Biblically Refuting David Cloud's False Plan of Salvation and Unjust Attack Against Soul Winners

2nd Corinthians 2:17, “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.”

By David J. Stewart | January 2015

       There is an enemy of soul-winning lurking on the internet named Evangelist David Cloud. I enjoy reading many of his informative articles, when he's not bashing Dr. Curtis Hutson and Dr. Jack Hyles.

Pastor Cloud wrongly calls Dr. Hyles, “The king of shallow soulwinners.” Nothing could be further from the truth. May I say, I was saved under the influence of Pastor Hyles' ministry. Over one million sinners walked a church isle to find out how to be saved in one of Brother Hyles' churches or that of his preacher boys. Who is David Cloud to condemn all those thousands of preachers and churches?

Mr. Cloud corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ. 2nd Corinthians 11:3, “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.” What is the simplicity that is in Christ? Why, it simply means that it is simple to be saved my friend. 1st Thessalonians 4:14, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” And again we read in 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.” God's plan of salvation is very simple—you receive Christ's payment upon the cross for YOUR SINS, believing that He was buried and bodily raised up. This is the “Gospel” as defined in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4.

David Cloud's Unjust Attack Against the 'Sword of the Lord'

I support the Sword of the Lord (history) ministry in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, which Dr. John R. Rice began in 1934. For whatever it's worth, I'm proud of the Sword of the Lord for taking a King James Bible only position, and for maintaining the simple plan of salvation by childlike faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I highly recommend them as an excellent source of fundamental books, gifts, sermons, tracts and church-related needs. In short, I trust them.

On David Cloud's website, “Way of Life Literature,” he wrongly attacks the Sword of the Lord...

COMMENT BY BROTHER CLOUD: ...The Sword of the Lord truly has a problem with repentance, and this is not a new thing. While the founder of the Sword, John R. Rice, taught that repentance is “a change of mind toward God and toward sin” and “to turn from your sin” (What Must I Do to Be Saved, 1940), Rice’s successor, Curtis Hutson, changed the biblical definition of repentance. He did this in his influential 1986 booklet Repentance: What Does the Bible Teach? Hutson denied that repentance means to turn from sin (p. 4), that repentance is sorrow for sin (p. 8), and that repentance means “a change of mind that leads to a change of action” (p. 16). He claimed that repentance simply is “to change one’s mind.”

SOURCE: The Sword of the Lord and the Carl Hatch Squeeze

The Sword of the Lord does NOT have a problem with repentance, David Cloud DOES. Pastor Curtis Hutson is 100% correct on repentance. Cloud accuses Curtis Hutson of changing the meaning of repentance to mean, “to change one's mind.” My friend, that is what the Bible teaches. The Greek word for “repent” concerning salvation is metanoia, which means “to think differently.” David Cloud is foolishly basing his beliefs upon the words of men instead of upon the inspired Words of God. Dr. Rice simply believed that genuine repentance leads to a changed life, but that is not the definition of repentance.

Dr. Rice was only a man, capable of error. Albeit, from reading Dr. Rice's writings, it is clear to me that he did not believe Lordship Salvation. The following statement by Dr. John R. Rice from his Gospel tract, What Must I Do To Be Saved, evidences this fact...

“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

David Cloud foolishly trumps John R. Rice over the Word of God. The truth is that you cannot show me anywhere from the Bible where God uses the phrases “turn from sin” or “repent from sin.” The Greek meaning of the word “repent” (metanoia; such as in Mark 1:15, “Repent, ye, and believe the gospel”) concerning salvation means “to think differently.” Anyone who expands this definition to also include “turning from sins” for salvation has corrupted the Word of God. If Dr. John R. Rice meant to say that giving up one's sinful lifestyle is required for salvation, then he would be a false prophet.

However, from further reading of Brother Rice's writings, it becomes clear that David Cloud is selectively picking and choosing what he wants to use, whole ignoring the rest of Dr. Rice's writings. Brother Rice, as evidenced by the preceding quote I shared with you, believed that we are saved simply by BELIEVING on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here is a wonderful article where Dr. Rice refutes the heresy of Lordship Salvation and the idea of having to cease from sinful bad habits to be saved. John R. Rice correctly states:

Every saved person still has the old carnal nature and often-times has the same kind of temptation he had before. Some people who have truly been born again have a desperate fight to quit tobacco, and some have never seemed to get the victory over that or other bad habits. Some Christians have never learned to trust the Lord enough to bring tithes and offerings, and some have never learned to win souls. When a baby is born, he is not born grown. Being born is one thing; growing is another thing entirely.

