In Defence of Dr. John R. Rice Concerning Salvation

By David J. Stewart | January 2018

 John 6:47, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”

       Evangelist John R. Rice (1895-1980) was a legend in his time, beloved by tens of thousands of Christians worldwide, and still is today. In 2013 I was visiting the city of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and I drove along “John R. Rice Blvd,” which was inspirational for me. Dr. Jack Hyles loved and admired Dr. Rice, who was 31 years older than Brother Hyles, and a mentor to him. I thank God for Dr. Rice and the Sword Of The Lord ministry that he started in 1934, which is still faithfully serving the Lord Jesus Christ today. I recommend that you buy books from them.

Some false prophets have unjustly attacked the Sword of the Lord on their doctrinal position. One popular critic is Evangelist David W. Cloud in Canada, who has accused Dr. Rice's successor Dr. Curtin Hutson (1934-1995) of perverting the Gospel, of redefining what it means to “repent,” and of teaching something drastically different than his predecessor. I agree with Dr. Hutson 100%! I do admire David Cloud for his zeal and fighting spirit, but I am convinced that he is not saved from analyzing his corrupt view of repentance. I like David Cloud, but as a preacher I have to expose him for teaching heresy. Respectfully, I believe he wrongly divides the word of truth.

In this article, I am going to share some quotes with you from Dr. Rice, that will prove that he didn't teach that a person must forsake sinful behavior to be saved. But first let me establish that David Cloud is unjustly attacking some of the greatest soul-winners of our time. On Mr. Cloud's website, in his article titled, “John Rice, Lester Roloff, Repentance, and Sloppy Soul Winning,” he quotes the following statement from Brother Rice:

John R. Rice, 1940 - “To repent literally means to have a change of mind or spirit toward God and toward sin. IT MEANS TO TURN FROM YOUR SINS, earnestly, with all your heart, and trust in Jesus Christ to save you. You can see, then, how the man who believes in Christ repents and the man who repents believes in Christ. The jailer repented when he turned from sin to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ” (What Must I Do to Be Saved? 1940).

SOURCE: Way Of Life Literature; Article titled, John Rice, Lester Roloff, Repentance, and Sloppy Soul Winning (February 2017).

As do most false prophets, Mr. Cloud cherry-picks the words of great men, in a feeble attempt to bolster his strawman argument that turning away from sins is required to be saved. May I say, we are saved by believing not by repenting, but no one has ever believed who didn't repent. Biblically, “repentance” is a change of mind. It is an open-ended term, meaning it applies to anything and everything that hinders a person from believing the Gospel. Of what must a man repent to be saved? He must repent of anything and everything that is hindering him from doing the one thing that saves a man—BELIEVING THE GOOD NEWS of Christ crucified, buried and risen!

Personally, I do not like the terminology that Dr. Rice uses. I wouldn't have worded things that way. One thing that Dr. Rice stresses again and again, is to look to the Scriptures, and not one's feelings. Well, there is NOTHING in the Scriptures about “turning from sins” to be saved. Turning away from sin to be saved is a manmade concept, not found in the Bible. David Cloud's favorite pet Scripture is Acts 20:21, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” David Cloud often tries to separate repentance from faith in Acts 20:21, but he is ignorant of the Greek language. There is something called Granville Sharp's Rule Of Greek Exegesis, which proves that repentance is “toward” faith in Christ Jesus, and not two separate acts. In other words, we repent TO believe, we don't repent AND believe. Carefully notice that repentance is not FROM anything; but rather, it is TOWARD God, even our Lord Jesus Christ. That is, we repent unto the Gospel.

I have a helpful book in front of me, authored by Dr. John R. Rice in 1962, titled, “Dr. Rice, Here Is My Question...” On page 248 he answers the question, “Is Repentance Still Necessary To Salvation?” Dr. Rice makes the following statement, which David Cloud would love. And I must kindly say, Dr. Rice was a mere mortal man, whose writings are not inspired as are God's in the Holy Bible. I have spent much time studying Dr. Rice's teachings and am convinced that he is saved, and never intended for anyone to forsake sinful behavior to be saved; but rather, A CHANGED LIFE IS THE RESULT OF THE RIGHT KIND OF FAITH, WHICH BRINGS THE INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT...

