Why do Calvinists Evangelize?

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  1.  God commands it in His word. Mark 16:15 (NASB) 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
  2.  He ordains the ends and the means.
  3.  At that moment in time, it is not apparent to us who is among the elect.  If we share the gospel with a person who is among the elect, but it is not their due time to be regenerated, then they will reject the gospel.  If it is their time, they will respond with repentance and faith, that are also granted by God.  If we share the gospel with a person who is not among the elect, no matter when in their life they hear it, they will never respond with true repentance and faith.  Even a person who is not among the elect could affirm the gospel intellectually, but never be truly converted.

If people would look into the history of modern evangelism, they would see that many of the memorable evangelists have been Calvinists.

Calvinist Evangelists

  1.   The Apostle Paul 🙂
  2.   George Whitefield
  3.   David Brainerd
  4.   William Carey
  5.   Charles Spurgeon
  6.   C.T. Studd
  7.   Jonathan Edwards
  8.   Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones
  9.   Francis Schaeffer
  10.   Francis Chan

Just to name a few.  Oh, and before you get all persnickety and claim that some of the people on the list were Pastors, or theologians, remember they also evangelized.  Spurgeon said, “Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.”  While we are at it, we all are sinners.  We have broken God’s laws and are guilty.  Repent from your sins.  Turn from them and obey God’s word.  Believe on the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, where He atoned for your sin.  Don’t put your faith in your own efforts or works to save you.  You can never satisfy the requirements of God’s righteousness, but Jesus did.  His righteousness can be credited to you if you will repent and trust in Him.

A Review of the E.S.V. Reader’s Gospels in Black Top Grain Leather Over Board Hardback Edition.

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Alright folks, with the recent release of the ESV 6 volume Reader’s set, I thought you might like to read a review about this Reader’s edition of the Gospels.  It would be a less expensive way for you to see if you want to shell out the bucks for the entire 6 volume set.  Maybe you don’t want the entire set, just the gospels?  Whatever the case may be, I offer this review up for your information and pleasure.

The Reader’s edition is an interesting concept.  There are no chapter or verse numbers.  There are no cross references or footnotes.  The paragraph format is done according to where new paragraphs would start in English.  The books are typically arranged other than that.  The only way to tell where you are in a book, is by using the index in the back in conjunction with the page numbers.  All of this is to accomplish the mission of a reader’s edition, to remove obstacles or impediments for the reader.

I find that as I read, I lose track of my progress.  I tend to read more in this volume.  Some of it is due to the lack of chapter and verse numbers, as well as the lack of cross references and footnotes.  While some of the other design and layout features contribute to it as well.  For instance, Crossway utilized a high quality, cream colored, uncoated, heavyweight paper more commonly seen in hardback novels.  It is 80 g.s.m. and you can hardly see through it at all.  The font is 12 pt. in size.  It is sharp and clear.  It is laid out in a single column.  This edition is truly meant to be read through like a book.  There is nothing in between you and the text.  I could go on and list all of the cool features of this edition, and I will, but I want to make sure you understand what the point is.  Reading and experiencing the gospels in a more fluid and retainable way was the goal, and Crossway achieved it.  Bonus is that there is no eyestrain, or headache after a long reading session.

So now that you know how accessible this makes the gospel, let’s look at some pictures and hear about some features of the construction.

The Bible was shipped from Crossway, and well packaged.  It arrived undamaged.

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This volume comes in a nice heavy slipcase.  It is intended to be kept, and used for storing this volume in when not being used.

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Once it is out of the box, the first thing you’ll notice is how soft the topgrain leather is.  If you don’t like leather over board, or if you want a Reader’s edition with a smaller price tag while retaining the same text block, you could get it with cloth over board.

Legatoria Editoriale Giovanni Olivotto or L.E.G.O. for short did a wonderful job printing and binding this book.  They are gaining some serious notoriety amongst quality book and Bible collectors here in the states.  Jongbloed in the Netherlands might have some competition in text block production if they don’t watch out 🙂

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Here is a good close up of the cover.

