C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

Comment Policy: No profanity or blasphemy will be posted. You do not have to agree, but if you would like your comment posted, you will have to adhere to the policy.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Once Saved Always Saved or Perseverance of the Saints

Eternal Security, the belief that when a person is genuinely converted to salvation by putting their faith in the finished work of Christ, that they are kept by the power of God and sealed by the Holy Spirit whereby it is impossible for them to lose that salvation and be separated again from the love of God. Although one may sin, as all do, following conversion, unconfessed sin is dwelt with by God through chastisement and not the loss of ones gift of salvation.

Within the camps of Eternal Security believers, there lies in this corner Once Saved Always Saved (OSAS) and in this corner Perseverance of the Saints (POTS). At face value one might assume that they mean the same thing just different terminology. But that, my friend, would be an incorrect assumption, for they are very much different. Whereas the ends may meet as the individual crosses over into glory unable to lose his salvation, the means or actions by which he took while on this trip up the narrow road is indeed different.

For the sake of length and clarity, I will do my best to simplify both corners without a multitude of words. This is not a defense of either, but a simple act of trying to show that by no means are they the same. Please feel free to express your thoughts and correct me if you believe my understanding to be wrong.

Once Saved Always Saved (OSAS)
This position holds that a person may be genuinely saved by Christ and become a born again believer. Although saved, one may then return back into their fallen sinful state as if they had never been regenerated. They may have a lifestyle of the unsaved, yet because at one point in their life the trusted Christ, regardless of how they live their life or die, they are saved forevermore. An example would be while witnessing to a person they bow their head and ask Christ to save them, yet they never come to church or display any Christian qualities for the rest of their lives. This position claims that “if they really meant it”, then regardless that they never acted as a Christian, they are indeed one by virtue of them at one point in their life asking Christ to save them. No one can 100% say that they are saved or are not saved, by ones actions, for only God knows our hearts and if someone has actually asked Him to save them then they are indeed saved.

Perseverance of the Saints (POTS)
This position agrees that a person is genuinely saved by Christ and becomes a born again believer. It also agrees that nothing, including sin, can separate a believer from the love of God and that it is impossible for one to fall from grace. Where this camp disagrees is that a true believer cannot and will not return to or remain in their previous unregenerate lifestyle. Not that a believer will be sinless, but that their lifestyle will become and remain that of a person striving to serve God, rather than that of a lost person disobeying God. It is not the individual which causes this, but the working of God within them. Lifestyle of the believer appears to be the difference. Because of the work of God within them, the believer’s desires shall be to serve God, even though they may faultier, yet they never turn to rejection of God, or a total non-desire, and back into their depravity. Although they may agree no one can know 100% who is and is not saved, one can know them almost positively by their fruits, their works and lifestyle.

I have been told that my thinking above is incorrect, but I have sat under teaching that believes one may be saved without acting like a Christian, whereas the others says when one is saved they will act like a Christian. In my opinion that is not the same teaching...

Further reading…

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Help Thou Mine Unbelief

And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

We read in Mark 9, after returning from the “mount of transfiguration”, Christ was confronted by a father who had a son with a dumb (deaf/mute) spirit. This son had been possessed and tormented by this foul spirit from childhood. The man asked Christ for compassion and help. Christ asked the man if he believed. The man didn’t say “yeah” with a shallow meaning, but “straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief”. Christ indeed helped.

Help Thou Mine Unbelief! Help Thou Mine Unbelief!

If you don’t know Jesus Christ as Savior, please cry out to Him today. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. [John 6:37]

If you are in the valley of despair and doubt, cry out to Jesus Christ today. 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. [Matthew 11:28-29]

You don’t have to feel alone, for Christ has said; I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. [Hebrews 13:5]

Are you feeling – I don’t know what to do?

Cry out: Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

What do you have to lose, but your sin and sorrows.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Church Discipline, On the Rise?

According to an article from BP News [here], there is a rise in church discipline among Southern Baptist. I find this interesting because I don’t recall even the concept often mentioned at all. Although I have heard the gossip of so and so doing this and that, I don’t usually hear any talk about church discipline or actually going to speak to the person for that matter. I guess it is easier to talk about someone than talk to someone.

As the article states, outlined in Matthew 18, we can find the order of church discipline.

[Step One - Individual]
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

[Step Two - Witnesses]
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

[Step Three - Church]
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

Also contained in the same chapter is Christ’s idea of forgiveness [seventy times seven] with a warning [So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.]. In all things, even in church discipline we must remember charity [1 Corinthians 13], and not simply wrath.

Church discipline is supposed to lead one to repentance and again to embrace fellowship with one another. It is not meant for getting rid of people that “don’t think like me”. It should evolve clear biblical sin that one refuses to repent of. To me, it also takes more than just the pastor, the entire church needs to be prayerful and spiritually minded to put away gossip and have genuine concern for both the church and the individual(s).

What do you personally think about church discipline? Should we have it? Have you ever seen it or been apart of it? Express your views.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Do I Have Charity?

Charity: not just words, but love in action

1 Corinthians 13

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Well - do you? Judge thyself and change as necessary.

Passive Acceptance, Lazy Brute Force (Pt. 2)

Why do you believe what you believe? Why do you disagree with others that believe differently? We need to consider this concerning our biblical thinking, so that we may be a better witness and testimony for Christ and a better Christian in our daily walk.

