Hell's Best Kept Secret . . . is Salvation by Grace through faith . . . God's Free Gift, Freely Given!
NOT Ray Comfort's Best Kept Secret Misunderstanding!
Increasingly popular evangelist, Ray Comfort, produced a video years ago with Kirk Cameron titled HELL'S BEST KEPT SECRET. Unfortunately, Mr. Comfort has a dirty little secret of his own—LORDSHIP SALVATION. As suave, dynamic, and 95% Biblically correct as Ray Comfort is, he is a heretic. The 52-minute Hell's Best Kept Secret video has become extremely popular. In fact, Ray Comfort has become an international speaker and is in much demand around the world because of it.
This is tragic, because although the video itself is excellent, Ray Comfort is a false prophet. Just as John MacArthur, who teaches some wonderful things concerning the Scriptures, they both teach the damnable heresy of Lordship Salvation (i.e., the false teaching that a lost sinner MUST stop living in sin to be saved).
The Gospel is good news to be believed, not a call to reformation or duty. Christ paid a debt that He did not owe, because we owed a debt that we could not pay. Salvation is receiving, not giving.
My question to you is: Are there 2 Gospels?
1. The Gospel of John MacArthur, Ray Comfort, Paul Washer, Jack Chick, Aiden Tozer, David Cloud, and others, requires that a person forsake (or be willing to forsake) their lifestyle of sin, make amends, and change their ways, as a prerequisite to saving faith. 2. The Biblical Gospel teaches that we are saved solely by Christ's righteousness, and that no self-righteousness of any kind is required, because we have none to offer; neither does a person have to quit any sin to be saved.
A lot of Christians have brushed the issue aside as a matter of semantics, but the difference between the 2 Gospels is day and night. One includes a certain degree of self-righteousness, which is a false Gospel; but the other is solely based upon Christ's righteousness, which is by the precious literal, physical, blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Ray Comfort is an extremely popular evangelist, 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
Heresy! That is self-righteousness! Adding even the slightest work of self-righteousness to the Gospel corrupts it into a false way, a false plan, a road to damnation.
On Ray Comfort's website, http://www.wayofthemaster.com, under the drop-down-menu "Get Equipped," there's a link titled Answers to 100 Common Questions. In this section you'll find Ray's heretical answer to the question... "Is Repentance Necessary for Salvation?" The answers are directly from The Evidence Bible, which was compiled and commented by Ray Comfort. This heresy also appears on Mr. Comfort's other website at... http://www.livingwaters.com/witnessingtool/browse.shtml. Here is Ray's unbiblical answer to the question...
Is Repentance Necessary for Salvation?
It is true that there are numerous Bible verses that speak of the promise of salvation, with no mention of repentance. These merely say to "believe" on Jesus Christ and you shall be saved (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9). However, the Bible makes it clear that God is holy and man is sinful, and that sin makes a separation between the two (Isaiah 59:1,2). Without repentance from sin, wicked men cannot have fellowship with a holy God. We are dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1) and until we forsake them through repentance, we cannot be made alive in Christ...
If belief is all that is necessary for salvation, then the logical conclusion is that one need never repent. However, the Bible tells us that a false convert "believes" and yet is not saved (Luke 8:13); he remains a "worker of iniquity" ...
When Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost, he commanded his hearers to repent "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). Without repentance, there is no remission of sins; we are still under His wrath. Peter further said, "Repent . . . and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out" (Acts 3:19). We cannot be "converted" unless we repent. God Himself "commands all men everywhere [leaving no exceptions] to repent" (Acts 17:30). Peter said a similar thing at Pentecost: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you" (Acts 2:38).
If repentance wasn’t necessary for salvation, why then did Jesus command that repentance be preached to all nations (Luke 24:47)? With so many Scriptures speaking of the necessity of repentance for salvation, one can only suspect that those who preach salvation without repentance are strangers to repentance themselves, and thus strangers to true conversion. (emphasis added)
The big problem with Ray Comfort's teaching is that he has a wrong understanding of REPENTANCE. Yes, God commands men everywhere to repent. Yes, repentance is necessary for salvation. But repentance is NOT departing from sinful activities or giving up the world as Ray Comfort teaches.
