Category Archives: Christianity

Good News in the Midst of Coronavirus

By johninnc

Every day we are hearing of more and more people getting sick and dying from Coronavirus. Many will get sick, or have loved ones who get sick. Many more will face the uncertainty of job loss. Everyone’s lives are being disrupted.

We are all hoping for a cure, or for this disease to go away so that we can get back to normal. But, as bad as it is, coronavirus isn’t mankind’s biggest problem. Mankind’s biggest problem is spiritual separation from God.

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 sinned (done things that are wrong in God’s eyes) and can’t do anything to fix that. Our efforts to work our way back to God are completely useless.

Where is the Good News? The Good News is this:

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 pay for our sins. 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 we are no longer spiritually separated from God.  God no longer sees believers in their sins, but sees them as perfectly righteous. Eternal life begins the moment a person believes in Jesus as Savior and lasts for all eternity. It can never be lost or forfeited, no matter what happens in our lives down the road.

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

Anyone who does not believe in Jesus as Savior remains spiritually separated from God, and does not have eternal life. This does not end at physical death, but lasts for all eternity.

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.

People will tell you all kinds of different ways to have eternal life, or even that there’s no such thing.

Many people will tell you that Jesus is necessary for eternal life, but that He isn’t enough – that you have to “do your part” by reforming your behavior, doing good works, and so on. But this is not true. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

You should listen to what Jesus has to say, above what anyone else tells you. Since Jesus is God, and God is perfect, He cannot lie.

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

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?

If you want to know more about the GOOD NEWS click here: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: Don’t Give My Regards to Broadway

By johninnc

Matthew 7:12-13: Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Following are some examples of false LS gospels:

Franklin Graham:

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

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

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

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:

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

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

19th century preacher Charles Spurgeon:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t give your regards to the Broad Way.

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

 

 

 

 

Lordship Salvation: A Case Study

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.

Below is a rather lengthy exchange from an internet article I read today. I would have generally relegated this to a comment under “The Gospel According to Internet Comments,” but I have made it a separate post because it is very instructive as to the subtlety of works for salvation that so many people confuse with grace.

The first commenter (varnuke) seems to be upholding grace, though he has some error mixed in. The other commenter (Frank Zimmerman) has serious Lordship “salvation” error.

The commenter’s names are highlighted in bold. I have also interspersed my comments in bold parenthesis.

varnuke Jim James • 2 days ago • edited

No matter how much I try to abstain from sins, I find that actually impossible as long as I live. “The thought of foolishness is sin.” Proverbs 24:9 (KJV). “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17. (KJV) My only way out was Jesus Christ dying for ALL of my sins, past, present, and future. Nothing I can do to add to that at all! PERIOD!

Frank Zimmerman varnuke • a day ago

Christ’s life needs to be in you though…otherwise you are frustrating His grace. “How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein?” Rom 6:2. “Awake to righteousness and sin not; I speak this to your shame.” 1 Cor. 15:34.

(My comment: This is a strong indication that Frank objects to the grace of God. Varnuke gave a comment that should not need to be qualified or rebutted. Frank seems uncomfortable with it. Frank also seems to confuse instruction for Christian living with believing in Jesus as Savior.)

varnuke Frank Zimmerman • a day ago • edited

When Jesus Christ died for my sins (as well as everyone else), He paid the price for my sins (past, present and future) so that I could become a member “of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” Eph. 5:30 (KJV), by placing all my God-given faith and trust in His sacrifice for my sins, which I definitely did not deserve at all, “. . . whereby [I am] sealed unto the day of redemption.” Eph. 4:30 (KJV). “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Eph. 2:6 (KJV).

I understand it the other way around. I need to ‘be in Him.’ not personally “working” my way into a false sense of being saved by claiming that I don’t sin anymore after ‘being saved,’ as if what He did was not perfect enough, and thus requires me to do something else (like trying not to sin, which is absolutely impossible in the flesh).

Eph. 2:8-9 (KJV) says it all. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it [faith] is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” And that “gift” of faith is a “free gift” of God. Rom: 5:15-16, 18 (KJV). Gifts are already “free,” by definition. And that ” . . . faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Rom. 10:17 (KJV).

Problem is, if a person claims to have “Christ’s life” in him, or her, that person still sins after such claim. Even a lie is enough to send one to hell. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Rev. 21:8 (KJV)

Not trusting what Jesus Christ did 100.00%, without the addition of righteous personal ‘works,’ wherein a person mistakenly thinks he or she no longer sins is nothing less than total self deception – usually misleadingly taught to them by some false so-called “Christian” religion.

Working to keep from ‘sinning’ is nothing more than evidence one has not placed their complete trust in Him, thinking their own “filthy rags” righteousness is also required for salvation. “. . . all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags . . .” Isaiah 64:6 (KJV)

(My comment: varnuke’s comment requires a very important clarification: Working to keep from sinning is not evidence that one has not placed their complete trust in Christ. Working to keep from sinning is evidence that someone is not currently trusting fully in Christ only if someone thinks they must do that to earn, keep, or prove that they have received eternal life. And, even if someone is not currently trusting in Christ alone for eternal life, that does not mean that they never have. Anyone who has ever trusted in Christ alone as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

Varnuke has also referred to faith as “God given” and has quantified faith with 5 significant digits (100.00%). Our ability to have faith in anything is God-given, however we must never confuse that with God giving us the faith to trust in Christ as Savior. And, it is the object of our faith – Jesus Christ – not the quality of our faith that is the only distinction as to whether or not someone has eternal life.)

