Pastor John Ankerberg's Confusing Gospel

by David J. Stewart | April 2016

Galatians 5:9, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”

       Dr. John Ankerberg has turned repentance into a nightmare, frontloading the Gospel. He has a unique view of repentance that I haven't heard taught before, and it's heresy! He says, “True repentance is only possible for Christians.” That is wrong! If a person didn't repent, John 3:20 teaches that they would never come to the light of the Gospel truth to be saved. I think it is obvious that Dr. Ankerberg is speaking about the power of God to repent of and forsake sinful addictions. Without the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, no one can have the victory over sin. This is why a person must be born-again before they can truly find deliverance from the power of Satan over their life.

Yet, Dr. Ankerberg is errant to teach that only a Christian can repent. From watching his video, it is confusing. Mr. Ankerberg has a corrupted view of repentance, which mixes salvation with discipleship. If only a Christian can repent, then why did Christ's disciples preach that people should “REPENT” in Mark 6:12? Well, verse 6 tells us what they needed to “repent” from, which is, “THEIR UNBELIEF.” Mark 6:6 and 6:12, “And he [Jesus] marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching. ... And they went out, and preached that men should repent.” Clearly, the Bible evidences that salvation only requires repenting (changing one's mind) from UNBELIEF, not sinful behavior.

Then, when the Holy Spirit comes to indwell that new believer, it is the Holy Spirit Who produces the “fruit” of the Spirit, which changes a man's life. There is no requirement to self-change to be saved. There is no requirement to “turn away from sin” to be saved. The Bible teaches “repentance toward God” (Acts 20:21), not sins. The man who repents “toward God,” has turned his back against sin in a sense. But this does not mean that a sinner is required to forsake sinful behavior, nor be willing to forsake sinful behavior, to be saved. To teach that a person must decide to forsake sins to be saved is reformation, which does not produce the new birth by the Holy Spirit of God. Again, as we plainly read in Mark 6:6 and Mark 6:12, repentance is from “UNBELIEF.”

Dr. Ankerberg says, “Changing one's mind so that one changes his ways.” This is wrong, implying that works are necessary to validate one's salvation. Again, it is the indwelling Holy Spirit that convicts, compels and empowers a believer to repent of their sins and follow Christ. It is important for every believer to understand that we cannot live the Christian life in our own strength. 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.”

Kindly, Dr. Ankerberg's presentation is utterly confusing, and he doesn't properly understand what it means to repent. He is correct in some of the things he teaches, but totally unscriptural in others. Dr. Ankerberg quotes Martin Luther, who said, “All of life is to be repentance before God (which he calls, reoccurring repentance).” This is the damnable Roman Catholic understanding of repentance. According to satanic Catholicism, repentance compels a man to “discard our former way of life in favor of the Way, Truth, and Life that is Christ himself” (see preceding hyperlink). This is a false Gospel, because you have to give up intentional sinning to obtain it. This is religion. Man in his inherent sinful nature, always feels compelled to suffer, forsake sins or give up something to merit salvation. This is why Cain brought the best grains from his fields, which he had laboured and toiled diligently to produce. God rejected Cain's sacrifice. The heretical Roman Catholic understanding of “repentance from sins” to Christ has remained in Protestant churches. Nearly every psuedo-Christian religious cult teaches that to be saved, a person must turn away from sinful living and follow Christ. This is the heresy that False Prophetess Ellen G. White and Seventh-day Adventists teach.

Even a child understands the concept of a “gift.” A gift is free to the recipient, but it cost God His only begotten Son, and it cost Jesus His very life. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Satan's greatest weapon is to con people to live the Christian life without ever being born-again. The churches are filled with people who are living an upright life to the best of their human ability, but they are all hellbound in religious piety (righteousness by virtue of being religious). But you say, “My faith is in Christ!” Is it? Is it? Be careful! Be careful! In Matthew 7:12-23 we read about a group of RELIGIOUS people, who preached and cast out devils and did “many wonderful works” IN JESUS' NAME, but they were unsaved and went to Hell forever. The Lord said to them, “I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY”!!!

