Mike Bickle Denies the Power of the Gospel

A fellow named Mike Bickle who apparently emerged from the world of the kind of people who imagine they hear the audible voice of God and have visited heaven, yet very squarely and forthrightly deny the power of the gospel of Christ and Him crucified and twist and distort the message of grace as presented clearly in all of scripture. He has published an article (available in all its glory here) attacking the message of grace and I intend to rebut his distortions point by point.

Let’s start with this:

Jude warned of certain men who crept into the fellowship of the church unnoticed—that is, their error went unnoticed by most of the leaders and the people. These men turned the message of grace into a message of lewdness or one that affirmed various compromises, even sexual immorality. These men with persuasive teaching abilities twisted what the Bible said about grace, thus empowering many to confidently continue in sinful activities without feeling any urgency to repent.

Undoubtedly, these teachers of error appeared outwardly to live godly, but in their private lives they refused to repent of various lusts. Instead, they justified their ungodly habits by distorting the message of grace to accommodate their lifestyles.

The result was devastating, as many in the church concluded that it was acceptable for them also to live with similar compromises because these popular teachers were justifying this sort of lifestyle with various Bible verses. In reality, they took these verses out of context of the broader New Testament message, which called believers to live in wholehearted love for Jesus as evidenced by seeking to live in obedience to Him (John 14:15, 21).

The same is true with hyper-grace teachers today. They choose to emphasize only God’s love and forgiveness while practically ignoring Jesus’ call for His people to walk in wholehearted commitment to the Lord. They preach mostly on forgiveness without repentance and on receiving God’s blessing on their circumstances without any conditions. The truth is, it’s glorious that we are freely forgiven by Jesus and that He blesses our circumstances; but these truths are in context to seeking to live in a real relationship with Him and in agreement with His leadership and Word.

There is a complete world of difference between justifying ungodly habits by saying that such habits are acceptable, and walking in the light and confessing them as sin while acknowledging that such sin is still regrettably operative in a person’s life. Paul confesses such struggle with sin (Romans 7:15), and teaches the power of the present power of God’s mercy in Christ (Romans 8:1). A strong grace message suggests a high and stringent view of the law, not a lax view. It allows us to confess deep heart-level sin on a moment by moment basis without pretense. Mr. Bickle sets up a straw man argument and then shoots it down, while we proponents of the true and strong grace of God stand unharmed and untouched while noticing Mr. Bickle’s shallow and errant view of holiness which has little power to lead one to the obedience which is from the heart (Romans 6:17).

It would also seem that the apostle John was guilty of this same error as the hyper-grace teachers, of whom I am proud to be numbered. He says that the love which God has for us is the basis of our love for God, from which all other true virtue flows. (1 John 4:10) His idea of repentance is not spelled out in his article, but it is almost certainly not the biblical one which is consummate with the gospel of faith in Christ (more about my position here.)

Let’s turn again to Mr. Bickle’s article:

Paul prophesied of a time when many who profess loyalty to Jesus would fall to unsound doctrine: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim. 4:3-4).

These people aren’t willing to embrace the challenges of a lifestyle of obedience to Jesus as emphasized by the sound teaching in the New Testament. Instead, they have “itching ears” to hear messages that affirm their sinful desires. They want to feel comfortable in their relationship with God, even as they continue to boldly walk out their sinful lusts.

By isolating Bible verses about God’s blessing and forgiveness from the larger context of the New Testament’s call to love Jesus with obedience, they affirm the lustful desires of their hearers. One famous TV preacher went so far to say that there is no longer a need for a believer to repent because Jesus’ work on the cross did that for them. He obviously overlooked the fact that Jesus repeatedly called born-again believers to repent for yielding to various compromises (see Rev. 2:5, 16, 21-22; 3:3, 19).

Obviously Mr. Bickle is the one who professes loyalty to Jesus who falls to unsound doctrine based on his own fleshly efforts. He is a product of the weird prophet / I heard the audible voice of God / I’ve visited heaven / weird apostle movement. These guys are so far from proclaiming Christ and Him crucified as the power of God that it is difficult to believe that he is actually quoting this verse here to justify his horrible and damaging doctrine.

More importantly, he does not recognize that the message of the propitiatory blood of Jesus as the present and eternal power of God past, present, and future, is the message of the whole of Scripture. From Genesis through Revelation, every single book of the Bible contains important references to the power of substitutionary sacrifice as the sole means to favor with God, and of the failure of all men to conform by their own efforts to the perfection of God’s law.

Is it not ironic that he quotes Revelation 2:5 here, which is the section about the Church at Ephesus? The sin of the church at Ephesus was really that they forgot this great truth:

10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
(1 John 4:10, NASB).

They were toiling and refuting and persevering and rebuking evil men, and had not grown weary of it. Yet, they had left their first love! What was their first love? The joy of their salvation! The joy of being finally and truly and completely assured of their justification, and of the power of it. Their repentance was their need to go back to putting great stock in their belief in their salvation. What else could it mean? They are not called out for some great sin like the church in Thyatira (Revelation 2:20).

Revelation 2:16 is about those who hold the teaching of Balaam. Mr. Bickle, do you really suppose that the message of the present power of our justification and that saying that while we are yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly, and that we ought not nullify grace, teaches that we have the same error as Balaam?

Balaam was a prophet who took money for counsel to a non-believing enemy of God’s people to lead them into idolatry and immorality. Grace teaches forgiveness of immorality (and forgiveness implies that it is bad but doesn’t condemn the offender) and a basis for the kind of strong hope which leads to purification, a hope which is not set upon our own works but upon Christ’s coming (1 John 3:3, 1 Peter 1:13). This means, as I have said many times, that our only hope for any meaningful “sanctification” is sloppy agape, fire-insurance, free grace. Every other message leaves us on our own to try to become better in our flesh instead of under the power of Christ.

Let’s turn to some more delightful encouragement from the article:

The core reality of the grace message is to empower us to walk with God in a relationship of wholehearted love. Jesus called this “the first commandment” (Mark 12:30). Thus, the Holy Spirit’s first agenda is to establish the first commandment in first place in the church. This must also be our first agenda. Wholehearted love is to be “first” in our response to God because it is how the Father relates to the Son and how the Godhead relates to us. We must see grace through the lens of this quality of love. To think of grace without it being anchored in the first commandment is to be aiming at the wrong target. Thus, we distort the grace message when we do not interpret it through the lens of the first commandment. We must love Jesus on His terms, and He defined loving God in terms of a spirit of obedience to His commandments (see John 14:15, 21, 23).

There’s no such thing as loving Jesus without seeking to obey His Word. Some seek to love God on the terms of a humanistic culture that has no reference to obeying the Word. But loving and seeking to obey Jesus are synonymous. All of His commands are based in His love. Thus, the biblical message of grace teaches us to live righteously and to deny ungodliness as the way of expressing our love to God. Titus 2:11-12 says, “The grace of God … has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly.”

If you hear a teaching on grace that doesn’t call you to deny ungodliness, it’s not a biblical grace message—it’s a distorted one.

No, the core reality of the grace message is not to empower us to walk with God in a relationship based on the first commandment to love God. We have a righteousness with God that is no longer based on the law (Romans 3:20,21). As we see in 1 John 4:10, it includes the most difficult command of all, the command to love God. In fact, the gospel of Christ and Him crucified is all about forgiveness of our sins. All of them. Past present and future. How in the world is it so strange to say that the gospel is about forgiveness? Sometimes it seems as though the whole earth is proclaiming some nutty view on how the core message of the gospel is not about Christ crucified to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). Well, it actually is about Christ crucified to save sinners. That is only what it is about. If that is not squarely your central basis for every other act, you’re not basing your life on the core message. Why else would Paul come to the heinously sinful Corinthian church and say ” I was determined to know nothing among you except Christ and Him crucified”(1 Corinthians 2:2)? According to Mr. Bickle, such a message is irrelevant to our present “sanctification”. He says (as we shall soon examine) that our sanctification is based on us, and is a part of our salvation. Paul says instead that God loves us and saves us while we are yet sinners:

6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
(Romans 5:6-10, NASB).

