The Gospel according to John MacArthur

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye the king up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Matthew 23:13

John MacArthur Redefines the Narrow Gate and the Narrow Way….

What/WHO is the ONLY ROAD to Heaven?


John MacArthur in his sermon on the “The only road to heaven“, says many things I hope you will consider are false in light of the truth of God’s Word.

P.S. – I understand many, including many of my friends like MacArthur very much.  He has exposed many of the false teachings of Word of Faith, and the false signs and wonders teachers, along with feel good motivational Bible-lite teachers like Joel Osteen.  But that doesn’t make his message truth.

John MacArthur is a Calvinist, so if you are, you probably will not want to read beyond this point. (Yes I know he calls it ‘doctrines of grace’ but he is misappropriating the truth).

Is the Sermon on the Mount the way of salvation?

He claims he is a dispensationalist, however his definition is pretty broad as is  his gospel (as much as he likes to claim he is “narrow-minded”).   He also calls himself a ‘leaky dispensationalist’ stating that the sermon on the mount is ‘mostly’ for the church and Jesus presenting the ‘way of salvation’. Is this true?

MacArthur says, The Sermon on the Mount “amounts to the Savior’s own presentation of the way of salvation.

He continues: “This passage crushes the claim of those who say the Sermon on the Mount is not Gospel but law. In fact this is pure Gospel, with as pointed an invitation as has ever been presented. Here, in the culmination of all He has said in the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord demands that each person choose between following the world on the easy well-traveled road, or following Him on the difficult road. You will not find a plainer statement of the Gospel according to Jesus anywhere in Scripture”. (Page 179, “The Gospel According to Jesus”.)

IS THAT SO?  Ask yourself if you really think the sermon on the mount is the pure gospel? 

► Is it the gospel we see declared in 1 Corinthians 15

► Is it what we see in the entire book of John? 

► Is it what we see the apostles preaching throughout the book of Acts?

Please put up with me as I outline his sermon the way I do when I take notes, to make sure that what man says lines up with what the Word says.  There wouldn’t have been enough room to talk about the whole sermon, so I provided the link for you to do your own proving of all things….

The Narrow Gate

First of all, WHO (not what) is the narrow gate?

Open to me the gates of righteousness:
I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord:
THIS GATE of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter.
I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, 
and art become my salvation.
THE STONE which the builders refused
is become the HEAD STONE of the corner.
This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
This is the day which the Lord hath made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it.  Ps 118:19-24


Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.  I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  John 10:7-9


Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.  Ps 2:12

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  John 14:6

If you know the answer to those two questions above, the following excerpt from John MacArthur’s sermon should trouble you.

(I have screen shots of this sermon from the Grace to You site, this is their transcript, not my words, these these things are known to disappear.)

Also, here is the link to the sermon (which is recycled many times on his site), so you can verify I have correctly conveyed his own words.


MACARTHUR SAYS:  “Becoming a Christian is not easy. It’s hard.”

REALLY? Is that correct?  What does the Bible say vs. what Pastor MacArthur states.

Once we believe, BEING a Christian is certainly hard, but is BECOMING a Christian hard?  Is coming to faith supposed to be HARD?


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.  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.  John 6:28-29, 37, 47

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  Matt 11:28-30

So does the Bible say it is easy? Or is it HARD TO BELIEVE as JMac claims? This is the kind of stuff fiction books are made of… or religious books by religious Pharisees, who want to turn grace into works.

Macarthur adds conditions to the Gospel of Grace

mac2PLEASE FRIENDS… Really study prayerfully what he is saying here…



“Another way to say all that is….

    that the Kingdom opens up to those who… 

    1. seek with all their hearts.

    2. You’re not going to sleep your way into the Kingdom. (so conversely are you going to work your way into the kingdom?)



The Kingdom requires:

    3. earnest endeavor,

    4. untiring energy,


5. utmost exertion because….

a. Satan is mighty and

b. has a vast array of helpers,

c. because he has many false prophets

d. and deceivers all over the world,

e. because he actually receives support from the fifth column established in every man’s heart, the love of sin.

6. To let go of the love of sin,

7. To desire to be forgiven of sin,

8. (to desire to be) delivered from sin,

9. to let go of pride

10. (to let go of) self-will

(I don’t know about all of you, but I’m already exhausted.  These are good things to do with the Lord’s help ONCE we have believed and over time and growth in the Lord with our cooperation.  Impossible for an ungodly sinner without strength.  If it were possible, then we wouldn’t need a Savior).

      AND ( in order to let go of ALL the above)

a. “demands a vigor,

b. (demands) an eagerness,

c. (demands) a willingness to conquer,

d. (demands we) take possession of the Kingdom with all its blessings of salvation.”

(Now he is starting to sound like a dominionist.  It also would count out the elderly, the sick, children and likely the poor.  What vigor and strength to ‘take possession of the Kingdom’ do they have?)


For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham BELIEVED God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.  Rom 4:3-4

And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.  Rom 11:6


A few Big Questions here about MacArthur’s supposed gospel:

1. WHERE IS THE GOSPEL? (I Cor 15:1-11) – Go look at the entire Sermon on the Mount, do you see Jesus dying for our sins, being buried, and risen again as the Scriptures said, as was witnessed, preached and believed?

2. WHERE IS THE CONDITION “BELIEVE”? (John 3:16, 36; 5:24; 6:28-29,37,40,47; Acts 16:30-31) – Again 98 times the condition is repeated in the Gospel of John, but do you see it in MacArthur’s sermon?  Is this about what Jesus Christ has done, or is this man-centered, ‘what WE must do’?

3. WHY DOES HE ADD TO WHAT YOU NEED TO BELIEVE AND LEAVE OUT BELIEF? He adds our own strength, works of stopping things, letting go of things, untiring energy…. What?   Is this a process to become saved from hell?

calvary-Heb2-9,IJohn2-2,John3-16MacArthur’s list of conditions to ‘become saved’

He says, “This is not for weaklings.


But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.  I Cor 1:27-29


He continues with his many words to tell us what one must DO to be saved.

