Lordship Salvation: Blinded by the Dark

By Johninnc

Jesus is the light of men He is the Savior of mankind. There is no other!

Acts 4:12: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Following are some details of who Jesus is, why we need Him, and why and how He provided for our salvation:

There is a God. He is the eternal Creator, without beginning or end. He created everything, including you and me. He is perfectly holy, perfectly just, and perfectly loving. As such, He cannot allow anything that isn’t perfect into His presence.

You and I aren’t perfect. We have all broken God’s laws, and can’t do anything to fix that. Our efforts to work our way back to God are completely useless.

But, God loves us so much that He would rather die than spend eternity without us.

So, He gave his only begotten Son –Jesus Christ – God in the flesh – to reconcile us to Him.

Jesus had no sin of His own, but bore our sin so that we might be reconciled to God. He had no sin and we had no righteousness. Jesus took our sin from us. He made the complete payment for our sin, leaving us nothing to pay.

He did this by suffering a criminal’s death by crucifixion. He died on the cross, He was buried, and He was raised from the dead three days later, proving that His payment for our sins was accepted.

Anyone who believes in Jesus, and what He accomplished through His death and resurrection – that he paid the full price for our sins, leaving nothing for us to pay – has eternal life. Eternal life means that it can never be lost or forfeited. God no longer sees believers in their sins, but sees them as perfectly righteous.

That is very good news! It is incumbent on all of us who know Jesus as Savior to become well grounded in the truth of this life-giving message so that we can tell other people about it.

There are, unfortunately, many people – both witting an unwitting – working against us to keep people in the dark.

2 Corinthians 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.

One of the ways that Satan (the god of this world) keeps people in the dark is through the use of counterfeit gospels, such as “Lordship salvation.”

Lordship “salvation” (LS) is the unsupportable and unbiblical belief that the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

See this link for more details: Lordship Salvation

LS is one of a seemingly endless group of false gospels that draws unwitting people to “crusades,” television ministries, and local churches. It is wildly popular, because it appeals to man’s pre-existing belief that he can help save himself.

Ron Shea, of Clear Gospel, puts it this way:

We believe that the more ardently and regularly a pastor or teacher holds forth any of the above perversions of the gospel of grace as a necessity for salvation, the more firmly a pre-existing grid of salvation-by-works is fabricated in the hearts and minds of the congregants, progressively shackling the lost sinner more hopelessly behind a veil of deception, making it less and less likely that any forthcoming profession of faith has meaningfully grasped the message of salvation.

Shea elaborates on the damage that can be done by various false gospels and non-biblical aphorisms, such as “invite Jesus into your heart,” or “give your heart to God.” Some of the dangers are:

  • Even when presented fully and accurately, the gospel is camouflaged by such nonsense, thereby hindering the effectiveness of the gospel message from illuminating the way of salvation to those who know not Christ.
  • The gospel is often contradicted by works-oriented invitations such as requiring an unbeliever to “make a personal commitment to Jesus Christ,” which is, in its essence, a requirement of a promise future works in exchange for salvation.
  • The true believer who is not firmly grounded in the clarity of the gospel is likely to redefine his understanding of the gospel message according to how he hears it repeatedly presented, thereby perpetuating and multiplying this confusion, and crippling successive generations of evangelists.

If we are to let our light shine before men, we must steer clear of LS and other false gospels. We should never participate in them, try to cooperate with them, excuse them, or try to find a “bridge” between them and the gospel.

2 Corinthians 6:14: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Please note: while those who teach LS do not explicitly deny the gospel, their implicit testimony is that they don’t believe the gospel now.

God’s word is emphatically clear that we are to have nothing to do with them!

If you would like to know more about how to have eternal life, click here: The Gospel

27 responses to “Lordship Salvation: Blinded by the Dark

  1. Joanna, I have experienced some of the same in different ways, even with strangers. Certainly when someone I know dies and I don’t believe they knew the Lord, I mourn.