Lazy Brute Force
What is usually your first plan of action when presented with someone that disagrees with you? Is it to coward down or to come out fighting? What about honest debate, mingled with a hint of charity? Do you quickly say, “You are wrong because you are a (insert a denomination, pastor, school, etc.)” or “I have always believed this way, so you are wrong to think differently”? Yeah, you might not say them out loud, but do you think them? Remember simply because you believe it does not make it right, and because they believe it does not make it wrong; the Word of God is the final authority. Sometimes we may need to consider what the other person is saying, get up from the couch and television, blow the dust off our Bibles, and take a look inside to see what we find. And don’t forget to pray and ask the Spirit to give you godly wisdom and grace to accept the knowledge that you may be given. I am afraid that too often, it may be, we take offence to the fact that someone is challenging our beliefs, and since we have never really taken the time to study them out for ourselves, all we are left with is Lazy Brute Force to reply with.

Am I saying that one should listen, consider, and test each belief that one hears from others that disagree with them? Again, if you cannot personally present clear scripture as to the fact that what they present is unbiblical, then yes I would say it would be a disservice to yourself and others you may encounter if you do not consider taking the time to study it.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Passive Acceptance, Lazy Brute Force (Pt.1)

Why do you believe what you believe? Why do you disagree with others that believe differently? We need to consider this concerning our biblical thinking, so that we may be a better witness and testimony for Christ and a better Christian in our daily walk.

Passive Acceptance
Do you simply believe something because dad and mom or grandma believes it? Is it because your denomination, your preacher, or Sunday school teacher has said it is so? I am not saying that they are all wrong, but in and of itself, because one believes it does not make it so. We have a wonderful Book from God, called the Bible; it is God’s Word and should be the final authority as we grow in knowledge and wisdom in our walk as a child of God. Our question should be, “Does it match what the scriptures say”, not does it match what so and so says it means. Don’t get me wrong, we need godly parents, pastors, teachers, and friends and a wealth of knowledge is taught and learned through fellowship we have with each, but the standard of Truth lies within the Word of God alone, whereby all our convictions and beliefs should be judged. Pray, read, study, and meditate on God’s Word, don’t just sit there in Passive Acceptance of everything you are told.

Am I saying that one needs to question every belief they have? If you cannot personally give a testimony of it in scripture, then yes I would say it would be a disservice to yourself and others you may encounter if you do not consider taking the time to study it.

Friday, March 23, 2007

When Sight Is Too Late

Sometimes we hear people say, “If God is real, why can’t we see Him” or “Why doesn’t He show Himself”? It should come as no surprise, for mankind is very much a sight oriented creature. “See it, to believe it” theology seems to be bound somewhere inside the very core of our DNA.

Scripture says that we are to put faith in Christ, which indeed is against our desire of wanting to see, but we must remember that there were plenty of those which physically saw Christ (even religious leaders) yet denied Him as the Messiah and Savior of lost man. Sight does not guarantee belief or acceptance.

But, because we serve a holy, just, and loving God, He will indeed give people what they have cried out for: “Show yourself!” “Here am I”. The problem will be that Sight Is Too Late.

Revelation 6:12-17 speaks of mankind getting their request answered, for they would now be able to see the Creator. Did they embrace Him; do they welcome Him into their lives and hearts?

15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

But I thought the cry was “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Of a much greater concern is where one may find themselves in the end, if they refuse to accept salvation by faith in Christ, to have sins forgiven, and fellowship restored with God at the present. (Matthew 7:22, 23; Revelation 20)

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Indeed we shall all see God, for it is written, “every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” Just don’t withhold putting faith in Christ for the sake of not physically seeing Him, for at the judgment, Sight Is Too Late.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Reasons Why One 'Might' Be Spiritually Challenged

1. One does not know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
2. One does not believe that the scriptures are God’s Word to man.
3. One does not strive to live in obedience outlined in the scriptures.
4. One does not repent and ask forgiveness for sin.
5. One does not have a prayer life.
6. One does not read, study, and mediate in the Word of God.
7. One does not maintain fellowship with other believers.

Any number of these things I have listed, along with others that you may know of, can cause any of us to be Spiritually Challenged. Judge yourself and see which areas you need improvements and what areas you may be able to help others in. We all need to grow as Christians. We should make Christianity our lifestyle and not just a name tag that has no bearing on who and what we really are on the inside.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Plant, Water, Trust

I have never been a farmer, per say, but I have planted seeds as a child and plants as an adult around my yard. As a child we were taught to plant the seed in good soil, water it but not too much, and make sure it is in the Sun to let it grow.

As a Christian, I believe we have lost sight of the simplicity found in that learning we received as a child. Sometimes I believe we spend too much time prodding and over watering the seed, tilling at the soil, and forgetting that it needs the sun to grow; so, we continually muscle it because we don’t or can’t see it growing.

We can hear the cry, “Calvinism is wrong because it forces man against his will”, but we will talk (to and down) to someone till we are blue in the face trying to convince them, against their will, that they need to “pray and ask Jesus to come into their hearts” - right now! And God forbid that they deny us that pleasure, we will shake the dust from our garments and gladly hand them over to Satan, and all the while walking away with our head held high that we have done “our duty”, a great service unto the Lord.

Scripture says in 1 Corinthians 3:
6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

We are to plant, we are to water, but God gives salvation when, where, and how He wants. Just as with our little gardens, we may do all the right things by planting and watering, but without the Sun, will we really see much of a crop? We can keep tilling up the ground, playing with the seed, drowning it in water, but all is for naught without the Sun doing its job. Did you get that? It’s job.

Our job is to witness; God’s job is to save. Salvation is not by us, but by God. God’s Word, the gospel, is the power of God unto salvation [Romans 1:16], not us and/or our presentation.

