Galatians 2:21: I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Below is a rather lengthy exchange from an internet article I read today. I would have generally relegated this to a comment under “The Gospel According to Internet Comments,” but I have made it a separate post because it is very instructive as to the subtlety of works for salvation that so many people confuse with grace.
The first commenter (varnuke) seems to be upholding grace, though he has some error mixed in. The other commenter (Frank Zimmerman) has serious Lordship “salvation” error.
The commenter’s names are highlighted in bold. I have also interspersed my comments in bold parenthesis.
varnuke Jim James • 2 days ago • edited
No matter how much I try to abstain from sins, I find that actually impossible as long as I live. “The thought of foolishness is sin.” Proverbs 24:9 (KJV). “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17. (KJV) My only way out was Jesus Christ dying for ALL of my sins, past, present, and future. Nothing I can do to add to that at all! PERIOD!
Frank Zimmerman varnuke • a day ago
Christ’s life needs to be in you though…otherwise you are frustrating His grace. “How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein?” Rom 6:2. “Awake to righteousness and sin not; I speak this to your shame.” 1 Cor. 15:34.
(My comment: This is a strong indication that Frank objects to the grace of God. Varnuke gave a comment that should not need to be qualified or rebutted. Frank seems uncomfortable with it. Frank also seems to confuse instruction for Christian living with believing in Jesus as Savior.)
varnuke Frank Zimmerman • a day ago • edited
When Jesus Christ died for my sins (as well as everyone else), He paid the price for my sins (past, present and future) so that I could become a member “of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” Eph. 5:30 (KJV), by placing all my God-given faith and trust in His sacrifice for my sins, which I definitely did not deserve at all, “. . . whereby [I am] sealed unto the day of redemption.” Eph. 4:30 (KJV). “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Eph. 2:6 (KJV).
I understand it the other way around. I need to ‘be in Him.’ not personally “working” my way into a false sense of being saved by claiming that I don’t sin anymore after ‘being saved,’ as if what He did was not perfect enough, and thus requires me to do something else (like trying not to sin, which is absolutely impossible in the flesh).
Eph. 2:8-9 (KJV) says it all. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it [faith] is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” And that “gift” of faith is a “free gift” of God. Rom: 5:15-16, 18 (KJV). Gifts are already “free,” by definition. And that ” . . . faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Rom. 10:17 (KJV).
Problem is, if a person claims to have “Christ’s life” in him, or her, that person still sins after such claim. Even a lie is enough to send one to hell. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Rev. 21:8 (KJV)
Not trusting what Jesus Christ did 100.00%, without the addition of righteous personal ‘works,’ wherein a person mistakenly thinks he or she no longer sins is nothing less than total self deception – usually misleadingly taught to them by some false so-called “Christian” religion.
Working to keep from ‘sinning’ is nothing more than evidence one has not placed their complete trust in Him, thinking their own “filthy rags” righteousness is also required for salvation. “. . . all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags . . .” Isaiah 64:6 (KJV)
(My comment: varnuke’s comment requires a very important clarification: Working to keep from sinning is not evidence that one has not placed their complete trust in Christ. Working to keep from sinning is evidence that someone is not currently trusting fully in Christ only if someone thinks they must do that to earn, keep, or prove that they have received eternal life. And, even if someone is not currently trusting in Christ alone for eternal life, that does not mean that they never have. Anyone who has ever trusted in Christ alone as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.
Varnuke has also referred to faith as “God given” and has quantified faith with 5 significant digits (100.00%). Our ability to have faith in anything is God-given, however we must never confuse that with God giving us the faith to trust in Christ as Savior. And, it is the object of our faith – Jesus Christ – not the quality of our faith that is the only distinction as to whether or not someone has eternal life.)
Frank Zimmerman varnuke • 21 hours ago • edited
I know what you are saying is a popular version of the gospel, but what is missing is the death of the old man. There are two deaths required to save anyone: Christ’s death, and the death of your old man of sin.
“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me.” Gal. 2:20
“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” Rom. 6:6-7.
According to Romans 7:1-4, Christ will not marry you (i.e. you will not be “in Him” and He will not be “in you”) unless the old man has died first…otherwise He would be an adulterer.
(My comment: Believing the gospel that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead results in the death of the old man. No one needs to turn from sin, or do anything to make that a reality. The Bible makes it clear that it is possible for a Christian to continue to let sin reign in his life, even though that is not God’s will. See Romans 6:12. Further, even knowing that the old man is dead is not required to receive eternal life. It is a forensic fact!)
Check also the object lesson of redemption in the deliverance from Egypt: the death of the lamb was required, and also the death of the firstborn of Egypt, before the Israelites were free from the land of bondage. We need to be likewise free from the bondage to the power of sin.
(My comment: Believing the gospel that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead results in a new birth of the Spiritual Man that does not even have the capacity to sin. Yet, the flesh is still with us in this lifetime, which is why we still sin. One is therefore free from the bondage to the power of sin by virtue of having a new nature. That does not mean that there is any inevitable change in the nature, extent, nor degree to which any believer in Christ will sin in this lifetime. Otherwise, the instructions to believers in the Epistles would be unnecessary.)
Your charge, that someone who trusts in Christ to keep him from sinning, is somehow “trusting in his own works” is foolish. Do you suppose that the Israelites celebrated their stepping into the Red Sea as the cause for their victory? They well knew it was the power of God working in their behalf. So will it be with the truly righteous man…he knows it is the power of God working in him, and not of himself.
(My comment: Believing the gospel that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead does not require trusting in Him to keep from sinning. This is Lordship “salvation” 101!. If we were required to trust in Christ to keep from sinning in order to have eternal life, then we would need to examine whether we had turned from sin (which is a work) to determine whether we had eternal life. The presence of ANY SIN would negate the evidence supplied by the absence of all other sin.)
In Romans 4, the promise to Abraham is set forth as an example of the power of the gospel. Abraham and Sarah were dead within, they had no power to bring forth the son that God had promised. But they trusted that what God had promised, He was able to perform (in them). God gave them His life, and they were enabled to do the impossible.
(My comment: Believing the gospel that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead is not about “our doing the impossible” by turning from sin! Abraham and Sarah were not enabled to do the impossible. God did the impossible. This is about our believing that God has taken away our sin, and that He is able to accomplish what we could not – our eternal salvation.)
You say it is impossible for the life of Jesus to be manifest in us. Therefore, you do not have the faith of Abraham. You are in high danger of accepting “a form of godliness” but “denying the power.”
