Ray Comfort's False Plan Of Salvation
By David J. Stewart
September 2014 | Updated September 1016
Titus 1:13, “This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.”
Ray Comfort is one of the most popular evangelists of our time, based out of his Living Waters and The Way Of The Master ministry in California. I like Ray Comfort and hate exposing him, sincerely. God knows my heart. Yet, it's a matter of Heaven or Hell, and as a preacher and a Christian I cannot ignore anything that corrupts the simplicity which is in Christ (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4). It's nothing personal.
Here's one of Ray Comfort's doctrinal videos, in which he rebukes the teaching that Christ's imputed righteous is a guarantee of eternal life. Watch the video for yourself. Mr. Comfort teaches that a professed Christian who continues living in sin may not be saved. Well, a Christian who does everything right may not be saved either! You can go to church, tithe, love others, pray, sing, read the Bible, give, even tell others about your faith, and yet you've never been born again and will go straight to Hell when you die. This is called religion. Religion is man trying to reach God through human effort; whereas Christianity is God trying to reach man by the sacrifice of His Son on the cross. The whole problem with Ray Comfort's corrupt teachings on salvation is that he subtly adds human effort to faith.
Please read the following excellent words by author Michael Patrick Bowen from pages 113-115 of his book, “I NEVER KNEW YOU,” concerning Ray Comfort's and Kirk Cameron's false plan of salvation and the naive professed Christians who link to promote the Living Waters / Way Of The Master websites...
Well, one day, I found a great page about salvation on the Internet. The fellow is born again, and the true plan of salvation is easily seen on his site. Thrilled by what I had found, I contacted the owner and we began a pen pal friendship. His Internet site is massive, with many links to different pages as well as other sites. I found one very interesting link about everlasting life, clicked on it, and was immediately taken to Ray Comfort’s “Living Waters” site. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. So, I wrote my new friend, who is born again, this very same note you are about to read:
“I need your prayers. I appreciate your statement of faith, too; but you have a link on your resource page that takes you to a man who promotes salvation by ‘works.’ How, how, how can you allow their link on your site when everything they say is in direct conflict with what Jesus Christ said concerning salvation? You must remove their link from your site, else, you are in conjunction with a counterfeit gospel that cannot save anyone — you are giving home to blasphemy — you are giving aid and comfort to the enemy— Living Waters’ salvation stance is directly opposite of Ephesians 2:8-9. Christ said in John 6:40 that the will of the Father is for everyone that recognizes the Son as the Messiah and believes on Him alone will have everlasting life — in John 6:47 Christ said, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believes on Me has everlasting life.’ Notice there are no works here. Ray and Kirk are calling God the Father a LIAR with their false gospel. You must remove it.” About a day later, my friend wrote me back in complete agreement. He put up a page on his site that condemned the false plan of salvation according to Ray Comfort.
The plan of salvation according to Ray Comfort and his cohort Kirk Cameron defines repentance incorrectly. In the most elemental sense possible, their plan of salvation is based upon an academic flaw. 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. Neither of these gentlemen use the original Greek meaning of the word for repent which is metanoia.
As defined in the Greek language, metanoia is “meta” (change) and “noia”(mind). Metanoia is simply a “change of mind.” That is all it means. Nothing else is added to it. If someone says it means a change of mind about bananas, they would be wrong. If a crafty pastor who claims salvation is by faith “plus” works and deeds of the law (under the clever guise of “committing your life to Christ”) says that metanoia means a change of mind about sin, he would be wrong. Metanoia, by itself, simply means a “change of mind.”
When Christ used the word “repent” He was always referring to “a change of mind.” In proper context, Christ used “a change of mind” to refer to what people were trusting in to get them to heaven. Jesus would tell people to “change their minds” from keeping all the established laws of righteousness to instead trust upon Him alone in terms of Him being the sin-bearer, that He would “solve” the problem of sin once and for all by His death and subsequent resurrection from the dead. You see, Christ took care of the sin problem.
When we, in any way whatsoever, attempt to remedy the problem of sin by turning our backs on it, forsaking it, or promising Godthat we will quit certain things that we know bring Him grief, we are essentially telling Christ that our faith in His death and resurrection from the grave is “not enough” to save us. If there was any way at all we could save ourselves by our works and behavioral changes, Christ may not have had to die on that cross; however, we know that God says in Romans 6:23 that the “wages of sin is death.”