(of course there always some truth to it, no need to point that out to me)



  • This is not for waverers. (Poor Peter and Thomas…were they not saved?  Or was it that they didn’t become saved until they stopped doubting, falling into error, etc.?)
  • This is not for compromisers. (I am afraid someone should have told that to the church at Corinth, for the Hebrews, for the Galatians, those James wrote to, and a number of others I can think of).
  • This is not for Baalams. (What did Balaam do?  He was going to curse Israel against God’s Word to Him.  He led them into worship of false gods.  A false Gospel.  So I would agree, however… isn’t ANY false gospel doing the same exact thing such as a teacher who calls his church GRACE TO YOU but teaches works out of the side of his mouth?)
  • This is not for the rich young ruler. (This is a VERY interesting statement by MacArthur, considering in the doctrines of grace, they teach, God does not love ALL, and He did not die for ALL, that God ONLY loves the ELECT. But the Word clearly states, Jesus looked upon him and loved him.   So if what they said were really so, by the elect standard of God only loving the elect, this young ruler WAS saved.  So which is it Mr. MacArthur?)
  • This is not for Pilate. (Interesting he should condemn Pilate, as the others, not knowing who is saved, or what he believed in declaring him innocent).
  • This is not for Demas. (Demas forsook Paul, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, was identified in Philemon as a fellow laborer in Christ.  He ‘loved’ this present world, and went back into it. I am sure that is MacArthur’s foundation to declare him unsaved.)
  • This is not won by deferred prayers, (we cannot ‘win’ our salvation in any way, it is received by faith…)
  • by unfulfilled promises, (There is only ONE promise whereby we can be saved.  It has nothing to do with us not keeping promises.  That is the covenant God made with Abraham, the gospel preached to Abraham (ref: Gal 3:8), and sealed by the blood of the everlasting covenant — Matt 26:28, Heb 13:20.  The gift of eternal life is nothing we can ‘win’ in any way).
  • broken resolutions – (again, our resolutions have nothing to do with being saved.)
  • and hesitant commitments. (The gospel is not about ‘commitment’, hesitant or not — Mr. MacArthur, it is about believing the gospel, Isaiah’s report – Rom 10:14-17 — you either are a believer of the gospel, or you are still under condemnation – John 3:18, 36.)
  • It’s for the STRONG and the STURDY, like Joseph and Nathan and Elijah and Daniel and Mordecai and Peter and Stephen and Paul and Ruth and Deborah and Esther and Lydia. (What boasting… what focus on men.  These men were strong and sturdy, is that what Paul said about himself?  Was it Stephen who had the strength, or the Holy Spirit he was full of.  Shouldn’t the glory go to God being their strength in weakness?  Again I refer you to I Cor 1:27-29 — and if people would just for a moment think again on WHO MacArthur puts the emphasis on… God or man?)
  • The conflict is often fierce. (True, it is for a believer who is walking with Him, BUT, remember, MacArthur is speaking of BECOMING SAVED…He says these things are the only road to heaven). 




  • “Let go of self” – If he had said reliance on self to help save us, I would agree.  But as he states it, this is not a condition to believing the gospel, this is reliance on the person’s ability to perform (as MacArthur demonstrates above)

“And submit fully to Christ”. (How much is acceptable?  He says FULLY.  Again, he sees this as a condition for one to BECOME saved.  Believers are to submit to God (1 Pet 5), but WHERE, is this a condition — SUBMIT FULLY — in order to even become saved?)

“There’s a battle there, but you must enter, you must enter this narrow gate”, (SO ALL OF THE ABOVE WORKS, HE HAS DESCRIBED AS THE NARROW GATE)

“You must enter alone. (true)

You must enter with difficulty.” (Somebody needs to tell that to the Ethiopian Eunuch and the Jailer in Acts 16 among a whole lot of other people who were never told ENTERING into salvation was HARD….)

“And fifthly, you must enter naked. You can’t go through a turnstile with your baggage. (I just shake my head, and think on Pr. 10:19 and 1 Cor 2:1-5 most especially, such wisdom of his own words, and excellency of his speech — no fear and trembling).

You drop everything.” (Every thing?  Do we not all fall short? Did he drop everything?  How would he know, he does not remember a time where he was not saved?)


People may be stirred up by his passionate sermons or his scholarly look.  But what they don’t realize is that he is tickling peoples ears.

(I can just hear the people who love him right now).   What???? John MacArthur is tough, he doesn’t tell people what they want to hear!!!”

A lot of people want to hear this.  They want to do what Christ wants, they want to be headed in the right path, but unfortunately he ties in works over and over to what one must do to be saved, and this APPEALS TO THE FLESH.  Yes it does!  We innately believe we have to earn respect, earn love, earn our wages, even this, we have to work to earn or prove we are saved.

MacArthur continues to falsely call the Gate our works vs. the Gate being Jesus Christ

“It’s the GATE of self-denial.   (HE REPEATS)  It’s the GATE of self-denial.

(IT?  The Gate is an IT?  A work?  Self-denial?  He had better figure out WHO the GATE is, and HOW the righteous will enter only THROUGH belief upon Him alone),

Strip off all the sin and self and self-righteousness.

(WHOA…. Now it is MAN who is ‘stripping off all the sin, and self, and self-righteousness?  I thought it was JESUS who takes away our sin by what HE did on the cross in our place?  The LAMB that TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD.  See what happens when we point to self?)

It’s the way you unload yourself.

(Unload ourselves?  Again, He takes away our sins.  We cast our burdens upon HIM.)

It’s where you say, “I no longer want to be the person I have been.”

Dropping all the baggage isn’t easy.”


Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  Matt 11:28-30

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.  1 Pet 5:6-7

John MacArthur’s poor interpretation of the Rich Young Ruler


The rich young ruler wouldn’t do it. He was very rich. He wasn’t about to let go of his money. He was very much in control, he wasn’t about to do what Jesus told him to do. He wasn’t going to let somebody else be sovereign over his life, hung on to his baggage. 



WAS IT ABOUT DIVESTING HIMSELF OF HIS RICHES, OR HIS TRUST IN THEM?  “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:24b)

SO HAVE YOU DIVESTED YOURSELF OF YOUR RICHES JOHN? HOW MUCH HAVE YOU GIVEN UP?  His listed salary for Grace to You and Master’s Seminary in 2011 was over half a million dollars.  And that has nothing to do with book sales.


OR WAS IT THE FACT HE DID NOT EVEN ADMIT THAT HE BROKE THE LAW (SINNED)?  (“All these things I have kept from my youth”… And again, that his TRUST was in his riches? — Mk 10:24; Ps 49:6-9; Prov. 11:28)  


When Jesus told the story about the soils in Matthew 13, the different soils, in some of the soils the weeds were never cultivated out. Some of the soil, the stony ground, was still remaining hard. Superficial response initially, but no real life, no real fruit.


>>>   If you’re holding on to ANYTHING that you’re not willing to let go of, you can’t get through this.

>>  It’s where you abandon yourself TOTALLY.

Are you noticing a pattern yet of you, you, youWorks, works, work


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.  1 Cor 1:30-31

DID YOU ABANDON YOURSELF TOTALLY BEFORE YOU CAME TO CHRIST (IF YOU HAVE) MR. MACARTHUR?  (Because anything less than totally is failure correct?)


(If someone answered yes, then I refer you to the story of the rich young ruler, the Pharisees who were not in need of a physician).


