Author Archives: johninnc

Churchianity: Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish


By johninnc

Matthew 16:18: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 

From Wikipedia

“Embrace, extend, and extinguish”, also known as “Embrace, extend, and exterminate”, is a phrase that the U.S. Department of Justice found was used internally by Microsoft to describe its strategy for entering product categories involving widely used standards, extending those standards with proprietary capabilities, and then using those differences to disadvantage its competitors…

The stategies’s three phases are:

1. Embrace: Development of software substantially compatible with a competing product, or implementing a public standard.

2. Extend: Addition and promotion of features not supported by the competing product or part of the standard, creating interoperability problems for customers who try to use the ‘simple’ standard.

3. Extinguish: When extensions become a de facto standard because of their dominant market share, they marginalize competitors that do not or cannot support the new extensions.

Although this strategy is attributed to Microsoft, it is similar to the strategy that Satan has used, and is using, to try to impede the growth and function of the church, which is the body of Christ.

Various denominations of churchianity embrace the concept of God, embrace the Bible as authoritative, and embrace the death and resurrection of Christ,

Then comes the extension – changing the message of the Bible as to how one receives eternal life. According to the Bible, eternal life is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ  alone.

Churchianity extends the simple gospel message with non-Biblical, man-made add-ons, or extensions, that change the gospel message into something that is no longer the gospel.

False conditions to how to receive eternal life are added. Things like:

  • Make Jesus Lord of your life
  • Commit your life to Christ
  • Promise to serve Christ
  • Turn from sin

In order to camoflauge these extensions, or add-ons, Biblical terms such as “grace” and “faith” are redefined to implicitly include false conditions added to how one receives eternal life.

Once these false extensions to the gospel become ensconced in “church history” or dogma, they become the de facto standard of churchianity. They become dominant in churchianity, and seek to marginalize those who oppose their false add-ons.

Some people naturally trust institutional authority, others desire to fit in, and still others feel bolstered by strength in numbers.

For those who are clear on the gospel, yet knowingly participate in organizations that have been subsumed by the “embrace, extend, and extinguish” strategy, I offer the following:

2 Corinthians 11:3: But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

For those who are not clear on the gospel, and are just going along with the dominant message being taught in churchianity today, I offer the following:

Matthe 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.

Despite the efforts to stamp out the universal church by the “embrace, extend, and extinguish” strategy, the gospel message is still getting out, and we should encourage one another to boldly proclaim it.

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

 

Is Lordship Salvation a False Gospel of Works? No Question!

By johninnc

Romans 3:26: To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

I happened back across a website last night called Got Questions? I had seen it before, and knew it to be unreliable, with a definitive Lordship “salvation” (LS) bent. However, I was startled by the starkness of its false messages, and attempts to reconcile LS (which is a man-centered false gospel of works) with the gospel of grace.

Following are some excerpts, beginning first with their “statement of faith”:

Just as salvation cannot be earned by good works, neither does it need good works to be maintained or sustained. Good works and changed lives are the inevitable results of salvation.

 My comment: This is a harbinger of the false messages and internal contradictions that can be found throughout their website.

If good words and changed lives are the inevitable results of salvation, then no one would have assurance of salvation until the good works manifested themselves in sufficient quantity and nature to meet the arbitrary, differential, and fickle standards of the person who is making the determination of either himself or others.

The Bible makes no such claim. In fact, the Bible says that assurance of eternal life comes from God’s promises alone.

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.

Under What is free grace? What is Free Grace Theology?, the Got Questions? website has some convoluted comparison of “Free Grace,” and “Lordship Salvation.” In the end, they make the startling conclusion that both “Free Grace” and LS are “within the limits of orthodoxy.” Following are excerpts (the bold emphases are mine):

Free Grace theologians consider their position more biblical than Lordship Salvation, which they consider to be a works-based theology. According to Free Grace theologians, Lordship Salvation holds that saving faith includes inherently the “act” of accomplishing radical internal change leading to good works.

This leads to the Free Grace emphasis on assurance of salvation, again based on the basic promises in John’s Gospel, that belief is all that is necessary for salvation. To the Free Grace theologian, this is a simple, cut-and-dried issue—if you believe, you are saved. For the Lordship Salvation camp, assurance of salvation comes through the observation of change in the professing believer, i.e., that he is accomplishing good works. Each camp views the other as possibly leading to heresy.

