Monday, July 30, 2007

RC Sproul Apparently Thinks Salvation Without the Resurrection Proclaimed is Possible

2Co 11:3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

Rom 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

A few years ago, I had occassion to confront Matt Slick with his view of a Universalist being saved as a Universalist. What was the foundation for his view basically, was that he himself had no idea that Jesus Christ the Resurrected Lord rose from the dead until two full years after he was "saved". So if he could be saved not knowing Jesus was resurrected, then certainly a Universalist could. To support his view he went to man--the Westminister Confession of Faith as well as quoting Dr. John Frame. In an email exchange posted at Reflections, Frame reiterrated that he holds to that view as well. After all, he reasons, Abraham nor any of the O.T. prophets knew that the Christ would be called Jesus and would be resurrected. Therefore its possible and maybe even probably today.

Except the little fact that Jesus not only has already come, but indeed died and rose from the dead "according to the Scriptures" as well as the fact we have the completed revelation of the Gospel and salvation and Scripture.

All this to say, that Slick and Frame are not the only ones on this horrid, resurrectionless gospel bandwagon.

Now it seems RC Sproul's holding to it.

Yes, Sproul, the "theologian" Reformers (and some non-Reformers) love to read and quote has decided that a person can be saved not believing in the Resurrected Lord. The article is here.

In part it says:

As Pam and I were sitting through the Ministry Partner Q&A session at the Ligonier National Conference last week, listening to various people pose their questions to R.C. Sproul, a gentleman stepped up to one of the microphones and asked the following question:

Can a person be saved without knowledge of
the resurrection of Christ

To which Dr. Sproul made the following reply:

Don’t be shocked by my answer, but yes…to this reason: IF the work of
Christ has been explained to someone and they put their faith in Him based upon their faith and trust in that work for his salvation, but is not aware of the resurrection…then, yes
. I believe that person can be in a state of grace. Now, can a person know about the resurrection, reject it and be saved? NO! But a person doesn’t have to have a perfect knowledge of the work of Christ to be


What work of Jesus is ever explained APART from the Resurrection?

Rom 4:22 That is why his faith was "counted to him as righteousness." 23 But the words "it was counted to him" were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

Jesus clearly taught about His death and resurrection and even used O.T. Scripture to demonstrat He is the fulfillment of them. Paul and Peter did this as well (see verses below).

Scripture says there is only ONE (count 'em, ONE) gospel:

Rom 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

2Ti 2:8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!

1Co 15:1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand,
1Co 15:2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
1Co 15:4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
1Co 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
1Co 15:6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
1Co 15:7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
1Co 15:8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

1Co 15:12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
1Co 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.
1Co 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
1Co 15:15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.
1Co 15:16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.
1Co 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.

The ONLY Gospel that saves is one which proclaims Christ Jesus as Lord (Master,Owner, Sovereign) and RESURRECTED. Without the resurrection of Christ, He is merely a nice guy who died on a cross, but certainly isn't God nor Lord. One cannot have a Lord without Him being the RESURRECTED Lord. His deity demands BOTH.

Jesus continually taught of Himself from the O.T., including His resurrection. See Matt. 22:29-32; John 5:28-29 (about all are resurrected);both Jesus and Moses taught of the resurrection (Luke 20:34-38).

In case that wasn't enough to show that its not optional to NOT believe about Jesus Christ as HE taught (and Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms), here's an exchange Jesus had with a dear saint who truly recognized Jesus' Lordship and loved Him dearly (I think she gets way too much of a bad rap):

Joh 11:23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
Joh 11:24 Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."
Joh 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

So this is the question to all you Reformers out there: Do you? Do you REALLY believe Rom. 10:9-10? Or is that just a mere intellectual philosophical football to throw around as an optional belief?

Is Jesus Christ Kurios or NOT? Is what Scripture taught re: salvation OPTIONAL?

Act 4:1 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, 2greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

Act 4:33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.

