Category Archives: Christianity

Lordship Salvation: Fake News

By johninnc

Please note: this is not a political article. It is an article about the difference between the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ and the bad news of Lordship “salvation.”

Matthew 7:15: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

 Following are selected definitions of “fake” and “news” (noun forms) from Dictionary.com:

Fake:

  • anything made to appear otherwise than it actually is; counterfeit
  • a person who fakes; faker
  • a spurious report or story

News:

  • a report of a recent event; intelligence; information
  • the presentation of a report on recent or new events in a newspaper or other periodical or on radio or television
  • such reports taken collectively; information reported

Matthew 7:15 refers to purveyors of fake news. I believe that it is meant to include those who turn the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ into false gospels of works. The verses that immediately precede Matthew 7:15 explain the only way to have eternal life, which is through faith in Christ alone:

Matthew 7:13-14: [13] 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: [14] Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

 So, what is the narrow way that leads to life? Jesus explains this succinctly:

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

And what is the strait gate?

John 10:9: I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Lordship “salvation” is the false belief that Christ is necessary, but not sufficient, for eternal life. It teaches the bad news that the “straight and narrow” is our intentions, or our works., rather than the good news of God’s complete provision for our salvation through Jesus Christ.

Lordship “salvation” can be very subtle. But, one thing that can make it easier to detect is the focus of assurance. Lordship “salvation” turns the focus away from Christ and His righteousness to an unquantifiable and subjective inventory of one’s personal righteousness.

Following are some examples of Lordship “salvation” from both some well known and lesser-known sources:

  • Just to say “believe in Christ” can produce a false assurance of the hope of Heaven. Jesus spoke often about the gift of eternal life. To make it clear, He said, “Count the cost.” –“Evangelist” Billy Graham
  • I would ask them to consider whether the signs of eternal life are present in them. As John explains so thoroughly in 1 John, conversion does not bring sinless perfection, but it does begin to make fundamental changes in the human heart.” – Pastor J.D. Greear
  • 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. – 19th Century Preacher Charles Spurgeon
  • I often wonder if those who espouse easy-believism have simply adapted their theology in order to try to get a sinning loved one into the kingdom. – Pastor and best-selling author John MacArthur
  • 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. – Evangelist Franklin Graham
  • So a dispassionate statement of belief, with nothing behind it, and no intention to serve God in any way is all it takes…interesting belief. Never heard that before. – Facebook Comment from the son of a Southern Baptist Minister
  • 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. – David Chadwick, Pastor of Forrest Hills Church, Charlotte
  • As such, repentance is a necessary precursor to saving faith. It means that a nonbeliever must admit his sin to God, acknowledge he is wrong, and be willing to seek a new way of life. – “Free Grace” theologian Joseph Dillow
  • Repentance is a turning from sin, while faith is turning to Christ. – Theologian Dr. Roy Zuck
  • Of COURSE salvation is a gift, not by works, so that no man may boast (Eph. 2:8), but it’s only to the repentant sinner (Psalm 51), to the thief on the cross who repented in Luke 23:32-42 (though both “believed,” only one was saved), to Zacchaeus in Luke 19:8 who repented and vowed to restore fourfold anyone he’d cheated, that the Lord said, “TODAY, salvation has come to this house” (Luke 19:9), only when the Lord saw remorse and repentance did He GRANT His free gift of salvation! – Commenter, Redeeming Moments website

The above comments each turn the focus of hope of eternal life, in some way, back to a person’s works or good intentions. This is not good news. It is fake news!

If you would like additional information on the real good news, click here: The Gospel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charities that Aren’t Charitable


By johninnc

Matthew 6:21: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 

I saw an article today at RNS entitled “Ministries and money: Christian charities that use your money wisely.”

According to this article, almost a third of the $373 billion given to charity by Americans last year went to religious organizations.

There was a quote by Rusty Leonard, founder and CEO of MinistryWatch, with which I agree: Donors should recognize they have a serious responsibility to give as wisely as they can, as it is not their money they are giving but the Lord’s.

RNS evaluated a number of nonprofit Christian ministries to determine:

  • What percentage of their budgets the ministries spend on their core ministry programs.
  • How transparent the ministries are in sharing their financial information.
  • How charity watchdog agencies rate various ministries.

While the first two of these criteria are important, they are missing a much more critical question:

Do the so-called Christian charities promote and defend the gospel of Jesus Christ?

The purpose of this article is not to vet specific charities or ministries for our readers. Rather, it is to advocate the primary responsibility of Christians to advance the gospel message.

To that end, I would encourage our readers to be diligent in knowing whether the Christian charities and ministries to which they are considering giving are clear on the gospel. It may tug at our heartstrings to help  people in need, but if the “help” we are sending them includes false gospel messages, are we really doing them a service?

Please be aware that some of the larger, more prominent charities are run by people who teach false gospels such as Calvinism, Lordship “salvation,” social justice, and Arminianism.

Following are some thoughts from Clear Gospel:

  • We believe it is the duty of every Christian to make diligent inquiry into the doctrine of a church or ministry, particularly with respect to the doctrine of soteriology, before financially supporting it.
  • We believe that those Christians who tithe or support doctrinally aberrant ministries are partakers of the evil deeds of those teachers and “evangelists” (2nd John vs. 11).
  • We believe that the eternal rewards that God gives for sacrificial tithing (Matthew 6:1-4, 6:19-20) will be diminished or lost when those tithes and offerings supported ministers or ministries that are not straight with the gospel (2nd John vs. 8).

If your treasure is with ministries that clearly advance the gospel, your heart will be there also.

