Category Archives: Assurance

Note to Lordship Salvationists: Absence of Evidence is NOT Evidence of Absence of Eternal Life

By johninnc

Please note: This article is intended to promote and defend the gospel by comparing the incontrovertible word of God to shifting scientific claims. It is not intended to pick sides in suggesting what the proper public health responses are for COVID-19. 

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 the ongoing development of pseudoscientific theories about how to best deal with the public health threat from COVID-19, a trite phrase has come into common usage: The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

In the absence of solid scientific evidence to compel whatever the desired universal behavior du jour that public health officials, newly-ordained media experts, and political opportunists are promoting, the phrase the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence is somehow seen as sufficient. In other words, the absence of evidence that something is helpful is of little consequence if there is the chance that it might be. Guidance often changes frequently, with little consideration given to any possible negative consequences.

In diametric opposition to the pseudoscientists, we have Lordship “salvationists” (LSers) – religious “experts” who create false gospels by teaching that the absence of evidence IS the evidence of absence. That is, if the promise of good works, the performance of good works, or evidence of good works do not accompany faith in Christ, then that is evidence that a person does not have eternal life.

Unlike their perhaps well-meaning pseudoscientific counterparts, these religious “experts” override absolute, incontrovertible  proof to promote their false gospels.

The Bible does not teach that there is any evidence of salvation. Rather, the Bible teaches that anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

Lordship “salvation”, on the other hand, involves the endless search for evidence of salvation – even while explaining away the proof of salvation.

Here are some examples in which LSers override biblical proof in search of evidence:

Soil number 2 in the parable of the Sower

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.

The Bible CLEARLY and unambiguously says these people believed. As such, they have passed from death unto life (John 5:24).

This is is not good enough for many LSers. Consider the following quote from J.D. Greear, pastor of the multi-campus Summit Church in Raleigh, North Carolina:

They remain in the church for a period of time. But, they do not endure when the sun of persecution comes out and will not in the end be saved. 

Believers who do not confess Christ

John 12:42:  Nevertheless among the chief rulers many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

The Bible says these people believed. What other evidence should we need?

But, that’s not good enough for LSers.  For example, another huge North Carolina church – Calvary Church in Charlotte – has something contradictory to what the Bible says.

Calvary says that one  must confess Christ in order to be saved.  From their “Articles of Faith”:

We believe that all who receive by faith alone, Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and who confess Him before their fellow men, are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God. 

Demas

Philemon 1:24: Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers. 

2 Timothy 4:10: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

Paul describes Demas as a fellow laborer, but later says Demas has forsaken him for the world. Demas is a Christian who did not persevere.

What would the Southern Baptist Convention – a group of 50,000 cooperating churches – have to say? Following is an excerpt from”The Baptist Faith and Message”:

All true believers endure to the end. 

What does “endure to the end” even mean? Did Demas “endure to the end”? Was Demas a “true believer”?

LSers are so hung up on works providing evidence of salvation that they will deny irrefutable PROOF from scripture that someone has eternal life.

I will give you a couple of takeaways from the above:

Science

The argument that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence has no place in science. It is a refuge for those who expect you to accept their “scientific” claims without having met the scientific burden of proof.

Science involves the scientific method. From Wikipedia: the scientific method is an empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century. It involves careful observation, applying rigorous skepticism about what is observed, given that cognitive assumptions can distort how one interprets the observation. It involves formulating hypotheses, via induction,  based on such observations; experimental and measurement-based testing of deductions drawn from the hypotheses; and refinement (or elimination) of the hypotheses based on the experimental findings.

Please note: rigorous skepticism is inseparable from true science. It is not a sign of moral weakness, lack of virtue, or irresponsible citizenship.

Eternal life

The argument that the absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence is completely appropriate in terms of eternal life, since God’s word says that anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life, without reference to any confirmatory evidence.

Therefore, the argument that the absence of evidence IS the evidence of absence of eternal life is wholly inappropriate, and contradicts God’s clear word. This statement is at the heart of the false gospel of LS.

If you would like to know more click here: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: Herd Mentality

By johninnc

Please note: This article is intended to contrast the false gospels being propagated during the coronavirus crisis with the true gospel. It is not intended to generate any discussions of political or epidemiological responses to the coronavirus, nor any conspiracy theories.  We also cannot purport to know God’s role in or intent with respect to the coronavirus. 

We will not allow any comments related to the above as those things detract from the mission of this ministry which is to promote and defend the gospel.

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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.

From “American Greatness”:

“Herd immunity” is a settled concept in epidemiology. It occurs when “a large percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through previous infections or vaccination, thereby providing a measure of protection for individuals who are not immune.”

 “Herd mentality,” on the contrary, provides immunity from independent thought. It protects a population from thinking clearly by spreading a spirit of conformity. It increases a people’s docility, thus rendering them more susceptible to the blandishments of usurping authority.

Herd immunity I regard as a good thing. Herd mentality, not so much.

The coronavirus outbreak and the resultant stay at home order has given me a lot of time to read and watch various leaders try to use it to their perceived advantage. Among these are religious leaders, who like their purely political counterparts, never let a crisis go to waste. Also, like their purely political counterparts, these religious leaders have their blandishments amplified by a fawning, compliant press.

Many religious leaders who preach false gospels have been featured prominently in opinion pieces, or human-interest pieces, that are haphazardly interspersed with news stories, thus undermining both the news and the gospel. Some prominent religious leaders have even had their Easter services streamed live by one or more national news networks.

Prominently featured false teachers have included:

  • Franklin Graham
  • Robert Jeffress
  • Kirk Cameron
  • Joel Osteen
  • Greg Laurie
  • Pope Francis

While each of the above teachers undermines the gospel in his own unique way, they are part of the herd mentality that man’s works are somehow involved in receiving, keeping, or proving that one has received eternal life. In this case, the herd mentality is the wide gate and the broad way that leads to destruction.

Following is just a small sample of their errors:

Franklin Graham: We have to repent of our sins in turn. A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God. You’ll have to repent…

I’m a sinner. But I’ve been forgiven, and I’ve turned from my sins. For any person that’s willing to repent in turn, God will forgive him.

 (Note: Franklin Graham is son of the late Billy Graham, who also taught a false gospel of salvation by man’s works)

 Greg Laurie: Jesus essentially said the only way your sins are forgiven and to know you will spend eternity in Heaven is by putting your complete trust in Him. And there will be tangible results to show you have done that…

You see, the outward change is often without the inward. However, the inward change is never without the outward…

Here are the elements of the Good News that we must believe and receive to become a born-again child of God…

Repent of Your Sins

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.

Robert Jeffress: Jeffress is pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas, TX. The statement of faith of his church is based on “The Baptist Faith and Message” and includes the following:

Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior.

By contrast to the above false gospel messages, the Bible is crystal clear that Jesus is both the straight gate and the narrow way by which one may have eternal life. Consider the following verses:

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.

 There is only one way to have eternal life. That is to believe in Jesus as Savior.

