Why I Stopped Passing Out Chick Tracts Years Ago

by David J. Stewart | September 2015

Acts 20:21, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”

       When I was a teenager, I loved Chick Tracts. They were like eye-candy and I collected as many as I could. I eagerly searched all the tract tables at rescue missions and churches that I visited with my parents. I had a big collection. I was born-again at age 13 (not by reading Chick Tracts), and God led me to serve Him at age 15, but I wasn't sure in what capacity. I was saved under the Gospel preaching of a local New Testament Baptist church. It was Bible-preaching that gave me a burning desire to do something for God. I just loved the cartoon pictures in Chick Tracts. I remember how they impacted my heart. Kids love them! At the time, I didn't have enough spiritual discernment to see what was wrong with them.

It was another faithful Christian who pointed out to me many years ago that Jack's Chick tracts teach a corrupt plan of salvation. At first I was defensive, having been a big Chick tract fan for so long. But the seed had been planted. I prayed and struggled with the issue for several months. Eventually, the Lord impressed upon my heart and I thought, “What is the truth of the matter?” The answer was obvious. I was reminded that there's nothing in the Gospel about turning away from sinful activities, forsaking the world, nor surrendering to follow Christ. I contacted Chick Tracts, but they never responded. I didn't think they would, because I kindly challenged their theological position on salvation, based upon the Word of God. Although some religious people would like to bury the issue as being a mere matter of semantics, it is a much bigger problem. If I hadn't had other sources of Biblical truth to accompany Chick Tracts, I would have been in a world of hurt. 

So now for many years I have been exposing the errors of Jack Chick's teachings in his cartoon religious literature. Chick tracts are spiritually dangerous, because they deter people from getting saved, being misled to think that God won't save them unless they're willing to forsake all, cease from lifelong sinful bad habits, and surrender your life to Christ. Consequently, Jack Chick is hindering people from being saved, and giving false hope to others who think their personal behavior has a part in their salvation (which is no salvation at all). Jack Chick is helping pull on the same rope as the Devil, blinding men to their need to repent from DEAD WORKS (Hebrews 6:1 - all references only to trustworthy King James Bible), to completely rest in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:10-11). Religion is man trying to reach God through human effort, but Christianity is God trying to reach man by the sacrifice of His Son on the cross. Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith.

Jack Chick's website has added a new section in defense of their beliefs, countering the allegations against their ministry for preaching a false meaning of repentance. Bible doctrine concerning salvation is like the buttons on a shirt, that is, if you get the first button wrong then all the other buttons will be wrong too. Repentance concerning salvation is a critically important matter.

Please consider that Ray Comfort, John MacArthur and Chip Ingram are teaching the same false understanding of repentance as Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists. And sadly, Jack Chick is also teaching a false understanding of repentance when he requires a person to be willing to cease from a sinful lifestyle as a prerequisite to being saved. Biblical repentance is correctly explained by Pastor Harry Ironside (1876-1951)...

"Repentance is the recognition of my sinnership — the owning before God that I am as vile as He has declared me to be in His holy Word."

SOURCE: Except Ye Repent, by Dr. Harry Ironside, chapter 3

Step one in Jack Chick's religious tracts is correct (as seen to the right). However, in step two Mr. Chick adds the unbiblical requirement to “Be willing to turn from sin,” which clearly means more than admitting one's sinnership, because that was step one in his plan of salvation.

It is tragic that many preachers view this theological debate as a mere matter of semantics and not worthy of dividing over. May I say, Judas repented in Matthew 27:3 and yet he went straight to Hell when he died. Judas is in Hell this moment, and will suffer there for all eternity because he died in his sins without Christ. Clearly, there is a false form of repentance that leads to damnation in Hell.

Judas experienced reformation, feeling sorry for his misdeed and even trying to return the 30 pieces of silver by which he betrayed the Son of God; but he didn't get saved. Salvation is neither reformation, rehabilitation, legislation, nor education; but rather, REGENERATION! Ye must be born again!

The false type of repentance places the burden upon the sinner to forsake sinful bad habits and the world to be saved; but Biblical repentance leaves all the burden upon the Savior, Who became as sin so that we by faith could obtain  God's imputed righteousness. Jesus Christ carried the unbearably heavy load of our sins so that we wouldn't have to pay for them in Hell for all eternity.

