Ten Verses Misused by Calvinists to Deceive People

By johninnc (with special thanks to William, Bruce Bauer, and the late Jack Weaver)

I recently received an e-mail from one of our friends (we’ll call him “Steve”) of the Expreacherman ministry, asking for help debunking some false Calvinist doctrine.

Calvinism and Lordship “salvation” are perversions of the gospel that can keep lost people lost and can render believers ineffective.

Following is a quote from Ron Shea that underscores the dangers of these false theologies:

“In Lordship and Perseverance theology, grace is redefined as an ethereal substance that God “infuses” into a lost sinner, and that will then irresistibly effect changes in the sinner’s life, including empowering the lost sinner: 1) to hate his sins, 2) to turn from his sins, and 3) to persevere in faith and good works. If a lost sinner eventually returns to his sinful ways, he is judged as having never really been saved. This redefining of the word “grace,” along with the linking of the “lordship” and “perseverance” doctrines, is a Roman Catholic invention set forth in Thomas Aquins’ Summa Theologica, Part I, of the Second part, Question 109-114; Treatise on Grace. This heresy now flourishes in Protestant Theology.”

Following are excerpts, slightly edited,  from Steve’s e-mail (in italics), along with my response (in bold):

Hi, John,

 A friend of mine recently called to discuss with me a few verses on the issue of God choosing only a  few people for eternal salvation. I explained to him that God gives us the responsibility to believe on the gospel of Jesus Christ or not believe.

But he, in turn, told me that the Bible does not say anything about our responsibility to believe in Him or not. My friend continued in explaining that God chose only a few for eternal life, even before the foundation of the world.

I then went back to look up the statement of faith at expreacherman. I agree with the SOF, which explains that all people have free will to chose or reject the free gift of eternal life, which is obtained by grace, through faith in Christ.

I cannot imagine why my friend would say this, but  he said free will is not found anywhere in the Bible. He quoted John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you…..”.  He explained to me that this proves that no man ever chooses to believe in Jesus as his Savior, but that only God authorizes to chose some (few) people for eternal life.  He said that it  is IMPOSSIBLE for the large majority of people to believe the gospel.

My friend earned a Master’s degree in religion from  of a university that is affiliated with the SBC.

In addition, he said that to only believe in Jesus as Savior is not enough, but one must also repent (turn from sins) in order to have eternal life. He repeatedly said that one must accept Jesus as both SAVIOR AND LORD.

What do you think about the following verses that he gave me to prove that  God chose only a  few for eternal salvation (John 15:16, Eph. 1:4, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, Matthew 22:14, Deut. 7:6, John 6:37, Romans 8:29,30, Eph 1:11, John 6.44 and 1 Peter 1:2.)?

I thank the Lord that Jack Weaver  founded this website.

Thanks. Steve

Steve, you’ve given me quite a homework assignment.

Jesus is Lord. We cannot “make” Him Lord. If making Him Lord means giving up one’s sins to be saved, then none of us  would ever be saved.

Remember – eternal life is a gift. It is not a trade. If we had to stop sinning to receive the free gift of eternal life, it would not be a free gift. Neither must we be willing to give up our sins, or even desire to turn from them. God is willing to save us just as we are.

Regarding God choosing only some people for eternal life, that is a lie,and an affront to the gospel.

I think it is revealing that it is often the same people who tell you that one must give up sinning to be saved, who also say that God only chose some for salvation. If this is true, then He also only chose some to stop their sinning.

God desires that all men be saved (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4).

Jesus tasted death for every man (Hebrews 2:9).

God is just, and the justifier of whoever believes in Jesus as his Savior (Romans 3:26).

Whosoever believes in Jesus shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16).

I’ll try to address the verses you gave me. But, a Calvinist will ALWAYS find more verses to prove his heretical doctrine, as will a Lordship “salvationist.” 

Please note that one of the common misconceptions of Calvinists is that the word “chosen” always refers to eternal life. It doesn’t.

1. John 15:16 – refers to Jesus’ selection of disciples, not who would
have eternal life.

2. Ephesians 1:4 – refers to the fact that God has chosen that all believers in Christ will be Holy and blameless before Him, based on Christ’s righteousness, not our own. We become children of God through belief in Christ, not through predestination (see John 1:12).

3. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 – God has chosen that those who would be saved would be saved through BELIEF of the truth (believing in Jesus as Savior).

4. Matthew 22:14 – this is a parable, so not the clearest passage on how to have eternal life. But, I view the word “chosen” as chosen to get to stay at the wedding feast. They are chosen to get to stay, because they are dressed appropriately – clothed in Christ’s righteousness, which can only happen by believing in Him alone as Savior.

5. Deuteronomy 7:6 – refers to the nation of Israel. Remember, not all of them will receive eternal life, and both Jew and non-Jew receive eternal life the same way (see Romans 1:16).

6. John 6:37 – this is a great eternal security passage that does not teach that God chooses only some for eternal life. It says ALL. It means that anyone who believes (whosoever believes) has been given to Jesus.

7. Romans 8:29-30 – once someone becomes a believer, he is predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ and transformed into an immortal body when he goes to be with the Lord (like Jesus’ body in Luke 24:39).

8. Ephesians 1:11 – Christians are predestined for an inheritance. That is, those who believe in Christ as Savior will have an inheritance in heaven – 1 Peter 1:3-5, John 14:1-3, Romans 8:17.

9. John 6:44 – God draws ALL men to Him.

10. 1 Peter 1:2 – God does have foreknowledge, but does not choose who will be saved.

Steve, I hope this helps. Don’t listen to this guy’s poison.

Thanks. John

237 responses to “Ten Verses Misused by Calvinists to Deceive People

  1. I wouldn’t recommend Walter Martin or Doug Hamp either, can’t remember exactly why on Hamp now, but I do agree with what Curtis said on our own statement of faith, being grounded in the faith, not listening to teachers who don’t have an easy and available SOF and gospel. I am amazed at those who just do not have the gospel on their pages. We have to prove all things and how can we do so if they aren’t out in the light? I’m finding more and more places do not have an easily available gospel.

  2. Jackie Alnor*, who btw has done an excellent exposure of HH as the teleprompter president of CRI. Walter Martin held eternal security to be a nonessential issue and would probably tolerate lordship if alive today.

  3. hmmm, how can Walter Martin, HH’s predecessor, have a channel? Are you sure you don’t mean Jackie Albor?

  4. agree Jason..

    also
    water baptism is an outward demonstration identification principle of what has taken place Spiritually. Romans is as dry as the paper printed on .

  5. Jason, agree. All believers of all ages are regeneratd by the Holy Spirit. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is unique to the church age.

  6. Spirit baptism seems to be a church age thing, since JtB announced it as coming, but born again is universal. Otherwise, Nicodemus’ ignorance about the matter would be excused. Create in me a clean heart, circumcise your heart, I will take out your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh… none of which btw say anything about changing or asking into an old heart, come to mind.

  7. Here is what it comes down to for me personally and maybe hope to help others. I myself got tired of ending up down one rabbit trail after another coming out of my own indoctrination. It has taken over 5 years to get re oriented to the Gospel of Grace and The Truth of The Gospel therein.
    this has helped me.
    1. Adopt my own personal Statement of Faith the one on Expreacherman is as good one.
    2. remind myself what The Clear Gospel of Grace is . The Clear Gospel of Grace booklet is as good as it gets .
    3. I really don’t listen to anyone unless they have somewhere a doctrinal statement and a Clear Gospel of Grace presentation on their website or YouTube channel or something that identifies their stand.
    4. Were do they Stand on/with Israel Pro Zionist Yes or No
    5. Israel and the church
    6. do they have a pulpit with elder board ?

    The Woods are fool of christian liars who say and sound like they are in fellowship according to 1John

  8. I’ve seen some of Kevin Thompson’s videos as well. He seems to equate baptism of the Spirit with regeneration. I have been running in to this teaching more and more lately. He seemed solid on predestination but there were other things that he said that puzzled me (I can’t recall them now). He does believe the Church began on Pentecost so he is not a “normal” hyper-dispensationalist if he is one at all.

  9. Eternal life is eternal. Otherwise, there would need to be more than one heaven – one for people that worked their ways in, and one for people who relied on God’s grace.

    We have had people espousing this kind of errant thought at ExPreacherman, but we will not entertain it.

  10. Kevin Thompson teaches that eternal security only applies to the church age. If that were true, Lot and Saul wouldn’t be saved. I commented on his video “Can Christians lose salvation? Once saved always saved, OSAS” 42:29, and never got a response. Sounds hyperdispensational.

  11. I am not familiar with some of these. I am not comfortable with Dave Hunt, as he wrote some things that seem inconsistent on the doctrine of grace.

  12. Krystal,
    I also recommend that you check out Dr. Thomas Cucuzza’s expositional article on true Biblical repentance and on James 2:14-26. As you may already know, these are 2 topics utterly perverted by Calvinism/Lordship Salvation and all works based salvation gospels. When you read and study God’s Word, it’s best to get a good commentary written from a Free Grace perspective. I highly recommend “The Grace New Testament Commentary” which is a 2 volume set. You can find it on Google.

    If I were you I would not even go to church period because there are just way too many churches nowadays in mainstream Christianity that teach either Calvinism/Lordship Salvation or Arminian Lordship Salvation. You will always hear the infamous mantra of Calvinism/Lordship Salvation that goes, “you were never saved to begin with” or the infamous mantra of Arminian/Lordship Salvation that goes, “you can lose your salvation”. Both are false to the core. I was once deceived by Calvinism/Lordship Salvation decades ago as a young babe in Christ who didn’t know any better. I listened to the false teachings of John MacArthur and was led astray for a period of time.

    I have not attended church in 7 years, but I have no regrets about it. I have learned more and grown more from expreacherman.com and from listening and studying YouTube videos in the 34 years of being a Christian.

    I highly recommend the following true preachers of God’s Word. They have sermons up on YouTube:

    Ralph Yankee Arnold
    Hank Lindstrom
    Thomas Cucuzza
    Renee Roland
    Doug Hamp
    Kevin Thompson ( Pastor Thompson did several excellent videos exposing and refuting Calvinism’s perversion of predestination)
    Dave Hunt
    Walter Martin

    Hope this helps, God bless!

  13. Krystal,
    I hope the following will be helpful to you in understanding the true Biblical definition of predestination and election. Again, this is another 2 topics that have been utterly perverted by Calvinism for centuries. Calvinism’s perversion of predestination and election has been forcefully imposed into all the seminaries, theology textbooks, journals, theological dictionaries, churches, etc, like a malignant cancer.

    True Biblical PREDESTINATION takes place AFTER a person comes to faith in Christ. The Christian is predestinated for 3 things which takes place in the future. True Biblical predestination ONLY applies to those that are saved.

    1) They are predestinated to be CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST – Romans 8:29-30. All saved people will be like Christ. We shall be like Him – 1 John 3:2. This is a future aspect at the Rapture.

    2) They are predestinated to have an INHERITANCE in heaven – Ephesians 1:11, John 14:2-4. Again, this is a future aspect.

    3) They are predestinated to have GLORIFIED ETERNAL BODIES OF FLESH AND BONE, the REDEMPTION OF OUR PHYSICAL BODIES just like Jesus resurrected body described in Luke 24:39, Ephesians 1:4-5, Romans 8:23, Christ’s newly resurrected glorified body is the prototype of what is to come for all saved Christians at the RAPTURE – 1 Corinthians 15:51-54, 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17.

    ===========================================================

    There is a world of difference between true Biblical predestination and election versus Calvinistic “predestination” and “election.” Calvinism will use the terms “predestination” and “election” interchangeably to mean the same thing, that is, salvation or damnation of people which is predetermined in eternity past by God. Calvinism has literally hijacked the words, “chose”, “chosen”, “elect”, “election” and “predestinate” and perverted the true definition. The true definition is NOT “chose”, “chosen”, “elect”, “election” for salvation. When the Bible talks about being “chosen” or “elect” or “election”, it is referring to individuals that have willingly believed the gospel of John 3:16 and are saved that are “chosen”/”elected” AFTER salvation for MINISTRY/ SERVICE/EVANGELISM.

    The true Biblical definition of ELECTION is that God elects/chooses those that are saved who willingly believed in the simple gospel of John 3:16 for SERVICE/MINISTRY/EVANGELISM.

    Matthew 28:19 – Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

    Mark 16:15-16 – 15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
    16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

    John 15:16 – Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

    The below are examples of God CHOOSING/ELECTING saved people for SERVICE/MINISTRY/EVANGELISM:

    1) God CHOSE the Israelites, the Jewish nation to be His chosen people. The Jews are God’s ELECT – Deut 7:6, 14:2, 1 Kings 3:8, Psalms 33:12, 106:5, Isaiah 43:10, 45:4, 65:9, 22 Matthew 24:22, 31 Mark 13:20, Luke 18:7, Romans 9:11, 11:28, 2 Tim 2:10, 1 Peter 2:4.

    2) God CHOSE Jesus to be the chief cornerstone – 1 Peter 2:4, 6. God chose Jesus to be the Messiah – Isaiah 42:1-4, 49:7, Matt 12:18, Luke 9:35, 23:35, John 1:34, and was chosen to die on the cross for ALL mankind – Matt 12:18, 1 Peter 2:4.

    3) Jesus CHOSE 12 men to be His disciples – Luke 6:13, John 6:70, John 13:18, John 15:16, 19, Acts 1:2. God CHOSE Matthias to replace
    Judas Iscariot – Acts 1:24-26.

    4) Saul of Tarsus who became Paul was CHOSEN by Jesus to be the apostle to the Gentiles – Acts 9:15, 13:2, 22:14-15.

    5) Simon Peter was CHOSEN by God to bring the gospel message to Cornelius and his family – Acts 10:1-48, Acts 15:7. Simon Peter was CHOSEN also to be the apostle to the Jews.

    6) God CHOSE Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and to the Promised Land – Numbers 16:5-6.

    7) God CHOSE Aaron and the tribe of Levi to be the priestly line – Numbers 17:5, 1 Sam 2:28, 2 Chronicles 29:1. God chose priests from
    the tribe of Levi to minister before Him in the temple and would be paid by the tithes of the people – Deut 18:5-8, 21:5, 1 Chronicles 15:2

    8) God CHOSE Abraham – Nehemiah 9:7, God CHOSE Isaac and Jacob – Psalms 135:4, Isaiah 41:8, Ezekiel 20:5, and CHOSE Judah –
    1 Chronicles 28:4, Psalms 78:67, to be in the line of Messiah.

    9) God CHOSE David to replace King Saul and to be in the line of Messiah – 2 Samuel 6:21, 1 Kings 8:16, 1 Chronicles 28:4, 2 Chron 6:6, Psalms 89:3.

    10) God CHOSE Solomon to be king after his father David – 1 Chronicles 29:1.

    11) God CHOSE Mary and Joseph. Mary, the mother of Jesus – Luke 1:30, 42-45, 48. Joseph, the husband of Mary – Matthew 1:20.

    12) God CHOSE Jerusalem to be His forever chosen city – Deut 15:20, Deut 16:2, 15, 1 Kings 8:44, 11:13, 14:21, 2 Kings 21:7, 23:27,
    2 Chron 6:6, 34, 12:13, 33:7, Nehemiah 1:9, Psalms 132:13, Zechariah 3:2.

    13) The Jewish Christians scattered in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, were the CHOSEN sojourners whom Peter wrote to and addressed them as the “ELECT” – 1 Peter 1:2.

    Calvinism has hijacked the words, “chose”, “chosen”, “elect”, “election” and “predestinate” and perverted the true definition. The true definition is NOT “chose”, “chosen”, “elect”, “election” for salvation. When the Bible talks about being “chosen” or “elect” or “election”, it is referring to individuals that have willingly believed the gospel of John 3:16 and are saved that are “chosen”/”elected” AFTER salvation for MINISTRY/ SERVICE/EVANGELISM.

    Hope this helps, God bless!

  14. Krystal,
    If I were you I would stop going to church period. The majority of all churches within mainstream Christianity nowadays teach either Calvinism/Lordship Salvation or Arminian/Lordship Salvation. I was once deceived by the false teachings of Calvinism/Lordship Salvation as a young babe in Christ decades ago when I listened to the false teachings of John MacArthur. I have not been to any church for 7 years now, but I have no regrets about it. I have learned more and grown more from YouTube as well as here on expreacherman.com in all my 34 years as a Christian.