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.

 And, man’s works have no bearing on receiving, keeping, nor showing evidence that one has received 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 above verse literally means that the believer in Christ presently possesses eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

If you would like to know more about how to escape the herd mentality of salvation by works click here: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: Don’t Give My Regards to Broadway

By johninnc

Matthew 7:12-13: 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.

From Wikipedia: “Give My Regards to Broadway” is a song written by George M. Cohan for his musical play Little Johnny Jones which debuted in 1904 in New York.

Cohan, playing the title character, sings this song as his friend is about to sail to America, looking for evidence aboard ship that will clear his name for allegedly throwing the English Derby He is sure he’ll become a star at Broadway, therefore signing off with: “Give my regards to Broadway.”

Cohan, of course, was making an innocuous reference to the street in New York with his song.

By contrast, Lordship Salvation (LS) gives its regards to the broad way that leads to destruction.

In Matthew 7:12-13, Jesus describes Himself as the way to eternal life. He is both the straight gate and the narrow way that leads to eternal life:

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.

The wide gate and the broad way that lead to destruction include any other means by which one tries to justify himself, including the pernicious false gospel of Lordship Salvation (LS).

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.

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.

Proponents of LS teach that one receives eternal life by believing in Jesus as helper, instead of believing in Him as Savior. In other words, they see Jesus as necessary for eternal life, but not sufficient.

Some forms of LS are more subtle than others, and their variations are seemingly endless.

Following are some examples of false LS gospels:

Franklin Graham:

We have to repent of our sins in turn. A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God. You’ll have to repent…

I’m a sinner. But I’ve been forgiven, and I’ve turned from my sins. For any person that’s willing to repent in turn, God will forgive him

My comment: Turning from sin is not required to receive the free gift of eternal life. The Bible describes eternal life as the gift of God (Romans 6:23). If turning from sin were required to receive eternal life, eternal life could not be called a gift.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:

To receive Christ you need to do four things:
1. ADMIT your spiritual need. “I am a sinner.”
2. REPENT and be willing to turn from your sin.
3. BELIEVE that Jesus Christ died for you on the cross.
4. RECEIVE, through prayer, Jesus Christ into your heart and life.

My comment: One does not receive eternal life by being willing to turn from sin or asking Jesus into one’s heart.

19th century preacher Charles Spurgeon:

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.

My comment: If a changed life were required to have assurance of eternal life, then the word of God in the John 5:24 would be a lie.

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.

Chick Publications from their tract entitled “God’s Plan of Salvation”:

 Trust Jesus Christ today! Here’s what you must do:

…Be willing to turn from sin (repent). Jesus said: “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5) 
”And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:” (Acts 17:30)

My comments: This is not God’s plan of salvation. It is one of Satan’s counterfeits. Turning from sin is a work. Being willing to turn from sin is an IOU for a work.

The above individuals and publications point(ed) people to the broad way that leads to destruction.

Christians should not give people who teach false gospels any regard. They should not be given a pass, no matter what their motives may be. They should be marked and avoided. The only contexts in which they should be quoted is to contrast their BROAD WAY that leads to destruction with the Bible’s NARROW WAY that leads to life.

Don’t give your regards to the Broad Way.

If you would like to have additional information on how to receive eternal life, please click here: THE GOSPEL

 

 

 

 

Lordship Salvation: “The Harris Poll”

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.

According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, one of the definitions of “poll” is as follows:

 aa questioning or canvassing of persons selected at random or by quota to obtain information or opinions to be analyzed

ba record of the information so obtained

Joshua Harris, well-known author and former pastor, recently announced that he was leaving his wife and that he was no longer a Christian.

Let me start out by saying that I have no idea whether Joshua Harris ever believed the gospel, or even heard the gospel presented faithfully. I have conspicuously avoided delving into Harris’ beliefs, because that isn’t the point of this article.

What I would like to focus on is the reactions of some well-known “Christian leaders.” Almost all of the reactions I have read are condemning of Harris, either suggesting, or expressly stating, that Harris does not have eternal life, and never believed in Jesus in the first place. Following is a sample:

Franklin Graham (from “Hallells” article entitled “Franklin Graham Comments on Joshua Harris & Hillsong’s Marty Sampson Walking Away from the Faith”)

They weren’t real Christians. They were young. Their faith wasn’t very strong. They might have been atheists. They hate God. And they just wanted publicity.

Michael Farris (Op-Ed Contributor to “The Christian Post,” in an article entitled “A letter to Josh Harris”)

We knew each other very well for many years. And I loved you like a younger brother. And still do…

Jesus says about people like you that in the last judgment, He will say, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”

You know that this means you never actually knew Him.

Dr.R. Albert Mohler, Jr. (president of “The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary”, from his blog albertmohler.com)

Can believers lose their faith? Can one ultimately fall away if one was genuinely regenerated? The answer is no…

There may be even some who sin by repudiating Christianity, but if they ever were genuinely Christian, they will return by repentance at some point, and that is a gospel promise. If persons do continue in their repudiation of Christianity, then we have to remember the text in 1 John 2:19, where they were told that, “They went out from us, because they were not of us,” which is to say they were never truly Christians. They were pretend believers.

Jesus also speaks of this in Matthew 13 in the parable of the four soils. There are those who show signs of life, but they eventually go away. Jesus makes very clear they were never true Christians.

John Piper (from article in “The Christian Post” entitled “John Piper on Joshua Harris: ‘I could commit apostasy this afternoon and go to hell’ if not for God”)

“It shouldn’t call into question the doctrine of eternal security to say, ‘yes, I could commit apostasy this afternoon and go to hell.’ I wonder if that’s a jarring juxtaposition for you.

“Nothing you do originates the decisive act or impulse that saves you,” he continued. “Nothing you feel, nothing you think, nothing you will, nothing you do, originates the act of the soul or the act of the body that causes God to elect you, predestine you, call you, keep you, or glorify you. All of it is a free gift. So, nobody should have the mindset, ‘I can keep this from happening.’ I can’t. No, you can’t, God can.”

“You are secure in Christ, but your security is totally in the hands of God,” he continued. “If God is faithful to you, you will make it. If you don’t make it, He didn’t cause you to make it. So, that’s foundational to what I believe and think.”…

Piper added, “The evidence that that has happened is, ‘are you pressing on?’”

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The Bible promises that anyone who believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. The Bible does not promise that our assurance can’t be undermined, or that all Christians will have enduring faith.

Of the men quoted above, we have written articles that document that at least three of them (Graham, Mohler, and Piper) preach false gospels of Calvinism/Lordship “salvation.” However, we can’t know whether any of them has ever believed in Christ alone as Savior. We do know that the false gospels that they teach keep people lost and serve to undermine the assurance of those who do possess eternal life.

When we, or anyone else, put ourselves in the place of determining who does, or who does not have eternal life, we are playing god.

We featured a great article a few years back on this topic. Please see link here: Why We Can’t Judge Whether or Not Someone Possesses Eternal Life

If you are a Christian, please pray for Joshua Harris, and also for his human judges.

