Pastor Jason Cooley's Repentance Heresy
By David J. Stewart | April 2015
Romans 4:5-6, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.”
Pastor Jason Cooley professes to have been saved March 12, 2002. He is now pastoring the Old Paths Baptist Church in Northfield, Minnesota. I am impressed with a lot of the insightful YouTube videos by Pastor Cooley, and that he has rejected the government's 501c3 fraud. And I love Pastor Cooley's preaching against television, Hollywood and sin. I really like the guy, sincerely. I love preachers!
Yet, kindly and sadly, Pastor Cooley teaches heresy concerning repentance, requiring people to have a change of character and conduct to be saved (which I will get into in a moment). This is not the Gospel. There is a fine line between salvation and damnation. The Gospel is delicate, easily corrupted. I agree with most of the preaching of Pastor Cooley, and he really says some great things, but I have a serious problem when he MANDATES a changed life for salvation. That is Lordship Salvation and utter heresy.
At a glance it may appear that Jason Cooley is a godly pastor, because he is very suave and compelling in his speeches; but then when you hear him trashing out Brother Jack Hyles, Dr. Curtis Hutson, Pastor Steven Anderson and others, accusing them of eliminating the doctrine of repentance, then you know that Pastor Cooley is teaching heresy. Dr. Jack Hyles DID believe in repentance. And so did Dr. Curtis Hutson. And so does Brother Anderson. They just don't pervert the plan of salvation in an attempt to force people to live right to be saved.
The Apostle Paul warned us about “ANOTHER GOSPEL,” which corrupts men's minds from “THE SIMPLICITY THAT IS IN CHRIST” . . .
2nd Corinthians 11:3-4, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
What is the “simplicity that is in Christ”? It refers to God's simple plan of salvation. To be saved, you must realize that you are a guilty sinner in God's eyes. 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.” So God's law (the Ten Commandments) show us that we are guilty sinners, who've sinned against a holy God.
Pastor Harry Ironside correctly states concerning repentance...
"Repentance is the recognition of my sinnership—the owning before God that I am as vile as He has declared me to be in His holy Word."SOURCE: Except Ye Repent, by Dr. Harry Ironside, chapter 3
I love Brother Ironside's definition of repentance (as you just read). Repentance is a change of mind, where I realize that I am a guilty sinner in God's eyes; thus, realizing my desperate need for the dear Savior. We read in the Holy Scriptures . . .
Galatians 3:24-26, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
Repentance is necessary for salvation. I've never said that repentance is not necessary to be saved (as Cooley alleges). So the “simplicity that is in Christ is that we can be saved simply by believing the Gospel. John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
Pastor Cooley Doesn't Rightly Understand the Bible
In his heretical sermon titled, “Born Again Or Born Still?,” Jason Cooley attacks Dr. Jack Hyles, Dr. Curtis Hutson and Pastor Steven Anderson, accusing them of eliminating the doctrine of repentance. Kindly, Jason Cooley is woefully ignorant of what he's talking about. All of those godly preachers believe in repentance, but they recognize repentance as being “a change of mind,” not “a change of lifestyle.” Jason Cooley views repentance as a change of character and conduct.
What Jason (respectfully) is ignorant of is how salvation works. Jason views a change of character and conduct as the repentance that is required for salvation; but in contrast, the Bible teaches that the change of character and conduct is caused by the indwelling Holy Spirit, who changes us as we GROW IN GRACE in the milk of God's Word (1st Peter 2:2). I may have missed it, but in all the YouTube videos I have listened to by Pastor Cooley, he never talks about growing in grace. Instead, he emphasizes committing to change in order to be saved.
Jason distorts the teaching of Matthew 3:8 where John the Baptist told the religious Pharisees to “bring forth fruits meet for repentance.” Why did John the Baptist baptize the Jewish people with water? John's entire purpose for being born into the world was to prepare the way for the Son of God. John prepared the way for Christ by calling people to acknowledge their sin and their need for salvation, and John did this through water baptism (note that this was different than water baptism today, which symbolizes the Gospel, identifying the new believer with Christ's death, burial and resurrection). By receiving John's baptism, a person was acknowledging their guilt of sin and desire to receive the coming Savior, Jesus Christ.
When the self-righteous religious Pharisees and Sadducees came to see what John was doing, he scathed them, calling them snakes (vipers) and reprimanding their lack of repentance. When John told the religious leaders to “bring forth fruits meet for repentance,” he was preaching against their self-righteousness and sin. John plainly told the people that he was just dunking them in water, but the coming Messiah would immerse them with the Holy Spirit (which comes at salvation). John couldn't save anybody. It was their faith in the Messiah by which God saved repentant Jews (Acts 10:43). So, John wasn't teaching that you have to change your life, nor commit to changing your life, as a prerequisite to believing on the the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. The Bible tells us what needs to happen in 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.” John's water baptism signified a person's acknowledgment of their guilt of sin and need for forgiveness in Christ.
In summary—you don't have to try to stop sinning to be saved, for that would be human effort in the plan of salvation; but rather, you must acknowledge that you are a guilty sinner, from a sincere heart. This is repentance, a change of mind. Once you get saved, the Holy Spirit comes to indwell (live inside) your body. You are a new creature because of Christ in you, Who is the new man (2nd Corinthians 5:17). Salvation doesn't change your character or conduct one bit; but the presence of the Holy Spirit is a drastic change in you, and if you grow in the milk of the Word of God, and yield in obedience to the Scriptures, walking in the Holy Spirit, then there will be a change in your character and conduct, which is Christ living through us. Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
So it is the Holy Spirit Who produces the fruit of the Spirit in us, and not a commitment or desire to change our own life as a prerequisite to be saved (which is ANOTHER GOSPEL). Do you see the drastic difference between what I am teaching you, compared to what Jason Cooley is teaching?