    You should stick with us here at expreacherman.com as well as listen to true preachers of God’s Word on YouTube. I highly recommend the following on YouTube:

    Ralph Yankee Arnold
    Hank Lindstrom
    Thomas Cucuzza
    Doug Hamp
    Kevin Thompson – (Pastor Thompson did several excellent videos exposing and refuting Calvinism’s perversion of “predestination”.)
    John Ricci
    Renee Roland
    Walter Martin
    Dave Hunt

    Also, when you read and study God’s Word, it’s best to get good commentaries written from a Free Grace perspective. I highly recommend “The Grace New Testament Commentary” which is a 2 volume set. You can find it on Google. I also recommend that you check out Dr. Cucuzza’s expositional articles on true Biblical repentance and the true Biblical meaning of James 2:14-26. As you may already know, repentance and James 2:14-26 are 2 topics that have been utterly perverted by Calvinism/Lordship Salvation and all other works based salvation gospels.

  15. Krystal
    1 Peter 1:1-2 is actually one of the main verses of contention between Calvinists and Arminians. They both see election unto justification but the Arminians sees foreknowledge as the condition and Calvinists see election as unconditional. One problem is that the passage has been translated into English with the words out of order.

    In the Greek (from an interlinear translation) the passage reads like this— (1) Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect strangers of the dispersion of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, (2) according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ Grace and Peace be multiplied to you.

    So the election is to be dispersed according to the foreknowledge of God. But the presupposition that election and predestination is for unbelievers to become believers is why the Calvinists and Arminians are really just two sides of the same coin.

    Biblically, with a plain sense interpretation, election concerning salvation is always in Christ not elected to be in Christ. There is no passage that says “chosen TO BE in Him” but scripture says “chosen in Him”.

    Predestination is for believers to the adoption of sons not predestined to become sons. If that sounds confusing it really isn’t complicated. When we believed we became sons and are given the Spirit of adoption but we eagerly await the adoption which is the redemption of our bodies.

    It’s
    Christ chosen > foundation of the world> faith, placed in Christ, chosen in Christ to the predestination of being conformed to the image of Christ at redemption of our bodies > practical sanctification apart from justification (some fail, some abort, all struggle I think it’s safe to say)> adoption as sons

    It’s not
    Individuals chosen/predestined to be in Christ >foundation of the world> faith (conditioned /unconditioned according to foreknowledge of God) > works or faith that works as part of justification > redemption of our bodies.

    That’s how I read Romans 8 and Eph 1

  16. Krystal, God does have foreknowledge about who will be saved, but He does not decide who will be saved. We have the choice, but He knows what our choices will be.

    Regarding how loving people are, if the gospel they present lines up with scripture, and they are doctrinally sound, then they are speaking the truth in love.

    Arminianism and Calvinism both get back to salvation by works.

    As far as where to start, get grounded in the gospel. See link below:

    http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

  17. I have a question stemming from the one about verses misused by Calvinists to deceive people. #10 about God not having foreknowledge about who will be saved. Being taught God is all knowing so wouldn’t he “know” who is going to be entering his kingdom? I believe in freewill and the passage that God wants every man to be saved. But I’ve heard so many conflicting arguments from Calvinists it only causes more confusion and doubt of who God is…. When I accepted Christ my husband was attending a Bible teaching church but I later found out they were Calvinists. My grandmother had arminian view (Baptist, freewill) but I never attended (but I can tell you those you the most loving and gracious people I’ve met). Over the last few years since becoming a Christian and reading the scriptures and studying for myself I have even more anguish and this “lost” and “condemned” feeling thrust upon me because of what I’m seeing are Calvinistic views. I see others claiming to be fellow believers constantly rebuking over legalistic ideaologies and misusing scripture and it doesn’t help when they are or have attended seminary. Asserting they know more than you and I feel more oppressed and doubt because of this. All I want to do is follow Jesus and walk in light, truth, love and grace. I’m seeking truth and how to live the Christian life where should I start if I have been mislead all this time?

  18. Daniel – this is because people don’t understand positional sanctification and justification, which is instantaneous and eternal the moment we believe upon Jesus Christ as our Savior. If they have ever believed, they have been bewitched into thinking having begun in the Spirit, they are some how now made perfect by the flesh… (Gal 3)

    We were made perfect by one sacrifice, His (Heb 10:10, 14) and that perfection is forever.

    I suggest a good book on understanding positional vs. practical sanctifaction. It is by Dennis Rokser, I believe it’s called the Three tenses of salvation.

  19. walking in the light is simply occupying our minds with the word or God having an appetite fascinated by the Word of God.
    this is for the believer soul
    keeping his commands in the new testiment is a precept to keeping his word.

  20. Daniel there really is no “if (we) mess up”; it’s when we mess up. And if/when we (believers) confess our sins He is just and faithful to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. The requirement to get to heaven has been accomplished by Christ. Jesus’ blood atoned for all sin satisfying God’s just requirements to bring life to those who come to faith in Him for it. No effort on anyone part to do or stop doing, no amount of striving adds to or subtracts from His work. What we do after receiving life is for the purpose of growth and fellowship (some of it is reward-able). Some Christians simply do not grow at all while others bear varying amounts of fruit.

    Fruit inspecting (judging) for the gift will inevitably lead to striving for the gift which is antithetical to the Gospel of grace and walking in the Spirit.

    Paul’s point (1Cor 4) is that he did not even judge that he himself knew the final outcome of his own work and didn’t permit anybody else to judge it either because that judgment belongs to Christ. John’s point (1John) is not that faith doesn’t save or that faith + does save but rather concerns walking in light and walking in darkness. Only believers can walk in light but we can also walk in darkness and when we do walk in darkness we fail to demonstrate the life that is in us—the life that was in Christ and witnessed by the disciples.

  21. the only yea” BUT” thats worth anything at all concerning salvation is “But God” let all mankind be liars and God’s word be true.

    Daniel and others when you see or hear a Yea But concerning simple believe the Gospel
    Run forest Run from that false teacher

    eph 2 :4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

  22. Daniel, I would advise you and everyone else to avoid this false teacher like the plague.

    The fruit of the Spirit is borne by walking in the Spirit, which we are beseeched to do. If it were automatic, no need for the teaching in scripture.

    The judgment to which Paul was referring in the passage has to do with rewards at the judgment seat of Christ, not final judgment as to whether he was going to heaven.

    Stay away from this guy. He teaches lies.

  23. I hate it how people want to shipwreck our faith.
    I just
    have a little issue with what this guy says on his end times website.

    Sometimes, I can’t tell the difference.

    “Can a person know they are saved? Sure, but the second part of Paul’s statement, above, is just as important as the first because “you can tell a tree by its fruit.”

    (Matthew 7:17-21) The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, (Galatians 5:22) compassion, humility, (Colossians 3:12) forgiveness, (Matthew 6:15) and hope … but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13) Paul said that a person should be “transformed by the renewing of their mind” (Rom. 12:2), which is essentially bringing their soul to life because the mind is where the soul is (in the 90% of the brain that scientists think we don’t use). A person displays fruit through love. John explains that a person who says they’ve been saved by faith but makes no effort to stop sinning and exhibits hatred is still in darkness.

    Me: (So, am I unsaved?)

    (1 John 2: 1-11 and 3:9-10) Basically, it’s all about effort because if you’re sincere and ask for forgiveness (in Jesus’ name) God will forgive you. (1 John 1:9) If you mess up, ask for forgiveness and keep trying. The point I’m trying to make is that I would rather have people ‘striving to improve’ and make it to heaven ‘above and beyond’ the requirements than be stagnant and disappointed when the time comes.

    I’m among those who believe that a person is saved by faith alone and not works but I don’t think people should be so quick to take God’s ‘gift’ for granted.

    After all, ‘hope’ is a fruit of the Spirit, not confidence. For example, if anyone had the right to claim a sure trip to heaven, it was probably Paul. Yet, he refused to make that claim because he said that the Lord alone had the power to judge, even in regards to himself.

    1 Corinthians 4: 3-5 (Paul said,) “I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent.

    It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time, each will receive his praise from God.” I don’t want to confuse anyone or cast doubt in people’s minds because if a person knows their true motives, perseveres until the end, and loves, then they can have confidence before God.”

    Now this guy, I agree with what he says concerning his end times website, the rapture is so close.
    But also according to him, because I won’t (can’t) stop sinning, I will be left behind when the rapture hits. What a way to shatter my faith again. -_-
    Did he really mention preserving?

  24. O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

    And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
    30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. note
    31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

  25. I just have to say, there were some well thought out, excellent comments by all of you to chapmaned24. Hopefully he/she will read prayerfully and searching His Scriptures to see if these things are so.

  26. RAS – The quote from the Schimmel people (below), shows clearly they do not understand the warnings nor the passages about who it is who will not inherit the kingdom. And who it is who is spoken to and why. But that is typical of those who have proof texts and don’t look at the context of the entire epistle.

    [As far as those who fall away and practice sin, it was the apostle Paul, the apostle of grace, not Joe Schimmel, who warned over and over again that we are not to be deceived into believing that they will inherit the kingdom of God:]

  27. One of Jesus’ own disciples is often referred to as Doubting Thomas.

  28. SoCal, good point!

  29. All that needs to be said to the assertion that a Christian never doubts is, “John the Baptist”.

  30. Benchap, these guys that insist that a Christian will never have any doubts are just wrong.

    All they are doing is making matters worse.

    Yes, a person must believe in Christ alone as Savior at some point in order to have eternal life (that is, believe in His promise of eternal life as a free gift, apart from works).

    Sure, some people who have doubts are unbelievers. But, the Bible doesn’t teach that a believer can never have any doubts.

    It seems like the full time job of Satan and his minions (including the well-meaning, but unwitting ones) is to keep people from believing and to try to undermine believers’ faith in Christ.

    That is why it is so important for believers to put on the full armor of God.

    It is also why we are so passionate about protecting our readers at expreacherman.

  31. i know what you mean by being in a bubble socal.

    also there is death to the will of God for sanctification yet justified positionaly

  32. John, you have almost described what it was like for me for likely a year or more of my life as a believer.

  33. People accept the popular eisegesis on what James means by “dead” without looking at context, co-text, or even the logic of the analogy. They quote half the verse and spit it out by rote via the learned response. The amazing thing to me is that I first heard it used this way 20+ years ago, and maybe I was in a bubble then, from Mormon missionaries, and JWs. Now I hear it from Christians of all stripes. When did this change?

    As for the logic of James 2:26, in the Greek, he says “Exactly like a body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead”.

    So is a body without a spirit, still a body? Yes
    Is a body without a spirit a false body? No.

    So is faith without works still faith? Yes.
    Is faith without works a false faith? No.

    It’s just lifeless and produces nothing; like the “deadness” of Sarah’s womb.

  34. chapmaned24 has gotten wrapped around the axle on spirit/body because he/she has strayed from the text to speculate on ““deeper things” and “spiritual words”. Not a good idea.

    God created man as body then He breathed human spirit into him (Gen 2:7). Body and spirit became a living soul; human beings. Therefore, by definition a human life (psychē) requires body and spirit. Still, believers who have passed away and are absent the body possess everlasting life (2Cor 5:8) not merely existence. Immortal bodies will come later (1Cor 15). Christ has always had life (zōē) (Jn 1:4) yet Jesus Christ was not always in human flesh. He became flesh and gave His life (psychē) to give everlasting life (zōē) to those who simply believe in His promise for it. There are two kinds of life; apples and oranges. So there goes the theory that life requires a body.

    Since the Fall, all human beings have been born into Adam with Adam’s sin imputed (credited) against them; “dying you shall die”. We are born with psychē yet we are not born possessing zōē. Believers have passed from death to life (John 5:24) and are in Christ (the last Adam) and no longer under the judgment of the first Adam who’s sin brought death. Believers are born again, of Spirit. To be in Christ is to be a new creature (2Cor 5:17). In Christ is a position, abiding in Christ is a condition. Faith puts us in the position, dead faith affects our condition. All believers are in the same position we are not all in the same condition (as yet).

    Jam 2:26 says that the body is dead minus a spirit. James does not say a body ceases being a body without spirit he simply says it is dead. Jam 2:26 says that faith without works is dead. James does not say that faith without works is something other than faith.

  35. Curtis, although chapmaned24 didn’t use the term “truly believe,” his comment essentially made absence of ever having any doubts and continuing in the faith litmus tests for whether or not someone has eternal life.

  36. Heb 3:11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
    Heb 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

    there is a theme over and over and over a pattern I now see for myself coming out of my own indoctrination of works for or because of salvation . mankind still thinks there is some virtue before God in being moral that I am really not that ungodly and goes right back and puts themselves under Law. When all the Law can do is condemn a soul that you need a Saviour
    I watched testimonies of souls who converted to Judaism who are not even Hebrew the theme once again is Believing isn’t enough “i want to do something “.
    they discredit the Word of God in their own language and go start studying Hebrew that this somehow brings them closer to God?. one person was an evangelical pentecostal pastor with masters degree, once again simply believing was not enough . absolutely incredible how souls miss the Gospel of Grace looking right at them while they strive to study the Gospel .(i know because I did that )
    The Spirit of Cane is alive and well .
    We are either disciplined by Grace or we loose Grace in an ocean of Legalism .

    and Yes John when i see or hear “truly believed” “saving faith ” they are flags that a soul is not clear on the Gospel or not saved themselves being ignorant of the requirement for Righteousness before God .

    Rom 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
    Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

  37. The problem I have with the most recent comment by chapmaned24 is that believing in Jesus at a moment in time is not enough. If a person has “truly believed,” according to chapmaned24’s comment, he will never again have any doubts, and there is no chance a person would ever stop believing.

    So, according to that faulty premise, if a Christian ever has doubts, he may thereby conclude that he does not have eternal life. Then, I guess, he could go back and try harder to believe, knowing that if he ever were to experience doubts, it would prove he was not a believer. He would then have to wait until his death bed to see whether or not it “worked” this time. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    This is a false perseverance in faith philosophy.

  38. chapmaned24 , Hello you wrote :
    “So, if God lives “IN” us, no matter where we go, there He is. He is IN us, and we “in” Him. If you have faith, you are not going to leave the faith. If you don’t have faith, you never had it to begin with.”

    That is not how to Live the christian life is lived We don’t live the christian life by trying to live the christian life trying to help God Out . The missing Key that is missing from your post is the filling of the Holy Spirit. Which is a fundamental biblical identification Truth “The Law of The Spirit ”
    a believer soul is either filled with The Holy Spirit or Carnal there is no middle ground , we receive all of the Holy Spirit upon placing faith in Christ declared Justified ,Fully Sanctified one day to be Glorified
    in the light of our identification (Living sanctification, practical sanctification) and our position in Christ (justification)Would you collapse in Christ by Faith through Grace How ? by occupying our minds with the Word of God and the Holy Spirit will do all the rest .
    why does Holy Spirit do so much for us ? because He has to needs to , and wants to the Holy Spirit is the comforter . Christ Died for the ungodly

    Rom 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

    Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

    Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

    Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

    I live by the faith of the Son of God,
    Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
    Gal 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

    your whole spirit and soul and body
    Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
    Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

    1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    1Th 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

    http://gracebiblestudies.org/Message.aspx?MessageID=113
    Pastor Leonard Radtke
    The Christian Life
    Description: #8 – Why Christians Can’t Live for Christ
    Date: 8/13/1981

  39. chapmaned24, it is only with great reluctance that I posted your comment. I will not be posting any further comments from you.

    I do not agree with some of your conclusions, I don’t think they are biblical, and I don’t think they are helpful.

    You said: So, if God lives “IN” us, no matter where we go, there He is. He is IN us, and we “in” Him. If you have faith, you are not going to leave the faith. If you don’t have faith, you never had it to begin with.

    So, now comes the word “FAITH”. If you really dissect Hebrews 11:1 properly, and I mean down to the core, it is defined as “Knowing that you are gonna get what you are waiting for”, key word, “KNOWING”. There is no doubt in faith, there is no wondering or wavering in faith. You either know, or you don’t know. If you don’t, you don’t have faith.

    So, bottom line, if you “loose your faith”, then you never had it to begin with. The seed never got rooted in proper soil to take root properly.

