Ray Comfort is a New Zealander with a distinctive and pleasant accent. He is also a good speaker who uses stories and gets a lot of laughs while he declares his eternal security view of saving faith and how to evangelize:
Ray Comfort's Evangelism Approach is Wrong
And I began thinking, "How will he go, Lord? How will he go? And after 20 minutes, he lifted his hand to the sky, pointed his finger towards the heavens and said, "Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.' Ahhhhh." I though, "Man, what a way to go." Suddenly, the phone rang, he sat up and I was the one that just about died." (Laughter) He lasted another two years. (Laughter)
His big evangelism emphasis is on the importance of using the law to convict the sinner of his wickedness so he can then repent and become truly converted. Ray Comfort thinks without teaching the law one can not repent, and therefore, can not get truly saved.
He uses the same method of law-preaching when witnessing to a Muslim, Catholic, homosexual and intellectual as he demonstrates before his audience. An example of how he would witness to these (and others) is as follows:
Do you think you are a good person? Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen anything? Have you ever lusted? If you have lusted, it is the same as adultery, according to Jesus.
And I said, "Oh yeah. Would you consider yourself to be a good person?" He said, "Oh yes, I'm a very good person." And I said, "Well, can I ask you a few questions to see if that's true?" He said, "Yeah. Go ahead." And I said, "Have you ever told a lie?" And he said, "Yes sir." I says, "What does that make you?" He says, "A liar." "Have you ever stolen something?" He says, "Yes sir." I says, "What does that make you?"
He says, "A thief." Then I say, "Jesus said, ‘Whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. Have you ever done that?" He says, "Yes sir. Plenty of times." I said, "Well, what's your name?" He says, "Aaron(?)." I says, "Oh. By your own admission, Aaron(?), you're a lying, thieving, adulterer and you've got to face God on Judgment Day." And I shut him up under the law.
From that series of questions, the person should become aware, because he has committed such sins, that he is not a good person (as he thought of himself) and needs to repent for salvation.
This is how Ray Comfort witnesses to a Catholic:
Ray Comfort Witnesses To a Catholic
I'm going to share with you how to share your faith with a Roman Catholic. And of course, you and I know there are millions of Roman Catholics and Protestants who've never been born again. They are merely Roman Catholics or Protestants that have never found a place of Biblical repentance. So I'm sitting on a plane and I say, "Hey, how you doin?" And he says, "Oh, good, good." "So where ya from?" He says, "Minnesota." (Laughter) "Oh, yeah. What do you do for a living?" He says, "Oh such and such." "Oh yeah. Did you get one of these? This is a gospel tract." He says, "Ah, I'm a Roman Catholic." "Ah yeah.
So you consider yourself to be a good person?" See, I used to panic when someone says, "I'm a Roman Catholic." I say, "Oh! No! Now I'm going to have to deal with papal infallibility, the confessional, praying to the saints, purgatory, transubstantiation and Mariology." (Laughter) But now, folks, I go deaf. I didn't hear him say, "I'm a Roman Catholic." I just say, "Oh. Do you consider yourself to be a good person?" He says, "Yeah, I'm a really good person." "Oh yeah, have you ever told a lie, ever stolen something?" And I shut him up under the law, bring a knowledge of sin, bring him to the foot of the blood stained cross.
Ray Comfort and others like him, might get some people Biblically born again, but at the same time sets that same person up for a fatal spiritual fall from his true conversion because his theology is built upon eternal security and a false understanding of saving faith.
Let me elaborate. If that same Catholic who hears the law preached does sincerely repent and places his faith in Jesus for his salvation, he will have to learn additional truth or eventually be swallowed up by the various idolatries and heretical teachings in the Catholic church. This is especially true since he has been taught he was already born again at infant baptism, receives Christ in the communion wafer and has Mary as his mediatrix and dispenser of all graces. Because a true Christian can die spiritually and become lost again (unlike what Ray Comfort believes) it is imperative that Catholics, as with Mormons and others like them, leave their church and find one that is based on the New Testament and teaches Biblical truth about salvation. This does not automatically happen after a true conversion.
Before I get ahead of myself, let me back up and prove that a soul winner does not always have to preach the law to produce true converts, as Ray Comfort teaches. In Acts 16:30 we read where an unsaved person asked Paul and Silas around midnight about how to get saved. Surprisingly for followers of Ray Comfort, their answer did not include law preaching. They merely told him to trust on, cling to and rely upon Jesus for salvation. (This doesn't mean that repentance is not included in their answer because it is. See Acts chapter 20 verse 21, as well as other Scriptures.) Here is the actual dialogue between that unsaved person and Paul and Silas from Acts 16:30 and 31:
"Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household."
From that message, salvations followed and the true converts were Christian baptized by immersion before morning. Another similar example is the conversion of Cornelius the centurion and the ones in his house from Peter's preaching in Acts chapter 10. Law wasn't preached there either yet salvations resulted. These truths contradict the very foundation of Ray Comfort's theory about us bringing forth true or false converts. Listen to him explain:
Let me pinpoint what I'm trying to say today. The great, determining factor of whether or not we, with God's help, produce true or false converts, is the right use of the law of God. Let me repeat that. The great, determining factor in whether or not we produce genuine or false converts comes back to whether or not we imitate Jesus, follow in the way of the Master, and use the law lawfully to bring the knowledge of sin.
Furthermore, please know that when Jesus preached a salvation message, he did not always teach the law. To Matthew he only said, "Follow me," which resulted in salvation (Matt.9:9). Also, when Jesus gave the plan of salvation to Nicodemus in John chapter 3, he did not teach the law there either!
Also remember that not everyone to whom Jesus preached got saved, and even some that did, later turned away and followed Jesus no more, according to John 6:66 and other Scriptures. If the way one preaches will determine true or false converts, then certainly Judas Iscariot could not have been a false convert, since he heard Jesus preach truth perfectly many times.
Please know, people accept or reject the word of God based on them being a lover of truth or not. In John 18:37 Jesus said:
Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.
In the parable of the sower, it was the soil or the heart of man that was the determining factor if one got saved and afterwards endured persecution and brought forth fruit or not. Man has free will to do what is right or wrong.
Defecting from God and his salvation is shown even in the Old Testament in such passages as:
Psa. 125:5, "But those who turn to crooked ways the LORD will banish with the evildoers." And
Isa. 1:28, "Those who forsake the LORD will perish."
If turning to crooked ways and forsaking the Lord is something that can not happen, then why are these verses in the Bible? Unfortunately, it can and does happen and, therefore, Christians must remain on guard.
Ray Comfort defines a saint as any person who has repented and placed his faith in Jesus. Listen for yourself:
A saint is anybody who has repented and put his faith in Jesus Christ.
It is significant that his understanding of being a Christian (or saint) goes back to a past moment in time when a person has genuinely repented. As long as he has done this, sometime in the past, he is a present tense saint, that is, if he has also placed his faith in Jesus.
But what about the present tense, here and now? Where is the saint of 10 years ago today? Has he become lukewarm and gotten spued out of Jesus' body, as the Lord threatened in Rev. chapter 3:16 to the true converts at Laodicea? Did the pleasures of life, deceitfulness of riches and lust for other things choke out the fruitfulness of God's word in his life which caused him to get cut off from Jesus, the vine, in John chapter 15 verse 2; Lk. chapter 13:6-9 and Mt. 7:19?
Folks, many horrible things can happen between getting born again and actually entering the kingdom of God. There have been many spiritual and lethal casualties among those who were truly converted to Jesus and his great salvation.
Because Ray Comfort believes in eternal security, his whole theology and method of evangelizing is fatally flawed and that is because it revolves around that false version of grace and security-in-sin false gospel. Ray Comfort, and others like him, sets the true convert up for a deadly spiritual fall from his salvation. In part, this is how he does that.
Ray Comfort Warped Theology
Ray Comfort actually teaches that tribulations, temptations, and persecutions are good for the true convert, as well as beneficial for the false convert. For the former, according to Ray Comfort, tribulations, temptations, and persecutions will make him grow spiritually. For the latter, the same will reveal his unsaved condition so he will clearly know he is not saved and needs to genuinely repent and place his faith in Jesus for first-time salvation.
The sunlight and the spiritual, that which reveals that which we cannot see, is tribulation, Mt. 13:21; temptation, Luke 8 verse 13; and persecution, Mark 4 verse 17. These three factors reveal what you and I cannot see, the heart condition of the professing convert. Now if you purchase an expensive house plant, one of the worst things you can do is take that plant home and say, "This plant cost me a lot of money.
