Category Archives: Christianity

Guest Rules

By johninnc

I have separated the “Guest Rules – Disclaimer” page into two separate pages.

The “Guest Rules” page has been refined to more clearly describe guiding principles for comments, as well as specific content to avoid, and important changes to comment guidelines.

I would ask that all commenters, both old and new, review these rules.

Please click here for link: Guest Rules

Love Lithuanian Style

By johninnc

For anyone who is not yet alarmed by what is going on in the name of COVID safety, I thought a sarcastic title, along with a montage of what is going on in a country that is a current leader in the effort to subjugate its population under medical tyranny might look. The montage includes statements from prominent figures in government and media.

This is a depiction of life with the COVID passport. There are reportedly NO illustrations of life without the COVID passport. The implications are chilling.

In this illustration, compliant Lithuanians show their passes to access commercial life. The system eerily resembles the electronic wristband-enabled entry and Fastpass system that has been in use at Walt Disney World for the past several years.

Here, a woman’s phone is electronically scanned.

This sentiment sounds familiar. Dr. Francis Collins referred to a similar measure by US president Joe Biden as a “much more muscular requirement,” which he hopes will make a “big difference” in getting more people vaccinated in the US.

This sentiment, while evil, is at least honest, and is not wrapped up in the “love thy neighbor” shroud of the religious enablers of mounting tyranny in the US.

Here is another loving sentiment (sarcasm alert), this time not wishing the unvaccinated dead, just blaming them for something they didn’t do (anyone, vaccinated or not, can spread COVID-19) and telling people who have been vaccinated to not associate with the unvaccinated.

Another loving note (again, sarcasm), based on the lie that it is only unvaccinated people that can spread COVID-19. The writer should know that this is a lie, but like the others, just doesn’t care.

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So, Franklin Graham, Robert Jeffress, J.D. Greear and the rest of the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Accomplices) who are providing cover for the tyrants pushing this madness: don’t try hiding behind “love thy neighbor.” You are a disgrace.

An Open Letter to Dr. Francis Collins (and His Christian Accomplices)

I read with great interest your recent interview with “Religion News Service” entitled “NIH director ‘a bit’ frustrated with evangelicals about vaccine.” I have provided some excerpts from that interview, along with my comments:

A day after President Joe Biden announced sweeping policy changes to continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic, one of his administration’s top health officials said he doesn’t expect widespread use of religious exemptions to get around them.

Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, also acknowledged Sept. 10 he is “a bit” frustrated with fellow evangelicals who have hesitated or refused to get the vaccine, even as the delta variant has led to an average of more than 1,000 U.S. deaths a day.

Collins said he hopes the “much more muscular requirements” will make “a big difference” in reducing the number of unvaccinated Americans, noting the country needs to vaccinate at least five times the 800,000 who are being vaccinated daily in order to overcome the variant.

My comment: “Much more muscular” is code for COERCION, Dr. Collins. You are hopeful that the government’s nefarious goals are successful. You are aiding and abetting the destruction of informed medical consent, and thereby the medical enslavement of your fellow citizens. If these “much more muscular requirements” don’t meet your goals, how much “more muscular” are you willing to go?

President Biden said on Thursday that “this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” and you have urged your fellow evangelicals to get vaccinated as an “opportunity to do something for your neighbors.” But studies have shown white evangelicals are among the most resistant and hesitant toward the COVID-19 vaccine. Does this make you frustrated with your fellow believers?

Well, to be honest, it does a bit. But I’m also trying to be sure I’m listening carefully to what the concerns are because I don’t think lecturing is probably the best way to get people to change their minds.

It is odd because evangelicals generally believe strongly in this love-your-neighbor principle. And we do know if we want to get this terrible pandemic to come to an end, it’s going to require all of us to get engaged in getting immune, and the best way to do that is with a vaccination.

My comment: The premise of this question is based on an out-and-out lie. This is not a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Dr. Collins, and you know this. Your refusal to correct the lie on which this question was premised is proof positive that you have no regard for the truth, whatsoever. You know that vaccinated people can be infected, and infect others, the same as unvaccinated people. THE VACCINES DO NOT MAKE PEOPLE IMMUNE, DR. COLLINS. YOU KNOW THIS. I KNOW THIS. YOU ARE COMPLICIT IN THE DESTRUCTION OF PEOPLE YOU ARE PROFESSING TO LOVE.

For months, you and other people in the administration have talked about faith leaders of various perspectives as being “trusted partners” in the efforts to get people vaccinated against COVID-19. Has that approach shifted, or do you think those efforts haven’t worked as well as you had hoped?

Oh, I think they have worked in many individual circumstances. I do think faith leaders have been in a tough spot. And some of them, even though they’ve come around, personally, to the view that the vaccine is something they want for themselves and their families, they’ve been reluctant to raise it amongst their parishioners because of the fear this might be divisive.

I’m hoping we’ve now reached the point where the evidence is so strong—where we see people dying around us—that those faith leaders will decide it’s worth taking the risk to get some pushback. To basically say, folks, let’s look at the truth of this. The truth will set you free.

My comment: Yes, the truth will set you free. But, the lies that you are pushing will not set anyone free. Dr. Collins, you are quoting Jesus as cover for your lies and deceit. DR. COLLINS: HAVE YOU NO SHAME?

Dr. Collins, recruiting Christians to participate in your evil deeds will not make you less responsible for your crimes, but more responsible. It doesn’t matter if every last one of them joins you, you are still wrong!

I know you are in deep, Dr. Collins. But, you still have the opportunity to d0 the right thing. Tell the truth. Renounce your lies and the monstrous tools of this evil regime!

P.S. Your credibility in trying to reach people for Christ is destroyed by your obvious embracing and propagation of lies and coercion. Those Christians who join you in this effort are destroying their Christian witness as well. I would pray that God would expose your evil deeds, but they are already in plain sight. I hope that the guilt of what you are doing nags you in every waking moment.

