From Time to Eternity

By johninnc

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

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

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

Click here for the complete sermon: From Time to Eternity

 

Lordship Salvation’s Easter Parade

By johninnc

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

In reading comments to a handful of articles today on religion, including a couple of articles that highlighted the significance to Christians of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, I was once again struck by the assaults on the gospel that are made by people who think they are “defending the faith” against mockers and trolls.

Following are some striking examples. I have interspersed my comments in bold parentheses:

The first four comments are all from the same commenter. There were quite a few others – she was very busy protecting “the faith”.

  • Consider the thousands of years over which the Bible was written and the numbers of people who witnessed His works and documented His prophecies and their fulfillment.

(This sounds promising. The commenter is asserting the truth of the Bible, based on the evidence of contemporary witnesses and fulfillment of prophecy)

  • Jesus was a Jew. Those who believe in him know that he was the Son of God, or God in the flesh. Those people are Christians.

(Again, nothing objectionable here. So far, so good!)

  • No, it’s the complete forgiveness of sin and the promise of everlasting life in His Kingdom of Heaven for everyone who believes and repents of his sins.

(“Repenting of sins” is not a requirement for receiving eternal life. This person claims to believe that the Bible is the word of God, but has added a man-made condition to how one receives eternal life, which creates a false gospel)

  • Try reading the New Testament. You’ll find that the message is that we all have human weaknesses and we sin but if we are willing to give up our sin and ask His forgiveness, we can realize the promise of everlasting life in Heaven. True Unconditional love is something that mortal man has trouble understanding. Just be willing to accept it.

(This has so many twists and turns that it is hard to believe someone could actually think all of these things at the same time. The Bible teaches that eternal life is a gift, received by grace through faith in Christ. Neither giving up sin, nor asking for forgiveness are required to receive the free gift of eternal life. True unconditional love is God providing for our salvation in Christ Jesus, given to us by grace through faith. If we were required to give up anything to receive eternal life, it would no longer be grace. What the commenter is selling I am not willing to “just accept.” Neither should you!)

The next three comments are also from one commenter.

  • Having faith entails the responsibility of performing acts of charity and living in a humble way. Some people do not want to accept that.

(The commenter is not clear to point out that those things that are God’s will for a Christian are in no way requirements to receive eternal life)

  • Many people are responsible and are atheists. No question. For some however, belief in God creates responsibility that they do not want.

(Here, our commenter is acknowledging that some atheists act responsibly, perhaps in an effort to get them to warm up to his arguments for “the faith”).

  • Some people do not want to acknowledge God because it creates responsibility. I have no proof, but there is evidence if you are willing to open your mind. Just search ______ and you can read about what many people consider evidence.

(I removed the content of what this commenter pointed to as “evidence,” because it was sensational, non-biblical tripe that would be a distraction to the overall point of this article.)

The last three comments are from three different people.

  • All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God, Repent and ask God to forgive you and to turn away from the things of this world

(Asking God to forgive you and turning away from the things of this world are not requirements for receiving eternal life)

  • Read the scripture, pray, follow your heart. almost all of the well established Denominations and a good many non-denoms agree on the basics or Essentials of Christian faith. We squabble over the non-essentials to our own disgrace.

(The commenter is correct that nearly all well-established denominations and many non-denominational churches are in basic agreement as to doctrine. Unfortunately, much of the doctrine that they have in common is false, often trying to mix grace with works as the basis for the hope of eternal life)

  • If he doesn’t repent of his sins, and make Jesus Christ Lord of his life, he will most definitely go to hell, where he will spend his eternity. Hell is a REAL PLACE in which God made for the devil and his demons. Religion will NOT get this guy to heaven. Only TRUE acknowledgment, remorse, and repentance from his sin, will.

(The commenter is correct that religion will not give anyone eternal life. Unfortunately, the commenter appears to be an adherent of a false gospel, that conditions receipt of eternal life on repenting of sins, making Jesus Christ Lord of one’s life, and remorse for one’s sins. These conditions are all non-biblical man-made additions to the gospel)

____________________________________________________

If you have been marching in the Lordship “salvation” Easter parade – or have been quietly cheering on those who do – you are on a treadmill. You are wasting your time. You are not helping anyone, and you are hurting the cause of Christianity.

If you would like to get off of the treadmill and learn what the Bible says about how to have eternal life CLICK HERE:  The Gospel

Churchianity: Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish


By johninnc

Matthew 16:18: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 

From Wikipedia

“Embrace, extend, and extinguish”, also known as “Embrace, extend, and exterminate”, is a phrase that the U.S. Department of Justice found was used internally by Microsoft to describe its strategy for entering product categories involving widely used standards, extending those standards with proprietary capabilities, and then using those differences to disadvantage its competitors…

The stategies’s three phases are:

1. Embrace: Development of software substantially compatible with a competing product, or implementing a public standard.