Dr. Jack Hyles has written a wonderful book on the subject titled, “Salvation Is More Than Being Saved” (please take the time to read this brilliant book if you never have). At salvation we are salvaged, saved from being incinerated in the fires of Hell; but then as we grow in grace we are recycled, and this continues for a lifetime. This is the essence of Dr. Hyles' book and it is beautiful. Trusting Christ for salvation happens immediately, but becoming Christlike takes a lifetime. It is very important that you understand that being born-again is not a process, it is immediate, irreversible and permanent. If a person is genuinely born-again, at best they can expect to live a roller-coaster life of struggling between the spirit and the flesh (Romans 7:14-25). In sharp contrast, the unsaved world doesn't even try to live right, because they don't have the Spirit of Christ. You're not a good Christian because you don't fall, but because when you do fall you get back up. Proverb 24:16, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.”
Lot Had Imputed Righteousness, But No Practical Righteousness
A changed life is the FRUIT of genuine repentance, and not a part of the ROOT of saving faith. In Romans, Paul speaks about the ROOT of the believer's faith; but in the Epistle of James, James speaks about the FRUIT of the believer's faith. So here we see the contrast. But you CANNOT mandate that fruit as part of salvation, otherwise you've corrupted the simplicity that is in Christ. That's what the big debate is over. Men like Jason Cooley mix and confuse discipleship with salvation, perverting the Gospel. Cooley goes to extremes, making sharp unnecessary comments, making a case where there is no case. Really, Pastor Cooley is barking up an empty tree!
Without repentance toward sin, no one would ever come to Christ, because John 3:20 says, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” An unrepentant man won't come to Jesus to be saved. Can a man come to Christ, be saved, and continue living as if he'd never been saved at all? Lot was such a man. 2nd Peter 2:7-8, “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;).” But notice carefully that the Bible says Lot's soul was “vexed” (troubled persistently) with the unlawful deeds of the wicked.
In Genesis 13:12 we read that Lot “pitched his tent toward Sodom” (i.e., the opening of his tent). Just one chapter later in Genesis 14:12 we read, Lot (Abraham's nephew) “dwelt in Sodom.” Lot's heart was in Sodom before he ever moved there. Many people's hearts are in Hollywood, and eventually their life will follow in wickedness. Albeit, Lot was saved, a just man. Lot had the imputed righteous of God, which comes by faith in Christ. He was saved. But Lot did not have the practical righteousness which every believer should have in Christ.
So there had been inner changes in Lot's soul, but there were no outward evidences of it. For this reason, we must be very careful about deciding who is saved or not, based upon outward appearances. Solomon lived a wicked life, a sex pervert without question. It is commonly believed that king David suffered from venereal disease, syphilis (Psalms 38:5-8). There is little doubt that Solomon, with 700 wives and 300 concubines, suffered from some type of STD's. These are God's children. David commit adultery with Bath-Sheba, then murder her husband Uriah to hide an unintended pregnancy. David didn't repent. God had to send Nathan the prophet 8 months later to confront David. If Nathan hadn't confronted the man after God's own heart, David may never have repented.
David never lost his salvation, only the joy of God's salvation and the Lord's hand of blessing. Yet, when David repented, God put away the evil and forgave him. Even though David suffered many lifelong consequences of his foolish sins, God blessed David, but not as He had previously done in times past. My friend, when you succumb to temptation, you lose your freedom of choice! Now you must face the consequences of your bad choices.
It is important that we differentiate between Imputed Righteousness and Practical Righteousness. In other words, we live right because WE ARE saved, not to BE saved. If someone professes to be a Christian, but does not live right, we cannot tell if they are saved or not, except by the direct testimony of their mouth or writings. And for that matter, there are far more churchgoer who appear to be living right, living above reproach, who have never been born-again. Please get that idea out of your mind (if you have it) that bad people are not saved, but good people are. I tell you truthfully, there will be murderers in Heaven and pastors burning in Hell. Mother Teresa is burning in Hell, having died in her sins as a Roman Catholic without Christ. Yet, the thief on the cross is in Heaven. The murderer Moses is in Heaven.
You Don't Get Born-Again by Following Jesus
Could Saul (who became the Apostle Paul) have simply believed the Gospel, and continued killing Christians? That is exactly what Jason Cooley accuses Pastor Steven Anderson, Brother Hyles and Dr. Curtis Hutson of teaching. As we saw clearly in 2nd Peter 2:7-8 concerning sinful Lot, he was saved and his soul was vexed by the unlawful deeds of the wicked around him in Sodom. Lot hated the sin. He couldn't stand what he saw. I don't believe that someone can be saved and have no changes at all, which is impossible if you have the Holy Spirit indwelling you. Remember, you had to acknowledge your sinful condition in order to be saved. There is no salvation without repentance. If a person claims to have come to Christ, but has never addressed the sin question, they have never truly come to Christ as a sinner to be saved. Instead, they have merely come to religion and a superficial profession of Christianity.
That is why I 100% doubt the salvation professions of Alice Cooper, Brian Welch (Korn), Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), Bruce Jenner and others, who flippantly claim to be Christians, with no solid testimony of how they were saved, and no contrition (sorrow) over the openly sinful lifestyles which they continue to parade and indulge in. Please don't misunderstand me, you don't have to be sorry for your to TO BE saved, but if you ARE saved, there should be some change of attitude toward the sins in your life. When the Bible speaks of godly sorrow that worketh repentance, keep in mind that the Bible is speaking about a saved man.
Here's an example of the shallow garbage that CBN calls Christianity, where Brian Welch of Korn (a sicko rock band) says cleaning up his life in Jesus' name is what it means to be a Christian. All these phonies, like Alice Cooper and Dave Mustaine, have the same shallow testimony that they were druggies, alcoholics and at the brink of destruction, but then they found Jesus and their life changed. My friend, that is not the Gospel. You don't get saved by talking to Jesus, or inviting Jesus into your life, or getting real, or reforming. That's really what these guys are all trusting in... REFORMATION. Salvation is not education, reformation nor rehabilitation—it is REGENERATION!!!
