Category Archives: Secure salvation

A Distressed Young Man, Francis Chan and Lordship “Salvation”

By Jack Weaver

Below is a distressing note from a young man who is tragically unsure of his salvation. I am terribly distressed when I read his words and thoughts. We need to pray for him and many like him who have been confused by false teachers like Francis Chan, John MacArthur, John Piper, Paul Washer and others.

We witness many visitors to our web site who have been victims of the teaching of Lordship “salvation.” We see many who have finally and joyously understood the real meaning of God’s Free Grace and have trusted, not their behavior, not their works — but Jesus Christ alone as their eternal Savior.

Because of the nature and content of his letter, I will assign to him an assumed name of “Joseph.” I will also highlight in bold parts of his email, some areas of his concern and our possible discussion. I pray some of our readers will offer Joseph scriptural answers to his concerns.

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

Hello. I have seen your website a couple of times. I usually end up on your site when looking up stuff about Francis Chan.

I really don’t know how to start this email, so I’ll just dive right in I guess. I need help. I need prayer.

For years now, ever since I started college, more so in my second year of college, I have continually and constantly had nagging doubts about my salvation. I still to this day continue to have these doubts.

I will confess something to you first, however. Also since I started college, I have had a continual worry about evangelism. The thing is, I am uncomfortable talking with strangers, and as a result, have had trouble evangelizing them, almost not doing so at all. I have told my friends the gospel, but not usually right away. I am a person who struggles a lot with fear as well.

I know the gospel message of grace. I have told it to people, to myself, and I have been comforted by the grace of Jesus Christ toward me as a sinner. But always, without fail, my assurance goes away. I become increasingly more aware of my sin, which is good of course, but I then question my salvation.

The Bible teaches that good works follow those who believe. I look at my life, and have trouble seeing them. If I do see them, I question my motives. I’m a mess, in short. I am tired of not having any peace. I am tired of clamming up like a turtle because of my fear of judgment.

I know I have so many sins to deal with in my life. There are things i know I am not even aware of. You seem to be a person that loves the gospel of grace. Is there any words you can offer me for help?

I want to trust in Jesus Christ, and I do, but sometimes, I get scared that because I don’t do certain things, like evangelize often, I am not really saved.

I am in seminary now, and the problem is getting worse. Please help. I hope this all makes sense.

“Joseph”

Joseph, we do understand your consternation and pray we can help you see God’s absolute assurance in Jesus Christ through His Word.

I will take a few of your concerns and address them:

  • You have been taught falsely that good works will follow those who believe. NOT TRUE, the Bible says believers SHOULD (not must) walk in good works (Ephesians 2:10) Nowhere in God’s Word does He say that a lack of good works condemns a person. Yes, believers SHOULD (not must) do good works but, by His Grace, we have that choice.
  • Be warned that some churches and seminaries teach that one must “Repent of or turn from sin”to be saved and/or stay saved. Read the Statement of Faith of your seminary. Such a statement is false doctrine. See this article:

    False Repentance, Perseverance and Lordship “salvation”

  • Very important. Your assurance does not depend upon your behavior or feelings — but solely upon God’s Word.
    “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God [Jesus]; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, …  1 John 5:13 Believing that Jesus’ death and resurrection to pay your sin debt (which is death) is sufficient personally for you. Your belief/trust in Jesus is your guarantee of salvation. Jesus says to you: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. John 6:47 plus hundreds more similar verses.
  • Discard Francis Chan. His false teaching is misleading you and thousands of others. Use the search bar on this web site (upper right column) for “Francis Chan” and additionally read Bruce’s accurate articles about Chan’s apostasy here:

    Francis Chan – Failure to Help the Poor Could Send You to Hell

    Francis Chan’s Speech to 5000+ Christian Youths, Questions Their Faith

  • If your seminary training has not by now shown you how to have absolute assurance from scripture, you should seriously consider a change of seminaries. And one of the best is a good, solid Bible College Dayspring Bible College and Seminary in Illinois.
  • Go to Gospel Campaign’s web site, read and download the Gospel Booklet. It is very simple and clear.
  • Joseph if you indeed “know the Gospel of Grace” I question whether you actually sincerely believe it. See also our page: Eternal Life For You – Guaranteed!!
  • Don’t worry about evangelizing anyone until you are absolutely sure of your own salvation. I can imagine it would be difficult trying to explain salvation assurance in Jesus Christ when you do not have it yourself. But when you do understand and have that assurance then, by all means, enthusiastically share that freeing Good News with others. That Truth shall make you (and them) FREE!! “And ye shall know the TRUTH, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

Joseph, I am confident others will offer suggestions and encouragement to you from God’s Word. These are only a few thoughts but you must realize your assurance cannot rest in your behavior or works but only in Jesus Christ. He is necessary, He is enough and in Him alone is True Salvation.

Please join us in this discussion.

Paul Washer, Lordship Salvation: Paul Washer Redefines the Plan of Salvation, Obliterating Assurance of Salvation

Source: “The Gift Nobody Wants,” True Disciple 2008, by Paul Washer, Preached at Grace Community Church, San Antonio, TX, December 4, 2008. Available for download at SermonAudio.com, Online Sermons: http://www.sermonaudio.com/gcc

The following are some quotations from Paul Washer’s sermon listed above, along with a few associated comments. At the end of this post is an excerpt from Dr. Charlie Bing’s Doctoral Dissertation on Lordship Salvation. That section deals with the true biblical meaning of the term “repentance.”

Paul Washer Quotations:

In a not-so-veiled mocking caricature of the common invitation for people to trust in Christ alone by grace through faith for salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9;), Washer says the following (pp. 1-2):

“‘Who would like to repeat this prayer after me? Oh, I see that hand. Come forward.’ We see none of that [in Scripture]. But the message of our Lord we see, ‘Repent and believe.’ . . . It is only until we come into this modern time that we hear nothing of repentance and faith unless it is redefined in the context of receiving Jesus which means pray this prayer and ask him into your heart and if you have done that sincerely you can stand on the fact that you have been born again. Now that is serious, folks. This is serious.”

Comment: In actuality, the biblical gospel of grace never says to simply say or recite a formulaic prayer or to “come forward” to be saved. It says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Washer continues: “The reason there were just as many people and still are just as many people going out of the church as coming into the church is because the gospel that we are preaching is not the gospel. It is a truncated version of the gospel and the invitation we give cannot even be found in the New Testament. Now does anyone have a problem with that? The reason why they are leaving, well, they went out from us because they were not of us. They were not truly converted.”

Comment: This is the standard “out” for Lordship Salvation teaching. If anyone, true believer or not, ceases attending church, becomes lukewarm, or seems to have strayed from the faith, the standard LS response is to simply write them off as, “never having been genuinely saved to begin with.”

Paul Washer discusses (p. 4) Mark 1:15:
“‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’ Now both of these commands are in the present tense imperative and I believe there is an issue here. I believe that there is something going on that will cure the malady that is so frequent today in America. It is almost as if Christ is saying, ‘The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Now spend the rest of your life repenting and believing.'”

Response: In reference to Mark 1:15 above, as well as John 3:16, the present tense usage in no way mandates that pisteuo must be interpreted as continuous ongoing belief (the default position of Lordship Faith teaching). Quoting Bible scholar, Fred Chay, PhD, “Continual belief is no more in mind in John 3:16 than continual baptizing [also present tense usage “the baptizing one” meaning that John’s baptizing would have to continue while he was imprisoned and even after his death!] is in view in Mark 6:14. With this in mind, it becomes clear that it is dangerous indeed to assume that the normative use of the word pisteuo is always continuous action, especially in the light of the fact that it cannot even be assumed that the present tense in general assumes continuous aspect” (Chay and Correia, “The Faith that Saves,” Grace Line, Inc., 2008, pp. 48-52—available from Free Grace Alliance) http://www.freegracealliance.com/ .

Washer continues, as he describes a man who claims to have trusted in Christ alone as his Savior some ten years earlier:

“They don’t realize that the evidence, the raw bone biblical evidence that there was one time in your life that you repented unto salvation is that you continue repenting until today and growing in repentance. They do not realize that if at one time in your life you believed unto salvation, the evidence of that will be you continue believing unto salvation and growing in faith.”

Comment: the standard Lordship Faith tactic or approach is to place the onus of salvation back onto the person; the individual must continue repenting and believing in order to validate or to prove his true belief; he can never rest in the finished work of Christ on the cross on his behalf. Mr. Washer, your approach decimates assurance of salvation! (we are kept by the grace and power of God—John 10:27-30).

Paul Washer Quotation (p. 5): “A person who can show no mark of the sanctifying work of God in their life has no assurance that they have been justified. Now that is biblical teaching.”

Comment: Again, assurance of salvation is placed, not upon the finished work of Christ on the cross of Calvary (see Corinthians 15:1-8), but back upon the individual to prove or maintain his or her salvation—a standard teaching of Lordship Salvation and a real assurance killer!

Washer Quotation (p. 20): “People ask me, ‘Is there free will?’ I say, ‘Let’s not even answer that question. Let’s just go a little bit farther.’ The question is not: Is there free will? The question is: Is there good will? You are free to will, but will only [act] according to your nature and your nature is evil, so what you are going to do is evil unless God comes in and gives you a new heart, unless God regenerates you.”

Comment: Standard Calvinist unbiblical plan of salvation, that is, God must regenerate the sinner prior to his coming to faith. This false teaching flies in the face of the multitude of calls to salvation in the Bible (to be received—through free will—by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone), e.g., John 3:16, Acts 16:31; 19:4, John 11:26 (calls to believe in Christ for salvation are throughout the Gospel of John), 1 John 5:13.

