Have you ever felt like you are not an adult, like you are just pretending…

wheniwasachild

Have you ever felt like you are not an adult, like you are just pretending to be your idea of what an adult is? Do you wonder if the others are going to see through your facade and know that you are just playing at being an adult? My standard of what a man should be has always been my Father. He has been dead for about 4 years now. I know he would tell me he is proud of me, and that I’ve become the man he hoped I would be. He never showed us any doubt. He was always so outwardly confident, or perhaps that is the way it seemed to a child’s perception. I know he did have doubts and fears. I know he confided in his Wife. I have done the same thing. I wonder though, if the strength he portrayed to us wasn’t there, what kind of man would I be? Because of my Father, I can safely say, I am a more godly man than I would have been without Him. Because of His example, I took several, I mean several leaps of faith to do what I thought would have been the right thing, the thing Dad would have done, or been proud of. Ladies, this can apply to you and your godly mothers as well. I know my Dad wasn’t perfect, and he made mistakes that he privately regretted, but he was as good a Father to me and my Brother as he could have been. Now that Dad is gone, I don’t feel alone, or on shaky ground. Why? Because I’ve got another Father. A perfect Father who is not flawed. I have a Father who gave me and my Brother, and our Mother, the perfect man to accomplish His will in our lives. Dad might not have been the adult that we saw with our little eyes, and thought of with our childish minds, but he was the man that God used to bring us to Him. Dad was strong and compassionate, he was hard and thoughtful, he was self-sacrificing and forgiving. It was so much easier for me to see the character of Christ in a man most people would have called marginally Christian, than in many who put on a good show of being an adult. God the Father, in His perfect knowledge and sovereignty, “causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Because of who God the Father is, I had the human Father He wanted for me. He used my Dad to lead one of His elect to Him. I was so lost as a young man. I loved myself more than anything or anyone else. I loved my own pleasures, and hated those who would deny me. Now because of the memories of my Father, and the testimony of the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit, I am a partaker in God’s grace. I have been adopted by the true Father of all who are born again. I and my Dad, are brother’s in Christ. I hope to see him again in eternity, and worship the Lord Jesus, with him as well. I hope and pray that my Brother, and his family, my oldest Step-Son, my present, and future Grandchildren, and all of you will be with us to, as brothers and sister, unified in love, and the love of Christ Jesus. We all have doubts and fears in life. We are uncertain at times, but look to God, fix your eyes on Jesus, and what He did for you in His life, crucifixion, and resurrection. There is one God, and only one way of salvation, it is Jesus Christ. Repent of your sins, and believe. He will grant you new life and make you a new person, just like He did for me. I’m not always assured and confident in my position, but I am so confident and sure of God, and because He is good, I know that whatever I go through in life is for my sanctification. It is to shape me into the the adult man, that He wants me to be. I hope that when I am dead, the people whom God has given me to be with will be able to say the same about me that I have said about my Father.

Have you ever chatted with a mormon on their website?

mormonchat

Have you ever chatted with a mormon on their website?  I just did.  I had two simple questions.  Where did God come from, and did He have a body of flesh and bone?  As a Christian, I know that God has no beginning or end.  I know that He is the uncaused causation of all things.  I know that He has never not been and will always be.  I also know that God the Father is spirit and must be worshipped in spirit.  He has no body.

The chat started out with two mormons in the chat.  One was named Kyle the other was Tyler.  As I began asking my questions Kyle became the main responder.  Kyle was giving very evasive non-answers to my questions.  It was as if the mormon church had no answers for my questions officially.  When I explained the eternality of God, Kyle immediately left the chat and a new person named Alec joined.  Then Tyler became the main responder to my questions.  He paraphrased his partner’s previous noncommittal answers.  When I was satisfied that I had received as much of an answer as I was going to get, I ended the conversation.

