Category Archives: Salvation

From Time to Eternity

By johninnc

Acts 1:3: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

Pastor Tom Cucuzza recently delivered a sermon that discussed the concept of eternity and provided compelling biblical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, what His resurrection accomplished, and the responsibility of people to respond with belief to the gospel message.

This is a good message for people who aren’t sure what happens when we die, and who may question the reality of who Jesus is, and what He has accomplished.

Click here for the complete sermon: From Time to Eternity

 

Is Lordship Salvation a False Gospel of Works? No Question!

By johninnc

Romans 3:26: To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

I happened back across a website last night called Got Questions? I had seen it before, and knew it to be unreliable, with a definitive Lordship “salvation” (LS) bent. However, I was startled by the starkness of its false messages, and attempts to reconcile LS (which is a man-centered false gospel of works) with the gospel of grace.

Following are some excerpts, beginning first with their “statement of faith”:

Just as salvation cannot be earned by good works, neither does it need good works to be maintained or sustained. Good works and changed lives are the inevitable results of salvation.

 My comment: This is a harbinger of the false messages and internal contradictions that can be found throughout their website.

If good words and changed lives are the inevitable results of salvation, then no one would have assurance of salvation until the good works manifested themselves in sufficient quantity and nature to meet the arbitrary, differential, and fickle standards of the person who is making the determination of either himself or others.

The Bible makes no such claim. In fact, the Bible says that assurance of eternal life comes from God’s promises alone.

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.

Under What is free grace? What is Free Grace Theology?, the Got Questions? website has some convoluted comparison of “Free Grace,” and “Lordship Salvation.” In the end, they make the startling conclusion that both “Free Grace” and LS are “within the limits of orthodoxy.” Following are excerpts (the bold emphases are mine):

Free Grace theologians consider their position more biblical than Lordship Salvation, which they consider to be a works-based theology. According to Free Grace theologians, Lordship Salvation holds that saving faith includes inherently the “act” of accomplishing radical internal change leading to good works.

This leads to the Free Grace emphasis on assurance of salvation, again based on the basic promises in John’s Gospel, that belief is all that is necessary for salvation. To the Free Grace theologian, this is a simple, cut-and-dried issue—if you believe, you are saved. For the Lordship Salvation camp, assurance of salvation comes through the observation of change in the professing believer, i.e., that he is accomplishing good works. Each camp views the other as possibly leading to heresy.

 Although Free Grace Theology and Lordship Salvation are terms that have developed only recently, they represent concerns that have been around since the beginning of the church. At the end of the day, there is no question about the basic salvation of those who hold either view. Both views are within the limits of orthodoxy.

My comment: First, at Expreacherman,  we do not teach that radical internal changes are an “act” that leads to good works. We simply teach what the Bible teaches – that good works, not letting sin reign in one’s life, not being conformed to the world, and walking in the Spirit are not automatic in the lives of believers. Following are some scriptures that prove it:

Titus 3:8: This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

Romans 6:12: Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Romans 12:2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Galatians 5:16: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Second, the errant Got Questions? website has admitted that LS forces its sad adherents to search their performance for assurance of eternal life. This is no basis for assurance.

Third, there IS a question about the salvation of those who hold the LS view.

With that in mind, we will turn to the article at Got Questions? entitled What is Lordship Salvation? See excerpts below:

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

Faith itself is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:1-5,8), and real faith endures forever (Philippians 1:6)…

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

My comment: Contrary to the claims of Got Questions?, Lordship “salvation” IS a salvation-by-works doctrine. Their claims are both non-biblical, and internally inconsistent. Faith itself is NOT a gift of God, faith need not involve a commitment to Christ in order to result in eternal life, and faith is NOT more than being convinced of the truth of the gospel. None of the biblical references that they have provided, nor any other passages from the Bible, support their erroneous claims.

The Got Questions? site is managed by a group that is either ignorant of grace or enemies of grace. Either way, the site, and those involved with it, should be marked and avoided.

So, is Lordship “salvation” a false gospel of works? Despite what the false teachers from Got Questions? have to say, the Biblical answer is ABSOLUTELY!

If you would like the truth regarding how to have eternal life, click here: THE GOSPEL.

