Program#L6—“The Theological Adventures of Johnny Lukewarm andPastor Loophole:  Salvation by Grace”

------------------------

Radio Show Transcript, © 2001, Persuade TheWorld Ministries, Gordon James Klingenschmitt, Servant.  Copyingand distribution (without editing) is highly encouraged. 

-------------------------

<Manymore transcripts and free MP3 radio shows CLICK HERE>

-------------------------

Opening introduction by MarkMcWilliams…

Welcome and thank you for joining this radiobroadcast of Persuade The World Ministries.  You’reabout to hear our radio production of the book written and taughtby Gordon James Klingenschmitt, entitled “License To Sin,The Number One Reason America Is Losing Its MoralFoundation.”  If you call us in the next hour,we’ll mail you a free cassette tape of today’sbroadcast, which you can copy and give to your friends.  Justcall our toll-free phone number:  866-Obey-God.  That’stoll free, 1-866-O-B-E-Y-G-O-D.  Gordon JamesKlingenschmitt is a graduate of the United States Air ForceAcademy, and a seminary graduate of Regent University, holdingboth M.B.A. and Master of Divinity degrees.  He’s alsothe founder and servant of Persuade The World Ministries, a501(c3) tax-exempt religious non-profit corporation in ColoradoSprings, dedicated to persuading individuals in America andthroughout the world to forsake their sins and submit theirhearts and minds to the loving rulership of our Lord, JesusChrist.  And now with today’s teaching, here is GordonJames Klingenschmitt. 

-------------------------------

Teaching by Gordon JamesKlingenschmitt…

Thanks Mark.  Today we continue ourmini-drama entitled “The Theological Adventures of JohnnyLukewarm and Pastor Loophole.”  You may remember ourcharacters, Johnny Lukewarm, and Pastor Loophole from our lastbroadcast.  But before we re-introduce these two characters,let’s read again from 2nd Timothy chapter 3. “For the time will come when men will not put up withsound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, theywill gather around them a great number of teachers tosay what their itching ears want to hear.  Theywill turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside tomyths.”  People often turn to counselors who tellthem what their itching ears want to hear.  As is the casewith our character, Johnny Lukewarm, who comes into PastorLoophole’s office to get advice…

           (Lower) “Please have a seat, Johnny.  What seems to bebothering you today?” 

           Johnny’s brow furrows with concern.  (Higher)“Pastor Loophole, I’m very upset about this particularpassage of scripture.  It seems as though God is commandingme to do something I really don’t want to do.  Do Ireally have to repent, and stop sinning, and obey God?  Oris there some other alternative? 

           (Lower) “Why, certainly there is, Johnny, you just relax. I can offer you dozens of alternatives, and give you very logicalreasons why you don’t have to obey God.” 

           (Higher) “Oh, thank goodness.  For a minute there, Ithought I’d actually have to change my behavior and obeyGod!”  Johnny breathes a sigh of relief.  He sitsforward eagerly, with his itching ears searching for some escapefrom the Holy Spirit’s conviction.  But the Spirit ofGod is grieved away, and He slowly withdraws his conviction fromJohnny’s life. 

 

(Start) And afterre-defining mercy, love, and truth, Pastor Loophole continues hisexcuses with Loophole #4, entitled “Salvation by gracethrough faith, not by works.”

So Here’s Loophole #4: 

           (Lower) “Johnny, it says here in Ephesians chapter two,‘For it is by grace you have been saved,through faith—and this not fromyourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works,so that no one can boast.’ [1]  Now you’ve gotto understand the proper meaning of these words, Johnny.  Solisten carefully to my definitions.  Salvation, Grace,Faith, and Works.  If you just re-define these four words,and you’ll never have to give up your favorite sins.” 

           (Lower) “First let’s re-define the word Salvation. Salvation.  Hmm.  Salvation from what, Johnny?  Whatdid Jesus come to save you from?  I think Jesus came to saveyou from God.  In other words, Jesus came to rescue ussinners from God’s angry wrath, even if we don’trepent.  That’s why Jesus died on the cross, so Godwould never be angry with us, even if we continue to enjoy oursins.  Because of what Jesus did on the cross, sinnerscan’t go to hell anymore. 

