Apologetics · mormonism · Theology

The L.D.S. Articles of faith shown in error contrasted with the truth of the Bible.

Today we are going to look at the Latter Day Saint’s Articles of Faith, written by their prophet Joseph Smith, to see how it conflicts with Orthodox Christianity.  It is important to note how they use the same words we do, but define them very differently.

The Articles of Faithof The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Chapter 1

1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Joseph Smith.

The first one seems alright until you ask them to define their terms, then we see the vast chasm that separates them from the true faith.

1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

Their father was once a man named Elohim (which is amusing because Elohim is the Hebrew word for god)  This man followed the doctrines of the LDS faith so well that he became an exalted man, then the god who rules this solar system.  According to the LDS faith, he has a flesh and bone body and is a caucasian.  When they say he is eternal they only mean that he was part of the eternal energy and intellect.  They only believe that matter and intellect are eternal.  They believe that Elohim was the son of his parents as they were children of their parents and so on approaching infinity.  In that sense, they call him eternal.  They believe that Jesus is actually his son through sexual copulation and that the holy spirit is simple the spirit of the father.

2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

They deny man’s inherited sin nature in Adam, conflicting with what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15 as Adam being our federal head.  Denial of total depravity also helps them justify other abhorrent beliefs.

3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

They deny limited atonement and affirm that man’s salvation is by his obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.  It must be noted that they do not mean the moral law of the Bible, and they do not mean the gospel of Christ when they refer to, “ordinances of the gospel.”  They are talking about their own set of laws and ordinances that their prophets have made up and recorded for them to follow.  Thus their salvation is one of works not grace for grace is unmerited favor and by definition can not be of our own being.  This belief is also in direct conflict with the Bible for we know, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Again this sounds good until you find out what they believe about Jesus, the gospel, faith, repentance, baptism and the laying on of hands.  I’ve already explained that their jesus is a created being who is not God.  Their gospel is a list of works and doctrines that must be obeyed so it is no good news at all.  Read their book, “Doctrines and Covenants” if you want to understand what they call the gospel.  The Christian gospel, εὐαγγέλιον-euangelion, or good message is one of salvation by grace, not adherence to a moral code written by a false prophet.  Their repentance is not the repentance that leads to life, because theirs is the one that leaves them dead.  They have a works righteous repentance where they admit wrongdoing and attempt in their own dead flesh to not do it again.  As we know the repentance that leads to life is actually the repentance of their type of repentance.  For someone to truly be LDS they must be baptised into the cult.  It is a necessity.  In Christianity baptismal regeneration is a heresy.  They believe in apostolic succession.  This is also a false teaching.  We know there are no more Apostles in the same sense as the ones who were with the incarnate Christ and sent by Him to build the Church upon Him as the rock.  We also know that the Holy Spirit indwells all regenerate believers.  

5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

This also sounds good until you understand what they mean.  Their god can call nobody, because he doesn’t exist.  Their god is a fictional character imagined by Joseph Smith.  The only people who can be leaders in their cult are those who have been approved by the men who have already been firmly entrenched into their cult.

6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

Smith uses the phrase, “so forth” without being specific about other offices they affirm.  It is almost as if he was just too lazy and didn’t want to look into it.  Again he is using words that are in the Bible and redefining them.  One who is sent with a message is an apostle according to the Bible in a sense all Christians are apostles.  We are not Apostles in the sense of, “The Apostles.”  A person who declares the reality of what God says as actual truth is a Prophet.  Prophets who declared portions of God’s word that had not occurred yet are not predicting the future like a fortune teller.  If God says something is going to happen it has already happened we just haven’t gotten that far down the timeline yet.  Modern Prophets are just reading the Bible out loud.  We have the complete word of God given to us in the Bible, there is no more to come.  Jesus perfectly fulfilled the role of Prophet, as He is the Word made flesh.

