Category Archives: Assurance

Christ Follower, or False Gospel Swallower?

By johninnc (with thanks to our friend Curtis for suggesting this topic, and our friend Preston who provided input through previous commentary)

John 10:27: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 

The above verse is often used as a proof text by those who think that works are necessary for eternal life.

Following is an example from a recent comment:

Don’t you all have verse 27 of John 10 in your Bibles? Why are you quoting verse 28 ALONE without 27? John 10:27-28 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, [they know My voice] AND THEY FOLLOW ME. And I give them eternal life …”

Following are excerpts from the sound Biblical response that our friend Preston provided, along with a link to the entire comment:

So do we have “to follow” to be saved. the answer is YES (but not by works). Let me explain…

although faith is NOT a work, Jesus called it a “work” in CONTEXT when He was asked, what must we do to work the workS of God” and Jesus replied, this is the work of God, that ye believe on the one whom He hath sent” John 6:28-29…

SUMMARY/POINT – what did Jesus say to do to have eternal life? He said to “believe in Him” or “TRUST in Him” to have eternal life. So if one “believes in Him”, that HE died for our sins and rose again they HAVE FOLLOWED and done the “ONE THING” that Jesus said to do for everlasting life.

https://expreacherman.com/2015/02/10/i-give-unto-them-eternal-life-2/#comment-53291

Despite the confusion caused by conflating following Christ in discipleship with believing in Christ as Savior, or perhaps because of it, it has become fashionable in the world of professing Christendom to use the term “Christ follower”  as a synonym for “Christian.”

The term “Christ follower” can mean a lot of things. One of the more benign uses of the term is to connote a Christian, who is a also a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, the term “Christ follower” can communicate much more sinister messages. Among them are:

  • That use of the term “Christian” should be avoided, because it carries  a stigma in broader society
  • That there are clearly-defined strata of Christians – that one is either a “Christ follower” altogether, or not at all
  • That the message of salvation is about what we are doing for Jesus, instead of what He has done for us
  • That believing in Jesus as Savior is not sufficient for eternal life

In his sermon entitled “Living in Light of Our Redemption”, delivered March 10, 2013, Tom Cucuzza discussed the use of the term “follower of Christ”, and how it communicates the wrong message. Following is a pertinent excerpt:

Minutes 41:10- 42:30

We don’t talk about believers anymore. Well, we do, ‘cause that’s what the Bible calls us. But, you know what? Because of the huge impact that those who are preaching Lordship salvation, which is works for salvation, because of the huge impact they’re having on Christendom today, the new buzzword is “followers of Christ.”

You hear that a lot – followers of Christ? A follower of Christ. Where’s the emphasis there? It’s on how you’re living, right? Not what you believe, but how you’re living. There are people who have followed the moral teachings of scripture their whole lives, who when they die, they won’t go to Heaven. They have followed the Sermon on the Mount as best they can. I’ve had people tell me “I’m going to Heaven.” Why? “Because I follow the Sermon on the Mount.” And I’m thinking, “no you don’t. No, you don’t. You can’t. It’s an ideal. It’s great. There are great principles there. I believe them. But, you know what? If you’re going to follow that, your gonna have to be perfect, and none of us are. You’re not gonna make it there by that.”

So, when somebody says, “oh, they’re a follower of Jesus”, my question is “what do you mean by that?” Well, usually they’ll say “well, they follow the teachings of Jesus.” Well, that has to do with how you live. Are you gonna get to Heaven by how you live? No. You get to Heaven by faith in Christ.

If you would like to know how to have eternal life, whether you are a Christ follower, or not, please click here: The Gospel

Casting All Of Your Care Upon Him

1 Peter 5-6-7

By johninnc (image provided by Holly Garcia)

1 Peter 5:6-7:

[6] Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
[7] Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

For those who have received the free gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus, learning to cast our care upon God can be frightening. Our natural instinct is to try to fix our problems on our own, or do it with an “assist” from God. Satan preys on these tendencies.

But we really only cast our care upon God when we realize we are helpless. This is when we find ourselves truly humble. Sometimes, we wait until our own abilities are exhausted and then cast our care upon Him.

1 Peter 5:8-9:

[8] Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
[9] Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Our fleshly rendition of this passage is to keep an eye out for trouble, and to make sure to fight it off. But, we are no match for the devil. He doesn’t fight fair. He gets in our heads. He influences our thoughts.

Ephesians 6:12: 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.

Ephesians 6:13 gives us the solution:

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

The full armor of God is not His trappings.  It is God Himself.

Ephesians 6:16: Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

The shield of faith – the object of our faith – is God Himself.

Psalm 28:7: The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

 The Lord is trying to teach us to cast our care on Him. He doesn’t punish us when we don’t – he allows us to feel the pain. But, he blesses us when we do.

Psalm 23:

[1] The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
[2] He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
[3] He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
[4] Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
[5] Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
[6] Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

I find Psalm 23 to be one of the most comforting passages of scripture – the calmness associated with the Good Shepherd. He will come get us if we are in the ditch and call out to Him. He will defend us against the enemy. He is there for us always. Cast all of your care upon Him.

If you would like to know how to receive the free gift of eternal life Click Here

Lordship Salvation: The Devil’s Advocate

by johninnc

Romans 5:15-18:

[15] But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
[16] And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
[17] For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
[18] Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

During my short time serving at ExPreacherMan in an administrative capacity, one thing has become abundantly clear: It is very difficult for many people to believe that eternal life is a free gift, without cost or obligation to the recipient.

We receive countless comments and e-mails that attempt to contradict the gospel by adding conditions to God’s way of salvation, which is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. The conditions may be front-loaded, back-loaded, or both. But, they are all designed to try to prove that belief in Jesus as Savior will not ALWAYS result in eternal life.

Usually, the assaults on the gospel are predictable and trite (“What about James 2:14-26?”; “It’s not faith and works, it’s faith that works.”; “repentance is a change of mind that leads to a change in behavior.”) Other times, they are innovative and subtle. Either way, they reflect a misunderstanding of grace, and a disbelief in the finished work of Jesus on our behalf.

And, leaders of professing Christendom – past and present – have promulgated these errant views. And, they continue to do it, with very little challenge from the duped masses.

Consider the following false doctrine, quoted by some of the so-called “great men of God”:

Billy Graham: 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.”

Charles Spurgeon: The faith which does not produce good works is not saving faith: it is not the faith of God’s elect: it is not faith at all in the Scriptural sense.

Charles Ryrie: Unproductive faith cannot save, because it is not genuine faith. Faith and works are like a two-coupon ticket to heaven. The coupon of works is not good for passage, and the coupon of faith is not valid if detached from works.

Why is it so important for these people to attempt to persuade others that simple faith in Christ will not result in salvation? God has given us the Bible to convince us that eternal life is available as a free gift, without cost or obligation, to anyone who will believe in Jesus as Savior. Why all of the energy in professing Christendom trying to convince people otherwise?

Isn’t that Satan’s job?

Most people think that Satan’s main goal is to get unsaved people to sin more. In reality, he uses LSers to do his job – to keep people out of heaven by confusing them about the truth of the gospel message.

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

Satan also uses LSers to help him accuse believers (“you might not really be saved if…”).

Revelation 12:10: And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Note to the Devil and his advocates: You are right that I am a sinner. You are right that I don’t always live like I should. But, Jesus Christ is my advocate. God has imputed righteousness to me WITHOUT WORKS. My sins are forgiven, based on Christ’s finished work on my behalf.

I HAVE A SAVIOR!

Romans 4:5-7:

[5] But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
[6] Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
[7] Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

Hebrews 7:25: Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

1 John 2:1: My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

If you would like to have Jesus as your advocate, click here: Advocate

 

A Thanksgiving Gospel Message

By Jack Weaver and johninnc

Colossians 2:6-15:

[6] As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
[7] Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
[8] Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
[9] For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
[10] And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
[11] In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
[12] Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
[13] And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
[14] Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
[15] And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

From Wikipedia: Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.

For Christians, abounding in thanksgiving is an integral part of our walk in the Lord Jesus Christ.   We should be exceedingly thankful for our Savior – for who He is, for what He has done for us, and for our resultant position in Him.

Jesus is God our Savior – in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily (verse 9). He is the head of all principality and power (verse 10).

Jesus died for our sins (verse 14), was buried, and was raised from the dead (verse 12).   He triumphed over the principalities and powers of this world (verse 15).

Once we received Him by faith, He made us partakers in His life (verse 13), freed us from the law (verse 14), and forgave ALL of our sins (verse 13) – past, present, and future. We are complete in Him (verse 10). Our bodies of sin have been put off by Him (verse 11). We are reconciled to God. We have eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

Thank you Jesus!

PS – don’t let anyone spoil (ruin) you by leading you astray with fleshly, man-made philosophies that are based on the principles (rudiments) of this world (verse 8).  This includes Calvinists, Lordship “salvationists”, and all of the various  accusers of the brethren.

If you would like to know how to have the gift of eternal life click here: Eternal Life for You

We thank the Lord for all of our visitors and readers at ExPreacherMan.  And, we thank the Lord for the opportunity to read, discuss, and spread His Word.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Lordship Salvation: How U (1/2) 2 Fans Reject Christ

By johninnc and janeinnc

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.

