Author Archives: johninnc

Good News for Thanksgiving 2015

By johninnc

2 Corinthians 9:15: Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

In preparing to write this article, I spent some time reviewing the articles that have been featured on ExPreacherMan over the years around the time of the American Thanksgiving holiday. As I did so, it brought back to me a flood of memories of the late Jack Weaver, the founder of this online ministry. This is our first Thanksgiving without Jack, and I am very thankful for his life and his witness for Jesus.

Jack was a faithful preacher of the good news of Jesus Christ and an ardent defender of the gospel. He loved the Lord and shared in God’s desire to see all men come to know Christ as Savior.

Romans 10:14-15:

[14] How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
[15] And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

The gospel of Jesus Christ is good news. It is the best news imaginable, because it tells us who Jesus is, what he has done for us, and how we can have eternal life through Him and Him alone.

What is the Good News (the gospel)?

The good news is that Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised from the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4:

[1] Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
[2] By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
[3] For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
[4] And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:


Who is Christ?

Christ (Jesus) is God in the flesh. He took on human form to become our kinsman redeemer – our Savior. He is fully God and fully man. He is the only begotten Son of God and the Son of man.

Colossians 1:15-17:

[15] Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
[16] For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
[17] And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Luke 2:11: For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Why do we need a Savior?

We all need a Savior, because we have sinned (done wrong things) against a Holy and just God. Our sin separates us from God, who cannot allow sin in His presence. And, we can do nothing to save (or help save) ourselves.

Romans 3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Revelation 21:27: And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

The consequence of our sin includes physical death, and, without God’s provision for our salvation through Christ Jesus, we would all have to spend eternity separated from God in a place of conscious punishment.

Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

2 Thessalonians 1:9: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

How did Jesus save us?

Jesus bore the sins of the world. He died a horrible death on the cross to take away our sins. He was raised from the dead to prove that His payment for our sin was complete and accepted.

2 Corinthians 5:21: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Why did He do it?

He did it, because He loves us!

Romans 5:8: But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Why is this good news?

The gospel is good news, because God provided completely for our salvation. It was bought and paid for by the precious blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus.

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.

The Bible calls eternal life God’s unspeakable gift to us, because He offers us eternal life freely, without cost or obligation to the believer in Christ.

To summarize:

1. Everyone is a sinner
2. The penalty for sin is death (eternal separation from God in a place of conscious torment – hell)
3. One must be perfect to get into heaven. Not good. Not great. Perfect.
4. One cannot do anything of himself to obtain this perfection – this includes turning from sin, committing your life to Christ and so on. God offers eternal life as a gift – it’s not for sale or barter.
5. God provided a sin-bearer for us (The Lord Jesus Christ, God in the
flesh. He had no sin of his own, but he came to die for us, paying the full penalty for our sin. He was raised from the dead, proving that His payment was acceptable).
6. All we can do to receive everlasting life is to believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior.
7. Eternal life, once received by faith in Christ, can never be lost or forfeited, no matter what happens in our lives down the road.

What is there to do to receive eternal life? Simply BELIEVE that Jesus made that payment for your sin – for you.

For additional detail about eternal life, click here: UNSPEAKABLE GIFT

Parliament, Potluck, or Propitiation?

By johninnc

Romans 3:25-26: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

The 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions was held in Salt Lake City from October 15-19. According to organizers, 10,000 people, from 80 nations, and 50 religious traditions participated.

I went to the website for the event and found the following:

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

You should attend:

  • If you are concerned about war, terrorism, and hatred
  • If you care for creation and are worried about climate change
  • If you are troubled by the widening wealth gap and wasteful consumption
  • If you care for religions and nations working together in harmony for the good of humanity

You will also find:

  • Trainers in dialogue, interfaith activism, fundraising, and organizing
  • World-class religious music, films, exhibits, and performances
  • Shopping for ethnic, international, and religious books and goods

Following are some notable quotes from, or regarding, the Parliament:

“When we all get together and consolidate and cooperate, instead of fighting, we’re gonna save the world.” Jane Goodall, biologist.

My comment: “we” are not going to save the world.

Acts 4:12: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

“It’s nice to remember that though our faiths  take us on different paths, they can all ultimately take us to the same destination. Religion, when an engine for collaboration and addressing social problems, is a source for tremendous optimism about our collective destiny.” Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz.

My comment: There are separate destinies for those who believe in Jesus as Savior and those who do not.

John 3:5: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Of course, this line of humanistic reasoning is not brand new. From a 2010 article entitled “Future Religious and Ethical Leaders Ask the Hard Questions — Together” by Chris Stedman we glean similar quotes:

“While I have ultimately learned that my spiritual identity is not synonymous with Minnesota culture, perhaps there’s room for a new potluck where everyone’s dish is welcome.” Kari Aanestad, Master of Divinity student (who identifies as a Lutheran).

My comment: Jesus is the bread of life. Potluck religion is just death warmed over.

John 6:33: For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

“As young scholars, practitioners, and activists, our spiritual lives, or our careers might be in states of formation, but the public conversations about religion and ethics in the United States are also in a state of formation.” Joshua Eaton, Budhist, and Recent Master of Divinity graduate, Harvard University.

My comment: Neither religion, nor ethics can give eternal life.

John 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am they way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Now, one more quote from the Parliament:

“If everyone takes baby steps every day, beginning with a revolution of our forks, it will make a mighty and lasting difference. Let us not only just have a sustainable relationship with our planet, but rather let’s have a blissful one, leaving behind footprints of beauty.” Reverend Michael Bernard Beckwith, founder and director of Los Angeles- based Agape Spiritual Ministries.

My comment: Self-imposed dietary laws have no spiritual value  whatsoever. We leave footprints of beauty by our faithfulness in preaching the gospel.

Romans 10:9: And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring good tidings of great things!

____________________________________

Dear reader, the ONLY way to get to heaven is to trust in Christ ALONE as your Savior.

God has provided fully for your salvation through Jesus.

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.

Here is an overview of what that means:

1. Everyone is a sinner
2. The penalty for sin is death (eternal separation from God in a place of conscious torment – hell)
3. One must be perfect to get into heaven. Not good. Not great. Perfect.
4. One cannot do anything of himself to obtain this perfection – this includes turning from sin, committing your life to Christ and so on. God offers eternal life as a gift – it’s not for sale or barter.
5. God provided a sin-bearer for us (The Lord Jesus Christ, God in the
flesh. He had no sin of his own, but he came to die for us, paying the full penalty for our sin. He was raised from the dead, proving that His payment was acceptable).
6. All we can do to receive everlasting life is to believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior.
7. Eternal life, once received by faith in Christ, can never be lost or forfeited, no matter what happens in our lives down the road.

What is there to do to receive eternal life? Simply BELIEVE that Jesus made that payment for your sin – for you.

If you would like additional detail, please click here: THE GOSPEL

Playing Church

By johninnc

2 Corinthians 6:14: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Our friend and frequent commenter at ExPreacherMan, Bryan Roach, posted the following comment that I thought would provide a good springboard for an article on “playing church.”

Wow, if I didn’t know any better, I would have thought both of y’all were visiting churches in my area. I have dealt with the exact same situation with several preachers seeing no problem with preaching grace, yet distributing LS material and associating with other preachers and organizations that promote the LS gospel. I’ve had meetings with several who have told me that “I’m being too picky, or over thinking it.” They don’t want to start a debate between LS members and the grace members, because unity is their top priority. One pastor said, “My church will have some Arminians, some 5 point Calvinists, and some 0 point Calvinists, but what I love about our church is that we are all here in unity and we take pride in that.” It’s sad and frustrating to say the least.

“Playing church” refers to people gathering under the mistaken belief that they are gathering in Christ’s name.

Matthew 18:20: For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Unlike the many false substitutes that go by the name “church”, the true universal church is comprised of those who have believed in Jesus alone as Savior.

John 1: 12-13:

[12] But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

[13] Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

In a sense, only those that believe on His name (believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone) can be truly gathered in his name.

Anything else is just playing church.

If your “church” teaches, or tolerates,  any of the following things (note that this is not an all-inclusive list), particularly after you have tried to teach them the truth, they are simply playing church.

  • You have to be willing to turn from your sins to be saved
  • You must repent of your sins to be saved
  • You must want to follow Christ to be saved
  • You must want to have a relationship with Christ to be saved
  • It’s not faith and works. It’s faith that works
  • God will never take away your salvation, but you can walk away from it
  • You can lose your salvation through serious, habitual sin
  • If you die with serious, unconfessed sin, you won’t go to heaven
  • You have to be water baptized to have eternal life
  • You have to make a public confession of Christ to have eternal life
  • You will not be sinless, but you will sin less
  • A true Christian will bear the fruit of a changed life
  • Intellectual assent is not saving faith
  • Jesus didn’t save us in our sins, He saved us from our sins
  • Faith is the gift of God
  • A true Christian wants to obey Christ
  • He can’t be your Savior if he’s not your Lord
  • A true Christian may stumble every once in a while, but he won’t live in persistent willful sin
  • A true Christian will…

There are all kinds of “churches,” ministries, books, DVDs, youtube videos, and so on run by people who insist that they believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

Sadly, most of them that I have encountered do not really believe or teach that.

Below is an example from an internet ministry that I recently came across. They claim to believe in salvation by grace through faith, but their further statements belie that.

Saving Faith is trusting in Jesus Christ, and Him alone, for your Salvation…

Are you willing to repent of your sins right now, and become a responsible member of God’s forever family, following Him and serving Him as a member of His forever family, following Him and serving Him as a member of His body, the Church? If your heartfelt answer is, “Yes”, then we can go to Him now in prayer, and we can tell Him that you want to cease trusting in anything else for Eternal Salvation, especially in what you can do for yourself.

This so-called ministry is teaching that one receives eternal life by TRADING willingness to repent from sins and follow Christ. This is a false gospel of works that will not save anyone. The Bible teaches that eternal life is a gift, not a trade.

Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

If you have understood and believed the gospel, please don’t continue to yoke yourself with those who teach, or tolerate false gospel substitutes.

And, if playing church has kept you confused about how to receive eternal life, click here: THE GOSPEL

A Test for Eternal Salvation (Or, How Can We Tell Who is Really Saved?)

by johninnc

  1. I believe that someone who is “really saved”:
    1. Sins more than he did before he was saved
    2. Sins less than he did before he was saved
    3. Sins the same amount as he did before he was saved
    4. Need not look to the amount of sin in his life as an indicator of whether or not he is saved
  1. I believe that someone who is “really saved”:
    1. Must have wanted to become better to be saved
    2. Must have wanted to be rid of his tendency to sin to be saved
    3. Must have believed that his life would change and that he would sin less after he is saved in order to be saved
    4. Must have believed that Jesus took away his sins – past, present, and future
  1. I believe that someone who is “really saved”:
    1. Will show visible signs (“fruits”) of being saved
    2. Will not show visible signs (“fruits”) of being saved
    3. May show visible signs (“fruits”) of being saved
    4. Cannot show that he is saved based on his behavior. One’s behavior, either good, or bad, gives no evidence of whether or not he is saved
  1. I believe that someone who is “really saved”:
    1. Will always feel bad when he sins
    2. Will usually feel bad when he sins
    3. Will at least feel bad when he commits big sins
    4. Need not evaluate his feelings, including sensitivity to sin at any given point in time, to help him determine whether or not he is saved.
  1. I believe that someone who is “really saved”:
    1. Always loves other people
    2. Usually loves other people
    3. May not love all people, but always loves his brothers and sisters in Christ
    4. Need not evaluate his feelings, including love for others (or God) at any given point in time, to help him determine whether or not he is saved.
  1. I believe that someone who is “really saved”:
    1. Must turn from his sins to be saved
    2. Must be willing to turn from his sins to be saved
    3. Must confess his sins to be saved
    4. Must, to have ever believed in Jesus as Savior, have acknowledged (known) that he was a sinner, in need of a Savior
  1. I believe that someone who is “really saved”:
    1. May lose his salvation if he returns to a sinful lifestyle
    2. May lose his salvation if he dies with un-confessed sin
    3. May lose his salvation if he quits believing
    4. Cannot lose or forfeit his eternal life, no matter what
  1. I believe that someone who is “really saved”:
    1. Will go to be with the Lord when he dies or is raptured
    2. Has eternal life now that can never be lost or forfeited
    3. Will never come into condemnation
    4. Has the benefit of all of the above
  1. I believe that someone who is “really saved”:
    1. Will persevere in faith and good works
    2. May “backslide”, but will always “return to God”
    3. May fall into sin, but will never stop believing
    4. Has eternal life, whether or not he perseveres in faith and good works, “backslides” for the rest of his life, or even stops believing
  1. I believe that someone who is “really saved”*:
    1. Can know he is saved, because his life begin to change, showing that God has really come into his life
    2. Can know he is saved, because he is bearing the fruit of good works
    3. Can know he is saved, because he is continuing to walk with Christ
    4. Can know he is saved, because he heard the gospel and believed it

Note: If you answered any question with other than “D” (or “4” if you are reading this on an iPhone),  you are confused about God’s plan of salvation. Please click here:  The Gospel

“The Naked Gospel”: Just Another False Gospel of Works


by johninnc

My wife and I were recently introduced to a book called “The Naked Gospel,” written by Andrew Farley.