God doesn’t look at your sins anymore,he only looks at what Jesus did for you on the cross.  Goddoesn’t even notice your sins.  He just sees a Jesusmask over your face.  That way, you can go to heaven, evenwhile you continue to enjoy your sins.  Now that’s agreat way to define the word salvation, isn’t it?” 

 

TIME OUT !!  Let’s look at thescriptures, and analyze Pastor Loophole’s advice.  Let’srightly divide the word of truth, and separate the truth from thelies in the advice given by Pastor Loophole.  First, I wantto acknowledge the true part.  It’s true that “Itis by grace you have been saved,through faith—and this not fromyourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works,so that no one can boast.” [2]  No argument here. That’s the Biblical description of how God saves us. 

           But the lie is that Jesus came to save us from God, or fromGod’s anger, or from God’s wrath.  Here’s thetruth to replace that lie:  Jesus didn’t come to saveus from God’s anger about our sins.  Instead, Jesuscame to save us and separate us from our deadly sinsthemselves! 

The Bible says Godtold Joseph to give him the name Jesus, (which means the LORDsaves) because he will save his people from their sins.[3] Johnny Lukewarm, if you’re out there listening, has Jesusever saved you from your deadly sins?  

           Again, from what terrible danger must sinners be set free?  TheBible says you have been set free from sinand have become slaves to God, the benefityou reap leads to holiness, and the resultis eternal life.[4] Johnny Lukewarm, have you somehow reaped eternal life, withoutfirst having been set free from sin into holiness?

           And again, the blood Jesus shed on the cross, what does it do? Does it shield us from God’s anger about our sins?  No,the Bible says, Jesus freed us from our sinsby his blood.[5]  That’swhy Christ’s blood is so important, because it can free usfrom our deadly sins. 

           Jesus didn’t come just to save you from hellfire, orpunishment, or God’s Holy Wrath.  If He had, He’dbe opposing God, who has every right to be angry when you sinagainst Him. 

No, it’s far more important to be savedfrom your deadly sins than to be saved from hell.  Why? Because hell does not offend God nearly as much as our sinsdo. 

           Listen to this quote from Charles Finney, written in 1850:  “Salvationconsists in being saved from sin; and the reason why agreat many persons are not saved is that they are unwilling toaccept salvation on such a condition—they are unwilling togive up their sins…Some individuals will spend much time inpraying for pardon while they indulge themselves in sin…theyare seeking comfort while they refuse to be holy…such peopleknow nothing at all of the gospel!  They make Christ theminister of sin!  They seem to think that Christ came tojustify them in their sin instead of saving them fromit….In support of this monstrous idea, they will even appealto the Scriptures.  They found justification in theatonement; now, this work of Christ can never be imputed to anyman in such a sense as to justify him while he remains in sin! Justification in sin is a thing impossible!  Now howcan a man be pardoned and justified before he repents andbelieves!  It is impossible!…Now, who does not knowthat the true Christian is more afraid of sin than of punishment? Yes, and a great deal more!”[6]    

You can’tcontinue to sin, while claiming that Jesus has saved you.  TheBible says You know that he appeared so thathe might take away our sins…No one wholives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin haseither seen him or known him. [7]  So if you continue to sin,then Jesus hasn’t taken away your sins!  You’venever known Christ the Savior who takes away the sins of theworld !  So let me ask you, has Jesus taken away yoursins, or hasn’t he?  Then why do you continue to enjoythem? 

Again, salvationfrom hell is just a side effect, but first Jesus came to save youand separate you from your deadly sins.  Ifyou’ve never been separated from your sins, there’sonly one reason:  You’ve rejected the Savior.  You’vewillfully refused to be saved by Him, because you love your sinsmore than you love God. 