(My comment: varnuke never said that it was impossible for the life of Jesus to be manifest in us. Frank simply put those words into his mouth. Then, Frank said that varnuke didn’t have the faith of Abraham, which means Frank has assumed the position of God. Finally, Frank has intimated that varnude is “denying the power” by asserting that sinless perfection is not attainable in this lifetime.)
We have received lots of comments and e-mails with doctrine similar to that set forth above by Frank. To summarize Frank’s error:
- Frank falsely implies that trusting in Christ to keep us from sinning is necessarily included in, or is the same thing as believing in Christ as Savior.
- Frank falsely teaches that to assert that life change and less sinning are not inevitable in the lives of believers is to “deny the power.”
- Frank confuses the fact that the “old man” is forensically dead the moment someone believes in Jesus as Savior with what one must believe in order to have eternal life. One does not have to know that the “old man” is dead in order to receive eternal life, and one need not do anything to manifest that understanding in the way he lives his life in order to demonstrate that he has received eternal life.
- Frank falsely insinuates that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead in order to enable us to earn eternal life.
If you have made, or heard, similar “frank arguments”, and would like to know the truth about how to have eternal life click here: THE GOSPEL
Jason, that is a strange thing for a pastor to say. Not much of any use in his comment.
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome said: “Africans must stop calling themselves black, black is evil”. He must be a CIA agent. What an awful thing to say.
Jason, the only thing I’d like to say is they can’t possibly be ‘basing their ministry on Acts’ because if they did, throughout Acts we see the Gospel of Christ and Him crucified for our sins, and His resurrected from the dead. So they must teach a distorted version.
Yes Johninnc, I guess they are conditional security proponents (a lot of them). The girl also said she knew she was saved based on the fact she wanted to ‘jump when He said jump’.
None of it based on His Word.
Jason, they start with a false gospel and add dominionism. What a putrid combo.
Omega Kingdom Ministries has interviewed followers of Qanon, and appears to support dominionism and kingdom now. Their leader shares a family name with C Peter Wagner. They base their ministry on Acts. Their gospel presentation includes repent of sin and changed lives. The NAR is Deep Church. Leaving the Democrats and joining Omega is like out of the frying pan and into the fire. Shudders.
Jason, that quote is messed up on so many levels.
I agree it is loaded with false gospel conditions.
I was in a watch party where the speakers in the video were discussing Congolese politics. One of the commenters decided to bring their false gospel into it and typed this comment:
“Jesus is the ONLY way. Jesus is here. The people of this land, the US, rejected and crucified Jesus. Those who willingly did so, will now go to Hell. God isn’t laughing like many of you. Satan Trump and all who follow him will now be destroyed by Jesus All Trumpers are going to Hell. Trump, the Anti-Christ and his demons are all going to Hell together. Those who refuse to kneel before Jesus, go to Hell. Trump is the Anti-Christ, and he is going to Hell. You elected the demon and now you’ll go to Hell with him unless you repent of your sins. This is nothing new folks. Its in the Bible. Book of Revelations. It’s just that the time is now. Jesus will destroy Trump and his minions. Demons go to Hell. You cannot serve 2 masters. Jesus lovers go to Heaven. Simple”
My thoughts: politics divides and conquers, but for eternal life the Gospel matters, and with this repent of sin garbage, the commenter gets it woefully wrong. Neither repenting of sin nor any political opinions are conditions for eternal life. Jesus believers go to heaven.
Holly, that is so sad. People do seem to get angry when presented the truth of the gospel – particularly when it contradicts their bad news.
Jason and Johninnc, re the twisted false gospel. I saw a post on FB the other day where someone made a comment like, if you are not doing #1________________ #2________________ #3______________ you might want to check yourself, you may not be saved.
What on earth?
I was on a group called ‘Soteriology 101’ where an admin removed me after one comment and never having been warned ever.
One poor gal there who is very ‘nicely’ condescending in her teaching of others, assured a guy he could know he was o.k. if he ‘loved Jesus with his heart’ (something to that effect, I don’t know for sure because I was immediately removed for not ‘speaking the truth in love’ and not being considerate). The admin re-worded my comment that she removed after she had blocked me from commenting again.
I told this poor ‘assured’ woman, that if she was trusting in the condition of her heart to somehow be what she was trusting she was sadly mistaken.
Imagine my shock to see it removed so fast. But these blinded people are so into preaching an accursed gospel of ‘lose your salvation’, ‘remove His seal’, ‘walk away from your salvation’, ‘sin willfully’ and so on, that they likely have never believed His gospel of grace.
Jason, with those MacArthurish refrains, I usually respond with, ‘if Jesus is not Savior of all, He may not be your Savior at all’.
Jason, that is another twist on a false gospel of works. What a mess!
There is a messed up video on YouTube where the man tells a parable of a man who is faithful to his wife and goes to hell. The man goes to hell because he spent too much time with his wife and not enough time with God. It is also explained that he didn’t fast and pray. Pathetic. What if the man trusted in Jesus alone for eternal life? “Fasting and praying” portrays a legalistic lifestyle. How much time is enough time spent with Jesus? Open ended and vague, and missing the gospel by a mile.
Jason, that is a strange comment. The second sentence generally has an LS connotation. One can not add to the finished work of Christ by “making Him Lord of one’s life.” Trying to add works to grace frustrates grace.
I saw this weird comment: “Anything you add to Jesus will frustrate your life! He is either the Lord of all or He’s not the Lord at all”
The second sentence, in its usual lordshippy context, contradicts the first. If Jesus is not Lord over the terms of grace (faith alone), he is not Lord at all (to use that tired refrain). Fruit inspection is adding to Jesus.
Jason, I saw a couple of eulogies for Ravi Zacharias last week. We have had several unfavorable comments about his associations in the past.
Ravi dies. Adeola Fayehun offers this obituary: “RIP Brother Ravi. You touched so many souls. Thank you for your books and lectures, you were the real deal!😢”
And I know that Ravi is not the real deal. He has preached the “prayer that changes lives” and “the experiential power of knowing God”. It’s Tongues to me. Ravi is no better than Naija pastors.
I am very disappointed in Adeola.
I agree with your assessment of Stone’s sincerity. I’d been aware that Stone is RC, though from reading his book on the JFK assassination I got the impression he had “lapsed”. As his legal troubles mounted (the result of a vicious smear campaign) I wondered if he’d be driven to the Gospel or back to the RCC. Looks like the latter. Sad indeed.