The first thing I do when I hear about a biblical book or author is to determine where they stand on the gospel. If someone gets the gospel wrong, I am not interested any of their biblical teaching.

Unfortunately, Farley clothes a false gospel of works under the clever guise of grace. Nowhere is this more telling than in his section called “Looking for Evidence” (pages 197-199).

Farley spends close to 200 pages beguiling the reader with personal yarns and anecdotes, mixed with some scripture, before finally coming to his false gospel.

Following are extensive excerpts, with my comments (interspersed, parenthetically, in bold):

James 2 clearly says we’re justified by works too, not by faith alone. To dance around this passage by saying it refers to works after salvation is faulty. The passage specifically asks, “Can such faith save them?” (James 2:14). In addition, it repeatedly addresses being justified before God, a status that occurs at salvation. Without a doubt, James says we’re justified by works and not by faith alone. But, the important question is: What does James mean by works?

(James 2 NEVER says that one is justified before God by works. Farley has simply invented this into scripture. Romans 4:2 gives the real story: For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.)

I believe the key to understanding this passage is to avoid bringing our twenty-first century mind-set to the table, especially with regard to the term works. Rather than assuming that works should be understood as a life-long record of religious activity, one should consult the biblical text and let the writer himself define the term. James own use of the term works is quite different from how we use it today.

(Nonsense. “It depends what the definition of is is”).

James explains that even the demons can believe the basics of Christianity – that there is one God, and so forth (2:19). He shows us the difference between nodding with your head with dead faith versus expressing living faith. The purpose of the passage is to communicate that faith without decision or response is dead faith.

(There is no “…and so forth.” Again, Farley has fabricated scripture. James 2:19: Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.)

James uses two Old Testament examples, Rahab and Abraham, to explain justification by works. Both characters actively responded to God’s message. They didn’t sit back passively and claim they believed God. Rahab decided to open her door to the spies (Joshua 2:1), and Abraham chose to offer his son on the altar (Genesis 22:3). They went beyond mere intellectual assent and did something in response to God’s message.

(Neither Abraham, nor Rahab, received eternal life by these acts. They were not justified before God for these acts. Nor does this imply that good works are automatic in the life of a believer. Rahab and Abraham were faithful when their faith was tested. James is using their examples to exhort the BELIEVERS to whom he is writing to an active faith).

But, how many times did Rahab open the door? Once. And how many times did Abraham hoist his son Isaac on the altar? Once. Hence, works in this passage is really not about a lifelong track record of good behavior. It’s actually about the importance of responding to the truth – an act that goes beyond mere intellectual agreement. James 2 might be summarized by the following train of thought:

  • We’re justified by works (but works needs to be defined in context).
  • Works are like what Rahab and Abraham did.
  • Living faith involves opening a door (of your life) – a work.
  • Living faith involves offering someone (yourself) – a work.
  • So living faith involves decision – a work.
  • Any faith without decision is just dead faith.

(So, Mr. Farley, we’re not saved by works, but by a single work that proves our faith? Would I have to be willing to kill my son to receive the free gift of eternal life? Do I have to be willing to let Jesus come in and change my life? Or, would some other work of righteousness be acceptable to God to prove I wasn’t exercising mere intellectual assent?)

James 2 communicates that personal decision is necessary in order for true salvation to occur. Those who appear to fall away from belief in Jesus are those who merely associated themselves with certain doctrines for whatever reason. They may abandon Christianity the movement. They may abandon Christians, sometimes accompanied by personal resentment. But, they don’t abandon Christ, since they never knew Him. Ascribing to certain doctrines is one thing, but opening the door of your life and receiving the life of Christ is altogether different.

(Farley has cleverly redefined decision to include WORKS. One receives eternal life by believing in Jesus as his Savior. The content of that belief is that Christ – God our Savior – died for our sins, was buried, and was raised from the dead. As soon as one believes that Jesus’ death and resurrection were sufficient to take away his sin and give him everlasting life, he is saved.

In addition, the parable of the sower teaches that some believe only for a while. Farley seems to have re-written this part of scripture as well.)

Once James 2 is seen in context, it doesn’t conflict with Romans or any other faith-centered passage. We need to recognized that this passage in James does not seem to be referring to a post-salvation experience. It’s specifically addressing the question, “Can such faith save them?” (James 2:14). From there we must grasp James’s own use of the term works by consulting the examples he gives. James’s purpose is to contrast mere intellectual agreement with active, saving faith that involves receiving the life of Christ. When Christ stood at the door and knocked, did you respond by opening the door, as Rahab did? If so, I think you’ve met the requirement of this historically controversial faith-works passage.

James 2 is not inviting us to introspect and assess our long-tem track-record of good works; in context, it appears to be contrasting dead faith (intellectual assertion only) with living faith (true conviction followed by decision).

We must never forget that truth is supposed to set us free!

(We receive the life of Christ when we believe the gospel. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Rahab’s receiving of the messengers, which scripture refers to as a work,  is not part and parcel with believing in Jesus as Savior.

Yes, the truth is supposed to set us free. The truth starts with the gospel. If one thinks that he must do works (or make a decision), as defined by Farley, to receive eternal life, he does not believe the gospel.)

If you would like to know how to have eternal life, click here: THE GOSPEL

 

Ten Verses Misused by Calvinists to Deceive People

Continue reading

Prayer Request for Holly’s Son Adam

Please note: Please click the link to “Redeeming Moments” for updates.

Latest Update

Second update 9-16

After I came back in the room, Adam was again feeling his hair, I think the two layers and the shaving of part of his head has him perplexed. He was getting sleepy, he had 3 people in this morning and now me. I was massaging his hands and arm on the stiff side, and did his range of motion on his arms with him. He really is seeming to start to recognize certain words, although there is a delay in following them. Especially ‘relax’ when I’m trying to open up his tight left arm. I came around to do his other hand, and I laid my head on his chest and said, “I got my hair cut a few weeks ago, how does it feel to you?” He moved his arm off his own head, onto the back of my hair and began to rub and stroke it and feel it with his fingertips. Instantly the tears flowed and it made me silently weep. One of the shortest and most poignant verses in the Bible (although there are many who move me greatly) is John 11:34. Today I know He understands this mothers sorrowful, yet trusting heart. Here is the verse.

JESUS WEPT.
Adam is resting now, so when he wakes we’ll finish his leg exercises, I don’t want to overtire him. Later I’ll have dinner with my mom and Jason, and catch up on what is going on with my both of them, she’s doing her own paces with my dad.

We finished Adam’s exercises, he seems more limber and less resistant to being stretched, and that makes me happy. 🙂

Update 9-16

Last night I spoke with Dr. Ibrahim about some of the things I’d like. Great bedside manner, thank You Lord, I could use more of those. They are going to do the nebulizer on a regular basis for now, and also keep his sodium levels up into the high 140’s. That makes me happy, it helps keep swelling down in the brain, plus shows this doctor is very aware of how to treat brain traumas.

Our friend Jane went this morning, she was there for his PT session and took a short video. They are working on him sitting up and also moving his legs. We only got one session in the cadillac/cardiac chair at the hospital the whole time he was there, so he is not able to sit up at all yet. Please pray for his strength and balance and continued improvement each day. I had to take leave of his room for a moment so they can do the moving and changing, came to listen to the aid play the piano. Sitting listening, and listening to the buzz and whirring of the floor cleaning machine, and the squeaky footprints of the nurse who tracks across the damp floor. I watch the slow circular motions of the machine, and watch the gentleman push it with ease. I imagine the movements of her fingers as she plays the piano, I do not watch, just pondering, wondering, and silently praying that Adam will be able to do these things some day. But God…

We’re trying to take pictures and videos each and every day and notate changes. He had a day full of women yesterday, and he will today too, although Jason will come in this afternoon. Jason (by the way) is from my Dear John letter of yesterday. Jason also now knows where He will spend eternity. My hope and prayer, as would be Adam’s, is that you too know where you will be. He loves each and every one of you and want you to be with us when we pass from this earth. This again is not about religion (as I saw one of you say, you’d rather just not have to deal with the religious stuff), Jesus and I would both agree. He stood against the religious people of His day, and instead turned to love and teach and eat with the tax collectors, the uneducated, the fisherman, the drunks, the prostitutes — healing the lepers, the blind, the deaf, the lame, the ones that the religious walked by in the story of the Good Samaritan.

This is about a God who loves you and gave Himself for you. You can do nothing to save yourself, and nothing to earn this free gift of eternal life. Please feel free to email or call me if you want to know more. If you’re tired of the churches who advocate stopping sinning, or turning from sin, or being sorry enough, or any of the things religion teaches to be saved, then please consider the Word of God. ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved’. We are sinners in need of a Savior who cannot fix ourselves. I am still very much human as those of you who know me in person can attest. I am a saved person though, and one the Lord is helping all the time as I cooperate with Him. Not because of any good I have done, and not because I myself am good, but because God alone is good, and has done all the work for me, He is the Savior and Redeemer, no one else. Come to Him all of you who are weary, tired, exhausted (with toil or burdens or grief), burdens and loads too hard for you. He says, He will give you rest. (my narrative of Matt 11:28-30)

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:1-3

Update 9-15

Yesterday was a pretty good day although Adam is stilling having trouble with his oxygen levels, so appreciate the prayers for that. If he can’t cooperate for therapy we will be delayed there too, so pray that he will ‘hear’ and respond to commands at the appropriate times. By the time I left last night, it was dark and cloudy all around, I had no idea that it was storming. What a downpour last night, and a nice sunny day today. We have some paperwork, one form alone is 32 pages. Another is on it’s way certified mail. Notarizing and filing other paperwork, my body doesn’t seem to want to obey my mind ❤ But then I think Adam is dealing with much worse issues. He’s heavy to move, so pray that we can get him enough range of motion in. My daughter is with him now, and his friend Wendy should show up soon. Tierney said he was not real cooperative with speech therapy, so really praying that will change quickly.

I received a beautiful bouquet of peach roses (love those and the lavender ones too. My other daughter is going to see Adam shortly, and my newest daughter, Amber, will be there with him this evening. Pray for us to rest in His guidance, yet accomplish what we need to do as the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. One consolation we have through this, is the Lord has not forsaken us. I know Adam knew where he would be if he died, not of himself, but because of what Jesus Christ had done for him, and freely given to him. This link below contains a “Dear John” letter I wrote to an agnostic friend before a serious surgery. Please consider reading it will you? Love in Jesus Christ to each one of you. I love and appreciate you. Holly (Mom).

Read here: Dear John Letter

Update 9-13

Today Adam is pretty wakeful. His dad covered this morning, and then I came and did some of his exercises. We took them slow as to not let his heart beat go up too fast. My mom came around 2, and she stayed for a couple of hours. We did some washing of his hands and feet, just massaging with the warm cloths and doing each knuckle and cuticle. He seemed to relax quite a bit and let me do some more stretches. Took off his boots and gave him a nice foot massage and adjusted his feet so his knees were bent a little. He’s been awake most of the time I’ve been with him. I held his hand, and he mimicked everything I did, rubbing each knuckle and squeezing and almost rolling my fingers. I told him I loved him and then I prayed for him out loud. Tears welled up, but I consciously kept them from flowing (at least from where he could see). I want him to see a cheerful mom. I prayed a prayer, mostly from His Word for a friend today, I think I’ll share it here, as I know so many are having hard times. They are changing positions for Adam so I’m out of the room. This is basically just all from God’s Word, just put together as a prayer. God bless you all, hug you, comfort you, give you peace.

Lord, you are the greatest Deliverer, there is none like You. You are so full of mercy and grace, and such love for us. We know these trials are here to make us strong, and we know that You use these things and work them together for good. We also know the enemy is active out there, so I am praying for You to raise that standard against Him and rebuke him on our behalf. We submit ourselves to you and are resisting the enemy with Your Word.

You are our help, and when our feet slip, Your mercy holds us up Lord, in the multitude of our anxious thoughts, Your comforts delight our soul. Our soul clings to the dust, but Your Word revives us. Our soul melts from heaviness, yet again Your Word strengthens us. You wrote these things ahead of time, that through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Oh God, You are our God, early we seek You…our soul clings to You and Your right hand upholds us. Let our enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled. Let them turn back and be ashamed suddenly. Let us use sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that they might be ashamed and have nothing evil to say of us. We will call upon You, for You are worthy to be praised.

Your lovingkindness is commanded each day, Your song is over us at night. Soon we will shed these corruptible bodies and be with You face to face. What a day that will be, to be rid of this flesh where evil still dwells. We long to do better, and to please You with our faith. I know I’ll never be a hall of famer like my brothers and sisters before me (Heb 11), but Lord help us to acknowledge You in more of our ways. WE need You, we cry out to You to deliver us from our troubles. We pour out our hearts before You. We know this light affliction is but for a moment, and we ask that it will work a far more exceeding weight of glory as we look to those things which are eternal.

Help us in our weakness, and work in us through these things. Help us to bless those that curse us. To be patient with those who are inpatient, and to be kind to the unkind. To be considerate to the inconsiderate, and loving to those who are unloving. All I can say Lord is we need you to hedge us in before and behind us, lay Your hand upon us. Surround us with Your protection. And give us courage and boldness to speak of You to others. We love You Lord. Thank You for Your salvation, for coming to give Your life for us… Help us to get through today with thankfulness in our hearts, and praise on our lips.