By planting and watering the seed (the gospel) through witnessing of the truth, by the moving of the Holy Spirit, through the love we have being now in Christ, we are being obedient to God. By our obedience we shall be given reward by God for our honest, pure labor done selflessly for the cause of Christ. Our job is to live a life honoring and pleasing to God.

God’s job, or power, is shown by taking our frail attempts at obedience through the planting and watering of the gospel and opening the eyes, ears, and mind of the unregenerate to see the marvelous light of Jesus Christ where one finds the forgiveness of sins.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Jacob Have I Loved, Esau Have I Hated

I am sure most recognize this snippet from Romans 9:13. I am also guessing that the reader is now saying, “I know where he is going with this”, but I may surprise you so please continue.

If you don’t know the story of Jacob and Esau, please take the time and start reading in Genesis 25. You most likely will find yourself in one of these brothers, at least at some point in your life, and some good lessons can be learned from their examples.

It should not be hard to see why God could say, “Esau have I hated”. We are born sinners, and as sinners we do not believe in God and we reject the truth found in Jesus Christ. We are indeed the enemies of God, for we cleave to sin and fail to repent and turn to God in obedience. We lack the faith necessary for salvation in that we trust in self and deny the Savior as the only way, truth, and life.

What we should find amazing is that God could say, “Jacob have I loved”. Study the life of Jacob, and one will find just how amazing it is. We, as Christians, should also look at our own lives in this light. God didn’t look down from heaven and love us because of who and what we were, but “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” [Romans 5:8]. It is amazing that a holy and just God could look upon sin and depravity of a rejecting creation and still have enough love to send “his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” [John 3:16]. Not to mention a despised and rejected Savior, Jesus Christ, which loved fallen man enough, in obedience to the Father, was slain for our offences, yet was raised for our justification [Romans 4:25].

So next time you hear someone say they are too bad for God to love or save, remind them that so were you, and that God loved the world enough to send His Son, Jesus Christ the Savior, that through Him sinners might become saints.

And when pride begins to show its ugly head, boasting that you have achieved, and how much holier you are than that lost sinner, remember where Christ found you; It wasn’t in the holiest of holies dressed in fine linen, but in the mire of depravity and sin “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked”.

1 John 4:19, We love him, because he first loved us.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Why Me?

Who has never asked the question, “Why me”, when it comes to something that has taken place in our lives that we find depressing, catastrophic, unfair, or anything that we believe should not have come our way? The alternative, when sometime good happens to us, which may also be unfair (meaning we didn’t deserve it) we usually don’t hear, “Why me”, but “Thank you” or “I deserved it”. I would like to pose three things to think about next time either yourself or one of your friends have something happen in their lives to cause one to ask, “Why me”.

[1] I believe that some things happen to the unbeliever to bring them to Christ. It is ashamed to say, but some people seem to need drastic measures in their life to bring them to the place where they see their need for Christ as Savior. It is easy for the unbeliever to further reject God, but a healthy fear of God can draw them to Him in repentance. The fear is not to cause one to run from God, but to run to God for forgiveness and protection from His wrath. But also the love of God can cause them to run to Him for peace and comfort found only in faith in Christ. [Job 28:28; Matthew 11:28]

[2] I believe that when a Christian is disobedient in lifestyle, as in acting as a lost person by knowing what God has said but is living in open rebellion to it, God indeed will chasten them. God does not do this out of meanness, but out of love. As a loving father desires to see his child do well and enjoy good things, so much more is God the Father to His children. One should not get mad at God, but come to Him in repentance and obedience. [1 Corinthians 11:32; Hebrews 12]

[3] I believe that some things happen to Christians that are for examples to others, and not based on anything wrong they may have done. It is a test of faith, which brings them closer to God, and allows others (both believers and unbelievers) to see Christ through their obedience and character through unpleasant and sometimes unexplainable situations in life. [James 1:3; 1 Peter 1:7]

Regardless of which situation you find yourself, the thing to remember is that putting your trust in God is where we should start. Point the unbeliever and remind the believer of the grace and mercy found in God through the Savior Jesus Christ. [Romans 8:28]

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Mixed Breed: Angels & Mankind (Gen. 6 alt view)

This was sent in from a good pastor friend of mine and although we disagree about angels here, I believe it is a very good read and he supports it with scripture. Most will most likely find themselves following this view varried over what I have written in my last post. I have added a few notes of my own in blue. Please enjoy.

A reoccurring theme throughout the Old and New Testament is that believers are not to marry unbelievers. To do so would lead, in most cases, to corruption of godly morals and principles and there are examples of this in the Scriptures. King Solomon and his wives who lead him into idolatry. King Ahab and his marrying of Jezebel, In Malachi chapter 2; 10-16 the issue is addressed, In Ezra the daughters of the land were taken and were put away in repentance when the children of Israel returned to the Lord. Even some of the priest were considered corrupt because their blood lines were not pure (read Ezra Chapters 9-10) and of course, there is the passage you have chosen: Genesis 6 is another example of godly principles and values being lost through the marriage of believers and non- believers---that is why God said don't do it! (II Corinthians 6:14). The word Seth means appointed. Adam and Eve were given another seed (son) instead of Able whom Cain slew. Genesis 6:25. I think that does mean that Adam and Eve were given a son with a likeness of Abel. Personally, I think that was spiritually. Abel offered a more respectable sacrifice than Cain, Seth would have done like wise. Now, I know there is no biblical support for that other than Genesis 6:26 that after Seth bore Enos, then men began to call on the name of the Lord. I think call means to turn to or at least acknowledge. When the sons of God saw the daughters of men, I believe that it is referring to a godly race and the godly were corrupted by the ungodly. 1 rotten potatoe in a bag will make you think that all the potatoes are bad---the stink of one corrupts the rest. Same is true when Godly principles and values are compromised---America is a prime example of that. I do not believe the sons of God were angels, but if you do, you are in good company because I know many great people who think the same way---I just do not think it is right :-)

Yes, we can agree with the birth of Enos scripture declares men began to call on the name of the Lord, but I don't find scriptural support that all the lineage of Seth was godly and all the lineage of Cain was ungodly. Also, within the white pages, were Cain, Able, and Seth Adam and Eve's only male children? Although my friend does not agree about angels here, the fact that scripture clearly teaches against the saved and unsaved joining in marriage is undeniable.