I am pretty sure it’s 100%.  MacArthur says TOTALLY.  Have you accomplished that?


Yep! Of course it is…

What happens by the Word when we believe?

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Rom 10:17

….having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.  I Pet 1:23

For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.  I Thess 2:13


WHO is the gate, WHO is the way? WHO is the door?

From a prior blog of mine I said,

“Jesus is the gate/door/way.  He is the truth and the life.  There is no other way.  Not works, not a certain religion, not being good, not being baptized, but JESUS!  Believe on Him, and you shall be saved (Acts 16:31)”.  If you want to read that, you can find it here.


Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.  I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.  John 10:7,9

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.  John 14:6

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved…

In the Bible, the gate was the place where people entered the temple or the city.  It was where people went to receive justice.  

It’s where Jesus suffered in order to sanctify us.

Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.  Heb 13:12

John MacArthur does NOT preach about the FREE GIFT, but MAN’S works…

Jesus suffered and died for us, and offers us a free gift, without works….

But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the ►grace of God, and ►the gift by grace (Eph 2:8-9), which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is ►the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the ►free gift is of many offences untojustification.  For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of ►grace and of the ►gift of righteousness* shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one thefree gift came upon all men unto ►justification of life.  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be ►made righteous. Rom 5:15-19

*The free gift, is defined in this passage as coming BY the grace of God, and IS justification and righteousness by One who is Jesus Christ and His work (obedience to die on the cross for us) 

What will it be for you — trust in your works or Him?

The Pharisees trusted in their works….  Jesus told them, And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.  (John 5:40)

This time, be a Martha… (In the case of Luke 10:38-42, be a Mary) 🙂

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?  She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.  John 11:25-27

Is John MacArthur a Freemason?   I do not know the reliability of the site here, so I cannot recommend.  I did check the links for reliability to information, and there is verification of all who MacArthur claims to be his family members and relatives and ‘clan’ being all the way up to 33rd degree Mason.  See all about his freemasonry history here.


Some other articles to consider:

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MACARTHUR PT. 1 (Review on ‘The Gospel According to Jesus’ by Jim Floyd of Stand for the Faith).

PT. 2

PT. 3

PT. 4





MACARTHUR – THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JESUS (QUOTES) – This site I do not recommend for all of it’s doctrine, as it seems right now to lean a little Lordship. With that disclaimer, you will find quotes from the book and page numbers.


John MacArthur says you can take the Mark of the Beast and still be redeemed.  Hear it and read it at GTY.

John MacArthur adds works to the Gospel – see the huge list of his requirements

The Gospel according to John MacArthur

A video regarding much of John MacArthur’s false teachings by my friend Mark, who attended GTY for 8 years

Does MacArthur teach Grace?



72 Responses to “The Gospel according to John MacArthur

  • Terry Nickens
    11 years ago

    Amen! Thank you Holly for another insight on this Grace plus something error!
    Yes I like John MacArthur. But it’s not about who you like but about thus said The Lord! His teaching were what I listened to back in the 80’s when I first was saved. It seems like more & more I read & study the word of God I see error in what man teaches not the word! One thing I learned in my early walk was about the Grace of God! All about Jesus & had Nothing to do with me! I’m saved by Grace & Grace alone! When God the Father sees me He sees the Son! I asked someone if he believed in what the Calvinist teach. His respond was I believe & follow some of it but not all of it. Wow is this how some others think? ( I’m asking Holly) This following/ believe has been around for a longggg time! I thank God for saints like you who reveal the Truth not only by using the scriptures, but in Love! I will continue to keep you & your family prayed up! I’m sure you’ve been under attack Spiritually, Physically, & Mentally. I give All honor & Glory to our Lord & Savior Jesus. You are the vessel He choose to use so that other Christians could not be ignorant to His Word!

    Thank You

    • Terry, I agree with you, John MacArthur is very likable… so is Billy Graham and Ray Comfort and well, I love people, I don’t dislike them, I just dislike the distortion of the truth that I see.

      Same goes for me, the more I study His Word, I am able to discern between good and evil (Heb 5:12-14). For a time I got out of the strong meat, and I got into some error, although I didn’t recognize that I was because I stayed pretty ‘mainstream’.

      Exactly right, it had nothing to do with me… cleaning us from the inside out.

      On the part where they ‘follow part of it but not all of it”, I am afraid this answer is Yes, many think that way. Some call themselves partial pointers, or clarify which/how many ‘points’ of tulip they believe. Because some ‘sounds’ right, like the Sovereignty part, but although we know God is certainly Sovereign, it is their all-encompassing definition I cannot agree with, which in a nutshell does not allow for any ability to respond on our own, and in actuality, has us saved before we ever believed… Therefore they have cut out truly the necessary component of salvation although they would deny it vehemently.

      Thank you so much for the prayers, yes, there is always spiritual attacks, from distractions to fatigue, to responsibilities, to outright fiery darts. You know a friend and I were called ‘whores of grace’ by a teacher of the law not too long ago. If the Lord chose me to do this is it truly that He would get all the glory, for I am the weak and the foolish and the base thing… and I certainly was not very noble, but I try to be now, as I search the Scriptures to see if these things are so!

      • Terry Nickens
        11 years ago

        Thank you my Sister!

        May The Lord continue to use you & others to uncover/ reveal the False Teachers! Those that are wolves in sheep clothings as well as those who are used by Satan & are either ignorant to being used or have so much pride they allow themselves to be deceived with Satan lies! Being called names Holly just shows you are on the right road 🙂 Hey they called Jesus names, lied on Him, and did all matters of injustice to the one who knew no sin & came to Save them, so ……

        Love you Holly
        God Bless!

      • Thank You Terry for all your encouragement. I want to be held accountable, for when I am reviled I want to be sure it is because of Him, and nothing of me. I pray for those who says those things, the wolves indeed are ravening when they have been revealed. It was one of those who used that terminology, and it is only something to rejoice over if I am counted worthy to partake in any of His suffering (which is not much).

        Thinking on how they treated Jesus, and he knew every murderous, hate-filled thought, and yet He loved them…

        So sad that these teachers/pastors have not believed the truth or are bewitched into finishing in the flesh. Praying people will see, especially with this other gospel of works (no matter how they cry faith only, it is not what they teach).

        God bless you too, in His love to you and yours. Maybe this side of heaven we’ll share some crab one day :).

