Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
As I encounter people contending for the hearts, minds, souls, votes, and money of a bewildered public, false prophets and their fruit are almost everywhere.
As the late Jack Weaver, founder of ExPreacherMan used to say, “the woods is full of ‘em!”
I am also reminded of the quote that was above the door exiting a Southern Baptist church that I used to sporadically attend: “You Are Now Entering the Mission Field.” That message was true, but incomplete. It needed to be on both sides of the door.
The point is, that much of professing Christendom is comprised of either false prophets, or their fruit. It is just impossible to know which is which.
Following are some of the insidious false messages that abound in the world of professing evangelicalism.
- Just to say “believe in Christ” can produce a false assurance of the hope of Heaven. Jesus spoke often about the gift of eternal life. To make it clear, He said, “Count the cost.” –“Evangelist” Billy Graham
- I would ask them to consider whether the signs of eternal life are present in them. As John explains so thoroughly in 1 John, conversion does not bring sinless perfection, but it does begin to make fundamental changes in the human heart.” – Pastor J.D. Greear
- Another proof of the conquest of a soul for Christ will be found in a real change of life. If the man does not live differently from what he did before, both at home and abroad, his repentance needs to be repented of, and his conversion is a fiction. – 19th Century Preacher Charles Spurgeon
- I often wonder if those who espouse easy-believism have simply adapted their theology in order to try to get a sinning loved one into the kingdom. – Pastor and best-selling author John MacArthur
- We have to repent of our sins in turn. A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God. You’ll have to repent. – Evangelist Franklin Graham
- So a dispassionate statement of belief, with nothing behind it, and no intention to serve God in any way is all it takes…interesting belief. Never heard that before. – Facebook Comment from the son of a Southern Baptist Minister
- However, good and bad deeds will prove an individual’s faith. If good deeds aren’t there, it proves faith isn’t present. These people face eternal judgment. If good deeds are there, it proves faith is present and they are granted eternal resurrection life. – David Chadwick, Pastor of Forrest Hills Church, Charlotte
- The paralyzed man is not healed by walking. Just like a Christian is not saved by works. However, when that paralyzed man walks, he proves that he was healed. When Christians demonstrate a changed life, they prove they were saved by Christ. – Commenter, ExPreacherMan
- James 2:24 [“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only”] is the reply to the question of James 2:14. Unproductive faith cannot save, because it is not genuine faith. Faith and works are like a two-coupon ticket to heaven. The coupon of works is not good for passage, and the coupon of faith is not valid if detached from works” – Ryrie Study Bible
- As such, repentance is a necessary precursor to saving faith. It means that a nonbeliever must admit his sin to God, acknowledge he is wrong, and be willing to seek a new way of life. – “Free Grace” theologian Joseph Dillow
- How a person conducts his life or campaign is an indication of who he is. In Matthew 7, Jesus Himself says that a tree – and people of faith – are known by their fruit, not just the words they say. – Presidential Candidate Ben Carson
- Repentance is a turning from sin, while faith is turning to Christ. – Theologian Dr. Roy Zuck
- Second is the subjective or experiential test of assurance in which you ask yourself, “Is my faith real?” The apostle John’s purpose in writing the epistle of 1 John was to give true believers assurance of their salvation (1 John 5:13). In that small epistle John gives several marks to distinguish a true believer. – Commenter, Redeeming Moments website
- James’s purpose is to contrast mere intellectual agreement with active, saving faith that involves receiving the life of Christ. When Christ stood at the door and knocked, did you respond by opening the door, as Rahab did? If so, I think you’ve met the requirement of this historically controversial faith-works passage. – Author Andrew Farley, from “The Naked Gospel”
- The question to ask is whether a Born-Again Christian can cease being a Born-Again Christian. The answer to this question is, yes, a Believer can stop believing, a Christian can stop being a Christian, and the Born-Again can turn his back on Salvation and become lost-again. – “Evangelist” Jimmy Swaggert
Each of the above quotes is fruit of false prophets.
Those of us who are clear on the gospel should seek to minister to those who aren’t. In so doing, we should be gentle and wise.
If someone is bound and determined to persist in error, or in their associations with apostate organizations, you should know when to move on.
If you are unsure about the message of a particular person, church, book, website, etc., I would encourage you to see if it passes ALL THREE of the following conditions:
1. Is it consistent with eternal life by grace through faith alone in Christ alone?
2. Is it consistent with eternal security?
3. Is it consistent with assurance of eternal life, based on God’s promises alone (i.e., it is not internally-focused on changes in attitudes, behavior, etc.)?
And, if you want to know how to have eternal life, click here: THE GOSPEL
Mrs. Ellen Anderson, glad you visited and commented.
Works should absolutely accompany faith, but the key word is should. In the book of James, we can see the beloved brethren did not have good works accompanying their faith, so what use was their faith to others? They were preferring the rich over the poor, and those in need they wouldn’t help, they gave lip service to. These were people the Holy Spirit identified as believers, brethren, as having the Spirit dwelling in them (James 4). So, we have to understand that believers can and do fail with the exhortations given to us. We see it in almost every epistle. We have the Word as believers so we can ‘continue’ in it, and become disciples, as also know the truth so the truth can set us free. Free from what if we are already believers?
I believe it’s to be freed from consequences of this lifetime. We can suffer much, and we can cause others to suffer if we do not demonstrate our faith. We forget to do this, as many times we’re living by legalism instead of walking in the Spirit. When we are living by law, we’re not really demonstrating our faith, but our own self-righteousness. I pray that we all add to our faith so that we might be beneficial to others.
This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. Titus 3:8
And beside this,
giving all diligence,
add to your faith virtue;
and to virtue knowledge;
and to knowledge temperance;
and to temperance patience;
and to patience godliness;
and to godliness brotherly kindness;
and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
2 Peter 1:5-9
Mrs Ellen Anderson
Welcome apologies for not mentioning first.
I pray that you would check out the Gospel link above. We at expreacherman.com are all for good works flowing from a life that is enjoying The Lord Jesus through His Word. Walking in the Light as He is in the Light. Bearing fruit Not produceing it.
” Legalism is the mental attitude that seeks to earn or merit the blessings of God by religious rituals or good works for either salvation or santification.”
should walk in them
Ephesians 2 :10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Because its easier to say “Works must be acompained with faith”.
Then to teach, beseech, encourage to respond to grace by faith. The only acceptable pleasing response to the undeserving Grace of God is Faith. NOT
For without Faith it is impossible to please God.
Mrs Ellen Anderson, you must remember that doing good works doesn’t cancel out committed sins in your life. Even if you were to live a morally sound life from now until you die there would still be sins in your life that require payment.
Christ paid for all of your sins on the cross, past present and future. Before He died he said “It is finished”, He did not say “Take the batton, you have to finish it”.
The saved thief on the cross didn’t do any good works, yet his faith alone still allowed him into heaven.
You won’t receive Christ’s payment for your sins until you have put your faith completely in Christ’s payment alone for your salvation. The problem with splitting your faith into both Christ and your works is that you haven’t trusted entirely in Christ alone, thus you don’t have a saving faith.
Mrs. Ellen Anderson, welcome and thanks for your comment.
One receives eternal life by grace through faith in Christ.
It is God’s will that Christians do good works, but none are required for eternal life.
Works must be acompained with faith.
Benchap, the Lord helped me on that one of that I am sure. I knew ‘some’ of the law, but when I saw MacArthur saying one time, you had to confess your sins and repent of your sins or you were going to hell, I knew that one of those two had to be in the law. I looked up the list of the 613 commandments and Maimonides had put together a list with the Scriptures and the summary of the law. He had both on the list, and had the references, ‘repenting of sin’ was more making restitution for what you had done wrong, but confessing your sins is clear,it is law and MacArthur is a lawkeeper who preaches another gospel.
That is a little gem, Holly.
Thanks Curtis, it reminded me of something too that slipped my mind. Confessing sin is part of the law. If the law was brought up again, we assume it was reiterated in the New Covenant for us, (the church), i.e. not lying. Confessing sin is something a believer should do we see in 1st John.
Since it is one of the 613 commandments of the Law (believe it’s Numbers 5:7 and makes it number 75) that we absolutely cannot add that to the gospel. It isn’t semantics, it’s corruption of the gospel.
For me when a pastor or laypersons bring up ” semantics” it tells me they are not interested in being clear on the gospel . they are willing to blend with the next thing to come along and add it to their collective.
Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
do a study on “loaded language” “mind control” “hereasey of mind control ”
how words are strung together are important the difference is heaven or hell and or a heavenly way to go to hell .
if a soul “ask’s Jesus to save them ” and not place their faith in Christ to save them is that soul biblicaly saved ?
now how about confessing sin ?
even confessing they are a sinner ? like God don’t know that ?
ask Jesus into their heart?
that form of doctrine
Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Whoever sees themselves that way, we still want to be sure they are clear. Whether they think it’s just semantics (trust me I have many close to me that feel that way about me, it is hard…) but, we must press on and continue to defend the gospel, to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered, as our beloved brethren did for us so long ago, and even yesterday in our beloved brother Jack, we all need to carry on, stand strong and firm against those who will corrupt minds from the simplicity that is in Christ.
John, It’s always best to be like the Berean Christians – Acts 17:11. In the minds of many of the deceived, the Lordship Salvation crowd is regarded as the “true evangelicals”, but we as Free Grace believers are regarded as “false professors” or “pseudo evangelicals”.
The Pharisees and teachers of the law regarded Jesus as “demon possessed” – Matthew 12, Mark 3 and the unbelieving Jews labeled Jesus as a “mere man” – John 10:33. Then we have the apostle Paul who was always regarded as the “trouble maker”- Acts 24. I’m very sure that if there was a survey like the Barna Group one back then, this is what the majority would put down.
While I stand with the fact we need to be very clear on the Gospel and not let false statements like “confess your sins” creep into our Gospel presentation, I also believe at least some of the people who use that phrase really mean “I saw myself as a sinner needing salvation”. Not all, not many, but some.
Unfortunately the “some” are also likely the ones who think those who are strong defenders of the Gospel are just arguing semantics, which is false.
I read a political article today on “Politico,” that referred to a survey used by the Barna Group to help them classify evangelicals into two groups:
1. Voters who answered affirmatively to whether they agreed with each of nine statements – Barna Group classified these people as “evangelicals.”
2. Voters who said they agreed with only some of the statements – Barna Group labeled these as either “non-evangelical born again” or “notional Christian.”
I will not type all of the statements, but two of the nine statements are:
•They believe that when they die, they will go to heaven, because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.
•They strongly believe that eternal salvation is possible only through grace, not works.
My comment: Based on the Barna Group’s methodology, I am not an evangelical.
The Bible does not teach that one must confess his sins to receive the free gift of eternal life.
Someone must know he is a sinner, in need of a Savior, in order to believe in Jesus as his Savior.
The book of John, a book expressly written for evangelism, only uses the word “confess” four times – none of them having to do with confessing sins to receive eternal life.
Mary, I have prayed for both you and your daughter.
Thanks she has been hit with a bad virus, plus gastro, whe are trying to get into see a very busy clinical dietitian who will work in with the gastro specialist, to see if we can get to the bottom of her abdominal pains.
Benchap – you are in my prayers and heart. Keep standing with your armor on.
Mary, How is your daughter doing? I’m still praying for her.
Thanks, Curtis. Helpful and somewhat comforting.
Amen to you both William and Curtis, the Word you shared is reviving!
I hear you Benchap
for me it was after 20 years of tormenting and loathing myself and with weak to false doctrine also growing up in the culture of it in my area predominantly Mennonite its all Works for salvation , Works for fellowship and evidence
“where you are in a daily war against yourself – or some invasive idea – which consumes your emotions and nearly every waking hour of your life.”
the grand finally of that
2 manic episodes , 3 trips to psyche ward
prescription drug addiction (uppers and downers ) and withdrawal suicidal depression
now do not go flush your med’s or stop taking them abruptly it is bad for the environment and bad for you . There is a process .
happily that was 5 years ago , I am now free and continue to be set free as I seek and ask for Wisdom and understanding for more Truth and love Truth separating unto Truth exposing my mind to God’s Word by the Gospel of Grace the finished work of Christ Jesus .
Friend if you found expreacherman going through similar you found an Oasis of Grace The primary focus is your relationship to God through the Gospel of Grace . sadly There are very few places on internet that holds to biblical sound doctrine they don’t want to offend so they blend and don’t say what the Gospel is Not and biblicaly expose false doctrine. The believer Carnal mind resist Grace and wants to help God out to live the christian life. Grace Teaches the believer to deny ungodliness
I can say my help came from the Lord there was no help from church .
i see now How could they help anyhow not knowing the Gospel themselves? they didn’t know what to do with me and just kept kicking me to the curb. Ironically it was at a “repent of sin” revival ministry were through a false Gospel message I was awaken unto Truth and then found myself fending off elders over the Truth of The Gospel . That was something .
Please Please the most important is your relationship to God and your orientation to the Gospel knowing your position in Christ as a believer .
That same position by Grace through Faith is were growth comes from
Carnality or Spirituality and Growth are always separate dont mix the means with results . We are either being spiritual or carnal in our thinking Wrong thinking hinders or stops growth and affects our emotions or there is a physical problem affecting our emotions .
It is so very important that you are not under the influence of false doctrine (spiritual pornography ) and continue to expose your mind to it You Cant see Truth until you come out from among them. Those closest to the Truth and not see Truth will not to see Truth. God will and does respect your free will volition .
it would be easier for me to say i was unsaved through all this but I was and AM saved since 1985 . Yes believer souls can go through this arm wrestling God to live the christian life their way. their own understanding .
Psa 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
Psa 73:24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
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;
Mary, I’m still praying for your daughter and I pray that God will give her doctor’s wisdom in treating her pain. Please keep us updated on her condition so we can pray for her. In regards to mental illness, I have suffered from OCD since I was 6. I have taken some of the major meds for it, but to no avail. I have had to live with it the majority of my life with constant waxing and waning of symptoms, but there were periods where there were zero symptoms. It always changed like the weather.
In my opinion, seeing psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists are not always helpful. During the early years when I had OCD, the number of Christian psychiatrists, psychologists were very few in my city, but they were not really helpful. What works for one person may not work for another since all of us are built and wired a little differently both physically and mentally.
One thing that we all as Christians look forward to is the Rapture when Jesus returns when we all, whether living or deceased will be transformed or resurrected in a twinkling of an eye – split second transformation into eternal perfect glorified bodies of flesh and bone just like Jesus resurrected body in Luke 24:39. All physical and mental infirmities will be nonexistent and gone forever. What a glorious day that will be when we will meet with the Lord and be with Him forever.
1 Corinthians 15:51-53 – 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 – 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
John, I’m sorry. It’s a soft spot. I apologise for the use of CAPS in my last post. It came across aggressive, which was likely due to my frustration.
Benchap,I join you in your call to ask our commenters to be mindful that our comments need to uplift one another.
And, let us not forget that the primary mission of this site is to advance and defend the gospel.
Some of the comments here on mental illness are really ignorant. And from someone who was an absolute slave to it for a very long time, it’s frustrating to see.
There is mental illness that is “sadness” because someone doesn’t get what they want – I’ve experienced this as a Christian and it’s just carnality.
There is then true mental illness, where you are in a daily war against yourself – or some invasive idea – which consumes your emotions and nearly every waking hour of your life. You are enslaved by it and cannot properly function. I’ve experienced this as an unbeliever and as a Christian who WAS trying to serve the Lord. I am now a Christian who does not serve the Lord as I ought, yet am free from this type of depression.
That’s the last point I’ll make about it.
PLEASE CONSIDER SAYING NOTHING ABOUT AN ISSUE YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT. You will hurt people – even your brothers and sisters in Christ – when you do.
