Refuting Pastor Charles Lawson On Repentance

by David J. Stewart | November 2016

Galatians 3:2, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

       One of the most interesting preachers I've heard is Pastor Charles Lawson of the Temple Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. Unfortunately, I learned recently that he teaches a false view of repentance. I love the man, sincerely. He exposes the New World Order, which is rare for any pastor. I admire Dr. Lawson for preaching about unpopular topics that the average preacher wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole; such as, the 9/11 attacks, occultism, the Illuminati, satanic rituals, Lucifer and other controversial truths. I agree with Pastor Lawson that today's churches are dead. The Church Today Is In Complete Denial and Rebellion Against The Truth Of God (by Dr. Lawson).
 

The Raging Debate Over What it Means to “Repent”

Unfortunately, as I listen to more sermons by pastor Lawson, I am frustrated and disturbed by his wrong teaching on repentance. I apologize to all my web visitors for not noticing this earlier about Pastor Lawson. Dr. Hyles is so right that heresy is creeping into our fundamental Baptist churches by the hour!  Dr. Lawson is wrong on repentance and I fear is not saved. It hurts me to say that, but his own words condemn him:

“The Bible colleges around the country will stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and give an account for removing repentance from salvation and conversion. How can you be saved if you're not willing to repent. Salvation is not believing a bunch of stuff about Christ. You can change your mind what you believe about Him. And where you said before, 'I don't believe all this,' now you say, 'I believe all this.' Does that make you born again? 'For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.'

But you see, you can get a lot of people into church with easy-believism... “1-2-3 believe after me!” You prayed the sinner's prayer. You can fill up the congregation, and then you can go brag to the brethren about what a great job God's doing through you. Of course all that 'great job what God's doing through you' is meaningless. What they really mean to say is: 'Look how wonderful I am!' That's the idea. But they took repentance out.”

SOURCE: True Repentance - https://youtu.be/kb26H6cRxyw?t=23m15s - Dr. Lawson.

Kindly, Dr. Lawson is placing the burden of character transformation upon the sinner, instead of upon the Holy Spirit Who comes in to indwell the believer at the time of salvation. Dr. Lawson is errant in his view of repentance. America's Baptist churches are divided right down the middle on the meaning of repentance. Ultimately, you the reader must decide who is correct, Dr. Lawson or what I am telling you. I ask you to let the inspired Words of God be your only guide. I'm going to prove my position with the Holy Scriptures. Please read my exegesis in this article. Our only deciding factor on any matter of faith ought to be the inspired Words of God in the King James Bible.

Notice in the preceding quote that Dr. Lawson says, “How can you be saved if you're not willing to repent?” In other words, he is saying that you cannot be saved unless you are willing to turn from your sins. That is exactly what he is teaching, as evidenced by his numerous quotes, which I'll share with you in the rest of my article. Pastor Lawson teaches that if you place your trust in Christ's death on the cross, burial and bodily resurrection (i.e., the Gospel) for salvation, it means nothing unless you have had such a drastic transformation in your heart toward sin that it changes your life permanently. He understands this to be repentance. This is qualification by works for salvation. Dr. Lawson attributes the changes in a believer's life to repentance, when the Bible teaches “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” It is the indwelling Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9) that produces the “fruit” of righteousness in a believer's life, and not a drastic change of heart misunderstood to be repentance. The goal of true repentance is to believe the Gospel. The goal of false repentance is to live a changed life.
 

Dr. Lawson Errantly Says Repentance Means Far More Than a 'Change of Mind'

Dr. Lawson errantly teaches that Biblical “repentance” means “far more than simply a 'change of mind'.” ...

“You've heard it defined, repentance, Bible 'repentance' as simply meaning 'a change of mind.' See, 'a change of mind.' They limit it to mean that—a change of mind, you've changed your mind. Bible repentance is far more than simply 'a change of mind.'”

SOURCE: Repentance (by Pastor Charles Lawson)

No, repentance means “a change of mind,” and that's all it means. Dr. Lawson is very wrong to say that repentance is “far more than simply 'a change of mind.'” If that be true, then being saved requires far more than simply believing the Gospel. Let me say again that if: IF REPENTANCE MEANS FAR MORE THAN “A CHANGE OF MIND,” THAN BEING SAVED REQUIRES FAR MORE THAN SIMPLY BELIEVING THE GOSPEL. I do not believe this is Scriptural. Repeatedly we are taught in the Scriptures that the way to be saved is simply to BELIEVE. For example: 1st Corinthians 1:21, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” Notice that there is no mention of “repentance.” This does not mean repentance is not necessary for salvation; but rather, it simply means that repentance is a change of mind unto believing the Gospel itself. In other words, the man who believes has repented. Repentance and belief are inseparable. They are two different parts of one act. In other words, we repent TO believe, we don't repent AND believe.

The only requirement to be saved is to admit that you are a guilty sinner in the eyes of a holy God, otherwise why would you need a Savior? This is the main purpose of God's law, that is, to be used as a measuring stick to show men their sinfulness and need for the dear Savior. Galatians 3:24-26, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” When God's law reveals your sinful failures, and you admit that you are indeed a guilty sinner, and you change your mind toward sin, Christ and the Gospel, that is repentance.


John 3:19-21 Helps Us Understand Repentance

We learn in John 3:19-21 that humans by nature love darkness rather than light. The Bible doesn't say that they love darkness instead of light. The word “rather” is the Greek word mallon, which means, “more (in a greater degree). Hence, the Bible says men love darkness more than light. We are all sinners by nature and by choice (Romans 3:19-23). We are ALL sinners! Darkness hides things, but light reveals them! The best way to expose the darkness is to shine the light! Men who do evil don't want their works of darkness brought to light. That is why secret societies exist, to hide evil. Satan operates by deception, masquerading as an angel of light, to trick people, because he is nefarious and evil (2nd Corinthians 11:13-15; Ephesians 5:11).

We learn in the Scriptures that mankind by nature avoids the light, refusing to come to Jesus Christ, lest his deeds should be reproved (to speak against):

John 3:16-21, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”

Notice in John 3:21 that the Bible says, “he that doeth truth,” not “he that doeth works.” In order to be saved, a person needs to admit the truth that they are an unholy sinner in the eyes of a holy God. Notice the next verse:

2nd Timothy 2:24-26, “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

God told the apostle Paul that He was sending him to the Gentiles...

Acts 26:18, “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”

Repentance begins the moment we believe on Jesus Christ, and continues for a lifetime. Repentance is simply to “change your mind about sin, and Christ, and all the great things of God,” as Spurgeon says. This is not a decision to cease from sinful bad habits, nor is it forsaking the world, nor is it surrendering “all” to Christ, et cetera. A man may do all of these things and never be saved at all. These things are not the Gospel. Notice in the following quote what Spurgeon says about salvation—BUT THE MAIN POINT IS THE TURNING OF THE HEART FROM SIN TO CHRIST!!! You are not saved by repenting, you are saved by putting your faith in Jesus! But in so doing, by turning to Christ by faith, you of necessity had to turn away from something (whatever it was that had hindered you from coming to Christ)...

“Remember that the man who truly repents is never satisfied with his own repentance. We can no more repent perfectly than we can live perfectly. However pure our tears, there will always be some dirt in them: there will be something to be repented of even in our best repentance. But listen! To repent is to change your mind about sin, and Christ, and all the great things of God. There is sorrow implied in this; but the main point is the turning of the heart from sin to Christ. If there be this turning, you have the essence of true repentance, even though no alarm and no despair should ever have cast their shadow upon your mind.” [emphasis added]

SOURCE: “The Moody Colportage Association’s (known as Moody Press, and now as Moody Publishers) first and all-time best-selling book is Spurgeon’s "All Of Grace";  Chapter 13 - Repentance Must Go With Forgiveness

There are three groups of people in this repentance battle today: 1) Those who have repentance right (saved); 2) Those who have repentance wrong (unsaved); 3) Those caught between grace and works in the middle (saved, but confused). Evangelist Paul Washer outright requires works for salvation, so he cannot be saved.

