15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Matthew 7:15-20 (King James Bible)
Billy Crone insists on quoting Heretic John MacArthur in his sermons, in addition to using the New International perVersion "bible," as well as having tracts endorsing Ray Comfort, at Niagara Frontier Bible Church!
that others also may fear
1 Timothy 5:20
The Damnable Heresy
of Ray Comfort
By David J. Stewart
"But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." —Romans 4:5
It hurts me to write this article, because I like Ray Comfort. I believe Mr. Comfort is a sincere man, but sincerely wrong. Unfortunately, as is the case with John MacArthur and so many other heretical Bible teachers today, Ray Comfort teaches a false gospel. The great deception is that 95% of everything they say is good wholesome Bible. Ray Comfort is an awesome speaker, and he is certainly correct on the issue of God's Law, i.e., a person cannot be saved without realizing their GUILTY condition and condemnation under the Law of God.
However, the problem with Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron is that they teach the damnable heresy of LORDSHIP SALVATION. Like all Lordship Salvationists, Ray Comfort claims that salvation is by faith ALONE in Jesus Christ without works; but then he turns around 100% and teaches sinners to forsake their literal sins in order to be saved. No sir! You can't show me one verse in the entire Bible that requires a person to give up their sinful lifestyle to be saved. Salvation is receiving, not giving. It's not what you're doing that gets you to Heaven, it's where you're looking. It's not just a matter of semantics.
Ray Comfort is an extremely popular evangelist, with his ministries, THE WAY OF THE MASTER and LIVING WATERS. Unfortunately, Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron teach the heresy of Lordship Salvation...
“Merely being sorry for your sins, or confessing them to God won't help you. You must turn from sin (repent).”
SOURCE: LIVING WATERS ministry,
Heresy! That is self-righteousness! Adding even the slightest work of self-righteousness to the Gospel corrupts it into a false way, a false plan, a road to damnation.
The problem is that there is a common misunderstanding of the word “repentance.” Many false teachers today are saying that repentance in the Bible means to forsake one's sinful lifestyle. Nothing could be further from the truth of God's Word. In Mark 1:15 Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” The Bible doesn't say, “Repent ye, and stop living in sin.” No, rather, the Bible says, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel.” I am not saying that God approves of a believer continuing in sin, God forbid. I am simply saying that the change of life which genuine repentance brings is not a part of saving-faith. We don't live for God to get saved; we live for God because WE ARE SAVED. Eternal life is a free gift. Salvation is receiving, not giving.
We are saved wholly by God's grace, through faith in Christ Jesus. We are saved by HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; and all these things shall be added unto you." Romans 10:3,4, "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. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." Amen!
The word repent in Mark 1:15 is the Greek word METANOEO, meaning, “to change one's mind.” When a person acknowledges their GUILT of sin for violating God's Law, and that person believes on the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness, they are saved eternally. We are the sinners and Jesus is the Savior. It's that simple. Please read, What is Biblical repentance?
An Every Word Bible
I am dismayed when I hear professed Christians say that the Bible is not something we should fight over. What? If God is going to judge us for the very words we speak, then don't you think that the Words He speaks are equally important? Yes, of course! Everything that we believe as Christians hinge upon EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDETH OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD (Matthew 4:4). Therefore, I need an every word Bible. God only wrote one Book. There are literally hundreds of English translations, which vary widely in their content, meaning and doctrine. This is why I defend, love and promote only the King James Bible. All other English translations on the market today are corrupt! It does matter, very much, that we have the right message, from a trustworthy Bible.
There is Only One Gospel
Ray Comfort once kindly wrote to me, attempting to convince me that our doctrinal differences are a mere matter of semantics (i.e., wording the same belief differently). I told him that we do not agree at all on the issue of salvation, because he believes that a person cannot be saved and deliberately continue in sin; but I do believe that. The difference is much more than mere semantics, it is night and day.
- I believe that one's salvation is solely based in Christ's righteousness and has absolutely nothing to do with one's desire to depart from sin. Romans 4:5-6 plainly teaches that salvation is without works of self-righteousness, and that we are saved by the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. Salvation is of the Lord. A changed life is the FRUIT of genuine repentance; and not a part of the ROOT of saving faith. A person gives up their sins because they ARE a Christian; and not to BECOME a Christian. The changed life comes AFTER a person is saved, as a person grows in the milk of the Word (1st Peter 2:2).
