being encouraged as to what their future will be when the power from on High comes upon them (Luke 24:48-49).

  228. Dep Dep/Dave – I hope it’s possible for you to stick with one name on comments, so it’s easier for others to follow.

    Repentance, depending on where and how used, is usually in the NT a changing of our thinking from one thing to another. It will come if we are in the strong meat of His Word we will be able to discern between good and evil (Heb 5:12-14). As Ben said above, we can grieve and quench the Spirit, I have unfortunately…

    You said, I sensed an underlying “inner call to holiness” almost from day 1. Was this the new nature or the Spirit or just my conscious from reading the Bible? I do not know.

    What we ‘sense’ vs what the Word of God says of course can be two different things. We cannot trust our feelings or experience to dictate truth. We know our soul wars with the flesh, but we also know that the Word tells us we practice or do that which we don’t want to do.

    We just need to continue looking into that perfect law of liberty in order to be blessed. Our eyes need to be fixed on Him, and not ourselves. Why do we need to be told to do this if somehow it’s just an automatic call? Why do we need to add to our faith? So we won’t be barren, blinded, shortsighted, unfruitful — 2 John 1:5-9. Why do we need to constantly affirm to others to maintain good works if it’s just automatic (Titus 3:8)?

    We have responsibilities to obey to remain in His Word if those of us who have believed want to be a disciple (pupil, student, learner), want to be set free by His truth, His Word is truth (John 8:32, Jn 17:17). These again are not automatic. We have to choose, Mary chose the needed thing and did not get distracted as Martha (Lk 10:38-42). I get distracted. I find myself doing the very thing I do not want to do. I hate that evil is still present in me.

  229. The object of belief in Mark 16 cannot be belief in the message of life. Mark 16 takes place after the resurrection so it also follows Jesus’ discourse with His disciples the night before the crucifixion when Jesus teaches of the difference between being bathed and the need to wash feet. What was not being believed by His disciples was that He had risen and was still on earth. That He had not ascended to Heaven and had appeared to some of them already.

    It is the unbelieving disciples that Jesus is rebuking. The signs followed the disciples who followed instruction and believed, suffered for Christ and went forth preaching the Gospel. They had been chosen, trained and now commissioned to do so. The “salvation” and “condemnation” was yet future for His disciples —not eternal life— and did not pertain to those who would respond to the disciple’s message. These signs were persuasive enough that even a con artist like Simon (Acts 8) came to believe and was baptized. Simon then wanted this power and thought he could purchase it; of course he had no part in it even after believing and being baptized.

    So even when sign gifts were operative these signs (Mark 16) did not follow those who believed in the message of life proclaimed by the apostles. They followed the apostles.

    1 Corinthians 12:27-31 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

  230. Benchap, very well said.

  231. Why is one saved and how long is salvation:

    “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.”

    Believed. Received the Holy Spirit after belief (sorry Calvinists). We’re sealed until the day of redemption (sorry Arminians).

    Are works therefore automatic in a saved person?

    Let not sin reign – Romans 6:6.
    If Ye live in the Spirit, WALK Ye in him.
    If Ye live in the light, walk as children of light.
    Present your bodies as a living sacrifice.

    Answer: no, believers are commanded to do these things, not told that they will automatically occur in a “true” believer.

    Is a Christian someone who always feels called to holiness as proof of their salvation?

    “Despise not prophesisings, Quench not the Spirit”
    “Grieve not the Spirit”
    “looking unto Jesus”

    We aren’t told to look at our works to determine salvation, nor our feelings. These would be “looking unto self”. Paul looked at himself in Romans 7 and all he saw was sin. He thanked God that he was saved by faith alone.

    Anyway who looks to self to prove salvation is either going to give themself nothing but anxiety, or is so blind that they actually think their works prove they are saved.

    The only 100% guarantee for one looking inwardly or at their works for proof of having the Holy Spirit would be sinlessness. For the Spirit never sins. If you sin (and all saved people sin) and yet still think your works prove you have the Spirit, you aren’t understanding the flesh and Spirit battle, rather (for many) think that the Spirit in dwelling a believer has removed the sin nature.

  232. Dcp, I don’t think that Christians will always feel a call to holiness.

    What about Christians who stop believing (Luke 8:13)?

    If Christians will always sense a call to holiness, then people will look for the feeling of that sense for assurance.

  233. Dcp, I am not aware of scripture pointing to any automatically occurring “signs” that follow those who believe, particularly now that the scriptures have been completed.

    I think that when we walk in the Spirit, we will desire the things of God. When we don’t walk in the Spirit, I don’t think we will desire the things of God. I think that is the struggle.

  234. John – Thanks….let me work from the back …the “day 1” was semantics….I really do not remember ( a long time ago) if I felt that “feeling” before, during or after coming to faith. I do know that I felt a call to holiness without feeling I had to be holy to save myself. I do not like to look for “evidence” even though scriptures at one point noted “these signs will follow those who believe”. I do not think those “signs” are valid anymore. God & I know what I believe but we all have doubts at times. I read them in the posts here. You said “our new nature does desire the things of God, all the time”. I assume that we are aware of this or are we to take this as a matter of faith only? It seems that Paul was aware of the endless struggle between the Spirit & flesh and this may be the inner call we as Christians always sense (not to be saved but rather a call to holiness). 

  235. Dave, thanks for your thorough response.

    You said several things that I would like to address.

    You said “repentance has always been confusing.”

    My response: That is because it is so misused. If you would like to become better grounded in the biblical meaning of repentance, I suggest a thorough reading of Ron Shea’s work on the topic, which is linked below:

    You said: “It seems weird…”, “It seems
    It would seem..”, and so on.

    My comment: Our thoughts are not God’s thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).

    Our new nature does desire the things of God – all of the time. Our new nature is sinless and eternal.

    But, there are Christians who are at risk of letting sin reign in their lives.

    That’s why Paul wrote:

    Romans 6:12: Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the luats thereof.

    Dave, you said you sensed an underlying call to holiness, almost from day 1.

    My comment: That’s great. But, would you still believe you were saved, even if you didn’t have this “inner call to holiness?”

    Were you almost saved between the moment you trusted Christ as Savior and the moment that you felt the “inner call to holiness?” If it was almost from day 1, was there a gap? If so, how long could that gap have persisted before you might have begun to doubt that you were saved?

    Dave, if you have believed in Christ alone as your Savior, any fruit of the Spirit comes from walking in the Spirit.

  236. John – Thank you again….I believe God exists & that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus is the savior & that he suffered & died to cleanse our sins away & rose again. Repentance has always been confusing. I do not believe we can earn our salvation by what we do or do not do but it seems weird that a Christian could say “hey God, I can sin all I want, because I have Jesus work to my credit”. It would seem that theoretically, this would be true but I do not know of Christians who take this attitude. This is why I ask the questions about the new nature. It would seem that having a new sinless nature would always make us desire the things of God (I mean in the inward man , not that Christians stop sinning) but does this mean that the new nature is actually “necessary” for our salvation? I became a Christian (let’s assume it was genuine for the moment) in High School. My belief was that I was saved by faith alone but I sensed an underlying “inner call to holiness” almost from day 1. Was this the new nature or the Spirit or just my conscious from reading the Bible? I do not know.

  237. Dcp, the new nature is part of being saved. Everyone who is saved has it. No one who is unsaved has it.

    It manifests itself, in that the Christian who is walking in the Spirit will have the fruits of the Spirit (see Galatians 5).

    Also, do you have some thoughts on these matters? What do you believe?

  238. John – Thank you again. I hope you do not mind continuing… Would a person still be “saved” if God did not give them a new nature?that is, since Christians have the imputed righteousness of Christ, is this new nature necessary or is it part of the gift of salvation?also, how does this new nature & having the Spirit manifest itself in the believer?

  239. Dave, I say our new nature is without sin, because that is what the Bible clearly says.

    We receive our new nature (we are born again) the moment we believe in Jesus as Savior. It is God’s work.

    While we have a new nature, we still have the flesh with which to contend. That is why believers are admonished to walk in the Spirit, and we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).

    Christians vary in their responses to this admonition. Non-believers cannot respond to it at all, since they do not have the Spirit.

  240. John – I understand but you say “our new nature is without sin”….this is what I am asking….what is the new nature? when do we receive this? how does this relate to the imputed righteousness of Christ? I assume this new nature is God’s work….if we were not given a new nature, would we still be saved?

    Thank you for your patience with me.

  241. Dcp, your question cannot be answered, because it is based on a false premise.

    You asked: If man gets to insist on a relationship on his terms, then what prevents a saved person from insisting on the freedom to sin for eternity knowing that God must accept this because we trusted in Christ.

    My response: Man does not get to insist on a relationship on his terms. He must accept eternal life on God’s terms. By grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. The insistence of so many to try to buy eternal life by turning from sin, putting God on the thrones of their lives, and so on, is a rejection of God’s terms.

    If someone does not understand that all his sins – past, present, and future – have been paid for in full, he doesn’t understand the gospel.

    It is not God’s will that believers live sinful lifestyles. However, He does not make the free gift of eternal life contingent on the recipient vowing to turn from sin, being willing to turn from sin, or even desiring to turn from sin.

    Man cannot insist on the freedom to sin for eternity, because no sin will enter God’s presence (see Revelation 21:27). That is why we must be reborn. Our new nature is without sin (see 1 John 3:9).

  242. Thank you for prior comments. I have a question….How does man keep from insisting on salvation on his own terms? By this, I do not mean the “means” of salvation (IE by faith in Christ alone) but rather what salvation actually is (IE a relationship with God). If man gets to insist on a relationship on his terms then what prevents a saved person from insisting on the freedom to sin for eternity knowing that God must accept this because we trusted in Christ? How does God deal with this? Does our being made “new creatures in Christ” alleviate this? Is this God’s work?

  243. William — how old is your son? Sorry to hear that he is struggling. Praying he will hunger and thirst for God’s Words and be given some sound believing friends. I pray the Word will strengthen and revive Him, and give Him wisdom and understanding. Thank you for praying for my son. He moved to Barrows today so we have some intense rehab to deal with, praying it will all work together for good.

  244. Bryan, Thank You!

  245. William, I’ve prayed for your son as well.

  246. William, maybe so!

  247. John, no problem. I think you need a vacation to relax and recharge your batteries. : )

  248. William, I am so sorry. I don’t know how I was so careless with my reading.

    I will pray that the Lord will deliver your son through these difficulties.

  249. John, Actually it is my son that is going through difficulties right now. My mother went home to be with the Lord 32 years ago. : )

  250. William, I have prayed for your mother in the midst of these difficulties in her life.

  251. William, I think John MacArthur’s religion is JUST like all other religions, including Mormonism.

    MacArthur’s false religion is diametrically opposite Christianity.

  252. I remember I mentioned earlier that Mormon teachers told MacArthur that they were using MacArthur’s book, “The Gospel According to Jesus” as a TEXTBOOK at their Brigham Young University years ago. Mormon teachers were reporting that many of their students were showing a lack of love for Christ and a lack of submission to His lordship. MacArthur also reported that he was also personally invited to speak at BYU to motivate their students. LOL!!!!

    MacArthur refused, and proceeded to tell them that their Mormon “Jesus” and Mormon “God” is not the same Jesus and God of the Bible and said that the Mormon theology had nothing in common with his theology. He then goes on to explain that Mormon theology is deviant and so on and so forth and does not line up with Scripture. I like to say that MacArthur’s theology has a LOT in common with Mormon theology in that both teach that WORKS and “submission to His Lordship” are imperative for possible salvation at the very end. I thought it was hilarious when MacArthur personally told the Mormon teachers at BYU that their theology had nothing in common with his when in reality his “theology” has MUCH in common!

  253. Holly, I’m still praying for your son Adam and your dad. My son is not doing so well lately as he’s going through a divorce and is also suffering from depression and obsessive compulsive disorder and will have to see a therapist first thing tomorrow.

  254. John and William, both of you had good comments I missed, thank you 🙂

  255. Thanks William, Titus 2:11 is one I quote often so just a typo, it should read Titus 3:10-11.

  256. Holly, I do believe Titus 2:10-11 reads as follows:

    10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

  257. William – great to see you use this. In our Bible group recently, we had to let go of one who has been teaching this behind the scenes to whoever she thinks might look at her as an expert. Ben Chaplin was one of them, and Jackie Garcia was there. In our study, an older couple was not comfortable with us breaking fellowship with this woman and felt we should instead love on her, do for her, help her, and mentioned her financial state (Of course these people have no idea what we have done to help). Anyways when this subject was brought up, a friend Doreen instantly made that comment, King David was saved yet murdered. Anyways, anyone who has hated has murdered, but people do not understand and go on to condemn themselves.

    A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. Titus 2:10-11

  258. John, Well said! The Lordship Salvation mentality that eisegetes Scripture through the lens of Calvinism will come to that conclusion that if “works” are not visible in the life of a Christian, then that person is declared “unsaved”. It is because of Calvinism’s “faith is a gift” from God lie based upon an eisegesis of Ephesians 2:8-9.

    They reason that if “faith” comes from God, it will not fail to produce the desired attributes of commitment, obedience, perseverance, etc. They ignore the fact that there was instance after instance where Jesus rebuked His disciples for their FAILURES in their faith. John the Baptist’s faith FAILED when he started to doubt about Jesus identity in Matthew 11:3, and in Luke 7:19.

  259. William, the Lordship “salvationists” will use 1 John 3:15 as part of a “tests of eternal life” regimen that they insert into the entire book of 1 John. Those false “tests of life” are all based on the notion that one’s works are evidence of eternal life. If those works are not present in sufficient form and quantity in the eye of the one administering the “test” (whether to himself or others), then the subject of the test is deemed unlikely to have eternal life. It is fruit inspection 101, disguised as biblical exegesis. And, it is an assault on the gospel.

    The Bible is clear that Christians who are not walking in the Spirit are capable of murder and all of other works of the flesh.

    This passage in 1 John is an admonition for Christians to love one another, and a reminder that the world that rejects Christ rejects them by extension.

  260. Jackie, I think that 1 John 3:15 will inevitably be used by Lordship people as one of their notable “proof texts” that Christians who hate other Christians are “unsaved false professors”, BUT like Holly pointed out some believers have committed murder that were non abiding. King David is a classic example of a Godly man when he gave orders to have Uriah setup to be killed in battle. King Solomon was another example of a Godly man who obviously hated Jeroboam when he tried to kill him in 1 Kings 11:40.

  261. Pastor Cucuzza shared with my friend Cheryl on this verse.

    Here is a good answer from Thomas Constable: “Every one” includes Christians. Murder is the ultimate outward expression of hatred (cf. Matt. 5:21-22). The key to the apparently inconsistent statement that concludes this verse is the words “abiding in him.” John evidently meant that no Christian whose eternal life (i.e., Jesus Christ; 1:2) has control of him, who is walking in fellowship with God, will commit murder. Obviously some believers have committed murder, but they are non-abiding believers. — Tom Constable’s Notes on the Bible

    Hope this helps. Pastor Cucuzza

  262. I think that what John is saying in 1 John 3:14 is that loving other believers is a manifestation of the spiritual nature, or 2nd birth, so that when believers love other believers, they are acting in a way that is consistent with the new birth (1 John 5:1). However, not loving other believers does not show that the new birth is not present, but is merely consistent with the old nature which is dead to spiritual life. Note that John emphasizes that whether one has eternal life does not depend on whether one loves other believers (1 John 3:20), but instead on whether one has believed the Gospel (1 John 5:13).

  263. Jackie,

    Here are 3 sermons from Dennis Rokser on 1 John. Maybe they will help.

  264. Jackie, I’m doing this from my phone, so I’ll keep it brief and summarize.

    Note that verse 12 refers to Cain. Cain murdered his brother, because Abel accepted God’s provision. Cain rejected it.

    Verse 13 says the world will hate believers, simply because they have accepted God’s way of salvation – just as Abel did.

    The world rejects God’s plan of salvation, therefore those who have accepted Christ.

    The “murderer” referred to in verse 15 is the one who rejects Christ, and therefore those who are in Christ – just like Cain.

    The end of this passage tells us the same thing as 1 John 5:13. We can know we are His, because we have believed in Him.

    The haranguing that we receive as believers in Christ alone most often comes from those who are trusting in their own works (like Cain).

    Please note that this passage does not mean that we can tell whether we are saved by a “feeling” of love toward others, including other believers. We know, from experience and from scripture (see James 4:2 and Galations 5:15) that believers, who are not walking in the Spirit, are capable of the gamut of works of the flesh, including murders.

  265. Dave, we have had considerable discussion on this in the past.

    I will provide links to those comments when I get home and have full access to the search function.

    Keep in mind that these verses cannot mean that a Christian can lose his eternal life by adding to/subtracting from the things written in the book.

    This passage could be interpreted to refer to loss of rewards (for Christians) or to those who reject Christ by adding to/subtracting from God’s way of eternal life through Christ.

  266. I am struggling to understand this latter half of 1 John 3. A verse-by-verse exegesis would be extremely helpful. Thanks so much!

    1 John 3:11-24
    11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

    12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.

    13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

    14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

    15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

    16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

    17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

    18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

    19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

    20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

    21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

    22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

    23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

    24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

  267. Can someone help with the ending of the Book of Revelations. The warnings to neither add nor deduct from the book seem to be eternal & apply to “any man”. Would this include believers? Your thoughts are appreciated.

  268. Hmm, I think it is slowly coming together in my mind.

    Thank you.

  269. Benchap, he says “…know ye not, your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you…”

    I think he is reminding them that they have the life of Christ in them, and that happened by their believing the gospel he preached. Read verses 3-5 again.

    He is telling them that the only proof they need that Christ is speaking through him is their eternal life, which came by believing the gospel that he preached.

    In other words, “do you think Christ is speaking through me?”

    If no, then why would you think you were saved by believing the gospel that I preached?

    If yes, then let’s move on.

    If this meant that the Holy Spirit reminded them that they were saved, why would Paul tell them anything here? He could just let the Holy Spirit tell them.

    The Holy Spirit witnesses with our spirit, not to our spirit. The witness is with our spirit,to God (Romans 8:16).

    We don’t have to “feel” saved. Our assurance need only come from God’s promise (1 John 5:13).

  270. But then they only know they’re saved because Paul told them that if they believed in Jesus they would be. And they are doubting his apostleship…so how can they know Christ is in them if the only one to tell them He is, is the same one they know doubt?

    Sorry, I have addressed this scripture a lot. I want to know exactly what it is saying.

    I remember a believer saying that perhaps it is the Spirit witnessing to our spirit that we are saved (by reminding us that we have believed)?

    I too don’t believe that it is saying: “examine how you feel, don’t you feel saved?” for that is a foolish thing to trust in.

  271. Benchap, I think it means something like:

    “You became saved through the word that I preached. Since you are saved, it should be obvious that Christ is speaking through me – what other proof do you need?”

    I don’t think this has to do with being able to discern any change. I also don’t think it has to do with being able to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. If it did, then people would need to assess whether they could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in order to have assurance of salvation.

  272. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

    Just need some clarification on this passage.

    I’m aware of the context, and that Paul is defending his Apostleship. I’m also aware this isn’t saying “examine your works to see whether or not they prove you are in the faith/have believed”.

    However, why is Paul asking people to look to themselves to determine whether or not they have received the Holy Spirit?

    Even if the passage means: “Examine yourselves, don’t you know that you have the Holy Spirit….therefore, why don’t you think I’m a true apostle if you’ve received the Spirit through my message” isn’t Paul still saying that a believer will notice or be able to discern some sort of change (again, I don’t believe it’s behavioural, sinning less, be willing to sin less, etc) to “know” they are Christ’s?

    Again, to anyone who answers, I know this passage isn’t appealing to us to examine our works to prove our salvation, so please do not run me through positional/practical salvation truths (sorry to be blunt).

    I’m just looking for a clearer understanding of what Paul is teaching here.

  273. When Jesus turned water into wine .
    the wine was perfect that he made. Never to be made again till / I we are with him personally. That’s going to be some kind of drink with Jesus.
    Was symbolic in that time was irrevelant to him.
    Moses had to plant a vineyard and wait for the grapes then wait to firment .
    Sure is something how preachers ,/ teachers miss the whole point of water into wine . in the simplicity of Truth

  274. Fryingpan, we all have tunnel vision sometimes. That is why comparing scripture with scripture is so important.

    People who are spiritually blind use the word of God to fit their preconceived narratives of how to have eternal life, how to keep eternal life, how to prove you have eternal life, to look to oneself for assurance of eternal life, and for how to live the Christian life.

  275. Holly, my niece who was visiting was reading “Not a Fan” at our house.

    Rather than confront her on the heresy in that book, I had her listen with us to a Tom Cucuzza sermon called “The Obvious That Isn’t So Obvious.”

    That sermon would refute any of the heresy taught by the Calvinist/LS crowd.

    I would also recommend Tom’s sermons entitled “Who Will Be Left Behind” and “The Worst Surprise of All” for people who might not be clear on the gospel. Please find links to both of these below:

  276. Preston, I think you are right about the Bible this guy is using.

    God never disowns one of His children.

  277. Holly, exactly.

    John 3:36: He that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.

  278. Fryingpan9… exactly. ALL our trespasses… And what part of being perfected forever by one sacrifice don’t they want to understand? (Heb 10:10, 14). When do they think that we receive eternal life?