This is not some fringe message that I am taking out of context to press a spurious message of my own crafting! This is the CENTRAL MESSAGE OF SCRiPTURE. Dear God, how can anyone miss this? It is the main and central and core message of the book of Romans! Romans is the core book of the whole of Scriptures. What is now labeled “hyper-grace” was the central insight of Martin Luther that led to the entire protestant reformation! Are we to throw this out?

When am I yet a sinner? Right when I am saved do I suddenly have no sins, no failures? Does anybody honestly believe that? Just like Paul in romans 7:15 and following, and John in 1 John 1:7,8,9,10, I am a sinner NOW. I am not surfing porn or committing adultery or giving out false prophecy while raking in the money from unsuspecting sheep right now, but I am yet a sinner in need of the covering of His precious blood. And if God forbid I do any of these horrible things in the future, I am assured that I have a basis for forgiveness and cleansing and repentance, because it is Christ who saves me by His blood, and not my deeds by my own flesh which saves me. It si the blood of Christ plus NOTHING which secures my eternity. From the bottom of my heart I do not want to do any of these sins, but I don’t trust myself. I trust Christ. In saying I trust Christ, it isn’t an underhanded way of saying I trust Christ to control me like a mindless puppet to never sin. It means he has given me freedom, and in that freedom I long to avoid sin, but He has forever accepted me and forgiven me no matter what happens. I have believed in Jesus, and I have ETERNAL life (John 3:16). What part of eternal means it could end because I could screw up temporarily and blow it? Does my assurance mean I have license to sin? It means I have the unction and power to walk in the Spirit, which is a whole different paradigm coming from a whole new universe.

Let’s finally look at the most damning section of the article:

The gospel is the good news about receiving God’s righteousness and can be seen in three tenses:

Justification: our legal position—past tense, focused on our spirit
Sanctification: our living condition—present tense, focused on our soul
Glorification: our eternal exaltation—future tense, focused on our body
One-third of our salvation is complete (the salvation of our spirit), but the other two parts are not yet complete in our experience (the salvation of our soul and body). All believers have received the fullness of grace in their spirit (legal position), and yet they can still live far below it in their daily experience (living condition).

Our present living condition, how we choose to live, is one third of our salvation? Does this not nullify grace? Should we throw out Romans 5,6,7, and 8? Here you have it, ladies and gentlemen. While accusing you, the precious sinners saved by the grace which has come by the blood of Jesus, of twisting the scriptures out of context, he comes right out and says that we are one-third responsible for our own salvation. Jesus + your sanctification = 2/3 of your salvation. Where is that in scripture, 2 Opinions 3:16? I don’t even need to comment on this. It is brazenly and openly stated in all of its gospel-denying heretical splendor. Grace doesn’t mean forgiveness and unearned favor. It means (how is this grace?) that we live up to our “legal” position in our present tense. Let me just say, if you have trouble understanding what he is talking about here, don’t worry. It is damned nonsense. It is easy to understand why there are no scripture references for these points: they are not biblical.

I could say much more about Mr. Bickle’s position, such as his atrocious exegesis of the sermon on the mount, and his abundant straw-man arguments about the dynamics of the gospel of grace, and more, but I think you get the gist. No one is going to find power for holiness through this approach to Christian living.

The really good news is that the gospel of grace and the power of Christ and Him crucified is easily enough to save you all the way to eternity! You are assured of a very great hope and you are very greatly loved! You are set free to live a life of incredible power and undeserved and unearned favor! The power of the gospel and of life in Christ crucified and resurrected is for you, now, today! You can freely admit and confess that you are a sinner saved by grace! This doesn’t mean you love sin, quite the contrary. Leave off these condemning fools who teach others while being secretly full of every lust and ungodliness.

