Category Archives: Peace

John MacArthur Speaks on Predestination: A Rebuttal

photo

John MacArthur Speaks on Predestination Question:

A Grace-Based Rebuttal

Source of the MacArthur Interview: Shepherdsconference.org, 2010, Media, General Session 5, an Interview with John MacArthur
Johnny Mac
Introductory Comments:
Generally speaking, when I review an article or interview, I will select several salient statements upon which to comment. This methodology usually works well, but, at times individuals have made the accusation that the writer’s or speaker’s statements have been misquoted or taken out of context. In order to head off this dodge, I have chosen to print the MacArthur interview on the subject, “The Question of Predestination,” in its entirety. My brief, clearly-labeled comments or responses to MacArthur’s open questions and statements will be inserted throughout the text of the interview; they will be in [brackets].

Note: To view the article in its entirety, go to:

http://califgracer.wordpress.com/

John MacArthur on Predestination:

A Grace-Based Rebuttal

Source of the MacArthur Interview: Shepherdsconference.org, 2010, Media, General Session 5, an Interview with John MacArthur

[Interspersed with bracketed comments]

Question posed to MacArthur:

“Why witness? How do we tell people that God loves them and that Jesus Christ did not die for them? Or do we tell them that?
[Inserted comment: A great question posed to John MacArthur. I have often myself asked Calvinists a similar question: "If God's got it all slated as to who gets to go to heaven and who must go to hell, and the individual has abolutely no say in the matter, then, WHY HAVE MISSIONS?" To date, I have never heard anyone give a logical biblical answer to that question. Let's see whether John MacArthur will be the first] . . . .

MacArthur answers:

Well, you tell them whatever the Bible tells you to tell them. And the Bible tells you to go into the world and preach the gospel to every creature. That’s what you do because that’s what the Scripture says.”

[Inserted Comment: Right so far, John: Mark 16:15. And verse 16 tells why Jesus commanded the preaching of the gospel (the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, 1 Cor. 15:1-8)---so people would believe and become saved (cf. Acts 16:30-31); he also warns that those who refuse to believe (right through the point of death) will be lost (cf. John 3:18, John 5:40, 47). Christ Jesus would never command something be preached to the world if that proclamation had no possibility of efficacious results, i.e., if the individual had no ability to respond to the message in belief (Calvinists teach "Total Inability," the "T" of the Calvinist acronym "TULIP," that is, that men and women are completely dead in their sins and have absolutely no ability to respond in believing faith to the gospel of Christ Jesus). In view of the multitude of verses that call people to believe and thus be saved, e.g., John 3:16-18; Acts 16:30-31; John 5:24; John 6:29, 40; John 7:37-38 (ALL are welcome); John 11:25-26, this (Calvinist) teaching is UNBIBLICAL and illogical.]

MacArthur continues: “Any tension you have between that and the doctrine of divine election and predestination; any tension you feel in those areas, I feel. I feel the same tension. I ask the same question. I don’t know that there’s some kind of quick answer to the question. I am, however, happy to concede that God can resolve all things that I can’t (crowd laughter and applause). Really! I don’t expect the view and you shouldn’t expect of me to be able to unscrew the ‘unscrutable’ [inscrutable?]. Uh, you, you, really don’t think that I’m going to solve all the vast theological dilemmas that have existed since the Scriptures were penned. [Interviewer inserts, ‘Actually, some people do.’ (crowd laughter; then MacArthur continues)] Ya; the best answer to this question is, ‘My brother, I feel your pain’ (crowd laughter).”

[Inserted Comment: Really, Dr. MacArthur? The best answers that you can give are, "I feel the same tension," "I ask the same question," "I feel your pain"? Might it be that these issues are "painful" and "unresolvable" only because you view the Bible and the gospel through skewed Calvinist lenses? Christ called us, not to live in tension, anguish and fear, but in trust and rest in his finished work on our behalf. Matthew 11:28 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." ]

Mac Arthur: “I, uh, I’m not here to give you an answer, but, I will tell you this: I do not believe that Jesus died for nobody. I believe he died for somebody. And I believe he died specifically for those who would believe in him, and those who believe in him are those who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit based upon the eternal sovereign electing purpose of God. I think his atonement was an actual one, not a potential one. I don’t think that it was a general one; I think it was a specific one. I think it was a real death for sin. The issue here is the nature of the atonement.”

[Inserted Comment: Wow, Dr. MacArthur, you are speaking at a leadership conference at a question and answer session, and you say, "I'm not here to give you an answer"? Let's look at some of your statements: "I do not believe that Jesus died for nobody. I believe he died for somebody." Response to MacArthur: The Bible declares that Jesus died for everyone, for the world: John 6:33 "The bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto THE WORLD." 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 eternal life." 1 John 2:2 "And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of THE WHOLE WORLD." 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some me count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH but that ALL should come to repentance." 1 Timothy 2:3-6 "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who WILL HAVE ALL MEN TO BE SAVED, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who GAVE HIMSELF A RANSOM FOR ALL, to be testified in due time."

Yet, sadly, NOT ALL THE WORLD WILL RECEIVE his gracious gift (Ephesians 2:8-9) of salvation: John 3:36 (which clearly demonstrates man's free will to accept or reject God's gracious gift of salvation through believing in his Son, cf. Matthew 23:37; John 3:18) "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."]

To view the entire article, go to:

http://califgracer.wordpress.com/

Free Grace Gospel Tract: Let’s Build it Together

saved by grace

Greetings Free Grace Friends!

This is a new project which I trust will be instructive, beneficial and a good way to demonstrate the Truth of the Free Grace Gospel as opposed to the Folly of other “gospels.” Anyone can participate, but the administration reserves the right to review and possibly edit some of the comments for appropriate content, grammar or length.

Here are the rules:

There will be two categories listed in the tract. The first will be comprised of genuine presentations of the Free Grace Gospel of the Bible. The second category will be made up of poor or false presentations of statements which are commonly referred to as, “the gospel.” Please keep your statements BRIEF (one or two lines per category maximum) as this process is meant to assemble an easy-to-read free-flowing tract. Brief Scripture references or Scripture quotations are fine (King James refs. preferred). Please limit your comments to one entry per category per day. This restriction will allow lots of people to take part in the project. As the entries come in, they will be checked as indicated above, and, if appropriate, they will then be added to the tract. Well, that’s about it for now. Thanks, in advance, for participating. Here are the two categories: “Proper, Biblical, Free Grace Presentations of the Gospel,” and, “Inappropriate, False or Erroneous Presentations of What is Called, “the gospel”

Proper, Biblical, Free Grace Presentations of the Gospel:

“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31)

Ephesians 2:8-9
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Jesus Christ was fully man yet fully God. He lived a sinless life and died on a cross, shedding his blood in the process, as a payment for our sin. It was only by a perfect sacrifice that our sin could be forgiven. Jesus died, was buried, and rose again. He is in heaven and is the only means by which man can be saved from the penalty of sin and thereby escape eternal damnation.
Do you realize that you are a sinner that stands condemned before God? Rom 3:23 Do you understand that Christ died for you? Will you this very moment trust Christ alone to be your Savior? The Bible says that whosoever believes on Him (Christ) shall have everlasting life. John 3:16.

“Trust in Christ alone for your Salvation and in nothing else.”

We don’t “do” anything to be saved. It is a free gift. We only need to BELIEVE!

Shorthand equation…: Eternal Salvation = Faith + Nothing

There really is no other way to obtain salvation than this:

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
John 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
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.
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

(true) Acts 16;30-31 “what Must I do to be saved? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ . . .

True: “We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood.”

Genuine:
Romans 6:23(NKJV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“Our salvation was infinitely costly to God, but it is absolutely free to us.” Quote by Dave Branon.

1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Eph 2:8-9 For by grace… There is no price that we can add to obtain salvation. Christ paid the price. There is no additional price to be paid on our part. We must simply put out faith in Christ alone to save us.

Statements Below are Inappropriate, False or Erroneous Presentations of What is Called, “the gospel” (again, these statements below are NOT the true gospel of the Bible).

“Turn or burn”

“Faith sandwich” – works on the outside, faith in Christ on the inside. Can also be served “open face”. Example:
Works – Repent of your sins
Faith – Place your faith in Jesus
Works – Surrender to Jesus as Lord

A sampling of “the MacArthur” plan of salvation (for the full message, see: Comments, Holly’s list of MacArthur sayings). Sample: “Becoming a Christian is not easy. It’s hard. Another way to say all that is that the Kingdom opens up to those who seek with all their hearts. You’re not going to sleep your way into the Kingdom. The Kingdom requires earnest endeavor, untiring energy . . .”

Two false gospel quotes: 1. Calvinism is the Gospel. (Sermons, Vol. 1, p. 50) Spurgeon . . . . 2. I believe that Christ came into the world not to put men into a salvable state, but into a saved state. Not to put them where they could save themselves, but to do the work in them and for them, from first to last. (Sermons, Vol. 3, p. 34) Spurgeon

Inappropriate expressions I hear a lot:

“Count the cost”

“Forsake your life”

There are so many mountains in your life, so many obstacles in your life; so many things in your life that seek to derail you−to stop you. And they’re going to stay there because some of those things just don’t go away by counseling. They go away by falling on your face before God until He delivers you. ~Paul Washer

So I would like to add that the notion of “praying a sinner’s prayer” or “asking Jesus into your heart” is one example of a false or faulty gospel.