If you would like to know more about the gospel, please click here: The Gospel

 

 

 

 

New Page Added for Prayer Requests

We have added a new page in our header for prayer requests. Please click here:

Prayer Requests

Lordship Salvation: Wile, Style, and Guile

By: johninnc

Revelation 14:5: And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

All Christians in the church age will by taken in the rapture, which the Bible teaches will occur before the Great Tribulation.

But, there are many people in professing Christendom (aka “churchianity”) who will be left behind by the rapture, because they have believed false gospels and have never believed in Christ alone as Savior.

Among the false gospels that keep lost people lost are the various forms of works salvation prevalent in religions that claim the name of Christ. One of the more insidious of these is Lordship “salvation.”

Lordship “salvation, “ or bilateral contract “salvation” is a perversion that adds works to the front end, or back end of the gospel. It has been taught by some of the most well known “evangelists” and theologians in recorded history, and is almost ubiquitous today among those claiming to preach the gospel. As Jack Weaver, the late founder of the ExPreacherman ministry used to say: “The woods is full of ‘em.”

Some of the more prominent people who taught, or teach false gospels, or who undermine their own stated beliefs in grace, have been highlighted, or mentioned in previous articles here. They include:

  • John Calvin
  • Ray Comfort
  • Joseph Dillow
  • Andrew Farley
  • Billy and Franklin Graham
  • J.D. Greear
  • John MacArthur
  • John Piper
  • Charles Stanley
  • Charles Spurgeon
  • Paul Washer
  • George Zeller
  • Roy Zuck

The devices used by false teachers vary, but include:

Wile – devious, cunning strategies, such as changing the meanings of words like “faith” and “grace” to include works.

Style – emotional appeals, social contagion, ceremony, works-oriented testimonials, and stupid analogies that pervert the gospel message.

Guile – subtle deception, such as conflating eternal salvation and discipleship, proof texting Bible verses out of context, or changing the timing of required works from the front end of the salvation equation to the back end of the salvation equation.

In his excellent sermon entitled “The Most Fervent Evangelists Who Ever Lived,” pastor Tom Cucuzza discusses the 144,000 tribulation age messengers who will become believers after the rapture, and will preach the gospel to those left behind by the rapture.

Revelation 7 describes who the 144,000 messengers are, and Revelation 14 describes some of their attributes, including the purity of the message that they will preach. In contrast to the wile, style, and guile used by false teachers, the 144,000 messengers will have no guile in their mouths.

Since the gospel is the only saving message, it is clear that the 144,000 will preach the gospel, without any of the perversions that are pervasive among the so-called evangelists in the present age.

Tom’s message emphasizes the following points:

  • Salvation has never, nor will it ever, involve works. This includes people saved before Christ, those who are saved in the church age, and those who will become saved during the Great Tribulation.
  • The Great Tribulation will have a one-world religion that Tom calls “mystical religious humanism.” All religion today is moving in that direction. It will be accommodating by nature. There will be a common thread.
  • The problem with being accommodating, or ecumenical, is the failure to understand the significance of those things we disagree on.

Following is a quote from Tom’s sermon that underscores the primary thing we cannot accommodate – attacks on the gospel message:

Yes we believe people should live good lives. Yes we believe people should be kind to others, and all these kind of things. Surely be concerned about others, treat people in the right way. Yes, we can all agree on that.

But, you know what? When you say “those things are part of what it means to getting to heaven,” or if you say “every true believer will live a life of dedication towards that, “ I say to you: “Wait a minute! You have just violated the only way to salvation. Because it’s only through the blood of Christ that you’re saved. “

And when we come along and we say “if you add ANYTHING to what Jesus Christ did on the cross, you are preaching a false gospel that cannot save.” ANYTHING except faith in Christ.

People say “you’re crazy” or they’ll say “you think you’re the only ones who have the truth.” Listen folks, the truth is to be had by anyone. We don’t have a corner on the market. But, we do know this. We believe what Jesus said. He said: “I am the way, the truth and the life, and no man comes to the Father, but by Me.”

He didn’t say “Me and you!” He didn’t say “Me and your good intentions.”

Now, should Christians live good, Godly lives? Yes. Absolutely. But, does that have anything to do with us getting into heaven? Absolutely not!.

Please click here if you would like to hear Tom’s sermon in its entirety:

Tom’s Sermon

Now, one may rightly ask: “What do the tribulation age witnesses have to do with me?

There are two answers:

First, if you know how to have eternal life, and how to escape the coming Great Tribulation, it is incumbent upon you to tell others. Some may believe now and die before the rapture, thus receiving eternal life and avoiding an eternity in hell. Others may believe now, receive eternal life,  and avoid the horrors of the coming Great Tribulation. And, still others may hear now, and not believe until after the rapture, and become tribulation age saints.

Second, the gospel message is the same now as it will be after the rapture. The only way that anyone can get to heaven is to rely totally on Christ’s provision for our salvation.

If you have never believed in Jesus as your Savior, today is the best time to do that. We are not promised tomorrow. Please click here for more information:

THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: What About John 3:16?

By johninnc

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

This website has received lots of comments and e-mails over the years asking, and sometimes even challenging us to debunk faulty interpretations of “proof texts” that seem to contradict the freeness of grace, or the availability of eternal life to anyone who will believe, or to backload the gospel with works.