You say that the case is weak against such a view, well, It is no more weak than the argument that these sons of God were angels, but the later seems to make far more sense. You asked: "And why would the joining of a saved person and a lost person produce giants and “mighty men which were of old, men of renown”? the word giants does not refer in this passage to men of great stature, it refers to men of status. I think that some of the worlds most deceptive men where of such; Hitler and Stalin were men of status and are renown, but there are others who are not so cruel and even fly under the banner of Jesus Christ, Benny Hinn, Jessie Duplantis and yes I will say it, Joel Olsteen. These are men of status who are deceiving and leading people away from the knowledge of God.

The view that I find weak is the thought that all the lineage of Seth was godly and all the lineage of Cain was ungodly.

As for God placing an enmity between Christ and Satan and causing men to sin and rebel, there is some truth to what you say. Because of sin, we are enemies of God. For those in Christ that enmity has been taken away (Romans 5). But, I think the Seed of Satan and the seed of the woman (the Messiah) go much further than just believer and unbeliever. Satan's seed is not just the unbeliever but also the Anti-Christ who is Satan incarnate. Christ (who is God incarnate) willl crush his head! He defeated Satan at the Cross through the resurrection from the dead and He will ultimately defeat him and cause Satan to be bruised under the feet of the saints of God---Romans 16:20.

What exactly are you suggesting here? What exaclty is meant by "the Anti-Christ who is Satan incarnate"? That he produces a seed, that he comes in the flesh, or will indwell (possess) an individual?

I can't follow your logic that it is God's fault that we sin and rebel against Him, but I can follow the fact that we won't we can't come to God. God must come to each of us and for those who are saved, God takes the initiative and the course of action. I think you would be hard pressed to make our sin and rebellion God's fault. You will have to twist a lot of Scripture to do that. It is this type of teaching that turns good people into hyper-Calvinist saying: it doesn't matter what I do, I do what I do because God made me this way and if God wants me to change He will change me. . . That puts no responsibility on the individual which violates much Scripture. I do not think the teachings on the Sovereignty of God were ever meant to be taken to such extremes. It was given to comfort the hearts and minds of God's people so they could learn to trust and worship Him no matter what! Not for a license to sin.

I did not clarify myself properly, it was supposed to be posed as a question and not as a fact that it is God's fault that we sin and rebel. We are sinners because Adam disobey God and has pasted that depravity down to all mankind, yet I still believe that the enmity (the punishment for sin as one put it) does cause us to run and rebel from God instead of causing us to run and cleave to God. I would never on purpose take the personaly responsibility of sin off of man and place it on God.

Just my take for what it is worth.

Thanks. Good stuff!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mixed Breed: Angels & Mankind

The topic for today will most likely bring forth entertainment, interest, and criticism. There will be those which accept it, those which reject it, and those which may never have heard of it, but rest assured this is not an original thought. The idea of how far one may take the supernatural realm is above and beyond for some, yet easily discarded by others, but scripture is indeed filled with miracles and the unexplainable. One only needs to read it.

We have set before us in Genesis 6:1-4:
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

First off we see “when men began to multiply on the face of the earth”, so we can conclude that there were already women (therefore daughters) alive at this time. We may also take note that it says “men began to multiply”.

Secondly we have the mention of “the sons of God”. Take note that the men begat daughters, but it is the sons of God which are looking upon them and taking wives. Also, interestingly, the phrase “sons of God” is only found five (5) times in the KJV: Genesis 6:2; Genesis 6:4; Job 1:6; Job 2:1; Job 38:7. Every reference in the OT is connected to angelic beings, and it is not until the NT that we find it referring to born again mankind. The only other OT mention is “the son of God” which Nebuchadnezzar is speaking of Christ in the midst of the flames with the three Hebrew children in Daniel 3:25. I realize that this point is debateable, but I use the KJV.

It has been argued that “the sons of God” are the lineage of Seth and “the daughters of men” are the lineage of Cain. Many claim that the idea that angels can/did mingle with man is laughable, but the lineage of Seth and Cain claim is very much a weak biblical argument with no evidence of support whatsoever. For one, if that be the case, one would have to claim that the entire male lineage of Seth were saved; which I highly doubt for the fact that only Noah, his wife, and his three sons and their wives were saved through the flood. And why would the joining of a saved person and a lost person produce giants and “mighty men which were of old, men of renown”?

We have in Jude 1:6: And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

We find it interesting that these angels kept not their first estate and are bound, yet there are those which indeed are free to roam and cause havoc as scripture records the casting out of such by Christ and others. Any guess would be speculation, but noticing in the context of Jude follows “Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh” in verse 7 and the mention of “filthy dreamers defile the flesh” and “dignities” in verse 8, an assumption that Genesis 6 and Jude 6 may actually have a connection deserves a look. Especially in the context of 1 Peter 3:18-20, with the mention of the “spirits in prison” “which sometime were disobedient” “in the days of Noah”.

