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Chicago UBF Message Preaches That We Still Must Work To Be Saved 
9th-Jul-2005 03:00 pm
On June 12, 2005, Jim Rabchuk delivered the Sunday message at Chicago UBF based on Colossians 3:1-17. The key verse is Colossians 3:10, “And put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” This passage is misinterpreted to teach that Christians must do works in order to maintain their salvation. The Bible clearly states that we are saved by Christ alone. We cannot do anything to gain our salvation. Further, once we are saved, we are not required to work to remain saved.


“For those who think that they have a guaranteed ticket to paradise, please consider the example of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They were already there in paradise. They had the command of God to protect them from temptation and death. But they were too confident. They did not meditate on God’s command and rules for living in paradise. Instead, they were attracted by some interesting new ideas from a silky smooth salesman. When they let the devil draw their attention to the good taste and potential benefits of eating the forbidden fruit, they rejected everything that God had told them, and ate from the tree from which he had forbidden them to eat. In short, when the man and woman forgot that God’s paradise belongs to God, they became careless regarding their desires. However, once the desire to enjoy the forbidden fruit was born in their hearts, it was already too late. They fell, and were cast out of paradise. We have been born again through our faith in Jesus’ death for our sins and resurrection. But we must renew our holy desires in Christ day by day, or else our hope in his kingdom will have been in vain.”


Rabchuk justifies having to work to maintain salvation by referencing Adam and Eve’s sin. Adam and Eve were given paradise by God. Then, Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command not to eat from the tree of knowledge. God’s punishment was to remove them from the Garden of Eden (Paradise). Rabchuk argues that just as Adam and Eve were removed from Paradise because of their sin, Christians can be removed from Paradise because of their sins. If Christians fail one day to renew their holy desires in Christ, their hope in the kingdom is in vain. More bluntly, failure to renew holy desires everyday will result in God putting Christians in hell. Thus, if Christians do not have holy desire one day, they will not be saved until they again renew their holy desires in Christ.

Rabchuk message misrepresents scripture and presents a false idea of salvation in Christ. Galatians 2:15-16 says, 15"We who are Jews by birth and not 'Gentile sinners' 16know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.” Galatians 3:25-29 states “25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. 26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Those who belong to Christ are Christ’s heirs. Adam and Eve violated God’s law that they should not eat from the tree of knowledge. Adam and Eve were punished for their sin or violation of God’s law. Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection brought victory over sin and death. Through Christ’s death, all who accept Christ as the Savior of their sins will enter Paradise in heaven. Christ’s crucifixion was for all sins: past, present, and future, including Adam and Eve’s. The point of Christ’s death on the cross was to bring victory over sin that began with Adam and Eve. Yet, Rabchuk claims that Christians can suffer the same fate as Adam and Eve should they disobey God as Adam and Eve did. Christ brought victory over sin and death. Thus, Christians no longer need worry about suffering the fate of Adam and Eve. We can rejoice that Christ died for our sins and rose from the grave and has a place prepared for all of his people (Jn14:2).
9th-Jul-2005 07:09 pm (UTC) - Problems With Trying To Work To Maintain Salvation
Claiming that Christians must do work to maintain salvation results in undue anxiety and worry for Christians. Christ did not shed his blood so that Christian could spent their lives under constant anxiety about whether they prayed enough, preached the gospel enough, or had sufficient holy desires in our heart everyday to remain saved. The truth is that Christians can never do enough, pray enough, preach enough, or serve enough to please God. That is why Christ died for us. Christ died so that we would have rest from our weary, heavy-laden burdens. In addition, arguing that Christians must do work to maintain salvation allows for spiritual abuse. After all, who determines whether an individual Christian renewed his or her holy desires on a given day? In UBF, the shepherd determines whether the sheep renewed their holy desires. The shepherd tells the sheep whether he or she has holy desires or not. The standard the shepherd holds is whether the sheep obeyed the shepherd’s direction or accepts the shepherds Bible study as absolute. When I did not absolutely obey my shepherd, he determined that I was not renewing my holy desires in Christ day by day. For example, when I did not accept my shepherd’s words absolutely, he said that I was worshipping my own Christ and not the true Christ.
9th-Jul-2005 08:31 pm (UTC) - So which is it?
We have been born again through our faith in Jesus death for our sins and resurrection. But we must renew our holy desires in Christ day by day, or else our hope in his kingdom will have been in vain.

So which is it, UBF leaders? Are we saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, or are we saved by "renewing our holy desires in Christ?"

Rabchuk is someone who learned his "theology" directly at the feet of Lee and Barry for years. It is no wonder that he believes and teaches what he does.
9th-Jul-2005 09:24 pm (UTC) - Christ, the last Adam
I'm no expert, but Jesus died to provide an eternal solution to the problem that was caused by Adam's fall. To use the example of Adam falling to argue that Christians may fall out of salvation is to negate the very purpose of Jesus' death on the cross. Not a surprise coming from a UBF pulpit.

If UBFism was in line with orthodox/mainstream Christianity, Rabchuk (another member of the UBF International Advisory Board) would have known and would have taught that the free gift is not like the trespass.

To quote Romans 5:12-21 (RSV): "Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned -- sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the effect of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. If, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Then as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will be made righteous. Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

See this study of Romans 5.
10th-Jul-2005 09:50 am (UTC) - Re: Christ, the last Adam
I'm no expert, but Jesus died to provide an eternal solution to the problem that was caused by Adam's fall. To use the example of Adam falling to argue that Christians may fall out of salvation is to negate the very purpose of Jesus' death on the cross. Not a surprise coming from a UBF pulpit.

