Friday, December 30, 2011

Bible Truth #328 - Isaiah 46:10

Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

If you carefully consider the object of “time” which God created, you may better understand how everything is history to God. To create something, God has to be outside that which He created. So when He created time, He created the beginning, the end, and EVERYTHING in between. As far as God is concerned, the events that will transpire immediately before His Son’s return to earth have already occurred as much as the attack on the World Trade Center on 9-11 has occurred to us. This is why His prophecies are always 100% accurate. God has declared it and it will not change. If anything changes from what God has already declared (determined, ordained) then the original declaration was false, making God a liar, which of course, is ludicrous.

The prophet then goes on to say about Yahweh, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Consider - God will do all that He pleasures. There is no exception to that, there is no qualifier. There is no room for man’s “free will.” The only thing free about man’s will is that God has ordained some Christians to continue thinking they have free will, along with all of the lost. (Yes, those who are lost also think they have free will.) Since God will do all that pleases Him, and since His Word will not return void (Isaiah 55:11), then obviously it is not His WILL that every man be saved. If God willed all men to be saved, all men would be saved.

God has declared it! God has determined who would be saved when He chose them in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). God has already written their names in the Lamb's Book of Life (Revelation 17:8).

Arminians grasp at straws when they claim a couple of passages state God wants all men saved. Passages like 1 Timothy 2:4, 1 Timothy 4:10, and 2 Peter 3:9. I have explained each and in light of God’s sovereignty clearly stated in passages like Isaiah 46:10 above, the only reason Arminians don’t understand is that God has not given them a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear (Deuteronomy 29:4). If it was God’s will that all men be saved, all men would be saved.

As I wrote in Bible Truth #327, it is no different with individual lives. God has set before each man a course he will take, God directs our steps (Proverbs 16:9).

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bible Truth #327 - Hebrews 12:1

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

This passage follows the Chapter known as the “Hall of Faith,” Hebrews 11, where the writer tells us of the great faith of some of the revered saints of the Old Testament and ends it by telling us some of the things that many other honored saints experienced and how some died gruesome deaths.

He then starts off Chapter 12 by telling us that our lives are being observed by a lot more people than we might want to consider. We may think that only God is watching us but that is not true.

However, what I’d like to point out is that the writer tells us to run with patience the race that is SET BEFORE us.

“Run” is translated from the Greek word trecho which has the meaning: to exert one's self, strive hard; to spend one's strength in performing or attaining something; and sometimes, especially in light of the preceding chapter, to incur extreme peril, which requires the exertion of all one's effort to overcome. And sometimes the only thing that is overcome is the fear of the type of death one will suffer.

“Race” is translated from the Greek word agon which in this context has the meaning: the contest for a prize at the Greek games; generally, any struggle or contest; a battle. Again, in light of the previous chapter and the discussion of the Christian life, I would understand “battle” better than any other definition.

Now we get into the purpose of why the Spirit led me to write this up. Set before is translated from the Greek word prokeimai which, in the context of the Christian life, has the meaning: to lie or be placed before a person or in front of; to be appointed, destined.

We can not run another Christian’s race, we can’t live their life. Each man has to live the life the Lord has placed before them. But the point is, that life, his entire life, has been placed before him. It has been set, and has been determined, a specific “race course” that God has laid out. A man can no more change the course God has set for him than he can change history. This is why Proverbs tells us that God has ordered our steps (Proverbs 16:9) and that we are to thank Him for it (Proverbs 3:5-6, Ephesians 5:20). The events that will transpire next week, next year, or even 100 years from now have already been determined and are history to God (Isaiah 46:10). To Him Who is outside of time, the future is history and it cannot be changed.

This is why all things work together for good (Romans 8:28), God has already worked in them. This is why the author of the letter to the Hebrews wrote that the race has been set before us, it is ours and we cannot change it. (Proverbs 20:24)

Bible Truth #326 - John 9:1-3

1  And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2  And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3  Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

And so begins the story of the man who was blind from birth. There were even people who, after his healing, didn’t even recognize him as the blind beggar. This is only one of many illustrations of life where it is clear that God is Sovereign and in control.

