Category Archives: Faith

Freed From the Bondage of Lordship Salvation and Religions

OUR REGRETS, by Jack Weaver:

We regret to say that the lady who was so excited about being freed from the bondage of Lordship Salvation and gave us permission to print her testimony here at ExPreacherMan has requested that her article be removed.

It is a tragic shame but she has succumbed to false teachers and no longer believes what she originally wrote about her salvation. She cannot get clear in her mind the true Biblical meaning of the word “repent,” A CHANGE OF MIND, in spite of all the scripture many of us have shared with her in personal communications.

We request that you pray diligently for her in her search, that she will heed the Truth of God’s Word and salvation by Grace and not by works of any individual righteousness.

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

Jesus alone is The Savior and He alone has done all the saving for us by His Death, Burial and Resurrection, apart from our good works. He tells us that we appropriate that salvation by simply believe in Him — that He is the ALL SUFFICIENT SAVIOR. (John 3:16-18)

God’s Guarantee of Eternal Life!! << Click

Free Grace Gospel Tract: Let’s Build it Together

saved by grace

Greetings Free Grace Friends!

This is a new project which I trust will be instructive, beneficial and a good way to demonstrate the Truth of the Free Grace Gospel as opposed to the Folly of other “gospels.” Anyone can participate, but the administration reserves the right to review and possibly edit some of the comments for appropriate content, grammar or length.

Here are the rules:

There will be two categories listed in the tract. The first will be comprised of genuine presentations of the Free Grace Gospel of the Bible. The second category will be made up of poor or false presentations of statements which are commonly referred to as, “the gospel.” Please keep your statements BRIEF (one or two lines per category maximum) as this process is meant to assemble an easy-to-read free-flowing tract. Brief Scripture references or Scripture quotations are fine (King James refs. preferred). Please limit your comments to one entry per category per day. This restriction will allow lots of people to take part in the project. As the entries come in, they will be checked as indicated above, and, if appropriate, they will then be added to the tract. Well, that’s about it for now. Thanks, in advance, for participating. Here are the two categories: “Proper, Biblical, Free Grace Presentations of the Gospel,” and, “Inappropriate, False or Erroneous Presentations of What is Called, “the gospel”

Proper, Biblical, Free Grace Presentations of the Gospel:

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

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.”

Jesus Christ was fully man yet fully God. He lived a sinless life and died on a cross, shedding his blood in the process, as a payment for our sin. It was only by a perfect sacrifice that our sin could be forgiven. Jesus died, was buried, and rose again. He is in heaven and is the only means by which man can be saved from the penalty of sin and thereby escape eternal damnation.
Do you realize that you are a sinner that stands condemned before God? Rom 3:23 Do you understand that Christ died for you? Will you this very moment trust Christ alone to be your Savior? The Bible says that whosoever believes on Him (Christ) shall have everlasting life. John 3:16.

“Trust in Christ alone for your Salvation and in nothing else.”

We don’t “do” anything to be saved. It is a free gift. We only need to BELIEVE!

Shorthand equation…: Eternal Salvation = Faith + Nothing

There really is no other way to obtain salvation than this:

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
John 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
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.

(true) Acts 16;30-31 “what Must I do to be saved? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ . . .

True: “We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood.”

Genuine:
Romans 6:23(NKJV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“Our salvation was infinitely costly to God, but it is absolutely free to us.” Quote by Dave Branon.

1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Eph 2:8-9 For by grace… There is no price that we can add to obtain salvation. Christ paid the price. There is no additional price to be paid on our part. We must simply put out faith in Christ alone to save us.

Statements Below are Inappropriate, False or Erroneous Presentations of What is Called, “the gospel” (again, these statements below are NOT the true gospel of the Bible).

“Turn or burn”

“Faith sandwich” – works on the outside, faith in Christ on the inside. Can also be served “open face”. Example:
Works – Repent of your sins
Faith – Place your faith in Jesus
Works – Surrender to Jesus as Lord

A sampling of “the MacArthur” plan of salvation (for the full message, see: Comments, Holly’s list of MacArthur sayings). Sample: “Becoming a Christian is not easy. It’s hard. Another way to say all that is that the Kingdom opens up to those who seek with all their hearts. You’re not going to sleep your way into the Kingdom. The Kingdom requires earnest endeavor, untiring energy . . .”

Two false gospel quotes: 1. Calvinism is the Gospel. (Sermons, Vol. 1, p. 50) Spurgeon . . . . 2. I believe that Christ came into the world not to put men into a salvable state, but into a saved state. Not to put them where they could save themselves, but to do the work in them and for them, from first to last. (Sermons, Vol. 3, p. 34) Spurgeon

Inappropriate expressions I hear a lot:

“Count the cost”

“Forsake your life”

There are so many mountains in your life, so many obstacles in your life; so many things in your life that seek to derail you−to stop you. And they’re going to stay there because some of those things just don’t go away by counseling. They go away by falling on your face before God until He delivers you. ~Paul Washer

So I would like to add that the notion of “praying a sinner’s prayer” or “asking Jesus into your heart” is one example of a false or faulty gospel.

Erroneous faith + works analogy: Salvation is like a row boat. One oar is faith. The other oar is works. If one uses one oar only, the boat goes in circles. If both oars are used, the boat travels in a straight path to its destination (i.e., heaven). But we are not going to Heaven in a rowboat. Rather, we are carried to heaven on the shoulders of the good Shepherd, Jesus Christ!

(Illustration above based on a Dr. Harry Ironside sermon)

False quotes:

• “Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God… If we don’t want God above all things, we have not been converted by the gospel.”
― John Piper, God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself

“Gospel repentance is tapping into the joy of our union with Christ in order to weaken our need to do anything contrary to God’s heart.” [@DailyKeller]
“You are not saved by love, joy, peace…You are saved by faith not fruit, BUT you are never saved by fruitless faith.” [@dailykeller]

And finally today, one more head scratcher from Spurgeon:

“Avoid a sugared gospel as you would shun sugar of lead. Seek the gospel which rips up and tears and cuts and wounds and hacks and even kills, for that is the gospel that makes alive again. And when you have found it, give good heed to it. Let it enter into your inmost being. As the rain soaks into the ground, so pray the Lord to let his gospel soak into your soul.” Spurgeon

(false statements )-faith alone justifies but the faith that justifies is never alone; also salvation is free but it can cost you everything (these two are not for the tract but I couldn’t resist mentioning them—kept them in, they are worth mentioning)

(this is a common tract prayer) believe in Jesus, feel sorry for your sins and turn or be willing to turn from your sins etc, etc.

More false definitions of even what faith is, by W.E. Vine as quoted by Macarthur in “the Gospel according to Jesus”:

Faith consists of “a firm conviction…a personal surrender…[and] conduct inspired by such surrender” (173-174). According to this definition, faith includes conduct, that is, works. Faith is conviction, surrender, and conduct.

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

Here was one on FB: Instead of hugging and accepting a sinner in their sin, how about warning them of the truth of hell damnation and salvation through repentance to Jesus? Few warn because most are with sinners on the broad path to destruction. TIME TO REPENT AND DEDICATE TO JESUS AND BE SEPARATE FROM SIN. . . . When asked what one did with the woman at the well or later they asked about why Paul still sinned, this was the answer: Dear soul, those whom were forgiven were changed and left their sin…Jesus didn’t forgive those who stayed in their sins…He didnt say to the pharisees who refused to repent “Your sins are forgiven” Dont be fooled if you stay in sin and won’t turn from the broad path, then you won’t find the forgiveness needed to enter heaven…Rather hell instead…Time for you to repent and seek to know Jesus and he will lead you and forgive you…….

What You Must Do:
God commands all men everywhere to repent of their sins, turn to God, and believe in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Come to Him and flee from the wrath to come! To repent is to turn away from everything in your life that goes against God’s will, including your works, words, and thoughts.
Stop fighting against God! Fall down before Him and stop trying to justify yourself and think you’re good enough. Admit your wickedness before a holy God, your helplessness to do anything to please Him, and trust in nothing except what Christ has done.
If you come to Christ, repenting of your sins and believing in Him, you will be saved. . . .

Repentance: 1) to change one’s mind, i.e. to repent
2) to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins “Repentance (metanoia, ‘change of mind’) involves a turning with contrition from sin to God; the repentant sinner is in the proper condition to accept the divine forgiveness.” (F. F. Bruce. The Acts of the Apostles [Greek Text Commentary], London: Tyndale, 1952, p. 97.)

On the topic of salvation in one sermon MacArthur compared it to an exchange. He said, “It’s an exchange of all that I am for all that he is.”

Lordship “Salvation” – Playing Hide and Seek with the Gospel

hide and seek

By our friend, contributor and commenter, John

 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.

How does Satan use Lordship “salvation” to keep people from believing the Gospel?

Following are some of my random thoughts on this question.  Please feel free to add yours.

False Fronts

 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.”

Much of mainstream Christendom teaches some form of false gospel of faith plus works.  Churches that fall into this category are not really churches at all – they are false fronts.  Satan loves to steer lost people into these buildings of bewilderment.

Consider the following from the Statement of Faith of a large Southern Baptist Convention affiliate in South Carolina:

“Our only hope is God’s free gift of salvation provided through Jesus’ death on the cross. When we repent of our sin, place our faith in Jesus, and surrender to Jesus as Lord we are saved.”

Of course our only hope is God’s free gift of salvation by Grace through Faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8).  Unfortunately, by adding “when we repent of our sins” and “surrender to Jesus as Lord” as conditions of receiving eternal life, this church is not preaching the Gospel.