    I reflect on the fact we are laborers for the harvest but God gives the increase. We plant, another waters, so I think knowing our part in it and resting in God working it all out is helpful. We pray for others because it matters, He’s asked us to, even if we don’t see what happens here on this earth. And I pray that the Lord will bring laborers into the harvest (as He asked us to) and trust in the power of His Word, His gospel and the reason to pray for them. Sometimes it’s discouraging because we care, and other times it may be vestiges of past examples of crusades where people come up in droves, and churches where people walk the aisles and there is error in a lot of what we’ve seen, and we don’t always let that go from our thinking. We also can think that we’re not seeing some dynamic experience. But we are the body, each with different gifts given as the Spirit willed. Some have a gift of faith and are supporting others in prayer quietly.

    I fall back on the truth that I don’t do the whole part in sharing the gospel. But we can do our part prayerfully and ask Him to help us, then rest in Him.

  2. That’s why I enjoy sharing bits and pieces of my testimony. That includes places I have gone to share the gospel since I became woke two years ago. I have shared my story on Brady Mayo’s blog, and it still doesn’t cover everything.

  3. Hi Joanna, this fellowship here too can a great place to share the gospel of salvation with others. It’s not just for the leaders here to teach: people need to hear the good news of how to be saved from the rest of us here. I enjoy sharing with others that Christs death, burial, and resurrection alone saves us and all we have to do is believe it, and when we do we have eternal life.

  4. Joanna Johnson

    Thanks Brad!
    I believe you are right! Not everyone will believe the truth, and I have to be all right with that. There is no shame in realizing this. Thanks for helping me to put all this in perspective. It’s a comfort to know I have support.

  5. Joanna Johnson

    Thank you johninnc for your reply. On further reflection and some reading, I’ve come to the conclusion that what I’m experiencing is some form of shame. I believe it is misplaced shame, shame that has no logical reason for being there. I’m sure with some prayer and God led soul searching I’ll figure out why I’m experiencing this. Thanks again!

  6. We are all guilty sinners. There’s no reason to beat yourself up over someone else’s lack of salvation. Don’t make their problem your own problem (mentally). It’s important I believe for a soul-winner (or someone with a genuine yearning to share the gospel message) to always keep in mind that not everyone will trust in Christ as a result of their efforts. There will always be the disappointing outcomes of their efforts.

    We all have had missed opportunities to share the gospel message with people. Or opportunities we botched or seemingly messed up in some way. We aren’t perfect. Those who understand the gospel message clearly have the very unique opportunity to genuinely win souls to Christ, rather than pretending to with false doctrines such as LS and other forms of legalism.

    Be thankful to posses such a unique opportunity to begin with and joyously see the many people who pass through or are a part of your life as people who can share in the same eternal life as we have. But always remember that the choice is ultimately theirs, not yours, as to whether they choose to trust Christ as their Savior or not. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. You can lead a person to Christ but you can’t make them believe on Him.

    Remember the prophecy is that “many” will remain unsaved and only “few” will be saved. If you will choose to feel guilty over the many unsaved people, you won’t stop feeling guilty – because those people in large numbers will prophetically always be there.

    Just remember how much God has blessed you, be humble about all of it and with joy; bring the gospel message to whomever you can.

    In context, if you tried to win just one soul a week, that’s still one more than false teachers like John MacArthur, Ray Comfort or the Pope in reality are trying to win on a daily basis – because their efforts are to win someone to another gospel, a gospel that cannot save, a false christ.

    You can either try frequently to win souls or rarely, the important thing will always be that you tried – on any level.

  7. Joanna, it’s good to hear from you again, and we are glad that you find this ministry to be a blessing.

    It is great that you have a heart for the gospel and for the lost. I think it is healthy for Christians to recognize the need to share the gospel message with people whenever we can.

    However, I don’t think we should feel guilty that there are those who don’t believe. God has chosen to give each person the free will to accept or reject the gospel message, and there is nothing we can do to make someone else believe.

