Thursday, November 29, 2007

Trans- what?

When talking about the saving of a soul we must trust God to do this His way and not come up with some doctrine of our own. Tony Evans (whom I love to hear preach) in his book (which I have in my office, have read and like, not this part) “Totally Saved” makes up a doctrine to fit his sotieriology.
He calls it transdispensationalism.

Here is Tony Evans quote from “Totally Saved”:
“Everybody is saved through Christ, even those who lived before Jesus came, because in the mind and heart of God, Jesus was already sacrificed to pay for sin before the world was ever created (see Revelation 13:8). So a person can be saved without knowing Jesus’ name, but not without Jesus’ provision for sin.
In the case of a person who never hears the gospel and never knows the name of Jesus, but who responds to the light he has, God treats that person like an Old Testament saint, if you will. That is, if the person trusts in what God has revealed, God deals with that person based on the knowledge he has, not the information he never received. I call this transdispensationalism.God judges that person based on his faith in the light he has received. And as in the case of Abraham, God will retroactively count this person as righteous by applying the death of Christ from the dispensation of grace.”

Here is John MacArthur’s Answer

Yes, the question about—I did make reference to the phrase, “transdispensationalism,” almost sort of throwing it away; at the same time, I know it provoked some discussion and thought. It is a term that, to my knowledge, has only been used by one person, and that person is Tony Evans in a book entitled Totally Saved. That book came out, I think, in the year 2002; it was published by Moody Press. It is a book that endeavors to give a very, very simple and basic understanding of salvation.

At the end of the book, there is a chapter in which the question comes up about people who have never heard the gospel. And, in that section, Tony writes that people who never hear the gospel, if they will accept whatever light they have, God will acknowledge that as sufficient for their salvation. That, in itself, is a—that is a departure from historic Christian gospel. We would say that if someone lives up to the light they have, then the Lord, who is not limited in His capacity to deliver the truth, will bring the full light—and that no one could ever be saved apart from Christ.

This is more of the thing that Tony Campollo says, that people are being saved by Jesus who don’t even know there is a Jesus. This is that “wider mercy” view as it’s called. This is also under what has been termed “natural theology”: that natural theology will lead someone to God, and if the person doesn’t have access to the gospel, then God’s not going to hold them responsible for what they don’t know.

And that’s essentially the argument of this book, that in the world, there are going to be people who never hear the gospel, and they are not going to reject the light they have. They’re going to accept the light they have, and God will count that as sufficient to save them.

And then comes the interesting comment that He does this by transdispensationalizing them. That is, treating them as if they were living in another dispensation. Obviously, there is no biblical defense for that, and none is attempted in the book—none. There isn’t even a verse to defend that. (end quote)

Why is it in this rush to defend God when it comes to sotieriology, do we feel we must say more than the Bible says.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Do I Know God? Part 3

I haven't blogged in a while because I have been to the "Building Bridges Conference" at Ridgecrest. The topic was Calvinism in Southern Baptist Life.
Many of the speakers talked about easy believism and the false Christians that many evangelism methods produce today. They also talked about how preachers need to be careful not to manipulate people when it comes to salvation. This got me to thinking about true Chrisitianity. What does it mean to be a Christian? Is it just a response to an invitation at the end of a Gospel presentation, or is it a total surrender of your life that has lasting evedience.

Maybe this video by Paul Washer will help:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Psalm 23

It is Sunday afternoon and Dallas has the day off so enjoy:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Do I Know God? Part 2

Deception 2: "I Remember the time I made a decision for Christ. Isn't that enough?"

I will quote Tullian's book again.

A lot of people think they have a relationship with Jesus because they can remember a time when they decided to follow Jesus. Perhaps you remember a youth conference or a church service when you walked forward. Or maybe you remember a conversation with a Christian friend or one of your parents in which you invited Jesus into your heart. And you've been told that as long as you can recall an event, you can know for certain your relationship with God is genuine. Regardless of what your life has looked like from that moment until now, if you can remember a time when you made a choice for Jesus, you can know you are eternally saved.

