Thursday, January 31, 2008

Evangelism & The Sovereignty Of God Part 3

Here is J.I. third response to the question, "Why Evangelize if God is Sovereign?"

(3) The belief that God is sovereign in grace does not affect the genuineness of the gospel invitations, or the truth of the gospel promises.

Whatever we may believe about election, and, for that matter, about the extent of the atonement, the fact remains that God in the gospel really does offer Christ and promise justification and life to ‘whosoever will’. ‘Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ Rom. 10:13 As God commands all men everywhere to repent, so God invites all men everywhere to come to Christ and find mercy. The invitation is for sinners only, but for sinners universally; it is not for sinners of a certain type only, reformed sinners, or sinners whose hearts have been prepared by a fixed minimum of sorrow for sin; but for sinners as such, just as they are.

Some fear that a doctrine of eternal election and reprobation involves the possibility that Christ will not receive some of those who desire to receive Him, because they are not elect. The words of the gospel promises, however, absolutely exclude this possibility.
As our Lord elsewhere affirmed, in emphatic and categorical terms:
‘Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.’[Jn 6:37]

It is true that God has from all eternity chosen whom He will save. It is true that Christ came specifically to save those whom the Father had given Him. But it is also true that Christ offers Himself freely to all men as their Saviour, and guarantees to bring to glory everyone who trusts in Him as such. See how He Himself deliberately juxtaposes these two thoughts in the following passage:

38For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:38-40

Packer gives commentary on these verses this way:
1) ‘All which he has given me’—here is Christ’s saving mission defined in terms of the whole company of the elect, whom He came specifically to save.

2)‘everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life’—here is Christ’s saving mission defined in terms of the whole company of lost mankind, to whom He offers Himself without distinction, and whom He will certainly save, if they believe.

The two truths stand side by side in these verses, and that is where they belong. They go together. They walk hand in hand.
Neither throws doubt on the truth of the other. Neither should fill our minds to the exclusion of the other.
Christ means what He says, no less when He undertakes to save all who will trust Him than when He undertakes to save all whom the Father has given Him.

So indeed it is. The invitations of Christ are words of God. They are true. They are meant. They are genuine invitations. They are to be pressed upon the unconverted as such. Nothing that we may believe about God’s sovereignty in grace makes any difference to this.

What do you think of Packer's third point?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

This is Awesome!!

I am not leaving my post on the "Sovereignty of God and Evangelism", but one of my favorite preachers John MacArthur hits the nail on the head in these interviews.
These clips are taken from shows during 9-11 and after on a variety of topics. John stands on the Word of God. This is simply how I want to answer critics in a day of tolerance..... Most evangelicals side step these issues and water down the Bible and the Gospel when they are asked the hard questions on shows like Larry King, John doesn't.

Evangelism & The Sovereignty Of God Part 2

Here is Part 2 of the response by J.I. Packer to the Sovereignty of God and Evangelism question.

(2) The belief that God is sovereign in grace does not affect the urgency of evangelism.

Whatever we may believe about election, the fact remains that men without Christ are lost, and going to hell (pardon the use of this tarnished phrase: I use it because I mean it).
‘Except ye repent,’ said our Lord to the crowd, ‘ye shall all . . . perish.’[Lk xiii.3,5]
And we who are Christ’s are sent to tell them of the One—the only One—who can save them from perishing. Is not their need urgent? If it is, does that not make evangelism a matter of urgency for us?
If you knew that a man was asleep in a blazing building, you would think it a matter of urgency to try and get to him, and wake him up, and bring him out. The world is full of people who are unaware that they stand under the wrath of God: is it not similarly a matter of urgency that we should go to them, and try to arouse them, and show them the way of escape?
We should not be held back by the thought that if they are not elect, they will not believe us, and our efforts to convert them will fail. That is true; but it is none of our business, and should make no difference to our action.
In the first place, it is always wrong to abstain from doing good for fear that it might not be appreciated. In the second place, the non-elect in this world are faceless men as far as we are concerned. We know that they exist, but we do not and cannot know who they are, and it is as futile as it is impious for us to try and guess.
The identity of the reprobate is one of God’s ‘secret things’ into which His people may not pry. In the third place, our calling as Christians is not to love God’s elect, and them only, but to love our neighbour, irrespective of whether he is elect or not. Now, the nature of love is to do good and to relieve need.
If, then, our neighbour is unconverted, we are to show love to him as best we can by seeking to share with him the good news without which he must needs perish. So we find Paul warning and teaching ‘every man’:[Col. i.28] not merely because he was an apostle, but because every man was his neighbour.
And the measure of the urgency of our evangelistic task is the greatness of our neighbour’s need and the immediacy of his danger.