The tendency to refer to their religious beliefs–“my faith” as they say–as the basis for their salvation seems to be a mark of Roman Catholics. I guess it’s part of the view that RC-ism is the “original” form of Christianity. Therefore, when one strays, he doesn’t stray fromChrist so much, but from “Holy Mother Church”. It is to “Holy Mother Church” he returns “as a dog returns to its vomit…” A Catholic would certainly dispute that analysis, but as an EX-Catholic I can vouch for it.
Of course, “Protestants” have gradually taken on the same tendency as Protestantism has aged. Becoming more important than God Himself is the course of any human religious system.
Thanks for reminding me. I now recall that Stearnes was exposed.
Jason, if I am not mistaken, the one-time president of World Vision was Richard Stearnes, who authored a book entitled “The Hole in Our Gospel.”
Bruce Bauer, who used to be a co-administrator at expreacherman, wrote an article on that book. See below:
I am not sure what World Vision stands for. Their statement of faith is not clear enough. On salvation, they have: “We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, regeneration of the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential”. While they don’t have any glaring inconsistencies such as “repent of sin”, they also do not have faith as the only condition for receiving grace and eternal security as the result.
Those who participate in their work may feel that its practical, humanitarian concerns are important enough to put aside differences in soteriology and get involved.
I was curious for information about Idi Amin, and a search led to an article from World Vision: “Uganda genocide: A nightmare finally comes to an end”, by W Stanley Mooneyham. From things that I have learned in the last two years, I see that the title is misleading. The nightmare continues under another dictator. And I don’t know what kind of pastors they are supporting. Even in these practical areas, they are not being honest.
Organizations like Voice of the Martyrs and Open Doors are now portraying countries like Kenya and Uganda as being “persecuted” and in need of Bibles. Kenya in particular has organizations that are vigilant against the erosion of Christian culture, and secularism is much more advanced here in the US. Some of my Kenyan friends tell me that they have never had legalized abortions. These organizations are lying about the politics of other countries for donations.
Holly, agree that false gospels and false religion have no power to save.
So sad every time I see these types of words:
“He knows whether my conversion back to ‘my faith’ is real or not, whether it is honest or not.” (I am sure his conversion back to Catholicism is likely honest. However it is futile for eternity and that makes me sad and angered at the Graham’s original plan with the synagogues and RC church, all so they could simply draw in dollars and followers. And they’ve succeeded. Deceivers who are deceived.
Yep. I am seeing a lot of “keep the faith” type adds. I’m not sure what “the faith” is, but my guess is that it is largely LS.
More LS connections to the “Cult”. Creeps me out.
JohnWI, I saw a report on this. Roger Stone said that he “returned to his faith” after meeting with Graham.
A couple of quotes from the article I read:
Stone, who was raised Roman Catholic, has decided to remain a Catholic but now actually attends church in Fort Lauderdale, where Father Michael Grady of St. Anthony Church is giving spiritual counsel.
“A lot of people,” Stone acknowledges, “are going to say, ‘You know, Roger Stone, the guy’s a showman, he’s a political animal. This is a pose. This is a head fake. This is posturing to gain public sympathy.’ The old Roger Stone would have been angry about that, but I’m not angry because I really believe that He, God, knows what’s in my heart. He knows whether my conversion back to my faith is real or not, whether it is honest or not.
I was listening to the Sara Carter Podcast and she had Roger Stone on her show. He gave is testimony (I am not questioning whether his testimony is genuine or not, just the false gospel he was given) that Franklin Graham met with him and told him everything will be fine, if you just turn your life over to Christ. He then went to a Franklin Graham revival meeting, (over 2000 people there) where Franklin gave “his” gospel presentation. “Everybody here tonight, who has sinned, can be cleansed, all you have to do is stand to give witness, and recognize your life is in Christ’s hands and receive him as your savior”. Roger said about 400 people stood to give witness.
He said he has since went back to the RCC and has other pastors supporting him. He mentioned pastor Mark Burns of South Carolina, and Randy Coggins
Chas, I also can’t make myself support Samaritan’s purse.
Graham seems to have just started his latest ad campaign on TV today. It comes across as caring and compassionate, but it is insidious.
Yeah, Franklin G. is one of the busiest LS-ers on the planet. We used to contribute to his Samaritan’s Purse shoe box thing at Christmas. Once I found out about his LS teachings we stopped that right quick. Occasionally I still have to remind my wife (and myself) why we don’t support him anymore, and it still pains me that we ever helped him spread his nonsense.
Samaritan’s Purse recently set up a mobile hospital in Italy to treat
China virus victims. A good work, to be sure, but with FG’s false gospel they will remain as lost as ever.
I just saw Franklin Graham on a commercial on TV. He invited people to say a prayer for salvation that included saying you were sorry for your sins, asking Jesus into your heart and being willing to trust Him as Savior and follow Him as Lord.
My comment: Jesus comes into a person’s heart when they believe in Him as Savior. A person receives eternal life when they believe in Jesus as Savior. No prayer is necessary, nor is being sorry for sins or being willing to follow Him as Lord.
Franklin Graham continues to try to pass his false gospel off as the real thing.
“Lord, Lord, I impacted others positively here on earth.
I placed a foot print in the soil of history.
I am known for the impact I made.”
We know He will say, Nope, I never knew you….
Jason, yeah, the governor doesn’t seem to have it quite right.
Nigeria has states with governors. One of the governors said: “We have a promise from God. Abia is the only state mentioned in the Bible…. Coronavirus will pass us by in Jesus name”.
They can’t get even everyday facts right. Abijah was one of David’s grandsons, not a state in a modern day failed republic. Rome is in the Bible, and Italy surpasses China. The worst virus is a false gospel, and it’s been going around since Cain killed Abel.
Jason, agree. It is a disgusting assault on the gospel.
This post is pathetic: “Those who fail to impact positively here on earth will be called wasted investment in heaven and be cast into the everlasting fire. what will the generation to come say about you when you leave this world?think about it. You must place a foot print in the soil of history.
Remember you will only be known for the impact you made”
And I wonder, what impact did the thief on the cross make?
Hi Leigh, so glad you are leaning on His promises vs. your feelings. JW don’t even have much of a chance for heaven anyways, they’re shooting for a lesser hope since they pretty much are sure the 144,000 are already picked. How sad to go out and win more and more in His name, only to find you are deceived and were a deceiver yourself? I do pray for them and others. Pretty much all false religions are of works for something.
PhilR, thank you very much. 🙂 Trust me, I’m not going anywhere, even though I lurk way more than I post. I love this place.
johninnc, thank you for your response. 🙂 I’m so sorry you and your wife never heard back from the JW lady who came to your house, but maybe something your wife said to her got through. And yes, I am deeply grateful for this blog.