Theologians have a name for this erroneous view: decisional regeneration. But the Bible never says that remembering a time in your life when you made a decison for Christ guarantees you a relationship with God-- never!

To be sure, remembering God's activity in our past is beautiful and important. My point is this: we can't assume that our relationsip with God is real if our only basis for this assumption is a past event, whatever it might have been. instead, we need to ask ourselves, How am I living? and What am I loving? None of us enters into a relationship with God merely by raising a hand, praying a sinner's prayer, walking an aisle, or remembering a decision made years ago, especially if our lives show no evidence that our prayer or decision made any difference.
End Quote

Martin Luther said, "Faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is never alone."

Paul said, "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!" 2 Corinthians 13:5

Peter said, "Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2Peter 1:10-11

Do you know God?

Monday, November 19, 2007


It's Monday! Here is a clip to give you a lift.

Who said white men can't jump!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

America's Teams

Dallas 28 Deadskins 23

What a great Sunday for Sports fans of America's Teams. I am talking about the 2 teams that inspire us to do more and be more as people. Yes I am talking about the Cowboys and the Tar Heels.

How 'bout them Cowboys! The Redskins didn't know what hit them. It's easy to beat the Jets but when you come to Big D things change, this is the big leagues. Joe Gibbs was great in the 80's but so was Micheal Jackson. It is time for Romo and the Boys to shine.

I want to thank Kenny Jones and Bobby Johnson for wearing your Deadskins ties to church this morning, please wear them next Sunday! This part of the post is dedicated to: Kenny Jones, Matt Johnson, Bobby Johnson, Andy Fox, Jeff Steele, Craig Hamlin...etc. And all other Deadskin fans. Go Cowboys!!

North Carolina 107 Iona 72
What a great win for UNC! Iona, one of America's great basketball teams, succumbed to the greatness that is UNC. What a joy it is to be a 'Heel fan! America's Teams really showed out Sunday. Will you join me by showing your patriotism and wear Carolina or Cowboy blue tommorrow. God bless you and God bless America's Teams!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Do I Know God?

I am reading a book by Tullian Tchividjian (Billy Graham's Grandson) titled "Do I Know God". It is a good book. The theme is: Do I have a real personal relationship with God. In the book Tullian lists several ways people are deceived into thinking they have a relationship with God, when in reality they do not.
This post will deal with Deception #1.

Deception #1: "I prayed the sinner's prayer. Isn't that enough?"

He begins this deception with an example of a young man who prayed the sinner's prayer as a teen, at a Youth Conference. He comes to Tullian for counsel.

The rest in quotation is taken from his book:

As Jason and I talked, it was clear to me that he did not know God. He did not have an authentic, eternal relationship with Jesus Christ. Regardless of what the speaker led Jason to believe at the youth conference, he was spiritually lost, still dead in his trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1).
I never saw Jason again.

What he and others like him fail to understand is that entering into a relationship with God is a spiritual transaction, not a physical one. In other words, God doesn't save and adopt you into his eternal family just because you repeated the words of a prayer, walked an aisle, raised your hand in church, or signed a commitment card.

You enter into a spiritual relationship with God when He opens your blind eyes and softens your hard heart and you become aware for the first time that you are a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior. At that point you run to Him because you understand you need Him and you want Him.

I love what C.S. Lewis said, "Unless He wanted you, you would not be wanting Him." In other words, we enter into a relationship with God when we respond to God's initiative, not when God responds to ours. We love him because he first loved us.

Don't get me wrong--praying the sinner's prayer and walking forward at a Billy Graham Crusade or raising your hand in church isn't wrong or inappropriate in itself. But it can mislead you into thinking that such an action alone offers you a guarantee of salvation and entry into God's family. It doesn't.

Physical, external acts like repeating the words of a prayer don't turn slaves into sons. Divinely crafted internal revolutions do. And initially, only God knows who those people are, because it is an act of God. End quote.