It was a common belief among Jews that sickness or even physical maladies were the result of sin, even the sin of the parents because of their children born handicapped - and they had good reason to believe it. God told Israel through Moses that He would “visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation...” (Exodus 20:5). It was literally contained within the 10 Commandments!

But read again the question the disciples asked Jesus - did this man sin before he was born that caused him to be born blind? Did they have some kind of belief unfounded in Scriptures that said an unborn child could sin? That is how some would interpret this question. I see it another way. Romans 14:23 tells us that everything not done in faith is sin, but is there an age limit on this? If a lost farmer is sinning when he plows his field, and if a lost teenager is sinning when she does her chores around the house, and if a lost child is sinning as he plays games with his friends, does this not also mean that an infant, if he is not one of the Elect, is sinning when he is nursing at his mother’s breast? Is Romans 14:23 speaking of only conscious or planned activity? I don’t believe so. The very existence of a lost man, woman, boy, girl, infant, or unborn - IF they are not chosen in Christ - is a stench before God.

Obviously His disciples understood that man is conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5), is born a sinner, and is in dire need of the redemptive work of Christ - from conception! They understood that it is not the actions of a man that make him a sinner, it is the fact that he was descended from Adam that make him a sinner (Romans 5:12). His sinful actions are merely the result of his fallen nature.

As a side note, please see Bible Truth #319 for thoughts regarding the myth known as the Age of Accountability.

But Christ goes on to tell them that neither the man, nor his parents, sinning caused his blindness. He was born blind so that God could show His works in him. God planned it, He intended it, the man’s blindness was no accident, nor was it a mistake that can now be corrected. Giving sight to the blind was a Messianic activity that was prophesied (Isaiah 29:18; 35:5; 42:7), so how could Jesus give sight to the blind if there were no blind? It was clearly God’s intention that the man would be born blind.

Bottom Line - God doesn’t simply work in each situation to bring Him glory (Ephesians 1:11), He has planned each and every event in our lives (Proverbs 16:9; 19:21; 20:24; 21:1). No one lives their life NOT fulfilling God’s plan for them.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bible Truth #325 - 1 Corinthians 12:12-18

12  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14  For the body is not one member, but many.
15  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
16  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
17  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

God is sovereign and He has chosen a bride for His son and placed them in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). But now has God set those He has chosen, every one of them, in the body (the church, the body of believers) as it has pleased Him (v18).

A man can’t decide He wants to be a hand if the Lord has made him a foot. Nor can another man decide that he wants to be a nose when God hasn’t even chosen him. As a matter of fact, a man not chosen will not come to even have a desire to be in the body (John 3:20).

The point is that God decided not only who was chosen, but He has also decided what function each man would serve within the body of believers - as it hath pleased Him.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bible Truth #324 - Romans 12:3

Romans 12:3
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

I wrote about this verse in Bible Truth #152 but the Holy Spirit just showed me something new today in my studies.

The words “every man” appear in this passage twice. The first time it is translated from the Greek Word pas, which can mean:

1) individually - each, any, every, anyone, etc... OR
2) collectively - some of all types or groups.

But the second time “every man” occurs it is translated from the Greek word hekastos and there is only one way it can be used: “each and every.” This second word is never used in the New Testament when referring to all mankind as those for whom Jesus died. Do you think it is a coincidence that hekastos is NEVER used in the context of the atoning death of Jesus Christ? Christ did not die for every man:
- He was named Jesus because He would save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21), not every single human ever born
- Jesus loved the church and gave Himself up for it (Ephesians 5:25) - not every man ever born
- God gave His Son so that all the believing ones should have everlasting life (John 3:16), not every man.

- Jesus Himself said that He would shed His Blood for many, not each and every man (Mark 14:24).

One of the many Names of Jesus is Savior. This is true because of something He does, it is not simply a title. Savior is more than a name, it is a verb, an action taken. If there is a man in Hell today it is because Jesus is NOT his Savior. If Jesus were the Savior of any man in Hell it would make Him a failure or a liar. That is not the Omnipotent, Sovereign of the Universe in Whom I believe.

No man can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him, and those the Father draws, Jesus WILL raise up (John 6:44).