  279. Thank you also Preston, I am ever aware of the dangers we face with hirelings, and sadly, some of the good pastors are leaning more and more on quoting men. Sad to see one recently quoting Billy Graham and Billy Sunday to make his case on wine only being grape juice in the Bible, and drinking any fermented wine is sin that needs repented from. Just shaking my head over how some are going on subjects with their opinions, men’s opinions, and quoting loadship teachers to make their case.

  280. Thank you for everyone’s responses. I suppose overlooking the fact that all of my sins were committed after the cross is part of that tunnel vision I was talking about.

  281. John – I apologize, somehow I guess I didn’t refresh. I agree, how has this person ever understood the gospel? If he did at one time, he certainly does not now and is preaching a false gospel.

  282. Holly, I agree completely!

    There can be no unity with people who promote false gospels. There is no mystery regarding the truth of eternal security.

  283. The final kicker, I guess is his insurance policy in case some disagree, he doesn’t want to lose his congregation. Eternal life IS the gospel, and not some carrot dangled for us at the end of life if we earn it.

    The issue of “eternal security” is not one Christians should make a test of fellowship. Some, even in our own fellowship may disagree strongly with my position on this issue. This is a good area to practice the slogan, “In doctrine, unity; in opinion liberty; in all things, charity.” Let us humbly admit that there are mysteries in Scripture which will not be fully understood until the return of Christ, and let’s renew our commitment to practice love and tolerance toward fellow believers who do not agree with us on secondary doctrines. Jesus prayed, “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:23).

  284. Holly

    I will hit one. “disown”. That is another version. The kjv uses the word “deny” which is a completely different word with a different implication according to context.

    2 Tim 2 – 11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:

    12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we DENY him, he also will DENY us:

    If a child “denies” their parents of doing their chores, the parent will “deny” the child of their allowance…(ie. rewards). it could also be referring to “denying” the believer the right “to rule and reign” with Christ but still saved.

  285. Holly, this pastor does not need to be rebutted, he needs to be evangelized.

  286. Sorry to put so much of his false teaching out here, but I am sure there are many of you with good answers to each of these snippets. I had no idea this loved one was attending with a man like this and I believe they will listen. Talk about confusion, continue reading this. You are secure and shouldn’t question your salvation, HOWEVER, if you wander, your heart grows hard and you can lose your salvation… (sigh smh).

    Once you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, your salvation is secure. If you are a sincere believer, then questioning your salvation is wrong. It is not a sign of humility or showing your awareness of your sins…to question your salvation shows a lack of faith in the promise of God to save you. It is often a sign that you question whether God is big enough or gracious enough to forgive your sin. If you trust in the substitutionary death of Christ on the cross, then you should have assurance of your salvation (1 Jn. 5:13).

    If you have wandered from the Lord, then you should repent and return to Christ lest you harden your heart, reject him and lose your salvation. Peter warned us to be on guard lest we be carried away by evil men and fall from our “secure position” (2 Pet. 3:17). Rest assured, your salvation is secure, as long as you remain in faith. Your God is big enough to forgive your sins.

  287. Holly, this guy seems to change the wording in scripture to support his heretical narrative.

    I wonder how he would explain John 5:24? Galatians 1:8-9?

    Trying to address his scriptural citations one-by-one doesn’t really address his issue: he doesn’t believe the gospel. That is not to say he never did. The question is, is he soil one or soil two?

  288. This same heretical pastor who warns against ‘dangerous teaching’ says this:

    But, as Hebrews 10:26 says, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth,” we may get to a point where our hearts are so hard that we reject Christ and want no part of his salvation any more, at which point, “no sacrifice for sins is left.” Peter states that “the last state is worse than the first.”

    Jesus said in John 3:16, “Whoever believes in [God’s Son] shall not perish but have eternal life.” The word “believes” in the original Greek is in the present tense, denoting continual action. Whoever “continues to believe” will have eternal life. Someone who believed as a youngster but rejects that belief in later life should not expect to be granted the promise of eternal life. God is not going to force anyone into heaven against his or her will.

    I wonder when that pastor believes eternal life begins?

  289. Holly, first of all the phrase “nearly all Christians agree on this point” has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not it is true.

    I would think most Christians believe in eternal security. If someone does not believe in eternal security, I would be concerned that they had never understood the gospel.

  290. I told her that it may be true that ‘nearly all professing Christians’ or ‘nearly all religions’ agree on this point.

    This same pastor says:

    A few believe that once you are saved you may live an unrighteous life or even reject Christ without the possibility of ever losing your salvation; but they are ignoring a vast amount of Biblical evidence to the contrary, and such teaching has dangerous consequences.

    A key passage that helps clarify the issue for me is 2 Timothy 2:12-13. It reads, “If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” If we stumble and fall into sin God will still be faithful to His promise to save us. But since we are saved by faith in Christ if we sin to the point of saying, “I no longer believe in Christ; I disown Him,” He will disown us. In a very real sense that person has renounced his own salvation.

    Because of the Scriptures mentioned above and others warning the saved person against falling away, I believe it is possible for a person to lose his or her salvation through continual rebellion.

  291. Fryingpan, I think that Romans 3:25 means that sins done before Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection were taken away, just like those thereafter.

    Every sin I have committed happened after Christ’s resurrection. Therefore, none of mine were “sins that are past.”

  292. Hit close to home when a family member sent me an article to read and ask me if it was alright. I’m going to share some of this pastor’s comments (their pastor). Maybe you all might like to comment on the verses. I answered some for her, was upsetting to read this pastor’s opinions.

    He said “The Bible says God is Sovereign and knows the future. But the Scripture also warns the saved person against falling away (2 Tim. 2:12-13; Heb 2:1; 3:8-12; 2 Pet. 2:20-22; 3:17). The argument may simply be semantic because the end result is the same on both sides: a person who once believed but has become apostate is not saved. Nearly all Christians agree on this point.”

  293. First, i would give them Acts 13:39 and Col 2:13-34 along with the greek word for “all” (pas) and its definition. I might factor in Heb 10 – once for ALL sacrifice for sins and Heb 1 – Jesus by HIMSELF purged our sins (we cant purge our own)

    As for Romans 3 – It could be possible that as Christ has now died. Faith is His blood, that at the time this was written, was “past”. no sins was ever forgiven in the eternal sense until the cross.

    BUT i would have them KEEP READING. IF our future sins were not forgiven (keeping the law = for sin is transgression of the law) then one is saved by works, the law AND can boast.
    – see God my future sins were not as bad as that guys.

    To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
    27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
    28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law

    my thoughts.

  294. Can someone help me develop a “quick” rebuttal for those in unbelief regarding Romans 3:25? In other words, here is the verse:

    “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;”

    LSers and Calvinists like to point out that this verse only mentions remission for sins that are PAST. They say things like, “Well, if you could keep on sinning and still be saved, this verse would have covered FUTURE sins as well!”

    What do you think is the quickest and most effective way to thwart their argument that we till have to “persevere” in order to “stay saved” or “prove we are saved”?

    I tend to get super tunnel vision and can’t zoom out . . .

  295. Kurt Manshardt
    Teaching that all of Revelation has been fulfilled is called preterism. Those that teach that most has been fulfilled are called “partial” or “inconstant” preterist (inconstant because they are). No preterist believes in the Messianic Kingdom as described throughout the Bible and are either post or amillennial. Augustine was responsible for the proliferation of Amil doctrine founded on the “Spiritual Israel” myth which gained steam after the second Jewish revolt (A.D. 132-135). Many reasoned from appearance and not from Scripture that the nation of Israel was beyond any hope of recovery. Allegorizing ran rampant and allegorizing is needed to support the theory that most of Revelation happened by 70AD.

    Preterist theory was developed in the 17th century as an attempt to reunite the Catholic and Protestant (to protect the Papacy from anti-Christ charges of Historicist eschatology ) but was not widely accepted until the 18th century and then mainly by “higher criticism” and liberal theology (they said Rev was written after the fact).

    Modern preterist views are a reaction against the futurist premillennial view. Modern preterist theory gained much steam in the late 20th century but it cannot stand against a grammatical-historical hermeneutic i.e. not forcing the NT to reinterpret the OT and letting the OT have its own voice and without “spiritualizing” the nature of the Kingdom, the Church and Israel. Preterism is based on equivocation; mainly the destruction of Jerusalem with the Salvation of Israel. Also modern preterist MUST hold that Rev was written before 70AD.

    Taking God at His word destroys preterism. It’s good to hear that you aren’t falling for it.

  296. Pastor Yankee (Ralph) Arnold went through the whole series on Revelation, he can be found on bibleline, not sure if the mp3’s can be downloaded from his site or from youtube, let me know if you have difficulty finding it.

  297. Daniel is a necessary series for people to understand Revelation, Pastor Cucuzza has gone verse by verse through it, go to the bottom to start part 1. I think you may really enjoy this, Revelation says we are blessed when we read, hear, and keep the words of this book.

  298. Welcome Kurt. The Catholic church and many Calvinists believe most of Revelation has been fulfilled. John MacArthur is one that believes most is still to be fulfilled, but he is what he calls a ‘leaky’ dispensationalist.

    I think you may enjoy this six part series by Dr. Tom Cucuzza, what shall be the sign of thy coming? I will provide a few more in a moment.

  299. From one Curt to another Kurt , Welcome to expreacherman
    I concur with John with reading materials outside the Word of God .
    there are few biblically accurate Gospel of Grace publication’s .
    (biblical error more profitable)
    the Gospel of Grace keeps pointing a soul to the finished work of Christ Jesus . Fellowshipping and enjoying Jesus through His word .
    repenting (changing our minds continually) “what Thinky of Christ Jesus”
    for me personally I have enough going on appropriating what God’s word says I am in christ Jesus .
    ground yourself in your position in Christ Jesus the Gospel of Grace .
    Ask your friend if they know and have “eternal Life” as a present possession and how do they know ?
    also ask if sin is paid for ?
    will email John my contact information you may call me.
    I drive semi Truck and would enjoy the conversation

    Curtis Marburger

  300. Kurt, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    We do not typically publish contact information for our commenters. If any of our readers e-mails me and tells me they would like to contact you, I will send them your e-mail contact information privately.

    Regarding reading material, I would recommend the following websites, which are linked below:

    I am not a voracious consumer of much reading material, because so much of it introduces serious doctrinal error, either directly, or by favorable references to people that corrupt(ed) the gospel.

    Please note that we reject Preterist theology.

  301. Kurt Manshardt

    I would like for someone in your ministry to give me a call . My cell number (phone number removed by administrator) I would like to get a hold of some good reading material , and also go over another doctrinal issue , there’s someone I know that teaches that most of the book of Revelation has already been fulfilled ,thanks ! Oh , HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!

  302. Yes, it definitely helps, Holly. Thank you!

  303. These are just my thoughts, but I think better wording than ‘must needs’ may be ‘inevitable’ or even ‘expected to happen’. Obviously because we are all sinners, men will hate others and most specifically the church, think on Gen 3:15, it’s been prophesied since the beginning it would be that way. So Gen 3:15 also gives us the answer. The word basically means ‘of a necessity’ based on circumstances, custom, position or law), and translated into Old English may have been a way for them to say it then, but now it wouldn’t be as easy to understand without looking at context (which is not the ‘custom’ for Calvinists). 🙂

    It is because of the circumstance of all being sinners. Some unbelievers are going to be worse. We know that the world will hate the church, but they will be held accountable for their sin, for it is woe to them (individual responsibility for their choices), we still have a penalty for falling short of the mark.

    Not sure if that helps, but I hope it contributes something.

  304. Fryingpan, I would tend to go with God knowing it was going to happen.

  305. Thank you, jonhinnc.

    I think I am getting hung up on the words “must needs” as in, “God is willing it to happen” as opposed to in the sense of, “God knows it going to happen, therefore the outcome is inevitable–He’s not necessarily making it for forcing it to happen.”

  306. Fryingpan, this may refer to unbelievers who cause believers to stumble.

    I have also read an interpretation that this was a warning to Judas, whose betrayal of Jesus would initially cause disciples of Christ to stumble. See Matthew 26:31.

  307. Can someone help me better understand Matthew 18:7 (KJV)?

    Here it is:

    “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!”

    I can see how a Calvinist or one who believes in predestination (the “you have no free will” types, that is) might see this as another one of those, “A sovereign God can do anything He wants to so who are we to question it” types of verses. On the surface, it can be inferred by the language in this verse that offences (sins) MUST come to fulfill God’s will (making God “the author of sin” as some Calvinists believe), but God is still going to hold accountable the man (people) by whom the offences come.

    What am I missing about the context of this verse and/or the original language used so I can confidently know this is not some weird “exception” where God is giving a “pass” to the idea of sin being His will, when we know that’s not consistent with our understanding of interpreting scripture?

  308. I made a list of things one time that we can be saved from when we call on Jesus.

    He can save us from these losses.

    But this is what we CAN lose or suffer.

    Loss of Fellowship with God (1 John 1:3, 6,9)
    Loss of Fellowship with others (1 John 1:3, 7)
    Loss of Fullness of joy in or walk (1 John 1:4)
    Loss of Rewards at the judgment seat of Christ (1 Cor 3:10-16)
    Bring judgment upon ourselves in this lifetime (1 Cor 11:29)
    Loss of our physical life (1 Cor 5:5; Acts 5:1-11, 1 Cor 11:30)
    Loss of our health, be weak or sickly (1 Cor 11:30)
    Loss of our testimony or justification before men (James 2, Titus 3:8)
    We can shame the name of Christ for sins named among us (Eph 5:3).
    Face chastening (1 Cor 11:32; Heb 12:5-6)
    Face consequences for our actions (Gal 6:7-9)
    Others face things because of us, including loss of knowing Christ. (Gal 6:9)
    We can stray from the truth, and be dishonorable – (2 Tim 2:18-20)
    Being ashamed at His appearing – (1 John 2:28)
    We can lose the joy of our salvation (Ps 51:12)

  309. Yes, Greg Laurie has come straight out recently and instead of just asking Jesus into your heart and making Him the Lord of your life, committing yourself to him, he has added turn from your sins as part of the corrupted message. They get their feet in mire, they flounder around sinking deeper and deeper in deception.

  310. Fryingpan, thanks for the warning to avoid him.

  311. Thank you, johninc.

    Last week (because apparently I’m a glutton for punishment*), I began watching a Greg Laurie sermon. (No, I really don’t know WHAT I WAS thinking.) I knew he was LS, but I was curious to see how quickly he would reveal his heresy. The message was called, “Can You Lose Your Salvation?”

    I don’t think I got even half way through it before I had to turn it off and remove it from my YouTube watch history. It was more of the, “The question is really about whether you were ever truly saved to begin with.”

    For those who don’t know, Laurie’s a protegee of Chuck Smith/Calvary Chapel, and the Calvary Chapel I attended for almost 7 years drove home that whole idea of “you’re not saved if you intentionally insist on practicing sin.”

    Were any solid definitions involving quantities and time tables offered to back up this reasoning? Of course not.

    *The reason I watched it was because when I first started posting on this blog in early 2013 Abe pointed out that Laurie is very LS and I’d been ignorant of this up until that time. So I suppose I wanted to get a better idea of what he was all about because for so many years I’d given him a pass in my ignorance.

  312. Fryingpan, I think for some, it comes down to semantics. What some call the sin nature is usually referred to as the flesh in scripture. We still have a flesh that is sinful, including the heart, which drives sinful thoughts, actions, and inactions.

    As you pointed out, our bodies will be redeemed, and when that happens, the flesh that we reside in now, along with its sinful thoughts, actions, and inactions, will no longer be with us.

    Others, including Calvinists and LSers, deny that a believer is still able to walk in the flesh for a protracted period of time, because they think his new nature will automatically compel him to some arbitrary standard of positive change in thoughts, actions, and inactions. This is really just salvation by works. No fruit evident, according to this line of reasoning, no eternal life.

  313. I’m not exactly sure where this comment belongs, but this seems as good a thread as any and I want to express this before I forget.

    I’ve read on this blog (and probably elsewhere) that some LS’rs and Calvinists insist that the saved no longer have a sin nature, or similarly, they deny the dual nature of believers in Christ.

    How do these people then explain Luke 21:28?

    “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”

    There’s nothing to “redeem” if one’s sin nature is wiped out and gone at the moment of belief.

  314. Phil, the religious folks always turn the focus away from Christ’s righteousness and to an individual’s self-righteousness.

    I can’t tell you how many comments I’ve read over time that start with something like: “I believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, but …”

    The people who write such statements do not seem to understand how obviously contradictory they are.

  315. I think that it’s simply that LS’ers can’t conceive of redemption that is all of Christ and not of us. And I think they will always have their bunch of pet passages that they will use to try to prove that to be saved we have to “do our part” along with what Christ has done. They either can’t grasp that Christ did it all, or they just don’t want to.
    One thing is for sure: they love their theological constructs and their confessions and catacisms over the plain word of God. They love to put their Reformed heroes, like Calvin, Knox, Pink and yes, Sproul and J Mac, up as authorities on truth. Do they ever lead you to just simply read the Bible for what it says?

  316. Right on John! The Lord saves us (protects, defends, sustains and cares for us) in and through the circumstances of life.

  317. Benchap, I think that Bruce meant that we can be delivered from danger, or trials, through prayer.

  318. While I agree that receiving eternal life is not through calling on Jesus, I have no idea what it means to be “kept safe” through calling on Jesus?

  319. Bruce, it’s great to hear from you.

    You make a great point – “saved” depends on context. It does not always refer to eternal life.

  320. Hi Curtis and John. Good comments on Rom. 10:9. The “salvation” in this verse is not referring to justification from sins; that was already dealt with in the earlier chapters of Romans. The Greek for salvation here (sodzo) can also mean, “kept safe” or “protected.” The same word is used in 1 Timothy 2:15, where women are “saved” through childbirth. Obviously, bearing a child has nothing to do with justification from sins.

  321. Curtis, I agree we are saved without having to confess Christ. Confessing Christ as a believer always comes after believing.

    There are many non-believers who confess Christ. And, the Bible is clear that some believers will not confess Christ before other men.

  322. romans 10:9-10 keeps coming up to me and I recently heard a message that may help to keep straight paths for Gods Word

    we confess the Lord Jesus because we are saved , Not to be saved.
    belief comes before confession , verse 10 simply explains verse 9

    For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness

    mouth confession is made unto salvation

    Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
    Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

  323. Keith, good point regarding the excesses of money or recognition.

    I would like to add that lasciviousness is one of the sins in “the lists” of those sins mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Ephesians 5:3-6; and Galatians 5:19-21. It is mentioned specifically in Galatians 5:19.

    If being guilty of lasciviousness could prove someone was unsaved, then so could any of the sins mentioned in “the lists,” as well as the catch all “and such like” mentioned in Galatians 5:21.

    Preston’s book has a chapter called “The Lists.” The full text is below:

    If you have ever discussed the gospel and the plan of salvation with the “religious”, you will inevitably hear the lists. What are the lists? Where are they located in the Bible? Well, the lists are a set of do’s and don’ts. If you do them, you will not inherit the kingdom of God, or so the religious would like you to believe. These lists are located in 1 Corinthians 6 and Galatians 5. We will start with Corinthians as that is the easiest to explain. Then we will go the list in Galatians and determine the message Paul was trying to convey, in context.

    “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”
    (1 Cor 6:9,10).

    Read by itself, this passage seems to contradict salvation by grace through faith in the gospel alone. If you do these things, you will not inherit the kingdom of God. However, we know the Bible CANNOT contradict itself. The answer is rather easy. All we need to do is keep reading. If we keep reading, the answer will become obvious. “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but
    ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor 6:11).

    This verse clears up what Paul was trying to say. I want you to notice the word “but”. “But” tells you there was something different about them. It does NOT read “BUT ye stopped doing these things”. It does NOT read “BUT, ye don’t do these things as much”. It does read, “but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Yep, this carnal church (1 Cor 3:1-3) was washed, sanctified and justified. According to Heb 10:14, they were perfected forever. If that does not clear this passage up for you, go to the next verse.

    “ALL things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (1 Cor 6:12).

    How could Paul write this list saying “if you do these things then you will not inherit the kingdom of God” then turn around and declare that all things are lawful? It is simple—he can’t.

    Start at the beginning of the chapter 6 in Corinthians and you will see that this saved church had members who were taking each other to court. Paul was asking, ”Why would you go to the unrighteous (unsaved) to settle these disputes?”

    Know ye not that the unrighteous (unsaved) shall not inherit the kingdom of God? “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

    We clearly see that those sins don’t stop a saved person from inheriting the kingdom of God. This leads us to another list. This list is found in Galatians 5. The answer is a bit harder to see, as one needs to look at the context of the whole epistle to determine what Paul was communicating.

    “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)

    First, as you have read this phrase many times already: the Bible CANNOT contradict itself. The word I want you to notice is “strife”. Are you married? Do you argue with your spouse? Are you employed? Do you argue with your co-workers? How about your boss? Let’s go back to Corinthians for a moment.

    ”For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (1 Cor 3:3).

    Alright—if those who “envy and strife” cannot inherit the kingdom of God, how can this saved yet carnal church at Corinth have envying and strife? How is that possible?

    NO, you cannot lose your salvation (see eternal security chapter). This can be understood when we look at the context of Galatians. Galatians is covered in detail in the chapter, “Repent of your sins”. It clearly shows that someone had come unto the church at Galatia and preached another gospel.

    They added the law to the gospel, thus frustrating grace (Gal 1:6-8 and Gal 2:16-21). The whole book of Galatians is about NO LAW for salvation. IF this passage means that those that do these things don’t inherit the kingdom of God, then
    Paul just contradicted himself by going against the entire book of Galatians that he wrote, as well as the church at Corinth having envying and strife among them. What was Paul really saying?

