Lordship Salvationists are Not Christ’s Disciples

2 Timothy 3:16-17:

[16] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

[17] That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

One of the favorite mantras of the Lordship “salvationist” is that Christian discipleship is inextricably linked with receiving eternal life. In other words, one cannot be saved by simple faith in Christ unless he agrees to become a “Christ follower” or disciple of Christ. Consider the following quotes:

Disciples of Jesus are the ones who are saved; not those who go through a ritual. (J.D. Greear, from an interview with Trevin Wax dated January 31, 2013).

Just to say “believe in Christ” can produce a false assurance of the hope of Heaven. Jesus spoke often about the gift of eternal life. To make it clear, He said, “Count the cost.” (Billy Graham, from his book “The Reason for My Hope”)

Contrary to the false statements above, the Bible clearly teaches that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ.

Ephesians 2:8-9:

[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.

Furthermore, the Bible also teaches that God will not look to our works to prove that we have believed in Christ. He will not look to whether we have been faithful as Christians in deciding whether or not we ever believed in Christ.

Romans 4:5: But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

LS is the unsupportable belief that the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to make that faith result in eternal life (or to prove that one has received eternal life).

LSers come in two basic varieties:

  1. Those who have never trusted in Christ alone for salvation, who think works are necessary to prove one has received eternal life.
  2. Those who have trusted in Christ alone for salvation, who think works are necessary to prove one has received eternal life.

Neither of these groups meet the Biblical requirements for discipleship.

Why would I say that? Because LSers are either confused about – or have rejected- God’s grace.

LSers miss the point of why the Epistles were written. They use them as “field guides” to try to identify what BEHAVIORS reflect someone who is a Christian versus what behaviors are befitting of a Christian.  LSers misuse scripture.  They consider it not only profitable for reproof (correction) but for proof (position).

The Epistles were written to edify (teach) the saints (all people who have received eternal life by grace, through faith in Christ). LSers misuse much of what is written in the Epistles to assist them in their ongoing wrestling match with grace. They seize upon any verse that seems to bolster their confusion with – or outright rejection of – grace.

People who have never received grace CANNOT make any progress in their “Christian walk.” People who are saved, but are in a state of confusion about grace WILL NOT make any progress in their Christian walk.

God does want believers in Christ to be disciples. But, discipleship isn’t effective or possible for anyone who doesn’t have a clear understanding of grace. This is made abundantly clear in Galatians, which was written to eternally secure believers in Christ.

Galatians 3:1-3:

[1] O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

[2] This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

[3] Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

The next time someone tells you that all “true Christians” are faithful followers of Christ, or disciples, ask them why the Epistles were written.  Ask them if they think changing the terms of salvation (even tacitly, by their insistence that good works are a necessary result of salvation) is consistent with being a disciple

117 responses to “Lordship Salvationists are Not Christ’s Disciples

  1. Some of the quotes I gathered from Luther were from other books including “Bondage of the Will”, I believe it’s called. Have not heard that regarding the book, but will sure look into that to see if it is a reliable source, will be interesting, thank you Jan.

  2. Jan Kotlarski

    I’ve heard that that book isn’t actually from Luther but from a catholic that wrote it hundreds of years later and its style is untypical for Luther’s earlier work.

  3. FryingPan9, you are welcome, you know what was bad? One of the places I went to, I downloaded the pdf, and they had Luther’s book, the Lies that Jews tell, but only a portion, But they were SELLING them in quantity. No wonder, with the reformed movement growing so fast, and he hatred of the Jewish people once again, escalating to epic proportions, it’s no wonder that people are buying this hate-mongering anti-semitic book in quantity.

  4. beholdason, yes, I am in the USA, in AZ, so I think you told me you were out of the country, so do not worry, Mark them up yourself, you may need them for reference one day.

  5. Thank you, Holly.

  6. Holly, that’s a fab idea. (I won’t feel as bad if I can put them to good use). I’m not really confident enough to move into the Heresy Hunter corner quite yet. Still working through all the junk. It’s kinda like going on a diet huh.

    LS = McDonald’s Happy Meal with a grotty apple pie.

    Scriptures = Silverbeet and Carrot juice.

    Are you located in the USA? (I might be a tad far away) haha Will check your website for your email.

  7. Beholdason, save the heretical books for me. I write on them “FALSE, reference only” outside and in, but I can always use some. Email me and I’ll compare notes with what you have and pick up the shipping if it works out.

  8. Fryingpan9, if you want, contact Jack or John for my email. I was dong some research on Luther today, found quite a bit, not done, but can email to you as I gather it together. Even some amazing quotes, one in how he combats the devil (by passing wind)….Some really rambling and distorted teaching…

  9. Awesome!

    Call me a prophetess:

    I envision myself becoming one of those people who have bible verses plastered all around the house like a madman.

    But in a good way. 😀

  10. also check out 36 amazing things
    oh the depths of riches of who we are in Christ Jesus

    Focus on Who I/We are in Christ Jesus

  11. Beholdason, check out “Believers’ Justification” at the top of our website.

  12. I found this comment super helpful:

    “My comment: The Bible is expressly clear that Christ died for everyone, and that God desires that all men be saved:

    John 1:29: The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
    Hebrews 2:9: But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
    2 Peter 3:9: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
    1 Timothy 2:4: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

    I know you guys have a page of LS pet passages.

    I’m wondering if you have the opposite:

    A list of truths from the bible which contradict (correct) the LS teachings with a bunch of verses listed for easy reference?

    I know personally… I just typed out the above references and sent them to a friend.

    I know LS and Calvinism takes time to refute. But it’s so necessary and most of us wouldn’t have the slightest clue of where to start.

    I cannot wait to burn all my JM books.

    Burn baby burn.

  13. FryingPan, I am also concerned about what Lutherans understand about the gospel. I have a close friend who is Lutheran (not sure which branch). He seems to be clear on grace, but does not recognize some fairly blatant error. He also doesn’t like to dwell on the gospel. I usually get something like “yeah, yeah, I get that”, along with an anxiousness to move the discussion to something else. I told him some of the errors of Luther’s theology, and his answer was something along the lines of “my Savior is Jesus, not Martin Luther.” I recently asked him why he was a Lutheran, and it seemed to center on his having “grown up a Lutheran.” His wife is a non-practicing Roman Catholic who believes that people who commit suicide go to hell, due to not having a chance to ask for forgiveness. He doesn’t seem to be concerned about that, and says she is a Christian because she told the pastor who married them that she had accepted Jesus as her Savior.

  14. Thank you, Jim, Holly . . .

    I’m well aware of Luther’s antisemitism, though maybe not aware of all the details or the full “scope”. Luther’s hatred for Jews has always been a jumping off point for me when it comes to his theology. Then of course there’s that infernal Replacement Theology and how Luther shied away from the book or Revelation (to put it mildly). But I appreciate the input very much. It seems in some circles Lutheranism is given a pass when it comes to doctrine and I’ve had reason to be concerned about what Lutherans understand about the gospel (and I’m also aware that there are at least 3 “branches” of that denomination so it can be even more complicated once one goes down a proverbial rabbit hole).

    Thanks again for the suggestions and input!

  15. Holly,

    Yeah there really is no making any sense of it. He was using human logic to reason from faulty presuppositions. That’ll get you nowhere fast. Good point about the protestants.

    The way I see it is that anyone that proclaims the true gospel is challenging any that oppose to repent believing the truth.