I wanted them to answer the questions because I didn’t want to misrepresent their beliefs.  After talking with them, it is easy to see how people would misrepresent them.  Their indefinite official stance on what their church doesn’t know is quite frustrating.  The following is a transcript of the conversation;

“Thank you for your interest in chatting with a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
What would you like to talk about?

B
Did God always exist as God, or did He at some point in time not exist as He does now?
8:29 PM

Now chatting with Tyler & Kyle
T
Hi Bob!
8:31 PM

B
Hello.
8:31 PM

T
How are you tonight Bob?
8:31 PM

B
Fine, how are you?
8:31 PM

T
I’m doing well. Thanks.
8:32 PM
What brought you onto Mormon.org tonight?

B
Did God always exist as God, or did He at some point in time not exist as He does now?
8:34 PM
you guys still there?
8:40 PM

K
That is a great question! To be honest, we don’t know too much about the origin of God. Some leaders of the Church have taught that God progressed from a man to Godhood.
8:41 PM
Sorry about the delay.
We are here.

B
What was He before He was God?
8:42 PM

T
Like what Kyle said earlier, that’s one topic that we just don’t know about. It’s mostly speculation, no concrete doctrine.
8:43 PM

B
I heard from some people that mormons believe he was once a man named Elohim. Is that true?
8:44 PM

K
That’s what I said above ^^^
8:44 PM

B
It was kind of garbled on my screen for some reason.
8:45 PM
What leaders said he was once a man?
Is their some source material you can reference that I could look up and read for myself?

K
Joseph Smith and Lorenzo Snow were two. I’ll give you some articles.
8:48 PM

B
That would be helpful. I don’t want to misrepresent your beliefs when I encounter others in apologetics or polemics.
8:48 PM

K
That is very understandable!
8:49 PM
Here are some links:
https://www.lds.org/ensign/1971/04/the-king-follett-sermon?lang=eng
http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/site/accounts-of-the-king-follett-sermon
https://www.lds.org/ensign/1982/02/i-have-a-question?lang=eng (Second half of the page)
8:50 PM

B
Thank you. If he was at one point in time a man, then where did that man come from?
8:50 PM

K
Here is another one: https://www.lds.org/topics/becoming-like-god?lang=eng. That is an excellent question, that we don’t really comprehend 🙂 The assumption would be that it follows a similar pattern, so he would have a heavenly father as well. There is so much we don’t understand though.
8:53 PM

B
So, that begs the question, where did they come from and so on?
8:56 PM
Is Tyler still there?
8:58 PM

K
Exactly, and that is a question I have. Imagining eternity is a concept, we don’t fully understand as mortals. God hasn’t revealed much about it.
8:58 PM
Tyler stepped out of the room, but will be back shortly.

B
Kyle, I think He did reveal it to us. He is the uncaused causation, or original originator. Logically there has to be an original uncreated creator of all things. The Bible is pretty clear that God is immutable and eternal. Eternity is also understood as an infinite instance or ageless age.
9:00 PM
Kyle?
9:01 PM

T
Hi Bob! I’m back.
9:01 PM

B
Where did Kyle go?
9:02 PM
Hello?
9:03 PM

T
He had to go. He was just covering for me while I was gone. We just help out at Mormon.org in time shifts and he just finished and had to leave.
9:05 PM

Now chatting with Tyler & Alec
B
So could you answer my question about where did god’s parents come from and where did their parents come from?
9:06 PM

T
There is no official church doctrine on that subject. There is mostly speculation and personal opinion on this subject.
9:08 PM
On the last thing that you wrote. I think that’s an interesting thought. Do you have any other concerns.
9:10 PM

B
It seems to me that there would be a being that was the uncaused causation of all things. An eternal God who has always been and never not existed.
9:10 PM
Yes
I have another question I was pondering.
God the Father in the first vision was said to have flesh and bone.
is that true?
also why can’t I copy and paste something from earlier in the conversation into the input field?

