Category Archives: Calvinism

Lordship Salvation’s SBC: Brand on the Run

By johninnc

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

We have featured a number of articles over the years that document the ways in which the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) undermines the gospel, and how their current leader does not appear to even be consistently anchored to anything at all. See select articles linked below:

Southern Baptists’ Fragile Detente: The Fight Over Competing False Gospels, Calvinism and Lordship “Salvation”

Lordship Salvation: Southern Baptist Conventional Wisdom

Lordship Salvation: SBC Leadership Seeking Unity

Lordship Salvation’s J.D. Greear: The Situational Calvinist

In discussing some of this with my son, who was an advertising major in college, he made a very insightful comment: “The SBC is a brand.”

I decided to do a little research on what constitutes a brand, and I happened onto an article entitled “Defining What a Brand is: Why is it So Hard?” (from Emotive Brand).

The article gave some various definitions of brand, including:

David Ogilvy, the “Father of Advertising,” defined brand as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.

The Dictionary of Brand defines brand as “a person’s perception of a product, service, experience, or organization.”

Marty Neumeier, author and speaker on all things brand, defines brand by first laying out what a brand is not: “A brand is not a logo. A brand is not an identity. A brand is not a product.” Neumeier goes on to say that “a brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.”

Perhaps, then, this last definition best fits the brand refinement currently going on within the SBC.

Following are excerpts from an article from The Washington Post entitled “Prominent Southern Baptists are dropping ‘Southern’ name amid racial unrest”:

The 50,000 Baptist churches in the convention are autonomous and can still choose to refer to themselves as “Southern Baptist” or “SBC.” But in his first interview on the topic, convention president J.D. Greear said momentum has been building to adopt the name “Great Commission Baptists,” both because of the racial reckoning underway in the United States and because many have long seen the “Southern Baptist” name as too regional for a global group of believers.

My comment: The SBC developed its name for political reasons and it will change its name for political reasons. The only thing consistent, throughout its history, is its embrace of the false gospel of Lordship “salvation” (LS) and its intent to be economically and politically relevant. The Great Commission refers to preaching the gospel around the world, not the false gospel Calvinist/LS substitute promulgated by the SBC.

“Our Lord Jesus was not a White Southerner but a brown-skinned Middle Eastern refugee,” said Greear, who this summer used the phrase “Black lives matter” in a presidential address and announced that he would retire a historic gavel named for an enslaver. “Every week we gather to worship a savior who died for the whole world, not one part of it. What we call ourselves should make that clear.”

My comment: Greer says that Jesus died for the whole world, but he will not take a stance against Calvinism within the SBC. One of Calvinism’s false tenets is that Christ died only for people whom God predestined to come to faith in Christ (limited atonement). Further, the SBCs false gospel of works is not compatible with the Great Commission, even nominally.

While theology hasn’t changed, he said, what does need to change is the culture of the convention: “We as Baptists want to be defined by 2025, not by 1845.”

My comment: The SBC’s theology was wrong then and it is wrong now. They are simply attempting to whitewash their brand to make their gospel more palatable to the present culture.

So, back to the definition of brand:  a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization: No matter how the SBC, including the new and improved SBC makes you feel, their brand has nothing to do with the Great Commission or Christianity.

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Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Unlike the SBC, the gospel of Jesus Christ is not a brand to be repackaged to keep up with public sentiment. It is the good news of God’s plan of salvation for a fallen world.

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

Lordship Salvation’s J.D. Greear – The Situational Calvinist

By johninnc

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

In doing research for another recent post, I stumbled across an article written by pastor J.D. Greear, pastor of Summit Church and president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), entitled “Don’t Be A Fundamentalist (Calvinist Or Otherwise).”

Following are some extensive excerpts from Greear’s article, along with my comments.

Some people give such enormous weight to minor issues that the gospel itself is obscured.

Calvinism is one such issue. We only have so much “bandwidth” as a church, so I choose rather to be known for the gospel than for a tough stance on particulars of Calvinism that are less important than the heart of the message.

My comment: Calvinism undermines the integrity of the gospel. Each of the five tenets of Calvinism strikes at the core of the gospel message. The tenets of Calvinism are often remembered as an acronym “TULIP,” which represents Total Depravity (the false view that people are unable to believe without having been first gifted faith or regeneration); Unconditional Election (the false view that God chooses who will believe); Limited Atonement (the false view that Christ died only for the elect); Irresistible Grace (the false view that the elect are irresistibly drawn to faith in Christ); and Perseverance of the Saints (the false view that the elect persevere in some unquantified level of sinning less and doing good works).

The truth is that anyone can believe the gospel; that God did not choose who will believe the gospel; that Christ died for the sins of the whole world; that people can resist and reject the drawing ministry of the Holy Spirit; and that no one need evaluate his life for signs of persevering in the faith to know whether or not he has eternal life.

So at The Summit Church, I often say, “Calvinism is not an issue to me until it becomes one to you. But when it becomes one to you, it becomes one to me… and I’ll probably take whatever side you are not.” What someone believes about the finer points of Calvinism is not usually the issue; it’s how they believe it. We may have trouble achieving absolute clarity together on every one of the “five points,” but we can be absolutely clear on the fact that the Bible condemns a divisive and uncharitable spirit over something about which gospel-loving Christians have historically had trouble finding complete agreement.

My comment: This is astounding! I’ll probably take whatever side you are not is sheer devil’s advocacy. Whether or not someone has believed the gospel is the defining issue in whether or not he has eternal life. Greear may have trouble achieving absolute clarity on every one of the five points of Calvinism, but the Bible is crystal clear that all five are false.

Everything in the Bible is important, especially things that relate to salvation and evangelism. I have my own convictions. But we must learn to be comfortable with certain scriptural tensions, and live with grace and freedom in some places God has not bestowed clarity to the degree we’d prefer. As Alister McGrath says, the ability to live within scriptural tensions is a sign of maturity, not immaturity.

My comment: it is good that Greear has his own convictions. But, it is not a sign of spiritual maturity to be able to live with Calvinism. It is more a sign of the desire to appeal to a broad enough constituency to ascend to the heights of a large religious organization such as the SBC.

When you elevate your doctrinal system too highly, you become a fundamentalist in a second sense: you start to believe that all of God’s graces, or at least the best of them, are found only within your narrow little camp.

My comment: the gospel is not a “camp.” It is a message to be believed. It is incumbent upon every Christian to be firmly rooted in the truth of the gospel and to promote and defend the gospel in its purity.

Anti-Calvinism fundamentalism can be just as bad, of course. “Calvinists don’t ever share the gospel.” “Calvinists kill missions and evangelism.” “No one who believes in any form of limited atonement believes in a God of love.” “Calvinists believe in a different God than the God of the Bible.” These are all actual statements I’ve heard from Christian leaders over the years. How these people cut out Martin Luther, George Whitefield, Adoniram Judson, William Carey, Charles Spurgeon and Bill Bright from their “faith tradition” I’ll never understand.

My comment: Greear appeals to men, not scripture, to make his false argument that Calvinism is within Christian orthodoxy.

The gospel—not the 5 points of Calvinism—is the center of our faith. If you believe in the loftiness of God’s glory, that salvation belongs only to God, and that God is sovereign over the world, and that he that has begun a good work in you will see it through, then you and I can stand in alignment, even if we parse some of the particulars differently.

My comment: the gospel is the center of the Christian faith. I hope it is the center of Greear’s faith. But, we know that one could likely not become pastor of a large SBC church, much less the president of the SBC, by ardently defending the gospel against either Calvinism or Lordship Salvation. It seems more likely that Greear’s situational Calvinism is a window into his worldly motivations.