2. Extend: Addition and promotion of features not supported by the competing product or part of the standard, creating interoperability problems for customers who try to use the ‘simple’ standard.

3. Extinguish: When extensions become a de facto standard because of their dominant market share, they marginalize competitors that do not or cannot support the new extensions.

Although this strategy is attributed to Microsoft, it is similar to the strategy that Satan has used, and is using, to try to impede the growth and function of the church, which is the body of Christ.

Various denominations of churchianity embrace the concept of God, embrace the Bible as authoritative, and embrace the death and resurrection of Christ,

Then comes the extension – changing the message of the Bible as to how one receives eternal life. According to the Bible, eternal life is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ  alone.

Churchianity extends the simple gospel message with non-Biblical, man-made add-ons, or extensions, that change the gospel message into something that is no longer the gospel.

False conditions to how to receive eternal life are added. Things like:

  • Make Jesus Lord of your life
  • Commit your life to Christ
  • Promise to serve Christ
  • Turn from sin

In order to camoflauge these extensions, or add-ons, Biblical terms such as “grace” and “faith” are redefined to implicitly include false conditions added to how one receives eternal life.

Once these false extensions to the gospel become ensconced in “church history” or dogma, they become the de facto standard of churchianity. They become dominant in churchianity, and seek to marginalize those who oppose their false add-ons.

Some people naturally trust institutional authority, others desire to fit in, and still others feel bolstered by strength in numbers.

For those who are clear on the gospel, yet knowingly participate in organizations that have been subsumed by the “embrace, extend, and extinguish” strategy, I offer the following:

2 Corinthians 11:3: But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

For those who are not clear on the gospel, and are just going along with the dominant message being taught in churchianity today, I offer the following:

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

Despite the efforts to stamp out the universal church by the “embrace, extend, and extinguish” strategy, the gospel message is still getting out, and we should encourage one another to boldly proclaim it.

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

 

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

By johninnc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lordship Salvation: Why Am I Here?

By johninnc

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

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

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

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

Lordship “salvation.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

The  Gospel: //www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/English/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

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

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

If this sounds you, we have some suggestions:

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

Stop following the “menyouscript.”

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

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

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

What About John 3:16?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy New Year everyone!

Lordship Salvation: No Thanksgiving

By johninnc

Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Bible describes eternal life as the gift of God.

Those who have received eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone can be thankful that they have received that gift.

2 Corinthians 9:15: Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

However, much of professing Christendom undermines the truth of God’s word by teaching the pernicious lie of Lordship “salvation.”

Lordship “salvation” (LS) is the unsupportable and unbiblical belief that the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life

We have heard and read countless comments from people, ranging from prominent “men of God” to unknown laypeople that promote or reflect the lie of Lordship “salvation.” Following are just a few examples:

However, good and bad deeds will prove an individual’s faith. If good deeds aren’t there, it proves faith isn’t present. These people face eternal judgment. If good deeds are there, it proves faith is present and they are granted eternal resurrection life. David Chadwick, Pastor of Forrest Hills Church, Charlotte

Although I don’t agree with the heresy of Lordship Salvation, I don’t agree with you either. I have been a fan of Stewart’s website and I’m so sure that he does NOT teach the crap of Lordship Salvation. Stewart is right, stop falsely accusing him. Stewart is saying that forsaking one’s sin is NOT the prerequisites of salvation, but the fruits of salvation. We don’t forsake our sins in order to be saved, indeed we forsake our sins because we ARE saved! – Commenter to the ExPreacherman site.

Another proof of the conquest of a soul for Christ will be found in a real change of life. If the man does not live differently from what he did before, both at home and abroad, his repentance needs to be repented of, and his conversion is a fiction. – 19th Century Preacher Charles Spurgeon

The Bible says to examine yourselves whether you be in the faith. What’s to examine since you deny the usage of any outward evidence or what you call “fruit inspection? – Commenter to the ExPreacherman site.

I am afraid that many Christians, in their zeal to share their faith in Christ, have made the Gospel message of making disciples for Him too simple. Just to say “believe in Christ” can produce a false assurance of the hope of Heaven. Jesus spoke often about the gift of eternal life. To make it clear, He said, “Count the cost.” – Billy Graham

I have watched and listened to Paul Washer, Tim Conway, and John MacArthur for three years now, and you are mistaken. They teach the free gift of salvation – by grace through faith in JESUS CHRIST are ye saved!!! They teach that once you are saved, you will be led by the HOLY SPIRIT unto good works, and you will want to deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow JESUS CHRIST!!! – Commenter to the ExPreacherman site.