In sharp contrast to Ray Comfort, Dr. Harry Ironside (former pastor of Moody Memorial Church, 1930-1948) correctly understood repentance to mean…
"Repentance is the recognition of my sinnership — the owning before God that I am as vile as He has declared me to be in His holy Word."
SOURCE: Except Ye Repent, by Dr. Harry Ironside, chapter 3
As further evidence against Ray Comfort, please read the following doctrinally sound words by Pastor Harry A. Ironside...
“The Gospel is not a call to repentance, or to amendment of our ways, to make restitution for past sins, or to promise to do better in the future. These things are proper in their place, but they do not constitute the Gospel; for the Gospel is not good advice to be obeyed, it is good news to be believed. Do not make the mistake then of thinking that the Gospel is a call to duty or a call to reformation, a call to better your condition, to behave yourself in a more perfect way than you have been doing in the past …
Nor is the Gospel a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits, and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all.”
SOURCE: Dr. Harry A. Ironside, from the sermon: What Is The Gospel?
Amen! Clearly, Ironside taught a Free Grace view of the Gospel. What a drastic contrast between Dr. Ironside's teaching and the heresy which Jack Chick, Ray Comfort, John MacArthur and Paul Washer teach today.
Satan is subtle. 2nd Peter 2:1, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who PRIVILY shall bring in damnable heresies..." The word “privily” here means “taking pains to avoid being observed; to lead aside.” This is the nature of false prophets. They are used by Satan to mislead people, going through pains to avoid being detected. They are all ecumenical. They all pervert the Gospel message, requiring sinners to stop living in their sins to be saved. But that's not what God says. Lordship Salvation is a backdoor approach to Works Salvation. Instead of requiring people to do good works to be saved as the Catholic Church does, Lordship Salvationists require people to stop living in sin to be saved. The result is the same—self righteousness.
Ray Comfort Perverts the Biblical Meaning of the Word "Repent"
The problem is that Mr. Comfort totally MISINTERPRETS the Biblical meaning of the word "repent." In Mark 1:15 Jesus said, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." The word repent here is the Greek METANOEO, meaning "to change one's mind." When a person realizes that they're a GUILTY sinner, under the condemnation of God's Law, deserving of Hellfire; and then that person believes upon the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness—they are saved eternally. Listen again to the words of Mr. Comfort in The Evidence Bible...
We are dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1) and until we forsake them through repentance, we cannot be made alive in Christ.
That is a lie of the Devil. You cannot show me one Scripture that requires a person to forsake their sins to be saved! If that were true, then who could be saved... "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (John 8:7). The entire notion of forsaking one's sins to be saved is the height of sanctimonious self-righteous hypocrisy. Is there a Christian without sin? No! Ray Comfort has perverted the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by requiring lost sinners to forsake their sins to be saved; thus, teaching works salvation. We are the sinners, and Jesus is the Savior. It's that simple. Please read, What is Biblical repentance? Repentance in the Bible, when concerning salvation, NEVER means to forsake one's sins. It always refer to "a change of mind." Requiring a sinner to forsake their sins to be saved is a lifestyle change, which eliminates the growing in grace process spoken of in 1st Peter 2:2... "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby."
Ray Comfort Twists the Scriptures
Mr. Comfort, in his writings above, twists and misquotes several Scriptures in an attempt to support his false doctrines. For example: Ray says, "When Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost, he commanded his hearers to repent 'for the remission of sins'." Carefully notice that Peter DIDN'T say, "repent FROM sins for remission." No, Peter said, "Repent, FOR the remission of sins." Peter simply meant that when we believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ, our sins are forgiven, washed away by Jesus' precious blood (1st Peter 1:18,19). Why does Mr. Comfort pervert the Gospels to teach the hellish false doctrine of Lordship Salvation?
