The Old Account Was Settled Long Ago

By God's grace, I have lived so far to age 57 in 2024. The inspired King James Bible admonishes us in Proverbs 27:1, “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. I am prepared to meet my God. I became a born-again Christian at age 13 in 1980. The old account was settled long ago. Once saved, always saved! I have fought the good fight of faith since I began my website ministry in 2002...
2nd Timothy 4:7-8, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
I am ready to go home to be with Jesus when it's my time to go. I am so sick and tired of this sin cursed rotten world. Albeit, I share the same sentiments as the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:2, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. I have dedicated the rest of my life to preaching THE BOOK (the inspired King James Bible), THE BLOOD (Jesus' literal liquid blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat in Heaven), and THE BODY (the importance of local New Testament churches),. These three great Bible doctrines are under Satanic attack today.

My great joy each day is knowing that my name is recorded in Heaven in the Lamb's Book of Life (Luke 10:20). The old account was settled long ago. Perhaps you've heard this old Christian hymn...
THE OLD ACCOUNT WAS SETTLED LONG AGO
Stanza:
There was a time, I know,
When in the book of heaven,
An old account was standing
For sins yet unforgiven;
My name was at the top
And many things below,
I went unto the Keeper,
And settled long ago.

Refrain:
Long ago, long ago,
Yes, the old account was settled long ago;
And the record’s clear today,
For He washed my sins away,
When the old account was settled long ago.
Amen! Dear reader, are you 100% certain that if you died this moment you would go to Heaven? You can and should have that blessed assurance. Something is very wrong with the perverse theology of ne0-evangelical false prophets like Ray Comfort, Paul Washer, Dan Corner, R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur and other Calvinists who deny eternal security. These wicked false teachers all instill fear and uncertainty into their ministry followers.

The inspired Word of God teaches in 1st John 5:13 that believers can “KNOW” that we are saved. 1st John 3:24 teaches that we know we are saved by the indwelling Holy Spirit which God has given to every believer. If you don't have the Spirit of Christ (i.e., the Holy Spirit living inside your body and soul), then you have never been saved. There is no need to doubt, worry, fear or labor to maintain God's free gift of eternal life.

If you are still struggling with the assurance that you are 100% saved and on your way to Heaven, it is only because you do not fully understand God's simple plan of salvation. Thankfully, the Bible makes it very clear how to get to Heaven in the Gospel of John. In John we find the word believe 85 times. My sin belongs to me, but my righteousness is Jesus Christ's. I have no righteousness of my own. That is why we need God's righteousness credited (imputed) to us, which is by faith alone. Philippians 3:9, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” Thank you friend for reading my ministry blog. To God alone be all the praise, credit and glory, great things He is doing.

You're Not Going To Lead Anybody To The Lord With A False Gospel

Galatians 1:6-7, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.”

 A FALSE GOSPEL CANNOT SAVE!!! Our churches are flooded today with all sorts of heresies concerning the Gospel. In our text verse, the apostle Paul was astounded how quickly the churchgoers at Galatia had fallen prey to “ANOTHER GOSPEL” (which is no Gospel at all). Listen to what Evangelist Paul Washer errantly teaches:
I tell 'em this. I say, “Listen. If tonight you have truly repented and believed in Jesus Christ, you have become a child of God. But this is going to be the evidence—If you have truly repented unto salvation, you will continue repenting unto salvation, and growing in repentance. And if you have truly believed, you will continue believing! None of this flu-shot stuff! I don't want someone walking up to that person, ten years later, they're living an ungodly life, and someone witnessed to them, and they say, 'Oh, don't worry about me, I done did that!' Cause that's what most people do in the south, isn't it? 'Don't worry about me preacher, I did that.' You did what? 'I got my flu-shot.' Yeah, but you didn't get Jesus! ...You counsel them with many Gospel promises and many Gospel warnings!”

SOURCE: Regeneration Verses The Idolatry of Decisional Evangelism
Ladies and gentlemen, that is not the biblical Gospel! That is not the simplicity that is in Christ! Paul Washer is infamous for this type of false Calvinistic preaching, that conditions one's salvation upon personal works of discipleship. I've listened to many dozens of hours of repentance and salvation by Paul Washer and he is corrupt. Mr. Washer makes the dire mistake of mixing discipleship with sonship. He confuses salvation with consecration. Here is an excellent quote by Dr. Martin DeHaan (1891-1965) explaining the difference between coming to Christ for salvation, verses coming after Christ in discipleship:
"There is a vast difference between coming to Jesus for salvation and coming after Jesus for service. Coming to Christ makes one a believer, while coming after Christ makes one a disciple. All believers are not disciples. To become a believer one accepts the invitation of the Gospel, to be a disciple one obeys the challenge to a life of dedicated service and separation. Salvation comes through the sacrifice of Christ; discipleship comes only by sacrifice of self and surrender to His call for devoted service. Salvation is free, but discipleship involves paying the price of a separated walk. Salvation can't be lost because it depends upon God's faithfulness, but discipleship can be lost because it depends upon our faithfulness." —M.R. DeHaan, Hebrews; Zondervan Publishing House, 1959 (p. 117)
Here are some more great quotes below exposing the falsehood of Lordship Salvation. This is GREAT SOUND DOCTRINE!!!

The following excellent information by Dr. Hank Lindstrom is from the helpful Christian website, Get God's Gift...
THE INCOMPATIBILITY OF THE LORDSHIP GOSPEL WITH THE GOSPEL OF GRACE

"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." —Galatians 1:8, 9

The importance of this question can't be overestimated in relation to both salvation and sanctification. The message of faith only and the message of commitment of life can't both be the gospel; therefore, one of them is a false gospel and come under the curse of perverting the gospel or preaching another gospel.

"It is an inexcusable error to confront sinners with problems that concern the Christian life and call upon them to make promises regarding them. An unsaved person is never called upon to surrender himself to God. The saving act is in no instance represented as our 'giving ourselves to God'; it is, on the contrary, taking His Son as our Savior." —Charles Ryrie, Balancing the Christian Life; Moody Press, Inc., 1969 (p. 170)

"The second approach finds faith in the gospel alone an 'easy Believism' and seeks to add something to faith in order to accomplish salvation. To repent is to 'change one's mind,' and to believe is to remove one's trust from that in which it has rested and place it in Christ." —William Howard, Is Faith Enough to Save?; Bibliotheca Sacra, January-March, 1942 (p.99)

"This kind of faith is not 'easy believism'. It is not easy to say, 'I can't save myself, I must recognize that there is something wrong with me, and I must seek help from someone else.'" —Phillip Hook, A Biblical Definition of Saving Faith; Bibliotheca Sacra. April-June, 1964 (pp. 133, 138)