 Although Free Grace Theology and Lordship Salvation are terms that have developed only recently, they represent concerns that have been around since the beginning of the church. At the end of the day, there is no question about the basic salvation of those who hold either view. Both views are within the limits of orthodoxy.

My comment: First, at Expreacherman,  we do not teach that radical internal changes are an “act” that leads to good works. We simply teach what the Bible teaches – that good works, not letting sin reign in one’s life, not being conformed to the world, and walking in the Spirit are not automatic in the lives of believers. Following are some scriptures that prove it:

Titus 3:8: This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

Romans 6:12: Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Romans 12:2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Galatians 5:16: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Second, the errant Got Questions? website has admitted that LS forces its sad adherents to search their performance for assurance of eternal life. This is no basis for assurance.

Third, there IS a question about the salvation of those who hold the LS view.

With that in mind, we will turn to the article at Got Questions? entitled What is Lordship Salvation? See excerpts below:

Lordship salvation is not a salvation-by-works doctrine. Advocates of lordship salvation are careful to say that salvation is by grace alone, that believers are saved before their faith ever produces any good works, and that Christians can and do sin. However, true salvation will inevitably lead to a changed life. The saved will be dedicated to their Savior…

Faith itself is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:1-5,8), and real faith endures forever (Philippians 1:6)…

Faith must involve a personal commitment to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:15). It is more than being convinced of the truth of the gospel; it is a forsaking of this world and a following of the Master…

My comment: Contrary to the claims of Got Questions?, Lordship “salvation” IS a salvation-by-works doctrine. Their claims are both non-biblical, and internally inconsistent. Faith itself is NOT a gift of God, faith need not involve a commitment to Christ in order to result in eternal life, and faith is NOT more than being convinced of the truth of the gospel. None of the biblical references that they have provided, nor any other passages from the Bible, support their erroneous claims.

The Got Questions? site is managed by a group that is either ignorant of grace or enemies of grace. Either way, the site, and those involved with it, should be marked and avoided.

So, is Lordship “salvation” a false gospel of works? Despite what the false teachers from Got Questions? have to say, the Biblical answer is ABSOLUTELY!

If you would like the truth regarding how to have eternal life, click here: THE GOSPEL.

Lordship Salvation: Why Am I Here?

By johninnc

1 Timothy 2:4-6: [4] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. [5] For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; [6] Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

I did an internet search on the word “Christian” today, just out of curiosity, to see how many references it would garner. The number was 1.43 billion.

I have spent a good bit of time reading content at internet sites that claim to be teaching Christian doctrine, and have found very few that do not contain some form of corruption of the gospel message.

Among the more common forms of corruption are sites that teach Lordship “salvation” (the false idea that good works must accompany faith in Christ in order for one to receive, maintain, or indicate that he has received eternal life). For a more complete explanation of the error of Lordship “salvation,” please see link below:

Lordship “salvation.”

In any event, if you have been deceived by Lordship “salvation,” and have been drawn to, or even stumbled across the Expreacherman website, we are glad you have found us.

I believe that you may be here for one, or more, of the following reasons, each of which can be manifested in glorifying God.

  1. You are here because you have never believed in Jesus as Savior, and you need to hear, or read, the gospel message in its clarity, unhindered by any contradictions, nor masked by any of the false language or concepts that have become pervasive in presentations purporting to be the gospel.

You may be have spent a lifetime in church activities, lived a good life, and so on, but still deep down wonder if you have done enough.

Or, you may have avoided church like the plague, because you never really felt like you fit in. Or, maybe you have tried to engage in religion sporadically, whenever you felt lost.

If any of these scenarios strikes close to home, I invite you to read the attached link. Ask questions if there’s something you still don’t understand.

The Gospel

  1. You are here because, while you have believed in Jesus as Savior, you have been exposed to false teaching that has served to undermine your assurance, Christian growth, and power for Christian living.

Perhaps you have never really gotten grounded in your faith, because you either unwittingly, or even purposefully, tolerated false teaching. Perhaps that tolerance for false doctrine has led to your accepting, embracing, or even teaching it. But, deep down, you know something is not right.

