May 20, 2010

Clearing Up Repentance: A Refutation of Lordship Salvation

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

Today I am welcoming back Phillip Evans with a new multi-part series. Phillip is author of
Eternal Security Proved! Excerpts from this article are drawn from his book. For additional articles by Brother Evans see below.

Let’s begin with part one of Clearing Up Repentance: A Refutation of Lordship Salvation.

In the context of a lost person becoming saved, is the object of repentance the same as it is for a saved person?

We know that a born-again Christian should repent (change their minds) in regard to their daily sins, i.e. determine not to do them again. That is, turn from them and seek the path of righteousness ever more diligently.

Lordship Salvation (LS) advocates require the same of the lost person as well, for doesn't Scripture require of the lost person to repent in order to be saved? You've heard the phrases “turn from your sins” and “repent of your sins” in order to be saved. Notwithstanding there is not a single Scripture reference that uses either of these phrases in regards to the salvation of a lost person. While LS advocates give lip service to that fact that eternal life is a free gift, their doctrine is actually a works salvation, for they require the lost to do something that only the saved have the power to do. To try and wiggle out of it, they back-peddle by sometimes stating that a lost person must only be “willing” to turn from their sins. Ironically, a hard-line LS person might call that “easy Believism!” The hardliner would say, “Man, you either turn from your sins or you don’t!”

To help bolster their case, LS advocates point out the examples of King David and Zaccheus. Their reasoning is flawed, for in the example of King David crying out to God for forgiveness in the Psalms, he had already been saved for many years. His repentance and cry to God for forgiveness was familial in nature (a child asking a parent for forgiveness), and not judicial (a condemned criminal asking for a pardon). The familial applies to children of God, the judicial applies to the lost. The ignorance of many in the body of Christ of the concepts of familial and judicial forgiveness is why many see I John 1:9 as a salvation verse for the lost, when in fact the context clearly shows application to the saints.

Even Zaccheus cannot be used to support the LS use of the term “repentance.” The fruit and the root of repentance are not the same thing. The root of Zaccheus' repentance was recognizing his sinful condition, that he could not save himself, and by turning from his own works or religiosity as a remedy, he placed his trust solely in Christ. Now, as a saved man, he produced the fruit from that repentance, namely, the repayment of money to anyone he had previously defrauded.

LS advocates will state that if visible fruit does not exist, then the root doesn’t exist either. However, God sees the heart. Some people do get saved and are content to be non-growing Christians. Some grow, but then fall back into living like the world again. Another name for them is carnal Christians. Evidence for their existence is clear in Scripture.

By denying the existence of truly born-again saints that are carnal, the LS crowd conveniently gives itself great leeway to self-righteously judge those who are not living right, as having never been saved. This is their corrupt fruit that grows from the corrupt root of their false doctrine.

The LS advocate may protest that he is also opposed to self-righteous judgment. However, look at which theological persuasion better accommodates viewing others as lost, based on a subjective judgment that one could make as to the Christian quality of the other person's lifestyle, notwithstanding the lack of ability to see what transpired in their heart at some point in their past. “Lordship Salvation” or Free Grace?

What of the LS individual observing a person claiming to believe in Christ and serving God faithfully for twenty years. The LS advocate would claim in a heartbeat that they are observing a truly saved person. Now when that person falls into sin, and then dies without being recovered back into Christian living, what will the LS individual state then, that the person was never truly saved? Such convenience in order to maintain a theological position! Not to mention arrogance.

Another fruit of this doctrine is the shaking of the faith of weak and immature saints, making it difficult for them to recover, since they now are led to doubt their salvation because they haven’t been “committed” enough.
The LS advocate will ask the question: “Could Zaccheus have truly repented in his heart, and not returned the defrauded money?”