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

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: 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

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: 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? Here Are Some Signs

By johninnc

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.

One of the restaurants that my wife and I frequent received a recent score from the health inspector of 87.5%. We figured it was an anomaly, but after suffering from a weekend stomach bug, I’m not so sure.

Anytime an institution deviates from standards that have been set for our health and well-being, the consequences can be serious – even deadly. This is particularly applicable to “churches” purporting to represent the Word of God.

To that end, I did an internet search under “church marquee sayings” and found quite a few that confuse, or misrepresent the gospel. Following is a sample. My comments are in parentheses.

1. Belief in God will not earn you a spot in Heaven. Obedience will. 

(Eternal life is never earned. It is received by grace through faith in Christ. The only context in which this saying is accurate is if they mean by obeying (believing) the gospel.)

2. You cannot have a testimony without going through a test.

(Our Christian testimony should focus on the gospel and how we came to believe it.)

3. If you don’t have enough of God in your heart to bring you to church, I doubt you have enough of God in your heart to get you to Heaven. 

(Implies that eternal life is earned by church attendance.)

4. Turn or Burn

(Implies that turning from some behavior is required to have eternal life.)

5. If you don’t go to God’s house, what makes you think He will take you to His????

(Implies that eternal life is earned by church attendance.)

6. Need a new life? God accepts trade-ins.

(We receive eternal life when we believe in Jesus as Savior. This slogan could be easily misinterpreted to imply that one must give up something to receive the free gift of eternal life.)

7. Famous last words: “I’ll get right with God later.”

(Implies that one must do something (such as “turning from sin,” or “putting Christ on the throne of his life”) in order to receive the free gift of eternal life.)

8. To have your name written in the Book of Life, you must ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins .

(The Bible never conditions receiving eternal life on asking for forgiveness.)

9. FAITH – Forsaking All I Trust Him.

(Could be accurate, if they mean forsaking all other confidences, and trusting in Christ alone for eternal life. But, this could also be misconstrued to mean that one must forsake sins, etc. to receive eternal life.)

10. If you don’t try hard enough then you made the devil happy .

(Could be interpreted to mean that erternal life is earned by self-effort, or that the Christian life is lived that way.)

11. Good works are the fruit, not the root, of salvation.

(Implies that good works are automatic in the lives of believers, which is not scriptural.)

12. By perseverance — the snail reached the ark.

(Teaches that we receive eternal life by our perseverance versus by God’s preservation.)

13. Law says, “Do, and you will live.” Grace says, “Live, and you will do.”

(Implies that good works are automatic in those that have eternal life.)

14. Jesus Christ came to make bad people good.

(Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. When we believe in Jesus as Savior, we receive His imputed perfection.  One has to be perfect to get into Heaven. Otherwise, how good is good enough?)

15. Try Jesus. If you don’t like Him, the devil will always take you back.

(Wrongly implies that one can lose eternal life.)

The one component that each of the above church marquee sayings has in common is a lack of clear focus on the gospel.

If you have been being fed false or confusing messages such as the ones above, is it time to reassess your spiritual diet?

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

Lordship Salvation and the Four Corners Offense

By johninnc

Galatians 2:21: I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

According to Wikipedia: The four corners offense, technically four corner stall, is an offensive strategy for stalling in basketball. Four players stand in the corners of the offensive half-court while the fifth dribbles the ball in the middle. Most of the time the point guard stays in the middle, but the middle player would periodically switch, temporarily, with one of the players. It was a strategy that was used in college basketball before the shot clock was instituted. 

In basketball, the four corners offense was used to frustrate opponents and run out the clock. In the world of professing Christendom (also known as churchianity), there are four common perversions of grace that serve to frustrate grace and impede the spread of the gospel.

Each of the perversions of grace tries to add works- either the promise of works, the performance of works, or the evidence of works – into the means by which someone may receive eternal life, or to prove someone has received eternal life.

The Bible is expressly clear that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ without works.

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.

(Please note: the following are based on The Grace Chart, by Ron Shea of Clear Gospel)

The four common perversions of grace are:

1. Basic salvation by works (examples include water baptism or public confession of Christ as requirements for receiving eternal life).

2. Denial of eternal security (Arminianism, which holds that good works or avoidance of sin must be maintained in order to stay saved).

3. Bilateral Contract Salvation (Lordship “salvation,” which conditions receipt of eternal life on making a contract with God to  repent of sins, make Christ Lord of your life, etc.)

4. The Perseverance of the Saints (Backdoor Lordship “salvation”, which maintains that one can know he – or someone else – is saved only if his life – or their lives- begin to change for the better).

Each of these perversions of grace has the potential to render believers powerless for Christian growth and ineffective in spreading the gospel. In addition, each of the perversions can keep lost people from understanding the gospel. And, if someone doesn’t understand the gospel, they won’t believe the gospel.

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 receiveth seed by the way side.

While the four corners offense went away with the introduction of the shot clock in college basketball, Satan is still trying to run out the clock on the spread of the gospel. The four perversions of grace are one of his favorite strategies, and he is getting lots of help from professing Christians and their organizations.

There is a good chart from Clear Gospel that describes the four perversions of grace in more detail. Please click here: Grace Chart

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

 

 

 

 

Good Tidings of Great Joy

By johninnc

Luke 2:10-14: [10] And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. [11] For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. [12] And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.[13] And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, [14] Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

The Christmas story from Luke proclaims the message of salvation found in Christ the Lord!

Please notice what it says, versus the bad news that is so often substituted by the world of churchianity:

Good tidings of great joy – the gospel is good news – the best news ever. It is about the gift of eternal life offered freely (without cost or obligation to the recipient) through faith in Christ:

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

If the gospel that you have heard requires anything of you in return (such as the false Lordship “salvation” teaching that turning from sins, resolving to turn from sins, publically confessing Christ, persevering in faith and good works to prove you are saved, obeying the Ten Commandments, etc. are required in order to have eternal life) it is not good news. It is not the gospel!

Which shall be to all people – this means that eternal life is available to anyone on the same terms. It is not reserved for those whom God has chosen to receive eternal life.

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.

1 Timothy 2:3-4: [3] For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; [4] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Nor is there anyone who has eternal life who has not understood their need for salvation.

Romans 3:19-20: [19] Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. [20] Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

This includes Mary, mother of Jesus. Please note that she did not lead a sinless life, and was therefore in need of a Savior, just like the rest of us.

Luke 1:46-47: [46] And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, [47] And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

If the gospel that you have heard tells you that God chooses some to believe, while relegating everyone else to hopelessness, it is not the gospel – it is Calvinism. And, if your gospel tells you anyone has received eternal life some other way, it is not the gospel.

A Savior – please not that it doesn’t say “ a helper.” Jesus is not only necessary to save us. He is enough! No one is saved by believing in Jesus plus anything else.

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.

If the gospel you have heard teaches that faith in Christ must be accompanied by something else, it is not the gospel.