  8. Joanna Johnson

    Hey everyone! I’ve been blessed to follow this site for years. The information I’ve gotten has definitely blessed my life. This is such a great community!! I was wondering if anyone ever struggled with a survivors guilt complex? Overwhelming feelings of feeling guilty for being saved while others aren’t. I haven’t had those feelings in a couple years. But recently they came on strong. I don’t know why I would feel like this, it doesn’t seem godly driven.
    I haven’t kept silent about my faith and I’ve taken opportunities to share when I’ve seen them. It’s like a weird complex that lost people are somehow my fault and i don’t know why I would feel this way. Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks for listening!

  9. Chas, I’ve prayed for your sister and the online Catholics as well.

  10. Brad…

    The struggle you’re having with your uncle sounds exactly like the one I have with my oldest sister, and have had online with other staunch Catholics. The tactics they employ are just like your uncle’s; deny, redefine, talk in circles, accuse you of being a “Catholic-hater” while at the same time insisting that you’re “still Catholic”, and when you quote any Scripture which contradicts RC doctrine, they say “That’s just your interpretation.” One Catholic posting on a conservative political blog–with whom I was carrying on an extended discussion–flung the “Catholic-hater” label at me. I was startled, because it was the same tactic he criticized left-wing SJWs for; branding one’s opponent as a “hater” when a cogent argument for one’s view doesn’t exist. But such is the effect of human religion, as you well know. Johninnc is right, staunch Catholics have learned to take great comfort in their religion. They’re not about to give it up without. some major event taking away their false security.

    Lately I’ve taken to pondering my own deliverance from RC darkness. It was a long road, but what I’ve found instructive to me personally (it may have no application to your situation) is to remember that no one who was the most instructive to me–who let in the most light–ever confronted me directly about the falsehoods of RC-ism. They did provide me with certain facts about their own beliefs if the subject came up, once in a while supported by Scripture, but they never bore down about RC error. The cracks in my own RC fortress first began to form in 1967, when a non-Catholic friend (Baptist, I think) told me about the biblical significance of what was going on in Israel at the time. I was fascinated, and not being all that deep into RC doctrine about “the end of the world”, I wasn’t infected with Replacement Theology. What my friend told me affected me profoundly, causing me to ponder my own relationship with God apart from RC-ism. But if he had taken the occasion to confront forcefully my Catholic “faith” at the time, I’m not sure what I would have done. Probably would have tried to defend it, maybe rejecting end-times prophecy altogether. Point is, the Lord’s approach with me has been gentle, if relentless. And I’m sure several people were praying for me all along the way. When people won’t listen to Scripture, prayer is always effective, even if we can’t see the effects.

    Prayer is what I’ve resorted to with my sister and several online Catholics. They’re digging in, but as long as they’re alive there’s still hope for them. I sometimes wonder if we are getting to the point where the Rapture (which my sister has ridiculed) is the only thing that will crack their RCC wall. But whatever the Lord uses…

    Well there I go, preaching to myself again. I’ll be praying for your Uncle.

  11. Brad, it sounds like you are describing a Catholic monk.

  12. Brad, I have prayed for both you and your uncle.

    The truth may be terrifying for your uncle at this point, because his religion is his refuge.

  13. I understand God’s Word doesn’t directly drive anyone away. But when a person is so deeply entrenched in false doctrines, it is more convenient in their sight (not though in reality) to deny His Word and thus fall even deeper into error.

    My email discussion with my uncle currently consists of me sending him a relevant passage of Scripture, one at a time. His replies are literally 15-20 paragraphs of what can only be described as a word salad, attempting to refute the passages I have sent him and to cause complication and confusion. To rebuke everything false thing he says per email would take me writing 100+ paragraphs per email in my replies.