Let me give you a helpful illustration to help you correctly understand repentance and faith. Let's say an evangelist is traveling from Michigan to Hawaii to preach at a church. He boards the plane in Michigan and then flies toward Hawaii. He doesn't leave Michigan first, and then secondarily head toward Hawaii; but rather, he is moving away from Michigan and toward Hawaii at the SAME TIME. Likewise, repentance and faith happen at the same time. Repentance and faith are one deal. A person is saved when they turn to Christ by faith to be forgiven of their sins. As you turn toward the precious Savior, you are simultaneously turning your back against sin. This is a “change of mind,” which is exactly what repentance means in the Bible concerning salvation.

Jack Chick is correct when he says that repentance is not a fruit; but rather, it is part of salvation itself. However, a changed life is the FRUIT of genuine repentance. Repentance is a CHANGE OF MIND, not a CHANGE OF LIFESTYLE. A changed life is the fruit of genuine repentance, and not a part of the ROOT of saving-faith. Jack Chick makes the grave mistake of requiring a person to BE WILLING to clean up their life (be willing to turn from sin) to be saved. Remember, Mr. Chick is not satisfied with simply acknowledging one's guilt of being a sinner for salvation; but rather, he additionally requires a person to be willing to depart from the act of sin itself.

Romans 3:19 proves Jack Chick a false prophet concerning the plan of salvation. 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 is to show men their guilty sinful condition, and then point them to the Savior to be saved.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.” The Law of God shows us our guilt of sin and consequent need for redemption, and then points us to the blessed Savior Jesus Christ for cleansing and forgiveness.

The entire perverted concept of requiring a person to be willing to stop living in deliberate sin to be saved is of the Devil and a false plan of salvation. What has happened is that religious people are sick and tired of shallow professions of faith, so they have taken it upon themselves to change the gospel in an attempt to force people to live right. It doesn't work that way!!!

William Lane Craig is another false prophet concerning salvation. In essence Mr. Craig teaches that a person's faith does not become valid until they depart from sin in their personal life. He misinterprets 1st John 3:8, “He that committeth sin is of the devil.” The Bible is simply teaching that a person who can live in gross immorality with no Holy Spirit conviction, no chastisement from the Lord and no remorse whatsoever, never got saved to begin with. When a person gets saved the Holy Spirit comes inside to live (indwell) that person (1st Corinthians 3:16-17). That doesn't mean that some Christians don't live in gross immorality (we have plenty of examples in the Bible of believers who continued in long periods of deliberate sin, like Samson, Solomon, the church at Corinth, Lot and Demas). The Bible is not saying that a believer who sins is not saved, God forbid. We all sin every day!

In sharp contrast, Mr. Craig errantly teaches that 1st John 3:8 refers to professed Christians who never really got saved because they never stopped living in sin. That's what he teaches! Craig says you cannot be saved until you stop living wickedly. That's not what the Bible is teaching. God is not saying that you have to give up your sins TO BE SAVED; but rather, that you should have given up your sins because YOU ARE SAVED. Brother Lester Roloff says, “Jesus saved you so you wouldn't live like that anymore.” If you still love your sins and have no Holy Spirit conviction inside, then you didn't get really saved. 1st John 3:8 is entirely a matter of whether or not you have the presence of the convicting and righteous HOLY SPIRIT living inside you. 
 

Jack Chick's Red-Herring Defense In His Own Words

Here is the conclusion of their defense argument from Jack Chick's website. Notice that Jack Chick subtly changes the subject from the meaning of repentance to repentance itself. This is commonly called a “red-herring”...

A “red-herring” is something used as a distraction. The term originates from herring fish which were smoked and then pickled in brine, which turned them red. As legend goes, some animal-rights activities in 19th century England would drag the red-herring fish along the ground to throw off the foxes' scent, so the hunting hounds (dogs) couldn't follow them.

Respectfully, Evangelist Jack Chick says:

How can we give “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:20-21, 27) and refuse to tell people to repent? If we don’t tell people to repent, we would be disobeying Christ, because He said that “all men everywhere” must repent (Acts 17:30). And Jesus said before He ascended into heaven that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations” (Luke 24:46-47).

