This series will look at quotes from teachers and preachers past and present to examine some of their statements concerning how people can obtain salvation. Just what is the gospel? How does a man get saved from the penalty of his sin? You may get a different answer depending on who you ask, but the troubling thing appears to be that the clear Biblical gospel seems to be the minority view.
First we will look at Ray Comfort. He is known for his Way of the Master programs and his witnessing technique of using the law to show a man his need of salvation. I have taken the following quotes from the NeedGod website. I feel that this site typifies Ray Comfort’s teaching.
“If you will repent of your sins and put your trust in Jesus, God says he will forgive all your sins and grant you the gift of everlasting life. “…if you repent (that means to confess and forsake your sins) and put your trust in Jesus, then you will not have to suffer God’s justice in Hell because the payment for your crimes was made by Jesus on the cross.”
“If you’re not sure what to pray, read Psalm 51, and make it a model for your prayer. The words are not “magical,” what God cares about is the attitude of your heart. When you pray, it should sound something like this, “Dear God, I repent of all my sins, such as (name them). I put my trust in Jesus Christ as Lord (to say Jesus is your Lord means you are now making Jesus the master over your life) and Savior. Forgive me and grant me your gift of everlasting life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
Now read your Bible daily, and obey what you read. God will never let you down.”
Where does the Bible tell us to repent of sin in order to be saved? Since when does repent mean to “confess and forsake your sins”. Does it not mean to “think after” or to “change one’s mind”? Trusting in Jesus for salvation based on the gospel is good but one better not also be trusting in his supposed turning from sin. All the unbeliever has to do is change his mind believing on Christ alone for salvation. Payment was indeed made by Christ’s shed blood on the cross. However, how is it that this should be applied to a man’s account by works (repenting of sin)?
Why is Psalm 51 a model for a prayer to obtain salvation? Furthermore, why is a prayer even needed to obtain salvation? What verse or verses in the Bible say that we cannot have salvation unless we pray for it? Is not belief the requirement? What “God cares about is the attitude of your heart”? No, what God cares about is that you are unsaved and need to change your mind and believe in Jesus Christ alone. This faith is based on who He is and what he has done on the cross for your salvation.
The prayer given as an example of what a supposed sinner’s prayer should sound like is full of error and does nothing to help a person become saved. It instead may deceive a person into thinking he has obtained salvation. The only redeemable part is the phrase “I put my trust in Jesus Christ”. The rest is useless because repenting of sin saves no one, supposedly making Jesus Lord and Master saves no one, and asking for God to forgive you and give you eternal life is to confuse the matter of simple saving faith. The fact is that God freely bestows eternal life on all who believe anyway. There does not need to be a formal asking for it or a posture of penitence.
What we see here is a common characterization of conversion by what are known by some as Lordship salvationists. We must always remember how precious the gospel is and should never allow anyone, no matter how well meaning they may seem, to confuse the truth and cloud the gospel message. Next up we will take a look at some quotes by one of the most popular Lordship salvationists, John MacArthur.
I pray that readers will observe what I have written and study these things for themselves to see whether they be so.
Suggested Scripture reading: John 3, Eph 2, Rom 4 and 5
Please feel free to comment and remember that I will only allow posts that I deem acceptable. I will also not allow links to sites that I feel promote error.