GOLD

Some Errors of Mark Balmer

False Teacher at

Calvary Chapel, Melbourne, Florida

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Beware of Mark Balmer at Calvary Chapel, Melbourne, Florida. Many people do not know what Mark Balmer actually teaches. Mark Balmer in his own words, as seen and heard in the videos below, proclaims a false gospel of salvation, false teaching about saints losing their salvation, and false teaching commanding divorce. If you want to know what Mark Balmer actually teaches in his own words, listen to the videos below and compare them to the Scriptures below. You can listen to the entire video and get the entire context of his remarks or just skip to the mark in time of the video described below. Search the Scriptures for yourself and compare them to the teachings of Mark Balmer and other teachers, preachers, evangelists, and other people telling you how to live your life. Examine everything carefully, hold on to the good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

 

FALSE TEACHING ONE

MARK BALMER REJECTS SALVATION AS AN INSTANTANEOUS EVENT

Mark Balmer Teaching on October 3, 2007 

Watch the video of Mark Balmer at: https://www.calvaryccm.com/media/item/6012/the-dangers-of-backsliding-and-apostasy#hings/main/video/6012/eternal%20security

Listen at the 59:00 minute mark  in the video.

According to Mark Balmer,  “Salvation is not an event, but a lifestyle of following Jesus Christ.”

Mark Balmer repeatedly denies that salvation happens in an instant, a single event in a moment of time. Mark Balmer proclaims that salvation is not an event, but a lifestyle of following Jesus. In the mind of Mark Balmer, you cannot have any assurance of salvation because salvation takes a lifetime in his mind. He calls it a lifestyle. In contrast to Mark Balmer, Jesus called salvation a free gift you receive in an instant. The Bible teaches that you can be saved today, and have saving faith instantly, as a free gift. According to the Bible, eternal life begins at the moment of salvation and at that moment, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your life.  While the Bible teaches salvation continues for your whole life, and into eternity future, Mark Balmer rejects any teaching of salvation as instantaneous at the moment of belief, as a single event.

In contrast to the false teaching of Mark Balmer, the Scriptures indicate that salvation is a single event, described as receiving the free gift of salvation by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Salvation means receiving Christ as the Risen Savior, after hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). The Scriptures describe salvation as a completed gift, which you receive in an instant, a single glorious event. One moment you are not saved from your sins, and the next moment you have been born from above and Jesus has saved you from your sins. You became a new creature at the moment of salvation, born of God (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 5:1).

Compare the false teaching of Mark Balmer with the following Scriptures: Luke 19:9 (“Today salvation has come to this house”); 2 Corinthians 6:2 (“now is the Day of Salvation”); 1 John 2:12 (“your sins have been forgiven”); Luke 7:48 (“Your sins have been forgiven”); Luke 5:23 (“your sins have been forgiven”).  Mark Balmer must wait for his lifetime to end to know for sure if his sins have been forgiven and he has not abandoned Christ.  In contrast to Mark Balmer, Jesus taught that believers can know today that their sins have been forgiven and they have eternal life right now, which can never be lost or abandoned. According to Jesus, salvation is a free gift and salvation happens the moment you receive the free gift by grace through faith. Salvation is instantaneous, a moment in time.

Mark Balmer rejects salvation in an instant of time, a single event. When Mark Balmer calls salvation a “lifestyle,” and denies salvation is an event, he preaches a false gospel. Mark Balmer proclaims a gospel of good works, demonstrated over a lifetime. In contrast, the Bible says that we are “saved by grace through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God; not of works, so that no on may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Anyone who teaches that salvation is a “lifestyle” of good works means that your works demonstrated over a lifetime save you. If you return to an evil “lifestyle,” then you lose your salvation. Notice that only Mark Balmer can tell you what a “lifestyle” means, because he tacitly admits the Scriptures do not describe salvation as a “lifestyle.” Many saints in the Bible committed horrible sins after salvation, and they went to heaven. Some of them repeated the same sins and went to heaven.