T
Yes we believe that God has a body of flesh and blood. And I don’t know why you can’t copy and paste.
9:12 PM

B
Ok thanks.
9:14 PM
Have a good night.”

I wouldn’t want to be accused of making straw man arguments, or any other logically fallacious arguments.  I hope you found this interesting, and informative.

Stay Away From Andrew Wommack and His Book, “A Better Way to Pray.”

“A Better Way to Pray” by Andrew Wommack

Right off the bat, we have presuppositional problems.  Here is a quote from the introduction,

“Are you ready for your prayer life to improve? Would you like to learn how to pray more accurately and receive God’s answers more quickly? If so, you’re reading the right book!”  

There is no way our prayers can be any more or less effective, if we are in Christ, the Holy Spirit is interceding for us.  The will of the Father will always be done.  The efficacy of our prayers does not lie within our attitudes or abilities.  In fact it is our inability that should glorify God.  He uses weak little creatures like us to accomplish what He has ordained and decreed.  When we see our prayers being answered it is because we are aligning our wills with His.  When we don’t see the answers we were hoping for, it is because we are sinfully praying from the flesh for what we want over what He wants.  We all know that what He wants is good and is for our good, even if it means our deaths.  Yes, even our deaths can be part of God’s good purposes.  Just because we cannot see the effect of something that happens in the future doesn’t mean that the seemingly bad thing that happened is not God’s will.  We just assume so much about our own importance.  The focus of the Christian faith isn’t us or what we want!  The focus is the glory of God, and what He wills.  After all aren’t we supposed to lose our wills and be conformed to the word and will of Christ?  We cannot pray His will away, or pray Him into doing something we want Him to do from our carnal fallen wills.  

Read what God says in His word.  

“Romans 8:26-39 (NASB) 26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
31  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was  raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written,
“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
WE were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Yet another laughable notion from the introduction,

“But let me ask you this: If the way you are praying isn’t getting good results, why then would you resist change in this area? “  

I wonder what the magic formula must be?

 

His righteousness imputed to us is what makes our entering into prayer acceptable to God.  Without that and the Holy Spirit, we would still need a High Priest.

Finally we get to Chapter 1 to read this gem,

“In 1969, I heard a wrong teaching that Satan was “God’s messenger boy.” It said that the devil can only do what the Lord allows, and therefore, God uses him to work good in our lives. That’s totally wrong, but I didn’t know it at the time. I brought this teaching back to my girlfriend and she bought into it completely.”

First off, satan is a creature.  He was created by God as Lucifer.  He sinned, was cast out of Heaven to Earth, and is now satan.  He can’t do anything without God allowing it.  If you remember from reading Job, he had to ask permission from God to torment Job.  All creatures can only do what God allows.  If God wants to stop you from doing something, He can simply stop you.  God is sovereign.

Then he goes on to show allegedly the terrible outcome of believing in the sovereignty of God, and the fact that satan is a created subject of our Lord.  I don’t know if his story is true or not.  Even if it is, and even if they died because of their prayers, all it proves is that it was their time to die.  Nobody dies without God ordaining it.  Not even a sparrow dies without God ordaining it.  Of course there are martyrs all throughout history who have died horrible deaths.  These deaths have been exclamations of their lives of faith.

I doubt his stories about the boy from school, “coming down with leukemia the next day” are true.  We don’t pray to satan, and satan doesn’t answer our prayers.  Satan has no ability to read our minds and hear prayers from us.  Satan doesn’t control when we die.  God does.  Is satan kills someone it is because God has ordained that fashion of death for them.  If the stories about two young people are true, then God had ordained for them to die in just the way that they died.

So his son was raised from the dead, because his relationship with God, and how he prayed.  When my father died and stayed dead, when my friend’s 2 year old died and stayed dead, it was our fault because we don’t pray right, or have the same communion with God?  What a load of garbage.  Andrew Wommack needs to stop teaching and repent.