    Let’s say that you are trying to speak with atheists about salvation. You need to let them know they are sinners. Without knowing one is a sinner, how can one realize what he or she is being saved from? You need the law to show people they are in trouble with God and that they need a savior. We need to convict this atheist. Galatians calls the law “our schoolmaster” to bring us to Christ. It is the same thing here in Galatians. In context, these believers were putting themselves back under the law. Paul called them foolish for thinking this way (Gal 3:1-3). He was shocked that they were so removed from the gospel (Gal 1:6). What do you do when
    a born again believer mistakenly puts themselves under the law? You convict them. Envying, strife, and the like? Everyone does these occasionally. If this is you, know that if you have strife or envy, you will not inherit the kingdom of God, unless ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justified by the Lord Jesus Christ. The list was used by Paul to convict these saved believers that the law cannot save them. He was
    basically saying, “Remember I told you these things while you were unbelievers.”

    Why, then, would you put yourself back under the law? Don’t allow the religious to tell you that if do these things you will not inherit eternal life. Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15-20) given to those who believe (trust) that Jesus (Gods only Son, God in the flesh) died for their sins and rose again from the dead (1 Cor 15:1-4). Are you certain you will inherit eternal life? Have you been washed, sanctified and justified?

  324. Benchap, one possible interpretation of Jude 1:4 is that it refers to the false teachers who add works to the Gospel to satisfy the fleshly drive to keep the law for one’s salvation. This of course appeals to those on the wide road (Matt. 7:13) who buy their books, listen to their tapes and give them a big following. In its broadest sense, “lasciviousness” connotes any form of excess, including that for fame, money or recognition, and is not limited to the more obvious sins of the flesh like lust and drunkenness. Thus, the false teachers satisfy their greed and lust for recognition (Matt. 23:7) by teaching an accursed message.

    As John mentioned, It could also refer to those who revel in the more obvious sins while flaunting their unbelief. Many of those in the mainline denominations deny the reality of eternal judgment, and thus, reject the Gospel. They essentially teach Universalism and encourage and celebrate sinful lifestyles.

  325. That harmonises the scriptures nicely. Thanks.

  326. Benchap, neither Jude, nor any other scripture, should be looked to for determining whether or not someone is saved based on his behavior.

    We are told to look for these characteristics so that we stay away from people who are teaching major doctrinal error. These particular people referenced in Jude are identified as unbelievers. But, that does not mean that everyone living like this, or everyone teaching major doctrinal error, is unsaved.

  327. Why is Jude telling us they are sensual and that they walk in their own lusts?

    That makes me want to look at people to discern if they are like this (and truth be told I’d conclude I’m lost too).

    I’m trying to find a balance, not on whether there’s a place between free grace and Lordship salvation that is the real truth (free grace is truth), rather with regards to why we are told certain characteristics regarding these people (sensual, walking after their lusts) if we aren’t meant to look for them?

    Is it so we say: “that person doesn’t believe the Gospel (denies the Lord), therefore I know that they are sensual (natural man) and walk after their own lusts (for one not born again cannot walk in anything other than his own lusts).”?

  328. Benchap, you said: I know I have walked, assuming myself to be a believer, without any fear of God or reverence for him…

    My comment: Let’s say that wasn’t the case. Let’s say that you had always walked with feelings of fear and reverence for God. In such a case, there would be no guarantee that you would always continue to walk with feelings of fear and reverence for God. Therefore, you can draw no assurance of salvation from whether or not you walk with feelings of fear and reverence for God.

    I had answered a question regarding Jude 1:4 earlier in this thread. Below is that response:

    Ben, this verse is speaking about unbelievers who are reveling in sin AND unbelief.

    “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    1. ” …ordained to this condemnation” – see John 3:18

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

    2. “Ungodly men…” – God justifies ungodly men solely on the basis of their faith in Christ. These particular men appear to be ungodly, and unjustified. See Romans 4:5:

    “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

    3. “Turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness…” – notice that it does not say “their God.”

    4. “…and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” – notice it says they are BOTH turning grace into lasciviousness AND denying God and Christ.

    Lasciviousness is not the same as license.

    Grace is not a license to sin. But, every time we choose to sin, we are giving ourselves a temporary license to do it. Some will say that a true believer will never sin intentionally, but this is just not the case.

  329. Is anyone able to take me through the book of Jude. It’s full of language that scares me.

    Who are the sensual ones? Who are those that turn the grace of God into lasciviousness? In what way do they have no fear before their eyes?

    I know I have walked, assuming myself to be a believer, without any fear of God or reverence for him, yet I know my works aren’t supposed to condemn or justify me, nor prove whether I’m condemned or justified.

    I don’t understand how Jude fits into my belief.

    If a believer is letting sin reign and walking in the flesh, of course they will be full of lusts, yet Jude seems to call out these people he is talking about as unbelievers?

    Lost on this one.

  330. Welcome John M
    I agree

    Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

    1Th 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

  331. John M, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    I agree with you. It is essential for everyone to make sure what they are being told is God’s word really is God’s word.

  332. John Moriarty

    Thanks for all you do to expose False Teachers and their beliefs. This is why it’s so important for everyone to read the word of God and to be knowledgeable as to be able to distinguish between good and evil….and to go public to let people know the difference.

  333. Thank you John. I’ve thought this entire epistle could address prosperity preachers, Lordship Salvationists, pseudo Christian cultists, as well as men like Jack Hyles and Steven Anderson. These all make a mockery out of God’s grace in some way shape or form.

  334. Ben, this verse is speaking about unbelievers who are reveling in sin AND unbelief.

    “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    1. ” …ordained to this condemnation” – see John 3:18

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

    2. “Ungodly men…” – God justifies ungodly men solely on the basis of their faith in Christ. These particular men appear to be ungodly, and unjustified. See Romans 4:5:

    “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

    3. “Turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness…” – notice that it does not say “their God.”

    4. “…and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” – notice it says they are BOTH turning grace into lasciviousness AND denying God and Christ.

    Lasciviousness is not the same as license.

    Grace is not a license to sin. But, every time we choose to sin, we are giving ourselves a temporary license to do it. Some will say that a true believer will never sin intentionally, but this is just not the case.

  335. Can someone help me with Jude 1:4? I do not believe that grace gives people a license to sin, but this verse has been used against those of us who believe in salvation by faith alone and reject Lordship Salvation.

  336. Well said Penelope , have not thought about it that way

  337. Keith, I agree.

    We did an article a couple of years ago entitled “Calvinist and Lordship Salvationist Objectections to the Doctrine of Rewards.”

    See link below:

  338. It seems to me that the works for salvation/works to prove you are saved crowd spend their lives just trying to make it to heaven, so their concept of rewards is either vague and undeveloped or nonexistent.

  339. Penelope, very well stated.

  340. ….Not to say that we won’t be ashamed, have regrets, “suffer loss” as we realize that things we thought were great are really not worthy of reward – but I still think the emphasis will be on God’s glory and grace. And that, ultimately, will bring us joy for eternity.

    I could be wrong, of course.

    Even so, work always as unto the Lord in gratitude and praise.

  341. Whatever happens at the Judgment Seat will give glory to God and His grace. If our sins are on display, then there will be much joy as we realize all that we had to be forgiven of and will further praise God for it. We might be surprised at every little thought and deed that nailed Him to the cross, but what joy and gratitude will be ours, even so! If no sins are shown, then again, our rewards will proclaim God’s glory as He highlights what we did for Him and by His strength and power. Either way, it HAS to bring God glory and elicit our praise. I’m not too worried that we’ll be embarrassed or depressed there because it won’t last forever, but instead be brought to our knees in humble adoration and thankfulness for all He has freely paid for and given us. Just my thoughts.

  342. Curtis, I think the view that one has to give an account to God at the judgment is not inconsistent with grace. I think it is unfair to say that this view is held by only the “works for salvation” or “works for evidence of salvation” crowds.

  343. No punitive damages at the judgement seat of Christ
    the judgement seat is about rewards no reward

    the Works for salvation and or works as evidence for salvation crowd would have you believe yes Jesus died for all our sin passed present and future . but yer going to get a beaten for it at the Judgement seat of Christ .

    does that fit with Gods Grace ?
    does that fit with ” it is finished from Jesus on the cross ?

  344. “and won’t be thinking all sorts of nasty judgmental things about me”

    Great truth.

  345. I may be totally off base here but it’s my understanding none of us will have a sin nature at the Bema seat. So with that being the case, I’m really not concerned about my own pride making me feel bad about my failures based on some sort of vanity that would see me unduly concerned over the opinions of other people (besides Jesus of course). Nor am I concerned about how others will “process” my failures since they won’t have a sin nature either and won’t be thinking all sorts of nasty judgmental things about me.

    That said, Revelation does say God will wipe away all our tears, so perhaps some of those tears will be over remorse about regrets believers will have when faced with how they traded eternal rewards for temporal “comforts”.

    Like I said, I could be talking through my hat. Just some thoughts that came to mind.

  346. John I remember listening to a sermon by Tom covering this issue. It may have been the one you linked or another one I’m not sure. I found it very discouraging and won’t say anymore about that.
    Curtis I actually listened to the first sermon in the series about fearing the outer darkness. I found it very encouraging, thanks for posting the link.

  347. Jon, like I said before, I am not sure exactly what will transpire at the judgment seat of Christ.

    If one listens to Tom’s sermon, there are a number of points that he brings out, including:

    1. To be “accepted of him” (2 Corinthians 5:9) does not refer to whether one has eternal life, as this passage is directed to Christians. However, it is not automatic. Think of “well done, good and faithful servant.” Not all believers are going to hear that at the judgment.

    2. Matthew 10:32-33 – not every believer will confess Christ before men. Accordingly, this passage indicates that some will not be commended to God the Father by Jesus.

    3. We will have to give an account for every idle word at the day of judgment (Matthew 12:36).

    Knowing exactly what will happen at the judgment seat of Christ is not a salvation issue, so I don’t want to belabor it. But, the Bible does say we will give an account.

  348. Does this not describe our identity in Christ? : Colossians 1:21-22 21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—
    We are reconciled, we are presented holy, blameless and above reproach. Yet that all goes out the window at the judgment seat of Christ, where we will have to go through an exhaustive and embarrassing list of all our past sins in front of all believers? That makes me feel little more than despair.

  349. I went back and listened to some of Tom Cucuzza’s teaching on the Judgment Seat of Christ. Tom concedes that there are differing perspectives, but he does say he thinks we will give an account of how we have lived our lives – and not just with respect to our works, and supports it up with scripture.

    The purpose of giving such an account would not be to shame us. Rather, the purpose would be our accountability to God for how we have live our lives as Christians.

    Following are pertinent scriptures, and then a link to one of the sermons entitled “The Motivation of Rewards, Part 3”:

    Romans 14:10-12:

    [10] But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
    [11] For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
    [12] So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

    2 Corinthians 5:9-11:
    [9] Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
    [10] For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
    [11] Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

  350. here is a series Pastor R taught . on outer darkness if I may post.
    Please excuse me for just dropping in sermons . since i have been driving truck i feel i am privileged to listen to sermons as i drive.
    this is a very good series

    Should You Fear Outer Darkness?


    Click to access 12399.pdf

  351. Yes, I kind of lean towards works and sins being apart from each other, yet I will find out on that day or possibly He will make it clearer to me in Scripture.

    Brad don’t be so afraid to consider when people lay out Scriptures for you and take the time to give you an opinion. Pray about it, don’t be so quick to be sarcastic with another person, or quick to take offense. Listen, search the Scriptures and take it to the Lord in prayer. Otherwise you’ll be stuck on a hamster wheel of pride. Don’t let that happen, just keep praying and seeking without being quick to anger. In Christ, Holly

  352. John, I do not dispute or deny the Judgment Seat of Christ and I’m sure Yankee doesn’t either. I am glad that you respect differing views on the subject. I can’t either say I know exactly what will happen. I can’t remember the exact sermon from Yankee on the subject but I believe he quoted Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

  353. Jon, I am not sure exactly what will transpire at the Judgment Seat of Christ. I know there are different views, and I respect that. I do not think the exact nature of what will transpire is the key, but rather that there is a judgment, at which the Bible says some believers will receive a reward, and some will suffer loss.

    1 Corinthians 3:13-15:

    [13] Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
    [14] If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
    [15] If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

  354. I watched a sermon by Yankee Arnold where he made it clear he does not share this view of all our sins being detailed for all Christians to hear. So this is not a universally held view in the Free Grace camp apparently. I side with Yankee on this issue personally. I don’t see the purpose of shaming people and making a public spectacle of them prior to allowing them into heaven. I guess those who have lead a pretty squeaky clean life would have less to fear than a sinner such as myself though.

  355. Frypan wrote “Johnincs Lapdog”
    Frypan you are a hoot . I love that you are here on this blog .

    and Yes I agree all of us here on this blog should all strive to be “an original Voice” of who we are as individual’s in the body of Christ.
    God is so awesome that he desires individuals and not robots pumping out what someone said

    acts 17:11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

    ps the moderators on this blog have had a long standing stance that no links posted outside of this blog with very very few exceptions

  356. i was out on the road following thread on phone and was going to post the same . This is the same ole same ole . I pray somehow the souls coming to this blog would genuinely see and seek the “truth of the Gospel.asking God for wisdom and understanding

    Its the same verses souls keep getting hung up over and stiffed necked until a soul Will’s to hear that we are saved by Grace through faith it is NOT of ourselves . Until a soul is grounded in the very basic simplicity of Christ and Him Crucified . It is all about Jesus.
    To remain that close to the Truth and not see it or will not to see . Is a very very dangerous place to be indeed .

    There is well enough information for the clarity of the gospel on this forum for a soul to be without excuse

  357. Yes. Uncanny. That’s the word I would use.

    I’m not johninnc’s lap dog. I don’t mean to be rude or cute. But I’ve been around this blog long enough to know when someone’s about to be bounced, and I happen to trust johninnc’s judgment implicitly in this matter.

    And no, he and I have not been secretly emailing each other about this particular matter . . .

    If it’s any consolation, Brad, you’ve certainly provoked my thoughts, and I mean that sincerely, not cheekily.

  358. Truth Seeker 1, your comment sounds a lot like the comment we just got from Brad. So close, it’s uncanny.

    If you, and Brad, disagree with the views of this site, fine. You are just not welcome to post here any longer.

  359. Truth Seeker 1

    Preston, half full? Half paradise? To compare the Judgment Seat of Christ to some man made courtroom is really off base. Way of the master does this. Sounds like a page from their book. So, we will all have to sit and listen to a litany of sins of all believers in paradise? Sounds like a total drag…. Long and embarrassing and boring for everybody involved. Will we all wear an orange jumpsuit with handcuffs and chained to the floor? Oh, but the joy to be received once we are unchained! ( : ” I tell you This day” you will be with me in PARADISE” Jesus…

  360. Brad, we get that you don’t agree with the view from Clear Gospel of the Judgment Seat of Christ.

    I don’t see any point in continuing to debate it here.

    Your tone is also caustic, and confrontational.

    Given some of the incendiary comments that you have made elsewhere, I am amazed that you even care what any of my perspectives may be.

  361. Yes Preston, but the analogy of being in a “Courtroom” (sounds like a view of man or even the way of the master) with a list of everything bad everybody has done being read out to all believers in a courtroom. Sounds long, boring, and embarrassing for everybody involved. You know how long that would take? That’s NOT paradise. And will we all be wearing orange jumpsuits with handcuffs and our feet chained to the floor? Oh, but the Joy there will be once unchained! ( : Jesus said to the thief on the cross “This Day” you will be with me in PARADISE.” This analogy John posted sounds like anything BUT paradise…

  362. Brad,

    nobody is trying to “steal” joy. IF you have believed (trusted) in whom Jesus was (Gods only Son; God in the flesh) and that He died for your sins and rose again (the gospel) you are sealed. sealed unto the day of redemption.

    There should be nothing that should ever take that joy away; for it has been promised to you in the Word of God.

    Shouldn’t we, knowing about the judgement seat of Christ for “rewards”, look forward to this day and the “work” we did for Him will be rewarded. That the Lord appreciated what you did for Him. To receive something personally from Jesus Himself—-maybe a crown for you for your work – because He promised that too.
    – the glass here is half full NOT half empty.

  363. Frying pan you didn’t even read the definition. John took it down…

  364. This view is almost as bad as lordship salvation… you don’t have to work to get your salvation, and you don’t have to work to keep it, but man you are going to Pay for it at the BEMA! Sounds like some work wants to be injected in this theory with a little blood, sweat, and tears at the BEMA! All I know is when I die; I will be in PARADISE! (thief on cross), and you are trying to steal that joy from me. This Judgment seat of yours sounds like hell…

  365. Well said, John. Well said.

  366. Brad, no! I’ve already said that I’m not going to entertain this comment.

    I’m pretty sure you’ve set an all-time record for comments in a day for a first-time commenter. We have patiently answered them all, but I am not going to post a muddled version of repentance to get peoples’ thoughts.

    This is an oasis of grace. We have babes in Christ and people looking for answers on the clarity of the gospel all of the time. I am not going to feed them subtle poison to assuage your curiosity.

  367. Brad, I think that Tom Cucuzza teaches this view as well.

  368. Also John, the whole New Testament was written in Greek. Why is this the only word that pastors like to use in greek as if they know the whole language? Sounds like a scare tactic to me… THE BEMA!!!!!! Good night blogger land. Thanks for your comments everybody it’s been a long day blogging and working. In Christ

  369. Curtis, in all fairness, my Pastor said a “spiritual” about face. I wish somebody could have elaborated on his quote, but John took it down. Here it is again.

    (link removed by administrator)

    John, please let others read it so I can get some thoughts. I’m not saying I completely agree with him. I’m just looking for opinions.

  370. Ok, bema was in the original manuscripts. I don’t speak Greek, so if somebody is from Greece, I will accept that term. Otherwise, they shouldn’t try to flatter me with “brilliant” ancient words of a language they don’t know unless they are able to quote the whole bible in Greek. Unless they speak Greek, they should call it the Judgment Seat of Christ. What would be the point of parading our sins if there is No condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus? If our sins are far away “As the east is from the west,” is He going to go back as far as the east is from the west so he can bring them back up again? Is he going to un-nail them from the cross so he can make us look at them again? “I even I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake?” Is he going to un blot our sins? I could go on and on and on with scripture after scripture after scripture to contradict this statement. I have Never heard this explanation of the Judgment seat of Christ in all my years of being a Christian. Nothing even close. To compare looking into lake Genneraset for fish to the Judgment Seat of Christ is such a huge stretch. Where do you tie these together biblicaly? Do you think I or anybody or Jesus for that matter (again) wants to sit there and look at all the sins of all Christian mankind? I don’t think so. Also, all Christian mankind would have to have the eternal memory of these sins so they could eternally justify their position. I don’t want that on my eternal mind. This is really bizarre, and I thought my view of what it might entail could be a little bizarre. This takes the cake. But who knows? I unlearn so much everyday, but it would take me far more that 5 scriptures to to justify this. On Luke 12:1-3, that’s the same as Num 32:23 meaning God knows everything. If you truly take this literal, then Jesus wouldn’t be on a Bema seat. He would be on a literal roof top calling out everybody’s sins. That right there tells you he was speaking somewhat metaphorically. This is one I will really have to pray about. It’s out there…

  371. Brad, the word in the Greek is “bhmatov” (bema). People may misuse the term, but Satan did not inject it into the original manuscripts.

    More on the Judgment Seat of Christ, from Clear Gospel:

    We believe that the judgment seat is a place of judgment for the believer, where “each man’s works will be made manifest” (1st Corinthians 3:13). We further believe that the same Lord who could look into the murky depths of lake Genneraset is able to look into the depths of every man’s heart. (Luke 5:1-8). Accordingly, we believe that the judgment seat or “bema” will include the disclosure not only the actions, but the inner thoughts and even the innermost motives of every believer. (2 Corinthians 5:9-11, Hebrews 4:11-13) We believe that this disclosure of man’s sins will take place publicly before other believers (Luke 12:1-3). We deny that this judgment constitutes punishment for sin beyond the perfect atonement offered by our Lord Jesus Christ. We observe, by way of example, that even in a criminal court on earth, before a man can be declared “not guilty” of a crime, the crime with which he is charged must be read aloud. In a similar manner, we believe that the extent of God’s forgiveness made available through the cross can only be manifest by such a public declaration of man’s condition, and that to fail to disclose the full extent of man’s condition can only leave mankind, for eternity, paying lip service to the salvation received through Christ, without full appreciation of the extent of that salvation.

  372. Hi Holly,

    You are continually in my prayers.

    I thought the point Preston was trying to make was that we will be somehow be judged for our sins at the Judgment seat of Christ. That didn’t make sense. If that’s what he meant; I don’t agree.

    In the example of the Christian who has no (enduring material), when he gets to heaven, it seems to me that at the point this person gets there, everything is burned up. So, the fire seems to be “before” heaven before the point at which he is saved. Because, he “escapes” and makes it to heaven. How could this fire judgment seat of Christ be after? Paul also said “I die everyday.” So wouldn’t his judgment be everyday? 1 Peter 4:17? Ok, maybe the reward isn’t salvation, but the peace, joy, extension of life rewards could be on earth??