    Jim F

  16. Preston, sorry, just saw the last comment.

    Almost all sin is willful, how many ‘accidentally’ sin? what I find interesting is those who believe there is no free will, suddenly we are ‘willfully’ sinning…

  17. Jim, I’m wondering how the one works if we hate ourselves through ‘true repentance’ then how do we fulfill the second greatest commandment? Hate others as we hate ourselves?….

  18. FryingPan9, another thing to be aware of is Luther’s hatred for the Jews. Initially he supposedly defended them, but then he began to preach against them and even make recommendations to the authorities for their expulsion from the Lutheran states. He wrote the book, “On the lies Jews tell” (not quite sure if that is exact). But I remember the Abraham looking guy with a huge hook nose on front. Everything he spoke about the Jews was inflammatory, suggesting the doctors would poison their patients, even calling it an ‘art’ as if they were practicing witchcraft. He called them their ‘public enemies’ and his followers did all sorts of things to them. Even after he died I remember one follower (a Calvinist), used that book to stir up a riot, and 3,000 Jews were killed.

    As many know (or believe), Hitler idolized Luther’s later work and one historian traced their own writings back to a similar source, Some excuse Luther’s hatred on his age.. We see the same type of behavior with Calvin and his ‘enemies’ (anyone who did not agree with his theology). He expelled them from their homes, invited them to debate then had them jailed and murdered, burned and decapitated. Is this how the Bible has us treat our enemies?

    So much wrong with Luther, but unless you ask them as if you are speaking of an unknown source, they’ll block you out. Do like Nathan did with David on Bathsheba. 🙂

  19. Thank you for all that info Jim. It’s why I deny the word “Protestant” or “reformed”. I did not ‘protest’ Catholicism, I was never Catholic. I did not ‘reform’ from Catholicism either.

  20. William,

    my you tube buddy..I am discussing with the same
    1. can lose you salvation
    2. willful sinning forfeits salvation (the law)
    3. must have works

    HOWEVER—-you know the picture next to a persons name on youtube comments—–this SAME persons reads “Jesus paid it ALL”
    – I am not kidding!!!!!——almost unbelievable!!!!

  21. One site had this quote of Luther:

    “”We are not found
    in a state of perfection as soon as we have been
    baptized into Jesus Christ and His death. Having been
    baptized into His death, we merely strive to obtain (the
    blessings of) this death and to reach our goal of
    glory. Just so, when we are baptized into everlasting
    life and the kingdom of heaven, we do not at once fully
    possess its full wealth (of blessings). We have merely
    taken the first steps to seek after eternal life. Baptism
    has been instituted that it should lead us to the
    blessings (of this death) and through such death to
    eternal life. Therefore it is necessary that we should be
    baptized into Jesus Christ and His death.” (Commen-
    tary On The Epistle To The Romans, By Martin Luther,
    translated by J. Theodore Mueller, page 85).

    He was cleary did not have understanding of the gospel or baptism. The result was a repackaged Catholicism and his own version of Lordship works salvation.

    Jim F

  22. Luther did a lot of complaining about indulgences but he still believed in them and in purgatory.

    71. Let him who speaks against the truth concerning papal indulgences be anathema and accursed.
    72. But let him who guards against the lust and license of the indulgence preachers be blessed.

    25. That power which the pope has in general over purgatory corresponds to the power which any bishop or curate has in a particular way in his own diocese and parish.
    26. The pope does very well when he grants remission to souls in purgatory, not by the power of the keys, which he does not have, but by way of intercession for them.

    Then there are these two ridiculous statements that for me stood out above the rest of the absurdity:

    29. Who knows whether all souls in purgatory wish to be redeemed, since we have exceptions in St. Severinus and St. Paschal, as related in a legend.

    94. Christians should be exhorted to be diligent in following Christ, their Head, through penalties, death and hell.
    95. And thus be confident of entering into heaven through many tribulations rather than through the false security of peace (Acts 14:22).

    Jim F

  23. FryingPan9

    You can see his error right away just in the first 5.

    “1. When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent” (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.

    3. Yet it does not mean solely inner repentance; such inner repentance is worthless unless it produces various outward mortification of the flesh.

    4. The penalty of sin remains as long as the hatred of self (that is, true inner repentance), namely till our entrance into the kingdom of heaven.”

    You can also find a Kindle eBook copy of his book Bondage of the Will on Amazon. It is only a dollar and not even really worth a dollar itself except that it helps you see his error and warn others.

  24. . . . Again, I don’t want to go even MORE off topic, but Holly, I’m intrigued by your reference to Luther’s 95 Theses. I’ll simply state here that if you or anyone else has some references to which you can direct me, I’d be very interested in learning more about the flaws in Luther’s theology and Lutheranism in general as I have some close family members who are staunch Lutherans and I’m at times dubious about their understanding of the plan of salvation.

  25. Well said!

  26. Frying Pan, I’m currently debating a new person up on YouTube that is exactly what you just described. This person strongly believes that salvation is by “faith and works” and that “salvation can be lost if one does not do enough good works” and if a Christian fails to “overcome”, then his name will be “blotted out and erased from the Book of Life”. He uses Revelation 3:5, the Parable of the Unprofitable Servant, the Parable of the weeds, and other passages out of context in defense of “his” gospel. Just utterly ridiculous!
    I’ve been doing my best using Scripture from John, Romans, Acts 16:30-31, Ephesians, Galatians, and Titus to refute his false beliefs. I hope and pray someday his eyes will be opened.

  27. As for the ‘inferences’ department, some are so bold that they have a laundry list of qualifications and works to ‘enter in’ that would rival Luther’s 95 theses, and the sheep bare there teeth at you and ask, “Don’t you want to stop sinning”? or “Don’t you want to abandon all for God”? They completely MISS that they are unable to fulfill the list that someone like MacArthur just gave them in order to even enter into the kingdom. Funny, they all seem to love “Pilgrim’s Progress” and I guess they imagine they are like ‘Christian’ and persevering.

    What a horrible way to attempt to live. They have failed already I can only pray some have fallen from grace and are bewitched into thinking they can finish in the flesh. I pray if so, they are delivered from being deceived and also deceiving so that the lost might come to know Him through the only gospel there is.

  28. Fryingpan,

    Same goes for me regarding Calvinist John MacArthur’s commendation of Ray Comfort, here is a portion:

    …and for staying true to the ‘biblical message’ of ‘repentance from sin’ and forgiveness in Christ.

  29. Thanks, Holly. If I’d known the “Ray Comfort” part re DJ I’d have probably marked him a long time ago (relatively speaking).

    William, one of my “favorites” (I’m being sarcastic of course) is how professing Christians caught up in false doctrine will give lip service to the idea of salvation by grace through faith apart from works, but then give some nebulous and (rather idiotic when you think about it) qualifications to “believing on” Jesus’ finished work on the cross. In other words, they say, “Yes, we just have to believe on Jesus (and what He did for us),” but then they have all these weird inferences they infuse into their understanding of what “believing on” implies . . . I’m pretty certain in most cases if challenged on it they’d start to sputter or something.

    If you are dealing with someone of this mindset there’s a very strong chance they believe one cannot be saved if they’re “not ALSO willing to seriously follow Jesus” and any of the other fortune cookie/refrigerator magnet “niceties” one could substitute for it.

