“Do you see God’s great love for you? Do you see your need for His forgiveness? Do what He commands and “Repent…that your sins may be wiped out and times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (Acts 3:19) You must turn away from sin and turn to God. Desire to have NOTHING to do with sin, and surrender your life to the One who can save you. Jesus died to set you free, and then he rose from death to be your Lord. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” If you will confess and forsake your sins (repent) and trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, God will forgive you and you’ll pass from death to life.” – livingwaters.com, website of Ray Comfort
“Repentance is an evangelical grace, wherein the Holy Spirit makes a person aware of the manifold evil of his sin, so that he humbles himself with godly sorrow, detesting sin, and abhorring [i.e., hating] self, with a purpose and endeavor to walk before God so as to please Him in all things.”
“Apparent sincerity of confession alone is never definite evidence of genuine repentance. It must be accompanied by a turning away from sin.”– heartcrymissionary.com, website of Paul Washer
“Salvation isn't the result of an intellectual exercise. It comes from a life lived in obedience and service to Christ as revealed in the Scripture; it's the fruit of actions, not intentions. There's no room for passive spectators: words without actions are empty and futile...The life we live, not the words we speak, determines our eternal destiny.” – John MacArthur in his book, Hard to Believe
“While, on the other hand, those who refuse to repent of their sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ incur guilt in so doing and are personally responsible for their own willful rejection of the Gospel.”
“Although no one can be saved by works…true repentance and true faith always accompany a change of life producing good works that bear witness to the authenticity of that repentance and faith.” -gccsatx.com, website of Tim Conway
"Dear God, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, and is alive today. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Help me to live a meaningful and purposeful life until You call me home to be with You in Heaven someday. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen." – donpiperministries.com, website of Don Piper
The preceding quotes are from five heroes of modern “Christianity,” who subscribe to the idea of Lordship Salvation, concerning how a person is to attain eternal salvation. Faith alone in Christ alone is presented each time, but then other concepts are added in to the list of requirements. The ideas of “turning from sin” and “surrendering your life to Christ” are said to be necessary in order for one to be saved. When you hear something said enough times, you can begin to accept it as fact. For instance, repentance is many times assumed to mean turning from sin, experiencing a hatred for sin, or godly sorrow. If this connection to sin always exists, then how did God Himself repent thirty-six times in the Old Testament? And why is it that every single time God repented has been changed in Bible versions such as the NIV or NKJ? If those versions left in the mentions of man’s need to repent, why did they conveniently change God’s repentance? I would submit that it was no accident, but a deliberate attempt to confuse doctrine and make repentance better fit the notion that it is associated with sin. Now when it comes to the issue of repentance or salvation, a person must look past the teachings of religious men and go directly to the source material. What does the Bible have to say about receiving salvation?
Acts 17: 30-31: “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
Paul and Silas had been imprisoned for their attempts to spread the Gospel. An earthquake opened the doors of the prison, which sent the jailor into a panic, fearing he would lose all his prisoners. As the jailor contemplated killing himself to avoid the punishment of having lost those committed to his watch, Paul told the jailor not to hurt himself, and that all the prisoners were still in their cells. The jailor fell down before Paul and Silas and asked them how he could be saved. The answer was simple. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” There was no call for a change in the man’s lifestyle. There was no insistence on the presence of tears or deep sorrow. There was no instruction for the man to surrender his life to Christ. He was only told to believe. But can it really be that simple?
The word “gospel” is mentioned many times in the New Testament. From the following passages, you can see that whatever the Gospel is, it is a very important subject.
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.”
Ephesians 1:13: “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.”
1st Thessalonians 1:8: “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2nd Thessalonians 2:14: “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2nd 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.”
The Bible makes it clear that the Gospel is something to be obeyed if one hopes to receive eternal life. In that case, it is important to define just what exactly the Gospel is. The definition can be found in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
The Gospel, in a nutshell, is that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again after three days. Paul said that this Gospel has the power to save one’s soul, unless it has been “believed in vain.” Truly believing the Gospel is all that is required for one to be saved. It is an incredibly simple concept, and yet one that seems to confound many who seek to find another way to salvation. Perhaps the reason that some cannot understand the elemental plan of the Gospel is because of their own pride and earthly wisdom. Take a look at 1st Corinthians 1:18-25:
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
This passage claims that God is not pleased with those who believe themselves to be wise. In order to confuse them, God devised a plan to save those who will simply believe on His Son. This incredibly basic notion that even a child could believe is over the heads of many who believe themselves to be intellectuals. One such group is the many college professors who have become puffed up with their knowledge of earthly topics. They will turn students away from the Bible, holding steadfastly to their own ignorance. What is considered “foolishness” by many is the very thing God uses to save the souls of those who believe, and thus God has outwitted the wise. Here are two more examples of earthly wisdom mentioned in the Bible:
Romans 1:22: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”
1st Timothy 6:20: “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.”
The latter example mentions “science falsely so called,” which certainly calls to mind the absurd notion of evolution, which even many scientists themselves claim could never happen. Evolution is nothing more than a religion clung to by many in their desperate attempt to believe in something other than a Creator.