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bible Truth #323 - Psalm 10:2-4

2  In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises.
3  He boasts of the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the LORD.
4  In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

The wicked man does not seek Him, this is mirrored in Romans 3:11 when Paul wrote the same thing. In all his thoughts there is no room for God.

The lost do not seek God and there is no room for God in their thoughts, every imagination of the thoughts of his heart is only evil continually (Genesis 6:5) - so tell me again how a lost man will, of his own volition, change that and seek God. Tell me again that he will make room for God. Tell me again how the Holy Spirit convicts a lost man when God tells us the lost man will never understand anything from the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

The only thing that is clear to me is that those who believe in decisional salvation never stop adding words to Scripture. They never tire of inserting worldly philosophy and principles to God’s Word (Colossians 2:8).

I ask again, please show me one parable of Christ concerning salvation where the object of salvation had anything at all to do with being saved.
The Sower and the soils - Can the rocky soil (or any infertile soil) change itself into fertile soil? (Matthew 13) God creates the soil (hearts of man - Psalm 33:15) and the soil has no say or decision in the matter at all. (And if you notice in the parable, not all soil [hearts] receive[s] seed, but only where the Sower throws it.)
The Shepherd and the sheep - Can a sheep move from one flock to another? ALL the work is done by the Shepherd (God), the sheep has no say or decision in the matter of which flock he is in. If a sheep does move from one flock to another, it'’s because the shepherd chose it and paid for it, completing the transaction. (Bible Truth #28, #110, #134, #164)
The Vine and the branches - Can a branch remove itself from a vine and graft itself into a different vine? (John 15) It is ALL the work of the Husbandman or Gardener (God). The branch has no say or decision in the matter of to which vine it is attached.

The lost man is Totally Depraved and wants nothing to do with Christ at all. This is why God must act first and draw a man. Jesus will then raise up EVERY man God draws (John 6:44), NOT every man who accepts the drawing.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bible Truth #322 - John 15:1-5

1  I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

There are several truths here that bear repeating. Jesus Christ is the True Vine. God the Father is the Husbandman. No branch can graft itself into the True Vine. EVERY branch starts as part of the wild plant. There is no branch that “comes into existence” already part of the True Vine for every man is conceived a sinner in need of redemption (Psalm 51:5).

The Husbandman must act first by removing a branch of His choosing from a wild plant and then graft it into the True Vine. The branch from the wild plant had nothing whatsoever to do in its selection, in its removal from the wild plant, nor of the time it was removed from the wild plant (Bible Truth #39). It was not jumping up and down calling out to the Husbandman, “Pick me! Pick me!” And then finally, once grafted into the True Vine it WILL bear fruit (Bible Truth #19) and it will be cleansed (purged) so that it can bear more fruit.

Now apply those truths to man. Before the foundation of the world, God the Father chose a relatively few number of men and placed them in Christ (Bible Truth #2). Those men had nothing to do with their being chosen, they didn’t earn it, they didn’t qualify for it by accepting Christ, believing, or repenting. When man is born he is in need of redemption, he is totally depraved, and without hope (Bible Truth #185, #186). There is no way for him to come to Christ unless God moves. And God DOES move in those He has chosen. He does a work in man to make him a believer (Bible Truth #8, #11).

The point I want to make is that Jesus made it very clear that apart from Him we can do nothing. There is no exception. A man must first have Christ before he can do anything spiritually. Paul said it another way in Romans 8:8, they that are in the flesh can not please God. If a man is apart from Christ he is lost, he hates the Light and will not come into it (Bible Truth #25), he is God’s enemy (Bible Truth #7), and he cannot produce fruit for the kingdom.

Apart from Christ you can do nothing and that certainly includes “accepting” Christ, believing in Him as your Savior, and repenting of your sins.

We become children of God NOT by human decision (Bible Truth #9).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bible Truth #321 - Exodus 9:13-16

13  Then the LORD said to Moses, "Get up early in the morning, confront Pharaoh and say to him, 'This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me,
14  or this time I will send the full force of my plagues against you and against your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth.
15  For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth.
16  But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.