"Eternal life is free. Discipleship is immeasurably hard. The former is attained by faith alone, the latter by a faith that works... the former brings with it the righteousness of God so that a man is 'justified freely by his grace' (Romans 3:24). The latter develops a personal righteousness, based on good deeds, so that a man was also 'justified by works' (James 2:24). The former constituted the believer God's workmanship, the latter fulfilled the wonderful purpose for which he had been created. The former cost man nothing, the latter could cost him everything, including life itself." —Zane C. Hodges, The Hungry Inherit; Moody Press, Inc., 1972 (pp. 114, 115)
"There is a vast difference between coming to Jesus for salvation and coming after Jesus for service. Coming to Christ makes one a believer, while coming after Christ makes one a disciple. All believers are not disciples. To become a believer one accepts the invitation of the Gospel, to be a disciple one obeys the challenge to a life of dedicated service and separation. Salvation comes through the sacrifice of Christ; discipleship comes only by sacrifice of self and surrender to His call for devoted service. Salvation is free, but discipleship involves paying the price of a separated walk. Salvation can't be lost because it depends upon God's faithfulness, but discipleship can be lost because it depends upon our faithfulness." —M.R. DeHaan, Hebrews; Zondervan Publishing House, 1959 (p. 117)

"For the unregenerate man, repentance is the change of mind whereby he turns from unbelief to faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ." —Roger Post, The Meanings of the Words Translated 'Repent' and 'Repentance' in the New Testament; Master's Thesis, Wheaton College, June 1972 (p. 80)

"There are those who, in their zeal to get people to turn from their sinful ways and receive the Lord, almost put repentance on a par with believing... Repentance, as it relates to Christ, means to change our minds about Him, who He is and what He's done to provide forgiveness and deliverance from our sins. When we place faith in Jesus as having taken our place personally on the cross and borne the penalty due our sins, then we're automatically repenting, because we couldn't accept Him in this way without having had to change our minds in some way concerning Him." —Hal Lindsey, The Liberation of Planet Earth; Zondervan Publishing House, 1974 (pp. 136, 137).

"Discipleship is frequently equated with salvation and often erroneously made a condition for becoming a Christian". Dwight J. Pentecost, Design for Discipleship; Zondervan Publishing House, 1971 (p. 11)

"Certainly discipleship is a most important aspect of our relation to Christ, but it belongs to the sphere of Christian life rather than entrance upon that life... One does not become a disciple in order to become a Christian, but because he has become a Christian by faith in the Savior, it is fitting that he embark upon a life of discipleship". —Everett F. Harrison, Must Christ be Lord to Be Savior? - No.; Eternity, September 1959 (p. 14)

"There is no more piously subtle abrogation of the Gospel than to tell a Sinner that he must not only believe in the Savior, but dedicate himself to do God's will, crown the Savior Lord of his life, etc., etc. Obviously, dedication and service are highly desirable, but they are the privilege and the duty of the saved, never a condition of salvation for the unsaved (cf. Romans 12:1, 2)." —Merrill F. Unger, God is Waiting to Meet You; Moody Press, 1975 (p. 117, 118).

"People are sometimes led to believe that there is saving value in some public confession of Christ, or profession of a decision. "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness." This is salvation. "With the mouth confession is made unto salvation." This is the voice of the newborn child speaking to and of its father. The only condition on which one may be saved is to believe." —Lewis Sperry Chafer, Salvation; Dunham Publishing Company, 1917 (p. 46)

SUMMARY
Lordship salvation is where someone teaches that there must be a commitment to Christ as Lord of one's life in order to be saved. Recently there has been a modification of this position to say that willingness to be controlled by the Lord at the time of salvation is all that is required in addition to faith in order to be saved. The message of faith only and the message of faith plus commitment of life can't both be the gospel; therefore, one of them is a FALSE GOSPEL and comes under the curse of perverting the gospel or preaching another gospel. Galatians 1:8, 9 says, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed." If only committed people are saved people, then where is there room for carnal Christians? What kind of dedication must be preached to people, if in order to be saved, they have already dedicated their lives to the Lord? Where do you stop if you start adding something else to this which is the gospel revealed in the Bible? Look at what God says about adding to the revelation of Jesus Christ (gospel), "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book" (Revelation 22:18). The Bible plainly declares that we are saved by faith, and not by works. Where does it say this? Ephesians 2:8, 9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast." What are you trusting in to get you to heaven?

* Written by Dr. Hank Lindstrom
The moment you put your trust in Jesus Christ, God who can read your mind knows, saves YOU and gives you the Gift of God, eternal Life.

You do not need anyone to pray over you, or pray for you, because this is between you and God in Heaven. If you have trusted Christ, then because of your new trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ you are now a child of God. Before you trusted in Jesus, God was your Creator, but now and forevermore He will be your Father.

You are saved in a moment of time, because you are trusting in the true Savior now, not working your way to Heaven day by day which is not even possible.

Once saved you can never be lost, not for any reason. This is because you were born spiritually the moment you put your trust in Him. Just like your physical birth which brought you into this human world, your spiritual birth gave you a new spiritual life that is permanent. You were born-again, made righteous and holy in Gods eyes. In fact you have the righteousness of God himself, your are sinless and perfect in God's eyes now and that's why you can enter into a perfect heaven.

My favorite saying is:

God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved.

You MUST put ALL your trust in Jesus to be saved, trust in the blood that He shed on the cross, trust that He is God in the flesh, trust that He made the complete payment for your sins, not just part; He paid for ALL of your sins (past, present, and future)! Trust that He rose again from the dead after 3 days and 3 nights, and in return for this trust, He gives YOU Eternal Life. All false Christians put part of their trust in Jesus and part of their trust the Church and part of their trust in themselves. If you put 99.99% trust in Jesus and 00.01% in something else, you will go to hell. It must be 100% trust in Jesus and what He did and 0% in you or your church! This information in critical... (grace always cancels works!) You are going to hell if it's by your works or you are going to heaven by Gods grace. It's as simple as that.

So I guess the question comes down to who are you trusting. Are you trusting yourself to get to heaven by being a good person and giving lots of money to your church or are you trusting Jesus, the lamb of God, that was slain for the sins of the world to get you to heaven? You receive the Gift of God (Eternal Life) as soon as you stop trusting in yourself, your church, your synagogue, your mosque, your money, or any other works and put your trust in Him and Him ALONE, Jesus Christ, Yeshua, The King of Kings, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the Alpha and Omega, the Mighty God.

False religions are everywhere and they will find you, the one true God and His plan of salvation must be found.

If all this makes sense to you and you would like to trust Jesus as your personal Savior right now then tell the Mighty God in Heaven of your decision to trust Jesus Christ as your only hope of Heaven. Tell Him that you are no longer putting your trust in your actions, or your church, or your church membership, or in your money, or in your Rabbi, or in your synagogue or your Mosque but that you are putting all of your trust in Him and the shed blood of the cross to pay your sin debt. Thank Him for doing it for you! Thank Him for giving you the Gift of Eternal Life that He paid for with His life. There is no greater deed than that of laying down your life for another.

Will you trust Jesus as your Savior right now, the one who shed His precious blood on the cross of Calvary to pay for all your sins?