Repentance is inseparable from faith. The Greek word for repentance in the Bible simply means a change of mind; that is, a wholesome change of attitude toward sin and toward God. One who turns his heart to trust Christ has, naturally, turned his heart away from the love of sin. How could one love the Lord Jesus and long to please Him without turning in his heart away from sin, or in other words, repenting from sins? Repentance is not sorrow alone, through the Scripture says that, “godly sorrow worketh repentance” (II Cor. 7:10). One who is really sorry for the sin, sorry with a godly sorrow, will repent; that is, will turn his heart to trust Christ and love God.

SOURCE: Dr. John R. Rice; “Dr. Rice, Here Is My Question...”, pg. 248; Sword Of The Lord Publishers, © 1962.

Please don't miss that last statement, which clearly reveals Dr. Rice's doctrinal intent. The person who REPENTS... “WILL TURN HIS HEART TO TRUST CHRIST AND LOVE GOD.” So the object of repentance, as Dr. Rice understood it, is to BELIEVE THE GOSPEL, not to reform or clean up one's life of sin. If a person has an agenda beforehand, as does Mr. Cloud, then he will view Dr. Rice's writings through a filter, only seeing what he chooses to see. Now, taken by itself, which is what Mr. Cloud deceitfully does, this quote can easily be used to say that John Rice believed a person must turn away from sinful behavior to be saved. But now I am going to quote the next question in Dr. Rice's book, which plainly shows that he DIDN'T believe what David Cloud is claiming, that is, that to be saved a person must effectively turn away from sinful behavior. Dr. Rice plainly teaches that the person who is truly sorry for their sins will BELIEVE THE GOSPEL. That is the focus, not holy living.

Dr. Rices continues to answer the same question,

It is a mistake to make a process out of salvation with repentance and faith as separate steps. They are really different parts of the same step or different ways of speaking of the same attitude of heart. One who repents, that is, has turned from rebellion and unbelief to trust Christ, has believed, of course. One who trusts in Christ has necessarily turned his heart from rebellion and rejection of Christ and so has repented.

There are several clear statements that all who are ever saved must repent—that repentance is necessary to salvation. Jesus said in Luke 24:47, “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Repentance then is for all nations and that is included in the Gospel to be preached to all the world, according to the Great Commission.

Paul preached the same thing at Athens among the Gentiles. In Acts 17:30 he said, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.”

God commands all men everywhere to repent, and no one can ever be saved without repentance. But that does not involve a process, a protracted mourning. It means turning from sin to trust Christ. [emphasis added]

SOURCE: Dr. John R. Rice; “Dr. Rice, Here Is My Question...”, pg. 248-249; Sword Of The Lord Publishers, © 1962.

Again, carefully notice that Dr. Rice says repentance “means turning from sin to trust Christ.” The object is TRUSTING CHRIST, not forsaking sinful behavior. Dr. Rice never says that a person must give up sinful ways to be saved, which would constitute works. Preachers have wrangled over the meaning of repentance for millenniums, but the only thing we need to know is that salvation comes, “TO SAVE THEM THAT BELIEVE” (1st Corinthians 1:21b).

Salvation is a New Birth, Not a Process

The word “repent” in the Bible means “a change of mind,” or “to think differently.” Therefore, repentance means to turn from WRONG THINKING to believe the Gospel. Repentance is not a separate event from faith, which Dr. Rices understands, although they are not the same thing. Again, Dr. Rice says,

It is a mistake to make a process out of salvation with repentance and faith as separate steps. They are really different parts of the same step or different ways of speaking of the same attitude of heart. One who repents, that is, has turned from rebellion and unbelief to trust Christ, has believed, of course. One who trusts in Christ has necessarily turned his heart from rebellion and rejection of Christ and so has repented.

SOURCE: Dr. John R. Rice; “Dr. Rice, Here Is My Question...”, pg. 248-249; Sword Of The Lord Publishers, © 1962.