Here’s a good one, “The heart attitude behind your prayer interests God much more than the actual words you say. Just because you spend an hour, or more, in what you call“prayer” doesn’t mean you’re accomplishing anything. If your attitude is wrong, you’re praying wrong!”

Guess what… we are all praying wrong.  None of us can pray a prayer on our own that is acceptable to God. The Holy Spirit makes our prayers acceptable to God along with the justifying work of Jesus.

Apparently Wommack teaches universal or general atonement.  Here it is from his own book,

“As far as God’s concerned, the sins of the entire world have already been forgiven. The Lamb’s perfect sacrifice dealt decisively with the past, present, and future sins of every believer and nonbeliever alike. This doesn’t mean that all are just “automatically” saved (or healed). All individuals must receive for themselves by faith what Jesus Christ has already provided in order to actually benefit from it. A gift given isn’t fully yours until it’s received!”

Did you catch that?  Apparently Jesus justified everyone’s sins with the Father.  Apparently He atoned for everyone.  So I guess Jesus’ work was not perfect or sufficient.  I guess it was wasted on those who would not repent.  Here is the problem with claiming He made salvation available for everyone, it means that all sin has already been paid for, so then even if a person doesn’t repent and believe in Christ, their sin is already atoned for.  That means they have no guilt before God.  There is no need for anyone to accept salvation or the gift as he puts it.  It is a ridiculous statement.  This is what happens when you let bad theology, emotions, and tradition dictate your faith.

It is apparent that Wommack has used an Arminian highlighter (black sharpie) to highlight/redact all of the verses about predestination and election.  The lady he mentions on page 7 who was unsure if she was saved or not could have been helped by good theology, not Wommack’s hodge podge, grab bag, word of faith nonsense.  If the lady had not been granted saving faith and repentance, then no matter how much she intellectually affirms the gospel, she will not be saved.  Being saved requires God to grant you true repentance, and faith along with the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.  He only does this for His elect, whom He has predestined from before the creation of the world.

And yet more nonsense, “What if someone in a wheelchair came forward for healing during a service? If I prayed and didn’t see him rise out of the wheelchair immediately, I could ask the audience, “How many of you will stand in faith together with me? Let’s fast and pray in agreement, not letting go of God until He heals this person.” I bet I could persuade 90 percent of the people to go along with that! Yet God’s Word clearly proclaims, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him” (Col. 2:6). In the same way you appropriate and walk in forgiveness of sin, you receive healing, deliverance, prosperity, and everything else! If begging God to save the lady in the first scenario is inappropriate, then doing so for healing or anything else in the Christian life is absolutely wrong too! Christ already made full provision for the abundant life through His atonement. It’s now not up to Him to do, but you to receive what He’s done!”  

How about the Christians of the early Church or the middle east right now?  The martyrs of the Church live an abundant life in Christ, even in their poverty and deaths.  Christ talked more about suffering for the faith than living in comfort and health.  Matter of fact, those are signs you are doing it wrong.

And more idiocy, “Sometimes Christians approach God, praying, “I know You can heal me, but You haven’t done it yet. Therefore, I want to learn how to make You heal me.” This is rank unbelief! They don’t believe that He’s already done it and they think they can make Him do it.Wrong! Such unbelief explains why more people aren’t experiencing healing.”  

So how about Christians who suffer long lingering deaths?  You can pray for life and health if you want, but you should be praying for God’s will to be done, and for Him to be glorified, after all isn’t that what Christ did before the crucifixion?  Luke 22:42, “saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.””

We haven’t even made it to the 2nd chapter of this disservice to Christ, and twisting of His word to bilk people out of money and true peace.  

“In our Bible schools and teaching seminars, we confidently instruct people not to “pray” for the sick, but to heal them. Jesus commanded us in Matthew 10:8 to “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, [and] cast out devils.”There’s a huge difference between healing the sick and just praying for them!”  

