Romans 1:16: 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.
“If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas” was an aphorism often attributed to the late Don Meredith, who was a collegiate and NFL quarterback and, later, an announcer on Monday Night Football. The meaning of this phrase is that the presence of conditions (ifs and buts) so completely changes the nature of something as to make it something else entirely.
The gospel of Christ is the message of how Jesus provided completely for the salvation of man, such that anyone who receives through faith what He has done has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4: For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
The gospel means good news. There are many people within the world of professing Christendom, however, who have a corrupted view of the gospel of Christ in which they have either implicitly or explicitly added man’s work to the finished work of Christ in order to have eternal life. One of the most pernicious of these corruptions is the false gospel of Lordship “salvation” (LS).
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.
LS usually manifests itself in statements that superficially affirm the gospel, but then corrupt it through unbiblical caveats that include the words if and but. Following are some real-world examples gleaned from the archives of the expreacherman site:
If a person is a true Christian they will want to follow Jesus and obey Him…
If the man does not live differently from what he did before, both at home and abroad, his repentance needs to be repented of, and his conversion is a fiction. (Quote from 19th century Calvinist and LS preacher Charles Spurgeon)
Do you believe ONCE SAVED – ALWAYS SAVED?
In other words, if a man is not continuing in repentance and conformity to Christ, then that man has never been saved…
My understanding is that works are not required for salvation, but…
I think we all agree that our fruit doesn’t save us, but…
Not that works are needed to obtain salvation, but…
I’m a firm believer in presenting salvation as faith in Christ (NO works), but…
The Ifs and Buts
I’m not a Lordship salvationist at all but I’ve been of the mindset that if a person is a real Christian…
If a person supposedly is born again, but the family sees no change, friends see no change, coworkers see no change, and even his or her own self sees absolutely no change …
Therefore, if a man is saved, he will pursue God all the days of his life, not because he has to, but…
Each of the above statements corrupts the gospel message by adding an unbiblical caveat. Since the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation for everyone that believes, it is of the utmost importance that we proclaim the gospel without any such add-ons, and defend it against such.
The Bible is explicitly clear that anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited – no, ifs, ands, or buts about it.
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.
If you would like more information about the gospel of Christ click here: THE GOSPEL
Brad, yes. Alice last posted here about a week ago.
John doea Alice from Aus still post here? haven’t heard from her for some time.
Excellent 👌 thank you for your faithfulness on presenting God’s word so clearly.
Brad, its good to hear from you again.
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Alice, I see it more that the angel is addressing everyone.
In any event, anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life, irrespective of any works. Revelation 14:12 could relate to Christians walking in the newness of life. Alternatively, it could refer to the sinless new man.
Thanks Holly for your comment about Rev 14: 6-7.
It is possible that the angel is addressing those who have already believed the ‘Everlasting Gospel’ and are saved and therefore giving instructions regarding the judgement, and giving glory to God/ worship Him.
But the angel is ‘preaching to those who dwell on the earth- to EVERY nation, tribe, tongue and people’. I take that to mean the angel is addressing ALL people dwelling on the earth at that time, both those who have already believed and those who have NOT YET believed.
Also Rev 14: 12 “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”.
I find it interesting that both 1. Keeping the commandments, and 2. Faith of Jesus are mentioned in this verse. Faith + Works??
I understand it is referring to ‘Saints’. Just a thought! Not for salvation obviously! Sanctification?
Dennis, this ministry was established and flourished under its founder, the late Jack Weaver. I am honored to continue to administer the site and I am glad that it is a blessing to you.
I really enjoy all the resources you supply on this website.
Your dedication in maintaining it, and the effort you put in to reach the lost, is greatly appreciated, thanks.
Alice, these are a couple of my thoughts, just bouncing it around.
In Revelation 14, it says that the angels preach the everlasting gospel to them, then it says, ‘saying unto them’. I don’t take that to be the gospel. I take that to be the next instruction after the gospel is to those who have believed. This (to me anyways) is the same as establishing the difference between eternal life and discipleship or how we are to behave (remember, believers at that point will still have their physical bodies).
Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
Another possibility is thinking on the word gospel meaning good news. Is it possible since judgment has come, that this is everlasting good news.
Alice, agree. Eternal life is found only in Jesus, not in any of the false man-made religions.
Thank you Johninnc for your prompt reply regarding my question.