In Jesus name, Amen

Update 9-12

Adam is mainly settled in, we have still to await the Physical and OT therapy. Respiratory therapy has met with him, and spent a lot of time with him today and tonight. He is called ‘productive’ so praying they stay on top of that overnight. Thank you all for your prayers for strength, wisdom, gentleness, kindness, patience, etc.

As I watch my son, and see what he cannot do, I realize more each moment how we need to be thankful for each thing the Lord has given to us and pray that these things will be restored to Adam.

Update 9-11/12-2015

ps 126-5-6Yesterday and the day before, we’ve been viewing and re-viewing the facilities. Two different friends went to look at two different facilities at separate times, along with Jason, and I of course had to go see them also. Adam’s dad went to the one in Scottsdale, so did Jason, and we were fine with that facility. We also met with the representative a few days ago for Q & A. But, they denied him, they felt he was not medically stable enough although he did not give that as a reason to the social worker, they just denied him.

I made a final run with a friend last night to two places. The first was one my dad had been in years ago for a short time, still really no better. When I had my tour he pointed out a bunch of respiratory staff, about 5 of them standing around, I saw no one but patients in rooms and most of them dark and it was only about 6:30. Most of the nurses and CNA’s were standing in the hallways. I forced myself to continue, but kept looking for a nurse in a room, didn’t seen one nurse in one room, poor things, I wanted to go in and talk to them all. But I couldn’t wait to get out of there! But, I didn’t want to have any guilt about leaving one stone unturned.

I was pretty much already settled on the one facility due to Jason’s report which was detailed, along with the email report my other friend had sent the day before. All of us spoke to different staff members on our tours. It seemed we covered a speech therapist, a respiratory therapist, an administrator, and a pulmonologist — along with a friendly staff member who had worked there 15 years. It has changed quite a bit since I saw it last, it looks great, but more than that, everyone looked busy. And happy and pleasant too. I realize there can always be good staff with personality conflicts, or good people that have bad days, or sometimes — just plain poor staffing, but it looks like this place has some very good standards in place. Hands down, this facility wins out of all my limited choices.

The other TBI rehabs out of town he is not quite ready for. I was looking at Atlanta, Shepherd Center, and a couple others. Barrows Neurological says he is not quite ready for them yet either, however Adam is making strides now that some of his morphine has been changed, I feel like we can reach him more, he is more alert, and is making more purposeful movements.

We’ve had a lot of challenges, Jason has been a huge help each day, and in the midst of all chaos, he is getting ready to start his chemo (which will be daily), so I appreciate your prayers for him also. He just patiently lugs around my stuff, drives me to the closest entrance, parks, does paperwork, listens to me when I am upset, makes sure I’m fed, etc. May the Lord really bless him for his servanthood towards me and my family.

I also have neglected my father with taking care of these things with Adam, my mind is in a flurry of trying to remember every thing I need to do, and that is one thing I don’t think some people comprehend in their daily job, is that the family is in shock, no matter what they may appear to look like from the outside. And of course, they also want the best care for their family. But I think the Lord has helped here as the two facilities won’t be too far from each others, so we’ll be able to see both of them with more ease, thank You Lord for Your goodness to us.

I highly encourage all of you to be sure you have someone who has a power of attorney for you, none of us are immune from having something happen in a moment. We are not promised tomorrow. The maze of paperwork and courts and banking, and paying bills, etc. is multiplied exponentially without one. Adam said he had done one, but his roommates look, and unfortunately it is nowhere to be found. Please consider a trusted friend or family member. I’m only saying this to save any of you from the same hardship should something like this happen to you or a loved one.

I went over his discharge papers yesterday, they had made a few simple mistakes and left out a few things that she and I made notations on, I think we have it all situated, I appreciated Eileen’s help.

Here is something that is really neat. The doctor who is going to be taken care of him, the one that is recommended, IS from Barrow’s neurological institute, the one I have asked for, and the social worker kind of had a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her lips, when she asked if it bothered me if that was where he was going. I thought he’d have to only go to JC Lincoln, but she said they worked with Barrows too. I wanted to jump up and down for joy. I am not saying I did not have some good doctors and nurses at Scottsdale Osborn, I surely did, but I do not want the one neurologist again, ever. He may be able to save lives, I am sure of that, but he can sure steal joy.

Right now we are asking for people to comment here if they want to visit or help with any of the therapies. Give us an email so we can arrange times with you. We will let you all know when visiting will be allowed again and will do a group email. This is just to give time for him to be assessed and given his therapies and to know his schedule and how much stimulation he can take. This place encourages interaction, and I am getting organized with my team of volunteers 🙂 Adam is leaving the hospital now, and will be in his new rehab shortly. Thank you all for your goodness to us and your prayers.

We have probably had 25,000 views (is my guess), since the accident, so I know many of you are coming to check in. I also have seen those of you who have been copying and pasting and sharing my posts in groups, and those do not show up as views here, so who even knows how many have been reading and praying with us? I have been told by countless of you that your church, your prayer group, your Bible study are out there praying. For that, I shed tears of gratefulness. I can’t tell you how much each of you have meant to me, my son has loved many people, he has such a kind heart as you all know, and it’s been a pleasure to meet you all, from all walks of life, all ages, just overwhelming.

Red Robin has been supportive too, I urge you all to visit your local Red Robin, and tell them why. You can visit their website and tell them you are patronizing Red Robin on Adam Hixson’s behalf. 🙂

As for Chris and Cristine, yesterday Cristine says she has also seen changes including Chris puckering up his lips to give her a kiss. Made me tear up. Bless them with a miracle Lord.

If you like, here you can read up on the man who is to be Adam’s neurologist, fondly known as Dr. Rocky Marciano.

Update 9-10-15

Yesterday was another long day, my body stopped doing too well, lots of charlie horses in my legs and feet. Thank the Lord for boys who would help me by massaging them, and some potassium, magnesium and heating pads. Made me think of how necessary it is to really continue Adam’s range of motion exercises. I started collecting things I thought might help for some brain work, some different shaped and colored balls, and a brush for his senses, and a plastic pill container and a few other things. We need to keep him limber. I had help yesterday so we got his exercises done, and a few of his friends also stopped by, along with his father who usually comes in the morning time, so he has a good support system. We’re going to try to get that organized for visits once we know where we are. Thank you all for understanding when I put you off for now. We do not know where he will be one day to the next, both in health or location. He had a rough day yesterday with lots of drops in oxygen and the necessity for deep suctioning of his lungs. They are supposed to order a nebulizer, I don’t know if that has been done yet.

I called also to ask a doctor to fill out the paperwork needed for the judge for temporary guardianship. The Nurse Practitioner of yesterday handed it back to us and said she wasn’t going to fill it out, to get it done at the facility wherever he went. So in the meantime it has been delayed even further due to her refusal to do this. I put in a call to the social workers and explained my frustration at this delay. They are the ones who have been taking care of him for three weeks, they are the ones that have told me he’ll be incapacitated for the rest of his life (Dr. Hu), but they cannot help me by filling out the paperwork I need to take care of his affairs? Please pray for someone to actually help vs. make excuses. Yesterday I mentioned to the one social worker, that she was supposed to be Adam’s advocate. I had told her the facility had mentioned his instability and she said, “no, they did not say that, they gave no reason”. I had to explain to her that they did indeed say that they felt he was too unstable to be moved yet, and that they did not like that he was neuro storming (according to NP) and that he hadn’t been cultured since 8-26. That it was traumatic for patients to be moved back and forth. And I explained there was a witness to that. So she listened at that point. It seems once a particular doctor decides to take a negative attitude, they must all follow suit and either stay quiet or disagree with something that is said. I really am doing my best to be kind and gentle, so please keep praying. Again, there are most definitely some good caregivers there, and you can see some are very compassionate.

Today there is supposed to be another option for a skilled nursing facility, so I am waiting for a call. The other one which we had pretty much settled upon denied him. We believe we have already settled on another. The gentleman who came from the first facility made a comment about not knowing if he was stable enough to move. Since the NP said he was still storming and that is why they were administering so much morphine, he didn’t seem very confident, and I guess I read that one right. On one hand it’s frustrating, yet it also can be the Lord opening and shutting doors.

I did receive a call at 12:48 pm today from the social worker, they are working still on the one facility, they are looking at a 24 to 48 hour discharge from the hospital, and I told her that was fine assuming he is doing well. We talked about the NP handing the paperwork back to me and not filling it out, she said she would advocate for me to get that done. I have to confess, that the ‘feelings’ of trust are not always there, although I do trust God implicitly, sometimes it is scary as we advocate for our loved ones, not wanting to make any errors, and yet feeling as if in a fog. And then to have adversaries who you feel are supposed to help, it is overwhelming at times. I go by what I know, and that is the Lord is good, and has always been good and faithful to me, even when I was or am not faithful. I am so thankful that it is not how good I am, but how good He is to us. I am leaning on His everlasting arms ❤

May we remember this today.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Update 9-9-15

I couldn’t bring myself to post any more of my day yesterday, it was one of the most difficult for me. Talk about brain neuro storming, it feels like it’s what happens with me too, information overload and upset caregivers. It makes it especially difficult when you have a hostile or calloused doctor/nurse practitioner. My nurse practitioner yesterday was a beautiful, thin blonde, with unfortunately a not very understanding or listening personality, at least when it comes to me. It’s hard to describe to these people what they are doing to those who are the walking wounded. The patient’s family is in trauma and instead of treating them with understanding and gentleness. (don’t get me wrong, there are several who were excellent), some feel they are doing you a service by pronouncing a death sentence or in your face ‘bluntness’. Worse, they ignore your health concerns because it seems as if they have written him off.

Yesterday and the night before, Adam had alarmed in the late 80s and early 90s he was staying at for his O2 levels. He also did get some time in the ‘cadillac’ chair and had some more events of tachycardia after about 45 minutes. It didn’t set off the alarm, so they must have raised the number again, but I looked over to see 138 bpm. His nurse was right on it, we got him out of the chair and laying back down, the last couple days of nurses were a pleasure.

The nurse practitioner said none of it was concerning for her, that was pretty normal, but I told her it was a change we hadn’t seen plus his breathing was shallow and that was one of the side effects of mixing the new medicines with morphine. She just said I wasn’t recognizing his condition and this is just him having his good days and bad days. Maybe she was having one of hers, because she told me she was frustrated with me, and didn’t understand what I didn’t understand and had to go back into the notes with Dr. Doom to see what I hadn’t been able to grasp (I mean Dr. Hu).

She told me she had already told me he was discharged and I told her I didn’t have anyone tell me at anytime that he was discharged (as in past tense). She came back hard with, “Yes, I most certainly did tell you last Thursday or Friday”. I said I had seen no papers and she said they didn’t do them? I wish they might understand that if they really had said that, to maybe consider saying something like, “maybe you don’t remember, but let me refresh you with what we spoke about, and let me make sure your friend here with you understands as well”. (I took notes that day and every day, and what she said was he was getting ready to be discharged soon, and I should be looking for a place — which I have). My friend also said he did not hear her say he was discharged, only that he should be soon and we should be looking for a SNF.

I also mentioned my concern with his liver damage from the accident, and how in the hospital they monitor that daily, but in the facility, will they? And the medicines with how over medicated he’s been, I’m concerned with that. She basically told me she thought I was ‘inhumane’ to withhold his medicine when someone is in pain. I was in shock, it felt like I was in a dog shelter with those kinds of answers. She repeated inhumane twice and told me she was NOT going to change his medicines. I told her that the respiratory person (I thought that is who Sara was with) had said she would do a hold order so that if he was in too much of a stupor, they could hold off on the morphine. This is how the ‘inhumane’ came into the picture, and she told me respiratory has NOTHING to do with his medicines. I told her Sara was the name, but didn’t know the dept. Adam has not appeared in pain, and as a matter of fact he has appeared to be overdosed at times and so how can he be responsive if he is totally drugged? It’s almost as if it is dangerous it seems to ask the wrong questions, she told me I could start paying if I wanted to stay. She then went out to the nurse’s station and gestured dramatically as she told her story of what she had to deal with me about. (A friend stood by and watched and listened).

I repented. That was the sign I was looking for to change my mind regarding staying there. How could Adam get the care he needed there when there were people as negative and hostile as she and Dr. Hu have been, including speaking in front of Adam? Please still pray for them both. No unkind words were exchanged by me, but I did have a difficult time trying to be Adam’s advocate as the NP insisted upon being heard and not really wanting to answer my concerns. Again, I repented. I changed my mind, we will look for another place, as we actually also really have no choice that I know of ❤

Today I’m trying to compare the two facilities we’ve seen, and going to go back to one to check out the particular room they are considering for him. Talked to both and getting the questions answered. Pray for the right decision for Adam and all concerned. Pray for no more of these events from the staff, it wears me out and is like another knife in the wound. The Lord knows what these times feel like, as I said, I know He is storing my tears in a bottle. It’s as if I’m unable to cry, I’m walking in a dream that I cannot wake up from. Even though we walk through the Valley of the Shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for He is with us.