So the thing to do is to take for granted that people are saved when they trust Christ for salvation. Then one should set out to teach them to read the Bible daily, to learn to pray about their daily needs, to confess their sins and failures and grow in grace day by day. It is as foolish to expect young Christians to be good Christians by themselves as it is to expect a child, born in the family, to automatically be a great credit to the family without any rearing—whether they are spiritual babes or physical babes. I assure you that unless people are taught to be consecrated Christians, taught to read the Bible and pray, they are not likely to be good Christians, even if they are truly born again.

SOURCE: Dr. Rice... Here Are More Questions, by John R. Rice, pg. 76,77, Sword of the Lord Publishers; ISBN: 0-87398-157-X

Proponents of the Lordship Salvation heresy expect new believers to live a consecrated Christian life from the get-go of salvation. This is not reasonable nor Biblical. New believers need to be taught and discipled.

David Cloud is very deceitful, as are all false prophets, playing both sides of the table, saying out of one side of his mouth that salvation is the free gift of God, while saying out of the other side of his mouth that you must turn from your sins with all your heart to be saved (having full intention to stop committing them). That's what Jehovah's Witnesses teach. This is the big difference between Dr. Rice's and Mr. Cloud's view of repentance. Brother Rice DIDN'T mean that you have to stop living in sin to be saved. Certainly, every believer ought not live in sin. We should fulfil the law (Romans 3:31). But that has nothing to do with the gift of eternal life. If you focus on eternal life as being the GIFT that God intended for it to be, then the truth becomes quite obvious.

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; 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. YOUR PART IS SIMPLY TO BELIEVE IN HIM!!! David Cloud, as does Evangelist Ray Comfort, picks and chooses the words of great men of God, attempting to use them as a secondary authority to bolster their strawman heresy. They cannot use the Word of God because the Bible doesn't support their heresies.

On David Cloud's website, “Way of Life Literature,” he wrongly attacks the present Sword of the Lord editor, Dr. Sheldon Smith...

10. Brother Smith says that some false professions will always happen.

That is a smokescreen, because it misses the point entirely. Of course there will be false professions when people are trying to win souls to Christ. We have often stated this. Every church has false professions. I have been a church planter since 1979 and we have seen false professions. That’s not the point. The point is that there is a standard soul winning program that excels in getting false professions. Not a few. Not one here and there. Multitudes of them. And this is because the soul winning program itself is unscriptural and has many fundamental flaws. That is the real issue.

I read about a pastor who reported 4,000 professions in five years of ministry, but the church only grew from 98 to 100. That is Quick Prayerism.

I read about a first-year missionary who reported over 700 professions of faith and 25 baptisms. That is Quick Prayerism

One evangelist comments: “How could you even pen those words without asking yourself if there isn’t something wrong with that picture? I seem to remember 3,000 saved at Pentecost, and 3,000 baptized! The most refreshing missionary that I have heard in a long time gave his update to our church recently. He has been in Poland for 14 years and to date knows of only five people who have been saved under his ministry. Just like at Pentecost, he only counts the ones who have been saved, baptized, and are in the church. Most of our ‘one, two, three, pray after me’ fellows would have dropped his support a long time ago! Myself, I would drop the guy with 738 saved and 25 baptized and shift the support to the fellow from Poland!”

SOURCE: The Sword of the Lord and the Carl Hatch Squeeze

Mr. Cloud criticizes “a pastor who reported 4,000 professions in five years of ministry, but the church only grew 98 to 100.” May I quote to you Acts 2:40-41, which says that 3,000 people were saved IN ONE DAY! ...

Acts 2:40-41, “And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”

David Cloud is barking up an empty tree, trying to make a fuss over nothing. God's plan of salvation is so very simple that even a little child, like Timothy (2nd Timothy 3:15), can be saved simply by BELIEVING the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Peter preached against the sins of their untoward (warped, perverse) generation (and we sure are a warped and perverse generation today) and shared with them the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a precious 3,000 people RECEIVED HIS WORD (i.e., they BELIEVED) and were saved. Wow! Three-thousand souls saved IN ONE DAY. David Cloud seriously doubts the pastor's claim that he saw over 4,000 converts during a 5-year period. My friend, if you do the math, that comes out to 15 people saved per week. Is that so hard to imagine in a soul-winning church? The Bible says they had 3,000 souls saved on the Day of Pentecost. If it weren't for this event being recorded in the Holy Scriptures, David Cloud would attack them as well and accuse them of “Quick Prayerism.”