Leigh, I’m also thankful you have assurance of salvation. Hope you will stay here with us.
My prayers too that more JW’s and others teaching a false gospel will come to know the free gift of salvation by grace thru faith in Christ alone.
Leigh, I am very thankful that you have assurance of eternal life and that you have a heart for sharing the gospel. I have prayed for those who are deceived by the false doctrine of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
My wife tried to witness to one of them who came to our house a couple of times, but we think her “handlers” decided that my wife might be a bad influence on her, and we haven’t seen her since.
Hi everybody. If you guys don’t mind, I have a prayer request (and I’m not sure where to post it so I’ll just present it here.) My best friend was watching a documentary about the Jehovah’s witnesses cult and I heard bits and pieces of it and it really hurt my heart thinking about what these poor people needlessly go through to try and earn their salvation. I can so relate to their struggle and the terrible feeling of never REALLY being sure if you’re saved or not. I’ve never been in the JW cult, but I do have what is sometimes called religious OCD and it took me FOREVER to come to a place in my walk with Jesus where I could FINALLY KNOW for sure that I’m saved based on the Bible’s promises (and this blog has been instrumental in that and I want to say THANK YOU for helping save my sanity, expreacherman!) Anyway, I just want to ask anybody who sees this to please pray for all Jehovah’s Witnesses today, for as many of them as possible to get the real gospel and be saved out of that destructive cult. Thank you so much. ((HUGS))
I think because of the ‘big’ passages in 1 Cor 6:9-11; 1 Cor 15:50-58; Eph 5:5-7; Gal 5:19-21, you know, the ‘lists’, people tend to think of adultery and homosexual behavior. They never bring up Romans 1, because even being without understanding (or undiscerning) is worthy of death.
Only those born again can inherit the Kingdom
Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom
The Unrighteous cannot inherit the Kingdom
The Corruptible cannot inherit the Kingdom
They don’t think about their gossip or envy. They miss the other listed sins:
What if someone has stolen something?
Has outbursts of anger?
What about the one who has coveted something someone else has had?
Or a drunk?
Or a person who reviles others?
One who extorts others?
Or one who has idols in their life?
Not even one lie will make it (Rev 21:27) but… they think they will because they’re not a homosexual.
There are certain sins that will bring down judgment in this lifetime on believers, and we certainly know there is chastening in a life of a believer, sometimes a judgment we may not want. But God is very longsuffering and merciful and even in those things, it is all for good in the big picture.
I would not stand a chance, either, John 6:47. It is so so easy for the flesh to take over and control our thoughts. I cannot understand those who say that they do not sin after receiving Christ. Scripture is clear in 1 John 1:8 – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. Instead, those who say that they have no sin grow in pride and condemn others, instead of grow in grace.
Chas, great point! I’ve witnessed to lost people where that is a big stumbling block for them to trust Christ as Savior. While there’s no doubt the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination to God (Leviticus 18:22 among other verses), so is lying and pride, which every one of us struggle with. The bottom line is this: Did Jesus Christ pay for all sin by His death or the cross or not? If yes (Acts 13:38-39, Colossians 2:13, etc.), then ANYONE can be saved, if they will trust Christ and Him ALONE as Savior. If not, nobody stands a chance, for we’ve all come short of God’s perfection.
A great way to illustrate this (not original with me btw) would be taking 2 people with rocks of the same weight and size and telling them to throw it to the moon. While one person may throw it farther than the other, BOTH people will come miserably short of the target. While you may have never committed homosexuality or killed anybody, if you’ve committed ONE sin, it is enough to disqualify you for Heaven (Revelation 21:27).
Thank God salvation is by grace ALONE through faith ALONE in Christ ALONE because I would not stand a chance otherwise.
“Can a person be homosexual and still be a Christian?”
Might as well ask “Can a person be a sinner and still be a Christian.” That’s the essential question, isn’t it?
The answer is “Yes!” of course. But there is a tendency amongst some “uncompromising Christians” to make homosexuality a special category of sin. It seems to be a main element of LS virtue signalling.
Jason, if anyone has to come out of their lifestyle to receive the free gift of eternal life, then it is not really a gift.
I have seen similar outlandish statements that summarily conclude others lack eternal life because of their political beliefs.
I watched two videos from Watchwoman 65. She did a fine job of exposing the fake pastors of lordship salvation (Washer and co.). But then in the other video, she gets so incensed about the LGBT agenda that she makes this outrageous statement: “there is no such thing as a gay Christian”. She said that homosexuals must come out of that lifestyle. And I am thinking, “for salvation? No way”. She says that God will lead them on a path to heaven. She makes it seem automatic. I left a comment to tell her she is just as wrong as MacArthur. And she subscribed to Robert Breaker.
Alice, yes, these are all common Calvinistic errors.
These tenets are not biblical, but are integrally associated with the false religion of Calvinism.
Pastor Andy Woods from Sugarland Bible Church in Houston has posted 2 youtube videos on Pastor’s Point of View Episode 100 and 101 in which he addresses the Neo-Calvinist’s basic tenets on their false interpretation of Matt 7: 15-23. He gives many quotes from John Piper, John MacArthur, R C Sproul and A W Pink and other false teachers to prove his point.
There are 3 main false assertions based on that passage:
!. Distinction between ‘Saving’ faith and ‘Spurious’ faith. They differentiate between supposedly ‘God-given Gift’ of faith Vs Personal faith after hearing the Gospel.
2. Final Justification. By that they mean you can never know for sure you are going to heaven until the end of your life based on whether you have endured or persevered in faith and obedience to the end of this earthly life.
3. Failing to distinguish between the different judgements mentioned in the N.T, Bema Seat / Sheep and Goats/ Great white throne judgements.
Ultimately these neo-calvinistic lordshippers confuse their followers and cause doubt regarding their salvation and add works to grace, nullifying. perverting God’s grace. Well worth listening.
Keep up the good work Johninnc and everyone on this site. May we meet the Lord Jesus soon in the air.
1 Corinthians 16:13
Be on your guard.
Stand firm in your faith.
jason, that’s a very good grace oriented comment.
I saw this comment on a Sid Roth video.
“Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds.
ALL sins are forgiven.
ALL means ALL.
You can’t out sin GOD’S grace.
We are SEALED with the Holy promise until the day of redemption.
No man can pluck you from the hand of GOD.
Our sin debt was paid in full, by the redemptive blood of JESUS CHRIST.
The born again believer in JESUS CHRIST has 2 births.
1: flesh: ( Born of water ). old man.