Along the lines of the “spirits in prison” and “days of Noah” in 1 Peter 3:18-20, including what we have seen in Genesis 6 what led up to the flood, we also have Christ, Himself, telling us in Matthew 24:37, “as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

If that were not enough, we have the dream of Daniel. In Daniel 2:41-44 we have the toes of the statue which have foretold every great world kingdom that shall be of man. Interestingly here in verses 41-43, before the last kingdom before the return of Christ in verse 44, we find these words:

whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

Did you catch that? “they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men”. We are the clay, Genesis 2:7, could it not be that the angels are the iron?

As I close, I would like to leave you with one other point for you to consider, for by now I either have your interest or your mockery.

In Genesis 3:15, most, if not all, would agree we have the prophecy of Christ: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

We, mostly, agree that “her seed” is a reference to Christ, for Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit born of a virgin and is not of the seed of man (i.e. Adam). With that in mind, have you missed the two words before it?

thy seed”. Who is thy here? None other than Satan. One may quickly wish to say, “But that means anyone that is not born again” and you might even quote John 8:44, “Ye are of your father the devil”.

Okay, now that you have taken that stand, consider this. If “thy seed” is all those which are unbelievers, which indeed we were all at one time, God said, “I will put enmity” “between thy seed and her seed”. Enmity means, “a feeling or condition of hostility; hatred; ill will; animosity; antagonism.” It must then be God’s fault that we are sinners and rebels toward a Holy God and virtually impossible to come to Him, for He Himself has put it in us to be “hostility; hatred; ill will; animosity; antagonism.” toward Him.

Ouch! Where does that leave you?

UPDATE: 3/18/07
Let it be noted that the last paragraph was actually based as a question and not a statement. Although scripture clearly teaches enmity has been put there by God, it is not God's fault that we are sinners; for it was the sin of Adam which is the cause of sin brought to all of mankind. And if indeed "thy seed" refers to all unbelivers, how then shall they come of themselves which have within them such enmity of Christ?

Friday, March 16, 2007

From Sin, To Marriage

Scripture clearly teaches to flee youthful lust [2 Timothy 2:22] and flee fornication [1 Corinthians 6:18], which is to remain pure till the wedding bed. Although in this modern age of feel good, do it mentality it isn’t very popular, it still remains a clear biblical teaching from the Word of God.

My question today lies more with the moments following such an act of fornication takes place, than actually with the act itself. With this, I would like to consider three different situations, if you will, and finish by asking the question why do we treat each differently.

[1] We have a husband and wife in which one goes outside the marriage and commits fornication (also adultery). Once discovered, there of those of us which would tell them to forgive and reconcile, and those of us which would tell them to just leave the dirty party. Yet, if by chance, the fornication brings forth a child, do we ever tell one to leave their spouse to marry the father or mother of the child from fornication? I don’t recall such advice being given.

[2] We have a boy and girl that are submitting to their lust and committing fornication. Most of the time this may remain secret, but “be sure your sin will find you out” [Numbers 32:23]. Oftentimes by the slip of the tongue this is expose, but sometimes not for years down the line. Do we give counsel that these two should then be married? Usually we are disappointed or upset by the sin of fornication, and would rather wish it had never taken place and we usually pray that they will learn not to do it again until they are married.

[3] A baby is conceived by a boy and girl through the act of fornication. Neither is married and whether they are in love or not really has no bearing on the outcome. A baby will be born, unless there is an abortion which we are not considering at the moment. This is the same sin as the other two situations mentioned before, but we have two single people with a baby on the way. Does the sin of fornication between two single people, that brings forth the birth of a child, biblically demand or call for marriage?

All too often they are forced to get married while in the mist of so much bitterness and turmoil from family and friends. Ashamed and afraid, their lives have been forever changed by sin, fornication, sex outside of marriage.

I am not totally convinced that marriage is commanded biblically in such an account. I am not saying that they can not, but is it always the correct biblical counsel? What do you say?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hypocritical Hymn Singing

Although this also holds true of the praise & worship singing, I am partial to the old hymns so I chose to use them.

How often do we attend church tired, grumpy, depressed, angry, and any other emotion that over takes us for countless reasons by things we face in our lives? Instead of being spiritually, prayerfully prepared to worship a Holy God, we show up for personal prestige and duties sake.

We sing, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, while thinking of the SuperBowl; Amazing Grace, while gritting our teeth over what the neighbor said; It Is Well With My Soul, while we weep that the world is not treating us fair; Blessed Assurance Jesus Is Mine, while we dream of that person we want to be with; All To Jesus, while we fidget waiting for that final prayer to release us from the service.

We want to know why our churches are dying and not growing; why members leave and visitors don’t stay; why the preacher gets weary and the congregation gets tired.

We don’t need to build larger gyms; bring in all the entertainment; shorten the preaching and omit the words “sin” and “repent”; throw out the hymns and turn to music with only a feel good message; leave the old behind as we serve the young.

We need a revival in our heart to return to God; a life of prayer and obedience; a life of reading, studying, and meditating of scripture; a life of love for God and sharing the gospel with others; a life of singing and praising God from the heart and put a stop to Hypocritical Hymn Singing.

“New” Millennium, Where Are You

To my knowledge, there are three formal views, yet there are those which take bits and pieces from some or each, which do not fall completely into one category. If you would, I ask that you post which view you subscribe and maybe a small why description, that we may all see the “other” side. Thanks!

Below each, I have noted why I accept or reject each view.

postmillennial viewpoint—Christ’s Kingdom is spreading throughout the world, and God’s justice will prevail across the earth prior to Christ’s return. After his reign is established through his people for a long duration (not necessarily a literal thousand years), Christ will physically return to an already utopian world.