    So, what is life? Life is spirit and body put together. Eternal life is when your spirit dwells in an immortal body.

    If God dwells in your body along with your spirit, you have eternal life NOW, and that will never be taken away. He promised that he will never leave you, nor forsake you, so no matter where you go, there He is. Just try to run away!

    You won’t want to, if you have faith.

    My comment: Some believers have doubts, some more than others. Some have very few, or none. It is not the quality of our faith that saves us, it is the object – Jesus Christ. We do not have to come to the point that we know we will never have any doubts again in order to be saved. If a believer has doubts, the last thing that will help is trying to believe harder.

    As I wrote once to a believer who was struggling with doubt:

    When you are experiencing doubts about whether you’ve ever actually believed, asking yourself if you are sure may only cause more doubt. It would be like telling someone the secret to turning rocks into gold, but then telling them that they had to do it without thinking about a black cat.

    The Bible promises eternal life to anyone who believes in Jesus as his Savior. It does not promise that believers will never have doubts.

    We do have an awesome Savior. He bore our sins and feels our pain. He lives to intercede for us. He is the Good Shepherd.

    For some believers, doubt may never be an issue. For others, the absence of doubt will be one of the greatest treasures in Heaven.

    Further, the Bible makes it clear that it is possible to believe for a while and fall away, to have our faith made shipwreck, and so on. Your statements to the contrary do not change that.

    If a believer can stop believing, then a believer can also have doubts. Your comment would only serve to make someone struggling with doubt to despair.

    Under your plan of salvation, the only way a believer can know he has eternal life is if he is sure he will never have any doubts. Even if he has never had any, how can he be sure he won’t later?

  40. You said:

    “If God dwells in your body along with your spirit, you have eternal life NOW, and that will never be taken away. He promised that he will never leave you, nor forsake you, so no matter where you go, there He is. Just try to run away!

    You won’t want to, if you have faith.”

    But the Bible says:

    “But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.”

    So while you believe you were writing wisdom, you were not.

  41. chapmaned24

    OK, so, I think I should interject here. I want to start with the fact that each and every human being is a spirit, dressed in a body. I am not sure, but I think that should be Bible 101, am I correct? 1 Thessalonians state three very important words, with the word, “and” right in the middle of each of them. Next, we see James 2:26 that states, if you are not in your body, you are dead. But, you still exist apart from your body, all due to the fact that you are a spirit, and another word for spirit is ghost.

    Is everyone with me so far? If you are “IN” your body, you are alive, right? If you are not in your body, you are dead, right?

    OK

    To be “IN” Christ…what does that mean?

    My main topic here is: Body and Spirit.

    Your spirit is in the “BODY of Christ”. Now, you should look to the Bible for all references to BODY as it pertains to BODY of Christ.

    Next, we also have his spirit living in the BODY OF Christ. We being many, are one body…of Christ. Christ really has a body in heaven, and that is also known as “The Body of Christ”, in which the Father (Spirit) dwells in Jesus.

    So, if God lives “IN” us, no matter where we go, there He is. He is IN us, and we “in” Him. If you have faith, you are not going to leave the faith. If you don’t have faith, you never had it to begin with.

    So, now comes the word “FAITH”. If you really dissect Hebrews 11:1 properly, and I mean down to the core, it is defined as “Knowing that you are gonna get what you are waiting for”, key word, “KNOWING”. There is no doubt in faith, there is no wondering or wavering in faith. You either know, or you don’t know. If you don’t, you don’t have faith.

    So, bottom line, if you “loose your faith”, then you never had it to begin with. The seed never got rooted in proper soil to take root properly.

    So, what is life? Life is spirit and body put together. Eternal life is when your spirit dwells in an immortal body.

    If God dwells in your body along with your spirit, you have eternal life NOW, and that will never be taken away. He promised that he will never leave you, nor forsake you, so no matter where you go, there He is. Just try to run away!

    You won’t want to, if you have faith.

    But, Bible concentration isn’t about denominational catch phrases, but about spiritual words found in the Bible, such as “BODY OF CHRIST”, ONE body, ONE spirit, etc.

    LIfe…it requires a body no matter how you slice it. Without a body, there is no life. But, there is existence!

    Chew on Spirit/Body for a while. What was created first? When were YOU created? Didn’t God rest after his creation? Didn’t he cease from creation, or is he still creating? Where are those who haven’t been born yet? Do they now exist, or will they exist later sometime in the future?

    Or, do we just not know? Is the Bible silent on these things?

    You see, these are the questions that I ask myself and research on my own, which is why I don’t agree 99.9% of the time with the catch words/phrases that Calvinism teaches.

    I want to know the deeper things of Christ, not just the surface things. I want to see the invisible, not the visible.

    2 Corinthians 4:18
    While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

    Calvinists are way too carnal minded for my tastes.

  42. Holly, the question that triggered the conversation with GFM was —“is everlasting life everlasting?” After several back and forth’s in which we went through the usual passages about perseverance, inheritance and “being cut off”. The bottom line for them is that “preserved in Christ” means preserved while abiding. If one is not abiding they have left Christ for Adam again (2Pet 2:20-22) and therefore by definition are not “preserved”.
    Some of their quotes from the conversation:
    [If someone chooses to no longer remain in Christ, then these promises no longer apply to them. God does not force us to remain IN CHRIST if we do not wish to remain. He doesn’t drag people into heaven kicking and screaming]
    [If one commits apostasy and turns away from Christ, Jesus does not cease to be eternal life; they simply reject the life that could be theirs!]
    [As far as those who fall away and practice sin, it was the apostle Paul, the apostle of grace, not Joe Schimmel, who warned over and over again that we are not to be deceived into believing that they will inherit the kingdom of God:]
    [Again, the focus is “WITH HIM” – If we die WITH HIM, we shall also live with HIm. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. It doesn’t get any clearer than that. If we become faithless, yes, Jesus remains faithful, but scripture does NOT say that Jesus remains faithful to our rebellion.]
    [Eternal life does not become such because of us, it is already eternal and we participate in it through faith in the Son. However, Jesus Christ Himself warned that as the life-giving vine those who fall away will no longer participate in the eternal life that is in the Son]
    [2 Corinthians 15:22, however, does support what you have been saying about being IN CHRIST. We are made alive by being IN CHRIST. We are “dead” by remaining IN ADAM. The difference we see in our two positions is that you do not believe it is possible to go back and be IN ADAM again. 2 Peter 20-22 addresses this]

    It was an interesting conversation for me because I generally run across the other type of LS and although their positions are similar their arguments are different. It’s like boxing with your right hand and then changing to south paw.

  43. Schimmel is an Arminian, and so I can only ask them, what were they saved from if not eternal death?

  44. Socal search YouTube—“The Great Deception-Once Saved Always Saved” with this description— “Is the mass teaching of “Once Saved, Always Saved” truly biblical, or is this the very same lie the serpent told Eve in the Garden of Eden?”

    I actually corresponded with someone from GFM about this. I pointed out that v1 states that the readers are preserved in Christ and that v3 states that the epistle is not about salvation and that benediction makes it clear that it is God who is able to present us blameless. Schimmel calls OSAS “poisonous”. In one response I was told that Pastor Schimmel “recognizes that there are many good believers who line up on both sides of this issue some are even teachers.” Jude wasn’t talking about “good believers”. The responses were very illogical and inconstant. I asked for scripture how one went from “in Christ” back to in Adam. I got the usual “warning passages” and double talk.

  45. SoCal, I don’t. Maybe RAS has it?

  46. socalexile

    John, do you have a link to the Schimmel teaching on Jude? I have a friend who’s met him.

    I don’t like the guy for the division he has made a buck from in attacking pre-trib rapture believers.

  47. Jim, it’s good to hear from you. I know there is a lack of consensus on this, perhaps because of people trying to harmonize Revelation 3:5 with the passage in Matthew 10:32-33 on confessing/denying men before the Father, plus the various white raiment passages.

  48. John,

    I agree with your take on the overcomer passage. Though not all grace believers see it exactly the same.

    Jim F

  49. And, like I wrote earlier, I don’t think the overcomer passages are necessarily even parts of the individual letters.

  50. Benchap, it really doesn’t make any sense.

  51. When I was deceived by perseverance of the saints, I would always consider that, John. Why must some have to endure the tribulation in order to make it to heaven, while a bunch of other believers did not.

    Even in a free grace view, why must some believers endure the tribulation as a means of “purification” or whatever people believe it is, when the millions upon millions before did not?

  52. Holly, a couple of the more errant views of the letters that I have read include:

    1. That the references to works in Revelation 2 and 3 are similar to the references in James, in that they can be used as a barometer of whether or not someone is a believer.

    2. That only faithful Christians will be taken in the rapture, leaving others to go through the the Great Tribulation (drawing on Revelation 3:10).

    One of the commenters used a stupid analogy about it being like keeping up your grades all semester in college, and the professor (God) letting you skip the final exam. In this analogy, if a slack student (believer) has to sit for the final exam (endure the Great Tribulation), it is possible that he may fail the exam and end up in hell.

    This is wrong on so many levels, including the fact that almost all believers throughout history will be physically dead before the Great Tribulation begins, and therefore would also be exempt from this “final exam.”

  53. I agree John completely that overcomers refers to all believers and not believers who somehow ‘overcome’. John also wrote 1 John – 3 John and I believe identifies what an overcomer is in 1 John 5:4-5, a believer.

    So that is how I have always understand it. I hadn’t considered the 3:4-5 verses, thank you, I’ll look at it.

  54. My wife and I discussed the meaning of the word “overcomers” last night, in light of the use of the phrase “confess his name before my father” (Revelation 3:6) versus the phrase “him I will confess before my Father” (Matthew 10:32) and “him will I also deny before my father (Matthew 10:33).

    For a discussion of Matthew 10:32-33, see below:

    https://expreacherman.com/2014/06/01/some-lordship-salvationists-pet-passages-explained/#_edn5

    In short, the field of meaning for “confess/deny” in Matthew 10 is more likely to relate to commendation at the judgement seat of Christ, whereas the meaning of “confess”in Revelation 3:5 is more likely to relate to identifying someone as a believer.

    Also, “walk with me in white” (Revelation 3:4) appears to relate to faithfulness, whereas “clothed in white raiment” (Revelation 3:5) appears to relate to all believers.

  55. Holly, I have read the letters to the seven churches in Revelation and I think that “overcomers” always refers to ALL believers.

    Further, I do not view the passages that refer to “overcomers” as necessarily part of the respective letters. The reason for this is that each of the letters is written to a church (singular), whereas each of the passages on overcoming refers to what is written to the churches (plural). Therefore, I do not think that the passages on overcoming relate to the specific challenges set forth to the seven churches in any way whatsoever.

    I think that the overcomer passages are transitional, like refrains, after the end of each letter.

    Following are sections that have to do with overcoming:

    2:7: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

    2:11: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

    2:17: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

    2:26-29:[26] And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
    [27] And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.[28] And I will give him the morning star.[29] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

    3:5-6: [5] He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. [6] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

    3:12-13:[12] Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.[13] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

    3:21-22: [21] To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. [22] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

    The only passage that could be construed as combining overcoming with anything else is 2:26-29. And here, being an overcomer does not seem to be predicated on keeping His works until the end.

  56. Benchap – some believe they support eternal security when in fact they support ‘perseverance of the saints’ which is another teaching entirely. (Sorry, I didn’t see your comment until right now). Tom Cucuzza wrote an excellent treatise on the subject, book link above.

    Eirennach – good to see you again! It’s been awhile. Love that verse.

  57. eireannach, agree – free will and free gift!

  58. Rev 22:17 has “free will” ! 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

  59. Holly, as you have probably seen, I’m dealing with someone on FB that supports P, yet claims to be a believer in eternal security and grace.

    False teaching can be so sneaky. They usually sound like the truth. They use “grace” and “eternal life” and “faith” but they deny the true meanings of all.

  60. Love all your acronyms, so I’ll give it a shot for fun.

    T-twisted meaning of sin meaning no free-will (why would God ask for free will offerings?
    U-untruth about God’s pre-selection of some for heaven/the rest for hell
    L-lying about the blood of the Lamb being shed for all.
    I-ignorance regarding man’s ability to resist the Holy Spirit (Acts 7)
    P–pulpit poop regarding man keeping himself vs. His preservation of believers.

  61. Phil – try asking a Calvinist to share the gospel with you as if you were an unsaved person.

  62. Or “seeking” to incriminate providence. Something that is innocent of a charge isn’t technically incriminated, I suppose . . .

  63. Tenaciously
    Unbiblical
    Libel
    Incriminating
    Providence

  64. T—Total Eisegesis
    U—Unconditional devotion
    L—Limitless assumptions
    I— Incrimination of God’s nature
    P—Persistent doubt

  65. William, I’ll try:

    Terrible
    Unholy
    Lies
    Infect
    People

  66. Totally depraved
    Unscriptural
    Leaven of = Calvinism
    Ignorant
    Pharisees

  67. Sometimes I think with some Calvinists there is not much room but for self love and love for their their twisted theology. Sometimes I think they are more interested in who are the elect and qualify than reaching out with the gospel message to the lost.

  68. Holly, if there were more verses in the Bible, the Calvinists would twist those too.

  69. So many verses Calvinists totally twist, but they don’t understand context, refuse to look at whole counsel. One of their favorites is Rom 9:13 (saying it proves God hates some and loves others) As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

    Or they like Ez 36:26-27 (Proving one is made an elect/chosen/ predestinated to salvation. They also believe this proves works proves ‘genuine faith’) A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

    Or Matt 16:24-25 (Taking up your cross proves it) Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

    Or Mark 10:21 (Having riches)
    Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

    Or Luke 14:26-28 (Hating family, life, bearing cross, counting the cross to be saved or prove you are saved)

    If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

    The infamous Matt 7:21-23 misuse, (which they say proves we can ‘know them by their fruits’ meaning outward works to them)
    Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    Or Proverbs 21:1 (thinking this proves God uses us like puppets).
    The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water:
    he turneth it whithersoever he will.

    Or somehow that Eph 2:1-3 proves He makes us believe, we are dead and cannot respond.
    And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

  70. Benchap, I can just picture the Catholics threatening the woman that if she does not “confess” or “repent” of the way she sang, then she will “lose” her salvation and go to hell. They obviously think the popey pope is a god.

  71. Read some comments on Facebook connected with a story about the Pope. Catholics are upset that the woman who sung amazing grace to the Pope didn’t do it with the respect and reverence he deserved. They want an apology, some even apologizing on her behalf, and are asking for prayers for her (presumably for her grevious sin).

    Unbelievable.

  72. Holly, Just wanted to let you know that I’m still praying for your son Adam. I pray that he will get better and better every day and that eventually he will have a full recovery.

  73. Praise God for that William, He is always good even when it doesn’t quite turn out as well as we would hope. But so glad to hear.

  74. William, I am thankful that the conference went well, and hope that you will have a good day at work today.

  75. I love what you’ve written, Phil. It’s full of wisdom and truth.

  76. Holly, What you said came true! You said, “I pray that all untruths will be exposed. That someone’s conscience will be so troubled that they cannot go through with it. May the Lord’s will be done here, and may they be ashamed.” My accuser in the workplace “chickened out” and did not show up to the conference. She obviously did not want to be exposed as a liar and instigator.

    God – 100 Satan – 0

  77. John, It is shocking to see how so many people are flocking to see the pope who is just a MERE man preaching false doctrine. So many deceived people who don’t realize that they’re deceived.

  78. I just wanted to say Thank you to those of you who prayed for me. The conference went well, and I found out that my accuser, (I originally thought that there were several, but only one), “chickened out” and did not show up to the conference. It appears that she “chickened out” for fear of being exposed as a liar and instigator and did not want to feel embarrassment.

    Anyway, I gave my side of the story which my supervisor and principal believed was more credible than my accuser’s so I am not in trouble. My accuser basically brought false accusations against me with absolutely no evidence whatsoever and she just went by her feelings. I’m just going to have to avoid her from now on and keep my distance from people like her in the workplace. Again, thanks for praying, everyone.

  79. Phil, the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.

    I am watching all of the politicians squabble over whose side the Pope is on. That is foolishness to me.

  80. William, God is pleased when you deliver the gospel clearly, even though many people are not.

    I am continuing to pray for you.

  81. I pray that all untruths will be exposed. That someone’s conscience will be so troubled that they cannot go through with it. May the Lord’s will be done here, and may they be ashamed.