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

Lordship Salvation: “The Harris Poll”

By johninnc

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

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

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

ba record of the information so obtained

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You know that this means you never actually knew Him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lordship Salvation’s Mad Libs

By johninnc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Calvinist/LS version: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life, provided he perseveres in faith and good works.

Arminian version: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation unless he backslides; but is passed from death unto life, but can be passed from life unto death again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lordship Salvation: Not Out of The Woods

By johninnc

Matthew 7:20: Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

 The late Jack Weaver, the founder of the Expreacherman ministry, used to say regarding people who corrupt the gospel: The woods is full of ‘em.

We have a mega-church in our community whose senior pastor is the “go to guy” for all matters of faith. He is a frequent guest on our biggest AM radio station, and he has been called upon for everything from commenting on tragedies that befall us, to providing testimonials for the quality of the ribs at a local restaurant.

I participated in a Bible study a few years back with some men from work. Several of the people in the group seemed to have some confusion about grace, and a couple of them were actively involved with this same mega-church.

In doing some research into their church, I found a startling disconnect between the church’s stated beliefs and what the senior pastor was actually teaching (please note that both the statement of faith and the senior pastor’s blog are on the church’s website, so his inconsistencies are in plain sight).

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.

The senior pastor of this mega-church contradicts the gospel by insisting that works are necessary to prove that one has eternal life. The Bible does not teach this! In fact, the Bible is clear that one can have assurance of eternal life without waiting around to see if good works manifest themselves.

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.

Further, from the church’s website:

Forest Hill Church has transitioned from its Presbyterian roots, off of Woodlawn Road in the 1950’s, to a non-denominational, multi-campus church emphasizing spiritual transformation and service to the least and lost in our neighborhoods and around the world. 

If they mean that the church has transitioned from its Calvinist (Presbyterian) roots, it appears to me that they really haven’t. No one can be spiritually transformed unless and until they have received eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Moreover, the Bible does not teach that spiritual transformation is inevitable for believers (see Romans 12:1-2).

Last, teaching a false gospel and getting people plugged into a doctrinally aberrant church, led by a doctrinally aberrant pastor is not doing them a service.

Ron Shea had this to say regarding doctrine that churches teach:

If you want to know the doctrine that a church teaches, don’t ask to read the doctrinal statement.  It may be gathering dust!  Meet several members of the congregation who have been there for at least three years.  Ask them what they believe about certain topics of theology.  These men and women are the real fruit of the pastor’s labors!

Following are excerpts from some reviews of this mega-church that I found online. Please notice that NONE OF THEM provides the gospel message, nor includes any critical evaluation of what this church really teaches:

David is an engaging speaker and preaches the word without pulling any punches. If you want to see him preach live in person, visit the South Park location. This church and all of its locations believe and preach God’s word 100% of the time. 

My comment: Without pulling any punches is a phrase that is common in the world of professing Christendom for someone who insinuates works into the gospel, thus corrupting it and creating a false gospel.

A church that teaches the true gospel of Christ, not for pretenders. So glad I found this place. Most churches today cater to the people with a feel good message of what people want to here and water the gospel down. Not here

 My comment: What Lordship “salvationists” often mean by water the gospel down is to teach the gospel in its purity. In other words, water down falsely implies that the real gospel inherently includes works for eternal life. Likewise, pretenders is often used to deride those who correctly believe that works are not necessary to receive, keep, or provide evidence of eternal life.

Great job with the kids, just watched a very entertaining play from the 3 & 4 year olds!

My comment: These children are being indoctrinated into a church that corrupts the gospel.

If you are a true Believer in Christ or really want to know your purpose in life, this is the place you need to be.

My comment: The phrase true believer cannot by found in the Bible. There are believers in the gospel and believers in false gospels. And, there are people who falsely profess belief in the gospel, often parroting the false views of their pastors. I am pretty sure that God’s purpose for my life does not include participating in the evil deeds of a doctrinally aberrant church.

I am afraid that the members and attendees of Forest Hill church can’t see the forest for the trees.

Eternal life is not received from Life Groups, service projects, pastor-authored study materials, children’s programs, music ministers, discipleship training, or other missions. Eternal life is not received by believing false gospels of works.

Eternal life is received by believing in the Lord Jesus as Savior.

If you would like to know how to have eternal life, please click here: John 3:16

Lordship Salvation: Partaking in Greg Laurie’s Evil Deeds (Part 2)

By johninnc

2 John 1:11: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

We recently featured an article on the upcoming “Harvest America” event, led by false teacher Greg Laurie. See link below:

Lordship Salvation: Greg Laurie’s Bitter Harvest

In that article, we mentioned several pastors who had endorsed Greg Laurie and/or the event.

This article will provide a complete list of endorsements from pastors and musicians, all straight from the “Harvest America” website, along with the quotes provided by the endorsers. Some of these names may be familiar to you. They may be editorial pundits for popular news media, pastors of megachurches, famous evangelists, highly-credentialed officials of large organizations, or popular musicians. They have one thing in common: they are participating in Laurie’s evil deeds.

We have had some of our commenters seemingly scratching their heads over why someone who seems clear on the gospel may provide an endorsement for Laurie.  I was able to come up with only four possible reasons, none of them good:

1. They are ignorant of the false gospel that Greg Laurie teaches
2. They are ignorant of the gospel and believe what Greg Laurie teaches
3. They are not discerning enough to tell the difference between the gospel and its counterfeits
4. They know that what Greg Laurie teaches is a false gospel, but growing their own audiences and selling their wares outweighs any concern they might have

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Following are the endorsements:

“Greg Laurie is not only a personal friend, but is one of the great communicators of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our generation. They have written him up to be the evangelist of the future and he is. I highly recommend him.”

Billy Graham – Evangelist and Author

“We have supported the Harvest Crusades every year since it began. . .Greg Laurie is a man of great passion for Christ and personal integrity. He preaches an uncompromising presentation of the Good News in a loving, down-to-earth manner that today’s generation understands and responds to.”

Rick Warren – Senior Pastor, Saddleback Church

“Greg Laurie is a dynamic pastor, gifted evangelist, and trusted friend. Prestonwood is thrilled to be an anchor church in Harvest America. I hope you will be a part of this amazing opportunity too.”

Dr. Jack Graham – Senior Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church

Greg Laurie is one of the most gifted leaders and voices in America. Through his Harvest Crusades, thousands of people are changed forever by his message. I believe in Greg Laurie and the Harvest Crusade Ministry.”

Dr. Ronnie W. Floyd – Southern Baptist Convention President

“When it comes to reaching the lost, I’m grateful that every generation has a Billy Graham, and Greg Laurie is a Billy Graham to our generation. Gateway Church wholeheartedly supports Harvest America, and I would encourage every pastor and church to partner with them to reach their cities for Christ.”

Robert Morris – Founding Senior Pastor, Gateway Church

“Greg Laurie, Senior Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, presents a nationwide evangelism event called Harvest America. It’s broadcast live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Pastor Laurie, whom I have known for many years, will boldly preach the gospel to hundreds of thousands of people. Some will be in the arena in Texas, but most will be participating via a live feed in venues across America. Those who are interested in a citywide evangelism effort can take advantage of this free but powerfully effective ministry, which has a 25-year track record of boldly and biblically sharing the gospel through live stadium events, not only here in America but also around the globe. The desire of Harvest America is for every convert to join a local church where they can be discipled. Thank you for taking the time to prayerfully consider partnering with Harvest America. If ever our nation needed the gospel proclaimed, it is now.”

Dr. George Wood – General Superintendent

“God has mightily used Greg in so many different ways and at many different venues. Because of him, many people are in the kingdom through Harvest America, the crusades, a dynamic church, a great testimony, a great man. I pray that you will join me and partner in this years Harvest America outreach.”

