Reformed Baptist Jimmy Demoss Wants Less Gospel and More Works to get Rewards

On the first page of his “Gospelism Exposed”, Jimmy Demoss refers to some “Primitive Baptists who did not believe that one had to believe the gospel to be saved”. For the rest of his 102 page rant against those who put too much emphasis on the gospel, Demoss attempts to define the gospel in terms which would leave out from the gospel each and every one of the “five points”

Therefore if you deny total depravity and insist that “divine activity” depends on human ability, Demoss would say that this has nothing to do with the gospel “you have to believe to be saved”. Therefore if you believe that God’s election is based on the human condition of believing, Demoss would say that this has nothing to do with the question of which gospel you need to believe.

John 10:26 Jesus: But you don’t believe because you are not My sheep. 27 My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.

But Demoss believes that, even if you reverse this and believe that “people are not sheep because they don’t believe”, this still has nothing to do with the gospel you need to believe. Demoss teaches that the sheep of Jesus do not necessarily listen to or obey the gospel Jesus preached . Sure, Jesus said, if you are elect you will believe, and if you are not elect you will not believe. Demoss denies that anybody who believes the gospel needs to agree with Jesus about that. First of all, Demoss teaches that you can completely disagree with Jesus and say instead that “you become a sheep because you believe”. Second, and this is what Demoss most
continually stresses, if you are lost, you should only pay attention to what is taught in the book of Acts (not in the gospel of John).

Demoss teaches that, whatever gospel may be taught by Jesus in the gospels, or by the apostles in the epistles, the lost should only pay attention to the gospel found in Acts. Without speculating about all his motives for his dogma about “only in Acts”, we have to ask where the Bible teaches “the gospel for the lost is only in one place” and “the gospel for the non-lost is found in other places”. Is Demoss a dispensationalist, with one gospel for some people, and another gospel for another time and place and people? Does Demoss so hate the doctrine of unconditional election that Demoss deceives himself that the doctrine of unconditional election is not to be found in the book of Acts?

Does Demoss believe that Christians after they are “saved” (justified before God?) move on to some second stage where they don’t need the gospel anymore, and that these “already saved” people only need the law in order for them to engage in “the human activity” which will bring them “greater rewards”? Does Demoss think that once Christians are “saved”, they then have to prove to themselves (and others) that
they got saved by believing “the gospel for the lost in Acts”?

Does Demoss think that the way Christians get assurance (and rewards!) is to obey enough of God’s law? How much of God’s law does one have to obey to prove to yourself that you believed the gospel? Is it enough obeying the law to live as right as most of the other people in your church? Or would be better to focus on your sins and to wonder about yourself (and others) if you are living well enough to be sure that you believed (the gospel for the lost)? Was Demoss himself “saved” by means of a gospel found only in the book of Acts?

Mr Demoss writes as an arrogant and self-righteous man of religion. Not only does he think that he’s living right enough to know that he is saved but he seems to think that everything in the Bible (besides the
book of Acts) is only for mature well grown second stage Christians like himself.

John 9: 34 “You were born entirely in sin,” the Pharisees replied, “and are you trying to teach us?” Then they threw the sinner out

Here’s the gospel Jesus taught in John 10:3 The sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought all his own outside, he goes ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. They will never follow a stranger; instead they will run away from him, because they don’t recognize the voice of strangers.

Demoss believes that you can completely reject any idea of God’s effectual calling and still believe the gospel (for the lost in Acts). Where Jesus teaches that His sheep will listen to Him, Demoss teaches that we become sheep by believing a different gospel than Jesus taught, one that leaves out election—, whatever Jesus said is law or something not necessarily for today, but not good news for a lost sinner, according to Demoss. While lost sinners may not recognize the voice of Jesus, they have another gospel in the book of Acts which will not be so complicated (ie, offensive) to them.

In John 10, Jesus teaches that He will only die for the sheep and that the sheep will only believe His gospel because they are His sheep for whom He died. But this kind of thing, while it may be accepted in some advanced theology class for people like Demoss who like to study books, this kind of talk about election being about who Jesus died for, is ruled out by Demoss as being a suitable gospel for lost people to ever need to hear.

John 10: 14 “I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me,15 as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the sheep.

