John MacArthur’s Lies, ‘Saved or Self-Deceived’

Following is John MacArthur’s corruption of the simplicity that is in Christ.

A review of ‘Saved or Self-Deceived’

I am not here to judge whether or not John MacArthur is actually saved, I surely hope so.  But the gospel he now preaches is accursed according to Galatians 1:6-9. And he corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ by preaching another gospel (2 Cor 11:3-4).

For those of my friends who continue to share his work, please, prove all things. Please, test the spirits with his teaching. It doesn’t matter what I think, I am very sure of that, but it does matter if his words do not line up with God’s Word. And so it will most certainly cost people their very souls, or at the least, years of their assurance and their walk as believers.  

Do you want to look back in sadness and regret for lives that may have been lost, or young ones made to stumble because you defended him, or shared him on your facebook page? Yes, I do understand, he is very well-respected and understand his accomplishments, they are listed in the article. I am nothing without Christ. I fully expect all I say to be examined in light of Scripture always.

John MacArthur

‘But if anybody says to me, “I’m not sure I’m a Christian,” my immediate response is, “The reason you may feel you’re not a Christian is because you’re not a Christian.”’

That is his immediate response? Really?… It’s not to lovingly go into the gospel and be sure they have understood it?

That floored me… My suggestion is if ANYONE in MacArthur’s congregation is not sure, it might be a common occurrence under his teaching. ‘Feelings’ have nothing to do with our salvation, praise God — NOR is it a way for this pastor to JUDGE whether or not someone is saved. I don’t know about any of you, but statements like his truly make me weep.

The true gospel?  As I watched some in his audience while he delivered this message, I prayed for them, seeing some distraught and condemned by the confusion he teaches. My heart was sickened that they were not being given the gospel, but instead, their minds subtly deceived, corrupted by this false gospel of works and condemnation.

mac2 I’m sure so thankful that Paul and Silas didn’t answer the jailer or Paul with those at Galatia, in the same cavalier manner of judging another man’s servant. And by an unrighteous judgment at that (Jn 7:24). Not one word to ask them if they believed the gospel.

No remedy!  

Why? He doesn’t have one. His doctrine is to WAIT FOR IT! He teaches you must be given the ‘gift of faith’ vs. you must believe on Jesus Christ to be saved.

I have a question for Mr. MacArthur, “If one is a ‘true pastor’ (vs. a hireling or wolf in sheep’s clothing) shouldn’t he go over the gospel with this person to see if they understood and believed?”  I sincerely wonder if you have EVER understood the gospel or the power of the gospel (Rom 1:16, 1 Cor 1:18) since I have never heard you preach it. But I have heard you say it took seven years of studying it to understand it. 

Your gospel is off here also regarding the Narrow Gate. It sounds at times as if you understand when you insist you believe in grace alone by faith alone, in Christ alone — YET — that is not what you teach. You SAY you do, however, your sermons witness that you cntinue to subtly corrupt minds from the simplicity that is in Christ.

I don’t find where we judge another’s salvation, (1 Cor 4:5), but if one should ask us about how we can know we have eternal life, it should be only by whether or not they have believed the simple gospel. Never by their wonderful works or deeds.  Remember, these are the same things that the false prophets justify themselves by in Matt 7.

John MacArthur’s claims

If you go to John MacArthur’s page, or author page on Amazon, you will find him proclaim himself a scholar who has written his own commentary Bible. On his GTY page; he speaks of being a best-selling author of hundreds of books and manuals. He continues to say he is a church pastor who boasts attendances of 3500 per service. A president of a well-received and popular Seminary that also has a huge list of Master’s pastors and authors. But should we commend ourselves this way?

Again, I am no one, I don’t dare to commend myself, or compare or measure myself by others (2 Cor 10:12). I am only saddened regarding those you are deceiving with your excellency of speech and wisdom of words (1 Cor 2:1-5).

You say it took you seven or eight years to study and understand the gospel. But, I read this article you wrote and find that there is not one mention of Christ dying for our sins, nor any similar words; ‘die’, ‘died’, or ‘death’. What did that study get you, and why does it take someone that period of time?

Why do you not preach the gospel if you know it? After all, this is about whether one is saved or not. So where is the remedy????  Are you a minister of reconciliation? No, I don’t think so.

Curious — I also searched for cross, crucify, or crucified (the only time the word cross is found is in “take up your cross” — which concerns how one is to be a disciple and is not to be confused with how to become saved.)

But the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ is also absent from your article. As to your question whether or not they are saved, I find no remedy from you for them. No preaching of Christ and Him crucified in your entire sermon.

The gospel is the power of God unto salvation; therefore, you have not come in demonstration of the Spirit and power, just excellency of speech, and enticing words of men’s wisdom (1 Cor 2:1-5).  You say that these hard things you demand of people are not enticing, but is that true? I think people are often puffed up in the flesh by their own accomplishments.

Throughout time, man has always made religion about works as you do. You speak (out of the side of your mouth) salvation by Grace, your church’s name includes the word Grace, but in practice you do not preach the true Grace of God, but one of men’s works, enabled by ‘God’s sovereign grace’ (a meaning entirely different that God’s grace in the Bible).  The definition of God’s ‘sovereign grace’ is that He chose people before they were born to burn in hell, or a few to be chosen to heaven.  There is no other way around it, no matter what you call yourself, DOG (doctrines of grace) or TULIP.

And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.  1 Cor. 2:1-5


Pastor MacArthur, in your ‘test’ of whether one is saved, do you mention…

    • Belief on Christ’s shed blood for forgiveness of their sin?
    • Belief on His burial in their place?
    • Christ raised from the dead for them? His resurrection?  (Why do I say this two different ways?  Because you do not have it listed either way — no matter how it is worded.  I know, I searched.)
    • Believing God’s testimony/record of His Son? (1 John 5:9-13)

No, no and again, no.  You accuse, and you do not preach the gospel unhindered.   You frustrate His grace, and if you ever knew Him, you are estranged from Christ, and a lawkeeper.  Repent from your dead works.


MacArthur’s steps to salvation:

Holly: I will put this in outline form, but the link will be provided below so you can ‘prove all things’ yourself. 

The way MacArthur lays out a complicated and corrupted gospel of works is cleverly disguised in misused Scripture and lots of his own wisdom of words.  These are things believers should do.  These are not things non-believers are exhorted to do in order to be saved.   Nor were any of us as non-believers capable; we are without strengthungodly, unrighteous sinners, and enemies of God

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  Rom 5:6-10

Each of MacArthur’s requirements has several steps, so this is one way to see what someone is really saying: 


FIRST: MacArthur says: “here’s what God says” (‘Thus saith the Lord’ according to MacArthur.)

1.   Confess your sin (75th commandment of the law – A WORK)

2.   Repent (from sin) MacArthur’s definition of repentance: “a total about face, turning away from sin and self” 1  (Jonah 3:9-10 – A WORK)

3.   Embrace His Son as your only hope of salvation. (Holly: We must BELIEVE upon Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation)

Macarthur continues;That’s the first thing He (God) says. And if you don’t agree to do that, you’re going to hell forever”.

Mr. MacArthur, if YOU have believed the above from the beginning as the way to be saved, then you are going to hell forever, so please do repent (change your way of thinking) and believe upon Him, and Him alone without works….

SECOND: (MacArthur continues with the ‘must do’ in order to be saved).

1.  Deny yourself,

2.  Take up your cross

3.  And follow Him. 


1.  Hate your father

2.  Hate your mother

3.  Hate your sister

4.  Hate your brother

5.  Hate even your own life.



“And then we’ll talk about count the cost.”