Mr. Cloud attempts to discredit the soul-winning pastor and his church members by pointing out that his church is only running a hundred in attendance. First, I doubt if Cloud is giving us an accurate number of members in the church (notice that he conveniently fails to mention the pastor's name so you cannot verify his slanderous claim). The Bible doesn't teach that those 3,000 converts all joined some local church congregation. In fact, the Bible says that Peter was speaking to people from at least 16 different nations (Acts 2:9-10). The truth is that most of these fine folks got saved and then went back home to their homelands. So David Cloud's argument is null and void.

My next point is just unbelievable. In the preceding quote by David Cloud, he mentions a missionary in Poland who only led five people to the Lord in 14 years. That's about ONE CONVERT EVERY THREE YEARS!!! Cloud contrasts the man to another first-year missionary who professes to have seen 738 souls saved and 25 baptized. Unbelievably, Cloud says he would hands-down choose to support the missionary in Poland and stop financially supporting the other guy who saw 738 converts. Huh?

May I say, we're never supposed to support any missionary based upon how many people they reach for Christ (or don't reach), because only God can give the increase according to 1st Corinthians 3:6-7. We're supposed to support a missionary because we have confidence in his personal Christian testimony, good character, work ethic, doctrinal soundness, mission philosophy and walk with God. I'm more interested in how much time a man spends witnessing to people as a missionary, not the results. It's not our duty to get people saved as Christians; but rather, to try to get them saved by preaching the Gospel. Only God can save them!!!

David Clouds “Quick Prayerism” Deception

Kindly, David Cloud gets upset over the notion that a person can be saved by praying a quick prayer. He calls this “Quick Prayerism.” May I say, to be saved the thief on the cross simply said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom” (Luke 23:42). The repent thief upon the cross wasn't saved because he called out to Christ; but rather, because he BELIEVED in his heart. If he had believed in his heart and never said a word, he still would have been saved. The repentant thief on the cross BELIEVED in his heart and was saved. Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

It is very deceiving when Cloud criticizes “Quick Prayerism,” because we are saved by “Quick Believism.” If a person prayers a sinner's prayer because they believe the Gospel in their heart, then that is salvation. However, if a person is trusting in their prayer to save them and doesn't understand the Gospel, then they are not saved and have been misled by a religious worker. For this reason I have gotten away from leading people in a prayer to be saved. I simply explain the Gospel and tell them to place their faith in the good news of Jesus Christ, Who died on the cross for their sins and was raised up three days later. You can be saved by simply believing the Gospel, and you never have to open your mouth or confess anything to anyone. We see this truth in John 12:42-43, where many of the chief priests believed, but did not confess Him, for fear of the unbelieving Pharisees.

The deception of David Cloud's condemnation of “Quick Prayerism” is that it seems to also condemn “Quick Believism,” which in fact it does. A person cannot be saved merely by praying, unless that prayer is based in a heart of belief. You must know that you are a sinner to be saved. You must know that Jesus died on the cross for your sins. You must believe that Jesus bodily raised up from the dead. Cloud requires sinners to forsake their sinful ways and have intent to live anew for Christ in order to be saved. This is not the free gift of God.

You confess with your mouth because of the faith that exists in your heart; but you are saved by BELIEVING, not confessing. In Matthew 7:22-23 there was a group of false prophets who, confessed with their mouth, but they did not believe. They BOASTED of their own good works, all done in Jesus' name. God wasn't impressed (Isaiah 64:6). They were cast into the Lake of Fire forever! Why did this happen? They failed to do the will of God (Matthew 7:21). John 6:40 tells us that God's will is to believe on Jesus Christ. Him who “BELIEVETH” on the Son of God hath life. John 6:40, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” You'd be surprised how many churchgoers are “going about to establish their own righteousness“ and “have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Romans 10:3-4).

Also, it would be foolish to say that confession is necessary for salvation, when hundreds of other Scripture passages throughout the Holy Bible do not mention confessing. Romans 10:9-10 simply teach that a saved person confesses with their mouth because they BELIEVE in their heart. The Lord wants us to confess our faith in Christ, which is the purpose of water baptism; but this is not a requirement to receive the free gift of God. We must be careful to always consider the whole counsel of God, and never to lift any particular Bible verse out of context.

Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Why is it so hard for preachers to leave the simple plan of salvation alone? Eternal life is a free gift, paid for by the sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God. Jesus died as our Lamb and raised up as our High Priest, to intercede on our behalf with the Father (Romans 8:34)...

