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[b]A Salvation That Does Not Save[/b]
[i]by Greg Gordon[/i]

A vital message exposing spurious preaching of the gospel


In the last days the Apostle Paul declared that there would be a segment of people that would give heed to “seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.” We are living in the reality of this passage of Scripture for there are “doctrines of demons” being preached from many pulpits worldwide. But you might argue that the gospel is being preached and we should approve! My friend we must realize that there were many false gospels preached in the apostles days and there are many false gospels being preached today. God has no interest and is not required to honor such a gospel that is false. There is a epidemic of a sort of “mock” salvation being preached from many pulpits today. It is a gospel message that is not authentic. It is correct in doctrine but false in reality. It is a salvation that does not work! It is a salvation that does not save! The holy Scriptures warn of a “falling away” apostatizing from the faith of Christ. Christ spoke of a strong word of emphatic warning to his disciples: “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Oh believer! it is possible for you to be deceived with a gospel that is spurious, false, and counterfeit. You might ask what is this “mock” salvation that is being spoken of? Simply defined it is a salvation that does not make men holy. It was warned about in the Epistle of Jude in this phrase: “turning the grace of God into lasciviousness.” Catherine Booth in her book “Popular Christianity” speaks of this gospel and her dismay of many that follow in its deception: “Alas, many false, delusive, disappointing christs; so I have to show that there are many make-believe, mock salvations, which only deceive, disappoint, and damn those who trust in them. As I walk about the world, and as I look at professing Christians, my soul cries: O God, make haste to help us raise up a holy people, in order to show the world what salvation really means, for they do not know. They are utterly befogged and bewildered, and I do not wonder.”


Perhaps no other evangelical phraseology has caused more damage to true gospel preaching then this simple coined phrase: “sinners saved by grace.” Thus the Scriptures read to most such as: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the sinners which are at Ephesus, and to the unfaithful in Christ Jesus.” No, ten thousand times no! Rather the Holy Ghost spoke a message that did not glorify sin but rather the holiness and salvation of God in believers from sin. The deception is real and persuasive. The simple question can be asked “what have you been saved from?” Not positionally but practically. Is there any sins which Christ has delivered you from? Christ was manifested that he might “take away our sins.” He spoke to the women caught in adultery “Go, and sin no more.” Paul stated that we “who are dead have been freed from sin.” A French infidel, answering a caviller against holiness, said the other day, “You believe and sin, I do not believe and sin: where is the difference? It seems to me I am the better of the two.’ Exactly, for however true or grand a man’s beliefs, of what use are they if he does not act them out? ‘Can faith save him?’ Nay, verily, but such a faith can damn him.” This is false security to believe that we can act, talk, and walk like the world and still claim salvation in Christ. Sinners are not saved to sin but rather saved to holiness and good works. We are the light of the world so that our “good works” may be manifest before men that they may “glorify our Father in Heaven,” this is biblical Christianity.

It might seem strange to say that ministers of religion are “pleading for impurity and sin.” Yet dear reader this is exactly what multitudes of professors preach and teach that you cannot be free from sin. That you must sin! This is a unbiblical emphasis and the Apostles and Christ always preached from the vantage point of the possibility to walk holy and free from sin. Is “Christ the minister of sin? God forbid!” Christ is the minister of holiness and righteousness in God. Hear the lament of Fox over this opposition to the truth: "But they could not endure to hear of purity, and of victory over sin and the devil. They said they could not believe any could be free from sin on this side of the grave. I bade them give over babbling about the Scriptures, which were holy men's words, whilst they pleaded for unholiness. Then I bade them forbear talking of the Scriptures, which were the holy men's words; "for," said I, "the holy men that wrote the Scriptures pleaded for holiness in heart, life, and conversation here; but since you plead for impurity and sin, which is of the devil, what have you to do with the holy men's words?" The warning of Christ is against this gospel where professors of religion are forbidding people to be a part of the holy body of Christ: “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”

Can there be preached a gospel that damns people? The warning of the last days is that “there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies.” They teach the gospel of God in a way that damns and does not free people. It speaks of life and heaven yet does not offer a release of the bondage of sin in believers. The great falling away will damn people even though they believed in a supposed gospel: “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” The true Gospel will free people from the pleasure, potential and possibility of sin. This is not a crucial matter and not something to accept as tolerable. The extent of this modern day “mock” salvation that does not result in producing a holy people is damning people to hell. Does this seem strong? Harsh? It is better to be offended over these words and repent from this gospel rather then meeting Christ as the judgement seat being found “in your sins” not “in Christ” and the freedom of sin that our precious Saviour offers. Yes! He is the Saviour from sin. Not to covering it but removing it. Catherine Booth again speaks to this contradiction of true biblical preaching: “It is doubtless better to have right opinions than wrong ones, but the best opinions will not save a man. I am afraid there is a great deal of preaching that amounts to a mere putting of the different theories about salvation, instead of persuading men to come to Christ and be saved.” This error is subtile for it appears there is a preaching of the right texts and emphasis yet alas it does not bring people to the person of Christ. Mere theory will not remove sins but a encounter with the living Christ who died to take away sin.