“And then, by the way, the Law of God is the Law of God because it’s a reflection of His holy nature and the Law of God doesn’t change,

1.  God’s moral Law will have to become your passion.

2.  Which is another way of saying everything you love to do now, you have to hate.

3.  Everything you hate to do now you have to love.”

Holly: Yes, I do recognize the Scripture he is using.  But, please, search the Scriptures here; is this the gospel that was preached to us?  The one we received; the one in which we stand; the one we were saved by?  That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.  That He was buried and rose again, and witnessed by many.  All the apostles preached the same gospel that we believe (1 Cor. 15).  So why should we now believe John MacArthur’s version?

WORSE…What IF MacArthur left something out?  Actually he did because on this sermon, he tells us much more we must do in order to be saved.  So if he is right (not) these poor people, if they only heard one of these sermons… and took really good notes, they may have missed the mark…

MacArthur pauses to tell his audience he knows why they are there.  (Do you see the method of manipulation here?)


1.  They take the Word of God seriously.

2.  This is not a dog and pony show.

3.  There is no variety act here, a juggler this week, and dancing horse next week.

4.  Because they don’t need to be entertained.

5.  They don’t need a rock band.

6.  Bottom line, he says, “You’re here for one reason, ‘tell me’ what the Word of God says”…

Holly: Sounds good doesn’t it? Or does it?  We do want to be TAUGHT the Word.  Should we be TOLD what it says and never check? Or should we be searching the Scriptures to see if these things are so? (Acts 17:11)  Shouldn’t he actually be preaching the Word in context? In an expository manner?  Without these not-so-subtle manipulations?  What about those things he conveniently either leaves out or forgets?

There is not one explanation of what the gospel IS according to 1 Cor. 15.


MacArthur continues to give his flock ways to inspect others; he says it is, “profession without possession“.   He also declares you cannot rely on a ‘past event‘.   He also says this in a sermon on sanctification (see footnote 2), where once again he gives a long list of things to examine your salvation by to see if you are a ‘genuine believer’.


These fruit inspectors, if they ever knew Christ, are too bound up again in the law, to be able to preach any good news.  They too have frustrated His grace.

This is typical for Lordship purveyors, they misuse and abuse 2 Cor. 13:5.  MacArthur quotes half the verse, (no context at all), the test was the PROOF of Paul’s apostleship.  As is fairly typical of the other load-ship salvationists, he conveniently leaves out, “Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

This is not a suggestion that they were reprobates, these believers had already been identified over 110 times as brother/sister, brethren, beloved, saved.  The Bible states they had received the gospel and received the Spirit (in this ‘past event).  These ‘authentic’ yet carnal believers were washed, sanctified, justified, baptized into the body of Christ.  They were the temple of the Holy Ghost, made to drink in the Spirit, sealed and given the earnest of the Holy Spirit.  They were the body of Christ and the church of God.   Go back 10 chapters to get some idea of context.

Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?  Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. 2 Cor. 3:1-3

To suggest they were not already savrom10-17-1ed is despicable and dishonest for any scholar (self-acclaimed as he is on his bio).  Paul was not asking them to examine whether they were “authentic or genuine believers”.   He was stating that they were indeed believers and the living proof of his ministry.
If this is somehow a test of their salvation (as MacArthur, Washer, et al, continually claim or imply), the Holy Spirit inspired writings of 1 and 2 Corinthians must have those 110 + references wrong when they affirmed them as saved.  Most of these pastors twist this verse and no one seems to question this in their congregation. Where are the Bereans at GTY? 2

As MacArthur habitually does, he brings up the false prophets listed in Matthew 7.  In the beginning, he brings up the subject matter which is Matt 7:21-27 and reads the passage, (I assuming he’s using the ESV version which uses the word miracles instead of doing many wonderful works).  He uses a quote by Calvinist ‘father’ D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones to help explain the passage (instead of other Scripture).

MacArthur then repeats the error he makes over and over in his gospel presentations:

“They have failed to come through the narrow gate. What does HE SAY that means?

Repentance for sin,

Confession of sin,

Submission to the Lordship of Christ,




Obedience to the Word of the Lord no matter what.” 

Holly:  Instead of defining Jesus as the Strait Gate (KJV), the Narrow Gate (NASB, ESV), or the Narrow Door ( NASB in parallel passage in Luke 13), MacArthur identifies the door/gate/way as a ‘thing’ or a ‘what‘ or ‘it’, and then gives the list (seen above) of our works we need to do to ‘come through’ the gate.  The strait gate and the narrow way are what lead unto life (vs. 14)–Does the Word speak to a ‘thing’ or should we ask ‘Who’ is the gate, or ‘Who’ is the way?  Why is the way narrow?

Is it because we somehow need to do more works like John Bunyan to enter in?  Or is it that there is only ONE WAY to enter into life? And they want to broaden the narrow way by adding WORKS.  They will not come to Him (without works) that they might have life (Jn. 14:6)…

Subsequently, twice more in bringing up this passage,  he leaves out a few very important points.  These false prophets in Matt. 7 have prophesied in His name and cast out devils (AND they have done MANY wonderful works).    They justify themselves by their wonderful works.

Is this not a list of wonderful works that MacArthur is giving his congregation to justify themselves by?

Both times he addresses Matt 7 after the initial reading of the passage, he does not reference the WILL of the Father that these false prophets were not doing.  He changes the context to false ‘professors’ instead of false ‘prophets’.  Many lordship teachers do this to justify their fruit inspection of believers (minus ever preaching the gospel so they might be saved by believing it).

False prophets do not justify themselves by the work of God which Jesus told them they could do.  They do not the will of the Father. Instead of submitting to His righteousness, they are still seeking to establish their own righteousness by their wonderful works.

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.  John 6:28-29

And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.  John 6:38-40

For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Rom 10:3-4

Mr. MacArthur is teaching people to justify and test and examine their own righteousness.  And by that, to judge whether or not they are saved (by their own wonderful works).

Not one time does he use the condition of believe/belief (except to mock belief).  Not want time does he say to test yourself by whether you understand and believed the gospel. Again dear reader, whoever you may be, this is the only test, have you believed?

Please note Philip’s ‘test’ for whether the Eunuch was saved and should be baptized.  And note the Eunuch’s response which was acceptable to Philip.  (Please note Philip expounded Isaiah 53 to the Eunuch which includes the gospel seen in 1 Corinthians 15).

And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  Acts 8:37

What Rock (petra) is your house built upon?  Is it the same Rock (petra) that the church is built upon?  Is your faith in who Jesus is? (That includes what He has done for us).

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.   And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock (petra) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  Matt 16:15-18


Regarding the ‘past event’ MacArthur speaks of

Yes! I can know I am saved eternally based on a ‘past event’.  So can you!  I believed the testimony God gave us of His Son: His work on the cross in my stead.  Not my works to justify myself as I cry, ‘Lord, Lord’.  I KNOW I possessed eternal life the moment I believed (1 John 5:10-13).  THAT is the SOLE TEST for whether someone is saved or not.   Jesus Christ came into my heart by faith (Ephesians 3:17) the moment I believed, I was sealed with the Holy Spirit, never to be lost (John 3:16; 6:39-40; 10:28-29).

The ‘past events‘ MacArthur mockingly referenced were aisle walking, certain prayers, asking Jesus into your heart, (not what I believe saves) yet again, he never brought up whether they believed the gospel — the true and only litmus test of whether someone is saved.

Below is MacArthur’s summation of his PROOF of a believer, which I will put in outline form.  I will ask those reading if they can honestly say they have met enough of his standards (which are lower than God’s standard of perfection).  And I will prayerfully request that readers re-read the book of John, whose purpose statement is found in John 20:31, the same profession of faith, the same rock (petra) the church will be built upon.