Zaccheus indeed could have sincerely repented in his heart by recognizing his sinful and lost condition, turn from his own way of salvation, and place his trust in Christ alone for mercy. Then, once born-again he could have used what all saints still possess (their free will), and made choices that would lead to his failure to follow through on his promises he made after becoming saved. His repentance as a lost person was to reject what could not save (his own works), reject his unbelief, and accept the only one who can save: Christ. This forever wiped away the judicial penalty of his sins, regardless of what may follow later in his life. Once he was saved, his obedience then allowed the fruit of his repentance to mature, which led to his follow-through on his promise to repay his ill-gotten gain obtained while he was lost.

What about those who truly were saved, but did not allow their repentance to mature to lasting fruit? Does Scripture give any examples? Did not our brother and sister Ananias and Saphira not follow the Lord in holy living after they were saved, witnessed by their shenanigans with their land sale? Their love of money and willingness to lie to the Holy Spirit led to the chastisement of an early grave.

To be continued…

Phil has contributed several articles to IDOTG including:
The Hollow Gospel of the GES

Christ's Resurrection: Part of the Saving Message?

Out on a Limb to Protest Too Much


  1. Lou, if an unbeliever wanted to be a christian but also wanted to keep his idols, would you tell him:

    a) get rid of idols first

    b) get rid of idols after he becomes a christian

  2. James:

    Your question deserves a thorough treatment. Your question will be the subject of an upcoming main page article. Be watching in June for it.

    Kind regards,


  3. James

    An idol is anything that is placed above the person of Christ and the glory of God.

    As I looked at your profile, I found that you had many interests, but none of them were the person of Christ, nor things done for the glory of God. The glory of Star Trek and television were there, but that which should be the preeminent desire of a Christian was noticably lacking.

    What would you tell yourself to do with your all of your idols? What does your theology say that you should have already done with them to be saved?

  4. Hello James, thank you for your question. It's very telling that you brought up the subject of idols. For that is what the heathen place their trust in.

    Did not my article specifically mention that the lost must repent of trust in what cannot save, and thereby embrace what can?

    Why did you not instead mention giving up alcohol first for the drunkard, or kicking out an unmarried lover first from one's home in order to be saved?

    You see, you knew all along the point I was making, that the lost must move their trust from what cannot save, to the only One who can save.

    My point was not at all that one must clean oneself up first in order to obtain God's mercy to be saved. Is that your point also? Or do you disagree with me, and instead hope to convince people that they must clean themselves up first, so that God will give His grace to cleanse them from their sins and give them eternal life?

    Is the salvation you teach a works salvation?

    Don't get me wrong, in my book I specifically talk about an arrogant attitude toward sin, as being antithetical to the necessary humility one must have in order to be saved. But that is not the same as self-justification, or self-cleansing.

    One must come to Christ as they are, with nothing to offer except empty hands and an open heart to receive what He freely gives.


  5. Look Up & Phil:

    Thanks for dealing with James' question. I'm hopeful, but not certain he will follow-up with each of you.

    In any event, in June there will be a feature article on the question and its implications.


  6. Look up and Phil, I asked a very specific question that Phil's article did not address. I do not think either of you answered my question.

    Look up, you tried to divert attention to my profile of things I enjoy. Please answer my specific question if you can and not add rabbit trails.

    Phil, you were able to type out a well thought out post, but you didn't answer my simple question. It was specific on purpose so as to not allow for doubletalk or sidestepping.

    Is the answer a) or b)?

  7. Lou, I look forward to your article. Please work in an answer to my question if you can. Thanks.

  8. James:

    In the upcoming article you can count on on thorough treatment.

    IMHO, the other men did not side-step your question and there was no double-talk. You leave gaping holes for legitimate questions and concerns over the nature of saving faith such as they have raised with you.


  9. Well, James, at this point I think I might answer

    C) You are behaving like James Kine, who like the prophet in Micah 2:11, thinks ale, taverns, Batman and theology are meant to go hand in hand. There are already too many people like that, who either do not have access to, or do not access, the power in the blood to overcome "the sin which so easily entangleth". Go up higher than that!

    Does that work?

