Highlighting Charles Stanley's Errors
Greetings in Jesus' name.
Recently I purchased a copy of your book, Eternal Security Can You Be Sure. As a serious student of the Bible who firmly believes salvation comes instantly (Lk. 23:42,43; Acts 10:43-48; etc.) at the point of a trusting and submitting faith in Jesus Christ (Lk. 13:3,5; Acts 20:21; Rom. 3:22; Gal. 3:26; etc.), who paid the entire sin debt at Calvary (Jn. 19:10; Heb. 10:10-14; etc.), I have observed that your book has multiple doctrinal errors that are not only misleading but spiritually dangerous as well! Though I could state many that I Biblically disagree with, I would like to focus in upon just two of them that are stated on pages 70 and 71 of your book.
You wrote on page 70:
"The debate is over whether or not a man can be on his way to heaven one minute and on his way to hell the next. To answer that question, we must understand exactly what sends a person to hell. As we have seen, sin alone is not enough. . . . It takes more than simply sinning to get to hell. . . . It is not lying, cheating, stealing, raping, murdering, or being unfaithful that sends people to hell. It is rejecting Christ, refusing to put their trust in Him for the forgiveness of sin" (emphasis mine).Like many who embrace an unconditional eternal security for the believer in Christ, you have greatly down played the seriousness of sinning after salvation. Unlike Paul, the real grace teacher, your teachings seem to be giving a "license for immorality" (Jude 4)! Please consider the following, which were all written about sinning by the great, grace teacher himself (Paul), with only the last cited one not being his:
"If you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live" (Rom. 8:13).
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9,10, NASB)
"The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will NOT inherit the kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:19-21).
"For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person -- such a man is an idolater -- has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore, do not be partners with them" (Eph. 5:5-7).
"But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those that practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars - their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death" (Rev. 21:8).Please note, according to the testimony of God, this last passage clearly shows that unbelievers will NOT be the only ones in the lake of fire!
You also wrote on page 71:
"... there are Christians who show no evidence of their Christianity ..." (emphasis mine).This issue of a behavioral change for believers in Christ has been a controversy itself over the centuries, in spite of the clear teaching from Scripture regarding this:
"You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness" (Rom. 6:18).
"They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him" (Tit. 1:16a).
"What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?" (Jam. 2:14).
"We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, 'I know him,' but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1 Jn. 2:3,4).
"Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the very beginning" (1 Jn. 3:7,8).
"This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; neither is anyone who does not love his brother" (1 Jn. 3:10).It is my sincere desire and heartfelt prayer for you and your ministry that you will change your doctrinal position regarding these issues and eternal security as a whole. Soon I will be sending you a free copy of my book on the believer's security, in which you, and other eternal security proponents, are quoted and refuted with Scripture.
Certainly the effect of a teacher's views regarding these things will stretch into eternity. Therefore, to make a statement, as pleasing as it may be to one's audience, which can only be backed by some natural illustration, should NEVER be given as Spiritual truth; especially if such is diametrically opposed by many clear Scriptures! Please seriously ponder the clarity of the above cited Scriptures regarding the subjects addressed.
P. S. A copy of this letter is also being sent to Hank Hanegraaff ("Bible Answer Man"), since he recommends your book in his CRI PERSPECTIVE entitled "Christians And The Assurance Of Salvation."
The true plan of salvation is repentance towards God and faith in Christ Jesus (Acts 20:21). We prove our repentance by our deeds (Acts 26:20). The Lord Jesus taught the road to life is "hard" and only a "few" will find it (Mt. 7:13,14, NKJV). Many get saved, but afterwards fall away (Lk. 8:13; Jn. 6:66; 1 Tim. 1:19; etc.). In other words, after initial salvation we must endure to the "end" to enter the kingdom of God and escape the lake of fire (Mt. 10:22; Heb. 3:14; Rev. 2:10,11). Eternal life comes to the repentant the moment such believe on Jesus for salvation (Jn. 3:16; 6:47; 1 Jn. 5:12,13), but there is another important aspect of eternal life that many are totally unware of in our day because of the false teaching of eternal security. According to true grace teaching, eternal life is also a HOPE (Titus 3:7), yet to be REAPED (Gal. 6:8,9) in the AGE TO COME (Mk. 10:30) for only the ones who PERSIST IN DOING GOOD (Rom. 2:7) and DO NOT GROW WEARY AND GIVE UP (Gal. 6:9).
If a saved person sows to please his sinful nature he'll die spiritually (Rom. 8:13; Gal. 6:8,9). The prodigal is a clear example of this (Lk. 15:24,32). The end result of sin is spiritual death, so DO NOT BE DECEIVED (James 1:14-16). For more information regarding the believer's security, see The Believer's Conditional Security. It is the most exhaustive and comprehensive refutation to eternal security ever written. It will not be refuted!
Because of the teaching of once saved always saved, grace has been taught as a license for immorality for so long, and without challenge, that when Scripture is quoted, such as 1 Cor. 6:9,10 or Rev. 21:8, it is disregarded, and the giver of God's Word is falsely accused of teaching legalism, bondage, works, etc. This reflects how truly dark are the days in which we live!
The ACID TEST question to know if a ministry or local congregation is teaching a license for immorality as condemned by Jude 3,4.
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