7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

Of course they affirm all sorts of extra-biblical revelation.  It is the only way they can justify believing the lies of Joseph Smith and all of the other false prophets of their faith.

8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

Here is the kicker.  It seems fine, and you might even agree that the Bible does need to be translated correctly, but that is not how they use this.  Whenever you bring up a conflict between what the false doctrines of the LDS are and show them the Bible they default to this article.  “Oh the Bible has been corrupted here and it wasn’t properly translated.”  They, like so many cults and satan in Genesis call people to doubt the word of God.  Satan tempted Eve by telling her God’s word is not true and that she could become like God.  It is interesting that the LDS say the same thing satan said.  Genesis 3:1-7 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.”

9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

The LDS are continuationists in the extreme sense.  They don’t just believe in continued miracle healings like our charismatic brother, but exceed that of acceptable doctrine by preaching extra-biblical revelations and more revealed truths that supercede and abrogate the word of God that we have.

10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

That’s right, you read it correctly, Joseph Smith wrote there were only 10 tribes.  What happened to the other 2?  They believe that there were 10 lost Hebrew tribes that fled to America in antiquity.  They also believe that ‘Merica! is going to be where the New Jerusalem will be…  Come on? Really?  I know, I know, it baffles the mind, but this is what they believe.  When you are a false prophet you can say just about anything even stuff that is flat out fiction.

11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

This is a pretty relativistic statement in practice.  It sounds innocuous enough to be non-threatening, but if they truly believe this why do they send out missionaries?

12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

Interesting that there is no clause to disobey the government when it is compelling the people to disobey God.  The Bible is pretty clear that we stop obeying the government when it tells us to disobey God.  Like their 11th article it is a product of the time.  During this period in American history mormons were seen as a dangerous cult.  They were forced out of cities and towns as they followed their outlaw leaders who were  horse thieves, and crooks.  They were not well liked or respected due to their insane beliefs and practices.

13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Joseph Smith attempts to tie it all up here and put a pretty spin on things, but let’s see what they really pursued, polygamy, false prophecies that never came true, false prophets whose prophecies they built their faith on, immoral ceremonial practices, oh oh and, “So forth” (I’m kidding, I won’t do to you what Joseph Smith did to you) works righteousness in a graceless man-centered system, they have believed the lie instead of the truth, a false jesus who is a creation and can not save from sin, and a god who is not eternal.

Apologetics · evangelism

To all my Family and Friends, who Think I am a Religious Fanatic,

To all of my family and friends, who think that I have become too religious, fanatical, or that I am one of those Christians who push their religion down everyone’s throat’s, please consider this; If I truly believe what the Bible says about Hell, if I believe all people who have not repented of sin and put their faith in Christ are going to spend eternity in Hell, having the wrath of God poured out on them forever, and I just live my happy little life without warning you of the Hell to come for you, how is that loving? I would be actively hating you and not obedient to God. My love for Him and you compels me to warn you! Wake up! A faith in God is fine. Everyone believes in God. Even the devil and the demons believe in God so you are in the company of demons, congratulations. The Faith that saves is more than just an intellectual affirmation that God exists and you believe in Him. You might even affirm that Jesus is God and that He died for your sins, that won’t save you either. Many people sit in Church on Sunday and say they believe, but they have not been crucified with Christ. They have not been born again as a new person. They don’t even understand what that means, because it hasn’t happened to them. They think they are, but they can’t know until God has regenerated them, and justified them, granting them true faith and repentance that leads to life. You can believe in God and live the same life you were before, because you don’t truly believe what He says, or what He has done. Truly believing in God means you will believe what He says and live life according to His truth. So what you do will seem strange to everyone who does not trust what He says in His word. If I explain to you how a parachute works and how you are to use it, but if you act as if you don’t truly believe me or trust me, or the parachute, when the airplane is in trouble, you will sit in your seat and hope for the best as you plummet to your death. If what I had told you changed your thinking towards the parachute, you will put it on and use it. Faith applied in action is true faith. It must change you. You must behave as it is true. If I were the only one who could truly see that there was a pit of fire in front of millions of people and they were all about to fall in, even if I warned them, they would insist I was crazy, but what if I wasn’t? What if they were just blind to it? Christians truly see what is actual, because God has opened their eyes. If you are not truly saved you are blind to the hell to come. We simply love you too much to not warn you. Repent, turn away from your sins, let them go, don’t hold on to any remnant of your old life, let the old man be killed and buried, be born anew as a servant of God. Believe Him and His work on the cross. Jesus is God and He has shed His precious blood to pay for your sins. Believe in and on Him for your salvation and live out the new life He has brought you into.