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

MacArthur asks, “What marks a true believer?”

No longer a slave to sin but have become slaves of righteousness.

Consumed with the love of Christ

Consumed with a hunger for the Word of God

Longing to be holy and righteous

Longing to be humble and broken

Desirous to be above all things obedient from the heart

Longing to worship

Can never get enough obedience

Can never get enough worship…all these evidences of a transformed life.

Holly: these are many things believers SHOUD do and are exhorted to do in the epistles.  It would be kind of redundant if this was automatic for them.

For those who he feels are deceived (unsaved) he prays,

      • That the light go on and may they see the reality.
      • God will give them a hunger and a thirst for righteousness.
      • Give them an overwhelming love for Christ.
      • Give them a desire to humble themselves
      • Turn from their sin
      • Submit to Christ as slaves (He might read Gal 4:7 in his ESV)
      • Submitting to a sovereign and all-gracious, merciful Lord.
      • Give them a desire to worship.
      • Free them from the longings of the natural heart, the unredeemed heart.
      • Fill their hearts with the longings that belong only to the regenerate–obedience, submission, humility, holiness, worship.

All these things above, ungodly sinners who are without strength can do BEFORE they hear the gospel and believe Mr. MacArthur???

Have you not heard that it is the Gospel that is the power of God unto salvation?

MacArthur accuses and unsettles people, leading them astray.  He demands a huge list of works to prove you are saved, but gives no true Biblical direction on how one must be saved.  Only a long list of enticing words of man’s wisdom, or in my opinion, the words of the accuser of the brethren…

Is your pastor preaching Christ and Him crucified?  Where is the Gospel???

Mr. MacArthur usually gets to the bottom line towards the end, but it takes a while.  In part two — VERY IMPORTANT — he lets you know that if you think you can “contribute” belief to your salvation, you are not saved.

MacArthur: “Even if it’s a small component, even if you believe in the cross and the resurrection, if there’s anything in you that thinks it can contribute to your salvation, you have no foundation.”

Please prayerfully search the Scriptures to see if what MacArthur says is really so… if not for your sake, consider your loved ones, or those you might be sharing his teachings with.  Think on how well received MacArthur is.  His own bio brags on how large his congregation each service (3500), how many bestsellers, how many books and studies he has written, his many accomplishments… Just something to think on.

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

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.


Want to know more about Jesus?

I still want to thank a dear unnamed friend (at her behest) for her editing help.


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

A review of John MacArthur’s book “Slave” by Bruce Bauer

Does MacArthur teach Grace?




Saved or Self-Deceived Part 1:

Saved or Self-Deceived Part 2:

69 Responses to “John MacArthur’s Lies, ‘Saved or Self-Deceived’

  • MacArthur basically claims that salvation is by striving for it (work), not by faith. This much should be clear to people.

    Jim F

    • Scotticus
      3 years ago

      It’s such a wonderful thing that we have Holly here to teach us the true word of God. And to point out all of the deceived people in the world that would put unnecessarily put us on guard. Don’t waste any time with all that fear and trembling mumbo jumbo. Many called few chosen shouldn’t really concern you or I. Don’t worry about any critical examination of yourself. You said a prayer at some point. It was probably extra good ’cause you had someone like Holly tell you exactly what you should say and to repeat after her. And you said you believed in Jesus so it’s all good. Nothing to worry about. Rest easy. Just relax. Your good. Nothing to concern yourself with. Now go back to sleep or whatever you were doing before Pastor MacArthur said something that caused a disturbance in your head.

      • Scott, God bless you. I prayed for you right now. I usually find sarcastic people are missing something here in this kind of discussion. We supposedly want people recovered from error right? If that is your motive, then re-read 2 Tim 2:23-26.

        Neither Jim, nor I, believe a prayer saves. The Bible doesn’t suggest we say a prayer to be saved.

        We suggest you be noble (Acts 17:11) and prove what a preacher says by looking at what they teach next to that which is good — His Word (1 Thess 5:21).

        What is the gospel you have believed, would you like to share if you feel you have the answers there?

      • HI Scotticus,

        Please actually consider where MacArthur may be incorrect in what he says. If more pastors did a better job of teaching the truth then there would be less need to warn about their deceptions. By “fear and trembling,” I assume you mean the verse on working out your salvation with fear and trembling. But remember that verse was spoken to believers as in eternally saved people. Their eternal standing was never in question. The problem is, under JMac’s lordship salvation, that there is no such thing as 100 percent assurance. Even he has admitted that. One can critically examine their fruit or works all they want as a believer to see if they are doing God’s will and walking in fellowship as they ought. But to do so to see if they are saved is a slap in the face to the Savior who saved them on His own merit. Few are chosen because few believe. Not because God won’t let them but because they simply don’t choose to believe it.

        Jim Floyd

      • lcbeck56
        2 years ago

        So I guess you think God poured out His wrath on His precious innocent Son so someone can say a measly prayer one time and continue to live like the devil and not expect to spend an eternity with him.

        • Hi again Les, it saddens me to see people resort to false accusations and it’s apparent you haven’t really understood our position, which I believe is Biblical.

          I do not believe anyone here believes it has to do with a ‘measly prayer’ (or any prayer), nor do we want to ‘live like the devil’. But the only reason I expect to spend eternity with Him is because He told me how. Nothing wrong with praying, think on the humble prayer of the publican, although it is our faith that saves.

          Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and 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

          Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me HATH >>everlasting life. John 6:47

          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. John 6:28-29

          For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph 2:8-9

          For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Rom 4:2-5

    • lcbeck56
      2 years ago

      He isn’t saying we are saved by works. He is saying that there will be evidence of true salvation.

      • Les, I appreciate the fact you came to comment, thank you for visiting. I realize that MacArthur states that he believes in grace. His sermons say otherwise. I know people who have been at his church for years and even taught there yet missed the fact that he is mixing up and blending discipleship with the free gift of salvation.

        I hope and pray you will prayerfully read this article and ask yourself the appropriate questions Biblically speaking.

        Where in His Word does it say we must confess our sin in order to receive the free gift of eternal life? (Confessing sin is a work of the law – Num 5:6-7).
        Where does it say we must repent from sin in order to receive the free gift?
        When does it say one must do a ‘total’ about face?

        OR ANY OF THESE?:

        Deny yourself,
        Take up your cross
        And follow Him.
        Hate your father
        Hate your mother
        Hate your sister
        Hate your brother
        Hate even your own life.

        These may be some things we SHOULD do once we are saved, but the only ‘evidence of true salvation’ is that we have believed on Christ and Him Crucified as the only way to be saved. Believing what He said, our spirit witnesses with His that we are His children. It is never by looking on our own performance or behavior, it would never work. We fall short.

        Love in Christ.

  • Didn’t Jesus Christ exhort us to repent and believe in the gospel?

    Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. Mark 1:14-17

    God’s grace leads us to faith, but if we don’t believe in Who Jesus Christ is, He is the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father but by Him; and don’t believe in His righteous gracious work on our behalf, His death on the cross shedding His blood so our sins can be forgiven and His triumphant resurrection from the dead, after burial, bearing witness to His deity and life for all who believe, then we cannot be saved, for without faith it is impossible to please God.

    Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 1 Corinthians 15:1-7

    Granted God’s grace brings us to believe in what He has told us in His Word the Bible, by the Holy Spirit, and this gracious work that He performs in our hearts that brings us to repent and believe the gospel is inscrutable, yet we are commanded to believe the gospel for our salvation!

