American Family Association
By David J. Stewart
"Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." —Luke 24:47
I only link to the website of The American Family Association (AFA) to provide my web visitors with the latest recent news concerning attacks against the family in America, and also because the AFA has Action Alerts that allow concerned citizens to do something about it. It's just hard to find helpful news and places to get involved, and so I link to AFA because they are doing something to make a difference.
However, I wrote this article to explain to my web visitors that I do NOT agree with Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, who are false prophets promoted on AFA's website. There is a rift as wide as the Grand Canyon in America's churches between those who believe the Biblical view of a Free Grace Gospel; and then heretics like Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, and John MacArthur who hold to a perverted Lordship Salvation view of the Gospel. Kirk Cameron promotes John MacArthur's study Bible on his website. These false prophets are all bad news.
There's a common misunderstanding of what Biblical repentance means. I agree with Dr. Harry Ironside, former pastor of Moody Memorial Church, who stated . . .
“The Gospel is not a call to repentance, or to amendment of our ways, to make restitution for past sins, or to promise to do better in the future. These things are proper in their place, but they do not constitute the Gospel; for the Gospel is not good advice to be obeyed, it is good news to be believed. Do not make the mistake then of thinking that the Gospel is a call to duty or a call to reformation, a call to better your condition, to behave yourself in a more perfect way than you have been doing in the past …
Nor is the Gospel a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits, and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all.”
SOURCE: Pastor Harry A. Ironside, from the sermon: What Is The Gospel?
In sharp contrast, Ray Comfort states that a sinner cannot continue in sin and be saved . . .
“The forgiveness that is in Jesus Christ is conditional upon ‘repentance towards God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Acts 20:21). It is a gift that God offers to everyone, but individuals must receive it by repenting and trusting in Christ, or they will remain dead in their sins. No one has Biblical grounds to continue in sin, assuming that they are safe just because Jesus died on the cross. See 1 John 3:4-6.” [Emphasis added]
SOURCE: THE EVIDENCE BIBLE, by Ray Comfort, pg. 1513; 2003, Bridge-Logos Publishers, Orlando, Florida
Ray Comfort says professed believers who still lust and tell lies are not saved . . .
"These are perhaps the most frightening verses in the Bible. Vast multitudes of professing Christians fit into the category spoken of here. They call Jesus 'Lord,' but they practice lawlessness. They profess faith in Jesus, but have no regard for the divine law. They tell 'fibs' or 'white' lies, take things that belong to others, have a roaming eye for the opposite sex, etc. They are liars, thieves, and adulterers at heart, who will be cast from the gates of heaven into the jaws of hell."
SOURCE: THE EVIDENCE BIBLE, by Ray Comfort, pg. 1197; 2003, Bridge-Logos Publishers, Orlando, Florida
The Bible does not agree with Ray Comfort. You cannot show me anywhere in the Bible where it says to "repent from sin" to be saved. The truth is that a changed life is the FRUIT (result) of genuine Biblical repentance. A changed life is not repentance. This is where Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron are confused theologically. They confuse the ROOT of faith with the FRUIT of faith, and consequently pervert the Gospel message of free grace.
The change is the FRUIT, the result, of repentance; not repentance itself. Someone wrote Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980), founder of the Sword of the Lord, and asked him if worldly teenagers in the church need to be saved... Please read Dr. Rice's Response.
So what, then, is repentance? Pastor Ironside explains repentance well and he is 100% Biblically correct . . .
"Repentance is the very opposite of meritorious experience. It is the confession that one is utterly without merit, and if he is ever saved at all it can only be through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, 'who gave himself a ransom for all.' Here is firm footing for the soul who realizes that all self-effort is but sinking sand. Christ alone is the Rock of our salvation." (Harry A. Ironside; Except Ye Repent, pg. 36)
Clearly, Ironside taught a Free Grace view of the Gospel. Harry A. Ironside correctly recognized repentance as the confession that "one is utterly without merit" and that if one is "ever saved at all it can only be through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ." Salvation is without works of self-righteousness. Romans 4:5 plainly teaches that a man's faith is COUNTED for righteousness, i.e., the righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to one's heavenly record by faith.
"Repentance is the recognition of my sinnership — the owning before God that I am as vile as He has declared me to be in His holy Word."
SOURCE: Except Ye Repent, by Dr. Harry Ironside, chapter 3
Biblical repentance is turning toward God to be forgiven of one's sins. I did not write this article to criticize The American Family Association; but rather, to make sure that all my web visitors know the truth about Biblical repentance. I have nothing personally against Ray Comfort nor Kirk Cameron, but they are teaching a false view of the Gospel when they say that a sinner must reform, change, give up the world, and mend his ways as part of saving-faith.