This is drastically different from what Evangelist Paul Washer is teaching, who says that you cannot write down (in your Bible) your name, date and place that you were born-again. To Paul Washer, salvation is an ongoing process, to where no one can ever feel safe who is living in intentional sin in their life. Evangelist Ray Comfort teaches the exact same heresy.

I've even heard this Calvinistic theological garbage on Pacific Garden Mission's radio program called, “Unshackled.” I was listening to Unshackled one night while driving, and I heard the program's narrator say that you cannot merely write down your name, date and place you were saved; but he said, you must repent and continue repenting throughout your life to really be saved. That is a false gospel! Some people resent the idea that a person can simply profess faith in the Gospel of Christ, but then continue indulging in their sins, and claim eternal security. Well, like it or not, every believer continues in sin. The apostle Paul was arguably one of the greatest Christians who ever lived, yet we read in Romans 7:14-25 that he continually struggled with sin in his life.

Salvation is Based Upon God's Promise to Save Them That Believe, Not Human Performance

So if a believer must hate sin, how much can they not hate sin before they are lost? It is a large grey area. The very idea of having to turn from sins to be saved, or to be willing to turn from sins to be saved, opens up a massive canyon of uncertainty, fear and grey area. In sharp contrast, the simplicity that is in Christ, which is the Gospel, guarantees eternal life to “WHOSOEVER” believes. John 3:16, “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.” Salvation is based solely upon the promise of our great God, and not upon human performance.

Here is the best quote that I've found on repentance, by Dr. 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)

The only thing that we need to repent from to be saved is UNBELIEF. Do we have to realize our sinful condition to be saved? Of course, yes! But there is not one verse in the entire Bible which requires a person to forsake sin to be saved. Nor does the Bible give anyone God's permission to commit sin just because they are saved (Romans 3:31). Every time Jesus forgave someone and healed them, it was only AFTERWARDS that He said... “Go and sin no more.” John 5:14, "Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee." Repentance simply means “a change of mind.” Believers change our minds every day about all kinds of things, including the sins in our life. Repenting of sins throughout one's Christian life is solely a matter of DISCIPLESHIP, not SALVATION. It is a matter of growing in the Lord's grace (1st Peter 2:2), as we yield to the Holy Spirit's leading in obedience to the Holy Scriptures (2nd Corinthians 10:5).

The Five Dangers of Calvinism | Part Two (MP3's by Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold)

Thus, we don't give up our sins to become a Christian (Romans 3:20); rather, we forsake our sins because we are a Christian (Romans 12:1-2). There are no prerequisites or conditions for salvation (Galatians 3:2). God will save any guilty sinner who trusts upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ for salvation (Romans 10:13).

To clarify, I personally do not believe that being sorry for one's sins is required to be saved, because sorrow is a “feeling.” A man may acknowledge that he is a guilty sinner in God's sight, but not feel remorse or guilt over those sins yet. The Holy Spirit only begins to work upon changing a man once he is “in Christ” (2nd Corinthians 5:17). The only requirement to be saved is to admit one's sinnership and believe the Gospel. 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.”

On page 249 Dr. Rice answers the common question (that I receive quite a bit from web visitors), which is, “I once asked the Lord to save me and set out to live for Him. But then I fell into sin. Now I wonder if I have ever really been saved.” Dr. Rice states:

The way to know that you have been saved is to take what the Bible says about it.

  1. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom 10:13). If you called on God for mercy and salvation, then He saved you.

  2. Jesus said, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). If in your heart you came to Christ, He did not turn you down, but saved you.

  3. In James 4:8 the Lord says, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” Surely He meant that if in your intentions, in your desire, in your choice you sought God, then God was near. When you drew nigh to God, He drew nigh to you.

Your trouble is evidently that you have been taught that one can know he is saved by certain feelings. If any of us has to feel worthy of salvation in order to be saved, then no one would ever be saved. It dishonors Christ and His plain words when you decide to go by your feelings instead of by what the Bible says.

For example, again I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If you are willing to take God's Word for it, then the moment you honestly admitted your failure and sin to Christ, honestly turned your heart from sin to Him, that sin was blotted out and forgiven. The way we are to know that is because the Bible says so.