Washer’s example of a child: Washer uses the example of a young child regarding the plan of salvation [no name or gender will be given] (pp.24-25). The child was concerned with life and death; “I don’t want to die,” they said. He assured the youngster that, although death is always a possibility for everyone, that they were young and healthy and although no one knows the future, we trust in God. But the child pleaded, “I want God.” Washer asked, “You do?” “Yes, I want God,” the child replied. Washer said, “Well, you have heard the gospel . . . You know that you are to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The child responded, “Oh, . . ., I believe. I believe in Jesus.” Washer pondered what to say next: “Now, what do I do with them? Do I sit there and go, ‘[name withheld], you don’t believe. You just don’t believe. You are not fully understanding what is going on here’? But do I say, ‘Oh, [name withheld], you believe and you are saved. Let’s go tell [name withheld]’? That is what most people would do. But, you see, a discerning heart would recognize after talking to the [child]. [They] were not weeping over sin. [They] were not weeping over an offense against God. [They] were weeping over self-preservation. [They] didn’t want to die. And so what did I do? I said, ‘[name withheld],’ I redirected [them]. I said, ‘[name withheld], I want you to know something. If you truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the one who can take away your sins, any [one] who truly believes and trusts in him, recognizes the depth, something in the depth of [their] sin, turns from it and believes in Jesus is saved. And if you are doing that, if you are really doing that, that has really happened to you, you are saved. But now let me tell you something. The evidence of your salvation is going to be God beginning to work in your life, directing you towards Scripture, pointing out sin in your life, making you contrite and things such as that over disobedience to your parents. And [certain people] are just going to watch you, [name withheld]. And [they] are going to use the Scripture and just help you as you go through these next months and years to discern whether you have truly come to know him.”

Response: read the story of the Philippian jailer in Acts 16. There was a violent earthquake. The prison doors had broken open. He was distraught that the prisoners might have fled and he feared for his life. Verses 30-33 tell of the man’s miraculous conversion, along with his family: “And brought them [Paul and Silas] 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. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.”

Observation: notice that when the jailer and his family trusted in Christ alone for salvation, Paul and Silas accepted them IMMEDIATELY as brothers and sisters in Christ and then baptized them as an outward symbol of the new inward reality. Paul and Silas did not say that they were going to watch the jailer and his family to make sure that they were truly saved.

Repentance and Salvation

The following is a brief excerpt from Dr. Charlie Bing’s Doctoral Dissertation on Lordship Salvation. This review section deals with the topics, “Repentance and Salvation.” In it, Dr. Bing highlights some of the errors of the Lordship Salvation position on repentance. Below is the excerpt and the associated link to read the chapter in its entirety:

http://www.gracelife.org/resources/dissertation.asp?id=chp6

Repentance and Salvation

The controversy over repentance concerns the scope of its meaning in soteriological contexts. The Lordship Salvation position takes repentance to mean a turning from sin and sins which is necessary for salvation.
By association with metamelomai and epistrepho it is argued that the word metanoeo denotes both regret for sins and turning from sins. The study concluded that this argument is not supported from biblical usage. Furthermore, “repent” is not an accurate translation of metanoeo, which has the basic meaning “change the mind.”
Key Bible passages considered did not substantiate the Lordship understanding of repentance. An evaluation of the passages that concern the offer of salvation by John the Baptist (Matt 3:2, 11; Mark 1:4/Luke 3:3; Acts 13:24), Jesus Christ (Matt 4:17/Mark 1:15; Matt 11:20-21/Luke 10:13; Matt 9:13/Mark 2:17/Luke 5:32; Matt 12:41/Luke 11:32; Luke 13:3, 5; Luke 15; 16:30; 24:47), and the Apostles (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 8:22; 14:15 [with 1 Thess 1:9]; 17:30; 20:21) showed that metanoeo should be taken in its basic sense of “change the mind.” In these passages, that about which the mind changed was not always sin or sins, but could also be God or one’s opinion about Jesus Christ. Turning from sins is more accurately a result of repentance in some of the passages and should not be confused with repentance itself.
When sins are closely associated with repentance in Bible passages (2 Cor 12:21; Heb 6:1; Rev 2; 3; 9:20-21; 16:9), it is usually Christians who are in view, not unbelievers. Turning from specific sins is not required of the unbeliever in order to secure salvation. The exception of the unbelievers in Revelation 9:20-21 and 16:9 is not an offer of salvation.
Passages used by Lordship proponents to define repentance in terms of its fruits or works (Matt 3:8/Luke 3:8; Acts 26:20) did not support that understanding. It was argued that though there is a logical relationship between repentance and its fruits, the term repentance itself does not require resultant works for its meaning.

What is Francis Chan Doing Now? Francis Chan’s Latest Speech to 5000+ Christian Youths, Questioning Their Faith; Latest News on Francis Chan

Recently we chronicled (see the link below) how Francis Chan continues to use the standard Lordship Faith promotional tactics of guilt, doubt and fear [fear of damnation] as primary motivational tools when addressing large Christian audiences. This seems to be an ongoing theme of his sermons/speeches since he introduced the concept of condemnation of “the lukewarm,” which appeared in a 2008 sermon entitled, “Lukewarm and Loving It,” as well as in his best-selling 2008 book, “Crazy Love.” In March of this year, continuing with the same theme, Chan gave a speech in which he declared that failure to help the poor could cause you to wind up in hell. In this speech (below), Francis Chan’s pronouncement links him with the social welfare “gospels” of popular authors David Platt and Richard Stearns. SEE:
http://www.expreacherman.com/2012/03/27/francis-chans-latest-pronouncement-failure-to-help-the-poor-could-send-you-to-hell/

Just this past week, Francis Chan utilized a similar motivational approach as the keynote speaker at the CHIC 2012 Christian Youth Conference in Knoxville, TN. As typical of other Lordship Faith teachers, Chan challenged his Christian audience to look at themselves introspectively to see if they were really saved, based upon their behavior, attitudes and lifestyle. This speech was similar to one given by John Piper to another large gathering of Christian young people (see: http://www.expreacherman.com/2012/01/13/john-piper-speaks-to-42000-youth-redefining-the-plan-of-salvation/).

At this current event, Chan spoke to over 5000 Christian students in a large arena in Tennessee [see information source below]. Preaching from John 21 about Jesus’ verbal exchange with Peter, Chan invited the audience to reexamine the sincerity of their faith in Christ. He inquired of the audience, what would be their reply if Jesus asked them, “Do you love me?” He followed that question with, “Is it obvious on your Facebook that you love God or is it obvious that you love yourself?”

Writer, Stan Friedman, finished his article with the following observations about Chan’s speech:
“In an extended illustration that enthralled the audience, Chan drank from two different beverages—lemonade and Starbuck’s Frappuccino. Much to the disgust of the gathering, he alternated between the two. Christians too often do the same [he said], switching between holy and sinful behavior. Finally, he poured the coffee into the lemonade to show what happens when sin is allowed to rule part of a person’s life—it makes the rest distasteful. Chan told the worshipers that hiding the truth about sin with which they are struggling and trying to look as if they have their lives together would have eternal consequences. ‘What’s going to happen at the end because you just keep the facade going?’ he asked. ‘So then, you go to hell and you say to yourself, ‘Oh, but that’s okay because everyone up on earth thinks I’m in heaven. I fooled them.’ That’s your goal?’ Chan ended by asking the students to pray quietly and be open to God so that they might listen and confess. And be restored.”

Post Source: “CHIC Students Challenged to Answer Christ’s Question,” article written by Stan Friedman, Knoxville, TN; article accessed from http://www.covchurch.org/news/2012/07/18

For updates on Francis Chan 2013, see:
https://expreacherman.com/2013/01/05/lordship-salvation-authorsspeakers-francis-chan-and-david-platt-team-up-to-create-the-multiply-discipleship-movement/

Prayerful Praise: Practical Prayers About Praise

by Califgracer

(I hope that you enjoy the alliteration)

Precious Lord and Savior Jesus, I lift up the following prayers about praise to you . . .

  • Permeate my innermost being with praise.
  • Predominate my life with praise; let praise be pervasive.
  • Engulf me with a passion for praise.
  • Let the magnificence and inspiration of your grace prompt me to praise. 
  • Through your Spirit, partner with me in praise.
  • Lord, protect me in my praise.
  • With all of my will help me to pursue praise.
  • Please give to me great pleasure in praise; be pleased with my praise.
  • Keep my thoughts focused and pure in my praise.
  • Grant me peace in my praise.
  • Despite the busyness of life, help me to prioritize praise.
  • Give to me a plan for praise.
  • Supply me with plentiful provision for praise.
  • Let the life of Christ be my paradigm for praise.
  • Let the Cross of Christ be the precious predominate point of praise.
  • Please alleviate any pain or panic through praise.
  • Through your Word, grant me a peek into the palatial praise of heaven.
  • Guide me into the expansive parameters of praise.
  • Pardon my imperfection in praise; perfect my praise.
  • May my life personify praise.
  • Prohibit the prevention of praise provoked by groundless doubt, guilt and fear. 
  • Penetrate a lost world through your people’s praise.
  • Precious Spirit, assist me to persevere in praise.
  • Through my own words and thoughts allow me to express my personality in praise.
  • In my life, make praise passionate and pervasive.
  • Let the promulgation of praise predominate your church.
  • Disallow wrongful motives which pervert my praise.
  • Provide piety in praise.
  • Inspire and protect the praise of your people.
  • Let no legalistic penchant pollute my praise.
  • May your Word be a portraiture of praise.
  • Feed me a huge portion of praise.
  • May my attitudes be predisposed to be positive in praise.
  • Throughout your church, tinder an outpouring of praise.
  • Demonstrate the practicality and power of praise.
  • Please predetermine in me daily to praise.
  • Be always the prime focal point of praise.
  • In every circumstance, give me the propensity to praise.
  • When I am lonely, sick or sad, prescribe to me praise.
  • Preface my day with praise.
  • Prearrange my schedule for praise.
  • Deter me from becoming presumptuous in praise.
  • Precipitate my predilection for praise.
  • Dissuade me from all pretense in praise.
  • Over sin may I prevail through praise.
  • Let no obstacle prevent my praise.
  • May I ever prize the privilege of praise.
  • May your Spirit teach me proficiency in praise.
  • Allow me to glimpse the profundity of praise.
  • With vivid exclamation, punctuate my praise!