There are two types of “faith” described in the Bible. One is a dead faith that originates in man as he gives mental assent to certain truths about God, but it produces no evidence of a new life in Christ (James 2:17). The other is a God-given faith which includes being born again as a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). This is a living faith that is coupled with repentance (Acts 11:18). It flows out of a new heart that desires to bear fruit for God’s Glory (Ezekiel 36:26; John 15:8). – Mike Gendron

Questions: do you believe assenting to a set of facts about something is the same as acting on those facts personally? IOW, can one assent to facts on something and not act on it personally? Hope I’m making it clear. What about the devils? The Bible says they believe and tremble. What kind of belief would you call that since they obviously aren’t going to heaven. – Commenter to the ExPreacherman site.

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How can any of the above comments point one to thankfulness for the gift of eternal life? After all, each one of them reflects a false belief that eternal life is dependent to some extent on one’s own effort. Where is the thanks in that?

The Bible says that anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. The Bible also says that anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior can be assured that he has eternal life. If one had to wait to see whether the works manifest themselves to know he has eternal life, then he could never really have assurance.

There is joy and thanksgiving with knowing that one has received the free gift of eternal life by grace through faith in Christ.

Conversely, there is no thanksgiving with Lordship “salvation,” because its purpose is to undermine the very concept of eternal life being the gift of God.

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

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.
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

Lordship Salvation: Following the MENyouscript

By johninnc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lordship Salvation and the Four Corners Offense

By johninnc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The four common perversions of grace are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Good Tidings of Great Joy

By johninnc

Luke 2:10-14: [10] And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. [11] For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. [12] And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.[13] And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, [14] Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

The Christmas story from Luke proclaims the message of salvation found in Christ the Lord!

Please notice what it says, versus the bad news that is so often substituted by the world of churchianity:

Good tidings of great joy – the gospel is good news – the best news ever. It is about the gift of eternal life offered freely (without cost or obligation to the recipient) through faith in Christ:

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.

If the gospel that you have heard requires anything of you in return (such as the false Lordship “salvation” teaching that turning from sins, resolving to turn from sins, publically confessing Christ, persevering in faith and good works to prove you are saved, obeying the Ten Commandments, etc. are required in order to have eternal life) it is not good news. It is not the gospel!

Which shall be to all people – this means that eternal life is available to anyone on the same terms. It is not reserved for those whom God has chosen to receive eternal life.

John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

1 Timothy 2:3-4: [3] For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; [4] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Nor is there anyone who has eternal life who has not understood their need for salvation.

Romans 3:19-20: [19] Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. [20] Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

This includes Mary, mother of Jesus. Please note that she did not lead a sinless life, and was therefore in need of a Savior, just like the rest of us.

Luke 1:46-47: [46] And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, [47] And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

If the gospel that you have heard tells you that God chooses some to believe, while relegating everyone else to hopelessness, it is not the gospel – it is Calvinism. And, if your gospel tells you anyone has received eternal life some other way, it is not the gospel.

A Savior – please not that it doesn’t say “ a helper.” Jesus is not only necessary to save us. He is enough! No one is saved by believing in Jesus plus anything else.

Acts 4:12: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

If the gospel you have heard teaches that faith in Christ must be accompanied by something else, it is not the gospel.

Which is Christ the Lord – this means that Jesus is God in the flesh. The only begotten Son of God.

John 4:25-26: [25] The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. [26] Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

John 11:27: She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

If the gospel that you have heard teaches that Jesus is simply a prophet, or a created being, it is not the gospel.

 On earth peace, good will toward men – this means that those who have trusted in Christ alone as Savior have peace with God. This peace is permanent. It is not probation, it is eternal salvation!

Isaiah 9:6: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Romans 5:1: Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

If the gospel you have heard teaches that you can have peace with God any other way than through faith alone in Christ alone, it is a false gospel.

If the gospel that you have heard contains anything other than good news, it is not the gospel! Please click here for more information on the Christmas story: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: Fake News

By johninnc

Please note: this is not a political article. It is an article about the difference between the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ and the bad news of Lordship “salvation.”