The truth is that the feelings you speak of are not the feelings of a lost sinner. I have dealt with multiplied thousands of people, and again and again I find people who are greatly troubled, want forgiveness, cry and pray and do not feel that they are saved. In every case they are people who have made a profession, but fell into some sin perhaps, or they did not feel as they expected to feel and so they will not take what God says, but go by their own judgment and go by their own feelings or judge by their own lives. No, there is no way to assurance of salvation unless you are willing to take what God's Word says about it.

First John 5:13 says, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” You see, knowledge of salvation comes by the Bible.

The way you feel is the way Peter felt when he went out and wept bitterly after denying Christ. He was saved, but he had done wrong and felt guilty. The way you feel is the way Lot felt when he “vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds” down in Sodom (II Pet. 2:6-8). People who have truly been born again and do not live right then can't feel happy, of course. They feel rebuke in their hearts. They feel unrest and shame. Saved people do not feel right when they do not act right.

SOURCE: Dr. John R. Rice; “Dr. Rice, Here Is My Question...”, pgs. 249-251; Sword Of The Lord Publishers, © 1962.

By careful examination, it is clear to me that Dr. Rice did not believe or teach that reformation was a requirement to be saved. Dr. Rice never tells the reader to examine their life, to see if any sins remain. Evangelist Ray Comfort errantly teaches people in The Evidence Bible (see his commentary for Matthew 7:22-23) that if a professed believer still lusts and tells lies, they have never repented and are not saved. This is a false gospel. Notice carefully the THREE POINTS that Dr. Rice gave above to KNOW that you are saved. None of them deals with turning from sins or repentance. It is important to give Dr. Rice credit from the preceding words, that he concedes that a born-again believer can backslide into sin and still be securely saved. I am tired of hearing corrupt preachers say that if a professed Christian is still living in gross sin, that they are not saved. That is what Mr. Cloud teaches.

David Cloud accuses Dr. Jack Hyles and Dr. Curtis Hutson of redefining what it means to “repent,” but that is a false accusation. Many men of God, including Evangelist Alexander Marshall (1846-1928) plainly taught in the 19th century the same exact understanding of repentance as Dr. Hyles and Dr. Hutson did. And for that matter, so does the Holy Bible! Dr. Rice DIDN'T believe that it was necessary to clean up one's life to be saved; but rather, that the awfulness of one's sins would be the very reason they turned to Christ to be saved. There is a fine dividing line between true salvation and works salvation, and it is clearly marked by the requirement to forsake even one sin to be saved.

And please consider that throughout the Gospel of John, which is God's Gospel tract (John 20:31), never a word of “repentance” is mentioned. In John we find the words “believe” and “believeth” 85 times, but no mention of the word “repent” is found. There is no mention of forsaking one's sins; but rather, simply to BELIEVE on the Son of God. John chapter 19 tells of the Lord's crucifixion and burial. John 20 tells us about His glorious resurrection the third day. In other words, the Gospel.

Dr. Rice Was Neither A Calvinist Nor An Arminian

On page 253 Dr. Rice answers the question, “Are you mildly Calvinistic in doctrine or what are your views on this subject?” Dr. Rice states:

I am neither Calvinistic nor Arminian. By that I mean that I do not believe that anybody is predestinated to be lost. I do not believe that anybody is predestinated to be saved except as he turns to Christ in repentance and faith. So I am not a genuine Calvinist. On the other hand, I do believe that people are saved by grace, not of works, and that they are kept the same way, wholly on the merits of Christ's atoning blood. I do not believe people deserve salvation and do not believe they can earn it or keep it. I believe God gives salvation free and that it is all of grace. So I believe God saves people and changes their hearts and makes them into children of God and then keeps His own children. So I am not an Arminian. Why not just follow the Bible instead of following either Calvin or Arminius?

SOURCE: Dr. John R. Rice; “Dr. Rice, Here Is My Question...”, pgs. 253-254; Sword Of The Lord Publishers, © 1962.