Every believer grows in sanctification over time, but salvation happens in an instant, a single event. False teachers often confuse sanctification with salvation, to their own destruction. Sanctification describes the continuous activity of God in making us holy and separated for His use. Believers grow in sanctification, and reflect their spiritual growth by obedience to God and glorifying Him in all things. God describes the new creature we become at salvation as holy and blameless; we join the body of Christ at the moment of salvation (Colossians 1:22). At the moment of salvation, we become a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). At the moment of salvation, all the old things passed away in Christ. At the moment of salvation, new things have come.

In Philippians 2:12, God commanded us to work out (“κατεργάζεσθε”–present middle imperative–God’s command for us to follow) our salvation  with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). God was not talking about salvation being a “lifestyle,” because the next verse says that “it is God Who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). As new creatures in Christ, God does His works in us. Our works result from salvation, but our works never produce or maintain salvation. God never said we could lose our salvation in the Bible, and certainly not in Philippians 2. As Paul  wrote in Ephesians 2:8-10, salvation never includes works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:9). When anyone teaches salvation is a “lifestyle” of good works, then they deny Ephesians 2:9. They also ignore Ephesians 2:10: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Our salvation does not depend upon us, not even a little (as Mark Balmer claims below in the eternal security section). Our works never play a part of salvation. We are saved by grace through faith, not of works.

Some false teachers emphasize that salvation depends upon your works which they label a “lifestyle.” False teachers use the code word “lifestyle” to mean you keep your salvation by doing good works. According to those false teachers, if you stop doing good works, then you lose your salvation. In contrast, the Bible describes salvation as instantaneous and then you become a new creature, God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Our good works come from God Who created them beforehand. We cannot take any credit for doing good works, because God created good works for us and performs them in us by His loving power. Salvation means we become a new person, created by God and born from above. You cannot undo that change and you cannot abandon who you are in Christ, a new creature. Our salvation does not continue because we do good works and we do not lose salvation by bad works. John stated: “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). All believers sin, and some brothers sin seven times a day and repent seven times a day. We must rebuke them, and forgive them, seven times per day (Luke 17:1-4) Thankfully, God is always “faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” as we confess our sins (1 John 1:9). Jesus did not limit forgiveness to seven times per day, but explained the repeated nature of sin, rebuke, repentance, and forgiveness. We all need forgiveness seven time per day, especially spouses. While some false teachers claim you can lose or abandon your salvation, the Bible provides that sin after salvation requires cleansing and forgiveness (1 John 1:9). Your actions, even denial of the faith, do not affect your salvation. Consider Peter repeatedly denying Christ (John 18:25-27; Mark 14:66-72). When I was younger, I used to work on my car. My hands would become very black and greasy. As I worked on my car one day, my father told me to wash my hands and come to dinner. He never once told me I was no longer part of the family because my hands were black and greasy. So also Jesus never removes us from His family because we sin after salvation, but commands us to wash our hands and enjoy eating with the family each day.

When false teachers add any form of works to salvation, such as a “lifestyle” of good works, they deny the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Paul wrote that we are saved by grace through faith, and it is not of ourselves, but a gift of God. Salvation did not start with our good works and salvation does not depend upon our good works at any time. In other words, salvation does not come by our works and salvation does not depend upon us continuing in good works. Salvation does not end when you do bad works. You cannot separate yourself from the love of God, no matter what you do as a believer (Romans 8:39). Salvation means you have been changed forever by becoming  a new creature in Christ, created for good works, which God prepared for us to walk in.

Remember the warning of God about people who teach a false gospel: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!  As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (Galatians 1:8-9).  Beware of Mark Balmer and the false gospel Mark Balmer preaches !

 

FALSE TEACHING TWO

MARK BALMER DENIES TRUE ETERNAL SECURITY FOR TRUE BELIEVERS

Mark Balmer Teaching on October 3, 2007 

Mark Balmer’s Message Title: ”The Dangers of Backsliding and Apostasy”

  1. Mark Balmer Rejects “Once Saved, Always Saved” and “Eternal Security”

Watch the video of Mark Balmer at: https://www.calvaryccm.com/media/item/6012/the-dangers-of-backsliding-and-apostasy

Listen at the 38:10 minute mark in the video.