Which is Christ the Lord – this means that Jesus is God in the flesh. The only begotten Son of God.

John 4:25-26: [25] The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. [26] Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

John 11:27: She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

If the gospel that you have heard teaches that Jesus is simply a prophet, or a created being, it is not the gospel.

 On earth peace, good will toward men – this means that those who have trusted in Christ alone as Savior have peace with God. This peace is permanent. It is not probation, it is eternal salvation!

Isaiah 9:6: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Romans 5:1: Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

If the gospel you have heard teaches that you can have peace with God any other way than through faith alone in Christ alone, it is a false gospel.

If the gospel that you have heard contains anything other than good news, it is not the gospel! Please click here for more information on the Christmas story: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: Fake News

By johninnc

Please note: this is not a political article. It is an article about the difference between the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ and the bad news of Lordship “salvation.”

Matthew 7:15: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

 Following are selected definitions of “fake” and “news” (noun forms) from Dictionary.com:

Fake:

  • anything made to appear otherwise than it actually is; counterfeit
  • a person who fakes; faker
  • a spurious report or story

News:

  • a report of a recent event; intelligence; information
  • the presentation of a report on recent or new events in a newspaper or other periodical or on radio or television
  • such reports taken collectively; information reported

Matthew 7:15 refers to purveyors of fake news. I believe that it is meant to include those who turn the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ into false gospels of works. The verses that immediately precede Matthew 7:15 explain the only way to have eternal life, which is through faith in Christ alone:

Matthew 7:13-14: [13] 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: [14] Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

 So, what is the narrow way that leads to life? Jesus explains this succinctly:

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.

And what is the strait gate?

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.

Lordship “salvation” is the false belief that Christ is necessary, but not sufficient, for eternal life. It teaches the bad news that the “straight and narrow” is our intentions, or our works., rather than the good news of God’s complete provision for our salvation through Jesus Christ.

Lordship “salvation” can be very subtle. But, one thing that can make it easier to detect is the focus of assurance. Lordship “salvation” turns the focus away from Christ and His righteousness to an unquantifiable and subjective inventory of one’s personal righteousness.

Following are some examples of Lordship “salvation” from both some well known and lesser-known sources:

  • 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.” –“Evangelist” Billy Graham
  • I would ask them to consider whether the signs of eternal life are present in them. As John explains so thoroughly in 1 John, conversion does not bring sinless perfection, but it does begin to make fundamental changes in the human heart.” – Pastor J.D. Greear
  • 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
  • I often wonder if those who espouse easy-believism have simply adapted their theology in order to try to get a sinning loved one into the kingdom. – Pastor and best-selling author John MacArthur
  • We have to repent of our sins in turn. A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God. You’ll have to repent. – Evangelist Franklin Graham
  • So a dispassionate statement of belief, with nothing behind it, and no intention to serve God in any way is all it takes…interesting belief. Never heard that before. – Facebook Comment from the son of a Southern Baptist Minister
  • 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
  • As such, repentance is a necessary precursor to saving faith. It means that a nonbeliever must admit his sin to God, acknowledge he is wrong, and be willing to seek a new way of life. – “Free Grace” theologian Joseph Dillow
  • Repentance is a turning from sin, while faith is turning to Christ. – Theologian Dr. Roy Zuck
  • Of COURSE salvation is a gift, not by works, so that no man may boast (Eph. 2:8), but it’s only to the repentant sinner (Psalm 51), to the thief on the cross who repented in Luke 23:32-42 (though both “believed,” only one was saved), to Zacchaeus in Luke 19:8 who repented and vowed to restore fourfold anyone he’d cheated, that the Lord said, “TODAY, salvation has come to this house” (Luke 19:9), only when the Lord saw remorse and repentance did He GRANT His free gift of salvation! – Commenter, Redeeming Moments website

The above comments each turn the focus of hope of eternal life, in some way, back to a person’s works or good intentions. This is not good news. It is fake news!

If you would like additional information on the real good news, click here: The Gospel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lordship Salvation: What About John 3:16?

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.

This website has received lots of comments and e-mails over the years asking, and sometimes even challenging us to debunk faulty interpretations of “proof texts” that seem to contradict the freeness of grace, or the availability of eternal life to anyone who will believe, or to backload the gospel with works.

The questions and comments, which often start with the phrase “what about,” have been so common that we have a work in process section entitled “Difficult Verses” (aka “Some Lordship Salvationists’ Pet Passages Explained”). Please see link to that section below:

Difficult Verses

Following are examples of some of the “what abouts” that we have receieved:

  • What about James 2:14-26?
  • What about the fruits of the spirit? Isn’t that proof or is that more what changes in a person after belief for salvation?
  • I would also strongly encourage you to study the Book of James for a better understanding of Salvation and the works that accompany it, and what about Jesus and the teaching of trees and fruits?
  • And what about 2 Peter 3:9 and Acts 3:19 and Luke 13:3? Does this mean that we are not supposed to say” you got to repent(turn from your sin), and trust in Jesus Christ” when proclaiming the Gospel?
  • JACK I was reading the comments before my first comment and i was reading where Cheryl on Aug.24, said that we don’t need to ask the Lord to save us or to ask him to forgive us???? what about Romans 10-9-10?

We have to address the “what about” questions in order to defend the gospel, to help believers grow in understanding of scripture and to equip them in defending the gospel. We also answer the “what about” questions to plant seeds with religious unbelievers in the hope that they might understand the gospel and believe in Jesus as Savior.

“What about” questions can also be used to proclaim the gospel. To that end, I would like to focus on John 3:16.

John 3:16 is perhaps the best known Bible verse in all of professing Christendom, including among those who do not understand it, and therefore cannot and do not believe it.

So lets break it down:

For God…

Who is God?

God is the Creator of all things. He eternally exists in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are one God.

So loved the world that He gave…

Why did we need God to give us something?

We needed God to give something for the world, because all of mankind has sinned against God.

Romans 3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

No man can get into heaven with any sin still charged to his account.

Revelation 21:27: And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Who did God give, and why?

God is a God of perfect love and perfect justice. Our sins have to be paid for, and we cannot pay for them ourselves. So, God provided the answer to our need by giving us Christ Jesus simply because He loves us and would rather die than spend eternity without us.

Romans 5:8: But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

God did not give us Christ Jesus to help empower us to earn eternal life through good works. He gave us Jesus to save us.

Luke 2:11: For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

His only begotten Son…

Who is His only begotten Son?

His only begotten Son is Jesus – the eternal Son of God,; God our Savior; God in the flesh; the Lamb of God. Jesus is the eternal creator God, who took on human form to redeem us.

He was born as a man through the virgin Mary. He lived a perfectly sinless life. He died for our sins and He was raised from the dead.

He came to save us.

Luke 19:10: For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

John 3:17: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

That whosoever…

Who is whosoever?

It is anyone who will believe in Jesus as Savior. Not whosoever God chooses to believe, as the Calvinists falsely teach, but whosoever will believe in Jesus as Savior.

