Christian apologist, author and evangelist Josh McDowell said the doctrine of being "saved by faith" that is being taught in many churches today is utter heresy.
McDowell, speaking at a TV program, challenged the popular doctrine, saying many preachers today teach 'You're saved by faith' when in fact, it's not true.
He said those who teach and believe that a person is saved by faith are practically a "cult."
"That's a cult. That's a sect," he said in a video recording of the TV program. "It's impossible to be saved by faith."
"One of the greatest heresies taught today is salvation by faith," he emphasized.
McDowell explained that if anybody can be saved by faith, then Jesus didn't have to come because faith would have been enough. He also pointed out that having faith does not save anybody, because if it did, almost everyone would have been saved already.
"if you could be saved by faith, you wouldn't need Jesus. Just build up your faith," he said.
"Everybody I know in the world has faith. Does that make them a believer? No. Does it mean their sins are forgiven? No. Does that mean they're gonna spend eternity with Yahweh? No. But they have faith," he added.
"You can't be saved by faith. If you could be saved by faith, you don't need Jesus," he repeated.
So how can anybody be saved exactly? How can a person be saved according to the Bible's definition of salvation?
"We are saved by grace, through faith, not by faith. By grace through faith in Jesus," McDowell explained. "It's not faith that saved us, it was the grace of God."
McDowell's simple explanation was based on a fairly popular verse written by the apostle Paul: "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).
McDowell also said that a person's faith must be rooted in Christ. Faith that is rooted in anything other than Christ does not save anyone, no matter how strong that faith is.
"What Jesus did on the cross is death and burial for our sins, but it's by grace through faith in Jesus," he said.
"You remove the 'in Jesus,' you can have all the faith you want in the world about anything and you go straight to hell. You see, you can't be saved by faith," he concluded.