  30. Fryingpan,

    David Jeremiah was one of the pastors ‘commending’ Ray Comfort’s the “way of the Master” method…. along with John MacArthur and Ravi Zacharias…. Not too surprising, birds of a feather…

  31. William,

    I am blessed knowing that she has repented 🙂 (changed her mind), and others will too. We keep planting and watering and we wait too with creation to see the sons of God revealed in that day, we never know… sowing in tears, reaping with songs of joy. I have seen it and at times it seems futile, they are so set. But, we keep speaking His truth in love, knowing His Word will not return void. I have been called a heretic, a false teacher, and a cult leader. I will continue to do my best to present the truth, and to be clear and not distort His gospel or His Word. I am in continual remembrance of this passage. How many of them are seemingly so willing to cast His Word behind them?

    But unto the wicked God saith,
    What hast thou to do to declare my statutes,
    or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?
    Seeing thou hatest instruction,
    and castest my words behind thee. Psalm 50:16-17

  32. Holly, I’m happy to hear that the lady who was furious at you years ago is now your friend and a contender for the Free Grace gospel and that she tests the spirits. Up on YouTube, there are tons of people who are duped by deceiving spirits. Many of them just will not budge when they are presented with proof texts from Scripture that affirm that salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone apart from works. They will go to great lengths in changing the meaning, twisting words, taking passages out of context, any which way possible. I mean, you name it. They are just insistent that “their” way of salvation is the correct way and that the Free Grace way is heresy.
    Their minds are just like welded steel.

  33. I don’t mean to take this off topic but I stopped watching David Jeremiah years ago not long after he started quoting from THE MESSAGE. Of course that as also years before I learned what Lordship “Salvation” was all about. But I wasn’t surprised to see him brought up on this blog and “nominated” as one to mark and avoid. I still have some of his DVDs and there are certainly some pretty unclear things he says from time to time (regardless of what his books, pamphlets or web site declare about doctrinal positions) that show some pretty strong works for salvation leanings.

  34. William, a close friend of mine left today from a visit. She was very upset with me years ago when in a conversation with several women online, David Jeremiah was brought up as having some issues. At the time, I didn’t know much about all of his issues but asked her if she would be willing to speak on the phone about it, this way she could hear my tone. She was furious but allowed it, with her husband too. We have since become friends, and she left Shadow Mountain shortly thereafter, when he preached from Luke 2 out of the Mess-AGE, new age supposed paraphrased ‘bible’. She has become quite a contender for the faith and really continues to test the spirits. Others have become my enemy since I told them the truth, but I pray they will see, and I thank the Lord too for others who have seen me contend and may have gleaned from something I’ve said. In Christ, Holly

  35. Thanks John, Curtis, Holly, and Preston for the encouraging responses! We all need to fight the good fight against the epidemic of false doctrine with the truth of God’s Word.

  36. I think the most difficult have been the law-keepers, meaning the Hebrew Roots movement, but they require a different answer, a sharp rebuke at times. I know very well many do not approve, but it is why I wrote the Law keeping article in the first place, so many were confused and in so many sects of keeping law, justifying themselves by works.

    I have some stories like yours Preston, and it’s a real blessing, and I’m thankful for everyone we might save from the fire.

  37. William,

    I would like to “second” Holly’s comment. I am in those discussions a lot. I was feeling a bit “down” as it seems no results are ever produced. on one particular occasion, I was debating sinless perfectionist (you know—go and sin no more is the gospel). There were a few attached to the thread; so I thought maybe it could help them. When it was done, I thought, does this really do any good? About a month later someone emailed me who came a across the discussion ( I give email out so someone wont feel embarrassed in front of others). She thanked me for my answers as she was a bit confused on Eternal Security and didn’t yet have some answers to passages of scripture….. and then copied EVERY answer I gave on that thread in the email (it was long). POINT – you NEVER know who is going to read your remarks or answers to scripture. KEEP doing what you are doing!!!! (William and I have crossed paths a few times on youtube) 🙂

  38. William, praying… Sometimes, when we speak, others are listening and checking out what we are saying. So your discussion may be for someone else’s benefit. I try to pray more before speaking, because I have a tendency to be probably too lengthy in speech. So trying to walk in wisdom towards those who are without 🙂 Grace and salt…. God bless the person or people who may need to hear.

  39. This text comes to mind reading your post William

    2Ti 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

  40. William, I have prayed for your wisdom and patience in contending for the gospel, as well as for the gentlemen with whom you have been recently contending to be receptive to the truth.

  41. Hi John, Jack, Holly, etc,

    For the past several days I’ve been engaged in a heated debate with a man up on YouTube who has been deceived by the false doctrines of Calvinism for the past 32 years. Right now, it’s just back and forth and back and forth with Scripture. We are just punching each other back and forth with Scripture.
    He keeps insisting that I’m wrong and that he’s right, but I keep telling him that the 5 points of Calvinism are false doctrines by giving him Biblical references that show that Calvinism does not line up with Scripture. He is very insistent that regeneration precedes faith, an obvious Calvinist doctrine that is false by putting the cart in front of the horse.
    Please pray for this person that his eyes will be open to the true gospel of John 3:16! Thanks!

  42. Amen, continuing to study and hopefully grow in His grace.

    Back to the original post, I wish that more churches would have been teaching new believers how to abide in His Word so they could be true disciples/students. Spending time in His Word is so necessary. Thank you both for your faithfulness in His Word.

  43. Thanks, Jack!

  44. John O and Curtis,

    We appreciate your interest and scholarship on the subject but there will never be a consensus on the topic.

    Rest assured, there is no danger of the ExP administrators slipping into LS. Accusations of that are not warranted.

    John O said, “To be fair, you need to shut everyone down and say, “it’s settled, no more discussion.” that would be moving on.”

    I say, “”Everyone commenting on this topic, Enough — let’s move on”!

    All unapproved comments henceforth referring the topic will not be accepted.

    Thanks,

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  45. Thanks John
    I know we all agree on Grace . What concerns me is using Inheritance to condemn souls of entrance into heaven as so many religions do ..

  46. Thanks, John!

  47. John O., Holly, Curtis, and Preston,

    We should each continue to study God’s Word and pray for discernment and understanding.

    Meanwhile, the “inherit the Kingdom” passages may be ones for which it is difficult to reach a consensus.

    This may be an area in which we continue to have differences in interpretation. I believe each of our interpretations of these passages are consistent with grace, so I think it would be better to move on.

  48. Curtis, I see “inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” in Matthew 25:34. This is the fate of the sheep.

    The fate of the goats (everlasting fire) is revealed in Matthew 25:41.

    I don’t see a third category.

  49. 2Ti_2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    rightly dividing the word of truth

    Enter IN the Kingdom of Heaven
    Inheritance OF the Kingdom of Heaven

    Enter into the Kingdom of Heaven = Justification must be born again

    Inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven = sanctification process , the rewards awaiting upon your arrival

    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:

    Judgement seat of Christ for Rewards or Loss of Rewards NOT Salvation

    Rom_14:10 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.
    2Co_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.

    1Co 3:13 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.
    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.

  50. Holly,
    I think you have to consider this verse and it’s ramifications:
    2Tim2:13If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
    John MacArthur simply dismisses it. Whenever, we sin (miss the mark), we are not believers. As discussed on another thread, “Saint” is a good term for who we are because no one I know except Jesus maintains faith 24/7.

  51. if inheritance means entrance into the kingdom of God . Well then who gets to go to heaven ?

    the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom , And such were some of you:

    flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God

    seeing the kingdom of God (salvation) Justification = Born Again= Entrance into Kigdom of Heaven.

