God’s Simple Plan of Salvation
by Elder John Kohler
Morris Fork Baptist Church, Rupert, West Virginia
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
I hold in my hand a copy of the most widely-distributed Bible tract in the history of the world. It is called „God’s Simple Plan of Salvation” and was originally written and published in 1933 by Robert Ford Porter, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Princeton, Indiana. Since 1933, this tract has been published in 112 languages, and more than 500 million copies have been distributed. By way of comparison, only two million copies of J. M. Carroll’s „Trail of Blood” have been published. Thousands and thousands of people have supposedly been saved through reading this Bible tract, but I seriously doubt this claim because I believe it contains many soteriological errors.
It focuses upon a streamlined, man-made, mechanical, „canned” plan of salvation or religious sales pitch instead of focusing upon and magnifying the God-man–the Lord Jesus Christ–who is salvation.
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (1 John 5:11-12).
It says, „In the Bible, God gives us the plan of HOW to be born again, which means to be saved,” but the Bible nowhere tells anyone how to be born again.
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8).
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3).
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13).
So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy. (Romans 9:16).
It says to everyone who reads it, „You can be saved today,” but non-elect human beings can never and will never be saved. God the Fathers work of election, God the Sons work of redemption, reconciliation, and propitiation, and God the Holy Spirits work of regeneration have no positive relation to non-elect human beings.
It says, ” . . . my friend, you must realize you are a sinner,” but it never, ever defines sin or explains what it means to be a sinner.
It says, „There is no chance to be saved unless you come to realize you are a sinner,” however, the salvation of an elect human being is not something that occurs by chance, but by divine design.
It says, „Because you are a sinner, you are condemned to die . . . This means separation from God, in Hell, forever,” but it never, ever defines Hell or explains the nature of Hell.
It says to everyone who reads it, ” . . . God loved you so much that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, as your substitute, Who bore your sin, and died in your place.” The truth is that God does not love and Jesus did not die for non-elect human beings.
The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. (Psalms 5:5).
As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. (Romans 9:13).
It takes three verses of Scripture completely out of context to prove that God loves all men and Christ died for all men.
But God commendeth his love toward US, in that, while WE were yet sinners, Christ died for US. (Romans 5:8).
For he hath made him to be sin for US, who knew no sin; that WE might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Who his own self bare OUR sins in his own body on the tree, that WE, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:24).
It says, „Jesus had to die. He had to shed His blood,” but its author did not understand the Biblical doctrines of imputation, atonement, redemption, reconciliation, or propitiation. He did not understand for whom Jesus died and shed His blood.
It says to everyone who reads it, „So your sin, my friend, was laid upon Jesus and He died in your place. It is true. God cannot lie.” It is true that God cannot lie, but man can and does lie, and this tract contains many lies.
Except in a newly-revised edition, this tract issues no call to repentance, saying, „Simply believe on Him as the one who bore your sin, died in your place, was buried and was raised for your justification.” There can be no genuine conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ apart from repentance toward God, and Jesus only bore the sins of and died for Gods elect people.
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3,5).
Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:46-47).
It quotes Romans 10:13 and teaches that prayer is a positive condition or prerequisite for salvation, adding that „It does not take a long, loud prayer, for God is anxious to save you.” To „call upon the name of the Lord” does not mean to pray „the sinners prayer,” but to become a true corporate worshipper of the living God.
And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD. (Genesis 4:26).
I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD. (Psalms 116:17).
And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. (Acts 9:14).
But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? (Acts 9:21).
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13).
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: (1 Corinthians 1:2).
It does not mention the grace of God a single time, and it suggests that salvation is based upon doing what God has asked, which is believing on Christ AND praying a prayer. In a newly-revised edition, it says, „Please! Let God save you this very moment,” but God does not need mans permission to save anyone at all. Jesus has already secured the salvation of all of Gods elect children, and all of them will be saved without fail.
Needless to say, I cannot recommend this Bible tract as an evangelistic tool. I do not believe people are genuinely saved through reading it.