Now, a note to those Christians who see through these lies: if you are taking an active stand against these mandates, keep it up. If you are keeping your head down, and waiting for this storm to pass, that is not a good option. Let people know that you are not OK with this tyranny. If you are in a church whose leaders are silent or complicit, share this letter with them.

The Platinum Fool

By johninnc

Matthew 7:12: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

The concept Jesus taught in Matthew 7:12 is commonly referred to as “the golden rule.” A lot of people don’t think Jesus got this quite right, so they have come up with their own worldly, philosophical twist and dubbed it “the platinum rule.”

I first heard about the platinum rule from a friend of mine who was being taught this concept where he works as an employee of a major Wall Street Bank.

I did an internet search for “the platinum rule” and got 53.6 million results. I settled on an article from Inc. entitled “How the Platinum Rule Trumps the Golden Rule Every Time.” Following are excerpts from the  article:

We’ve all heard of the Golden Rule, which goes something like this: Do unto others as you would have them do to unto you. In other words, treat other people–in business and in life–the way you yourself would want to be treated.

Well, Dave Kerpen, author of the book The Art of People says that following the Golden Rule is all wrong. Instead, we should follow what he calls the Platinum Rule.

Says Kerpen, “We all grow up learning about the simplicity and power of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would want done to you. It’s a splendid concept except for one thing: Everyone is different, and the truth is that in many cases what you’d want done to you is different from what your partner, employee, customer, investor, wife, or child would want done to him or her.”

So Kerpen came up with the Platinum Rule: Do unto others as they would want done to them. Says Kerpen, “The Golden Rule, as great as it is, has limitations, since all people and all situations are different. When you follow the Platinum Rule, however, you can be sure you’re actually doing what the other person wants done and assure yourself of a better outcome.”

The problem with the platinum rule, is that it is really a rebranding of selfishness as selflessness and false virtue. As such, it can be translated as “do unto me what I would have you do unto me.” 

The people pushing this “platinum rule” think Jesus got it wrong, and we see this manifest itself in all sorts of ways.

When it comes to COVID theater, it works something like this: we need to keep others safe. It is therefore incumbent upon us to show our love for them by wearing masks and getting COVID shots. After all, that is what they want from us. It is irrelevant whether their desire for this “safety” has been fomented by an ongoing government/media terror campaign. It is irrelevant whether the cost of the measures outweighs the benefits. It is irrelevant whether they have based their wants on truth, or if their wants have been burnished by lies, censorship, and coercion. They want it. So, roll up your sleeves and give it to them!

The Christian leaders who are pushing the vaccines often appeal to this “platinum rule,” whether they realize it or not, and are thereby undermining the word of God.

What they are spouting as love is actually far from it. They are teaching their flocks to accept political movements couched in pseudoscience that does not hold up to even the most superficial of scrutiny. In so doing, they are enabling unjustified fear, and even worse, they are aiding and abetting tyrannical people in throwing their fellow citizens – including brothers and sisters in Christ – under the bus. And, if the shots prove to have consequences that they didn’t anticipate, their complicity will make it almost impossible for them to ever acknowledge the truth.

This isn’t “loving your neighbor.” It isn’t “loving your neighbor” to stand by and say nothing as they lose their livelihoods. It isn’t “loving your neighbor” to say nothing as they are driven out of social and commercial life. It isn’t “loving your neighbor” to shrug your shoulders while they are ruined by these tyrannical mandates. It isn’t loving your neighbor to tell them that if they wish to avoid all of these negative consequences, all they have to do is surrender their bodily autonomy to the state.

Here are two facts that make vaccine mandates nonsensical and prove they are not really about health:

1.ANYONE (vaccinated or not) can catch COVID; and

2. ANYONE (vaccinated or not) can transmit COVID to others.

If the golden rule were followed, people would be forced to ask themselves some questions: Would I want to have to make a choice between feeding my family and getting shots that I don’t want? Are my actions pushing others toward having to make this choice? What about my inactions? Are they likely to contribute to my neighbor being ravaged?

The word “philosophy” only shows up once in the new testament, and not in a flattering light.

Colossians 2:8: Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

In my opinion, most of the cajoling from “Christian leaders” to get the COVID jabs comes from ignorance, conformity, or even worse, from chucking the word of God aside in favor of vain philosophies, such as the platinum rule.

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

Why Expreacherman?

By johninnc

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

I was almost 50 years old when I first understood and believed the gospel. In coming to faith in Christ, I almost immediately realized that much of what I had heard from the world of professing Christendom was not based on biblical truth, and had actually hindered my understanding of the gospel message.

A few months later, I came across the Expreacherman ministry while searching for someone who understood the error being promulgated by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Expreacherman was one of the sites I found that seemed to understand that the SBC had corrupted the gospel message (See “Who Makes These Errors?”).

I approached the founder of Expreacherman, the late Jack Weaver, with some e-mails at first. Having been duped by religion, I proceeded cautiously. Jack encouraged me to comment on the site, which I did, and he eventually asked if I would write or co-write some articles. Finally, Jack asked that I become a co-administrator. Jack died in January, 2015 and I became the principal administrator for the site.

It’s now been almost seven years since Jack Weaver went to be with the Lord. This ministry has continued to have as its primary goal sharing the clear gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ alone. Our commenters have been instrumental in identifying teachings, and teachers, that undermine or confuse the gospel message.

The ministry has been successful when we have maintained a laser-like focus on our primary mission, and we have had many joyful testimonies of how this site has helped people in coming to faith in Christ, in escaping the false gospel snares of Calvinism/Lordship Salvation and returning to faith in Christ, and in becoming better grounded in the truth of the gospel.

Everyone who knows Christ as Savior has their own unique story, life circumstances, and testimony of how they came to faith in Christ. Our testimonies, when properly articulated with the gospel message, are a great way to witness to others.