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10

    These Calvinists have drunk from the same well as the Catholics, who also conflate salvation with sanctification, which is Augustine. His rank heresies have led countless millions astray and bound those who would be free to live godly lives for Christ’s sake through faith in Him, to man-made doctrines and traditions that destroy the joy and assurance of our salvation, leading to servile devotion to man’s profane opinions and thus condemn many to hell.

    Praise God we are saved by grace through faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and no one can take that away from us! We must preach the gospel for God’s glory and the salvation of sinners! God bless you:) .

    • It is because they believe the Holy Spirit must regenerate you before you can believe. They do not believe the gospel evidently, for it is the way it pleased God to save men by. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. The power of God unto salvation. God gives us the way to Jesus, and they will not preach the gospel, instead, they would rather add the law to it, and corrupt minds from the simplicity that is in Christ, as did the enemy of our souls in the garden (2 Cor. 11:3-4).

        How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

        For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 1 Cor. 1:18,21

        For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Romans 1:16-17

      • Amen! And they stand condemned because they do not believe and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ but instead believe and preach a corruption of God’s glorious gospel of our salvation, which, the corrupted gospel, is really not the gospel at all

        • Yes, I am afraid they do Eliza… and worse? They foster unbelief by hindering the gospel. They talk about our dead faith, and they don’t see their broad way gospel…

      • Your claim that John MacArthur doesn’t understand biblical salvation is absurd. He is, without doubt, one of the most gifted and accomplished bible scholars and teachers of our time. If MacArthur is a heretic than so is John Piper, Chuck Swindoll, Jack Graham, David Jeremiah, J.I. Packer, D. James Kennedy, Matt Chandler, Charles Stanley, Chuck Colson, Spurgeon, etc. etc. etc. Ridiculous!!

        • Bob, I am not familiar with all of the others that you mentioned, but I am familiar with some of them who are/were also false teachers (particularly John Piper and Charles Spurgeon). I am not surprised that you mentioned MacArthur and these other “scholars” in the same glowing terms. If you like MacArthur’s theology, then you would like these others.

        • Hi Bob, I appreciate you coming to comment, and I hope you will further investigate my ‘claims’ in the articles I have presented here. Mr. MacArthur himself said it took over seven years for him to understand the gospel, but the Bible tells me differently, that it is a simple truth. The apostles taught it with great plainness of speech. If the gospel be hid, it’s hid to them that are those that are lost, in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

          I do not see any signs that Mr. MacArthur has ever understood the gospel in his presentations of how hard it is to believe, and how many things one must DO in order to be saved. Please consider this link which fully shows all the works MacArthur adds to the gospel.

          As far as Piper, you might want to consider he feels it takes a whole village to ‘stay saved’.

          I don’t judge whether one of these men you listed are or are not saved, however, gifted and accomplished will not commend him to God. Nor will their wonderful works. I could discuss individually the errors of each of the hall of famers you mentioned, but again, God is not interested in their credentials, but their doctrine and whether it aligns with His Word. I hope you will be as concerned for defending His Word as you are the men above who say they preach salvation is by grace through faith and yet preach a gospel of works before, during and after supposed salvation. Their salvation is conditioned upon their works, and their promises, and their perseverance. If you want to listen to men who teach from the new-age occult ‘Bible in contemporary language’, the Mess-AGE, then David Jeremiah and Chuck Swindoll will be happy to accommodate you. You can learn about ‘centering’, ‘light-seeds’ and the ‘god of green hope’ (Rom 15).

          Instead of being upset, be willing to be noble (Acts 17:11), if you are willing to do His will, you will know if the doctrine is of Him (John 7:17). Do it by proving all things by His Word (1 Thess 5:21). I pray you might see that these men (many of those you listed) are blaspheming the way of truth, and subtly corrupting minds from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor 11:3-4).

  • MechaWingZero
    10 years ago

    Great post Holly! This is a great example of how despite emphatic statements to the contrary, lordship salvation is a subtle way to teach a works-based salvation.

    Obviously MacArthur and people like him aren’t going to put a banner on their church lawn that says “We believe in works salvation!” but they will say things like “Eternal life is free, but it will cost you everything” or “Faith really means [insert some kind of works self-righteousness here].”

    I’m so glad you and others have posted quality articles like this that expose the truth.

    • MechaWingZero…

      I wish some would read it. And then state that they agree with the things MacArthur teaches as necessary for being saved. Evidently he believes he does not fall, does not have two natures, Jesus blood does not save, and we can repent from taking the mark, and he has attained evidently the requirements of discipleship 🙂

      I wish his fan club would PLEASE look up disciple and see if they think THEY have fulfilled these things and if not, according to MacArthur, they are not saved.

  • John MacArthur, just like C.H. Spurgeon and many others are following a Deceiving Spirit regarding their teaching on election, predestination, and Limited Atonement.

    I saw your comment at The Berean Call’s Facebook, in which you were wondering why T.A. McMahon is going to a conference at a Reformed Calvinist church, with reformed pastors. The Berean Call and Dave Hunt have no problem with quoting C.H. Spurgeon frequently. Spurgeon is a Calvinist. Dave Hunt and TBC never repented publicly or change their statement that: “Rick Warren LOVES THE LORD and that Rick Warren is a brother in the Lord.” Those statements were made by Dave Hunt on at-least two separate occasions on radio while TBC was exposing the anti-Christ teachings of Rick Warren.

    Just as i contended with The Berean Call and Dave Hunt, I ADMONISH YOU WITH THE FOLLOWING: 2Thessalonians 2:13-14 “… salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel …”

    2Corinthians 6-7 “… [we] plead with you NOT TO RECEIVE THE GRACE OF GOD IN VAIN. … Therefore: Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

    John 10:27-28 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, [they know My voice] and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life …”

  • hollysgarcia, you say: You are not here to judge whether or not John MacArthur is actually saved, but that the gospel he preaches is accursed according to Galatians 1:6-9


    hollysgarcia, Chuck Smith gave that same rubbish-talk of yours ON-AIR when i confronted him about Calvary Chapel pastors who were saying of a well-known Pluralist and Occultist-Christian that he is Christian.

    While Dave Hunt and The Berean Call were exposing Rick Warren’s anti-Christ teachings, they said Rick Warren LOVES THE LORD and is a fellow brother in the Lord. See my article “Non-Judgmental World”.

    • Please do let me know where I said MacArthur was not saved (I can save you time, I didn’t). And I actually spoke to his gospel being accursed. I cannot share links I have not ‘proven’ before, sorry.

  • Hi Holly,
    I though you might like this post that was written to refute the lies of Calvinists. God bless you 🙂

  • Great post! When I left the word of faith movement, I came across sermons by Paul Washer. (I refer to this period as my short slip into Calvinism.) I had no idea who he was. Nor had I ever heard of John MacArthur. I do remember feeling awful after listening to Washer preach a sermon about how you know you are saved. I was so confused that I had to stop listening to sermons and stick with scripture. I actually felt bad about this. But the message of the gospel was so clear when I studied for myself. The Holy Spirit truly is a teacher!

    • That’s so interesting you should say that, I know some Pentecostals/Arminians who seem like like Washer just as much as Ravenhill. I was pondering that a few years back, and realized that when they’re trying to come out of error, sometimes they depend on men. And so they might overcorrect and many of the ‘discernment’ sites are Calvinist or even some Arminian speaking out against Calvinists. Both teach a false gospel imho, and need to be marked and avoided, but I completely understand why one can ‘slip’ into it, I’ve heard similar stories from friends. Praise God that you did what you had to and stuck with Scripture, I understand, and am thankful He has done the same for me.