    As far as “Bema,” nobody should use that term. I believe Satan has injected it as a prideful mechanism. It’s not in the bible. It doesn’t sit well with me in my spirit and It sounds like some boasting event. “I was a better Christian than you!” What’s the measuring stick for higher positions in the Body? Wouldn’t Christ have said specifically so we could reach them? Didn’t Paul say were ALL indispensable? Who knows where I am in the hierarchy of things. I don’t think it’s about that. But that’s what it sounds like when preachers preach the “Bema seat.” Cringe… lol Good to hear from you Holly.

    In Christ

  373. Yes I have heard several times preachers attempting to twist the meaning of the word repent from changing mind to Turn make a about face. most of the time the light shines on what a soul can do about their sin verses what Jesus has already done .

    We become spiritual in our thinking not in our doing , When it comes to Grace the natural man just don’t get it or refuses to believe .
    God changes our relation ship to the sin nature and starts brand new . yet sinfull mankind still desires to drag the old man rotting corpse around with them thinking God will fix the old nature with our help .

    God don’t need our help to live the christian life through us

  374. Brad, are we still chastised or chastened for sin in this lifetime? Yes. But are we forgiven as far as our justification before God the Father is concerned? Yes. Do we need to remain in fellowship with Christ our mediator? Yes, and we do that by confessing our sins (1 John 1).

    Rewards. I believe the Word shows us the foundation we build on is Jesus Christ (our faith/justification in Christ). And what we do in this lifetime is built on top of it. Some of us do things of ourselves, and bear no fruit because we are not building things through Him (2 Pet 1:5-10 comes to mind). Those useless things are no good, those works were not wrought in Him, but in of themselves. Other works done in Christ are manifest by the enduring material, gold, silver, precious stones.

    The Bema seat of Christ is just the Greek word for judgment seat, it’s not a made up term. Just the original word usage. In Christ. Thought I’d take a break and read.

  375. Brad, I removed the link.

    We have a vast array of articles on repentance, so I don’t want to entertain yet another definition.

    Repentance simply means “a change of mind.”

    If you would like to read an excellent body of work on the topic, please see below:

  376. John I sent you the link… but it was removed. That’s him. That’s his definition. Can you elaborate?

  377. John, The day of judgment which is today according to 1 Peter 4:17? Again, not for certain. Just always been skeptical of the “Bema” that people like to talk about when that word isn’t even in the bible, and they talk about it like they talk about how they’ve been to six flags and know everything about it.

  378. Brad, please see our statement of faith for our view of repentance.

    If your pastor’s definition is “a change of mind that leads to good works,” or anything similar, he is moving to a “works prove salvation” false gospel that could never give anyone any assurance of salvation.

  379. John, Here is my Pastor’s definition of repent: It seems all over the place, but when you chew it up and spit it out, I think it means change of mind that leads to good works after salvation… If somebody can figure out if he is right or wrong on his definition, then please let me know.

    (link removed by administrator).

  380. Brad, I’ve never heard that definition of repent before.

    Does God do those? I wonder who would have commanded Him?

  381. Brad, what does “the day shall declare it” mean?

  382. Also I had this question for somebody to please answer even though it’s off topic… My pastor said that “Repent” was a Roman Military command and means to do a “180” to “turn around” aka “About face.” And that was what Jesus and John the Baptist were saying to people. Any truth to this and does anybody know where this came from?

  383. John, how is 1 Peter 4:17 church discipline when it speaks of un believers as well being judged? It says “it begins with us” us.. first then the great white throne for them.. Preston, you said sin is forgiven for justification only? Didn’t quite understand that one. “As far as the east is from the west” doesn’t seem like justification only. I don’t think Jesus is going to pull our sins out of the sea of forgetfulness to parade them in front of us at the Judgment seat of Christ when they were nailed to the cross. He said to “Forget the former things” but he wants us to remember them at His judgment seat? I don’t get that…

  384. Brad,I think 1 Peter 4:17 has to do with church discipline.

    A more critical verse for understanding the judgment seat of Christ, and the timing, is 1 Corinthians 3:13: “…for the day shall declare it…”

    “The day” is the judgement seat of Christ. It takes place after the rapture.

  385. John sorry, I don’t fall into the Calvinist camp. Never have. I think you feel because I did way of the master that I am of that thought. I scoffed at most of their program. I just finished it to get an Idea of the entire program. Shaming people into accepting Christ is wrong.

  386. first and foremost the gospel and how we are saved is of the utmost importance . Mathew 6:20 is not a salvation verse
    also must be very careful to rightly divide when reading what Jesus said Context , Content, and to whom He is Talking to . There is also the Gospel of the Kingdom and the Gospel of Grace both are saved the same way by grave through faith . Need to rightly divide when reading scripture

    Mat 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

    it is the gift of God:
    Not of works
    Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

  387. John,
    Wow ..kind of stumped me on that one. lol I think you are right about the gift, but I still feel the rewards can be lost and gained on earth. How do you explain 1 Peter 4:17 if Judgment for believers isn’t on earth?

  388. Following up on my last comment, I thought it might be useful to link to an article we ran back in 2013. See below:

  389. Preston, what I’m saying is we may all receive all the crowns in heaven, but the example of the sinners dying is their miserable lifestyle on earth. Yes, they look happy while drunk and rich, but they are miserable, unhealthy, and losing everything they could have here on earth. They have lost rewards here on earth and even the prolonged existence of life where they could have received even more rewards like Job if they had been faithful. Paul refers believers as a “Body.” NO part is indispensable. I like to think of it as a janga puzzle too. If one part were able to be taken out, the whole thing would crash. That’s how valuable Christ has made each and everyone one of us in the body of Christ. Just try to think of what child of God really means?? And some of these believers feel they should have VIP seats in the body? Didn’t Jesus rebuke the disciples for this type of thinking? Doesn’t makes sense. We are all equally valuable. (Per Paul) If anything, rewards will be specific to everybody’s personality and what they like not importance of position. I like lakes, water skiing and snow skiing. My reward might just be a big mountain by a lake outside my mansion in my back yard ( : Who knows what he is preparing for my crib… But he is preparing a place specifically for me in His House! No VIP seats around me! Only the VIP seat of the King of Kings! Amen.

  390. a couple more thoughts that came to my head.

    1. the rich young ruler – 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure IN HEAVEN

    ME – in heaven or here in the flesh???

    2. MATT 19 – Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

    28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel

    ME – Lets be honest. Peter just asked, I have followed you, “whats in it for me”???? Jesus didnt say “you are saved’; his name was already written in heaven. Did Peter sit upon a throne in the flesh??? Nope

    3. matt 6 – Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

    20 But lay up for yourselves treasures IN HEAVEN, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

    ME -why shold we lay up treasure in heaven if there are no rewards?

    4. 2 Tim 4 – 6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my DEPARTURE is at hand.

    7 I have fought a good fight, I have FINISHED my course, I have kept the faith:

    8 Henceforth there is LAID UP FOR ME for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall GIVE me AT THAT DAY: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing

    ME – The Lord had not yet given him this crown, but it has been LAID UP for Him at THAT day. Since Paul was about to die (depart) and he had NOT yet received this crown in the flesh, what did He mean here???????

    Friend!!!!! don’t let emotion or one passage mess with you when looking at the whole of scripture. As far as crowns, how does one, who died from natural causes, receive the martyrs crown?????

    as always, caps are for emphasis ONLY.


  391. If I may respond to you Brad with a sermon just preached
    Time for a New Wardrobe Dr. Thomas M. Cucuzza

  392. Brad, eternal life is a gift. Rewards are rewards. They are not the same.

    The following excerpt is from Article IX, Section 4 of Clear Gospel’s Doctrinal Statement:

    “We believe that history unmistakably demonstrates that a lack of a clear understanding of the doctrine of the Jusgment Seat of Christ leaves a theological vacuum on the question of human works and divine judgment, and that this vacuum is invariably filled by a corruption of the gospel of grace with some form of salvation by Christ-plus-works. Accordingly, we believe that the teaching and preaching of the judgment seat of Christ, although not in any way part of the gospel message, is nevertheless essential to the preservation of the purity of the gospel message.”

    See below for full text:

  393. John, Matt 6:20 Jesus/Salvation is our reward. We receive or “Store it up” by believing the gospel. Also, the kingdom of God is within us. We store up good things in our hearts by obeying His word. We receive the rewards of the fruits of the spirit. Col 2:18 I don’t really know what you mean by this scripture, but people can try to steal our joy everyday. Col 3:1-2 again, our main reward is not on earth but in heaven, and we receive that by believing the gospel. Again, I am not convinced of all this, but scripture seems to back it up. As far as the crowns, you can argue that we would all receive those crowns because we will be clothed in His righteousness. We all die defending our faith against the enemy who destroys our flesh, so we will all be martyrs technically. I don’t want to start false doctrine, and this is not a salvation issue, so it’s not as critical. All I know is if 1 Peter 4:17 says judgment starts today with believers, then judgment starts today, and that judgment is of Christ. He is also “Seated” (Judgment Seat) now at the right hand of God, but will be standing when we get to Heaven. Acts 7:56. Just things to ponder.

  394. Brad,

    a lot to respond to…..but I found this to be quick.

    Also, if a Christian is a slacker Christian here on earth, won’t the sin of “Slacker Christian” be forgiven as well?

    ME – the bible says that ALL sins are forgiven for JUSTIFICATION.

    SEE – Col 2:13-14 and Acts 13:39. So yes, FOR justification “all” sins are already forgiven.

    BUT that doesn’t exclude discipline for sins. for example, the saved people who got drunk at the Lords Supper. why did God make them sick and some to die for THIS sin?

    And yes, loss of joy is a consequence for sin – see king david.

    the judgment seat of Christ is after death. see previous comment. what crowns have you ever seen someone receive while in the flesh?

  395. Matthew 6:20 seems to imply rewards for believers in heaven.

    Also, Colossians 2:18, and Colissians 3:1-2.

  396. Thank you Curtis… yes it is a struggle.

  397. FryingPan,

    Matt 10:42″ And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” I don’t plan on losing ANY of my reward for what He did for me. Also, Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” “All things.” Not more for good Christians and less for bad ones. Not more for the believers who scored brownie points. Also, if a Christian is a slacker Christian here on earth, won’t the sin of “Slacker Christian” be forgiven as well? Why would one be de-rewarded in heaven for a forgiven sin? Again we will ‘Be like Him” So, why would I be rewarded in Heaven as for what I did in the flesh?? If somebody lives a sinful life here on earth as a Christian the misconception among a lot of believers is that they are having fun. Sinners are miserable people. They are losing peace and joy everyday. Even more so the sinning Christian. The rich man in hell had received his reward “in full,” because he never felt the conviction of a believer. Sinning Christians are flat out miserable, because they know they are doing wrong. Sin is NO fun for them and the judgment / dicipline can be double that of a non believer.So when they get to Heaven they get there “As one escaping through the flames.” 1 Cor 3:15. That’s Not the way Jesus wants us to get there. The reward is Jesus/Salvatioin, because it says “He himself will be saved” comparing it to the reward of the faithful Christian. 1 Peter 4:17 “For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” If it is now time for our judgment, then why would there be another judgment for us in heaven? I’m not 100% sure but it seems to me the Judgment seat of Christ starts today. “It is time” Is that time not now?

  398. Brad,

    POST # 2 – rewards

    1. as already stated 1 Cor 3:10-15 – 10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

    11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

    12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

    13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

    14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall RECEIVE A REWARD
    15 If any man’s work shall be burned, HE SHALL SUFFER LOSS: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

    this does match Jesus in Matt 7:24-28. also see Matt 5:19.

    2. is this “Judgment Seat of Christ” mentioned any place else? YES

    2 Cor 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad
    – the “Judgment Seat of Christ” is after physical death.

    3. will some not receive a “full reward”? YES.

    6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye SHOULD walk in it.

    7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

    8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a FULL REWARD.

    Why would John tell these already saved people to do something as not to NOT receive a “full reward”.

    4. CROWNS – did you know there are crowns for certain behaviors.
    – a matyrs crown – for death because of ones faith
    – a teachers crown – pastors, youth teachers, whomever
    – a soul winners crown – for getting someone to believe the gospel
    – a crown of rightouensess – for those who are not all that carnal
    – those who long for His appearing – this could be believing in the blessed hope (the pre 70th week rapture)
    – MIGHT be one for simply keeping the faith

    I cant give a whole lot of detail on these BUT think for a second. you ever known someone to die in the faith of natural causes????? if they didn’t die for the faith, they can’t get that crown (reward)

    those who brought no fruit to perfection, can’t receive the “soul winner’s” crown.

    salvation is free; crowns (rewards) are earned.

    hope this helped a little

  399. John, Brad,

    post 1

    I would be happy to go back and forth for a bit. I think it is a good thing to do. However, if it becomes unproductive or toooo distracting, please give brad my email.


    you might be in the wrong study. a good way to start to see if it is, ask the “leader” 2 questions.

    1. where are you going when you die?
    2. why or why not?

    His answer will tell you exactly what his faith is REALLY in.

    also, Brad, I have a paper on “eternal security” if you would like it. as we say “the bible, being the Word of God, CANNOT contradict itself

    on to post 2 – rewards.

  400. would like to hear more from you Brad
    I myself got pulled out of a fundamentalist prayer meeting and fended off a couple of elders over the clarity of “the Truth of the Gospel” .
    from what you have already posted I can see the struggle for truth , that is good

  401. Disclaimer: My intent is not to encourage a topic being dragged out again and again and again . . .

    Hi Brad. I’m not inferring that you’re guilty of what I just mentioned in the above disclaimer.

    I don’t believe I’ve ever heard the argument that you make, that is, your belief that rewards are “this side of heaven” and that the saved will not be granted “different levels” or reward when they meet Jesus.

    I’m merely trying to understand your position better, so don’t feel a need to get on the defensive. I’m not implying you have been or WILL be defensive–I’m just trying to shed light on where I’m coming from.

    Can you elaborate on why you believe this way? And can you help me understand why John’s appeal to 1 Corinthians 3:14-15 doesn’t seem sufficient to you to back up a belief in eternal rewards for believers?

    You seem to be saying that if anyone who believes is saved, then “logic would have it” that whoever is saved will not receive a greater reward for how much they did or didn’t live for God after being saved. In other words, no sin, no matter how great or small can disqualify a believer’s faith for salvation. So I can see where it might make sense to then conclude, if we’re justified by faith and not by works, then one’s actions after being saved have no bearing on the level of reward they will receive on the day believers meet face to face at the appointed judgment.

    Finally, can you explain why you believe rewards are on “this side of heaven” for the believer?

    I’m withholding further comment as I’m more in an information-seeking mode right now than I am in a commentary-making one.

    Thank you.

  402. Brad, was Peter already saved when he denied Christ?

    What about the believers in John 12:42? They didn’t confess Christ.

    What about the people who deny Him by their actions?

    As to your adamance againat differential rewards for believers, I don’t agree with your interpretation.

  403. Preston, John, I think you are right, but there always seems to be scripture to contradict. 1 John 2:23 “No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” Would soil two believers not now deny the father since they fall away? Keep in mind,
    I have to combat people when they throw these seemingly contradictory passages at me.

    John, I believe rewards are either gained or lost this side of Heaven. If we are co heirs with Christ and, all our sins are in the sea of forgetfulness, then we will be seen as just as perfect as He is, clothed in His righteousness, and we will therefore receive the reward as if we never had sinned. Hence, “All things” will be given to us. NO VIP seats in Heaven. I believe the judgment seat of Christ is perhaps our daily walk with Him and our daily sanctification. He judges me everyday through conviction, so that when I get to heaven I will be like Him. When Paul says “While in the body,” 2 Cor 5:10, I believe the judgment seatcould be just that. “While in the body.” It’s daily conviction of the believer. I don’t know this for sure, but I’m dead set against cutting up the pie with different size pieces for believers in Heaven.

  404. Thank You Preston, That makes sense. For some reason your post had not shown up before I posted my last comment. But, I think that answers my question. I will have to meditate and pray a bit more on what you wrote. I have been going through a lot of turbulence in my church class etc because of what I have recently learned, but I’m thinking I may be in the wrong class. Maybe the wrong church. My class teacher said he will not allow my ideas to “Float” in his class. I can’t be silenced on truth. The problem is there is no perfect church. Please pray the Lord leads me to the right group of Christian friends who don’t condemn.

  405. Brad, my interpretation of 1 John 2:19 is that these people believed and taught a different gospel.

    My general interpretational framework is salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, eternal security of the believer, and the doctrine of assurance for a believer.

    A new believer does not know how faithful he will be. Even if someone has been “faithful”for decades, he has no guarantee that he will continue to be.

    The Bible promises that believers are eternally secure in Christ. It does not promise that a believer will maintain any minimum standard of good works or holiness, that he will maintain his faith, that he will not forsake the assembly – even permanently, or that he will not doctrinally defect.

    As to the Judgement Seat of Christ (some call it the “Bema” judgement), the Bible is pretty clear that some will receive a reward, and some will suffer loss (1 Corinthians 3:14-15).

    Brad, you are welcome to ask my opinion on something, and I will give it to you. But, I don’t have the time or inclination to go “back and forth” with you. I have a full-time job and a family.

  406. John, you said “I think.” I’m definitely not trying to be confrontational, so please don’t ever think that. But, I’m seeking truth not “Think.” Do you have any biblical support for that opinion? I have been emailing Pastor Tom on some things, and he has been very helpful. But, I have come here, because he doesn’t have time for a lot of back and forth. That is what these blogs are for. You can email me too if you would like. Holly emailed me as well, but I definitely don’t want to be a bother to her. I learned a lot from Holly’s blog, but I don’t know if I can believe everything you are saying unless it is backed by scripture. I myself have different Ideas about rewards in Heaven that most believers wouldn’t agree with. If God freely gives us “All things” why am I going to get more or less than Moses or Paul or the thief on the cross? Why would he give them, me, or any other “Better” Christian more rewards than another? I don’t really buy the whole bema seat thing, and that word is a lie from the devil in my opinion. There is no “bema” mentioned in the bible yet puffed up preachers say it like it’s biblical truth, because I feel they think they are going to have some VIP seat in heaven. Anyway, I digress, so do you have biblical support that these people in 1 John “couldn’t win people over to their heretical doctrine?”

  407. Brad, John,

    might I expound on this. This parable is in Matt, Mark and Luke. LUKE however goes into further detail then the others (SHOWN IN CAPS). Lets see if we can analyze that as well as compare scripture with other scripture to “see” the answer. (sorry for the length)

    Luke 8 – 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

    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

    13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, RECEIVE the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while BELIEVE, and in time of temptation fall away.

    14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

    15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

    SOIL #1 – this should be obvious as Luke said they did not believe (lest they should believe and be saved). BUT, this right here tells us how to be saved—-to believe (or to trust).

    SOIL#1 CONCLUSION – not saved

    SOIL # 2 – First, did they believe???? YES; it reads “for a while BELIEVE”.

    Second, it also reads they “received” the Word with Joy.
    – John 1 – as many as RECEIVED Him, to them……..salvation is about receiving.

    Third, Luke told us the first group was not saved, why wouldn’t he tell us this group was unsaved

    Fourth – 2 Tim 2 – knowing the bible CANNOT contradict itself, lets see what 2 Tim 2 reads.

    The Bible says once one believes/trusts the gospel, he or she is sealed. This is important in relating to 2 Timothy as the writer uses the word “seal” in that passage…

    • Eph 1:13: “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.”

    • Eph 4:30: “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye ARE SEALED unto the day of redemption.”

    • 2 Cor 1:21,22: “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;who HATH ALSO SEALED US, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”

    2 Tim 2 – “And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and OVERTHROW the FAITH of some” (2 Tim 2:17,18).

    We see that some had their faith overthrown. This MEANS that they believed. Let’s go to the next verse. The first word is NEVERTHELESS. This is the key. The word “nevertheless” means “in spite of”. So some had their faith overthrown… NEVERTHELESS—or in spite of this…

    “NEVERTHELESS the foundation of God standeth sure, having THIS SEAL, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim 2:19).

    Did you catch it? They were STILL SEALED despite their faith being overthrown


    SOIL #3 – This one is harder to see.

    First, as with #2, Luke never tells us they are not saved like the first group. why would he tell us about the first group and not the others.

    Second, it reads and brings no fruit to perfection. question, can an UNbeliever bring forth fruit? NO. an UN-believer can NOT bring forth fruit. Thus this in NOT about the UNbeliever.
    – HEB – without faith it is impossible to please Him. no faith; fruit production is impossible

    Third – IF believers ALWAYS bring forth fruit, why are there those who will be at the judgement Seat of Christ and have ALL their works burnt up, but still saved? That fruit, if produced, would have been rewarded.

    Also see “stemming fruit inspection” for greater detail with regards to “fruit”.


    SOIL #4 – These are saved people who bring forth fruit (some 10 fold, some 20 fold, some 100-fold).


    Hopefully this helped explain the parable of the sower.

    As for 1 John 2:19. I agree with John. These were never believers, they were false prophets or “antichrists”. go back one verse

    verse 18 AND 19 -Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many ANTICHRISTS; whereby we know that it is the last time.

    19 THEY went out from us, but THEY were not of us; for if they had been of us, THEY would no doubt have continued with us: but THEY went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us

    There is a difference between a believer that falls away and a person who never believed thus “anti-christS”.

  408. Brad, I think 1 John 2:19 refers to people who were teaching false doctrine in the church, who “checked out,” because they couldn’t win people over to their heretical doctrine.

    If a believer quits believing, he still has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited – no matter what.

