A Walkabout with the Whatabout

By johninnc

John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The beauty of John 3:16 is that it is clear, concise, spoken with authority, and by the ultimate Authority. If there were any exceptions to the truth of this statement, then it wouldn’t be true. Accordingly, any time we find ourselves looking for, or considering exceptions to this statement, we are on the wrong track.

John 5:24: 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 highlights that the eternal life spoken of in John 3:16 begins the moment a person believes in Jesus as Savior, and can never be lost or forfeited. In other words, that eternal life is…eternal. And, there are NO additional conditions given for assurance of eternal life.

Please note that the “great debates” about grace vs. Calvinism/Lordship “salvation,” unconditional eternal security  vs. conditional security of the believer, and the only legitimate basis for assurance of eternal life have ALL been settled by the words of Jesus Himself.

Much of my ministry, both here, and at the Expreacherman site, has been to help dispel the endless searches for exceptions to the gospel truth. The permutations are almost endless, but here are some of the types of objections raised:

  • What about head faith vs. heart faith?
  • What about Matthew 7:23?
  • What about demon belief?
  • What about fruit?
  • What about life change?
  • What about repentance from sin?
  • What about verses that seem to say people can lose eternal life?
  • What about people who don’t want to change their lives?

The “what about” questions have lots of sources, including: a pre-existing mindset; a natural understanding of man’s ways (“there’s no such thing as a free lunch”) as opposed to God’s ways (“…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”); biblical scripture misused or not used in the proper context; “church history;” denominational creeds; and authority figures.

Anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior needs to be aware that he will likely face a barrage of “what about” questions regarding the truth of the gospel, and he should be able to confidently answer them.

Our adversary is very cunning, and will try to use any and every device to create doubt as to how to have eternal life, whether or not eternal life is unequivocally eternal, and the proper source of assurance.

Our statement of faith includes the following:

We reject any purported scriptural interpretation or other teaching that violates any of the following clear tenets of scripture:

  • Eternal life is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone
  • Eternal life can never be lost or forfeited
  • Assurance of eternal life can only be based on God’s promise

I have learned to be particularly alert to false scriptural interpretations that violate our source for assurance of eternal life. Any teaching that even hints that one must look to positive life changes as either the basis for assurance of eternal life, or even as “supplemental” assurance of eternal life should be rejected outright,

If you have heard the “what about” questions, and would like to know what the Bible says about how to have eternal life, click here: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust

By johninnc

Now, everybody try one, two, three!
We can fly! we can fly! we can fly!
This won't do what's the matter with you?
All it takes is faith and trust oh!
And something I forgot Dust!
Dust? Dust?
Yep! Just a little bit of pixie dust

From the song You Can Fly! You Can Fly! You Can Fly! (Disney's "Peter Pan")

Faith, trust, and pixie dust. If you “truly believe,” plus have some pixie dust, then you’ll be able to fly.  If you can’t fly, you either lack faith and trust, or you lack pixie dust.

This seems pretty innocuous for a fairy tale. But, when it becomes a metaphor for how to have eternal life, the results can be catastrophic. Such is the false gospel of Lordship “salvation” (LS).

LS is the unsupportable and unbiblical belief that the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

The Bible, on the other hand, teaches that one receives eternal life, that can never be lost or forfeited, upon believing in Jesus as Savior. And, the Bible also teaches that the proper basis for assurance of eternal life is God’s promise alone, without reference to any evidence of works, life change, etc.

John 5:24: 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.

A recent article entitled “Christians Take Action Against a ‘Woke’ Disney,” by James Hirson, lists favorably people both associated with the false gospel of LS and the charismatic movement. Following are short excerpts from the article (bold), followed by my comments:

The Burbank protest also featured Pastor Rob McCoy from Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Newbury Park, California, and Pastor Samuel Deuth from the Awakened Church in San Diego.

My comment: Godspeak Calvary Chapel teaches a false LS gospel. Following is an excerpt from “what we believe”:

When a person repents of sin and accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord, trusting Him to save, that person is immediately born again and sealed by the Holy Spirit, all his/her sins are forgiven, and that person becomes a child of God, destined to spend eternity with the Lord.

Notice the word “and” that is added to belief in Jesus. That “and” conditions receipt of the free gift of eternal life on repenting of sin. This is not biblical.

Awaken Church has the following under “Articles of Faith”:

We believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a gift available to believers subsequent to the new birth, with the normal initial evidence of speaking in other tongues (Luke 11:13; Acts 2:4)...

The redemptive work of Christ on the cross provides healing of the human body in answer to believing prayer (Isa 53:4-5; Matt 8:17).

My comment: the baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs with EVERY believer immediately upon belief in Jesus as Savior. There is no necessary outward evidence of baptism of the Holy Spirit, and certainly NOT speaking in tongues. Further, the atonement guarantees eternal life to all believers, but does not guarantee physical healing.

Spiritual gifts such as prophecy, tongues (languages), and faith healings were manifestations of the Holy Spirit’s power solely for the demonstration of God’s wisdom, purpose and power in the establishment of the early church. We believe these gifts have ceased to exist, now that scripture is complete. 1 Corinthians 13:8.