Johninnc and Mary,
True. God is often removed from the equation of mental illness. Often the bias viewpoint that leads in the realm of mental health is from a humanist perspective.
That was my experience.
Mary, I agree.
Many who are trying to help don’t bring the God perspective in. And, many who bring the God perspective in, do so from a point of view of a compromised gospel.
JoyFounder… just wow…Praise God for your sweet stories. We see plenty in Scripture who didn’t ‘finish well’.
My husband, well, I was surprised at the words out of some people’s mouths, asking, right in front of him how he ‘got’ his illness.
I was shopping when my husband was parked at night in the handicapped spot (which he refused to do) and when I came out he had a policeman at his door (he had a permanent plate), harassing him for being in a handicapped spot. You see my husband was strapping, athletic looking. He just had a failing heart and lungs. He could drive, he just could not walk far. He had oxygen but he (in the beginning) didn’t want to use it in public. In the end, he had to use the motor scooter. I remember when he first got a used one, he dealt with it by flipping a wheelie on it in our driveway.
At the funeral, I heard so many stories of my husband picking up gas for out of gas neighbors, jumping the car of the older woman around the block, delivering McDonald’s to our elderly neighbor around the corner, etc. Some I knew, some I never heard. And so, who knows how and why God uses things in our lives. May we just go with the flow and pray for opportunity or pray that we learn and grow in it. ❤ Love to you all.
Jackie, I don’t know what the other’s said until I read, but the only way I guess to know is just to pray and accept it, and thank Him for being legitimate if that is what is going on, He will show us, and thank Him for the trials as He says to rejoice in them. Either way, it’s only a positive. We
Thanks Joy, for sharing your story, and it must be painful to look back with Lucille, I am afraid this is a sensitive subject, I don’t doubt christians have mental illness, as I said in other posts, we do come with all our baggage.
The whole subject on psychiatrists and psyhcology is a delicate matter. One I will leave alone, I think because we see so much of it out there, we really want to reach out and help people, because we know some therapists don’t bring the god perspective in……
I am too emotional right now to respond but thank you John & Jackie. This hits me @ the core. I agonize for these people . . . those who other Christians cast aside as ‘unfit, unfaithful and ungrateful’.
That was beautifully said. Thank you, Lord. I have a sister who was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was 11, and since then, I have grappled with the question of why God allowed this to happen to her. And quite frankly, I still don’t understand the entire realm of mental illness, but I do know that the Lord God is far greater than any physical frailties many of us encounter on this side of Glory.
Praising the Lord that Lucille is at rest and enjoying the vastness of His beauty. One day, we will all be delivered from these bodies of sin and death through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Everyone I usually re-read your posts twice before responding so as not to overlook details. Unfortunately my frantic life right now does not allow this pleasure so I will try not to say anything based on ignorance!!!!
My ‘second mother’ (my Mom’s best friend when I was growing up) suffered from clinical manic depression and was under psychiatric care all of her adult life. She was active in our home church and DEEPLY loved the Lord and served Him sacrificially, when she was physically able. She was by far the dearest woman I have ever known. Her husband was verbally abusive to her which severely exacerbated her condition. On top of his anger and abuse this husband (an unbeliever) continued the drum beat throughout their marriage that her manic depression was a result of sin. As she aged she began to believe his lie. She hated taking psychiatric medications and constantly battled this with her psychiatrists as well. Her life was a life lived in total torment. Her grown children belittled her because of her mental illness. Everyone in her family treated her terribly. I would stay with her when my parents would travel on deputation and that time with her was some of my sweetest childhood and teenage memories. She was the most loving person I had the pleasure of knowing during my childhood.
Her husband finally divorced her and left her penniless. She had attempted suicide unsuccessfully twice and finally succeeded at the age of 64. She never had peace in this world. She blamed herself for her illness but never blamed God. I weep when I think of Lucille and quite frankly this is when I try not to question our sovereign God. I don’t understand why the storm clouds never broke for her because even Job was blessed once he endured his trials. The one thing I can rejoice in is that I know she is in Heaven basking in God’s glory, filled with His Heavenly blessing that of which none of us will completely understand until that glorious day. Come quickly Lord Jesus.
Since my teen years for some reason God has brought chronically broken people into my life. I can honestly say these people I know do not see victory over their various oppressions. I don’t understand it, can’t explain it and am determined not to question God over it. All I can do is be available, for comfort, for listening and prayer. For them their struggle just IS what it IS. I hate it. I hate this world sometimes. Much of what we struggle with is just the result of living in a fallen world.
‘When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun.’
Thanks for your prayers William, thanks for your comments Holly. Regardless of what we are going through, and we do question god at times, when our circumstances are overwhelming. We do just have to keep trusting god. I think we will leave the mental issue alone, because the opinions do vary, and I can see its very sensitive for some.
Thanks once again, yes as hard as it is, its not natural to rejoice in our trials, but as i said to someone this morning, no pain no gain.
This has been a question of mine for a while, but how do we know when we are being chastised versus enduring trial? Or does the Lord discipline with trials? It’s all a bit mind boggling. Thanks, sister. 🙂
Dear Mary, if we wondered about that, we’d be declaring those with Alzheimers or dementia as not saved. Our flesh has evil present within it. It is what is corruptible. It is our new creation that is incorruptible. Luke was a physician and so obviously there is a need, as well as a need to be delivered from this body one day 🙂 I have had a lot of pain and sorrow, and tragedies and even death in my life. I wish I couldn’t count (but I can) the people that have asked what I’ve done to deserve this. What my husband did to ‘get’ his illness. See where this could go? My part is to try to acknowledge Him in my way as best as I can with His help. To trust He’ll direct my steps. I have had a huge amount of depression or sadness in my lifetime. But considering the circumstances, I think it’s natural. Sometimes we cause it by our choices, sometimes it’s life in general. Anyways, I know I am and have been in a lot of grief for a long while, but in it, the Lord has been close to me, so it’s not a bad thing. I can rejoice in my trials.
If I may please post this message just preached . This message met me right were I am at and challenged me to the Faith Rest Life looking to the Lord in spite of the overwhelming circumstances .
was also reminded of recent post’s made here on this expreacherman thread . God is so amazing
Please don’t go wandering around on sermon audio they allow just about anyone to post sermons
David: Faith-Resting In The Battle
Mary, then perhaps you should first learn about the causes of depression (eg poor nutrition)?
Biblically: Job was depressed. Elijah asked God to kill him because he believed he was no better than his fathers.
As for God’s people and wickedness: Solomon was wise but he gave himself over to formication with many women.
David killed (indirectly) a man so he could have that man’s wife.
Dave Hunt, if what you are saying above is what he is implying, appears to be trying to teach that a “true Christian” is one with pure thoughts all the time which inevitably leads to “a true Christian will do this or wouldn’t do that” which is consistent with the chief heresy of the age (works salvation).
If someone is implying being a Christian automatically leads to change, my suggestion (which I believe is established in both Galatians and Hebrews) is to run away. That person is seeking to transform you into a fruit-inspecting Pharisee and hypocrite, and ultimately a fruitless Christian who continues to use the law to see who is and isn’t justified (none are justified by the law). The only difference is they use “grace” to say that a true Christian isn’t someone who fulfills the entire law, but someone who at least tries to or is less sinful than they used to be, thus giving themselves a man-made avenue to see who really is and isn’t saved.
Satan roams around seeking whom he may devour. Be diligent in ensuring the ones you are being taught by understand the Gospel!
Mary, I’m still praying for your daughter and hope that the doctors will be able to pinpoint what the problem is and then be able to give the right meds and therapy for treatment. In response to your comment on King Nebuchadnezzar, did you know that in the Old Testament there was 2 other kings who were the most deplorably wicked men on the face of this earth at the time, but these 2 kings were able to humble themselves before God and knew God. I’d say King Ahab and King Manasseh were worse than King Nebuchadnezzar.
In the OT, King Ahab was the king of Samaria was more evil and Scripture says there was no one like him when it came to evil – 1 Kings 21:25
1 Kings 21:25-26 – 25 There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. 26 He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.
King Ahab was persuaded by his wife Jezebel to kill Naboth so he could acquire his vineyard in 1 Kings 21. Jezebel set up a conspiracy to have Naboth killed so that Ahab could acquire the vineyard which Naboth refused to sell to Ahab. God then declared disaster on Ahab in 1 Kings21:19, and 1 Kings 21:21 for the murder of Naboth.
It says in 1 Kings 21:27-29 – 27 When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around MEEKLY.
28 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 29 “Have you noticed how Ahab HAS HUMBLED HIMSELF BEFORE ME? Because HE HAS HUMBLED HIMSELF, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.”
Here is clearly a man who is depraved and behaved in the vilest manner, but he HUMBLED himself before the Lord. It is also clear that Ahab’s humbling himself before God was a genuine act because God responded to it by postponing the disaster that He was going to bring upon him. God brought it about later in 1 Kings 22:34-38.
King Manasseh of Judah in 2 Chronicles 33 was very evil. He erected altars to the Baals, made Asherah Poles, bowed down to the starry hosts and worshiped them. He SACRIFICED HIS SONS IN THE FIRE, and practiced SORCERY, DIVINATION, WITCHCRAFT and consulted with mediums and spiritists. As a result of Manasseh’s grievous sins, God gave him and his people into the hands of the Assyrian army commanders.
In 2 Chronicles 33:12-13, Manasseh came to his senses and sought and HUMBLED himself greatly before God. Manasseh’s seeking and humbling were genuine because God responded to it as indicated in 33:13 and God brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Scripture then says that Manasseh “knew that the Lord is God.”
This is another account in addition to the account of King Ahab who HUMBLED himself greatly before God which shows that an utterly depraved person can still seek after God. These 2 accounts of King Manasseh and King Ahab refutes Calvinism’s false doctrine of “total depravity” or “total inability”.
If the fall can cause physical issues them I don’t believe that having mental illness is beyond possible.
I have had my fair share of anxiety brought on by not knowing if I was saved. It was described to me as having a form of OCD, religious OCD.
Thanks to all of you who have prayed for me. I want to never again be where I was before.
Mary, three points:
1. You are right. We can’t know whether or not someone is saved, particularly if they have never told us why they think they are, or if their testimony is inconsistent with the gospel.
2. As we have discussed here before, Dave Hunt was inconsistent, at best, and wrote some things that undermine the gospel.
3. I do not want to entertain a discussion here as to whether someone who is mentally ill can be a Christian.
This is just one more way of inspecting fruit, which undermines the gospel.
From Clear Gospel:
The gospel is not about how great we are. It is about our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. And our testimony is not how God became “yummy in our tummy.” Without question, the quest for meaning and purpose are powerful. But not everyone achieves a sense of purpose simply because they came to faith in Christ. Some go to their grave clinically depressed and emotionally unfulfilled in this lifetime. But no one who has ever come to the cross has walked away dead in their sins. They walk away alive in Christ. The gospel is that Christ died for our sins, and rose again from the dead. May this truly be “our testimony.”
I understand that John, I do understand the gospel is not turn from your sin, I just would assume that they would want a bible or talk about god. I might be wrong, but its also dangerous to pronounce everyone a christian, yes only god knows. Its a very hard area. I understand justification, its instant. The whole mental illness Benchap is such a hard one, i have been trying to understand it for years Dave Hunt spoke out about it for years. Is it just wrong thinking, is it science is it demons, , do we as christians need medication. Can christians have mental illness……? lots of people including christians have differing opinions on all of this…..
I am not claiming I fully understand it, maybe with medication and reading gods word, he can transform our thinking. Its hard to minister to people when we really don’t know the real cause of mental illness.
I don’t mean to offend anyone, just trying to understand it. I understand their behaviour will not necessarily change overnight…. Please bear with me, while I am trying to understand this…… Thats why I am asking for everybodies input and see what the differing views are out there in the christian community……
I hate satan! Hurting my friends like this! I just want to pop him one if I had the chance! The jerk! Just burn already you mere fallen angel! Im sorry.
I just flip when bad things happen to you guys. It scares me to think that any one of you here is in the hospital because of him.
Mary, as tempting as it might be, we can’t tell whether someone has eternal life by how they act.
Benchap, I agree.
One doesn’t have to want to give up his wicked ways to become a believer in Christ.
He prayed with me, because he felt pressured. Now he is avoiding all the god things, I hope I am wrong. He doesn’t seem committed to make the marriage work, I think the lies are still going on. He was committed to the biblical now he’s avoiding and going cold towards his wife so I question it all how sincere, he really was.
Mary, I don’t think we give up, we just keep speaking truth, that is all we are responsible for. However, there are people that are time wasters, and that’s a hard one for me so I might not be the best one to answer. There most certainly can be mental inbalances or physical because we live in a fallen world, yet we have to be wise in it with our choices.
I’m not sure how you know the man’s belief (or not) was sincere (or not). There are two remedies (in my humble estimation). Keep sharing the gospel if you think he has not believed, or share the Word (feed His sheep) if you think he is not growing. We can’t make them go past the milk, but we certainly see examples of long patience with the apostles in recovering believers, or exhorting them to spiritual maturity, etc. The Word is useful for it all (2 Tim 3:14-17).
Praying for wisdom with the doctors.
Yes please pray that the doctors will find out the source of her pain. I may take her to hospital tonight. I am going to get a second opinion from another gastoroenterologist. So frustrating. I am really trying to understand what god wants me to get out of this. Is it patience and endurance……Or is he trying to get my husband to get into a relationship with the lord, he is saved but not following. Maybe he has to suffer to get closer, then I say, why do we have to pay the price. Sorry I am frustrated….
Also, the man doesn’t need to give up his wickedness to become Christ’s. He needs to see that he is wicked and in need of a Saviour, and respond by believing the Gospel.
I have struggled with depression, anxiety and OCD for 11 years (four as a Christian). I urge you to be very careful with what statements you make about mental illness – for others.
Another question I want to put to everyone here. What do we know about the Romans 1 person, the reprobrate mind, what does he look like, has he lost all sense of right and wrong, how do when he has crossed over. When do we stop witnessing, they can pretend they are interested in the things of god, when they are not. Satan is a time waster.
The reason I ask is I am counselling a couple and I have led the wife to the lord.The husband felt pressured into becoming a christian, so his profession of faith was not sincere. He says he is still searching, he is highly resistant, I have been trying for 15 years with this guy. I believe he does not want to give up his wicked ways in the marriage.
I know King Nebzzr. he resisted god, he was a proud boastful man, so god gave him over to have the mind like a beast and he ate grass and so on, we know the story.
This man supposedly has a mental illness and it runs in his family, but I think when people are not christians, satan works them over and they believe the lies of the enemy. I think with god, he can straighten the mind, I’m not sooo sure mental illness in some cases is so called science.Its just chaotic thinking, because they are not christians to start with and they are not allowing the word of god to transform their thinking.
Its hard to know when to give up witnessing and trying to help someone, u just have to let them go down a very bad road of self-destruction. Will they wake up or is it tooo late for some, hard to know….
Mary, I will pray for you and your daughter. Hang in there, you and your daughter are not the only ones. Even though I am feeling much better right now, I am still feeling residual pain from the procedure that I went through and the complications that I developed from it afterwards. When we are in pain it is very easy for us to get frustrated and angry with God.
I have to admit that was true in my case 32 years ago when my mother died of cancer. A few months after she died, I suddenly came down with an illness that would not respond to any medication or therapy. I had x-rays, and CTs done, but nothing. I was in a LOT of pain and mental anguish. I prayed and prayed and other members of my church prayed, but there was no answer from God. Eventually, people in my church got tired of praying for me and seeing me in my miserable state and pushed me off to one side to suffer alone. That was cold and cruel of them to do that.