Here's another video of Brain Welch on CBN, where he testifies to Pat Robertson that he talked to Jesus and threw away his drugs. Pat Robertson is such a fraud! He had a ghost-writer author his book “New World Order.” What a farce! Brain (Head) Welch, as he calls himself, doesn't mention a single word about the cross, Christ's blood, His resurrection, being born-again, or anything meaningful. I hope you're not gullible enough to believe that these Christless men are actually Christians. Remember, Judas was a follower of Christ, even one of His very Apostles, yet Judas had a devil (John 6:70) and went to Hell. Satan's greatest weapon is to con people into living the Christian life without ever being born-again.
Is Bruce Jenner a Christian?
Infamous world athlete Bruce Jenner is a cross-dresser, who is scheduled to undergo sex-reassignment surgery this summer in 2015. Also, Bruce Jenner professes to be a Christian. I seriously doubt Jenner's claim. I have not been able to find any solid testimony of his salvation. Jenner never speaks of the new birth. Anybody can slap the label “Christian” over their name, but that does not make them a born-again Christian. Shock jock of heavy-metal rock music, Alice Cooper, also professes to be a Christian. Again, I couldn't find any solid record of his testimony, where he openly testifies of the time, day, place or even memory of being saved. I mean, even if you can't remember the specific date and time, you should definitely remember the place that you received Christ.
I was saved on a Sunday morning, from a church pew, in Chicago when I was 13 years old. I remember that the Pastor said you're not saved if you don't have the Holy Spirit convicting you of sin. I knew right then that I wasn't saved, but I wanted to be. God saved me that glorious morning, when I believed the Gospel as a sinner. There were immediate changes in my life. I stopped sassing my mother. Whereas I had previously did it and had no reluctance to do so, now I had the Holy Spirit indwelling me, Who would quietly say to me, “I don't want you talking to your mother that way,” and my mother even said to me one day, “I've seen changes in you.” I had been reading my King James Bible also, hungry to learn the Word of God.
So, I do understand to a degree where Pastor Jason Cooley is coming from. A genuine born-again Christian ought to have Christlike changes in their life, even though others may not see them, as with Lot. There's something wrong if a person professes the name of Christ, but their life does not show it. I don't have a problem, just so long as you don't MANDATE THEM for salvation. The problem is not that they were never saved, but that they got away from Jesus.
Jason Cooley has accused Pastors Jack Hyles and and Curtis Hutson of being heretics on repentance, which is absurd. Just because a professed Christian is living in open sin doesn't necessarily mean they are not saved, as evidenced by Solomon, Demas, Samson and others in the Bible. The Apostle Peter stripped naked while fishing. If Jason Cooley saw a professed Christian walking around butt naked, he'd probably accuse them of being a devil and not truly being saved. Well, that's exactly what the Apostle Peter did!!! When Peter saw Jesus he jumped into the water in shame and grabbed his fisherman's coat to cover himself. Likewise, many believers get away from Jesus and go into shameful living. We see it all the time. This doesn't mean they're not saved. It just means that they got away from Jesus.
I am against both extremes concerning repentance. I am against the extreme that says you cannot be saved unless you desire to stop sinning (that is the heresy of Lordship Salvation). I am also against the extreme that says you can just believe Christ and keep murdering, fornicating, hating and stealing with no Holy Spirit conviction, no change of attitude toward those evils, nothing changes in your heart. Please don't misunderstand what I just said. I didn't say that a Christian cannot continue in sin (many do); but rather, they cannot continue in sin without being convicted about it by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Hebrews 12:6-8 teaches that a professed Christian who is not chastised and scourged by God for their sins is a “bastard,” not God's child.
My friend, you absolutely cannot be saved unless you readily admit that you are a vile, guilty, sinner in God's holy eyes. You must repent toward God, seeing yourself as a guilty sinner in His holy sight. When you realize your hopeless condition as a sinner and you turn by faith to Christ, you are saved. Jason Cooley tampers with the plan of salvation, by errantly teaching repentance as a change of life instead of a change of mind. Biblically, you just believe the Gospel to be saved. If you don't repent toward God, realizing that you are a guilty sinner, then you won't come to Jesus Christ. That is how it works. The Holy Spirit comes to indwell every new believer. If that individual believers doesn't grow in grace, or backslides (getting away from Jesus) like Peter did, then they will quit on God, take their clothes off, and go back into the sinful world to make money.
A Fork-Tongued Plan of Salvation
As with most false prophets, Jason Cooley speaks with a forked-tongue, claiming that eternal life is the free gift of God without works, while simultaneously teaching the heresy of Lordship Salvation (he also links to Evangelist David Cloud's website, a heretic on the plan of salvation). Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 6:23). A gift cannot be “a gift” if you have to give up anything or change in order to receive it. Any plan of salvation that places the burden of sin upon the sinner instead of upon Christ, Who bore our sins on Calvary's cross, is a false prophet!
There are numerous YouTube videos of Pastor Cooley teaching Lordship Salvation (which I will get into more in a moment). On the Old Paths Baptist Church's website, there's an article written by Pastor Matt McPhillips, which Pastor Cooley endorses obviously, in which he errantly teaches that Biblical repentance does the following:
There is in your mind a conscious change of views and feeling in regard to sin.
The disposition to repeat sin is gone.
It worketh a reformation of conduct.
It changes our character and conduct.
Only the first of the preceding four statements is correct. The word “repent” in Mark 1:15 (“Repent ye, and believe the Gospel”) is the Greek word metanoeo, which simply means “to think differently.” I wish this were a mere matters of semantics as some claim, but it is absolutely much more. There are two plans of salvation involved. The first simply says to come as a guilty sinner and believe the Gospel to be saved (that is Biblical). Whereas the second plan of salvation requires a person to change their character and conduct to be saved, which even mature Christians struggle with (Romans 7:14-25). Either a person has to change their behavior to be saved or they don't.
