Stemming Fruit Inspection

See new page Stemming Fruit Inspection, which contains the full text of the chapter “Fruit Inspectors” from Preston Greene’s new book.

This subject is vital to the defense of the gospel, so I hope you will read it and refer others to it.

69 responses to “Stemming Fruit Inspection

  1. Add to that all the opinions about diet. Some think red meat is good, some think red meat bad. Eggs went out of fashion and back in. The war on cholesterol vs the resistence. The GMO controversy. Aspartame paranoia. Etc. Austere exercise regimes have become the new asceticism. Michelle Obama. Banned bag lunch.

  2. Jason I had to chuckle, gives new meaning to the word fruit inspection… Have you had your fruits for today? Heading out, may all of you be blessed today.

  3. jason, there does seem to be a tendency to want to compare ourselves to others and to make value judgments. And, it doesn’t only show up in the consciously religious.

  4. “If you think you’re the pure, someone else is impure,” she says. The more self-righteous we are about what we eat – because it’s ethical or healthy or local – the more we also tend to judge others on what they eat. Or worse, who they are.”

    I just read the post from June 3, 2015 at 11:04 am.

    Last time I had a job, I had a job coach who was using coaching meetings as an occasion to lecture me about food. It added to my stress at work. I did not keep the job. I am a very picky eater. They always wanted me to eat more fruit. I’m uncomfortable chewing on apples and oranges.

    These nonreligious fruit inspectors tried to spin it as helping me improve at my job and talking about my problems with them. It was always them talking down at me. It had nothing to do with the job at all. I was tempted to burn my bridges.

  5. John — I am always full of amazement when people tell me silly things like that, or ‘willful sin’ (using the Hebrews text out of context). Sometimes we sin when we don’t want to, but if they just think on it a moment, is everything they do done in faith? How much ‘wanting to keep sinning’ is too much? A period of time? Or after an amount of time they’ve been saved? Or the last days of their lives changing their minds to just wanting to go back into the world (like Demas)?

    They haven’t understood that salvation is free, it is everlasting, it can’t be earned, it can’t be taken away, it can’t be lost, it cannot be walked away from. We are gifted to Jesus when we believe. God gives us to Him, translates us into His Kingdom. It is the Father’s will that He should lose none, therefore if we walked away, He would have lost us. Their theories are false, and I am afraid they have not understood the gospel, but have believed another. Either that or they have been deceived subtly and are now helping corrupt minds from the simplicity in Christ.

  6. Holly, I found 3 different ideas today on how to be saved (or know you were saved). One said that if we wanted to keep sinning we couldn’t be saved. This puts the focus on us, not Christ.

  7. John — amazing…

    If what he said was just reworded people might see what he is REALLY saying.

    He said,

    “It has to do with what you are relying on for the forgiveness of your sins – your religious efforts, or the cross – as well as your new attitude toward sin. Your attitude toward sin will help to reveal whether or not your perceived spiritual conversion was genuine…”

    The truth is he is saying, “Rely on your attitude toward sin AND the cross in order to be saved.”

    He said,

    “As long as your faith is in Christ alone for salvation and there is good fruit in your life,

    What he REALLY means is “If you produce good fruit AND your faith is in Christ (-alone/he already canceled that out), THEN you are saved.”

  8. And here is another from “Focus on the Family,” from an article entitled “Willful Sin After Salvation and Eternal Security.”

    If an individual insists on living an unchristian life, even after “receiving the knowledge of the truth,” we might be led to suspect that he never really accepted Christ in the first place. If he willfully persists in the same sin over and over again without remorse and without showing any evidence of a genuine desire to change, we would have every reason to doubt the sincerity of his faith. Such a person is like the demons mentioned in James 2:19: they “believe” the truth but refuse to grant it their personal allegiance.

    (My comment: this is false. We cannot draw assurance of eternal life by “living a Christian life,” being remorseful about sins, nor by showing a genuine desire to change. And, Christ did not redeem demons.)

  9. Here is a classic “fruit inspection” mentality I found in “The Christian Post”. It is from an article entitled “Can Deliberate Sin Negate Your Conversion Experience?” by Dan Delzell:

    Born again people have the will and desire to do the right thing. Lost people intentionally and continually point the compass of their affections in the opposite direction. It’s not a question of a previous conversion experience. It has to do with what you are relying on for the forgiveness of your sins – your religious efforts, or the cross – as well as your new attitude toward sin. Your attitude toward sin will help to reveal whether or not your perceived spiritual conversion was genuine…

    As long as your faith is in Christ alone for salvation and there is good fruit in your life, forget about trying to pinpoint the moment the tree of life was planted in your soul.

    (My comment: we cannot base our assurance of salvation on our attitude toward sin, nor on the fruit in our lives. The Biblical passages on assurance all point back to believing in Jesus as Savior.)