I was just a young babe in Christ of the age of 19. Eventually I snapped and fell away from the Lord. I was clearly a Luke 8:13 Christian. I fell away for 9 years living in apostasy, sin, and rebellion against God. I was angry and resentful towards Him because of my pain that would not go away. Eventually at the 9 year mark of my rebellion, God chastised me to bring me back to fellowship with Him and here I am today. My wife once had a high fever of 104 that lasted for 16 days because of an allergic reaction to an antibiotic, but thank God the fever finally left her. I remember seeing the pain she was in as I held her.
It’s very likely that this could be an attack from Satan who hates it when you lead people to believe and to be saved. Satan is aware of the very nature of eternal life and that it germinates at the very moment of belief and that it cannot be undone no matter what happens down the line. This explains why he has that desperate sense of urgency in snatching the saving message from people’s hearts – Luke 8:12. That is why he and his subordinates attack us when we are successful in leading people to be saved. When people are saved, that means less souls damned for hell.
I get attacked a lot when I defend John 3:16 and when I expose and refute Calvinism/Lordship Salvation and Roman Catholicism up on YouTube using the truth of Scripture in my comments. Someone tried to steal my car, my license plates were stolen, then I get falsely accused in my workplace receiving 3 pages of false accusations, but got no support from my supervisor. I had to transfer out. Someone broke my sideview mirror in my driveway, then my son gets attacked receiving 12 pages of false accusations, etc,etc,
I really believe it is Satan that is trying to get you to get angry and question God’s integrity. It is also possible that your leading some people to be saved has earned you some ETERNAL REWARDS – 2 Cor 5:10, 1 Cor 3:10-15 and Satan is trying to get you to lose those rewards through sin. I know suffering is NOT easy, I’ve been there a lot and so has my wife and son and I believe it is during times of suffering that God molds and shapes us in our CHARACTER and wants us to develop patience, and perseverance.
I will pray for you and your daughter and that the pain will leave her. Hang in there, Mary. You’re not the only one.
1 Peter 3:17 – For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
1 Peter 4:16 – Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
1 Peter 2:20 – For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
reading your post about daughter I am reminded of the time when i was young .at times i would be doubled over in pain on the floor and also would wake up and vomit everynight . this was of and on the doctors did not know what was wrong with me but wanted to remove my apendixs . this was early 70’s.
I was terified of doctors and fought them even trying to take blood from me to test.
one of my grandmother’s gave my mother something in a small brown bottle if i remember correctly . i do remember it was the worst thing i have ever tasted .
after a time of taking it everynight before bed the pain went away and still to this day it still takes alot to upset my stomach.
i will ask my mother again if she remebers what it was . it was over 40 years ago and was a old school home remedy at that time.
Mary, I will pray for you and your daughter.
I know we have access to the throne of grace.
Yes, my daughter and I are in continual pain, doctors don’t know what is wrong with my daughter and her abdominal pains We have had all the tests, hospital, MRI s . I am at my wits end, I don’t know what more to do, I have prayed and can’t get any relief from this pain we have. My poor daughter said tonight, why does god want me to have this life of pain.
Is it satanic, does satan want me to be mad with god, i just don’t know anymore. HELP……….
DON’T KNOW IF ITS BECAUSE I AM MAKING PROGRESS IN THE KINGDOM, AS LATELY I HAVE LED SOME PEOPLE TO THE LORD……iTS times like these I wish I had a phone to the throne…..
Thank you also JoyFounder. I forgot to type in your name in my earlier comment. Whoops!
Thanks Holly and Mary. Satan and his many subordinates have an unfair advantage over us at all times. That is, they can see us, but we can’t see them or feel them and sometimes one or several of them can attack us at any time without warning in a myriad of ways. Satanic entities can work in very insidious ways. It is almost like someone puncturing the sidewall of your car tires with an ice pick leaving no visible mark because of the dark rubber. The culprit then leaves. The air in the tire does not gush out all at once, but slowly over several hours. One can be driving along for several miles and feel nothing, but little by little the air comes out and one can start seeing the front of the car dipping down lower and lower. I had this happen to me when I had a very bad tenant years ago. It was an evil insidious act demonstrated on my car.
Our enemy Satan is cunning, conniving, insidious, invisible, and ultra dimensional in nature, but he and his subordinates cannot hide from the omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of our mighty Lord Jesus Christ. Job certainly did not know or see what was going on behind the scenes when Satan personally destroyed his home, killed all his children, had all his possessions stolen, and then attacked his health from head to toe. All this happened to him within a matter of minutes, then his wife tells Job to curse God and die.
Yes it is so hard to know when we are under satanic attack or divine discpline or just plain living in a sin cursed world, glad to hear you are better William.
Its just a comfort coming on here to know our brothers and sisters in christ lift one another in prayer.
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”
So glad you are doing better William. It sounds like the antibiotics just needed a bit of time to start doing their thing. It is so difficult to wait for meds to kick in when you are in such tremendous pain and missing work. I understand how helpless and frustrated you must have felt! Praising God for answered prayer on your behalf.
William, so glad to hear you are on the mend. I believe living in this fallen world, not all is Satan’s attacks in illness, or , some is just circumstance, and yet other times opportunity (although there is always an opportunity if we pray), to spread the gospel in a place where there are people who may be facing imminent death, so it’s good to pray for opportunity as to what we can do wherever He directs our steps.
Thank you JoyFounder, and JohnWI for praying for me. The pain meds and the antibiotics are finally working and I am feeling much better. I will be going back to work today. It appears that Satan and his subordinates will attack us any which way possible when we defend John 3:16 and when we are actively exposing and refuting false doctrine. When we get serious for God, Satan gets serious in attacking us. He will do it through our health, our loved ones, in the workplace, you name it. We really have to be on our guard at all times.
1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
Please continue to pray for me and my son. Thank you so much. I will also pray that the Lord will protect you in all that you do.
I am praying for you also William.
Sometimes when we’re not feeling well, we can take that time to do what we so badly need, spend time with Him hearing His Word. We need refreshed/revived and replenished by it. Also it strengthens our armor so we can stand against the enemy. His grace is sufficient for us.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Cor 12:9-10
Praying for spiritual protection for you and your son William, as well as for healing of your infection and pain and that you would experience a speedy recovery time.
Thanks, Curtis. I appreciate your prayers.
Hi William was prompted to pray for you Wednesday afternoon while driving truck . continue to pray for you
William, Satan hates it when you advance and defend the gospel. I am thankful that you are not letting that deter you.
John, Lately I’ve also noticed a pattern developing. Whenever I’m up on YouTube defending the gospel and exposing and refuting Calvinism/Lordship Salvation, bad things start happening to me and my son. I really believe these are attacks from Satan who does not like what I’m doing, but I still defend the gospel of John 3:16 and the simplicity of it.
William, I know it must be worrisome.
Thanks, John. It worries me when the pain meds and antibiotics are not working.
William, I have prayed for your comfort, healing, and a quick recovery..
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the faith, About a week ago I had surgery to remove a very painful kidney stone and everything went smoothly, but however after the stent removal, I developed some complications from it. For the past 3 days, I have been bedridden with an infection, high fever, and chills. My doctor prescribed antibiotics and pain meds that are not working. I’ve already taken one week off from work, and I don’t want to call in sick any further. Please pray for my recovery. Thank you.
Curtis – Praise God what He has been doing in your life. Continuing to pray for you both.
Kate, keep ‘proving all things’ (1 Thess 5:21) by that which is good (His Word – Acts 17:11), praying for your comfort (and Ben’s too) from the Scriptures (Rom 15:4). Love in Christ.
I have been naive until very recently. I am more weary now. Thanks for the warning and prayer.
I didnt want anyone else to read it. I don’t want anyone else to deal with what I have dealt with.
Kate, good move!
Satan helps write false gospel tracts, false gospel books, and helps in changing the meanings of words themselves (repentance, gift, believe, faith, grace, etc.).
I understand what you are saying.
I pitched the gospel tract in the trash.
Kate praying for you, praying for Ben also as He leans on the Lord and not his own understanding. Just keep praying, Lord, help me to acknowledge you in each thing. Pray for wisdom, study… Remember, God really is faithful, so we can rest in what He says, He will do. He will guide us into all truth when we study to be approved to Him. When we apply ourselves to His knowledge (vs. men) and apply our hearts to His wisdom and understanding, asking Him, trusting Him that He’ll show us in the right timing. Sometimes we need to just wait on Him to build the right foundation with His Word, it starts on the gospel which I think is one thing we need to remember is a very important part of our daily armor.
Kate, also, many homeschoolers are either strict IFB fundamentalists leaning towards extremism or Calvinists as many of the popular homeschooling books. So be careful with your children where doctrine is present. In Christ’s love. Holly
for me comming out of false doctrine faslse taching it was dramatic August 9 th 2010 God bumped my thermostat . only within the last couple of years and especially this passed year driving truck and listening to doctrinally sound preaching with a emphasis on postional truth . that i regained my appite for Gods word.
it took time for me even to trust myself to read Gods word again after all the years of abusing it. Yes God has done all the Work and is doing it I thank Him for it all.
allow Jesus through the Spirit love on you and live His life through you. abide in Him
it is so very important to make sure what you are listening to is doctrinally sound on The Truth of the Gospel The Gospel of Grace.
False to weak preaching teaching and music will afect you and infect you.
praying for you Kate
Katmaz, I have prayed for you – that God would comfort you and heal you.
I am sorry you were exposed to a false gospel tract. When you read false gospel tracts, you are ingesting spiritual poison.
Remember, God never wants you to be confused regarding the truth of the gospel. Any confusion is not of God.
I would prefer that you guys not go into what triggers Satan uses to confuse you. If we’re not careful, these can cause others to stumble.
Check out page 24 and 25 of “The Gospel” booklet, linked below, where it discusses coming under attack. It has some great practical advice on getting rooted in Christ.
Click to access the-gospel.pdf
Sorry for the delayed response. I have some health issues and will be hopefully having surgery to deal with them.
I still have many moments of doubt. I had one yesterday when my youngest son’s spelling curriculum arrived. What was included in the shipment? A track telling me that salvation is conditional. They used all the same verses that have pulled out to “prove” themselves correct. After having that moment, I came back here to expreacherman. I prayed. And I held onto the promises of God. He is never going to abandon me because that isn’t in his character. He has forgiven me, past, present, and future. I also read on the carnal church of Corinth. That always helps to remind me that I CAN NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH ON MY OWN BUT AM MADE RIGHTEOUS BECAUSE OF CHRIST.
A few more questions Benchap.
Are you having condemning thoughts when you read your bible? Aren’t out having those same thoughts after you read your bible? Are you unsure of whether or not you are actually saved? Do those types of thoughts nag you?
I am just trying to get a clear picture of what you are experiencing. I lived in a literal torment for about 6 years. For the moment cling to the fact that you are loved and there are many praying for you.
To all others: Will you all hold me up in prayer? I have a growth they believe is originating from ovary and I have to have surgery to remove it. It’s large and I am scared to be blunt and honest.
And regarding Benchap.l, if he is dealing with what was going through, and still do, it will be extremely difficult for him to read his word. I know everytime I did I felt like I was under demonic attack and it would create in me horrible anxiety and depression.
Benchap, the love for the Word follows as you will study with His approval, acknowledging Him in each thing, asking Him for wisdom. We have to obey to remain in His Word in order to be made disciples/students/pupils, learners. To be set free. He never said it wouldn’t be work, so we are workman when we study…
► Study HIS WORD with His approval in mind – II Tim 2:15
► Seek Him diligently in it – Heb 11:6, Ps 119:2
► Search the Bible daily for the right answers. – Acts 17:11
► Prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. I Thess 5:21, we have a responsibility as we are learning, to have our Bibles out, to be sure this is what His Word says.
► Meditate on His Word day and night – Ps 1:2, Ps 119:97
► Ask for wisdom, then apply ourselves to wisdom and understanding – James 1:5; Pr 2:2; 22:17-21
► Revive ourselves in His Word -Ps 119:25
► Memorize it to help us keep from sinning – Ps 119:11
► Take heed to it (obey) Ps 119:9
► Love it – Ps 119:40
► Treasure it – I rejoice at Your word As one who finds great treasure. Psalm 119:162
► HEAR His Words – Pr 22:17-21; Luke 10:38-42
► Get strength from His Word. – Ps 119:28
► Sharpen our Sword with it and strengthen our faith. (Eph 6; Heb 4:12; Rom 10:17)
► Get counsel and direction from it. Psalm 119:24, 105
► Abide in His Word….John 15:7-8
The Love for the word of God is not produced by you
Love for the Word of God is a byproduct of abiding in Christ
Love for the Word of God , enjoying the Lord Jesus through His Word is the work of the Holy Spirit , Not produced by you
I cant Live the Christian Life….. it must be by Christ
the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
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.
The Law of the Spirit fulfills all perfectly before God in us as believers in Christ Jesus
God never asked to do anything , But Yield , will you avail yourselves , Collapse , Give up , into the finished work of Christ Jesus
He has done it all for us in Christ Jesus who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings. God had to do so much for us because I/we got nothing and gives it all as a free gift by grace through faith.
as believer souls it is there whether you use it or not it is there.and you can have it right now and enjoy the Lord. no matter if its been 5 months 5 years 5 days or 5 minutes
if you are not enjoying the Lord admit it confess it right now its available right now.
Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Benchap. Please don’t give up man. You can do it buddy. I know you can!
Benchap. I’m with you on this bro.
i heard this from a sermon today How do we know John 3:16 to be True ?
because of 1 cor 10:13
1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
here is another thought to chew on , Are you reading God’s Word or is God’s word reading You ?
do you know the Gospel ?
or does the Gospel know you ? that you are ungodly and Christ Jesus died for just that kind The ungodly.
sometimes give the bible studying a break and allow the Word of God to come to you as you delight yourself in The Lord Allow the Holy Spirit to remind you of a verse of scripture or a word or 2 , a promise , being Thankful God knows we are dust our lives are but a vapor .
Failure is in the plan of God . God wants to show us by our failure that we can not live the christian life . by are failures showing us we were were or are getting in the act .
God does not need our help to live the christian life will you simply allow the Holy Spirit to dictate policy to you ? will you yield?
Yes I will relinquish every area in my life but this and that is what God wants , God wants the “But This “
Benchap, I am praying for you.
See James 1:5.
God doesn’t want you to be cofused. God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33).
I read things like Proverbs and I don’t see grace. I see “a true believer will” or Lordship salvation. It caused me last night to again throw my Bible down and ponder giving up on Christianity. Common occurrence when I finally decide to read my Bible. I then picked it back up and read Corinthians and felt a bit better.
I want to pick up the Bible and be instructed and comforted, but often I leave more confused and shaken then before I did.
Ben and Kate…and others,
I found the above link very helpful in understanding difficult passages of Scripture from a Grace-perspective. Truly, I had to un-learn much of the Bible that I had been taught in churches/ Bible studies I had attended in previous years ( take off the LS- glasses, and put on Grace- glasses to rightly interpret Scripture).
For example: Matt 10: 33 ‘But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven’.
We were taught that this is a ‘salvation’ verse so if at any time we deny Jesus before men, He will deny us in Heaven before the Father. I was scared stiff about this verse as I thought what if some Islamic terrorists backed me into a corner and demanded that I renounce my faith in Christ, and I chickened out and denied Christ, will I lose my salvation and end up in hell for eternity?? What if they tortured me until I finally give in and deny Jesus??? I used to lay awake at night wondering how I will respond terrified of losing my salvation.
Now I realise that Jesus was not talking about salvation in that verse but about reward in heaven…!!
Dennis Rokser from Duluth Bible Church addresses many false interpretations of Scripture verses and brings in the correct understanding from a Grace-perspective. Well worth researching. God bless.
That sounds similar but it wasn’t like God took his word from me. I felt attacked everytime u would try to read it. I would feel condemned. Thoughts would come to my mind and it was torture because I would think to myself an unsaved person could nor would think that way.