God told Moses to tell Pharaoh that He (God) raised him up for this very purpose? What purpose was that? Keep reading - that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.

God raised up Pharaoh for the explicit purpose of squashing him and his Army like a man would squash a cockroach. It makes no difference what anyone thinks the Pharaoh may have wanted to do, God directed his heart like he directs every river (Proverbs 21:1). God directed his heart - in his youth, in his education to be the leader of Egypt, and as Pharaoh. The result was that God’s Name might be proclaimed in all the earth. I also mentioned this in Bible Truth #142.

Paul writes in Romans that God takes lumps of clay and out of one He fashions a vessel of honor (for noble purposes), and out of the other He fashions a vessel of dishonor (for common use) - Romans 9:21. But why would God create Pharaoh and direct his life (Proverbs 16:9, 21:1) for the sole purpose of smashing him and sending him to Hell? The answer is just as easy as it is obvious - look at Romans 9:22-23. He did it to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy (His Elect), which He prepared beforehand for glory.

God had a purpose, and He executed His purpose according to His will (Lamentations 2:17, Ephesians 1:11).

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bible Truth #320 - Matthew 16:24

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Let us consider what Jesus said in these few words. If any man will come after me... If any man will become a believer, if any man will become a Christian - I’m sure most will agree that Jesus was talking about any man becoming a Christian.

...let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Will any believer deny what Jesus said in John 3:19-20

“…Light is come into the world, and [lost] men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”

Now just in case anyone thinks Jesus is not the light to which He was referring in these verses needs only to look at John 8:12 and John 9:5, in both of these passages Jesus clearly says He is the Light of the World. But the point is in John 3:20 Jesus said the lost man will NOT come into the Light. If a lost man will not come into the Light, how can he “come after Jesus?” How can a lost man “follow Him?”

The answer is he can’t do it! If a lost man could come into the Light, i.e. follow Jesus, it would make what Jesus said in John 3:20 a lie! It would also make Paul a liar because of what he wrote to the Romans in Romans 8:8 - would not a lost man coming to Jesus please God? Of course it would. So it is clear a lost man can’t come into the Light because he can’t please God.

Only a man whom God has quickened, and given belief (John 6:29; Philippians 1:29), repentance (2 Timothy 2:25), and understanding (Luke 24:45; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Timothy 2:7) will deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Jesus.

Once again Jesus’ own words disprove the belief of decisional salvation as believed by the Arminian.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bible Truth #319 - Matthew 18:10-14

10  Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
11  For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
12  How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
13  And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14  Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

I am including several more verses for context but want to focus on verse 14.

I wrote about verse 11 and a similar verse in Luke in Bible Truth #22 so I won’t go into that here. Verse 14 is a verse that a lot of Christians, mostly Arminians, use for a man-centered doctrine called Age of Accountability. This is the theory that children (and the mentally infirm) are safe from eternal damnation until they reach an age when they can “understand” the idea that every person is conceived in sin, must be redeemed, and needs a Savior. This age is different for each child. Upon reaching this age, they are no longer safe and must be redeemed by accepting Jesus.

Even though a lot of Christians believe this, most will quickly and accurately say that each and every person from birth needs to be redeemed, they are born with the old sinful nature. That in itself contradicts their belief of the Age of Accountability doctrine. Why don’t they say a man needs to be redeemed from the Age of Accountability if they’re safe until then?

The theory of Age of Accountability also presupposes the idea that man must do something to earn eternal life - the man must believe, accept Christ as their Savior, and repent. If it proves anything, this theory proves that the Arminian believes in works. It proves that the lost man, while in his flesh, must DO something before God will save him. But since a zygote, embryo, fetus, baby, or toddler can’t do what first “needs” to be done, they make the claim that the unborn and young children are SAFE until the Age of Accountability. Arminians had to come up with some theory to cover the young and unborn since they can’t “accept Christ.” Sorry, if man must DO something before God grants him eternal life then God is a respecter of persons and I covered that in Bible Truth #24 - God is NOT a respecter of persons.

Another problem is that this theory of Age of Accountability is taught nowhere in Scripture. It’s an idea that runs counter to the sovereignty of God in Election.

