The Woeful Curse Of Lordship Salvation
By David J. Stewart
September 2013 | Updated June 2017
Matthew 26:73-75, “And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.”
The above passage of Scripture is speaking about the Apostle Peter. Peter sinned by denying Jesus. Yet, Peter was a born-again believer. King David was a Christian; yet he conspired to have a man killed, to cover up an unwanted pregnancy, to hide an adulterous affair with that man's wife. Abraham and Sarah doubted God. Moses was a murderer. Samson went with a harlot. Jacob was a thief. Jonah ran from God. Noah got drunk. Isaiah was a man of unclean lips. These were all Christian believers.
Demas forsook Paul, having loved this present world. Simon tried to buy the power of the Holy Spirit. Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit. The church at Corinth was a spiritual disaster, carnal (1st Corinthians 3:1). These were all born-again saints! Lot was a worldly believer. Yet, 2nd Peter 2:7 calls Lot a “just” man. The Lordship Salvation crowd would have considered all of these men and women unsaved. Yet, we see they were saved.
There is a woeful heresy which has crept into many churches today, teaching that carnal believers are not saved. The heresy is called “Lordship Salvation,” which says that in order to be saved a person must forsake sinful behavior, make full surrender to Christ, declare “Jesus as Lord” and confess Him before men. There are many variations of the heresy, but in each case human effort is added to faith in Jesus Christ. In essence, what you have is a false plan of salvation that teaches human effort plus partial faith in Christ. God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved. Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith. This subject needs to preached about on a regular basis in the churches, because the damnable heresy of LORDSHIP SALVATION has infiltrated many religious groups and is leading multitudes into Hell.
Again, Lordship Salvation is the unbiblical teaching that a person MUST cease from a sinful lifestyle to be saved. Lordship Salvationists pervert the true meaning of the word “REPENT” in the Word of God. Whereas Biblical repentance simply means “to change one's mind,” Lordship Salvationists corrupt the meaning of the word, teaching that a person must cease from living a sinful lifestyle to be saved. This is the English meaning of the word “repent,” not the Greek Biblical meaning of the word “metanoia.” Metanoia means to change one's mind (i.e., to think differently). God does not ask us to give up anything to be saved. Eternal life is the gift of God (Romans 6:23). Salvation is receiving, not giving. God gave us His only begotten Son, Jesus, to pay our debt of sin. The only requirement to believe the Gospel is that a man see himself as a guilty sinner in the eyes of a holy God (Romans 3:19), otherwise why would you need a Savior? Romans 3:19 teaches that God's law was given so that “ALL THE WORLD MAY BECOME GUILTY BEFORE GOD.” God's law points us to Jesus Christ, Who is the end of the law to them that believe the Gospel (Romans 10:3-4).
All we have to do to be saved is to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ as payment for our sins. The “Gospel” (Good News) is that Christ DIED on the cross for our sins, He was BURIED, and then bodily RESURRECTED three days later (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). Simply BELIEVE the Gospel and the work is done! 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.” According to Acts 10:43, Old Testament saints were saved the same way as we are today, that is, by faith in Christ.
In 2nd Peter 3:9 we read, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” The Greek word for “repentance” here is “METANOIA” and literally means “a change of mind.” Not a change of lifestyle; BUT, a change of mind. The changed life should follow afterwards; but the Bible is filled with examples of saints who continued to live in rebellion and sin, such as Solomon and Samson.
Here are some excellent, doctrinally sound, helpful, Biblical sermons . . .
Dr. Hank Lindstrom
Dr. Ralph Yankee Arnold
Turning from Unbelief verses Turning from One's Sins
"And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." -Mark 1:15
Carefully notice in Mark 1:15 above that Jesus didn't say “repent ye, and turn from your sins.” No, Jesus clearly stated, “repent ye, and BELIEVE THE GOSPEL.” It is plain to see that Biblical repentance is a change of one's mind that causes a soul to turn in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation. Jesus never once said to a person, “Give up your sin and I'll save you.” No, rather, Jesus said “Go, and sin no more” after making them whole (John 8:11). All God asks is that we come for salvation through His dear Son (John 3:16; Philippians 3:9).
I have read many Gospel tracts that give the impression that a person MUST forsake their sins to be saved, which is NOT true at all. A person DOES need to repent to be saved, but the ONLY repentance which God requires of a man to be saved is for that man to acknowledge his sinful condition and recognize his desperate need for a Savior (Galatians 3:24-26).
