Christ Follower, or False Gospel Swallower?

By johninnc (with thanks to our friend Curtis for suggesting this topic, and our friend Preston who provided input through previous commentary)

John 10:27: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 

The above verse is often used as a proof text by those who think that works are necessary for eternal life.

Following is an example from a recent comment:

Don’t you all have verse 27 of John 10 in your Bibles? Why are you quoting verse 28 ALONE without 27? John 10:27-28 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, [they know My voice] AND THEY FOLLOW ME. And I give them eternal life …”

Following are excerpts from the sound Biblical response that our friend Preston provided, along with a link to the entire comment:

So do we have “to follow” to be saved. the answer is YES (but not by works). Let me explain…

although faith is NOT a work, Jesus called it a “work” in CONTEXT when He was asked, what must we do to work the workS of God” and Jesus replied, this is the work of God, that ye believe on the one whom He hath sent” John 6:28-29…

SUMMARY/POINT – what did Jesus say to do to have eternal life? He said to “believe in Him” or “TRUST in Him” to have eternal life. So if one “believes in Him”, that HE died for our sins and rose again they HAVE FOLLOWED and done the “ONE THING” that Jesus said to do for everlasting life.

Despite the confusion caused by conflating following Christ in discipleship with believing in Christ as Savior, or perhaps because of it, it has become fashionable in the world of professing Christendom to use the term “Christ follower”  as a synonym for “Christian.”

The term “Christ follower” can mean a lot of things. One of the more benign uses of the term is to connote a Christian, who is a also a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, the term “Christ follower” can communicate much more sinister messages. Among them are:

  • That use of the term “Christian” should be avoided, because it carries  a stigma in broader society
  • That there are clearly-defined strata of Christians – that one is either a “Christ follower” altogether, or not at all
  • That the message of salvation is about what we are doing for Jesus, instead of what He has done for us
  • That believing in Jesus as Savior is not sufficient for eternal life

In his sermon entitled “Living in Light of Our Redemption”, delivered March 10, 2013, Tom Cucuzza discussed the use of the term “follower of Christ”, and how it communicates the wrong message. Following is a pertinent excerpt:

Minutes 41:10- 42:30

We don’t talk about believers anymore. Well, we do, ‘cause that’s what the Bible calls us. But, you know what? Because of the huge impact that those who are preaching Lordship salvation, which is works for salvation, because of the huge impact they’re having on Christendom today, the new buzzword is “followers of Christ.”

You hear that a lot – followers of Christ? A follower of Christ. Where’s the emphasis there? It’s on how you’re living, right? Not what you believe, but how you’re living. There are people who have followed the moral teachings of scripture their whole lives, who when they die, they won’t go to Heaven. They have followed the Sermon on the Mount as best they can. I’ve had people tell me “I’m going to Heaven.” Why? “Because I follow the Sermon on the Mount.” And I’m thinking, “no you don’t. No, you don’t. You can’t. It’s an ideal. It’s great. There are great principles there. I believe them. But, you know what? If you’re going to follow that, your gonna have to be perfect, and none of us are. You’re not gonna make it there by that.”

So, when somebody says, “oh, they’re a follower of Jesus”, my question is “what do you mean by that?” Well, usually they’ll say “well, they follow the teachings of Jesus.” Well, that has to do with how you live. Are you gonna get to Heaven by how you live? No. You get to Heaven by faith in Christ.

If you would like to know how to have eternal life, whether you are a Christ follower, or not, please click here: The Gospel

220 responses to “Christ Follower, or False Gospel Swallower?

  1. If you ever heard “will the real jesus stand up?” it comes from them.

  2. Gotcha. Very interesting approach.

  3. It is liberal, a team project and a mess. They vote on what jesus really said. Any theory goes except the truth. Some scholarship.

  4. Jason, I’m not familiar with that, but it sounds like something to avoid.

  5. john, sounds like you are describing the jesus seminar.

  6. Curtis, my wife and I were just discussing the internal contradictions we see within the same statements of faith. It’s as if they were group projects, written by multiple individuals and voted upon.

  7. This pretty well sums up the churches in a 60 mile radius of me. York PA is 30m from me.
    Talked to a pastor recently 50 minutes from me who said he is a “Bob Wilkin follower and old school DTS calvanist when calvanism was calvanism not the reformed theology of today..” whatever that means.
    They do have Gospel of Grace tracts and Reformed theology books on same table.

    What a mess..
    I do seek out churches regularly in my area. But just like John posted above its all works for or for evidence of salvation.
    How GES and legalism coexist in same assembly is puzzling to me other than they are both systems of thought.

  8. The following excerpts are from an article in Fox News opinion section entitled “Pastor: Actions of Many Christians Today Would Frighten Jesus.” The article was written by Michael Anthony, lead pastor of Grace Fellowship of York, PA.

    Following are some quotes, along with my comments:

    I fear that a large sector of Christianity needs to get saved all over again, and I say that with tears, fear and a good deal of trembling.

    My comment: no, you say that out of either ignorance or deceit. If someone is saved, he can’t be saved again. Your church’s doctrinal statement professes belief in eternal security. So, what you are really trying to say is that you are concerned that many Christians aren’t really saved. That is an impossibility. Many professing Christians may be unsaved. But, their behavior, which is the focus of your political article, should not lead you to any inferences or concern about whether or not they have eternal life.

    Sin is bad and people definitely need to repent before they can follow Jesus. I’m not disregarding that essential part of the gospel.

    My comment: Neither repenting from sin, nor following Jesus are essential components of the gospel. They are part of committed discipleship, but not in any way part of how one receives eternal life.

    I took a look at the doctrinal statement for his church. It has a couple of things that lean toward Lordship “salvation”/ perseverance of the saints.


    We believe that once a person gives their life to Christ as Master, God, and Savior, they are spiritually born again, eternally forgiven and eternally secure in their salvation and relationship to God.

    My comment: one does not receive eternal life by giving anything to Jesus Christ. This statement connotes a requirement of commitment to obedience to receive eternal life. The Bible says that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ. The Bible says that eternal life is God’s gift to us, not part of a gift exchange.

    We believe genuine salvation produces a growing commitment to advancing God’s Kingdom and glory by prioritizing the Great Commission and making disciples around the world, while eagerly awaiting Christ’s return.

    My comment: this false statement conveys at least three litmus tests for determining whether or not one has eternal life. The first is commitment, the second is prioritization, and the third is eagerly awaiting Christ’s return. There are no such litmus tests given in the Bible for evidence of eternal life.

  9. Read Hebrews 9-10, specifically vs. 10 in chapter 9 to find out when the time of ‘reformation’ was 🙂 Part of my reading tonight and particularly (and always) poignant with respects to the Catholic Priests and their offerings (Masses) for sin. Daily… Christ died once for all, perfecting us forever. He is the only Priest, the only Mediator.

  10. Jason, the RCC teaches that the church was built on Peter, but do not make a distinction between petra and petros. Petros is little stone or rock, petra is the rock that the wise man built his house on (from Matt 7). The confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God is what the church (believers) would be built with.

    As far as the gates of hell prevailing against the ‘church’, that speaks to (in my understanding) believers in the church age (or fullness of the Gentiles) because we see later in the tribulation (prophesied in Daniel 7) that Satan would prevail against the saints (believers, but not the church). The church is not an organized religion but a body that consists only of believers.

    20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.

    21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

    22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

  11. I haven’t read all, but Servetus was just one of many murdered, beheaded, burned at the stake, exiled from their homes. Some of them for fear of the ‘plague’, Calvin was sure they had touched his doorknob and wouldn’t go places. Bernard Cottret (believe the spelling is close) was a French historian I believe (don’t quote me, it’s been awhile) but he quite admired Calvin and yet tells over over 50 deaths directly attributed to him.

    As for Luther, he wrote the ‘Jews and their lies’ booklet, still distributed by Nazi’s and white supremacists to this day, interestingly many Calvinists have the same kind of feeling for them I’m afraid. Voddie Bauchum is one who asks (in one of his sermons), ‘do I love Israel’? No! We’re Israel.’ (something to that effect, but I have the exact words if one would want to bother listening.

  12. “Many Calvinists don’t know they are Calvinists” that’s because Calvinists sneakily call TULIP the “doctrines of grace”. Sounds more biblical and it avoids the argument that they follow man made doctrines. I just recently ran across a guy who didn’t think he was a Calvinist but touted the “doctrines of grace” I explained that that is Calvinism and he now knows he is a Calvinist. In the same conversation a guy said he was a Calvinist, he touted the “doctrines of grace” and when put to the test he ended up denying limited atonement and since he believed(s) faith is a gift from God he had to deny irresistible grace as well to avoid universal salvation. I don’t know what he calls himself now but he quit calling himself a Calvinist but he is definitely LS and doesn’t know it.

  13. Curtis, works as evidence of salvation is the false Calvinist tenet of perseverance of the saints – the ‘P’ in the false Calvinist TULIP.

    So, anyone who embraces that teaching has embraced at least part of Calvinism.

  14. “Many Calvinists don’t know that they are Calvinists, just like many Lordship “salvationists” don’t know they are Lordship “salvationists.””

    Yep 20 years of don’t know i was Calvanist and lordship in my thinking and in my approach to scriptures. I was learning a system of thought.

    Most Baptist will also correctly answer Grace means undeserved favor but turn around and use works as evidence of salvation

  15. Jason, the Southern Baptist Convention embraces some, or all, of the points of Calvinism. See articles linked below:

    Many Calvinists don’t know that they are Calvinists, just like many Lordship “salvationists” don’t know they are Lordship “salvationists.”

  16. I thought most Baptists were dispensational and non-Calvivist.

    When talking to Catholics I am confronted with the obvious fact that the Catholic Church has been around a long time, and that Biblical Christians seem to be the new kids on the block. Of course, the Bible itself demonstrates that Biblical teachings were there all along. I am always stumped when I am asked by a Catholic why I do not believe what Jesus promised concerning the victory of the church over the gates of hell. To them, I am apparently calling God a liar because I rejected the church.

    I am reminded that Israel was double minded throughout most of its history. Could the same be true of the church?

  17. most of church history is at least confused about Israel and the church so im with Johninc on church history and if you are ever privileged to witness to a Hebrew you never talk about church history if it comes up you apologize for the church and thank The Hebrew people for the Word of God and hopefully turn conversation to talk of the Jewish Messiah…

    Covenant theology error false doctrine below in quotes the same old same double talk:
    “The Church doesn’t replace Israel; the Church is Israel and Israel is the Church (Galatians 6:16). All people who exercise the same faith as Abraham are part of the covenant people of God (Galatians 3:25-29)”

    Church history to this day stumbles all over themselves because they can not see The Truth of The Gospel the distinctions between, The Gospel of The Kingdom and The Gospel of Grace . same message of save by grace through faith but different programs or dispensations. We are in the church age . the church did not exist in the old testament as much as they try to spiritualize the Old Testament.
    we are not here to build a Kingdom but to present a crucified Savior.
    This is were Spurgeon and most Baptist error from the Truth of Scriptures.

  18. When I was in school, the importance of church history was stressed to me by a Calvinist teacher. One thing I was shocked to learn much later was that substitionary atonement was virtually unknown from 110 to 1100, when Anselm allegedly recovered it. Evidently, Augustine and company had been liberals. I Little did I know how much I was being mislead.

  19. Jason, I consider RC to be a false religion, so I don’t really understand how it could have been “reformed.”

    Calvinism is just RC lite, and baptismal regeneration is also works for salvation.

    I don’t really pay a lot of attention to church history, because I don’t know how much of it is reliable. All I can do is compare peoples’ purported gospels to scripture and determine whether or not they line up.

    Most today don’t line up, irrespective of their origins.

  20. Curtis, I notice that not all people who come to this grace oasis are fans of the reformation. I myself have had to reevaluate. I find the murder of Servetus puzzling. I have wondered what the real church history is. I know Baptists have their theories, but I cannot be certain. I used to reason that Luther and Calvin were not perfect but were saved and used by God. My reading of Luther’s commentary on Galatians gives me the impression that Luther understood the dual nature of the believer as we do. However, Luther’s baptismal regeneration is hard to swallow.

    Cucuzza has stated that he does not consider himself Protestant. Many Baptists are of the view that they were never part of the apostate church.

  21. Phil
    the reformers wrestled the word of God and the church away from the church only the RCC had the word of God and the population was mostly illiterate . The spiritual culture of the time was barbaric at best people lived in fear of a RCC authority pronouncing a soul to hell even after death. The History Channel has a documentary about the Black plague I don’t like what history channel stands for but appears they did a good job at explaining the religious culture of the time..
    what is troubling with the reformers is some of them started out in grace but ended in law. Martin Luther was one of them. His early writings were of grace. When Luther was rejected by the Jews he turned against the Jews and is responsible for fueling hatred towards the Jews which is not scriptural.

  22. there is another ministry by Charels Clough he goes into the ancient wisdom arguments extensively . I have listened to so much i don’t know were it was at in the series. Charles Clough is long winded and very thorough and at times hard to follow at least for me

  23. this maybe what you looking for jason to give you an answer

    Click to access PHR-ebk.pdf

    the author of this publication under salvation statement of Faith :

    WE BELIEVE that those who by faith alone and through no merit of their own receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior are miraculously born again of the Holy Spirit and become children of God and partakers of His divine nature and eternal life.

    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. (Col. 2:8.)

    “Thus the problem always haunting the
    psychospiritual integrationists is the source
    from which they have borrowed: psychological
    counseling systems, recently devised by
    agnostics and atheists, to answer questions
    about the human condition without regard for
    the Creator and His Word.”

    ” the psychologizing of the
    church is neither biblically nor scientifically

  24. Somehow, the apologists make it sound like giving every reason for the hope. Both KJV and NIV say to give answer to every man that asks for a reason, which is not the same. Some of the arguments that apologists use (eg, ontological argument) are not very convincing.

  25. My answer to your question jason would be just to give them the good news, the gospel of how God has saved you through Christ’s death, burial and resurrection taking away all your sins and giving you eternal life. This is exactly what 1 Peter 3:15 is referring to. If these apologists won’t accept that then don’t waste your time with them.

  26. Jason, I believe the word “philosophy” only shows up once in the New Testament, and it is not used in a positive light.

  27. I will admit that apologists have ended up confusing me. Speaking of Aquinas, much is made of classical education and how to think like the ancients. It is usually thought that a well rounded scholar should know about Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates. Knowledge of Latin is still highly valued by devout classicists, as much as it has declined in modern education.
    Aquinas is considered required reading. The Bible does not have such a high opinion of philosophers. Aristotle’s physics is believed by historians of science to have played a role in the persecution of Galileo.

  28. What about giving aswer to those who ask me for the reason for the hope that is in me (1 Peter 3:15)? That is the justification most apologists use for their work.

  29. jason, Geisler is interesting to listen to, but he comes across like it’s a knowledge thing, an intellectual exercise. At least that’s my take on him.
    In my experience, these “theologians” can leave you in confusion about the central message of Bible and the good news. They can end up putting doubts and worries in your mind. I say focus on the Bible and all the good things that God has for the believer, and leave all the apologetics for the theology “intellectuals.”

  30. I could never understand the fascination with Aquinas. Even Norman Geisler is a fan. Aquinas defended transsubstantiation with sophistry.

  31. Phil, like you, I don’t really see much difference between RC and Protestantism.

    After all, a false religion cannot be “reformed.”

  32. it seems so strange that the “Refomers” and Protestantism who with contempt seemed to reject so much of Catholicism and called it “papism” , actually held onto so much of what they rejected. They held onto their false definition of grace saying the believer could loose and regain it and that only a chosen few would see eternity. Their heroes are Augustine and Thomas a Quinas who are also heroes to Catholicism. Go figure? If all this is true then what did Calvin and the Reformers accomplish? In reality, did they simply get rid of indulgences and ceremonial means of grace that the RCC insisted on? The reformers, Luther and Calvin, herolded justification by grace alone thru faith alone in Christ alone, but they are not alone if they add works or “repenting” which to them involves self reform. They claim they that they returned to Scripture only, but do they not filter the Bible through their confessions and creeds?
    Here is my creed: Christ died for ALL our sins. He took all my sins away and all his righteousness and sinlessness were credited (imputed) to me. He was buried with all my sins (gone forever). and Christ was raised from the dead. So when Christ died, as a believer, I died with Him, and was buried with Him. And being completely justified i am raised with Him and this means I will have eternal life with Him; no if’s, and’s, or buts’s. It’s a done deal the moment I believed and cannot be retracted, no matter what. And this is true of everyone who has trusted Christ as their Savior. Salvation in NOT our work: it is Christ’s work alone. All we can do is accept what He has done with our faith that he has taken care of our eternal salvation completely for us.
    I am writing this for those who worry whether they are saved or still saved and who have come out of the misery of LS and other legalist false teachings and fear mongering.