Matthew 10:8 is not an instruction to the Church.  It is instruction to the Apostles during the foundation of the Church.  The Apostles who were specifically personally appointed to their office by the incarnate Christ during His earthly ministry were to fulfill Matthew 10:8.  Bad hermeneutics lead to Wommack’s horrible interpretation.  The wages of sin is death.  We are all under the curse of original sin.  We all will die.  There is not a single person alive today who will not die unless the Lord returns first.

And more false teachings,

“Jesus Christ completed everything necessary to save and heal every person. You believed and received salvation.  Healing comes the exact same way!  It shouldn’t be any harder to receive your healing since He provided it at the same time as forgiveness for your sin. Neither does it take any more faith to raise someone from the dead than to see them born again!”

If this is the case, then Wommack and his cronies should all never die, and not wear glasses, get sick, or ever go to the doctor.  They need to go to each nursing home and raise all of the old people from the dead when they die.  This is just ludicrous and idiotic.  Anyone who believes this tripe is being deceived.  They join the health and wealth false gospel with their soteriology.  Do you see the problems here?   

You had to know this would show up sometime,

“As a citizen of the kingdom of darkness, the enemy legitimately dominated your life. At the time of your salvation, you hadn’t been fasting, praying, studying the Word, attending church, paying tithes, or living a holy life.”

Never mind that we are not Jews, we are not under the ceremonial law, and we have the instruction to prayerfully consider and give with a cheerful heart.  There is no set tithe for Christians.

Here Wommack perverts the gospel,

“The good “news” of the gospel is that God has already forgiven you. Why would you choose to go to hell with your sins forgiven?”  

with this I am done.  I can’t take anymore false teachings.  I’m not even out of the 1st chapter of this mess.  The good news of the gospel my friends is that you and I are filthy, wretched sinners, who like the people God killed during the flood, deserve death and hell for all eternity, but God being rich in mercy, and grace, provided a way for us to be saved in the work of Jesus on the cross.  While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Christ took on our guilt.  He took the punishment we deserve as sinners, and when He finished suffering the punishment for every sinner who would repent from sin and believe in His works on the cross, Jesus died, was buried, and resurrected on the third day.  He now sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us.  The Holy Spirit regenerates the elect and according to the Father’s will the elect will repent and believe in the work of Christ.  They are saved and cannot be lost.  The Holy Spirit indwells them and is their seal for redemption.  Here is another link to why you should stay away.

Read these instead of Wommack’s book, http://www.ligonier.org/blog/if-god-sovereign-why-pray/

https://snyderssoapbox.com/2014/04/22/the-theology-of-prayer-and-an-omnipotent-sovereign-god/

 

 

The Differences Between Sins, and Mistakes.


Recently, I had a conversation with a person on social media about sins, and mistakes. Their first assertion was that, sins are the willful transgression of the known will of God. The second assertion was that people are not culpable to God for mistakes that they make. Lastly, they failed to define what mistakes are, even when asked several times. I quickly identified this as a Nazarene Church member, because I had been a member for approximately 19 years give or take. I decided since they came to my page to discuss this issue that it was a proper opening to engage them. I typically don’t go to other people’s pages and comment on things I don’t agree with. I see it as bad etiquette, but if they come to me, so be it. Listed below is the section 5.3 Sin, Original and Personal from the Nazarene Church’s Preamble and Articles of Faith;

5.3. We believe that actual or personal sin is a voluntary violation of a known law of God by a morally responsible person. It is therefore not to be confused with involuntary and inescapable shortcomings, infirmities, faults, mistakes, failures, or other deviations from a standard of perfect conduct that are the residual effects of the Fall. However, such innocent effects do not include attitudes or responses contrary to the spirit of Christ, which may properly be called sins of the spirit. We believe that personal sin is primarily and essentially a violation of the law of love; and that in relation to Christ sin may be defined as unbelief.