I certainly think it would be reasonable for a Christian believer to desire to turn from his or her sins; BUT, as we learn from countless believers in the Bible, that's not always the case. Judges 16:1 states, “Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her.” I am NOT condoning sin. I am simply saying that Christians at best are people, and people at best are still sinners. Romans 3:31 plainly teaches that no Christian has God's blessings to continue living in sin as a child of God, but this has nothing to do with the gift of God. The gift of eternal life is freely offered and freely received by faith alone without works.
“The worst pervert in America is the Gospel pervert!”
SOURCE: Brother Lester Roloff, from the sermon, “The Gospel Perverts Or Jesus?”
Lordship Salvation is rooted in self-righteousness, because all Christians are sinners. If living in sin can cause a born-again believer to lose salvation, then we all lost it a long time ago, because we all have sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 7:14-25). It is solely by God's merciful righteousness that we are saved through faith in Christ (2nd Corinthians 5:21). Lordship Salvation and the Pentecostal Charismatic heresy of losing one's salvation are related monsters. Lordship Salvationists ADD works to faith to get saved, and the Charismatics ADD works to faith to STAY saved. Regardless, these two damnable heresies are both rooted in works salvation! Good works or dead works, they are both DEAD WORKS!!!
Please read What is Biblical Repentance?
The following excellent information by Dr. Hank Lindstrom is from the helpful Christian website, Get God's Gift...
THE INCOMPATIBILITY OF THE LORDSHIP GOSPEL WITH THE GOSPEL OF GRACE
"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:8,9
The importance of this question can't be overestimated in relation to both salvation and sanctification. The message of faith only and the message of commitment of life can't both be the gospel; therefore, one of them is a false gospel and come under the curse of perverting the gospel or preaching another gospel.
"It is an inexcusable error to confront sinners with problems that concern the Christian life and call upon them to make promises regarding them. An unsaved person is never called upon to surrender himself to God. The saving act is in no instance represented as our 'giving ourselves to God'; it is, on the contrary, taking His Son as our Savior." Ryrie, Charles. Balancing the Christian Life. Moody Press, Inc., 1969 (p. 170).
"The second approach finds faith in the gospel alone an 'easy Believism' and seeks to add something to faith in order to accomplish salvation. To repent is to 'change one's mind,' and to believe is to remove one's trust from that in which it has rested and place it in Christ." Howard, William. "Is Faith Enough to Save?" Bibliotheca Sacra. January-March, 1942 (p.99).
"This kind of faith is not 'easy believism'. It is not easy to say, 'I can't save myself, I must recognize that there is something wrong with me, and I must seek help from someone else.'" Hook, H. Phillip. "A Biblical Definition of Saving Faith." Bibliotheca Sacra. April-June, 1964 (p. 133, 138).
"Eternal life is free. Discipleship is immeasurably hard. The former is attained by faith alone, the latter by a faith that works... the former brings with it the righteousness of God so that a man is 'justified freely by his grace' (Romans 3:24). The latter develops a personal righteousness, based on good deeds, so that a man was also 'justified by works' (James 2:24). The former constituted the believer God's workmanship, the latter fulfilled the wonderful purpose for which he had been created. The former cost man nothing, the latter could cost him everything, including life itself." Hodges, Zane C. The Hungry Inherit. Moody Press, Inc., 1972 (p. 114, 115).
"There is a vast difference between coming to Jesus for salvation and coming after Jesus for service. Coming to Christ makes one a believer, while coming after Christ makes one a disciple. All believers are not disciples. To become a believer one accepts the invitation of the Gospel, to be a disciple one obeys the challenge to a life of dedicated service and separation. Salvation comes through the sacrifice of Christ; discipleship comes only by sacrifice of self and surrender to His call for devoted service. Salvation is free, but discipleship involves paying the price of a separated walk. Salvation can't be lost because it depends upon God's faithfulness, but discipleship can be lost because it depends upon our faithfulness." DeHaan, M. R. Hebrews. Zondervan Publishing House, 1959 (p. 117).
"For the unregenerate man, repentance is the change of mind whereby he turns from unbelief to faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ." Post, Roger. "The Meanings of the Words Translated 'Repent' and 'Repentance' in the New Testament." Master's Thesis, Wheaton College, June 1972 (p. 80).