Back to Adam, I have a friend doing his range of motion exercises now (1:15 pm), she has been with him since this morning, doing some quiet reading of the Bible while allowing him to rest. His blood pressure has been low for days too, now they are giving him a saline drip to help it go up, I feel if they would slow down the morphine and baclofen, one or the other, he would not be so low, and not need his o2 upped, and his saline upped. It’s like they depress him on one hand, then mask the side effects by treating them vs. the underlying issue. Which to me is slow down on these things and maybe back off a little. But what do I know? I’m just watching and talking to those families who have already been through this. I’m hearing so many similar stories. But again the Lord knows, appreciate all your help and prayers.

Update 9-8-15

We stayed with him through the night, his friend stayed overnight, we didn’t really want to leave him alone, he was too low in oxygen. His friend stayed through to the morning shift until about 8:30 to be sure he was good. Adam has had some good support. My daughters are going to do some of the physical therapy after lunchtime, and then I’ll be with him after that, we do it all again. Each day we hope for new tender mercies. Yesterday was his eye blinking for yes or no. Pray for Adam’s encouragement, he seemed a lot discouraged yesterday. One of Adam’s friends is going to come in the morning to read the Word to him too, we continue to do that, knowing the Word gives wisdom and understanding and knowledge of the One who gave His life for Adam and the rest of us too. Pray for all of us in our weakness in fatigue, yet knowing we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

Update on Monday, Labor Day, 9-7-15

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matt 11:28-30

ps 56-8-11Cindy his nurse said Adam was ‘messing’ with his trach this morning, so she talked to him, and asked him if he could blink once for yes, and she said he did it. Then she asked him to blink twice for no, and Adam also did that. She then asked him if he was in pain, and he blinked once for yes, so she gave him some pain medicine. She has been good, swabbing his mouth every other hour for the thrush. My daughter Baylie comes in about half and hour or so, and if PT hasn’t been in to do his range of motion exercises, she’ll do them today for me. Physically, he is a little strong and heavy for me, although I’m learning how to use leaning and body weight with leverage to move things. Wish I had a pulley system 🙂 So, training more of the young ones to do this, maybe I’ll get a few therapists out of this ❤

In a little while they are going to set him up in one of those ‘cadillac’ chairs, this is very good, as he needs to be able to sit up for at least one hour without ‘storming’ (can cause tachycardia or blood pressure to spike, as well as fevers), so hoping that session also goes well. I’m going to talk to them about light arm and ankle weights for the stretching to help also with the rigidity, and do a little of my own research too, in order to be sure that is the right thing. The Lord is putting my tears away in a bottle ❤

UPDATE 9-6-2015

Adam’s sister and brother-in-law from Colorado visited again and said goodbye to had on the way home. Gifford, Jessup and Koby also spent time with him, then Tierney and her friend John came down also to be with Adam and say goodbye to Greer and Joel.

Today Adam actually opened his mouth, he also yawned a few times, we hadn’t seen that before. He also reached up and scratched his forehead when I turned to wet a rag. Made it bleed it multiple places by yanking off scabs. They’re removing the stitches from his trach, and it should stay in place now. Not sure how long trach’s stay in, however his oxygen levels are good as well as his breathing. He’s doing a lot more coughing, which is good to stay off pneumonia.

He is also doing a lot more movement, they are trying a couple new drugs, one for the central nervous system to see if they can regulate his fevers and help loosen up the muscles. Poor thing, it’s like one thing or another, right now, he has multiple wounds in his mouth and he has some sort of thrush too on his tongue. So they also have one medicine for him.

My daughter Tierney helped me with the range of motion exercises, actually did more than I did because he’s resisting some, so it makes it difficult for me because one side is pretty strong. But these are good signs that he is regaining movement and some motor functions.

I am only looking at today, trying not to worry about tomorrow; sufficient for today is the trouble therein…

UPDATE 9-5-2015

At the end of the day. Bodies ache, hurts surface, emotions ebb and flow, and yet there is so much to be grateful for. Adam is more wakeful and more purposeful today, and they acknowledged it (nurse and doctors). He was irritated and tossed them off his arm. We can see there is a long road ahead, but I only can handle looking down at my path directly ahead. I’ll look to the Lord and His Word for my strength (Ps 119:25, 28).

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Ps 119:105
UPDATE 9-4-2015

Adam has had a busy day. And he is resting now, and we’re listening to some pleasant light music while he rests. Today is the first time we’ve seen him get his right arm higher than his misting tube on his trach. He reached up and scratched his forehead, then he scratched his eyelid on the right side. He opened up his eyes wider than we’d seen also, and he seemed more focused, not just blank staring. His friend, asked him to squeeze her hand, and he yanked away his hand, it made her laugh. We video taped the one where he moved his arm up that high, and also asked the nurse to chart it, and she said she would, so I hope she does.

The doctors still come in and say basically the same thing, “no change”, but we continue to hope in the Lord, and keep our eyes on Him. He cares for the sparrow, He loves the world, He gave His life for all. I trust His goodness, and although I appreciate the way that medicine can help, their report is not the final one. I am sure they see me as one who is in denial, and that is O.K. I was doing his passive Range of Motion exercises, because I asked and physical therapy had not shown up. One of the staff came in and said, “he’s had enough stimulation, he needs to rest now”. I said, “o.k., he hasn’t had physical therapy yet, and since he’s awake and I’ve already started, I’ll just finish this and then let him rest.” Her response was to whip around and storm out of the room. Please pray for the staff to be also considerate of not just the trauma the patient has been in, but the trauma and pain the family suffers, not just of us, but of others. Touch their hearts to be gentle Lord…

I want what is best for my son too. When he is in his ‘sleep’ mode, I shut the blinds, and I make sure it is quiet, and that he gets a good long nap. We have cared for his basic needs that they will not do, such as fingernail clipping and such, so that he does not scratch himself. We keep his hands and feet massaged, and cool cloths on his head to help keep his temp regulated. And we pray. And we wait on the Lord. Great is His faithfulness. Love you all so much.

UPDATE NIGHT 9-3-2015

Today was like a brick wall that I ran into, where my mind almost stopped functioning. It was like information overload and my brain wasn’t complying. I have a good support system, pray for them too. I don’t even know what to ask for, but He knows.

Shepherd Center says he is not ready, and so did Barrows. I agree, he is just in a drugged state right now. Pray for progress and the right decisions. Love you all in Him, Holly

UPDATE 9-3-2015

There was some progress as Adam started to wake again (after I cleaned his eyes with a warm, damp rag) and he got a little annoyed I believe. 🙂 The nurse came in and did some pinching and he did react on the left side (he has not before), by shrugging to move. His left side is weaker, and she says the movement on his feet mean nothing as she was stroking them, but to us it is something, as he really hasn’t been responding at all to touch. We have to do some more research on storming as they have him on morphine and he seems way too drugged up. He is getting an IVC filter put in right now, it is to supposedly prevent pulmonary embolisms from getting to the heart. They had talked about doing that when they did another surgery last week, I do not know why it did not get done, because they asked for my permission, I can only assume it is because they forgot. No one ever told me until today that it had not been done last week. Just floored me.

Things we need prayer for. The right place that specializes in brain injury vs. just being sent to skilled nursing where he won’t be treated right. Wisdom to be firm in areas we should. We are asking all who visit to document changes or even issues with symptoms in writing and also video tape. We were advised to do this by others who have been through the system and have not received the help they need. The comments we get are ‘no change’, even as we see and notify them of changes, they pooh pooh them. Thank you for prayers for all who take care of him and those who are there helping. There have been many offers and we will be taking people up on their offers to visit and help in the future.

I just spoke with the social worker and asked them to fax a referral to Shepherd Center in Atlanta and she said she would do that today.

I am reminded that it was prophesied in Isaiah 53, that Jesus was a Man of Sorrows who is acquainted with grief. Furthermore, it says, He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. He loves Adam, and He loves me, and He gave His life for you too. If you don’t know Him, please do not wait. I would never have imagined this for Adam ever as he didn’t ride motorcycles. I could be gone in an instant, our life is but a vapor. Any one of you reading, your life could be over in a flash. Please do not wait. This is not about religion, but about life. Jesus came that you might have life.

Love in Christ, Holly

UPDATE 9-2-2015

We made lots of calls today. Adam is very close to the same status, unresponsive, and more out of it. I have asked him to look into other alternatives to the morphine since it seems that this may be the timing of his change in alertness. He was just starting to come awake, and now he doesn’t even open his eyes or move. We have called other hospitals, and legal help. We have contacted the insurance and human resources for Red Robin and asked for patient advocacy. We wait upon the Lord now, we’ve done much more than that, but won’t bore you with all the details. We continue to look for what the Lord might do, and continue to call upon the One who made Adam’s body. Adam was fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are His works, and that my soul knows very well (Psalm 139).

Please continue to pray for my dear son, Chris and his wife Cristina and those taking care of him.

UPDATE 8-31-2015

Evidently my update from last night didn’t ‘take’. The meeting was not good, they offered us no hope. Basically what I said is that Dr. Hu may not know Who made the universe, and Who is judge of all the earth, and Who it is that we pray to. We understand it is serious, but while there is life there is hope, and my hope is in the Lord. I told them of the miracles with my dad, my mom, my husband given seven more years. They said my experiences were ‘valid’. I told them I trusted God no matter what the outcome, but I was not going to just accept that prognosis after such a short period of time. After all my questions, Hu looked past me to Adam’s father and asked him if he had questions, and his father said no. Hu left at that point, I imagine he felt he was doing us a favor with his grim prognosis. The chaplain and nurse stayed and he asked me about our beliefs, so I was able to tell them both that my son had believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior, and that because of that if he died, I knew where he would be, and that was of the utmost importance. How many other people in the hospital have that expectation to look forward to? Have they heard the good news? Have you? Please listen here.

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him:
God is a refuge for us. Selah. Psalm 62:5-8

UPDATE 8-30-2015 NIGHT

Meeting with the trauma team in the morning. Have a list of questions that I’ll be posing to them. Listened to the series on Severe Brain Trauma injuries with the Shepherd institute. Trying to do my part to be an informed advocate. Pulled off a lecture from Georgetown on Cognitive therapy, and did some range of motion exercises with Adam today. He has had no physical therapy or OT or cognitive therapy, so I’ll find out why tomorrow. Pray that the insurance will cover an acute care facility that specializes in severe brain trauma injury. My body is tired, but I have good support, and am blessed. His friend Amber is there, I read to the middle of John 10 and she’s continuing with the Bible reading and prayer and music and going to do some range of motion movement with his legs and arms too. Thank you all for your many prayers on our behalf. May the Lord bless you for it.

UPDATE 8-30-2015

When I came in, he was sitting up in a medical chair. He was dripping feeding fluid, evidently he had pulled out the line. I told his nurse and she re-attached it and went next door. His heart rate when I looked was over 145-150, so I went looking for her, finally found a nurse to tell. They changed him back to his bed, and his heart rate finally went under 100.

Respiratory just took him off his cpap ventilation, he has a vaporizer hooked up to his trach and breathing on his own right now. That is one good report from the Lord. We take each thing and thank Him. Please continue in prayers for Chris and Christine.

UPDATE 8-29-2015

AFTERNOON

The news is not what we would wish to hear regarding his brain injury. I know the Lord will help, no matter the outcome, and I also know He only has to say the word, so I continue to wait upon the Lord’s report. Please pray that I might only hear what is necessary to take care of him, but also to continue in hope. I stopped and spoke to Christine, gave her a hug, and talked to their business partner. I read some more from the book of John to Adam, and we’ll just keep going, and let the Word do the work, as the Lord wills. The positive news, is that he is breathing somewhat on his own, he is on assisted breathing with the ventilator but initiating more of his own breaths. He is getting oral meds and food already through his tube. I will continue to keep my eyes on the Lord and when my feet slip, I know who will uphold me. I posted this before, but it bears repeating from Eph 3, specifically regarding the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of the love of Christ which passes understanding (or knowledge), and He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…(see vs. 14 on)

We wait in hope.

MORNING

Not much news yet. The feeding tube was placed later than they thought. His temperature is still up, they continue with the antibiotics, although they stopped one. This is a long road that only the Lord knows the ending to, and He is good in all things. The good news is, He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own… (In the Garden – the song Alan Harkrader sang at Gilbert’s funeral).

Please continue to pray for comfort and provision for Chris and Cristina in this time. One patient did wake up yesterday. That is hope for the whole floor. Pray for hurting hearts, and for people that are burdened to come to the One who gave Himself for them out of great love.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matt 11:28-30

UPDATE 8-28-2015 – NIGHT

They will take him in shortly (they say) for the feeding tube. His blood pressure and heart rate is stable for the moment. Temp is not going up. Once the tube is in 24 hours they will be able to manage these things better. He was moving his one arm more, which meant I stood a lot more to keep him from grabbing for things (wanted to leave his arm untied). I am tired, and ready to rest. Thank you all ❤

UPDATE 8-28-2015 – AFTERNOON

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. Psalm 139:17-18

SPECIFIC PRAYER REQUEST: Right now he is ‘storming’ they think, which means his blood pressure and pulse along with temperature are not reacting well. Please pray for those three things. Feeding tube is delayed.