That means one sin, such as a small lie, condemns us to the spiritual “death penalty.” And because the wages, or payment, for that small lie is death, the “only way” we could pay for it is to be cast into the eternal lake of fire. We “cannot” pay for a single sin by promising God we will change our behaviors, or by “turning from sins.” It will not erase the “death sentence” that God has passed upon sin. For us to be able to enter into God’s heaven, we must be “as righteous” as God is righteous. In no way can our works, deeds, discipleship or promises ever make us “as righteous as God.” That is precisely why we need a “savior” and that is precisely why Comfort and Cameron’s plan of salvation will not work — it is not the gospel message of the bible; therefore, it is counterfeit. But that is not to say that these are not good men, for they are good men. They are moral, they espouse many biblical doctrines correctly, and they are masters at getting people to see their sinful natures before a holy and righteous God; however, because of one academic flaw — the misinterpretation of the word repent — their plan of salvation does not match with the plan of salvation that Christ offers to us in the bible.SOURCE: Michael Patrick Bowen, a quote from the awesome book, “I NEVER NEW YOU” (pp. 113-115)
I am not trying to be unkind, God knows, but someone needs to cry “WOLF!” when they spot the Devil creeping into our churches.
In Mr. Comfort's religious world, he teaches a
backdoor approach to Lordship Salvation [the heresy that in addition
to faith, a person must surrender all to Christ, forsake the world, stop
sinful bad habits and receive Jesus as their Lord (Master) to be saved]. In
sharp contrast, the Bible simply requires a person to acknowledge their
sinnership and receive Christ's sacrifice on the cross as payment for their
sins. Salvation is
not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to
your account through receiving Him by faith. The Gospel
according to 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 is that Christ died on the cross for our
sins, He was buried, and He resurrected from the dead three days later. Mark 1:15 says to “Repent ye, and believe the Gospel.” Literally, in the
Greek it means: Change your mind and believe that Jesus died on the cross
for your sins, was buried and raised up from the dead three days later. It's
that easy to be saved.
Good Works Or Bad Works, Both Are Works!
To help you understand what is so woefully wrong with Ray Comfort's corrupt theology, consider the following...
There are two types of works, good works and bad works, but they are BOTH works! You can corrupt the Gospel easily by either requiring good works to be saved, or requiring that a person cease from bad works to be saved. Either way works (human effort) is involved.
Here are several ways that the Gospel is being corrupted in churches today:
Do you see my friend how all of these “formulas” (as heretic C.S. Lewis called them) hinge upon or involve human effort? Now let's take a look at what the Lord Jesus Christ said concerning WORKS for salvation in 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.” The only “WORK” that is required for salvation is that you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen! How you choose to live after you are saved has absolutely nothing to do with the gift of eternal life.
Ray Comfort has a wrong understanding of what it means to repent. Mr. Comfort says FAITH ALONE in Christ is insufficient to save anyone...
If belief is all that is necessary for salvation, then the logical conclusion is that one need never repent. However, the Bible tells us that a false convert "believes" and yet is not saved (Luke 8:13); he remains a "worker of iniquity." [emphasis added]
Clearly, Ray Comfort errantly recognizes repentance as a separate step from belief. However, Biblically repentance and faith happen together, at the same time. You don't repent of your sins first and then believe, as Ray Comfort sees it. Rather, you realize that you cannot save yourself as a woeful sinner and you receive Christ's sacrifice on the cross as complete payment for your sins, believing that He raised up from the dead after three days. That's the Gospel (1st Corinthians 15:1-4).
Ray Comfort is wrong concerning the Biblical meaning of repentance. Lordship Salvationists put the cart before the horse. A changed life is the FRUIT of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and not a part of the ROOT of saving-faith; but that doesn't mean that a changed life is mandatory to be saved. The Biblical evidence that we are saved according to Romans 8:16 is the presence of the Holy Spirit in us. Our part in salvation is simply to BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST (Acts 16:31), God does the rest. 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.”
Did you know that Jesus doesn't forgive sins? That is correct! Jesus has already paid for our sins in full with His blood. To be saved, you simply receive God's gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life through faith in the Gospel. The price for sin has been paid in full by Jesus Christ, Who is the Lamb of God.
