"Do A Christian's Sins Damn His Soul?"
By Sam Morris-Baptist Preacher
With Refutation By Ken Thomas-Gospel Preacher

By Kenneth E. Thomas

Mr. Morris wrote:

"We take the position that a Christian's sins do not damn his soul. The way a Christian lives, what he says, his character, his conduct, or his attitude toward other people have nothing whatsoever to do with the salvation of his soul. That is settled in Christ and Christ alone.

'Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law.'
'Being justified by faith we have peace with God.'
'He that believeth on the Son hath life and he that believeth not on the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God abideth on him.'
'By grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God not of works lest any man should boast.'
'Neither is there salvation in any other for there is none other name under heaven among men whereby we must be saved.'
'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved,'
'He that believeth on him is not condemned: he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.'"

[I, Kenneth E. Thomas, shall put my answers in brackets-[]- to keep what Mr. Morris has written and what I shall write in reply, separated in the minds of the readers.

When Mr. Morris says, "We take the position that a Christian's sins do not damn his soul." He means by "we," his particular brand of Baptist. The sad fact is that those whom he claims cannot lose their salvation also reject the need for gospel obedience which brings salvation as related in the great commission of Christ and in the cases of conversions found in the Acts of the apostles of Christ as well as in the epistles (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:45-49; Acts 2:22-38,40-41; Acts 8:26-39; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:20-21; Romans 6:3-6; Galatians 3:26-29). Proof is abundant in Mr. Morris' tract as we shall show over and over in this treatise as we reply to his many errors.]

Mr. Morris wrote:

"These and many other Scriptures teach that man's salvation and the justification of his soul depend entirely upon his faith in Christ. The sin question is a Son question; salvation is a trust question damnation is a disbelief question. All the prayers a man may pray, all the Bibles he may read, all the churches he may belong to, all the services he may attend, all the sermons he may practice, all the debts he may pay, all the ordinances he may observe, all the laws he may keep, all the benevolent acts he may perform will not make his soul one whit safer; and all the sins he may commit from idolatry to murder will not make his soul in any more danger. The justification of the human soul is through the atonement of Christ and not through the efforts of man. The way a man lives has nothing whatsoever to do with the salvation of his soul. The thief on the Cross is an illustration of this truth. He taught nobody the Bible. He joined nobody's church. He wasn't baptized. He did not observe the Lord's supper. He paid no debts. He rectified no wrongs, He led nobody to Christ, He turned over no "new leaves." He did not "straighten up his life." He did not "change his way of living." He trusted in Christ; he died. But Christ assured him; "this day shalt thou be with me in paradise."

[You will see that Mr. Morris often gives what I shall call "half truths" in an attempt to prove that man doesn't have to do anything to be saved from alien sins. He says that salvation "depends entirely on his faith in Christ." Well, yes and no! If by entirely, he means at the point of faith before and without doing what Christ commands in His great commission, (which of course he does) he is totally wrong about the matter.

My brethren and I likewise believe in salvation by faith, but not at the point of faith or by faith alone. What kind of faith is it by which one is saved is the question? The Bible answers by an obedient faith" (Acts 2:40; Matthew 7:21; Hebrews 5:9; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:22-25; Hebrews 11). In fact, James says just the opposite to what Mr. Morris teaches. James says that man's salvation is "not by faith alone," or not "entirely by faith" but is by man doing what God commands which God's word calls works. See (James 2:14-26).

My brethren and I do not doubt for a moment that Christ saved the penitent thief as the record states. What Mr. Morris and others of his persuasion fail to take into account is the fact that Jesus could save folks in any way it pleased Him. He could set conditions or He could save unconditionally. He had power on earth to forgive sins (Matthew 9:6). He lived and died under the Old Testament dispensation, keeping the Law of Moses perfectly, giving it its full meaning. Not one jot or tittle was to be disregarded until all was fulfilled (Matthew 5:18; Luke 24:44).When all things were thus fulfilled, he "took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross" (Colossians 2:14). The "great commission" was not in effect in Christ's lifetime. When He died, was buried, resurrected, and exalted as Lord and Christ, His New Testament will came in force and not before (Hebrews 9:15-17). I wonder why folks never use the case during Christ's lifetime when he told one fellow to "sell all he possessed and give to the poor" as a condition of his salvation (Luke 18:22)? Why is this thief so popular? I suggest it is because they array one passage against another in an attempt to escape the force of Christ's "great commission" which includes water baptism as an essential element in salvation from aline sins (Matthew 28:18-10; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:45-49). I wonder? Who can fail to understand the following: "..he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved (Mark 16:16). Sounds pretty plain and simple to me.]