Note that the SBC mantra is “Reaching the World for Christ”.  This is not a likely outcome.

Playing for the Wrong Team

Closely associated with false fronts are believers who align themselves with them.

According to a March 27, 2013 blog in “The Christian Post”, the combined membership of the top 15 denominations in the United States is 62 million.  At the top of the list, with 16.2 million members, is the Southern Baptist Convention, followed by the United Methodist Church at 7.8 million.  Following is a quote:

 “…I have noted on a number of occasions how church membership, unfortunately, is fast becoming a meaningless number. Only the Assemblies of God on this list reported membership growth from the previous year, and their growth rate was only one-half 0f one percent.”

The real shame is that the membership numbers for many of these denominations are not shrinking faster.

Camouflage

 The Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) is a specific message that is unique in that it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes.  Countless false gospels have been created by adding to the content of saving faith.

In his article “Attaching Personal Righteousness to the Backside of the Gospel Message”, J.O. Hosler writes:

“…one’s positions on the millennium, the rapture, or the length of days in creation do not fall within the parameters of what is essential to personal salvation. If we take a biblical concept that is important and profitably true and make it a contingency of the gospel when it is not, we have changed the gospel (Gal. 1:6-9).”

Fomenting Dissension among Believers

My final thought is that Satan’s work does not stop once a person believes.  He loves to cause dissension between us by appealing to our fleshly natures.  He hopes to divide and conquer by appealing to our emotions.  This includes misplaced loyalty to pastors or theologians, hurt over perceived slights from other believers, and disagreements over non-central theological issues.

The Grace Gospel of TRUTH << Click

Sympathy for Rick and Kay Warren at Their Son’s Suicide

By Jack Weaver

Rick and Kay Warren’s son, Matthew, committed suicide a week or so ago.

Many of us here have children and, no matter their age or circumstances, we can think of nothing worse than discovering that our child has committed suicide. We have sympathy for the Warrens as they go through their grief and loss. We also know that a parent cannot command the actions of a twenty something son or daughter.

There have been no statements released indicating that their son, Matthew, ever made that critical decision to trust Jesus Christ alone as his Savior, by Grace alone through Faith alone. We see many well meaning Christians speaking of Matthew, that they hope he will RIP (rest in peace). If he ever trusted Jesus Christ alone as his Savior, he will, right now, be resting at peace with his Savior, Jesus. However if he never made that decision to trust Jesus alone as his Savior, he is, like every unbeliever, not resting in peace but experiencing the horrors of Hell. That is Biblical fact! (John 3:18)

However, at this time while our feelings for the Warren family are sincere, we should not allow our sympathy to betray or cloud our Biblical discernment. Absolutely nothing can erase the horrible damage that Rick Warren’s “theology” has done to Biblical Christianity.

We pray that sympathy for the Warren family will not translate into Christians, out of compassion and tenderness, seeking to further investigate, follow and believe his false teachings.

One of Warren’s friends, Beth Moore (a false teacher in her own right), on Warren’s own web site, Pastors.com, used the occasion of Matthews suicide to write a scathing article, critical of any “believers” who would write anything against Warren’s false teaching at this particular time. She called out such Christians as being, relentless, mud slingers, mean, careless, bullies, enemies, hateful, mockers, slanderers, self serving, and snide.

Well, for years we have tried to document some of Rick Warren’s more egregious examples of promoting false doctrine, as well as his efforts to promote ecumenism.  Below are a few examples:

Here is Rick Warren speaking at his World Economic Forum Conference at Georgetown University. He brought in 3 Catholic priests, 3 Imams, 3 “Evangelical” ministers, 3 Rabbis — and asked what can we do about AIDS. He speaks of the Islamic Imams as his “Islamic brothers.”
This video is from the “World Economic Forum” in 2009 with — United Nations gurus Tony Blair (former UK Prime Minister) and Ban Ki Moon. This seems to be an ecumenical run up to the last World Ruling Power and the one world church.
Warren’s Ecumenical Anti-Biblical Video << Click

Quotes from Rick Warren at ExPreacherMan:

His Anti-Biblical remarks about fundamental Christianity:

“Today there really aren’t that many Fundamentalists left; I don’t know if you know that or not, but they are such a minority; there aren’t that many Fundamentalists left in America … Now the word ‘fundamentalist’ actually comes from a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And it is a very legalistic, narrow view of Christianity.” Quote by Rick Warren, May 2005

He calls Biblical fundamentalism an enemy – compares with Muslim fanatics:

[Fundamentalism is] “one of the big enemies of the 21st century.” “Muslim fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, secular fundamentalism – they’re all motivated by fear. Fear of each other.” Rick Warren, January 2006

As believers in God’s free Grace we should sympathize with  the Warren’s in their grief, just as we would with any other human beings. But please, do not fall for the ecumenical gobbledygook being spread by the religious left that we must “feel” for the Warren’s and consequently embrace Rick’s foul teaching.

Eternal Life for You FREE << Click

The Mistrusting Groom: A Portrait of Lordship Salvation’s Capricious “god”

just married 3

The following story illustrates the vindictiveness and absurdity of the false “god” of Lordship Salvation, an unbiblical “god” who denies that salvation comes by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16-18; Acts 16:30-31); a whimsical “god” who denies assurance of salvation to all; a “god” of man’s creation who demands the promise of a lifetime of obedient [some say “over-the-top,” “on-fire”] unwavering commitment—failure to fulfill that promise for a lifetime will, for the purveyor of Lordship Salvation teaching prove that one was never saved to begin with. What a mean ridiculous unbiblical “god” is this “god” of Lordship Salvation.

Source for the following story: Sarah Hinlicky Wilson, “What’s His Is Ours,” from ChristianityToday.com, September 14, 2012, vol. 56, No. 8, Pg. 32.

“Picture this: a bride and groom dashing out of the church, through the showers of birdseed and into the limo, all aglow with the light of love from the vows they’ve just taken. In the backseat of the car, en route to the reception, they embrace and kiss. Then the groom announces that he has something to say.

“Now you realize, my dear,” he begins, “that, as far as I’m concerned, we can’t really say we’re married, because I don’t know yet what kind of wife you’ll turn out to be. I hope for the best, of course. And I’ll help you all I can. But only at the end of our lives will I be able to tell if you’ve lived up to my expectations. If you have—then, and only then, I’ll agree that we truly got married today. But if you don’t, then as far as I’m concerned we were never married at all. After all, how can I call you my wife if you fail to be a wife to me?”

Under such circumstances, it will not be a happy honeymoon—if there’s one at all. A wife cannot be a wife if her whole existence as wife is conditional and under constant scrutiny (likewise for a husband). She will certainly fail. This groom has completely misunderstood what just happened. A marital vow is a forward-looking creative act, not a retrospective judgment. The couple that tied the knot only 60 minutes ago is every bit as married as the couple celebrating their 60th anniversary. Whatever happens in the course of the marriage does not affect the “married-ness” of that couple.”

To Free Grace Believers, Sunday is Not “Easter”

By Jack Weaver

This coming Sunday, March 31, 2013, is not “Easter.” We who place our faith in Jesus Christ alone for our eternal salvation do not worship Ostara, one of the Nordic or Germanic pagan goddesses of fertility for whom “Easter” was named. It is not a day to celebrate with eggs and bunnies.

I must admit, before I trusted Christ as my Savior and even some time after, we celebrated the world wide pagan tradition of Easter — with bunnies, eggs and such gifts for the children. But now — it is clear:

Our celebration is the remembrance of the RESURRECTION of our Savior, Jesus Christ who showed Himself alive after He gave Himself to be crucified for the sins of the world (to pay the death penalty we owe). The crucifixion was three days and three nights earlier, just as Jesus predicted. (Matthew 12:40)

John 3:16-18

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten [born] Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name [JESUS] of the only begotten [born] Son of God.”

As a child of about six or seven I memorized the 1st verse in that series but never understood or believed it until age 35 when it was fully explained. Until I trusted Christ as my Savior, I had no idea that what we called “Easter” was actually a celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead.

It is important that we put those verses in context with these:

1 Corinthians 15:1-5

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if [forasmuch as] ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ [The Messiah, Savior] 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:” [and factually witnessed by many]

The Resurrection (not “Easter) is a fact and is vital to the Gospel of our salvation:

1 Corinthians 15:17
“And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.”

The Gospel of our salvation is only by believing it is God’s Gift of eternal life by Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. His Salvation is eternal – it is NOT probation!!

Let us be thankful and remember — this Sunday is not Easter! It is the remembrance of the Resurrection of our Dear Savior.

If you are not absolutely sure of Heaven, please read the next verse from the Bible, click below, read, and believe the link below and trust in Jesus Christ as your only Savior.

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

Have the peace and Joy of KNOWING:  Eternal Life is FREE << Click

Lordship Salvation for Kids? “Crazy Love” Lite: A Review of Francis Chan’s Children’s Book, “Halfway Herbert”

“Crazy Love” Lite: A Review of Francis Chan’s
Children’s Book, “Halfway Herbert” (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook Publishers, 2010)

by Califgracer

Halfway Herb

At First Glance:

Here’s a sampling of praises from glowing online reviews of Francis Chan’s children’s book, “Halfway Herbert”:

· “Excellent children’s book!”
· “great book for children of all ages!”
· “awesome book for kids and adults alike.”
· “a favorite with my children”
· “the book is great!”
· “an excellent book that helps teach honesty, integrity, hard work, and doing your best work.”