Matthew 7:15: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

 Following are selected definitions of “fake” and “news” (noun forms) from Dictionary.com:

Fake:

  • anything made to appear otherwise than it actually is; counterfeit
  • a person who fakes; faker
  • a spurious report or story

News:

  • a report of a recent event; intelligence; information
  • the presentation of a report on recent or new events in a newspaper or other periodical or on radio or television
  • such reports taken collectively; information reported

Matthew 7:15 refers to purveyors of fake news. I believe that it is meant to include those who turn the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ into false gospels of works. The verses that immediately precede Matthew 7:15 explain the only way to have eternal life, which is through faith in Christ alone:

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

 So, what is the narrow way that leads to life? Jesus explains this succinctly:

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.

And what is the strait gate?

John 10:9: I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Lordship “salvation” is the false belief that Christ is necessary, but not sufficient, for eternal life. It teaches the bad news that the “straight and narrow” is our intentions, or our works., rather than the good news of God’s complete provision for our salvation through Jesus Christ.

Lordship “salvation” can be very subtle. But, one thing that can make it easier to detect is the focus of assurance. Lordship “salvation” turns the focus away from Christ and His righteousness to an unquantifiable and subjective inventory of one’s personal righteousness.

Following are some examples of Lordship “salvation” from both some well known and lesser-known sources:

  • Just to say “believe in Christ” can produce a false assurance of the hope of Heaven. Jesus spoke often about the gift of eternal life. To make it clear, He said, “Count the cost.” –“Evangelist” Billy Graham
  • I would ask them to consider whether the signs of eternal life are present in them. As John explains so thoroughly in 1 John, conversion does not bring sinless perfection, but it does begin to make fundamental changes in the human heart.” – Pastor J.D. Greear
  • Another proof of the conquest of a soul for Christ will be found in a real change of life. If the man does not live differently from what he did before, both at home and abroad, his repentance needs to be repented of, and his conversion is a fiction. – 19th Century Preacher Charles Spurgeon
  • I often wonder if those who espouse easy-believism have simply adapted their theology in order to try to get a sinning loved one into the kingdom. – Pastor and best-selling author John MacArthur
  • We have to repent of our sins in turn. A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God. You’ll have to repent. – Evangelist Franklin Graham
  • So a dispassionate statement of belief, with nothing behind it, and no intention to serve God in any way is all it takes…interesting belief. Never heard that before. – Facebook Comment from the son of a Southern Baptist Minister
  • However, good and bad deeds will prove an individual’s faith. If good deeds aren’t there, it proves faith isn’t present. These people face eternal judgment. If good deeds are there, it proves faith is present and they are granted eternal resurrection life. – David Chadwick, Pastor of Forrest Hills Church, Charlotte
  • As such, repentance is a necessary precursor to saving faith. It means that a nonbeliever must admit his sin to God, acknowledge he is wrong, and be willing to seek a new way of life. – “Free Grace” theologian Joseph Dillow
  • Repentance is a turning from sin, while faith is turning to Christ. – Theologian Dr. Roy Zuck
  • Of COURSE salvation is a gift, not by works, so that no man may boast (Eph. 2:8), but it’s only to the repentant sinner (Psalm 51), to the thief on the cross who repented in Luke 23:32-42 (though both “believed,” only one was saved), to Zacchaeus in Luke 19:8 who repented and vowed to restore fourfold anyone he’d cheated, that the Lord said, “TODAY, salvation has come to this house” (Luke 19:9), only when the Lord saw remorse and repentance did He GRANT His free gift of salvation! – Commenter, Redeeming Moments website

The above comments each turn the focus of hope of eternal life, in some way, back to a person’s works or good intentions. This is not good news. It is fake news!

If you would like additional information on the real good news, click here: The Gospel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charities that Aren’t Charitable


By johninnc

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

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

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

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

RNS evaluated a number of nonprofit Christian ministries to determine:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Following are some thoughts from Clear Gospel:

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

New Page Added for Prayer Requests

We have added a new page in our header for prayer requests. Please click here:

Prayer Requests

Lordship Salvation: Wile, Style, and Guile

By: johninnc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The devices used by false teachers vary, but include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom’s message emphasizes the following points:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom’s Sermon

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

There are two answers:

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

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

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

THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: What About John 3:16?

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.

This website has received lots of comments and e-mails over the years asking, and sometimes even challenging us to debunk faulty interpretations of “proof texts” that seem to contradict the freeness of grace, or the availability of eternal life to anyone who will believe, or to backload the gospel with works.