Dr. Tony Evans – Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship

“I couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming Harvest event and love the Harvest model. You can bring your neighbor or family member, listen to the gospel of Jesus Christ be preached and proclaimed faithfully, and then you can follow up with them. I couldn’t encourage you more to come sit in and listen to the gospel message being proclaimed here in Dallas, Texas.”

Matt Chandler – Lead Pastor, The Village Church

“Greg Laurie is uniquely gifted to communicate the message of Jesus to this generation. His genuine love for people and deep understanding of both the Bible and culture come through powerfully in his teaching. Harvest Crusades are remarkable environments where people experience life change and hope in Jesus.”

Jud Wilhite – Senior Pastor, Central Christian Church

“Greg Laurie has been my friend for many years, and in that time I’ve seen God work through Greg’s evangelistic preaching to reach thousands upon thousands of lives for Jesus Christ. Hosting Harvest America in your church is a unique and powerful way for the gospel to reach people in your community too.”

James MacDonald – Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel

“Greg Laurie is one of Christendom’s great evangelists. He has been called and gifted to speak the language of today’s culture with the Message of Christ. The fields are ready to reap and Harvest Crusades is what God is mightily using to reach them.”

Dr. Wayne Cordero – Senior Pastor, New Hope Oahu

“There is no questions that Greg Laurie is making a huge impact for Christ and that lives are being changed by the thousands through Harvest America. If you are a follower of Jesus, this is the perfect opportunity to invite someone who doesn’t know Christ to hear about the life transforming power of the Gospel.”

Craig Groeschel – Senior Pastor, Life Church

“Greg Laurie is one of the most effective evangelists and faithful pastors I know in America today. His gift in presenting the gospel with clarity and conviction is something only God can give. Exercising this gift through Harvest Crusades has resulted in tens of thousands being born again into the Kingdom of God. The hand of our Lord clearly rest on this man.”

Daniel L. Akin – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President

“Greg Laurie’s focus on the Gospel is why so many Southern Baptist churches and pastors have been involved with Harvest over the past 25 years . . . I strongly encourage you to get involved as well.”

Kevin Ezell – SBC North American Mission Board President

“God has raised up my friend Greg Laurie to be perhaps the greatest evangelistic voice for the gospel in America today. I believe he now wears the mantle that was on D. L. Moody and Billy Graham. God is using his Harvest America gatherings to see thousands of people come to Christ. Both personally as a friend and professionally as a preacher of the gospel I could not give Greg a higher endorsement or recommendation.”

James Merritt –Lead Pastor, Cross Pointe Church

“Greg Laurie has been serving the Lord evangelistically since the early 1970s, when God changed his life during the Jesus Movement in Southern California. God has gifted Greg to give a clear, passionate, biblical presentation of the gospel. God uses him to call people to faith in Christ. I hope that you will invite your lost friends to this event, so that they can be saved.”

Steve Gaines – Senior Pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church, Current President of the Southern Baptist Convention

“We at Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain support the evangelistic efforts of Pastor Greg Laurie and Harvest Georgia. I have witnessed firsthand God’s blessing on the Harvest Crusade in Southern California, and am excited about its potential impact in our area. I have known Greg personally for many years and appreciate his unwavering faithfulness to the gospel. We are praying for this year’s Harvest Georgia, and invite your church to partner with us.”

Sandy Adams – Pastor, Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain

“Harvest Crusades really helped renew in our church a passion to reach our city. We are still benefiting from the vision for evangelism and empowerment in disciple-making they helped lead us into! I don’t know any other way of saying it besides, ‘This strategy still works!'”

JD Greear – Senior Pastor, The Summit Church

“Looking forward to the Harvest Crusade in September with Greg Laurie. Greg is one that God has raised up and empowered in our generation to share the Gospel in Crusade meetings where hundreds are receiving Christ. What better event to invite those you care about to attend with you. Invite and pray they will hear, receive, and be transformed by Jesus!”

Frank Cox – Senior Pastor, North Metro Baptist Church

“The gathering of thousands of people for the single purpose of focusing their praise and worship on Christ alone is more than inspiring-it is life-changing! Those who attend, longing to fill the empty holes in their hearts with reliable truth, never leave disappointed. Here’s why: God has raised up and speaks through Greg Laurie. This gifted servant consistently prepares and delivers fresh food for the hungry soul.”

Chuck Swindoll – Senior Pastor, Stonebriar Community Church

“Harvest America is a great evangelistic outreach that reaches souls from all walks of life for Jesus. I thank God for Greg Laurie and his ministry; it was a blessing to work alongside them for Harvest America in Illinois. I highly recommend other pastors and leaders get involved by supporting this remarkable crusade.”

Rev. Wilfredo “Choco” De Jesús – Senior Pastor, New Life Covenant Church:

“I couldn’t possibly be more into Harvest America. Pastor Greg Laurie has such a gift on his life that it is such an honor and privilege to get to bring our friends to hear him preach in our fellowship. Every church with a vision to reach their city should lean into the tremendous momentum that comes from participating in this fully-dialed evangelistic event that comes basically in a can. Not only is it a win for those who will get to hear a compelling and down-to-earth message of hope, but it shows a united front all across the kingdom by linking up with churches all over the nation. It is amazing. Thank you Pastor Greg and the Harvest team for making this killer opportunity available!”

Levi Lusko – Senior Pastor, Fresh Life Church

“Cottonwood Church has participated in and supported the Harvest Crusades for many years. God has used these events in a significant way to reach the lost. Greg Laurie communicates the Gospel to our generation like few others. If you haven’t done so yet, get acquainted with pastor Greg and with these amazing events.”

Bayless Conely – Senior Pastor, Cottonwood Church

“The Harvest Crusade is phenomenal. I’m convinced things are happening there that will reroute the eternal destiny of people.”

Max Lucado – Minister of Preaching, Oak Hills Church

“In a time when everything changes so rapidly, I thank God for Harvest America and Pastor Greg constantly presenting the Gospel time and time again! No gimmicks. No smoke and mirrors. Simply the Word of God being shared and people responding. MercyMe has had the privilege of being a part of several crusades, and every single time. . .the Word has not returned void!”

Bart Millard – Lead Singer, MercyMe

“I’m proud to support Greg Laurie and Harvest America in the great work that is impacting thousands of people. I’m honored to know someone with such a passion for the lost.”

Jentezen Franklin – Senior Pastor, Free Chapel

“I grew up listening to Greg Laurie Preach, and I have watched God use him to lead thousands upon thousands to Jesus. Now it’s my honor to call Greg a friend and to minister beside him. Harvest America is an amazing way to spread the gospel in your own community. Let’s all get involved!”

Phil Wickham – Singer, Songwriter

__________________________________________________

The men who have provided the above endorsements should be avoided for lack of due diligence, misunderstanding of the gospel, lack of discernment, or callous disregard for the most important truth in the world.

Lordship Salvation: True Believers in False Gospels

by Johninnc

Galatians 1:8: But though we, or angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 

It is extremely common in the world of professing Christendom (also known as “churchianity”) to qualify the words “Christian” and “believer” with words like “true” and “real.”

When the Apostle Paul wrote “we, or an angel from heaven,” he meant anyone, including himself. He affirms this in the very next sentence:

Galatians 1:9: As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 

The “any man” could include: your mother, your father, your best friend, your pastor, the televangelist, the 19th century “prince of preachers,” the Pope, Billy Graham, the author of “Christian” books, your church, your denomination, your elder – anyone! It could even be someone who has previously presented the gospel to you faithfully.