A third problem with this theory of Age of Accountability is that Arminians once again miss the truth found in Scripture that regardless of age or maturity, it is impossible for a lost man, woman, boy, or girl to understand the fact that every person is conceived in sin, needs a Savior, and must be redeemed. Spiritual truth is foolishness to them and they will not understand or accept it (1 Corinthians 2:14).

From the moment of conception, not birth, but conception, the human being is Totally Depraved and in need of redemption (Psalm 51:5). There is no point in the life of man when he is “safe,” he is either chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world or not (Ephesians 1:4). Of the billions of children who have died before reaching this mythical Age of Accountability, has God chosen every single one and hence they immediately went to be with Jesus upon their death? I don't think so. All we know is what the Bible teaches and it is certainly not teaching the theory of Age of Accountability.

Yes, it’s easy to believe mans WORLDVIEW about the innocence of babies” but in God’s eyes, that unborn fetus, that newborn baby, and that toddler are just as spiritually dead as an atheist on death row. The idea that God chose to save every baby is not directly supported anywhere in Scripture and as a matter of fact, the opposite is written of by Luke in Acts 10:34, Peter said God is not a respecter of persons. If a man believes that EVERY unborn baby, EVERY newborn infant, and EVERY young child, who dies goes to Heaven, he is saying God is a respecter of persons (Bible Truth #24). He is saying that God chose each of these because of who they are - young and not able to understand the Gospel. That is a classic definition of a respecter of persons - God is showing bias toward someone, or a group.  Besides, as I wrote above, no lost person will ever understand the Gospel at any age (1 Corinthians 2:14).

However, I DO believe Scripture informs us there ARE unborn, infants, and young children, who die, who are saved. They are indeed among God’s Elect. In Psalm 103:17 God states that He extends His righteousness to the children of His children. Once we determine who God’s children are (John 8:44) it is then easy to extrapolate who is identified in this verse. Since only Christians are children of God, I believe that children of Christians who die very young or in the womb are assuredly among God’s Elect, chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4).

Trying to use the passage above as a general rule that applies to every child in the world is not sound exegesis. Verse 14 above is specific - it is not the will of your Father ... that one of these little ones perish. Jesus was referring to the specific child and children present, not every child ever born. If God’s will is that all children are safe from damnation, Jesus could have simply said it is not the will of God that any little ones perish. But consider, Jesus Himself limits or qualifies those about whom He is talking when He said in verse 6: But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me... Did you catch that? The little ones present believed in Jesus. You can't get any more straightforward than that. These children were old enough to understand and believe in Jesus.

Besides Verse 14 above, some also use the passage in Deuteronomy 1:35 and verse 39 to help support the idea that God will not eternally condemn the young. In addition, King David also has some words along this line of thinking. He said of the child conceived as the result of his adulterous affair with Bathsheba, “But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:23) But is this something that he personally believed, was it a truth God gave him about all children, or was it fact that God revealed to him about this particular child? Using these Scriptures along with Matthew 18:14 as proof text for children going to Heaven is really stretching the meaning of the text.

Finally, Jesus said it is not the will of the Father that one of these little ones perish. Speaking of God’s will, He is sovereign and He always gets his way. If He does not want any child to perish, they won’t. God works EVERYTHING in conformity with His own will (
Ephesians 1:11). He ALWAYS gets His way. That is the meaning of sovereignty.

The primary purpose of this Bible Truth was to refute the theory of Age of Accountability, not establish if young children who die are chosen or not.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bible Truth #318 - Matthew 18:1-3

1  At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2  And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus said except you be converted... you shall not enter the kingdom of Heaven.

He did not say unless you change your mind, He did not say unless you repent, He did not say unless you believe, He did not say unless you follow me, these are all things that we do after God converts us. They are works of the redeemed man. Jesus said unless you be converted...

Well how does a man get converted? Here we once again get to where the rubber meets the road. The Arminian believes a lost man has the ability to change his heart. The Arminian has this idea that a lost man can believe, or repent, with the result that God would convert him.