Frank Zimmerman varnuke • 21 hours ago • edited

I know what you are saying is a popular version of the gospel, but what is missing is the death of the old man. There are two deaths required to save anyone: Christ’s death, and the death of your old man of sin.

“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me.” Gal. 2:20

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” Rom. 6:6-7.

According to Romans 7:1-4, Christ will not marry you (i.e. you will not be “in Him” and He will not be “in you”) unless the old man has died first…otherwise He would be an adulterer.

(My comment: Believing the gospel that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead results in the death of the old man. No one needs to turn from sin, or do anything to make that a reality. The Bible makes it clear that it is possible for a Christian to continue to let sin reign in his life, even though that is not God’s will. See Romans 6:12. Further, even knowing that the old man is dead is not required to receive eternal life. It is a forensic fact!)

Check also the object lesson of redemption in the deliverance from Egypt: the death of the lamb was required, and also the death of the firstborn of Egypt, before the Israelites were free from the land of bondage. We need to be likewise free from the bondage to the power of sin.

(My comment: Believing the gospel that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead results in a new birth of the Spiritual Man that does not even have the capacity to sin. Yet, the flesh is still with us in this lifetime, which is why we still sin. One is therefore free from the bondage to the power of sin by virtue of having a new nature. That does not mean that there is any inevitable change in the nature, extent, nor degree to which any believer in Christ will sin in this lifetime. Otherwise, the instructions to believers in the Epistles would be unnecessary.)

Your charge, that someone who trusts in Christ to keep him from sinning, is somehow “trusting in his own works” is foolish. Do you suppose that the Israelites celebrated their stepping into the Red Sea as the cause for their victory? They well knew it was the power of God working in their behalf. So will it be with the truly righteous man…he knows it is the power of God working in him, and not of himself.

(My comment: Believing the gospel that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead does not require trusting in Him to keep from sinning.  This is Lordship “salvation” 101!. If we were required to trust in Christ to keep from sinning in order to have eternal life, then we would need to examine whether we had turned from sin (which is a work) to determine whether we had eternal life. The presence of ANY SIN would negate the evidence supplied by the absence of all other sin.)

In Romans 4, the promise to Abraham is set forth as an example of the power of the gospel. Abraham and Sarah were dead within, they had no power to bring forth the son that God had promised. But they trusted that what God had promised, He was able to perform (in them). God gave them His life, and they were enabled to do the impossible.

(My comment: Believing the gospel that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead is not about “our doing the impossible” by turning from sin!  Abraham and Sarah were not enabled to do the impossible. God did the impossible. This is about our believing that God has taken away our sin, and that He is able to accomplish what we could not – our eternal salvation.)

You say it is impossible for the life of Jesus to be manifest in us. Therefore, you do not have the faith of Abraham. You are in high danger of accepting “a form of godliness” but “denying the power.”

(My comment: varnuke never said that it was impossible for the life of Jesus to be manifest in us. Frank simply put those words into his mouth. Then, Frank said that varnuke didn’t have the faith of Abraham, which means Frank has assumed the position of God. Finally, Frank has intimated that varnude is “denying the power” by asserting that sinless perfection is not attainable in this lifetime.)

______________________________________________________

We have received lots of comments and e-mails with doctrine similar to that set forth above by Frank. To summarize Frank’s error:

  1. Frank falsely implies that trusting in Christ to keep us from sinning is necessarily included in, or is the same thing as believing in Christ as Savior.
  2. Frank falsely teaches that to assert that life change and less sinning are not inevitable in the lives of believers is to “deny the power.”
  3. Frank confuses the fact that the “old man” is forensically dead the moment someone believes in Jesus as Savior with what one must believe in order to have eternal life. One does not have to know that the “old man” is dead in order to receive eternal life, and one need not do anything to manifest that understanding in the way he lives his life in order to demonstrate that he has received eternal life.
  4. Frank falsely insinuates that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead in order to enable us to earn eternal life.

If you have made, or heard, similar “frank arguments”, and would like to know the truth about how to have eternal life click here: THE GOSPEL

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

By johninnc

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

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

1 Corinthians 15:3-6: For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

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

  • Everyone is a sinner
  • The penalty for sin is death (eternal separation from God in a place of conscious torment – hell)
  • One must be perfect to get into heaven. Not good. Not great. Perfect.
  • One cannot do anything of himself to obtain this perfection – this includes turning from sin, committing your life to Christ and so on. God offers eternal life as a gift – it’s not for sale or barter.
  • God provided a sin-bearer for us (The Lord Jesus Christ, God in the
flesh. He had no sin of his own, but he came to die for us, paying the full penalty for our sin. He was raised from the dead, proving that His payment was acceptable).
  • Anyone who believes in Jesus as Savior receives, from the moment of belief, everlasting life, that can never be lost of forfeited.