Erroneous faith + works analogy: Salvation is like a row boat. One oar is faith. The other oar is works. If one uses one oar only, the boat goes in circles. If both oars are used, the boat travels in a straight path to its destination (i.e., heaven). But we are not going to Heaven in a rowboat. Rather, we are carried to heaven on the shoulders of the good Shepherd, Jesus Christ!

(Illustration above based on a Dr. Harry Ironside sermon)

False quotes:

• “Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God… If we don’t want God above all things, we have not been converted by the gospel.”
― John Piper, God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself

“Gospel repentance is tapping into the joy of our union with Christ in order to weaken our need to do anything contrary to God’s heart.” [@DailyKeller]
“You are not saved by love, joy, peace…You are saved by faith not fruit, BUT you are never saved by fruitless faith.” [@dailykeller]

And finally today, one more head scratcher from Spurgeon:

“Avoid a sugared gospel as you would shun sugar of lead. Seek the gospel which rips up and tears and cuts and wounds and hacks and even kills, for that is the gospel that makes alive again. And when you have found it, give good heed to it. Let it enter into your inmost being. As the rain soaks into the ground, so pray the Lord to let his gospel soak into your soul.” Spurgeon

(false statements )-faith alone justifies but the faith that justifies is never alone; also salvation is free but it can cost you everything (these two are not for the tract but I couldn’t resist mentioning them—kept them in, they are worth mentioning)

(this is a common tract prayer) believe in Jesus, feel sorry for your sins and turn or be willing to turn from your sins etc, etc.

More false definitions of even what faith is, by W.E. Vine as quoted by Macarthur in “the Gospel according to Jesus”:

Faith consists of “a firm conviction…a personal surrender…[and] conduct inspired by such surrender” (173-174). According to this definition, faith includes conduct, that is, works. Faith is conviction, surrender, and conduct.

False: “We believe that all who receive by faith alone, Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and who confess Him as such before their fellow men, are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God.”

Here was one on FB: Instead of hugging and accepting a sinner in their sin, how about warning them of the truth of hell damnation and salvation through repentance to Jesus? Few warn because most are with sinners on the broad path to destruction. TIME TO REPENT AND DEDICATE TO JESUS AND BE SEPARATE FROM SIN. . . . When asked what one did with the woman at the well or later they asked about why Paul still sinned, this was the answer: Dear soul, those whom were forgiven were changed and left their sin…Jesus didn’t forgive those who stayed in their sins…He didnt say to the pharisees who refused to repent “Your sins are forgiven” Dont be fooled if you stay in sin and won’t turn from the broad path, then you won’t find the forgiveness needed to enter heaven…Rather hell instead…Time for you to repent and seek to know Jesus and he will lead you and forgive you…….

What You Must Do:
God commands all men everywhere to repent of their sins, turn to God, and believe in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Come to Him and flee from the wrath to come! To repent is to turn away from everything in your life that goes against God’s will, including your works, words, and thoughts.
Stop fighting against God! Fall down before Him and stop trying to justify yourself and think you’re good enough. Admit your wickedness before a holy God, your helplessness to do anything to please Him, and trust in nothing except what Christ has done.
If you come to Christ, repenting of your sins and believing in Him, you will be saved. . . .

Repentance: 1) to change one’s mind, i.e. to repent
2) to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins “Repentance (metanoia, ‘change of mind’) involves a turning with contrition from sin to God; the repentant sinner is in the proper condition to accept the divine forgiveness.” (F. F. Bruce. The Acts of the Apostles [Greek Text Commentary], London: Tyndale, 1952, p. 97.)

On the topic of salvation in one sermon MacArthur compared it to an exchange. He said, “It’s an exchange of all that I am for all that he is.”

Christmas 2012 — Understand the True Meaning

Shepherds in the field

God’s message to the lowly Shepherds in the fields outside of Bethlehem – we take an unusual look at these precious, classic Bible verses which announced the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Luke 2:9-11
And, lo, the angel [messenger] of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be  to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

As we examine this classic verse – the emboldened words take on great new meaning.

(1) Good Tidings. Good News. The Greek word for this phrase is the exact same root word as the Gospel in Romans 1:16, It is the Power of God!!
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

(2) To All People: Greek: Pas; all, any, every, the whole. Imagine that!!  The Good News of Salvation is for ALL people. God’s offer is not just to a specific chosen or select group but ALL people. When The Lord says, “All” He means ALL people!!

(3) Born: To literally be born, brought forth, be delivered, be in travail — as of a virgin, Mary, the mother of Jesus. Jesus Christ did not just appear on earth but He was physically born as God’s “only begotten Son.” John 3:16

(4) A Savior, One Who Saves Jesus is not offering nor is He the Author of a bi-lateral contract to individuals, in which we offer Him something in exchange for salvation. No!! He is the Savior. He has done it all, He paid the price — it was finished on the Cross of Calvary.

(5) Christ: Gr. Christos; The Anointed One, The promised Messiah, the Holy appointed One.

(6) The Lord – Gr. Kurios; supreme in authority, God, Lord, master. Jesus Christ, thereby God in the Flesh!!

Therefore we see The Lord, the Christ, the Savior was born to benefit ALL people — and my dear friends, that IS the Good News, the Good Tidings, the Gospel of our salvation.

In all the glory of His birth some two thousand years ago, He came to die on the Cross in order to eternally redeem anyone from the sin-debt death penalty upon all. Anyone who makes the decision to place their trust/faith in Jesus Christ alone for their eternal salvation has that eternal salvation immediately.

Jesus Christ Himself speaking:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” John 6:47

Further Biblical Proof: << Click

Joyously Free From the Burden, Oppression and Depression of Lordship “Salvation” and Calvinism.

By Jack Weaver

This is a wonderfully encouraging note from Kim who, with her husband, was trapped in Calvinism and Lordship “salvation” for over 22 years, She proclaims they are both now Joyously Free From the Burden, Oppression and Depression of Lordship “Salvation” and Calvinism. This is her story.

~~~~~~~00~~~~~~~

I’ve been ‘lurking’ on your ExPreacherMan site for a couple of months now, and I can happily say that my eyes have been opened and my life and faith have been changed completely because of the wonderful words of Truth contained on your site, which God has so graciously used to ‘change my mind’.

My husband and I had been swallowing the false Calvinism and Lordship Salvation teachings of R.C. Sproul and John MacArthur for 22 years, and me for 11 years before that, not realizing that they offered only false gospels.

In recent years, however, I found myself having more and more ‘trouble’ with the Calvinism teachings and emphases. So the Holy Spirit had been preparing me, I believe, for the day I came across your web site and discovered how truly disgraceful the teachings of Calvinism and Lordship Salvation are — false teachings offering false gospels, we now clearly see.

In searching for information on the book A Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns, [Reviewed by Bruce Bauer] I got a hit on your site, and then came across the post You May Be a Lordship Salvationist If:” [By John] and began reading. I not only gained the information I needed to refute the unbiblical ‘social gospel’ message of Stearns’ book, which I knew to be error, but quickly saw the Truth of Free Grace as I read more and more of your posts and comments.

Now my husband and I are 100% Free Gracers, and are experiencing that wonderful feeling of a giant burden lifted! The oppression and depression of years of works and behavior focus are gone, and we’re finally enjoying and appreciating the wonder and joy of salvation by God’s Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone. So Thank You so much for your wonderful ministry at ExPreacherMan. We will keep reading!

Now we are looking for a Free Grace church in our area! Can you tell me, please, whether you recommend churches that are associated with the Evangelical Free Church of America organization? I know Chuck Swindoll was pastor of an EFCA church in Fullerton, California for years, but now has his own church in Frisco, TX that is not EFCA affiliated. In our search for DTS (Dallas Theological Seminary) churches, we found a couple near us that identify themselves as EFCA churches. By the way, unfortunately it was Calvinistic teachings which had infiltrated a DTS church that I landed in shortly after college that initially led me astray. And we are finding that LS teaching seems to be everywhere.

Thank you so much,
Kim

~~~~~~~~00~~~~~~~~

Kim, thanks for your encouraging note. We are excited to read your email about how you and your husband have come to a clear understanding of Salvation by Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus alone. We are blessed by your note!!! This will be a Thanksgiving in which we will give thanks to the Lord for you and with you.

About your question on EFC churches. My understanding is that they are a loose affiliation of churches with no real “set-in-concrete” Statement of Faith. Some of them may be OK but others wander all over the theological landscape — some are Calvinist and some LS.

I am sure our readers will rejoice with you and some may have suggestions for churches — but regrettably, we find good Free Grace churches are very few. If you wish to disclose your approximate general location, some of our readers may be able to help you with suggesting a church.

Heaven is truly FREE !!! << Click

Can Calvinism Be Proven By A Few Partial, Out-of-Context Verses?

By Jack Weaver

Lauren sent to me several partial Bible verses for explanation. She felt her selections, “make some of the strongest arguments for Calvinism.” In a later note she commented, “I would say I am not sure what I believe right now. I used to hold strongly to the reformed or Calvinist view and still think there is a lot in scripture to support it.”

I pray we will be able to present God’s Word convincingly and understandably to Lauren so she can rest in the Security and Peace of Salvation by her personal decision to put her faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone as her Savior and not depend upon the amorphous “promises” of Reformed/Calvinist teaching.

Because of my vision difficulties, I have elicited the help of our dear friend and my former Assistant Pastor, Dr. Tom Cucuzza, Pastor, Teacher, Lecturer and Author of  Secure Forever! – on Amazon << Click

We must be aware that Bible verses may be chopped up and taken out of context to prove just about any “religious” point.

