Lordship Salvation: Easy Disbelievism?

By johninnc

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

In my  experience administering the ExPreacherman site, I have encountered myriad search terms associated with “easy believism.” Easy believism is a derisive term generally used by people who aren’t quite comfortable with grace.

Some recent search terms include:

  • the false gospel of easy believism leading people to hell
  • easy believism preachers
  • what is wrong with easy believism
  • easy believism you will know them by their fruits

I personally have no objection to the term easy believism, because simply believing the gospel always results in eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. Always. But, what I have yet to encounter is a search term that refers to easy disbelievism.

What would constitute easy disbelievism?  It would be a disbelief in the truth of the gospel for something else, that in some way seems easier, safer, or more comfortable for people to believe. Is the false gospel of Lordship “salvation” actually easy disbelievism?

Lordship “salvation” (LS) is the unsupportable and unbiblical belief that thePERFORMANCE 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.

Following are three closely-related, interlocking reasons why LS may constitute easy disbelievism:

Preexisting beliefs

Romans 10:3: For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

A common response to a person feeling alienated from God is to try to fix it himself. It seems easy to believe that God would accept us only if we show sufficient contrition, intent to reform ourselves, agree to obey Him going forward, give of our time and treasure, and so on.

That tendency is reinforced by the almost ubiquitous false gospel messages emanating from pulpits and media that claim to be representing biblical truths. These false messages are often imbedded into local churches that are an integral part of peoples’ family, social, and spiritual lives.

Ron Shea has this to say regarding denial of the doctrine of grace:

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.

Popularity

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

The above passage is generally misconstrued by proponents of LS to pertain to how one lives his life. But, the reality is that the strait gate and the narrow way are Christ alone.

John 10:9: I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

John 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

In contrast to faith in Him alone, which Jesus said would be unpopular, LS is extremely prevalent. It is either tacitly or explicitly contained in the doctrine of virtually all denominations of christendom. It is either glaring, or more subtle, but lurking virtually everywhere.

The most glaring examples involve the actual performance of works, such as water baptism, or public confession of Christ for eternal life.

Less glaring examples include the willingness to turn from sin, or the desire to have a relationship with Jesus in order to receive eternal life.

The most subtle examples are those which relegate the assurance of eternal life to an examination of oneself or others for the evidence that one has received eternal life.

Any “tests” or “marks” of a “true believer” that point to anything other than whether one has believed in Jesus are not a reliable source of assurance, and will serve only to undermine an honest person’s assurance of eternal life.

Safety

Romans 11:6: And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

Some people think that there is safety in numbers. Other people want to put their safety in the hands of “authority figures,” and still others want to rely on themselves to some extent for eternal life, just in case Jesus isn’t enough.

But grace and works don’t mix for eternal life.

So, is LS easy disbelievism? Whatever its label, LS is a false gospel of works that points unbelievers away from the truth of the gospel to keep them unsaved, and that can undermine the assurance of believers.

If you would like to know the truth about eternal life click here: THE GOSPEL

 

43 responses to “Lordship Salvation: Easy Disbelievism?

  1. jason, that’s a good point. A lot of people think ecumenism that is tolerant of false gospel teaching is the answer to all of the division, but that just further masks the truth.

  2. It’s divide and conquer tactics. I hear that Iranians call it Jarg i Jango. Nigerians call it Atikulooted. Grace is like a third party that’s hard to find in all the noise that includes zillions of third parties.

  3. Mike, one thing I find interesting about Calvinism, is it’s intersection with Augustine, who was all about works for salvation no matter how he may have said differently. Calvin worshipped him. The Catholic church sprung from Augustine as did Calvinism. But even in that, Lordship (or I prefer to call it Loadship) is pervasive in Arminianism too. People seem to think it’s and either/or proposition, but both have loadship as their error. Both Calvinists and Arminians have to persevere. Just a slightly different take on it.

    They often accuse of something that just boggles my mind. They talk about ‘cheap gracers’ being on the ‘broad path’. But they just cannot accept the narrow way. Christ and Him crucified on His cross (John 14:6; 1 Cor 2:1-5; Col 2:13-15). How hard it is for them to believe… So tragic to me.

  4. Mike, I agree that Calvinism is a works for salvation doctrine that intersects with LS.

    And, it is pervasive.

  5. Mike Rogers

    Well written! Calvinism I believe is at the heart of Lordship salvation rather than faith in Christ alone. To simply hear the Gospel message and respond with faith seems a foreign concept to the modern church.