UPDATE 8-27-2015 – NIGHT

Adam is done with surgery for today, he is back in his room and resting for tomorrow’s PEG tube. This will at least be a respite for all the tubes in his mouth. Thank you all for your continued prayers for all concerned ❤

UPDATE 8-27-2015 AFTERNOON
I was looking through Adam’s texts for the pictures he sent me when they went to visit my dad for Father’s day breakfast (boys only). We had been talking about good books to read in, he had been reading Psalms and John. I didn’t remember this past text conversation.

Last night I asked Amber if she would read to him from John, and she did, all the way through chapter 5. When I read this text, I had to smile, thinking on him thinking what he had told me in his text, “Amber, my grandpa made me memorize chapters 1-4, so you can just start with chapter 5”. ❤

Then he said this: “I just want you know, I’ve always felt God. Even before it was taught to me who He was” (I taught him, from the time he was in the womb, and sang Jesus loves me to him, and told him stories, so he was taught even if he didn’t remember – so always teach them). He continued, “He will always rule my life and speak wisdom and joy into my ear. I can’t even tell you my first encounter with God because it’s as far back as 2 years old… He always guides me, sometimes I stray but he NEVER lets me go.” (As I mentioned, Jesus is faithful when we are not, and He never denies us).

The next text, I can’t put into words what it does to this mother’s heart. Please everyone, tell someone you love, how much they mean to you now. Adam said, “I love you mom. You are the best woman I’ve ever met.” (I told him I was taking a screen shot and laminating it on a card to hold up in front of him if he was being naughty to me). He told me, “You go ahead, I would expect no less lol!”
Let your children, your friends, your loved ones know that you love them. Tell them in sincerity and at unexpected times and often.

Adam goes in for his oral surgery at around 5, as always, being put under is a risk, so please pray for him and for the one’s who are working on him.

Love you all.

UPDATE 8-27-2015 NOON
Daily I see these religious or philosophical quotes on FB float by on my page. A few minutes ago, I saw this one, ‘he lived to make Christ known’. The question was would our biography read like that. And I don’t know if it’s just me, but I don’t hope for those things to be said about me. It actually made me feel a little sick. I do most certainly want others to know Him as their Savior, don’t misunderstand me please. But instantly what came to mind about what my biography might be, is what I had just shared with someone a moment ago. Mine might read something more like this.

He is faithful, when she was not. Jesus never denied her. (2 Tim 2:13)

It’s not about us, it’s all about Him. He has done it all. The apostle Paul said this about himself. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”

That’s me.

I’m not here to hold myself up as anything other than a mother who needs to cling to the Lord at all times, because I am weak. But He is strong and will help us through this.

12:45 pm – Spoke to his nurse, the tracheostomy went well, they just got him all cleaned up, and settled in. No visitors today. Better on these days of in and out. He will go in for another surgery around 4-5 pm today on his mouth. Pray for his blood pressure and pain which has been reactive to any pain and other stimuli. The peg tube will happen sometime tomorrow.
Right now (around 10:45 am), they are doing the tracheostomy, I will update underneath this during the day as I am able. They should do also the peg feeding tube and the mouth and oral surgery later if he does well.

UPDATE 8-26-2015

Adam was up and down with fever last night, over 103, they cultured him to see if they can find out the cause of the underlying infection. He is to go in to surgery tomorrow for the damage to his inner lip and tongue, please continue to pray for wisdom for the doctors. Please also remember always Chris and Cristina in your prayers.

Thank you all for upholding us in prayer. Having walked this journey more than once, I am of course sad, sometimes afraid, weak, but I’m at peace. I really do think on how when I cry, He stores my tears (Ps 56:8), or when I am afraid, I can trust Him (Ps 56:3), and my strength means nothing, His grace is sufficient for me. Any strength or peace is because of Him and His saints who are praying for us. Not because I am anything at all, Not because I am strong, I am weak. If anything, all I have learned that is the most important for anyone to remember, is when you take your eyes off of Jesus, turn them back as soon as you realize. And endure in that. Remain in His Word. When you get distracted, go back again. We don’t have enough strength to get through these times. But He is our strength. I can do this because I know how good the Lord is. How good He always has been. And how good He will be in the future. I am no Job, but the Word shows us even Job had his breaking points with his friends.

I will continue to ask Him for both these boys to be healed with the knowledge that He hears and He cares, and those of you who are His? The effectual, fervent prayers of a righteous man avails much (and we are righteous because of Christ).

And no matter the result, I also will trust that He knows the best for everyone considered. The Lord loves my son more than I do.

One of my friends said it was o.k. to ask why and I agree with that. But I don’t know why I have not, I just don’t ask “Why Lord”? I guess it’s because He has always shown me good things in all the bad. And the picture above with His Word on it has been true of His deliverance in my life more than once, and I am in the best place possible. I have the Lord with me.

I cannot imagine those in these situations, that do not have a friend to cry with when they are alone, someone to talk to. When I hold my son’s hand, the Lord upholds me with His righteous right hand.

Please pray for more to come to know Him, so they will never be alone again. So that they might live with Him eternally, for this life is but a vapor. The grass withers and the flower fades, but the Word of the Lord endures forever. Eternity is forever. Please be sure you have believed upon Him, and not upon your own goodness, or something you have done, but upon what He has done in your place.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Thank you all for your support.

I just spoke to the head of the trauma team, they will do the tracheostomy in the morning and peg (feeding tube) sometime tomorrow as well as the mouth surgery. Don’t need to overload with info, the Lord knows all, but please continue to pray for the right timing, and the right staff to care for them both (Chris and Adam).

His friend Amber read to him last night from the book of John. She read five chapters. My Bible is in there on the back window, so if anyone comes in, read from John a little. The are just under 1000 words in the book of John, I feel like that will be a good place to get him started with a basic foundation.

Love in Christ to you all.

UPDATE 8-25 AFTERNOON

I received an update from the MRI. He has lots of brain bleeds. The types they saw are not good, they are called ‘shear’ injuries where tissue shears other tissue. It’s very common and also very devastating, so it is hard for this mother to hear about her first baby. I have learned that man’s report is not always God’s report, so I wait upon the Lord. I thank you all for your prayers, your FB comments. I appreciate if people will think about their comments before they are written, as some I have seen are distressing. I know you mean well, but please save opinions on his prognosis, and be in prayer asking our Savior to heal him. I know, God’s will be done. God bless you all.

UPDATE 8-25 MORNING

They have been waiting to take him in for MRI, to see if they can remove the cervical collar, that would be nice. Temperature is still kind of high, but manageable so far, they think it’s just his brain’s inability to regulate itself right now. They took out his ventricular i.v. from brain yesterday and cleaned up his head and nose again, much abrasions there. He is still not breathing on his own, and the trach is still an option, but they haven’t made a decision yet on that. His spinal fluid did come back clear, so that is good news. Each day things change. Many of you have asked about Chris and Cristina, of course I can’t update there for obvious reasons more than to share, keep praying for their comfort, for their peace, and for Chris to heal and grow stronger. For her little ones too. When it is your husband (having been there myself), and you have little ones at home, it is very difficult. My youngest, Koby was just a baby when Gilbert was first in ICU at Mayo. And Jessup was a 3 year old, along with all the other little ones I had at home, 5 more ranging 5,7,8,9 & 10. Pray for supportive people to continue to surround our families, and anyone disruptive to be kept away, including all nursing or doctors. We’ve been fortunate a majority of the time.

We know there are tender new mercies each morning from the Lord, I actually made that Bible verse picture below thinking on Cristina, who looks quite a bit like that, with beautiful long hair, and sweet, kind face. It’s surreal how one would have to meet in these circumstances, but the Lord knows and cares, and stores all our tears (Psalm 56:8).

Love in Christ to all who are reading.

_______________________________________________________

I just received an e-mail from Holly that her son Adam was involved in a serious motorcycle accident last night.

Following is the full text of Holly’s e-mail:

I don’t know where it’d be appropriate to ask for prayer, but my son Adam was in a serious motorcycle accident last night, he has severe head injuries and is not responding to any commands. I don’t know what happened with the guy who was driving, I know they took him into surgery. They’re not acting as if they are holding much hope out, just appreciate whatever prayers.

Please join me in praying for Adam, Holly and her family, as well as the other person involved in the accident.

 

 

 

 

 

Note to Calvinists: YOU are Responsible

By johninnc

Matthew 7:13-14: Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth to life, and few there be that find it. 

Today I read a comment, on another website, that was highly creative in trying to use scripture to prove the false Calvinist doctrine of predestination.

While the individual who posted this comment is certainly creative, he is “grasping at straws” to avoid the clear teachings of the Bible.

Those clear teachings include who is responsible, and who is not responsible, for a number of things.

First, man’s responsibility;

1. We are responsible for sin. God is not responsible for our sin.

2. We are responsible for accepting or rejecting God’s gracious gift of eternal life. God is not responsible for compelling us to make that decision. As Matthew 7:13-14 (and its companion passage in Luke) clearly teaches, most people will willfully reject the gift of eternal life.

3. We are responsible for believing God’s word when it conflicts with the teaching of men. God is not the author of confusion, so any “paradoxes,” “tensions,” “mysteries,” “enigmas,” or other contradictions of God’s clear teaching on how to receive eternal life are not of God.

Second, Christians’ responsibilities:

1. We are responsible for being faithful stewards of the gospel, even though it is not (and has never been) widely accepted. The rejection of the gospel is pervasive both within, and without, professing Christendom. And, I believe it has been that way from early in church history, to present.

2. We are responsible for participating in fulfilling The Great Commission – preaching the gospel to every creature We are not responsible  for who believes and who does not believe the gospel.

3. We are responsible for how we live our lives as Christians. We have the Holy Spirit indwelling us, but we must choose to walk in  the Spirit. We are not responsible for keeping ourselves saved, transforming ourselves, nor examining the way we conduct our lives for an indication of whether or not we possess eternal life. We are also not responsible for looking to others’ behaviors or lifestyles for indicators of whether or not we think those people possess eternal life. And, if we encourage others to look to anything other than God’s promises for assurance of eternal life, we are pointing them away from Christ.

Third, Calvinists’ responsibilities:

1. You are responsible for teaching that God does not desire that all men be saved, even though His word CLEARLY says that He does desire that all men be saved.

2. You are responsible for corrupting the gospel message. Some of you will say that you believe that Christ died for the sins of everyone, but you must torture logic to make that comport with your view that God only elects some to eternal life.

3. You are responsible for teaching that “faith” is the gift of God, while the Bible teaches that eternal life is the gift of God.

4. You are responsible, by logical implication, for teaching that God is responsible for sin. In your twisted defense of God’s sovereignty, you make God responsible for everything.

5. You are responsible for teaching works for salvation. Since God is sovereign, and He elects only those who will receive eternal life, your logical conclusion is that those whom  He has elected to eternal life will persevere (to some extent) in a lifetime of holiness and good works.

6. You are responsible for teaching that the “Christian testimony” is a litany of the “I used to do…, but now I don’t do…, and instead I do …”

7. You are responsible for teaching that “saving faith” includes “repentance from sin,” even though there is nothing in the Bible that teaches this. You also teach that God gives people repentance unto eternal life, even though God COMMANDS people to repent.

I would urge everyone reading this today to think about a few things.

If you have believed in Jesus Christ alone as your Savior, and are clear on all of the above, please share the clear gospel with as many people as you can, in the best way that you know how.

If you are clear on the gospel, but are cooperating with a church or ministry that persists in teaching Calvinism and its ugly progeny Lordship “salvation,” separate from them.

If you have believed in Christ alone as Savior, but are still confused or troubled by certain scriptural passages, pray for wisdom and guidance.

And, if you would like to know the truth about how to have eternal life, click below:

Click to access the-gospel.pdf

Lordship Salvation: Is THEIR Report OUR Report?

By johninnc (illustration by Holly Garcia)

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

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

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

From their pastor’s blog:

(he is explaining things from Jesus’ perspective)

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

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

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

The question then becomes:

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

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

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

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

Sounds good so far, right?

Ah, but then the contradiction:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 John 5:10-12:

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

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

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

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

OUR report:

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

THEIR report:

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

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

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

 

Christian Privilege

It has become fashionable, of late, to use the term “privilege” to address perceived inherent advantages that some groups have over others.

Examples of privilege:

  • White privilege
  • Male privilege
  • Heterosexual privilege
  • Cisgender privilege (refers to agreeing with the sex and/or gender one is assigned at birth)
  • Able-bodied privilege

My teenage daughter recently brought home, from a summer program she is attending, a “Christian Privilege Checklist.”

Following are each of the items listed (source: itspronouncedmetrosexual.com). The “privileges” are in italics. My responses to selected “privileges” are parenthetical, in bold.

  1. You can expect to have time off work to celebrate religious holidays.
  2. Music and television programs pertaining to your religion’s holidays are readily accessible.
  3. It is easy to find stores that carry items that enable you to practice your faith and celebrate religious holidays.
  4. You aren’t pressured to celebrate holidays from another faith that may conflict with your religious values.
  5. Holidays celebrating your faith are so widely supported you can often forget they are limited to your faith (e.g. wish someone a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Easter” without considering their faith).
  6. You can worship freely, without fear of violence or threats.
  7. A bumper sticker supporting your religion won’t likely lead to your car being vandalized.
  8. You can practice your religious customs without being questioned, mocked, or inhibited.
  9. If you are being tried in court, you can assume that the jury of “your peers” will share your faith and not hold that against you in weighing decisions.
  10. When swearing an oath, you will place your hand on a religious scripture pertaining to your faith.
  11. Positive references to your faith are seen dozens of times a day by everyone, regardless of their faith.