    I see this all at the very least as a good learning opportunity for me, to figure out what works and what doesn’t when dealing with wolves. My uncle is a wolf, an anti-christ, a modern day Pharisee, a false prophet. He is showing me the many diverse tactics of a wolf, the shameless (at times) extents they are willing to go to.

    I presented him the gospel as clearly as I could months ago, he has seemingly completely forgotten about all that I told him back then because he now thinks I’m a Seventh Day Adventist for some reason. I would correct him on his many assumptions about me, but in all likelihood his pride will hinder his capacity (as it has countless times already) to admit to error. He keeps putting everything into simple group labels. Telling me what I am, telling me what group I belong to… Sorry uncle, but I’m the one supposed to be doing that, not you. He assumes that because I disagree with Catholicism I must “hate” it. Hate never helps, in my experiences anyways.

    He said a few emails back that being saved is un-Biblical, so I sent him the passages that literally mention the need to be saved. He palmed it off, didn’t mention once that he was wrong but strangely now he is talking about being saved as if it is Biblical, so I guess I did cause him to change his mind on that front. Either that or I exposed his double mindedness about it.

    I showed him the passage that ties false doctrines of devils directly to groups that forbid people to marry. I also showed him the passage that states clearly that a “Bishop” should be the husband of one wife. To both these passages? Nothing. He actually tried to turn the forbidding to marry passage back around onto me. Sillyness. As far as I see it he glossed over those passages because they directly rebuke his false doctrines.

    I’ve seen a lot of “picking and choosing” going on with him. He will target the things he can twist and distort but completely ignore the things he can’t. He will very uncommonly agree with me when it is theologically safe for him to do so.

    I find it amusing that our email discussion has essentially become a discussion between God and Satan. I’m obviously not claiming to be God… but I am weilding His Sword as best I can, while my uncle peddles lie after lie after lie… after lie… of Satan’s authorship..

    He replies to the passages I send him (again, intentionally with no input of my own except putting key words in bold if I need to, and only one passage at a time so he can’t pick and choose what to reply to) as if I am the one doing the talking, as if the verses are being made up by me. As an anti-christ does, he flagrantly disagrees with God Himself in the interest of his own manmade traditions. I’m sure I’ll be sending him that passage pretty soon… and he will probably reply to it with 30 paragraphs telling me why it only means some traditions, but not others (namely of course – his). I’m not going to give up on him, it isn’t that challenging when I let God do the talking. I already tried doing my own talking, it didn’t work.

    I’ll stop talking about this now, it is a matter for me to handle. I just ask for your prayers.

  14. Brad, no matter how dire it is, it helps to remember His Word won’t return void. And since we’re call to labor in the harvest, either planting or watering, we do it with a powerful sword. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. And God’s Word penetrates, and helps people come to faith, so we’re never wasting time or driving people away by sharing His Word, but we just need to be wise and redeem the time we’re given as we do share it. Trying not to offend somehow in ourselves, yet to be bold and share as He would have us. Don’t give up praying for your uncle (1 Tim 2:1-6) and sharing as the Spirit leads.

  15. Thanks for the prayer John. I suppose me sending him Bible passages will either send him further into darkness (by his own choice) or prayerfully at some point bring him to the Light.

  16. Brad, I have prayed for you to have wisdom in interacting with your uncle and that he would be receptive to the truth of God’s word.

    If you haven’t already, you might consdider sending “The Gospel” booklet to him.

  17. In my email discussions with my staunchly Catholic uncle, I have decided to simply use God’s Word alone to reply to him. It is incredible to watch him pick and choose which Bible verses he wants to use and which ones he wants to completely ignore. I spent so much time trying to use my own fallible words to show him his errors, I figure if he is going to disagree with anyone – let it be God Himself.

    He thinks I have been “brainwashed” by what he calls “anti-Catholic propoganda”. To show you how arrogant he is… he actually told me in one email that I am “a Catholic whether I like it or not” (because I was raised Catholic). This man is a wolf amongst wolves. So I figure I’ll send him one Bible passage at a time from now on, relevant of course to what ever he said to me.