I'm going to keep it away from the sunlight. I'm going to put it in a closet and shut the door. Now, that's the worst thing you can do. If you know what you're doing, you'll put the plant in the sunlight and you'll even rotate it to make sure it gets plenty of balanced light. In the same way, the worst thing you and I can do with a new convert is shield him from the sunlight of tribulation, temptation and persecution. If he is genuine, the sunlight will cause him to grow. If he is false, the sunlight will cause him to wither and die.
If you are a true convert, after Ray Comfort is done with you, you will think you are standing firm and will always be standing firm through tribulations, temptations and persecutions. You can't fall away, ever backslide or even look back.
Again, the true convert will never even look back according to Jesus, let alone depart from the faith.
But the Bible gives a very hard hitting Scripture to repudiate such a false notion. In 1 Cor. 10 verse 12, Paul wrote to true converts with these words:
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!
Paul believed true Christians could spiritually fall just by thinking they were firmly standing, the very message of eternal security and Ray Comfort. Christians are also told to be afraid and not arrogant in Rom. 11:19 through 23.
Furthermore, if Ray Comfort's theory and theology are correct about temptations and persecutions being good for the true convert, then we should see this being taught directly or indirectly in the Bible. Just the opposite is magnified in Scripture. Here are just a few questions we must ask Ray Comfort or anyone who thinks temptations and persecutions are good for the true convert:
1: Why did Jesus tell the disciples to pray to God to be led away from temptations and be delivered from the evil one in Mt. 6:13? If such will help us to grow, which is God's will, then why hinder spiritual growth?
If shielding a true convert from temptations is the worst thing that you can do to the true convert then why did Jesus command us to pray like this? Please don't be deceived by Ray Comfort:
The worst thing you and I can do with a new convert is shield him from the sunlight of tribulation, temptation and persecution.
Shielding a false convert from temptations and persecutions will give them a false assurance that they are saved, according to Ray Comfort:
He's got no hunger for the Word. He doesn't really get into fellowship. And so, you make it your job to make sure he's continuing in his faith. You read his bible to him, you take him to fellowship, etc. You shield him from the sunlight of tribulation, temptation and persecution and you manage to do so right until Judgment Day when the eyes of a Holy God burn their way into his guilty soul. When the books are opened, and they stand before a holy and wrath-filled law, and he's exposed to be a worker of iniquity, what a tragedy that you shielded him from the sunlight. Wouldn't it be better to stand back and let the sunlight reveal to him his true condition, rather than give him a false assurance that he is saved?
Folks, people get a false assurance of their entrance into the kingdom of God because of the teaching of eternal security. The Bible teaches that true spiritual leaders are to watch over, guard and feed the sheep and themselves in Acts chapter 20:28 and Hebrews chapter 13 verse 17.
Question 2 for Ray Comfort: We must also ask, why are Christians told to avoid every kind of evil in 1 Thess. 5:22?
Question 3: Why was Paul concerned that Timothy could have his saving faith shipwrecked if he didn't do certain things to prevent it? Paul believed Timothy could become just like two others that he knew—Hymenaeus and Alexander, who shipwrecked their faith and were not false converts just like Timothy was not in 1 Tim 1:19 and 20.
Question 4: If persecutions are always good for the real convert, then why did Jesus teach that it was through persecutions that a saving faith, which produced spiritual life, could cease to exist in Luke 8:13? Moreover, why did Jesus teach the disciples when they are persecuted in one place to flee to another in Mt. 10 verse 23?
Question 5: Why should Christians pray to be delivered from wicked people, if persecutions will help them grow? See 2 Thess. chapter 3 verse 2.
Ray Comfort View on Old Friends
Ray Comfort also dangerously teaches that a true convert should not stay away from the old unsaved friends he had before finding salvation:
Oh, he's made a decision. Keep him away from his old friends. No, no, no. Let the sunlight of tribulation, temptation and persecution come upon him. If he's genuine, he'll grow. If he's false, he'll wither and die.
If Ray Comfort is correct, then again we must justly ask why are Christians taught by Paul in 1 Cor. 15 verse 33, Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character. Could it be that Paul's concern about Christians being misled about this is actually occurring through the teaching of Ray Comfort and those who support him? The answer is a definite yes. Besides that we are told in 2 Cor. 6:17 the following:
Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.