Please tell me your thoughts on J.I.'s views on this subject.
Comment here or by e-mail.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Evangelism & The Sovereignty Of God Part 1

I am often asked, "If God is sovereign, why evangelize?"
This questions arises from people who really don't understand God's sovereignty or His Grace.

J.I. Packer answers this question this way:

(1) The belief that God is sovereign in grace does not affect the necessity of evangelism.

Whatever we may believe about election, the fact remains that evangelism is necessary, because no man can be saved without the gospel.
‘There is no difference between the Jew and the Greek,’ proclaims Paul; ‘for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord (Jesus Christ) shall be saved.’
Yes; but nobody will be saved who does not call upon the name of the Lord, and certain things must happen before any man can do this.
So Paul continues: ‘How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?’[Rom x.12 ff.]
They must be told of Christ before they can trust Him, and they must trust Him before they can be saved by Him. Salvation depends on faith, and faith on knowing the gospel. God’s way of saving sinners is to bring them to faith through bringing them into contact with the gospel.
In God’s ordering of things, therefore, evangelism is a necessity if anyone is to be saved at all.

We must realize, therefore, that when God sends us to evangelize, He sends us to act as vital links in the chain of His purpose for the salvation of His elect.

I will post the rest of his response in following blogs...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

What do you think?

Listen to sound bites from this sermon by Paul Washer and tell me what you think of it?

Comment here or email me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Redneck in India!

Below are pictures of my favorite Redneck- Todd Payne.

Todd's prayer request: preaching revival at night for 3 weeks, salvations, safety, Gracy, Jeremiah, ... etc.

Todd went to a 5am prayer service at a Dehli orphanage and saw the children shivering and bought thermal wear for them.

When I saw these pictures I just Thanked the Lord for calling and sending Todd to India. I also Thanked the Lord for the money given thru ETBC this past December that helped Todd, Gracy, and Jeremiah get to India.

If God can use a Redneck from Stony Point imagine what He can do thru you!!

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Duke Flop!

Is Duke an acting school? When you watch this video you see some really good acting.
Especially watch Paulus fall when barely touched on a 3-pointer with the game on the line.
What a great Coach, K must be, to ruin the integrity of the game by this travesty in sports ethics.
Duke players with 10 flops in such a short span.
In this game Duke shot 34 free throws! This is from a team that shot 22 3-pointers, unheard of!!

It's sad to watch a team ruin the integrity of the game and manipulate the refs so greatly, but I guess that's what you get when you play Duke and Coach K!

PS. Duke Fans February 6th is coming! Go Heels!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

"I have a Dream"

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 3: 26-29


Saturday, January 19, 2008


This is a question most of the evangelical world would say yes? Why?

The Bible never indicates all sins are equal in God's sight.

Read this response by: c michael patton

It is very common within popular evangelicalism to answer this question in the affirmative. Most find this theological concept very appealing and accept it, I am afraid to say, without doing much homework.

I think this tendency to assume that all sins are equal in the sight of God comes by means of three influences.

1) A reaction by Protestants against the Roman Catholic distinction between mortal sins (sins that kill justifying grace) and venial sin (sins of a lesser nature that do not kill justifying grace).

2) A tendency within our evangelistic church culture to express common ground with unbelievers—i.e. if all sins are equal in God’s sight then your sin is not worse than any other. This way we are not coming across as judgmental or condescending.