Sorry. There is nothing a lost man can do to make God convert him. At a time of God’s choosing He converts every single person He chose in Christ before the Foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). Why do I say EVERY person? Because God is not willing that ANY of His Elect perish, but that ALL of us come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Every person God foreknew, He predestines, calls, justifies and glorifies (Romans 8:29-30). If man had to do something before God converted him, like believe and repent, that would be works of the flesh and salvation is not of works (Ephesians 2:9) and it would make God a respecter of persons - and Peter tells us very clearly that He is not (Acts 10:34).

A lost man can’t do anything to please God because he is spiritually dead which means everything he does is in the flesh - and they that are in the flesh can NOT please God (Romans 8:8). John tells us in the first chapter of his Gospel that we become children of God NOT by human decision (John 1:13). He tells us many other truths as well:
- a lost man hates Jesus and will not come to Him (John 3:20)
- it is God’s work that a man believes, not man’s “free will” (John 6:29)
- Jesus will not lose a single one that the Father has given Him (John 6:39)
- Jesus raises up every man God draws, not those who accept the drawing (John 6:44)
- man’s flesh is good for nothing which includes accepting Jesus (John 6:63)
- we did NOT choose Christ, He chose us (John 15:16)
- Jesus prayed for us, those the Father had given Him, not the world (John 17:9)

The bottom line, except you be converted... you shall not enter the kingdom of Heaven. And God does the converting, not man.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bible Truth #317 - Luke 10:1-6

1  After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
2  Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.
3  Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
4  Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.
And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.
6  And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.

I included the previous 5 verses for context and have written about verse 2 elsewhere, but in this Bible Truth I would like to point out an amazing thing in verse 6.

Jesus said as they enter a home, first say peace to this house (v5). And if the Son of Peace is there, their peace will rest upon it and if not, their blessing of peace will return to them. In the culture of that day when travelers enter a town, as they go through the city gate, frequently, especially if it later in the day, someone will approach them and offer them shelter. This is shown in Genesis 19 when Lot offered shelter to strangers (the angels).

The point is, God had already determined upon whose homes He would bless with the Son of Peace, His peace was already there. And the fact that Jesus said IF the Son of peace is there simply shows that even good, moral, friendly people who don’t have the Son of Peace will offer their homes or empty rooms as a place of shelter to strangers.

But how did the Son of Peace already exist upon these particular homes? The Son of Peace was already there, it preceded these 70 disciples to specific homes. Did God observe the behavior of the occupants and then grant them the Son of Peace? Of course not. If He did He would be showing favoritism based on works and we know salvation is not of works (Ephesians 2:9) nor is God a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).

Can this be explained a different way? Probably. The Arminian will make claims based on their man-centered belief of decisional salvation but it will stand in contradiction to many other passages of Scripture that I’ve written of over 410 times.

Bottom line - God chooses whom to grant peace, whom to grant belief, whom to grant faith, whom to grant repentance, and whom to save. And that is His Elect, chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). Those were the homes that had the Son of Peace before the disciples arrived.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bible Truth #316 - 1 Corinthians 15:1-2

1  Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

I wrote about this passage in Bible Truth #269 but want to touch upon another thought Paul wrote of that I initially overlooked.

...unless ye have believed in vain. Paul was literally telling us here that a man can believe in vain, i.e. his belief is useless and has no effect on his spiritual condition.

What is the difference between a saved person believing and a lost person believing. The Arminian will say, “The lost person is only giving intellectual assent to the historical facts of Jesus, he doesn’t believe in his heart.
Well how does one believe in his heart?
He must commit to Jesus and live for Him, trust in Jesus to take him to Heaven when he dies.
So tell me why a man can’t give “intellectual assent” to living for Jesus and trusting Jesus to take him to Heaven when he dies?

In my lifetime I have seen many people who believe and are really “committed” to Jesus, committed to their church, and they spend a lot of time volunteering to help others. But they’re as lost as any reprobate who curses God. They do many good works but they believe in vain.

There is no degree of lostness, a man is either saved or lost. So I ask again, how does one believe in their heart?

The answer is a lost man CAN’T believe in his heart because his heart is dead. A lost man is dead in his sins (Ephesians 2:1, 2:5, Colossians 2:13). If he was not chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world he has no hope of being saved (Ephesians 2:12, 1 Thessalonians 4:13). Yes, there are some lost people in churches who do many good deeds, their contributions (financial and in deed) to the church and society have many fooled into thinking they are Christian. But they believe in vain.