Now, back to “true believers.”  Following are some things that “true believers” may believe:

  • I believe that you have to turn from your sins to receive eternal life
  • I believe that you have to be water baptized to receive eternal life
  • I believe there are mortal sins that, if unconfessed, would result in a Christian losing eternal life
  • I believe you have to manifest speaking in tongues to prove you have eternal life
  • I believe I must surrender my life to Jesus to receive eternal life
  • I believe I must publicly confess Christ to receive eternal life
  • I believe that faith is the gift of God
  • I believe Christians must persevere in good works and obedience to the Ten Commandments to prove they have eternal life
  • I believe God chooses who will believe in Jesus
  • I believe you have to have “heart faith,” not just “intellectual assent” to receive eternal life
  • I believe that you have to want to grow in Christ in order to have eternal life
  • I believe you have to be sorry for your sins to receive eternal life

While we can’t know whether someone holding these beliefs has eternal life, we do know that these beliefs are not compatible with the truth of the gospel.

When we encounter someone who has an honest question about the seemingly endless assaults on the gospel, we will try to teach them from God’s word why these assaults are not true.

But, we will not allow the “true believers” – those who desperately cling to these types of false beliefs despite having been shown the truth from God’s word – to use this site as a forum to promote their false doctrine

Pator Tom Cucuzza put it this way:

We cannot give false teachers a place – and you’ll notice what he said – not even for an hour. Now, that’s not being mean-spirited, that’s just standing our ground.

The question, then, is not whether or not someone is a “true believer.”  The question is, does the person believe the truth.

If you would like to know the truth about how to receive eternal life, click here: The Gospel

 

New Booklet from Dr. Thomas Cucuzza: “The Alls”

Dr. Thomas Cucuzza, pastor of Northland Bible Baptist Church in St. Cloud, Minnesota, has written an exciting new booklet. It is entitled “The Alls of Savation: Who and What Did Jesus Die For?”

The booklet very concisely and completely proclaims the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ for all people. It also explains why the false religion of Calvinism has absolutely no support from scripture.

Please find the booklet linked below:

The Alls

We believe that you will find this booklet inspirational and helpful. In addition to the online link above, the booklet will soon be available in hardcopy.

Lordship Salvation and the Four Corners Offense

By johninnc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The four common perversions of grace are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Good Tidings of Great Joy

By johninnc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charities that Aren’t Charitable


By johninnc

Matthew 6:21: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 

I saw an article today at RNS entitled “Ministries and money: Christian charities that use your money wisely.”

According to this article, almost a third of the $373 billion given to charity by Americans last year went to religious organizations.

There was a quote by Rusty Leonard, founder and CEO of MinistryWatch, with which I agree: Donors should recognize they have a serious responsibility to give as wisely as they can, as it is not their money they are giving but the Lord’s.

RNS evaluated a number of nonprofit Christian ministries to determine:

  • What percentage of their budgets the ministries spend on their core ministry programs.
  • How transparent the ministries are in sharing their financial information.
  • How charity watchdog agencies rate various ministries.

While the first two of these criteria are important, they are missing a much more critical question:

Do the so-called Christian charities promote and defend the gospel of Jesus Christ?

The purpose of this article is not to vet specific charities or ministries for our readers. Rather, it is to advocate the primary responsibility of Christians to advance the gospel message.

To that end, I would encourage our readers to be diligent in knowing whether the Christian charities and ministries to which they are considering giving are clear on the gospel. It may tug at our heartstrings to help  people in need, but if the “help” we are sending them includes false gospel messages, are we really doing them a service?

Please be aware that some of the larger, more prominent charities are run by people who teach false gospels such as Calvinism, Lordship “salvation,” social justice, and Arminianism.

Following are some thoughts from Clear Gospel:

  • We believe it is the duty of every Christian to make diligent inquiry into the doctrine of a church or ministry, particularly with respect to the doctrine of soteriology, before financially supporting it.
  • We believe that those Christians who tithe or support doctrinally aberrant ministries are partakers of the evil deeds of those teachers and “evangelists” (2nd John vs. 11).
  • We believe that the eternal rewards that God gives for sacrificial tithing (Matthew 6:1-4, 6:19-20) will be diminished or lost when those tithes and offerings supported ministers or ministries that are not straight with the gospel (2nd John vs. 8).

If your treasure is with ministries that clearly advance the gospel, your heart will be there also.

If you would like to know more about the gospel, please click here: The Gospel

 

 

 

 

Lordship Salvation: Wile, Style, and Guile

By: johninnc

Revelation 14:5: And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

All Christians in the church age will by taken in the rapture, which the Bible teaches will occur before the Great Tribulation.

But, there are many people in professing Christendom (aka “churchianity”) who will be left behind by the rapture, because they have believed false gospels and have never believed in Christ alone as Savior.

Among the false gospels that keep lost people lost are the various forms of works salvation prevalent in religions that claim the name of Christ. One of the more insidious of these is Lordship “salvation.”

Lordship “salvation, “ or bilateral contract “salvation” is a perversion that adds works to the front end, or back end of the gospel. It has been taught by some of the most well known “evangelists” and theologians in recorded history, and is almost ubiquitous today among those claiming to preach the gospel. As Jack Weaver, the late founder of the ExPreacherman ministry used to say: “The woods is full of ‘em.”

Some of the more prominent people who taught, or teach false gospels, or who undermine their own stated beliefs in grace, have been highlighted, or mentioned in previous articles here. They include:

  • John Calvin
  • Ray Comfort
  • Joseph Dillow
  • Andrew Farley
  • Billy and Franklin Graham
  • J.D. Greear
  • John MacArthur
  • John Piper
  • Charles Stanley
  • Charles Spurgeon
  • Paul Washer
  • George Zeller
  • Roy Zuck

The devices used by false teachers vary, but include:

Wile – devious, cunning strategies, such as changing the meanings of words like “faith” and “grace” to include works.

Style – emotional appeals, social contagion, ceremony, works-oriented testimonials, and stupid analogies that pervert the gospel message.

Guile – subtle deception, such as conflating eternal salvation and discipleship, proof texting Bible verses out of context, or changing the timing of required works from the front end of the salvation equation to the back end of the salvation equation.

In his excellent sermon entitled “The Most Fervent Evangelists Who Ever Lived,” pastor Tom Cucuzza discusses the 144,000 tribulation age messengers who will become believers after the rapture, and will preach the gospel to those left behind by the rapture.

Revelation 7 describes who the 144,000 messengers are, and Revelation 14 describes some of their attributes, including the purity of the message that they will preach. In contrast to the wile, style, and guile used by false teachers, the 144,000 messengers will have no guile in their mouths.

Since the gospel is the only saving message, it is clear that the 144,000 will preach the gospel, without any of the perversions that are pervasive among the so-called evangelists in the present age.

Tom’s message emphasizes the following points:

  • Salvation has never, nor will it ever, involve works. This includes people saved before Christ, those who are saved in the church age, and those who will become saved during the Great Tribulation.
  • The Great Tribulation will have a one-world religion that Tom calls “mystical religious humanism.” All religion today is moving in that direction. It will be accommodating by nature. There will be a common thread.
  • The problem with being accommodating, or ecumenical, is the failure to understand the significance of those things we disagree on.

Following is a quote from Tom’s sermon that underscores the primary thing we cannot accommodate – attacks on the gospel message:

Yes we believe people should live good lives. Yes we believe people should be kind to others, and all these kind of things. Surely be concerned about others, treat people in the right way. Yes, we can all agree on that.

But, you know what? When you say “those things are part of what it means to getting to heaven,” or if you say “every true believer will live a life of dedication towards that, “ I say to you: “Wait a minute! You have just violated the only way to salvation. Because it’s only through the blood of Christ that you’re saved. “

And when we come along and we say “if you add ANYTHING to what Jesus Christ did on the cross, you are preaching a false gospel that cannot save.” ANYTHING except faith in Christ.

People say “you’re crazy” or they’ll say “you think you’re the only ones who have the truth.” Listen folks, the truth is to be had by anyone. We don’t have a corner on the market. But, we do know this. We believe what Jesus said. He said: “I am the way, the truth and the life, and no man comes to the Father, but by Me.”