3) Some biblical passages that have been interpreted in such a way (discussed below).

However, I don’t believe that all sin is equal in God’s sight. I also believe that telling people that it is does great damage to the character of God and the seriousness of certain sins. There are many reasons for this, but let me start with a reductio ad absurdum and them move to a biblical argument.

I often ask people who say that all sin is equal in the sight of God if they live according to their theology. Think about this. If all sin is really equal in the sight of God, and one really believes this, then God’s consternation and anger will be equal for whatever sin we commit. Equally important is the fact that our relational disposition before God should suffer from the conviction of the Holy Spirit for all sins equally. Most Christians understand what it means to have a conscience weighed down by unrepentant sin. But this weighing down normally only comes from those sins that we perceive to be more severe. However, if it is true that all sin is equal in the sight of God and one actually lived according to that theology, they should be just as troubled spiritually and just as repentant before God when they break the speed limit as when they commit adultery. After all, breaking the speed limit, even by 1mph, is breaking the law and breaking the law is sin (Rom 13).

This, of course, nobody does. We all see speeding down the road as water under the bridge of God. Apparently our conscious bears us witness that it is not as bad as other things, even if we confess differently.

Next (and more importantly) I think that it is biblical and necessary to say that some sins are more grievous in the sight of God than others. This also translates into the non-politically correct assumption that some people are sinners to a greater degree than others. Even though Protestants may not agree with the theology behind the Roman Catholic distinction between mortal and venial sins, there are many instances in the Scriptures where degrees of sin are distinguished.

1. Christ tells Pilate that the Jewish leaders have committed a worse sin than him, saying “he who has handed me over to you has committed the greater sin” (Jn. 19:11).

2. Certain sins in the law are distinguished in a particular context as an abomination to God, implying that others are not as severe (e.g. Lev. 18:22; Deut. 7:25, Deut. 23:18, Isa. 41:24).

3. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is set apart as a more severe sin than blasphemy of the Son (Matt. 12:31)

4. Proverbs 6:16-19 lists particular sins in such a way as to single them out because of their depraved nature, separating them from others.

5. There are degrees of punishment in Hell depending on the severity of the offense (Lk. 12:47-48).

6. Christ often evaluates the sin of the Pharisees as greater than the sins of others. “You strain out a gnat while you swallow a camel” (Matt. 23:24). If all sins are equal, Christ’s rebuke does not make any sense. (See also Lk. 20:46-47)

7. Related to the last, Christ also talked about the “weighter things of the law” (Matt. 23:23). If all sins are equal, there is no law (or violation of that law) that is “weightier than others.” They are all the same weight.

8. Unforgiveness is continually referred to as a particularly heinous sin (Matt. 6:14-15; 18:23-35).

So where does this folk theology come from? Well, most people would refer to Christ’s comments in the Sermon on the Mount. Most particularly, reference is made to Matt. 5:27-28 as justification for this way of thinking.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘you shall not commit adultery’” but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matt. 5:27-28 27).

Is there a difference in the eyes of God between thinking about adultery and actually doing it? Absolutely. If we say anything other than this, I believe we do damage to God’s character and encourage the act based upon its premonition. The point Christ makes in Matt. 5:28 is not that lust and the actual act are equal, but that they both violate the same commandment, even if the degrees of this violation differ. This way, Christ was telling all people (particularly the religious establishment of the day) that thought they were safe because they had fulfilled the letter of the law that the law runs much deeper. The spirit of the law is what matters. Therefore, if you have ever lusted, you have broken the sixth commandment. If you have ever hated your brother, you have broken the fifth commandment (Matt. 5:22). But, again, the breaking of the principles of the commandment is the issue, not the degree to which it is broken.

This is the same argument that James makes in Jam. 2:10 when he says “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” He is not equating all sin, but showing how any violation of the law, no matter how small, is still breaking the whole of the law because the law is connected to such a degree.