It's Not The Shedding Of Jesus' Blood That Saves, But The 'SPRINKLING' Of That Shed Blood

The Real Problem—Lousy Deadbeat Pastors

Instead of corrupting the plan of salvation in an attempt to force people to live righteously, we need for preachers to start doing their job. Very few pastors preach against sin anymore. This is the problem. I attended an independent Baptist church (with an attendance of 700 on Sunday mornings) for 11 months and never heard the word “Hell” mentioned once from the pulpit. It is wicked apostasy. Sadly, the senior pastor just doesn't care. They're making lots of money, so who cares, right? I prayed, gave the pastor sermons and books, and did all that I could to help them, but they are set in their Bob Jones University ways. Most of the women on the church staff wear pants. Sin is never preached against. The Second Coming is never mentioned. During the pastor's dead expository sermonettes, kids play videos games and their parents surf the internet (and the pastor permits it). The church's theological position is Lordship Salvation. John MacArthur is their hero. They're just playing church. What a mess!

Christ died for our sins. He died to save us from our sins. But it is not required that we cease from our sins to be saved. It doesn't work that way. You get saved by admitting that you are a sinner and you believe upon the Lord Christ Jesus. And then you are a new creature, born again by the Holy Spirit of God, and now God begins to work in your heart as His child, and you will grow in grace (1st Peter 2:2). But without a good church and a mature believer to mentor a new convert, they will likely never mature in the Lord. The reason why so many believers are not living right is because preachers don't teach The Great Commission anymore (which is to get people saved through the preaching of the Gospel, water baptize them as a public profession of their faith, and then mentor them to keep the Lord's commandments and go win others to the Lord).

The Bible Teaches Easy Believism

The deception behind Mr. Cloud's rhetoric is that he keeps ringing the bell of “Quick Prayerism,” but what we're really talking about here is “Quick Believism.” A man's prayer is the outer expression of his inner belief. This is why a person who responds to an invitation at the end of a Gospel sermon is saved already before they leave their pew. They are going forward because THEY BELIEVE. They're just going down to the alter to find out what just happened. It is a person's faith in Jesus Christ that saves them, and nothing else.

Mr. Cloud attacks soul-winning Christians, accusing them of using “Quick Prayerism” to get sinners saved (which he contends leads to false conversions); but what we're really talking about here is “Quick Believism.” So the question is now changed to, can a person be saved by simply believing the Gospel? The answer is YES! But what about repentance? Doesn't a person have to repent to be saved? Yes, absolutely, of course, but the person who believes the Gospel HAS REPENTED. This is why the words “believe” and “believed” are mentioned 85 times in the Gospel of John, but the word “repent” isn't mentioned even once. The entire stated purpose of John's Gospel is to convince us that Jesus is the Son of God, the Christ, so that by BELIEVING we would be saved. John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” Repeatedly throughout the Scriptures we are taught that the way of salvation to by BELIEVING ON CHRIST. This is what all the Old Testament prophets also taught. Acts 10:43, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” This is the SIMPLICITY THAT IS IN CHRIST!!!

We learn 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.” Biblically, repentance (metanoia) concerning salvation simply means “to think differently.” Repentance means that you come to the realization that YOU ARE A HOPELESS SINNER IN GOD'S HOLY EYES, GUILTY FOR BREAKING HIS HOLY COMMANDMENTS, AND YOU NOW SEE YOUR DESPERATE NEED FOR THE SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST. Thus, all self-righteous boasting stops, and you become GUILTY before God, just as Romans 3:19 teaches.

There are two ways to Heaven: 1) Live perfect and never sin even once (which is impossible); or 2) Receive God's righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ. The latter is the gift of God! God gave the world His Ten Commandments through Israel, not to keep as many people errantly think; but as a teacher, so that when we broke God's law, we would see our need for the dear Savior. 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.” 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 defines the “Gospel” as three things: Christ died on the cross for our sins, He was buried, and He bodily raised up from the dead three days later. The word Gospel means “good news.” We are saved by BELIEVING the good news!

Beware of the heresy which requires audible confession for salvation. The Bible teaches in John 12:42-43 that many of the chief rulers amongst the Jews BELIEVED ON HIM, but for fear of the unbelieving Pharisees DID NOT CONFESS HIM. John 12:42-43, “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”

This Scripture also disproves the heresy of Lordship Salvation. This false teaching says that a person cannot be saved unless they surrender all to Christ, forsake the world and turn away from their sinful bad habits. These are human effort, which corrupt the simplicity that is in Christ. These chief rulers believed, yet they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God, and they refused to confess any association with the name of Jesus Christ. That's not surrender to Christ's Lordship! It is a sin to love the praise of men more than the praise of God. They hadn't left their sins of pride, selfishness and respect of persons. But the Holy Bible says they were saved, because they BELIEVED. Acts 14:23, “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.” This is the SIMPLICITY THAT IS IN CHRIST!!!

