Recently I blogged about Chuck Swindoll defending the faith-alone message, and specifically rejecting the Lordship Salvation message, in a Jan 7, 2019, Insight for Living Broadcast. See that blog here.
I received an email today notifying me that Chuck again rejected Lordship Salvation, this time in more detail. He did so on the Feb 22, 2019 broadcast. You can listen to it here.
At the 18:44 mark, he begins to talk about three messages that are different from the grace message. The first of those he said is Lordship Salvation. “It teaches that if you do not receive Jesus as Lord, you have not received Christ as Savior. It teaches that the sinner is to commit to a life of righteousness before it is true faith in Jesus” (18:50-19:06). Chuck then said, “My answer to that is that a sinner cannot commit to anything but sin. If I’m without Christ, I have no power to commit to anything. I may say the words, but I have no sense of redirection in my life until I am changed from within and that comes from the cross itself, from a relationship with Christ” (19:06-19:28).
While I believe it is possible for unbelievers to commit to obeying God and even do some good works (e.g., Cornelius in Acts 10), I think Chuck’s point is that though they make such a pledge, they cannot escape bondage to sin without the power of the Holy Spirit that only comes with the new birth.
Chuck then said, “I hear you saying then that all you are preaching is easy believism. My answer to that is, ‘What is hard believism?’ Believing isn’t supposed to be hard. It’s supposed to be based on the gift…His death on the cross was the complete payment for my sin. He paid in full the price of sin, and I receive Him, and with that receiving Him I am given the gift of eternal life and the presence of the Holy Spirit and the person of Christ and dozens of other things that change me from the inside out, and now I’m ready for commitment” (19:30-20:13).
He went on to talk about how many preachers give lists of what their congregation is supposed to do and not to do. Unfortunately, Chuck said, many items on these lists are not based on Scripture, but on personal convictions. Chuck said he does not share his personal convictions with the congregation. They don’t get his personal list. They only get from him what the Bible says we should and should not do.
Chuck’s message is entitled, “Isn’t it Risky to Embrace Grace? Part 1.” His answer is that it is risky, because people may abuse grace (17:25). They should not do so. God has set them free from sin’s bondage when they were born again. But grace is risky, and we should admit it. While he didn’t use the word failure, that was clearly Chuck’s point. The grace message means that failure is possible in the Christian life. If we don’t admit that, then we are not preaching the gospel (he cited Lloyd-Jones, see 15:20).
I highly recommend you check out this message. It is encouraging. I’m thankful that Chuck Swindoll is standing up for the faith-alone message, the grace message.