    It is also possible for believers to fall into heretical doctrine. In such cases, they still have eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

    Soil 2 believers are “true believers,” just like any other believers in Christ.

  409. Hi John,

    Brad back from Holly’s page. No discussion on what we were debating earlier. I started thinking about your Luke 8:12-15 comment. Just to play advocate, how do you justify soil 2 believers with with 1 John 2:19? These two groups look exactly… the same, and later in 1 John they are compared to the antichrist. This gets into whether or not soil 2 believers actually “truly” believed at all. Why would they not have “remained” instead of “falling away?”

    In Christ,

  410. Curtis – thank you for further clarifying, makes it so simple. Was listening to this sermon on James 5 by Tom Cucuzza. I wish that people might consider these things, so they might use the right verses when they share the gospel. Also so that they might keep the gospel clear and free of encumbrances.

  411. a soul need to remind oneself of what the gospel is and what it is not.
    getting a sound understanding of justification, sanctification , glorification
    rightly dividing the word of Truth
    like Holly Said
    justification = eternal deliverance
    sanctification = physical deliverance

    he that believeth
    1Jn 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
    1Jn 5:5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

  412. Sorry John, I’m afraid he can’t let go, he was angry for disagreeing with him, that I did not feel Facebook was the same as church, and I did feel it was o.k. to address a male, but I did respect his wishes (as I told him) and withdrew from his group. In doing so, evidently it further angered him, he couldn’t be satisfied with me just leaving. He said women like me ‘came and went’ and when I asked him to please discontinue, he would not, I had to block him.

    He was undeterred, and used a woman to contact me, I asked her very respectfully and kindly to discontinue, and she couldn’t because evidently he insisted with her, and she felt she was under his control. In it he continued his tirade including calling me Jezebel amongst other things. I was hoping he was not going to treat this site the same, but afraid his intention was to continue along the same vein.

  413. Note to commenter swordoftruth777:

    We asked you not to continue to discuss your teaching that vocal confession of one’s lost condition/need for a Savior/faith in Christ are requirements for someone to have eternal life.

    We posted, and provided our reply to you already. But, you want to continue the back and forth, and we do not.

    We repeat that eternal life is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

    You have persisted in debating this, although you call it something else.

    We wish you well, and hope that you will turn from this heretical teaching.

    In the meantime, you are no longer welcome to post comments to this website.

  414. John, if I had seen this comment from you I wouldn’t have responded further.

    I must have been writing as you responded, and never refreshed the page. I had mentioned this to someone on FB who got very upset, who had this included with his gospel. He had some instructions for me (not to address brothers in Christ), he didn’t want to start a feminist movement by allowing me to address men. Then he told me (contradicting himself) that I could teach men about the gospel (as the woman at the well had).

    Sounded awfully familiar…but you have already addressed Romans 10:9 in the original post. Thank you John.

  415. What I believe is important to ask, when we see the words salvation and saved, do we see eternal deliverance in view? Or do we see a physical deliverance, or another kind of deliverance (such as losing rewards) or suffering circumstances such as being ashamed before Him?

  416. Sword, confessing with our mouth is something the Pharisees did not do, we know why. Fear and loving the praise of men. They were still possessors of the free gift of eternal life.

    Some do use Romans 10:9 as in salvation unto eternal life.

    But if that is so, it would mean that there is two things we must do in order to be saved. Believe and confess. I don’t think any of the examples you used, the publican, the woman at the well, the Eunuch, etc. none said that confessing by their mouth gave them the free gift of eternal life.

    I believe we had this conversation before. This is David correct?

  417. sword, I am one that believes confessing Christ as Savior is not a necessity for eternal life. The sole condition to having eternal life is believing in Christ as Savior. Nowhere does the Bible teach that confessing is an essential component of believing, nor does the Bible teach that confessing Him is always a natural response to the person who sees his need and believes in Christ.

    You will see our explanation of Romans 10:9-10 under our “Difficult Verses” section.

    You mentioned the conversion of Cornelius. Here is what the Bible says:

    Acts 10:44: While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

    So, if he confessed Christ, it was after he was already saved.

    You also said: Obviously they must of confessed their sinful state before God to receive Jesus Christ for salvation…

    My comment: The Bible nowhere says that one must confess his sinful state before God to receive Jesus Christ for salvation. One must know he is a sinner, in need of a Savior. But, there is no requirement to confess this to God. God knows our hearts.

    sword, I have enjoyed your comments thus far, but we will not be debating this.

    It is the position of the ExPreacherMan site that confessing Christ is not a requirement for receiving eternal life, and that one can receive eternal life without responding by confessing Christ.

    Further, while we believe that one must know he is a sinner, in need of a Savior in order to receive eternal life, the Bible does not teach that confessing one’s sinful state to God is a requirement for receiving Christ as Savior.

    Again, we will not be debating this.

  418. swordoftruth777

    confession is made unto salvation, admitting that one is in need of salvation through placing his/her faith in the Savior. We can see this with the publican, and the Eunuch, as the publican cries out to the Lord have mercy on me a sinner, confessing with his mouth, that he’s in need of forgiveness/salvation.. The Eunuch asks Paul, “what doth hindereth me from being baptized, and Paul directs him to believe on Christ with his heart, and the Eunuch “answereth Paul confessing that he believed In Jesus as the Christ, hence, recognizing his need of salvation.. The scriptures saith, “Whoseover believeth on him shall NOT be ashamed. Of course there were some who did believe among the chief rulers but would not confess Jesus in front of the pharisees, for the love the praise of men more than the praise of God

    John 12:42-44King James Version (KJV)

    Rom 10: 9-11 KJV
    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

    Obviously they must of confessed their sinful state before God to receive Jesus Christ for salvation, but they wouldn’t do it openly for fear of being kicked out of the temple by the pharisee, also their would be a fear of the death penalty for confessing Christ as the Savior. But the bible is clear, that those who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.. Calling upon the Lord is not a works, its a simple act of faith which stems from the heart, but of course there shall be some who were ashamed of the gospel for fear of ridicule of men, but as I stated in a previous message, God was one who was not ashamed of the gospel… The bible is not going to go in to detail and show you everyone who confessed with their mouth, that they were sinners who needed the righteousness of Christ by receiving him as the Christ.. But there are plenty of examples such as the publican, the Eunuch, the woman at the well, the jailer, the Roman centurion, and many more who confessed him as the promised Savior of whom Moses and the prophets did write about. For me the bible is clear, that believe and confessing him, are a natural response to the the lost person who sees his/’her need of salvation which is provided in Christ. I’d like for someone to show me anywhere in the bible that confessing Christ as Savior is a work, although some believe this, I would not be in agreement with it.

  419. sword, I thought it said in Romans 3 that we are justified in our sayings, not by our sayings.

    Romans 3:26 says that He is just and the justifier of him that believes in Jesus, and Romans 3:5 says we are justified by faith.

  420. swordoftruth777

    No Calvinist is convinced he’s elected, in fact, if they were honest, they don’t know if they’re truly saved, and this is the problem with Calvinism, as it gives no assurance. Its a deception, which keeps the lost, lost, the blind leading the blind. God cannot chose us unless we come in to agreement with his word, and his word declares us all sinners. and those who do not come in to agreement with his word, are clearly addressed in 1 john 1:8-10, as they have not the truth of Gods word abiding in them. John 5:45-47 KJV. They see not their need of salvation, therefore they make God a liar, and all liars shall have their place in the lake of fire. Rev 21:8 KJV. How can a Calvinist admit he’s a helpless sinner in need of salvation through faith in the gospel, if he has been chosen to salvation since the beginning of the world? They miss the clear word in Eph 1:12-13, which speaks that only those who have FIRST TRUSTED Christ are the one who are predestined to receive the inheritance which is what God had waiting for them since the beginning of the foundation of the world. But its only available to those who are in Christ through faith in the gospel where eternal forgiveness is provided. Thank God I never got caught up in Calvinism, all though it truly scared the life out of me, but I knew it was wrong, so stayed away from it, until I was more confident in Gods word which enabled me to tackled it. A man from Wales Britain, sent me a book, about the doctrine of Calvinism which I’ve never opened to this day, and no matter how much clear truth I gave him, he would not receive it. He’s an intellectual, trusting in his own wisdom, rejecting the clear truth of Gods word.

  421. swordoftruth777

    Well If we compare scripture with scriptures, Jesus is the word who is God made manifest in the the flesh, and this verse is directed at Jews, who were to believe in Jesus as the promised Savior according to the old testament scriptures, and those who rejected him, also rejected Moses and the prophets who did write about Jesus as the coming Messiah. Thus, whoever rejected Jesus, were guilty of rejecting the Godhead, which is God and the trinity God the Father the Son and the holy Spirit. These pharisees were rejecting the inspired word of God, as Jesus the author of eternal life, guided the hands in the old testament so that all who would receive his word, would be made eternally righteous. Jesus also stated that if you have seen me, you have seen the Father also so I guess he’s speaking about the day of judgment. John 5:45-47 KJV..

    Romans 3 speaks that we are justified by our sayings, which for me, means that because we have confessed Jesus as the promised Savior, we have overcome by our sayings, through believing the gospel. There are are alos those who do not confess Jesus, but are saved, but shall be shamed before Christ at the Bema Seat.. Paul declared that he was not ashamed of the gospel..

    The apostles received Christ according to the old testament scriptures and I haven’t this verse now as I’m on my newer computer as I had to download windows 10 so I’m left a bit short here as I can’t give you a complete scriptural answer. But I’ll have to look more in to this scripture.

    I guess Jesus shall be judging as the Father before the start of the Millenial Reign of Christ.. I’m a bit tired now, sorry if I didn’t give you a fuller answer, but this is all I have to work with now, so I’ll leave you with this last verse which declares that Jesus to be called “almighty Father. ” in time future.

    Isaiah 9:6-7King James Version (KJV)

    6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

    7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

  422. sword, the next verse says the word will judge him.

    What is your take?

  423. swordoftruth777

    For me, Eph 1:12-13 clearly speaks that we are chosen in Christ, and its “In Christ,” which are the key words here, as only until one has received Christ having been placed in to the body of Christ, does on receive his/her eternal inheritance.. Calvin messed up big time here, as his teaching on the subject of predestination is a huge perversion of the gospel.

  424. swordoftruth777

    Hello, I just came across a very interesting scripture and was wondering what your take on it is?
    John 12:47King James Version (KJV)

    47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

  425. Some see it as appreciation for the fact they were chosen, seemingly oblivious to the fact that then it would mean God chose many to damnation, by no choice of their own, and in fact, they really cannot know that they are one of the fooled ones, who are under evanescent grace.

  426. I think that’s where the insufferable arrogance of many Calvinists comes from (especially young males). They manage to convince themselves (for the moment) that they’re elect, and so literally are God’s chosen few on earth. It’s a cult.

  427. It’s no big deal for a Calvinist to accept that Don, because they believe they were regenerated by the Holy Spirit before belief, it doesn’t really matter when it happens, sleeping or awake. Since they have denigrated the gospel as being the power of God unto salvation, it’s nothing to have these strange conversions. Think of Augustin(e) and his child’s voice saying in French, ‘take up and read’ and he reads a book which did have some of the Word in it, (about lust) and Augustine was a womanizer, so he took that to be his conversion. Not a word about the gospel. Then there is this author, Eric Metaxas, he wrote the supposed ‘biographical’ book about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Calvinist favorite. His conversion is one of Jungian fish dreams. He was the author that got such great reviews for speaking in the prayer breakfast a few years back. Calvinists have more faith in these experiences and one’s proof of perseverance than worrying about little details, (like the literal resurrection, the virgin birth, the Deity of Christ, etc.). Watch how many of them quote Bonhoeffer in spite of these heresies.

    Yes, they are able to be ‘born again’ while not even knowing it, like John MacArthur, who says he doesn’t remember a time when he didn’t believe, he always did. I believe he thinks he was one of the special chosen ones, in that he says that salvation is an ‘adult’ thing.

    I don’t know how they can believe this nonsense, while at the same time believe the fact they have no ability to believe before believing. It gets to be like the childhood story, ‘The Emperor’s new clothes’.

  428. “I have literally had some talk about being ‘born again’ while they were sleeping”


  429. Curtis! That is so exciting and glad to see you. I think someone really forgot to hammer into my thick skull that I was to shod my feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace DAILY. What a difference if people would really do that. May we all remember all of our armor. Hope you rest well in Him.

  430. Don, what a story… much I can relate to. Thinking we cannot understand the Word and we needed the men and books. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so thankful for thankful expositors of the Word, and pray for those Shepherds who are taking heed to the doctrine and the flock. But I know the feeling. I can understand too how TULIP completely changes it up. I have literally had some talk about being ‘born again’ while they were sleeping, and not because they dreamt of the gospel…

  431. Johninnc – sorry, the mailbag question regarding John 2 and Jesus not committing Himself to those who had believed.

  432. my journey started august 9th 2010 re learning Gods Word and trusting myself to read it again. some of The same verses that had me bound up were same ones that set me free . Getting a grip on the clarity of the Gospel of Grace many a rabbit holes I have been down . was led to this sight and adopted the doctrinal statement as my own .
    I now enjoy Gods Word like I have not experienced allowing the scriptures to read me drawing out from scripture instead of trying to make my own opinions.
    I remind myself constantly what the gospel is and what the gospel is not and am not growing weary of it. I love the Gospel .

    Thank you Don and all for your comments
    forgive my scattered thoughts I just came off my shift and need rest.
    I have been pondering these things while driving truck today after reading comments Yesterday . I am excited to see souls set free . Love you all In Christ


  433. And once again confessing from my own past, I did get to the point of desperation where I began to devour BOOK AFTER BOOK AFTER BOOK ABOUT THE BIBLE because I no longer believed I could understand the Bible itself, or that I was even elected to do so. Yet I was still desperate for God, grasping at any spiritual straw, and resorted to empty cisterns of human wisdom. I found a scrap of truth here and there, yes, but not the nourishing meat only found in the Word of Truth.

    THANK GOD for those who taught me not only to be a Berean, but to test things that differ and to rightly divide the Word of truth!

  434. Holly, I don’t dispute any of that but the basic reason they are confused about grace and salvation is much simpler, at least according to what I went through: it all comes down to their false view of predestination and election.

    Put it this way: God may love “the world” so much that He gave His only begotten Son to save it, but if I can’t know God loved ME enough to choose me as part of that world, then I have nothing in which to put my faith because I can’t KNOW the promise applies to me, too. I can HOPE it does, but I can not KNOW it does.

    That means believing the Gospel just isn’t enough, since even reprobates can appear to sincerely believe until they fall away and burn.

    So to avoid that, I’ve got to try to PROVE He loves me by proving (if only to myself) that I’m saved. But that can’t be done, and that’s what brought me near suicide more than once.

    It’s the worst possible situation I can imagine: you’re told that you MAY have been elected to believe and be saved, but only if you continue in the faith, don’t fall away and only if you gradually cease ALL sin (because you’re told that your sin nature has been eradicated). Naturally, when you DON’T stop sinning and DON’T bring forth whatever salvation-proving fruits you expect, you DO begin to doubt and you DO begin to fear falling away.

    At that point you have three choices: get even busier to keep yourself distracted, walk away and become an atheist, or fall into despair. I went with curtain #3. I guarantee you there are MILLIONS of Reformed mind-slaves who live in utter dread of facing God…not because they’re unsaved but because they’re forbidden to believe with 100% certainty that the ARE saved.

    “I also believe lastly their emphasis on traditions of men, creeds, and men’s writings, those who may know Him, do not know and have not remained in His Word, so they are babes in Christ, carnal themselves, calling themselves after men.”

    Exactly right. For years I puzzled over how many Calvinists’ adore human writings; how many of them pride themselves on being able to quote the Institutes, the Puritans, Spurgeon, various creeds, etc. It really is baffling since so much of the writing is nothing more than impenetrable navel-gazing. Now I’ve come to believe that that’s actually the point: It’s simply an exercise in self-distraction from the horrifying doubt their doctrine has driven into their hearts…almost a Christianized form of an Eastern heathen chanting repeatedly to empty his own mind.

    Besides the pride and arrogance factor, the Reformed love of books is an intellect-based version of the evangelical’s activity-based treadmill, or the cults’ works-based gerbil wheel…stay busy! busy! busy! and don’t let yourself stop long enough to think.

    By the grace of God, I couldn’t keep myself from thinking and doubting and PLEADING with Him to fix me. The result was years inside a black spiritual tunnel which, by His grace, He has brought me out of.

    Very sorry for going on so long, but getting this out is really cathartic, even now.

  435. Holly, which mailbag question?

  436. Johniinc – on the mailbag question for that. I agree with you, they were saved, but He was not committing or entrusting Himself (the word is pisteuo) to men because He still had things to be fulfilled. He knew all men’s hearts, it did not say He knew they didn’t believe (as those in John 6). It was not yet the hour, or His time.

    They believed in His name, Acts 4:12 says there is salvation in that.

  437. Don, I think Calvinists/reformed/load-ship teachers fail to make the distinction on saved/salvation. They also seem to (because of replacement theology) fail to make the distinction between a prophecy TO a certain people FOR their transgression (Daniel’s 70 x 7 prophecy, of which seven years is yet to be fulfilled upon Israel — spoken of in the Olivet discourse parallels). Because they fail to make those distinctions, they understand ‘he that endures to the end shall be saved’ as speaking to eternal life.

    Those who endure to the end will be physically delivered, and will still have physical bodies which will populate the Millennial kingdom with new children who will have a chance to accept or reject Christ by believing upon Him. Because they assign that prophecy and that time (usually) to the Church, these are just some of many reasons as to why they are confused.

    I also believe lastly their emphasis on traditions of men, creeds, and men’s writings, those who may know Him, do not know and have not remained in His Word, so they are babes in Christ, carnal themselves, calling themselves after men.

  438. Hello Don,

    Thank you for joining us here.

    You said, “I know I’m saying nothing you here don’t already know, but sometimes these things bear repeating so we can know WHY we’re facing what we face, and so can help those who are willing to listen.”

    I’m on your team with that sentiment all the way. I’ve been a musician for 40 years and I can tell you it’s a lot like reading the Bible. You have to study some things over and over and over and over in order for the info or skill to finally “stick” once and for all . . .

  439. I agree, Don. Replacement theology is dangerous. It also makes God a liar, or Someone who’d doesn’t know that Israel would stray and His plans were ruined. That would diminish His attritibutes of truth, omniscience, love, immutability, for starters. When people fail to realize His attributes – all of them – are operating at 100% at all times and elevate one over others (like sovereignty), you end up with a lopsided God. One you can’t trust, can’t beleive to do the right thing and keep His word, one Who is not powerful enough to make His plans come through regardless of whether we cooperate or not . And yes, post-trib, pre-wrath, perseverance, replacement theologies all do a bait and switch with “grace” and what it means and entails.

  440. “So, persevering to the end cannot be a requirement for having, or keeping eternal life.”

    Exactly right, sir, yet most of the popular teachers today imply that it IS the ultimate requirement of eternal life, particularly (but not exclusively) among those who lean Reformed. Why? Because of the wickedness of replacement theology — the basic assumptions of which have spread and have been accepted far outside of Reformed circles. That’s why I was in the situation I was in as a baby Christian.

    Replacement theology, for those who may not know the term, says the Body of Christ has replaced Israel. That false belief explains almost everything that’s been wrong with Christianity for 2,000 years…works-oriented gospels, the historic craze for lawkeeping for sanctification, fruit judging, idolizing a select few Acts-era sign gifts (mainly “tongues”), threats of God’s wrath, forcing Christ’s revelation of the mystery to align with what He said only to unbelieving Israel, etc etc etc.

    *Almost everything that’s wrong stems from wrongly assuming the Body of Christ is subject to what Christ said to Israel. We are not.*

    But if one has been duped into accepting that premise, then everything we see — including living in terror of the dire threats of judgment seen in the four Gospels — makes perfect sense and NOTHING can break through that mountain of error except when its victims come to see the full, freeing truth of the Gospel of grace, which is increasingly DERIDED and HATED (“greasy grace,” “easy believism,” “saved to sin all you want,” etc).

    I know I’m saying nothing you here don’t already know, but sometimes these things bear repeating so we can know WHY we’re facing what we face, and so can help those who are willing to listen.

  441. Don, persevering to the end is a work. Heaven will be populated only by people who have believed in Christ alone as Savior.

    So, persevering to the end cannot be a requirement for having, or keeping eternal life.

    And, the pre-tribulation rapture is the only view that I think scripture teaches.

  442. I don’t know about any of you, but I have yet to meet a believer who can harmonize the blessings of the Gospel of grace of God with any scenario involving believers having to survive any part of the Tribulation “or else.” Their view ALWAYS comes down to persevering unto the end if you don’t want to be cut off, cast out and burned, which flatly contradicts what they say they believe about unconditional eternal security in Christ. To believe we are not appointed to wrath is contradicted by their implied or stated threat of the Lake of Fire if believers don’t persevere to the end. BOTH PROPOSITIONS CANNOT BE TRUE FOR THE BELIEVER DURING THIS DISPENSATION OF GRACE. To hold to both slanders God by making Him the author of confusion within His Church, as well as a liar.

