Author Archives: johninnc

Lordship Salvation’s Mad Libs

By johninnc

From WIKIPEDIA: Mad Libs is a phrasal template word game where one player prompts others for a list of words to substitute for blanks in a story, before reading the – often comical or nonsensical – story aloud. The game is frequently played as a party game or as a pastime.

Calvinists, Lordship “Salvationists” and others who teach false gospels of works often do so by playing a game similar to Mad Libs, in which they implicitly change scripture to fit their false doctrine. Unfortunately, the result is never comical, even if it is nonsensical.

Following are some of clear verses regarding eternal life that must be ignored, or implicitly altered in order to fit various perversions of the gospel. I have provided some Mad Libs to exemplify the various errors.

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.

Calvinist version: For God so loved those he had elected unto eternal life, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever He had chosen to believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Lordship “salvation” (LS) version: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, turns from his sin, and demonstrates such by his changed behavior, should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Arminian version: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, unless he sins too much after believing, or quits believing, but have everlasting life, again conditioned upon him not losing 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.

Calvinist/LS version: 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, provided he perseveres in faith and good works.

Arminian version: 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 unless he backslides; but is passed from death unto life, but can be passed from life unto death again.

Acts 16:31: And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

LS version: And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, which includes turning from sin, counting the cost, and persevering, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Romans 4:24-25: But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Calvinist version: But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if God hath chosen us to believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

LS version: But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, turn from our sins, and faithfully serve God for the remainder of our lives; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again to assist in our justification.

Ephesians 1:13-14: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Calvinist version: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and God implanted you with belief: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

LS version: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed and had forsaken all of your sin and had decided to commit your life to following Jesus in obedience, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Arminian version: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, unless or until ye become unsealed again, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 2:8-9: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Calvinist version: For by grace are ye saved through grace; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Ye have no responsibility upon hearing the gospel. If ye are going to believe, it is because God decided ye would. Not of works, lest any man should boast.

LS version: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. However, if works fail to materialize, ye probably aren’t saved.

If you find all of the Mad Libs maddening, and would like to know the truth about how to have eternal life, please click here: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: Bound and Determined

By johninnc

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?

The Marshall Tucker Band has a song by the name of Bound and Determined that starts with the line: Well she’s bound and determined to make a fool out of me.

Proponents of Lordship “salvation” (LSers) are bound and determined to foist their false gospel on others, thus making fools of them. In many, if not most cases, such proponents don’t even realize they’re working against God, rather than for Him. Some LSers have eternal life, some don’t. It’s impossible to know which is which. However all people who teach LS are under God’s curse.

Galatians 1:8-9: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

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.

LS keeps people from understanding the gospel message, so that they might believe and be saved (Matthew 13:19). It can also undermine the faith of believers who fall under its spell. LS frustrates grace!

For believers, some of the ways we weaken our defenses against false LS teachers are:

  • Failing to mark and avoid them
  • Consulting them for insights into biblical prophecy
  • Looking to them for spiritual advice on Christian living
  • Using them to make points in proving the existence of God or the truth of the Bible
  • Supporting their churches or other ministries
  • Confusing any of our common affinities with spiritual fellowship

LSers are happy to use any of the above ties to try to bind us.

The Bible tells us that eternal life is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

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.

Ephesians 2:8-9: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

The Bible also tells us that we have eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited, from the moment of belief in Christ.

Ephesians 1:13-14: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

And, the Bible tells us that we can have assurance of eternal life from the moment of belief in Christ based on God’s word alone, without reference to our motives, behavior, perseverance, or anything else.

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.

Anyone who contradicts any of the above clear tenets of the Christian faith, either explicitly or implicitly, may be bound and determined to make a fool out of you.

If you think you may have been fooled as to how to have eternal life, and would like to know the real story, click here: The Gospel

 

Lordship Salvation: Can You Pay the Piper?

By johninnc

Definition of “pied piper,” according to Merriam Webster:

  1. one that offers strong but delusive enticement
  2. a leader who makes irresponsible promises
  3. a charismatic person who attracts followers

Within the world of professing Christendom, there have always been “pied pipers,” who try to corrupt the gospel of Jesus Christ by adding works into how to receive, keep, or prove one has received eternal life.

These false teachers feed on each other, and have misled countless people with counterfeit gospels.

So, who are some of these “pied pipers”?