Here are the partial, non-contextual verses Lauren submitted for explanation. Thank you Lauren:

Heb 12:2 in part, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,”

Romans 9:16, “So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.”

Romans 9:18, “Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.”

John 5:21 in part “No one can come to Me unless the Father draws (drags) him.”, “even so the Son gives life to whom He will.”

John 15:16 in part, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…”

John 3:3 “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again (from above) he cannot see the kingdom of God”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The complete verses with detailed contextual explanations from Dr. Cucuzza are:

1.
John 6:44 “
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

The word “draw” is never translated as drag in the KJV. It can mean that, but she is insinuating that God does it and accomplishes salvation regardless of man’s will. That is nowhere in the text.

a. How is a person drawn? V.45 gives the clear answer: We are drawn through the ministry of the Word of God. And this is available for all mankind, not just a select few.

John 6:45 “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”

Romans 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

b. We are also drawn by the Holy Spirit, but He draws everyone.

John 16:8 “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”

c. Also, through the death of Christ we are drawn.

John 12:32 “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”

2.
John 5:21 “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.”

This verse is answered in v.24. He gives life to all those who believe.

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.

3.
Romans 9:14
“What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”

Romans 9-11 is talking about the national election of the Jews for God’s purpose in the world, not personal election to salvation.

In Romans 9:14-16 The Lord didn’t have to show mercy to anyone. But He will accomplish His plan for the ages by showing grace to mankind. Israel is still in existence today because the Lord did not wipe them out in the days of Moses.
Romans 9:17 “For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?”

vs. 17-21 Pharaoh, the leader of Egypt,  already had a wicked attitude toward the children of Israel in the early chapters of Exodus. He did not want to let them go, for he wanted them as slaves for his own glory. The Lord knew (foreknowledge) in eternity past that Pharaoh would be the way he was and therefore used him to show the world the power of Jehovah God, the LORD. It had nothing to do with God making it impossible for Pharaoh to be saved and go to Heaven.

The Bible does say in Exodus that the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, but it also says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. Which is true? Both! The Lord’s will and plan for Israel was the factor that hardened Pharaoh’s heart. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart by continually testing him. The Lord knew (foreknowledge) that Pharaoh would not change his mind about the Israelites, and therefore used him to accomplish the Divine purpose. Not one verse in the Bible says that Pharaoh couldn’t believe in the Messiah. He chose to reject the God of Moses.

4.
John 15:16
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

He was speaking to His disciples (already saved people) about their discipleship and service, not salvation. That you should go and bring forth fruit. It was their choice on whether they would obey Him in this regard or not. This verse has nothing to do with salvation, but with the purpose of the Christian life.

 5.
John 3:3 “
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

This refers of course to the new birth. If we simply read further down to v. 14-18 we see HOW a person is born again- by trusting Christ alone as Savior. And this is open to the world, v.16-17.

John 3:14 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
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.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

6.
Hebrews 12:2 “
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Again, v.2 cannot be divorced from v.1

Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”

I cannot see anywhere the Calvinistic bent or interpretation in v.2. What is the point? Yes, He is the captain and prince, and author if you will, of our faith. But it means He is the head, the leader. We are looking unto Him to lead us through the entire Christian life.

“Author”: Originator, founder, leader, chief, first, prince, as distinguished from simply being the cause. AMG’s Complete Word Study Dictionaries.

Dr. Tom Cucuzza Northland Bible Baptist Church

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We appreciate the questions from Lauren and especially for Dr. Cucuzza taking his time to answer. We also pray Lauren and others will decide to believe the Truth that salvation is free and only available through an individual’s choice to believe by Grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.

We must never depend upon the false Calvinist teaching that some are “elect” by God to be saved and consequently ALL others, (me, you, our friends and relatives) have no choice or chance to make that decision to believe in Jesus Christ for salvation.

Eternal Life in Heaven is For Anyone << Click

Lordship Salvation: Blinded from the Light; Satan’s Devious Campaign Tricks

By our friend and Brother in Christ, John

2 Corinthians 4:3-4

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Satan, the god of this world, uses the same types of tricks to blind people from the truth as politicians use to get votes.  Here is a sample:

1.     Celebrity endorsements:

Politicians have their shills and Satan has his.   Satan’s shills include a legion of denominational leaders, evangelists, best-selling authors, famous preachers and television ministers who will tell you that something else besides trusting in Christ is necessary in order to be saved.  These are seen as the voices of authority.  So, as Dr. Tom Cucuzza said in his sermon entitled “The Obvious That Isn’t so Obvious”:

“…people automatically want to believe the authority and so what that does is it leads people astray, into something that’s false and they believe that.

And then, when someone comes along with the true Gospel of Grace, that says your sins have been bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ, once and for all, and that all you can do to be saved is to put your faith in Him, trust in Him as your Savior, they say this: “I can’t believe that. That’s too easy. That’s easy believism. That’s cheap grace.”

2.      Card stacking

This approach is used by false teachers, who cite a few verses that allegedly support salvation by works, with no attempt to mention or explain away the 100 plus verses of Scripture that teach that eternal life is a free gift received by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.  This is an intellectually vapid exercise that Clear Gospel Campaign describes as follows:

“A few have tried to dismiss the hundred plus verses by the wave of a magic wand, mumbling some idiotic and lexically untenable statement, such as ‘the word ‘faith actually implies works in the root meaning of the word.’ Most, however, don’t even try to answer Scripture.  They simply play the ‘you’ve got your verses, and I’ve got mine’ game. This is what the cults do, placing their hands over their ears, closing their eyes, and repeating their proof texts at the top of their lungs so that nothing else can penetrate the barrier.  And that is not theology.  In contrast, only a few verses in all of Scripture can be reasonably interpreted (in isolation) as teaching that some human work is necessary for salvation.  And when scrutinized, those passages invariably yield to alternative interpretations that are consistent with the doctrine of grace.”

3.      Projection

 This is where the enemy accuses you of doing the same thing he does.  For example, telling you that the 100 plus verses that teach that eternal life is a free gift received by faith are being taken out of context.

4.      Bandwagon

Satan will attempt to convince you that since most people believe something, it must be true.  A good example of this is “repent of sins to be saved”.  Again, from Clear Gospel Campaign:

“The phrase ‘repent of your sins,’ is so embedded in Christian culture that it is hard to hear the word ‘repent’ without mentally adding on the three words ‘from your sins.’  And since the word ‘repent’ is often associated with eternal salvation, this leads to further adding on, either mentally, or verbally from the pulpit,  the words ‘to be saved’ to the end of the sentence.  Together, they form the greatest myth in the history of Christianity . . . ‘You must repent of your sins to be saved.’

This belief is not only wrong, it is an error that threatens the eternal destiny of every man, woman and child on the planet.  For it reduces the gospel of grace to a gospel of works.”

Whether you are an honest seeker, a Lordship Salvation troll or just happened upon this site, please tune out all of Satan’s campaign tricks and see the link below for how you can have eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Eternal Life – God’s Gift to You << Click

Christian Evidences: Why Should I Choose Christianity? Where is the Evidence?

Recently a man wrote to our behind-the-scenes mailbox asking a very profound, albeit a bit sarcastic, question (detailed below). Now the brief imaginary scenario below actually brings up to Christians a valid question: Why Should I Choose Christianity?

Submitted by Jerry K: “Please convince me!”

Jerry’s comment: Once there was a young man in search of God. In his pilgrimage he first met a Christian minister who told him that if he didn’t accept Jesus, he would suffer in hell throughout eternity. This didn’t sound like a message of love so he continued on and met a Sunni Muslim who told him that if he didn’t accept Sunni’s Allah he would die and suffer for eternity in hell. He continued on and met a Shia Muslim, a Mormon, and a Roman Catholic, all of whom told him the same thing. So the young man didn’t know who to believe so he lived out his life worshiping an unknown universal god and loving his fellow people. When he died god told him that since he guessed wrong he was going to hell. “How was I to know, they all told me the same thing” asked the young man. “Tough luck,” replied god.

Now, Jerry’s question cannot be answered quickly, lightly or superficially. Indeed, countless volumes have been written on the subject over the centuries. Nothing short of a doctoral dissertation will really serve to answer the vast implications of his question. About all that one can do in this very limited setting and format is to give a brief general outline of evidences for the validity of Christianity. Other commenters may certainly join in and fill in some of the gaps and/or provide other evidences. Of course, for the hardened atheist, or the obstinate skeptic, possibly no amount of proofs will pierce the crusty shell of unbelief.