  10. Penelope, it’s something I try to remind myself too, it’s so easy for us to forget the mercy we have been shown. Plus it seems that believers forget we are not to judge the world (1 Cor 5:12-13), and I see it all the time on FB.

    I had one email me today, she had read my ‘Since I am dying’ blog (but evidently not all the way through) and was showing her concern and support, and thanked me for a time she was sick and someone posted that God gave sickness to her because of unconfessed sin. I think that is in our flesh to think someone is lesser than us, because they do something we may not. So foolish…

  11. Johnninc,
    I have often thought that people do make their dietary choices a religion and try to shove it onto other people. So, apparently in the absence of true Bible knowledge/belief, a vacuum has opened up that people must fill with another religion of choice. Wow, that is an interesting correlation.

    Holly,
    That is a good lesson for us all to learn. If someone does not fit our preconceived notion of poor health and disability, we rush to judgment and harangue them for not showing their fruit of disability enough. My good friend is confined to a wheelchair, and although she had all of her mental faculties, it was often assumed that she was mentally handicapped as well as physical. Sometimes we rolled with it and made it a joke, sometimes I felt my ire rise up for people treating her so unfairly and undignified.

    Another “aha” moment for me. This tendency for “fruit” inspection is in all areas of life, isn’t it? We all want to categorize and legitimize everything through our own lens of knowledge. I need to keep that in mind for myself….I need to remember that I, too, can be just as guilty in other situations.

  12. Johniinc – you said this, made me laugh first of all.
    “As it turns out, fruit (and vegetable, and dairy, and meat) inspection is a very common condition – for the religious and non-religious alike.”

    Then it made me reflect on some things when I read. So true with the inspection, it doesn’t matter what exactly, I remember Yankee saying something regarding the fruit inspectors, “I don’t drink, and I don’t smoke, I don’t chew, and I don’t go with the girls that do”. (I know I don’t have that quite right).

    But there is judgment for those of us who have a number of children. I’ve received it all of my life. One day when helping my friend who owned a Chinese restaurant, two patrons came in on Christmas night (It was my Christmas gift to Harry for us to come in and help him freely). I’d bring a few of my oldest. Anyways, another friend was there and the place was packed and mentioned to the couple about me having 10 kids. The woman was disgusted, she said, “It’s because of people like you we won’t have an earth in 50 years it will be so polluted”. Her husband agreed by saying (while he shook his head), “the rich get richer and the poor keep having children”. My friend told me later that he said that was why we all had to work on Christmas night. 🙂 Anyways, people all have their own way of judging.

    My husband was waiting for me in the car one night in the handicapped space. He was too tired to come in, so I quickly shopped. My husband still looked pretty strapping, although frequently he’d carry his oxygen canister with him and get one of the motorized cart (which was so hard on him to do as such an athlete before), and there was this police officer questioning him, and wouldn’t take his answer, that it was his car, his handicapped plates, and he was the one that was handicapped. I called him to let him know I was coming out and the police officer was telling him to get off the phone. I hurried out to see if something was wrong and he was STILL questioning him. That was so hard for me, my husband had a failing heart and lungs. The medicine he took to keep his circulation and breathing open caused immense pain in his legs all the time. He couldn’t walk very far without being out of breath. I have to admit you guys I was so mad. I told that officer, he needed to learn and understand that someone might not look sick, but they are, and to question them created stress for them. He wasn’t nice. But maybe he thought about it before he did that again. I guess I got off the subject, but people can make all sorts of stupid judgments because it’s in our sin nature.

  13. As it turns out, fruit (and vegetable, and dairy, and meat) inspection is a very common condition – for the religious and non-religious alike.

    Following are excerpts from an article entitled “The new religion: How the emphasis on ‘clean eating’ has created a moral hierarchy for food,” which recently appeared in The National Post:

    She argues that the rise in food movements has coincided with a decline in religion in society, with many people seeking familiar values such as purity, ethics, goodness. But these movements also tend to encourage behavioirs that have steered a generation away from religion: Judgment, self-righteousness, an us-verses-them mentality. And, she adds, many seek a fulfillment that cannot be satisfied with food.

    And

    As religion has declined, though, McCann argues that our obsession with the purity of what’s on our plate has grown. “It’s largely unconscious,” she says, but is motivated by a sort of “religious impulse” that goes unrecognized.

    And

    “If you think you’re the pure, someone else is impure,” she says. The more self-righteous we are about what we eat – because it’s ethical or healthy or local – the more we also tend to judge others on what they eat. Or worse, who they are.

  14. I’ve noticed the same Penelope. They can be particularly harsh with the women. I’ve been through a bit with them, in the beginning I was shocked. But I think the Lord allows that to show it’s not our Shepherd’s voice.

