Category Archives: Calvinism

Lordship Salvation: Is THEIR Report OUR Report?

By johninnc (illustration by Holly Garcia)

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Romans 10:16: But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

We were recently meeting with some Christian friends, who mentioned that a prominent writer would be appearing at a local megachurch to make the case for Christianity. This writer’s book makes the case for Christianity by describing how much faith it would require to be an atheist.

That is a great topic for a book, and for attendant lectures. But, let’s look at a little bit of background on the teachings of the church (Forest Hills Church, Charlotte) hosting this event.

From their pastor’s blog:

(he is explaining things from Jesus’ perspective)

Through my obedience, my Father has given me the final authority to execute judgment over all humanity. One day, everyone will hear my voice and appear before me in final judgment. Don’t marvel at this saying. It is true. This judgment will solely depend on those who have believed in me. John’s gospel repeatedly states this truth (3:16;5:24,25; 14:6). However, good and bad deeds will prove an individual’s faith. If good deeds aren’t there, it proves faith isn’t present. These people face eternal judgment. If good deeds are there, it proves faith is present and they are granted eternal resurrection life.

Do you believe in me today? Do you believe I came from heaven, lived in human flesh as a man, lived the perfect life you’re incapable of living, died for your sins and rose from the dead to prove your righteousness and grant you eternal life? It’s a free gift, given by grace through faith. Accept this gift. Believe in me. Trust me for your eternal life.

This is a terrible Calvinist “perseverance of the saints” message that is entirely unbiblical. It is an affront to the real gospel message. If good deeds prove the presence or absence of faith, then one must look at himself to determine if he is saved.

The question then becomes:

Is the person teaching that the Bible is reliable reliable? Or, are they setting records (attendance, book sales, etc.) by changing the record?

Let’s look at the conflicting, unbiblical statement of faith (in works) of another megachurch in North Carolina – Summit Church in Raleigh:

We believe that salvation is a free gift given at God’s initiative, and must be received personally by faith.  
John 5:24; Rom 10:9-10; Eph 2:8-9

We believe the Bible to be God’s Word, a true and fully accurate account of God’s love for us.  Its purpose is to teach us how to have a relationship with Him, worship Him and bring Him glory.  
Psalms 19:7-10; 2 Tim 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21

Sounds good so far, right?

Ah, but then the contradiction:

If you’d like a more in-depth explanation of our doctrinal beliefs, you may want to read The Baptist Faith and Message.

Following is an excerpt from the “in depth explanation” from the Baptist Faith and Message:

Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.

A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.

Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.

 This statement of “faith” requires that someone be regenerated before believing (unbiblical), defines repentance as “a genuine turning from sin toward God” (unbiblical), and thereby makes Jesus necessary for salvation, but not sufficient.

In the false gospel presented in the Baptist Faith and Message, Jesus’s work on the cross, and His victory over sin and death must be augmented by our works – in this case turning from sin.

This is not the record that God gave of His Son. And it is not a message that will save anyone.

1 John 5:10-12:

[10] He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

[11] And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

[12] He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

Have you believed OUR report? Or have you believed THEIR report?

OUR report:

Eternal salvation is a free gift, available to every person on the same basis: by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

THEIR report:

Their reports vary widely. They often look the same as ours – on the surface. But then, they contradict themselves with other statements or beliefs. Some examples:

  • We are saved by grace alone through faith alone. But, the faith that saves is never alone.
  • A true Christian will…
  • You must repent of your sins to be saved
  • You must commit your life to Christ to be saved
  • You must have heart faith, not just head faith to be saved
  • You can lose your salvation

For more information on OUR report, click here: OUR REPORT

 

Lordship Salvation: Filthy Rag Faith

By johninnc

Isaiah 64:6: But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

We often hear religious professing Christians malign authentic, Biblical Christianity with mocking epithets. Among them are “easy believism”, “greasy grace”, “cheap grace”, and the like.

I personally don’t mind “easy believism”, because that term is directed at believers rather than at the priceless atonement provided by Jesus.

Without wanting to appear mean-spirited, or playing tit-for-tat, I would respectfully submit that those who teach works for salvation, or faith plus works for salvation (Lordship Salvation), are encouraging lost people to put their faith in filthy rags. And no one has EVER received eternal life from Filthy Rag Faith.

Let’s look at some examples:

From Franklin Graham:

Maybe gays that are watching want to know, “Can God forgive me? Or can I go to heaven as a gay person?” Absolutely. But the same for any of us. We have to repent of our sins in turn. A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God. You’ll have to repent.