If you really knewhow terribly dangerous your sins are, you’d reject them allimmediately.  Your sins are like ravenous parasites withvenomous fangs, and they will destroy you.  They’llenslave you into addiction, or even worse, deceive you into aslumbering denial.  Your sins will  attract the FuriousWrath of God like an irresistible magnet.  They’llbetray you, and loudly call out for your destruction on the dayof judgment.  Your sins will shout and scream and give awayyour location, no matter where you try to hide.  And whenyou’re found, your sins will demand you be cast into eternaltorment.  They can’t be silenced and they can’t beignored.  Your sins can only be cast far away—now,while your heart’s still beating and you still have a chanceto repent. 

Will you allowJesus Christ the Savior to rescue you from your deadly sins? Will you let Jesus remove them from you, as far as the east isfrom the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us? [8]  Let me draw yourattention to Jesus Christ, the Savior, who is able to save youfrom sin.  He is able to keep you from falling and topresent you before his glorious presence without fault.[9] 

Let’s pray tohim together.  Would you pray to the Savior with me?  Praythese words along with me to our Savior:  “Lord Jesus,save me, and separate me from my deadly sins.  Remove mysins from me, and I reject them and I forsake them and I castthem far away right now.  I stop resisting your rule over myheart, Lord Jesus, and I invite you to come and rule my heartright now.  Take me, Lord Jesus.  Here I am.  Comeand rule every part of my life.”  Amen. 

           Did you just pray with me?  If you just prayed with me, sayAmen.  Say it out loud.  Amen.  Now if you justsaid Amen, I want you to write to me, and get a copy of this bookyou’re hearing me teach from.  Here’s Mark withthat information. 

-------------------------

Middle segment by Mark McWilliams…

Thanks Gordon.  He’ll be back injust a moment.  But first, do you know somebody who needs tohear today’s message?  If you call our toll-free numberin the next hour, 866-Obey-God, we’ll mail you a freecassette tape of today’s broadcast, which you can copy andgive to your friends.  All our tapes are copyable and free,but please remember we need your donations to stay on the air andto give away these free tapes.  So please pray and obey,then send us your best possible donation, after you receive yourfree cassette.  (Gordon:  Hey time out!  Ifit’s your first time calling us, no donation is required! Just call us!)  Our toll free number is 866-Obey-God,that’s 1-866-O-B-E-Y-G-O-D.  And please specifyyou’re requesting today’s program.  Do you believeAmerica needs to hear these messages?  If so, then we needyou to sponsor us, by joining the Persuader’s Club with amonthly pledge of just $15.  If you join thePersuader’s Club, we’ll also send you an autographedcopy of Gordon’s book that you’ve been hearing.  Justvisit our web-site at persuaders-club.com.  Or call us inthe next hour at 866-Obey-God.  Right now, let’s returnto Gordon James Klingenschmitt. 

-------------------------

Teaching continued by Gordon JamesKlingenschmitt…

Thanks again, Mark.  Let’scontinue Loophole number 4, entitled “Salvation by gracethrough faith, not by works.” Here’s Pastor Loopholeagain—

           (Lower) “It says here in Ephesians chapter two, ‘Forit is by grace you have been saved,through faith—and this not fromyourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works,so that no one can boast.’ [10]

           “Now we already re-defined the word salvation.  So now,let’s re-define the word Grace.  For it is by Grace youhave been saved, Johnny.  Grace.  Hmm.  What doesthe word Grace mean, Johnny?”  And Pastor Loopholecontinues his perversion of the word grace, changing the graceof our God into a license for immorality.[11] 

           (Lower) Grace means tolerance, Johnny.  It means thatbecause of what Jesus did on the cross, God now tolerates yoursins, even while you continue to enjoy them.  He just turnshis head and graciously ignores your sinful behavior.  Godonly sees the imputed righteousness of Christ on you, kind oflike a Jesus mask, so God can’t see your willful,rebellious, unrepentant heart.  Now that’s grace.” 