It makes sense that the 144,000 Jewish witnesses would have preached the gospel of grace and Christ Jesus.
Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists and other religious people of this world would be totally shocked to realise that what they had been believing and been taught all their lives is completely false and that Jesus Christ is the only true God and in him alone is salvation available.
Alice, I haven’t found any discussion of this particular passage at ExPreacherman.
However, Revelation 14:1-5 discusses 144,000 tribulation witnesses who preach the gospel to the world faithfully. We did an article that touched on that, linked below. It includes a link to a sermon by Tom Cucuzza that discusses those witnesses.
Verses 6-7 seem to be appealing to man that he knows there is a Creator to whom he is accountable.
The exact content of the “everlasting gospel” isn’t specified, but the placement of this passage just after the discussion of the 144 thousand witnesses in verses 1-5 seems to indicate that this is a final warning to non-believers to stop suppressing the truth and believe in Jesus as Savior.
And yes, people who become believers after the rapture are saved by believing in the finished work of Christ, just like now.
You have probably covered this subject in the past on other posts here but can anyone please tell me why the Angel in the middle of the 7 year Tribulation on earth in Revelation 14: 6-7 flying in the midst of heaven preaching the ‘Everlasting Gospel’ to those dwelling on earth to every nation, tribe, tongue and people ‘ Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters’ didn’t mention anything about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the need to believe in Jesus apart from works but by faith in the finished work of Christ alone? 1 Corin 15: 1-4 and Eph 2:8-9
I am assuming that even during the tribulation after the Church has been raptured, people are saved by Grace alone in Christ alone through faith alone, as in all dispensations.
I would appreciate your answer.
jason, I wouldn’t place any stock in those books.
Note to all: Let’s move on.
And if the Mark is as the books portray it, then it is certainly possible for a believer to take it. Chang actually takes it. They leave me clueless.
Holly, it is sad that so much energy goes into these kinds of efforts, and that they draw such large audiences, only to confuse things.
I definitely concur with being clear with our speech.
I went through the old series of ‘Left Behind’ books to see what their ‘gospel’ was. Almost always consistently they had to call, confess, pray, turn from sin or ABC’s and sometimes it was Roman’s Road. But someone had to ‘help’ them get there by praying for it. Only at the lines to get their heads chopped off did those believe what was being said, which was again an unclear gospel. Sometimes they ‘almost’ got it.
One place that I just shook my head were a Jewish girl Naomi and her dad. They had started reading the prophecies and came to believe that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. And then they just devoured the new Testament, stopping and mentioning verses like Eph 2:8-9, Rom 6:23; 1 Cor 15:3-4, and yet they accidentally found an ‘insert’ telling them how to get saved and it was THEN that they got saved.
I thought about how useful a fiction prophecy series could have been, and yet these guys can’t even keep it consistent. It was never quite the same, always changing from book to book, as if they were trying to cover all the bases. I was thinking about those who are confused and wondering how many of them have never believed, or like the Jewish daughter and dad, believed, but didn’t know that they were saved, and then someone bewitched them. Seeing as we have such a great hope, I pray we’re all determined to preach with the same plainness of speech as the apostles.
Holly, I’m glad the title brought a smile to your face!
There are lots of deceivers out there and it sounds like the woman you mentioned has landed on one of them.
I had to smile seeing the title, because my late husband used to say that all the time when the kids would use that language. And we sure do hear it from the false teachers out there.
Timely for a poor woman who is very mixed up just commented on Redeemingmoments.com. She cried, begged and pleaded with God to show her truth and now she is following after this law keeping cult guy, who she says is humble and ‘Holy Ghost’ filled. I only watched a very small segment, he erred from the moment he spoke. Went to his site and saw this was almost a cult. So tragic. I hate it. God help them. I told her she didn’t have to weep and beg, God had given her the truth in His Word.
Jason, anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. The church will be raptured before the great tribulation. Those who come to faith after the rapture will not take the mark. Everyone who has believed in Christ as Savior is in the book of life and no one who has believed in Jesus as Savior could ever appear at the Great White Throne judgment or end up in hell.
Jesus took care of the sin problem. But I keep hearing about other problems from the pulpits: the rapture problem, the trib problem, the Mark problem, the judgement problem, the hell problem, the book of life problem. If the sin problem is solved, all the other problems are nonexistent.