    • Hello Holly
      I came across your website recently and consider it a GREAT blessing, thank you my sister. Most of my life was without our Lord Jesus Christ and i can testify in the fear of the Lord that my regeneration was solely by His grace. Moreover the Lord was VERY patient, very merciful, very loving in the way he delivered me out of MANY demonic bondages the biggest one perhaps
      the bondage to false religion of works which attracts the sinful flesh and demons like honey attracts bees! He drew me, wooed me and yes, sometimes kicked me up the bum to get me to the place where I believed that He shed His precious blood not only for everyone else but FOR ME!! No room for self glorification or boasting in salvation from start to finish. I shudder and am very grieved at the perversions of John McArthur. I consider him to be an EXTREMELY DANGEROUS MAN, far more dangerous than “the usual suspects”, those false teachers who are much more obvious in their aberrations and heresies. He is woolly, he contradicts himself over and over but because he churns out such a plethora of books etc it takes great discernment and perseverance (and a strong stomach!) to wade through it and see that he is a HYPOCRITE of the most dangerous kind. So much of what he teaches is good that people are sucked into his “charisma” and I”ll put an lol here because of course McArthur hates “charismatics” with breathtaking Pharisaical venom. He has shamelessly used the aberrations of a minority of charismatics to CONDEMN the whole, he has had the arrogance to thunder that they are insulting the Holy Spirit and yet it is he who keeps insulting the Holy Spirit by denying the gospel, the gifts of the Holy Spirit to the true Body of Christ and the sustaining and enabling grace / power of the Holy Spirit as we work out our salvation in fear and trembling. It is scary and discouraging to me how many local congregations almost if not actually WORSHIP mc Arthur and uphold wicked Calvinism either overtly or covertly. You have done an excellent job in collating and exposing his false gospel which is anything but good news to those that need the Saviour. Noone who is honest and a lover of the truth could claim to have met his impossible conditions to receive eternal life. The desire to follow our Saviour is a supernatural outflow and usually comes AFTER we receive the Holy Spirit, as God declares HE gives us a new heart. McArthur breeds confusion and hypocrisy not to mention astounding cognitive dissonance. He preaches anything BUT the simplicity of the one and only gospel message which is the power of GOD unto salvation to everyone who believes. And he denies and contradicts the simplicity that is IN Christ Jesus.
      God bless you Holly and keep you in His perfect peace.

      • Sophia, so sorry I missed your comment. I come in to look to see if comments need approved and just saw it.

        I was just saying yesterday the very same thing. I believe John MacArthur to be very dangerous because he does seem ‘scholarly’ and ‘Biblical’ to so many. Some are more obvious as you said. He is clever, and if you want to know where he’s headed, skip to the end of his sermons then start over, and you can see how he circles the drain.

        Of course the number of books and popularity commend him to some, but the Word says this, and I think of these types when I read it:

        Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. Luke 6:26

        Thanks for coming to comment! God bless you with His joy and peace, along with the comfort from His Word (Rom 15:4)

  • Hi Terry… Yes I think some believe part of it, in that they don’t understand the full teaching. For an example, they will say they believe in total depravity and cite, we are none good, no not one. But it’s not really correctly applied, we’re none good enough to approach God, but the Word itself calls different men and women who were not believers good or devout, or strong faith. Total depravity really teaches total inability to believe, so most probably don’t get the whole teaching.

    Others deny certain tenants, but then say they believe God is Sovereign, as if we do not because we believe He has given us free will to choose. They say we limit God. I say they do, God is Almighty and is able to do far beyond what we can even imagine, but we can trust His Word when we see choice (I have chosen the way of truth-Ps 119:30) and yet we see how His Sovereignty and our free will run concurrently, yet, God is outside of time. His ways and thoughts are above ours… (Is 55:8-9) but TULIP does not begin to correctly describe our loving God who does not foreordain evil because He foreknew. Again, they try to box God into their simple way of thinking, actually believing they are wise. We know all the wisdom of men is foolishness to God. So, they see one verse, (no one seeks after me) and they don’t take the whole counsel, nor the context. I see in each and every aspect of TULIP, seemingly conflicting passages, so I guess I find the doctrine highly faulty and I believe it perverts the gospel of grace.

    One preacher, Washer, calls believing, the “idolatry of decisionism”. I’ll leave him to discuss that with the Lord and the book of John.

    Thank you so much for your prayers, yes, they are always, always coveted, there is a lot of unhappy people when you touch their favorite teachers/authors or pastors. I am not going to these men’s motives, nor their own status, whether they are saved or not, but I am trying to be obedient and PROVE ALL THINGS. And TEST THE SPIRITS. And SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES TO SEE IF THESE THINGS ARE SO… And TAKE HEED TO THE DOCTRINE…

    So, may His Word be rightly divided here. It’s not about me, I am a nobody in the realm of the “Evangelical/Scholarly/Theological realm, just one who has loved Him most of her life, and wants to do a much better job than she has in the past. With His help of course. In Him 🙂

  • GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JESUS by John Macarthur,

    Review by Bruce Bauer can be found here:

  • SLAVE – by John Macarthur – Review can be found here.

  • Marian Winans
    11 years ago

    Amen & Amen! Everything what Terry Nickens just said about you↑, sweet sister in Jesus! Thanks for being SO FAITHFUL to the Word of God & being that Watcher on the Wall. I know it’s not a popular position to be in & a thankLESS one at that. I just know one day you will hear the Lord say “well done thy good & faithful servant…”! Love you! ♥

    • Evidently not popular no…. But I am only wanting people to see the distortion of the simplicity that is in Christ.

      May God bless people to see. Love you too!

  • Ma’am, I don’t know you, but one of our mutual friends came to me with this. And after reading and watching John MacArthur’s sermon, it is clear you have TOTALLY misconstrued John MacArthur’s teaching here. And it is just as I suspected. JM referenced a poem written by this John Oxonum guy, as he wrote many years ago, “To every man there opens a way and ways and a way. And the high soul treads the highway and the low soul gropes the low. And in between on the misty flats, the rest drift to and fro. But to every man there opens a highway and a low, and every man decides the way his soul will go.” In the poem, obviously the writer is speaking of the narrow way which leads to Heaven and the broad way which leads to Hell. And a man must choose which way he will go.

    Then JM references Jesus’ sermon on the mount, and says a little later, “There are two doors marked heaven… {> one goes there and one does not. And the choice is clearly an absolute choice. Jesus cuts across any easy-going syncretism. He will not allow us comfortable tolerances when it comes to the path to heaven. There’s only one possibility “You need to keep in mind that the contrast through this entire sermon is a contrast between religion that is false and religion that is true, between worship that is false and worship that is true, between divine religion and man-made religion.”<}

    In the context of true and false religions JM is talking about two ways and two doors–One way leads is to Heaven and the other way leads to Hell. And although two doors are marked Heaven (two choices) One door is Jesus and the other door is the way of false religions that leads to Hell. It's NOT that hard to figure out what he is saying. A person only needs to be discerning of what is being said within the context of which it is being spoken. Here is the sermon, if you want to watch it:

    And you really should make a public retraction of your public smearing of John MacArthur and make a public apology. The choice is yours.

