FORGOSPELTRUTH

 

Home | I Once was Lost | False Churches | Salvation | Doctrine/Resources | Contact  

 

 

 

Salvation Through Believing VS. Salvation Through Receiving

 

Purpose: This article will compare two different plans of salvation, which offer sinners two different means of grace, and which employ two different routes to God.  There are two plans, but only one is God’s plan of salvation: only one plan is biblical.  Unfortunately, the false plan of salvation is the one most people are familiar with and the one that most people believed in to save them (this included me, before I got saved).  The goal of this article is to expose the false receiving Jesus plan of salvation (RJPS) so that those who trusted in it can turn away from it and get genuinely saved through the true gospel before it is too late.

 

Salvation through Believing, what is it? This is the Biblical plan of salvation.  It is offered to the repenting sinner on the basis of his(1) faith alone.  In this plan, the repenting sinner places his faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ (His death on the cross) for salvation (forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life).  Nothing is added to this plan.  Nothing else is necessary.  You do not need to pray a special prayer to make salvation  happen.  You do not need to do anything else, only believe.  Once you turn to God in repentance and believe on the finished work of Christ at Calvary, you are saved. (For further details about this plan of salvation click here.)

 

Salvation through receiving, what is it? This is the false plan of salvation.  In this plan, sinners are told that Jesus died for them on the cross, but when they are told what they need to do to actually get saved, the cross of Calvary is rarely mentioned. If it is mentioned, it is never the focal point of salvation.  Instead,  repenting sinners are told that they must do something to make salvation happen (ask Jesus into your heart, you must receive Jesus,  you must call on God, etc.).  I realize that this plan of salvation is very familiar to most people and so you might not, initially, understand the problem with it.  In fact, at the present time, this is the only plan of salvation offered in gospel tracts (If you find a tract that does not use this plan, please contact me, as I would very much like to see it) and from most (if not all) church pulpits.  So, most people feel very comfortable with it and feel that it is God’s wonderful plan of salvation.  That is why I am writing this article.  It is not God’s plan of salvation at all! In fact, it is not even biblical.  It was introduced to the church of God by imposters (false teachers) whose doctrine was fatally flawed in a variety of ways, and it was highly popularized by a group of very misled Evangelicals. Sadly, today, it is everywhere.  It is virtually impossible to find a gospel tract that does not employ this plan of salvation or to hear a sermon for salvation that does not rely upon it.  These are very sobering facts, especially in light of Jesus’ own words: ...Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8) At the present day, everywhere we turn, we find that a very corrupt faith has been substituted for the true faith of the Lord Jesus Christ.  In this article, these facts will be proved to you, point by point.  We will begin by considering some common examples of the receiving Jesus plan of salvation (RJPS), we will then conduct a careful biblical comparison of both plans of salvation to see which plan the Bible actually teaches, later we will expose the men behind the RJPS and reveal their corrupt doctrines and (in many cases) their godless manner of living.  I do this for your sakes, that you might hear and believe the truth, and because the Bible admonishes all believers to do this: And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them (Ephesians 5:11).

 

Examples of the “Receiving Jesus” Plan of Salvation:

 

Example 1: The Roman’s Road: The most obvious example, and probably the most widely used, is the” Roman’s Road.”   Following is an example of the “Roman’s Road” plan of salvation, which has been published on a site called Contender Ministries (a link to the site is provided below).

 

The ROMANS ROAD....is a pathway you can walk.

 

It is a group of Bible verses from the book of Romans in the New Testament.  If you walk down this road you will end up understanding how to be saved.

 

Romans 3:23  "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." We all have sin in our hearts. We all were born with sin.  We were born under the power of sin's control. - Admit that you are a sinner.

 

Romans 6:23a  "...The wages of sin is death..."  Sin has an ending.  It results in death.  We all face physical death, which is a result of sin.  But a worse death is spiritual death that alienates us from God, and will last for all eternity.  The Bible teaches that there is a place called the Lake of Fire where lost people will be in torment forever.   It is the place where people who are spiritually dead will remain. - Understand that you deserve death for your sin.