Please understand that what Pastor McPhillips is talking about is the FRUIT of genuine repentance; however, if you add these requirements (the fruit of the Spirit), mandating them for salvation, you have corrupted the simplicity that is in Christ. A believer's character and conduct will not change unless they are mentored, choose the right friends, and spend time walking with God. Just as a human baby must grow, so also do spiritual converts. The sad truth is that most believers today are spiritually malnourished, stunted in their growth, because of the apostasy in churches today. Many Christians are in prison, for choosing to do wrong. The Bible is filled with saints who weren't very saintly. It is a dangerous thing to mix discipleship with the gift of salvation.
The New Testament book of Philemon was written 60-62 AD. At that time, the Apostle Paul identified Demas as a fellowlabourers in Jesus Christ. Philemon 1:24, “Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.” But a few years later, when the book of 2nd Timothy was written in 66-67 AD, Paul wrote that Demas had forsaken him because he was worldly. 2nd Timothy 4:10, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.” No doubt some people leave church because they were not truly saved. Howbeit, that is not always the case. In this case, Demas was labouring with Paul as a fisher of men. Why do soul-winning Christians end up in the hog-pit of sin and shame? It is because at some point they leave their first love of Christ, and go whoring after the world. They go from learning to living without loving the dear Savior. It is because they prioritize the lusts of the flesh more than their love for Jesus Christ.
Luke 8:14, “And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.” Luke 8:14 evidences that it is possible for a believer to be choked by the cares, riches and pleasures of this life, and still be saved; albeit, they never bring forth fruit, that is, never win anybody to the Lord, and live a defeated life. Worldly believers will suffer great loss at The Judgment Seat of Christ, but they will still be saved; yet so as by fire (1st Corinthians 3:15). It's time for preachers to stop messing with God's plan of salvation. The very fact that eternal life is called a “free gift” (Romans 5:15,18) says it all!!!
It's Not That Hard to Figure Out
Now my friend, I am going to explain this issue very simply (with the Lord's help), because I've studied it as much as anyone. When you get saved, the Holy Spirit comes inside your body to indwell you (1st Corinthians 3:16-17). This is the only thing that changes when you believe the Gospel and are saved. As a new believer, all things become new to you (2nd Corinthians 5:17), because you now have God's Spirit living within you. You are a spiritual baby. You cannot even crawl yet in the spiritual world. You must grow in the milk of God's Word (1st Peter 2:2). You need to be taught (Matthew 28:19-20). The problem of sin in today's churches is caused by a failure to mentor new converts. You cannot reasonably expect a baby believer to turn away from sinful behavior, any more than you could reasonably expect a human baby to run a marathon.
There is something called “growing in grace,” which every new believer must experience or they won't mature in the Lord. This is the problem today. Tragically, men like Jason Cooley would rather corrupt the Gospel and attempt to force people to turn away from sinful behavior as part of salvation, scaring people that they aren't really saved unless they have a passionate desire to hate, forsake and depart from sins. That is a false plan of salvation and utter heresy. Look again at our precious text passage of Scripture from Romans 4:5-6, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.”
I do agree with a lot of the teachings of Pastor Jason Cooley and his co-labourers. Where they mess-up is that they mandate discipleship for salvation. I agree that there should be evidences of the Holy Spirit working in a Christian's life, aka, bringing forth fruits meet for repentance (Matthew 3:8). When Jesus pardoned the woman caught in the act of adultery in John chapter 8, He told her to go and SIN NO MORE (that is, bring forth fruits fitting for repentance). The Bible is simply teaching us that our lives should exemplify our dear Savior who forgave our sins; but this is NOT a requirement to be saved, nor seal nor validate salvation. That's where the big problem comes in, that is, when preachers add a bunch of extra requirements to the gift of eternal life.
Knuckleheads Beating Up On Pastor Steven L. Anderson
I admire Pastor Anderson because he is a fighter, even though I adamantly refute his unbiblical denial of a pretribulation Rapture. I agree with Pastor Anderson's Biblical views on repentance and salvation. Like Anderson, I don't have an opinion in the matter, because God's opinion is my opinion. The Holy Bible is our only Authority. I believe the Bible, that's my doctrine. And I know that's what Pastor Anderson believes too. There is no controversy if you believe the Bible. I am as narrow-minded as the Bible, and proud of it! My preaching is none of my business, because I'm supposed to preach what God lays upon my heart, and not my opinion.
Jason Cooley and Nate Marion laugh, mock and scoff at Pastor Steven L. Anderson throughout the 2:45 hour YouTube video. I heard Jason Cooley today, on YouTube, teaching about the 4th dimension in a 3rd dimension world (and he thinks the rumors of Roswell aliens are legitimate). And he laughs and scoffs at Pastor Anderson's teachings? What a joke!
I listened to a 2:45 hour YouTube video by Pastors Nate Marino Jason Cooley (bonafied knuckleheads) publishes by the Old Paths Baptist Church in Minnesota, which they titled, “Pastor Steven L. Anderson: Wolf in Baptist Clothing.” They also call Brother Anderson a “Joker.” I disagree. May I say, Brother Anderson is NOT a wolf in Baptist clothing. I see no deception in him. I think Brother Anderson is what we used to call, “real people.” Jason Cooley mocks Pastor Anderson's Biblical preaching against homosexuals, trying to paint Anderson as a hatemonger.