Suggested Sinners Prayer
Lord, I admit that I'm a sinner & I don't understand a whole lot about the bible, but I do believe that Jesus Christ died & paid for my sins in full, by His death & shed blood on the cross. I trust right now the He died for me, was buried & rose again from the dead and will live forever more. I trust Jesus Christ right now to save me, to be my savior, to forgive my sins & to give me the GIFT OF GOD Eternal Life. Amen

By reading this sinners prayer aloud, you are putting your trust in God and His plan of salvation. You are not saved by saying this prayer, you are saved the moment your mind made the switch from trusting in yourself to putting your COMPLETE TRUST IN JESUS CHRIST. That moment may have been five paragraphs up on this page, or that moment may have been on another one of our pages. You will not feel any different, but you will be changed and changed for the better forever. 
Once you have trusted Jesus as your Savior and received his gift of eternal life, this gift can NEVER be lost. You can NEVER go to Hell for ANY reason. Your past, present and future sins were paid in full the moment you put your trust in Him. You are blameless and Holy in God's eyes now and FOREVER. If you have eternal life today what kind of life will you have in five years? ETERNAL! What kind of life will you have in ten years? ETERNAL!! What kind of life will you have in 50 years? ETERNAL!!! God does not give probationary life or temporary life, His gift is ETERNAL LIFE! Thanks be to GOD!

Why be good, now that I am assured of going to Heaven? Because God's law of sowing and reaping still applies to you and me. You will reap what you sow. You will reap more than you sow and you will reap later than you sow. If you drink alcohol like a fish, you will reap a diseased liver. If you smoke like a chimney everyday, you will reap lung cancer. If you rob, murder, and steal you will reap a life in prison. You will reap what you sow. I guarantee it! Now that you are saved, when you do good things you WILL be rewarded here on earth and in Heaven. And when you do bad things you WILL lose rewards that God had planned on giving you here on earth and in Heaven. But you will NEVER lose your guarantee of going to Heaven. That can never be lost for any reason!! You have God's word that your salvation can never be lost for any reason. You did not earn salvation and you do not work to keep salvation! Eternal Life, salvation, being born again, becoming a child of God, was, is, and always will be the GIFT OF GOD.
Remember: If your not saved forever... you are not saved!

Why is this true you might ask? Because if a person is not sure that they are saved TODAY / RIGHT NOW it means that they are still trying to be the savior! They can't be sure they are going to Heaven because they don't know what sin's they may commit next week, next month or next year. We who have trusted in Jesus alone, can have comfort knowing that all our sins have been paid in full on the Cross of Calvary (past, present, and future sins). Jesus has already died for my sins so I don't need to pay for any sin I have or will commit in the future because Jesus already paid the price in full with His blood. So called Christians who say that you can lose your salvation because of suicide or murder or falling away from the church don't have a clue what the Bible says and clearly have not trusted Jesus ALONE!

Biblical Salvation is forsaking any other means of salvation but Christ, and casting ourselves fully upon Him in faith for eternal life.

The Gift of God, Eternal Life can never be lost once possessed for any reason. John 6:39 " And this is the Father's will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should LOSE NOTHING, but should raise it up again at the last day." You have God's promise that once you put your trust in Jesus you can never be lost for ANY reason whatsoever.

"For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Romans 11:29). Again, God is telling you that this Gift of God that you have just received is without repentance. He can never take His gift back for any reason, no matter how bad you get, or how bad your sins are it is not possible. God would have to cease to exist for that to happen because He cannot lie.

SOURCE: Lordship Salvation » How to get into Heaven
I plead with you, whoever you may be, to start checking your church's religious tracts, and see what type of stuff is being taught to people concerning how to be saved. I visited a local church recently and was dismayed at what I read in their Gospel tracts. IT WASN'T THE GOSPEL!!! I read three big heresies in their tracts. First, that you must turn your life over to Christ to be saved. Second, that you must receive Jesus as your Savior AND LORD to be saved. And thirdly, that you must turn from your sins to be saved. Ladies and gentleman, none of these things constitute the Gospel. We are saved only by believing the Gospel.

Tragically, hundreds of thousands of churches in America are full of deadly heresies regarding salvation. You don't need to follow Christ as the Lord of your life to get to Heaven, you simply need to trust Him by receiving His sacrifice on the cross as full payment for your sins.

You don't need to be water baptized or speak in tongues to get to Heaven, you simply need to believe that Jesus has already done it all for you.

You don't need to turn from your sinful ways, or decide to live for Jesus from now on, to get to Heaven. You simply need to let Him save you, receiving Him as your personal Savior. Please beware of all the manmade lies and deceptions in today's apostate churches. And sadly, this includes most Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches nowadays, and all neo-evangelical Sothern Baptist Churches. Thank you for reading.

If We Suffer With Christ, We Will Also Be Glorified With Him In Eternity

One of my favorite Bible teachers is Pastor Brad Strand. I was delighted last year to learn that Brother Strand authored a helpful study Bible. The project was his heart's passion for 33 years, in which time he invested over 30,000 hours of labor to write this masterpiece. I was glad to learn that he faithfully contends for the Christian faith, exposing the Devil's lie of Lordship Salvation. Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Pastor Strand writes concerning 2nd Corinthians 4:8-10:
In the third century, Cyprian wrote to his friend Donatus: 
It is a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and good people who have learned the great secret of life. They have found a joy and wisdom which is a thousand times better than any of the pleasures of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are Christians... and I am one of them.
The great secret that this third-century man was referring to was what Paul was referring to, and that is this — if we share in His suffering we will also share in His glory (that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body — Rom 8:17, II Tim 2:11-12 and I Pet 4:13-14). In essence, Christians need to learn to embrace the eternal perspective (II Cor 4:17, 18 and Phil 1:21). The adage is true: Life changes. Just don't let it change you.

SOURCE: Pastor Brad Strand, 'The Strand Study Bible,' pp. 1931-1932; ©2009, Rood Scholar Press

Amen and amen. I love Pastor Strand's extensive knowledge of secular history that he uses to teach the Bible in a very practical way, which is invaluable in my humble opinion. Brother Strand is one of my favorite Bible teachers, one of the few people I have met who can actually teach. Most teachers have a bunch of knowledge stored in their head, but they cannot break that information down in a simplified way for others to easily understand. Of the hundreds of teachers I've had during my lifetime, only a few really knew how to teach. Pastor Strand is one of them and I love and appreciate the guy!

Pastor Strand writes concerning 2nd Corinthians 3:18:
The Bible is a mirror that reflects Christ's glory (beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord). The more a believer gazes into it intently the more he becomes like Christ. Just as Moses' face reflected God's glory on Mt. Sinai, so we are to reflect the glory of Christ through the indwelling Spirit of God. A mirror should be used to show us our filthiness, not another's filthiness (Amos 7:7). 

SOURCE: Pastor Brad Strand, 'The Strand Study Bible,' p. 1931; ©2009, Rood Scholar Press

That is great truth!