Pastor Charles Lawson (a preacher whom I like listening to) seems to be caught between grace and works. When we personally receive Christ's sacrifice upon the cross as full-payment for our sins, believing that He was buried and bodily raised up three days later, we are saved! Repentance is necessary for salvation, for without it no man would ever come to the Lord to be saved. But repentance is not ceasing from sinful bad habits, nor forsaking the world, nor promising to do better nor to reform in the future. Repentance is changing one's mind about our sins, and Christ, so that we'll see our self as a guilty sinner in the sight of a holy God, and thus, believe the Gospel to be saved. If repentance were to mean anything more than this, then salvation couldn't be a gift.


Dr. Lawson Falsely Accuses Great Soul-Winners of Leaving Off Repentance

Pastor Charles Lawson is deceitful to allege that proponents of an easy-believism Gospel don't believe in repentance. Well, I believe in easy-believism and I absolutely DO teach repentance. Dr. Lawson is critical of Dr. Jack Hyles, practically mentioning his name (he does quote Brother Hyles), criticizing Brother Hyles for teaching easy-believism. May I say, to make salvation difficult is “another Gospel.” Pastor Lawson is preaching “ANOTHER GOSPEL,” requiring a drastic transformation of heart to be saved. The only degree of change that God requires to be saved is just enough of a change of mind TO BELIEVE THE GOSPEL!!!

See here how Dr. Lawson is sneaky, making it look like Dr. Jack Hyles, Curtis Hutson, Dr. Bob Gray Sr., Hank Lindstrom, myself and others who teach easy-believism don't believe in repentance as part of the Gospel. That is a misrepresentation. Dr. Jack Hyles very much DID believe and teach the necessity of repentance for salvation, evidenced by his MP3 sermon, “The Goodness Of God Leadeth To Repentance.” The truth is that Dr. Hyles had a correct Biblical view of repentance, but Dr. Lawson doesn't. I am not trying to be unkind, but it is obvious that Dr. Charles Lawson doesn't know anything about Pastor Jack Hyles. I sat under Dr. Hyles' Spirit-filled ministry, and partook of it gladly, for 8 years while attending Hyles-Anderson College. We were taught never to lead anybody to the Lord without making sure they understood they are a sinner. Dr. Hyles preached against false conversions in the church, in his MP3 sermon titled, “Tares In The Church.” Anyone who accuses Brother Hyles and First Baptist Church of Hammond and Hyles-Anderson College of leaving off repentance doesn't know what they are talking about!!!

I'll give you several explanations of repentance by various men of God later in this article to help you settle this matter in your own mind if you have questions about repentance. It is a worthy fight. Jude 1:3 commands believers to contend for the faith. Dr. Lawson errantly states that repentance is far more than a change of mind unto the Gospel:

“If repentance is not part of the Gospel, why did the Jews say, 'That God hath now to the Gentiles granted repentance?' If repentance is not part of the Gospel, then you're just believing some facts, and nothing goes on inside you to change who you are. The change is when you've received it into your heart and acted upon it. And once you received it into your heart and act upon it, a profound change is going to take place. Your attitude towards sin is going to change. Your attitude towards your self's going to change. Your attitude towards the world is going to change. You're going to change. That is repentance, not just changing your mind.”

SOURCE: True Repentance - https://youtu.be/kb26H6cRxyw?t=41m10s - Dr. Lawson

Who ever said that repentance is part of the Gospel? My friend, REPENTANCE IS NOT PART OF THE GOSPEL, otherwise the apostle Paul would have included it in 1st Corinthians 15:1-6. Repentance is why we believe the Gospel, but it is not part of the Good News. Is it “Good News” that you and I are big sinners? I think not! The Good News (i.e., Gospel) is that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for our sins, and was buried, but triumphantly arose so that He can save those who believe. How could Christ save us if He were dead and hadn't risen? How could He become our heavenly High Priest if He hadn't risen? Amen! We serve a risen Christ!!!

I don't know anyone who teaches easy-believism who doesn't believe in repentance. It's just that we view repentance as a person seeing their sinnership and need to be saved. Whereas Dr. Lawson sees repentance as a drastic change of attitude that will produce a changed life. In actuality, Dr. Lawson is defining and pushing repentance as reformation. This is a false Gospel. Remember, Dr. Lawson criticizes “easy-believism.” May I ask then, what makes believing a “hard” thing to do in Dr. Lawson's plan of salvation? It becomes “hard” when you place unbiblical demands upon a sinner to turn away from their sinful bad habits and surrender all to Jesus as “Lord.” This is satanic garbage, not the simple Gospel.

Regarding the preceding quote from Dr. Lawson, these are dangerous teachings in the church. There is no Scriptural basis for Dr. Lawson's embellishment of the meaning of the word “repent.” To “embellish” means “to add.” Dr. Lawson is adding a bunch of theological garbage to the true Biblical meaning of repentance, which is simply “a change of mind.” Obviously, since we don't know what to change our mind about, supplemental information is required. This is why God intentionally used the Greek word “metanoia.” It's an open-ended word, all-inclusive, including anything and everything that hinders a person from coming to the dear Savior to be saved. But repentance is not a drastic change of mind and heart toward one's sins and the world, which results in a changed life. That is the Roman Catholic meaning. We can determine what the change of mind refers to simply by finding out what the purpose of repentance is, that is, to facilitate believing the Gospel. The purpose of repentance is not to live a holy life. This is the junk theology that Lordship Salvationists are teaching today. The purpose of repentance is to believe the Gospel.

Folks, we are saved by believing the Gospel. It is a gift. It is a free God from God. Kindly, Dr. Lawson is caught between grace and works. In his entire sermon on “Repentance,” and his sermon on “What Must I Do To Be Saved?,” I didn't hear him mention the fact that forgiveness of sins and eternal life are a “gift” from God (Romans 5:15, 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9). That word “gift” is often left off by pastors who are wrong on repentance. I think that speaks volumes! It's not too hard to understand why they fail to mention the gift of God. It is because it's difficult to speak about something being a “gift,” while at the same time trying to convince people that to receive it they must have deep sorrow for their sins, a desire to change, a willingness to reform, full surrender to Christ, turn from their sins, follow Jesus, et cetera.

Pastor Lawson humbly admits that he has difficulty defining what repentance is...

“So what is it? It's hard to define what repentance is.”

SOURCE: Repentance - https://youtu.be/0o60CCxYFg0?t=17m6s - Dr. Lawson

Repentance concerning salvation is the Greek noun “metanoia,” which means, “a change of mind.” The verb form is the Greek word, “metanoeo,” which means “to think differently.” Dr. Lawson is wrong to teach that “repentance is far more than simply 'a change of mind.'” The truth is that repentance DOESN'T mean far more than a change of mind! What Biblical basis does Dr. Lawson provide for saying that the Greek meaning of metanoia means something far more than what it actually does? Please read: The Great Meaning Of The Word “METANOIA”!
 

My Own Salvation Testimony at Age 13

My own salvation testimony helps me to understand repentance. I was 13 years old. I remember where I was sitting that Sunday morning in a Baptist church. All I remember that preacher saying is that if you don't have the Holy Spirit convicting you when you sin, you're not saved. I knew I wasn't saved. At invitation time, I was too shy to walk down an isle. So in my pew, standing there clutching the back of the pew in front of me, with a red face and a convicted heart that I was a lost sinner, I called out by faith in my heart and believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ. I was saved that moment. In hindsight, thinking back, before the moment that I was saved my mind is blank concerning the things of God. There is no knowledge or awareness of God prior to that moment that I was saved. Ah, but the precious presence of the Holy Spirit has been with me ever since that day, because He lives within me as a child of God (Romans 8:9; 1st Corinthians 3:16-17; 1st John 3:24).

