Evangelist Jack Chick Misinterprets Luke 13:1-5

by David J. Stewart
May 2016 | Updated October 2016

Luke 13:1-5, “There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

       What did Jesus mean when He warned, “EXCEPT YE REPENT, YE SHALL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH”? We'll take a look. Evangelist Jack Chick horribly misinterprets Luke 13:5, in an attempt to justify his heresy that a person must be willing to turn from sins to be saved, but first let me give a brief introduction.

On cartoonist Jack Chick's website, there is a section titled “God's Plan Of Salvation.” This same corrupt plan of salvation is printed on the last page of every Chick Tract published. At the top of the webpage is the slogan, “Chick Tracts GET READ!” They sure do (about 800,000,000 of them), which is the problem, and the reason why I am typing this article to warn fellow Christians (and unbelievers too), that Chick Tracts have a wrong view of the Gospel.

According to Mr. Chick, it is not enough to believe that Christ DIED on the cross for your sins, He was BURIED, and then bodily RESURRECTED three days later. This is “the Gospel” (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). In addition, Mr. Chick says that you must also be willing to turn away from your sinful behavior, as a prerequisite to believing the Gospel. Nowhere in the Scriptures are we taught to “turn from sins” to be saved. Am I wrong for telling THE TRUTH? Am I wrong for pointing out THE TRUTH that Jack Chick is perverting God's plan of salvation? I THINK NOT!!! Galatians 4:16,“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”

Mr. Chick begins by correctly asserting that we are all sinners. He says, “Admit you are a sinner!” He cites Romans 3:23, Romans 5:12 and I John 1:10 as Scripture references, which are correct. So far, so good, this is Biblical.

But secondly, Jack Chick says to, “Be willing to turn from sin (Repent).” Here's where he goes horribly awry. Jack Chick cites Luke 13:5 to support his heresy. Mr. Chick states, “Jesus said: 'I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.' (Luke 13:5)” Jack Chick wrongly views Luke 13:5 as meaning, to be willing to turn away from sins to be saved. This is heresy! The Holy Bible does not teach this anywhere!!!

Jack Chick's tracts are doctrinally flawed. It is a very serious matter, because if a man is wrong on repentance, he is wrong on salvation. Pastor Curtis Hutson (1934-1995) wisely said that being wrong on repentance is like buttoning a dress-shirt, that is, if you get the first button wrong then all the other buttons will be wrong too. If a man is wrong on repentance, then all of his doctrines will follow that wrong precedent. I stopped purchasing and passing out Chick Tracts many years ago. Many people have been diverted away from the Gospel, because they read in some heretical Chick Tract that God won't save them unless they are first willing to stop living in sin. That is not a gift. That is not “the simplicity that is in Christ.” There is nothing “simple” about having to forsake one's sinful bad habits.

Jack Chick's Statement of Faith Verses What His 'Chick Tracts' Actually Teach

“To be willing to turn from sin (Repent)” is really a play on words. To be “willing” to do something effectively means that you want to do it. If I say to you, “I'll lend you $20 if you're willing to pay it back,” the implication is clearly that I expect you to pay me back $20. When I ask for my money back a few weeks later, it would be totally absurd for you to say, “I only said I was 'willing' to pay you back, but I didn't actually say that I would pay you back.” Likewise, when Jack Chick requires that a person “be willing to turn from sin (Repent),” it clearly implies that God expects you to cease from sinful bad habits. But even if Mr. Chick sincerely just means a willingness to turn away from sin, it is still a work (human effort). Jack Chick, in typical false prophet fashion, says one thing in one place, but another thing elsewhere.

Keep in mind that Chick Tracts are not the Gospel. A person CANNOT be saved from reading Chick Tracts unless the actual Gospel is preached in them. It doesn't matter what Mr. Chick's Statement of Faith reads, because that is not what the people reading his tracts are reading. In Mr. Chick's tracts, he tells people to “Invite Jesus into your life,” which is not the Gospel.

For example: In Jack Chick's Statement of Faith, he is 100% correct and says that he believes salvation is totally without works:

“Salvation is the gift of God and includes the forgiveness of sins, the imputation of the Righteousness of Jesus Christ, and the gift of eternal life.”

