The Curse of Lordship Salvation!
By David J. Stewart
"But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew... But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak." —Mark 14:68,71
The above passage of Scripture is speaking about the Apostle Peter. Peter sinned by denying Jesus. Yet, Peter was a born-again believer. King David was a Christian; yet he conspired to have a man killed, to cover up an unwanted pregnancy, from an adulterous affair with that man's wife. Abraham and Sara doubted God. Moses was a murderer. Samson went with a harlot. Jacob was a thief. Jonah ran from God. Noah got drunk. Isaiah was a man of unclean lips. These were God's best and brightest.
Lot was a worldly believer. Yet, 2nd Peter 2:7 calls Lot a “just” man. The Lordship Salvation crowd would have considered all of these men unsaved. Yet, we see they were saved.
This subject needs to preached about on a regular basis, because the damnable heresy of LORDSHIP SALVATION has infiltrated our churches, and is leading multitudes into Hell.
What is “Lordship Salvation?” Lordship Salvation is the unbiblical teaching that a person MUST cease from a sinful lifestyle to be saved. Lordship Salvationists pervert the true meaning of the word “REPENT” in the Word of God. Whereas Biblical repentance means that a person recognizes their guilt of sin (Romans 3:19); Lordship Salvationists corrupt the meaning of the word, teaching that a person must cease from living a sinful lifestyle to be saved. God does not ask us to give up anything to be saved. Eternal life is the gift of God (Romans 6:23). Salvation is receiving, not giving. God gave us His only begotten Son, Jesus, to pay our debt of sin. All we have to do to be saved is to acknowledge our guilt of sin, coming to God on that basis; believing on Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, to forgive our sins (Acts 10:43).
In 2nd Peter 3:9 we read, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” The Greek word for “repentance” here is “METANOIA” and literally means “a change of mind.” Not a change of lifestyle; BUT, a change of mind. The changed life should follow afterwards; but the Bible is filled with examples of saints who continued to live in rebellion and sin, such as Solomon and Samson.
Turning from Unbelief verses Turning from One's Sins
"And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." -Mark 1:15
Carefully notice in Mark 1:15 above that Jesus didn't say “repent ye, and turn from your sins.” No, Jesus clearly stated, “repent ye, and BELIEVE THE GOSPEL.” It is plain to see that Biblical repentance is a change of one's mind concerning sin and unbelief, which causes that soul to turn in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation. Jesus never once said to a person, “Give up your sin and I'll save you.” No, rather, Jesus said “Go, and sin no more” after making them whole (John 8:11). All God asks is that we come for salvation through His dear Son (John 3:16).
We must be extremely careful when we tell lost sinners that they need to be willing to turn from their sins to be saved. I have read many Gospel tracts that give the impression that a person MUST forsake their sins to be saved—which is NOT true at all. A person DOES need to repent of their sins to be saved, but that change begins in the mind and may take some time to show in that person's personal life (1st Peter 2:2). The ONLY repentance which God requires of a man to be saved is for that man to acknowledge his sinful condition and; thus, recognize his desperate need for a Savior.
I certainly think it would be reasonable for a repenting sinner to desire to turn from his or her sins; BUT, as we learn from countless believers in the Bible, that's not always the case. Judges 16:1 states, “Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her.” I am NOT condoning sin. I am simply saying that Christians at best are people, and people at best are still sinners.
Lordship Salvation is rooted in self-righteousness, for all Christians are sinners. If living in sin can cause a born-again believer to lose salvation, then we all lost it a long time ago, for all have sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 7:14-25). It is solely by Christ's merciful righteousness that we are saved (2nd Corinthians 5:21). Lordship Salvation and the Pentecostal Charismatic heresy of losing one's salvation are related monsters. Lordship Salvationists ADD works to faith to get saved, and the Charismatics ADD works to faith to STAY saved. Regardless, these two damnable heresies are both rooted in works salvation!
Please read What is Biblical Repentance?
The Change Comes AFTER a Person is Saved, NOT before
The internet is plagued with heretics who are teaching that a person must forsake their sinful life to be saved. 2nd Corinthians 5:17 reads, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Please notice that a man does NOT become a “new creature” until AFTER he is in Christ. The change comes after a person is saved, NOT before.
If a person claims to be a Christian but is still living a wicked lifestyle, then I would sincerely doubt that person's salvation as well. However, I am not going to start teaching damnable heresy by saying that sinners must forsake their sins to be saved. Salvation comes through childlike faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; nothing may be added.
Once a man becomes a new creature in Christ, then he begins to change. Lordship Salvationists are sanctimonious (i.e., hypocritical in their beliefs) in that they are sinners themselves. The entire notion that a lost sinner must give up sin to be saved presents a serious indictment against Lordship Salvationists ... “For all have sinned...” (Romans 3:23). Let he who is without sin among you teach Lordship Salvation.
Please read the following, doctrinally correct, words by former Moody Memorial Church Pastor Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951)...
My question to you is: Are there 2 Gospels?
- The Gospel of John MacArthur, Ray Comfort, Paul Washer, Jack Chick, Aiden Tozer, David Cloud, and others, requires that a person forsake (or be willing to forsake) their lifestyle of sin, make amends, and change their ways, as a prerequisite to saving faith. [I, the writer of this blog, am well-acquainted with the tracts that Jack Chick publishes, and have never seen any evidence that any promote the Lordship Salvation belief! I believe his name to be erroneously listed here! My next post will show that what Jack Chick promotes is exactly the opposite, in agreement with the writer of the article and the Jesus-is-Savior.com site.]
- The Biblical Gospel teaches that we are saved solely by Christ's righteousness (Romans 10:3-4), and that no self-righteousness of any kind is required (Titus 3:5), because we have none to offer (Isaiah 64:6); neither does a person have to quit any sin to be saved (Romans 4:5-6).
A lot of Christians have brushed the issue aside as a matter of semantics, but the difference between the 2 Gospels is day and night. One includes a certain degree of self-righteousness, which is a false Gospel; but the other is solely based upon Christ's righteousness, which is by the precious literal, physical, blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ.