WHEN GOSPEL TRACTS KILL!
By David J. Stewart | January 2009 | Updated June 2019
said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the
will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life FREELY.” —Revelation 21:6
A WARNING About Chick Tracts!
Chick Tracts seem
to have a different answer than the
Bible to the question, “What must I do to be saved?”
Surrender your life to Christ? That's Lordship Salvation!
The Bible teaches something very different . . .
“And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” —Acts 16:30-31
On their website's statement of faith, Chick ministries state concerning salvation:
“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. Union with the triune God provides all blessings in this life and the life hereafter. Salvation is received by faith alone, apart from all good works and merit.”
Yet, Mr. Chick horribly contradicts himself in every tract he writes when he REQUIRES lost sinners to “Be willing to turn from sin” to be saved. No Sir! Why doesn't Mr. Chick mention this in his statement of faith? Jesus plainly said in Revelation 21:6, “I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life FREELY.” Jesus said in John 7:28, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” Kindly, Jack Chick perverts the Gospel. He not only asks sinners to admit that they've sinned, but he also goes a step further and requires them to “be willing” to stop committing those sins. That is a works-based salvation! The Word of God NEVER requires anyone to attempt to turn from their sins to be saved. This doesn't mean that anyone has God's permission to sin (Romans 3:31), it just means that salvation is of the Lord, paid for completely by Jesus' blood sacrifice, and we have nothing to do with salvation other than reaching out to receive it as a gift through faith in Jesus Christ. Amen.
As the prophet Jonah pondered in the belly of the whale, “Salvation is of the LORD” (Jonah 2:9b). Man has no part in God's plan of salvation for man, except to get out of the way and submit to God's righteousness, through faith alone 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.” Salvation is realizing that you are a hopelessly condemned sinner under God's holy LAW, and running to God's GRACE for escape, through faith in the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ crucified, buried and risen! Christ the Son made the full payment for your debt of sin, so that God the Father could offer eternal life to you and me as a free gift! What a wonderful God and Savior!
I don't like the hymnal lyrics which read: “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe!” No, “JESUS PAID IT ALL, NOTHING TO HIM I OWE!” That is Biblical! The Scriptures teach in Romans 12:1 that it is our “REASONABLE SERVICE” to give our lives to Christ as a living sacrifice in service. We have been “bought with a price,” and we ought to follow Jesus as His disciple. 1st Corinthians 6:20, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” That “price” is the precious blood of Jesus! My friend, that is exactly why you CAN (which you shouldn't) go out and live a horrible life of sin, and still know assuredly that you have eternal life, which you can NEVER lose! I could go out right now, God forbid, and murder a thousand people, and still be 100% redeemed and on my way to Heaven. The reason why is that my salvation wasn't purchased by my good behavior (nor lost by lack thereof), it was purchased by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, the sinless Lamb of God! Having said that, I have God's Holy Spirit dwelling in me as His redeemed child (John 1:12-13; Romans 8:9), Who convicts me about sin, so that I don't want to displease Him, because of the pain of soul (religious scrupulosity) that it brings. That is one of the evidences that I am saved. 1st John 3:24, “And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”
I think cartoon evangelist Jack Chick (1924-2016) was sincere in his beliefs and teachings, even though he was very wrong about what it means to “repent.” Before he died, I visited his Chick Tract website and searched through his Statement of Faith, and NOT ONCE did he even mention the word repentance. However, he did mention the imputed righteousness of Christ (which is exactly right). It is my personal belief that God was convicting Jack Chick about his doctrinal position, and he was trying to save face by avoiding it in his Statement of Faith. That is simply my opinion. In my ignorance, I admired Mr. Chick throughout my childhood, who won the hearts of millions of people through his incredible art work evangelism. Any honest Bible student must admit that repentance in the Holy Bible, concerning salvation, simply means “a change of mind.” Anyone who reads more into that intended meaning is adding to the Scriptures! To be saved, you simply change your mind to believe the Gospel. Repentance facilitates believing. Thus, the object of repentance is always to BELIEVE the Gospel, and never to turn away from a life of sin.
I never thought in a thousand years that I would be exposing one of my childhood heroes of the faith as a wolf in sheep's clothing, but I had to wake up one day and face the fact that Jack Chick ADDS to the Gospel. In Mr. Chick's errant plan of salvation (it is not God's), you cannot simply come to Christ as a needy sinner and believe the GOOD NEWS of Christ's death on the cross, burial and bodily resurrection the third day; but in addition, he says, you must BE WILLING TO TURN FROM YOUR SINFUL WAYS! That is manmade reformation, not divine Bible repentance! In the legitimate Bible plan of salvation, God saves you and then the indwelling Holy Spirit changes you!