Luke, you bring up a good point. There is an over-abundance of both supply of, and demand for, false doctrine that undermines the gospel.
LS abounds and I think it abounds because the appetite for it is everywhere. The demand exists in the pews and so of course there are plenty of ‘teachers’ willing to supply that demand. I think of 2 Timothy 4:3 — this is where we are today. Humanity just has to add something to salvation. They can’t take that simple, plain truth of just placing faith in Christ’s finished work. They cant take the simple truth of Eternal Security. They demand that sugary, sensationalized ‘gospel’ preaching of guaranteed outward behavioral ‘change’.
Kathy, we are glad you were encouraged by the post and thanks for commenting!
Thank you AGAIN for another encouraging and concise post about the Gospel. AMEN!
fryingpan, it’s always great to hear from you. I’m glad you liked the article and I’m glad you were turned off by Francis Chan and his false doctrine and found this site!
By the way, it was more or less seeing a video of Francis Chan saying something like, “Yes, we are saved by grace, but . . .” that started me on my search that lead me to this blog almost 8 years ago.
That guy . . . ugh.
That’s one dandy post, johninnc!
Phil, yeah, the add ons are all about turning peoples’ attention back onto themselves.
I have heard some of those same kinds of things.
Some of the add on’s I come across are like:” If you will confess Him and call on his name.”
” you need to invite Him into your life…or ask him to come into your life.”
“you need to surrender your life to him”
“you need to come forward and acknowledge him publicly.”
and so on..ifs ands and buts.
things that are focused on what we do or intend to do rather than just believing what all he did to save us.
Sam, thanks for commenting!
You are right – the gospel is rock solid no matter how turbulent things get.
Thanks I always enjoy hearing a clear Gospel. Good to hear others expressing it also. Lots of crazy stuff happening this last year but the Gospel is forever thanks again Johninnc
LD, thanks for your encouraging comment! It is great knowing that we are not alone.
It is amazing how so many people hold onto views that are inconsistent. The variations are almost endless.
Great article Johninnc!
I don’t know how many times I heard lordship salvationists use “if” and “but” in explaining their false doctrine of salvation. From their point of view, the LSers see the seemingly “contradictions” as clear and plausible.
– “Yes, it is by God’s grace that we are saved through faith, BUT there will be fruits that will accompany that faith.”
– “IF the believer really believed, then works will be evident.”
– “Eternal security of the believer is true, BUT if you stop believing, then you can lose it.”
You can’t correct their argument because they would speak with both sides of their mouths. It’s mind-boggling. I appreciate your persistence in posting articles.
To all my brethren, it is great reading your comments knowing that I am not alone (even though I feel like it at times). Keep strong and carry on in Christ Jesus.
Keith, yeah, John 5:24 is great for fending off LS and putting assurance on the promise of scripture, which is the only sound basis for assurance.
Aristotle, we’re glad that you like the article! There was a lot of material from comments we have received over the years, so it was hard to pick just a few examples.
John, well said. The basis of one’s assurance that he or she has been delivered from eternal judgment is the linchpin that false teachers use to keep people in spiritual bondage so that they will have to embrace their teachings to have such assurance. John 5:24 demolishes that contention by placing the basis of one’s assurance of eternal life where it belongs, on the promise of scripture alone, not on one’s self.
This article is great!
Dennis, we are thankful that you find this site to be a blessing and that you enjoyed our latest article!
Following is a set of criteria that I use to help evaluate scriptural interpretations:
1. Is it consistent with eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone?
2. Is it consistent with eternal security?
3. Is it consistent with assurance of eternal life, based on God’s promises alone? (i.e., it is not internally-focused on changes in attitudes, behavior, etc.)?
The more subtle attacks on the gospel will clear the first two criteria, but not the third. I frequently use John 5:24 to focus people on the third criterion, to help them steer clear of teachers who preach grace, but also the inevitability of good works, life change, public confession of Christ and so on.
Thanks again for your encouraging comment!
Dear Preacher man,
I love your ministry, and more importantly the dedication you convey in the way you edify the Body of Christ with the word of God rightly divided 2 Tim 2 15.
And also, presenting the gospel of grace, available to ALL who will believe 1 Cor15 vs1-4 KJV.
More importantly, the way you expose the false teaching of Lordship salvation.
It has ALWAYS been “Faith plus Nothing ” (content edited by administrator).
Blessings to you all.