Apologetics · cultural

It is Time to Stop Praying for God to Bless America, Now What?

As the satanists in Detroit go to celebrate the unveiling of a 9 ft. tall 1 ton idol of their god, we have to see this against the backdrop of everything else that is happening in our once great nation. The picture below is of a statue of baphomet or satan. You can see the little children there looking up at him, the goat head, horns, and pentagram on his forehead.

At least half of us Americans want gay marriage to be legal and moral, are fine with abortions as long as they are safe for the mother, want drugs to be legal and moral, are fine with divorce and bluntly don’t see the need for such an antiquated notion like marriage.  After all, most of us, myself and perhaps a few of you, were raised by a single mother.  We also want to not work and have everything free to us.  I wonder, if this is what people want when they exercise their free will, if there isn’t a better way?  I say, “Let’s all be slaves of Christ and give up our sinful wills!”  This illusion that we are somehow basically good is nonsense!  Without God restraining us from being as evil as we could be, it would be like the days of Noah, but worse.  Just look around and see how it is now!

So my solution, the only one I see, is that we as Christians start praying for God to violate everyone’s will in this country.  I want Him to discipline us as sons.  I want Him to crush the proud and humble them.  I want Him to bring all the sinners to repentance and faith in Him.  After all, He is the only one, true, and living God.  So let’s pray for God to discipline America as a nation.  Let’s pray for Him to make us repent.  Don’t let us have a choice, because we know what we would choose, just like the Israelites chose the gold calf and orgies when God used Moses to bring them forth from Egypt.  We would choose the same.  So, we don’t want a choice for America!  No, we want God’s will for America! We want all of us, as a nation to repent and believe upon Jesus Christ as our Lord, Master, Creator, and Savior!

Apologetics · Book Reviews · Theology

A Review of Randy Alcorn’s, “If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil” This Should be Required Reading for all Apologetics Classes.

425799

Randy Alcorn’s treatment of the doctrine of theodicy is the, “go to” book on the topic. It is suitable for the neophyte and mature Christian both. If you have ever asked yourself the question, “If God is Good why does He allow bad things to happen to good people?” Or if anyone has ever asked you that question, this book will aid you greatly in giving an answer. I was briefly exposed to this area of Christian theology shortly before providentially finding out about this book. I was blessed by it and I believe you will be to.

Randy writes this book with a Pastor’s heart. He understands that people reading this book are going to be from a wide and varied background with all kinds of questions and hurts. If you have lost a child, been struck with a terminal illness, seen horrific violence, or ever wondered how an omnipotent, benevolent being could allow these things, you can read the explanation that has been carefully crafted and laid out so as to heal and not hurt. I’ve never read such a thorough and gentile explanation that was also so blatantly honest. I’ve read very dry white papers that are accurate, but lack the heart of a Pastor. These works often enrage critics or those who doubt. I’ve also read other books that fail to answer the hard questions about God in light of suffering. The, “cotton candy theology” of men who only want to sell you a book or preach some false life enhancement Christianity only leaves us vulnerable when tribulations occur.