    Inheritance (rewards) = Sanctification

    1Co 6:9 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,
    1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
    1Co 6:11 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.

    1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

    Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
    Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

    Gal 5:21 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.

    Eph 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

    Eph 5:5 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.

    if inheritance means entrance into the kingdom of God . Well who gets to go to heaven ??

    Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

    Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

  52. Overcoming is addressed several times in 1 John, in chapter 2, they were overcomers because they know the Father, because the word of God abides in them (see 1 Thess 2:13), and in 1 John 5:4-5 we see an overcomer is one who BELIEVES that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

    Overcomer = believer as far as I see it.

    Each church in Revelation where the overcomer, or the one who overcometh is addressed, the terms used are dealing with eternal life. Eating of the tree of life, not being hurt by the second death, being given the white stone with a new name written (most believe that is the stone of being declared innocent), clothed in white rainment, names in the book of life, pillars in the temple of God, God’s name written on us, sit with Him on His throne… don’t see those as rewards, but as what will happen in the day we have finally left the corruptible. Rev. 21:7, says, those that overcome with inherit ALL things, He will be our God, and we shall be His sons, again, see only eternal life in view there.

    I believe he that overcometh is a believer, by different ways of stating they have eternal life. Not saying I haven’t missed something, but that is what I understand from the passages I shared.

  53. Genevieve, Ron has a way of speaking that sometimes true, it needs a little simplification, he is a lawyer so he presents the absurd.

    The Calvinists are in essence teaching you MUST believe in their definition of “sovereign grace,” (bondage of the will). If you believe you have free will, if you do not believe that God gifts us with regeneration BEFORE you believe, you couldn’t possibly be saved. Because they are saying those two things ARE the gospel message.

    So, to be saved, you must believe you have no will to believe, that you are totally depraved, and dead, and unable to respond. The absurdity is, a dead man can’t believe those facts either, false as they are. So the ironic sum of their thinking is for this lost (dead) sinner to be able to believe, he must first believe that he can’t believe. Then he must wait for God, and see if God chose him for salvation. Some say, ‘pray for faith’….

    The futility of their teaching escapes them sadly….

  54. Appreciated the conversation on the inheriting being entrance in some places to which I completely agree, especially when context (the regeneration) is looked at. I hope it’s o.k. just to add, Jesus addressed both the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God with no differential in Matt 19.

    A question Peter asked was being answered by Jesus, “what shall we have”? (after they had left friends and family). The 100 fold would be rewards, the eternal life would be their entrance into heaven, they had already believed.

    I have recently been doing my own study on this, so interesting it was discussed here, and thankful for your patient expositing johninnc. I am going to go snag your article recommendation and see what he has to offer, thank you!

  55. Genevieve,

    We concur with Jim F. we love answering honest and sincere questions from those who really want to know and understand the Gospel of God’s Grace and His Word.

    Be patient, pray for wisdom (James 1:5) and be methodical as you grow in Grace. None of us learned and grasped it all in one fell swoop overnight.
    2 Peter 3:18
    But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

    The real starting point, you have apparently already settled; ETERNAL LIFE IS ETERNAL – Eternal Security IS Eternally Secure by Grace through one’s Faith decision in Jesus Christ alone — and the Gift is received as a free Gift from God.

    With that as your foundation and with a desire to tell others the Good News of Jesus Christ, you are well on your way. Keep it up!!

    Praying for you.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  56. Genevieve Jenks

    Also it’s important to have a clear understanding of the gospel.Can’t be afraid to ask questions when it comes to that, for my sake & the sake of evangelizing to others.Plus I’ve only just come out of the lordship camp.Been brainwashed by them.Like I didn’ t know that the word sovereign isn’t even in the bible, I just found out from the link from Jack.

  57. Genevieve Jenks

    Thanks Jim, that’s nice.There is a lot for us to learn.I don’t think there’s enough time on this earth to figure it all out.Time is short & going fast, which I’m actually glad of, can’t wait to be with our loving Heavenly Father & Jesus & the Holy Spirit in heaven.Just have kids to think of & some grandkids eventually, for their sakes I wouldn’t mind hanging around for awhile.

  58. Genevieve,

    You’ll find that we really do enjoy answering honest questions. Especially if it helps people more clearly see the truth from error.

    You are not annoying to me in the least. I think others will agree.

    Jim F

  59. Genevieve,

    I agree with Jack. To me, Ron Shea is saying there that it is absurd for people to think that they can’t believe the gospel unless it is granted to them to believe. That faulty idea leads to people praying for the gift of faith or “repentance” and then testing themselves to see if they have been granted it. This is directly opposed to believing the gospel and having assurance knowing that they HAVE believed and HAVE been saved based upon who they HAVE trusted in for that gift of salvation.

    Jim F

  60. Thanks it does make sense now.I feel like I am annoying,because I ask so many questions.But I get confused at times.

  61. Genevieve,

    John and Preston are correct.

    Calvinist/Reformed theory leans almost exclusively upon the false premise of the “sovereignty” of God. Ron Shea seems to be making a mockery of the Calvinist lie.

    Read our article on Calvinist’s fake use of “sovereignty”:
    https://expreacherman.com/2012/03/08/sovereignty-calvinist-and-lordship-salvation-crutch-or-catchword/

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  62. Good day,

    it means simply, faith is NOT a gift.

    How do we know this is what they mean? the statement – “he must believe that he cannot believe”

    this is the Calvinistic viewpoint that man is incapable of believing; that God in His sovereign grace; gives faith to the believer. If this were true…THEN…he gave the faith to the muslim to believe in allah, the faith to buhdist to believe in buddah, the faith of evolutionist to believe in science and they faith of Satanist to believe in satan.

    make sense?

    God Bless,

  63. Genevieve, I’m not exactly sure. Maybe Ron means that if faith itself (rather than eternal life) were the gift of God, then the only way we could believe in Jesus would be to wait for faith to be given to us.

    This is under the general heading, at Clear Gospel, of Faith as a “Work”.

    So – again this is speculation – Ron may be saying that if one somehow thinks faith is a work, that he might resist exercising saving faith in Christ out of concern that deciding to trust in Christ would be a work that would annul grace.

    It doesn’t make any sense, which I think is Ron’s point.

  64. I was having a read of the clear gospel campaigns website & come across something I didn’t understand.This is it.
    2. We further reject as unbiblical the absurd teaching that a belief in “sovereign grace,” or the bondage of the will is, on any level, part of the gospel message unto salvation. We affirm that the logical and necessary conclusion of this absurd view of the gospel is that, for a lost sinner to exercise saving faith, he must believe that he cannot believe.
    What on earth does this mean?

  65. Good day,

    my two cents (not worth much). I think it depends on the context. In 1 Cor 6:9-10, I believe it is speaking about eternal life (not rewards). WHY.

    Reason 1 – if you look at the context prior, it talks about going to the unsaved (unrighteous) to settle disputes. As a result, Paul writes, “Know ye not…..”. Basically saying, why are you going to those who will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Reason 2 – the best reason. Read the next verse or 2. verse 11 – And such were some of you: BUT (going to stop here).
    – BUT tells there is something different about them
    – It does NOT read….
    – BUT – ye stopped doing these things
    – BUT – ye dont 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, and by the Spirit of our God.

    within the context, I believe that it is literally talking about inheriting the kingdom of God. So…like this carnal church….one better be washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    NOTE – Salvation is FREE; rewards are earned. Either way, it “fits” the correct theology proclaimed in the word.