After taking a brief glimpse at the book, cover to cover, my superficial assessment was somewhat in line with the comments listed above. The artwork is attractive, bright and colorful. The narration is pithy with large letters for children to be able to follow along. The book’s layout is skillfully organized with artful interspersing of pictures and narration. The basic theme seemed innocuous, emphasizing virtues such as achieving goals, integrity, proper enthusiasm, and honesty. If my children were still young and I came across this book in a secular bookstore, not knowing anything about the book or its author, I might be inclined to pick up a copy. However, let’s investigate the book, “Halfway Herbert,” a little further.

A Closer Examination:

First, let’s look at the author of “Halfway Herbert,” Francis Chan. Chan is a former pastor from Simi Valley, CA, who now spends much of his time speaking at various conferences nationwide. He is the author of the best-selling book (two million plus copies sold to date), “Crazy Love.” He teaches and preaches a caustic, judgmental, all-or-nothing, brand of Lordship Salvation which absolutely decimates assurance of salvation for the believer who follows his teachings. For the unbeliever, his teachings may thwart that person from experiencing genuine Biblical salvation through trusting in Christ alone by grace alone through faith alone for salvation—Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16-18; John 11:25-26. This fact has been well chronicled at Expreacherman.com. See, for example, the articles:

https://expreacherman.com/2012/07/22/francis-chans-latest-speech-to-5000-christian-youths-questioning-their-faith/

https://expreacherman.com/2012/03/27/francis-chans-latest-pronouncement-failure-to-help-the-poor-could-send-you-to-hell/

Chan’s book, “Crazy Love,” could be viewed as a manual for Lordship Salvation teaching (a.k.a., Lordship Faith or Lordship Probation). In “Crazy Love,” Francis Chan concocts his own artificial list of characteristics of what he dubs, “the lukewarm.” In a nutshell, “lukewarm” means basically any churchgoer who does not live up to some lofty, on-fire, over-the-top level of service for God, whatever all of that entails. According to Chan, all of the “lukewarm” are unbelievers bound for hell. To read a complete review of “Crazy Love,” coming from a Free Grace perspective, see:

Click to access BookReview%20ofCrazyLove.pdf

Since “Halfway Herbert” comes from the pen of Francis Chan, I would expect for there to be an emphasis on Lordship Salvation in the book. I was not wrong, although Chan’s approach was more subdued and veiled in this book written for children. Was “Halfway Herbert” intended to be a “Crazy Love” Lordship Salvation message targeted at children? The top headline on the rear of the book answers that question in no uncertain terms. It boldly and proudly refers to the book as, “The ‘Crazy Love’ Message for Kids!” I refer to the book as, “Crazy Love Lite.”

Content of the Book “Halfway Herbert”

In the book, “Halfway Herbert,” we are introduced to a young boy who has quite a problem: he does everything halfway. He eats only half of his meals; he brushes only half of his teeth; he does only half of his homework; he plays soccer only half-heartedly; he tells half truths. After we find out about Herbert, he experiences a minor bicycle accident, denting his father’s car, and then lying about the incident to his dad. His dad lovingly admonishes him and then uses the occasion to give him a Lordship Salvation type “salvation” message :

“Jesus doesn’t want us to love Him halfway. God doesn’t want us to live out of just half of our hearts. He tells us this in the Bible.” (Chan proceeds in the book to tell the story of a man building a tower, from Luke 14:28-30; a classic text used by Lordship Salvation teachers to try to prove that genuine salvation requires first “counting the cost.” In actuality, the text refers to the cost of discipleship, NOT salvation.) Chan continues: “This man didn’t just try halfway with his tower, and we shouldn’t follow Jesus halfway either. He deserves our whole hearts, our total devotion.” “But I’ve never been able to do things all the way,” cried Herbert. “God knows that none of us can love Him all the way by ourselves. So He gave us a friend called the Holy Spirit to help us live out of our whole hearts,” Herbert’s dad said. “When we decide to follow Jesus all the way, God’s Spirit fills up our hearts and helps us obey God.” “Can God’s Spirit help me?” Herbert asked. “Yes,” his dad answered. “God loves when we ask for His help!” So Herbert prayed, “Jesus, I am sorry I haven’t obeyed You. I want to follow You, but I don’t want to follow You halfway. I need Your help. Please give me Your Spirit so I can know how to follow You.” God answered Herbert’s prayer. Now he finishes things! . . . He also tries to obey what he reads in his Bible. He isn’t perfect, but God’s Spirit helps him.

Closing Thoughts

So what can we take away from our brief look at the book “Halfway Herbert?” Some would certainly say, “It’s just a simple harmless book, written strictly for children, which has a nice sweet innocent message.” But think about it for a moment. If the book is really what it claims to be, namely, “The Crazy Love Message for Kids!”, then, by self admission, it is a declaration of a false gospel, namely, Lordship Salvation. Did you notice that nowhere in the father-son dialog was anything mentioned about trusting in Christ Jesus alone by grace alone through faith alone for salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 16:30-31)? On the contrary, all you see is a call to striving, a call to working harder for God, for attempting to do your best—namely, a works-for-salvation approach—a FALSE gospel! And it’s targeted at KIDS! How tragic!

Calvinist and Lordship Salvationist Objections to the Doctrine of Rewards

 Contributed by our dear friend, John

In my day-to-day discussions with professing believers, I have found several that have never even heard of the doctrine of rewards (the Judgment Seat of Christ).  When I have tried to explain the concept to them, responses have ranged from mild skepticism (“why haven’t I ever heard of this”) to outright rejection (“that doesn’t sound right”).

The doctrine of rewards is clearly taught throughout scripture, including in 1 Corinthians 3:8-15:

Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.  For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Following are the top ten reasons I can think of as to why someone might object to the doctrine of rewards:

  1. Ignorance – most churches don’t teach it.
  2. Disbelief in the doctrine of Grace – the doctrine of rewards is in direct conflict with Lordship “salvation.”
  3. Disbelief in eternal security – works must be done to stay saved.
  4. Disbelief in the doctrine of assurance – works are viewed as either the primary or supplemental basis of assurance.
  5. Belief in the Calvinistic tenets of “irresistible grace” and “perseverance of the saints.”
  6. Belief that good works are automatic in the life of the believer.
  7. Misunderstanding of the two natures of the believer.
  8. Confusing the judgment seat of Christ with the Great White Throne judgment or the Sheep and Goats judgment.
  9. Belief in a social gospel – the thought of differential rewards for believers may offend the sensibilities of someone with a socialist perspective.
  10. Confusion between scriptural passages dealing with the gift of eternal life vs. rewards for faithfulness – belief that heaven is the reward (see number 2).

From Clear Gospel Campaign:

“We believe that history unmistakably demonstrates that the lack of a clear understanding of the doctrine of the Judgment Seat of Christ leaves a theological vacuum on the question of human works and divine judgment, and that this vacuum is invariably filled by a corruption of the gospel of grace with some form of salvation by Christ-plus-works.  Accordingly, we believe that the teaching and preaching of the judgment seat of Christ, although not in any way part of the gospel message, is nevertheless essential to the preservation of the purity of the gospel message.”

Eternal Life Free For You <click

Calvinists /Lordship Salvationists Set Up a Straw-Man Argument Against Free Grace Teachers — It Is Called “Decisional Regeneration.”

strawman 2

By Jack Weaver and our friend/contributor, John

We recently received a comment (which we did not publish) from a gentlemen who stated:

I am so glad you and your generation are retired! Yours is the generation that brought us the damnable practice of decisional regeneration. I thank God for these men [Washer and Platt] and their stance for the truth.

This was the first I had heard of the accusation, the pejorative called “decisional regeneration.” As I searched the Internet for the phrase, the accusation abounds… almost exclusively from Calvinists and Lordship Salvation advocates (usually one and the same) aimed at those who preach God’s Free Grace.

The false idea and straw-man of “decisional regeneration” is built upon the error perpetrated by many Baptists (and other) religionists who preach that one can be saved or regenerated by “coming forward to the altar,” saying a “sinners prayer” or praying a “prayer of commitment.” They then presume the person is “saved” and “regenerated.”

It must be clearly understood that regeneration does not occur because of an altar call, the sinner’s prayer or a “commitment.”

The Biblical truth is that one must willingly believe or have faith that the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is all sufficient and has completely paid his sin debt (which is eternal death – separation from God).

It is not an individual’s “decision” that regenerates but it is God’s Holy Spirit Who regenerates the individual the instant he freely and by his own will places his faith in Jesus Christ to save him.

However, most Calvinists, and many Lordship “salvationists,” reject outright man’s free will in responding to the Gospel by either believing in Christ as Savior or rejecting Him.

The Calvinists say no one can make a decision to trust Jesus Christ as Savior because of their belief in the first two false and ridiculous points of their Calvinist TULIP doctrine:

(1) “T” Total Depravity (or better stated, Total inability) that man is so “depraved” that he has no ability to make a decision to trust Christ as Savior under any circumstances.

This false belief is soundly refuted by J.O. Hosler in his book entitled “The Baptismal Regeneration/Believer’s Baptism Debate”:

Lost man’s capacity to see the truth, comprehend it, and desire deliverance from condemnation, is not a saving virtue. But Jesus was presenting Himself to this capacity in man when He preached, performed miracles, rose from the dead, and instituted miraculous gifts in the apostles. Fulfilled prophecy is an appeal to this capacity. Satan is fully aware of this capacity and knows that he must work to prevent lost souls from seeing the light—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 (II Corinthians 4:4; cf. John 1:7; 12:36).”

(2) “U” Unconditional Election — that God has determined from the foundation of the world whom He would “elect” to be saved.