Selected Evidences for the Validity of Christ and Christianity:
.
Recommended Reading: “A Case for Christ,” by Lee Strobel

1. Uniqueness of the Bible: written by forty authors from eight countries over fifteen hundred years in three languages and all with a consistent and unique message of a God of love who ransomed us from our sins.
2. Old Testament prophecies fulfilled hundreds of years after the time of their writing in and through the person of Jesus Christ (over 300 by many counts). Examples: precise details of Christ’s crucifixion were written in Isaiah 52-53 and Psalm 22 (crucifixion, used as a means of capital punishment would not even exist for several hundred years to come at the point that the prophecies were made).
3. The Book of Daniel correctly predicted in detail the rise and fall of several world empires, including Rome, Greece and Persia.
4. One of the greatest “name” prophecies of Scripture was that of King Cyrus of Persia. Think of it, God prophesied through Isaiah (Isaiah 44:26-45:3) that a great leader named Cyrus would be God’s instrument to bring the Jews back to their homeland in Jerusalem and Judea nearly two hundred years before the events occurred! To prophesy generalized events which will occur is one marvelous miracle, but for the prophet actually to name the individual through whom the prophecy will be accomplished is nothing short of breathtaking! This is a situation in which Scripture really comes alive as the reader digs beyond the casual glance and compares various texts. Not only does Isaiah’s prophecy from God name the leader who would carry out the fulfillment of the prophecy, but the text (especially Isaiah 45:1-3) specifies the means by which the fulfillment was to take place: “to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him so that the gates will not be shut: . . . I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.” These statements are a distinctly perspicuous reference to Cyrus’ leadership of the Medes and Persians on that fateful night in which they diverted the Euphrates River, cut the bars of iron under the walls of Babylon, and stormed the city. Secular tradition also details that the inner bronze gates were mysteriously left unlocked that night which allowed the soldiers, once through the outer wall, easy access into the heart of the city. All of these descriptions dovetail perfectly with the events of the takeover of Babylon as described by Daniel in chapter five.
5. Modern archaelogical evidences verify the authenticity of the Bible. Examples: The Nabonidus Chronicles and early cylinders (British Museum) authenticate leaders and events mentioned in Daniel. (See for one ref., Edwin Yamachi, “The Stones and the Scriptures”): Excavations have proven the veracity of the events of Joshua 11, the taking of and destruction by fire of the city of Hazor.
6. Ancient secular historians, such as Tacitus and Josephus, verify the historicity of Jesus, the crucifixion and events surrounding and including the early Christian church.
7. Ancient very early manuscript evidences (Rylands Papyrus of part of John, dating to 135 A.D.; Dead Sea Scrolls predating the Christian era by a couple of hundred years or more contain almost the entire Old Testament intact).
8. The Books of Acts and 1 Corinthians chronicle that hundreds of eyewitnesses verified the reality of the resurrected Christ Jesus. Christianity is unique in being the only religion or belief system which has a living founder!
9. Twenty centuries of Christendom validate the magnificent impact of Christ Jesus on the world.

I’ll stop for now and give others a chance to add to the list.

A Distressed Young Man, Francis Chan and Lordship “Salvation”

By Jack Weaver

Below is a distressing note from a young man who is tragically unsure of his salvation. I am terribly distressed when I read his words and thoughts. We need to pray for him and many like him who have been confused by false teachers like Francis Chan, John MacArthur, John Piper, Paul Washer and others.

We witness many visitors to our web site who have been victims of the teaching of Lordship “salvation.” We see many who have finally and joyously understood the real meaning of God’s Free Grace and have trusted, not their behavior, not their works — but Jesus Christ alone as their eternal Savior.

Because of the nature and content of his letter, I will assign to him an assumed name of “Joseph.” I will also highlight in bold parts of his email, some areas of his concern and our possible discussion. I pray some of our readers will offer Joseph scriptural answers to his concerns.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hello. I have seen your website a couple of times. I usually end up on your site when looking up stuff about Francis Chan.

I really don’t know how to start this email, so I’ll just dive right in I guess. I need help. I need prayer.

For years now, ever since I started college, more so in my second year of college, I have continually and constantly had nagging doubts about my salvation. I still to this day continue to have these doubts.

I will confess something to you first, however. Also since I started college, I have had a continual worry about evangelism. The thing is, I am uncomfortable talking with strangers, and as a result, have had trouble evangelizing them, almost not doing so at all. I have told my friends the gospel, but not usually right away. I am a person who struggles a lot with fear as well.

I know the gospel message of grace. I have told it to people, to myself, and I have been comforted by the grace of Jesus Christ toward me as a sinner. But always, without fail, my assurance goes away. I become increasingly more aware of my sin, which is good of course, but I then question my salvation.

The Bible teaches that good works follow those who believe. I look at my life, and have trouble seeing them. If I do see them, I question my motives. I’m a mess, in short. I am tired of not having any peace. I am tired of clamming up like a turtle because of my fear of judgment.

I know I have so many sins to deal with in my life. There are things i know I am not even aware of. You seem to be a person that loves the gospel of grace. Is there any words you can offer me for help?

I want to trust in Jesus Christ, and I do, but sometimes, I get scared that because I don’t do certain things, like evangelize often, I am not really saved.

I am in seminary now, and the problem is getting worse. Please help. I hope this all makes sense.

“Joseph”

Joseph, we do understand your consternation and pray we can help you see God’s absolute assurance in Jesus Christ through His Word.

I will take a few of your concerns and address them:

  • You have been taught falsely that good works will follow those who believe. NOT TRUE, the Bible says believers SHOULD (not must) walk in good works (Ephesians 2:10) Nowhere in God’s Word does He say that a lack of good works condemns a person. Yes, believers SHOULD (not must) do good works but, by His Grace, we have that choice.
  • Be warned that some churches and seminaries teach that one must “Repent of or turn from sin”to be saved and/or stay saved. Read the Statement of Faith of your seminary. Such a statement is false doctrine. See this article:

    False Repentance, Perseverance and Lordship “salvation”

  • Very important. Your assurance does not depend upon your behavior or feelings — but solely upon God’s Word.
    “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God [Jesus]; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, …  1 John 5:13 Believing that Jesus’ death and resurrection to pay your sin debt (which is death) is sufficient personally for you. Your belief/trust in Jesus is your guarantee of salvation. Jesus says to you: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. John 6:47 plus hundreds more similar verses.
  • Discard Francis Chan. His false teaching is misleading you and thousands of others. Use the search bar on this web site (upper right column) for “Francis Chan” and additionally read Bruce’s accurate articles about Chan’s apostasy here:

    Francis Chan – Failure to Help the Poor Could Send You to Hell

    Francis Chan’s Speech to 5000+ Christian Youths, Questions Their Faith

  • If your seminary training has not by now shown you how to have absolute assurance from scripture, you should seriously consider a change of seminaries. And one of the best is a good, solid Bible College Dayspring Bible College and Seminary in Illinois.
  • Go to Gospel Campaign’s web site, read and download the Gospel Booklet. It is very simple and clear.
  • Joseph if you indeed “know the Gospel of Grace” I question whether you actually sincerely believe it. See also our page: Eternal Life For You – Guaranteed!!
  • Don’t worry about evangelizing anyone until you are absolutely sure of your own salvation. I can imagine it would be difficult trying to explain salvation assurance in Jesus Christ when you do not have it yourself. But when you do understand and have that assurance then, by all means, enthusiastically share that freeing Good News with others. That Truth shall make you (and them) FREE!! “And ye shall know the TRUTH, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

Joseph, I am confident others will offer suggestions and encouragement to you from God’s Word. These are only a few thoughts but you must realize your assurance cannot rest in your behavior or works but only in Jesus Christ. He is necessary, He is enough and in Him alone is True Salvation.

Please join us in this discussion.

What is Francis Chan Doing Now? Francis Chan’s Latest Speech to 5000+ Christian Youths, Questioning Their Faith; Latest News on Francis Chan

Recently we chronicled (see the link below) how Francis Chan continues to use the standard Lordship Faith promotional tactics of guilt, doubt and fear [fear of damnation] as primary motivational tools when addressing large Christian audiences. This seems to be an ongoing theme of his sermons/speeches since he introduced the concept of condemnation of “the lukewarm,” which appeared in a 2008 sermon entitled, “Lukewarm and Loving It,” as well as in his best-selling 2008 book, “Crazy Love.” In March of this year, continuing with the same theme, Chan gave a speech in which he declared that failure to help the poor could cause you to wind up in hell. In this speech (below), Francis Chan’s pronouncement links him with the social welfare “gospels” of popular authors David Platt and Richard Stearns. SEE:

http://www.expreacherman.com/2012/03/27/francis-chans-latest-pronouncement-failure-to-help-the-poor-could-send-you-to-hell/

Just this past week, Francis Chan utilized a similar motivational approach as the keynote speaker at the CHIC 2012 Christian Youth Conference in Knoxville, TN. As typical of other Lordship Faith teachers, Chan challenged his Christian audience to look at themselves introspectively to see if they were really saved, based upon their behavior, attitudes and lifestyle. This speech was similar to one given by John Piper to another large gathering of Christian young people (see: http://www.expreacherman.com/2012/01/13/john-piper-speaks-to-42000-youth-redefining-the-plan-of-salvation/).

At this current event, Chan spoke to over 5000 Christian students in a large arena in Tennessee [see information source below]. Preaching from John 21 about Jesus’ verbal exchange with Peter, Chan invited the audience to reexamine the sincerity of their faith in Christ. He inquired of the audience, what would be their reply if Jesus asked them, “Do you love me?” He followed that question with, “Is it obvious on your Facebook that you love God or is it obvious that you love yourself?”

Writer, Stan Friedman, finished his article with the following observations about Chan’s speech:
“In an extended illustration that enthralled the audience, Chan drank from two different beverages—lemonade and Starbuck’s Frappuccino. Much to the disgust of the gathering, he alternated between the two. Christians too often do the same [he said], switching between holy and sinful behavior. Finally, he poured the coffee into the lemonade to show what happens when sin is allowed to rule part of a person’s life—it makes the rest distasteful. Chan told the worshipers that hiding the truth about sin with which they are struggling and trying to look as if they have their lives together would have eternal consequences. ‘What’s going to happen at the end because you just keep the facade going?’ he asked. ‘So then, you go to hell and you say to yourself, ‘Oh, but that’s okay because everyone up on earth thinks I’m in heaven. I fooled them.’ That’s your goal?’ Chan ended by asking the students to pray quietly and be open to God so that they might listen and confess. And be restored.”

