Pastor Brad Strand Exposes Lordship Salvation

Romans 10:9-10, “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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

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 Romans 10:9 on pages 1858 and 1859:

Sadly, some “Lordship Salvation” advocates will use this verse to prove their point that JESUS must become your “Lord” before you can be saved. They claim that unbelievers must count the cost of discipleship and decide if they are willing to pay the price in order to obtain eternal life. One such advocate has written a book in which he gives the following answer to the question “What [is] the minimum amount of doctrine or belief a person [has] to have to be a Christian?” He notes:
The minimum amount a person must believe to be a Christian is everything, and the minimum amount a person must give is all. I say, “You must give it all. You cannot hold back even a fraction of a percentage of yourself. Every sin must be abandoned. Every false thought must be repudiated. You must be the Lord's entirely.” —SOURCE: Montgomery Boice, James. Christ's Call to Discipleship. Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1986. Print.
What this man is advocating is that a person cannot be saved until he makes Jesus the “Lord of his life. However, this verse is not teaching us that we must make Jesus our Lord in order to be saved; it is teaching us that Jesus is Lord and if we are to be saved, we must accept the fact that He was God in flesh on earth (Jn 5:17-18 & 10:30-33). Jesus said to the Pharisees in John 8:23-24, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins (i.e., go to Hell)for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” Jesus said that salvation is based on two things (Mt 3:2):

  1. Who we are (Lk 5:31-32 & 13:1-5 and Mt 27:3) — God tells us that we are “sinfully” sick and in need of the Savior and that we cannot save ourselves (Rom 3:10, 23).
  2. Who Christ is (Mt 4:13-17 & 11:20-24, Mk 1:15, Acts 3:12-19 and Acts 2:38a) — Christ is God (Lord — Jon 8:24, 58-59), not a god. Christ is the only Savior (Acts 4:10-12).
Lordship Salvation doctrine hinders unbelievers from being saved because it presents them with a distorted view of the Gospel of God's grace. 

SOURCE: Pastor Brad Strand, 'The Strand Study Bible,' pp. 1858-1859; ©2009, Rood Scholar Press

Bravo to Pastor Strand. The Devil's a liar and the father of all liars (John 8:44). It may seem like a trifle matter to most churchgoers today to embellish the Gospel. Literally, you can attend a dozen different Bible colleges or churches and you'll hear multiple different plans of salvation. But we know from the inspired King James Bible that there is only one 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.” So how in the world did we end up with nearly every church today preaching something different than what the inspired Holy Bible teaches?

I think the answer is simply that 99% of churchgoers have always blindly followed whatever their pastor tells them, instead of doing as the Bereans did in the Bible, whom the Apostle Paul said, “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” The Bereans didn't just take it for granted that they were being told the truth, they went to verify from the inspired Word of God whether those things were so. If people would simply study the Bible they would quickly find that Lordship Salvation is a fallacy, a counterfeit plan of salvation.

God wrote the Gospel of John as His Gospel tract. The word “believe” is found 85 times in the Gospel of John. In the book of John we don't find anything about making Jesus our “Lord to get to Heaven. Pastor Curtis Hutson wisely said: A good rule to follow when interpreting the Bible is to never use an obscure passage to contradict a clear one. Advocates of Lordship Salvation often cite obscure passages of Scripture, wresting the Bible to their own destruction. Yet, they totally ignore the Gospel of John, which according to John 20:31 was written to show us how to get to Heaven, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

Why Make It Harder For People To Be Saved?

Acts 2:38-42, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Something that has bothered me for many years is when pastors at the end of a church service don't tell the audience how to be saved in their pew. Usually they'll require lost sinners to walk an aisle to the front of the church, or talk to somebody in the back after the service, et cetera. It is not my place to criticize or tell a pastor how to run his church, but I have a right to my humble opinion.