I agree with everything Dr. Rice just said. I do not follow John Calvin nor Jacob Arminius. They were just men, both somewhat flawed in their doctrine, especially Mr. Calvin. Arminius taught that salvation could be lost. Calvin taught that Jesus only died for Christians. These are not biblical ideas. So, clearly, Dr. Rice did not believe in Calvin's heresy of the “perseverance of the saints” (i.e., if you are saved you will persevere in holy living). Brother Rice, like myself, believed in the preservation of the saints. Amen!

Dr. Rice Clearly Believed That Salvation Was By Grace Without Works

On page 256 Dr. Rice answers the question, “Would you explain James 17, 20, 26? Is one saved by faith and works?” I am skipping most of the answer, going directly to page 257, where Dr. Rice states:

Now be sure to note the great distinction between being justified in the sight of men, and being justified in the sight of God. People are justified in the sight of men by works. It is only as men see our outward lives that they will count us just men. And so in man's sight we are justified by works. We show our faith by our works.

But in God's sight it is an entirely different matter. God sees the heart. So Galatians 3:11 says: “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.”

Remember that one is really saved and justified in the sight of God when he trusts Christ in the heart. One is saved by faith without works.

...Then, according to the Scriptures, one is instantly forgiven and counted just in God's sight when he trusts in his heart. But he only proves to men that he is just or is counted just in men's sight only as he shows his faith by his outward works.

The dying thief was truly converted, hanging on the cross, though he never was justified in men's sight. He went home to Paradise with Jesus that day. On the other hand, men count many a lost man just, as the Pharisees were counted just and good, by their outward lives, though they had never been born again.

Christians are saved and justified in God's sight by simple faith without works. But they ought also to prove themselves Christians by the way they live, and so to be justified in the sight of men.

Read Romans 4:1-8 carefully, and you will see that one is saved without works, also Ephesians 2:8, 9 which says the same thing.

SOURCE: Dr. John R. Rice; “Dr. Rice, Here Is My Question...”, pg. 258; Sword Of The Lord Publishers, © 1962.

Clearly, Dr. Rice did NOT believe that turning away from one's sinful lifestyle (or deathstyle) was required to become a born again believer. Dr. Rice simply believed, as I do, that a person must see their need for the Savior. No man has ever been saved who didn't admit that he is a sinner. Christ died to save us from our sins! Matthew 1:21, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” So, unless a person turns to Christ in the awareness that he or she is a woeful sinner in God's sight, they are not really coming to Christ for salvation.

Dr. Jack Hyles refers to this as “The Sin Question/Son Question.” To be saved, both questions must be answered. Salvation is not admitting that one is a sinner and turning over a new leaf to live right. The Son question must be answered. Likewise, salvation is not merely trusting Jesus. The sin question must be answered. You've got to admit that you are a sinner!

Here is Pastor Jack Hyles in his own words...

The big question is the sin question. Something must be done with the sins of man before fellowship with God can be restored. The only way to solve the sin question is to solve the Son question. When one receives the Son, the Son receives his sin and the sinner receives the righteousness of God and stands before God now and forever righteous because he is clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ that has been imputed to man in response to man's faith and reception of Jesus.

SOURCE: Dr. Jack Hyles, “Imputation At Salvation”; from the Book, “Salvation Is More Than Being Saved.”

God's plan of salvation is this—I am a sinner, and so are you. We deserve to be punished for our sins in a burning Hell forever. That is the bad news! But the Good News (aka, the Gospel) is that God in His unconditional love has provided a sacrifice for our sins, His only begotten Son, Jesus. The sinless Christ died on the cross to pay for our massive debt of sin. He was buried and three days later He miraculously resurrected from the dead for our justification. Anyone who acknowledges being a guilty sinner in the sight of our holy God, and by faith (trust) receives Christ's sacrifice on the cross as full-payment for their sins, is immediately and forever saved. It is that simple. If what I just said from the Bible is your only hope for forgiveness of sins, eternal life and Heaven, you are saved!