(My comment: yeah, right. Christians are at least equally-often maligned as non-intelligent, superstitious, hateful, ignorant, etc.)

  1. Politicians responsible for your governance are probably members of your faith.

(My comment: Some probably are. Many say they are. Most pander to Lordship “salvationists” and other large, mainstream groups within professing Christendom, because that is where the big blocks of votes are.)

  1. Politicians can make decisions citing your faith without being labeled as heretics or extremists.
  2. It is easy for you to find your faith accurately depicted in television, movies, books, and other media.

(My comment: It is not even easy to find my faith accurately depicted in churches that claim to be teaching the gospel. Most churches teach a false gospel, so the depictions in television, movies, books, and other media pick up on this.)

  1. You can reasonably assume that anyone you encounter will have a decent understanding of your beliefs.

(My comment: Almost no one I encounter will have a decent understanding of my beliefs, unless I tell them. Even if I were to give my testimony in a “Christian” church, it is likely that most in attendance would look at me like I had two heads. My testimony would be unwelcome in most mainstream churches).

  1. You will not be penalized (socially or otherwise) for not knowing other people’s religious customs.
  2. Your faith is accepted/supported at your workplace.

(My comment: My workplace has affinity groups for every conceivable special interest group – except Christians – and encourages employees to be identified with pet special interest causes).

  1. You can go into any career you want without it being associated with or explained by your faith.
  2. You can travel to any part of the country and know your religion will be accepted, safe, and you will have access to religious spaces to practice your faith.
  3. Your faith can be an aspect of your identity without being a defining aspect (e.g., people won’t think of you as their “Christian” friend)
  4. You can be polite, gentle, or peaceful, and not be considered an “exception” to those practicing your faith.
  5. Fundraising to support congregations of your faith will not be investigated as potentially threatening or terrorist behavior.
  6. Construction of spaces of worship will not likely be halted due to your faith.
  7. You are never asked to speak on behalf of all the members of your faith.
  8. You can go anywhere and assume you will be surrounded by members of your faith.

(My comment: I cannot even go into a Southern Baptist church and assume that I will be surrounded by members of my faith.)

  1. Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of teachers who share your faith.

(My comment: This is just simply not true. Even if I were to send my children to a “Christian” school, I could not place confidence in that label without performing extensive due diligence to ensure that the “Christian” school was not corrupting the gospel.)

  1. Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of friends who share your faith.
  2. It is easily accessible for you or your children to be educated from kindergarten through post-grad at institutions of your faith.
  3. Disclosing your faith to an adoption agency will not likely prevent you from being able to adopt children.
  4. In the event of a divorce, the judge won’t immediately grant custody of your children to your ex because of your faith.
  5. Your faith is taught or offered as a course at most public institutions.
  6. You can complain about your religion being under attack without it being perceived as an attack on another religion.
  7. You can dismiss the idea that identifying with your faith bears certain privileges.
  8. Share more in the comments below!

(My comment: ETERNAL LIFE! All Christians have eternal life. Those who are not Christians do not have eternal life. If you would like to know how to have eternal life, click here: ETERNAL LIFE FOR YOU.)

Camp Lordship Salvation: Are Your Kids Safe?

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By johninnc

(illustration by Holly Garcia)

As summer vacation time rolls around, I am reminded of the legion of camps and vacation Bible schools being offered by “churches” of every stripe. And, since there is so much false doctrine being promulgated from the pulpits, books, and websites of “Christian” ministries, it stands to reason that their camps and vacation Bible schools would follow suit.

Christian camps and vacation Bible schools can be a great way to train our children in Biblical doctrine, but not if they are doctrinally aberrant – particularly with respect to the gospel message.

As alluring as it may be to give the kids a nice, wholesome getaway (not to mention giving the parents a break from the kids), we should be cautious where we send them.

Most parents would not even think about sending their children some place where their physical safety would be a concern. This vigilance should extend to children’s spiritual well-being. We should not send our children to church camps or VBS without knowing EXACTLY what they are being taught, and whether or not it lines up with scripture. Otherwise, our precious children may be being fed a  diet of theological poison, without our being aware. This could have serious long-term consequences.

Some good up-front questions to ask yourself would include:

  • Do I know what the gospel is? If you are not sure, click the link below:

The Gospel

  • Do my kids know the truth of the gospel?
  • Do I know what the false gospel of Lordship “Salvation” is? If not, click the link below:

Lordship “Salvation”

  • Who is the sponsoring organization, and what are their beliefs?
  • What print and other media are being used?
  • Who prepared those media, and what are their beliefs?
  • Who are the teachers and counselors, and what are their beliefs?

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If the sponsoring organization, materials, or teachers are not crystal clear on the doctrine of salvation, then sending your kids to their camps or vacation Bible schools would be ill-advised.

The camps and VBSs are often packaged with clever themes, focused on fun and adventure, or some special interest. Those that are teaching false doctrine will not advertise that, because most of the time they don’t even know.

I have come up with several examples of false doctrine that one may encounter in camps and vacation Bible schools, and have chosen to illustrate those with the following fictitious offerings:

  • Camp Sherlock: Join Holmes and Watson on a Journey of Fruit Inspection
  • 19th Hole Christian Golf Camp: Shooting Par for Salvation
  • Social Media Evangelism: Lordship Salvation Proof Texting
  • Green Missions: Become Equipped to Save Planet Earth!
  • All Aboard! Choo Choo the Meat and Spit Spit the Bones on the Ecumenical Soul Train
  • Camp Vegas: Salvation Roulette and 21 Reasons Why Christ is not Enough

I used hyperbole in the above examples to make a very serious point. We should stay away from false teachers, and we should keep our kids away from them too. If we don’t know whether or not a teacher is sound, we should not use our kids as guinea pigs.

Lordship Salvation: Where I Come From

by johninnc

Following is the refrain from the song “Where I Come From” by country music star Alan Jackson:

Where I come from it’s cornbread and chicken

Where I come from a lotta front porch pickin’

Where I come from tryin’ to make a livin’

And workin’ hard to get to Heaven, where I come from

I heard this song today for the first time, and it reminded me of where I come from.

I was raised in the southeastern US, and North Carolina is where I currently live. I like fried chicken (sorry PETA) and cornbread. I feel most at home when I’m here. And, I used to think I had to work to get to heaven.

Let me take a moment to explain what I mean.

I am a 53 year-old man that didn’t become a believer in Christ until age 49. As far back as I can remember, I believed that Christ was the Son of God, that He died for our sins, and was raised from the dead.

But, I thought that in addition to believing in Jesus for eternal life, I had to internally resolve to turn from my sins and commit my life to Christ in order to get to heaven. I had fallen for the false gospel of Lordship “salvation.”

Until just a few years ago, it had never dawned on me that faith in Christ and faith in Christ plus me were mutually exclusive. Resolving to turn from sins and committing one’s life to Christ are works. We cannot be saved by our works.

Romans 3:20: Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Most churches, evangelists, and print ministries teach Lordship “salvation” either explicitly, or implicitly. It is appealing to us, because it fits into our preexisting belief that we can somehow work our way back to God.

Following are excerpts from our page entitled Lordship “salvation” Defined:

At its core, Lordship “salvation” (LS) is not salvation at all but man made PROBATION – a disbelief in God’s Word which clearly states that salvation is by Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

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

LS can be overt (one must forsake all of his sins and follow Christ in obedience and discipleship in order to be saved) or VERY SUBTLE (one’s behavior will change once he is saved).  But, do not be deceived. Trying to add ANY human merit to Grace makes it no longer Grace. (Romans 11:6).

Anyone who is a Christian has repented (changed his mind) from some false belief  to belief in Christ alone as Savior. For me, I had to repent (change my mind) from thinking that my good intentions had any bearing whatsoever on whether or not I was going to go to heaven.

We receive eternal life when we stop working for it, and believe in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.

Romans 4:5: But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

LS is where I come from. Belief in Christ is where I am now. God never gave up trying to draw me to him.

If you are workin’ hard to get to Heaven and would like to know how to have eternal life, click here: The Gospel

God has not given up on you either. How do I know? I know, because you are reading this post.

 

 

Stemming Fruit Inspection

See new page Stemming Fruit Inspection, which contains the full text of the chapter “Fruit Inspectors” from Preston Greene’s new book.

This subject is vital to the defense of the gospel, so I hope you will read it and refer others to it.

You Might Be a Lordship Salvationist If… (Part 2)

by johninnc

2 Corinthians 11:3: But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Almost three years ago, we featured an article entitled You Might Be a Lordship Salvationist If…

Many people misconstrued the intent of this article, thinking that it was either comedic, tongue in cheek, mean-spirited, etc. However, the intent of the article was to challenge people – both born-again believers and religious non-believers – to challenge beliefs they might hold that are contrary to grace.

The original article is linked below:

Original article

We know that sequels are rarely on par with the original, but respectfully offer the following additional points:

  1. You believe that there is some “middle ground” between Lordship “salvation” and grace – that the truth “LIES somewhere in between.”
  1. You believe that someone must desire to turn from his sins in order to be saved.
  1. You believe that there is some “missing link” between grace and Lordship “salvation,” and you are bound and determined to find it.
  1. You think that doctrine isn’t important, as long as someone “loves the Lord” and wants to serve Him.
  1. You believe you are keeping God’s commandments.
  1. You think being a Christian is not as good as being a “Christ follower.” In fact, you think they are one and the same.
  1. You think that Christians are under any of the Mosaic law.
  1. You are insistent that the thief on the cross would have done good works if he had been afforded the opportunity.
  1. You believe that someone must want to get better in order to be saved.
  1. Your gospel is that Christ died and was raised from the dead. In other words, you don’t believe it was “for our sins.” (see the Apostles’ Creed).
  1. You think that some of the people that the Bible says believed, did not have “saving faith.” Instead, they had “spurious faith,” or only believed some of the things about Him. In other words, they were never “truly saved.”
  1. You are torn up about peoples’ sins, but indifferent as to what “gospel” they might have heard and believed.
  1. You troll grace websites, agreeing with ALMOST everything they say, but trying to get them to “throw you an LS bone.”

I admit the last one is “tongue in cheek.” However, it is more of a warning to those who are clear on grace.

I can’t tell you how many times I have received, or read, a long-winded “leaven sandwich,” in which the writer tries to imbed the leaven somewhere between a couple of thousands of words of grace.

This is usually done by an intermittent commenter, who will wait a few months between submissions, each time trying a different angle on the same error.

Who Said That?

By johninnc

From Wikipedia: Who Said That? is a 1947-55 NBC radio-television game show, in which a panel of celebrities attempts to determine the speaker of a quotation from recent news reports.

The following quotes are from various organizations and individuals that are attempting to influence contemporary society in one way or another. My point in selecting  these quotes is not the degree to which they do, or do not, reflect appropriate perspectives on the issues to which they pertain. Rather, my point is the degree to which these quotes seem aligned with contemporary issues of social justice, environmentalism, and altruism.

I will publish the source of each of the quotes (the answer key) as the first response to this article.

_______________________________________________________

1. We believe we have a responsibility to innovate, sponsor, and evaluate new forms of community that will encourage development of the fullest potential in individuals.

2. The poor and excluded face dire threats from climate disruptions, including the increased frequency of droughts, extreme storms, heat waves, and rising sea levels.

3. Advocate

Join with others who are seeking to ensure that governments, corporations and communities do their part to achieve the goals of:

  • Halting the spread of HIV through effective prevention, treatment and care.
  • Eliminating the stigma and discrimination experienced by those who are HIV-positive.
  • Reducing the conditions of poverty and marginalization that contribute to the spread of HIV.

4. With the news on immigration focused on administrative relief and a new Congress seemingly bent on undoing that relief, we know there may be some confusion about what is happening.

5. How do we deliver the first AIDS free generation in over 30 years? It all begins with the elimination of HIV transmission from mother to child. Right now, in developing countries, over 650 babies are born with the disease every day. But we have the power to change things by providing HIV positive mothers with the lifesaving medication they need to deliver a healthy, HIV—free baby. And all it takes is just 40 cents a day.

6. Current scientific findings indicate that reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are required to avert accelerated climate change. Scarcity of natural resources and threats to ecosystems and biodiversity are serious environmental issues. Recent events, from extreme weather events to severe droughts to the decline in summer arctic sea ice extent, all illustrate the severe consequences and devastating impacts of climate change. These challenges demand fundamental changes in the way society, including businesses, uses natural resources.

7. We support the right of all public and private employees and employers to organize for collective bargaining into unions and other groups of their own choosing.

Every person has the right to a job at a living wage. Where the private sector cannot or does not provide jobs for all who seek and need them, it is the responsibility of government to provide for the creation of such jobs.

 Corporations are responsible not only to their stockholders, but also to other stakeholders: their workers, suppliers, vendors, customers, the communities in which they do business, and for the earth, which supports them.

8. Inequality is the root of social ills … as long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems.

9. And rising inequality and declining mobility are also bad for our families and social cohesion — not just because we tend to trust our institutions less, but studies show we actually tend to trust each other less when there’s greater inequality.

