Living Waters or Toxic Waters?
Romans 4:5, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
My dear friends, this is a very simple text indeed. The Bible teaches that a person's faith is COUNTED for righteousness. This means that a man can be saved without breaking off old sinful habits or without surrendering his life to God. Salvation comes by simple faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. God makes the necessary changes in a person's life after they're saved. A changed life is the FRUIT of genuine repentance, and not a part of the ROOT of saving faith.
Evangelist Ray Comfort is extremely popular, with his ministries, THE WAY OF THE MASTER and LIVING WATERS. Unfortunately, Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron teach the heresy of Lordship Salvation...
“Merely being sorry for your sins, or confessing them to God won't help you. You must turn from sin (repent).”
SOURCE: LIVING WATERS ministry, SAVE YOURSELF SOME PAIN
Clearly, Mr. Comfort believes that it is not enough to admit one's sinfulness to God to be saved. Instead, he requires that a person cease from committing those sins. According to Ray Comfort, even a person who is sorry for the sins they've committed cannot be saved unless they literal stop committing those sins. This is a FALSE GOSPEL by all accounts. Galatians 1:8, “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.” Respectfully, Ray Comfort is cursed by God for perverting the simplicity that is in Christ. If a person must stop all their sins to be saved, then salvation is IMPOSSIBLE.
The repentance which God requires for salvation is the recognition of one's SINNERSHIP, the admission that one is as guilty a sinner as God hath declared him to be in His holy Word, and turning to Jesus Christ to be forgiven. In the Gospel of John, we find the word “believe” 85-times, but the word repent is not mentioned even once. This tells us that the man who believes on Jesus, the Son of God, has also repented. And the man who has repented, has believed on the Son of God.
There are not two steps to salvation. Salvation is not a process. Salvation is one step, but there are two parts: repentance and faith, which occur simultaneously are are inseparable. When a man turns to Jesus Christ to be forgiven of his sins, he has indeed forsaken his sins in his heart. He has turned his back against sin by turning to Jesus Christ. For Ray Comfort to teach that a sinner must first amends his ways, give up the world and make a surrender to Christ to qualify to place one's faith in Christ is a false gospel.
The Heresy of Aiden Tozer
Aiden W. Tozer (April 21, 1897 to May 12, 1963) was a false prophet! Mr. Tozer unquestionably taught Lordship Salvation. At one time I viewed him as a great man of God, but then one day realized that he taught a false gospel. Mr. Tozer errantly states:
"In the Bible the offer of pardon on the part of God is conditioned upon intention to reform on the part of man. There can be no spiritual regeneration till there has been a moral reformation" (The Best of A.W. Tozer, Book 2, pg. 115-117; Compiled by Warren W. Wiersbe).
Wrong! Mr. Tozer has it backwards. Biblically, there can be no reformation until there has first been regeneration. To teach that a sinner must first reform them self as a prerequisite to saving faith is utter heresy and a false gospel.
Salvation is receiving, NOT giving. Mr. Tozer requires sinners to “reform” themselves before they can be saved. This goes totally contrary to the plainest teaching in the Bible. Romans 4:5 states: "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Mr. Tozer is teaching works salvation!!! Salvation is a free gift, freely given and freely received.
Charles Spurgeon Had it Right
Pastor Charles Surgeon eloquently stated:
"You must not expect that you will be perfect in "repentance" before you are saved. No Christian can be perfect. "Repentance" is a grace. Some people preach it as a condition of salvation. Condition of nonsense! There are no conditions of salvation. God gives the salvation himself..."
— Charles Spurgeon
SOURCE: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0044.htm (from a sermon preached at the New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, on September 23, 1855)
Clearly, Charles Haddon Spurgeon DIDN'T believe that forsaking one's sins, or grieving, or feeling sorrow, or being willing to turn from them, was necessary to be saved. Rather, Spurgeon believed that they were evidences of genuine repentance. Spurgeon did in fact teach, as have other great men of God, that a sinner ought to turn from his or her sins as evidence of genuine repentance; but this is after-the-fact, and not a requirement for salvation itself. Spurgeon plainly taught "there are no conditions of salvation," which is what the Bible teaches. We are sinners and Jesus is the Savior!