If corrupting good character by bad company cannot happen, then why do we read the opposite in the Bible about those who were definitely known to be true converts? For example, the bad company of false teachers preaching a false gospel caused true Christians to desert God himself. In Galatians 1:6, Paul wrote:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel.
Ray Comfort's faulty eternal security version of saving faith is one in which he thinks it cannot die or cease to exist.
Please remember: Paul, Peter and others went out of their way to teach, warn and look out for the faith of their converts who were going through persecutions, trials, etc. They knew something that is vehemently denied by eternal security teachers, that is, a saving faith can cease to exist, as the Lord taught in Luke 8:13. Paul's evangelism also knew a saving faith can become shipwrecked (1 Tim. 1:19 and 20), destroyed (2 Tim. 2:18) and may not continue (Rom. chapter 11:19 through 23).
Surprisingly, the only time we see where Satan stopped Paul, and did it multiple times, was in conjunction with him following up on true converts. In other words, the devil did not want Paul to get around those true converts to help them through the trials they were going through. Starting in 1 Thess. 2:18 we read the following:
"For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan stopped us. For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy. So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God's fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. You know quite well that we were destined for them. In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted.
And it turned out that way, as you well know. For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless. But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith." That was 1 Thess. chapter 2 starting at verse18 all the way over to chapter 3 verse 7.
Ray Comfort has taught elsewhere that a true convert will never die spiritually.
If God has saved them, God will keep them. If they're born of God, they'll never die. (From "Hell's Best Kept Secret.")
In contrast, there are at least 16 examples in the New Testament alone of people or types of saved people that temporarily or permanently lost their salvation. Please see chapter 13 of our book refuting eternal security entitled, "The Believer's Conditional Security" for proof of this. (This book can be ordered over the internet at Evangelical Books.) Some of those 16 examples that became spiritually lost returned to God and some didn't.
To Ray Comfort, the Lord's teaching of the Parable of the Sower is merely about true and false conversions and the key to unlock the mystery of all the other parables.
Ray Comfort on the Parable of the Sower
In other words, the parable of the sower which speaks of true and false conversion is the key to unlock the mystery of all the other parables. Once we understand that when the gospel is preached there is true and false conversion, then the other parables begin to make sense. The sheep and the goats, dwelling together, the true and the false; the foolish virgins and the wise, the true and the false together; the bad fish and the good fish, drawn into the gospel net sitting together; the wheat and the tares, growing alongside one another.
The real truth about the parable of the sower is: Four types of people hear the word of God. The first type never gets saved and this is shown by no plant life ever resulting from the seed of God's word. But all of the other three types of soil produced plant life (meaning that they did get saved at least for a time). According to Jesus, persecution can be fatal to the real believer. Jesus also taught that life's worries, riches and pleasures are likened unto thorns that can stop the fruitfulness of God's word from bringing forth fruit in the life of a Christian. Only one of the three types of soil that produced plant life brought forth fruit. According to Luke 8:15 it happened because they heard the word, retained it, and by persevering produced a crop.
To Ray Comfort false converts even include the ones referred to in Luke 8:13, where Jesus taught:
They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.
Jesus taught those people fell away because of the heat of persecution for godly living. This is when the plant died. But eternal security teachers, like Ray Comfort, would amazingly say that there was never life in the plant even though there was a plant. To them, it withered (and died), because it never had life, but only a false faith. This is also what Calvinist John MacArthur would say. (Try telling gardeners that a plant dies because it never had life in it and see how many you can convince. This is what these people are teaching.)
Also, remember that the Apostle Peter fell away over the fear of persecution and he certainly was a true convert before that happened. How Ray Comfort (and other eternal security teachers) can say if someone is saved, he'll never fall away, is a blatant contradiction to what Jesus taught the disciples.
Folks, this is going to sound a little radical, but if someone is soundly saved, he will never fall away.
In Mt. chapter 26:31 through 35, we read the disturbing truth Jesus told the apostles:
"This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee." Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will." "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." But Peter declared, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the other disciples said the same.
Ray Comfort Way of Knowing a False Convert
Ray Comfort teaches that a person professing to be saved, at this present moment, that is not hungry for the word of God, interested in winning souls and displaying the fruit of the Holy Spirit is merely a false convert.