- Ray Comfort on the other hand, believes that a person must stop deliberately committing sin to be saved. Mr. Comfort teaches that those who profess faith in Christ, but still continue in sin, are not saved because they have never given up their sins, which he teaches is necessary for salvation. Ray Comfort teaches that a changed life is part of the ROOT of saving faith. According to Mr. Comfort, a person must give up their sins to BECOME a Christian. In this false plan of salvation, a sinner must change in order to be saved.
Do you see the drastic difference between the two different Gospels? The latter is damnable heresy.
Ray Comfort is sincere, unquestionably; but he is doctrinally messed up from following John MacArthur. Biblically, a person who continues in sin is likely not saved (1st John 3:8); but it's not because they never gave up their sins as Ray Comfort errantly teaches. It's because they never genuinely believed on Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:21; John 6:40).
That's where Ray Comfort goes astray in his theology. To teach that giving up one's sins is mandatory for salvation is a false Gospel of self-righteousness, which excludes everyone who is not willing to stop living in sin. Jesus said in John 6:37 that He would not turn away anyone who came to Him for salvation, and that includes the vilest sinner who isn't ready to give up his sins yet. All God requires is that a person acknowledge their guilt of sin (Romans 3:19), and believe on the Lord to be forgiven (Acts 10:43; Romans 10:13). Acts 16:30-31, “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.” That's the way to be saved, i.e., to believe on Jesus as the Christ.
There are hundreds of perversions of the Gospel nowadays. Every believer needs to be a watchman, a pit bull guard dog, that shines the Light of God's Word upon the darkness. That's the only way to expose the darkness, i.e., by shining the Lamp of God's Word upon it. Salvation is simple—we are SINNERS and Jesus is the SAVIOR.
If a person must forsake their sinful habits to be saved, then salvation is extremely complicated. The hypocrisy of Ray Comfort's and John MacArthur's Lordship Salvation heresy is that NO ONE can give up all their sins. 1st John 1:10 says that we are calling God a liar if we say we are without sin. Only Jesus is completely without sin (1st Peter 2:22).
Ray Comfort's False Gospel
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.
If you are not sure how to pray, read Psalm 51 and make it your prayer.
What does it mean to "put your faith in Jesus Christ?" It means to personally trust in Jesus the same way you’d trust in a parachute if you had to jump 25,000 feet out of an airplane. You wouldn’t just "believe" in the parachute; you would put it on! In the same way, the Bible says, "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ..." and you will be saved. There are millions of people who "believe" Jesus exists . . . but they have not put on the Savior—there’s a BIG difference. And the difference will be obvious when you “jump” through the door of death.
Today, with all your heart—turn away from sin, and surrender your life to Jesus Christ. Please don’t put it off till later. You may die today and then it will be too late. You may not yet have all the answers to your questions, but better to put on the parachute first and then ask questions, then to pass through the door unprepared, grasping for the parachute when it’s too late. You can pray something like this—"Dear God, today I turn from all my sins (name them), and I put my trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Please forgive me, and grant me your gift of everlasting life. Amen." There is nothing magic about these words—it is the attitude of your heart that God cares about. (emphasis added)
There is absolutely nothing in the Word of God which requires a person to “surrender your life to Jesus Christ” to be saved. It is a damnable heresy to require people to make a commitment to Christ to be saved. Jesus DIDN'T ask us to surrender our life to Him to be saved; He asked us to BELIEVE on Him (John 3:16).
In sharp contrast to Ray Comfort, read what Dr. Harry Ironside (1876-1951) stated in his Gospel tract, ANOTHER 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
Calvarythat saves us, not our surrender in any way to Him.”
SOURCE: Harry A. Ironside,
from the Gospel tract, Another Gospel?
Dr. Ironside is doctrinally correct. Salvation is of the Lord. Surrendering one's life to Christ for salvation is a false gospel.
Romans 4:5 couldn't be any clearer on this matter... "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." It is sad that the simplicity of salvation, i.e., the Gospel, has been perverted in so many ways today. It is a shame that someone like Ray Comfort, who is a dynamic and charming speaker, and is a nice guy, is preaching a false gospel to the masses. Perhaps Mr. Comfort does it ignorantly; but nevertheless, he is teaching works salvation. It's not just a matter of semantics.
Ray Comfort clearly states: "You must turn away from sin" and "surrender your life to Christ" to be saved. Although it is true that a person needs to turn from their sins to be saved, it is only in the sense of acknowledging one's guilt of sin before God. To turn to the Lord for forgiveness is to turn one's back against sin. This is Biblical repentance. From reading numerous writings by Ray Comfort, it is abundantly clear that he interprets "turning from sin" as literally ceasing from committing sins, which is not what the Bible teaches. Here is one such example from Matthew 7:22,23 . . .