  33. Holly, no grace whatsoever in that message. It sounds just like Spurgeon.

  34. And quite a few of them end up becoming Catholic or Orthodox. They go from one loadship to another. In their spiritual journey, they discover that lordship is what the ancient churches have taught all along, and they love it. How sad.

  35. A lot of these ‘apologists’ are either from the strong Calvinist or Arminian camp. Youseff is something other than a Calvinist I believe, can’t remember now exactly what the basis was other than load-ship. I did save this on a document, but don’t know who cited the page.

    “Jesus, Jihad and Peace” – page 221

    Michael Youssef says: “But to obtain this free gift, you have to surrender. You have to give up and let Jesus take control of your life. You have to surrender your ‘weapons’, your selfish wants, your ambitions, ..your insistence on living to gratify your appetite for pleasure, material things, money, fame….drinking, drugs, gambling, pornography, adultery…bitterness, vengefulness, anger…Gratefully accept the free gift of salvation and lay down your weapons. You will be accepted and welcomed into God’s family now and forever”.

    No distinction between Salvation and Service, Justification and Sanctification, Grace and Works, Free gift and reward in heaven, Believer and Disciple — instead he merges them all together and ends up preaching a false gospel of ‘faith + works’.

  36. When ever we read scripture even more when reading The words of Jesus to observe contex, content, compare, conclude.
    Jesus words are a trap to the proud spiritual mind. When Jesus speaks offering a Kingdom to the Jews wich the Jews rejected.
    We are not here to build a kingdom but to offer a crucified saviour.
    The Gospel of the Kingdom program will be back on after the rapture.
    The Holy Spirit under the Law of the Spirit fufills all Jesus spoke. We as believer soul’s need only to yeild to Holy Spirit.
    The proud spiritual mind misses it completely. Yes they call Jesus Lord but they do not know Jesus as saviour.
    What a tragedy The proud pharasies go to hell looking at Jesus trying to duplicate the Life as christ like the Jews in old testiment. Saying whatch me bypass Jesus Christ and get to heaven by my good works..

  37. Another thing I observe in my experience has to do with the question, “how does one get born again?” The common answer is, by repenting of sin and the whole litany of lordship hoops. Nicodemus merely asked how it is possible. The sixteenth verse in context is telling me that one is born again by believing in Him, and John 1:12 confirms.

    I was once told by a relative that Episcopalians are born once. I have observed that even devout Catholics believe in the second birth. There is hardly any denomination that does not agree with what Jesus told Nicodemus. Unfortunately, few understand how it is possible or how it is done.

  38. There is so much left unsaid in Michael Youssef’ statement of faith on his ministry website along with no gospel presentation . even very simple basic “Eternal Life Free Gift ” i did not find I am convinced from my experience someone who is exposing their minds to false gospel can not give a clear gospel presentation. at very least They can not say “Free Gift of Eternal life in same sentence” .

    Interesting observation Jason of Born Again equals lifestyle change have not thought about it that way. But Nicodemus said after Jesus said you must be born again the natural religious legalistic mind thinks as Nicodemus ” How Can ” ? and totally miss what Jesus is saying. Jesus is talking about spiritual birth that can not be seen.

  39. These were just the sort of comments that had me confused in times past. Mary, I had not known Youssef was Calvinist. I guess there is more Calvinism in the Anglican communion than I realized.

  40. Jason, we often receive comments from detractors who are focused on life change as proof (or strong evidence) of eternal life. The detractors commonly use the argument that you must be born again (which is true), but they insist that life change is how you can tell that you are born again (which is false).

  41. Isn’t Youseff a Calvanist

  42. I just had the misfortune of coming across one Michael Youssef’s sermons on Youtube. It was about the necessity of being born again for salvation. In my experience, “born again” typically means “chaged life”, and this was no exception. Youssef never got around to connecting second birth with the sinless new nature or pinning it on simple faith in the Son.

  43. Curtis, “catch phrase” is the right term for false teachers who teach (either directly, or by implication) that eternal life is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, but…(insert catch phrase)

  44. yes that sermon by Pastor Tom is a good reminder “Christ Follower”
    when a pulpit person uses the catch phrase “Christ Follower” and leaves it undefined it keeps the lost lost working for salvation and the saved confused seeking to define “Christ Follower” by their own measuring stick..

    in the IFCA Church I attended would also hear the catch phrase “Follow Christ in Baptism” .
    We don’t follow Christ in Baptism . Christ Jesus is giving us an Identification principal in that we are to be dead to sin and alive unto God. There is no saving work in Baptism there is not one drop of water in romans.
    all false teaching perverts Baptism using the catch phrase “Christ Follower

  45. There is a good sermon in Tom’s Revelation series that touches on this “Christ follower” trend in churchianity today. It is around the 35:20 mark in the sermon linked below:

  46. Guido
    Righteousness is imputed to the believer (in Christ) at the moment of belief; it is imputed righteousness not imparted righteousness. The believer is considered by God to be just and this is not based on our works but the atonement provided by Jesus Christ which satisfied the righteous demands of God against sin.

    Think of empty glasses and a vessel full (of righteousness). Imputation is to consider the empty glasses to contain the righteousness even when they do not. Impartation is to pour the righteousness into the glasses. Sinners are empty glasses and believers (sinners) are empty glasses considered to be full in the eyes of God through the work of Christ.

    The way Jesus lived His life in obedience to the will of the Father, showing how the indwelling Spirit operates (in true humanity), is model for how believers are to operate. This is not a human requirement for justification but is necessary to growing and producing as sons of God.

  47. To me guidio and I hope I am wrong about this is that you are simply making a statement and not interested in the Truth of the Gospel. You have received biblical Truth in response to your question / statement. To keep turning away from truth Jude was written as a stern warning also book of Hebrews.

  48. Guido Arbia
    What is God’s standard for righteousness ?

  49. Guido, I have been praying for you (if you are the same as the other Guido who stopped in from time to time).

    2 Pet 1:5-9 is clear many things can happen to any believer that does not add to their faith. And it is clear that believers do many things that not even the heathen do (1 Cor 5). And it is clear plenty of nonbelievers like Mormons, Catholics, Jewish people, Jehovah’s witnesses, Buddhists etc. appear to have plenty of good fruit.

    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.

    9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

  50. Guido, if you have believed in Jesus as your Savior, you have eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited – even if you never do one good work, and even if you abandon the faith.

    Romans 6:19 calls on us to yield our members to righteousness unto holiness. If we do that, it will result in fruitfulness.

  51. Guido,

    I’d flip the question and ask: Where in the Bible does it say that being saved means someone will automatically produce good works and fruit?

    You can be sure you are saved through answering the following question:

    Have I, a sinner in need of salvation, believed that Christ paid for all my sins, was buried and rose again from the dead to save me?

    If the answer is “yes” you have been given eternal life. If the answer is “no” you have not.

    As for Romans 6, go back to Romans 5. Paul makes the case that salvation is by faith alone, plus nothing. The obvious question for his hearers/readers would have been: “so, if we’re saved by grace through faith, what then of sin…shall we just continue?” Paul answers his own question and says “no, we should not”. Should not, not “can not” or “will not”. Thus why he later says, in the same chapter written to believers: “let sin not therefore reign in your mortal body”.

  52. Guido Arbia

    I worry that I have never done a single good work, and have even for at least a day abandoned the faith. How can I be sure that I am saved? Doesn’t the whole book of Romans, starting from the point where it says, “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound,” teach that we will have fruit in our lives if we are truly saved? Where in the Bible does it say that we can live our whole lives without producing a single fruit or work of righteousness, and yet be saved?

  53. “My faith has brought me to a whole other level. I love talking about my faith. I think that with Christians, they’ve left such a bad taste in people’s mouths. Just like, overly pushy with the subject, overly churchy and religious. I just wanna honestly live like Jesus. Not be Jesus—I could never—I don’t want that to come across weird. He created a pretty awesome template of how to love people and how to be gracious and kind. If you believe it, he died for our sins.
    Christians leave such a bad taste in people’s mouths, even myself. I was like, I’m not gonna go to church…It doesn’t make you a Christian just by going to church. I think that going to church is fellowship, it’s relationship, it’s what we’re here on the earth to do, to have this connection that you feel there’s no insecurities. I think that’s where we need to be. Like I said, you don’t need to go to church to be a Christian. If you go to Taco Bell, that doesn’t make you a taco.” Justin Bieber, in an interview with Complex Magazine

    Maranatha Jackie! Well I’ve learned a few things today re: Justin Bieber:
    1) how to spell ‘Bieber’
    2) grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone is between Justin Bieber & God (just like the rest of us), regardless of other judging ‘believers’.
    It’s funny I heard his quote about Taco Bell, etc. on a secular radio show yesterday. All the NON-believers on this radio show (self proclaimed agnostics) were just as quick to judge JB, which is ironic > they hold Justin Bieber to a standard they claim is not relevant to their own lives, yet condemn and impugn JB using those irrelevant standards. (Yes inevitably many Christians will come out of the wood work as well in the next several weeks to condemn Mr. Bieber.) We need to pray for these celebrities who attempt to proclaim Christ, as feeble as they may sound proclaiming Him, because they are receiving darts and arrows and condemnation from BOTH camps. Tragic.

  54. Jackie,I agree with you.

    Behavior is not evidence of whether or not one has eternal life.

  55. Comment by a friend in UCLA Cru Christian Fellowship regarding Justin Bieber’s recent comments of his professed faith:

    “Biebs [Justin Bieber] has consistently “proclaimed his faith” over the years, but also has consistently lived his life in a way that doesn’t reflect Jesus at all. As much as it would be great to have someone so famous proclaim the gospel, it doesn’t matter at all if he isn’t living it out…and I’m not talking about not having struggles, because every one of Christ’s followers does. I’m talking about (seemingly, I don’t know him personally obvi) never attempting to change in the first place. I just watched a video the other day of a bunch of celebrities talking about God and his love, and this Christian website was praising them for speaking out. But many of them (specifically Rihanna, though I am a fan) absolutely do not live out their “faith.” Whether they are true believers or not is definitely between them and God, but I think it does more harm than good to put them on a pedestal for proclaiming their faith if they are going to live a terrible example.”

    I see at best confusion and at worst resistance to the grace of God in the Gospel. There you see all that “Christ followers” lordship lingo as if you’re only believing in Christ, but not following in obedience than you mustn’t be saved. I do not believe a believer should go off and live in sin, but their doing so doesn’t discount their receipt of eternal life as a gift from God. Personally, I would be more concerned over the gospel Justin Bieber has believed and NOT his lifestyle. Even so, he attends Hillsong NYC and it is possible he has actually never believed. I don’t know. I hate seeing people torn up about the sin in others lives, but care very little if their faith is actually in Christ. I’m tired of the rampant error. So tired. Maranatha.

  56. Jesus died for sin and unto sin , the sin nature
    to think that I/we can do something about my sin is to be carnally minded.

    For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
    might be fulfilled in us , Notice In us not by us

    they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh;
    focussing on sin gets you more sin
    our focus is to be on Jesus , Abide in Him

    Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
    Rom 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    Rom 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
    Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
    Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

  57. “turning from sins means to stop breaking the law”

    Exactly! I don’t remember when I realised this, but it clarified so much.

  58. Johninnc, hard to keep them all straight. I didn’t know that was from or associated with Jerry Falwell. A friend let me know of this association, having seen it on my Isaiah notes. I had to cite them because I used some of their list of Bible verses regarding God’s character, and also I wrongly used another guy’s outline on a portion of the divisions of Isaiah. (I cited him too – I believe he told me he was Church of Christ). I did not know their doctrine, and I did not warn more than to say that I didn’t know their doctrine.

    So thankfully a friend let me know, and I corrected it publicly so that any who listen to my study will know. When we re-convene after the summer, I’ll do it then too.

    I knew of almost nobody, none of these names. It seems like where I am from, or maybe the Bible church I came from, we honestly didn’t hear of anyone. My family didn’t allow much t.v. growing up, so I didn’t see the religious channels, and didn’t know who people were like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Paul Crouch, Tammy Faye Baker, etc. I went to a Christian school with Dutch reformed, Nazarenes, and pentecostals (the first i heard of them, but we were urged not to discuss ‘religion’ so I still encountered what some of the errors were, as some argued to lose salvation, and the reformed seemed to just take solace in where they had grown up. I never had heard of John MacArthur until facebook. I didn’t ‘know’ what Calvinism was either. Trouble was, men, pastors, teachers KNOWINGLY quoted errant men with no warning whatsoever…how much I was hurt by that.

    Wow… If I had only kept all those books as reference books. I had NO idea who Thomas Merton or Brennan Manning was, but I learned. I had never heard of Paul Yonggi Cho, or even popular people like Rick Warren until maybe 2000. I had heard of Billy Graham, but didn’t like the teaching, I thought something was WAY wrong with me that I didn’t ‘feel’ what the crowd obviously was ‘feeling’ at this ‘crusade’. How funny he should name it as another ‘crusade’. Doesn’t exactly bring good connotations with it.

    I’m learning over time, sure men can make mistakes, but I’m very saddened when they knowingly do so, and won’t correct them. Maybe I’m too nitpicky? Maybe I need to take the beam out of my own eye as I make mistakes. But then I ask, how do I respond, or how should I respond when I have unknowing quoted a man of error? I guess I can only do what I believe He calls us to do, make it right so we don’t make a young one stumble.

  59. Johninnc
    It was actually a group out to debate the heresy of Calvinism, which was overrun by Calvinists. They did indeed debate, and seemed to angry when the Word of God was used alone…

    Joy founder

    I’ve seen this, they are infiltrating and are themselves ‘change agents’ and the reformation is growing like a canker. I think they think they are the kingdom that will fill up the whole world. Yesterday, several Calvinists, a pastor, his friend, and a young man in his mid 20’s, all Calvinists, came in to answer me on my article on whether limited atonement is true or not (on Facebook).

    Amazing the tactics of the enemy.

    First one (who turned out to be a pastor) declared we all believe in limited atonement (no matter how we try to ‘wiggle’ out of it).

    Then the sarcasm creeped in, and the statements as if truth, ‘so you adding believing to His atonement is the ‘winning ticket’ and if we have to believe as a condition, it’s not a ‘free gift’. And the funniest part? I don’t think he meant to say this, but when one is arguing from a human perspective, they get lost in knowledge and they don’t realize how they just contradicted themselves.

    He said, We can limit the atonement? Really??? Then who is on the throne? Him or us? We can thwart God’s purposes? That a very small god. He then went on to say, Christ only died for His sheep using thee example that He said the Pharisees were not His sheep. (Slyly leaving out that Christ was speaking of whether they heard His voice or not). He then said it was universalism and silliness to think I could limit what he had done.

    Huh? They have you scratching your heads. It continued on until I had to ask him to stop several times to the point of having to remove him since he would not honor my request. One of his friends came in to finish his cause ☺

    His rallying cry was, CALVINISM IS THE GOSPEL!!!