If this sounds you, we have some suggestions:

  • Go on a spiritual “diet.” Stop consuming false doctrine. Stop looking for man’s consensus. See article below for further discussion:

Stop following the “menyouscript.”

  • Read God’s word. We would advise anyone to consider interpretation of scripture in light of the following three clear tenets. If someone’s interpretation of scripture renders an answer of “NO” to any of the following questions, it cannot be true:
    • Is it consistent with eternal life by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone?
    • Is it consistent with eternal security?
    • 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.)?

Again, ask questions if there is something you don’t understand.

  1. You are here because you would like to equip yourself to oppose false doctrine that undermines the gospel message. If so, a good starting point may be found in the link below:

What About John 3:16?

  1. You are here to oppose the message of grace, to contradict our clear teaching of the gospel, to teach doctrine that undermines the gospel, and otherwise “straighten us out.”

If this describes you, we will answer your false doctrine with scripture, in its proper context, and try to persuade you that you are in error. We will allow you to make your claims, and we will answer them. But, we will not engage in a protracted debate, and we will not allow you to have the last word. We will lay out, and make stark, whatever error you are teaching, and contrast it with the truth.

          We will protect our flock from you. And, we will pray for you.

We will pray that if you have never believed in Jesus as Savior, that you would hear and understand the gospel, and that if you do know Jesus as Savior, that you would have the wisdom, discernment, and humility to turn from the false doctrine that you are teaching, and that you would begin teaching the truth.

For those of us who are familiar with Expreacherman, I would repeat the following sentiment from earlier this year:

I join you in asking God to bless this ministry. I pray that those who come here who know Jesus as Savior will seek to honor God with their posts, that we will be faithful to Him and His word, that we will comfort and encourage one another, that we will be bold in proclaiming and defending the gospel, that we will be gentle and wise, that we won’t become confused with the wisdom of men, and that we will not allow our comments to become sidetracked with unimportant things.

Also, I pray that those who come here who are seeking truth, and do not know Jesus as Savior, would hear/read and understand the gospel message.

Happy New Year everyone!

Lordship Salvation: No Thanksgiving

By johninnc

Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Bible describes eternal life as the gift of God.

Those who have received eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone can be thankful that they have received that gift.

2 Corinthians 9:15: Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

However, much of professing Christendom undermines the truth of God’s word by teaching the pernicious lie of Lordship “salvation.”

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

We have heard and read countless comments from people, ranging from prominent “men of God” to unknown laypeople that promote or reflect the lie of Lordship “salvation.” Following are just a few examples:

However, good and bad deeds will prove an individual’s faith. If good deeds aren’t there, it proves faith isn’t present. These people face eternal judgment. If good deeds are there, it proves faith is present and they are granted eternal resurrection life. David Chadwick, Pastor of Forrest Hills Church, Charlotte

Although I don’t agree with the heresy of Lordship Salvation, I don’t agree with you either. I have been a fan of Stewart’s website and I’m so sure that he does NOT teach the crap of Lordship Salvation. Stewart is right, stop falsely accusing him. Stewart is saying that forsaking one’s sin is NOT the prerequisites of salvation, but the fruits of salvation. We don’t forsake our sins in order to be saved, indeed we forsake our sins because we ARE saved! – Commenter to the ExPreacherman site.

Another proof of the conquest of a soul for Christ will be found in a real change of life. If the man does not live differently from what he did before, both at home and abroad, his repentance needs to be repented of, and his conversion is a fiction. – 19th Century Preacher Charles Spurgeon

The Bible says to examine yourselves whether you be in the faith. What’s to examine since you deny the usage of any outward evidence or what you call “fruit inspection? – Commenter to the ExPreacherman site.

I am afraid that many Christians, in their zeal to share their faith in Christ, have made the Gospel message of making disciples for Him too simple. Just to say “believe in Christ” can produce a false assurance of the hope of Heaven. Jesus spoke often about the gift of eternal life. To make it clear, He said, “Count the cost.” – Billy Graham

I have watched and listened to Paul Washer, Tim Conway, and John MacArthur for three years now, and you are mistaken. They teach the free gift of salvation – by grace through faith in JESUS CHRIST are ye saved!!! They teach that once you are saved, you will be led by the HOLY SPIRIT unto good works, and you will want to deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow JESUS CHRIST!!! – Commenter to the ExPreacherman site.

