John MacArthur Changes His "Lordship salvation" Message??

John MacArthur, popular, and well-received. Boasts of 3500 seating in each service and selling over 400 books and studies. Luke 6:26 comes to mind.

10 Responses to “John MacArthur Changes His "Lordship salvation" Message??

  • The “correction” to Hard to Believe is not problematic from my perspective, Holly. It is the classic reformed position, and I cannot fathom why you “Free Grace” people make such a big issue over it. Look, if faith must be granted (Phil. 1:29) and repentance must be granted (Acts 11:18), where’s the problem? It all comes from God in the end. The book’s correction mentions works done as the fruit of a monergistic conversion, not the means to be saved, so how do you get off accusing MacArthur (or any other Calvinist for that matter) of “Lordship Salvation?” That is as reprehensible to us as it appears to be to you.

    Having said all that, I’m thinking that maybe your problem is with our insistence that faith be demonstrated by works. Isn’t this what Paul is stressing in Eph. 2:10 right after his famous 2:8-9 passage (“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”)?

    • Thanks for your comments.

      Actually vs 10 says we ‘should’ walk in them. And we should. But we know believers are capable of NOT walking in good works, hence the epistles. Believers can be barren, unfruitful, short-sighted, blinded, forget they were purged from their sins, incestuous adulterers, etc. (2 Pet 1:5-10; 1 Cor 5)

      The faith being ‘given’ is to current believers (Phil 1:29) and does not speak to faith being given for eternal life, they are already saved. And Acts 11:18 speaks to the Gentile nation being grafted in.

      By the way, I’m not a ‘free grace’ person, just a person who understand His grace is free, the cost was all His. I live by grace, not finishing in the flesh.

      My problem is that some people insist that someone’s salvation is proven by their works, vs. knowing they are saved by the gospel. People are saved, and we should constantly affirm that they should maintain good works, for the benefit of others (Titus 3:8).

      • I’ll have to disagree with you on your interpretation of Phil. 1:29. I see Paul saying that as those Christians were granted faith to believe in Christ (assuming they didn’t believe in Him before – hence, they were unbelievers), they too are being granted the privilege of suffering for Him. You can’t have one without the other, at least in that cultural and religious context. I deliberately chose not to use Eph. 2:8-9 because of the debate over what the “gift” that is given is (grace, faith, salvation… or all three as a “package deal”).

        As for your waving off the gift of repentance to the Gentiles, let’s not forget that it was a gift, nonetheless. And since we are Gentiles, we too benefit from this same gift, do we not? Besides, where do you get “being grafted in” from that text? The “completed” Jews rejoiced that God had included the Gentiles in His salvation plan – “…that leads to life.”

        Holly, I’m beginning to get the impression that you cannot give an inch regarding your “free grace” paradigm to allow for ANYTHING that contradicts that paradigm, even if that means adding to or reading into Scripture that paradigm. Frankly, you are on dangerous ground. If you would do that with this topic, how can I trust you to hold orthodox positions on any other topic? You say you’re not a “free gracer,” and that is fine, but to imply that those who insist on being biblical with the TWO things required for conversion – repentance and faith – are “finishing in the flesh” (or “beginning” in it?) could not be further from the truth! We say it is all from God… even our desires to obey post-conversion (e.g., Phil. 1:6; 2:13). Now that is what I call GRACE!

        Finally, you wrote, “My problem is that some people insist that someone’s salvation is proven by their works, vs. knowing they are saved by the gospel. People are saved, and we should constantly affirm that they should maintain good works, for the benefit of others (Titus 3:8).” Then how do you reconcile James’ “faith without works is dead,” when we both know that salvation is by grace through faith alone? How do you reconcile Jesus words in Matt. 7:21-23 with your paradigm? Those false teachers in Matt. 7 had what they considered to be “saving faith.” They even had the good works to “prove it.” The demon’s “believe,” yet aren’t saved. It ultimately all comes down to what kind of faith one has – pseudo or genuine. If it’s genuine, genuine fruit will appear (Gal. 5:22-23). That’s the lesson from Matt. 7:15-20, as I see it.