Randy includes real situations, with real people who have been through terrible things. He methodically and caringly explains theodicy so that it will be a comfort and easy to understand as well as explain. If you are an apologist, get this book and study it. They next time you run up against a flaming atheist making the accusation of, “I’d never believe in a god that would allow a baby to be murdered!” You’ll be able to give an answer. If you have a loved one who is going through difficult times, perhaps they have read books from those smiling self-help, guru, false preachers and have not been helped, but instead left doubting, GIVE THEM THIS BOOK! I can’t say enough good things about this book and how useful it is. I give it 5 starts, two thumbs up, and an emphatic Amen.

You can pick up a copy from Christianbook.com or Amazon.com.

ISBN-13: 9781601425799

Apologetics · Theology

“…the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets;…”

…the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets;…”

Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left. “The LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this while another said that. “Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’ “The LORD said to him, ‘How?’ And he said, ‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then He said, ‘You are to entice him and also prevail. Go and do so.’ “Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; and the LORD has proclaimed disaster against you.” “

(1 Kings 22:19-23 NASB)

In 1 Kings 22:19-23 we read some information that can initially be troubling to some. It is often quoted by atheists seeking to shake the faith of a believer. Properly understood, it is harmonious with the rest of God’s word. So don’t let it trouble you. Let’s see if we can shed some light on it.

We know that God is truth. We know that He is righteous and holy. Reading this passage, if not properly exegeted, could lead one to believe that God caused false prophets to lie. This would seem to conflict with what we know of the attributes of God displayed to us in the rest of His word. This seeming conflict is easily remedied when we read the scripture in context.

We understand that Satan, has to answer to God. We read this in the book of Job. Satan cannot do anything unless God allows him. This might be a tough concept, but think about it. Satan has to ask permission to do what he was doing to Job. Satan is a creature, created by God. Satan is not God’s equal, or opposite. God could destroy Satan at this very moment. God doesn’t because He is using Satan to accomplish His good will.

Ahab was one of the most wicked kings in all history. God had already pronounced judgment on him. All of Ahab’s prophets were telling him to go to war at Ramoth-Gilead, and that he would succeed.

…Three years passed without war between Aram and Israel. In the third year Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel. Now the king of Israel said to his servants, “Do you know that Ramoth-gilead belongs to us, and we are still doing nothing to take it out of the hand of the king of Aram?” And he said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to battle at Ramoth-gilead?” And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” Moreover, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire first for the word of the LORD.” Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall I go against Ramoth-gilead to battle or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not yet a prophet of the LORD here that we may inquire of him?” …”

(1 Kings 22:1-7 NASB)

Then, we see that Jehoshaphat asks Ahab to inquire of another prophet, a prophet of the LORD or (Yhvh) So Ahab sends for Micaiah.

…The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.” Then the king of Israel called an officer and said, “Bring quickly Micaiah son of Imlah.” Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made horns of iron for himself and said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are consumed.'” All the prophets were prophesying thus, saying, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and prosper, for the LORD will give it into the hand of the king.” Then the messenger who went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, “Behold now, the words of the prophets are uniformly favorable to the king. Please let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.” But Micaiah said, “As the LORD lives, what the LORD says to me, that I shall speak.” When he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we refrain?” And he answered him, “Go up and succeed, and the LORD will give it into the hand of the king.” Then the king said to him, “How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?” So he said, “I saw all Israel Scattered on the mountains, Like sheep which have no shepherd. And the LORD said, ‘These have no master. Let each of them return to his house in peace.'” Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?” …”

(1 Kings 22:8-18 NASB)

As you can see, by adding the context of the surrounding scripture we can easily understand what is happening here. God did not cause the prophets to lie. He allowed Satan to have the spirits controlling the false prophets to lie. God used their sins sinlessly to accomplish His righteous judgment against Ahab, a wicked king. The fact that God restrains evil every moment doesn’t seem to enter into our minds, but if he didn’t we would all be worse than Pharaoh or Hitler. When God allows evil spirits or men to act how they want, we get surprised, as if God is the bad guy. Our pitiful minds default to sinful criticism of the one truly good being. That is how messed up we are. I hope this helps. If you have questions, ask your Pastor and Elders, first. If they can’t answer you feel free to ask in the comments section. If I can’t answer, I’ll try to find someone who can. God bless you.