A young man once sat in my office and he said, "Ray," he said, "Boy I've been looking at you guys and I don't have what you've got. I have no zeal for the lost. I don't have a hunger for the Word. Something's wrong in my Christian walk." And I said, "Hey, Richard, do you have love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faith, meekness and temperance?" And he said, "No" to seven of the nine fruits of the Spirit. So I said, "Richard, by your own confession, I don't see any evidence that you're soundly saved."
I would say he is not saved at present even though he might have been saved in the past. Perhaps he has been cut off from the Vine because he bore no fruit due to life's worries, riches and pleasures.
Ray Comfort also teaches that a true convert does fall into sin.
Am I saying a genuine convert never sins? Of course not. A Christian has, every Christian has a battle with the world, the flesh and the devil. And sometimes he does fall into sin.
He tries to make a distinction between merely falling into sin and diving into sin, as a false convert supposedly does.
Am I saying a genuine convert never sins? Of course not. A Christian has, every Christian has a battle with the world, the flesh and the devil. And sometimes he does fall into sin. But that's the point. He falls into sin while the hypocrite, the false convert, dives into sin.
Ray Comfort doesn't explain the difference between falling and diving into sin. In a similar way, John MacArthur says the true Christian commits occasional sins while those never really saved commit habitual or lifestyle sin, though the point at which sin becomes habitual or lifestyle is not defined by MacArthur either.
Ray Comfort declares that it is the false convert who starts off fast with immediate results and could be the Amen, Hallelujah-shouter in a congregation, while the true convert is the quiet man in the front who takes notes when the pastor is teaching.There are immediate results with a false convert. That is, he hears the message after the modern message of everlasting life and says, "I want that." There's no weighing of the issues. The genuine believer brings forth fruit with patience. Luke 8 verse 15. In other words, with a genuine convert, there is not spectacular, quick growth. Why? Because the roots are going deep into the soil of God's word and drawing out the moisture. The reason there was quick growth with that plant was on bedrock is cause the goodness that should have been going into the root system was being pushed into the branches and leaves. Same with a false convert. You've got two people made decisions for Christ in your church.
One guy is a trophy of grace. Man, he says "Amen" louder than anyone else in the church. "Hallelujah" louder than anyone else in the church. He carries, he carries a big bible. He has more stickers, flashier T-shirts and has "Jesus saves" tattooed in caps on his forehead. While the other decision for Christ who sits in the front row listening to every word that's preached, he's always taking notes, always taking notes. And what's happening is, he's into closet prayer, confession of sin, returning things that were stolen, going to his parents and apologizing for dishonoring them. He's bringing forth fruit with patience, sending the roots deep down into God's word. Suddenly, loud mouth falls away while humble heart remains faithful. What's happened? The sunlight of tribulation, temptation cause the false convert to wither and the true convert to send his roots deep into God and his word.
By teaching this way, Ray Comfort has just called into question the person's salvation who is walking holy, bold, winning souls, displaying the fruit of the Spirit, etc. and shouting Amen and Hallelujah in the congregation.
A refutation to Ray Comfort's concept about false converts shooting up quickly is the Apostle Paul's conversion to Christianity. Paul quickly and with great zeal started to work for the Lord by preaching. After Ananias prayed for him, we read the following:
"Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, ‘Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?' Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ." (Acts 9:18-22)
Paul grew spiritually, not because of temptations and persecutions, but because he put into practice the word of God in his own life. Elsewhere we read about spiritual growth with these words:
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation (1 Pet. 2:2).
Let's also remember that the true convert, John Mark, deserted Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary trip because of the opposition and various problems that arose on it.
Ray Comfort and King David
Though Ray Comfort did avoid mentioning King David and his sins of adultery and murder, his own theology forces him to say that David was a true convert even though he committed those horrible sins and even plotted and schemed to murder Uriah. Hence, Ray Comfort must believe that a true convert can be adulterous and murderous in light of David's backsliding. If he didn't admit this, he would have to deny that David was saved before he committed those sins, which would be ludicrously unbiblical. How he can teach that the truly saved can not backslide and can not commit adultery is simple ignorance of the Bible or a denial of the facts, but that is what he teaches:
That's what happens when someone is soundly saved. They have regard to the divine law. No longer are they workers of iniquity. They don't lie, they don't steal, they don't kill, they don't commit adultery, they don't lust, they don't hate, they don't get angry without cause, they don't covet. It's those we erroneously call backsliders who fall away because they never slid forward in the first place.