Simply knowing human history through the pages of scripture, I find it difficult to believe that mankind would have the spirituality and/or power to bind the workings of Satan to allow Christ to return to a “utopian world”.

premillennial viewpoint—which would include much of dispensational theology and the teaching of a variety of scholars throughout church history—the Millennium will be a literal thousand year reign of Christ, which will begin immediately upon his return when he defeats his enemies in the battle of Armageddon. During these thousand years, God’s promises of the Messiah’s earthly reign will be fulfilled. Redeemed Jews will live in their homeland, and (according to some teachings) the church will govern the world with Christ. The Millennium will end with a final rebellion, and the old Earth will be replaced by, or transformed into, the New Earth.

I personally subscribe to this view as the truth or at the least the closest to biblical truth. It appears to grasp or flow from scripture easily without any need to search, twist, or reach for biblical support.

amillennial viewpoint—including most Reformed theology and the teaching of many scholars throughout church history—the Millennium isn’t a literal thousand years, nor is it a future state. Rather, the events depicted in Revelation 20:3-7 are happening right now as Christ’s church reigns with him over the earth, in victorious triumph empowered by his death and resurrection. The saints rule over the earth from the intermediate Heaven, where they dwell with Christ.

I find fault with this view in conjunction with: Revelation 20:3, And cast him [Satan] into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

It appears to me that the nations have been and still are being deceived by Satan before, during, and after the crucifixion even up till today. I don’t see a time in history where Satan has been supposedly bound for any amount of time, nor do I believe we are currently in the “little season”.

panmillennial viewpoint—for the sake of a friend of mine that just believes “it will all pan out in the end”.

How can I disagree? We know Christ wins in the end.

Thank goodness we serve the God of gods, Lord of lords, and Kings of kings!

I have pulled the definitions of each from here, but I did not read the entire article.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Visiting Side Shows, Missing the Main Event

I am borrowing this topic from a comment our pastor used last Sunday in his message, although I am mostly likely taking a different route.

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; - Ephesians 4:14

I fear that modern Christianity (or a better term, “modern religionist”) is “aiding and abetting” in the lost world being “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine”. I fear many are missing the Main Event, a personal relationship with Christ, by spending too much time and energy at Side Shows.

People seem to flock to healings, tongues, baptisms, casting out devils, concerts, and how to get rich, yet where are they for preaching on sin and repentance, a life of obedience, and the teaching of doctrines and theology.

A thirst for an outward display of holiness, signs, and wonders appeal to the flesh, yet often yield no fruit in the spirit. Examples such as the Pharisees and the onlookers of the miracles which Christ performed give proof that such do not guarantee salvation to any.

Scripture declares, For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. - 1 Corinthians 1:22-24

Scriptures declares, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. - Romans 1:16

Signs and wisdom are the Side Shows which keep man from the Main Event. To be in awe and excited about signs and wisdom is not the same as to be in awe and excited about the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Scripture declares above in 1 Corinthians 1:22-24 that people seek signs and wisdom, yet the gospel of Christ is a stumbling block and foolishness to them.

Many seek after witchcraft, which is both magical (signs) and mysterious (wisdom), yet do not seek after Christ.

Scripture declares, But without faith it is impossible to please him - Hebrews 11:6

Searching for a sign and wisdom is not what God requires nor is what is needed to receive salvation and a personal relationship with God. Salvation requires faith.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. - Hebrews 11:1

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. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. - Ephesians 2:8-10

Are you enjoying the Main Event or just wasting your time and energy on Side Shows?

Which are you pointing others to?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hokey Pokey Christianity

Let me for a moment ask you to consider your Christian lifestyle. You know it better than anyone else. Only God knows us better than we know ourselves. We can sometimes lie to ourselves, but God is never the least bit fooled.

Have you fully given over your life to Christianity, to being Christ like, or do you have a Hokey Pokey Christianity?

You ask “What is Hokey Pokey Christianity? “ Well, I’ll tell you.

You put part of yourself in,
You take part of yourself out,
You put part of yourself in,
And shake it all about,
You do the Hokey Pokey Christian,
And you turn yourself around,
That’s what is all about.

If we claim to have had a salvation experience, a spiritual awakening, our sins forgiven, and are now a child of God– we need to act like it!

We don’t need to be in the church today and out of church tomorrow. Acting spiritual today and mimicking the devil tomorrow. How can we expect to be a witness, a light in darkness, if we are flakey in our Christian walk?

Showing up on Sunday morning so the people can see how spiritual you are, but living like the devil from Monday thru Saturday is a Hokey Pokey Christianity.

Christianity should be our lifestyle, not just a silly dance.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Browbeating Christianity

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. - Ephesians 4:11-16

God, in His infinite wisdom, has given the Church those in leadership positions within the local church for both our protection and our sanctification. From childhood to adulthood, if one has attended church at all, one should be able to recall their Sunday school teacher. Within the Sunday school atmosphere there is, or should be, a more intimate setting found within the smaller group than that which is found during the preaching hour of the worship service. Maybe one can recall their Vacation Bible School teacher that taught them during the summer vacations from school. What about the evangelist that comes in for Revivals to move and stir the hearts of the members to be again on fire for God? Then there is the pastor, the man that people love but watch like a hawk, listen to but talk about behind his back, support yet don’t really want to give total control over to him.

Scripture tells us, as a congregation to, “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.” [Hebrews 7:13] and “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” [Hebrews 13:17]. Should we not allow the pastor to be the pastor? Not in blind obedience, mind you, but if we have prayed and believe we have the pastor that indeed God wants the church to have and we have joined the church, therefore submitting ourselves under his pastoral authority; should we not give him the freedom to teach and preach that which the Spirit may give him without the man of God needing permission from us and our investigations with a fine tooth comb?