Another example of Rays unscholarly twisting of the Scriptures is his comments concerning Luke 8:13...
If belief is all that is necessary for salvation, then the logical conclusion is that one need never repent. However, the Bible tells us that a false convert "believes" and yet is not saved (Luke 8:13); he remains a "worker of iniquity."
Ray Comfort assumes that the person in Luke 8:13 DIDN'T get saved; but read the Scriptures more closely...
We read in Luke 8:12,13... "Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away."
The person in Luke 8:13 IS SAVED!
It is clear that the person in Luke 8:12 DIDN'T get saved, because the Bible plainly tells us they didn't. However, it is abundantly clear from Luke 8:13 that this person DID get saved. They received the Word of God (i.e., the Gospel) with joy! No unsaved person would do this. The Bible doesn't say that this person didn't get saved; rather, it says that the seed fell upon the rocks, and couldn't establish any roots. Thus, Luke 8:13 is clearly referring to a person who gets saved, but fails to mature in the Lord. During times of depression or sinful temptation, they go back into the world. I know plenty of Christians who have done this. Lordship Salvationists claim such people were never saved; but one must not forget that the Bible is filled with Christians who deliberately lived in sin at some point in their life: Samson, David, Lot, Peter, Jonah, Ananias and Sapphira, the church at Corinth, Solomon, Moses, etc.
Please don't misunderstand me, the Bible is very clear that a believer is known by their fruits (James 2:18). However, this does not mean that every professed believer who sins is not saved. In EVERY case of Christians who sinned in the Bible, none of them paraded their sins, or publicly tried to justify their sins. This is in sharp contrast to professed "Christians" today like Marsha Stevens, a lesbian married to another woman, who shamelessly boasts of her sins. She is no Christian. She even has her own ministry called BALM (Born Again Lesbian Music). It is sickening.
Ray Comfort is wrong to say that believing on Jesus Christ is insufficient for salvation. This is the same damnable heresy that John MacArthur and R.B. Thieme teach. Mr. Comfort clearly mandates forsaking one's sins as a prerequisite to believing on Christ. This is as damnable as heresy can get. Does not Mr. Comfort realize that Christ came to save us from our sins? In sharp contrast to the heresies of Ray Comfort, 1st John 1:9 states... "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." It is Christ who CLEANSES us of our sins with His blood, and not ourselves. Biblically, we are to come to Christ in our sins, realizing our GUILT and condemnation under God's Law (Romans 3:19,23). It is through our faith alone in Jesus Christ, that He cleanses our sins away and gives us a desire to live for Him.
Ray Comfort is VERY WRONG to teach that believing on the Savior is insufficient to save a person. Again, this is due to his corrupted understanding of the word "repent." John 3:16 and Acts 16:31 put him to silence on the matter. Believing on the Lord Jesus Christ is enough to be saved if you trust SOLELY upon the Savior to forgive your sins. Mr. Comfort requires repentance FROM sin for salvation; but the Bible never teaches that. The Bible teaches repentance TOWARDS God (Acts 20:21). The only thing we need to know about our sins to be saved is that we deserve to go to hellfire because of them; thus, recognizing our desperate need for the Savior. If there are to be lifestyle changes in our life, then it will happen as we grow day-by-day in the grace of our Lord, AFTER we are saved.
No Sick People in My Hospital
What Ray Comfort is teaching is akin to a hospital that refuses to help anyone who is sick. That's exactly what Ray is teaching. What if I was the administrator of a hospital, and I said to you? ... "Now we want to save your life, and help you; but first you must forsake the illness in your life. You must stop doing the things that made you ill, or we won't help you." That would be ludicrous. Ray Comfort teaches...
We are dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1) and until we forsake them through repentance, we cannot be made alive in Christ.