This is not a work for salvation. No one can “boast” that his heart was changed by God. Repentance, an act on the heart, accompanies faith and is no more a work than faith itself is.

So we at Chick Publications preach “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).

SOURCE: Why Chick Tracts Preach Repentance

Jack Chick is trying to sidestep the core issue. The issue is NOT whether or not repentance is necessary for salvation. Yes, repentance is absolutely required to be saved. No one debates that. If a man didn't repent, he would never come to Christ. John 3:20, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” I don't know anyone who disagrees with Jack Chick for teaching the need for repentance. We all agree that repentance is not optional. Repentance is 100% absolutely required for the new birth. Repentance is that change of mind, when a person sees them self as a guilty sinner in the eyes of a holy God. 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 Bible mandates repentance for salvation, it is not an option. Without repentance there can be no salvation. The problem with Jack Chick's tracts is that he espouses a FALSE meaning of what it means to “repent.” Jack Chick has a WRONG understanding of what repentance means, which he likely adopted from the reprobates false teachers of our time; namely, Aiden Tozer, R.B. Thieme Jr., John MacArthur, Ray Comfort, Paul Washer, Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Charles Stanley, Beth Moore, John Hagee, Pat Robertson, John Piper and umpteen other heretics on the plan of salvation.

The Word of God teaches about “the simplicity that is in Christ” in 2nd Corinthians 11:3, that is, it is so simple to be saved that even a child can be born-again. All that God requires of a person to be saved is to “Repent ye, and believe the Gospel” (Mark 1:15). You cannot show me even one Scripture that requires “turning from sin” or “turning away from sin” to be saved. Rather, the Bible teaches in Romans 1:12, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” This doesn't mean that forsaking deliberate sinful behavior is optional. Romans 6:15, “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” Romans 3:31, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Clearly, God expects all believers to do right and obey Him. But this matter is entirely separate from the “gift” of eternal life.

Kindly, what Jack Chick and other Lordship Salvationists are doing is forcing people to present their bodies a living sacrifice to live holy as a prerequisite to salvation, and that is a false plan of salvation. It's absurd reasoning, because how can a person who hasn't even been saved yet, who does not have the indwelling Holy Spirit, make such a commitment? They cannot. I used to be perplexed how pastors, evangelists and professed Christians across the world could succumb to such satanic heresies, but then I learned from research about the vulnerability of the human psyche. God called us sheep for a good reason. Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Sheep are totally vulnerable animals. They don't have a cunning predatory nature like hungry wolves do. Some people are like wolves, cunning and deceitful, intentionally hurting others; but most people are like naive sheep, simple, knowing nothing. So the sheeple are open prey for the wolves who come in sheep's clothing to deceive and victimize them. This is the wicked world!

In every single one of Jack Chick's tracts he requires a person to go further than merely admitting one's guilt of sin, but also “be willing to turn from sin (repent).” So according to Mr. Chick you cannot be saved by simply acknowledging your sinnership, you must also have a willingness to cease from intentional sinful behavior...

Jack Chick plainly teaches in every Chick Track that faith in Jesus Christ is insufficient to save unless you are willing to cease from your sins. That is human effort and a backdoor approach to works salvation!!! The Lord saves us to change us, not requiring a commitment to change to be saved.

In other words, Christ won't save you unless you first qualify for salvation by meeting the prerequisite of having a desire to stop committing deliberate sin anymore. This is far from what the Bible teaches. Mr. Chick puts the cart before the horse, demanding a willingness to change as a qualifying prerequisite to faith in Christ. That is a back door approach to Lordship Salvation. I praise God that He has given me a clear understanding of the plan of salvation. I struggled with the assurance of my salvation between age 13 and 20, and it was that intense search for the truth that God used to prepare me theologically to “fight the good fight of faith” (1st Timothy 6:12). I am being your friend. My only heart's desire is to defend the simplicity that is in Jesus Christ!