The questions and comments, which often start with the phrase “what about,” have been so common that we have a work in process section entitled “Difficult Verses” (aka “Some Lordship Salvationists’ Pet Passages Explained”). Please see link to that section below:

Difficult Verses

Following are examples of some of the “what abouts” that we have receieved:

  • What about James 2:14-26?
  • What about the fruits of the spirit? Isn’t that proof or is that more what changes in a person after belief for salvation?
  • I would also strongly encourage you to study the Book of James for a better understanding of Salvation and the works that accompany it, and what about Jesus and the teaching of trees and fruits?
  • And what about 2 Peter 3:9 and Acts 3:19 and Luke 13:3? Does this mean that we are not supposed to say” you got to repent(turn from your sin), and trust in Jesus Christ” when proclaiming the Gospel?
  • JACK I was reading the comments before my first comment and i was reading where Cheryl on Aug.24, said that we don’t need to ask the Lord to save us or to ask him to forgive us???? what about Romans 10-9-10?

We have to address the “what about” questions in order to defend the gospel, to help believers grow in understanding of scripture and to equip them in defending the gospel. We also answer the “what about” questions to plant seeds with religious unbelievers in the hope that they might understand the gospel and believe in Jesus as Savior.

“What about” questions can also be used to proclaim the gospel. To that end, I would like to focus on John 3:16.

John 3:16 is perhaps the best known Bible verse in all of professing Christendom, including among those who do not understand it, and therefore cannot and do not believe it.

So lets break it down:

For God…

Who is God?

God is the Creator of all things. He eternally exists in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are one God.

So loved the world that He gave…

Why did we need God to give us something?

We needed God to give something for the world, because all of mankind has sinned against God.

Romans 3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

No man can get into heaven with any sin still charged to his account.

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.

Who did God give, and why?

God is a God of perfect love and perfect justice. Our sins have to be paid for, and we cannot pay for them ourselves. So, God provided the answer to our need by giving us Christ Jesus simply because He loves us and would rather die than spend eternity without us.

Romans 5:8: But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

God did not give us Christ Jesus to help empower us to earn eternal life through good works. He gave us Jesus to save us.

Luke 2:11: For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

His only begotten Son…

Who is His only begotten Son?

His only begotten Son is Jesus – the eternal Son of God,; God our Savior; God in the flesh; the Lamb of God. Jesus is the eternal creator God, who took on human form to redeem us.

He was born as a man through the virgin Mary. He lived a perfectly sinless life. He died for our sins and He was raised from the dead.

He came to save us.

Luke 19:10: For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

John 3:17: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

That whosoever…

Who is whosoever?

It is anyone who will believe in Jesus as Savior. Not whosoever God chooses to believe, as the Calvinists falsely teach, but whosoever will believe in Jesus as Savior.

Revelation 22:17: And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Believeth in Him…

What does it mean to believe in Him?

It means believing that we are in need of a Savior. People who don’t know Jesus as Savior are condemned to spend eternity separated from God, in a state of endless torment.

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.

It means to believing that He is God.

John 8:24: I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

It means to believe that He is the only way to receive eternal life.

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

Acts 4:12: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

It means to believe that He paid the full price for our sins – all of them (past, present, and future) – leaving us nothing to pay.

John 19:30: When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

 It means to believe that He was raised from the dead, proving that His payment for our sins was complete.

Romans 4:24-25: But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

It means to believe that Jesus is not only necessary to save us, but that He is enough. It means to trust in Christ alone as Savior. It means to understand that eternal life is a free gift, offered without cost or obligation to the recipient.

We must understand that our good works, or good intentions will not help us get into heaven. Only Jesus could atone for our sins.

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.

 We must rely on Christ’s righteousness, and not our own, for eternal life.

 Believe in Him for what?

Eternal life. We must believe that Jesus offers us eternal life as a free gift. We do not have to believe that He is going to make us better or make us sin less. We do not have to believe that He is going to change our lives. We need only believe that He made the full payment for our own sins – that His payment was good on our behalf.

Should not perish…

This literally means the believer in Christ, even if he dies physically, will never experience the second death of being consigned to hell, but will have eternal life with God.

Non-believer’s eternal destiny:

Revelation 20:14:15: And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Believer’s eternal destiny:

John 11:25-26: Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

But have everlasting life…

What is everlasting life?

It is eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited, no matter what we do – or don’t do as believers, and regardless of whether or not our faith persists. The life of God cannot be extinguished. Therefore, if we have the life of Christ, our eternal life cannot be extinguished.

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

When does eternal life start?

Eternal life for the believer starts the very moment he believes in Jesus as his Savior. We do not have to wait until we see how we did, or whether or not we have persevered in faith and/or holiness.

Ephesians 2:4-7: But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

______________________________________________________

So, there you have it: WHAT ABOUT JOHN 3:16?