    • As I already told you on FB, this is actually copy and paste, and put in outline form. I also cited the sermon AND took screenshots just in case. There is no “smearing” here, just his words and the Word of God. I see you find yourself “discerning”, so I pray that grows as maybe you will seek the strong meat of His Word vs. men’s words.

  • John MacArthur, whom I have listened to on the subject of salvation, does not believe in a works based salvation. You bear false witness or are believing someone who is.

    • Jewel, I actually simply copied and pasted what he said, so possibly you just do not understand Lordship teaching completely, or possibly you did not read the article before you suggested I was bearing false witness. I would never dream to do that, I let John Macarthur’s words speak for themselves. So I suggest you really prayerfully consider what HE said. There is no false witness above.

  • Kenneth Groenewald
    11 years ago

    Hi Holly, it’s like banging one’s head against a brick wall when reasoning with these MacArthur clones. They have been so indoctrinated and brainwashed by him ( MacArthur). So many think that he’s infallible because he wears a suit and he’s got a congregation of about 5 000 plus. We need more Bereans, who were more noble than those in Thesalonica in that they searched the scriptures daily to see if what Paul said was so. The Lord bless and keep your ministry. I pray we had more like you Holly that can rightly divide the word of truth.


    • Thank you for the encouragement Kenneth. Yes, they look at the size of the congregation, the 150+ books he’s written, the Bible with his name splashed across it, and they probably look at the man, suit, glasses, ex-football player, gray hair, and think, he’s got to be a good guy. He’s intelligent and after all, who am I to dare speak against him? I am the weak thing… Whatever the Lord may use for His glory, I thank Him for. God bless you.

  • Reading MacArthur’s books and listening to his ministry always made me feel like I wasn’t quite right, that I wasn’t saved. That is the problem with those who teach a works based salvation, you can never do quite enough to ensure your salvation. However, Jesus Christ did save me and knowing that fact led me to reject MacArthur’s teachings. He unfortunately talks out both sides of his mouth and isn’t trust worthy which my Lord and Savior made abundantly clear to me years ago, praise His name.

    • Eliza, thank you for visiting and commenting. I have some books of MacArthurs, some due to recognizing his error, some from recommendations, some because of Bible study teachers who admired him. I never have made it through, I thank the Lord for those kinds of distractions, but I so agree with you, when I did actually hear and comprehend what he was saying, it troubled me so much.

      How can someone grow under this teaching, or grow in grace? They’d have to be finishing in the flesh, for what MacArthur’s understanding of what God requires is impossible. I never thought in the beginning to ask myself, did I think these men preaching this were able to accomplish the same feat?

      I now understand why he has so many book sales, why he is so big, so popular. Certainly not with the blatantly false as he goes about to “contend for the faith”, I feel he is sadly one of the most destructive. Because he seems like mainstream Christianity, but these men corrupt people’s minds from the simplicity that is in Christ. For those who are saved, they cripple them. For those who are not, they make it impossible to reach God. It’s so disturbing, and I’m only one voice, but may the Lord open eyes, soften hearts, teach people from His word vs men’s doctrines.

  • Good job Holly,

    MacArthur does teach a discipleship (works) gospel.

    “The rich young ruler wouldn’t do it. He was very rich. He wasn’t about to let go of his money. He was very much in control, he wasn’t about to do what Jesus told him to do. He wasn’t going to let somebody else be sovereign over his life, hung on to his baggage.”

    This proves it. You can find this type of thing and much more in his books.


    “DID YOU ABANDON YOURSELF TOTALLY BEFORE YOU CAME TO CHRIST (IF YOU HAVE) MR. MACARTHUR? (Because anything less than totally is failure correct?)”

    MacArthur is one of those types that don’t recall a conversion experience. They think they were always saved.

    See this interview from the GTY website!:

    “PHIL: How old were you when you first recall sensing your need for Christ?

    JOHN: Well I always believed the gospel. I don’t ever…I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t believe the gospel. I mean, it was so wonderfully modeled by my Mom and Dad, it was so consistent. They were exactly at home what they were in the church. And what my Dad was in the pulpit he was in the house. And Christ was always very wonderful to me and inviting to me. And my Mom and Dad lived out their Christian life before me. And so, I never rebelled against it. I always knew I needed Jesus to be my Savior.”

    “…but I said, “You know, I think…I’m not a good boy and I need the Lord to forgive me.” And that was sort of an initial prompting. And I remember my Dad praying with me on the steps that the Lord would save me. ”

    “And as to whether I was actually converted at that time, I don’t know. Again, in the years following I never rebelled, I was always responsive to the things of Christ. But I don’t know that they were really the dominant matters of my life and the priorities that early.”

    “PHIL: So you’re saying…are you saying it would be difficult for you to put your finger on when your conversion took place?

    JOHN: Yeah. I’ve never been able to do that. And it doesn’t bother me. I think I’m one of those kids…I was one of those kids that never rebelled and always believed. And so when God did His saving work in my heart, it was not discernable to me. I went away to high school and for all I knew, I loved Christ, I was part of the ministry of the church. I went away to college and I wanted to serve the Lord and honor the Lord. I was certainly immature. But at some point along the line, I really do believe there was a transformation in my heart, but I think it may have been to some degree imperceptible to me because I didn’t ever have a rebellious time, I didn’t ever revolt against, you know, the gospel or not believe. And I guess that’s…in some ways that’s a grace act on God’s part. So that all that wonderful training found some level of fertile soil in my heart and none of it was wasted.”


    Jim F

    • Yikes about sums up the way I feel when I see so many of the things he teaches. Praying for more to see and examine his teachings…

  • Terry Nickens
    11 years ago

    Jim & Holly

    Praise The Lord JM is being exposed more & more!
    Just last night on FM someone was commenting on him saying you can still being saved even though you take the mark of the beast. She had the video of the interview. You know she was attacked. So I added to the comment. I’m sure you guys touched on this subject but I can’t seem to find it. I try to put all the emails in a folder but this topic was not in my folder ? Can someone resend it to me? Just went back to her post & see some others thanking her for revealing this truth about JM. Someone even said JM corrected his view . Too late!!! Pray for her. Her name is Lynne Rae.

    Thank you

    • The reason why they attack others is the GTY org sent people who asked a subsequent message which was 93 or 94. Why not a Message from 2013? or 2012, or 2011, or 2010, or 09, 08? You get the point? There are NO messages for TWENTY years on Revelation? AND, if he RECANTS, why didn’t he? Why waste SO many words explaining why they were attacked, or angry calls, etc.? Why simply not just say, People get things wrong and we no longer believe that way? Will John refuse to recant publicly as any good teacher should do? Why is the OLD one still available on his site? And SINCE it is still available (or was as of a few days ago) WHY do they not have a DISCLAIMER tacked at the top?