He didn’t say “Me and you!” He didn’t say “Me and your good intentions.”

Now, should Christians live good, Godly lives? Yes. Absolutely. But, does that have anything to do with us getting into heaven? Absolutely not!.

Please click here if you would like to hear Tom’s sermon in its entirety:

Tom’s Sermon

Now, one may rightly ask: “What do the tribulation age witnesses have to do with me?

There are two answers:

First, if you know how to have eternal life, and how to escape the coming Great Tribulation, it is incumbent upon you to tell others. Some may believe now and die before the rapture, thus receiving eternal life and avoiding an eternity in hell. Others may believe now, receive eternal life,  and avoid the horrors of the coming Great Tribulation. And, still others may hear now, and not believe until after the rapture, and become tribulation age saints.

Second, the gospel message is the same now as it will be after the rapture. The only way that anyone can get to heaven is to rely totally on Christ’s provision for our salvation.

If you have never believed in Jesus as your Savior, today is the best time to do that. We are not promised tomorrow. Please click here for more information:

THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: What About John 3:16?

By johninnc

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

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

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

Difficult Verses

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

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

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

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

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

So lets break it down:

For God…

Who is God?

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

So loved the world that He gave…

Why did we need God to give us something?

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

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

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

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

Who did God give, and why?

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

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

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

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

His only begotten Son…

Who is His only begotten Son?

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

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

He came to save us.

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

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

That whosoever…

Who is whosoever?

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

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

Believeth in Him…

What does it mean to believe in Him?

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

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

It means to believing that He is God.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Believe in Him for what?

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

Should not perish…

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

Non-believer’s eternal destiny:

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

Believer’s eternal destiny:

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

But have everlasting life…

What is everlasting life?

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

John 10:28: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

When does eternal life start?

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

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

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

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

Lordship Salvation: The Baptist Faith and Message is an Affront to the Gospel

By johninnc

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.

The Baptist Faith and Message, which is ascribed to by a number of Baptist groups, including the apostate Southern Baptist Convention,  is an affront to the gospel!

The Baptist Faith and Message has a number of false tenets that are antithetical to the gospel of grace. This article will focus on just one. From the Baptist Faith and Message:  All true believers endure to the end.

My comment: Really? What is a “true believer.” Show me the passage in the Bible that uses that term. What does the Bible really say?

Mark 4:16-17:

[16] And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
[17] And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

The above passage pertains to the “second soil” believers in the parable of the Sower. How do we know they are believers? The companion passage in Luke tells us that.

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

Now, let’s go through a little logic exercise. Lordship “salvationists” and Calvinists don’t really like this sport, but we’ll do it anyway.

We’ll start with 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.

That means that anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. That includes the “second soil” believers spoken of in the parable of the Sower.  That is backed up by lots of scripture, including:

Ephesians 1:13-14:

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

Now, lets move to 1 John 5:13: 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.

That means that anyone who believes in Jesus can know he has eternal life. He need not wait to see if he “endures to the end” or “perseveres to the end.”

The person who believes in Jesus has eternal life, whether or not he “endures to the end” or “perseveres to the end.”

If any of the “endure to the end” passages (such as Matthew 24:13) had to do with receiving eternal life, than one of the following would have to be true:

1. No one would receive eternal life until they endured to the end (which would render both John 5:24, 1 John 5:13, and many other passages in God’s word lies); or

2. Anyone who has eternal life will automatically endure to the end (which would render the “endure to the end” passages to be nothing more than rhetorical, unnecessary statements); or

3. Believing in Jesus would entail believing that He was going to cause you  to endure to the end (again, rendering the “endure to the end” passages to be nothing more than a rhetorical waste of time).

The Baptist Faith and Message is not Christianity. It is Calvinism, which is a man-made substitute.

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

Lordship Salvation: Southern Baptist Conventional Wisdom

By johninnc

Isaiah 55:8: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

With the US major party conventions in the immediate forefront of our political calendar, I thought it would be a good time to focus on another convention: one of so-called “evangelicals – the Southern Baptist Convention.

I think it is fair to say that each of the major political parties tries to co opt religion, and vice versa, often for cynical purposes.

Following are recent headlines regarding internal and external politics within the SBC. The first relates to the prospective alignment of political and religious leaders.

Trump taps outgoing Southern Baptist head for religious board (from “The Tennessean”)

Excerpt from the article:

Ronnie Floyd, the immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, will join dozens of other conservative Christian leaders offering counsel to Donald Trump as part of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s new religious advisory board.

My comment: Floyd’s church adheres to the “Baptist Faith and Message,” which has a doctrinally aberrant view of the gospel. Guys like Floyd may help Trump tap into the religiously affiliated conservative voters in America, but what Floyd and the SBC are selling is not Biblical Christianity.  This is simply an attempt to forge a Faustian bargain between political and religious leaders.

Next, we will move to a headline regarding political wrangling within the SBC.

Calvinism Not to Blame for Southern Baptist Decline, JD Greear Says (from “The Christian Post”)

J.D. Greear is a false teacher that we have discussed at length at ExPreacherman. The fact that Greear would be in contention for the leadership of the SBC is sad, but telling. Equally sad is that his rivals also represent false theology.

The SBC is a mosh pit of competing false theology, as set forth in the following ExPreacherman article: SBC False Theology

Following are some of the more interesting, and outlandish quotes from the Christian Post article:

In an interview with the Christian Post last Thursday, Greear, pastor of Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, said it doesn’t matter how many “points” of Calvinism one holds because “Jesus gave every one of us the Great Commission, and if we’re not carrying it out, that’s just plain unfaithful.”

My comment: Greear is correct that if we are not carrying out the Great Commission we are not being faithful. But, none of the five points of Calvinism is true. And, changing the simplicity of Christ into false Calvinist/Lordship “salvation” tenets is NOT carrying out the Great Commission.

And, here is a quote from Dr. Chuck Kelley, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary:

Lostness in North America is having a bigger impact on Southern Baptists than Southern Baptists are having on lostness. Put another way: The world is having a bigger impact on the behavior of Southern Baptists than we are having on the behavior of the world. In addition to the decline in baptisms, we are down in membership, down in worship attendance, and down in Bible Study attendance

My comment: This is absolutely astounding. Does Kelley really believe that “lostness” is based on behavior?

And, finally, one more quote from Greear:

“We only have so much ‘bandwidth’ as a Convention, so we should seek to be known for the Gospel and the Great Commission, not for a particular stance regarding Calvinism. What unites us is so much greater than what threatens to divide us. We are united by a Gospel too great and a mission too urgent to let any lesser thing stand in our way,” Greear said.

My comment: Choosing unity versus truth? How very sad! Just what is the “mission” of the SBC? Is it to reach the world for Christ, or is it to remain large, and politically relevant?

The next article might give us a good indication.

Southern Baptists are going to need a bigger tent (from “Religious News Service”)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) The Southern Baptist Convention was so famously insular for so long that it earned its own joke about members believing they’re the only ones in heaven…

 But over the past decade that began to change:

 They began reaching out to other evangelical churches and to Roman Catholics on issues of common interest, a collaborative spirit that landed three Southern Baptists in top leadership roles at nondenominational evangelical universities…

My comment: What the Southern Baptists have in common with Roman Catholics is works for salvation theology. This is nothing new. It is just that the world’s religions are coalescing, as is prophesied in scripture.

And, here is a quote from Mike Glenn, pastor of the 10,000-member Brentwood Baptist Church in Tennessee:

“Several years ago, when we were so actively politically engaged, there were times when statements would be made by Southern Baptist leaders, and we would have to say, ‘They don’t represent us,’” Glenn said. “I think there was a sobering up about the realities of the political process. The Southern Baptist Convention had put a lot of eggs in the conservative Republican political system and got very little in return.”