Think about this (another reductio), if you believe that adultery and lust are equal in the sight of God, then here are the results: Any man or woman can justify divorce based upon the fact that in Matt. 5:32 Christ condemns divorce except for marital infidelity. All they need to do is make the safe assumption that their spouse has lusted to some degree during their marriage. This will make their divorce justified and biblical. As well, if a man were to lust after a woman on the Internet, he might as well commit the actual act, since in God’s eyes he already has. As well (I am rolling), if you have ever lusted after a girl, then you are under God’s mandate to marry her since in God’s eyes you are one with her (1 Cor. 6:16).

Again, I think that this way of thinking is not only wrong biblically, but it also has repercussions that lead to a distorted worldview and a discrediting of the integrity of God and the Gospel of Christ.

It is true. All people are sinners (Rom. 3:23). All people are sinners from birth. But not all sin is equal.

I think that it is safe to say that while not all people sin to the same degree, we all share in an equally depraved nature. In other words, no one is less of a sinner because of an innate righteousness about which they can boast. All people have equal potential for depravity because we are all sons of Adam and share in the same depravity, even if we don’t, due to God’s grace, act out our sinfulness to the same degree.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The “Age of Accountability”

Have you ever wondered about the "Age of Accountability" for children.

I am often asked if a child is old enough to be saved.
This article by John MacArthur should help:

(By John MacArthur)

The following article is adapted from John MacArthur’s response during a Q&A session at Grace Church. Much of what John says here has been expanded in his book, Safe in the Arms of God.

What is the Scriptural basis for an “age of accountability” regarding a child’s salvation?

I think the best way to answer that is to say this: There is no “age of accountability” identified in Scripture, as such. There is nothing in the Bible that says, “Here is the age and from here on you are responsible!” I think the reason for that is because children mature at different paces. That would be true from culture to culture, and from age to age in history.

So the Lord in His wisdom didn’t identify a specific moment. God knows when each soul is accountable. God knows when real rejection has taken place; when the love of sin exists in the heart. When enmity with God is conscious and willful. God alone knows when that occurs.

The Jews had identified about the age of twelve, and that was when Jesus was taken by His parents to Jerusalem for the Passover and the Feast, and there He was in the temple questioning the doctors. You have a good illustration there, and Jesus was asking profound questions at that point. This then seems to be the age when those kinds of questions begin to be personal in the heart of a child.

So I have always felt that somewhere around age twelve, the transition from childhood to adulthood takes place. It’s probably not totally disassociated from puberty, where there is a consciousness of one’s own impulses, feelings, drives, desires, and therefore sinful attitudes and passions, and whatever else starts to emerge.

With this in mind, I believe that it is absolutely essential, all along the way with children, that every time they desire to make a commitment to Jesus Christ, at whatever age, you (as someone giving spiritual oversight to them) encourage them to do that. Because you don’t know, we can’t know, when their desire is indicative of genuine saving faith. When a young child says, “I want to invite Christ into my life,” then you need to encourage them to do that. Every one of those, I see as a step towards God. At what point that becomes saving faith — only God knows for certain.

But, I also believe, that up until that point of real saving faith, God in His mercy, would save that child, should that child die. I have been doing some study on that very issue, because when I was at a conference recently, and that question was asked of a panel of very astute theologians — no one gave an adequate answer. And I thought, “How can we have theologians who don’t know the answer to that question? What about the children before the age of accountability, when they die, do they go to heaven?” I think the answer is “yes,” and I think it is a strong “YES,” based upon the confidence of David who said, when his little baby died: “He cannot come to me, but I shall go to him.” And David knew where he was going; David knew he was going to heaven — he knew that. There wasn’t any question in his mind about that.

So when he said, “I shall go to him,” in those words was the anticipation and the joyful hope of reunion. Now, some people have said, “Well, all he meant was, ‘I am going to be buried next to him.’” There wouldn’t be any reason to say, “He can’t come to me, but, oh I’m so glad I am going to be buried next to him!” There would be no joy in that; that wouldn’t satisfy anything. So I think at that point, he was expressing the confidence that he was going to heaven; he knew that was where he would find his son, who had died before the age of accountability.