Charles Spurgeon, 19th century popular false teacher, dubbed the “prince of preachers.” Following is a sample of his false doctrine:

True conversion is in all men attended by a sense of sin (which have spoken of under the heading of conviction); by a sorrow for sin or holy grief at having committed it; by a hatred of sin, which proves that its dominion is ended; and by a practical turning from sin, which shows that the life within the soul is operating upon the life without.

Paul Washer is a contemporary false teacher who considers himself a “five point Spurgeonist.” Below is but one of Washer’s telling quotes:

However, biblical assurance that a person has passed from death to life finds a basis not merely upon an examination of the moment of conversion but also upon an examination of his or her life from that moment on.

Greg Laurie is a prominent false teacher and Lordship “salvationist,” most noted for hosting the annual SoCal Harvest event.

Laurie includes that following about how one receives eternal life:

To repent means to “change” or to “turn.”  It’s like driving down the highway, pulling a U-turn and heading the other direction. More than simply being sorry, it is a word of action. Many people feel remorse for their sin but never truly repent. Remorse is being sorry, repentance is being sorry enough to stop.

Billy Graham, who passed away in 2018, was the foremost name in American “evangelism” for over 50 years.

Following is an excerpt from his book, entitled The Reason for My Hope:

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.”

David Platt is the one time president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s  (SBC) International Missions Board who has been in the news of late for praying for US President Donald Trump.

In the below quote, Platt makes receipt of the free gift of eternal life contingent on “counting the cost.”

What kind of faith are we calling people to? In a day of rampant easy-believism that creates cultural Christians who do not know Christ, who have never counted the cost of following Christ, we must be biblically clear about saving faith, lest any of us lead people down a very dangerous and potentially damning road of spiritual deception.

JD Greear, is president of the SBC. Like the others above, he preaches a false gospel of works.

Following are a couple of choice excerpts from Greear’s false teaching:

Salvation comes by surrendering to Christ s lordship and believing in his finished work, whether or not you pray a prayer asking Jesus into your heart.

Neither the great Baptists of the past nor the Bible describes eternal security as a one-time ritual that produces a guarantee of salvation no matter how you live your life. They described it as the knowledge that if God had started a true work in you, he would complete it. And the way that you show your salvation is genuine is by persevering for the rest of your life.

Persevering in the faith is proof that you have the salvation you could never lose; failing to persevere shows that you never had it to begin with.

John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He is a false teacher of Lordship “salvation.” He is also the namesake for this article.

Following is a telling excerpt of his false doctrine:

Perseverance is the evidence of being born again in Christ, not the means to it.

_______________________________________________________ 

Each of the above “pied pipers” has tried to add the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works as an essential accompaniment to faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

In opposition to all of the above false teachers and their minions, God’s word is clear: anyone who has ever believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. No one needs to turn from sin, surrender to Christ’s Lordship, count the cost, or look to his own works or perseverance for evidence of eternal life.

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.

The implication of Lordship “salvation” is that one must help atone for his own sins. That is an impossibly high price for anyone to pay.

If you have been following a pied piper, and would like to have clarity on how to have eternal life, click here: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: Easy Disbelievism?

By johninnc

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

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

Some recent search terms include:

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

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

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

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

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

Preexisting beliefs

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

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

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

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

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

Popularity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Safety

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

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

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

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

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

 

Lordship Salvation: This Easter, Are You a Basket Case?

By johninnc

Definition of basket case from Merriam Webster: 2a person who is mentally incapacitated or worn out (as from nervous tension) also: one that is not functioning well or is in a run-down condition

This Sunday, the world of professing Christendom celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day. His resurrection was prophesied in scripture and was witnessed by more than five hundred people.

1 Corinthians 15:3-6: 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: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

Following is a brief explanation of God’s plan for the salvation of mankind:

  • Everyone is a sinner
  • The penalty for sin is death (eternal separation from God in a place of conscious torment – hell)
  • One must be perfect to get into heaven. Not good. Not great. Perfect.
  • 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.
  • God provided a sin-bearer for us (The Lord Jesus Christ, 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 acceptable).
  • Anyone who believes in Jesus as Savior receives, from the moment of belief, everlasting life, that can never be lost of forfeited.

In contrast to God’s plan of salvation is the false gospel of Lordship “salvation,” or LS. There are seemingly endless variations of LS, but at its core 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 is insidious, and is pervasive within professing Christendom. LS both keeps people from coming to faith in Christ and bewitches Christians. LS makes people into basket cases.