I appreciate that there are biblical truths beyond the gospel message, and some passages for which there are varying interpretations, even among people who are clear on the gospel. While legitimate issues for discussion, this is not the focus of the expreacherman ministry. There are ministries and sites that are oriented toward delving more deeply into these things, and if anyone has a particular passion for any of them, starting a dedicated website is fairly easy. I would respectfully ask that we keep expreacherman focused on promoting and defending the gospel.

John 10:10: The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

I also know that most of us are undergoing difficulties related to the coronavirus, including the attendant encroachment on our freedoms, and the threats to our livelihoods.

The coronavirus cult, and its tyrannical trappings are a visible manifestation of the thief. Most people don’t see it, because they are constantly bombarded by the worldly fearful images of death, case counts, variants, “vaccines” and so on. Many believers are also misled by hirelings, who go along to get along.

Those of us who can see the evil unfolding in the name of public health are in the stark minority, and want to scream at people to wake them up from this nightmare. We find few friendly faces, and when we do, we naturally want to share information and resources. Remember to be cautious. Satan is not beyond using people who share our views on COVID (or any other matter) from introducing us to doctrine which should be properly marked and avoided.

As Christians, we can tell people about the thief all day long, but it is what comes after the colon in John 10:10 that is the good news about eternal life in Christ Jesus!

For those of us who are familiar with Expreacherman, I would repeat the following sentiment from a previous post:

I join you in asking God to bless this ministry. I pray that those who come here who know Jesus as Savior will seek to honor God with their posts, that we will be faithful to Him and His word, that we will comfort and encourage one another, that we will be bold in proclaiming and defending the gospel, that we will be gentle and wise, that we won’t become confused with the wisdom of men, and that we will not allow our comments to become sidetracked with unimportant things.

Also, I pray that those who come here who are seeking truth, and do not know Jesus as Savior, would hear/read and understand the gospel message.

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

Christians and the COVID Vaccine – Ecumenical Kumbaya

By johninnc

John 10:12: But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

After spending a considerable amount of time last night looking for articles from prominent pastors and evangelists who had taken a public stand against COVID “vaccine” mandates, I came away feeling pretty empty.

I found quite a few articles by pastors promoting the shots, and a few by pastors who were opposed to them. But, I did not find any promoters of the shots willing to strongly, and publicly oppose the concept of “vaccine mandates” to be able to engage in everyday life.

John 12:42-43: Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

The electronic “public square” has become the “synagogue” that the leaders of professing christendom seem to treasure. It is worth noting that US churches received billions of dollars in government handouts for financial hardships associated with various lockdowns, and most also are registered for 501c3 (tax-exempt) status.

In conducting my research, I came across a concerted effort called “Christians ? and the Vaccine”, which is an amalgam of worldly “church” leaders designed to push vaccinations in the “evangelical” community.

The group is led by an outfit called “Redeeming Babel,” in partnership with the National Association of Evangelicals, COVID Collaborative, Values Partnerships, ad COUNCIL, and Public Square Strategies. The site includes testimonials from such notables as Robert Jeffress (Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church of Dallas, TX),  Bishop Scott Jones (Resident Bishop, Texas Annual Conference, United Methodist Church), Dr. Jamie Aten (Executive Director, Humanitarian Disaster Institute, Wheaton College), Rich Stearns (President Emeritus, World Vision), and A.D. Beacham (General Superintendent, International Pentecostal Holiness Church).

In addition to the toxic, worldly, ecumenical stew that the group represents, the site also includes a “Pastor’s Toolkit” to help pastors to indoctrinate their individual congregations.

Whether or not one chooses to receive a medical treatment should be a matter of informed consent, not propaganda and coercion. 

I am appalled to see so few pastors taking a strong, public advocacy AGAINST “vaccine” mandates and FOR individual medical choice and human dignity.

The complicity of churchianity in the destruction of civil rights throughout this pandemic is sad, but not surprising. After all, there are precious few that even get the gospel straight, and even fewer that are willing to take a stand against tyranny.

Lordship Salvation’s Franklin Graham: Samaritan’s Curse

By johninnc

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

We have featured a number of articles over the years that have highlighted the false gospel taught by famed evangelist the late Billy Graham, and have also included a few mentions of his son Franklin Graham. Please see below for a sample of previous articles that feature, or mention prominently, the Grahams:

Who Makes These Errors?

Billy Graham, King of Lordship Salvation’s False Gospel

Lordship Salvation’s Billy Graham Sets Trap

Lordship Salvation: Don’t Give My Regards to Broadway

Franklin Graham has taken the reigns of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), the organization founded by his late father. The BGEA teaches a false gospel of works (Lordship “salvation”), as found on its website under “Steps to Peace with God.” Following is an excerpt:

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: The Bible says anyone who believes the gospel has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. Nowhere does scripture say that a person must be willing to turn from sin in order to receive the free gift of eternal life. If one had to be willing to turn from sin in order to receive eternal life, then eternal life would not be a gift – it would be a trade. And, nowhere does the Bible say that one must receive through prayer, Jesus Christ into his heart and life.

As if the false gospel being promoted by BGEA isn’t bad enough, it’s affiliate Samaritan’s Purse has a similar false gospel. Following are excerpts from Samaritan’s Purse’s Statement of Faith:

We believe that all men everywhere are lost and face the judgment of God, that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation, and that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ results in regeneration by the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, we believe that God will reward the righteous with eternal life in heaven…

My comment: Like the false gospel of the BGEA, Samaritan’s Purse has added “repentance of sin” as a condition for receiving the free gift of eternal life. Samaritan’s Purse further muddies the water by saying that “God will reward the righteous with eternal life in heaven.” Eternal life is a gift, not a reward, and it begins the moment one believes in Jesus as Savior, not after physical death.

Samaritan’s Purse does a lot of seemingly good things, including disaster response, and Operation Christmas Child. But, the express purpose of all of their outreach efforts is evangelism and discipleship training. There is no way that an organization that perverts the gospel is fit to take on either task.