The Simple Gospel According To The Bible

Repentance is from Wrong Thoughts to Believing the Gospel

John 3:19-20 says, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” God does not require a man to choose between his sins or the Savior; but rather, the lost man chooses his sins despite (in defiance of) the Savior, and the repentant man comes to Christ despite (in defiance of) his sins. Mark 1:15b, “repent ye, and believe the gospel.” The man who repents has judged himself as being a needy sinner in God's sight, and so he believes the Gospel. Romans 4:5 says that God saves “THE UNGODLY.” That is the only type of person that qualifies for salvation.

Evangelist Jack Chick teaches in his cartoon tracts that a person must “be willing to turn from sin” to be saved. That is not biblical. I triple-dog dare you to show me one Scripture from the Bible which says to “turn from sin” to be saved. We are saved by trusting Christ alone, not by repenting from sins. The lost man will not come to Christ at all, “lest his sins be reproved” (spoken negatively of - John 3:20b). Repentance is changing one's mind from wrong thoughts to believing the Gospel. We don't repent AND believe, we repent TO believe. Repentance is always unto the Gospel itself.

I have witnessed to lost people who were very honest with me, saying that they didn't want to get saved, knowing that God would expect them to live right as His child. I explained that salvation was a free gift, and they didn't have to give up any sins to be saved. But they understood that once you get born-again, God's Holy Spirit comes to indwell the believer, and they didn't want that conviction. That is exactly what John 3:20 teaches. The unsaved person who loves their sins, won't come to the light to be saved. In contrast, when a person repents, they have changed their mind and now readily admit their sinnership, otherwise they would never come to Christ by faith in the Good News (i.e., Gospel) to be saved. This does not mean that a person will forsake their sins, or even be willing to forsake their sins; it just means that they have judged them self as being a guilty sinner in the sight of God, thus seeing their great need for the Savior (Galatians 3:24-26). Romans 3:20b, “for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” The only role of the LAW in salvation is to show a person their sinfulness, so that they will see their need for Jesus Christ. We are saved by GRACE!

This is what Dr. Rice is talking about when he says, “One who turns his heart to trust Christ has, naturally, turned his heart away from the love of sin.” He is not saying that a person must forsake any wrong behavior to receive the gift of eternal life, which would be a false plan of salvation. A man can still choose to live in sin, but hate his sins and feel guilty about them. And if a man is a born-again Christian, he will feel conviction from the Holy Spirit about the sins in his life (Hebrews 12:6-8). Granted, even a Christian can become “hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13) so that sin no longer seems as awful as it really is. The Word of God makes sin “exceedingly sinful” (Romans 7:13). The opposite of John 3:20 is repentance! Evil is willful sin. The man who loves evil won't get saved. Repentance is a man judging himself as a needy sinner, which is necessary if he is to believe the Gospel and be saved. John 3:20 says that people who love evil won't come to the light to be saved, “lest their deeds should be reproved.”

So in view of these biblical truths, and Dr. Rice's teachings, it should be obvious that Dr. Rice would not have agreed with David Clouds false teachings. To compare for the sake of simplicity—Dr. Rice emphasizes believing the Gospel; whereas Mr. Cloud emphasizes getting the sin out of your life. In all that Dr. Rice says about turning away from sin with all your heart, it is always with the goal of believing the Gospel to get saved; but with Mr. Cloud, all that he says about the Gospel is always for the goal of getting the sin out of your life. Kindly, Mr. Cloud has it backwards! Folks, God saves you and then the Holy Spirit changes you! That is how God's plan works. Mr. Cloud's perverted plan is quite different, where you must be willing to reform to be saved.

Brother Rice's emphasis is ALWAYS upon BELIEVING THE GOSPEL, never upon cleaning up one's life of sin. Respectfully, Mr. Cloud is focusing in the wrong place. Our focus ought to be upon getting people to admit their sinnership and then believe the Gospel, not get them to commit to reforming their behavior and then believe the Gospel.

Turning from sins is a work. It creates an unbearable atmosphere of fear and uncertainty, to where a person is constantly afraid they are not saved because of the sins in their life. You should see the letters that I receive from people. One man said that he contemplated suicide because of Ray Comfort's teachings, fearing that he was not saved, because no matter how hard he tried to live right, he failed. But then he stumbled across my website in a search engine and learned the truth, thanking me. Folks, we ALL go into sin at times. Proverbs 24:16, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” We ALL have sins in our life, because we are sinners by nature and by choice. At best we can hope to live above reproach, but no one can live above sin.

