I’m reading this book, “The Greatest Words Ever Spoken.” It contains all of the sayings of Jesus arranged by subject. The book was compiled by, and also sections were written by, oSteven K. Scott. The verses are from the Lordship Salvation-slanted NIV version.
On page 13, I found this sentence, in the introduction:
“He [Jesus] claimed that He could grant eternal life to anyone who followed Him.”
Now, there are two huge glaring false doctrines in this short sentence of only 13 words. Before reading any further, take a second to look at that sentence and see if you can figure out what those two errors are.
Okay, here’s what is wrong and unbiblical about that sentence.
The first error is that its says that Jesus “could” grant eternal life.
Biblically, it isn’t that Jesus “could” grant salvation, but that he ~does~ give eternal life to all who simply believe in Him. (John 6:47)
The second error is that it says that “anyone who followed Him” could have eternal life granted to him or her.
The biblical truth is that anyone who BELIEVES in Jesus HAS everlasting life. (John 6:47)
“Following” (or, as it is also known, a lifetime of good works and discipleship), is NOT a condition of eternal life.
Salvation is a FREE GIFT received by faith in Jesus, in a moment–it is NOT granted on any condition of following Jesus.
Also, it is a gift that God guarantees cannot be lost. (Ephesians 1:13,14)
And it’s not that you “could” have it, but it is that you HAVE it, if you believe in Jesus.
This is the most common FALSE GOSPEL in so many declared “Christian” churches today: making salvation a matter of the works of discipleship and of following, rather than the FREE GIFT by faith in Jesus the Savior that it actually is.
Salvation is a matter of trusting Jesus as your God-and-man Savior, crucified for sins on the cross, buried, and risen from death on the third day. (1st Corinthians 15:1-4)
Salvation is NOT a matter of becoming a “follower of Christ,” being a member of any church, doing any rituals, being water baptized, “repenting of yours sins,” making a “commitment to Christ,” being a lifetime disciple of Jesus, worshiping Jesus, being very sincere, being very dedicated, being very committed or “sold out” for Jesus, being a “real Christian,” or doing ~anything else~ to earn salvation.
Why is it NOT a matter of these things? Because the Bible specifically says that no one can earn eternal life by good works.
The way of salvation is indeed narrow–it is by faith in Jesus, NOT by faith in you, or the things you do, have done, or will do.
Salvation is simply and only a matter of believing who Jesus is and what Jesus did for you. Or you could you must say believing in Jesus. Or, you could say believing the Gospel of Christ. Salvation is all of Christ and NONE of you.
When you believe this, you immediately have the assurance of your salvation.
A believer can and should become a follower of Christ, and the Spirit of God would lead him to do that, but, according to many clear Scriptures, salvation does NOT hinge on following or doing any good works, but only on ~believing in Jesus~.
This type of false salvation teaching is found throughout “Christian” churches, and over the last thirty years, has been promoted primarily and most effectively by false teacher John MacArthur and his radio program ironically titled, “Grace to You.” John MacArthur and his False Gospel of salvation by discipleship works has infected almost all self-declared “Christian” groups.