Lately, Franklin Graham has an additional take on how to be a good Samaritan. It involves shots ostensibly designed to prevent COVID-19. He can’t seem to stay out of the news. Following are excerpts of a recent post from his Facebook page, which have received widespread attention in the media:

“I have even been asked if Jesus were physically walking on earth now, would He be an advocate for vaccines. My answer was that based on the parable of the Good Samaritan in the Bible, I would have to say—yes, I think Jesus Christ would advocate for people using vaccines and medicines to treat suffering and save lives. In this Scripture passage, Jesus told about a man beaten and wounded, lying on the roadside as religious leaders passed by and didn’t help. But a Samaritan, considered a social outcast of the day, becomes the hero of the story when he stops and cares for the injured man—pouring oil and wine, which were the top medicines of the day, on the man’s wounds.”

My comment: Using Jesus’ name to promote the worldly “solution” to COVID, based on the parable of the Good Samaritan, is highly-speculative and stretches my limits of credulity. And, saying that Jesus would be an advocate for vaccines does not mean that He would have been an advocate for the COVID jabs. It is worth noting that the Good Samaritan aided a man who was beaten and wounded, not someone who had a low probability of becoming beaten and wounded.

And, here are excerpts from a recent article entitled Franklin Graham Urges Evangelicals to Get Vaccinated Before it’s ‘Too Late’:

“I want people to know that COVID-19 can kill you. But we have a vaccine out there that could possibly save your life. And if you wait, it could be too late…

My father was a firm believer in medicine. He believed in it, so he would have been a supporter — no question…

To me, there was no question it was safe…

We are leaders in the community, and we have a responsibility to inform them of the truth…

Of course, and I’m pro-life. Medicine is pro-life…”

Graham said he has not been approached by the current White House administration to get information about the vaccine to evangelicals but said he’d work with President Joe Biden and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention if asked.

Getting vaccinated is a personal choice, Graham stressed, but he said, “I would encourage people to pray about it, to look into it, to investigate it.”

My comment: Someone can be a firm believer in medicine without hewing to the dominant media narrative as to the safety and efficacy of the COVID shots. And, some medicine is pro-life, but some is not. Some “medical procedures” (such as abortion) are decidedly anti-life. Finally, if getting the COVID “vaccine” is a personal choice that people should pray about, look into, and investigate, why does Franklin Graham think his seal of approval would be compelling? He is literally using celebrity endorsement as his rationale. His celebrity. His purported view of his late father’s celebrity. And, his purported view of Jesus’ celebrity.

Franklin Graham is not a credible evangelist and, in my opinion, he hasn’t given any sound reasoning for his promotion of the COVID shots. My guess is that Graham feels slighted in having not been embraced by the new administration, and wants to find a way to ingratiate himself. (Billy Graham has been heralded as “God’s ambassador to world leaders, and was consulted by the various US presidents once he was a known commodity.) Graham is fully-vested in the world system and is being called upon to get his recalcitrant followers to roll up their sleeves.

My advice would be to do your own research on both how to receive eternal life and whether or not the COVID jabs are a good idea for you.

The only credible source for how to have eternal life is the Bible. If you would like to know from the Bible how to have eternal life click here: THE GOSPEL

John 5:24 Promise

I have opened a new website called John 5:24 Promise (john524promise.com), linked below and in the blogroll at the bottom of the right-hand margin of Expreacherman:

https://john524promise.com/

The purpose of the site is to advance and defend the gospel, with particular emphasis on helping visitors to the site learn to spot teaching that undermines the gospel, using the following three clear tenets of scripture:

1. Is it consistent with eternal life by Grace alone 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.)?

I intend to continue to administer Expreacherman, and I invite you read/follow/share John 5:24 Promise as well.

Thanks. John

Lordship Salvation’s 3 Ws

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.

As the darkness of the world-wide coronavirus response was unleashed, one of its tools was the use of government mottos that could be easily parroted by the public. Thus, rather than thinking critically about what was happening, citizens could avail themselves of this alliterative mnemonic and even participate in amplifying the government’s talking points.

Here in North Carolina, our version is: Know Your Ws: Wear, Wait, Wash

If you leave home, know your 3 Ws!

Wear a cloth mask over your nose and mouth.

Wait 6 feet apart. Avoid close contact.

Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.

I have heard commercials and seen billboards with all, or parts of this message hammered home over and over again. Of course, the most popular component is the mask, because handwashing is hard to display!

I will not make this post about the efficacy of these measures. Our governor dictated a statewide mask mandate on June 26, 2020, a day on which there were around 1,700 recorded “cases,” which eventually grew to a daily high of more than 11,000 several months later.

Whether the 3 Ws increased, decreased, or had no impact on the spread cannot be empirically determined. However, we have succeeded in making people objectify one another, in creating another arbitrary division between people, in abrogating civil liberties, and in conditioning people to accept, and even promote, previously unfathomable encroachments on bodily autonomy.

As I have covered in other posts, almost all institutions, including many churches, have been brought into the brainwashing effort.

Having said all of the above, much of professing Christendom has fallen prey to a disease represented by another version of the 3 Ws: Work, Wait, Watch!

Work for eternal life: The Bible says that eternal life is received the moment one believes in Jesus as Savior. In stark opposition to that, many churches teach either subtle, or not-so-subtle versions of believing in Jesus as helper, instead of Savior. They do this by adding some element of a person’s works to how one receives eternal life. In so doing, they change the life-giving gospel into a false gospel of works. Some examples include:

  • Turn from sins for eternal life
  • Be willing to turn from sins for eternal life
  • Believe and be water baptized
  • Put Jesus on the throne of your life

We see one of these examples imbedded in “The Baptist Faith and Message,” which is used by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), as well as many other Baptist organizations and churches:

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.

