There’s a problem in Independent Baptists.
One man owns many of the IFB websites. He’s written a lot of good articles. But he’s clearly affected by one teacher.
As a result, this well meaning man is writing scores of articles challenging that saying someone has to repent makes them a Calvinist. He cites Ray Comfort, the actor guy (can’t remember his name), and John MacArthur all in one breath. He’s written scores of articles on Ray Comfort, “Ray Comfort is a Calvinist!” Proof? “He says you have to repent to be saved!”
That’s uhhh…. not what a Calvinist is. A Calvinist is someone who believes in TULIP – Total Inability, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irrisistable Grace, and Preservation of the Saints.
To sum a lot of that up, they believe a person is predestined to Heaven or hell, and nothing can change that. They believe that God will draw you to being saved, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. They believe Jesus Christ did not die for all sinners, but only for the Elect. THey believe that you’re saved by God whether you want to be or not. They believe that you will prove your salvation, by attending and staying in a Calvinist church.
I’m approximating the TULIP, because there’s about a thousand different views of Calvinism, and I’ve even had arguments with Calvinists who’ve never read what Calvinism believes, and many of them leave it almost immediately, because “That’s not what I believe!”
So, here’s what the gentleman I’m talking about is confused on. He thinks that if I say you have to repent to be born again, that you have to acknowledge that you are a sinner deserving of eternal punishment for your sins, the I am a Calvinist. Not even close.
The problem is Jack Hyles was a great preacher. He wrote a lot of great sermons. However, those who took notes of his sermons usually got the initail verse down, then had to sum up with, “No other Bible content offered.”
Hyles was doctrine-light. He maintained the only sin a person had was unbelief. If you believed on Jesus Christ, that was it, you were saved.
That’s why Hyles could claim two million saved under his ministry, including one event that became known as Hyles-cost, where they deliberately made sure they had more than 3,000 unsaved present, so that hopefully, they could collect decision cards of more than 3,000. That way, Jack Hyles could claim to be greater than the Apostles.
I’m not kidding.
Does the New Testament speak of what sins people commit? Yes. Does it limit itself to unbelief? No. Does the Bible mention repentence in connection with salvation, or is it something only backslidden Christians are required to do?
It mentions repentence in connection with salvation, many times.
So, lcearly, we’ve got issues wth what Jack Hyles taught concerning salvation. He clearly advocated Easy Believism. “1,2,3 repeat after me, blah blah blah, amen!”
That wouldn’t save anyone. I guarantee that. We never see that in the New Testament. Rather, such evidences as “fruit meet for repentence” is used. Faith without works is dead.
Let’s say you were one of the thousands that went to Hyles-cost. You heard the sermon, you repeated the prayer. you went home.
And never went back to First Baptist in Hammond, ever again. Never read your Bible except for a halfhearted look at it every now and then. Never prayed. Listened to whatever music, watched whatever movie, and nothing more except you thought you were a Christian. Is’nt that Great? Pass me another Stroh’s.
Are you really saved, if that’s your life story? Um… no. That can’t be found in the Bible. If you got saved, you began living a Christian life. Prayer, fasting every now and then, Lord’s Supper, Baptism, church attendance, Bible study…
I dare you, Look through your Bible and find me one person who got saved and did not live a Godly life after. The Eunuch in the chariot? WE have no mention of him ever again, other than he went away rejoicing. Conjecture about what his life was like after that is conjecture.
This gentlemen who’s writing these websites (he’s got a lot) is quite simply, not helping. You’re just adding to the mess!
Here’s the bottom line – ignore what Jack Hyles says, Danny Castle, Peter Ruckman, David Cloud, or even Ted Turner! Rely solely upon the Bible! REad it in context, study it, see what all the verses on salvation say.
You’re going to be quite surprised to find out you’ve been teaching error on over a dozen IFB websites.