My comment: What kind of “return” were they seeking? In my view, this statement betrays the latent – or blatant – dominionist view that is held by so many Calvinist/Lordship “salvationists.”

My purpose in writing this article was not to delve into partisan politics. Rather, it is a continuation of my call to Christians within churches affiliated with the SBC to understand the damage that this group is doing to the advance and defense of the gospel. It is also to introduce and explain the gospel to those Southern Baptists, and others, who may have never heard, or never understood, the truth of how to have eternal life.

If you are a Christian and belong to an SBC church, I have two words of advice: GET OUT!

And, if you would like to get past the “conventional wisdom” and learn what God has to say about how to have eternal life, please click here: The Gospel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lordship Salvation: The Bad News Bear(er)s

By johninnc

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

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

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

Lordship “Salvation” Defined

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

False definition of repentance

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

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

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

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

Misunderstanding of “straight and narrow”

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

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

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

Misunderstanding “the will of my Father”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Faith is NOT the Gift of God

Holly and I put together an article based on her response(s) to a commenter on her “Redeeming Moments” website.

Please find the link to the article, as well as the full text, below:

Faith is Not the Gift of God

By Holly Garcia and johninnc

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

One of the more common attacks on the gospel is that God chooses who will believe in Jesus as Savior by giving them the faith to believe, while depriving everyone else of this “gift of faith.”

The teaching that faith is the gift of God, or even part of the gift of God, is the cornerstone error of reformed theology, or Calvinism. This error has been one of Satan’s primary tools in perpetuating the lie that we can earn eternal life by our works.

From Clear Gospel:

We observe from church history that the corruption of “grace” into an ethereal vitalizing substance, though often starting with the seemingly “innocuous” view that “grace” vitalizes the lost sinner to belief in Christ, deteriorates, almost inevitably, to the belief that the effects of grace, being sovereign or irresistible, will ultimately empower man to “repent of his sins,” to perform certain acts of righteousness, and/or to “persevere to the end” in faith and good works. Finally, we observe that the frequent conclusion of this heresy is that, if permanent and significant lifestyle changes are not manifest in the life of a sinner, God’s “grace” was never received.

As a consequence, we believe that such a corruption of the meaning of the word “grace” historically portends a grave likelihood, if not a virtual certainty, of a theological system deteriorating into a system of salvation by “Christ plus works,” (Romans 11:6-7, Ephesians 2:8-9), the very opposite meaning of the word “Grace.”

Contrary to the heretical teaching that faith is the gift of God, the Bible teaches that eternal life is the gift of God.

Faith is not the gift of God.

“Faith” does not = salvation.

One can have faith and not be saved. Having faith in the right object (believing upon Jesus Christ – who He is and what He has done-1 Corinthians 15:3-4) is how we receive the free gift of salvation.

Romans 5  lists the gift of God seven times, and not once is it suggested the gift is making someone believe. But it is clearly identified as salvation – justification unto life (eternal), the gift of righteousness (His righteousness imputed to us), eternal life. Again not once is “faith” named as being the gift.

It is concluded in Romans 6:23, that the gift of God, the free gift, is eternal life (which comes by belief).
We know that some people in the Bible are commended for their great faith, others challenged to have greater faith, and still other criticized for having little faith.

Luke 7:9: When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

Mark 11:22: And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

Luke 12:28: If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Jesus could not commend someone for great faith, if such faith were a gift from God. To do so would be attributing God’s glory to man. It is simply inconceivable that God would allow His glory to be given to any man.

Similarly, Jesus could not challenge someone to greater faith if such faith were to come from God. In so doing, Jesus would be challenging the Triune God (which includes Himself) to provide someone with greater faith.

Finally, Jesus could not chastise a believer for having little faith, if such faith had been provided as the gift of God.

So, it is clearly evident from scripture that faith itself is not the gift of God.

ETERNAL LIFE IS THE GIFT OF GOD.
The Bible clearly shows that eternal life (by grace you are saved) is the gift of God.

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.

John 4:10: Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

Acts 2:38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The Gift of God is identified throughout scripture as eternal life itself or as the Holy Spirit who regenerates us (imparts eternal life to us) and indwells us, once we believe.

Scripture is clear. Eternal life, not faith, is the gift of God. One receives the free gift of eternal life the moment he believes in Jesus as his Savior. Once received by faith, eternal life can never be lost or forfeited.

For more information on how to have eternal life, click here: The Gospel

Lordship Salvation: Double Trouble

By johninnc

James 1:8: A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Countless people who profess faith in Christ alone for eternal life, insist that while turning from sin and performing other works of righteousness are not required to receive eternal life, that one who has received eternal life will inevitably demonstrate a positive life change that evidences, or proves, that he has received eternal life.

This is not Biblical, but is instead based on the false Calvinist tenet of “perseverance of the saints.” It is just another strain of Lordship “salvation,” or “LS.”

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

Following are some examples:

  • I have never taught that some presalvation works are necessary to or part of salvation. (sic) But I do believe without apology that real salvation cannot, and will not, fail to produce works of righteousness in the life of a true believer – John MacArthur
  • … 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. – J.D. Greear
  • Fruit / good works and saving faith go hand-in-hand. Quit trying to make it out that others are adding salvation requirements … especially when these same people over and over specifically teach against a works-based soteriology. All these preachers I have listed above have made it emphatically clear that good works are an evidence of salvation and I have NEVER heard them state good works are a requirement of salvation. – Commenter, ExPreacherMan

Others think that LS is merely “putting the cart before the horse.” But, the Bible does not say anywhere that the cart (good works and life change) will automatically follow someone believing in Christ. To insist on a “cart,” before, after, or at all, changes the message of the gospel.

Trying to distinguish between good works being required for salvation and good works automatically resulting from salvation is not logically possible.

If good works WILL accompany eternal life, than good works MUST accompany eternal life.

The Bible is clear that we receive eternal life by grace through faith in Christ, not through any works of righteousness that we have done:

Titus 3:5: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

The Bible is also clear that some Christians will have little, to nothing, to show for their lives as Christians.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15:

[11] For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

[12] Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

[13] Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

[14] If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

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

Some may errantly read verse 15 to mean that people whose work is burned are barely saved. The reality is that all people who have received eternal life are saved by Christ’s righteousness, and not their own. Therefore, every Christian’s salvation is just as sure as any other’s.

Is it God’s will that we live holy lives and do good works? Absolutely!

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.

Following is an excerpt from an excellent article by Jim Floyd entitled “Bible Basics: Do Good Works Prove Salvation?”:

Good works are profitable to others and well pleasing to God as they glorify Him. Good works are a good testimony and enhance our opportunity for witness. Our works do not prove salvation because salvation is not based on works. It is based on the object of our faith – Christ.

And, while good works are profitable to others, glorify God, and enhance our opportunity to witness, our witness must be the gospel itself.

Please do not get drawn into the trap of believing that one is saved by grace, without works, but that works provide evidence of salvation, or prove salvation.

This duplicitous belief undermines the gospel message and may cause lost people to mistakenly believe that eternal life is received by allowing Jesus to change their lives, instead of by believing that Jesus paid the full price for their sins.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. Salvation cannot be by grace, yet require works.

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

Lordship Salvation: False Prophets or Fruit?

By johninnc

Matthew 7:15-16:

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

[16] Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

As I encounter people contending for the hearts, minds, souls, votes, and money of a bewildered public, false prophets and their fruit are almost everywhere.

As the late Jack Weaver, founder of ExPreacherMan used to say, “the woods is full of ‘em!”

I am also reminded of the quote that was above the door exiting a Southern Baptist church that I used to sporadically attend: “You Are Now Entering the Mission Field.” That message was true, but incomplete. It needed to be on both sides of the door.