    God Bless,

  66. John O, I understand your position, but I don’t agree with it. I believe “inherit” in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, used in connection with the Kingdom, refers to entrance, not to rewards.

    I appreciate your patience in trying to convince me otherwise, but I don’t agree. Let’s move on.

  67. “Inherit” when associated with “eternal life” and “Heaven” is a free gift. “Inherit” when associated with the “Kingdom” requires good works.

  68. John O, sorry to make you work so hard. I believe that “inherit” means rewards in some places, vs. entrance in others (such as 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

    Please read the attached article called Another Look at “Inheriting the Kingdom of God” by Dennis Rokser. I think he makes a compelling argument.

    http://www.duluthbible.org/filerequest/10088.pdf

  69. John,
    You’re making me work too hard 🙂
    Blood cannot inherit the Kingdom … We have to die to inherit.
    In addition to Mt 19:29
    Rev 21:7 The work is overcoming. 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
    Mt 25:34-36: Works in 35-36: 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
    35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

  70. John O, story of rich young ruler:

    Matthew 19:16: And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
    Matthew 19:17: 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.

    Jesus is telling him he must be perfect to get into heaven. Not rewards. Entrance. Enter into life.

    The same account in Luke:

    Luke 18:18: And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

    Why would it be rewards in Luke,and entrance in Matthew?

  71. delete the LXX part – my bad.

  72. John O, I interpreted that verse to mean that everyone who had received eternal life through faith in Christ will get into heaven (inherit everlasting life), while those who had been faithful would also receive a reward.

    I don’t believe that one gets into heaven by serving Christ, nor that people who are saved will necessarily serve Christ.

  73. John O, also:

    1 Corinthians 15:50: Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

    I don’t think inherit here means rewards.

  74. John,
    I can’t accept that. Paul would use the same Greek words and phrases that are found in the LXX attributed to Jesus but mean the opposite?
    Let’s substitute “enter Heaven” for “inherit” and see what it says:
    29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall [enter into] everlasting life.
    that’s Lordship Salvation.

  75. John O, I think the rewards in Matthew 19:29 refers to receiving an hundredfold, not to inheriting everlasting life.

    Luke 10:25: And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

    Rewards? I don’t think so.

  76. John O, I know that Saints do those things (including me) and will be in heaven. I think about it like this:

    Revelation 21:27: And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

    I think “unrighteous” in the 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 means people who are not in the Lamb’s book of life. One must be perfect to enter into heaven. One receives Christ’s righteousness through imputation that moment he believes. So, I think the people who are referenced in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 are unbelievers, with no imputed righteousness. They are not perfect, and thus cannot enter into heaven. I believe “inherit” in this passage has to do with getting in.

  77. Mt 19:29 Inheritance requires good works: 29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

  78. John,
    I think that verse clearly states that anyone who commits those behaviors will not inherit: “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.”
    This may sound like semantics but I don’t think that it is. Saints (myself included) do those things but I know that I will be in Heaven.

  79. John O, I’m not sure I agree that every time “inherit” is used that it has to do with rewards. I know the view that inheritance always has to do with rewards is popular in the free grace community, but I’m not sure I agree.

    For example, 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.

    My comment: I think this has to do with unbelievers, who will not inherit (enter) the kingdom of God, because they are not in Christ. It is not that Christians can’t commit these same deeds, or even have a pattern of them. It is that Christians are positionally in Christ, and have been declared not guilty of any sin.

  80. Ok, Thanks John,
    You scared me. Let me be more specific. Sanctification is the same as justification (by faith alone) in that in God’s sight, we are sanctified (by faith alone) – done deal. In man’s site, it depends on what the other man sees.
    To add, we are glorified by faith alone. Not of ourselves. ENTRANCE into the FUTURE kingdom is a gift. INHERITANCE is a result of our works.

  81. John O, I believe we are sanctified positionally – done deal – as soon as we believe in Christ. I think of growing in Christ-likeness to be what many people mean by practical sanctification. I should have been more clear on this point.

    In fact, following is an excerpt of our statement of faith that makes clear that positional sanctification is a done deal for someone the moment they believe in Christ as Savior:

    8. Every child of God possesses eternal life, being justified by faith, sanctified by God, sealed with the Holy Spirit, is safe and secure for all eternity; and he cannot lose his salvation. However, a Christian can, through sin and disobedience, lose his fellowship, joy, power, testimony, and reward and incur the Father’s chastisement. Relationship is eternal, being established by the new birth in Christ; fellowship, however, is dependent upon obedience to the Lord through His Scriptures. I Corinthians 3:11-17; Hebrews 12:5-11; I Corinthians 5:1-5; I Corinthians 11:30-32.

  82. I have to differ with many on this site and the LS & Southern Baptists. I believe that the Bible clearly states that Saints are sanctified – done deal. Sanctification is achieved through the Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead. In other words, the graces (work gifts) of Jesus are death (justification), resurrection (sanctification), & 2nd coming (glorification).

  83. Janie, Great to meet you and I have to say those were excellent questions, and as usual, patient and simple answers. I learned from just watching the exchanges. Sometimes when people give you so many questions you don’t know where to begin, and it just hit me again, just begin at the beginning 🙂

    Love in Christ to you, keep asking questions.

  84. if i may add

    justified freely

    Justification and Sanctification separate , meaning Justification has everything to do with sanctification BUT sanctification has nothing to do with Justification.

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

    Rom_3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

  85. Thank you John, Russell, Curtis.

    I understand how much time and effort it must take to answer my long question. I cannot express how much I appreciate everyone’s help here. I think the explanations were clear and I see the errors now more clearly.

    I have always known I was saved since believing in Jesus’ death and resurrection, and payment for my sins. From your responses, it indeed is a tricky subtlety to suggest one may not be saved based on works. Here is a summary of what I learned:

    1. Eternal life is a gift that I can have now and be sure about.
    2. Progressive sanctification or lack thereof of a believer cannot prove salvation, because salvation does not depend on the evidence of belief.
    3. Jesus died for every man, but if He died for only some, then that select few must be chosen and regenerated before faith.

    I think of all my years in this church, subjectively speaking, I don’t think people see salvation the same as eternal life. They see it as some distant reality. I don’t hear the words eternal life very often in my church. The emphasis seems to be on doing good works for the community because of how Jesus loves us, and that we should do those things as an expression of our love for Jesus. This may somehow have something to do with the fact that they believe the Kingdom of God is already here. Gosh, there’s just too much to process.

    Again, thanks everyone so much for clearing everything up! I will be sure to read the previous articles from now on.

    Janie.

  86. Janie,

    You asked: “Regarding regeneration, where in the Bible does it say faith is before regeneration? It seems that in Titus 3:5 that regeneration precedes faith.”

    My response: I don’t see where Titus 3:5 says that regeneration precedes faith.

    Titus 3:5: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

    God justifies, regenerates, and seals us with the Holy Spirit when we believe in Christ as Savior. Titus 3:5 does not contradict that. If regeneration were to precede faith, then the gift of God would be faith, not eternal life. Of course, we know from scripture that faith is not the gift of God. Rather, the gift of God is eternal life.

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

    You said: “It seems that the Gospel Coalition states that no works are required to be saved. But after one is saved, works must follow to show that one’s faith is real.”

    My comment: If works must follow to show that one’s faith is real, why does the Bible tell Christians to be careful to maintain good works?

    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.