If you understand what Dr. Rice is truly teaching, it is this...

You don't turn from your sins to be saved.
You don't turn from your sins AND believe the Gospel to be saved. (This is what David Cloud teaches)
You turn to the Gospel from your sins to be saved. (This is what Dr. Rice is saying).

Remember, Dr. Rice plainly says that repentance and faith are NOT two separate steps to salvation; but rather, two parts of the same step. ...

It is a mistake to make a process out of salvation with repentance and faith as separate steps. They are really different parts of the same step or different ways of speaking of the same attitude of heart. One who repents, that is, has turned from rebellion and unbelief to trust Christ, has believed, of course. One who trusts in Christ has necessarily turned his heart from rebellion and rejection of Christ and so has repented. [emphasis added]

SOURCE: Dr. John R. Rice; “Dr. Rice, Here Is My Question...”, pg. 248-249; Sword Of The Lord Publishers, © 1962.

This is very different than what David Cloud is teaching, where he says repentance and faith are separate steps. I heard Pastor Charles Lawson foolishly say that professed believers who are living in gross sin have never repented, and he says, they are not saved. Clearly, he views repentance as being a separate act from believing, otherwise he could never make such a statement. Therefore, if a professed believer is living in gross sin, we must biblically conclude that they are either immature in the Lord (1st Corinthians 3:1) or backslidden (Proverbs 14:14), but they are still saved (Romans 5:20). Remember, the Bible teaches that believers who have lived wasted lives of sin and shame will receive no rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ, barely escaping Hell. 1st Corinthians 3:15, “If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” If repentance were a separate act from faith, then this man could not be saved at all. Hence, we repent unto the Gospel. We don't turn away from sins AND believe the Gospel. The latter is a false gospel. The former is true salvation. We are saved by believing the Gospel!!!

Salvation is a Free Gift By Faith in Jesus Christ

So when Dr. Rice speaks about “turning from sin with all your heart,” he only means as it relates to believing the Gospel, which is abundantly clear in all his writings. Don't read too much into his words. People make the same mistake of reading too much into the Scriptures, fabricating new and strange doctrines that God never intended. This whole matter of “turning from sins” is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. You cannot show me anything in the Bible about “turning from sins” to be saved. Acts 20:21 speaks of “repentance toward God,” not from anything. Well-meaning pastors will say silly things like, “We'll, you can't turn 'to' something without turning 'from' something.” Okay, that is true, but since the object in getting saved is to turn to the Gospel, it is dangerous territory to entertain the idea of having to turn from something to be saved. There is no biblical requirement to turn from anything to be saved. This is what I mean by “reading too much” into things, which David Cloud and others are doing.

In everything that Dr. John R. Rice has ever written, it is clear to me that he has always intended for the reader to BELIEVE THE GOSPEL to be saved, without works, without anything else being required. ...

I do believe that people are saved by grace, not of works, and that they are kept the same way, wholly on the merits of Christ's atoning blood. I do not believe people deserve salvation and do not believe they can earn it or keep it. I believe God gives salvation free and that it is all of grace.

SOURCE: Dr. John R. Rice; “Dr. Rice, Here Is My Question...”, pg. 254; Sword Of The Lord Publishers, © 1962.

And again Brother Rice says,

Remember that one is really saved and justified in the sight of God when he trusts Christ in the heart. One is saved by faith without works. ...Then, according to the Scriptures, one is instantly forgiven and counted just in God's sight when he trusts in his heart.

SOURCE: Dr. John R. Rice; “Dr. Rice, Here Is My Question...”, pg. 258; Sword Of The Lord Publishers, © 1962.

Anyone who claims that Dr. Rice taught a different Gospel than Pastor Jack Hyles and Dr. Curtis Hutson is a liar!

