In Loving Memory: Dave Hunt 1926 – 2013

Friday, April 5, 2013, Dave Hunt drew his final breath and entered into the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His beloved wife Ruth was at his side.

Photo of Mr. Hunt

Born in 1926, David Charles Haddon Hunt enjoyed the advantages of a godly upbringing and placed his trust in Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and Lord in his early teens. (Read more…)


Catholic Pope Offers a False Hope

Question asked of Dave Hunt:
Before he resigned (back in 2005), Pope Benedict XVI declared to 23,000 people in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, “Whoever seeks peace and the good of the community with a pure conscience, and keeps alive the desire for the transcendent, will be saved even if he lacks biblical faith.” Could this explain how pagans throughout history who never heard the gospel could be saved?

Everyone in every culture and time in history knows from abundant evidence that the universe was created by a God infinite in wisdom, power, and purity (Rom 1). God promises, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jer 29:13). He will reveal Himself to everyone who truly seeks Him.

Not everyone, however, who claims to seek God, is seeking the true God. Most “seekers” are seeking a false god of their own imagination that will give them what they want. This is a flaw in the “seeker friendly” church growth movement: giving people the “religion” they want instead of the convicting truth they need. The Athenians claimed to be seeking truth; but when Paul on Mars’ hill revealed the true God to them, “some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.” Very few believed (Acts 17:32-34).

The truth will never be popular. Many Jews, confronted by biblical proof, knew that Jesus was the Messiah but did not want their false view of the Messiah disturbed. So Jesus said, “And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not” (Jn 8:45). Benedict XVI did not tell his fawning audience the truth but what they wanted to hear (2 Tm 4:3,4).

The Pope’s words are unbiblical and misleading. Having a “desire for the transcendent,” does not equal seeking the one true God. Nor can seeking “peace and the good of the community” be equated with receiving as personal Savior the One who “made peace through the blood of his cross” (Col 1:20). Nor has anyone a “pure conscience”: “There is none righteous, no, not one…all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…” (Rom 3:10, 23). God has written His law in every conscience and every person knows that he has broken that law many times. When Jesus said to the scribes and Pharisees, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her,” the woman’s accusers, “convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one…” (Jn 8:7-9). The Pope and his Church offer false hope to sinners.

[Repentance] Q&A With Dave Hunt

urgent callQuestion: What is repentance—the same as faith? How do you explain its absence in John:3:16; 5:24; 6:47; Galatians; Acts:16:31, etc.? You have written in An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith , p. 223, that those “living in sin” have no right to assurance of salvation. Is assurance based on behavior or on the objective promises of God’s Word? Please clarify where you stand on “Lordship salvation,” which ties salvation and assurance to faith and repentance as conditions for eternal life.

Answer: Faith is the only condition of salvation: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” To be saved, one must only believe the gospel. That is the promise of God’s Word.

As for repentance, I agree that the word is not in the Gospel of John, nor in Paul’s definition of the gospel in 1 Corinthians:15:1-4, etc. But Paul did preach “repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts:20:21); and Jesus said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Lk 13:3). Yet to overemphasize repentance could lead the unsaved person to imagine that he somehow must reform his life before he is acceptable to God and can be saved.

Jesus didn’t ask the woman at the well to repent, nor did He ask repentance from the woman taken in adultery, or from Nicodemus, or from any of the disciples that He called to follow Him. But He brought them to repentance. It is innate in the publican’s guilty cry under conviction of the Holy Spirit, “God be merciful to me, a sinner” (Lk 18:13 )! In believing the gospel and thereby accepting Christ as Savior in His sacrifice for sins, one is admitting to being a sinner worthy of God’s judgment, to being sorry for his sin and desiring deliverance from its penalty. In that very act of faith in Christ for dying in one’s place, there is repentance and turning from sin to the Savior.

Your question reworded what I wrote. I didn’t say that those living in sin “have no right to assurance of salvation.” I said, “We offer no comfort or assurance to those living in sin; we don’t say, ‘You’re okay because you once made a decision for Christ.’ Instead we warn, ‘If you are not willing right now to live fully for Christ as Lord of your life, how can you say that you were really sincere when you supposedly committed yourself to Him…in the past?’ And to all, we declare with Paul, ‘Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith…’ (2 Cor:13:5).”

In that section of the book, I refute the ideas that one must be baptized, speak in tongues, etc., in order to be saved. I specifically say, “Are we not then saved by our works? Indeed, not….Good works bring rewards; a lack of them does not cause loss of salvation. The person who hasn’t even one good work ( all of his works are burned up) is still ‘saved; yet so as by fire’ (1 Cor:3:13-15). We would not think such a person saved at all….Yet one who…has no good works…if he has truly received the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior, is then ‘saved as by fire’….”

What I wrote is certainly not a promotion of “Lordship salvation”—the idea that if one is not living in complete obedience to Christ as Lord, then one is not saved. I don’t believe that John MacArthur, who is accused of teaching this doctrine, means that good works save. Rather, he is saying that works are an indication of whether a person is saved or not. Scripture declares that not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord,” is saved. It is not only what one says , but what one believes in the heart —and the heart is deceitful. Jesus himself warns that many, calling Him Lord, will claim to have done great works in His name and yet have never been saved (Mt 7:21-23).

Many “make a commitment for Christ” and later turn away because they had not been sincere. The person who has fallen into sin and would like to turn from that sin, but it has a strong hold on him, may be a Christian. But the person who is living in sin, doesn’t care, and claims he is saved because he once made a “decision for Christ” was probably never saved. It would be wrong to comfort such persons with, “You believe in Christ, so you can’t be lost no matter how you live.”

Neither you nor I know anyone’s heart. People stand before witnesses, swear their undying love, then divorce the one to whom they made the vows. Did they really understand the seriousness of the vows they made? In their hearts, did they really intend to keep them? So it can be with those who claim to receive Christ or to believe in Him. For some, these are just words they repeated. The faith and conviction has not touched their hearts. God alone knows the heart. But a good indication of whether or not one’s faith ever was real can be found in present attitude and actions.

In my book I did not say (nor have I ever) that if a person is not living for Christ, he is not saved. I said then, as now, that one’s attitude of heart and actions are a good indication of whether one ever really understood and believed the gospel. Those who are not living for Christ but claim to be saved ought to be warned to repent, as many scriptures declare.