The following quotes are beautiful, honoring God's inspired Word. And may I say, today's modern Bible revisions are often NOT based any any legitimate ancient language; but rather, they are the mere rantings of scholarly madmen hellbent on making a buck from marketing their own copyrighted version:
“The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature, with a power that conquers all who oppose it.” —Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

“It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially a Bible-reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom.” —Horace Greeley (1811-1872)

“The existence of the Bible, as a book for the people, is the greatest benefit which the human race has ever experienced. Every attempt to belittle it is a crime against humanity.” —Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

“That book [King James Bible], sir, is the rock on which on republic rests.” —U.S. President Andrew Jackson (1767-1845)

“The Bible has been the Magna Carta of the poor and oppressed. The human race is not in a position to dispense with it.” —Thomas Huxley (1825-1895)

“So great is my veneration for the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members of society. I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible every year.” —U.S. President John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)

“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible. ” —U.S. President George Washington (1732-1799)

“The Bible, composes by many authors, over a period of many centuries, yet ONE BOOK, is, in itself, the outstanding Miracle of the Ages, bearing aloft its own evidence of its Superhuman Origin.” —Henry H. Halley (1874-1965)

“The Old Testament is an account of a Nation. The New Testament is an account of a MAN, The Nation was founded and nurtured of God to bring the Man into the world.” —Dr. Henry H. Halley (1874-1965)

“Bible reading is an education in itself.” —Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

“The Bible is worth all other books which have ever been printed.” —Patrick Henry (1736-1799)

“The whole hope of human progress is suspended on the ever growing influence of the Bible.” —U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward (1801-1872)

“God Himself became a Man, to give mankind a concrete, definite, tangible idea of what kind of Person to think of when we think of God. God is like Jesus. Jesus was God incarnate in human form. His appearance on earth is the Central Event of all history. The Old Testament sets the stage for it. The New Testament describes it. As a man, He lived the most strangely Beautiful Life ever known. He was the Kindest, Tenderest, Gentlest, most Patient, most Sympathetic man that ever lived. He Loved people. He hated to see people in trouble. He loved to Forgive. He loved to Help. He wrought marvelous miracles to feed hungry people. For relieving the suffering He forgot to take food for Himself. Multitudes, weary, pain-ridden, and heart-sick, came to Him, and found healing and relief. It is said of Him, and of no other, that if all the deeds of Kindness that He did were written, the world would not contain the books. That is the kind of man Jesus was. That is the kind of Person God is. Then: He Died, on the Cross, to take away the Sin of the world, to become the Redeemer and Saviour of man. Then: He Rose from the Dead: is Alive Now: not merely an historical character, but a Living Person: the Most Important Fact of History, and Most Vital Force in the world today.” —Dr. Henry H. Halley (1874-1965)

“The reason you don't like the Bible, you old sinner, is because it knows all about you.” —Billy Sunday

“The Bible will always be full of things you cannot understand, as long as you will not live according to those you can understand.” —Billy Sunday
I am a big fan of preacher quotes! Quotes are nuggets of truth to help us discern truth and live right. You cannot live right if you don't first think right. A man who walks with wise men shall be wise. Proverbs 13:20, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” We've got a bunch of fools in church pulpits today, who've been influenced by false prophets like Sam Horn, Ray Comfort, John Piper and Steve Pettit. Worst of all is their leader John MacArthur, who denies that children can be saved, denies that Jesus' blood is on the Mercy Seat in Heaven, and who requires discipleship for salvation (which is NOT the Gospel of free grace).

Why Lordship Salvation Misses The Mark For Salvation

The following helpful article was authored by Pastor Charlie Bing in Texas....

WHY LORDSHIP FAITH MISSES THE MARK FOR SALVATION [1]

PASTOR CHARLIE BING
Director, GraceLife Ministries
Burleson, TX

The late comedian, George Burns, used to joke that a good friend invited him to join a country club. He said he wasn’t interested. This friend said, “What do you mean you’re not interested? This is an exclusive club.”

And Burns said, “I would never join a club that would have me as a member.” We in the Free Grace movement are accused of lowering the standards for getting into heaven. We are accused of “easy believism.” We are charged with a view that is “no-lordship.” John MacArthur refuses to even acknowledge us as the “Free Grace” movement. He calls us the “no-lordship movement.” [2]

Are we going to let these terms go unchallenged? You know sometimes if you are allowed to frame the question you win the debate, right? It’s kind of like if I ask you “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” How do you answer that? You lose either way. Pastors often face this type of dilemma. We answer the phone and someone asks, “Are you a full gospel church?” When I get this question I’m always tempted to say, “Well no, we’re a half gospel church. Our budget is kind of tight this month.” Or how about this one: “Are you a Spirit-filled church?” “No, we’re the carnal church in town. We're just kind of struggling along in the flesh right now.
[1] This article is from a message originally delivered March 30, 1999 at the Grace Evangelical Society’s fourth annual conference. It has been edited slightly for publication.

[2] John F. MacArthur, Jr., Faith Works: The Gospel According to the Apostles (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1993), 56. 21 22
We can’t allow Lordship Salvation to frame the question and swing the debate. So what are their standards for salvation if we teach “easy believism?” Are their standards for salvation even attainable by people? Charles Price, in his book Real Christians recounts an occasion where a fellow went to an evangelistic meeting and heard and responded to the message. Afterwards he spoke to an evangelist who said that, “In light of all that we have talked about this evening, can you think of any reason why you should not become a Christian tonight?” The young man sat for a few moments thinking and he said, “No I cannot think of any reason.” Then the evangelist said, “Then let me give you some.” And for the next few minutes he began to explain the cost of being a Christian. He talked about the young man’s need to surrender his whole life, his future, his ambitions, his relationships, his possessions, and everything that he was, to God. And only if he was prepared to do this, he explained, could Christ begin to work effectively in his life. And then the evangelist leaned even closer toward him and said, “Can you still not think of any reason why you shouldn’t become a Christian tonight?” And the man said, “I can think of some now.” So the evangelist said, “In that case, do not become a Christian until you have dealt with every one of those reasons and are willing to surrender everything to Christ.” [3]

There’s a lot at stake in this whole debate about faith and its meaning. What is endangered, of course, is the clear gospel, our confidence in sharing the message, our assurance of salvation, our Christian life, growth, joy, and happiness. But let’s not forget the main thing at stake is not theology, but the souls of people who can be misled.

I. Lordship Faith Includes Works

How does Lordship Salvation understand faith? [4] Kenneth Gentry, a
[3] Charles Price, Real Christians (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1987), 55-56.

[4] For further information see Charles C. Bing, Lordship Salvation: A Biblical Evaluation and Response (Ph.D. dissertation, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1991),
leading proponent of Lordship Salvation, has a classic definition. He says,
The Lordship view expressly states the necessity of acknowledging Christ as the Lord and Master of one’s life in the act of receiving Him as Savior. These are not two different, sequential acts (or successive steps), but rather one act of pure trusting faith. [5]
So according to this definition, when we come to Christ as Savior, we also come submitting to Him as Lord. It is not two acts; it is one act; and that is called faith. Lordship Salvation disagrees with the Free Grace understanding of faith as being convinced and persuaded that something is true. According to Lordship Salvation, saving faith includes submission to Christ. Richard Belcher says, “True saving faith includes in it a submission to the Lordship of Christ.” [6] Lescelius adds, “Saving faith is trust in Christ himself. It is a commitment of self in submission to all of Christ that is revealed.” [7] John MacArthur agrees, saying, “Saving faith, then, is the whole of my being embracing all of Christ. Faith cannot be divorced from commitment;” and, “The call of the gospel is to trust Him (cf. John 5:39-40). That necessarily involves some degree of love, allegiance, and surrender to His authority.” [8] Bailey Smith asserts that “…saving faith is not mere intellectual assent, but it involves an act of submission on our part.” [9]