  10. You see James, you did not get rid of your idols before you took up a profession of Christ, and having taken up a profession for several years, you still have not yet gotten rid of your idols. To counsel someone to do something, you have to have set the personal example of it being done first, and that example being lacking in your life shows the flaw in your question. You are asking someone to do something you have not yet accomplished, which is just another case of "do as I say, not as I do".

  11. James, I hope this helps you better understand my initial answer to your question.

    If by "get rid of idols first" you mean one must transfer trust from them to trust in Christ, then we agree.


  12. Lou, not to drag this out, but I did not accuse them of doubletalk. I said that I kept my question simple so as to avoid any of it.

  13. Phil, say a person had actual carved idols in his home. Do you believe he could keep them even after coming to Christ?

  14. James

    He should get rid of what he knew to be idols at the time, but would never find perfect fulfullment of the law in his ridding of idols. Many things he retains would still be idols that he cannot yet see, which is why he needs a Saviour who could both perfectly and instantly justify, as well as continue to sanctify.

    I retained many carved idols after I was saved, in one case they were called sports trophies. Then one day, the Lord revealed the trophies I had accumulated were idols, which was something I had not yet considered. So upon being shown it, I got rid of them. The same thing has happened with lots of things, that is why I keep telling you about some of the idols you have retained.

    Neither you nor I will find a perfect righteousness in the casting out of idols on this side of heaven. However, each of us will be convicted of our sin such that it debases us, and puts us in our rightful place (IE Romans 2:22-23).

    Turning FROM idols is not the measure of a Christian, otherwise you have to cast Solomon out of heaven. WHO one turns TO, and for what reason they turn, is how the Christian is to be measured.

    So the question is, where would you draw the line in confirming the salvation of one, who still partakes in idols? Is it the level you have attained? Is it lower, or might it higher?

  15. James, "Look up"'s answer to your question is excellent, imho.

    However, since you addressed me, I'll also answer:

    Yes, but only if it were possible for the believer to commit other sins as well. And if believers still sin, have they truly "repented of their sins" using your definition/application of repentance for the purpose of receiving eternal life?

    I hope you understand that by specifying "carved" idols in your quession, you are not making the concept of idols any more weighty.

    But I suppose you were hoping a visual better helped make your point. In fact, you will find cases in Scripture where Old Testament saints who were truly saved, still kept physical idols.

    You see, it's the heart that matters. If one truly trusted Christ as the only One who can save them, then according to the Gospel they are saved. There sins after that point, whether physical or non-physical idols are under the blood.


  16. Was peeking in, and this discussion has been a good read.

    Why are carved idols viewed as more substantial than non-carved ones? If one understands an idol to be something that competes for Christ's absolute preeminence in our lives then the answer is emphatically and obviously "yes", one can be saved and still have idols in their lives. I'm not aware of a single person this side of heaven who can honestly say they had removed all idols from their lives, graven or otherwise, before coming to Christ... or even afterward.

    I have faith alone in Christ alone for my salvation, but for other stuff in my life I admit it's not nearly as clear cut as I know it should be.

  17. Stephen:

    Appreciate your comments here. I’d like to add.

    And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver,” (Acts 19:17-19).

    They burned their books of magic after their initial salvation, much later, which some commentators suggest was two years later.

    James, a question to you: Had they never been saved in the first place?

    On page 498 of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 9 you will find this,

    News of what happened spread quickly throughout Ephesus. All who heard were overcome by reverential fear and held the name of Jesus in high honor. Negatively, they learned not misuse the name of Jesus or treat it lightly, for it is a powerful name. Positively, many Christians renounced their secret acts of magic and several magicians were converted. Openly demonstrating the change in their lives, they brought their magic scrolls together and burned them in the presence of the gathered congregation.”

    James, because the Ephesians had not “brought their books…and burned them” at the first, had they never been saved in the first place?