TIME OUT !!  Let’slook at the scriptures everybody, and analyze PastorLoophole’s advice.  Let’s rightly divide the wordof truth, and separate the truth from the lies in the advicegiven by Pastor Loophole.  Again, I want to acknowledge that“It is by grace you have been saved,through faith—and this not fromyourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works,so that no one can boast.” [12] No argument here.  This is the Biblical description of howGod saves us.

           But the false part is that Grace means tolerance.  Goddoesn’t tolerate your sins.  Here’s the truedefinition of the word grace:  According to Strong’sGreek Dictionary of the New Testament, the English word“grace” comes from the Greek word “charis,”which means “divine influence on the heart, and itsreflection in the life.” [13] Grace means divine influence on your heart.  What’sdivine influence?

Well let mesuggest—the very fact you’re hearing this broadcastsuggests that God might be trying to influence you.  Willyou respond to God’s influence?

           Grace doesn’t mean “tolerance,” it means“Divine influence.”  Have you ever been influencedby somebody?  Think back to that situation.  How didthey influence you?  What did they do?  Did theypersuade you to choose a certain thing, using words and truth andargument?  Did they induce, impel, incite, inspire or offeryou an incentive to voluntarily move in a certain direction? Did they entice, exhort, or encourage you to follow theirexample?  Did they convince you, sway your mind, and win youover to a new way of thinking?  This is influence.  Andwhen influence comes from the Divine, it’s called grace. 

           Throughout human history, God has been patiently persuading andinfluencing rebellious people to voluntarily forsake their sins. He does this by the Holy Spirit, who comes to convict andpersuade.[14]  He did thisthrough the example that Jesus lived.[15] He does this through the bold, persuasive arguments of Hisprophets and preachers.[16]  He calls out toeverybody through His beautiful creation, so nobody has anyexcuses.[17] 

           And what tool does God use to influence and persuade?  HisWord; His Undeniable Truth.  That’s how God influencesyou to voluntarily forsake your deadly sins.  He persuadesyou and cleanses you with His influential Truth.  That’swhy Jesus said to his disciples, “you are already cleanbecause of the word I have spoken to you.” [18] And why He prayed to the Father, “Sanctify them by thetruth; your word is truth.” [19]  And why he told his disciples, “Youwill know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” [20] There is only one way to be set free from sin.  You mustbelieve God’s truth when you hear it.  It will cleanseyou.  It will free you.  It will change your thinking. It will persuade you to change your choices.  Andyou’ll voluntarily stop your sinning and follow Christ. That’s what grace is.  God sovereignly reveals truth toyour heart, and you must voluntarily embrace it, and submit toit, and obey it.  Sin shall not be your master, becauseyou are … under grace.[21]

           So if God persuades you to be holy by telling the truth, then thedevil persuades you to sin by speaking lies.  Did you knowthat every sin has its roots in a lie?  If you expose thelie, and confound it with Truth, you shall pluck the sin out byits roots.  How did the devil persuade Adam and Eve to sinin the Garden of Eden?  By speaking a lie.  “Youwill not surely die.” the serpent said.[22]  They believed the lie, submitted to thedevil’s persuasion, and it caused them to sin.

So Johnny Lukewarm,if you’re out there listening, how many lies are lodged inyour mind?  Do you see how important it is to read the Bibleevery day?  How much of Christ’s Truth do you letpenetrate your heart, to make [you] holy, cleansing [you]by the washing with water through the word, and to present[you] to himself....without stain or wrinkle or any otherblemish, but holy and blameless?[23]  You’ve got to be transformed bythe renewing of your mind.[24]  So God influences with Truth, and thedevil influences with lies.  You out there listening,who’s been influencing you?

           Did you know you can resist God’s influence?  Peoplehave resisted God’s influence and persuasion throughouthistory.  That’s why Stephen said in the book of Acts, “Youstiff necked-people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears!…Youalways resist the Holy Spirit!” [25] And that’s why Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “Hewho rejects this instruction does not reject man but God.” [26] So Johnny Lukewarm, if you’re out there listening, do youresist God’s words when you hear them?  When Godconvicts your heart with his blazing truth, do you immediatelyrepent, or are you waiting for something more?  If today youhear his voice, harden not your hearts.[27] 

Now some of you outthere listening have been struggling with the same sins, over andover, and you can’t get free from them.  You know whatthe answer is?  Grace!  You need to let God influenceyou with His truth!  Stop resisting God’s influence.