Mark Balmer misleads people by claiming he believes in the “eternal security” of the saints (born again believers). In the evangelical world of today, the term “eternal security” has the usual meaning of “once saved, always saved.” Mark Balmer flatly denies that saints “once saved, always saved.” Instead, he completely changes the usual meaning of “once saved, always saved” to mean you can lose your salvation. Mark Balmer tries to look like he believes “once saved, always saved,” but he radically changes the meaning of eternal security to mean that you can abandon your faith and lose your salvation. If you believe in the Scriptural doctrine of once saved, always saved, then you must understand that Mark Balmer flatly rejects the teaching of once saved, always saved. For Mark Balmer, some people were truly saved, and then that person abandoned the faith and lost salvation. Mark Balmer claims to believe in eternal security, but teaches believers can abandon their salvation. 

Listen to the misleading words of Mark Balmer: “What about assurance? I believe tonight this: no true Christ-follower can abandon the faith, without constant and willful rejection of the Holy Spirit’s convicting love.  God will do everything in the world He can to stop us from even thinking about abandoning Him.  He will send us reminders, He will send us people, He’ll tell us to come back, He’ll remind us it is not too late.  Listen to me.  Forgiveness is always possible right up until a person dies.  Even at the end, if you choose to accept Christ. And, this next statement, I think is the balance I want to give you and you will see it in the verses.  True faith in Jesus Christ perseveres.  Perseverance of the saints.  And that requires God mostly, but it does require me.”

Mark Balmer dances around the issue, but in the first quote underlined in bold above, Mark Balmer teaches that a true believer can abandon the faith by constantly and willfully rejecting the conviction from the Holy Spirit.  According to Mark Balmer, you can abandon your faith and lose your salvation, even if you are true believer and have been a true believer for many years (see Mark Balmer’s claims about Charles Templeton below).

Mark Balmer cites Charles Templeton, the mass evangelist, as a prime example of a true believer who falls away from Christ.  Mark Balmer urges you to learn your doctrine about salvation from the experience of Charles Templeton.  In contrast, Jesus commanded you to learn doctrine from Him in the Bible, the Word of God, and not from the teachings or examples of men.  According to Mark Balmer, “Charles Templeton rejected the Christian faith.  Picture of a full-on Christ follower who became an apostate.  He abandoned the faith, and when you abandon the faith, you have no chance of going to heaven.”  Mark Balmer clearly rejects “Once Saved, Always Saved.”  Who cares what Charles Templeton did nor did not do?  Christ will judge Charles Templeton in righteousness, not Mark Balmer (Acts 17:31). Let the Scriptures guide you and learn your doctrine from the Scriptures, not from Mark Balmer or Charles Templeton.

      2. Mark Balmer teaches that a true believer in Christ can abandon Christ and lose his/her salvation.

Watch the video of Mark Balmer: https://www.calvaryccm.com/media/item/6012/the-dangers-of-backsliding-and-apostasy

Listen at the 56:30 minute mark in the video.

 

Mark Balmer on 2 Timothy 2:12

In describing man’s part in eternal security, Mark Balmer discusses 2 Timothy 2:12: “if we endure, we will also reign with Him.  If we disown Him, he will also disown us;”.  Mark Balmer interprets this verse as follows.  According to Mark Balmer, your eternal security depends upon you, and not God alone.  You must live a righteous life, or you will have false assurance of salvation, because you can lose your salvation.

Mark Balmer teaches: “So, I believe, the Bible teaches that we can abandon as a real follower of Christ, abandon our faith.” 

Mark Balmer teaches: “You cannot lose your salvation, but you can leave your salvation if you choose to walk away from God.”

 

Mark Balmer on Revelation 3:5

Mark Balmer teaches a true believer can have his name blotted out of the Book of Life mentioned in Revelation 3:5, and so lose his eternal salvation. Revelation never said you can lose your salvation; the text says it will not happen. Read it for yourself: “He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”  

 

Mark Balmer on 1 Corinthians 6:8-11

Mark Balmer also quotes 1 Corinthians 6:8-11.  Mark Balmer interprets those verses to mean that none of the people practicing the evil described in those verses will inherit the kingdom of God.  According to Mark Balmer, if we go back into a life of sin, and stay there, then you will never inherit the kingdom of God.  Likewise, Mark Balmer insists that when we backslide and go away from Christ, then bad things happen.  According to Mark Balmer, you can always come back to God.