If you would like further detail, please click here: The Gospel

Lordship Salvation: The Baptist Faith and Message is an Affront to the Gospel

By johninnc

Ephesians 6:12: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

The Baptist Faith and Message, which is ascribed to by a number of Baptist groups, including the apostate Southern Baptist Convention,  is an affront to the gospel!

The Baptist Faith and Message has a number of false tenets that are antithetical to the gospel of grace. This article will focus on just one. From the Baptist Faith and Message:  All true believers endure to the end.

My comment: Really? What is a “true believer.” Show me the passage in the Bible that uses that term. What does the Bible really say?

Mark 4:16-17:

[16] And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
[17] And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

The above passage pertains to the “second soil” believers in the parable of the Sower. How do we know they are believers? The companion passage in Luke tells us that.

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.

Now, let’s go through a little logic exercise. Lordship “salvationists” and Calvinists don’t really like this sport, but we’ll do it anyway.

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

That means that anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. That includes the “second soil” believers spoken of in the parable of the Sower.  That is backed up by lots of scripture, including:

Ephesians 1:13-14:

[13] In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
[14] Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Now, lets move to 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.

That means that anyone who believes in Jesus can know he has eternal life. He need not wait to see if he “endures to the end” or “perseveres to the end.”

The person who believes in Jesus has eternal life, whether or not he “endures to the end” or “perseveres to the end.”

If any of the “endure to the end” passages (such as Matthew 24:13) had to do with receiving eternal life, than one of the following would have to be true:

1. No one would receive eternal life until they endured to the end (which would render both John 5:24, 1 John 5:13, and many other passages in God’s word lies); or

2. Anyone who has eternal life will automatically endure to the end (which would render the “endure to the end” passages to be nothing more than rhetorical, unnecessary statements); or

3. Believing in Jesus would entail believing that He was going to cause you  to endure to the end (again, rendering the “endure to the end” passages to be nothing more than a rhetorical waste of time).

The Baptist Faith and Message is not Christianity. It is Calvinism, which is a man-made substitute.

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

Lordship Salvation: Southern Baptist Conventional Wisdom

By johninnc

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

With the US major party conventions in the immediate forefront of our political calendar, I thought it would be a good time to focus on another convention: one of so-called “evangelicals – the Southern Baptist Convention.

I think it is fair to say that each of the major political parties tries to co opt religion, and vice versa, often for cynical purposes.

Following are recent headlines regarding internal and external politics within the SBC. The first relates to the prospective alignment of political and religious leaders.

Trump taps outgoing Southern Baptist head for religious board (from “The Tennessean”)

Excerpt from the article:

Ronnie Floyd, the immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, will join dozens of other conservative Christian leaders offering counsel to Donald Trump as part of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s new religious advisory board.

My comment: Floyd’s church adheres to the “Baptist Faith and Message,” which has a doctrinally aberrant view of the gospel. Guys like Floyd may help Trump tap into the religiously affiliated conservative voters in America, but what Floyd and the SBC are selling is not Biblical Christianity.  This is simply an attempt to forge a Faustian bargain between political and religious leaders.

Next, we will move to a headline regarding political wrangling within the SBC.

Calvinism Not to Blame for Southern Baptist Decline, JD Greear Says (from “The Christian Post”)

J.D. Greear is a false teacher that we have discussed at length at ExPreacherman. The fact that Greear would be in contention for the leadership of the SBC is sad, but telling. Equally sad is that his rivals also represent false theology.

The SBC is a mosh pit of competing false theology, as set forth in the following ExPreacherman article: SBC False Theology

Following are some of the more interesting, and outlandish quotes from the Christian Post article:

In an interview with the Christian Post last Thursday, Greear, pastor of Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, said it doesn’t matter how many “points” of Calvinism one holds because “Jesus gave every one of us the Great Commission, and if we’re not carrying it out, that’s just plain unfaithful.”

My comment: Greear is correct that if we are not carrying out the Great Commission we are not being faithful. But, none of the five points of Calvinism is true. And, changing the simplicity of Christ into false Calvinist/Lordship “salvation” tenets is NOT carrying out the Great Commission.

And, here is a quote from Dr. Chuck Kelley, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary:

Lostness in North America is having a bigger impact on Southern Baptists than Southern Baptists are having on lostness. Put another way: The world is having a bigger impact on the behavior of Southern Baptists than we are having on the behavior of the world. In addition to the decline in baptisms, we are down in membership, down in worship attendance, and down in Bible Study attendance

My comment: This is absolutely astounding. Does Kelley really believe that “lostness” is based on behavior?