There have been many articles written on the subject of Lordship “salvation” and what it is, and isn’t.

What LS is: LS is salvation by faith in Christ + works. LS is a formula for rejecting Christ.

LS is the unsupportable belief that the PERFORMANCE of works, the PROMISE of works, or the EVIDIENCE of works must accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

The Bible teaches that faith and works do not mix for salvation:

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

Since faith and works cannot be mixed for salvation, LS is simply salvation by works.

What LS isn’t: LS isn’t faith in Christ. LS isn’t the gospel. LS isn’t Christianity.

Are Lordship “salvationists” (LSers) saved? It depends on whether they have ever had a moment in which they trusted in Christ ALONE as Savior.

Either way, LSers do not believe the gospel now.

The false LS formula is: “Salvation” = Faith in Christ + U (½) 2*

* “You have to”

Common forms of “you have to”:

  • You have to desire a relationship with Christ
  • You have to want your life to change for the better
  • You have to want to stop sinning
  • You have to love God
  • You have to have your heart set on obeying Christ
  • You have to be passionate
  • You have to believe in your heart, not just your head
  • You have to confess your sins
  • You have to be willing to turn from your sins
  • You have to surrender your life to Christ
  • You have to commit your life to Christ
  • You have to show evidence of good works
  • You have to be moving in the right direction
  • You have to love your fellow man
  • You have to follow Jesus in discipleship
  • You have to persevere in your faith
  • You have to, you have to, you have to…!

—————————————————————————————————-

Following are excerpts of a Facebook interchange between Jane and a U (½) 2 proponent (LSer), in which the LSer reads, and summarily rejects, the truth of the gospel:

LSer: Salvation by grace is one of the bedrock teachings of Baptists. For most of us it is in our blood. I speak as a Baptist preacher’s kid, a deacon, and a frequent short term foreign missionary. Nobody does salvation by grace like us.

Jane: Look at the Southern Baptist Convention website “How to be Saved.”You will see 3 works you must do to be saved – none are biblical: 1. It plainly states that receiving salvation is a commitment before it even tells you the plan of salvation. (The receiving of salvation does NOT involve a commitment! If you must make a commitment, you are doing a work.); 2. Repent of your sins. (The Bible tells us to repent (change the mind), but never to repent of our sins – unless you are reading another version where that was added, so that is a work); 3. You are told to “confess Jesus as your Lord and your God – this is to surrender control of your life to Jesus” (If you must surrender control, then that is also a work).

LSer: …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.

Jane: That does not surprise me. Most people have never heard the Gospel clearly explained. The Gospel is not about what we do for Christ, it’s about what He has done for us. If one thinks he must serve God in order to be saved, he is not trusting in Christ alone, he is trusting in Christ plus his commitment. Salvation is not a trade of our commitment in exchange for eternal life. It is the receipt of the free gift of eternal life through faith in Christ. If we could be saved by our commitment to Christ, He died in vain.

LSer: The difference of opinion is about what constitutes works. Accepting Christ as our Savior certainly sounds like a relationship to me.

Jane: Nope. Not a relationship, a gift. If you were to pull my drowning carcass from a lake, I may just walk off without a 2nd thought, I may spend the rest of my life thanking you, or I may drift in and out of your life to express appreciation from time to time. Regardless, in all circumstances, I have still been saved from death.

LSer: I guess the bottom line is that if you are going to define belief as any of us would, but commitment as works, we’ll never get together on this. Take care of yourself.

Jane: I’m sorry that you can’t let go of the commitment part. If you are even remotely curious, please check out the following: expreacherman.com, a blog where many articles have been written and biblicly supported regarding this topic, and northlandchurch.com, the website for Northland Bible Baptist Church (unaffiliated, of course). Dr. Cucuzza has an excellent video presentation of the grace plan of salvation.

Lordship Salvationists Fail Their Own Test

by Jack Weaver and johninnc

One of Jack’s long-ago friends and a great help in his church in South Florida, Tom Croley, dropped this excellent observation to Jack last week. What a classic dilemma this presents for Lordship “salvation” pushers (LSers).

————————————————————————————————–

The other day the Lord gave me an observation about LS that I have never put together before. You have probably already thought of it but here it is.

The same people that say you must examine your faith to make sure your faith is genuine (“true faith”) usually teach that God chooses who will be saved and who will not and the associated erroneous teaching that “faith is the gift of God”.

They never seem to think about what they are telling people.

Suppose I am in the congregation listening to them expound on all the “tests” of true faith and I decide that … “Whoa! I don’t have genuine faith after all.” THEN what can I do about it?

Nothing! Because the same preacher on another Sunday will tell them that God gives you faith. So if you discover that your faith is not genuine upon hearing said sermon, you might as well get up and walk out the door and deposit your Bible on the way out — because according to them, you cannot DO anything about it you’re just not chosen, tough luck!

It makes you wonder why they even bother to preach sermons on “testing your faith to see if you are really saved.”

After all, what are they going to do…. “believe harder?” Or maybe they should go out and do a bunch of extra good works to prove that their faith is real after all?

Since nobody does get up and walk out, it shows that people are not listening, or if they are, they smugly think that their Pastor must be talking about someone else, because “there is nothing wrong with my faith” and “I don’t need to do any more good works.”

This is a form of arrogance. We can always do more for Jesus.

Praise God for Acts 16:31:

“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

————————————————————————————————

Jack’s friend Tom Croley makes an excellent point. Of course, the scriptural passages that LSers misuse to come up with their non-Biblical, gospel-eviscerating “tests”, cannot possibly mean what they say they mean.

The Bible says that one can have assurance of eternal life as soon as he has believed in Christ as Savior:

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.

But, a new Christian doesn’t have anything of himself to examine for salvation. If a new Christian can have assurance of salvation without looking to himself, SO CAN ANY CHRISTIAN!

One CANNOT POSSIBLY look to his works, attitudes, good intentions, commitment, passion, feelings, emotions, direction of his life, sinning less, being more sensitive to sin, or any of these things to affirm, or even to corroborate whether or not he has eternal life.

The Bible teaches that works do not enter into the equation of whether or not someone goes to heaven or hell.

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.

LSers are left on the horns of a dilemma: How can they trust in Christ alone as Savior, yet look to their works for assurance of salvation?

Perhaps as you’ve read this article, it has dawned on you that the “tests of life” that pastors have been teaching are not Biblical.

And, maybe it has dawned on you that in relying on these “tests”, you have never trusted in Christ alone as your Savior.

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

 

Lordship Salvation: Believing in Vain

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.

The word “vain” appears in the New Testament 38 times. In the context above, vain means “useless” or “ineffectual.”

There are three crucial points to Galatians 2:21.

First, Paul doesn’t participate in frustrating grace, and neither should we.  Nor should we have anything to do with those who frustrate grace.

2 John 1:10-11:

[10] If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
[11] For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Second, to try to be justified by the law is to frustrate grace. Like the word “vain”, the word “frustrate”, in this case, also means to make ineffectual.

Third, there is no law that could provide righteousness to mankind. If there were, then Christ need not have died to pay for our sins.

Galatians 3:21: Is the law against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

As believers in Christ, we know that Jesus has saved us completely. We know that He paid the FULL price for our sins. We know that we didn’t contribute to our salvation by forsaking our sins, confessing our sins, saying a prayer, walking an aisle, committing to reform ourselves, or by allowing Jesus to change our lives.  We know that when we believed in Jesus, we received eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

We know that our righteousness comes from Christ, and not our attempts to keep the law, whether it be God’s perfect law or the Lordship “salvationists'” (LSers) arbitrary laws. In other words, we know that Christ is not dead in vain. We know that He is risen and alive and that we have eternal life through Him.

Romans 3:21-26:

[21] But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
[22] Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
[23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
[24] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
[25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
[26] To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

LSers frustrate grace by insisting that simply believing in Jesus is not sufficient to either receive, keep, or evidence eternal life. In so doing, they create a false gospel of works, devoid of power to save those who trust in that false  gospel for eternal life. And, for those Christians who are duped into LS after they receive eternal life, they are robbed of any power for Christian living or evangelizing the lost.

In Romans 4, the Apostle Paul confirms that the admixture of faith in Christ PLUS works for eternal life is not possible :

Romans 4:14: For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect.

Notice the similarity between Galatains 2:21 and Romans 4:14. If we could be justified by the law, Christ is dead in vain. If those trying to be justified by the law could be justified by the law, then justification by faith is of no effect.

If you ask an LSer what “believe in vain” means, you will likely get some answer that has to do with one’s works. For example, that someone may believe in Jesus, but not have eternal life, because they haven’t turned from their sins, or they haven’t shown sufficient good works. They may throw “faith without works is dead” or “even the demons believe and they tremble” at you. They may talk about “head faith versus heart faith”, or say that “real faith is obedient faith.”

And, yet, we know that LSers don’t keep God’s laws. They may say they are trying, but trying is a work.