The Toxic Waters of Ray Comfort
Ray Comfort's ministry is called Living Waters, but he is teaching toxic doctrines that are dangerous. The notion that a person cannot be saved unless they first give up the sinful world and their sinful bad habits is a false gospel rooted in self-righteousness and Works Salvation. All that God requires for salvation is that a person acknowledge their guilt of sin for violating God's Laws, and come to the Father by way of His Son Jesus, the Christ, to be forgiven. We are SINNERS and Jesus is the redeeming SAVIOR. This is the simplicity that is in Christ (2nd Corinthians 11:3).
The mistake that Ray Comfort and John MacArthur make is that they confuses the FRUIT which genuine repentance brings with the ROOT of faith itself. By combining the FRUIT with the ROOT of a believer's faith, they create a false gospel. Just as a cart is drawn by a horse, so does FRUIT follow genuine repentance. There can be no FRUIT on a tree until there is first a ROOT in the ground. This is simple enough, yet Ray Comfort has it all wrong. The teaching that a tree must produce fruit before the root has had time to grow is false. Ray Comfort requires the FRUIT as a part of the saving ROOT of faith.
Ray Comfort is putting the cart before the horse.
It's not just a matter of semantics. Ray Comfort teaches that professed Christians who still have a wandering eye for the opposite sex, or tell little white lies, are going to Hell because they have never given up their sins.
On page 1197 of Ray Comfort's, THE EVIDENCE BIBLE, he comments on Matthew 7:22,23 . . .
"These are perhaps the most frightening verses in the Bible. Vast multitudes of professing Christians fit into the category spoken of here. They call Jesus 'Lord,' but they practice lawlessness. They profess faith in Jesus, but have no regard for the divine law. They tell 'fibs' or 'white' lies, take things that belong to others, have a roaming eye for the opposite sex, etc. They are liars, thieves, and adulterers at heart, who will be cast from the gates of heaven into the jaws of hell."
SOURCE: THE EVIDENCE BIBLE, by Ray Comfort, pg. 1197; 2003, Bridge-Logos Publishers, Orlando, Florida
Ladies and gentleman, Ray Comfort is teaching works salvation! This is a total misinterpretation of what Matthew 7:22-23 means. Mr. Comfort left out verse 21, which is the key Scripture here. According to what we just read by Ray Comfort, every believer who willingly allows sin in their life won't be allowed into Heaven. Comfort teaches that professed believers who lie and lust aren't really saved because they've never given up their sins, which he defines as repentance.
The Correct Meaning of Matthew 7:22-23
The correct interpretation of Matthew 7:22,23 must include verse 21...
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
What is "the will of the Father"? The answer is found in John 6:40...
"And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."
The group in Matthew 7:21-23 were unsaved because they refused to do God's will concerning salvation. It wasn't because they still had personal sins in their life. Every believer still has sin in their life! We all sin every day. That's not to say that we have God's approval to sin, God forbid (Romans 6:15). It just means that even the best of Christians are still sinners. Ray Comfort wrestles the Scriptures to his own destruction (2nd Peter 3:16). YE DO ERR, NOT KNOWING THE SCRIPTURES (Matthew 22:29).
John 3:20 states... "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved" (John 3:20). Such apostates are willing to follow a false gospel or a milquetoast preacher like Joel Osteen. However, it is not one's unwillingness to forsake personal sins that prevent a person from being saved; but rather, one's love for such sins. In John 5:40 Jesus said, "And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." Jesus didn't say, "Ye cannot come." He said, "Ye WILL NOT come." But if such a sinner does come to Jesus, acknowledging his guilt of sin and sincerely desiring to be forgiven, the Lord will save him eternally.
Ray Comfort perverts Matthew 7:22,23 by claiming that false prophets are those who claim to be Christians; but are not because of sin in their life, i.e., because they have not literally forsaken their sins yet. Clearly, Mr. Comfort is teaching works salvation. Satan is a master liar and deceiver and his ministers are turned into ministers of righteousness (2nd Corinthians 11:13-15).
Granted, there are many people who falsely profess to be “Christian” nowadays, but it's not because they still have sin in their life, it's because they're trusting their own self-righteousness, and have not done the will of God by solely resting upon the finished redemptive work of the Savior. Jesus did it all. We are saved by HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Our faith is COUNTED for righteousness, i.e., Jesus' righteousness is IMPUTED to us . . .
Romans 4:6-8, “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”
It's not what you're doing that gets you to Heaven, it's where you're looking. Look to Jesus.
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