Marino and Cooley refute the practice of “Quick Believism,” which is awful. No where in the Scriptures do we read that salvation is a process or takes time. Salvation is instant, because it is a new birth. Notice in their 2:45 hour video that these two goofballs don't even talk about the new birth. They effectively are teaching the heresy of Calvinism, specifically, the Perseverance of the Saints. Bless God, I believe in the Preservation of the Saints, not the perseverance of the saints. We don't have to persevere in holy living, because Jesus paid it all through the blood of His cross (Colossians 1:20). I am preserved by God's promises, sealed by the Holy Spirit, and eternally secure in God's salvation of my soul.
They accuse Pastor Anderson of teaching that a believer can be saved and never change at all. Well, that is possible, as far as one's outward lifestyle. That's why some believers will suffer loss at the Judgment Seat of Christ; yet so as by fire (1st Corinthians 3:15). That's why Paul said to turn the backslidden man in 1st Corinthians 5:5 over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit might (will) be saved in the day of the Lord. Cooley suggests that Anderson teaches God doesn't want us to turn from sin. They really butcher Pastor Anderson's words and positions. By the way, I am not defending Pastor Anderson, because he can do that; but rather, I am defending Pastor Anderson's Biblical positions, and the Bible teaches that repentance for salvation is a change of mind, not a change of lifestyle. Jason Cooley is teaching heresy concerning repentance, by defining it as a change of lifestyle as a prerequisite to be saved.
I see wildfire in Brother Anderson, but wildfire is much better than no fire. Pastor Cooley criticizes Pastor Anderson for saying that he hates homosexuals; but Brother Anderson comes a lot closer to being right than today's millions of deadbeat ministers who are cowards, weak-kneed, pink-tea, pantywaist, ear-ticklin', back-scratchin', pussyfootin', wimps who couldn't preach their way out of a wet paperbag!!! I don't agree that God hates homosexuals, but He certainly hates sin and does not accept the person of the wicked. God hates sin, but He loves mankind, which is why Christ was sent into the world by God the Father, to bleed and die on the cross for our sins.
At about 59 minutes into the video, Marino and Cooley allege that if the Apostle Paul had been saved in Steven Anderson's church, Paul would have continued murdering and killing Christians (since a changed life is not required to be saved). That's simply not true. All this bickering on the internet over what it means to repent could be avoided if pastors would simply differentiate between the gift of eternal life verses discipleship. This is a perfect example of the goofy hypotheticals that unlearned Bible students use to justify their woeful ignorance. Obviously, there were immediate changes in Paul's life when he got saved (Acts 9:1-5). But these changes WERE NOT MANDATORY FOR SALVATION. Paul's case was not the usual conversion story. Paul had been raised and trained as a strict religious Pharisees, and had been resisting the conviction of the Holy Spirit for a long time; so when Jesus physically appeared to Saul (whom God renamed to Paul), Saul immediately broke in his heart and submitted to the Lord.
The typical person who gets saved just quietly receives Christ, and the Holy Spirit quietly indwells them. There's not usually tears, emotions, an experience or a big commotion. Those things may happen, but they are far from ordinary. Everybody is different. When you get saved, the only thing that changes is that the Holy Spirit comes to live inside you. This is what is commonly called the “indwelling” of the Holy Spirit. Marino and Cooley spend most of their time in the 2:45 video teaching all the evidences that a born-again believer should posses in their life. I agree that there should be fruits, but if there are no fruits, it is not necessarily because someone is not saved; it could be because, like Luke 8:14 says, they were choked by the cares, riches and pleasures of this world. There is such a thing as a carnal believer (1st Corinthians 3:1).
The Bible Does Teach the Need for Repentance
I am a firm believe in preaching the need for repentance. But what is repentance? It means to think differently toward our holy God. Specifically, repentance means that you see yourself as a woeful guilty sinner deserving of Hell, for breaking God's holy commandments. We are saved by BOTH repentance and faith, but repentance is simply a change of attitude which has compelled a man to believe the Gospel and be saved. That means in order for people top repent, they need to hear a lot of preaching against sin. That's what's woefully wrong with America today. We've got millions of people coming into our churches today, with a superficial profession of faith in Christ, a shallow testimony which has no basis in the new birth, et cetera.
On YouTube there is a video by Pastor Cooley titled, “Why I Preach The Doctrine Of Repentance?” Cooley's main text is from Acts 20:21, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” That doesn't mean you repent first, and then secondarily you qualify to put your faith in Christ. The truth is that repentance is seeing yourself as a guilty sinner in the eyes of God, Who is holy. We are saved by God's righteousness (not yours) through faith in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:9).
Mark 1:15, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Does “repent and believe the gospel” here imply that the sinner must do two things to be saved, and not one only? No, it does not mean that. The exhortation is really only one requirement. Consider the following traveling instruction which have been given to you: “Leave London and go to Los Angeles,” sounds like a two-fold request, but it really is only one; it is impossible to go to Los Angeles without leaving London. While you're travelling toward Los Angeles, you're also moving away from London. And that's how repentance works. As we turn toward Christ to be saved, we have turn our back against sin. This is repentance and faith. We are born-again, instantly and forever indwelt by the Holy Spirit, Who is God. Once a person is saved, the repentance process continues as the Holy Spirit works on us. Please understand that being born-again is not a process. You get saved in a moment of time (born-again), but then spend the rest of your life becoming Christlike (Discipleship).
The hardest part about leading people to the Lord is not getting them saved; but rather, it is it GETTING THEM LOST!!! You have to first convince religious people that all their sacraments, water baptism, mass, rosaries, priestly confession, confirmation, et cetera, cannot save them. Once they realize their lost condition, then it is very easy to share the Good News (Gospel) of the Lord Jesus Christ with them. We all have a Savior, and His name is Jesus (1st Timothy 4:10). The question is: Have you received Jesus as your very own personal Savior (John 1:12-14)? You can't just ask people to “invite Jesus into their heart” to be saved. It doesn't work that way. That's not the Gospel. You've got to realize your SINNERSHIP!!!