Mark 1:15, “...repent ye, and believe the gospel.” The word “repent” here is the Greek word metanoeo, meaning “to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider.” Jesus said to reconsider your ways and believe the Gospel. Jesus DIDN'T say stop living in sin and believe the Gospel. No one can cease totally from sin. So whether you give up 10% or 99% of your sins is irrelevant, because there's still some sin remaining. Even committing one sin makes us GUILTY OF ALL according to James 2:10. The entire idea of giving up sinful bad habits to be saved is satanic! 

It appears to me that Mr. Chick has put himself in an awkward position between a rock and a hard place. If he changes his tracts now, then he will confuse millions of people (and his critics will have a hey day). Please understand that my intention is strictly Mr. Chick's theological error in his tracts, this is not personal. I admire Jack Chick's awesome artwork and believe that he is sincere. Unfortunately, Mr. Chick's tracts add an extra requirement (a very burdensome requirement) for salvation that God does not, which fully supports the nightmare of Lordship Salvation which has infected at least half of our Baptist churches.

Friends, the Holy Bible teaches us that eternal life is a “free gift” (Romans 5:15, 18; 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-10). What part of “gift” doesn't Jack Chick understand? If I told you that I bought you a birthday gift, but to have it you must promise to behave better this coming year, what would you think? Would it truly be a gift? No, it wouldn't! Yet, when it comes to God's free gift of eternal life, men lose their sense of sanity and faculty of reason, being deceived by Satan to think that salvation is a gift that requires forsaking the world, ceasing from sinful bad habits, making a commitment to follow Christ, surrendering all to Jesus, and confessing Christ publickly before men to be saved.

I honestly don't enjoy exposing Jack Chick's flawed definition of repentance. It's difficult for any man to admit after decades that he should have better worded his tracts. I'm always editing earlier writings myself. We all adjust our beliefs over time and need to make changes. It's much harder when you've published works in printed form. The fact that Jack Chick's articles and website statement of beliefs are written very differently than his ministry's tracts evidences to me that he wants to set the matter straight, but he has boxed himself in a corner so-to-speak. This is my humble opinion. 
 

In Acts 20:21 Repentance And Faith Refer To One Event

Most people misunderstand Acts 20:31, assuming that repentance and faith are two entirely separate steps to salvation, but they're actually the same step. They are two parts of one step, as Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980) taught. The following Greek rule evidences the fact that most people misinterpret Acts 20:21...

Granville Sharp's Rules of Greek Exegesis

Acts 20:21 does not teach two separate actions! Repentance and faith are shown as the same thing in this verse. Here is why;  

“Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Any time two singular Greek nouns appear in a sentence and are connected by the conjunction "and" (kai Greek) and the definite article “ho” precedes the first noun, but not the second, they both mean the same person! This means that the appositive, “our Lord Jesus Christ” is referring to “God” in the first clause! Rendering this into the sentence it is then to be read as follows:

“Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, ("EVEN") or ("that is") faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”

This is what Paul was preaching! Repentance toward God using the Granville Sharp's rules of Greek exegesis, is synonymous (means the same) as faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. The illustration that I shared with you earlier about the evangelist traveling from Michigan to Hawaii is an excellent example of repentance and faith. You don't leave Michigan first and then afterwards fly toward Hawaii; but rather, the two are inseparable. The evangelist is DEPARTING from Michigan at the same time that he is moving TOWARD Hawaii. Likewise, repentance and faith are one deal, happening simultaneously (at the same time).

Faith and repentance are the same event according to the Greek grammatical rendering of this verse. 
 

Chick Tracts Preach ANOTHER Gospel

Jack Chick is correct that repentance is not a work; yet his belief and teaching that repentance means to “be willing to turn from sin (repent)” is dangerous, because it implies that a person must forsake sinful living to be saved, which is not true...

This is not a work for salvation. No one can “boast” that his heart was changed by God. Repentance, an act on the heart, accompanies faith and is no more a work than faith itself is.

So we at Chick Publications preach “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).

SOURCE: Why Chick Tracts Preach Repentance

So a man shacking-up in fornication with his girlfriend may not come to Christ because he thinks he must either break-up with his girlfriend or get married in order to be saved. I mean, according to Jack Chick the man must do more than admit he's a sinner; he must also be willing to stop living in sin or no salvation. That is a false gospel.