(Original sin: Genesis 3; 6:5; Job 15:14; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9-10; Mark 7:21-23; Romans 1:18-25; 5:12-14; 7:1-8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4; Galatians 5:16-25; 1 John 1:7-8

Personal sin: Matthew 22:36-40 {with 1 John 3:4}; John 8:34-36; 16:8-9; Romans 3:23; 6:15-23; 8:18-24; 14:23; 1 John 1:9-2:4; 3:7-10)”

As you can see from their article, it is what has led some of them to their minimization of sin, thus diminishing the importance of the gospel, as well as creating a legalistic approach to righteousness. This last consequence is also a product of their doctrine of Entire Sanctification. Their doctrine of Entire Sanctification is also a product of their minimization of sin. This is what Article 10 says about Entire Sanctification;

X. Christian Holiness and Entire Sanctification


10. We believe that sanctification is the work of God which transforms believers into the likeness of Christ. It is wrought by God’s grace through the Holy Spirit in initial sanctification, or regeneration (simultaneous with justification), entire sanctification, and the continued perfecting work of the Holy Spirit culminating in glorification. In glorification we are fully conformed to the image of the Son.

We believe that entire sanctification is that act of God, subsequent to regeneration, by which believers are made free from original sin, or depravity, and brought into a state of entire devotement to God, and the holy obedience of love made perfect.

It is wrought by the baptism with or infilling of the Holy Spirit, and comprehends in one experience the cleansing of the heart from sin and the abiding, indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, empowering the believer for life and service. Entire sanctification is provided by the blood of Jesus, is wrought instantaneously by grace through faith, preceded by entire consecration; and to this work and state of grace the Holy Spirit bears witness.

This experience is also known by various terms representing its different phases, such as “Christian perfection,” “perfect love,” “heart purity,” “the baptism with or infilling of the Holy Spirit,” “the fullness of the blessing,” and “Christian holiness.””

Not that long ago the Nazarene Church made some changes to their Articles of Faith. What I linked to is their current one. They have clarified it to some degree, but you can’t lay all the blame on the average Church goer for their personal affirmation of false doctrines. After reading the Articles of Faith, I can see what they are trying to express, but it can confuse the layman. I think this is mostly due to their Ordo Salutis, and Semi-Pelagianism that is all part of the traditions of a portion of the people in the denomination. From what I understand they are slowly trying to move away from the errors of Semi-Pelagianism that were made in the past.

If you are old enough you’d remember a different looking CotN. The girls mostly wore dresses, and dancing was not allowed. They looked and acted like Pentecostal versions of the Mennonites almost. Some believed that a person could be entirely sinless in their life. That is what their personal understanding of their doctrine of Entire Sanctification looked like. If you read it now, you can see it is a bit more nuanced, but you can also see how it could lead someone to believe the other way. When you look at Wesley’s writings on the topic, if you have a good theological foundation, you can see where he is heading. The problem lies in the fact that so many people are very simple in their education and ability to reason, that they take his work to mean what it appears to mean at a superficial reading. I’m not saying I agree with his conclusions. I actually think he was poorly repaving a road that had been well paved, and traveled long before him, by men more learned and brilliant.

I see Wesley as more of an evangelist and less of a theologian.  I understand him to be attempting to make room for people who don’t know, or believe, everything rightly all the time to still be saved. All of us are wrong all the time about something whether we know it or not. That doesn’t ruin our justification. I used to think the Trinity was best expressed as the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as all three parts of God. I had no idea that was the heresy of partialism. Once I was taught by more mature Christians from scripture that they are three persons, one God I was able to repent of my heresy. Was I not saved back then? I think I was, but I was a material heretic. I was not a formal heretic. If I’d persisted to death in a heresy, and rejected all correction, then I would have proven to be a false convert and formal heretic.