Wait to see if it “worked”: Whereas the Bible says that one need not wait for a “changed life” to have assurance of eternal life, not everyone agrees. According to a popular false gospel website called “Got Questions”:

Lordship salvation is not a salvation-by-works doctrine. Advocates of lordship salvation are careful to say that salvation is by grace alone, that believers are saved before their faith ever produces any good works, and that Christians can and do sin. However, true salvation will inevitably lead to a changed life. The saved will be dedicated to their Savior…

Faith must involve a personal commitment to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:15). It is more than being convinced of the truth of the gospel; it is a forsaking of this world and a following of the Master

For the Lordship Salvation camp, assurance of salvation comes through the observation of change in the professing believer, i.e., that he is accomplishing good works.

Watch yourself and others for evidence of eternal life: This concept is completely alien to scripture, yet it has been propagated by some of the biggest names in the religion business. The late Charles Haddon Spurgeon, often called “The Prince of Preachers,” had this to say:

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.

And this, from the late Arthur Pink:

There is a faith in Christ which is saving, and there is a faith in Christ which is not saving. Possibly, the reader says, “But I know that mine is the former: I have seen myself as a lost sinner, realize I can do nothing to gain acceptance with God, and have put my trust in the finished work of His Son.”…Dear friends, others who were equally sure as you are  now in Hell! Suffer us to enquire, Have you tested your faith by Scripture? Have you taken the trouble to ascertain whether your faith is accompanied by those evidences which are inseparable from a saving faith?

We may not know for a long time, if ever, whether the 3 Ws of the coronavirus were effective in suppressing anything other than human dignity. But we know right now that the 3 Ws found so prominently in the word of churchianity undermine the gospel of Jesus Christ, and serve only to keep people lost and to undermine the assurance and growth of believers.

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

Lordship Salvation: Churchase Purchase

By johninnc

John 2:16: And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

Over the past year, I’ve observed our nation’s “churches” mostly hew to their governments’ whims, while providing very little leadership to their congregants. Some have gone along grudgingly, while others have enthusiastically participated in the orgy of fear being promulgated by the governments and media.

Local examples abound: churches that are only meeting virtually. Others that require masks, social distancing, and even reservations.

Revelation 3:20: Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

(Sure, sure. As long as He’s wearing a mask (maybe two masks?), keeps His distance, and has a reservation?)

It has been an eye-opening glimpse into the dyad that is big government and big religion. And, it has been a foreshadowing of the partnership between the one-world government and one-world religion that will take place after the rapture of the church.

One of the more disgusting manifestations of the incestuous relationship between big government and big religion is the payment of billions of dollars of federal rescue package loans to US churches and their affiliates. According to a Newsweek article published last July, the US government has paid $7.3 billion to US religious institutions, including Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) affiliates, the Roman Catholic Church, and many others. According to the Newsweek article:

A LifeWay survey released May 1 found that 40 percent of Protestant pastors had applied for government assistance. Smaller churches with fewer than 200 members in their congregation were much less likely than larger churches to have applied for SBA loans. Fifty percent of pastors at churches with more than 200 members, on average, applied for nonprofit PPP loans.

Taking government money is a sure step to coming under their control. There is an old German proverb: Whose bread you eat, his song you sing. And, in the Bible we see:

Genesis 14:23: That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:

It is clearly not wise to take money from a government that is increasingly hostile to people of faith. This is one of the easiest ways for the state to subsume churches. Who knows the extent to which accepting government money has influenced churches to adopt the government mantra of masks, lockdowns, and coercive “vaccine” messaging, even asserting that those things are Biblical imperatives.

One of the most loyal lapdogs to the politically-correct world is J.D. Greear, pastor of the Summit Church in Raleigh, NC and current president of the SBC.

Greear was one of the pastors who shuttered his church last summer for the rest of the year, even though that wasn’t even part of the North Carolina governor’s interminable, overreaching mandates.

In addition, Greear was a near-apologist for the summer Black Lives Matter protests and the underlying deception of the Marxist Critical Race Theory.

Today, I came across some astounding new quotes from J.D. Greear that show his complete cynicism, worldliness, and lack of fitness to be leading any kind of a church. He is a politician, through and through, disguising himself as a pastor. Following is some of his new “material”:

“Let me state this very clearly, as clearly as I can, critical race theory is an important discussion and I am all for, as I hope you would be, robust theological discussion about it,” Greear said. “For something as important as what biblical justice looks like in the world today, we need careful, robust, Bibles open, on our knees discussion. But we should mourn when closet racists and neo-Confederates feel more at home in our churches than do many of our people of color.”

My comment: No one who is interested in the truth of the gospel should feel at home in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). They are an apostate organization led by cynical political actors like Greear. They have had Calvinist error imbedded in “The Baptist Faith and Message” for generations, and have almost always let the popular politics of the day further influence their false doctrine. Greear continues:

“The Pharisees who resisted Jesus, we know more than any other group in the world had correct doctrine. It was their spirit that Jesus said disqualified them from the Kingdom of God. They weren’t content with what the Bible said. For example, they weren’t content with how exactly the Bible said it, so they created what has come to be known as a hedge about the law, conflating the traditions of men, Jesus said, with the commands of the law,” he said.

My comment: NO! The pharisees DID NOT have the correct doctrine. They did not believe in Jesus as Savior. They had false doctrine, as does J.D. Greear.

Are SBC leaders, virtually all of whom have been to seminary, so Biblically illiterate that they wouldn’t recognize this quote as an obvious theological error that is a direct assault on the gospel? If so, let me help them out:

Matthew 23:15: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

Jesus warned of both false prophets, masquerading as sheep, and of hirelings who would not protect their flocks when the wolves came calling.

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

John 10:11-13: I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

If, while reading this, you are concerned that you may have put yourself under the “care” of wolves or hirelings, you do not have to continue to do that.

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

Lordship Salvation: Candies and Nuts

By johninnc

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

“If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas” was an aphorism often attributed to the late Don Meredith, who was a collegiate and NFL quarterback and, later, an announcer on Monday Night Football. The meaning of this phrase is that the presence of conditions (ifs and buts) so completely changes the nature of something as to make it something else entirely.