Galatians 3:10-11:

[10] For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
[11] But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

LS is the unsupportable belief that the PERFORMANCE of works, the PROMISE of works, or the EVIDENCE of works must accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

Lordship “salvation” is no salvation at all. It is belief in salvation by works. It is believing in vain.

For a message of hope that is not vain, click here:  Eternal Life for You

Helping a New Believer Find an Oasis of Grace in a Desert of Lordship Salvation

By johninnc and Jack Weaver

We recently received an e-mail from a fellow grace believer who wants to spread the gospel to people with whom he comes into contact.  Following are excerpts from the e-mail:

When l share the simple plan of salvation and they believe in Jesus to give them the gift of eternal life, what do l do with them to help them grow as christians. lt seems to me that if l send them to a church in my area, they will get this LS teaching…l know that l will have to have a fellowship in my home to encourage and also be encouraged, if you know of a web site that would teach new christians ” what’s my next step” i would love to know about it.

This is a great question.  Many of us do not have a home church, and would not be comfortable steering anyone – much less a new believer – to any church that distorts the gospel in ANY way.

Before anyone begins looking for a church, he should be thoroughly grounded in the gospel.

In addition to the home fellowship that you suggested, below are some recommendations to help new believers grow in grace, and some things to avoid.

1. Suggest that they repeatedly read clear explantations of God’s plan of salvation.  Such resources will remind them of the Biblical truth that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. This will also reinforce the truths of eternal security and assurance for the believer in Christ.

We recommend two such resources at ExPreacherMan.

“The Gospel” booklet by Ron Shea

Click to access the-gospel.pdf

“How to Be Sure You are Going to Heaven” by Dr. Thomas Cucuzza:

Click to access how-to-be-sure-you-are-going-to-heaven-with-cover.pdf

2. Have them learn to read God’s Word.  Start by suggesting they read through the book of Galatians several times, one chapter per day. The book of Galatians is a defense of the gospel that will help new believers understand the nature of the attacks that they will face from the world of professing Christendom, and the Biblical response to those attacks.

3. Emphasize the importance of  not looking to changes in our lives for assurance of salvation, nor to let the lack of sufficient changes in our lives undermine our assurance of salvation.

4. Suggest they read ExPreacherMan articles and comments.

5. Have them listen to online sermons from sources that you have evaluated and are convinced are reliable.  We recommend Dr. Cucuzza’s sermons.  See link below:

http://northlandchurch.com/go/downloads

6. Warn them to avoid playing “Russian Roulette” with books, sermons, and websites that claim to be teaching Christianity. There is more bad teaching out there than good.

7. Make yourself available for questions – within reason. Some people will fail to do things they need to do to grow in grace, or will do things to undermine their faith (see number 6) and be pretty shaky. Challenge people to take an active role, and not just have you feed them.

8.  Pray that God will provide for them, and for you, a church in which the gospel is taught clearly, consistently, and without contradiction. If you are unable to find a church, don’t despair.  ExPreacherMan is available as a place for fellowship, discussion and encouragement for people who have church homes, as well as for those who don’t.

9.  Let them know to never let down their guard and to maintain vigilance. Avoid any church where there is evidence of Calvinism or Lordship “salvation.” Many churches and pastors will claim to believe in grace, but their words will betray them.   Consider the following from one false teaching mega-church:

From “Core Beliefs:

Those who put their faith alone in Christ for Salvation are children of God and heirs of eternal life.

From the Senior Pastor’s blog:

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.

10.  Tell them to share the good news with others.

Want to know the good news?  Here it is:  Good News!

How Eternal is Eternal Life and How Secure is Eternal Security?

By Jack Weaver

John wrote a wonderful article June 30th about the precious Bible verse John10:28. I have recently corresponded with some of our dear friends in Australia so I analyzed for them the verse John 10:28. In doing so, I investigated the meanings of some of the exciting words in that verse.

It answers the question, How Eternal is Eternal Life and How Secure is Eternal Security.

Our Australian friends had been witnessing to a gentleman who proclaimed that a believer can walk away from an ETERNAL relationship with Jesus Christ.

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.

I usually like to ask such folks; “When Jesus Christ gives you ETERNAL life upon belief, what does the word ETERNAL really mean to you”?

The Greek word for ETERNAL is Aionios, and it means perpetual – eternal, forever, everlasting.

That is very clear and pronounced by Jesus Himself  – it is absolute and not debatable.

The most interesting and amazing word in that passage is the word NEVER. It is a compound word made up of four different words or word phrases.
These words are:  Ou me, Eis, Ho, Aion.

Ou Me is a double negative strengthening the denial; not at all, by any (or no) means, neither, never, in no case (no wise), nor ever, not at all in any wise.

Eis is a primary preposition; for in any place, time, or any purpose — continual, far more exceeding, for [any intent, purpose], of one mind, never perish.

Ho including the feminine he, hay; and the neuter to, in all their inflections; the definite article – the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc.

Aion is from, and the same as, the Greek word (aei); properly an age; by extension perpetuity (also past); by implication the world; (present or future) – age, course, eternal, forever (forevermore), the beginning of the world (since the world began, world without end).

So we see the ETERNAL implications of what Jesus personally promised to every person who believes in Him, that they would NEVER perish.

That statement, by Jesus, includes:
Male, female, neuter.
• It means eternal, never ceasing, world without end.
• It means in any place, any time, or for any purpose not at all, by no means, never, in no case, no wise, not ever, not at all in any case.

Read that over carefully and digest it fully.

Shortly after I trusted Christ as my Savior, the man who led me to Christ preached a sermon explaining John 10:28. He included all of explanations I have used here. I was surprised, amazed, thrilled and excited.

How much more definitive, fixed and final could ETERNAL life and NEVER PERISH be, especially when promised by the Savior, Jesus Christ Himself?

A person who says they are Christian but does not believe in Eternal Security has probably never taken the time to check out the depth and meaning of those powerful words in John 10:28.

The bottom line, by Jesus Himself:
Eternal Life is proclaimed ETERNAL!
Eternal Security is Proclaimed ETERNALLY SECURE.

We need never doubt our eternally secure position in Jesus Christ. If we do, we would be saying to Jesus, the Creator of the Universe “I don’t believe you”!! Would you stand Him to His face and say that?

Titus 1:2: In Hope (guarantee) of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

The Gospel of Jesus Christ IS the Power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). If a person chooses not to believe Jesus, as Jesus Himself proclaimed in John 10:28, he is calling Jesus a liar.

We pray you have trusted Jesus Christ alone as your eternal Savior. If not, please do so right now. Read the link below, study the Scriptures therein and trust Jesus.

Eternal Life, God’s FREE Gift to You

A Free Gift? Absolutely FREE? You Gotta Be Kidding Me!

John 8:32 “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

By Jack Weaver

TV Clothing store – Buy one get two absolutely free

An electric razor, buy one and get one absolutely free — just pay shipping and handling.

Free web computer scan for problems — absolutely free — just a small fee to find out what it is and fix the problem.

Christmas – good kids get absolutely free  gifts — “bad” kids get none.

There always seem to be strings or conditions attached to FREE! Don’t believe the advertisers. NONE of these are free. The words FREE and GIFT have been perverted in so many ways that when we speak of salvation and eternal life as God’s free gift, folks automatically throw up a guard and think there must be conditions attached.

THE GIFT:

It did not begin with the Creation of the world. John 1:1-3

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

It did not end with the Birth of Jesus Matthew 1:22-23

“Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

It did not end with the Life of Jesus (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)

It did not end with the persecution of Jesus John 19:16:17

“Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:”

It did not end with the crucifixion of Jesus. John 19:18

…  they crucified him, and two others with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

It did not end with the burial of Jesus. 1 Corinthians 15:4a

“And that he was buried, …. according to the scriptures:”

It did not end with the resurrection of Jesus. 1 Corinthians 15:4b

“…and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

It does not end!!

God’s GIFT of Eternal Life is still FREE to you — no strings attached, never ending.

Jesus Christ, the Creator of the universe, the Savior is Himself Eternal. His Gospel of FREE Eternal life is just as ETERNAL. Eternal means NEVER ENDING!!

Eternal Life — the totally FREE Gift <<< Click and Believe

True or False: A Person Who Believes In Jesus For Salvation WILL Have A Change Of Behavior

By Jack Weaver and our fellow Administrator, John.

 In a recent Internet conversation with a gentleman, he insisted that a person who believes in Christ WILL have a change of behavior.

He insisted that a believer, being indwelt “with the Holy Spirit in their life, there WILL be change.” [our Caps emphasis]

Too often folks look to changes they have experienced as a validation of their salvation. Let’s not get bogged down in “experiences” of change, but look to Bible doctrine. Experience will beg the question, “How much change would satisfy God”?

By saying “there WILL be change” in a believers life, this gentleman seems to be discounting the fact that any believer in Jesus Christ still has a human will which can be motivated by his personal choice to disobey (or obey) the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

Every Christian, upon the first moment of believing, is instantly indwelt, sealed and regenerated by God’s Holy Spirit (simultaneous events – Ephesians 1:13). Believers do not become robots by faith, but have the choice to obey or disobey the promptings of the indwelling Holy Spirit. That is why believers are told: “Quench [tune out, or stop responding to the prompting of] not the Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19).

