It is entitled: Jesus and the Sinnerâ€™s Prayer – What Jesus says doesnâ€™t match what we usually say
I, as well as most of my blog readers, grew up being taught by the local church that Christians should do evangelism a certain way (*cough* easy believism *cough*) and that it lined up with what the Bible says.
Well, simply put, it doesn’t line up with what the Bible teaches and we had all better re-evaluate our thoughts about sharing the Gospel and what Jesus actually calls us to do. For those of you who know me well, you will see why I liked this article’s critique of modern Christianity’s teaching about how to do evangelism.
Enjoy the article!
In Christ and In defense of the Faith,
Let us look at our country and see all that is happening around us. The clearest picture of the judgment of God has been seen through the most recent natural disaster on this country’s soil. See my post on the Tsunami for when I addressed natural disters being defined by the Bible as judgment from God.
Hurricane Katrina devastated the gulf coast and slaughtered the great city on the sea. But let us not stop and merely look at this â€˜naturalâ€™ disaster as the judgment of God, instead, as I have titled this blog entry, look at everything around us and see His judgment upon the nation we live in. (Read Romans 1:18-32 to understand the Biblical basis for my analysis)
At the middle of the first decade of this new century and millennium we have seen much more than the devastation of nature. We have seen the total depravity of man increase across the board in political and organized agendas alike. But do not be fooled, it has been growing for years, but for most Christians in this country it is impossible to see why this is happening because our Theology in this nation does not understand God or His Holiness.
Sexual debauchery is celebrated in every part of the land. Corruption abounds in every area of government and justice does not go forth. Abortion continues to fill the lands and the graves of these little ones fill the nation in landfills and dumps, all because of the desire to fulfill our sexual lusts and not face the results of such intercourse. Unnatural and abominable sexual acts are being passed into law as valid marital unions and the organizations that are pushing these laws are growing in power and wealth. The children of the land do not obey their parents and rebellion exists in every place with no discipline given to them because of fear that the government will press charges at the whim of the children who cry “abuse!” simply to punish their own parents for disobeying their selfish demands. The Church of our Lord has seen great apostasy in this last century and even further apostasy from the Gospel in this current decade.
The end result of all this will be amazing. The end will come like a flood. And when the people cry out, â€œPeace and safety!â€ then sudden destruction will come upon them like labor pains upon a pregnant woman. This will be Americaâ€™s fate unless God in His mercy grants this nation Godly sorrow which will lead to true repentance.
It is my hope that those who believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ will devote themselves to preaching the Gospel in season and out of season where ever the opportunity arises so that the Church might find repentance and once again be a light in the darkness of this land. Political activism and good morals will not save this country and any attempt to legislate people into acting right and neglecting the preaching of the Gospel will only result in the increase of depravity because the unregenerate heart does not understand the things of God because they are foolishness to it. When activism and good morals are pushed without the Gospel coming first and foremost no one will be changed and no one will truly repent of their sins. (See 1 Corinthians 1:18-31)
Therefore, may the Triune God, who is sovereign over all and blessed forevermore, cause you to walk in His statutes and obey His commands. May He give you a new heart and sprinkle clean water on you in order that you might be cleansed from your iniquity. May you find repentance in your soul and may Jesus Christ be Lord over you and in you and through you. This is what I desire for those who have not yet believed in the Gospel of the Glory of God which is found only in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ He attained eternal redemption for all those who believe. And for all those who do not believe they are condemned already and on the last day they will find no peace and no safety from the eternal death that awaits them.
This is the truth of God through His Word. God has spoken to us through His Son, Jesus, and if we hear His voice we must not harden our hearts. Therefore, while it is still called today, do not harden your hearts against the Spirit of Christ. But find for yourself repentance and obedience to God our Father and Jesus Christ through the power of His Spirit that gives life to all men and brings light, after darkness.
In Christ and In Defense of the Faith
Genesis 1:26-27: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
Genesis 2:18: “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.'”