The point is, that much of professing Christendom is comprised of either false prophets, or their fruit. It is just impossible to know which is which.

Following are some of the insidious false messages that abound in the world of professing evangelicalism.

  • Just to say “believe in Christ” can produce a false assurance of the hope of Heaven. Jesus spoke often about the gift of eternal life. To make it clear, He said, “Count the cost.” –“Evangelist” Billy Graham
  • I would ask them to consider whether the signs of eternal life are present in them. As John explains so thoroughly in 1 John, conversion does not bring sinless perfection, but it does begin to make fundamental changes in the human heart.” – Pastor J.D. Greear
  • Another proof of the conquest of a soul for Christ will be found in a real change of life. If the man does not live differently from what he did before, both at home and abroad, his repentance needs to be repented of, and his conversion is a fiction. – 19th Century Preacher Charles Spurgeon
  • I often wonder if those who espouse easy-believism have simply adapted their theology in order to try to get a sinning loved one into the kingdom. – Pastor and best-selling author John MacArthur
  • We have to repent of our sins in turn. A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God. You’ll have to repent. – Evangelist Franklin Graham
  • So a dispassionate statement of belief, with nothing behind it, and no intention to serve God in any way is all it takes…interesting belief. Never heard that before. – Facebook Comment from the son of a Southern Baptist Minister
  • However, good and bad deeds will prove an individual’s faith. If good deeds aren’t there, it proves faith isn’t present. These people face eternal judgment. If good deeds are there, it proves faith is present and they are granted eternal resurrection life. – David Chadwick, Pastor of Forrest Hills Church, Charlotte 
  • The paralyzed man is not healed by walking. Just like a Christian is not saved by works. However, when that paralyzed man walks, he proves that he was healed. When Christians demonstrate a changed life, they prove they were saved by Christ. – Commenter, ExPreacherMan
  • James 2:24 [“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only”] is the reply to the question of James 2:14. 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”  – Ryrie Study Bible
  •  As such, repentance is a necessary precursor to saving faith. It means that a nonbeliever must admit his sin to God, acknowledge he is wrong, and be willing to seek a new way of life. – “Free Grace” theologian Joseph Dillow
  • How a person conducts his life or campaign is an indication of who he is. In Matthew 7, Jesus Himself says that a tree – and people of faith – are known by their fruit, not just the words they say. – Presidential Candidate Ben Carson
  • Repentance is a turning from sin, while faith is turning to Christ. – Theologian Dr. Roy Zuck
  • Second is the subjective or experiential test of assurance in which you ask yourself, “Is my faith real?” The apostle John’s purpose in writing the epistle of 1 John was to give true believers assurance of their salvation (1 John 5:13). In that small epistle John gives several marks to distinguish a true believer. – Commenter, Redeeming Moments website
  • James’s purpose is to contrast mere intellectual agreement with active, saving faith that involves receiving the life of Christ. When Christ stood at the door and knocked, did you respond by opening the door, as Rahab did? If so, I think you’ve met the requirement of this historically controversial faith-works passage. – Author Andrew Farley, from “The Naked Gospel”
  • The question to ask is whether a Born-Again Christian can cease being a Born-Again Christian. The answer to this question is, yes, a Believer can stop believing, a Christian can stop being a Christian, and the Born-Again can turn his back on Salvation and become lost-again. – “Evangelist” Jimmy Swaggert

Each of the above quotes is fruit of false prophets.

Those of us who are clear on the gospel should seek to minister to those who aren’t. In so doing, we should be gentle and wise.

If someone is bound and determined to persist in error, or in their associations with apostate organizations, you should know when to move on.

If you are unsure about the message of a particular person, church, book, website, etc., I would encourage you to see if it passes ALL THREE of the following conditions:

1. Is it consistent with eternal life by grace through faith alone in Christ alone?
2. Is it consistent with eternal security?
3. Is it consistent with assurance of eternal life, based on God’s promises alone (i.e., it is not internally-focused on changes in attitudes, behavior, etc.)?

And, if you want to know how to have eternal life, click here:  THE GOSPEL

 

Lordship Salvation: A Tale of Two Soils

By johninnc

Luke 8:12-13:

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

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

The above passage is an excerpt from the parable of the sower, taught in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. We know, from all three accounts of the parable of the sower, that people represented by soils two through four believed in Christ as Savior, and therefore received eternal life that could never be lost or forfeited.

But, most Calvinists and Lordship “salvationists” (LSers) will steadfastly deny the clear word of God regarding the spiritual position of believers represented by soil two (Luke 8:13).

Following is an example of the false teaching that soil two represents unsaved people, promulgated by budding Southern Baptist star J.D. Greear:

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.

Greear’s comments are indicative of the mainstream of the Calvinist/LS community that prefers the teaching of men even when it contradicts God’s clear word. In this case, it is belief in the false Calvinist tenet of “perseverance of the saints,” which maintains that all “true believers” will persevere until the end of their lives in faith and some degree of holiness.

The irony of Greear’s comments is that LSers are represented by either soil one or soil two.

In his sermon entitled “Life Lessons from the Dirt,” pastor Tom Cucuzza explained how Satan uses pastors that teach false doctrine to keep people from understanding the gospel message. Following are excerpts that address soil number one:

Minutes 18:59 – 19:12

“How does Satan blind the mind of the lost? With false messages. You can sow the truth, and Satan will bring a false message to that person and it will keep them confused. Or, it will keep them lost.”

Minutes 19:39-20:53

“But you see, Satan blinds the minds of people by giving them a heavenly way to go to hell.

And the most dastardly of all false gospels is what we call Lordship “salvation” or discipleship “salvation.” Who says ‘Jesus is necessary, but He’s not enough.” You must also be committed and follow the Lord if you want to get to heaven. That’s mixing grace and works. It does not save. It only further deceives people and makes their blindness deeper, and deeper, and deeper. Be careful! Be careful!

So, the first soil that we see is the soil of pride. And pride of course – have you ever witnessed to somebody and they’ll say ‘I can’t believe that’. Why not? ‘It’s too easy. Oh that’s easy believism’. Or, the new one that they’ve come out with makes me want to throw up. They’ll say: ‘that’s greasy grace’. Greasy grace! You’re disgusting! How could anybody put the word ‘greasy’ with the word ‘grace’? Friends, let me tell you something. If you’re not saved by grace, you’re not saved. It’s nothing but amazing – grace! Amazing grace.”

But, not all people who have fallen for false gospels, including LS, are unsaved.

Some are those represented by soil two, who once believed in Jesus as Savior, but have fallen away. Such people may be actively involved in Church, trying to lead Godly lifestyles. Others may have “thrown in the towel” and given up on Church and Christianity altogether.

Following are some of the ways that believers become soil two believers:

  • Not staying grounded in the gospel
  • Failing to put on the full armor of God
  • Misplaced trust in men, man-made institutions, or church history
  • Trying to “eat the meat” and “spit out the bones” of false teachers
  • Desire for fellowship
  • Bewitchment
  • Compromise
  • Willful blindness to error being taught
  • Equivocation

We simply cannot know whether those who have fallen for false gospels such as Lordship “salvation” are saved (soil two believers) or unsaved (soil one).

Either way, they need to be introduced, or re-introduced to the truth of the gospel.

If you would like to know from the Bible how to have eternal life, please click here:

The Gospel

Ten Verses Misused by Calvinists to Deceive People

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Note to Calvinists: YOU are Responsible

By johninnc

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

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

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

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

First, man’s responsibility;

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

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

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

Second, Christians’ responsibilities:

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

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

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

Third, Calvinists’ responsibilities:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to access the-gospel.pdf

Lordship Salvation: Is THEIR Report OUR Report?