 

Romans 6:23b  "...But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Salvation is a free gift from God to you!  You can't earn this gift, but you must reach out and receive it. - Ask God to forgive you and save you.

 

Romans 5:8,  "God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!"

When Jesus died on the cross He paid sin's penalty. He paid the price for all sin, and when He took all the sins of the world on Himself on the cross, He bought us out of slavery to sin and death! The only condition is that we believe in Him and what He has done for us, understanding that  we are now joined with Him, and that He is our life.  He did all this because He loved us and gave Himself for us! - Give your life to God... His love poured out in Jesus on the cross is your only hope to have forgiveness and change.  His love bought you out of being a slave to sin.  His love is what saves you --  not religion, or church membership.  God loves you!

 

Romans 10:13  "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord  will be saved!" - Call out to God in the name of Jesus!

 

Romans 10:9,10  "...If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting  in salvation." - If you know that God is knocking on your heart's door, ask Him to come into your heart.

 

 Jesus said, Revelation 3:20a "Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him..." - Is Jesus knocking on your heart's door?  Believe in Him.

 

 Ask Him to come in to your heart  by faith, and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Open the Bible to the Gospel of John and read what God says about Jesus, about you, and about being born again.

 

 

 God will help you.  He loves you.

 

 You can access the Contender Ministries’ site here.

 

 

 

 

Example 2:The Plan of Salvation taught in the “Little Red Book” Gospel Tract:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may click here to view the entire tract online.

 

 

Example 3: The final page of several different gospel tracts, all of which conform to the “receiving Jesus plan of salvation:” There will be a link provided after each individual quote, where you can access the entire tract online.  I am simply demonstrating that the final page of all of these tracts is the same: They all promote the doctrine that one gets saved through the act of receiving Jesus.

 

 

Tract A (American Tract Society):

 

“Step 4--Our Response: Receive Christ

 

We can receive Jesus Christ when we believe in His message and trust in Him alone to save us.

 

The Bible Says...

 

"All the prophets testify about Him that every one who believes in Him [Jesus Christ] receives forgiveness of sins through his name." Acts 10:43

"[Jesus said] Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." John 14:1

"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name." John 1:12

 

How to receive Christ:

Admit your need (I am a sinner).

Be willing to turn from your sins (repent).

Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the cross and rose from the grave.

Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit. (Receive Him as your Savior).

What to Pray:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am sinful and I need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died to pay the penalty for my sin. I want to turn from my sin nature and follow You instead. I invite You to come into my heart and life. In Jesus' name. Amen.”

 

click here to view entire tract.

 

Tract B (Chick Tract):

 

“Who wants to come into your heart if you ask him to? Jesus! That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

 

click here to view entire tract.

 

Tract C (Chick tract for children):

 

“Dear Jesus, please forgive us.  Come into our hearts... We thank you for dying for our sins. We love you, Lord.  We give ourselves to you. ... Give your heart to Jesus so he can save you and take you to heaven too.”

 

Click here to view entire tract.

 

Tract D (Independent Fundamental Baptist Tract):

 

“The other thing you must do is to receive Jesus Christ by faith. John 1:12: “But as

any as received him [Jesus Christ], to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” You can only become a child of God by receiving Jesus Christ by faith. Romans 5:1: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 2:8,9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” All you can do with a gift is accept it. Right now, right where you are, you must refuse all self-effort, and turn to God. With a

humble, repentant heart, trust Jesus Christ in total faith, believing Who He is, and that He can and will save you if you ask. Consider this now, for you are not guaranteed tomorrow!”

 

Click here to view entire tract (Please be aware, you must have adobe acrobat–you can download it for free– to view this tract, as it is a PDF file)

 

Tract E (Independent Fundamental Baptist Tract):

 

“If you will humbly repent of your sin and receive Jesus as your Savior, he will save you and give you eternal life.  “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed (Romans 10:9-11). But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (John 1:12). “

 

Click here to view entire tract.