I believe that God is resetting my mind. He is renewing my mind and I am able to see certain passages differently.
Jim is very dead on when he says to look at who it is written to and when it was written.
Proverbs never created the confusion. It was the beginning of ephesians, 1st John, James, and Hebrews. In fact, Hebrews was the worst.
But God is faithful and he wants all of his creation redeemed.
i did go through a time comming out of my own indoctrination were it was like God took His word from me.
I see it now as a time God used to reset my thinking towards scripture.
the same verses of scripture that had me bound were the same verses to set me free .
for me it was enough just to think on 1 verse of scripture and stay there for awile.
rejoice in knowing you are going to heaven . God Has demonstrated his love toward in while we yet sinners Christ died for us.
nevermind calculus .
Ben, if you get stuck in one book they try another such as John or Mark or maybe an epistle like Phillipians. Also try to read a brief introduction to the book just so that you know which time period and who it is being written to. It also helps to know if you are dealing with certain types of literature such as prophetic, historical, instructional, poetic, etc. If you get stuck, feel free to message me on FB.
what john said and along with disbelief and anger i have received witnessing in evangelical and bible churches:
“your using semantics ”
“its just semantics”
“your playing with words”
“your looking for a Curtis church”
in response to are my sins paid for? “that’s not a fair question to ask ”
” I cant answer that question”
from a pastors wife: “you are lower than low to say the pastor don’t know the gospel”
“there are no perfect churches”
” were is your bible?”
“you didn’t bring your bible to church? ”
“you are looking to take from the church not give”
” I don’t believe that ”
a person screaming bible verses towards me while i was walking out a prayer meeting bible study.
“we need to meet with pastor over this”. ( the word repent)
was ejected out of a IFCA prayer meeting when asking to hear the gospel from study leader
” you need to remember to be graceful ”
“yes But” that’s a favorite
“license to sin ”
“how can 2 walk together unless they agree” ( they never say “let us reason together”)
” also better make sure your numbers are right ” I still need to follow up on that comment
I sent a clear gospel booklet and testimony to several leaders of the IFCA church prayer meeting I got ejected from pastor thought enough about it to preach a entire sermon on repentance laced with lordship salvation.
had a pastor agree with scripture and say ” yes Repent means change your mind” then got up a delivered a repent of sins gospel message
my wife and I also have been publicly ignored many times from people we once fellow shipped with .
Amen. I had the opportunity to discuss salvation and grace with an evangelical yesterday. It was the first time that I wasn’t met with hostility.
This woman’s son had past away last May, and based upon her response I believe that she might had been questioning where her son may be. He had believed and then began to walk in the flesh. He died walking in the flesh. It was a great conversation. I just wanted to share because many are lost within the ranks of church and still need salvation.
What kind of confusion? Are thereally specific words and phrases? Whole chapters? Is the confusion about the assurance of Salvation?
I only ask because I want my response to be specific. Is there a way we could email each other? I am new here and not sure how to get you my email address, and if you would like to privately talk about it?
Mary, great point. Many “evangelicals” need to be evangelized.
I also understand about not wanting to beat your head against a wall. I have tried to talk to some churchy people about grace, and have received disbelief, and even anger in response.
Other people seem to welcome the message of grace when they hear it clearly.
Yes lets be eager to witness to Evangelicals, be on the lookout for people who love jesus and talk about him and believe that he died for their sins and rose again, yet who also believe that it takes more than faith in jesus to make it to heaven. These can be wonderful people to witness to.
Many wouldn’t think to evangelise to a College professor or a missionary or a pastor, but why not. Paul started his evangelistic efforts in the synagouges, to jews and god-fearing gentiles who knew the OT scriptures.
He did not assume that they were born again. he saw in them fruit that was ready to be picked.
Over 90%of Evangelicals believe in some form of works salvation, whether it is some form of Arminianism lordshp/salvation(lose it theology) or some form of Reformed lordshp Salvation (prove it theology).
I must confess something. Though I am eager to witness to Evangelicals, I am not eager to keep beating my head against a wall. if I talk to an Evangelical and he becomes incensed over my “cheap grace”, I am happy to let the conversation die. If the person knows the free grace view and rejects it, then i will only pursue the conversation if he shows some openess. But many do not have a clear understanding of the truth, and it is delightful to be able to share it with them.
Remember, most Evangelicals need evangelizing. Don’t bypass Evangelicals. Go out of your way to reach them. Alice and I will make it our mission to go into the christian bookstores and evangelise to the evangelicals, we have had some good responses, we take down email addresses and phone numbers and put them onto ex preacherman and Tom Cucuzzas messages.
Kate, you said that you would read the Bible and that this would make you even more confused.
This is me right now. I have picked up my Bible to do a serious reading of it for the first time in a very long time and all I am is confused and shaken (probably shouldn’t have chosen Proverbs). How’d you overcome this issue?
I was a horrid fruit inspector. I was proficient at pointing out the failings of others and inwardly I was confused and tormented because I knew that no matter how reformed my life had become it would never be enough.
I am so grateful that God through the action of the Holy Spirit is redeeming my mind to the truth. I believed but didn’t understand the gospel. I don’t know if I was saved then but I know that I am now!
Kate, Chas, Shane, Curtis, your comments are helpful, instructive, edifying and encouraging. I too heard the statement: In essentials: unity, in non-essentials: liberty and in all things: charity.
I believe that Eternal Life/ Salvation as a Free Gift of Grace IS an ESSENTIAL doctrine, in fact I would say that it is THE Gospel of Grace, the heart, core, central message/ Good News of the entire Bible: That is the reason why Christ came into this world: to pay for the sins of the whole world in total through His death, burial and resurrection and He offers Salvation as a Free gift of grace to ALL who come to Him in Faith apart from Works. Any variation of the Grace Gospel or addition/ subtraction is a departure of the central message of the Gospel and leads to a false/ accursed message.
I don’t want to seem too critical of my former Bible-study, in fact when I first started there, I was Biblically illiterate and we did study the Bible from Genesis to the Epistles in NT and I learnt a lot. By the end of the 15 years that I was there, I knew my Bible pretty good but I have to say that I was NOT saved…….!
I don’t believe the emphasis/ stress was on the Grace of God but more on the ‘Christian walk: an inward– looking, internal– focus on Performance/ on-going fruitfulness and obedience, a change in Behaviour and a transformed life to give ourselves Assurance of Salvation rather than looking externally to Christ and His Work of Redemption on the Cross. I know the Bible gives a lot of exhortations and admonitions to believers throughout the NT, AFTER they are saved but personally I was NEVER established in Christ and His Grace in the first place. Of course they taught us Eph 2: 8 -9 but only in passing. They didn’t rightly DIVIDE the Word of Truth ie Salvation from Service, Free gift from earning a Reward. We were taught that we can’t have justification without sanctification, that they go together, No separation of Grace from Works.
No wonder I was so confused looking at my performance to give myself assurance of salvation rather looking at Christ and What He did for me.
When the women were discussing Eternal Life in John 3:16, 5:24 some in the group said ‘Once saved always saved’ and others said that they believed a believer CAN lose their salvation if they fall away. But we were told to ‘agree to disagree’ and leave it at that. No CLARITY of Grace was preached from the pulpit. But the Free Gift of Eternal Life is an Essential Doctrine on which there HAS to be unity because that is the Central message of the Bible.
That was me as well. In fact, I fear I am still sporadically attending a church that has unity above all else. My mother is of that flavor as well. I guess it would be safe to safe that I was raised with that nonsense.
It has cause serious spiritual connfusion. I felt shipwrecked for so long. I was lost in the false gospels of this world. I was so knotted up that when I read the Word I would only become more confused.
basically all of evangelicalism is the same , Weak to False teaching all say good things they are so tactful not to offend they have no tact
the cross is not offensive to them
The statement below from a EFCA church local in my area
i attended for a short time
As a member of the denomination of the Evangelical Free Church of America, we have adopted the following distinctives.
“In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, charity. In all things, Jesus Christ.”
1. The Evangelical Free Church of America is a believers’ church—membership consists of those who have a personal faith in Jesus Christ.
“Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and trusting in Him alone for salvation”
this is “loaded language” double talk that hooks and blinds souls to the Truth of The Gospel.
The great heritage of EFCA people around the world includes the fact that fellowship and ministry opportunities in the local church are based solely on one’s personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and trusting in Him alone for salvation. Membership requires commitment to sound doctrine as expressed in our Statement of Faith. However, a person is not excluded from membership because he or she does not agree on every fine point of doctrine. Within the EFCA, there is allowance for legitimate differences of understanding in some areas of doctrine.
There is one thing I should clarify:
I don’t mean to imply that the people at CCCM were/are malicious in their intentions by glossing over key doctrinal issues. I’d say most (if not all) think they’re “doing the right thing” by not “majoring in minors”, etc. It’s seen as “loving” and “sensible” to avoid conflict on issues that are seen as “denominational differences”, even though the issues are essential to the Gospel.
It boils down to shallow, superficial thinking, a major element of CS’s legacy.
And, of course, unity over truth. “Gotta keep those pews filled or yer not doin’ it right.”
None so blind as those who think they see
i stand in awe of God’s word how incredibly powerful and God’s warning to :
ask God for wisdom and understanding
prove all things .
be a berean ,
contend for the faith
study to prove thyself
the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2Ti_2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Joh 18:34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?
deceiving, and being deceived.
thou hast learned
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
2Ti 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2Ti 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
2Ti 3:9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
2Ti 3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
2Ti 3:11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
2Ti 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Chas and Curtis, I can identify with what you are saying about having to ‘come out’ from the false churches before we can see the truth clearly- on the outside. I had been involved in an international ecumenical Bible study which was attended by women from multiple denominations for 15 years. In fact, they were very proud of the fact that their Bible study is ‘represented’ by dozens of denominations including Baptist, Church of Christ, Lutheran, Anglican, Pentecostal, charismatic, Salvation Army, Uniting, Presbyterian, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Methodist, and many others. Being ecumenical, we were ‘encouraged’ to not to bring up ‘doctrinal differences’ that could ’cause people to be offended and not return to the Bible study’. For them ‘unity’ was more important than giving people the truth from Scriptures.
It is only after I left that group that the Lord has lifted the fog, the confusion of the ‘works-oriented’ gospel and has brought me to the Gospel of grace of Christ, with clarity.
Romans 16:17′ Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them’.
2 Corinthians 6:17 ‘Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you’.
“As I say, I didn’t catch the problem then, but given what I’ve learned since–on the outside–so many pieces I couldn’t assemble back then all fall into place easily now.
It’s quite sobering to look back and reflect on the pitfalls I’ve been delivered from.”
its like the borg ” you too will be assimilated into our collective conscious , its are differences that make us unique (something like that)
the evangelical’s seamed to go around to what comes around and sop up on all the “new books” and new teaching’s that rise up
ends up keeping the lost lost and the saved confused striving and struggling trying to attain what is Freely Given.
ever learning and not coming to the knowledge of Truth
educated beyond intelligence or rather not appropriating what already given.
so might grace reign through righteousness
Rom 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness
2Pe 1:2-9 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
Chas, thank you for the additional things about Calvary Chapel. I also remember the continual ecumenicalism. In various messages I remember, Chuck Smith would talk about catholicism as Christian, Church of Christ (water baptism regeneration false gospel) as Christian, and other groups that don’t even come close to the true Gospel. It was a ruse for him to say floods of two contradictory things, where on the one hand, he would point out some errors in these groups, and then on the other hand, he would confirm them all as Christian.
Many thanks for the encouragement. It took me many years to arrive at those conclusions.
You’ve joggled my memory about various statements made in some of CC’s materials. The church bulletin always carried a statement about not emphasizing “doctrinal differences” which have supposedly “led to the division of the Body of Christ.” That canard kept me in the dark for a long time because I assumed by “Body of Christ” they meant the true Body of Christ; united by the true Gospel. But as it turns out, that malleable statement harbored a vastly different, broader definition of the “Body of Christ” than what the Bible allows. I should have recognized the problem sooner, but they’re adept at hiding their true intent in such statements. I don’t doubt that most people in the CC movement–even some in the leadership–miss the true meaning of them entirely.
Another “tell” that I should have picked up was something Chuck Missler said during one of his Monday night studies in the late ’70s. Missler marveled at CS’s ability to “avoid” doctrinal issues deemed “divisive” in all his teaching. Missler was commending the practice.
As I say, I didn’t catch the problem then, but given what I’ve learned since–on the outside–so many pieces I couldn’t assemble back then all fall into place easily now.
It’s quite sobering to look back and reflect on the pitfalls I’ve been delivered from.
Benchap wrote: “I’ve spoken with an Anglican, Baptist and two others whose denomination I wasn’t aware of. They all agree on that one point.”
Yes, I have found this as well. And works for salvation then becomes the unifying point for all the flavors of groups out there. There is an almost pathological push for “unity” among all the groups out there with each other, and they can all get along based upon works and faith mixed together.
Chas – Wonderful post about Calvary Chapel. You are totally right on every point. I would have loved to be there for those discussions about how Calvary Chapel’s “abiding for salvation” contradicts faith alone for salvation. It would have benefited me when I suffered through those wasted years thinking the same thing, but not really having anyone to ask.
And you are right, Chuck Smith would point out catholicism’s errors on Mary worship and so on, but never point out that they have a false gospel that leads to damnation.
It was a planned way of doing this, completely intentional. Chuck Smith said in one of his books, he skirts the line on issues, to avoid losing people. He would skirt the line, because, he would say, “Do you really want to lose half your congregation?”. He taught abiding for salvation, because it is close enough to “perseverance of the saints” to please most calvinists, and yet close enough to “losing your salvation” to please most arminians. Thus, he avoids “losing half his congregation”.
Likewise with the catholic issue. He doesn’t want to offend the people that recognize catholicism is as false, so he throws them a bone sometimes by pointing out that the eucharist is an error. But he also doesn’t want to offend the masses of people that are catholics or have catholic relatives, so, he would say, “But they’re still Christians and they love Jesus”. Playing both sides of the fence, to keep more people in the fold.
I’m sorry if this sound cynical to anyone, but I do believe it was actually what was going on the whole time. And you are correct, it is complete doctrinal mushiness.
Benchap, most of the comments that we receive are from professing believers who INSIST on some life change to evidence salvation, however subtle (for example, more sensitivity to sin, etc.).
I guess we could call these the “comma-tose” professors. In other words, there is always a comma, followed by a disclaimer, when they say they believe salvation is by grace through faith.
It’s faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.
It’s not faith and works, it’s faith that works.
We’re saved by grace through faith, but noone who is living in blatant sin should have assurance of eternal life. </em
Always with the comma!
The problem is, the doctrine of assurance precludes looking to a changed life for evidence of eternal life.
I am discovering the same thing. I have had multiple conversations with religious people about the Gospel over the past few weeks (not a boast, I dislike doing it for it usually only frustrates me) and the common denominator has been this statement: “salvation isn’t by works, but faith without works isn’t true faith”. I’ve spoken with an Anglican, Baptist and two others whose denomination I wasn’t aware of. They all agree on that one point.
Phil..Re: “the grinder”, I agree completely with your statement. That was kinda my point, though you laid it out much more clearly than I. 🙂
Again I say, “Wow!” You guys are all touching issues that I’ve had to deal with re: Calvary Chapel.
Shane–It was indeed Chuck Smith who made that “abiding=security” statement into an axiom at CCCM. It was always a source of assurance-wrecking confusion with me, and everyone I knew there. We sometimes had after-study discussions into the wee hours of the morning trying to reconcile that statement with the idea of salvation by faith alone.