The person I was having the discussion with was of the old fashion persuasion. They didn’t read Wesley. They just took a superficial approach to their denomination’s doctrines and ran with it. So for them, sin was simply willfully transgressing a known law of God and it excludes mistakes, infirmities, failures, faults, emotions, (feelings) and thoughts. They also argued that a Christian will stop sinning completely, even though I showed them 1 John 1:8 and explained that John was addressing Christians. I was also told that if I sinned and then died immediately after, without repenting, that I would go to Hell. This is another one of their misguided beliefs. They believe that a genuine Christian can apostatize by willfully sinning. What I was dealing with was a Semi-Pelagian, not a Wesleyan. It is interesting because they make a categorical error by contrasting sins with mistakes. I don’t know if it ever occurred to them that a sin is always sinful, but a mistake can be sin or not sin. I mentioned this and got no answer. The same can be said for the other things listed that they say are not sin. We know that having a lustful thought pop into your head is a sin, and that we must take every thought captive so it doesn’t come to fruition in deed. We also know that to God we are guilty of that sin. It sure is a good thing that Christ justified me, and paid for all of my sin. I am exceedingly sinful, and exceedingly thankful for His righteousness that He imputed to me upon justification. I think this eludes the Semi-Pelagian. They are in a works righteousness faith where they must maintain their position of being righteous by works. This particular flavor of Semi-Pelagian makes this task less daunting by watering down sin and man’s responsibility. In so doing they rob God of the glory, as it were. So much the worse for them, as many of them are not truly saved, but still lost. Of course, I would not say that all of them are lost. Some may be material heretics, just waiting to be corrected and brought into repentance. Could you be the one to speak into their lives with the truth?

Trump Won’t Make America Great Again! We Need Repentance and God.


Trump won’t make our country great again. Tocqueville had it right when he said, “In the United States, the sovereign authority is religious…there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.

In the United States, the influence of religion is not confined to the manners, but it extends to the intelligence of the people…

Christianity, therefore, reigns without obstacle, by universal consent…

I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors…; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.

Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.

America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.

The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom.

The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other

Christianity is the companion of liberty in all its conflicts — the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims.”

It is pretty clear what made us great was God.  Now we are a wicked nation in rebellion to God.  Then, we were a Christian nation devoted to God.  Preachers stopped preaching, the salt lost its saltiness, and the light faded away.  The cancer grew unimpeded and hidden from sight.  Now we are terminal.  It will take a miracle from God, not a politician or more government.

God is Sovereign, and uses Men and Nations.

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Some folks have the notion that the Bible, and Christianity, is all about them, and getting saved by Jesus because He loves them soooooo much.  Don’t get me wrong, Jesus does love those He has been given by the Father, but you know what He loves more than sinners saved?  If you said anything other than the will of the Father, you might try again.  That’s right, He loves the will of the Father.  So much so, that He loved sinners, while they were yet sinners, so much that He died for them.  So if Jesus loves the will of the Father, why do we seem to love our own wills so much?  Why do we seem to put this inordinate value on our own volition and liberty?  Why, when Christ our Savior, submitted His will to that of the Father, by dying on the cross, do we refuse to bear our cross?

I believe the answer is this man centered hermeneutic when reading the Bible.  It seems to be intrinsic to a large part of American Christianity.  So when we read a passage like this one, where God is using the Assyrians to punish the Israelites as judgment against them, we see it as mere history.  We completely glaze over the obvious fact that God has used them like a weapon.  Even the Assyrian king didn’t give God the glory.  He wasn’t humble at all.  In his impudence, he thought that he was the one who did all of those things to Israel.  Just read the passage, and I’ll be there when you are done…

“Isaiah 10:12-15 NASB So it will be that when the Lord has completed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the pomp of his haughtiness.” (13) For he has said, “By the power of my hand and by my wisdom I did this, For I have understanding; And I removed the boundaries of the peoples And plundered their treasures, And like a mighty man I brought down their inhabitants, (14) And my hand reached to the riches of the peoples like a nest, And as one gathers abandoned eggs, I gathered all the earth; And there was not one that flapped its wing or opened its beak or chirped.” (15) Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it? Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it? That would be like a club wielding those who lift it, Or like a rod lifting him who is not wood.”