 

The Fundamental problem with the receiving Jesus plan of salvation:  At this point, you might be thinking, so what exactly is the problem with these tracts?  The main problem, which at first glance might not appear noticeable, is that these tracts all point the sinner to a different means of salvation than faith only.  How can that be, you ask?  Consider the statements at the end of these tracts for a moment:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a common thread among all of these final statements used for leading lost souls to Christ, did you notice it?  Every tract has the lost sinner doing something in order to get saved or asking for something to be done for them to save them that the Bible does not mention actually needs to be done.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say that you must try to receive Jesus, that you must pray and ask Him to save you, that you must accept Him into your heart and life in order to get saved. Salvation in the Bible does not center on some interchange that occurs between the lost sinner and Jesus Christ at that moment for salvation.  Salvation in the Bible focuses only on the cross of Calvary, where Jesus already did the work of saving lost sinners.  Salvation in the Bible directs the lost sinner to look to Calvary at the point of salvation, to understand that the work has already been done, that all that they need to do is look upon Jesus as a sacrifice for their sins, upon Him as a substitute for them, dying in their place, upon Jesus who bore the full weight of the wrath of God for them and drank the cup of the wrath of God to the very last dreg.  Salvation in the Bible is not about something that Jesus is doing for us now, today (come into my heart and life, he will save you, come into our hearts, etc), but what he already did 2,000 years ago.  Friends, Jesus does not need to do anything else to save lost sinners!  He has already completed the work of salvation.  Jesus spoke the words, It is finished, with finality when He died on the cross.  He does not save sinners by coming into their hearts; He does not decide to save the repenting sinner when they contritely ask Him to save them; for, before the foundation of the world, He had already decided to save them, and, at this point in time, the work of salvation has been fully accomplished for nearly 2,000 years. The only thing necessary, at the moment of salvation, is simple faith in the fact that Jesus’ work on the cross of Calvary is sufficient.  If the repenting sinner is directed to some act, some event, something other than Jesus’ work on the cross of Calvary for salvation, he will place his faith in something other than the only thing that God has done or will do to save him; his faith will rest on a substitute, something that the Bible does not offer for salvation, but which appears to have saving merit and to even be necessary for salvation based on the tract.  

 

But doesn’t the Receiving Jesus plan of salvation mention the cross?  Yes, the cross is mentioned in these tracts, but you will notice that it is rarely mentioned at the very end of the tract, where it is most important, where the sinner is actually shown how to be saved.  At the point where the sinner is brought to salvation, the cross mysteriously disappears and another method of salvation is offered in its place.  Sometimes the cross is mentioned along side several other methods of salvation, so the repenting sinner is left to figure out which of these things to actually trust in for salvation.  Yet, the only means of salvation in the Bible is faith in the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.  The trouble is, these tracts all direct sinners to an act separate from that, to an act where Jesus does something for them today to save them, to an act of receiving  the person of Jesus for salvation.  But does it matter, you ask?  If the sinner knows that Jesus died for them, isn’t that enough?  I, in turn, will ask you a question: Does it matter that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, but that we actually receive salvation through the sacraments?  Does it matter that the Lutheran Church teaches that Jesus died on the cross to save us, but that our sins are actually washed away in baptism?  Does it matter that many false denominations teach that Jesus died on the cross, but that in order to actually get saved, you also must live a life of obedience ? Every single denomination in Christendom mentions the fact that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins. The problem is that they direct the repenting sinner to something other than the cross when it comes to the point of how one actually receives salvation.  The receiving Jesus plan of salvation is really no different.  The plan mentions the cross, sometimes very prominently, early on, but when it comes to the point of telling the sinner how to actually get saved, the cross usually disappears and another means of salvation is introduced, quite contrary to the Biblical means of salvation.  They say that Jesus died to save us from our sins but that in order to actually get saved, you must somehow receive Him (the person of Christ, usually within the heart), or that you must pray to Him and ask Him to save you (as though Christ must do something for the sinner at that moment that causes them to get saved).  The focus shifts from the cross of Calvary to “calling” on the Lord (if I call on Him, then He will save me, instead of, if I believe that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross of Calvary was sufficient to save me, then, I am saved because Jesus sacrifice on the cross IS sufficient to save me.).  One has the sinner trusting in something that Jesus might do for him/her today (call on Him and He will do the work of saving you today!) rather than trusting in the work that Jesus already did to save them  (I can put my faith in the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ to save me and to forever settle my account before God because it was a substitutionary atonement, where my sins were laid on Jesus and His righteousness was applied to my account).  Do you see that there is a difference?  It might seem subtle, but it is not.  The fact is, if your faith is in something other than Jesus’ one-time work on the cross of Calvary to save you, then you do not have salvation.  If Satan can lure you away from the cross and cause you to put your faith in anything else (baptism, the sacraments, confession, works, that you must do something to receive the person of Christ, that you must pray to God and ask Him to save you, in order to actually get saved, calling on His name), then he has successfully thwarted your attempt to get saved.