2: Spirit: ( born of spirit ). New man.
The flesh will always sin.
The spirit can NOT ever sin.
The flesh is enmity towards GOD.
The flesh wars with the spirit”
The commenter must have been watching Ralph Yankee Arnold. He was replying to a lordshipper who commented that he agreed with the trip to hell video. Sid thinks heaven is an abortion clinic. The NAR is a freak show.
Sorry, quote marks in the wrong place there of course.
Hobbs, yeah, that sounds like the kind of rationale you might get from an LS proponent.
If someone states “Yes, St.Paul rightly says we are saved by grace and not works, but even Paul recognised God’s sovereignty on the road to Damascus when he said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’, are they trying to say you have to ‘submit to Him as Lord’ before you will receive grace or something?” Guessing it’s standard Lordship lingo. There’s always a ‘but’ where grace is the concerned! Grrr.
Rob, you’re welcome!
I hope the responses were helpful. I have prayed for you.
Thank you for your responses. I won’t bring it up again here.
Rob, I’ve been going through Hebrews again, kind of looking at the chiastic structure which is interesting. Not necessary to know, but interesting to see the things that are stated, then repeated again. Also just interesting from the sheer fact that the Word is definitely His Word. Completely harmonious even when some don’t see it.
The Hebrew believers had not moved on to maturity. They were going back into bondage, just as were the Galatians. Maybe for different reasons, but the result is the same.
They were not in His Word and needed reminded of the contrasts between law and Christ, the former covenant vs. this one, spiritual immaturity or unbelief resulting in unrest. They were falling short of that, and were going back to the beggarly elements. Particularly in chapter 4, we see a warning regarding the believer’s disobedience. An explanation and some pictures of God’s rest. And really the conclusion. Which is to hear His voice vs. hardening our hearts.
The answer is there. We have to cease from our own works (living by the law – or performance in our flesh). We have to labor to enter His rest, not falling into unbelief. We do NOT labor (work) for salvation, so we know it cannot speak to this.). And so how do we labor? (vs. 11 is the exhortation, then vs. 12 is the answer.)
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Heb 5:12-14 kinds of shows people why they cannot tell the difference sometimes. I cannot encourage you enough, to just continue in His Word (John 8:31-32; 2 Tim 2:13-17).
Dan, there are definitely people who put on a facade for the praise of men. Others believe a false gospel because it fits their preexisting belief in salvation by works, and still others trust men over God.
And, I agree that no one measures up very well against perfection.
We can never be sure who does, or does not have eternal life unless the Bible specifically mentions them my name. But, we do know that much of professing Christendom is aligned against the gospel.
I’ve encountered certain false converts who understand what you’re explaining to them (when you tell them the real Gospel,) but hate it so much that not only do they slander it, but go a step further and take it upon themselves to fight against it at every chance they get.
I tell you, I think I’d rather bear Adolph Hitler’s judgement than to be in their shoes when they stand before The Almighty God of Heaven and Earth.
And as you know, they have a whole arsenal of wrongly interpreted Scripture that they use to preach their works Salvation heresy.
What I have been lead to understand is; all of those verses that they think mean you can lose your Salvation/must do works to be saved (James Chapter 2, 2 Corinthians 13:5, Philippians 2:12, and so on.)
All those Scriptures, they have yet to even apply to their own selves. They’re full of the leaven of the scibes and Pharisees (hypocrisy.) And so they stay stuck in a false doctrine and stay deceived.
If they think James Chapter 2 means “you must do works to be saved/have saving faith,” then why haven’t they evaluated themselves against these Scriptures??
If they honestly evaluated themselves against those verses, then they ought to be terrified for their soul! Not more assured of their salvation! Hypocrites!!
At the end of the day, God knows the real reason why these people walked into a church and made themselves “Christians.”
It’s because they had an ungodly motive (wanted to be seen and admired by other men, socialization, sense of importance, etc etc.)
So while they may be fooling everyone else, they sure ain’t fooling the Lord! That’s why they stay stuck in a false Gospel and remain lost.
Amen, I second that Helen.
Helen, very good advice.
Hi Rob and I’m sorry that you don’t have the assurance of salvation. Remember, doubts may come from the enemy. It is spiritual warfare.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak – Ephesians 2:10-20
Also, do not believe in your feelings as feelings are part of the flesh nature and lie, but believe the Word of God and the promises that He makes. I have been in your place many times. Remind yourself that you are safe in Christ, because He has saved you. Rest knowing that even if you were the only person in the world, Jesus would still have died for your sins.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life – John 6:47
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God – 1 John 5:13
I love John 10:28
and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Also singing hymns or just praising God is great at taking away thoughts from self and back onto the Lord, or when there is heaviness in heart. I think there is a scripture in Isaiah, but I can’t recall sorry.
Rob, I will answer your question, but I ask that we leave it at that. I don’t want this discussion to get too far afield.
Many of your previous comments have centered on your doubts, including whether you were sure you have actually believed. Several of us responded with comfort and encouragement. To summarize:
1. It is the object of our faith, not the quality of our faith, that is at issue.
2. Focusing on your doubts will only feed them.
You seem to have switched gears from worrying about your doubts, per se, to worrying if there is some underlying cause for your doubts, such as being disingenuous or having an impure motive that might mean you don’t really believe.
You said: Is it possible for one to seek salvation but be insincere, that is, he lies to himself about it?
My comment: In order to seek eternal life, one must become aware that he needs it. In so doing, if he accepts God’s way of salvation, he has eternal life. If a person were lying to himself about his desire or need for salvation, why would he worry about it?
You said: I wish I was a believer…
My comment: Why? Is it because you know that faith alone in Christ alone is how someone receives eternal life? If so, I think you are a believer. If not, why would you try to believe something that you didn’t think was true?
You said: I admit that I feel resentful towards God for judging my sin.
My comment: The good news is that Jesus paid the full price for all of your sin – past, present, and future. Again, you seem to be canvassing your brain for any errant, unwelcome thought or motive that negates grace. Motive is not at issue.
Focus on what Christ has done for you. When your focus is on Christ, your focus won’t be on your doubts.
Somewhat off topic here, but I welcome comments. Is it possible for one to seek salvation but be insincere, that is, he lies to himself about it? I still have no assurance, and I confess that my heart is hard. I don’t want to be this way, I wish I was a believer, trusting in Christ and His propitiation. I just can’t seem to get there. I admit that I feel resentful towards God for judging my sin. I don’t want to feel this way, but I can’t change my heart. I pray about it, but still the hardness remains. Like the Word says, the heart is deceitful, and I fear that underneath it all I’m just looking for any comfort, even if it’s false. But again, I wish I wasn’t like this. I’m trapped in the prison of my own heart. It’s hard for me to admit this, but here I am.