By johninnc (illustration by Holly Garcia)

image001-1

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

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

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

From their pastor’s blog:

(he is explaining things from Jesus’ perspective)

Through my obedience, my Father has given me the final authority to execute judgment over all humanity. One day, everyone will hear my voice and appear before me in final judgment. Don’t marvel at this saying. It is true. This judgment will solely depend on those who have believed in me. John’s gospel repeatedly states this truth (3:16;5:24,25; 14:6). However, good and bad deeds will prove an individual’s faith. If good deeds aren’t there, it proves faith isn’t present. These people face eternal judgment. If good deeds are there, it proves faith is present and they are granted eternal resurrection life.

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

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

The question then becomes:

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

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

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

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

Sounds good so far, right?

Ah, but then the contradiction:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 John 5:10-12:

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

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

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

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

OUR report:

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

THEIR report:

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

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

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

 

Lordship Salvation: Filthy Rag Faith

By johninnc

Isaiah 64:6: But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

We often hear religious professing Christians malign authentic, Biblical Christianity with mocking epithets. Among them are “easy believism”, “greasy grace”, “cheap grace”, and the like.

I personally don’t mind “easy believism”, because that term is directed at believers rather than at the priceless atonement provided by Jesus.

Without wanting to appear mean-spirited, or playing tit-for-tat, I would respectfully submit that those who teach works for salvation, or faith plus works for salvation (Lordship Salvation), are encouraging lost people to put their faith in filthy rags. And no one has EVER received eternal life from Filthy Rag Faith.

Let’s look at some examples:

From Franklin Graham:

Maybe gays that are watching want to know, “Can God forgive me? Or can I go to heaven as a gay person?” Absolutely. But the same for any of us. We have to repent of our sins in turn. A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God. You’ll have to repent.

Franklin Graham is a sinner, and I’m no better than a gay person. I’m a sinner. But I’ve been forgiven, and I’ve turned from my sins. For any person that’s willing to repent in turn, God will forgive him.

My comment: No you haven’t “turned from your sins” Franklin. What does that even mean? Can you hear yourself? Do you believe in Christ as your Savior? If so, why the focus on your works? Forget what daddy says (famous evangelist father Billy Graham also preaches salvation by works) and try the truth.

From Charles Hadden Spurgeon:

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

All the spokes of a wheel move at once when the wheel moves, and so all the graces commence action when regeneration is worked by the Holy Ghost. However there must be repentance. No sinner looks to the Savior with a dry eye or a hard heart.

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

My comment: Mr. Spurgeon, were your tears, contrition, turning from sin, and living differently the objects of your faith? If not, why would you say these things that undermine the gospel?

John Calvin:

Shew me by works thy faith; for since it is not an idle thing, it must necessarily be proved by works. The meaning then is, Unless thy faith brings forth fruits, I deny that thou hast any faith. This verse is a key to the meaning of James: faith is to be proved by works; then faith properly justifies and saves, and works prove its genuineness.

My comment: Mr. Calvin – are you the same Calvin as in “Calvinism”? Did your works prove your faith? What if you had neglected the works? This quote would cause one to think that he must look for good works to manifest themselves in his life before he knows he has eternal life.

John Wesley:

God does undoubtedly command us both to repent, and to bring forth fruits meet for repentance; which if we willingly neglect, we cannot reasonably expect to be justified at all: therefore both repentance, and fruits meet for repentance, are, in some sense, necessary to justification.

My comment: Mr. Wesley, if one believes in Christ as Savior, but willingly neglects bringing forth fruit meet for (worthy of) repentance, he cannot expect to be justified at all? Is this why you thought that Christians could lose their salvation? This gives the impression that one’s faith should be in his ability to keep himself saved.

The Bible says that eternal life is received by grace through faith in Christ – without the deeds of the law:

Romans 3:26-28:

[26] To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
[27] Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
[28] Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Each of the above examples is from people who teach (or taught) directly, or by implication, that salvation comes by both God’s grace and our works. The Bible says otherwise.

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.

If you would like to know what the Bible says about how to have eternal life, click here: Eternal Life According to the Bible

Lordship Salvation: Worthless Religion

By johninnc

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

I recently read a fascinating article on Yahoo entitled “Raising Kids Without God (But Maybe Not Without Religion)”, written by Calvin Hennick.

The crux of the article seemed to be that the writer wanted his kids to go to church so that they could contemplate the meaning of life.

Following are some of the salient excerpts:

My wife and I both grew up with a fairly evangelical, literalist brand of Christianity, and while we don’t quite consider ourselves atheists, we certainly don’t believe the things we believed when we were kids…

So, if I no longer believe that God can grant my family salvation in a life after this one, why am I thinking about going back to church now that I have kids? It’s not out of a desire to instill morality in them. Anyone who takes a look around can see that there are good and bad people of all faiths, and of no faith, and personally, I have pretty much the same sense of right and wrong that I did when I was a born-again Christian…

Instead, I’d like my kids to have a place where they can contemplate essential, universal questions about what it means to live a good life. I’d like for them to be part of a community searching for something bigger than the joys and struggles of everyday life – even if this “something greater” isn’t God. And I’d like these things for myself, too…

I still think it’s possible for my kids, and for me, to find meaning and community without God. But it might be a whole lot harder to find these things without church.

This is a very tragic article on so many levels.

First, the writer says that he and his wife “grew up” with Christianity. Did they? Was it ever made clear to them that they were sinners, alienated from God due to their sin? Were they taught that God, in his love for us, gave His only begotten Son – Jesus Christ (God in the flesh) – to take away the sins of the world by dying for us? Was it ever made clear to them that one need only to believe in Jesus as Savior in order to receive eternal life?

Second, the writer seems to equate trusting in Christ for eternal life with trusting in Him to make us good, and moral. Jesus did not die to give us a “sense of right and wrong.” He died to take away our sins. Were the writer and his wife taught that one believes in Jesus in order to make them good? Or, were they taught that one believes in Jesus for eternal life?

Third, the writer says that he used to be a born again Christian. There is no such thing as someone who used to be a born again Christian. If the writer ever believed in Jesus as his Savior, he has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

Last, having one’s children explore “what it means to live a good life” without teaching them how one receives eternal life is worthless.

While the writer claims to no longer believe in God, his faulty views of the Christian faith seem to have been embraced by many groups masquerading as Christian churches. And, many such groups are worthless in terms of either leading people to the Lord, or helping believers to grow in their faith.

Let’s investigate how three groups of people who identify as Christians deny the gospel. We will use John 3:16 as the backdrop:

Calvinists – believe that God chooses who will believe and who will not. Therefore, they deny the “whosoever” of John 3:16. They also believe that all “true believers” will persevere in holiness, and Godliness, thus revealing that they are believers through their good works. Since one cannot know whether he has been “chosen”, and since one’s works will demonstrate that he has been “chosen”, these people will invariably look to works for assurance of eternal life.

Lordship “salvationists” – believe that one must either make a bi-lateral contract with God in order to receive eternal life (such as “repenting from one’s sins” or “making Christ Lord of one’s life”) or that one who has received eternal life will show some ill-defined “life change” to prove he is a believer in Christ. Therefore, they deny the “believeth in Him” of John 3:16. Like the Calvinist, LSers will invariably look to works – at least in part – for assurance of eternal life.

Arminians – believe that one can lose his eternal life through sin. Since this is a concept not found in the Bible, this group can never tell you how much sin it takes to lose one’s “eternal life.” Accordingly, they look to works for evidence of eternal life, thereby denying the “everlasting life’ promised in John 3:16.

Perhaps your church is clear on the gospel, and never teaches any of the above concepts. If so, great! But, if your church teaches any of these things – either implicitly or explicitly – you and your family are in grave danger.

If you would like to know how to receive eternal life please click here: ETERNAL LIFE FOR YOU