In case you missed why this post is titled the way it is… Their is a URL link attached to the title if you haven’t noticed. =) So, that should explain why the entry is named like that.
The modern day ‘feminist’ hates the Triune God. She looks at the creation and does not seek to give Him glory. She only strives to belittle and castigate anyone who would tell her that men and women are of equal value (based on the imago Dei) yet CREATED for DIFFERENT roles.
The reason I say they hate the Triune God is for this… Bear with me a moment… The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit are all of one essence/being. Yet the person of the Father is not the person of the Son or the person of the Spirit, the person of the Son is not the person of the Father or the person of the Spirit, and the person of the Spirit is not the person of the Father or the person of the Son. God, who IS (not having beginning or end), exists eternally of one substance and in three distinct persons (His tri-unity). Let me say it this way too… God exists eternally as three distinct persons in one Godhead, that is ONE divine nature/being.
See The Creed of Athanasius for one of the greatest doctrinal statements on the Trinity. He said, “And the Catholic Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.” I must say that ultimately we cannot comprehend the Trinity, but we must be careful how we describe the nature of God so as to not enter into heresy or overly inadequate expressions of His existence.
Let me clarify, finally, what I mean by their hatred of the Triune God. A man and a woman are two different beings with singular personhood each. They are created for different roles. Now, the feminist who rejects the distinct roles of a man and a woman does not acknowledge the distinct roles of the Godhead in all things, especially the salvation of mankind.
For the feminist to understand reality, she must understand the Trinity. All three persons of the Trinity are co-equal in glory, majesty, and worth. They are inter-loving, co-eternal, and all the attributes of the Godhead are held in fullness of unity with each other. Once the feminist understands this fact she can go on to realize the beauty of men and women serving distinct roles just as the three Persons of the Godhead carry out unique roles in history.
We must give the example of the salvation of God’s people for a final understanding of this truth. In Eternity the Father gave to the Son a people. The Son came into the World to save all whom the Father gave Him. And the Spirit (throughout history) has applied the work of the Son in the lives of the individuals the Father chose before the foundation of the World, who’s names are in the Book of Life. (Scripture references: John 6:35-40, Matt. 1:21, Titus 3:5, Ezekiel 36:24-29)
We see the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit each carrying out different roles in the Salvation of the World. Thus we can realize that it is not an inferior thing for a man to lead the household and for a woman to submit to her husband. If we are to honor God and His reality then we must submit to the truth of His word and obey His commands. By doing this we will find everlasting joy and pleasure in everything we do in this life that is glorifying to the Trinity.
I love the Trinity because the Trinity first loved me. I hope you will consider these things and seek to apply this truth of how God created man and woman to your own lives. If we believe that God is honored in this way then joy should flow as we live our lives as God created them to be.
In Christ and In Defense of the Faith,
Do you really believe that the Bible (defined as the Old and New Testament Scripture only) is the sole infallible rule of faith and practice for the church? Or is it simply inerrant and infallible, but not really sufficient for Christian life?Well, let me quote a declaration (the Cambridge Declaration to be exact) so that we may understand what Scripture Alone is all about…
“We reaffirm the inerrant Scripture to be the sole source of written divine revelation, which alone can bind the conscience. The Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from sin and is the standard by which all Christian behavior must be measured. We deny that any creed, council or individual may bind a Christian’s conscience, that the Holy Spirit speaks independently of or contrary to what is set forth in the Bible, or that personal spiritual experience can ever be a vehicle of revelation.”
In the above noted passage of Matthew we see that Jesus says God spoke to them through what they read (the Scriptures). In Luke, Christ shows them in all the Scriptures what all the Prophets and Moses said concerning Him. In Acts Paul commits them to the Word of God. And again in Acts, Paul says he is simply restating what the Prophets and Moses foretold (in the Scriptures) would happen.