Franklin Graham is a sinner, and I’m no better than a gay person. I’m a sinner. But I’ve been forgiven, and I’ve turned from my sins. For any person that’s willing to repent in turn, God will forgive him.

My comment: No you haven’t “turned from your sins” Franklin. What does that even mean? Can you hear yourself? Do you believe in Christ as your Savior? If so, why the focus on your works? Forget what daddy says (famous evangelist father Billy Graham also preaches salvation by works) and try the truth.

From Charles Hadden Spurgeon:

True conversion is in all men attended by a sense of sin (which have spoken of under the heading of conviction); by a sorrow for sin or holy grief at having committed it; by a hatred of sin, which proves that its dominion is ended; and by a practical turning from sin, which shows that the life within the soul is operating upon the life without.

All the spokes of a wheel move at once when the wheel moves, and so all the graces commence action when regeneration is worked by the Holy Ghost. However there must be repentance. No sinner looks to the Savior with a dry eye or a hard heart.

Another proof of the conquest of a soul for Christ will be found in a real change of life. If the man does not live differently from what he did before, both at home and abroad, his repentance needs to be repented of, and his conversion is a fiction.

My comment: Mr. Spurgeon, were your tears, contrition, turning from sin, and living differently the objects of your faith? If not, why would you say these things that undermine the gospel?

John Calvin:

Shew me by works thy faith; for since it is not an idle thing, it must necessarily be proved by works. The meaning then is, Unless thy faith brings forth fruits, I deny that thou hast any faith. This verse is a key to the meaning of James: faith is to be proved by works; then faith properly justifies and saves, and works prove its genuineness.

My comment: Mr. Calvin – are you the same Calvin as in “Calvinism”? Did your works prove your faith? What if you had neglected the works? This quote would cause one to think that he must look for good works to manifest themselves in his life before he knows he has eternal life.

John Wesley:

God does undoubtedly command us both to repent, and to bring forth fruits meet for repentance; which if we willingly neglect, we cannot reasonably expect to be justified at all: therefore both repentance, and fruits meet for repentance, are, in some sense, necessary to justification.

My comment: Mr. Wesley, if one believes in Christ as Savior, but willingly neglects bringing forth fruit meet for (worthy of) repentance, he cannot expect to be justified at all? Is this why you thought that Christians could lose their salvation? This gives the impression that one’s faith should be in his ability to keep himself saved.

The Bible says that eternal life is received by grace through faith in Christ – without the deeds of the law:

Romans 3:26-28:

[26] To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
[27] Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
[28] Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Each of the above examples is from people who teach (or taught) directly, or by implication, that salvation comes by both God’s grace and our works. The Bible says otherwise.

Romans 11:6: And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

If you would like to know what the Bible says about how to have eternal life, click here: Eternal Life According to the Bible

Lordship Salvation: Worthless Religion

By johninnc

John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

I recently read a fascinating article on Yahoo entitled “Raising Kids Without God (But Maybe Not Without Religion)”, written by Calvin Hennick.

The crux of the article seemed to be that the writer wanted his kids to go to church so that they could contemplate the meaning of life.

Following are some of the salient excerpts:

My wife and I both grew up with a fairly evangelical, literalist brand of Christianity, and while we don’t quite consider ourselves atheists, we certainly don’t believe the things we believed when we were kids…

So, if I no longer believe that God can grant my family salvation in a life after this one, why am I thinking about going back to church now that I have kids? It’s not out of a desire to instill morality in them. Anyone who takes a look around can see that there are good and bad people of all faiths, and of no faith, and personally, I have pretty much the same sense of right and wrong that I did when I was a born-again Christian…

Instead, I’d like my kids to have a place where they can contemplate essential, universal questions about what it means to live a good life. I’d like for them to be part of a community searching for something bigger than the joys and struggles of everyday life – even if this “something greater” isn’t God. And I’d like these things for myself, too…

I still think it’s possible for my kids, and for me, to find meaning and community without God. But it might be a whole lot harder to find these things without church.

This is a very tragic article on so many levels.

First, the writer says that he and his wife “grew up” with Christianity. Did they? Was it ever made clear to them that they were sinners, alienated from God due to their sin? Were they taught that God, in his love for us, gave His only begotten Son – Jesus Christ (God in the flesh) – to take away the sins of the world by dying for us? Was it ever made clear to them that one need only to believe in Jesus as Savior in order to receive eternal life?

Second, the writer seems to equate trusting in Christ for eternal life with trusting in Him to make us good, and moral. Jesus did not die to give us a “sense of right and wrong.” He died to take away our sins. Were the writer and his wife taught that one believes in Jesus in order to make them good? Or, were they taught that one believes in Jesus for eternal life?

