Dr. Steve Pettit's Damnable Counterfeit Gospel
by David J. Stewart | May 2020
Galatians 1:6-9, “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. 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.”
I have nothing personal against Mr. Pettit. I heard him speak at the Harvest Baptist Church on Guam in 2014. I cried as he spoke on the topic of “Wisdom.” Like many Christians, I have made some unwise decisions throughout my life. I am not writing this article to attack Dr. Pettit, God forbid. I am very concerned about the Calvinist theology that he is preaching to thousands of students at Bob Jones University, who are tomorrow's church leaders. We are in trouble with the Lord folks, for letting wolves creep into our churches and Bible colleges unawares. I am certain that many of the faculty and students at BJU in 2015 were very disturbed and uneasy, as Dr. Pettit made the following heretical statements, teaching a works-based false gospel.
The sermon preached in Chapel on January 26, 2015 is titled: “What Does it Mean To Run The Race?” (MP3, 'The Daily Platform,' Dr. Steve Pettit). Evangelist Steve Pettit is the new president of Bob Jones University (since 2014). Pettit heretically teaches that “THE RACE” we run as Christians is necessary for salvation. That is exactly what Seventh-Day Adventist false prophetess' Ellen G. White (1827-1915) taught! Steve Pettit teaches:
“'The race' is a description of the whole of the Christian life of faith.” —Dr. Steve Pettit (“What Does It Mean To Run 'The Race'?” - 4:26)
That is some dangerous talk when you include the next quote from Dr. Pettit, in which he teaches over 2,600 BJU students that the “AWARD” for running 'The Race' is “Heaven itself”!!!
“We run the race, we cross the finish line, and so what’s the prize? What is the award? Well, there are different viewpoints. Some would have the viewpoint that the awards are crowns in Heaven. But as I read the book of Hebrews and see the whole gist of the book and the flow of the book, I don’t believe its referring to crowns in Heaven. I think it is referring to Heaven itself.” [emphasis added] —Dr. Steve Pettit (“What Does It Mean To Run 'The Race'?” - 22:57)
Heaven itself? Oh my! What saith the Scripture? 1st Corinthians 9:24-25, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” As you just read, the “award” will be an “INCORRUPTIBLE CROWN”; but Steve Pettit says it will be HEAVEN ITSELF!!!
Salvation Is Not An Award, It Is A Free Gift
Mr. Pettit is literally saying that the AWARD for running 'The Race' is salvation!!! Folks, eternal life is not an “AWARD,” it is a free gift! Are you getting this? What a demonic heretic!!! Salvation is a “free gift” (Romans 5:15), which does NOT require living a faithful life to secure!!! Steve Pettit is a reprobate in the pulpit, an unsaved heretic, a theological liar!!! He falsely says:
“So not only does it have a start, but 'The Race' has to be run! It starts with faith, but it continues with faithfulness. You start the race with the purpose of finishing the race. Nobody starts the race, so that they can quit half-way through. When you start in faith, you need to run and finish in faith. However, let me also remind you, that this race is HARD. Is a race not hard? Is it not difficult to get out and run?” —Dr. Steve Pettit (“What Does It Mean To Run 'The Race'?” - 6:34)
Let me ask you a very important question dear reader—If I give you a gift, what does that mean? Here is what it means:
A gift will cost you NOTHING, because it cost me. I paid for it. Jesus paid for the gift of eternal life!
Receiving the gift does not obligate you in any way to do anything, or else it cannot be a gift. The dictionary defines “gift” as: “Something acquired without compensation.” Eternal life is a “free gift” (Romans 5:15, 18).
I cannot take it away from you, otherwise it wasn't truly a gift, or else I am a thief for taking it back.
If it is an “award,” then it cannot also be a “gift”! The dictionary definition of “award” is: “Something given for victory or superiority in a contest or competition.” Folks, getting saved is a free gift, not a race or competition!
It is not “HARD” to receive a gift. Steve Pettit says running the race is “HARD,” and he says you must run the race to get the “award” of Heaven. What a con man in the pulpit! Getting saved is easy, not an award; it is a free gift!
Dear friend, if you will simply always keep in mind that eternal life is a “free gift,” it will steer you clear of mountains of heresy!!! Steve Pettit is a deadly false prophet, who corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4). Romans 5:18, “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.”
Ellen G. White and Steve Pettit Agree On Salvation
Dr. Pettit is a corrupt false prophet, who requires works for salvation. In the following quote from Miss Ellen G. White's book, “Steps To Christ,” she teaches Lordship Salvation (which is a works-based false plan of salvation). She is essentially teaching the EXACT SAME heresy as Steve Pettit...