When I attended the 2021 convocation service at PCC, Pastor Kurt Skelly was the guest speaker from Virginia. To my horror, at the end of his sermon he told the unsaved sinners in the audience of over 10,000 people to walk down the aisles to the front of the building, if they wanted to learn how to get to Heaven. I wrote an article about the tragedy. At the convocation there were parents, uncles and aunts, grandparents, brothers and sisters, and all sorts of family members present with their loved who was enrolling at PCC as a student. What a grand opportunity to share the saving Gospel with several thousand people. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, but Pastor Kurt Skelly blew it royally! He failed to tell anyone how to be saved. I have no doubt whatsoever that hundreds of people who could have been saved that night at Campus Church, will now go to Hell because Mr. Skelly refused to share the Gospel.
 
Dear reader, it takes only 60 seconds to share the Gospel with a lost person. If you come to God as an admitted sinner, and you by faith receive Christ's sacrifice on the cross as full payment for your sins, believing that He was buried but then three days later physically resurrected from the dead, you are instantly and forever saved. It is that simple to be saved.

So why do 99% of preachers require people to walk down a church aisle, or go find and talk to someone after the church service, to learn how to be saved? What if that person chickens out? What if they don't feel comfortable and change their mind, walking out the door without talking to anyone about salvation? What if they don't feel well physically, or they don't feel comfortable walking an aisle to be made a spectacle of in front of the church? Sadly, we make it too hard for people to get to Heaven. We really do.

In God's simple plan of salvation, where is no extra requirement to walk down an aisle to get to Heaven. There is no extra requirement to go find and talk to someone after the church service. God knows that my goal in writing this blog is not to be unkind or offend anyone, God forbid. I am just trying to be a blessing, to be helpful. I want more people to get saved. No doubt many people do go along with walking down an aisle, or talking to a soulwinners after the church service, but I wonder how many of those lost sinner didn't. How many just left and walked out the door never to return again, and went to Hell?

It is my sincere conviction that a preacher should ALWAYS tell his audience how to be saved right from their pew, without putting pressure on that individual to speak with someone, or pressure them to walk down an aisle to be made a spectacle of in front of the church. I am a shy person by nature. I love to play musical instruments, but I am shy to get up in front of people because of social anxiety. It took me a long time to gain the courage to play my Hawaiian steel guitar in front of people at the beach on Guam. But once I did it, I enjoyed doing it and became relaxed.

When someone raises their hand in an invitation that they want to be saved, I humbly think a preacher should tell them how to be saved in their seat, without pressuring them to walk an aisle or go talk to a stranger, which can be very intimidating for someone. No doubt some people will disagree with me, and I respect your right to disagree. I just think we should make it as easy as possible for lost sinners to get to Heaven. The fear of walking down a church aisle and being confronted can be next to impossible for some people to overcome.

What The Gospel Is Not

1st Corinthians 9:16, “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

The Apostle Paul could not take any credit for preaching the Gospel of Christ. His duty as a minister of Christ was to faithfully share the Gospel with lost sinners.

As a child of God, it is God the Father’s will that all His children be ambassadors for Christ. 2nd Corinthians 5:20, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

As a child of Light, we represent the Lord in a foreign land. We have been solemnly entrusted with the Gospel of Christ as saints. 1st Thessalonians 2:4, “But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.”

Every Christian is commanded to share the glorious Gospel of Christ; but if not, “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel!” (
1st Corinthians 9:16b).

