A Gift from God — Eternal Life
By David J. Stewart
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” —Romans 6:23
Eternal life is a FREE GIFT, paid for by Jesus’ literal, physical, precious blood (1st Peter 1:18,19; Hebrews 9:12). The Bible warns all believers that Satan is a liar of liars, who relentlessly attempts to deceive people concerning THE SIMPLICITY THAT IS IN CHRIST…
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. —2nd Corinthians 11:3,4
Satan has succeeded in corrupting the simplicity of the Gospel in many of today’s religious circles. There is a popular teaching nowadays (aka Lordship Salvation) that requires lost sinners to be willing to stop living in sins as a prerequisite to salvation. Nothing could be further from the truth of God’s Word. How can anything be a “gift” if one must be willing to do anything to get it?
If a person must cease (or be willing to cease, as Jack Chick teaches in his infamous CHICK TRACTS) from a lifetime of sinful bad habits to be saved, then salvation's BURDEN is shouldered by the sinner (and what a heavy burden that is to bear). Jack Chick plainly teaches in every Chick Track that faith in Jesus Christ is insufficient to save unless you are willing to cease from your sins. That is works salvation!!! Mr. Chick puts the cart before the horse, demanding a willingness to change as a qualifying prerequisite to faith in Christ. That is a back door approach to Lordship Salvation.
“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.” —Ephesians 2:8,9
There is no plainer truth taught in the Word of God than that salvation is a “free gift” (Romans 5:15,18; 6:23). If I were to offer you a Christmas present, but with the stipulation that you must be willing to take a bath, it would not be a gift. Why? Because I have clearly implied that I expect you to take a bath to get the present. A gift is defined as something given voluntarily without any payment in return. John 3:16 proclaims…
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” —John 3:16
God in His wondrous unconditional love (Romans 5:8) sent Jesus Christ into the world to die and bleed for our sins. Jesus paid a debt He did not owe; because we owed a debt we could not pay (2nd Corinthians 5:21). That's why eternal life is a gift—because Jesus paid for it. What a precious Savior!
Jesus invites all men in Matthew 11:29-30 to take His yoke upon us, saying, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” All God asks is that we believe on the name of Jesus, that He is the Christ, the Son of God Who came into the world to save men from their sins (John 20:31). John, 20:31, “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.” Oh that men would believe!!!
I challenge you my friend, whoever you may be, to be still and know that He is God. Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Most people never sit still. They're always watching TV, listening to the radio, going places, driving, walking, climbing, sailing, eating, talking on the phone, conversating, working, and staying busy with all sorts of activates; but they never just get along with God in a quiet secluded place in nature and reach out to God with their mind and heart to know Him. The Bible says to us all, BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD!!!
Beware of False Prophets!
There are multitudes of false prophets today, who have bought into the lie of Satan concerning Lordship Salvation. A few such imposters are: John MacArthur, Ray Comfort, Jack Chick, Don Piper, Paul Washer, and countless others. These men are all Calvinists, that is, followers of the heretical teachings of John Calvin (1509-1564). Calvinism is commonly summed up in 5 points, which Dr. Curtis Hutson does an excellent job REFUTING. It is tragic that so many religious people today are following the heretical doctrines of a false prophet who's been dead for 452-years (as of 2011). Jesus told us to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES in John 5:39. The Bible says in Hebrews 1:1-2 that God speaks to us in these LAST DAYS through His Son, i.e., through the Word of God (John 1:1-3,14; Revelation 19:13). We have the completed Bible by which the Holy Spirit guides us (John 16:13).
On the back cover of every one of Jack Chick’s cartoon tracts are the words “Be willing to turn from sin (repent).” This is step number two in his plan of salvation. It is a false plan, not taught in the Scriptures. If a sinner is required to “be willing to turn from sin” to be saved, then it is no longer a free gift. Only God knows how many people have been steered AWAY from Jesus Christ by Jack Chick, because they sincerely weren’t “willing” to forsake certain sins in their life.
In sharp contrast, the Bible declares in Romans 4:5…
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” —Romans 4:5
The only type of person who has ever been justified by Jesus Christ is an UNGODLY person…
“…for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” —Matthew 9:13
No self-righteous person can (or ever will) be justified in God’s eyes (Romans 3:20; Isaiah 64:6). This is the lethal danger of Lordship Salvation. Satan has beguiled millions of people around the world today, who think that placing one’s faith in Jesus Christ is insufficient to save them.