Mr. Morris wrote:

"'Do you mean to say it doesn't make any difference how a man lives?'" No. I do not mean to say anything of the sort; it does make a difference how he lives but that difference relates to his fellow-ship with God, his prayers, his conscience, his joy, his influence, and his heavenly rewards and not to the salvation of his soul. The human soul is damned not by sins," but by "sin"--one sin--the sin of "disbelief in Christ." and the human soul is saved not by acts but by an act--one act--the act of faith. Belief saves: disbelief damns. And though what a man does has nothing to do with the salvation of his soul, it has everything to do with his joy, his usefulness, and his reward in eternity. A Christian's sins will not damn his soul but they will damn some other things for him."

[What gobbledegook!! Here Mr. Morris makes a distinction between man's "fellowship" with God and "the salvation of man's soul." No such distinction is made in God's word. To be in fellowship with God is accomplished by "walking in keeping with divine revelation." Here is how God's word reads: "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth; But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, (that is God and I, ket) and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:6-7). That which secures fellowship with God, likewise secures the salvation of one's soul. The parable of the "two builders" along with many other clearly stated scriptural references, make man's obedience mandatory to the salvation of one's soul to easy to understand for one to be misled in such matters (Matthew 7:21-23;24-28). The idea that all one loses by failing to obey Christ is "his joy, usefulness and reward" is patently false on the very face of it. He actually makes a distinction between being saved in heaven at last and in one's "reward" whereas Jesus taught that inheritance in those heavenly mansions is indeed the reward He offers the obedient (John 14:1-6; Matthew 25:34-40, 46).]

Mr. Morris wrote:

"1. They Will Damn His Fellowship With God.

'This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with the other and the blood of Jesus Christ His son cleanseth us from all sin 1 John 1:5-7.'

Light has no fellowship with darkness; right has no fellowship with wrong; good has no fellowship with evil. God has no fellowship with sin. The Christian that walks in sin travels a lonely road. He travels a road of discouragement. He travels a road of discontent. He travels a dark road. "The way of the transgressor is hard." He gropes, he stumbles, he worries, he frets, he is disillusioned, he has no fellowship with God: but if he walks in the light he has fellowship with God for God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Those sins won't damn his soul, but they will damn his fellowship with God and Christ.

[Again, here is a distinction that Christ's word does not make! When one is out of fellowship with God because of not walking in the light of divine revelation, not only has he lost fellowship with God, he is no longer in a saved relationship with God. If one simply believes what these passages teach, one must reject Mr. Morris' conclusions and accept the Bible doctrine which shows that one may indeed "fall from grace" and if one dies "out of Christ" one cannot receive the blessings that are found only "in Christ" (Galatians 5:4; Revelation 14:13; 22:14). Jesus spoke of how branches that "abide not in Him, will be broken off" (John 15:-4-6)! ]

Mr. Morris wrote:

"2. They Will Damn His Spiritual Joy.

'Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free Spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee. Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness, O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise" Psalm 51:1-15.'

The Scriptures quoted above set out the expression of David following his sins of murder and adultery. After the prophet Nathan rebuked him, David prayed this penitential prayer. He did not ask for the restoration of salvation. He had not lost salvation, but he had lost the joy of salvation. He could not sing of God's righteousness; there was no note of praise in his life. His sin had corroded his heart; the joy of salvation, the song of salvation, the praises of God had been damned by sin.

Take also the case of the apostle Peter when he denied the Lord and cursed him so bitterly when Jesus was being tried. The Scriptures say "when he thought thereon he went out and wept bitterly" and you, too, dear friend, by sin can drive the joy out of your soul, but you cannot drive salvation off the books of God. No sinful Christian will be a happy Christian he will get to heaven alright, his soul will be saved, but he will have lots of sad hours between here and there."

[In saying all of the above, Mr. Morris is actually saying that even murder, adultery, and lying does not effect one's soul salvation. In this, he is totally at odds with bible teaching which shows that sin separates one from God and sin unrepented of will cause eternal separation. 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 deals with a brother in Christ whose soul would be lost unless they took steps leading to his repentance and restoration to Christ. See also such passages as (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:16-21). Heaven's gates are barred to those who persist in such sins of the flesh, even though they have been Christ's disciples or Christians! John stated clearly that heaven is barred to those who are liars as well as idolaters etc, Revelation 21:8]

Mr. Morris wrote:

3. They Will Damn His Conscience.

'And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked. (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds:) 11 Peter 2:7-8.'