Now, when I was saved, the word “repent” didn't even enter into the picture. I didn't know what the word meant. All I knew is that I was a sinner and Jesus Christ had died on the cross for my sins, was buried, and resurrected from the dead the third day. I placed my trust in the Gospel. From my heart, I cried out to the risen Christ to save me, and He did! Did I repent? Yes, of course, which I why I wanted to be saved. Corrupt preachers today are making much to do about repentance, and not enough about believing the Gospel. Let the Bible be your guide. The New Testament mentions “believe” 241 times, but the word “repent” is only mentioned 60 times.

In hundreds of Scripture passages we are told simply to BELIEVE, without any mention of repenting. This is because in the act of believing, repentance takes care of itself. If you understand that you are a guilty sinner in the eyes of a holy God, and deserve to be punished for your sins, and have changed your mind toward sin, Christ and the Gospel, then repentance has done its work and has brought you to Christ to be saved (Galatians 3:24-26; Romans 10:3-4). To say that repentance of itself produces even the slightest change in a person's behavior is a false Gospel that robs Christ of the transforming power that only He can give (Galatians 2:20).

I recall when I was 7 years old, in a Sunday school class, that our teacher asked, “Who would like to be saved?” I raised my hand. She asked us to repeat a prayer after her. I said the prayer. She then said that we were saved and going to Heaven. I was still as lost as the Devil. I didn't believe in my heart. It's not that I didn't want to believe, I just didn't grasp what was required of me. She had wrongly presented how to be saved. No doubt her pastor had taught her to lead people in a “1-2-3 pray after me” routine. I really hate that “1-2-3 prayerism” routine myself. It confuses people from the true Gospel. Please don't misunderstand, I believe in easy-believism. You can be saved in an instant by simply admitting you're a sinner and believing the Gospel, which is how the 3,000 souls were saved in one day on the Day of Pentecost. But teaching people to pray a prayer to be saved often obscures the clarity of the Gospel. Do you know what “the Gospel” is? Please read the excellent book by Pastor Harry Ironside (1876-1951) titled, “What Is The Gospel?

“There is power in this Gospel message. Most people just don't know how to present it... The clarity of the Gospel is what makes it easy for them to believe.” —Pastor Yankee Arnold, a quote from the excellent MP3 sermon titled, “WHY GRACE CAN SAVE THE WORST MAN!

Evangelist Alexander Marshall Has Repentance 100% Correct

One of my favorite quotes is from Evangelist Alexander Marshall (1846-1928), who correctly taught the Biblical meaning of repentance unto salvation as “a change of mind.” In his book he answers the questions of skeptics, such as:

“I HAVE NOT REPENTED ENOUGH”

What do you mean? “I am not sorry enough for my sins.”

And if you were very sorry, would God be more willing to save you than He is now? “I think so.”

Then you are completely mistaken.

“But does it not say, unless we repent we shall perish?”

Yes; but what do you think is the Scriptural significance of “repentance”? If you say “sorrow for sin” you are wrong. It does not mean sorrow for sin: it means a CHANGE OF MIND (Matt. 21:29). This change will doubtless produce sorrow; but sorrow and repentance are two very different things (Heb. 12:17. margin, and II Cor. 7:9). When God calls on you to “repent, and believe the Gospel,” He wishes you to lay aside your wrong thoughts, and believe the glad tidings that He proclaims to you. Formerly you may have imagined that you were required to feel very sorry before being saved. Change your mind. You may have supposed you must first “feel” some great change in order to know you were saved. Change your mind. First believe in God's great love to you, as revealed in His gospel, and you will KNOW that you have eternal life (John 5:24).

SOURCE: The Horrible Misrepresentation of Evangelist Alexander Marshall

Yes, that is excellent. Brother Marshall is 100% correct! Don't miss it! Biblical “repentance” is the Greek noun, metanoia, which means, “a change of mind.” Or in the beautiful words of Alexander Marshall, God wishes for us “TO LAY ASIDE YOUR WRONG THOUGHTS, AND BELIEVE THE GLAD TIDINGS THAT HE PROCLAIMS TO YOU.” Boy that's good stuff! This is true repentance unto salvation, which is a change of mind unto the Gospel itself. Again, for a wonderful explanation of Biblical repentance, please read “THE GREAT MEANING OF 'METANOIA.'” Amen!

Repentance means, “TO LAY ASIDE YOUR WRONG THOUGHTS, AND BELIEVE THE GLAD TIDINGS (GOSPEL) THAT HE PROCLAIMS TO YOU.” Dr. Lawson wrongly understands repentance to mean “remorse, sorrow for past sins, turning away from sin.” This is the modern definition found in an English dictionary, but it is NOT the Greek Biblical meaning. The English dictionary has been influenced by the apostate Roman Catholic church. Sadly, many Baptist churches are no better than Seventh-day Adventists, teaching a false repentance. Pastor John MacArthur teaches virtually the same false repentance as does SDA prophetess Ellen G. White. Have you believed a lie? Please read Dr. Curtis Hutson correctly explain repentance.


Dr. Lawson Wrongly Criticizes the Simplicity That is in Christ!

Dr. Lawson refutes Dr. Jack Hyles' position on repentance from unbelief to be saved. Without mentioning Dr. Hyles' name, but clearly identified him by the quote he gives, he accuses Brother Hyles of teaching “1-2-3 quick prayerism.” Dr. Lawson sarcastically calls Brother Hyles, “the granddaddy of 'em all.” In the preceding weblink, Dr. Lawson critically quotes from Dr. Hyles' doctrinally correct book titled, “Lordship Salvation: An Enemy Of Soul Winning.” Dr. Hyles is correct on repentance; Dr. Lawson is incorrect. Dr. Lawson is caught between grace and works. For some excellent MP3 sermons on the subject, please listen to: “Caught Between Grace And Works” by Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold and “How Permanent Is Your Salvation?” by Pastor Hank Lindstrom (1940-2008). Thank God for these doctrinally sound men!

Dr. Jack Hyles 100% correctly and Biblically states concerning repentance...

“Repentance is not some little silly, 'I'm sorry.' Repentance is not simply a fear of God. Repentance is not a monk fasting and afflicting his body in a monastery. Repentance is not remorse because of sin's consequences. Repentance is not penance performed before the pope as you kiss his toe... Repentance is not being sorry for what I've done wrong. It is not confessing one's sins to a priest. It is not just conviction of sin. It is not the signing of a pledge of abstinence. Repentance is that thing when you come before God and see yourself as you are, and see Him as he is, and say with Isaiah 'Woe is me, for I am unclean!'” —Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001), a quote from the timeless MP3 sermon, THE GOODNESS OF GOD LEADETH TO REPENTANCE!

Dr. Lawson might as well have given the name of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana; or the Longview Baptist Temple in Longview, Texas; when he uttered the followed foolish critic of soul-winning churches that preach “the simplicity that is in Christ” (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4)...

“Some of the most horrible damage has been done, especially to the Baptist church, by these big churches that have these soul-winning, '1-2-3 believe-after-me quick prayerisms.' To where they say you've prayed the sinner's prayer, you're OK now. You hear people on TV all the time saying, 'You pray this prayer, that makes you saved. Have you ever heard anybody say that? 'That makes you saved.' Friend, you don't need somebody to tell you that you're saved!”