And, finally, one more quote from Greear:

“We only have so much ‘bandwidth’ as a Convention, so we should seek to be known for the Gospel and the Great Commission, not for a particular stance regarding Calvinism. What unites us is so much greater than what threatens to divide us. We are united by a Gospel too great and a mission too urgent to let any lesser thing stand in our way,” Greear said.

My comment: Choosing unity versus truth? How very sad! Just what is the “mission” of the SBC? Is it to reach the world for Christ, or is it to remain large, and politically relevant?

The next article might give us a good indication.

Southern Baptists are going to need a bigger tent (from “Religious News Service”)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) The Southern Baptist Convention was so famously insular for so long that it earned its own joke about members believing they’re the only ones in heaven…

 But over the past decade that began to change:

 They began reaching out to other evangelical churches and to Roman Catholics on issues of common interest, a collaborative spirit that landed three Southern Baptists in top leadership roles at nondenominational evangelical universities…

My comment: What the Southern Baptists have in common with Roman Catholics is works for salvation theology. This is nothing new. It is just that the world’s religions are coalescing, as is prophesied in scripture.

And, here is a quote from Mike Glenn, pastor of the 10,000-member Brentwood Baptist Church in Tennessee:

“Several years ago, when we were so actively politically engaged, there were times when statements would be made by Southern Baptist leaders, and we would have to say, ‘They don’t represent us,’” Glenn said. “I think there was a sobering up about the realities of the political process. The Southern Baptist Convention had put a lot of eggs in the conservative Republican political system and got very little in return.”

My comment: What kind of “return” were they seeking? In my view, this statement betrays the latent – or blatant – dominionist view that is held by so many Calvinist/Lordship “salvationists.”

My purpose in writing this article was not to delve into partisan politics. Rather, it is a continuation of my call to Christians within churches affiliated with the SBC to understand the damage that this group is doing to the advance and defense of the gospel. It is also to introduce and explain the gospel to those Southern Baptists, and others, who may have never heard, or never understood, the truth of how to have eternal life.

If you are a Christian and belong to an SBC church, I have two words of advice: GET OUT!

And, if you would like to get past the “conventional wisdom” and learn what God has to say about how to have eternal life, please click here: The Gospel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lordship Salvation: The Bad News Bear(er)s

By johninnc

Cambridge Dictionary Online defines the idiom “Throw a Curve Ball” as follows: to surprise someone with something that is difficult or unpleasant to deal with. 

The bad news bearers, those who teach the false gospel of Lordship “salvation,” (LS) metaphorically throw a curve ball by twisting the good news of the gospel into bad news.

If you are not familiar with LS, please see the link below:

Lordship “Salvation” Defined

Following is a straight gospel message, without any LS curve balls:

There is a God. He is the eternal creator, without beginning or end. He created everything, including you and me. He is perfectly holy, perfectly just, and perfectly loving. As such, He cannot allow anything that isn’t perfect into His presence.

You and I aren’t perfect. We have all broken God’s laws, and can’t do anything to fix that. Our efforts to work our way back to God are completely useless.

But, God loves us so much that He would rather die than spend eternity without us.

So, He gave his only begotten Son –Jesus Christ – God in the flesh – to reconcile us to Him.

Jesus had no sin of His own, but bore our sin so that we might be reconciled to God. He had no sin and we had no righteousness. Jesus took our sin from us. He made the complete payment for our sin, leaving us nothing to pay.

He did this by suffering a criminal’s death by crucifixion. He died on the cross, He was buried, and He was raised from the dead three days later, proving that His payment for our sins was accepted.

Anyone who believes in Jesus, and what He accomplished through His death and resurrection – that he paid the full price for our sins, leaving nothing for us to pay – has eternal life. Eternal life means that it can never be lost or forfeited. God no longer sees believers in their sins, but sees them as perfectly righteous.

That is the good news! We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

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.

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The bad news bearers turn the good news into bad news by adding conditions to the gospel. They wrap their error in misinterpreted scripture to make it sound biblical.  Following are three common ways that they do this.

False definition of repentance

Luke 13:4-5:[4] Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? [5] I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

The bad news bearers will tell you that repentance means “turning from sin,” “being willing to turn from sin,” “wanting to turn from sin,” and so on. Accordingly, they will misinterpret passages such as the one above to bolster their mistaken belief.

Repent means “a change of mind.” In the above passage, Jesus is challenging His listeners to change their minds regarding their relative goodness. They thought that righteousness was graded on a curve. In other words, these people thought that they would escape God’s judgment because they were not as bad as those who died when the tower fell.

