Joseph Prince’s Teaching that you can be a Christian without being a Disciple can send you to Hell – By Rev George Ong (Dated 29 May 2022)


(These 2 articles were also sent to Rev Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian, General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) office, and for the attention of the Executive Committee Members.)


This write-up is a follow-up and continuation of last week’s article:


“Joseph Prince Lied against the Holy Spirit & Preaches against the Costly Discipleship of Jesus” – By Rev George Ong


If you have missed reading the above article, you can view it by clicking below:


1. Joseph Prince’s teaching that you are not a disciple anymore” mocks the Trinitarian God-head.


Please click here to view excerpts in the 30-second video:


“And the disciples were first called ‘Christians’ in Antioch. What are you? You are not a disciple anymore. The disciples are now called Christians.”


“So He (Holy Spirit) renamed the disciples for the first time. In Acts again, He (Holy Spirit) named them what? The disciples were first called ‘Christians’ in Antioch. So which is more important? The disciples, the names are changed to Christians. We should be calling each other sons of God or Christian.”


First, in the previous article (see above), Joseph Prince teaches that You are not a disciple anymore,” (in Prince’s own words) even though Jesus has categorically given the Great Commission to the Church in Matthew 28:18-20 to make disciples”.


So, Joseph Prince has downrightly rejected and mocked the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 of the Lord Jesus, the second person in the Holy Trinity.


Second, in the same previous article, by saying that it was the Holy Spirit who has renamed and replaced ‘disciples’ with ‘Christians’, Joseph Prince is literally putting his words into the Holy Spirit’s mouth as there isn’t a single piece of evidence for such an assertion by the Holy Spirit.


Hence, Joseph Prince has mocked the Holy Spirit, the third person in the Trinitarian Godhead.


Third, by declaring that Acts 11:26 states ‘disciples’ has been changed to ‘Christians’ when it isn’t stated in the verse at all, it clearly indicates that Joseph Prince has added his own words into God’s word.


Therefore, Joseph Prince has mocked God the Father, the first person in the Holy Trinity.


If Joseph Prince has the audacity to mock the Great Commission of Jesus, the integrity of the Holy Spirit & the Holy word of Father God, the 3 divine persons in the Trinitarian Godhead, how can he not be a wolf in sheepskin?


2. The Great Commission of Jesus Proves that Salvation & Discipleship cannot be separated.


What did Jesus mean by “make disciples” (Matt 28:19a) in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20?


Matthew 28:19-20 NIV

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…


First, it is simply about bringing the lost into God’s kingdom by “baptizing them” (Matt 28:19b) when they become Christians.


But that is not all.


Second, it is also aboutteaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…” (Matt 28:20a).


In other words, as far as Christ’s Great Commission in the making of disciples is concerned, baptizing believers when they come to faith in Christ (salvation) and teaching them to obey every of Christ’s commandments (discipleship) comes in one package and cannot be divorced from each other.


What this means is receiving Jesus as Saviour by placing our faith in Him and acknowledging Him as Lord by obeying every of Christ’s commandments, are integrally connected. 


This is why the scripture says:


Hebrews 5:9 NIV

9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him


Hebrews 5:9 clearly states that eternal salvation is only given to those who obey Christ.


“Salvation is never earned by our obedience to God but neither can we finally be saved without the presence of it.” (George Ong)


In other words, to be saved, a Christian/believer as a disciple is expected, not just to believe in Christ but to obey Him in everything.


Those who merely believe that Jesus has come to save them aren’t necessarily genuine believers.


There are many who believe that Jesus came to save us by dying on the cross for our sins and that He resurrected, and yet they believe that Christ is only one way to God.


Do you consider them believers of Christ?


Certainly not!


There are also those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God and yet, they choose to be faithful to other religions. 


This shouldn’t be a surprise as even demons believe and admit that Jesus is the holy Son of God (Mk 1:24; Mk 5:7).


So who are the true believers of Jesus?


They are disciples who have not only believed in Him as the only way to God to be their Saviour but have also committed to obey His commandments and follow Him as Lord – as contained in the Great Commission of Christ.