What is NOT the Gospel?
To understand the “Gospel,” one needs to understand what is “NOT the Gospel.” This is a list of what is NOT the Gospel. None of these bulleted items listed below will save you. NEVER!
  1. The Gospel is NOT going to the confessional and confessing your sins.
  2. The Gospel is NOT saying a “sinner’s prayer.”
  3. The Gospel is NOT asking Jesus into your heart.
  4. The Gospel is NOT surrendering your life to Jesus.
  5. The Gospel is NOT “stop sinning.”
  6. The Gospel is NOT feeling sorry for your sin.
  7. The Gospel is NOT turning from your sin.
  8. The Gospel is NOT walking to the front of the church and giving your life to Jesus.
  9. The Gospel is NOT getting water baptized (infants or adults).
  10. The Gospel is NOT being a part of a certain church organization or religion.
  11. The Gospel is NOT giving money and buying your way into Heaven.
  12. The Gospel is NOT making Jesus “King and Lord” of your life.
  13. The Gospel is NOT following the Ten Commandments.
  14. The Gospel is NOT trying to “outweigh the good over the bad” in one’s life.
  15. The Gospel is NOT “just believe in God” or a “higher power.”
  16. The Gospel is NOT submitting oneself to Jesus.
  17. The Gospel is NOT getting confirmed or going through confirmation.
  18. The Gospel is NOT partaking in communion.
  19. The Gospel is NOT praying to Mary and other idols.
  20. The Gospel is NOT praying to Allah, Buddha, or any other false gods.
  21. The Gospel is NOT faith plus works.
  22. The Gospel is NOT trusting and serving Jesus (mixing faith plus works).
Maybe you thought one of those items listed above was part of the Gospel, but you have just seen for yourself what is “NOT the Gospel.” The Bible is very clear what the Gospel is and it is the glorious Gospel that saves.

The Gospel is NOT the life of Christ. The GOSPEL is Jesus Christ’s death payment for sin, burial and resurrection. 1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the GOSPEL which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also YE ARE SAVED, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” [emphasis added]

As a child of God you have a choice:
  1. Share the Gospel, support the Gospel, attend a Gospel preaching church, pray for the Gospel.
  2. Share not the Gospel, support not the Gospel, attend not a Gospel preaching, pray not for the Gospel.
Fight the good fight of “faith” and lay hold of “eternal life.” “Profess” the finished redemptive work of Christ at Calvary with others. “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses” (1st Timothy 6:12).

Let us live each day as saints looking for the Blessed Hope, and until Jesus returns share the Gospel with others daily.

THE GOSPEL THAT SAVES
The “Gospel” that “saves” is to “believe” that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for all your sins, was buried, and bodily resurrected from the dead three days later:
1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the GOSPEL which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also YE ARE SAVED, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” [emphasis added]
How is a person saved? The Bible says, “And they said, BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be SAVED, and thy house” (Acts 16:31 KJV). Notice what it does not say. It does not say “turn from sin,” “pick up your cross,” “make Jesus Lord of your life,” “walk an aisle,” “water baptized,” “speak in tongues,” “follow the 10 Commandments,” et cetera. The inspired Holy Bible reads, “BELIEVE” on Jesus Christ and thou shalt be “SAVED.”

If you have never been born-again dear friend, then I invite you right now to do so. Friend, you and I are guilty sinners in the sight of a holy God (Romans 3:10-23). There is a penalty for our sin, which the Bible warns is death (Romans 6:23), including a second death in the everlasting Lake of Fire, Hell (Revelation 21:8). But God in His love sent His only begotten (biological Son), Jesus, into the world to die on a cruel and lonely cross to pay our debt of sin. JESUS PAID IT ALL!!!

Anyone who acknowledges these facts, receiving Christ's sacrifice on the cross as full payment for their sins, believing that He was buried but then raised up three days later from the dead is saved. Simply believe that Jesus did it all for you! Remember, you cannot save yourself! That is why Jesus had to come into the world to die on a cross. Christ died in our place. Many religious people have been tricked by the Devil to think that they can get to Heaven by doing good works. The inspired Word of God teaches that no one can be saved by works, that is, by keeping the law. Galatians 2:21, “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

The true Gospel that saves is the “GOOD NEWS” of Jesus' death, burial and physical resurrection. These THREE elements comprise the Gospel of free grace. Tragically, you'll hear something very different in over 95% of churches today, everything from an additional requirement to “turn from your sins” to water baptism (i.e., the heresy of “Baptismal Regeneration,” or as it is also called in theology, “Sacramental Salvation”). It is sad and very wrong that most churches today have taken the liberty to embellish and in so doing, corrupt “the simplicity that is in Christ” (2nd Corinthians 11:3b).

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