Paul was always talking about having a conscience void of offense toward God and man. He could so speak because of his faithful living in Christ. The scriptures quoted above speak of Lot's experience. Lot was a just man, he was a righteous soul, but Lot compromised by living in Sodom, seeing its wickedness and hearing filthy conversation of the wicked, and the scriptures say "he vexed his righteous soul" in this way. He vexed it from day to day. The Lord saved Lot out of the wicked city of Sodom at its destruction, and the compromising Christian will be saved from destruction that comes to this wicked world and its inhabitants, but the compromising Christian, while he is here, like Lot while he was in Sodom, has a very miserable time of it. His conscience vexes him, rebukes him, irritates him, and reminds him of his derelictions."

[Nothing whatsoever in the story of Lot suggests that he involved himself in the sinfulness of the wicked people among whom he lived! Just the opposite! He was continually upset or "vexed" with the wickedness around him. He is called "just Lot" in the very passages used by Mr. Morris in his attempts to prove his ungodly doctrine of "eternal security" or "once saved, always saved." The doctrine is indefensible. It is, as W. Curtiss Porter often said, a fact that most false doctrinal positions can be refuted using the very passages that those who teach error use as their so called "proof texts."]

Mr. Morris wrote:

"4. A Christian's Sins Damn His Prayer Life.

'If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me Psalms 66:18.'
'Behold the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear Isaiah 59:1-2.'

A sinning Christian does not pray much and a praying Christian does not sin much. Sinful living and constant praying will not companionship together. The way we live has nothing to do with the salvation of our souls, but it has a lot to do with our prayer life and whether or not God answers our prayers. If you want to get the most out of praying, you have got to put the most into living. If you regard iniquity in your heart, the Lord will not hear you and your sins and iniquities will separate between you and Him and hide His face until He won't hear you.

Most of us have occasions in our lives when we need very much the help of God and when through prayer we solicit that help, so therefore if you want God to hear you in your special time of distress, you had better have a daily life acceptable to Him.

[ Who can possibly believe that a person from whom God has hidden His face, and who is separated from God, whose prayers he will not hear, is still somehow in fellowship with God? If you can so believe, you may as well stop reading right here and forget trying to come to an understanding of the truth of God. Besides, if such folks are in fellowship with God, others need not worry about their lot in eternity for they, too, have nothing to fear! John says when we cease to "abide in the doctrine of Christ," we "hath not God" (2 John 9-10). One without God is without hope in the world according to (Ephesians 2:12).]

Mr. Morris wrote:

5. They Damn His Influence.

'And Lot went out and spake unto his sons-in-law which married his daughters and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons-in-law Genesis 19:14.'

No man lives to himself and none dies to himself, Every person is bound inextricably to other people. They affect him, he affects them. They either help him or they cause him to be a worse man. Each man is a part of all he meets. Abraham, when the draught come went down into Egypt, quit praying, began to lie and brought a plague upon the Egyptians, Later in life Isaac did the same thing under similar circumstances.

The scripture above sets out the effect of Lot's compromise upon his family. When God sent His special messengers of mercy and told Lot of the coming destruction of Sodom, Lot went out into the city and hunted up his married daughters and urged them with their husbands to flee from Sodom. "He was to his sons-in-law as one who mocked."

His influence over them was gone, his advice to them meant nothing, his warning fell on deaf ears, his fear to them was humorous his anxiety was a mockery. They did not believe him, they did not take him seriously, He had so compromised with the sins of Sodom that in this awful hour of danger his loved ones would not listen to him. He wanted to save them from destruction, "he was to them as one who mocked." To them it was all a huge joke about his being so deeply concerned about the coming destruction.

My, my, what a tragedy! What a heart-breaking tragedy. A pleading father and a mocking family. His sins and compromises in Sodom had not damned his soul, but they had damned his influence over his loved ones. If you want your life to count with your loved ones, if you want them to listen to you and take you seriously when you speak to them about spiritual dangers, then you've got to live a consistent life before them. If you have been living wrongly before God, then renew your vows and covenants in order that your life may influence your loved ones.

While Jacob was down in Haran his family was associated with false gods, and even after he came back to Canaan and made peace with Esau while he was living in Shechem there was among his family strange gods and idolatrous worship and the folks around him did not have much fear of Jacob. But when he arose to go back to Bethel (Gen. 35:1-7) to renew his vows to God, his family put away all their strange gods, 'and the terror of God was upon the cities that were around him and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.'

Dear wayward Christian friend, if your influence does not count much with your family, try looking back to Bethel. It will help your influence over your family.