Here is my prayer for Mike Bickle. I think he means well. He has a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. This is actually spot on contextually with Romans 10:2, in that the Jews were simply not catching the power of the message of the gospel of Christ. I pray that Mr. Bickle comes around to being a gospel grace loving lunatic, a hyper-grace person crazy in love with Jesus. I pray that he becomes one of those people who say, “I spent my whole life pastoring and preaching and doing all of these things and all of these ministries, and finally I have realized that I never got the real gospel, the simple and profound power of the gospel.” I pray that the lights come on for him, and for many others through this.

Jesus Christ is all! His blood is sufficient to save sinners! Christ is risen! Hallelujah!

Posted in Blog and tagged .


  1. Mercy. You’ve really put a boat-load of effort into repudiating Mike, but very little effort into hearing the corpus of his life or teachings. I’d check a few of his other messages before I spent much more effort in denouncing him as an “enemy of the gospel of Christ”. There’s a ton of good, life-transforming, statu-regis that’s being established through his ministry. Don’t know many who’ve done more to make the first commandment an authentic lifestyle with Matthew 28:19 impact. With a little more research, you could be an ally.
    Jesus’ grace and peace to you, brother.

    • JS,

      I think that I was too harsh in tone here, you’re right about that. I repent of that. I do think that his original article was also unfair, in painting a huge swath of people as false teachers, and he didn’t name them or quote them either. I think I at least did Mike that courtesy. He really pretty much said that people like me are heretics in his original article. What about the whole body of my teachings, or Tullian’s or Steve Brown’s teachings. I could really throw in the apostle Paul but that is controversial. I have been thinking very prayerfully and carefully through these issues for years, and someone that’s been following this blog for some time contacted me who was troubled about Mike’s teaching. Did you say the same thing on Mike’s blog? We all really need to be more irenic about this, including me.

    • It is hard not to be harsh in response to a harsh article filled with strawman arguments that target an essential part of our new covenant with God. Truthfully, there is a lot of questions about what Mike preaches. As someone who participated in his ministry for a short time, I saw the essence of what this article did repeated over and over. I don’t dislike Mike but I do cringe at his message.

      This was shared with me soon after I started tuning in to Mike’s ministry. http://www.birthpangs.org/articles/kcp/Aberrant%20Practises.pdf
      This group did put the effort into looking at a large body of what mike teaches. It is strong and pointed.

      • Dear friend,
        Ernie Gruen’s long, crusade against Mike and his ministry is well-documented – as is Ernie’s repentance, renunciation of his own criticism and (praise God) his eventual restoration with Mike before his death in 2009.

  2. Mike can’t accept the message of grace because all of his lifetime teachings based on “loving God with all your being” (the essence of the LAW, based on OUR perfomance to obey) will crumble down to dust 🙂 … surely it is difficult for the “rich man” to enter into the kingdom of His grace 🙂

    • We believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. No ordinance, ritual, work, or any other activity on the part of man is required or accepted in order to be saved. This saving grace of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, also sanctifies us by enabling us to do what is pleasing in God’s sight in order that we might be progressively conformed to the image of Christ. (Jn. 1:12–13; 6:37–44; 10:25–30; Acts 16:30–31; Rom. 3:1–4:2; 8:1–17, 31–39; 10:8–10; Eph. 2:8–10; Phil. 2:12–13; Titus 3:3–7; 1 Jn. 1:7, 9) – IHOPKC’s official Statement of Faith

      Which of these statements are charging with “denying the power of ‘grace”?

      Interestingly enough, 12 years ago when Mike was teaching on the Song of Songs, the common accusation leveled against his was that he was teaching a “cheap grace” and that he was extending grace far too liberally, making forgiveness, “too easy for sinners”.