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You’ll notice the page edges are not gilt.  There are decorative head and tail bands in gold and black.  The spine has, “The Gospels” at the head, the ESV logo below that, “English Standard Version” after that, and the Crossway logo at the foot in gold.  There are also four ornamental spine hubs.

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Here is a picture of the inside of this casebound hardcover.

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The book names, headings, and drop caps are printed in an appealing red text.

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I took a picture of one page, separate from the others, and with light behind it so you could see how thick and opaque it is.  I’d never heard of Munken Premium Cream woodfree paper before, but after seeing it I’m sold.

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Here is another picture of the wonderful paper, 12 pt. font, and the crimson colored ribbon marker.

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From this picture you can also see the fat signatures with the ribbon laying on top of the page.

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Of course, like you’d expect on a high quality book, the spine is sewn.  This ensures a durable, and useable binding.

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Of course my favorite picture is the one where I am reading it.

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After reading from this edition, I am eager to purchase the 6 volume set.  I will probably get the cloth over board due to the price.  I am looking at getting the new Schuyler Personal NASB Quentel when it comes out this year, so I have to save my money 🙂  That way I can get both.  I would highly recommend getting this for anyone wanting to try a reader’s edition out.  It is one thing to know the concept, but another to live with it for a while.  Make sure to look at the rest of the pictures I took of this edition on my flikr page.  You can also read about more of the details on Crossway’s product page.  You can purchase your copy at Christianbook or Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

ISBN-13: 9781433549823

Material and Formal Heresy.

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Material heresy is forgiven with all of your other sins upon justification. During your sanctification as you mature you will repent from any material heresies you believed and conform to orthodoxy. I didn’t understand the Trinity at all as a young Christian and when I came to understand that partialism was a heresy I repented. I was a regenerated justified believer, but was wrong about the Trinity, until someone explained it in a way I could understand. A formal heretic would reject orthodoxy even after correction and discipline, proving they were false converts to begin with.  (this is a general answer for all incorrect understandings that new believers might have, given they are true converts.)

Accusing, “White people” of racism is racist.

Nubians, Ethiopians, Kenyans, Creole, Mulatto, Irish, Rus, Mediterranean, Norse, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Manchurian…. Believe it or not, we could say these are all different races or they are all the same. There are definite distinctions between one of these peoples and the others, but they are all human. Accusing, “White people” of racism is racist. Don’t you know not all white people are the same? Look into how the Polish, Irish, and Italian immigrants were treated during the industrial revolution in America. Look into how Armenian people were treated by the Turks. How about how Hitler and the Nazis treated the Jews? White on white racism. While all you snowflakes are hating a homogenous, “White people” you are proving just as racist as the Nazis you are claiming we are emulating. We are all humans. People, individuals, nations, made by God for His glory. Repent and believe in the finished work of Christ on the cross! Find unity and identity in Jesus.

Mermaids, Vikings, and Marriage.

My Wife of 25 years has taken to whimsically fancying herself to be akin to a mermaid, a beautiful creature of the sea, sunning herself on a jutting rock. She has developed some new emotional affinity with her notion of the ocean.(I thank you.) Something about it resonates with her. When I am given to whimsy, sometimes I see myself as a strong Viking, boldly standing on the bow of my dragon ship, crashing through the waves, with the wind blowing my beard back, and my sword trailing down my side. When we were young I used to write her love notes. I’d pretend to be the Viking Sven, and I would tell her how I was going to raid her village and take her away with me. I would tell her how I would make her one of my people, my family would be hers. I’ve never stopped being the Viking in love. She used to be my Olga of the neighboring village. She still is my Viking princess, even after 25 years of being married. There is something ironic about her new found identity. Mermaids lure sailors to their death with their beauty, and siren’s songs. Well, Vikings are sailors after all. I wonder dear woman, didst thou deceive me those many years ago, or have you just grown a new tale? I realized which word I used, and I meant to do that… Think about it.

Traditionalists of the Southern Baptist Convention, (SBC and their Attacks on Calvinism.