The questions and comments, which often start with the phrase “what about,” have been so common that we have a work in process section entitled “Difficult Verses” (aka “Some Lordship Salvationists’ Pet Passages Explained”). Please see link to that section below:

Difficult Verses

Following are examples of some of the “what abouts” that we have receieved:

  • What about James 2:14-26?
  • What about the fruits of the spirit? Isn’t that proof or is that more what changes in a person after belief for salvation?
  • I would also strongly encourage you to study the Book of James for a better understanding of Salvation and the works that accompany it, and what about Jesus and the teaching of trees and fruits?
  • And what about 2 Peter 3:9 and Acts 3:19 and Luke 13:3? Does this mean that we are not supposed to say” you got to repent(turn from your sin), and trust in Jesus Christ” when proclaiming the Gospel?
  • JACK I was reading the comments before my first comment and i was reading where Cheryl on Aug.24, said that we don’t need to ask the Lord to save us or to ask him to forgive us???? what about Romans 10-9-10?

We have to address the “what about” questions in order to defend the gospel, to help believers grow in understanding of scripture and to equip them in defending the gospel. We also answer the “what about” questions to plant seeds with religious unbelievers in the hope that they might understand the gospel and believe in Jesus as Savior.

“What about” questions can also be used to proclaim the gospel. To that end, I would like to focus on John 3:16.

John 3:16 is perhaps the best known Bible verse in all of professing Christendom, including among those who do not understand it, and therefore cannot and do not believe it.

So lets break it down:

For God…

Who is God?

God is the Creator of all things. He eternally exists in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are one God.

So loved the world that He gave…

Why did we need God to give us something?

We needed God to give something for the world, because all of mankind has sinned against God.

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

No man can get into heaven with any sin still charged to his account.

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.

Who did God give, and why?

God is a God of perfect love and perfect justice. Our sins have to be paid for, and we cannot pay for them ourselves. So, God provided the answer to our need by giving us Christ Jesus simply because He loves us and would rather die than spend eternity without us.

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

God did not give us Christ Jesus to help empower us to earn eternal life through good works. He gave us Jesus to save us.

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

His only begotten Son…

Who is His only begotten Son?

His only begotten Son is Jesus – the eternal Son of God,; God our Savior; God in the flesh; the Lamb of God. Jesus is the eternal creator God, who took on human form to redeem us.

He was born as a man through the virgin Mary. He lived a perfectly sinless life. He died for our sins and He was raised from the dead.

He came to save us.

Luke 19:10: For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

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

That whosoever…

Who is whosoever?

It is anyone who will believe in Jesus as Savior. Not whosoever God chooses to believe, as the Calvinists falsely teach, but whosoever will believe in Jesus as Savior.

Revelation 22:17: And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Believeth in Him…

What does it mean to believe in Him?

It means believing that we are in need of a Savior. People who don’t know Jesus as Savior are condemned to spend eternity separated from God, in a state of endless torment.

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.

It means to believing that He is God.

John 8:24: I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

It means to believe that He is the only way to receive eternal life.

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

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 means to believe that He paid the full price for our sins – all of them (past, present, and future) – leaving us nothing to pay.

John 19:30: When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

 It means to believe that He was raised from the dead, proving that His payment for our sins was complete.

Romans 4:24-25: But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

It means to believe that Jesus is not only necessary to save us, but that He is enough. It means to trust in Christ alone as Savior. It means to understand that eternal life is a free gift, offered without cost or obligation to the recipient.

We must understand that our good works, or good intentions will not help us get into heaven. Only Jesus could atone for our sins.

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.

 We must rely on Christ’s righteousness, and not our own, for eternal life.

 Believe in Him for what?

Eternal life. We must believe that Jesus offers us eternal life as a free gift. We do not have to believe that He is going to make us better or make us sin less. We do not have to believe that He is going to change our lives. We need only believe that He made the full payment for our own sins – that His payment was good on our behalf.

Should not perish…

This literally means the believer in Christ, even if he dies physically, will never experience the second death of being consigned to hell, but will have eternal life with God.

Non-believer’s eternal destiny:

Revelation 20:14:15: And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Believer’s eternal destiny:

John 11:25-26: Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

But have everlasting life…

What is everlasting life?

It is eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited, no matter what we do – or don’t do as believers, and regardless of whether or not our faith persists. The life of God cannot be extinguished. Therefore, if we have the life of Christ, our eternal life cannot be extinguished.

John 10:28: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

When does eternal life start?

Eternal life for the believer starts the very moment he believes in Jesus as his Savior. We do not have to wait until we see how we did, or whether or not we have persevered in faith and/or holiness.

Ephesians 2:4-7: But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

______________________________________________________

So, there you have it: WHAT ABOUT JOHN 3:16?

If you would like further detail, please click here: The Gospel

Lordship Salvation: The Baptist Faith and Message is an Affront to the Gospel

By johninnc

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.

The Baptist Faith and Message, which is ascribed to by a number of Baptist groups, including the apostate Southern Baptist Convention,  is an affront to the gospel!

The Baptist Faith and Message has a number of false tenets that are antithetical to the gospel of grace. This article will focus on just one. From the Baptist Faith and Message:  All true believers endure to the end.

My comment: Really? What is a “true believer.” Show me the passage in the Bible that uses that term. What does the Bible really say?

Mark 4:16-17:

[16] And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
[17] And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

The above passage pertains to the “second soil” believers in the parable of the Sower. How do we know they are believers? The companion passage in Luke tells us that.

Luke 8:13: They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

Now, let’s go through a little logic exercise. Lordship “salvationists” and Calvinists don’t really like this sport, but we’ll do it anyway.

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

That means that anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. That includes the “second soil” believers spoken of in the parable of the Sower.  That is backed up by lots of scripture, including:

Ephesians 1:13-14:

[13] 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,
[14] Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Now, lets move to 1 John 5:13: These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

That means that anyone who believes in Jesus can know he has eternal life. He need not wait to see if he “endures to the end” or “perseveres to the end.”

The person who believes in Jesus has eternal life, whether or not he “endures to the end” or “perseveres to the end.”

