Lordship Salvation’s Shell Game

By johninnc

From Wikipedia: The shell game (also known as thimblerig, three shells and a pea, the old army game) is portrayed as a gambling game, but in reality, when a wager for money is made, it is almost always a confidence trick used to perpetrate fraud. In confidence trick slang, this swindle is referred to as a short-con because it is quick and easy to pull off.

We refer to the Expreacherman ministry as an “oasis of grace,” because we want our readers to be able to learn about God’s amazing grace in an environment that steadfastly rejects any attacks on the integrity of the gospel of Christ.

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

We are very happy when someone who is searching for truth comes to Expreacherman, because we exist to proclaim and defend the gospel, and we believe that God has used this ministry to plant the gospel and water the ground on which it has been planted. We also know that it is God who gives the increase.

1 Corinthians 3:7-9: [7] So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. [8] Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. [9] For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

Because this is one of a very few ministries that preaches the gospel in its purity, we often find ourselves under attack from those who seek to soil, or corrupt the gospel message. People who are uncomfortable with grace, are the enemies of grace, or who consort with the enemies of grace either trot out – or are trotted out – to corrupt our readers from the simplicity of the gospel. They are both deceived and deceivers, whom we would like to be delivered from their deception.

Following are descriptions of three prototypical antagonists who venture onto Expreacherman in an attempt to lure us away from the truth:

1. The person who has never understood or believed the gospel message.

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

2. The person who has believed in Jesus as Savior, but who has been subsumed by the teaching of Lordship “salvation.”

Luke 8:13: They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

3. The person who believes in Jesus as Savior, but is willing to “go along to get along” with people who corrupt the gospel for some pecuniary benefit (such as selling books, leading a large congregation, having a prominent position in a “convention,” or having a comfortable social outlet for oneself or one’s children).

Mark 4:19: And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

Like the shell game, Satan uses each one of these groups of antagonists to commit and perpetuate fraud.

All three groups are used to keep lost people from understanding and believing the gospel.

Luke 8:5: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

All three groups are used to bewitch believers.

Galatians 3:1: O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

And, finally, all three groups play a part in hindering the fruitfulness of believers, thereby producing more worthless things in God’s eyes than those things worthwhile in God’s eyes.

1 Corinthians 3:15: If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Antagonists, both at Expreacherman, and in other places to which the antagonists run to commiserate with fellow antagonists, have criticized us for not allowing them to have free reign at Expreacherman to teach their false doctrine.

We welcome questions, and will attempt to answer them. But, once we determine that someone is here to promote false gospels or to corrupt the gospel we will not allow them to continue to comment.

Galatians 2:5: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

We believe that this is both biblical, and vitally important to ensuring that Expreacherman remains an oasis of grace.

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

Enough is Enough

By johninnc

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.

We have received a flurry of emails, of late, expressing concern that our gospel presentations leave out certain essential details regarding God, Jesus, the atonement for our sins provided by the Lord Jesus Christ, and so on.

We believe that it is important for a believer to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  But, we must be careful not to insist that someone MUST know and believe EVERYTHING we know and believe in order to have eternal life. Otherwise, we can eviscerate the assurance of believers, and distract ourselves from our mission of promoting the gospel.

Please note that we are not advocating or excusing theological error, nor are we promoting a gospel message without content. Nor do we want to start a debate.

Following is a summary plan of salvation that we believe has sufficient content for someone to hear (or read) and believe unto eternal life:

1. Everyone is a sinner.
2. The penalty for sin is death (eternal separation from God in a place of conscious torment – hell).
3. One must be perfect to get into heaven. Not good. Not great. Perfect.
4. One cannot do anything of himself to obtain this perfection – this includes turning from sin, committing your life to Christ and so on. God offers eternal life as a gift – it’s not for sale or barter.
5. God provided a sin-bearer for us (The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God in the flesh. He had no sin of his own, but he came to die for us, paying the full penalty for our sin. He was raised from the dead, proving that His payment was accepted).
6. All we can do to receive everlasting life is to believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior.
7. Eternal life, once received by faith in Christ, can never be lost or forfeited, no matter what happens in our lives down the road.

What is there to do to receive eternal life? Simply BELIEVE that Jesus made that payment for your sin – for you.

If you would like additional information regarding the gospel, please click here: THE GOSPEL

 

 

Lordship Salvation: MEtheism

By johninnc

2 Corinthians 4:3-4: But of our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 

In reading countless comments from Lordship “salvationists” who condemn adherents of other false religions, as well as godless atheists, it has dawned on me that Lordship “salvationists” are actually MEtheists. That is, their god is not the God of the Bible. Rather it is a false god that they have constructed that is a hybrid of the true God and themselves.

For a background definition of Lordship “salvation,” please see link below:

https://expreacherman.com/♦-lordship-salvation-defined/

While Lordship “salvationists” may give lip service to acknowledging that the Bible is God’s word, they imagine all sorts of contradictions, paradoxes, and “tensions” lie therein.

As Ron Shea notes:

Rather than coming to scripture to learn the mind of God, some unregenerate men approach scripture to justify the views they already hold…

Not surprisingly therefore, those who think that they, rather than Jesus Christ, are the Savior of their own souls have, for centuries, sought from scripture proof texts to justify this conclusion.

Like other religions, Lordship “salvation” is man’s attempt to establish his own righteousness.