Ray speaks this concerning salvation. So according to Ray Comfort, God won't save you unless you first save yourself, i.e., you must forsake you sins. So if you're a fornicator, who has three girlfriends, and you aren't ready to give them up... you can't be saved! Now that's damnable heresy folks! Anyone can be saved! I am not condoning the sin of fornication; I am simply saying that God's salvation has NOTHING to do with our own self-righteousness. Carefully notice that the woman caught in the act of adultery in John 8 didn't come to Jesus of her own free will. She was literally dragged by the self-righteous Lordship Salvationists (i.e., Pharisees) to Jesus' feet. Did Jesus mention her sin? No! Jesus forgave her, and AFTERWARDS said... "Go and sin no more." Jesus DIDN'T require her to give up anything to be saved. She only needed to believe on Christ for the forgiveness of her sins.
Do you mean to tell me Ray that God won't save a prostitute until she forsakes her sinful ways? Yes, that is EXACTLY what Mr. Comfort is teaching. That is NOT Biblical. All I need to know to go to the hospital is that I'm wounded or sick. The healing begins after I'm in the hospital, not as a requirement to be admitted. Jesus clearly stated in John 6:37... "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
In Hell's Best Kept Secret, Ray Comfort stresses the fact that there can be NO salvation without the Law of God, and this is 100% Biblical; however, he teaches on his website that a sinner MUST "turn from your sins" to be saved, and this is 100% unbiblical. The road to Hell is paved with sincere intentions (Proverb 14:12). It is no light thing that Ray Comfort requires sinners to forsake their sins to be saved. This is a serious matter to God, for it's a literal matter of Heaven or Hell. Although Ray Comfort appears to be a minister of righteousness, but he is a worker of iniquity because he has perverted the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ray Comfort needs to look up the word "repent" in the Greek, because he is teaching lies and heresy based upon his ignorance of the Scriptures.
Jesus Does Love Sinners Mr. Comfort!
In the Hell's Best Kept Secret video, Ray Comfort also makes the statement...
"I would never approach an impenitent sinner and say 'Jesus loves you.' why? Because there's no Biblical precedent for it whatsoever. I wouldn't even say to a complete stranger I wanted to witness to... 'I'd like to talk to you about Jesus Christ."
According to Ray Comfort, God doesn't love sinners. That is a big lie! Although it is true that the wrath of God abideth on Christ-rejecters (John 3:36), and God is angry with the wicked every day (Psalm 7:11); it is also true from the Scriptures that God loves humanity... "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). Romans 5:8 plainly states... "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Jesus, knowing how rotten and sinful we all are, was still willing to die for our sins. How can anyone claim that God doesn't love sinners? It is true that God hates all sin; but God loves people. If God doesn't love sinner Mr. Comfort, then He can't love anyone, because we are all sinners (Romans 3:10,23)!
Ray Comfort's Best Kept Secret
Ray Comfort has a dirty little secret of his own. Although 99% of what he teaches is excellent Bible, the 1% of heresy he teaches is so damnable, so vile, so evil, so unscriptural, and so blasphemous against the the Lord Jesus Christ, that it negates everything else Ray Comfort teaches. The false doctrine of Lordship Salvation is literally sending millions of people to Hell. As a consequence of Ray Comfort's nightmarish doctrines, millions of people today think they are going to Heaven because they forsook their sins. Tragically, they are all going to Hell in their self-righteousness. You see, Lordship Salvationists don't want to allow the Holy Spirit to do His work of conviction. Instead, they arrogantly take it upon themselves to mandate a life of righteousness in order for a lost sinner to be saved. Folks, this is nothing more than an initiation step into false religion. It is truly sad, that a man such as Ray Comfort can expose one deadly heresy so well, and yet at the same time teach another. Ray Comfort has done a fine job bringing to light the necessity of God's Law in salvation; yet at the same time he propagates the damnable curse of Lordship Salvation.
“When you get saved, you get saved not because you deserve it, but because you simply let God save you and because you confess your own poor sinful state and your inability to save yourself.”
SOURCE: Dr. Rice... Here is My Question, by Dr. John R. Rice, pg. 304; 1962, Sword of the Lord Publishers; ISBN: 0-87398-158-8
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