Monday, October 15, 2012

Bible Truth #414 - Revelation 21:5-6

Revelation 21:5-6
5  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

“I will give unto him that is athirst...” There are many passages in the Bible that are similar in nature to this phrase, and all make it sound as if Christ’s redemptive work on the cross is universal - or some would say “not only limited, but ALSO universal.” The problem is those who think this way have given fallen man an ability he does not have. The “thirsting” about which God is here referring is a spiritual thirst, not a physical thirst. Man, in his fallen state, is spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1, 2:5; Colossians 2:13) and can not thirst for spiritual things. Nor can he hear or even see spiritual truth. Jesus said that a man can’t even see the kingdom of God unless he is born again (John 3:3). Just as a physically dead man will never be thirsty, neither will a spiritually dead man, a lost man, thirst for the water of life that only Jesus Christ provides.

The Arminian may keep saying or thinking, “That’s wrong, ‘him that is athirst’ means whoever thirsts.” Absolutely! The question is, “Who will be thirsty? Will every man be thirsty?” The emphasis is on the word “be” - as in who will be in that state? The answer - Only those whom God has quickened. And God quickens the dead spirit in a lost man based on nothing that man did (2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:5). God quickens only those He chose in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4).

I will still hear arguments from Arminians who say, “A lost man can choose to believe, he just has to have faith.

You’re right, he just has to have faith. The problem for the Arminian is the only faith that saves a man comes from God, and God does not give every man faith (2 Thessalonians 3:2). A lost man’s faith will not save him.

The only faith or belief that saves is the faith and belief that God gives a man (Romans 12:3; Ephesians 2:8, John 6:29; Philippians 1:29). And if God gives a man faith and belief, that man IS saved. A lost man has no saving faith on his own (2 Thessalonians 3:2) and if a man uses his own belief, that which is not from God, it is vain belief and will not save him (1 Corinthians 15:2).

The rejoinder I get from Arminians is then some like this: “Then why does God tell a man to repent when he can’t do it?God commanding all men to repent is not for the purpose of giving them the opportunity to be saved, but to show those who HAVE been saved the utter futility of the flesh (which is the only thing a lost man has) generating anything toward his own salvation. Jesus said the flesh counts for nothing (John 6:63).

Let me give you an example: you and a lost man are standing on the top of a 10-story building. God has miraculously given you the ability to fly (like Superman). You show the lost man your ability and tell him he can fly too if he will just have faith and believe he can do it. Sorry, it will not happen. He will either laugh at you and walk away (the normal reaction - John 3:20) or he will take that step and fall 120’ to the ground (those that believe in vain - 1 Corinthians 15:2). God just proved to YOU that without Him working in that lost man, he is NOT going to fly. What better way to prove to you, not to the lost man but YOU, what better way to prove to YOU that man can’t fly other than by us telling him to do it? THAT is one reason for God commanding all men everywhere to repent, NOT to give them an “opportunity” to be saved.

And since God determined the time and place for every man to live (Acts 17:26), did not God determine who would even hear the Gospel? How did the hundreds of millions who lived before Christ have an “opportunity” to be saved? Answer - they didn’t, they had no opportunity whatsoever to be saved. Obviously the vast majority of them were NOT chosen in Christ (for salvation) before the foundation of the world.

The bottom line of this Bible Truth is that a spiritually dead man will NOT thirst for something spiritual.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bible Truth #413 - Acts 16:30-31

Acts 16:30-31
30  ...Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

You may remember the story. Paul and Silas had been traveling and arrived in Philippi of Macedonia and caused some trouble by casting a demon out of a young woman. The problem? She was a slave and had been making her masters a great deal of money by fortune-telling. So Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into prison. That night there was a great earthquake which loosed the shackles that had bound them and opened the doors of the prison. The jailer was going to commit suicide but Paul called out to him that all prisoners were still present. After the jailer called for light and came in to the prison cell, he fell before Paul and asked the above question.

The response of Paul and Silas is one that can be confusing to some who look at this verse alone without looking at it within the context of every other passage involving the regeneration of the dead spirit in man. It was Paul who wrote passages like 1 Corinthians 2:14 that tell us a lost man can NOT understand anything from the Holy Spirit and he rejects it (truth). Nowhere in the Bible will you find an exception. Nowhere will you find it written that a lost man will occasionally accept it. The places in Holy Scripture where the Arminian may point out a lost man accepting the free gift of salvation is, in fact, a saved man whose spirit has been quickened by God and he is now responding to the work God had already accomplished.

Paul penned the statement of fact in Romans 8:8 that a lost man can NOT please God. This means he can NOT “accept” Christ or repent of his sin, he can NOT please God. Would not a lost man repenting be pleasing to God? NO! If God were pleased then it would make His words in Romans 8:8 a lie! Again, there is no exception to the truth of God’s word.