They said, “LORD, LORD” but they were not saved. They knew Who Jesus was, BUT JESUS DIDN'T KNOW THEM! What went wrong? These people were sincere. They did their best. What happened? Why didn't Jesus know them? We find the answer in Matthew 7:21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” 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.” They boasted of their “MANY WONDERFUL WORKS,” instead of trusting in the imputed righteous of God, which is solely by faith. These horrified religious folks in Matthew 7:22-23 did their best to please God, but they learned too late that salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith.

As I mentioned, Dr. Ankerberg quotes Martin Luther, who said, “All of life is to be repentance before God (which he calls, reoccurring repentance).” Dr. Ankerberg fails to tell you that Martin Luther also required being water baptized and partaking of communion to be saved (see Luther's small catechism written in 1529). Mr. Luther is now burning in the fires and torments of Hell. Every hellbound Seventh-day Adventist superficially claims to believe that the just shall live by faith. At the very end of the video John Ankerberg teaches, “He [God] won't stand by and allow us to ruin our lives.”

Uh, what planet has Mr. Ankerberg been living on? I see a lot of Christians who have totally ruined their lives!!! This type of heresy comes from the heresy of Lordship Salvation. Evil begets evil. Heresy begets more heresy. If you get repentance wrong, then all your beliefs will be adversely affected by it. It's like buttoning a shirt, that is, if you get the first button wrong, then all the other buttons will be wrong too!

Repentance and faith happen at the same time, simultaneously. Here is the best quote that I've ever found on repentance, by Dr. Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951):

“Which comes first, repentance or faith? In Scripture we read, 'Repent ye, and believe the gospel.' Yet we find true believers exhorted to 'repent, and do the first works.' So intimately are the two related that you cannot have one without the other. The man who believes God repents; the repentant soul puts his trust in the Lord when the Gospel is revealed to him. Theologians may wrangle over this, but the fact is, no man repents until the Holy Spirit produces repentance in his soul through the truth. No man believes the Gospel and rests in it for his own salvation until he has judged himself as a needy sinner before God. And this is repentance.” (Except Ye Repent, p. 16)


On his website, Pastor Ankerberg (a Baptist preacher) corrupts the Gospel by adding the unbiblical requirement to make Jesus one's “Lord” to be saved. He even quotes Romans 10:9 from the satanic New International Version (NIV). The NIV perverts the Scriptures and the Gospel. Mr. Ankerberg teaches on his website that to be saved, “First, you accept that Jesus is Lord.” That is heresy! The Bible defines “the Gospel” in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 and no mention is made of saying “Jesus is Lord,” as the satanic NIV adds to the Gospel. It is religious superstition, and not the true Gospel!!!

Then at the bottom of Dr. Ankerberg's “How You Can Become A Christian?” page, he gives the web visitor a chance to click Yes or No, whether they got saved. If Yes, you are supposed to click the button which reads, “Yes, I Prayed This Prayer.” Folks, that is ridiculous. You don't get saved by praying a prayer. You get saved by BELIEVING THE GOSPEL!

At Charity Navigator, it shows that John And Darlene Ankerberg (his wife) receive $75,000 each compensation per year (that's $150,000 income, not including ministry cars, housing, travelling expenses, et cetera). Statistically, more than half of all Americans earn less than $30,000 per year! I tell you, religion is the biggest scam in America!!! Whereas it began as a new birth in Christ Jesus, when Christianity came to the United States it became a business!!! Is it any wonder why so many people express utter contempt when a Christian witnesses to them? I think not. Adults, just as children (but not as trusting), are greatly impressionable. Preachers have a bad reputation of taking advantage of that human character trait. I say that kindly, but truthfully. END

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