Demoss believes that you can (and should) be ignorant about any idea of Christ having died only for the sins of elect, and this will make it more possible for you to believe (the gospel for the lost in Acts). In fact, the gospel Demoss wants sinners to hear does not get into any doctrine about what Christ’s death means or about atonement or propitiation which justly pays for sins, so that it would be unjust for those sinners (the sheep) to pay for their sins. Demoss wants to have a different gospel than Jesus teaches in John 10, a gospel that only tells the fact that Christ died and rose again. This is why Demoss writes 102 pages against “Gospelism”. He writes, “this is the name I gave this group because of its almost complete emphasis on the gospel”. But then Demoss adds—“or what they claimed was the gospel”.

It seems to me that Jimmy Demoss is trying to have it both ways. On the one hand, he wants to say, if you agree that Jesus died and rose again, then you are saved if after that you live right. But on the other hand, Demoss suggests that “this group” believes what they claim is the gospel but what is not the gospel. Does this mean that, if we believe the gospel taught by Jesus in John 10, we are not believing
the gospel and therefore we are not saved (since we have the wrong gospel?)

Demoss cannot seem to say that straight out—these people are lost because they believe the false gospel. To say that, he might have to talk more about what is the doctrine of the true gospel. Instead, Demoss switches to the idea that those in this “group” are not living right. The people in this group are wanting to sin, which is why they have this different gospel about Jesus dying only for the sheep. Thus Demoss writes “many of these people have a little or no connection to a Christian church and have no accountability.”

Instead of telling us that we have a false gospel and teaching us what the true gospel is, Demoss focuses on living right. And it doesn’t matter if you belong to a Methodist or a Lutheran or a freewill church, it’s still a Christian gospel church and if you don’t belong to a church, then you are not living right.

On page 106 (almost to the end of His many pages on how we are all going to be judged according to our works, on the basis of works), Demoss lists several areas in which “people in this group” are not living right. Have I believed enough, these guys must think. For Demoss, this question is not about “is the nature of my saving faith such that it causes me to live and work enough”. Demoss is not being critical about the nature of our faith (as in, are we too dogmatic or too doubtful). Demoss is thinking that saying that Jesus dying only for the sheep is “too much” and so Demoss turns that objection to the object and content of our faith into the accusation that a gospel which includes election is “too much”.

You can say, Jesus died for everybody and that includes everybody, and that “gospel” won’t make anybody ask themselves if they “believe enough”. You can say, well I don’t know but I just feel in my heart that “Jesus died for me”, and Demoss would not object, because that’s not too much for him (even though the Bible never tells any sinner by name before they believe that Christ died for them personally).

But if you agree with the gospel Jesus in John 10 that Jesus died for the sheep, then that’s way too much for Demoss. In point of fact, it’s not enough. Many sinners do believe that Jesus died only for the
elect, and still are not believing the gospel, because along with that truth of His death only for the sins of His elect, these sinners add to that the condition of God causing them to live right. So instead of asking “do I believe in election” (which Demoss rejects as part of the gospel), these sinners instead “do I live right enough to know that I believe” So Demoss fakes some kind of pity for us, with an hypothesis that we can’t be sure that we believe this “extra gospel” about election. But in reality, Demoss is accusing those “in the group” of not living as well as he and those in his church live. He won’t say directly that we have a false gospel. Instead, he wonders if “we observe all the things Jesus commanded”.

Demoss is not asking if we imitate Jesus by not answering evil with evil. Demoss is wondering about us because we have no “affiliation” to a church (like his or the Methodists or some club where there is accountability and dues). DEmoss explains that the gospel is “not enough…The Shepherd does more-much more” (106). But Demoss is not talking about Jesus the Shepherd of John 10, the one who dies only for
the sheep and the one whose gospel the sheep hear. Instead , when Demoss talks about the Shepherd, he is talking about “the elders of the church”. If you are not a member of a church, or if your church does not have elders, Demoss warns, then Jesus dying on the cross is not enough. How are you going to live right, if you are not a member of some church. And if you don’t live right, how are you going to know if you really believe the gospel (the gospel for the lost in the book of Acts)?

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9 Comments on “Reformed Baptist Jimmy Demoss Wants Less Gospel and More Works to get Rewards”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    Faith in the gospel, being the immediate result of God’s imputation of Christ’s death to the elect, is involved in justification, and this faith is necessary or the person is not yet justified. 2. This leads to a question: faith in what? Is it faith that Christ’s death has always been imputed to me and therefore I was never in Adam or under God’s wrath ? NO. .

    3. If you wait to believe the gospel until you know that you have been justified, you will never believe the gospel.
    4. Nobody is justified unless they believe the gospel. Knowing and believing the gospel is NOT the cause or condition of justification. If you are not yet believing the gospel , you are still condemned in Adam and under God’s wrath. Remember, there was a time when Christ Himself was under the wrath of God.