In closing, I'd like to once again quote the mighty man of God, Dr. John R. Rice, who correctly stated . . .
“The change in your heart, sinner, is God's part and you may be sure He will attend to that. Your part is to simply believe in Him. Whatever else is necessary in your eternal salvation, the Lord attends to when you trust in Him, or believe in Him.”
SOURCE: What Must I DO To Be Saved, by Dr. John R. Rice
Salvation is of the Lord. Man's part is simply to acknowledge his guilt of sin and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness. Acts 10:43, "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."
Beware of John MacArthur and Kirk Cameron
Dr. John MacArthur is a spiritually perverse and very dangerous man, who ought not be allowed behind any pulpit in America. I am shocked how many naive and careless pastors welcome MacArthur, who clearly teaches the demonic doctrine of Lordship Salvation. The following video is 100% conclusive proof that John MacArthur, Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort are all false teachers. They are all so subtle, corrupting the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ...
At 4:51 in the video, MacArthur dangerously states:
“The Gospel says, 'give your life to Christ and He rules' and if you're not willing to do that it's because you want to keep the rule of your own life. The rich young man wanted his own life for himself. He wanted to control his own life. He had his choice: sins, he had his choice, religion, and he wanted to hang onto control. It's that simple. Coming to Christ means you give up the control of your life, and you yield it to Christ. That's what kept him from salvation, he was unwilling to do that.”
Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort are devout disciples of John MacArthur. The Apostle Paul warned of such perverted wolves...
Acts 20:29-31, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”
John MacArthur is a dynamic, charming and suave teacher, which has deceived millions of people to foolishly follow him. MacArthur is one of the wolves that the Bible warns us about, who teaches perverse things. The preceding video horribly perverts the meaning of two key passages of Scripture: Matthew 19:16-22 and Matthew 16:23-25.
Matthew 19:16-22, “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.”
In this passage, we read about a rich young man who asked Jesus how to have eternal life? When the young man bragged about keeping all of God's Law (which shows that he was self-righteousness), Jesus pointed out that he was covetous (which is a violation of the 10th Commandment in Exodus 20:17). Jesus used the Law the way it was intended to be used, i.e., to show us our sinfulness and need for a Savior. Romans 3:19, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” Jesus simply pointed out to that young man that he was not righteous in God's eyes.
John MacArthur, Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort all pervert this passage to mean that Jesus was giving a plan of salvation. Jesus WASN'T giving that young man a plan of salvation; but rather, was simply showing him that his self-righteousness was flawed and unacceptable to God. The Apostle Paul taught the same truth in Romans 2:13, because the Jews thought they could be saved by keeping the Law. No one can be saved by keeping the Law (Romans 3:20). We need Christ's righteousness, which MacArthur doesn't teach (Matthew 6:33; Romans 4:5-6; Romans 10:3-4; 2nd Corinthians 5:21).
The rich young man in the Bible was covetous. According to MacArthur, that young man would have been saved if he'd denied himself, let go of his pride, pushed aside his selfish ambitions, given up his covetousness and given his life to Christ. John MacArthur is teaching lies of the Devil.
At 4:31 in the preceding video, Dr. MacArthur states concerning the young rich man:
“He is a classic illustration of someone who will not deny himself. He wanted to hold onto his own will. He wanted to hold onto his own pride. He wanted to hold onto his own money. He wanted to hold onto his own ambition, his own sovereignty if you will, in his own life. The competing issues are these, very simple...
The Gospel says, 'give your life to Christ and He rules' and if you're not willing to do that it's because you want to keep the rule of your own life. The rich young man wanted his own life for himself. He wanted to control his own life. He had his choice: sins, he had his choice, religion, and he wanted to hang onto control. It's that simple. Coming to Christ means you give up the control of your life, and you yield it to Christ. That's what kept him from salvation, he was unwilling to do that.”
Ladies and gentlemen, that is Catholic theology and damnable heresy!!! MacArthur said: “Coming to Christ means you give up the control of your life, and you yield it to Christ. That's what kept him from salvation, he was unwilling to do that.” The reason why the rich young man didn't get saved was NOT because he refused to yield to Christ, nor because he was unwilling to give up control of his life; the reason why he didn't get saved is because he was self-righteousness.
Notice what the self-righteous young man asked Jesus in Matthew 19:16...
“...Good Master, what good thing SHALL I DO, that I may have eternal life?”