    I took the opportunity to share what the real gospel was at that point…

  60. John they have a lot to choose from, don’t they? And yes Holly unfortunately that does not surprise me. 8{ It’s funny these Biblical ‘scholars’ never seem familiar with the Bible verse: “But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.” II Timothy 2:23 or “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.” II Corinthians 4:5

    Here’s a personal example of Calvinist corruption > I remember the little family mountain church I grew up in was filled with lovers of Jesus. They served and grew in their faith in Christ because they loved Him and wanted to please Him. It was a family church. When my Dad resigned his pastorate there after 12 years eventually the church brought in a recent Talbot grad (no Masters Seminary yet). The guy preached like JMac, used the same expressions as JMac, even looked like JMac (same early 70’s hair style and glasses). He took out the donated pews that a member had made by hand as a love gift for our church, replacing them with folding chairs and started making our little family church into a MacArthur/Grace Church ‘center’, so to speak. For the first time I was exposed to the preaching of Calvinism, Reformed Calvinism, MacArthurism, whatever you want to call it. (I thought expository preaching was some type of hermeneutical medical condition. JK)

    Soon the folding chairs began being filled with ‘lovers and followers of man’. Gone was the familial atmosphere and the Sunday night personal testimonies of the members > how Jesus changed their lives. How they were transformed from a lifestyle of drugs or witchcraft or whatever went on in our mountain community in the sixties and early seventies. These excited, simple Jesus followers, who were growing and maturing along with God’s family, were replaced by people who debated ‘context’ and ‘theology’ and threw around $100 words like ‘exegesis’. The Bible was no longer God’s Word it was referred to as ‘the text’. JMac followers labelled less mature believers as ‘unsaved’ or ‘worldly’. Sunday morning services were conducted like a seminar.

    I remember when my Dad was still the pastor, he and my Mom would go to the back of the church every Sunday so our family could greet everyone asa the service ended. It was their family tradition and joy. Now this new JMac clone would finish his 1 hour 15 min expository sermon, give the benediction and literally walk down the center isle and without stopping, down the outside steps in the basement of the church to his office and wait until his wife came by to take him home.

    It finally occurred to me 41 years later what was so wrong > Satan divides. Knowledge puffs up. Love disappears when Jesus is pushed aside to make way for Theologians. The Bible is not just a text, it is the living, breathing Word of God. It is the SWORD. Yes I guess people at my new, ‘improved’ church liked that word, sword, not to be used to rightly divide the Word of Truth, but to metaphorically divide and conquer God’s people through debate. May I go so far as to say that John MacArthur and his pastor clones encourage debate among believers, not to bring the truth to light, but to destroy the remnant. ” . . . Satan is a roaring lion, [and] walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”:

  61. Holly, a “Calvinism Debate Group?” Do they debate which of their false gospels is true?

  62. JoyFounder, I watched for several days in a Calvinism debate group, where Jesus was not mentioned once by any of them, nor the Word of God other than their proof texts. Saddest thing to me for those who claim His name. Or do they come to think of it?

  63. Beautifully said Holly > we too had a Spurgeon Center in the last church we attended. One of the reasons we left the churches that heralded Calvin, Spurgeon, MacArthur, etc., they rarely spoke of JESUS, unless our Savior happened to fall into the weekly expository sermon on Matthew or whatever NT gospel a sermon series might include. No exaggeration we heard JMac’s name mentioned more than Jesus Christ.

  64. Oh…. so they have a building called The “Spurgeon building”? How very interesting and sad. Everyone and anyone but Jesus Christ is honored.

  65. Holly, I noticed the term “Christ follower” imbedded in the mission statement at Thomas Road Baptist Church (the late Jerry Fallwell’s church).

    Our mission is to change our world by developing Christ-followers who love God and love people.

    The church, which adheres to the Lordship “salvation” tenets of the “Baptist Faith and Message,” also has a building called “The Spurgeon Building” (presumably named after the popular 19th century false teacher, Calvinist, and Lordship “salvationist” Charles Spurgeon).

  66. I had just prayed for you ACGarcia, when I saw a post from you here, and I know others are praying for you too. It’s no mistake you are here, look up every verse you have been given, stop listening to the one who is not giving you food to eat, or seed to sow (Isaiah 55:10-11), is the Word coming down in the manner it says it those two verses? Or is what the person is saying creating a spirit of fear, which He does not give? (2 Tim 1:7)

  67. AcGarcia (Guido), have you been reading the Word, and studying with Him? Are you listening at all to Tom Cucuzza, or Yankee Arnold, or Hank Lindstrom, or some of the others who have commended themselves as sound Bible teachers (we still prove all things)?

    If you do nothing but listen to people who are there to teach you doubt, and skim over the rest of the whole counsel of God, you will always be in doubt.

    Have you believed the gospel, the good news for yourself?

    You know of course that heaven is perfect, not even a lie will enter there, and every one of us on this earth has done that and more. And because we live in this sinful flesh, believers will still sin. If we feed our minds with good food, the Word of God, we’ll do better, if we make provision for the flesh, we’re going to fail.

    But from the beginning man could not do just ONE THING. One command God gave them and they blew it. The Bible tells us that He knows we are dust. But He is like a Father who pities His children and has compassion on us. Man sinned, and God told them man would have to die, but He promised them right then a way out. The Messiah, who would be fully God and fully man, who would pay the price for their sin (Gen 3:15). He continued to remind them throughout Scripture, through the covenants and through the prophecies. Do you know that the just have always lived by faith? And that by God’s grace, it was never the just lived by law + grace, otherwise, Noah, David, Solomon, Samson, Moses, Aaron and others would have been goners. Faith in what? In the promises of God.

    God promised and swore by Himself. Do you know what that means? It is a unilateral contract, which means, a one-sided promise. He promised, and He will perform it. Some of the covenants were bilateral, meaning man had to perform certain things in order for the contract to be upheld. But not salvation. Abrahambelieved and it was counted to him for righteousness.

    We too must believe upon the Messiah. They were looking forward to the cross, but at the cross, Christ died for ALL of our sins (Col 2:13), and was buried and risen again in three days, proving He was God who laid down and took up His life willingly (as He said in John 10:17-18).

    Jesus, the Lord of Glory, had victory over death, we who have believed have been washed in His Blood (Rev 1:5). That means, we were sanctified, and perfected forever (Heb 10:10,14) by ONE sacrifice. We cannot sacrifice anything of ourselves.

    When we believe, we are given eternal life. We HATH (echo – means to possess or own) ETERNAL LIFE. It is everlasting, forever.

  68. Guido Please re read that chapter again
    They Knew God
    Romans 1:20-32

    when they knew God, when they knew God,
    when they knew God, when they knew God,
    neither were thankful

    And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge,
    And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge,

    God gave them over to a reprobate mind
    God gave them over to a reprobate mind

  69. acgarbia –

    That is during the “tribulation” period.

    2 Thess 2,

    10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

    11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

    12 That they all might be damned who BELIEVED NOT the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    if you go back up the chapter, you will see this is during the tribulation (the church wont be here).

    4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

    This is the abomination of Desolation that happens midway through the tribulation period (matt 24 and Daniel 9).

    After the “catching up” of the church
    After the witnesses
    After ALL the “signs” that have occurred from prophesy in “these days”.

    God simply says “fine, you still reject me, I will send a delusion that you will believe the lie.

    verse 13 – 13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and BELIEF OF THE TRUT

    IF you are taliking about Romans 1, there is nothing in the context that suggests God will not save them – simply keep reading in Romans (chapters 3,4 and 5) for your answer.

    hope this helped.

  70. What about the doctrine that teaches that God will give people over to a reprobate mind and no longer be willing to save them even while they are on this earth?

  71. God, please bless each one here, and thank You for Your goodness to give us each other.

  72. Phil, while the Holy Spirit is moving believers to explain the gospel to people so that they will understand, Satan is trying to remove the word from peoples’ hearts so they won’t understand.

    The hoops are not the work of the Holy Spirit.

    Holy Spirit

    Acts 8:29-35:

    [29] Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
    [30] And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
    [31] And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
    [32] The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
    [33] In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
    [34] And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
    [35] Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.


    Matthew 13:19: When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

  73. Hi Bobby Jo, It seems that just telling you all you have to do is believe the gospel is too easy. So they have to get you to jump through hoops and follow certain steps.

  74. Thanks, Curtis. It helps knowing others have the same issue. The one church I went to 2 times and stopped was I heard we needed to be careful when someone wasn’t doing right cause chances are they never believed? Then on their gospel presentation they say one must ask the Lord for salvation? It’s frustrating! Just when you think you found a church it turns out they teach an accursed gospel. I so long for fellowship locally. Then you email questions and when they aren’t sure on answers they don’t want to defend their position with verses taken within context. Quoting Matthew 7 as this “fruit” a believer will show? This is aboit false teachers but they conveniently leave that out.

    Yes, John. The Lord certainly hears our prayers and knows of our struggles with His Word and not bending nor backing down from what His Word teaches. The apostles went to their deaths instead of preaching what isn’t His truth and we should be honored to do the same if, God forbid, ever in that position. And with the way the vast majority react to His truth that may not be way off.

    “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.” 1Corinthians 2:2

    And this next one is a favorite verse of mine…..”But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all thinhs, yea, the deep things of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-10

    Our struggles for His Word and His truth will be rewarded one day. As you have wonderfully reminded us John oir struggle is not in vain. Thanks kindly as I needed that today. May we all find ways to worship Him in spirit and truth and never compromise His Word which isn’t ours to misrepresent. How fearful it is when you love Him to misquote His Word. Love you all in Christ my brothers and sisters

    In Christ
    Bobbie Jo

  75. Holly, Bobbie Jo, Curtis, and all,

    I listened to Tom’s Easter sermon today.

    One of his last points was that our work is not in vain.

    1 Corinthians 15:58: Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

  76. the last assembly I left I actually enjoyed until I started hearing ” textus receptus” “we believe the king James is the preserved word of God”
    the pastor had questions and answer time on a Sunday night about the different soils and let an elders wife answer ” the last soil is the true believer” and he let it pass and didn’t give time for correction. I started getting that uneasiness in my spirit. Then for 2 months or so kept hearing “we need revival and there’s nothing like an evangelist to deliver the gospel”
    so started researching the evangelist . No doctrinal statement or gospel presentation on website and would not answer my emails about repent .
    when he finally did anser he was offended that I even asked what the gospel was !!!??? , Turns out he is work as evidence of salvation , brought to the attention of pastor who at one point we agreed biblically on repent unless I misunderstood him he changed. Then I politely got kicked to the curb. that was about year and half ago .
    I know the struggle It is God’s will for us to be involved in a local assembly.
    couple weeks ago I attend a small assembly and didn’t abide by my rules of talking to pastor first but the doctrinal statement and gospel was clear on website. Man did I get a dose of legalism during the service. sure is something how a soul can worship the KJV, the baptist tradition, alcohol abstinence Not even look at alcohol he proclaims .
    I’m thinking yea But here is a double shot of legalism lets get drunk on it with us all.

    it was a little rough shaking it out but i did recover more quickly than before.
    to date all the churches around my area all preach a weak to false gospel message.
    the one assembly that is somewhat clear leaves things unsaid that should be said , then another pastor gets up and flat out preaches works for salvation , so they have a good cop bad cop preaching going on.

  77. I’m terribly sorry to hear all the issues you and your family are having, Holly. I’ll def pray for you. I certainly know what it’s like taking care of family. My mother and I took care of my grandparents. Both of them. It was incredibly exhausting and stressful. I remember many trips to fill pill cases, call to order pills, doctors appts and so forth. I wouldn’t trade any of it but it was very hard on me. Physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually too. Please feel free to email me anytime you just need to talk. And please remember to take care of yourself by eating and sleeping. It always seems when you stretch yourself so thin you forget to care for yourself as well. To be good for others you have to also care for yourself. 🙂

    Thanks, John. I simply spoke the truth. You know, its ironic really that I never thought much about the beliefs of others. The more I learn the harder it gets emotionally for me. Everywhere I look it seems no one understands. You get treated like the devil. I emailed a church to ask questions before attending. I had to send a second one to explain my question being I got an answer that was def beating around the bush. Last email I received informed me he would do his best to answer my questions the best he could but it would be his last email till he found out who he was speaking with? Another church was 10 mins from my home and their site had me optimistic but something felt off. I emailed him and got back an email with how repent from sins and regeneration will slowly occur and saving faith vs fake faith? Ugh…..still I’m without a church and assembly for fellowship. How am I to make the Lord happy if I can’t? Frustrating…..

  78. Holly, I tried to change the settings to allow comments on all of the old articles.

    I’ll try again.

  79. This was a recommended link that I don’t believe I’ve read before, however, it sure deals with a lot of the same old arguments, and those who are confused because of heaping up teachers (without proving all things). (I do wish the old articles still had availability to comment). Good stuff!

  80. Johniinc, I try not to let them control the game, I don’t give them submission for even an hour. I do try also to determine prayerfully if it may be to the subverting of the hearers. But sometimes I allow it for the purpose of the answer, that others may see, and have an answer for the verses they bring up, somewhat like your difficult passages here, and in wanting to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered, as Ron said, to refute those who contradict sound doctrine, to defend the gospel, and most importantly to commend them to the Word of His Grace (Acts 20:32). ❤

  81. Johninnc, I didn’t know they did either, and I am certain a religious or atheist has objected, or a load-shipper, who doesn’t like that I am not teaching repentance from sins or stop sinning as a necessary component of the Gospel… It is the second time in a little over a week.

  82. Holly, it’s tough playing “verse tennis” with people who think they have “repented of their sins”, and are therefore (and thereby) qualified to receive God’s grace.

    More from Ron Shea:

    The facts are these: Not only do between one and two hundred verses of Scripture teach that eternal life is a free gift received by faith apart from man’s works, they do so clearly and unequivocally. Those who believe that baptism by water is required for eternal salvation (or any group who believes in salvation by Christ-plus-works) must not only cite as evidence Scripture they allege to support their position, they must face down and explain away between one and two hundred verses that teach the “faith alone in Christ alone”. (See, e.g., Titus 1:9. An elder must not only to exhort in sound doctrine, but to refute those who contradict. Even apart from Titus 1:9, intellectual honesty demands this.) Yet in 2,000 years of church history, no salvation-by-works advocate has ever even tried to give a serious answer the galaxy of verses teaching salvation by grace through faith alone. A few have tried to dismiss the hundred plus verses by the wave of a magic wand, mumbling some idiotic and lexically untenable statement, such as “the word ‘faith’ actually implies works in the root meaning of the word.” (For discussion, see the section on FAITH on our home page). Most, however, don’t even try to answer Scripture. They simply play the “you’ve got your verses, and I’ve got mine” game. This is what the cults do, placing their hands over their ears, closing their eyes, and repeating their proof texts at the top of their lungs so that nothing else can penetrate the barrier. And that is not theology. In contrast, only a few verses in all of Scripture can be reasonably interpreted (in isolation) as teaching that some human work is necessary for salvation. And when scrutinized, those passages invariably yield to alternative interpretations that are consistent with the doctrine of grace.

    The method is described in Titus 1:9. Not only exhorting in sound doctrine, but refuting those who contradict. And the jury is every man’s conscience. Every man must face this controversy honestly, without an agenda of defending a cherished doctrine of salvation-by-works in which they have already invested their tithe, their time, their intellectual labor, their emotion, or which they have believed from their youth. For if a man is unwilling to do so, and the teaching of grace is indeed the message of Scripture, they will stand self condemned before the great white throne on judgment day.

  83. Holly, I’m not on Facebook, so I didn’t realize they blocked gospel messages. I would assume that some religious person(s) objected.

  84. Johniinc-

    Interesting you should use the quote from Ron Shea, it’s his articles that this billionx is reacting to. But I’m with you both, praying for him, that he might see the truth of the gospel. One woman recently, a Calvinist, referred to me as an ‘evil spirit’. It’s amazing what they come up with. She’s an amillennialist too, isn’t Satan bound by their philosophy? 🙂

  85. Bobbie Jo, that is such a sweet and encouraging comment. You know, sure it can be discouraging, but I know it is not of my power, but of His, I’m trying to do my best to be faithful to the way He wants me to respond, I do feel sad for them, and I pray for them. It’s a spiritual battle I know, and sometimes it can wear us down, but I know where to go to get revived 🙂 (Ps 119:25)

    I am thankful for the church, thankful for the brethren. I am a little ‘off’ in some ways, many things going on with my folks, and care, and my mom is undergoing chemo and trying to take care of my dad with caregivers, and we have decisions to make, he’s not stable on his feet, yet gets up many times a night. I have the kids and work, and Bible study. Today, my gospel post is the second post that has been blocked and subsequently removed from FB for being reported as having ‘offensive material’.