    The solution to this, in my view, is to realize that those threats of being cast off were NOT what Christ “according to the revelation of the mystery” (Rom 16:25) ever revealed about members of the Body of Christ through Paul, but are what Christ “according to the flesh” (Rom 1:3) said to national Israel, to whom He was sent, before her fall into blindness and total unbelief. At least 95% of Christendom fails to see this biblical distinction so, today, confused teachers are present a conundrum that they cannot reconcile: you cannot be saved and safe in Christ for all eternity AND be required to survive the Tribulation in faith “or else.” Yet many of them preach both. They either don’t or can’t see this glaring contradiction, or they do see it but are ignoring it.

    Incidentally…notice how persevering unto the end of the Tribulation goes hand in glove with the idea of not bringing forth adequate fruit, which (allegedly) indicates you’re probably not saved after all. Usually it’s the same teachers who teach both. And these same teachers are also among those gradually drifting away from the hope of our appearing together with Christ before the Wrath finally falls.

    Utter confusion is reigning and it will only grow worse as the days grow darker. But we can rest in the fact that this confusion aligns with the perilous times that were foretold would happen toward the end.

  443. swordoftruth777

    OK thanks for your kind reply

  444. Swordoftruth777 – it’s not here where we login, but it’s either our own wordpress account or google account etc. So I’m seeing your comments just fine.

  445. swordoftruth777

    Just testing here

  446. swordoftruth777

    My password is not beinng accepted, I just reset it and then I’m told I tried one to many times on a reset? Maye your site is experiencing problems. Thanks for your reply anyway, looks like I’ll just have to let it go for tonight as its out of my hand, I can’t do much about the problem. I can still type you from here though. Goodnight from Ireland

  447. sword, your posts seem to be working just fine. Please note that comments are generally on “moderation” status until I approve them.

  448. swordoftruth777

    Hi, I can’t get back in to your site to post, I keep getting the option to put in my password but its not being received, and its not recognizing my hotmail password either..

  449. The church is not appointed to wrath, and we know Jesus is the judge who is the only one in heaven worthy to open those seals. The wrath of the Lamb begins there.

  450. fryingpan, amen!

  451. Pretty sure I’ll be “riding out” the end times on a cloud (or something even better) w/ the rest of you and our Lord and Savior. Just sayin’ . . .

  452. Curtis, I agree that the post-trib rapture can easily degenerate into a works for salvation message. In addition, some use it as a platform for selling stockpiles of gold, silver, weapons, and food to people who want to “ride out” the end times.

  453. unless a soul is “Squaring off ” The Truth of the gospel scriptures remain unclear and or hidden .
    in my expierence post trip teaching is always a works for salvation gospel justification and sanctification.
    It sure is something how those who teach heresy you can catch them at the simplistic clarity of the Gospel presentation and or how salvation is received they always get it wrong .
    They cant see simple . To smart for simple

  454. swordoftruth777

    Well praise God for the love of God working through you the admins as you carry out the work of this old preacher who has not gone home to be without eternal Savior.. Praise God for the wisdom he gives all the body of Christ in Jesus name amen.. Godspeed to you all..

  455. swordoftruth777

    Yes, I agree with you both Johnny and Holly, the most important thing, is to get folk saved then teach them how to learn from Gods word by allowing scripture to interpret scripture.. God bless you both and have a blessed day.

  456. Holly, you are absolutely right that ExPreacherMan is gospel-centric.

    The founder of this website, the late Jack Weaver, was passionate about the gospel, and defending it against people who would corrupt it either directly, or by consorting with (or even positively quoting) others who corrupt the gospel.

    We are dedicated to helping those who don’t have eternal life understand how they may have eternal life through Christ Jesus, and to helping believers become better grounded in the gospel.

  457. Swordoftruth777- this site mainly focuses on the gospel. On the truth of the gospel not being corrupted. So to not see a teaching on pre-trib indepth would not be unusual. I’m thankful for those admins here who stand on the truth of the gospel, and do it with grace and sound speech that cannot be condemned.

  458. swordoftruth777

    Thanking you kindly!

  459. swordoftruth777

    That’s a very good statement of Faith from this pastor even though its a bit weak on the Pre Trib its still a very mature statement of faith.. Thank you Holly for being a good helper for this pastor and God bless your labor of love for our eternal Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  460. swordoftruth777

    Much obliged John

  461. sword, we have it in our statement of faith, along with supporting scripture references.

    To my knowledge, we have not written articles on the subject, but there is extensive commentary from some of our regulars.

    One of our former administrators, Bruce Bauer, has written extensively here on that topic in the comments to other articles.

    I will see if I can find some of that when I get home tonight.

  462. swordoftruth777

    Its great that you teach the pre tribulation, but I can’t find any links on this site, or maybe I’m just missing something right in front of me.. If you have a link teaching please share with me if you be so kind and if not, thank you anyway.. God bless you and have a wonderful day..

  463. Sword, usually the statement of faith will give you some good input on where someone stands (although I confess, some say one thing and preach another as we’ve found out with people like MacArthur, Washer, Comfort, Chan et al). Here is Jack and John’s statement of faith.

  464. sword, we believe in the pre-tribulation rapture.

  465. swordoftruth777

    Hello, I just wanted to know if you teach on the pre-tribulation subject as I’m a pre tribulation believer.. God bless you all in this ministry and praise Gd for the wisdom and zeal he has given you to teach and share his word, in Jesus name amen.

  466. sword, I’m not always that quick – I just happened to be between work and working out.

    I agree with you that Hebrews has some difficult sections, so there are a lot of differing interpretations.

    I think the entire book of Hebrews was written to believers.

    I realize the explanation I provided to Hebrews 6:4-6 was short. I just researched some previous comments on this passage, and I have linked them below for your consideration:

    I also heard most of pastor Tom Cucuzza’s sermon series on Hebrews, and I think you might be interested in hearing his perspective on Hebrews 3-6. Sermon links are below:

  467. Sword, see our take on Luke 9:23-24 under “Difficult Verses.”

    I see some similarities between this pasage and Luke 9:62.

  468. swordoftruth777

    Thank you so much for your kind answer to Heb 6:4-6 KJV

  469. swordoftruth777

    Thank you for your amazing quick reply, I live in Ireland, so I wasn’t expecting such a quick sharp reply.. That’s a very short answer to Heb 6:4-6 but I do appreciate the way you compared scripture with scripture to get your answer.. I’ll have to study it more, it is a difficult scripture, and most honest Christians will admit this.. For me, God always has to types of people in every book, every chapter, who are either believers or unbelievers, so this is why I brought up Heb chapter 3 and 4, which for me, clearly speak of unbelievers who are falling short of Gods promise through rejecting the promised Savior, as its clearly stated, that “no unbelief shall enter Jesus eternal rest.” I’d like to know your thoughts on this, and again, thank you for your kind reply, and If I’m asking to many questions please let me know if I’m being rude by asking to many questions. God bless you.

  470. Sword, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    I think Hebrews was written to believers.

    For our take on Hebrews 6:4-6, see our “Difficult Verses” section, linked below:

  471. swordoftruth777

    Sorry, another question with concerns to Luke 9:62 KJV if any man have his hand on the plough and look back, he’s not fit for the Kingdom of God.. The only sense I can make of this, is that service in the body of Christ is taken pretty seriously by God, so if one starts of with a zeal to serve God, then goes back in to the world then he shall be ashamed before the Bema Seat, and suffer much loss of rewards.. I love this website, and Praise God for the work he is doing in you all, and praise God for the wisdom he gives all the body of Christ in Jesus name amen.

  472. swordoftruth777

    Hello, I was wondering do you have a take on Heb 6:4-6 KJV.. Heb 4:1-6 clearly speaks of those who fall short of the promise through rejecting Jesus as the promised Savior, not mixing the gospel with faith, the gospel doth not profit them, and we are told that those who reject the gospel through unbelief cannot enter Jesus eternal rest. Heb 3 speaks of those who have an evil unbelief.. There seems to be to takes on this, one being that the book of Hebrews was addressed to saved Jews, who had received Christ but went back to animals sacrifices, they’re still saved, but God warns them that they will be chastised for their disobedience, for God chastises those of whom he loves.. The other take, is that the book of Hebrews is a warning to unbelievers for the consequences of rejecting Jesus as the promised Savior, they are continuing to offer up animal sacrifices, when God is not accepting animal sacrifices anymore, as Jesus one time sacrifice has eternally satisfied Gods justice as concerning mans sin debt.. I’d love to know your thoughts on the matter.. God bless you in Jesus name amen.

  473. Thank you for that John, I read it, I agree. Only His garment of salvation, His robe of righteousness makes us good 🙂 perfected forever by His sacrifice.

  474. Thank you for that update, John! 🙂

  475. Updated with John 5:28-29, at the request of a commenter.

  476. Penelope – I guess I can’t probably count how many ‘pastoral’ confrontations I have had, and it has been used by the accuser of the brethren many times. “Who was I to question these men”?

    But I have had anything from the guy you saw who basically answer a question with a question, deny their own words (from 200 posts before), don’t answer you when you question the Scripture they just took out of context, and mock eventually with the ‘lol, I thought we weren’t supposed to fruit inspect’ (when his definition of inspecting fruits was whether someone was a ‘real and genuine believer’ and our definition is testing the fruits of the doctrine of a false prophet).

    There is no true intent to reason together by these people. Trouble is when people see me in action sometimes and haven’t seen me already interact with these (who sneak in privily to spy out our liberty), they think I am rough or tough, so I am happy it did not appear that way.

    I try to give the benefit of the doubt if I have not already had occasion to see them in action, this guy was subtle for awhile, but still sneaking around. I am glad he was exposed to the light, the Lord has a way of helping us there 🙂 I figure, no matter what, one day, all things will be made manifest.

  477. Johninnc – you (with Tom Cucuzza’s statement) made me laugh out loud. I love that!

  478. Holly, it was cool to see you in action. It also made me feel better about my husband’s and my confrontation with our elder and pastor, as they claim we (mostly me) were quarrelsome. Seeing how you did it affirmed that the Holy Spirit had led us in our discussion and we were fine. Very direct, always using Scripture and biblical logic, and not giving a pass for semantics and such, but ferreting out the real meanings behind words.

  479. Holly, yes – always with the Greek!. Tom Cucuzza once made a great point about that. It was something along the lines of “most Greeks know Greek and still don’t believe the gospel.

  480. Penelope, I’ve seen him in operation outside that group, and he is completely a double minded man. And although he had his innocent act on, I figured I’d be direct (more than I usually am), because he was trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes, but not too much, in case his wolf hairs might be exposed 🙂

  481. Absolutely John. The man does have blinders on, and used the ‘do you know what the Greek says’ question, whereas I asked him if he understand what context was. Amazing he could identify Paul just calling them brethren as in ‘brothers’ also, not necessarily identifying them as saved, and same with ‘beloved sons’ and yet they weren’t saved necessarily. I literally just shook my head at this man being a pastor supposedly… So many Scriptures not only out of context, but was very apparent, he wasn’t familiar with just common passages, and misused them over and over, and never acknowledged when called on it.

  482. “1 Corinthians 15 is so obviously a defense of the resurrection, one would have to have blinders on to not recognize that.”

    Yep , None so blind as those who think they see

    those closest to the truth of the Gospel and not see it are the hardest ones to reach with the truth of the Gospel

  483. Agreed ^. Verse 17 sums it up pretty well, why their faith would be useless if they believed in a still-dead man… resurrection = no forgiveness of sins. Only God can forgive and wipe away sins, and only God could raise from the dead.

    I watched this train wreck transpire on Facebook, but I can’t say I was surprised. I read two of his contradictory blog posts the other day. One was very works-based and that Christians won’t commit the “big sins”, and one post did an about-face and talked about the loss of fellowship if continuing in sin, but not loss of salvation. Oy.

  484. Holly, 1 Corinthians 15 is so obviously a defense of the resurrection, one would have to have blinders on to not recognize that.

  485. I’m afraid it is so with this ‘pastor of nine years’. He equates ‘believing in vain’ in 1 Cor 15:2 as those who weren’t his brothers and sisters, because they don’t hear the Word of God and do what it says.

    And… he says when Paul is referring to brethren in verse only as a ‘term’ and says, “they would have to fall into that category, using your logic we could call almost anyone part of the Brethren as long as they read 1st Corinthians chapter 15.”

    Shaking my head. He is a Covenant theologian, with his own blog (who knew?) 🙂

    Anyways after a thorough explanation regarding the stylistic speech used there, if Christ was not risen from the dead, then their preaching was ‘in vain’ and they all believed ‘in vain’.

    This was reiterating to already saved brethren vs. 1 (in 1 Cor 15), what the gospel was that they had received, and that they stood in. These who were made to doubt by those who were teaching there was no resurrection. Vs. 11 says they already believed past tense ‘ye believed’.

    Anyways a lot more was said, but in one reformed ear and out the other. Circular arguments, closed ears, a lack of God’s Word, plenteous in men’s wisdom of words (although foolishness…).

  486. Holly, I don’t think most false professors lie about their faith in Christ. Instead, I think they don’t know that their faith is in a false gospel.

  487. Phil R. – I could be wrong, but some of those who call themselves ‘free grace’ are actually 4 point Calvinists. Others teach outer darkness for believers (as one put it, may have even been you, a Christian purgatory). So identified with that exact terminology can be problematic now, unfortunately.

    On the Load-shippers? I had one tonight, who said, “some people confuse faith with mental assent, faith happens in the heart not the head.”

    He continued to elaborate by saying, “Mental assent is intellectual acknowledgment based upon understanding the logic of something. Believing in the heart saves though. I have believed in my heart by the grace of God.”

    Since I had asked him to respond with the Word multiple times (and he didn’t), I said, “no offense, but you are parroting the same stuff over and over, without rightly using the Word. Mental assent? Heart and mind is interchangeable in the Word, and you should know that.

    Romans 7:25 is one. The word assent means approval and agreement. Sound like believing to me. Again, just another Paul Washer and JMac colloquialism. It’s not the Word of God.”

    Don’t try to undermine faith by qualifying true, or professing, or mental assent which is absolutey to agree with/put your faith in. I’m afraid you’ve picked up a lot of load-ship lingo on the way. That’s why I said, stick with the Word, and use it in context. We don’t to multiply our own words and convolute His. In Christ.

    He said, “heart and mind is not interchangeable in the word. Ever. People can lie about their faith in Christ, and they do all the time. People call themselves Christian for all kinds of reason nowadays, that does mean they are.”

    I asked; “What does our mind serve? The law of God. What mind do we have? The mind of Christ. What do we renew? Our mind. I express approval or agreement with Christ and Him crucified for me. That is me believing upon Him for my salvation and nothing else.

    By the way, I was giving him the definition for assent. Long story, but never got anywhere of course. He started by using Matt 7 to identify ‘false professors’.

  488. Curtis, I’m not sure I follow everything you’re saying? I’d rather be known as “free grace, “once saved always saved” than to be known by “easy believism” or even worse terms like “greasy gracer”

    holly, it seems “they” (LSers) don’t really want a salvation totally based on a Savior who already did it all for them. They don’t want put the matter of their eternal destiny totally in the hands of Christ. They want salvation to be a cooperative effort of both God and man.

  489. What kind of assent do they prefer? Do we not believe with our mind? I love it (not) when they use the difference between the head and the heart is about 12 inches. Does our mind not serve God? They don’t seem to understand the mind and heart are both used interchangeably in the Word, and like to distinguish, but load-shippers seem to miss the irony in the fact they are always building up the intellectual, and mock those of us who simply believe.

  490. “So when these fruit inspectors point at us free gracers and say we don’t measure up, that our faith only amounts to a one time “mental ascent” we can point to Christ and the Cross and tell them it is Christ who forever measured up for us.”

    I don’t like the label Free Grace because of how it is used to build a straw man
    . I like to use a complete sentence , justified freely by His Grace

    a one time “mental ascent” well yes justification is a one time event

    “mental ascent” is the old heart faith and head faith straw man

    we become spiritual in our thinking

    we don’t measure up ,, depends who is doing the measuring and with what for what

    “point to Christ and the Cross and tell them it is Christ who forever measured up for us.”

    Amen Amen

  491. Some misuse and make some of these verses difficult to try to prove that, in a worst case scenarios, a person who trusted Christ for salvation some time in his life, but who is now sinning all he wants, living like the devil, and maybe stopped believing or fallen into apostasy has lost his salvation and stands condemned. The LSers and legalists and fruit inspectors all seem to have their handful of verses either to prove a person was never saved in the place and his fath was just “mental assent”, or that his salvation can be lost do to sin, lack of works or lack of discipleship.
    But here is what 1 John 2:1,2 says. “My little children, 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: And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

    We, as believers always have Christ as our perpetual propitiation before the Father that always and forever is our forgiveness and is constantly their as our covering that keeps up saved forever!

    So when these fruit inspectors point at us free gracers and say we don’t measure up, that our faith only amounts to a one time “mental ascent” we can point to Christ and the Cross and tell them it is Christ who forever measured up for us.

  492. I agree John, it says the verse before that they ‘believed in His name’, and John 1:12 already gives the answer for those who have done so.

    But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

  493. We received the following question/comment in our e-mail:

    Comment: I was wondering if anyone has commented on John 2:23-24. Verse 23 says that Jesus was in Jerusalem at the passover feast, and many “believed in his name,” when they saw the miracles which he did. Verse 24 says that Jesus did not commit himself to them , because he knew all men. Obviously, those who “believed in his name” because of the miracles did not have saving faith. In John 20:30-31, it says that “Jesus did many other signs…that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” What is it that they actually believed in John 2:23? They could not have believed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. Any help?

    My response: I interpret John 2:23-24 to mean that these people had believed in Jesus and were eternally saved. However, Jesus was not inclined to make close disciples of them (at least at that time).

  494. Beholdason,

    if you have not read it. Just posted and “eternal security” paper on another article. The bible being the word of God CANNOT contradict itself.

    wow you gave a lot. without studying a bit one thought popped in my mind.

    Romans 11.

    Go back to Romans 9. Is it about the “elected” nation of Israel. Through UNBELIEF they were partially blinded until the “fullness of the gentiles” come in. It is talking about Israel as a group.

    Paul is warning them (gentiles) not to get to prideful because God could do the same to them. This has nothing to do with individual salvation BUT with a partial blinding to a specific group.

    God does this again during the tribulation period. He sends a strong delusion that they will believe the lie, because of their “unbelief”.

    when looking at the context of Romans 9-12 – its speaks of Israel and what happened them as a people. We KNOW many jews got saved AFTER the cross- acts 2 and 3.


  495. Holly/others.

    I’ve had a bit more of a look at John 15 and Romans 11. A few thoughts below:

    The end of John 15 says this in verses 20-25:

    John 15:20 KJV – Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
    But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
    If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
    He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
    If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
    But [this cometh to pass], that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

    Some questions I’m left with:

    – Who are they “they”? (note the last verse, “their law”)
    – Are “they” the cut off branches who don’t abide in Him?
    – If “they” are not the cut off branches, then who are the “they?

    John 15:2 seems to indicate that the cut of branch are “in Him” thus seeming to indicate that they are believers.

    That said, I don’t believe the cut off branches in John 15 are referring to believers at all.

    Why? I’ll get to that in a minute.

    More questions:

    – If the cut off branches in John 15 are believers, is there anywhere else in the NT where believers are referred to as branches which are cut off?
    – If not, what other references are there to cut off branches in the NT?
    – Who are these cut off branches?


    Where else in the NT are branches cut off? Are the believers? Gentiles? Unbelieving Jews?

    Romans 11 seems to cover cut off branches in detail. And I don’t believe it’s referring to the Gentiles, believers or not.

    I suggest that Romans 11:17-21 refers to unbelieving Israel as cut off branches.

    I also suggest it refers to the Gentiles as wild olive branches and distinguishes between the two here in v17-19:

    “And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

    Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

    Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.”

    Noteworthy: “boast not against the branches”.

    The branches don’t seem to be the wild olive tree.

    In John 15 not every branch is cast away, only those which don’t abide in the Vine and produce fruit.

    Questions I’m left with:

    Are Gentile believers referred to as branches anywhere else in the NT? (not considering John 15?)

    Are any other people referred to as branches anywhere else in the NT? (not considering John 15?)

    Just some thoughts for your consideration. 🙂

    I’ll leave it there. Would appreciate answers to my questions though.

    These passages are bothering me.

  496. I looked at John 15 again with verses AFTER this time.

    before i said – I believe Jesus is using this as an illustration. That if a man does not abide in him, he is tossed away. He is a USELESS branch; in other words “God wont use him” (faith without works is “useless”)

    Tom puts it “fellowship”

    I believe we are saying the same thing.

    Look at verse 11 – 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that YOUR JOY MIGHT BE FULL

    This sounds alot like 1 John 1:3-4 – 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
    4 And these things write we unto you, that YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL.

    We know that 1 John was written to already saved people; just like Jesus speaking to his discipsles in John. We also know a believer CAN be out of fellowship (see Laeodica church). In fact, all the church had to be careful “not to let their candle stick go out.

    I dont know who Fred is BUT I like this….say it speaks to fellowship, and one that the Father has lifted up, has not responded, and the fellowship is broken and they are withered and useless, and the fire is what happens to the dead branches literally and this doesn’t speak to hell

    again, these are just my thoughts, but thought it good to look at a verse AFTER the questioned passage.

  497. I asked Pastor Tom Cucuzza if he had any notes he could share, it was a neat story, he said when he first became a believer, it was one that made a lot of sense to him, so it’s been a favorite ever since. I’ll share just a short portion.

    John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

    Withered: to shrivel, to dry up. What is this? Why is he withered? Because he is out of fellowship with the Vine. The result of a person who does not abide in Christ is that they come into difficult times in life. It could be the fiery chastening of God or it could be the simple fact of a destroyed life through reaping and sowing.

    Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
    8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
    John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
    8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

  498. Therefore, when he (Judas) was gone out,
    Joh 13:31 Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.

    Jesus was talking to his disciples (believers) John 15 , for rewards and loss

  499. Thank you Behold a Son and also Preston, I appreciate it.

    I have multiple considerations, one is the possibility of the Jewish (or Gentile in the future) branches being cut off for non-belief, similarly to Rom 11 or also Matt 3 and the children of Abraham (ax laid to the root). Also like Preston said, it spoke to ‘if any man’, so for that verse I believe it goes to an ‘all’ position. Problem is the term ‘in Him’ means believer, so that view probably doesn’t work, especially since he spoke of them ‘being clean’ also before vs. 6.

    The ‘take away’ (airo) is a ‘lifting up’ a literal part of viticulture. I listened again to part of the lesson Fred gave, and he shared a little bit about a friend taking a trip to Israel and through the vineyards, watching them lift up the vines so that they would not be on the ground and they would bear fruit.

    The taking away to be burned is the part that stumps me a little, except some believe that is the possibility of a completely fruitless branch, that after they have been lifted up, they have withered and become dead. Some say this speaks to physical judgment, some (like Fred) say it speaks to fellowship, and one that the Father has lifted up, has not responded, and the fellowship is broken and they are withered and useless, and the fire is what happens to the dead branches literally and this doesn’t speak to hell. (I agree that it doesn’t speak to hell), so the other alternative is rewards being burned up.

    Still working on it, Preston, I didn’t realize that was why you sent me your note, thank you, I’ll be looking at that shortly. I need a bit of time to ‘wake up’ so I save the heavy lifting for when I’m a little more aware 🙂

    In Christ, Holly

  500. Holly,

    this is the short version. I will send you the very long version.

    I believe its one of two possibilities.

    number 1 – we know what Jesus said to “do” for everlasting life in this book of John. One simply needs to “believe”. As a result, if one believes, they have abided and done the one thing needed for everlasting life. In the same book, Jesus promised to lose nothing, and nothing would be able to pluck us out of His hand.

    I list this as a possibility because, verse 6 reads “If A MAN abide not in me…..” Yes, Jesus is talking to his disciples, but then changes up and says “if a man”.

    number 2 – I generally believe this one more. We know there are several meaning to words. For example.

    baptism can mean water, fire Holy Spirit
    judgment can mean hell, discipline or Judge Seat.
    saved can refer to hell, physical death or Gods wrath.

    just because fire is used, don’t assume hell.

    also go back to verse 3 – “ye ARE clean” . Jesus is talking to his disciples who are already saved.

    I believe Jesus is using this as an illustration. That if a man does not abide in him, he is tossed away. He is a USELESS branch; in other words “God wont use him” (faith without works is “useless”)

    We know that fruit is not produced by every believer (see parable of the sower) as at the judgment seat of Christ, some will have all their works burnt up, but will still be saved. IF they bore fruit, I would think it would have stood the test.

    I will send you my paper on “fruit inspectors”.

  501. Interesting passage Holly.

    Could the branches (men) which don’t abide in Christ be referring to unbelieving Israelites?

    Jesus’ audience in John 15 appear to be Jewish, so I don’t think he’s referring to future Gentile converts who don’t abide in Him and produce fruit.

    Romans 11 could be related to this passage possibly.

    Regarding the men gathering the withered branches and casting them into the fire (v6)

    I think it could be talking about the coming judgment of the world by the saints. 1 Corinthians 6:2

    My two centaroonicles.

  502. What are the takes on John 15:1-6? I would be interested to hear, as I have just learned the Calvinist outlook, which I would have guessed, but any takers on their thoughts?

    I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

  503. can someone please tell me why Paul would randomly bring up the sins he does in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. I’m trying to get it but can’t figure it out. I know the whole chapter is about judgment. Just a bit confused about the relevance of this passage.

    I know verse 11 covers the “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

    So I’m wondering if verses 9-10 is about unbelievers and not believers ‘gone bad’, how does this relate to the verses preceding and following?

    Any ideas?


  504. Thanks Preston, sometimes we can certainly feel weary. I just saw your response now, have been sick since Christmas, so haven’t been on too much, but wanted to grab the verses on Romans 10.

  505. Holly,

    thanks, I really enjoyed reading that.

  506. Lisa – don’t give up on your family. Keep praying. I myself wondered about people, one of my friends I had been able to briefly share with, I was sure as a Buddhist was in hell. He died suddenly and young. I determined to at least preach the gospel at his service, in great grief, (he died about 8 mos. after my husband), I shared to a room full of mostly non-believers. I was asked to the family dinner after, but did not want to go. I did reluctantly and found out through his sister-in-law, an amazing set of circumstances God worked to draw Harry to him, and Harry believed the day he died.

    A friend/acquaintance Nancy, who I shared as much as I could work in as I rarely saw her, either for notary or at a restaurant very occasionally. I saw her right before she died, she did a notary for me, and told me she was in pain. I hugged her and started praying for her, she cried and left with her husband. I got a call when I was at Bible study, her husband was tracking me down, for some reason, she wanted to talk to me.

    In fear and trembling I went to her hospital bed, not knowing I would see her on a ventilator. I had my Bible with me, and asked her husband if I could read to her. He said only if I could answer a question, and he had already sent away a Catholic priest, and also sent away a hospital Chaplain, for neither could answer. I prayed. Turned out the question was simple but very poignant looking back. “Where do the blind lead the blind”? he asked. “Into the ditch” I answered, and he seemed very pleased and left me to share the gospel with Nancy who could only blink as I held her hand. She did do as I asked and blinked twice for yes. I also told her she could squeeze my hand, she also tried to talk and nodded her head yes when I asked if she believed. I saw her the next day again, prayed for another Christian to show up (they did) and she died less than 2 days later.

    I decided although I didn’t know her terribly well, I would speak at her funeral, they said friends could prepare something. There were a lot of people there, I was kind of shocked, sitting in the back, and so when the man got up to talk, he gave a decent message, and then asked if any friends wanted to speak. Since there was a little hesitation, I jumped up because I was afraid I’d lose my courage (which I didn’t have any) and said I would, and trembling walked down that long aisle, probably 30 rows. I had other non-believing friends there.

    I gave about a 10 minute talk, and I worked in the gospel at the end that I shared with Nancy and shared she had believed. No one else spoke, that was it. Her husband got up and hugged me, and I hope he believed, because I heard he just died too, and he couldn’t have hit 55 yet, diabetic. All I know is at the end, people came up to me, one was a bank teller, she said she couldn’t witness to her, but she prayed for her. Another, a past employer and wife, had been praying. Another, a friend who had witnessed to her, but thought she died without knowing the Lord, and hadn’t been able to see her. This is how she got the news. I think there are a lot more late wages than people know. Don’t ever give up praying. Send them cards with Bible verses. Email them, share something the Lord has done in sincerity. Don’t weary in doing good… (Gal 6:9). Love in Christ.

  507. Billions, thanks for your question. It’s interesting to me when someone uses a verse spoken to believers regarding our belief/faith on Him in hard times and suffering which He gives to us when we need it. I saw someone use Rom 12:3 in a similar fashion. I’ve also seen 2 Tim 2:26 used, all spoken to believers, and in encouragement of ways we build each other up, either by manner of speech when we are dealing with someone who has been led astray, or as in the church itself, everyone being dealt a measure of faith, because of being in Christ, or as in Philippians 1, those who were striving and suffering on behalf of Christ, which He will give us the faith we need in those times, belief on Him. None of these passages speak to salvation.

  508. billions4x, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    We haven’t “omitted” anything. This is a work in process, as we have stated in the preamble.

    You said: I don’t see how you can logically jump from “bad-tree-bad-fruit” to “bad trees are condemned due to trusting in works for salvation?” The immediate context doesn’t allow for such a switch.

    My comment: I think that anyone who proclaims Jesus as Lord, but has never known Him as Savior, would be covered by this passage. That would include people trusting in their works (see 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.) or people who proclaim another Jesus. Following is a good post from frequent commenter Preston that addresses this quite well:

    You said: And as if to reinforce the “bad-tree-bad-fruit” theme in chapter 7, Jesus ends the chapter talking about houses (identical, by all outward appearances) that either stand (good-tree-good-fruit) or fall (bad-tree-bad-fruit) based on their spiritual foundation.

    My comment: I don’t see it that way. I believe that Matthew 7:24 begins the summation of the entire sermon on the mount, not the immediate passage above dealing with eternal life. I think that Matthew 7:24-27 deal with faithfulness of believers, and are similar in theme to 1 Corinthians 3:11-15. Frequent commenters Abe and William have written posts that address this. See links below:♦-lordship-salvation-defined/#comment-50459

    You said: Now, what’s your interpretation of Acts 11:18? How can you accuse a reformed brother of adding works to the biblical “recipe” of conversion/salvation if the so-called “work” of repentance depends entirely upon God’s gracious initiative – in the same way “faith” does (Phil. 1:28)? If faith must be “granted” and if repentance must be “granted,” then either both are “works” or both are acts of grace on the part of God. And if they’re both acts of grace on God’s part, nobody is “working,” right?

    My comment: Acts 11:18 simply means that salvation is available to both Jew and Gentile alike. See Romans 1:16. Neither “faith” nor “repentance” are the gift of God. Eternal life is available to everyone, by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. The gift of God is eternal life, not “faith” or “repentance.”

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

    Repentance may or may not be “working”, depending on the definition. If repentance involves turning from sin, resolving to turn from sin, being willing to turn from sin, etc., then it has become, by definition a work.

    If repentance is properly defined as a change of mind, it is not a work. In the context of receiving eternal life, repentance means a change of mind — from any idea of religion that man may have, to an acceptance of God’s way of salvation in Jesus Christ alone.

    We have several good posts and comments about the false doctrine that “faith” is the gift of God. See links below to two recent comments:♦-lordship-salvation-defined/#comment-49297♦-lordship-salvation-defined/#comment-50537

  509. I am in the process of reading this post, but I thought I’d mention a couple of problems I see with your interpretations of these “classic” Lordship Salvation passages, plus mention a verse you omitted.

    First, in Matt. 7 the immediate context helps interpret the two passages you mentioned. First, the “fruit” of a false teacher will be faulty, deceptive teaching, right? Jesus goes on to point out that even if those false teachers are accompanied by miraculous signs, He never knew them as His. I don’t see how you can logically jump from “bad-tree-bad-fruit” to “bad trees are condemned due to trusting in works for salvation?” The immediate context doesn’t allow for such a switch. And as if to reinforce the “bad-tree-bad-fruit” theme in chapter 7, Jesus ends the chapter talking about houses (identical, by all outward appearances) that either stand (good-tree-good-fruit) or fall (bad-tree-bad-fruit) based on their spiritual foundation.

    Now, what’s your interpretation of Acts 11:18? How can you accuse a reformed brother of adding works to the biblical “recipe” of conversion/salvation if the so-called “work” of repentance depends entirely upon God’s gracious initiative – in the same way “faith” does (Phil. 1:28)? If faith must be “granted” and if repentance must be “granted,” then either both are “works” or both are acts of grace on the part of God. And if they’re both acts of grace on God’s part, nobody is “working,” right?

  510. Reblogged this on Redeemingmoments and commented:
    Difficult passages in the Bible explained.

  511. Lisa – I am so sorry. I know those times of grieving. When I got going back to church, I eventually found one that I had some fellowship in. I wish you had some, it is hard I know. In FB, it has taken time to develop trust with other believers and to know soundness and unity in the truth/faith.

    I will be praying, so sorry, praying for your friend who has gone through the divorce, in some ways I think it can be more emotionally wounding than the death of a spouse.

    I feel sad a lot, this world is not our home. To see people mar His good name, to see them preaching a different gospel, another Jesus. The wolves are treacherous, there are some pretty vicious sheep who think they are defending God when they stand in front of the hirelings. There are so helpfull sheep like Rodney King bleating, “can’t we all just get along”?

    Then there is the world, so ugly in so many ways. So we have to try to look for the good, and try to be lights in the world, for Him. He blesses us in it… I’ve taken to trying to put on my armor before I leave the bed in the morning. I sure relate. May the Lord encourage you this week.

  512. Thank you Holly, Lately I try to put on my armour in the morning, as for fellowship, I had some very good fellowship with about a 8 different people or so, but every single one of them is gone away, you remember I am a relatively new believer I don’t have a long strong history of Christian fellowship. I can not begin to explain the tribulations that have transpired over the past 18 months especially. The one believer I have known for a longtime 27 years went through a divorce and has changed so much, she is a different person. It all gets too weighty and I feel sad. In Him, Lisa

  513. Lisa – Here’s two brief thoughts for what they are worth.

    I have been under God’s chastening. It draws us closer to Him if we listen, if not, the chastening will continue. I do not think people saw the different things I went through as chastening, likely just circumstances of life, as some could have been. I don’t know. God uses living in this fallen world, and the things we can suffer from to draw us to Him also.

    If it is the enemy, we know what the enemy means for our harm, the Lord will use for our good. Paramount is putting on our armor daily. Go through each peace, think on, thank Him for each thing, be prepared in the gospel, strengthen your shield of faith by the hearing of His Word, sharpen the Sword of truth, both by studying His Word and fellowshipping with other believers (iron sharpens iron). Remind yourself, that Christ is our righteousness, and gird yourself about with His truth at all times.

    If I am going through a hard time, I just pray and leave it in His hands, Lord, if there is something you want to show me, that I need to learn, please show me in Your Word. Whatever part is the accusations of the enemy Lord, I ask You to please rebuke him on my behalf. And I thank Him for both. Chastening from Him is a precious thing, and what the enemy means for our harm, the Lord uses for our good. Even the good of other believers as they intercede on our behalf.

    We are His, and so we are going to be the odd man out in this world. In our families. With our friends. But we are never alone, for He will never leave us or forsake us.

  514. Preston, I have seen that interpretation as well.

    Either way, there is nothing in this passage that suggests that a believer would lose his salvation.

  515. Good day,

    here is the “short” version.

    2 Peter 2:20-21

    This section is not about the born again believer. It is about false prophets.

    Go back to verse 1 – ut there were FALSE PROPHETS also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

    So the chapter it about THEM.

    18 For when THEY speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

    19 While THEY promise them liberty, THEY THEMSELVES are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

    20 For if after THEY have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, THEY are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

    21 For it had been better for THEM not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

    NOTICE verse 20 – it reads they had KNOWLEGE. It does NOT read they believed. Do these false teachers who make merchandise of the saints (verse 3) KNOW the truth according to the bible? i believe SO. However, they deny it (verse 1).

    Again, i believe this passage is about false prophets.

    my two cents

  516. Lisa, I have prayed for your sons and for you – that you would have an open door to talk to them.

    See 1 Peter 5:10.

  517. Both my sons are out of state one kind of believes the other is not sure. I have four siblings many nieces and nephews, out of 17 of us 2 are definite believers and the other believer is the only sibling that doesn’t live here. My family and extended family growing up believed in God but not Jesus. I suffer and pray with this knowledge. It is very hard to have Joy when you know you have let the Lord down with the two most precious gift he gave me and all deceased family members are dead, short of a deathbed confession that I am unaware, they have all perished. As for fellowship, I have had some but less right now. I’ve been mocked and deceived by many but believing if I keep pressing on the Lord will bring me through but my circumstances are such that it truly seems I will need a miracle.

  518. Lisa, it sounds like you are growing spiritually, as you try to walk by faith.

    I think walking in the Spirit starts with realizing the blessings we have in Christ (see Ephesians 1:3) and allowing grace to motivate and enable us.

  519. I would say that God has been very quiet in answering, I am VERY isolated at this time in my life. I am not going by feeling (which is what I have done my whole life), and I am trying very hard not to go by sight BUT by FAITH, by the word of God.

  520. I don’t think I could be walking much closer, and it does undermine my assurance and strengthen it at the same time, but Joy is a real precious fruit at this time. Am I walking in the spirit, what exactly does that look like? I am yielding fruit of the spirit that I have never had at the level that I have today. But my outward appearance is disheveled to put if frankly:
    Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

    Don’t get me wrong I’m eating just not properly.

  521. Lisa, I agree. I think that the way I would say it, is once a person has been in intimate fellowship with Christ, losing that intimacy and not experiencing it would be very painful.

  522. Also, it seems to me from reading Lamentations that the judgement is on Zion because he is comparing Zion and Sodom.

  523. Lisa, if it undermines your assurance of salvation or confuses you, it is not coming from God.

    If it brings clarity and more focused understanding of scripture and God’s will, it is from God.

    I would suggest that you pray for clarity and wisdom. See James 1:5.

    Regarding the way of righteousness, I don’t think it is focused on lawkeeping, but on walking in the Spirit and in close fellowship with the Lord.

  524. And how would you know if it is from the Lord or from the enemy? For Satan comes to kill. steal and destroy, he was a murderer from the beginning and a great deceiver? I think we can’t really know unless there is some glaring unrighteousness (sin). Oh and lets not forget are human enemy’s. We know we will have tribulation in this world.

    “How can it possibly be better for a saint to not have known the “way of righteousness” than to know it and turn aside from it.”

    Please define “way of righteousness”. Does it mean all sin, the 600+ things of the law or the Ten Commandments? I really don’t know. I am going through tribulation on a large scale and I don’t think its coming from God.
    In Him, Lisa

  525. Lisa, we can’t know what chastening occurred for this man, nor how he responded to it.

    We do know that he hurt many people, including himself. We also know that as believers, we will all have to answer for how we lived our lives at the Judgement Seat of Christ.

  526. I know of a man now 83 he leads a bible study I have attended. He came to know the Lord at 13. He believes once saved always saved. His father brought many many people to the Lord. Then one day his father just ups and leaves his family for another women and starts another family. He wrote his son a horrible, insensitive note and broke his wifes heart. He even turned his back on The Lord. The Father reconciled with the Lord and his son 30 years later for next 20 years until his death. I did not hear of any great chastening. My question is, is there any biblical reason for this? Blessings, Lisa

  527. Jon, no verses in the Bible prove that a believer can lose his salvation, including these.

    Following are some quotes on this passage from J.O. Hosler’s article “Do Christians Ever Behave Like Hogs and Dogs?”

    V. How can it possibly be better for a saint to not have known the “way of righteousness” than to know it and turn aside from it.
    a. We are not speaking of the imputed righteousness of Christ. Nothing could be better than this.
    b. But, if the “way of righteousness” is the path of righteousness and the path of committed discipleship and of obeying Christ’s commandments to follow sound teaching and godliness, than a person could actually say that life was better before I became a committed disciple.
    c. Because we are speaking of the potential calamity and chastisement of God in this life (temporal), a Christian’s life experience can become worse than death itself. How can something in life be worse than death? Check the Bible…(Lamentations 4:6, 9) “6 The punishment of my people is greater than that of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment without a hand turned to help her. Those killed by the sword are better off than those who die of famine; racked with hunger, they waste away for lack of food from the field.”

    One last thought – if your brother in law’s church teaches that believers can lose their salvation, then it’s really not a church.

  528. Hello everyone. I was hoping to get some thoughts on 2 Peter 2:20-21

    20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

    My brother in-law’s church uses these verses as one example that a believer can lose their salvation. I noticed in verse one that false prophets are mentioned. Are these verses addressed to believers and if so what does it mean?

  529. Princess, works meet for repentance means good works worthy of those who have believed in Jesus as Savior.

    See Ephesians 2:10 for comparable concept.

  530. Hi everyone, please help me with this verse?

    “But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.”
    Acts 26:20

    What does do works meet for repentance mean? Does this mean that we turn to God and work out our salvation?
    Thank you for your help. 🙂
    Sincerely, Carolyn

  531. I should have said wrong understanding…

  532. Johninnc – I agree sadly. They don’t believe that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. And they aren’t in agreement that Jehovah saves (Jesus), they deny the power (the gospel) that brings godliness. The other ones, maybe carnal babes, I am thankful to have seen many come out of this understanding.

  533. Abe – I haven’t listened to Kirk Cameron’s ‘defending Christmas’ or whatever it’s called. I can only hope he believed the true gospel before lordshipper Ray Comfort got ahold of him in about 2002…

  534. Holly, I think many of the Lordship “salvationists” have never understood the gospel. I think some others are willing to go that route, or compromise with those who do, to avoid the harassment (persecution) that comes with taking a stand for the gospel.

  535. Holly, speaking of Ray Comfort….. his buddy Kirk Cameron, is now defending “jolly ol’ saint Nick” with some evangelical-turned-catholic guy. Yes, they will join up with catholics and virtually anybody, because they are all pridefully working for salvation, and they’ll never get it that way.

  536. Abe, that’s interesting, I’ve not followed, but the few times I saw some of his things years ago, I did not like. I remember one guy in Bible study was such a fan, and some of the things he was regurgitating, I knew I could not agree with.

    Funny, someone asked me to go look at Ray Comfort’s page today. He had a stand alone quote on Roman Catholic G.K. Chesterson. He defended Spurgeon and gave a bogus article on how he was neither Calvinist nor Arminian, (I gave the quote from Spurgeon’s own mouth about Calvinism being the Gospel). Comfort quotes Catholics, Word of Faith Heretics like Joyce Meyer, Calvinists, Arminians, etc. And why? Because they all believe repent = repent from sin. They are all lordship (loadship) gatekeepers, who strive to keep people out of heaven, while likely most of them have never understood the gospel sadly.