Many authors state essentially the same thing, that faith includes submission; submission that goes beyond our need for eternal life, to recognizing, acknowledging, and committing ourselves to Jesus Christ as Master of all of our lives.
5 Kenneth L. Gentry, “The Great Option: A Study of the Lordship Controversy,” Baptist Reformation Review 5 (Spring 1976): 52. 
6 Richard P. Belcher, A Layman’s Guide to the Lordship Controversy (Southbridge, MA: Crowne Publications, 1990), 2. 
7 Robert Lescelius, Lordship Salvation: Some Crucial Questions and Answers (Asheville, NC: Revival Literature, 1992), 24. 
8 MacArthur, Faith Works, 45, 50. 
9 Bailey E. Smith, The Grace Escape: Jesus as Savior and Lord (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1991), 77.
But the Lordship Salvation definition of faith not only involves submission, it involves obedience. “Disobedience,” MacArthur says, “is unbelief. Real faith obeys.” [10] You’ll notice how carefully he couched that. Disobedience is unbelief, but he doesn’t say that faith is obedience. But he also says, “True faith is humble, submissive obedience;” and, “…faith encompasses obedience…faith is not complete unless it is obedient.” [11] Later on, after facing a lot of criticism, he softened his language somewhat in the second edition of The Gospel According to Jesus. [12]

Another writer says, “The opposite of saving faith is disobedience.” [13] Saucy concludes, “…we have to acknowledge some aspect of obedience as inherent in saving faith as well.” [14] And then Mueller says, “Faith is synonymous with obedience.” [15]

And so Lordship Salvation faith goes beyond trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior. Lordship faith includes obeying Him as Lord as a condition of eternal salvation. They have included obedience in their definition and understanding of faith. Therefore, Lordship faith requires works as a necessary condition of faith.
[10] John F. MacArthur, Jr., The Gospel According to Jesus (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1988), 47.
[11] Ibid., 140, 173. 
[12] For example, “True faith is humble, submissive obedience” in the first edition (p. 140) became “True faith produces a heart that is humble, submissive, and obedient” in the revised and expanded edition (p. 148). 
[13] Lescelius, Lordship Salvation, 24. 
[14] Robert L. Saucy, “Second Response to ‘Faith According to the Apostle James’ by John F. MacArthur, Jr.,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 33 (March 1990): 47. 
[15] Marc Mueller, “Lordship Salvation Syllabus” (Panorama City, CA: Grace
MacArthur said, “The true test of faith is this, does it produce obedience? If not, it is not saving faith.” [16] And Mueller says, “The true faith that saves (justifies) is the faith that also produces appropriate works (sanctifies).” [17]

We know that the Roman Catholics teach that we are saved by faith plus works. Lordship Salvation teaches that we are saved by faith that works. But do not both definitions include works as a condition necessary for faith to be valid, for faith to be effectual? Either way, works are a necessary condition of eternal salvation.

But I have a problem with that. It confuses justification with sanctification. Justification as the forensic legal declaration that we are righteous in our position before God, is confused with sanctification, the outworking of that righteousness in everyday practical living. Now we know that justification and sanctification are related. But we also must keep them distinct lest we confuse the Gospel itself and undo the Reformation. If we make works a necessary condition of salvation, we contradict the words of Rom 4:4-5, “Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.” The apostle Paul is teaching us that faith does not mix with works in any way. Just as you cannot mix oil with water, faith is opposed to works for salvation.

Didn’t Jesus teach this also in John chapter 6? Many Jews came to Him and followed Him across the lake after having been fed the fish and the bread. Jesus saw how earnestly they were seeking Him and heard them ask, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” (John 6:28).
[16] MacArthur, The Gospel According to Jesus, 47.
[17] Mueller, “Lordship Salvation Syllabus,” 22.
[18] MacArthur, The Gospel According to Jesus, 178.
[19] Ibid., 127.
[20] Benjamin B. Warfield, “Faith,” in Biblical and Theological Studies, ed. Samuel Craig (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1952), 425.
Here the Jews were exposing their pharisaical theology and the baggage that they had from the Pharisees made up of the minutia of laws, and the extrapolations of laws, and thousands upon thousands of man-made interpretations. And Jesus gives an interesting reply, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:29). Now notice that Jesus uses the same word they started with, work, but He puts it in the singular. He says this is the work of God. “You want to talk about works. That’s how you’re conditioned.” Jesus says this is the work, with a play on words. What is that work? That work is to believe. But of course, believing isn’t a work at all, is it? In other words, this is what God requires of you, not works, but one thing, that is to believe.

Then He goes on in John chapter 6 to explain what it means to believe. He uses the analogy of eating and drinking. It’s interesting that He would choose that kind of word picture to illustrate what faith is: a passive appropriation of something. Not doing, not working, not an active work, but a passive appropriation. That’s the essence of faith. How can anyone call eating or drinking hard work? If eating and drinking is hard work, some of us need to take a break!

To make works a necessary condition of faith confuses grace with merit. The Scriptures are clear that we cannot confuse grace with merit lest we boast (Eph 2:8-9). It confuses Christ’s work with what we are required to do. We are required to believe in order to be saved. Who did the obedience for our salvation? It was Jesus Himself who obeyed. Romans 5:19 says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (italics added). It’s not our obedience that saves us, it’s Christ’s obedience that saves us. We are the recipients of the blessing of the work that He has done for us. The only command for an unbeliever to obey is the command to believe the gospel.

II. Lordship Faith Must Be Quantified

So I have a problem with works as a necessary condition of faith. But Lordship proponents also require of faith that works must be quantified. For example, MacArthur says, “The fruit of one’s life reveals whether that person is a believer or an unbeliever. There is no middle ground.” [18]

Also in his book he says that fruit has to be abundant and obvious. You can’t go scrounging around looking for it. [19]

I have a problem with that too. When we look for fruit as proof of one’s salvation, that immediately turns us into fruit inspectors who must inspect each person’s fruit with arbitrary standards. I don’t feel comfortable in that role, do you?

I have a question for those who want to inspect fruit to prove salvation: Who has the list of appropriate works that qualify somebody as a Christian? If they were to show me a list, I would like to ask them a second question: Who wrote the list? Where did you get this? I see no list of fruits or works listed in the Scriptures that prove one is a Christian. I think it’s a rather presumptuous attitude for any believer to think that they can judge by a person’s outward works whether or not that person is saved.

You see, it’s a slippery thing; it’s a relative thing, fruit is. What may be fruit in one person’s life may be different to another. We have different starting points when we become believers. Some of us start way down on the scale. Fruit for us might be just breathing out a short prayer before we go to bed at night. On the other hand, fruit for someone who has been in church all of his life might be a more intense prayer life. How can anybody measure what God is doing in the inner workings of our heart and soul, and how He is prompting us in and through His Word? How can anyone know what someone is doing in secret as far as prayer and Bible study or good works is concerned? I think it’s quite a presumptuous attitude to think that we can look at somebody and judge them by their fruits. I don’t think that’s comparing apples with apples, if we can extend the analogy a little bit.
[21] MacArthur, "The Gospel According to Jesus," 28, 172-73
[22] John F. MacArthur, Jr., "Faith According to the Apostle James"
When we look to fruits as proof of faith, it necessarily breeds insecurity and doubt. Am I doing enough? Do I have enough fruit? Is my fruit ripe enough? There are problems with quantifying our faith.