One Bible scholar puts it so well:


Why use the term ‘make disciples’ then? Why not simply command that we evangelize the world? The reason is that Christianity is more than a decision to trust in Christ as Savior. It is not enough to invite men to believe in Christ as Savior. In the Gospels, our Lord invited men to follow Him, not just to believe on Him. Christianity is more than a moment-in-time conversion; it is the radical transformation or conversion which leads to a whole new way of life. It implies the forsaking of our former way of life, and our commitment to live as God requires, by His grace. In other words, discipleship is used because it compresses conversion and Christian living, salvation and sanctification, into one term. Conversion to Christ, in the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament, was inconceivable without a commitment to follow Him in life. That is why our Lord persistently challenged would-be followers (unbelievers) to count the cost…”


So, it is almost impossible to make a distinction between salvation and discipleship as the Great Commission of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 testifies.


Matthew 28:19-20 NIV

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…


The call to discipleship – make disciples’ is also the same call to faith – baptizing them’.


Another way of putting this across is that since the main verb is make disciples’ while the subsidiary one is baptizing them’, this means we make disciples by baptizing them.


This indicates that discipleship includes salvation or salvation is an integral part of discipleship.


Salvation and discipleship come in the same one package. One cannot choose one and reject the other.


Concomitantly, it is also not possible for one to say that he wants to believe in Christ to obtain salvation but he’s not willing to be a disciple.


In other words, one who has true saving faith is also one who embraces discipleship.


Though discipleship does not produce salvation, one cannot be saved without embracing it. Though discipleship does not contribute to salvation, it is a non-negotiable and concomitant by-product of salvation.


This means that while one is saved by faith in Christ, no one can be a true believer without being a disciple of Christ.


Also, in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus did not command the Church to make believers who later may become disciples as if they are 2 different persons. But He called her to make disciples because they are the same as believers.


Making disciples is the same call to make believers or Christians who are disciples. The call to be disciples is the same call to be Christians or Believers.


Hence, it is untenable for Joseph Prince to argue that one can be a believer or Christian without being a disciple.


Yet, today, there are many teachers out there who teach that a disciple and believer or Christian are two different persons.


They teach that a believer or Christian is saved by faith in Jesus, but is not ready or even willing to be a disciple.


On the other hand, a disciple is a believer, who is committed to a greater loyalty and devotion to Christ.


This means while every disciple is a believer, not every believer is a disciple.


This is unbiblical!


Does Jesus offer 2 different levels of commitment: one for believers or Christians and another for disciples?


Does Jesus offer two different sets of demands – one relatively easy and less demanding to a mere believer and another more exacting and costly for a committed disciple? One is for salvation while the other, which is optional, is for discipleship?


Evidence from the scriptures, especially that which is given in the next point, Point 3, points to the contrary.


3. The Call to be Disciples is issued to Unbelievers, not Believers – Luke 14:25-27,33.


The life of a Christian is no different from the life of a disciple. The call that Jesus issues for discipleship is the same call to faith. Jesus’ call to be disciples is the same call to be saved:


Luke 14:25-27, 33 NIV

25 “Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even their own life – such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” 33 “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”


The large crowds that Jesus was speaking to in Luke 14:25 about the possibility of becoming His disciples were unbelievers or believers?


They were all unbelievers!


Jesus was laying down His conditions to unbelievers, not believers, before they could be accepted by Him to become His disciples.


Jesus was not asking believers, who are more fervent or more committed to consider to be His disciples.


Jesus was asking unbelievers to consider to be His disciples by being willing to carry the cross and give up everything, including their own lives in Luke 14:26-27,33.


In other words, the call to be a Christian is the same call to be a disciple.


There is no such thing as I want to be a Christian, but I am not ready to be a disciple.


If one rejects the call to be a disciple, one rejects the call to be a Christian.


If one rejects the call to discipleship, he rejects the call to salvation.


If a so-called Christian is unwilling to be a disciple of Christ, then he isn’t a believer to begin with.


So do not fall into the deception of Joseph Prince that you can be a Christian without being a disciple of Jesus and embracing the costly discipleship of Christ (Lk 14:26-27,33). If one isn’t a disciple, then he isn’t saved to begin with.


That is just one of the many reasons why I have concluded that Joseph Prince is a wolf in sheepskin.


This is because Prince’s heretical teaching of salvation can, indeed, lead people to hell.


Multitudes have been deceived by Prince that they are saved when they aren’t.


They are being deceived by Prince that they can be Christians or believers without being disciples of Christ.


A disciple and a Christian are the same person; they are not two different persons.


