What Will the Church Do With Such A Man?

Coming upon these two related posts at 5 Pt. Salt last evening, did cause me to stop and think…


Suppose, for a moment, that there is a preacher who is teaching that after Christ Jesus comes again, you will have time for repentance and you can be saved from the eternal, and just, wrath of God for rejecting the Gospel offered through His Son, Jesus Christ.

What would you think of such a man?

If it were in your means to do anything, what would you do? Would you tell others about this preacher? Would you warn others that what he is proclaiming is not in accord with the Word of God? Or, would you admire and praise him and his books, and laud him with praises for his long-time service to the Church?

What should the Church do with such a man? There’s a question.

The Bible is quite clear that repentance has a time limit, specifically, that opportunity for repentance and salvation ends the very moment Christ Jesus appears. In fact, Scripture stresses that today, quite literally, is the season for repentance, over and over again.

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. – Proverbs 27:1

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. – Isaiah 55:6-8

For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. – 2 Corinthians 6:2

Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” – Hebrews 4:6-7 

Since before the canon of Scripture was closed, it has been a clear message from God, to man, that today, the present moment, is the day of salvation, and there is no later time promised. You may die tonight. If that’s the case, it’s too late for repentance. Scripture is clear.

In the New Testament, it’s made clear that when the Son of God, Jesus, returns again, it is too late for repentance and salvation. There will be none to be had. Only a fearful expectation of judgment.

So, back to the original question, what would you think of a preacher who promises people otherwise? What would you think of a man who basically says, “Don’t worry about the second coming of Christ. When He comes again, you’ll see the error of your ways, you can, and will, repent when you see the Lord coming, and be saved from eternal punishment”?  (continued here)

Also See: 5 Reasons No One Will Rebuke John MacArthur

18 comments on “What Will the Church Do With Such A Man?

  1. I need to do nothing to such a man, because it is not my place! The greater question is what must I do with such teaching? As you know our battle is not against flesh and blood but against!!!!!

  2. So why pick on John MacArthur when he is only mouthing the tenants of Darbyism which has infested the church for over a century? There are legions of preachers who believe the exact same thing. Why hasn’t the church done anything with any of them? Because there are also legions of Christians who ascribe to the exact same heresy, thats why. These are people who will fight tooth and nail for “no salvation outside of Christ”, but they will hedge on that when it comes to Jews. Just witness the resources the church puts into missions to Catholic countries versus missions to Israel (which are practically unheard of). Everybody needs Jesus except practicing Jews. Its truly amazing and it goes a lot further than just the little slice that the above article alludes to.

  3. The one truth of the article which sincerely gave me pause,

    The Bible is quite clear that repentance has a time limit, specifically, that opportunity for repentance and salvation ends the very moment Christ Jesus appears. In fact, Scripture stresses that today, quite literally, is the season for repentance, over and over again.

    Its not as though i hadn’t thought of how wrong dispensational theology is for that reason before (the same for Christian Zionism), but for whatever reason it really hit me just how wrong it really is! I cannot imagine the number of Jewish souls, who left this world lost, because of failure on the part of Christians who believe they will receive a second chance after Christ returns.

    So why pick on John MacArthur..

    George if i had to speculate it would be because he is so well known in Christian circles and looked upon as an excellent teacher by the Church.

    I need to do nothing to such a man, because it is not my place!

    Rick if we truly believe any teacher is teaching something totally unbiblical (in this case, something which could cause people to be lost) it is our place to point it out and correct it. MacArthur himself points out false teachings,

    Listen to this audio of Pastor John MacArthur as he explains how Jesus named the names of false teachers and how this is the job of all Biblically minded Christians and true shepherds. In this audio clip Pastor MacArthur calls out Rick Warren by name for teaching a false gospel. (source)

    We are not to judge the motives or the righteousness of other believers but we are to judge what they teach.