This is paramount to understanding orthodox Christianity and, more over, understanding anything about God with any certainty. If we do not believe this great doctrine then how can any of us know Jesus Christ or trust Him for who He really is? If we don’t believe this, then who was Jesus? Was He an enlightened man after the likeness of Buddha? Was He simply the prophet of Islam? Or maybe He was just a swell teacher… oh wait… we actually have to read historical documents and believe they are true in order to know anything about Him, more over, to even know he existed or taught anything at all! =) Thus my obvious sarcasm.
So, then we must ask what our Authority is… As stated above, the Bible is the sole Authority for orthodox Christianity and fully infallible and inerrant in the original documents. Thus, if we believe this truth, we should have no problem relying on God to preserve His Word for us in reliable copies made throughout history by Godly men seeking to have God’s Word (as we have Bibles in our houses) and help other people know God’s Word by spreading the Scriptures around as much and as far into the world as they can.
Do you know that the New Testament is the most historically attested book from antiquity? And that the Old Testament is the second most historically attested? That simply means that the Bible is the book with the most manuscripts (compared to any other book in antiquity), from many different areas in the world, that all line up with each other and show hardly any variance in the copies that still exist today. We actually have (though few) papyri of a portion of John’s Gospel from the second century, AD, that contains the same text found in the other manuscript copies that contain the full text of the New Testament!
And with a Church that was brutally persecuted the first 300 years of its existence, it didn’t actually have the time or resources to track down or keep up with all the copies that were made of the New Testament. Therefore the idea that the Bible has been changed over the early Christian years will never hold up because there were so many New Testament documents passed around in the known world the first three hundred years that, with no central controlling authority (like Islam), the Church would never have been able to obtain all the copies of the New Testament books, let alone make any amendments to the documents without many copies being left out or hidden from being changed. Besides, we have no evidence throughout early Church history that such a thing took place!
Do you really think that the teaching of the Bible has ever been popular with the non-Christian world?! Look at the first 300 years… the world governments persecuted and killed Christians for their teachings. Even now it’s still hated today in most of popular culture. People by default don’t like the doctrines of hell, grace and Jesus Christ. (Note, the ‘christians’ who don’t subscribe to all those doctrines are not Christians and they hate God) Christianity is not a religion that has ever been popular with the majority of the world, so why would we ever conclude that the Church “tried to change,” or “actually did change,” the Bible (into what it ‘currently’ teaches – Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven and eternal life) when people (as a whole or majority), throughout history, have never wanted to follow what it teaches anyway? They still don’t! And therefore the only way they can place doubt on Christianity is to cast doubt on its Authority, because they don’t like what it says and teaches, just like those who persecuted Christianity the first 300 years! Books like the Da Vinci Code only tell us in the end that all roads lead to heaven and that you can worship what ever gods you want. Do you think that a polytheistic culture like the Roman Empire would care about such RELATIVE teachings that, note this, they already had?! I don’t think so…
Christianity is the only world religion that teaches man can do nothing to change Himself or even work with God to change Himself. But instead, God alone gets to choose who goes to heaven and man has no right to say anything about it! (John 6 & Romans 9) For God “has mercy on whom He has mercy” and God “hardens whom He hardens.” What other world religion teaches such a thing? What other world religion teaches that man is dead in trespasses and sins and cannot resurrect himself to life? (Ephesians 2) What other world religion teaches that faith and repentance is granted to the people of God (Ephesian 2:8-9 & 2 Timothy 2:25) in which they can THEN freely love God and praise Him for saving them from hell and giving them eternal life according to His good pleasure? What other world religion actually doesn’t teach that man has to perform something to merit heaven? I have yet to find one and don’t actually see one existing anytime soon.
True Christianity doesn’t make sense to people (1 Corinthians 1:22-23) and that is why it’s such a deficient argument to think that the Bible has been changed over the years when it still teaches what I have just stated above. Haven’t you seen that people always want to change things, or ignore them, so that they can be more affluent or more accepted? If the Bible has actually been changed over the years then why wasn’t it changed into something more universal like the rest of the world religions?