  6. What a great way to put it John.

    Easy disbelievism. It is easier for them to disbelieve the truth and want to be a partial savior.

    So many comments here, struck by many, evidently so many here have been touched at some point by the upside down, right is wrong, and left is right and dark is light message of loadshippers.

    They continue to want to place loads on people, they themselves do not lift with one finger.

    Anyways, thanks for the article John, hope you had a good, restful time off.

  7. I agree, John, LSer’s “grace”, isn’t biblical grace at all.
    “Cheapened NON-grace” would have been more correct.

  8. chas, you are right that LSers try to cheapen grace by averaging their works into it. Christ’s sacrifice was perfect and complete.

    In actuality, once they throw works into the equation, it is no longer even grace.

  9. Since God’s gift of eternal life was purchased for us at an infinite price (God’s only Son), it follows that the LSer’s “expensive” grace has been reduced to some finite price; their promise of some degree of unspecified obedience. So LS “grace” is actually “cheapened grace”.

    I’ll rely on God’s free gift of infinite value.

  10. Kathy, we are glad that you find the latest article to be a blessing.

  11. Amen and AMEN!!!

  12. John 6:47, yeah, there are a lot of derogatory terms for grace, including “cheap grace,” “greasy grace,” “sloppy agape,” and so on. And, they are used to turn people away from the truth.

    Real gifts always cost the giver, but are free to the recipient. In this case, God’s gracious gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus is the most precious gift of all, both in its cost to the giver an its value to the recipient.

  13. “Cheap grace”

    What blasphemy! Salvation is not cheap, it is free for us! But it cost God everything, sending His only begotten Son to the cross to make the payment for our salvation. To call that cheap is blasphemous! Them’s fightin’ words!

  14. Phil, I am glad you brought up the “cheap grace” slander. You are right that eternal life is absolutely free to the recipient – not cheap!

    One of the recent search terms at this site was “cheap grace vs lordship.” Neither one is right.

  15. I think if you get at the root of some LS’r’s saying, just believing Christ for salvation is too easy and it also takes our works as well. They are really saying that they just can’t bring themselves to just rely on Christ’s finished work at Calvary for salvation: it’s just too much for them.. “Easy Believism” is just too hard for some of them. So, maybe they should be honest and just call it “hard believism.”
    They also get the accusation of “cheep grace” wrong too.. It’s not cheep; it’s absolutely free!

  16. John 6:47, you are right – assurance is not possible if it depends to any extent on how we live our lives. Like you said, even if someone has been really good, there is no guarantee that will continue tomorrow.

  17. Great article! Salvation is easy because Jesus did the hard part by paying for the sins of the world with His own blood. I hate the stupid prerogative terms that the religionists use to slander the true Gospel of Grace. The truth is easy believism is the hardest thing for most people to believe. Just go ask people the following:

    If you were to die right now, do you know for sure that you’ll be in Heaven?

    95 times out of 100 you’ll get something along these lines:

    “I’m going to Heaven because I did (fill in the blank)”

    “I’m going to Heaven because I stopped doing (fill in the blank)”

    “I’m not sure, I’m really trying to live a faithful life and persevere to the end. I hope I’ll make it”

    95% of the people you meet do not know where they will spend eternity. Because they are basing their eternal destination on the way they live their life and not on what Christ did for them 2000 years ago. If you are trusting in your works to any extent, you cannot be sure that you are going to Heaven when you die. Period. Truth is, you don’t know how good you will be tomorrow, let alone the final moments of your life. Hence, you cannot know that you are going to Heaven. But if salvation depends on what Christ HAS done (and it is), then you can be sure because His work was complete. When He promises you eternal life by faith alone in Christ alone, you can take that to the bank, because God cannot lie.

  18. Kerin, we are glad that you are a part of our fellowship and that you found the article to be a blessing.

  19. Kerin Kelly

    Another great article!! So appreciate this site, just thinking how isolated I would be without you to keep me focused on the true gospel and the fellowship you provide for us all. Thank you Johninnc and all the regular contributors you are an absolute blessing to all that visit your site.

  20. Thanks LD. What you just wrote brings to mind that we frequently have prayer requests here. I think we can also use this site for praising God and thanking Him in our fellowship here.

  21. To PhilR: Thank you. I am glad to be here with you and everyone here. Can’t wait to contribute further into the edifying and encouraging discussion in this grace oasis website. 🙂

    To sam: I agree. It is sad, but true. We truly have the freedom in Christ Jesus. All thanks to God.