Pastor Jason Cooley states from September 2014:
Why do I preach repentance? Because I've seen the effects. I've seen people tell homosexuals: Don't worry about being a homosexual, you just say this prayer and Jesus will help you through it, He doesn't care if you're a queer, He wants to save ya! Really? God does care if you're a queer—He cares if you're a drunk, an extortioner, a fornicator—He cares about every single sin. God does care about your sin. And if you're saying that you can be a queer, you're saying that my sin is ok. I'm not convicted over my sin. Well then if you're not convicted over your sin, then why do you want Jesus? If you don't see yourself as a lost sinner, then why do you want Jesus? Why would you want Jesus if you're not lost?
To be saved, a person must realize their woeful, guilty, hopeless, sinful condition in God's holy eyes. This is what I believe John the Baptist meant in Matthew 3:8 when he told the Pharisees and Sadducees to bring forth fruits meet for repentance, that is, bring forth evidences that you
Matthew 3:5-8, “Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.”
Pastor Cooley calls repentance the “silent doctrine.” Cooley indicts Christians for not preaching enough on repentance. Truthfully, I agree with Pastor Cooley that we need a lot more preaching to repent! REPENT1 REPENT! REPENT!!! REPENT AMERICA!!! What do I mean by repent? I mean realize that we have sinned against our holy God, by breaking His holy commandments. We are a vile, dirty, wicked and filthy people. We have sinned as a nation. We have sinned in our churches. We have sinned in our families. We have sinned in our marriages. We have sinned in our businesses. We have sinned as individuals. We are all horrible sinners!!!
Here is a good quote by Dr. C.I. Scofield . . .
"Repent" is the translation of a Greek verb metanoeo, meaning to have another mind, to change the mind, and is used in the NT to indicate a change of mind in respect to sin, God, and self. This change of mind may, especially in the case of Christians who have fallen into sin, be preceded by sorrow (2Cor 7:8, 9, 10, 11); but sorrow for sin, though it may cause repentance, is not repentance. The son in Mt 21:28, 29 illustrates true repentance. Repentance is not an act separate from faith, but saving faith includes and implies that change of mind which is called repentance
In the OT repentance is one of the English words used to translate the Hebrew nacham, to be eased or comforted. It is used of both God and man. Notwithstanding the literal meaning of nacham, it is evident, from a study of all the passages, that the sacred writers use it in the sense of metanoia in the NT, meaning a change of mind. See Mt 3:2; Acts 17:30. As in the NT, such change of mind is often accompanied by contrition and self-judgment.
Dr. Jamieson correctly states . . .
“Repentance” (metanoia) implies a coming to a right mind; “regret” implies merely uneasiness of feeling at the past or present, and is applied even to the remorse of Judas (Mt 27:3); so that, though always accompanying repentance, it is not always accompanied by repentance. “Repentance” removes the impediments in the way of “salvation” (to which “death,” namely, of the soul, is opposed)." (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., Fausset, A. R., Brown, D., & Brown, D. A commentary, critical and explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments).
Do Christians Have a License to Sin?
Pastor Cooley cannot prove his heresy with the Holy Bible, so he quotes dozens of famous historical preachers (many misquoted) in a futile attempt to bolster his straw man heresy of Lordship Salvation. Cooley often mentions Missionary Paris Reidhead, who was a blatant heretic who taught Lordship Salvation. These are secondary authorities, and not the inspired Words of God.
Some of Cooley's supporters have wrongly accused me of teaching the heresy of antinomianism, by saying that believers have “a license to sin.” They are taking my teachings out of context. First, what in the world is “antinomianism”? . . .
Antinomianism comes from the Greek meaning lawless. In Christian theology it is a pejorative term for the teaching that Christians are under no obligation to obey the laws of ethics or morality. Few, if any, would explicitly call themselves "antinomian," hence, it is usually a charge leveled by one group against an opposing group.
Antinomianism may be viewed as the polar opposite of legalism, the notion that obedience to a code of religious law is necessary for salvation. In this sense, both antinomianism and legalism are considered errant extremes.
SOURCE: Antinomianism - Theopedia, an encyclopedia of Biblical Christianity
I DON'T AGREE WITH ANTINOMIANISM. It is a false doctrine! I DO believe that Christians are under obligation from God to obey His laws and ethics, BUT NOT AS PART OF THE PLAN OF SALVATION!!! Romans 3:31, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God Forbid: Yea, We Establish the Law.” That's all I'm teaching! Every born-again believer is obligated to obey and fulfil the law, not to be saved, but because we are saved.
Some people have wrongly criticized me for saying that Christians have a license to sin. They have deliberately taken my words out of context. Christians only have a “license to sin” in the sense that they have eternal security. If you believe otherwise, then you are saying that Christians can lose their salvation. I don't even like the term “license to sin,” because NO ONE has God's permission or blessing to commit sin. NO ONE!!! I only say that “Christians have a license to sin,” as a counter to the common saying which says, “Just because you're saved doesn't give you a license to sin” (as an attempt to teach Lordship Salvation). That is simply not true. You can live in sin if you want, but there are always consequences (Hebrews 12:6-8).
I am not saying that it is acceptable to live in sin, God forbid. I am simply saying that if a person is saved, they are always saved. God has given to each person a freewill, to decide how we each behave. I have to edit articles continually, to counter the retarded bickering of psuedo-scholars who run to extremes to bolster their straw man heresies. I don't sanction anyone living in sin, saved or unsaved. I'm simply defending the gift of God, which is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23).
No Christian has a license to sin in the Lord's eyes concerning practical righteousness as His children; but we DO HAVE A LICENSE TO SIN when it comes to salvation, because we are saved by the imputed righteousness of God, and it has absolutely nothing to do with how we live. Romans 4:5-6, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.” This one Scripture passage alone exposes Jason Cooley's false teachings on repentance.