The gospel of Christ is the message of how Jesus provided completely for the salvation of man, such that anyone who receives through faith what He has done has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4: 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:

The gospel means good news. There are many people within the world of professing Christendom, however, who have a corrupted view of the gospel of Christ in which they have either implicitly or explicitly added man’s work to the finished work of Christ in order to have eternal life. One of the most pernicious of these corruptions is the false gospel of Lordship “salvation” (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.

LS usually manifests itself in statements that superficially affirm the gospel, but then corrupt it through unbiblical caveats that include the words if and but. Following are some real-world examples gleaned from the archives of the expreacherman site:

The Ifs

If a person is a true Christian they will want to follow Jesus and obey Him…

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. (Quote from 19th century Calvinist and LS preacher Charles Spurgeon)

Do you believe ONCE SAVED – ALWAYS SAVED?
What if

In other words, if a man is not continuing in repentance and conformity to Christ, then that man has never been saved…

The Buts

My understanding is that works are not required for salvation, but

I think we all agree that our fruit doesn’t save us, but

Not that works are needed to obtain salvation, but…

I’m a firm believer in presenting salvation as faith in Christ (NO works), but

The Ifs and Buts

I’m not a Lordship salvationist at all but I’ve been of the mindset that if a person is a real Christian…

If a person supposedly is born again, but the family sees no change, friends see no change, coworkers see no change, and even his or her own self sees absolutely no change …

Therefore, if a man is saved, he will pursue God all the days of his life, not because he has to, but…

Each of the above statements corrupts the gospel message by adding an unbiblical caveat. Since the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation for everyone that believes, it is of the utmost importance that we proclaim the gospel without any such add-ons, and defend it against such.

The Bible is explicitly clear that anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited – no, ifs, ands, or buts about 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.

If you would like more information about the gospel of Christ click here: THE GOSPEL

COVID-19 Administrative Message

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.

We have received comments about the COVID-19 virus that touch on a variety of topics not central to our mission at Expreacherman to advance and defend the gospel.

These comments have included information as to the likely origin of the virus, thoughts on the response by governments to date, the media’s complicity in freezing any dissent to the official public health narrative, the involvement of certain well-known public figures in driving the public health narrative, the ultimate plans of nefarious evildoers, and even God’s role or intent with respect to the virus.

I have prayerfully considered which of these comments to post and which are a distraction. The guiding principles I have tried to follow in making these administrative decisions have focused on a couple of questions:

  1. Do I KNOW the information is true (as opposed to being likely, compelling, or plausible)?
  2. If the answer to question 1 is an unequivocal “yes,” is the information helpful in advancing or defending the gospel?

Even though I am sympathetic with many of the issues that have been raised, I will continue to disallow any comments that I view as not meeting the above conditions. Please make every effort to consider whether any comment you submit meets the above criteria, and do not take offense if any of your comments are disallowed, in whole or in part.

By way of personal editorial, I agree that the virus is being used as a predicate for the suppression of civil rights, the inculcation of new dehumanizing social mores, the destruction of peoples’ livelihoods, and intolerance for any questioning of public health orthodoxy, all aided and abetted by the world’s most powerful individuals and institutions operating in near lockstep.

Some of the manifestations of the official response, including the move toward coordinated global governance and the hastening of the removal of physical cash from the financial system, do appear to fit with scriptural prophecy. The rapture of the church has been imminent since its beginning, and remains so now.

Everyone, including Christians, should have a healthy skepticism to what is being purported as truth by our institutions, and what is being received as truth by the overwhelming majority of people.

I am saddened by seeing the fearful responses of my friends and even some of my family to this virus. I am saddened by the pressure being put on my children to conform. I am saddened by the obsequious responses of my fellow US citizens to outrageous demands being promulgated by our state and local leaders with no due process. I am saddened at seeing a free people in my country warmly embracing authoritarianism under the guise of public health. I am saddened, but not surprised, to see many prominent pastors working in coordination with the world system to destroy the reasoning and will of their congregants.

I would be dishonest if I said that I have been impervious to the drumbeat of negative news about this virus, but I have been more disheartened by how little people seem to value freedom or humanity in the vain attempt to ward off any threats to physical life. I have had what seem to be endless conversations with people about the wisdom (or lack thereof) of forgoing life, day after day, for the hope of more existence later. Many of those whom most desire to protect their physical existence have little or no interest in discussing eternal life.

Having said all of the above, the mission of this ministry is to advance and defend the gospel of Jesus Christ. Before COVID-19 came on the scene, most of the world lacked eternal life. That is still the case. Even if all of the conspiracy theories were proven, and they were universally accepted conspiracy facts, it doesn’t change mankind’s biggest need.

To that end, I would encourage each of us to use any opportunity that God gives us to comfort those who are sick, those who have lost loved ones, those who have lost employment, and those who are discouraged. Above all, preach the gospel. Time is short. The need is real.

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

Lordship Salvation: No Justice, No Peace

By johninnc

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.

The chant “no justice, no peace” has become nearly ubiquitous in our uncivil landscape. It is chanted, I’m sure, by some people of goodwill, but is also shrilly shouted from the lips of some of the more malevolent actors in our midst.

People have varying impressions of what constitutes justice and peace. Some use the chant “no justice, no peace” as being inseparable, meaning that the absence of justice will invariably be accompanied by the absence of  peace, and the presence of justice will invariably by accompanied by the presence of peace. Others view it as a conditional “if-then” statement, implying that if their view of “justice” isn’t delivered, they will make sure that peace for others isn’t possible.

The “if-then” form of “no justice, no peace” is exemplified in the United States by people who are unwilling to abide by verdicts in trials. In our legal system, a person charged with a criminal offense has a right to a trial by a jury of his peers. This system does not always result in perfect justice, so a meaningful slice of our population has decided that mob justice is preferable. Think pitchforks and torches.

This is nothing new. Even when a trial has rendered a fair verdict, people think they should get to decide.

Luke 23:20-24: Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go. And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.