And in closing, may I kindly say, I have read many horrible statements from Dr. Oliver B. Greene that he made throughout the 1960's about having to turn from sinful living to be saved; BUT, in 1970 he wrote the most amazing book, “The New Birth” (I address this issue in this article), in which he DIDN'T even mention one word about repentance or turning from sins to be saved. It is clear to me that he changed his beliefs in 1970, likely due to much criticism he received for his false teachings. That is my opinion. I admit that Brother Rice pushes the limit at times with his words, but upon careful examination, as I have just shared with you, I am fully convinced that Dr. Rice was truly saved, and also Dr. Oliver B. Greene.

We must remember that preachers are mere mortal, flawed, men, completely capable of theological error and sin. Behind every pulpit is a human being. I challenge you to be careful about looking to men as a secondary authority when deciding doctrine, and always look solely to the Word of God when making your final conclusions. Again, there is nothing said in the Word of God about having to “turn from sin” to be saved. It is a manmade doctrine, rooted in the religion of Cain. The sole purpose of God's LAW in salvation is to give men “the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20), so that we will place our trust in Jesus Christ and be saved by God's GRACE. Galatians 3:24-26, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

My dear friend, if you never stray away from the truth that salvation is a “free gift” from God (Romans 5:15), paid for by the precious blood of Jesus (1st Peter 1:18-19), then Satan cannot deceive you (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4)! A gift is something that you simply receive (Romans 6:23), with no strings attached nor obligations (Romans 4:5). Kindly, what David Cloud, Ray Comfort, Paul Washer, Jon Piper, Rick Warren, Chip Ingram, Paris Reidhead, Billy Graham and John MacArthur are teaching requires something from you, which negates the very idea of a “gift.” If a person must be willing to turn away from pet sins to be saved, then salvation becomes a very difficult proposition. May I say, a gift is a TAKE proposition, not a GIVE proposition. Salvation is receiving, not achieving. Salvation is receiving, not giving. A gift is something that has already been paid for, so that it costs you NOTHING. If you have to stop drinking booze, fornicating, stealing or committing any other sins to be born-again, then it CANNOT genuinely be a gift!

Have You Freely Received The Gift of Eternal Life!


The holy King James Bible is inspired!!!

The Superiority Of The King James Translators | 2 | 3 | 4 (excellent, Pastor Max D. Younce)

“Every word in this Bible is inspired by God almighty!”
—Dr. Jack Hyles (a great quote from the classic sermon, “A Friend At Midnight.”)


Dr. James Sightler: Defender Of The Inspiration Of The King James Bible!

Psalms 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”

“The only inspired Words of God are in the King James Bible!”
—Dr. Jack Hyles (an awesome quote —Dr. Jack Hyles (THE REAL BATTLE!”)

“And brother, any time anybody ever casts any reflection upon the accuracy and the inspiration—verbal inspiration—of this Bible, I'll guarantee you he was inspired by the demons. I'll guarantee you! I don't care if he's got a 'reverend' in front of his name. I don't care if he has a clerical collar on. I don't care what school he's been to. He's of the Devil if he says that the Bible is not verbally inspired by God! —Dr. Jack Hyles, a great quote from the awesome MP3 sermon titled, “Satan's masterpiece.”

BATTLE OF THE AGES (MP3 by Dr. Hyles, “The King James Bible crowd is going to come out on top!”)

“The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.” ―Elie Wiesel

I am appalled at the indifference amongst professed Christians today concerning the corrupting of God's Word. They just don't care which Bible is God's Word. I'm talking about thousands of shameful apostate religious colleges today, that are INDIFFERENT toward the hundreds of perverted English Bibles, all of which are the Devil's way of depriving people of the true and pure Word of God. Consequently, there are many false plans of salvations being taught in the churches today, mainly the heresy of manmade repentance, aka, Lordship Salvation. Here is a truthful quote from Pastor Jack Hyles...

“God has a special rebuke, again and again and again in the Bible,
toward those people who keep their neutrality in the work of God!”
—SOURCE: Dr. Jack Hyles, a quote from the great MP3 sermon, “Where Were You In The Battle?

“The Lord gave the word: great was the company
of those that published it.”
—Psalms 68:11

“How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
—Psalms 119:103

3rd John 1:8, “We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.”

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places
you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”
―John Wesley

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

“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

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