[Mr. Morris makes a lot of good statements in the above paragraphs for sure. The problem is, he is approaching all this from a false premise. The decisions Lot made many years before took him and his family to live among the wicked people of the fertile and well watered plains, and as sure as you live, "evil associations corrupt good morals" 1 Corinthians 15:33. This had happened to some of these folks surrounding Lot. They had exercised their "free moral agencies" and were influenced by the wicked folks among whom they lived. You will notice however that Lot, his wife, and daughters left with him from the city and were spared. They believed what the angels from God said, they obeyed and went out (Genesis 19:15-17).]

Mr. Morris wrote:

"6. A Christian's Sins Will Damn His Reward In Heaven.

'If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire' 1 Corinthians 3:15.

The difference in salvation and reward. Salvation is a present possession, reward is promised in the future. Salvation is based upon the work of Christ, rewards will be based on our work for Christ. Salvation is a free gift, rewards are earned. Salvation is settled once and for all when we believe, rewards will be measured out when Christ returns. The way I live has nothing whatsoever to do with the salvation of my soul. It has everything to do with what I will get in the way of reward when Christ comes back a second time.

The Scriptures quoted above declares that if our works abide we shall receive a reward, but if they are burned, we shall suffer loss though we ourselves will be saved, as if by fire.

There is more to being saved than just getting to heaven. There is more to being saved than just having our soul cleansed. The cleansing and justifying of our soul is all a work of Christ that is conditioned upon our faith, but our fellowship with God, the joy of our salvation, a peaceful conscience, power in prayer, our whole influence, and an eternal reward are conditioned on our way of living. Sins will not damn our souls, but they will damn and destroy other things; therefore, it behooves every Christian to ask, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" And then do it at all cost.

[I transcribed this as faithfully as humanly possible. The copy from which I copied this, had some obvious mistakes which I took the liberty to correct. I do not know if they were in Mr. Morris' original tract by this same name or not. Sometimes Scripture was capitalized, at others it wasn't. Sometimes when it was speaking of God He and Thee and Thy were capitalized, at other times they weren't. These things I affirm this 17th day of July in the year of our Lord Nineteen hundred and ninety eight. I have bolded some statements in Mr. Morris' article for emphasis sake.

A more blatant display of the ungodly doctrine of "salvation by faith alone & grace alone," which is of course contradictory; Along with "the finished work of Christ," etc., can be found than what's in this tract by Sam Morris. My brethren and I have used partial quotes from Mr. Morris over the years to show the end results of accepting John Calvin's T.U.L.I. P. doctrine. A.C. Grider when debating Mr. Albert Garner, a preacher for the Landmark Baptist in Florida, said "If you folks begin to practice what Mr. Garner is defending (that is, once saved always saved) the rest of us had better lock up our wives and daughters!" They try to dodge this obvious consequence by saying that a saved person will not want to do those things, and if they begin doing such they never were saved to begin with. Never mind the fact that they have "voted them in, " after listening to their so called "conversion experience" and sometimes have "ordained" such a one as one of their "Pastors!" Their supposed answer also would condemn the great apostle Paul, for he said he had to "..beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize" (1 Cor. 9:27 NIV).

Was Paul not truly converted? Is that why he had a problem keeping sin out of his life? If Paul could lose the "prize" which means his eternal reward then so may we! In the above paragraph Mr. Morris makes a distinction between salvation in heaven and one's reward. Again, this is a distinction God's word doesn't make. We dealt with this some earlier. The context from which Mr. Morris supposedly "proves" his contention of "once saved always saved," isn't even dealing with that subject. As we have noted already, the very passages often used to "prove" error, often disprove the error they are used to teach. Paul is speaking of the loss that one feels when one whom one has brought to Christ departs the faith. He says while we do suffer loss, it doesn't affect our own salvation. The loss of one whom we have discipled for Christ doesn't mean that our soul is in jeopardy. When one begins with a false premise, all conclusions are false as well. How sad! The facts show that even some angels fell and were cast down to await judgment (2 Peter 2:4). Are Christians more secure than the apostle Paul and than certain angels? The apostle Peter nailed this subject down about as tight as can be imagined, still our Calvinist friends disregard or twist such plain passages while holding on to their man made doctrine of "eternal security," when he wrote: "For if after then have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire" (2 Peter 2:20-22). I suppose it is as the old saying goes: "convince a man against his will, and he's of the same opinion still."

I pray dear reader that you have a will that desires to know the truth of the will of Jesus Christ, and will not be deterred by the appealing doctrines of un-inspired men which lead to eternal destruction.

-------------------- Kenneth E. Thomas Pekin church of Christ at 1451 Valle Vista Blvd. 1(309)347-3582. Home phone 347-5645 http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/7017/pekin_ch.html

Back Home