  18. Lou-

    I am looking forward to your article on this subject. It is related to one I faced recently concerning whether a lost person who asked whether she must give up a particular sin-which could be called a form of idolatry, though not the same sort as James is addressing-in order to become a Christian. She wanted to be saved but was concerned about the impact becoming a Christian would have on this area of her life. The minister telling the story said he told her that, yes, she must give that up, with no further explanation, essentially making giving it up a requirement for salvation. This engendered some debate among the group I was in at the time. Consequently, I asked several men who are in ministry what they do with such an issue. One pastor, whom I greatly respect, said he had encountered something similar recently concerning a woman who was unsaved but having other personal problems as well. She had been getting counseling from him as well as from a Lordship pastor down the road from him. She was greatly confused because the messages were so totally different. He said his policy when dealing with people in life dominating sins was to inform them that those things are wrong and it is good to give them up, but in order to be saved they needed to trust in Christ crucified. So he dealt with both issues, but did not treat them both as salvation issues. He deals with salvation as salvation and other sin issues as other sin issues. I thought that sounded wise.

    But I am always interested in further enlightenment.

    I realize my comment does not exactly address James' question, as his question frames the issue differently. But I imagine the principle for dealing with one would apply to the other just as well.


  19. Stephen, I think you hit the nail on the head. Well stated!


  20. Jan, perhaps the sin issue of the lost person could be dealt with something like this.

    Basically tell them that their question illuminates the fact that they know it's wrong, but that you aren't going to ask them to give that up now under their own power, and neither will God, as a prerequisite for them to be saved.

    That concerning sin, all that God requires is that they recognize themselves as a sinner whose sins include the one under discussion, and that they know that all sin offends our Holy God. And that they desire forgiveness and cleansing with a humble heart.

    Tell them that after they are saved, they will then have the power of God in their life as they walk with Him, to deal effectively with their sins.


  21. That is a great answer, Phil!!

    Thank you!

    Wow! I wish I had that one on hand during the discussion.

    I love that part about under their own power. That was the point that was niggling in the back of my brain during the discussion, but would not quite come to the front to be put into words, if you know what I mean.

    I think that is the direction my pastor friend was going also. But I like the clarity and succinctness of your answer.


    Now that you've given the perfect answer, I hope Lou is still going to write his article. :)


  22. Jan:

    That article is being written by a special guest contributor. It will post sometime in early June.


  23. Okay I will get even more specific.

    Say a muslim believes in Jesus. He still prays toward Mecca 5 times a day. He gives his money to the local mosque to further muslim interests. He adopts Sharia law as his rule of life. He dresses to identify with muslims. He takes multiple wives as a muslim.

    Is his faith in Jesus legitimate as long as he isn't trusting in his muslim identity to help his standing before God?

  24. James:

    I think everyone gets what you are trying to convey. I think there were some questions directed to you by others above.

    I posted a direct Scripture based question to you right here in this thread. You may have overlooked it.

    I am asking all others to refrain from addressing your latest hypothetical until such time you answer my question to you.

    Everyone here has been very accommodating to you; now IMO it’s your turn.


  25. Lou, I have only asked questions on here. I haven't stated my position on anything. I am seeking clarity as to what exactly is being put forth. If you or Phil could answer this last question, I would be more than glad to engage anything else.

  26. No James:

    This, just as with most blogs, is a two-way street. You have asked essentially the same question more than once. Several here have addressed your question/concern. You will getting a full article reply in June.

    It is now your time and opportunity to answer the question that I put to you above.


  27. Okay Lou I will answer your question. The reason I kept asking my question with more and more preciseness is that I could not get a straight answer. Go back and read what lookup said. He ignored my question the first time, and then offered a third option where there wasn't a third option in my question. Amazing. Then, when Phil thought that lookup offered a good answer, I wondered if Phil understood my question.

    Please understand, preciseness is everything so you don't rush to judge a person's theology without knowing what they believe. Proverbs calls fools those who rush to speak whatever comes to their mind. You can surely understand, appreciate, and desire that of people yes?

    As to your question, which was based on Acts 19:17-19:

    "They burned their books of magic after their initial salvation, much later, which some commentators suggest was two years later."