SOURCE: Statement of Faith, Jack Chick

Yes, yes, that is absolutely correct! Unfortunately, this is not what Mr. Chick teaches in his Chick Tracts. If a person must “be willing to turn from sin (Repent)” to be saved, then this is not the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. How can it be? How can a man's faith be counted for righteousness, if faith alone is not enough to be saved; but in addition, according to Jack Chick you must also have a desire to cease from living in deliberate sinful behavior. Mr. Chick has been deceived by the Devil, as have many Baptist churches today. The entire Southern Baptist Convention, Evangelist Paul Washer, and the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary are deceived of the Devil, teaching the satanic fraud of Lordship Salvation. They get this heresy from the corrupt Bible revisions which they use.

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) hypocritically denounces the corrupt Alexandrian based New International Version (NIV), and in 2004 published their own corrupt Alexandrian revision called the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). There's not a dime's difference between the two paraphrases!!! They're both based upon the corrupt 1881 Greek work of occultist's Brooke Westcott and Fenton Hort. Lordship Salvation is synonymous with the modern corrupt Alexandrian Bible revisions. I've been accused of being overly wrapped-up in this topic of Lordship Salvation. Brother, I'm just getting started!!!! People are going to Hell.

I DID NOT get saved from a Chick Tract. They were like eye-candy to me as a child, a teenager, and an adult. I use to buy Chick Tracts by the boxes, and I loved to look through them. People do read them. I never paid much attention to the doctrinal statement at the back. I just looked at the great cartoon work, and had the mindset from my youth, that Chick Tracts are good to give away. It wasn't until decades later that a blessed man, a truth-seeker, pointed out to me the heresy which Jack Chick was teaching. For 8 months I refused to go against my cartoon hero. But the seed had been planted in my soul. The issue kept resurfacing in my heart, and eventually I laid the ax to the root, so-to-speak . . . I heard the Holy Spirit quietly ask the question in my soul: Is Jack Chick right or wrong? I said, He is wrong! That was the moment that I started exposing Jack Chick as being doctrinally-flawed. It wasn't a quick decision for me, but it should have been much sooner, because the truth is the truth!!! Jack Chick perverts the Gospel in his 800,000,000 Chick Tracts. You DON'T have to be willing to turn from sin to be saved. That is not repentance at all.

A Disturbing Paradox

I am appreciative and supportive of Jack Chick's diligent efforts to defend the 1611 King James Bible. I am thankful for the published works of Evangelist David W. Daniels, Evangelist Samuel C. Gipp, Dr. Douglas D. Stauffer, Dr. William P. Grady and others defending the beloved King James Bible. Paradoxically, by promoting a form of Lordship Salvation, Jack Chick contradicts everything he is defending in the King James Bible. Don't take my word for it, take a look at the heresy taught in the Alexandrian Bible revisions for yourself. Look what the Easy-To-Read Version (ERV) does to butcher Mark 1:15, changing (corrupting) “repent” to mean, “change your hearts and your lives.” The Voice (VOICE) revision corrupts “repent” in Mark 1:15 to mean “change your actions.” Is this not exactly what Jack Chick is teaching? Yeah, it is! Chick Tracts teach people to “be willing to turn from sin (Repent),” which effectively requires changing your own life and actions to be saved. It is a very big deal. It is far more than a mere matter of semantics.

In reality, Jack Chick is wrongly teaching Alexandrian doctrine concerning repentance, while at the same time rightly condemning the Alexandrian revisions.

I am fully convinced that Mr. Chick is sincere, but sincerity often leads to Hell, fire and damnation (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25). It is my humble and honest opinion that Mr. Chick knows his tracts are poorly worded (as we all hone and adjust our beliefs over the decades), but he fears the backlash from clergy if he CHANGES what he has taught for 50 years. IT IS A BIG DEAL! Either a person must be willing to turn away from their sinful behavior to be saved or they do not. Respectfully, Jack Chick is a religious cartoonist, not a fundamentalist preacher. He has sold over 800,000,000 Chick Tracts in over 50 years!!! That's a lot of trees! If he preached the Gospel in his Chick Tracts, it would be worth it. Surrendering “all” to Jesus is not part of the Gospel. “To be willing to turn from sins” is not part of the Gospel. Satan always tries to embellish (add to) the Gospel, by embellishing the meaning of faith, repentance, Christian, born-again and salvation.