  • Amen! My understanding of Scripture grew by leaps and bounds when I stopped listening to and reading the works of men. God the Holy Spirit truly is our teacher:)

    • This is one of my favorite Scriptures when I really grasped He was teaching me.

      Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise,
      and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.
      For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee;
      they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.
      That thy trust may be in the Lord,
      I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.
      Have not I written to thee excellent things
      in counsels and knowledge,
      that I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth;
      that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee? Pr 22:17-21

  • Most everyone that posted a reply really needs to listen to other sermons by MacArthur. Also, take time and follow this link where he writes exactly what he believes in great detail. He is a very deep individual. (Link to MacArthur’s site removed by administrator).

    • Tripp, I appreciate your thoughts in the respect I am sure you are sincere. I have listened to and read word for word, sermon upon sermon by MacArthur. In fact you may not know this, but he recycles many of his sermons and renames them. He is deep. Deep into subtle deception, that takes his audience in a slow spin, ever circling dangerously closer to the funnel going down the drain. If you wish to see his error a little more clearly, start from the end of the sermon first. I mark and avoid John MacArthur’s teachings as per Romans 16:17-18. As he says he can’t remember ever not being saved, yet doesn’t give a clear gospel, I am concerned for the man’s soul, but moreso all the people he is leading straight down the broad path of wonderful works instead of the Narrow Way that is Christ and His work alone. God bless you to prove all things (1 Thess 5:21).

  • jasonc65
    8 years ago

    Donald Trump likewise cannot remember when he was saved, since he says that he never asks God for forgiveness. And he is a Presbyterian. At his victory celebration, Pence thanked God for his amazing grace, whereas Trump did not mention God at all, only his country and himself.

  • Jason, I usually refrain from discussing politics mostly in the vein of thought that as believers, we should pray for them, and remember our first responsibility to share the Good News with the world. Discussing politics with the world is something I don’t think I personally should do and I don’t want the focus of this blog to be about. But this once I’ll say that asking God for forgiveness doesn’t have to do with being given the free gift of eternal life, it has to do with believers maintaining good communion with Him. Communion itself is a way to remember what He has done and make sure our priorities are right with the Lord. I don’t know about Pence since I haven’t heard what his gospel is, but I will pray for him too. Mentioning God is something men and women of all religious persuasions often do, so that doesn’t tip me one way or another, but I sure hope he is a believer.

    But as for those of us who have come to know God’s grace and have understood the importance of not seeing the gospel corrupted, may we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, our mind stayed on Him. Things of this world are fading away, and are temporal. I can’t speculate on which one of the two may or may not be saved. I continue to think on Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar, may we all show wisdom in our speech out there in the world. God bless, Holly

  • jasonc65
    7 years ago

    I do not disagree about refraining from politics. I was thinking about how people often look up to politicians as role models, and what I was seeing in recent politics does not look encouraging. All this talk in recent speeches about making America great again, without honesty and humility, can get nauseating.

    In my personal experience, I have been left, and right, and then tired of it all. At times, I have been too embroiled in the culture wars, and said things that I have regretted, even if it was arguing against abortion or Obama matters. At the same time, I have struggled with loadship salvation as many others have. It was not my intention to cause a distraction but to reflect on how our thinking is subtly influenced by the culture, which includes teachers and leaders.

    • Jason, I appreciate where you are coming from, but I just tend to prefer to steer clear of it for the most part. Again I try to think on how Daniel, Azariah, Mishael and Hananiah handled the politics of Babylon and King Nebuchadnezzar and pray I show just a portion of that wisdom.

      Of course our thinking can be swayed by things of this world, or by heaping up teachers, or by not being Bereans and proving all things. We can have our thinking swayed by not keeping our mind stayed on Him and by thinking on the wrong things. I wasn’t going to your intention Jason, I just notice you seem a little caught up with it and want to encourage you to turn your eyes from worthless things and just revive yourself in His way (loose translation of Ps 119:37) 🙂

      Here is the list we sometimes neglect to ‘think’ on and I don’t believe we see any of these things in politicians. My part is to pray for them and put my mind on other things so I am not influenced, or subtly distracting others.

      Finally, brethren,
      whatsoever things are true,
      whatsoever things are honest,
      whatsoever things are just,
      whatsoever things are pure,
      whatsoever things are lovely,
      whatsoever things are of
      good report;
      if there be any virtue,
      and if there be any praise,
      think on these things. Phil 4:8

  • jasonc65
    7 years ago

    Your points are taken. I also struggle not to get caught up in end times sensationalism, especially since my thinking has taken a decidedly dispensational turn, whereas I used to be pan-millennial. I still have to be careful not to fall for “this is that” fallacies. An assertion that the current political leader is the final Antichrist is an example of such. The rapture is a lovely thing to think on as I reflect on end times.

    The biblical description of last days delusions as capable of deceiving the elect comes with a qualification as hypothetical but is nevertheless indicative of its utter subtlety. LS seems like the subtlest deception the church has seen. This underscores the importance of loving the truth that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus.

    I wish I had an outlet to talk about these things more, and evidently this is not the place for it.

  • jasonc65
    7 years ago

    Rock, paper, scissors (a game)
    Ninja, dart, boomer (another game)
    Pope, Calvin, MacArthur (this is not a game, it is dead serious)

    It was interesting, and full of irony. Lordship of MacArthur? Unthinkable!

  • jasonc65
    7 years ago

    The ball spins, penants read, “off”, “on”, denoting salvation status. Ball lands on “off”. Trap door opens, revealing eternal fire below.

    Sounds exactly right.

    • For men like John MacArthur, sadly, until they ‘persevere’ until the end (based on their own false teaching), they cannot know until they die. But they are deceived and they also deceive others.

      • Holly, please just stop this nonsense. You are completely unaware that once you are saved by grace through faith that you are a new creation and WILL obey the Lord. That is not being saved by works. Rather you are saved to finally be able to do the good works Christ has prepared for us to do. When you are saved you WILL repent of your sin as you are no longer a slave to sin. Your works based salvation criticism is taken out of context. When you are dead in your sin you cannot repent. You cannot believe in the gospel. You are dead. (Romans 3). To think that MacArthur is saying these things save you is not possible.
        It’s easy to take these things out of context, but the truth is that a believer will respond to the gospel and obey the Lord. Obedience is not adding to the gospel, but it is the fruit (or result) of salvation. See 1 John which shows us whether we are in the faith.
        If you love me you will obey me. This is for the believer!

        • Hi Jenny, Appreciate you coming by, I would disagree that contending earnestly for the faith once delivered is nonsense.

          1) Once you are saved you are absolutely a new creation. If it was automatic you would obey there would not need to be all the epistles and exhortations in them. Nor would there be the examples of the disobedient believers. We still have the flesh (the old man) with us. Which is why believers are exhorted to put off the old man. I encourage you to consider this series on Understanding the two natures by Pastor Tom Cucuzza.

          2) We should walk in those good works. (I assume you speak of Eph 2:10). We also should walk in newness of life (Rom 6:4). Believers should be careful to maintain good works (Titus 3:8). We should also add to our faith so we won’t be barren or unfruitful (2 Pet 1:5-9).

          John McArthur is ABSOLUTELY saying if you do not do these things you cannot ‘enter in’ and I’ve gone over multiple sermons of his over the years. He is a works salvationist and is unsure he is saved. 1 John is written so believers continue in the faith (1 John 5:13) and be assured of the knowledge that believing is how they receive eternal life. It is written so they might stay in intimate fellowship with God and others, and so they will know whether they are walking in the flesh or in the Spirit (light or darkness). You’re excusing an awful lot of what he says that is necessary for the receipt of the free gift of eternal life. Anyone who adds to His free gift is going to have an awful lot to answer for, they are accursed (Gal 1:6-9).