    “And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will see my face no more. Therefore I testify to you this day, that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God”- (Acts 20:27)

    notice that Paul claimed innocence from bloodguiltiness. This means that had he not proclaimed both the terms of entrance into the kingdom, and the whole of what God has revealed of His purposes, Paul would have imperiled their souls, failed his sacred mission, and brought guilt upon himself for failing to warn them of coming judgment (see Ezekiel 33:6). Discernment in an Age of Deception by Bob DeWaay

  4. Christian Zionism, or the Restoration of the Jews to their land, is a biblical doctrine. It has be affirmed by such men as Jonathan Edwards, many of the writers of the WCF, Charles Hodge, and Martin-Lloyd Jones to name just a small few. All of them affirm exactly what John has taught on the matter, so he is not unique nor is dispensationalism teaching there is a second chance at salvation. Are you prepared to condemn them as well? None of them were “dispensationalists.”

    What you guys are arguing against MacArthur is pure non-sense and it demonstrates that none of you have actually studied Christian restorationism. I would recommend Barry Horner’s magnificent work on the subject called “Future Israel” in which he goes into all the particulars of so-called “Christian Zionism” and he isn’t a dispensationalist either.

    • Fred i see no one arguing against or condemning John MacArthur…his salvation, walk with God, or character. What i brought up is concerning his belief/teaching(s) on one particular issue. That being, his dispensationalist beliefs where it concerns eschatology.

      As an ex-dispensationalists…i disagree 100% with his view on this topic,

      John MacArthur on Israel and Hermeneutics: Lecture given at the Shepherd’s Conference at Grace Community Church, on March 7, 2007

      “The irony is that those who most celebrate the sovereign grace of election regarding the church, and its inviolable place in God’s purpose from predestination to glorification, and those who most aggressively and militantly defend the truth of promise and fulfillment, those who are the advocates of election being divine, unilateral, unconditional, and irrevocable by nature for the church, unashamedly deny the same for elect Israel. That is a strange division. As it does, the perpetuity of the elect church to salvation glory, so the Scripture in similar language and by promises from the same God, affirms the perpetuity of ethnic Israel to a future salvation of a generation of Jews that will fulfill all divine promises given to them by God. In both cases this is the work of, and the result of, divine sovereign election. . .”

      “Now all that leads us to this: if you get Israel right you will get eschatology right. If you don’t get Israel right you will never get eschatology right. Never. .. If you get eschatology right it’s because you get Israel right. You get Israel right when you get the Old Testament covenants and promises right. You get the Old Testament covenants and promises right when you get the interpretation of Scripture right. You get interpretation of Scripture right when you’re faithful to a legitimate hermeneutic and God’s integrity is upheld. Get your hermeneutics right, you’ll get the Old Testament promises right. Get promises right, you’ll get Israel right. Get Israel right, you’ll get eschatology right. The Bible calls God the God of Israel over 200 times. The God of Israel. There are over 2,000 references to Israel in Scripture, not one of them means anything but Israel.”

      “Not one of them, including Romans 9:6 and Galatians 6:16 which is the only two passages that amillennialists go to trying to convince us that that cancels out the other 2,000. There is no difficulty in interpreting those as simply meaning Jews who were believers; the Israel of God. Israel always means Israel, never means anything but Israel.”

      I’m not amillennialist, but still say MacArthur is wrong. Please see,

      Jesus Christ: The True Israel

      Peter Cohen at Messianic Good News: THE ISRAEL OF GOD: a consideration of so-called “Replacement Theology”

      Steve Lumbley: 2006 Who is Israel? “……..For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel” – Rom 9:6

      Nathan Pitchford: Dispensationalism and the Eclipse of Christ (An Open Correspondence)

      Christian Zionism, or the Restoration of the Jews to their land, is a biblical doctrine

      Christian Zionism is not biblical. The truth is,

      “…the most un-Christ-like aspect of this movement (and its teachings) is the lack of genuine love or concern for brothers and sisters in Christ, in the Arab world. To those deeply involved in this movement, its as though those ‘parts of the body of Christ’ do not even exist, are invisible, or worse yet expendable” ……”Why? because most in this movement, whether actively involved or having just picked up the mindset without realizing it, also perceive of no need to actively evangelize the very people who live in the State they vow to politically and financially support! Talk about an oxymoron: ‘cruel kindness’…there you have one. And on the other hand, anyone living in the middle east (other than in Israel) is looked upon as an enemy (if they are lost) or non-existent if they are believers in Christ.” – Christian Zionism’s Cause or Effect?