Most churches to whom Paul wrote had some (often many) believers (addressed as Brothers in Christ, or brethren) who CHOSE not to change and CHOSE to be disobedient, thus quenching the Holy Spirit:

1 Corinthians 3:1-3:

[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?

Among the believers in Corinth there were contentions and strife, they were puffed up, there was fornication with one’s own father’s wife, covetousness, idolaters, etc. (1 Corinthians 5)

Believers were constantly admonished by the Apostles to “walk in the Spirit”, “be filled [controlled] with the Spirit”, “walk in good works”, “put on the new man”, and “put on the whole armour of God”.   They were guilty of such despicable behavior that Paul found it necessary to instruct them in how to behave – it was not automatic simply by virtue of them being believers in Jesus.

Thus we see in Scripture that behavioral change is NOT automatic upon belief.

To say that believers WILL change (behavior) means that good works must accompany faith in Christ.  And, if good works must accompany faith in Christ, than good works would be required for someone to go to heaven.

The Bible does not teach that works are required as a condition for receiving eternal life, nor does the Bible teach that good works will accompany faith in Christ.  The Bible teaches that salvation is received by grace, through faith in Christ.

 Ephesians 2:8-10:

[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.

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

 It is obvious that God wants our behavior to change once we are saved (Romans 6:4).  Of course God wants us to do good works.   Tom Cucuzza explained this concept in part 1 of his sermon series on the book of James:

 “Grace.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.   Not “must” – that would be works.  Not “will” – that would be Calvinism.  No, it’s should.  We should.”

 We see this concept repeated throughout scripture, as believers are exhorted, admonished, and beseeched to live their lives in a way befitting their identity in Christ.  Please note the following examples, all of which are instructions to believers – not to be saved, to keep saved, or to prove they are saved, but because they are saved:

 Romans 12:1-2:

[1] I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

[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.

 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.

 1 Peter 2:11-12:

[11] Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

[12] Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

 Galatians 5:16

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

 Hebrews 13:22

And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.

 James 4:7-8:

[7] Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

[8] Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

 The notion that a believer’s behavior will change is nothing more than the false teaching of perseverance of the saints – the “P” in the Calvinist TULIP. Calvinists proclaim that a believer willpersevere to the end” or he will not be saved. OR, because he does not persevere to the end, he is not really saved to begin with. That is terrible teaching.

And of course, these teachings are the very essence of Calvinism and Lordship “salvation” which represent NO salvation at all.

Questions to ponder:

1. Could one say that without good works a person cannot be or stay saved? NO!! Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us

2. Does God look at our good works to determine the validity of our faith, our righteousness in Jesus? NO!!! Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

3. How many good works could it possibly take to satisfy God and justify one before God? NONE !! Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

4. Who dictates to a believer which good works are good enough to justify one before God? NO ONE: 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.

5. Can a person trust Jesus Christ alone as his Savior, be excited, do “good works” for a week or two and then do nothing more until he dies — and still have eternal life? YES, Jesus said: 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.   (Please note that NOWHERE in the Bible does it say that one can walk away from his salvation, and thus lose it.)

6. Are there any circumstances whereby a believer in Jesus Christ can lose or forfeit God’s Gift of Eternal Life? NO!! Jesus said: 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.

True, Simple, Easy Eternal Life For Anyone << Click

Verses: Justification by Grace Through Faith in Christ Alone

Verses Verifying Justification By Grace Alone Through Faith Alone In Jesus Christ Alone.

There are over 150 verses in the New Testament  demonstrating that our salvation comes by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.

Our new permanent Header link, Believer’s Justification provides over 160 verses to illustrate that point. These are Bible verses (all King James Version) referenced by Richard A. Seymour in his great booklet, THE GIFT:

Believer’s Justification <<Click

Giving Thanks for What and Why

By Jack Weaver

Realizing that ExPreacherMan is read and commented upon all over the World, this post will not necessarily be about the American Holiday, Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, the act and attitude is not unique to America but should be a constant thing for Believers in Jesus Christ all over the World.

Join with us as we itemize our thanks. This can always be iffy since many things for which we are thankful will be neglected.

Our friend John wrote a note to me this morning: “By the way, the word “thanksgiving” shows up in Psalms eight times.”

THANKFUL FOR:

  • The Gospel of our Salvation so free for the taking.
  • That God loved the whole World and desires that each individual in the whole World choose to believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life.
  • God’s Amazing Grace that saved a wretch like me.
  • That we have been given a choice to believe in Jesus Christ or not.
  • That once one believes in Jesus for Eternal Life — it is Everlasting and without end.
  • God’s everlasting, infallible Word that explains His FREE Gift of salvation so clearly.
  • That God does not require the Performance, the Promise or the Evidence of good works to accompany our faith in Christ in order to make that faith result in eternal life.
  • That our eternal life in Christ is in no way dependent upon our behavior.
  • That when we depart this earth by death or Rapture, we shall “ever be with the Lord”!
  • For the opportunity to share the Gospel of God’s Grace and expose those who would pervert that Pure Gospel.
  • And so many thousands more, ad infinitum.

And we here at ExPreacherMan are forever thankful for our  friends and visitors, some of whom have come out of the darkness of false teaching into the Light of the Gospel Truth. Your testimonies are a blessing to all of us.

If you desire to express your thankfulness, pleases do so in a SHORT paragraph or two. [Edited] 😎

Thankful – The Gospel! << Click

What are The Motives Behind Lordship “Salvation” and Other False Teachings?

By Jack Weaver and our friend, John

Are we able to assess the motive of those false teachers/prophets who preach “another gospel”? Galatians 1:6-8

We can certainly assess and discern a false “gospel” message. That would be adding anything to the Gospel of salvation by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. If we see or hear ANY teacher, Pastor, CD — or read any books, web sites or articles that tell you any of the following are requirements for eternal life, “the performance of any works, the promise of any future works, or the evidence of any works,” (to quote our friend John), such are teaching a false “gospel,” which is no Gospel at all. (Examples: Repent, turn from sins to be saved, Turn or burn, make Jesus the “Lord of your life” or commit your life to Christ to be saved, persevere to the end, etc.) These are all Satan’s add-on to the precious Gospel of God’s Grace and totally pervert the Gospel (Good News).

We came up with at least four general categories of people teaching false gospels:

  1. Believers who still believe the gospel, but teach error out of a personal motive.
  2. Believers who no longer believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone (Luke 8:13, Galatians 5:4).
  3. Non-believers, who are counting on their own righteousness to get into heaven (Matthew 7:15 and Matthew 23:15).
  4. Satan’s ministers, disguised as ministers of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:15).

While the first and second groups are saved, and therefore eternally secure, all who preach false gospels are under a curse (Galatians 1:8-9).

To even attempt to discern the motives behind the person doing the false preaching, we must carefully analyze them, their behavior and their statements.

Following are some of the reasons that believers may teach false gospels:

  1. Ignorance or misuse of scripture – includes use of “proof texts”, always out of context, as well as use of poor or plainly false Bible translations.
  2. Sense of belonging – desires to be part of something big and exciting, with lots of structured programs for kids, etc. Willfully blind to obvious error.
  3. Respect for authority – putting the doctrine of men on par with, or above, the word of God.
  4. Social pressure – a desire to hold a position of honor, even it requires compromise.
  5. Financial allure – big churchs, big money, lucrative demand for books, etc.
  6. Family legacy – “my Daddy’s Daddy’s Daddy believes that, and so do I.”
  7. Eat the meat and spit out the bones “theology” – disregarding the Biblical warnings to separate from false teachers/teaching.
  8. Ecumenism – going along to get along.
  9. Fear of “failure” – desiring the praise of men above the praise of God.
  10. Hero-worship – reverence for icons of evangelicalism, such as Calvin, Spurgeon, Billy Graham, etc.
  11. Gatekeeping – They don’t want “nominal Christians” in their midst, so they change the Gospel from Grace to fit their own rules of behavior.
  12. A Feeling of Spiritual Invincibility – Failure to separate from false doctrine – as if they are not susceptible to being misled by false teaching – thus they let down their guard and find no need to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11).

It should come as no big surprise that non-believers also teach false gospels for many of the same reasons as those who purport to be believers in Christ — even so, each of them manage to slip in a teaching of Lordship “salvation” (probation).

If anyone claims to believe in a false gospel of works, we should take him at his word. He needs to be treated as an unbeliever, since simultaneous belief in a false gospel and the real Gospel of Christ is impossible! We should lovingly confront such a religious “professor” of faith in Christ with his disbelief. We must proclaim the Gospel, and if possible, show him from the Bible why his false gospel is false. The Lord does not require ANY works to acquire His gift of salvation – it is FREE. Grace and Works are polar opposites and CANNOT coexist as a means of salvation! (Romans 11:6)

The Only Gospel of God’s Salvation <<Click

Mariella, Sadly “Repenting” Herself to Death – Literally.