Watch the video of Mark Balmer: https://www.calvaryccm.com/media/item/6012/the-dangers-of-backsliding-and-apostasy

Listen at 1:04:00 mark in the video.

Mark Balmer claims no one has been able to answer the question of whether the believer has eternal security or not, and commands people to stop arguing about it. Of course, Mark Balmer claims to have all the answers in his video–what a contradiction. In contrast, the Bible provides very clear teaching that every true believer has eternal security. Moreover, Mark Balmer first teaches that a believer can lose his/her salvation, but then claims no one can really answer the question on eternal security. He contradicts himself by saying he knows you can lose your salvation, but then says no one should argue about eternal security because he knows of no one who has answered the question of eternal security. By contradicting himself, Mark Balmer clearly opposes the Word of God which teaches salvation is eternal and every believer is eternally secure in Christ.

Beware of the false teaching of Mark Balmer that believers can lose their salvation. Jesus teaches that salvation is a free gift of eternal life. We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30), and we are eternally secure in the hand of Jesus and the hand of the Father who holds us for all eternity (John 10:28-29).

 

FALSE TEACHING THREE

MARK BALMER COMMANDS DIVORCE

Mark Balmer teaching on July 2, 2005 

Mark Balmer’s Message Title: Stay,  Separate, Divorce

Website Link (click link):   http://www.calvaryccm.com/teachings/main/video/3346/stay-separate-or-divorce

Listen to the video at the 38:10 mark.

Mark Balmer disobeys the command of Jesus never to divorce for any reason. Mark Balmer commands believers to initiate the divorce.  

Now the exact quotation from the lips of Mark Balmer:

“When does it become a lifestyle?  That is why we have pastors. That is why we have pastoral counseling.  You come in and talk to us.  If you have a relationship where the husband or wife, you know, they repent but two months later they are back at it again, and then four months later they are back at it again, and whatever—they are not repenting, it is unrepentant, they don’t care.  What does God say?  Get out of the marriage.  Why?  Well, number one, it isn’t a marriage  The person’s already broke it.  Number two, and this is an age with AIDS, you’re crazy.  This person has been unfaithful.  So, remember, it is an unrepentant lifestyle of marital unfaithfulness.” [emphasis added]

Two points stand out from that quotation.

  1. Absolute Pastoral Authority over Your Marriage.   Mark Balmer teaches that your pastor and pastoral counselors can tell you when some actions by your spouse amount to “an unrepentant lifestyle of marital unfaithfulness.”  Apparently, he has no Scripture to back up a definition of “unrepentant lifestyle,” but teaches that he has that authority to tell you when God commands you to leave the marriage and “get out,” which leads to the second point.  If your spouse engages in an unrepentant lifestyle of pornographic sin, then Mark Balmer commands you to divorce them.                                                                            
  2. Absolute Command from Mark Balmer to Divorce Your Spouse.  Mark Balmer teaches that God says: “Get out of the marriage.”  Mark Balmer teaches that some believers must get divorced on his say-so alone.  Notice the command from Mark Balmer to “Get out of the marriage.”  Mark Balmer teaches that God commands divorce in circumstances the pastor (Mark Balmer) can identify to you.  He implies you may not be able to see this lifestyle defined in Scripture, but he can show you when God commands you to divorce.  Mark Balmer claims a special knowledge about identifying for you an  “unrepentant lifestyle” in your spouse beyond what Scripture teaches.

 

Now let us put that quotation in its context. Mark Balmer sees two reasons that believers may initiate a divorce, based upon Matthew 19 and 1 Corinthians 7. Mark Balmer twists those passages so that Mark Balmer claims he has the pastoral authority to command believers to get divorced. Nothing in those passages even remotely suggests that God commands divorce. Yet, Mark Balmer commands divorce.

 

Matthew 19

Website Link (click link):   http://www.calvaryccm.com/teachings/main/video/3346/stay-separate-or-divorce

Listen to the video at the 35:00 mark.