"There are those who, in their zeal to get people to turn from their sinful ways and receive the Lord, almost put repentance on a par with believing... 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 had to change our minds in some way concerning Him." Lindsey, Hal. The Liberation of Planet Earth. Zondervan Publishing House, 1974 (p. 136, 137).
"Discipleship is frequently equated with salvation and often erroneously made a condition for becoming a Christian". Pentecost, J. Dwight. Design for Discipleship. Zondervan Publishing House, 1971 (p. 11).
"Certainly discipleship is a most important aspect of our relation to Christ, but it belongs to the sphere of Christian life rather than entrance upon that life... One does not become a disciple in order to become a Christian, but because he has become a Christian by faith in the Savior, it is fitting that he embark upon a life of discipleship". Harrison, Everett F. "Must Christ be Lord to Be Savior?-No." Eternity, September 1959 (p. 14).
"There is no more piously subtle abrogation of the Gospel than to tell a Sinner that he must not only believe in the Savior, but dedicate himself to do God's will, crown the Savior Lord of his life, etc., etc. Obviously, dedication and service are highly desirable, but they are the privilege and the duty of the saved, never a condition of salvation for the unsaved (cf. Romans 12:1, 2)." Unger, Merrill F. God is Waiting to Meet You. Moody Press, 1975 (p. 117, 118).
"People are sometimes led to believe that there is saving value in some public confession of Christ, or profession of a decision. "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness." This is salvation. "With the mouth confession is made unto salvation." This is the voice of the newborn child speaking to and of its father. The only condition on which one may be saved is to believe." Chafer, Lewis Sperry. Salvation. Dunham Publishing Company, 1917 (p. 46).
Lordship salvation is where someone teaches that there must be a commitment to Christ as Lord of one's life in order to be saved. Recently there has been a modification of this position to say that willingness to be controlled by the Lord at the time of salvation is all that is required in addition to faith in order to be saved. The message of faith only and the message of faith plus commitment of life can't both be the gospel; therefore, one of them is a FALSE GOSPEL and comes under the curse of perverting the gospel or preaching another gospel. Galatians 1:8, 9 says, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed." If only committed people are saved people, then where is there room for carnal Christians? What kind of dedication must be preached to people, if in order to be saved, they have already dedicated their lives to the Lord? Where do you stop if you start adding something else to this which is the gospel revealed in the Bible? Look at what God says about adding to the revelation of Jesus Christ (gospel), "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book (Revelation 22:18)." The Bible plainly declares that we are saved by faith, and not by works. Where does it say this? Ephesians 2:8, 9 "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast." What are you trusting in to get you to heaven?
* Written by Dr. Hank Lindstrom
moment you put your trust in Jesus Christ, God who can read your mind
knows, saves YOU and gives you the Gift of God, eternal Life.
My favorite saying is:
You MUST put ALL your trust in Jesus to be saved, trust in the blood that He shed on the cross, trust that He is God in the flesh, trust that He made the complete payment for your sins, not just part; He paid for ALL of your sins (past, present, and future)! Trust that He rose again from the dead after 3 days and 3 nights, and in return for this trust, He gives YOU Eternal Life. All false Christians put part of their trust in Jesus and part of their trust the Church and part of their trust in themselves. If you put 99.99% trust in Jesus and 00.01% in something else, you will go to hell. It must be 100% trust in Jesus and what He did and 0% in you or your church! This information in critical... (grace always cancels works!) You are going to hell if it's by your works or you are going to heaven by Gods grace. It's as simple as that.
So I guess the question comes down to who are you trusting. Are you trusting yourself to get to heaven by being a good person and giving lots of money to your church or are you trusting Jesus, the lamb of God, that was slain for the sins of the world to get you to heaven? You receive the Gift of God (Eternal Life) as soon as you stop trusting in yourself, your church, your synagogue, your mosque, your money, or any other works and put your trust in Him and Him ALONE, Jesus Christ, Yeshua, The King of Kings, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the Alpha and Omega, the Mighty God.
False religions are everywhere and they will find you, the one true God and His plan of salvation must be found.