    I believe in what? Not in my believing. And yet some who teach eternal justification (Gill) say that, as long as I explain it this way, believing cannot help being the condition, so either a. i believe in freewill or b i am stupid or c I disagree with God or d. all three

    Assurance involves knowing that you have believed the gospel.
    If the object of your faith is “I was always justified”, whatever assurance you have is in a false gospel.

    John 3: 36 The one who believes in the Son has lasting life, but the one who does not believe in the Son will not see life. Instead, the wrath of God remains on the one who does not believe in the Son.

  2. markmcculley Says:

    D.M. Lloyd-Jones from “The Puritans: Their Origins and Successors”:

    “At this point I would make a comment, and put it in the form of a question. Is there not a real danger of our becoming guilty of a very subtle form of Arminianism if we maintain that correct doctrine and understanding are essential to our being used by the Spirit of God? It is sheer Arminianism to insist upon a true and correct understanding as being essential.

    https://121youth.wordpress.com/2010/08/25/what-it-means-to-be-truly-reformed-by-ray-ortlund/

    Ray Ortlund— “This is the acid test of a truly Reformed ministry –
    that other believers need not be Reformed in order to be respected and included in our hearts. Whatever divides us emotionally from other Bible-believing, Christ-honoring Christians is a “plus” we’re adding to the gospel. It is the Galatian impulse of self-exaltation. It can even become a club with which we bash other Christians, at least in our thoughts, to punish, to exclude and to force into line with us. What unifies the church is the gospel. What defines the gospel is the BIBLE…. What proves that the gospel hermeneutic has captured our hearts is that we are not looking down on Arminian believers but
    lifting them up, not seeing ourselves as better but grateful for their
    contribution to the cause, not standing aloof but embracing them
    freely, not wishing they would become like us but serving them in love
    .
    Ortlund–My Reformed friend, can you move among other Christian groups and really enjoy them? Do you admire them? Even if you disagree with them in some ways, what is the emotional tilt of your heart – toward them or away from them? If your Reformed theology has morphed functionally into Galatian sociology, the remedy is not to abandon your Reformed theology. The remedy is to take your Reformed theology to a deeper level…. The proof that we are Reformed will be all the wonderful Christians we discover around us who are not Reformed.

    A lot of reformed people are ready to put the Confessions they signed onto the dungheap (without resigning from their presbytery) in the name of tolerance, they show their hatred and intolerance of the five points.

    Don Fortner– “I am fully aware that some will react to what I have written here by saying, “That’s compromise. I am not about to embrace as my brother a person who says he believes something contrary to the gospel of the grace of God.” That is your privilege, if you so choose; but I am afraid you will have to exclude Aaron, Solomon, Peter, and Paul from the church to make room for your swollen head and swollen heart. For my part, I would rather run the risk of embracing a hundred false brethren, who may cause me great pain and sorrow, than that of shutting one of God’s saints out of my life.

    Fortner is a guy who called me a jackass the first time I asked him a question about what he had just preached.

  3. markmcculley Says:

    isn’t it wonderful that the book of Acts only said “believe that Jesus
    died and rose again and is Lord ” and didn’t get into all that adanced threatening stuff in Galatians about “if righteousness comes by law, then Christ died for nothing? irony alert

    they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” (3:7)

    We must learn to ask “faith in what”. If you have faith in the
    flesh, you may “be the answer to your own prayers” and have sex with Hagar, but this is not justifying faith. It does not honor God’s
    promise about the seed and about the righteousness established by the seed.l.

    “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen
    through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In
    thee shall all nations be blessed.” (3:8)
    “Then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” (3:9)

    On account of what Christ did at the cross.–Christ died for the sins of the elect alone. So through which faith? many will cry Lord, Lord, to whom the Lord will say: I never knew you.

    The Judaizers called upon the Lord and sincerely believed in the
    resurrection, and yet they were still “fallen from grace” and under
    God’s curse. Their “good deeds” like circumcision brought forth fruit,
    and that fruit was death: Romans 7:5-6.

    Galatians 5: 2 Take note! I, Paul, tell you that if you get yourselves
    circumcised, Christ will not benefit you at all. 3 Again I testify to
    every man who gets himself circumcised that he is obligated to keep
    the entire law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by the law are
    ALIENATED FROM CHRIST. You have FALLEN FROM GRACE

    Galatians 3:2 I only want to learn this from you: Did you receive the
    Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so
    foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now going to be made complete by the flesh?