    But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. 1 Pet 3:14-17

  82. Thank you Phil. Your statement is so true, “Going with the crowd is always the popular and easy way, but standing for the truth makes us outcasts, but not with God and not with us here on this grace oasis forum.”

    This is exactly what Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14- Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

    The strait or NARROW gate of course is free grace, eternal life by faith alone in Christ alone apart from works, but the WIDE gate is the way of the false doctrines of Calvinism/LS, Arminianism, Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, JW, etc. and MANY are on this road. Few are the true, but false are the many.

  83. And William, I too pray that God will deliver you from these attacks.

  84. William, I had people turn from me and on me and kind of gang up on me–not in some distructive way, but in a condescending, patronizing way. I would stand for purely grace and faith alone in an adult Bible study and the others would all try to correct me with their faith + this or that legalism. But once i had a MacArthur disciple in this class get a little loud and try to straighten me out. It was hard to stand for the truth of the gospel all alone, but I am glad i did.
    Satan loves legalism whether it is Lordship Salvation, Calvinism, Arminiam, or Catholicism. This is where the majority follow and they try to pressure us in the minority to get with them.

    But, like Paul, whenever we stand for the true gospel there will be opposition, but at the same time there will be those who hear the gospel and believe.

    What I love about expreacherman here is we stand for the fact that Christ did it all to save us and there is nothing we can do but believe it. And this like a thorn and an abomination to the legalistic oriented system that dominates much of our churches.

    Going with the crowd is always the popular and easy way, but standing for the truth makes us outcasts, but not with God and not with us here on this grace oasis forum.

  85. Acgarbia, I’m praying for you also. Even back during Jesus time, He was accused of being “demon possessed” when he performed miracles in Matthew 12, and Mark 3, and instead of acknowledging the fact that Jesus is God in the flesh, He gets labeled as a “mere man” in John 10:33. The apostle Paul was accused of being the bad guy always wherever he went.

    When we get accused, it may well be that we are doing something right and the devil Satan cannot stand it, so he attacks us through circumstances and in the form of people who accuse us by calling us names, and falsely accuse us in the workplace which is what I’m going through right now. I will be facing my accusers in the workplace tomorrow in a conference.

    I am getting falsely accused in the workplace for things that I never did and this is happening despite the fact that I work hard and mind my own business. People are EVIL. Even Job’s so called 3 “friends” were evil and were terrible comforters in the midst of Job’s sufferings – Job 16:2, Job 13:4, Job 21:34. King David experienced it also – Psalm 69:20.

  86. Thank you John, Benchap, and FryingPan9. Since I started contending for the faith and refuting Calvinism/Lordship Salvation on YouTube, even 2 of my next door neighbors have become our worst enemies. The neighbor on my right has become very selfish to the point where her 12 cats and backyard trees are more important than a neighborly friendship.
    The neighbor on my left has also become increasingly selfish to the point where making lots of $money$ is more important than a neighborly friendship.

  87. William, I have prayed for you as well.

  88. I’ve prayed for you also.

  89. William, I am sorry you are having to go through this.

    I have prayed for you to be cleared of these accusations, and that you will have strength and wisdom in the process.

  90. acgarbia
    contact administrator johninc for my phone number you are welcome to call me . I have been through similar what you are going through

  91. Brothers and Sisters in the faith, Please pray for me. I received a phone call this morning from my supervisor informing me that several people in my workplace are bringing false accusations against me. Even my supervisor is a little shaken over the fact that these accusations appear to be false and are lies, but nonetheless tomorrow I am required to report to work early to attend a conference regarding these accusations.

    This is not the first time this has happened to me and I have noticed this pattern that when I am up on YouTube defending the gospel and refuting false doctrine that bad things start happening to me. My driver’s side view mirror was broken in the middle of the night in front of my driveway, my license plate get stolen, and someone tried to steal my car. I was falsely accused in my former work site 2 years ago which resulted in my transfer to my present location, but now false accusations are happening again.

    Please pray that God will help me to stand strong tomorrow as I refute these false accusations at the conference and that God will give me wisdom and common sense.

    Matthew 5:11 – Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

  92. Acgarbia, I’ve been wondering where you are. I’ve been praying for you for quite some time. How much time are you getting in the Word alone vs. loadship teachings?

    Remember that Jesus Himself answered Satan with ‘it is written’ three times. You need the Word. Do you believe there is another way to be saved? No? Is it only Jesus you believe that is the way the truth and the life, and no one shall come to the Father but by Him? If so, you are saved, God is not a liar, trust His Word. But you can do that by just continuing to choose the good part that will NEVER be taken from you (Luke 10:38-42). These things you are hearing, ask the Lord to rebuke the enemy on your behalf. Are people talking about you? Good, for so did they with Jesus? They think you are illiterate? Good, they said the same about Jesus. It’s hard to say, but rejoice that you are counted worthy to suffer some of the things He did.

    Just get into the Word, and build yourself up in it. (Acts 20:32).

    Love in Him.

  93. William, I agree with your last comment. i don’t attend any church in my area anymore for the same reasons: contaminated doctrine.

  94. William, I thought the following quote from Daniel Defoe might fit the situation that you described:

    Wherever God erects a house of prayer,
    The Devil always builds a chapel there;
    And ’twill be found, upon examination,
    The latter has the largest congregation.

  95. bcchaplin1988, excellent point regarding the ten lepers!

  96. Luke 17 shows that Jesus cleansed ten lepers. Only one returned to thank him. But would anyone doubt the other nine had been delivered despite their unthankfulness?

    Just a little bit of wisdom the Lord may have given me this morning out of His abundance.

  97. Elizabeth, once when my wife and I were visiting a mega SBC church, the person keeping the nursery didn’t show up.

    My wife and I volunteered, and they took us up on it – even though no one knew us.

  98. johninnc, I actually taught Sunday School and I was so surprised at how little accountability there was. I was fairly new to the church, but they were ok letting me teach whatever I wanted and there was no training or checking up on me. When I started I kept on expecting parents to try to get to know me, since I was responsible for their kids for an hour. It may be different in other churches, but that was my experience.

  99. The majority of all the churches in my city are all contaminated with false doctrine that I don’t even go to any church anymore. Calvinism/LS has spread like a cancer in the church.

  100. Elizabeth, I was just remarking the other day that I’m amazed that I once thought it was completely natural to leave my kids in Sunday school classes in which I had no idea what was being taught.

    Since I didn’t really understand the gospel at the time, I thought I was being a good parent by taking them.

  101. I actually completely understand why someone why who does not believe in predestination would stay in a Calvinist church.

    Most people are more concerned about children’s programs, music and meeting other people who live the same lifestyle as them. Unfortunately, the gospel that saved them is at the bottom of their list when looking for a church. I recently moved and have been looking for churches in the area. There are so many websites that seem to have everything I’m looking for, but then I read there stance on salvation and it’s so far off. A few years ago it probably wouldn’t have caused me much alarm, but since I’ve grown in knowledge (and unfortunately, been hurt by Calvinist doctrine), I don’t even even want to bother with these churches anymore. But I will admit, a lot of times it feels easier to compromise than struggle.

    The worst part is even in churches that have good doctrine, Calvinism creeps in. At my old church, the pastor was solid on the gospel. However, many members in the church were not. I once saw a man, who I respected, with a shirt that outlined T.U.L.I.P. It broke my heart because he also taught teen Sunday School. I think the pastor honestly didn’t realize how harmful it was to have these doctrines in the church because a lot of the Calvinists were nice people who volunteered a lot.

  102. Yea, sometimes it seems like that’s the only way to get the point across to the Tulip cherishers.
    But their influence is wide spread. More and more when I hear a salvation message that sounds like grace alone I am getting better at seeing the underlying message that the LS’ers add to it. They will say it’s all by grace alone, but actually to them it’s understood that a person must put forth something into the salvation equation. It’s not just believing and receiving, you must also make yourself contrite by repentance or putting Christ on the throne from now on.
    I once heard RC Sproal give a talk where you would swear that he believed that Christ accomplished it all for us and that all we had to do is receive our justification by our faith in what Christ did. Well, someone in the audience asked him, “what about those who say we don’t also have to repent and turn from our sins along with our faith?” Sproal emphatically replied, Oh my!, it is assumed and understood that a person needs to also repent along with his faith. We just assume that people already understand that; that faith and repenting of sins go together.

    In my former IFCA, LS church they would sing “Calvary Covers it All” and “Amazing Grace”, but to them, underneath those words, it was just assumed to be understood that in order for Calvary to cover it all and for grace to be amazing a person must also repent of his sins and Christ must become Lord of your life. Actually their favorite may have been “Victory in Jesus” and the verse “I repented of my sins and won the victory.” I think in that verse lay their flawed plan of salvation. I’m afraid Calvinism, Lordship Salvation, legalism dominate today’s churches to the point that it’s rare to find a truly pure grace church, at least not in my area.

  103. Phil, There used to be an old joking excuse that goes, “The devil made me do it”, but in Calvinism it goes, “The Lord made me do it “.

  104. Phil, I know the Calvinists didn’t appreciate your attempt to show them, via a “slight revision” (redefinition of the word “grace”) of a cherished hymn, the fatal flaw in their theology.

    But, I think it was completely appropriate.

  105. I have wondered why someone who is in a Calvinist church who does not believe he has been chosen or predestined to be saved would even bother to stay. I mean if you know God has not selected you, what’s the point of staying in church?

    About twelve years ago I posted some verses on a Calvinist board I made up I called “Calvinistic Grace” It goes, “Calvinistic grace, how sweet the sound that predestined, elected and saved a poor wretch like me, but may not have choosen to save some wretches like you. I once was lost and blind, but God chose to make me see: too bad for you because God may not have chosen for you to see, so you may be lost and there is nothing you can do about it……” (and so one) i posted this on a Calvinist forum, I think it was called 5solas.org. One of the members reminded that John Newton, who wrote Amazing Grace, was himself a Calvinist. Needless to say, the forum admin did not appreciate by lampooning something as sacred to them as Calvinist theology and I was shown the door out of their forum. Strange, it was ok for one of their members to lampoon non Calvinists posting their version of “Arminian Grace.”

  106. Praying for you acgarbia

  107. I am literally hearing people outside my window saying that I am illiterate.

  108. I am hearing people accusing me of writing things beyond my own ability, and it is making me feel very uncomfortable.

  109. Acgarbia, I have in my backyard 3 fruit trees. I have a lemon tree that is currently not bearing any lemons, but once did, I also have a peach tree that once bore immature peaches about the size of golf balls, and I have an Asian fruit tree that bore much fruit this year. Now, despite the fruit bearing conditions of my lemon and peach trees, that in no way negates the fact that these are fruit trees.

    The same is true of Christians. Some bear much fruit, some bear little fruit, and some bear no fruit at all during certain times in their walk with God, BUT that in no way negates the fact that they are saved and possessing eternal life. I remember the time when my mother died 31 years ago and afterwards I became severely depressed. During that period, as a Christian, I bore absolutely NO FRUIT at all, but I was still eternally saved.

    Don’t listen to the LIE of Calvinism/Lordship Salvation who falsely teach that if a Christian does not bear “fruit” that that is “proof” that one is “unsaved” and don’t listen to the LIE that if a Christian does not bear “fruit” or “persevere” that that will result in “loss of salvation”. Those are LIES from the mouth of Satan. Stay away from the false teachings of John MacArthur, John Piper, RC Sproul, Paul Washer, Francis Chan, Steve Lawson, Kirk Cameron, Ray Comfort, Spurgeon, AW Tosier, etc, who are all ministers of Satan.

    If you have ever BELIEVED in the free grace gospel of John 3:16, John 5:24, John 6:47, John 10:28-29, Romans 8:38-39, then you are eternally saved forever and absolutely nothing can undo your salvation. No matter what you do, or don’t do will not jeopardize your eternal salvation which is a free gift – Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 6:23.

    Acgarbia, if you are unsure of whether or not you are saved, BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus Christ with His suffering, shed blood, death, and resurrection and you WILL BE SAVED instantly for all eternity. It really is that simple. God made the gospel of John 3:16 so plain and simple that a child could believe and be instantly saved.

    Acts 16:30-31 – 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

    31 They replied, “BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus, and you will be SAVED—you and your household.”

    Hope this helps! Please feel free to ask us any questions. We’re here for you. God bless!

  110. acgarbia
    you are bearing fruit just from the question’s you posted !!
    you are drawing toward God just by what you are saying . The reality is God is drawing you .
    a soul can not commit the unpardonable sin. that was only when Jesus was here the first time .
    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 sure you are sitting under a pulpit that believes the Gospel

    Give yourself a break and Allow Jesus to Love on you HE is for you and loved you and loves you with an everlasting Love

  111. Acgarbia, I can relate with you regarding the unpardonable sin because I once was in fear that I had committed this sin. Christians who are obsessive compulsive in personality or who have OCD like myself are more susceptible to having this anxiety. The unpardonable sin cannot be committed by a Christian. This specific sin cannot be repeated today for it requires Jesus physical presence here on earth performing miracles.

    The Pharisees in Matthew 12, the teachers of the law in Mark 3 came close to committing this sin. It is the attributing of the miracles of Jesus to the power of Satan and this sin can only be committed by the UNSAVED. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law personally witnessed Jesus performing miracle after miracle right before their very eyes, but defiantly refused to believe that He was the Savior, and instead accused Jesus of being demon possessed.

    Jeremy Myers, who is a free grace Christian, wrote an excellent book on the unpardonable sin. His book, by far, in my opinion is one of the best books written on the subject. I highly recommend that you get it off of Amazon.com. Pastor Myers has counseled many Christians who have fear and anxiety regarding the unpardonable sin. Pastor Myers also has a prison ministry. The exact title of his book is, “Why You Have Not Committed The Unforgivable Sin”. It was written in 2012 and is available for less than $10.

    Regarding “fruit” in a Christian’s life, “fruit” is not an accurate indicator of whether or not one is saved. I, myself, have had this same concern when I was a much younger Christian, being tossed to and fro by false doctrine because I lacked spiritual discernment and experience. Did you know that many Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Roman Catholics, and even Buddhists exhibit “fruit” in their lives? I have personally seen the attributes of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and perseverance in these people, BUT these people are clearly unsaved because their doctrine is wrong.

    These attributes can also be seen in people who practice martial arts, tai chi, meditation, and yoga. As you can see, “fruit” is not an accurate indicator of whether one is saved or not. It is not the “fruit”, but the ROOT. Also, there are periods in a saved Christian’s life where the person may go through a crisis like a divorce, illness, death of a loved one, unemployment, financial setback, depression and it is during those times that a Christian may bear little or no fruit, BUT that does not negate the fact that the person is eternally saved. Hope this helps! I will share more in my next comment.

  112. acgarbia, anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior is indwelled by the Holy Spirit. It’s a fact, based in God’s Word – not on feelings.

    And, quit looking for assurance of eternal life based on fruit (or changes in your life).

    Satan wants us to look to ourselves, and not to Christ, for assurance. We will find it only I. Christ, never within ourselves.

  113. I don’t know if it is because of my illness, or because some evil spirit is harassing me, but I don’t feel comfortable. I could not enjoy church today because I felt like people were talking about me and saying negative things. I am concerned about the unpardonable sin, and the sin mentioned in Revelation 22:18, 19. If I am genuinely saved, can anyone please explain to me why I don’t see any fruit in my life, and why I can’t seem to draw near to God, and why I am always afraid? I don’t feel the presence of God’s Holy Spirit, Please help.

  114. Calvinism is like a man who intentionally starts a forest fire, then later “discovers” it and puts it out and becomes the hero.

  115. Benchap, glad it helped, I’m still learning. Not always getting it right, but looking to do it in a way that is pleasing to Him, and using the Word both to answer, and revive and replenish me, so I can properly be built up. In Christ, Holly

  116. Thanks Holly. That’s good advice and instruction that I’m going to apply.

  117. Benchap, I always try to remember Romans 16:17-18 and Galatians 2:4-5. We can contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 3), but we don’t give them submission for even an hour. We might vigorously refute them in public as Paul would do, but he didn’t allow any submission. I’m not a Paul, so I tend to take into account to not spend much time with them, and yet answer in a way that people who may be reading might benefit. Don’t allow them to catch you alone, answer all in public or tell them not to email. Don’t bother to read or respond to email, if they can’t keep it public, they don’t want to be corrected by His Word.