    Saying that good works MUST FOLLOW to show that one’s faith is real is the same as saying that works are required to be saved. It is a logical absurdity to suggest otherwise.

    Following are my responses to each of the below false doctrinal sub-points that you quoted from the Gospel Coalition:

    12.1 We believe that justification and sanctification are both the work God (Psalm 51:2–7; Jeremiah 33:8; Romans 8:29–30). Justification is the act of God, in which the sinner is declared righteous, by faith alone. Sanctification is the act of God, in which the sinner is progressively conformed into the image of His Son, by faith alone (Romans 8:29; 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:3). Though distinct, justification and sanctification are inseparable (Romans 8:29–30; Galatians 1:4; Titus 2:14).

    My comment: The Bible does not teach that a Christian will automatically become progressively conformed to the image of Christ. Such transformation requires the cooperation of the believer, as so clearly taught in many exhortations and appeals to believers that are written in the Epistles. Among them:

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

    Ephesians 2:22-24:
    [22] That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
    [23] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
    [24] And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

    12.2 We believe that those who are truly justified are being sanctified (John 14:15; James 2:17–20, 26). The faith that justifies is also the faith that sanctifies. Sanctification is a process that is initiated at conversion and effective throughout a Christian’s life (Philippians 1:6) as the sanctified are continually conformed to the will of God (Romans 6:1–21; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).

    My comment: Philippians 1:6 is another verse that is misused to teach the inevitability of progressive sanctification in the life of a “true Christian.” Following is a Q&A related to Philippians 1:6 from our “Difficult Verses” link:

    Philippians 1:6: 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.

    12.3 We believe that progressive sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit (Philippians 2:13) who enables believers to understand and obey the Word of God (Psalm 19:7–13; 119:9–11; John 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:10–16) as they exercise faith in Christ. Christians will be sanctified as they continue to grow in the knowledge of God’s will through the Word, prayer, meditation, and the accountability of believers (Romans 12:1­–21; Ephesians 6:10–18).

    My comment: Christians will experience the transformation referred to in Romans 12:2 to the extent they read and obey God’s Word. But, as indicated in my comments above, the Bible does not teach anywhere that this is automatic. If it were, there would be no reason why some Christians would receive commendation and rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ, while others will not. This is made plain in 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.

    And 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.

    12.4 We believe that sanctification is imperfect and incomplete in this life. Though slavery to sin is broken and sinful desires are progressively weakened by the superior power of a growing love for God, there remains a remnant of corruption in believers that gives rise to a life-long fight with sin (Romans 6:1–23; 8:1–17). Thus, every Christian is involved in a daily conflict with sin but, by the power of the Holy Spirit, provision is made for victory over sin (Galatians 5:16–25; Ephesians 4:22–24; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 3:9–10; 1 Peter 1:14–16; 1 John 3:5–9).

    My comment: The Bible does not guarantee that a Christian will have a growing love for God.

    1 John 4:20: 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?

    Note that there are believers who do not love God, and therefore do not love their brothers in Christ. If loving one’s brothers was automatic, we would not be exhorted to do that.

    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.

    You said: “To me, it appears if one believes salvation is an act of God, that sanctification would be an act of God as well? How can one believe in one and not the other?”

    My comment: Sanctification is an act of God. But, the transformation referred to in Romans 12:2 requires our cooperation. That is because just like we have free will whether or not to believe in Jesus, we have free will as believers as to whether or not we will obey Jesus.

    You said: “I guess it is hard for me to wrap my head around because, the gospel seems the exact same (that Jesus died for our sins and rose again, and all we need to do is believe in that to be saved). It seems now more like a question of whom Christ died for, not necessarily a different gospel?”

    My comment: The Bible is expressly clear that Christ died for everyone, and that God desires that all men be saved:

    John 1:29: The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
    Hebrews 2:9: But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
    2 Peter 3:9: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
    1 Timothy 2:4: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

    You asked: “Are you saying turn from sins to be saved is equivalent to Lordship Salvation? Also, what exactly is ecumenism in the Christian sense and why is it bad?”

    My comment: Saying that one must turn from sins to be saved turns the free gift of salvation into a trade – I will give God an IOU to try to turn from my sin, if He will give me eternal life. You might as well pull a $20 bill out of your wallet and try to buy it. It is a spit in the face of the Savior who died for us, and a rejection of the gospel.

    Ecumenism is accepting aberrant doctrine in the name of unity.

    I hope this long-winded answer helps.
    Thanks. John

  87. Janie
    If I may ask
    is eternal Life a present possession of yours ?
    do you know you have eternal life right now ?

    1Jn 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
    1Jn 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
    1Jn 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

  88. Janie,

    I know that these issues can be hard and a little confusing but I would encourage you to read the Gospel of John, the Book of Romans and the Book of Galations. The Gospel of John is the only book in Gods Word that has as its expressed purpose to evangelize the lost (John 20:31). The Book of Romans is Pauls explanation of the theolgy of Salvation by Faith alone and the Book of Galations is Pauls defense of the Gospel of Grace. As you read those three books ask yourself the following questions:

    1 – What is required to be saved or in other words to receive eternal life? (hint it starts with a “b”)
    2 – Is turning from sins or is repentance in the context of turning from sins EVER mentioned?
    3 – Is making Jesus Lord of your life, asking Him into your heart, being willing to die to self or counting the cost EVER mentioned?

    I used to be a Lordship Salvationist. Not an extreme one but still someone who felt that works would follow salvation and if they didn’t then the person was not saved. That worked for me until I started to look at my own failures and sin and started to think that I was not saved, I friend at church introduced me to the truth that salvation is really a gift from God and does not depend on ourselves. He also taught me the difference between salvation and being a disciple. When I realized that salvation was Gods free gift to me based on what Jesus did for me and all I had to do was believe (John 3:16) it completely changed me. I was free to enjoy Christ and to offer the gift of eternal life to people through faith in Christ. And guess what…it did not lead to a life of sin and rebellion, just the opposite.

    If you hear teaching that good works or obedience are required to get saved you can know by Gods Word that is is a false Gospel, If you hear teaching that good works or obedience must follow salvation or the person had a “false conversion” you can know from Gods Word that it is a false Gospel. Salvation is a free gift. Gods Word clearly teaches that.

    Lastly, read the 2nd Chapter of Ephesians and ask yourself the three questions above. Do not be deceived. The way is narrow that leads to eternal life. It is only by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone in Christ Alone.

    God Bless!!

  89. Janie, welcome and thanks for your comments.

    I would like to respond to your first comment, and then to your follow-up under a separate post.

    I have reviewed the Confessional Statement of the Gospel Coalition, and noticed several errors, inconsistencies, and ambiguities. Some of the more prominent are outlined below:

    Section 9:
    “He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and by his powerful and mysterious work regenerates spiritually dead sinners, awakening them to repentance and faith, and in him they are baptized into union with the Lord Jesus,”
    My comment: we are regenerated AFTER, not BEFORE we have placed our faith in Christ as Savior. This error leads to the errant belief in predestination, or preordination by God, of who will believe in Jesus as Savior.

    Section 6.
    “..(where it is received, believed, and held firmly, individual persons are saved).”
    My comment: we do not have to hold firmly to belief in order to be saved. We are saved by believing in Christ at a moment in time. He promises that He will never lose anyone who has believed.