The Dark Age should tell us enough that the Bible was never changed because it was the Roman Catholic church that kept people from reading it (the common people didn’t know Latin, only the priests knew it) because that church wanted to stay in power and simply wanted people to think they could buy their way into heaven and merit God’s grace by doing something or following some procedure to earn their way into heaven.
Lastly, the fact that Scripture has not been changed over the years leads us to believe that either the writers were liars or actually telling the truth. But if they were liars, then why did Christianity flourish in the face of persecution? It wouldn’t unless they had sufficient testimony that Jesus Christ died and 3 days later rose from the grave! The Bible is that testimony and record of historical facts including what Christ and His Apostles taught and did in the first century, AD.
It should be trusted as such and accepted as God’s revelation to mankind about Himself and what He has done, is doing, and will do in the midst of mankind – namely saving His people whom He loved before the foundation of the world and bringing the greatest Glory unto Himself by creating the best of all worlds in which to do so.
People just don’t like that, but to those who are being saved it is the power of God by which to save them and bring them into all truth! Amen!
Romans 1:18-19 says, “For ï»¿the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because ï»¿that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.”
From this clear passage we know exactly how to understand the natural disasters of this earth and why such destruction and death occur in the world. For since the Fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden the earth has been under the curse of death. Destruction and terror from the natural forces in the earth have plagued men for millennia and will not stop until that great and awful day of the Lord when the earth shall have been burned by fire and the elements melted, by which this world will pass away and the new earth will be reborn by the Word of God.
What then shall we say until these things be? To answer this question I will quote the Lord Jesus to help us readily reply to the dead world what tsunamis and earthquakes and hurricanes and the like mean to them and what they should do in response to such devastation:
Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1-5, NASB)
Until the earth is reborn and the eternal state is realized we must continue to preach the Gospel command, “Repent and believe the good news!” The good news that Jesus Christ came to save sinners! The good news that by faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ we may draw near unto God and receive the adoption as sons and the Justification that only comes from God! The good news that through repentance and obedience we may become more like Christ as the Spirit of God transforms us in the sanctification He alone provides!
Do you think that all those who were killed in the tsunami of 2004 were any worse culprits than those who survived in the rest of the world? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish! Therefore be zealous and repent, reform, and lay hold of the Salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory!
This is the message that the church should proclaim with humbleness and kindness to all who are unbelieving and dead in their trespasses and sin. According to His mercy and grace He will call to Himself His people whom He foreknew. “The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful – for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim. 2:11-13, ESV)
God is faithful and true and all who oppose Him will endure His wrath for ever and ever. So let us who trust the Triune God for our salvation proclaim the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ that has the power to save all the Father has given to the Son before the foundation of the world. And may the Spirit of God quicken to life by the miracle of regeneration all whom God pleases to save according to the eternal counsel of His will.
There is no greater being than God and there is no other Lord but Christ. It is my hope that the Church of Jesus Christ will tell the pure Gospel of the Redeemer who is strong and holy; not watered down by the philosophizing of men and the corruption of false teachers – which is the spirit of anti-Christ.
God is good and God is love and God is spirit. Therefore we must worship Him in spirit and in truth. His revelation, the Old and New Testament, is what defines our reality and unless we seek God through it we will always fall short of Christ and His glory. I leave you with this thought:Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; No one comes to the Father but through me.” (John 14:6, NASB)
Psalm 14:1 says, “The fool says in his heart, â€œThere is no God.â€ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.” (ESV)Psalm 53:1 says, “The fool says in his heart, â€œThere is no God.â€ They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good.” (ESV)
The Net Bible translates Psalm 14:1-3 in this way:
“Fools say to themselves, â€œThere is no God.â€ They sin and commit evil deeds; none of them does what is right. The Lord looks down from heaven at the human race, to see if there is anyone who is wise and seeks God. Everyone rejects God; they are all morally corrupt. None of them does what is right, not even one!”