Is praying a sinner's prayer wrong, No, I did on October 30, 1990. Thru that prayer God came into my heart. But that was after intense conviction on God's part, an effectual call on my life. The prayer didn't save me Jesus did. My life has changed since this day. God has changed my heart something I could never change. I could stop many bad things and reform myself to a point, but I could never make my life right with God without His intervention and initiative.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


A good staff person is hard to find. Every church and every pastor desires a hard working, unselfish, compassionate, soul-winning, Bible expositing, tithing, faithful and on- time staff person (we are still trying to find this one--HA HA). Many churches have a staff infection, if you will because of bad staff. Not ETBC!! We have Supermarkio. He is invaluable. No one else can do the things he does for our church.

Supermarkio can preach better than most women. As a matter of fact, recently on visitation a man said, "I don't believe those stories in the Bible they are false."

"Which ones", I said.

"Like God speaking thru a donkey. I just don't believe He would do that", he exclaimed.

I replied, "You have never heard Mark preach have you? God still speaks thru donkeys"

Mark has a vast knowledge of the deep truths of the Bible like Eschatology:
He still thinks Y2K may happen!! And he believes the Rapture will happen after the Millenial Reign of Christ.

Sotieriology: Marks feels men choose God after God chooses men but they have their own choice the same choice that every person who ever lived has had regardless of the chance to hear the Gospel so they can choose a God who would choose them if they would just choose Him first. (sound complex not to Mark)

The Trinity: Mark said, "Its like a Southern Gospel group, you know, like a duet plus one."

Mark is the only guy I know who carried a fishing pole to Sea World!
He also calls the Fifth grade his Senior Year...

We are so blessed to have a man of God like SuperMarkio!

Mark "Guido" Marshall we love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Is God Sovereign

"It is not merely that God has the power and right to govern all things but that He does so always and without exception." - John Piper

God is sovereign over the entire universe: Ps 103:19; Rom 8:28; Eph 1:11
God is sovereign over all of nature: Ps 135:6-7; Mt 5:45; 6:25-30
God is sovereign over angels & Satan: Ps 103:20-21; Job 1:12
God is sovereign over nations: Ps 47:7-9; Dan 2:20-21; 4:34-35
God is sovereign over human beings: 1 Sam 2:6-7; Gal 1:15-16
God is sovereign over animals: Ps 104:21-30; 1 Ki 17:4-6
God is sovereign over "accidents": Pr 16:33; Jon 1:7; Mt 10:29
God is sovereign over free acts of men: Ex 3:21; 12:25-36; Ez 7:27
God is sovereign over life and death: Deut. 32:39; James 4:14-15
(taken from

" that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men.' Daniel 4:17

Is your God Sovereign?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Am I chosen?

The upcoming “Building Bridges Conference” at Ridgecrest on Calvinism got me to thinking: Am I chosen?

Here are just a few Bible verses dealing with the word “chosen” in regards to Salvation and office.

Israel was Chosen
"For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
Deuteronomy 7:6

O offspring of Israel his servant, sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
1 Chronicles 16:13
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! Psalm 33:12
"But now hear, O Jacob my servant,Israel whom I have chosen!
Isaiah 44:1
And the LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?"
Zechariah 3:2
So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.
Romans 11:5

Moses was chosen
So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”
Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”
11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
Exodus 3: 4,10-11
Therefore he said he would destroy them—had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him, to turn away his wrath from destroying them.
Psalm 106: 23

The Apostles were chosen
until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.
Acts 1:2
I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, 'He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.'
John 13:18

Paul was Chosen
But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.
Acts 9:15

We are Chosen
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,
Ephesians 1:11

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.
Romans 8:33

For many are called, but few are chosen."
Matthew 22:14

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;…” 1 Corinthians 1:27

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,…”
Colossians 3:12

For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you,..”
1 Thessalonians 1:4

