FALSE GOSPEL - LORDSHIP SALVATION
LET'S KEEP THE GOSPEL SIMPLE
With all the complexity involved in dozens of preachers all preaching something different, yet all claiming it is "the gospel by which we are saved" what about the poor and uneducated, who need to hear the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus. I therefore thank God that not only the Apostle Paul defined the simplicity of the true gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, but also Jesus himself in Luke 24:44-48.
Put simply, if you remember that "Jesus Saves" and look closely at anything people claim that actually saves you other than Christ, you will know that person is trying to trick you. Of course God the Father and the Holy Spirit raised Christ from the dead, and are also part of our salvation in that sense, but Christ is one with them in the Godhead.
The Gospel by which we are saved is: to repent and believe in Jesus Christ (trust in and rely upon him) crucified, buried and resurrected to be saved. Of course at some point you will also be born again. But by "saved" do we mean "in a state of salvation now" or do we mean "saved at the day of judgement". Well both is what it means. You will certainly appear in the kingdom if you truly believe the gospel. The trouble is the bible says the demons believe there is a God, so what does "believe in" mean?
THE ROOT VERSUS THE FRUIT
The "fruit not the root" perspective on doing good works, and avoiding sin, is very important to understand, as if you get it the wrong way around you can pollute the simplicity of the gospel of Christ.
The thing Antinomianist type false believers do not understand, is that there is a difference between "throwing away your salvation" by unrepentant sin, and "earning your salvation" by not living in unrepentant sin. You may think this is just a pedantic difference, or just playing word games, and they are both the same, but in fact they are quite different.
The bible compares salvation to wearing a white garment, that can be called "the Lord our righteousness". Stand before God in the white robe he has given you, his free gift, and you will be saved. But if you take off the robe and throw it in the mud, and it is left long term polluted and dirtied by unrepentant sin, then that is "throwing away salvation". Conversley there is another way to pollute this garment, and that is writing all over the garment in a thick black marker pen, "I NEVER BACKSLID, SO THAT MAKES ME WORTHY" when it does not, it is falsely boasting something more than the white garment of the gospel saves us, it is dirtying the garment with human pride and self sanctification.
These two sins can be seen in two heresies:
1) SIN dirtied garment - Once Saved Always Saved no matter what you do Heresy.
2) PRIDE dirtied garment - Lordship Salvation Heresy.
The Lordship salvation heresy means something rather bizarre and strange can happen: two preachers can preach what sounds like the same thing in a church, and yet one is preaching prideful salvation by works, yet the other is not, and it all hangs on the "root or the fruit" way in which it is presented.
"THE ROOT" (this is heresy): The preacher says:
"If you enter into long term unrepentant sin, and die in that state, you wont be saved."
BUT by this he means it is because when you entered into a covenant with God and believed the gospel, you agreed that repentance is your long term obedience of avoiding sin, and this is therefore part of the gospel "by which we are SAVED" (thus self righteously preaching salvation by your own efforts to stay holy). This self righteous person will then often declare anyone who has sinned for a time must not be born again. In other words he is rightly condemning sin, while in sin himself!
"THE FRUIT" (this is not heresy): The preacher says:
"If you enter into long term unrepentant sin, and die in that state, you wont be saved."
you may say WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! That is a mistake! He is saying the exact same thing! However his explanation of these words is entirely different! This preacher then explains that you are damned not because staying in repentance was helping to SAVE you, but that your were SAVED only by Jesus and him alone, and then you THREW AWAY your white garment into the mud.
So: Earning salvation by obedience and avoiding sin, is different from throwing away your salvation.
LORDSHIP SALVATION HERESY DEFINED:
The "Lordship Salvation Heresy" is therefore not characterized by saying that unrepentant "works of the flesh" * lead to Hell, as we have heard other preachers often say this. It is characterised by "a modification of the gospel, whereby a person becomes involved in a covenant where Repentance is redefined as actually being part of salvation, as a long term human responsibility to turn away from sin (works)." Long term unrepentance rather throws away salvation. That is different. Repentance or works never ever ever save the soul, as they are not Christ himself. By doing this Lordship Salvationists, like Roman Catholics, but in a less obvious way, reduce Christ to only a Semi Saviour. They like to use fancy expressions and words as "synergy" and "dynamic" to disguise their covert salvation by works.
(*works of the flesh = the serious sins listed many times, such places as in Rev 21:8 and Gal 5:19-21 etc)
THE MODERN HERESY
There is a terrible tendancy in modern churches to believe an heretical false gospel that, having been saved and born again, nothing can stop you going into the kingdom of God, not even living in long term, deliberate unrepentant sin, like divorce and adulterous remarriage. A picture is often painted by these churches of a man being raptured into the loving arms of Jesus, when at the moment of the Rapture he was having sex with someone elses wife after an adulterous remarriage, and had been in such sin for years! However that would be the false gospel of Jezebel, found in the Book of Revelation. If OSAS is to be thought of as possibly true (Once Saved Always Saved) it would be because you believe you ALWAYS repent before you die.