The most important truth for us to get ingrained into our brain is that ETERNAL LIFE IS A FREE GIFT. Ephesians 2:8-10, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

I love the preceding Scripture passage from Ephesians 2:8-10. The Christian believer is saved by grace alone through faith alone in the Gospel of Jesus Christ alone. Christ's Holy Spirit Who indwells (lives within) each believer's body (Romans 8:9) leads us to do good works. In sharp contrast, the unsaved religious person thinks that doing good works will get them into Heaven. Roman Catholics are the most notable religion which comes to mind. Romans 10:1-4, “Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.  For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” The only thing that we need to repent from to be saved is unbelief.

What About Charles H. Spurgeon?

It must be kept in mind that Baptist Pastor Charles H. Spurgeon had no formal theological training and was in fact a one-point Calvinist, believing that Christ only died for the saved. This heresy is called “Limited Atonement.” Spurgeon was only a man and is NOT our authority for doctrine and faith! The inspired Word of God is our ONLY authority, and Pastor Spurgeon would be the first to agree with that statement. Despite the abundance of harsh statements made by Spurgeon concerning repentance (which proponents of the Lordship Salvation heresy love to quote), it must never be forgotten how Spurgeon himself was saved.

There was a snow storm and the pastor of the church didn't arrive. A young 15-year-old unsaved lad named Charles Spurgeon sat there in a pew. A layman in the church got up behind the pulpit and preached from Isaiah 45:22, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” That night Spurgeon LOOKED TO JESUS and was saved. My friend, that is how you get saved, that is, by looking to the cross of Calvary upon which Jesus Christ died for our sins, and then raised up three days later from the grave. We're not saved by what we can do for God; but rather, by what God has done for us through the sacrifice of His dear Son on the cross. It is unbiblical to add a bunch of extra requirements to receive THE GIFT of eternal life.

EVERY PREACHER makes some heretical statements at one time or another. Dr. Jack Hyles admits and teaches this in his awesome MP3 sermon titled, “Steps In Sanctification (Or, The Root Of All Heresy).” Every preacher is tempted to say things like, “If you still smoke, drink and gamble, you didn't get the same salvation that I got!” That's heresy! Forsaking sinful bad habits has nothing to do with the gift of eternal life. Then there are preachers who are so sick of preachers adding human effort to the plan of salvation, so they simply say “trust Jesus” to be saved. That's heresy too! You've got to know that you're a sinner. The truth is somewhere in the middle. We must know that we are a sinner to be saved, and Brother Hyles taught every soul-winner at First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana, to make sure that a child knows he or she is a sinner before they can be saved. You can hear Brother Hyles teach these things in the preceding sermon link I have provided for you. It is really a great sermon, one of the best and most helpful you'll ever hear.

Thus, it is my opinion that Spurgeon often got wound-up in his preaching and took very strong positions, even heretical at times, doing exactly what Brother Hyles was talking about. The same is true of Brother Hyles and every other great preacher who has preached thousands of sermons. No preacher is always correct on everything! We must always look to the inspired Words of God as our ONLY authority!!! I recently heard Brother Roloff in his MP3 sermon “The Titanic,” say that the hull of the ship was 6-feet think. In fact (I looked it up), the hull was less than 2-inches thick. It's an honest mistake. My point is that all preachers are only men, and men don't always get it right (I sure don't). God always gets it right and you can trust your King James Bible.

In their books, sermons and writings, Dr. John MacArthur and Evangelist Ray Comfort extensively misrepresent Pastor Charles H. Spurgeon in an attempt to bolster their damnable heresy of Lordship Salvation. Spurgeon strongly states, as does John R. Rice, that you must “renunciate” (renounce) every sin or else you cannot be saved. At a glance, to the naive Bible student, it may appear as if Spurgeon believed and taught that salvation requires turning from a sinful lifestyle and surrendering to Christ's Lordship.

Albeit, notice what Spurgeon says...

"...How many will say, Sir, I will renounce this sin and the other...but there are certain darling lusts which I must keep and hold? Oh, sirs, in God's name let me tell you, it is not the giving up of one sin, nor 50 sins which is true repentance. It is the solemn renunciation of every sin. If thou dost harbor one of those accursed vipers in thy heart and dost give up every other, that one lust like one leak in a ship will sink thy soul." [emphasis added]

SOURCE: Quote by Spurgeon provided by John MacArthur, The Call to Repentance  --  John MacArthur (Note: Charles Spurgeon originally made this statement in a sermon entitled, TURN OR BURN, preached December 7, 1856, at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens).

Notice that Spurgeon admits it is not the giving up of one's sins that is true repentance, but renouncing them in the heart. Spurgeon plainly did NOT believe in Lordship Salvation, evidenced by the following powerful quote from Mr. Spurgeon himself...