If any of the “endure to the end” passages (such as Matthew 24:13) had to do with receiving eternal life, than one of the following would have to be true:

1. No one would receive eternal life until they endured to the end (which would render both John 5:24, 1 John 5:13, and many other passages in God’s word lies); or

2. Anyone who has eternal life will automatically endure to the end (which would render the “endure to the end” passages to be nothing more than rhetorical, unnecessary statements); or

3. Believing in Jesus would entail believing that He was going to cause you  to endure to the end (again, rendering the “endure to the end” passages to be nothing more than a rhetorical waste of time).

The Baptist Faith and Message is not Christianity. It is Calvinism, which is a man-made substitute.

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

Lordship Salvation: Southern Baptist Conventional Wisdom

By johninnc

Isaiah 55:8: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

With the US major party conventions in the immediate forefront of our political calendar, I thought it would be a good time to focus on another convention: one of so-called “evangelicals – the Southern Baptist Convention.

I think it is fair to say that each of the major political parties tries to co opt religion, and vice versa, often for cynical purposes.

Following are recent headlines regarding internal and external politics within the SBC. The first relates to the prospective alignment of political and religious leaders.

Trump taps outgoing Southern Baptist head for religious board (from “The Tennessean”)

Excerpt from the article:

Ronnie Floyd, the immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, will join dozens of other conservative Christian leaders offering counsel to Donald Trump as part of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s new religious advisory board.

My comment: Floyd’s church adheres to the “Baptist Faith and Message,” which has a doctrinally aberrant view of the gospel. Guys like Floyd may help Trump tap into the religiously affiliated conservative voters in America, but what Floyd and the SBC are selling is not Biblical Christianity.  This is simply an attempt to forge a Faustian bargain between political and religious leaders.

Next, we will move to a headline regarding political wrangling within the SBC.

Calvinism Not to Blame for Southern Baptist Decline, JD Greear Says (from “The Christian Post”)

J.D. Greear is a false teacher that we have discussed at length at ExPreacherman. The fact that Greear would be in contention for the leadership of the SBC is sad, but telling. Equally sad is that his rivals also represent false theology.

The SBC is a mosh pit of competing false theology, as set forth in the following ExPreacherman article: SBC False Theology

Following are some of the more interesting, and outlandish quotes from the Christian Post article:

In an interview with the Christian Post last Thursday, Greear, pastor of Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, said it doesn’t matter how many “points” of Calvinism one holds because “Jesus gave every one of us the Great Commission, and if we’re not carrying it out, that’s just plain unfaithful.”

My comment: Greear is correct that if we are not carrying out the Great Commission we are not being faithful. But, none of the five points of Calvinism is true. And, changing the simplicity of Christ into false Calvinist/Lordship “salvation” tenets is NOT carrying out the Great Commission.

And, here is a quote from Dr. Chuck Kelley, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary:

Lostness in North America is having a bigger impact on Southern Baptists than Southern Baptists are having on lostness. Put another way: The world is having a bigger impact on the behavior of Southern Baptists than we are having on the behavior of the world. In addition to the decline in baptisms, we are down in membership, down in worship attendance, and down in Bible Study attendance

My comment: This is absolutely astounding. Does Kelley really believe that “lostness” is based on behavior?

And, finally, one more quote from Greear:

“We only have so much ‘bandwidth’ as a Convention, so we should seek to be known for the Gospel and the Great Commission, not for a particular stance regarding Calvinism. What unites us is so much greater than what threatens to divide us. We are united by a Gospel too great and a mission too urgent to let any lesser thing stand in our way,” Greear said.

My comment: Choosing unity versus truth? How very sad! Just what is the “mission” of the SBC? Is it to reach the world for Christ, or is it to remain large, and politically relevant?

The next article might give us a good indication.

Southern Baptists are going to need a bigger tent (from “Religious News Service”)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) The Southern Baptist Convention was so famously insular for so long that it earned its own joke about members believing they’re the only ones in heaven…

 But over the past decade that began to change:

 They began reaching out to other evangelical churches and to Roman Catholics on issues of common interest, a collaborative spirit that landed three Southern Baptists in top leadership roles at nondenominational evangelical universities…

My comment: What the Southern Baptists have in common with Roman Catholics is works for salvation theology. This is nothing new. It is just that the world’s religions are coalescing, as is prophesied in scripture.

And, here is a quote from Mike Glenn, pastor of the 10,000-member Brentwood Baptist Church in Tennessee:

“Several years ago, when we were so actively politically engaged, there were times when statements would be made by Southern Baptist leaders, and we would have to say, ‘They don’t represent us,’” Glenn said. “I think there was a sobering up about the realities of the political process. The Southern Baptist Convention had put a lot of eggs in the conservative Republican political system and got very little in return.”

My comment: What kind of “return” were they seeking? In my view, this statement betrays the latent – or blatant – dominionist view that is held by so many Calvinist/Lordship “salvationists.”

My purpose in writing this article was not to delve into partisan politics. Rather, it is a continuation of my call to Christians within churches affiliated with the SBC to understand the damage that this group is doing to the advance and defense of the gospel. It is also to introduce and explain the gospel to those Southern Baptists, and others, who may have never heard, or never understood, the truth of how to have eternal life.

If you are a Christian and belong to an SBC church, I have two words of advice: GET OUT!

And, if you would like to get past the “conventional wisdom” and learn what God has to say about how to have eternal life, please click here: The Gospel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lordship Salvation: The Bad News Bear(er)s

By johninnc

Cambridge Dictionary Online defines the idiom “Throw a Curve Ball” as follows: to surprise someone with something that is difficult or unpleasant to deal with. 