“Discipleship is not advanced Christianity but the essence of being a Christian.” (George Ong)


For unbelievers to qualify to be saved as Christ’s disciples, they must be willing to give up their everything.


The oft-repeated statement we have heard so often that salvation is free is only half the truth; the whole truth is – salvation is both free and costly.


Salvation is free because it cannot be earned by works and it cannot be purchased with money because it’s all about what Christ has done for us on the cross.


But it is costly because it is only given to those who meet the condition of being a disciple of Christ, who is committed to obeying Christ’s commandments and embraces Him as Lord (See Point Number 2).


The free gift of salvation can ironically be the costliest as it requires nothing less than the giving up of everything, even your own life for the sake of Christ (Lk 14:26-27,33).


The great deception is for people to think that they can enjoy the benefits of a Christian without the costs of a disciple.


Becoming a new member in God’s Kingdom will cost you nothing (Eph 2:8); remaining a life member in the same Kingdom will cost you everything (Lk 14:26-27,33).


Many preachers would readily preach on the one half of the truth that salvation is free, but few would dare to preach on the other half of it that salvation is at the same time costly.


“The Church has been deceived for too long that just because our salvation has cost Christ everything, it wouldn’t cost us anything.” (George Ong)


“The cost of salvation is high to the one who achieves it – Jesus; but to the one who receives it – Us – it is nowhere any lower as it may even involve the giving up of our lives for the sake of Christ.” (Lk 14:26-27,33) (George Ong)


Jesus said it in such clear and stark fashion that no one can misunderstand Him:


“If anyone does not give up his own life (Lk 14:26), does not carry his own cross (Lk 14:27), and does not give up everything (Lk 14:33), he cannot be my disciple.”


Luke 14:25-27,33 NIV

25 “Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even their own life – such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” 33 “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”


Joseph Prince may say to George:


“George, here you go again. You are clearly an unrepentant negative preacher. You sure thrive on negativism.


Don’t you have something more positive to say – other than stressing on those negative words: ‘Cannot, Cannot, Cannot’ – and you sure know how to rub salt into the wounds by highlighting them in red letterings and underlining them some more?


You have the special gift of loading people with burdens that are too heavy for them to carry. You have the talent of demanding commitments from people that are impossible to accomplish. You are doing exactly what the Pharisees have done! In fact, you qualify to be the Chief Pharisee!”


George would say to Joseph Prince:


“Hello Joseph, you are barking up on the wrong tree again. You are falsely accusing me again.


But what is worse is that you are accusing Jesus for placing ‘unreasonable’ demands that are too burdensome for people to carry. Don’t you know it was Jesus who said those ‘negative’ words, ‘Cannot, Cannot, Cannot’ in Luke 14:26-27,33?


I thought you are the Super Christ-centred preacher. You keep boasting about the fact that you talk so much about Christ in your sermons. But what happened? How can you be Christ-centred when you are criticising Christ for His no-nonsense and exacting approach to discipleship?


How can you be Christ-centred when you disagree with Him on the use of ‘negative’ words, ‘Cannot, Cannot, Cannot’?


And by the way, you are fiercely teaching against the cost of discipleship, which is a cornerstone of Christ’s teachings. So how can you be Christ-centred when you are teaching against His core teachings?


Jesus Himself repeated three times in a few short verses: ‘Cannot, Cannot, Cannot’. If Jesus says, ‘Cannot’, it means Cannot lah! Period!


If you cannot even agree with Jesus’ simple instructions, and had to go head-on against what He taught, how can you ever be Christ-centred?


You are so deceptive that you have succeeded in deceiving the multitudes that you are Christ-centred when the truth is you are such an ego-centric man who is prepared to go against and sacrifice the words of Christ in the word of God for the sake of your pseudo-grace theology.” 


Jesus said that you cannot be His disciple if you are not committed to doing those things that are mentioned in Luke 14:26-27,33.


This simply means if you are not willing to give up everything, including your own life, you are not His disciple because Jesus said, ‘You cannot’.


Even though you can declare to the whole world you are a disciple, but if you haven’t met the requirements or demands of Jesus that are clearly stated in these few verses in Luke 14:26-27,33, you cannot be a disciple of Christ, and you are not His disciple.


That’s not what I say; that’s what Jesus said. 


If Jesus says, ‘Cannot’, it means Cannot!


Is that simple and plain enough?


There would be preachers who would give in to the temptation of trying to play down on the ‘harsh’ demands of Jesus.