By Jack Weaver

Just recently I experienced an example of a pitiful case of non-Calvinist “perseverance” while witnessing to my Audiologist. It is an awful object lesson showing an ignorance of scripture and “following the leader” to hell:

Mariella, my Audiologist, is a sweet, early 30s, young Latino lady. I pray she reads this and “changes her mind.” On my first visit several months ago I shared the Gospel and a tract.. She said, “Oh, you are a Christian, here read mine.” Her tract was titled, “The Grace That Saves.” Great Title!! Since I could not read the fine print, I took it optimistically believing the title may be a hint of Biblical contents.

When we returned home I magnified the tract. It was distributed by Fellowship Tract League. They advertise hundreds of different tracts in hundreds of languages. It sounded good until the “salvation” prayer. Very dangerous false doctrine.

The obvious errors are highlighted in bold.

Please pray this prayer or one similar to it: Dear Heavenly Father, I know I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus died for my sin. [1] I am willing to turn from sin. I now [2] ask Jesus Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Saviour. I am willing, by God’s grace, to follow and obey Christ as the Lord of my heart and life. Amen.

[3] Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart. (Revelation 3:20) [3] Will you let Him in?”

[1] The Bible NEVER tells us we must be willing to turn from sin to have eternal life. That is a lie!!

[2] The Bible NEVER says to ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart and life as your personal Saviour to have eternal life. That is a lie!!

[3]  The Bible NEVER asks anyone to “let Jesus into our heart and life in order to have eternal life. That is a lie!! The heart does not have a “door.” That whole statement is a gross misrepresentation of the verse  Revelation 3:20 — which is plea by Jesus, asking for renewed FELLOWSHIP and to dine with the seven last days churches listed in Revelation Chapter Three.

Two weeks later on my next visit I handed her a great booklet illustrating that Salvation is a free gift, (“The Gift,” by Dr. Richard Seymour). She promised me she would read it and make notes which we could discuss. I asked her why she felt that God’s gift of salvation by Grace required her to turn from sin in order to have eternal life. Her answer, “I must repent continually to be ready.” Sadly, we had to depart to make room for another patient.

On our next visit I questioned Mariella further. Amazingly she said that she repents continuously all day long and before she goes to sleep at night. Then she asked me in somewhat broken English, “My father wanted me to ask you if you believe in ‘once saved, always saved?'”

I answered, “Of course, Jesus is The Savior. He alone saves eternally with no works on our part!! We cannot add anything to His work on the cross.” She answered, “My father says I cannot accept your booklet because it has false doctrine and is against the Bible.”

I was flabbergasted. As we left, she said, “I must repent, repent and repent all the time.” I asked “What does repent mean to you?” She said, “Turn from my sin, be sorry for any sins and bad thoughts, etc, etc.” As we departed, I left her with this thought, “I am so sorry you are not sure of eternal life, that you must torture yourself with continually  ‘repenting.’ Just remember, Jesus is The Savior. He alone SAVES!! Biblical repenting is simply changing your mind about Jesus being your Savior — and not your works.” She answered, “Yes but I must always be ‘ready’ by repenting.

This is a pitiful example of a person believing the false doctrine of repentance and turning it into her own personal “perseverance until the end,” and a father who is teaching his daughter the direct “works” path to hell.

I found her church in the Internet. It is a Latino, Charismatic, holy-roller, “healer,” works preaching mega church in Hialeah, FL. Terrible.

Please pray for Mariella that she may read this and believe the Gospel in order to have the peace that passes all understanding by trusting that her salvation is by Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Eternal Life — FREE- No Charge!! << Click

Notes on Calvinism: Calvinism, a Rigged Carnival Game

Carnival Games
Remember going to a carnival as a child? Pretty fun; pretty exciting, right? I used to love the carnival games. So magical! So enticing! For a small price of a couple of quarters, along with a bit of skill and luck, I just knew that I could win one of those giant stuffed pandas, or a camera, or maybe even that alluring stereo set on the top shelf. Sadly, all that I ever won was a goldfish, a five-cent goldfish for a fifty-cent game fee. Rigged carnival games have been around for generations. Here are few of the most common:

1. Shooting Gallery: Air guns are armed with tiny BBs, air pressure is lowered and the sights are bent to skew the shots.

2. Land the Dime on the Plate: Plates are sprayed with silicone to make the coin slide right off.

3. Milk Bottle Pyramid: Lower bottles are filled with lead weights. Softballs are very soft indeed, being filled with straw or sawdust.

4. Basketball Shoot: Balls are overinflated; rims are undersized, sometimes slightly oval shaped and set higher than regulation height.

5. Balloon Dart Throw: Darts are lighter that store brands; tips are filed and dulled; balloons are underinflated and thick.

6. Ring Toss: Rings are made of hard bouncy plastic; their openings are only a fraction of an inch larger than the bottle tops on which they are supposed to land.

7. Sledge Hammer Ring the Bell: Hammers large but underweighted; carnival operator can apply “brake” as desired.

In many ways, Calvinism is very much like a rigged carnival game. For the Calvinist, some are prechosen to win and others are prechosen to lose. The individual has no say in his own destiny, no opportunity to trust in Christ alone by grace alone through faith alone for salvation, as the Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16-18, 36; John 5:24; John 6:29, 40; John 11:25-26; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 4:5. But in the case of Calvinism, “losing” involves much more than spending a few dollars at a carnival; it means spending eternity in hell, sent there by a whimsical Calvinist “god.” Yes, Calvinism is a rigged “game” and a very deadly one as well.

Listen to the words of Kent Kelly as he describes in detail the false “god” of Calvinism: a true ogre! (Source, Kent Kelly, “Inside the Tulip,” Southern Pines, NC: Calvary Press, 1986, page 59):

“The sovereign god of the Calvinist planned in a past eternity that billions of men, women, and children would be tormented in the Lake of Fire forever. he had no desire that any of them would be saved. This god was well aware that because of the sin nature received at conception, they could do nothing but become Hell-deserving sinners by the very fact of their existence. This same god said that the basis for their condemnation would be a failure to believe in the Saviour for them, and no atonement was made available in which they could believe. he sent forth people into all the world to command these billions of men, women, and children to believe in a Saviour who was not their Saviour. he commanded them to repent knowing that he had personally selected them to burn in Hell before they ever received their sin nature. This god of the Calvinist created billions of vessels of wrath fitted for destruction—commanded them to do what he had willed them unable to do—then sent them to Hell for not doing it. If this is your god, you have my sympathy.”

Lordship Salvation’s Demon Belief That Does Not Save

By Our Dear Friend, John

James 2:19: Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

James 2:19 is one of the favorite verses that Lordship “Salvationists” quote to try to convince themselves and others that one has to do more than trust in Christ to receive eternal life. Incidentally, you will usually hear them say “demons” instead of “devils”, because that is how the NIV and other LS Bibles have translated this verse.

When you hear someone raise James 2:19 as an objection to God’s free gift of eternal life through faith in Christ, you are hearing the voice of confusion and disbelief. You are a witness to the bad fruit of the LS tree. While it is true that demons believe and tremble, it is not true that this means that simple belief in Christ is not sufficient to save a human believer. Demons are beyond redemption, so the content of their faith is irrelevant. For a more compete discussion of this topic, click the attached link:

A Lordship “Salvationist’s” Prayer To His Prodigal Son

But, besides a demon’s belief, is there a belief that doesn’t save? Is it possible for a human being to believe that Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead and still not have eternal life? The answer to the above questions is a resounding YES. There is a belief that doesn’t save. In fact, there are all kinds of beliefs that don’t save, but not for the reasons that Lordship “salvationists” espouse.

Lordship “salvationists” believe that the performance of works, the promise of works, or the evidence of works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to make that faith result in eternal life. Some of the more common adages that indicate that someone might have been “bitten by the LS bug” include:

  • “There’s head faith and heart faith, and only heart faith saves.”
  • “There’s no ‘fire insurance’. You have to want to follow Christ to be saved.”
  • “A believer won’t be sinless. But, he will sin less.”
  • “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is not alone.”
  • “We’re not saved by faith plus works, but we are saved by a faith that works.”
  • “A true Christian may backslide, but he will always return to the faith.”
  • “A Christian’s behavior will change once he is saved.”
  • “It is disciples who are saved.”
  • “Believing in Christ isn’t a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card.”
  • “He can’t be your Savior if He’s not your Lord.”

Each of the above, and other similar expressions, indicate that someone is not quite comfortable with Grace. These types of statements expose an underlying misunderstanding of, or disbelief in, the part of the Gospel that says “Christ died FOR OUR SINS.”

The Lordship “Salvationist” does not believe that Christ paid the FULL PRICE for our sins, leaving us nothing to pay. He believes that Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection were necessary, but not sufficient. He believes that he must add to Christ’s finished work with his repentance from sin, commitment, or perseverance. In other words, the Lordship “Salvationist” has accepted Jesus as Lord and Helper, not Lord and Savior.

So, there is belief that does not save. It is belief in a false gospel of Christ plus works for salvation, more commonly known as Lordship “salvation.”

Can a person believe in Christ alone and not be saved? The answer to this one needs less explanation. The answer is NO.

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.