Act 17:30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead."

It was because of proclaiming the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, that Paul was put on trial (Acts 23:6;24:14-15).The resurrection proves Jesus to be God the Son. If He is not declared to be such, then people don't know and aren't saved. They might be trusting a "good teacher" but its not the Son of God--God the Son:

Rom 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Even in our baptism we proclaim His resurrection, and look to the future of being like the resurrected Lord:

Rom 6:4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Scripturally, all new believers are baptized. So not only was the gospel they believed in one about the Risen Lord, but their baptize also portrayed Him as Resurrected. There is no way a new believer would not know for 6 months or two years after "being saved" that HE is not Risen from the Dead just as HE said.

Again, to have a gospel void of the Resurrection of Christ Jesus, is to have NO gospel at all. That means no salvation.

I'll end with this: Any Reformer who slams Billy Graham or Rick Warren has no right to do so if they too, hold to this false gospel Frame and Sproul proclaim. The damnable error is in their own camp. It is IMPOSSIBLE to have a gospel nor be saved without hearing of the RESURRECTED LORD Jesus Christ.



NWProdigal said...

Very hard words.

Yet the gospel as preached by Peter, Paul and John, not including the synoptic gospels, always includes the fact of the resurrection. Why? Because resurrection is THE Hope of every Christian. Without that great Hope, we are, as Paul said, "of all men most to be pitied".

So, I agree that it is impossible for anyone to comprehend the truth of Christ's atonement without knowledge of the resurrection. That is the end product of belief, if you will. Without it, what's the point, other than to be a good person, which has no real redeeming quality in itself?

NWProdigal said...

You also give a good argument for the necessity of baptism. Maybe that's incidental, after reading your following post?

Potters_Freedom said...

Question: Are we born again because we exercise saving faith in the resurrecion of Christ or do we exercise saving faith in the resurrection of Christ because we have already been born again? I think it goes back to the age old argument between Arminians and Calvinist...which comes first... faith or regeneration? Without a doubt the scriptures teach that regenreation of necessity MUST proceed saving faith for the spiritually dead neither have the ability nor the desire to exercise saving faith until given life from above(Eph 2:1 and Col 2:13. Why? Because the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is nto able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor 2:14). It seems to me that if one says a person dead in sin must first believe in the resurreciton before God will save him is teaching nothing more than doctrinal regenration or put another way: what we know is what saves us. If one stops with Romans 10:9 he might conclude that believing in the resurrection of Christ comes before regeneration, butI believe verse 10 clears things up for us. Romans 10:10 says: "For with the HEART...(that is a circumcised heart. A heart that has been changed by God from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh. A heart opened like Lydia's heart was opened) one believes (exercises saving faith) and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. It all goes back to the initial work of the Spirit of God in regeneration. When my mother first gave birth to me I didn't even know she was my mother until I began to grow and mature some. When God first saved me I was at home alone. I didn't have a clue what happened except that all of a sudden I had this unquinchable appitate for the Word of God and the God of the Word. I was not the same person I was before I knew that much. But it wasn't long before I began to understand the deeper things of the Deity of Christ and other important docrtinal issues as I read God's Word and grew spiritually. I don't believe there was a time I didn't believe in the resurrection after God saved me but I don't believe that believing in the resurrection is what caused me to be born again...I believe God enabled me to exercise saving faith in the resurrection because I was already born again.

NWProdigal said...

Potter's Freedom,

I appreciate what you are saying, because I also believe God must call a person and change their desires before they can be saved.
We, who were dead cannot come alive except God grants us an awakening. That may very well be the first stage of regeneration, but it is not enough.

I don't agree that a person is saved BEFORE they believe, which is a direct result of HEARING the gospel(Romans 10:14)

They are no longer blinded by the god of this earth and can see the truth of the gospel. I believe salvation and justifcation occurs when they believe, because that is what all are called to do in order to be SAVED (Luke 8:12, Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9)