Repentance is “a change of mind”; not of lifestyle, priorities, nor intentions. CreationToday.org is teaching a false gospel of self-righteousness. It is an important matter. I've never understood Christian ministers who make light of doctrinal integrity, except that the love of money has made them indifferent and complacent concerning THE TRUTH. The truth is worth fighting and dying for.

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!

"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 - King James Bible

On their website's statement of faith, Jack Chick states 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."

SOURCE: http://www.chick.com/information/general/statementoffaith.asp

Bravo! That's correct. Now if only they stuck to it! Like Pastor Rick Warren, Mr. Chick is contradictory, trying to straddle both sides of the fence. My friend, to be saved, you either are required by God to “BE WILLING TO TURN FROM SIN” (which Mr. Chick clearly intends to mean more than admitting one's sinnership, because that's step #1, this is step #2 in his plan of salvation), OR, you do not. It cannot be both. Romans 11:6, “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” Since Mr. Chick teaches two different things between his website and Chick tracts, it would seem to indicate that he knows he has messed up, but is unwilling to fix it. That's my opinion.

Also, Mr. Chick has totally side-stepped the entire issue, by fabricating a red-herring, changing the matter from what it means to repent, to repentance itself. I've never one time questioned the need for repentance. No one ever got saved who didn't repent, because the love of sin hinders men from coming to the light to be saved (John 3:20). Albeit, when a person repents, they acknowledge their sinnership and believe the Gospel to be saved. Repentance and faith happen at the same time and are inseparable. It's like getting on a jet plane from Michigan to Texas. You don't leave Michigan on one plane and then fly toward Texas on another. No, rather, you are leaving one place and moving toward another simultaneously. The man who believes has repented, and the man who repents has believed. This is why in the Gospel of John, the words “believe” and “believed” are mentioned 85 times, but the word “repent” is not mentioned even once. That fact speaks volumes!
 

Charles Spurgeon Didn't Preach Lordship Salvation!

Both Pastor John MacArthur and Evangelist Ray Comfort have misquoted Charles H. Spurgeon as a secondary authority to support their damnable heresy of Lordship Salvation, but they never quote the following spoken by Spurgeon...

“You must not expect that you will be perfect in 'repentance' before you are saved. No Christian can be perfect. 'Repentance' is a grace. Some people preach it as a condition of salvation. Condition of nonsense! There are no conditions of salvation. God gives the salvation himself... —Pastor Charles Spurgeon

SOURCE: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0044.htm (from a sermon preached at the New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, on September 23, 1855)

Clearly, Charles Haddon Spurgeon DIDN'T believe that ceasing from one's sins was necessary to be saved. Spurgeon plainly taught “there are no conditions of salvation,” which is what the Bible teaches. We are sinners and Jesus is the Savior!

From reading Spurgeon's sermons, it is clear to me that at times he did enter into the realm of Lordship Salvation (as most preachers do in their human imperfection), but as you just read, Spurgeon didn't believe there are any CONDITIONS to salvation. Dr. Jack Hyles explains this important truth in his classic MP3 sermon titled, Steps In Sanctification (Or, The Root Of All heresy). Dr. Hyles said every preacher has a tendency to preach that if professed believers are still drinking, smoking and not tithing, “You didn't get the same salvation that I got.” That's simply not true, which Dr. Hyles admits in this sermon. I've made this theological error myself in the past, writing in articles that you'd better check to see if you're saved if you're still living in intentional sin. That's simply not true. A person's visible life is not evidence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, or His absence. Dr. Curtis Hutson (1934-1995) is correct that we cannot tell how much fuel is in a car's tank by the sound of the horn.

Then on the other extreme there are preachers who just say to “trust Jesus” to be saved, but don't tell people that they are woeful sinners. This is also heresy, and a false plan of salvation. NO ONE ever got saved who didn't realize that they are a sinner! Somewhere in the middle is the correct theological position. So, Biblically, you don't have to cease from sinful behavior to be saved, but you absolutely must realize that you are a guilty sinner in God's holy eyes. Jack Chick is using a red-herring to distort the true issue, which is what is means to repent. Repentance for salvation DOESN'T mean a change of mind that leads to a change of life. Rather, repentance is “a change of mind,” period. Mark 1:15 tells us that the object of repentance is to “believe the Gospel.” So, effectively, repentance is a change of mind that compels a person to believe the Gospel, not forsake sinful behavior.