          Lastly, no one here is saying we should not somehow obey His commands, and they are not grievous.

          Are you sure of where you would go if you died today?

  • Where do you come up with the fact that it is wrong for John MacArthur to say that one “will go to hell forever” if we don”t “Confess your sin” ? You say that it’s a “work”? it is Scripture that Christians are to obey, written in 1st John 1:9 : If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” . MacArthur is quoting what the Word of God says! If Understand you correctly, according to you, all one has to do is say the sinners prayer, and that’s that, bang, you’re “saved”. That’s total nonsense!

    • No Steve, thank you for commenting though. I don’t believe a prayer saves, it is belief that saves. Confessing sin is for fellowship and that our joy (believers) may remain full. We need to know we are sinners. When we believe on Christ and Him crucified to save us (1 Cor 15:3-4, John 3:36, John 5:24, John 6:27-28, 40, 47, Acts 16:31, etc, yes, bang, we’re saved. But it is with believing the gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation. May the Lord bless you to desire the truth from His Word alone. In Christ, Holly

  • I wish you had this in Spanish!!!!! Or at least could you give our ministry permission to translate it? Thanks, blessings and hugs from Virginia.

    • Jose – If you are using it for the purpose of exposing the errors (false gospel) of John MacArthur’s teachings, and use it in its entirety, you then have my permission. Thank you for visiting our site.

  • Holly, I accidentally bumped into your blog and I’m glad I did 🙂 I love the fact that you trust in Christ alone as a completed finished work!💗💗. I recently listened to a Podcast that said something that was really incredible and just reminded me of how complete Christ’s work is. What Jesus did on the cross for us to take the payment for our sins did not just forgive our sins but it also gave us his righteousness, so that when we stand before God he does not look at US, to see if we were good enough but he imputes jesus’s righteousness and his entire account to us. And He only sees Christ’s perfection, given to us for our account!

    I feel that you also know this 🙂 and I just wanted to say to general things. That obedience and love for God is why we follow Hum, and this only happens because His Holy Spirit changed and is Continuing to change our hearts and lead us throughout life to do the wonderful works that he has prepared beforehand for us to do, not to earn selvation but just to gratefully live in Him!

    The 2nd thing I wanted to say is I’m so surprised to see you describe a negative slant toward reformed faith and Calvinism because when I 1st heard you being excited about free grace from the Lord, I imagined you were understanding God’s sovereignty and how he will save weary pilgrims and that you don’t sound prideful because you’re not patting yourself on the back for choosing the gospel, which many people who are legalistic do, but that you knew that the Lord saved you all by Himself.
    So that was kind of confusing because you sound like you believe in faith alone Christ alone God’s word alone by God’s spirit alone but yet you are not reformed, or perhaps you are and you just don’t know it yet?😉😉 I say this just because you have many attributions that are usually described as a reformed believer because you give all glory to God for saving you completely and fully whereas Armenians are thinking make and earn it or have some brownie points system or they pridefully say how they chose God and they are the ones who got themselves saved…. So it is a little confusing. May I ask what type of church you go to? If it had to be labeled as what type ordinem a nation or anything specific about it? If you don’t want to say the name that’s OK but what category do you fall in if not reformed cause you sound like you are or at least heading that way, by understanding God’s beautiful grace…

    • Laur, beautiful name, thank you for visiting.

      Yes, I trust in Him alone as a completed work. Born and raised in a non-denominational Bible teaching church, one that rejected Calvinism and Armininiasm both. I got Christian schooling which is where I was first introduced to both Arminians and reformed/Calvinist (although not all reformed identify as Calvinists). Let’s just say I reject both and would happily explain point by point on T.U.L.I.P if you would like ME TOO.

      There is more than one kind of obedience. Meaning, that in Romans 10:14-16, our obedience first starts when we believe. In fact believing is identified as obedience. How do our hearts/minds continue to change or be renewed? I would suggest this article to explain where I stand.

      Because we love Jesus, we should be feeding and tending His sheep (John 21:15-17). We absolutely SHOULD do and maintain good works (Titus 3:8). We SHOULD become disciples so that His truth can set us free (John 8:30-31), wash us (Eph 5:26), sanctify us (practically – John 17:17). Faith comes by hearing the Word right? (Rom 10:17), so we need to point people to time with Christ, hearing His Word (Lk 10:38-42).

      We are encouraged all throughout Scripture to abide in Him, and to continue in His Word. So we should be praying, obediently getting into His Word. Not just the milk, but the strong meat (Heb 5:12-14) so we can grow in maturity, discern between good and evil, and not stay stuck on the first things.

      The gospel itself is the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16-17; 1 Cor 1:17-18), so there is no patting ourselves for believing in the gospel, which is the truth, because the Holy Spirit convicts the entire world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:7-11). God has made Himself known to all men so there is no excuse (Rom 1), and His heavens and earth declare His glory, there is no language or place on earth that does not understand (Psalm 19:1-5). So I’d like to clarify, with that being said, I reject the Calvinist viewpoint that faith and repentance are the gift that God gives (or what I prefer to call pre-regeneration). I instead believe He has granted that both to Israel and Gentiles alike as He promised from the beginning. And He has given all men that come into this world, light (Jn 1). But salvation is the gift mentioned in Eph 2:8-9, not faith. So if you’d like to know more where I stand on that, you can read this article here.

      So, in conclusion 🙂 I definitely know I am not reformed/Arminian (or as both are, load-ship). I have been contending earnestly for the faith once delivered, (which means refuting them both) for probably the past 15-20 years. I’ve been a believer for over 55 years, which means nothing if you aren’t using it right. A lot of those were years back in bondage and bewitchment under mostly the reformed and load-ship teachings (not going to say Lordship as He is my Lord, but not because I ‘made Him’ so).

      So dear friend, I vehemently reject those man-made doctrines and instead want to encourage you that it is His grace that has appeared to all men, and will also teach us how to live ❤ So if we love God, we will remind people of His Grace, and feed and tend His sheep with the precious Word of God (John 21:15-17; Is 55:10-11).

    • One quick note regarding brownie points:

      Some people think they get themselves saved by what they do. Others think they keep themselves saved by what they do. Yet others think they prove they are ‘truly saved’ by what they do.

      I know I am saved solely because of Who Jesus is, and what He did for me on His cross. I know He rose again from the dead as He said He would and I believed Him as He asked me to. When I meet Him, I won’t be justifying myself by my ‘wonderful works’, but by His work alone. I know that there is nothing I can do or ever will do that can justify me in His sight. I can only thank Him, for the treasure of His Word, which if will apply ourselves to it, He will teach us and we will know the certainty of His Word of truth.

      Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
      And apply your heart to my knowledge;
      For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you;
      Let them all be fixed upon your lips,
      So that your trust may be in the Lord;
      I have instructed you today, even you.
      Have I not written to you excellent things
      Of counsels and knowledge,
      That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth,
      That you may answer words of truth
      To those who send to you? Prov 22:17-21

  • WillGrap
    3 years ago

    Precious people, please do not let your anger at imperfect men, imperfect teachers reject good teaching from God’s good word.
    “Lordship salvation” is only a label and an unnecessary one. But you are completely mistaken to think this teaching means man’s effort is required. They absolutely believe salvation is of God alone, not man’s work, per Ephesians. This may be your confusion: you see repentance as a work, and act of man. There is a reasonable argument then Salvation does not require the act of repentance if that is a work of man. But (for me) our regeneration by the Holy Spirit will involve conviction of sin. Conviction of sin and repentance are two sides of the same coin, both are by the work of Holy Spirit. If you are convicted that you are WRONG, you also means you believe you must change. Conviction says I now see I have been in the wrong, something must change about ME, about my life, and I cannot do it – God must do it, and he DOES do it! 🙂 Conviction of the Holy Spirit instantly changes our relationship with God and our relationship with sin at the same time. I now love God and hate my sin, whereas I used to hate God and love my sin. It is impossible to truly love God if you truly love sin still. This is the only argument of “lordship salvation”. You infer in this you will instantly behave perfectly if truly saved – this is absolutely not true. You will be saved, but hate your sin, and like most of us, be like Paul who is frustrated with his sinful “Body of death” that God is now sanctifying.