    Frankly, sometimes we need to remember the battle is to be only with armor on and the Word doing the work. And we need to drop back and get replenished too.

  118. Alice, unfortunately in about 2008 I believe it was Justin Peters began to get entrenched in Calvinism. He’s a mark and avoid.

  119. Johninnc, point taken. I think I will give it a miss.

  120. “Unless our faith makes us pine after holiness and pant after conformity to God, it is no better than the faith of the devils, and perhaps it is not even so good as that.” [Gee, I’m sure a saying like that never made any believer caught up in sin obsess with the hopelessness of their situation and dwell even more on their own efforts to overcome their flesh.]

    That is precisely the result this false teaching has on a believer. I’ve seen it and lived it.

  121. Alice, you are welcome to do that, but I don’t intend to get into any back and forth with him.

    He is likely to reply with more false doctrine, to which I would rather not be exposed and to which I would rather not have the readers of Expreacheman exposed.

  122. Hi guys, thank you all for your responses to Justin Peters’ review of the film, confirming his ‘works for salvation’ false theology. Would any of you mind if I go to Justin Peters website and email him your responses and the link to ExP? I wonder if how he would be willing to be corrected..!
    Is it possible that he is so far gone and entrenched in his LS that he is not willing to be challenged? I find it interesting that Satan uses one false teacher to expose another false teacher leaving them all in their particular false theology ultimately taking them all to hell.!!

  123. Benchap,

    It is good to see you grow and come out of the mess of false doctrine and the bondage often associated with it. Keep focusing on the finished work of Christ and you’ll keep ON growing.

    I DID come across that “head faith vs heart faith” nonsense but it was about 6 and a half years before discovering this blog, so I remained a casualty of LS for that entire time in part thanks to that fortune cookie from hell idiocy.

    Alice,

    Thank you for that information about WAR ROOM and Justin Peters.

    Here’s MY critique of Justin Peters’ version of the “gospel”:

    I will insert my comments in brackets [like so]:

    “Christians can and do sin (1 Jn. 1:8) [I’m with you.] but their lives are not to be characterized by sin. [For discipleship and fellowship with God, sure.] It has been said that a Christian can stumble into sin, but he cannot swim in it. [I’m pretty sure Demas was swimming in it, but then again I wasn’t there. I’m just inferring as much from what Paul said about him abandoning him and loving the world system more than serving Christ. Incidentally, why all these extra biblical metaphors? The Bible is jam packed with all sorts of great metaphors and simple truth. Why go to an outside source for something as important as the gospel?] A believer is a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God [again, with you on this too] Who produces in him good fruit (Gal. 5:22-23) [produces it automatically? If so, why should I believe that?]. Many people living lives of habitual sin are told they are just “backslidden” when they’ve never slid forward in the first place [What’s all this about “sliding?” We don’t “slide forward” when we hear the gospel, believe and are saved. You seem to be insisting that renouncing sin is essential for salvation. It is not. It’s a great idea and SHOULD be done, but it’s not a condition of salvation]. Charles Spurgeon stated, [Oh, you’re gonna quote THAT GUY? Er . . . Let’s move on. I don’t even know where to BEGIN with the hero worship for that guy.] “Unless our faith makes us pine after holiness and pant after conformity to God, it is no better than the faith of the devils, and perhaps it is not even so good as that.” [Gee, I’m sure a saying like that never made any believer caught up in sin obsess with the hopelessness of their situation and dwell even more on their own efforts to overcome their flesh.] Whether intentional or not, there is a danger of this film giving some of its viewers a false assurance of their salvation”. [You mean, like what will happen to the unsaved who hear your false gospel and believe it? That kind of false assurance of salvation? Because THAT I can agree with.]

    Just a little sarcasm and hyperbole to keep things interesting . . .

  124. Alice,

    Anyone who promotes Charles Spurgeon is generally trying to give credence to their false claims. Spurgeon was a unashamed lordship salvationist as so many of his religiously nauseous quotes candidly reveal. He could be labeled in my mind as one of those in human history that served to turn Biblical Christianity into religion.

    …….

    Consider these passages from the great apostle Paul. One whom I might mention was saved almost three decades by the time he penned this Scripture, and arguably lived a greater life of service and obedience to the Lord than any other Christian ever.

    ROMANS 7:14-19
    ” For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

    …….

    What is especially noteworthy though is verse 19: “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I DO”.

    The final word “do” there was translated from the Greek word “πράσσω” = “prasso”, which means “to practice” something. Crucially, Paul under inspiration tells us that he “practiced sin” in his life as a believer because of the old man still present inside him. But Justin Peters and Charles Spurgeon says this can’t be a possibility for a “true believer”? That’s a lie, period. I’ll stick with what God has said.

    Also, where does it say in the Bible that the Holy Spirit forces us to bear fruit? The last time I checked, I still have a free will and still “do” sin, so evidently all things haven’t become new for me as they clearly didn’t for the Apostle Paul. Yes, positionally all things are new as we have Christ’s righteousness and eternal life as a result of trusting in Him as our Saviour, but not practically in a sanctification sense as this takes yielding to the Holy Spirit and our cooperation.

    There is no doubt we should live for the Lord, honouring Him with obedient lives of service and soul-winning, but it is volitional and not a requirement to earn or keep our eternal salvation.

    These gentleman just can’t leave the fact that salvation is a gift alone.

  125. Alice, this is works for salvation, plain and simple.

    Anytime someone says “a true Christian will …”, watch out!

    Charles Spurgeon was a false teacher, and so, it appears, is Justin Peters.

    Thanks for the warning.

  126. Well hopefully I don’t have to come across that one.

  127. Just a slight change of subject but still dealing with Calvinism/LS false doctrine.
    Justin Peters has posted a review of the recently released movie: WAR ROOM on a website that is visited by 1000s of people. While I agree with him regarding the false doctrine of rebuking/binding Satan associated with the Word Faith Movement, nevertheless Justin Peters himself teaches a false gospel of faith+works. Listen to his statement below regarding how one can have assurance of his/her salvation, it is not based on the merit of Christ and His finished work on the cross ALONE but ALSO on the performance of the believer:

    Here is a part of Justin Peters’ critique of the movie:
    “Christians can and do sin (1 Jn. 1:8) but their lives are not to be characterized by sin. It has been said that a Christian can stumble into sin, but he cannot swim in it. A believer is a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God Who produces in him good fruit (Gal. 5:22-23). Many people living lives of habitual sin are told they are just “backslidden” when they’ve never slid forward in the first place. Charles Spurgeon stated, “Unless our faith makes us pine after holiness and pant after conformity to God, it is no better than the faith of the devils, and perhaps it is not even so good as that.” Whether intentional or not, there is a danger of this film giving some of its viewers a false assurance of their salvation”.

  128. Benchap,

    You said,

    “Whereas when I know I’m loved and eternally sealed despite my present or future actions, I actually want to serve the Lord and I find I have power over sin.”

    That is exactly it and certainly no tangent. If you understand that then you will be able to live and grow in grace walking in the Spirit. It is just that so many don’t get this because in Protestant churches they are taught that faith = justification + works. In other words faith to them has to perform up to standards to be real.

    Jim F

  129. Faith is not the Gift , Salvation is
    it is the object of my/our faith that saves Jesus
    its not faith of faith
    the mental accent argument try’s to make faith more than what it is

  130. yep , those close-est to the Truth of the Gospel and not see it are the hardest to reach with the Truth .
    The Gospel is not good news to the up and outer it is an offence to them .
    The Gospel is good news to the down and out

    for the mental accent argument
    I believe the supper my wife prepared for me is going to be good to eat . But not to be saved.
    believing the Gospel is to Trust rely depend on the finished work of Jesus 2000 years ago.

  131. I’ve not come across the mental assent argument much. I don’t really understand it. I don’t think I want to spend much more time speaking with religious people. I like – as strange as it sounds – people who have no idea about Christ far better than those that do but reject grace.

  132. Benchap, I thought you would run into this line of “reasoning.” It is fairly subtle, compared to John MacArthur, but still not grace.

  133. Haha, that is very close to the conversation I’ve had with the Baptist pastor. Thanks.

    Why did you think I would like it (I did)?

  134. “be careful Benchamp . if you find yourself waking up angry and or not able to rest the posion has bitten you. I hope you can handle it better than me.”

    Hey Curtis, that describes the past few months of my life. I overcame this recently thanks to this site among a few other things.

    I understand the trauma caused by lies and the helplessness that comes said trauma. I know what it is to be angry from morning to nightfall due to false teaching that you know is evil and not of grace despite being unable to articulate how. I know, as you’ve definitely seen while I’ve been at this website, the pain of being confused, tossed to and fro and paralysed by a fear that you’re not saved! The panic is enough to drive someone crazy.

    I’m with you, bro. I have little patience in reserve for them, too. In fact, I confessed to the Lord today that I hate this man and his false teaching, but that I know that is wrong and I know I need Christ’s strength and love because without it I am, well, mean and weak.

    As for thinking upon sin leading to more sin. I have noticed in my own life – and this nearly occurred this afternoon after this preacher sent me 2 Thessalonians and I was temporarily shaken – that whenever I doubt that Christ’s work was enough and is finished on the cross and in me (positionally) I respond by wanting to give up and just live in sin. “I can’t do this anymore, so I give up, I’ll live how I please” is usually the response. Whereas when I know I’m loved and eternally sealed despite my present or future actions, I actually want to serve the Lord and I find I have power over sin.

    I think I went off on another tangent. All that to say, I understand Curtis. I’m learning, just more slowly than I’d like.

  135. I agree, now, John. But I’m not sure if that was Preston’s point? (not trying to speak for you, Preston, nor attacking you).

  136. There is only ONE thing to do with sin . that is to confess it to God it is sin to have it condemned to Hell. If there was something we could do with sin Jesus would not of gave himself to pay our sin debt.
    Self righteous mankind chooses to play with his own remedy for sin adding to What Jesus has already done.
    When sin is the focus that is what you get more sin.
    When Jesus is our focus abiding in him . obedience , the faith rest life is the overflow .
    Yes I sin everyday in some way , I’m getting better at sinning less because I’m looking into Jesus not unto myself.

    be careful Benchamp . if you find yourself waking up angry and or not able to rest the posion has bitten you. I hope you can handle it better than me.
    I come out of false doctrine it was traumatic to me
    I have very very little patience for it to defend the gospel proclaim or herald the Gospel.

  137. Benchap, that passage has nothing to do with living in sin, either before or after the rapture.

    It has to do with preferring the lies of the antichrist to the truth of Christ.

  138. Hey Preston, I noticed that, but I don’t see how that changes things with regards to this passage? I mean, if a Christian can live in sin now and still be a Christian, why wouldn’t post-rapture believers be able to? It doesn’t seem consistent?

  139. Benchamp,

    look at the context of the 2 Thess passage. It inabout those in the tribulation period and not the church. the church is gone before this time.

    Unfortunately, i go about 30 rounds.

  140. Benchap, usually after two rounds.

  141. Thanks John.

    Yeah, I know. You’re right. I can’t help myself sometimes and it’s usually to my own detriment.

    When do you usually stop?

  142. Benchap, I think the pleasure in unrighteousness has to do with not believing in Christ’s righteousness. This has nothing to do with turning from sinful pleasures to be saved.

    I would strongly advise staying away from this guy. He is poisoning you with lies. Read and focus on the truth.

    2 Corinthians 5:21: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

  143. So I’ve had a horrible day going back and forth with this man.

    He has brought up these verses to add strength to his turn from sins belief.

    “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
    2Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
    2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not thelove of the truth, that they might be saved.
    2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
    2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    He told me to focus on 10, 12. So I assume, because he won’t straight out tell me, that he thinks these mean a Cheistian can’t live in sin, but must turn from pleasure in unrighteousness.

    I see that these verses are full of “believe” and that the condemned didn’t believe, thus were condemned, but I’m stuck at verse 12. Does anyone have insight into what unrighteousness is being spoken about (I’m also aware this is a post-rapture event being spoken of).

  144. Thanks Holly. I allowed my nervousness and anxiety – that usually arises from confrontation – get the better of me. I just shut him down. He broke his statement that said he would not email. I quoted that statement as my reply. He said he desires for me to know true love and to walk in the Spirit (despite his first email today having an article entitled “am I a real Christian”????).

    I replied that he lied, thus was condemned by his own teaching about what makes a real Christian and that he didn’t believe the Gospel. When he didn’t reply, I created my own article of “am I a real Christian” that contained the Gospel and sent it to him. Think I’m just wasting my time.

    I’m not sure I actually care about him, if I’m honest. I do, however, know the damage he causes others (one of my old friends was hurt by him) and for that reason I contend for the Gospel!

    Sometimes I think I preach the Gospel more out of a spirit of “you are wrong” than “I love you, I want you to have eternal life”.

  145. Benchap, I usually ask them if they have turned from all their sins, and if so, they are a liar. And since when does God grade on a curve if not? Break one law, break them all. How sorry? How do they know if they are sorry enough? They are Job’s friends.

  146. Jackie – the entrance of His Word brings light. This is where we have to remember always how to answer these who are in bondage. The truth will set them free. The Word has power. Satan has them blinded. Jesus in Matt 4 answered the enemy with ‘it is written’ and it’s what we do in order to allow the power of the Word to work. We plant and we water, and then God is the one who gives the increase. We are laborers in the harvest. We need prepared with the answers, and not be deterred by the seeming immediate result, but to have our armor on and having done all, to stand.

  147. Tavern – good question, that’s where context always comes into it.
    What did He predestinate those He foreknew would believe to be? Justified and glorified and conformed to the image of His Son. 🙂

    29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

  148. Good advice 🙂 I deleted it, but no before sending him a direct quote of the promise he broke and, upon his reply about my lack of love, an email informing him that he was condemned by his own teachings since.

    May have been a bit harsh. But running out of patience with liars, especially ones that have influence over others.

  149. Benchap, I wouldn’t ingest this guy’s poson.

  150. So after a week of no contact in which this baptist preacher’s last email said “last email” he has just emailed me a file entitled “are you a real Christian”.

    He obviously doesn’t think lying is a sin that would prove he is unsaved, despite telling me previously that a Christian must turn from and feel sorry for their sins in order to be saved and that a born again Christian is someone who does the will of God (and he didn’t mean “believe”).

    *angry sigh*

  151. Jackie, I’ve encountered many people on YouTube who are under loads of spiritual bondage, especially Calvinists/Lordship Salvationists. Many of them are so deeply deceived that they just will not wake up to the truth of Scripture. There was one person, but I forgot his name who was once attending John MacArthur’s loadship damnation church, but one day he woke up.

    He is now a free grace believer and has posted numerous videos exposing the lie of false doctrine. His recent video is entitled, “Another Gospel” which is an excellent video exposing counterfeit gospels like Roman Catholicism, and Lordship heretics like MacArthur, Piper, Sproul, Lawson, Washer and their bogus teachings.

    Last year, I encountered a Calvinist who woke up and left Calvinism after I shared from Scripture that none of the 5 points of the “TULIP” line up with Scripture. So yes, there are people who can believe in the true Biblical gospel of John 3:16, but the majority that I’ve encountered just will not budge. In many of the people that are deceived, the 2 things that really hinder and blind them are PRIDE and STUBBORNNESS. I am sure there are moments when the Holy Spirit persuades them, but like Scripture teaches, the Holy Spirit can be resisted – Acts 7:51 as evidenced in the members of the Sanhedrin.

    Jesus performed miracle after miracle in the Jews presence right before their very eyes in John 12:37, but they still WILL NOT believe in Him. The exact same with the Pharisees in Matthew 12, and the teachers of the law in Mark 3. They WILL NOT believe. Again, it is pride and stubbornness.

    The issue is not so much that deceived people “cannot” believe in the true gospel, but that they WILL NOT believe in the true gospel. Instead, they embrace false doctrine which appeals to them.

    John 5:39-40 – 39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And YE WILL NOT COME to me, that ye might have life.

  152. were not all of the jews under spiritual bondage; under the law of Moses but many believed in Acts 2 and 3??

  153. Jackie, it’s good to hear from you.

    I think that the Holy Spirit is active in drawing all people, including those who are in spiritual bondage. After all, anyone who has never believed in Christ as Savior is in spiritual bondage of one form or another.