The Bible clearly states that God’s salvation is available to anyone and all (John 3:16) who believes in Jesus and that God has not elected anyone to salvation and likewise none to hell.

Clear Gospel Campaign explains it as follows:

We reject the doctrine of “sovereign grace,” that God infuses in certain elect persons some divine empowering substance that will “irresistibly” impel them to faith in Christ, and that apart from this infusion, men are incapable of faith.  Faith is an act of the creature, not an imposition of the Creator.  And the drawing of men to faith Christ is an act of the personal Triune God, not a product of an impersonal Aristotelian substance…

The fact that not all men respond to Christ is evidence that they are endowed with a free will to resist the drawing of the Father, and to reject the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit, thereby calling the Holy Spirit a liar.

The Bible is very clear on the terms of salvation.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou SHALT be saved.” Acts 16:31

That is not something that we or our generation brought.  It is Biblical salvation.

Eternal Life For You <click

Pure, Simple Grace Gospel Illustrated!!

Dr. Tom Cucuzza

The simple, clear Gospel of God’s Grace — The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tom’s Church: http://www.northlandchurch.com/

You will never hear/see it any clearer.

Notes on Calvin and Calvinism: Was John Calvin Really a Calvinist?

A Possible Sheep in Wolves’ Clothes or a Hard-core Calvinist Through and Through?—Notes on Calvin and Calvinism: Was John Calvin Really a Calvinist?
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Calvin or not

Sources:

Dr. Phil Stringer, “Was John Calvin a Calvinist?” Grace Leadership Conference, 2011, Quentin Road Bible Baptist Church, Lake Zurich, IL.

Kent Kelly, “Inside the Tulip,” Southern Pines, NC, 1986.

Calvin’s Commentaries and Calvin’s “Institutes.”

Introduction:

In recent years, there has been a growing trend in Christianity for people to claim that John Calvin, the founder of modern Calvinism, did not really believe or teach what is being taught by Calvinists today. Many want to hold Calvin up as some sort of an iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation while, at the same time, they wish to distance themselves from the radical unbiblical teachings attributed to Calvin. They claim that the Five Points of Calvinism, known by the acronym “TULIP,” were actually invented by the Synod of Dort, over fifty years after Calvin’s death, having little or nothing to do with what Calvin actually taught. Some even want to go so far as to claim that Calvin really taught a Free Grace gospel. Startling!

Who are these people, mentioned above?

1. “New” Calvinists. This group generally holds to the modern five points of Calvinism but stands against “double predestination,” sometimes referred to as, “hypercalvinism,” the teaching that God predestined some for heaven and some for hell (neither can do anything to change that fate). They claim that Calvin did not teach double predestination.
2. “Moderate” Calvinists. They hold to only one to four of the five points of Calvinism. Most from this category would object to “limited atonement,” (the “L” of TULIP) the Calvinist false, unbiblical teaching that Christ died only for the elect. Some “moderate” Calvinists also deny that their concept of Calvinism teaches Lordship “Salvation.” Some also deny that Calvin taught Lordship “Salvation.”
3. Free Grace believers. Now, this is astonishing! But, yes, there are actually some who hold to the Free Grace Gospel of the Bible who think that John Calvin was, in reality, a Free Grace theologian! “He has just gotten a bad rap,” they say. How naïve is this! I submit that those who make this claim have read only short isolated clips of what Calvin wrote. Folks such as this love to answer Calvinists by saying, “Well, even Calvin himself didn’t believe what you teach.” Frankly, it is an impossible stretch to demonstrate that Calvin taught Free Grace theology. His standard pattern of writing throughout his commentaries is, when confronted with a Bible text that unmistakably declares that Christ died for the sins of ALL the world and, further, when the Bible explains the Gospel message of God’s Free Grace salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, Calvin initially states what the text says plainly (Free Grace); HOWEVER, he quickly filters the text through his preconceived skewed theological construct, restating, contradicting and denying what the text of the Bible clearly declares. This theological filter appears to have originated from his background of being a Roman Catholic Priest and, for a time, a humanist. He also held the teachings of Augustine in the highest regard.

Was Calvin simply a moderate or limited Calvinist, a Free Grace Gospel teacher who has been misquoted, or, in reality, a strong Calvinist or Hyper-Calvinist? Let’s look at some quotations from Calvin and see what he really said.

From Calvin’s Commentaries
1. John 6:33 KJV: “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” Calvin’s response: “This passage teaches that the whole world is dead to God, except so far as Christ quickens it, because life will be found nowhere else than in him.” NOTE: Calvin’s comment here affirms four of the five points of Calvinism (T, U, L, I) and denies that God gave his Son to the whole world (while God’s gift of salvation through belief in his Son is offered to the whole world, sadly, many will reject his gift—Matt. 23:37).
2. John 3:16 KJV: “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.” Calvin’s response: Calvin begins by acknowledging the clear meaning of the verse, but then quickly reverses his position: Calvin: “Let us remember, on the other hand, that while life is promised universally to all who believe in Christ, still faith is not common to all. For Christ is made known and held out to the view of all, but the elect alone are they whose eyes God opens, that they may seek him by faith.” Additionally, Calvin said, “We must not assume that ‘the world’ means every single individual human being, ‘world’ refers to those who have the capacity and ability to believe.” NOTE: Calvin affirms in this statement, unconditional election, limited atonement and irresistible grace (U, L and I of the Calvinist acronym TULIP). Dr. Phil Stringer relates further that Calvin repeatedly says throughout his Commentaries that “all,” or, “the world” mean, to him, all kinds of human beings, some out of each class or race of people, or ranks of life, not every human being. Calvin, thereby, attempts to dodge the clear straightforward meaning of “all” or “all the world,” in Scripture, as meaning EVERYONE. As Dr. Stringer put it so aptly, “Even a child can understand that all means ALL.”
3. Matthew 23:37 KJV: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Calvin’s response: “Again, when the sophists seize on this passage, to prove free will, and to set aside the secret predestination of God, the answer is easy. God wills to gather all men, say they; and therefore all are at liberty to come, and their will does not depend on the election of God. I reply: The will of God, which is here mentioned, must be judged from the result. For since by his word he calls all men indiscriminately to salvation, and since the end of preaching is, that all should betake themselves to his guardianship and protection, it may justly be said that he wills to gather all to himself. It is not, therefore, the secret purpose of God, but his will, which is manifested by the nature of the word, that is here described; for, undoubtedly, whomsoever he efficaciously wills to gather, he inwardly draws by his Spirit, and does not merely invite by the outward voice of man.” NOTE: Calvin holds to the classic Calvinist denial of free will while affirming the Calvinist U, L and I.
4. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Calvin’s response: once again, Calvin makes an initial affirmation of what the verse plainly states, but he quickly denies his affirmation with the following statement, “But it may be asked, If God wishes none to perish, why is it that so many do perish? To this my answer is, that no mention is here made of the hidden purpose of God, according to which the reprobate are doomed to their own ruin, but only of his will as made known to us in the gospel. For God there stretches forth his hand without a difference to all, but lays hold only of those, to lead them to himself, whom he has chosen before the foundation of the world.” Comment: Calvin clearly twists the clear meaning of the text, pushing his notion of limited atonement.
5. 1 John 2:2 KJV: “And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Calvin’s response: “Here a question may be raised, how have the sins of the whole world been expiated? I pass by the dotages of the fanatics, who under this pretense extend salvation to all the reprobate, and therefore to Satan himself. Such a monstrous thing deserves no refutation. . . . It seems to me that the Apostle is to be understood as speaking only of all those who believe, whether Jews or Gentiles, over the whole world. Then under the word all or whole, he does not include the reprobate, but designates those who should believe as well as those who were then scattered through various parts of the world.” Once again, Calvin denies the simple straightforward message of 1 John 2:2, while pushing his own theological platform of limited atonement.
6. James 2:17 KJV: “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” Calvin remarks, “He [James] says that faith is dead, being by itself, that is, when destitute of good works. We hence conclude that it is indeed no faith, for when dead, it does not properly retain the name.” James 2:18 KJV: “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works; shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” Calvin’s response: “Shew me by works thy faith; for since it is not an idle thing, it must necessarily be proved by works. The meaning then is, Unless thy faith brings forth fruits, I deny that thou hast any faith. This verse is a key to the meaning of James: faith is to be proved by works; then faith properly justifies and saves, and works prove its genuineness.” COMMENT: Calvin makes the standard error of Lordship “Salvation” teachers in misinterpreting James. James’ epistle clearly speaks to believers about the quality of their faith, NOT the reality of faith. Calvin unmistakably declares the Calvinist teaching of perseverance, the “P” of the Calvinist TULIP. Calvinist perseverance is nothing other than the false teaching of Lordship “Salvation.” For a detailed look at this subject, see Dr. Tom Cucuzza’s outstanding book, “Secure Forever! God’s Promise or Our Perseverance,” St. Cloud, MN: Xulon Press, 2008 (see the link on the right column of Expreacherman.com).
7. Finally, if there were any doubt left in anyone’s mind about where Calvin stood on what is known today as, “Calvinism,” look at this main title in Calvin’s “Institutes” section dealing with the subject of predestination. The title itself leaves no doubt on Calvin’s position: “Of the Eternal Election by Which God has Predestined Some to Salvation and Others Predestination in Hell.” This title and statement of his position, declares Calvin to be, not only a Calvinist, but a HYPERCALVINIST!

Lordship “Salvation” Authors/Speakers Francis Chan and David Platt Team Up to Create the “Multiply” Discipleship Movement

discipleship

Francis Chan, author of best-selling book, “Crazy Love,” and David Platt, author of the book “Radical,” haved teamed up to form a new movement called, “Multiply.”