    This was the post. My previous post which contained ‘Gospel’ was also removed (the one on the German airbus). I was able to ‘share’ it from another friend’s page, but don’t know if it will stay up. But it just reminds me that time is close, the judge is at the door…

    I changed the title from “The Gospel Unhindered” to “The Good news unhindered” and I’ll try again tomorrow. Makes me sad for those who are out there blocking the truth from getting out. Time is short.

  86. Bobbie Jo, what a kind post!

    I have prayed for billionsx – that if he knows Jesus as Savior, that he will grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; and that if he doesn’t know Jesus as his Savior, that the Holy Spirit will continue to draw him and he will hear and understand the gospel that he might believe and be saved.

    The following excerpts from Clear Gospel Campaign come to mind whenever I encounter someone who is really “dug in” on works for salvation:

    Rather than coming to Scripture to learn the mind of God, some unregenerate men approach Scripture determined to justify the beliefs they already hold…

    Not surprisingly therefore, those who believe that they, rather than Jesus Christ, are the Savior of their own souls, have, for centuries, sought from Scripture proof-texts to justify this conclusion.

  87. I’m sorry, Holly. It sounds as though you are beaten down as of lately. I could be reading things incorrectly but it feels you are off. Seeming discouraged from the constant struggles to show the gospel to all. I commend you for your efforts. Please remember that saying….you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

    We are all here for you. We all know what it’s like to attempt to show them God’s love and mercy and never-ending goodness. You show them how they are a sinner and that’s a part of them and they are not good. No matter how much they do or say they are a vile, rotten sinner guilty before God. They don’t like that too much. They volunteer, they take care of the elderly, they give money, they, they, they….blah blah blah…..I agree to that! Most don’t think they are THAT bad. They just don’t see it. It’s definitely disheartening. I’m glad He doesn’t leave it up to us or we could never get to heaven. Praise God!

    But yes. The Lord has, in His loving mercy, brought us all together here. This is truly a blessing as we all need constant uplifting from fellowship with other believers. It always seems there are more and more added to false gospels every day. The numbers are rising but so are those of us who belong to the King.

    Let’s all pray that ears will hear and eyes will be opened.

  88. Thank you Lord for that blessing for Curtis and his wife, how precious of a reminder of their marriage, their being one, just as we are part of Your body, flesh of Your flesh, bone of Your bones… May You bless them Lord in all they seek to do, guide and direct them and give them peace.

  89. Bobbie Jo and Sam. I’ve been having more of a discussion with billionx on my page, the Calvinist that Johninnc read some of his comments. I haven’t really been up for the same old stuff, you know, it’s like a broken record.

    But the demons believe.
    Faith without works is dead.
    Saving faith.
    Genuine faith.
    blah, blah, blah, blah, blah….

    And they do not HEAR clear Scripture. We can pray though and keep speaking it. Some hear. Case in point, we’re all here!

  90. Still praying with you all for Guido. Lord bless Him.

  91. Curtis, I’m still praying for both of you. I am very happy that your wife found her diamond!

  92. Thank you all for praying for my wife and I in closing up our business . We still have equipment to sell and need wisdom and understanding as we close and open another season of our lives .
    My wife did find her diamond that was missing for 3 years. She found it while going through files. It brought so much Joy to us both finding it
    We Thank God for you all

    Curtis and Doris

  93. Sam, thats unreal about the whole “horse and cart” issue. Jesus is the only part that matters in the equation.

    Guido, I felt ALL the things you felt. The unpardonable sin, not being able to keep from sinning, he said, she said, etc etc. The evil one has you running circles attempting to look at yourself and keep your eyes off what matters….Christs FINISHED work for you. This is causing you to think you feel hatred towards God. At one time I yelled at God asking why I was defective and couldn’t stop sinning, why He didn’t help, why everything was falling apart. You know why it wasn’t working? I didnt understand it! I was trying to do something God never told me I had to do! Christ did it all! The moment one truly believes that it makes it all come into clarity.

    The world has lied to you. Preachers, whether intended or not, have lied to you. You have been led to believe God was something He never was. He loves you. Healing from something of this magnitude is alarming. It shakes you to your very core. You think how can all these people have it wrong? Look at how the world loves these false teachers….look at how hostile people get wwhen you preach the free gift of salvation. Look at the life of Christ and the apostles. They were HATED.

    Read the Word and pray for Him to show Himself to you through His Word and to help you. Praying for you.

  94. Thinking and praying for you Guido
    I have been through what you are going through . my personal opinion having went through psychiatry is unless the doctor is firmly established on the gospel and is administering the word of God along with medication it is a trap. What happens is you grow into their diagnosis of you. For me the medications shut down my ability to discern the word of God for myself. It was quite the battle to regain the Joy of His salvation. but I did seriously mis handled Gods word through the thought process system of calvanism taking it to denying the trinity and divinity of Jesus .
    Please whatever you do DO NOT abruptly stop taking your medication’s and stop seeing your doctor but be very very careful .
    Please do take time to take care of Guido and take it easy on yourself.
    would like to talk to you personally if you like contact the administrator for my email.

    I understand administrator if you do not post this , mental health is very serious . if you like email this post to Guido instead or not

  95. Some excellent advice here Guido. Here is a suggestion I pray you will really consider. Try looking up these verses provided here. Especially the list, and just consider them. Start again in John and Galatians and consider studying in an orderly and regular manner. Ask the Lord to help. The Scriptures you have trouble with, write them down on a notebook, and ask the Lord to help you find an answer with Scripture (check cross references provided) and if you don’t, tell the Lord you trust Him as His Word says the Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth.

    Pray for wisdom as you read, again write down your questions or problematic passages. And ask others here also if you get stuck. Study and tell Him that you want to be approved unto Him as you study. Hide His Word in your heart. Pray for more things. Praying for you.

  96. Cyndi (JoyFounder)

    Dear Guido;
    I’ve been considering your heartfelt experiences and concerns.
    God loves YOU! I have struggled recently with many of the concerns you have shared. Satan wants us to dwell on the nit picky things in our lives. He wants us to wallow in our wavering faith and inconsistent trust that God is really truly sovereign and loves us unconditionally. Satan is the ‘deceiver’ and we are his target. He’s cunning on how he uses our circumstances and weaknesses to feed us the lies that God really doesn’t love us or care about what happens to us in our day to day lives. And yes he uses false teachers to discourage our faith and frustrate God’s grace.

    Because of my personality type I tend to over analyze everything from the reason I cook the way I do (yes, can you believe it?) to why God has allowed life to ‘pile on’ in the manner it has. I too have struggled with the imbalance of satan vs. the Holy Spirit in that it is so much easier to sin than to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It is so much easier to read a magazine than God’s Word. It is so much easier to focus on the negative things in my life and what I’m not doing for God/others than God’s absolute love for me (and YOU). God’s love to the point of sacrificing His only Son so that I (and you dear Guido) can live eternally praising and glorifying in His presence. I have struggled with why other believers seem to have a constant peace but that ol’ peace train gets derailed before it makes it’s way to my station.
    ‘Abraham believed and it was counted to him righteousness’. We cannot depend on our feelings to determine where we stand with God. Feelings are irrelevant for salvation. We believe and trust, not feel. As you know our emotions are equivalent to the baddest roller coaster you can ride on > up, down, all around. Guido meditate on God’s brilliant salvation for you. Because He created us He knows how futile it is to depend on our emotions. So His perfect salvation is completely independent of our emotions. Salvation is dependent on Jesus’ completed work on the cross and all that is required of us is our belief that He is who He said He is. Praise God that His long suffering love and complete salvation does not coincide with our emotions!
    AFA Paul Washer is concerned, Johninnc said it best; poison! Run away! I find the best way to rid my mind of the poisonous lies of false teachers is to meditate on God’s promises (some below) >
    ‘Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.’ (2 Peter 1:4)
    1. … for the Lord my God will be with me, wherever I go. Joshua 1:9
    2. God will keep me in perfect peace if my mind is ‘stayed’ on Him. Isaiah 26:3
    3. “I (the Lord) will never leave you or forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
    4. “I am with you, always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
    5. The peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
    6. He cares for me. 1 Peter 5:7
    7. I will do even greater things than Jesus did, because He went to the Father. John 14:12
    8. If I remain in Him and His words remain in me, whatever I ask will be given to me. John 15:7
    9. The Holy Spirit will guide me into all truth. John 16:3
    10. The Holy Spirit will give me the right words when I need them. Mark13:11
    11. In this world I will have trouble. John 16:33
    12. If I seek to live godly in Christ Jesus, I will be persecuted. 2 Timothy 3:12
    13. I am justified by Him, freely, by His grace. Romans 3:24
    14. I have peace with God because I’ve been justified by faith in Jesus. Romans 5:1
    15. I have access into this grace. Romans 5:2
    16. There is no condemnation on me because I am in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
    17. The Holy Spirit will help me to pray. Romans 8:26-27
    18. All things work together for my good. Romans 8:28
    19. Nothing will separate me from the love of Christ. Romans 8:35
    20. I shall bear the likeness (and resurrection body) of Jesus, the ‘man from heaven.’ 1 Corinthians 15:49
    21. My labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58
    22. God has created good works for me to walk in, today. Ephesians 2:10
    23. I am being transformed into His likeness. 2 Corinthians 3:17
    24. God won’t let me be tried or tempted beyond what I can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13
    25. God comforts the downcast, including me. 2 Corinthians 7:6
    26. God is able to make all grace abound to me, so all my needs will be met. 2 Corinthians 9:8
    27. I am worth (to God) more than the birds that He feeds. Matthew 6:26
    28. God will supply all my needs. Philippians 4:19
    29. God won’t forsake me (the righteous in Christ) nor have my children become beggars. Psalm 37:25
    30. God’s grace will be sufficient for me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
    31. I will reap what I sow. Galatians 6:7
    32. I have an inheritance. Ephesians 1:14
    33. I have been brought near by the blood of Jesus. Ephesians 2:13
    34. I may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12
    35. The Father has qualified me to share in the inheritance of the saints. Colossians 1:12
    36. Christ now is in me! Colossians 1:27
    37. God is faithful and will sanctify me. 1 Thessalonians 5:24
    38. God will repay with trouble those who trouble me. 2 Thessalonians 1:6
    39. God has given me a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
    40. I have a crown of righteousness awaiting me, because I long for His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8
    41. God won’t lie to me, because God cannot lie. Titus 1:2
    42. Jesus will help me if I’m tempted. Hebrews 2:18
    43. Varied trials will lead to my maturity. James 1:2
    44. If I ask for wisdom from God, He will give it to me. James 1:5
    45. If I ask, God will provide it. James 4:2
    46. If I resist the devil, he will flee. James 4:7
    47. If I draw near to God, He will draw near to me. James 4:8
    48. Prayer is effective James 5:16
    49. After I have suffered for a little while, He will strengthen, confirm and establish me. 1 Peter 5:10
    50. A new heaven and earth await me, called the ‘home of righteousness’. 2 Peter 3:13
    51. He forgives and cleanses me as I confess my sins to Him. 1 John 1:9
    52. When Jesus re-appears, I’ll be made like Him. 1 John 3:2
    53. God has given me eternal life. 1 John 5:11
    54. I am a present possessor of eternal life, which is mine in the present tense verb “have.” 1 John 5:13

    Now when I read some of these promises my sarcastic feelings say “yeah RIGHT, NOT happening!” so I focus on the promises that I HAVE experienced.
    God knows us so well. He addresses our unrealized promises in Hebrews 11 > ‘These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. . . .And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise.’ (Heb. 11:13,39)

    And finally this promise: ‘Therefore if any man (that’s you Guido, if you simply believe) be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new’. (2 Corinthians 5:17) This means even when we don’t feel like a new creature, we ARE! Praise God that He sees infinitely and not finitely as we see.
    Like you I continue to struggle with fear and discouragement but I KNOW I am saved and going to Heaven someday, where there will be no more tears, no more failure, no more sin. The final victory.

  97. Phil R., great point. Every word in the Bible is the word of God.

    2 Timothy 3:16: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

  98. Excellent points, Preston. All these things were written for His glory. This is His story to us and He has chosen what He reveals. The Adam and Eve story so we knew WHY sin came in. The pure lamb sacrifices in OT as the WHAT happened due to sin to show its severity. All the Bible is for instruction. I forget where that verse is exactly but its def there.

    I look at the Bible not so much as a book but His love story to His creation. As Preston and the others have already said the only unforgivable sin is unbelef.

    Guido, we can NOT trust ourselves nor our feelings. We are flawed after the fall. How we know we have eternal life lies within His Word. Lean on His promises as Hes always faithful whereas we arent. We can only show you His Word and try to help. You have to spend more time talking with Him and in His Word. You seem to be looking too much at yourself and others. Him, Him, Him.

    My thoughts anyway 🙂 I wish I could fix it but I cant. He can so allow Him to lead you and stop relying on mere men. Even us. Test, test, test all things against His Word. Best wishes

  99. One of the problems people have is that they will place a superiority on what Christ said (those words in red letters) over the rest of Scripture. It’s all equally the word of God whether Jesus said it or Paul said it whether it’s in red or black letters.

  100. Guido, I approach Scripture with the certainty of what is made abundantly clear, not in one verse or passage that can be misunderstood or taken out of context. The people who want to use the unforgivable sin passage are using it because they just cannot or will not rely totally on Christ sacrifice to forgive ALL their sins. They do this for a variety of false reasons and one of the main ones is it gives them this one up on other people mentality.

    Guido, you have to stop just relying on how secure you feel about your eternal security and just trust is what the word says.
    Here are a couple of passages that you can read and pray about, and after you read them you can decide whether all of your sins are forgiven and covered by the cross alone, or there is a sin that is the exception (blaspheming the Holy Spirit) that is somehow not covered by the cross.
    Romans Chapter 5
    Ephesians Chapters 1 and 2
    Hebrews chapters 9 and 10

  101. Guido,

    why mention to adam and eve not to eat of the tree of knowledge. Does that apply today? No sir

    Why mention in the OT to take an unblemished lamb to the priest for a sacrifice for sins? Does that apply to us today? No sir

    Matt 24 and 25 is about those during the tribulation. does that apply to the church who have been “caught up” already? No Sir.

    Is it beneficial to KNOW these things, yes. It answers many questions on why, how, who, what, and where.

    hope that answers you question of ” what would be the point then of even mentioning that sin in the scriptures, if it were not applicable for today?”

    The ONLY unforgivable sin today is “unbelief” in the completed work of Christ on the cross.

    once on believes the gospel they are forgiven ALL trespasses.

    Col 2:13-14 – And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you ALL trespasses;14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross

    Acts 13:39 – 39 And by him all that BELIEVE are justified from ALL things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses

    my friend,

    ALL means ALL.


  102. See John 16:8-11.

  103. scripture is absolutely applicable to today , especially this passage . because Jesus knew that all down through the centuries souls would try and figure out a way to not be happy with the sacrifice of Himself to PAY for All Sin passed present and future. Some cant see HIS sacrifice for sin because of their sin.

  104. In my understanding of the matter of the unpardonable sin is its simply a rejecting of believing the Gospel. It’s about context always. The Pharisees were so unbelieving they said He casting out demons by the power of Satan. They had witnessed firsthand all the mighty world He had done and they were set in their ways regarding their decision. Their minds as well as their hearts were already made up. We know the Lord cannot forgive unbelief as Christ is the only way God made by which to be saved. The Holy Spirit convicts one and they were rejecting Him. In a way they were speaking against His Holy Spirit……they were saying no to believing the Holy Spirits attempts. Hope this helps. If I’m misunderstanding please correct. 🙂

  105. Preston, what would be the point then of even mentioning that sin in the scriptures, if it were not applicable for today?

  106. Guido, I agree with Preston’s response.

    If the Bible is the word of God, there are no contradictions. If the Bible had contradictions, it wouldn’t be worth reading, because it wouldn’t be trustworthy.

    There are a lot of verses that are easy to understand, many of which deal with how we can know we have eternal life.