“That so-called faith in Christ which professes to release men from the obligation of obedience to God, is not faith, but presumption. 'By grace are ye saved through faith.' But 'faith, if it hath not works, is dead.'” —Miss Ellen G. White, 'Steps To Christ,' page 61
As you just read, Miss White says you cannot merely get saved by faith, you have to live a lifetime of faithfulness! Steve Pettit agrees with her! He states:
“You can't just speak about getting saved, and you accepted Christ, and then that's it! There is a justification; There is a sanctification; There's ultimately a glorification, and though there are three parts, they are all part of the whole, and you cannot separate them. In order for you to qualify for the award, you have to get into the race, you have to stay in the race, and you have to finish the race. If you want to win, you have to run to the end; and winning in the Christian life is everything, because if you lose—if you don't finish—you lose everything—you lose your SOUL. And so, the Christian race is the life of faith that begins, is run, and is finished when we cross over into Heaven!” —Dr. Steve Pettit (“What Does It Mean To Run 'The Race'?” - 11:34)
Do you see how they agree? They both teach that you can't just get born-again and that's it. They both say more is required, that you are OBLIGATED to live a life of obedience to God. This is the Devil's lie of Lordship Salvation!!!
SDA legend Ellen G. White says true faith does not release men from the obligation of obedience to God; otherwise she says it is NOT faith. In other words, if you don't live the Christian life, and all the obligations it includes, you are not saved! She misinterprets James 2:17 to support her heresy that works are required to be saved. Steve Pettit and Ellen White are in doctrinal agreement. Folks, that is not regeneration! That is not the instantaneous new birth. Steve Petite has the same deadly mindset as John MacArthur. They view salvation as beginning with faith, but then it is a PROCESS that continues your whole life, and if you don't faithfully run that race, you don't get eternal life!!! I agree that salvation is more than being saved, in the sense that after we are salvaged (born-again), God begins to recycle us for a lifetime; however, eternal life itself is a free gift, which does not require faithfully living for Christ! The former is salvation (our POSITION in Christ), the latter is discipleship (our CONDITION in Christ).
Salvation And Discipleship Must Not Be Combined Or Confused
Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001) authored a helpful book called: “Salvation Is More Than Being Saved.” Dr. Hyles likens salvation to being salvaged from a junk yard; but then that junk needs to be recycled to make it usable. Our salvation doesn't change us one bit. One of my favorite sermons by Pastor Jack Hyles is called, what else: "Your Salvation Did Not Change You A Bit” (MP3). We have been salvaged from the fires of Hell; but now we need to grow in God's grace, to be renewed in our mind to make us fit for God's purpose and use (Romans 12:1-2). The former is salvation, the latter is discipleship. Dr. Steve Pettit goes horribly astray by confusing discipleship with salvation! Dr. Hyles keeps them separate. By mixing the two Dr. Pettit has corrupted grace, he has perverted the Gospel of free grace. A truly born-again believer has the Biblical mindset that salvation is a one time new birth! Presenting our body as a living sacrifice is a second decision that every believer needs to make (Romans 12:1). Discipleship is optional for the believer; that is, it is not required to be saved!
It is the same as the physical birth. We should take care of our physical health. We should eat right, live right, and do right; but regardless of who, what, where, when, how or why, we cannot undo the physical birth. The exact same thing is true with the second birth. Once you come to God as a needy sinner, and receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior—believing the 'Good News' that Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and physically resurrected three days later—you are immediately, irrevocably and forever born-again. You SHOULD obey God and live the Christian life; but regardless of who, what, where, when, how or why, you cannot undo the new birth in Christ Jesus! If you choose to live in sin, you cannot undo the second birth. You have already been born anew from above, by a supernatural miracle of God in response to your faith (John 1:12-13; 1st Peter 1:18-19). I am leery of all this garbage Calvinism in Bible colleges and churches today, that says if you don't faithfully run and finish 'The Race' (The Christian Life), you won't go to Heaven! That is the Satanic garbage theology that Steve Petit is dishing out to the thousands of students at Bob Jones College!! They are victims of junk theology!!!
Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001) rightly teaches:
“Yes, Jesus is Lord. He is Lord of the universe, and, of course, we believe that He is Lord. However, to believe that in order to be saved one must make Him the Lord of his life is just another form of salvation by works.” —Pastor Jack Hyles, “Lordship Salvation - An Enemy of Soulwinning”
Dr. Steve Pettit is your typical false prophet. He will defend himself by saying that he believes in salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone; but then he says that pursuing a life of holiness and living the Christian life is the evidence that you are really saved. Dr. Pettit teaches that you must surrender everything to Christ to be saved! It's a forked-tongue false gospel of partial faith in Christ plus works!!! He rearloads the Gospel, perverting grace! Steve Pettit effectively defines faith as running 'The Race,' since he links going to Heaven as being the AWARD for faithfully running 'The Race.' Again, getting saved is not an award, it is a free gift.
Matthew 7:13-15, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
Salvation Does Not Require Living A Lifestyle
Dr. Petite says that getting saved “involves a confession of faith.” Dear reader, your faith is all that is required by God to be saved!!! Salvation doesn't merely involve a confession of faith, it is your faith that saves you! Galatians 3:26, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Dr. Pettit sinfully adds works to faith. He teaches that you absolutely must faithfully stay in the race, run it, and finish the race, or else you won't go to Heaven. Pettit denies that you can lose salvation, but he believes you never had it unless you persevere in holiness, ministry and service for others. That is a counterfeit gospel of heathen Calvinism, which cannot produce the new birth, because it is a completely different mindset than those who believe the Gospel of free grace. I was born-again at age 13. Nothing more is required of me to get to Heaven.
Biblical proof that Dr. Pettit is teaching a strange doctrine is found in 1st Corinthians...
1st Corinthians 3:13-15, “Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
As we just read, there will be believers at the Judgment Seat Of Christ, who barely escaped Hell, “saved; yet so as by fire” (1st Corinthians 3:15b). Another example is found in 1st Corinthians 5:1-5. These men did not faithfully run the race! Demas loved this present world and forsook Paul's side in the ministry (2nd Timothy 4:10). The Bible is chocked full of sinful believers who did not faithfully run the race. Every believer must run the race, because life itself is the race; but we don't have to run the race to get to Heaven!!! All we need to do to get to Heaven, is to BELIEVE on the name of the risen Son of God, receiving His sacrifice on the cross as payment for our sins! That is light years apart from the trash Steve Petite is teaching at BJU!!! You SHOULD run the Christian race faithfully; but IF YOU DON'T, grace doth much more abound (Romans 5:20). Every believer has already been “JUSTIFIED FROM ALL THINGS” (Acts 13:39). Pettit heretically teaches:
“For the real reality of the genuineness of your faith is that you are faithful to run the race!” —Dr. Steve Pettit (“What Does It Mean To Run 'The Race'?” - 22:44)
No, the reality of the genuineness of my faith is MY FAITH ITSELF!
Dr. Pettit is hypocritical to say you are not saved by works, but if you don't have works you're not saved! That is a manipulative backdoor approach to Lordship Salvation!!! Front-loading the Gospel is when you require meritorious works of a person to be saved, before they are saved. Rear-loading the Gospel is when you require meritorious works of a person to be saved, after they are saved. Either way, preachers are perverting the Gospel when they ADD to it! 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.” Kindly, Dr. Steve Pettit is perverting the Gospel of free grace!!!
Still not convinced? Read this heretical quote again by Steve Pettit...
“You can't just speak about getting saved, and you accepted Christ, and then that's it! There is a justification; There is a sanctification; There's ultimately a glorification, and though there are three parts, they are all part of the whole, and you cannot separate them. In order for you to qualify for the award, you have to get into the race, you have to stay in the race, and you have to finish the race. If you want to win, you have to run to the end; and winning in the Christian life is everything, because if you lose—if you don't finish—you lose everything—you lose your SOUL. And so, the Christian race is the life of faith that begins, is run, and is finished when we cross over into Heaven!” [emphasis added] —Dr. Steve Pettit (“What Does It Mean To Run 'The Race'?” - 11:34)
So “faith” for salvation according to BOTH Ellen White and Steve Pettit is not simply trusting upon the Gospel to be saved; but also, salvation is a package deal that requires sanctification and glorification, and you cannot merely get saved and that's it! Folks, that is a works-based plan of salvation!!! Ellen G. White teaches that the Christian faith encompasses all of the obligations of living the Christian life. That is exactly what Steve Pettit teaches! ...