The bad news bearers, those who teach the false gospel of Lordship “salvation,” (LS) metaphorically throw a curve ball by twisting the good news of the gospel into bad news.

If you are not familiar with LS, please see the link below:

Lordship “Salvation” Defined

Following is a straight gospel message, without any LS curve balls:

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.

That is the good news! We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

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.

_______________________________________________________

The bad news bearers turn the good news into bad news by adding conditions to the gospel. They wrap their error in misinterpreted scripture to make it sound biblical.  Following are three common ways that they do this.

False definition of repentance

Luke 13:4-5:[4] Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? [5] I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

The bad news bearers will tell you that repentance means “turning from sin,” “being willing to turn from sin,” “wanting to turn from sin,” and so on. Accordingly, they will misinterpret passages such as the one above to bolster their mistaken belief.

Repent means “a change of mind.” In the above passage, Jesus is challenging His listeners to change their minds regarding their relative goodness. They thought that righteousness was graded on a curve. In other words, these people thought that they would escape God’s judgment because they were not as bad as those who died when the tower fell.

But, Jesus told them they needed to repent – change their minds – and realize that their relative good works would not be good enough to earn eternal life. Our only hope of eternal life is based on Christ’s righteousness, not our own.

Misunderstanding of “straight and narrow”

Matthew 7:14: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Bad news bearers misunderstand this to mean that someone must live a straight, or relatively straight life, or stay on the path (persevere in faith and good works) in order to demonstrate that they have eternal life.

The actual meaning is that Jesus is the straight way and the narrow gate. Eternal life is received only by believing in Him, and by believing in Him only. No curve balls, just straight truth.

Misunderstanding “the will of my Father”

Matthew 7:21-23: [21] Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. [22] Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? [23] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Bad news bearers misinterpret this passage to mean that only those who are highly successful in avoiding sin and doing good works will actually make it into heaven.

The passage actually means that only those who believe in Jesus as Savior have done the will of His Father, and are thereby known by Jesus. Those who never believed in Jesus are touting their works at the judgment. Jesus does not negate their claims of good works, nor that they were done in His name.

The common theme of bad news bearers is they will tell you that Jesus is necessary for eternal life, but that He is not sufficient for eternal life.

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?

If you would like more information about the good news of eternal life please click here: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: Is Zeal Toward God Enough?

By johninnc

Romans 3:26: To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

When the Apostle Paul was giving his testimony in Acts 22, he acknowledged his listeners’ zeal toward God. He was trying to appeal to his common ground with them, including their respect for the law.

Acts 22:3: I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

There are also several biblical encounters in which Jesus acknowledges various unbelievers’ familiarity with the law. We’ll look at two of them.

The first is with a certain ruler (sometimes referred to as “the rich young ruler”).

Matthew 19:16-22: [16] And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? [17] And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. [18] He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, [19] Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [20] The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? [21] Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. [22] But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

As verse 16 indicates, this certain ruler believed he could earn eternal life by some work of righteousness. It is clear from verse 17 that the man did not know who Jesus was. In verse 18, Jesus tells him he will enter into life (have eternal life) if he will just keep the commandments. The man asks “which ones,” and Jesus mentions six of the commandments. The man makes the ridiculous claim, in verse 20, that he has kept all of these commandments. Jesus, playing along with him, asks him to sell his possessions and give the money to the poor. At this point, the man realizes that he has not kept all of the commandments perfectly, is not willing to, and therefore goes away sorrowful and unsaved.

The certain ruler does not go away unsaved because he is unwilling to sell his possessions, give the money to the poor, or follow Jesus in discipleship. No, he goes away unsaved because he does not know who Jesus is, and he was hoping to justify himself by keeping laws.

The second encounter is with a certain lawyer.

 Luke 10:25-29: [25] And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? [26] He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? [27] And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. [28] And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. [29] But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?       

This certain lawyer, like the certain ruler, asked Jesus what he could do to earn eternal life. Again, Jesus tells him to just keep the law, knowing that no one (besides Jesus) has ever kept the law perfectly. Here, the Bible is clear that the certain lawyer was willing to justify himself (verse 29).

The certain ruler and the certain lawyer are indicative of the mindset that Paul references in Romans 10:1-4: [1] Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. [2] For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. [3] For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

In a similar manner, Lordship “salvation” has assumed the mantle of the Pharisees – trying to become justified, stay justified, or prove one is justified by keeping rules.

The ardent believers in false gospels of works will often cloak their departures from the truth of the gospel by parsing scripture. These people often think they are being Bereans (see Acts 17). In reality, they are misusing scripture to corrupt the gospel. In so doing, they are leading people away from Christ.

Ron Shea sums this up fairly succinctly:

We acknowledge that believers may fall into error or confusion regarding salvation and works after their conversion, as happened to the church of Galatia (Galatians 1:6-7. 3:1).  We further acknowledge that the believers of Galatia were regarded as “brethren,” (Galatians 1:3), having fallen into this grievous error subsequent to their coming to an authentic faith in Christ (Galatians 3:1-3).  We note, however, that the authors of this grievous error, who had never believed on Christ alone, having simply added Jesus Christ to a pre-existing confession of salvation by works (Acts 15:1) were regarded as “false brethren.” (Galatians 2:4).  To this end, we affirm that a lost sinner must, at some time in his life, believe on Christ alone, apart from the works of the law, for his salvation, and that apart from such an authentic moment of saving faith, there is no hope of salvation.

The Bible is clear that zeal for God, knowledge of the law, and searching scripture are not sufficient for eternal life. Eternal life is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

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

Scannable QR of “The Gospel” Booklet

Thanks to our friend Curtis, we now have a scannable QR version of “The Gospel” booklet by Ron Shea available as one of our pages at the top of our site.