    • It would be strange if this were true for why would the first Christians be Jews and not Gentiles? Why was Peter preaching to the Jews? Why should any Jew become a Christian? It doesn’t matter who supports the position or what system is employed, salvation comes from God, comes from Christ Jesus. Everything outside of Him, the True Israel, shall pass away.

    • Fred, you seem to be arguing that the people you have listed are as infallible as the Pope and therefore their teaching regarding Christian Zionism MUST be true. But the reality is that even great Christian teachers teach little heresies here and there and thus we must always test the spirits. Show me an example of Christian Zionist or Jewish Restorationist teaching prior to the advent of dispensationalism. If Christian Zionism is biblical, why did all of the earlier Christian teachers ignore it? I am absolutely convinced that it is a complete heresy, one of many that followed after the reformation when many Christians began practicing what the Bible calls “private interpretation” and what we commonly call today “what this scripture means to me”. We live in a day when any believer can come up with their own doctrine and if it become popular, it takes root in the church. Of course you can believe whatever you like, but I have chosen to believe the teachings of the early church fathers in whose writings there is nothing promoting Christian Zionism or Jewish Restorationism, but actually some degree of teaching refuting it. And I reject the current concept of pick and choose buffet style theology found in the church whereby Christians simply decide their theology by what “makes sense to them”. That is why many who believe in Christian Zionism and Jewish Restorationism (which are not the same thing) are not dispensationalists. Doctrine no longer even needs to be consistent, it just needs to be appealing. Thats why we can end up with a Harold Camping who marches off with tens of thousands of followers around the globe and declares that the church age is over. The protestant church today is in a doctrinal chaos with all sorts of weird things being taught. This is just the ultimate fruition of tossing out generations of Christian teaching and turning instead to private interpretation of scripture.

  5. On the contrary, I see individuals claiming John is teaching an alternative view of salvation. That’s Taylor’s main accusation. Which is to say that John teaches heresy if you believe that, which means you are questioning his salvation.

    It’s easy to say it is unbiblical, quite another to prove it.
    Answer my objection: What do you do with such men as Jonathan Edwards, Charles Hodge, John Murray, Martin-Lloyd Jones? They were a mere handful of folks who were Christian zionists.

    • Even Paul rebuked Peter for his cowing to the Judaizers. I don’t agree with a lot of what some of these men said and find no warrant for it being true to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But I shall still call these men my brothers.

      A new heart, a regenerated mind(soul), a spirit reborn, wearing the name of Jesus and doing the will of the Father, this is what makes a Disciple. Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy come at the leading of the Holy Wind, being taught by the Spirit of Christ Himself(!), but no man is infallible.

  6. the reality is that even great Christian teachers teach little heresies here and there and thus we must always test the spirits.

    George you’re right. None of us, including well respected bible teachers of the past or present are infallible.

    Show me an example of Christian Zionist or Jewish Restorationist teaching prior to the advent of dispensationalism. If Christian Zionism is biblical, why did all of the earlier Christian teachers ignore it? I am absolutely convinced that it is a complete heresy, one of many that followed after the reformation when many Christians began practicing what the Bible calls “private interpretation” and what we commonly call today “what this scripture means to me”.


    “So where did Christian Zionism come from?….The genesis of Christian Zionism lies within the Protestant Reformation which brought about a renewed interest in the Old Testament and God’s dealings with the Jewish people. From Protestant pulpits right across Europe, the Bible was for the first time in centuries being taught within its historical context and given its plain literal sense. At the same time, a new assessment of the place of the Jews within the purposes of God emerged”

    “Puritan eschatology was essentially postmillennial and believed the conversion of the Jews would lead to future blessing for the entire world. In 1621, for example, Sir Henry Finch, an eminent lawyer and member of the English Parliament, published a book entitled, The World’s Great Restauration (sic) or Calling of the Jews, (and with them) all the Nations and Kingdoms of the Earth, to the Faith of Christ. By the late 17th Century and right through the 18th Century, especially during the period of the Great Awakening, postmillennial eschatology dominated European and American Protestantism.[13] The writings and preaching of Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758),[14] as well as George Whitefield, were influential in the spread of the belief that the millennium had already arrived and the gospel would soon triumph against evil throughout the world. God’s blessings of peace and prosperity would follow the conversion of Israel, prior to the glorious return of Christ”