I will direct you to this Fox News report on a city council meeting in Tampa, Florida, that granted permission to atheists to speak during the invocation after they ‘scolded’ the city council for praying to “invisible men in the sky.”
Let me start by saying that everyone of us are born into this world with a specific nature. And that nature is best seen in the titles of “Children of Wrath,” “Sons of Disobedience,” and the Biblically implicit title of “Children of Satan.” Now these titles apply to all of us when we are born into the world with a sinful nature. This nature is something that pervades all of us and it is that nature that none of us can overcome left to ourselves.
It is the prominent thing for people these days to say that we can choose or reject God apart from the new birth, namely regeneration. Pop Christianity says that we must first choose God and then when we ask him into our hearts we are born again as a result of that acceptance. But the true teaching of the eternal covenant only involves God acting in accordance with His own nature and man receiving that which is against his own nature. Let us read it in several passages…
Jeremiah 31:31-34 says, “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, â€˜Know the Lord,â€™ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Ezekiel 11:19-20 says, “And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.”
Ezekiel 36:25-28 says, “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.”
Notice in the above passages that God is the one doing everything and nothing is required of God’s people to which the covenant is applied. In fact God clearly shows us in Ezekiel 36 that if it were not for Him putting a new spirit and heart in us, we could not obey His rules or walk in His statutes. This one thing is clear: Man cannot and will not be saved apart from being born again by the Holy Spirit of God through the working of regeneration and applying to us, against our sinful wills, the eternal Covenant of Grace.
To address one last issue… Pop Christianity doesn’t seem to realize one crucial thing. That just as I claim that we cannot do anything against our natural born natures, God Himself cannot do anything against His nature. This is by no means a ‘bad’ limitation to say that God cannot do something with regard to His omnipotence, but instead it is the truest understanding of reality and how mankind and God exists. Pop Christianity will rightly agree with me that God cannot do something against His nature in terms of.. “God cannot sin.” “God cannot lie.” Virtually all of Christianity will agree on that, but so many of us are so quick to say that we, merely finite humans, can somehow choose something other than rejecting God in full. It is our nature to hate Him and to reject Him! So, how is it that we can present the truth of the Gospel in the form of an option? How can we say, “You have to decide what to do with Jesus!” when we should be asking, “What will Jesus do with you?”
Instead we should do as Christ and the Apostles did when they evangelized and present the Gospel and the universal command that follows it. “Repent, and believe the good news!” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!” The Gospel is a command, not an option! The way we know we are in Christ and born again is because we believe and repent. Not the other way around. This is so integral to evangelism and the Gospel that it is no wonder there are so many false professions and so many nonbelievers in the church today. May God work it in you to see the truth of His word as He has done in me.
So, in establishing the Biblical teaching of the new birth that Pop Christianity so flippantly throws around as the ultimate result of people “asking Jesus into their hearts” as if Jesus were a beggar unable to accomplish what He set out to do in justifying the ungodly, I would now like to address in brief the article that sparked this blog.
We all need to be prepared to deal with this atheistic and secular uprising that is trying to ruin this nation and sensor the open expression of our Christian Faith. This is where everyone of us who can vote needs to be prepared to vote in the upcoming Presidential election or keep their mouths shut if they don’t vote in the election. We who are citizens of this country have been given the right to choose our officials and every Christian who believes in the God of the Old and New Testaments should act upon their right to vote and choose the candidate that best exemplifies the teaching of the Bible.
If we do not vote then atheists like Michael Harvey may end up getting their way in this nation and we will, possibly, once again find ourselves in the midst of full persecution. Think of it this way… What happens when those who are Children of Satan gain the majority in a country and elect who ever they desire… I’m almost certain that if secular fundamentalism and postmodernity come to their fullness in this country and are able to make the decisions then persecution will begin in this country that has never seen a national persecution of Christians so far in its existence. May God show us mercy and may reformation begin again in the churches of America so that this nation might once again worship the Triune God! Amen.