Click here: The Gospel

Lordship Salvation’s Mike Gendron: Steeling Minds Against the Gospel

By johninnc

Ephesians 6:11-12:

[11] Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. [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.

Today, I had the nauseating displeasure of ingesting spiritual poison, in the form of a false gospel tract entitled “True Faith or False Hope: How Can I be Sure?” The tract was issued by an organization called “Proclaiming the Gospel,” headed up by founder and director, Mike Gendron.

In addition to his role with “Proclaiming the Gospel,” Gendron is an author and popular Bible conference speaker. His speaking engagements have included the “Steeling the Mind” conferences put on by “The Compass Group.” The “Steeling the Mind” list of speakers appears to represent the gamut of professing Christendom, including some who should know better than to participate in conferences alongside those who corrupt the gospel.

The false gospel tract, “True Faith or False Hope: How Can I be Sure,” includes many of the Lordship “salvation” (LS) greatest hits, including:

  • Faulty Bible translations
  • Standard LS proof texts from scripture, misinterpreted
  • A faulty understanding of repentance in the context of eternal salvation
  • The false notion that God gives people faith in Christ
  • The false Calvinist tenet of perseverance of the saints

Following are some examples from the tract, along with my comments:

There are two types of “faith” described in the Bible. One is a dead faith that originates in man as he gives mental assent to certain truths about God, but it produces no evidence of a new life in Christ (James 2:17). The other is a God-given faith which includes being born again as a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). This is a living faith that is coupled with repentance (Acts 11:18). It flows out of a new heart that desires to bear fruit for God’s Glory (Ezekiel 36:26; John 15:8).

(My comment: God gives all people the ability to believe in something. If one exercises belief in Christ, he is saved. God does not give anyone faith in Christ.

The “intellectual assent” argument is standard LS jargon, intended to demonstrate that faith in Christ is not sufficient for eternal life. The verses cited in the tract are intended to give the false impression that one can determine whether or not he is saved by examining his works. This is standard LS fruit inspection, designed by Satan to keep lost people lost and to turn believers eyes back onto themselves for assurance of eternal life.)

Which kind of faith do you have? Would you be willing to look to scripture to test your faith? (2 Corinthians 13:5).

(My comment: 2 Corinthians 13:5 is another LS go-to verse to try to falsely assert that one can tell whether or not he is saved by examining his works. That verse, in context, was part of the Apostle Paul’s defense of his apostleship, and has nothing to do with asking someone to take an inventory of personal righteousness to determine whether or not one is showing the right marks, or signs, of having eternal life. The tract also uses the same tired false LS arguments regarding the book of 1 John containing similar “tests” of eternal life).

The Lord Jesus said we must “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to life, and those that find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14). The narrow way is hard, and only a few find it, because you must diligently search the Scriptures to find it.

(My comment: Jesus is the strait gate and the narrow way! The way is not hard. The way is narrow.

The KJV Bible has a much different version of Matthew 7:13-14:

[13] 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: [14] Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

In addition, diligently searching the scriptures does not necessarily lead to eternal life. Believing in Jesus as Savior always leads to eternal life. We see this illustrated perfectly in 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.)

Godly sorrow for their sins produced a repentance that led to salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone (2 Corinthians 7:10).

(My comment: 2 Corinthians 7:10 was written to believers, not unbelievers. It had nothing to do with their receiving eternal life. Since Christ died for the ungodly, how would it be that an unsaved person could muster up a “Godly sorrow”?

Repentance in salvation means a change of mind from any idea of religion that man may have and to accept God’s way of salvation. Repentance does not in any sense include a demand for a change of conduct before or after salvation.)

False converts are not aware of their perilous condition…They desire Jesus as a priest to pardon their sins, but not as a prophet to instruct them, or a king to rule over them.

(My comment: People do not have to desire Jesus as a prophet to instruct them, nor as a king to rule over them, in order to have eternal life. This is unabashed works for salvation – trying to turn the gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus into a trade.)

False gospel tracts, such as the one discussed above, are a “wile of the devil,” designed to keep people lost and to confuse believers. We must put on the full armor of God to stand against these wiles.

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

Faith is NOT the Gift of God

Holly and I put together an article based on her response(s) to a commenter on her “Redeeming Moments” website.

Please find the link to the article, as well as the full text, below:

Faith is Not the Gift of God

By Holly Garcia and johninnc

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

One of the more common attacks on the gospel is that God chooses who will believe in Jesus as Savior by giving them the faith to believe, while depriving everyone else of this “gift of faith.”

The teaching that faith is the gift of God, or even part of the gift of God, is the cornerstone error of reformed theology, or Calvinism. This error has been one of Satan’s primary tools in perpetuating the lie that we can earn eternal life by our works.

From Clear Gospel:

We observe from church history that the corruption of “grace” into an ethereal vitalizing substance, though often starting with the seemingly “innocuous” view that “grace” vitalizes the lost sinner to belief in Christ, deteriorates, almost inevitably, to the belief that the effects of grace, being sovereign or irresistible, will ultimately empower man to “repent of his sins,” to perform certain acts of righteousness, and/or to “persevere to the end” in faith and good works. Finally, we observe that the frequent conclusion of this heresy is that, if permanent and significant lifestyle changes are not manifest in the life of a sinner, God’s “grace” was never received.

As a consequence, we believe that such a corruption of the meaning of the word “grace” historically portends a grave likelihood, if not a virtual certainty, of a theological system deteriorating into a system of salvation by “Christ plus works,” (Romans 11:6-7, Ephesians 2:8-9), the very opposite meaning of the word “Grace.”