Ray Comfort Corrupts Matthew 7:22,23
"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." —Matthew 7:22,23
On page 1197 of THE EVIDENCE BIBLE, Ray Comfort comments on Matthew 7:22,23...
"These are perhaps the most frightening verses in the Bible. Vast multitudes of professing Christians fit into the category spoken of here. They call Jesus 'Lord,' but they practice lawlessness. They profess faith in Jesus, but have no regard for the divine law. hey tell 'fibs' or 'white' lies, take things that belong to others, have a roaming eye for the opposite sex, etc. They are liars, thieves, and adulterers at heart, who will be cast from the gates of heaven into the jaws of hell."
SOURCE: THE EVIDENCE BIBLE, by Ray Comfort, pg. 1197; 2003, Bridge-Logos Publishers, Orlando, Florida
Ladies and gentleman, Ray Comfort is teaching works salvation! According to what we just read by Ray Comfort, every believer who is still living in deliberate sin won't be allowed into Heaven.
The correct interpretation of Matthew 7:22,23 must include verse 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."
What is "the will of the Father"? The answer is found in John 6:40...
"And this is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."
The group in Matthew 7:21-23 were unsaved because they refused to do God's will concerning salvation. It wasn't because they still had personal sins in their life. Every believer still has sin in their life! We all sin every day. That's not to say that we have God's approval to sin, God forbid (Romans 3:31). It just means that even the best of Christians are still sinners. Ray Comfort wrestles the Scriptures to his own destruction.
Pastor Harry Ironside is Correct on Repentance
In sharp contrast to Ray Comfort, Dr. Harry Ironside (former pastor of Moody Memorial Church, 1930-1948) correctly understood repentance to mean…
"Repentance is the recognition of my sinnership — the owning before God that I am as vile as He has declared me to be in His holy Word."
SOURCE: Except Ye Repent, by Dr. Harry Ironside, chapter 3
Clearly, Ironside taught a Free Grace view of the Gospel. H.A. Ironside correctly recognized repentance as the confession that "one is utterly without merit" and that if one is "ever saved at all it can only be through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ." Salvation is without works of self-righteousness. Romans 4:5 plainly teaches that a man's faith is COUNTED for righteousness, i.e., the righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to one's heavenly record by faith. Repentance and faith are inseparable. The Gospel of John mentions the word "believe" 85-times; but the word "repent" is never mentioned even once. In genuine salvation, one who believes on Jesus Christ has repented; and one who repents has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.
In sharp contrast, Ray Comfort separates repentance from faith, thus requiring lost sinners to cease from their sins as a prerequisite to placing their faith in Christ for salvation (which is a false gospel).
Jesus DIDN'T ask us to forsake our sins to get saved; no, rather, He asked us to BELIEVE on Him that He could save us from our sins. Being a Christian does NOT give us God's permission to sin. Not at all. Every believer will give account to God for their deeds at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Romans 14:12; 2nd Corinthians 5:10). The notion that a lost sinner must "desire to have nothing to do with sin" to be saved (which is exactly what Ray Comfort teaches) is of the Devil. Most of what the Jehovah's Witness cult teaches is 100% Scriptural; but it's that small percentage of damnable heresy that condemns them all to Hell. John MacArthur is a dynamic Bible teacher and pastor; but ruthlessly denies the power of the literal blood of Jesus. Therefore, John MacArthur is an unsaved heretic.
Please read: Dr. John R. Rice Refutes Lordship Salvation.
Satan is a Master Deceiver
Ray Comfort is awesome in many ways, which is why he is so dangerous. Most "everything" you read from this man is 95% right on target; however, Ray Comfort adds WORKS to God's Plan of Salvation which renders it VOID and USELESS. The most effective lies are the one's that sound the most like the truth, and Satan is the Master Deceiver behind Ray Comfort's ministries (Living Waters, Way of the Master, etc.).
Ray Comfort misdefines "repentance" and does not use the original Greek meaning that Christ talked about, which is "metanoia" (a change of mind about sin and Christ). He is very accurate in other areas; yet, what he is telling us is that WORKS are necessary for salvation (even though he explicitly tells us that works are not necessary for salvation in other writings). Why the total contradiction? Mr. Comfort mixes discipleship with Grace, i.e., works of righteousness
with Christ's Blood. This, according to the Bible, is a FALSE GOSPEL which cannot save a lost man from Hell.
Ray Comfort is just "one of thousands" who twist the Bible to make it say what he wants it to say, rather than telling us what it really says — he is a tool of Satan because Satan's time is short. We've not long to go before the Rapture, and Satan is busy deceiving everyone he possibly can. Remember, the best lies are the one's that sound the most like the truth. Ray Comfort is a master deceiver, following the trail of John MacArthur.