Pastor Cooley is the senior pastor of Old Paths Baptist Church in Minnesota, and he's a fighter (which I love in a preacher), but he is teaching and promoting a false plan of salvation by mandating a change of character and conduct for salvation. That is human effort (works). You cannot mandate discipleship (the fruit of repentance) in order to establish the root of salvation, which is solely by faith. It is theological error to view repentance as a separate act from believing upon the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Although repentance and faith are not the same thing, and both are required for salvation, they happen simultaneously (at the same time). A person rests in Christ's payment upon the cross for their sins and His resurrection to be forgiven and saved, because they have changed their mind. As John 3:20 teaches, the unrepentant sinner wants absolutely nothing to do with Christ.
Jason Cooley Misrepresents Dr. Harry Ironside
Pastor Jason Cooley of the Old Paths Baptist Church uses the following quote by Dr. Harry Ironside (1876-1951), former Moody Memorial Church Pastor in Chicago, as a secondary authority in an attempt to justify the heresy of Lordship Salvation . . .
Harry Ironside – “Shallow preaching that does not grapple with the terrible fact of man’s sinfulness and guilt, calling on ‘all men everywhere to repent,’ results in shallow conversions; and so we have a myriad of glib-tongued professors today who give no evidence of regeneration whatever. Prating of salvation by grace, they manifest no grace in their lives. Loudly declaring they are justified by faith alone, they fail to remember that ‘faith without works is dead’; and that justification by works before men is not to be ignored as though it were in contradiction to justification by faith before God. … To repent is to change one’s attitude toward self, toward sin, toward God, toward Christ. … So to face these tremendous facts is to change one’s mind completely, so that the pleasure lover sees and confesses the folly of his empty life; the self-indulgent learns to hate the passions that express the corruption of his nature; the self-righteous sees himself a condemned sinner in the eyes of a holy God; the man who has been hiding from God seeks to find a hiding place in Him; the Christ-rejecter realizes and owns his need of life and salvation” (Harry Ironside, Except Ye Repent, 1937). [emphasis added]
Now I agree with everything that Harry Ironside just said, because if you read it carefully, not one time does Dr. Ironside require turning away from sinful behavior, forsaking the world or making a full surrender to Christ's Lordship to be saved.
Now please read the following words by Dr. Ironside, which Jason Cooley doesn't quote . . .
As you have just witnessed for yourself, Harry Ironside was 100% against the heresy of Lordship Salvation—a false teaching which says a man cannot be saved by believing the Gospel. In addition, a person is required to hate their sins and turn away from a lifestyle of sin. They are required to surrender fully to Christ's Lordship, willing to do whatever Christ demands of them. They must forsake the ways of the sinful world. They are required to have a drastic change of life in order to be saved. These are all human effort, not the free gift of eternal life promised to those who believe upon the name of Jesus (John 6:28-29; Acts 4:10-12; Acts 10:43).
Also, as you have just witnessed for yourself, Jason Cooley has grossly misrepresented Harry Ironside's doctrinal position on repentance and his teachings. As you just read, to reiterate, Dr. Ironside plainly said, “Do not make the mistake then of thinking that the Gospel is a call to duty or a call to reformation, a call to better your condition, to behave yourself in a more perfect way than you have been doing in the past.” My friend, this goes against everything that Jason Cooley is teaching on repentance.
Cooley rejects Biblical repentance as a simply “change of mind,” which is exactly what the Greek word metanoeo means in Mark 1:15, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Literally, this Scripture can be read... “Change your mind and believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose up the third day” (1st Corinthians 15:1-4).
Dr. Ironside further states: “Nor is the Gospel a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits, and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all.”
Jason Cooley is picking and choosing, which is what the wicked manure-spreading newsmedia does, trying to paint a false picture that is not true.
astor Cooley quotes dozens of historically great men of God, often misquoting or taking their words out of context. Don't let they sway you. I encourage you to read more of their writings if you are concerned. But most of all, realize that the Word of God (the King James Bible) is our only authority!!! There is a fine line between faith and foolishness. For example: Brother Lester Roloff believed that Jesus saves sinners so that we won't live in sin anymore. This is what Ephesians 2:10 teaches. We are saved unto good works. God didn't save us to give us fire assurance. God wants us to depart from sin and be a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Titus 2:11-13). Albeit, good works are not required to be saved, validate our eternal security nor seal our salvation. Demas forsook Paul, “having loved this present world” (2nd Timothy 4:10). Colossians 4:14 confirms that Demas was a Christian. The Apostle Paul never said that Demas wasn't saved or lost his salvation. Believers who choose not to make the sacrifice to follow their Master will lose rewards in Heaven (1st Corinthians 3:15). But this has absolutely nothing to do with salvation, which is a free gift.
Pastor M.R. DeHaan Exposes Lordship Salvation
Here is a helpful quote from Martin R. DeHaan (1891-1965), which differentiates between salvation verses discipleship. So many pastors today are confused concerning the difference between the two . . .
"There is a vast difference between coming to Jesus for salvation and coming after Jesus for service. Coming to Christ makes one a believer, while coming after Christ makes one a disciple. All believers are not disciples. To become a believer one accepts the invitation of the Gospel, to be a disciple one obeys the challenge to a life of dedicated service and separation. Salvation comes through the sacrifice of Christ; discipleship comes only by sacrifice of self and surrender to His call for devoted service. Salvation is free, but discipleship involves paying the price of a separated walk. Salvation can't be lost because it depends upon God's faithfulness, but discipleship can be lost because it depends upon our faithfulness."
Source: DeHaan, M.R. Hebrews. Zondervan Publishing House, 1959 (p. 117).
I couldn't have worded it any better than Dr. DeHaan. What a beautiful quote! Yes, that is correct! Please share this quote with others.