Jack Chick's Heresy On Luke 13:5

Luke 13:5b, except ye repent [metanoeo], ye shall all likewise perish”!!!

Let's take a closer look at the passage in Luke 13:1-5, since Jack Chick is attempting to use it to support his false teaching. First, here's a comparison between the accurate Antiochan based King James Bible, and then the Alexandrian based corrupt revisions:

KING JAMES BIBLE (KJB)—Luke 13:5, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

EASY-TO-READ VERSION (ERV)—Luke 13:5, “They were not. But I tell you if you don’t decide now to change your lives, you will all be destroyed too!”

NEW LIFE VERSION (NLV)—Luke 13:5, “No, I tell you. But unless you are sorry for your sins and turn from them, you too will all die.”

THE VOICE (VOICE)—Luke 13:5, “Of course not. But all the buildings of Jerusalem will come crashing down on you if you don’t wake up and change direction now.”

YOUNG'S LITERAL TRANSLATION (YLT)—Luke 13:5, “No -- I say to you, but, if ye may not reform, all ye in like manner shall perish.'”

INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN'S BIBLE (ICB)—Luke 13:5, “ They were not! But I tell you, if you don’t change your hearts and lives, then you will all be destroyed too!”

THE VOICE (VOICE)—Luke 13:5, “Of course not. But all the buildings of Jerusalem will come crashing down on you if you don’t wake up and change direction now.”

It should be obvious to you from examining the preceding revisions in comparison to the King James Bible that Satan is behind all of the Alexandrian revisions.

The Beauty of the Word “METANOEO

The King James Bible uses the word “repent,” which is the Greek word metanoeo (the verb form of the noun metanoia). The beauty of the word metanoia is that it requires supplemental information. What are we supposed to change our mind about? The word itself doesn't tell us. This is the beauty of the word, because it is all-inclusive. In other words, a person must change their mind concerning whatever has been hindering them from believing the Gospel. The change of mind is unto the Gospel itself, from everything else. Thus, Biblical repentance has absolutely nothing to do with changing your life or your actions, nor being sorry for your sins, nor reforming, nor changing your direction (which implies works for salvation), nor anything else that requires human effort. Repentance means to think differently and BELIEVE THE GOSPEL.

In sharp contrast to the Biblical meaning of repentance, Jack Chick is attempting to use Luke 13:5 as justification for his heresy that you must “be willing to turn from sin (Repent)” to be saved. Was Jesus really saying in Luke 13:5 that unless you turn away from your sins, you will also perish? That's not the Gospel? That's not what it Biblically means to “repent.” You don't get saved by turning from your sins! Judas “repented” in Matthew 27:3, even returning the 30 pieces of silver to the Pharisees, but he still went to Hell forever in his unbelief and sins.

Jack Chick uses the English meaning of the word “repentance,” which means “to sorrow, to turn away from sin.” This is the modern English definition. In sharp contrast, the Greek Biblical meaning is metanoia, which means, “to think differently.” Clearly, these are two VERY DIFFERENT meanings for the same word. These two meanings are as different as the word “Subway”—one meaning refers to the restaurant chain, but the other word “subway” refers to the train people ride to work each day. Jesus was telling these people in Luke 13:5 to “think differently” toward the Gospel, believing it to be saved. Repentance is toward the Gospel itself. Acts 20:21 speaks of “repentance toward God.” The heresy of “turning away from sins” to be saved has crept into our churches from Catholicism, Dr. John MacArthur, John Calvin (Calvinism), Evangelist Paul Washer and the corruptible Alexandrian modern Bible revisions, to name a few sources.

The Story Found in Luke 13:1-5

Just as today, people often repeat what they hear in the news, bringing it up in conversation. People like to gossip, which is a sin. People like to spread bad news. Some people said to Jesus, “Did you hear?” That's how most gossip starts . . . “Did you hear?” They asked Jesus, “Did you hear about the Galilaeans whose blood Pilate mingled with their sacrifices?” We don't know why Pilate did this. Perhaps it was a crime that was committed, or something that offended Pilate. It seems unlikely to me that Pilate just felt like murdering some people. I think it is likely that they had done something wrong, because Jesus replied by asking the talebearers if they thought the unfortunate Galilaeans were bigger sinners than all Galilaeans. To me that strongly implies that those executed Galilaeans had done something very wrong.