  15. Oy! I’m in good company, then! We noticed most of this was directed at me, even though my husband agreed, spoke up, etc. I’m the least feminist female, but it did feel chauvinistic they way they would point at me, warn me, insult me. They said I had a particular “hard stance” on the gospel – which I’m thinking comes from SS and me making sure my class kiddos knew the true gospel, to the chagrin of an Arminian father whose kid parroted their favorite “theologian” and said, “Dr. So and So says you can walk away from God.” Um, no, child, that would be a human man. Let’s look to God’s word for the truth about the duration of salvation.

    Purpose Driven church discipline model? Oh boy. I haven something else to look up now.

  16. I get a little worked up about these condescending and patronizing and sometimes downright abusive hirelings (in case you couldn’t tell). One told me to “shut my trap” and after I responded with “God bless you and yours”, he then said, “Oh blow it out your nose Jezebel”….

  17. Penelope — I’m afraid most of these churches have learned the Purpose Driven Church discipline, even if they don’t adhere to or use their teachings, it’s sold by the millions. They are taught to blame the person for being divisive, and they do use terms like, “let it go” or “you are being divisive”, I’ve heard them both. I’ve also been told these are foolish arguments, along with some stronger things. Praise God you are earnestly contending for the faith once delivered. THEY do not tremble at God’s Word (Is 66:2), it is THESE teachers/preachers/pastors who do not defend the gospel. THESE same men/women COMPROMISE God’s truth and often cast His Word behind them in favor of men’s teachings (Ps 50:16-17 is for them).

    Anyways, I can’t imagine having the nerve to not make sure what I said didn’t align with the Word. And there response to you SHOULD be to praise you for being noble (Acts 17:11) if indeed they were real servants and were not lording it over you.

    There… said my peace 🙂

  18. Well, I was “quarrelsome” for using scriptures and pointing out that the Bible does not contradict itself. We were told to let it go because it’s been two months since “Sermon Gate” already. Just move on, it doesn’t matter. And you’re divisive. Oh, but please stay with us! We love you!

  19. Holly, please feel free to use any of my comments.

  20. Penelope – you made me laugh when you said this, “I still think they subscribe to a LS phrase-of-the-month club. Or belief-of-the-month club.

    How true is that…? One told me recently that it was a ‘non-essential’ regarding TULIP and Voddie Baucham’s teaching. He said he was just a Christian brother, and it made no difference. Someone else told me that I was awful for suggesting that someone who thought they could lose their salvation might not have believed the true gospel. I assured them if someone believed that they could lose their salvation, within the gospel they were taught, then they never believed a true gospel.

    You are right, their responses are textbook. You could almost make a list of their blog topics too. I had to laugh when I saw this pastor’s picture at the top of a guy with his hands over his ears, missing the irony, reminded me of the Pharisees in Acts 7, stopping their ears from hearing God’s Word. He even chastised one woman for using the Scriptures (too many)….

  21. Jude1 – Good to know…

  22. Johninnc – considering this ‘senior pastor’ was defending Bethel Church, Lakeland Revival, and Hillsong by calling anyone that named them Hillsong haters, Bethel Bashers, and Lakeland loathers and then bragged he ‘spat out the bones’ –I’m with you, I’d rather obey the Lord to mark and avoid, and leave the outcome to Him. With the Lord’s help, we’ll continue to speak the truth, no matter how many hirelings we have in the pulpit. Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world.

    For the Jesus Film, since I’m going to do a stand alone post, if I have your permission, I’m going to use your comment in the article.

  23. Jude1four, thanks for the heads up. That’s a verse I hadn’t looked up in those other versions.

  24. Holly, you said: “He says we should handle false teaching by, ‘thinking private’, and intimates it is gossip if we do it in public, suggesting if we can’t gain a ‘private audience’, leave it to the powers that be. (Sounds like a sound exposition of Scripture….)

    He brings up not believing everything you read or hear, because some ‘present a slant on facts and present partial facts’, or ‘mishear and misunderstand and relay as truth’.”

    How is it that they all say the same basic things to those of us who actually search scriptures like we’re told to do? “You heard him wrong; you’re reading it wrong; you need to be quiet because you’re stirring up division.” I still think they subscribe to a LS phrase-of-the-month club. Or belief-of-the-month club, since these things seem to hopscotch around, never landing on any one thing for certain. At least in our mixing pot church, it seems.

    We actually found in a book, written by a denomination leader, espouse the denom doesn’t take a hard stance on things like: baptism, signs gifts, ETERNAL security. And that is why we’re exiting!

  25. Hey guys- I know this isn’t exactly on topic but this issue was brought to my attention last night in a bible study I went to. Notice some of the modern versions pervert this scripture to promote Lordship salvation.