  537. Lisa – yes, have ordered a few times from Yankee, I actually did translate the one tract into Haitian Creole and also French. I think his tracts are good and clear.

  538. Abe, the reason so many are comfortable coalescing with the Catholics is because they believe in some kind of works for salvation.

  539. Pet passages are one thing. How about those that are “Christian” apologists for the vatican and the jesuits? Pretending to be “heroes” of the Christian community, duping so-called Bible teaching churches into letting him teach there, all the while being a catholic that promotes worshiping icons and specifically attacks the true Gospel.

    I speak of Walid Shoebat. He was invited to countless Calvary Chapels and other so-called “Bible teaching churches”, to go on a tirade of political propaganda that sounds like he wants us to take up arms and die in a war. All of which would help the vatican, of course. He gives you the fake “history” that Rome somehow defended Christianity from sure destruction in the middle ages, yet it was Rome that murdered multi-millions of true Christians.

    Walid Shoebat says this about the Free Grace movement:

    “So who will answer my questions? Will it be some unlearned, half-cocked, spikey-haired, tattooed, nose-pierced, ear ringed, mocking, useless, teenage brained heretic from The Free Grace Movement who will instantly obtain from his own authority to anathematize and excommunicate me since such homosexual sodomite sinners must be welcomed into the fold as Christians without repentance?”

    That was a classic crazy rant! I used to have the spiked hair, for sure. There’s a part of me that wants to use these descriptions for my online presences. They’re just too good.

    Yes, Walid Shoebat, the catholic man going from one “Bible teaching church” to the next, to get them up in arms over politics all the while leading them to the feet of the pope.

    The quote, by the way, is on his site, but as I know how the admins feel about links (and I agree with how you feel about them), I won’t put the link.

    So-called churches these days will invite anybody to speak, apparently.

  540. Holly, you might look at Gospel tracks from Yankee Arnolds Calvary online bookstore. Blessings, Lisa

  541. Lisa, I don’t always remember to tuck the money in advance, but I figure if they are willing to stick around for the tract, or part of the Bible, it’s nice to be able to tell them as they are leaving, that a little monetary help is there.

    I am wanting to print up my own, the ones I got initially I had to tear out the back. I want to print up one that includes some of the other passages that explain things and yet, not tell someone they have to belong to an IFB or ‘repent from sins’ etc. I’m hoping Lord willing I’ll get the time for that. I need to learn how to do some things with the printing…

  542. Thanks again everybody, I do carry around with me the Gospel of John, the Roman Road and a Gospel tracks from Yankee Arnolds Calvary online bookstore. Blessings

  543. Lisa,

    not to “pile” on Holly’s response.

    attach a short “clear” gospel tract to the dollars. There are a couple of good ones at bibleline ministries (RYA). maybe, make up your own.

    This way, no matter what the money is spent on, it comes with a quality message.

    just a thought.

  544. Nathan Paul, I so agree, the greatest gift we can give anyone. More reason than ever to have our feet shod daily with the preparation of the gospel of peace. May the Lord help us all in these last days bring in the harvest.

  545. Lisa, I’ll tell you how I try to be prepared (not always) in that case. When I went to San Francisco, the area we went to I knew would have many, and there are some around us. I try to carry a gospel of John and Romans with me. I put a little money in it. When asked for money, I would pull out the book and say, I can give you a gospel of John and Romans, would you like that?

    Some would ask what it was, and I’d say, two books of the Bible that I like very much. Some would stalk off and be mad, some worse, some say no thank you. Some would say sure, thank you, and I’d stand and talk with them for a bit. Tell them I had some favorite verses marked in there, and sometimes I was able to do or share more, but then I was able to tell them I had also tucked a little money in there for them. Sometimes if I was unsure, I’d offer to walk across the street (there was a deli literally about 20 feet from our hotel door- and buy them a meal (if it was daytime). That worked once.

    I think if we are going to give, regardless of how they spend it, we have a moment, an opportunity to show them some love. Here in town (just as in S.F.) some have cursed at me for daring to not give them money. One woman turned down a sandwich and cold water bottles on a hot day. Others have accepted gratefully and taken the Word and then found out at the end, that the money is in there. Just some ideas if you are in that situation. If we can give them something that will last longer than the money at the same time, we have an opportunity. Have you done any study on the crowns? That might help in some ways. But I say, when you don’t feel as if the Holy Spirit is giving you guidance in His Word, or otherwise, just pray and don’t be afraid to say you don’t feel comfortable or even that you will pray for them (and then of course do). It doesn’t have to be money at all.

  546. Lisa, I think your motive is important. But, one can only view something through God’s eyes to the extent He has revealed it through scripture.

    Matthew 6:21: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

  547. I really appreciate all your answers they are very helpful. And I like you Jack am not focusing on rewards but He does command us to build our treasures in heaven and therefore I am desiring to understand what qualifies. Let me give you a situation and see if you can view it for me through Gods eyes. Let say you are walking down the street and a homeless person asked you for money (mind you if I am buy food I try to feed them) so I make the decision to give them money, let say they are a drinker and they end up getting drunk and getting in a fight and hurt or even kill someone, does God look at my intention or what really happened? I hope this doesn’t sound too convoluted please trust me when I say it isn’t.
    Blessings, Lisa

  548. Holly,

    What you said was wonderful and moved me in the Spirit of Lord. I recall many times where I have heard those that guilt you into giving and for a cause that you may not be so sure of.

    I was thinking about this today after reading Lisa’s comments. You quoted great scripture in your response to her and the answer became clear to me from His Word. We really do things to extend the blessings He has a afforded us. In a greater sense it is a picture of His incredible provision to us, the Free Gift of Eternal Life. His gift is offered to everyone. And according to His Word that really does mean EVERYONE! I personally think our gifts should be accompanied with the passing of His Pure Gospel to the hearing receiver. May He be Glorified in our giving.

  549. Hi Lisa, He says if one asks us to walk a mile, go two, or for a coat, give two, so while we should not share in the evil deeds of someone with false doctrine (2 John 1:7-11), if we do not know, surely when we are doing it as unto the Lord, that is what matters as Jack mentioned.

    As for doing for secular ministries, I sort of individually feel like I cannot partake with them as much, and try to do for individuals so that somehow they are not getting indoctrinated into something in the process of being fed or clothed.

    I believe John is correct on rewards for believers alone, as it’s our walls we’re building on the foundation, so nothing built on sand would stand. I believe our rewards are anything done in Christ, acknowledging Him, for Him, in sincerity. I believe it can do with anything. Prayer for another. Honoring a parent. Being a cheerful giver. Bearing the burden of another. Preaching the gospel. Teaching the Word. Encouraging another. Weeping when someone weeps. Planting, sowing, praying for all men, even praying for laborers for the harvest. Anything we do for Him, because of Him, I believe will be good. We will know it is wrought in Him because it will last, and we’ll be casting those crowns at His feet anyways, because He worked in us.

    I’m not sure I needed to even say anything, since the others answered so well, but I know sometimes the concern as we want to be sure we are good stewards too. In Christ, Holly

  550. Lisa,

    John’s answer is very accurate.

    A verse for good works guideline is:
    Colossians 3:23
    “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;”

    What we do for the lord as believers is the reason for rewards.

    I am always careful to check out any charity to which we might wish to give give – whether it be money, time or goods.

    I also never worry about rewards.. I just go about my life trying to glorify and share Jesus Christ. I have made some mistakes in supporting what I thought were good ministries.. but I ceased as soon as I found out.

    The Lord is not a vengeful Father considering His children.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  551. was pondering your question’s today Dave and came up with some more scripture to chew on.
    Israel God’s chosen people demanded a king like the other nations when they had a King the whole time. Also there are the kings of Israel who over and over did not tear down the high places and got involved in all kinds of spiritual wickedness as Gods anointed to rule over Israel.
    so yes according to scripture people can trust Jesus as Savior and receive the free gift of eternal life and vex their souls into all kinds of spiritual adultery.

    now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
    for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
    1Sa 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
    1Sa 8:5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
    1Sa 8:6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.
    1Sa 8:7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.

  552. Lisa, no – what I said does not apply to secular charities, in my opinion.

    I was specifically referring to faith-based ministries.

    I think it is fine to help people in need.

    As to scriptural passages on rewards, I am most familiar with 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, Matthew 6:1-4, and Matthew 6:19-21.

  553. I see what you are saying but not all charity’s to feed the poor are faith based does that mean we aren’t to support them? Here in Chicago there is the Chicago food Depository (this isn’t the charity I was speaking of in my original post) and they supply food panty’s that are typically (but not all) in churches but the Chicago food Depository isn’t faith based. My original question was related to rewards for good work and I guess I am asking (since I don’t know the whole bible) are there verses that indicate what qualifies for a reward of good works? Are you saying we need to discern all contributions made as to whether or not the organization believes what we believe and if so whether the funds are appropriated correctly in order that a reward is given? Hmm I’m not sure. Any biblical support to these questions is most appreciated.

  554. Lisa, sure. If I am going to give money to a faith-based charity, I want to make sure they are clear on the gospel. Otherwise, I may help them to spread a false gospel.

  555. Thanks you Johninnc I am not sure though, When I look at the parable of the Good Samaritan I see Jesus talking about a Samaritan (considered unbelievers) yet he uses them in the parable.
    I do not understand the term “doctrine of ministries”, can you explain?
    Blessings, Lisa

  556. Lisa, I think the Bible teaches that rewards are for believers, once they have become believers.

    As to motive, I think that doing something with a pure motive is inportant. However, it is important to know the doctrine of ministries we support, and that takes diligence. We cannot assume that something we want to support is Biblically sound.

  557. Also, if you did good work before believing in Christ does that result in a reward? Or does the reason you did a good work matter?

  558. I have a question, that I’m not sure can be answered biblically, let’s say you have been giving money to help with the poor and you come to find out the charity is a fraud then does that intention stand or since it didn’t do any real good has that been worthless or no reward?

  559. Welcome David

    myself personally I have enough going on just getting along with myself , My utmost concern is What does the Text say , What does the Word of God have to say.
    there is a bible study message around here on Justification and Sanctification that should help understand how believer people can get caught up in things and yet remain believer people

    1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
    1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

  560. Dave, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    You asked if we must retain our faith going forward in order to remain saved.

    I don’t think so. That would put some of the responsibility for keeping ourselves saved in our hands.

    I believe the Bible teaches that it is possible for a Christian to not retain his faith. Following are passages that support this belief:

    Luke 8:13
    Galatians 3:1
    1 Timothy 1:18-20
    2 Timothy 2:11-13
    2 Timothy 2:14-18

    You also asked if there are other churches that share our views.

    I am aware of some churches and ministries whose views are consistent with ours, including:

    Northland Bible Baptist Church
    Calvary Community Church – Tampa
    Clear Gospel Ministries

    I am not aware of any major US denomination that shares all of our beliefs.

    Unless a church is clear on the gospel, I don’t think it is advisable to be a part of it.

  561. I have reviewed your site with great interest. It is nice to read & see others who share my concerns about the modern day “gospel”. I do have two questions:

    a) Your view seems to state that faith alone saves but also that we need not even retain this faith moving forward. That one could later become an atheist, a muslim, a Jew or even a LS & still be saved. Is this correct and how do you Biblically justify this?

    b) Do you know of other churches in the US that hold to your views or do you beleive that each church will have a mix of people & we just have to fellowship as we can?


  562. Administrators’ note: we have added seven passages to this section, as follows:

    Ezekiel 36:26

    Romans 7:22-23

    Romans 8:12-13

    Galatians 5:19-21

    Galatians 6:7-8

    Ephesians 2:10

    Ephesians 5:3-6

  563. Sometimes I think that the faith plus this or that crowd, whether they are LS, Calvinists or Arminian, are trying to play God. A long time ago I used to be that way saying you can’t just simply believe and go to Heaven. And then in the 1970’s I realized that who goes to Heaven is up to God not me.

  564. Amen Phil to your comment
    also that entire chapter 15 on 1 Cor 6:9 is taken out of context those who promote another gospel, One needs to read the entire chapter. Paul was actually talking to believer people in this passage.

  565. Phil, agree. This is confirmation of eternal security.

    You may have already heard this, but Tom did a recent sermon on Galatians 5:19-21 that discusses this at length. See below:

  566. Just a comment on the Pet Passage # 15 on 1 Cor 6:9 thru 10. When these LS faith works Calvinists or any legalists try to point to these two verses to either show that one can either loose their salvation or say that anyone living in the sins mentioned in these two verses was never saved in the first place. All you have to do is point them to the very next verse, verse 11 which says, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified , but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Cor 6:11. Another proof of our eternal security.

    We are called to walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh, nevertheless we cannot sin our salvation away.

  567. Princess, sorry I didn’t provide the link earlier. I haven’t quite figured out how to copy and paste them using my phone.

    It is:

  568. Okay thank you, I’m sorry to bother you again but what is the url for that website?

  569. Princess, I think the object of repentance in 9:20 is rejection of Jesus’ divinity (similar to the usage in Acts 17:29-30).

    Verse 21 relates to specific evil works from which they will not repent.

    It appears from verse 20 that these men would not change their minds about Jesus’ divinity, and thus are not saved.

    The consequence of their refusal to repent, in this passage, is the continuation of God’s temporal judgement (plagues).

    You might wish to go to Clear Gospel’s website and select “Old Website.” From there, you will find a section called “Repentance” that discusses every usage in the New Testament.

  570. What do you think of this verse? Does it teach that non-believers are to repent from sin? Revelation 9:21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

  571. Lisa, sorry it’s all in bold. I am teaching a woman’s study in John right now if you’d like to join. The admins can give you my email if you are interested, and I’ll explain. It is online conference call or call via your computer. You are also able to listen later, but I think you’d benefit from the fellowship if you are available 1 pm pacific this week (Thursday -30th), then we’re splitting the difference to 12:30 pm pacific the following Thursday ❤

  572. Lisa, I understanding. I think of John 13:34-35 when I hear that passage. I also think of the two greatest commandments as you said, and Jesus asking Peter if he loved him three times, and His answer was feed or tend His sheep. (KJV uses feed only I believe. But first here is the passage.

    A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

    Then in John 21, as he’s asking Peter, look at the words.

    Feed and tend His sheep… (John 21) Feed, Tend, Shepherd

    First word feed
    I. to feed
    A. portraying the duty of a Christian teacher to promote in every way the spiritual welfare of the members of the church

    Second word feed
    I. to feed, to tend a flock, keep sheep
    A. to rule, govern
    i. of rulers
    ii. to furnish pasture for food
    iii. to nourish
    iv. to cherish one’s body, to serve the body
    v. to supply the requisites for the soul’s need

    Third time, was a reiteration of the first word–feed.

    This above is covered in the greatest commandments and also in His new commandment.

    Then I think on, how we love Him because He first loved us (in 1 john 4), again contrasted to loving God, and then loving others.

    So, how do we do that? I think you will find a basic outline for Christian living by starting with Luke 10:38-42, and Proverbs 3:5-6. If you abide in Him, and abide in His Word, you’ll be made a student of what He says. Let Him teach you (Proverbs 22:17-21), but do your part and study (2 Tim 2:15) as unto Him, with His approval as your motive.

    Look up all these passages, pray, ask God about it, and just determine to spend some time loving God by spending time with Him in His Word and prayer, and then remembering He desires mercy not sacrifice, so turn around and show that love to others by sharing His gospel, His truth. Feed His sheep, and bring your beautiful feet everywhere to share the gospel 🙂

    Hope that helped explain it. Your part is to stay in His Word, being a student, talking to Him, hearing His Words. Acknowledge Him in the things you do, trust in Him. He’ll direct your steps. Participate by walking with Him (Eph 4:1-7). Love in Christ, Holly

  573. Ok thanks Holly, I do typically stay in the epistles. But would you mind answering a question for me? Jesus says if you LOVE ME you will keep my commandments, what are his commandments? I know what the greatest two are and I know that I don’t keep them perfectly but that I am forgiven, my Savior died for me. I want to Love him back as he says, “if you love me… what are the commandments. This is what I am calling living a Christian life. My idea of Love is a warm fuzzy feeling Jesus says Loving him is keeping his commandments. Am I making sense?
    Blessings, Lisa

  574. Lisa, Matthew is a very Jewish gospel, coming from a very Jewish perspective, and so for some we forget to think of the audience, or what is being addressed exactly. Since Jesus came not for the lost sheep of the House of Israel and Judah (there was an order), these things can be applicable to us if we understand what/where/who/why/ etc. is being addressed. Like Hebrews we might not really be considering going back under the sacrificial system, not even Jews can right now, but in application we might be doing some similar things.

    If we can keep the purpose of the law in our minds – to point people to Christ – it makes reading these books easier. Consider the end of Malachi, and the last words God spoke through the prophets. And here it’s been 400+ years of silence, then comes the Lord. Although the Law and the prophets only prophesied until John, we know the new covenant was not in effect until the death of the testator, so at the cross. The Holy Spirit was not given as a permanent indwelling until Pentecost, which is where the church began. We have to make a distinction between law being preached and whether it is the gospel of our salvation being spoken of. Jews under the law being preached to is how I understand Matt 24-25 and a certain prophecy and a certain time.

    If you read carefully notate the three things that are addressed, and I’d include Matt 23 to see who was being chastised and why. Then notate all you can regarding the place, the ‘people’ the time, the prophet mentioned (Daniel), and you’ll begin to maybe understand it a little differently. I believe in 25 oil signifies the lack of the Holy Spirit in unbelieving Israel who were the elect. They may have been His servants, but not all believed. I’m not sure that explains it all, but I think it’s good to pass on the synoptic gospels for the moment (Matt. Mark Luke) in favor of first understanding the epistles written to the church. I recommend John, Romans 1-8 (9-11 mainly spoken to or about Israel), and then continue 12-15. Galatians is a very good one for understanding how we are justified (unto salvation), and then read Ephesians and the other epistles.

    Always ask, who is spoken to, regarding what, why, when, how, where, who, and ask the Lord questions as you go along. Is this spoken to believers? What kind? Is the salvation mentioned speaking to eternal life? If so, why were they already addressed as believers? O.k., so then salvation from what? Go to cross references knowing that there is not necessarily a correlation, but when you see a tie-in, then try to read in context.

    But start by reading through John if you have not. Get the epistles down pretty well, then you can also add some Psalms and Proverbs and OT reading. If you do the Prophets, try doing them chronologically so you can understand what is spoken of. But that’s a long ways from now. Stay with the New first, then you can tackle the synoptic gospels seeing who, when, what dispensation, etc. In Christ, Holly

  575. Johninnc (haven’t read all the comments yet),

    I knew for a fact you did not believe in Millennial exclusion, I hope something I said di not sound like it. I believe the Bema seat, happens before the tribulation for us, as we have been given crowns (or at least the ones identified in Rev. 4 & 5 have), so yes, I agree, I am sure there will be some tears and regret, which I believe He’ll also wipe away and it will be behind us. Sorry if I was unclear!

  576. Johninnc, I understand (see my note to Preston). Bottom line is I want to grow as a Christian and don’t know how and this is the only place I know to turn to. In Him, Lisa

  577. Preston, I do understand that keeping commandments and salvation is separate but I want to Love Jesus as he defines it, I have defined it as feeling in my heart. There is not a whole lot of places to turn to for help in growing as a Christian, I thank God for this Grace Oasis. Even before I started recognizing false teaching, I haven’t found an abundance of love one another as I have loved you. I have been seeing and hearing some of the darndest things!

  578. Jim, I agree. For Christians, there is no threat of outer darkness for eternity, no Millenial exclusion, no separation into lesser groups in any kind of a Christian purgatory.

    Although I can’t be dogmatic in knowing the exact nature of what is being described, the term “suffer loss” in 1 Corinthians 3:15 must have some meaning. This idea is also in 1 John 2:28 “…not be ashamed before him at his coming.”

  579. lisa,

    notice it reads “IF you love me, keep my commandments”

    it doesn’t say, for salvation; keep my commandments”

    Did you know that of the disciples, JOHN loved Jesus the most”? Love for Jesus had nothing to do with salvation. It is that love for US that we “try” to do His will.

    YES – just when your secure, you read something that SEEMS to contradict it. I KNOW, I lived it. its like a “roller coaster ride”.
    – BUT when you learn and see, you marvel at what you now see.

    thus KEEP doing what you are doing!!!!!!

    Jesus PROMISED, “seek and ye shall find”. You WILL find it and when you do, you will think “this is the best religion can do”???

    Eph (the armour of God) – the only offensive weapon you have is “the word”. so keep learning it.

    you will be fine. in fact, keep studying, and you could be GREAT. remember, Paul, came out of religion and look what he accomplished (He was a Pharisee)

    God Bless,

  580. Lisa, we should love God and keep His commandments.

    But, neither loving God, nor keeping His commandments are condtions to receiving, keeping, or providing evidence that we have received eternal life.

    Please check out our discussion of 1 John 4:20 under “Difficult Verses.”

  581. I want to mention that it is clear that there is no weeping and gnashing of teeth for believers in eternity in outer darkness. We as believers are the bride of Christ and will no face condemnation nor will we be separated into lesser groups of the body… as in those relegated to live outside the kingdom in a type of purgatory. I also like to even stay away from to much speculation that can go on in grace circles concerning loss of kingdom rewards or privileges in reigning with Christ. There are some things that are not as clear that we shouldn’t be too dogmatic about. I think we can all agree there is no condemnation for the believer because of our standing in Christ.