Another key CCCM vulnerability has always been the refusal to see the real problem with RC-ism; their anathametization of the doctrine of salvation by grace alone. Chuck Smith would occasionally repudiate specific RCC doctrines like Mary worship (excuse me–veneration) and Transubstantiation, but he evidently failed to see the destructive implications of those doctrines; that they harbor a false christ, and are elements of a false gospel. But always at CCCM the view of RC-ism was, “They’re still Christians even if they’re wrong about a lot of stuff. They love Jesus.” Apparently, the leadership at Calvary Chapel is ignorant of, or chooses to ignore the view of the Council of Trent:
By that statement, the RCC cursed the true Gospel. Never–NEVER–did I hear anyone at CCCM mention that.
That continued failure to recognize RC-ism for what it is has blinded CC’s leadership to other man-centered movements like “emergence Christianity”, the whole PDL thing (Rick Warren), “contemplative” mysticism, etc, not to mention the RCC’s current emphasis on “Eucharistic Evangelism”. No wonder Rick Warren could be seen schmoozing Chuck Smith so often, even after Chuck’s somewhat tepid 2006 attempt to separate from the Purpose Driven movement. Chuck should have rebuked RW severely. (I can’t fathom Don Stewart’s failure to alert Chuck to the real issues with RW.)
Btw, it seems CCCM is steadily drifting along with the PDL current. I was recently banned from CC’s website for criticizing Rick Warren. No warning, no appeal, just BAM!! “You are banned from posting.” Really pitiful. The legacy of doctrinal mushiness left by Chuck Smith is bearing bitter fruit.
Chuck Smith, who has now passed away. I have listened to his interviews that he did in the past, which you can still listen to, would say that catholics are christian, and that it wasn’t wrong for a christian(possibly arminian) to marry a catholic.
Yes catholics/lordship/calvanism/arminianism are all on the same page, if Chuck says they are all christian and can marry a catholic, yes why wouldn’t they. NO DISCERNMENT LEFT IN THE CHURCHES. We do have to try and probe every person we meet out there, to make sure they have not fallen or are under a false gospel.
WE HAVE A REAL BATTLE ON OUR HANDS FOR THE TRUTH AND SATAN HAS SO CONFUSED WHAT IS TRUTH……..LIVING IN A POSTMODERN AGE HAS MADE OUR JOB SO MUCH HARDER. THERE IS ONLY ONE TRUTH, ONE CHRIST, ONE GOD, ONE GOSPEL. THERE IS ABSOLUTE TRUTH. YOU WILL BE CALLED ARROGANT AND DOGMATIC, I AM IN GOOD COMPANY WITH MY SAVIOUR THE LORD JESUS CHRIST..
We are closer during these end times.
I sorrow for those people who still follow false gospels. Time is running out and they will realize that their good works, reformed behavior, living a good life are in vain. To Their horror and despair when they realize their name is not In the book of life and their entry to Heaven is denied. Instead they will plunge into the abyss.
All because of these false teachings. Lordship salvation. 😑
I think the intersection of Catholicism/Calvinism/LS/Arminianism is the false Calvinist tenet of perseverance of the saints.
The back loading of the gospel with works allows for coalescence with those who front load the gospel with works and those who insist on maintaining salvation by works.
Holly, thank you for mentioning JD Farag. As you said, he is likable and humble. But unfortunately, he goes with the general Calvary Chapel consensus of saying that cathoilcs are Christian. It is very sad, because, it imports the works for salvation message every time any of them say it. It is almost becoming a requirement to ask preachers what they believe about catholicism. In their answer, they will tell you at least something about what they believe about the Gospel. Ultimately, they would need to answer about the works issue overall. In my opinion, the question they would need to answer is, “Is the person still saved if they add works to salvation?” We know the answer is, no. But what would their answer be? If their answer is also no, then they need to separate from every false way and every false teacher out there.
I went and perused our local Calvary Chapel’s website and found their statement of faith: “WE BELIEVE in the absolute necessity of regeneration by the Holy Spirit for salvation because of the exceeding sinfulness of human nature, and that all are justified on the single ground of faith in the shed blood of Christ, and that only by God’s grace, through faith alone, are we saved. (John 3:16-19; 5:24; Romans 3:23, 5:8-9; Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5”. This is consistent with the salvation messages we hear from the pulpit. What is not consistent is that well known Christian authors and church leaders who disagree or add to Eph. 2:8-9 yet are honored by our pastor.
thanks for posting Russel it is encouraging , congratulations Grandpa
Calvary chapel under what we believe
Warning false doctrine
“When a person repents of sin (how much repenting ?) and accepts Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord (Jesus is Lord), trusting Him to save, that person is immediately born again and sealed by the Holy Spirit, all his/her sins are forgiven, and that person becomes a child of God.”
what is left unsaid in above statement is Grace, Free, Gift, Eternal life, by Faith, through Grace
a pastor under or yielded to a doctrine like above cant see truth from error but is left trying to play both ends against the middle.
most churches around here that have multiple pastors one pastor will preach Law the other grace with hints of law , most of the time it is what is left unsaid that confuses souls
I am becoming concerned about Calvary Chapel in general. We are attending a Calvary Chapel off and on and as I’ve mentioned in past comments the young pastor is all over the map with who we likes: Brennan Manning, Francis Chan. We have always appreciated his passion for Jesus and his exposition of the Word of God. But like Russell’s church leaders he preaches on the one hand a Grace gospel message yet continues touting these false teachers. I always have been sympathetic to Calvary Chapels as they, along with Chuck Smith, have taken a beating from the likes of JMac over the years culminating with his Strange Fire hate conference. But I am beginning to question their ability to discern truth from error.
Written to the CARNAL church at Corinth.
1 Cor 15:51 – For WE shall not all sleep, but WE shall ALL be changed.
Paul included the carnal believers (all) with himself (we) in the rapture.
Shane, one of the well known Calvary Chapel guys, J.D. Farag, totally likable and humble, yet he calls Roman Catholics our brethren in one sermon (which years ago we addressed with him on his FB page). He is throwing in the quotes now from the different guys like Spurgeon at times, and some other things which I sure pray he has departed from, but I didn’t stick around to find out. Keep up the good work!
Russell, I just became a first time grandmother too! A little girl, she is 2-1/2 months old and I’ll be seeing her for the third time when they fly in next week :). Thank you for standing for the truth, without wavering or compromising. You did very well considering only two didn’t come around. God bless them to stand firm.
It’s important to remember that believers are the body of Christ, of His flesh, of His bones (see Eph 5:29-31). Each part of the body is necessary (even those who are more feeble), members of one body, that we were baptized into by one Spirit, each member set in the body by God. Each member, even the least comely is to be honored, because they are part of Christ’s body (1 Cor 12:12-26).
Christ’s body will not be torn apart, the little toe will not be torn off of His foot, any more than a nose will be removed. God put us together by His Spirit, and we are kept by His power. Just as He will not lose one, we cannot snatch ourselves out of God’s hand when it is God who holds us there. He prayed for not one of us to be lost, we will not be lost. We will presented spotless and blameless, not because of anything we have done, but before the world began, He determined that this would be so for those who would believe.
Phil, it’s true, Satan desires to sift us like wheat similarly to Peter. I truly believe it’s why we are reminded the gospel is part of our armor that we need to daily prepare ourselves with. If we know His Word, we are able to stand against the enemy. Having simple truths come back to me (while bewitched), like all of our trespasses being forgiven at the cross (Col 2:13), enabled me to have faith, to be saved from distress in this lifetime, to live more by His grace (1 Tim 4:16) once I started to learn the doctrine again and to take heed to it.
Chas, so strange that it hasn’t dawned on these ‘abiders’, what if they don’t abide for the next few days and die? Does their previously abiding days count? Or do they lose it when they stop abiding? (as long as I abide in Him)
What about 1/2 day? Is it graded on total amount of days, like a schoolroom attendance? Or is the previous perfect attendance loss when you don’t abide for a day?
I just don’t see how they cannot fret about their own condition unless they are blinded by the god of this age.
Also John 5:24
Daniel, all Christians will be raptured.
See 1 Corinthians 15:51.
John. I searched it up.
And I copyed this part.
This was one of the parts that was exposing the post-trib.
“One reason it’s so important to tell people about their deceptions is because “lukewarm” Christians, who are “rich and don’t think they need anything from God”, are not likely to change if they think Jesus’ return is ‘decades away’. The movie even went so far as to say that preaching about the rapture would lead people astray because some would follow a false messiah on earth. That’s ridiculous because anyone believing in the rapture knows that Jesus appears in the clouds and everyone “meets Him in the air”. Therefore, anyone on earth, claiming to be a messiah, is automatically eliminated. There’s absolutely no danger of believing in the rapture. On the contrary, post-tribulationists are extremely dangerous because they breed ‘complacency’ and that could get those “lukewarm” Christians “spit out of God’s mouth” if they don’t change soon. (Revelation 3:15-17)
Does the last part mean that carnal believers are exempt from the rapture?
Just want to be sure.
Grandpa Russell, we need warriors like yourselves in EVERY church gathering! Thank you for being like the Apostle Paul, admonishing and teaching those who should know better. “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17
Francis Chan is very dangerous because many church leaders/elders today are drawn to his charismatic style (not the Pentecostal movement but the personality). My son’s pastor/college leader adores Francis Chan and defends him, even after my son expresses to him concern for Chan’s gospel doctrines. You have been an inspiration and I will share your comments with my son to encourage him that he’s not alone with this whole Francis Chan thing . . . We need to defend Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone before everyone, including those who are put in leadership over our churches. God bless your wife. I too am weary of churches that preach contradictions. It sounds though that at least a few in your church are humble and teachable, which is so rare today. I will pray for your wife that the Holy Spirit will comfort and guide her, and that she will remain steadfast as you stand firm at your church. Your testimony has given me ‘pep in my get up’! Thank you Russell. And Congratulations to both you and your wife on becoming grandparents!
Russell, great story. If we were all so bold when we feel like getting up and walking out and SAYING WHY! Wow, bless you.
Daniel, it will be awful.
See Matthew 24:22.
Russell, if you are teaching the gospel, God is using you.
Like you, I am amazed that people can seem to embrace conflicting messages.
I will pray that these folks would continue to respond to your teaching.
Congratulations on becoming a grandpa!
To All My Fellow Believers Here At Expreacherman:
I have to tell you all what happened at church yesterday. I have shared in the past how I view my church as a mission field and yesterday was one of the most frustrating and yet rewarding times as well. In the adult Sunday School class our normal teacher was gone and an elder was going to fill in. This elder started by announcing that he had failed to prepare anything and he was instead going to show a video. This upset me greatly because I believe that if you agree to teach you had better be willing to prepare. I also believe that you should teach from Gods Word and am not a fan of showing videos or of using a study book. I teach a Bible study on Tuesdays and I prepare every week. Its the right thing to do and I enjoy doing it. This elder and our pastor were working on the video getting it set up to run. I thought to myself “calm down and see what it is”.
The lights went down and the screen came to life and who’s face did I see larger than life than the false teacher Francis Chan start to speak. I stood up and announced that I would not listen to him that he was a false teacher and he presents a false gospel. My pastor got a confused look on his face and asked really? I said yes, really and left. He followed me and asked to talk. Of course the others went right on watching the junk.
I laid out the issues with Chans worked based salvation. My pastor said that he had read Crazy love twice and felt that I was not looking at the book right. He felt that Chan was talking about sanctification. I told him that Chan in his book states that lukewarm Christians are not saved and then makes a whole list of what a lukewarm Christian does or does not do. In other words works salvation. The pastor and I talked about what salvation wasx and he SAID that he agreed with everything I said. He even agreed with me on JMAC and other teachers. I told the pastor that he should know that the views he said he agreed with me on, and I would add are the true Biblical views of salvation being a free gift with no promises of good works or repentance of sin needed, were in direct opposition to what Chan believes and teaches.
He said that he would go back and read the book again with what I said in mind. It should be noted that he preached an amazing message on salvation that day that everyone of us would have agreed with. I mean it was spot on all the way.
After the film was over I went back in the class and talked with the group. I explained to them why I believed as I did. With the exception of two people everyone thanked me for what I said and agreed with me. The elder thanked me as well and stated he was a little concerned with what he heard Chan saying. He said that he did not know of Chan until now.
In the end the Lord used me I believe. I still find it amazing and confusing that my pastor can say one thing about salvation being a free gift and still think Chan is ok. My wife wants to leave this church but I believe that I can be used there. Keep me in prayer. Thanks.
PS I am a new and first time grandpa!! God is so good.
“More than once I heard a teacher who claimed to believe OSAS say “As long as I abide in Christ, I am eternally secure.” Oh yeah? Where does that leave me?”
Yes, this I heard all the time in multiple Calvary Chapels. They use that all the time. So if you ask them, then how do I abide in Christ? They will say, come to church, read the Bible, pray, help people. In other words, works. A false gospel, of course.
What would the tribulation be like? Would it be utter hell on earth?
Ben, Satan will use anything he can to get you to doubt and worry about your faith and salvation. God knew when you would trust Christ as your Savior and He was just waiting to eternally receive you.
when we by faith through grace Trust Jesus as our Savior , God takes that mustard seed faith and applies / appropriates it to The Faith OF the son of God who fulfilled all perfectly.
it is the Faith OF the son of God that is perfect and flawless
that right there is why I love the KJV it so carefully protects the clear Gospel of Grace other translations use Faith IN shifting the burden on the flesh when it was not to be that way . God designed salvation to wonderfully beautiful to exclude the recipient other than receiving a Free Gift.
yet not I, but Christ
I live by the faith of the Son of God, the faith of Son of God
Gal 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto 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.
Thank you. I continue to run through that grinder! I appreciate your insight on the issue.
If I may Chas, how flawless/ complete must a person understand the gospel to be saved? I think Satan uses this to run us through the grinder. I think that as long as one believes in his own way that Christ’s death on the cross has paid for our sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, then the person will receive eternal life with Christ. We are only required to believe the gospel of our salvation. (Eph 1:13, 1 Cor 15:1-4) Faith comes through knowing our lost or condemned situation because of our sins and that Christ’s sacrifice as the eternal solution to save us.
If our salvation hinged on flawlessness or completeness of our understanding, Scripture never makes and issue of it. Paul goes into great depths in his Epistles explaining all the aspects of salvation flawlessly, BUT he explains it to believers/saints who have already believed on Christ and already possess eternal life. And he does so for their edification and equipping the saints, not so they can make it to Heaven through improved and greater knowledge and understanding of their salvation. Let me just say, we are not saved by the power of our theological understanding: we are saved by the power of Christ alone. All we can do is receive it as a free gift.
Wow, can I ever identify with the conversation in this thread! Glad I finally got the time to read the rest of it. If I may “vent” a bit…
Kate–I share your frustration. I have a sister who remains firmly in the grip of the RCC (we were raised in it). I’ve attempted conversations with her regarding the Gospel, but she stubbornly refuses to accept the idea of salvation by faith alone. James 2:17 is always her refuge, after that it’s “talk to the hand” as far as “my theology” goes.
Adam–I know the struggle you describe. Been through it in “cycles”, as I came to regard it. I’d hear a message proclaiming the Gospel of grace clearly, believe it, then hear another message (sometimes from the same person) that seemed to put a price on eternal life. “counting the cost”, as they love to put it. Ok, but how do I know when to stop counting? They never say. Goodbye assurance. After a while I’d study Romans on my own, get to a place where I saw the Gospel of free grace more clearly than ever, believe it with greater clarity and conviction, then get derailed again by “but what about this, that or the other verse” doubts usually spawned by another sermon I’d heard at “church”. I’ve been around that carousel so many times I can’t say when it was that I “first believed”, though it’s reasonable to suppose it was after I left the Catholic church (duh), probably by the time I began attending a non-denominational “evangelical” church. Sad to say, it was the teachings of that NDE church that caused most of my post-salvation confusion. More than once I heard a teacher who claimed to believe OSAS say “As long as I abide in Christ, I am eternally secure.” Oh yeah? Where does that leave me?