“'Repentance' is a grace. Some people preach it as a condition of salvation. Condition of nonsense! There are no conditions of salvation.” —Charles Spurgeon

SOURCE: (Charles Spurgeon, from a sermon titled, REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE, preached at the New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, on Sept. 23, 1855)

Please don't make the mistake of hinging upon every word that Spurgeon utters, as we ought to do when studying the inerrant Holy Bible, because Spurgeon was only a man, and no man is perfect. Spurgeon taught heresy sometimes, as do all preachers who've preached thousands of sermons.

The Danger of Leading a Sinner in Prayer to Be Saved

As with most truths, there are two errant extremes and then there is the correct balance in the middle. The book of Proverbs has much to say about a proper balance. I will give David Cloud a little credit here. I do admit that there is a problem in many churches today with focusing upon a “prayer” to be saved. The danger is that some people think they are saved because they prayed a prayer, yet they haven't clue that salvation is by faith in Christ's sacrifice upon the cross for their sins. There can be NO salvation without THE CROSS. Also, no one ever got saved who didn't realize that he is a sinner. You must know what you're being saved from.

I actually heard a Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) singer say in a radio interview that she “Prayed the Jesus prayer” as a child. That's her testimony of salvation. I have no doubt that she is not saved. You don't get saved by “Praying the Jesus' prayer.” That's false religion, and the airwaves are flooded with it. You don't get saved by “Asking Jesus into your heart,” nor by “Starting a relationship with Christ.” Judas had a relationship with Christ, being one of his very apostles. Judas even repented (Matthew 27:3), but died in his sins and went to Hell. Jesus said in John 6:70 that Judas had a devil in him. Judas refused to believe the Gospel.

Our churches are plagued with false professions, but it is not because there is something wrong with the simple plan of salvation. The Holy Bible teaches that eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23), which cannot be earned (Ephesians 2:8-10). I'm tired of false prophets who don't understand the Scriptures using double-talk, claiming that eternal life is a free gift, but requires human effort to get it. Forsaking the world is human effort. Ceasing from a sinful lifestyle is human effort. Surrendering one's life to Christ is human effort. Receiving a gift is a TAKE proposition, not a GIVE proposition. You simply take it, because it is a free gift. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The Bible teaches easy believism. You don't get saved by saying a prayer but by believing in your heart. Albeit, if a person prays because of the belief in their heart, then they are saved. In such a case, it is certainly appropriate to pray to the Lord for salvation. In other words, if you trusted in a prayer to save you, you are not saved; but if you prayed because you believed in your heart that Christ died on the cross for your sins and raised up, then you are saved. Prayer is not the plan of salvation; believing the Gospel is the plan of salvation! There is nothing wrong with leading someone in a sinner's prayer to receive Christ, just so long as you explain to them that it is their faith in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ that saves them. 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.” Remember, you don't have to be a theologian to get saved, you simply need to trust Jesus Christ.

In my ministry, for the aforementioned reasons, I have gotten away from leading people to pray a prayer. It's not wrong to do so, and I have a few articles that use the Romans Road; however, the Bible says in Acts 2:40-41 that the 3,000 gladly received Peter's preaching of the Gospel and were saved. They didn't pray! They BELIEVED!!! That is how you get saved. Notice again Romans 1:16...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.” Make sure that no one ever thinks praying is the way of salvation; but rather, BELIEVING!!!

David Cloud's False Plan of Salvation

David Cloud has foolishly chosen to use an unbiblical definition of repentance. You need to understand that David Cloud teaches a false plan of salvation. Mr. Cloud errantly states...


For decades I have observed the sad fruit of this technique: multitudes of false professions, confusion about salvation, indifference to biblical truth, agnosticism, reprobate living, failure to practice church discipline, and blasphemy against God. In many communities a large percentage of the population has prayed a sinner’s prayer under the ministry of churches practicing Quick Prayerism. VAST NUMBERS OF THESE HAVE NEVER BEEN BORN AGAIN AND THEY ARE NOW ALMOST INOCULATED AGAINST BIBLICAL SALVATION. When challenged about their lifeless spiritual condition, they commonly reply, “I have done that,” meaning they have prayed the sinner’s prayer and even been “given assurance” of eternal life. Since they were not told that God requires that they repent of their sin and idolatry, they are comfortable and self-assured that they have a ticket to Heaven. In fact, this soul winning package sometimes even provides them with a “spiritual birth certificate.” [emphasis added]

Those who observe these things are made to think that salvation means little or nothing in relation to one’s manner of living, but nothing could be more unscriptural.