Revelation 22:17: And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Believeth in Him…

What does it mean to believe in Him?

It means believing that we are in need of a Savior. People who don’t know Jesus as Savior are condemned to spend eternity separated from God, in a state of endless torment.

John 3:18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

It means to believing that He is God.

John 8:24: I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

It means to believe that He is the only way to receive eternal life.

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.

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.

It means to believe that He paid the full price for our sins – all of them (past, present, and future) – leaving us nothing to pay.

John 19:30: When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

 It means to believe that He was raised from the dead, proving that His payment for our sins was complete.

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.

It means to believe that Jesus is not only necessary to save us, but that He is enough. It means to trust in Christ alone as Savior. It means to understand that eternal life is a free gift, offered without cost or obligation to the recipient.

We must understand that our good works, or good intentions will not help us get into heaven. Only Jesus could atone for our sins.

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.

 We must rely on Christ’s righteousness, and not our own, for eternal life.

 Believe in Him for what?

Eternal life. We must believe that Jesus offers us eternal life as a free gift. We do not have to believe that He is going to make us better or make us sin less. We do not have to believe that He is going to change our lives. We need only believe that He made the full payment for our own sins – that His payment was good on our behalf.

Should not perish…

This literally means the believer in Christ, even if he dies physically, will never experience the second death of being consigned to hell, but will have eternal life with God.

Non-believer’s eternal destiny:

Revelation 20:14:15: And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Believer’s eternal destiny:

John 11:25-26: Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

But have everlasting life…

What is everlasting life?

It is eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited, no matter what we do – or don’t do as believers, and regardless of whether or not our faith persists. The life of God cannot be extinguished. Therefore, if we have the life of Christ, our eternal life cannot be extinguished.

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.

When does eternal life start?

Eternal life for the believer starts the very moment he believes in Jesus as his Savior. We do not have to wait until we see how we did, or whether or not we have persevered in faith and/or holiness.

Ephesians 2:4-7: But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

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So, there you have it: WHAT ABOUT JOHN 3:16?

If you would like further detail, please click here: The Gospel

Lordship Salvation: The Bad News Bear(er)s

By johninnc

Cambridge Dictionary Online defines the idiom “Throw a Curve Ball” as follows: to surprise someone with something that is difficult or unpleasant to deal with. 

The bad news bearers, those who teach the false gospel of Lordship “salvation,” (LS) metaphorically throw a curve ball by twisting the good news of the gospel into bad news.

If you are not familiar with LS, please see the link below:

Lordship “Salvation” Defined

Following is a straight gospel message, without any LS curve balls:

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 the good news! We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

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

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The bad news bearers turn the good news into bad news by adding conditions to the gospel. They wrap their error in misinterpreted scripture to make it sound biblical.  Following are three common ways that they do this.

False definition of repentance

Luke 13:4-5:[4] Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? [5] I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

The bad news bearers will tell you that repentance means “turning from sin,” “being willing to turn from sin,” “wanting to turn from sin,” and so on. Accordingly, they will misinterpret passages such as the one above to bolster their mistaken belief.

Repent means “a change of mind.” In the above passage, Jesus is challenging His listeners to change their minds regarding their relative goodness. They thought that righteousness was graded on a curve. In other words, these people thought that they would escape God’s judgment because they were not as bad as those who died when the tower fell.

But, Jesus told them they needed to repent – change their minds – and realize that their relative good works would not be good enough to earn eternal life. Our only hope of eternal life is based on Christ’s righteousness, not our own.

Misunderstanding of “straight and narrow”

Matthew 7:14: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Bad news bearers misunderstand this to mean that someone must live a straight, or relatively straight life, or stay on the path (persevere in faith and good works) in order to demonstrate that they have eternal life.

The actual meaning is that Jesus is the straight way and the narrow gate. Eternal life is received only by believing in Him, and by believing in Him only. No curve balls, just straight truth.

Misunderstanding “the will of my Father”

Matthew 7:21-23: [21] Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. [22] Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? [23] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Bad news bearers misinterpret this passage to mean that only those who are highly successful in avoiding sin and doing good works will actually make it into heaven.

The passage actually means that only those who believe in Jesus as Savior have done the will of His Father, and are thereby known by Jesus. Those who never believed in Jesus are touting their works at the judgment. Jesus does not negate their claims of good works, nor that they were done in His name.

The common theme of bad news bearers is they will tell you that Jesus is necessary for eternal life, but that He is not sufficient for eternal life.

Here is what Jesus says on how to have eternal life:

John 11:25-26: [25] Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: [26] And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

If you would like more information about the good news of eternal life please click here: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: Is Zeal Toward God Enough?

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.

When the Apostle Paul was giving his testimony in Acts 22, he acknowledged his listeners’ zeal toward God. He was trying to appeal to his common ground with them, including their respect for the law.

Acts 22:3: I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

There are also several biblical encounters in which Jesus acknowledges various unbelievers’ familiarity with the law. We’ll look at two of them.

The first is with a certain ruler (sometimes referred to as “the rich young ruler”).

Matthew 19:16-22: [16] And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? [17] And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. [18] He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, [19] Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [20] The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? [21] Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. [22] But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

As verse 16 indicates, this certain ruler believed he could earn eternal life by some work of righteousness. It is clear from verse 17 that the man did not know who Jesus was. In verse 18, Jesus tells him he will enter into life (have eternal life) if he will just keep the commandments. The man asks “which ones,” and Jesus mentions six of the commandments. The man makes the ridiculous claim, in verse 20, that he has kept all of these commandments. Jesus, playing along with him, asks him to sell his possessions and give the money to the poor. At this point, the man realizes that he has not kept all of the commandments perfectly, is not willing to, and therefore goes away sorrowful and unsaved.

The certain ruler does not go away unsaved because he is unwilling to sell his possessions, give the money to the poor, or follow Jesus in discipleship. No, he goes away unsaved because he does not know who Jesus is, and he was hoping to justify himself by keeping laws.

The second encounter is with a certain lawyer.

 Luke 10:25-29: [25] And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? [26] He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? [27] And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. [28] And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. [29] But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?       

This certain lawyer, like the certain ruler, asked Jesus what he could do to earn eternal life. Again, Jesus tells him to just keep the law, knowing that no one (besides Jesus) has ever kept the law perfectly. Here, the Bible is clear that the certain lawyer was willing to justify himself (verse 29).

The certain ruler and the certain lawyer are indicative of the mindset that Paul references in Romans 10:1-4: [1] Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. [2] For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. [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.

In a similar manner, Lordship “salvation” has assumed the mantle of the Pharisees – trying to become justified, stay justified, or prove one is justified by keeping rules.

The ardent believers in false gospels of works will often cloak their departures from the truth of the gospel by parsing scripture. These people often think they are being Bereans (see Acts 17). In reality, they are misusing scripture to corrupt the gospel. In so doing, they are leading people away from Christ.