One of the people I dislike to hear preaching is Paul Washer, because of his theological inaccuracy. It is men like him, in my opinion, who are stopping ordinary non Antinomianist free grace preachers, from standing against the tidal wave of the "once saved always saved not matter what the sin" false gospels polluting the Earth. To prove this I would make 7 major criticisms of him:
1) He looks like he is preaching against the OSAS antinomianist style false gospels in the right way, BUT is in fact himself preaching a false gospel, thus getting in the way of the real preachers of the true gospel, by being a couterfeit with whom real preachers of truth will be slanderously compared.
2) He preaches the evil calvinist false gospel, that besmirches and alters every aspect of the real gospel.
3) He is theologically inaccurate and slapdash in his presentation, and from his terminology, phraseology and comparisons, is either a preacher of the Lordship Salvation heresy (but modified by Calvinism), or is making it sound so much as if he is by his inaccuracy it is utter incompetance.
4) He misunderstands Romans 7 and the meaning of the word "carnal". In Romans 7, "carnal" refers more to the fact that though we are born again, we are still all trapped in human bodies that by various means drive us toward sin. That is a long term battle we all face, that I think John Bunyan allegorically referred to in his book "The Holy War". In Romans 7 carnal does not necessarily mean doing something like robbing a bank and still having the money under the bed 5 years later. It is more a day to day battle against bodily desires. So his famous quote "There is no such thing as a carnal Christian" is an ill conceived label.
5) He lives in a world of open doctrinal sin himself, yet too easily labels others as never having been saved or become Christians.
6) He is by his non empathetic condemnation, stumbling new Christians by making them doubt if they were ever saved, and is blocking the way for long term backsliders to return like "The Prodigal Son" to the waiting arms of a loving and forgiving Father, by saying they were never saved either. So what do they do? Get rebaptized to please Paul Washer? Then maybe again?
7) Instead of repenting of his heresies and mistakes, Paul Washer is trying to reinvent himself to look more and more like an ordinary free grace preacher, who is not dumb enough to think living in long term unrepentant sin does not affect your chance of salvation. Having preached until he is blue in the face for others to repent, he decides himself (like most preachers who make public mistakes) to shape shift his way out of it, lie his way out of it, to pretend he was not really polluting the good news by things like the Calvinist detestable attack on the character of God and even the characters of unsaved people, found in the Calvinist TULIP teachings. He is now (late in the day) claiming he teaches the 1 Cor 15:1-4 gospel for instance, when the "you you and you" gospel of Calvinism does not preach "accepting" any gospel, in it salvation is theoretically imposed upon people.
STANDARD FREE GRACE PREACHERS ARE FINE
I hope this was a simple and clear explanation. Two examples of people who complicate the gospel, and destroy and corrupt its simplicity, are on one end of the Spectrum Grigori Rasputin, and at the other end of the Spectrum Paul Washer. Both are hetetics, for different reasons. Raputin was cold, Washer is more caustic than hot, he goes too far condemning others, is inaccurate, and as his Calvinism alone proves, corrupted in his perspective. More middle of the road preachers, less extreme than those two, whose type have been around for hundreds of years, like John Wesley, those are the preachers to listen to, who are not trying to gain a reputation by controversy, inaccuracy and even sporting with infamy for notoriety. Paul Washer is not the only person who thinks Pseudo
Christian Hells Angels, who regularly fornicate and get drunk, will not drive into heaven on their motor bikes! Yes it is true that more and more, a false gospel is spreading across the earth in the free grace community, that says you are still saved in unrepentant sin. This false gospel is predicted in the Epistle of Jude, when he reminds us thus:
"3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." Jude 3-7
Notice then that in the ordinary preaching of a good Free Grace preacher, it is standard preaching to say the Gospel preaches GRACE not a DISGRACE of long term unrepentant sin, but neither does it preach that actual SALVATION is earned by avoiding sin, rather it encourages us not
to throw away what Jesus gained for us, and gave us as a free gift, namely eternal life by believing the gospel.
for my Facebook page against the heresies of Paul Washer click this link
CAN A BELIEVER BE LOST?
I dont condemn people who believe the "Once Saved Always Saved" doctrine, as long as they believe in saying "God will always lead them to repentance" as long as that means "free will repentance". It is the antinomianist belief of "OSAS even in unrepentant sin" that I say is heresy. I think the less extreme "once saved always saved" doctrine sounds very over optimistic, however, and I severely doubt it. What I do say is, the bible says people locked into unrepentant serious sin will go to Hell. Whoever that person is, they will be damned. I do not categorically state people who are saved will or will not be damned, but I do say it sounds very over optimistic to say they will all repent, as so many scriptures sound like believers can fall away and be damned. I am happy to occupy such a doctrinal stance, as I do not seek to break fellowship with people who preach repentance and condemn antinomianism.