There are two types of “faith” described in the Bible. One is a dead faith that originates in man as he gives mental assent to certain truths about God, but it produces no evidence of a new life in Christ (James 2:17). The other is a God-given faith which includes being born again as a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). This is a living faith that is coupled with repentance (Acts 11:18). It flows out of a new heart that desires to bear fruit for God’s Glory (Ezekiel 36:26; John 15:8). – Mike Gendron

Questions: do you believe assenting to a set of facts about something is the same as acting on those facts personally? IOW, can one assent to facts on something and not act on it personally? Hope I’m making it clear. What about the devils? The Bible says they believe and tremble. What kind of belief would you call that since they obviously aren’t going to heaven. – Commenter to the ExPreacherman site.

______________________________

How can any of the above comments point one to thankfulness for the gift of eternal life? After all, each one of them reflects a false belief that eternal life is dependent to some extent on one’s own effort. Where is the thanks in that?

The Bible says that anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. The Bible also says that anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior can be assured that he has eternal life. If one had to wait to see whether the works manifest themselves to know he has eternal life, then he could never really have assurance.

There is joy and thanksgiving with knowing that one has received the free gift of eternal life by grace through faith in Christ.

Conversely, there is no thanksgiving with Lordship “salvation,” because its purpose is to undermine the very concept of eternal life being the gift of God.

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

Lordship Salvation’s Shell Game

By johninnc

From Wikipedia: The shell game (also known as thimblerig, three shells and a pea, the old army game) is portrayed as a gambling game, but in reality, when a wager for money is made, it is almost always a confidence trick used to perpetrate fraud. In confidence trick slang, this swindle is referred to as a short-con because it is quick and easy to pull off.

We refer to the Expreacherman ministry as an “oasis of grace,” because we want our readers to be able to learn about God’s amazing grace in an environment that steadfastly rejects any attacks on the integrity of the gospel of Christ.

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.

We are very happy when someone who is searching for truth comes to Expreacherman, because we exist to proclaim and defend the gospel, and we believe that God has used this ministry to plant the gospel and water the ground on which it has been planted. We also know that it is God who gives the increase.

1 Corinthians 3:7-9: [7] So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. [8] Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. [9] For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

Because this is one of a very few ministries that preaches the gospel in its purity, we often find ourselves under attack from those who seek to soil, or corrupt the gospel message. People who are uncomfortable with grace, are the enemies of grace, or who consort with the enemies of grace either trot out – or are trotted out – to corrupt our readers from the simplicity of the gospel. They are both deceived and deceivers, whom we would like to be delivered from their deception.

Following are descriptions of three prototypical antagonists who venture onto Expreacherman in an attempt to lure us away from the truth:

1. The person who has never understood or believed the gospel message.

Matthew 13:19: When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

2. The person who has believed in Jesus as Savior, but who has been subsumed by the teaching of Lordship “salvation.”

Luke 8:13: They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

3. The person who believes in Jesus as Savior, but is willing to “go along to get along” with people who corrupt the gospel for some pecuniary benefit (such as selling books, leading a large congregation, having a prominent position in a “convention,” or having a comfortable social outlet for oneself or one’s children).

Mark 4:19: And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

Like the shell game, Satan uses each one of these groups of antagonists to commit and perpetuate fraud.

All three groups are used to keep lost people from understanding and believing the gospel.

Luke 8:5: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

All three groups are used to bewitch believers.

Galatians 3:1: O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

And, finally, all three groups play a part in hindering the fruitfulness of believers, thereby producing more worthless things in God’s eyes than those things worthwhile in God’s eyes.

1 Corinthians 3:15: If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Antagonists, both at Expreacherman, and in other places to which the antagonists run to commiserate with fellow antagonists, have criticized us for not allowing them to have free reign at Expreacherman to teach their false doctrine.

We welcome questions, and will attempt to answer them. But, once we determine that someone is here to promote false gospels or to corrupt the gospel we will not allow them to continue to comment.