Finished?  If you’ll notice how arrogant and proud the king was, it is obvious that he suffered the same self-delusion that many Christians suffer from today.  We think we are just the center of the Christian world.  Oh sure, we give lip service to Jesus, just like some musician on an awards shows thanks Him, along with their entourage and momma.  I encourage you to look at what God says about this arrogant man.  Look at verse 15.  In verses 12, and 13, God says He is going to punish the king after He is done using him.  We then read why God has determined to do these things,

“Isaiah 10:16-22 NASB Therefore the Lord, the GOD of hosts, will send a wasting disease among his stout warriors; And under his glory a fire will be kindled like a burning flame. (17) And the light of Israel will become a fire and his Holy One a flame, And it will burn and devour his thorns and his briars in a single day. (18) And He will destroy the glory of his forest and of his fruitful garden, both soul and body, And it will be as when a sick man wastes away. (19) And the rest of the trees of his forest will be so small in number That a child could write them down. (20) Now in that day the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. (21) A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. (22) For though your people, O Israel, may be like the sand of the sea, Only a remnant within them will return; A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness.”

God is the author, His glory is the point, His Holy One is who it is all about.  God chose Israel to demonstrate this through, just like He chose us in Him before creation to demonstrate this through.  Be honored to be used by God in your lowly state as a vessel of honor.  Don’t think that there is something about you that warrants this utilization, not your works, not your choice, not your fallen faith, not your fallen repentance, no there is nothing about you that would make you appealing to God.

“1 Corinthians 1:22-31 NASB (22) For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; (23) but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, (24) but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (25) Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (26) For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; (27) but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, (28) and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, (29) so that no man may boast before God. (30) But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, (31) so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.””

It is all about Jesus.  God grants the new birth, the saving faith, the saving repentance from dead works, to Christ, God is the author of our salvation, for His glory, amen.

Is Your Hope in Politics, or God’s Gospel?

Years ago I was a Fox News Christian.  My political ideology took precedence over my theology.  In other words, I cared more about being conservative, than I did about Christ, and the will of God.  I also saw conspiracies all over the place.  It seemed to me that there was a world government that controlled all of the governments of the civilized world.  I thought that the world government was comprised of the ultra-rich and influential.  I haven’t really changed my mind about that.  I do think that the enemy has his minions running a satanic plan.  What has changed is that I no longer think it is possible to fix the problems via politics.  I also think that the enemy can only do what sovereign God allows.  I believe with all my heart, all that matters now, is to preach the gospel to the lost and perishing world.  I read something from Isaiah today that brought this to mind.  

 

Isa 8:11 — Isa 8:16
For thus the Lord spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying,
“You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’
In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy,
And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it.
“It is the Lord of hosts whom you should regard as holy.
And He shall be your fear,
And He shall be your dread.
“Then He shall become a sanctuary;
But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over,
And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
“Many will stumble over them,
Then they will fall and be broken;
They will even be snared and caught.”
Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.

 

Of course, I’m not encouraging you to take this section out of context.  It is obviously a prophecy from God to Israel, through Isaiah.  I get that.  The Israelites were suspicious of the true prophets of God.  They didn’t like the warnings they gave them.  They were relying on their allegiances with pagan nations, they were hoping on pragmatic security and not God.  Relying on our own feeble abilities and righteousness keeps us from God the same way that it kept many of the Israelites from Jesus when he came.  This also reminds me that living in fear of what could happen, and what the government will do to us, is not honoring to God.  God is the one who we should fear.  He is the one who we should concern ourselves with.  We should seek his glory.  The true hope of the world is not electing the right politicians, it is the wonderful gospel of Jesus.  Only the transforming work of God can change the hearts of sinful men, and reform the reprobate heart.  So we preach repentance of sins, and faith in the work of Christ on the cross, to justify men to God, and save their souls from the flames of Hell.