We've all heard talebearers at one time or another, who come to us saying “Did you hear?” “Did you hear about so-and-so?” “Did you hear about what so-and-so did?” “Did you know that so-and-so was sent to prison?” Oh, shut up! Let's hear about WHAT YOU DID WRONG!!!

Let's hear some of your dirty, dark, secrets, from your own skeleton closet! Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980) has a classic MP3 sermon titled, “When Skeletons Come Out Of The Closet.” You're just a rotten a sinner as the next person, you just have different sins and didn't get caught. You'd be shocked if you knew the horrible sins and crimes that people commit, and get away with here on earth (e.g., murder, rape, pedophilia, theft, adultery, cruelty, et cetera). Ah, but Judgment Day is coming in eternity (Hebrews 9:27)—Every thought (Proverbs 24:12)—Every word (Matthew 12:36)—Every work (Ecclesiastes 12:14)—Everything done in secret (Hebrews 4:13)—All will be judged and we will be held accountable (Romans 14:10-12; 2nd Corinthians 5:9-11 - saved; Revelation 20:12-15; Isaiah 13:11 - unsaved). God will be our ultimate Judge (James 4:12). No one ever gets away with anything!!!

Here is the Scripture passage again, to refresh our memories:

Luke 13:1-5, “There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

“Turning From Sin” is a Work that Negates the Gift of God

Jack Chick misinterprets Luke 13:5 to mean that God requires a person to “be willing to turn from sin,” that is, to away from sinful behavior to receive the free gift of eternal life.

This is unscriptural. A gift is completely free to the recipient, but it costs the giver the full price. Salvation for man cost God His only begotten Son. It cost Jesus His life.

It costs us NOTHING! You can have the free gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life simply by accepting it by faith. We do this easily, simply by BELIEVING THE GOSPEL. “The Gospel” is defined for us in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4.

I mention this vital truth often now, in most of my online articles, because “THE GOSPEL” cannot be overemphasized. Satan is relentlessly working round-the-clock to hide the Gospel from the lost world, so that they'll go to Hell forever in their unbelief (2nd Corinthians 4:3-4).

What is “the Gospel”?

1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”

It doesn't get any plainer than that friend. In fact, you just read a crystal clear presentation of the plan of salvation. If you receive Christ's sacrifice on the cross as payment for your sins, believing that He resurrected from the dead three days later, you are forever born-again!!! Amen! Christ DIED on the cross for our sins. He was BURIED. And then Jesus bodily RESURRECTED the third day for our justification. Glory to God! These three elements constitute “the Gospel” (which means Good News). Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

Please notice that there's no mention in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 about forsaking the world, turning away from sins, inviting Jesus into one's life, surrendering “all” to Jesus Christ, becoming a disciple, confessing Christ publicly, following Jesus, nor superstitiously saying “Jesus is Lord” to be saved. None of these things constitute the Gospel. You can do all these things and yet never have been born-again at all. We are saved by believing the Gospel, period. Galatians 3:2, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?Isn't that simple? That's why in 2nd Corinthians 11:3-4 the Gospel is referred to as “THE SIMPLICITY THAT IS IN CHRIST”!

Don't you dare talk about the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, you theological hypocrite, while teaching people in your tracts that they must be willing to turn away from sin to be saved. The whole idea behind imputed righteousness is that we have none at all to offer God. To turn from your sins as part of receiving the free gift of God is satanic heresy!!! We are saved solely by Christ's righteousness, so that we don't need any to be saved. A man can receive the free gift of God, and yet still choose to continue in sin, and he's in no danger of ever going to Hell again! That's why there's a second decision that God wants every person to make, concerning DISCIPLESHIP (Romans 12:1-2). If you trust Jesus as your Savior, you are SAVED, end of story. But now Jesus wants you to follow Him as one of His disciples. You don't have to, but He wants you to. There is a great cost, everything. But this is Discipleship, not Salvation.

Chick Tracts GET READ, unfortunately!

Remember, “Chick Tracts GET READ!” That makes them very dangerous spiritually if they teach an unbiblical plan of salvation. Rat poison is 99% good wholesome food. It's just that 1% of poison that kills the rat. Likewise, changing even one little part of God's plan of salvation makes it Satan's plan of damnation instead.