III. Lordship Faith Must Be Qualified

Their definition of faith also requires that faith must be qualified. Not only quantified, but qualified. And so you will read Lordship Salvation teachers using a lot of terms to qualify faith, sometimes to disqualify faith with negative terms like “spurious faith,” “counterfeit faith,” “intellectual faith,” “false faith,” “insincere faith,” “pseudo faith,” “emotional faith,” and “head faith.” Yet none of these expressions is found in the Bible. On the other hand they will want to qualify faith, in a positive way, with words like “true faith,” “authentic faith,” “saving faith,” “personal faith,” “real faith,” “efficacious faith,” and “heart faith.” None of those expressions are found in the Bible either.

Now there is a convenience to using terms like saving faith to know what we’re talking about. Sometimes the debate forces us to talk about free grace, which is a redundancy; saving faith, which is a redundancy; and things like that. But they want to say that there are different kinds of faith, and I have a problem with that. When we talk about different kinds of faith, we are distracted from the object of our faith to having faith in our faith. That’s an unhealthy introspection. Am I having enough faith? Am I having the right kind of faith? Is my faith deep enough, strong enough? When we look to our faith instead of to the object of our faith, we are necessarily distracted from that which actually saves us. Even Benjamin Warfield, the Presbyterian, who probably would not have put himself in our camp, said that “the saving power resides exclusively, not in the act of faith, or the attitude of faith, or the nature of faith, but in the object of faith.” [20]

It’s like our eyesight. Eyesight is nothing apart from the object of our sight. We may as well close our eyes and look inside to see whether we have sight, as to look inside to see whether we have faith. Faith means nothing without an object, as sight means nothing without an object.

So Lordship Salvation talks about different kinds of faith, forcing unfortunate folks to examine what kind of faith they have. The truth is, technically, we’re not saved by faith anyway. We’re saved through faith. Faith is the instrumental means; grace is the efficient means, of our salvation. We’re saved by Jesus Christ. We’re saved by His grace. We’re saved through faith. You would know what I meant if I said to you “I put the fire out with the hose.” Now hoses don’t put out fires. But hoses are the channels for water that puts the fire out. The hose is the instrumental means; the water is the efficient means. Faith is the instrumental means by which we are able to access our salvation through Jesus Christ, His grace, His death, His resurrection.

So there’s an unhealthy emphasis on faith that causes an unhealthy introspection. When we emphasize the quality of one’s faith, we automatically de-emphasize the object of one’s faith. I heard the story of a man who went to an evangelistic meeting. He responded to the message, and afterwards spoke to a counselor. The counselor told him that to be saved he must believe in Jesus. The man went to the meeting the next night, heard another message, responded to the message again, and talked to a different counselor. This counselor told him that to be saved he must believe in Jesus. Later the man was giving his testimony on how he had been saved while talking to that second counselor. And the first counselor came up to him afterwards and said, “I’m a bit confused. Can you tell me, what did the second counselor tell you that I didn’t tell you?” And the man said, “Well, you told me to believe in Jesus.” He told me to “believe in Jesus.” There’s a difference, a big difference. It is the object of our faith that saves us.
Evangelical Theological Society 33 (March 1990): 23. 
23 MacArthur, The Gospel According to Jesus, 173.
Genuine faith in a worthless object is useless. You can sincerely believe in an error. I have a friend who was given a penicillin shot with the sincere belief by the doctor that it would make her well. It almost killed her. The object of faith was untrustworthy in that case. We are not to look at the kind of faith we have. We are to make sure we are looking to the right object. Faith in the right object will save us.

If we grant to Lordship Salvation that faith must be qualified, that there are different kinds of faith, we surrender objectivity to subjectivity. And assurance becomes impossible. To have faith in one’s faith is to detract from faith in a Savior. There is only one kind of faith. There are many objects to faith, but what saves us is Jesus Christ as the object of our faith.

IV. Lordship Faith Is Inaccessible to Most

Now the Lordship Salvation definition of faith also requires that faith must be a gift of God. For example, MacArthur says that faith is a “saving energy” that is “divinely produced.” [21] He believes it is different from other kinds of faith. He calls it “a supernatural ability to apprehend spiritual reality invisible to the eye of flesh.” [22] If it’s a supernatural ability, if it’s divinely produced, if it’s a saving energy, it must be God’s gift. And you see how all this fits together. If faith includes obedience, then it must be a gift of God. He gives it to us, so we automatically obey. It’s all kind of a package deal. MacArthur says, “the faith God begets includes both the volition and the ability to comply with His will (Philippians 2:13). In other words, faith encompasses obedience.” [23]

Now I know that there are people who are Free Grace who believe that faith is a gift of God. I have a little problem with that interpretation, though, when I understand what faith is. I think it confuses grace with faith, again, the efficient means of salvation with the instrumental means of salvation. And in Ephesians 2:8-9 where it talks about “by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” it refers to salvation by grace through faith, that process, that opportunity, what God has given in allowing us that salvation. I don’t think Paul is talking about just faith.

If faith is a gift of God, it nullifies our human responsibility. Think about that. God requires us to believe in order to go to heaven. If we do not believe, we will be condemned. John 3:18 says, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” God condemns those who do not believe. But we can’t believe unless we have God’s gift of faith. God condemns those to whom He does not give the gift of faith? That is unjust and unfair. You see, it just doesn’t make sense to me. And we know that God enlightens us to the truth, that the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, righteousness, and judgment. God draws us to Himself by illumining us to His Word, His truth. But ultimately it is faith that responds to God’s revelation of Himself. So I don’t believe that faith is a gift of God, or anything supernatural. There’s only one kind of faith. To believe something is to be persuaded that it is true. What differs is not faith itself, but the object of faith.

V. Conclusion

As a pastor and as one with the heart of an evangelist, I am distressed that what Lordship Salvation has done is taken salvation, which God intended to be accessible, and made it inaccessible. After all is said and done, what we know is that God loves people and wants to see them saved. And because He wants to see them saved, He wants to make it simple. He did the hard work, so that we could bring a simple message to people, so that they could be saved.

Salvation is not meant to be an exclusive club. It is meant to be broad in its appeal and accessible to everyone. You know I’ve recently changed my perspective on John 14:6, where Jesus says “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” I used to be apologetic about that verse. People would say “That’s such an exclusive verse, such a narrow religion, such a narrow view of heaven.” I started thinking about that and I decided that it is an inclusive verse. You see, anybody can come to Jesus. Not everybody can keep the five pillars. Not everybody can do the five steps. Not everybody can keep the law, or all the other systems that the religions of the world offer, but anybody can come to Jesus. I will never ever again “apologize” for John 14:6. It makes the way of salvation accessible to anyone.

If you want somebody to be rescued, delivered, or saved, you make it simple for them. You make it as simple as possible so that as many as possible can be saved. That’s why we don’t make flotation devices out of Teflon. That’s why in emergencies people simply dial 911, not 911-10-10- 321, or whatever. God wants people to be saved. And He designed His gospel that way, so that even a child can believe. A man on his deathbed can believe. A thief on a cross can believe. What did the thief on the cross promise Jesus when he said, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom”? And Jesus replied, “Today you will be with Me in paradise.” Could the thief walk an aisle? No, his feet were fastened to a cross. Could he raise his hand? No, his hands were tied or nailed to the cross. Could he be baptized? No, the cross would have floated. Did he promise Jesus anything? No. Did Jesus demand anything of him? No. Salvation by grace through faith means there is hope for a dying man, for someone who can do nothing for himself.