“But youdon’t know how powerful my sins are, they’re toostrong, and I’m too weak to resist the devil’stemptation,” cries Johnny Lukewarm.  But Johnny ifyou’re out there listening, you don’t know God’sconquering grace.  How can you say you’re too weakto resist the devil’s temptation, but you’re so strongthat you can resist the Spirit of Almighty God?  Relaxand submit to God.  Stop resisting.  Give in toGod’s persuasion.  Let God’s Truth set you freefrom your deadly sins.  It’s no use waiting for God toinfluence you, when you’re still resisting the influenceHe’s already given you. 

           Now if I had a set of balancing scales here, and on the leftscale I could measure the amount of influence God needs to applyto get you to repent, how much would it weigh?  How manygrams of influence would it take to get you to repent?  Well,that just depends how stubborn you are.  It would weigh justas much as the amount of stubborn, willful resistance you’reputting on the right side of the scale.  Or think of it thisway, if you were a donkey and Jesus were leading you with a rope,how hard would Jesus have to pull on the rope?  Well, itdepends on how stubborn you are.  If you weren’t astubborn donkey, Jesus wouldn’t have to pull the rope veryhard at all. 

           So now how are you going to get free from your sins?  Areyou waiting for God to just zap you, and force you to turn into aholy, robotic puppet?  No.  Your sins are voluntary,just like holiness is voluntary.   God won’t forceyou to be holy, you’ve got to choose that.  God willinfluence you, but you’ve got to voluntarily respond.  Yousin with your choices; you must also be holy with your choices. This is how you’ll be saved from your deadly sins.  God’sgrace will influence you to make a choice.  So make a choicealready.  God’s waiting.  It’s like playingcheckers.  It’s your move. 

           Now I don’t know everything about predestination vs.free-will, or Calvinism vs. Arminianism, or all that.  Iknow the Bible says that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, butGod also asks us to not harden our own hearts.  Here’show I see it.  If any man gets saved, he cannot boast,because it was God who overpowered that man’s resistance,influencing him to repent.  But if any man goes to hell, hecan’t blame God.  It’s his own fault for resistingGod’s influence.  Give God the glory when anybody getssaved.  And blame us men if we don’t get saved.  LetGod be true, and every man a liar.[28]  Makes sense, doesn’t it? 

So the next timesomebody says to you “give me a little grace here,” askthem what they really mean.  Do they want you to back off,and tolerate their sins, (which is false grace), or do they wantyou to influence them, and persuade them to stop sinning (whichis true grace)?  The Bible says, Whoever turns a sinnerfrom the error of his way will save him from death.[29] This is true, biblical grace.  It’s not tolerance,it’s influence and persuasion.  Knowing thereforethe terror of the Lord, we persuade men.[30]

           Let’s pray for a moment.  Would you pray these wordswith me to God?  Stop what you’re doing for a moment,and pray these words with me to God.  “Father inHeaven, I want to embrace your Words of Truth whenever you try toinfluence me.  I welcome your gracious influence, and I stopresisting you, in every area of my life.  Lord Jesus,I’m not going to harden my heart to you, and I’m notgoing to resist you anymore.  When you pull on my rope LordJesus, I’ll follow you willingly.  I welcome you torule my heart right now.  And I welcome you to lead mewherever you want me to go.  In Jesus name, Amen.”

           Did you pray with me just now?  If you prayed with me, sayAmen.  Go ahead, say it out loud.  Amen, Lord Jesus. Some of you are being set free from habitual sins right now, asGod’s loving rulership takes over in your heart.  Ihope you’ll write to us and tell us about that.  But ifyou said Amen just now, I hope you’ll write to us and get acopy of this book you’re hearing.  I’ve been veryfortunate and blessed to have this book read and endorsed bypeople like C. Peter Wagner, Tony Campolo, Jon Mark Ruthven whowas my systematic theology professor, Pastors Ted Haggard andFloyd McClung, Joy Dawson and Bill Hamon.  So you knowit’s trustworthy.  In our book and in our very nextbroadcast, we’ll tackle the controversy of faith versusworks. 

And you’ll hear more theologicaladventures of Johnny Lukewarm and Pastor Loophole.  So Ihope you’ll write us tune in again next time.  Now Ilove you, and I care about you.  So here’s Mark withmore information.

-----------------------

Closing trailer by Mark McWilliams… 

Thanks Gordon, and thanks everybody forlistening. Do you know somebody who needs to hear today’smessage?  If you call our toll-free number in the next hour,866-Obey-God, we’ll mail you a free cassette tape oftoday’s broadcast, which you can copy and give to yourfriends. All our tapes are copyable and free, but please rememberthat we need your donations to stay on the air and to give awaythese free tapes.  So please pray and obey God about howmuch these teachings are worth to you, and return to us your bestpossible gift after you receive your free cassette.  (Gordon: Hey time out!  If it’s your first time contacting us,no donation is required!  Just call us!)  Our toll freenumber is 866-Obey-God, that’s 1-866-O-B-E-Y-G-O-D,and please specify you’re requesting today’s program. Now do you believe America needs to hear these messages?  Ifso, we’re specifically asking you to join thePersuader’s Club, and to sponsor this radio broadcast with amonthly pledge of just $15.  If you join thePersuader’s Club as a monthly partner, we’ll send youan autographed copy of the book you’ve been hearing, writtenand taught by Gordon James Klingenschmitt, entitled,“License To Sin, The Number One Reason America Is Losing ItsMoral Foundation.”  Just visit our web-site atpersuaders-club.com.  That’s persuaders-club.com. It’s the monthly donations of our Persuader’s Clubpartners who keep this program on the air.  Now if you havecomments or questions about today’s broadcast, you can emailus at  persuadetheworld@yahoo.com,” Or you canwrite to us.  Or you can always call us toll free, at866-Obey-God.  And if you remember, please tell us the callsign of the radio station you’re listening to.  May Godbless you, and thank you for supporting Persuade The WorldMinistries.  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, wepersuade men. 

--------------------

<Manymore transcripts and free MP3 radio shows CLICK HERE>

 

 



[1] Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

[2] Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

[3] Matthew 1:21 (NIV), translators text noteincluded in parentheses.

[4] Romans 6:22 (NIV)

[5] Revelation 1:5 (NIV)

[6] Charles G. Finney, 1850, at the Moorfields(No. 1,566 from The Penny Pulpit), reprinted in Principles ofUnion with Christ  Ed. Louis G. Parkhurst, Bethany HousePublishers, (Minneapolis, 1985), pp. 136-148.

[7] 1 John 3:5-6 (NIV)

[8] Psalm 103:12 (NIV)

[9] Jude 1:24 (NIV)

[10] Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

[11] Jude 1:4 (NIV), and previous discussion inChapter 3. 

[12] Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

[13] Strong, James, Greek Dictionary of theNew Testament, Hendrickson Publishers, (Peabody, MA), p.77

[14] See John 16:8-11

[15] See John 14:9

[16] See 2 Corinthians 5:11

[17] See Romans 1:20

[18] John 15:3 (NIV)

[19] John 17:17 (NIV)

[20] John 8:32 (NIV)

[21] Romans 6:14 (NIV)

[22] Genesis 3:4 (NIV)

[23] Ephesians 5:26-27 (NIV)

[24] Romans 12:2 (NIV)

[25] Acts 7:51 (NIV)

[26] 1 Thessalonians 4:8 (NIV)

[27] Heb 3:7-8 (KJV)

[28] Romans 3:4 (NIV)

[29] James 5:20 (NIV)

[30] 2 Corinthians 5:11 (KJV)