Dr. John R. Rice Wasn't An Authority
(nor is any other human being)

by David J. Stewart | April 2020

Romans 3:4, “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”

       I am a big fan of Evangelist John R. Rice (1895-1980). Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001) loved, admired and befriended Dr. Rice, who was 31 years older than him. Brother Hyles and Dr. Rice preached 2200 times together over a 20 year period in churches across America. I thank God for these dear men of God.


Having said that, as a fundamentalist Baptist preacher I must preach what I believe to be THE TRUTH, based upon the time tested unchanging inspired Word of God! I believe that Book is the inspired King James Bible! Albeit, I humbly think Dr. Rice sometimes got it way wrong! In particular, he got it way wrong concerning the Alexandrian Bible revisions. John R. Rice actually endorsed Brooke Westcott and Fenton Hort. Unbelievable! In fairness to Dr. Rice, he never saw the internet, so he was limited in information. Did you know that the whole of man's knowledge DOUBLES every eight years? That means mankind is increasing in knowledge exponentially! What saith the Scripture? Daniel 12:4, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” I have learned much from Brother Rice during my lifetime, from his invaluable books and sermons; but Dr. Rice was only a mortal, flawed, sinful man (as he openly admitted himself). I see a lot of Christians today bolstering Dr. Rice as an authority, which is really bad!


Preachers' John MacArthur and Ray Comfort oftentimes quote preachers of the past, in a desperate attempt to bolster up their heresies of Calvinism. I oftentimes quote preachers myself, to help my readers understand the truths I am teaching. I don't think that is wrong to do! However, there is a big difference between quoting a preacher to help the reader understand better, versus quoting other men in an attempt to legitimize your teaching. I often quote Pastor jack Hyles and Pastor Harry Ironside, but I do not look to those men of God as authorities. The inspired Word of God is our final and only authority in all matters of faith. That is why it is so crucial that we use the right Bible, and not search for God's Word in dozens of Bible versions, which is ridiculous and insane!


In his popular booklet titled: “What Must I Do To Be Saved?,” Dr. Rices says:

What About Repentance?

To repent literally means to have a change of mind or spirit toward God and toward sin. It means to turn from your sins, earnestly, with all your heart, and trust in Jesus Christ to save you. You can see, then, how the man who believes in Christ repents and the man who repents believes in Christ. The jailer repented when he turned from sin to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I don't think Dr. Rice was wrong about repentance, although I think he used unscriptural words in saying that repentance means “to turn from your sins.” No, it DOESN'T mean that, but I think he simply meant that we must recognize our sinnership and need for redemption. Bur regardless of what he meant, HE WAS WRONG IN WHAT HE JUST SAID!!! That is why I wrote this article, because some false teachers are citing Dr. Rice as a secondary authority. 

Case in point is Missionary David W. Cloud, who misrepresents Dr. Rice in an attempt to show that Dr. Rice's successor (at the Sword Of The Lord), 
Dr. Curtis Hutson (1934-1995), corrupted the Gospel. Dr. Hutson was 100% correct on the plan of salvation!!! Kindly, David Cloud is a heretic! Mr. Cloud gets repentance wrong, and he foolishly and sinfully attempts to misrepresent Dr. Rice. If you read the entirety of his Gospel booklet, Brother Rice makes very clear that repentance does not mean 'penance' (feelings sorry for sins). It is clear that Dr. Rice DIDN'T teach that a person must forsake sinful ways to be saved. That would be REFORMATION. 

Dr. Rice understood that we are saved by believing, not by repenting; but repentance facilitates believing. Brother Rice teaches that repentance and faith are not two steps to salvation; but rather, two parts of one step. Repentance is the admission that you are a guilty sinner in the sight of God, judging yourself as a needy sinner, and turning to Jesus Christ by faith to be saved. The man who repents has believed, and the man who believes has repented! Someone recently asked me if we should believe on the name of Jesus, or believe the Gospel, to be saved. Dear friend, to believe on the name of Jesus is to believe the Gospel, if you understand who He is, what He did for you, and why you believe on Him. Likewise, to believe the Gospel is to believe on the name of Jesus. They are inseparable!

Salvation requires turning to the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved from the penalty of your sins! You simply need to see yourself as a needy sinner, guilty in the sight of a holy God. Romans 3:19, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” To be saved, you have to see your need. You must know what you're being saved from. You need to understand WHO Jesus is, WHAT He did for you, and WHY He did it. 

The answers are simply that:

So please don't read too much into what Dr. Rice teaches about repentance. Repentance does not mean turning from sinful behavior, which would be works; it means to turn toward God. I don't like the wording that Dr. Rice used, which is why I titled this article: “Dr. John R. Rice Wasn't An Authority.” Just because he poorly chose his words doesn't make it so. You cannot show me anywhere in the inspired Word of God (if you have a King James Bible), where we are taught to “turn from sin” to be saved. That phrase doesn't appear in the Bible! No where are we told to “repent from sin.” Acts 20:21b teaches the reader, “repentance toward God.” Please don't misunderstand, repentance is necessary for salvation, but it simply means to change one's mind from WRONG THINKING to believe the “Good News” (Gospel) of Christ crucified, buried and risen the third day (1st Corinthians 15:1-4).


Someone recently asked me if we should believe on the name of Jesus, or believe the Gospel, to be saved. Dear friend, to believe on the name of Jesus is to believe the Gospel, if you understand who He is, what He did for you, and why you believe on Him. Likewise, to believe the Gospel is to believe on the name of Jesus. They are inseparable!


No man of God is always correct in his teachings! I have had to course correct a few times myself over the years. My constant chronic neck pain keeps my humble. When you are hurting all the time, you either become bitter or more sweet. I am a blessed man. I pray everyday to find a Christian wife someday, but if not, I am going to serve get diligently until my last dying breath. God deserves our very best! I really love this article by Pastor Bob Gray Sr., in which he teaches the truth that our life is hid with Christ in God. When the world looks at us, they cannot see the wonderful life that we have as believers. I have a fiesta buffet every day in my soul as a Christian! I am so joyful in the Lord, and He is my peace. 1st Corinthians 1:30-31, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” I love that! Jesus is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption! Do you know Him friend? Oh, it is wonderful to be a Christian!!!


“Faith is the only righteous thing that I can do!”
—Pastor Jack Hyles, a quote from the MP3 sermon titled: God's Reversal Of Psalm 51

1st Corinthians 16:24, “My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”

Eternal Security


Confession Is Never A Requirement For Salvation

'The Gospel' In Just One Minute (by Pastor Max D. Younce)

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

“As a blind man has no idea of colors, so we have no idea of the manner by
which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things.”
—Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

Another Gospel Which Is Not Another (a red-hot MP3 by Dr. Curtis Hutson exposing Lordship Salvation)

Psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

“If you have to look at your life to prove that you are saved, it proves that you're not!”
—Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold; an excellent quote from the awesome YouTube sermon titled, “Why Lordship Salvation is WRONG! | MP3.”

Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness! | Believe The Gospel