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Lordship Salvation

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Ignorant Christians love to coin new phrases and ideas. ‘Lordship Salvation’ is just another of these. As Tozer once said, we are not called to the office of Christ, but to Christ Himself (Tozer: ‘Degenerate Christianity’). The term ‘Lordship Salvation’ is very odd and almost meaningless, because the salvation given by Christ is because He is Lord! However, as it is a term now used in many churches, we should say some more about it. Let us begin with a quote that sums-up the problem:

“Like an infectious disease, the heresy of Lordship Salvation is everywhere today. “Lordship Salvation” is the false teaching that acknowledging one's guilt of sin in the eyes of a holy God, and believing the Gospel are insufficient to save a person. In addition, proponents of Lordship Salvation teach that in order to be saved, a person must surrender their life in obedience to Christ's lordship, forsake the world, cease from sinful bad habits, confess Christ openly before men, and make a commitment to follow Jesus (or a variation thereof). Lordship Salvation is 100% based in human effort, which is a works-based false plan of salvation.”

(David J Stewart in )

In the past I have shown concern for Dr John MacArthur. Now I voice concern again, for he advocates this newest deviation from truth. He is not alone, for Billy Graham also preached the same way. Stewart adds: “Moody (Ed. church, Institute and allied ministries) fully supports heretic Dr. John MacArthur of Grace To You, who denies that Jesus' blood is on the Mercy Seat in Heaven, says children cannot be saved, and teaches Lordship Salvation. Mr. MacArthur is an unsaved modernist, a devout Calvinist who teaches that saints must persevere in holy living to be saved.” As he says, Macarthur accepts all the counterfeit false Bible versions, too.

It is error to say that being saved is not enough, and that unless we press on and make sure every part of life is holy all the time, we will not enter Heaven! Those who say this show themselves to be out of line with truth. Genuinely saved people will WANT to live holy lives, and so they do. Along the way they/we will make mistakes, or might even choose to sin, but when we repent, we return to God’s goodwill.

What ‘Lordship Salvation’ adherents do is to add another human layer to salvation. In many ways it is nothing but reshuffled Roman Catholicism, with its good works made equal to salvation itself. This is gross error, for salvation is a free gift from God to those who are elect. Because they are elect in eternity by God, they can NEVER lose their salvation and place in Heaven. Even if they sin along their earthly path.

I have come across too many indications that Macarthur is badly wrong. So are others who teach similar myths. Should you follow them? No. It may be that he and others have taught great truths… but when they mix these truths with great error, there comes a point of departure. Especially when it comes to repentance and salvation. It might be that these men called ‘great’ by other men are simply misled for a season. Even if this is the case, we must never follow men’s errors, or repeat them.

When Paul wrote, say, to the Corinthians, he did NOT tell them they were bound for hell because of their many sins. No, he begins by calling them “the church of God which is at Corinth… called to be saints”. The Letters then go on to describe their faults and sins – but at no time does Paul tell them that because they were not always holy, they would lose their salvation. Yet, Macarthur and others are adding another layer of requirements. Peter wanted saved Gentiles, for example, to be circumcised, and so met the anger of Paul. Roman Catholics teach works plus belief lead to salvation, but only if the ‘Christian’ continually enters the Confessional and ‘helps’ with works. Many ‘Christians’ repeat this same error.

It is true that some Christians are saved and then dwindle away in faith and works. But, to me, much of this is due to bad teaching, care, and low expectations shown by those who should know better. Whilst this poor discipleship is evident, it is NOT true that Christians who are not yet fully aware of their duties and love will never enter Heaven. To say they must continually strive with good works in order to be finally saved, is wicked, and a perversion of God’s word and truth.

The Lord Christ is Lord of all, whether or not human beings (the majority throughout time) want His Lordship or even believe it. He is certainly Lord of Christians, whether or not they remain holy or pure. How can this be so? It is so because those of us who are saved, were elected by God in eternity. Because God cannot lie or change His mind, this election means that EVERYONE who has been chosen WILL be saved. We are saved at the moment the Holy Spirit causes us to repent unto salvation. From that moment on, we will repent when we sin and seek to get back to God’s path. This will happen until we die. Then, we will be caught up in the skies and will enter Heaven. (This is a short version of what is to happen, but there is no mention by God of losing our salvation if we are not constantly holy – salvation by works).

It is a sad fact that many Christians lose their way at times and do not repent when they should. Some will enter into deliberate sin, or will fail to show their faithfulness in their lives. Even so, they WILL enter Heaven and will NOT lose their salvation. Those who teach ‘Lordship Salvation’ are the Pharisees of our day and make works equal to salvation. Do not be fooled by this new wind of false doctrine!

© July 2018

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Bible Theology Ministries - PO Box 415, Swansea, SA5 8YH
United Kingdom