    If ye love me, keep my commandments. (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭15‬ KJV)

    “If you love me, you WILL keep my commandments. (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭15‬ ESV)

    “If you love Me, you WILL keep My commandments. (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭15‬ NASB)

    This is why I really prefer the KJV. Just thought other likeminded believers should be aware of this since I’ve never seen this particular scripture twisted in some of the modern versions.

  26. Holly, this “Jesus Film” invitation is false gospel 101. What a nightmare.

    I remember hearing them discuss “The Jesus Film” in glowing terms at one of the (L)SBC churches that I attended. It was almost like they didn’t recognize that it had a Lordship “salvation” spin on it (sarcasm intended).

    It makes it sound like receipt of eternal life is a process, initiated by “repenting and confessing sins.” Justification is not a process by which we are progressively conformed to the will of God. It is an instant result of believing in Jesus as Savior.

    In addition, this “intellectual agreement” vs “an act of the will” language is just another warmed over version of “head faith vs heart faith.”

  27. Holly, this “live and let live” pastor sounds like an ecumenical “Christ follower.” I wonder if he would have told the Apostle Paul to “eat the meat and spit out the bones” after hearing his message to the Galatians.

    Am I “God’s umpire”? If that means pointing out publicly when someone’s publicly available interpretations of scripture don’t line up with the gospel, then yes I am!

  28. Adam that is a most excellent point that Penelope made.

    One person asked what was wrong with Voddie Baucham’s gospel. When they want, they can almost sound mainstream. I had to almost laugh when I went to his page, and saw his banner, which was one shoe, a snakeskin, (seemed appropriate for the serpent), and a logo that looked more appropriate for a space movie.

    He snuck into the gospel that they weren’t saved, they were ‘being saved’…

  29. Our women’s study today was on subtle or unbiblical language that has crept into our gospel. I made it into a post. Someone has been asking me to watch the Jesus film’s, “The Life of Jesus”, a multi-language DVD. So I did. I really wasn’t watching, I had it on in the background, but then I noticed the narrator was talking at the end, listen to their ‘gospel’… (I made both into a blog tonight).

    Here are the words at the end of the movie: (My words in parenthesis)

    “He sent Jesus the Messiah to die in our place. His life, death and resurrection, restored the relation between God and man, for all those who put their trust in Him.

    Now all who follow Jesus not only have their sins forgiven but are saved from God’s eternal judgment, they are assured of paradise and will live with Him forever”. (not all who are followers believed – see John 6)..

    “It is this life, and freedom from the guilt and power of sin that Jesus offers each person today. This does not mean following a religion, but choosing to have faith in Jesus, who says, “I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into Him”. (again spoken to a church in Revelation)

    “This means turning to God and trusting Jesus to come into our lives, to forgive our sins and to make us what he wants us to be.

    It is not enough to >>intellectually agree with His claims, nor to have an emotional experience, we receive Him by grace through faith, as an act of the will.

    When people are ready to become >>followers of Jesus the Messiah, they may speak to Him in a simple prayer”. (Again, there is a difference between a follower and a believer).

    “Perhaps you are ready now to ‘open your life’ to God. If so, you may join in the following prayer to Him, silently, in your heart, Lord Jesus, I need you, thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I >>confess and >>repent of my sins. I >>>open the door of my life and receive you as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life.
    Make me the kind of person you want me to be.
    As I become one of your followers.
    Amen”

    (In case I have not made it clear, I completely disagree with the presentation above in italics). Here are a couple links to a clear gospel.

  30. Bobbie Jo, boy have I been through a few of those, and the good thing is, I had already prepared something to speak. If you know the person, you can get up and present the gospel. Another thing to do, (if you don’t know them well enough to speak) is print the simple gospel on a nice card, and put it on the table when you leave, so others might stop to look at the pictures and pick it up (along with praying for them as John says) and possibly sharing after the service.

  31. John – funny – a pastor wrote a blog (ex-pastor of a friend of mine) about ‘curbing criticism’. Evidently he equates Biblical marking and avoiding of false teaching as criticism, which he says can be a “destructive force in any kind of relationship:. He likens it to sniping and self-righteousness.

    He says we should handle false teaching by, ‘thinking private’, and intimates it is gossip if we do it in public, suggesting if we can’t gain a ‘private audience’, leave it to the powers that be. (Sounds like a sound exposition of Scripture….)

    He brings up not believing everything you read or hear, because some ‘present a slant on facts and present partial facts’, or ‘mishear and misunderstand and relay as truth’.