    I would recommend that you start with those, and pray for God to give you wisdom and understanding for the rest.

  107. John, he said that the unforgivable sin is unbelief. But that doesn’t explain the wording in that passage, where it talks about “speaking” against the Holy Spirit. How can I be sure that the unforgivable sin is only unbelief?

  108. Guido,

    2 ways to look at that passage.

    1. the pharisees tried to blame the miracles that Jesus performed on beelezebub (another name for satan). This was blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. – Today, can you blame any of Jesus’s miracles on “satan”?

    No. because Jesus is not alive (in the flesh) today performing any miracles.

    2. The only unforgivable sin is “unbelief” as Phil stated.

    He that believeth (trusts) ON ME is not condemned, but he that believeth not (trusts not) is condemned already….for he hath not believed (trusted) in the only begotten Son of God.


    If i am wrong, my sincere apologies.

    my guess is that you are trying to find “assurance” to make sure you are going to heaven. Been there; done that. You have all these verses (from a work for salvation source) that are making you nervous; including this one.

    I FEEL YA—

    A few years back, the thing that hindered “my faith” was the bible. Yep, I said it; the bible. For me it was such a confusing book. apparent contradictions everywhere. Almost drove me “insane” (literally).

    Keep praying.
    Keep asking questions
    Keep seeking

    Its all about Jesus promises. He promised, if you seek; you WILL find.

  109. Guido (acgarbia), did you watch the Yankee Arnold sermon on the unpardonable sin that I linked in my earlier response?

    What did he have to say?

  110. Hi Phil. R,

    But why does it say “whosoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit” or something like that? Isn’t that a point action?

  111. Hi acgarbia, Please try to remember that what Christ said about the unforgivable sin was said under the law and not under grace that the cross provided. The purpose of the law was to show us that it is impossible for us to save ourselves so that we will turn to Christ who is our only means of salvation. (Galatians 3) Christ directed the “whosoever blasphemes the Holy Spirit” to these hypocritical pack of Pharasees whose unforgivable sin was that they would always reject Holy Spirit’s offer of grace and pardon. It would only be an unforgivable sin for us or anyone if we never came to believe the good news of our salvation through Jesus Christ. Again, the only unforgivable sin is to never accept God’s free gift of salvation.

  112. Guido, “according to some”?

    There are some who say any and everything.

    What about “according to God?” What does His word say? “Whosoever believeth in him shall not perish…”

    If there were any contradiction to this in God’s word, then God’s word would not be worth worrying about.

    Any contradictions are false, brought to you by “according to some.”

    I’m a whosoever. I’m not worried about having committed any unpardonable sin. I don’t think you should be either.

    See link, below:

  113. How do you explain the unpardonable sin? According to some, if you commit this sin, your day of grace is over, and you can no longer be saved even while you are on this earth. Jesus said if anyone even utters a word against the Holy Spirit, they will not be forgiven in this age or in the age to come. So how do you explain those passages? What if someone fears they have committed the unpardonable sin?

  114. I just want to say thank you to everyone that responded to my post. I appreciate you all taking the time to edify me with sound doctrine and sharing your experiences.

  115. Absolutely Phil,
    I couldn’t agree more, its like the JW’s or anyone caught in error, it just leaves you feeling guttered. It takes such a toll on you. The calvanists here in Australia, will write against you in there magazines. I say let them. We leave them in gods hands and allow him to deal with them. It seems an impossibility, they have to have open hearts to even hear the correction, which most don’t have. They say don’t confuse me with the facts my mind is made up, how can you possibly work with that.

    I will take my frustrations to the lord this morning, I have to practice so much self control when around all these people under doctrines of demons.

  116. Guido(acgarbia), there is a sermon by Yankee Arnold that might clear some things up for you about our 2 natures. It’s titled: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a New Creature?” Here is the link:
    I can really identify with your struggle and failure to overcome certain sins in your life. It can get very discouraging. I hope this video is helpful to you.

  117. Jude1four, your comment brought to my mind a sermon I just watched by Yankee Arnold titled: “Why Overcomers are more than Conquerors!!” Here is the Youtube link for it:
    I found it encouraging, hope you do as well. I have been frustrated with failure to overcome certain sin/s in my life as well.

  118. i spent about 30 min. reading this thread, and it covers a lot of ground and somehow it has been very edifying to me.
    Years ago I used to be on a couple of these Calvinist/reformed theology forums and sites, “TULIP” and all. And I have come to believe it is futile to argue with them. Here’s some of the obstacles you face trying to persuade them.
    1) The regard our beliefs as kindergarden compared to their theological and soteriological knowledge.
    2) They accuse us of not having the creeds and confessions as a basis for our beliefs, like the Westminster Confession or other reformed creeds.
    3) They brand and label us Arminians that can will our salvation.
    They also label us with the usual false labels, “easy believers” “cheep grace” and so on…
    4) The insist man cannot choose to believe on our own: that God chooses who he will bestow grace upon and bestow the faith to believe.
    5) The false premise that all of this man made Calvinist theology rests on is based on their underlying false belief that Jesus could not possibly have died to make salvation available to everyone.

    I think it is wise to stay out of their churches, whether Calvinist, reformed, or LS and don’t debate them or engage them on their forums or sites… Best to make your stand here on expreacherman and among other free grace believers.

  119. Guido – I am still praying for you also, you are on my regular prayer list.

    6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

    8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Pet 5:6-11

    Remember, HE is faithful and just…. Depend on Him.

    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

    You need fellowship with Him, continue in Him, and in His Word…

  120. Guido —

    //And I ask God to produce the fruits of the Spirit in me, and then I don’t have peace, or joy, or self-control, or anything.//

    The answer is found in 2 Pet 1:5-10 among others.

    //I commit the same sins over and over again, and I almost feel like I want to do it, instead of turning away from it completely. I tried to quit doing certain things so many times, but I always fail. I thought that the Holy Spirit was supposed to give me power over sin.//

    Yes, we have a tendency to commit the same sins, we need to continue to confess for fellowship, and let His Word work in us. We have to keep going back to His Word.
    Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. Ps 119:9

    //I feel like I don’t love anybody, and this really bothers me. I claim to love my mother, but I don’t want to do simple things for her when I visit her.//

    These are things sometimes we need to realize, we have to take care of ourselves, our relationship with God. We have to desire the sincere milk of His Word so we can grow, and that includes growing in love. Our endurance is not what we do to turn from sin, etc., our endurance is to stay close to the One who works in us, to stay close to the Word that cleanses. If we don’t, like an anorexic, we would lose our desire for food.

    // I always get too uncomfortable to pass out tracts to anybody, which means I am letting them go to hell, even when I have some gospel tracts right in my pocket.//

    //Why wouldn’t God just fill me with His Spirit, and place His love in my heart? If I am really saved, I should be able to notice some changes by now. I should not have fear; I should have peace. I should not be wanting to commit the same sin every couple of days.//

    The Bible tells we grieve the Spirit, and instead of doing that we should rather be filled by Him. So what is the answer? We can and do grieve Him with our sin, but notice that same Spirit in Eph 4:30 it says is the one that seals us until the day of redemption.

    //Why does Romans say that as many as a lead by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God? That means if someone is not being lead by God’s Spirit, they are not His. I don’t feel like God’s Spirit is leading me because I have virtually no idea what He wants me to do except for quitting certain sins and doing certain works. But I only know that because it says that in His word, and I was taught that since I was young.//

    Being led by the Spirit, which the new man is, is being a son of God. That means led by the Spirit = believer, since we are sons of God the moment we believe (John 1:12). Same as in Galatians 5 (But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law), those who have been made righteous, are not under the law – see Rom 10:4, for Christ is the end of the law for righteousness for those who have believed. This is why the same believers were exhorted not to do the works of the flesh (which they were doing), but why? Because they were bewitched into thinking they could finish in the flesh (Gal 3).

    You need to learn to walk by grace, He WILL keep us, He WILL finish us, He WILL present us faultless. Now some may do better by being obedient to abide in Him, (for apart from Him we can do nothing).

    It’s your fellowship with Him that is causing these doubts, abide in His Word and THEN you will be a disciple (student – pupil). If you don’t, the doubts will persist, and you will be unable to answer the enemy with the appropriate response, “it is written”… (Matt 4)

  121. Guido – sometimes we don’t ‘feel’ like obeying, we still live in the flesh. Sometimes we don’t ‘feel’ like loving. We still live in the flesh. If we don’t get to know someone, we’re not going to love them. We are in the flesh. We need to get to know God in His Word.

    1. Obey to abide in His Word – He will reward you
    2. Obey to abide in Him – He will reward you in it.

    You said //Why do I feel almost like I don’t like God sometimes? I feel like I want to love Him, but for some reason I feel a little frustrated that He won’t answer my prayers.//

    God always answers prayers, not always the way we wish, the more we know Him, the more we can trust His ways are good, better than what we wish. The more we know Him, the more we are able to pray in His will.

  122. Guido – I still want to respond, but I will tell you the same thing about Paul Washer and his feigned sincerity as he dares to tell you what God is ‘really saying’, no wonder you wonder how you feel about God, if you are listening regarding Paul Washer’s god, I am sorry, but he preaches another Jesus, another gospel..

  123. Guido,

    the moment I stopped believing the Lordship Salvation lie was the moments the weight fell off my shoulder from *drum roll*

    “Performance Based Christianity”.

    When it happened, I started to read the bible more than I had before, and I actually enjoy it.

    It wasn’t “religious service”, it was me trying to learn about God in the Book.

    I talk more with the Lord, but it’s spontaneous and real… not forced and to make me feel religious.

    I don’t hate unbelievers as much as I did. Shaking my righteous little finger at them, regardless of whether anyone’s told them the Good News or not.

    None of us here have arrived at sinless perfection Guido.

    We all struggle. In many different ways.

    When we fall, we get back on the horse.

    God is super patient with us.

    So much so… he is not willing that any should perish.

    THAT is how much he loves us hey. 🙂

  124. Jude, last night I was reading a few Psalms and was really encouraged. God is fully aware of those mockers who deny Him and are wicked in their ways.

    If it makes you feel better, I have a serious dislike for some people in my inner circle but that’s due to their feral behavior which is offensive to all. We pray for them, ask God to help us not to be bitter and try to avoid them where possible.

    Don’t engage in arguments with unbelievers. It’s just not worth it.

    Read the Psalms. They’re encouraging.

    God is watching and He knows our hearts.


  125. John,

    amen man. The first thing I thought after the “Paul Washer said”……


    who cares what Paul Washer says!!!!!

    Paul Washer is the prototype of a “false brethren” that preaches “another gospel” in Galatians.


    some good biblical teachers – on you tube – ralph yankee Arnold. Tom Cucuzza – northland bible Baptist on the churches website.

    my best advise – RUN from Paul Washer. RUN as fast as you can!!!!!!!!

    lets get to the simple. JESUS SAID – verily, verily I say unto thee, he that BELIEVETH in me hath everlasting life”.

    can Jesus lie?????

    believe means “to trust, to put confidence in”. So the verse means “he that TRUSTS “in me” hath everlasting life.

    Jesus cant lie. TRUST Him and have “everlasting life”.

    Many of us have been where you are right now. As a result, we understand your confusion. We are here to help. Keep commenting!!!!!!!


  126. Guido, I can’t tell you why you feel the way you do.

    But, from your comment, it seems that you have fallen into the trap of looking to changes in your life for assurance of eternal life.

    We cannot gain assurance of aalvation by looking to ourselves. Even if we were to have twenty years or more of faithfully following Christ who is to say that we won’t stop?

    It is Christ’s faithfulness, not ours, that saves us. We must look to God’s promises for assurance of salvation, not ourselves.

  127. Bobbi Joe I had a paster tell me the answer is to put the cart behind the horse.I told him you dont need a cart before or after the horse for salvation.I went into a long explanation how it made no difference where you put them it was wrong to add works to the Gospel.(he believes if you dont have works your faith isnt genuine)If this happens again Im going to tell them it might help if they get a horse first.

  128. Guido
    thank you for responding , have prayed for you

  129. Why do I feel almost like I don’t like God sometimes? I feel like I want to love Him, but for some reason I feel a little frustrated that He won’t answer my prayers. And I ask God to produce the fruits of the Spirit in me, and then I don’t have peace, or joy, or self-control, or anything. I commit the same sins over and over again, and I almost feel like I want to do it, instead of turning away from it completely. I tried to quit doing certain things so many times, but I always fail. I thought that the Holy Spirit was supposed to give me power over sin. I feel like I don’t love anybody, and this really bothers me. I claim to love my mother, but I don’t want to do simple things for her when I visit her. I always get too uncomfortable to pass out tracts to anybody, which means I am letting them go to hell, even when I have some gospel tracts right in my pocket.

    Why wouldn’t God just fill me with His Spirit, and place His love in my heart? If I am really saved, I should be able to notice some changes by now. I should not have fear; I should have peace. I should not be wanting to commit the same sin every couple of days. Why does Romans say that as many as a lead by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God? That means if someone is not being lead by God’s Spirit, they are not His. I don’t feel like God’s Spirit is leading me because I have virtually no idea what He wants me to do except for quitting certain sins and doing certain works. But I only know that because it says that in His word, and I was taught that since I was young.

    I don’t enjoy reading the Bible that much anymore. I used to try to imitate the rhythms of the King James Bible in my own writing, and now I feel like it is not special anymore. It doesn’t move me the way it use to move me, and I don’t feel God’s Spirit in His word, nor do I feel touched by the meaning of the words. I am worried that I blasphemed the Holy Spirit by trying to imitate the linguistic style of scripture, and in other ways as well. Whenever I use to be successful at imitating it at times I felt kind of weird, and I didn’t really feel that I was doing something that God was pleased with. I am not saying that I always succeeded, but sometimes I could pull it off somewhat. Multiple people told me that it was not a sin, but I felt like it was a sin because it kept making me feel weird.

    What do you think?

  130. Guido (acgarbia), I will continue to pray for you.

    I would like for you to consider some things:

    You said: “…I feel like God does not want me to be saved.”

    My comment: God’s word says He desires that all men be saved. So, are you a man? Why would you allow your feelings to trump God’s word?

    You said: “Paul Washer said…”

    My comment: Who cares? Paul Washer is a false teacher.

    We could go through and refute his false teaching, point-by-point, but we have already reported on Paul Washer on this website several times (please search under “Paul Washer”). In addition, we have touched on several of these concepts under our “Difficult Verses” section.

    See below for previous articles on Paul Washer:

    The reason we are to mark and AVOID false teachers, is because they teach heretical doctrine that can bewitch believers and keep unbelievers from coming to an understanding of the truth of the gospel.

    Guido, I would, in the strongest terms possible, advise you to AVOID the poisonous lies of these false teachers. I think that God brought you to this site for a reason – and I don’t think that reason was so that you would continue to seek spiritual guidance from false teachers.

    You said: “I have prayed the sinners’ prayer…”

    My comment: No one is saved by saying a prayer. One is saved by believing in Jesus Christ alone as his Savior.

    You said: “I even tried to submit to the Lordship of Christ because I thought maybe that was the way.”

    My comment: No one is saved by submitting to the Lordship of Christ.

    Guido, believing in Jesus means that we believe He is God in the flesh, and that He paid the full price for our sins (past, present, and future) through His death, burial, and resurrection.

    If you believe this, you have eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

  131. Paul Washer said that we have lost a key doctrine that was held throughout the time of the early church, the doctrine of regeneration, which says that when we believe in Christ, we became a new creature, receive a new nature, and have our affections changed so that we love the things God loves, and hate the things God hates, and we will inevitably produce fruit because we have been changed.

    I am a little concerned about this, because after I thought I got saved by believing the gospel, in soon enough time my behavior got worse, especially in my teenage years, and I never produced any fruit that I can think of. I have always been afraid of things so I never had true peace, and I can’t say that I was very loving because I did not demonstrate that through my actions. I thought I hardened my heart because I kept on trying to be angry with my mother after I felt hurt because she was hurt. I don’t ever want to hurt anyone, but this seems to me now more like a intellectual proposition rather than a gut feeling. I worry that because of things I have done that I fell away from a false profession, and that God has blinded me so that even though I want to trust in Him, I cannot see Him. I worry that when I pray to God, it is not really Him, and He does not hear me.