Post Source: “CHIC Students Challenged to Answer Christ’s Question,” article written by Stan Friedman, Knoxville, TN; article accessed from http://www.covchurch.org/news/2012/07/18

For updates on Francis Chan 2013, see:

http://expreacherman.com/2013/01/05/lordship-salvation-authorsspeakers-francis-chan-and-david-platt-team-up-to-create-the-multiply-discipleship-movement/

Prayerful Praise: Practical Prayers About Praise

by Califgracer

(I hope that you enjoy the alliteration)

Precious Lord and Savior Jesus, I lift up the following prayers about praise to you . . .

  • Permeate my innermost being with praise.
  • Predominate my life with praise; let praise be pervasive.
  • Engulf me with a passion for praise.
  • Let the magnificence and inspiration of your grace prompt me to praise. 
  • Through your Spirit, partner with me in praise.
  • Lord, protect me in my praise.
  • With all of my will help me to pursue praise.
  • Please give to me great pleasure in praise; be pleased with my praise.
  • Keep my thoughts focused and pure in my praise.
  • Grant me peace in my praise.
  • Despite the busyness of life, help me to prioritize praise.
  • Give to me a plan for praise.
  • Supply me with plentiful provision for praise.
  • Let the life of Christ be my paradigm for praise.
  • Let the Cross of Christ be the precious predominate point of praise.
  • Please alleviate any pain or panic through praise.
  • Through your Word, grant me a peek into the palatial praise of heaven.
  • Guide me into the expansive parameters of praise.
  • Pardon my imperfection in praise; perfect my praise.
  • May my life personify praise.
  • Prohibit the prevention of praise provoked by groundless doubt, guilt and fear. 
  • Penetrate a lost world through your people’s praise.
  • Precious Spirit, assist me to persevere in praise.
  • Through my own words and thoughts allow me to express my personality in praise.
  • In my life, make praise passionate and pervasive.
  • Let the promulgation of praise predominate your church.
  • Disallow wrongful motives which pervert my praise.
  • Provide piety in praise.
  • Inspire and protect the praise of your people.
  • Let no legalistic penchant pollute my praise.
  • May your Word be a portraiture of praise.
  • Feed me a huge portion of praise.
  • May my attitudes be predisposed to be positive in praise.
  • Throughout your church, tinder an outpouring of praise.
  • Demonstrate the practicality and power of praise.
  • Please predetermine in me daily to praise.
  • Be always the prime focal point of praise.
  • In every circumstance, give me the propensity to praise.
  • When I am lonely, sick or sad, prescribe to me praise.
  • Preface my day with praise.
  • Prearrange my schedule for praise.
  • Deter me from becoming presumptuous in praise.
  • Precipitate my predilection for praise.
  • Dissuade me from all pretense in praise.
  • Over sin may I prevail through praise.
  • Let no obstacle prevent my praise.
  • May I ever prize the privilege of praise.
  • May your Spirit teach me proficiency in praise.
  • Allow me to glimpse the profundity of praise.
  • With vivid exclamation, punctuate my praise!

No Guilt, No Fear! Living by Grace not by Doubt and Fear: Guilt-Free Christianity!

Grace robbers are everywhere today!  Their faces can be seen on “Christian” television; their voices bellow from the pulpits of large churches across the land; their best-selling books are widely featured in Christian bookstores.  It seems that at every turn there surfaces another voice in the Christian world who would steal the joy and assurance away from any believer who will listen to such voices and follow their unbiblical teachings.  True Hope in Christ Jesus and in his wonderful free gift of salvation through faith alone are replaced by doubt.  Doubt increases; it shifts one’s focus from trusting in Christ and his finished work on the cross alone to a fixation on oneself—What have I done for God lately?  Am I really doing enough?  This increasing introspection quickly begins to destroy confidence in Christ Jesus alone and assurance of one’s salvation.  Decimation of assurance morphs into fear and anxiety.  Fear of what?  Fear of not being sin-free enough to please God; fear of not reading the Bible enough; fear of not attending church often enough; fear of not witnessing enough; fear of not doing enough to help the poor; fear of not being “on fire” for Christ; fear of not being good enough to please God.  Fear leads to dread, often the dread of possibly heading for hell one day.  Grace-robbing preachers fuel this dread through their incessant unbiblical judgmental rants.  Dread destroys any semblance of joy remaining in the Christian’s life.  And what is the final result?  A miserable, defeated, guilt-ridden believer.  Yes, a believer to be sure:  one who has placed her complete faith in Christ Jesus alone for salvation—by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, Ephesians 2:8-9.  But one who has allowed the joy-sucking assurance-thieving grace robbers to steal away the Grace, Hope, Joy, Assurance, Confidence and Guilt-Free existence that God would have for the true believer in Christ to experience every day.

Let’s make every effort to speak out against unbiblical grace-robbing teaching in the body of Christ.  And let us live and encourage other believers to live Guilt-Free lives of Confident Assurance through faith in Christ alone and through his wonderful gospel of 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (the death, burial and resurrection of Christ).

The 100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Titanic, April 15, 2012: Titanic Gospel Warnings About Rejecting the Gospel

One hundred years ago, today, April 14, 1912, the famous oceanliner Titanic struck an iceberg.  Hours later, in the early morning of April 15, the huge ship sank carrying about 1500 people to their death.

Over the years, analysts have studied what things went wrong leading up to the tragedy of April 1912.  Several facts have been chronicled which detail why this event occurred.  The following piece summarizes some of these findings:

Source:  http://www.39online.com/kiah-20120413,0,4594381.photo

1.  Substandard Rivets in Bow and Stern, containing iron and a high content of slag, which becomes brittle at very cold temperatures.

2.  Ship Steaming Too Fast in spite of repeated telegraphed messages from other ships about iceberg ice in the area.

3.  Lack of Binoculars:  some of the lookouts were not furnished with proper optical equipment.

4.  Repeated Ice Warnings disregarded by Capt. Smith.

5.  Unusually High Tides may have brought excessive icebergs into shipping lanes.

6.  Last Minute Manuever of Ship Failed, causing more damage than would have probably occurred in a strike with the bow.

7.  Watertight Bulkheads were not sealed at the top.

8.  Insufficient Number of Lifeboats:  Only enough to accommodate about 1/3 of the passengers and crew.

9.  Lifeboats Not Filled to Capacity:  some were launched half full.

10. The British Steamer “Californian” saw flares and could have steamed toward them, but failed to do so, some think because the wrong color flares were used, ones which would normally be used for celebrations, not for S.O.S. signaling. 

11. [added to article]  Rope Too Short:  It has been reported that rope used to drop buckets down to collect water temperature readings was too short to reach the water’s surface.  Crew members, instead, substituted water from onboard the ship to render the readings. 

“Titanic” Warnings About the Gospel:

The Gospel of Salvation is so straightforward, so clear in the Bible in many places, including 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus); Acts 16:30-31 (“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved . . .”); Ephesians 2:8-9 (We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, not by works); John 3:16-18 (Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.)

Why do so many people refuse to go God’s way, trusting in his Son, Christ Jesus, for salvation, and not in their own “good” works?

How similar are unbelievers today to passengers on the Titanic?

1.  Both were (are) sailing toward disaster at breakneck speeds.

2.  In the frenzy of the night, many failed to board the Titanic lifeboats which could have rescued them from death; in the hustle and bustle of life, many or most people fail to avail themselves of God’s gift of Eternal Life in His Son, Jesus Christ, who can save them from eternal destruction.

3. Up until the moment of the crash, people on the Titanic were going about their normal routines (business as usual):  crew members were observing their daily duties; passengers were laughing, dancing and dining; both were (are) oblivious to the imminent dangers that lay (lie) ahead.

4. Even after the Titanic struck the iceberg, for the first couple of hours many were in denial that they faced any danger whatsoever— “This ship is unsinkable,” some claimed.  How many people in our day live in similar blind denial:  “There’s no hell,” many declare.  “If there is a heaven, either we’re all going there or we ain’t,” others might retort.  On that sad early morning of April 15, 2012, dozens and dozens of scoffers faced reality head-on.  How many millions, in our generation, will, tragically and avoidably, come face to face with the legitimacy of death and an eternity in torment (Luke 16)?

5.  Some of the passengers on the Titanic, who failed to board the lifeboats which could have rescued them, sought, instead, to save themselves by strapping on life preservers and jumping into the ocean.  If the impact of the fall did not kill them, the frigid water would have finished them off in minutes [this observation is for the purpose of illustration only; obviously, in the frenectic scene of the night, many were not given the opportunity to board the lifeboats].  How many unbelievers, today, steadfastly refuse to accept God’s plan of salvation? (there is only ONE WAY, by grace alone through faith alone in his Son Christ Jesus alone).  They would rather go their own way, seek their own path, add to God’s plan, or devise their own plan, while attempting to please God through their own works.  Refusal to go God’s way will certainly lead to destruction.

Do Lordship “Salvation” Folks Deny the Resurrection and Christ’s Proclamation, “It is finished”?

By Jack Weaver

As Resurrection weekend approaches let us analyze the terrible lie and denial by those who teach Lordship “Salvation.” Do their false teachings deny the Resurrection and Christ’s very words?

God’s salvation requires no more than believing the Gospel and then believing in Jesus Christ alone for our salvation. Therefore we conclude that the Lordship “salvation, faith, probation” (LS) folks cannot sincerely believe Christ’s last statement on the cross, “It is finished…” John 19:30b

They must deny the death, burial and resurrection as being Christ’s all sufficient sacrifice for sin for every person in the world, past, present and future. The Lord God sealed His Promise of Christ’s words, “It is finished”  when He raised Jesus Christ from the grave three days later. The Resurrection is proof. LS folks therefore deny His Gospel of Salvation by Grace through their teaching. They demonstrate their misery not knowing that JOY that comes with God’s assurance.