Justified by Jesus Christ or Justin Case?

By our friend John.

I want to believe in Jesus, but…

The evangelist said you have to say a prayer asking for salvation. I saw that on a couple of websites too. I don’t know why God would go to all of the trouble to do everything necessary for my salvation and then make me ask for it. But, I’ll pray the prayer to help insure my salvation — just in case.

I should feel worse about my sins. In the Bible study that I attend on Tuesdays, we are using a study guide which says that confession of sins is a requirement for salvation. I can’t find that anywhere in the Bible. Why would God need to be softened up by my remorse to be willing to save me? But, a great “Prince of Preachers,” who is favorably referenced by lots of Free Grace ministries, said that no one comes to God with a hard heart. So, I will cry and confess my sins to help insure my salvation — just in case.

My pastor says believing in Jesus isn’t enough – that even the demons believe there is one God and they tremble. My pastor says I have to repent of my sins to be saved. The Bible doesn’t say that anywhere, but if I don’t do it, maybe the deal will be off. I will resolve to give up my sins to secure my salvation just in case.

My denomination says that faith is an active verb. That a person needs to follow Jesus to go to Heaven. They say that believing with your head is not enough. You have to believe with your heart. I’m not sure what that means, but I read a tract that said you could miss Heaven by a foot-and-a-half. I don’t want to do that. I will resolve to follow Christ to help my salvation — just in case.

My church says that faith in Christ plus a public confession of Christ are required for salvation. Public confession seems like a work. It seems like if I have to make a public confession of Christ in order to be saved, that my confession would be that I don’t believe in Christ alone. But my Elder explained that public confession was a “spirit work” and not a “work of the law.” So, maybe God won’t know the difference. Besides, why wouldn’t I want to confess Christ before men?   I’d better do it to make my salvation secure —  just in case.

What about baptism? My father always said it was required to be saved. The Bible says we are saved by Grace, through faith. But, my father was a devout Christian up until the day he died. I know he wouldn’t have steered me wrong. Plus, you’re supposed to get baptized anyway. I’ll do it to let God know I’m serious — just in case.

Some people become Christians and fall away later. How do I know I won’t be like the second soil in the parable? I mean my behavior should change if I am saved, right? All of the testimonials I hear at church are about how the people’s lives changed as a result of their salvation.  I will wait and see if it takes root and my life changes dramatically — just in case.

But, what if I fall into serious, habitual sin? Won’t that mean I was never saved in the first place? I’d better guard against that or my salvation may be in jeopardy — just in case.

I heard a sermon today about a rich young ruler.  The preacher said he didn’t go to Heaven because he was selfish.  Am I selfish? Jesus said it was easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into Heaven. I know He also said that with God, all things are possible.  But, maybe I should give away more of my money — just in case.

I read a bestselling Christian book about how to take your “spiritual pulse.”  It gives a bunch of test questions to see whether or not you are a believer.  The Bible says that I can be assured of my salvation the moment I believe.  But, one of the leading Grace expositors says the truth lies somewhere in between, that an inventory of righteousness should be part of an ongoing inspection process.  I did OK on it yesterday, but today I’m not so sure.  I’d better take it again tomorrow — just in case. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And John concludes with:

I actually experienced and believed certain of the false teachings depicted above.  Some of the others were not part of my direct experience.  In either case, I was lost until a couple of years ago when I finally understood and believed that salvation was a free gift, available by Grace through faith in Christ alone. – John.

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

Thanks John… for that chilling account of the Lordship “salvation” and “works” teachings of “religions” today. We are thrilled you finally understood and believed the Truth of the Gospel of the Grace of Jesus Christ.

Understand SALVATION by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone. << Click

No Guilt, No Fear! Living by Grace not by Doubt and Fear: Guilt-Free Christianity!

Grace robbers are everywhere today!  Their faces can be seen on “Christian” television; their voices bellow from the pulpits of large churches across the land; their best-selling books are widely featured in Christian bookstores.  It seems that at every turn there surfaces another voice in the Christian world who would steal the joy and assurance away from any believer who will listen to such voices and follow their unbiblical teachings.  True Hope in Christ Jesus and in his wonderful free gift of salvation through faith alone are replaced by doubt.  Doubt increases; it shifts one’s focus from trusting in Christ and his finished work on the cross alone to a fixation on oneself—What have I done for God lately?  Am I really doing enough?  This increasing introspection quickly begins to destroy confidence in Christ Jesus alone and assurance of one’s salvation.  Decimation of assurance morphs into fear and anxiety.  Fear of what?  Fear of not being sin-free enough to please God; fear of not reading the Bible enough; fear of not attending church often enough; fear of not witnessing enough; fear of not doing enough to help the poor; fear of not being “on fire” for Christ; fear of not being good enough to please God.  Fear leads to dread, often the dread of possibly heading for hell one day.  Grace-robbing preachers fuel this dread through their incessant unbiblical judgmental rants.  Dread destroys any semblance of joy remaining in the Christian’s life.  And what is the final result?  A miserable, defeated, guilt-ridden believer.  Yes, a believer to be sure:  one who has placed her complete faith in Christ Jesus alone for salvation—by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, Ephesians 2:8-9.  But one who has allowed the joy-sucking assurance-thieving grace robbers to steal away the Grace, Hope, Joy, Assurance, Confidence and Guilt-Free existence that God would have for the true believer in Christ to experience every day.

Let’s make every effort to speak out against unbiblical grace-robbing teaching in the body of Christ.  And let us live and encourage other believers to live Guilt-Free lives of Confident Assurance through faith in Christ alone and through his wonderful gospel of 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (the death, burial and resurrection of Christ).

The Terrible Legacy of Lordship “Salvation” (Lordship “Salvation” Exposed)

By Jack Weaver

Just today I received an email from a dear new reader, Doug. He describes himself as a believer in Jesus Christ but is afraid that he may not be showing enough good works to prove it to himself (or maybe to God). Whether he is aware of it or not, he is describing the terrible legacy and symptoms of the Lordship “Salvation” teachers.

I know Doug will appreciate our readers’ and contributors’ help and comments in order to give him the assurance he so desires from our wonderful Savior. Your comments and help will be welcome. I have emphasized in bold what I believe are some very important points in Doug’s note.

Doug, we certainly want to help you with the assurance God offers so prominently in His Word.

Some of our wonderful friends/readers either know of others who have struggled with these same questions and emotions or have themselves been through the same torture.

~~ Doug’s Note ~~

I have been having some trouble concerning salvation and wanted to know if you could help me?

I think my feelings are getting too involved with my salvation, ie. I feellike I need to do something to be good enough to be saved. I know this is not what God says about eternal life but what this does is causes me to doubt if I have truly trusted Christ alone for salvation.

I believe the only way to be saved is to have faith in Christ alone and want to be sure I have put my faith in Christ alone for my salvation.

One thing I focus heavily on is my fear of being cast in to hell. An eternity in hell scares me to death and that’s why I am wanting to be sure I have my faith only in Christ. I guess the thought of adding works to grace scares me because then there is no more grace.

I think I’ve transferred all of my trust to Christ alone for salvation but get scared I haven’t because of the thoughts that come in to my mind sometimes about turning my life around or not doing that otherwise you’re not going to be saved etc… I know I should not do certain things but not in order to be saved. But the question makes me doubt my motives and I know God knows my heart better then I do.

Doug, we appreciate you and will pray for you. We are sure some of our dedicated readers will have great words of consolation for you from God’s Word.

Eternal Life Guaranteed by God << Click

ALERT: New “Bible,” “The Voice” Omits the Name Jesus Christ, etc.; The Voice “Mis”translation

By Jack Weaver ( thanks to good friend Shelle Davis for the tip)

Please beware — if you have been sold on the idea that you want a Bible for your kids — or yourself that is “easier to read,” BE VERY CAREFUL. Thomas Nelson Publishers has gone down into the depths, publishing a new “Bible” called The Voice which, from the following report, decimates portions of God’s Word by omitting the words, “Jesus Christ.”

Excerpts from Christian Post Article:

A new translation of the Bible into English does not contain the name “Jesus Christ” nor the word “angel.” It also prefers the word “emissary” over “apostle.”

The Voice, a Bible (sic) that replaces “Jesus Christ” with terms like “Jesus the Anointed One,” had its complete edition released by Thomas Nelson Publishing last month.

Frank Couch, Thomas Nelson’s lead editor on the project, told The Christian Post that the purpose of The Voice was to make the Gospel message easier to understand for modern audiences.

The Voice has not claimed to be more accurate than any other translation, rather it is more easily understood than any other translation,” said Couch.

“When translators are limiting themselves to conveying the complete essence of a word from the Hebrew or the Greek with one English word they have difficulty bringing in the nuances held in the original language.”

Because other translations have more literal renderings, Couch believed they are “why it has been necessary for commentators and preachers to spend so much time explaining what the words in the original language mean before the lay reader can understand fully a text of Scripture.”

So now we are to trust Nelson Publishers to interpret God’s Word for us?? I think not. There are already too many perversions of God’s Word on the market now.

Just beware. God’s Word tells us:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

How could anyone (except one who knows not the Bible) publish and market a “Bible” that eliminates the Name of Jesus Christ. We are to rightly divide [correctly dissect] the Word of Truth, not delve into a poor paraphrase of what some book salesman thinks is “easier to read.”