Apologetics · cultural · evangelism

Christian Against Christian? The Divisiveness of Sin.

I’ve been reading lots of unbiblical articles and posts, written by Christians who are criticizing the opponents of gay marriage. Most of these articles misquote and twist scripture. Which is interesting in itself, because they accuse the conservative Christians of doing that very thing. They say things like, “Christians shouldn’t judge.” We all have heard this canard and recognize it as a misunderstanding of scripture. We are to judge what God has already judged in His word and we are supposed to live our lives by it. He is the author of the law. Our laws are supposed to agree with His and they are supposed to be used in the process of judging right from wrong and good from evil. Government is ordained to agree with His laws and enforce them for the good of His people. Secularists don’t get this and won’t, unless they become regenerated by God. One of the things that strikes me from Romans 1 is this statement from God. “and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”(Romans 1:32 NASB) Did you get that last part, “Christians?” This part here, “give hearty approval to those who practice them” This is why we can’t give our approval to redefining marriage to accommodate what by definition can’t be called marriage. I am surprised that Christians could give their approval to what is against God’s decree.
The other thing I am surprised by is the lack of understanding, grace, and love towards a world that is dying in sin. We can’t put our noses in the air and only say, “gays are going to hell.” We also can’t just expect them to see our loving example and then repent and put their faith in Christ. So there are two extreme reactions we are having to this. One is the extreme of disdain without mercy, the other extreme is love without truth. Both leave the sinner without the necessary information.
We have to temper our response to sinners sinning. We should not be surprised when people act in keeping with their natures. What should our response look like? It should reasonably and accurately proclaim the truth of the Bible in a loving attitude that is genuinely concerned that the person they are addressing is headed to eternal torment where God will be pouring out His wrath on them for ever. If you are not moved by that thought to proclaim the love of Christ as expressed by His work on the cross, then you need to examine your heart. The regeneration of the sinner by the Holy Spirit does not leave a person the same. Christ’s love is not permissive or tolerant of sin. It is a perfecting love that conforms the regenerate into His likeness.

Apologetics

Apparently, “love is love” is not the same as, “abortion is murder.”

Apparently, “love is love” is not the same as, “abortion is murder.”  Who would have guessed?  God makes a distinction in His word about killing according to His will in a war of His command and murder from a murderous heart.  Guess what, He also makes a distinction in His word about types of love.  The only acceptable “eros” kind of love is between a husband and wife.  All other instances of that kind of love in God’s word is defined as sinful.

Apologetics · Theology

Jesus speaks of Sovereign election in John 6

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
(John 6:37-40 NASB)
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. “It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.
(John 6:44-45 NASB)
“But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”
(John 6:64-65 NASB)
So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. “We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.
(John 6:67-71 NASB)

Apologetics · Theology

The Worship of the Pseudo-god Called Love.

There are many people who refer to themselves as Christians, who elevate love to the supreme arbiter of what is good and evil. Sure they confess belief in God, but they have made an all  permissive god to worship.  These people cast down all doctrines and theology that would threaten their pseudo-god. They do this in the name of love. The problem is that they themselves do not really know what true love is. They have never experienced it. If they had, they surely would not act and believe the way they do.

God is love that is for certain, but love is not God. Many of us have heard this axiom and concur with it. It is obvious to people who have truly experienced God’s love. People who haven’t, who argue for their type of love being imposed on their concept of God, can’t possibly wrap their minds around true love. They cannot, because they don’t understand their complete sinful corruption in contrast to the complete and perfect holiness of God.

