by Pastor Steven L Anderson, 2006
1. What is “Easy-Believism”?
2. What is repentance?
3. Why “1-2-3, repeat after me” style soul-winning is wrong.
“And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” – Acts 16:30-31
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” – Romans 4:5
“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. “ – John 3:16
1. What is “Easy-Believism”?
The Bible is very clear that believing on the Lord Jesus Christ is the only prerequisite for salvation. Yet today we find those who believe this truth from the Bible being labeled as believing in “Easy-Believism.” I plead guilty. I do believe that it is easy to be saved and that it is easy to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. It is man-made religion that seeks to try and make salvation difficult.
The Roman Catholic Church is on one side of the spectrum as being totally opposed to the truth of the gospel. They teach a difficult salvation by doing good works and living a good life in addition to believing on Jesus Christ. Then there are the various Protestants and Pentecostals who believe watered down versions of this very same doctrine. Sometimes it is disguised by a belief that one is saved by grace through faith, but that salvation can be lost by committing some grievous sin or falling away from the things of God. Then at the other side of the spectrum is the independent, fundamental Baptist preaching salvation by grace through faith plus nothing minus nothing.
Unfortunately, many independent, fundamental Baptists in our day are drifting toward Protestantism and Catholicism by teaching that in order to be saved a person must “repent of their sins.” They teach that a person who is not at least willing to turn from certain sins (e.g. alcohol, cigarettes, fornication, etc.) cannot be saved. The terms “repent” and “saved” (or any variations thereof) never occur in the same verse in the entire Bible. Yet “believe” and “saved” or “faith” and “saved” occur a multitude of times. No one can show me one verse in the Bible that says a person must give up any sins to be saved (or that a person must be willing to give them up).
2. What is Repentance?
Unfortunately, many independent, fundamental Baptists bow down to a dictionary and worship it as their God. The Webster’s 1828 dictionary definition of “repentance” says that repentance is to be sorry for your sins. However, the most common usage of “repentance” in the Bible is God repenting. God has no sins to be sorry for. When God repents, he is only changing his mind. There are many, but here are just a few examples:
“And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” – Genesis 6:6
“And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.” – Exodus 32:14
“And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.” – I Samuel 15:35
“And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies.” – Psalms 106:45
In order for verses like John 3:16, John 5:24, Acts 16:31, Romans 4:5, Romans 10:13-14, and other which declare that anyone who believes on Jesus Christ (i.e. puts their faith in him for salvation), God must save a person who is unwilling to turn from sin but believes on Jesus Christ. If not then God is a liar.
Repentance can be a part of salvation. For example, a person who is a Roman Catholic must repent of their belief in works salvation; otherwise, it would be impossible for them to have all their faith in Jesus Christ. In this case their faith in Jesus Christ was still the only deciding factor.
Repenting of sin is something God commands those who are already saved to do. In Revelation chapters 2-3, for example, God repeatedly commands his people to repent of their sins; never does God say a person must repent of their sins in order to become saved. Lest you think I am giving people a “license” to sin, I will match my preaching against sin to yours any day of the week:
I preach against watching television – do you?
I preach against birth control – do you?
I preach against alcohol – do you?
I preach against women wearing pants – do you?
I preach against mixed swimming – do you?
I preach against women working – do you?
I preach against any secular music – do you?
I preach against fornication – do you?
“Easy-Believism” is not giving people license to sin, it is giving people license to be saved without jumping through a bunch of hoops. People should repent of their sins after they are saved, but whether they do or don’t, they are still saved.
3. Why “1-2-3, repeat after me” style soul-winning is wrong.
The problem with “1-2-3, repeat after me” type soul-winning is not a lack of repentance but a lack of a clear presentation of the gospel. Praying a prayer is not what saves you; believing on the Lord Jesus Christ is what saves you when you call on the Lord for salvation. You can pray the sinner’s prayer a million times, but if you don’t believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation you’ll go to Hell.
The biggest problem with modern-day soul-winning is the lack of emphasis on eternal security. A soul-winner will quickly go through the gospel with someone and lead them in a prayer, but many times the person still has in the back of their mind that if they don’t live right they will lose it. Every false Christian religion seems to have one common denominator: they don’t believe in eternal security. Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Methodists, Pentecostals, Nazarenes, etc. all believe you can lose your salvation and therefore are not saved because they do not believe the record that God gave of his Son.
“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” – I John 5:10-11
A person who believes you can lose your salvation is not saved because they are calling God a liar and trusting their good life to maintain their salvation.
Being thorough in soul-winning is necessary. However, a person must put their faith 100% in Jesus Christ in order to be saved and go to Heaven, not in turning from any sin. If you believe a person must be willing to turn from their sins to go to Heaven, you have added to the gospel and are one step closer to the Southern Baptists and Roman Catholics.
I will give you just a brief synopsis of the points and scriptures I use to win people to the Lord. I go through these scriptures and explain them in detail. I use all of these scriptures just about every time I give the gospel to someone.
1. Every one is a sinner (Rom 3:10, Rom 3:23)
2. Everyone deserves to go to Hell (Rom 6:23, Rev 20:14, Rev 21:8)
3. Jesus died on the cross for us so we could be saved (Rom 5:8, I Pet 2:24) (At this point I go through the events of the cross, the blood, the death, burial, and resurrection)
4. You must believe on Jesus Christ as your only way to Heaven (Acts 16:31, John 3:16)
5. When you believe on Jesus Christ, God gives you eternal life (Rom 6:23) (At this point I use the illustration of receiving a gift and explain eternal security in detail)
Then, to wrap things up, I ask the person 4 questions:
1. Do you believe that you have sinned?
2. Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for YOUR sins and rose again from the dead?
3. If you were to ask Jesus to save you right now would he do it?
4. How long would you be saved for?
If the person confidently answers these questions correctly, I then say, "Let's pray together right now, and I will help you ask Jesus to save you." Most of the time people who have listened to the whole gospel and understood it are very willling to pray and trust Christ as their saviour.
I then lead them in a prayer something like: "Dear Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I know I deserve to go to Hell. But I believe that you died on the cross for my sins. Please save me and take me to Heaven when I die. I'm only trusting you, Jesus. Amen."
I then talk to them about baptism as the first step of obedience and about the importance of coming to church. This is the process I go through virtually every day out door-to-door soul-winning.
The following sermon deals with this subject in detail:
The following file is in mp3 format. You must right-click on this file and "save target as" to download it to your computer.
Pastor Steven L Anderson "The Power of God upon you" 05/21/06am Sunday
Pastor Steven L Anderson "Eternal Security" 07/23/06pm Sunday
Pastor Steven L Anderson "How to Win Souls" 09/24/06pm Sunday