SOURCE: What Must I Do To Be Saved? - https://youtu.be/EDOeS0fNIJc?t=33m7s - Dr. Lawson

Like it or not, Acts 2:41 teaches that 3,000 people were saved in ONE DAY, simply by gladly receiving (believing) the Gospel. According to Pastor Lawson, these 3,000 souls were all “1-2-3 believe-after-me quick prayerisms.” Friend, those 3,000 souls didn't even prayer a sinner's prayer, they simply BELIEVED. No soul-winner dealt with them personally, they simply BELIEVED. Since the Bible mentions that 3,000 souls were saved, there must have been a counting of the hands. Likely, the count was done while they were receiving believer's water baptism, as a public profession of their new faith in the Glad Tidings (Gospel) of the Lord Jesus Christ. If numbers were not important to the apostles, then they wouldn't have counted the converts. If numbers didn't matter to God, then He wouldn't have mentioned that 3,000 souls were saved in the Holy Bible. God cares about numbers, Amen, because each number represents the soul of a human being!!!

Now, I do refute the idea that a person can be saved by merely praying. That is not the Gospel! Please read my article, The Heresy Of Having To “Pray” To Be Saved. I've heard Evangelist Paul Washer critique soul-winners for “turning the Gospel into a flu-shot.”  I've heard Evangelist Ray Comfort critique soul-winners for preaching “quick fix evangelism” and “easy-believism.” And now we hear Pastor Charles Lawson critiquing soul-winners for using “1-2-3 quick prayerism” to lead people to Christ. If you are naive you could easily be misled by such criticisms. They sound good. They seem like legitimate complaints. But truthfully, they are very misleading, because the Bible teaches that we are saved by “the simplicity that is in Christ,” which is simply to believe the Gospel.

Anyone who downplays believing the Gospel to be saved, sarcastically calling it “easy-believism,” is teaching “ANOTHER GOSPEL” (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4). Getting saved is simple, free and easy. It is a gift. That's right. Forgiveness of sins and eternal life are gifts to the recipient. Respectfully, one key word that Pastor Lawson never uses, not even one time throughout his video on “REPENTANCE,” is the word “gift.” Also, I didn't hear him mention anything about the “imputed righteousness” of God, by which we are saved (Romans 4:5-6; Philippians 3:9). God is so good!

Furthermore, Jesus doesn't forgive sin. Yes, that is correct! Jesus has already paid for our sins with His precious blood. Thus, eternal life and forgiveness of sins are gifts. They are already paid for in full. So we don't have to ask Jesus to save us, we simply need to BELIEVE upon Him to receive those gifts. We do need to BELIEVE to be saved. Although Christ died and shed His blood to pay for the sins of ALL MEN, no one can be saved apart from personal acceptance of the Gospel. Repeatedly, we are told in the Scriptures to simply BELIEVE to be saved. 1st Corinthians 1:21, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” We are not saved by repenting, we are saved by placing our trust in Jesus Christ! You Are Not Saved By Repenting, You Are Saved By Your Faith In Jesus Christ (Pastor Danny Castle).
 

Being Born Again is a One Time Miraculous Event

May I say, salvation is a one-time event. It is a miracle wrought by God in response to a man's faith in Jesus Christ (John 1:12-13). Beware of anyone who teaches the new birth as an ongoing process. Now, once a man is born again, the process of being salvaged will last a lifetime. Dr. Jack Hyles (1926-2001) has authored an excellent book on the subject titled, “Salvation Is More Than Being Saved.” We are born again immediately by our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (salvation), but becoming Christlike takes a lifetime (discipleship). I recently heard a horrible “Unshackled” episode, where the narrator said you couldn't just trust Christ as your Savior and write your name, date and place in the back of your Bible. He said that a person must seek Christ on a daily basis and turn away from the sinful world to be saved. Friend, that is satanic as can be, leading victims into the fires of Hell. To make the matter very simple to understand, you need to understand that it is a matter of SALVATION verses DISCIPLESHIP. The two are entirely separate things. When you combine the two, you're got disaster and a false plan of salvation. Dr. Jack Hyles does a wonderful job teaching this truth in his MP3 sermon, “Steps In Sanctification; Or, The Root Of All Heresy!” (or, the saved, crucified, resurrected and ascended life). It is truly a precious sermon that will clear up much confusion concerning the ongoing debate on repentance.

Just as the physical birth is a one-time happening, so also is the new birth by the Holy Spirit of God a one-time happening (John 1:12-14). The apostle James said that a believer's faith is dead without works (James 2:18-21). James was speaking about being justified in the eyes of man, not God. The apostle Paul plainly taught in Romans 4:5-6 that a believer is justified in God's sight BY FAITH. Romans 4:5 declares that A MAN'S FAITH IS COUNTED (IMPUTED) FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS!!! Albeit, in the eyes of other men, a believer's faith can only be validated by their good works.
 

Ellen G. White's Heresy On “Growing Up Into Christ” For Salvation

Whether Dr. Lawson realizes it or not, he is in agreement with Seventh-day Adventist false prophetess Ellen G. White. SDA's don't recognize being “born-again” as a new birth by the Holy Spirit of God into God's family; but rather, a change of heart. This is merely religion, and not the new birth in Christ Jesus. In her heretical book titled, “STEPS TO CHRIST,” false prophetess Ellen G. White errantly states. ...

“The change of heart by which we become children of God is in the Bible spoken of as birth. SOURCE: Ellen G. White; Book: Steps To Christ; Chapter: Growing Up Into Christ, pg. 67.

My friend, that is a lie of the Devil. Being “born-again” does not mean having “a change of heart.” In Matthew 27:3 we read that Judas Iscariot “repented” (i.e., had a change of heart, felt remorse), which compelled him to return the 30 pieces of silver by which he betrayed the only begotten Son of God. When the Pharisees refused the blood money, Judas cast the coins onto the floor and ran away. Judas then went and hung himself, committing suicide. This was one of Jesus' very Apostles. It is so sad and tragic indeed! My point is that Judas had a change of heart, but that didn't make him saved.

So what does it mean to be born-again? It means that a person is born into God's family. If you are not saved, then God is not your Father. If you are an unbeliever, or a false believer, God is your Creator but not your Father. When you become a born-again Christian by believing the Gospel, you immediately become a child of God. Once you get saved, you are a permanent member of the heavenly family, and you can never be disowned for any reason.
 

Believers Don't Have God's Permission to Willfully Sin, But They Are Safely Saved

Romans 3:31, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”

When a believer sins, then FALL IN GRACE, they do not FALL FROM GRACE! Amen! Every believer trusts in what Christ did on the cross to pay for their sins. They are trusting the risen Christ, in Whom they solely rest for forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Yet, many believers are living in habitual sin, shacking up out of wedlock, getting drunk, cursing, telling dirty jokes, dishonest in their business dealings and have a horrible Christian testimony. We see this truth evidenced in the Holy Scriptures in the lives of numerous saints; such as, Noah, Lot, Jacob, Samson, Rahab, David, Solomon, Ananias and Sapphira, Simon (the former sorcerer), Demas, Peter, the carnal church at Corinth, et cetera. Were these people not saved? They were saved! They had their personal reasons for not doing good works AFTER Salvation! They will lose rewards in Heaven (1st Corinthians 3:15). They will face the “TERROR OF THE LORD” at the Judgment Seat of Christ for not witnessing to others with the Gospel (2nd Corinthians 5:10-11). Yet, they are saved if their faith was placed in the dear Savior.

Contrary to what some errant Baptist preachers teach, believers will be “judged,” which is why it is called the JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST! Romans 14:10-12 teaches that every man will “give account” unto God. Ecclesiastes 12:14 teaches that every work shall be brought into JUDGMENT, whether it be good or evil. The difference is HOW we will all be judged. The unsaved will be judged and sent to the Lake of Fire. John 3:18 says that the unsaved are already condemned. Also, John 3:36 warns that God's wrath abides upon all Christ-rejecters! But we who are saved are not condemned (John 3:18; 3:36; Romans 8:1). Every believer's sins have been washed away by the precious blood of Jesus...

