(Following are some questions we have received from readers via e-mail to ExPreacherman, along with our responses. We chose to publish some of these questions in a series of articles, since they are both good questions and similar to questions we have gotten from other visitors to ExPreacherman. In some cases, we have made edits to our original answers for additional clarity. Please note that the e-mail questions are in italics, and our answers are interspersed in bold).
Question: Only God can judge the heart of a person if they are genuinely saved, but aren’t we given permission to be “fruit inspectors”? If a person is truly saved, should they not be under the conviction of the Holy Spirit?
My comment: Yes, only God can judge the heart of a person, which means that we cannot. Accordingly, we are not called upon to look to peoples’ works to see if we think they are exhibiting enough good works or cessation of sin to provide evidence of salvation (i.e., be
The fruit of a false prophet is his false gospel.
If a person is saved, then he is indwelled by the Holy Spirit. The extent to which a believer cooperates with the Holy Spirit in transforming his life is a matter of moment-by-moment choice,
as scripture clearly states:
1 Thessalonians 5:19: Quench not the Spirit.
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.
Question: I understand that salvation is a free gift with no works, but after one is saved, then works should follow out of a love for the Lord and wanting to please Him and the new believer must grow and mature and learn to put God first. Lordship salvation is getting the cart before the horse.
My comment: You said that good works SHOULD follow salvation. We would agree. Scripture tells us that:
Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in
But, the word SHOULD is the only word that is consistent with grace. It is not that we MUST – that would be works for salvation. It is not that we WILL – that would be Calvinism. It is SHOULD. And we SHOULD!
You said that Lordship “salvation” is putting the cart before the horse. I believe that is glossing over the seriousness of what Lordship “salvation” really is – a false gospel of salvation by works! False gospels do not have any power to save anyone. That is why they are accursed.
Galatians 1:9: As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Question: Do you believe that there are “counterfeit” christians who are only pretending? Also, do you believe that God chastens His children who choose to walk in a way that does not glorify Him? Are there “carnal” Christians?
My comment: You asked if we believe there are counterfeit Christians who are only pretending?
Yes. Some may pretend for familial harmony, running for office, trying to get out of jail, attracting a love interest, making money, feeding their fleshly appetites for power, etc.
But, I don’t think most false professors are pretending. Instead, I think they have sincerely believed in a false gospel of salvation by works, or by faith plus works. As such, they are not saved.
You asked if we believe that God chastens His children who walk in a way that does not glorify Him?
I think that God chastens (teaches, disciplines) all of his children – not just the ones who walk in a way that does not glorify Him. In fact, those who remain in His word are likely to become the more disciplined.
John 8:31: Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
People respond to God’s chastening in a number of ways. Otherwise, there would be little variation in Christian behavior, and no purpose for the Judgement Seat of Christ, at which all believers will be judged according to their works.
2 Corinthians 5:10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
One should not seek assurance of salvation from the extent to which he feels, or does not feel chastened, any more than he should look to his behavior for assurance of salvation. The only basis for assurance of salvation is whom one is trusting for eternal life.
You asked if there are carnal Christians?
Yes. I am sure of it.
1 Corinthians 3:1-4 uses the word “carnal” four times to describe these eternally secure believers.
1 Corinthians 3:1-4:
 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
Question: Some people think that a watered down gospel leads to a license to sin. What do you think?
My comment:The gospel leads people to faith in Christ.
Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
I don’t know what a “watered down” gospel is, but the gospel is not a license to sin. Lordship “salvationists” often refer to the gospel as a “watered down” gospel, because it doesn’t include faith in works, to which they so tragically cling.
If you would like to know how to have eternal life, click here: The Gospel