Respectfully, Jack Chick wrongly teaches that a sinner MUST be willing to stop living a sinful lifestyle to be saved. According to Jack Chick, it's not enough to admit you're a guilty sinner, you must also be willing to do something about it. That is unbiblical. A changed life is the result of the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25), not a requirement to be saved. It's not just a matter of semantics (subtle differences of opinion). John MacArthur, Justin Edwards, John MacArthur, Paul Washer, Al Mohler, John Piper, Phil Johnson, Alistair Begg, James MacDonald, Ray Comfort, Steve Lawson, Kirk Cameron, David Platt, Justin Peters, Todd Friel, Jack Chick, Mike Ratliff, Ken Silva, and James White all teach the damnable heresy of Lordship Salvation!!! THE GOSPEL can so easily be corrupted by merely ADDING to or SUBTRACTING from it. It's not what you're doing that gets you to Heaven my friend, it where you're looking—LOOK TO JESUS! Any changes that God wants to be made in your life, once you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, is solely God's department. If you are saved, the Holy Spirit WILL work in your soul; God is not an absent parent!
Please read the following important information from Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980).
Dr. Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951) exposes the heresy of “surrendering one's life to Christ” to be saved . . .
“When anyone comes promising salvation to those ‘who make full surrender' of all that they have to God, and who 'pay the price of full salvation' he is preaching another gospel, for the price was paid on Calvary's cross and the work that saves is finished. It was Christ Jesus who made the full surrender when He yielded His life on
Calvarythat saves us, not our surrender in any way to Him.
SOURCE: Harry A. Ironside, from the Gospel tract, Another Gospel?
Mr. Chick states on one hand that he believes “salvation is the gift of God,” but then on the other hand he teaches that a person MUST “be willing to turn from sin” to be saved (see item #2)...
Jack Chick wrongly understands repentance to mean ceasing from one's sinful lifestyle. Point #1 one in his tract is to admit one's sinfulness. But that's not good enough for Jack Chick, he ADDS Point #2, which requires sinners to be willing to stop living in sin to be saved. It is greatly misleading. The Holy Bible doesn't teach what Jack Chick is teaching.
We must analyze Chick Tracts based upon their individual content. The above back cover is the same on ALL Chick Tracts! Notice what Jack Chick requires the sinner to pray in order to be saved: “I am willing to turn from sin.” Since Mr. Chick has made this a separate point from admitting one's sinfulness, he clearly expects people to be willing to forsake their sinful ways to be saved. Who can forsake their sins? The only perfect Person I know is Jesus. The implication is that a person must attempt to cease from their sinful activities to be saved. That is REFORMATION, not REPENTANCE! This is known as the heresy of “Lordship Salvation,” which is nothing less than works salvation and a sure road to hellfire.
Biblical salvation is when a person turns toward Jesus Christ to be saved from their sin; NOT turning from their sin in order to be saved. Romans 3:19 states, "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." Carefully notice that a person is only required to turn to Jesus to be saved from the condemnation of sin, and not from the act of sin itself. The Law of God shows us our sinful condition, which causes us to realize that we are GUILTY! Repentance is when we "turn" to Jesus to receive His free gift of forgiveness and eternal life. To turn to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins is Biblical repentance. This is drastically different than what Jack Chick is teaching, i.e., that a person is required to be willing to turn from the act of sin itself to be saved. You won't find the phrases "repent of sin" or "turn from sin" anywhere in the Bible. Please read, What is Biblical Repentance?
Jack Chick is no better than Benny Hinn who teaches the EXACT same perverted plan of salvation...
Dear Lord Jesus,
I believe You are the Son of God. I believe You came to earth 2,000 years ago. I believe you died for me on the cross and shed Your blood for my salvation. I believe you rose from the dead and ascended on high. I believe You are coming back again to earth. Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. Forgive my sin. Cleanse me now with Your precious blood. Come into my heart. Save my soul right now. I give you my life. I receive You now as my Savior, my Lord, and my God. I am Yours forever, and I will serve You and follow You the rest of my days. From this moment on, I belong to You only. I no longer belong to this world, nor to the enemy of my soul. I belong to You, and I am born again.
Amen! [emphasis added]
Hinn teaches Lordship Salvation! Where does the Bible say that we have to serve Jesus to be saved? Where does the Scriptures require us to give Jesus our life to be saved? It doesn't! Jack Chick and Benny Hinn teach the same garbage. Don't you dare criticize Benny Hinn if you support Jack Chick!!! Salvation is receiving; NOT giving. I supported Jack Chick's ministry for years, but after much convicting by the Holy Spirit have been forced to face the reality that Mr. Chick is teaching the damnable heresy of Lordship Salvation. Every tract published by Jack Chick requires a person to "Be willing to turn from sin" to be saved. No Sir! That is works salvation!!!
The problem is that a willingness to turn from sin is a FRUIT (i.e. a result) of genuine repentance, and not a prerequisite to salvation. People are being misled by Chick tracts. I think Pastor Roloff said it best, "Real repentance is putting your trust in Jesus Christ so you will not live like that anymore." 2nd Corinthians 5:17 tells us that salvation brings a change. But, we must never require a change, or even a willingness to change, as part of saving faith. To do so perverts the Gospel message. Salvation is WITHOUT WORKS (Romans 4:5).