Heaven is FREE << Click

John MacArthur Changes His “Lordship salvation” Message??

By Jack Weaver

Dr. Tom Cucuzza tipped me off to the following interesting link from John MacArthur’s (JMac) Grace To You web site.

I’ll quote a couple of passages in which someone in JMac’s camp tries to “correct” JMac’s Lordship error.

Article title:

“Does John MacArthur teach salvation by works in his book Hard to Believe?”

One paragraph in the first edition of Hard to Believe contained a glaring error that has the potential to mislead readers about the book’s whole intent.

As one reads the original and the “correction” one sees very little difference in doctrine. Both ooze Lordship Salvation, just slightly different.

The Grace To You writer seems to try to blame everyone for the error.

The error was inadvertently introduced into the [original] manuscript in the late stages of the editorial process, when (in order to simplify the book) four chapters were deleted from the original manuscript and one of the remaining chapters was severely abridged. John MacArthur approved the abridgments.

…..Unfortunately, that [later] change was not submitted to John for approval. We believe the error was an oversight, and not anyone’s deliberate attempt to tamper with the book’s theology. The result, however, severely muddled the message of the book.

A revision was sent to the publisher for future editions of the book. In all subsequent printings, here is how the opening paragraph of chapter six reads (revisions are in bold):

Here is John MacArthur’s original Lordship “salvation” quote from the guru of the lie:  chapter 6 (page 93), (My emphasis in bold.)“Hard to Believe”– Original edition:

Don’t believe anyone who says it’s easy to become a Christian. Salvation for sinners cost God His own Son; it cost God’s Son His life, and it’ll cost you the same thing. Salvation isn’t the result of an intellectual exercise. It comes from a life lived in obedience and service to Christ as revealed in the Scripture; it’s the fruit of actions, not intentions. There’s no room for passive spectators: words without actions are empty and futile…The life we live, not the words we speak, determines our eternal destiny“ (John MacArthur, Hard to Believe, p. 93).

Here is the so-called “corrected” revision of the error in his original passage — from the opening paragraph of chapter 6 (page 93), The changed portions are in bold, according to JMac’s web site.

Don’t believe anyone who says it’s easy to become a Christian. Salvation for sinners cost God His own Son; it cost God’s Son His life, and it’ll cost you the same thing. Salvation isn’t gained by reciting mere words. Saving faith transforms the heart, and that in turn transforms behavior. Faith’s fruit is seen in actions, not intentions. There’s no room for passive spectators: words without actions are empty and futile. Remember that what John saw in his vision of judgment was a Book of Life, not a book of Words or Book of Intellectual Musings. The life we live, not the words we speak, reveals whether our faith is authentic. Chapter 6 (page 93)

Not surprisingly, I see no substantial difference — Both preach a works based “salvation, probation” message. JMac has managed to survive an apparent internal controversy and continues preaching the same old Lordship probation message he has preached for years.

What say you?

Salvation – Not By “Commitment” But by Faith Alone. << Click

The 100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Titanic, April 15, 2012: Titanic Gospel Warnings About Rejecting the Gospel

One hundred years ago, today, April 14, 1912, the famous oceanliner Titanic struck an iceberg.  Hours later, in the early morning of April 15, the huge ship sank carrying about 1500 people to their death.

Over the years, analysts have studied what things went wrong leading up to the tragedy of April 1912.  Several facts have been chronicled which detail why this event occurred.  The following piece summarizes some of these findings:

Source:  http://www.39online.com/kiah-20120413,0,4594381.photo

1.  Substandard Rivets in Bow and Stern, containing iron and a high content of slag, which becomes brittle at very cold temperatures.

2.  Ship Steaming Too Fast in spite of repeated telegraphed messages from other ships about iceberg ice in the area.

3.  Lack of Binoculars:  some of the lookouts were not furnished with proper optical equipment.

4.  Repeated Ice Warnings disregarded by Capt. Smith.

5.  Unusually High Tides may have brought excessive icebergs into shipping lanes.

6.  Last Minute Manuever of Ship Failed, causing more damage than would have probably occurred in a strike with the bow.

7.  Watertight Bulkheads were not sealed at the top.

8.  Insufficient Number of Lifeboats:  Only enough to accommodate about 1/3 of the passengers and crew.

9.  Lifeboats Not Filled to Capacity:  some were launched half full.

10. The British Steamer “Californian” saw flares and could have steamed toward them, but failed to do so, some think because the wrong color flares were used, ones which would normally be used for celebrations, not for S.O.S. signaling. 

11. [added to article]  Rope Too Short:  It has been reported that rope used to drop buckets down to collect water temperature readings was too short to reach the water’s surface.  Crew members, instead, substituted water from onboard the ship to render the readings. 

“Titanic” Warnings About the Gospel:

The Gospel of Salvation is so straightforward, so clear in the Bible in many places, including 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus); Acts 16:30-31 (“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved . . .”); Ephesians 2:8-9 (We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, not by works); John 3:16-18 (Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.)

Why do so many people refuse to go God’s way, trusting in his Son, Christ Jesus, for salvation, and not in their own “good” works?

How similar are unbelievers today to passengers on the Titanic?

1.  Both were (are) sailing toward disaster at breakneck speeds.

2.  In the frenzy of the night, many failed to board the Titanic lifeboats which could have rescued them from death; in the hustle and bustle of life, many or most people fail to avail themselves of God’s gift of Eternal Life in His Son, Jesus Christ, who can save them from eternal destruction.

3. Up until the moment of the crash, people on the Titanic were going about their normal routines (business as usual):  crew members were observing their daily duties; passengers were laughing, dancing and dining; both were (are) oblivious to the imminent dangers that lay (lie) ahead.

4. Even after the Titanic struck the iceberg, for the first couple of hours many were in denial that they faced any danger whatsoever— “This ship is unsinkable,” some claimed.  How many people in our day live in similar blind denial:  “There’s no hell,” many declare.  “If there is a heaven, either we’re all going there or we ain’t,” others might retort.  On that sad early morning of April 15, 2012, dozens and dozens of scoffers faced reality head-on.  How many millions, in our generation, will, tragically and avoidably, come face to face with the legitimacy of death and an eternity in torment (Luke 16)?

5.  Some of the passengers on the Titanic, who failed to board the lifeboats which could have rescued them, sought, instead, to save themselves by strapping on life preservers and jumping into the ocean.  If the impact of the fall did not kill them, the frigid water would have finished them off in minutes [this observation is for the purpose of illustration only; obviously, in the frenectic scene of the night, many were not given the opportunity to board the lifeboats].  How many unbelievers, today, steadfastly refuse to accept God’s plan of salvation? (there is only ONE WAY, by grace alone through faith alone in his Son Christ Jesus alone).  They would rather go their own way, seek their own path, add to God’s plan, or devise their own plan, while attempting to please God through their own works.  Refusal to go God’s way will certainly lead to destruction.

Do Lordship “Salvation” Folks Deny the Resurrection and Christ’s Proclamation, “It is finished”?

By Jack Weaver

As Resurrection weekend approaches let us analyze the terrible lie and denial by those who teach Lordship “Salvation.” Do their false teachings deny the Resurrection and Christ’s very words?

God’s salvation requires no more than believing the Gospel and then believing in Jesus Christ alone for our salvation. Therefore we conclude that the Lordship “salvation, faith, probation” (LS) folks cannot sincerely believe Christ’s last statement on the cross, “It is finished…” John 19:30b

They must deny the death, burial and resurrection as being Christ’s all sufficient sacrifice for sin for every person in the world, past, present and future. The Lord God sealed His Promise of Christ’s words, “It is finished”  when He raised Jesus Christ from the grave three days later. The Resurrection is proof. LS folks therefore deny His Gospel of Salvation by Grace through their teaching. They demonstrate their misery not knowing that JOY that comes with God’s assurance.

Here is such a denial, according to the guru of Lordship “salvation” :

Salvation isn’t the result of an intellectual exercise. It comes from a life lived in obedience and service to Christ as revealed in the Scripture; it’s the fruit of actions, not intentions. There’s no room for passive spectators: words without actions are empty and futile…The life we live, not the words we speak, determines our eternal destiny (John MacArthur, Hard to Believe, p. 93).

Heresy !!! Thus says JMac as he proudly denies the sufficiency of God’s Grace alone, our faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, to save all who believe in Him. He is claiming null and void Christ’s last words on the cross, “It is finished.”  (“Finished” is the Greek word Teleo meaning complete, executed, concluded, discharged (a debt) :- accomplished, make an end).

And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain [useless, empty)]” 1 Corinthians 15:14

You may have “heard” the Gospel and you may have “come to the knowledge of Christ” or “know” the Gospel but you alone must, at some time, make the decision to believe in Jesus Christ, that He died and was resurrected as your substitute, in your place, for your sins, that He is your Savior. Then, He freely GIVES you the Gift of eternal Life (forever)..
Study John 3:16-18 “.. He that believeth is NOT condemned…”

Christ died, that’s history, Christ died for ME, that’s Salvation.

Christ IS RISEN and coming again!!!

But what if, after Jesus was crucified, dead and buried, He had not been resurrected from the grave? There would be no salvation.. There would be no proof that Jesus is indeed God in the flesh. That is Satan’s message. We see such a lie touted by “liberal” theologians from the time shortly after Jesus was put to death by the Roman court.

Matthew 28:1-8

  • “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers [guards] did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word.”

Luke 24:6-7

“He is not here, but is risen: remember how He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”

GREAT JOY” is an understatement!! Imagine yourself being there with them. Imagine their circumstances, the Person they trusted, worshiped and followed had just been humiliated, crucified was dead and buried. They visit the tomb expecting to complete their mourning. Then they see the tomb empty and hear the words, He is not here: for He is risen.” HE IS RISEN! Just imagine the JOY!