      This tells me that they must still really feel this way. Did you see Grace To You (MacArthur’s church site) ‘explanation’ of what he said?

      Typical of the prevarication I have seen with John MacArthur. He speaks out of both sides of his mouths on the blood of Christ and on the Eternal Sonship. He is not straightforward about the truth of the gospel and does not speak plainly. This is what the site said. Italics theirs, I did not add.. I did add lines between so people could see their method of setting you up to agree with them. Look at all the words he wasted, when he simply could have said, “We now deny that you can take the mark and be saved, we RECANT”.

      Rev 19:20 indicates that multitudes will take the mark of the Beast because they are deceived.

      Scripture does not say that they are thereby automatically hardened forever against repentance.

      That is >>not the point of the strong warnings.

      This whole issue suddenly became a matter of intense controversy when it was mentioned on a >>provocative radio program:

      It’s certainly >>not worth all the ink that has been wasted

      >>and all the bandwidth that has been consumed

      >>by angry people

      >>demanding explanations and retractions.

      This much >>>should be clear from the biblical text
      >>(and I think would be affirmed by all sides):

      Taking the mark of the Beast is high treason against Christ and will be judged by God accordingly. >>>>Meanwhile, the Lord is good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call up Him” (Ps 86:5)

      Typical of the way they herd the sheep…into a tighter circle, more manageable, easier to savage…

      • Terry Nickens
        11 years ago

        Thank you so much Holly for your reply. I will go on his site.

  • We are dead in our trespasses and sins, in what way can we who are dead do anything about our condition?

    And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,…But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He love us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might sow the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:1, 4:10

    All of salvation is of God through Jesus Christ from first to last. That doesn’t mean that we don’t repent of our sin and then do good works as a testament to faith in Christ after salvation. The only requirement for salvation is repentant faith in Christ. Repentance is agreeing with God that I am a sinner and I will to, by the power of His Holy Spirit, turn from sin and so do what is well pleasing in God’s sight. Even repentance is a work of God in our hearts, for without His work in our hearts, we would never agree that we are sinners deserving of hell and have need our Savior Jesus Christ. Without God’s work in our hearts we would not turn from going our own way and turn instead to going His way. By obedient faith and trust in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior we will do what is well pleasing in His sight. God bless you:)

    • Repentant faith is not agreeing to ‘turn from sin’ and do what is ‘well pleasing in His sight’.

      Understanding what repentance means is of the utmost importance, since people like MacArthur make it a work, and make faith the gift, instead of salvation.

      No, God does not choose some to go to hell, He gave everyone the vehicle to come to faith, to believe, that is the Word of God. Rom 10:17; 2 Tim 3:15; Rom 1:16-17, 1 Cor 1:17-18, it is best to trust the gospel and use His Word to preach the gospel.

      What we are to do is laid out here.

      Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. 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.

      MacArthur adds works to the gospel, let us, none of us, unknowingly or otherwise, let our own words corrupt the simplicity that is in Christ.

      Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…

      Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that (1) heareth my word, and (2) believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. John 5:24

      He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:36

      We have to believe. Believing comes when we hear the gospel, through the preaching of it, through the power of the gospel, the power of the Word. We enter through Jesus Christ, NOT our own efforts.

      John MacArthur preached against what the Word itself says by adding his own thoughts, endeavors, actions, WORKS….

  • Hi Holly,
    I agree that MacArthur has a very works centered gospel and so causes uncertainty in the hearts of those who have turned from unbelief and rebellious sinfulness and believed in Jesus Christ for salvation. We must hold fast to the gospel message preached in the Word of God and not add to it or take away from it, for to do so is to believe and preach a false gospel and so remain in our sins before our Holy God.

  • John Macarthur is without doubt a very dangerous wolf in sheep’s clothes. I would like to add a website link that gives more information about John Macarthur. Not just his false teachings, but information about his father, family, financier, friends, ministers and much more. Did you know that John Macarthur claims to have seen the blood of Martin Luther King first hand?

    • I apologize Bob, you went to my spam. I appreciate you asking first. Tell you what, I’ll email you and you can send me the link. Not much would likely surprise me on Mr. MacArthur, or any deceived or deceiver, especially the very good ones.

  • John Macarthur is a sacrament away from becoming a Catholic priest. Thanks for the wonderful article!

    • Thank you for visiting, unfortunately, John MacArthur is the prince of lordship (loadship) works-based doctrines. They twist and twist words and say they believe in grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and turn right around and give you a list of works you must do in order to become saved. (Hard to Believe, his book was a bestseller, why?)… hard to fathom. I guess people feel more secure if they are earning their salvation by keeping the law… MacArthur preaches law, along with the Roman Catholic church, they preach law and traditions they’ve made up, just as the Pharisees in the days of Jesus on the earth.

  • So…. you are saying that a Christian is NOT supposed to confess his sins? What about James 5:16 “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another”….? Is that “work” too?
    Besides, the Bible never said we are NOT to work, just that we don’t rely on works for justification. If anything, works are the evidence of our justification (James 2:17)

    • Hi Gloria, thanks for commenting. No, we are told believers are to confess their sins in 1 John 1:9. I am saying to add confession of sins as being a necessity for a non-believer to become saved, it is no longer a free gift, then we have added a work of the law (Numbers 5:7) to the gospel, and tainted it, as Rom 4:4-5, Eph 2:8-9, Rom 11:6 and others tell us <3 God bless your year Gloria.

  • The differnce is we work because we are saved ( Ephesians 2:10) not to become saved ( Ephesians 2:8-9) Some add confession of sins to Romans 10:8-9 this is other add on that deceives one into thinking I must confess my sins and…… in order to be saved! They take the finish work of Jesus on the cross & add works like repenting & confessing sins.We are saved by Grace not works! ( Ephesians 2:8-9) It’s that simple!
    John 3:16 ( a Gift) Now when was the last time you worked to recieve a gift! Well if you had to then it was Never a Gift but a loan with stipulations or some kind of conditions & if not met then can be taken back! Sounds familiar. That kind of so called gift is not the one God the Father gave! He gave All of us His Son Jesus ( God the Son) It’s was free then & still Free! What do we do to earn it “Nothing” remember its free. Jesus already paid the price on the Cross, then was buried , & was Resurrected on the third day! Just like He said! Preach the Gospel you can’t go wrong! May they stop adding to the Gospel message & just let others know about His Grace!

    Sadly to say a whole lot of people are being deceived along with being in bondage to this Lordship Salvation false teachings! We must expose these false teachers! I thank God for Holly & others like her for doing just that!