Perhaps one of the most worrisome for The Mouse House is the recent statement by highly influential Samaritan’s Purse president Franklin Graham.

“When I was young, my father @BillyGraham took me to visit Mr. Walt Disney,” Franklin recently stated in a tweet.

“We weren’t allowed to watch many TV programs growing up, but because of Mr. Disney’s commitment to wholesome entertainment, parents had confidence in their content. That has sure changed!” he said…

My comment: Franklin Graham has taken the reigns of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), the organization founded by his late father. The BGEA teaches a false LS gospel of works, as found on its website under “Steps to Peace with God.” Following is an excerpt:

To receive Christ you need to do four things:

1. ADMIT your spiritual need. “I am a sinner.”

2. REPENT and be willing to turn from your sin.

3. BELIEVE that Jesus Christ died for you on the cross.

4. RECEIVE, through prayer, Jesus Christ into your heart and life

My comment: The Bible says anyone who believes the gospel has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. Nowhere does scripture say that a person must be willing to turn from sin in order to receive the free gift of eternal life. If one had to be willing to turn from sin in order to receive eternal life, then eternal life would not be a gift – it would be a trade. And, nowhere does the Bible say that one must receive through prayer, Jesus Christ into his heart and life.

False gospels mix faith and works in a fatal recipe. Faith in Christ plus works for eternal life is simply faith in works for eternal life, just like “faith, trust, and pixie dust” as a recipe for being able to fly is simply faith in pixie dust.

So, in a sense, LS is just “faith, trust, and pixie dust” with the label of “Christianity” appended to it.

Disney is a “woke” corporation that seems intent on destroying its legacy. But, Disney has never purported to tell people how to have eternal life. Ministries that purport to be Christian, but which teach false gospels, are much more dangerous.

If you would like to know how to have eternal life click here: The Gospel

Where COVID (And Everything Else) Meets John 5:24

By johninnc

I recently suffered a tough bout with COVID that had me wondering whether I would ever recover. I have to admit it was frightening, at times, to languish for a couple of weeks, being very sick and showing no signs of improvement.

But, it was very reassuring to know, throughout this and all the other trials in my life, that I have eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

I shared this sentiment on a public news website, and I got some very sad responses.

The first commenter had this to say: It is impossible for you to know that, since you haven’t died. It’s just this kind of pretending to know things you can’t know that poisons everything.

My response: Nope. Unless you think Jesus is a liar, it is possible to know that you have eternal life right now.

A second commenter weighed in with: Nobody thinks Jesus was a liar. There are other possibilities other than the ones fundamentalist apologists present (either you live forever if you’re saved, or Jesus was a liar). For instance, he could have been wrong. Or he could have been speaking figuratively, as he was wont to do. Or he could have not actually said those things. There are many possibilities here. We don’t have to accept any of them. We can humbly hope the one we like the best is true. There is no harm in that.

My response: Humbly hoping is not believing.

The first commenter came back with: Considering there likely was no Jesus, and that if there was, he most certainly was not divine, then yeah, Jesus was a con artist.


The above exchanges were very sad, with people stating their disbelief in Jesus as Savior. Neither commenter professed to believing in the Deity of Christ. The second commenter professed belief that Jesus was not a liar, but then contradicted Jesus’ claim of Deity by saying that “Jesus could have been wrong,” among other false statements. The first commenter turned out to be a mocker.

These comments are just a small sample of error regarding the following clear tenets of Biblical scripture:

1.  Eternal life is received by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone. Eternal life is received the moment one believes in Christ as Savior, not after one dies.

2.  Eternal life, once received, can never be lost or forfeited.

3.  One may be assured of eternal life, based on God’s promises alone (i.e., assurance cannot be obtained, nor reinforced, from internally-focused changes in attitudes, behavior, etc.).

The Bible consistently affirms these truths. Following is a Bible verse that states them very succinctly:

John 5:24: 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.

Can you understand what this verse means? “Believeth” means that one receives eternal life by believing the gospel message. Nothing else enters into it. “Hath everlasting life” means that eternal life is a present possession. A person who has received eternal life has it now. Eternal means eternal! “Shall not come into condemnation” means that a person who has believed in Jesus as Savior never needs to be concerned about “maintaining” eternal life. It is a done deal. It is in God’s unfailing hands. “Is passed from death unto life” means that a person who has believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life!

What wonderful promises, from Jesus Himself!

I’ve done a lot of living since COVID arrived on the scene. I would have rather not gotten sick, but I did, and God is healing me. Eventually, all of us who are physically alive now and who also have eternal life will die physically from something, or be evacuated from this world via the rapture of the church. Then, we will be forever with Jesus.

Those who die without believing in Jesus as Savior will never have eternal life. They may avoid COVID, and may live to be centenarians, but they still will never have eternal life.

These are the only two possible outcomes for everyone.

If you would like to know more about how to have eternal life, click here: THE GOSPEL