The following has been called “The Gospel in a Nutshell”:

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.1 Corinthians 15: 3-6

Witness after witness after witness is certainly additional evidence of His resurrection.

Salvation by God’s Grace is understanding and believing that we are imperfect; that God calls this sin and that our sin requires a death penalty. But God with love beyond infinity, loved us so much that He sent His Perfect Son, Jesus Christ, to make that death penalty for the whole world. He came to the Jew first and then the Gentile so that all who would believe or trust in Jesus would have everlasting life in Heaven with Him. Jesus, He fulfilled the law and paid the death penalty we humans owe. He did that and arose from the grave just as He promised. Now the responsibility is upon us. Do we trust Jesus alone as our Savior, our complete and all sufficient Savior, apart from depending upon our good works, our promises, our commitment to serve or a life lived in obedience? If we do trust Jesus alone as our Savior, God’s Word says we HAVE everlasting life, guaranteed.

  • 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.

Dear friend, at this time of year when we remember the death, burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, perhaps you do not know for sure you possess eternal life in Christ. If you are not sure, please believe Him and trust or rely upon Jesus alone as your Savior to deliver you to Heaven; to give you eternal life. It is not thorough an organization, behavior, church or your good works, but simply Jesus alone. I pray you will make this one time decision as it is the most important one you will ever make during your entire life on this earth.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope [guarantee] by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,“ 1 Peter 1:3

HE IS RISEN — GREAT JOY!!!

God’s FREE Gift of Eternal Life << Click

Francis Chan’s Latest Pronouncement: Failure to Help the Poor Could Send You to Hell; Latest Francis Chan news

Once again, Francis Chan, popular conference speaker, author and Lordship Faith Advocate, adds qualifications (good works) to the simple straightforward gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 4:5; John 3:16; Titus 3:5).  His latest pronouncement is shown in the brief excerpt of his article below (to view the article in its entirety, see, “Failure to Help the Poor Could Send You to Hell,” by Francis Chan—Churchleaders.Com).     

 

“Blessed Are the Poor

And what about the poor? Jesus is crystal clear about the necessity of reaching the poor. Yet many hellfire preachers are overfed and overpaid, living in luxury while doing nothing for the majority of Christians who live on less than two dollars a day. [2] Contrast that with Jesus, who in His longest sermon about judgment made helping the poor a vital criterion.

Put simply, failing to help the poor could damn you to hell.

I know, I know, everyone wants to qualify this. We want to add all sorts of footnotes to fix Jesus’ shaky theology in Matthew 25—justification is by faith, not by works; you don’t really have to help literal poor people, etc. [3]On the flipside, some want to keep the stuff about helping the poor but take hell out of the picture. Sometimes, people even take Jesus out of the picture—fighting poverty, they believe, is an inherent virtue whether or not it’s rooted in the gospel.  Let’s keep the teeth of both truths. There’s a literal hell, and helping the poor is essential. Not only did Jesus teach both of these truths, He saw them as necessary and interrelated.”

Is Francis Chan right; is what he describes the Biblical plan of salvation, or is he teaching a false gospel of faith PLUS WORKS?
see also: https://expreacherman.com/2012/07/22/francis-chans-latest-speech-to-5000-christian-youths-questioning-their-faith/

For updates on Francis Chan 2013, see:
https://expreacherman.com/2013/01/05/lordship-salvation-authorsspeakers-francis-chan-and-david-platt-team-up-to-create-the-multiply-discipleship-movement/

We welcome your comments. 

Rick Warren’s Ecumenism. “Chrislam” and Lordship Salvation?

Is there a connection?

Most folks don’t necessarily think of Rick Warren as a big supporter of Lordship Salvation — but we have written and documented it here and here.

Think about this idea I propose that Warren may be at the forefront of a world wide ecumenical movement that attempts to incorporate Warren’s idea of New Age Mysticism and Evangelicalism in his humanistic world-wide “PEACE” movement. He is now reaching out to Muslims, not to win them to Jesus Christ but to explore the similarities between their god and the God of the Bible. That is called Chrislam.  An article in the 2009 Orange County Register (CA) shows Warren in full fellowship speaking to 8,000 Muslims at INSA, the Islamic Society of North America’s annual convention in Washington D.C. (Side note, reports are that Warren did not share the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.. Picture below.)

Article Tab: Sami M. Angawi, left, talks with Evangelical pastor Rick Warren, right, at the Islamic Society of North America�s 46th annual convention in Washington, July 4, 2009. Evangelical megachurch pastor Rick Warren says America's largest Islamic organization showed courage when it invited him to speak at its annual convention.

Sami M. Angawi, left, talks with Evangelical pastor Rick Warren, right, at the Islamic Society of North America�s 46th annual convention in Washington, July 4, 2009. Evangelical megachurch pastor Rick Warren says America’s largest Islamic organization showed courage when it invited him to speak at its annual convention.

Luis M. Alvarez, (OCR)

There is NO similarity between Islam and the Christianity proclaimed in God’s Word, the Bible. Rick Warren is severely misguided, deluded or intentionally giving in to Islam thus aiding the Muslim push for an international Muslim Caliphate (rulership).

This quote below is from a Muslim “ecumenical” web site [submission.nu] — is an attempt to marginalize the cruelty of Islam by comparing it to Christianity and is an effort to merge the two. The word Islam means “Submission.” In the excerpt below, is an effort to make Islam acceptable to “Christian religions.” They carefully substitute the word “God” in place of their god Allah.

The time has come to purify and consolidate all the messages delivered by God’s prophets into one message, and to proclaim that henceforth, there is only one religion acceptable to God, [Allah] “Submission”  [Islam] (3:19, 85). “Submission” [Islam] is the religion whereby we recognize God’s [Allah’s] absolute authority, and reach an unshakeable conviction that God [Allah] ALONE possesses all power; no other entity possesses any power that is independent of Him [Allah]. The natural result of such a realization is to devote our lives and our worship absolutely to God [Allah] ALONE. This is the First Commandment in all the scriptures, including the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Final Testament. [Quran] [Brackets my emphasis]

How many of these dictates sound like the rules set by men for Lordship “salvation” (LS) and/or how many are the basis of LS, Calvinism? Without total submission to Allah the god of Islam, there is no hope for the adherents of Islam (or anyone else they say). And then, there is no eternal hope for adherents of Lordship “salvation” without total submission to the Lordship of Christ (contrary to God’s Word). It is odd how similar these two philosophies seem to be.

And further, to put it in a more personal perspective, why are we as American Christian citizens spending millions of our US tax dollars to save Muslim mosques in the middle east? Watch this short video from Atlanta news. WSBTV Atlanta

Islam does not desire coexistence with Rick Warren or any other religion — they want total Submission – Islam. Wonder what Rick Warren is thinking with his PEACE plan reaching out to Muslims, who ultimately want him to submit to Islam — either now or later? Can he have it both ways with Chrislam?

Do you see this coming to a church near you?

Is this push softening Americans to accept Muslim Shariah Law into our own courts? It is happening today – Shariah Law Cases by State. << Go here and find cases in your own state’s courts.

True Faith — From God’s Word. << Click

Sovereignty: Calvinist and Lordship “Salvation” Catchword or Crutch?

By Jack Weaver

First let me note that neither of the words “sovereignty” nor  “sovereign” appear in the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.  The words are simply inventions-with-a-purpose created by the Calvinist/Reformed movement and adopted by Lordship Salvationists (LS) through time. Unfortunately some supposedly clear “evangelical” teachers have likewise adopted “sovereign” and the Reformed meaning of the word into their own vernacular.

The Dictionary.com definition for “sovereign” is “a monarch; a king, queen, or other supreme ruler.”
This is a quote from Chinstitute.org, an extreme Calvinist web site wherein they examine the origin of the word in their own ecclesiastical context from Calvin’s Institutes:

“This idea of the sovereignty of God was Calvin’s most central doctrine. It means that nothing is left to chance or human free will. This is what led him to put such emphasis on the doctrine of predestination – the idea that God, not we, decides whether we will be saved.” [Emphasis mine]

The erroneous concept that the “sovereignty” of God supersedes any idea or decision of man undergirds not only Calvinism and Reformed teaching but also Lordship “salvation” teaching as well. Lest you think LSers avoid the sovereignty issue, John MacArthur, the Calvinist king of Lordship teaching says, No doctrine is more despised by the natural mind than the truth that God is absolutely sovereign. Human pride loathes the suggestion that God orders everything, controls everything, rules over everything.[My emphasis]  From John MacArthur’s article, “God’s Absolute Authority,” Grace to You web site.

It is but a small step from proclaiming the sovereignty (as absolute rulership) of God to the false teaching that man is unable or incapable of making a personal decision to believe in or trust Jesus Christ as his Savior.

God is certainly the Creator and Ruler of the universe — but we as humans have always had the will, the ability if not the innate desire to disobey and dispute His Authority by our own free will (which fact Reformed teachers deny). The Bible chronicles countless examples of God’s people being disobedient and deciding to go “their own way” despite the desires, warnings and chastisements of God. Adam and Eve were the first. Another obvious example is represented by the Children of Israel in the desert after they fled Egypt. The Israelites were rebellious, disobedient and railed against God. They purposely did not obey God’s will for them:

They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:  But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul. Psalm 106:13-15

Question: Why, in the far reaches of anyone’s mind, would the Reformed, Calvinist and LS proponents need such a doctrine of “sovereignty” to support their teaching?