        • Brother Jim,
          How can I experience the weight-lifting power of the grace of God and NOT have a corresponding expression of gratitude to the One Who lifted my load? This is the reality of what Mike is saying. Paul intones the same in saying: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1)
          The very, substantive practical dynamic of a life that has been touched by the real grace of God is going to be a Romans 5:5 desire, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
          Theologically, to allow for something less is to advocate a grace that keeps my self-indulgent will squarely on the throne of my life.
          Bonhoeffer argues the same in the beginning of his “Cost of Discipleship” – No different than Mike’s encouragement.
          Listen to Mike’s teachings on Song of Songs my brother. You may come to a different perspective on how Mike views the grace of God. the grace and peace of our Lord to you.

  3. Brother Jim,
    How can I experience the weight-lifting power of the grace of God and NOT have a corresponding expression of gratitude to the One Who lifted my load? This is the reality of what Mike is saying. Paul intones the same in saying: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1)
    The very, substantive practical dynamic of a life that has been touched by the real grace of God is going to be a Romans 5:5 desire, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
    Theologically, to allow for something less is to advocate a grace that keeps my self-indulgent will squarely on the throne of my life.
    Bonhoeffer argues the same in the beginning of his “Cost of Discipleship” – No different than Mike’s encouragement.
    Listen to Mike’s teachings on Song of Songs my brother. You may come to a different perspective on how Mike views the grace of God. the grace and peace of our Lord to you.

    BTW – I bless your passionate zeal for the extravagant grace of God, brother! He is indeed, that gracious! :o)

    • Jonathan,

      I appreciate your tone and persistence. I don’t know that I disagree with your posts, although I am not a Bonhoeffer fan. Cheap grace is even too expensive, much less costly grace. Grace is free, a free gift, Ro 3:24; 5:15-17; 6:23. This is actually an essential feature of normal orthodox Bb vanilla Christianity.

      My objection is to Mike Bickle’s post which I quote from and directly answer in this article. You are trying to say, I should look at the corpus of Mike Bickle’s teachings. He has other teachings which are different. However, unless he has a subsequent statement which recants this particular post, it would appear that the position I am refuting is his actual position as of now. He has boldly written a diatribe in which he has very unsympathetically put words in my mouth (as a ‘hyper-grace’ preacher I’m one of his targets) and then called me a heretic for them. He has powerfully articulated a clearly worded works-oriented salvation. I don’t need to look further than this, because I am looking at what he actually said here. One cannot forever be looking elsewhere for clarity, if a teacher is not articulating what he wants to say in his present text then when will it be articulated. I think you could look at any of the posts on this blog or in my book, and you are going to get a monolithic and singular message: Christ and Him crucified.

      He said in the article, “One-third of our salvation is complete (the salvation of our spirit), but the other two parts are not yet complete in our experience (the salvation of our soul and body). All believers have received the fullness of grace in their spirit (legal position), and yet they can still live far below it in their daily experience (living condition).” This means that we can easily trump the power of the blood of Christ by our daily experience and living condition. He clearly links this, not to our sanctification, but to our salvation. These are his words, and they are the words I am reacting to. This is an unsubstantiated position and one which I will continue to contest.

      The stunning message of the gospel is that the blood of Christ is sufficient to save us. Mere belief is enough to obtain eternal life (John 3:16). While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. We do not continue then by works, but by grace, which is the general message of the epistle to the Galatians, (Galatians 1:3,4,6, 2:16,19). The so-called “hyper-grace” message is actually the regular vanilla gospel that every page of the NT articulates. Just as Paul opposed Peter himself, no matter who Mike Bickle may be and how great his ministry edifice may be, and how large his corpus of teachings, he is dead wrong about this most important point. I’m not going to make this easy or pleasant in the name of a false unity, I’m so sorry.

  4. Pingback: The blood of Christ plus NOTHING. | The Grace Space

  5. Jim,

    The key word in our brother Jonathan’s post is “NOT” as he was articulating Mr. Bickle’s views. This is a subtle way of saying, but, and, or “put on the brakes” with this grace teaching. This confuses believers at best and eclipses the gospel for unbelievers.
    In regards to your response to Jonathan. Thank you for not backing down from the free grace of God, as we see Paul in Galatians doing. It really is not a matter of semantics. We are saved by grace alone apart from no works of our own or we are not. Sola Gratia.