If all this makes sense to you and you would like to trust Jesus as your personal Savior right now then tell the Mighty God in Heaven of your decision to trust Jesus Christ as your only hope of heaven. Tell Him that you are no longer putting your trust in your actions, or your church, or your church membership, or in your money, or in your Rabbi, or in your synagogue or your Mosque but that you are putting all of your trust in Him and the shed blood of the cross to pay your sin debt. Thank Him for doing it for you! Thank Him for giving you the Gift of Eternal Life that He paid for with His life. There is no greater deed than that of laying down your life for another.
By reading this sinners prayer aloud, you are putting your trust in
God and His plan of salvation. You are not saved by saying this prayer,
you are saved the moment your mind made the switch from trusting in
yourself to putting your COMPLETE TRUST IN JESUS CHRIST. That moment may
have been five paragraphs up on this page or that moment may have been
on another one of our pages. You will not feel any different, but you
will be changed and changed for the better forever. Once you have
trusted Jesus as your savior and received his gift of eternal life, this
gift can NEVER be lost. You can NEVER go to hell for ANY reason. Your
past, present and future sins were paid in full the moment you put your
trust in Him. You are blameless and Holy in God's eyes now and FOREVER.
If you have eternal life today what kind of life will you have in five
years? ETERNAL! What kind of life will you have in ten years? ETERNAL!!
What kind of life will you have in 50 years? ETERNAL!!! God does not
give probationary life or temporary life, His gift is ETERNAL LIFE!
Thanks be to GOD!
Biblical Salvation is forsaking any other means of
salvation but Christ and casting ourselves fully upon Him for eternal
"For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” Romans 11:29 Again, God is telling you that this Gift of God that you have just received is without repentance. He can never take His gift back for any reason, no matter how bad you get, or how bad your sins are it is not possible. God would have to cease to exist for that to happen because He cannot lie.
SOURCE:Lordship Salvation » How to get into Heaven
The Change in a New Believer is the Holy Spirit
The internet is plagued with heretics who are teaching that a person must forsake their sinful behavior to be saved. 2nd Corinthians 5:17 reads, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Please notice that a man does NOT become a “new creature” until AFTER he is in Christ. That “new creature” is the Holy Spirit, that is, the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9)! The only change that comes when a man is saved is that the Holy Spirit comes to indwell (live inside) him (1st Corinthians 3:16-17; Romans 8:9). Notice that 2nd Corinthians 5:17 doesn't say that a man's behavior is changed when he comes to Christ; but rather, he is a new creature. The New Man Verses The Old Man (Jesus is the “new creature” that comes to indwell every believer).
The entire notion that a lost sinner must give up sinful living to be saved presents a serious problem... “For all have sinned...” (Romans 3:23). Let he who is without sin among you teach Lordship Salvation. Eternal life is a free gift, which can simply be received by faith to have it.
Please read the following, doctrinally correct, words by former Moody Memorial Church Pastor Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951)...
“The Gospel is not a call to repentance, or to amendment of our ways, to make restitution for past sins, or to promise to do better in the future. These things are proper in their place, but they do not constitute the Gospel; for the Gospel is not good advice to be obeyed, it is good news to be believed. Do not make the mistake then of thinking that the Gospel is a call to duty or a call to reformation, a call to better your condition, to behave yourself in a more perfect way than you have been doing in the past …
Nor is the Gospel a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits, and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all.”
SOURCE: Dr. Harry A. Ironside, from the sermon: What Is The Gospel?
Clearly, Ironside taught a Free Grace view of the Gospel, which is Biblical.
A changed life is the FRUIT of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and not a part of the ROOT of saving-faith.
There are TWO VERY DIFFERENT plans of salvation being taught in churches today, including independent Baptist churches:
- PARTIAL FAITH IN CHRIST + WORKS — The false gospel of John MacArthur, Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, Paul Washer, Jack Chick, John Goetsch, Aiden Tozer, Billy Graham, Joel Osteen, Pat Robertson, William Lane Craig, Chip Ingram, Rick Warren, Paris Reidhead, C.S. Lewis, David Cloud and many others—errantly require a person to stop sinning (or be willing to stop sinning), to have intent to reform, make a full surrender to Christ, declare “Jesus as Lord,” count the cost, start a relationship with Jesus, invite Jesus into your heart, commit one's life to live for Jesus, change your ways, and forsake the world, AS A REQUIREMENT TO BE SAVED (as a prerequisite to placing your faith in Christ). This heresy is commonly known as “Lordship Salvation.” Jehovah's Witnesses, Paul Washer and Ray Comfort agree. John MacArthur and Mormons agree. Dr. John Goetsch Agrees With Seventh-Day Adventists. These false prophets all errantly teach that you cannot have salvation and your sins, you must turn away from them. In this false plan of salvation, the sinner is burdened to reform their own life of sin, which is behavior modification for salvation.