Answer: Primarily as justification for their out-of-context and unBiblical use of the words “chosen, elect and predestined,” etc. These concepts are, in their eyes, all wrapped up in (1) their false definition of the words “sovereignty of God” and (2) their false presumption of the inability of man to believe in Christ without such “faith” being caused, planted and finished by God in the individual “chosen by God” from eternity past.

Think seriously about this: Without their devised, invented and concocted understanding of the word “sovereignty,” the whole Calvinist/Reformed/LS theology has no core and falls apart.

Then imagine the conundrum that Calvinist LS folks have when their “believers” do not follow their dictates of behavior. Then, rather than the rule of Grace — it becomes the Rule of Rules such as that of John MacArthur, Francis Chan and John Piper, et al.

God’s Gift of salvation is absolutely FREE for the taking, not just for a “chosen” few but for every individual in the whole world. (1 Timothy 2:4, Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16, 1 Corinthians 15, 3-4). The just death penalty for our sin debt was made and completed by Christ Himself on the cross, He was buried, arose from the grave and is alive today. To appropriate that Gift is to trust in Jesus Christ alone as Savior and is a decision every individual must make IF he or she ever expects or desires to live eternally with the Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven. We are not talking about a church to join, it is not a matter of being “chosen or elected to be saved,” it is not being obedient to some religious guru’s set of rules to be saved.. Salvation is only by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone. Period. No good works required!

Yep, Salvation is Really FREE!! << Click

American Christianity / Christianity in America: What’s Wrong With the Term “American Christianity?”

A couple of years ago I heard the testimony of a young man who stated that he had been raised in a loving Christian home;  his parents took him to Sunday School and church every week; he intimated that he may have trusted Christ as Savior at a very young age, although he was not sure about that.  While he was attending a secular university, he met some students from The Master’s College (founded by and presided over by John MacArthur).  Through them he was led into what has been called “Genuine, committed” Christianity.  He then claimed to “realize” that his former beliefs of two decades were undoubtedly bogus, what he dubbed, “American Christianity.”

I have often heard the term “American Christianity” bandied about by Lordship Faith preachers as if it is some sort of an inherently-evil nomenclature.  Lordship Faith writers and preachers such as Paul Washer, David Platt, and Francis Chan use the term as a slam against all but whom they deem to be the most committed Christians in America.  Francis Chan in his book Crazy Love labels the masses of American Christians as “the lukewarm.”  Then in one fell swoop he consigns them all to hell.  Only the really on fire minority of churchgoers will make it to heaven, in Chan’s teaching.  Based upon what I read in Crazy Love, possibly even the Apostle Paul himself would not pass Chan’s “lukewarm” test. 

So why has the term “American Christianity” become so offensive in many Christian circles?  I find it rather hypocritical that everyone whom I have heard or read using the term, in such a negative way, IS an American as well as a professed Christian himself!  Doesn’t the derogatory utilization of the term “American Christianity” fail to acknowledge the great history of Christianity in America?  And doesn’t its use deny the fact that Christian churches and Christian mission organizations have been the most colossal senders of Christian missionaries and the Christian gospel worldwide?  And how about the fact that America possesses the most professing Christians and the highest per-capita church-going population in the world?  [Granting the fact that some are not really born-again Christians]

    

Was Whitney Houston a Christian? Whitney Houston Sings “I Love the Lord”

With the sudden tragic death of Whitney Houston, Christians across the Christian magazines, TV programs and internet sites are asking the question, “Did Whitney Houston know the Lord?”  Of course, this is the most important question, one for which this commenter does not have the answer.  Speculations are swirling on the question.  What we do know, however, is that she was raised in a Christian church, and by many reports, she had a devoted Christian mother.  If she trusted Christ as her Savior in her youth by faith in him alone, then John 10:27-30 promises us that God will never let go of her.  She cut her artistic teeth singing gospel hymns in the church choir.  And, in spite of her oft-troubled life, she continued to sing gospel songs into her adulthood.

I trust that you find this song to be uplifting:   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiCBOXOj9s0

Annual ONE Conference; Proceed with Caution: “ONE” Conference Coming to Miami

This is an alert for our readers:

A much-publicized Christian “impact” conference is coming to Miami, FL this weekend, February 10-12.  It is youth-oriented, having rock-style music and fiery preaching.  Some of the keynote speakers are quite well known in the Christian community.  Some come from churches and Christian organizations which have solid grace-oriented statements of faith and salvation.  But please be forewarned that some of the speakers are from churches or ministries supporting Calvinist/Lordship Faith teachings.

Here are some of the speakers speaking at the ONE Conference:

Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, President of Samaritan’s Purse, a worldwide help organization

Frank Harrison, a Coca Cola executive and well-known Christian conference speaker

Francis Chan, Conference Speaker, Author, radical Lordship Faith promoter (see any of the many articles on the Expreacherman site for more detail on his teaching). 

Bob Coy, Calvary Chapel, Ft. Lauderdale

Brian Houston, Hillsong Church, Sydney; Carl Lentz, Hillsong, NYC.  Hillsong Church has a troublesome LS type statement of faith regarding salvation:  “We believe that in order to receive forgiveness and the ‘new birth’ we must repent of our sins, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and submit to His will for our lives.”  

James MacDonald, Harvest Bible Chapel, Chicago.  The Harvest Bible Chapel statement on salvation is equally troublesome to the Hillsong statement, again, promoting a Calvinist/ Lordship Faith salvation plan.  It reads,

“We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as the substitutionary atonement in our place, and that salvation is found in none other than Jesus Christ. Before Creation, God chose those who would be saved and granted this unearned grace solely based on His sovereign good pleasure. Jesus Christ’s death on the cross was the sole and complete payment for sins, fully satisfying God’s righteous wrath, for each person that turns from sin in repentance and places their faith in Christ alone by grace alone. At salvation each person is made a new creation by the Holy Spirit, declared righteous before God, and secured as an adopted child of God forever. Genuine faith continues in obedience and love for Jesus Christ with a life eager to glorify God and persevere to the end.”

Rich Wilkerson, The Rendezvous, Miami.  The ministry’s statement on salvation is more toward the Biblical Ephesians 2:8-9:  “This justification is imputed by the grace of God because of the atoning work of Christ, is received by faith alone . . .”  However, “repentance” as a term is used but not defined and fruits of the spirit and a holy life are expected evidences of true salvation.

Britt Merrick, Reality Church, Santa Barbara.  The church is self-described as “missional” in focus, but does not appear to be connected with the neo-Calvinist movement.  Decent statement of belief:  “We Believe in the absolute necessity of regeneration by the Holy Spirit for salvation because of the exceeding sinfulness of the human nature, and that all are justified on the single ground of faith in the shed blood of Christ, and that only by God’s grace through faith alone are we saved.”

Greg Laurie, Harvest Church, Riverside, CA.  Well-known radio Bible teacher and conference speaker (Harvest Crusades).

Scott Harrison, founder of clean water well-building worldwide help organization called, “WATER.”

Ed Young, Fellowship Church, Dallas.  Pretty solid statements of belief on salvation and eternal security:  “Salvation is a gift from God to man.  Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works.  Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can man be saved from sin’s penalty.  Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.  . . .  Because God gives man eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in that salvation for eternity.  Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God [John 10:27-30], not by the self-effort of the Christian.  It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives this security.”

Pedro Garcia, Calvary Church Kendall, Miami.  Statement of faith looks alright, but, sadly, the web site recommends books by Calvinist or LS writers like John Stott, Francis Chan and Timothy Keller.

Miles McPherson, Rock Church, San Diego.  Web site’s heading on its statement of belief regarding salvation bore the questionable wording, “Repent and Believe.”  But upon downloading the complete statement it presented a grace gospel message.

Christine Caine, Equip and Empower Ministries, Sydney.  Statement on salvation looked fine.   

That’s about it for now.  Feel free to check out these individuals on your own as well.  Please let us know if you have any additional information or warnings about the ONE conference or about any of its speakers.

MacArthur Type Lordship Faith Book with Amplified Ferocity: “Crazy Love”

From the Vintage Archives of Expreacherman we re-present this article (newly titled) which continues to garner substantial attention since its release in 2009.  As always, your thoughtful comments are welcome.

One of my readers who signs his comments “Stickin’ to the Bible” wrote a couple of comments which deserve more than just a cursory look.

He compared the doctrine of Francis Chan,  author of a new book, “Crazy Love,” to John MacArthur.

I have never read the book but did look up Chan and his ministries and find him to proclaim Calvinist doctrine (as does MacArthur).

My friend, Stickin’ then proceeded to offer another comment with details from the pages of Chan’s book. I will quote some below — so you may be forewarned about Francis Chan.

Stickin’ To The Bible said:

I have also heard that Chan is a graduate of Master’s College and Seminary, both are schools founded and presided over by John MacArthur.  In Chan’s book, “Crazy Love,” David Cook Pub., 2008, pp. 68-78, he creates a list of what he describes as his “Profile of the Lukewarm.”  His descriptions are along these lines:

1. People who say they love Jesus but only include him as a part of their lives; 2. People who are moved by stories about those who do what he calls, “radical things for Christ,” but they themselves do not do such things; 3. People who rarely share their faith with others for fear of rejection; 4. on page 78 he says, “Lukewarm People feel secure because they attend church, made a profession of faith at age twelve, were baptized, come from a Christian family, vote Republican, or live in America.”   After making his list of  what he calls “The Lukewarm,” he then discards them like matchsticks all in one fell swoop on pp. 83-84.  Chan says, “As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there’s no such thing.  To put it plainly, churchgoers who are “lukewarm” are not Christians.  We will not see them in heaven.”

Clearly, Stickin’ has pegged Francis Chan as a MacArthur type “Lordship Salvationist.” Chan’s statements above imply that one cannot be a Christian without good works — in direct opposition to multiple scriptures which state that salvation is free and complete apart from good works. Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, Romans 11:6.