    If God’s Word says it is able to refute false doctrines and teach the Truth on It’s own, then I will put It to the test here. At the very least I will learn much about the level of mental gymnastics people are willing to go to in order to preserve their false beliefs.

    It is either I do this, or I leave him. I think I am the only one in his life who is able to present to him the gospel message accurately and clearly. So if I gave up then his fate as I see it is effectually sealed. He likes to condense everyone into simple labels and buzzwords. For example a person is either a Catholic or a “protestant” in his view. You’re either with Catholicism, or you’re constantly protesting it. For this reason I cannot link him to websites because as soon as he sees it isn’t a Catholic website he would immediately be on the defensive thinking that Satan is trying to deceive him or something.

    It’s funny, I have moved so far away from taking Catholicism seriously that these days I am far more interested in finding the errors in what turns out to be the vast majority of those who my uncle would call “protestants”. I have mentioned to him that so many within the “protestant” realm are in error too and he is more than happy to agree with that but of course he turns into the human-equivalent of a brick wall when it comes to Catholic doctrine.

    It is the same with my Catholic mother… I will be talking to her about the errors of Calvinism for example and she will be nodding away in agreement with me… but as soon as I criticize the Catholic church she goes quiet. She even read Thomas Cucuzza’s book yet still goes to the Catholic church every Saturday and has shown no change that I have seen.

    Any input would be appreciated about how I should handle my uncle moving forward. Thankfully speaking via email means I can carefully decide each response I give him. Because above all else, I want him to be saved.

    I think he has assumed much about me though… He is in his 70’s and I am just a dumb 27 year old kid. Age biases really play a big role in these sorts of situations I believe. I don’t want to make his situation worse unwittingly.

  18. Jason, you pose an excellent question – so many are being blinded by false gospels.

  19. My favorite comedian shared a random post about a hardened criminal who had spent ten years in prison for shooting a cop and would proudly do it again. Some commenters think pain at the hands of corrupt government officials had hardened him.

    One commenter makes this blinded comment: “don’t be a boring sinner, surprise the devil today by giving your life to Jesus Christ”.

    Maybe he is talking about turning one’s life around practically, but I doubt it. I replied: “Giving your life to Jesus never saved anyone. You must believe in him alone, not Jesus plus your own life”.

    Whatever is the case, a criminal or anyone else needs Jesus plus nothing. The thief on the cross received exactly what he needed. How many thieves are being blinded by false gospels?

  20. LD, thanks for commenting. You make a good point that some don’t even know they are corrupting the gospel.

  21. Nadine, we are glad you are here and that you enjoyed the new article.

  22. fryingpan, thanks. It is always good to hear from you.

  23. John 6:47, it is true that people must come to believe in Jesus as Savior, not only as helper, in order to have eternal life.

    And, one must recognize that he is a sinner, in need of a Savior, in order to come to faith in Christ.

  24. Great article! Sadly many Lordship proponents are deceived by the same old lie that “good people go to heaven, bad people go to hell” heresy. Well according GOD’S standard, nobody is good, everybody is bad, and ALL DESERVE to go to Hell. Heaven is perfect and you MUST be PERFECT in order to get there. In order to get that perfection, you MUST receive the imputed righteousness of Christ by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ and Him ALONE as Savior. Jesus Christ CANNOT help save you, He can only save you BY HIMSELF. God cannot and will not save anybody who is trying to save themselves. He only saves those who recognize that they are a dirty rotten sinner who ought to bust Hell wide open and trust in Christ ALONE as their Savior.

  25. Thank you !

  26. Amen! Especially true regarding how LS believers do not deny the gospel outright, but then they contradict themselves by either front-loading or back-loading the gospel with works subtly (knowingly or unknowingly).

    Hope everyone is well in the Lord today. 🙂

  27. Another great post! Thank you, johninnc.

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