Third, the writer says that he used to be a born again Christian. There is no such thing as someone who used to be a born again Christian. If the writer ever believed in Jesus as his Savior, he has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

Last, having one’s children explore “what it means to live a good life” without teaching them how one receives eternal life is worthless.

While the writer claims to no longer believe in God, his faulty views of the Christian faith seem to have been embraced by many groups masquerading as Christian churches. And, many such groups are worthless in terms of either leading people to the Lord, or helping believers to grow in their faith.

Let’s investigate how three groups of people who identify as Christians deny the gospel. We will use John 3:16 as the backdrop:

Calvinists – believe that God chooses who will believe and who will not. Therefore, they deny the “whosoever” of John 3:16. They also believe that all “true believers” will persevere in holiness, and Godliness, thus revealing that they are believers through their good works. Since one cannot know whether he has been “chosen”, and since one’s works will demonstrate that he has been “chosen”, these people will invariably look to works for assurance of eternal life.

Lordship “salvationists” – believe that one must either make a bi-lateral contract with God in order to receive eternal life (such as “repenting from one’s sins” or “making Christ Lord of one’s life”) or that one who has received eternal life will show some ill-defined “life change” to prove he is a believer in Christ. Therefore, they deny the “believeth in Him” of John 3:16. Like the Calvinist, LSers will invariably look to works – at least in part – for assurance of eternal life.

Arminians – believe that one can lose his eternal life through sin. Since this is a concept not found in the Bible, this group can never tell you how much sin it takes to lose one’s “eternal life.” Accordingly, they look to works for evidence of eternal life, thereby denying the “everlasting life’ promised in John 3:16.

Perhaps your church is clear on the gospel, and never teaches any of the above concepts. If so, great! But, if your church teaches any of these things – either implicitly or explicitly – you and your family are in grave danger.

If you would like to know how to receive eternal life please click here: ETERNAL LIFE FOR YOU

A Distressing and Dangerous Email Message

By Jack Weaver

A couple of days ago I received an email from Miami International Theological Seminary (MINTS), promoting the seminary. MINTS is a moderate in size but is an influential seminary located just a few miles from my home.

I received the email because MINTS founder and President, Dr. Greg Hauenstein was a friend who testified to having trusted Christ as his Savior some 34 years ago at a youth meeting in my home. Soon after testifying to being a believer in Christ, Greg enrolled in and attended Florida Bible College (FBC). FBC is my alma mater, and I believe it was Biblically sound at the time Greg attended. But, while he was attending FBC, Greg was lured away by a charismatic Presbyterian preacher who, to my dismay, had been invited to be a guest speaker at an FBC Chapel service.

This should be a stern warning to anyone who thinks we are being “picky” or “pedantic” or “argumentative” when we insist that we have no fellowship with people who teach false doctrine. False doctrine can spread like wildfire. That is why the Bible tells us:

Romans 16:17: Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

Under the protective wing of his new friend and pastor, Greg attended a Calvinist seminary, came back and became lead Pastor of the Calvinist Presbyterian church that had been pastored by the man who lured Greg away from the faith. While pastoring the church, Greg founded MINTS and later resigned his pastorate to focus his attention on building and supporting MINTS. By man’s standards, Greg has been quite successful in building MINTS. There are now over 510 study centers/schools in 68 countries in multiple languages with over 13,000 students in degree programs.

Aside from the number of new Calvinist teachers, the most distressing part is that MINTS is one of many Calvinist seminaries that is producing Calvinist leaders and teachers by the thousands. Each of these new leaders and teachers has the potential to create even more converts to the vile false gospels of Calvinism and Lordship “salvation” (LS).

Our mission at ExPreacherMan is to preach and teach the gospel clearly, and to debunk the false gospels of Calvinism/LS. It is frustrating to watch thousands of lives ruined by groups such as MINTS.

If you are reading this, and are unfamiliar with Calvinism or LS, let me provide some quick definitions:

Calvinism – a series of false tenets that starts with the false notion that God has selected some people to go to heaven, and others to be consigned to hell. The individual has no choice in the matter. It follows with the false belief that someone whom God has chosen to be saved will automatically persevere in a lifetime of good works and following Christ in discipleship and obedience.  If that doesn’t happen, according to this false belief, it proves that a person was never saved.  So, the focus becomes not what Christ has done, but the works that a believer has done.

LS – the unsupportable belief that the PERFORMANCE of works, the PROMISE of works, or the EVIDENCE of works must accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

Some of the people lured by MINTS are believers who have turned from the Christian faith to the counterfeit Calvinist/LS lies. The Bible speaks of believers becoming bewitched by false gospels, and the devastating consequences. While such people remain eternally secure Christians, they have set aside all power for Christian living and witnessing. If they teach the accursed gospels they have adopted, they are also under God’s curse, essentially “playing for the other team.”