As the pastor should expect the freedom to teach and preach as the Spirit leads, without being browbeat by the congregation, committees, WMU, or deacons, we should expect him to use the pulpit as an instrument of instruction and not an instrument of browbeating the people of the church. Christ declared, “Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” [Matthew 20:25-28].

The pastor is not the church’s slave, but our protector in that Scripture declares, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.” [2 Timothy 4:2] for “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” [2 Timothy 3:16-17].

Clearly the pastor is to be longsuffering with the congregation and to teach them by the use of Scripture, not by browbeating dictatorship. This most often leads to scared outwardly obedience and the bondage of legalism, while all the while creating rebellion within the heart of the inner man with the lack of doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction found in Scriptural teaching and preaching. Browbeating preaching causes some to leave and some to follow, but neither go away with a personal conviction of what is being taught; those which agree only leave with a mindset of the pastor’s conviction and when questioned, find themselves lacking both Spiritual insight and Scriptural support.

Browbeating preaching leaves God and scripture out and the pastor’s ideas and dictatorship a must, as with browbeating Christianity leaves the browbeater(s) in charge of the pastor’s mouth and leaves Christ and the Holy Spirit sitting on the sidelines.

We as the church should love and cherish our pastor and teachers and realize that they spend their time and energy in prayer and study to bring us the Word of God that “we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive”.

As pastors, I pray that you give us not just opinions, but “the truth in love” and “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine” with the love Christ.

Browbeating Christianity is really no Christianity at all, and I haven’t even mentioned the browbeating we give one another out in the congregation. Oh how we need a revival!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe : Bible Choices

If you walk into any Christian bookstore today, you will come across a wide variety of selections labeled “Holy Bible”. There is the KJV, NKJV, NIV, ESV, NASV, and the list seems almost limitless if one took the time to list them all. Then there are the topical, reference, parallel, and study editions of each. The market is flooded with bibles, yet ignorance of what is contained within seems on the rise.

Without getting too technical, I would like to get your opinion as to what version you choose and why. I may return to this topic with a small discussion of texts, but for the present, please give input to what you personally like most about your choice of version, style (reference, etc.) and why.

Oh, me personally: I enjoy reading the King James Bible. I purchased one from http://www.lewisbibles.com/ a good while back. It was the wide margin, cow hide leather, edition which they don’t sell anymore. It contained no study notes or references, except for a concordance in the back. I also have used the Old Scofield wide-margin edition, but it was like carrying an encyclopedia (ha!). I now have the Scofield III, which was given to me by the church at my ordination as deacon. I do like wide margins for note taking.

Looking forward to your comments, which may actually open our eyes to things we haven’t personally thought of.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Most everyone has most likely heard the word spyware, if not have also enjoyed trying to remove it from their computer system. Here are some snippets of information concerning spyware: it is often used interchangeably with adware and malware (software designed to infiltrate and damage a computer respectively); they watch and observe for advertising purposes; occurs in the background and the data is used for "targeted" advertisement impressions; gets on a system through deception of the user or through exploitation of software vulnerabilities.

Surely one has heard of the brain being the most powerful super computer [Man Vs Machine]. One of the first things one may learn as a programmer is, “Garbage in, garbage out.” The computer does what it is programmed and/or told to do. We are always adding things to our minds by things we see and hear. Although we may not always be able to quickly recall all the information, it is still in there somewhere.

For this cause, we need to limit the “garbage” we allow to be recorded in our brain. Because this information is still in there somewhere, whether we are able to recall it or not, it will most likely “pop-up” at the most inopportune times. Then we are not only corrupted by the initial viewing, but now the “pop-up”. As advertisement goes, these “pop-ups” will appear beautiful, vividly colored, enticing, and playing toward our lusts which they know all too well. How often when we try to pray to God, study His Word, and think on good things do we find those “lost files” popping up their ugly head?

Although we are unable to rid our system of these “wares”, for a complete re-format/system upgrade will only occur for the saved when we see Christ [1 Corinthians 15:49-52], there are a couple of things that we may do.

Remember the little song you may have learned as a child? “Be careful little eyes what you see. Be careful little ears what you hear.”

2 Timothy 2:22, Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

2 Corinthians 10: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Our only “Internet Security” is obedience to God. This means a life of prayer, study, witness; a lifestyle of Christianity.

Deuteronomy 6: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

Don’t let the spyware cause a complete system failure.

1 Corinthians 9: 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Faith is Risen Anew (Letting Go, Part 2)

Fearful and shaking, awaiting death’s call
Alone and cold, curled in a ball
Memories of family, thoughts of friends
Tears in the eyes, awaiting the end
Hope all but lost, faith fading from sight
Defeat is admitted – Yet – out from the light
A man stands looking, with his arms held out
The child hears their name, as the man cries out
Startled with unbelief, a dream it must be
A familiar face, comes before the child to see
My child I have found you, after seeking so long
Come unto me, so I may take you home
A groaning in the flesh, appeals it’s not true
But from the spirit comes belief, Faith is Risen Anew
The heart begins to patter, as a new born babe
Arms reach out to embrace, the one who’s come to save
Cold and hungry, thirsty and weak
The man lifts up the child, and kisses the cheek
“Take this bread, and water I give
It will nourish your soul, and let you live
Also this set, of new clean clothes
To replace your garment, that is full of holes”
Tears fill the child’s eyes, as the man just smiles
“Come with me now, we must travel many miles”
Carried by the man, all burdens are lifted
Entering his arms, they seem to be shifted
All the worries and pains of this life
Seemed to be gone, and vanish from sight
Not deserved, but greatly loved
The power of a friend, from up above
Mercy and grace, with longsuffering
Love came from heaven, to heal the unclean
Prayers are answered, salvation is claimed
The blind and deaf, are healed and changed
From the bonds of Satan, to the cross of Christ
Brought from the darkness, into the light
Family reunited, true friends revealed
A new understanding, that God’s Word is real
Never forgetting, from where they have come
To remind them forever, of what God has done