Eternal Life — No Strings Attached!<< Click

Are All “Christian” Religions Teaching Lordship “Salvation”?

By Jack Weaver

It is sadly evident that virtually every “Christian religious” system ever formulated by mankind (men and women) has veered terribly from those four vital Biblical Gospel points. All “Christian religions” now seem to contain the corrupt seeds, if not the full blown growth and fruit of Lordship “salvation” (LS) as the centerpiece of their teaching.

We here at ExP have written and commented on hundreds of articles documenting errors in organizations and churches, Presbyterian, Southern Baptists, Methodist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Churches of Christ, et al; and by teachers, featuring some of the more obvious and egregious perpetrators of LS such as Spurgeon, Francis Chan, Rick Warren, Paul Washer, David Platt, John Piper, John MacArthur, A.W. Pink, R.C. Sproul, Billy Graham, Al Mohler, Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, ad infinitum. (Find them.. search Box on the top right column >>)

We will take the liberty of quoting from our good friend, ExP Co-Administrator, author and commenter, Bruce Bauer, and our good friend, author and commenter at ExP, John.

John quotes from Clear Gospel Campaign, one of the very best descriptions of the not-so-subtle lie of Lordship “salvation”:the perversions of the Gospel of Grace is the performance of works, the promise of works, or the evidence of works as a necessity for salvation.”

We should use that guideline in our critique of all teachers, thus separating those who would twist or change the Truth of God’s Grace-Gift of Eternal Life in Jesus Christ alone.

John quotes further from Clear Gospel Campaign:

“Ultimately, however, there is no theological distinction between corrupt systems of theology that require works, such as water baptism, to be performed prior to gaining salvation, and corrupt theological systems that require the promise of future works in exchange for salvation. Any gospel presentation that makes, as a requirement for gaining eternal salvation, repentance from one’s sins, committing one’s life to Christ, making Christ the ‘Lord’ (master) of one’s life, becoming a disciple of Christ, and other equivalent statements that require a promise of future behavior is heresy.” (Romans 5:8; Titus 3:5)

We would add that according to God’s Word, the teachers pushing these false doctrines are accursed. (Galatians 1:8,9)

Another pearl of wisdom from John:

“Since the Bible unequivocally teaches salvation by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, I [we] can readily dismiss any teaching that seeks to introduce works (the performance of works, the promise of future works, or the evidence of works) into the salvation equation.”

And then John commends Bruce on his excellent article on David Platt which really gets to the core of Lordship “salvation.”

Particularly striking [is this] quote from Platt:

“To be born-again, one must repent, turn from sin and self, and believe, trust in Jesus as the Savior who died for us and the Lord who rules over us.”

[John’s] comment: This is really the crux of LS. Platt says we must not only trust in Christ as Savior in order to be born again — no, he says we must also “turn from sin” (works) and accept Jesus as Lord who rules over us (implicit obedience – the promise of future works) in addition to believing. This is exactly what is being taught by Billy Graham and the SBC.

Purveyors of LS have turned the Good News into Bad News!

Our message:

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

As Scripture says — and is frequently quoted by our good friend, Holly Garcia: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. [honest, suitable, worthy]” 1 Thessalonians 5:21