10. Learn about and support proposed legislation that would provide in-state tuition for immigrant students as well as other pro-immigrant bills…

Consider holding a series of workshops or events that educate people in your community about their legal rights, how to prepare for a raid, or the impacts of local immigration laws and ordinances.

11. Principles of Solidarity

  • Engaging in direct and transparent participatory democracy;
  • Exercising personal and collective responsibility;
  • Recognizing individuals’ inherent privilege and the influence it has on all interactions;
  • Empowering one another against all forms of oppression;
  • Redefining how labor is valued;
  • The sanctity of individual privacy;
  • The belief that education is human right; and
  • Making technologies, knowledge, and culture open to all to freely access, create, modify, and distribute.

12. Sustainability –  it’s in our heritage.

_______________________________________________________

As you think about the missions of the above individuals and groups, and their adherents, think about what makes them similar and what makes them different. Think about how these messages may have been different in different times and circumstances.

And, if you would like to know how to have eternal life, based on God’s unchanging word, please click here: Eternal Life

Please note: we are interested in your comments. However, we are not interested in your political views, your impression of Jesus’ political views, etc. We are interested in your views of how governments, businesses, and churches are becoming more closely aligned in their stated goals and priorities.

Lordship Salvation: Filthy Rag Faith

By johninnc

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

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

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

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

Let’s look at some examples:

From Franklin Graham:

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

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

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

From Charles Hadden Spurgeon:

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

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

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

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

John Calvin:

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

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

John Wesley:

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

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

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

Romans 3:26-28:

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

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

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

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

Hope, Change, or Hope and Change?

By johninnnc

My apologies to those who thought this might be a political article.

There is a great deal of confusion in the world of professing Christendom about how one receives eternal life.

The Bible says that we are saved by grace, through faith in Christ. The Bible also says that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes. For those of us who have understood and believed the gospel,it is incumbent upon us to defend it.

One of the keys to defending the gospel message is to make sure that our Christian testimonies are based on our hope of heaven, which is the finished work of Christ.

Just as our assurance of eternal life should be based on God’s promises alone, our Christian testimonies should not point anyone to the change in our lives, or the combination of our hope and change.

Hope

The founder of this ministry, the late Jack Weaver, wrote a great article entitled “What is Bible Hope?” That article, which  is far and away the most popular one of all time for this website, is linked below:

What is Bible Hope?

Hope, in it’s New Testament usages, means “to expect or anticipate with pleasure.” For Christians, the hope of heaven is based solely on God’s immutable promise.

Titus 3:7: That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

God promises eternal life to anyone who will believe that Jesus (God in the flesh) paid the full price for his sin (past, present, and future), and that He was raised from the dead to prove His payment was accepted.

Our Christian testimony should be based squarely on Christ as the sole basis for our hope of heaven.

Change

While eternal life is promised to all who believe in Christ as Savior, having positive, beneficial changes in our lives is conditioned on learning God’s word and applying it to our lives.

John 8:31-32:

[31] Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
[32] And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Please note that only those who have believed on Him can continue in His word. Those who haven’t believed on Him are not even in His word.  The freedom that Jesus is speaking of here is not eternal life (the people who have believed on Him already have that) – it is the life-changing power of His word, applied to our lives.

Please note, again, that the transformation in this life is not automatic.

Romans 12:2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

One does not have to believe that Jesus will “change his life”, or even desire to have Jesus change his life in order to be saved. 

More from Ron Shea:

When the “changed life” becomes the focus of a “conversion” testimony, it is not only a practice unknown to Scripture, it is in fact, counter productive in pointing men and women to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. It implies that salvation is allowing Jesus to change one’s life, with the consequence of observing a change. Ultimately, such “testimonies” teach, by implication, the doctrines of Lordship salvation and justification by works, wherein justification is a process by which our lives are transformed. This is, by definition, the doctrine of Justification by works.

In addition to implying that justification is by works (or grace and works), Christian testimonies that are focused on changed lives are very difficult to distinguish from other sources of changed lives.

By necessity, the zealous adherent to any religious or secular pursuit undergoes change in his life.

The Bible makes it clear that religious zeal cannot bring eternal life. Many religious people spend lots of time proselytizing.

Matthew 23:15: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

Likewise, unregenerate people who believe that they can save themselves may go to church every time the doors are open, do mission trips, work the soup kitchens, donate money to charity,  and know every jot and tittle of scripture.

John 5:39-40:

[39] Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
[40] And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

Similarly, lots of people change bad behaviors, but that doesn’t result in eternal life. J.O. Hosler put it this way:

A lost person can change his mind about sin and reform from some forms of wickedness, but he will be neither saved nor eternally rewarded for this. He may, however, reap some earthly benefits from living a prudent life.

So, if our testimony is about the change in our lives, how is the hearer to separate our message from all of the others? HE CAN’T!

Last, if the focus of our testimonies is our changed lives, what if our lives change for the worse? Does that mean that Christ didn’t die for our sins, or that He was not raised from the dead? Does this mean that we were never saved in the first place? Of course not!

That is why the focus of our testimonies should not be on our changed lives.

More from Clear Gospel:

The gospel is not about how great we are. It is about our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. And our testimony is not how God became “yummy in our tummy.” Without question, the quest for meaning and purpose are powerful. But not everyone achieves a sense of purpose simply because they come to faith in Christ. Some go to their grave clinically depressed and emotionally unfulfilled in this lifetime. But no one who has ever come to the cross has walked away dead in their sins. They walk away alive in Christ. The gospel is that Christ died for our sins, and rose again from the dead. May this truly be “our testimony.”

Questions from the Mailbag on Grace vs. Lordship Salvation – Part IV

By johninnc

(Following are some questions we have received from readers  via e-mail to ExPreacherman, along with our responses. We chose to publish some of these questions in a series of articles, since they are both good questions and similar to questions we have gotten from other visitors to ExPreacherman. In some cases, we have made edits to our original answers for additional clarity. Please note that the e-mail questions are in italics, and our answers are interspersed in bold).

______________________________________________________

Question: Only God can judge the heart of a person if they are genuinely saved, but aren’t we given permission to be “fruit inspectors”? If a person is truly saved, should they not be under the conviction of the Holy Spirit?

My comment: Yes, only God can judge the heart of a person, which means that we cannot.  Accordingly, we are not called upon to look to peoples’ works to see if we think they are exhibiting enough good works or cessation of sin to provide evidence of salvation (i.e., be
“fruit inspectors”).

The fruit of a false prophet is his false gospel.

If a person is saved, then he is indwelled by the Holy Spirit. The extent to which a believer cooperates with the Holy Spirit in transforming his life is a matter of moment-by-moment choice,
as scripture clearly states:

1 Thessalonians 5:19: Quench not the Spirit.

Romans 12:2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Question: I understand that salvation is a free gift with no works, but after one is saved, then works should follow out of a love for the Lord and wanting to please Him and the new believer must grow and mature and learn to put God first. Lordship salvation is getting the cart before the horse.

My comment: You said that good works SHOULD follow salvation. We would agree. Scripture tells us that:

Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in
them.

But, the word SHOULD is the only word that is consistent with grace. It is not that we MUST – that would be works for salvation. It is not that we WILL – that would be Calvinism. It is SHOULD. And we SHOULD!

You said that Lordship “salvation” is putting the cart before the horse. I believe that is glossing over the seriousness of what Lordship “salvation” really is – a false gospel of salvation by works! False gospels do not have any power to save anyone. That is why they are accursed.

Galatians 1:9: As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Question: Do you believe that there are “counterfeit” christians who are only pretending? Also, do you believe that God chastens His children who choose to walk in a way that does not glorify Him? Are there “carnal” Christians?

My comment: You asked if we believe there are counterfeit Christians who are only pretending?

Yes. Some may pretend for familial harmony, running for office, trying to get out of jail, attracting a love interest, making money, feeding their fleshly appetites for power, etc.

But, I don’t think most false professors are pretending.  Instead, I think they have sincerely believed in a false gospel of salvation by works, or by faith plus works. As such, they are not saved.

You asked if we believe that God chastens His children who walk in a way that does not glorify Him?

I think that God chastens (teaches, disciplines) all of his children – not just the ones who walk in a way that does not glorify Him. In fact, those who remain in His word are likely to become the more disciplined.

John 8:31: Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

People respond to God’s chastening in a number of ways. Otherwise, there would be little variation in Christian behavior, and no purpose for the Judgement Seat of Christ, at which all believers will be judged according to their works.

2 Corinthians 5:10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

One should not seek assurance of salvation from the extent to which he feels, or does not feel chastened, any more than he should look to his behavior for assurance of salvation. The only basis for assurance of salvation is whom one is trusting for eternal life.

You asked if there are carnal Christians?

Yes. I am sure of it.

1 Corinthians 3:1-4 uses the word “carnal” four times to describe these eternally secure believers.

1 Corinthians 3:1-4:

[1] And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
[2] I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
[3] For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
[4] For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

Question: Some people think that a watered down gospel leads to a license to sin. What do you think?

My comment:The gospel leads people to faith in Christ.

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.

I don’t know what a “watered down” gospel is, but the gospel is not a license to sin. Lordship “salvationists” often refer to the gospel as a “watered down” gospel, because it doesn’t include faith in works, to which they so tragically cling.

______________________________________________________

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

New Video Message from Dr. Thomas Cucuzza: “There’s Room At The Cross For You”

Dr. Thomas Cucuzza has posted a new video sermon on youtube that you might enjoy.  It is entitled “There’s Room At The Cross For You.” It is linked below:

Dr. Cucuzza makes the point that the thief on the cross is a type of all of us. This is a critical point, because all of us were condemned before we believed.

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.

 

No Good News from Ray Comfort

By johninnc

We recently received an e-mail from one of our readers alerting us of a full-throated denial of the gospel, in favor of the false gospel of Lordship “salvation,” issued by Ray Comfort.

Comfort’s article was entitled THE DAMNABLE HERESY OF RAY COMFORT, By Ray Comfort.

The article’s main thrust is that repentance, in the form of turning from sin, is a requirement for someone to receive eternal life.

I have selected some key excerpts from Comfort’s article. Comfort’s words are in non-bold italics, and my comments are in bold.

Following are his thesis, and his conclusion:

Thesis:

Note the Order

Sinners are to both repent and believe: “Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). The Apostle Paul preached “Repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). Note the order of repentance in both of these cases BEFORE faith.

My comment: Repentance is required for salvation, but not in the way that Ray Comfort defines it. In an eternal salvation context, repent means “a change of mind”  – from any idea of religion that man may have, to an acceptance of  God’s way of salvation in Jesus Christ alone. It does not mean to “turn from sin.”

Conclusion:

Our churches are filled with workers of iniquity (hypocrites) who were told that they merely have to believe in Jesus. For most, there’s never any repentance because they have been given assurance that they are saved without it.

 On Judgment Day they will understand the sobering words of Jesus when He said, “…unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).

My comment: The “hypocrites” who were told that they merely have to believe in Jesus were told that by Jesus himself.

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.

In addition to scriptural references, Comfort provided extensive quotes from such “luminaries” as Charles Spurgeon and John Wesley to support his false claims – even though they had radically different theologies. They have one thing in common – SALVATION BY WORKS!

Examples:

One catalyst for the teaching that repentance is unnecessary for salvation is the belief that repentance is merely “a change of mind.” This erroneous teaching is nothing new. Spurgeon had to deal with it in his day:

 “Apparently they interpret repentance to be a somewhat slighter thing than we usually conceive it to be, a mere change of mind, in fact. Now, allow me to suggest to those dear brethren, that the Holy Ghost never preaches repentance as a trifle; and the change of mind or understanding of which the gospel speaks is a very deep and solemn work, and must not on any account be depreciated. Moreover, there is another word which is also used in the original Greek for repentance, not so often I admit, but still is used, which signifies ‘an after-care,’ a word which has in it something more of sorrow and anxiety, than that which signifies changing one’s mind. There must be sorrow for sin and hatred of it in true repentance, or else I have read my Bible to little purpose.”

My comment: Spurgeon had to “deal with it in his day,” because it is true. We are not saved by hating sin, or being sorry for sin. And, regarding Spurgeon having “read my Bible to little purpose”: If the shoe fits…

John Wesley believed that there is no justification without repentance:

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

My comment: This is works for salvation. If we willingly neglect producing fruits, Wesley says we can’t expect to be justified. The Bible says we are justified by grace, through faith in Christ.

The scriptures that Ray Comfort did use were mostly misused.

Examples:

Repentance is a turning away from sin:

“Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, IN TURNING AWAY EVERY ONE OF YOU FROM HIS INIQUITIES” (Acts 3:26).

My comment: the context of Acts 3:26 is not that “repentance is a turning away from sin.” This verse has to do with the order of the gospel being preached first to the Jewish people (a concept we also see in Romans 1:16).

Note that it is Jesus turning people away from their iniquities (i.e. taking away their sins) – not the people doing it themselves.

If repentance means “turning away from sin,” AND it precedes faith in Christ, THEN there would be NO ROLE for Jesus in turning people away from their iniquities.

This is the crux of why Lordship “salvation” is a false gospel. It is trying to be saved by keeping the law (turning from sins means to stop breaking the law).

Galatians 2:21: I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

The unsaved must to be sorry for their sins because “…godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation…” (2 Corinthians 7:10). Repentance leads to salvation.