    Standing in Grace,


  6. Thanks for the message. Agreed. We cannot love Him, much less fulfill the first commandment ourselves. Love your line about “we must forget about the command” – Yes! Instead, it is essential that we first see and experience Him as an extravagant lover who loves us unconditionally – even in our weakness and failure to obey Him perfectly. In our imperfection, He does not cast us aside as a hopeless hypocrite who is insincere in his attempt to love Him; He see our love, though it be weak – He calls it sincere and embraces us with His full, agape embrace.
    I press into the first commandment only as I first encounter His extravagant, agape love for me. I behold and experience His love and the experience of that love gives me grace to love Him wholeheartedly in return.

  7. Question for clarification….For Jonathan….Do you mean that grace is infused into us to love Him wholeheartedly?

  8. I have a great deal of issue with the fruit I’m seeing within the church as a result of seeking signs and wonders or believing that they’re a sign of maturity(Matthew 16:4), the belief that Christ requires us to clean up the world before He’ll return (Matthew 24), etc… being pushed especially hard by NAR and their affiliates.

    However, I don’t find much wrong with THIS message from Mike. The gospel IS about salvation with no strings attached save that we place our faith in Him who died for us. HOWEVER, it’s impossible to have faith in Christ and not be a new creation, no longer a slave to sin.

    “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. I see no way someone could have faith(conviction) in a perfectly holy God and not feel the need to conform their life to that righteousness while claiming to serve Him.

    Not to say that we can achieve righteousness out of our own efforts. The Holy Spirit does that work in us. Just that it’s where our heart should be.

    There will be many that say “Lord, Lord” and will hear “I never knew you”. This generation likes the idea of “judge not lest ye be judged” but not the idea that morality is absolute, that God is perfectly just, and that both are inherent in His nature.

    It takes more than faith to be saved(gasp!). It takes faith IN JESUS, a person of the holy, just, and powerful God who promises destroying wrath on that which is incompatible with His nature. If we are truly convinced(having faith) of that we should be spending our time getting to know His ways, and delighting in them.

    If you have your faith in a god that doesn’t care about your sin because you get warm fuzzies when you think about him, seek the true God who offers salvation for your inadequacy, direction in His ways, and sanctified life everlasting.

    • Thanks for your comment. I am constantly reminded of Paul’s statement, “Romans 3:8 ESV

      And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.”

      Here is the question for you. Jesus has suffered and died for our sins. For which sins shall we say His blood is insufficient? According to to 1 John 2:1-2, if a believer sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. Who in heaven will say, no Jesus, your shed blood was not enough? Are you willing to say that besides raw unbelief in Christ there is a sin for which Jesus’ blood is insufficient substitute? If you do, you harbor unbelief, that it is our works which save us and not faith in Christ. Yet it is the blood of Jesus which washes us from all sin (1 John 1:7). “All” is a very inclusive word.

      Do you think that I thereby promote sinful license, by saying the gospel is actually true? Those who are of faith in Christ and Christ alone are saying that their sin is worth the blood of the Savior. They are saying that their sin is dirt which needs washing. They are confessing that they cannot possibly save themselves any more than the murderer can cause his victim to become unmurdered. Mercy and grace do not lead to greater license — they lead to greater holiness. They are in fact the only gateway to greater holiness.

      Thanks again for you comment!