1st Corinthians 6:9-11, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

Praise God, a sinner can simply place their trust in Christ's death on the cross, burial and bodily resurrection and be saved permanently and securely, and KNOW that they are saved, regardless of how they choose to live their life. Salvation is entirely different than discipleship, which is why there are two separate judgments: The Judgment Seat of Christ for the saved (2nd Corinthians 5:9-11); and The Great White Throne of Judgment for the unsaved (Revelation 20:11-15).
 

Repentance Means to Lay Aside Your Wrong Thoughts to Believe the Gospel

Pastor Bob Gray Sr. at the Longview Baptist Temple church in Texas correctly preaches . . .

“Repentance means to change your mind—change your mind—change your mind about how you want to get to Heaven to what God says you've got to do to get to Heaven. If you've got to repent of all your sins, you're still headed for Hell tonight.” —Pastor Bob Gray Sr., a quote from the awesome MP3 sermon, Why You Should Be A Part Of A Growing Church

In his excellent book, “I NEVER KNEW YOU,” Michael Patrick Bowen states . . .

You can live for Christ, you can love Christ, you can serve Him with all your might, time, talent and wealth. You can pray to Him, read your Bible, get water-baptized, join a church, witness to people, and do every wonderful work contained within the realm of Christianity, but if you fail to trust Jesus Christ alone for your salvation, He will 'dump' you.

SOURCE: I NEVER KNEW YOU (.pdf), by Michael P. Bowen; by Barbour Books, © 2009; page 77.

Beware of the false teaching in most churches today, even many Baptist churches, which says that you have to forsake sinful living to get saved, commit your life to Christ and surrender fully to Christ's Lordship. Satan loves to corrupt the Gospel by either adding good works, or by subtracting bad works, to be saved. Whether good or bad works, both are DEAD WORKS! (Hebrews 6:1).

Michael Patrick Bowen correctly explains Biblical repentance...

“Repent, as Christ meant it to be in terms of salvation, means to change your mind from trusting in what you can do for God to trusting only in what He can do for you.”

SOURCE: Michael Patrick Bowen, a quote from the awesome book, “I NEVER NEW YOU” (Page 114)

Also, Dr. Hal Lindsey has repentance Biblically correct, who states:

“Repentance, as it relates to Christ, means to change our minds about Him, who He is and what He's done to provide forgiveness, and deliverance from our sins. When we place faith in Jesus as having taken our place personally on the cross and borne the penalty due our sins, then we're automatically repenting, because we couldn't accept Him in this way without having to change or minds in some way concerning Him.” (From the Liberation of the Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsey. (p. 133).

The Great Meaning Of The Word “METANOIA”!

Mark 1:15 — “Change Your Mind” And Believe The Gospel

In the Gospel of John we find the words “believe” and “believed” mentioned 85 times, but the word “repent” is not mentioned even once. Clearly, the person who believes on Christ has repented, and the person who repents has believed. Repentance is a change of mind that compels a person to place their faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ to be saved, and these things happen at the same time. Let's replace the word “Repent” in Mark 1:15 with the Greek meaning of repentance, which is “a change of mind.” So instead of saying, “Repent, and believe the gospel,” we could literally say, “Change your mind and believe the gospel.” This is the Biblical interpretation of Mark 1:15.

It is a false understanding to teach Mark 1:15 as turning away from the act of sin (e.g., drunkenness, stealing, adultery, et cetera) as a prerequisite to placing one's faith in Christ. That is known as the heresy of “Lordship Salvation.” Christ is already the Savior and Lord of all mankind. You don't make Jesus Lord, He is Lord. Albeit, we each must receive Christ as our Savior to be saved; and then as our Lord as we follow Christ in fellowship and discipleship. Contrary to wrong teaching, you don't have to receive Christ as “Lord” to get saved. It is a false gospel to say that “Jesus is either Lord of all or He's not Lord at all.” That's a false statement.

It is never easy for me to refute a preacher that I admire, but my allegiance is to Christ and not any man. On his website, Pastor Lawson has a video of Pastor Don Williams preaching the simplicity that is in Christ. It is excellent and doctrinally accurate. There is no mention of repentance, just as the Gospel of John never mentions the word repentance. In the Gospel of John we find the words “believe” and “believed” mentioned 85 times, but “repent” is not mentioned even once. That speaks volumes. It tells us plainly that we are saved by BELIEVING, not by repenting. Here is Scriptural proof in John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” Notice that “these things” were not written so that we would “repent from our sins” or “turn from our worldliness” to be saved.

We must be very careful not to wrest (wrestle) the Scriptures as 2nd Peter 3:16-17 warns, “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.” Listen my friend. I am not giving you my opinion. I just showed you clear evidence that being saved is a matter of “BELIEVING that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,” and not a matter of departing from sinful ways as a prerequisite to saving faith. I AM NOT saying that repentance is not necessary for salvation. Repentance is absolutely essential to salvation. Without repentance no man could ever be saved.

In the following YouTube sermon, Dr. Lawson plainly says believing the Gospel won't save anybody without repentance. The problem is that it is repentance that facilitates believing the Gospel, by which we are saved. It is not accurate that we repent AND believe; but rather, it is correct that we repent TO believe. Repentance is not sorrow over sins, reform, a desire to forsake sins or a willingness to turn from sinful ways as a requirement to be saved. That is not repentance.
 

What About Repentance in Revelation 9:20-21?

Pastor Lawson errantly alleges that Revelation 9:20-21 evidences that repentance means turning from one's sins to be saved, but as I will explain to you, it does not. Revelation 9:20-21, “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” Taken by itself, this passage seems to teach that turning from idolatry and sinful behavior is a requirement to be saved, but that is a wrong way to think about salvation.

John 3:20 will help us to understand this passage of Scripture. John 3:20, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” The Bible teaches that doing evil (i.e., committing intentional sin) hinders a man from coming to the light to be saved. It is devilish idols and false worship that hinder a person from coming to the glorious light of the Gospel to be saved. This is why God purposely chose to use the word “metanoia,” the Greek noun from which our modern English word “repent” comes. Metanoia simply means “a change of mind,” which is an all-inclusive concept, which simply means to lay aside any and all hindrances and instead believe the Gospel. The verb form of the word “repent” is metanoeo, which means, “to think differently.” With this truth in mind, it becomes plain to see what Revelation 9:20-21 means. It means that a deathstyle of sin and the worship of devils, and idols, hinder people from coming to Jesus Christ by faith to be saved.

This is why God “commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30). That is, God commands all people “to think differently” about anything and everything that is hindering them from coming to Christ, and to instead BELIEVE THE GOSPEL of the Lord Jesus Christ, to receive the gifts of forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Repeatedly we are taught in the Word of God that the way to eternal life is to BELIEVE on the Son of God. John 11:25-26, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”

I'm tired of hearing misled preachers say that today's apostate preachers don't preach “repentance” anymore, as did the old preachers during the Reformation and centuries ago. My friend, theologians have always wrangled over the meaning of repent. This is evidenced by the prolific writings of great men of God; such as, Pastor Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951). I agree 100% with his awesome book, “EXCEPT YE REPENT,” in which he makes the following great quote about the meaning of repentance:

“Which comes first, repentance or faith? In Scripture we read, 'Repent ye, and believe the gospel.' Yet we find true believers exhorted to 'repent, and do the first works.' So intimately are the two related that you cannot have one without the other. The man who believes God repents; the repentant soul puts his trust in the Lord when the Gospel is revealed to him. Theologians may wrangle over this, but the fact is, no man repents until the Holy Spirit produces repentance in his soul through the truth. No man believes the Gospel and rests in it for his own salvation until he has judged himself as a needy sinner before God. And this is repentance.” (Except Ye Repent, p. 16) [emphasis added]

Amen! Dr. Harry Ironside correctly understood that repentance is not a meritous work, not self-improvement, not reformation, not forsaking the world, not turning from sinful ways, nor a desire to better one's life; but rather, the acknowledgment that I am as guilty a sinner as God hath declared me to be in His holy Word...