My comment: this passage was written to Christians. It has NOTHING to do with repentance unto eternal life.

On Judgment Day they will understand the sobering words of Jesus when He said, “…unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).

My comment: this passage means that people who think they will escape hell because they are relatively better than others need to repent (change their mind) about that false notion and trust in Christ alone.

In case there was ever any doubt, Ray Comfort is wrong on the doctrine of repentance. He is a doctrinaire Lordship “salvationist” who should be marked and avoided.

If you would like some good information on repentance, click here: Repentance

Christ Follower, or False Gospel Swallower?

By johninnc (with thanks to our friend Curtis for suggesting this topic, and our friend Preston who provided input through previous commentary)

John 10:27: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 

The above verse is often used as a proof text by those who think that works are necessary for eternal life.

Following is an example from a recent comment:

Don’t you all have verse 27 of John 10 in your Bibles? Why are you quoting verse 28 ALONE without 27? John 10:27-28 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, [they know My voice] AND THEY FOLLOW ME. And I give them eternal life …”

Following are excerpts from the sound Biblical response that our friend Preston provided, along with a link to the entire comment:

So do we have “to follow” to be saved. the answer is YES (but not by works). Let me explain…

although faith is NOT a work, Jesus called it a “work” in CONTEXT when He was asked, what must we do to work the workS of God” and Jesus replied, this is the work of God, that ye believe on the one whom He hath sent” John 6:28-29…

SUMMARY/POINT – what did Jesus say to do to have eternal life? He said to “believe in Him” or “TRUST in Him” to have eternal life. So if one “believes in Him”, that HE died for our sins and rose again they HAVE FOLLOWED and done the “ONE THING” that Jesus said to do for everlasting life.

https://expreacherman.com/2015/02/10/i-give-unto-them-eternal-life-2/#comment-53291

Despite the confusion caused by conflating following Christ in discipleship with believing in Christ as Savior, or perhaps because of it, it has become fashionable in the world of professing Christendom to use the term “Christ follower”  as a synonym for “Christian.”

The term “Christ follower” can mean a lot of things. One of the more benign uses of the term is to connote a Christian, who is a also a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, the term “Christ follower” can communicate much more sinister messages. Among them are:

  • That use of the term “Christian” should be avoided, because it carries  a stigma in broader society
  • That there are clearly-defined strata of Christians – that one is either a “Christ follower” altogether, or not at all
  • That the message of salvation is about what we are doing for Jesus, instead of what He has done for us
  • That believing in Jesus as Savior is not sufficient for eternal life

In his sermon entitled “Living in Light of Our Redemption”, delivered March 10, 2013, Tom Cucuzza discussed the use of the term “follower of Christ”, and how it communicates the wrong message. Following is a pertinent excerpt:

Minutes 41:10- 42:30

We don’t talk about believers anymore. Well, we do, ‘cause that’s what the Bible calls us. But, you know what? Because of the huge impact that those who are preaching Lordship salvation, which is works for salvation, because of the huge impact they’re having on Christendom today, the new buzzword is “followers of Christ.”

You hear that a lot – followers of Christ? A follower of Christ. Where’s the emphasis there? It’s on how you’re living, right? Not what you believe, but how you’re living. There are people who have followed the moral teachings of scripture their whole lives, who when they die, they won’t go to Heaven. They have followed the Sermon on the Mount as best they can. I’ve had people tell me “I’m going to Heaven.” Why? “Because I follow the Sermon on the Mount.” And I’m thinking, “no you don’t. No, you don’t. You can’t. It’s an ideal. It’s great. There are great principles there. I believe them. But, you know what? If you’re going to follow that, your gonna have to be perfect, and none of us are. You’re not gonna make it there by that.”

So, when somebody says, “oh, they’re a follower of Jesus”, my question is “what do you mean by that?” Well, usually they’ll say “well, they follow the teachings of Jesus.” Well, that has to do with how you live. Are you gonna get to Heaven by how you live? No. You get to Heaven by faith in Christ.

If you would like to know how to have eternal life, whether you are a Christ follower, or not, please click here: The Gospel

Something Greater than a Mother’s Love

By johninnc

My wife’s mother passed away last week, and I had the privilege to deliver the following message at her funeral. My wife’s mother (Doris) did not write this, but we are sure she would have approved.

Ephesians 2:4-7:

[4] But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
[5] Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
[6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
[7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

There’s something that Doris knows is true that she wants everyone else to know. I don’t think she would mind us paraphrasing for her. It goes something like this:

Dear friends,

There is an old adage that there is nothing greater than a mother’s love. As someone who has a mother, and is a mother of five, I understand why some would say this.

But, a mother’s love cannot compare to the perfect love that God has for us.

There is a God. He is the eternal creator, without beginning or end. He created everything, including you and me. He is perfectly holy, perfectly just, and perfectly loving. As such, He cannot allow anything that isn’t perfect into His presence.

You and I aren’t perfect. We have all broken God’s laws, and can’t do anything to fix that. Our efforts to work our way back to God are completely useless.

But, God loves us so much that He would rather die than spend eternity without us.

So, He gave his only begotten Son –Jesus Christ – God in the flesh – to reconcile us to Him.

Jesus had no sin of His own, but bore our sin so that we might be reconciled to God. He had no sin and we had no righteousness. Jesus took our sin from us. He made the complete payment for our sin, leaving us nothing to pay.

He did this by suffering a criminal’s death by crucifixion. He died on the cross, He was buried, and He was raised from the dead three days later, proving that His payment for our sins was accepted.

Anyone who believes in Jesus, and what He accomplished through His death and resurrection – that he paid the full price for our sins, leaving nothing for us to pay – has eternal life. Eternal life means that it can never be lost or forfeited. God no longer sees believers in their sins, but sees them as perfectly righteous.

People will tell you all kinds of different ways to have eternal life, or even that there’s no such thing.

Many people will tell you that Jesus is necessary for salvation, but that He isn’t enough – that you have to “do your part” by reforming your behavior, doing good works, and so on. But this is not true. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

You should listen to what Jesus has to say, above what anyone else tells you. Since Jesus is God, and God is perfect, He cannot lie.

Here is what Jesus says on how to have eternal life:

John 11:25-26:

[25] Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
[26] And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

I hope you believe this. I do.

Love. Doris

 

 

 

The Gospel According to Internet Comments

The false gospels that pervade our churches are reflected in comments that show up in response to articles on the internet. Whether the subject is moral, political, or religious, “defenders of the faith” can be counted on to respond with their versions of how people can receive eternal life.  I have rarely seen anyone who gets it right.

Following are some examples that I have garnered over the past few months. The comments are in italics, and my responses are in bold:

Jesus Christ, the Son of God loves you! As a matter of fact He loved you soooo much that He came to Earth and lived a sinless life and died on the Cross for your sins and if you Repent of your sins and accept Him as Lord and Savior, then you will be saved. Jesus Christ loves you! 🙂

 My comment: Repenting of your sins is not a requirement for eternal life.

…I have a changed life and heart after turning my life over to the god of the universe. I struggled for 20 years to obtain these changes to no avail. His word did the work that I could not. If you really want proof I can tell you how to obtain it, but you have to really be serious. If you are joking around it won’t work. If you really want to know and if God is real and He proves it to you will you give him the rest of your life? Will you make Him your God? If you are serious, God says that when you seek him with all of your heart you will find him. You must be willing to give up everything. If you are willing He will answer you. The God I serve cannot lie. Willing to take me up on it? I will lead you every step of the way.

My comment: We are not saved by giving God our lives. We are saved by believing that Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, died for our sins, was buried, and was raised from the dead.

 It is also clear that there are those who don’t like rules, don’t want to be judged, and want unconditional forgiveness. Jesus didn’t say there wouldn’t be any rules. Jesus said “if you love me, keep my commandments.” So I can understand why some would want to call me a hypocrite for pointing to the commandments. Because it causes people examine their own faults. But the bigger picture here is that Jesus paid the price for sin. He didn’t take away the rules, but He paid the ransom for breaking them if we abandon our lawlessness and follow Him. To all sinners, there is forgiveness, but it wad bought with a price, and we must repent of our sins, abandon them and walk in the light. We can’t have it both ways. We can’t serve two masters. We can’t live in sin and live for God. True Love is Jesus dying on the cross for you while you were yet an enemy of God and extending peace to you if you will surrender your life to Him and follow Him and deny yourself.

My comment: This is full of errors. We are not saved by surrendering our lives to Christ, nor are Christians under the law.

 doesn’t matter if the muslims love and follow Jesus.it doesn’t matter if ISIS loves and follows Jesus or angels.if either group is not saved and have not repented for their sins all of the above groups are lost in eternal hellfire.without accepting JESUS as LORD and savior NO ONE can be saved according to the bible which IS GODS word.it is simple really,do you believe Jesus is the son of GOD and do you believe he rose from the dead for the remittance of sins? just pray and ask Jesus to come into your heart and save you and forgive you of your sins and GOD promises in his word you WILL be saved.this is the ONLY way to heaven.see Romans 10:9,10,11,12

 My comment: We do not have to repent of sins to receive the free gift of eternal life. Jesus is Lord – we cannot make Him Lord.

______________________________________________________

The Bible says that we are saved by grace, through faith in Christ

Ephesians 2:8-9:

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

If you are a “defender of the faith”, but have never received eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, click here:  The Real Story

“I Give Unto Them Eternal Life”

Note: the following article was originally posted on July 30, 2014. I decided to re-post it today, in memory of my earthly father, who died yesterday at the age of 95, and in honor of our heavenly father who gave his only begotten Son through which all might be saved.

img_0677John10:28:  And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 

My family and I recently traveled to France for vacation. Among our stops were the beaches of Normandy, on which the allied invasion of France began on June 6, 1944 (D-day), and the American Cemetery.

These sites held particular significance for me, as my father was among the soldiers who fought in the Normandy campaign. He and my mother were able to visit Normandy for the 70th anniversary of D-day about a month before we were there.

The American Cemetery tells the stories of many of the brave soldiers who fought and died to liberate Europe from the grip of tyranny. There is also a chapel at the Cemetery. The chapel contains an altar that tells the story of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice to save mankind. The altar has an inscription that reads: “I GIVE UNTO THEM ETERNAL LIFE AND THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH”.

This brief inscription, which quotes Jesus, is extremely well chosen. Its eleven words affirm many Biblical truths that are central to the gospel, including the following:

Jesus is God.   The Bible says that God grants eternal life. So, if Jesus gives eternal life, it follows that He is God in the flesh.

John 1:14:  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Eternal life is a gift.  The Bible calls eternal life a gift – unmerited favor.

Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

The gift of God is eternal life. Jesus is not only necessary for eternal life. He is enough. Believing in Jesus as Savior means believing that our good intentions or good works have nothing to do with receiving eternal life. Neither does their presence or absence prove whether or not we possess eternal life. We need only believe in Christ alone as Savior in order to receive eternal life.

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.

Eternal life is available to everyone.  Who is the “them” to whom Christ gives eternal life? The Bible says that anyone who will believe in Christ as Savior will receive eternal life.

John 20:31: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.  

The God of the Bible did not choose some to receive eternal life, while making it unavailable to others. The Bible says that God desires that everyone be saved.

1 Timothy 2:4: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 

Eternal life is eternal.  The doctrine of eternal security of Christians is taught throughout scripture. Eternal security is a necessary conclusion of grace. We cannot work our way into eternal life, and we cannot work our way out of eternal life.

Ephesians 1:13-14: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Every one of the soldiers who has defended our freedom on the battlefield deserves our gratitude. Jesus Christ, who came to seek and to save that which was lost, deserves our gratitude infinitely more. He died for our sins. He was buried, and He rose from the dead. He offers us eternal life as a free gift.

All one needs to do to have eternal life is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.

Casting All Of Your Care Upon Him

1 Peter 5-6-7

By johninnc (image provided by Holly Garcia)

1 Peter 5:6-7:

[6] Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
[7] Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

For those who have received the free gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus, learning to cast our care upon God can be frightening. Our natural instinct is to try to fix our problems on our own, or do it with an “assist” from God. Satan preys on these tendencies.

But we really only cast our care upon God when we realize we are helpless. This is when we find ourselves truly humble. Sometimes, we wait until our own abilities are exhausted and then cast our care upon Him.

1 Peter 5:8-9:

[8] Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
[9] Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Our fleshly rendition of this passage is to keep an eye out for trouble, and to make sure to fight it off. But, we are no match for the devil. He doesn’t fight fair. He gets in our heads. He influences our thoughts.

Ephesians 6:12: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Ephesians 6:13 gives us the solution:

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

The full armor of God is not His trappings.  It is God Himself.

Ephesians 6:16: Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

The shield of faith – the object of our faith – is God Himself.

Psalm 28:7: The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

 The Lord is trying to teach us to cast our care on Him. He doesn’t punish us when we don’t – he allows us to feel the pain. But, he blesses us when we do.

Psalm 23:

[1] The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
[2] He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
[3] He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
[4] Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
[5] Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
[6] Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

I find Psalm 23 to be one of the most comforting passages of scripture – the calmness associated with the Good Shepherd. He will come get us if we are in the ditch and call out to Him. He will defend us against the enemy. He is there for us always. Cast all of your care upon Him.

If you would like to know how to receive the free gift of eternal life Click Here