Another interesting thing that occurs numerous times in the Old Testament, is that children (including those who die) are referred to as “innocent.” The Hebrew word that is used for “innocent” is used numerous times in the Old Testament to refer to “not being guilty” — literally, “being taken to court and found ‘not guilty.’” In fact, the OT refers to the babies that were passed through the fire to Moloch [false god] as the “innocents,” so I believe that God, prior to the “age of accountability” treats them as “innocent.” It doesn’t mean that they are not fallen; it doesn’t mean that they are not sinful — it does mean that God mercifully treats them as “innocent” in spite of that, and He has to exercise grace to do that, just as He exercises grace to save those who believe.

In summary, the “age of accountability” is not clearly identified in Scripture. I think it’s up to parents; every time a child wants to respond and open the heart to Christ — you need to encourage that, all the way along, until they come to that point where it is genuine, and the Lord knows that even if you don’t.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pat the Prophet?

It is 12:15. I can't sleep. I just watched a great basketball game between UNC and Ga. Tech. Heels win by one.
I am also waiting on the snow!

Mark Marshall prayed for snow a few days ago so it will probably be 90 degrees tomorrow.

While browsing blogs I came across this great post by one of my favorite theologians: c michael patton

Here is his web page:
Here is his post on Pat Robertson's prophecy for 08-- Hope you get a kick out of it like I did.

In what is becoming a rather embarrassing annual occurrence, Pat Robertson makes his prediction for 2008. It would seem that the Lord has informed him of an immanent stock market crash that is scheduled for this year. Oil will reach $150 a barrel. As well, because of the crash, in the chaos, many people will seek the Lord. “We will see the presence of angels and we will see an intensification of miracles around the world.”

According to Robertson, he receives these revelations from the Lord as the Lord speaks to him during prayer.

Here is a quick review of some of his previous prophetic revelations over the last decade or so:

1980: The USSR will invade the Middle East

1981: There will be a global economic collapse.

1998: Because Orlando city officials approved the celebration of the Gay Days events at Disney World, Robertson said, ““I don’t think I’d be waving those flags in God’s face if I were you. … [A] condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It’ll bring about terrorist bombs, it’ll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor”

2004: President Bush will “easily” win the election in a “blowout.”

2005: President Bush will have Social Security and tax reform passed and that Muslims will turn to Jesus Christ.

2006: Storms and possibly a tsunami will hit America’s coastline.

2007: A terrorist attack on the United States would result in “mass killing” late in 2007. “I’m not necessarily saying it’s going to be nuclear,” he said during his news-and-talk television show “The 700 Club” on the Christian Broadcasting Network. “The Lord didn’t say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that.”

Concerning last year’s mishap Robertson responds, “All I can think is that somehow the people of God prayed and God in his mercy spared us.” Concerning Bush’s social security reform, Robertson said, “I have a relatively good track record. Sometimes I miss.”

Ummm . . . I am not with him. His title of “Evangelical” is different than mine. Nice guy, probably loves the Lord, but I don’t know where he is getting his information.

I guess that we can take comfort that this year will not be a time of financial doom?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

UNC 93 NC. State 62

This is a typical State fan, regardless of age.

Go Heels!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

This guy is tall!

Kenny George is 7'7 but Tyler still dunked over him!

Do you Love UNC as much as me?

Parents Read This!

John Piper is a great preacher, theologian, author and Christian. This article is written by his son! Fantastic.

I read this at Justin Taylor's blog- (great blog!)

Here is the article:

Recently I came across an excellent, excellent article by Abraham Piper (John Piper's son), Prodigals: 'Let Them Come Home' (When I was 19, I decided I'd be honest and stop saying I was a Christian). This article is must reading for every Christian parent, especially for those who have prodigal children. Below is the introduction to the article and Abraham's 12 suggestions for reaching out to prodigal children.