I had a person in my congregation whose father was dying of cancer. I asked him if he had talked to his father about how to have eternal life. He said that he had talked with him, but he said that at the end of his life it wouldn’t be fair for God to forgive him of all he had done now that he was dying. I told him to show his father the story of the thief on the cross. Since when is grace ever fair? Grace is not fair, it gives us what we don’t deserve. By definition, grace is not fair.

Let me tell you about another thief I met. On my first visit to Ghana, West Africa, to teach the Bible at a Bible College, I was working on a car in our compound one day when I heard a commotion that was working itself down a dirt road. I immediately recognized what it was because I had seen it before—they had caught a thief. Now in Ghana when you catch a thief you take justice into your own hands because you have very little provisions and the police are corrupt. And so what they usually do to a thief is beat him severely and let him go. I went out to the gate of the compound and looked there at fifty or sixty young people with smiles on their faces like they were having a big old time. They carried sticks, clubs, machetes, axes, and rubber hoses. And there in the middle was a rather tall fellow, blood streaming down his face, a large gash in his head, and a tire around his neck. And when I came to the gate of the compound, they all stopped and looked at me because we were the only obruni, or white folks in the area. They were wondering what I would do, if I would stop the proceeding. But you know, when you’re in another culture you really don’t know what to do sometimes. You don’t want to interfere with their system of justice. And so I just turned and went back to my work figuring that they would give him a severe beating and that he would learn his lesson.

When I went back to work a missionary who was living on the compound that we shared came over to us. Now this missionary was from a different denomination that really believes a different gospel. We just happened to make his acquaintance for the summer. And he said “Hey did you see the thief?” And I said that I had seen him. He told me they were going to burn him. When I asked what he meant, he told me that the tire around his neck was filled with kerosene and they were going to light it and burn him. That friends, is called a “Nigerian necklace” over there. That’s when I knew we had to do something. We walked to the other side of the compound where they had looped around. When we went out that gate, there he was collapsed in the mud. He still had the tire around his neck and was thoroughly drenched in kerosene. There was a young teenager standing above him with a can that had contained the kerosene, and another teenager was standing above him getting ready to strike a match. We worked our way through the group and asked if we could talk to the man. We told them we were sofu, which means preacher. My missionary friend began to ask the crowd if there were any accusers or witnesses. There were none. And as he did, I knelt down to talk to this fellow. I said “What is your name.” He said “Benjamin.” I said “Benjamin, can you understand English?” He said “yes.” I said “Benjamin, I may not be able to help you and save you, but I can tell you how to have eternal life. Do you understand?” He said “yes.” In the precious few seconds I had with him I explained to him the Gospel of grace and the way of salvation.

To make a long story short, we were able to get him up amidst the protests of the crowd and get him off to a hospital from which he later fled, because if you saw that hospital you would have fled too. I don’t know if I’m going to see Benjamin in heaven, but the point of my story is that I had a message for a dying thief in the mud that no other religion in this world could have brought him. Do you understand that? Do you understand that the gospel of grace through simple faith is a message for a young child, for a dying thief on a cross, a dying thief in the mud, a pagan Philippian jailer? It’s the only message of hope. It’s the only message of certainty, the only message of security that brings assurance. I don’t apologize for the gospel of faith. God has made salvation available to anybody, anywhere, anytime. Selah.

Anyone Can Choose To Be Happy

Jeremiah 3:15, “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.”

I love listening to Bible preaching, it helps us think right. I heard Pastor Jack Hyles once say that he asked his secretary to compile a list of all his appointment for that week. There were approximately 140 appointments that week. Of those 140, Dr. Hyles said 135 of them could have been avoided if people would just listen to his weekly sermons. I never forgot that.

I love listening to preaching in fair weather, laying truths up in store for when the storms of life come, when we are too weary in our soul to care enough to listen to preaching. Truly, unshakable faith comes from having our faith shaken. I learned that truth from Pastor Hyles too. Gotta love fundamentalist Baptist Bible preachers!

Having said that, here are some life-changing quotes from Brother Hyles...
“There's no such thing as people who can be happier than other people, there are people who choose to be happier than other people.” —Pastor Jack Hyles, “The Secret To My Christian Joy

“It's not the conditions of your life that make you unhappy, it's whether you choose to look at the positive or the corresponding negative that makes you unhappy or happy.” —Pastor Jack Hyles, “The Secret To My Christian Joy"
Those truths are so powerful. I receive emails frequently from discouraged believers. I already know what the problem is before even finishing reading their email. The problem is that they have been focusing on the wrong things in life, instead of all of God's abundant blessings. I am guilty of doing it too. A thief robbed me on May 10th, but I didn't think to look at my security camera footage until May 24th. Sure enough, a young punk walked up and stole my clothing rack that I ordered from Amazon, right off my front porch. Here's a photo of him leaving with my package, the dirty thief...

A Dirty Thief Stealing My Amazon Package On May 10th, 2024

I could allow this theft to discourage me, make me unhappy and become bitter. But I've been rejoicing all day today, praising God that I am not the thief, he is! I am a blood-washed, redeemed, child of the King. I prayed for the salvation of that young male, but it is unlikely he will ever be saved. That is sad and tragic, and his own decision. You can see the little white sign posted on my lawn, right in front and to the left of the guy, which reads: "JOHN 3:16, JESUS LOVES YOU!" You can't see any print because it is facing the street. That thief robbed a child of God. Matthew 18:6, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

The rack only cost $30, and Amazon replaced it, but the evil spirit that is instilled in the neighborhood by criminals who constantly steal everything not bolted down or chained is detrimental to society. Albeit, my faith is not shaken by some thief. I have been rejoicing in the Lord today, thanking God that my name is written in Heaven, and for His abundant blessings upon my life. I ate delicious Chinese food for lunch today.

I also went and picked up my Recording King Elite 85 maple neck banjo from the music store. I paid them $65 to do a proper setup on it. I could have done it myself, but I wanted to help support the local economy, and help the music store stay open. That is being ethical, which I think is rare these days, and important for Christians to be. I love learning and playing the banjo. I've been working on one of my favorite songs to play called, "Chicken Reel." Yes, you can make chicken sounds with a banjo!

I had a nice day today in the Lord, despite being the victim of a robbery, despite my constant neck pain. The police said Amazon was the victim, but that is only from a financial viewpoint. I suffered a lot of mental anguish, physical neck pain, aggravation, worry and stress. I am ten times more of a victim than Amazon! The owners of Amazon didn't feel five seconds of grief, pain and worry, I did. Amazon won't lose sleep or worry that the thief may come back, but I will. So, who is the true victim? I am saddened how calloused the cops can be sometimes.

Anyway, I choose to focus on the many blessings in my life, as Dr. Hyles wisely teaches. And by the way, there is nothing wrong with being unhappy. Sometimes I need to feel unhappy, so I can feel happy again later on. We cannot realistically be happy all the time. No one can live on the mountaintop all the time, we need to first ascend from the valley below. You cannot be upstream, until you've first be downstream. Sorrow, pain and unhappiness are a necessary part of life. They enable us to later on experience joy and happiness. Psalms 30:5, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

I heard Pastor Hyles say in his 70's that he is a happy man. I admire that, considering all the attacks, suffering and problems that Dr. Hyles had to deal with. He learned a long time ago that the secret to happiness in the Christian life is to focus on the good things, the blessings, the loved ones in our life, and the goodness of God. Anyone can be happy if we choose to be. Oh sure, heartaches will come, losses will occur, enemies will attack us, bad things will happen; but we can overcome those setbacks quickly and get back on our feet for Christ.