Ron Shea sums this up fairly succinctly:

We acknowledge that believers may fall into error or confusion regarding salvation and works after their conversion, as happened to the church of Galatia (Galatians 1:6-7. 3:1).  We further acknowledge that the believers of Galatia were regarded as “brethren,” (Galatians 1:3), having fallen into this grievous error subsequent to their coming to an authentic faith in Christ (Galatians 3:1-3).  We note, however, that the authors of this grievous error, who had never believed on Christ alone, having simply added Jesus Christ to a pre-existing confession of salvation by works (Acts 15:1) were regarded as “false brethren.” (Galatians 2:4).  To this end, we affirm that a lost sinner must, at some time in his life, believe on Christ alone, apart from the works of the law, for his salvation, and that apart from such an authentic moment of saving faith, there is no hope of salvation.

The Bible is clear that zeal for God, knowledge of the law, and searching scripture are not sufficient for eternal life. Eternal life is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

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

Lordship Salvation’s Mike Gendron: Steeling Minds Against the Gospel

By johninnc

Ephesians 6:11-12:

[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.

Today, I had the nauseating displeasure of ingesting spiritual poison, in the form of a false gospel tract entitled “True Faith or False Hope: How Can I be Sure?” The tract was issued by an organization called “Proclaiming the Gospel,” headed up by founder and director, Mike Gendron.

In addition to his role with “Proclaiming the Gospel,” Gendron is an author and popular Bible conference speaker. His speaking engagements have included the “Steeling the Mind” conferences put on by “The Compass Group.” The “Steeling the Mind” list of speakers appears to represent the gamut of professing Christendom, including some who should know better than to participate in conferences alongside those who corrupt the gospel.

The false gospel tract, “True Faith or False Hope: How Can I be Sure,” includes many of the Lordship “salvation” (LS) greatest hits, including:

  • Faulty Bible translations
  • Standard LS proof texts from scripture, misinterpreted
  • A faulty understanding of repentance in the context of eternal salvation
  • The false notion that God gives people faith in Christ
  • The false Calvinist tenet of perseverance of the saints

Following are some examples from the tract, along with my comments:

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).

(My comment: God gives all people the ability to believe in something. If one exercises belief in Christ, he is saved. God does not give anyone faith in Christ.

The “intellectual assent” argument is standard LS jargon, intended to demonstrate that faith in Christ is not sufficient for eternal life. The verses cited in the tract are intended to give the false impression that one can determine whether or not he is saved by examining his works. This is standard LS fruit inspection, designed by Satan to keep lost people lost and to turn believers eyes back onto themselves for assurance of eternal life.)

Which kind of faith do you have? Would you be willing to look to scripture to test your faith? (2 Corinthians 13:5).

(My comment: 2 Corinthians 13:5 is another LS go-to verse to try to falsely assert that one can tell whether or not he is saved by examining his works. That verse, in context, was part of the Apostle Paul’s defense of his apostleship, and has nothing to do with asking someone to take an inventory of personal righteousness to determine whether or not one is showing the right marks, or signs, of having eternal life. The tract also uses the same tired false LS arguments regarding the book of 1 John containing similar “tests” of eternal life).

The Lord Jesus said we must “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to life, and those that find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14). The narrow way is hard, and only a few find it, because you must diligently search the Scriptures to find it.

(My comment: Jesus is the strait gate and the narrow way! The way is not hard. The way is narrow.

The KJV Bible has a much different version of Matthew 7:13-14:

[13] 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: [14] Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

In addition, diligently searching the scriptures does not necessarily lead to eternal life. Believing in Jesus as Savior always leads to eternal life. We see this illustrated perfectly in John 5:39-40:

 [39] Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. [40] And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.)

Godly sorrow for their sins produced a repentance that led to salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone (2 Corinthians 7:10).

(My comment: 2 Corinthians 7:10 was written to believers, not unbelievers. It had nothing to do with their receiving eternal life. Since Christ died for the ungodly, how would it be that an unsaved person could muster up a “Godly sorrow”?

Repentance in salvation means a change of mind from any idea of religion that man may have and to accept God’s way of salvation. Repentance does not in any sense include a demand for a change of conduct before or after salvation.)

False converts are not aware of their perilous condition…They desire Jesus as a priest to pardon their sins, but not as a prophet to instruct them, or a king to rule over them.

(My comment: People do not have to desire Jesus as a prophet to instruct them, nor as a king to rule over them, in order to have eternal life. This is unabashed works for salvation – trying to turn the gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus into a trade.)

False gospel tracts, such as the one discussed above, are a “wile of the devil,” designed to keep people lost and to confuse believers. We must put on the full armor of God to stand against these wiles.

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

A What? A Savior???

The following article was written by the late Jack Weaver, the founder of the ExPreacherMan website, and was originally posted in December, 2009.

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When Jesus the Christ was born to Mary, the Angel of the Lord announced to the frightened shepherds in the fields:

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10 – 11

This Bible verse is filled with the Lord’s great promises and truths.

  • “good tidings [good news] of great joy”

What the Angel told the lowly shepherds was GOOD NEWS. It portended great joy! The word “Gospel” means “good news.”

  • “which shall be to ALL people”

This good news was for ALL people.. Not just the Jews, not just a chosen few – but to ALL people.

  • “a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord”

This Person who was born into the world is the Saviour – the Christ [the anointed Messiah] the Lord [the Supreme Authority], the Messiah who had been prophesied and for Whom all Israel was looking.

Please notice Jesus was not described here as a Great Leader [even though He is], not as our Example [even though He is], He is not a probation officer nor a law giver nor enforcer – but He is described as the SAVIOR, the One who saves.

Because of God’s absolute perfection is in direct opposition to our sin, we are at irreconcilable odds with God. The result of sin is spiritual death (separation from God). Thus we are all guilty and need the Savior — if we ever expect to go to Heaven — to have eternal life – to be with the Lord eternally. Jesus Christ is the only One who can reconcile us to God the Father.

Jesus is the Son of God in the flesh, the only Savior, who died on the cross for our sins, was buried, rose from the grave and is alive today proving Himself to be Whom He claimed, the Infallible, reconciling Savior.

Some erroneously believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is infallible. No, she is not at all – because the Bible says she, just like anyone else, needed a Savior, having been told by the Angel :

“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest [Supreme God]: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” Luke 1:31-33

“… Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” Luke 1:46-47

Rejoice with us in this season when we celebrate the time when God Himself, Jesus the Savior visited our earth, died for us on the cross, was buried and rose from the dead. Jesus himself pleads with everyone — as we see in the most well known verse in the Bible:

Jesus says:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth [trusts] in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Please put your eternity in trust with Jesus Christ, the Savior, the Only Trustworthy One. Believe in Him alone as your Savior.

WHAT A SAVIOR!!!

We pray this will be your best Christmas season ever.

In Jesus Christ eternally,

Jack and Shirley

Eternal Life For You

 

Playing Church

By johninnc

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?

Our friend and frequent commenter at ExPreacherMan, Bryan Roach, posted the following comment that I thought would provide a good springboard for an article on “playing church.”