    I want to be part of God’s family, and to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and to have good works. I want to be close to God, and to other people, but I feel like God does not want me to be saved. I have prayed the sinner’s prayer in my mind several times, but I never feel like I am truly saved. I even tried to submit to the Lordship of Christ because I thought maybe that was the way.

    Is this feeling real or is it just something that is going on in my mind? I need help and prayer.

  132. Hi Jude
    I know somewhat of what you maybe going through. When I wake up angry or start feeling down I do a little back tracking to make sure I didn’t here a song or listen to a message that was laced with works for salvation.
    I adopted my own doctrinal statement (the one here on expreacheman is a good one) . and That I choose not to sit under teaching or preaching or material that does not line up with The TRUTH of the Gospel.
    Once an assembly has elders strike a doctrinal statement and they vote it in very very very un probable they will change so when you enter into an assembly that don’t jive with your doctrine you are vexing your soul at least that’s how I personally look at it for now . The rub is I know it is God’s will for me to be an assembly. Im still pondering this.
    the works for salvation friends that I have I sent my testimony letter and a clear gospel campaign booklet and they dropped me faster than my old drinking buddies did. No more emails, phone call’s or invites to bible studies let alone for dinner.

  133. Jude, I feel your pain as I have been there time and time again. For me at least I think what happens is I start focusing on ME instead of CHRIST. Then it becomes more about me and sin. What can I do? What is wrong with ME? Why can’t I? So on and so forth. What helps is to have a sort of tunnel vision as well as tunnel thought. Our ability to overcome anything comes from Christ, not ourselves. Our flesh nature has an issue with pride and arrogance and once the evil one gets us down this thinking we start running on a hamster wheel trying to finish in our flesh and we lose sight of what is important….Him. He is the source of our strength, our everything. It’s in Him we find ourselves and our strength comes by Him.

    Isaiah 40:28-31 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lorf, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary. there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength, Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up their wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

    Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee: yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness

    Phillipians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

    1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above thst ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

    Just remember the lordship salvation crowd looks upon behaviors, humans falling short of perfection and the outside. They are missing the most important part of the carriage…….the horse aka Jesus Christ. Without the horse you can’t pull the carriage. Hope this has helped yoi. Lean on Him and His Word. The world will hate us just like they did Him. We are so honored to be hated for His names sake 🙂

  134. beholdason, I agree on the centrality of Christ’s resurrection.

    1 Corinthians 15:14: And if Christ be not risen, is our preaching in vain, and your faith is also vain.

  135. Jude,

    First, if you are listening to “Lordshippers” and it is getting to you, the simple thing to do is get away from them.

    i hate to be the bearer of bad news BUT…..ummm….your still a sinner. I will let you in on a little secret, so am I. Shhhhhhh!!! don’t tell anybody. (whispering)

    First you are correct, the born again believer SHOULD forgive as they have been forgiven ALL trespasses.

    Col 2- 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having FORGIVEN YOU ALL TRESPASSES
    14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, NAILING IT TO HIS CROSS

    We are forgiven ALL, as a result we SHOULD forgive others

    Col 3 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as CHRIST FORGAVE YOU, so also do ye.

    But unfortunately for us ALL, Jesus did NOT take away our sin nature when he gave us the “new birth”. This is why ALL christians still sin. Even Paul admitted he couldnt stop ALL his sinning. See Rom 7:14-25. Also look at verse 19.
    -19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I DO

    Did you know the word DO that is capitalized is the greek word “prassw”. it means to practice or to habitually commit. so the verse reads …
    – 9 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I “practice or habitually commit”. – THIS IS PAUL.

    IF you have believed the gospel alone at any point in your life, you are going to heaven no matter what you do or dont do. that’s a free gift!!! However dont look at yourself for proof of salvation, look to the promises of Jesus. Peter was walking on water. When he looked at himself, he sank.

    I do have a paper on “fruit inspecting”. It pretty much looks at several angles on why “fruit inspecting” is wrong. However, it is one of my longer papers and might not be a welcomed post because of its length

    BTW, I will pray for God to help your with your problem. Will you pray for me that God might take “smoking” away from me??????
    – 1 tim 1:15b – that Christ Jesus came into the world to SAVE SINNERS; of whom I AM CHIEF.


  136. Jude1four, anytime we can get beguiled into looking to our performance for assurance of salvation, the evil one has us in his snare.

    Even if you were rid of the sin that is troubling you, there would be other sin in your life. And, if you look to the presence of sin in your life as being evidence that you are not regenerate, you will always find it.

    Our salvation rests on Christ’s righteousness, not on ours.

    Regarding your desire for judgement for other people – I know that you know that God desires that all people be saved. It may help to reflect on that.

  137. Thanks for your comments guys. I know eternal life is a gift, I really do. But I have been feeling down because of the “lordship” stuff lately. I really struggle with hatred for others and lack of forgiveness. Particularly toward the many, many arrogant mocking atheists I have in my life. I get into the “Jonah” paradigm, wanting judgment for them but mercy for me. God always chastenes me severely when I go down this road and I have confessed to him that I recognize this as sin and don’t want to feel that way toward them anymore. But then the lord shippers come around and tell me that I’m not “bearing the fruit of genuine salvation” I get feeling down starting to question if I had a genuine conversion or not. I get frustrated that I can’t seem to overcome this area of sin and I wonder why can’t I? Anyway I guess I’m just looking for some perspective, advice and encouragement on this. Thanks guys.

  138. All really interesting comments.

    I was recently pondering 1 Cor 15 and the Gospel.

    Verses 5-8 really struck me like never before.

    “And that He was SEEN by…”

    In every verse HE WAS SEEN!!

    The Gospel doesn’t stop at the end of verse 4.

    The importance of the resurrection of Christ, and the fact that there were so many people who saw Him after he had died and was buried is something I feel that I haven’t paid much attention to until now. I tell people Jesus died for our sins and was buried and rose from the grave.

    But the relevance of him being raised is something I feel I’ve been ignorant about.

    The remainder of chapter 15 is all about the RESURRECTION, and what it means for us.

    I love verse 19:

    “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”

    But we are not men most miserable, because we know we too will be raised just like Christ!

    What a wonderful thought.

  139. Holly, what a great idea. I checked to see if we have had a similar increase in visitors from Germany, but we have not.

  140. John and Mary, late last night, before midnight, I saw about 19 people viewing my site from Germany. It suddenly dawned on me to make a ‘quick’ article on the Airbus crash, and I don’t get as many hits as your page by far, however, I might see one or two from Germany a day. So to suddenly see that many, I wondered if they were seeking and felt I needed to do an article.

    Two and a half hours later I finished and published it, including both German and Arabic Gospels from Ron Shea. I will probably try to refine it later, and will come back to read articles later. It just is, that I too imagined someone sharing the gospel, when they heard the pilot pounding, trust me, people knew WAY before what was going down. I pray that people did share the gospel, I am sure they did, and I also am equally sure and praying that some will come to know Christ because of it.
    Here it is. Today, another 18 from Germany. I’ve had almost 300 views of my whole site, but it’s just really rare to get many from Germany. Also on FB, my article has already been reported by someone(s) as ‘offensive’ material.

    Anyways, should any care to read (or check my grammar/spelling – I was so tired) or make suggestions, please do!

  141. Hey Mary I I havent been able to get through to all my family members either,some of them are stuck in the tradition of repent or turn from sin and believe so they have a two steps (works) included to salvation.The church they attend believe repent means turn from sin and I have had to let it go for now as it was causing a lot of tension.They dont see as others here that there is a difference.

  142. ‘Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.’ (Proverbs 30:5 KJV)

    John thank you for sharing Dr. Tom’s sermon > so appropriate for this Palm Sunday. While I was reading it this hymn came on the radio:
    ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus’
    ’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just to take Him at His Word;
    Just to rest upon His promise,
    And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”
    Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
    How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
    Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
    Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

    Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just to trust His cleansing blood;
    And in simple faith to plunge me
    ’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

    Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just from sin and self to cease;
    Just from Jesus simply taking
    Life and rest, and joy and peace.

    I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
    Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
    And I know that Thou art with me,
    Wilt be with me to the end.”

  143. My wife and I were both struck by something Tom Cucuzza said in one of his recently recorded sermons entitled “Messianic Prophecies of the Bible”. He was discussing Isaiah 53:3 (He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.)

    Minutes 20:13-42:

    Why was Jesus such a man of sorrows? I’ll tell you why He was a man of sorrows, folks. Because He knew, even though He was going to pay for the sins of the world, the vast majority of mankind would never trust Him as Savior. Even though He was going to suffer the unspeakable agony of Calvary and the crucifixion and having the wrath of God poured out on Him. Yet, the vast majority of mankind would reject Him. That’s why He was a man of sorrows.

    See link below:

    I cannot fathom how Calvinists think that this man of sorrows would have CHOSEN some for eternal life, and others for eternal destruction.

    I cannot fathom how Lordship “salvationists” think that this man of sorrows would have provided completely for our salvation, yet left it up to us to “do our part” (by turning from sins, being willing to turn from our sins, being sorry for our sins, confessing our sins, committing our lives to Christ, surrendering to Christ’s Lordship, putting Christ on the throne of our lives, etc.).

    I cannot fathom how those on the fence think there might be something “in between” Lordship “salvation” and salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (often in the form of “back-door” Lordship “salvation” – “no Jesus, no change. No change, no Jesus”).

  144. Mary, you wrote “TRAGIC, people think dying of cancer or dying in an aeroplane crash is the worst thing that can happen to them, as terrible as those things are, the worst thing is dying without Christ or under a false gospel.”

    So true. While cycling the other day I was pondering the recent German plane crash incident and the statement that they were in the death descent for 8 minutes. The investigator claims the passengers were unaware of their fate until the last moments when they saw the mountains in their face. I don’t know. Still, I imagined a believer standing up in the midst and proclaiming the Gospel to whosoever will! It was a neat image that countered fear, and reminded me how BOLD a child of God can be in the face of death. We here certainly know that God would SAVE the ones who believed in His Son right then and right there!

    Many of us have been in near-miss accidents and can attest to how time “stops”. Our Lord holds “time”. He transcends it and can make 8 minutes or 4 or 2 or 1 seem to last forever in His eternal saving power.

  145. Hi Sam,
    Couldn’t agree more, yes we are fighting to defend the clarity of the gospel. I just cannot get through to my family members who are in the evangelical churches. They are hoping and believing in vain, going to church, doing their good deeds to find the lord say I never knew you. TRAGIC, people think dying of cancer or dying in an aeroplane crash is the worst thing that can happen to them, as terrible as those things are, the worst thing is dying without christ or under a false gospel.

    Satan must be so wrapped that he has been able to deceive them. But I believe these people have been warned. God in his grace won’t leave these people without an opportunity to hear the clear simple gospel that saves.

    This is where we all come in and try one by one to bring people to this understanding of the good news. Its frustrating when you can’t get through to them but we must as hard as it is to turn them over to the lord.

    i pray our time is short and the lords coming is closer, everyday is one step closer to the lord. Even so come lord jesus come.

  146. Adam7777 and Preston, John, and the others, thankful for the Word you provided too, and the remembrance that believers are constantly exhorted to submit, surrender, humble themselves under the mighty hand of God. Had they already ‘made Him Lord’ or ‘surrendered to His Lordship’, they would need to be told that.

    He is Lord of All, we need to be sure that He is our Savior though. He is Lord of the demons, but He is not their Savior. They believe and know who He is, but they cannot and will not ever be offered the opportunity to be saved. He is the way, the truth and the life, no other way to the Father but by Him. He IS Lord (kyrios – as a title of Jesus is two things. One, His disciples called Him Lord, but number two, it means God, the Messiah). We must certainly believe that Jesus is Jehovah who Saves, God the Messiah.

  147. Curtis – 2 Tim 1:7 was a life verse too for me (I have many though), as I went through spiritual fear and worry, most especially when my husband was diagnosed with a deadly illness. We all have been, therefore it is wise to number our days aright. He taught and is still teaching me the beautiful truth of acknowledging Him in more of my ways, trusting Him, leaning on Him instead of letting my own understanding get me leaning in a different direction (Prov 3:5-6). And also, inclining my ear, and applying my heart to His knowledge (Pr 22:17-21) by getting ‘feet time’ (I call it) with the Lord. I loved you using Jack’s words, brought tears to my eyes, praising God yes for this oasis of Grace.

    I am with you, we believe grace free, but we are in no ‘movement’ as many supposed ‘free grace’ teachers have taken off on paths I do not agree and so PROVE ALL THINGS (1 Thess 5:21) Hold fast that which is good, has also been one of many life verses.

    Spending time with Him hearing His Words will NEVER be taken from us Guido. Love in Christ to you all.

    P.S. I agree with the practical suggestions, D3 some are saying is very effective for mental health, but I highly recommend the Word 🙂

  148. Guido – I have prayed for you, and pray the Holy Spirit will guide you as you study His Word, so when you have oppression, you can answer, “It is written” like Jesus did to Satan in Matt 4.

    Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.
    He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
    Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Psalm 107:19-21

    The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.
    Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. Pr 16:23-25

    My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.
    I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.
    Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.
    My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word. Ps 119:25-28

  149. acgarbia

    on a practical level , be sure to rest , get food,sunshine, fresh air and plenty of clear spring water. you should work your way up to a gallon of water a day. dehydration alone can cause mental problems our brains need lots of water.
    DO NOT sit down a drink a gallon of water all at once need to build up slowly.

    if you like to talk privately ask moderator’s via email for my email


  150. agree with you sam amen

  151. I know everyone hear has a burden to make the Gospel clear.When I became aware that I was being deceived by false teaching on the free gift of God I was angry( around10 years ago) since then I have learned a great deal and this website has helped me understand and defend a clear Gospel.It is very frustrating to me when I talk to people in the area I live in and most of them just dont see the difference of being saved by Grace alone or Grace plus their performance to justify their salvation.Im always happy when new believers get on here and ask questions as it shows they notice their are false Gospels being spread and their seeking truth, I wish more people actually realised the difference.

  152. Hi acgarbia,

    Thanks for coming to the site and asking questions and know that I also will be praying for you my friend. In addition, please consider the following points below while pursuing the truth and the (hopeful) eventual understanding that surrendering your life to Christ (l.s, calvinism models) is not a requirement for salvation, and a grossly errant position doctrinally.

    – As God has said in His Word, salvation is a “gift”, bought and paid for by the Blood of the Lamb. Many others on this site have used excellent succinct Scriptures to evidence that as being true. There is no such thing as “cheap Grace”, or “easy believism” – only Amazing Grace. Woe to those who would dismiss trusting in the blood of the King alone as such.

    – lordship salvationists use the common phrase “if He isn’t Lord of all, He isn’t Lord at all”. But the Bible makes clear He IS Lord of all (See Acts 10:36, Philippians 2:10) and nobody here is debating that. If He wasn’t Lord of all He wouldn’t be qualified to be the Saviour of mankind, but He is the only Saviour and He died for the whole world. We object to their position because what they actually mean is that you have to “MAKE” Jesus Lord by your actions, promises, etc – which is IMPOSSIBLE for a sinner to ever do (saved or not) and found nowhere in the Bible. Anyone who says He has surrendered all to Christ is deceiving himself, and if he says that he doesn’t sin anymore, 1 John says that he’s lying about that too.

    – The Bible says that we are condemned before we believe on Christ (John 3:18), and that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23). Therefore, works do not qualify (ie. promises to the Lord, oaths, surrendering, etc) – we need a DEATH PAYMENT to satisfy the debt. Regrettably, if we choose to do it ourselves we’ll spend forever apart from God in eternity paying our way and it’ll never be enough.

    – If following Jesus in discipleship is to be intimated with salvation, why did Jesus tell the demon possessed man in Luke 8:38 (parallel account also found in other synoptic Gospels) that he was NOT to follow Him? The man evidently wanted to follow Jesus in discipleship but our Lord would not allow Him. Crucially pointed, in John 6:37 Jesus promises that those who come to Him He will in no wise cast out, so why would He send the healed man away if following Him was what was required to be saved? Remember, Judas followed Jesus all the days of His ministry, and yet he was the son of perdition. He was a follower, not a believer trusting in Christ alone as the Son of God and His Saviour.