    He then called these who speak out against these mystical, false prophets who preach another gospel and manufacture demonic miracles, “Hillsong haters, Bethel bashers, Lakewood loathers… Clever… very dignified and well… pastoral like 🙂

    You get the picture. This is a senior pastor of a church, so likely enough said for you to get the gist, but the funny thing is, he says he spits out the bones, and finished up with ‘not being God’s umpire’. And says, “When the sky is falling, we can be all too easily distracted from what we should be doing by picking or entering fights over which aren’t our concern and in we don’t have all the information. In a shrinking globe with myriad problems, we so often just need to… let go and live!

  32. Bobbie Jo, it is disheartening to sit through a churchianity service, whether it’s a funeral, wedding, confirmation, infant baptism, or just a regular weekly service.

    Those moments in which doctrinally aberrant songs or creeds are being sung or chanted are good times to pray for the people at the service.

  33. Hey Penelope,

    You said: “I have learned, though, that everyone thinks discernment is being able to tell right from wrong, when, in fact, it is being able to tell right from ALMOST right “.

    I say: A most excellent point. That is the very definition of discernment.

  34. You know, I just got home from a funeral today and the things I heard? I was dumbstruck! People saying ‘amen’ to whatever the “pastor” said. I did no prayers with them, no ‘amens’ to these false things. I was deeply saddened. He said “if we are loving and kind hearted we have nothing to fear on Judgement Day”?!??! Then they recited the famous Lord’s prayer” word for word! Not to mention the apostles creed mentioning the holy catholic church. Numerous teachings about discipleship! Nothing about the gospel! Just living for the Lord. I felt like the only one that noticed! It hurt very much.

  35. Penelope, excellent point about the hand grenade.

    Hand grenades and false gospels never saved anyone.

    So many churches are focused on discipleship training.

    The first, and most important step in discipleship training is making sure people are crystal clear on the gospel.

    That clarity is completely undermined and eviscerated by backdoor Lordship “salvstion” that is focused on fruit inspection, evidence of salvation, tests to see if one is saved, etc.

    Lordship “Salvationists” can never be disciples unless and until they repent of the LS – including the backdoor variety.

    I am sure many people who are stuck in LS are confused believers. There are also many who remain unsaved, because they have mistaken false LS gospels for the truth.

  36. So true. Our soon-to-be-old church thinks we should all just get along because these are “non essentials.” I told them it sounds like our church is a mixing pot of backgrounds, denominations, and beliefs, and no one knows what any given preacher or teacher will say. But I’m “quarrelsome” for my “hard stance” on the gospel”. Hubby and I asked, “how much law and works must be preached for it to become a false gospel of works?”

    I have learned, though, that everyone thinks discernment is being able to tell right from wrong, when, in fact, it is being able to tell right from ALMOST right. Close is only good in horse shoes and hand grenades, not the gospel. But the false gospel is much like a hand grenade, I suppose.

  37. “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump”.
    Galatians 5:9

    There is a severe lack of discernment being demonstrated today.

  38. Holly, Steven Furtick’s mega church in Charlotte, NC (Elevation Church) has “we eat the meat and spit out the bones” as part of their official cult (er, church) “code.”

  39. Bobbie Joe… It’s so true… as they go on and on about those who will never see the kingdom, they aren’t applying Christ’s righteousness to themselves as the reason they will not, but their own self righteousness. Their own sins they do see in a similar fashion as Roman Catholics. They are ‘good people’ in their own eyes. And they always seem to miss some of the ‘littler’ sin in those passages, like coveting, or envy, or someone with hatred towards another (they need to look in the mirror at how they treat those who are non-load-ship doctrine or who deny TULIP). Utter hatred. If you ask them about love their enemies, it’s very hard to get a response.

    Ask them to share the gospel with you as if you are a non-believer and see the unbelievable responses you will get… Some will flat out refuse. These factions have not fallen far from their Religious forefather’s tree.

  40. It also reminds me of a woman who posted Voddie Baucham yesterday. He is the one that said babies were so totally depraved, God made them small so they couldn’t murder us. And that is the FIRST thing we should hammer into our kid’s heads of the ‘gospel’… This woman used Isaiah 28 out of context stating that she took teachings from a lot of teachers. That she gleaned the good from the bad (eating the meat, spitting out the bones). She said, ‘a little here and a little there’…. (Nobody I was speaking with, just read, the person was not on my friend’s list). Calvinists love to ask, ‘have you read the church fathers? Systematic theology by Wayne Grudem? Have you read the Institutes of Christianity? The Westminster Confession of faith? yada yada, I refer them to 1 Cor 4:6. That little portion goes in one ear and out the other for them. It is these people who heap up teachers…

    I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Tim 4:2-4

  41. Adam777 – the other day, I met a guy, that as I listened, I began to identify certain doctrines. I had seen him over time, and he seemed to stand against Calvinism. We have a group of Christians who stand against the heresies of Lordship, Calvinism and Arminianism, and we explain Biblically, we won’t go into endless and foolish striving theological puffed up debates. It was clear he was Pauline and didn’t believe that any of the other epistles were written to Gentiles, he was offended when I asked if he was an ultra-dispensationalist. He was of the mid-Acts variety. I found that he thought no one should call themselves a Christian, that he was a follower and that a Christian was a name used by infidels. He used the ‘I am of Paul, Apollos, Cephas, Christ from 1 Cor 1 to back up that no one should call themselves after Christ (wow, another type of division). I brought up the verse from 1 Pet 4:16, Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. He said it was not for ‘us’.