At first I pretended that my reasoning was high-minded and philosophical. But really I just wanted to drink gallons of cheap sangria and sleep around. Four years of this and I was strung out, stupefied and generally pretty low. Especially when I was sober or alone.

My parents, who are strong believers and who raised their kids as well as any parents I’ve ever seen, were brokenhearted and baffled. I’m sure they were wondering why the child they tried to raise right was such a ridiculous screw-up now. But God was in control.

One Tuesday morning, before 8 o’clock, I went to the library to check my e-mail. I had a message from a girl I’d met a few weeks before, and her e-mail mentioned a verse in Romans. I went down to the Circle K and bought a 40-ounce can of Miller High Life for $1.29. Then I went back to where I was staying, rolled a few cigarettes, cracked open my drink, and started reading Romans. I wanted to read the verse from the e-mail, but I couldn’t remember what it was, so I started at the beginning of the book. By the time I got to chapter 10, the beer was gone, the ashtray needed emptying and I was a Christian.

The best way I know to describe what happened to me that morning is that God made it possible for me to love Jesus. When He makes this possible and at the same time gives you a glimpse of the true wonder of Jesus, it is impossible to resist His call.

Looking back on my years of rejecting Christ, I offer these suggestions to help you reach out to your wayward child so that they, too, would wake up to Christ’s amazing power to save even the worst of us.

1. Point them to Christ.

2. Pray.

3. Acknowledge that something is wrong.

4. Don’t expect them to be Christlike.

5. Welcome them home.

6. Plead with them more than you rebuke them.

7. Connect them to other believers.

8. Respect their friends.

9. E-mail them.

10. Take them to lunch.

11. Take an interest in their pursuits.

12. Point them to Christ.

Click the link above to get the full article and read Abraham's thoughtful explanation of these 12 parenting suggestions.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Time to Build

Let me say a personal Thank You to our "Long Range Vision and Building Committee" for the wonderful presentation Sunday. You guys did great!

Below are the pictures and floor plans to look at:
(click on each one to enlarge!)






Church vote will be Jan. 20th in the morning worship service.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Ellington for Three!!!

Hope this makes your Monday as good as it does mine!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Heresy Alert!!!!

Good old Joel is at it again.

Here is what the Mormons believe about God and Jesus:


The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that there is only one True and Living God and apart from Him there are no other Gods (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10,11; 44:6,8; 45:21,22; 46:9; Mark 12:29-34).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that there are many Gods (Book of Abraham 4:3ff), and that we can become gods and goddesses in the celestial kingdom (Doctrine and Covenants 132:19-20; Gospel Principles, p. 245; Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p. 130). It also teaches that those who achieve godhood will have spirit children who will worship and pray to them, just as we worship and pray to God the Father (Gospel Principles, p. 302).


Christianity says no! This is blasphemy!
John 4:24; 1 Timothy 6:15,16), He is not a man (Numbers 23:19; Hosea 11:9; Romans 1:22, 23), and has always (eternally) existed as God — all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere present (Psalm 90:2; 139:7-10; Isaiah 40:28; Luke 1:37).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that God the Father was once a man like us who progressed to become a God and has a body of flesh and bone (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22; "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!" from Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-347; Gospel Principles, p. 9; Articles of Faith, p. 430; Mormon Doctrine, p. 321). Indeed, the Mormon Church teaches that God himself has a father, and a grandfather, ad infinitum (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 373; Mormon Doctrine, p. 577).


The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that Jesus is the unique Son of God; he has always existed as God, and is co-eternal and co-equal with the Father (John 1:1, 14; 10:30; 14:9; Colossians 2:9). While never less than God, at the appointed time He laid aside the glory He shared with the Father (John 17:4, 5; Philippians 2:6-11) and was made flesh for our salvation; His incarnation was accomplished through being conceived supernaturally by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin (Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:34-35).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that Jesus Christ is our elder brother who progressed to godhood, having first been procreated as a spirit child by Heavenly Father and a heavenly mother; He was later conceived physically through intercourse between Heavenly Father and the virgin Mary (Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p. 129; Mormon Doctrine, pp. 546-547; 742). Mormon doctrine affirms that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers (Gospel Principles, pp. 17-18; Mormon Doctrine, p. 192).