Monday, March 05, 2007

Letting Go (Part 1)

Lost and so afraid, a child sits all alone
In the pouring rain, far away from home
No dad – No mom – Only clinging to one’s self
Barely holding on to life, so very close to death
The body tired and so worn out, unhappy and distressed
Not even strength enough to move, a struggle for each breath
Eyes closed shut from pure exhaustion, head so full of pain
Arms marked up with tracks of needles, clothes are torn and stained

It really wasn’t long ago, that things were not this way
A warm and loving family and home cooked meals each day
Rebellion came within the child, to make a dare decision
More was waiting out there for them; to leave home was their mission
Dad and mom didn’t understand, and neither did the preacher
The world would gladly welcome them, so who needed schools and teachers
Plenty of others had gone before, and gladly showed the way
For through the words of longtime friends, a soul was led astray

So now it’s come to this – hungry, cold, and afraid
For where have all the friends gone to – some moved, some passed away
The joy of freedom, where is it – which once was solely sought
Has disappeared without a trace, and seems all hope is lost
How a touch or familiar voice, is anxiously awaited
The faintest hope, a desperate wish, with family to be reacquainted
If only they could see them now, surely they would know
They wish that they had clung before, instead of Letting Go.

10/5/ 2000

Richard asks us, "To Know Him"
Bro. Szekely asks us to meet his, "Sister, Wisdom"

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Missed Opportunities

What you are about to read is actual events, but the names have been changed to protect the innocent. (I think this came from a television program.)

I know a girl we shall call Sally. Sally knows a guy we shall call John. Apparently they have known each other for a while (just friends, mind you), but I have only recently met John when we were over at Sally’s house working on some things she needed done.

We needed some material from Lowe’s, so John asked me if I would like to ride. I said sure, and we head off. On the way there I asked him if he went to church around here anywhere (which is not anywhere close to where I live). He said the last time that he went to church was when he was back home at his grandmother’s church. He said, “I keep hoping Sally will invite me.”

Instantly, this stunned me.

Not because he hadn’t been to church, for I could easily condemn him and ask why he hasn’t just invited himself or found another church to go to. If he really wanted to go to church wouldn’t he just go?

Not because Sally hadn’t asked him, for I could easily condemn her for not being a Christian witness and for knowing this guy and never asking him to go to church with her. Apparently never witnessing either, or surely church would have entered somewhere into the conversation.

I was stunned for I began to wonder how many Missed Opportunities have I had? How many times have I passed up the opportunity to witness and how many people have I failed to invite to church or share with them the glorious gospel of salvation found through faith by grace in the Lord Jesus Christ?

How many Missed Opportunities have been on purpose (due to laziness, afraid, too busy, etc.) and how many have been without even realizing it (due to being in my own world, not spiritually minded, not in a state of prayer, not in tune with the Spirit of God, etc.)?

By this incident, may I learn from my mistakes and may God forgive me and make me more aware of the spiritual warfare and lost souls around me.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Am I One of the Elect

The simple answer:
If you have accepted by faith the gospel of Jesus Christ, that He was delivered for our offences, was buried, and was raised again for our justification, then indeed yes you are of the Elect.

There is no special formula or hidden message in the scriptures to identify the Elect of God. “Elect” is not a dirty word and should never be treated as one. “Elect” means “chosen or selected”, so it should carry a sweet smell that indeed we are chosen, selected, and most importantly loved by God.

Being of the Elect does have great benefits: He shall gather them up by His angels when the time is right [Matthew 24:31]; He has shortened the tribulation period [Matthew 24:24]; He shall not allow them to be deceived in the end [Mark 13:22]; He shall avenge them [Luke 18:7]; He will have no one lay charge upon them [Romans 8:33]; He knew us by foreknowledge, sanctified us by the Spirit, cleansed us by the blood of Christ [1 Peter 1:2]; and these are just a few. Read the Manual and you will find many, many more.

Being of the Elect does not authorize us to be proud: We are not given the authority or privilege to walk about with our chest held out and our nose in the air as if we have attained that which others have not. This is not a club or lodge whereby we have earned our title by works of the flesh. “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.” [Ephesians 2:8, 9] We should be in a continual state of humility and obedience for the simple fact that God has chosen to give grace and mercy over justice.

Being of the Elect carries great responsibility: One is to love God with all their heart, soul, and mind [Matthew 22:37] and obey Him [Acts 5:29]; One is to love thy neighbor as thyself [Matthew 22:39] and thy enemies [Matthew 5:43-45], and forgive them [Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 18:22]; One is to spread the gospel by witnessing [Mark 16:15] and being a light in darkness [Matthew 5:16]. If we fail to be obedient, we shall be chastened of the Lord [1 Corinthians 11:32].

There is no reason to sit around and wonder if you are of the Elect or not. One needs only to obey scripture by putting their faith in the finished work of Christ. Don’t worry about if the Father is going to call you, whether the Spirit is going to convict you, and whether Christ will accept you. All one needs to do repent of your sin and come to Christ in faith believing He can take care of all the details!

John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.