(Making a commitment to Christ?)
by David J. Stewart
The following text is taken from an article titled "Warning: The Day Of The Lord Is Near" by Heath C. Goodman of Alarm Ministries in Lindale, Texas:
"You have offended God's holiness and broken His laws! You know what is wrong by natural instinct, "the law having been written in your heart" yet you chose to rebel against the conscience God gave you. You are guilty, guilty, guilty! You are sinful before Him and deserving of eternal damnation. You must be punished...
But Good News, my friend! There's hope! Jesus took the punishment! The gospel is simply this-
Jesus, the Lamb of God took upon Himself your debt of sin. He paid for it in full. You can be forgiven and have fellowship with the Holy God that you once offended with your sin.
However, to receive God's forgiveness, eternal salvation and blessings, you are required to believe the gospel and confess your sins in sorrow and regret. Do not just confess them generally. Be specific in confessing what you have done to offend His holiness.
Show Him that you are sincerely sorry for your sins by MAKING A COMMITMENT NEVER TO PRACTICE THOSE SINS AGAIN! This is real repentance. "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17,). Put your faith in His grace to keep you from falling. He will keep you!
It is not enough to just "say a little prayer'. Many preachers will stand in judgment for leading so many in a false conversion. How many souls are in hell right now who thought they were alright because the preacher didn't want to scare them away with a challenge and a call to a total commitment to Christ? I will not tell you a cheap and easy gospel message. Jesus requires you to give your ALL!
"So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not ALL that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:33). "And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with ALL thy heart, and with ALL thy soul, and with ALL thy strength, and with ALL thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself." (Luke 10:27).
Many of you have hardened your heart to God and the gospel. You have heard the preaching of Jesus many times before. But you've never made a total commitment to follow Jesus. You do not care that He died for you. You are in bitterness of soul and "nigh unto cursing." I warn you! Do not harden your heart to God's love and mercy! There is no other choice left to you but His wrath and indignation! I plead with you to fall on the Rock and be broken before the rock falls on you and you are crushed to powder! (see Matthew 21:44). This is a very serious decision you must make. Your eternal destiny depends upon it!
On Judgment day you will be without excuse. You have been warned of the Day of the Lord and told the Good News to avoid God's wrath. Jesus loves you... enough to warn you and give you a way out. Will you choose His loving way or go your own way to destruction? The ball is in your court now. What will you do?" -Quote taken from an article titled "Warning: The Day Of The Lord Is Near" by Heath C. Goodman of Alarm Ministries in Lindale, Texas
I have no idea who Mr. Goodman is and certainly mean no unkindness in writing this article, but I want people to know that he is totally wrong. I am not criticizing Mr. Goodman, I am very much criticizing his laborious and difficult means of salvation. Heath Goodman says...
"I will not tell you a cheap and easy gospel message."
Is this what the Bible teaches? Listen to the warning from the Apostle Paul concerning the simplicity of the gospel...
"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." -2nd Corinthians 11:3
Folks, there is NOTHING complicated or hard about being saved. Getting saved is the EASIEST thing in the world if you have faith upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Too many people are making God's simple plan of salvation burdensome by adding "requirements" to it. Listen once again to Heath C. Goodman...
"Jesus requires you to give your ALL!"
Can you please show me that in the Word of God? Show me one Scripture that requires you to "give your all" to go to heaven. Does not the Bible teach that salvation is a FREE GIFT, paid for in full by the shed blood of Jesus Christ? Yes, it most certainly does.
"Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." -Romans 5:18
Eternal life is a FREE GIFT. Now it doesn't take a Ph.D. ("post-hole digger" in case you didn't know) to figure out that a free gift is no gift at all if you have to "give your all." Jesus came to this earth to pay a debt that He did not owe because we owed a debt that we could not pay. Salvation is free to us because it cost Jesus His all. We DON'T have to give anything (let alone our "all") to be saved because Jesus paid the price! If salvation REQUIRED us to give anything, then it surely would be no gift. We must be very careful when we interpret the Scriptures that we don't get away from "the simplicity that is in Christ." The gospel is an easy gospel.
Heath Goodman also said...
"It is not enough to just "say a little prayer'. Many preachers will stand in judgment for leading so many in a false conversion."
It is not enough to just say a little prayer? Tell that to the thief on the cross who said...
"And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." -Luke 23:42
Tell that to the Publican who went up to the temple to pray...
"And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner." -Luke 18:13
Don't you tell me that a person cannot be saved through a simple prayer! The Bible is filled with examples of people who were saved in a simple manner (who didn't give their all). Look at the lives of Samson, Lot and Solomon...did they give their all? They shamed the name of Christ and were a reproach to Christianity, but they were still God's children. Salvation is based upon our faith, not our works. God does NOT require us to give up anything to be saved except our UNBELIEF. If you have JUST ENOUGH faith to turn to the Loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins, then you have enough faith to be saved. "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord SHALL be saved" -Romans 10:13. It's as simple as that!