- FAITH IN CHRIST ALONE — The true Biblical Gospel teaches that we are saved solely by Christ's righteousness (Romans 10:3-4), and that no self-righteousness of any kind is required (Titus 3:5) because we have none to offer (Isaiah 64:6); neither does a person have to quit any sin to be saved (Romans 4:5-6; Acts 13:39), nor even to be willing to stop sinning. Charles Spurgeon himself rightly taught that THERE ARE NO CONDITIONS OF SALVATION! YOU ARE A SINNER! Unless you accept Christ's payment on the cross for your sins, believing that He resurrected bodily from the dead three days later, you will spend eternity burning in the fires of Hell. Harry A. Ironside, Curtis Hutson, John R. Rice, Jack Hyles and Michael P. Bowen (.pdf) are 100% correct on repentance and salvation! A desire to turn away from sinful living is not a requirement for salvation, anymore than such a request would be required to receive a birthday gift. God righteousness alone is wholly sufficient to save! You can have salvation and your sins, because getting saved is a matter of acknowledging one's sinnership and trusting the Savior, Who died on the cross to pay for our sins. It is a gift! In true salvation, the indwelling Holy Spirit makes changes as we grow in grace, if we obey the Lord (1st Peter 2:2; Romans 12:1).
The Old Testament law's PURPOSE is to be used as a measuring stick, by which when we are compared, we are silenced of any boasting of our own goodness (Ephesians 2:8-9). We all fall short of God's glory (Romans 3:23). Romans 3:19 teaches that God's law was given so that “ALL THE WORLD MAY BECOME GUILTY BEFORE GOD.” The purpose of the law is NOT to compel us to turn away from sin and walk the narrow path of self reform, so that God will accept our faith.
Listen to what Pastor Harry Ironside correctly states in chapter 16 of his book, EXCEPT YE REPENT . . .
“In all that I have written I have failed completely to express what was surging up in my soul if I have given anyone the impression that I think of repentance as something meritorious which must be produced in man by self-effort ere he is fit to come to God for salvation.”SOURCE: Dr. Harry Ironside, a quote from chapter 16, THE PREACHING THAT PRODUCES REPENTANCE, from his timeless classic book, EXCEPT YE REPENT.
In other words, you don't have to stop sinning to be saved! Nor do you have to make a full surrender to serve Christ to be saved. Nor do you have to recognize Jesus as absolute Lord of your life to be saved. These are NOT a part of God's plan of salvation. God's simple plan is that YOU ARE A SINNER! Christ paid your sin debt in full. Unless you accept the gospel as full payment for your sins, you will spend eternity in the fires of Hell after you hear the Lord's horrifying words... I NEVER KNEW YOU! (Matthew 7:21-23).
A lot of Christians have brushed the issue aside as a matter of semantics, but the difference between these 2 very different plans of salvation is day-and-night. Billy Graham is hellbound in his false plan of grace + works salvation. One includes a certain degree of self-righteousness (which is a false gospel); but the other is solely based upon God's righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:9), which is by the precious literal, physical, liquid, precious, blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ sprinkled on the heavenly Mercy Seat (Hebrews 9:12,22-24;12:24). JESUS IS PRECIOUS!!!
"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." —John 3:16
The Hypocrisy of Lordship Salvation
The Foolish Doctrine of Lordship Salvation
Scriptural Proof that Lordship Salvation is a Lie
Falling From Grace (excellent MP3 by Dr. Yankee Arnold)
Lordship Salvation Ignores Babes in Christ and the Backslidden
Repent! Repent! Repent!
Repentance And Faith
Repent And Believe
(Dr. Harry Ironside, 1876-1951)
Repent! Repent! Repent!
If you believe what the Bible teaches, attend a church that teaches the Bible!
God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved.
Another Gospel Which Is Not
(a red-hot MP3 by Dr. Curtis Hutson exposing Lordship Salvation)
Ye Must Be Born Again!
You Need HIS Righteousness!
Believe The Gospel