Dr. John MacArthur's Impossible Gospel

By David J. Stewart | June 2018 | Updated November 2019

2nd Corinthians 11:3-4, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

       There is not a more dangerous religious cult today than those who follow the Lordship Salvation movement. The godfather of this movement today is Dr. John F. MacArthur of the Grace Community Church in California. Sadly, thousands of Baptist pastors, Bible professors, evangelists and churches have bought into this satanic lie, which is nothing more than deadly Calvinism repackaged. Here is Mr. MacArthur's impossible plan of salvation:

“The narrow gate is hard to find and hard to go through, because it demands: denial of self, denial of self-righteousness, recognition of sin, full repentance, submission to Christ, commitment to obey Him, and follow Him no matter what the cost!” —Pastor John MacArthur, a quote from his sermon titled, “Saved Or Self-Deceived, Part One” (time: 4:25 in YouTube sermon video)

Let's list the SEVEN requirements for salvation which Mr. MacArthur just mentioned:

  1. Denial of self
  2. Denial of self-righteousness (This is Biblical, you must wholly trust God's righteousness)
  3. Recognition of sin (This requirement is Biblical, you must see yourself as a needy sinner)
  4. Full repentance
  5. Submission to Christ
  6. Commitment to obey Christ
  7. Follow Jesus (no matter what the cost)

SOURCE: Saved Or Self-Deceived?

My friend, that is NOT the simplicity that is found only in Jesus Christ. 2nd Corinthians 11:4, “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” Mr. MacArthur is preaching 'ANOTHER GOSPEL.' And it is certainly “another spirit,” not the spirit of the Gospel of free grace.

Furthermore, take a close look at MacArthur's list of SEVEN requirements (only one is Biblical) to be saved above (and perhaps listen to his sermon on YouTube for yourself), to verify what I am about to say—He doesn't mention believing in Christ in his list of things you must do to be saved. What? Yes, he doesn't even mention believing on Christ in his list! I believe the reason is obvious—Mr. MacArthur is so enamored with Calvinism (aka, 'Lordship Salvation') that it has warped his thinking theologically. Put another way, Lordship Salvation confuses and combines DISCIPLESHIP with SALVATION (SONSHIP).

Of course, Mr. MacArthur does teach that believing in Christ is necessary to be saved elsewhere, but why doesn't he mention it here? That is a false plan of salvation!!! The only thing that is true in the preceding SEVEN requirements for salvation from Mr. MacArthur, is recognition of sin. Romans 3:19, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” God's law shows mankind our sinnership, which convinces men of their desperate need for the dear Savior (Galatians 3:24-26). Jesus Christ brought truth and grace!

If you listen to his entire YouTube sermon, he elaborates on how holy living, sacrifice, commitment, fully turning from sins and loyal discipleship are all required to have eternal life. Not surprisingly, Mr. MacArthur NEVER once mentions the word “gift” concerning salvation. That is because his primary focus is upon human reformation, and not the free grace of God through faith alone in Jesus Christ. Acts 20:24, “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Romans 5:15, “But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” Likewise, as the apostle Paul said in Acts 20:24, the primary purpose of my website ministry is: “TO TESTIFY THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD,” which is, “THE FREE GIFT” (Romans 5:15b)!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, none of what John MacArthur teaches in this sermon is 'THE GOSPEL' (or 'GOOD NEWS')! The GOOD NEWS is about Jesus Christ's DEATH on the cross, His BURIAL and subsequent bodily RESURRECTION three days later for our justification. These three things comprise “THE GOSPEL” according to the apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 15:1-6. The ONLY requirement for salvation is to recognize your need as a GUILTY SINNER. The Old Testament LAW shows humanity our need, which is God's GRACE through faith in Jesus Christ. We need the precious Savior, Who has the nail-scared hands and feet! Romans 3:19, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” The hardest part about getting people saved is first getting them lost. Once a person recognizes their lost condition as a guilty sinner, then it is easy to bring them to Jesus Christ to be saved BY FAITH alone.

Salvation is Impossible With Men

I don't need to go any further in this article. Pastor John MacArthur is a satanic false prophet. He adds works to faith, teaching partial faith in Christ plus discipleship. That is not only a hard gospel, but an IMPOSSIBLE gospel, because you cannot be saved that way. Mark 10:25-27, “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. And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” John MacArthur teaches that it is difficult and hard to be saved, as you'll clearly hear if you listen to his sermon, but the Lord Himself (as we just read) said it is utterly “IMPOSSIBLE” to be saved. Please don't miss that! Salvation is not “hard” as Mr. MacArthur says, nor is it “difficult” as the corrupt New King James Version (NKJV) reads in Matthew 7:14b—IT IS IMPOSSIBLE!!! John 1:12-13, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” The reason why salvation is “IMPOSSIBLE” is because only God can perform this supernatural miracle!

No man can merely decide to be saved and obtain eternal life apart from faith in Christ. You MUST come by way of THE CROSS, by way of faith in Jesus Christ, Who is the only begotten Son of God (John 14:6).

Salvation cannot be obtained by human means:

“not of blood” - There are no royal bloodlines to be saved. Biological Jews cannot be saved that way.