Now, back to the topic of the Gospel. If the Gospel is indeed as simple as the Bible says it is, that is good news for everyone. So why would anyone want to change God’s method to make it difficult? Let’s take a look at a man named Paul Washer, a “pastor” down in Texas. Washer claims that telling someone the Gospel in order that they will believe and be saved is “stupid.” He says that it can take weeks and months for one to become saved. Washer once told a woman desperately seeking to be saved to go home and cry out to Jesus. The woman returned to Washer’s “church” the following Sunday, still wanting to be saved. Washer foolishly told her to go home and keep calling out to Jesus until He saved her. Perhaps someone should show Washer the story of the man Philip led to the Lord in Acts 8. Philip told the man about Jesus Christ, and eventually the man said “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Philip then baptized the man, which was to show that the man had truly been saved. Philip did not tell the man to go home and cry out to Jesus. He did not tell him he must turn from his sins. He did not tell him he must experience great sorrow for his sins. He did not tell him it could take weeks or months for salvation to come his way. And yet, there are many who will say such nonsense these days. Many ignorant “pastors” and their followers, unable to think for themselves, spread these lies to those seeking the truth. Jesus Christ said in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Jesus is the way! Simple belief on the Gospel of Jesus will forever save one’s soul! But what if one believes and then falls away from their faith, or God forbid, later decides they do not believe. 2nd Timothy 2:13: “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” Did you catch that? While false teachers like Paul Washer, Ray Comfort, Tim Conway, John MacArthur, Don Piper, and Kirk Cameron will say you must turn from sins and surrender your life to Christ in order to maintain your salvation, the Bible says that even if we back out of our belief, it is TOO LATE! Ephesians 1:13: “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.” Once someone believes on Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is placed inside of that person. If that person decides they no longer have faith in Christ, God will STILL save that person because the Holy Spirit is left inside that person, and God cannot turn away Himself!
Now back to Paul Washer, or as I have seen him called, Paul Brainwasher. This man claims that a changed lifestyle must be evident for one to be truly saved. He claims that salvation is a free gift from God that we cannot earn, but that a changed lifestyle MUST be present, or one never was saved. So Washer is saying one must turn from sin to be saved. Though he may be sly about his approach, the fact remains that he is presenting another gospel, one that requires work on the part of those wanting to be saved, rather than a simple trusting in the finished work that Jesus Christ already performed. What does the Bible say about any gospel that differs from the true Gospel? Galatians 1:6-9: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” The Galatians Paul was speaking to were people who had believed on Christ and belonged to a church Paul had helped to start. Paul had since become aware that some had arisen in the church who were spreading false doctrines and causing the believers there to question their salvation. They no longer felt that belief on Christ was sufficient, but instead began to believe they must be legalistic, as in keeping the Ten Commandments and being religious. Paul said this necessity of a clean lifestyle in order to be saved was a perversion of the Gospel of Christ. Paul goes on to say twice, in order to be very clear, that anyone who tampers with the true Gospel has a curse on their head. Now who would be foolish enough to tamper with the Gospel? Paul Washer, Ray Comfort, Tim Conway, John MacArthur, Don Piper, and Kirk Cameron, and all the others like them. These men say that a changed life, a turning from sin, and a surrendering of one’s life is necessary for salvation. This message is very different from the Bible’s method for salvation. Romans 10:9: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
At this time, it is important to look at what the Bible has to say about false prophets. In Acts 13, a description is given for what it is a false prophet will attempt to do. Here are verses 6-10:
“And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus: Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him. And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?”
According to this passage, a false prophet is one who will try to turn one away from faith, or believing on Christ. A false prophet is also described as being subtle, one who corrupts the true ways of God. Lordship Salvationists preach some truth, with lies mixed in subtly in order to deceive. They are subtle about their perversion, just as the Bible warned they would be.
2nd Peter 2:1-2: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.”
Lordship Salvationists deny that they have been purchased, preferring to work their way to Heaven instead. They teach that Jesus saves, but that salvation is contingent on a life of servitude following the moment one has placed faith in Christ. The simple truth is that these people do not understand the finality of true salvation. They turn God into Rent-A-Center, believing that God rents us first to check if He likes what He sees. Then if He is satisfied, He will purchase us. But if one fails to live up to what God desires of that person, God will return that person, thus taking away their salvation. If the idea of people being seen as merchandise to God seems a tad silly, it shouldn’t. A true believer has in fact been purchased by God with the blood of Jesus Christ.
1st Corinthians 6:20: "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
1st Corinthians 7:23: "Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men."
Acts 20:28: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
The blood of Christ is the payment which God uses to secure a believer, by having the power to take away sins.
Ephesians 1:7: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”
Ephesians 2:13: “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”
If you purchase a movie, at some point you will take it home and view it. If you are unhappy with the way the movie plays out, can you return the movie to the store where it was purchased? There is nothing wrong with the merchandise. You just happen to be dissatisfied with the outcome of the story. You will find that it is too late for you. The purchase has been made, and you do not have a valid reason for returning your merchandise. Yet this is exactly what Lordship Salvationists say that God does. Now if God knows everything, past, present, and future, then He would already know if one was going to live a productive life after being saved. If God could foresee that a person is not going to clean up enough of the trash in their life, or do enough works to merit a ticket to Heaven, why would God even waste His time giving salvation to that person?