“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

Pastor Charles Spurgeon is often misrepresented by John MacArthur and Ray Comfort. Listen to the beautiful words spoken by Pastor Charles Spurgeon:

“but salvation comes to him before he has any of the results of salvation. It comes to him, in fact, while he deserves only this bare, beggarly, base, abominable description, 'ungodly.' That is all he is when God's gospel comes to justify him.”

SOURCE: Charles Spurgeon; All of Grace; Chapter 1 - God Justifieth The Ungodly!

Notice in the following quote that Spurgeon accurately teaches that repentance does not precede believing. When a man sees Christ (John 6:40), he changes his mind (repents) and believes at the same time. And then it is the precious indwelling Holy Ghost Who turns us from sin. That's how it all works! ...

“Repentance will not make you see Christ; but to see Christ will give you repentance. You may not make a Christ out of your repentance, but you must look for repentance to Christ. The Holy Ghost, by turning us to Christ, turns us from sin. Look away, then, from the effect to the cause, from your own repenting to the Lord Jesus, who is exalted on high to give repentance.”

SOURCE: “The Moody Colportage Association’s (known as Moody Press, and now as Moody Publishers) first and all-time best-selling book is Spurgeon’s "All Of Grace";  Chapter 13 - Repentance Must Go With Forgiveness

Yes, that is right! Pastor Lawson is looking to the effect (repentance) rather than the cause (which is Christ). We must look to the Lord Jesus, and not to our own repenting. 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. 
 

Pastor Lawson's Confusing Theology

As you will see for yourself in the following lengthy quote from Dr. Lawson, at first he teaches that having your sins “cleansed” away by Jesus' blood is “not a once and for all thing,” but then he says later that when you were saved your sins were washed away by Jesus' blood and “that happened one time.” Huh? Folks, that is confusing doctrine. Please read his statements first, and then I'll say more. The following lengthy quote is confusing at best...

“Once you get out of the will of God, start walking in ignorance and darkness as a Christian dear friend, then you're going toward death as a Christian. The way God keeps you from dying and from committing the sin unto death, is by having you in fellowship and communion, walking in the light, as He is in the light, constantly confessing that you need the blood of Christ to cleanse you, and by doing that you walk in communion with the Lord.

Now what I just said to you is a powerful thing. Say, 'Why is it powerful preacher?' Because there's no place in there to slack off. There's nowhere in there to get saved and lay back and just float on into Heaven. There's no where in there for you to get saved and then live any way you please. There's no where in that text for you to say: 'Well I got saved 20 to 30 years ago, and you know, I mean—Once saved always saved—and I believe in eternal security, and God's not a liar, so I'm going to Heaven!' I may not get the rewards, and union and fellowship.'

Folks, if you don't have communion and fellowship with the Lord, you're going downward. The only thing that can keep you from going downward, in that spiral downward, is to walk in the light, as He is in the light, and you have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ God's Son cleanses you from all sin. The cleansing is not a once and for all thing, it is a constant every day communion and fellowship with the Lord.

Now when you were born again your sins were washed away in the blood of Christ. That happened one time. You're only going to be born again one time! But you must have that constant application of the blood of Christ in order for you to walk in communion and fellowship. And if you don't walk in communion and fellowship with the Lord, Dear friend please listen to me, you're not going to go upward, you're going to go downward. I'm not saying you're losing your salvation, but you will certainly lose your life, if He cannot chasten you and get you back where you need to be in fellowship with the Lord.” [emphasis added]

SOURCE: What Must I Do To Be Saved? - Dr. Lawson - Preached Sunday Night, July 28, 2013.

ALSO: Charles Lawson Exposed - Believing is not enough - Hyper dispensationalist.

Dr. Lawson says, “THERE'S NO PLACE IN THERE TO SLACK OFF. THERE'S NO WHERE IN THERE TO GET SAVED AND LAY BACK AND JUST FLOAT ON INTO HEAVEN.” Uh, yes, there is! That's why eternal life is called a “gift” (Romans 5:15, 6:23). A gift need only be taken and received, nothing more. I would like to give the benefit of the doubt that Dr. Lawson is simply teaching God will chastise a believer who chooses to live in deliberate sin (Hebrews 12:6-8). However, let me repeat one of the earlier quotes from Pastor Lawson that I gave you...

“You've heard it defined, repentance, Bible 'repentance' as simply meaning 'a change of mind.' See, 'a change of mind.' They limit it to mean that—a change of mind, you've changed your mind. Bible repentance is far more than simply 'a change of mind.'”

SOURCE: Repentance (by Pastor Charles Lawson)

That is simply untrue! Repentance does not mean “FAR MORE THAN SIMPLY 'A CHANGE OF MIND.'” Pastor Lawson clearly implies that a person must undergo some type of transformation in their attitude toward sin THAT LEADS TO A CHANGED LIFE as a requirement to be saved. This is untrue! Dr. Lawson is subtly adding human effort to the gift of God. Don't believe the rhetoric that the old preachers taught repentance, but modern preachers don't. The truth is that theologians have wrangled over the meaning of repentance and salvation since the beginning of time. We see the contrast between Abel and Cain. Abel demonstrated his faith in the coming Messiah by killing an innocent animal, shedding its blood and offering it as a sacrifice to God; whereas Cain offered up a sacrifice of the best grains that his fields had to offer, produced by his hard work and diligent human effort. Abel had faith; Cain had works! Likewise, for generations errant preachers have taught that a person must turn away from sinful behavior to receive the gift of eternal life; whereas the Holy Bible plainly teaches that a man's faith is counted (imputed) for righteousness (Romans 4:5-6)!!!

Please notice that Charles Lawson doesn't talk much about God's imputed righteousness in his preaching. I have found this to be true of every teacher of Lordship Salvation. Some false prophets, like David W. Cloud, refute Lordship Salvation, while teaching a variation of the same heresy them self. Satan is causing much confusion in the churches. If all this seems overwhelming to you, I encourage you to keep one important truth in mind... ETERNAL LIFE IS A “FREE GIFT” (Romans 5:15; 6:23). Everything that Pastor Lawson is promoting about repentance producing a changed life negates the idea of a gift. I'll keep saying it, a changed life is the result of the “FRUIT” of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and not from manmade repentance. Dr. Lawson teaches that the believer's changed life is produced by repentance. Folks, that is religion! Biblical repentance simply means a change of mind, which means laying aside wrong thoughts and instead believing the Gospel. This is very different than the modern English meaning of repentance, which is defined as feeling sorry for committing sins, turning away from sins, and to renounce one's sins. This is the false repentance which Judas experienced (Matthew 27:3). Judas went to Hell, because he repented from his sins. The Bible tells us to repent toward God (Acts 20:21).

Also, in the preceding video link, Dr. Lawson accuses many preachers of espousing a [feel good in your sins] type of “CHEAP GRACE”! My friend, there is only one price for the grace of God, which is the precious blood of Jesus (1st Peter 1:18-19). Dr. Lawson is teaching a dangerous philosophy that is confusing at best. On one hand he says that salvation cannot be lost, but then on the other hand says that Dr. Jack Hyles has left off repentance! Huh? Clearly, as I have shown you, Pastor Lawson errantly views repentance as a turning away from sins. No, repentance is “a change of mind,” acknowledging that one is a guilty sinner in the eyes of a holy God, and changing one's mind unto the Gospel itself, so that a person places their faith in the Gospel (Good News) of the Lord Jesus Christ. You don't get saved by repenting, you get saved by placing your faith in Jesus; but you wouldn't place your faith in Jesus if you didn't repent (change your mind). We are saved according to 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 by BELIEVING the Gospel.