    Hope this helps my friend.

  153. Matt for Grace and Truth

    I will be praying for you.

  154. acgarbia

    Welcome to expreacherman you found an Oasis of Grace here. while I don’t believe every thing about free Grace theology . The most important part is to get the very basics of salvation down and OWN it. Give yourself a break and allow yourself time to build a foundation. I have been through similar what you are going through. There are others as well . It is very very important for your spiritual healing that you get the basics of The Truth of the Gospel. Bad false doctrine can cause severe emotional damage to a soul it was false doctrine I was set free from. watch Tom Cucuzza vid on salvation over and over ask God for wisdom and understanding as you listen

    here is a verse that I hung onto while I was going through my spiritual illness that started aug 9 2010 . it has taken 5 years to restore the Joy of God’s salvation .
    2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
    be very very careful what you are reading out there on the internet. I have been down a lot of rabbit holes out there on the internet there are very few places like expreacherman. We will be praying for you to discover the TRUTH of the Gospel

    “The teaching and preaching of Lordship Salvation can foster a tremendous state of anxiety and doubt for some believers because its precepts demand a high level of purity of thought and lifestyle under girded by the constant threat of not having been blameless enough or virtuous enough to merit salvation.”

    Click to access DRIVEN_byB_Bauer.pdf

  155. Oh yes, this is a great article. The “follower of Jesus” is always lordship salvation, in my experience. They are “Jesus followers”, not Gospel of Jesus Christ believers.

    The other word that is sadly a waste of time, is the word “Christian”. The so-called “Christian community” is anyone that utters the name Jesus at any time, regardless of the Bible.

  156. Curtis, just catching up and saw your prayer request. I’ll begin praying for you > these are tough times indeed! Wisdom to you & your wife. I pray you both will lean into God. I pray He will direct your path. Stay safe on the road!

  157. Guido,

    i also think that is a great question. You know i asked that same question a while ago. So i went to the “Strong’s Concordance” to look up the word and definition.

    Here it is.

    Word: pisteuw

    1) to have faith in, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in
    1a) of the thing believed
    1a1) to credit, have confidence
    1b) in a moral or religious reference
    2) by implication, to commit or entrust, i.e. to entrust your spiritual well-being to Christ
    2a) to make a commitment (to trust)
    2b) to put in trust with or place confidence in

    Here is the definition. ALL definitions are about “putting confidence in; to trust”. There is NO submitting to Lordship in that definition. Believe simply means “to trust”. Also, submitting to Lordship implies “works”. the bible is clear, no works for salvation.

    • “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” (Eph 2:8,9).

    • “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of WORKS? NAY: but by the law of faith” (Rom 3:27).

    • “But to him that WORKETH NOT, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom 4:5).

    • “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness WITHOUT WORKS” (Rom 4:6).

    • “NOT BY WORKS of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5).

    • “And if by grace, then is it NO MORE OF WORKS: otherwise grace is NO MORE grace. But if it be of works, then it is NO MORE grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Rom 11:6).

    I too will pray for you. You are among friends here.

    I got some “bad” news for you. IF you have trusted (believed) that Jesus (God in the flesh) died for ALL your sins and rose again – you ARE going to heaven. there is no way out of it. It is impossible for you to EVER go to hell – I hate to the bearer of bad news. 🙂


  158. Guido, thanks for your prayer request. I have prayed for you, and I am confident that others here have, and will, also.

    You are asking a great question regarding believing in Christ, as contrasted to surrendering to His Lordship.

    This question is really at the heart of the issue of salvation by grace versus salvation by works.

    The Bible refers to eternal life as the gift of God (Romans 5:15-18, Romans 6:23).

    Mankind has invented all sorts of ways to change the nature of a gift from a gift into something else (buy one, get one free, etc.).

    But, a gift is something freely given, without cost or obligation to the recipient. It reflects the gracious nature of the giver of the gift.

    In the case of eternal life, it is a gift we receive by grace through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).

    If we had to surrender to Christ’s Lordship in order to receive this free gift, it would no longer be a gift. It would be a trade.

    God’s gracious offer of the gift of eternal life must be received as a gift. It is not for sale or barter. God offers eternal life only as a gift. Trying to obtain eternal life by agreeing to surrender to Christ’s Lordship would be trying to receive eternal life by making a deal with God. That is why Lordship “salvation” constitutes another gospel that won’t save anyone. The Bible says that anyone teaching another gospel is accursed (Galatians 1:8-9).

    If man can understand the difference between words such as “believe” and “surrender”, it follows that God would also understand the difference. In His word – the Bible – “surrendering to Christ’s Lordship” is NEVER presented as the way to receive eternal life.

    So it comes down to this:

    Is Jesus necesary for salvation or is He enough? If He is just necesary, that means we provide part of our salvation through our “surrendering to His Lordship”, etc.

    Most religions, including Lordship “salvation”, teach salvation by good works, or some combination of grace plus good works.

    The Bible teaches that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ – nothing more, nothing less.

    For differentiation between believing and discipleship, see John 8:30-32. We have a discussion of this pasage under our “Difficult Verses” section.

  159. I am a little worried about whether free grace theology is accurate. Among my concerns is one pertaining to the word “believe”. How do we know for sure that believing in Christ does not include surrendering to His lordship? How do we know that salvation is distinct from discipleship? Is there evidence in the word of God to make this distinction?

    Also, I am suffering from a mental illness, (I hope there is no demonic oppression involved), which causes me to have delusions and hear voices, which try to make me doubt whether I am saved and to be afraid of eternal damnation. My medication is in the process of being adjusted but I am hearing voices repeating what I am thinking coming out of background noises in traffic and stuff. Can you all please pray for me to either be healed or for the doctor to figure out how to adjust my medication. I don’t want to deal with these symptoms anymore.


  160. Jude1four – “by their fruits you shall know them”

    Drives me batty when they misuse that from Matthew 7, for that was how we would know false prophets. Why will they have such guts to misuse God’s Word?

    Then the doctrine described is the VERY thing this guy is trying to get you to do!! Justify yourself by your ‘fruits’. These false profits (prophets) justified themselves by their wonderful works (good works or fruits in the eyes of these men). So I don’t think these fruit inspectors would spot them 🙂

  161. Jude1four, it sounds like that site would be solid, except for the doctrine of demons part (sarcasm intended)!

  162. Hi John- Sorry didn’t mean to cause anyone to stumble so thank you for removing the link. It’s just frustrating because on so many other things he has had posts that I really needed to hear and helped me. I tried to tell him that we were new creations in Christ by simple faith (John 1:12) but he told me a genuine saint would display the fruit of the Spirit (seemingly always). I asked him if he still sins and how “changed” my life had to be to be assured of my salvation. He said “by their fruits you shall know them” and “no change, no Jesus. No Jesus, no change.” What doctrines of demons! I told him he sounded like the Pharisee and the tax collector (I thank you God that a have such a changed life that I know I’m saved unlike this other guys who still struggles with sin). I guess I will just keep beating my chest and saying “God be merciful to me, a sinner”. And rejoice that I’ve been forgiven.

  163. Guido – I agree with Preston and Johniinc’s first viewpoint, although I haven’t read the second.

    THEY (false prophets) have heard, been around, and been exposed to the truth. They deny the Lord who bought them, so they are without excuse for the degree of revelation they have been given.

    Because they are among the believers, they have escaped to some degree the pollutions of the world. (Somewhat like a unbelieving man who is sanctified by a believing wife, he lives in a cleaner environment with her light and sound speech, salt and grace). But that doesn’t make him saved, it just means he can see the light, hear the truth, have much revealed to Him, and it will be worse for him if he rejects it.

    Whether it includes both this lifetime and the next, which could be both as eventually the law of sowing and reaping can come into play, but if they have continued to deny Him until the end, that end will certainly be worse for them if they just had not known.

  164. good day friend,

    I missed something (which is easy, I am the brightest star in the sky). what about the afterlife????? I DO believe there are different penalties in hell (no – not a dante inferno thing). Jesus said, it will be better for Sodom and Gomorha on the day of judgment then the city He was in. A few times, the bible states that unbelievers will be judges “by their works”.
    – what does that mean exactly? dunno – maybe different levels of “burning” – maybe someone can enlighten me?

    Go back to verse 1 – But 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

    the “them” is referring to these people. They knew (had knowledge) but never believed. IF they had, they would have sealed unto the day of redemption (Eph 4:30)

    my two cents.

  165. Guido, I have never heard anyone suggest that these people are beyond grace for having committed an unpardonable sin.

    If this does refer to unsaved people, their fate in hell would be because they finished their lives without ever coming to faith in Christ – not because they committed some nebulous, undefined, unforgivable sin.

  166. But then that would mean they committed an unpardonable sin, because they could not afterwards repent.

  167. Guido, you could be right. I gave two interpretations. If it is the next life, then the first interpretation would be more in line.

  168. How do we know it is talking about this life and not the afterlife? It doesn’t seem to indicate anywhere that it is talking about this life, so the meaning would naturally be the afterlife, because it refers to the “end”.

    Sorry, I am not advocating for this view. I am just trying to get a thorough answer.

  169. Guido, I don’t interpret this verse to mean that these people have their doom sealed in this life.

    There are a couple of interpretations that are consistent with grace.

    1. These people had lots of exposure to sound doctrine, but never believed.

    2. This represents eternally secure believers who get off of the path of committed discipleship. See article linked below for explanation:

    Click to access Bible-Study-Dr.-J.O.-Hosler-Do-Christians-Ever-Behave-Like-Hogs-And-Dogs.pdf

  170. 2 Peter 2:20 says, “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.”

    Does this mean that some people can come right up to the point of getting saved, not get saved, and have their doom sealed in this life?

  171. Thanks for the heads up to understanding the book of revelations. Where can I find Mr. Cucuzzas series on Daniel?

  172. Jude1four, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    You have provided enough warning about the Calvinist leaning of the blog that you referenced to make me want to avoid it. For that reason, I would not want to point our readers to it either.

    It seems odd that a site that insists that “a true Christian will…” emphasizes how to live the Christian life. If Christians automatically displayed this, that, and the other type of behavior, they wouldn’t need instructions on how to live the Christian life. In other words, the whole point of these types of blogs would seem to be self-contradictory.

  173. Bobbie Jo. You need to understand some other books first. Try by listening to Tom Cucuzza’s series on Daniel. OT prophecies are kind of important to understanding Revelation. 🙂

  174. Curtis I missed that, but you and your wife are on my prayer list already, but put that need on. God bless you brother.

  175. Has anyone been to this blog? (Link and site reference removed by administrator)

    It’s disappointing because the blogger has so many wonderful entries about living the Christian life but he preaches that “genuine saints display this kind of behavior”. Anyone have any thoughts on the site if you have visited it?

  176. I’ll be praying for you and your family, Curtis. Best of luck with everything.

  177. Curtis, you’ve got it! I have been praying for you.

  178. The Church of Christ I attended said majority of the book of revelations happened already. I was also told that it had to do with the fall of Jerusalem temple in 70 AD. They also explained “end of days” to refer to the end of the Jewish way of the sacrificial law, etc. Honestly I was more confused after they got done saying these things. I didnt agree nor disagree, I simply chose silence. It was my understanding the book of revelations was written approximately 96 AD however I could very well be mistaken. They also stated no rapture of the church and Christ wouldn’t set foot on earth again. I was extremely confused by their stance of everything. They explain the man on the cross being forgiven because something about there was no need for baptism at that time cause Christ was still alive? However earlier in the gospels John is baptizing as Jesus comes into the scene. It made no sense to me and it still doesn’t. They hold to Christ comes back and takes the church with him and the earth is destroyed by fire? I don’t know what they were talking about. I’m not sure where I stand with the last book.

  179. Hi Guido, John gave really all the explanation needed, but I wanted to point out a couple more things if you’d like to consider.

    A few things to note from Jude (and 2 Pet 2) is those ‘certain men’ were identified as those who ‘crept in’, just like the ‘false brethren’ in Gal 2:4-5, who misled even Peter and Barnabas. There are also called ‘false prophets’ .

    It is also pointed out they are ungodly (they have not received the righteousness of Christ – Rom 10:4). They DENY the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Then Jude brings up God destroying those who did NOT BELIEVE.

    There is only one authority and that is the Lord, and they reject Him.
    It also clearly says, they do not have the Spirit (vs. 19), but verses 22-23 says it’s possible that some might be saved. In 2 Pet 2, they are contrasted with ‘the people’, and are blaspheming the way of truth. They do understand the truth, but because they are among the believers, they have escaped to some degree the pollutions of the world, somewhat like a unbelieving man who is sanctified by a believing wife. He lives in a cleaner environment. But that doesn’t make him saved, it just means he can see the light, hear the truth and it will be worse for him if he rejects it.

    Where it says they have ‘gone in the way of Cain, and ‘run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit’, and ‘perished in the rebellion of Korah’, I believe you can see a picture of several things and probably much more than what I’ve listed.

    1) Way of Cain is to try to climb up another way (it is through an unacceptable sacrifice).
    2) Error of Balaam for profit – a False prophet – willing to curse Israel for money.
    3) Rebellion of Korah, they were also not willing to accept God’s choice for High Priest.

  180. Keep asking questions Alex

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

  181. I would appreciate your prayer support as you are led. my Wife and I are facing changes here. We would like to sell our business or simply close it and sell off the components.
    We do have someone interested in purchasing the business. I am currently driving truck.

  182. Alex, you said something, and please, please do not take this in any way as at all trying to sound argumentative, no at all. I know what you meant, but since all Scripture is useful for doctrine (2 Tim 3:16-17), and the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev 19:10) , it sure is important for us to know all of His Word.

    What I do consider important or essential is just that we keep sound speech that cannot be condemned with each other, using His Word as the final authority and that’s what I like about this site. Examining our beliefs in light of His Word and asking questions, not in any way to deride someone else for their understanding, because we all come to different positions at times, and so that’s part of making us desire to dig into the treasure of His Word. It’s a blessing for us, just to study Revelation, it says we are blessed if we read, hear and keep this word (pp).

    Anyways, God bless us all to continue to dig in and study with His approval always. In Christ ❤

  183. John John, thank you for your encouragement, I am so appreciative of His Word and the body of Christ to help each other.

  184. Guido, there are eternally secure believers who fall from grace (Galatians 5:4), teach false gospels, let sin reign in their mortal bodies (Romans 6:12), fall away (Luke 8:13), and so on.

    There are also unbelievers who teach false gospels, or promote legalism, licentiousness, lasciviousness, and so on.

    I think the specific false teachers who are identified in 2 Peter 2:17 are unbelievers.

    When I think about people who turn grace into lasciviousness, deny the Lord, etc., I think about people like Jim Jones and David Koresh who use the name of Christ to feed their evil appetites (please note that I am not judging whether or not these specific people were, or were not, saved).

    There are also believers who abuse grace. It is not God’s will that any believer use grace as an excuse to sin. And doing so will have negative consequences. However, loss of eternal life is not a possibility. Nor does this mean that someone who abuses grace is not a “true believer.” That is why there is the admonishment to believers to not use liberty as an occasion to the flesh (Galatians 5:13).

    Hebrews was written to believers. There is nothing in Hebrews that would suggest that it includes “almost believers.”
    Please see our “Difficult Verses” section for discussion of Hebrews 6:4-6 and Hebrews 12:14,

  185. Hey, this is Guido Arbia. This is the account I will use to post on here from now on.

    I have more questions. What about the book of Jude and Peter where it talks about apostates and false teachers who turn the grace of God into lasciviousness and things like that? It seems like it is saying that people are using the grace of God as an excuse to sin, and some people almost came to saving faith but then fall away and become irrevocably lost, like in Hebrews 6, 10, and 12. It seems to say that these people have the “mist of blackness….reserved” for them forever.