Rather than teaching the Bible truth that King David died spiritually because of his sins and needed to get saved again, he must avoid or deny the facts and be consistent with his teachings because of eternal security. He is trying to avoid teaching a license for immorality but his own beloved doctrine of eternal security won't allow for that.
King David and his situation is both an embarrassment and glaring refutation to the Calvinistic eternal security view that Ray Comfort, John MacArthur, D. James Kennedy and others, embrace. King David and his turning away from God for at least nine months reveals the fact that it did happen to a man who was previously godly, dedicated and righteous. Again, such a horrible thing can happen even to those who have an exceptional walk with God, as David did. Rather than deny this sobering fact, all Christians need to be acutely aware of it so that they can be more on their spiritual guard to prevent the same horrible thing from happening to us today.
Because all eternal security proponents, with no exception, must say that King David retained his salvation while in adultery and murder to be consistent with their own belief, they are teaching a license for immorality under their perverted version of grace. It is, therefore, impossible for any eternal security teacher to truly teach holiness for salvation, as the Bible requires in Heb. 12:14; Mt. 5:8; Rev. 20 verse 6; 21:27; etc. In fact, the greatest doctrinal threat and enemy to Biblical holiness is the teaching of eternal security. All that the eternal security teachers have is a sometimes-holiness facade, but not the genuine.
Ray Comfort's evangelism would state if you have ever lied, stolen anything or lusted, then you need to repent and get saved, but because of his eternal security theology he must also declare that if you commit these same sins after a true conversion you remain saved without repenting. (All eternal security proponents must believe this or deny their own doctrine. If they say they don't they are ignorantly contradicting their own theology or intentionally trying to deceive.) Later, an excerpt from Ray Comfort will show that he has Christians lying and committing other sins, which before getting born again would send one to hell.
Sometimes to avoid problems, while trying to maintain their facade of teaching holiness, these same teachers try to ignore what happened to King David, King Solomon, the Apostle Peter, the unnamed disciples in John 6:66; etc. and simply say, such modern examples were only false converts (or never really saved). By doing so they confuse and deceive some of their listeners, but also reveal how inconsistent their own teaching is. The reason it is inconsistent and dangerously unbiblical is because it is built on the lie and license for immorality of eternal security.
As mentioned earlier, John MacArthur is a Calvinist and believes like Ray Comfort. MacArthur also teaches a holiness message, that is, sometimes. But MacArthur can also turn right around and teach a blatant license for immorality with seemingly no problem. In the MacArthur study Bible, which is not really a study Bible at all but only a Calvinistic indoctrination Bible, MacArthur stated the following in reference to the long string of sins listed in 1 Cor. 6:9 and 10. Under 1 Cor. 6 verse 11, he wrote this:
"Some who used to have those patterns of sinful life were falling into those old sins again, and needed reminding that if they went all the way back to live as they used to, they were not going to inherit eternal salvation, because it would indicate that they never were saved." (The MacArthur Study Bible, 1997, p. 1736.)
That is also found on page 1736 in his book. MacArthur clearly teaches a true convert can commit the sins listed in 1 Cor. 6:9 and 10 but can't go all the way back with them as he did before he got born again. In other words, if he was committing adultery 5 times a month, but now only 3 or 4 times he can still be a true Christian on the road to heaven as one of God's elect.
It is crystal clear that MacArthur teaches a true convert with salvation, like King David, can turn to adultery and still be a true convert and remain saved in this wickedness. Calvinistic John MacArthur thinks David remained saved while in adultery and murder.
Another reason eternal security teachers can deceive some about all of this is because eternal security theology denies we can now know who the real converts are at this time. For support they sometimes misuse the teaching of the wheat and the tares:
God will sort out the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares. Cause we really, really truly don't know. God only truly knows the genuine from the false.
Since Ray Comfort believes we can not tell the true from the false convert, then how can he say Demas was a false convert?
And further over in Scripture in 2 Timothy 4:10, we see Scripture says, "For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world." False convert.
Folks, please take a few minutes and read the Lord's teaching about the wheat and the tares in Mt. 13:24 through 30. You will notice that the servants could definitely identify the tares from the wheat and asked about pulling up the tares (or weeds). By twisting this teaching, Ray Comfort and others try to make the word of God teach we can't identify the real convert from the false.
God will sort out the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares. Cause we really, really truly don't know. God only truly knows the genuine from the false.