Paul wrote to Titus and Timothy telling them that we are NOT saved because of anything we have done (2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:5) - and believing or repenting IS something we do. True belief and repentance are gifts from God and are done AFTER God quickens the dead spirit in a man. A man with a dead spirit repenting or believing is working from the flesh and Jesus said the flesh counts for nothing (John 6:63). To be saved a man must be called by God and God does NOT call everyone to salvation (1 Corinthians 1:26).

Paul is not the only one who spoke about this. Jesus said that we believe because God did a work in us (John 6:29). We didn’t choose to believe because we came to a realization of the Truth! We believed because God gave us belief! (Philippians 1:29) Once God gives a man belief, he believes, period. He is not given a choice whether to believe or not. God not only gives a man the ability to believe, i.e. enabling him (John 6:65), He gives him belief.

Jesus spoke words of truth when He told the Pharisees that they don’t believe because they are children of the Devil (John 8:44), not of God. Because these Pharisees were not chosen, they had no hope of becoming children of God (Ephesians 2:12, 1 Thessalonians 4:13). A man is either a child of God or not. You aren’t conceived a child of the devil and then once you’re saved you become a child of God. Because God’s Elect are chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), we were ALWAYS children of God. Yes, we’re lost and dead in our sins until we come to the point in our lives when God quickens our spirit but we were always His, we were never children of the Devil. And how do we become children of God? We become children of God NOT by human decision. (John 1:13)

Paul was simply telling the Philippian jailer to believe, KNOWING that if he didn’t believe it’s because God had not done a work in him and if he did believe, God HAD done a work in him and had given him belief (John 6:29; Philippians 1:29). It is no different with us. When we witness to someone or if a man who is lost goes to church and hears the Gospel preached - if he doesn’t believe it’s because God has not done a work in him and given him belief. So if a man walks out of church still lost after hearing God’s Word preached it’s because that’s exactly what God wants. (Isaiah 55:11)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bible Truth #412 - Acts 2:37

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Pricked in their heart? Who pricked their heart? Did they prick their own heart? Or did God prick their heart? The answers are no, they did not prick their own heart, God is the one Who did it. And the only reason they were pricked in their heart is because God took out their heart of stone and gave them a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). Hearts of stone feel nothing. And the reason He gave them a heart of flesh is because they were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). God gives His people a heart to know Him (Jeremiah 24:7) and fear Him for their own good and for the good of their children (Jeremiah 32:39). He opens some hearts and doesn’t open others (Acts 16:14). God turns hearts to hate His people, whether they be children of Israel or Christians (Psalm 105:25). And He does all of this while making some men believe they have free will!

Were ALL pricked in their heart? Maybe all of those present had their heart pricked that particular day when Peter preached, but are all men pricked in the heart when they hear the message? Obviously not. Again, it is God who pricks the hearts of men with the Gospel and He doesn’t prick every man’s heart just as He doesn’t call every man to salvation (1 Corinthians 1:26). And those He calls, He also justifies and glorifies (Romans 8:29-30), they aren’t given a choice. As a matter of fact, not every man even has a chance to hear the Gospel as thousands die every day without hearing it - and many solely because of where they live. But it was God who determined when and where they would live (Acts 17:26) so whether we like it or not, God determines whether a man will hear the Gospel or not. However, the sad truth is that every one who dies without Jesus is going to Hell whether they had an opportunity to hear the Gospel or not.

But the point of this Bible Truth is that these men were pricked in their heart and only then did they realize they were sinners and that God was drawing them - and those the Father draws, Jesus WILL raise up, no ifs, ands, or buts (John 6:44).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bible Truth #411 - 1 Samuel 25:39

When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the LORD, who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal and has kept back His servant from evil. The LORD has also returned the evildoing of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent a proposal to Abigail, to take her as his wife.

David said that the LORD kept him from doing evil. Here is another example of the man wanting to do one thing but God stopping him and making him do another. Where is the free will here? This is no different from than the time God prevented King Abimelech from touching Sarah when he took her to be his wife after Abraham said she was his sister (Genesis 20:6).

Would you like an example from the New Testament? The same thing that happened with Paul when he intended to preach in Asia and Bithynia but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow him (Acts 16:6-7). Think about that - God prevented Paul from preaching the Gospel. How does that fit into the Arminian theory that God wants to save each and every single person?

If God does not want you to do something, you will not do it. If God does want you to accomplish a task, you will do it. God has a plan for each and every single person who was ever conceived, or who will be conceived, and there is no one who will not accomplish God’s will for their lives (Psalm 57:2, Psalm 138:8, Revelation 17:17).

To do anything, God may use you or He may use someone else, but because He has already declared the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), what He wants done not only will be done because He works all things in accordance with the counsel of His Will (Ephesians 1:11), it has ALREADY been done.

