Salvation Doesn't Require Forsaking All To Follow Jesus
By David J. Stewart | July 2020
Matthew 19:21-30, “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”
This is one of the most misunderstood passages in the Holy Bible. A good rule to follow when interpreting the Bible is to never use an obscure passage to contradict a clear one. In the following quote from Evangelist Paul Washer, who is a heretical Calvinist (and so also is Steve Pettit, Sam Horn, Marty Herron, Bob Jones University, Moody Bible Institute, Pacific Garden Mission's Unshackled, Ray Comfort and John MacArthur), he perverts the Gospel by applying Matthew 19:27 (“we have left everything and followed you”) to redemption.
At first glance, Matthew 19:21-30 can seem frightening to a free grace believer, shaking our faith and making us question if perhaps we were wrong. It sure does seem like Jesus is teaching Lordship Salvation, doesn't it? Dear reader, nothing could be further from the truth. Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Carefully notice in Matthew 19:27 that the Apostle Peter is BOASTING of his own good works, “Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?”
You must keep in mind that Jesus just rebuked the rich young ruler for trying to earn his way to Heaven. The Lord wasn't giving that young man a plan of salvation (as the Lordship Salvation crowd foolishly think), Jesus was using the law the way it was intended to be used, to show the young man that he was NOT GOOD ENOUGH to get to Heaven by his own merit. When the Lord told him to go sell everything he owned, and give it to the poor, the rich young ruler went away very sad. The Lord afterwards told his DISCIPLES that it would be easier to thread a needle with a camel, than for a rich men to go to Heaven. The disciples responded by asking in verse 25, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus replied by saying that it is IMPOSSIBLE with men, but with God all things are possible (John 1:12-13).
The context of this seemingly difficult passage is very clear—no one can keep the law to be saved, salvation is of the Lord, it is the free gift of God. We must remember that Peter is still ignorant of theology, and is asking ignorant questions. The Lord had just told the young man to go sell everything he owned, and give it to the poor, if he wanted to perfectly keep the law of Moses to be saved. So now Peter is thinking, “Hey, I've given up everything, so what am I going to get out of all this?” The Lord beautifully responds by assuring the disciples, that in addition to their salvation (which is by faith alone), they will inherit all things as God's child, and also be rewarded by God for their sacrificial service for Him (Matthew 10:42; 1st Corinthians 3:6-9). Revelation 21:7, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” Romans 8:32b promises that in addition to His only begotten Son, God will give the saints “ALL THINGS” in eternity. That is what Jesus was teaching His disciples in Matthew 19:21-20. It is sad that the advocates of Lordship Salvation pervert this passage, as they wrestle the whole Bible, to their own destruction:
2nd Peter 3:16-17, “As also in all his [Paul's] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.”
Please do not be led away with the error of Bob Jones University, which has been infiltrated and taken over by infidels. I hope by God's grace dear friend that I have made Matthew 19:21-30 easy for you to understand. The very fact that Peter is boasting of following Christ, ought to tell us that this cannot be the way of salvation, because it would contradict Ephesians 2:8-9 that salvation is by grace through faith WITHOUT WORKS! The Lordship Salvation gang (i.e., Calvinists), all twist and pervert the Holy Scriptures. The Bob Jones' camp are arrogant beyond belief today, stiffnecked and full of sinful pride. Their leaders all get paid lucrative 6-digit salaries (including Steve Pettit, Sam Horn, Marty Herron and John MacArthur). Dr. MacArthur's net worth is $14,000,000. Spiritual crime pays well! Their arrogance will cease when they stand before God someday (Hebrews 9:27). Lordship Salvation is a perversion of grace, and is not the Gospel taught in the Gospel of John.
When Jesus spoke with the rich young ruler, He was talking with an unsaved person; but afterwards the Lord spoke with His disciples, who were already saved by faith. So we need to keep this in mind when interpreting such Scripture passages. To whom was the Lord speaking, to the saved or unsaved? In the case of Matthew 19:21-30, Jesus was speaking to the saved. It is gross theological incompetence for anyone, like Paul Washer, to apply this passage to the free gift of eternal life, which is received by faith alone in the dear Savior.
In closing, if you'll go back to view the photo and quote I shared with you earlier by Evangelist Paul Washer, you'll see that he says salvation requires following Jesus “AT ALL COSTS.” Dear reader, Jesus paid your debt of sin on the cross with His precious blood, because you owed a massive debt that you simply could not pay! THERE IS NO COST TO RECEIVE GOD'S FREE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE!!! Paul Washer is a dingleberry for a theologian! If you and I were to pay for our own sins, to repay the wages of sin that we owe, we'd have to burn and suffer in the torments of Hell-fire forever and ever. If you don't understand that, it is only because you fail to grasp just how holy and righteous God is, and how much He absolutely cannot allow or tolerate sin (1st Corinthians 6:9-11; James 2:10).
The full payment for your sins has been made dear friend (1st Peter 1:18-19). Your gift of eternal life is waiting for you to come get it, which is wrapped in the wonderful package of Jesus Christ! With mere childlike faith, if you'll simply come to God as a needy sinner, receiving Christ's sacrifice on the cross as payment for your sins, believing that He was buried, and three days later physically resurrected from the dead, you will be immediately and permanently saved! This is “The Gospel” (1st Corinthians 15:1-4), by which we are saved, to them that believe (Romans 1:16). You have God's Word on it! John 6:47, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”
Romans 16:17-18, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”
1st Kings 18:17, “And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah,
that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?”
END OF ARTICLE
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