February 25, 2017
In spite of Israel’s present disbelief in their Messiah, when we study the region’s true / truthful history we can see that the modern nation of Israel came about by miracles straight from the Lord. I was impressed by this anew when viewing footage last year of her handful of war planes that, miraculously, were built, smuggled to the area, and which scared off the massive approaching enemy with its tanks and all.
God is going to enter into judgement against all nations for scattering His people and dividing up His land. (Joel 2:31-3:3) The Lord will gather all nations to fight against Jerusalem (Zech. 14:2) and “Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations” (v. 3), “His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem” (v. 4), He will strike the attacking nations severely (v. 12-15), and afterwards “the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty…” (v. 16) and “The LORD will be king over the whole earth.” (v. 9)
“And so all Israel will be saved” (Rom. 11:26), cleansed, and in covenant again and forever with God. (v. 26-29) And God, as the man “Jesus… the Root and Offspring of David” (Rev. 22:16), will reign from earthly Jerusalem a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-10 w/ Isa. 9:6,7, Dan. 7:13,14, and etc.) after which He will make a new heavens and a new earth (2 Pe. 3:7-13 // Rev. 21:1) and a new Jerusalem. (Rev. 21:2)
February 19, 2017
It seems that almost every time I evangelize at the train and bus stops I get, amid the many who either say nothing or say something positive, a person who comes up to me to try to straighten out my theology. This last Friday there was another one of these types and he approached me to inform me that my sign which says, “Holy conduct is necessary for salvation” is not Biblical. On my sign I have several verse references to support the statement, but he could not be persuaded, even when a sinner (a man who later told me he believes but is gambling with his eternity because he wants to keep sinning) came up and tried to reason with the first man, saying that my sign IS actually Biblically correct. (I’ll call this man “Odie” here.)
The first man, Joseph (also not his real name), tried to explain to me that nothing is needed on our part, except faith, in order to come to Christ and be saved. I told Joseph that I realize this is true if we also consider that faith involves the genuine renunciation of sin, but, I also told him, salvation is not just a moment in time but a road (Mt. 7:13,14) –or even like a train we get on that continues along a track– and is a submission to the process of training over a lifetime, as well as a destination. I told him we are saved (Rom. 10:10), we are being saved (Ja. 2:22,24 // 1 Pe. 1:9), and we will be finally saved (Mt. 10:22 // 2 Pe. 1:10,11 // Rev. 12:10-12), if we remain in Christ and on His salvation road… if we remain holding on to the Lifeline, and continue holding on all the way to the shore. Joseph would not accept what I was saying as he let it be known that he believed in the Once Saved, Always Saved doctrine, even though I quoted many verses for him.
Odie, who was listening in, moved closer to us and began his attempt to persuade Joseph, saying, “You are missing it, Man.” However, though Joseph listened for a few minutes to Odie, Joseph just kept shaking his head, repeatedly interrupting, and then abruptly walking away. Odie and I continued talking, and Odie became obviously filled with conviction and fear over his own eternal destiny. He and I talked for another fifteen minutes or so, and his last words to me were, “I realize that I, because I know better, will be judged even more strictly than those who don’t understand.” I agreed with him and added a reference to myself, reminding him of James 3:1 concerning God’s strict judgement for teachers of His Word.
So, those of us who presume to know the Scriptures (including Joseph) –we better get it right. We better be reading and studying –no, not men’s doctrines, but the Word of God itself. We better pray for God to wipe away all our biases so that we can comprehend what we are reading. For what blindness there is these days! What a strong delusion many have bought into! Holy conduct is not necessary for salvation??! Really? Is that what Joseph wants us to believe? Why does he think my theology is askew when it is his that is false?