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As of late, you may have noticed some personal attacks on Calvinists, and on Calvinism in general coming from men within the SBC.  These men are calling themselves, “Traditionalists.”  I wonder whose traditions they are identifying with?  I wonder if they know the real history of the SBC?  I wonder if they understand that their roots are in Calvinism?  I wonder, when they accuse us of following traditions of men, if they ever look at themselves and their own traditions?  The following two sections of scripture are about the Pharisees and their hypocritical keeping of traditions.  It is identified as wrong, and not to be emulated.

Colossians 2:8 (NASB) 8  See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

Mark 7:8-9 (NASB) 8 Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”
9 He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.

This section of scripture is about imitating Paul as he imitates Christ.  This tradition is good, and to be kept.

1 Corinthians 11:1-2 (NASB) 1  Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.

So call yourself a traditionalist if you like.  I don’t care.  Hate the doctrines of grace, if that is how you think.  Chase all of us evil Calvinists out of the SBC, but I’ve got news for you, we’ve been the theologically conservative salt in your denomination.  When we leave, you will fly headlong down the road to liberalism and eventual irrelevance.

Snowed in, with a bad back, and an inauguration to watch.

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The last few days have been interesting. So much snow, that my gas furnace and on demand water heater both had their roof-top exhausts covered completely with snow. I didn’t want frozen pipes or a frozen house, so I had to get the exhausts cleared and call some professionals to get the over 3 ft. of accumulated snow off my roof. Thanks Arturo Martinez for all your hard work. If anyone needs some snow removed from their roof, message me and I’ll send you his number. The next morning of fun was realizing the pets could not go outside to do their business. I began to dig them a patch of ground out and wrenched my back. It gave me time to ponder deep topics like, “Will it get better or worse? Will I be able to get to work Monday? How many ibuprofen have I already taken?” One thing is for sure, is that the will of God will be done. This brings me to the inauguration. 4 and 8 years ago, I trusted in the will of God when the pro-abortion, (a.k.a. baby killing) perversion promoting, (LGBT nonsense) Barry Soetoro a.k.a. (Barack Obama) took office and kept it. Even while I wondered how people could condone the evils of perversion, (LGBT) perverse marriage, (Gay Marriage… no such thing) abortion, and socialist totalitarianism, I was comforted by the knowledge that God is sovereign and in control of all things, including the political leadership of this country. I honestly believe we were getting the leaders we deserved as an unrepentant people. We have been calling good evil and evil good for fat too long to keep on experiencing the blessings of God. Instead, for 8 long years or corrosive evil leadership, we were under the discipline of God. I hope that the people have repented, and we will be experiencing a reprieve. God willing, may America be blessed once more. I would ask all of you to repent of your sin, put your faith in the finished work of Christ, and seek God’s glory and will first and foremost in the years to come.

Struggling With Doubt, or Not a Care in the World?

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None of us are sinlessly perfect.  Everyone of us is aware of a specific sin in our lives.  Some of us wonder if we are even saved because of that specific sin that is in our lives.  Some of us are at war with the sin, while others are complacently allowing for it.  Which group are you in?

We are endangered when we count on our own efforts to fight the sin, and then failing time and time again, only to have doubt come in and rob us of our assurance, or we justify our sin away as if it is only a trifle, no big deal, everyone does it, and we allow for it instead of fighting against it.  We count on grace to keep us safe.  Both ways of thinking are wrong.  We should be at war with our sins, knowing that Christ has won the war against sin once and for all.  It is our lot to stand in front of the enemy before us and engage in the fight with all we have, resting in the knowledge that the outcome of the war has already been secured even if we fail in our battle time and time again, but with practice and provision from the Holy Spirit, and God’s word, we should be strengthened.  God will sanctify us, and mature us out of that fight into another fight.  We will keep fighting sin until we die, and are resurrected into a glorified body, that will only do that which is pleasing to God.