Obviously Francis Chan has interpreted Scripture to suit himself or has never read the Book of First Corinthians about the carnal believers in Corinth.

Thanks to my reader Stickin’;… he has done a great job of research and reporting.

   

Latest John Piper News: John Piper Speaks to 42,000+ Youth, Redefining the Plan of Salvation; Latest on John Piper

Source:  The Christian Post, Jan. 5, 2012

Posted by CalifGracer 

John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minn., stood before more than 40,000 Christian college students Wednesday and told them that some of them might not be saved.

  • John Piper addresses the crowd at the Passion 2012 conference in Atlanta, Ga.
    (Photo: Andrew Shepherd)
    John Piper addresses the crowd at the Passion 2012 conference in Atlanta, Ga.
While speaking at the Passion 2012 conference in Atlanta, Ga., an event which was also broadcast on the Internet, Piper said some people might be deceived into believing they have received salvation because they made a “decision” when they were young, yet they still haven’t “waved the white flag of surrender” to Jesus Christ.
 
Piper continues:
 

“Believing in Jesus is a soul coming to Jesus to be satisfied in all that he is. That is my definition of faith on the basis of John 6:35. This is not…a decision,” he said.  Piper gave his definition of salvation, explaining one concept in three different ways. He said that saving faith is “Seeing and savoring Jesus, being satisfied with all that God is for us in Jesus, and trusting Jesus,” and that those three things are “equivalent realities.”  But those realities should also be apparent in our actions, Piper said, because “God did not come into the world in Jesus or create the world in order to be glorified invisibly.”

COMMENT:

It seems that John Piper knows something more about the plan of salvation than the Bible itself!  He clearly promotes a Lordship Faith salvation plan which demands complete and immediate surrender along with a call to action (works-based salvation) to prove or to guarantee one’s eternal life.  This is formula for a life of doubt, fear and a decimation of a believer’s assurance of salvation.

The Bible makes the way of salvation so simple, so straightforward, so clear—We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone!:

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.”

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.”

Romans 4:5:  “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” 

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.”

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.”

Your comments are welcome . . . .

Hope for Today, the Promises of God: Standing on God’s Promises/How Great Thou Art

There are so many great promises in Scripture that give us hope for eternity and strength for each day.  Here are a couple of my favorite Scriptures:

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24:

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also WILL DO IT.

John 10:27-30

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.

Listen to this song by the late great tenor Tony Fontane and then give us some of your favorite promises from the Bible. [Sorry all Tony Fontane songs have now been removed from YouTube; I hope that Tony is not forgotten] Listen to world-famous Susan Boyle sing, “How Great Thou Art”:

Blessings on you all and a Happy New Year!

Why a “Good Boy – Bad Boy” Lordship “Salvation” Is a Lie

………By Jack Weaver……….

Does Lordship "salvation" (LS) teaching deter folks from trusting Christ as Savior? I believe so. If one must work, work, work to gain "salvation" and then work, work, work to keep it.. there's no wonder that kind of "salvation" would be rejected — it is asking the impossible.

I remember hearing this phrase while growing up in Calvinism: "Good boys go to Heaven and bad boys go to Hell.” Therefore, I pose a question: Is Lordship “salvation” simply a twisted manifestation of that old phrase preached for so long in so many religions?

“Salvation is for those who are willing to forsake everything.” (MacArthur, The Gospel According to Jesus, p. 78.) [Be a good boy/girl or else — my comment]

“Let me say again unequivocally that Jesus’ summons to deny self and follow him was an invitation to salvation, not . . . a second step of faith following salvation.” (Dr. John MacArthur, The Gospel According to Jesus What is Authentic Faith? pp. 219.)  [Be a good boy/girl or else — my comment]

“As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there’s no such thing.  To put it plainly, churchgoers who are “lukewarm” are not Christians.  We will not see them in heaven.” (Crazy Love, Francis Chan, pp. 83-84.) [Be a good boy/girl or else — my comment]

Those are quotes from Pastors who appear to be sophisticated pushers of the same old lie, “Good boys go to Heaven and Bad Boys go to Hell.”

How can anyone who honestly studies the Bible in context:

  • believe the “good boy, bad boy” syndrome to be true?
  • have any doubt about their salvation — that God freely gives eternal life when by Grace, through faith we believe in the Savior Jesus Christ — He is all sufficient. He has done it all!!

The only answer to those questions is, “They are victims of a lie.”

This Bible verse is one of the first and most thrilling that I studied in depth not long after trusting Christ as my Savior. Here, Christ is speaking:

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. John 10:28

Even on the surface, it is comforting, but let’s dig a little deeper. Read this and rejoice with me!

The word “Never” is one word made up of a Greek compound adverb comprised of five Greek words: ou me, eis, ho, aion. (These are from Strong’s Greek/Hebrew to English Dictionary)

Ou me – a double negative strengthening the denial; not at all,  by no means, neither, not at all, in no case (no wise).

Eis – for any intent, purpose, never perish, any place, time or purpose.

Ho – Male, female, neuter, anyone, he, she or it,

Aion – any age; in perpetuity,  by implication the world; eternal, forever more, from the beginning of the world, without end.

Review: “Shall NEVER PERISH, not at all, by any means, never, not (at all), in no case (no wise), any place, time or purpose, whether male, female, neuter, anyone, he, she or it, at any age; in perpetuity; by implication the world; eternal, forever more, from the beginning when the world began, without end”  POWERFUL !!

Perish is the Greek word, apollumi, meaning to destroy fully (reflexive to perish, or lose),destroy, die, lose, mar, perish.

NEVER PERISH!!

That was an exegesis of only one single Bible verse out of hundreds in which God promises Free eternal life. Now, we who have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our Savior can take further comfort knowing that we:

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:5

How can any “honest” Lordship “salvation” proponent believe in their own lie, or in anything less than the total, eternal sufficiency of our Salvation in Jesus Christ alone?

Amazing IS God’s Grace.

Heaven Is Absolutely Free! << Click

Calvinism and the Sovereignty of God, Calvinism’s “god” of Limited Sovereignty!

posted by Califgracer

In his 1986 book, Inside The Tulip Controversy:  Calvinism Rebuked and Revisited, author Kent Kelly lays out a convincing argument for the blatant hypocrisy of Calvinism (on page 59) in that, although Calvinists pride themselves on believing in and boldly declaring an “all-sovereign God” [a term that is not even found in the King James Bible, although the concepts of God’s being all-knowing and all-powerful are certainly declared], Calvinist theology itself inherently and duplicitously DENIES the sovereignty of God that they so vociferously proclaim.  Kelly explains:

“Rather than magnifying the sovereignty of God, the Calvinist denigrates His sovereignty.  A sovereign God has the power to overcome total depravity [a Calvinist term shown by the “T” of their favorite acronym “TULIP”] and provide an opportunity for rational choice if He wills to do so.  The Calvinist denies Him that sovereignty.  A sovereign God could provide an atonement that is legitimately available to every sinner.  The Calvinist would deny Him that sovereignty.  A sovereign God can desire the salvation of every sinner and see that desire unfulfilled, for His own reasons, without being a failure.  The Calvinist would deny Him that sovereignty.”

Kelly goes on to describe (p. 59) the false, unloving, mean-spirited god of Calvinist invention:

“The sovereign god of the Calvinist planned in a past eternity that billions of men, women, and children would be tormented in the Lake of Fire forever.  he had no desire that any of them would be saved.  This god was well aware that because of the sin nature received at conception, they could do nothing but become Hell-deserving sinners by the very fact of their existence.  This same god said that the basis for their condemnation would be a failure to believe in the Saviour and His atoning work.  But this god provided no Saviour for them, and no atonement was made available in which they could believe.  he sent forth people into all the world to command these billions of men, women, and children to believe in a Saviour who was not their Saviour.  he commanded them to repent knowing that he had personally selected them to burn in Hell before they ever received their sin nature.  This god of the Calvinist created billions of vessels of wrath fitted for destruction—commanded them to do what he had willed them to be unable to do—then sent them to Hell for not doing it.  If this is your god, you have my sympathy.”

Kelly delineates above the dark dark side of Calvinism!

Your comments are welcome.

The God of Calvinism: Calvinism’s “god”: All Loving or a Misanthrope?

by Califgracer

One of the top ten excuses that I have heard from individuals who reject Christianity and the God of the Bible goes as follows:

“I just can’t understand how a loving God could send people by the millions or billions to a place of torment called ‘hell’.”

How would you answer that question?  Listen to the following story of how a Calvinist might respond (the following is a brief excerpt from the book “Inside the Tulip Controversy,” by Kent Kelly, 1986, p. 10):  [this brief citation is not intended to be a blanket endorsement of the entire book]:

“A Calvinist once said to a preacher—‘I would like to explain why I believe as I do.  Suppose a man went to an orphanage.  He had predetermined by his grace that he would adopt a certain boy and a certain girl and take them into his family.  Could anyone reasonably accuse the man of being unjust or unfair because he chose these two and left the others’?”

“The preacher replied to the Calvinist—‘Certainly not!  As you have explained the situation I would find no problem of any kind with the man’s purpose and his choice.’  Then the preacher said—‘But suppose the man went to the orphanage and sent word to all the children saying, ‘WHOSOEVER WILL may come!’ and then refused to take any but the two he had originally intended to take.  With that I have a problem which Calvinism cannot resolve’.” (from Harold Mackay)

Now, allow me to intensify Kelly’s story in order to truly view the darker side of Calvinism:

Suppose that the same man came to the orphanage and warned the children and staff that in one hour the orphanage will burn down and that anyone remaining in the building will become burned alive in the fire; again, he makes the initial offer that anyone who will come with him may come and will be rescued.  Then, having given the warning and announced the promised blanket invitation, he then proceeds to choose only two of the children to adopt, to take with him and thereby to rescue them from the fire.  The rest would all be left behind to suffer.

