Where Dr. Steve Pettit Goes Wrong On The Gospel

By David J. Stewart | July 2020

John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

       God knows that I am not trying to be critical of Dr. Steve Pettit. I am not just looking for something to criticize his teachings. The Lord knows I speak the truth. I heard a chapel sermon the other day called “Understanding Galatians” (The Daily Platform #766), which is one of the best sermons I've ever heard. Steve Pettit is a brilliant man, but he has been caught between grace and works, and he doesn't realize it. Dr. Pettit is a heretical Calvinist!

Our Baptist churches are in trouble nowadays. Satan is always trying to corrupt the Bible, corrupt the Gospel, corrupt the preacher, and corrupt the churches, so he can corrupt people and prevent them from being born-again. The chapel sermon I heard today was a completely different story, titled “What Does It Mean To Be Justified?” (The Daily Platform #741). At 18:15 time in the sermon Dr. Pettit makes these horrible statements on how to be justified:

“So I want to ask you, have you come to a genuine acknowledgment before God almighty of your sinfulness? Secondly, you have to change the way you view yourself. We call that 'repentance.' And repentance is sort of saying a 'No' and a 'Yes.'  It's a turning AWAY FROM and a turning TO. What am I turning away from? I'm turning away from my own self-righteousness. I'm to turning away from depending on me, and all that's involved in me—self-righteousness, self-will, self-assertion, living my own life—I'm to turning away from that way of thinking. And then finally what do I have to do? I'm to put my trust, or my confidence, in Jesus alone.” [emphasis added] —Dr. Steve Pettit, an excerpt from What Does It Mean To Be Justified?” (The Daily Platform #741)

What you just read is of the Devil. Jesus told the Apostle Peter, “Get thee behind me, Satan” (Matthew 16:23b). So I say to Steve Pettit, “Get thee behind me, Satan!” What saith the Scripture? Acts 16:30-31, “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.” The Bible teaches something very different than what Dr. Steve Pettit is teaching! Steve Pettit says you must turn away from living your own life to be saved. That is a doctrine of devils! That is why I chose the devil dog picture for this article. Steve Pettit is a devil-dog preacher! My destination is not based upon how I live my life, it's on whom that I trust to save me!!! Now that's the truth!

The folks at the Harvest Baptist Church on Guam are upset with me, because I am exposing their hero, Steve Pettit. Harvest broadcasts Bob Jones University's (BJU) 'The Daily Platform' program on their local KHMG 88.1 FM radio station. The people of Micronesia are being corrupted by Harvest Baptist Church, as I just showed you. This junk theology is being aired throughout the islands! This is another gospel, not the simplicity that is in Christ (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4). It is not enough to admit you are a sinner and believe the 'GOOD NEWS' of Christ crucified, buried and risen; but also, Mr. Pettit adds an additional step of surrendering your life to Christ! That is the same garbage which Dr. John MacArthur teaches! Folks, God does not require you to turn away from “LIVING MY OWN LIFE” to be saved. What Dr. Pettit is doing is combining discipleship with salvation, front-loading the Gospel. It's like expecting a newborn baby to run a 26 mile marathon! Here are some excellent quotes differentiating between discipleship and salvation.

The following helpful excellent quote is from Pastor M.R. DeHaan (1891-1965):

“There is a vast difference between coming to Jesus for salvation and coming after Jesus for service. Coming to Christ makes one a believer, while coming after Christ makes one a disciple. All believers are not disciples. To become a believer one accepts the invitation of the Gospel, to be a disciple one obeys the challenge to a life of dedicated service and separation. Salvation comes through the sacrifice of Christ; discipleship comes only by sacrifice of self and surrender to His call for devoted service. Salvation is free, but discipleship involves paying the price of a separated walk. Salvation can't be lost because it depends upon God's faithfulness, but discipleship can be lost because it depends upon our faithfulness.” Pastor M.R. DeHaan, Hebrews; Zondervan Publishing House, 1959 (p. 117).