Contrary to the heretical teaching that faith is the gift of God, the Bible teaches that eternal life is the gift of God.

Faith is not the gift of God.

“Faith” does not = salvation.

One can have faith and not be saved. Having faith in the right object (believing upon Jesus Christ – who He is and what He has done-1 Corinthians 15:3-4) is how we receive the free gift of salvation.

Romans 5  lists the gift of God seven times, and not once is it suggested the gift is making someone believe. But it is clearly identified as salvation – justification unto life (eternal), the gift of righteousness (His righteousness imputed to us), eternal life. Again not once is “faith” named as being the gift.

It is concluded in Romans 6:23, that the gift of God, the free gift, is eternal life (which comes by belief).
We know that some people in the Bible are commended for their great faith, others challenged to have greater faith, and still other criticized for having little faith.

Luke 7:9: When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

Mark 11:22: And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

Luke 12:28: If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Jesus could not commend someone for great faith, if such faith were a gift from God. To do so would be attributing God’s glory to man. It is simply inconceivable that God would allow His glory to be given to any man.

Similarly, Jesus could not challenge someone to greater faith if such faith were to come from God. In so doing, Jesus would be challenging the Triune God (which includes Himself) to provide someone with greater faith.

Finally, Jesus could not chastise a believer for having little faith, if such faith had been provided as the gift of God.

So, it is clearly evident from scripture that faith itself is not the gift of God.

ETERNAL LIFE IS THE GIFT OF GOD.
The Bible clearly shows that eternal life (by grace you are saved) is the gift of God.

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.

John 4:10: Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

Acts 2:38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The Gift of God is identified throughout scripture as eternal life itself or as the Holy Spirit who regenerates us (imparts eternal life to us) and indwells us, once we believe.

Scripture is clear. Eternal life, not faith, is the gift of God. One receives the free gift of eternal life the moment he believes in Jesus as his Savior. Once received by faith, eternal life can never be lost or forfeited.

For more information on how to have eternal life, click here: The Gospel

Lordship Salvation: False Prophets or Fruit?

By johninnc

Matthew 7:15-16:

[15] Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

[16] Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

As I encounter people contending for the hearts, minds, souls, votes, and money of a bewildered public, false prophets and their fruit are almost everywhere.

As the late Jack Weaver, founder of ExPreacherMan used to say, “the woods is full of ‘em!”

I am also reminded of the quote that was above the door exiting a Southern Baptist church that I used to sporadically attend: “You Are Now Entering the Mission Field.” That message was true, but incomplete. It needed to be on both sides of the door.

The point is, that much of professing Christendom is comprised of either false prophets, or their fruit. It is just impossible to know which is which.

Following are some of the insidious false messages that abound in the world of professing evangelicalism.

  • Just to say “believe in Christ” can produce a false assurance of the hope of Heaven. Jesus spoke often about the gift of eternal life. To make it clear, He said, “Count the cost.” –“Evangelist” Billy Graham
  • I would ask them to consider whether the signs of eternal life are present in them. As John explains so thoroughly in 1 John, conversion does not bring sinless perfection, but it does begin to make fundamental changes in the human heart.” – Pastor J.D. Greear
  • 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. – 19th Century Preacher Charles Spurgeon
  • I often wonder if those who espouse easy-believism have simply adapted their theology in order to try to get a sinning loved one into the kingdom. – Pastor and best-selling author John MacArthur
  • 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. – Evangelist Franklin Graham
  • So a dispassionate statement of belief, with nothing behind it, and no intention to serve God in any way is all it takes…interesting belief. Never heard that before. – Facebook Comment from the son of a Southern Baptist Minister
  • 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. – David Chadwick, Pastor of Forrest Hills Church, Charlotte 
  • The paralyzed man is not healed by walking. Just like a Christian is not saved by works. However, when that paralyzed man walks, he proves that he was healed. When Christians demonstrate a changed life, they prove they were saved by Christ. – Commenter, ExPreacherMan
  • James 2:24 [“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only”] is the reply to the question of James 2:14. Unproductive faith cannot save, because it is not genuine faith. Faith and works are like a two-coupon ticket to heaven. The coupon of works is not good for passage, and the coupon of faith is not valid if detached from works”  – Ryrie Study Bible
  •  As such, repentance is a necessary precursor to saving faith. It means that a nonbeliever must admit his sin to God, acknowledge he is wrong, and be willing to seek a new way of life. – “Free Grace” theologian Joseph Dillow
  • How a person conducts his life or campaign is an indication of who he is. In Matthew 7, Jesus Himself says that a tree – and people of faith – are known by their fruit, not just the words they say. – Presidential Candidate Ben Carson
  • Repentance is a turning from sin, while faith is turning to Christ. – Theologian Dr. Roy Zuck
  • Second is the subjective or experiential test of assurance in which you ask yourself, “Is my faith real?” The apostle John’s purpose in writing the epistle of 1 John was to give true believers assurance of their salvation (1 John 5:13). In that small epistle John gives several marks to distinguish a true believer. – Commenter, Redeeming Moments website
  • 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. – Author Andrew Farley, from “The Naked Gospel”
  • The question to ask is whether a Born-Again Christian can cease being a Born-Again Christian. The answer to this question is, yes, a Believer can stop believing, a Christian can stop being a Christian, and the Born-Again can turn his back on Salvation and become lost-again. – “Evangelist” Jimmy Swaggert

Each of the above quotes is fruit of false prophets.

Those of us who are clear on the gospel should seek to minister to those who aren’t. In so doing, we should be gentle and wise.

If someone is bound and determined to persist in error, or in their associations with apostate organizations, you should know when to move on.