Wow, if I didn’t know any better, I would have thought both of y’all were visiting churches in my area. I have dealt with the exact same situation with several preachers seeing no problem with preaching grace, yet distributing LS material and associating with other preachers and organizations that promote the LS gospel. I’ve had meetings with several who have told me that “I’m being too picky, or over thinking it.” They don’t want to start a debate between LS members and the grace members, because unity is their top priority. One pastor said, “My church will have some Arminians, some 5 point Calvinists, and some 0 point Calvinists, but what I love about our church is that we are all here in unity and we take pride in that.” It’s sad and frustrating to say the least.

“Playing church” refers to people gathering under the mistaken belief that they are gathering in Christ’s name.

Matthew 18:20: For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Unlike the many false substitutes that go by the name “church”, the true universal church is comprised of those who have believed in Jesus alone as Savior.

John 1: 12-13:

[12] But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

[13] Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

In a sense, only those that believe on His name (believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone) can be truly gathered in his name.

Anything else is just playing church.

If your “church” teaches, or tolerates,  any of the following things (note that this is not an all-inclusive list), particularly after you have tried to teach them the truth, they are simply playing church.

  • You have to be willing to turn from your sins to be saved
  • You must repent of your sins to be saved
  • You must want to follow Christ to be saved
  • You must want to have a relationship with Christ to be saved
  • It’s not faith and works. It’s faith that works
  • God will never take away your salvation, but you can walk away from it
  • You can lose your salvation through serious, habitual sin
  • If you die with serious, unconfessed sin, you won’t go to heaven
  • You have to be water baptized to have eternal life
  • You have to make a public confession of Christ to have eternal life
  • You will not be sinless, but you will sin less
  • A true Christian will bear the fruit of a changed life
  • Intellectual assent is not saving faith
  • Jesus didn’t save us in our sins, He saved us from our sins
  • Faith is the gift of God
  • A true Christian wants to obey Christ
  • He can’t be your Savior if he’s not your Lord
  • A true Christian may stumble every once in a while, but he won’t live in persistent willful sin
  • A true Christian will…

There are all kinds of “churches,” ministries, books, DVDs, youtube videos, and so on run by people who insist that they believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

Sadly, most of them that I have encountered do not really believe or teach that.

Below is an example from an internet ministry that I recently came across. They claim to believe in salvation by grace through faith, but their further statements belie that.

Saving Faith is trusting in Jesus Christ, and Him alone, for your Salvation…

Are you willing to repent of your sins right now, and become a responsible member of God’s forever family, following Him and serving Him as a member of His forever family, following Him and serving Him as a member of His body, the Church? If your heartfelt answer is, “Yes”, then we can go to Him now in prayer, and we can tell Him that you want to cease trusting in anything else for Eternal Salvation, especially in what you can do for yourself.

This so-called ministry is teaching that one receives eternal life by TRADING willingness to repent from sins and follow Christ. This is a false gospel of works that will not save anyone. The Bible teaches that eternal life is a gift, not a trade.

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

If you have understood and believed the gospel, please don’t continue to yoke yourself with those who teach, or tolerate false gospel substitutes.

And, if playing church has kept you confused about how to receive eternal life, click here: THE GOSPEL

Ten Verses Misused by Calvinists to Deceive People

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Note to Calvinists: YOU are Responsible

By johninnc

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 that leadeth to life, and few there be that find it. 

Today I read a comment, on another website, that was highly creative in trying to use scripture to prove the false Calvinist doctrine of predestination.

While the individual who posted this comment is certainly creative, he is “grasping at straws” to avoid the clear teachings of the Bible.

Those clear teachings include who is responsible, and who is not responsible, for a number of things.

First, man’s responsibility;

1. We are responsible for sin. God is not responsible for our sin.

2. We are responsible for accepting or rejecting God’s gracious gift of eternal life. God is not responsible for compelling us to make that decision. As Matthew 7:13-14 (and its companion passage in Luke) clearly teaches, most people will willfully reject the gift of eternal life.

3. We are responsible for believing God’s word when it conflicts with the teaching of men. God is not the author of confusion, so any “paradoxes,” “tensions,” “mysteries,” “enigmas,” or other contradictions of God’s clear teaching on how to receive eternal life are not of God.

Second, Christians’ responsibilities:

1. We are responsible for being faithful stewards of the gospel, even though it is not (and has never been) widely accepted. The rejection of the gospel is pervasive both within, and without, professing Christendom. And, I believe it has been that way from early in church history, to present.

2. We are responsible for participating in fulfilling The Great Commission – preaching the gospel to every creature We are not responsible  for who believes and who does not believe the gospel.

3. We are responsible for how we live our lives as Christians. We have the Holy Spirit indwelling us, but we must choose to walk in  the Spirit. We are not responsible for keeping ourselves saved, transforming ourselves, nor examining the way we conduct our lives for an indication of whether or not we possess eternal life. We are also not responsible for looking to others’ behaviors or lifestyles for indicators of whether or not we think those people possess eternal life. And, if we encourage others to look to anything other than God’s promises for assurance of eternal life, we are pointing them away from Christ.

Third, Calvinists’ responsibilities:

1. You are responsible for teaching that God does not desire that all men be saved, even though His word CLEARLY says that He does desire that all men be saved.

2. You are responsible for corrupting the gospel message. Some of you will say that you believe that Christ died for the sins of everyone, but you must torture logic to make that comport with your view that God only elects some to eternal life.

3. You are responsible for teaching that “faith” is the gift of God, while the Bible teaches that eternal life is the gift of God.

4. You are responsible, by logical implication, for teaching that God is responsible for sin. In your twisted defense of God’s sovereignty, you make God responsible for everything.

5. You are responsible for teaching works for salvation. Since God is sovereign, and He elects only those who will receive eternal life, your logical conclusion is that those whom  He has elected to eternal life will persevere (to some extent) in a lifetime of holiness and good works.

6. You are responsible for teaching that the “Christian testimony” is a litany of the “I used to do…, but now I don’t do…, and instead I do …”

7. You are responsible for teaching that “saving faith” includes “repentance from sin,” even though there is nothing in the Bible that teaches this. You also teach that God gives people repentance unto eternal life, even though God COMMANDS people to repent.

I would urge everyone reading this today to think about a few things.

If you have believed in Jesus Christ alone as your Savior, and are clear on all of the above, please share the clear gospel with as many people as you can, in the best way that you know how.

If you are clear on the gospel, but are cooperating with a church or ministry that persists in teaching Calvinism and its ugly progeny Lordship “salvation,” separate from them.

If you have believed in Christ alone as Savior, but are still confused or troubled by certain scriptural passages, pray for wisdom and guidance.

And, if you would like to know the truth about how to have eternal life, click below:

Click to access the-gospel.pdf

Lordship Salvation: Is THEIR Report OUR Report?