As they attempt to replicate themselves, Calvinists/LSers have two groups upon whom to prey. They can prey on believers, causing some to fall from grace. Or, they can prey on unbelievers who try to become Christians by believing their false gospels, and thus remain unsaved.  Of course, they prey on both groups.

Meanwhile, we struggle to set Calvinists and LSers free of that bondage with the message of the free will Gospel of God’s Grace.   And, although our ministry is small, and the numbers of Calvinist/LS ministries are great, we routinely receive entreaties, snarky, and derisive comments that tell us that WE are teaching a false gospel.

Tom Cucuzza touched on this in a recent sermon, which is excerpted below:

However, there are those, though, who are fixed on preaching error and teaching error. And when they are approached with the truth – and we try to make that clear – they say: “That’s not true! I don’t believe that. I believe you’re the one who’s teaching falsehood.”

Of course the perplexing question remains: why do Calvinists educate and send folks out to teach their accursed message when they claim that their god has already predestined those who would be “saved”, thus leaving the balance of the world to be condemned to hell by their god’s alternative choice?

And we wonder why Calvinism is taking the world by storm. They are eager to spread their false message. Why? Because they have been blinded to the Truth, and are deluded.  They apparently seek for power, prestige and, not uncommon in some Calvinist circles, the financial profit that ensues.

Greg professed his decision to believe in Jesus as his Savior in my presence some 34 years ago. One wonders why he would, for years now, relish and promote a message contrary to God’s Word and the simplicity that is in Christ.

Distressing !!!!

If you have been lured by the false gospels of Calvinism or LS, and would like to know the truth of how to have eternal life, click here:  The Real Story

Lordship Salvationists Fail Their Own Test

by Jack Weaver and johninnc

One of Jack’s long-ago friends and a great help in his church in South Florida, Tom Croley, dropped this excellent observation to Jack last week. What a classic dilemma this presents for Lordship “salvation” pushers (LSers).

————————————————————————————————–

The other day the Lord gave me an observation about LS that I have never put together before. You have probably already thought of it but here it is.

The same people that say you must examine your faith to make sure your faith is genuine (“true faith”) usually teach that God chooses who will be saved and who will not and the associated erroneous teaching that “faith is the gift of God”.

They never seem to think about what they are telling people.

Suppose I am in the congregation listening to them expound on all the “tests” of true faith and I decide that … “Whoa! I don’t have genuine faith after all.” THEN what can I do about it?

Nothing! Because the same preacher on another Sunday will tell them that God gives you faith. So if you discover that your faith is not genuine upon hearing said sermon, you might as well get up and walk out the door and deposit your Bible on the way out — because according to them, you cannot DO anything about it you’re just not chosen, tough luck!

It makes you wonder why they even bother to preach sermons on “testing your faith to see if you are really saved.”

After all, what are they going to do…. “believe harder?” Or maybe they should go out and do a bunch of extra good works to prove that their faith is real after all?

Since nobody does get up and walk out, it shows that people are not listening, or if they are, they smugly think that their Pastor must be talking about someone else, because “there is nothing wrong with my faith” and “I don’t need to do any more good works.”

This is a form of arrogance. We can always do more for Jesus.

Praise God for Acts 16:31:

“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

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Jack’s friend Tom Croley makes an excellent point. Of course, the scriptural passages that LSers misuse to come up with their non-Biblical, gospel-eviscerating “tests”, cannot possibly mean what they say they mean.

The Bible says that one can have assurance of eternal life as soon as he has believed in Christ as Savior:

John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

But, a new Christian doesn’t have anything of himself to examine for salvation. If a new Christian can have assurance of salvation without looking to himself, SO CAN ANY CHRISTIAN!

One CANNOT POSSIBLY look to his works, attitudes, good intentions, commitment, passion, feelings, emotions, direction of his life, sinning less, being more sensitive to sin, or any of these things to affirm, or even to corroborate whether or not he has eternal life.

The Bible teaches that works do not enter into the equation of whether or not someone goes to heaven or hell.

Romans 11:6: And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

LSers are left on the horns of a dilemma: How can they trust in Christ alone as Savior, yet look to their works for assurance of salvation?

Perhaps as you’ve read this article, it has dawned on you that the “tests of life” that pastors have been teaching are not Biblical.

And, maybe it has dawned on you that in relying on these “tests”, you have never trusted in Christ alone as your Savior.