    • Thank you Terry, I pray many might continue to open up their Bible and pray and study with His approval in mind. That they would prove all things and be very sure they understand the simplicity that is in Christ.

      Love in Him <3

    • Terry, I didn’t’ do work for a long time… not much anyways. Difference between attempting to finish in the flesh and allow Him to finish me with my cooperation to spend time with Him and in His Word.

  • Just because MacArthur claims to be a Calvinists does not mean he speaks for other Calvinists with some of his wacky views. I am sure Joel Olsteen and Rick Warren claim to be Armenians at least as far as come one come all is concerned but there are many Armenians who would differ with their teachings. I don’t agree with much of what Macarthur teaches especially about receiving the mark and there is still hope for forgiveness and his strenuous look at salvation. There are many more things as well. I do lean towards a Calvinistic view of the sovereignty of God and the depravity of man but I don’t agree with a lot of what Calvin taught and stood for either. Hold onto what is good and throw out the bad. Scripture tells us to study so we can rightfully divide the word of truth……T PS Take another look at the story of Samson. Chosen before He was born. God knows all so He knew he would spend a lot of time running from the call, choosing by free will to do his own thing. God knows how to break his stubborn free will and in the end broken and humbled and as kind of a last resort calls out to God for help. God comes through and not only uses him to destroy His enemies (which is what he was called to do), but also mentions Samson in the hall of fame of faith in Hebrews. 1. Chosen before He was born ‘angel announcement’ 2. By free will was running from God. 3 God’s will broke his will. 4. Finished in victory. All done by God and His sovereign will. Just something to think about.

    • Sweetfrom3s, thanks for responding and visiting. All of TULIP stands or hinges on all the points, so I can’t lean towards a Calvinistic view, nor chew the meat and spit out the bones. I do hold fast to that which is good, I prove all things (1 Thess 5:21), and what is good is His Word. I do agree God works in a lot of different ways to draw us to Him. I wrote an article here if you’d like to read at all.

      God told Samson’s parents, that he would be a Nazarite. Obviously God foreknows who will do what, including our will to balk or resist, or be a womanizer. It does not say Samson was chosen to be saved, however, again, through foreknowledge God works imho. I agree he believed (Samson), but I do not believe it was before birth that he was born again. I agree God is Almighty and disagree with the Calvinist’s definition of the word Sovereign, which is not at all the definition I would adhere to.

      I prefer to mark and avoid the bad, especially when it has to do with the gospel. I’m not of the mindset regarding the baby and the bathwater. Compromise from God’s Word, maceration and deceitful handling of His gospel (JMac) is how people are deceived, so they are to be publicly denounced (see Gal 2:4-5) and not given place for an hour.

      I have followed MacArthur’s teachings for awhile, so I’ll have to abide by Rom 16:17-18 on him.

      In Jesus Christ eternally 🙂

  • Hi, I realize that this is an old article and reply thread, but permit me to post a reply in case someone should stumble upon it. The sermon by John MacArthur that is cited in this article is an exposition of the Sermon on the Mount, and MacArthur’s message reveals the gospel in the Lord’s sermon and contrasts between false and true religion. Everyone who has placed their trust in Jesus was brought by God to such a place; a place of awareness of our destitution without Christ and cried out to Him to save us. The weightiness of this commitment to Christ may not be instant, but in the course of the believer’s walk they discover what it means to no longer be their own but Christ’s. MacArthur never gave his points as a checklist for anyone to come to salvation; when there is a faithful presentation of the gospel, those who respond in faith have just entered in at the narrow way. That’s the application of his message.

    The people who remain outside are those who reject the gospel, those who love their unregenerate state, and those who exalt their idols and even project them onto Christ (i.e., those who find some way to Christianize their idolatry). The latter category is usually where you find the false convert or the admirer that MacArthur speaks of. Where is the evidence of regeneration and new birth toward God? How do you separate believing from regeneration? You can’t; because it is a work of God in a dead heart.

    • Roy – I appreciate you visiting, and understand your desire to defend MacArthur, he has many who do.

      MacArthur’s message does not reveal the gospel sadly, and his is a false religion, leaven as it were. Paul would call him accursed (Gal 1:6-10). I don’t say this lightly. If we follow the Acts of the Apostles we see men preaching the gospel and different responses from those who believed depending on their prior knowledge (i.e. the Jews and their understanding of the Scriptures, the prophecies, the Prophet Moses warned them in Deut 18:18 they were to hear, the Kingdom that was coming, the Messiah prophesied by Daniel (9:24-27). Others, the Gentiles received the Word with gladness when they believed. Different reactions from different people, but only one thing they were asked to do, believe the truth, which is the gospel, the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16-17; 1 Cor 1:17-18).

      God convicts the world through the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:7-11) of sin, righteousness and judgment. Of sin because they believe not. This is the same world He died for, was a propitiation for (1 Jn 2:2). Believing is not weighty, being a disciple is. Being a student, a follower, a pupil, now that is a commitment, and one that has nothing to do with receiving the free gift of eternal life. This is Mr. MacArthur’s grave error, and I assume yours. He still doesn’t know for sure he is saved, because he has not persevered. And what is persevering for salvation anyways but working for it?

      You say, “MacArthur never gave his points as a checklist for anyone to come to salvation; when there is a faithful presentation of the gospel, those who respond in faith have just entered in at the narrow way. That’s the application of his message.”

      I’m afraid I don’t agree with your estimation there. Those who ‘love their unregenerate state’? That’s just reformed narrative, try the Word please, it is what comes with power and actually accomplishes something (Heb 4:12; Is 55:10-11).

      False convert is not found in the Word. When we believe, we are regenerated by the Spirit, born again (Titus 3:4-7; Eph 1:13). God does not give us believe, God calls us to believe. He doesn’t ask us to do something we cannot do, no matter how many Calvinist men insist otherwise, I am sorry, we can respond to truth. Why do I know? Jesus said so.

      Have faith.
      Oh ye of little faith.
      Never have I seen such a great faith.

      If God had gifted these people with faith, Jesus would have been exhorting a crowd to do something they might not have been able to do. He would have been chastising God for the lack in faith, and He would have been giving glory to another, rather than God for the great faith statement.

      I’ll let your comment stand, as it shows you haven’t read carefully. I’ll also let people look into MacArthur’s article here and decide for themselves prayerfully. I also recommend and for more insight on MacArthur’s errors. Mostly I recommend the Word before others (1 Cor 4:6).