Please read the writings of Dr. Harry Ironside, with whom I agree completely on repentance and salvation. Dr. Ironside has authored some excellent books titled, “Except Ye Repent” and “Another Gospel.”
 

A Correct Meaning of 1st John 1:9

God authored the Epistle of 1st John to believers. 1st John 1:9-10, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” This is not a plan of salvation. This is not the Gospel. As believers, when we sin we fall IN GRACE, never FROM GRACE!

The day that I was saved at age 13, Jesus' blood washed all my sins away—past, present and future. There is no teaching in the Bible, as Dr. Lawson errantly teaches, that says I must seek continued cleansing by Jesus' blood. My daily forgiveness for sins committed is NOT conditional upon my faithfulness to God. I don't have to commune or fellowship with God daily to obtain cleansing by Jesus' blood for my sins. Every believer's sins are permanently WASHED in Christ's precious blood the moment they were saved...

1st Corinthians 6:9-11, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

Notice, “and such WERE (past tense) some of you: BUT YE ARE WASHED! Whew, God is so good!!! My sins are gone, gone, gone, as far as east is from west, my sins are gone! Psalms 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” Now if I choose to live in deliberate sin, God's grace will abound. Romans 5:20b, “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” I am disturbed by Pastor Lawson's sneaky and threatening preaching (from the quotes I shared with you earlier) to carnal believers that: “THERE'S NO PLACE IN THERE [THE GOSPEL] TO SLACK OFF. THERE'S NOWHERE IN THERE TO GET SAVED AND LAY BACK AND JUST FLOAT ON INTO HEAVEN. THERE'S NO WHERE IN THERE GOT YOU TO GET SAVED AND THEN LIVE ANY WAY YOU PLEASE.” You certainly can slack off, lay back and just float on into Heaven!!!

Again, you certainly can slack off, lay back and just float on into Heaven!!! That's why God called eternal life a “free gift” (Romans 5:15). What is Dr. Lawson saying? He's teaching some dangerous stuff! I'm not saying that we have God's permission to live in sin. No believer has God's approval to violate the law (Romans 3:31). God chastises disobedient children (Hebrews 12:6-8). Albeit, Dr. Lawson makes it sound like it is not OK to be saved and just rest in your eternal security, but you certainly can and should do that!!! I do! I am saved and no matter what sins I commit, I can NEVER lose God's salvation. It is God's righteousness that saves me, and not my own self-righteousness. This is so important for you to understand. When I commit sin as a believer, we're talking about my righteousness, not God's righteousness by which I am saved.
 

A Changed Life is the “Fruit” of the Indwelling Holy Spirit, Not the Result of Repentance

I am at eternal odds with any plan of salvation that requires a person to clean up their life as part of being saved. This is exactly what Charles Lawson is teaching. This is evidenced by his comments that our churches are filled with unsaved people who intellectually believe all the facts of the Gospel, but have never repented, so they are still committing adultery, sodomy, pedophilia and fornication in Jesus' name. There are many problems with his thinking:

This truth is evidenced by the adulterous man in 1st Corinthians 5:1-5. The problem was not that he had never repented at the time of salvation. The problem was that the church's pastor wasn't preaching against sin. The problem was that the church at Corinth was carnal (1st Corinthians 3:1). Likewise, America's churches are carnal. Preachers today are cowards, greedy dogs, covetousness, refusing to say it like it is. We've got a bunch of yellowbellied, spineless, jellyfish, wimps in America's pulpits. That's why I like Pastor Charles Lawson, he's got guts and stands for what he believes to be THE TRUTH. Unfortunately, he openly admits that he has difficulty defining repentance, and he is wrong on what he does preach about it. WE ARE SAVED BY BELIEVING, not repenting, but without repentance no man could ever believe!
 

No One Has Ever Been Saved Who Didn't Admit Being a Sinner!

Please don't misunderstand, believing the Gospel is not enough to save a man if there is no admission of being a guilty sinner. You've got to know what you're being saved from! No one ever got saved who didn't admit that they are a sinner in God's eyes. Repentance is a change of mind, where a man judges himself a needy sinner in God's sight. It doesn't mean to turn away from sins, which leads to a changed life. This is the heresy that Dr. Lawson is caught up in. Repentance means to acknowledge one's sins, and the guilt thereof (Romans 3:19), to believe the Gospel.

Again, a changed life is the “fruit” (singular) of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and not manmade repentance. May I say, if the changes in your life have been produced by your repenting from sins, you are NOT SAVED!!! It is the indwelling Holy Spirit, which every true believer has (1st John 3:24; Romans 8:9; 1st Corinthians 3:16-17) that produces a new creature in Christ Jesus. Lordship Salvation produces manmade changed lives; but Christianity produces Holy Spirit changed lives! I hope that you see the difference. I have tried, through prayer and God's grace, to make this topic simple for you.

Don't take my word for it, listen to the Word of God. John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Carefully notice that these wonderful Scriptures, promises from God to save them that BELIEVE, do not mention repentance. The reason is because repentance is a change of mind that always results in BELIEVING the Gospel. In sharp contrast, Dr. Lawson and other false teachers on repentance errantly say that repentance is a change of mind that results in a change life. Do you see the big difference? Lordship Salvation uses manmade repentance from sins to produce a changed life, which cannot produce the new birth by the Holy Spirit. It is a false Gospel.

Romans 12:1 says that it is a believer's “reasonable service” to serve God. The Lord never says, “I died on the cross for your sins, now you owe me!” No, rather, the Bible reminds us that we are bought with the price of Jesus' precious blood, and it is only reasonable that we should glorify God in our spirit and our body, which are the Lord's (1st Corinthians 6:20). For eternal life to truly remain a gift, it must be without debt, requirement or obligation. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

True Christianity means that you are saved by believing on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, by which you are born again, and then the indwelling Spirit of Christ produces a changed life. Dr. Lawson's false plan of salvation is a hard road to travel, a heavy burden for a sinner to bear, placing the burden of sin upon the sinner's shoulder instead of Jesus Christ, Who bore the full weight of our sins on the cross. Beware of any Gospel that places the burden of change upon the sinner. The Bible teaches that forgiveness of sins and eternal life are free gifts, which need only by freely received by faith, without debt or obligation.

The Bible says that if the immoral Christian man in 1st Corinthians 5:1-5 refused to repent and live right in the Lord, Satan would destroy his flesh, but his spirit would be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 1st Corinthians 5:5, “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” In 1st Corinthians 3:15 we read about a Christian man who lost all the rewards, because all his carnal works were all burned up. He lived a selfish life. He never did anything for the Lord, never witnessed the Gospel to anyone, never helped anyone in Jesus' name, never prayed for others, never helped the churches, never passed out a Gospel tract, never loved his enemies, never contended for the faith, never made a difference for Christ, et cetera. God saves a person to DO GOOD, not to BE GOOD! Please listen to the awesome sermon on this topic by Dr. Jack Hyles titled, “Our Mixed Up Fundamental Christianity!” Good stuff!

1st John 1:5-7, “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

In his sermon titled, “The Security Of The believer,” Pastor Lawson testifies that he was saved in the year 1973. He plainly states that he doesn't believe that he could ever lose his salvation. I agree 100% in the eternal security of the believer! Once you're born into Christ Jesus, from that moment on, everything God does with you He does from the standpoint that you are one of His children in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:35 and 37, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ... Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” That is eternal security!!! Dr. Lawson believes this too.
 