    “The development of Premillennialism in the 19th Century and the revolution in futurist prophetic speculation concerning the Church and Israel can be largely attributed to Edward Irving[21] and John Nelson Darby together with others associated with a series of prophetic conferences held in England and then Ireland between 1826 and 1833.[22]”

    “On the first day of Advent, 1826, Henry Drummond (1786-1860), a city banker, politician, and High Sheriff of Surrey, England,[23] opened his home at Albury Park to a select group of some twenty invited guests to discuss matters concerning ‘the immediate fulfilment of prophecy.’[24] Topics included speculation on the fulfilment of biblical prophecy, premillennialism, the imminent return of the Jews to Palestine and the search for the lost tribes of Israel. These conferences continued in the early 1830’s at Powerscourt in Ireland under the growing influence of John Nelson Darby”

    “John Nelson Darby is regarded by many as the father of Dispensationalism. He taught that God has two distinct and separate peoples : the Church his heavenly people and the Jews his earthly people. Darby was a charismatic figure with a dominant personality. He was a persuasive speaker and zealous missionary for his dispensationalist beliefs. From 1862 Darby spent more and more time in North America, making seven journeys in the next twenty years. During these visits, he came to have an increasing influence over evangelical leaders such as James H. Brookes, Dwight L. Moody, William Blackstone and C. I. Scofield. His ideas also helped shape the emerging evangelical Bible Schools and ‘Prophecy’ conferences, which came to dominate Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism in the United States between 1875 and 1920”

    “William E. Blackstone was an influential evangelist and lay worker for the Methodist Episcopal Church, as well as a financier and benefactor. He also became an enthusiastic disciple of J.N. Darby.[60] In 1887 he wrote a book on biblical prophecy entitled Jesus is Coming, which by 1927, had been translated into thirty-six languages. The book took a premillennial dispensational view of the Second Coming, emphasizing that the Jews had a biblical right to Palestine and would soon be restored there. Blackstone became one of the first Christian Zionists in America, like Hechler in Britain, to actively lobby for the Zionist cause. Blackstone took the Zionist movement to be a ‘sign’ of the imminent return of Christ even though its leadership like Herzl were agnostic.

    “Blackstone, like Hal Lindsey a century later, interpreted Scripture in the light of unfolding contemporary events, something which Charles Spurgeon warned of as ‘exegesis by current events’.[61] No longer were Christian Zionists expecting Jewish national repentance to precede restoration; it could wait until after Jesus returned during the millennium. Although popular with proto-fundamentalists, the book became more widely known in 1908, when a presentation edition was sent to several hundred thousand ministers and Christian workers, and again in 1917 when the Moody Bible Institute printed ‘presentation copies’ and sent them to ministers, missionaries and theological students.[62] Jesus is Coming was the most widely read book on the return of Christ published in the 20th Century until the publication of Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth superseded only by Tim LaHaye’s fictional Left Behind series”

    *Excerpts fromThe Historical Roots of Christian Zionism

  7. It’s easy to say it is unbiblical, quite another to prove it.

    Fred, if one approaches the scriptures with no preconceived ideas, a heart which only wants the truth, (and) is open to being taught by the Holy Spirit, the evidence of Christian zionism being unbiblical is plainly seen through-out the new testament. One of the most important things you will not find is any mention of “Christian zionism” nor anything remotely alluding to it. What you will find is evidence to the contrary.