  154. Hi family! Hoping you’ve all been well as of late. I have a quick question. The Bible is clear that the LORD created man as a free agent to choose or reject Him for salvation. However, for those who are under extreme spiritual bondage, is the LORD’s intervention necessary to remove spiritual blinders for them to believe? I know this sounds dangerously close to irresistible grace, but my question really is whether someone can believe under loads of spiritual bondage — namely, those under works salvation doctrines of demons. Thanks!

  155. Tavern, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    My view is that God draws all men to Him, desires that all men be saved, and that all have a legitimate opportunity to be saved.

    The verse you referenced simply means that all who believe are predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ and given an immortal body.

    It does not mean that God has decreed who would, or would not, believe in Jesus as Savior.

    God is omniscient, and so does know who will respond to Him in belief.

  156. In Romans 8:30, it does seem to say that God only calls those whom he predestined… Even understanding that the predestination is to a being confirmed into the image of Christ, and this is a predestining for those who are saved (or forknown), verse 30 still then says that those whom he predestined he also called, and those he called he also justified. This seems to say that God only calls those whom he knew (due to his forknowledge) would be saved… What would you say to that? That God only calls, (whether inwardly or outwardly) those would accept Him? I don’t know what to do with this verse.

  157. Benchap,

    I think I speak for most of us here when I say that this website has been a blessing to all of us in some way, shape, or form at one point or another in our lives. Whether it be for those who have actually never heard the true Gospel and come to believe it and be saved, or for those coming out of Christian religion having been bewitched and who need strength and clarity that proper doctrine brings, or even just a place where those who actually believe in Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone as the Bible clearly teaches can come to be with other believers, this website has served as an unapologetic platform to proclaim the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ to all who will freely receive it.

    We have the Lord to thank for the late Mr.Jack Weaver who started the site, and also for John who stands strong in Mr. Weaver’s stead without backing down against all the assaults of religion I am sure he gets from those without.

  158. Thanks all. I appreciate the advice 🙂 I guess I’ve been hoping (and praying) for a gift of a wife. I’ve spent time on Christian dating sites before, but never one that required payment. I might visit that option 🙂

    This website is awesome. I’ve really grown in confidence (and possibly been saved if not merely freed from having been beguiled) about the Gospel and the fact that I believe it 🙂 it’s cleared up a lot of faulty thinking that I’ve haf previously and shined light on a lot of the darkness I saw while around churches I would attend – especially the “you must pray the prayer” false teaching!

    If I earn any rewards in heaven from this moment on, you’ve all played a part 🙂

  159. Thank you all for your prayers for Adam. All I know is the more we get into His Word, and ask questions, the clearer things become as we pray for Him to show us.

  160. Benchap, I can only tell you what worked for me:

    Pray a lot, which I’m sure you’re doing.

    I used a dating service. A VERY EXPENSIVE dating service. One that honored my demand that they only put me on dates with like-minded believers. At first they said “okay” but it was clear they were only humoring me. I however was not amused. When I protested they set things straight, didn’t charge my account for the dates they sent me who clearly WEREN’T serious Christians, and they eventually set me up with my wife. This was well over 2 decades ago. It was a bit of a struggle, but I remain convinced it was a well worthwhile investment.

    I know there are other ways, but that’s how I made it happen.

    I also recommend you and your future spouse are not only on the same page regarding your faith, but it would do your potential marriage a lot of good if you’re on the same page regarding politics, finances and kids as well. My wife and I have always been on the same page with all of this except the kids part, but when we met we WERE on the same page, but 3 out of for ain’t bad!

    One final thing. If there’s something you’re looking for in a relationship that you KNOW is really important to you but you’re not sure your future spouse holds the same values, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t marry them. But it MAY mean you’re looking at an area of substantial compromise that will stick with you until Jesus returns. And you need to be realistic because the world (those saved and those lost) is FILLED with people who got into marriages with all sorts of expectations and then gave up when they weren’t prepared for the reality of dealing with their will basically being “versus” the will of their spouse, when in reality, the only sure fire recipe for a successful marriage for believers is when the husband and wife are willing to make GOD’S will the focus of their marriage. I know that sounds obvious and perhaps even condescending, but SO many couples get into marriage and only seem to like the IDEA of living this out, but when the rubber meets the road, they’re really just in it for themselves, and that will cause a WORLD of hurt and disappointment.

  161. Benchap, If you’re looking for a wife, my advice to you is that you visit a Christian dating site. That way, the both of you are looking for the same thing. Not all Christians meet like Isaac and Rebekah in the Old Testament and many Christians do not meet by osmosis.
    Decades ago, I attended a church that discouraged dating which was ridiculous. There were just too many Christian guys and few Christian gals and too much jealousy in that church. I didn’t like the fact that our fellowship leader discouraged dating by always saying to me, “Don’t go looking for a girlfriend because God will provide, and when the right time comes, God will bring her into your life.”

    I resented that because when one goes seeking for a girlfriend or boyfriend in the hopes of marriage, you just can’t expect the person to come knocking on your door. It’s like looking for a job, you can’t expect the job to come knocking on your door. I was interested in a girl in my church decades ago, but she was not interested in me. The same thing happened again, but at least we had dinner and saw a movie with her group of friends.

    Personally, for me it was very difficult to develop a dating relationship with a fellow Christian lady because of the jealousy present among other Christian men and women in my church. Things in life are not perfect and they don’t always turn out as we expect a lot of times. I ended up dating my tenant’s daughter and we fell in love and got married. She didn’t come to know Christ until 7 years after our marriage.

  162. Very very rare to see a married couple on same spiritual level . I have enough going on just getting along with myself in Christ . My wife doesn’t talk much of spiritual things but she is so much sharper than me at reading people. She is very wise and very simplistic on the gospel.
    That being said if you could find yourself a doctrinally sound pulpit ( the pastor preaching grace) go from there. You will always have souls in assemblies that may be saved but not satisfied with the sin debt paid by Jesus .
    I just had a wonderful time with a fellow grace believer yesterday who is in my area visiting his twin brother who has cancer (he is saved)
    We had so much in common in our back rounds it is something on the Lord could do to bring souls together.
    So yes in God’s timing
    Our times are in the Lord’s hands

  163. Benchap,I would recommend praying for the Lord to lead you to like-minded believers, as well as a marriage partner.

  164. At risk of hijacking the thread, I have a question for fellow believers. How do you find a marriage partner in this climate?

    I’m assuming some if not all of you can relate to the loneliness that comes with being a Christian unwilling to attend a Lordship/false preaching church. But how have you all, if so be that you have, been able to establish friendships and face-to-face connections with believers? Do I just pray and rely on the Lord to bring people – namely a wife – into my life or…?

  165. Very interesting stuff. I didn’t realize how much I’d been missing but now I’m caught up.

    This whole “outer darkness” debate has a special place in my heart as I was always unsure and confused about the matter in general for many years. About a decade ago when I used to listen to Calvary Satellite Radio (“CSR” -it may actually be “network” –I don’t know, nor do I care.) This was before I knew any better. I remember the call-in show “To Every Man An Answer” and the general consensus among the guys on that show (host, guests) was that Christians living in rebellion or sin at the time of the rapture would be left behind, and many of the parables being discussed here in this thread of late were the proof texts they used.

    Even Dave Hunt, who at the time had his radio show, Search The Scriptures Daily broadcast on CSR, when asked about “outer darkness” and this topic of rebellious or carnal Christians being left behind said he couldn’t find it in scripture (I’m paraphrasing of course) that made it logical to conclude that some sort of standard of holy living or obedience was necessary to ensure going up w/ the saints to meet the Lord in the air when the rapture comes. And I do seem to recall that Dave also said he believed that the parable about the wicked servant who gets drunk and begins beating the servants under him was about Israel, not believing Christians.

    In other news, Holly, my wife and I are praying for your son, Adam and for your continued strength and encouragement.

  166. The parables of Jesus are not always the easiest to understand and interpret. They can create much ambiguity which is confusing.

  167. “I have always understood the overcomers in Revelation simply as those who believed (1 John 5:4-5).”

    Me too.

    I used to write a blog about salvation. I was attacked for teaching eternal security (the real one) by a man who was a leader and teacher at a church in America. He used the verses in Revelation about overcomers.

    I, being a young Christian, was upset and confused by these and turned to the Lord for understanding. The Lord, I believe, reminded me of this beautiful verse in 1 John.

  168. to shew thyself
    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.

    These days i caution everyone to be very very careful what you are listening to and from whom .
    for me personally i don’t like to hear preachers drop names from pulpit unless it is for doctrinal warnings. When preachers drop names it just tells me they have not been desiring the pure word of God , but grazing someones else’s feeding dish .

  169. Holly wrote
    “I have always understood the overcomers in Revelation simply as those who believed (1 John 5:4-5).”
    yes and amen , this is now my understanding

  170. I have always understood the overcomers in Revelation simply as those who believed (1 John 5:4-5).

  171. It is a good discussion. Regardless of which way we see it, no way is it about it works for salvation. Anyone that would teach the talents is proof of salvation/good works is missing completely the point of oil-Holy Spirit or no Holy Spirit, or the one that buried the talent didn’t BELIEVE His Lord was coming back. And the timing, it’s at the Second coming going into the Millennial Kingdom. So, lots to consider, there are a few ‘free grace’ who teach it, but more Calvinists and Loadship people teach it as a punishment for unfruitful believers, such as Charles Stanley (l), John Bevere (l), Erwin Lutzer (c), G.H. Lang (c), J.D. Faust (teaches only some believers are raised incorruptible), same publisher as Jody Dillow who really made this popular.

    Although I don’t agree with Dennis Rokser sometimes quoting certain people which I think is not helpful without at least using a disclaimer (which he told me recently he will be considering prayerfully doing), his four part series on Outer Darkness I think is very helpful and organized for those who wish to understand the various degrees of the teachers of Outer Darkness.

    I agree with John on avoiding George Zeller of Middletown Bible church, seeming to speak against Calvinism, but fully agreeing with the “P” in TULIP.

    God bless you all.

  172. Benchap, you’re welcome. That’s okay and I respect the fact that there are differences in opinion and interpretation within free grace Christians.

  173. Hey William, thanks for the in-depth reply, brother. I think my belief on this issue is closer aligned to Holly.

  174. William, I couldn’t agree more.

    But, my wife and I have encountered real live Lordahip “Salvationists” who use the parable of the talents to “prove” that good works and faithfulness are automatic in the lives of Christians.

  175. Without accountability there’s no rewards

  176. John, “good works” are definitely not automatic and don’t “prove” one’s salvation for we see “good works” done by Mormons, JW’s, Roman Catholics, Buddhists, and among philanthropists, but these are clearly unsaved people.

  177. William, I don’t know anything about these guys, other than that Middletown Bible Church – which unabashedly teaches backdoor LS – used grace-killing quotes from them to help prove their point that good works are automatic in the life of a believer, and thereby prove whether or not someone is saved.

  178. John, J. Dwight Pentecost and Stanley Toussaint were both once professors of Bible exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary. It’s very ironic and tragic that both these professors taught at a seminary that advocated Free Grace theology and eternal security have let Calvinism/Lordship doctrine, and Arminianism contaminate their theology.

    Stanley Toussaint’s article on Hebrews 6:4-8 is very disturbing as he teaches that Christians can lose their salvation which makes him an Arminian Lordship proponent. The former pastor at my former church sat under his teaching and I could tell that my former pastor gravitated more towards Toussaint’s teaching than Zane Hodge’s teaching on Hebrews 6 even though this pastor also sat under Hodge’s teaching.

  179. 1 Corinthians 4:5: Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

  180. Holy summed it up what i’m persuaded by .

    this is a good thread . I love to be challenged by Gods word in my thinking
    Thank you all for posting and contributing.

    for me personally would like to say below

    I am still repenting and processing out of my thinking 15 plus years of Calvinism / self righteousness and the judgement seat of Christ and the terror of it ground into my spirit.
    I am now starting to see things differently from scripture as i listen to sound biblical teaching and hunger for the clarity of the gospel. It is easy for me to fall back into the dead works of works for salvation . Need to continually renew my mind to the clarity of scriptures . I

    Kingdom of heaven is at hand , Jesus coming offering Israel the kingdom and their rejection of Him and His Kingdom.
    when reading words of Jesus read carefully as always rightly dividing the word of truth , context and content to whom is Jesus Talking to .

    what place / purpose would discipline be at the Judgement seat of Christ ?
    how do you discipline a glorified body ?

    Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
    Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

    Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
    Heb 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

    1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

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

  181. William,

    I understand the deductive reasoning portion of your position, however, I have trouble equating “loss of rewards” which will inevitably find the believer experiencing regret, tears, and remorse when he/she realizes what they could have had if they had of only been faithful, to then somehow finding themselves “being bound hand and foot and taken away to be cast into outer darkness…” The language is utterly condemning and the jump is just too great. People who are sentenced to punishment are bound and led away.

    As far as the Revelation quotations you have cited, I hold strongly that the rewards attached to each of the final declarations made to the seven respective churches addressed (To him that overcometh…) are positional rewards, not ones of merit. The word “overcome” is nikao (“to conquer” in the Greek), which does present some initial wording challenges, however, I still feel there is an overwhelming amount of evidence to support the positional view.

    For instance, we overcome the world system because we are “in” Christ as believers (see John 16:33b, 1 John 5:4-5), and practically speaking, a lot of Christians don’t overcome the world if the context in Revelation is to be taken meritoriously. The only exception I could see for merit in the final declaration would be in view of the Church of Thyatira, as we note: “And he that overcometh (position), AND keepeth my works unto the end (merit), to him will I give power of the nations (reward)”. The position is required first (In Christ), and thus the reward is named for keeping His works unto the end by merit.

    Also, strongly consider Sardis where the overcomer “will not have his/her name out of the Book of Life, but confessed…”. If we take this declaration in the negative or opposite context, one would infer that the believer would have his/her name blotted out of the Book of Life if they didn’t overcome practically by their merit. But we don’t have our names penned into the Book of Life by our merits, but faith alone. So as a result, it cannot be meritorious in context.

    Thirdly, those who don’t overcome by their efforts in Smyrna will be hurt by the second death? Again, this speaks of salvation and so it would speak of one’s position, not merit.

    These are just a few of the issues I have with the merit position in relation to the overcomers in Revelation, but evidently, the Grace camp is split on so I don’t think we resolve that difference any time soon either….haha.

    One thing I do know though, His Grace is always sufficient for us 🙂

  182. I’ve tried to fashion my views on this without reference to who teaches what. And, like I said, I haven’t ruled out the “outer darkness” being a reference to hell.

    But, among people who teach that “outer darkness” refers to hell are almost all Lordship “salvationists,” and even some who sometimes seem to be grace advocates, but at other times make you scratch your head with wonder:

    Following is a compendium of comments from Middletown Bible Church on the parable of the talents (please note that I consider Middletown to be UNSOUND, and a purveyor of “backdoor” Lordship salvation). I have put in bold those portions that I think are an affront to grace.

    He represents those who, while professing to be Christ’s servants, do not really know Him at all and so do not seek to obey His Word….The slothful servant lost everything; even his profession was taken from him. –Harry Ironside, Matthew (p. 194).

    In this parable Christ was teaching that those who see the signs forewarning of Messiah’s approach will have an opportunity to prepare themselves and to prove themselves faithful servants of His; however, if such persons do not do so, they will be barred from the kingdom that Christ will establish at His second coming. The parable, then, shows both the rewards for faithfulness and the judgment for unfaithfulness that await those who are anticipating Messiah’s coming. –J.Dwight Pentecost, The Parables of Jesus, p. 156.

    The unprofitable servant was cast out–excluded from the kingdom. He shared the anguished fate of the wicked. It was not his failure to invest the talent that condemned him; rather his lack of good works showed that he lacked saving faith. –William MacDonald, The Believer’s Bible Commentary, p. 1299.

    The fruit of faithfulness and preparedness would indicate the character of those living in the days before His coming. In each parable, character is manifested by works. This thought forms the key to the following passage which deals with the judgment of the nations (Matthew 25:31-46). –Stanley Toussaint, Behold the King, p. 288.