Jonathan Edwards said this about the word chosen in the Bible:God has chosen the godly out of the rest of the world to be nearly related to him, to stand in the relation of children, to have a property in him, that they might not only be his people, but that he might be their God. He has chosen these to bestow himself upon them.
He has chosen them from among others to be gracious to them, to show them his favor. He has chosen them to enjoy him, to see his glory, and to dwell with him forever.
He has chosen them as his treasure, as a man chooses out gems from a heap of stones, with this difference: the man finds gems very different from other stones, and therefore chooses, but God chooses them, and therefore they become gems, and very different from others,
Mal. 3:17, “And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”
God has different uses for different men. Some are chosen for the most noble use, for serving and glorifying God, and that God may show the glory of divine grace upon them.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon said this:
“…because I am quite certain that, if God had not chosen me, I should never have chosen Him; and I am sure He chose me before I was born, or else He never would have chosen me afterwards; and He must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason in myself why He should have looked upon me with special love.”
He goes on to say:
“…in the fullness of time, He purchased me with His blood; He let His heart run out in one deep gaping wound for me long ere I loved Him. Yea, when He first came to me, did I not spurn Him? When He knocked at the door, and asked for entrance, did I not drive Him away, and do despite to His grace? Ah, I can remember that I full often did so until, at last, by the power of His effectual grace, He said, "I must, I will come in;" and then He turned my heart, and made me love Him. But even till now I should have resisted Him, had it not been for His grace. Well, then since He purchased me when I was dead in sins, does it not follow, as a consequence necessary and logical, that He must have loved me first?”

God Thank you for Grace!! Help me to never take too much credit for the saving of a soul, even my own.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Get Your Teeth!

Rodney Dangerfield said, “We sleep in separate rooms, we have dinner apart, we take separate vacations– we’re doing everything we can to keep our marriage together.”

Well, Rodney doesn't get respect nor does he give good marriage advice. The Bible says to, "May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth." Proverbs 5:18

Are you a happily married person? If not, why? Probably the majority of marriage problems come from selfishness. That's right selfishness. When we fail to meet our spouses needs we become selfish and it builds a wall between us.

Right now what would be your spouses greatest need? Are you willing to meet it? If not you are selfish and your marriage will never be what it could be. Life is to short to be selfish.

There’s an old story, I don’t know where it comes from, but I like it.
An elderly couple is
lying in bed. And the wife is a little discontented in her spirit. She says to her husband,
You know when we first got married, when we were young, you used to
snuggle up next to me in bed.
And he kind of grouses a little bit, but he rolls over and snuggles up next to her. And then
she says, “You know, when we were young and we were first married, you used to hold my hand in bed.”
And he grouses a little bit, but he reaches over with his arm and grabs her hand.
And she says, “You know when we were young, when we were in bed, you used to nibble on my ear.”
And he throws the covers away and gets out of bed. And she’s kind of hurt, and she says,
Where are you going? And he says, To get my teeth!

Hey, if you need to get your teeth, get your teeth! Just don't be selfish....

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Deacons Meeting!!

Last night at church we had our monthly Deacons meeting. For some Pastors this is a very difficult thing to go thru. Some pastors even, if I can use the word, "hate" to go to Deacons meetings. I don't. I work with some truly God-called gifted men. The Bible has some very high and difficult qualifications for Deacons and Elders in the Bible and you can look those up for yourself in 1 Timothy 3. Our men meet those and even go beyond. I am truly blessed to work with some great men and friends.

Some have asked: What really goes on at a Deacons Meeting? Everything is so confidential they say, it is almost like some secret society. Well for the first time ever I am going to break confidence and share some video footage of last nights Deacons Meeting!!! Kenny Jones is our new chairman of Deacons and just watch how he handles our meeting. Kenny you are awesome!!

These verses describe our men:

"I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it,.."

Thanks Guys for Standing in the Gap!

And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” 10 So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
Exdus 17

Monday, November 5, 2007


It is Monday morning!!! I love Mondays don't you. OK lets be honest some Mondays can be tough so I thought I would inspire you just a bit. This isn't spiritual but it does tell us to never give up!

Hope you have a great Monday!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Reformation Day got me to thinking about Evangelism and my role in winning the world to Christ. Just what part do I play in "winning a person to Christ". How much power, influence and persuasion do I have over the soul of another person.