God is love yes, but not at the exclusion of His holiness, righteousness, goodness, justice, knowledge, or any of His other many attributes which He is the perfection of. When these theologically liberal types come around espousing a loving benevolent god who has no requirements of man other than being vessels of His love, we need to remind them that they are wrong. They fail to see how bad their sin is compared to how good God is. They can’t fathom the gap. In their minds, they deserve a loving god who would condescend to save them, where they are at without repentance.  After all they, aren’t that bad compared to those orthodox bullies, who insist on adhering to the word of God.

It is true that God condescended, to leave majesty in the personage of Christ, with the purpose of making atonement for sin, to justify men to Himself. This work cost God greatly.  It came in the form of suffering.  Christ suffered the wrath that we had coming to us. He was also cut off from the Father at that moment on the cross. God’s grace is not free in that sense. He paid a great price to redeem His elect.

We, as the elect must count the cost of being born again. As the elect, we are the only ones who count the cost as worthwhile. The unrepentant sinner will count the cost as too steep. He won’t be able to put the proper value on it.  This is due to his high view of himself and his low view of God. This leads to a rejection.  They reject everything from God that requires them to be completely surrendered to His will as expressed in His word.

Some will lead people to a false faith, that has no cost for them. They don’t preach the personal cost of true repentance and submission in surrender to their Lord and Master. When one comes to a knowledge of their personal guilt before the one true and Holy God, they can see how utterly lacking they are in the ability to be good enough. They can’t measure up. It is impossible. Only God is or could be good enough to satisfy the requirements of God. This leaves the left crying, “That’s not fair! The god I worship would never make the requirements so very unattainable. They would be correct, because the true God is not the god that they worship.

They worship a god that is purported to love all people unconditionally, instead of a God who loves people to such a degree that He satisfies the conditions for them perfectly. The type of love that God has for us will not leave us in our sins, unrepentant. It changes a person. Those He has predestined, He will grant true faith and repentance that leads to salvation.

The liberal group sees no need to preach about sin and repentance. They just preach that we should love everyone and accept them just the way they are.  They preach that god does the same. Before I go on, God does love people who are not friends of the world. He does have a love for His creation, albeit not the same love He has for His elect. He loved us while we were yet sinners. The difference is, that the one who is truly loved by God, begins to understand how depraved they are. They begin to see how good He is. They see the price He paid on the cross for them. They feel true remorse and are humbled. They begin to hate their sin and love Him more than their own will. They pray for Him to do away with their will, for it only brings sorrow to them. They desire for His will to become their will. This means that all things that He hates, they begin to hate and all things He loves they begin to love. This is a product of His sanctifying work after He has justified them.

So a person, who rejects the will of God in favor of their fallen, sinful, concept of love, stays in their sins and under condemnation. They haven’t experienced true love that saves and sanctifies. To follow them seems right to men. So in the name of love and tolerance they accept abominations upon abominations. When those who have been justified by God’s amazing grace attempt to share the true good news with them they are decried as intolerant, bigots, haters, Pharisees, and homophobes.

Apologetics · Theology

You Can’t Sell What’s Not Yours!

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I’m sure you have all read a story, seen a movie, or television show, where the plot revolves around the main character selling his soul to the devil by signing some contract. Usually it is for fame, fortune, power over enemies, or to get the girl. Come to think of it, usually it is a combination of those things. Growing up in America during the 80’s, freedom was the centerpiece of what it meant to be an American. I never felt more free than when I was about 12 years old. I was old enough to go anywhere I wanted, as far as my bike could take me, and young enough to not have the responsibilities of taking care of myself or others. I would ride my bike to, “Black’s Bridge” and play by the river. I would take my BB gun and shoot dragon flies, or whatever else would sit still long enough. My cousin and I would catch snakes and keep them in a 5 gallon bucket, only to dump them in my mom’s bed while she slept. If I had to come up with a time in my life where I felt free, that would be it. If you wanted to be a patriotic little man, you needed freedom.

