I sit here thoroughly (or “throughly”) amazed, having read a module that was prepared for Esword by some well meaning Quick Prayerism person that completely confused the elements of salvation.
I cannot just put this aside without comment. There are some topics that although weighty, are not as important. Separationism to me is very important, I’d classify that as very important.
But a true Salvation understanding is crucial. If you don’t have a true understanding of salvation, the odds are good – you may not be saved.
I suspect that this person who wrote this is saved, but a very immature Christian. The fear of lack of salvation means one of two things – you’re not saved, or you’re looking in the wrong direction.
If you’re looking to your own self (“I don’t feel saved”) or your works (“I did all that in the beginning, but now I don’t know…”) that’s the wrong direction. Look to God. Look at Calvary. What do you see at Calvary? Nothing. An empty spot where three crosses stood 2,000 years ago. And underneath it, the most famous empty tomb in the world. Jesus is risen.
When a writer starts off by saying “I love Joel Osteen”, it worries me. Yes, I listened to Joel Osteen when I first was seeking God. But listening to Joel never got me saved. Joel presented an empty Gospel, a carefree lightweight, “fill the church with Tares” gospel.
To read in the next sentence that Joel Osteen is preaching an unBiblical Gospel made me want to shout “Hallelujah!” until I read why: The author said, “Joel Osteen preaches Lordship Salvation because he tells sinners they need to repent.”
Um… wow. That’s so far from an Biblical understanding of Salvation that I can only want to climb on the Rooftop of my house and shout to the World, “Avoid the Esword module ‘I never know you’ !”
The author is motivated by good intentions. And once he gets a good, mature and Biblical understanding of the Bible and the Salvation message, I think he could be greatly used by God to have a warning ministry like David Cloud.
But to hear him say Joel Osteen preaches Lordship Salvation…? I thought my brains were going to explode when I read that! I think I frantically looked around for cotton to plug my ears to prevent exactly that.
Who else by his definitions teaches Lordship Salvation, then? Me. David Cloud. John R. Rice. John the Baptist. The Apostle Paul. The Apostle Peter. The Apostle James. The Apostle John. Whoever wrote Hebrews. Jesus Christ. and God.
To command people to repent is not Lordship Salvation. It’s Biblical. A word study on Repentance, and reading the verses in context will show that preaching anything else will fill churches with the unSaved. Kind of like …Mars Hill church.
If you’re saved, your attitude changes. You begin wanting to honor God, and you get convicted on “hey, this is a bad thing on TV…” and you turn from it. You begin dressing more modestly. You try to stop drinking. or Stop altogether, as is most often the case. You begin to pattern yourself more after the model presented in the New Testament, and start studying to shew thyself approved. You begin to start asking yourself “what is the Lord’s will for my life?” Before you were saved, did you ever truly worry what was the Lord’s will for your life? It’s a good high-water mark to know if you’re saved or not!
Those are manifestations of a changed life. “Works meet for repentance” is how the Bible describes it. This is not Lordship Salvation! This is Biblical Repentance. Godly sorrow worketh repentance.
Joh 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
If you’re born of the Spirit, you want to change. You need to change. The things you were doing every day as an unSaved person suddenly begin to bother you.
That’s not Lordship Salvation. That’s not works-based salvation. And the Lord Jesus Christ will not say to you on Judgment Day, “You gave tithe and you dressed modestly and stopped listening to rock music, and stopped watching unGodly movies – Away with you! I never knew you!” Instead, the Lord Jesus will commend you for trying to live a more godly life.
The key is the focus. Are you depending on your works to give you added grace and merit? That’s works based salvation, which is the essence of Lordship Salvation. “I sinned today, so God will kick me out of heaven.” That’s Armenianism, which is unBiblical. The Bible teaches once you are saved, you are saved forever.
A true Salvation message must begin by confronting the sinner with their own sinfulness, and a reminder of the judgment to come. As Baptist churches began to cease speaking of Hell, they began filling the pews with bright shiny tares. And nicely dressed wolves, whose suits are made of wool. As they stopped confronting people with the sinfulness of their condition, the number of unSaved increased. We even began wetting the tares down nicely in Baptismals. After all, God has a wonderful plan for those tares! It’s called “damnation.”
Once the sinner understands that their sinfulness is so great that a Holy and Righteous God cannot even look at them, and they will have to answer on Judgment Day, then you can finally tell them the Salvation message. “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe…”
I pray the author of that module will come to understand this. and then at last the issue of if he is saved will cease to bother him. And quickly, because if he’s writing this early in the game as a Christian, then he’s got a great ministry ahead of him!