SOURCE: The Sword of the Lord and the Carl Hatch Squeeze

From the preceding quote it is abundantly clear that David Cloud believes that a person cannot be saved unless they have intent to stop living in sin. This is human effort!!! This is NOT the gift of God. For a gift truly to be a “GIFT,” it must be available unconditionally, without obligation or strings attached. You simply TAKE a gift, period. According to Cloud's false plan of salvation, you cannot receive the gift of God unless you decide to stop indulging in sins and have intent to cease from lifelong sinful bad habits. Colossians 1:20, “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” It is only by Jesus' blood that we are saved, and not in the least way by our own human effort.

Carefully read David Cloud's comments again from the preceding quote. It is very clear that Cloud errantly understands “repentance” to mean changing one's mind to cease from sinful bad habits and committing one's life to live for Christ. This is so unbiblical. Hebrews 6:1 tells us that repentance is from DEAD WORKS, not from sinful living. You don't get saved by trying to keep the law in addition to your faith in Christ. That's exactly what David Cloud is saying when he says you must turn from your sinful living as a prerequisite to placing your faith in Christ. This is qualification for salvation by meeting the prerequisite of intending not to live in sin after you are saved. It is a 100% works-based false plan of salvation.

The Word of God teaches that when a person believes the Gospel, the Holy Spirit of God comes to indwell (live inside) them (John 1:13; 1st Corinthians 3:16-17; Romans 8:9). It is the Holy Spirit Who begins to make changes in our soul. Now what David Cloud is teaching is self-improvement. Cloud is placing the burden of change upon the sinner, which he erroneously labels as repentance. You don't reform, nor commit to intent to reform, to be saved; but rather, God reforms you after you've been saved (regenerated by the Holy Spirit). David Cloud has it backwards, as did Aiden Tozer and many others. There can be no reformation until there has been regeneration! You get saved first, and then God will attend to the rest.

Mr. Cloud attempts to pitch Dr. John R. Rice against Dr. Curtis Hutson, by saying that Curtis Hutson changed the Sword of the Lord's position on repentance. Biblically, the word “repent” concerning salvation (metanoia, as in Mark 1:15, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel”) means “to think differently.” If you add anything to that, you are corrupting it. Curtis Hutson is 100% right on target. Although I greatly respect Brother Rice, he did in fact add some heretical statements to the Biblical meaning of repentance. You cannot show me even one verse in the Bible which says to “turn from sin” or “repent from sin” to be saved. Cloud selectively picks and chooses Dr. Rice's words, misrepresenting what Brother Rice taught and believed.

Again, here is what Dr. Rice (1895-1980) actually taught...

“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

The preceding quote from Dr. Rice exposes David Cloud as a bad scholar. Cloud is using John R. Rice as a secondary authority to bolster up his strawman heresy of works salvation (and that's what it really is). David Cloud is adding human effort to faith alone in Christ. If a person must turn away from their sins with all their heart to be saved, then that is human effort, so how can eternal life still be a free gift? So what is the truth? The truth is found 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.” The purpose of God's law (Ten Commandments) in the Old Testament is to show all men that they are hopeless sinners in need of the dear Savior, Jesus Christ. Hebrews 6:1 teaches repentance from DEAD WORKS. That is, repentance is changing your mind from what you want to do to get to Heaven, to what God says you must do to get to Heaven.

As you have seen, repentance is NOT cleaning up your act. It is NOT turning over a new leaf. Repentance is NOT deciding to stop living in deliberate sin. Human effort has no place in God's salvation of a man. The Bible plainly teaches in Romans 4:5 that salvation only comes to “him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly.” Instead, “his faith is counted for righteousness.” David Cloud needs to study the imputed righteousness of God, which comes through faith in Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:9, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

David Cloud's problem is that he is tired of people claiming to be Christians while they're living like the Devil. So instead of realizing that they have never been properly mentored, or are backslidden and out of fellowship with the Lord, he corrupts the plan of salvation in an attempt to force them to live right or go to Hell. That's not Biblical Christianity. That's not the free gift of God. Please read 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, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.” If you're faith is COUNTED (credited) for righteousness, that means you don't need any righteousness (and a good thing, because we don't have any to offer God, Isaiah 64:6). Abraham simply placed His trust upon the Lord and it was credited to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:6, “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” What a beautiful Savior!!!

Defending Dr. Carl Hatch

David Cloud attacks Dr. Carl Hatch, because Brother Hatch teaches soul-winners how to better interact with people to try to get them saved...

We have been waiting in anticipation for decades for the Sword of the Lord to renounce the Carl Hatch Squeeze and unscriptural soul winning program that it represents. There has been no such renunciation.