Here is such a denial, according to the guru of Lordship “salvation” :

Salvation isn’t the result of an intellectual exercise. It comes from a life lived in obedience and service to Christ as revealed in the Scripture; it’s the fruit of actions, not intentions. There’s no room for passive spectators: words without actions are empty and futile…The life we live, not the words we speak, determines our eternal destiny (John MacArthur, Hard to Believe, p. 93).

Heresy !!! Thus says JMac as he proudly denies the sufficiency of God’s Grace alone, our faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, to save all who believe in Him. He is claiming null and void Christ’s last words on the cross, “It is finished.”  (“Finished” is the Greek word Teleo meaning complete, executed, concluded, discharged (a debt) :- accomplished, make an end).

And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain [useless, empty)]” 1 Corinthians 15:14

You may have “heard” the Gospel and you may have “come to the knowledge of Christ” or “know” the Gospel but you alone must, at some time, make the decision to believe in Jesus Christ, that He died and was resurrected as your substitute, in your place, for your sins, that He is your Savior. Then, He freely GIVES you the Gift of eternal Life (forever)..
Study John 3:16-18 “.. He that believeth is NOT condemned…”

Christ died, that’s history, Christ died for ME, that’s Salvation.

Christ IS RISEN and coming again!!!

But what if, after Jesus was crucified, dead and buried, He had not been resurrected from the grave? There would be no salvation.. There would be no proof that Jesus is indeed God in the flesh. That is Satan’s message. We see such a lie touted by “liberal” theologians from the time shortly after Jesus was put to death by the Roman court.

Matthew 28:1-8

  • “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers [guards] did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word.”

Luke 24:6-7

“He is not here, but is risen: remember how He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”

GREAT JOY” is an understatement!! Imagine yourself being there with them. Imagine their circumstances, the Person they trusted, worshiped and followed had just been humiliated, crucified was dead and buried. They visit the tomb expecting to complete their mourning. Then they see the tomb empty and hear the words, He is not here: for He is risen.” HE IS RISEN! Just imagine the JOY!

The following has been called “The Gospel in a Nutshell”:

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.1 Corinthians 15: 3-6

Witness after witness after witness is certainly additional evidence of His resurrection.

Salvation by God’s Grace is understanding and believing that we are imperfect; that God calls this sin and that our sin requires a death penalty. But God with love beyond infinity, loved us so much that He sent His Perfect Son, Jesus Christ, to make that death penalty for the whole world. He came to the Jew first and then the Gentile so that all who would believe or trust in Jesus would have everlasting life in Heaven with Him. Jesus, He fulfilled the law and paid the death penalty we humans owe. He did that and arose from the grave just as He promised. Now the responsibility is upon us. Do we trust Jesus alone as our Savior, our complete and all sufficient Savior, apart from depending upon our good works, our promises, our commitment to serve or a life lived in obedience? If we do trust Jesus alone as our Savior, God’s Word says we HAVE everlasting life, guaranteed.

  • John 3:16-18
    “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. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Dear friend, at this time of year when we remember the death, burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, perhaps you do not know for sure you possess eternal life in Christ. If you are not sure, please believe Him and trust or rely upon Jesus alone as your Savior to deliver you to Heaven; to give you eternal life. It is not thorough an organization, behavior, church or your good works, but simply Jesus alone. I pray you will make this one time decision as it is the most important one you will ever make during your entire life on this earth.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope [guarantee] by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,“ 1 Peter 1:3

HE IS RISEN — GREAT JOY!!!

God’s FREE Gift of Eternal Life << Click

Rick Warren’s Ecumenism. “Chrislam” and Lordship Salvation?

Is there a connection?

Most folks don’t necessarily think of Rick Warren as a big supporter of Lordship Salvation — but we have written and documented it here and here.

Think about this idea I propose that Warren may be at the forefront of a world wide ecumenical movement that attempts to incorporate Warren’s idea of New Age Mysticism and Evangelicalism in his humanistic world-wide “PEACE” movement. He is now reaching out to Muslims, not to win them to Jesus Christ but to explore the similarities between their god and the God of the Bible. That is called Chrislam.  An article in the 2009 Orange County Register (CA) shows Warren in full fellowship speaking to 8,000 Muslims at INSA, the Islamic Society of North America’s annual convention in Washington D.C. (Side note, reports are that Warren did not share the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.. Picture below.)

Article Tab: Sami M. Angawi, left, talks with Evangelical pastor Rick Warren, right, at the Islamic Society of North America�s 46th annual convention in Washington, July 4, 2009. Evangelical megachurch pastor Rick Warren says America's largest Islamic organization showed courage when it invited him to speak at its annual convention.

Sami M. Angawi, left, talks with Evangelical pastor Rick Warren, right, at the Islamic Society of North America�s 46th annual convention in Washington, July 4, 2009. Evangelical megachurch pastor Rick Warren says America’s largest Islamic organization showed courage when it invited him to speak at its annual convention.

Luis M. Alvarez, (OCR)

There is NO similarity between Islam and the Christianity proclaimed in God’s Word, the Bible. Rick Warren is severely misguided, deluded or intentionally giving in to Islam thus aiding the Muslim push for an international Muslim Caliphate (rulership).

This quote below is from a Muslim “ecumenical” web site [submission.nu] — is an attempt to marginalize the cruelty of Islam by comparing it to Christianity and is an effort to merge the two. The word Islam means “Submission.” In the excerpt below, is an effort to make Islam acceptable to “Christian religions.” They carefully substitute the word “God” in place of their god Allah.

The time has come to purify and consolidate all the messages delivered by God’s prophets into one message, and to proclaim that henceforth, there is only one religion acceptable to God, [Allah] “Submission”  [Islam] (3:19, 85). “Submission” [Islam] is the religion whereby we recognize God’s [Allah's] absolute authority, and reach an unshakeable conviction that God [Allah] ALONE possesses all power; no other entity possesses any power that is independent of Him [Allah]. The natural result of such a realization is to devote our lives and our worship absolutely to God [Allah] ALONE. This is the First Commandment in all the scriptures, including the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Final Testament. [Quran] [Brackets my emphasis]

How many of these dictates sound like the rules set by men for Lordship “salvation” (LS) and/or how many are the basis of LS, Calvinism? Without total submission to Allah the god of Islam, there is no hope for the adherents of Islam (or anyone else they say). And then, there is no eternal hope for adherents of Lordship “salvation” without total submission to the Lordship of Christ (contrary to God’s Word). It is odd how similar these two philosophies seem to be.

And further, to put it in a more personal perspective, why are we as American Christian citizens spending millions of our US tax dollars to save Muslim mosques in the middle east? Watch this short video from Atlanta news. WSBTV Atlanta

Islam does not desire coexistence with Rick Warren or any other religion — they want total Submission – Islam. Wonder what Rick Warren is thinking with his PEACE plan reaching out to Muslims, who ultimately want him to submit to Islam — either now or later? Can he have it both ways with Chrislam?

Do you see this coming to a church near you?

Is this push softening Americans to accept Muslim Shariah Law into our own courts? It is happening today – Shariah Law Cases by State. << Go here and find cases in your own state’s courts.

True Faith — From God’s Word. << Click

Hope Defined, Hope Declared: What is Hope? (Vintage Expreacherman)

by Jack Weaver (reposted article)

For centuries man has misunderstood or misinterpreted many words in God’s Holy Scripture. “Scholars” debate the meanings of Biblical words and we must determine whether such interpretations are errors or truth. If errors, whether they are accidental or deliberate. Let’s take the wonderful and exhilarating word “Hope” and see if we can understand it. Of course this writing will be an abbreviated explanation of the word but it is a start.

One may say, “I hope it will not rain today.” “I hope my car will start when I have an emergency.” “I hope my children will grow up to be great citizens.” “I hope. I hope. I hope.”

The standard dictionary definition, and one that is generally accepted by most of the world is “to FEEL that something desired MAY happen:” The words “feel” and “may” are two very indefinite and vague words, but such a definition of “hope” exemplifies the thinking of most people.

The dictionary definition of the word “hope” is NOT the Biblical Hope of which we speak.

Let us investigate the Old and New Testament meanings of the word “Hope.”

Psalm 33:22

“Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.”

Hope in this verse is the Hebrew word, “yachal” meaning “trust.”

Psalm 130:7

Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption.”

Again this is the same Hebrew word, “trust.”

Psalm 39:7

“And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.”

Here we see a slightly different Hebrew word towcheleth but with the same root but meaning “expectation.” These and many, many more verses illustrate the Psalmist’s reliance upon the trustworthiness of the Lord. The Lord CAN be trusted. He WILL keep His promises.

Now, in the New Testament we see the word “Hope” in several verses. This word “Hope” is an absolute, a guarantee without a doubt. It is the Greek word “elpis” meaning “to expect or anticipate with pleasure.”

Romans 5:2

“By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

We rejoice in the glory of God, not with uncertainty but with joyful anticipation — guaranteed.

Colossians 1:5

“For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

The Hope of Heaven is not a maybe — but an absolute and definite guarantee by the Word of the Truth of the Gospel.

Titus 1:2

“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”

Eternal life — guaranteed and promised by the God of the Universe. He cannot lie.