    I went back and read the whole chapter and this is what I found:

    1. Those who believed disclosed their practices.
    2. Those who believed destroyed their evil books.
    3. It is technically impossible to find something not there, but I did not find anything about their being saved and destroying their books 2 years later. Which verse was that?

    So yes I think they were saved.

  28. James:

    Thanks for the answer. You have agreed that these persons were “saved,” born again.

    The two years is what some commentators deem to have been the time lapse between their salvation (justification) and the event in which they finally came and surrendered their magic arts/books. We can find reliable evidence for this in the Bible.

    For example from Acts 20:31 where we find Paul had been in Ephesus for three years, an extensive period, which Luke summarized into a very concise, abbreviated narrative in Acts. However, the two years lapse is more clear if you had noted the following in Acts 19:10, “And this continued by the space of two years.”

    The point is simply this: prior to becoming Christians they had been involved in shall I say “black” magic arts. Following their conversion and until this event (Acts 19:17-19) they had not made a clean break with this sin. These things had not been surrendered prior to and as a condition for receiving Christ and being born again. Two years elapsed before they came under conviction, confessed and forsook these things. Until then these born again Christians had not been living in submission to the lordship of Christ; were they? They were hanging onto known sin, but they were growing; weren’t they?

    Paul was surely aware of these practices when he first came to Ephesus, it was wide spread and common knowledge that many had been practitioners of these arts. Did he command them to burn the books in exchange for receiving the gift of eternal life? No! Over time they grew in the grace and knowledge of their newly received Savior and in this case, two years after having been born again, surrendered their magical arts to Him for His glory. It is a great example of salvation followed by discipleship, i.e., the growth of a believer.

    There is no way that any lost persons come to Christ, fully surrendered in every area of life to His lordship as the LS advocates insist must be done to receive the gift of eternal life.

    Here is an excerpt from my revised and expanded edition of IDOTG (bold added):

    A lost man does not know what it means to hate his family, to “deny self” and “forsake everything” for Christ. Yet MacArthur insists the willingness to “forsake everything” is required in the “invitation to (for) salvation.”

    A new believer, on the other hand, should but, typically does not immediately forsake all to follow Jesus because he does not know what those things are. Over his lifetime, however, he will learn what those things are as he grows in grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18).

    I trust you found this helpful. In June there will a main page article at my blog to thoroughly address your initial question and its implications for the Gospel.

    Until then...


  29. Lou, your entire point is based on theory and assumption. The scripture text that says something about 2 years is in reference to the previous verses which state:

    Acts 19:8
    And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God.
    Acts 19:9
    But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.
    Acts 19:10a
    And this continued for two years...

    What was the two years in reference to according to the context? Was it

    a) the time some got saved and then destroyed their books further down in the chapter

    b) the time Paul spent teaching in the synagogue and in the school of tyranus

    The context clearly tells us the answer is b.

    Luke goes on to record what the people who got saved did. They destroyed their books. Inserting a 2 year gap into that ignores the context.

  30. Jan and others, consider what Paul said in Phil 3:17-19

    17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.

    So recognize those who walk according to the pattern Paul gave and showed.

    18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, [that they are] the enemies of the cross of Christ:

    There are those who will walk in such a way that it betrays that they are enemies of the cross.

    19 whose end [is] destruction, whose god [is their] belly, and [whose] glory [is] in their shame--who set their mind on earthly things.

    Those who walk in that way are on a sure path to destruction. Their god is their belly, literally their appetite, their glory is in their shame, they also set their mind on earthly things.

    Now, the person who wants to hold onto sin instead of forsaking it to receive salvation is that very person Paul is talking about.

    Jan, the person you are talking about will fit this description perfectly as though Paul was writing it for her.

    If your appetite is for sin, then that is your god and you are NOT trusting in Christ.

    So Phil did not give you a biblical answer and instead gave your words and phrases devoid of scriptural truth.