Matthew 7:21-23: “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. 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? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Here were people who did many works, and yet they still did not make the cut. Why not? None of them believed on Jesus for salvation. They were placing confidence in their works. That is enough of an argument alone against Lordship Salvation, but there is another interesting thing to note from this passage. Jesus says “I never knew you.” If a person could lose their salvation, wouldn’t Jesus say “I knew you at one time,” or something along those lines? Jesus either knows a person or He doesn’t, and once He knows a person, He never turns His back on them. A person may live in sin and give up fellowship with God (1st John 1:6), but they will not forfeit the fact that they have become known of God. God seals a believer with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13), and that seal is permanent.
1st Corinthians 3:11-15: “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
This passage claims that Jesus is the foundation, and one can choose to build on that foundation or not. Either way, that person’s soul remains saved. Why can’t the Lordship Salvation crowd distinguish between salvation and rewards? Good works result in rewards, not in surety of salvation. Having no good works results in loss of rewards, but not loss of salvation.
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.”
In this verse, Paul states that good works are profitable to one who is saved. No mention of salvation is made here, because that is an entirely different subject. God attends to salvation. Man attends to good works. Another subject Lordship Salvationists do not understand is that of imputed righteousness.
Romans 4:6-8: “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”
Romans 4:21-25: “And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 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.”
When one believes that God is able to perform what He has promised to do, righteousness is placed on that person’s record. Sin is no longer recorded against a believer. In its place, righteousness is recorded because of faith.
1st Corinthians 5:1-5: “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”
In this passage, Paul confronts reports of a man who was having relations with his own father’s wife. This man was a member of the church at Corinth, and he was living in a particularly wicked state of sin. While Paul warned the church at Corinth that they should no longer fellowship with this particular believer, Paul is careful to maintain that this man is still saved. Satan was destroying the man’s flesh, or his life and testimony, but the man’s spirit, or soul, was still secure because of the fact that he had put his faith in Christ. The Lordship Salvation crowd would have declared this man unsaved, but Paul made it clear that this was not the case.
1st John 5:12: “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”
Who has salvation according to the preceding verse? One who has works? One who goes to church? One who was baptized? One who hates sin? Or one who has Christ? Lordship Salvationists try to force everything into the pot, but the Bible is very clear that only one thing is a must have in order for one to be saved. Look at the very next verse of Scripture.
1st 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.”
This is yet more proof that simple belief in Jesus is the sole requirement of salvation. Either that, or the Bible lied. Now back to the subject of false prophets. As mentioned before, the apostle Paul was disappointed to learn that the church at Galatia had started teaching works salvation, and he addressed this matter in his letter to them.
Galatians 3:1-3: “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? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”
The Galatians had trusted in the Gospel, that is, Christ dead, buried, and risen, and they were saved. But someone had corrupted their belief and made them think that keeping the law (the Ten Commandments), or turning from sin, played a part in their eternal security. The law plays a part in salvation, and that role is to make one guilty before God.
Romans 3:19-20: “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. 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.”
In this context, the law has its purpose. But when someone claims that the law must be obeyed in order to maintain salvation, they are presenting another gospel, one that is not of grace but of works.
Returning to the subject of false prophets, as already established, they will attempt to keep one from “the faith.” They will not try to keep one from church, or good works, or baptism, etc. It is simple faith they hope to corrupt, and faith is something that the Bible has a lot to say about.
Hebrews 11:6: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Galatians 3:26: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 3:28: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
Romans 4:5: “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
1st Timothy 4:1: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”
That last verse warns that the time would come when some would leave the faith. The verse does not say they will leave church or good works, or even the profession of Christianity. Modern “Christianity” has become filled up with Lordship Salvation heretics. Some of these may very well have been saved at some point, but they have become confused and no longer believe that simple faith in Christ is sufficient. If they were truly saved, then they remain that way.
Unfortunately, they are now bringing a false gospel message to others, one where Jesus Christ is not able to save sinners by Himself. When Jesus cried out “It is finished” on the cross, did He really finish the job of paying for the sins of the world? The Lordship Salvation crowd will have you believe the answer is no, and that Jesus can only save those who surrender their lives to Him. I will end with the most famous verse from the Bible, 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 is just one of many verses that makes salvation pretty clear. If a life of servitude and holiness was necessary in order to be saved, Jesus failed to mention it in this passage. Lordship Salvationists serve two purposes: Keep sinners from coming to the true Gospel, and make those already saved doubt their salvation by placing their faith in their works instead of on Christ. Telling a believer that he cannot trust Christ alone for salvation is destroying that believer’s faith, thus making him spend the rest of his life without eternal security since he has no way of being sure that he has it. Lordship Salvation is not based on the Gospel from the Bible, and so it is properly defined as another gospel, which is a fake.