        • Thanks for your response, we’ll have to continue to disagree on Phil 1:29. It’s good you deliberately chose not to use Eph 2:8-9 because the gift is salvation. It is eternal life (Rom 6:23), it is the Holy Spirit that indwells us when we believe that is the gift (Acts 2 & 10), it is justification unto eternal life where we also receive the gift of righteousness. Faith is gifted to certain believers as part of the gifts the Holy Spirit gives to whom He will, as well as being strengthened by hearing the Word.

          As for my ‘waving off the gift’ — I did no such things. ALL Gentiles, 100% of Gentiles were granted this gift, ALL were grafted in. I already explained it, and individuals will be broken off for unbelief. I get it from the whole counsel of God, where He tells His disciples the order to go to the world to preach the gospel (Acts 1), where He promises Abraham that all nations will be blessed (Gen 12:3, 15:5-6) and where we see in Romans 11, that we have been grafted in>

          If you think I am on dangerous ground, it might be good for you to depart. How do I reconcile James “faith without works is dead”? It is. It is useless to the person and to all those around them. But it is not non-existent, if so, then you might as well go back to your mother church and use works as part of salvation. This is what is called justification before men. Abraham was not justified before God when he offered up Isaac, look a little further to find out when he believed, and when it was counted to him for righteousness. At least 24 years before he was ever even circumcised, he was saved. (unless you think justification is a lifetime process and not an instantaneous Free Gift).

          You do not see the irony in bringing up Matthew 7. What was their fruits? Those ‘false prophets’ in Matt 7 had a work’s based faith. An accursed gospel. They called Him Lord, Lord, but justified themselves to Him by their many ‘wonderful works’. That is what you are trying to do. God never denied their works. He denied that He ever knew them. The demons believe and tremble, they have a real faith in what is true, they are not offered salvation, so that is a weak argument Calvinists often use. What James was saying is that they trembled before God. These people believed and that was good, but James was dealing with their lack of discipleship.

          Matt 7 has nothing to do with ‘genuine fruit’, as 2 Pet 1:5-10 so aptly shows us believers can be (as I’ve already stated), unfruitful, barren, blinded, short-sighted, so the point is, believers need to be made disciples.

          Let’s keep the comments shorter if you don’t mind, one small thing is the way to discuss, vs. bouncing from whether faith is the gift, whether repentance is the gift, how salvation is proven, and false prophets etc. That gives time to examine context (i.e., go all the way back to 13 in Matt 7) and consider whether they entered in through the straight gate, the narrow way (Jesus) or whether they again went on the broad way, by justifying themselves by their works.

          They did NOT the will of the Father.

          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 6:40

          Trying to prove they were saved by works of the law is what these wolves were doing. You are doing the same and might not realize it. You are trying to prove your salvation by your works, and He says we can KNOW by what He has written. We should be careful to maintain good works (as I already quoted), but not in order to justify ourselves before God as those false prophets did. They were still seeking to establish their own righteousness, and had not submitted to HIS (Rom 10:3-4), Christ is the end of the law for righteousness for those of us who believe, so He would not call us ‘workers of iniquity or lawless’ because we are no longer under the law. They never had Christ’s righteousness.

          You go ahead and figure out whether one’s faith is pseudo or genuine, I don’t know how you can know, you may just be under evanescent grace. I will continue to ask people if they have believed God’s Testimony of His Son, and if they say they have, I will tell them what the Scripture says, that they can KNOW they have (echo – possess, own) eternal life. The Pharisee praying in the square was busy fruit inspecting the publican….

          You can’t have it both ways yourself. It is either by faith, or it is by faith + works. And you are preaching faith + works by misquoting the same 2 typical verses from James that all Load-shippers do, and suggest this means the people spoken to weren’t brethren, brothers, beloved, and had the Spirit living in them….