    Lou, Phil, lookup, and others who might read this, if you tell someone they don't have to worry about sin until after they are saved, then you have failed to communicate the biblical gospel. You are marching people straight into what Paul weeped over.

    If you people want to make idols something you believe in (carved or otherwise), then the Phil 3 passage should shock you into the realization that those who want to remain in sin ARE still believing in an idol, which is their sin.

  31. James

    By using Philippians 3: 17-19 you are assuming that if this person does not forsake her sin in order to receive salvation that she will NEVER forsake her sin. I think you are inserting a great deal of presumption there. Now, for what it's worth, I agree with you that if the person NEVER deals with the sin in his or her life and never shows any evidence of being bothered by its presence, then I would have to call their profession into question. However, I would not say therefore that a hesitance to deal with a particular sin at the time of invitation is a static, unchangeable condition that will never be resolved; nor that until such a time as they are willing to resolve it salvation must be withheld from them. I would not make the mistake of assuming that if I don't see God working in the sinner to deal with a particular sin while they are still dead in trespasses and sins that He will not ever work in them to deal with that sin even though they have become a child of God and a new creature in Him.

    In short, while I can appreciate your concern, I think you go too far in what you are saying.

    I think you should re-read what Phil said. He did bring up that God would deal with the sin in her life, but would not require her to do so on her own, without the indwelling Holy Spirit working in her as a new creature. He did not council the Antinomian doctrine that she can just keep her sin and go her merry way as a Christian since it is all covered under grace. Please be careful not to fall into a false dilemma that sees only two extreme views on this. In fact, Phil said:

    Tell them that after they are saved, they will then have the power of God in their life as they walk with Him, to deal effectively with their sins.

    So his answer does not even disagree with the text you appealed to, since that text deals with how a person walks and he assumes there will be a walk in this potential believer, should she become a believer.

    Lou has said this many times and I will now say it again: the issue in question is what a person must do in order to BECOME a Christian, not what a person who HAS become a Christian should look like. Therefore we are not talking about what a person's walk-long term results-are at the time of salvation/being born again.

    Now if it makes you feel any better, I agree with Charles Ryrie and George Zeller that a person who has become a Christian will evidence that new life in at least some measure. God will make His will known to His child and work in him or her to both will and do His good pleasure. And for as long as he (or she) fights Him on it, he will be miserable. It is God's purpose and predestined end that those whom He has justified will also be conformed to His likeness, and in fact HAVE been glorified, positionally, in Him (Romans 8:30). However, this is BECAUSE OF HAVING BEEN saved and being given a new nature, not IN ORDER TO BECOME saved while still dead in trespasses and sins.

    Philippians 3:17-19 deals with how individuals walk, which clearly implies a measure of time passing. It does not fit the discussion we are having. What we are dealing with here is what is involved in the moment in time when a person goes from dead in trespasses and sins to life in Christ Jesus. Not what the ensuing walk should or will look like as God works Christ's likeness in the one who has believed.


  32. Jan, you did not understand what I said at all. What Paul says in Phil 3 is that their appetite (what they desired) WAS their god. Therefore their faith in Jesus was not legitimate at the start. Paul never said to get saved and then deal with sin. It is precisely because people cannot deal with their sin that they must trust Christ in the first place. I am not saying to clean up first. I am saying that if you think you can continue to spray your mess and love doing it and have Jesus be your maid, you do not understand salvation.

  33. Jan, well stated, and thanks for your accurate defense of my points.

    James, where do I begin? Paul encouraged the brethren to follow his example, because some brethren apparently did not. They had fallen back into sin to the point that they were enemies of the cross. This was the cause for Paul's weeping. It wasn't over the lost for being enemies of the cross, since they are so by nature. Otherwise, Paul would have never had a dry eye, and his point would have not had application for those who were saved, who he was addressing.

    The destruction spoken of here is temporal in regards to this life, and rewards related in regards to eternity. Does this not apply to our brother and sister Ananias and Saphira? They were "destroyed", they had minded earthly things, but they are still saved and in Heaven today.