Titus 2:13

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”

Every believer in Jesus Christ may look with confidence to the glorious appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ. No doubt!

Titus 3:7

“That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

We are Justified by God’s grace, guaranteed — Rendered innocent or free by God’s Grace, eternal life guaranteed!

As you read this, I want you to have that Hope or guarantee personally. God offers you this by His Grace.

Just briefly, no one deserves to live in Heaven or have eternal life with the Righteous God (Revelation 21:27). We are all sinners by nature and deed. Simply put, we have all sinned and come short of the mark of God’s righteousness (Romans 3:23). All sin requires a payment that must be paid — and that penalty is spiritual death, being apart from God in Hell (Romans 4:23).

By God’s Grace and Love He provided a Sin Bearer in the person of Jesus Christ who was crucified for our sin, was buried and rose again. This Grace is available to the whole world — including you personally (John 3:16). It is not determined by how good you are — or how hard you try — or by your good works, but by Grace alone, which means “undeserved mercy.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

How can we KNOW that Hope is real?

1 John 5:13

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

You can KNOW. God promises Heaven, the Hope (guarantee) of eternal life is when you trust that Jesus paid the death penalty in your place. He promises — and all you need do is to trust Jesus as your Savior. Believe His Word — He died for you.

If you have never trusted Jesus alone as your Savior, do that right now. Believe His promises of eternal life which are yours the very moment you trust Jesus as YOUR Savior.

Remember and believe this:

Jesus died — That is history. Jesus died for ME — that is salvation.

When you make that simple decision, your eternity in Heaven is secure in Jesus Christ. It is God’s guarantee, thus your HOPE of Heaven is guaranteed eternal. You are immediately declared righteous before a Holy God with no possibility of losing His Gift of salvation. Eternal life is ETERNAL — without end, beginning the moment you trust Christ as your personal Savior.

Romans 1:16

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek [gentile].”

Please, trust Jesus Christ as your Savior NOW! God has no strings attached! Claim that wonderful HOPE.

Learn How to Have Eternal Life.

A Gospel With a Hole or a WHOLE Gospel? Does the Gospel of the Bible Really Have a Hole in it?

A Brief Look at the Book, The Hole in Our Gospel, Nashville:  Thomas Nelson, 2009, 2010, by Richard Stearns

Recently, I was given a copy of a best-selling “Christian” book entitled, The Hole in Our Gospel:  The Answer that Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World.  The author is Richard Stearns, President of World Vision U.S.A.  My instant reaction upon reading the title, “The Hole in Our Gospel,” was OUTRAGE!  How dare this author declare that the beautiful saving gospel of Christ Jesus, of God’s magnificent magnanimous loving offering of his only begotten Son to die IN OUR PLACE FOR OUR SINS ON THE CROSS, the good news of salvation, the blessed hope declared in the Bible could in any way be deficient?  What a slur, what a terrible affront, I thought!  I read on to see if some way, somehow, I could be mistaken.  Perhaps Stearns didn’t really mean it that way.  Perhaps he just used the title simply to kindle some attention.  Maybe he will explain his way out of the title.  Sadly, he meant what he said and he expanded upon his position. 

I will cite a few quotations from the book to demonstrate the objective of the author, but first let me state that as a relief organization, World Vision has done much good around the world in helping to alleviate starvation, illiteracy and poverty.  I have no beef with that organization.  I have a number of family members who have supported World Vision children.  Second, let’s look at how the Bible defines the Gospel and later we can compare Stearns’ “gospel” with the Biblical Gospel.

The Gospel of the Bible

Ephesians 2:8-9:  (We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.)  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.”

John 3:16-17:  “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.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

Acts 16:30-31 “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

1 Corinthians 15:1-8 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures; and that he was seen of Cephas [Peter], then of the twelve; after that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.  After that, he was seen by James; then of all the apostles; and last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”

Richard Stearns’ Lordship Salvation/Social Welfare “gospel”:

Quotations from the book The Hole in Our Gospel:

P. 1 “I am a Christian—perhaps you are too.  But what does that mean exactly?  To even be Christians, we must first believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  That in itself is no small idea.  If it is true, it changes everything, because if Christ is God, then all that He said and did is deeply significant to how we live our lives.  So we believe.  But God expects more.  . . .  What is God asking for, really from you and me?  Much more than church attendance.  More than prayer too.  More than belief, and even more than self-denial.  God asks us for everything.  He requires a total life commitment from those who would be His followers.”  [My comment:  This brand of justification is called "commitment salvation."  It is characteristic of many lordship salvation teachers like Francis Chan.]

P. 2  “The idea behind The Hole in Our Gospel is quite simple.  It’s basically the belief that being a Christian, or follower of Jesus Christ, requires much more than just having a personal and transforming relationship with God.  It also entails a public and transforming relationship with the world.  If your personal faith in Christ has no positive outward expression, then your faith—and mine—has a hole in it.”  [My comment:  Standard addition of works added to faith to truly be saved, common to all lordship faith teaching.]

p. 3 “Belief is not enough.  Worship is not enough.  Personal morality is not enough.  And Christian community is not enough.  God has always demanded more.”

P. 5 “The whole gospel is a vision for ushering in God’s kingdom—now, not in some future time, and here, on earth, not in some distant heaven.”  [A "Kingdom Now" gospel]

P. 15 “So how can our gospel have a hole in it?  As I mentioned in the prologue, the word gospel literally means glad tidings, or good news.  It is shorthand, meant to convey the coming of the kingdom of God through the Messiah.  . . .  The amazing news of the gospel is that men and women, through Christ’s atoning death, can now be reconciled to God.  But the good news Jesus proclaimed had a fullness beyond salvation and the forgiveness of sins; it also signified the coming of God’s kingdom on earth.  This new kingdom, characteristics of which were captured in the Beatitudes, would turn the existing world order upside down.”  [Comment:  Stearn's reveals his perceived deficiency in the true Gospel of the Bible]

p. 17 “More and more, our view of the gospel has been narrowed to a simple transaction, marked by checking a box on a bingo card at some prayer breakfast, registering a decision for Christ, or coming forward during an altar call.  . . . we just had to get them to pray the ‘sinner’s prayer’ and then move on to the next potential convert.  In our evangelistic efforts to make the good news accessible and simple to understand, we seem to have boiled it down to a kind of ‘fire insurance’ that one can buy.  Then, once the policy is in effect, the sinner can go back to whatever life he was living—of wealth and success, or of poverty and suffering.  As long as the policy is in the drawer, the other things don’t matter as much.  We’ve got our ‘ticket’ to the next life.  There is a real problem with this limited view of the kingdom of God; it is not the whole gospel.  Instead, it’s a gospel with a gaping hole.”  [My comment:  It only has a gaping hole because you misdefine and caricaturize the TRUE GOSPEL of the Bible, as laid out at the beginning of this article.  Mischaracterizing and belittling the Christian gospel is the standard operating procedure of lordship faith teachers.  John MacArthur, in particular, frequently caricaturizes and berates the biblical Christian gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.  His book The Gospel According to Jesus is chock-full of such slanderous false statements.]

p. 21 “When we talk today about proclaiming the gospel, we typically mean evangelism, a verbal proclamation of the good news of salvation and how it can be received by anyone by asking God’s forgiveness and committing his or her life to Christ.  But this is not the whole gospel.”  [My comment:  This statement of Stearns' is stunning!  I am left in disbelief and his callous disregard for and rejection of the Biblical gospel.]

Final note:  I could go on and on with more quotations from this unbiblical book, this declaration of a false gospel, but I think that you have seen enough to get the point!  Your comments, as always, are welcome.

Bruce

 

 

Calvinism: Futile Hope and “Christian” Despair

I received an email today from a very dear, long time personal friend, Richard, with whom I have been sharing my faith continuously for probably 15 or more years. As yet, he has not made the decision to trust Jesus Christ alone as his Savior. He is a brilliant man, conservative politically and former military. We have had some wonderful personal conversations (at our home) and by email for years. I will share his email (with his permission – anonymously, of course) and let you, my readers, comment on it for his benefit.

Hi, Jack,

I need help in understanding the appeal of Calvinism, please.

I don’t see what its inherent appeal is.  Ok, I get it if I can sign on to a doctrine that says the Elect can be saved, PROVIDED I know that I’m for sure one of the Elect.

As I understand it, however, a Calvinist DOESN’T know that he’s saved.  All he knows is that he might be.  Why sign on to that?  It’s like enlisting in the Army in the hope that one MIGHT be paid and fed but having no guarantee.

There appears to be or have been a kind of frantic or, at least, anxiety-ridden, life that the Calvinist then leads not knowing his fate.  Apparently, as a way to deceive oneself, the Calvinist then works hard to achieve material success in life to kid himself that success is God’s way of saying, “Don’t worry.  You’re one of the ones I’ve chosen.”

But this apparently isn’t sanctified by official Calvinist doctrine.

Even before one embraces and embarks upon a hamster-in-the-wheel life, the new or would-be convert is still faced with the stark doctrine that the Elect are on a list that only God can see, which list, at least official/doctrinally, he may not be on at all.

Why would anyone jump on that initially?  If it’s unknowable what gets one onto God’s list, you live a life of Christian despair.

Do I have this right?

Stay warm!

Richard

Richard, you have nailed one of many problems of Calvinism, “Election.” I am so happy to read that you see the inherent errors in that teaching and will not fall for it. Obviously, by your question, you have done some serious thought and reading about Calvinism.