So is it a surprise to anyone that God kept David from doing evil? David knew it and he didn’t have God’s Word in text like we have it today.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bible Truth #410 - 2 Timothy 2:19

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

The Lord knoweth them that are his. Wow. When you combine that with what the Lord told the workers of iniquity “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:23) it is very clear there are those the Lord knows and those He doesn’t.

The Lord knoweth them that are his. It is NOT: those that know Him, or think they know Him. A man may claim to be a Christian, he may have prayed to accept Jesus, he may have walked the aisle, in Jesus’ Name he may have done many wonderful works, or preached and even cast out demons - but if he does not belong to Jesus, standing in front of the Great White Throne Judgment he will hear those dreadful words “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” God hates the workers of iniquity - not the iniquity, but the workers thereof (Psalm 5:5).

The Lord knoweth them that are his. He knows only those the Father has given Him, and those the Father has given Him WILL come to Him (John 6:37). Who are those the Father has given Him? His Elect. Those who were chosen and placed in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). These are they for whom He shed His Blood and died. (Mark 14:24, Ephesians 5:25)

The Lord knoweth them that are his.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bible Truth #409 - 1 Samuel 25:32-34

32  Then David said to Abigail, "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me,
33  and blessed be your discernment, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodshed and from avenging myself by my own hand.
34  “Nevertheless, as the LORD God of Israel lives, who has restrained me from harming you, unless you had come quickly to meet me, surely there would not have been left to Nabal until the morning light as much as one male."

There will be some who say that Abigail made a decision of her own volition to approach David with gifts in an effort to appease his anger against her husband Nabal. David tells us otherwise in verse 32, God sent her to meet him. This is just another example of God directing the footsteps of men (and women) and working in people to will and to do according to His good pleasure (Psalm 37:23, 57:2, 138:8; Proverbs 3:5-6, 16:9, 19:21, 20:24, 21:1; Isaiah 14:2746:10; Jeremiah 10:23; Lamentations 2:17Philippians 2:13), He works ALL things after the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11).

David was so filled with wrath against Nabal that he had in mind to kill not only Nabal but every man in Nabal’s household. He had his plan and had set it into motion, but God intervened. He not only sent Abigail to David, God also restrained David from harming Abigail too - “...who has restrained me from harming you... God moved the king’s heart like He moves rivers of water (Proverbs 21:1).

God worked then as He does today. We do not become children of God by the will of the flesh (John 1:13).

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bible Truth #408 - Ezekiel 18:4

Ezekiel 18:4
Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

This passage is simply another verse that supports the fact that everything and everybody is owned by God. He can do with the soul of any man what pleases Him. Here are a couple of supporting passages:

Psalm 24:1 tells us the earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Everything belongs to the Lord and He can do what He wants with anyone and anything. This is the meaning of the word sovereign, and God IS sovereign. This is why His Word will NOT return void but WILL accomplish that which pleases Him (Isaiah 55:11). This is why He works out EVERYTHING after the counsel of His own will (Ephesians 1:11), and because He is in control, and because He orders our steps (Psalm 37:23, Proverbs 16:9), Paul tells us in Romans 8:28 that all things work together for good, NOT our good as too many want to believe. If that is what you believe read Romans 8:28 again or click on the hyperlink.

2 Peter 2:1 tells us that there are false prophets who deny the Sovereign Lord who bought them. Jesus did not buy salvation for them, He bought them. Since He bought them, can He not do whatever He wants with them? The fact is, the matter has already been determined. Christ is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8) and anyone who would be saved in history had to be chosen and placed in Christ before the foundation of the world - and we were! There were some chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) and there were those who weren’t - actually it is more like MANY who weren’t. This is the same thing that Paul tells us in Romans 9:20-21, the Potter can do with the clay as he sees fit, He owns it. If God wants to make a pot for dishonorable use, He can, and does - every day. For more thoughts on 2 Peter 2:1, click.

In the verse from Ezekiel above we learn that God owns the souls of every man AND the soul that sins will die. And by “die” one should understand He is referring to everlasting death in the Lake of Fire. Now who is the prophet talking about? Who is the soul that sins? If you know your Bible you know that ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

So if the Arminian wants to believe that Jesus died for the sins of each and every person who ever lived, O.K., assuming that premise (which I believe God’s Word says is false - 1 John 2:1-2), just because Jesus died for the sins of every single person who ever lived does not mean that He purchased salvation for them, He purchased THEM, so He owns them and can do what He wants with them.

God is sovereign, every soul belongs to Him, and He can have mercy and compassion on whomever He pleases (Romans 9:15). We were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) and redeemed because of nothing we do (2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:5). We are Christians, we are Elect, we are “the called ones” according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). We become children of God NOT by human decision (John 1:13).