If you find yourself in the other group, using grace as a license for sin, sitting back in defeat, without a hope of ever growing, don’t give in.  Now is the time to stand up and fight.  Don’t prove you were never saved at all.  Don’t harden your heart to the calling of the Holy Spirit to get in the fight.  Don’t have a false assurance of your conversion.  “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you [a]fail the test?” 2 Cor 13:5  You might experience a pleasant surprise.  If you get back in the fight, repent and ask Christ to forgive you, He will.  You can have assurance of your salvation.  You can know you are saved.  You can know through the fight, successes and failures, that drive you back to the cross again and again for grace.  Don’t focus on you and your fight.  Focus on Christ and His fight.  Focus on His victory over sin, death and the grave.  Focus on His victory imputed to you by faith and enjoy the peace between you and God in the midst of the violent war against sin in your life.

The Deity of Christ from the Old Testament for our Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, and Muslim friends, part 2.

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Today we are going to pick up where we left off from the last article you can read it here.  Earlier we examined Genesis 15:1-2 to see that the Word of the Lord is God.  We also connected these verses with John 1:1-18 to see that the Word is Jesus.  Today we are going to look at Genesis 15:3-7 which will reinforce our previous assertion that the Word of the Lord is God, Jesus is the Word, and Jesus is God.  [The text in the brackets is mine.]  The blue text indicates who is doing the action and the red is what is being done.

Genesis 15:3-7 (NASB) 3 And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” 4 Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying,

[If you notice, the person doing the talking is identified as “the word of the Lord.”  You can tell he is a person because he is, “saying.”  The word of the Lord is speaking to Abram.]

“This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” 5 And He took him outside and said,

[Notice the Word is referred to as, “He.”  What did He do?  He, “took him outside and said…”  How can anyone look at these verses and not come to the conclusion that the Word of the Lord is God, and how can they, in light of John 1:1-18 not see that Jesus is the Word and He is God?]

“Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6  Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. 7 And He said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it.

If this isn’t enough, I’ll post some more later on.  Study the word, to know the Word, and His intent.  Knowing Him is knowing God.  To know God, and be known by Him, to be His adopted child and heir, is to be saved by this Triune God’s grace according to His sovereign will, regenerating and indwelling by His Spirit, and the justifying work on the cross of His Son.

The Deity of Christ from the Old Testament for our Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, and Muslim friends.

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I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the same accusation from Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons (LDS), and Muslims.  They claim that Jesus is not God, but a god, good man, prophet, teacher, and so on.  I think it is great that we can always go to the word of God to let it make the defense.  Charles Spurgeon was quoted as saying, “The Word of God is like a lion. You don’t have to defend a lion. All you have to do is let the lion loose, and the lion will defend itself.”  I agree with him.

With that being said let’s take a look at Genesis 15:1-2, and John 1:1-18.

In Genesis 15:1-2 we see that the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision. Now, you don’t hear a vision. You see it. Some people would insist that this is just Abram hearing God speak to him, but this is actually the preincarnate Christ appearing to Abram in a vision, and speaking to him. Abram said, “…O LORD God…” or אֲדֹנָי ’ăḏônây; an emphatic form of âḏôn; or (shortened) אָדֹן ’adon; from an unused root (meaning to rule); sovereign, i.e. controller (human or divine): — lord, master, owner. Compare also names beginning with “Adoni-”.; the Lord (used as a proper name of God only): — (my) Lord. In this section of God’s word ăḏônây is used in conjunction with יְהוָֹה yhwh; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; name of God: — the Lord. So essentially he is saying, Adonai YHWH or Sovereign eternal self-existent one and only true God.  It is obvious that Abram believed the word of the LORD to be the one true, eternal, and self-existent God.

We can look at John 1:1-18 and see who John said the Word of God is. Again, it is obvious that Jesus is the Word.

John 1:1-18 (NASB) 1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2  He was in the beginning with God. 3  All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4  In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5  The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
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6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7  He came  as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. 8   He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.
9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13  who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
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14 And the Word became flesh, and  dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John *testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18  No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

Jesus is not a god like the Mormons say.  He was not Michael the angel transfigured like the Jehovah’s Witnesses would tell you.  He was not just a prophet like Muslims claim.  If there is any doubt now that Jesus is the Word, and the Word is God, it is not due to lack of evidence.  It is due to disbelief.  May God grant you true and saving faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord and God.