They may say,


“Jesus didn’t really mean what he said in Luke 14:26-27,33. What he meant is that you just try to give up everything. And even if you can’t eventually give up everything, He would understand. Jesus is very understanding even if we don’t meet the discipleship demands that He has clearly laid out for us.”


But that’s merely twisting scripture for the sake of pleasing the flesh.


Joseph Prince would say something far worse:


“That’s being legalistic. Don’t ever allow Pharisaism to make a comeback in the church. That’s an insult to the finished work of the cross. That’s nothing but trying to earn your salvation by works, and those who insist on going that way would have a double-curse (Gal 1:8-9) being invoked on their lives.”


Whenever we stress on the cost of discipleship that Christ Himself has laid down for us, Joseph Prince will never fail to throw his comeback argument at us – that we are earning our salvation by works.


But we need to understand that while salvation by grace through faith is free, it is not unconditional.


Just because no one can earn his salvation, doesn’t mean there are no conditions that are attached to it.

Imagine someone makes an offer of free diamonds, but with the condition that they have to be collected between 1-2 pm on a Monday.


If one has obeyed the condition of collecting them at the stipulated time, are the diamonds still free? 


Of course, they are.


Has one earned the free gift of diamonds?


No, he hasn’t.


Has one worked for the free gift of diamonds just because one has met the condition to collect it at the stipulated time, which Joseph Prince and gang would want to deceptively accuse us of?


Of course, the answer is no.


In the same way, meeting the conditions of salvation – Christ’s costly discipleship doesn’t mean that one has earned the free gift of salvation by his works.


But if one doesn’t obey the condition to collect the free gift of diamonds at the stipulated time, the diamonds are not for him to claim even though they are totally free.


Similarly, if one doesn’t meet the condition of salvation – Christ’s costly discipleship, the salvation that one claims to possess is only a delusion.


Let’s come back to the conditions that Christ has laid down for us in Luke 14:26-27,33.


Jesus was always making it difficult for people to become His disciples; it is the modern church that has made it far too easy.


I know this is a tough message. But Jesus never sugarcoats His tough demands on us.


Jesus makes radical demands on us not to make us miserable. It is for our sake and our good that He makes such tough demands on us.


Because He is the one who created us, He knows that our true fulfilment comes when we learn to release our everything to Him. 


But if we have not reached the point where we are ready to give up our everything and be committed to do all the things that are mentioned in Luke 14:26-27,33, we cannot be disciples of Christ and we cannot call ourselves Christians.


Luke 14:25-27,33 is merely stating a basic theology that we must all hold on to – that Jesus must be accepted not only as Saviour but more importantly as Lord.


And as Lord, He must have total control over our lives: over our money, our possessions, our parents, our spouses, our children, and even our life.


And unless we are ready to give up everything and the dearest to our lives, Jesus is not Lord at all. And if Jesus is not Lord, He is not our Saviour.


“It costs you nothing to receive Jesus as Saviour but it will cost you everything to receive Him as Lord.” (George Ong)


(This related issue that Jesus must be accepted as Lord and not merely as Saviour will likely be covered in another article to be featured on this website in the near future.)


But sadly, that’s not what is taught in most evangelical churches in Singapore, Malaysia, America and many parts of the world.


Most churches teach the wrong doctrine that once you have accepted Jesus as Saviour, you are already saved. The issue of Lordship comes later when one is more ready to decide on it. But even if he eventually does not accept Jesus as Lord, he is still saved.


That is certainly unbiblical!


Yes, what Jesus is calling us to give up everything because He is our Lord is absolutely radical; it’s absolutely tough, but it is not impossible.


Please think with me – would Jesus ask us to do anything that is impossible?


It may be impossible to the flesh, but it is absolutely possible through the Spirit.


That is why He has given the Holy Spirit to empower us, to do that which seems to be impossible.


It also doesn’t mean that after we have decided to give up our everything and recognise Jesus as Lord, we will not fail Christ. I guarantee you and I will fail Him many times.


After we have made that decision of accepting Jesus as Lord of our life by giving up everything, we may have our victories, and we may have our failings. Even though we have failings, it is through our failings we will learn and grow.


Jesus has never promised that the Christian life would be easy but He promises His grace that would see us through our struggles and failings.


Yes, we would stumble and fall every now and then. But the bountiful and matchless grace of God and Christ Himself are sufficient to help us in our failings and weaknesses, as we strive to obey Him.


