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 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
We are living in frightening times! So many churches (over 95% sadly) have been infected with a works-based plan of salvation, which can only lead to damnation in Hell forever. Dear reader, I intentionally shared our text passage from 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 in this blog article, so that you can see for yourself what “the Gospel” actually is (and is not).
Neo (meaning “new”) evangelicals today have succumbed to the Devil's tommyrot of Calvinism (which is John Calvin's nonsense and NOT the Gospel of free grace). Calvin believed and taught that God chooses (Unconditional Election) who will or won't be saved, and then forces them to be saved (Irresistible Grace). One heresy begets another, so in the mind of the Calvinist Christ only died for believers (Limited Atonement) and not the whole world. But what saith the Scripture? 1st John 2:2, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” The Bible couldn't be any plainer! Calvinists are in utter denial. John Calvin(1509-1564) and his teachings are of the Devil.
Calvinism also teaches that if a person is saved, they will perseverance in holy living, pursuing a sanctified life, serving God faithfully to the end of this earthly life. So according to the messed up Calvinist (and they're ALL messed up doctrinally), a person cannot truly know that they are saved until they have proven that their faith is genuine by living the Christian life. Dear friend, this is a false Gospel. It may sound good and religious to the carnal mind, but it goes 100% contrary to the free gift of God, which is obtained only through faith in Jesus Christ.
I am sick and tired of hearing Calvinists like Ray Comfort, Paul Washer, John MacArthur, Marty Herron, Steve Pettit, Chuck Phelps and R.C. Sproul, preach that you cannot write your name, date and place in your Bible that you became born-again. Becoming a child of God is an immediate new birth, not a lifelong process. Sanctification is a lifelong process, in which the indwelling Holy Spirit of God works to conform us into the image of God. But getting saved is strictly a legal matter of justification. Becoming a Christian is instantaneous by faith; but becoming Christlike requires a lifetime. But we must NEVER combine these two things!
My favorite preacher quote is from Pilgrim's Progress author John Bunyan:
“If you do not put a difference between justification wrought by the man Christ without and sanctification wrought by the Spirit of Christ within, you are not able to divide the Word aright; but contrariwise, you corrupt the Word of God, and cast stumbling blocks before the people.” —John Bunyan (1628-1688)
I love that theological quote, because it nails THE TRUTH on the Gospel versus discipleship. We must keep sanctification (which is growing in God's grace as a saint), completely separate from justification (which is a legal matter with God the Father).
I also love this helpful quote from Pastor M.R. DeHaan (1891-1965):
“There is a vast difference between coming to Jesus for salvation and coming after Jesus for service. Coming to Christ makes one a believer, while coming after Christ makes one a disciple. All believers are not disciples. To become a believer one accepts the invitation of the Gospel, to be a disciple one obeys the challenge to a life of dedicated service and separation. Salvation comes through the sacrifice of Christ; discipleship comes only by sacrifice of self and surrender to His call for devoted service. Salvation is free, but discipleship involves paying the price of a separated walk. Salvation can't be lost because it depends upon God's faithfulness, but discipleship can be lost because it depends upon our faithfulness.” —Pastor M.R. DeHaan, Hebrews; Zondervan Publishing House, 1959 (p. 117)
It should be clear to you now dear reader, that it is WRONG to ever tell a lost person to give up their sins to be saved. I am so upset over all the embellishments and lies being taught in corrupt churches today. It is a big deal. RIGHT DOCTRINE MATTERS!!! Not one verse in the inspired King James Bible requires someone to repent “of your sins,” or to “turn away from your sins” to be saved. Repentance is strictly a matter of acknowledging THE TRUTH (John 3:21; 2nd Timothy 2:25) that you are a guilty sinner in the sight of a holy God. Thus seeing your sinful condition, you turn to God by faith alone to be saved (Galatians 3:24-26). We are saved by faith alone.
The Gospel of John is God's Gospel tract. In John we find the word “believe” mentioned 88 times, but the word “repent” is not mentioned even once. That is because the man who believes the Good News of Jesus Christ crucified, buried and risen has also repented. Repentance is a part of believing, for if a person didn't repent (change their mind toward God) they would never BELIEVE to be saved. The Bible oftentimes uses the terms repent and believe interchangeably. For example: In Acts 3:19 we read, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;” There is no mention of believing here. The Bible says to change your mind (repent) and be saved! It is a doctrinal mistake to tell a person to repent AND believe. THE TRUTH is that we repent TO believe the Gospel!!!