    Then he started in on election being Biblical. I asked him what kind of election, and of course it was unto salvation. And total depravity was Biblical and so was irresistible grace, he called it invincible grace. He had some conflicting doctrines going on. Anyways, when I asked him to use Scripture in his arguments, and be willing to discuss them in context, he left the group offended (we allow those in to ask questions, but not to teach).

    We knew these times would come. Reminds me of Hebrews 13:9 – Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

  42. It’s a blow to their egos to hear the true gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. To hear they are no better than anyone else puts them in the same category as murderers, liars, adulterers, etc. It’s hard for the world to understand, to God, sin is sin. I believe this is what lead Catholicism to classify sins into different categories. It’s sad when one relies on their own understanding.
    Some say how they have done all these good deeds for God and it wouldn’t fair to allow someone who did nothing for the Lord into heaven. Book, chapter and verse please cause I don’t remember anything about “fairness” in His Word. Besides, this world and its inhabitants are the Lord’s creation and He can do what He sees fit. To try to say what God will do cause it’s fair? Pfft…..arrogance

  43. HollyS,

    I agree it’s scary. So much Bible reading by would-be “disciples” of Jesus, so many Bible studies, so many fellowship groups, so many “check off boxes that a “follower” must do, and yet more and more confusion sets into Christendom, and fewer and fewer souls are being saved. In stark contrast, however, here is God’s all inclusive list of things to do to enter into HIS Heaven:

    (#1.) Believe – on HIS Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.

    Sorry religionists, cultists, calvinists, lordship salvationists, the list begins and ends there.

    Come Lord Jesus. Amen. May we be found as faithful servants when you return for us.

  44. Adam777, you said, ‘As we both know, the reason why these folks don’t offer a cure is because they don’t know what it is, and they WILL NOT believe what God has clearly said in His Word. Their cure is religion (Romans 10:3), but the Bible says the cure is belief and belief alone in the Messiah.

    That is so true, it’s why we see such inconsistent presentations of the gospel from Billy and Franklin Graham, John MacArthur, Ray Comfort, even the way out ‘prophets’ of Bethel Redding have one with repent from sins, another is believe alone (sans any mention of Christ and Him crucified). There are so many… One site says one thing, and another of their sites says another.

    John MacArthur’s list is SO long on the ‘Only Road to Heaven’, when I went over it in a blog, there was almost no need to comment.

    I just copied and pasted basically and started hitting enter, and numbering, for his long ‘road to heaven’ was Pilgrim’s progress multiplied exponentially. The devil has certainly done a good job corrupting minds from the simplicity that is in Christ through his transformed ‘ministers of righteousness’.

    God bless you all today.

  45. Russell,

    For some reason there are two separate comment strings on this post.

    1 – directly hit the comments to the article.

    2. click on the “stemming fruit inspection” and you will see another comment string.

    check there.

  46. It did not show up on my computer for some reason. No big deal. Keep up the great work I very much love this site.

  47. Russell, the last comment that I see that we received from you was on May 15, and we posted it.

    Was there one more recent?

  48. I left a comment and it was never posted. Was there a problem with it?

  49. Great stuff, Bobbie Jo–thanks for sharing.

    Preston, you gave me a good laugh w/ the nose hair reference . . .

  50. That’s great that you have it in Kindle and also book form Preston.

  51. The body of Christ is truly a blessing. Just to read here, very touching. Thank You Lord.

  52. Bobbie Jo, you said: “..that’s awesome He loved me enough to die for me.”

    That is awesome!

  53. You know I remember as a child hearing story of Jesus and thinking that’s awesome He loved me enough to die for me. Then as I grew I heard how you had to “be a good girl”, “do right”….as a child it didn’t really make sense. Then as I got older doing good to go made sense. I think the longer we are in the world the more “worldly” we become. I believe this is why His Word talks about childlike faith. We went to a clothing drive that happened to be in a church. My lil one got so excited and was like God is here. She was smiling and so happy I almost teared up. She just seems to be so happy. When I explained why Jesus had to die on the cross she teared up and started to cry. I then told her that it was okay cause He’s in heaven with the Father and is alive forevermore. I wish you all could’ve seen her face.