Pilate went along to get along, attempting to mollify the savage bloodlust of the mob.

Fallen man is incapable of delivering perfect justice. Even when justice is offered, many reject it.

Perfect justice can only be found in God!

Let me explain, using an extensive excerpt from a previous post:

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.

God’s justice was satisfied by the once and for all sacrifice of Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:21: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

In opposition to the above gospel message, Lordship “salvation” (LS) advocates deny God’s justice in favor of a false gospel of eternal salvation by works. Lordship salvation is either an implicit or explicit denial of the finished work of Christ.

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.

The Bible says:

Romans 3:23-27 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

LS says: “I have to do my part to be justified.”

Christians (those who have believed in Jesus as Savior) have been justified by God upon belief in Jesus as Savior. They have eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. Christians should oppose injustice in civic life. Christians should also defend the gospel against attempts by false teachers to override God’s perfect justice with whatever they think is right.

If you would like to know more about how to have eternal life according to our perfectly just, perfectly righteous, perfectly loving God, click here:

THE GOSPEL

Back to School: Notes From The god Of This World

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.

One of the most frequently-viewed articles we have on this site is called “The Gospel According to Internet Comments.” The article highlights some of the false gospel teachings that have imbedded themselves into professing Christendom. Since we posted the article in early 2015, it has been viewed more than 14 thousand times, and has been commented on 1,362 times. There seems to be no end to the perversions of the gospel that we find manifesting themselves in internet comments.

But, from where do these perversions arise? They are all the devices of Satan, whom the Bible calls “the god of this world.” Their purpose is to draw people away from Christ Jesus. It is evident that people are paying rapt attention to false doctrine, even taking copious notes, as they parrot the false doctrine in their comments. The god to whom they ascribe their false attributes is not the God of the Bible.

Following are examples of doctrine of men that people falsely claim are biblical truths. These comments, or excerpts from comments, all came from one internet article about the death of President Trump’s younger brother, Robert:

It is more than that, it also calls for personal repentance for sin. The Gospel of Christ is God’s method of salvation faith.

My comment: The gospel is what Christ did for us, not what we do for Him. Personal repentance for sin is not a requirement to receive eternal life.

WE don’t accept God, He accepts us and gives us faith. It is all God the Holy Spirit’s doing.

My comment: God does not give us faith. That is a false Calvinist teaching. If God did choose who would believe in Jesus as Savior, that would mean that His offer of eternal life was not valid except for those whom He chose to believe. The God of the Bible does not decide who will believe.

I think both are true

My comment: This commenter is trying to “ride the fence” between Calvinism and truth. The truth is that God desires all men be saved. The Bible also teaches that many people will not be, including some who claim to have done many great things in the Lord’s name. If God desires that all men have eternal life, and not all men have eternal life, it is clear that he allows man to choose whether or not to believe the gospel. So, Calvinism and the truth cannot both be true.

Classic Christianity accepts both predestination and free will, without requiring the tension between them be fully resolved.

My comment: Another fence rider. There is no such thing as “classic Christianity.” There is Christianity, and then there are the assaults on the gospel, such as Calvinism, that are tolerated or embraced by much of professing Christendom.

The Bible teaches predestination in Ephesians 1:3-6.

My comment: False. This is a common Calvinist proof text, taken out of context, to support their false doctrine. God predestines that all who believe in Jesus as Savior will be justified and glorified. It does not mean that God predestines who will believe.

Free will is a fantasy. See Ephesians 2:1-3.

My comment: Nowhere does the Bible teach that God chooses who will believe. The Bible teaches that one becomes a child of God by believing in Jesus as Savior.

Blessed Mother Mary is the mediator/mediatrix between human race and her SON JESUS CHRIST. Mary leads us to her SON.

My comment: This teaching is indicative of Roman Catholic dogma, and is not biblical. The Bible says that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe.

THAT’S WHY THE CATHOLIC CHURCH has THE REAL PRESENCE of JESUS CHRIST HIS BODY, BLOOD, SOUL and DIVINITY in The HOLY EUCHARIST- OUR LIVING BREAD/MANNA.

My comment: This person is shouting false Roman Catholic dogma. The Lord’s Supper is a commemorative ordinance. Anyone who has ever believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. The so-called “Holy Eucharist” of the Roman Catholic church has no part in receiving or keeping eternal life.

CATHOLICISM is the fulfillment of JUDAISM because JESUS CHRIST FULFILLED it.

My comment: Huh? The word “Catholic” does not show up anywhere in the King James Bible.

The Catholic Church was the only Christian church until the reformation when others thought they knew the word of God better than anybody else.

My comment: The Roman Catholic church was never the only Christian church. It is a false religion of works. The so-called “reformation” was a failed attempt to fix a false religion. Most of so-called “Protestantism” is Roman Catholicism “light.”

Based on the above comments, and many others I have heard and read through time, it is obvious that people are being taught elaborate hoaxes in their religious training. And, as the old saying goes, “it is easier to fool people than to get them to believe they have been fooled.” That is because the process of being fooled involves a willingness to latch onto a narrative without proper verification.

Whether it is catechism or reform(ed) school, much of what is being taught as biblical truth is not of the God of the bible, but is of the god of this world.

If you would like to know the truth about 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

Who Said That? Part II

By johninnc

This is a follow-up to an article we ran in 2015.

From Wikipedia: Who Said That? is a 1947-55 NBC radio-television game show, in which a panel of celebrities attempts to determine the speaker of a quotation from recent news reports.

The twin “emergencies” of COVID-19 and civil unrest have made strange bedfellows of politicians, public health “experts,” Hollywood luminaries, and prominent pastors. Following are quotes from various organizations and individuals that are attempting to influence contemporary society in one way or another on these issues. I thought it might be both entertaining and thought provoking to guess, and then to reveal the sources of each of these quotes.

I will publish the the answer key as the first response to this article.