  186. Here is a sermon from Pastor Dennis Rokser he talks about the sermon on the mount at length

    Distinct Features Of Sanctification Under Grace

  187. Sorry for going off topic. I do not wish to be labelled as preterist or futurist or whateverist. I believe there are literal final rebellion (The Antichrist) and great tribulations / wrath yet to come but I also do not believe in an invisible rapture or land promises to be fulfilled other than a literal New Earth and New Jerusalem to all true Israel. It just seems to me that there are errors in every major eschatology theories. I have not studied nearly enough to fix my position. Anyway I don’t believe much of eschatology is essential doctrine except for Jesus will physically come back, the final judgement, and eternal glory and punishment.

  188. Folks,

    i dont know anything about “this site”. However, in light of our discussion on “hardening hearts” i thought it an interesting read.

    after reading, i know it was brought up. But the John passagein question was at the end of Jesus’s minstry. that is 3.5 years (minus a few days) that Jesus did ALL of those miracles for that long a period and they believed “not” (verse 37 i think). We also know that many jews beleived AFTER the resurrection (acts 2 and 3)

    go back a few verses, “if i be raised up, will draw all men unto me” – so many that God hardened for their unbelief of 3.5 years of miracles could have beleived after the resurrection.

    anyway, i thought an interesting article (again not necessarily endorsing the site).

  189. I guess I should say, we ground ourselves in the word of god, not in the words of men, but god has given us some godly faithful pastors to teach us.

    So I really do recommend this book, he illustrates the 3 tenses of salvation.

  190. Yes for anyone really wanting to be grounded in this grace gospel, i would recommend Dennis Roksers book called SHALL NEVER PERISH FOREVER. Yes we do have to be careful of some in the Free Grace Camp, who have become Calvanists but reject Perserverance.

  191. folks,

    I see the preterist view as pretty much “impossible”.

    IF we are in the millennial reign, where is Jesus?

    IF, we are after, the millennial reign why is there still sin?

    IF, we are in the millennial reign, where is the “lion laying down with the lamb”?

    IF we are in/after the millennial reign, why so much attention to Israel and the regathering of the people to “her”?

    I say in/after as they believe revelation happened in 70ad. One of their biggest proof text is “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom” – matt 16:28.

    They conclude that is HAD to happen then as “some” had to see Jesus coming. IF they didn’t then that verse cant be explained.

    Here is my thoughts. The Answer is “John”. John saw ALL the events that Jesus stated “before death”. The book of revelation tells us that he was “in the spirit” when he saw ALL that was to happen in “that time”. This happened “before he tasted death”.

    Preston, what about the word “some”? it means more than one disciple.

    The greek word for “some”

    Word: tij
    Pronounce: tis
    Strongs Number: G5100
    Orig: an enclitic indefinite pronoun; some or any person or object:–a (kind of), any (man, thing, thing at all), certain (thing), divers, he (every) man, one (X thing), ought, + partly, some (man, -body, – thing, -what), (+ that no-)thing, what(-soever), X wherewith, whom(-soever), whose(-soever)

    Heb Strong:
    1) a certain, A CERTAIN ONE
    2) some, some time, a while

    So according to the definition of “some”. It can mean “a certain one”. The verse can read ” Verily I say unto you, There be “a certain one” standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom” – matt 16:28.

    I believe John was the “certain one”

  192. I am not surprised to hear that Michael Youssef preaches a false works based gospel. I watched a sermon of his several years ago and he repeated the phrase “occupy until I come” several times. He is a dominionist.

  193. Holly, I found your reply to Guido about hardening brilliantly clear and true.

    Thank you, Lord, for Holly!

  194. Alice, thanks for the warning on Michael Youssef. I’ve never been much of a follower, but one thing I’ve noted in the prophecy crowd is they’re either associated with Brannon Howse and his Calvinist crew, or in someway Lordship or at the very least undiscerning. One asked me to pray for more discernment for him as I warned him of his gospel, and he continued to post ‘good articles’ by load-shippers like Ray Comfort and others.

    I am afraid the popularity, the book sales, the conferences, etc. drive them to promote each other and ‘overlook’ issues until they have blended right in and look and speak no differently then the apostates themselves — evil communications corrupt good manners…

  195. Alice, thanks for the warning to mark and avoid Michael Yousssef. Like so many of the purveyors of works salvation who are focused on prophecy, his message is “hurry up and believe a false gospel, before it’s too late!”

    I would warn our readers to not let their hunger for learning more about prophecy, or any other aspect of scripture, cause them to let down their guards. People who teach false gospels should be marked and avoided.

  196. Thanks to all who participate on this site, and Johninnc for continuing the ministry writing new articles and comments which ground me in the Grace Gospel. This is where I get true fellowship..!
    Someone lent me Michael Youssef’s (Atlanta, Georgia) latest book: “Jesus, Jihad and Peace” and I just finished reading the book, I agreed with everything he said until the end of the book on page 221 where he says:
    “But to obtain this free gift, you have to surrender. You have to give up and let Jesus take control of your life. You have to surrender your ‘weapons’, your selfish wants, your ambitions, ..your insistence on living to gratify your appetite for pleasure, material things, money, fame….drinking, drugs, gambling, pornography, adultery…bitterness, vengefulness, anger…Gratefully accept the free gift of salvation and lay down your weapons. You will be accepted and welcomed into God’s family now and forever’.
    No distinction between Salvation and Service, Justification and Sanctification, Grace and Works, Free gift and reward in heaven, Believer and Disciple, instead he merges them all together and ends up preaching a false gospel of ‘faith + works’.
    No clarity of the Grace gospel is given but a garbled, accursed, confusing gospel which does NOT save.

  197. Alex – not to start a discussion on that subject at all, just saying, we’re going back over Daniel again in our Tues. class. I wasn’t real appreciative when a few of us took a seminary class here in town on Revelation and really didn’t want to hear all the positions, but as I went along and started to learn all the different positions through the years, just never could reconcile post millennialism, preterism (partial or otherwise) or amillennialism to hold up to the literal aspect of God’s Word.

    I remember when a guy came in our Bible study about 5 years ago intent on arguing preterism, and one thing I noted was he just slammed down verses without considering or being willing to look up or ‘hear others’. I want to hear the Scriptures and carefully check them out, I want to be noble.

    Daniel is probably the most exciting book in the Bible in the fact that it literally proves the veracity of Scriptures. Even though many of the liberal scholars tried to date it in the 160’s b.c., we know that the copies that were found (in the 300’s + bc) prove it is a prophetic book (as well as Jesus noting Daniel as a Prophet in the Olivet discourses). These prophecies are magnificent and literally fulfilled.

    But the exciting part is, that each part of his 70 x 7 prophecy was literally fulfilled to the day, all the way to the Messiah being cut off, however, the last 7 years is where? I’ve seen some ‘close’ arguments, but not worthy, one guy was even using 365 days + leap year days to make his point, not understanding even the simple 360 day year.

    People don’t see a gap, but they didn’t see it in the coming of Christ either, they were only expecting one coming, not two. So, we are still in the Time of the Gentiles which will go to the end. The fulness of the Gentiles I believe to be up until the rapture of the church.

    I know you likely know all this, but my point? I started studying some of the other positions in interest, including pre-wrath and even Van Kampen-ites, and grabbed the Scriptures and am excited and still see premillennialism as the truth taught in Scriptures, however, I was always willing to unlearn anything in lieu of wanting to know His truth over mine. Still am. Grace and peace to you ❤

  198. Curtis, I did read Dennis Rokser’s book on the three tenses of salvation, lots of rich Scripture there, I did appreciate it (I usually tend to skim over men’s words and go straight to the Scripture) so I love it when they use a lot.

  199. need to rightly divide the word of God here when studying the sermon on the mount , Jesus is talking about the Gospel of the Kingdom here on earth , key phrase “inherit the earth” the legalist stumble all over this text and I was one of them.

    kingdom of heaven
    kingdom of heaven

    inherit the earth, inherit the earth, inherit the earth

    Mat 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    Mat 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
    Mat 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

    if i may here is link to Deluth Bible Church on the 3 tenses of salvation

  200. call me , abiding in Christ Jesus (resting faith) if you must label or
    For me to live is Christ aint no following about it

    following Christ does not make a soul spiritual , but you do need to be spiritual to correctly follow Christ for the right motives

  201. +Guido: I can’t construct a proof from the scripture but I too am also intrigued by God “blinding” people. The gospel books speak of Jesus spoke only in parables with the expressed purpose to hide the truth, and told only his disciples (the 12 only?) their interpretation. But Jesus also said that what he told them (disciples) in secret they shall proclaim on housetops. I wonder if that was fulfilled when Peter openly proclaimed Jesus’ being the Messiah at the Temple after Jesus’ ascension. Also, Jesus’ life and interpretation of almost every parables were written down in the Bible for all to read. It may not be too far-fetch to say that the so-called partial blinding of Israel (really only those who refused to believe despite strong evidence in front of their eyes) was long over and was done only for the duration of Jesus’ first coming for the purpose of including the Gentiles (+ Jews = the whole world) in the scope of Salvation.

    Having said that I know my theory also has holes and I know this may not sit too well with premillennialism which appears to be the official position of this site.

  202. In Chinese Bible the word “Christians” (in the Book of Acts) was also translated to “Christ’s followers (or disciples)”, which was unfortunate.

    Perhaps “Christ’s believers” is a better word (?)

    “Following Christ’s teaching” is a poor definition of “Christian”, as if Jesus was just another good moral teacher. Do we not already have enough of them in every religions under the sun?

  203. Good day,

    I have been debating and discussing all day today busier then usual. My brain is “mush”. my answer would have been long with parts ALREADY touched on by John and Holly. IF you really want it, ask me tomorrow.–my apologies.

    as a result I will answer the question solely.

    the question – How do you explain these passages in light of the hope that it is never to late to believe as long as you have breath?

    ME – the thief on the cross is a clear example of finding salvation in a “last breath”


  204. Bobbie Jo — yes! They are hostile to the gospel. Just ask them to share it and they are angered. Or share it in your own words, without using KJ English, and without using references, and you might be shocked (as I was recently) to see they do not RECOGNIZE the word or the gospel itself. One reformed pastor, after I shared the gospel (because he would not), mocked me over and over, finally told me to share the gospel. I explained I already had and he could not see it. I did the same thing to him again later, using much Scripture, but recognizable, and yet not Calvinist proof texts. He mocked me and said I sounded like Brian McLaren. I explained it was all the Word and proceeded to post the exact Scriptures in a row, and the references. I have taken to asking them to share the gospel, and they normally ignore you or get angry. If they share and use ‘repent from sin’ I ask for chapter and verse reference.

  205. Guido, here are some of my thoughts. Scriptures don’t contradict so for individuals there is always hope, for the nation, it was prophesied they would be cut off for a time, but not cast away. It comes down to God’s foreknowledge. Keep in mind this speaks to the nation of Israel as a whole that are cut off for one reason, unbelief. Isaiah’s report is seen in Isaiah 53. Also mentioned in Romans 10:14-17. They can still believe, the Gentiles are here to provoke them to jealousy.

    Just as God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, yet He gave him many chances, He knew the outcome that Pharaoh would harden his own heart first.

    Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? when he had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed? 1 Sam 6:6

    God had already shown the nation of Israel much patience, He had chastened them, and they had maligned His name by their behavior. He knew those rulers at that time — when the Messiah was cut off, would as a whole, harden their hearts although He would given them many, many chances. Not all would disbelieve, He would show many miracles, and it is clear that in some places, they clearly know He is the Messiah and want to kill Him anyways.

    Clearly others believed later, two passages again don’t conflict, so they were not able because they did not believe Isaiah’s report. It doesn’t mean that some did not come to know Him, think on Saul/Paul. Rom 11:20 is clear they were broken off for unbelief, BUT they are able to grafted back on for belief. And we know the disciples were not broken off because they were believing.

    I don’t know if that helps, but those are some of my thoughts.

  206. Jeremy – Hi! You know another one that shocked me is John MacArthur using James 4 as another call to the gospel, verses 6-10, conveniently ignoring context of an exhortation to those who are the church…

    5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

    MacArthur’s gospel message.

    6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

    11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

  207. Guido, I’ll take a shot at answering your question, and I am interested in comments from others as well.

    God is not the author of either sin or unbelief. Yet God does harden certain people in their unbelief. I think He is simply going with their free will to reject Christ, such that they will not respond to the most overt manifestations that He is who He says He is.

    As to hope, there is no hope for those who willfully choose to reject Christ. God knows who they will be, but does not make the choice for them.

  208. Another thing I’ve noticed is those in a LS setting seem very hostile to the true Gospel. Always seeking to come to us with such attacks and slander. I truly believe the Lord through His Holy Spirit is trying to bring them to His truth.

    Sadly they don’t see themselves in the same boat as us. They feel they are great people and they are better than carnal believers. Always quick with condemnation instead of looking at themselves. Pride is the worst sin as it’s the main thing that keeps those from trust in the Lord and His FINISHED work! They somehow feel they have anything good. Our good works are as filthy rags to a Holy God but they continue to run on the mouse wheel of LS. Sin, seek forgiveness, sin, seek forgiveness all the while telling others they are so righteous as to have stopped sinning altogether. It seems they are trying to not only convince others but themselves as well. The Lord knows whats on the inside and in our hearts. They can’t hide their thoughts nor can we.

    It saddens me cause I have been there! The constant running and running trying not to slip up cause I could somehow lose ETERNAL life. Never realizing how that sounds so much the oxymoron. Eternal lofe is just that……eternal. There are so many who have a warped sense of who God is. I used to be terrified of Him as I was taught characteristics that were all bad. Now I think of how good He has been and continues to be and I find myself tearing up. I don’t understand all His ways but I trust they will all work for the good as His Word says they will. :).

    And wow! Sorry. I was blaming on a short reply then BAM! Total rant. I will stop before I “take off” again. haha

  209. A very candid and accurate point Jeremy!

    To all on this site, Ralph Yankee Arnold has a sermon on YouTube about “Following the voice”. He explains very well in context what Christ was referring to when He spoke those words, and how it fits perfectly into salvation by Grace alone, through faith alone, in Him alone.

  210. John 12:39-40 seems to indicate that God blinds some peoples’ minds so that they cannot believe.

    39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,

    40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

    How do you explain these passages in light of the hope that it is never to late to believe as long as you have breath?

  211. Jeremy, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    We agree!

  212. It’s sad to hear The Bible taken out of context by “scholars” who are educated beyond their intelligence

  213. Holly, unfortunately, MacArthur is just one of the legion of folks in this generation (and all previous generations in the church age) that spout this works for salvation heresy.

  214. It’s because people like John MacArthur (in His book, ‘the Gospel according to Jesus’) says things like this we need to do in order to be saved.

    Him in submissive obedience (p. 21).
    Deny self, take up a cross, forsake all and follow Christ (p. 30).
    Repent and follow Jesus (p. 106).
    Deny self and follow Christ (p. 196)

    Mr. Lordship Himself on the Sermon on the mount:

    No passage in all Scripture attacks modern-day easy-believeism with more force than Matthew 7:13,14. It is the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, and it amounts to the Savior’s own presentation of the way of salvation. This passage crushes the claim of those who say the Sermon on the Mount is not Gospel but law. In fact this is pure Gospel, with as pointed an invitation as has ever been presented. Here, in the culmination of all He has said in the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord demands that each person choose between following the world on the easy well-traveled road, or following Him on the difficult road. You will not find a plainer statement of the Gospel according to Jesus anywhere in Scripture. (p. 179)

    And people think this wolf is benign….

  215. Bobbie Jo – Completely with you. I always felt like I ‘wanted’ to call myself that but was unworthy to call myself a ‘Christ follower’, and then I started see all these other terms like ‘radical disciple’ or even ‘radical follower’.

    The sheep there, I always understood ‘follow’ to be a metaphor for ‘believe’ and never understood it as even speaking to discipleship, just that they know Him and He knows them. (Unlike the ones in Matthew 7 He never knew).

  216. Excellent writing! I def feel we as Christians need to be continuously reminded our salvation rests entirely on God’s promises. And thank goodness too!!! Unfortunately I have heard plenty of Christians say they don’t sin anymore. The Word of God calls them a liar so they need to start being honest with themselves. I am a Christian not because I am perfect but because God IS! Amen