    Why all the “fruit” necessity? Even kid’s understand the gospel. Honestly I think they understand it better than adults at times. My children understand God loves them. Why can’t everyone else? Be good, do good, stay away from evil to be saved. Blah! They are making a mockery of His perfect love.

    Preston, great job with book! 😉

  54. Don’t worry Preston,

    I am pretty sure I’m located somewhere in the armpit region of the Body 🙂

    Thanks on behalf of everyone for the access to your great resource and study.

  55. Preston, I was doing a search today on “fruit” in the New Testament and came across the following:

    Philippians 4:17: Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

    What account is this? I think it is clear that this passage has to do with rewards.

    If “fruit” was automatic in the life of a believer, this wouldn’t make any sense.

  56. Expreacherman family,

    just wanted to say thanks to all of you for your kindness and support. I truly am a “nobody”. I just try to fit into the “body” somewhere. I assume I am just a nose hair, but part of the “body” none the less.

    Not to be repetitive but the book is available through this site for FREE. John has the pdf. Feel free to distribute the pdf to anyone and everyone.

    IF one chooses to purchase the book, thank you. It is truly appreciated.

    You should KNOW that IF the book sells enough to cover the cost of publishing, ALL profit will be given to God and not kept by me (assuming there is no catastrophic event for my family – ie, I die or become unemployed)

    He answered my prayer. no answer = no book. He answered it for FREE!!!!

    blessings

  57. Preston just ordered your book on amazon looking forward to reading it as Ive always thought your replys were always backed up by scripture as others on this blog.Thanks to all of you as I learn so much from reading your answers.Of course I never forget Jack Weaver as I think we all were all fortunate to learn from.

  58. FryingPan9

    Great chapter and it needed to be written. I enjoyed reading it (I was not in the mood to read much of anything longer than a fortune cookie at the time). I look forward to re-reading it. It just goes to show you that somewhere, somehow, someone is eventually blessed with enough insight to put a fresh perspective on topics some may feel has already been covered if not exhausted. Thank you for answering the call, Preston.

  59. Adam, all excellent points!

  60. Johninc and all on this site,

    As an argument against the all too common “faith without works is dead”, and “dead faith isn’t real saving faith” as asserted by calvinists and lordship salvationists alike, one only needs to turn to Revelation 3:1-3 and look at the church of Sardis to answer their position.

    Evidently, the Lord says in this section of Scripture that the church of Sardis’ faith was “dead”, but to “be watchful and strengthen the things that remain, and that are ready to die”. Well then, if “dead faith” isn’t real faith or is “non-existent faith” (as most l.sers today insist), then why would the Lord tell them to “strengthen what remains and is ready to die”? Not only that, but for calvinists, why would the Lord tell them to strengthen their own faith if faith was a gift from Him all along?

    Moving on, we need to ask then why the Lord telling them to “strengthen what remains, and is ready to die”? Well, thankfully He answers that question further along by saying that ” I have not found thy works perfect before God”.

    So then, we see that “dead faith” isn’t non-existent faith, or not “real faith”, but it is faith that is not active or lively accomplishing what it should for the Lord’s sake in terms of faithfulness and good works before and toward men.

    …….

    Crucially, a careful look at the seven churches revealed that almost all of them without exception had something that they weren’t doing right. Are we to assume then that those who comprised the seven churches in Revelation weren’t saved??? No, of course not. The Lord commends and also constructively criticizes them. In all honesty, we as Christians will never be perfect on this side or eternity or before the Rapture, and so we see the account of the seven churches lines up with that reality.

  61. Thoroughly enjoyed that, Preston!

  62. I liked your honest first chapter – actually I like the what I’ve read so far! So clear. I have always thought that asking for wisdom and believing you’ll receive it based on God’s character and promise to do so is the best way to approach the Bible. Other people look at me when I say this like I’ve sprouted two heads – you mean to tell me that YOU can read the bible without someone (with a degree) explaining it to you?! But, but, but, it’s so complicated! It’s too confusing! It’s so hard! You’re boasting! You’ll get it wrong that way! 😳

  63. Hey Johninc,

    First off, on a side note, these folks need to recognize that whenever someone “hears” the Word in this parable, the Word automatically goes into their heart as evidenced simply by Matthew 13:19. There is no separation between the two so as to give them the opportunity to cite a “spurious head faith” as they so desperately and often try to do.

    Secondly, the Bible says very clearly:

    ” Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life”. John 6:47. It does not and could not get any plainer.

    The Bible says the condition for eternal life is BELIEF ONLY in Christ. Thus then is perhaps why we see SO MANY examples of instantaneous salvation occurring in the Gospels (thief on the cross, sinful woman Luke 7:47-50, and confirmation of apostles eternal life in Luke 10:20, etc).