On the face of this undertaking, the motivation may seem harmless, perhaps even noble—to motivate, to encourage, to enable people to make disciples. But we must analyze this situation more deeply by asking a couple of pertinent questions:

What happened to the gospel? The Bible declares that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16-18; Acts 16:30-31). Why is it that this new “movement” pushes discipleship but not salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone?

Make disciples of whom or of what theology? A disciple is simply a “follower.” But whom or what are people being asked to follow? Buddhists have their disciples (followers); so do Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. Promoters of Lordship “Salvation” have their disciples too.

As I read through some of the materials on the “Multiplymovement.com” website, it became quickly obvious that the “discipleship” principle being promoted was the standard radical Lordship “salvation” agenda which David Platt and Francis Chan have pushed for years through their radical LS books, videos, sermons and articles.

Here are a few excerpts from the Multiplymovement.com website:

From Part I, # 1, page 1, “What is a Disciple?”:

“It’s impossible to be a disciple or a follower of someone and not end up like that person. . . . Yet somehow many have come to believe that a person can be a ‘Christian’ without being like Christ. A ‘follower’ who doesn’t follow. How does that make any sense? Many people in the church have decided to take on the name of Christ and nothing else. This would be like Jesus walking up to those first disciples and saying, ‘Hey, would you guys mind identifying yourselves with Me in some way? Don’t worry, I don’t actually care if you do anything I do or change your lifestyle at all. I’m just looking for people who are willing to say they believe in Me and call themselves Christians.”

Comment: Standard Lordship Faith caricature of Free Grace theology.

From Part I, # 2, page 2, “How Do I Become a Disciple?”:

“The word repent means ‘to turn.’ It has the idea of changing direction and heading the opposite way. It involves action. . . . Jesus says we need to repent. This implies that we all need to turn from the way we are currently thinking and living.”

Comment: Standard Lordship Faith “salvation” message of “turning from one’s sins” and performing some kind of action in order to be saved. For LSers, believing in Christ alone by grace alone through faith alone is not meritorious enough, i.e., it is not sufficient to save a person from his sins.

From Part I, # 3, page 3, “The Lord of Grace”:

“Salvation is all about the grace of God.”

Comment: Great! Why don’t you believe it?

Continuing from page 3, “But keep in mind that while this is simple, it’s not easy. Faith in Jesus Christ means believing that He is Lord (according to Rom. 10:9). Have you ever thought about what Lord means? We sometimes think of it as another name for God, but it’s actually a title. It refers to a master, owner, or a person who is in a position of authority. So take a minute to think this through: Do you really believe that Jesus is your master? Do you believe that He is your owner—that you actually belong to Him? . . . The problem is, many in the church want to ‘confess that Jesus is Lord,’ yet they don’t believe that He is their master.”

Comment: Again, this is the standard Lordship Faith misapplication of Jesus Christ as “Lord.” Yes, Jesus Christ is Lord God of Creation, Lord God of Redemption, Lord God of the Universe, Lord God of ALL; He is Lord, in spite of any puny declaration that one can make. We do not make Jesus “Lord.” He IS Lord!

From Part I, #5, page 4, “Count the Cost”:

“As you work your way through this material, you will be challenged to consider what it means to be a follower of Jesus. . . . But before you set out to teach other people to be disciples of Jesus, you need to examine your heart and make sure that you are a disciple. Read the following words from Jesus slowly and carefully. Understand that Jesus is speaking these words to you. Think about what Jesus is saying and how it should affect the way you approach this material and your relationship with Him. After you have read this section, use the questions below to help you count the cost of following Jesus (quotation given from Luke 14: 25-33).”

Response: This text from Luke is often cited by Lordship Faith advocates to claim that salvation requires a whole array of promises to fulfill, statements of commitment to make, promises of things one must give up (money, lifestyle, etc.), and the carrying out of these promises in order to be worthy of acquiring or maintaining salvation. This is a misuse and a misapplication of a Scripture that has nothing to do with salvation; furthermore, it is a denial of the multitude of Scriptures that declare that salvation is completely a gift of God by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. There are NO STRINGS ATTACHED!

Christmas 2012 — Understand the True Meaning

Shepherds in the field

God’s message to the lowly Shepherds in the fields outside of Bethlehem – we take an unusual look at these precious, classic Bible verses which announced the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Luke 2:9-11
And, lo, the angel [messenger] of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be  to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

As we examine this classic verse – the emboldened words take on great new meaning.

(1) Good Tidings. Good News. The Greek word for this phrase is the exact same root word as the Gospel in Romans 1:16, It is the Power of God!!
“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.”

(2) To All People: Greek: Pas; all, any, every, the whole. Imagine that!!  The Good News of Salvation is for ALL people. God’s offer is not just to a specific chosen or select group but ALL people. When The Lord says, “All” He means ALL people!!

(3) Born: To literally be born, brought forth, be delivered, be in travail — as of a virgin, Mary, the mother of Jesus. Jesus Christ did not just appear on earth but He was physically born as God’s “only begotten Son.” John 3:16

(4) A Savior, One Who Saves Jesus is not offering nor is He the Author of a bi-lateral contract to individuals, in which we offer Him something in exchange for salvation. No!! He is the Savior. He has done it all, He paid the price — it was finished on the Cross of Calvary.

(5) Christ: Gr. Christos; The Anointed One, The promised Messiah, the Holy appointed One.

(6) The Lord – Gr. Kurios; supreme in authority, God, Lord, master. Jesus Christ, thereby God in the Flesh!!

Therefore we see The Lord, the Christ, the Savior was born to benefit ALL people — and my dear friends, that IS the Good News, the Good Tidings, the Gospel of our salvation.

In all the glory of His birth some two thousand years ago, He came to die on the Cross in order to eternally redeem anyone from the sin-debt death penalty upon all. Anyone who makes the decision to place their trust/faith in Jesus Christ alone for their eternal salvation has that eternal salvation immediately.

Jesus Christ Himself speaking:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” John 6:47

Further Biblical Proof: << Click

Berean Call Promoting – Not Only Calvinism But Now – The Terrible Lordship “Salvation” of Ray Comfort!

<img Ray Comfort 2

By Jack Weaver

We have mentioned here at ExPreacherMan.com how Dave Hunt’s ministry, The Berean Call has been compromised by promoting and favorably quoting Calvinists and Arminians in their weekly newsletters. In their latest newsletter, Monday, 17 Dec 2012, entitled, “‘Genius’ Movie Includes Look at Beatles’ John Lennon” the Berean Call published a glowing, favorable report on Ray Comfort’s latest Lordship Salvation movie, “Genius.”

If you wish to be sick, you may view the “Genius” video at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7pe3_VQbUM&feature=player_embedded

In the same newsletter The Berean Call also advertises another Ray Comfort DVD, Hell’s Best Kept Secret” The recommendation and advertising from The Berean Call asks the questions:

“What is the principle that Spurgeon, Wesley, Whitefield, and others used to reach the lost? Why has the church neglected it? This video provides the answers.”

The principle used by these men and their answer is Calvinism, Arminianism and radical “Turn from sin for salvation,” in other words a “works” message of Lordship Salvation. And that is exactly what Ray Comfort is preaching in his movie, “Genius”!

Comfort brings his audience to a realization of their sinfulness but then, as Dr. Tom Cucuzza wrote to me:

“The movie is filled with Comfort’s strong lordship salvation message. I saw it on line and was almost sick to my stomach.
“As always, he does ok in getting people to understand their lost condition, but then he puts the very strong ‘turn from sin’ and more for salvation to mess it up.”

I bit my lip and listened to the video clip and I agree with Tom completely. After Comfort convinced his audience of their sin, he tells his audience that, in order to obtain God’s Salvation, they must:

repent and be sorry for their sins and turn from their sins for their salvation. Then they must continue to do so and live in holiness to remain a Christian.” (approximate transcription from the video)

But with all of this apostasy, Tom’s point is true:

“My point in writing is not Ray Comfort, but how far The Berean Call has deteriorated.”

I’ve had a sickening feeling for some time. The Berean Call, i.e. Dave Hunt, published many years ago one of the best books exposing Calvinism that I have ever read, What Love is This?. He has, however, in the last couple of years, given favorable mention to and glowing quotes from, Leonard Ravenhill, Calvinist; from Gresham Machen (founder of The Orthodox Presbyterian church); C.H. Spurgeon, John MacArthur, Francis Schaeffer and CARM, a radical Calvinist Internet info site, etc. Putting them all together in context does make me sick and I wonder if Hunt and Tom McMahon have gone mad — condemning Calvinism on the one hand yet promoting false teachers, Calvinists and Lordship Salvationists on the other with their favorable quotes.

In all fairness I understand that Dave Hunt is no longer active in the management of The Berean Call due to illness and confinement.

The Truth of Free Salvation << Click

Can an Unbeliever Produce Christian Music?

World famous songwriter/composer/arranger/conductor John Rutter writes beautiful Christmas music. For many decades his pieces have been performed in churches around the world. The following piece is one popular sample:

There’s just one problem: From all that I have heard and read about the man, Rutter does not claim to be a born-again Christian, although he is not considered to be an atheist.

Listen to this brief excerpt from a Minnesota Public Radio interview:

“John Rutter: What Sweeter Music
by John Birge, Minnesota Public Radio
December 9, 2009
For their Welcome Christmas concerts this weekend, VocalEssence sings a tribute to the English composer John Rutter. One of his most beloved Christmas carols, “What Sweeter Music,” became famous in America when it was used in a Volvo television commercial. Rutter told Classical Minnesota Public Radio’s John Birge that it almost didn’t happen.