William–Thanks for those quotes from Sproul and Piper, their statements are quite illuminating. Their self-conscious obsession with their own “spiritual” state–read: self-worth, self-righteousness–is telling. It’s all about them: “How well am I doing?” No wonder they have no real assurance. It seems that “salvation” for them has gone from “Am I doing enough to get saved?” to “Am I doing enough to stay saved?” then to “Am I doing enough to prove I’m saved?” I can sympathize with them since I’ve spent a lot of time in the “fear and doubt” states that they both describe. The outcome for me was quite the opposite, thank God. I found that the answer to all three questions is “No, but Jesus has already done it all.” So, I rest in His sacrifice.
John, Holly, Alice, Daniel–Irony is indeed the order of the day isn’t it, when LS teachers criticize us who believe OSAS? The quotes of LS-ers in this thread are startling in the “splinter/log” self-unawareness they exhibit. The notion that “escaping hell” is somehow an unworthy motive for believing on Jesus exhibits a level of pride and unbelief that is frightening, being that it’s most often heard in “church”. Often I wonder how anyone gets saved. But…
If I may make an observation: It seems an essential question we’ve all wrestled with is, “Just how flawless/complete must a person’s understanding of the Gospel be in order for them to be saved?”
Disclosure: I haven’t found the answer to that question. I have decided that it is unanswerable for a mere creature; perhaps even a diversion.
What matters is: What is the Gospel? That question has a definitive answer, found in the Bible.
received, and wherein ye stand ( justification )
1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
By which also ye are saved, (sanctification)
“believed in vain”. not applying faith by Grace the gift of righteousness in the light of being sanctified completely postionally In Christ Jesus.
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
Heb 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
Heb 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
it is Gods will that a soul would know should know they have the free gift of eternal life
Is there souls who are saved yet do not know they have eternal life ?
i would say yes
myself personally I use “eternal life” as a test of the spiritual condition of a soul and as a test of doctrine .
myself i was saved 1985 but fell under the bewitching spell of works for salvation and or evidence of salvation . the culture of my area growing up in Pennsylvania it is all a works oriented Gospel message . The preaching of positional Truth , The tenses of salvation / santification is left unsaid in the pulpits around this area.
I still remember seeing this verse and having it come alive to me “that we might live through Him.”
that we might live through Him.
1Jn 4:9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
1Jn 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
i know the bible says we will judge angels. 1 Cor 6:3.
Are we higher than the Angels when we enter heaven?
Adam777 – I believe that the term ‘eternal security’ has been mixed up with feelings of security or loss of understanding at some point of feeling secure. I ‘think’ (could be wrong) that is maybe what you are getting at?
Lack of assurance does not ever mean one is not saved. I guess the issue is knowing what His resurrection means (that we too will be resurrected into eternal life vs. eternal death). Romans 6:23 is simple enough that the free gift IS eternal life. I think that is all we are pointing out. If one hasn’t understood when they believed, what they are being saved from (hell — eternal death), that what did they believe they were saved from? That is kind of the crux of 1 Cor 15, those who HAD believed were being led astray by those who told them there was not a resurrection (similar to believing they would not be raised again unto eternal life) and then their faith would have been in vain, and would not save them from consequences of their doubt. These were definitely believers who were listening to those who bewitched them about eternal security of knowing they would most certainly be resurrected unto eternal life. If this was not crucial to the gospel, then why was this chapter written?
Feelings of assurance does not = eternal security. Loss of feelings of eternal security does not = one was never saved if they believed the free gift was eternal life, justification of life (eternal), the gift of righteousness which would reign to life (eternal) — Rom 5.
I believe that the point is to be sure one understood why Jesus died, and what He died for — to keep us from eternal death and separation from God. So I believe the term has received some sort of traditional bias in understanding that people can worry about whether they were saved, if they ever doubted at some point they were saved. That is definitely not what I am saying. The issue is ask, do people understand what the free gift is when they believed? The free gift is eternal life. So that is all we would want to promote and be sure that one has believed that at some point. Someone who has become bewitched, then we have to help them understand that they can KNOW based on God’s testimony of His Son, that they have (echo – currently possess, own, to have to hold) eternal, everlasting life.
If one has never understood the free gift was eternal life then we certainly want to help them understand that, because it is the gospel of our salvation (being >>saved >>from the wages of sin — eternal death/ separation from God).
Otherwise, what were they saved FROM? In Him, Holly
Jackie, Your comment – ” Not currently believing eternal security does not mean they are lost. It simply means just that – at the present moment, they have fallen away from the faith by adding to the Gospel but remain sealed in Christ.”
My comment – I agree with you. J.I. Packer is one example. Packer once stated in TableTalk magazine of RC Sproul’s Ligonier Ministries that he once believed in the free grace gospel of John 3:16, but now does not. Packer is currently a leading Calvinist/Lordship Salvationist.
Alice, I believe that I received eternal life just a few years ago, when I finally realized that eternal life was a free gift, without cost or obligation to me.
I have believed,from a very early age, that Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the dead.
I just didn’t realize what “for our sins” really meant.
I hear you Alice. The same thoughts that have/are going through your mind regarding the “details” of salvation have been through my mind many times 🙂 I didn’t mean to cause you any doubt sister, please believe me.
Evidently I was exposed to a very simple Gospel presentation when I was child, however, I firmly believe that such was detailed enough for me to place my child-like faith in the Saviour.
Please see my additional response to John.
Curiously enough, I don’t know where I “espoused” that expreacherman “teaches” that doctrine. I was merely pointing out that the conclusion was being automatically made by those who are posting on this site and no one seemed to be disagreeing with the position, which I have trouble with. Please read what others have written in the comments of this particular article and you’ll see what I am referring to hopefully. Perhaps semantics may be playing a role.
There is no doubt when someone says that they don’t believe in eternal security that we should qualify what Gospel they have believed. I’ve never disagreed with that and certainly understand our role as believers sowing the Word. If it turns out that they have not trusted in Christ alone as their Saviour, then we give them the Gospel, and if they have trusted in Him but are confused, we confirm their faith and teach them about the reality of eternal security. It’s that simple.
This will be my final comment on the topic. I wish everyone a good night.
Again, great article John.
Adam, I don’t want to go back and forth on conjecture.
Soneone must understand, at some point, that eternal life is a gift in order to be saved.
Whether it is possible for someone to understand that eternal life is a free gift, yet think it can be lost due to sin, I can’t say. But, those two concepts seems logically incompatible.
Childlike faith does not mean that one believes that they receive a free gift that is taken back from them if they are bad.
So, in the interest of getting back to advancing and defending the gospel, I’ll leave it at this:
If someone says they are a believer, yet indicate that they don’t believe in (or are even not sure about) eternal security, I would think they needed to be evangelized.
It is possible that they are saved. However, they may not be. Even if they are saved, they will never have any peace, or power for Christian living, during this lifetime unless, and until, they understand this vital truth.
Adam, I apologise if I have been too ‘harsh’ in assuming that the pastor who told me that believers can lose their salvation if they fall away is NOT saved. I recognise that I may have been too ‘judgemental’ for saying he is not saved. I will be careful in the future regarding making salvation- judgements.
It is possible that at one point he really did hear and believe the Grace Gospel which does teach in Eternal security of the believer based ONLY on what Christ has done for them on the cross APART from Works, but later he got into false teaching of faith + works for salvation.
However, your comments have somewhat ‘thrown the spanner in the works’ for me. I am asking myself:
1. Is God really that ‘picky’?
2. Does God care about ACCURACY AND PRECISION in preaching, hearing and believing the Gospel from the outset to receive eternal life?
3.Does God split ‘theological hairs’? (even Catholics believe that Christ died for their sins but they also have to do their ‘bit’)
4. Is there any necessity to present the Gospel as revealed in Scriptures,
not just 1 Corin 15: 1-5 but taking into account the entire/whole counsel of God’s Word including the Gospels and Epistles?
5. I am wondering WHEN I really got saved. Did I get saved ONLY after understanding the Grace Gospel including my Eternal security or was it when I first heard the gospel that Christ died and paid for my sins but I also had to do more than just believe, ie turning from my sin, doing good works etc and thought that I could lose my salvation if I fall away or turn my back to God? Since for 20+ years, I NEVER heard the clear, simple Gospel of Grace, but from the very beginning of my ‘Christian’ life, I was always taught: Faith + Works as requirement for salvation.
Personally I believe I only RECENTLY got saved after hearing the Grace Gospel for the first time that Christ DID IT ALL.
Just my thoughts…..
I think there is an obvious difference between an overt false Gospel ie. trust in Jesus AND be faithful, AND/OR trusting in Jesus’ death as your only way to Heaven – without understanding eternal security necessarily in it’s entirety or depth. I must ask, in your mind, and according to the Bible, will a person be saved if they but only and simply “recognize their sinner-ship before a Holy God, and as a result, trust in Jesus’ death as their only way to Heaven”? Is the latter an accurate summation of the Gospel? If yes and one can be saved by believing it, then understanding the by-products or processes involved with/after trusting in Jesus as one’s Saviour need not be understood fully on their face to go to heaven. And if not, why insist that one of the processes need be then as a requirement? There is no doubt a fuller explanation will reveal more of the truth and perhaps make more sense in the to-be believer’s mind, however, is such a “required” explanation or not for someone to place their faith in Jesus?
Additionally, if someone can be misled on the doctrine of eternal security after they have believed the Gospel because of exposure to false doctrine, can’t we then logically infer by your reasoning that they must have never fully understood the Gospel to begin with? Yet, you concede (and so do I) that this is entirely a possibility. Are we to assume then that the Galatian church must not have entirely understood eternal security because of the experience and beliefs after they got saved, and thus Paul wrongly addresses them as brethren?
The way it was presented to me as a child was that I was a sinner and I needed to trust in Jesus’ death on the cross to go to “heaven”. There was no mention of “eternal life” or “eternal security” expressly, but one thing was clear, I knew I was a sinner and I wanted to go to heaven to be with God. So I trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour. Moreover, there was no mention of losing my salvation at the time because of sin or lack of faithfulness, because if there was, it would obviously qualify as a false Gospel and I would have recognized it as such when I looked back at it.
We must acknowledge that as believers we have had the benefit of being led and taught by godly men who have studied and explained these doctrines to us in detail, however, not every believer has had this same blessing, and so their understanding lacks in these areas, yet these same people have simply believed the Gospel and thus I believe are eternally saved.
In conclusion, why do we need not understand fully the rest of the processes involved in the salvation experience (positional sanctification, glorification), if understanding the depths of eternal security is absolutely essential and “is” crucially the Gospel? It would only make sense that understanding these would also be required as these are spoken of in Scripture repeatedly and can all be read in or deduced from the text of John 3:16 once we have read the rest of Scripture. Is not sanctification and glorification just as much a part of our salvation as our eternal security? Is eternal security more important than the others?
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
Just some more thoughts for you my brother.
Adam, I believe there is a misrepresentation of views here.
If someone does not believe in eternal security (lose or forfeit salvation/perseverance of the saints), there is a chance they have never believed. Should I be reckless and assume they are saved? No. Every man is a ministry and we are to preach the Gospel to all. It’s not fruit inspector-ish if we are giving weight to what someone believes presently because one will only go to Heaven based on what they believe. But here’s the thing.. Eternal security is inherent in the Gospel. Why? Well, because one believes Jesus Christ is able to deliver on His promise of eternal life after hearing and embracing the Gospel. For what other reason does one believe in Jesus for? No one is saying that all arminians are unsaved. A lot of them very well may be, but that’s only due to their never having believed the Gospel. As for those who once believed and are now bewitched, they presently do not believe the Gospel and thus need to be restored to the truth. They are fallen from grace. Even worse, if they are spreading their false message, they are accursed by God (Gal 1:8-9). That’s not a good place to be – at all.
You said: “To say that if you don’t believe in or are unsure about eternal security at some point in your life after you have believed the Gospel, then the conclusion is “you’re not saved”’
I’m sorry, but that’s egregious and is not espoused by exp. Not currently believing eternal security does not mean they are lost. It simply means just that – at the present moment, they have fallen away from the faith by adding to the Gospel but remain sealed in Christ.
I believe that we cannot know who is definitively lost, but a person’s testimony does give deeper insight into a person’s current understanding of salvation – whether that reflects a present belief or unbelief in the Gospel. Our job is to sow the seed of the Word and rely on the Lord to bring forth the increase. We simply plant and water. As grace believers, the last thing any of us ought ever to do is accuse others. The enemy already has enough help from the lordship salvation peddlers. The Lord alone discerns the hearts of men, but we are to preach the Gospel and sow seeds whenever and wherever possible.
Adam, I will acknowledge that there are Christians who have become confused as to the doctrine of eternal security, due to pervasive false teaching.
What does it mean to believe in Jesus? If someone does not think that salvation includes receiving the free gift of eternal life, they are missing a critical element.
If salvation is not receiving eternal life, what is it?
For someone to believe in Jesus as his Savior, he must understand that Jesus paid the full price for his sins. If a person thinks that salvation can be taken away by sinning, he doesn’t believe that Jesus took away his sins. In other words, he is still trusting in himself for salvation.
If someone indicates to me that they don’t believe in eternal security, or if they seem unsure, I would be concerned that they had never understood the gospel.
Following is an excerpt from Clear Gospel:
We further reject as incompatible with saving faith in Jesus Christ the belief that one can lose their salvation through sin. We believe that this is heresy is logically incompatible with the fact that Jesus Christ paid in full the penalty for our sins at the cross. We further affirm that such belief demonstrates a total lack of understanding that sin was paid for at Calvary, and that an exercise of faith in Christ that is stained by this heresy is dishonoring to the Son, and a denial of what he accomplished at Calvary. Accordingly, we believe that a true saving faith the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not evidenced in a profession of faith tainted by this heresy.
I must make a comment at this point seeing as how the topic has come up again and it ALWAYS troubles me when it does, along with the conclusion that seems to be universally accepted here. To say that if you don’t believe in or are unsure about eternal security at some point in your life after you have believed the Gospel, then the conclusion is “you’re not saved”, is dangerous and unbiblical in my mind. To me, that sounds almost “fruit inspectorish” and represents a certain amount of passing judgement on another’s salvation which may or may not be authentic as only the Lord knows definitively. Interestingly enough, we don’t see the reality of eternal security spoken to or explained in detail to the reader by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. Why is that?
To illustrate further, I accepted Christ as my Saviour as a child and understood that He died for my sins on the cross, was buried, and rose again from the dead. However, the reality and benefit of eternal security was never explained to me in detail at that time as a babe in Christ, and for many years thereafter I was led astray and confused by the arminian type teachings of men. Importantly, it was not until a few years ago that I finally understood from STUDYING the Scriptures that a believer IS eternally secure in Christ without any faithfulness required on his/her part.
The question is then was I not saved until I understood the reality and benefit of eternal security? By the standard of others on this site, I wasn’t, as at one point I was unsure. I believe that is false though. To me, that is just as arbitrary as saying one needs to understand all about the sanctification and glorification process at the time of accepting Christ to be saved then.
To all here, is it possible that someone could have asked you at some point in your walk after you believed the Gospel if you believed in eternal security and you MIGHT have answered anything other than a resounding “yes”? If so, would this fact have proved you weren’t saved or maybe just revealed perhaps that you were unlearned and/or confused?
One must acknowledge that there is a crucial difference between one believing the actual Gospel that brings salvation and being unclear on eternal security at the time, or being bewitched thereafter (like the Galatian church), AND/OR being one having never believed the Gospel and not believing in eternal security.
Daniel, these people who fight against this miss the irony of their own statements that John and William so aptly pointed out. They don’t understand God’s grace, and I’m pretty sure the majority of people believe for the express purpose of being saved from hell. What a ridiculous pied-piperism. We tell them God’s Word tells them the wages for their sin is death, in a place called hell, separated and tormented for ever, and that Jesus has saved them from this fate. And how is a free gift that saves you from eternal death (eternal life) somehow only temporary and probationary. That’s not being saved, that’s getting a lottery ticket and you’ll know on that day.