      • I apologize as this is an article. Just one observation with what you said.
        – “…but only one thing they were asked to do, believe the truth, which is the gospel, the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16-17; 1 Cor 1:17-18).” What was Peter’s response to the people in Acts 2, when they were “pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” was it believe the truth, or was it, as it says in Acts 2:38: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”? What does this mean? (It doesn’t mean a work, since a work by the Holy Spirit was already started (they were pricked in their heart).

        • Peter, there were different responses to being pricked or cut to the heart (seen also in Acts 5 and 7). Some responded to the conviction (the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteous and judgment-Jn 16:7-11) by doing something wicked.

          These Jews which were there in Jerusalem for one of their 3 feasts that they had to go up to Jerusalem for. And they needed to repent (change their previous thinking) and yes be baptized in His name (identify in Christ). This was standard in Judaism, an identification with Him and a public expression of it. But it still did not contribute to eternal life, only belief in the truth will do that. And the Spirit seals us when we believe (Eph 1:13-14).

          The work of the Holy Spirit to convict the world is to all. It’s just that some respond to that prick/or cut to the heart by resisting the Spirit (as in Acts 7 when they heard the truth). The gospel preceded what Peter said to them, meaning they believed it or they didn’t. And the Word still identifies the gospel as the power of God unto Salvation.

          Not sure what you’re identifying as a work? (Repent or baptism)

        • There is more than this, but thought you might like to see this from my Bible notes I believe from Pastor Hank Lindstrom (with the Lord).

          Different baptisms in the Bible
          1. Repentance (a change of mind) John’s Baptism (Matt 3:11; Luke 7:29; Acts 19:3–4)
          2. Holy Spirit (Matt 3:11; Mk 1:8 1 Cor 12:13; Eph 4:4-6) – Made Members of the body & Seated in heavenly places – 1 Cor 12:27; Rom. 12:5; Eph. 1:23; 4:12; 5:23, 30; Col. 1:24, Eph 1:3, 20; 2:6; 3:10; 5:30
          and with
          3. Fire (3:11-12) fan, purge, gather wheat, but burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
          4. Baptism of Jesus (13-16) Fulfillment of the O.T. type of full immersion of the Priest at 30 years of age (see Lk 3). Fulfill all righteousness (Jesus is Priest, Prophet, King)
          5. Of Death (Lk 12:50)
          6. For the dead (1 Cor 15:29)
          7. Of water (Mk 1:8)
          8. Of repentance (Mk 1:4)
          9. Traditional Jewish (Heb 6:2, 9:10)
          10. By Moses in the cloud (1 Cor 10:2)
          11. Pots/Pans – Household items and utensils (Mark 7:4–8)

  • The Sermon on the Mount is certainly not the message by which one believes and receives life. Jesus is teaching His disciples not the multitude (Matt 5:1-2) and this is after John the Baptist is put in prison (Matt 4:12). John’s Gospel is written so people will believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and believing have life (Jn 20:31). John also tells us that the disciples believed in Jesus at the beginning of His signs (Jn 2:11) before John the Baptist was put in prison (Jn 3:22-24). The Sermon on the Mount is addressed to believers who already have life it is not intended as a way to receive the gift of life.

    • RAS – have some minor differences on viewing the Sermon on the Mount (I believe the whole crowd can hear, frequently they’d go up so their voices could carry to all) but I don’t believe that changes the fact that it is not speaking on how to receive eternal life (justification unto life) 🙂 Thanks, Holly

      • No problem Holly. My take: Whoever heard does not change that Jesus was teaching His disciples. The “them” in Matt 5:2 are the disciples. Like a football coach giving his defense instruction yet the offense is within ear shot. It’s not directly relevant but much can be gleaned.

        • I agree about context, not a hill to die on, but if you look at the end of the sermon, I think you’ll see that more than the disciples were included (just a point of interest). He taught His disciples, but I believe it was for the multitudes, and the people who were astonished. But, all that aside, I think your take is perfectly sound and certainly may be correct, nice to talk about it. I do believe (with you) that it was not about receiving eternal life.

  • alf cengia
    4 years ago

    What a terribly skewed article! So disappointing!

    • Sorry you think so Alf, but there was any ‘proving of all things in your statement’. What was skewed? Are you defending a man or God’s Word here?

  • Confessions of your crimes against a holy God is required for Godly sorrow. Godly sorrow leads to total submission in Christs work, death and resurrection at the cross. Was Abraham, Moses, Joseph’s faith prior to salvation works based? We are commanded to repent and believe in THAT order, how can you repent if you dont know what you are repenting off? This post is utter folly. Be careful of slander. JM is a man, but he preaches faithfully, as do Paul Washer and Ray comfort. The bible is clear, for by the law comes knowledge of sin. Christ came to MAGNIFY the law!

    Over and over again Christ takes the law and makes it even more holy, have you hated your brother? You have comitted murder. Have you looked upon woman with lust? You have comitted adultury. When we are honest and face the law “God’s mirror” it shows us our current state and SHOWS to us that we are not totally right with God. No we cannot earn heaven, NO, we cannot save ourselves by living a “perfect” life, but the law acts to SHOW us during our walk with Christ (We have been totally justified by grace and Christs sacrifice) where we are going wrong. How do you think we live in the vine? We study the attributes of God, his word, HIS LAW. It enables us to overcome sin through Christ! To reject this is heresy.

    • Joseph, thank you for your comment, and for coming to visit.

      I can agree with a few things, 1) that we admit/confess our sins with God (1 John 1:9). Godly sorrow spoken of in 2 Cor 7 is addressed to believers. Unsaved people cannot have ‘godly sorrow’ in order to gain eternal life if that is what is you were referring to. Eternal life is a free gift. There are no ‘works based salvations’, not even Abraham or Moses.

      When we believe, we automatically have repented from something. Repent means change/thought, or after/think, or change/mind.

      The Greek Philosophers in Acts 17 were told what they needed to repent (think differently about); Paul told them they ought not to think(repent) that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device…

      Jesus told the Jews what they needed to repent about. He told them think not (repent) to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham…

      Someone like John MacArthur may need to repent from thinking his ‘many wonderful works; will gain him entrance into heaven.

      I think we should all be careful of slander or accusations of heresy.

      I understand and agree with you that Jesus magnified the law. Yes, by the law, comes the knowledge of sin. See my article on the law here (

      Jesus doesn’t make the law anymore Holy than it already is. But He shows people their sin, it is the schoolmaster to lead us to Christ. He is pointing the Jews to their Messiah, and the New Covenant.

      You asked, “How do you think we live in the vine?” I agree, we study His Word, and we talk to Him (Lk 10:38-42). We take heed to His Word (Ps 119:9-11) and hide it in our hearts.

      The law doesn’t enable us to overcome sin, but the Holy Spirit, as we walk in His Spirit.

      The most important thing for you to be certain of, is do you know for sure where you would go if you died tonight?

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