Lordship Salvation: Why Am I Here?

By johninnc

1 Timothy 2:4-6: [4] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. [5] For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; [6] Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

I did an internet search on the word “Christian” today, just out of curiosity, to see how many references it would garner. The number was 1.43 billion.

I have spent a good bit of time reading content at internet sites that claim to be teaching Christian doctrine, and have found very few that do not contain some form of corruption of the gospel message.

Among the more common forms of corruption are sites that teach Lordship “salvation” (the false idea that good works must accompany faith in Christ in order for one to receive, maintain, or indicate that he has received eternal life). For a more complete explanation of the error of Lordship “salvation,” please see link below:

Lordship “salvation.”

In any event, if you have been deceived by Lordship “salvation,” and have been drawn to, or even stumbled across the Expreacherman website, we are glad you have found us.

I believe that you may be here for one, or more, of the following reasons, each of which can be manifested in glorifying God.

  1. You are here because you have never believed in Jesus as Savior, and you need to hear, or read, the gospel message in its clarity, unhindered by any contradictions, nor masked by any of the false language or concepts that have become pervasive in presentations purporting to be the gospel.

You may be have spent a lifetime in church activities, lived a good life, and so on, but still deep down wonder if you have done enough.

Or, you may have avoided church like the plague, because you never really felt like you fit in. Or, maybe you have tried to engage in religion sporadically, whenever you felt lost.

If any of these scenarios strikes close to home, I invite you to read the attached link. Ask questions if there’s something you still don’t understand.

The Gospel

  1. You are here because, while you have believed in Jesus as Savior, you have been exposed to false teaching that has served to undermine your assurance, Christian growth, and power for Christian living.

Perhaps you have never really gotten grounded in your faith, because you either unwittingly, or even purposefully, tolerated false teaching. Perhaps that tolerance for false doctrine has led to your accepting, embracing, or even teaching it. But, deep down, you know something is not right.

If this sounds you, we have some suggestions:

  • Go on a spiritual “diet.” Stop consuming false doctrine. Stop looking for man’s consensus. See article below for further discussion:

Stop following the “menyouscript.”

  • Read God’s word. We would advise anyone to consider interpretation of scripture in light of the following three clear tenets. If someone’s interpretation of scripture renders an answer of “NO” to any of the following questions, it cannot be true:
    • Is it consistent with eternal life by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone?
    • Is it consistent with eternal security?
    • Is it consistent with assurance of eternal life, based on God’s promises alone (i.e., it is not internally-focused on changes in attitudes, behavior, etc.)?

Again, ask questions if there is something you don’t understand.

  1. You are here because you would like to equip yourself to oppose false doctrine that undermines the gospel message. If so, a good starting point may be found in the link below:

What About John 3:16?

  1. You are here to oppose the message of grace, to contradict our clear teaching of the gospel, to teach doctrine that undermines the gospel, and otherwise “straighten us out.”

If this describes you, we will answer your false doctrine with scripture, in its proper context, and try to persuade you that you are in error. We will allow you to make your claims, and we will answer them. But, we will not engage in a protracted debate, and we will not allow you to have the last word. We will lay out, and make stark, whatever error you are teaching, and contrast it with the truth.

          We will protect our flock from you. And, we will pray for you.

We will pray that if you have never believed in Jesus as Savior, that you would hear and understand the gospel, and that if you do know Jesus as Savior, that you would have the wisdom, discernment, and humility to turn from the false doctrine that you are teaching, and that you would begin teaching the truth.

For those of us who are familiar with Expreacherman, I would repeat the following sentiment from earlier this year:

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

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

Happy New Year everyone!

Lordship Salvation: Following the MENyouscript

By johninnc

John 18:34: Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?

As believers in Christ, we are stewards of the gospel message. We are called to proclaim the gospel, and to defend it against it against a seemingly endless supply of substitutes.

One of the bigger challenges we face in defending the gospel is the reliance people seem to place on error being taught by so called “experts” in theology, “giants of the faith,” “princes of preachers,” “great men of God,” and so on.

Following are some examples I have gleaned from the ExPreacherman archives of people following man’s “wisdom” versus the Word of God. These examples are from laypeople who are arguing against salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, and from well-known religious leaders of the past and present.