In the preceding truthful quote, we can see that Pastor DeHaan accurately differentiates between salvation versus discipleship. The woeful error that John MacArthur, Steve Pettit, Marty Herron, Sam Horn, John Piper, Harvest Baptist Church on Guam, Bob Jones University, Moody Bible Institute, Paul Washer, Calvinists and the Lordship crowd all make—is to COMBINE these two things into one, which is a counterfeit gospel.

You Simply Need To Trust Jesus Christ To Be Saved

Dr. Pettit is subtle in his words, deceptively changing the Word of God into a lie. Read what he says:

“...faith in Jesus is not just an intellectual conviction, it is a personal commitment. Paul says, we have believed in Jesus, and the word 'in' literally means 'into' ...I am taking my life, my eternity, my destiny, everything, and I am placing it into Christ.” —Dr. Steve Pettit, an excerpt from What Does It Mean To Be Justified?” (The Daily Platform #741)

This is not true! So if you intellectually believe the Gospel you are not saved, he says, you must MAKE A PERSONAL COMMITMENT to Christ. How do you have faith intellectually, but not be saved? That makes no sense. What saith the Scripture? 2nd Timothy 1:12, “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” Notice carefully that the Bible does not say Paul made a commitment to Christ; but rather, he committed the keeping of his soul into Christ's hands. The word “commitment” means “a deposit” (trust), which Dr. Pettit gets correct. We are depositing our trust in Christ for salvation. However, Dr. Pettit is perverting the Gospel when he says that we must deposit “everything” into Christ to be saved:

“I am taking my life, my eternity, my destiny, everything, and I am placing it into Christ.” —Dr. Steve Pettit, an excerpt from What Does It Mean To Be Justified?” (The Daily Platform #741)

That is not the Gospel of free grace! I am so sick of this Lordship Salvation garbage!!! I love Dr. Pettit and his family, and all the family at Bob Jones University, and my former beloved church family at Harvest Baptist Church on Guam (before they excommunicated me in 2014 for telling the truth, as I am still doing now in this article). Eternal life is the free gift of God. Dr. Bob Jones Sr. (1883-1968) got the Gospel right! Dr. Bob said, “The gift of eternal life is wrapped in the wonderful package of Jesus.” Boy, I love that! If you want God's gift of eternal life, then you must accept it in the package of Jesus Christ! Dr. Bob Jones Sr. said in 1944 that he would blow Bob Jones College to smithereens (MP4), if he could in 50 years, if they ever let an infidel like Dr. Steve Pettit come in and rob the saints of their faith! Any man who preaches about faith and grace, but ADDS turning from “LIVING YOUR OWN LIFE” is preaching another gospel!!!

What saith the Scripture? Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” The Apostle Paul didn't say it is our MANDATORY or REQUIRED SERVICE, but our “REASONABLE SERVICE”! If you are a Christian you SHOULD live godly in Christ Jesus. ...

Titus 2:11-15, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”

Carefully notice that the Bible says WE SHOULD live for Christ; not MUST (that would be works for salvation); not WILL (that would be the heresy of Calvinism). I realize that preachers and theologians have been wrangling over the subject of repentance for generations, but the Bible plainly defines the Gospel in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 as Christ's death on the cross, burial and bodily resurrection from the dead. Here is one of the best quotes that I've found on repentance, by Pastor Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951):

“Which comes first, repentance or faith? In Scripture we read, 'Repent ye, and believe the gospel.' Yet we find true believers exhorted to 'repent, and do the first works.' So intimately are the two related that you cannot have one without the other. The man who believes God repents; the repentant soul puts his trust in the Lord when the Gospel is revealed to him. Theologians may wrangle over this, but the fact is, no man repents until the Holy Spirit produces repentance in his soul through the truth. No man believes the Gospel and rests in it for his own salvation until he has judged himself as a needy sinner before God. And this is repentance.” (Except Ye Repent, p. 16) [emphasis added]

Amen! We don't give up our sins TO BE saved, we give up our sins because WE ARE saved, and that requires time to grow in God's grace (1st Peter 2:2). Ephesians 2:10 says that believers are “created in Christ Jesus unto good works,” not by good works. Faith is the only righteous thing that I can do!

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.”

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