Jesus has told us, “He who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Mt. 10:22) He has told us that those who belong to Him (His family and His Kingdom) are only those who do God’s will, which comes by putting His teachings into practice so that good fruit is produced. (7:15-27 & 12:50 // John 15:1-10) Jesus tells us, “All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.” (John 16:1)
Going astray is a possibility or Jesus would not warn us of it, nor would He warn us of persecution, lack of fruit-production, and sin which can cause us to turn to waywardness and be cut off from Christ and God’s love. (Luke 8:11-15 // John ch. 15) He would not warn church-goers of deeds that are not complete in His sight (Rev. 3:2) or warn them to repent and to obey His teachings. (v. 3) He would not warn us that becoming soiled, and being found unworthy and unable to overcome, can result in having our names erased from the Book of Life. (v. 4-6) “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it.” Does this statement from Jesus in Luke 9:24 sound like He is teaching that all we need for salvation is a one-time moment of belief and confession of sin? Hardly! Instead Jesus makes it clear that losing our life for Him means denying Self, picking up our cross daily, and following Him. (v. 23)
Many other verses of Scripture say essentially the same thing. Rom. 6:6 tells us that “our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless…” while Gal. 5:24 says, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” Col. 2:11 says that those who are in Christ have had their sinful nature circumcised off by Christ, while Titus 2:11-14 says that God’s grace teaches us to say “No” to sin (v. 11) so that Jesus “who gave Himself to redeem us from all wickedness may have a purified people for Himself who are eager to do what is good.” (See v. 14) And I could go on and on.
One passage I quoted for Joseph was Heb. 10:26,27 about sinning deliberately and that it causes one to forfeit salvation. I wanted to continue on down to verse 31, but I kept getting interrupted. Even so, may the rest of us comprehend that this passage, unlike Joseph declared it to be, is speaking of those who have once been saved. Verse 29 shows us explicitly that it is about the person who has once been sanctified (washed clean and made holy) by Christ’s blood. It says, “How much more severely do you think a man ought to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” This passage is warning those once saved! Verse 30 warns, “The Lord will judge His people” while verse 31 says, “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Let’s understand that “a dreadful thing” does not equate to having the words said to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your Master!” (Mt. 25:21) No, it equates to this: “You wicked, lazy servant!” (v. 26) and a banishment to “the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (v. 30)
Truly, regardless of what Joseph and his ilk believe, the Word of God warns, “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.” (Heb. 10:36) Verses 35-39 make it clear that we “Christians” have the choice to continue living by faith or to make the choice to throw away our faith and shrink back under God’s wrath that destroys (see also Luke 12:4,5) and that sends us to eternal punishment. (Mt. 18:32-35 & 25:46 // 2 Thes. 1:7-9)
1 Cor. 16:22a says, “If anyone does not love the Lord –a curse be on him.” Oh, but those of Joseph’s theology would say, “But I do love the Lord.” Do they? –When they say it is not necessary to have holy conduct in order to be saved? –When they refuse to teach that completed salvation is not a reality until we actually step from this earth and stand before God’s Judgement (2 Cor. 5:10 // Heb. 9:27) and hear Him call us “Faithful”? Jesus says, “If you love Me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15) He says, “If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching” (v. 23) and so will be indwelt by the Spirit of Christ and the Father. (Same verse // Rom. 8:9) Indeed, love for God is to obey His commands (1 John 5:3) and, through the power of the Spirit, to walk in victory over sin. (v. 4 // Rom. 8:1-14)
Let us not be deceived: Jesus will not grant entrance into Heaven to those who refuse to abandon their sin and their disobedience to God. (Luke 13:3 & 23-27 // Eph. 5:5,6) Jesus will not grant Eternal Life to those who refuse to obey Him. (John 15:10 // Heb. 5:9) Yes, everyone is offered the gift of salvation (John 3:16 // 1 John 2:2), but not everyone is chosen. (Mt. 22:1-14) Only the fervently obedient, faithful, and worthy fruit-producers who have walked in God’s will are the ones chosen to enter the eternal joy and love of their Master. (Mt. 25:21 // John 15:10 // Col. 1:10 // 1 Pe. 1:7-9,13-17,22 // 1 John 2:15-17 // Rev. 3:14-16 & 17:14) I’ll say that again: Only the fervently obedient, faithful, and worthy fruit-producers who have walked in God’s will are the ones chosen to enter the eternal joy and love of their Master.