If Quick Prayerism is wrong, the Sword of the Lord has lot to answer for before God, and no amount of smokescreening and strawmaning will change that fact.

SOURCE: The Sword of the Lord and the Carl Hatch Squeeze

Here is what Carl Hatch teaches, for which David Cloud criticizes and accuses him of using manipulative practices...

Carl Hatch says:

I don’t ask anybody if they want to be saved. If you want a positive answer you must ask a positive question. If you want a no answer ask a no question. If you want a yes answer ask a yes question. Soul winning is positive. And in soul winning you use a lot of reverse psychology and psychology.

For instance, if you are lost and I say, “Mr. Smith, let me ask you a question. You don’t want to go to hell, do you?”

He will answer, No.

I say, “Wonderful, you want to go to heaven, don’t you?” He will say yes. I will reply, “Sure you do. Sure you do. Sure you do. Sure you do. I thank God for a man that doesn’t want to go to hell.”

Did you get that? I am reinforcing the fact that he wants to go to heaven. I’m keep everything positive.

SOURCE: The Sword of the Lord and the Carl Hatch Squeeze

Again, David Cloud is barking up an empty tree. What are you going to say to someone, “You don't want to get saved do you?” Dr. Hatch is trying to teach other Christians how to interact with others, so that it will make it easier and more comfortable for them to come to Christ. I know that the Lord hates what David Cloud is doing, continually throwing rocks at soul-winners who are getting the job done. In my opinion, Cloud is jealous, consumed with envy every time he hears about hundreds or thousands of souls that got saved in some church. Since Cloud views changing one's behavior as necessary for salvation, he cannot grasp such large numbers of people being saved at once. May I remind you that 3,000 souls were saved in one day in Acts 2:40-41. Cloud says he would rather support the missionary in Poland who leads someone to the Lord once every three years, instead of the missionary who led 738 people to the Lord in one year. I say if they're both labouring diligently for the Lord, support them both. Cloud is focusing on numbers, the very thing that he accuses others of doing. Only God can give the increase.

I thank God for Dr. Cark Hatch, who has led thousands of people to the Lord Jesus Christ. Honestly, David Cloud is not worthy to shine Carl Hatch's shoe-laces!!! David Cloud criticizes pastors and evangelists who are getting the job done for the Lord, who are faithfully filling the Lord's house with souls saved. If God is not interested in numbers, then who counted the 3,000 souls saved in Acts 2:40-41 and why does God mention that number in His Word? Of course God is interested in numbers, and you're not right with God if you're not. We've got enough slackard Bible colleges these days like Moody Bible SINstitute, who don't have a bus ministry, don't go soul-winning, use corrupt Bible versions, teach the Lordship Salvation heresy, and drop the ball for God. I stand with the soul-winners who get their hands dirty laboring to reach the lost, not with the complainers who do nothing to get people saved.


Eternal life is a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). If you don't get anything else out of this article, please remember that changing one's behavior is NOT a part of getting saved. A gift can simply be TAKEN. That is all. Adding any additional requirements turns the gift into a reward instead, which is merited by works. The Lord paid for our sins through the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:20b). Thus, you can be saved by simply believing the Gospel. You don't have to pray any prayer. However, you are welcomed to pray a sinner's prayer to accompany your faith in the Gospel, just so long as you don't trust in that prayer in any way to save you.

You may feel emotions, decide to forsake sins and pray a prayer at the time you receive Christ, but you don't need to do those things to be saved. In fact, if you do trust in any of those things, you didn't really get saved. You get saved by realizing that you are a sinner for breaking God's holy commandments, and you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ Who died on the cross for your sins, was buried and bodily resurrected. That it! God does the saving. Our part is simply to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30-31).

When I think of Mr. Cloud, I am reminded of Proverbs 10:12, “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.” David Cloud is always stirring up strife against First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. He appears to be very resentful of anybody who is more successful than he is, evidenced by his critique of the pastor with 4,000 conversions over 5 years and the missionary with 738 converts his first year on the mission field. Instead of rejoicing over souls saved, as in Acts 2:40-41, Mr. Cloud scathes, roasts and attacks anybody who is not fruitless like him.

I published this article in defense of the simplicity that is in Christ, not to be unkind nor attack David Cloud. I have nothing personal against Mr. Cloud. If we always keep in mind that eternal life is a free gift, and don't focus upon what men have said, then there is no debate. Salvation is a TAKE proposition, not a GIVE proposition.

“God never leads anyone anywhere for money.” —Jack Hyles

(MP3 by Dr. Jack Hyles, “The mark of the child of God is that he loves everybody!”

“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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