Preaching with tears is the mark of true gospel preaching. Not just the tears themselves bear witness to the truth but are a outward manifestation of the greatness and loftiness of the gospel that actually saves a sinner from their sins. Catherine Booth gives us her estimation of preaching that was worthless in her day. It was a preaching that did not save from sin, did not offer the sinner much except a theoretical pardon from their guilt complex: “The main idea of much of the preaching of this day seems to be that of teaching people, instructing them, which too often results in hardening their hearts, and finding them an easier way down to perdition than they would have found without it. Unfortunately a man feels more comfortable when he has been to a place of worship and heard a fine theory about salvation, then he would if he had not been, although he may be no nearer being saved. All preaching or any other instrumentality which has not for its end the immediate salvation of the people, only leads them to trust in mere teaching, which is a mockery. You can see the want of it in the way they fail to bring men to Christ. How my heart has ached over this aimless, pointless preaching, I could not express.” Preaching that is not impassioned with the goal of bringing people to the living God who can break the fetters of sin is then in turn pointless preaching. Catherine Booth relates this story showing forth a example of not mere doctrinal preaching but showing the power of God and effectual working of God’s Word: “Would to God there were more preaching in the fix of a Baptist minister in a town where we are just now having a glorious work, who has been so stirred up and awakened to his responsibilities, that, on a recent occasion when he had read his text, he broke down, weeping, which had more effect than all the sermons he had preached during the years he had been in that town. His people wept too, and many of them got converted over again. I wish that a few thousands of the ministers of this kingdom could be brought to a similar state of mind before next Sunday; what a commotion there would be in the land, and what a stir in hell, ah, and in heaven too!”

The saintly Edward Griffin who was used of God in the second great awakening and gives us a example of bringing people to a Christ who is a saviour of sin. The church historian David Smithers gives us this word picture: “A hearer of Mr. Griffin in New Jersey in 1829 gives us a description of his preaching and of the love and brokenness which gave that preaching its power. "During most of the sermon his face was wet with tears, and for nearly an hour he spoke to us with such tender and appealing sentences that it seemed as if his hearers must cry out in an agony of fear and trembling . . . But what a climax the ending was! It was a wonder how he endured the strain so long and that he had not given up physically exhausted. The mental agony, the heartbreaking sympathy, were enough to break an angel down! When he fell on his knees as if he had been knocked on the head with an ax, with outstretched arms, tears coarsing down his face, he cried out; 'Oh! my dying fellow sinners, I beseech you to give your heart to the Savior now. Give your life to Jesus Christ, do not put it off! Do not leave this house without dedicating yourself to His service, lest you be left at last to cry, the harvest is past, the summer is ended, and I am not saved.'"

What consolations can you offer to your hearers? Do you preach as one that has a freedom of sin and liberty in the gospel of Jesus Christ? This statement was given by the ‘General Conference of the Protestant Missionaries of China’ in 1877, yet perhaps in our generation we need a release of the tyranny of sin over the Church! "How long shall this fearful ruin of souls continue? Ought we not to make an effort to save China in this generation? Is God's power limited? Is the efficacy of prayer limited? This grand achievement is in the hands of the Church… We want China emancipated from the thralldom of sin in this generation.” May we experience this “emancipating” power that the Church of God may sin no more!

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2006/12/20 21:35Profile

Joined: 2005/11/26
Posts: 496


ahhh, what an encouragement to my soul! a word in its season. much glory to God!

God you are so glorious and your ways are perfect, leading to life(freedom)!


 2006/12/20 22:05Profile

Joined: 2006/12/8
Posts: 93


This is great, I love the quotes from Catherine Booth, talk about in your face! We definitely need to get the truth out there, there are too many false Christians running around. It's such a mess, I only pray that God will bring back truth to America and wake up the dead who have this salvation that doesn't save!


 2006/12/20 22:11Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 38745


recent comment on this sermon:

Recently we left a church because of this type of preaching. We searched around, going to nearly every "evangelical" church in our city, and found much of the same. Honestly, I doubt there is a church that is not affected by this spirit. Even in the church we are attending now I've heard people justifying and excusing themselves from repentance. It's worrisome. I feel like a missionary in my own church.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2006/12/22 3:10Profile


There is an epidemic of a sort of “mock” salvation being preached from many pulpits today. It is a gospel message that is not authentic. It is correct in doctrine but false in reality. It is a salvation that does not work! It is a salvation that does not save!

I would whole heartedly agree that there is a false gospel out there today. In fact, there has always been a false gospel out there somewhere in all generations.

But, I would have to disagree with you in saying that it is correct in doctrine. The root of the problem is the false doctrine.

What is it that makes men free....THE TRUTH.
The Truth that all men are dead in there sins and trespasses, the Truth that we are guilty and condemned in Adam, the Truth of who God really is, the truth about the Cross and what actually transpired that dark day, the Truth about our Covenant Keeping God, the truth about who the Holy Spirit is why the Father sent Him, the Truth about the law and it's purpose for a believer and an unbeliever, the Truth about sanctification, the Truth about God's Faithfulness, the Truth about hell and who goes there, etc...

What is it that causes men to walk in holiness?

What is it that would cause me to deny myself, take up my cross and follow Jesus.

What is it that would cause that man in the scripture to sell his land and go and purchase that Pearl of Great Price?

What is it that would cause men to want to obey God?

What is it that would cause men to delight in the law of the Lord?

What is it that would cause husband's to actually love their wives?

What is it that would that would cause Father's to love their children?

What is it that would cause me to love someone who is, in my estimation, entirely unlovable.

Is it tears from a man or woman in a pulpit?

Is it emotion? Though if a man or woman truly believes something I'm sure they will be emotional about it.

Is it quotes from "revivals" gone by?

Is it hope of a "revival" to come?

Is it tirades on the state of the "church"?






Until I began to understand what the Bible actually teaches, I had no freedom to walk with God.

It is Truth from the scriptures that sets men free and causes them to walk in agreement with God!

 2006/12/22 12:46

Joined: 2006/4/2
Posts: 36


Here is a confession I have made my own from the cover of a music tape I did in 1995 called "Dead to Sin".

"Since it is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me sin shall no longer have dominion over me for he who lives in me knew no sin but is perfect in every way.

Therefore I will no longer allow sin to reign in my body as I have died to sin in Jesus Christ.

Reckoning myself dead to sin and alive to God I will present my body as instruments of righteousness to God: presenting myself as a slave to righteousness and of God, bearing the fruit of holiness."

Will you make this, not only your confession, but your profession?

Yours in CHrist's love and victory,

Kerry Stevenson


 2007/3/15 3:14Profile

Joined: 2004/7/23
Posts: 210


Thee most important thing, even more important than tears, is that Christ is presented to the man. Paul was determined to know except Christ and Him crucified. And that was in a demonstration of Spirit and power. Paul's words were not words only to the Thessalonians in 1:5, but in Holy Spirit power and conviction.

 2007/3/15 9:05Profile

Joined: 2006/9/28
Posts: 192
Washington DC area


It might seem strange to say that ministers of religion are “pleading for impurity and sin.” Yet dear reader this is exactly what multitudes of professors preach and teach that you cannot be free from sin. That you must sin!

This is simply Gnosticism and many of the epistles were written to address this lie.

Is Jesus too weak to deliver one from sin or is it simply an excuse to hold onto one's sin? Praise God that there is deliverance from sin based on the power of the blood of Jesus. It's not through self-effort but by faith in that precious blood.

There's a dear man who wrote an excellent book on the topic entitled "The Fallacy of the Sinning Christian" that speaks of this in great detail.

Ed Pugh

 2007/3/15 10:34Profile

Joined: 2007/1/31
Posts: 985


It seems the desire for Hoilness has left the Church. They are told they can have the world and God. it is ok to veiw moives, that don't honor God. It's ok if no wants to pray. But lets have fun! Church has truned to a nice place to feel good about yourself. But not being real with God, and growing to be Holy. Christ Death is seen to small, making sin seem even smaller. The fact is the Church loves their sins. They have been fooled. The cross is huge! Also the Hoilness of God is not taught as it should be. Few understand what it means to be Holy. Sad thing is so many think they are saved. MAy God be kind to America. We have truned from truth to false teachers. America is blined to some great sins that in the Church's. MAy God open our eyes.
In his love


 2007/3/16 2:14Profile

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