THAT is the dark side of Calvinism!

Your comments and Scripture citations are welcome.

Hope Defined, Hope Declared: What is Hope? (Vintage Expreacherman)

by Jack Weaver (reposted article)

For centuries man has misunderstood or misinterpreted many words in God’s Holy Scripture. “Scholars” debate the meanings of Biblical words and we must determine whether such interpretations are errors or truth. If errors, whether they are accidental or deliberate. Let’s take the wonderful and exhilarating word “Hope” and see if we can understand it. Of course this writing will be an abbreviated explanation of the word but it is a start.

One may say, “I hope it will not rain today.” “I hope my car will start when I have an emergency.” “I hope my children will grow up to be great citizens.” “I hope. I hope. I hope.”

The standard dictionary definition, and one that is generally accepted by most of the world is “to FEEL that something desired MAY happen:” The words “feel” and “may” are two very indefinite and vague words, but such a definition of “hope” exemplifies the thinking of most people.

The dictionary definition of the word “hope” is NOT the Biblical Hope of which we speak.

Let us investigate the Old and New Testament meanings of the word “Hope.”

Psalm 33:22

“Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.”

Hope in this verse is the Hebrew word, “yachal” meaning “trust.”

Psalm 130:7

Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption.”

Again this is the same Hebrew word, “trust.”

Psalm 39:7

“And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.”

Here we see a slightly different Hebrew word towcheleth but with the same root but meaning “expectation.” These and many, many more verses illustrate the Psalmist’s reliance upon the trustworthiness of the Lord. The Lord CAN be trusted. He WILL keep His promises.

Now, in the New Testament we see the word “Hope” in several verses. This word “Hope” is an absolute, a guarantee without a doubt. It is the Greek word “elpis” meaning “to expect or anticipate with pleasure.”

Romans 5:2

“By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

We rejoice in the glory of God, not with uncertainty but with joyful anticipation — guaranteed.

Colossians 1:5

“For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

The Hope of Heaven is not a maybe — but an absolute and definite guarantee by the Word of the Truth of the Gospel.

Titus 1:2

“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”

Eternal life — guaranteed and promised by the God of the Universe. He cannot lie.

Titus 2:13

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”

Every believer in Jesus Christ may look with confidence to the glorious appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ. No doubt!

Titus 3:7

“That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

We are Justified by God’s grace, guaranteed — Rendered innocent or free by God’s Grace, eternal life guaranteed!

As you read this, I want you to have that Hope or guarantee personally. God offers you this by His Grace.

Just briefly, no one deserves to live in Heaven or have eternal life with the Righteous God (Revelation 21:27). We are all sinners by nature and deed. Simply put, we have all sinned and come short of the mark of God’s righteousness (Romans 3:23). All sin requires a payment that must be paid — and that penalty is spiritual death, being apart from God in Hell (Romans 4:23).

By God’s Grace and Love He provided a Sin Bearer in the person of Jesus Christ who was crucified for our sin, was buried and rose again. This Grace is available to the whole world — including you personally (John 3:16). It is not determined by how good you are — or how hard you try — or by your good works, but by Grace alone, which means “undeserved mercy.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

How can we KNOW that Hope is real?

1 John 5:13

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

You can KNOW. God promises Heaven, the Hope (guarantee) of eternal life is when you trust that Jesus paid the death penalty in your place. He promises — and all you need do is to trust Jesus as your Savior. Believe His Word — He died for you.

If you have never trusted Jesus alone as your Savior, do that right now. Believe His promises of eternal life which are yours the very moment you trust Jesus as YOUR Savior.

Remember and believe this:

Jesus died — That is history. Jesus died for ME — that is salvation.

When you make that simple decision, your eternity in Heaven is secure in Jesus Christ. It is God’s guarantee, thus your HOPE of Heaven is guaranteed eternal. You are immediately declared righteous before a Holy God with no possibility of losing His Gift of salvation. Eternal life is ETERNAL — without end, beginning the moment you trust Christ as your personal Savior.

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 [gentile].”

Please, trust Jesus Christ as your Savior NOW! God has no strings attached! Claim that wonderful HOPE.

Learn How to Have Eternal Life.

A Gospel With a Hole or a WHOLE Gospel? Does the Gospel of the Bible Really Have a Hole in it?

A Brief Look at the Book, The Hole in Our Gospel, Nashville:  Thomas Nelson, 2009, 2010, by Richard Stearns

Recently, I was given a copy of a best-selling “Christian” book entitled, The Hole in Our Gospel:  The Answer that Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World.  The author is Richard Stearns, President of World Vision U.S.A.  My instant reaction upon reading the title, “The Hole in Our Gospel,” was OUTRAGE!  How dare this author declare that the beautiful saving gospel of Christ Jesus, of God’s magnificent magnanimous loving offering of his only begotten Son to die IN OUR PLACE FOR OUR SINS ON THE CROSS, the good news of salvation, the blessed hope declared in the Bible could in any way be deficient?  What a slur, what a terrible affront, I thought!  I read on to see if some way, somehow, I could be mistaken.  Perhaps Stearns didn’t really mean it that way.  Perhaps he just used the title simply to kindle some attention.  Maybe he will explain his way out of the title.  Sadly, he meant what he said and he expanded upon his position. 

I will cite a few quotations from the book to demonstrate the objective of the author, but first let me state that as a relief organization, World Vision has done much good around the world in helping to alleviate starvation, illiteracy and poverty.  I have no beef with that organization.  I have a number of family members who have supported World Vision children.  Second, let’s look at how the Bible defines the Gospel and later we can compare Stearns’ “gospel” with the Biblical Gospel.

The Gospel of the Bible

Ephesians 2:8-9:  (We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.)  “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.”

John 3:16-17:  “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.”

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.”

1 Corinthians 15:1-8 “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 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 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 [Peter], then of the twelve; after that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.  After that, he was seen by James; then of all the apostles; and last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”

Richard Stearns’ Lordship Salvation/Social Welfare “gospel”:

Quotations from the book The Hole in Our Gospel:

P. 1 “I am a Christian—perhaps you are too.  But what does that mean exactly?  To even be Christians, we must first believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  That in itself is no small idea.  If it is true, it changes everything, because if Christ is God, then all that He said and did is deeply significant to how we live our lives.  So we believe.  But God expects more.  . . .  What is God asking for, really from you and me?  Much more than church attendance.  More than prayer too.  More than belief, and even more than self-denial.  God asks us for everything.  He requires a total life commitment from those who would be His followers.”  [My comment:  This brand of justification is called “commitment salvation.”  It is characteristic of many lordship salvation teachers like Francis Chan.]

P. 2  “The idea behind The Hole in Our Gospel is quite simple.  It’s basically the belief that being a Christian, or follower of Jesus Christ, requires much more than just having a personal and transforming relationship with God.  It also entails a public and transforming relationship with the world.  If your personal faith in Christ has no positive outward expression, then your faith—and mine—has a hole in it.”  [My comment:  Standard addition of works added to faith to truly be saved, common to all lordship faith teaching.]

p. 3 “Belief is not enough.  Worship is not enough.  Personal morality is not enough.  And Christian community is not enough.  God has always demanded more.”

P. 5 “The whole gospel is a vision for ushering in God’s kingdom—now, not in some future time, and here, on earth, not in some distant heaven.”  [A “Kingdom Now” gospel]

P. 15 “So how can our gospel have a hole in it?  As I mentioned in the prologue, the word gospel literally means glad tidings, or good news.  It is shorthand, meant to convey the coming of the kingdom of God through the Messiah.  . . .  The amazing news of the gospel is that men and women, through Christ’s atoning death, can now be reconciled to God.  But the good news Jesus proclaimed had a fullness beyond salvation and the forgiveness of sins; it also signified the coming of God’s kingdom on earth.  This new kingdom, characteristics of which were captured in the Beatitudes, would turn the existing world order upside down.”  [Comment:  Stearn’s reveals his perceived deficiency in the true Gospel of the Bible]

p. 17 “More and more, our view of the gospel has been narrowed to a simple transaction, marked by checking a box on a bingo card at some prayer breakfast, registering a decision for Christ, or coming forward during an altar call.  . . . we just had to get them to pray the ‘sinner’s prayer’ and then move on to the next potential convert.  In our evangelistic efforts to make the good news accessible and simple to understand, we seem to have boiled it down to a kind of ‘fire insurance’ that one can buy.  Then, once the policy is in effect, the sinner can go back to whatever life he was living—of wealth and success, or of poverty and suffering.  As long as the policy is in the drawer, the other things don’t matter as much.  We’ve got our ‘ticket’ to the next life.  There is a real problem with this limited view of the kingdom of God; it is not the whole gospel.  Instead, it’s a gospel with a gaping hole.”  [My comment:  It only has a gaping hole because you misdefine and caricaturize the TRUE GOSPEL of the Bible, as laid out at the beginning of this article.  Mischaracterizing and belittling the Christian gospel is the standard operating procedure of lordship faith teachers.  John MacArthur, in particular, frequently caricaturizes and berates the biblical Christian gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.  His book The Gospel According to Jesus is chock-full of such slanderous false statements.]

p. 21 “When we talk today about proclaiming the gospel, we typically mean evangelism, a verbal proclamation of the good news of salvation and how it can be received by anyone by asking God’s forgiveness and committing his or her life to Christ.  But this is not the whole gospel.”  [My comment:  This statement of Stearns’ is stunning!  I am left in disbelief and his callous disregard for and rejection of the Biblical gospel.]

Final note:  I could go on and on with more quotations from this unbiblical book, this declaration of a false gospel, but I think that you have seen enough to get the point!  Your comments, as always, are welcome.

Bruce