St. Paul, Minn. — For a composer who has created some of the most eloquent Christmas music, it may come as a surprise to learn that Rutter himself is not a believer, at least in the conventional sense. In that, he allies himself with another great English composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams, who said “I’m agnostic, but I wouldn’t be who I am if it weren’t for Christianity. It’s given me my values, and a strong sense of faith. But I’m a fellow traveler rather than a believer. ” But Rutter says that the Anglican Church remains central to his being: In 2002, Rutter’s 19 year-old son died in an automobile accident. While Rutter’s grief temporarily interrupted his composing, he retained his faith in the gift of life.”

Is it possible for an unbeliever to produce “Christian” music, music that will uplift true believers, music whose words can be honoring to God, music whose words may even lead one to Christ and salvation? What do you think?

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

SBC

By our good friend, John 

The Southern Baptist Convention’s long-standing cooperation between traditional Lordship “Salvationists” and Calvinists has been getting testy of late.

The crux of the issue seems to be the surge of full-fledged 5-point Calvinism within the ranks of the SBC and the reaction from the still-majority of SBC members who oppose Calvinism, but until recently have seemed willing to tolerate it.

The SBC recently formed a team to determine how SBC traditionalists and Calvinists can work together.  Following is a quote from an article dated August 17, 2012, from “The Christian Post” entitled “Calvinism Debate:  Southern Baptists Form Team to Figure Out How to Work Together”:

“There are extremes on both sides that have garnered attention and I want us to pull us back together to that group who say ‘I may or may not be a Calvinist but I love Calvinists, I love non-Calvinists and we can and will do missions and evangelism together,’ Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, said Thursday.”

This past summer, hundreds of Southern Baptists signed “A Statement of The Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation.”

Following are a couple of salient excerpts:

“For the most part, Southern Baptists have been glad to relegate disagreements over Calvinism to secondary status along with other important but ‘non-essential’ theological matters. The Southern Baptist majority has fellowshipped happily with its Calvinist brethren while kindly resisting Calvinism itself.”

And

“We affirm that any person who responds to the Gospel with repentance and faith is born again through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is a new creation in Christ and enters, at the moment he believes, into eternal life.”

The long-standing “Baptist Faith and Message” includes the Lordship “Salvation” concepts of “turning from sin” for salvation and “committing one’s life to Christ” for salvation.  See excerpt below:

“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.”

(Note:  Jack wrote a previous article called “Who Makes These Errors?” in which he commented on the SBC errant statement as follows: “…salvation is not by turning from sin nor by committing our ‘entire personality to Him as Lord’”). Link is: 

The sad part of the whole debate is that neither side is defending the REAL GOSPEL, which is salvation by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

Lordship “Salvation”, also known as “bi-lateral contract salvation” and Calvinism are both based on the same theological roots.  According to the “Grace Chart” that accompanies “The Gospel” by Ron Shea:

“Bilateral contract salvation” and the “Perseverance of the Saints” are two separate but interrelated doctrines within a complex theological system of salvation by works, which relies, at its core, on redefining the word “grace” as some sort of mystical empowering substance. This theological system is set forth in Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, Part 1 of the Second Part, Questions 109-114, “Treatise of Grace,” a 12th century manifesto of Roman Catholic Theology. In Protestantism, it is known as “Reformed Theology” or “Calvinism”.

The SBC, which is the largest Protestant denomination in the US, is now an amalgam of Lordship “Salvationists”, Calvinists and believers who lack the Biblical discernment, courage or good sense to disassociate from the SBC.

Eternal Life is Not Complicated But FREE

Latest on New Calvinist Timothy Keller: Timothy Keller in Interview Stumbles Over the Gospel; Speculates That There is a “Trap Door” to Heaven

See Interview of New Calvinist author and PCA Sr. Pastor, Timothy Keller (Martin Bashir interviews Timothy Keller):

Timothy Keller, widely popular author of, “The Reason for God, The Prodigal God” and “Generous Justice,” is also senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church of New York. He has endorsed the “Christian” Mysticism book, “Spiritual Disciplines Handbook,” by Adele Calhoun, a book which promotes contemplative prayer, labyrinth prayer, spiritual formation and inner healing. His church also teaches classes on the subject.

In the YouTube video (link above), interviewer Bashir asks Keller if Christ and Christianity is the only way to heaven. He asks Keller what is his view about other religions like Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism and what will be the eternal fate of their devoted followers. For five minutes, the seemingly befuddled Keller stammers and fidgets, dancing around the question and never giving a biblical answer, or any real answer, for that matter. Keller’s response to Bashir was very similar to Bashir’s interview of universalist Rob Bell. Neither Keller nor Bell could give any kind of definitive biblical answer about salvation, heaven or hell. Both simply sidestepped Bashir’s straightforward question.

This is how I would answer Bashir’s question:

Well, Mr. Bashir, it really doesn’t matter what I think about about the matter, but let’s look at what the Bible said and what Jesus himself said on the subject. Then I would quote:

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

Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved [Peter is referring to the name of Jesus].

Acts 16:30-31 “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

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

John 3:16-18 “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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 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.”

What would you say if you were asked the same question?

.

We “Cease not to give thanks for you,”


Rockwell “Thanksgiving”

By Jack Weaver

There are many things for which we are thankful here at ExPreacherMan from Bruce and me:

  1. For our Savior, The Lord Jesus Christ and His Free Gift of Salvation — by His Grace alone through our Faith alone in Jesus alone. What an amazing Gift from God!!!
  2. This thanks extends to each of you, our readers and commenters — from the day we first “met” you — and it will last throughout all eternity.
  3. For discernment for all of us in a time when churches and organized “religion” are drifting further and further from the Truth of God’s Word and His Grace into a system of false justification by human works.

This ministry would not exist without each of you our friends who visit here, read, comment and discuss God’s Word. Without you, this ministry would be only a shadow of what it is today. The Lord has used each of you to reach far beyond anything we could have imagined or expected in our prayers. We are reaching the world (into almost every continent) for Jesus Christ and His Grace.

Be assured that we will:

“Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my [our] prayers;” Ephesians 1:16

We do sincerely thank the Lord for you and for your prayers for this ministry — that we may see many souls saved for our Savior and many be freed from the shackles of Calvinism, Lordship “salvation” and other false teachings — by understand the reality and believing the Truth of God’s Salvation by Grace.

God’s Greatest Gift – Eternal Life << Click

Joyously Free From the Burden, Oppression and Depression of Lordship “Salvation” and Calvinism.

By Jack Weaver

This is a wonderfully encouraging note from Kim who, with her husband, was trapped in Calvinism and Lordship “salvation” for over 22 years, She proclaims they are both now Joyously Free From the Burden, Oppression and Depression of Lordship “Salvation” and Calvinism. This is her story.

~~~~~~~00~~~~~~~

I’ve been ‘lurking’ on your ExPreacherMan site for a couple of months now, and I can happily say that my eyes have been opened and my life and faith have been changed completely because of the wonderful words of Truth contained on your site, which God has so graciously used to ‘change my mind’.

My husband and I had been swallowing the false Calvinism and Lordship Salvation teachings of R.C. Sproul and John MacArthur for 22 years, and me for 11 years before that, not realizing that they offered only false gospels.

In recent years, however, I found myself having more and more ‘trouble’ with the Calvinism teachings and emphases. So the Holy Spirit had been preparing me, I believe, for the day I came across your web site and discovered how truly disgraceful the teachings of Calvinism and Lordship Salvation are — false teachings offering false gospels, we now clearly see.

In searching for information on the book A Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns, [Reviewed by Bruce Bauer] I got a hit on your site, and then came across the post You May Be a Lordship Salvationist If:” [By John] and began reading. I not only gained the information I needed to refute the unbiblical ‘social gospel’ message of Stearns’ book, which I knew to be error, but quickly saw the Truth of Free Grace as I read more and more of your posts and comments.

Now my husband and I are 100% Free Gracers, and are experiencing that wonderful feeling of a giant burden lifted! The oppression and depression of years of works and behavior focus are gone, and we’re finally enjoying and appreciating the wonder and joy of salvation by God’s Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone. So Thank You so much for your wonderful ministry at ExPreacherMan. We will keep reading!

Now we are looking for a Free Grace church in our area! Can you tell me, please, whether you recommend churches that are associated with the Evangelical Free Church of America organization? I know Chuck Swindoll was pastor of an EFCA church in Fullerton, California for years, but now has his own church in Frisco, TX that is not EFCA affiliated. In our search for DTS (Dallas Theological Seminary) churches, we found a couple near us that identify themselves as EFCA churches. By the way, unfortunately it was Calvinistic teachings which had infiltrated a DTS church that I landed in shortly after college that initially led me astray. And we are finding that LS teaching seems to be everywhere.

Thank you so much,
Kim

~~~~~~~~00~~~~~~~~

Kim, thanks for your encouraging note. We are excited to read your email about how you and your husband have come to a clear understanding of Salvation by Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus alone. We are blessed by your note!!! This will be a Thanksgiving in which we will give thanks to the Lord for you and with you.

About your question on EFC churches. My understanding is that they are a loose affiliation of churches with no real “set-in-concrete” Statement of Faith. Some of them may be OK but others wander all over the theological landscape — some are Calvinist and some LS.

I am sure our readers will rejoice with you and some may have suggestions for churches — but regrettably, we find good Free Grace churches are very few. If you wish to disclose your approximate general location, some of our readers may be able to help you with suggesting a church.