A few years ago our former SBC President and F.A.I.T.H. guru (five finger salvation person) Bobby Welch challenged SBC churches to produce 1 million baptisms. Man I tried hard to win a couple souls. I preached and I prayed and I knocked on doors, it didn't produce to many "souls being won"; I don't guess I helped out a lot. As a matter of fact, we all fell short. I think thru his presidency we actually saw less baptism than before. (Not Bobby's fault --he is a good man)

This got many professional people to ask: What is wrong with SBC churches? They started coming out with books with cool titles talking about how backward we are as churches and people. We need to be more culturally relevant. We need to be cooler. Thus, we look to the new breed of pastors who play AC/DC music, wear cool T-shirts, $150 Lucky Brand Jeans, and you must have a gotee! Forget preaching the Bible verse by verse: to old fashion.

By the way, I am pretty cool, at least Allie thinks so. And if I wear a cowboy hat I kind of look like Kenny Chesney.

Forget discipleship: we are here as a church for the lost (where is that in the Bible). Why go deep when we can go wider. I agree, to many Christians take notes they never apply and God didn't ask us to be glorified note takers, but God never asked us to pimp His Son out to pagans in hopes we might grow a big church and make Outreach magazines most Influential Churches list, either.

Evangelism has become so manipulated and distorted God must be cringing at our Tare making ministries.
So what part do I Have in Evangelism? Read what James McDonald wrote recently:

"We are so far down the road of contextualizing the gospel for our culture that it is nearly impossible to make the point I am going to try to make here. Well-meaning people with sincere hearts for lost people have totally hijacked the gospel and a biblical method for sharing it. We have so overemphasized the role of human persuasion in evangelism that we really believe 'we' are the ones 'winning' people to Christ. It's all up to us--if we aren't relevant, if we aren't in touch with culture, if we don't understand the mindset of the people we are trying to reach, if we can't contextualize the message for the people we want to win for Christ--we might as well be speaking to them in Swahili!!! Is that true? Is that God's heart in the matter?"

In another post James said this:

"Consequences of an Overemphasis on Human Persuasion, etc.

1) Dilution of Biblical Content:
In the name of evangelism, churches across the country have jettisoned God's Word as the source for preaching in favor of felt need content and other points of relevancy aimed at interesting a person in coming to church. These 'talks' are designed to engage the curious in a positive exposure to Christianity in the hopes that over time they will begin to like church and ultimately choose to embrace the same Jesus these skilled entertainers claim to follow.

2) Departure from the Biblical Gospel:
It is nearly impossible to have your focus upon your audience and not succumb to an adjustment of the message. As any used car salesman will tell you, "it's all about reading the customer." This shaping of the message to suit the 'customer' has clearly fallen upon evangelicalism. Biblical concepts like the wrath of God, repentance, atonement, blood, cross and hell, have been scrubbed from our vocabulary in favor of an exclusive focus on the more tolerable concepts of God's love, forgiveness, fulfillment, purpose and freedom. The gospel has been reduced to a formula that can be quickly absorbed in a brief exhilarating conversation. People can pass from death to life, we are led to believe, just by correctly answering a few leading questions. This is a distortion of the biblical gospel. It does not square with Scripture or church history and will either be the end times departure Paul warned Timothy about or the tearful distain of a future, more faithful generation.

3) Dependence upon Human Strategy
You achieve what you emphasize. The church today has lost its moral authority and is wallowing in a weak worldliness that could under no circumstances be called a move of God! We are steeped in a perverse effort to be relevant to a culture that finds our watered-down gospel less than compelling and hardly a departure from life as they already know it. Having failed to win our world, we are now pathetically trying to make friends with it and convince the skeptical that we really are not as 'other worldly' as they might have first thought. The vast majority of evangelistic books and conferences focus on methods and strategies toward a greater cultural awareness. They call us to study the particular generational mindset of the latest target audience. The cacophony of NOISE on this point of emphasis is deafening! And has become for those steeped in Scripture, "sickening." (Amen, Brother James good preaching)

So what is my role,as a pastor, in winning people to Jesus, in a church setting? Paul said this:

1 Corinthians 2:1-5
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

I wonder if Paul had a gotee!