As I grew I started to feel the bands of oppression tighten around me. I needed a job. I had to pay my bills. I married a woman who had two small sons. I needed a better job. I had to be a good role model. I needed to teach the boys how to be good men. My wife and I had two daughters, so I had to be more tender and help my wife help them. I had to keep my marriage strong. No time for difficulties at work. Appliances wear out and break. Everything costs money. Unexpected surgeries send us into debt. Life starts choking the feeling of freedom away pretty quick.

I found out that the laws were overly restrictive as well.  I still don’t understand how property taxes can be legal.  I also don’t understand the legal requirement to have a concealed permit to carry a firearm.  Apparently we now aren’t free to practice our religion either.  Bake a cake or get shut down.  While babies are being denied their freedom by being aborted.  We really aren’t free in America.

Only when I started thinking spiritually about it did it start to make more sense. As a young man I was Arminian and slightly Pentecostal in my theology. I had no problem with thinking a person could sell their soul to the devil. It was theirs after all. Of course I thought it was wrong to do so, but theoretically, it could happen. I also had the sense that it was impossible, niggling at the recesses of my mind. Later in life, as God worked in my sanctification, He brought me into a fuller understanding of my sinfulness and His holiness. This in conjunction with learning more about soteriology lead me to understand that I am not my own. In fact, no human being owns themselves. We are all created by God for His glory.

Now the premise of selling your soul to the devil just seems ludicrous. You simply can’t sell what you have no rights to. God has the authority.  The problem here is that my pre-conversion soul is already a slave to sin nature, because of the fall. The devil doesn’t have to buy it. It is fallen from the start.  That doesn’t mean the devil owns it.  He is a fallen creature too.

Not to mention, the devil doesn’t have the means to purchase a single soul, nor does he have the authority to purchase one. He is a creature himself. He is under the same authority we are. Theoretically, his only purpose for purchasing a soul would be to rend it from the saving hands of Christ. Since it isn’t possible for God to lose even one of the elect, this is not a concern.

If souls could be bought and sold, we as fallen creatures would make a market out of it for sordid profit, to be sure. Ignoble and greedy, we would make slaves of souls. God in His sovereignty and providence has ensured that won’t happen. We do however; need to be rescued from the slavery that we are in before conversion, the bondage of the soul to sin. God in His sovereignty made man. He made him in full knowledge that he would fall when tempted. He made man, knowing who He would save from sin and who He would not. He made man, knowing that He would curse his progeny for the original sin, with death. All people born after the fall are born as slaves to sin because of the fall. We are all sinners and dead spiritually.

The Holy Spirit makes the elect alive according to the will of the Father, so that we can sense our sin and need. It becomes real to us. In this conviction, the elect seek reconciliation with God. In the newness of life they are driven, compelled, and ravenous, for relief of the condition of condemnation. The knowledge of our own personal sin is the impetus that drives us to the foot of the cross.

The same God who made us, who knew that we would be sinners, also made a way for us to glorify Him according to His sovereign decree. God in the second personage of the Trinity put on flesh at the incarnation, being born of a virgin, by the work of the Holy Spirit, according to the will of the Father, Christ Jesus, our Passover lamb became the vessel for the wrath of God that our sins warrant. He in obedience to the Father suffered the very wrath of God, that we deserve upon the cross, to justify us. The penalty being paid by the one who was innocent, paying the penalty for the guilty who justly deserve it. All of this was planned out from the very beginning.

I hope we can see that it is ludicrous to think for a moment that our souls are our own, and free to sell. The devil is just another creature and your soul is already a slave to sin. Our only hope is to recognize our need for a redeemer. Only God can fathom the depths of our debt. We cannot rightly perceive how sinful we are. He alone can justly account the measure of wrath we deserve and He alone can atone. So don’t delay. If God has convicted you of your sin, repent of it and believe upon Jesus’ work on the cross for your justification. Pray that God will redeem your soul from sin and you will be His for eternity.  Better to belong to God than be able to sell your soul for any worldly gain.