Heaven is truly FREE !!! << Click

Latest News on “Radical” Author David Platt: Calvinist Author of Lordship Salvation book “Radical” Openly Declares his Lordship Salvation Stance

David Platt is a 33 year-old preacher and author from Alabama who preaches and promotes a judgmental form of Lordship Salvation, a.k.a. Lordship Probation or Lordship Faith teaching. He is very similar in style and approach to Francis Chan (there are several articles on Chan at the Expreacherman.com site). Platt wrote a best-selling Lordship Faith book entitled, “Radical.” It is very much akin to Chan’s popular book, “Crazy Love.” The following is an excerpt from the article, “David Platt Still Addressing Controversy Over ‘Sinner’s Prayer’ Remarks,” SOURCE: thechristianpost.com, November 12, 2012. Platt got himself into hot water with various Christian groups recently over a public comment that he made declaring that the sinner’s prayer is “superstitious.”

We, who hold to Free Grace theology, declare the biblical message of Ephesians 2:8-9, that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone; Free Grace theology also agrees that “walking an aisle,” “raising a hand,” or “saying a prayer” are of themselves in no way salvific. However, David Platt’s “sinner’s prayer” comment seemed to be a caricature of what he calls, “easy believism,” as well as a not-so-veiled slam at Free Grace teaching in general. His later statement of defense of that comment bears this out. Below is his statement. You will notice that in it Platt utilizes the same old worn-out hackneyed Lordship Salvation slams that have been used and reused by other LS preachers and writers like John MacArthur, Francis Chan and John Piper. These guys really need to come up with some fresh arguments!

From the article from the Christian Post, 11/12/12:

“‘But the question,’ he said, is: ‘What kind of faith are we calling people to? In a day of rampant easy-believism that creates cultural Christians who do not know Christ, who have never counted the cost of following Christ, we must be biblically clear about saving faith, lest any of us lead people down a very dangerous and potentially damning road of spiritual deception. True, saving faith, the Alabama pastor explained, requires first understanding man’s condition before God – that they are dead in sin. ‘We cannot dumb it down,’ he stressed. ‘We are morally evil.’ ‘To be born-again, one must repent – turn from sin and self – and believe – trust in Jesus as the Savior who died for us and the Lord who rules over us.’ ‘We tell men and women, boys and girls everywhere: repent and believe in Christ. Whether we say, ‘Pray this prayer after me,’ is not the issue,’ Platt highlighted. ‘The issue is that together we say, ‘By the grace of God in the cross of Christ, turn from yourself and trust in Jesus. Come from darkness to light. Come from death to life.'”

Latest pronouncement by John Piper: It Takes a Village to Remain Eternally Secure; John Piper’s Latest

(Source: desiringGod website, 9/15/2012: John Piper, article, “Eternal Security is a Community Project.”)

In his recent sermon, “Eternal Security Is a Community Project,” John Piper declares that our eternal security is not based solely upon the finished work of Christ at Calvary (we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone—Ephesians 2:8-9); rather, Piper indicates that a person must keep his or her faith in Christ secure through perseverance: an unbiblical program of doing good works in order to prove and/or maintain salvation—the “P” of the Calvinist acronym “TULIP.” The proper Biblical designation of the letter “P” is PRESERVATION—that is, God does the saving and God does the keeping (John 10:27-30; Romans 8:38-39; 1 John 5:13). But, Piper takes things even a step farther than the standard erroneous Calvinist approach. He adds another qualification to maintaining one’s eternal security. I call it, “The ‘It Takes a Village’ Pathway to Eternal Security.” Listen to the following brief excerpts from John Piper’s sermon (source cited above):

“The doctrine we are talking about today goes by different names and has an urgent and practical application to our life together. Some call it the doctrine of eternal security. And Some call it the doctrine of perseverance. And the practical application is that, whichever you call it, the process is a community project. That is, you and I are essential in helping each other persevere to the end in faith, and not make shipwreck of our souls. Or, as the title of the message says, ‘Eternal Security Is a Community Project’.”

“So point #2 is that one of the essential means of not becoming hardened — the protection against an evil heart of unbelief — is the other believers around you speaking faith-sustaining words into your life. Your family, your friends, your shepherd group. ‘Exhort one another every day.’ That is, speak words of faith-sustaining truth into each other’s lives.”

“So the second point of this theology of perseverance is that God has designed his church so that its members endure to the end in faith by means of giving and receiving faith-sustaining words from each other. You and I are the instruments by which God preserves the faith of his children. Perseverance is a community project. Just like God is not going to evangelize the world without human, faith-awakening voices, neither is he going to preserve his church without human faith-sustaining voices. And clearly from the words, ‘exhort one another’ (verse 13), it means all of us, not just preachers. We depend on each other to endure in faith to the end.”

“Perseverance is the evidence of being born again in Christ, not the means to it. Or to put the same point negatively: If you don’t hold your confidence in Christ to the end, what would it show? It would show that you ‘had not come to share in Christ.’ So the negative of verse 14 would read, We have not come to share in Christ, if indeed we do not hold our original confidence firm to the end’. So you see what this implies about eternal security? It says: if you have come to share in Christ — that is, if you are born again, if you are truly converted, if you are justified and forgiven through saving faith — you cannot fail to persevere. You will hold your confidence in Christ to the end.”
[Comment: Piper declares the standard flawed unbiblical line of—works to preserve and prove salvation—lordship faith teaching]

Can Calvinism Be Proven By A Few Partial, Out-of-Context Verses?

By Jack Weaver

Lauren sent to me several partial Bible verses for explanation. She felt her selections, “make some of the strongest arguments for Calvinism.” In a later note she commented, “I would say I am not sure what I believe right now. I used to hold strongly to the reformed or Calvinist view and still think there is a lot in scripture to support it.”

I pray we will be able to present God’s Word convincingly and understandably to Lauren so she can rest in the Security and Peace of Salvation by her personal decision to put her faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone as her Savior and not depend upon the amorphous “promises” of Reformed/Calvinist teaching.

Because of my vision difficulties, I have elicited the help of our dear friend and my former Assistant Pastor, Dr. Tom Cucuzza, Pastor, Teacher, Lecturer and Author of  Secure Forever! – on Amazon << Click

We must be aware that Bible verses may be chopped up and taken out of context to prove just about any “religious” point.

Here are the partial, non-contextual verses Lauren submitted for explanation. Thank you Lauren:

Heb 12:2 in part, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,”

Romans 9:16, “So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.”

Romans 9:18, “Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.”

John 5:21 in part “No one can come to Me unless the Father draws (drags) him.”, “even so the Son gives life to whom He will.”

John 15:16 in part, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…”

John 3:3 “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again (from above) he cannot see the kingdom of God”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The complete verses with detailed contextual explanations from Dr. Cucuzza are:

1.
John 6:44 “
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

The word “draw” is never translated as drag in the KJV. It can mean that, but she is insinuating that God does it and accomplishes salvation regardless of man’s will. That is nowhere in the text.

a. How is a person drawn? V.45 gives the clear answer: We are drawn through the ministry of the Word of God. And this is available for all mankind, not just a select few.

John 6:45 “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”

Romans 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

b. We are also drawn by the Holy Spirit, but He draws everyone.

John 16:8 “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”

c. Also, through the death of Christ we are drawn.

John 12:32 “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”

2.
John 5:21 “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.”

This verse is answered in v.24. He gives life to all those who believe.

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.

3.
Romans 9:14
“What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”

Romans 9-11 is talking about the national election of the Jews for God’s purpose in the world, not personal election to salvation.

In Romans 9:14-16 The Lord didn’t have to show mercy to anyone. But He will accomplish His plan for the ages by showing grace to mankind. Israel is still in existence today because the Lord did not wipe them out in the days of Moses.
Romans 9:17 “For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?”

vs. 17-21 Pharaoh, the leader of Egypt,  already had a wicked attitude toward the children of Israel in the early chapters of Exodus. He did not want to let them go, for he wanted them as slaves for his own glory. The Lord knew (foreknowledge) in eternity past that Pharaoh would be the way he was and therefore used him to show the world the power of Jehovah God, the LORD. It had nothing to do with God making it impossible for Pharaoh to be saved and go to Heaven.

The Bible does say in Exodus that the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, but it also says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. Which is true? Both! The Lord’s will and plan for Israel was the factor that hardened Pharaoh’s heart. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart by continually testing him. The Lord knew (foreknowledge) that Pharaoh would not change his mind about the Israelites, and therefore used him to accomplish the Divine purpose. Not one verse in the Bible says that Pharaoh couldn’t believe in the Messiah. He chose to reject the God of Moses.

4.
John 15:16
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

He was speaking to His disciples (already saved people) about their discipleship and service, not salvation. That you should go and bring forth fruit. It was their choice on whether they would obey Him in this regard or not. This verse has nothing to do with salvation, but with the purpose of the Christian life.

 5.
John 3:3 “
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

This refers of course to the new birth. If we simply read further down to v. 14-18 we see HOW a person is born again- by trusting Christ alone as Savior. And this is open to the world, v.16-17.

John 3:14 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
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.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
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.”

6.
Hebrews 12:2 “
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Again, v.2 cannot be divorced from v.1

Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”

I cannot see anywhere the Calvinistic bent or interpretation in v.2. What is the point? Yes, He is the captain and prince, and author if you will, of our faith. But it means He is the head, the leader. We are looking unto Him to lead us through the entire Christian life.

“Author”: Originator, founder, leader, chief, first, prince, as distinguished from simply being the cause. AMG’s Complete Word Study Dictionaries.