    The parable of the sower taking all the synoptic Gospels into account reveals that soils 2, 3, and 4 ALL believed. Therefore, they are all saved, PERIOD. Pride is the only thing that keeps these lordship disciples hanging on to their religious ways. These folks need to take a careful read about the flesh and Spirit war referenced in Galatians 5 and Romans 7, etc so as to understand perhaps why those in the parable didn’t bear any fruit. Their faithfulness was lacking, but their salvation was steadfast and sure, seated at the Right Hand of the Power in Heaven.

    To the gentleman you are debating with on the other site Johninc, and who clearly insists on HIS way, and NOT God’s —–> Where does it say in all the Bible that one HAS TO bear fruit of the Spirit to be saved apart from his misinterpretation of the parable of sower? Seems to me that that respective Scripture (Galatians 5:22-23) is only clearly defining WHAT the fruit of the Spirit is, but unfortunately it has been twisted and misapplied to become a drawn out and baseless salvation test. As we’ve soberly seen, the condition for eternal life is belief in Christ alone, not fruit-bearing.

    As evidenced by Preston also, the parable of the Pharisee and publican is yet another scathing example to the religious of today that their works and religion will not save them. A mirror being held up to these lordship proponents I don’t thing could reveal their condition any clearer…haha. The parable is succinct and reflects their condition of unbelief and pride perfectly.

    Also Johninc, I would like to know WHERE it says in the Bible that one has to “abhor” sin to be saved!?!?!? Such is a ridiculous assertion. To the contrary though, we in fact see examples in the Bible of people actually rejoicing when they realize Jesus IS the Christ and is come.

    Johninc, I have to ask, is this the same gentleman that insisted that the thief on the cross would have borne a cornucopia of fruit and awesomeness if he had of lived past his crucifixion? haha uh, so desperate…

    HollyS my sister,

    As we both know, the reason why these folks don’t offer a cure is because they don’t know what it is, and they WILL NOT believe what God has clearly said in His Word. Their cure is religion (Romans 10:3), but the Bible says the cure is belief and belief alone in the Messiah.

    Preston,

    I appreciate the humility, but you did do a good job my brother. The Lord hath wrought a good work in you in this 🙂 In reference to your “dumb” comment, take heart, for we are all dumb and hard of hearing at times before our Heavenly Father. But thankfully, “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty”. 1 Corinthians 27 Thankfully He has done this so us self-admitted simple folk can understand the truth….haha.

    …….

    For all on this site, one of the effective ways I have found of witnessing to these folks is to challenge them to stop letting their opinions be formed by exogenous influences (books, preachers, opinions), and to read the entire Bible honestly and carefully by themselves for a change. This I find speaks to their pride ironically in that they will take the challenge in an effort to prove me wrong, but will sometimes see the truth for themselves as they go along.

  64. Adam,

    thanks much…. but no commendation is needed or deserved. IF you read chapter 1, you will see that I am as “dumb” as they come. ONE simple, heart felt prayer that was answered.

    I was not going to comment on this because I first thought it best to stay in the background on this post BUT felt they need to say that I deserve “no commendation” and why.

    John has the full PDF that he can give to anyone; simply ask him for it.

  65. Adam777 – I find it odd that as they judge other’s salvation, why they don’t offer them the cure?

  66. Adam, I’m dealing with a guy on another site who has come up with a new one:

    John, did soils 2 and 3 bring forth fruit? After conversion, faith is a fruit of the Spirit. No fruit = no faith, hence the reason why soil 2 fell away. Soils 2 and 3 did not bring forth fruit. The soil has to be good and the seed has to take root for any fruit to be produced. It’s very plain.

    By the way, this guy claims he is not LS. He has also favorably quoted a wrong definition of repentance that says we must “abhor” our sin.

  67. How true Johninc,

    There are waaay too many fruit inspectors nowadays judging other people’s salvation, when they should be leaving that judgment up to the King. And of course we agree that if the lordship salvationists don’t demand works up front to earn one’s salvation (surrendering all, promises, contracts, oaths, etc), they as you mentioned usually utilize qualifying statements on the back end, such as: “faith that saves is never alone”. I’m afraid such are in denial if they don’t see that they are clearly adding to the finished work of Christ.

    Uh, so tired of listening to their contrived religiosity.

  68. Adam, it is one and the same.

    The book is a great resource.

    I chose the “Fruit Inspectors” chapter, at this time, due to the prevalent false doctrine associated with passages that refer to fruit.

    People who are insistent on “back-door” Lordship “salvation” will insist on fruit, while at the same time insisting that they are not Lordship “Salvationists.”

  69. Hey Johninc,

    Great post. Am I to assume the author is the same “Preston” who posts on this site regularly? If so, great job Preston! You need to be commended for rightly dividing the Word of Truth. Great chapter, and would love for the rest of your book to be made available at some point 🙂

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