Following are three categories of basket cases associated with LS:

The Case of the Counterfeit Convert

Luke 8:12: Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

This is a person who has never trusted in Christ alone as Savior. He may be a true believer – in the false gospel of LS.

He believes that Christ is necessary for eternal life, but he has never believed that Christ is enough.

For whatever reason, he has never been willing to put all of his eggs in one basket.

The Case of the Confused Christian

Galatians 3:1-2: 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? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

This is someone who has trusted in Christ as Savior, but through exposure to false doctrine has had their Christian growth stunted and has been rendered ineffective in spreading the gospel.

This person may have lost the joy and assurance of eternal life, and looks in the wrong places to regain it. He could become very busy in faux spiritual pursuits, or wander away from matters of faith altogether.

By returning to proper doctrine, and avoiding those who compromise the gospel, he may get back on track.

If not, he is likely to go down one rabbit hole after another,

The Case of the Careless Compromiser

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.

The careless compromiser is someone who is clear on the gospel, but willingly compromises the gospel through association with people or organizations that corrupt it.

He may have all kinds of reasons that seem rational to him (familial harmony, political patronage, financial gain, social opportunities, etc.), but his compromise contributes to creating the other basket cases, described above.

_______________________________________________________

LS is like the plastic grass in Easter baskets. It kind of resembles grass, but its not the real thing.

For the real thing click here: THE GOSPEL

 

 

 

Lordship Salvation: Blinded by the Dark

By Johninnc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 Corinthians 4:4: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

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

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

See this link for more details: Lordship Salvation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lordship Salvation: After Christmas Sales

By johninnc

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

One of the Christmas gifts I received from a well-meaning relative was a book that was written by the pastor of her Southern Baptist Church. As I casually flipped through the book, it didn’t take long to find false doctrine that conflates faith in Christ with faithfulness in following Christ.

Following is an extended excerpt:

Jesus is the Bread of life. We find our salvation in Jesus, and in Jesus alone. He alone is the Source of our salvation, and He alone is the Sustainer of our salvation.

When we pursue Jesus as Lord and trust our lives to Him and determine that we are going to follow Him regardless, we find in Him all the assurance for our salvation that we need. And that will then put our minds and hearts at rest and led us into the arena of peace we so need. You need the assurance of your salvation, and that is exactly what Jesus means when he says. “I am the Bread of life.” He gives you the full assurance of your salvation when you trust your life to Him and follow Him faithfully for the rest of your life. Jesus is the Bread of life.

The author mixes truth with error in the above excerpt, and in so doing manages to mix God’s grace with man’s works for providing the assurance of eternal life. Man’s efforts are imperfect, can be inconsistent, and fleeting. Even if one has followed Jesus faithfully (based on his own quantification standards), how can he be sure that he will continue to do so for his entire life?

This false teaching would naturally lead to unhealthy introspection for a believer,  and could also reinforce a non-believer’s natural inclination toward thinking that works were necessary to receive eternal life.

In John 5:24, Jesus mentions nothing of our faithfulness as a basis for assurance of eternal life. So, the author makes assurance of eternal life contingent on either adding to, or actually contradicting what God’s word says is the basis for assurance.

How can teaching something different than what God’s word teaches on something as important as the basis for assurance of eternal life constitute following Him faithfully? Quite a conundrum, isn’t it?

In his booklet entitle “The Gospel,” Ron Shea has a section on assurance that is built entirely on John 5:24. In that section, he anticipates the error of basing assurance on man’s faithfulness versus God’s promises. Please see excerpt below:

According to this verse, how can you be sure that you have truly been saved?

  • You can be sure that you have truly been saved if your life begins to change, showing that God has really come into your life.
  • You can be sure that you have truly been saved if many years from now you are still walking with Christ.
  • You can be sure that you have truly been saved if you bear the fruit of good works.
  • You can be sure that you have truly been saved if you heard the gospel and believed it.

Hint: the last answer is the ONLY biblical basis for assurance. Our faithfulness in following Jesus is not a biblical, nor even a reasonable basis for assurance of eternal life.

The Bible repeatedly refers to eternal life as a gift. It is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. It is not for sale or barter.

Many of the same churches and ministries that so loudly celebrated the birth of our Savior yesterday do not really view Him as our Savior at all, but rather as our helper. They do this by insinuating works into the eternal salvation of mankind.

The book that I mentioned above has been relegated to the same place as the after Christmas sale flyers that will begin in a frenzied rush today – the recycle bin. After all, if we are going to save the planet…

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