It is clear to any serious student of the Bible that the Calvinists have manufactured their teaching by taking God’s Word out of context and by building a religion based on men such as; John Calvin and Augustine of old days, and then the more modern purveyors, John MacArthur, John Piper, R.C. Sproul, Francis Chan and many more. Their words seem convincing to the naive or the dedicated followers until they honestly investigate the teaching in light of a contextual study of God’s Word. It is no wonder that this theology so often morphs into a commitment or lordship type “salvation” message.

Calvinism seems to be growing by leaps and bounds which is not understandable since it has NO appeal to an honest, dispensational student of the Bible. From my experience it seems most folks who become Calvinists have either been raised in it or perhaps they trusted Christ in a Biblical environment and then chose the “appeal” of Calvinism as an easy way to shun any personal responsibility for themselves.

I will limit my comments for now as I am anxious to see what our discerning and faithful readers will have to say. We have covered this subject in several ways in past posts but this one is unique and personal to both of us Richard, and as you know Shirley and I pray daily that you will see and believe the Truth.
“And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free. … If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:32, 36

That word “free” in the original Greek means “exempt (from obligation or liability) :- free (man, woman), at liberty.” One who is under the uncertain yoke of Calvinism can never be sure they are “elect” (their definition of the word) and thus they can never honestly say, “I am free (and secure) for all eternity.”

We can be FREE when we decide to believe that Jesus Christ, God in the Flesh, died on the cross for every sin of mine for all eternity.. History confirms He was buried and arose from the grave. Scripture confirms that and Jesus is alive today as an advocate for every one who has put their trust in Him for eternal life.

Richard, thanks for your note and the idea for this post.

Eternal Life IS FREE!!!

Lordship Salvation’s Hidden Secret: Grace Under Fire: The Fallout of Lordship Salvation Teaching

This is a wonderful expose’ of “Lordship Salvation,” by my friend Bruce Bauer. He  exposes the lie and strips the false teaching down to its barren roots. [Excerpt]: “Some Christians live in a constant state of tension and dread, always ill at ease, restless, uncertain, never knowing when they’ve done enough; they’re never quite able to get a grasp on assurance.” Read on and be enlightened.

 

By: Bruce Bauer,  Lancaster, CA

 

 

Introduction

 

Recently I attended the funeral of an elderly Mormon lady, a dear friend of mine and of my family’s for several decades.  I’ll refer to her as “Jane.”  In one of the eulogies given the speaker commented that in her dying days Jane had expressed fears that her church tithes might not have been paid up to date.  As I pondered what had just been said, I thought, how tragic, how sad that a person should have to live in such bondage, doubt and fear right up to the point of death.  I silently felt grateful to God that at least we, as evangelical Christians, don’t have to live our lives in such enslavement to duty shrouded by panic and uncertainty of salvation.  My thoughts raced to John 10:27-30:  “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.” [NIV as are all refs.][i] I rejoiced in the warm snuggling grasp of our Lord’s hands, saving and preserving each and every person who comes to salvation by faith in Christ alone.  But, I reflected, don’t many Christians live out their lives under precisely the same cloud of insecurity, apprehension and angst experienced by Jane?  Do all evangelicals really act so differently than she?

What, then, is the defining distinctive hallmark that sets evangelical Christianity apart from Mormonism, the JWs, Roman Catholicism, and indeed, every other religious belief system?  Free Grace theology states it best:  “We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone” (Ephesians 2:8-9).  Every other religious structure has a works-based salvation plan at its core.  But aren’t many evangelical writers and pastors guilty of promoting a similar type of works-for-salvation system of their own?  Certainly, proponents of Lordship Salvation have been accused of teaching just such a salvation plan despite their vehement denials. Much has been written on this debate.  I will not rehash it here; however, this paper will describe some of the pernicious fallout of Lordship Salvation teaching on the lives of believers especially and on some unbelievers as well.  For additional study of the Lordship debate, I refer the reader to some of the best works that I have read on the subject:  1. Charles C. Bing, Lordship Salvation:  A Biblical Evaluation and Response, GraceLife Edition (Burleson, TX:  GraceLife Ministries, 1992, 1997).  2. Fred Chay and John P. Correia, The Faith that Saves:  The Nature of Faith in the New Testament (Phoenix, AZ:  Grace Line, Inc., 2008).  3. Charles C. Ryrie, So Great Salvation (Chicago:  Moody Press, SP Publications, 1989, 1997).  4. Fred R. Lybrand, Back to Faith:  Reclaiming Gospel Clarity in an Age of Incongruence (San Antonio, TX:  Fred R. Lybrand, Xulon Press, 2009).  5. Thomas M. Cucuzza, Secure Forever!  God’s Promise or Our Perseverance? (St. Cloud, MN:  Thomas M. Cucuzza, Xulon Press, 2007).  6. Lou Martuneac, In Defense of the Gospel:  Biblical Answers to Lordship Salvation (LaVergne, TN:  Lou Martuneac, Xulon Press, 2006, 2010).

The Fallout of Lordship Faith Teaching

Battered! The Father Serra Syndrome

 

Father Junipero Serra was an 18th century Franciscan priest who is famous for founding the Roman Catholic mission system throughout western Mexico and California.  He is known to have been a flagelist, that is, one who would regularly pummel himself with a whip in order to exorcise his personal demons (sinful thoughts and attitudes).  In a California history course in college, I learned that on more than one occasion Father Serra had to be physically restrained by his assistants to prevent him from flogging himself to death.

Do some Christians today beat themselves up as Father Serra did?  Oh, maybe they don’t do so physically, but do they torment themselves mentally and emotionally over their struggles with sin?  Listen to the following composite of one who is caught up in such a pattern of conflicted self-deprecating thinking:  “James is a young man with a different set of problems, the greatest one being lust.  Though he has never actually committed fornication, James struggles continually with impure thoughts.  He lives in dread that his Christian friends will discover what is happening inside his brain.  Attached to this mental impurity is a sense of deep shame, a shame that permeates his feelings about himself and his position before God.”[ii] James desperately needs a regular healthy dosage of the preaching of God’s abundant awesome gift of grace in the believer’s life.  He also would benefit tremendously by the warm understanding embrace of fellow Christian brothers and sisters.

The teaching and preaching of Lordship Salvation can foster a tremendous state of anxiety and doubt for some believers because its precepts demand a high level of purity of thought and lifestyle undergirded by the constant threat of not having been blameless enough or virtuous enough to merit salvation.    Recently I witnessed a heart-wrenching testimony from a young Christian man whose assurance of salvation was decimated by the reading of a best-selling book which promulgates a very condemning form of Lordship Salvation doctrine.  Out of respect  for the young man I’ll share just a brief portion of what he said without giving his name:  “there is no hope for most of us to ever be like the one who is not lukewarm.  There is no hope for me anymore, for I thought I was a Christian for over 15 years, but I am according to the scriptures ‘lukewarm’ and will not be accepted into heaven . . . .  May God have mercy on us all . . . .”  Hearing a sad profession such as this reminds me of why it is so crucial for Free Grace teachers and writers to proclaim strongly the message of God’s grace and to counter the harmful repercussions of Lordship Faith preaching.  I wonder if any of these popular Lordship pastors and writers ever pause to consider the fallout, the damage and pain that they might potentially inflict through preaching and publishing their judgmental diatribes.  Who will pick up the broken pieces of shattered lives?

Driven! When is Enough Enough?

 

Some Christians live in a constant state of tension and dread, always ill at ease, restless, uncertain, never knowing when they’ve done enough; they’re never quite able to get a grasp on assurance. One of the consistent marks of Lordship Faith teaching is that it sets very lofty (some would say unattainable) standards of normative Christian achievement.  After all, their teachers might say, didn’t Jesus establish the ideals for us in the Sermon on the Mount?  Pity the average churchgoer who may not appear to be very dedicated to God or to be very active in serving him.  She might find herself listed among the ranks of the half-hearted or, dare I say, the “lukewarm”; if so, certain Lordship Faith leaders would almost certainly brand her as unsaved.  But who sets the criteria for Christian attainment and who gauges the hearts and motivations of the congregation?  How many years must one actively serve God?  Ten, twenty, thirty, fifty?  Must good works be obvious to men or can they be quietly noticeable before God?  Are any periods of failing allowed?  For how long?  Is working in a secular job acceptable or must one quit her job and go to the mission field?  Do true “on-fire” believers have to sell their fancy cars and houses and live like paupers?  The questions are endless and the answers are few.  And, one of the saddest questions of all is, how many unbelievers are put off by Lordship teachers’ unreasonable up-front demands of commitment, surrender and change of lifestyle in order for one to be allowed into the kingdom?  Rather, shouldn’t Christians be giving them the good news, the grace news of John 3:16, Acts 16:30-31 and Ephesians 2:8-9?

Listen to the story of a driven believer:  “Betty is as reliable as Mother Teresa, as dedicated to Christ as one can be.  . . .  But no matter how much Betty does, she always feels she’s not doing enough, because she also feels that somehow she isn’t quite pleasing God.  This haunting sense of God’s disapproval drives her from Bible study to prayer group, from buying each ‘New and Improved System for Personal Devotions’ at her local Christian bookstore and joining every church outreach program to standing at every opportunity to recommit her life to Christ.  In spite of her ‘gold-medal performance’ as a Christian, Betty continues to feel that God considers her a failure.”[iii] Is this really the way that God wants Christians to live?  Wouldn’t God want us to live lives characterized by confidence, freedom and grace?….

[...]

Read the balance of this excellent free article in PDF format Click here: >> “ Driven ” at Free Grace Alliance web site.