The Gospel is GOOD News << Click

Lordship Salvationists and Calvinists: Why We Expose Them

By Jack Weaver and our friend, John
~~~

We are occasionally asked why we bother to expose Lordship Salvationists and Calvinists. In a few words, we expose them because we love our Savior Jesus Christ and His Gift of Eternal Life by Grace through Faith in Him alone. We simply try to do our best to promote and defend the Biblical Gospel of God’s Grace (Ephesians 2:8-9), to unmask and open to your understanding, those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. (Romans 1:18)

The “Christian” world is running amok with false doctrines proclaimed by Lordship “salvation” (LS) and Calvinist deceivers. We find that most LSers are Calvinists and vice versa. LSers usually include the many faces of Calvinism, i.e. Traditional, New, Hyper, “Moderate,”some Baptists, etc. Thus, since it fits, we use the acronym, “LS” to include all “works salvation” promoters.

We at ExPreacherMan have written many articles about those whose desire it is to advance, promote and subsidize the false message of LS. You may search our numerous, informative articles here.

The objective of this brief article is to clearly define LS, in as few words as possible, so believers in Jesus Christ may be equipped to discern between the truth of God’s Word and the lies being advanced in His name.

At its core, LS is a disbelief in God’s Word which clearly states that salvation is by Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. (again: (Ephesians 2:8-9)

LS is the unsupportable belief that the performance of works, the promise of works, or the evidence of works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to make that faith result in eternal life.

LS can be overt (one must forsake all of his sins and follow Christ in obedience and discipleship in order to be saved) or VERY SUBTLE (one’s behavior will change once he is saved).  But, do not be deceived. Trying to add ANY human merit to Grace makes it no longer Grace. (Romans 11:6)

We expose people who promote LS, because they:

• Keep people lost (Luke 8-12 2 Corinthians 4:4);
.
• Are accursed (Galatians 1:9)
.
• Frustrate grace (Galatians 2:21);
.
• Bewitch believers, rendering the believers ineffective in their Christian lives (Galatians 5:4)
.
• Are to be marked and avoided (Romans 16:17 and 16:18)

In addition to the above, people who believe and teach LS don’t currently believe the Gospel and need to be confronted with that reality.  They need our prayers.

One wonders why so many thousands of seeking souls flock to the false message of LS. Could it be a cultic draw by charismatic personalities who manipulate scripture, relish the attention, fame and (incidentally) the dollars cleverly conned from their followers?

These pitiful followers are striving for an LS salvation” that is hopeless and unattainable. Pray for them to see and believe The Truth of the Gospel << Click

*Note: Our special thanks to our friend John for contributing his Biblical knowledge, wisdom and thoughts to this article. JW

Dr. Tom Cucuzza’s Collection – NEW!!

Friends of ExP,

We are consolidating Dr. Tom Cucuzza’s Collection of works on the ExPreacherMan website header. We have posted all of his currently available works, his Gospel Video and wonderful PDF doctrinal files. We will post more as he makes them available.

We have just received Tom’s NEW color PDF, “Be Sure You Are Going to Heaven!” © (A beautiful color cover – suitable for an attractive Gospel Witnessing Handout.)

Please click here >> Dr. Cucuzza’s Collection where you may download the NEW article\handout plus his other works and Gospel video. Together for Souls!!

Wiki-Heresies Debut – Exposing Lordship “salvation” In All of Its Vagaries

We at ExPreacherMan take great care in proclaiming the Truth of the Gospel of Salvation by Grace Alone through Faith Alone in Jesus Christ Alone. We know the doctrine of Salvation by God’s Grace alone is Biblically verifiable and true. (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Such Great Salvation is absolutely independent of any Biblical mandate for a performance of “good works,” before, during or after a person makes that one-time decision to trust Jesus Christ as Savior. That is Grace.

Of course, every believer in Jesus Christ SHOULD walk in good works, as taught in many, many places in God’s Word  (Ephesians 2:10), but there is no redemptive power or benefit by doing in good works. God’s Salvation is a FREE Gift, by Grace alone in Jesus Christ alone, without work, effort or merit on man’s part. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved..”

Therefore, we at ExP have created a Page whereby our readers may visit and browse a list, of teachers, preachers, writers and organizations who pervert the Biblical doctrine of God’s Free Grace. We include  descriptions, evidence and (in most cases) links to those whom we discuss.

The link has a permanent place as the last line of several links on our Header at ExPreacherMan. It is easy to find. We invite you to visit:

Wiki-Hweresies << Click

Always remember, Eternal Life is a FREE Gift

Lordship “Salvation” Icon Kirk Cameron, Promotes Calvin’s Geneva Bible and Teams Up With Liberty University.

CameronKirk Cameron

By Jack Weaver

If we thought things could not get any “weirder,” we see that Lordship “Salvationist” (LS) and teeny-bopper Idol, Kirk Cameron is:

  1. Promoting the sale of John Calvin’s terrible Geneva Bible on TV and news web site like World Net Daily.
  2. Convocation speaker and now teaming up with Jerry Falwell’s Liberty (“Christian”) University (LU) in starting a “Christian Film Production” course of study. But this should come as no surprise since LU’s Statement of Faith basically agrees with Cameron and reads: “We affirm that each person can be saved only through the work of Jesus Christ, through repentance of sin and by faith alone in Him as Savior. The believer is declared righteous, born again by the Holy Spirit, turned from sin, and assured of heaven.”
  3. Teaming with Calvinist LSer, John MacArthur on YouTube about their unbiblical idea of the way of Salvation. I’ll not provide the link — but they both agreed that total submission, heart, mind, soul and body to the Lordship of Christ “is the only way of salvation.” Total apostasy!!!
  4. Cameron has been a long-time friend and compatriot of apostate “evangelist” Ray Comfort. We have commented many times about the terrible doctrine of Comfort. Here is one comment by our friend Holly Garcia: Link:>> Comfort- 2013/07/23 at 6:11 pm If there was ever any doubt about Comfort and Cameron preaching an accursed message — this will dispel it. You may follow the link for further excellent comments from our readers.

Friends, we as Free Grace Believers, must remain constantly vigilant in the face of “sweet, charismatic double-talkers” who pervert the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus:

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

That time has come. We who know the Truth must preach the Word, in context, the Gospel of the Good news of the Death, Burial and Resurrection of our Savior (1 Corinthians 15:1-8) as His all sufficient provision for anyone’s salvation by Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ alone!!! (Ephesians 2:8-9) No more, no less!!

The TRUTH of Salvation

Southern Baptist Convention and J.D.Greear Promote: “The Posture of Lordship Salvation”

False

Lordship Salvation: The Devil is in the Details

By: our dear friend, John

A friend of mine recently brought me a parenting magazine he had picked up from his Southern Baptist church. He pointed me to an article entitled “Should We Stop Asking Jesus into Our Hearts?” The article was a series of excerpts from the book of the same title; written by J.D. Greear, lead pastor of the Summit Church in Raleigh, NC.

In reading the article, I was reminded of a couple of old adages.

The first adage isthe devil speaks with a forked tongue.” Greear aids and abets the evil one by mixing Biblical truths with his LS-slanted opinions and quotes from other shameless promoters of LS, including Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Consider the following excerpt:

In his parable about the different types of soil, Jesus spoke of a group who heard his word and made an initial, encouraging response of belief, only to fade away over time. These are those, Jesus explained, who hear the gospel and respond positively to it—pray the prayer, walk the aisle, get baptized, or do whatever new converts in your church do. 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.”

Jesus did not say that these people “will not in the end by saved.” Those are Greear’s words, and they reflect an LS orientation. That LS orientation is corroborated by the following quote, which reveals Greear’s belief in the Calvinist/LS false doctrine of “perseverance of the saints”:

The apostle John almost always talks about “believing” in the present tense because it is something we do continually, not something we did once in the past…The posture begins at a moment, but it persists for a lifetime.”

Which brings us to our second adage:The devil is in the details.”

Like virtually all Lordship “Salvationists”, Greear pays lip service to belief in the Gospel, but then betrays that belief by what else he says.

First, the lip service:

Salvation is not given because you prayed a prayer correctly, but because you have leaned the hopes of your soul on the finished work of Christ.”

Then, the betraying twist:

Repentance means understanding that Jesus is Lord and that you have lived in cosmic treason to him and reversing your direction based on that.”

Greear’s definition of repentance to include “reversing your direction” is code for turning from sins for salvation, making Christ Lord of your life for salvation, and so on. He repeatedly uses the term “posture” toward Christ (I counted at least six) as a way of expressing this flawed belief system. The word posture is never used in the New Testament.

As a follow-up, I read Trevin Wax’s interview with Greear, from January 31, 2013. Following is a telling quote:

Disciples of Jesus are the ones who are saved; not those who go through a ritual.”

And from Mark Driscoll’s interview with Greear from March 26, 2013:

“…I would ask them if their present posture is one of submission to Christ’s Lordship and trust in his finished work. If so, they are saved, even if they don’t remember the prayer or the moment they got into that posture.

Second, 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.”

Greear reveals, with these comments, his errant belief that discipleship and evidence of a changed life are requirements for salvation.

My friend who brought me Greear’s article did not buy into it. But, the article is indicative of the kinds of false information that millions of people are being fed in their churches every week. In fact, Greear has received glowing recommendations from a veritable “who’s who” of Lordship “salvationists”, and is a prominent leader in the Southern Baptist Convention.

We must pray for those who preach the gospel faithfully, and be vigilant in exposing false doctrine and false teachers.

God’s Guarantee of ETERNAL Life << Clivk

John MacArthur Speaks on Predestination: A Rebuttal

photo

John MacArthur Speaks on Predestination Question:

A Grace-Based Rebuttal

Source of the MacArthur Interview: Shepherdsconference.org, 2010, Media, General Session 5, an Interview with John MacArthur
Johnny Mac
Introductory Comments:
Generally speaking, when I review an article or interview, I will select several salient statements upon which to comment. This methodology usually works well, but, at times individuals have made the accusation that the writer’s or speaker’s statements have been misquoted or taken out of context. In order to head off this dodge, I have chosen to print the MacArthur interview on the subject, “The Question of Predestination,” in its entirety. My brief, clearly-labeled comments or responses to MacArthur’s open questions and statements will be inserted throughout the text of the interview; they will be in [brackets].

Note: To view the article in its entirety, go to:

http://califgracer.wordpress.com/

John MacArthur on Predestination:

A Grace-Based Rebuttal

Source of the MacArthur Interview: Shepherdsconference.org, 2010, Media, General Session 5, an Interview with John MacArthur

[Interspersed with bracketed comments]

Question posed to MacArthur:

“Why witness? How do we tell people that God loves them and that Jesus Christ did not die for them? Or do we tell them that?
[Inserted comment: A great question posed to John MacArthur. I have often myself asked Calvinists a similar question: “If God’s got it all slated as to who gets to go to heaven and who must go to hell, and the individual has abolutely no say in the matter, then, WHY HAVE MISSIONS?” To date, I have never heard anyone give a logical biblical answer to that question. Let’s see whether John MacArthur will be the first] . . . .

MacArthur answers:

Well, you tell them whatever the Bible tells you to tell them. And the Bible tells you to go into the world and preach the gospel to every creature. That’s what you do because that’s what the Scripture says.”

[Inserted Comment: Right so far, John: Mark 16:15. And verse 16 tells why Jesus commanded the preaching of the gospel (the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, 1 Cor. 15:1-8)—so people would believe and become saved (cf. Acts 16:30-31); he also warns that those who refuse to believe (right through the point of death) will be lost (cf. John 3:18, John 5:40, 47). Christ Jesus would never command something be preached to the world if that proclamation had no possibility of efficacious results, i.e., if the individual had no ability to respond to the message in belief (Calvinists teach “Total Inability,” the “T” of the Calvinist acronym “TULIP,” that is, that men and women are completely dead in their sins and have absolutely no ability to respond in believing faith to the gospel of Christ Jesus). In view of the multitude of verses that call people to believe and thus be saved, e.g., John 3:16-18; Acts 16:30-31; John 5:24; John 6:29, 40; John 7:37-38 (ALL are welcome); John 11:25-26, this (Calvinist) teaching is UNBIBLICAL and illogical.]

MacArthur continues: “Any tension you have between that and the doctrine of divine election and predestination; any tension you feel in those areas, I feel. I feel the same tension. I ask the same question. I don’t know that there’s some kind of quick answer to the question. I am, however, happy to concede that God can resolve all things that I can’t (crowd laughter and applause). Really! I don’t expect the view and you shouldn’t expect of me to be able to unscrew the ‘unscrutable’ [inscrutable?]. Uh, you, you, really don’t think that I’m going to solve all the vast theological dilemmas that have existed since the Scriptures were penned. [Interviewer inserts, ‘Actually, some people do.’ (crowd laughter; then MacArthur continues)] Ya; the best answer to this question is, ‘My brother, I feel your pain’ (crowd laughter).”