Also, I highly recommend the timeless MP3 sermon by Dr. Jack Hyles, titled, “STEPS TO SANCTIFICATION (OR, THE ROOT OF ALL HERESY”). This is one of the most important sermons I've ever heard, which every Christian leader absolutely must hear if you care at all about the truth of God's Word. Please take the time to listen to this classic and needful sermon.
We learn what repentance is in John 3:20, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” An unsaved person who doesn't want to be reprimanded for their sins WON'T come to Christ for forgiveness and salvation, because they don't want to admit that the life they are living is sinful. Rock legend, Brad Delp (who sadly commit suicide at age 55 in 2007), sang shameful lyrics in the song “PARTY,” which promote fornication...
It's a party and nobody cares
What we're doin' there
Baby, it's a party as long as you're there
It's a party, party, party!
I can't believe it when some people say
That it's a sin that way we live to die
You know, there's never been a more natural thing
Yea there's a brand new story, but it's the same old lie
So come on
Get ready for the time of your life
'Cause I'm gettin' right in the groove
And if you've got somethin' for me
I've got somethin' for you
Clearly, the song attacks the Holy Bible's prohibition against sexual immorality. The song attacks preachers. My point here is that the unsaved world won't come to Jesus Christ for salvation; but rather, instead they attempt to justify and excuse their sins, as evidenced by the lyrics to this horrible song. My friend, God DOES CARE what you're doin' there!!!
When a person “repents,” they have changed their mind toward their sins and Christ—not in the sense of intensely hating sin and desiring not to commit them anymore—but rather, in the sense of acknowledging their sinnership, admitting their guilty condition as a sinner. I can evidence this truth with 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.” Repentance and faith happen at the same time. When a person acknowledges their guilt of sin and believes the Gospel, they are immediately saved. A person would not come to Christ if they had not repented. That's why we read the words “believe” and “believed” 85 times in the Gospel of John (which is the Holy Spirit's Gospel tract - John 20:31), and yet the word “repent” is not mentioned even once.
Please don't misunderstand, repentance is necessary for salvation, but repentance is simply realizing that you cannot save yourself, because you are a guilty sinner in God's holy eyes; and so you place your complete trust in the slain Lamb of God, Who on the cross took your burden of sins upon Himself, was buried, and then raised up three days later as your heavenly High Priest. Eternal life is a free gift, which is simply received to have, without works. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The following excellent information by Dr. Hank Lindstrom is from the helpful Christian website, Get God's Gift...
Again, I tremendously love preachers, and I have greatly enjoyed listening to dozens and dozens of Pastor Jason Cooley's sermons on YouTube. It's really great stuff. Albeit, I cannot in good conscience support or promote any pastor who fails to see the theological difference between salvation and discipleship. Kindly, the only reason why I wrote this article to refute Pastor Cooley is because he has a significance voice on the internet, and is misleading people concerning the true meaning of repentance concerning salvation.
Dr. John R. Rice Refutes Lordship Salvation
I think much of the arguments over the matter of repentance are caused by preachers going to two extremes. Either they say that all you have to do is believe, without understanding that you are a guilty sinner in God's eyes, which is heresy. Or else they say that you cannot be saved unless you stop living in deliberate sin, which is also heresy. There is a balance. You must know that you are a sinner (you've got to know what you're being saved from). But you don't have to clean up your life and commit to reform, which is a false plan of salvation. God does the saving, all of it! As Dr. John R. Rice taught...
Dr. Rice states in his excellent book, Dr. Rice... Here is My Question...
“When you get saved, you get saved not because you deserve it, but because you simply let God save you and because you confess your own poor sinful state and your inability to save yourself.”
SOURCE: Dr. Rice... Here is My Question, by Dr. John R. Rice, pg. 304; 1962, Sword of the Lord Publishers; ISBN: 0-87398-158-8
I couldn't agree more. This is what the Bible teaches. Dr. Rice also states in his Gospel tract, What Must I Do To Be Saved...
“The change in your heart, sinner, is God's part and you may be sure He will attend to that. Your part is to simply believe in Him. Whatever else is necessary in your eternal salvation, the Lord attends to when you trust in Him, or believe in Him.”
SOURCE: What Must I DO To Be Saved, by Dr. John R. Rice
Amen! Dr. Rice is correct. Who are we to judge whether or not a person is sincere. There's a self-righteous group today in our churches, who demand a changed-life as a prerequisite for salvation. This is unbiblical, a heresy, and a perversion of the simple Gospel of Christ Jesus. The thing to do is to take for granted that people are saved when they simply trust Jesus Christ for salvation.
Dr. Curtis Hutson is 100% Correct On Repentance!
Well Be Surprised in Eternity Who is Saved and Who is Not
I don't believe that everybody who professes to be a Christian is saved. Case in point, freak hard rocker Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier; February 4, 1948), who allegedly came to Christ in the 1980's, but chose not to go public about it until 2002. What a sad joke! Cooper claims that his father was an evangelical preacher, but the truth is that his father was an unsaved sinister minister in the Mormon religion. Presently, on Cooper's official YouTube channel, he boasts of being the “Prince of Darkness himself”! Please read my full article titled, “Is Alice Cooper A Genuine Christian?” Alice Cooper is a Satanic reprobate! No one ever got saved who didn't realize that he is a sinner. I've done much research into Alice Cooper's profession of faith in Christ, and it is very evident that he only came to superficial religion, not Biblical Christianity.
So the question remains, can a genuine Christian live an unrepentant life of sin? The Biblical answer is found in 1st Corinthians 5:5 concerning the adulterous believer at the church of Corinth. 1st Corinthians 5:5, “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” If Nathan the prophet hadn't confronted King David about his crimes of adultery and murder, David might never have repented until his death.
love God who doesn't love sinners!”
(a quote by Dr. Jack Hyles classic MP3 sermon, “The Happiest Man” (happiest is the man who will not impute sin to others!)
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