I love what Pastor Yankee Arnold said:
“Lordship Salvation 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 to establish or provide evidence that such faith has resulted in eternal life.” —Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold ('Jesus versus John MacArthur')
Lordship Salvation is the Devil's tommyrot of Calvinism, not the Gospel of free grace.
We Are Saved By Faith Alone Without Any Works
THE TRUTH is that when a person BELIEVES the Good News of Jesus Christ crucified, buried and risen the third day, he or she is forever saved. Eternal life is eternal security! Christ has turned that person from the penalty of their sins (Romans 6:23). There is MUCH debate among preachers and churches over repentance. For example:
- Must a person turn away from sinful behavior to be saved? No. Pastor Marty Herron preaches this heresy, saying that “you must forsake a lifestyle of sinning to be saved.” Marty is a theological liar!
- Must a person at least be willing to turn away from sinful behavior to be saved? No. Cartoon Evangelist Jack Chick preaches this heresy in all his Chick Tracts, saying that to be saved you must “be willing to turn from sin,” which he misunderstands to mean repentance. Jack is a theological liar!
- Must a person be sorrowful (penitent), or do penance (make amends), for their sins to be saved? No. Nearly every Baptist church preaches this heresy today, requiring people to feel sorry for their sins to be saved, but God doesn't require that at all! God only requires that a person acknowledge that they are a needy sinner, so they will come to Christ by faith to be saved.
- Does a person have to forsake the old sinful ways (reform) to be saved? No. Sadly, Pacific Garden Mission's popular radio program 'UNSHACKLED' preaches this damnable heresy. Their go-to verse is 2nd Corinthians 5:17. What has happened is that the historic rescue mission is famous for some high-profile figures that have come through their organization; most notably, Billy Sunday (1862-1935). So somewhere along the way the administrators of the mission decided that they would pervert the Gospel, requiring Skid Row people to forsake their sins to be saved, thus forcing them to change their life if they want Christ to save them. Folks, that is straight from the Devil.
Another one of my favorite preachers is Pastor Harry Ironside (1876-1951), who was 100% correct on a free grace Gospel:
Read what Dr. Ironside said in his Gospel tract, ANOTHER GOSPEL? ...“The Gospel is not a call to repentance, or to amendment of our ways, to make restitution for past sins, or to promise to do better in the future. These things are proper in their place, but they do not constitute the Gospel; for the Gospel is not good advice to be obeyed, it is good news to be believed. Do not make the mistake then of thinking that the Gospel is a call to duty or a call to reformation, a call to better your condition, to behave yourself in a more perfect way than you have been doing in the past …Nor is the Gospel a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits, and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all.”SOURCE: Harry A. Ironside, from the sermon: What Is The Gospel?
"When anyone comes promising salvation to those ‘who make full surrender' of all that they have to God, and who 'pay the price of full salvation' he is preaching another gospel, for the price was paid on Calvary's cross and the work that saves is finished. It was Christ Jesus who made the full surrender when He yielded His life on Calvary that saves us, not our surrender in any way to Him."SOURCE: Harry A. Ironside, from the Gospel tract, Another Gospel
Boy, I love those quotes. What Pastor Ironside is preaching aligns perfectly with the Gospel which the Apostle Paul proclaimed in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 (our text passage). Paul said that he received this Gospel directly by revelation from Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:12).
If you don't take away anything else from this article, please remember that we must ALWAYS keep sanctification (growth in grace as a believer), completely SEPERATE from justification (to be born-again). All humans are guilty sinners. There is a penalty for our sins. Romans 6:23 declares that the wages of our sins is death. This includes the second death in the lake of fire and brimstone forever (Revelation 21:8). But God in His unconditional love sent His only begotten (biological) Son, Jesus, into the world to die on a cross as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. Jesus is the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins OF THE WORLD (not just the saints). John 1:29, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” What an awesome Savior!!!