The only sin we literally need to forsake to be saved is UNBELIEF, which is the only sin that can keep us out of Heaven.
A WARNING About the 'Fellowship Tract League'
Again, just as with Chick Tracts, we see the damnable heresy of Lordship Salvation. Carefully notice the back cover of the tract "My Best Friend," pictured to the right. The "bully" says he was saved because "...I promised I wouldn't do those things anymore ... and he saved me..." That is a lie! Salvation is NOT conditional upon a person promising not to commit sin anymore. Salvation is receiving; NOT giving! Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15;6:23). If we have to do anything in exchange for salvation, then it's NOT a gift!
MOST of the Gospel tracts I have read lately are garbage. I can't believe how corrupt and misleading so many tracts are. What are we handing to people? Does a person have to promise not to sin anymore to be saved? Does a person have to be sorry for their sins to be saved? Does a person have to be willing to turn from their sins to be saved? The answer is No, No, No!
The word “repent” is NOT found mentioned even once in the Gospel of John; yet John stated the purpose of his Gospel was to convince us that Jesus is the Son of God. John 20:31 states, “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.” Obviously, to believe on Jesus is to repent. To turn to Jesus to be forgiven of one's sins is repentance. You have already turned from your sins, i.e., from the guilt and condemnation of sin, to the precious Savior to be cleansed by His blood (1st Peter 1:18-19).
In fairness to the Fellowship Tract League, they have many good tracts which are doctrinally acceptable; however, this one is horrible, and there are others teaching Lordship Salvation. Heresy is creeping into the churches by the hour. Sadly, it appears that The Fellowship Tract League merely wants to make money, so they offer varying plans of salvation for different buyers. I mean, if you read their tracts there is a vast difference in the plan of salvation conveyed from one tract to the next. Either a person has to clean up their life, turn from sin, commit their life to Christ, forsake the world, and make Jesus the absolute Lord of their life to be saved, or else eternal life is completely a FREE GIFT with no strings attached. It cannot be both, but The Fellowship Tract League sells two different Gospels. Truly, the LOVE OF MONEY is the root of all evil (1st Timothy 6:10).
Simply Believe the 'GOOD NEWS' to Be Saved
The only sin which a person needs to literally forsake to be saved is the sin of UNBELIEF, because unbelief is the only sin which can keep a person out of Heaven. John 3:18 says, "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." Please notice that the Bible doesn't say "He that forsaketh not his sins is condemned." No, rather, God's Word says... "He that believeth not is condemned..." The Biblical focus is upon whether or not a person believes. Making a commitment, surrendering one's life to Christ, and being willing to turn from sin have NOTHING to do with receiving God's GIFT of eternal life. Jesus paid a debt He did not owe, because we owed a debt we could not pay. You don't make Jesus Lord; He is Lord!
“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. We need to leave the changing part to God; Our part is to simply believe.
At first, I pondered in my heart concerning Chick tracks. I thought to myself, "So many little children love Chick tracts... they're like eye-candy to people. Surely, Jack Chick must be doing a good thing." I pondered back-n-forth for months on the issue, because cartoon tracts are one of the best soul-winning tools in the world. However, God convicted my heart concerning THE TRUTH. I began to consider that the Jehovah's Witnesses cult have some of the best artwork and captivating literature in the world; but that doesn't make it Biblical. Jack Chick is a talented man; but he is perverting the Gospel. You don't have to "surrender your life" to Jesus Christ to be saved; but you do need to BELIEVE on Him (i.e., trust Christ) to forgive your sins.
The big question we have to ask ourselves is: If a person sincerely makes a commitment to try to live better (i.e., be willing to turn from sin) in order to get saved, did they really get saved? The answer is a resounding "No"! If you think you're going to get saved by your own self-righteousness, think again! Jack Chick is leading millions of people to believe that giving up sin is required to be saved. If that be true, then salvation is no longer a gift, because I was required to be willing to give up something to get it. Like other heretics, Jack Chick does a play-on-words. He ought just be honest and say what he implies. There can be no mistaking what “Be willing to turn from sin” truly implies, i.e., if you want to be saved, you are going to have to give up your sins! To be REQUIRED to be willing to do something, in order to get something, makes it obligatory. In sharp contrast to Chick's teachings; salvation is of God, conditioned only upon our BELIEF (trust) on the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior to forgive our sins (John 1:12).
If an admitted sinner simply has childlike faith in THE GOSPEL (i.e., GOOD NEWS) of Jesus Christ—Who DIED on the cross, was BURIED and bodily RESURRECTED three days later—they are saved immediately, securely and eternally. We are all guilty sinners (Romans 3:19-23), and Jesus is the precious redeeming Savior (John 3:16). It's not what you're doing that gets you to Heaven, it's where you're looking—LOOK TO JESUS!
Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith.
God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved.
Religion is man trying to reach God
through human effort, but Christianity is
God trying to reach man by the sacrifice of His only begotten Son on the cross.
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