Let’s realize that Jesus has informed us that those who are eternally secure are those who follow Him. (John 10:27,28) Let’s understand that Jesus says that if we hold to His teaching, we belong to Him (8:31-36) but, if we do not, we have no Life in us. (6:53-57) John 6:66 shows us that “many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.” Why? Because much of Jesus’ teaching offended and annoyed them and they did not want to accept it. (v. 60,61)
Again, let us not be deceived. For turning to false doctrines can, absolutely, make any Christian fall, or be cut off, from their secure position in Christ. (John 15:2,6 // Heb. 3:12-19 // 2 Pe. 3:17) So can the lack of fruit production or the remainder of sin in one’s life. (John 15:2 // Heb. 6:4-12 // 1 John 2:3-6 & 3:6-10) Thus we are warned, “See that what you have heard from the beginning [that is, the Truth first taught by Christ and the apostles] remains in you. IF it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what He promised us –even eternal life.” (1 John 2:24,25)
May Joseph, and all others who hold to his type of theology, come to see their dangerous error.
February 11, 2017
Jari (at my comment page today),
You ask, “Do you believe that great men of God such as John Piper, John MacArthur, R. C. Sproul, Charles Spurgeon, and other Calvinists are not really saved because they are following John Calvin’s heretic teachings?”
You call these men “great men of God” so I’m wondering what, to you, makes a person such. But even if God could possibly call them that, we can see in Gal. 1:6-9 the warning that we not follow anyone, including an angel from heaven, who might preach a gospel other than the true one. The Word of God informs us in this passage that anyone who does such a thing is to be eternally condemned.
1 Tim. 4:16 is a warning to teachers to watch both their life and their doctrine closely so that by doing so they and their listeners will abide in the Truth and be saved. What is God’s Word telling us here about those who teach false doctrines?
Ja. 3:1 warns teachers that they will be judged more strictly. 2 Cor. 5:10 lets us know that everyone, including those who are trying to please the Lord (v. 9), will be judged for the things we’ve done, whether good or bad, while Jesus lets us know that this judgement results in either eternal life or eternal punishment. (Mt. 25:31-46 // John 5:29) Moreover, He lets us know that our thoughts can condemn us to Hell (Mt. 5:27-30) as can our careless words. (v. 22 & 12:36,37)
1 Cor. 3:10-17 is a warning to us about how we build upon the Foundation (Christ), informing us that constructing foolishly or defiling the dwelling of God’s Spirit will result in loss and/or destruction.
So, if a teacher of Scripture does NOT teach:
~~that God’s grace is offered to all mankind (which it is –John 3:16 & 12:32 // 2 Cor. 5:15 // 1 Tim. 2:6 // Titus 2:11 // 1 John 2:2 // Rev. 22:17),
~~or that God’s grace teaches us to renounce wickedness and to walk habitually in Christ-like holiness (which the Truth teaches and requires –2 Cor. 7:1 // 1 Thes. 4:1-8 // Titus 2:11-14 // Heb. 12:14-17 // 1 Pe. 1:13-17 // 1 John 2:3-6),
~~or that God’s grace enables us and empowers us to meet these requirements of holy living (which it does –Rom. 8:1-4 // 1 Cor. 4:20 // Gal. 5:16,24 // 2 Pe. 1:3,4),
–then how are such teachers different from those spoken about who promise others freedom while they themselves, by remaining slaves to sin, are candidates for eternal darkness? (2 Pe. 2:17-19) And if they remain slaves to sin, and teach that everyone, including all Christ-followers, remain in slavery to sin, then how are they not within the category of those sin-slaves Jesus refers to who have no permanent place in His family? (John 8:31-36) How are such teachers different from those mentioned in 2 Tim. 3:5-9 and Jude 1:4 who, by changing the grace of God into a license to keep sinning, reject Christ’s authority and power in us? How are Calvinists (those who teach that the elect will inherit Heaven no matter what sins they continue to commit) unlike those whom Jesus condemns in Mt. 18:6 because they caused believers in Him to sin?