 

Leaving the Cross Behind:  You might notice in the pictures that accompany the Little Red Book tract that the sinner never quite makes it to the cross.  The many steps of salvation (repent, believe, ask, receive) are designed to lead the sinner to the cross, but he never really gets there.  Let’s look at the final picture again:  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see here that the man is supposedly receiving salvation; the rays of light are coming to him right out of heaven (perhaps Jesus is entering his heart, perhaps God has chosen to save him and is somehow cleansing him of his sins).  In either case, the man is nowhere near the cross.  The cross is way off in the distance.  It is not even the focal point of the picture.  The focal point of the picture is some sort of supernatural interchange between the man and heaven (salvation seems to be coming to him right out of the clouds, right out of heaven).   Therefore, his journey to the cross didn’t ever end at the cross, which is typical of the receiving Jesus plan of salvation. Why trust in Jesus’ work on the cross, if He can offer you a means of salvation right from heaven?  Why trust in the shed blood of Jesus, when He actually saves you by entering your heart or life?  It is clearly a different means of salvation from the one that the Bible offers: in whom we have redemption THROUGH HIS BLOOD, even the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:14).  The Biblical means of salvation is through faith in the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, with nothing added. For a more detailed account of true, Biblical saving faith, please click here.

 

 You see, it doesn’t matter what  the substitute is, as long as it is something other than Jesus’ work at Calvary.  If the repenting sinner looks to works, the sacraments, baptism, Jesus entering his heart, Jesus answering his prayer and doing something from heaven to save him, then the repentant sinner is left lost in his sins because salvation is not based on any of those things. Salvation in the Bible is based only on faith in the blood of Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

          Faith in Christ’s sacrifice +  Baptism  = NO SALVATION

 

          Faith in Christ’s sacrifice + Receiving Christ in the Eucharist = NO SALVATION

 

          Faith in Christ’s sacrifice + Good Works = NO SALVATION

 

          Faith in Christ’s sacrifice + You must call on God in order to be saved = NO SALVATION

 

          Faith in Christ’s sacrifice + You must do something to receive Jesus  = NO SALVATION

 

          Faith in Christ’s sacrifice + NOTHING = SALVATION

 

 

 

 

Now that you have had an opportunity to get acquainted with the “Receiving Jesus” plan of salvation, you should have an understanding of the following things:

 

1) The “receiving Jesus” plan of salvation mentions the cross (often quite prominently) and plainly tells sinners that Jesus died to save them from their sins, but when it comes time for the repenting sinner to actually get saved, it turns them away from the cross and tells the repenting sinner to direct his faith elsewhere for salvation.

 

2)  The “receiving Jesus” plan of salvation tells sinners to put their faith in an answer to their prayer for salvation (when I call upon God, then He will save me) OR it tells sinners to trust that they will be saved when Jesus comes into their hearts.