To be saved one must simply renounce their sins before God. That's what Spurgeon taught. Some people may choose to stop doing certain sins upon being saved, while others may not be ready to break off lifelong sinful bad habits; such as, drunkenness, fornication, drug abuse or looking at dirty pictures. Certainly, no one can stop all their sins, for only Jesus Christ is sinless (Hebrews 4:15). Salvation is the beginning of a new life in Jesus Christ (2nd Corinthians 5:17; 1st Peter 2:2), but it is unbiblical to mandate a changed life for salvation. Salvation must be kept separate from Discipleship.

Pastor Martin R. DeHaan correctly and excellently states:

“There is a vast difference between coming to Jesus for salvation and coming after Jesus for service. Coming to Christ makes one a believer, while coming after Christ makes one a disciple. All believers are not disciples. To become a believer one accepts the invitation of the Gospel, to be a disciple one obeys the challenge to a life of dedicated service and separation. Salvation comes through the sacrifice of Christ; discipleship comes only by sacrifice of self and surrender to His call for devoted service. Salvation is free, but discipleship involves paying the price of a separated walk. Salvation can't be lost because it depends upon God's faithfulness, but discipleship can be lost because it depends upon our faithfulness.”

SOURCE: Dr. M.R. DeHaan, Hebrews; Zondervan Publishing House, 1959 (p. 117).

The process of repentance continues throughout one's life, although salvation itself is NOT a process. You get saved the very second you acknowledge that you are a guilty sinner and trust upon the name of Jesus, the Christ Who died, was buried and rose from the dead. The willingness to change is a separate matter from salvation, which change God initiates in the life of each new believer. You don't make changes so the Holy Spirit will come into live; but rather, the Holy Spirit comes in by faith in the Gospel and then works in the heart and mind of the believer.

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.” Jack Chick distorts the gospel by requiring sinners to be willing to amend their ways as part of saving-faith. 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 backdoor approach to works salvation. It is a big deal. It is not just a matter of semantics. I also know firsthand that some people have been misled from the truth by Jack Chick's pamphlets, thinking that they couldn't be saved unless they were willing to stop committing sins. The Bible does not teach that.

You either have to be willing to stop sinning to be saved or you do not;
Chick Tracts say "yes," the Bible says "no" (Romans 4:5).

The Bible plainly declares in Romans 4:5 that a man's FAITH IS COUNTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS. That means that you don't need any self-righteousness to be saved (and a good thing because we don't have any to offer God - Isaiah 64:6). One man wrote to me and said there was a time years ago when he thought God wouldn't save him because he wasn't willing to stop shacking up with his girlfriend. He said if he had died during those years of confusion, he would have gone straight to Hell, and it said it would have been Jack Chick's distorted gospel that led him to believe he couldn't be saved. I then understood the danger behind Chick Tracts and the false gospel message contained in them. JACK CHICK IS WRONG!!! 
 

Pastor Harry Ironside (1876-1951) Has it Correct

Please read the following excellent explanation of the Gospel by former Moody Memorial Church pastor, Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951)...

Harry A. Ironside“The Gospel is not a call to repentance, or to amendment of our ways, to make restitution for past sins, or to promise to do better in the future. These things are proper in their place, but they do not constitute the Gospel; for the Gospel is not good advice to be obeyed, it is good news to be believed. Do not make the mistake then of thinking that the Gospel is a call to duty or a call to reformation, a call to better your condition, to behave yourself in a more perfect way than you have been doing in the past …

Nor is the Gospel a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits, and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all.”

SOURCE: Dr. Harry A. Ironside, from the sermon: What Is The Gospel?

Clearly, Ironside correctly taught a Free Grace view of the Gospel. Amen! Don't mess with the Gospel. Just believe it! 
 

Romans 3:19 Clarifies the Meaning of 'Repentance'

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 word “guilty” in the Greek is “hupodikos” and means “under judgment, one who lost his suit; of liable to punishment from God” (SOURCE: Enhanced Strong's Lexicon). 

