REASONS FOR NOT TEACHING “LORDSHIP SALVATION”
by Dr. Ray Stanford (1916-2012)
1. It contradicts Scripture; therefore, it cannot be true. This one reason should settle the matter completely. If a doctrine is contrary to what God says, then it should be discarded immediately. See Romans 3:4; Titus 2:7; Galatians 4: 16.
2. It causes confusion and frustration to the unbeliever because it leaves the impression that salvation is by works. Therefore, the lost person often puts off accepting Christ until he is "ready" to turn his entire life over to the Lord. If the truth were presented to such a person, that salvation is free, but that after we are saved the Lord would work in our lives, perhaps he would trust Christ. Because of a "grace plus works" message he might NEVER trust Christ (I Corinthians 14:8,9).
3. This message CANNOT SAVE. If anyone gets saved during such a message, it will be because God has honored a portion of His Word IN SPITE of the unscriptural teaching brought into the message (Romans 4:5; Galatians 5:1-4; Romans 11:6; Isaiah 55:8-11; Romans 10:17).
4. This message is accursed of God. Any message, no matter how "good" it may sound, is condemned by God unless it is His own salvation message. HIS message is the only one that saves. All others are of satanic or fleshly origin and curse men to hell. Therefore, God curses such a message (Acts 4:12; John 14:6; Galatians 1:6-9; II Corinthians 11:13 15; Galatians 3:1-3).
5. The person who preaches such a message is also accursed of God. Strong statement? Yes, but it is what God says. A man who preaches man's efforts have a part in salvation is leading people to hell, not heaven. Even if a man believes he is sincere, a wrong message still has the effects of the wrong message. Sincerity is no substitute for truth (Deuteronomy 27:18; Proverbs 17:15; 19:5; Jeremiah 23:1).
6. It, in effect, makes God a liar and the Bible untrue. If salvation really does come to those who turn over their lives to Christ, then God has been wrong all the time, throughout the entire Bible, because salvation is taught from Genesis to Revelation to come only through faith (Titus 1:2, 3; Romans 3: 4).
7. It causes even Christian preachers to further the error by thinking it might have some merit and preaching it themselves. One well-known Christian returned to America from some meetings he held in a foreign country and made a statement like this: "I really made it difficult for them to accept Christ over there. In America it's too easy to become a Christian, so I made it hard for them there. I told them accepting Christ meant turning from their sins, reading their Bibles, praying every day, giving up bad habits, and going to church regularly. And in spite of such a hard message hundreds made decisions for Christ."
WHAT A TRAGEDY! When people hear the true gospel after hearing this type of message, they are often unable to distinguish what is truth from what is error, and so many are left confused and unsaved.
8. The preaching of this error robs the one preaching it of reward. Paul said, "What is our . . . crown? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?" The more we are able to win to Christ, the more souls will be in heaven, and so the more reward we will have. But those who preach a confused message hinder people from trusting Christ as their Saviour. Therefore, many souls are left unsaved, and so these preachers will not have the reward that they could have had (I Thessalonians 2: 19, 20; II John 8; I John 2:28; I Corinthians 9:18).
9. It confuses "laymen" believers and causes them to be ineffective in their witness. A girl recently asked, "I know that you are sincere and seem to have Scripture to back up what you teach, but my pastor is also sincere and teaches differently about salvation than you do. How do I know which one of you is right? How can I witness when I don't know what to tell people?"
A confused believer isn't going to be a faithful witness because he is going to be in constant turmoil over what to say. When he does try to witness, he will probably give out some mixture of "grace and works" that will not only confuse the lost person, but will also bring discouragement to the believer when he doesn't find people responding to his witness. When the gospel is given out, pure and simple, there will be results. The gospel is good news, and people respond to it.
10. It hinders the growth of the body of Christ. This is one of the results of the above (#9). When the believer's mouth is stopped (regardless of the reason), then the natural flow of fruit-bearing is stopped. Since Christ's body is composed of believers, the growth of His body is hindered when souls are not won (John 15: 8, 16).
Incidentally, this will also stop the growth of the local church as well. It is so obvious when you stop to think about it. Why any preacher thinks this accursed "grace and works" message would in any way benefit anyone is a puzzle to me. Let's learn to THINK THINGS THROUGH!
11. It brings persecution to the believers who stand firm for the Scriptural message of "justification by faith." Those who are clear on the gospel are often accused of preaching "easy believism" or "cheap grace." Nothing could be further from the truth! Tell me, is a person ever saved by "hard" believism? Certainly no Christian I know believes in "cheap" grace! This is absurd. God's grace is precious. The blood of Jesus is precious. The price our Lord paid for our redemption was so high that nothing can be compared with its great value. Salvation is anything but cheap. It is free to us only because Jesus paid the full price. And that price was His precious life blood (I Peter 1:18, 19).
God has gone through so MUCH to provide redemption for us! When I think that Jesus even gave His life-died such a horrible death-in order to provide eternal life as a free gift to those who would accept His payment by faith . . . and then someone comes along who professes to be a child of God and wants to make salvation HARD for the lost person . . . how the heart of our dear Saviour must break!
"Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, where with he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" ( Hebrews 10: 29)
I doubt seriously if anyone could carefully read the Gospel accounts of what Christ went through to purchase our salvation and ever again speak glibly of "cheap grace." No one is ever saved by "cheap grace." They are saved by PRICELESS, AMAZING GRACE! Don't let Satan blind you to the fact that salvation REALLY IS FREE to man. Don't listen to him when he insinuates that "justification by faith" is a dangerous doctrine that will lead to "loose living." The greatest soulwinners who ever lived believed in salvation by grace through faith, and they preached it faithfully . . . and God blessed them and their ministry for it.
We have a miracle salvation-provided and preserved by God Himself! Let's give out the good news of this salvation simply and faithfully for His glory.
"But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord" (I Corinthians 1:30, 31).
SOURCE: Dr. Ray Stanford, Handbook Of Personal Evangelism, chapter VII, pages 45-49.