    Section 10.
    “We believe that those who have been saved by the grace of God through union with Christ by faith and through regeneration by the Holy Spirit enter the kingdom of God and delight in the blessings of the new covenant: the forgiveness of sins, the inward transformation that awakens a desire to glorify, trust, and obey God, and the prospect of the glory yet to be revealed. Good works constitute indispensable evidence of saving grace.”
    My comment: This contradicts Section 9, in which it states that we are regenerated before we believe. Further, belief in Christ does not automatically result in an inward transformation that desires to trust and obey God. Last, good works DO NOT constitute indispensible evidence of saving grace. This set of false beliefs leads to fruit inspection of self and others, by which there can be no assurance of salvation.

    Section 12.
    “Baptism and the Lord’s Supper We believe that baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordained by the Lord Jesus himself. The former is connected with entrance into the new covenant community, the latter with ongoing covenant renewal. Together they are simultaneously God’s pledge to us, divinely ordained means of grace, our public vows of submission to the once crucified and now resurrected Christ, and anticipations of his return and of the consummation of all things.”

    My comment: This is pretty confusing. Neither baptism, nor the Lord’s Supper are “means of grace.”
    Janie, the Gospel Coalition appears to be just more Calvinism/Lordship Salvation. I reject their Confessional Statement for all of the reasons outlined above.

  90. Hi Jack,

    Thank you for the reply! I’m not too familiar with all those teachers that you listed. I suppose that would show that I am not really a dedicated Calvinist. While I don’t fully understand the points you mentioned, which I’ll follow up in a bit, I appreciated in one article which pointed out “the devil is in the details.” I believe that this must be case with me right now. It’s hard to see errors on the surface for me, but I don’t doubt that there must be more to this issue. Thanks for allowing me ask questions here. This post may be a bit long.

    I am not too familiar with the 5 points of Calvinism either. I had to look them up just now. I might play a little “devil’s advocate” to understand better and ask questions from that angle.

    1. Regarding regeneration, where in the Bible does it say faith is before regeneration? It seems that in Titus 3:5 that regeneration precedes faith.

    2. It seems that the Gospel Coalition states that no works are required to be saved. But after one is saved, works must follow to show that one’s faith is real. Here is a statement I found that was helpful:

    (I’m playing devil’s advocate. I know you believe this to be wrong)
    “12. Sanctification

    12.1 We believe that justification and sanctification are both the work God (Psalm 51:2–7; Jeremiah 33:8; Romans 8:29–30). Justification is the act of God, in which the sinner is declared righteous, by faith alone. Sanctification is the act of God, in which the sinner is progressively conformed into the image of His Son, by faith alone (Romans 8:29; 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:3). Though distinct, justification and sanctification are inseparable (Romans 8:29–30; Galatians 1:4; Titus 2:14).

    12.2 We believe that those who are truly justified are being sanctified (John 14:15; James 2:17–20, 26). The faith that justifies is also the faith that sanctifies. Sanctification is a process that is initiated at conversion and effective throughout a Christian’s life (Philippians 1:6) as the sanctified are continually conformed to the will of God (Romans 6:1–21; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).

    12.3 We believe that progressive sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit (Philippians 2:13) who enables believers to understand and obey the Word of God (Psalm 19:7–13; 119:9–11; John 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:10–16) as they exercise faith in Christ. Christians will be sanctified as they continue to grow in the knowledge of God’s will through the Word, prayer, meditation, and the accountability of believers (Romans 12:1­–21; Ephesians 6:10–18).

    12.4 We believe that sanctification is imperfect and incomplete in this life. Though slavery to sin is broken and sinful desires are progressively weakened by the superior power of a growing love for God, there remains a remnant of corruption in believers that gives rise to a life-long fight with sin (Romans 6:1–23; 8:1–17). Thus, every Christian is involved in a daily conflict with sin but, by the power of the Holy Spirit, provision is made for victory over sin (Galatians 5:16–25; Ephesians 4:22–24; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 3:9–10; 1 Peter 1:14–16; 1 John 3:5–9).”

    To me, it appears if one believes salvation is an act of God, that sanctification would be an act of God as well? How can one believe in one and not the other?

    3. I guess it is hard for me to wrap my head around because, the gospel seems the exact same (that Jesus died for our sins and rose again, and all we need to do is believe in that to be saved). It seems now more like a question of whom Christ died for, not necessarily a different gospel?

    4. Are you saying turn from sins to be saved is equivalent to Lordship Salvation? Also, what exactly is ecumenism in the Christian sense and why is it bad?

    Jack, I really appreciate your willingness to help me reconcile these things.

    Janie

  91. Welcome Janie
    please ask questions

    Curtis

  92. Janie,

    I might add there are several Southern Baptist Convention leaders included in their Council — some of whom believe in Calvinism as well as “turning from sin” for salvation according to the SBC Statement of beliefs..

    The Gospel Coalition is an un-godly mix.

    Please stick around and ask questions – we are happy to help.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  93. Hello Janie,

    Thanks for your comment and question.

    We remove all links which we determine to be un-Biblical.

    Several problems with the Gospel Coalition, aside from their exyreme ecumenism:

    Under their beliefs:
    9. [The Holy Spirit] He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and by his powerful and mysterious work regenerates spiritually dead sinners, awakening them to repentance and faith,

    This is backwards – correctly stated,, Faith then regeneration — Their staTement is Calvinism.

    10. Good works constitute indispensable evidence of saving grace.

    This is false doctrine — Lordship “salvation”

    At least seven Council members are Calvinist Presbyterian preachers.

    Here are some of whom we have mentioned in other articles.

    Voddie Baucham See Wiki Index
    Mark Dever – Calvinist Lordship Salvation – see our Wiki-Index
    Tim Keller.. Noted Calvinist Presbyterian pastor – see our Wiki index
    John Piper — Ultra Calvinist teacher/preacher — see our Wiki Index in the Header.
    Wiki Index:
    https://expreacherman.com/wiki-heresies/

    We disagree with Calvinism, Presbyterianism, and Lordship “Salvation” as being un-Biblical.

    Janie, unless you are a dedicated Calvinist, Lordship Salvationist I would think you would feel very uncomfortable in your church.

    WE welcome your questions and will be happy to help you understand the Truth.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  94. Hi,

    I’m sorta new to this stuff. I’m part of a church where people like to read articles by the Gospel Coalition. Doing a short search of this blog, it would seem that you guys would not agree mostly because I see disapproval of some teachers, which leaves me confused. I feel that the gospel presented is the same. This link I’m posting represents what my church and many others believe, which to me, doesn’t sound so far off from what you believe here. Enlighten me please?

    (Link removed by administrator)

    I guess specifically #6 and #10..what are your refutations to them, if any?

    I’d appreciate a response. Thanks!

    Janie

  95. I thought the same thing Russell: how do you count the cost of a gift? It’s utter nonsense!
    John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
    And I suppose Billy Graham would say this verse offers false assurance?

  96. It’s OK to be angry …Paul wished that the Lordship Salvationists would castrate themselves! (Gal 5:12)

  97. Russell, I think it’s o.k. to be angry at them, I get angry, it’s false teaching, and it will cost people their lives. I get criticized on a frequent basis for it, but who is doing right? The one who sees the danger and warns, or the one that stays quiet for the sake of ‘unity’ with ‘other believers’ and costs people their very souls.

    I guess even many in my family consider me radical and maybe avoid me for that reason. I love them and pray for them, I am concerned for the ones who compromise and may cost people, and I am afraid for those of them who haven’t understood the gospel. In their eyes, it’s about me ‘being right’ and no one agreeing with me. I am only concerned with whether I am pleasing Him in doctrine and in actions and speech, and I realize I fail, but that is my motivation and desire and I want to continue.