In Luke 13:1-5, the lesson to be learned is that you need to get saved now, before it is too late. Some typical people informed Jesus about some bad news they had heard. Jesus responded by letting them know that they were sinners too! The Lord emphasizes the truth that no one is any more guilty or worse of a sinner than anyone else in God's eyes (James 2:10). You may errantly think that you aren't as bad a sinner as someone else, but you are just as vulnerable to “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Jesus brought up another tragic situation, where 18 people living in Jerusalem died when a tower crumbled and fell upon them. Again, the Lord asks these gossippers if those 18 victim were worse sinners than everyone else living in Jerusalem? The answer is a resounding, “No!” or “Nay!”

Jesus warns them that they will suffer the same fate, that is, DEATH, if they do not change their minds toward God and believe the Gospel. You have to use some commonsense here to properly interpret this passage of Scripture. Was the Lord telling them that they would become invincible to tragedies and unforeseen death if they turned away from sinning (or were willing to turn away from sinning)? That would be absurd! Obviously, no one can escape the coincidences and tragedies of life. Ecclesiastes 9:11 teaches that time and chance happeneth to them all.” Proverbs 27:1, “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” Clearly, Jesus was not teaching us that having a change of heart toward our sins would protect us from premature death and disaster. Jack Chick is doctrinally flawed to quote Luke 13:5 in an effort to bolster his strawman argument that a person must “be willing to turn from sin” to be saved, which is total self-righteousness!!! Turning from sin is a work!

What Does Luke 13:5 Mean?

So what did the Lord mean in Luke 13:3 and verse 5, when He said, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Jack Chick misinterprets this verse to mean turning from one's sins, but this is wrong. The Greek word is metanoeo, which is the verb form of metanoia, which means “TO THINK DIFFERENTLY.” Acts 20:21 speaks of “repentance toward God.” Repentance is changing one's mind TOWARD GOD, not turning away from sins. Repentance “toward God” means judging oneself as a needy sinner in the sight of a holy God (Romans 3:19). Repentance is unto the Gospel itself. Without repentance, no man would ever come to the light of the truth of the Gospel to be saved (John 3:19-21). 2nd Corinthians 4:3-4, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Repentance is a change of mind from whatever has been hindering you from getting saved, to believing the Gospel. This is the great meaning of metanoia.

In Luke 13:1-5, the lesson to be learned is that you need to get saved now, before it is too late. That is what Jesus was teaching to these folks. This is what the Holy Bible is teaching to us. Death came unexpectedly for those Galilaeans that Pilate had executed. Death came unexpectedly for those 18 victims upon whom a tower fell. It matters not how little (or big) of a sinner you may consider yourself, NO ONE CAN ESCAPE DEATH!!! No one!

Do you think Americans aren't as wicked as those 1,455,590 Iraqi citizens that we wrongfully murdered? We are just as rotten, filthy, vile, and wicked in the eyes of a holy God. Do you think you're not as sinful as that person rotting in a prison cell? You are! And so are the tyrant judges who destroy people's lives by locking them away for life. God never intended for men to be incarcerated in cages. Nor did God ever intend for animals to be encaged, which is cruelty to any creature. The judges, prosecutors and lawyers themselves are the guiltiest criminals in God's eyes in our society.

There wouldn't be an abortion industry, same-sex marriages, sodomites adopting precious children, or school kids without the Holy Bible, if it weren't for the reprobate Judges who love evil and hate God. I believe that everyone deserves a second chance! We read in the Old Testament concerning the prophet Jonah, “And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time” (Jonah 3:1a). God is a God of second chances. Amen! When the Lord returns and reigns over the earth for 1,000 years, there will be no prisons. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!!!

You are just as rotten of a sinner as the next guy, and you're day of reckoning is coming! Don't look at the tragic things happening to others, because today could be the last day of your earthly life. Are you ready to meet your Maker? That's what Jesus was telling these folks in Luke 13:5. There is only one way to escape going to Hell, and that is by believing the Gospel. That is what Jesus meant when He said, “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Jesus was telling those people to get saved before it was too late. So, clearly, by telling the people to “repent” (i.e., change their mind) it could only have been toward the Gospel itself, for that is the only way to be saved. Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

“Nobody can 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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