    Jimmy Demoss does not think that his works for assurance are flesh. Demoss does not think that his works for rewards are works of the law. But they are. Demoss has not yet submitted to the righteousness from God.

  4. markmcculley Says:

    Self-exaltation is a mark which invariably distinguishes the preachers of a perverted gospel. While their doctrine has a direct tendency to obscure the glory of Christ it tends to magnify themselves. Their followers, instead of hearing the voice of Christ, are brought into subjection to their preacher and this preacher becomes the bond of union among them. “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to DRAW AWAY DISCIPLES AFTER THEM.” (Acts 20:30)

    This spirit which began to work in the days of the apostles, is the foundation of all that clerical dominion which constitutes the very strength of antichrist and the support of his accursed kingdom.We greatly mistake the mind of the spirit in the Scriptures if we imagine that the marks of a false church are to be found nowhere except within the pale of the Papacy.according to the fruits they bring forth.
    https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/the-effects-of-a-perverted-gospel-by-william-rushton/

  5. markmcculley Says:

    1. Jesus died for all your sins

    2. but you need to do more than assent to this, you need to trust this

    3. trusting this means not only that Jesus died for everybody, but you trusting that he died for you

    4. but if he died for everybody, and this means that he died for you, then you have only assented to it and not trusted

    5. it’s one thing to say the chair can hold you up, and another thing to sit in the chair

    6. so the chair holds everybody, but if you don’t sit in it, the chair holding you won’t be enough

    7. even the demons assent to the fact that the chair holds everybody, but the chair was not for demons but only for all humans

    8. so if you only assent to the fact that Jesus died for you, then Jesus died for all you but that won’t save you unless you trust it

    9. so you can’t trust in your assent, but you can trust in your trust

    10 the death of Jesus for you plus your trust in that (not only assent) will save you

    11. so remember, you don’t need to trust in order to know that Jesus died for you, but the death of Jesus for everybody will not save you unless you trust that Jesus died for you

    12 because obviously you could not trust that Jesus died for you unless we told you already that Jesus died for everybody

    13. so you don’t need to wait until you trust to know already that Jesus died for you

    14. but the death of Jesus still won’t save you unless you trust it and make it save you

    15 we should not talk about election, and even saying this is talking about election

    16. we should not talk about election, because it might cause people to question if Jesus died for them and the gospel tells everybody that Jesus died for them, and there’s no need to wait to assent to that

    17 but assent to the death of Jesus for everybody is something different from saying that you needed Jesus to die for you and that you trust that Jesus did die for you

    18. of course Jesus did die for everybody but only those who know that they needed that will be saved

    19 the death of Jesus for sinners who don’t know their need and don’t trust it is not enough to save them

    20 the death of Jesus for a sinner can do nothing to save a sinner from the different sin of not needing that and not trusting that

    http://www.4himnet.com/bnyberg/The_Sin_of_Unbelief_Revisited.pdf

  6. markmcculley Says:

    S Freeman–For some, moral progress is presumed to be part of our “synergy,” our cooperation with God in our salvation. Thus, many would look for moral progress as a sign that indeed the work of God in their lives is truly taking place and bearing fruit. We are told that the “fruit of the Spirit is self-control (Gal 5:22-23). Surely this constitutes moral
    progress!

    It is in thinking about this that we need to be careful, even somewhat precise. The distinction I am making is important, and perhaps too easily missed. What St. Paul describes is the “fruit of the Spirit,” and not “moral progress.”

    My parish conversation turned on the example of a recovering
    addict/alcoholic. It is possible for an alcoholic not to drink, to
    live a life of sobriety. What is not possible is for an alcoholic to
    drink responsibly in a controlled manner over a sustained period.
    Thirty years of sobriety will not change this fact. No amount of not drinking will make an alcoholic a better drinker. In that sense, there is no moral progress.

    But surely sobriety is better than drunkenness? It is indeed. But what it represents is not an improved life, but a completely different mode of existence. we can live a moral life in which our best efforts will remain about as good or bad from one day to the next for the rest of our lives.

    The moral life brings its own sad temptations. Most poignant is its tendency to judgment. “If I can do it, so can you!” Those who imagine that the good life is lived through human effort (even with a little Divine assistance) quickly begin to value the human effort above everything else. They imagine that the moral crises of our time can be addressed through argument and legislation. Their judgment inevitably leads them to anger. It is why so many “good” people are today so angry. Our adversary cares nothing about morality: the anger is sufficient for his purposes.