 

3) The “receiving Jesus” plan of salvation is a different plan of salvation than the Biblical plan of salvation.  In the Bible, salvation comes when the repenting sinner places his faith in the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ upon the cross of Calvary (they simply believe that the work of salvation has already been done by God, that He has already  decided to save them and has already carried out the work of saving them through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.  They understand that when Jesus died on the cross , the sins of all mankind (including theirs) were placed upon Jesus Christ, that He bore the wrath of God that was their due through the shedding of His precious blood, and that salvation comes to them when they believe in its full and complete merit to save them and they rest their full faith upon it.  

 

To further illustrate point (3), we will do an in-depth biblical comparison of the “receiving Jesus” plan of salvation and the Bible’s plan of salvation. Remember: The Bible’s plan of salvation is through simple faith or belief in the sacrifice of Christ.  At this point, you and I might have differing opinions regarding which plan is actually biblical, but in the end, the Bible’s clear instruction is what really matters, not our personal opinions.  I too once believed that I could be saved by receiving Jesus, I even taught young children that God would save them when they asked Jesus into their hearts.  I too was fooled, but the truth of the Bible finally convinced me, and I turned away from the phony receiving Jesus plan of salvation, and I got gloriously saved!  Now, I want you to see the truth from the Bible too.

 

 

 

Part II: Receiving and Believing Biblically Contrasted

Part III: You do NOT need to call on God in order to get saved

Part IV:  RJPS Imposters Exposed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember: The following equations are based only on the faith component of salvation; in these instances, the sinner has already turned to God in repentance.

Tract

The condition of salvation

The promise of salvation

The problem

A

Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit. (Receive Him as your Savior).

 

You will be saved.

Although Jesus work on the cross is mentioned, it is not presented as the WAY that the repenting sinner actually gets saved.  It is clear from the instruction and the prayer that the repenting sinner gets saved when he receives the person of Christ, not when he believes the gospel.  The repenting sinner will then believe that the basis of his salvation is receiving Jesus, not Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross!

B

Who wants to come into your heart, if you ask Him to? Jesus!

Thou shalt be saved.

So, if you call on Jesus and ask Him to save you, Jesus will come into your heart. It is clear, then, that the act of Jesus entering your heart is what actually saves you. The repenting sinner will not place his faith in the shed blood of Jesus to save him, but will trust in the act of Jesus entering his heart to save him.

C

“Dear Jesus...Come into our hearts.”  AND “Give your heart to Jesus”

If you do this, Jesus will save you and take you to heaven!  

The prayer clearly  instructs children to ask Jesus into their hearts. Salvation (getting saved and going to heaven) seems to be a result of Jesus entering “our hearts.”  Yes, Jesus death on the cross is mentioned, but it is not given as THE WAY that Jesus actually saves us; it is carefully sandwiched between several other means of salvation, like asking Jesus into your heart.  What is the repenting child to trust in for salvation:  The sacrifice of Christ or the fact that Jesus came into his heart?

D

“The other thing you must do, is receive Jesus Christ by faith.” ...“By Receiving Jesus Christ by faith”

 

You will become a child of God.

Here becoming a child of God, a Christian, is tied to receiving Jesus Christ. Their full statement reads: “You can only become a child of God, by receiving Jesus Christ by faith.” It is clear from the context that they are referring to the person of Christ, that you must somehow receive Him, not the gospel message of Christ.  A repenting sinner will then will believe that salvation is contingent upon receiving the person of Jesus Christ, rather than believing on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross!

E

If  you will humbly repent of your sin and receive Jesus as your Savior

He will save you and give you eternal life.

Again, it appears that they are referring to receiving the person of Jesus Christ, not the message of the gospel.  They misuse certain Bible verses to imply that you MUST call on God and receive Jesus in order to get saved.  The repenting sinner is not told to put his faith in Jesus’ blood sacrifice on the cross for salvation, but rather to seek salvation by asking, by calling on God, and by receiving Jesus. Based on the tract, it appears that you receive Jesus by calling on Him for salvation and that is what actually saves you.  This might sound good, but it is totally unbiblical!