Galatians 2:5: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

We believe that this is both biblical, and vitally important to ensuring that Expreacherman remains an oasis of grace.

If you would like to know how to have eternal life, click here: THE GOSPEL

Enough is Enough

By johninnc

John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

We have received a flurry of emails, of late, expressing concern that our gospel presentations leave out certain essential details regarding God, Jesus, the atonement for our sins provided by the Lord Jesus Christ, and so on.

We believe that it is important for a believer to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  But, we must be careful not to insist that someone MUST know and believe EVERYTHING we know and believe in order to have eternal life. Otherwise, we can eviscerate the assurance of believers, and distract ourselves from our mission of promoting the gospel.

Please note that we are not advocating or excusing theological error, nor are we promoting a gospel message without content. Nor do we want to start a debate.

Following is a summary plan of salvation that we believe has sufficient content for someone to hear (or read) and believe unto eternal life:

1. Everyone is a sinner.
2. The penalty for sin is death (eternal separation from God in a place of conscious torment – hell).
3. One must be perfect to get into heaven. Not good. Not great. Perfect.
4. One cannot do anything of himself to obtain this perfection – this includes turning from sin, committing your life to Christ and so on. God offers eternal life as a gift – it’s not for sale or barter.
5. God provided a sin-bearer for us (The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God in the flesh. He had no sin of his own, but he came to die for us, paying the full penalty for our sin. He was raised from the dead, proving that His payment was accepted).
6. All we can do to receive everlasting life is to believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior.
7. Eternal life, once received by faith in Christ, can never be lost or forfeited, no matter what happens in our lives down the road.

What is there to do to receive eternal life? Simply BELIEVE that Jesus made that payment for your sin – for you.

If you would like additional information regarding the gospel, please click here: THE GOSPEL

 

 

Lordship Salvation: MEtheism

By johninnc

2 Corinthians 4:3-4: But of our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 

In reading countless comments from Lordship “salvationists” who condemn adherents of other false religions, as well as godless atheists, it has dawned on me that Lordship “salvationists” are actually MEtheists. That is, their god is not the God of the Bible. Rather it is a false god that they have constructed that is a hybrid of the true God and themselves.

For a background definition of Lordship “salvation,” please see link below:

https://expreacherman.com/♦-lordship-salvation-defined/

While Lordship “salvationists” may give lip service to acknowledging that the Bible is God’s word, they imagine all sorts of contradictions, paradoxes, and “tensions” lie therein.

As Ron Shea notes:

Rather than coming to scripture to learn the mind of God, some unregenerate men approach scripture to justify the views they already hold…

Not surprisingly therefore, those who think that they, rather than Jesus Christ, are the Savior of their own souls have, for centuries, sought from scripture proof texts to justify this conclusion.

Like other religions, Lordship “salvation” is man’s attempt to establish his own righteousness.

Romans 10:2-3: For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God.

The Lordship “salvationist” seems indignant that other people do not follow God’s laws – laws that he also does not follow.

Often, he constructs his own moral “code of conduct” that, in his mind, replaces God’s perfect law. If he is successful in following this code, or is at least trying, he thinks this helps justify him to God.

But, this is pure foolishness.  Anyone who tries to keep the law to be justified must keep it all to be justified.

Galatians 3:10: For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them.

And, if he thinks that others have no code, or a more relaxed code, that might indicate that they don’t have eternal life.

Romans 2:1: Therefore, thou art inexcusable O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 

Lordship “salvation” is highly focused on “life change,” or comparative conduct, for evidence of eternal life in others, or assurance of eternal life in oneself.

But, the Bible says that we are justified by faith, without the deeds of the law.

Romans 3:28: Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

For anyone “on the fence,” who thinks that good works are an essential evidence of eternal life, the Bible says otherwise:

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

Please note in the above verse that there is absolutely no reference to life change, sinning less, or comparing oneself to others – or even comparing oneself to oneself before becoming a believer.

If, while reading this article, you have realized that you might be trusting in your own works for eternal life – either in whole are in part – and are tired of being on that treadmill, please consider the following invitation:

Matthew 11:28: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

If you have believed in the false gospel of MEtheism, and would like to know the truth, please click here:

THE GOSPEL