Instead, they believe that some amount of personal effort is required—i.e., a willingness to clean up one’s life of sin, a surrendering of one’s will to Christ as Lord, et cetera. Such people are going to Hell. Why? Because they have been DECEIVED by the Devil to follow after “another gospel” (Galatians 1:6-9) which is based upon self-righteousness. Lordship Salvation is diametrically opposed to the Gift of God. A genuine gift is free, with no strings attached.
Proponents of Lordship Salvation claim to believe that eternal life is a gift; yet they completely contradict themselves when they teach that a sinner must be willing to surrender to Christ’s will and forsake sin to be saved. It is clear from 1st Corinthians 3:1 that the “carnal” believers at the church of Corinth weren’t surrendered to Christ at all. They were suing each other, allowing fornication in the church, eating meats offered to idols and showing up drunk at the Lord’s Supper. I’d say they had some serious issues. Yet, the Apostle Paul called them “babes in Christ” (1st Corinthians 3:1). This irrefutably proves that Lordship Salvation is utterly unbiblical.
What About James 2:19?
Proponents of Lordship Salvation often quote James 2:19, which states: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” Carefully notice that James 2:19 doesn’t say they believed on Christ. No, rather, the Bible says they believed in God. Most people believe in God; but few receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. This is all James 2:19 means. Anyone who refuses to come to the Father by way of the Son is not going to Heaven… “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). The Bible is intolerant of any other gospel.
Most people today have religion without truth; they have churchianity without Christianity. Nearly everyone professes some sort of faith in a Divine God. Albert Pike, a known worshipper of Lucifer and irrefutable father of Freemasonry, believed in the God of the Bible; yet he chose to worship Lucifer instead. Mere belief in God is not enough to get to Heaven; one must personally trust upon the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins… “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43). It’s very simply.
Please don’t become a victim. If you’ve already bought into the lie, then I plead with you to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES as Jesus commanded in John 5:39. I realize that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different gospels floating around on the internet. However, there is only ONE genuine gospel message presented in the Scriptures, and it is a message of God’s unconditional love for us undeserving sinners, Who sent His only begotten Son into the world to pay for our sins, so He could freely offer us THE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE in Christ Jesus (Revelation 22:17). We simply receive it by faith.
You don’t have to be willing to do anything to be saved. All that is required for salvation is that you come as a guilty sinner (Romans 3:19) and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive your sins (Acts 16:30,31). You don’t have to surrender your life to Christ, nor forsake your worldly ways, nor make a commitment to Christ. The changes that need to be made in one's life is God's department and He will attend to that (Hebrews 12:6-8), you can be assured; but the gift of God is free with no strings attached. In Romans 12:1-3 we find the Apostle Paul begging the believers at Rome to surrender their lives to Christ…
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” —Romans 12:1
Obviously, surrendering to Christ’s will wasn’t something that was required as a prerequisite for salvation. The believers at Rome hadn’t yet surrendered their lives to God (just as most believers today haven’t); but they were still saved.
Lordship Salvation is a Satanic doctrine, a demonic weapon in our churches today leading multitudes into Hellfire. Satan is a master deceiver, a skillful trickster, and the father of all liars (John 8:44).
The best illustration in the world of salvation is just a simple gift. When you give someone a gift, what do you do? Do you attach any stipulations, requirements, or tell the person that they need to surrender to your will to get it? Of course not, that would be absurd! A gift is a gift, period. The Bible proclaims that eternal life is a gift from God (John 4:10). There are no strings attached, no requirements, no works to do, nothing to surrender to—only BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. If you come as a SINNER and trust upon the SAVIOR, you are saved eternally (Romans 10:13).
Jesus bore the weight of our sins at Calvary on the cross, so we wouldn't have to. Any so-called evangelist, religious teacher, theologian, pastor, missionary, or preacher that places the BURDEN upon the sinner to be saved is corrupting the simplicity of the gospel that is in Christ Jesus (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4). Jesus paid it all, and a good thing because we have nothing to offer God in our sinful self-righteousness (Isaiah 64:6). Even our best efforts cannot undo the sin on our record in Heaven; thus, God IMPUTES Christ's righteousness to our record the very moment we are born-anew into the kingdom of God by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:9) in response to our faith in the Seed of God's Word (1st Peter 1:23). .| You Need HIS Righteousness!