In contrast to the teaching of Mark Balmer, Jesus said: “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate” (Mark 10:9).  Mark Balmer commands the opposite of what Jesus commands. Beware of Mark Balmer. False teachers like Mark Balmer love to claim “pastoral authority” to command you to do things opposite of the commands of Jesus. God breathed out the words of Scripture and the Scripture alone provides authoritative teaching without error. In Matthew 19:1-9, some Pharisees asked Jesus if a man could divorce his wife for any reason at all. Jesus answered with a resounding “No.” He explained that under no circumstances should a human being separate what God has joined together (Matthew 19:6). After Jesus commanded that no one should separate what God has joined together, the Pharisees did not like that answer and asked next why Moses commanded divorce (Matthew 19:7).  Jesus then explained that Moses did not command divorce, but permitted divorce because the people of Israel had hard, unforgiving hearts and sought divorce (Matthew 19:8). Notice that all divorce rests upon a hard, unforgiving heart, according to Jesus. All divorce is sinful, without exception. When people claim Jesus allowed divorce for immorality (“πορνείᾳ”), they ignore the context saying that God forbids all divorce, and all divorce arises from a hard, unforgiving heart. So, when a person divorces because of immorality, they commit the sin of hard-heart divorce. Having committed hard-hearted sin by filing for divorce, now that person can commit sin number two: adultery. Sin number two, adultery, follows hard-hearted divorce if the spouse divorces for any reason other than immorality (“πορνείᾳ”) in the marriage and then marries another person. As we will see below, Mark Balmer also believes there is another exception in 1 Corinthians 7 allowing a believer to divorce an unbelieving spouse, which would conflict with Mark Balmer’s view of only one exception to divorce mentioned in Matthew 19:9. In contrast to Mark Balmer, the  Scriptures never allow a believer to divorce the spouse, and no such conflict between Bible passages actually exists. So, when a believer divorces the spouse who did not commit adultery and marries another, two sins have occurred. The first sin is hard-hearted divorce and the second sin is adultery. Please read the passage in Matthew 19 and come to your own conclusions.

 

1 Corinthians 7

Website Link (click link):   http://www.calvaryccm.com/teachings/main/video/3346/stay-separate-or-divorce

Listen to the video at the 55:10 mark.

Mark Balmer teaches that 1 Corinthians 7:15 permits believers to initiate a divorce against an unbelieving spouse based upon desertion by an unbelieving spouse.

Mark Balmer finds merit in “constructive desertion,” meaning that acts of one spouse by violence or other things force the other spouse to abandon the home or the relationship and so permit the believer to file for divorce. Nothing in the Bible supports such a notion. Jesus commanded that no man should separate what God joined together, no exceptions (Matthew 19:6). In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul taught that believers should stay with unbelieving spouses as long as the unbeliever consents to live in the marriage. The term “consents” (“συνευδοκεῖ”–present active indicative–continuous activity) means that they agree to live together (“οἰκεῖν”–present active infinitive–describing the result here). The believer should never send away (divorce) (“ἀφιέτω“–send off or divorce, as here) the unbelieving spouse (1 Corinthians 7:13). The believing spouse  sanctifies the unbelieving spouse (1 Corinthians 7:14). The Scripture could not be plainer. No one, believer or unbeliever, should ever seek a divorce under any circumstances. If the unbelieving spouse leaves (divorces), then the believing spouse is not bound (1 Corinthians 7:15). Even then, the believer does not initiate a divorce. The top priority is that a believing spouse may save the unbelieving spouse (1 Corinthians 7:16) and so should stay in the marriage, no matter what. The believer should never initiate a divorce. The believer continues the sanctifying ministry so long as the unbelieving spouse consents to live in the marriage. The children of the marriage are also holy because of the sanctifying influence of the believing spouse (1 Corinthians 7:14). 

By the way, ask Mark Balmer about whether his children have divorced? What did Mark Balmer command them to do?

 

Conclusion

Mark Balmer proclaims a false gospel, denies believers once saved will always be saved, and commands divorce. Beware of the false teachings of Mark Balmer. As God wrote, if anyone brings to you a false gospel, let him be accursed. Pray for Mark Balmer to turn from his false teachings.

For further study, see Divorce and Remarriage