December 13, 2006

An Open-Ended Commitment

Dear Guests:

John MacArthur wrote,

“Saving faith is a commitment to leave sin and follow Jesus at all costs. Jesus takes no one unwilling to come on those terms.” (The Gospel According to Jesus, p. 87.)
MacArthur requires something of the sinner that the Bible does not.

Lordship Salvation says that decisions for full surrender and discipleship are required to be born again. I know of men who will tell sinners they must be willing to give up everything displeasing to God in order to be saved. What is the point of trying to get a lost person to make that kind of promise? He might as well be told to take the Nazarite vow or fulfill the Law of Moses and be saved. Dr. Ernest Pickering wrote, at the point of a salvation decision, the sinner does “not know what things those are, nor does the personal worker seeking to point them to Jesus know."

Dr. Charles Ryrie wrote:
“The issue is, How can my sins be forgiven? . . . Through faith I receive Him and His forgiveness. Then the sin problem is solved, and I can be fully assured of going to heaven. I do not need to believe in Christ’s second coming in order to be saved. . . . But I do need to believe that He died for my sins and rose triumphant over sin and death. I do not need to settle issues that belong to Christian living in order to be saved.” (So Great Salvation, p. 40.)
Lordship Salvation requires a lost man to make a decision that he has little or no idea as to what it is going to entail. The Lordship advocate does not expect him to know all that the commitment will require of him, but they expect him to make the commitment without which he, in their minds, cannot be saved.
“There are in the Bible several clear examples of believers (about whose right relationship to God there can be no question) who were, nevertheless, not completely or continually committed to the Lord. Such examples would seem to settle the issue clearly by indicating that faith alone is the requirement for eternal life. This is not to say that dedication of life is not expected of believers, but it is to say that it is not one of the conditions for salvation.” (Charles Ryrie, Balancing the Christian Life, p. 170.)