          In Jesus Christ eternally, Holly

  • From Tom Stegall, via

    Some salient points that Tom Stegall makes, all of with which I agree, are these:

    “The Bible actually teaches that it is possible for one who is eternally saved by God’s grace to:

    1) Commit idolatry and apostasy (1 Kgs. 11:1-10)
    2) Believe only for a while (Luke 8:13)
    3) Not continue in the Word of Christ (Jn. 8:31)
    4) Not abide in Christ (John 15:1-8)
    5) Become disqualified in the race of the Christian life (1 Cor. 9:24-27)
    6) Resist God’s chastening and correcting to the point of physical death (1 Cor. 11:30-32)
    7) Stray from the faith (1 Timothy 1:5-6)
    8) Shipwreck faith (1 Timothy 1:18-20)
    9) Fall away from the faith (1 Timothy 4:1-3)
    10) Deny the faith (1 Timothy 5:8)
    11) Cast off initial faith and follow Satan (1 Timothy 5:12-15)
    12) Stray from the faith by loving money (1 Timothy 6:9-10)
    13) Stray from the faith by professing false doctrine (1 Timothy 6:20-21)
    14) Deny Christ and be faithless (2 Timothy 2:11-13)
    15) Have faith overthrown (2 Timothy 2:14-18)

    • Holly, you agree that a person “eternally saved” can actually abandon the faith? Why do you interpret Lk. 8:13 to mean the person experienced a genuine conversion? In light of 1 Jn. 2:19, I am forced to conclude that even a seemingly joyful response to the gospel doesn’t necessarily translate into genuine, saving faith. As I see Jesus’ parable, the only person who genuinely converted was the one with the good soil. How do we know? Because he bore fruit. The other 3 didn’t.

      Each of the other points with their proof texts should be addressed, but I don’t have the time now. I’d sum it all up by saying that a truly born-again new creature who has a new heart will never stray indefinitely. God, as his Father, will discipline him if he or she does choose his or her fleshly desires over his or her Spirit-based ones (Heb. 12:4-11). If a so-called “Christian” does any of the things mentioned in the other points – and is never disciplined – then he or she was never truly a born again new creature with a new heart.

      • Thanks again for your questions.
        Why do I interpret Lk 8:13 to be a genuine conversion? No, you are not forced to conclude that a ‘joyful response’ has anything to do with being saved. We don’t know because they ‘bore fruit’, man looks on the outward, God looks on the inward man, remember those false prophets in Matthew 7? INWARDLY they were ravening wolves, OUTWARDLY they were doing good works.

        All that is necessary to know whether the person is saved is context. Look at the prior verse, and tell me the condition it states makes them saved.

        12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

        Fall away to what? Did not the verse right before say they believe and are saved? Demas is an example of one who fell away. How did the Spirit who inspired the Scriptures call him a fellow laborer in Christ, if he was an antichrist by using 1 John 2:19? (always use context, vs. 18 clearly shows us they were antichrists, and in context if you continue on to vs. 22, the ones that ‘went out’ did not believe that Jesus was the Christ, they deny both the Father and the son. They go ‘out’ by their doctrine, we know many wolves are among us, and many false brethren, teaching that justification comes by works plus faith. (Gal 2:4-5, 16).

        Again, if you have believed the gospel, I implore you, there are two remedies which the apostles and authors of the Scripture via the Holy Spirit’s inspiration have given us. If someone appears to not be saved, ask them about the gospel, don’t ask them about their performance, ask them what they believe and if they believe it is true for them, is Jesus the only way? If they have it wrong, PREACH THE GOSPEL FOR IT IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION.

        The gospel, and the gospel alone is the remedy for one you think has not been saved. Not ‘questioning’ whether they were ever ‘truly a born again new creature with a new heart’. Every time you do this, you may be guilty for making a young one stumble if you have just accused, and not pointed them to the remedy. The remedy is not ‘let’s just our works to see’, the remedy is as Philip asked the Eunuch, “Did you believe with your whole heart”?

        If you think one has understood the gospel, but are not growing, the remedy again is clear. If you love Jesus Christ, feed His sheep. Wash the feet of the saints with His Word so they will be cleansed and practically sanctified. Make disciples by teaching and sharing and exhorting and rebuking with His Word alone, not your (or my) take on it (trust in the power of His Word).

        In Jesus Christ eternally, Holly

        In Jesus Christ eternally…

  • Bobbie Jo
    9 years ago

    Wonderfully worded, Holly. Thank you. I hope all is well with you and your family.

    In Christ
    Bobbie Jo

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