Here is one of the best quotes that I've found on repentance, by Dr. Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951):
“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)
In sharp contrast to Ray Comfort, Dr. Harry Ironside (former pastor of Moody Memorial Church from 1930-1948) correctly understood repentance to mean…
“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
On page 114 of the excellent book by Michael Patrick Bowen titled, “I NEVER KNEW YOU,” the author provides an excellent accurate explanation of true 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)
Ray Comfort is the most dangerous kind of false prophet, because he hides a lie between two truths. The half-truth is the most effective lie, because in part it can be defended with incontestable logic. In fact, it is challenging to expose such false prophets, because most people have difficulty seeing the problem. Author Mark Twain said, “It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” So true! The Devil is sneaking heresies into our Independent Fundamental Baptist churches by the hour. Don't take my word for it, listen to Pastor Jack Hyles say it himself in this awesome sermon titled, “Our Mixed-Up Fundamental Christianity.”
The issue here is adding human effort to faith, or using human effort as a validation of faith. Human effort has no place in the salvation of God. Remember, it is a gift (Romans 6:23). According to Mr. Comfort in the preceding video, a professed Christian who continues in sin may not be saved. The truth is that any professed Christian may not be saved, whether living a righteous life or living in gross immorality. I cannot look at you or anyone else and determine whether or not you are saved, apart from the direct testimony from your own mouth. If someone professes faith in Christ's death on the cross, burial and bodily resurrection, plus nothing, we ought to consider them saved!
We ought to expose false prophets. Many Christians misapply the Holy Bible, holding only to Scriptures which teach us to be patient, kind and loving toward all men. Although these are true, the Bible also teaches us to rebuke false prophets, that they might be sound in the faith...
Titus 1:9-13, “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.”
In the video at the beginning of this article, Ray Comfort attempts to use Romans 6:1 to bolster his Lordship Salvation heresy...
Romans 6:1, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”
The truth is that if a genuine born-again believer chooses to live in gross immorality, grace WILL abound, and they will never be in danger of losing their eternal life or of being damned (condemned) with unbelievers. This is why God wrote Hebrews 12:6-8, warning us that the Lord will chastise and scourge His children, unless they are bastards (not truly God's children). If you are genuinely saved and you choose to live in sin, then God will chastise and scourge you into obedience. If you can live in gross immorality and not endure God's chastening hand, then the Bible says you are not His child. But the choice to continue living in sin as a born-again believer does not mean that a person is not saved. David in the Old Testament learned this the hard way, as many of God's dear children do (Psalms 119:67, 71). If saved, always saved!
God chastised David for his sins, which compelled
David to repent and live for the Lord. Clearly, this totally obliterates the
need for heresies such as Lordship Salvation which try to force
people to forsake sins. The Holy Spirit doesn't need our help raising God's
children. Literally, all these nutty preachers today who are teaching
Lordship Salvation need to stop minding God's business and let God be God,
dealing with His own wayward children (which includes all of us sometimes).
At best, we are just woeful sinners saved by God's mercy and grace. To read
more about Biblical repentance, please read:
Dr. Curtis Hutson Is 100%
Correct On Repentance. Also, please read:
“A man can slip into hell with his hand on the door-knob of heaven.” —Billy Sunday
The Presence Of The Holy Spirit Is Biblical Evidence Of Salvation
Many believers misunderstand 1st John 3:7-9, “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” Christian believers still have the capacity as human beings to commit any of the horrible sins of an unbeliever. Your salvation does not change you one bit. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer the moment we are saved (Romans 8:9), beginning a lifetime growth in grace process (1st Peter 2:2). It is possible for a person to be saved, but not become a disciple of Christ. Salvation and discipleship are two entirely different things.
Notice that the Bible says in 1st John 3:9 the righteous man “CANNOT SIN.” Well, every believer sins every single day, multiple times, whether in deed or in thought. It's a horrible sin even when we don't pray as we should for others (1st Samuel 12:23). So what does the Scripture mean by saying that the man born of God “cannot sin”? It simply means that when we choose to sin as a believer, it is the carnal nature doing so, not the Holy Spirit indwelling us.