    There are two kinds of individuals, the “good and faithful” in contrast to the “wicked and slothful.” Their works prove their character, but it is their character which determines destiny. The wicked and slothful servant was proven to be “unprofitable” (25:30) at the return of his lord. –Thomas O. Figart, The King of the Kingdom of Heaven, p. 461.

    My comment: each of the above makes it sound like good works and faithfulness either prove, or give evidence of, salvation. How could any believer have assurance of salvation if it is based on his faithfulness, or good works?

    This sounds like CLASSIC Lordship “salvation.” You know, the “a true Christian will serve Christ to the best of his abilities…” kind of thing.

    Middletown’s conclusion?

    Wherever you find the expression “weeping and gnashing of teeth” in the New Testament, know of a certainty that it is a description of the judgment and doom of lost, unsaved men who will not inherit and not even enter the kingdom. It is never used to describe the fate of saved people.

    I don’t have as much of a quarrel with the conclusion that the outer darkness refers to hell, as I do with the rationale for the conclusion – that good works prove salvation.

  183. Hi, I apologize for any offense taken at me seeing it as lordship creeping in. Here is why. If there is no punishment for our sin, I do not see punishment at any point, but loss. As the Olivet Discourses (I believe) address a people, a time, a place, and a prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled upon this people (Israel) and it is the last 7 years of Daniel’s prophecy, and it is to ‘finish a transgression’. Whose transgression? Israel.

    One thing to consider is the whole account in Matt 24-25, and ask which time is spoken of. AD 70 is a portion of it, and the sign of His coming (second coming) and the End. The church will have already been raptured, already have heavenly bodies, and will already been raised incorruptible. If we are raised incorruptible, then we would have to be sent into that outer darkness 7 years later. But 1 Thess 4:16-18 tells us ‘so shall we EVER BE with the Lord’.

    Col 1:12-13 tells us it is God who has made us ‘meet’ to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints into the light, furthermore we are told we are already delivered into the Kingdom of His dear Son. How then can we be cast back out into any darkness? We are ‘in Him’ and ‘in Him’ there is no darkness. And He also says He will in no wise cast us out.

    Israel via Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are always referenced as His SERVANT. And they are to have been the rulers over all of His household. They were to feed His sheep. So I believe those are the SERVANT’s referenced.

    If we believers have be chosen to be holy and blameless before Him in love, if we have already ‘obtained an inheritance’, if that inheritance in stored up in heaven, if it is undefiled, how can it suddenly be taken from us?

    The inheritance is always by promise, not of works (Gal 3:18), so it cannot be taken from anyone except for unbelief.

    The time of Outer Darkness once again is at the beginning of the millennium. How is it that
    our incorruptible seed has suddenly become corruptible? Think on this, our flesh is what is corruptible, and we are changed in that twinkling of an eye. Again, Outer Darkness comes at the second coming, we’ve already been given our new bodies, already faced the Judgment seat of Christ, shall we then face another judgment? Shall our Helper who abides with us forever be cast out with us? All three cases of Outer Darkness has the servants being cast out. Being bound hand and foot.

    Again, forgive me for poor choice of words, but people like Erwin Lutzer (Calvinist) and Charles Stanley (loadship) are among some of those who teach this. Not just free gracers like Wilkins and Dillow.

    I believe Outer Darkness is a form of a Protestant Purgatory that came from 2 Maccabees 12:46. These are all from my notes, and I am no scholar, but when I first got ‘Reign of the Servant Kings’ by Dillow, it did not set right with me, and I began to ask questions with the Word regarding this. Suddenly would the same words used for hell, and the punishment there be used with believers? Weeping and gnashing of teeth? Doesn’t that sound condemning to you all?

    I am sorry for the length, but I believe there are many Scriptures that shows as the covenant earthly people of Israel, the nation, they are the Sons of the Kingdom. They are the one that pertains the ‘service of God’ (Rom 9:3-4) and to whom also the oracles of God were committed (Rom 3). The parable in Matthew 25 has the man traveling to a far country and leaving them in control of His possessions, and His servants weren’t faithful. What other country is spoken of? I believe this is the church and the fullness of the Gentiles. And when He returns, it will be at the second coming.

    All love and respect to all who see it differently, forgive me once again if my words were chosen poorly.

    I love you all and thank you all who have been praying.

  184. Benchap,

    “The “weeping” and “gnashing of teeth” is the response of carnal Christians for being “kicked out” and being excluded from the joys and privileges in the banquet hall that they otherwise could have participated in had they got their act together in this life.” – William.

    That is really hard for me to fathom in light of grace. We are accepted in the beloved while in our sinful bodies down here, but sent away (rejected) from His presence for an undetermined time as punishment even though we are in our sinless state?”

    My comment – What I meant to say is that there are differing levels of eternal bliss in heaven. Jesus mentioned that there are differing levels of eternal torment for the unsaved.

    Matthew 10:15 – Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

    Matthew 11:22 – But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.

    Matthew 11:24 – But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

    Since this is true of hell that there are differing levels of eternal torment, I deduce that there are differing levels of eternal bliss in heaven.

    2 Timothy 2:12-13 – 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

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

    If we as faithful believers commit, obey, endure, suffer, and persevere in this life, then we will be granted eternal rewards and some will be granted the privilege of reigning with Christ, but if we fail, then Christ will deny us that privilege of reigning with Him which is an earned privilege and will experience a forfeiture of eternal rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ – 1 Cor 3:10-15. He will NOT deny us in regards to our eternal salvation which is free.

    Scripture is clear on the reality of eternal rewards and that these are granted to faithful Christians for their service here on earth:

    Persevering and enduring Christians will earn the following:

    1) The privilege of reigning with Christ – 2 Timothy 2:12, Revelation 3:21. Christians who endure will reign with Christ in the millennium, but those who deny Him will be denied by Christ the privilege of reigning with Him. Their eternal salvation remains intact – 2 Timothy 2:13.

    2) Eat fruit from the Tree of Life – Revelation 2:7

    3) Right to eat manna – Revelation 2:17 and also be granted the possession of a unique white stone with one’s name on it.

    4) Ruling over nations – Revelation 2:26

    5) Be dressed in white – Revelation 3:5

    Based on the above, in my estimation, it would be correct to conclude that there will be differing levels of eternal bliss, and eternal joy for faithful Christians in the future.

  185. Johninc,

    All excellent points indeed. Much to think about as evidence evidently can be adduced on either side to prove the position in part. I agree that the opposing views should never been used to label another as an enemy of Grace.

  186. At the risk of having myself branded a Lordship “salvationist,” which I don’t believe is an honest or fair depiction of my theology, following are some of my thoughts on “outer darkness.”

    1. The term outer darkness is used only 3 times in scripture (Matthew 8:12, 22:13, and 25:30). It’s absence in the other gospel accounts leads me to think that it’s use in Matthew must mean it is particularly applicable to a Jewish audience.

    2. I am not sure that “outer darkness” refers to hell, but I have not ruled that out.

    3. If outer darkness does not refer to hell, then it would have to mean something else. The only “something else” that makes sense to me is loss of rewards. If that is the case, then the term “wailing and gnashing of teeth,” in this context, would seem to relate to regret at the judgment seat of Christ. And, I believe that regret would be very short-lived (no Millenial exclusion, no on-going remorse or regret).

    Revelation 21:4: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

    4. If not for the parable of the talents, I would readily conclude that “outer darkness” refers to hell.

    5. So, let’s discuss the parable of the talents:

    In the account in Matthew 25:13-30, the unprofitable servant has his trust taken from him, and is cast into the outer darkness.

    QUestion: Why would any unbeliever have been entrusted with anything (given a stewardship) by Christ?

    Matthew 25:29-30:

    [29] For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
    [30] And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    Let’s look at the companion passage in Luke 19:13-26. For the unprofitable servant, there is no mention of the outer darkness that we find in Matthew 25:30. Instead, the unprofitable servant has his trust taken from him (Luke 19:26). Then, the story moves from Christ’s servants to his enemies, who are slain (Luke 19:27). Note that there is a clear differentiation between the removal of the trust from the unprofitable servant (verse 26) and the slaying of the unbelievers (verse 27).

    Luke 19:26-27:
    [26] For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
    [27] But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

    Question: Is there a difference between an unprofitable servant who abuses his trust (verse 26) and an enemy (verse 27)?

    If an unprofitable servant is an unbeliever, does that mean that anyone who doesn’t bear fruit is an unbeliever? A “yes” answer to this question would seem to fit the Lordship “salvation” narrative pretty cleanly. And, that might also influence one’s interpretation of the parable of the sower, to an errant conclusion that soils 2 and 3 were unsaved.

    6. A brief comment on the parable of the wedding feast.

    If the improperly clothed guest is an unbeliever, what is the difference between him and the people that didn’t come to the wedding feast?

    Jesus had already said that those who were bidden (and did not come) were not worthy, so others (good and bad) were to be gathered. Do “good” and “bad” refer to believers and unbelievers? If the point was to fill up the wedding feast, why would they have gathered those that they knew would be disqualified once they got there?

    7. If the parables in Matthew that speak of “outer darkness” are referring to hell, why the parables? In other words, the Bible is crystal clear that whoever believes in Jesus as Savior has eternal life, and whoever does not believe in Jesus does not have eternal life. So, why the parables?

    8. If there was no downside to loss of rewards, why would Paul have warned people to be careful not to lose them?

    Colossians 2:18: Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

    And, what does “suffer loss” mean?

    1 Corinthians 3:15: If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

    As I said at the outset, I am not sure whether or not outer darkness refers to hell. I don’t think that any of the uses of the term “outer darkness” must be construed to mean eternal damnation. I think all three could be construed to relate to the loss of reward, as opposed to loss of eternal life (or evidence that the people were unbelievers who had never received eternal life).

    And, if I haven’t otherwise been clear, for Christians, there is no threat of outer darkness for eternity, no Millenial exclusion, and no separation into lesser groups in any kind of a Christian purgatory.

    In either case, I don’t think we’ll reach a consensus on this. Whatever your views are on “outer darkness,” I would ask that we be kind and considerate toward one another, and not be quick to label those who hold different views than you as enemies of grace.

  187. Hey William,

    I appreciate your explanation my brother, but I must admit, I am not dissuaded by the exegesis of the parable of the tares and the wheat. I too believe that the children of the Kingdom in that context refers to Israel, as they of course represent the original children of the Kingdom. We must remember that Israel was the intended audience of many of the parables delineated, and so much of which is contained in them has to do with their rejection of their King, and the immediate implications or the eventual realities of such.

    Holly,

    It seems you and I share the same position on the matter. “Children of the Kingdom” in that context naturally relates to Israel as they were the rightful possessors of it until they rejected the Lord Jesus Christ, and subsequent to that, the offer of salvation and inclusion was extended to the Gentiles. Not to say William is wrong outright, but as you said, the Body of Christ cannot be separated. So I too do not believe that a child can be cast into outer darkness.

    …….

    It is important for us overall to remember that the parables often served as “mysteries” regarding the Kingdom of Heaven. The literal reign of heaven on earth ie. Christ fulfilling the Davidic covenant out of Zion. If Christ came outright and told all the specific details of the parable, and didn’t codify them at a certain level, it wouldn’t be a mystery left up to the hearer to qualify. Doctrine of course though should never be gleaned from or developed wholly from a parable, but the parable(s) should be used at times to support the appropriate doctrinal position. The foundational doctrines of the Bible of course being: (1) all sinners of human history have only been saved by God’s Grace, apart from any merit of their own, (2) all the everlasting covenants Jehovah made with Abraham/Israel/David He still will honour in the future (3) the fact that Israel is not the church (the church was mystery to the Old Testament writers), and (4) the distinct and various dispensations throughout the ages from the creation of man.

    Again, in relation to the Matthew 22 wedding parable, given all the indicators within the parable, and the transition from the Dispensation of Law to the Dispensation of Grace at the time the Messiah “was cut off” (ie. rejection of the King), I do not see how the invite in the parable could be related to anything other than becoming part of the Body. We as Gentiles would occupy no other place in Heaven given the contemporary timing of the parable and the respective dispensation transition as a result of the Jew’s rejection of their King. As it was a parable, it too would seem unlikely that the Lord Jesus would come right out and advise that the invite was to become part of “the Bride”, but instead saw fit to codify the terms and thus the Gentiles were labeled as “guests” in the parable because they were not of the Jewish household.

    Again, like Holly said, we may be wrong but it seems as though there are too many indicators that point to the position we hold to conclude otherwise.

    Holly, as I am sure it is on behalf of us all, we will keep praying for Adam, you, your support structure, and Chris and Christine.

  188. Adam,

    I think one must be careful when looking at the gospels of Matt, Mark and Luke. remember, the church was not in view yet, although hints can be seen in those gospels. I like it unto the “foolish” virgins. This is a second coming parable, not about the church. (the bride is not in view in that one either). I liken this to “tribulation” people who are trying to get into the wedding but are not clothed in the “wedding garment”. In a jewish wedding, the guest had a “garment”, they received to get into the ceremony. Not having a garment meant, you were not a guest.

    now, I do see the parable just prior, looks to we a warning that the fruit will be given to others (the kingdom of God will be taken from you as a nation) BUT, I agree with Holly, outer darkness, is not for believers as in what book AFTER Acts (Pentecost) was “outer darkness ever mentioned??? where do we see “outer darkness”? Matt 25 – these ARE second coming parables. and these are thrown into outer darkness. Since the “bride”; the church was not in view, and the church has “Christs righteousness imputed”, how could Christs righteousness be put in “outer darkness”?

    I think the “children of the Kingdom” refers to jews as this was just after Jesus saying to the gentile centurion, I have not seen so great a faith in Israel. and many shall come from the east and west to sit down with Abraham. remember, many jews trusted in the fact they were jewish (Abrahams seed) and because of their “lineage” thought they we “ok”. The gentile woman who said, “even the dogs get the scrapes”, shows us that Jesus was there, at that time, for the children of Israel.

    remember, the bride is already seen in the heavenlies.

    my thoughts.

  189. “The “weeping” and “gnashing of teeth” is the response of carnal Christians for being “kicked out” and being excluded from the joys and privileges in the banquet hall that they otherwise could have participated in had they got their act together in this life.” – William.

    That is really hard for me to fathom in light of grace. We are accepted in the beloved while in our sinful bodies down here, but sent away (rejected) from His presence for an undetermined time as punishment even though we are in our sinless state?

  190. Actually Outer Darkness teaching in my humble estimation is another form of backdoor Loadship teaching, even though many fine scholars would certainly disagree with someone like me, who surely knows much less. But I’d still love to share, and am preparing some thoughts for people to consider Lord willing.

  191. Children of the Kingdom I believe refers to Israel. If you look throughout the Old Testament you will find that they are referenced over and over as such, remember, they were promised, a Kingdom, a Throne, and a House. So there is believing and unbelieving ‘children of the Kingdom’. In addition, the weeping and gnashing of teeth is only otherwise associated with hell, so I do not believe we can relate ‘Outer Darkness’ as belonging to any believer. I have done a large (disorganized) paper on all the verses that refer to why we cannot be relegated to Outer Darkness. If I have time I would like to share, but my focus right now is on my son Adam, but in time, I’d love to share for your perusal. We are His body and cannot be separated. Love in Christ.

  192. Adam, I don’t believe that the phrase, “outer darkness” is a reference to hell. In Matthew 8:10 Jesus commends the centurion’s great faith, but then Jesus contrasts the centurion’s faith with the faith of many other Christians in the latter half of verse 10. Then in Matthew 8:12 Jesus makes this statement that goes, “But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

    In the KJV, “children of the kingdom” refers to believers. It is impossible for believers to be cast into hell, but believer’s can be cast into the “outer darkness”. The latter part of Matthew 8:12 mentions the response of these “children of the kingdom” who are believers who experience “weeping and gnashing of teeth”. I’ve discovered that “weeping and gnashing of teeth” can be used to refer to the response of those who are cast into hell and in those instances the writer is more specific and gives more detail.

    For example, in Matthew 13:42, Jesus says regarding the tares which are the children of Satan, “42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. There is a big difference between “furnace of fire” versus “outer darkness”. “Weeping and gnashing of teeth” can refer to those believer’s response for being excluded from special privileges, eternal rewards and being cast out into the “outer darkness” and it can refer to the response of the unsaved and those deceived by false doctrine from beginning to end who are unsaved.

    I believe that the “furnace of fire” and the “Lake of Fire” are one and the same, but “outer darkness” is not hell.