‘By the blood alone, we shall overcome’… Yeah, in a nano-second a person can understand, believe and pass from death unto life, secure for all eternity. Such is the power of the blood.
Jason, I’m surprised your Facebook friend hasn’t blocked you.
He may be more interested in finding an audience for his political views than defending his false gospel.
Here is something weird. A Facebook friend goes by Michael Blessing. Nigerians sometimes have names like Blessing, Patience, and Goodluck. I later find that he is the worst of the NAR: his soteriology is intimately wrapped up in continuing miracles, rituals, tongues, and, modalism. He and I had a grueling argument about the gospel. He did not decide to block me.
And he takes idiocy to the Next Level by quoting William Branham, the Klansman and segregationist. Talk about New Apostate Racists. They really have mentally enslaved him. Blessing follows, as a teacher, a segregationist who comdemned Martin Luther King as a communist. At the same time, he stands with a losing candidate who honors King and said in one of his speeches that it’s not about color. His party represents some views from the moderate left and moderate right, and Sahara Reporters recently gave Trump credit for Iran sanctions, but this dude would be comfortable in Charlottesville. It weirds me out.
The gospel is not about one’s conclusions about King, nor is it about color, but it is entirely about grace alone that saves through faith alone in Christ alone. By the blood alone, we shall overcome.
Luke, I concur with John and would add that those who continue in right doctrine will learn about eternal rewards, and that is a strong motivation for Godly living even though the way we live has no bearing on whether or not we possess eternal life.
Luke, I take that passage to mean that when people keep their focus on Christ and God’s Grace, and who they are in Christ, they are likely to walk in the Spirit and manifest the fruits of the Spirit.
I think your new man comment is spot on. God’s grace would never instruct us to go against His will. Any desire to do that comes from our flesh, and not the new man.
And I agree, that this is no guarantee that a person who has eternal life will walk in the Spirit.
If anything, when people begin to evaluate themselves for signs they have believed, they are focusing on themselves and not Christ.
Thanks for the responses, one other passage that i haven seen expounded on is Titus 2:11-13. Seems to say that grace teaches us to ‘live right’, my belief is that its mainly discussing the new man? I’m not sure. Teaching us doesn’t always mean we will perform though.
Note; this probably was not from JR Rice. From what I have read he appeared to teach grace alone, faith alone.
Phil, yeah, the only way that grace is amazing to some folks is in the myriad ways they can redefine it.
It’s good to hear enthusiasm for our grace alone fellowship here.
‘Evanescent grace’ ? Well, here’s another result of man-made doctrines and people coming to the feet of men like Calvin instead of the Bible.
They just can’t see that Christ did it all and paid it all for our salvation and simply rest it that. They have muddy up the waters with evanescent grace and tulips.
Yes, God bless, good to know commenters I’ve been blessed reading from in those original articles are still around.
David, it’s great to hear from you!
God bless you as well!
I’m just checkin’ in! I sure miss dear ol’ brother Jack as we all do but I know he is enjoying fellowship with our Savior like never before! All you brothers and sisters are doing a wonderful job honoring our Savior and His grace! God bless you all!!!!!!!!!!!
Richard Ochieng Anyal, it is nice to have you in our fellowship. It was a pleasure to chat at well. More grace.
Holly – Wow, I wasn’t aware of the ‘evanescent grace’ teaching of Calvin. I will have to google that and investigate it. What a depressing place to be in, to think that you have to preserve to the end of your life, to really know if you are one of the elect, and then, to think God (that’s not the God we know) would trick someone into thinking they are saved, when they are really not.
Thank you Curtis! I needed to be reminded of that, daily!
Welcome Richard! This truly is a Grace Oasis.
Richard, welcome and thanks for your comment.
I am glad you find the article to be a blessing.
Curtis, you are right that the new man does not commit sin (1 John 3:9).
A person is regenerated (born again), and becomes this new creation the moment he believes in Christ alone as His Savior.
Focusing on who we are in Christ is essential to feeding our faith.
Some falsely teach that a person is regenerated prior to believing in Jesus as Savior. Others falsely teach that one must help regenerate himself by making promises or commitments to God. Both of the above look for signs of regeneration, in themselves or others, based on attitudes and behaviors.
The confusion usually starts with a false gospel of works.
I have been blessed with Good News which has strengthened my faith and better understanding of Salvation.
We shall create Bible study sessions using this article.
We hope to be included in your numerous activities promoting the Gospel.
Failure to recognize through the Word of God. The new birth born again from above by Holy Spirt..
The Old sin nature God has no part of.. God starts all over with the new man. The new man does not sin and lives a perfect life. The old man wants to be perfect before God excepted before God but can not be.
GOD has nothing to do with the Old sin nature will have nothing to do with it.
The believer soul is to feed the New man to rule over the old man..
Feed your Faith and your doubts will starve to death.
Feed your doubts and your faith will starve..
Its about your faith…
2 Corinthians 5 :17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: (the new man) old things are passed away;(the old man) behold, all things are become new. (the new birth the new man born from above)
JohnWI -good answer! Hadn’t read it when I responded.
Luke – I’ve asked them how they know for sure (that God chose them) or that they are somehow not under ‘evanescent grace’ (which is Calvin’s teaching that God fools people into believing they are saved).
How would they ever know? Many will just say they know, but then I ask them about the ‘P’ in TULIP (perseverance of the saints) and I tell them John MacArthur and John Piper aren’t sure they’re saved yet, so how can they be?
Praying with John for you for wisdom on what to do. I had to leave. I did stand up for the truth, but all that happened is the teacher called in Calvinist support to refute as a group. It didn’t intimidate me, but it wasn’t beneficial for sure.
Hellsbells – welcome, and praying for you too.
Many of us have experienced difficulty with finding a sound church. Some listen online to northlandchurch.com’s sermons. He has streaming ones on FB so you can actually be ‘present’ for the service if you would like. Praying for you, stay in the Word. Always ask the contextual questions. Knowing who is being addressed (i.e. eternally secure believers) or even Pharisees or Israel as a nation etc., is so helpful. God bless you and realize that sometimes sites send you to spam, or sometimes if you are not a regular commenter it takes awhile to get approved.
On my site I sometimes may not be around for a couple days so I feel badly if someone is waiting. But otherwise, people who are unsound will fill up the comments if I didn’t have it selected that way, and confuse people.