    To your objections, I believe you are letting emotion cloud things:

    #1: You are mad at the label – and I understand, I agree. We can be saved and a BABE in Christ, without fully understanding his Lordship. It doesn’t matter how well we understand His Lordship, he IS LORD. You see this label to mean we must fully understand and reckon Him Lord to be saved. Not at all! We will not fully understand His Lordship until we reach heaven! So that cannot be what we are arguing for.

    #2 You are mad at judgement of who is saved – and I understand, and agree. Imperfect humans get emotional and error and say hyperbolic things (like cited above). The truth is no human can know if another human is saved or not, and often they incorrectly judge that one is saved or not saved by their fruit or lack of fruit. Jesus even says some will saved with no fruit (as escaping fire) and some will be lost who have “fruit” (Lord Lord, we did miracles!). So no human can know if another human is saved. It is between them and God, period.

    #3 You are mad at the teaching “good trees will produce good fruit”. Well, anger at this is just silly. What reasonable person thinks an apple tree should produce oranges? No one would think that. Christ said good trees produce good fruit. Bad trees produce bad fruit. This has nothing to do with salvation! A BAD TREE has been transformed INTO A GOOD TREE = Salvation. Now a good tree may not always produce fruit, it can be unfruitful and the gardener prunes it and disciplines it, but the true is already good. It is “saved” as it were.

    All believers are saved and going to heaven.
    Not all believers are disciples.
    Not all disciples are believers (i.e. Judas Iscariot)

    God does want all of us to be both SAVED and Disciples, but those are two completely different events of a Christian’s life.
    Good news? BOTH of those are to be empowered by the Holy Spirit, lest any man boast. 🙂
    God always gets all the glory!
    The same Gospel that SAVES us is the same Gospel that Sanctifies us. Hallelujah!

    Please don’t let your anger at imperfect men cloud your understanding of our perfect God and His perfect plan for salvation and sanctification! God bless you all.

    • Will, thank you for coming to comment, it seems you have misunderstood a number of things, but that happens sometimes with the imperfect venue of the internet, where you cannot see the facial expressions or hear the tone of voice. The capitals are not yelling, just for emphasis.

      Let me clear up your confusion on what you think is my confusion. I do NOT see repentance as a work 😊. But the incorrect definition of ‘turning from all your sin’ or ‘surrendering all’ (which is THEIR definition of repentance) IS indeed a work. In fact Scripture defines it as a work in many places. Regeneration of the Holy Spirit happens when we believe, not prior to as Calvinists teach. The Holy Spirit convicts the entire world of sin.

      Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. John 16:7-11

      When the Holy Spirit convicts of sin (because they believe not in Him), the individual (when they repent), turn to belief in God. This is by the power of the gospel. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

      I am very familiar with the Calvinist spin on ‘I now love God and I hate my sin’. We should definitely feel that way. However just looking at some Scriptures show us differently.
      The incestuous adulterer (a believer in the church) in 1 Cor 5, not only didn’t hate his sin, (likely because the rest of the church put up with it), the church also didn’t care about his sin. They were all believers. Disgraceful, but it happens.

      It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 1 Cor 5:1-2

      Nowhere do I infer that one will instantly behave perfectly or ever behave perfectly, so I do not know where you got that. Positionally, God has already sanctified and perfected forever those of us believe by His one sacrifice (Heb 10:10-14).

      #1 – As to the charge of my “‘emotion’ clouding things”. Or being ‘mad at the label’, let me clarify there for you too. I think you are judging according to the appearance. There is feeling there, just not as you describe.

      I love His Word/precepts, therefore I hate every false way. Ps 119:104,108. It’s not about me, It’s about His truth. How dare men compromise it because of their own emotions or feelings or frustrations that their followers are not growing. We are to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered (Jude 3). As far as understanding His Lordship, I believe the gospel includes that. Who Christ is, and what Christ has done. Lord (kyrios/kurios) is God, the Messiah, which explains who He is. I also believe that is why Paul was determined to preach Christ (who He is) and Him crucified (what He did for us), not with excellency of speech, wisdom of words, enticing words, or even handling the Gospel deceitfully (1 Cor 2:1-5; 2 Cor 4:1-6). I also believe it’s why He had to warn the Corinthians so many times (1 Cor 15, 2 Cor 11:3-15) regarding those who made their faith shipwreck, brought another Jesus, or another gospel and put up with it.

      As far as those who are ‘lost who have fruit’, I’d like to clear that up for our readers. Matthew 7 says we can know THEM by their fruits. Who were they? False prophets. What were their fruits? They tried to justify their salvation BY their many wonderful works. These people had never believed. And we do know based on 2 Pet 1:5-9 and other places, believers can be both barren and unfruitful if they do not add to their faith.

      I also have not “‘mad’ that ‘good trees will produce good fruit’”. You think you should try to judge the motivations of another you do not know, instead of just asking? The only thing I try to do is explain that Scripture in Matt 7 in context. No more, no less.

      I do agree with what you said here:

      All believers are saved and going to heaven.
      Not all believers are disciples.
      Not all disciples are believers (i.e. Judas Iscariot)
      God does want all of us to be both SAVED and Disciples, but those are two completely different events of a Christian’s life.
      Good news? BOTH of those are to be empowered by the Holy Spirit, lest any man boast.
      God always gets all the glory!
      The same Gospel that SAVES us is the same Gospel that Sanctifies us. Hallelujah!

      Again, to clarify, Paul was angry at false teachers. I am not angry at imperfect men. But I hate when anyone twists His Word to an aberrant doctrine and in so doing causes a little one in Him to stumble. We are to mark and avoid for that reason (Rom 16:17). I hope that clears things up a bit.

      Love in Christ, Holly

  • Hello, Holly. I just wanted to say thank you for this post. I linked to it in a post I wrote on John MacArthur too:

    God bless! Keep up the good work and fight the good fight!

    – Heather

    • Hi Heather, thank you for coming to comment and also for linking. God bless you, and may we all continue to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered.

      An aside: I was born around Christmas, was due on Christmas. The two choices for my name were Holly or Heather and I always loved the name Heather <3

    • Anthony
      2 years ago

      Heather, I don’t know if you will get this, but I read some of your post from your Anti Calvinism blog and I appreciate what you are doing. God bless you! Are you open to sharing your thoughts on a short booklet I wrote about God’s justice? I would be honored.

  • Holly,

    You said you were due on Christmas and almost named Heather.

    Ironic fact: When I was a teenager, we got a monkey as a pet at Christmas-time and named her Holly. So I’ve always been fond of the name Holly. 🙂

    • I literally laughed out loud. How cute, some might have likened me to a monkey as a kid. My little brother died when I was a little girl. We were very close and played together. So I was alone a lot after that, my other sisters were 4 and 9 years older than I was, so they were already in school full time. I did a lot of climbing of the trees in our backyard. So you’ll always be thinking of your monkey when you talk to me (still making me smile).