  193. Preston,

    Also, who were those originally “bidden” to the wedding? The Jews? The parable is contemporary to the dispensation it seems, and the Jews rejected the offer (Christ knew in advance and revealed such), so thus it was extended to the bad and good (Gentiles). Perhaps the Gentiles are called guests (foreigners) in that context in the sense that they non-Jews?

    Can you advise of your take on the parable?

  194. Preston,

    Point noted my brother. But given the dispensation, who is a guest at the wedding that would not be a part of the Bride or Body?

  195. Fellas,

    a thought for you. Notice these are “guests” to the wedding. Who is the bride? Where is the bride? Is a bride a “guest” to her own wedding????

    a thought to consider.

    blessings.

  196. Hi William!

    If you don’t mind my friend, I would like to point out a few things which I feel are material to your exegesis above. The first is I would like us to note keenly that the topic of the parable referenced in Matthew 22:1-14 is a “marriage” made by a certain King for “His Son” v.2. As a result of the wedding planned then, an invite was subsequently sent out to those who were “bidden” to come (take part) in the wedding v.3.

    The invite by the King to those without in this case I believe is symbolic or synonymous to an invite to become part of the Bride of Christ or Body of Christ, and not necessarily just a peripheral “guest” per se. I say this because the marriage between the Body/Bride of Christ and Christ if I recall correctly is a positional benefit of the believer, and not one to be rewarded as a result of a believer’s merit in the earthly realm. I also kindly think this position is more consistent with Scripture in that the Jews in reality first rejected Christ’s offer of salvation, and as a result, it was offered to the Gentiles (bad and good) as we see referenced in verses 5-7 &10. Moreover, this position is perhaps then further strengthened when we consider that the Pharisees formed a considerable portion of Christ’s audience in this case, and who of course naturally relied on their own righteousness and heritage as to the reason why they would enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

    If we get beyond the mention that the man without the garment was present at first at the wedding (I think where you got hung up), and instead hone in on the resounding point that he ultimately wasn’t welcome because he didn’t have a “wedding garment” on (Christ’s righteousness), then I think the parable may make more sense overall.

    I’ve heard the position you’ve offered from others before, however, I feel it is inconsistent for the garmentless man to be a believer and thus “cast into outer darkness” because he didn’t reward his way into being a guest at the wedding.

    By the way, we have to ask then how much effort is required to take part in the wedding?

    You may still feel differently my friend; just my reading of it 🙂

  197. Matthew 24:12-14 – 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

    13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

    My take is that the man without the wedding garment is a saved person, but one who wasted his life being carnal, literally a Luke 8:14 Christian like my half brother for example who is eternally saved, but will be excluded from special joys and special privileges like reigning with Christ because of the way he lived his life here on earth which consisted mostly of pleasure, and sin which in essence is wood, hay, and stubble, things of no eternal value. ( 1 Corinthians 3:10-15)

    According to 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, Christian’s whose works here on earth which consisted of carnality and the failure to endure – wood, hay, and stubble will not stand up to Christ’s fiery test and will be burned up resulting in a loss of eternal rewards including the privilege of reigning with Christ – 2 Timothy 2:12, Revelation 3:21, but they are still eternally saved.

    I believe the “outer darkness” is symbolic and represents the area just OUTSIDE the well lighted banquet hall. INSIDE the banquet hall, joy and celebration is going on for Christians who endured in the faith in this life and whose lives consisted of commitment, obedience, steadfastness, and perseverance – gold, silver, and precious stones which are things that have eternal value which will stand up to the fiery test at the Judgment Seat of Christ. These Christians are celebrating with Christ and rejoicing over the fact that they will be granted the privilege of reigning with Christ.

    The lack of the wedding garment symbolizes “nakedness” and “unpreparedness” because of the way a carnal Christian lived his life
    like my half brother who squandered his life on hedonism and sin and who will be excluded from special joys and privileges and be denied eternal rewards by Christ, but is still saved – 1 Corinthians 3:15. The “weeping” and “gnashing of teeth” is the response of carnal Christians for being “kicked out” and being excluded from the joys and privileges in the banquet hall that they otherwise could have participated in had they got their act together in this life.

    We have to remember that the man without the wedding garment was already in the kingdom to begin with. An unsaved person cannot inadvertently be in the kingdom. When I think of the parable of the wedding banquet, I think of the following scenario:

    A parent may have children that are obedient and well behaved, and at the same time have other children that are disobedient, defiant, and ill-behaved. A celebration is coming up where the parent is throwing a party and to distribute toys to his obedient children. However, the children that are disobedient, defiant, and ill behaved will be banished down into the dark basement and be excluded from the party and will get no toys. You can just imagine the response of the disobedient children when they hear the celebration going on upstairs and hear their obedient siblings jumping for joy when they receive the toys, but they are excluded.

    In conclusion, the disobedient children are still in their parent’s house and are still the parent’s children, but banished into a dark basement and excluded from the toys and joys of the party celebration that they otherwise could have participated in had they got their acts together.

  198. Good question William

    and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
    both bad and good

    Mat 22:8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
    Mat 22:9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
    Mat 22:10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

  199. Curtis, In regards to the man not having the wedding garment, how did that man get into the wedding banquet in the first place if he was unsaved?

  200. Sorry, I should have said choosing to trust Christ as Saviour FIRST, and that is, before worshipping and serving Him in our lives 🙂

  201. Hi Alice,

    I agree. No glory proper can be offered to God by a robot. Only a free moral agent CHOOSING to serve and worship Him brings glory to His perfect and Holy Name.

  202. the wedding garment is provided by the king , freely
    Jesus also called Judas friend who was a unbeliever
    he was speechless = unwilling to take the kings garment (his choice)
    he was speechless = every mouth stopped , no excuse
    he needed to be bound = many will go into hell kicking and screaming
    this passage is about unbelievers
    will believers be cast out into outer darkness ? = no way
    chosen here is referencing Israel
    chosen = for a purpose

    Mat 22:12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
    Mat 22:13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
    Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

  203. I heard a pastor say something which I thought was profound.

    He said that God in His perfect wisdom, knowledge and understanding would RATHER create beings with a ‘free-will’ ability to freely choose to love, obey, believe, trust in Him OR freely of their own choice choose to disobey, rebel against Him, therefore take the risk of introduction of sin in to the world thereby leading to a cursed world in which suffering, sickness, disease and death would result, THAN to create beings that have NO free-will but have been programmed to love and obey Him like robots with automated responses.
    God took a huge risk in creating human beings in HIs own image who have a free-will to make moral choices. God in His omniscience and foreknowledge created us with a free-will knowing full well that we will disobey in the garden of Eden (Adam and Eve) and that one day His only begotten Son Jesus Christ will have to step into this world and become our Substitute Sin-Bearer to make atonement for our sin by dying a cruel, horrific, agonising death on the cross and rise again from the dead.
    That is AMAZING GRACE..!!
    A denial of man’s free-will makes a mockery of God’s character and nature.

  204. ok thanks Preston I thought you had some youtube stuff.I really liked your book have read it many times already.

  205. I love the insights on here. Thanks for those comments ^ everyone! When you all share insights that the Lord has shown you in His Word, it always leads me to more epiphanies of wisdom. Keep on sharpening iron, folks! I am blessed by this site.

  206. Sam,

    me being on you tube a lot = ‘me getting into conversation with many”. I am not literally on their with my own channel. Sorry if I confused.

  207. I always think of Isaiah 61:10 when it comes to the wedding garment too.

    I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
    my soul shall be joyful in my God;
    for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation,
    he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness,
    as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments,
    and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

    On the ‘there is no free will in the Bible’, they always miss the free will offerings.

    They also miss some that were mentioned here, but another one is Psalm 119:30a

    I have chosen the way of truth

    And John 12:32 always answers John 6:44 every day of the week.

    And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

  208. Hi Elizabeth. Wow–CRACK!!! You knocked that one right outta the park! That’s awesome. I’ve NEVER heard that passage used to debunk heresy before. Please continue with comments like that. I love and appreciate those kinds of goodies! 🙂

  209. Yes good points William here is another verse
    when they knew God
    Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

  210. William, all very good points. “Steve’s” friend is deceived.

  211. I read Steve’s e-mail whose Calvinist friend claims that there is no reference in the Bible that teaches that man has free will and that no man ever chooses to believe the gospel. I have come across many Calvinists on YouTube who say the exact same thing that Steve’s friend said. The below passages in the Bible utterly refute Calvinism’s LIE:

    Deuteronomy 30:19 – I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore CHOOSE life, that both thou and thy seed may live.

    Joshua 24:22 – And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that YE HAVE CHOSEN you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.

    Joshua 24:15 – And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, CHOOSE you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

    It is so obvious that man has free will and that he can CHOOSE to accept or reject God, otherwise God would not have given these exhortations for man to CHOOSE.

  212. Preston how can I find you on youtube

  213. William, the founder of this website, the late Jack Weaver, had a heart for the gospel, and a heart for the lost. Accordingly, he also hated Calvinism/Lorship “salvation,” and devoted much time and energy fighting both of those heresies, as well as their purveyors.

  214. Preston, I hate Calvinism! Decades ago when I was a young babe in Christ, I was for a period of time led astray by a Calvinist preacher who used to come over to my house to “mentor” me. I didn’t know any better because I lacked spiritual discernment and experience. The one word that best described his Calvinist teaching was the word, CONFUSING. I am so glad now that I severed my ties with that heretic preacher.

    He was kicked out of a church for preaching Calvinism, but then landed in my church and the first thing he did was spew out heresy to the college Sunday school class teaching the “tulip”. He also tried to get a full time position as pastor of our church as our church did not have a full time pastor and was in transition. Thank God the deacon/elder board voted him out as they knew he was a heretic preaching false doctrine.

  215. John,

    I am on you tube a lot. Calvinism seems to be Williams “thing”. 🙂

  216. William, very good insights into the hijacking of Biblical terms by Calvinists.

    The link between Augustinian theology/Roman Catholicism and Calvinism is undeniable.

    By the way, your previous comments on Calvinism were very helpful in answering “Steve’s” e-mail.

  217. Elizabeth, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    I think your further analysis of the parable makes a lot of sense. This parable can’t support Calvinism in any conceivable way.

  218. Calvinism has literally hijacked the words, “elect”, “election”, “chose”, “chosen”, “predestinate”, “predestination” and their twisted definitions have long made their way into all the dictionaries. There is a world of difference between true Biblical election/predestination versus Calvinistic “election/predestination”.
    Calvin did not get his concept of “election/predestination” from God’s Word, but he borrowed it from Augustine of Hippo, who is another heretic. Is anyone aware that Calvin’s 4th book of the “institutes of the Christian religion” has 20 chapters devoted to Roman Catholicism? Very revealing of where Calvin is coming from.

  219. Regarding the parable in Matthew 22. I was actually reading that the other day, and I think it’s amazing that the servants were told to bring anyone willing in. Those that were not willing to come were destroyed. Everyone at the wedding had a choice to come. In Calvinist doctrine, the king would have hand picked all the guests. And the one who was thrown out was not picked at random by the king. He neglected to have the right garment, again, his choice. Reading the full parable is such a strong case AGAINST Calvinism.

  220. Penelope, I agree that many are educated beyond their intellect.

    Following is a quote from Lincoln Mullen, assistant professor or history at George Mason University. The quote is from an article he wrote for “The Atlantic,” entitled “Catholics Who Aren’t Catholic”:

    “Plenty of Americans have picked their religion, and so they think of religion as something to be picked. Americans have developed this distinction, which would not have made sense centuries ago.”

    My comment: all Christians have become Christians by grace through faith in Christ. God does not have any grandchildren.

  221. It’s fairly common for theologians/ pastors to be educated beyond their intellect. With the Holy Spirit, and God’s wisdom, it really isn’t that hard to understand! Oh, but you do need the Holy Spirit first, and perhaps they don’t….

  222. Alice, it’s good to hear from you. You are right that those words (election, elect, predestination, etc.) need to be understood in context.

  223. Jon, you are right. I’ll change the reference.

    Thanks. John

  224. Johninnc, excellent article as always. When I read your comments, the fog gets lifted and things become clearer and come into focus. Whenever Calvinists see words such as Election, Elect, Predestination, Chosen etc in the Bible, they immediately conclude that these words refer to individual salvation/damnation. But in context, these words actually speak of things which come AFTER salvation such as spiritual blessings, privileges, adoption as children, inheritance, to bear fruit, to be confirmed to the image of Christ, or to be chosen for a particular service or to fulfil a specific purpose of God. Besides, the Bible speaks of Elect Angels, Elect nation of Israel, Elect church made up of believers and of course Elect of God, Jesus Christ Himself.

  225. John you said: “God desires that all men be saved (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 3:4).” I believe you meant to quote 1 Timothy 2:4 rather than 3:4.
    1 Timothy 2:4 who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
    Just to avoid any confusion.

  226. Curtis, thanks for posting those definitions.

    I would venture to say that reading things into scripture (EISEGESIS) is much more commonplace than drawing things from scripture (EXEGESIS).

  227. I didn’t know there was word definition’s for reading into scripture and drawing out of scripture . Thought i would post for others

  228. “You are right that sentence structure is being misused by Calvinists to read their false theology into scripture.”

    Definition of EISEGESIS = Read into scripture

    : the interpretation of a text (as of the Bible) by reading into it one’s own ideas.

    Definition of EXEGESIS = draw out from scripture

    : exposition, explanation; especially : an explanation or critical interpretation of a text

  229. Ed, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    You are right that sentence structure is being misused by Calvinists to read their false theology into scripture.

    I was able to glean many of the interpretations from previous comments and articles from the ExPreacherman website.

  230. I think you did a great job at those verses. I, too, have come to the same conclusion, practically verbatim, on those same verses a few years back. I do use the KJV, and when I look at Ephesians 1:4, for example:

    According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

    I see a couple of key words that seem to be missed by the Calvinists when the writers constructed the sentence. Those two words are “that we”. In other words, Christians (already saved) were chosen “to be”, or “that we”. Words to the right of “that we” is what was chosen. The Calvinists seem to only see the words “he hath chosen us…before the foundation of the world”.

    Sentence structure is being missed by those who proudly tout exegesis,

    Ed Chapman

  231. when I see this type of discussion coming I do my best to stay out of the way and let Holy Spirit lead and keep pointing souls to Christ Jesus finished work. for sin and unto the sin nature. I / We cant really help souls if they are not satisfied with Jesus shed blood for the remission of sins. That sin is no longer the issue its unbelief. That by our focus (abiding) on Jesus obedience is a by product of overflow. we don’t produce the christian life We receive it. Its not about our doing its about are thinking we become spiritual what are you thinking . are you thinking on your sinfulness if you can even admit it and if you do that’s exactly what you get is more sin upon sin. When thinking on Jesus and what he has done that we have Gods favor on our lives because of Jesus and Jesus alone we have His righteousness its not of ourselves it is the gift of God we are saved .

    Few few souls come out from among them when they been indoctrinated in works for salvation , Just pray that they come down easy and Obey The Gospel

  232. Predestination also serves to nullify the believer’s responsibility of soul-winning, which is one of our main responsibilities after we believe the Gospel.

    It is astounding to me that so many so-called highly educated people could be so intellectually dishonest, deceitful and/or careless with the Scriptures, and willfully blind. Calvinism is a farce and is not taught in the Bible. These people do nothing but defend the teachings of men, not the teachings of God.

    Excellent article John, as always.

  233. Preston, yeah, one would think they would at least consider whether words like “all” might really mean “all.”

    Predestination denies mans’ responsibility to respond to the gospel, and almost invariably leads, by implication, to the teaching of salvation by works.

  234. I very rarely get into “deep” election doctrines with Calvinist. I usually debate the “Lordship Salvation” (P of the Saints) which adds works to the gospel.

    I have had a couple though.

    John, you said – But, a Calvinist will ALWAYS find more verses to prove his heretical doctrine, as will a Lordship “salvationist.”

    ME – it did amaze me how they can change the words, whosoever, every, world, whole world, ALL to somehow mean “elect”.

    I mean they really do say, “all doesn’t mean all or whole world doesn’t really mean whole”. It really does make you wonder????? and doing this does NOT bother them bit. I would be at least thinking about it, “hmmmm, maybe they have a point”.

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