Jason, it’s hard to tell from the request what he thinks the gospel is.
You are right that the New Testament meaning of “hope” is to “expect or anticipate with pleasure.”
By contrast, a common contemporary use of the term “hope” is to express a desired outcome – for example “I hope it doesn’t rain today.”
I received this private message:
“I greet you once again. I have been longing to continue communicating with you.
I am a Christian hoping to inherit The Kingdom of God. I request you for spiritual growth support through prayer and connection to Gospel promoters..
I live near Lake Victoria port city of Kisumu and I am enthusiastic to learn more to become a better ambassador of our Lord Jesus Christ.
My Email: [omitted]
Thanks please help”
By hope, I hope that he means Biblical hope. Either that or by inheritance, he means rewards. When Africa used to hope, it was expectant. Their hopes have been disappointed, but Jesus has never disappointed anyone. When people hope uncertainly for entrance into heaven, they don’t know the gospel, or they knew, as I did, and the backloaders did a number on them.
You might ask them, how they know for sure they are God’s Elect? They can’t know for sure IF they are God’s Elect, because they CAN’T know if they will persevere until the end of their life. Ultimately they are looking at their performance for proof of their salvation. I am so thankful that God made a promise that whosoever would trust in His Son alone as their savior, apart from works, He would give them, as a free gift, ETERNAL LIFE!!!
LukeNC, I have prayed for God to help you with wisdom and discernment in interacting with this group, and if necessary separating from them.
Dyed in the wool Calvinists/LSers can be very resistant to the truth, often because they have so much “sunk cost” in terms of time and treasure hewing to their false religion.
For the Calvinist, I would suggest using Ephesians 2:8-9 and Romans 6:23 in conjunction. If faith were bestowed by God, why does it say ‘by grace are ye saved through faith”? Why wouldn’t it just be “by grace are ye saved”?
Also, John 3:18. How could a non-believer be condemned, if God has chosen him to become a believer later? Since no one is born a believer, everyone who is a believer came to faith at some point.
You might also ask him how he might feel if God hadn’t chosen him to be saved. How would he choose to relate to such a god?
I’m in a small group bible study where I’m the only free grace adherent. The others are LS-ers/calvinists. Whenever we get to salvation issues, I’m steadfast on the free pure grace message and we definitely get into heated discussions. I hope and pray I get through to them. This site has helped me immensely in doing that. Of of the guys always goes on about how he is so glad God chose him to be saved, typical calvinism. How would I respond to that?
Thank you, Johninnc.
Hellsbells39, I have prayed for you and asked God to give you peace and rest.
Hellsbells39, any comment that contains links generally goes to my spam folder.
Based on what you have told me about the videos you linked to your last post, I would avoid them. I haven’t watched them, and don’t intend to.
It doesn’t surprise me that you are having trouble finding a church that is clear on the gospel and grace-oriented in your locale. That is a common problem among our readers and commenters. That is why we are so adamant to keep the Expreacherman site focused on advancing and defending the gospel, and avoiding peripheral issues.
I would like to recommend that you read “The Gospel” booklet, linked below, every day for a month. That will help to ground you in the truth of the gospel and to be better at spotting false doctrine.
Click to access English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf
hellsbells39, thanks for your interest.
We welcome short questions and comments, but we generally do not allow promotion of, or links to other ministries or blogs, and we like to keep comments focused on advancing and defending the gospel message.
We are not equipped to deal with extensive personal concerns, nor to evaluate extensive written documents or any audio and video messages.
For more detailed guidance, please read “Goals” and “Guest Rules – Disclaimer,” linked below:
Hello. I have tried to leave a comment, but I’m not sure they are being published. Please could you help, as I really want to be involved with this site. I have commented elsewhere on other blog posts, but yet again they were not published.
John, thank you.
Hobbs, I’ve prayed for your brother as well.
Thanks, Holly. My bro and I both grew up in an open brethren in the UK and I think we would at times have heard the clear gospel but at others the commitment version, much like most mainstream churches, so goodness knows what he ended up with. I try to delve a bit but he’s cagey about church things now, quite cynical, seems to be favouring evolution. He did say he’s confused now and doesn’t know if he’s going to heaven, hell or if there’ll be ‘just nothingness’ when he dies. I played him a Yankee Arnold clip re. 2 Tim 2:13, but he says he doesn’t believe that either, that one would need to keep believing… like he wants to damn himself. He can be a bit negative at times, in the past he often used to say he was going to hell, perhaps precisely because he got duped by a works message and felt he couldn’t measure up. As you say I should keep praying for him and try to give the gospel again. Thanks for prayers.
So much confusion out there, I try to avoid it as Rom 16:17 says. We contend, but I don’t give them much time, because they distract us from what is important (Gal 2:4-5; Lk 10:38-42).
Hobbs – do you know what your brother initially believed? It’s good to continue to share His Word and trust it to work, as you have the opportunity, and keep praying for him. If he believed the wrong gospel, he needs to be assured of the right one, one without works to be saved or stay saved. Praying for both of you.
Jason, that is a funny way of explaining it.
The way I understand it, His payment was effectual for all my sin – past, present, and future.
Tom Cucuzza has a great explanation of this in his booklet “The Permanence of Salvation.” Please see below:
1. Salvation is permanent because Christ paid the price for all sin–past, present, and future.
“Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38-39).
The word “forgiveness” means “to cause to send away” as in “to release one’s sins from the sinner”. All of our sins were in the future when Jesus died. Therefore we know that if He has paid for any of them, He has paid for all of them. “All” means “all”! This is not a concept confused in translation. “All” in the Greek means 100% of all there is.
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost” (John 19:30).
The payment required for all sin for all time was paid in full. If the penalty for all the sins of your entire life has been paid, and you have placed your faith in Christ alone, what could send you to hell? The answer is, nothing. That perfect, one time payment that our Lord Jesus Christ made for each of us purchased our eternal redemption! If it is eternal redemption then, once you have been redeemed, it must certainly last forever.
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12).
One of my friends, ikev, has been sound on the gospel, and I have been following him for a year. I think he goes by Vooke on YouTube. He had one video in which he was clear on eternal security, and he recommends Ron Enroth’s book “Churches that Abuse”. I had read half of that book in the past and cannot recall having any issues with it. ikev leads a group called, Exposing the Heresies and Deceptions of Owuor, or something similar. The group has been shut down twice.
Recently, ikev has expressed doubts about eternal security. Today, he posted a large text comment:
“God forgave you all your past, present AND FUTURE sins”
A free grace versus lordship debate ensued in which I was not a major participant.