Hence, a person must realize their GUILT to be saved, i.e., that the condemnation of God is upon them because of their own sins. A person must realize that they are a guilty sinner who justly deserves to be punished in Hellfire. A person does NOT need to feel regret, sorrow, or a desire to do better to be saved. These are all emotions. Repentance is a “change of mind,” not a change of emotions. 

Harry A. Ironside correctly recognized repentance as the confession that “one is utterly without merit” and that if one is “ever saved at all it can only be through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Salvation is without works of self-righteousness. Romans 4:5 plainly teaches that a man's faith is COUNTED for righteousness, i.e., the righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to one's heavenly record by faith. 

“Repentance is the recognition of my sinnership — the owning before God that I am as vile as He has declared me to be in His holy Word.”

SOURCE: Except Ye Repent, by Dr. Harry Ironside, chapter 3

Realizing one's GUILT is vastly different from a FEELING of sorrow or remorse over one's sins. To FEEL sorry for one's sins is an act of self-EMOTION; whereas, GUILT is a matter of self-AWARENESS. Many prison convicts are sorry (emotionally) for their crimes, but only because they got caught. They have no genuine guilt or awareness of the sins they've committed against God. Likewise, a person may walk down to a church alter and cry with emotion over their failures in life; YET, have NO awareness that they are under God's condemnation and awaiting judgment for their sins. 

A feeling of emotion, i.e., sorrow over one's sins is not Biblical repentance. Biblical repentance is when a lost sinner becomes AWARE that they are under the condemnation of GOD'S LAW for their own sins, and TURNS in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ to be forgiven... “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ...” Repentance and faith happen simultaneously, they are not two separate events. 

This fact is clearly evidenced by the Gospel of John, in which the words “repent” and “repentance” are not even mentioned once. Yet, we find the words “faith” and "believe" 98 times in the Book of John. Clearly, to believe upon Jesus is to have also repented. When a person repents, i.e., changes one's mind, about sin and the Savior, trusting upon the Lord for forgiveness, it is at that very moment of faith that the Holy Spirit comes to indwell that person forever. 

The reason why salvation is found alone in Christ, and why we are to believe ONLY upon Him, is because Jesus paid the price for our sins with His precious blood (1st Peter 1:18,19). Muhammad never did this. Confucius never did this. Buddha never did this. In fact, if you'll look in those graves, you'll find the bodily remains of each of those men; but Jesus' tomb is EMPTY, because He is alive forevermore. The stone wasn't rolled away for Jesus to escape the tomb; the stone was rolled away so the world could see that Christ had arisen! What a Savior!!!

Books have been written on one phrase or one word. The word repentance is critically important, as are the words faith, inspired, Gospel, Lord and the phrase, born-again. Terms are everything!!! The Bible plainly defines these terms so we don't need to wonder nor guess. False religious cults redefine these terms wrongly. Repentance simply means “a change of mind.” This change of mind compels a person to believe the Gospel. It's that simple. Anyone who requires more on the part of a sinner to be saved has corrupted the Gospel.

For Jack Chick to require sinners to be willing in their heart to stop committing sins is a requirement, an obligation. If I tell you that you can drive my car if you're willing to fill the gas tank, I've placed an obligation upon you (as a condition of using my car).

As a better illustration, let's say I own a bank. I advertise locally that new customers will receive a free toaster as a gift for opening a bank account. Is it really a gift when you have to do something to obtain it? I said it was a free gift? Clearly it is not. This is the same as Jack Chick saying that he believes salvation is a free gift, obtained by God's grace; yet he requires people to be willing to stop living in sin to have it. That's a reward, not a gift. Mr. Chick is sincere I am confident, but he doesn't properly understand what repentance means. I'm tired of people saying to push and pull at the same time. Hey, it's a free gift, but you still have to do shovel the 2-feet of snow to have it!

The Gospel is that Jesus DIED, was BURIED and RESURRECTED three days later for YOUR sins. If receive Christ's payment of the Gospel for your sins then you are saved. The blood of Jesus Christ washes our sins away. That is so simple that even a child can be saved. END

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."


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