    The burning desire of almost every alcoholic that I know is to be able to drink responsibly. To simply have a drink or two, relaxing with friends, without the insanity that ensues when he loses control, is a never-ending fantasy. But if he yields to the fantasy he discovers that he has made no progress whatsoever. There can be no successful practice of “moral” drinking.

    It can also be seen in the angry judgments of frustrated moralists
    who imagine that with a bit more knowledge, a bit more effort, an
    occasional assist from God, they will, at last, live a better moral
    life, and happily buy one more round for everyone in the bar – from which they will crawl home one more time.

    https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/2015/01/31/unmoral-christian-revisited/

  7. markmcculley Says:

    SF The track of salvation is not, by and large, one of moral
    improvement… The moral life, if rightly understood, cannot be
    measured by outward actions.The Pharisees in the New Testament were morally pure, in an outward sense, but, inwardly, were “full of dead men’s bones.” The excellence of the Pharisees was met with
    condemnation from Christ: they could not see their own emptiness. What passes for a moral life” in our culture, is little more
    than the successful internalization of middle-class behavior. “I’m
    doing ok,” we think. It is quite common for those who are “doing ok,”
    to feel generally secure and superior to those who fail to do so…

    https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/2018/10/24/existential-despair-and-moral-futility/

    https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/2014/12/05/youre-not-better/

    https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/2014/12/17/un-moral-christian/

  8. markmcculley Says:

    Galatians 5:2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept
    circumcision, Christ will be of no gain or profit to you. 3 I testify
    again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to
    keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ,you who would be
    justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.

    If you can subtract something from the gospel and still have the
    gospel, what you subtracted is not the gospel even though it might be something true.

    on the other hand, if you subtract from the gospel that which is the
    gospel, what you have left is not less gospel but no gospel.

    ,
    What some people call a “full gospel” includes us obeying the law, and that full gospel is another gospel, which is not the gospel.at all

    Galatians 1: 6 I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from Him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a
    different gospel— 7 not that there is another gospel

    ts of calvinists “putting the five points on the dungheap”–they are
    not going to be self-righteous about the five points anymore

    why? they always hated the five points

    To those who signed Reformed Confessions in order to become paid
    clergy but also think that “it’s going too far to say all Arminians
    are lost”, remember that “the voice of a stranger they will not hear”.
    If you don’t want any antithesis between two masters (the Confessional Christ) and the Christ you actually preach (Jesus died to offer everybody salvation), then turn your sectarian ordination papers back in and join the other “evangelicals”.

    Proverbs 23: 23 Buy–and do not sell–truth, wisdom, instruction, and
    understanding.

    While this text does not mean that teachers should not be paid for
    teaching, at the least it means that teachers who won’t teach that
    Christ died for the elect alone “because it won’t preach” have sold
    their souls

    https://121youth.wordpress.com/2010/08/25/what-it-means-to-be-truly-reformed-by-ray-ortlund/

    Ray Ortlund teaches false gosel— “This is the acid test of a truly Reformed ministry – that other believers need not be Reformed in order to be respected and included in our hearts. Whatever divides us emotionally from other Bible-believing, Christ-honoring Christians is a “plus” we’re adding to the gospel. It is the Galatian impulse of self-exaltation. It can even become a club with which we bash other Christians, at least in our thoughts, to punish, to exclude and to force into line with us. What unifies the church is the gospel. What defines the gospel is the BIBLE…. What proves that the gospel hermeneutic has captured our hearts is that we are not looking down on Arminian believers but lifting them up, not seeing ourselves as better but grateful for their contribution to the cause, not standing aloof but embracing them freely, not wishing they would become like us but serving them in love
    .

    mor false gospel from self-satisfied Ray Ortlund—My Reformed friend, can you move among other Christian groups and
    really enjoy them? Do you admire them? Even if you disagree with them in some ways, what is the emotional tilt of your heart – toward them or away from them? If your Reformed theology has morphed functionally into Galatian sociology, the remedy is not to abandon your Reformed theology. The remedy is to take your Reformed theology to a deeper level…. The proof that we are Reformed will be all the wonderful Christians we discover around us who are not Reformed.

  9. markmcculley Says:

    when I make judgments about others, I do not so so in haste and my discernment is never snide. There are some who have doctrine without a heart. There are others who have a heart but lack sound doctrine. But i am goldilocks .Eeen when I am negative about those who are negative, I am never haughty. And even when i talk about justification, I talk about regeneration because that’s how I discern if a person is lost and needs me to teach them about regeneration. And me saying this is not throwing shads, because I never name names


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