If you would like to know how to have eternal life, click here:  Gospel link

 

Helping a New Believer Find an Oasis of Grace in a Desert of Lordship Salvation

By johninnc and Jack Weaver

We recently received an e-mail from a fellow grace believer who wants to spread the gospel to people with whom he comes into contact.  Following are excerpts from the e-mail:

When l share the simple plan of salvation and they believe in Jesus to give them the gift of eternal life, what do l do with them to help them grow as christians. lt seems to me that if l send them to a church in my area, they will get this LS teaching…l know that l will have to have a fellowship in my home to encourage and also be encouraged, if you know of a web site that would teach new christians ” what’s my next step” i would love to know about it.

This is a great question.  Many of us do not have a home church, and would not be comfortable steering anyone – much less a new believer – to any church that distorts the gospel in ANY way.

Before anyone begins looking for a church, he should be thoroughly grounded in the gospel.

In addition to the home fellowship that you suggested, below are some recommendations to help new believers grow in grace, and some things to avoid.

1. Suggest that they repeatedly read clear explantations of God’s plan of salvation.  Such resources will remind them of the Biblical truth that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. This will also reinforce the truths of eternal security and assurance for the believer in Christ.

We recommend two such resources at ExPreacherMan.

“The Gospel” booklet by Ron Shea

http://expreacherman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/the-gospel.pdf

“How to Be Sure You are Going to Heaven” by Dr. Thomas Cucuzza:

http://expreacherman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/how-to-be-sure-you-are-going-to-heaven-with-cover.pdf

2. Have them learn to read God’s Word.  Start by suggesting they read through the book of Galatians several times, one chapter per day. The book of Galatians is a defense of the gospel that will help new believers understand the nature of the attacks that they will face from the world of professing Christendom, and the Biblical response to those attacks.

3. Emphasize the importance of  not looking to changes in our lives for assurance of salvation, nor to let the lack of sufficient changes in our lives undermine our assurance of salvation.

4. Suggest they read ExPreacherMan articles and comments.

5. Have them listen to online sermons from sources that you have evaluated and are convinced are reliable.  We recommend Dr. Cucuzza’s sermons.  See link below:

http://northlandchurch.com/go/downloads

6. Warn them to avoid playing “Russian Roulette” with books, sermons, and websites that claim to be teaching Christianity. There is more bad teaching out there than good.

7. Make yourself available for questions – within reason. Some people will fail to do things they need to do to grow in grace, or will do things to undermine their faith (see number 6) and be pretty shaky. Challenge people to take an active role, and not just have you feed them.

8.  Pray that God will provide for them, and for you, a church in which the gospel is taught clearly, consistently, and without contradiction. If you are unable to find a church, don’t despair.  ExPreacherMan is available as a place for fellowship, discussion and encouragement for people who have church homes, as well as for those who don’t.

9.  Let them know to never let down their guard and to maintain vigilance. Avoid any church where there is evidence of Calvinism or Lordship “salvation.” Many churches and pastors will claim to believe in grace, but their words will betray them.   Consider the following from one false teaching mega-church:

From “Core Beliefs:

Those who put their faith alone in Christ for Salvation are children of God and heirs of eternal life.

From the Senior Pastor’s blog:

Through my obedience, my Father has given me the final authority to execute judgment over all humanity. One day, everyone will hear my voice and appear before me in final judgment. Don’t marvel at this saying. It is true. This judgment will solely depend on those who have believed in me. John’s gospel repeatedly states this truth (3:16;5:24,25; 14:6). However, good and bad deeds will prove an individual’s faith. If good deeds aren’t there, it proves faith isn’t present. These people face eternal judgment. If good deeds are there, it proves faith is present and they are granted eternal resurrection life.

10.  Tell them to share the good news with others.

Want to know the good news?  Here it is:  Good News!

Another Gospel – The Truth about Lordship “salvation.”

Our friend Mark Andre has produced an amazing Biblical video, proclaiming the Truth of the Gospel of Grace and exposing all that is wrong with Lordship “salvation,” Calvinism and other false teachings.

Mark called several months ago asking permission to use some material and ideas from ExPreacherMan.com. We are happy we consented.

The progression of the video keeps your attention — Mark explains the simplicity of the Gospel of Grace and then, naming names, he exposes the preachers and proponents of “works salvation” (Probation). This mission is especially important to Mark because his is a former member of John MacArthur’s church. He realized the Truth, abandoned the lie perpetrated by JMac and is dedicated to exposing those who insist on adding works to the Gospel of God’s Grace.

This is a must watch video. Please recommend it to your friends, especially those who may be mixed up in false teaching. It is also a good doctrinal review for all believers.

Great job, Mark!!

Eternal Life for You << Click