Are such men teaching the Truth –the true Gospel? If not, will they receive “the grace [of God] that is to be given us when Jesus Christ is revealed”? (1 Pe. 1:13) Well, that is not our judgement call. It belongs to God. However, after we have considered the things I’ve written here, including Gal. 1:6-9 (again), let’s also remember James 2:13 which says, “Mercy triumphs over judgement!” That is a relief for us all! Yet what does the first part of the verse say? It says that “judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.” Shouldn’t this give all of us pause so that we all examine our own selves soberly? (2 Cor. 13:5) As James 5:9 warns, “The Judge is standing at the door!” Yet the first part of that verse says, “Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged.” Is this particular warning of God’s judgement not directed at believers? It is!
What I am getting at is this: We all need God’s mercy as we walk through life. All of us. But can teaching false doctrine jeopardize our Eternal Life? Yes, it absolutely can. However, so can any sin, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” (Ja. 2:10)
Teaching false doctrine and thus rejecting the Truth is to be of the devil. (1 Tim. 4:1 // Ja. 3:15) But so is the person “who does what is sinful”. (1 John 3:8)
P.S. To read how Calvinism presents a false gospel, see here:
February 3, 2017
We are to believe the Truth, for adhering to false doctrine won’t save any of us. (1 Tim. 4:16) Yet many seem unconcerned about diligently studying the Truth and what God expects of us. In fact, many who claim to follow Christ also claim that God expects nothing of us because Jesus has done it all for us –has made us perfect in God’s sight, forever and sealed. To do the works God prepared for us to do (Eph. 2:10) is apparently, to them, an option, not a requirement for remaining in Christ (though Jesus informs us that it is required –John 15:2,10). They do not believe they must walk obediently in God’s will in order to be in right standing with Him and thus be allowed eternal life. By this unbelief they are unbelievers in the Word of God –that Word which repeatedly tells us of this necessity, such as in Mt. 5:27-30 & 7:21-27 & 12:50 and John 8:31-38 and 1 John 2:15-17 and Rev. 2:4,5 & 3:14-16.
We need to realize that we are to “fear God who… has the authority to throw into Hell” (Luke 12:5) for “God does not show favoritism but accepts people from every nation who fear Him and do what is right.” (Acts 10:34,35) Ja. 2:24 is crystal clear: “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” Verse 22 is clear also as it tells us that faith is made complete by what we do, because, as verse 17 already informed us, “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is useless.” We must face such verses and not ignore them.
Titus 1:16 should serve as a warning to all who think they are in right standing with Christ: “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him.” 1 John 2:3,4 says similar: “We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. The person who says, ‘I know Him,’ but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the Truth is not in him.” If the Truth is not in someone, then Jesus who is the Truth (John 14:6) is not in that person. Only unification with Christ’s Spirit, which comes by obeying His commands (1 John 3:24) saves eternally. (John 15:1-10)
Should we become over-worked and over-anxious? No, for we do have our “Sabbath rest” (Heb. 4:9) who is Jesus, through Whom we do works. (v. 10) Even so, we are to “make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” (v. 11) Disobedience to the Holy Spirit’s promptings and leadings will, let’s make no mistake about it, jeopardize our inheritance of Eternal Life. (Rom. 8:9,13,14 // Heb. 10:26-31) As Jesus says, “If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love.” (John 15:10) And in verse 9, He already made the command, “Now remain in My love.” Jesus is informing us that the responsibility is ours to remain, though yes, that the power is Him and that through Him we will bear fruit. (v. 4,5) However, Jesus also warns us that the Father “cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit.” (v. 2) In verse 6 He warns, “If anyone does not remain in Me, he… [will be] thrown into the fire and burned.” We remain through obedience to Christ’s commands and Spirit. (v. 10 // Rom. 8:9 // Heb. 10:35-39) But, the person who has mistreated “the blood of the covenant that sanctified him” (Heb. 10:29) –that is a once saved person– should expect only Hell. (v. 27) For the cross does not cover that once sanctified person who continues to sin. (v. 26,29 // John 8:34,35 // 2 Pe. 2:20-22 & 3:14-17)
God’s Word is not only for our comfort and our guidance, but also for warning us of Hell. It’s not meant to be a feel-good message for those who wish to remain in disobedience to God’s Spirit. Heb. 5:9 says that Jesus “became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.”
Truth does not fit into our belief. Instead we must align our belief to the Truth.