Since it is explicitly clear that we can definitely know now a true convert, and there are scores and scores of Scriptures to prove this, then this single point disintegrates their practice of labeling someone a false convert because they merely backslid or fell away, like David, Peter or the prodigal, who were definitely saved before turning away from God.
Let us return to Ray Comfort's eternal security faulty understanding of the word saint. The word saint, in Scripture, means holy one. Since it is Biblically possible for a holy person (or saint) to become unholy and impure due to sin, then that one time saint would no longer remain a saint, since he is no longer holy and needs to repent again for salvation. Remember the prodigal son became spiritually dead and lost due to his sins, which means he also became unholy.
Another proof of this occurring is what we read in Rev. chapter 3 where the Lord Jesus addressed the church at Sardis. The majority there soiled their spiritual clothing, unlike the minority. Listen carefully to what Jesus said of the minority:
Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. That is Rev. chapter 3 verses 4 and 5.
Hence, it wasn't that the majority had a false conversion, but that after their true conversion they became spiritually soiled and needed to repent again for salvation's sake. The few or minority kept themselves pure, as Paul told Timothy to do in 1 Tim. 5:22.
Correctly, Ray Comfort also teaches there are hypocrites in the church, but contradicts his own teaching by how he presents this. He cites the old story (also used by Hank Hanegraaff) of some alleged Russians that broke up a Christian prayer meeting and were breathing out murderous threats. The ones who left the meeting were labeled hypocrites because they left under the fear of persecution as the Lord's apostles did. Unwittingly Ray Comfort is saying the Christians, in part, are the ones who lied, threatened murder and interrupted a Christian prayer meeting. Listen to how Ray Comfort explains this:
The story was told of two Russian guards that burst into a prayer meeting. They were fully armed. They said, "If you're not prepared to die for your faith, get out of here!" And half those professing Christians left. When the doors were closed, they put their guns down. They got their bibles out and they said, "We're believers, but we didn't want to risk fellowship until we sorted out the sheep from the goats."
Hence, Ray Comfort must believe a Christian can lie, breathe out murderous threats and interrupt a Christian prayer meeting. The same Christians in his story also committed these sins willfully, which he also denies can happen to a true convert. Again, those Russian Christians lied and did those other things which he dogmatically stated at a different time doesn't happen with true converts:
That's what happens when someone is soundly saved. They have regard to the divine law. No longer are they workers of iniquity. They don't lie, they don't steal, they don't kill, they don't commit adultery, they don't lust, they don't hate, they don't get angry without cause, they don't covet.
Ray Comfort also believes Judas Iscariot was a false convert. Here is his explanation why:
See, some people think Judas was a Christian that loved the Lord and he somehow backslid. Well, was Judas genuine or false? Jesus said, "One of you is a devil." There's a good clue.
Folks, if that rationale is sound, then Peter was also a false convert because Jesus called him Satan and told him to get behind him in Mt. chapter 16 verse 23. Here are some other facts that eternal security teachers avoid about Judas:
1. Judas was once a disciple, the same kind of disciple as Peter, John, James and the other Twelve. See Mt. chapter 10 verses 1 through 4. It is also important to know that the Lord's disciples are saved, according to Mt. 12:49 and 50.
2. Judas Iscariot was also chosen by Jesus himself to hold the highest office in the church as Apostle.
3. Jesus gave Judas special spiritual powers to heal the sick, raise the dead and preach his gospel. To say Judas was a false convert is to say Jesus had a child of the devil to represent him and his message, which is impossible.
So what happened to Judas? The truth is: Judas started off good and ended up bad. He backslid in the presence of the other Twelve and while hearing and watching Jesus teach and perform miracles. Though he was a true convert he later fell away. He died in his sins and perished, even though at an earlier point he was forgiven like the other Twelve and was even promised a throne in heaven with them in Mt. chapter 19 verse 28. Judas didn't resist the sinful temptations of greed and that led to a series of other sins, including self-murder or suicide.
Folks, it is not that Ray Comfort is confused, but his theology is poisoned by eternal security. Because it is fatally flawed, it has resulted in these irreconcilable contradictions and deadly errors. The sooner we realize this the better it will be for multitudes of people here and the kingdom of God in eternity. Eternal security is not the message of the Bible but instead a doctrine of demons designed to reclaim precious souls for Satan that once found salvation through the Lord Jesus and his precious blood.
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