Please note that I have not researched all of the names mentioned. However, many of the quotes below contain at least one name of someone that I know to have taught horrific errors that are an affront to the gospel message, such as Calvinism, Lordship “salvation,” or Arminianism. And, all of the quotes demonstrate an over reliance on the teaching of men versus the teaching of God.

  1. I believe that you sincerely believe, to some degree, in the error you propagate. It just happens, brothers, that you are wrong. I refer you to more prominent and well-respected men than all of us here to prove it. I care little about L.S. as a term. Research how we are saved, according to respected men like Alistair Begg, R.C. Sproul, A.W. Pink, Spurgeon, James White (AP, commenter at ExPreacherman)
  1. I have found spiritual gold in many different places throughout my life. Outside of my dear parents and Leslie’s parents, there are twenty-six greats (from the past two centuries) that have most influenced my Christian thinking and living in our modern times. And since their thoughts are found speckled throughout these notes, I wish to honor them here, as a reminder to all the students gleaning wisdom from this training, that the strongest Christian leaders are but a consecrated quotation of the giants of faith that have proceeded him – C.T. Studd, Hudson Taylor, George Muller, Rees Howells, AW Tozer, William Booth, Amy Carmichal, Richard Wurmbrand, Leonard Ravenhill, Paris Reidhead, Corrie Ten Boom, George Whitefield, John Wesley, David Brainerd, Charles Spurgeon, EM Bounds, John Hyde, Jim and Elizabeth Elliot, Keith Green, Jackie Pullinger, DL Moody, Major Ian Thomas, Gladys Aylward, David Wilkerson, and Oswald Chambers. I dearly desire my life to be a quotation of such an audacious band of mighties. (Eric Ludy)
  1. To Tim Keller, whose thinking has so permeated my own that I can no longer really tell where his stops and mine starts. I am heavily indebted to him for many of the ideas in this book, particularly in chapters 2, 3, and 6. I have listened to and read Tim Keller so much that I tend to plagiarize his interpretation of a passage before I even hear him teach on that passage. (Pastor J.D. Greear)
  1. I would quote John Bunyan as an instance of what I mean. Read anything of his, and you will see that it is almost like the reading the Bible itself. He had read it till his very soul was saturated with Scripture; and, though his writings are charmingly full of poetry, yet he cannot give us his Pilgrim’s Progress — that sweetest of all prose poems — without continually making us feel and say, “Why, this man is a living Bible!” Prick him anywhere — his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his very soul is full of the Word of God. I commend his example to you, beloved. (Charles Spurgeon)
  1. Although I don’t agree with the heresy of Lordship Salvation, I don’t agree with you either. I have been a fan of Stewart’s website and I’m so sure that he does NOT teach the crap of Lordship Salvation. Stewart is right, stop falsely accusing him. Stewart is saying that forsaking one’s sin is NOT the prerequisites of salvation, but the fruits of salvation. We don’t forsake our sins in order to be saved, indeed we forsake our sins because we ARE saved! (DQ689, commenter at ExPreacherman)

Each of the above commenters, authors, or preachers is purporting to be representing the Word of God in his comments and “shout outs” to his sources of inspiration. But, those sources are not the inspired Word of God. They are “MENyouscripts.”

I will close by saying that there is not a problem with quoting preachers or others when teaching the Word of God. It becomes problematic when those quotes are based on something not taught in scripture. And, quoting someone who distorts the gospel message can serve to frustrate grace. Let us all be reminded to be cautious when quoting others, particularly when those quotes are not supported by scripture or if we know the person we are quoting has been complicit in corrupting the gospel message.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lordship Salvation and the Four Corners Offense

By johninnc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The four common perversions of grace are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Charities that Aren’t Charitable


By johninnc

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

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

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

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

RNS evaluated a number of nonprofit Christian ministries to determine:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Following are some thoughts from Clear Gospel:

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Lordship Salvation: Wile, Style, and Guile

By: johninnc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The devices used by false teachers vary, but include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom’s message emphasizes the following points:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom’s Sermon

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

There are two answers:

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

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

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

THE GOSPEL