Mr. Goodman also says...
Show Him that you are sincerely sorry for your sins by MAKING A COMMITMENT NEVER TO PRACTICE THOSE SINS AGAIN!
The Bible teaches that "godly sorrow worketh repentance" -2nd Corinthians 7:10. There is a common misunderstanding about what "repentance" means. Repentance is a turn around. I recently saw a bumper sticker that read," Going the wrong way? God allows u-turns." I like that. When a man repents, he is turning away FROM his love of sin and unbelief, and turning TO the Saviour for forgiveness and help. We need to be real careful about speculating what a person should (or should not) experience emotionally at the time of salvation. Just because a man is not willing to "make a commitment to never sin again" does not mean anything. If that man is sorry enough for his sins to be willing to call upon the name of Jesus to forgive him, then who are we to say that he is experiencing a "false conversion." Heath C. Goodman is teaching some very scary doctrines. All that God REQUIRES of a man to be saved is that he "confess" (admit) his sinful condition and turn to the Saviour in faith, that man does NOT need to give his all.
Here's some more of Heath Goodman's heresy...
"How many souls are in hell right now who thought they were alright because the preacher didn't want to scare them away with a challenge and a call to a total commitment to Christ?"
Where in the world did this guy come up with these crazy ideas?..."a challenge and a call to a total commitment to Christ?" Where does the Bible teach this garbage? Nowhere! I am not trying to be unkind in any way, but the Bible proclaims a SIMPLE gospel which only requires childlike faith to be saved. Some people think that an easy gospel gives people a "license to sin," nothing could be further from the truth. A person who has truly been born-again won't have the flagrant attitude that they can comfortably live in sin. Lot in the Old Testament chose to live in sin and the Bible says his heart "vexed" him day by day. Trust me, Lot was a very miserable person (just as was king Solomon who led Israel into idolatry). The Holy Spirit WILL convict the believer about sin. God knows just how to CHASTISE His children (Hebrews 12:5-8).
The demand of God for every believer to live a holy life is NOT a requirement to be saved. A "holy life" is something that doesn't just happen overnight. 1st Peter 2:2 reads, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." A new convert must "grow in grace." Very few people get saved and mature quickly. As a matter of fact, MOST believers never grow up in the Lord. This world is filled with believers who are "saved as by fire" -1st Corinthians 3:15. They won't have any rewards in heaven, but they've escaped the fires of hell. No one is ever going to burn in hell Mr. Goodman just because they failed to make a "total commitment to Christ" as you say. People go to hell for one reason and for one reason only, because they rejected Jesus Christ as their own personal Saviour. NO AMOUNT of sin can keep a repentant sinner out of heaven, and NO AMOUNT of righteousness can keep an unrepentant sinner out of hell. If you die in your sins, you will go to hell (John 8:24); If you die in the Lord, you will go to heaven (Revelation 14:13). Salvation is not about making commitments, it's about simply coming to Jesus Christ for forgiveness.
Perhaps some people may want to make a commitment to Christ at the time of salvation, we should WARN them that it has nothing to do with salvation. Billy Graham is extremely vague in his sermonettes, constantly speaking about "making a commitment to God." Listen friend, you can make all the commitments to God you want and still go straight to burn in hell. You had better get your SINS FORGIVEN. Salvation is about dealing with our sins. We do NOT have the ability to cleanse ourselves. This is why Jesus came to die upon the cross for us, to pay for OUR SINS. Our ONLY hope of redemption is through the blood of Jesus Christ! It is the blood of Jesus that WASHES our sins away...
"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" -Ephesians 1:7
I don't see anything about making a commitment in there, do you?
London's greatest man of God, Charles Spurgeon, was saved during a wintry snowstorm. The pastor of the church had been caught in the storm. A young unsaved 15-year old lad, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, was present that cold night. One of the laymen in the church stood up to preach and used Isaiah 45:22 as his text...
"Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." -Isaiah 45:22
Charles Spurgeon was saved that very night and went on by the Spirit of God to become London's mightiest preacher and soul winner. Do you see anything in Isaiah 45:22 about making a "commitment?" I don't. The simple truth is that all a person needs to do to be saved is to "Look and Live!" Look to Jesus as a young Charles Spurgeon did and anyone can be saved. "Who so ever will" may come Romans 10:13 declares. "Whosoever" means just that...whosoever, it means ANYBODY. "...and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." --Isaiah 45:21,22
In closing, I think Mr. Goodman is sincere, but is unfortunately caught up in the lordship salvation heresy, propagating by heretics such as R. B. Thieme Jr. and John MacArthur.
"Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to 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." -2nd Corinthians 11:1-3
In Jesus' name,
David J. Stewart
Conversion and Salvation
Salvation is More than Being Saved
Ye Must Be Born Again!