Other people that are well known that teach you can lose your salvation.
Arminians and Calvinists have loadship in common, among with some other things. They are not opposite of each other, but of the truth.
Katherine, thanks for sharing.
You are among friends here.
Alice, You should share the Biblical example of King Solomon who rejected God and became a demon worshiper at the end of his life in 1 Kings 11. Solomon erred both morally and doctrinally where God punished Solomon, but “loss of salvation” was never one of the consequences. Then we have the Israelites who were rejecting God time and again with idolatry, Baal worship, Asherah poles, worshiping the gods of Sidon, Moab, Ammonite gods as recorded in Joshua, Judges, and throughout Ezekiel ch, 1-8. God punished them in every instance, but they are still God’s people.
False doctrinists who deny eternal security have no eternal security themselves. 2 Timothy 2:13 affirms eternal security/OSAS.
2 Timothy 2:13 – If WE believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
Romans 3:3 – For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
Daniel, Many people just can’t and won’t listen. We are born and raised in a society that forever teaches that nothing in life is free, but that we must have our part in earning and achieving. This is only true when it comes to money, possessions, and academic degrees, but not true when it comes to eternal life. For many within mainstream Christianity, the simplicity of John 3:16 sounds like a joke and too easy and too good to be true, BUT it is TRUE.
PRIDE is also a major hindrance, and then we have Satan who blinds the proud minded through false doctrine. All works based salvation gospels appeal to the pride of man in that it teaches that man must do his “part” in regards to eternal life.
I have been reading your site for several months now. I often want to comment but find it difficult. I am going to give it a go and open up a little because of Alice’s conversation with a pastor and how it reminds me of a conversation I had with my own mother.
My mother and I have had these conversations. She raised me to believe I could lose my salvation but she herself doesn’t believe that she can lose hers. It created great confusion in me. So…..
Little background on me- I was told to trust Christ alone but encouraged to follow men. I was told that Christ was enough but then fed a diet of the “old dead guys” in the way of Tozer and his like.
My mother is an ardent Assembly of God member. In her mind all other sects within christendom are wrong save the AOG, e.g. she believes that Baptist are simply partial gospelist while AOG are full gospelist.
I had tried to talk to my mom about LS to no avail. She just wouldn’t hear me or maybe I was not explaining myself correctly. I don’t know but either way the conversation turned to OSAS and losing your salvation.
My mother is enamored with a certain TV preacher. This man had been caught in his past with prostitutes. His ministry suffered and he was disgraced. I point blank asked her if he had died in the act of committing sin with one of these women would he have gone to heaven or hell? She couldn’t answer me. She told me she didn’t know.
It has made me see that she herself is confused in her belief. I don’t want to create the same insanity in my children that was created in me. I don’t want them to struggle with this until they are in their thirties because by then it could be to late since we are never guaranteed tomorrow.
I am leery of churches in general, especially now. My family, after being “unchurched” for several years, started attending a local assembly several months ago. They had these meeting called small groups where people met in homes throughout the week for bible study.
Only, it wasn’t a bible study. They watched a short video and no one ever cracked open the bible. We went for a few weeks and then they broke a series by RC Sproul. I didn’t know who he was so I did a little digging. As soon as I saw he was a calvanist I told my husband that I wouldn’t be attending any more of those “studies”.
Sorry if this was longwinded and I rambled.
I just have so much bottled up and I haven’t had an outlet for all the insanity I have been through spiritually.
Thanks for reading,
So many blinded sheeple.
Why won’t they listen? Why do they feel they have a part in salvation?
People. It is so simple.
Alice, I am thankful that you had the courage to witness to this pastor.
I have joined you in praying that if he has never believed in Jesus as his Savior that he will understand the gospel so that he might believe and be saved.
The pastor was correct that people have been arguing over the issue of eternal security for centuries. He was wrong that we can’t resolve it here and now. It is resolved by being believed.
I just finished speaking to a church pastor on the phone who thinks that a believer can lose their salvation if he/she totally rejects God and becomes an ‘unbeliever’ again. I gave him the Grace Gospel as clearly, plainly and simply as I could. I told him that if we don’t believe in the doctrine of Eternal Security then we are not saved. He totally disagreed with me and so I challenged him to give me just one verse in the NT which clearly teaches that a believer can lose their salvation and under what circumstances. Of course he couldn’t.
He told me that I was being ‘ungracious’ in saying that he is not saved because he didn’t believe in Eternal Security. He thinks he is more ‘gracious’ than I am because he was willing to accept me as his ‘sister in Christ’ but I was not willing to accept him as my ‘brother in the Lord’! I told him that truth matters more to me than being ‘nice’ to people and give them false sense of assurance. He told me that people have been arguing over this issue for centuries and we can’t resolve it here and now, and that more people are on his side of the argument than my side. So I told him that ‘truth’ is not determined by the majority but if it agrees with Scripture or not.
I managed to get his email address so I sent him a link to Tom Cucuzza’s
‘Permanence of Salvation’ and prayed that God will speak to him.
John, Your comment – “For Sproul, it is whether they had the proper motivation in coming to Christ.
For Piper, it is evidence of life change, evidence that the Holy Spirit is working to change them.
Believing in Christ as Savior does not require turning to God (as in desiring to serve him, or committing to serve Him), looking for evidence of life change, wanting one’s life to change, or even believing that one’s life is going to change.”
My comment – Great comment. In my city, there was once a notorious gang leader who terrorized the city back in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. After spending time in prison, this person “changed”. This person is no longer a gang leader, but is currently a college professor, is married and has children that are in college, and is currently doing very well financially, BUT this person is NOT a Christian.
Also, in Tokyo, Japan there is a well known Japanese writer named Shoko Tendo. Shoko was once a gang member during her teen and early adult years who lived a life of gang violence, drugs, and promiscuous sex. Her father was a well known mafia boss in Japan, now deceased. After being severely abused by her frequent boyfriends, she finally woke up and “changed” and left that horrible lifestyle and is now currently a writer. However, Shoko is not a Christian at all. In fact, her autobiography clearly indicates that she is a Buddhist.
Here are 2 examples of 2 people who “changed” and turned their life around, but are not Christians. Hence, refuting both Piper and Sproul’s claim that “change” is evidence of a “saved” person with the Holy Spirit working in them. “Change” can also be found in people who embrace false doctrine.
William, part of the Sproul quote: “…some people only flee to the cross to escape hell, not out of a real turning to God.”
My comment: The cross (belief in Jesus as Savior) is the only place people can flee to escape hell.
If someone thinks he must also turn to God (commit to service or obedience in order to receive the free gift of eternal life), he is not believing in Jesus as Savior. He is trying to buy salvation through commitment to service or obedience.
Both Sproul and Piper are teaching folks to look to themselves for assurance of salvation.
For Sproul, it is whether they had the proper motivation in coming to Christ.
For Piper, it is evidence of life change, evidence that the Holy Spirit is working to change them.
Believing in Christ as Savior does not require turning to God (as in desiring to serve him, or committing to serve Him), looking for evidence of life change, wanting one’s life to change, or even believing that one’s life is going to change.
Daniel, I want to show you 2 of the biggest names in mainstream Christianity who DENY OSAS. Just look at what RC Sproul and John Piper says regarding “their eternal security” which is NO eternal security at all:
Sproul stated in Table Talk Magazine, Nov 6, 1989, page 20, he says, “There are people in this world who are not saved, but who are convinced that they are. The presence of such people causes genuine Christians to doubt their salvation. After all, we wonder, suppose I am in that category? Suppose I am mistaken about my salvation and am really going to hell? How can I know that I am a real Christian?” “A while back I had one of those moments of acute self awareness that we have from time to time, and suddenly the question hits me: “R.C., what if you are not one of the redeemed?” What if your destiny is not heaven after all, but hell?” Let me tell you that I was flooded in my body with a chill that went from my head to the bottom of my spine. I was terrified.”
“I tried to grab hold of myself. I thought, “Well, it’s a good sign that I’m worried about this. Only true Christians really care about salvation. But then I began to take stock of my life, and I looked at my performance. My sins came pouring into my mind, and the more I Iooked at myself, the worse I felt. I thought, “Maybe it’s really true. Maybe I’m not saved after all.”
“I went to my room and began to read the Bible. On my knees I said, “Well here I am, I can’t point to my obedience. There’s nothing I can offer, I can only rely on Your atonement for my sins. I can only throw myself on Your mercy.” Even then I knew that some people only flee to the cross to escape hell, not out of a real turning to God. I could not be sure about my own heart and motivation. Then I remembered John 6:68. Jesus had been giving out hard teaching, and many of His former followers had left Him. When He asked Peter if he was also going to leave, Peter said, “Where else can I go? Only You have the words of eternal life.” In other words, Peter was also uncomfortable, but he realized that being uncomfortable with Jesus was better than any other option!”
Then we have John Piper who also has doubts about whether or not he’s saved and also regarding his congregation’s uncertainty of their salvation said in one of his sermons, he says, “I deal with this as much as anything, probably, in the people that I’m preaching to. “Fears and doubts, doubts not about objective “Did He rise from the dead?” – very few people are wrestling with that – but “Am I in? Am I saved?” That’s very common for people to wrestle with.” “But why I sin against my wife the same at age 62 that I did at age 42 causes me sometimes to doubt my salvation or the power of the Holy Spirit. – This question is not theoretical.”
My comment – For people like Sproul and Piper, the FEAR OF HELL becomes their underlying motivation. The utter fear and uncertainty that Calvinism/Lordship Salvation produces in people who embrace this false doctrine regarding their assurance of their “salvation” can only intensify and drive them obsessively and compulsively to try even harder to “stop sinning” and to keep doing and doing “good works” in commitment, obedience, perseverance, faithfulness, etc, etc, in the hopes of “making it into the Kingdom at the very end”. It literally becomes a vicious circle, much like a hamster that keeps going and going, and going on that metal thing that they run on in their cages. It’s utter insanity.
Daniel, I read the above excerpt and it is reeking with lies. It says, ““Those who need to hold tightly to the once-saved theory, are those who’s minds are bound in dead religion. They do not grasp the concept of God’s love, grace, and mercy towards us, and therefore need to feel secure, because they do not feel worthy as they are attempting to be saved by works…”
My comment – The above is a BLATANT LIE. In reality, it is those who deny once saved always saved who are the one’s bound in DEAD religion. They are the ones who are looking to their filthy rags of works righteousness in a failed attempt to “try to make it into heaven.” They are the ones who are obsessed with James 2:14-26 in the wrong way.
It wrongfully accuses us Free Grace Christians as not “grasping” the concept of God’s love, grace, and mercy. NO, they are the ones that are doing that, not Free Grace Christians who are grounded in John 3:16.
Daniel, Eternal security is the essence of saving faith.
Genesis 15:6 – And he BELIEVED in the LORD; and he counted it to him for RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Abraham believed the LORD, and the LORD regarded that faith to be His approval of Abraham. That is, Abraham was POSITIONALLY justified before God forever.
Romans 4:2-6 – For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness WITHOUT WORKS,
People in Old Testament times were positionally justified before God eternally the exact same way as TODAY. Now, that’s GOOD NEWS!
Luke 7:50 – And he said to the woman, Thy FAITH hath SAVED thee; go in peace.
That’s ETERNAL SECURITY right then and there FOREVER!
False doctrine on the other hand, denies eternal security. Satan has a whole inventory of false counterfeit gospels that he puts into different packages to steer people away from the true Biblical gospel of John 3:16. Daniel stay away from the false teachings of Calvinism/Lordship Salvation, Arminianism, Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witness doctrine.
The following are mainstream FALSE TEACHERS in sheep’s clothing:
This is just the tip of the iceberg.
I don’t believe that O.S.A.S is false.
I saw other people that quote what other heretics said, calling them out.
I was trying to do the same. 😨
Even if it’s something like “a letter from God” Would you edit it if it was long?
I understand you editing the other. Forgive me.
Daniel, if someone denies eternal security, they are denying the Christian Faith.
This entire article has as its central thesis that eternal security of the believer is conditioned on the believer remaining faithful, forgiving his fellow man, and so on.
This is a denial of Christ.
I am surprised that you would ask what we thought of this. Any cursory reading of this site would tell you that we believe in grace, and that eternal security is a necessary conclusion of grace.
The article that you posted serves no other purpose than to confuse babes in Christ and keep lost people from understanding the gospel.
I would encourage you to read the booklet, linked below, multiple times to help you get grounded in the truth.
Click to access the-gospel.pdf
I put this in another post and it didn’t pop up.
This one is from a website called great bible study.
I’m going to put everything this person says in quotes. I’m not sure whether to agree or disagree. Can you spot anything wrong? Me, I can’t tell.
Here we go
“Is once saved always saved true?
Or is it only giving false security?”
(ADMINISTRATOR’S NOTE: ONLY BRIEF EXCERPTS OF THIS HERETICAL DIATRIBE WILL BE ALLOWED.
PLEASE DO NOT POST 3,000 WORD SERMONS, OR ESSAYS FOR ME TO READ AND EDIT. THIS IS INORDINATELY TIME-CONSUMING).
“Those who need to hold tightly to the once-saved theory, are those who’s minds are bound in dead religion. They do not grasp the concept of God’s love, grace, and mercy towards us, and therefore need to feel secure, because they do not feel worthy as they are attempting to be saved by works…
“Why is it so important to preach against once-saved? Because millions of souls are in hell because the church has not done it’s job educating the body. While we are out evangelizing the sinners, there are people in our own congregations that are on their way to hell.”
Holly, William, Benchap, johninnc.
What do you think?
Some of it HAS to be wrong right?
It’s as if I feel something nagging at me as I type this.
I’ll add, to give up everything of yourself is impossible if you aren’t saved. If you’re just flesh, you can’t choose to be anything other than flesh. If you are flesh and Spirit, then you have a choice to abide in one or the other.
Can’t run the race if Jesus hasn’t put you in it.
Thank you Keith, Holly, Joyfounder and Johnnic. I come to this website frequently to establish myself in the doctrine of ‘Eternal Security’ based only on what Christ has done for me on the cross of Calvary apart from any works on my part. Ralph Yankee Arnold has a Youtube sermon titled: ‘Eternal Security is the Gospel’. If people don’t believe in eternal security then they are not saved. Period. It took a while for me to really get this understanding, having been indoctrinated in ‘faith +works’ for so long. I remember singing a hymn at church called ‘TRUST AND OBEY’ frequently and I was gradually lulled into thinking that both TRUST AND OBEDIENCE are required for salvation. Simple child-like faith is Christ and His finished work on the cross is not enough but obedience is needed too. I didn’t receive the Gospel of Grace clearly explained in all those churches I attended and all those Bible-studies where I thought I was learning the Bible.
Keith, that is a good comment, I agree with John. So many disciples these days and not a lot of believers. People get discipleship confused for sure, but the worst are those who become disciples first and never become believers. Plenty of them seen in John 6.
It is a great place to come. John MacArthur has a sermon, ‘The only road to heaven’, in which he gives this long, exhausting list of things one must do in order to enter in. (From his book ‘Hard to believe’). He has himself so fooled, it’s ridiculous that he has believed he has fulfilled his own criteria. And the people sitting there in his church, aren’t they wondering too each week if they are saved? How could they be, it’s so confusing at his church. It should read, “Hard to be saved” (at GTY).
Keith, excellent post!
One of the passages in the Bible which indicates the necessity of “counting the cost” to be one of Christ’s disciples is Luke 14:25-33. However, I think it is interesting to note that these passages are immediately preceded by a parable which is about preaching the Gospel to every creature in Luke 14:15-24.