The young man didn't ask how he could get to Heaven. No, rather, he asked what THING I NEED TO DO. Jesus knew the young man's heart. The young man was self-righteousness. Jesus used the Law to show the young man his wickedness. There was nothing he could do in his own self-righteousness to have eternal life. He needed Jesus as his Savior. Romans 3:19 and Galatians 3:24 plainly teach that the Law's purpose is only to show us our guilt of sin and need for a Savior.
John MacArthur requires people to fulfil the Law as a prerequisite to faith in Christ, which is the heresy of works salvation. That is exactly what Kirk Cameron, Ray Comfort and John MacArthur are teaching...
They all teach that the rich young man should have forsaken his covetousness to be saved.
In sharp contrast, Romans 4:5-6 proclaims, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.”
Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort are going to be damned because they are following the false Gospel of John MacArthur. The Bible plainly teaches that false prophets would go through pains to avoid being detected. Satan is subtle. 2nd Peter 2:1, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who PRIVILY shall bring in damnable heresies...”The word “privily” here means “taking pains to avoid being observed; to lead aside.” This is the nature of false prophets. They are used by Satan to mislead people, going through pains to avoid being detected.
Carefully notice that the false prophets in Matthew 7:21-23 were SINCERE; but they were sincerely WRONG. Proverb 16:25, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
Lordship Salvationists all pervert the Gospel message, requiring sinners to stop living in their sins to be saved. Moody Bible Institute and many other theological schools have been caught up into MacArthur's doctrines of devils...
1st Timothy 4:1, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;1Tm:4:1: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and DOCTRINES OF DEVILS.”
Lordship Salvation is a backdoor approach to Works Salvation. Instead of requiring people to do good works to be saved as the Catholic Church does, Lordship Salvationists require people to stop living in sin to be saved. The result is the same—self righteousness. The perverted doctrine of Lordship Salvation is the primary ecumenical bridge now being used to merge Catholics with apostate Evangelicals.
Contrary to MacArthur's claim, Pastor Charles H. Spurgeon DIDN'T believe nor teach Lordship Salvation.
Matthew 16:23-25, “But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
Likewise, Kirk Cameron and John MacArthur pervert Matthew 16:23-25. This is one of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted Scripture passages in the Bible. Does a person have to deny them self to be saved?
Jesus was speaking to His disciples, not unsaved men. Jesus rebuked Peter in verse 23 for being carnally-minded. It is unscholarly and dangerous to interpret any Scripture without taking into consideration all other Scriptures. The correct way to interpret the Bible is by comparing Scripture-with-Scripture, which is not difficult to do if you study the Bible as 2nd Timothy 2:15 commands. In John 5:39 Jesus said, SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES!
Genesis 15:6; Isaiah 64:6; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; Romans 10:3-4; Romans 4:5-6; John 3:16 (and hundreds of other Scriptures) all teach that salvation is without works of self-righteousness. We are saved solely by HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS (Matthew 6:33). We are saved by the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, because of the precious, literal, blood that He gave to pay our sin debt. Jesus died, was buried and rose again. Jesus appeared in the presence of the Father in Heaven on our behalf, applying His physical blood to the heavenly Mercy Seat (Hebrews 9:12,24).
In view of so many plain statements throughout the Word of God that salvation is solely of the Lord, it is evil for anyone to teach that a sinner must give up anything to be saved. Salvation is receiving, not giving. Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15), freely offered (Romans 10:13) and freely received (Revelation 22:17). There is much corrupting of the Scriptures today. Salvation is without works of self-righteousness.
In 1st Corinthians 3:1, Paul refers to the believers at the church of Corinth as “babes in Christ” and “carnal.” They obviously hadn't denied themselves. They were more than just covetous. They were suing each other (6:6). They were coming to the Lord's Supper drunk (11:21). They were divided amongst each other in quarrels (1:12). Fornication was openly allowed in the church (5:1). They even ate meats offered to idols (8:4). According to the Lordship Salvation crowd, there's no way these rascals could be saved; but the Apostle Paul called them BABES IN CHRIST.
John MacArthur completely ignores 90% of the Bible to teach his heresies. The Bible is filled with examples of believers who sinned, lived in sin and ran from God. It's not just a matter of semantics.
1st Timothy 4:2, “Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.”
Don't Mess with the Gospel
“But to Him That Worketh Not”
Opponents of Lordship Salvation
Repent! Repent! Repent!
John 6:40—The Will of God and Salvation
Pastor John MacArthur Teaches Works Salvation!
"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." —Jude 1:3
Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness!