Downward Trends

Salvation by Self-Sacrifice According to Pastor Mark Dever and the Together for the Gospel Conference2012

Lillian Kwon, a Christian Post reporter, gave a fascinating snapshot of what Pastor Mark Dever said at the 2012 Together for the Gospel Conference (Read here.). Dever, a well-known Calvinist and Southern Baptist, was speaking to 8,000 pastors and seminary students. His message concerned the danger of false conversions. Here is a direct quote of what he said:

Well, if you want to get a lot of fake Christians in your church, just tell them that there is this free gift that entails no self-sacrifice and that trouble and cross-bearing are only for those super saints who choose extra-large when they order their spiritual meal. The truth, however, is no cross, no crown. No cross, no crown. Jesus taught us that in this world you will have trouble. He told those who were considering following Him, "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me." (Audio here. See time stamp: 50:35-51:10)

Dever was saying that it is wrong to tell people that everlasting life is a free gift that entails no self-sacrifice and no cross-bearing. Stated positively, he was implying that everlasting life requires self-sacrifice, self-denial, and cross-bearing. If a person does not follow Christ on the path of suffering they will not spend eternity with Jesus.

One of the founders of the conference is Dr. Al Mohler, President of Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. Mohler and Southern Seminary are well known in Southern Baptist circles as proponents of 5-point Calvinism. It is striking that these New Calvinists now feel free to speak of salvation by self-sacrifice. No longer do they say salvation is a free gift with no strings attached. THey teach that self-sacrifice is a condition of the new birth.