This doesn't mean someone shouldn't vote for Mitt. I post this to show the heresy in Joel's theology. He said he and Mitt shared a common bond in Christianity!
Well, Mitt, Joel, and I don't!

Maybe Good old Joel should study just a little more before he preaches to 40,000 people next Sunday!!

Hell- what happened to you?

Most Christians believe every word the Bible has to say about Heaven but most have a hard time with Hell.
Many atheist and skeptics think of hell, as Robert Ingersoll did when he called hell "the scarecrow of Christianity".

This is why many preachers today refuse to preach on the subject.
Jesus talked about Hell and Judgment a lot. As a matter of fact, 13% of his words were on hell. That is a whole lot of one's words on one subject.
I don't talk about the Tar Heels that much!!

Read the words of a Jonathan Edwards (I read this sermon @ CVCC as a college freshman- I was lost at the time!)
Read carefully and beware!! This is just part of his sermon (sermon in quotes)

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
by Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

"The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you was suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God's hand has held you up. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell.

O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment.

And let every one that is yet out of Christ, and hanging over the pit of hell, whether they be old men and women, or middle aged, or young people, or little children, now hearken to the loud calls of God's word and providence. This acceptable year of the Lord, a day of such great favour to some, will doubtless be a day of as remarkable vengeance to others. Men's hearts harden, and their guilt increases apace at such a day as this, if they neglect their souls; and never was there so great danger of such persons being given up to hardness of heart and blindness of mind. God seems now to be hastily gathering in his elect in all parts of the land; and probably the greater part of adult persons that ever shall be saved, will be brought in now in a little time, and that it will be as it was on the great out-pouring of the Spirit upon the Jews in the apostles' days; the election will obtain, and the rest will be blinded. If this should be the case with you, you will eternally curse this day, and will curse the day that ever you was born, to see such a season of the pouring out of God's Spirit, and will wish that you had died and gone to hell before you had seen it. Now undoubtedly it is, as it was in the days of John the Baptist, the axe is in an extraordinary manner laid at the root of the trees, that every tree which brings not forth good fruit, may be hewn down and cast into the fire.

Therefore, let every one that is out of Christ, now awake and fly from the wrath to come. The wrath of Almighty God is now undoubtedly hanging over a great part of this congregation. Let every one fly out of Sodom: "Haste and escape for your lives, look not behind you, escape to the mountain, lest you be consumed."

This sermon was not given by some screaming, yelling, foaming at the mouth uneducated preacher. Jonathan graduated from Yale and read this sermon word for word. So much for human persuasion.
Historians say you could hear people moan and groan as they heard this sermon being read. The truth of the Word of God stung them!

As a college freshman I was scared, confused and convicted. My English teacher at the time called this interesting literature! Many in our class were slightly amused. This is how people receive this message today. The fear of hell will never save anyone only the conviction of the Holy Spirit that draws people to Christ.
God used this sermon to start a Great Awakening among God's people at the time. May He do the same today.

Sunday night I will start a 3-part series on Hell

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Can I Lose My Salvation? Part 2

Can a believer, once saved, indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God, and cleansed by the blood of Christ, lose their placement in heaven? Does the Good Shepherd lose His sheep? Can a believer lose their salvation?

It doesn't matter what I think or you think, the question is what does God's Word say?

I. The Holy Spirit's Sealing

Ephesians 4:30

"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption".

Ephesians 1:13
"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your Salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory".

Tony Warren made this comment:
That Greek word Sealed there is [sphragizo], meaning to stamp as secured. Clearly, believers are secured by the Holy Spirit of God, not by their own works, and so how could they suddenly find themselves unsecured? And note carefully that it is until the redemption of the purchased (purchased in the blood of Christ) possession. It is absolutely ludicrous to take this verse and claim that it really means we are not secured by the Holy Spirit until the day of Redemption. Indeed, it would be tortuous of God's Word to do so. Christ went to prepare a place of inheritance for us, but He also sent the Holy Spirit to seal (secure) us unto the day of our redemption of that Purchased inheritance. Nothing could be plainer. Again note, Holy Spirit of Promise. God does not break His promises. Man assuredly does, but God does not. We are by His power Sealed, preserved unto the day of the consummation. Christ sent the Comforter to us precisely to assure perseverance and preserve us in Him.