In contrast to God’s plan of salvation is the false gospel of Lordship “salvation,” or LS. There are seemingly endless variations of LS, but at its core LS is the unsupportable and unbiblical belief that the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

LS is insidious, and is pervasive within professing Christendom. LS both keeps people from coming to faith in Christ and bewitches Christians. LS makes people into basket cases.

Following are three categories of basket cases associated with LS:

The Case of the Counterfeit Convert

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

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

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

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

The Case of the Confused Christian

Galatians 3:1-2: O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

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

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

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

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

The Case of the Careless Compromiser

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

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

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

_______________________________________________________

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

For the real thing click here: THE GOSPEL

 

 

 

Lordship Salvation: Blinded by the Dark

By Johninnc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See this link for more details: Lordship Salvation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lordship Salvation: 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: Attacking Grace

By johninnc

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.

People come to faith in Christ by hearing and believing the gospel. Accordingly, Satan has always had the gospel message directly in his crosshairs. He attempts to pervert the message through various means, not the least of which is the heretical teaching of Lordship “salvation.”

Please see definition here: Lordship “salvation” defined.

We should vigorously defend the gospel of grace against attacks from the Lordship “salvation” camp. And we should do nothing to aid and abet their attacks. Aiding and abetting attacks on the gospel can take many forms, including:

  • Prolonged participation in churches that are not clear on the gospel
  • Financially supporting groups that pervert the gospel
  • Quoting favorably those who pervert the gospel
  • Referring to people who corrupt the gospel in glowing terms
  • Ascribing good intentions to people who corrupt the gospel
  • Providing an extended forum to someone bent on perverting the gospel

This last one requires some judgment. At Expreacherman, we are generally less patient with new commenters who are diametrically opposed to what we teach than we are with people who ask honest questions, or even our longer-term commenters who have become confused through exposure to false doctrine.

Below are excerpts from a couple of comments that we entertained late last year from someone hostile to grace, before inviting him to go elsewhere. My responses are in bold parenthesis.

Comment number 1:

The only issue with claiming that works play no part in saving faith is the very sobering book of James, found in your bible immediately following Hebrews and preceding 1 Peter; a book conveniently absent from the discussion in this comment section.

(Discussion of the book of James is not “conveniently absent” from our commentary. Our site is replete with discussion of the book of James.)

We don’t do good works to be saved, but we should produce good works and good fruit once we are saved. This is an important distinction to make, one found all throughout scripture.

(There are lots of things Christians SHOULD do. But, there is absolutely NOTHING that a believer in Christ MUST do to prove he has eternal life.)

I say this not to cast doubt or condemn, but to push back against any notion of belief only, for James tells us that even the demons believe and shudder. In fact, in the gospels they properly address Jesus as the Son of God, yet we know that everlasting fire has been prepared for them. If they rightly believe in the identity and deity of Jesus, why are they condemned to hellfire? Because they are disobedient and rebellious. They don’t do the will of God. They know the truth, but refuse to practice it. The judgment for this is a scary thought.

(Jesus did not die for demons. He is the kinsman redeemer of mankind.)

Comment number 2:

Heroes of the faith, which we know are saved according to God’s Word, demonstrated their faith by their actions; not as a necessary prerequisite to be saved, nor as an accompanying trait to remain saved, but as an inevitable result that they were saved. Please recognize this distinction – there is an enormous world of difference.

(NO! It was not an “inevitable result.” If it were, these would not have been “heroes of the faith.” It is inevitable that heroes of the faith will be heroic. It is not inevitable that every believer will be. Inevitability makes it a requirement. A requirement of faithfulness to prove one is saved makes eternal life no longer a gift.)

Abraham truly did believe. But how do we know that? Because of what he did. He obeyed God.

(WRONG! We know Abraham believed, because scripture says he believed. See Romans 4:3.)

True faith will inevitably produce good fruit. I believe the bible makes this plain. Again, we don’t do works in order to be saved; we don’t do works in order to stay saved; we do works because we are saved. Another way to say it is this: You have been saved. Now, grow in grace and knowledge, and apply it for the good of the brethren and for God’s glory.

(You are saying two radically different things in one short paragraph. The fact that you cannot see the contradiction astounds me. You mention inevitability again, and by fruit, you seem to mean works (at least, that is what you said in your prior comment). You say that we do works because we are saved. Then, you say to grow in grace and apply it for the good of the brethren and for God’s glory. Again, if it is inevitable, why do we need to be challenged to do it?)

As is clear from the above excerpts, this commenter doubled down on his errant Lordship “salvation” doctrine after our first response, and is seemingly disinterested in the truth.

At some point, continuing to try to reason with someone who is intent on teaching error reaches a point of diminishing returns, and can be damaging to others – believers and non-believers alike.

A good course of action may just be to point them back to the gospel message.

No matter why you may have come to Expreacherman – even if it is to attack – if you would like to know how to have eternal life, click here: John 3:16