There were several Georges. One of them said: “Friends, without the shedding of blood theres no forgiveness of sins. Sadly, Jesus shed his blood only once. He is no longer shedding blood. Either His once shed blood obtained for us eternal redemption (that is forgiveness for all sins of all time) or it didn’t work”
The other George said: “Michael you are running away from my point. I have given you sufficient scripture to prove that the death of Jesus was for the forgiveness of sin!!!! Now the question is which sins!!! Committed on not yet committed; It can only be those already committed! This means that by the time u committing it the blood of Jesus is already washing it away!!!!
Thats basically what I understand! Whats your opinion”
That’s a funny way of explaining it. Otherwise, he was clear that forgiveness is for all sins. He was the main one opposing the repent of sin gospel, which Michael was promoting. Most of us would say that future sins are forgiven. His comment may have been sarcastic. One of the verses he cited was Romans 6:10.
I hearted this comment from Nelly: “alleluia meaning we are going to heaven ,we don’t need to even repent any sin”. Just what we have been saying.
LD, I agree that we have to be vigilant in defending the gospel. There are so many ways to distort it.
Great article! We can never let our guard down when it comes to carefully listening and pointing out what people who profess to be Christians (ex. Lordship Salvationists) say regarding what they believe about how one gets to heaven.
Hope all is well in Christ.
Ok, thanks John, glad it’s not just me!
Hobbs, interesting. I can’t really understand his reasoning.
My brother says he’s not sure he believes anymore, but he also doesn’t believe a person would still be saved if they used to believe but stopped believing… “because it’s all about believing”. Huh? Can anyone figure that out? I think he might be a bit of a moron.
Ed, you are correct to point out that error in Varnuke’s second comment, and clarifying that eternal life, not faith is the gift of God in Ephesians 2:8. For anyone who would argue that, I would refer them to Romans 6:23, among others.
I tried to address Varnuke’s error in my comments, in which I said: Varnuke has also referred to faith as “God given” and has quantified faith with 5 significant digits (100.00%). Our ability to have faith in anything is God-given, however we must never confuse that with God giving us the faith to trust in Christ as Savior.
John, Thanks for the article. Like Kathy, I faithfully read them.
Just one point of clarification that I could not let slide. I noticed that when varnuke quoted Eph. 2:8-9 (KJV) he commented that “faith” is the gift. I believe that is a Calvinist spin on that verse, because as I understand that verse, “salvation” or (eternal life) is the gift – not “faith” according to Romans 6:23 which says: The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.”
Romans 10:17 also says: “So, then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” So it is Gods word that quickeneth us through the hearing of his word from a preacher (or a saved person speaking and explaining his word). This is also explained in Romans chapter 10 and a lot of other places in the New Testament.
Calvinists like to make faith the gift because they believe God regenerates you before you believe, (whatever that means). They will preach that it is God from beginning to end and that your election is unconditional (i.e. no need to place your faith in Jesus that he made the payment for our sins, because God gives you the faith.) Very confusing. I was mixed up in a Calvinist preaching church for years until I got saved by listening to Dr. Tom Cucuzza. I emailed back and forth with him a few times and I finally understood the gospel while I was reading one of his emails to me.
Jason, going from Pentecostalism to Spurgeonism/MacArthurism is to go from the strange fire into the strange frying pan. Both teach salvation by works.
Nina, I hope that Frank has trusted in Christ alone as Savior at some point, and if not, that he will. Also, that he would quit confusing people with his misuse of scripture to pervert the gospel.
They need to start humbling themselves and drop the pride along with those unfit fig leaves.
Some of my African friends find MacArthur refreshing because his Strange Fire conference addressed the pentecostal fake pastors. Little do they realize that MacArthur is a Calvinist fake pastor. They clearly teach that there is no need, under grace, to whip oneself into remorse. Yet that is the essence of MacArthur and Spurgeon. One of them asked me what is wrong with the book Charismatic Chaos.
Jason, it’s really sad that so many people have objections to the concept that eternal life is a free gift without cost or obligation to the recipient.
LS adherents never really have a good answer to clear verses such as John 5:24.
They almost always resort to irrelevant comments or twist scripture to fit their narrative. There is seemingly no end to it.
Some commenters on Ralph Yankee Arnold’s video, “Jesus vs John MacArthur”, were similar to Frank’s. They were playing shell games and always coming back with works. The fact that they must always change the subject and can never end the conversation with a hearty amen is very telling.
I made the comment that being in Yankee’s presence makes me feel cheated. It was inspired by a comment that Adeola Fayehun made about coming to America and discovering 24 hour electricity. I do not come from Nigeria, but the lights went out in most churches because of corruption of the gospel, and I have suffered the result.
When I made that comment, the lordshippers showed up with their impertinent remarks. 30 lurkers silently agreed.
Holly, I agree.
These guys think that denying the power is the same as saying that life change and cessation of sin are not inevitable in the lives of believers.
Really good article Johninnc. Thorough and well thought out.
Frank must not be married, for if he were, I am sure he would have a witness to the fact he has not stopped sinning.
As far as the ‘form of godliness’ but ‘denying the power’, I believe this is exactly what these types are guilty of. They deny the power of the gospel and like the silly women they lead astray they are unable to come to a knowledge of the truth.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to >>every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
Chas, I agree that the legalistic spirit of LS is the same as that of Roman Catholicism and that they will increasingly coalesce.
Frank’s false theology leaves no way for one to know whether or not he has eternal life. Any assurance would need to include an assessment of whether it was evident, based on one’s works, whether or not the old man was dead.
Your 4th point–about the idea that Jesus died to enable us to earn eternal life–is what a Roman Catholic admitted to me in an online discussion a couple years ago. When I put that exact idea to him, the person said “Well, that’s an odd way to put it, but…” and then went on to say the same thing in different words.
The legalistic spirit of LS is the same as that of Roman Catholicism. No wonder that Rome is finding it so easy to “reunite” with the “lost brethren”.
Kathy, we are glad you are here.
Frank tipped his hand in his first comment with the word “though.” It’s another qualifier – “I believe that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, (but, and, however, though…).”
People like Frank misuse scripture to confuse people.
Excellent clarification. The error is often so subtle it is difficult for me to pick up. However, when I start questioning if I’m really saved, have I done enough, etc., then I realize I am back in error and go back to the Truth: Christ has set me free, not me, but Jesus Christ. (Through believing He paid it ALL.) Even though I mostly lurk on this site, please know that I am soaking up every word, and I greatly appreciate the work you do to put the Truth out there!