If you are unsure about the message of a particular person, church, book, website, etc., I would encourage you to see if it passes ALL THREE of the following conditions:

1. Is it consistent with eternal life by grace through faith alone in Christ alone?
2. Is it consistent with eternal security?
3. Is it consistent with assurance of eternal life, based on God’s promises alone (i.e., it is not internally-focused on changes in attitudes, behavior, etc.)?

And, if you want to know how to have eternal life, click here:  THE GOSPEL

 

Lordship Salvation: Opposite Day

By johninnc

Matthew 7:21-23:

[21] Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

[22] Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

[23] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Matthew 7:21-23 is one of the most misunderstood and misapplied passages in the Bible.

One’s interpretation of this passage can provide considerable insight into what he believes about the gospel, and even whether he believes the gospel.

What this passage means is that people who have never believed in Jesus as their Savior will not get into heaven. It means that those who have never abandoned their trust in their own good works to get to heaven – either in whole, are in part – will not get into heaven.

People who are trusting in good works to get to heaven – either in whole, or in part – misunderstand this passage to mean just the opposite. Such people think that this verse means that simple faith in Christ, if not attended by some nebulous degree of personal righteousness, will not be sufficient for a person to get into heaven.

Many, if not most, of the well-known preachers and evangelists of today preach a false message of salvation by faith plus works, otherwise known as Lordship “salvation,” or “LS.”

For a detailed description of LS, please click here: LS Defined

People who teach LS are false prophets, and the Bible says that we can tell false prophets by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-20).

What are the fruits of a false prophet?

  1. A false message
  2. His disciples – the believers of a false prophet’s false message

In his sermon, entitled “The Worst Surprise of All,” pastor Tom Cucuzza makes the following key points regarding false prophets, their false messages, and the horrific consequences of trusting in their false gospels for eternal life:

Minutes 7:03-7:36

A false prophet will give a large percentage of truth with what they have to say. They may even have a large percentage of biblical morality in their message. Good things in their message. But, they’ll misapply that. And what they’ll do is they’ll end up making that thing, that responsibility, that obedience that they give, they’ll end up making that, misapplying that and saying “you have to do this to go to heaven. And, if you don’t do this, you’re not going to go to heaven.”

Now, that is the false prophet of today.

 Minutes 8:44-10:14

This passage (Matthew 7:21-23) is one of the most misunderstood passages in all the Bible. It is a passage that has been hijacked by those who, to some extent, believe in getting to heaven through good deeds. Whether completely believing that, or whether partially believing that. They use this verse and they hijack it to supposedly support their position in this. As a matter of fact, they think these verses mean just the opposite of what they actually say. They look at these and they say “well that says that it’s not” – they’ll look at this and say “ how could anybody believe that you’re saved simply be faith in Christ? After all, not everybody who says ‘Lord, Lord’s” gonna get there.” And they equate saying “Lord, Lord” with believing in Jesus Christ as Savior.

I want you to notice something. That is nowhere found in the text. It’s nowhere found in the text.

It’s vital, folks, that you actually understand this passage. The reason is profound!. The reason is so important that I can’t emphasize it enough. I hope you’re listening today. Here’s the reason: If a person does not understand the vital truth here, when he dies he will experience the awful shock of waking up in a conscience torment in hell itself.

And that would be the worst surprise of all.

 If you would like to VIEW pastor Cucuzza’s sermon in its entirety, please find the link below:

The Worst Surprise of All

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

A What? A Savior???

The following article was written by the late Jack Weaver, the founder of the ExPreacherMan website, and was originally posted in December, 2009.

_______________________________________________________

When Jesus the Christ was born to Mary, the Angel of the Lord announced to the frightened shepherds in the fields:

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10 – 11

This Bible verse is filled with the Lord’s great promises and truths.

  • “good tidings [good news] of great joy”

What the Angel told the lowly shepherds was GOOD NEWS. It portended great joy! The word “Gospel” means “good news.”

  • “which shall be to ALL people”

This good news was for ALL people.. Not just the Jews, not just a chosen few – but to ALL people.

  • “a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord”

This Person who was born into the world is the Saviour – the Christ [the anointed Messiah] the Lord [the Supreme Authority], the Messiah who had been prophesied and for Whom all Israel was looking.

Please notice Jesus was not described here as a Great Leader [even though He is], not as our Example [even though He is], He is not a probation officer nor a law giver nor enforcer – but He is described as the SAVIOR, the One who saves.

Because of God’s absolute perfection is in direct opposition to our sin, we are at irreconcilable odds with God. The result of sin is spiritual death (separation from God). Thus we are all guilty and need the Savior — if we ever expect to go to Heaven — to have eternal life – to be with the Lord eternally. Jesus Christ is the only One who can reconcile us to God the Father.

Jesus is the Son of God in the flesh, the only Savior, who died on the cross for our sins, was buried, rose from the grave and is alive today proving Himself to be Whom He claimed, the Infallible, reconciling Savior.

Some erroneously believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is infallible. No, she is not at all – because the Bible says she, just like anyone else, needed a Savior, having been told by the Angel :

“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest [Supreme God]: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” Luke 1:31-33

“… Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” Luke 1:46-47

Rejoice with us in this season when we celebrate the time when God Himself, Jesus the Savior visited our earth, died for us on the cross, was buried and rose from the dead. Jesus himself pleads with everyone — as we see in the most well known verse in the Bible:

Jesus says:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth [trusts] in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Please put your eternity in trust with Jesus Christ, the Savior, the Only Trustworthy One. Believe in Him alone as your Savior.

WHAT A SAVIOR!!!

We pray this will be your best Christmas season ever.

In Jesus Christ eternally,

Jack and Shirley

Eternal Life For You

 

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

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)

image001-1

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.)

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.