God and Christ Jesus will never abandon us to our own struggles but, with the empowerment of the Spirit, enable us to live the supernatural Christian life in total commitment and absolute obedience to His Lordship and for His glory.  


Jesus never promised us a rose-garden Christianity – that every New Covenant believer has the covenantal right to be very rich as Abraham was that Joseph Prince promised in his Prosperity Gospel.


But Christ promised His empowering grace and loving patience that will see us through in our difficult and joyous journey to follow and obey Him.


And Jesus is not a hard task-master.


While Jesus boldly and unapologetically asked for our everything, and even our life, at the same time, he is also the gentle and patient shepherd, who will also allow us to grow through our failings.


We can be rest assured that Jesus certainly knows the difference between one who is insincere and only talks about giving up everything but does not act on it, and another, who, in the giving up of his everything, may fail, but is sincere about learning from and growing through his failures and presses on to be a disciple of Christ. 


Christ does not expect perfection from us but sincerity is all that He requires.


Since Jesus issues the call to discipleship in Luke 14:25-27,33 to unbelievers, and not believers, it is only logical to conclude that His call to follow Him and be His disciples is also the same call to believe in Him and be saved. 


Hence, a disciple and believer are one and the same person.


It is therefore a fallacy to teach that while every disciple is a believer but not every believer is a disciple.


There is no such distinction between a disciple and a believer – in which a disciple is more committed whereas a believer does not have to take his Christian walk that seriously and holiness and devotion becomes optional.


Discipleship is not a badge of honour of having made it to the next higher level or an optional extra but the evidence of true saving faith.


Yet, there is this serious wrong teaching not just by false teachers like Joseph Prince, but by the vast majority of the evangelical church, not only in Singapore but around the world – that you can be a Christian without being a disciple. 


4. Disciples as taught & produced by Jesus in the gospels continued in New Testament Christianity after His death.


Discipleship of Jesus’ kind didn’t die out with the death of Christ but continued in the Book of Acts.


The Book of Acts describes the activities, ministries and life of the early church, which is a community of disciples or believers.


These early disciples carried out Christ’s Great Commission (after Stephen’s martyrdom) to make disciples by calling people to repent and be baptised into a wider community of disciples:


Acts 6:1a, 7a NIV

1 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing… 

7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly…


What is our picture of New Testament Christianity? As portrayed in the Book of Acts, it is a church that is full of disciples.


Many words are used to describe a person who is saved in Christ in the New Testament: ‘believer’, ‘Christian’, ‘saint’, ‘brethren’, ‘the elect’, ‘the church of God’, etc, but ‘disciple’ (referring to a disciple of Christ) appears about 280 times in the New Testament and 28 times in the Book of Acts – beating them all.


As we can see, the most common name for describing those who came to faith in Christ both by Christ Jesus and the early church in Acts is the word ‘disciple’.


These many passages in Acts in which the word ‘disciple’ appears have revealed that throughout the Book of Acts, disciples are not a group of specially committed believers (apart from another group of ordinary believers) but Christians who have placed their faith in Christ and committed to follow Jesus.


The fact that the word ‘disciple’ is still used in the early church in Acts, proves that continuity is maintained.


What this means is that what and how Jesus had defined and described a disciple – that he must give up everything to follow Him in Luke 14:26-7,33, is the same as that of the early church – where the early believers, including 11 of the 12 disciples, gave up their everything, including their own lives for the sake of Christ.


To put it another way, how disciples are seen and perceived in the early church is no different from how Jesus regarded them in His earthly ministry in Luke 14:26-27,33.


That being the case, a Christian, who is a disciple is not just called to be saved but to live a life of costly discipleship and total commitment to the glory of his master, Jesus, as according to Luke 14:26-27,33.


This means that if a so-called Christian is unwilling to be a disciple of Christ, then he isn’t a believer to begin with.


5. Disciples & Believers/Christians are Synonymous.


Disciples and believers/Christians are terms that are used interchangeably in the Book of Acts – definitely implying they are synonymous and have the same meaning.


During Jesus’ earthly ministry, those who believed in Him and chose to follow Him were called disciples.  After Jesus’s death and resurrection, the term ‘disciples’ didn’t disappear from the scene.


In the Book of Acts which documents the history of New Testament Christianity, and arising from the church’s obedience to Christ’s Great Commission to make disciples, those who repented and believed in Jesus were still called disciples:


Acts 6:7 NKJV

7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.


On another occasion, Luke, the author of Acts, reported another increase in converts. But this time instead of using the term ‘disciples’, he used the word, ‘believers’:


Acts 5:14 NKJV

14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,


On yet another occasion, Luke also records that the disciples were called Christians:


Acts 11:26 NIV

26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.


From these 3 passages (Acts 6:7, 5:14 & 11:26) it is rather clear that Luke treated these 3 terms: ‘disciples’, ‘believers’ and ‘Christians’ as synonymous.


Luke didn’t try to differentiate disciples from believers or Christians. He didn’t attempt to clarify that while most are believers or Christians, some, who want to be more committed and devoted, are disciples.


Disciples referred to in Acts in the New Testament Church are always believers with true saving faith – the exceptions being the disciples mentioned in John 6:66, who were either false believers or true believers who chose to walk away from their faith.


But throughout the Book of Acts in the bulk of the many passages, all believers are referred to as disciples (see Acts 6:1-2, 6:7, 9:1, 9:19, 11:29, 14:20, 14:22, 14:28, 18:23, 18:27, 19:9, 19:30, 20:1, 20:30, 21:4).


Whenever the word disciple is used in the Book of Acts, it refers to believers without exception.


In other words, the terms ‘believers’ (and Christians) and ‘disciples’ are synonymous.


John MacArthur, in ‘The Gospel According to Jesus,’ Page 221, wrote:


“The word disciple is used consistently as a synonym for believer throughout the book of Acts (6:1, 2, 7; 11:26; 14:20, 22; 15:10). Any distinction between the words is purely artificial…”


No distinction was ever made between what a believer or Christian is and what a disciple is in the Book of Acts – as every Christian is a disciple and every disciple is a Christian.


This means if one isn’t a disciple, then he isn’t a Christian as salvation cannot be seen apart from discipleship.


In conclusion, let me reiterate that in Luke 14:26-27,33, Jesus isn’t speaking to believers and challenging them to be more committed as disciples.


Christ is talking to unbelievers about the cost of discipleship and the high commitment that He requires in following Him as Saviour and Lord.


When a person comes to Jesus to obtain salvation, he must be prepared to be a disciple ready to follow Christ. If he isn’t prepared to be a disciple, then he isn’t ready for saving faith.


A ‘believer’ or ‘Christian’ is always a ‘disciple’. Disciples are Christians and Christians are disciples.


There is no difference between a disciple and a believer or Christian. The Bible never attempts to differentiate them. One can be used in place of the other. But one thing is common between them – they are both followers of Christ.


Disciples and Christians are not different persons, but they are the same person.


And if you are not willing to be a disciple, then you are not a Christian and you do not possess saving faith.


Indeed, Joseph Prince’s teaching that you can be a Christian without being a disciple can send droves of those who are deceived by him to hell!


Rev George Ong


Appendix A


What essentially is a disciple?


Joseph Prince has defined it as a learner. He has said that in many of his sermons. Prince’s hidden and deceptive agenda for doing it, is to posture the view that since a disciple is a mere learner, costly discipleship of suffering and even martyrdom (which he fights against), isn’t what defines a disciple. In fact, he teaches against the costly discipleship of Jesus in Luke 14:26-27,33.


Defining a disciple as a learner isn’t incorrect, but it is incomplete. This is because the meaning of words, such as disciples, cannot be just decided by their definition.


A fuller understanding of the word, ‘disciple’ must definitely take into account how it was used by Jesus and the four writers of the gospels in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.


For a proper and accurate understanding of the word ‘disciple’, it must take into the contexts and setting of how Jesus and the gospel writers use it.


That being the case, a disciple can thus be defined (one of the definitions) as one who comes to Jesus for salvation, and is willing to pay the price of total allegiance and loyalty to Jesus, and be engaged in a lifelong learning to be like His master, Jesus.


This definition can be backed up with many passages of scriptures in the gospels. Luke 14:26-27,33 is just one example, in which the call to be Christ’s disciples is issued to unbelievers.


Therefore, there are no two levels of commitment that Jesus is offering: one for ordinary believers and another for disciples. Jesus has only one set of offers to anyone who wants to be his disciples (Lk 14:26-27,33).


What defines a disciple is what would also apply to a Christian or believer as they are the same person.