    I want to share this verse for the day.
    (16) Rejoice evermore. (17) Pray without ceasing. (18) In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
    (1st Thessalonians 5:16-18)

  22. chas, I have found that those who teach that one must receive Jesus as both Lord and Savior in order to receive eternal life are generally prone to LS. I think a better way to say it is to believe in the Lord Jesus as Savior.

    And, it is impossible to submit oneself unto the righteousness of God, while believing that one must augment His righteousness in order to receive eternal life.

    You bring up an interesting question about whether stating the doctrine of grace in terms of “submission” might make the gospel message more compelling for LSers. I personally think it would confuse the issue.

    I agree with you that these “discernment” sites often miss the forest for the trees.

  23. Sam, it’s always good to hear from you.

    You are right that we are fortunate to have found freedom from LS, and also that there are many who won’t.

  24. Great article, John.

    I’ve got to remember that quote of Romans 10:3. It really nails the issue; that these disbelievers with their “free grace is too easy” lordship nonsense are the ones who haven’t submitted to Jesus as Lord, because they “have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”

    If we were careful to state the doctrine of Free Grace in terms of submission, would LS-ers be more open to the idea? They always seem ready to wallow in “submission” and whatnot.

    Or not. I guess I shouldn’t underestimate the capacity of pious church-goers to miss the point, especially when irony is involved.

    I just came from a discernment site where the bloggers insist that they don’t teach LS but still have the “must receive Jesus Christ as Lord” as wells as Savior to be saved heresy in their statement of beliefs. In a recent article their lead writer laments how they can’t get Christian pastors to see that contemplative prayer is just another mask for eastern mystical meditation, and that the Christian Church is awash with people being taught how to “enter the silence” and other destructive practices. I felt like posting a response about how LS is even more widespread, and it’s even more difficult to get anyone–including discernment ministries–to confront that issue. Irony always gets me going, I guess. Hard to tell sometimes if it’s me or the Lord.

  25. Just wanted to respond to LD on finding a church that actually believes in salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. Its appears to me that its a very small percentage of churches that actually dont teach a mixed message of grace and law (works) to be saved. I personally had to just move on and become free which wasnt easy after being misled for so many years. Thanks to this site (thanks Johninnc) and a few others I realise that there are lots of us in the same boat. One thing for sure were fortunate we found freedom because most wont….

  26. Thanks Phil. I appreciate your continued prayers for me and this ministry.

  27. Phil, I think your warning about Les Feldick is well-founded. Teaching the inevitability of good works for believers inevitably leads to fruit inspection.

    I find it particularly self-serving for Feldick to suggest that leading people to listen to him would be an example of evidence of those inevitable good works.

    I plan to avoid him.

  28. Glad you’re back john. I’m thankful for all you are doing here. My prayers for you and the continuing growth of the Oasis of Grace site.

    Hi LD, I am glad you have found this site. You are in good company here of grace alone believers. I and others here have had trouble finding grace believers outside this site. Stick around, you can fellowship with us.

  29. Recently, I was listening to Les Feldick, who is supposedly teaches salvation by grace thru faith and he says “plus nothing”. He says over and over in his Bible study archives, just believe the gospel, Christ’s death, burial and resurrection and that’s all you need plus nothing else to be eternally secure. Sounds fine; that is until you catch onto some subtle things he adds on. He gets questions in the mail like a woman asks, “But will I change and will I start to do good works after I am saved?” Les’s answer was “Yes” those works will naturally come because you have the Holy Spirit in you. It may be just leading people to listen to my Les Feldick Bible studies and hear the gospel.” He further said, that this does not mean works are required for salvation, but every believer will naturally produce something in the way of good works. And he goes on to site Eph 2:11.
    Now, Les may not see that he is actually contradicting himself saying faith plus nothing, But then turn around there is plus something else that follows saving faith.
    I have heard him say that people who don’t change and keep living the old sinful live as before they were saved, he doubts that they ever believed the gospel and were saved in the first place.
    This sounds like a clever form of back door LS or maybe Calvinism.
    Les Feldick has his Bible studies easily available over the internet on his sites, but I would caution the new believer to avoid listening to him for the above reason and other teachings of his.

  30. fryingpan, I am extremely thankful for your prayers for this ministry.

    Thank you for praying for me and encouraging me.

  31. Another fantastic article!

    At the risk of sounding prideful (I’m only proud of the God we serve), I’m glad I’ve gotten into the habit of praying that you have the patience, persistence and inspiration to keep coming up with these articles, johninnc!