Dr. Tom Cucuzza Northland Bible Baptist Church

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We appreciate the questions from Lauren and especially for Dr. Cucuzza taking his time to answer. We also pray Lauren and others will decide to believe the Truth that salvation is free and only available through an individual’s choice to believe by Grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.

We must never depend upon the false Calvinist teaching that some are “elect” by God to be saved and consequently ALL others, (me, you, our friends and relatives) have no choice or chance to make that decision to believe in Jesus Christ for salvation.

Eternal Life in Heaven is For Anyone << Click

An Australian Gentleman’s Journey Toward True Faith

By Jack Weaver
Today, through the world-wide outreach which the Lord provides through the ExPreacherMan web site, we received an email from a kind and concerned gentleman named Bill from Australia. He has been desperately searching for the Truth of God’s Word for several years and we think his story and plea (typical of so many) needs to be told. We will make a few comments at the end of his note and will be appreciative if our ExPreacherMan friends and co-laborers with Christ will kindly comment, encourage and advise Bill further about his search for true free Grace Faith. There is much to cover.

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Hi [ExPreacherMan], This is really a lengthy letter but I will try to be as brief as possible.

Through my addiction to alcohol and being destitute, about 10 years ago I was forced to come to believe in God to get out of my predicament.  I did and started going to church.  Actually several as I couldn’t get comfortable with any.

My whole [life] turned around and I was forced to realise that it was God doing all the turning.  As my work in AA has me getting others to come to believe in God, I thought I’d start reading his Word.  I have been reading the bible for about 7 years and thought I was doing so well because everything in my life was going so great.

A couple of years ago, one of the people I was helping asked me “how did you come to have such a strong faith, where did you get it?” I wasn’t able to truthfully answer them.

I started attending bible studies here in Australia and then on the internet.  I learned a bit but decided I didn’t know enough.  I started a bible study with some Jehovah’s Witnesses a few months ago and although I can’t believe any of their doctrine was impressed with their bible knowledge.

We just don’t have any basic Christian Bible studies here.  I came upon your link from another site and felt like I might hit the motherlode.

Can you offer me any advice on reading the Bible, which Bible to use and maybe a beginners program of Books to read.

Sorry for taking up all you space.  Thanks in advance for any help.

Regards, Bill  🙂

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Bill, thanks so much for your note and questions. We agree that you have hit the “motherlode” here at ExPreacherMan.com. We welcome your thoughts.

You have made many statements and proposed questions which deserve answers. We, our regular friends and commenters here will do our very best to help you in your search for Biblical Truth and answers.

1) First, and very obvious, we noticed that you did not mention the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ and His salvation. Jesus is the very Center and Reason for the entire Bible from Genesis through the Book of Revelation. The most accurate Bible to use is the Authorized King James Version (KJV) Bible. We would recommend first reading the Book of John which illustrates God’s Free salvation and, perhaps along with that, the Book of Galatians, which is best described as God’s teaching and emphasis upon His free Grace and Faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation — without dependence upon our good works.

2) You are correct about the doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Through their own perversion of the Bible they call “The New World Translation,” their teaching is false for many reasons. For one, they do not believe in the Deity and Saving Nature of our Savior, The Lord Jesus Christ. Without Him, no “religion” has any power to save. Th JWs also falsely teach that “salvation” can be earned by one’s good works.

3) AA is seemingly an effective organization for convincing those with addictions to overcome them and we are so encouraged that you have done so. AA was a place where you may have begun your search for Truth but is not the place to find correct Bible doctrine and teachings about personal Faith in Jesus Christ as the only Way of Eternal Salvation.

In order for you to understand and explain to others about faith it is essential that you are trusting Jesus Christ yourself, by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone as your own Savior..

Bill, our first concern is that you understand and believe the GOSPEL which is; that Jesus Christ, God in the Flesh, died for all your sins, past, present and future; thereby paying the death penalty we deserve to pay; He was dead, buried and then  arose from the grave for you. He is alive today. By believing (Faith) in The Savior Jesus Christ alone, you can be absolutely guaranteed of  Eternal Life with God’s Righteousness, in Heaven with the Lord Jesus. A great place to start this journey from here is to read and believe God’s Word contained in our article on Eternal Life For You. << Click

We are aware there are many very active Calvinist/Presbyterian Churches in Australia, and we would recommend you steer clear of those folks — they breed confusion.

Then we highly recommend you open and download two excellent free booklets from our web site: Two Free Gospel Booklets << Click writtenby our good friend, Dr. Tom Cucuzza.

Sadly, there are not many books we recommend that are clear and free of error about the Gospel message of salvation. One outstanding exception and an example of the very best is Secure Forever by Dr. Tom Cucuzza. His book is available from Amazon in standard book form or in E-Book downloadable format.  Secure Forever! << Click

Our friends here may have a few other good recommendations.

Bill, be assured that we and many others here will be praying for you and your friends. Thanks again for your note.

In John 3:16-18, Jesus said:
For God so loved the world [you], that he gave his only begotten Son [Jesus], that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him
[Jesus] 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 [Jesus].

In Jesus Christ Eternally, Jack

Latest on Paul Washer: Paul Washer Again Proclaims a Lordship “Salvation” Message and Worse.

By Jack Weaver

“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.” Galatians 1:8

A dear friend, Holly Garcia, wanted my opinion and forwarded to me a note and link to Paul Washer’s video talk (with text) sometime during 2009, “10 Indictments of the Church.” I will not include the link since we do not advertise apostate preachers.

I read Washer’s “sermon,” which was addressed to preachers and teachers in his audience. I found only very few points with which I could agree but I disagreed with all of his solutions. Overall he is teaching (in a very delightful yet threatening and powerful manner) his same old false message. He is a doctrinaire Calvinist and a preacher of a false repentance, “turn from sin Lordship ‘salvation'” message. His emphasis was about the problem of carnality of the church. Yes, many Christians are carnal but Washer’s message of putting believers under the law of behavior is not Biblical, but deceitful and will not cure Christian carnality. Such a message of probationary “salvation” denies God’s free Grace Salvation and will also turn off an unbeliever.

I have excerpted just a few of many passages which indicate some idea of his atrocious errors. I will indent excerpts from Washer and my comment below will be in red.

Washer is speaking about preachers of whom he approves:

“They are reading Spurgeon and Whitefield. They are still listening to Ravenhill and Martin Lloyd-Jones and Tozer and Wesley and it is a great, incredible movement.”

Details about each of these men Washer recommends are:

  • Spurgeon, Lordship Salvationist, Calvinist and a “turn-from-sin for salvation” preacher.
  • Whitefield, Calvinist.
  • Ravenhill an Arminian, (no eternal security),
  • Martin Lloyd-Jones, Calvinist and Presbyterian,
  • Tozer, Deeper Life teacher – mystic and Lordship “Salvationist” before it was called that.
  • Wesley -Arminian — lose your “salvation” or a “no eternal security” preacher — founder of Methodism.

Any Gospel preacher worthy of the title would not praise and recommend these teachers.

Washer speaking of regeneration:

“We have traded regeneration for decisionism.”

Calvinists like Washer believe that there are some folks “chosen or elected” by God from the beginning to be saved, to believe in Christ and as such are regenerated before believing in Christ, therefore enabling them to believe. The rest of the world is thereby ignored and is consigned to their deserved condemnation in hell. That is False Reformed/Calvinist doctrine. The Truth is that a lost person (unbeliever) must make a personal decision to trust Jesus Christ alone as his/her Savior (salvation does not come by osmosis). God will not force either belief or faith upon anyone. Salvation is God’s Gift to be taken, only by Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Washer – on his own theology:

“Although I am leaning more toward, I guess I call myself a five point Spurgeonist, I want you to know this.”

Spurgeon is the darling of those who would put all Christians under the Law of works or behavior rather than God’s Grace. So now in order for you to see why Paul Washer patterns his false message after his idol, here is the actual text of one of Spurgeon’s sermons titled: Turn or Burn – Spurgeon.

Washer on “fruit”:

“[S]alvation is by faith alone. It is a work of God. It is a grace upon grace upon grace. But the evidence of conversion is not just your examination of your sincerity at the moment of your conversion. It is the on going fruit in your life. It is the ongoing fruit in your life.”

Washer, like all Lordship “salvationists”, sets himself up as the behavioral judge of how much and for how long “fruit” is sufficient or necessary to prove to him (Washer), your pastor or yourself, that you really are a believer in Christ. Fruit may be an evidence that a person is a believer but absolutely does not determine or prove to anyone whether or not one is a believer in Jesus Christ. Catholics, Buddhists, Mormons and many other false religions may demand and produce “good works” (which some call “fruit”) but these folks, by their teachings, are not believers in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior.

So let us conclude that “Fruit Inspectors” cannot determine if one is a believer in Christ or not. Therefore, I thank God that He KNOWS that I have trusted Jesus Christ alone as my Savior — and He keeps me as His Possession and safe eternally!!!

Scripture asserts that God does not need our “fruit” to prove to Him that we are believers, nor do we. God knows and we know whether or not we have trusted Christ as Savior. (1 John 5:13)

Here are other articles we have published at ExPreacherMan.com about Paul Washer:

Paul Washer Redefines the Plan of Salvation, Obliterating Assurance of Salvation << Click

Paul Washer, Lordship Salvation and Repentance<< Click

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Eternal Life is The Gift of God << Click

Dr. J. Vernon McGee on Calvinism, Dr. J. Vernon McGee Denounces Calvinism!

Listen to this brief answer given by Dr. J. Vernon McGee, the late famed pastor and founder of “Thru the Bible Radio,” to a young woman who asks, in effect, “What’s wrong with Calvinism?”

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