    By assuming Paul was speaking of the lost you miss the whole boat here, and that clouds your reasoning to the point that you advocate a works salvation when you state:

    "Now, the person who wants to hold onto sin instead of forsaking it to receive salvation is that very person Paul is talking about."

    Your message is basically that a person must clean themself up in order to come to Christ for cleansing. A very odd thing indeed.

    You also wrote:

    "If your appetite is for sin, then that is your god and you are NOT trusting in Christ."

    I still at times have an appetite for sin (what saint still living in this body of death doesn't?), and when I do, that surely does indicate that I'm not trusting Christ for the power to live the Christian life as I should.

    However, no matter what my spiritual temperature is that changes from day to day, one thing never changes. I know that I have trusted Christ for the free gift of eternal life, and that He did save me. That can never be undone.

    And have I ever said anything along the lines that one must not worry about sin until after they are saved? Remember what you wrote concerning rushing to speak whatever comes to mind?

    A lost person must "worry" about sin in the sense that they must recognize that they are sinner, that they have sinned, and that sin is wicked and offends our Holy God. It is because of this that they recognize their need for the forgiveness of sin, and humbly place their trust in Christ to be delivered from the penalty of their sins and freely receive eternal life.

    Have you never read the Scripture that talks about the faith of some becoming shipwrecked? Obviously, a shipwreck does not happen to a ship in dry dock. It happens on the water. So it follows that only a person who has had genuine faith can have that faith shipwrecked, as happened to some saints in Philippians 3 who had become enemies of the cross.

    Salvation occurs at the moment of faith. Unless you doubt the truth of eternal security, you must conclude that those who've had their faith shipwrecked are still saved. Indeed, they are no longer trusting in Christ, they are no longer persevering in the faith, and indeed are denying the faith as long as they live in that condition.

    Does that undo the one moment of genuine faith that they once had, by which they became eternally saved?


  34. Phil, unfortunately you fail to understand Paul's point. The sadness is that such people would even exist. Those who at first appear to be saved but in fact aren't. This is like what Paul said to the ephesian elders in Acts 20. No christian can be called an enemy of the cross. Such a thought is amazing to even consider.

    By the way, building a theology around ananias and his wife explains alot. No where does it say anything about their spiritual condition, no where. Your attempts to reason why this or that happened mean nothing compared to the actual scriptural text. We do not know what they believed in their hearts.

    Truly, I was hoping to engage you on what you believed. You have more than answered my question. I don't feel the need to continue this.

    Lou, thanks for letting me be on here for this discussion. I am done.

  35. James:

    Thanks for participating.

    Be sure to look back from time-to-time in June for the full article I referred to earlier in this thread. The article is being presented by a special guest contributor. I don't have firm date, so you might sign up as a follower to get an alert.

    Kind regards,


  36. James, what would cause a greater sadness for Paul, that hypocrites exist (those who claim to be saved but are not), or that genunine brethren in Christ turn from the truth? I would wager the latter. This fits with Paul exhorting the saints to follow his example. If the people Paul was addressing were lost hypocrites, what would be the point?

    I see you entirely avoided my point concerning shipwrecked faith, which ties in with the situation of the ones that Paul was weeping over. If a genuine saint can have his faith shipwrecked, what is holding back that same saint from becoming an enemy of the cross?

    Concerning Ananias and Saphira, their punishment caused fear to fall upon the Church (the saints). Isn't this consequence of Church discipline exactly what God intended? That this "sin unto death" is something that saints should fear lest they commit a sin similar to what Ananias and Saphira committed? According to I John 5:16, this type of punishment is certainly something that a saint could experience.

    So you see, the possibilty exists that this punishment can happen to a saint, as I've shown from Scripture. And if the saints who witnessed this event in Acts feared, as God intended that they would, it would therefore make no sense to believe anything other than that they were genuinely saved. For you to try and cast doubt upon that fact makes no sense at all, for you know from Scripture that saints can be punished by God with physical death. At least you were not dogmatic that Ananias and Saphira were lost. Does that mean you are open to the possibilty that they were saved?