“God's people HAVE TO continue in the faith! They MUST PERSEVERE, because perseverance is the testimony of the reality of your faith!” [emphasis added] —Dr. Steve Pettit (“What Does It Mean To Run 'The Race'?” - 25:13)
“For the real reality of the genuineness of your faith is that you are faithful to run the race!” —Dr. Steve Pettit (“What Does It Mean To Run 'The Race'?” - 22:44)
This is so sad and tragic, to see this kind of Satanic junk theology being taught at Bob Jones University today. My God, what has happened to BJU? Ladies and gentlemen, this is what happens when you dip your sails. Kindly, that is why I criticize the First Baptist Church of Hammond (FBCH) so much for changing their position on the inspiration of the King James Bible. Since 2008 the church has denied the inspiration of the King James Bible, falsely claiming that ONLY the “original autographs” were inspired (which we no longer have). That was BJU's downfall! The next thing you know, they start tolerating the Devil's modern Alexandrian Bible revisions. John Wesley (1703-1791) was absolutely right: “What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace!” Mark my words: Hyles-Anderson College will go down the same apostate spiral as Bob Jones University has! It is inevitable once change starts. Change itself is the enemy! Pastor Bob Gray Sr. wonderfully explains this truth in his classic sermon titled: 'TRUTH VERSUS CHANGE!'
Psalms 55:21, “The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.” ...
Titus 1:10-13, “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.”
FBCH has betrayed the Word of God by denying the inspiration of the King James Bible, which opens a Pandora's Box of ecumenical compromising, uncertainty and theological instability!!! And that ladies and gentlemen, is exactly how a liberal unsaved Calvinist came to be the new president of Bob Jones University!!! It all started with inviting the Devil's corruptible seed into their midst!!! Revelation 3:2, “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.” Satan's greatest weapon is to con people into living the Christian life without ever being born-again!!! Steve Pettit is teaching that you cannot just get saved and count yourself safe in Christ! In addition, Pettit says you MUST live the Christian life to get to Heaven...
“So when we talk about 'The Race,' what are we talking about? We're talking about beginning and salvation, and then running the race through pursuing holiness and ministry, and service to others. But then let me say, that number three: This race HAS TO be faithfully run to the finish! You HAVE TO finish. Salvation is not just a past reality—“I GOT SAVED,” but is a future destiny! The race is not completed until you cross the finish line at death. What is this race—it is the race as we are running as we are headed toward Heaven.” —Dr. Steve Pettit (“What Does It Mean To Run 'The Race'?” - 10:27)
That is a corrupt plan of salvation, which superficially professes the simplicity that is in Christ by faith alone, but then perverts the Gospel by requiring discipleship in order to be saved. Prolific author and 33rd degree Freemason, Manly P. Hall (1901-1990), makes the brilliant truthful statement:
“The half-truth is the most dangerous form of lie, because it can be defended in part by incontestable logic.”
SOURCE: “The Secret Destiny Of America,” page 195, by Manly P. Hall, a 33rd degree Freemason; 1944; ISBN: 0-89314-388-X; publisher: The Philosophical Research Society, Inc, Los Angeles, California.
Don't miss that! This concept is so important to understand when exposing the religious cults!
“You can't just speak about getting saved, and you accepted Christ, and then that's it! There is a justification; There is a sanctification; There's ultimately a glorification, and though there are three parts, they are all part of the whole, and you cannot separate them. In order for you to qualify for the award, you have to get into the race, you have to stay in the race, and you have to finish the race. If you want to win, you have to run to the end; and winning in the Christian life is everything, because if you lose—if you don't finish—you lose everything—you lose your SOUL. And so, the Christian race is the life of faith that begins, is run, and is finished when we cross over into Heaven!” —Dr. Steve Pettit (“What Does it mean To Run 'The Race'? - 11:34)
Are you getting this folks? Dr. Pettit teaches salvation as a process instead of a new birth. We are saved in an instant by trusting Jesus as our Savior, but becoming Christlike takes a lifetime. Being conformed into the image of Christ is God's department, not ours! Changing is not mandatory to get to Heaven. Dr. Pettit is invading God's space, and invalidating God's grace, by adding running the race! Our part is to trust the blessed Savior. Whatever changes God wants to see happen in our life is His department alone. John 3:16, “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.” I love you all!
The King James Version Is All We Need
(Brother Roloff puts Bob Jones crowd to utter shame!)
Brother Lester Roloff Puts Bob Jones University To Shame
(the Holy Spirit doesn't need help)
The Living Bible Exposed
(classic & needful MP3 sermon by Brother Lester Roloff, 1914-1982)
Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Souls Are Dying!
How Permanent Is Your Salvation?
(an excellent MP3 sermon by Pastor Hank Lindstrom, 1940-2008)
Mark 1:15, “...repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
of the child of God is that he loves everybody!”
(a quote from Pastor Jack Hyles' classic MP3 sermon, “FORGIVENESS”)
Mark 11:22, “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.”
Ye Must Be Born Again!
You Need HIS Righteousness!