      Have a good day <3

  • I have listened to many, many, of John’s sermons and know that you take much out of context. 99 percent of what the man says is scripture alone. To attack his sermons you must in part attack scripture itself.

    • Thanks for offering your thoughts Rodger. I don’t believe I am taking much out of context. John MacArthur is not God, so therefore, his interpretation of Scripture we know does not somehow belong to him (2 Peter 1:19-21). I have the ability and the responsibility to acts as a Berean, as do you. Go search out those sermons, but do it next to Scripture. I am doing what Scripture asks me to do, in fact I am beseeched to do.

      Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. Romans 16:17

      Now I truly hope you will do further seeking, because of you think you must ‘do’ certain things to be saved or prove you are saved, you need to pray about it humbly and ask the Lord to open up His Word to you. God bless you to do just that.

  • Emilie Mayer
    1 year ago

    John Macarthur doesn’t say you have to work for your salvation. He teaches it’s by GRACE THROUGH FAITH. you are baring false witness against the man. I know he can come across as harsh at times, but he is a pastor that teaches the just side of God and not just the loving side of God. If anyone finds themselves worried about there salvation then read the book of John in God’s word.
    Two promises that God gives us that has helped me tremendously are:

    1: All who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
    2: (Jesus speaking) No one can come to me lest the Father who sent me draws them.

    Remember the thief’s hanging beside Christ on the cross? Remember one thief mocked Jesus and didn’t believe? Well I want you to focus on the thief that was on the other side who at the last moment asked ” Jesus remember me.” Jesus didn’t hesitate. Jesus’s response was “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

    The thief by God’s Grace and through Faith realized Jesus was who He claimed to be. The thief didn’t have time to go get water baptized, clean up his life, study about Christ ect,ect,ect
    He just called on Jesus.

    God doesn’t wish any to parish, but all to be saved.
    If you called on the name of the Lord to save you because you realized you are a sinner and you know that Jesus took your sins to the cross and that God rose Jesus on the third day because God found Jesus to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Then you are saved. Not because of a prayer or a walk down a aisle, but because you heard the gospel and the Holy Spirit convicted you of your sin by God’s Grace. God in His Grace gives you the faith to call on the name of the Lord. God tells us in His word that the natural man ( someone you is still spiritually dead in there sin and trespasses) cannot understand the things of God. The natural man thinks the gospel is foolishness. To us who by God’s Grace has been made spiritually alive God’s word is true and comes to us with power and authority.

    Your Sister in Christ
    Emilie Mayer

    XXXXXXXXXXX is my email if you want to chat about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    • Emilie, thanks for coming to comment. I actually hope you will consider reading some of the articles here where he belies what he says he teaches (grace). No, he does not use the words, ‘you have to work for your salvation’. And he does say he believes it is by grace through faith. What that means to him as a Calvinist, is that God’s grace gifts a man/woman with faith by regenerating them first so they can believe. Who are those people He regenerates? It is those God has chosen to heaven.

      I am not concerned how he comes across (harsh or otherwise), I judge by his words only next to the Word of God.

      John 6:44 is a typical Calvinist proof text. So it’s good to look through context.

      Let’s start with #1. All who call about the Lord shall be saved. Saved how? Does that speak to the free gift of eternal life? Then why does it say this?

      How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent? (Romans 10:14-15).

      So you see belief precedes calling on Him for deliverance in life.

      #2 You can’t come to the Father lest He draws them. The Bible is clear He drew all men when He was lifted up on the cross (John 8:28; 12:32). Here is more on how God draws all men;

      You are right, the thief simply believed and didn’t have to do a long list of things to ‘enter into eternal life’ as John MacArthur teaches. He does not believe God does not wish any to perish but all to be saved. He teaches He does not want any elect to perish but all the elect to be saved.

      Although John mischaracterizes others as believing a prayer or walk down the aisle saves, we do not believe that. The Holy Spirit convicts the entire world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Of sin because they believe not (John 16:7-11 pp). If God chose them to stay unbelievers, that sin would be on Him if Calvinism were true.

      Spiritually dead people can do plenty. I assume you reference 1 Cor 2:11-15 saying the dead man cannot hear God’s truth without being regenerated. Jn 5:25 is clear, the dead can understand some truth, and Ecclesiastes 3:11 — God has put eternity in our hearts, so all have some sense that we are eternal. We can seek God or He wouldn’t be honest to tell a whole group to ‘seek’ God or to ‘have faith’ if they could not. To understand the >deeper things of God, we need His Spirit. It is a choice as to whether they will believe the gospel, for IT (the gospel) is the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16-17; 1 Cor 1:17,18). Pre-regeneration is not that power, and not taught in His Word.
      All men have been given some light by God. John 1:9

      In 1 Cor 2:15, the ‘natural man’ (unbeliever) is being contrasted with the spiritual man He doesn’t automatically or naturally ‘accept’ the things of the Spirit of God. This word is dechomai and means ‘welcome.’ It means the unbeliever does not welcome discussion of spiritual things.

      “he cannot understand them” should be translated, “he cannot have close knowledge of them.” The reason is because they are spiritually examined. The point of mentioning this verse is to show that it does not mean that unbelievers can’t understand spiritual truth, only that left to themselves they don’t welcome these discussions and they can’t have close knowledge of them because they require the Spirit of God to do that. (portion by Jeremy Thomas, pastor of Spokane Bible Church).

      We are made spiritually alive by His Spirit, the moment we believe.

      In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Eph 1:13-14

    • I did not include your email, because it’s probably not a good idea to put it out there. In addition, I believe the ‘Doctrines of Grace’ (aka, Calvinism), is a false doctrine that I cannot allow to be promoted. In Christ, Holly

    • Ms. Mayer, I know Holly can answer for herself, but believing someone is saved by grace through faith is not helpful if one may not know they have it. It is like saying one has a perfect cure for cancer, but is unsure if the infusion ever went into one’s veins. The reason we may know that we have eternal life is based only on the promise of God. Christ says “It is the will of the Father, that he who beholds the Son and believes in Him has eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day”. It is not based on looking at your behavior, but believing God. Paul says in Romans that Abraham believed – “yet with respect to the promise of God”. It was not God’s promise and his virility – in fact it says that his body was as good as dead. If God’s word can be doubted because of something I can do, than God’s word cannot be relied upon. It is a backdoor way to introduce works into the equation. John

      • Well said John.

        Some may believe these doctrines, but may not quite get the implications of them. I have a good friend who was caught up for many years in it until she started inductively studying the Bible (praise God).

        This doctrine is hopeless to the lost, and is not much hope to those who think they are saved, for they can’t really ‘know’ until they have persevered until the end. Otherwise it would dawn on them that certain verses really didn’t speak to all men (such as God desiring that all should be saved and that none should perish). They can’t quite reconcile that except for inserting the elect in there.

        Good to see you and very good points, In His love, Holly

  • You are wrong! He does go strictly by the word of God. Don’t make assumptions. He never claimed that he never makes errors,but I know after listening for yrs to his sermons,that he does not ever claim one earns anything from works,nor does he not help thousands and teach the clear truth.

    • Brad, I appreciate the fact you admire MacArthur. And I also realize that he says he believes salvation is by grace, but the grace he teaches is one that only appears to some men vs. what it says in Titus 2:11. I don’t mind being wrong, if I were. It’s not about what I say, but what His Word says. Mr. MacArthur twists a lot of God’s Word. He once taught that Jesus was not eternal. That there was not power in His blood. Do you think that is so?

      Are you one that believes God chooses just a few for eternal life and chooses the rest for hell?

      Be a Berean, really search to see if what MacArthur is saying is what the Scriptures say. God bless you.

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