Please read: Charles Surgeon DIDN'T Teach Lordship Salvation.
What the Bible Says
Let me refute and rebuke Ray Comfort using the King James Bible by giving you references:
1a) What Ray says: Ray tells us that in order to be saved we must forsake all sins.
1b)What the Bible says: Forsaking sins is a condition for being a disciple; not for being saved (Luke 14:26-27 / Luke 9:23 / Luke 14:33 / Romans 4:5 / John 12:42 ).
2a) What Ray says: Commit your life to Christ / Turn from your sins to be saved / Surrender your life to Christ / Make Him Lord of your life, etc...
2b)What the Bible says: Jesus Christ is the Savior! Living the "Christian Lifestyle" cannot save us (John 5:39-40). Living a consecrated life is the FRUIT of genuine repentance; and not a part of saving faith.
The Bible is clear that man's good works and intentions have no part in gaining him salvation, just look: "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" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Ray Comfort is subtle, as are many false prophets today. Here is Ray Comfort's doctrinal Statement of Faith, and it is 100% Biblical. But then you listen to his videos, and The Good Test I just mentioned, and Mr. Comfort teaches something totally different. Benny Hinn does the exact same thing. Mr. Hinn's website presents the basic plan of salvation; but then in public he endorses Catholicism's Our Lady of Fatima, praises the Pope, never condemns works salvation, never condemns Baptismal Regeneration, etc. Benny Hinn exploits the Gospel to make merchandise of his victims... 2nd Peter 2:3, "And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."
Martin Luther, as do Lutherans today, are guilty of the same hypocrisies. Martin Luther is renowned for his alleged awakening that "the just shall live by faith"; YET, Luther clearly taught Baptismal Regeneration in his Catechism writings. In fact, Martin Luther taught many damnable heresies after his alleged salvation experience, even Mary worship. Martin Luther is sadly burning in Hell today! Ray Comfort speaks out of both-sides-of-his-mouth, as do John MacArthur, Martin Luther, and others. All these men claim salvation by faith alone in Jesus Christ; BUT then PERVERT the Gospel by requiring people to either give up their sins, get baptized, or surrender their life to Christ to be saved. It can't be both ways! Salvation is either by faith, or by works—not BOTH. Titus 3:5 plainly states that salvation is NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH WE HAVE DONE!
Ray Comfort's doctrine is flawed, and he needs to reconsider what he is teaching people. You don't have to forsake your sinful lifestyle to get saved; you forsake your sinful lifestyle because you ARE SAVED. A sinner need only acknowledge to God that he is a GUILTY sinner (Romans 3:19) who deserves the penalty of Hell (Romans 6:23; Revelation 21:8), and believe (trust) on the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive one's sins (Acts 10:43; 16:30,31). You need a Savior and Acts 4:10-12 tells us His name—Jesus Christ.
On Ray Comfort's website, http://www.wayofthemaster.com, under the drop-down-menu "Get Equipped," there's a link titled, Answers to 100 Common Questions. In this section you'll find Ray's heretical answer to the question... "Is Repentance Necessary for Salvation?" The answers are directly from The Evidence Bible, which was compiled and commented by Ray Comfort. This heresy also appears on Mr. Comfort's other website at... http://www.livingwaters.com/witnessingtool/browse.shtml. Here is Ray's unbiblical answer to the question...
Is Repentance Necessary for Salvation? ...
We are dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1) and until we forsake them through repentance, we cannot be made alive in Christ.
I didn't write this article to be unkind, but to warn people about the dangers of Lordship Salvation. If Mr. Comfort would stand true to his Statement of Faith on his website, then there would be no problem; but he doesn't. Instead, he teaches lost sinners that salvation is conditional upon forsaking the act of sin. But the Bible teaches salvation is receiving; NOT giving (John 1:12; 4:10). Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23). There is a fine line between the turning from sin that genuine repentance brings; verses the turning from committing sin that false prophets require for people to get saved. Ray Comfort is putting the cart before the horse, as does pastors John MacArthur and Aiden W. Tozer.
Ray Comfort is condemned by his own words. The Bible is clear... "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."
“When you get saved, you get saved not because you deserve it, but because you simply let God save you and because you confess your own poor sinful state and your inability to save yourself.”
SOURCE: Dr. Rice... Here is My Question, by Dr. John R. Rice, pg. 304; 1962, Sword of the Lord Publishers; ISBN: 0-87398-158-8