John Piper preaching on Eph. 1:13-14 says this about being sealed by the Holy Spirit

What Does "Sealed" Mean?

"There are two great words here that aim to help us feel secure in God's love and power: the word "sealed," and the word "guarantee." Let's see if we can unseal this word "sealed" and look inside. What does it mean that believers have been sealed by the Holy Spirit (v. 13)? The word is used at least three different ways in the New Testament.

1. In Matthew 27:66, the tomb of Jesus was secured by sealing it and putting guards around it. In Revelation 20:3 God throws Satan into a pit and seals it over so he can't escape. So one meaning is locking something up, closing it in.

2. Another is found in Romans 4:11 where Abraham's circumcision is called the sign and seal of the righteousness he had by faith. And in 1 Corinthians 9:2 Paul says that his converts are the seal of his apostleship. So a second meaning of sealing is giving a sign of authenticity.

3. A third meaning is found in Revelation 7:3 where the seal of God is put on the forehead of God's servants to protect them from the wrath coming upon the world.
So what did Paul mean in Ephesians 1:13 when he said that believers are sealed with the Holy Spirit? No matter which of these meanings you use the basic truth is the same.

If the Spirit seals shut, the point must be that he seals in faith and seals out unbelief and apostasy.
If the Spirit seals us as a sign of authenticity, then he is that sign and it is the Spirit's work in our life which is God's trademark. Our eternal sonship is real and authentic if we have the Spirit. He is the sign of divine reality in our lives.
Or if the Spirit marks us with God's seal, he protects us from evil forces which won't dare to enter a person bearing the mark of God's own possession.
However you come at this message contained in this word "sealed," it is a message of safety and security in God's love and power. God sends the Holy Spirit as a preserving seal to lock in our faith, as an authenticating seal to validate our sonship, and as a protecting seal to keep out destructive forces. The point is that God wants us to feel secure and safe in his love and power."


Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Everyone needs a good friend.

The Bible say this about friendship

9Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?
Ecclesiastes 4:9-11

This video by Tim Hawkins really hits home. We all need a good friend especially in a time of need.

Thank God for men like Cletus! Where would you be today without good friends?

Can I Lose My Salvation?

Happy New Year!

Just returned from Big God with our Students, so I haven't blogged in a while.
I want to do a few posts on "Can I lose my salvation?" And I will post opinions from people smarter than I.

Here is a commonly used text to refute eternal security and here is John MacArthur's response taken from Pulpit Magazine:

Does Hebrews 6:4-6 teach that a true believer can lose his salvation?

For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. Hebrews 6: 4-6

No. In that passage, the writer of Hebrews is speaking to the unsaved who have heard the truth and acknowledged it, but who have hesitated to embrace Christ. The Holy Spirit warns them, “You had better come to Christ now, for if you fall away it will be impossible for you to come again to the point of repentance.” They were at the best point for repentance–full knowledge. To fall back from that would be fatal.

Because they believe the warning is addressed to Christians, many interpreters hold that the passage teaches that salvation can be lost. If this interpretation were true, however, the passage would also teach that, once lost, salvation could never be regained. There would be no going back and forth, in and out of grace. But Christians are not being addressed, and it is the opportunity for receiving salvation, not salvation itself, that can be lost.

The believer need never fear he will lose his salvation. He cannot. The Bible is absolutely clear about that. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29; see also Rom. 8:35-39; Phil. 1:6; and 1 Pet. 1:4-5).

If you are in Christ, rejoice. Your salvation is secure forever.

(Today’s post adapted from the MacArthur New Testament Commentary on Hebrews, p. 146.)