I was down, sad and frustrated yesterday when I discovered on my security camera system that I had been robbed, and that the cops wouldn't do anything to arrest and punish the guy, but today is a new day. I am not going to get discouraged because of the insane ways of the ungodly world. The United States is a total mess today, in so many ways, but all is well in my heavenly Father's house!

If thieves come back while I am at church one day, and they break thru to steal everything that I own, I will rejoice that my name is written in Heaven in the Lamb's Book of Life (Luke 10:20), and that no thief can steal my eternal rewards from the Lord for serving Him (Matthew 6:19-20). If you are a born-again child of God, you have an abundance of reasons to jump up and shout with great joy! Just knowing that we have escaped the damnation of hell, fire and brimstone is enough reason alone to rejoice continually.

I was also happy today to know that I can look in the mirror and see an honest man. I am a guilty sinner like everyone else, and I have many faults, but God knows I am an honest man. I would rather die than steal from anyone! I fear God, the young fool who robbed me doesn't. Psalms 36:1, “The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.” Stealing is not a victimless crime. And Amazon isn't the only victim just because they were nice enough to replace the stolen item free of charge. Amazon didn't suffer any mental anguish, but I was a nervous wreck all day yesterday. When someone steals from you (especially at your your home), you feel threatened, violated and taken advantage of. The police don't seem to understand that or care, sad to say. I am not impressed at all with the Pensacola Sherriff office's lack of sensitivity and compassion for residential victims of crime. Amazon didn't get robbed, I did!

I have decided not to focus on this stuff. As a human being I tend to start thinking about the negative stuff in my life. We all do that at times. The answer is found in 2nd Corinthians 10:5-6, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” Satan wants the child of God to worry, fret and become discouraged. If we are not vigilant to guard our heart (Proverbs 4:23), we may become disillusioned with life, bitter and a casuality for Christ. That downward spiral all starts when we choose to focus on the negatives in our life, instead of looking at God's blessings and the good things.

I've been spending some time each day learning the 5-string banjo, which I love to play. Dave Hum is my favorite banjo player. I discovered his music in 2018, which rekindled my love for the banjo. I find joy and pleasure in making my own backing tracks, and trying to recreate what Dave did, learning the songs and articulating them the majestic way that he does. The banjo makes people happy! Of all the evil things in this world that can destroy a man, I thank God that I have found a hobby that is good, honest and refreshing to do, playing the banjo. I still have a ways to go. Learning to play any musical instrument is a lifetime journey. I am taking a break from my steel guitar playing, so I can pursue the banjo.

Like Dr. Hyles said, I choose to be happy. Let me repeat those precious quotes again...
“There's no such thing as people who can be happier than other people, there are people who choose to be happier than other people.” —Pastor Jack Hyles, “The Secret To My Christian Joy

“It's not the conditions of your life that make you unhappy, it's whether you choose to look at the positive or the corresponding negative that makes you unhappy or happy.” —Pastor Jack Hyles, “The Secret To My Christian Joy"
There are rich people with tens of millions of dollars, who are miserable. Solomon in the Old Testament was the wisest man who ever lived. He enjoyed untold pleasures with his 1,000 women lovers (700 wives and 300 concubines). Solomon was filthy rich. He enjoyed the best foods of the time, the best of everything. Yet, the Bible says he hated life! Ecclesiastes 2:17, “Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” Solomon looked at the wrong things. He had so much to be thankful for, but he was worried about his investments and kingdom.

Some of the most miserable people in this world are rich people. Hollywood actors are largely a miserable bunch. Most of them cannot stay married more than a few years. I just heard that Jenifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are getting divorced, again. The Bible says only by pride comes contention (Proverbs 13:10). Hollywood actors are generally sinfully proud! Only a proud person files for divorce, because they view them self as being more self righteous than their spouse. The inspired Holy Bible teaches that we ought to consider each other as being BETTER than our self. Philippians 2:3, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

We can be happy if we choose to be. Life is too short to live with a burden of hatred. I used to think I would be happy if I could find a wife, but I don't think that way anymore. I am happy now, living alone and single. I'd love to meet a woman and get married. Yes, absolutely! But after 18 years it just doesn't look like it will ever happen. So, should I be miserable for the rest of my life without a wife? No, I am going to thank God for the peaceful life that I enjoy, living alone. Jesus is my companion! My music and ministry are my work. Sure, I wish things were better, but they aren't, and I simply don't know how to make things better. I'm an idiot...lol.

I seem to be able to help everyone except myself. I get lonely every day, and I want to be married, but women today are scary. The female cop that came to my door was completely covered in big multi-colored tattoos all up and down both arms. She looked ridiculous! This is how broken our society is today. Today's youth and adults alike are following the world's wickedness, apostasy and insanity. The gender-bending craziness that has infected mainstream American culture is of the Devil. The news media are the biggest promoters of evil. At some point after the year 2000 the media overnight began sanctioning and promoting homosexuality as a normal way of life. That is Satan and his minions!

There's nothing new under the sun the Bible says. People haven't changed in thousands of years. When Elijah preached to the Jews and compelled them to choose sides between God and Baal, the Bible says they answered him not a word (1st Kings 18:21). That sounds like 95% of churchgoers today, fence-straddlers, who refuse to choose whose side they are on, God's or the Devils. These churches today that support the LGBTQ agenda are of the Devil. They've chosen the wrong side! These foolish churches that use and promote the modern corrupt Bible revisions are all pulling on the same rope as the Devil.

When Jesus healed ten lepers of the horrific disease of leprosy, only one man bothered to come back to thank the Lord (Luke 17:11-19). People haven't changed since Bible times. Most people today are ingrates. At every public event I've ever attended, people throw their trash on the ground and leave it there. I've literally been driving behind vehicles as the driver tossed their garbage out the car window.

Just to show you how rotten people are becoming, I went to Walmart today to buy some slippers. I saw the following pair hanging on the rack and took a couple pictures in disbelief of what I saw...



Some thief hung their old filthy sandals on the rack, and wore the brand new sandals out the Walmart door unnoticed without paying for them. Who looks at shoes? I thought it was hilarious when I saw those old filthy shoes for sale...lol. I mean, I've heard of new Blue Jeans being sold that deliberately are made to look faded, worn and old; but I've never seen old, worn and greasy shoes for sale before! Unreal.

I showed another customer in Walmart, a female, the dirty shoes hanging for sale. I told her that a thief swapped their old shoes for the new ones. She seriously said, “Hey, that's a great idea!” Oh brother! Or, I should say, Oh sister! People are something awful, aren't we?

Anyway, I am often reminded of our dear Savior's precious words in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. We can be happy if we choose to focus on Jesus' resurrection instead of this horrible world. Colossians 3:1-3, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” This is the only true way to find happiness in this life, by setting our thoughts and desires upon heavenly things.

Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Thank you for reading my blog.

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