In the context of this passage, and since human nature hasn’t changed, Paul knew there were non-Christians who were members of the church at Corinth and he knew that these people believed in vain. Non-Christians who believe in Christ believe in vain. They believe the same way demons believe (James 2:19). They give intellectual assent to the same facts that God’s Elect know and believe. But because they weren't chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, they will ALWAYS believe in vain. Their belief is of the flesh, and not the spirit.

Paul was confirming that a lost man can do what he wants, even believe, but it will be in vain unless he is chosen. It will be in vain unless God has done a work in him and given him belief (John 6:29; Philippians 1:29), saving belief.

Bottom line - a lost man who believes in Christ does it with his flesh - therefore he believes in vain because his belief is not pleasing to God. (Romans 8:8)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bible Truth #315 - John 3:18

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

Read it again... Whoever does not believe stands condemned already. Condemned already? To whom is Jesus referring? He was referring to those who were not chosen because there were obviously people who did not believe at that moment who would believe at a later time and they were not condemned already. In fact, because these future believers were chosen, their position in eternity was already sealed. How can I say that? Because Paul told us in Ephesians 1:4 that we, God’s Elect, were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. So obviously, even before God saved me, I wasn’t condemned already.

So at what point in their lives did these particular people, the people to whom our Lord is referring, acquire the status of condemned already?

Was it the point at which they rejected the Gospel after hearing it?
Nope, that would make God a respecter of persons in that He saves only those who first believe (Acts 10:34). That is based on the Law, something man is required to do first and is a work of the flesh (it must be, for his spirit is dead). It also does not explain the eternal destination of those who lived their entire lives and died without hearing the Gospel - and it was God that determined they would never hear it (Acts 17:26). But yet, as with each and every man, if they were not chosen they are destined for Hell. The Bible explains why, Arminianism does not.

Was it the point at which they reached the age of accountability?
That’s not biblical and is only a point of belief with liberals and those who believe in decisional salvation. (Bible Truth #319)

Was it at the point God rejected them, having NOT chosen them in Christ before the foundation of the world?
I say yes, and offer the following in support of my conclusion: there are people who at birth, or even at conception, are condemned already. Why? Because they were not chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. The Arminian may ask, “Well then why did God even allow them to exist?” I can think of two reasons:
1) To show the riches of His glory to the objects of His mercy - that’s His Elect (Romans 9:23). How would we know how much God loved us and granted us countless blessings without us seeing His wrath delivered upon those who were destined to not believe? I say destined because if they were not chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, they were destined to disobey the message and stumble over Christ (1 Peter 2:8).
2) God’s thoughts and ways are not ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). If you're a believer, when you get to glory, ask Him why there were those who were condemned already.

The hard truth and bottom line - Since there were some chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), there were many NOT chosen. These are they who are condemned already, long before they were even born.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bible Truth #314 - Isaiah 55:8-9

8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

If man had to design a way of salvation, he would likely come up with what the Arminian believes now. Present the Gospel to a lost man and let him make a decision whether he wants to accept Christ or not. Who in their right mind would turn that down? Very, very few would. The problem is that a lost man does not have a “right mind” with which to consider the Gospel. A lost man is Totally Depraved and every imagination of his heart is only evil, continually (Genesis 6:5).

The lost man is demon possessed (Ephesians 2:2) and I’m sure every Arminian will say that the devil does not want anyone to be saved. So tell me how a man who is demon-possessed will, of his own volition, choose Christ? Not only is it illogical, God’s Word clearly says he won’t do it. Man cannot change (Jeremiah 13:23), he can’t make a decision for Christ (John 1:13), he won’t come into the Light (John 3:20), he won’t seek God (Romans 3:11), he can’t please God (Romans 8:8), and he understands nothing from the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14).

When I could get a Christian who believes in decisional salvation to listen to the Biblically supported Doctrine of Election many would invariably ask me, “Why would God do it that way?” They would, of course, be referring to not giving man an opportunity to be saved. Other than “Because God is God,” the passage above is the best answer I can come up with.