    This article asks SUCH a great question. It’s one of those classic, “I can’t believe no one’s asked that before” moments . . .

  32. LD, we are glad you found us.

    We try to keep this an oasis of grace where believers can come and get away from false religion.

    We also receive a lot of traffic from people seeking the truth of how to have eternal life and from detractors.

    We have a strong gospel orientation to promote and defend the gospel.

    It sometimes seems like administering the site is like playing goalie, but it is rewarding to know that the ministry is serving a vital need.

  33. johninnc, indeed.
    I am grieved to see those who have heard the simplicity of the gospel to reject it, stating that [for example] “it’s too easy” or “it’s God’s grace through faith AND us being faithful until the end.” One of the important teachings that causes LS crowd to have doubleminded-ness is the two natures and free will after being saved.

    Some say that if we are REALLY born-again, they works/fruits WILL follow and it is God who is doing the work in us. On the other hand, they would ask why God would give us the bible which explains about how God wants us to live as christians (ex: Paul admonition to the believers in different places).

    I would state that it is because we have free will as believers to live for God or to not live for God but our position in Christ (justification) remains forever. If God is doing the fruit producing in a person, then there wouldn’t be any need for the passages which tell us that we should live for the things of God since God is doing all the work for the believer.

    The LS people who believe in the “perseverance of the saints” tenet would have no assurance at all (but some say they do) and to admit that they won’t know for sure that they are truly saved until they die and stand in judgment.

    Such a messed up doctrine. I’m just thankful that I can share these things that were in my mind in this website since I have no one in person to share it with. I feel alone because there is no one (that I know for sure) to fellowship with in person who hold to the true gospel.

  34. LD, I have also had someone ask me something to the effect of “if that’s all it takes (faith in Christ to receive eternal life), why doesn’t everyone do it?” She was not asking in a mocking tone, and didn’t really know any scripture. And yet, in subsequent conversations, she doesn’t seem to understand the gospel.

    There are a lot of LS churches that believe in eternal security, but also teach that there are “marks” or “signs” of “true believers.” This is associated with the false Calvinist tenet of “perseverance of the saints.”

  35. True, very true.
    I have heard from people (including those close to me) about how IF the gospel of free grace or easy believism is true, then there would be many people that would go to heaven and not few. Therefore, they would mention Matthew 7:13-14 as proof text that the free grace teaching is invalid. Some would even say that the free grace doctrine would result in everyone going to heaven (universalism) because they would mockingly say that it is to “just believe one time and that’s it.” However, I see quite the opposite.

    In my experience in Southern California, all of the churches (except one, but is associated with Grace Evangelical Society) that I have sent emails to and meeting some of the pastors for the purpose of finding a congregation that holds to sound doctrine hold to lordship salvation teaching in varying degrees whether it be sneakily or outright obvious. I have been searching for about 2-3 months on and off with no luck whatsoever. I’m beginning to think that the pastors (who believe and teach lordship salvation) whom I listened to in the past were either dishonest or were ignorant when they mentioned how there are so many churches that teach once saved always saved [there are some who would associate OSAS with the sinner’s prayer]. If what the pastors said were true, then I should have been able to find a congregation by now. :/

    “A common response to a person feeling alienated from God is to try to fix it himself. It seems easy to believe that God would accept us only if we show sufficient contrition, intent to reform ourselves, agree to obey Him going forward, give of our time and treasure, and so on.”

    – This statement pretty much sums my experience in searching for a congregation in Southern California.

    Thank you johninnc for this article.
    I hope all you have a blessed day and continue to be faithful to the truth of the Gospel in Christ Jesus. 🙂

  36. Nadine, it’s always great to hear from you. Glad you like the article!

  37. Thank you great article !!!!

  38. Brady, our works have no part in receiving, keeping, or proving that we have received eternal life. This applies to works done at any point.

    We know that one receives eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. And, once a person receives eternal life, it is irreversible – that is, it cannot be lost or forfeited. So, that rules out our works having anything to do with receiving eternal life.

    However, certain works done by Christians will result in rewards for them.

    1 Corinthians 3:12-15: Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

  39. Brady Mayo

    Lately I’ve heard an argument that Paul’s references to a faith apart from works is pre-saved works and that post saved works are righteous and can save. What are your thoughts?

  40. m calvary, we’re glad you like the article.

    I am hopeful that others will read it and that it will help some who have been influenced by LS.

  41. give us more of these articles the church needs it.

  42. nice

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