    It should be obvious to you that that God would not use the punishment of a lost couple in this manner as if to imply they were saved but carnal (for God does not lie), in order to prove He can discipline carnal saints in this manner. Note, saints punished in this manner cannot be said to have endured to the end, nor could it be said that they "persevered" to the end(see 5th point of Calvinism).

    The only logical conclusion therefore, is that Ananias and Saphira were indeed saved.


  37. James,

    I see what you are saying. I did not miss your point at all. You are trying to make the point that because there was no fruit now, after a long period of time, that they were never saved to begin with. However, while I will not disagree with you that this is what Paul was saying, I am taking you to task for implying that there needed to be this fruit at the beginning in order for them to have become saved. This is why I pointed out that this passage pertains to a person's walk, which takes place over an extended period of time. What I said, and I said it quite clearly though you do not want to incorporate it, is that we see a difference between what a person must do to become saved and how a person is exhorted to walk once they have been saved. I also said quite clearly (speaking for myself) that I agree that a saved person is going to have fruit in his life. He has a new nature. That nature produces fruit just as the old nature produces fruit. There will be fruit in a saved person. However, you are requiring evidence of that nature prior to the exercise of saving faith in receiving and trusting Christ crucified.

    Do you hold that regeneration precedes salvation? Because you are treating the unsaved (unregenerate) person just the same as you do the saved (regenerate) person. And for that reason there is no point saying you are not requiring a person to clean up their act first. You are requiring the unsaved person to first forsake their sin-just as they would (sooner or later) do if in fact they had been saved already and had already been given a new nature-in order to become saved. By doing so you are make proof of salvation a requirement for salvation.

    It is not that I don't see what you are saying. Rather, I find your conclusions to be faulty and presumptuous. That you could take issue with Phil's first reply to me just shows me that you do not recognize anything as legitimate salvation except dealing with sin by forsaking it prior to salvation in order to receive salvation. What I find fair and balanced you take issue with. What I don't understand is how you could do that or how you could say you are not requiring a person to clean up their act in order to receive salvation. Why would I interpret your comments any other way?

    Though I did say there will be fruit in a saved person you are not satisfied. You want the fruit up front. You said that the fact that these people's god is their stomach proves they were never saved. Well, I agreed with you when I said that a saved person will have fruit sooner or later. But since you felt a need to respond as you did I can only understand that you are not satisfied with a later yield. If you are not satisfied with a later yield, then when must they produce the fruit but right away? And since the subject here from the beginning has been what a person must do to become saved, that would put this fruit not only at the beginning of their walk, but even prior to it. Yet you do not see this as requiring them to clean up their act first? Perhaps if I don't seem to understand you it is because I do not see only two options as you appear to.


  38. To All:

    On June 23 a person who used the handle “JAMES” posted a negative review of my book at Amazon. I am of the opinion that this was none other than James Kime who has posted in this thread.

    At Amazon I posted a comment under his review offering him a full refund if he will send to me proof he purchased my book. Based on the way in which he wrote the review I believe he never read my book. Instead because he did not get his way here at this blog, which he noted that he had been reading and obviously did post at, he submitted a review that is in fact an uninformed, misguided statement born out of bitterness, not on any facts he might have ascertained had he actually done the reading.

    This is an example of the all to common personal rancor and vitriol that often typifies the advocates of Lordship Salvation.

    My challenge to James is open for him to prove he read the book and if he provides me with that proof I will refund to him the full purchase price. Until then I will stand by my contention that he is a dishonest man, with a bitter attitude and has sinned by posting a review of a book he never read.

    The shame and dishonest sinful act, which I believe he committed is his own until he repents of it or proves he bought and read my book prior to posting the review on June 23. If he provides proof that he read the book I will retract this statement and apologize for misjudging him. Until then this stands.