[Inserted Comment: Really, Dr. MacArthur? The best answers that you can give are, “I feel the same tension,” “I ask the same question,” “I feel your pain”? Might it be that these issues are “painful” and “unresolvable” only because you view the Bible and the gospel through skewed Calvinist lenses? Christ called us, not to live in tension, anguish and fear, but in trust and rest in his finished work on our behalf. Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” ]

Mac Arthur: “I, uh, I’m not here to give you an answer, but, I will tell you this: I do not believe that Jesus died for nobody. I believe he died for somebody. And I believe he died specifically for those who would believe in him, and those who believe in him are those who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit based upon the eternal sovereign electing purpose of God. I think his atonement was an actual one, not a potential one. I don’t think that it was a general one; I think it was a specific one. I think it was a real death for sin. The issue here is the nature of the atonement.”

[Inserted Comment: Wow, Dr. MacArthur, you are speaking at a leadership conference at a question and answer session, and you say, “I’m not here to give you an answer”? Let’s look at some of your statements: “I do not believe that Jesus died for nobody. I believe he died for somebody.” Response to MacArthur: The Bible declares that Jesus died for everyone, for the world: John 6:33 “The bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto THE WORLD.” 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 eternal life.” 1 John 2:2 “And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of THE WHOLE WORLD.” 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some me count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH but that ALL should come to repentance.” 1 Timothy 2:3-6 “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who WILL HAVE ALL MEN TO BE SAVED, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who GAVE HIMSELF A RANSOM FOR ALL, to be testified in due time.”

Yet, sadly, NOT ALL THE WORLD WILL RECEIVE his gracious gift (Ephesians 2:8-9) of salvation: John 3:36 (which clearly demonstrates man’s free will to accept or reject God’s gracious gift of salvation through believing in his Son, cf. Matthew 23:37; John 3:18) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”]

To view the entire article, go to:

http://califgracer.wordpress.com/

How To Be Sure You Are Going to Heaven

From our dear friend, Dr. Tom Cucuzza is this wonderful message:

A Clear and Simple Explanation of

The Gospel of Jesus Christ

By Dr. Thomas M. Cucuzza

All Bible quotations have been taken from

The Authorized King James Version

How To Be Sure You Are Going to Heaven

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” (John 3:16).

Friend, has anyone ever taken the time to explain to you from the Bible how you can know for sure you are going to Heaven when you die? This is the most important issue you will ever face in your life. It is God’s desire for you to be sure of Heaven. But there are certain facts you must understand and believe. This booklet will explain to you those facts and then challenge you to believe them. We will divide our study into two parts:

 1. Understanding Our Condition and Need

According to the Bible, each and every person will spend forever in Heaven or forever in Hell. This is a sobering thought. As someone once said, “Forever is a long time.” This is perhaps the greatest understatement in the history of mankind.

Unfortunately, there is a great deal of confusion about the way to Heaven. The key is that we understand and then believe what God says about it. Let’s look at this question together, one point at a time.

We Are All Sinners

The first point you need to understand is that the Bible says that we have all sinned and are less perfect than God.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

To sin means literally to miss the mark. We all miss the mark of God’s perfection. It is like shooting an arrow and missing the bull’s eye. We can try to do our best to live right and do good things, but we will fail to be perfect.

When we think of sin most of us tend to think of those acts we qualify as “major” transgressions such as murder, kidnapping, rape, etc. We categorize or measure them, according to our view of their severity. But sin, as defined in the Bible, is often something as simple as envy, pride, anger, lust, or unwholesome thoughts. Certainly you would agree that we are all guilty of at least one of these, and so we have all violated and broken God’s commandments.

Many people think that because we are sinners, God hates us. The truth is, God loves us but He hates our sin. It is our sin that separates us from God. This leads us to our second point:

The Wages Of Sin Is Death

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

What does this mean? This means that because we have broken God’s laws, we must pay the penalty for our sin. Think of it this way: If you were to break the speed limit and get a ticket, you would be required to pay the fine. Even if you appeared in court and told the judge that you were sorry and would never do it again, you would still be required to pay the penalty for breaking the law. This is “justice” and most of us accept it because we desire to be treated justly.

If a criminal harmed someone in your family, you would certainly want them caught and brought to justice. However, if they “got off” you would think that the judge had been unfair, and you would be right. God’s Word tells us that the wages, or penalty, that must be paid for your sin is death, which would be spiritual separation from God forever in Hell. This is a terrible thought, but it is true.

Your “good works,” or good intentions, will not pay for your sin. According to the Bible, death is the only payment.

 Heaven Will Be A Perfect Place

Man must be perfectly righteous to go to Heaven. The fact that each of us is already a sinner disqualifies us from entering Heaven. The Bible says:

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

If there was even one sin in Heaven there would also be death. Heaven would then have the same problems we experience on earth. Consequently, a person cannot get into Heaven with even one sin. Notice not even one lie can enter Heaven. You must be perfectly righteous in God’s eyes to enter Heaven.

So far our situation sounds pretty grim. We are all sinners. God requires that our sins be paid for by death-eternal separation from God. Heaven is a perfect place, and we are not perfect. We are sinners. But it gets worse! Please examine the next point very carefully. The majority of people in the world are confused about the next issue.

 No Amount Of Good Works Could Ever Be Enough To Get Us Into Heaven

Many people think that trying to be good, being religious, stopping bad habits, or starting good ones will qualify them to enter Heaven.

Here is a list of some of the good things people think will help them get to Heaven, yet according to the Bible, none of these things can make us perfect in God’s sight:

  • Trying to keep the commandments.
  • Repenting of all your sin.
  • Going to church.
  • Sincerely trying to turn from sin.
  • Getting water baptized.
  • Being sorry for your sin.
  • Keeping ordinances or sacraments
  • Committing yourself to God to try to live a better life.
  • Making Jesus the Lord of your life.
  • Trying to get rid of bad habits.
  • Giving money.
  • Promising to be a better husband or wife.
  • Asking Jesus into your heart.
  • Giving your life to Christ.

This list is not all inclusive, but it is indicative of what many people believe. But it is not what the Bible says. The Bible says,

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” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Think about it for a moment. If we have to be perfect to get into heaven, and we have already sinned, no amount of “good works” will ever make us perfect. Clearly our good works cannot save us in any way, shape, or form. We have already failed and are disqualified. Each and every one of us stands condemned before God because of our sin.

Notice also that the Bible says that being “saved” is not something one can achieve or earn. It is the gift of God and is not the result of good works.

So, here is the situation we are in. We have all sinned and our sin must be paid for. If we are going to “take care of it ourselves”, we will spend forever separated from God in Hell. God does not want that for us and there is nothing we can do of ourselves to get rid of our sin. If we die in that condition we will be lost forever. So what are we going to do? This leads us to the eternal solution:

2. God’s Perfect Provision in Meeting Our Need

 Because God loves us and does not want us to spend forever separated from Him, He provided the solution.

Jesus Christ Died In Our Place, Making The Complete Payment For Our Sins

This is the beauty of the Gospel. The Lord Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, had no sin of His own. When Jesus came into this world He came to die for us. I am sure you have heard that before. Jesus died for our sins, but do you understand that He died for your sins and died in your place? The Bible puts it this way:

But God commendeth [displayed] His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

When Jesus died on the cross, all the sin that we have done or ever will do He took upon Himself, making the complete payment for us, leaving us nothing to pay for. The Bible says:

For He [God] hath made Him [Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Jesus has paid the price in full for your sins. When Jesus died on the cross He said, “It is finished.” The word “finished” means “paid in full”. He was buried and came back from the dead three days later to prove it was done. God is satisfied with the payment Jesus made for your sins, and there is no “work” left for you to do. This leads us to our next point:

All We Can Do To Receive Everlasting Life Is To Believe In Jesus Christ As Our Savior

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” (John 3:16).

Please understand my friend. All of the work required for you to possess everlasting life has been done through the payment Jesus made on the cross. As a result, He offers you eternal life as a gift. The moment you put your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, God gives you eternal life as a free gift. The Bible puts it this way:

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

Notice that it is a gift. A verse I quoted earlier says the same thing:

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” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

What is there for you to do? Simply believe. Simply put your faith, or trust, in Jesus Christ, that He made that payment for your sin. The moment you put your trust in Him, He will give you everlasting life. Jesus Himself put it this way:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath [possesses now] everlasting life” (John 6:47).

Let me ask you a question. If God gives you everlasting life, how long will it last? The obvious answer is it will last forever. That is exactly what the word “everlasting” means. If it ever stopped, it would not be everlasting.

That is precisely what Jesus does the moment you trust in Him. He saves you and gives you the gift of everlasting life. You are forgiven of all your sins and declared “righteous” by God Himself. You become God’s very own child.

Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:  And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38-39). 

You Can Know For Sure That You Are Going To Heaven, Because “Everlasting Life” Is Everlasting

God promises that once you trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, He will never lose you nor cast you out. God cannot lie. Look at these promises God has given to us. Jesus said:

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise [way] cast out.  For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.  And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day” (John 6:37-39).  

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath [possesses now] everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is [has] passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).  

What happens when we sin after we have trusted Jesus Christ as our Savior? Some would say that you could end up losing your salvation. However, that makes no sense in light of what Jesus accomplished in paying for all of our sins. It would also contradict God’s promise of everlasting life, no condemnation, etc. Remember Jesus paid for all of our sins.

Furthermore, when we trusted Jesus Christ as Savior, we became children of God, and He is the perfect parent. If we, as His children, choose to rebel, the Bible says that He will chasten, or discipline, us. But He will never cast us out or disown us. An Eternal God does not give birth to temporary children. (For a further discussion on eternal security see my PDF booklet, The Permanence of Salvation << Click).

God says you can be sure of going to Heaven when you die. The Bible says:

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (I John 5:13).

What does it mean to believe on His name? The name “Jesus” means God who is our Savior. When you put your faith in Jesus Christ, you are trusting in Him to save you. When you do, at that very moment, He gives you the free gift of everlasting life.

This is the most wonderful truth that you can ever know. It is truly “good news”, which is what the word “gospel” means! I hope that makes sense to you. It is the greatest news in all of world.

Dear friend, would you right now, in the quietness of your mind, put your trust in Jesus Christ? He loves you and wants to be your Savior. Believe in Him and He will give you that gift of eternal life. The decision is between you and Him. There is no formal prayer that you must say. It is simply understanding that you are a sinner, that you cannot save yourself, and instead you put your trust in what Jesus has done for you as your way to Heaven. When you do, the Bible says that He then gives you the gift of eternal life, that very moment. From that moment on you are secure forever. Remember Jesus said:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life” (John 6:47).

 I hope this makes sense to you. If you have any questions at all, please contact me. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have concerning salvation or the Christian life.

Dr. Thomas M. Cucuzza

3686 County Road 8 SE

St. Cloud, MN 56304

Copyright © 2013 by Thomas M. Cucuzza

All rights reserved. St. Cloud, MN 56301

This article will soon be available in PDF form which will be posted here at ExPreacherMan.

Email: tmcucuzza@northlandchurch.com