    I cannot know these false teacher’s motives, whether good, or whether bad, I can guess, but it would be according to the appearance, so I will not attribute either motives to them as per John 7:24, but I certainly can know who they are (false prophets) and that their (doctrine) fruits are bad.

    When I am angry, I try to remember to use His Word and let His Word do the work, otherwise, I’d be lopping off ears 🙂

  98. Russell,

    Welcome to our Oasis of Grace. Your comment is excellent.

    Feelings?? Yes, feelings are the acids that eat away at the simplicity that is in Christ, the Gospel of free Grace. Lying preachers playing on folk’s feelings.. “Feeling” lies and lying feelings – Neither can be trusted.

    We know you will find Grace friends here and we sure thank you for your comment. We are encouraged by your appreciation for ExPreacherMan.com. To His credit, we are thankful to the Lord for this ministry.

    Be sure to subscribe to future posts and comments.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  99. Matt for Grace and Truth

    Agreed. Well said Russell.

    Per Romans 11:6, salvation is an unmerited grace free gift or it’s a bargained for exchange / trade. By definition, it can’t be both. The Bible clearly states that eternal life salvation is a free gift (Romans 6:23 etc.).

  100. Well said Russell. I agree.

    Jim F

  101. The Gospel was corrupted right from the very first which was why Paul wrote Galations. Satan uses the same tricks over and over again and the reason why is that they work. He is very smart and knows that man in his flesh feels, notice I said feels, that salvation , must cost him something. Whenever we go by feelings we are prone to being decieved that is why the basis of our salvation must be Gods Word and the promises that it contains. Not our feelings or our performance. I don’t know about the rest of you but I am starting to get angry with the false gospel teachers like JMAC and Chan. They are wolves in sheeps clothing. The sad thing is I think they beleive they are really trying to please God.

    The simple truth is that they are standing in opposition to God. If you listen to Christian radio you will hear that most of the teachers will teach either a out right works salvation or a weak, and I mean very weak, free grace salvation. They are always talking about turning from sins as part of their Gospel presentation and I don’t think any of them have thought through what they are saying.

    The way I explain to someone about why turning from sins is NOT a part of the Gospel is this way: If I come to you with a box of candy and tell you its a free gift and you take it and then enjoy eating the candy then it was a free gift. If however I come to you with a box of candy and tell you its a free gift but you have to be willing to give me your pocket watch because I hate pocket watches then I’m not offering a gift but a trade. Saying a person has to be willing to turn from their sins in order to be saved is to make the Gospel a trade (give up your sins and get eternal life). That is an insult to God and to the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on our behalf. I have said it before but it needs to be repeated – either salvation is a free gift or it is not. There is no middle ground. Either God is true or He is a liar and we know that He is true.

    When you hear people say salvation is a free gift but that it will cost you everything realize that you have just heard a bunch of nonsense. Gifts don’t cost. I don’t present cheap grace I present FREE Grace because the price has been paid in full!!!!

    Thanks again for all that is done at this web site.

  102. Genevieve, great question. I think there are people who believe that they are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, but who have a corrupt view of what “faith” means. For example, someone may think that saving faith must include a desire to live a better life or a willingness to turn from sin. Such a person would say that they believe in salvation by grace through faith in Christ, but they really don’t. If they never have, they remain lost.

    That’s why corrupt gospel presentations are accursed – because they confuse people, and are counter-productive in bringing them to faith in Christ.

    For example, the Southern Baptist Convention pollutes the gospel in a number of ways, including the following, under “How to Become a Christian:
    “I acknowledge I am a sinner – this is to repent or turn away from sin”

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

  103. ” If someone believes that they are saved by faith alone,but believe in some kind of works without realizing it,can they still be saved?”

    The Lord knoweth them that are his.

    2 Tim 2:
    16But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. 19Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
    20But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

  104. If someone believes that they are saved by faith alone,but believe in some kind of works without realizing it,can they still be saved?Because lots of people think that they believe that they are saved by faith alone,but are still believing in some form of works,without realizing that they are.

  105. Very good article John.

  106. John,
    Yes, Galatians 3 is a great passage to bring people back to faith. In that passage, Paul asks a series of questions that direct the LSer to recall his experience at conversion. That is very powerful.
    -John O

  107. Bob,

    I should have elaborated and said,
    “The REA Florida Bible College in Tampa.. the only Real one”!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  108. Bob Gilbert, I know many who have come out of Lordship who started by believing the gospel and were later bewitched by these teachings, many… and so, no one suggests they are not saved, unless they never understood and believed upon Jesus Christ and His work on the cross on their behalf. If they have added to the gospel and believed that is the way to be saved, unfortunately they are lost. I am thanking the Lord for those I see who are coming out of it..

  109. Thanks Bob,

    And we try to break through that “confused” state with the Truth of the Gospel of Grace and pray they will respond.

    Though those preaching a false message, may be saved, the person himself is still accursed (to be put aside, excommunicated, banned).

    Galatians 1:8
    “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

    Good to hear from a representative of the REAL Florida Bible College.

    In Jesus Christ eternally Jack

  110. I am very glad to see you clearly pointing out that there are folks who believe in and teach Lordship Salvation who HAVE trusted in Christ alone for their salvation, and are now confused. We too easily err and say that someone who believes and teaches what LS believes and teaches “is not saved” – but they might have been, and thereafter might have become confused.

  111. Genevieve, it is good that you know who it is that is trying to confuse you!

    Ephesians 6:11: Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

  112. Thanks John,

    I agree with FryingPan — The Lord has given you some Marvelous insights into His Word.

    Thanks,

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  113. Yeah,thinking that I have to believe that the bible is Gods Word to be saved,would be adding works.Because its believing the Gospel plus something,that is works.Satan is sneaky he got me with that one.I didn’t know for sure.Thanks for clearing that up.

  114. “Do we have to believe that the bible is Gods Word to be saved?”

    faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
    Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
    Rom 10:15 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!
    Rom 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
    Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    “it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

    1Co 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
    1Co 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
    1Co 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
    1Co 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
    1Co 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
    1Co 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
    1Co 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

  115. Genevieve, people are not saved by believing in the Bible. They are saved by believing in Jesus. There are many people who believe the Bible is the Word of God, that Christ died, was buried, and was raised from the dead, but they still don’t have eternal life.

    Why? Because they do not believe that Christ paid the full price for their sins, and that eternal life is a free gift without cost or obligation to us.

    Anyone who is saved has believed God’s plan of salvation. Some believed before any of the Bible was ever reduced to writing (Romans 4:3: For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.) Others believed before all of the Bible was reduced to writing (Peter, Paul, James, Martha, etc.). Many others have come to faith in Christ since the Bible was completed. Some have done so without even knowing there was such a thing as the Bible. Still others who are saved believe the Bible contains the Word of God, instead of being the Word of God (that is, they believe in extra-biblical revelation). So, do we have to believe the Bible is God’s Word to be saved? We have to believe the Gospel.

    Believers come to faith by hearing (or reading) God’s plan of salvation, which is revealed in His Word, the Bible.

    Romans 6:17: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

  116. Do we have to believe that the bible is Gods Word to be saved?

  117. To quote the title of one of my Pinterest boards, YES!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Great post, John. Such a simple concept: false teachers are not disciples. I’m amazed I’ve not had that pointed out to me before. God has given you some marvelous insights!

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