Jesus told the parable at a meal which He and others attended at the home of a Pharisee. In Luke 14:15, a guest said to Jesus, “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God”. Jesus responded by telling the parable, in which many were invited to a supper. Various invitees to the supper (at that time, representing the Jews who rejected Him) gave various excuses as to why they could not come. In verse 23, the host of the banquet told his servants, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled”.
Just a few verses later, In Luke 14:25, we find a multitude following Jesus. In verses 26-33, He turns around and actively discourages them from continuing to follow, unless they first count the cost of becoming a disciple.
So on the one hand, we have Jesus imploring his followers to “compel them to come in” in Luke 14:23, and on the other hand, beginning just two verses later in Luke 14:25, we find Him telling others that most of them should not become disciples . These two are in stark contrast to one another to underscore and emphasize that receiving the free gift of eternal life, which the lost should be compelled to do, cannot legitimately be confused with the invitation to become a disciple, which is issued only to those believers who are willing to first count the cost and pay the price of discipleship.
Yes Alice! As you probably know there are a ton of YouTube videos with John MacArthur making these false statements. One of the first statements I heard him say is: “The gospel says give your life to Christ and He rules. Jesus said if any man come after Me let him deny himself. In other words abandon all your own ambition, all your own will, all your own direction, your own choices, and totally and fully submit your life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It is to say it’s the end of me and I commit my life to follow Christ whatever the cost even if it’s a cross and to obey Him . . . Coming to Christ means you give up the control of your life and you yield it to Christ. So you have to face your own sinfulness, you have to face the reality that you have violated the law of God, that you’re headed toward judgement in eternal Hell. And you know to be saved from that you have to turn from your sin and embrace the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.”
One needs to be sinless in order to fulfill JMac’s criteria here. JMac condemns even himself with his own words! (If you’ve ever listened to JMac’s own personal testimony of how he claims to be saved he never admits to his own absolute sinfulness and unrighteousness before a Holy and perfect God.)
Alice, I agree completely.
MacArthur is harming himself and untold numbers of others with his false gospel.
I remember many years ago reading a John MacArthur’s book, I don’t recall the title of it, but basically he taught:
‘ If you want to become a Christian and follow Jesus, ‘count the cost’ before deciding to become a Christian’ using this verse,
Luke 14:28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down
and count the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it?
He confused the FREE gift of Eternal life with Disciple-ship which is COSTLY.
He fails to separate:
1. Salvation from Service,
2. Justification from Sanctification.
3. Grace from Works.
He preaches an accursed gospel which merges the Free gift of salvation with Works, leaving his hearers/readers in confusion under a foggy, hazy, murky, muddy, unclear gospel which can not save people from their sin.
William, agree. Those who teach that one can lose eternal life will use those scriptures, and others, to support that damnable heresy. The bottom line is that they are teaching people to trust in themselves for eternal life – not Jesus.
From Clear Gospel:
Rather than coming to Scripture to learn the mind of God, some unregenerate men approach Scripture determined to justify the beliefs they already hold…
Not surprisingly therefore, those who believe that they, rather than Jesus Christ, are the Savior of their own souls, have, for centuries, sought from Scripture proof-texts to justify this conclusion.
Kate, this ministry is such a blessing, because we are growing together through God’s Word.
this is how a Sunday school class or a group of Truth seeking souls should be Instead of a class leader giving a lecture on the last book outside of the Word of God they read
I know I have said once before but the discussion here are sometimes better than the articles written.
Holly, Many of those same preachers come to the false conclusion that everlasting life becomes temporal by taking many Biblical passages like Hebrews 6:4-8, Hebrews 10:26-27, John 15:6, 1 John 2:19, 2 John 1:8, just to name a few, and will take these and others all out of context using eisegesis. They always “quote” Scripture wearing Calvin/Lordship Salvation or Arminian brand spectacles over their eyes.
Mary, sadly those same preachers seem unable to say how the gift of eternal life or everlasting life somehow becomes temporal. Yes…they are the ones spouting damnable heresy….
I asked one woman (who thought it was not important) what the gift was (citin Romans 6:23 and Romans 5. Her answer was that ”she could ‘quote Scripture too'”.
Mary, The preacher who agrees that we are not saved by our works, but then turns around and says that “we are kept by our works” is basically quoting Calvinism’s 5th lie which is “perseverance of the saints”. You should tell him that the Bible says that we are kept eternally secure by an UNFAILING SAVIOR – John 10:28-29, Romans 8:38-39, 2 Timothy 2:13. Now that’s preservation of the saints.
Mary, it’s amazing that anyone who says he believes in Jesus would deny eternal security.
Went to our mall the other day, our preachers need preaching to. I asked them if they believe in “ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED’ he yelled out thats a heresy, I suppose he would say a damnable heresy. I said to him, we are not saved by our works and he said thats right, but we are kept by our works.
I pray they will have their eyes open in time, to see the damnable heresy of a gospel they are under.
John John – there were parts that were encouraging in that, I know exactly what you mean. But also I remember the hackles part. The truth mixed in with the lies… A guy from faith alone, wrote an article on how masterfully he weaves a story and he quotes a number of his pages. I know too on Amazon.com if one looks up books, goes to the 1 star ratings, they will often cite page numbers (which if you have the book you can look up) and start there. It have saved me from wasting time and being misled by these feel good authors. We can feel good in His liberty, but these men are different, their words are deceptive and dangerous…
JoyFounder. I will grant that not all men ‘prove all things’ as I’ve found to be ‘majority rules’ case in the last 20 years. I had an enormous library of men like Brennan Manning, A.W. Pink, Thomas Merton, (Yes Pilgrim’s progress lol) and also another one by him, Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer, Spurgeon, Sproul, MacArthur, Brother Lawrence, C.S. Lewis, Billy Graham, Ray Comfort, Franklin Jentzen, Chuck Colson, Tim LaHaye, James Dobson, Calvin, Augustine, Church history — it could go on… seriously I could just keep typing names…. I threw so many out maybe 10 years ago, but I hadn’t quite learned my lesson, the less ‘obvious’ were coming in, many were gifts at my husband’s home going, but by then I had pretty much learned, ‘prove all things’ and kept some for reference material. Others people have given me to keep in my ‘false’ library. Thank the good Lord (at least in this area) I am a procrastinator and quickly lose interest in some things. I would start, but never finished, some only a few pages.
So some pastors may like a quote and quote them. He should know who he is before he quotes though, so I would tell him. If he is just ‘chewing the meat and spitting out the bones’ approach, another story….
Brennan Manning is popular because of the Rich Mullins story and the movie, along with Beth Moore and her ‘Be Still’ DVD series which uses a lot of Manning along with Rick Warren who likes him a lot.
John 10:33 is a real eye opener in regards to Lordship Salvation.
John 10:33 – The Jews answered him, saying, For a GOOD WORK we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
Notice how the Jews of Jesus time acknowledged GOOD WORKS, but REJECTED Christ as the Messiah that gives the free gift of eternal life to those who come to Him by faith alone? The Jews had faulty logic and reasoning. If Jesus was just a “mere man”, how could a “mere man” perform miracle after miracle and healing after healing? Works salvationists get so blinded and entrenched in GOOD WORKS that they don’t think logically.
You, too, Holly.
That quote by Manning about “you who are in the image of the beast” shows how he went off the rails vis a vis Scripture (he died in 2013). I read THE RAGAMUFFIN GOSPEL at a low point in my life and it was encouraging, but my hackles were raised more than once. It’s like the liberal notion of compassion, it goes “beyond what is written” and you feel suspicion instead of trust.
It’s not that God’s compassion is lacking in any way towards us, but we have to understand it according to the context HE has provided.
Holly, based on my pastor’s consistent preaching of grace, faith and Christ alone I find this shocking to say the least. I am not that familiar with Brennan Manning, other than the frequent quotes my pastor reads, all of which are sound, based on what I’ve heard from his pulpit. One more reason to only trust God’s word, not man’s, huh?
John John – good to ‘see’ you…
Another disappointing quote by Charles Ryrie…
Joy – I don’t know if you know, but Brennan Manning is a mark and avoid fellow. His ‘salvation’ was a continuation of what began with his infant baptism and was sealed when he was doing the Stations of the Cross. Even though he is an ‘ex’ Roman Catholic Monk, he still attends mass and partakes. Also in his books (which sadly years ago a pastor of mine recommended), he quotes many new-age, psychologists like Jung, etc., and just a mix of his own ‘open ended’ thinking. God’s truth is absolute.
“If we are open, we rarely resort to either-or, either creation or evolution, liberty or law, sacred or secular, Beethoven or Madonna. We focus on both-and, fully aware that God’s truth cannot be imprisoned in a small definition. … But the open mind realizes that reality, truth, and Jesus Christ are incredibly open-ended” — Ragamuffin Gospel, pg 65
In the Ragamuffin Gospel (his book and then movie) he says, “To evangelize a person is to say to him or her: you, too, are loved by God in the Lord Jesus”.
I’m sorry, but they need to know way more than that.
Similar to John MacArthur, he says this regarding those who take the mark of the beast.
“And he [Christ] will say to us: ‘Vile beings, you who are in the image of the beast and bear his mark, but come all the same, you as well’” — Ragamuffin Gospel, pg 21
I could tell you a lot more… I was distressed years ago having been recommended this book, and when I started seeing his quotes (some good which always seems to ice the error), I was shocked that a Christian Pastor would quote him. When I went back to my old church (which is a mixture of Calvinism and other stuff), that pastor quoted him too…
He mocks those of us who love God’s Word calling us ‘idolaters’ of the Scripture.
Jim, thanks for your excellent points and reminder that Christians should be careful to maintain good works (Titus 3:8).
Thanks for the reminder on some of these all too commonly repeated errors.
You asked about:
“The paralyzed man is not healed by walking. Just like a Christian is not saved by works. However, when that paralyzed man walks, he proves that he was healed. When Christians demonstrate a changed life, they prove they were saved by Christ”
The reason this is false is because the analogy is not a true fit and one also has to recognize the difference between testimony and proof. It is true that a paralyzed man is not healed by walking. The next sentence would make more sense if it said an unbeliever is not saved by works. Does a paralyzed man walking proves he is healed? Yes. Do Christians living a changed prove the were saved? No. The only proof of salvation is the object of our faith. That is the only rock solid unbeatable point. Everything else is secondary and subjective. The reason the analogy falls short is that believers have both the new nature and old nature with which they can walk. Walking in one or the other does not prove the other doesn’t exist. Also, unbelievers can externally do just about anything that appears good. It is the wrong way to look at it. However, we should do good works and live as a testimony of a person saved by God’s grace. Or we can have a dead testimony (useless witness to others) as shown by some in James 2.
My pastor loves to quote the author Brennan Manning. I thought of one of his quotes while reading John’s timely article here:
“The gospel of grace nullifies our adulation of televangelists, charismatic superstars, and local church heroes. It obliterates the two-class citizenship theory operative in many American churches. For grace proclaims the awesome truth that all is gift. All that is good is ours not by right but by the sheer bounty of a gracious God. While there is much we may have earned–our degree and our salary, our home and garden, a Miller Lite and a good night’s sleep–all this is possible only because we have been given so much: life itself, eyes to see and hands to touch, a mind to shape ideas, and a heart to beat with love. We have been given God in our souls and Christ in our flesh. We have the power to believe where others deny, to hope where others despair, to love where others hurt. This and so much more is sheer gift; it is not reward for our faithfulness, our generous disposition, or our heroic life of prayer. Even our fidelity is a gift . . . My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.”
Curtis, I agree.
I recently listened to Tom’s sermon on the woman at the well. Tom said that was a pattern of how we should teach people about how to receive eternal life.
John John, I agree.
John MacArthur is purportedly delighted by the commonality between his teaching and that sad statement from Ryrie.
Chas, Ryrie was sound in a lot of his teaching, but this one was a real clunker.
See article, linked below:
a soul that does not seek after the Truth of the Gospel The Truth of Gods word truth in the inward parts to give a clearly articulated Gospel message A soul can not give a clear Gospel of Grace message.
Ministering to themselves instead of to others.
I started to see a pattern in gospel presentations when it does not include “free Gift” “Eternal Life” you are hearing a works for or evidence of salvation message in most all times..
however can God use a weak to false gospel message ? to those who seek for Truth yes.
should a soul continue to sit and listen to a weak to false gospel ? No
Psa 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
2Co 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
2Ti 2:9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
Hey everyone! Been enjoying all your comments for awhile.
“The coupon of works is not good for passage, and the coupon of faith is not valid if detached from works” – Ryrie Study Bible
Huh??? Talk about frustrating the grace of God!
“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”–Galatians 2:21
The quote from the Ryrie Study Bible is the most surprising to me. Isn’t Charles Ryrie supposedly known as a “free grace” advocate? I guess you can’t be too careful.
Adam, it’s impossible to know peoples’ intents in teaching their false gospels.
But, when I read quotes like Holly posted from guys like Washer, I can’t imagine what “Bible” they may be reading, or what “gospel” they have believed.
Great article John.
It stills amazes me how blind and absolutely contradictory people can be. As always, such will believe falliable (one might argue evil as well) men over what God has clearly promised in His Word to those who simply trust in Him.
Ahh, “Pilgrim’s Progress” – Spurgeon’s favorite book. There is even a childrens’ version.
What’s really interesting about Washer, he only uses his own words, he never teaches through Scripture in context, but rips it out of it’s context, changes a few words, and points his finger in condemnation to his audience, seemingly oblivious to his filthy rags of righteousness.
Here is some more LOADship drivel.
The evidence of your salvation is going to be God beginning to work in your life, directing you towards Scripture, pointing out sin in your life, making you contrite.
How much sin? How contrite? How much Scripture?
Jesus said you will know ‘Christians’ by their fruit. As soon as someone says that I always see someone in the congregation, and they’re just thinking… they’re going, “Judge not lest ye be judged”, and I always go, “and twist not Scripture lest ye be like Satan.” Because that’s exactly what you’re doing. The only verse that most people ever memorize and that’s out of context. Paul Washer
No, the Bible says you will know ravening wolves, false prophets by their fruit. Ironic a Scripture twister accuses himself, he is self condemned.
“What does Scripture teach? Examine yourselves. Test yourselves in the light of scripture to see if you’re in the path, because a Christian will be different. Now, am I saying that a Christian is without sin? No, because, in First John we learn that Christians do sin, and if any men does not acknowledge his sin, he knows not God. He’s not walking in the light. So what is the difference? What am I really getting at? What I am getting at is this. If you are genuinely a born again Christian, a child of God, you will walk in the way of righteousness as a style of life.
And if you step off that path of righteousness, the Father will come for you, He will discipline you, He will put you back on that path. But if you profess to have gone through the narrow gate, but yet you live in the broad way, just like all the other people in your high school, just like all the other people who are canal and wicked, the Bible wants you to know that you should be terribly, terribly afraid, because you know not God.
No that is not what 2 Cor 13:5 is teaching at all. Paul Washer is teaching the way of the Pilgrim’s Progress. Standard reformed accusations, the accusers of the brethren, those who keep people blinded from the truth.
John – that commenter at my site has also insisted Galatians 5 proves one who has murdered, cannot possibly be a Christian. She misses some of the other sins listed, that I have seen her commit — “hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings,”
These are things believers are all capable of, when they are not walking in the Spirit.
Great article John.
Terry, yes, this was a false message. The commenter was actually a detractor, not supporter, of ExPreacherMan.
Question this was included in as a false message:
The paralyzed man is not healed by walking. Just like a Christian is not saved by works. However, when that paralyzed man walks, he proves that he was healed. When Christians demonstrate a changed life, they prove they were saved by Christ. – Commenter, ExPreacherMan
Was this a false message? The other comments I see clearly are. This is one of your own. So……
Thank you Terry