Lordship salvation


Lordship Salvation is the idea that an unbeliever must commit all areas of his life to Christ as a condition for being saved. The movement began in the 1980’s with the well-intentioned concern to address too much carnality in the Christian world. However, the proposed solution to this legitimate concern was to increase the sole requirement for salvation in an attempt to argue that carnal Christians were never really saved in the first place since they had never initially yielded to Christ’s Lordship.
Lordship Salvation places an impossible requirement upon the unsaved. The unsaved person is dead in his trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1) and thus incapable of doing anything of spiritual value, such as obey, submit, forsake, and so forth. By making these other items the conditions of salvation rather than simply believing, obstacles are placed in front of the unbeliever that he or she is incapable of fulfilling. In that sense Lordship Salvation is “works-oriented”.
Lordship Salvation confuses sanctification with justification. After coming to Christ, God issues another call for His children to pursue practical sanctification or discipleship. In other words, what is the result of salvation mistakenly becomes the initial requirement for salvation. This mistake is tantamount to putting the cart before the horse.
Lordship Salvation destroys the believer’s assurance of salvation. Thus, Lordship Salvation steals the joy that accompanies the knowledge that one’s eternal destiny is sealed.
In sum, although Lordship Salvation represents the right diagnosis of a problem, it holds out as the solution the wrong cure.
Instead we should stand on the assurance of salvation: "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13).
Popular preachers however, such as John Piper, Ray Comfort, and John McArthur, declare that they don't know whether they are saved and go to heaven, because they believe somewhat in a works-based salvation, and twist justification and sanctification.