Category Archives: Eternal Security

Lordship Salvation: “The Harris Poll”

By johninnc

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

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

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

ba record of the information so obtained

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You know that this means you never actually knew Him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 _______________________________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lordship Salvation’s Mad Libs

By johninnc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lordship Salvation: Twenty Questions

By johninnc

I have been making note of search terms that people have used that have brought them to Expreacherman. I thought I would share twenty of the questions, along with my short answers in bold.

  1. Is Francis Chan a false teacher? Yes.
  2. Is JD Greear a false teacher? Yes.
  3. Is salvation permanent? Yes.
  4. Was John Calvin really a believer? We can’t know that. We know he was a false teacher.
  5. Is the grace gospel true? Yes.
  6. What did Calvin teach? Calvinism, which is a false gospel of works.
  7. Did Billy Graham believe in Lordship salvation? We can’t know that. We know he taught Lordship salvation.
  8. Are Lordship salvation teachers saved? We can’t know that. We know they are under God’s curse (Galatians 1:8-9).
  9. Do works salvationists go to hell? Yes, if they have never trusted in Christ alone as Savior. No, if they have ever trusted in Christ alone as Savior.
  10. Does the Assembly of God Church teach Lordship salvation? They teach works for salvation.
  11. What is a five point Spurgeonist? A false teacher of salvation by works.
  12. Does Paul Washer teach Lordship salvation? Yes.
  13. Is Lordship salvation reformed? Yes.
  14. Is salvation by grace false doctrine? No.
  15. Can a professed Christian lose or forfeit his or her salvation? A Christian, professed or otherwise, cannot lose or forfeit eternal life.
  16. What does Kyle Idleman teach? A false gospel of salvation by works.
  17. Great preachers who believe in Lordship salvation? While we can never know what anyone believes, there is no such thing as a great preacher who preaches Lordship salvation.
  18. How many times is the word “hope” written in the Bible? By my count, the word “hope” appears 142 times in the KJV.
  19. How can people be so deceived as to believe in Calvinism? Because they believe the words of men over the word of God.
  20. Changed life necessary for salvation? No.

As you can see from the above questions, people are searching for the truth, and we are fortunate that some of them end up here at Expreacherman. Following is an appeal we made as part of an article published a few months back. I would ask our readers and commenters to once again reflect on it:

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, please click here: The Gospel

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

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

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

Please find the booklet linked below:

The Alls

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

Lordship Salvation and Vacation Bible Schools: Clueless, Careless, or Callous?

By johninnc

Ephesians 4:14: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

It is that time of year again when the advertisements for Vacation Bible Schools (VBSs) start showing up on church marquees. Unfortunately, the VBSs are only as good as the churches that sponsor them.

Many of the churches that sponsor VBSs are either unclear, inconsistent, or just plain wrong on the subject of how one receives eternal life. As such, they are completely unsuitable for teaching God’s word to anyone, including our children.

A couple of years ago, we featured an article on summer Bible camps and VBS, which is linked below. We still believe it provides a useful framework for evaluating these programs.

Camp Lordship Salvation: Are Your Kids Safe?

In addition to the Biblically unsound churches that sponsor VBSs are the commercial purveyors of VBS supplies to the churches. I recently came across one such purveyor whose complete list of “frequently asked questions” was as follows:

  • What Bible translation does Group VBS use?
  • Is Group VBS associated with a denomination?
  • What are God Sightings®?
  • Is there a missions component to your VBS programs?
  • How do preschoolers tie into Group VBS?
  • How can I easily manage my VBS?
  • Who do I contact if I have questions or issues?
  • What are the main differences between the programs?
  • Do I have to follow Group’s suggested format?
  • Where can I go to find decorating ideas?
  • How many volunteers do your vbs programs take?

Please note that none of the questions had anything to do with how one receives eternal life. When I drilled down into the first question regarding Bible translation, I was dismayed to find that they use exclusively the NLT (New Living Translation), which contains a lot of error that is central to the gospel message. I also find it astounding that a company would actually purport to trademark “God Sightings”!

I would strongly advise against allowing your children to go to any VBS sponsored by a church that is clueless, careless, or callous.

Clueless means any church that is not absolutely clear regarding the gospel message. That would include any church that teaches salvation by works, either directly or by implication. It would include any church that teaches that water baptism or public confession of Christ are required to receive eternal life. Or, that eternal life can be lost or forfeited. And, it would include any church that insists that “a true Christian will ___.”

Careless may mean that the church is affiliated with a group, such as the Southern Baptist Convention or the Presbyterian Church USA, that distorts the gospel message. It might also mean that the church allows the teaching of books like “The Fan,” that contradict the gospel, or that the church allows false teachers, such as Charles Spurgeon or Billy Graham, to be quoted favorably.

Callous means that the church isn’t really concerned whether or not your child has eternal life. Instead, they may be focused on promoting false social gospels, on ill-conceived missions, or on the performances of  good deeds.

Of course, in order to be able to determine whether a church, or its VBS are sound, you must know the gospel and be well-grounded in it.

If you would like to know where to start click here: The Gospel

Lordship Salvation? Here Are Some Signs

By johninnc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Turn or Burn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. FAITH – Forsaking All I Trust Him.

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

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

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

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

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

12. By perseverance — the snail reached the ark.

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

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

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

14. Jesus Christ came to make bad people good.

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

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

(Wrongly implies that one can lose eternal life.)

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

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

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

Lordship Salvation and the Four Corners Offense

By johninnc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The four common perversions of grace are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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