Not only does the Bible teach Lordship salvation, it also demonstrates it! The Bible gives a clear picture that going to heaven is a matter of lordship – not just saying the right things about Him like, “Lord, Lord” (words), or doing things to “make Him Lord” (works), but actually receiving Him as Lord (worship). This clear picture of salvation being a matter of lordship is given to us in the Bible in Luke 23:32-43. See for yourself what the Bible has to say on the subject of salvation being a matter of lordship (worship).
32. Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him.
33. When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.
34. But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
35. And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”
36. The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine,
37. and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”
38. Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
39. One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”
40. But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?
41. And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”
42. And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”
43. And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
This account in the Bible is the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ who was crucified between two criminals. The two criminals are part of the backdrop of this picture of salvation and it is from their examples that we see that salvation is illustrated in the bible as a matter of lordship.
Here is how it works:
1. One criminal changed his mind about Jesus and began to believe that Jesus really was the King – “But the other answered, and rebuking him said, ‘Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?”
2. He admitted that he was guilty and receiving what he deserved – “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds.”
3. He realized and admitted that Jesus was innocent and had done nothing wrong – Jesus was dying for crimes He had not committed – “but this man has done nothing wrong.”
4. He confessed with his mouth that Jesus is Lord (King) – “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom.” Only kings have kingdoms.
5. He believed in his heart that God would raise Jesus from the dead – “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom.” He knew that Jesus was being executed and was going to die but he also believed that God would raise Him from the dead and that He would come again.
6. He called on the name of the Lord – “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom.”
The Bible says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord (King) and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes resulting in righteousness and with the mouth he confesses resulting in salvation. And whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:9-10, 13).
The word “confess” is not the same as the word “profess.” The word “confess” means “to say the same thing as another,” or “agree with another.” So to confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord does not mean just to say or profess, “Lord, Lord,” but it means to agree with God that Jesus really is Lord. This knowledge of Jesus' lordship that results in confession of His lordship is the work of God through the gospel giving illumination to the heart and mind.
You can teach a parrot to say, "Jesus is Lord", but the parrot will have no logical understanding or agreement with what he is saying. The parrot would be "professing Jesus is Lord" but he could not "confess Jesus is Lord" without someone from the outside having the ability to make the parrot understand and giving the parrot the ability to understand. The same is true of men. Many may profess that Jesus is Lord because they have been taught to profess that but there has been no genuine illumination of the heart and mind which results in confessing that Jesus is Lord based on logical understanding, agreement, and spiritual illumination.
The criminal that died and went to hell wanted Jesus as Savior – “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But notice that he did not want Jesus as Lord (King). If he would have wanted Jesus as Lord (King) he would not have tried to command Jesus what to do. He wanted a utilitarian Christ - one he could use as a magic-genie and whom he could command for his own benefits.
The criminal that died and went to heaven wanted Jesus as Lord and did not try to command or use Him but instead humbly submitted to Him. He had a change of heart and mind based on spiritual illumination given through the circumstances and message of the crucifixion - Now there was also an inscription above Him, "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS." Salvation is a matter of lordship!