Romans 10:2-3: For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God.

The Lordship “salvationist” seems indignant that other people do not follow God’s laws – laws that he also does not follow.

Often, he constructs his own moral “code of conduct” that, in his mind, replaces God’s perfect law. If he is successful in following this code, or is at least trying, he thinks this helps justify him to God.

But, this is pure foolishness.  Anyone who tries to keep the law to be justified must keep it all to be justified.

Galatians 3:10: For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them.

And, if he thinks that others have no code, or a more relaxed code, that might indicate that they don’t have eternal life.

Romans 2:1: Therefore, thou art inexcusable O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 

Lordship “salvation” is highly focused on “life change,” or comparative conduct, for evidence of eternal life in others, or assurance of eternal life in oneself.

But, the Bible says that we are justified by faith, without the deeds of the law.

Romans 3:28: Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

For anyone “on the fence,” who thinks that good works are an essential evidence of eternal life, the Bible says otherwise:

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

Please note in the above verse that there is absolutely no reference to life change, sinning less, or comparing oneself to others – or even comparing oneself to oneself before becoming a believer.

If, while reading this article, you have realized that you might be trusting in your own works for eternal life – either in whole are in part – and are tired of being on that treadmill, please consider the following invitation:

Matthew 11:28: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

If you have believed in the false gospel of MEtheism, and would like to know the truth, please click here:

THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: Saved by the Bell?

By johninnc

John 10:1: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

I recently read an article, written by Tim Funk, entitled Christians too often ‘massacre, misquote’ Bible to make political points, says Rob Bell.

By way of background, Rob Bell is a writer, and a former pastor, who several years ago wrote the Universalist Manifesto Love Wins.

Wikipedia defines Christian Universalism as follows:

Christian Universalism is a school of Christian theology which includes the belief in the doctrine of universal reconciliation, the view that all human beings will ultimately be restored to a right relationship with God in Heaven and the New Jerusalem.

(Please note that there is no biblical basis for the so-called school of Christian theology that has everyone – believer and nonbeliever alike – receive eternal life.)

In reading the article about Rob Bell, and in reflecting on comments I have read from others who have drifted into, or toward the false doctrine of universalism, it seems evident that at the heart of universalism is man’s works, not God’s grace. After all, God wouldn’t send a non-believer to hell, especially if he were a really good non-believer. And, since there is no quantification standard for what constitutes a good person, God will let everyone in. Right?

Wrong. The Bible is explicitly clear that we must be perfect, not just good, to get into heaven.

Revelation 21:27: And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

The Bible is also explicitly clear that eternal salvation comes only to those who believe in Jesus as Savior – who have Christ’s imputed perfection.

John 3:18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The Bible also says that our works are not at issue in determining whether or not we have eternal life.

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

Rob Bell doesn’t seem to believe the truth. His inflection point in rejecting these biblical truths seems to have been his inability to reconcile his sense of justice with God’s justice. Following is an extensive quote from the article:

What sent Bell down his current path can be traced to an art show held by his church. One attendee saw a piece of artwork quoting Gandhi, the Hindu apostle of non-violence, and left a note reading “Reality check: He’s in hell.”

That prompted Bell to write the best-selling “Love Wins,” and release  a video promoting it that began with the pastor saying: “Gandhi’s in hell? He is? And someone knows this for sure? And felt the need to let the rest of us know?”

Bell concluded the video by saying that, in the Bible, love wins.

As for the idea that God would cast into hell a Gandhi as well as billions of non-Christians, he said: “This is why lots of people want nothing to do with the Christian faith. They see it as an endless list of absurdities and inconsistencies and they say, ‘Why would I ever want to be part of that?’ ”

So, because he cannot reconcile the truth of God’s justice with his own sense of justice, Rob Bell has wrongly determined that the biblical plan of salvation is not true.

There is nothing inconsistent or absurd about God’s plan of salvation for mankind. Rather, it is beautiful and amazing! And, while we can’t know whether or not a specific person, such as Gandhi, has eternal life, we do know from the Bible that only those who have believed in Jesus as Savior have eternal life.

In a similar way, the Lordship “salvationist” (LSer) cannot accept that his sense of justice varies from God’s justice. But, the Bible makes it clear that man’s ways and God’s ways differ.

Isaiah 55:8: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

The LSer believes that Jesus is necessary for eternal life, but that He is not enough. Please see below for a definition of Lordship “salvation”:

Lordship “salvation” defined.

In contrast to Rob Bell, the LSer does not think that everyone will be saved. The LSer thinks that only those who believe in Jesus and have the attendant works (never really defined in terms of nature or extent) will be saved.

What Rob Bell and LSers have in common is a rejection of faith in Christ alone as the only path to eternal life.

Jesus had this to say regarding His exclusivity:

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

Who should we believe – Jesus – or those who claim there is some other way?

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

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

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

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

Please find the booklet linked below:

The Alls

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

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

By johninnc

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

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

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

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

Camp Lordship Salvation: Are Your Kids Safe?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lordship Salvation? Here Are Some Signs

By johninnc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Turn or Burn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. FAITH – Forsaking All I Trust Him.

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

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

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

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

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

12. By perseverance — the snail reached the ark.

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

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

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

14. Jesus Christ came to make bad people good.

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

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

(Wrongly implies that one can lose eternal life.)

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

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

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