“nor of the will of the flesh” - No amount of rituals, ceremonies, works or joining groups can save.

“nor of the will of man” - Rich people cannot buy salvation. God only saves them that believe the Gospel.

Salvation is a supernatural miracle of God, in response to a person's faith in the Good News of Jesus Christ crucified on a cross, buried and bodily risen the third day (1st Corinthians 15:1-6). With men salvation is not hard or difficult, it is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE!

In God's true plan of salvation, an admitted guilty sinner just gets out of the way, and let's God do the saving—ALL OF IT! Hebrews 4:10-11, “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” The preceding Scripture passage is likening the Sabbath Day to salvation. The Sabbath Day symbolized God ceasing from His works, after 6-days of creating the universe. God rested on the seventh day. The Bible teaches that just as God rested from His works, so also must a man cease (repentance) from his self-righteous works and rest in Jesus Christ to be saved. Isn't that beautiful?!

A man is not saved by turning away from anything, he is saved by BELIEVING THE GOSPEL; but a man cannot believe the Gospel, without ceasing from trusting in his “dead works” (Hebrews 6:1) that cannot save. For example: You cannot trust in keeping the Seven Sacraments of Roman Catholicism, and wholly trust Jesus Christ at the same time! You have to choose one or the other. So a devout Roman Catholic, to be saved, would have to stop relying upon the Seven Sacraments to save them, and instead wholly turn to Jesus Christ by faith alone. That is repentance and faith. It is that simple to be saved. Repentance has nothing to do with turning away from your sins, except that you need to realize you're a guilty sinner in need of God's grace, so that you will BELIEVE THE GOSPEL to be saved!

Likewise, a lost religious person who has been following Pastor John MacArthur, needs to stop relying upon the manifold unbiblical requirements of Lordship Salvation, and instead wholly turn to Jesus Christ by faith alone to be saved. It is that simple. John 6:47, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” Anytime someone starts adding the requirements of discipleship, Lordship and the qualities expected of a mature Christian, to the free gift of God which is eternal life (Romans 6:23), they are frontloading the Gospel, and teaching a counterfeit plan of salvation. The Lord Himself made it very clear in the Gospel of John what the Father's will is concerning salvation. John 6:40, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Jesus is precious!!!

Please read my free helpful 203-page book titled: SALVATION (.PDF)

The Psychological Effects And Trauma Caused By Lordship Salvation (it eliminates all hope!)

Evangelist Steve Pettit's Counterfeit Lordship Salvation Gospel (he doesn't preach the Gospel)


“Faith is the only righteous thing that I can do!”
—Pastor Jack Hyles, a quote from the MP3 sermon titled: God's Reversal Of Psalm 51

1st Corinthians 16:24, “My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”

(a wonderful 24-part MP3 Bible study by Pastor Max D. Younce)

My Gospel Tract (a .PDF brochure I made last year, that you can print and share with others)

“Church is a place where people should be able to hurt out loud. And I
should be there to put my arms around those who are willing to hurt out loud.”

—Evangelist Les Ollila, from the MP3 sermon,
The Judgment Seat Of Christ.

Religion will always substitute something besides the blood!
—Pastor Max D. Younce, a quote from his excellent Bible study, “WHEN I SEE THE BLOOD - PASSOVER A TYPE OF CHRIST (365)

Luke 19:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Florida Bible College (emphasizing the clarity and simplicity of the Gospel)

Pastor Hank Lindstrom, 1940-2008“Nothing in my future can ever affect the salvation that I have... Once you trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are eternally secure!” —Pastor Hank Lindstrom (1940-2008), a quote from the classic MP3 sermon titled, “How Permanent Is Your Salvation?

“Salvation is based upon purely what Jesus Christ has done. And if you've trusted Jesus Christ here, you're saved forever! Nothing in your life, nothing in your death, angels, principalities, nothing—nothing in your future—could ever undo that relationship that has been made when you trusted Jesus Christ as Savior. And there are many people who are confused over this whole thing.”
—Pastor Hank Lindstrom (1940-2008), a quote from the classic MP3 sermon titled, “How Permanent Is Your Salvation?”

“There are many people who name the name of Jesus Christ, who are not saved, because they're trusting in living the Christian life, or in their works, or in some efforts that they're doing, in order to obtain their salvation.”
—Pastor Hank Lindstrom (1940-2008), a quote from the classic MP3 sermon titled, “How Permanent Is Your Salvation?

Souls Are Dying!

How Permanent Is Your Salvation?
(an excellent MP3 sermon by Pastor Hank Lindstrom, 1940-2008)

Mark 1:15: “...repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

“The mark of the child of God is that he loves everybody!”
(a quote from Pastor Jack Hyles' classic MP3 sermon, “FORGIVENESS”)

Souls are Dying

Why There's A Hell (MP3 sermon by Pastor Danny Castle)

“Baptismal regeneration is one of the most damnable heresies!”
—Pastor Max D. Younce, a quote from his excellent Bible study, “WHEN I SEE THE BLOOD - AND NOAH BUILDED AN ALTER (361)

“In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God,
and that obey not THE GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
—2nd Thessalonians 1:8

Ye Must Be Born Again!

How to Be Saved

The Fundamental Top 500