  8. The huge problem in the church today is that there IS a historical church with a written RECORD going all the way back to the days of the apostles. But most people in the church today have no clue as to those teachings and in fact no INTEREST in those teachings. Each man interprets the scriptures for himself and now we have a wide divergence of doctrine that is getting wider with every passing day. No one dares to call even the most novel of doctrines HERETICAL. The term heresy is reserved for … a dwindling number of extreme cults. You even have to be careful as to how you treat Mormons in Christian circles these days. The term heresy has become the unspeakable word. We are supposed to use the euphemism “unbiblical”, as if “unbiblical” doctrines are not heresy. And we have the idea that heresy somehow condemns people to hell, as if one’s doctrine has to be perfect and without error in order to make heaven. And, of course, everyone is certain that their own understanding of scripture, UNGUIDED by history Christian teaching, is 100% correct to the degree that they are infallible. After all, just like we know that we are saved, we also know that millennialism is “biblical”, right? I think this is a real trap that Christians get into when they start to base their faith on KNOWLEDGE of the Bible and dependence on “correct” interpretation (their own, of course). Before ANYONE can rightly understand scripture, they need 1) a thorough knowledge of EVERYTHING written in the scripture and an understanding of how it all interrelates. 2) A knowledge of all of the writings of at least all of the early church fathers and an understanding of the doctrinal issues being discussed. And 3), of course, a willingness to be guided by the Holy Spirit into all truth. ANY doctrinal interpretation without support within the writings of the church fathers should be IMMEDIATELY suspect. I am NOT saying that the teaching of the historic church is necessarily correct in every detail. What I am saying is that when ANY teaching contradicts the teaching of the historic church, one should be VERY careful about getting entangled with that teaching. And the problem goes beyond the issue of doctrine itself. It deeply affects the unity of believers and the church which is OBVIOUSLY held highly important in the scriptures which strongly exhort against divisiveness and, in fact, connect it with the teaching of false doctrines. Where it has all led in our day is that now that we are so split asunder doctrinally, we are trying to pull it all together by arguing that false teaching doesn’t really matter anymore. After all, its not heresy, its just “unbiblical” and all of these people are saved and are brothers and the fact that they believe things that are “unbiblical” doesn’t really matter. Thus the church is beginning to circle the wagons around a new “unity”. It is no longer a unity of faith, but rather a unity of convenience in order to achieve common ends. And, in the process, what is going OUT of the church is the Gospel of Christ. It is being replaced by all sorts of other things from bizarre “spiritual” entertainment to political activism. And the new “unity” is no longer a unity in the Holy Spirit, but rather a fleshly unity and an increasing allegiance to the new doctrine of “I’m OK … you’re OK”, lets do great things FOR God together.

  9. He does teach that many are saved AFTER Jesus returns…

    The Restoration of Israel John MacArthur;

    • Of course he does, PJ, because if you are going to actually take the text of Scripture seriously, that is what is saying. Note that the object of salvation is Christ. This isn’t second chance after death salvation. Of course, I don’t even know why I am bothering responding to this because you probably won’t publish my comments like you did the previous 2 or 3 I left. For some reason, you covenant reformed guys can’t take anyone offering any meaningful criticism to your position. You all conveniently dodge any objections by ignoring them.

    • Fred, it only makes sense to those who hold to a pre-tribulation rapture and/or embrace a form of despensational eschatology.

      For some reason, you covenant reformed guys…

      More and more Christians are getting away from ‘wearing’ one of the number of name-tags we like to pin on ourselves when discussing eschatology and are simply (prayerfully) reading the scriptures.

      You should try it…

  10. PJ, are you going to post the other comments I left or continue to conveniently ignore them?

    Go to Zechariah 12 and give me an exposition of that text that meaningfully deals with the prophecy and what it is saying. Explain to me how that text does not say what it says, that being, when Christ returns the Jews in the Land will be regenerated, see their Messiah for who he truly is, and repent of their sins. Explain to me how this is not faith in Christ.

    Thanks for the patronizing, btw. As if I don’t read the scriptures…

    • Fred, it quickly became apparent to me you were not interested in really looking at the scriptures pertaining to this post. Your goal has been to not respond to anything i wrote, but to argue your points in defense of some imagined personal attack on John MacArthur; instead of his beliefs concerning salvation after the return of Christ.

      I have pointed out on more then one occasion, his belief is based only in a dispensational form of eschatology. He (and you) are free to believe ‘what you will’…but from my reading of the scriptures, i believe it is dangerous error. Dangerous because it has discouraged the spreading of the Gospel to lost Jews. And why wouldn’t it!?! For if we believe they will have a ‘second chance’ after Christ returns there is no urgency on our part….

      For the sake of unity within the body of Christ, we must face the fact, we just disagree and move on…

      God bless…

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