Respectfully, Pastor Charles Lawson Misunderstands Repentance

In his video sermon titled, “What Must I Do To Be Saved?,” Dr. Lawson accurately presents the bare bones of the Gospel, but then perverts the Gospel by adding a form of repentance that leads to a changed life. Dr. Lawson plainly says that many people in the churches today are unsaved because, like Ray Comfort errantly says, they believed the Gospel but never repented.

The big theological debate is over the meaning of repentance. Easy-believism folks like me teach that repentance is a change of mind from wrong thoughts to believe the Gospel to be saved. Whereas the proponents of the Lordship Salvation heresy teach that repentance is a change of mind from sinful behavior plus believing the Gospel to be saved. The former (the Gospel) bases salvation completely upon faith in Jesus Christ.

The latter (Lordship Salvation) teaches partial faith in Christ plus human effort for salvation. The former (the Gospel) bases salvation completely upon faith in Jesus Christ. The latter (Lordship Salvation) conditions salvation upon turning away from sinful behavior as a prerequisite to placing one's faith in Jesus Christ. One of the best books I've read that defends “the simplicity that is in Christ” (2nd  Corinthians 11:3-4), which is the Gospel, is by Michael P. Bowen titled, “I NEVER KNEW YOU: THE GREAT WHITE THRONE OF JUDGMENT AND HOW TO AVOID IT!” Read the .pdf book here.

Kindly, Pastor Charles Lawson makes misleading statements. For example: In the following quote he is half right and half wrong. It is true that you cannot be saved without repentance. Repentance is more than just believing the Gospel, because you've got to realize that you are a sinner to be saved. Otherwise, why would you need a Savior? Repentance is the admission that I am a guilty sinner in the eyes of God. But it is false that repentance means a drastic change of attitude toward one's sins that results in a changed life, for that is manmade reformation. Repentance is a change of mind toward whatever is hindering you (whether it be the worship of devils, idols or sins) from believing the Gospel...

“For simply, for me to simply say to you, 'If you'll simply come down here and believe the Gospel! Believe that Christ died for you! That's all that is necessary in salvation! You don't have to repent, repentance is a work!' I've put a false front in front of you, a false hope given out to you. I've have perverted and distorted the clear Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

SOURCE: Repentance — https://youtu.be/0o60CCxYFg0?t=15m36s — Dr. Charles Lawson.

What heresy! Dr. Lawson is confused, caught between grace and works. Mr. Lawson is very sneaky, wrestling the Scriptures to his own damnation, committing the error of the wicked (2nd Peter 3:16-17). There are so many shady things about the preceding quote. To say that believing the Gospel is not enough to be saved is heresy!

Dr. Lawson teaches in the same sermon on “Repentance” that if you believe the Gospel, but don't have the attitude that you want to turn away from your sins, you cannot be saved. Dr. Lawson says this is the reason why the churches are filled today with fornication, sodomy, adultery and pedophilia, because churchgoers who have never repented from their sins are not saved. Lawson says, “Repentance changes something.” No, the indwelling Holy Spirit changes a man. 2nd Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” The Bible doesn't say “if a man repents, he is a new creature.” No, it says “if a man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” Amen! It is Jesus Christ that makes the difference, not a person's personal desire to clean up their life, reform and turn away from their sins. Dr. Lawson is woefully ignorant of the Scriptures, as is John MacArthur, Paul Washer and other proponents of the heresy of Lordship Salvation.

“You do it God's way, or you don't go to God's Heaven!”
—SOURCE: Pastor Jack Hyles, a great quote from the awesome sermon, “I'll Do It My Way!” (1991).

Pastor Lawson is a Two-Point Calvinist

There are a total of 5-points of Calvinism, which Pastor Curtis Hutson Biblically refutes here. Dr. Lawson plainly admits that he is a two-point Calvinist in his sermon titled, “Calvinism.” Dr. Lawson believes in the Perseverance of the Saints (if you're saved you will persevere in holy living) heresy and Unconditional Election (God chooses who gets saved). Calvinism is a system of thought, like Dispensationalism (both of which, I disagree). Calvinism is of the Devil.
 

I Am Loyal to Truth and Not Preachers

I really admire Pastor Lawson and respect him tremendously for his wealth of knowledge and years of experience; yet, age doesn't always bring wisdom. I challenge anyone who has read this far into my article to consider the hundreds of Scriptures in the Word of God that tell us to simply BELIEVE to be saved. We know from Galatians 3:24-26 that God gave us the law as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ to be saved. Romans 10:3-4 rebukes those unsaved religious folks who are going about to establish their own righteousness, who have not submitted unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law, to them that believe! Turning away from sins is a work!!!

Realizing one's guilty condition and admitting that you are a hell-deserving sinner is not a work. The repentance that God requires for salvation is not a work. It requires no human effort or sacrifice. To “repent” simply means that you are doing the opposite of John 3:20, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” So whatever repentance is, we know that it will reverse John 3:20. A man who previously refused to come to the light because of his love for sin, has now changed his mind and he humbly acknowledges that he is a needy sinner, guilty for breaking God's commandments, and so he trusts the dear Savior to be cleansed of his sins and receive eternal life.

I love Dr. Jack Hyles. He is my favorite preacher. Still, I don't always agree with everything Brother Hyles promoted. Brother Hyles promoted the Scofield Bible throughout his ministry. Yet, I expose C.I. Scofield and his heretical manmade system of Dispensationalism. If all you had is a King James Bible, you'd NEVER find the ideas of Dispensationalism as taught by Mr. Scofield. Even Dr. Hyles refuted some of Scofield's teachings; such as, his corrupt idea of a “dispensation of grace.” Men have always been saved by grace through faith in Christ (Acts 10:43). My point is that I am obligated Biblically to contend for the faith and refute all heresies (Jude 1:3), even if I believe they're being taught by one of my heroes. Having said that, I am writing this webpage to refute Pastor Charles Lawson's heretical teaching that a man must experience repentance that produces a changed life, as part of the Gospel. This is not the Gospel as passed down by the apostles. If this is truly what Dr. Lawson believes, then he is not a born again believer!

Again, Dr. Jack Hyles 100% correctly and Biblically explains what repentance is:

“Repentance is not some little silly, 'I'm sorry.' Repentance is not simply a fear of God. Repentance is not a monk fasting and afflicting his body in a monastery. Repentance is not remorse because of sin's consequences. Repentance is not penance performed before the pope as you kiss his toe... Repentance is not being sorry for what I've done wrong. It is not confessing one's sins to a priest. It is not just conviction of sin. It is not the signing of a pledge of abstinence. Repentance is that thing when you come before God and see yourself as you are, and see Him as he is, and say with Isaiah 'Woe is me, for I am unclean!' —Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001), a quote from the timeless MP3 sermon, THE GOODNESS OF GOD LEADETH TO REPENTANCE! [emphasis added]

To be saved, you MUST believe the Gospel, trusting Christ alone. Christ DIED on the cross for our sins. He was BURIED. Three days later He RESURRECTED from the dead. This is the Good News (Gospel, or Glad Tidings) that brings forgiveness of sins and eternal life “TO THEM THAT BELIEVE” (1st Corinthians 1:21). The only requirement to believing the Gospel is to see yourself as a guilty sinner in the sight of a holy God. This is repentance. END

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

“Every word in this Bible is inspired by God almighty!”
—Dr. Jack Hyles (a great quote from the classic sermon, “A Friend At Midnight.”)

Psalms 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”

“The only inspired Words of God are in the King James Bible!”
—Dr. Jack Hyles (an awesome quote —Dr. Jack Hyles (THE REAL BATTLE!”)

BATTLE OF THE AGES (MP3 by Dr. Hyles, “The King James Bible crowd is going to come out on top!”)


Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness! | Believe The Gospel


JesusIsPrecious.org