And I’m glad His thoughts and ways are not mine.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bible Truth #313 - Galatians 1:6-9

6  I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--
7  which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.
8  But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!
9  As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

Continuing the thought from previous verses, Paul is telling the Galatians that he finds it surprising that they are quickly deserting the Gospel of Grace he preached and are turning to the law, the very thing Christ rescued them from!

Paul’s Gospel? We were dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1, 2:5, Colossians 2:13) and are saved by grace through faith, it is not of ourselves or within ourselves, it is a gift from God and we could do nothing to get it (Ephesians 2:8-9). If we had to do something first, it wouldn’t be a gift! But now the Galatians were abandoning this Truth and preaching that there are some actions that a lost man must do before God will save him.

This is identical to the Arminian Gospel of today - man must cooperate with the Holy Spirit to be saved. The law had many requirements that had to be met and maintained before God would “save” a man. The Arminian claims that you must believe before God saves, you must place your faith and trust in Christ before God saves, you must repent before God saves, you must come to Jesus before God saves... I’m sorry, all of those are the actions of a man whose spirit has been quickened, a redeemed believer, a saved man! A lost man can never “do” any of those things.

A lost man hates God and will not come into the Light (John 3:20). The lost man can’t know something he can’t see or hear, he can’t believe something he doesn’t know or understand. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 2:14 the lost man can’t understand anything from God, he thinks it’s foolishness. And the fact that he thinks it’s foolishness makes it clear that he hears the Truth with his physical ears and processes the message with his intellect, but because his spirit is dead he heard nothing with his spiritual ears and understood nothing with his spiritual heart.

THAT is why God says a lost man is His enemy and can’t please Him (Romans 8:7-8), why he won’t come into the Light (John 3:20), and why he has no hope (Ephesians 2:12, 1 Thessalonians 4:13). A man can’t believe until God gives him belief (John 6:29, Philippians 1:29), there is no option to believe or not, God gives belief. A man must be born again BEFORE he can see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3).

Paul goes on to say in verses 8 & 9 that even if he himself started preaching a gospel other than what was already given them, let him be eternally condemned! He then repeats this in verse 9. Why does this not concern Arminians? It is the Arminian who makes the claim that lost men must accept Christ, believe Christ, and repent - all before God will save. Is this man anathema? It seems to hinge on the fact that Arminians claim that believing, trusting,and repenting are not works. I disagree - anything a man must do before God saves is a “work” of the flesh. This is the very definition of the word “works” - any product whatever, any thing accomplished by hand, art, industry, or mind (Strong’s G2041). So even the very act of believing is considered a work of the flesh if one is required to believe before God saves.

The law had a curse for those who fail to keep it, the Gospel has a curse for those who try to change it, whether the Judaizers in the 1st century or the Arminians of the last couple of hundred years.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bible Truth #312 - Galatians 1:3-5

3  Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
4  who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
5  to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Jesus “gave Himself for our sins,” not the sins of every human who ever lived. By using the pronoun our, Paul obviously included himself in the group to which he was referring, and what group is that? According to verse 2, he was writing to the churches of Galatia, not everyone who lived in Galatia and certainly not everyone who ever lived in Galatia.

Jesus gave Himself for our sins ... according to the will of our God and Father. Hmmm, makes sense to me. Paul wrote to the Ephesians that God works out everything, not just some things, but EVERYTHING according to the counsel of His Will (Ephesians 1:11). Well now, if that’s true (and it is) how would it be possible that a man who God wants to save, not get saved?

If a man can say "No" to God, then God is not sovereign, and He’s not God. I know the Arminian will claim man has a free will but he will not show me Scripture that says as much. And I have shown many times where God orders our steps (not just the end result, Proverbs 16:9), where God moves hearts (Proverbs 21:1), where God works in people to make them believers (John 6:29), where God works in us to think and act according to His will (Philippians 2:13). All of these and more I have covered in Bible Truth #306.

The bottom line is that Jesus gave Himself for our sins to rescue us according to the will of God. We become children of God by His decision, not ours. (John 1:13)