A Thoroughly LS Sermon
I then had to make these remarks:
Faith is not enough to be saved? We must be a disciple to the fullest extent or else we have no sure destiny with God for all eternity?
We are threatened with the fear of hell if we have not surrendered fully?
What happened to our language? Do we have to have an hour-long sermon to explain a simple word: “BELIEVE”?
Here is just one quote from Mr. Washer talking about the meaning of “believing” in Jesus for salvation:
“[Believing] doesn't mean that if they said the right thing or that if they invited him into their lives that they were saved from hell...
Believeing in Him means to believe on the full orb of everything that Scruipture says about Him.”
If that is required in order to receive Jesus Christ… then who can be saved? Who in humanity UNDERSTANDS the FULL ORB of scripture regarding Jesus?
Do we need to know the “full orb” of Scripture in order to receive Jesus? What ever happened to simple trust in Jesus and child-like faith?
I also understand that simply saying a prayer does not save anyone. BUT… the alternative is NOT to add all these stipulations to the word “believe” … to explain and EMBELLISH the word “believe.” Belieiving is simple … so simple that a child can understand it.
Totally repenting of one’s sins, having an “ongoing communion with Christ” is not the same as “believing” which is used in the gospel of John to explain the way people receive eternal life from Jesus the Messiah. All these things that Paul Washer is speaking of are called abiding in Christ, growing in Christ and following Him. These are not simple, but take work for the believer and are a life-long process in the life of a maturing, growing Christian. Discipleship and growth are important but they are not what saves someone... or even what proves salvation. The fact that Christ came out of the grave proves that those who believe in Him are saved. This is simple.
Categories are being mixed up in this teaching … what is under the discipleship column is being moved into the conversion column.
What is necessary to be a disciple is not necessary to receive eternal life. Christ won this life and is giving it away freely! How sad to hear someone put a price on it for men to pay.
What man-centered assurance is presented here.
Paul Washer asks how can people know that they have “believed” in the correct and “saving” sense? His answer is to give a complicated explanation about being a true disciple. If you are sure that you are a true disciple then you can be sure that Jesus has saved you. Huh? How can anyone ever be sure that they are thoroughly a true disciple? What if you’re a fake? What if you’re just making yourself live right to prove that you’re a disciple but you really don’t believe in the true sense of REAL and AUTHENETIC faith? Has anyone touched on that complication in these types of sermons? You might have the fruit but not the root! What about when you fail? Everytime you fail you know you aren’t measuring up.
You have to look to Christ because He is the only one who has measured up. According to the teaching presented in this video, you have to continue repenting, continue following or you can’t be sure that Christ has saved you.
The solution to this conundrum is simple:
LOOK TO CHRIST!
People need to stop talking people into looking to themselves for proof of salvation... the quality of their faith, the sincerity of their prayer, the trueness of their discipleship etc…
They need to be told that Jesus is suffficient to save!!! His incredible Person and Work is what we look to to see that we can be saved. This anthropocentric introspection is not God glorifying and not what the apostles meant to convey regarding the reception of eternal life. Evangelistic preaching needs to be about Jesus Christ and what He has done and that is how people will know salvation, not pointing to their own performance or quality of discipleship. Believers should be encouraged on in growth and discipleship, but not with the threat of “If you don’t behave thusly then you were never saved to begin with.” What “Christian” sect teaches that our behavior or works bear on our hope of salvation? I left that church.