1st John 5:10, “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself [the Holy Spirit]: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.” 1st John 5:13 teaches that the Epistle of 1st John was written to Christians, to help us know that we are saved, and the evidence set forth here is that the presence of the righteous Holy Spirit in us is proof of salvation. That's what 1st John 3:1-10 means. It is the presence of the righteous Holy Spirit is us, that compels us to love our brother, live for God and care that evidences our salvation. The presence of good works or the absence of bad works is NOT the Biblical evidences of salvation; but rather, the presence of the righteous Holy Spirit in us.
We are saved immediately by trusting Christ, but becoming Christlike takes a lifetime. 1st John 3:7-9 speaks of the new nature, which is Christ in us (Galatians 2:20). The Bible teaches that believers who “WALK IN THE SPIRIT” will not fulfil the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16), which means that we still have a choice as believers. WE HAVE A CHOICE! We can either walk in the Holy Spirit Who indwells (lives in) us, by obeying the Word of God; or we can walk in the lusts of the flesh and follow the world. Galatians 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
“If you have to look at your life to prove that you are saved, it proves that you're not!” —Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold; an excellent quote from the YouTube sermon titled, “Why Lordship Salvation is WRONG! | MP3.”
Sins Of The Believer Have Been Washed Away By The Blood Of Jesus
Mr. Comfort also quotes 1st Corinthians 6:9-10 to bolster his heresy, claiming and teaching that professed believers who commit these horrible sins have likely never been 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.”
Please notice that little precious phrase in verse 10... “BUT YE ARE WASHED”!!! Amen! If you've been born-again from above by the Spirit of God, then your sins have been washed away by the precious blood of Jesus (1st Peter 1:18-19; 1st John 1:7). If a believer goes back into these sins, he is still washed, as clean in God's eyes as Jesus Christ. If you disagree with that, then you need to get saved, because you have religion and not the gift of God which is eternal life by faith in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:23). Again, if a believer commits such sins, God will chastise and scourge them, convicting them with the Holy Spirit that indwells their body (1st Corinthians 3:6-17; Romans 8:9).
The believer washed in Jesus' precious blood is justified from all things, so that he or she can never be in danger again of being damned and punished in Hell for their sins. Acts 13:39, “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
God Chastises And Scourges Believers Who Sin
In the video, Mr. Comfort makes clear that the motivation behind his theological error is a diligent attempt to thwart those professed believers who use the grace of God as an occasion to live in sin. What Ray Comfort fails to grasp and teach is that God disciplines His wayward children, as taught in Hebrews 12:6-8, 1st Thessalonians 4:6 and numerous other Biblical passages. 1st Corinthians 11:32, “But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” God's chastens the disobedient believer.
What Ray Comfort is doing is trying to cure shallow Christianity by tampering with the Gospel. Shallow Christianity Cannot Be Cured By Adding Works To Salvation (Dr. Cambron has is correct!). If you include human effort before, during or after salvation, you are messing with and preaching another Gospel. The fact that there will be a separate judgment just for Christians at The Judgment Seat Of Christ is proof that Christians can continue in sin and still be saved. Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith.
I live to please the Lord because I AM saved, not to BE SAVED, but if I choose to live in willful sin, then God will chastise and scourge me as His child. And if I do choose to willfully sin as a Christian, I will never be in danger of losing God's salvation or being terminated from God's family. This is because eternal life has nothing to do with human effort (Ephesians 2:8-9); but rather, is 100% based upon the sacrifice of the Lamb of God on the cross for my sins, His burial and bodily resurrection from the dead for my justification (Philippians 3:9; 1st Corinthians 15:1-4), which is my only hope for the forgiveness of my sins and eternal life. Thank you Lord Jesus!
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies...” —2nd Peter 2:1
WORTHY IS THE LAMB!
(MP3, Dr. Jack Hyles; 2B saved trust Jesus as the Lamb, not Lord or King)
* * * * * * *
The Unbiblical REPENTANCE Heresy!
Spurgeon DIDN'T Teach Lordship Salvation
Harry Ironside DIDN'T Teach Lordship Salvation
Opponents of Lordship Salvation
Ye Must Be Born Again!
You Need HIS Righteousness!
Believe The Gospel
“As a blind man has no idea of colors, so we have no idea of the manner by which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things.” —Isaac Newton (1642-1727)