But, Jesus told them they needed to repent – change their minds – and realize that their relative good works would not be good enough to earn eternal life. Our only hope of eternal life is based on Christ’s righteousness, not our own.

Misunderstanding of “straight and narrow”

Matthew 7:14: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Bad news bearers misunderstand this to mean that someone must live a straight, or relatively straight life, or stay on the path (persevere in faith and good works) in order to demonstrate that they have eternal life.

The actual meaning is that Jesus is the straight way and the narrow gate. Eternal life is received only by believing in Him, and by believing in Him only. No curve balls, just straight truth.

Misunderstanding “the will of my Father”

Matthew 7:21-23: [21] Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. [22] Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? [23] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Bad news bearers misinterpret this passage to mean that only those who are highly successful in avoiding sin and doing good works will actually make it into heaven.

The passage actually means that only those who believe in Jesus as Savior have done the will of His Father, and are thereby known by Jesus. Those who never believed in Jesus are touting their works at the judgment. Jesus does not negate their claims of good works, nor that they were done in His name.

The common theme of bad news bearers is they will tell you that Jesus is necessary for eternal life, but that He is not sufficient for eternal life.

Here is what Jesus says on how to have eternal life:

John 11:25-26: [25] Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: [26] And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

If you would like more information about the good news of eternal life please click here: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: Is Zeal Toward God Enough?

By johninnc

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

When the Apostle Paul was giving his testimony in Acts 22, he acknowledged his listeners’ zeal toward God. He was trying to appeal to his common ground with them, including their respect for the law.

Acts 22:3: I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

There are also several biblical encounters in which Jesus acknowledges various unbelievers’ familiarity with the law. We’ll look at two of them.

The first is with a certain ruler (sometimes referred to as “the rich young ruler”).

Matthew 19:16-22: [16] And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? [17] And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. [18] He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, [19] Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [20] The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? [21] Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. [22] But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

As verse 16 indicates, this certain ruler believed he could earn eternal life by some work of righteousness. It is clear from verse 17 that the man did not know who Jesus was. In verse 18, Jesus tells him he will enter into life (have eternal life) if he will just keep the commandments. The man asks “which ones,” and Jesus mentions six of the commandments. The man makes the ridiculous claim, in verse 20, that he has kept all of these commandments. Jesus, playing along with him, asks him to sell his possessions and give the money to the poor. At this point, the man realizes that he has not kept all of the commandments perfectly, is not willing to, and therefore goes away sorrowful and unsaved.

The certain ruler does not go away unsaved because he is unwilling to sell his possessions, give the money to the poor, or follow Jesus in discipleship. No, he goes away unsaved because he does not know who Jesus is, and he was hoping to justify himself by keeping laws.

The second encounter is with a certain lawyer.

 Luke 10:25-29: [25] And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? [26] He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? [27] And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. [28] And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. [29] But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?       

This certain lawyer, like the certain ruler, asked Jesus what he could do to earn eternal life. Again, Jesus tells him to just keep the law, knowing that no one (besides Jesus) has ever kept the law perfectly. Here, the Bible is clear that the certain lawyer was willing to justify himself (verse 29).

The certain ruler and the certain lawyer are indicative of the mindset that Paul references in Romans 10:1-4: [1] Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. [2] For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. [3] For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

In a similar manner, Lordship “salvation” has assumed the mantle of the Pharisees – trying to become justified, stay justified, or prove one is justified by keeping rules.

The ardent believers in false gospels of works will often cloak their departures from the truth of the gospel by parsing scripture. These people often think they are being Bereans (see Acts 17). In reality, they are misusing scripture to corrupt the gospel. In so doing, they are leading people away from Christ.

Ron Shea sums this up fairly succinctly:

We acknowledge that believers may fall into error or confusion regarding salvation and works after their conversion, as happened to the church of Galatia (Galatians 1:6-7. 3:1).  We further acknowledge that the believers of Galatia were regarded as “brethren,” (Galatians 1:3), having fallen into this grievous error subsequent to their coming to an authentic faith in Christ (Galatians 3:1-3).  We note, however, that the authors of this grievous error, who had never believed on Christ alone, having simply added Jesus Christ to a pre-existing confession of salvation by works (Acts 15:1) were regarded as “false brethren.” (Galatians 2:4).  To this end, we affirm that a lost sinner must, at some time in his life, believe on Christ alone, apart from the works of the law, for his salvation, and that apart from such an authentic moment of saving faith, there is no hope of salvation.

The Bible is clear that zeal for God, knowledge of the law, and searching scripture are not sufficient for eternal life. Eternal life is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

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