For UBF, nothing substantial has happened since the time of Adam and Eve. In the beginning in Korea, UBF Bible study consisted only of Genesis. Later they added a few lessons from John. But Jesus' cross was not an issue in UBF for many years. Only later Samuel Lee integrated it into the UBF canon. But it only served as a kind of "heart-breaker." Once the message has done its purpose, UBF goes back to salvation by works and OT teachings again. [This is what I heard from a Korean UBF old-timer.]

They also tend to separate the messages. One week you hear about Jesus and the cross, or salvation by grace. But in the next message, all this is forgotten again and they can preach something completely different. This is also a negative side-effect of their exclusive passage-based Bible study. They never put the pieces together and look at them simultaneously.

Joe, this is how the Rom 5:12-21 passage is treated and ticked off in the UBF Chicago Romans 2001 messages:
"Second, the importance of one man's influence (12-21). This part teaches us the importance of one man, for one is the beginning of totality. Through one man Adam's disobedience, sin entered the world. All men were taken by sin, so all men are doomed to die. Through one man Jesus' obedience, all men become righteous through faith. 1 Corinthians 15:22 says more clearly: "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive." Disobedience is the root of sin, and sin comes from a proud mind. Sin is like a contagious disease that spreads over the whole world rapidly. We have talked about the importance of one person. Through one man Jesus' obedience, all men are saved through faith. In this part we learn that one person's influence is crucial. Also we learn that one person Jesus' obedience brought forth God's saving grace for all mankind. As long as each person thinks that he or she is very important in the sight of God, we can maintain our new life in Jesus."
Instead of talking about the wonderful content in the passage, Lee turned it into something different: Obedience. Instead of looking on the one man Jesus, he immediately turns it around so that "one man" means "you." Complete perversion and distortion of the whole passage.

In the course of time, they learned how they can even preach about books like Romans (and allegedly some UBF leaders even dare to study Galatians or Corinthians), because they learned how they can twist and distort the meaning so that it seems to support the UBF ideology.
10th-Jul-2005 01:19 pm (UTC) - Eternal Security
The book "Eternal Security" by Dr. Charles Stanley is a good book for anyone who has questions about this. Dr. Stanley himself debated this issue in his early years, but clearly shows through scripture that it is "once for all". He addresses many of the questions people have about the possibility of Christians losing their salvation and the misapplication of scriptures that many have.

Also for good biblical teaching, I recommend the radio ministry of Dr. Stanley from IntTouch Ministries and his daily email devotionals: http://www.intouch.org/myintouch/devotional/index_76096.html
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11th-Jul-2005 02:59 pm (UTC)
"I just wonder how many people in UBF really understand the Gospel?"

That is a really good question. I wonder the same thing; in fact I was just thinking about that this weekend after talking to my pastor about my husband and I in ubf. I was saved before UBF - though my experience in UBF adversely affected my faith. In fact, knowing what I know now about ubf, explains why the ubf koreans did not understand when I told them what I experienced as a born-again Christian. They taught the gospel, but practiced something different. So many conflicting messages. My husband learned the bible only through UBF and though I wanted to leave, he was determined never to leave ubf. This went on for years until we saw the info. on the web and learned the truth about ubf. He is only now learning the true gospel and realizing it is not by works. Some great books: "The Cross-Centered Life" by C.J. Mahaney; "Transforming Grace" by Jerry Bridges and "The Discipline of Grace" by Jerry Bridges.
11th-Jul-2005 05:30 pm (UTC) - who gets it at ubf?
Yes, this is a great thread and great question. I had no understanding of grace while in, came into the light after ubf. Salvation by grace alone is a doctrine, and ubf has no doctrines. ubf specifically rejects the grace alone doctrines because it would render the ubf as unneccesary. I heard a few stories about how ubf leaders reject grace. It is not certain whether it is totally on purpose, or partially because of ignorance, but ubf does reject the grace alone doctrines.

Here are some examples. A former member spent one day asking a bunch of his ubf 'seniors' the following question: If you died today, would you go to heaven? Out of seven or eight people, all of them answered "No". Some said they had not been fruitful enough, some said they unrepented sins/sin problems. One said that she had "not been prayerful enough." None of them dared to say that they would go to heaven because the blood of Jesus is necessary and sufficient for their salvation (Romans 3:24-6, Hebrews 9:22)

Yes, ubf is always stressing a cycle of total depravity in sin and the need for redemption as an every day task. They do not believe that confessing faith in Jesus brings us from death to life. They believe it gives us a chance, that is all. I also saw a ubf leader, who had been ubf now about 30 years, he wrote a report about Nicodemus. The leader, who had been in ubf like his whole life, realized he "needed to be born again all over again." How could a man who has been born again need to be born again, again? And if he has never been born again, why is he a Bible teacher and leader? It means he has no idea what the Bible teaches about salvation. My analysis is that the whole ubf rejects the teachings of salvation. They only teach how to be a ubfin, that is, how to recruit and bring people into the ubf system.

Also, ubf prtends to be experts on God's history, but they reject any teachings about the future. Normal churches have clear teachings about the 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth called the millenium. ubf has never taught anything about the millenium, even when they have Revelation passages. They think that God designed the world so that we work for ubf a lifetime, then die and possibly go to heaven if we became a famous ubfin. (They do not even say that unfamous ubfins will go to heaven, they only clearly say that famous ubfins are going to heaven.) If being a ubfin is everything, then all the Bible teachings about salvation, eternity are wrong.
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