By johninnc (illustration by Holly Garcia)

image001-1

Romans 10:16: But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

We were recently meeting with some Christian friends, who mentioned that a prominent writer would be appearing at a local megachurch to make the case for Christianity. This writer’s book makes the case for Christianity by describing how much faith it would require to be an atheist.

That is a great topic for a book, and for attendant lectures. But, let’s look at a little bit of background on the teachings of the church (Forest Hills Church, Charlotte) hosting this event.

From their pastor’s blog:

(he is explaining things from Jesus’ perspective)

Through my obedience, my Father has given me the final authority to execute judgment over all humanity. One day, everyone will hear my voice and appear before me in final judgment. Don’t marvel at this saying. It is true. This judgment will solely depend on those who have believed in me. John’s gospel repeatedly states this truth (3:16;5:24,25; 14:6). 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.

Do you believe in me today? Do you believe I came from heaven, lived in human flesh as a man, lived the perfect life you’re incapable of living, died for your sins and rose from the dead to prove your righteousness and grant you eternal life? It’s a free gift, given by grace through faith. Accept this gift. Believe in me. Trust me for your eternal life.

This is a terrible Calvinist “perseverance of the saints” message that is entirely unbiblical. It is an affront to the real gospel message. If good deeds prove the presence or absence of faith, then one must look at himself to determine if he is saved.

The question then becomes:

Is the person teaching that the Bible is reliable reliable? Or, are they setting records (attendance, book sales, etc.) by changing the record?

Let’s look at the conflicting, unbiblical statement of faith (in works) of another megachurch in North Carolina – Summit Church in Raleigh:

We believe that salvation is a free gift given at God’s initiative, and must be received personally by faith.  
John 5:24; Rom 10:9-10; Eph 2:8-9

We believe the Bible to be God’s Word, a true and fully accurate account of God’s love for us.  Its purpose is to teach us how to have a relationship with Him, worship Him and bring Him glory.  
Psalms 19:7-10; 2 Tim 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21

Sounds good so far, right?

Ah, but then the contradiction:

If you’d like a more in-depth explanation of our doctrinal beliefs, you may want to read The Baptist Faith and Message.

Following is an excerpt from the “in depth explanation” from the Baptist Faith and Message:

Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.

A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.

Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.

 This statement of “faith” requires that someone be regenerated before believing (unbiblical), defines repentance as “a genuine turning from sin toward God” (unbiblical), and thereby makes Jesus necessary for salvation, but not sufficient.

In the false gospel presented in the Baptist Faith and Message, Jesus’s work on the cross, and His victory over sin and death must be augmented by our works – in this case turning from sin.

This is not the record that God gave of His Son. And it is not a message that will save anyone.

1 John 5:10-12:

[10] He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

[11] And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

[12] He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

Have you believed OUR report? Or have you believed THEIR report?

OUR report:

Eternal salvation is a free gift, available to every person on the same basis: by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

THEIR report:

Their reports vary widely. They often look the same as ours – on the surface. But then, they contradict themselves with other statements or beliefs. Some examples:

  • We are saved by grace alone through faith alone. But, the faith that saves is never alone.
  • A true Christian will…
  • You must repent of your sins to be saved
  • You must commit your life to Christ to be saved
  • You must have heart faith, not just head faith to be saved
  • You can lose your salvation

For more information on OUR report, click here: OUR REPORT

 

Questions from the Mailbag on Grace vs. Lordship Salvation – Part IV

By johninnc

(Following are some questions we have received from readers  via e-mail to ExPreacherman, along with our responses. We chose to publish some of these questions in a series of articles, since they are both good questions and similar to questions we have gotten from other visitors to ExPreacherman. In some cases, we have made edits to our original answers for additional clarity. Please note that the e-mail questions are in italics, and our answers are interspersed in bold).

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Question: Only God can judge the heart of a person if they are genuinely saved, but aren’t we given permission to be “fruit inspectors”? If a person is truly saved, should they not be under the conviction of the Holy Spirit?

My comment: Yes, only God can judge the heart of a person, which means that we cannot.  Accordingly, we are not called upon to look to peoples’ works to see if we think they are exhibiting enough good works or cessation of sin to provide evidence of salvation (i.e., be
“fruit inspectors”).

The fruit of a false prophet is his false gospel.

If a person is saved, then he is indwelled by the Holy Spirit. The extent to which a believer cooperates with the Holy Spirit in transforming his life is a matter of moment-by-moment choice,
as scripture clearly states:

1 Thessalonians 5:19: Quench not the Spirit.

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.

Question: I understand that salvation is a free gift with no works, but after one is saved, then works should follow out of a love for the Lord and wanting to please Him and the new believer must grow and mature and learn to put God first. Lordship salvation is getting the cart before the horse.

My comment: You said that good works SHOULD follow salvation. We would agree. Scripture tells us that:

Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in
them.

But, the word SHOULD is the only word that is consistent with grace. It is not that we MUST – that would be works for salvation. It is not that we WILL – that would be Calvinism. It is SHOULD. And we SHOULD!

You said that Lordship “salvation” is putting the cart before the horse. I believe that is glossing over the seriousness of what Lordship “salvation” really is – a false gospel of salvation by works! False gospels do not have any power to save anyone. That is why they are accursed.

Galatians 1:9: 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.

Question: Do you believe that there are “counterfeit” christians who are only pretending? Also, do you believe that God chastens His children who choose to walk in a way that does not glorify Him? Are there “carnal” Christians?

My comment: You asked if we believe there are counterfeit Christians who are only pretending?

Yes. Some may pretend for familial harmony, running for office, trying to get out of jail, attracting a love interest, making money, feeding their fleshly appetites for power, etc.

But, I don’t think most false professors are pretending.  Instead, I think they have sincerely believed in a false gospel of salvation by works, or by faith plus works. As such, they are not saved.

You asked if we believe that God chastens His children who walk in a way that does not glorify Him?

I think that God chastens (teaches, disciplines) all of his children – not just the ones who walk in a way that does not glorify Him. In fact, those who remain in His word are likely to become the more disciplined.

John 8:31: Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

People respond to God’s chastening in a number of ways. Otherwise, there would be little variation in Christian behavior, and no purpose for the Judgement Seat of Christ, at which all believers will be judged according to their works.

2 Corinthians 5:10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

One should not seek assurance of salvation from the extent to which he feels, or does not feel chastened, any more than he should look to his behavior for assurance of salvation. The only basis for assurance of salvation is whom one is trusting for eternal life.

You asked if there are carnal Christians?

Yes. I am sure of it.

1 Corinthians 3:1-4 uses the word “carnal” four times to describe these eternally secure believers.

1 Corinthians 3:1-4:

[1] And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
[2] I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
[3] For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
[4] For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

Question: Some people think that a watered down gospel leads to a license to sin. What do you think?

My comment:The gospel leads people to faith in 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.

I don’t know what a “watered down” gospel is, but the gospel is not a license to sin. Lordship “salvationists” often refer to the gospel as a “watered down” gospel, because it doesn’t include faith in works, to which they so tragically cling.

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