_______________________________________________________

  1. Wear a mask. It’s so much easier to wear a mask than to wear a ventilator. Wear a mask. Social distance yourself, even from people you know and love. If they don’t live with you, keep your distance.
  2. I think we have to recognize we are in a very special moment right now that the answer is not just for this to go off the radar screen, go back to talking about COVID-19, to talk about world peace, the environment, … politics is going to be coming up here this fall. I believe if we miss this moment we would have failed in our generation.
  3. We know that, when you do it properly, you bring down those cases. We have done it. We have done it in New York.
  4. What we don’t like is when people protest against things that we’re not that upset about. Then we get kind of bent out of shape and we really don’t like property damage. That’s understandable. There are people all over the world that are being persecuted in ways that are real and violent and bloody, and way worse than losing your favorite Arby’s. So it’s OK, they had insurance, they can build a new Arby’s. Stop staring at what’s happened and look at the issues behind. Ask the question, what would make you so upset that you would be willing to do that? 
  5. Now as you would imagine, that was not a casual decision. In fact, back in May when we announced a possible August 9 reopening, the COVID numbers were actually moving in the right direction. That has changed. Consequently we cannot guarantee your safety and that’s a big part of this decision.
  6. And, oh by the way, let’s not respond by saying ‘all lives matter. 
  7. In any case, the important point is there is not one “expert opinion” from the scientific community on the coronavirus, from which it is “crazy” to depart. There are many studies and many scientists with many opinions. 
  8. I don’t think that the people posting ‘All Lives Matter’ should be canceled. I think they should be educated.
  9. Science says don’t wear a mask. Except that you absolutely should wear a mask. Even though it isn’t recommended by medical scientists using data from other respiratory disease outbreaks. But it’s still helpful. Or actually it’s not really, according to the Centers for Disease Control in 2017. Yet you should still wear a mask, or else. Who knows?
  10. This site is not managed by a medical professional and does not make any claims as to the effectiveness of the resources, suggestions, or other information that is presented herein.

We realize that during times of chaos and confusion people look for leaders and credentialed experts to guide their decisions. Having said that, it is good to be mindful of the possible motivations of those providing advice, or even premises that they may have accepted without challenge. And, it is always good to remember that truth cannot be reliably measured by popularity.

Lordship Salvation: SBC Leadership Seeking Unity

By johninnc

Hebrews 2:9: But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

As the world goes through its twin convulsions of the coronavirus pandemic and racial discord, the world’s religious leaders have joined in the fray, offering everything from medical advice to proposals on police reform.

While there is nothing to preclude any citizen from offering his perspective on current issues, many so-called Christian leaders focus on worldly issues to the near-exclusion, or even the contradiction of the gospel message.

Some allow themselves to be tools of politicians, helping to push the exigent political narratives du jour. Others get entangled with popular social causes. And still others are so theologically bereft, callous, conniving and logically inconsistent that it boggles the mind.

Standing solidly in the last camp is the cynical opportunist J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).

There was an article today in Fox News entitled “Southern Baptist president calls for members to declare: ‘Black lives matter’.” Following are some interesting excerpts:

Southern Baptists, we need to say it clearly as a gospel issue: Black lives matter,” Greear said. “Of course black lives matter. Our black brothers and sisters are made in the image of God. Black lives matter because Jesus died for them.”

My comment: I agree with Greear that our black brothers and sisters are made in the image of God and that Jesus died for them. Every person is made in the image of God, and Christ died for every person.

But, Greear didn’t think that the fact that Christ died for everyone was essential when he was making his climb to ascend to the top of the SBC.

In a Christian post article entitled “Calvinism Not to Blame for Southern Baptist Decline, JD Greear Says,” Greear made the following astounding claim:

 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.”…

“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:  One of those tenets of Calvinism that Greer references is limited atonement, the false teaching that Christ died only for the elect (those that He has chosen to believe in Him).

The horrific, false tenet of limited atonement would mean that some lives mean more to God than others. By extension, this would mean the only way that Christ could have died for them (the black lives that matter, or anyone else for that matter) is if He had chosen them to believe the gospel. This is a remarkable thing to gloss over in the name of unity. If it doesn’t really matter to Greear that people in his convention are teaching limited atonement, then it doesn’t matter to Greear whether or not they are teaching that Christ died for everyone.

Continuing, from today’s article in Fox News:

“And, oh by the way, let’s not respond by saying ‘all lives matter,'” Greear said.

 My comment: Greear’s advice to his congregants (and readership) is politically expedient, in the same way that his comments about Calvinism were.

And, finally, from the today’s Fox article, one of the other members of the SBC elite weighed in:

“It is clear that change is imperative,” Dr. Ronnie Floyd, CEO and president of the SBC executive committee, told Fox News in a statement.

“We often find ourselves chasing after the winds of our own preferences, opinions, issues, and social media streams, but we must reimagine a new future together built around a unified Great Commission vision,” he said.

My comment: Ronnie Floyd, J.D. Greear, and the SBC teach a false gospel of eternal life by works. There may be unity in their worldly false gospel, but it has nothing to do with the Great Commission.

A good summary of the false gospel of the SBC can be found in the article linked below:

Southern Baptists Hold Lordship Salvation All-Star Event

In addition, both Greear and Floyd endorsed the false gospel message of Greg Laurie and his soCal Harvest event. See links to articles below:

Greg Laurie’s Bitter Harvest

Participating in Greg Laurie’s Evil Deeds

While worldly religious leaders scramble to get their ducks in a row and strike just the right political tone, the gospel seems to take a back seat. And while man’s perception of his greatest needs is ever-changing, his greatest need has always been eternal life through Christ Jesus.

So, without clearing it with J.D. Greear, or any focus groups, and without fear of the cancel culture, I will state unapologetically: Eternal life matters!

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

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

By johninnc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Soil number 2 in the parable of the Sower

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

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

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

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

Believers who do not confess Christ

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

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

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

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

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

Demas

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

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

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

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

All true believers endure to the end. 

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

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

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

Science

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

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

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

Eternal life

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

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

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

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.

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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