    • I also wanted to speak to the “Lord Lord” verse again, which I have referenced in many blog posts. First, let’s quote the whole scripture:

      Matthew 7:21-23 ESV

      “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

      They called Him Lord, but they actually thought that by their deeds they were HIs Lord. They thought that because they did mighty works (!) in His name, that they should be able to demand that He accept them. However, acceptance does not work on that basis. They are asking that He overlook their sins (Romans 3:23) on the basis of their dramatic works. This is the exact error of many people in the charismatic world. I might add that I myself am charismatic, I speak in tongues and believe in all of the gifts. However, I do not think that this is what justifies me. It is the blood of Jesus only and alone which justifies mee. This is very good news because I am granted eternal life as a gift (John 3:16). Those who think that their good works can manipulate the favor of God are directly making Cain’s error. It is not the act of offering and sacrifice which justifies us, it is the substance of the sacrfice. If we come with anything to offer as our confession besides Christ and Him crucified, we come thinking that we can manipulate God by our actions and thus make ourselves out to be God’s god (1 John 1:10). This saying, “depart from Me, I never knew you” tells us that it is not so much about our performance and knowledge of God, but about His knowledge of us. It is by faith in His grace and mercy, His gift of propitiation, that we come to be known by Him (1 John 2:1-2).

      So many quote this “Lord Lord” passage as being a “gotcha” verse against the radical grace of the gospel, but ironically it is the opposite. It says, if you come saying “Lord Lord” as if YOU made Him Lord by your works, He will reject you. We must come saying “savior savior” with fatih in His works.

      • “They are asking that He overlook their sins (Romans 3:23)”

        This seems to me to be exactly what Mike is talking about. He’s saying that God doesn’t overlook our sins, dragging His righteousness down to mans level any more than man can somehow prop his own righteousness up to God’s level (legalism).

        Instead, His righteousness is preserved and our deficit is forgiven. What he seems to be trying to say is that if Jesus is your Lord you’re seeking first His kingdom and righteousness.

        These people in Matthew 7 do seem to recognize the need for Jesus to be their Lord and believed that’s what they had because they had performed signs they assumed were coming from Him (as the sons of Sceva tried to do things “in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches”). Obviously, plenty will perform signs and wonders by the power of demons, deceiving not only themselves.

        I’ve experienced first hand how much those in NAR encourage people to accept signs as a demonstration of righteousness (instead of the fruit of the Spirit). Mike himself has been mislead by many (Bob Jones, etc…) who weren’t walking with God but put on a “good show”.

        I realize how ironic it is that Mike is teaching to look for the fruit of the Spirit to determine if a belief is one onto salvation. I just think these quotes show double-mindedness more than directly demonstrating incorrect doctrine.

  9. “Our only hope… is sloppy agape, fire insurance, free grace.” I need to thank you for saying this. I wasn’t looking for it but this kind of talk along these lines from some christians has bothered me for years (as if I wasn’t saved and obviously the enemy used it). I came to God based on the gospel and then didn’t hear distortion until some years later. My dad told me no matter what you’re going to heaven. I think as in the godfather “he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse”. I was 7 years old at the time. I didn’t know much but I didn’t need to know anything else. I heard the gospel ( and btw at 7 this didn’t make me go and want to sin). Then the rules came later but God has been good through it all giving me scriptures like “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. I couldn’t understand the seeming contradiction between that and other scriptures but thank God I can see it a lot better now. Your message for Bickle may be harsh but God uses it all for our good.


  10. I was preaching the gospel to my girlfriend who is also a Christian and she told me you sound like the people from the “gay church”. I don’t know what I said exactly but I do know I never said it’s okay to sin. Our Lord was around sinners and I know they weren’t perfect. His disciples weren’t perfect even into the New Testament Paul had to rebuke Peter. I just believe the gospel is so far reaching and it’s for everyone. There may be non believers that love sin whatever kind it may be but I don’t believe it’s guaranteed that Jesus has to come into someone’s life who is gay and immediately change that. He can do that when and if He wants to. He doesn’t come into any of our lives and fix EVERYTHING up. Otherwise like Paul said if righteousness comes by the law Christ died in vain (see Gal 2:21). We’ve all got issues especially considering that our righteousness is as filthy rags. I’m just saying that some choose a gay lifestyle sincerely but whether it’s sincere or not does not mean that that sin is gonna stop Jesus from coming into their life. I don’t know if this was the place to post this but you’re talking about the power of the gospel. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *